25 Short Animal Poems for Kids

Short animal poems for kids, funny animal poems and famous animal poems — there’s no better way than poetry to introduce your kid to our four-legged pals and feathered friends.

By Dr Priscilla J S Selvaraj

25 Short Animal Poems for Kids

From a pre-schooler to a teen, every child is drawn towards rhymes and poetry. And, when it comes to animal poems, children simply love them. 'Baa, baa, black sheep', 'Pussy cat, pussy cat, where have you been?', 'Two little Dicky birds', 'Goosey, goosey gander', 'Three little kittens, they lost their mittens' − the list can go on and on. But, here's a list of 'Our Picks' of animal poems for kids from the magical world of poetry.

So, here we go with 25 short animal poems, famous animal poems and funny animal poems too. Read them out to your child or get him to read them and together you can have a ‘whale of a time’ with some of the best poems on animals!

Animal poems

Short animal poems for kids

1. Old MacDonald had a Farm (Traditional English nursery rhyme)

25 Short Animal Poems for Kids
Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O
And on his farm he had a cow, E-I-E-I-O
With a "moo-moo" here and a "moo-moo" there
Here a "moo" there a "moo"
Everywhere a "moo-moo"
Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O
Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O
And on his farm he had a pig, E-I-E-I-O
With a "oink-oink" here and a "oink-oink" there
Here a "oink" there a "oink"
Everywhere a "oink-oink"
Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O
Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O
And on his farm he had a duck, E-I-E-I-O
With a "cluck-cluck" here and a "cluck-cluck" there
Here a "cluck" there a "cluck"
Everywhere a "cluck-cluck"
Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O  
Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O
And on his farm he had a horse, E-I-E-I-O
With a "neigh-neigh" here and a "neigh-neigh" there
Here a "neigh" there a "neigh"
Everywhere a "neigh-neigh"
Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O 
Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O
And on his farm he had a lamb, E-I-E-I-O
With a "baa-baa" here and a "baa-baa" there
Here a "baa" there a "baa"
Everywhere a "baa-baa"
Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O
Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O
And on his farm he had some chickens, E-I-E-I-O
With a "cluck-cluck" here and a "cluck-cluck" there
Here a "cluck" there a "cluck"
Everywhere a "cluck-cluck"
Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O

2. Once I saw a Little Bird (Traditional English nursery rhyme)

25 Short Animal Poems for Kids
Once I saw a little bird
Go hop, hop, hop.
So I said, "Little bird,
Will you stop, stop, stop?"
Then I was going to the window
To say, "How do you do?"
But he shook his little tail,
And away he flew!

3. Mary had a Little Lamb (Traditional English nursery rhyme)

25 Short Animal Poems for Kids
Mary had a little lamb,
whose fleece was white as snow;
And everywhere that Mary went,
The lamb was sure to go.
It followed her to school one day,
which was against the rules;
It made the children laugh and play,
To see a lamb at school.
And so the teacher turned him out,
but still he lingered near;
And waited patiently about
Till Mary did appear.
"What makes the lamb love Mary so?"
The eager children cry;
"Why, Mary loves the lamb, you know,"
The teacher did reply.

4. Donkey, Donkey, Old and Gray (Traditional English nursery rhyme)

25 Short Animal Poems for Kids
Donkey, Donkey,
Old and gray;
Open your mouth
And gently bray.
Lift your ears,
And blow your horn;
To wake up the world
This sleepy morn.

5. The Cow by Robert Louis Stevenson

25 Short Animal Poems for Kids
The friendly cow, all red and white,
I love with all my heart:
She gives me cream with all her might,
To eat with apple tart
She wanders lowing here and there,
And yet she cannot stray,
All in the pleasant open air,
The pleasant light of day
And blown by all the winds that pass
And wet with all the showers,
She walks among the meadow grass
And eats the meadow flowers

6. The Canary by Elizabeth Turner

25 Short Animal Poems for Kids
Mary had a little bird,
With feathers bright and yellow,
Slender legs-upon my word,
He was a pretty fellow!
Sweetest notes he always sung,
Which much delighted Mary;
Often where his cage was hung,
She sat to hear Canary
Crumbs of bread and dainty seeds
She carried to him daily,
Seeking for the early weeds,
She decked his palace gaily
This, my little readers, learn,
And ever practice duly;
Songs and smiles of love return
To friends who love you truly

7. A Wise Old Owl (Traditional English Nursery Rhyme)

25 Short Animal Poems for Kids
A wise old owl sat in an oak,
The more he heard, the less he spoke;
The less he spoke, the more he heard;
Why can't we all be like that wise old bird?

