Sunday, July 1, 2018


By Ruth Plumly Thompson
Author of The Hungry Tiger of Oz, Ozoplaning with the Wizard in Oz, and The Wish Express, etc.

Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, August 31, 1919.

Once on a high time all the birds
Decided to choose a king.
They summoned all the feathered folk
And soon upon the wing

Came goose and duck and robin red,

Blue heron, owl and wren,
The crow and blackbird and the gull,
The pheasant and the hen.

More birds than ever I could tell.
The judges take their stand.
Old Mr. Owl presides and calls
The roll in manner grand.

“In choosing, mark ye well, appearance
Counts in any king,
Also the voice,” admonished he,
“And power, strength of wing.”

Outside the gate the peacock stood
And heard the owl with glee.
“It’s very plain,” he murmured, “that
He means a bird like me.”

“I’ll wait until the last bell sounds,
Then sweep into the hall,
With regal head and tail outspread,
And overwhelm them all.”

And so he waited till the last,
Then strutted through the gate.
The birds all craned their necks to see
Who came so proud and late.

But, oh! just then the gate slammed to,
His tail was left outside,
Clipped off neatly and completely,
So here’s what comes of pride.

Without his tail the peacock is
A sorry sight to see.
And while they crowned the eagle KING
He hid behind a tree.

By Ruth Plumly Thompson 
Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, March 20, 1921. 

The Forgetful Poet’s Puzzles

In last week’s verses our forgetful friend left out know and can’t, used up for down and down for up, awake for asleep and left out ice cream in his very last rhyme. Outside of this, it was pretty good poetry.


I always spend a day, in spring,
Out in the good old Zoo,
I like to see the bearlarpo
And all the monkeys, too.

The lions chatter in their cage,
The bears are most polite,
The monkeys roar with hungry rage,
The hippo’s -----

Is very large. The elephant
Can eat his share I’ll say.
For breakfast he can eat a ton
Or wagonload of -----.

It’s very pleasant, you’ll agree,
To watch the seals eat fish,
Though their voice aren’t as cultured
As a gentleman could -----.

The tiger’s spots and leopard’s stripes
Are odd, one must admit.
I love the Zoo, I really ----
Now aren’t YOU fond of -----?

Well, well, WELL! There are so many mistakes in this poem one scarcely knows where to begin. I wonder if you can find them all?

[Answers next time.]

Copyright © 2018 Eric Shanower and David Maxine. All rights reserved.