Said Conrad Cornelius o’Donald o’Dell,
My very young friend who is learning to spell:
“The A is for Ape. And B is for Bear.
The C is for Camel. The H is for Hare
The M is for Mouse. And the R is for Rat.”
“I know all the twenty-six letters like that…
… Through to Z is for Zebra. I know them all well.”
Said Conrad Cornelius o’Donald o’Dell.
“So now I know everything anyone knows.
From beginning to end. From the start to the close.
Because Z is as far as the alphabet goes.”
Then he almost fell flat on his face on the floor
When I picked up the chalk and drew one letter more!
A letter he never had dreamed of before!
And I said, “You can stop, if you want, with the Z.
Because most people stop with the Z.
But not me!!!
In the places I go, there are things that I see
That I never could spell if I stopped with the Z.
I’m telling you this ‘cause you’re one of my friends.
My alphabet starts where your alphabet ends!”
“My alphabet starts with this letter called YUZZ.
It’s the letter I use to spell YUZZ-a-ma-TUZZ.
You’ll be sort of surprised what there is to be found
Once you go beyond Z and start poking around!
So, on beyond Zebra!
Discover new letters!
Like WUM is for Wumbus,
My high-spouting whale who lives high on a hill
And who never comes down ‘till it’s time to refill.
So, on beyond Z! It’s high time you were shown
That you really don’t know all there is to be known.”
“Then just step a step further past Wum is for Wumbus
And there you’ll find UM. And the Um is for Umbus
A sort of Cow, with one head and one tail,
But to milk this great cow you need more than one pail!
She has ninety-eight teats that give milk quite nicely.
Perhaps ninety-nine. I forget just precisely.
And, boy! She is something most people don’t see.
Because most people stop at the Z
But not me!”
“If you stay home with Zebra,
You’re stuck in a rut.
But on beyond Zebra,
You’re anything but!
When you go beyond Zebra,
There’s no telling
What wonderful things
You might find yourself spelling!”
“Like QUAN is for Quandary, who lives on a shelf
In a hole in the ocean alone by himself
And he worries, each day, from the dawn’s early light
And he worries, just worries, far into the night.
He just stands there and worries. He simply can’t stop…
Is his top-side his bottom? Or bottom-side his top?”
So you see!
There’s no end
To the things you might know,
Depending how far beyond Zebra you go!
The places I took him!
I tried hard to tell
Young Conrad Cornelius o’Donald o’Dell
A few brand-new wonderful words he might spell.
I led him around and I tried hard to show
There are things beyond Z that most people don’t know.
I took him past Zebra. As far as I could.
And I think, perhaps, maybe I did him some good…
Because, finally, he said:
“This is really great stuff!
And I guess the old alphabet
NOW the letters he uses are something to see!
Most people stop at the Z…
But not HE!