At evening when the lamp is lit,
The tired Human People sit
And doze, or turn with solemn looks
The speckled pages of their books.
Then I, the Dangerous Kitten, prowl
And in the Shadows softly growl,
And roam about the farthest floor
Where Kitten never trod before.
And, crouching in the jungle damp,
I watch the Human Hunter’s camp,
Ready to spring with fearful roar
As soon as I shall hear them snore.
And then with stealthy tread I crawl
Into the dark and trackless hall,
Where ‘neath the Hat-tree’s shadows deep
Umbrellas fold their wings and sleep.
A cuckoo calls – and to their dens
The People climb like frightened hens,
And I’m alone – and no one cares
In Darkest Africa – downstairs.
— Oliver Herford