Dot and the Kangaroo
by Ethel C. Pedley (1860 - 1898)
. . . the story continues . . .
"ORNITHORHYNCHUS Paradoxus, if you please," insisted the little creature. "How would you like it if your name was Jones-Smith-Jones, and I called you one Jones, or one Smith, and did not say both the Joneses and the Smiths? You have no idea how sensitive our race is. You Humans have no feelings at all compared with ours. Why, my fifth pair of nerves are larger than a man's! Humans get on my nerves dreadfully!" it ended in disgusted accents.
"She did not mean to hurt you," said the gentle Kangaroo, soothingly. "Is there anything we can do to make you feel comfortable again?"
"There is nothing you can do," Sighed the Platypus, now mournful and depressed. "I must sing. Only music can quiet my nerves. I will sing a little threnody composed by myself, about the good old days of this world before the Flood." And as it spoke, the Platypus moved into an upright position amongst the tussock grass, and after a little cough opened its bill to sing.
The Kangaroo kept very close to Dot, and warned her to be very attentive to the song, and not to interrupt it on any account. Almost before the Kangaroo had ceased to whisper in her ear, Dot heard this strange song, sung to the most peculiar tune she had ever heard, and in the funniest of little squeaky voices.
The fairest Iguanodon reposed upon the shore
Then, forth from that archaic sea, the Ichthyosaurus
Then, through the dark coniferous grove they wandered side by side,
Bemoaning thus, by dumous path, they crushed the cycad's growth,
(Here the Platypus was sobbing)
Oh, Troglyodites obscure — oh! oh!