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I am a kitten just three months old... | 17-Sep-12

I am a kitten just 3 months old...
I suppose I had a mother,
but before I could tell one paw from the other,
Someone came and took me away,
took me miles and miles away.

"Back in the 1940's when I was being brought up in the North-East of England my father used to recite piece of poetry to me about a little kitten. I would dearly like to tell the tale in full to my two young grandchildren."

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Comments:

This is the poem. It's contained in 'The Children's Prize' which is available on Gutenberg.


THE KITTEN'S COMPLAINT.

I AM a kitten just six months old,
A regular beauty, I've often been told.
You may search through all the country round,
But a finer kitten will not be found ;
And though it is true, as poets sing,
That beauty isn't the principal thing,
It surely is nothing more than right
To be glad one wasn't bom a fright.
I think that I must have had a mother,
But before I could tell one paw from the other,
Somebody took me out of the hay,
Carried me miles and miles away,
Saying, coolly, * I thought that, maybe.
You'd like a kitten to please the baby.'
Please the baby I just think of that ?
What a horrible fate for a cat !
Mean, little wretch, what his mother can see
Lovely in him, is a wonder to me !
He clutched at my throat till I gasped in despair,
He jerked at my whiskers and piilled at my hair;
He poked his fat fingers straight into my eyes.
And laughed with delight at my pitiful cries.
Once, when he dragged me about by my tail,
And nobody came at my sorrowful wail,
I gave him a scratch in his face so red ?
And what do you think his mother said ?
Beat me, and called me an ugly, old cat !
Called him her lamb, and such nonsense as that.
Now, I should really like to know.
If there's any reason that you can show,
Why, a baby, that can only creep and cry,
Has a better right in the world than I ?
I've made up my mind that the case is clear,
That if somebody doesn't interfere,
And take me away from that horrible child.
My cruel tortures will drive me wild;
Somebody surely will find me lying,
One of these mornings, dead or dying.
And then, if your heart has ever known pity.
Pray say, * Here lies an unfortunate kitty,
(Who might have lived to be known to fame,)
Killed by a baby ! what a shame !'
All my sympathies are with the kitten.

Tina Rath


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