A whimsical fantasyland poem about how the zebra got his stripes.
|Once, a million years ago, before we roamed the land,
animals were different from what we now understand.
Elephants were trunk-less, and the lions had no roar;
birds were asking insects what ‘these pesky wings’ were for!
Humpback whales were teeny, hov’ring hummingbirds were slow;
if a camel walked a meter, t’was as far as he could go.
The strangest, though, most different from what we will see today
is the zebra all those years ago, in plaid of green and grey.
Like ancient Dr. Seuss-ish creatures drawn for children’s books,
zebras wore unnatural coats and drew outlandish looks!
Animals from miles away would come to laugh or stare
and zebras turned their backs as if they really didn’t care.
The truth is, though, it hurt them to be singled out this way
so they gathered in the nighttime to discuss it over hay.
The leader of the zebras had an inkling of a plan
so he thought it over quickly and proposed it to his clan:
"Next evening when the moon is new and everyone’s asleep,
I’ll steal to the panther’s den, some black to take and keep.
Then, before the dawn engulfs the land and sky in light,
I’ll find a clutch of chicken eggs and steal away some white.
Our tails will work as brushes, but we’ll need to do this fast!
Once sunshine hits the colors, black & white forever lasts.
Just paint some stripes, it’s quickest, and stay still so it can dry
but be careful not to drink it, or get any in your eye.
When next the others see us, altered so and grouped as one
they’ll face an equine zigzag standing proudly in the sun
The stripes will just confuse their eyes, a monster they will see
and, frightened of this mass of lines, they’ll turn their tails and flee!"
The rest is unimportant, what the leader did and how,
for it’s obvious what happened if you’ve read along till now:
Of course you know the outcome - every zebra seen today
has stripes of black and egg-shell white, not plaid of green and grey!