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Mr. Bardoo had a very fine zoo,
The animals went about two by two,
And also in fours, and in fives and in sixes,
Of all the same kind or of sociable mixes.
And though some had paws and black leathery noses
Whilst others had horns, hooves and pig trotter toeses
Or wore fur or feathers or a hard shiny shell
They all of them got on remarkably well.
The reason behind this most sociable state
Was a secret that I am about to relate.
For this very fine zoo of Mr. Bardoo
Had really quite a lot to do
With a wonderful mixture of plants put together
By Mr. Bardoo and then stirred with a feather
That came from the ancient Warroogilly bird
That no longer exists I have frequently heard.
Now three times a day in the sociable zoo
Of the wise and wonderful Mr. Bardoo
The animals ate a large helping or two
Of this healthy and tasty and magical stew.
They never went hungry and so it is now
They can’t find their own food since they never learnt how.
But it ended the fights between sister and brother
And also it stopped them from eating each other.
Now once a week at twelve twenty two
At the very fine zoo of Mr. Bardoo.
A car drove up the winding road
That led to the neat and trim abode
Of Mr. Bardoo who had to go
(as everyone in the zoo did know)
To the town of Jarrandarranbee
To visit his favourite Aunt Marie.
He’d wave goodbye to all and say,
“Remember now, whilst I’m away
That I’ll be back by five twenty five
And I’ll toot the horn when I arrive
So everyone can wait in line
As it will soon be dinner time”.
Then one day in the month of June
It happened in the afternoon
That Mr. Bardoo thought he would try
To see if maybe he could buy
A present for his Aunt Marie
Who lived in Jarrandarranbee.
He saw a shop across the road
And boldly right across he strode.
So quickly that he didn’t quite
Remember to look left and right.
He felt a bump and all went black.
He landed thump upon his back.
A lady doctor passing by
Examined him with practised eye.
She said he’d taken quite a whack
And given his head a nasty crack.
“He may be out for an hour or two
So maybe we should take him to
The hospital so that he can rest
And maybe take a little test”.
Mr. Bardoo recovered soon.
But it was then late afternoon
And later still the doctor said
That he could now get out of bed.
He hadn’t even been to see
His very favourite Aunt Marie.
He made a call by telephone
To tell her that he must postpone
His visit for another day
For he must get back right away
And feed his many animals who
Would be worried about their bowls of stew.
Now at the most amazing zoo
Of the barely recovered Mr. Bardoo,
The animals all stood in line
For it was now five twenty nine
And as their hungry tummies rumbled
They squealed and roared and crossly grumbled.
What were they all supposed to do
Without their bowls of magic stew?
Now it happened amidst this hullabaloo
At the ever increasingly noisy zoo
Of unhappily absent Mr. Bardoo.
A flock of birds was passing by
And stopped to ask the reason why
The early evening’s peaceful calm
Was shattered by such wild alarm.
The animals all squealed and roared
And begged and pleaded and implored
The birds to tell them all they knew
Of animals outside the zoo
And where they got their magic stew.
The birds all said that they’d heard tell
That everyone managed very well
And some ate grass and some ate meat
And everyone had lots to eat
But all said that they never knew
Of anyone who ate magic stew.
Well then the animals of the zoo
Of the totally missing Mr. Bardoo
Tried to imagine how it would be
And they simply couldn’t possibly see
How they would ever make amends
If they began to eat their friends.
Peter the Possum was quite at a loss
And Alan the Aardvark was getting quite cross
Gavin Gorilla went off on the loose, then
Sulked in a corner with Millie the Moose
Wally the Wombat was rather non plussed
Whilst Cathy the Camel walked off in disgust.
Greta Giraffe was completely aloof
And Gertrude the Goat sat and sucked on her hoof.
Jessica Mongoose just looked on in wonder
And silently thought to herself “How the thunder,
Would anyone get the Rhinoceros, Kate,
To calmly and patiently sit on a plate?”
Angelique Elephant looked up askance
And thought, “Now, there’s really no sort of a chance.
I’m sure everyone would prefer to be thinner,
Than try to eat Kylie Echidna for dinner”.
And Teresa Tiger just couldn’t think who
Would taste half as good as the magical stew.
The whole situation was looking quite grim
And chances of dinner increasingly slim
When suddenly along the road
That led to the horribly empty abode
Of Mr. Bardoo there came a sight
That filled them all with great delight.
A car complete with Mr. Bardoo
Was driving up towards the zoo.
It stopped just by the animals who
Were making such a hullabaloo
That Mr. Bardoo had to loudly shout
And make them all stop rushing about.
He told them all about hitting his head
And how he’d had to stay in bed.
But now that he was home at last
He’d mix some magic stew up fast.
Then everyone heaved a great sigh of relief
And said they were glad that his absence was brief.
But one of them said (and they all understood)
“WE HOPE THAT HE NEVER GOES MISSING FOR GOOD!”.
The Very Fine Zoo of Mr. Bardoo © Anita Allen 10th August 1998
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