Thursday, June 18, 2015

Limerick Alley: Robert Schechter

Emu in the Snow, by Mark Dumont

G'day, mate. 


Limerick Alley's gone walkabout, ya see. We're down under today thanks to Bob Schechter. He may not be an Aussie, but he's a decent bloke as peoples go... and fair dinkum when it come to writing limericks. Have a squiz.

A large flightless bird! You may deem you
Know just what it is, so you scream you
Are seeing an ostrich!
But no, that's prepostrich!
Its feet have three toes. It's an emu.

© Robert Schechter. All rights reserved.

Photo by Airwolfhound
Really. An ostrich. We are not amused.

Ostrich Toes, Steph Hillier
Our visit to the Billabong Koala & Wildlife Park, 2008

Built for speed–
ugly as a box of blowflies.

Three toes, ya see... shapely, symmetric-
like, can run the pants off a kangaroo.  
Bugger off, Wallaby, I'm talking to the girlie!

Michelle here. Can we get back Bob, please? Bob's emu limerick is one of 60 (!) that appear in The Omnificent English Dictionary in Limerick Form (OEDILF). Besides limericks, Bob writes poetry for children, light verse for adults, and translations of poems. You can enjoy examples of each on his website. Several of his poems have been published in Highlights for Children, as well as in newspapers, magazines, journals, and anthologies, including the forthcoming National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry edited by J. Patrick Lewis.  His verse and jokes have earned him the title of “Rookie of the Year” and “Loser of the Year” in the Wash­ing­ton Post Style Invi­ta­tional, and he even had a limerick about taxes performed on air during a segment of NPR's Weekend Marketplace.

Having sent me several limericks to choose from, I couldn't resist sharing one more. This one is from a contest where the first two lines are from Edward Lear, but the last three are Bob's own digestive-inspired genius:

There was an Old Person of Chili
Whose conduct was painful and silly;
For dinner she’d dine
On a baked porcupine,
Though it left her esophagus quilly.

© Robert Schechter. All rights reserved.

Beauty! Goodonya, Bob. 
(But the emu one is better.) 
Gotta run– hooroo!

Emu, by Ian Sanderson

Hooroo, Emu! And to you, too, my TLD friends.

It's been such fun sharing Bob Schechter's limericks today– ta, Bob!

For the road, here's one of our Barnes family favorites: "Old Man Emu" by John Williamson.

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There's only one week left to submit a rhyming treehouse ditty for Corey Rosen Schwartz's DMC challenge this month.  Click HERE for all the details. Featured ditties this week included my own, plus three others by Janie Lazo, Linda Baie, and Michelle Kogan.

Mary Lee Hahn is also featuring animals at A Year of Reading.  Join her for today's Poetry Friday roundup.


  1. What a fun post today, Michelle! Who doesn't love a limerick, even an emu one!

  2. Oh, emus! What fun. Enjoyed Bob's poems and your down under lingo :).

  3. Prepostrich is my new favorite word. Thanks for the fun limericks and post.

  4. HAHAHAHAHA! Oh, my. That emu is quite the character. Downright prepostrich, for sure!

    Good on ya, Bob! Loved the limericks!

  5. What a fun post! I learned about emus and had a good laugh. Thanks for sharing Bob's limericks today, Michelle!

  6. Very fun! Loved Bob's limericks. I had no idea about the three toes! Oh the things you can learn from a good limerick!

  7. Bob's limericks are TOO funny! The idea of a "baked porcupine" is funny, but when you add in a "quilly esophagus" it is over the top! Thanks for smiles today, Michelle! =)

  8. <3 Love both of the limericks! Even though emus scare me a little bit...

  9. Great stuff. I particularly like the Old Person of Chili one. Thanks!

  10. These unknown pockets of creativity always amaze me!

  11. These are hilarious! Thanks so much for sharing, Michelle and Bob!

  12. New life for limericks! (Which truly qualify as ditties.) Thanks to you and Bob!