PRIMA DONNA REVIEWS THE ZOO
The day I went to see the Zoo
I thought I’d check the Who is Who
of fur and feathers. It’s good to know
what gets the ratings in a show.
First stop was the lions’ cage.
They top the score for roaring rage
but seem to be quite lacking in
dynamic range. Too much din
as Shakespeare said, will split the ears;
it’s overdone, and interferes
with bringing off a proper show.
(And I think Shakespeare ought to know.)
I thought the alligator’s gig
had certain stage appeal. Like some big
log he’s lying there quite still
and then the keeper brings his meal
and whoosh! There’s one almighty snap
and then… he just resumes his nap.
It’s not a very subtle part
but that’s the essence of his art.
The camels also use surprise
for shock effect. Their half-closed eyes
suggest their thoughts are far away –
engaged with higher things – but they
are really fooling you. The truth
is that they’re quite uncouth
and coarse. In fact, they spit!
I didn’t like their show one bit.
The wombats didn’t seem to know
that they were meant to be on show.
“From 9 till 3” the notice said,
but they’d already gone to bed -
which seemed quite rude since I was there
to have a look. It wasn’t fair.
But wombats aren’t the brightest things
and like it better in the wings
and so perhaps they just forgot:
‘The show goes on, no matter what!’
I knew the peacock would be keen
to strut his stuff; to primp and preen
his gorgeous ostentatious tail.
(Displays like that can never fail.)
And there he was. And I could see
that he was a natural star like me.
His splendour caused a real sensation
and people gave him an ovation.
but he ignored his audience,
the silly bird. No common sense.
The peacock was my favourite creature
but not with that unpleasant feature.
I felt quite snubbed and rather miffed.
And then...It happened! What a lift!
I discovered something new
before I’d finished at the zoo.
So listen and I’ll tell you how
I have a different favourite now.
I saw meerkats at the zoo
and meerkats know a thing or two
about performance. And so I’ll
vote for meerkats. They have style
and perfect posture. And every day
they clean and groom each other so they
look their best at any time.
They exercise. They run and climb
and keep themselves so trim and pert.
They’re interested and stay alert.
Like me they want to know who’s who
and have exquisite judgement too,
for when I went up close to see,
they all stood up to look at ME!