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Mouths Of Hippopotami And Some Recent Novels

 (with apologies to Frederic Taber Cooper)

I well recall (and who does not)
The circus bill-board hippopotamus,
whose wide distended jaws
For fear and terror were good cause.
That month, that vasty carmine cave, Could munch with ease a Nubian slave; In fact, the bill-board hippopot- amus could bolt a house and lot! Wide opened, that tremendous mouth Obscured three-quarters of the south Side of Schmidt’s barn, and promised me Thrills, shocks, delights and ecstasy.
And then, alas! what sad non plus The living hippopotamus! ’Twas but a stupid, sodden lump As thrilling as an old elm stump.
Its mouth—unreasonably small— The hippo opened not at all, Or, if it did, it was about As thrilling as a teapot spout.
* * * * * The Crimson Junk, by Doris Watt, I’ve read it.
Who, I pray, has not? Bill Wastel, by C.
The Plaid Cowslip.
And The Hocking Lee.
The Fallow Field, by Sally Loo; The Rose in Chains.
I’ve read that too; I’ve read them all for promised treat Of thrills, emotions, tremblings sweet.
* * * * * The bill-board hippopotamus It was a wild, uprageous cuss— The real one? Well—Can you recall That it had any mouth at all?

Poem by Ellis Parker Butler
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