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THE RARIE

ONE TIME THERE WAS THIS MAN WHO LIVED ALL ALONE, AND HE
VERY OFTEN FELT PRETTY LONESOME. MANY FRIENDS OF HIS HAD
SUGGESTED THAT HE GO OUT AND BUY HIMSELF A PET TO KEEP
HIM COMPANY, BUT HE JUST DIDN'T CARE FOR PETS AS A RULE--
UNLESS IT WAS THE ONLY KIND OF ITS SPECIE IN THE WORLD.
THIS MAN USED TO MAKE WEEKLY ROUNDS TO ALL THE PET SHOPS
IN HIS CITY TO SEE IF THEY HAD POSSIBLY COME UP WITH A
PET WHICH WOULD REALLY TICKLE HIS FANCY, BUT HE NEVER
FOUND ONE THAT WAS QUITE RIGHT. HE LOOKED AT YELLOW-AND-
RED ELEPHANTS, PURPLE POLAR BEARS, ORANGE AARDVARKS, AND
EQUALLY STRANGE ANIMALS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD, BUT
HE STILL FELT HE WOULDN'T BE SATISFIED WITH THESE.
AFTER ALL, EVERYONE IN HIS CITY HAD AT LEAST ONE ORANGE
AARDVARK.
THIS FELLA HAD JUST ABOUT GIVEN UP ALL HOPE OF FINDING
WHAT HE WAS LOOKING FOR, WHEN ONE DAY HE HAPPENED TO
WANDER INTO A LITTLE PET SHOP AND IMMEDIATELY SPOTTED
THE MOST ADORABLE LITTLE LUMP OF FUR HE HAD EVER SEEN.
HE KNEW AT THAT INSTANT IT WAS EXACTLY WHAT HE HAD BEEN
LOOKING FOR ALL HIS LIFE. HE ASKED THE PROPRIETOR ABOUT
THIS LITTLE ANIMAL, AND WAS TOLD IT WAS A "RARIE," THE
ONLY ONE OF ITS KIND IN EXISTENCE. THE MAN JUST COULDN'T
RESIST, AND HE BOUGHT IT RIGHT THERE ON THE SPOT, AND
WALKED HOME WITH IT IN A LITTLE CAGE, HAPPIER THAN HE
HAD EVER BEEN IN HIS WHOLE LIFE.
WELL, SIR, THIS HERE FELLA REALLY LOVED HIS NEW PET. HE
DIDN'T MIND AT ALL HAVING TO WALK 37 MILES EACH WEEK IN
ORDER TO BUY THE LITTLE FELLA FOOD! AFTER ALL, RARIE-
FOOD ISN'T TOO EASY TO COME BY THESE DAYS--ESPECIALLY
IN THE OFF-SEASON. HE BECAME SO ATTACHED TO IT, YOU
WOULD THINK IT WAS HIS CHILD. HE FED IT, BATHED IT, AND
EXERCISED IT DAILY, AS HE PROUDLY WATCHED IT GROW, AND
GROW, AND GROW, AND GROW. THIS SEEMED TO BE THE ONLY
REAL PROBLEM WITH HAVING A PET SUCH AS THIS. WHEN WELL
CARED FOR, RARIES GROW TO AN ENORMOUS SIZE! AFTER ABOUT A
MONTH, THE MAN FOUND IT NECESSARY TO MOVE OUT OF HIS
APARTMENT AND BUY A SMALL HOUSE SO THAT HIS PET WOULD
HAVE ROOM TO ROMP AND FROLIC (RARIES NEED LOTS OF ROOM
TO ROMP AND FROLIC AND THEY GET CLAUSTROPHOBIA VERY
EASILY). SURE ENOUGH, A COUPLE MONTHS LATER THE MAN
HAD TO MOVE OUT OF HIS LITTLE HOUSE AND INTO A BIG
HOUSE, JUST SO HIS PET COULD ROMP AND FROLIC TO ITS HEART'S
DESIRE. OF COURSE, THE MAN DIDN'T MIND HAVING TO MAKE
THE MOVE--HE LOVED THAT PET LIKE A CHILD. BUT IT WASN'T
LONG BEFORE THE MAN REALIZED THAT EVEN HIS NICE, BIG HOUSE
STILL WASN'T BIG ENOUGH, AND SO HE BOUGHT A SMALL RANCH,
JUST SO HIS PET WOULD HAVE ROOM TO ROMP AND FROLIC, WITH
ALWAYS THE HOPE IN MIND THAT HIS RARIE WOULD SOON BECOME
FULL GROWN AND WOULDN'T REQUIRE MORE ROOM THAN HE ALREADY
HAD.
THIS, HOWEVER, WAS NOT QUITE THE CASE. NO SOONER THAN
THEY HAD FINALLY SETTLED ON THEIR NICE, LITTLE RANCH, THE
MAN REALIZED THAT WITHIN A FEW MONTHS HIS RARIE WOULD NEED
MORE ROOM YET, JUST SO HIS PET WOULD HAVE THE ROOM TO ROMP
AND FROLIC.
THE MAN WAS GETTING DESPERATE. HE HAD VISIONS OF HIS
WONDERFUL LITTLE PET BECOMING ALTOGETHER TOO BIG TO
MAINTAIN. AS A LAST RESORT, HE WENT OUT AND BOUGHT THE
BIGGEST RANCH HE COULD FIND, KNOWING THAT THIS WAS THE
LAST MOVE HE WAS ABLE TO MAKE FOR THE SAKE OF HIS PET.
SURE, HE LOVED THE ANIMAL AND HAD GROWN VERY ATTACHED TO
IT, BUT HE KNEW THERE WAS A LIMIT.
AFTER THE MAN AND HIS RARIE HAD LIVED ON THE BIG RANCH
FOR ABOUT A YEAR, DURING WHICH HIS LITTLE COMPANION
CONTINUED GROWING AT A FANTASTIC RATE, HE KNEW THEY WOULD
HAVE TO PART, AS MUCH AS IT HURT BOTH OF THEM. ONE WINTER
EVENING THE MAN PRETENDED HE WAS GOING TO TAKE HIS PET
FOR A WALK IN THE WOODS, AND WITH A TEAR IN HIS EYE, THE
MAN STARTED WALKING WITH THE RARIE FOLLOWING ON A LEASH.
THEY WALKED QUIETLY UNTIL ALMOST DAYBREAK, AND THE MAN THEN
TIED THE LEASH TO A LARGE TREE, BID THE RARIE A SAD
FAREWELL, AND QUICKLY WENT BACK TO HIS HOUSE BEFORE HE
HAD A LAST MINUTE CHANGE OF HEART.
WHEN HE FINALLY GOT BACK TO HIS HOUSE, WHAT DO YOU SUPPOSE
HE SAW SITTING ALONGSIDE (AND TOWERING OVER) HIS HOUSE?
WHY, IF IT WASN'T HIS ONE AND ONLY PET RARIE, JUST AS
HAPPY AND PLAYFUL AS COULD BE, WAITING PATIENTLY FOR ITS
MASTER TO RETURN AND FEED IT. THE MAN COULDN'T BELIEVE
HIS EYES! HE WAS SO HAPPY TO SEE IT AGAIN. AT THIS
MOMENT, THE MAN DECIDED TO AT LEAST KEEP THE RARIE UNTIL
THE SPRING, BUT WHEN THE FIRST THAW COMES, HE WOULD ONCE
AGAIN HAVE TO GET RID OF HIS WONDERFUL PET.
AFTER A LONG, COLD, CRAMPED WINTER, THE FIRST THAW SET IN
AND ONCE AGAIN THE MAN SET OUT TO DISPOSE OF HIS PET,
WHICH, BY NOW, HAD EVEN OUTGROWN THE BIG RANCH. THERE
WAS NO WAY OUT, SO THE MAN GOT A LARGE TRUCK, AND PUT THE
RARIE INTO IT AND DROVE TO A VERY HIGH CLIFF NOT FAR FROM
HIS RANCH. HE BACKED THE DUMPTRUCK TO THE EDGE OF THE
CLIFF AND ACTIVATED THE MECHANISM CAUSING THE RARIE TO
START TO SLIDE OUT AND OVER THE EDGE. THE RARIE DIDN'T
KNOW WHAT WAS HAPPENING WHEN IT LOOKED OUT AND SAW NOTHING
BELOW IT FOR HUNDREDS OF FEET. WITH A VERY INQUISITIVE
LOOK ON ITS FACE, IT TURNED AROUND TO THE MAN. "HEY!"
IT EXCLAIMED, "IT"S A LONG WAY TO TIP A RARIE!'

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; CHICAGO

Keyword(s): SONG: IT'S A LONG WAY TO TIPPERARY

Subject headings: 6677 Formula Tale

Date learned: 00-00-1965

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