Jan Brzechwa
The Zoo

Silly Billy in a zoo
Keeps on calling out: U-u!
What an ugly parrot, eek!
That giraffe is a tall freak!
Elephants should be on wheels!
And what’s up with all those seals?
Zebra needs a stripy bra!
Tiger’s claw..
And what a jaw!
And what's that under the roof:
Tortoise – cluck, cluck – what a goof!
And this birdie? Well, that’s rich!
Little birdie -
An ostrich!
Then he gets to camels’ pen
Looks in closely, looks again
Points through bars and states a fact:
Would be nice but it’s hunchbacked!
Tiger, Sir, how is your day?
Pretty dull I have to say.
Would you like to leave this zoo?
Sure. Then I could feed on you! 
When she’s scared, you understand,
Ostrich sticks her head in sand,
She’s a wimp, agreed, alright…
But her eggs are quite a sight! 
Little parrot, over here!
Whisper something in my ear.
No! You’ll gossip, I can tell,
Soon each bird will know as well. 
Dad and gramps red to their teeth,
This red tail is my bequeath,
And my name’s red fox, alright?
Move along or I will bite. 
Let me make it very clear,
About wolves like this one here:
Be glad it’s a picture really,
Otherwise he’d eat you, silly. 
Tortoise thought: let’s take the train,
But the fare is quite a pain.
Such a sum comes as a shock:
Will be faster if I walk. 
Is that zebra for real?
Does it somewhere live still?
Or did some silly fool
Paint these stripes on a mule?
I say, that's one outsized shoe,
Mr kangaroo!
Yea,  but that’s why every pair
Of my socks has a big tear. 
Let us go and say hello
To our favourite buffalo.
Buffalo, please don't say no,
Bow politely… there you go!
Boars are boorish, boars are wild,
Boars' twin tusks are sharp and riled,
If you see one in the wood,
Climb a tree fast, understood? 
As they visit the reindeer,
Ladies find his charm sincere
When he says: I’d really love,
To become milady’s glove. 
Monkeys rarely touch the ground,
Monkeys love monkeying around.
Have a look at that baboon:
What an apish ape, that loon!
Where’d you come from, crocodile?
Me? The Nile.
Let me out just for a while,
And I’ll take you to the Nile. 
The giraffe’s main occupation,
Is her long neck’s elevation,
I admit I envy her,
I could never reach up there. 
Lion gets the lion’s share.
Lion mocks all foes a-scare,
For when he lets out a roar,
There’s no challenge anymore.   
Ladies, gents, meet our bear.
He's polite beyond compare.
Shake his paw, he’s very tame.
Doesn’t want to? That’s a shame. 
Panther’s spotted head to toe,
But when it is time to go,
Dashing runs wind through her fur,
And spots can't keep up with her. 
Our elephant named Moozit,
Has a trunk but doesn’t use it.
Why? Don’t stick your nose in that –
That’s his private etiquette. 
Camel carries his two humps,
As if they were two gold lumps.
And gets pretty mad at me,
When he hears he can’t have three.

(Translated by: Witold Wojtaszko)