Children and Animals

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Children love animals, and why not? Housepets seem to understand us when no one else will, and better yet, we can give them hysterical dialogue to entertain us with! If you’ve ever found yourself creating a back-and-forth dialogue with your pet, you are not alone!

When I was a teenager, I saw this print in my favorite antique shop, The Antique Emporium in Point Pleasant, NJ, and I have never forgotten it. Doesn’t it capture such innocence?

The following poems are in the second volume of the 1961 edition of Childcraft.

The Dog

(as seen by the cat)

The dog is black or white or brown,

And sometimes spotted like a clown.

He loves to make a foolish noise,

And Human Company enjoys.

The Human People pat his head

And teach him to pretend he’s dead,

And beg, and fetch, and carry, too;

Things that no well-bred Cat will do.

At Human jokes, however stale,

He jumps about and wags his tail,

And Human People clap their hands

And think he really understands.

They say “Good Dog” to him. To us

They say “Poor Puss,” and make no fuss.

Why Dogs are “good” and Cats are “poor”

I fail to understand, I’m sure.

To Someone very Good and Just,

Who has proved worthy of her trust,

A Cat will sometimes condescend —

The Dog is Everybody’s friend!

Oliver Herford

This next one is so adorable. It will definitely be one of my favorites that I will remember. The following poem is for Tara.


Once there was an elephant,

Who tried to use the telephant —

No! no! I mean an elephone

Who tried to use the telephone —

(Dear me! I am not certain quite

That even now I’ve got it right.)

Howe’er it was, he got his trunk

Entangled in the telephunk;

The more he tried to get it free,

The louder buzzed the telephee —

(I fear I’d better drop the song

Of elephop and telephong!)

Laura E. Richards

Do you have any animal poems that you are fond of? What kind of animal was your first pet? Let us know in the comments!

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