The Flea


There is no living thing

Whether on foot, fin or wing

Can boast a genealogy

More ancient than the common flea.

It is the flea that chews

Moslems, Christians, Jews,

And has chewed the ancestral skin

Since man invented sin;

There even before the Fall

There were fleas inside the wall

To mortify the least

Of each Edenic beast;

And since fleas have fleas to bite 'em--

And so on ad infinitum,

Then it is possible that

Some thoughtless flea begat

The universe and its laws

By nipping the Primal Cause,

Which, when it felt the bite,

Scratched, and lo! there was light!

Well, if that's how things were begot

It would account for a lot.


Isabella Fey

Punch 1968