Small Fred Larry The Polar Bear
In nineteen thirty-who at a zoo in Los Angeles a polar bear named Larry performed for the crowd, they'd cheer aloud He'd go slipping and sliding, jumping and diving The people would laugh. They took his photograph. Larry was born at the zoo He never knew as he grew older anything colder than Los Angeles which is warmer than Alaska where Larry's parents were born. CHORUS: Larry the polar bear He'd never harm a hair on a child's head He'd do tricks for them at the Los Angeles zoo, as he'd been taught to by his keeper Fran. Fran would teach him new tricks A funny pose scratching his nose He knew there'd be a fish at the end, Fran was his friend. One day she said "Larry, you'll be in the movies with real movie stars and a few simple tricks and lots of fish to be filmed on location in Alaska." and so they rehearsed for Larry's big scene, He's supposed to be mean and growl at a woman who was rescued by a man who scared him away It was stupid but fun to do. The director would frown and jump up and down kind of like the chimps at the zoo. CHORUS At last came the day of the trip They put Larry in a crate twelve foot by eight and he sailed aboard a steamship The journey was long and boring Fran would visit she'd talk to him and bring him his favorite fish then the noise and the rumbling stopped and they lowered him down set the crate on the frozen ground and opened it Fran said "Larry, we're here It's time for your tricks." And Larry appeared He looked out at the gray Bering Sea He squinted and puzzled put his nose to the wind and the scent of the seal made him tremble He smelled the fox in its lair and the weasel and hare felt lichen and snow 'neath his paws, and he looked at the tundra and ice, looked at the loon in the sky and he ran slowly at first kind of lumbering he ran gathering speed gathering memories from within old and dim growing stronger to run and to swim, to dive and to float, the cold at his throat But warm inside 'neath the fur and hide Ocean and ice all around him He ran He ran He ran and he swam away.