8. The Snail by William Cowper

25 Short Animal Poems for Kids
To grass, or leaf, or fruit, or wall,
The snail sticks close, nor fears to fall,
As if he grew there, house and all
Together.
Within that house secure he hides,
When danger imminent betides
Of storm, or other harm besides
Of weather.
Give but his horns the slightest touch,
His self-collecting power is such,
He shrinks into his house, with much
Displeasure.
Where'er he dwells, he dwells alone,
Except himself has chattels none,
Well satisfied to be his own
Whole treasure.
Thus, hermit-like, his life he leads,
Nor partner of his banquet needs,
And if he meets one, only feeds
The faster.
Who seeks him must be worse than blind,
(He and his house are so combin'd)
If, finding it, he fails to find
Its master.

9. The Fieldmouse by Cecil Frances Alexander

25 Short Animal Poems for Kids
Where the acorn tumbles down,
Where the ash tree sheds its berry,
With your fur so soft and brown,
With your eye so round and merry,
Scarcely moving the long grass,
Fieldmouse, I can see you pass.
Little thing, in what dark den,
Lie you all the winter sleeping?
Till warm weather comes again,
Then once more I see you peeping
Round about the tall tree roots,
Nibbling at their fallen fruits.
Fieldmouse, fieldmouse, do not go,
Where the farmer stacks his treasure,
Find the nut that falls below,
Eat the acorn at your pleasure,
But you must not steal the grain
He has stacked with so much pain.
Make your hole where mosses spring,
Underneath the tall oak's shadow,
Pretty, quiet harmless thing,
Play about the sunny meadow.
Keep away from corn and house,
None will harm you, little mouse.

10. The Tyger by William Blake

25 Short Animal Poems for Kids
Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
In what distant deeps or skies.
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?
And what shoulder, and what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? and what dread feet?
What the hammer? what the chain,
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp,
Dare its deadly terrors clasp!
When the stars threw down their spears
And water'd heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?
Tyger Tyger burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

11. The Lamb by William Blake

25 Short Animal Poems for Kids
Little Lamb who made thee
Dost thou know who made thee
Gave thee life and bid thee feed.
By the stream and o'er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing wooly bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice!
Little Lamb who made thee
Dost thou know who made thee
Little Lamb I'll tell thee,
Little Lamb I'll tell thee!
He is called by thy name,
For he calls himself a Lamb:
He is meek and he is mild,
He became a little child:
I a child and thou a lamb,
We are called by his name.
Little Lamb God bless thee.
Little Lamb God bless thee.

12. The Swan by Evaleen Stein

25 Short Animal Poems for Kids
Stately swan, so proud and white
Glistening in the morning light,
Come and tell me is it true
That a snow-white swan like you,
Guided by bright golden chains
In his beak for bridle reins,
Once upon a time from far
Fabled lands where fairies are
Brought a magic boat wherein
Rode the brave knight Lohengrin?
Stately swan, so proud and white
Glistening in the morning light,
If you only wore a gold
Harness, like that swan of old,
And if trailing in your wake
Sailing on the silver lake
Was a boat of magic and
You could float to fairy-land,
Then I'd jump in and begin
Traveling like Lohengrin!

13. A Popular Personage at Home by Thomas Hardy

25 Short Animal Poems for Kids
‘I live here: “Wessex” is my name:
I am a dog known rather well:
I guard the house but how that came
To be my whim I cannot tell.
‘With a leap and a heart elate I go
At the end of an hour’s expectancy
To take a walk of a mile or so
With the folk I let live here with me.
‘Along the path, amid the grass
I sniff, and find out rarest smells
For rolling over as I pass
The open fields toward the dells.
‘No doubt I shall always cross this sill,
And turn the corner, and stand steady,
Gazing back for my Mistress till
She reaches where I have run already,
‘And that this meadow with its brook,
And bulrush, even as it appears
As I plunge by with hasty look,
Will stay the same a thousand years.’
Thus ‘Wessex.’ But a dubious ray
At times informs his steadfast eye,
Just for a trice, as though to say,
‘Yet, will this pass, and pass shall I?’

14. The Crocodile by Lewis Carroll

25 Short Animal Poems for Kids
How doth the little crocodile
Improve his shining tail,
And pour the waters of the Nile
On every golden scale!
How cheerfully he seems to grin,
How neatly spreads his claws,
And welcomes little fishes in,
With gently smiling jaws!

