"What's so funny?" said the hyena,
though his mouth was stretched to a grin.
The joke on the Masai Mara
was wearing a little bit thin.
He looked far and wide at the grasslands.
The thorny trees scratched at the sky.
Nobody loves the hyena.
His face is too mean and too sly.
The elephant rolls like a hillside,
adored because he is fat.
The leopard and lion and cheetah
all know they're the cream of the cat.
The zebra is marked with distinction.
The wildebeest shines on the run.
The watching and waiting impala
is shimmering under the sun.
But nobody loves the hyena.
His body's too bony and hard.
His eyes are too close together.
He's shifty and sloping and scarred.
He skulked with his nose in the dog-dust,
a scavenger, up to no good.
Oh, nobody loves the hyena.
But somebody probably could.