Wednesday, February 21, 2018

DMC: "Epitaph for an Axolotl" by Kate O'Neil and Philippa Cook


Cotopaxi the axolotl
lived a little, was loved a lotl.
Within his bowl he was a king
‘cause Pippa gave him everything:

plants and stones and water clear—
a kingdom for a royal peer.
But even Royals make mistakes
and when they do, them’s the breaks.
When creatures leave their proper sphere,
chances are, their end is near.
Paxi did what he didn’t oughta—
went for air instead of water.
Now in Heaven they see his charm,

where he can come to no more harm.

© Kate O'Neil and Philippa Cook

Click HERE to read this month's interview with J. Patrick Lewis and Jane Yolen. They have challenged us to write an epitaph poem—a funny or clever verse that might appear on your chosen subject's tombstone.

Post your poem on our February 2018 padlet. While some contributions will be featured as daily ditties this month, all contributions will be included in a wrap-up celebration this Friday, February 23rd, and one lucky participant will win a copy of their morbidly humorous collection from Charlesbridge:


  1. Poor Cotopaxi! But memorialized in a ditty... how many axolotl's can claim that? I did a bit of research and discovered that it's not uncommon for axolotls to jump out of their tanks. Curious creatures in more ways than one!

  2. Those first two lines are great...what a set up!

  3. I had to do some research. What an interesting fish! I love your rhyme and story!

    1. What she said!
      (and thanks for sending me down the rabbit hole of Internet research!)

  4. From Jane:

    I sort of want Pippa to have a last bit.. . how about:

    Pippa's sad, and hopes that God'l
    Take care of her axolotl.