The Camel’s Complaint
From the book The Random House Book of Poetry for Children
“Canary-birds feed on sugar and seed,
Parrots have crackers to crunch;
And, as for the poodles, they tell me the noodles
Have chickens and cream for their lunch.
But there’s never a question
About MY digestion—
ANYTHING does for me!
“Cats, you’re aware, can repose in a chair,
Chickens can roost upon rails;
Puppies are able to sleep in a stable,
And oysters can slumber in pails.
But no one supposes
A poor Camel dozes—
ANY PLACE does for me!
“Lambs are inclosed where it’s never exposed,
Coops are constructed for hens;
Kittens are treated to houses well heated,
And pigs are protected by pens.
But a Camel comes handy
Wherever it’s sandy—
ANYWHERE does for me!
“People would laugh if you rode a giraffe,
Or mounted the back of an ox;
It’s nobody’s habit to ride on a rabbit,
Or try to bestraddle a fox.
But as for a Camel, he’s
Ridden by families—
ANY LOAD does for me!
“A snake is as round as a hole in the ground,
And weasels are wavy and sleek;
And no alligator could ever be straighter
Than lizards that live in a creek.
But a Camel’s all lumpy
And bumpy and humpy—
ANY SHAPE does for me!”
— Charles Edward Carryl