There is this special little guy
Who lives in Sri Lanka
He is only eight inches tall
His friends call him Podi Sanka*

He’s a shy little primate
And comes out only at night
His eyes shine like bright lanterns
And glow in red torch light

He sits quietly in the trees
He does not make a sound
Even when he plays hide and seek
With the fireflies that float around

He feeds on tiny insects
And fruits and flowers too
He also has the one-off reptile
For the occasional protein boost.

The grey slender loris
Is an endangered species
Their tree homes are protected
Is what that really means

If you’re very lucky and
Visit Ceylon’s dry zone
You may just spy Podi Sanka
In his snug little tree home.
* Podi Sanka: Podi means “Small” in Sinhalese.  Sanka is a name.


There once was a salamander 
That lived near Mexico City
She had baby pink feathery gills
And was really rather pretty

She was called Axolotl
After the ancient Aztec god
Who changed into a salamander
To avoid the blade of the sword

But Axie was a wise amphibian
She was already ten years old
She swam in the waters of her lake
Eating larvae, fish and worms

Axie also had a brother
He was called Axie-2
He’d swim about and gaily shout
At tadpoles that hatched anew

But when there was danger
From birds and Axo-catchers
The Axo siblings hid away
In the depths of their lake waters

So if you’re ever roaming around
The lakes of Mexico City
You might just see the Axie twins
So have your camera ready!


The Aye Aye is a primate 
That lives in Madagascar
She lives in trees and won’t come down
No matter how nicely you ask her

She has big round yellow eyes
That are her torches in the night
They help her look for juicy bugs
That are hiding out of sight.

Tap tapping with her fingers long
She knocks on the trunks of trees
She’s quite polite and lady-like
And will enter with an “If you please”

But once she finds an insect horde
She quickly rips away the bark
Then she perches on a branch
To dine finely in the dark.

For fun she scampers all along
The branches of the trees
Her squirelly tail like a balancing rail
Helps her jump with perfect ease

And thats the tale of the oddity
That looks like a little bear
The Aye Aye with her shining eyes
That lives in Madagascar.


There was once a spider small
He was only a quarter inch tall
But what he lacked in height and strength
He made up for with his confidence

He was quite an exceptional dancer
A funny leg shaker, a cheerful prancer
He had bright blue and red stripes on him
This happy little spider called Sparklemuffin

Sparklemuffin was always showing off
His marvellous dance skills to his lady loves
And when he was being especially cute
He’d wave his dancing legs all about

He’d wiggle and waggle his body around
Sending love signals through the ground
The girls would twitter upon their twigs
As Sparkly performed his wonderful jigs

Then the ladies would all cheer and clap
As he finally shook open his belly flap
Performing his grand finale for them
He’d mix salsa with some moon-walking

His show done, he’d climb up on the fence
And bow and curtsy for his audience
You’ll never see a more absurd drama king
Than the rocking and rolling little sparklemuffin.


Dumbo was an octopus 
Who lived on the ocean floor
He was the cutest little thing
And had elephantine ears

But they were not really ears you see
Just fins that flopped about
He looked like Dumbo the elephant
So that’s also the name he got

Dumbo the little cephalopod
Was as lonely as can be
He didnt mind the zero sunshine
But how he wished for some company!

One day while nibbling on some snails
Wondering what colour to wear that day
He spied a stranger floating above
Had another octopus come down to play?

He umbrella-drifted towards his new friend
Blowing bubbles along the way
He gaily waved his eight tentacles
But the stranger kept floating away

Dumbo blinked and saw that he had
Mistaken a bunch of old seaweed
For a buddy who’d play fun games with him
Diving, swimming and hide n seek.

He decided to wear [put your favorite color here] that day
Changing the colour of his skin
Dumbo knew that some day soon
He would drift into his best friend.


Beezle lived along the coast
Of the island of Tasmania
He looked a lot like a bear
With a crazy feeding mania

He was noisier than a steam engine
when he was ticked off
He’d snort and scream so loudly
That he’d end up with a cough

His friends asked him to take
Mood management lessons
To teach him to be sociable
And kick his anger obsession

But Beezle would just grumble
Under his breath at them
And walk back into the coolness
Of his great grand-daddy’s den

At twilight he would come out again
Snorting in disgust
He would look for food to eat
Fresh carrion was a must

He’d fight off anyone who came
Disturbing him at his meal
He’d growl out loud and even bite
Them if they didn’t leave

The other animals would stay
Far far away from him
They called him the Tasmanian devil
He was a hellish little thing!

