Hippochondriac

Harry the zoo hippochondriac
was a wonderful pain in the butt.
The zookeepers all sat and wondered
what went on there inside of his nut.

He never went out 
to enjoy the warm sun,
and never would venture
to swim, play, or run.

He'd moan and he'd groan
then flop hard in the hay,
convinced some zoo patron
had bubonic plague.

When spring cottonwoods bloomed
and sent tufts on the breeze,
he was sure that pneumonia 
was what made him sneeze.

Once a blob of dried mud 
stuck behind his left ear,
convinced him he'd cancer
and life's ending was near.

He would bellow and blow 
that the flies overhead,
Brought pestilence deadly
sure to knock him down dead.

Any kindly meant checkup
by the resident vet,
was surely an omen
and for days he would fret.

So through forty two years
he would miserably wait,
for the deathly bad illness  
that would seal his sad fate.

'Till age-ed and slowing
he looked back on his days,
and realized the joy
he'd let pass on the way.

Determined to master 
his time that remained,
he rose and went out
to soak up the sun's rays.

Happy at last 
to be out in the sun,
he started to trot
then broke into a run.

But his bones and his muscles
had grown wasted and thin,
his heart had grown weak
and beat frailly within.

The years of seclusion
left him withered and sick,
his irrational fears
played a horrible trick. 

He collapsed in a heap
landing hard on the ground,
frantically looking 
at the scenes all around.

Children were happy
the birds singing songs,
a light cooling breeze
moved white clouds along.

The pond's glistening waters
were just out of reach,
His cousins relaxing
stretched out on the beach.

He closed his weak eyes
knowing now what he'd missed,
by letting his worries
hold his soul in their fists.

His time wasted away
life now left him behind,
and passed on to others
who could happiness find.