About the Poem
About the poet
Dennis Lee (b. 1939) has written more than thirty books of poetry for adults and children and...
Lizzy had a lion
With a big, bad roar,
And she kept him in the bedroom
By the closet-cupboard door.
Lizzy’s lion wasn’t friendly,
Lizzy’s lion wasn’t tame –
Not unless you learned to call him
By his Secret Lion Name.
One dark night, a rotten robber
With a rotton robber mask
Snuck in through the bedroom window –
And he didn’t even ask.
And he brought a bag of candy
That was icky-sticky-sweet,
Just to make friends with a lion
(If a lion he should meet).
First he sprinkled candy forward,
Then he sprinkled candy back;
Then he picked up Lizzy’s piggy-bank
And stuck it in his sack.
But as the rotten robber
Was preparing to depart,
Good old Lizzy’s lion wakened
With a snuffle and a start.
And he muttered, “Candy? – piffle!”
And he rumbled, “Candy? – pooh!”
And he gave the rotten robber
An experimental chew.
Then the robber shooed the lion,
Using every name he knew;
But each time he shooed, the lion
Merely took another chew.
It was: “Down, Fido! Leave, Leo!
Shoo, you good old boy!”
But the lion went on munching
With a look of simple joy.
It was: “Stop, Mopsy! Scram, Sambo!
This is a disgrace!”
But the lion went on lunching
With a smile upon his face.
Then old Lizzy heard the rumble,
And old Lizzy heard the fight,
And old Lizzy got her slippers
And turned on the bedroom light.
There was robber on the toy-shelf.
There was robber on the rug.
There was robber in the lion
(Who was looking rather smug).
But old Lizzy wasn’t angry,
And old Lizzy wasn’t rough.
She simply said the Secret Name:
“Lion – that’s enough.”
The old Lizzy and her Lion
Took the toes & tum & head,
And they put them in the garbage,
And they both went back to bed.
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Dennis Lee C.D