15. The Ant Explorer by Clarence James Dennis

25 Short Animal Poems for Kids
Once a little sugar ant made up his mind to roam -
To fare away far away, far away from home.
He had eaten all his breakfast, and he had his ma's consent
To see what he should chance to see and here's the way he went —
Up and down a fern frond, round and round a stone,
Down a gloomy gully, where he loathed to be alone,
Up a mighty mountain range, seven inches high,
Through the fearful forest grass that nearly hid the sky,
Out along a bracken bridge, bending in the moss,
Till he reached a dreadful desert that was feet and feet across.
'Twas a dry, deserted desert, and a trackless land to tread;
He wished that he was home again and tucked up tight in bed.
His little legs were wobbly, his strength was nearly spent,
And so he turned around again and here's the way he went —
Back away from desert lands, feet and feet across,
Back along a bracken bridge, bending in the moss,
Through the fearful forest grass shutting out the sky,
Up a mighty mountain range, seven inches high,
Down a gloomy gully, where he loathed to be alone,
Up and down a fern frond, round and round a stone.
A dreary ant, a weary ant, resolved no more to roam,
He staggered up the garden path and popped back home.


Funny animal poems for kids

16. The Owl and the Pussy-Cat by Edward Lear

25 Short Animal Poems for Kids
The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat:
They took some honey, and plenty of money
Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
"O lovely Pussy, O Pussy, my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
You are, You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!"
Pussy said to the Owl, "You elegant fowl,
How charmingly sweet you sing!
Oh! let us be married; too long we have tarried,
But what shall we do for a ring?"
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-tree grows;
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood,
With a ring at the end of his nose,
His nose, His nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.
"Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
Your ring?" Said the Piggy, "I will."
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
The moon, The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

17. Eletelephony by Laura Elizabeth Richards

25 Short Animal Poems for Kids
Once there was an elephant,
Who tried to use the telephant—
No! No! I mean an elephone
Who tried to use the telephone—
(Dear me! I am not certain quite
That even now I've got it right.)
Howe'er it was, he got his trunk
Entangled in the telephunk;
The more he tried to get it free,
The louder buzzed the telephee—
(I fear I'd better drop the song
Of elephop and telephong!)

18. The Flamingo by Lewis Gaylord Clark

25 Short Animal Poems for Kids
|First Voice|
Oh! tell me have you ever seen a red, long-leg'd Flamingo?
Oh! tell me have you ever yet seen him the water in go?
|Second voice|
Oh! yes at Bowling-Green I've seen a red long-leg'd Flamingo,
Oh! yes at Bowling-Green I've there seen him the water in go.
|First Voice|
Oh! tell me did you ever see a bird so funny stand-o
When forth he from the water comes and gets upon the land-o?
|Second Voice|
No! in my life I ne'er did see a bird so funny stand-o
When forth he from the water comes and gets upon the land-o.
|First Voice|
He has a leg some three feet long, or near it, so they say, Sir.
Stiff upon one alone he stands, t'other he stows away, Sir.
|Second Voice|
And what an ugly head he's got! I wonder that he'd wear it.
But rather more I wonder that his long, thin neck can bear it.
|First voice|
And think, this length of neck and legs (no doubt they have their uses)
Are members of a little frame, much smaller than a goose's!
|Both|
Oh! isn't he a curious bird, that red, long-leg'd Flamingo?
A water bird, a gawky bird, a sing'lar bird, by jingo!

19. Animal Fair (Traditional folk song)

25 Short Animal Poems for Kids
I went to the animal fair,
The birds and the beasts were there;
The big baboon by the light of the moon
Was combing his auburn hair.
The monkey fell out of his bunk
And slid down the elephant's trunk,
The elephant sneezed - Achoo
And fell on his knees
And what become of the monkey, monkey, monk?

20. The Big Baboon by Hilaire Belloc

25 Short Animal Poems for Kids
The Big Baboon is found upon
The plains of Cariboo:
He goes about with nothing on
(A shocking thing to do).
But if he dressed up respectably
And let his whiskers grow,
How like this Big Baboon would be
To Mister So-and-so!


