Cassowary

Cassowary

The ostrich is bigger and a good deal more famous
so if we’ve not heard of the cassowary, well, you really can’t blame us:
It’s just the world’s second biggest bird, and as such gets forgotten,
though the lack of acclaim it receives is quite rotten.
There are three different species of this noble specimen,
(if you thought there were four, then we’d tell you to guess again),
there’s a one-wattled species, and then a dwarf model,
and the Southern strain’s marked by its two fleshy wattles.
Unlike most birds, the males of these species are tender,
standing tall (nearly six feet) as their offspring’s defenders,
while the mother birds are off having good birdlike fun,
the males stay at home, guarding the nest and the young.
And as guards go, these guys have the means and the arms
(well not arms, really: feet are the way that they’d harm
any threats to their families, with five-inch long claws,
they dismember things threatening them with foaming jaws).
So three cheers for the Cassowary, hip hip hooray,
(I just wish the one standing here would go away).

(With apologies to Ogden Nash).

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