One afternoon, upon the wide savannah,
The expansive, rolling plain,
A solitary, lone thesaurus grazes.
The heedless, inattentive beast
Of impending peril unaware.
Danger, meanwhile, approaches fast.
With lethal assegais and deadly spears,
Equipped with nets and gins and traps and snares,
A tribe of natives, aboriginal.
Through trickery and stealth and guile
Our naïve quadruped is double-crossed,
Bamboozled, cozened and enmeshed. Alas!
Later, languishing at the zoo
(Vile vivarium! Mean menagerie!)
Our thesaurus, in custody confined,
Is melancholy, depressed, downcast,
Lamenting, pining for the open steppe.
Here he stoops, a prisoner, dejected.
Laughed at by humourless hyenas,
Beset and basely belittled by bees,
Lied to by dissembling lyre birds,
By reproving reptiles reprimanded,
Terrorised by tyrannical terrapins,
Ignored by ignoble iguanas,
And ostracised by ostriches.
And Oh, the shame! Humiliation!
He finds himself stared at, observed,
Incessantly and without relent.
And witnessed, watched, beheld, by such a crowd,
A press, a throng, a numerosity,
A multitudinous myriad
Of spectators, gawpers, rubber-neckers.
The public, the great unwashed.
The hoi polloi.