A poem about the giant African millipede.
The giant African millipede,
in Shona* chongololo,
small boys’ first instructor,
its shining, sable armour
irresistible to toddler’s touch,
adopts a spiral tight, seg-
ment-ed carapace defence.
And if the youngster bold
should venture, perhaps, a taste,
the cunning chongu squeezes out
concoction vile and bitter.
Children learn in double quick time
not all that moves is food
and teacher earns release.
* Shona - Language of the dominant tribe of Zimbabwe.
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