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Jim was a boy who was fond of clowns,
And thought they were excellent fun;
He talked so much of them and their ways,
That one night he dreamed he was one.
He dreamed he was feeding five fat geese
On boiled slate-pencils and rice:
He said it was wholesome food for geese,
But they said, "More wholesome than nice."
He dreamed that he set two geese to dance,
While he took a fiddle and played.
He said, "You look pretty and gay, my dears."
"We feel very tired," they said.
"What, tired!" he said, "with that nice pink sash,
"And that waistcoat of vivid blue?"
Then he tried to teach them the way to sing--
A thing geese never can do.
He made them try to stand on their heads
And wave their feet in the air,
Although they said the pain in their necks
Was more than a goose could bear.
He said that it didn't hurt his back--
He liked it, for his part;
And all the geese declared he had
A most unfeeling heart.
He knocked the bottom out of the pot
That had held the pencil-stew,
And held it in the air while five
Reluctant geese jumped through.
They said they burned their wings and feet
With the sides of the smoking pot.
He laughed, "Oh, nonsense! Now, my dears,
"We'll try something really hot."
So he made a terrified goose jump through
A hoop all blazing alight,
While all the rest of the geese stood round
And screamed with all their might.
And he was just about to try
To teach them how to swim,
When all the geese made up their minds
They'd have some games with him.
They put him on a spit, to roast
Before a blazing fire;
And one fat goose with bellows blew,
To make the flame go higher.
He woke up shrieking with fear and pain,
And, as he cuddled down
Between the sheets, he vowed he'd never
Become a cruel clown.
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