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T.S. Eliot - Mungojerrie And Rumpelteazer

Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer were a very notorious couple 
     of cats.
As knockabout clown, quick-change comedians, tight-rope 
     walkers and acrobats
They had extensive reputation. They made their home in 
     Victoria Grove--
That was merely their centre of operation, for they were 
     incurably given to rove.
They were very well know in Cornwall Gardens, in Launceston 
     Place and in Kensington Square--
They had really a little more reputation than a couple of 
     cats can very well bear.

If the area window was found ajar
And the basement looked like a field of war,
If a tile or two came loose on the roof,
Which presently ceased to be waterproof,
If the drawers were pulled out from the bedroom chests,
And you couldn't find one of your winter vests,
Or after supper one of the girls
Suddenly missed her Woolworth pearls:

Then the family would say: "It's that horrible cat!
It was Mungojerrie--or Rumpelteazer!"-- And most of the time 
     they left it at that.

Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer had a very unusual gift of the 
They were highly efficient cat-burglars as well, and 
     remarkably smart at smash-and-grab.
They made their home in Victoria Grove. They had no regular 
They were plausible fellows, and liked to engage a friendly 
     policeman in conversation.

When the family assembled for Sunday dinner,
With their minds made up that they wouldn't get thinner
On Argentine joint, potatoes and greens,
And the cook would appear from behind the scenes
And say in a voice that was broken with sorrow:
"I'm afraid you must wait and have dinner tomorrow!
For the joint has gone from the oven-like that!"
Then the family would say: "It's that horrible cat!
It was Mungojerrie--or Rumpelteazer!"-- And most of the time 
     they left it at that.

Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer had a wonderful way of working 
And some of the time you would say it was luck, and some of 
     the time you would say it was weather.
They would go through the house like a hurricane, and no sober 
     person could take his oath
Was it Mungojerrie--or Rumpelteazer? or could you have sworn 
     that it mightn't be both?

And when you heard a dining-room smash
Or up from the pantry there came a loud crash
Or down from the library came a loud ping
From a vase which was commonly said to be Ming--
Then the family would say: "Now which was which cat?
It was Mungojerrie! AND Rumpelteazer!"-- And there's nothing 
     at all to be done about that!

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Added: Feb 20 2003 | Viewed: 2871 times | Comments and analysis of Mungojerrie And Rumpelteazer by T.S. Eliot Comments (28)

Mungojerrie And Rumpelteazer - Comments and Information

Poet: T.S. Eliot
Poem: Mungojerrie And Rumpelteazer
Volume: Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats

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