Little children, never give
Pain to things that feel and live;
Let the gentle robin come
For the crumbs you save at home;
As his meat you throw along
He’ll repay you with a song.
Never hurt the timid hare
Peeping from her green grass lair,
Let her come and sport and play
On the lawn at close of day.
The little lark goes soaring high
To the bright windows of the sky,
Singing as if t’were always spring,
And fluttering on an untired wing –
Oh! Let him sing his happy song,
Nor do these gentle creatures wrong.
~ Author unknown
KINDNESS TO ANIMALS
1 Be kind to animals, my child:
2 Don’t make the gentle ringworm wild.
3 Little children shouldn’t tease
4 Little Fido’s littler fleas.
5 When you see th’industrious ant
6 Too heavy burdened toil and pant,
7 Ease him of his irksome load,
8 Lift it for him down the road.
9 Don’t bite the little worm in half
10 That in your lettuce hides-just laugh,
11 Politely stroke his slimy head,
12 And eat some other things instead.
13 Speak not harshly to the moth
14 Though she dines on fur and cloth,
15 Remember everyone must eat,
16 –Why not offer her a treat?-
17 Cut a large sized bit of fur
18 From your coat and give it her,
19 Such unselfishness as this
20 Will fill your Mother’s heart with bliss.
21 And lastly, pray do not encroach
22 With heavy tread upon the roach,
23 The insect’s jellified remains
24 Afflict the rugs with horrid stains.
25 Be gentle to these fellow creatures,
26 And ever learn to love your teachers.
A. J. M. Smith, The Complete Poems, ed. Brian Trehearne (London, Ontario: Canadian Poetry Press, 2007): 188-89.