Tuesday, March 1, 2005


By Ruth Plumly Thompson
Author of Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz, "The Wizard of Pumperdink", "King, King! Double King!", etc.

Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, October 19, 1919.

Heighho! In the kingdom of Kerry, my ducks,
As the clock in the courtyard struck eight
It happened, as sure as my best boots are buckled,
A pumpkin pie burst from its plate!

But, pshaw! Let me tell it aright. All the court
And the king had been dining, the feast
Had progressed to the pie, a huge pumpkin one. I
Might remark though 'twas last 'twas not least.

The king and the queen soon disposed of their slices
But half a pie stood on the plate.
And as each one remarked to his neighbor, "How nice is
This pie," Why - the court clock struck eight.

Then up sprang the half pie! Next thing a half coach
Crashed around among dishes and spoons!
The king drew his sword, and the court ladies fell
In a series of suitable swoons.

A wise man was summoned, a doctor as well,
The distress of the company increases,
Oh, dear! They had eaten a half of a coach
And were full of uncomfortable pieces!

That pumpkin, sweethearts, had grown up from a seed
Of a fairy tale pumpkin, the same
Cinderella had gone to the ball in, it turned
Every night to a coach. What a shame!

Unawares they had eaten of cushions and wood,
Gilded curtains, springs, lap robe and spoke,
They groaned with dismay and, I really must say,
It was rather a dolorous joke.

But just at the worst, pshaw, the court clock struck twelve
And the pumpkin coach turned back to pie,
The half that was eaten and that on the plate,
But wasn't it comical? My!

By Ruth Plumly Thompson
Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, October 28, 1917


My, what sharp guessers you are! Why, there were hundreds of correct answers to the riddle verses. In their proper order they are: Butter, jam, bridge, ball, palms and nails. China is the Flowery Kingdom and England the Tight Little Island.

Tell me now, why is a nutcracker like an after-dinner speaker?

And what do you find here:

A part of the body,
And part of that part,
Is a game which is just
About ready to start!

A part of a book
Often causes us pain,
And no end of distress
To our doctor's sure gain.

A part of a tree
We must sometimes e'en take
And an athlete is surely
Concealed in each cake!

Copyright © 2005 Eric Shanower and David Maxine. All rights reserved.