At the Zoo

- By William Makepeace Thackeray
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William Makepeace Thackeray (/ˈθækəri/; 18 July 1811 – 24 December 1863) was a British novelist, author and illustrator. He is known for his satirical works, particularly his 1848 novel Vanity Fair, a panoramic portrait of British society, and the 1844 novel The Luck of Barry Lyndon, which was adapted for a 1975 film by Stanley Kubrick. Thackeray, an only child, was born in Calcutta,[1] British India, where his father, Richmond Thackeray (1 September 1781 – 13 September 1815), was secretary to the Board of Revenue in the East India Company. His mother, Anne Becher (1792–1864), was the second daughter of Harriet Becher and John Harman Becher, who was also a secretary (writer) for the East India Company.[2] His father was a grandson of Thomas Thackeray (1693–1760), headmaster of Harrow School.[3]

At the Zoo

First I saw the white bear, then I saw the black;
Then I saw the camel with a hump upon his back;
Then I saw the grey wolf, with mutton in his maw;
Then I saw the wombat waddle in the straw;
Then I saw the elephant a-waving of his trunk;
Then I saw the monkeys — mercy, how unpleasantly they smelt!

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Word Lists:

Maw : the jaws or throat of a voracious animal

Waddle : walk with short steps and a clumsy swaying motion

Smelt : extract (metal) from its ore by a process involving heating and melting

Mutton : the flesh of sheep, especially mature sheep, used as food

Trunk : the main woody stem of a tree as distinct from its branches and roots.

Mercy : compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one's power to punish or harm


Additional Information:

Rating: A

Words: 63

Unique Words : 34

Sentences : 6

Reading Time : 0:16

Noun : 27

Conjunction : 0

Adverb : 7

Interjection : 0

Adjective : 4

Pronoun : 11

Verb : 2

Preposition : 6

Letter Count : 231

Sentiment : Positive

Tone : Conversational

Difficult Words : 13

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