Animal Poems

By Josie Whitehead




By Josie Whitehead

Man of the Forest - The Orangutan

‘Man of the forest,’ the orangutan,

Has features which resemble man,

     And yet, unlike the rest of us,

     He lives his life with little fuss.


Happy in his treetop home

He’s little wish to leave and roam.

     Intelligence is his stock in trade,

     Yet he never works and’s never paid.


They’ve learnt to make some simple tools,

Although they’ve never been to school,

    And, as they like a life of ease,

    They’ve comfy beds up in those trees.


They’re truly vegetarian beasts –

And don’t seek roasted meat for feasts.

     What might they think of cousin man

     Who’ll steal their forests, if he can?


This solitary beast, up in his tree,

Seeks not a social life, as we.

    They leave the warring to mankind –

    A real smart move, I think you’ll find.    

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*The name orangutan means "man of the forest" in the Malay language. In the lowland forests in which they reside, orangutans live solitary existences. They feast on wild fruits like lychees, mangosteens, and figs, and slurp water from holes in trees.