How Ogden Nash saved my bacon!

When I was in junior high school, they began a test program called Phase Elective English.  It consisted of modules of varying difficulty.  Depending on how good of a student you were, you weren’t allowed to just take the easier classes (ranked 1 to 5, with 5 being most difficult – if your English skills were lacking you couldn’t take those as they felt it would be above your ability).

One of those classes was called American Humor, and we were encouraged to bring in outside items, and “tests” and “homework” were a little free-form.  In one instance, we were supposed to bring in a humorous poem as the homework assignment, but I had forgotten to do it.  Thinking quickly, I asked the teacher if I would still get credit for it if I turned it in before class ended.  She looked skeptical that I could pull that off, but said yes that would be fine.

I quickly jotted down this poem by Ogden Nash (a favorite poet at that time) and submitted that as the homework assignment – and got the grade for the day!

Today, all these many years later, I can still recite this poem from memory.  Silly, nonsensical – yes.  But just a feel-good poem that brings a smile to my face every time.

The Duck

Behold the duck.
It does not cluck.
A cluck it lacks.
It quacks.
It is specially fond
Of a puddle or pond.
When it dines or sups,
It bottoms ups.

Funny the things we remember through the course of our lives.


Ogden Nash [1902-1971] an amazing humourist whose short pithy poems entered the realm as an American Literature treasure . With more than twenty books to his credit he is a versatile writer for children of all ages.

[source:   (though search the first line and you will find it elsewhere also)]

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