The Natural History Lesson                                                                                                   

Now, children, I 'll eel-lucidate the nature of an eel,
Eel-liminating anything that I may think or feel,
And just eel-laborating on the fundamental facts
Concerning how this "snake-like fish" conducts itself and acts.

An eel, then, is eel-lastic; in a pond or in a torrent
It shortens and eel-longates as the circumstances warrant.
When now and then you catch one as you 're fishing off a dock,
You 'll find that he 's eel-lectric, and it gives you quite a shock.

The eel is quite eel-lusive; it is very hard to nab him;
He wriggles easily away from those who try to grab him.
Some people like to eat him as a tidbit at a meal;
But when I vote for victuals, I will not eel-lect an eel.

He has 'nt much emotion. so the scientists have stated;
An eel is seldom downcast, and he 's never much eel-lated.
He 's not a bit romantic, that's according to the dope;
There is n't any record of an eel that would eel-lope.

He 's very cold and selfish, of philanthropy he 's wary;
He is n't interested in things eel-eemosynary.
And when his time eel-lapses and his final hour has come,
He finds a quiet haven in the eel eel-ysium.

So, as the dictionary does n't hold another word
That fits the punning nature of this history absurd,
I'll have to close the lexicon and make my bow and go
In a manner, as the French say, that is strictly comme eel faut!

Published in: St. NIcholas - March 1927

© 2000-2006, Berton Braley Cyber Museum.
All rights reserved.
Contact Webmaster Peter Leeflang