C J Dennis
There's a very funny insect that you do not often
And it isn't quite a spider, and it isn't quite a fly;
It is something like a beetle, and a little like a bee,
But nothing like a wooly grub that climbs upon a tree.
Its name is quite a hard one, but you'll learn it soon, I hope.
It lives on weeds and wattle-gum, and has a funny face;
Its appetite is hearty, and its manners a disgrace.
When first you come upon it, it will give you quite a scare,
But when you look for it again, you find it isn't there.
And unless you call it softly it will stay away and mope.
It trembles if you tickle it or tread upon its toes;
It is not an early riser, but it has a snubbish nose.
If you snear at it, or scold it, it will scuttle off in shame,
But it purrs and purrs quite proudly if you call it by its name,
And offer it some sandwiches of sealing-wax and soap.
But of course you haven't seen it; and I truthfully confess
That I haven't seen it either, and I don't know its address.
For there isn't such an insect, though there really might have
If the trees and grass were purple, and the sky was bottle green.
It's just a little joke of mine, which you'll forgive, I hope.
Wattle Gum: AUSTRALIAN GUM -- This gum
occurs in large globular, transparent tears or masses, which are hard
and of a pale yellow, amber, or brown color. It dissolves completely
in water, producing a mucilage which is very adhesive, and less liable
than other gums to crackle when dry. Tannin from the bark is apt to
be present on this gum. It is the product of several species, among
them acacia pycnantha, acacia decurrens, acacia homalophylla, and acacia
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