Similar Cases

Original Text: 
In This Our World (Boston: Small, Maynard, 1899): 95-100.
1There was once a little animal,
2    No bigger than a fox,
3And on five toes he scampered
5They called him Eohippus,
6    And they called him very small,
7And they thought him of no value -.-
8    When they thought of him at all;
11Were the heavy aristocracy
12    In days of long ago.
13Said the little Eohippus,
14    ."I am going to be a horse!
15And on my middle finger-nails
16    To run my earthly course!
17I'm going to have a flowing tail!
18    I'm going to have a mane!
19I'm going to stand fourteen hands high
21The Coryphodon was horrified,
22    The Dinoceras was shocked;
23And they chased young Eohippus,
24    But he skipped away and mocked.
25Then they laughed enormous laughter,
26    And they groaned enormous groans.
27And they bade young Eohippus
28    Go view his father's bones.
29Said they, ."You always were as small
30    And mean as now we see,
31And that's conclusive evidence
32    That you're always going to be.
33What! Be a great, tall, handsome beast,
34    With hoofs to gallop on?
35Why! You'd have to change your nature!
37They considered him disposed of,
38    And retired with gait serene;
39That was the way they argued
41There was once an Anthropoidal Ape,
42    Far smarter than the rest,
43And everything that they could do
44    He always did the best;
45So they naturally disliked him
46    And they gave him shoulders cool,
47And when they had to mention him
48    They said he was a fool.
49Cried this pretentious Ape one day,
50    ."I'm going to be a man!
51And stand upright, and hunt, and fight,
52    And conquer all I can!
53I'm going to cut down forest trees,
54    To make my houses higher!
55I'm going to kill the Mastodon!
56    I'm going to make a fire!."
57Loud screamed the Anthropoidal Apes
58    With laughter wild and gay;
59They tried to catch that boastful one,
60    But he always got away.
61So they yelled at him in chorus,
62    Which he minded not a whit;
63And they pelted him with cocoanuts,
64    Which didn't seem to hit.
65And then they gave him reasons
66    Which they thought of much avail,
67To prove how his preposterous
68    Attempt was sure to fail.
69Said the sages, ."In the first place,
70    The thing cannot be done!
71And, second, if it could be,
72    It would not be any fun!
73And, third, and most conclusive,
74    And admitting no reply,
75You would have to change your nature!
76    We should like to see you try!."
77They chuckled then triumphantly,
78    These lean and hairy shapes,
79For these things passed as arguments
80    With the Anthropoidal Apes.
82    An enterprising wight,
83Who made his chopping implements
84    Unusually bright.
85Unusually clever he,
86    Unusually brave,
87And he drew delightful Mammoths
88    On the borders of his cave.
89To his Neolithic neighbours,
90    Who were startled and surprised,
91Said he, ."My friends, in course of time,
92    We shall be civilized!
93We are going to live in cities!
94    We are going to fight in wars!
95We are going to eat three times a day
96    Without the natural cause!
97We are going to turn life upside down
98    About a thing called gold!
99We are going to want the earth, and take
100    As much as we can hold!
101We are going to wear great piles of stuff
102    Outside our proper skins!
103We are going to have Diseases!
104    And Accomplishments!! And Sins!!!."
105Then they all rose up in fury
106    Against their boastful friend,
107For prehistoric patience
108    Cometh quickly to an end.
109Said one, ."This is chimerical!
110    Utopian! Absurd!."
111Said another, ."What a stupid life!
112    Too dull, upon my word!."
113Cried all, Before such things can come,
114    You idiotic child,
115You must alter Human Nature!."
116    And they all sat back and smiled.
117Thought they, ."An answer to that last
118    It will be hard to find!."
119It was a clinching argument
120    To the Neolithic Mind!


4] Tertiary: of recent geological origin. Back to Line
9] ."A genus of extinct ungulated quadrupeds (Dinocerata) of huge size, and having apparently three pairs of horns." (OED). Back to Line
10] Coryphodon: tapir-like mammal of the lower Eocene period. Back to Line
20] ."of or belonging to the geological period of living creatures having souls or minds, i.e. the human period." (OED, ."psycho-."). Back to Line
36] Loxolophodon: extinct ."mammals, having obliquely crested molar teeth." (OED). Back to Line
40] Eocene: lowest division of the Tertiary era. Back to Line
81] Neolithic: new stone age. Back to Line
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: