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In Praise of Llamas

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From the book A Zooful of Animals

In Praise of Llamas

La-la-llamas rate as mammals
Much resembling baby camels,
And their appellation’s hard to speak and spell,
For it seems, when Adam uttered
Their baptismal name, he stuttered,
Hence we always must reduplicate the “L.”

Those Peruvians, the Incas,
On their lonely mountain fincas
(Which is Spanish for plantations, ranches, farms)
Reared, instead of Leghorns, Brahmas
And Minorcas, La-la-llamas
With alpacas, who have corresponding charms.

Through Andean panoramas
Wind the herds of La-la-llamas,
Skirting precipices dangerously steep,
Over swinging bridge or ferry
To some La-la-llamaserai,
Or wherever La-la-llamas stop to sleep.

Lively lambkin La-la-llamas
Trot behind their ma-ma-mamas,
Lightly dancing when their parents pause to graze;
Lovely lady La-la-llamas
Look like queens of movie dramas
With their melting eyes and soft, coquettish ways.

And they splash across lagunas
With their cousins, the Vicunas
And Guanacos, bearing loads upon their backs;
And these useful La-la-llamas
Furnish wool to make pajamas
And to help their owners pay the income tax.

So be happy, La-la-llamas
Climbing western Fujiyamas
Or descending to the vega’s fertile floor!
Thrive and flourish, La-la-llamas,
In a clime like Alabama’s
In Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador!

 --Arthur Guiterman

 


From the Book A Zooful of Animals