And so I end this story of
Beezle the Purinina*
He still lives in his family den
And is still noisier than a hyena.
* Purinina: aboriginal name for the Tasmanian devil


Roller was a pangolin who lived in a Kapok tree
He’d sleep all day snoring away and wake up at three
Then he’d look up at the sky and see the sun still bright
He’d roll back into a ball and sleep until the night

When the moon was overhead and the stars were twinkling too
Roller would roll out of bed, thinking of his food
He had no teeth to brush, so he’d just wash his little face
Then he’d smile toothlessly and buff his keratinous scales

He’d venture out into the night, insects on his mind
His all time favourite foods were crunchy ants and termites
He’d use his long, long tongue to catch all his insect prey
And since he had no teeth, he’d swallow them straightaway

Roller would have loved to sing but he could only hiss
So once he’d eaten all he could, he’d hiss in total bliss
He’d roam around the forest floor, sticking his tongue out
Hissing at a Kapok tree and sometimes even a rock

This quirky looking animal puzzled many folks
Some wondered if he was in fact a moving artichoke
Others thought he looked like a pinecone with feet
There were many theories about this funny beast

Then one day some poachers came to steal Roller away
They wanted his lovely scales to sell on market day
But Roller’s secret hollow tree wasn’t easily found
So there he still lives today, blithely foraging around.


Better-Boy* was a tomato 
His head still had its stem
He was always blushing red
When someone spoke to him

His grandma held a record
For having the most children
She was in the Guinness Book
And also on television

He wished he was more confident
Like the olive oil and the rice
But every time he tried to speak
He’d get very tongue-tied.

He sat among the onions
And the garlic on the counter
They’d peel their layers in his face
He’d cry at each encounter

How he wished he had some friends
That smelled all nice and fruity
Who wouldn’t tease him quite so much
Making his soft insides all woozy

One day a man brought out a bowl
Into which he placed some fruit
Bananas, oranges and grapes
And yippee! Better-Boy too.

He smiled at his new friends
Blushing even redder
Better-Boy was finally home
With his fruity brothers and sisters
* Better Boy: A type of a tomato, the Better Boy has been in existence for more than 50 years and is a Guinness record holder for amount of fruit produced from a single plant.


In a jungle in the Congo 
There lived the strangest beast
He was called the Zebra-giraffe
For the eyes he was a treat!

He fed on grass and fruits and buds
And sometimes ferns and leaves
He was a fabulous vegetarian
Keeping our planet green

But Zebra-giraffe was nettled
Everyone was named properly
While his was borrowed from
Two of his extended family.

So off he went on a quest
To search for his true name
He met the Congolese pygmies
And told them of his aim

They looked at him in wonder
And ooh’d and ahh’d away
They’d never seen an animal
Quite like him before today

They praised his half striped body
And admired his velvet fur
They touched his lovely ossicones
They caused quite a stir!

Then they had a meeting
And decided finally
This wondrous mix of animals
Would be called the Okapi

So back he went to his jungle
The happiest boy of all
The Okapi finally had his name
And that’s still what he’s called.


Titi is a Mynah bird
Who’s adopted my balcony
For her daily tidbits
And some sociability

I feed her grapes and jammy bread
And Wyke’s mature cheddar
She warbles and honks in delight
Ruffling her tail feathers

I try sometimes to have her sit
Upon my outstretched hand
But she always flies away
Too afraid to land

One day I saw her fluttering
Outside in the terrace
I went to see what was causing
The bird such great distress

There I spied her little one
Behind the potted palm
She was flapping her little wings
Trying to get airborne.

I gently picked the fledgling up
Titi watched me nervously
And placed the baby on the floor
Near her momma’s feet

She’d brought her little birdie out
To teach her how to fly
And also to introduce her
To the Treats Terrace in the sky

It was a lovely moment showing
how trusting Nature can be
When momma brought her little child
To finally meet me.


Quibble was a caterpillar 
Grumpy as they come
He’d scowl at all who came his way
Always looking glum

He’d eat his way through the leaves
Of the milkweed plants around him
He’d kick his brothers and sisters away
If near him he found them

He crunched and munched incessantly
Until his skin grew tight
And he couldn’t lift a leg or six
However hard he tried

He was extra grumpy now
Feeling like a balloon
So he wove himself a silken bed
And thought he’d take a snooze

He groused and grumbled in his sleep
For twelve whole days and nights
And then crawled out of bed legs first
Feeling blithe and feather-light

Quibble wondered why he wasn’t
Frowning at the world
When suddenly he discovered
His wings of black and gold

He spread them out delightedly
And went soaring in the sky
Quibble the caterpillar was now
Monarch the butterfly


Oval Doval was an egg
And what an egg he was
With his smooth and shiny shell
He was the loveliest egg you saw

He was round and handsome
Nothing about him was lean
He was much wiser than his uncle
Humpty Dumpty had ever been

He would roll around the park
But would not play with a ball
He knew that if it bounced on him
He would break, yolk and all

He also would not climb
Walls and fences with his friends
His uncle had a great big fall
And had broken his big egg head

So Oval whirled and twirled all day
While staying on the ground
Smiling happily at everyone
Bobbing his big head around

Then one day a crow flying by
Pecked him on the nose
Oval said “if you’d nibbled my head
I’d be fried egg on toast!”