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  • If I Ran The Zoo Text

    “It’s a pretty good zoo,” 

    Said young Gerald McGrew, 

    “And the fellow who runs it 

    Seems proud of it too.

    But if I ran the zoo,” 

    Said young Gerald McGrew,  “I’d make a few changes. That’s just what I’d do.

    The lions and tigers and that kind of stuff

    They have up here now are not quite good enough. You see things like these in any old zoo.

    They’re awfully old­fashioned. I want something new!

    So I’d open each cage, I’ll unlock every pen, Let the animals go and start over again. And somehow or other I think I could find 

    Some beasts of some beasts of a more unusual kind.

    A four­footed lion’s not much of a beast. The one in my zoo will have 10 feet at least. Five legs on the left and five more on the right. Then people will stare, and they’ll say, ‘What a sight!’ My New Zoo, McGrew Zoo, will make people talk. My new zoo, McGrew zoo, will make people gawk.

    They’ll be so surprised, they’ll swallow their gum. They’ll ask when they see my strange animals come,

    ‘Where do you suppose he gets things like that from?’ 
    If you want to catch beasts you don’t see every day, You have to go places quite out of the way. You have to go places no others can get to. You have to get cold and you have to get wet too.
    I’ll catch ‘em in caves, I’ll catch ‘em in brooks,
    I’ll catch ‘em in crannies, I’ll catch ‘em in nooks
    That you don’t read about in geography books.
    I’ll load up five boats with a family of Joats
    Whose feet are like cows, but wear squirrel­skin coats, And sit like dogs, but have voices like goats—  Excepting they can’t sing the very high notes.
    And then I’ll go down to the Wilds of Nantucket, And capture a family of Lunks in a bucket. Then people will say, ‘Now I like that boy heaps. His New Zoo, McGrew Zoo, is growing by leaps. He captures them wild, he captures them meek, 
    He captures them slim, he captures them sleek.
    What do you suppose he will capture next week?’
    In the far western part 
    In southeast North Dakota 
    Lives a very fine animal called the Iota. 
    But I’ll capture one 
    Who is even much finer 
    In the northeastern west part of South Carolina. 
    When people see him they will say, ‘Now by thunder!
    This New Zoo, McGrew Zoo, is really a wonder!’
    I’ll bag a big bug 
    Who is very surprising,
    A feller who has
    A propeller for rising 
    And zooming around making cross­country hops, From Texas to Boston with only two stops. Now that kind of thing for a bug is just tops!
    In a cave in Kartoom is a beast called a Natch 
    That no other hunter’s been able to catch. He’s hidden for years in his cave with a pout 
    And no one’s been able to make him come out.
    But I’ll coax him out with a wonderful meal 
    That’s cooked by my cooks in my cooker mobile. 
    They’ll fix up a dish that is just to his taste? 
    Three chicken croquettes made of library paste. 
    Then sprinkled with peanut shucks, pickled and spiced,
    Then baked at 600 degrees and then iced.
    It’s mighty hard cooking to cook up such feasts
    But that’s how the New Zoo, McGrew Zoo, gets beasts.
    ‘He hunts with such vims, he hunts with such vigor. His new zoo,
    McGrew’s Zoo, gets bigger and bigger.’
    Then the whole town will gasp, ‘Why this boy never sleeps!
    No keeper before ever kept what he keeps. There’s no telling what that young fellow will do!’ And then, just to show them, I’ll sail to Ka­troo 
    And bring back an It­Kutch a Preep and a Proo,
    A Nerkle, a Nerd and a Seersucker too.
    ‘This Zookeeper, New keeper’s simply astounding.’ He travels so far that you think he’d drop!
    When do you suppose this young fellow will stop?’ 

    Well, I should.
    But I won’t stop until 
    I’ve captures the Fizza­ma­Wizza­ma­Dill, The world's biggest bird from the Island of Gwark 
    Who only eats pine trees and spits out the bark.
    And boy! When I get him back home to my park,
    The whole world will say, ‘Young McGrew’s made his mark.’

    If I Ran The Zoo