“Leo the Lion” by Toni Newell

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Leo the Lion.


I’ve been in a circus, for almost five years,

I have been taught tricks, and also to fear.

The whip has cracked, and I’m told to stand,

On my hind legs, at his command.

I’m asked to jump up, onto a stool,

And obey these orders, just like a fool.

The whip has cracked, and I jump off,

The Ringmaster bows and his hat does doff.

I hear the audience, clap and cheer,

And my heart feels heavy as it’s clear,

That I will never, ever again roam free,

And I’ll be forced to stay here,  in misery.

Now I’m told to strut around,

Then I drop onto the ground,

Where I roll over once, then twice,

And then again, which makes it thrice.

The whip has cracked, and up I stand,

Back onto the stool at his command.

Now I jump,  through hoops, on fire,

Whilst the audience gasps, as if in a choir.

And I wonder, would they like to be,

Here in this cage, instead of me.

After my job,  has been done,

I’m returned to the small cage, I can see the sun,

I close my eyes and sniff the breeze,

And imagine  I’m back in the wild, under trees.


Teacher Notes

For and Against animals in circus













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