Klokan the Blue Kangaroo
In Prague there’s a beautiful Zoo,
Where animals live two-by-two:
There are Elephants, Camels,
And many more mammals
But they lacked even one Kangaroo.
* * *
Then a Czech tourist, Jean-Pierre Pourrot,
Whilst driving his hire-car near Truro,
(An Australian town)
Knocked a Kangaroo down:
A Wallaroo, a.k.a. Euro.
His car had struck her on the head:
He could instantly see she was dead;
But from her pouched tummy
Came a cry, “Mummy! Mummy!”
When he peeked in the pouch, his heart bled!
For there, in the pouch, deep inside
Bewildered, cold, and terrified,
All trembly, and toey,
Was a baby girl joey!
And the Czech was so sad that he cried!
He said softly, (in Slovakian),
“Poor Kangaroo!” - “Chudacek Klokan!”
She had almost no fur,
So he cuddled her
To his heart, in the palm of his hand.
The Czech man’s warm heart filled with pity:
Poor little Klokan was so pretty!
In his sleeping bag of silk,
He fed her condensed milk;
Then he quickly drove down to the city.
He immediately jumped on a flight
To take him to Europe that night
And he’d taken such care.
That when he got her there,
Little Klokan was still quite all right.
Now, Pierre-Jean Pourrot was no fool:
Little Klokan, he knew, was a jewel;
And as well as ecology
He was into technology,
And the great World Wide Web was his tool.
He looked up “marsupial” on Yahoo,
And Google, to find what they tell you
About joey-rearing -
And soon he was peering
This Australian organisation
Helps save animals all ’round our nation;
So any researcher
Can learn how to nurture
A joey, from their information!
The first rule is, Keep Joey WARM!
In a soft quiet bag as its dorm.,
And hang the bag up -
(For a joey’s no pup!) -
So the bag forms a mummy’s-pouch-form.
You may put joey inside your vest,
You are 38 degrees at your chest -
But a Kangaroo mummy
Has a bit cooler tummy:
32 for a ’roo is the best!
A foot-warmer makes a good heater,
Or a heat-lamp can be even neater,
Or an electric blanket –
But make sure you don’t crank it
TOO hot – Use a good thermo-meter!
Then, as quick as you can, find a Vet. –
(A Doctor who helps heal your pet) -
Joeys need special food -
Scientifically brewed –
“WOMBAROO” is the best you can get!
From the Vet you may get a small teat
Much smaller than Human babes eat -
See, wee Kangaroos
Couldn’t use what we use:
Their mouths are small – unlike their feet!
There’s one more thing with Baby ’Roo:
Joey needs help to pee and to poo!
Now if that sounds obscene,
Well, it’s not! Joey’s clean!
And the World Wide Web shows what to do.
I am telling you this, for it’s true,
It has happened to me! - and You, too,
May someday find another
Dead Kangaroo mother –
With a live joey – there’s what to do!
* * *
Now, back to our friend, Pierre-Jean,
Back in Europe, to Prague, where he’d gone:
He loved Klokan so,
As he helped her to grow,
He was so proud of her, his eyes shone.
Every night she would sleep in his bed,
Sometimes she would jump on his head!
But he didn’t mind at all
While she was still small,
And he always kept Klokan well-fed.
But she grew, and she grew, and she grew!
Her rich fur was silvery-blue,
Till from just half a kilo
She out-grew her pillow-
Slip bag – to a “teen-age-sized” ’Roo.
At last came the time they must part,
And it all had to happen quick-smart;
He knew what he must do:-
Take her to the Prague Zoo!
Though it tortured poor Pierre-Jean’s heart.
So off they both went in his car;
He was glad that the Zoo wasn’t far,
So he could still visit
His darling, exquisite
Klokan - who became the Zoo’s star.
Zoo Management didn’t lack nous:
They devised a fine nocturnal house,
In a safe, spacious yard -
She was such a draw-card! -
But the one thing she lacked was a spouse!
For now Klokan, the Blue Kangaroo
Lived alone in that European Zoo:
Like sad Cinderella
Klokan had no fella –
So of course little Klokan looked blue!
So Zoo Management brought a Red ‘Roo
(for they knew female Red ’Roos are Blue);
There were hopes they’d be mated:
Zoo Management waited
To see what the two ’Roos would do.
But the Old Man Red ’Roo didn’t thrill her
And certainly didn’t fulfill her;
In fact (it was said)
She treated Big Red
As You might treat a Chimp, or Gorilla.
So they brought her a next, then another;
Then a Grey Kangaroo, then his brother:
She was always polite,
But they weren’t Mr Right,
So it seemed that she’d never be Mother.
There were fears little Klokan was sick:
Was she troubled by Fleas, or a Tick?
Perhaps she had Scabies,
Or – God forbid – Rabies!
So they called to some Vets to come quick.
So the European Animal Bureau
Checked her fur with a lens to make sure: “OH!
Klokan!” they said,
“You’re not Grey, Blue, nor Red –
Though you’re true-blue Australian, you’re a EURO!”
Then they found little Klokan a mate straight away!
His rich silver-blue fur shamed plain Red and Grey!
