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The Zoo

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One morning I asked my children what they'd like to do They all shouted at once, "Dad take us to the zoo" We had an early lunch then headed for the freeway The sun was high in the sky, t'was a beautiful day. I found an empty parking space that was close to the zoo And quickly made for the entrance and luckily no queue We followed the route map and got to see them all The kids loved the giraffes best because they were so tall. Going home there was silence and my youngest started to cry I pulled over into a layby and I asked her why She said that the monkeys in cages were looking quite sad And she asked me tearfully if they'd done something bad. I said that they were good monkeys and they'd done nothing wrong And had the best of veterinary care and good food all day long I then drove to a drive through for some takeaway food Hoping it would take her mind off it and brighten her mood. Whilst waiting for our order, I thought about what she'd said And the realisation of her words were whirring round in my head Surely their captive existence was not meant to be While we humans lived our lives without worry and free. They should be in the wild, not caged for all to see Nor a lonely existence in that tiny menagerie We never went back, it wouldn't have been right It took a five year old to point out to me their miserable plight. Written 13th November 2020.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2020




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Date: 12/2/2020 1:57:00 PM
Children see things with a different eye, then they grow. Many times we need to look as if we were still children. You did a wonderful write from your zoo trip. Enjoy your day writing away...................
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 12/3/2020 12:14:00 AM
Thank you very much Paula, im happy that you enjoyed it. Its so true that children see the world with different eyes. Tom
Date: 11/27/2020 2:08:00 AM
Not and easy one this, if we didn't destroy their environment and kill/sell animals for profit maybe we all could live freely but for entertainment value or profit is wrong. Children can show us many things which adults sometimes need reminding of. Emilia : )
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 11/27/2020 2:36:00 AM
Thank you very much Emilia, you're so right on on both counts. Hope all is well. Tom
Date: 11/22/2020 11:22:00 AM
Zoos and circus's are to me very cruel places and look how insightful your 5 year old was - I'm sure she is a bright lady now with her own children. A wonderful story, you must have been and are a terrific Dad! Hugs and blessings, Jennifer.
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 11/22/2020 12:37:00 PM
Thank you very much Jennifer, I'm inclined to agree, they have everything but their freedom. Hope you're well. Tom
Date: 11/21/2020 10:26:00 AM
Love this one Tom so true. A favorite for waking up this five year old in me and seeing it through a childs eyes.
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 11/21/2020 11:33:00 AM
Thank you very much Michael, kids are so switched on, pointing out what we adults dont see. Hope you're well. Tom
Date: 11/20/2020 4:35:00 AM
Hi Tom, this is such a kind hearted poem about captive animals and your daughter's sensitive and compassionate concern. In the early 60's in the NY Bronx zoo, my family and I noticed a beautiful tiger penned up in a cage. My mother was appalled by that. She always felt that the, "big cats", elephants, etc. should have more freedom to roam. Over the years the Bronx Zoo did improve conditions for the animals. ~
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 11/20/2020 4:43:00 AM
Thank you very much Regina, you're right, many wildlife parks and zoos have made bigger improvements for animal welfare. Its always a difficult one though, in captivity they are fed and well looked after, the only thing they lack is freedom. Hope you have a lovely weekend. Tom
Date: 11/18/2020 3:34:00 AM
- I do not think they are happy ... animals should live in freedom - A great poem ... and an experience for children, Tom - hugs // Anne-Lise :)
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 11/18/2020 3:57:00 AM
Thank you very much Anne, im all for freedom but more needs to be done to stop that vile sport of trophy hunting. Tom
Date: 11/17/2020 7:54:00 PM
Tom, your moving poem holds so much insight and stirs emotions. You are a masterful poetic storyteller. The uncluttered mind of a child views life with such clarity. Your last line is so very impactful! Your talented pen tackles this controversial subject matter with thought provoking grace. Warmest wishes, my friend.. ~Susan
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 11/18/2020 12:46:00 AM
Thank you very much Susan, I dont think that an answer will ever be found that will please everyone. When I see animals slaughtered and their young left orphaned or rhino's killed for their horn, I wonder if maybe a zoo is the best place for them. Tom
Date: 11/17/2020 10:31:00 AM
A lovely meaningful poem, Tom. Sometimes it takes a child to bring us to our senses:) Regards // paul
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 11/17/2020 10:33:00 AM
Thank you very much Paul, kids are certainly on the ball, they often surprise us. I hope you are well. Tom
Date: 11/17/2020 10:08:00 AM
While I love to see animals, I don't like the cages. (Your poem made me think of the immigrant children tossed in cages at the U.S./Mexico border.) Your five year old sounds like a remarkably perceptive and compassionate child. Beautifully written, Tom. Hugs, Carolyn
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 11/17/2020 10:11:00 AM
Thank you very much Carolyn, im happy you enjoyed it. I hope you are well. Tom
Date: 11/16/2020 4:01:00 AM
So glad I read this, Tom: Very insightfully written. I’ve written a few on the plight of Zoo animals. Links to two if you want to peek. SuZ https://www.poetrysoup.com/poem/eye_of_a_captive_elephant_1168581 https://www.poetrysoup.com/poem/freedom_remembered_492085
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 11/16/2020 4:02:00 AM
Thank you very much Suz, im happy you liked it. Will check them out. Tom
Date: 11/15/2020 3:54:00 PM
Agreed, maybe they are not so happy after all. There is quite a controversey on this kind of thing since some animals are so endangered that only with zoos will they keep surviving in the world. It's so sad that mankind is taking their environment from them.
