There was a young man who swallowed a fly

There was a young man who swallowed a fly.

He didn’t mean to swallow a fly – I doubt he’ll die.

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There was a young man who swallowed a fish,

A sad grey fish, dead on the dish.

And he did mean to swallow the fish

Unlike the fly – Perhaps he’ll die!

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There was a young man who swallowed a bird,

How absurd, to swallow a bird!

And he did mean to swallow the bird

Unlike the fly – Perhaps he’ll die!

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There was a young man who swallowed a pig,

Poor little pig who wasn’t big.

And he did mean to swallow the pig

Unlike the fly – Perhaps he’ll die!

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There was a young man who swallowed a lamb,

Sweet little lamb, a baby ram.

And he did mean to swallow the lamb

Unlike the fly – Perhaps he’ll die!

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There was a young man who swallowed a cow,

A gentle cow who’d grazed under the bough.

And he did mean to swallow the cow

Unlike the fly – Perhaps he’ll die!

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And when the young man was not so young,

He felt the weight of all he’d done.

The fat in his liver and fuzz in his mind

Made him wish he’d at least been kind

And swallowed some tofu instead of fish,

And put beans not birds in his oven dish,

And swallowed brown mushrooms instead of piglets,

And cooked lentils and onions instead of lamb cutlets.

If only, he wished, he’d not eaten a cow

Then surely he’d be in good health right now.

****

There was a young man who swallowed a fly.

Of course he’ll die, but that’s not why.

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