Shel Silverstein (1930 – 1999)
I have fought against the poodle with his gory, deadly paws;
I have faced the fearsome kitten, wild and bony,
And somehow I’ve evaded the enormous chomping jaws
Of the frighteningly ferocious Shetland pony.
My triumph o’er the rabbit is now sung throughout the land,
And men still speak in whispers of the day
When, attacked by twelve mosquitoes, with my one unwounded hand,
I killed nine of them and dove the rest away.
I have faced the housefly in his lair, I have stalked the ladybug
And the caterpillar, grim and fierce and hairy;
That trophy there is bumblebee, and this, my favourite rug,
Has been fashioned from the hide of a canary.
I have dove into the ocean to do combat with a shrimp,
I have dared the hen to come on out and fight;
I have battled with the butterfly (that’s why I have this limp),
And I slew a monstrous grubworm just last night.
But this evening I must sally forth to meet the savage moth,
And if I don’t come back in time for tea,
You shall know that I fell gallantly, as gallantly I fought
So please be gentle when you speak of me.