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The Cow And The Ass - Poems About Animals

The Cow And The Ass

Beside a green meadow a stream used to flow,
So clear, one might see the white pebbles below.
To this cooling brook the warm cattle would stray,
To stand in the shade on a hot summer's day.

A cow, quite oppressed by the heat of the sun,
Came here to refresh, as she often had done;
And standing quite still, stooping over the stream,
Was musing perhaps, or perhaps she might dream.

But soon a brown ass, of respectable look,
Came trotting up also, to taste of the brook
And to nibble a little at daisies and grass.
"How d'ye do?" said the cow. "How d'ye do?" said the ass.

'Take a seat," said the cow, gently waving her hand.
"By no means, dear madam," said he, "while you stand."
Then stooping to drink, with a complaisant bow,
"Ma'am, your health," said the ass. "Thank you, sir," said the cow.

When a few of these compliments more had been passed,
They laid themselves down on the herbage at last,
And waiting politely, as gentlemen must,
The ass held his tongue, that the cow might speak first.

Then, with a deep sigh, she directly began,
"Don't you think, Mr. Ass, we are injured by man?
'Tis a subject which lies with a weight on my mind,
We really are greatly oppressed by mankind.

"Pray what is the reason I see none at all
That I always must go when Jane chooses to call?
Whatever I'm doing- -'tis certainly hard
I'm forced to leave off, to be milked in the yard.

"I've no will of my own, but must do as they please,
And give them my milk to make butter and cheese.
Sometimes I endeavor to kick down the pail,
Or give her a box on the ear with my tail."

"But ma'am," said the ass, "not presuming to teach
Oh dear, I beg pardon pray finish your speech.
Excuse my mistake," said the courteous swain;
" Go on, and I'll not interrupt you again."

'Why, sir," said the cow, "I just want to observe,
Those hard-hearted tyrants no longer I'll serve;
But leave them forever to do as they please,
And look somewhere else for their butter and cheese."

Ass waited a moment, his answer to scan,
And then, "Not presuming to teach," he began,
"Permit me to say, since my thoughts you invite,
I always saw things in a different light.

“That you afford man an important supply,
No ass in his senses would ever deny;
But then, in return, 'tis but fair to allow,
They are of some service to you, Mistress Cow.

“ 'Tis their pleasant meadow in which you repose,
And they find you a shelter from winter's cold snows.
For comforts like these, we're indebted to man;
And for him, in return, should do all that we can."

The cow, upon this, cast her eyes on the grass,
Not pleased to be schooled in this way by an ass ;
'Yet," said she to herself, 'though he's not very bright,
I really believe that the fellow is right."

- Jane Taylor


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