Famous animal poems

21. The Spider and the Fly by Mary Howitt

25 Short Animal Poems for Kids
Will you walk into my parlour?" said the Spider to the Fly,
'Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I've a many curious things to show when you are there."
Oh no, no," said the little Fly, "to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair can ne'er come down again."
"I'm sure you must be weary, dear, with soaring up so high;
Will you rest upon my little bed?" said the Spider to the Fly.
"There are pretty curtains drawn around; the sheets are fine and thin,
And if you like to rest awhile, I'll snugly tuck you in!"
Oh no, no," said the little Fly, "for I've often heard it said,
They never, never wake again, who sleep upon your bed!"
Said the cunning Spider to the Fly, " Dear friend what can I do,
To prove the warm affection I 've always felt for you?
I have within my pantry, good store of all that's nice;
I'm sure you're very welcome — will you please to take a slice?"
"Oh no, no," said the little Fly, "kind Sir, that cannot be,
I've heard what's in your pantry, and I do not wish to see!"
"Sweet creature!" said the Spider, "you're witty and you're wise,
How handsome are your gauzy wings, how brilliant are your eyes!
I've a little looking-glass upon my parlour shelf,
If you'll step in one moment, dear, you shall behold yourself."
"I thank you, gentle sir," she said, "for what you 're pleased to say,
And bidding you good morning now, I'll call another day."
The Spider turned him round about, and went into his den,
For well he knew the silly Fly would soon come back again:
So he wove a subtle web, in a little corner sly,
And set his table ready, to dine upon the Fly.
Then he came out to his door again, and merrily did sing,
"Come hither, hither, pretty Fly, with the pearl and silver wing;
Your robes are green and purple — there's a crest upon your head;
Your eyes are like the diamond bright, but mine are dull as lead!"
Alas, alas! how very soon this silly little Fly,
Hearing his wily, flattering words, came slowly flitting by;
With buzzing wings she hung aloft, then near and nearer drew,
Thinking only of her brilliant eyes, and green and purple hue —
Thinking only of her crested head — poor foolish thing! At last,
Up jumped the cunning Spider, and fiercely held her fast.
He dragged her up his winding stair, into his dismal den,
Within his little parlour — but she ne'er came out again!
And now dear little children, who may this story read,
To idle, silly flattering words, I pray you ne'er give heed:
Unto an evil counselor, close heart and ear and eye,
And take a lesson from this tale, of the Spider and the Fly.

22. The Donkey by G K Chesterton

25 Short Animal Poems for Kids
When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born.
With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil’s walking parody
On all four-footed things.
The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.
Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.

23. She Sights a Bird – She Chuckles by Emily Dickinson

25 Short Animal Poems for Kids
She sights a Bird—she chuckles—
She flattens—then she crawls—
She runs without the look of feet—
Her eyes increase to Balls—
Her Jaws stir—twitching—hungry—
Her Teeth can hardly stand—
She leaps, but Robin leaped the first—
Ah, Pussy, of the Sand,
The Hopes so juicy ripening—
You almost bathed your Tongue—
When Bliss disclosed a hundred Toes—
And fled with every one—

24. The Walrus and the Carpenter by Lewis Carroll

25 Short Animal Poems for Kids
The sun was shining on the sea,
Shining with all his might:
He did his very best to make
The billows smooth and bright—
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of the night.
The moon was shining sulkily,
Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there
After the day was done—
"It's very rude of him," she said,
"To come and spoil the fun!"
The sea was wet as wet could be,
The sands were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
No cloud was in the sky:
No birds were flying overhead—
There were no birds to fly.
The Walrus and the Carpenter
Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of sand:
"If this were only cleared away,"
They said, "it would be grand!"
"If seven maids with seven mops
Swept it for half a year,
Do you suppose," the Walrus said,
"That they could get it clear?"
"I doubt it," said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear.
"O Oysters come and walk with us!"
The Walrus did beseech.
"A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach:
We cannot do with more than four,
To give a hand to each."
The eldest Oyster looked at him,
But not a word he said:
The eldest Oyster winked his eye,
And shook his heavy head--
Meaning to say he did not choose
To leave the oyster-bed.
But four young Oysters hurried up,
All eager for the treat:
Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
Their shoes were clean and neat—
And this was odd, because, you know,
They hadn't any feet.
Four other Oysters followed them,
And yet another four;
And thick and fast they came at last,
And more, and more, and more--
All hopping through the frothy waves,
And scrambling to the shore.
The Walrus and the Carpenter
Walked on a mile or so,
And then they rested on a rock,
Conveniently low:
And all the little Oysters stood
And waited in a row.
"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax—
Of cabbages—and kings—
And why the sea is boiling hot—
And whether pigs have wings."
"But wait a bit," the Oysters cried,
"Before we have our chat;
For some of us are out of breath,
And all of us are fat!"
"No hurry!" said the Carpenter.
They thanked him much for that.
"A loaf of bread," the Walrus said,
"Is what we chiefly need;
Pepper and vinegar besides
Are very good indeed—
Now, if you're ready, Oysters dear,
We can begin to feed."
"But not on us," the Oysters cried,
Turning a little blue.
"After such kindness, that would be
A dismal thing to do!"
"The night is fine," the Walrus said,
"Do you admire the view?"
"It was so kind of you to come,
And you are very nice!"
The Carpenter said nothing but,
Cut us another slice.
I wish you were not quite so deaf—
I've had to ask you twice!
"It seems a shame," the Walrus said,
"To play them such a trick.
After we've brought them out so far
And made them trot so quick!"
The Carpenter said nothing but,
The butter's spread too thick!
"I weep for you," the Walrus said,
"I deeply sympathize."
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.
"O Oysters," said the Carpenter,
"You've had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?"
But answer came there none—
And this was scarcely odd, because
They'd eaten every one.

