It is a narrative, free-verse parody of a bedtime story. A narrative poem tells a story, and a parody makes fun of another work or type of literature. Free verse doesn't have regular patterns of rhyme or rhythm. As the title indicates, Macbeth is making fun of bedtime stories that usually begin with "Long long ago. . ." and end with ". . .and they lived happily ever after". It satirizes European attitudes toward colonialism and humanity's relationship to the natural world. Historically, most European countries would go into poor, undeveloped countries and take the responsibility of governing that country. Macbeth says countries like Britain and France looked down upon these conquered peoples as savages, treating them badly in order to save them. Macbeth also makes fun of man's tendency to hunt a species of animal until it is almost extinct and then to save what is left of the species by putting them in zoos or history museums. In all, the poem has 13 quatrains (four-line stanzas) of verse.