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The Floating Zoo
by Bill Shurkey
For Sale
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Back in the days when people were bad
God looked down and it made Him sad.
“I wish they would listen. I wish someone cared.
“I wish I could find good people somewhere.”

Then God looked again, this time real close,
And He said with a smile, “do you suppose
Noah and his little missus will do?
“Of course they’ll do—and their six kin too!”

God told Noah about His new plan,
How He’d renew all the earth with God-fearing man,
He'd use Noah, his missus and their six kin,
And of course all the animals, who knew no sin.

The Lord told Noah how to build a boat.
He called it an ark, a zoo that would float.
So Noah hammered and sawed and worked away,
While his neighbors all came to tease him each day.

But Noah didn’t care what his bad neighbors thought,
Soon it would rain and they’d all be caught
In the flood God would send to destroy mankind.
Because they were wicked, they’d be left behind.

Now when the ark was all done, the first cloud rolled in,
And Noah rejoiced with his missus and kin.
Then the family loaded food and got it all stored,
While Noah stood on deck and yelled “all aboard!”

He yelled toward the village,
And he yelled toward the sky,
Then he yelled toward the nearby woods.
The animals soon came,
They came far and wide,
They came just as fast as they could.

They arrived in pairs—that’s two by two
And they hurried aboard God’s floating zoo.
When the sky grew dark Noah lit his lamp,
So he could keep track as they passed up the ramp.

There were monkeys, zebras, ducks and frogs,
Elephants, sheep, tigers and dogs;
Squirrels, hippos, mice and kangaroo,
Giraffes, raccoons and wild turkeys too.

Flying and creeping and crawling they came,
All the wild animals and all the tame.
Every nook and cranny began to fill,
But Noah’s list showed there were two missing still.

“Where can they be?” he wondered out loud,
One eye on the road and one on that cloud.
“If they’re not here soon, they’ll be left behind
And that’ll be the end on the earth for their kind.”

The sky grew much darker as he searched all around;
He looked everywhere but they just couldn’t be found.
Noah squinted and paced then sadly shook his head,
“If those critters don’t hurry, they’ll be left for dead.”

It started to sprinkle, SPLAT!-SPLAT!—SPLAT!
Then—DRUM! DRUM!—it started to pour,
Lightening lit up the charcoal black sky,
Then it poured—DRUM! DRUM!—some more.

The animals all sighed and the raccoon said:
“We’ll miss our friends, now that they’re dead.”
BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! Thunder shook the boat,
Just a little more rain and the zoo would float.

Then a giraffe in the back shouted “Hark! Hark! Hark!
Me thinks they’re out there, out in the dark.”
All the animals rushed for the railing to gawk,
But no one saw anything, not even the hawk.

“Me still thinks I see them. Me still thinks I do,”
Said the giraffe, with his neck stretched out tight.
“There, down the road, just past that big rock,
Me thinks, a little to the right.”

The animals all cheered, for they saw them too,
And that sight caused much laughing and talking.
For here came their friends, running lickety-split
On legs made only for walking.

Just in time those critters reached the boat,
For the very next raindrop made it float.
Thank God all were safe, thank God all were sound,
Including the two slowpokes, once lost but now found.

Sometimes it seems that God will be late,
But He’s always on time for those who will wait.
His promises are true, His promises won’t fail,
If you don’t believe me,

(page turn)

Ask the turtle and the snail.

Both Noah and the missus thanked God in prayer.
He had shown once again that He really did care.
The Lord promised Noah the zoo would not float
Till every last animal was safe on the boat...

(page turn)

And it didn’t!

Read more articles by Bill Shurkey or search for articles on the same topic or others.

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Member Comments
Member Date
WENDY DECKER 11 Aug 2004
Hi Bill, Found your other one! This is also quite adorable. With the right illustrations any kid would love it. Blessings, Wendy
Sylvia Spielman 07 Jul 2004
Oh, Bill, this is just wonderful. My education is early childhood with an emphasis on preschool and I can't say enough about how wonderful this writing is. I can almost picture the illustrations. I do hope you soon pursue having this published. You had me wondering who the laggers were until the very end. Thanks for the midnight chuckle. Blessings, Sylvia
Jacky Hughes 07 Jul 2004
I love it. By trade I teach childcare workers how to work with kids so I also have an interest in kids stuff and this would I think work well, Illustrations would be key in a book I think and I also think this needs to be in book form. Just to say the poem would not hold the children so well - however as an adult ( with a very definite inner child) I loved this.


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