25. Snake by D H Lawrence

25 Short Animal Poems for Kids
A snake came to my water-trough
On a hot, hot day, and I in pyjamas for the heat,
To drink there.
In the deep, strange-scented shade of the great dark carob tree
I came down the steps with my pitcher
And must wait, must stand and wait, for there he was at the trough
before me.
He reached down from a fissure in the earth-wall in the gloom
And trailed his yellow-brown slackness soft-bellied down, over
the edge of the stone trough
And rested his throat upon the stone bottom,
And where the water had dripped from the tap, in a small clearness,
He sipped with his straight mouth,
Softly drank through his straight gums, into his slack long body,
Silently.
Someone was before me at my water-trough,
And I, like a second-comer, waiting.
He lifted his head from his drinking, as cattle do,
And looked at me vaguely, as drinking cattle do,
And flickered his two-forked tongue from his lips, and mused
a moment,
And stooped and drank a little more,
Being earth-brown, earth-golden from the burning bowels
of the earth
On the day of Sicilian July, with Etna smoking.
The voice of my education said to me
He must be killed,
For in Sicily the black, black snakes are innocent, the gold
are venomous.
And voices in me said, If you were a man
You would take a stick and break him now, and finish him off.
But must I confess how I liked him,
How glad I was he had come like a guest in quiet, to drink
at my water-trough
And depart peaceful, pacified, and thankless,
Into the burning bowels of this earth?
Was it cowardice, that I dared not kill him?
Was it perversity, that I longed to talk to him?
Was it humility, to feel so honoured?
I felt so honoured.
And yet those voices:
If you were not afraid, you would kill him!
And truly I was afraid, I was most afraid,
But even so, honoured still more
That he should seek my hospitality
From out the dark door of the secret earth.
He drank enough
And lifted his head, dreamily, as one who has drunken,
And flickered his tongue like a forked night on the air, so black,
Seeming to lick his lips,
And looked around like a god, unseeing, into the air,
And slowly turned his head,
And slowly, very slowly, as if thrice adream,
Proceeded to draw his slow length curving round
And climb again the broken bank of my wall-face.
And as he put his head into that dreadful hole,
And as he slowly drew up, snake-easing his shoulders,
and entered farther,
A sort of horror, a sort of protest against his withdrawing into
that horrid black hole,
Deliberately going into the blackness, and slowly drawing
himself after,
Overcame me now his back was turned.
I looked round, I put down my pitcher,
I picked up a clumsy log
And threw it at the water-trough with a clatter.
I think it did not hit him,
But suddenly that part of him that was left behind convulsed
in an undignified haste,
Writhed like lightning, and was gone
Into the black hole, the earth-lipped fissure in the wall-front,
At which, in the intense still noon, I stared with fascination.
And immediately I regretted it.
I thought how paltry, how vulgar, what a mean act!
I despised myself and the voices of my accursed human education.
And I thought of the albatross,
And I wished he would come back, my snake.
For he seemed to me again like a king,
Like a king in exile, uncrowned in the underworld,
Now due to be crowned again.
And so, I missed my chance with one of the lords
Of life.
And I have something to expiate:
A pettiness.

Hope you and your child loved reading these poems just as we enjoyed putting together this collection of some of the best poems on animals.

About the author:

Compiled by Dr Priscilla J S Selvaraj, PhD (Eng & Edu) and published on 28 February 2020.

The author is an educationist, language specialist and writer. In a career spanning over two decades, she has taught from preschool to B-School and trained teachers, master trainers and software professionals. She is also a former member of curriculum and syllabus development committees (Govt of Tamil Nadu). Her passion for the written word matches her enthusiasm for entertaining little kids by breaking out into nursery rhymes.

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