Works in the Herald 1935

On Thursday last, the female Gnu presented the Zoo with a small, grey, white-tailed baby; but she kept the matter secret for a day or so. The director (Mr Wilkie) explained that gnus always hide their young in order to protect them till they are strong enough to walk.

They had a new gnu at the Zoo
And nobody knew.
Tho' the keeper, they say, had a clue;
And that's probably true,
Since he knew a new gnu was due,
And well he knew, too,
That the mother would hide it from view,
As a natural gnu
Will do.

For the instinct, innate in the gnu,
Known only to few
Is to hide a new gnu lest it rue
What ill-doers do.
Why should nature, we wonder, imbue 
A beast like a gnu
With such caution? This fact, hitherto,
Few knew to be true.
Did you?

But they've found it at last at the Zoo --
Such a shy little gnu,
White of tail and the coat that it grew
Of indefinite hue.
And now, I suppose, a long queue
Will be waiting to view
This nice little new Zoo gnu.
Such sights ever drew
Quite a crew.

But who knew the new gnu at the Zoo
For the first day or two?
Who guessed where 'twas hidden, and who,
As new rumors flew,
Ever thought, ever dreamed ever drew
Some vague hint, or grew
Suspicious? Where was he? Who knew?
Not the crane, not the white cockatoo
Who ejaculates, "How do you do?"
Not the apes all emblazoned in blue,
Not the owl with his dreary "Too-woo!"
Nor tapir, nor tiger who slew
His prey 'mid the giant bamboo
Once, back of Bengal, in Kooloo;
Not elephant, not kangaroo,
None knew; none knew;
Not a man, not a beast in the Zoo
From its hub to its furthrest purlieu . . .
But the new gnu knew.
Too true!

Herald, 25 November 1935, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2004-07