Dolly's Follies, or The Song of Mouton

By Dr. Victor Fet

To William S. Gilbert


Alceste, scientist
Arcady Baer, geneticist, the Director of Fort St. Germain
Gene Onegin, Russian geneticist
Li, Chinese scientist
Mary, biologist
Mouton, lamb
Becky, an ewe
Chorus (scientists, sheep, grasses, etc)


My dear friend - please moor your boat.
My name's Alceste. Here stops the hustle.
We now enter the magic castle.
They lower the drawbridge, we cross the moat.
Today I am your faithful guide
To everything that's happening inside.

Fort St. Germain, of times Venetian,
Now has a new and noble mission -
By all the known modern means,
Here we, the scientists, clone genes.
No funding source we are denied
For agricultural improvement,
We're hidden from that silly movement
Against the products modified.
We clone the sheep, our Dolly's kin,
Her sons and daughters sans the father;
They all do differ from each other
By genes beneath their wooly skin.
So listen to my simple childish rhyme
About what happened once upon a time.

In one of Europe's smaller states,
Behind the tightly guarded borders,
Behind the high secured gates
We clone genes for all disorders.
We ponder every bit and piece
Which we can our knowledge base on;
We found the gene for golden fleece -
The one that haunted the noble Jason.
And Nature's crude, unruly mix
We comb and solder, patch and fix.

My name is Baer - Arcady Baer,
And I am known everywhere.
You surely know how I look
From your biology textbook,
Which has my face, both stern and wise,
And talks about my Nobel Prize.

But now from the public life I'm gone;
Fort St. Germain - that's where I clone
Of all the creatures DNA,
And no bills I have to pay;
I'm given a fantastic lab,
And states compete to pick my tab.

Here's Gene Onegin, a friend of mine.
He mastered our genetic art;
He knows chromosomes by heart,
Their secret blueprint and design.
I'm so glad that he has joined
My lab at such a crucial point.

Don't be afraid - do draw near:
I'm a genetic engineer.
I have this wonderful devotion
Of which the public has no notion:
You have no clue of know-how,
Yet we did clone a perfect cow,
A perfect lamb, a perfect ewe.

We undergo a strict review
By a special panel academic;
Due to the recent epidemic,
Our fortress is a solid shield;
No single germ we here do carry.
Please follow me. My name is Mary.
So many things we have to yield
With grants from private foundations
And special funds from the United Nations.

My name is Li: I join the action
From the Academy Chinese
With international inspection.
This fortress of the ages olden
Does truly bring us knowledge golden
On rice, and soy, and meat, and cheese.

Can't you see, by gosh, by golly,
That's the famous sheep named Dolly;
We were bound to find her here, I knew!
Look what knowledge now allows,
Skip the bulls and clone the cows;
Dolly is a very special ewe!

From the simple tiny cells
We clone everything that sells;
No breeding, just the clones on every farm;
Every farmer buys a kit
Where the genes are spliced and split,
And allegedly can do us no harm.

This is the end of nature as we know it -
To our blueprint we can now grow it;
And each and every insect, beast and grass
Will live its life as specified by us!