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 11/16/2020 1:07:00 AM
Thank you very much Andrea, you're right, many would be heading for exstinction were it not for zoos breeding programmes and they are treated well, conditions have improved over the years but many countries are lagging behind when it comes to animal welfare. Tom
Date: 11/15/2020 2:00:00 PM
WoW! Tom, You have written such a well-written write. It sounds like a true story that occurred on the way home from the zoo. Good moral lesson, great rhymes and content. This should do well in the contest. Best wishes in the contest. Enjoy the rest of your day:-) Alexis
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 11/15/2020 2:17:00 PM
Thank you very much Alexis, it was just an idea that came to me the other day, it's a fictional write but not for any contest. Tom
Date: 11/15/2020 4:13:00 AM
Captivating and touching story that should touch our hearts my friend, Tom! God bless you you for caring!
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 11/15/2020 6:11:00 AM
Thank you very much much Demetrios, I know they're safe and well fed but they haven't got the freedom. Tom
Date: 11/14/2020 5:53:00 PM
Such an important story in this poem. Well done Tom. Thanks for sharing :)
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 11/14/2020 7:56:00 PM
Thank you very much Heidi, im pleased you liked it. Tom
Date: 11/14/2020 4:47:00 PM
A wonderful write about caged animals plight. It’s good that your young daughter could see that animals need to roam free, not on display for a fee... Belle
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 11/14/2020 7:52:00 PM
Thank you very much Belle, its often said that children see what adults don't, so true. Tom
Date: 11/14/2020 11:24:00 AM
Had lots of rain, been very dark and gloomy...
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 11/14/2020 12:04:00 PM
More forecast for tomorrow. Ill be staying put.
Date: 11/14/2020 11:13:00 AM
A nice write Tom, highlighting the problems that zoos can have but as you say it's not easy to get it right. Hope all is well with you, blessings,Gordon
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 11/14/2020 11:18:00 AM
Thank you very much Gordon, all good here. Enjoy the rest of the weekend. Tom
Date: 11/14/2020 8:56:00 AM
It is a difficult situation, Zoo's say that these animals have been rescued or are in danger, but seeing them in cages is heartbreaking.. You have the dilemma of, do you leave them in the jungle, prey to poachers or do you use them as entertainment? I think birds is really cruel, as is penguins!!!! Loved your poem.
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 11/14/2020 9:56:00 AM
Thank you SO. Its a difficult one for sure and you've raised some interesting points. Unfortunately there is no right or wrong answer when you weigh it all up. Hope you didnt get all the rain we had today. Tom
Date: 11/14/2020 7:47:00 AM
Hi Tom, I believe the best place for wild animals is in the wild - but if they must be kept in captivity, for heaven's give them as much freedom as possible. There's bigger concerns than zoos though Tom, circus animals routinely are treated cruelly, dancing bears with their claws removed, animals severly beaten to get them to perform 'tricks' - I could go on and on, but you get the picture. When we speak of wild animals, if they could speak, I wonder what they would call us? Best wishes - Bill.
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 11/14/2020 7:52:00 AM
Thank you very much Bill, its scandalous the way some animals are treated, donkeys in Greece ferrying people up and diwn hills etc, thank God for PETA, they do stirling work for animals. What they think of us would be unprintable. Enjoy your weekend. Tom
Date: 11/14/2020 7:34:00 AM
Tom, this is such a thought-provoking, deeply meaningful poem, skillfully written too! Janice
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 11/14/2020 7:49:00 AM
Thank you very much Janice, jts a very controversial subject I know, The jury is still out on that one. Tom
Date: 11/14/2020 4:04:00 AM
Wonderful Tom. So visual. I have wondered who really is the voyuer, them or us. well done.
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 11/14/2020 4:05:00 AM
Thank you very much Peter, im happy you enjoyed it. Enjoy your weekend. Tom
Date: 11/14/2020 1:53:00 AM
You've brought the importance of modern zoos to light with your well written lines, Tom. Thank goodness most zoos are now allowing their 'residents' a more spacious habitat in which they can freely roam about. More like a mini version of where they'd live in the wild. Animal planet!
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 11/14/2020 3:00:00 AM
Thank you very much Jenna, its a difficult one for sure, when I was in animal kingdom a couple of years ago I was really impressed with how much space the animals had and it could easily have been the plains of Africa, and a plus is regular food and excellent care. Painting complete, feet up time, have a great weekend. Tom
Date: 11/14/2020 12:42:00 AM
This is an excellent poem. I love the flow of the words and the impact of the message. Freedom is always the best by any test. Great job! Have an awesome day and God's blessings always!
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 11/14/2020 2:31:00 AM
Thank you very much Joseph, im with you, freedom all the way. Have a great weekend. Tom
Date: 11/13/2020 10:12:00 PM
Much as I loved to see the animals in the zoo, I can understand that freedom is lacking. But then everything comes with a price. Being in a zoo, so long as it is well kept, animals enjoy food and services. Great poem. ~~
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 11/14/2020 2:29:00 AM
Thank you very much Victor, its a difficult issue for sure, as you say they have food and the best of care. Tom
Date: 11/13/2020 7:28:00 PM
Awe, how true, I’ve always wonder if they’d be better off in the wild. I have two cats and I let them out to explore and I trust them to come back. A great poem, Tom :)
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 11/14/2020 2:27:00 AM
Thank you very much Akkina, im happy you enjoyed it. Tom
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