Childhood
        
JIM
( who ran away from his nurse and was eaten by a lion ) by Hillaire Belloc There was a boy whose name was Jim His friends were very good to him They gave him tea and cakes and jam And slices of delicious ham And chocolate with pink inside And little tricycles to ride They read him stories through and through And even took him to the zoo But there it was the awful fate Befell him, which I now relate You know (at least you ought to know For I have often told you so) That children never are allowed To leave their nurses in a crowd Now this was Jim's especial foible He ran away when he was able And on this inauspicious day He slipped his hand and ran away He hadn't gone a yard when BANG With open jaws a lion sprang And hungrily began to eat The boy, beginning at his feet Now just imagine how it feels When first your toes and then your heels And then by varying degrees Your shins and ankles, calves and knees Are slowly eaten bit by bit No wonder Jim detested it No wonder that he shouted "Ai" The honest keeper heard his cry Though very fat, he almost ran To help the little gentleman "Ponto," he ordered as he came For Ponto was the lion's name "Ponto," he said with angry frown "Down sir, let go, put it down!" The lion made a sudden stop He let the dainty morsel drop And slunk reluctant to his cage Snarling with disappointed rage But when he bent him over, Jim The honest keeper's eyes grew dim The lion having reached his head The miserable boy was dead When nurse informed his parents they Were more concerned than I can say His mother as she dried her eyes Said "It gives me no surprise He would not do as he was told." His father who was self-controlled Bade all the children round attend To James's miserable end. And always keep ahold of nurse For fear of finding something worse.
The end