If I Had …

    “If I Had … ,” Friend, Aug. 1973, 18–19

    If I Had …

    If I had the ears

    of an elephant,

    I could hear one

    bug talking to

    another bug

    under a rock

    at the far end

    of the garden.

    If I had the

    eyelids of an owl,

    I could wink

    without moving

    the rest of my face.

    If I had the hop

    of a kangaroo,

    I could be a

    basketball star.

    If I had the stripes of a zebra,

    no one would know whether

    I was black with white stripes

    or white with black stripes—

    and I would not tell.

    If I had the neck of a giraffe,

    I could see the cookies on the

    highest shelf of the kitchen.

    If I had

    the mouth of

    a hippopotamus,

    I could eat three meals at

    once. Then I wouldn’t

    have to waste time eating

    lunch and dinner.

    If I had the arms of an octopus,

    I could play the organ and the

    flute and the drums—

    all at the same time.

    If I had the voice

    of a lion, everyone

    would hear me

    when I said, “I’m hungry.”

    If I had the face

    of a raccoon, I wouldn’t

    have to wear a mask

    for Halloween.

    If I had the

    claws of a

    cat, I could


    to the top

    of a pole

    with the



    But I have

    the ears

    and the eyes

    and the voice

    and the mouth

    and the arms

    and the neck

    of a person.

    And that’s just

    right for me!

    Illustrated by Jerry Harston