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The Quadrupeds' Pic-Nic   By:

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C. Whittingham, Tooks Court, Chancery Lane.


The "Quadrupeds' Pic Nic" is a very humble imitation of Mrs. Dorset's "Peacock at Home." Even in my imitation I find I am not original. The Quadrupeds, it appears, have already had an "Elephants' Ball," and a "Lions' Masquerade."

F. B. C.


No doubt you have heard how the grasshoppers' feasts "Excited the spleen of the birds and the beasts;" How the peacock and turkey "flew into a passion," On finding that insects "pretended to fashion." Now, I often have thought it exceedingly hard, That nought should be said of the beasts by the bard; Who, by some strange neglect, has omitted to state That the quadrupeds gave a magnificent fĂȘte; So, out of sheer justice I take up my pen, To tell you the how, and the where, and the when.

The place which they chose was a wild chestnut ground, (And many such spots in the new world are found,) Where the evergreen oak and the cucumber trees Rear aloft their tall branches, and wave in the breeze; Where the hickory, cypress, and cabbage tree grow, And shade the sweet flowers that blossom below; And the creepers and vines form a beautiful sight, As they climb the tall shaft, and hang down from a height; Or they mix with the long pendant moss which is found Growing high on the branches, yet touching the ground: From amidst the dark foliage the mocking birds sing, Or mimic the hum of the honey bees' wing, As they whirl round a flower enjoying the feast, So unsparingly spread for bird, insect, or beast. From afar the bald eagle is seen in the sky, Now darting below, and now soaring on high; Now he takes from the fish hawk his newly caught prey, And with speed to the forest he bears it away; Whilst the wood is alive with a feathery throng, Who from morning till night fill the air with their song. On one side is the lake where the wild cattle drink, And trample the rice which grows wild on its brink; The freshness untouch'd of earth's beauties declare, Neither pride, pomp, nor envy, have ever been there; Here Nature resides nothing human is seen; Foot of man hath not pass'd o'er that prairie I ween, Unless some few wandering Indians have pass'd Of their sorrowing tribe perhaps nearly the last.

I should fail to describe in a picturesque manner The splendid repose of that grassy Savanna; Tall shadows swept out from the forest of pine, } The site was a fair one, the weather so fine, } That even a quadruped thought it divine. }

To this wild grassy spot, on the long look'd for day, Merry parties of beasts made the best of their way; There were bears, long and short legg'd, black, brown, grey, and white, From different parts, to enjoy the fine sight. The polar bear came in a sledge, and she said That the journey had caused a sharp pain in her head: For, although well protected from snout to her tail, She thought she had got a slight "coup de soleil;" So she hastily called for a gallon of ice, Which a monkey in waiting served up in a trice. Then the jaguar, the couguar, and fierce Ocelot, And Sir Hans Armadillo, who came at full trot, Brother Jonathan Beaver, escaped from the trappers, Sloth, Tortoise, and Dormouse, notorious nappers. That beau, the musk Ox, with his long scented hair, And John Bull just arrived on his travels, were there; Messrs. Martin, Hare, Squirrel, the Ermine, and Stoat, And the rock mountain sheep, with his cousin, the goat; Then the sociable marmot, and tiny shrew mouse, The raccoon and agouti from hollow tree house. Chinchilla the soft, musk and Canada rats, Hounds, mastiffs, wolves, foxes, and wild tiger cats; Jerboa just roused from his long winter nap, Opossum, with four little babes in her lap. The morse, seal, and otter amphibious group! And of bisons (the humpbacked) there came a whole troop... Continue reading book >>

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