Music On All Fours by Josephine Pollard

A Pussy-cat and a Black-and-Tan
Were shut in a room together,
And, after a season of quiet, began
To talk of the change in the weather,
And new spring fashions, and after that
They had a sort of musical chat.
Said Puss: “To me it is quite absurd—
But tastes and opinions vary;
And some have declared that no beast or bird
Can sing like the small canary,—
Who, if it be true as I’ve heard it told,
Is really worth more than its weight in gold!”

Said the Black-and-Tan, with a pensive smile:
“I’ve wanted to call attention
To this bit of scandal for quite a while,
And, if not amiss, to mention
That my daily allowance of bark and whine
Has greatly improved this voice of mine.”
“It has,” said Puss, with a comic grin;
“The words of truth you have spoken;
A name for ourselves we must strive to win
At once, now the ice is broken;
For one or two doses of catnip tea
Have had a wondrous effect on me!

“‘Twas only the other night I strayed
Where a silvery moonbeam slanted,
And gave such a beautiful serenade
You’d have thought the place enchanted.
It roused the neighborhood to a pitch
Of praise, or envy—I can’t tell which.”
Said the Black-and-Tan, “Why shouldn’t we try
To sing a duet together?”
Said the Puss, “I see no reason why
We can’t; and we’ll show them whether
To birds and bipeds alone belong
The gift of singing a pleasing song!”

They sang—and they sang; but oh, my dears!
If you had been anywhere near them,
You’d have shut your eyes and stopped your ears,
And wished that you couldn’t hear them.
‘Twas a brilliant effort, upon my word,
And nearly killed the canary-bird.
The Pussy-cat and the Black-and-Tan
With the music were so delighted,
They will give a concert as soon as they can,
And perhaps we may be invited.
“Bow-wow!” “Miaow!” I’m sorry, you know,
I’ve another engagement—and cannot go!

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