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A zebra and a whooping crane were chatting over tea.
"Oh, Zebra, sir," the shy crane said, "what do you think of me?"
The zebra spoke in ringing tones: "I love you more than life!
Oh, darling! Come and stay with me and be my wedded wife!"

"Oh, Zebra! Yay! Oh, happy day!" the crane cried out with glee.
So filled with glee, in fact, was she, she danced around a tree.
Sadly, though, the tree she chose was not a sturdy one.
It fell and crushed the whooping crane, which spoiled all the fun.

The zebra, after that, for months, was lost in deep despair,
And passed the lonely hours playing canfield solitaire.
But then one day, on Zebra's door, there came a hopeful knock.
"Who could this be? I have no friends," he said in mild shock.

The zebra got the door and found a hippopotamus:
"I'm selling wicker brushes, sir, and tins of happiness."
"Let's see," the zebra slowly said, "I'd like three brushes, please."
"That's fine, that's fine," the hippo said, "but how 'bout one of these?"

He pointed to the tins and said: "Your gladness guaranteed!"
"Now, that I doubt," the zebra said; "I'm very sad indeed.
The whooping crane I dearly loved was killed beneath a tree.
My melancholy is the kind that has no remedy."

"Oh, we shall see," the hippo said. "I'll simply give you one.
A tin of happiness on me your gloomy days are done."
The zebra was still unconvinced, but took the shiny tin,
And paid for the three brushes, and then took the things within.

It took almost an hour for his curiosity
To goad him into opening the tin he got for free.
But then he lifted off the lid and then right then and there  
He was blown to tiny bits that floated on the air.

The hippopotamus, by now, was quite a ways away,
But still he heard the great explosion just as clear as day.
He sighed a sigh and wiped his brow and, scratching at his ear,
He smiled in a wistful way and shed a shiny tear.


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