With manners disarming,
He was Klokan’s Prince Charming,
And there’s Joeys abounding today!
* * *
Now the European Zoo had some Euros to spare,
Provided by Klokan; it seemed only fair
She should take a vacation: so they asked her where
She’d like to visit – and they’d pay her fares there.
So she said her adieu’s to the European Zoo’s
Elephants, Ostriches, Camels and Gnus,
She promised her Prince Charming she’d be back soon,
And they kissed, and farewelled, by the light of the Moon.
She first went to Paris to see all the sights,
Then Vienna and Venice: she loved the bright lights!
Went to every Art Gallery, and every Museum:
And she was the very first Euro to see ’em!
She loved Scandinavia, visited Holland,
Went to Spain and to Greece, then to Egypt and Poland,
She made sure to check out the cultural centres,
And in Berlin she saw a display by Inventors.
But she tired of the cities, with their concrete and gravel;
She longed for wide vistas: she found she loved travel,
So she leapt over Steppe after Steppe in a Boeing,
And stepped out in Russia, and simply kept going!
In Kazakhstan she met Two-Humped Bactrian Camels;
In Siberia, some Tigers, who are very rare mammals!
In China she found a great friend in a Panda
Before flying off to meet folks in Uganda.
In Africa the animals threw a great Ball –
(The dancing kind, that is), so she’d meet them all:
From Z for the Zebra, to Aa’s for Aardvark,
They gathered from every great National Park.
There was Leopard, Hyaena, and Cheetah, and Lion;
(Klokan knew that those ones she should keep a close eye on!)
There was Elephant, Springbok, Rhinoceros, Gnu,
And Giraffe – Whose relations she’d met at the Zoo.
She met Mountain Gorillas in their misty retreat;
In India, Monkeys made fun of her feet!
In the Indonesian Jungle, an Orang-Utan
Told her that his name really means “Mountain-Man”!
Wearing thick winter fur, (for she’d had good advice),
She flew to Antarctica, covered in ice,
She met Penguins and Seals, and her ultimate thrill
Was to watch mighty Blue Whales feasting on Krill!
The migratory Birds showed Klokan the way they go
Up the Chilean Coast from Tierra del Fuego:
In the Andean Alps she made friends with the Llamas
Who never get cold, in their woolly pyjamas.
In the thick steamy jungles of the Amazon Delta
She didn’t feel comfortable: the heat made her swelter,
But she met there a Tapir, like a curly-nosed pig,
And a huge Anaconda Snake – Boy! He was big!
She stopped over briefly in Badlands, Nebraska,
To meet with some Bison: then North to Alaska;
She met with some Walrus and more Seals up there,
And the mighty white hunter, a huge Polar Bear.
She went to New York, left the U.S. from Dallas,
Travelled all around Britain, and in Buckingham Palace
She was best-dressed of all in her velvety fur,
And she even let the Queen be presented to her!
Whilst in England she went to a Zoo called Whipsnade;
She was quite overwhelmed by the friends that she made!
Then she went to Heathrow to fly off to Rome –
Then she meant to return to her European home.
BUT . . ! . . there on the tarmac she saw a strange sight:
A GIANT WHITE ’Roo, on a different flight!
So astonished was she that she just had to greet him,
So she leapt up some stairs through a small door to meet him.
But she soon realized how mistaken she’d been:
It was only a painting on the outside she’d seen,
But as she sought the exit, it SESAME’d shut!
With Klokan inside, saying “But – but – but – but . . . !”
She was trapped in a jet ’plane, a 747!
And suddenly, WHOOSH! it went, headed for heaven,
Flying Kangaroo Route in one giant-sized hop -
She was back in Wide-Brown-Land before she could stop!
Klokan felt quite panicked when the Qantas jet landed:
In her own native land, yet she felt strangely stranded;
She was only a joey when she left her home,
And besides, she’d intended to be roaming ’round Rome!
But soon all her old friends allayed all her fears:
Though Koalas and Possums nearly drowned her with tears!
But Platypus carpeted her path over the puddles,
While Wallabies and Wombats queued up to have cuddles.
All her old Faunal friends sat for hours and talked;
The Kookaburras laughed, and the Cockatoos squawked,
While Klokan told them stories of places she’d seen,
And of how back in London she’d upstaged the Queen.
The Fauna took turns to tell Klokan their news,
So soon the Blue Euro forgot all her blues,
Except for the absence of her One-and-Only,
For without her Prince Charming, poor Klokan was lonely.
So she said her goodbyes; then the brave little ‘Roo
Booked her return to her European Zoo,
To the love of the family for whom she was yearning;
With a Boomerang, Symbol of Klokan’s Returning.
Zoo Management welcomed her home with great glee:
From all over Europe folks queue up to see
The Blue Kangaroo, the Star of the Zoo,
And Yanks, Asians, Africans and Aussies come too!
So by now Klokan’s fame has spread far and wide:
All Europeans love her, and to show her their pride,
They found a great way to heap tribute upon her:
Now all Europe’s currency’s named in her honour!
* * *
Now when you go to Europe, as I hope that you may
It won’t be in Dollars or Pounds that you pay:
In restaurants and shops, and in all travel bureaux,
Everything’s value is measured in Euros!