The Beaver's Lesson
They sought it with thimbles, they sought it with care;
They pursued it with forks and hope;
They threatened its life with a railway-share;
They charmed it with smiles and soap.
Then the Butcher contrived an ingenious plan
For making a separate sally;
And had fixed on a spot unfrequent by man,
A dismal and desolate valley.
In the valley, where the shady people roam,
I was walking in the dark,
When I realized that I was not alone.
In the valley, all those miles away from home,
I was hunting for the Snark,
When I realized I was not alone.
But the valley grew narrow and narrower still,
And the evening grew darker and colder,
Till (merely from nervousness, not from goodwill)
They marched along shoulder to shoulder.
Then a scream, shrill and high, rent the shuddering sky,
And they knew that some danger was near:
The Beaver turned pale to the tip of its tale,
And even the Butcher felt queer.
"'Tis the voice of the Jubjub!' he suddenly cried.
(This man, that they used to call "Dunce.")
"As the Bellman would tell you," he added with pride,
"I have uttered that sentiment once."
"'Tis the note of the Jubjub! Keep count, I entreat.
You will find I have told it you twice.
'Tis the song of the Jubjub! The proof is complete,
If only I've stated it thrice."
The Beaver had counted with scrupulous care,
Attending to every word:
But it fairly lost heart, and outgrabe in despair,
When the third repetition occurred.