Jim, Who Ran away from his Nurse, and was Eaten by a Lion

Original Text: 
Cautionary Tales for Children Designed for the Admonition of Children between the Ages of Eight and Fourteen years (London: Duckworth, 1907): 9-16. 176715. Internet Archive
1There was a Boy whose name was Jim;
2His Friends were very good to him.
3They gave him Tea, and Cakes, and Jam,
4And slices of delicious Ham,
5And Chocolate with pink inside,
6And little Tricycles to ride,
7And read him Stories through and through,
8And even took him to the Zoo--
9But there it was the dreadful Fate
10Befel him, which I now relate.
11You know--at least you ought to know,
12For I have often told you so--
13That Children never are allowed
14To leave their Nurses in a Crowd;
15Now this was Jim's especial Foible,
16He ran away when he was able,
17And on this inauspicious day
18He slipped his hand and ran away!
19He hadn't gone a yard when--Bang!
20With open Jaws, a Lion sprang,
21And hungrily began to eat
22The Boy: beginning at his feet.
23Now, just imagine how it feels
24When first your toes and then your heels,
25And then by gradual degrees,
26Your shins and ankles, calves and knees,
27Are slowly eaten, bit by bit.
28No wonder Jim detested it!
29No wonder that he shouted "Hi!"
30The Honest Keeper heard his cry,
31Though very fat he almost ran
32To help the little gentleman.
33"Ponto!" he ordered as he came
34(For Ponto was the Lion's name),
35"Ponto!" he cried, with angry Frown.
36"Let go, Sir! Down, Sir! Put it down!"
37The Lion made a sudden Stop,
38He let the Dainty Morsel drop,
39And slunk reluctant to his Cage,
40Snarling with Disappointed Rage.
41But when he bent him over Jim,
42The Honest Keeper's Eyes were dim.
43The Lion having reached his Head,
44The Miserable Boy was dead!
45When Nurse informed his Parents, they
46Were more Concerned than I can say:--
47His Mother, as She dried her eyes,
48Said, "Well--it gives me no surprise,
49He would not do as he was told!"
50His Father, who was self-controlled,
51Bade all the children round attend
52To James' miserable end,
53And always keep a-hold of Nurse
54For fear of finding something worse.
Publication Start Year: 
1907
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2011
Form: