The Ornamental Beasts

A grant of Rs. 700 was sanctioned towards 
the purchase of two tiger cubs from Delhi 
for the  Gardens.   —Proceedings of Lahore 
Municipality, April 23rd, 1884. 

    Our drains may reek—we do not care—
         Our wells be full of crawly things,
    What matters typhoid in the air? 
         We want those merry tigerlings.
    And having these our hearts will steel
    'Gainst death rates what you please per mille. 

    Their hides are yellow, striped with black, 
         They eat with joy their daily ration,
    And this consoles us for the lack
         Of what  some fools call 'sanitation'. 
    A bas les drains! les morning tubs! 
    Give us those Delhi tiger cubs!

    Shut up the water works—dispense 
    With culverts or conservancy,
    Drive every useless bhisti hence,
    And let the dust-cloud wander free. 
    But, in the name of all things thrifty 
    More tigers at rupees three-fifty.

    We do not yearn for cleanliness, 
    Oh wise Municipality;
    And, entre nous,  let us confess
    We'd very much prefer to die, 
    If, by our death, the local Zoo 
    Were dowered with a kangaroo.

    Ho! burgesses of Donald Town,
         Ho! householders  of fair Mozung, 
    Weave, weave for them the laurel crown, 
         And loudly let their praise be sung,
    Who, knowing all our wants, determine 
    To saddle us with high-priced vermin.
                                 Dan Dindigul

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