KINDNESS TO ANIMALS

MORAL MAXIMS FOR THE YOUNG PEOPLE OF BOTH SEXES

Original Text: 
A. J. M. Smith, The Complete Poems, ed. Brian Trehearne (London, Ontario: Canadian Poetry Press, 2007): 188-89.
1Be kind to animals, my child:
2Don't make the gentle ringworm wild.
3Little children shouldn't tease
4Little Fido's littler fleas.
5When you see th'industrious ant
6Too heavy burdened toil and pant,
7Ease him of his irksome load,
8Lift it for him down the road.
9Don't bite the little worm in half
10That in your lettuce hides-just laugh,
11Politely stroke his slimy head,
12And eat some other things instead.
13Speak not harshly to the moth
14Though she dines on fur and cloth,
15Remember everyone must eat,
16--Why not offer her a treat?-
17Cut a large sized bit of fur
18From your coat and give it her,
19Such unselfishness as this
20Will fill your Mother's heart with bliss.
21And lastly, pray do not encroach
22With heavy tread upon the roach,
23The insect's jellified remains
24Afflict the rugs with horrid stains.
25Be gentle to these fellow creatures,
26And ever learn to love your teachers.
Publication Start Year: 
1924
Publication Notes: 
The McGill Daily
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire / Sharine Leung
RPO Edition: 
2011
Rhyme: 
Form: 
Special Copyright: 

Copyright © the estate of A.J.M. Smith. Included
with the generous permission of William Toye, his literary executor.