Carapace Steeplechase

Carapace Steeplechase

The pangolin and the armadillo
Are worthy mounts for a knight,
Though they only ever battle ants,
And their snouts are lacking a bite.

With a pingo-pongo-pangolino,
Clanking, swanking, tank–bambino –
Overcoat from head to toe –
Hi-ho for a skin of nails !

They’re faster than the tortoises,
And faster than the snails –
With scutes from shoulder-blades to boots,
In a bodysuit of scales.

But the armadillo and the pangolin
Are secret devils for a thrill –
They curl-up in their tightest balls
And roll full-tilt downhill.

With an armadilla-dilla-dilly-day-oh,
With a three-band-six-band-nine-band-go,
In a concertina rodeo –
Hi-ho for the bonded mail !

They’re tougher than the rhino,
And they’re tougher than the whale –
With clout – from a stainless-steel snout
To a tinplate-tempered tail.

Pangolin by Adam Tusk

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