Monday, March 26, 2012

I Went to the Animal Fair

Somewhere, buried deep within my early childhood memories is this nonsensical poem. I am still trying to make sense of it.

Animal Fair

I went to the animal fair,
The birds and the beasts were there,
The big baboon by the light of the moon
Was combing his auburn hair.
The monkey bumped the skunk,
And sat on the elephant's trunk;
The elephant sneezed and fell to his knees,
And that was the end of the monk!

The monk!
Monk seal, from wikipedia*

What's the Monk?

The monk, a seal from Hawaii,
That swims in the mighty ocean sea.
He smiles for the camera,
but brother I'll tell ya,
Life is not all lobsters and squid.

There are nets to avoid,
And marine debris
that clogs the briny sea.
What's more,
I have been hunted, for sure.
'Til I am nearly extinct.

I wish I had been born a mink.
Not a monk!

Hawaiian monk seals live remotely in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. The island of Midway is included in this group. Hawaiians call the seal `Ilio holo I ka uaua, which means, "dog that runs in rough water." Read more.

I imagine the anonymous author of The Animal Fair was a seafaring man who traveled the world from Africa to Asia and in between. I hope that he didn't hunt for Monk seals.

* Image of Monk seal from Wikipedia. Photo by Kent Backman of Monachus schauinslandi (Hawaiian Monk Seal) underwater at Five Fathom Pinnacle, Hawaii, 2009.

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