I Was Only Stroking It, Guv’nor!

They’ve written about me in the paper again.
They say I love wildlife a little too much.
I’m the innocent victim of a media campaign.
I admit I like to look but I try not to touch.

They won’t let me into the zoo any more.
My annual pass has been revoked.
They say I made a pass at a labrador.
They say I was present when a panda was poked.

I assure you all that my intentions are pure.
I vehemently deny all allegations.
They claim I’m excited by the scent of manure.
Allow me to explain, forgive the alliteration.

I HAVE NOT:
Spooned with a seal, southwest of Swansea.
Kissed a kestrel in a kimono called Keith.
Ogled an octopus wearing a onesie.
Held hands with a hedgehog on Hampstead Heath.

I STRENUOUSLY DENY:
Cuddling a caribou in a canoe.
Fondling a ferret in a frumpy frock.
Buggering a badger in a bright blue bra.
Wanking a walrus into a sock*.

*It was actually a tea towel. Not to be confused with a teat owl.

My passion for nature has killed my reputation.
I promise guv’nor, I was only stroking the dalmation.

Credo for Hugh Manatee

Try to be kind to unkind people.
Read more books and make more art.
Learn the names of the things around you.
Always take time to laugh at a fart.

Don’t fret about work, it doesn’t define you.
Select yourself a favourite tree.
Read a poem, then try to write one.
Be you, not what they want you to be.

Believe in the things that you want to believe in.
Accept that others hold different views.
Never be violent, don’t be oppressive.
Be selective about where you get your news.

Say something funny to break the tension.
Watch the sun rise whenever you can.
Surround yourself with interesting people.
Wear handsome trousers. Eat more jam.

Find enjoyment in the ridiculous.
Imagine a badger in a jaunty hat.
Don’t be afraid to be an outsider.
Most important of all, don’t be a twat.