The Botanical Librarian


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To the tune of "Am I alone and unobserved" from Patience, by Gilbert & Sullivan

If you really want to shine,
in the library line,
take a look at botany!

For you get to look at pages
full of prints of rutabagas
and of travel history!

Find out what to feed a gerbil
from a fifteenth-century herbal
or the works of Alpini.

Or deal with the works of Weinmann
(who’s undoubtedly a fine man)
‘though they be calamity!

And everyone will say,
As you walk your flow’ry way,
“If that Gray Cat knows all those books
and quite so thoroughly,
then what an incredibly smart Gray Cat
that Smart Gray Cat must be!”

Then put on your finest raiment
and provide some entertainment
for an herb society.

Sure, they’ll tell you as they lurk near,
“What a lovely place to work, dear”
as you smile fixedly.

But speak of schemes binomial
or show them an old tome and you’ll
give them thrills galore!

And they’ll all appreciate it
(or at least they will not hate it)
and keep coming back for more!

And everyone will say,
As you walk your clever way
“If that Gray Cat knows all of that
to such a great degree,
why, what a very, very clever Cat,
that clever Cat must be!”

When you think you can’t endure a-
nother volume of fraktura
and your filing is a mess.

And you contemplate on throwing up
your job and taking sewing up
or act in churlishness.

But you look upon the market
and you find your future stark, it
means you need a new degree

You look on your iv’ry tower
and decide within an hour
that you’ll stick with botany!

And everyone will say
As you walk your cheery way
“If that Gray Cat does all that work
of such complexity,
Why, what a most important kind of work,
that kind of work must be!”

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Last modified: May 14, 2011