Friday, 5 December 2008


Alexander was a panda, and he lived in London Zoo
One day, he asked his keeper, “What’s a panda meant to do?”
“My goodness, what a question!” said the keeper in dismay
“I’ve never been a panda, so I really couldn’t say.”

“But all the other animals” said Alex, “have a job
While I’m as good as useless, just a great big hairy blob
The others sing, or jump, or swim, and don’t they do it well?
And all I ever seem to do is sit around and smell!”

“Hey, someone’s got to sit around and smell,” the keeper said
“But if you’re so unhappy, just do something else instead
Try chattering at sparrows, like our tubby tabby cat
Or grab a bunch of bamboo shoots and weave yourself a hat

“Or, if that doesn’t seem like fun, then tell me what you’d like.”
“I think,” said Alexander, “I could learn to ride a bike.”

Next day, the kindly keeper brought a shiny white and black
Amazing little bicycle, with “L” plates front and back
The other creatures laughed so hard, they nearly had a pain
To see poor Alex climbing on and falling off again

They all had quite a giggle, even Alexander’s Mum
That tiny little saddle! That big, round, hairy tum!
Soon people came from miles around to shout, “What are you like?”
At Alexander Panda as he tumbled off his bike

If Alex was embarrassed, well, he never let it show
He’d pick himself up off the ground and have another go

Until at last, his mother said, “My darling, this is true
To ride a bike is something that a panda cannot do
We just don’t have the legs for it, we’re built like hairy plums
Can’t even hold the handlebars, we haven’t any thumbs

“You know, I’m very proud of you for following your dream
But now it’s time you gave it up. Try something less extreme
Please listen to your mother, and I’m sure you’ll see I’m right”
But Alex couldn’t hear her, for he’d pedalled out of sight!

He whizzed around the walrus pool, he belted round the block
As all the other animals looked on in total shock
The monkeys didn’t gibber and the lions didn’t roar
And absolutely nobody was laughing any more

Then everybody shouted in amazed astonishment,
“It’s Alexander Panda! Here he comes! Wow! There he went!”

If you should hear a tinkling bell one dark and stormy night
And hurry to your window, you may see an eerie sight
Behold, a blur of black-white fur, in purple cycle pants
It’s Alexander Panda, training for the Tour de France!

Will Hames, November 2008

1 comment:

Rhett said...

Wow! Amazingly well written!