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from Some Mysterious Influence

Before the war was over I was pronounced
an entire zoological institute.
For in me there’s a sprinkling of all sorts:
I’m of the steamboat and alligator breed.

I’m shaggy as a bear, wolfish about
the head. I can neither be led nor driven.
My hyena grin could convince the bark
to curl off a gum log. I talk with birds.

I was afraid to say my soul was my own.
My mustang legs drove me through the prairies,
where the wild horses pasture, but could
not escape the herd bent on trampling me.

I cried out, “Help me foolish jackdaw! Help
me old black crow,” which was my only hope.