1 EAGLETON NOTES: I Asked The Zebra

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Saturday, 22 July 2017

I Asked The Zebra

I cannot recall where I first saw this but it was on a blog a long time ago. I came across it the other day when looking for something amongst my papers. I though I'd share it.
 
“I asked the Zebra,
are you black with white stripes?
Or white with black stripes?
And the zebra asked me,
Are you good with bad habits?
Or are you bad with good habits?
Are you noisy with quiet times?
Or are you quiet with noisy times?
Are you happy with some sad days?
Or are you sad with some happy days?
Are you neat with some sloppy ways?
Or are you sloppy with some neat ways?
And on and on and on and on and on and on he went.
I’ll never ask a zebra about stripes...again.”

24 comments:

  1. Sometimes when we meet new people it is best just to let the conversation flow instead of allowing it to turn into a series of questions and answers... like a police interview.

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    1. I always say that, but especially with people who are reserved, if you have limited time to spend with them, there is no other way to get to know each other than to ask things you'd like to know about. Sometimes, if you don't ask, you never find out the thing that you have in common.

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  2. I always liked shel Silverstein. I used his poetry for my Middle school kids.

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    1. To be honest, Red, I don't know his works. I must investigate.

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  3. This is okay but not a patch on Roger McGough. I guess he's American and Americans don't do irony very well. I guess they think it the study of ferrous metals.

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    1. It's certainly not like Roger McGough, Adrian, I understood it.

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    2. The rose of all the world is not for me.
      I want for my part
      Only the little white rose of Scotland
      That smells sharp and sweet—and breaks the heart.

      - Hugh MacDiarmid

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  4. I've never heard of it but it certainly makes me wonder...

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    1. Amy I found it quite thought provoking too.

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  5. Love that one I am happy with some sad days :)

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    1. Given your blog subjects, Marja, it's good to know that you value it. Living in Christchurch I think it is inevitable that there will be some sad days.

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  6. Ahhhh....the wonderful Shel Silverstein...I loved him! He wrote some great stuff!!! I've a CD or two of his here. :)

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    1. Lee I'm definitely going to have to explore.

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  7. Thank you for the smiles. Wonderful poem

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  8. For a few years I visited refugees who were detained in immigration detention and other visitors would constantly ask for their "story" or when they might be released. These were the obvious questions (do you have black stripes or white?) but asking them forces people to relive past traumas and the question of release is what turns them slowly mad.
    This poem is wisdom in simplicity

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    1. Kylie I'm sorry that I missed your very interesting comment. I have to say that I can't imagine what they are going through after all most of them will already have gone through. The poem's simplicity is one of the things that attracts me to it.

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