The Other Professor's
Pig-Tale


Little Birds are sleeping
      All among the pins,
      Where the loser wins:
Where, I say, he sneezes
When and how he pleases---
      So the Tale begins.

There was a Pig that sat alone
      Beside a ruined Pump:
By day and night he made his moan---
It would have stirred a breast of stone
To see him wring his hoofs and groan,
      Because he could not jump.

A certain Camel heard him shout---
      A Camel with a hump.
"Oh, is it Grief, or is it Gout?
What is this bellowing about?"
That Pig replied, with quivering snout,
      "Because I cannot jump!"

That Camel scanned him, dreamy-eyed.
      "Methinks you are too plump.
I never knew a Pig so wide---
That wobbled so from side to side---
Who could, however much he tried,
      Do such a thing as jump!

Yet mark those trees, two miles away,
      All clustered in a clump:
If you could trot there twice a day,
Nor ever pause for rest or play,
In the far future---Who can say?---
      You may be fit to jump."


That Camel passed, and left him there
      Beside the ruined Pump.
Oh, horrid was that Pig's despair!
His shrieks of anguish filled he air.
He wrung his hoofs, he rent his hair,
      Because he could not jump.

There was a Frog that wandered by---
      A sleek and shining lump:
Inspected him with fishy eye,
And said, "O Pig, what makes you cry?"
And bitter was that Pig's reply,
      "Because I cannot jump!"

That Frog he grinned a grin of glee,
      And hit his chest a thump.
"O Pig," he said, "be ruled by me,
And you shall see what you shall see.
This minute, for a trifling fee,
      I'll teach you how to jump!"

"You may be faint from many a fall,
      And bruised by many a bump:
But, if you persevere through all,
And practice first on something small,
Concluding with a ten-foot wall,
      You'll find that you can jump!

"My fee shall be a mutton-chop,
      My goal this ruined Pump,
Observe with what an airy flop
I plant myself upon the top!
Now bend your knees and take a hop,
      For that's the way to jump!"


Uprose that Pig, and rushed, full whack,
      Against the ruined Pump:
Rolled over like an empty sack,
And settled down upon his back,
While all his bones at once went "Crack!"
      It was a fatal jump.



That Camel passed, as Day grew dim,
      Around the ruined Pump.
"O broken heart! O broken limb!
It needs," that Camel said to him,
"Something more fairy-like and slim,
      To execute a jump!"

That Pig lay still as any stone,
      And could not stir a stump:
Nor ever, if the truth were known,
Was he again observed to moan,
Nor ever wring his hoofs and groan,
      Because he could not jump.


That Frog made no remark, for he
      Was dismal as a dump:
He knew the consequence must be
That he would never get his fee---
And still he sits, in miserie,
      Upon that ruined Pump!


*

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