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Children’s Verse


Paterson the Puffin
Was a most unusual bird.
Many of his friends agreed
His looks were quite absurd.
His plumage it was black and white,
His beak was red and yellow,
His feet were orange like a clown’s -
A most peculiar fellow!
Now puffins are ‘monogamous’,
(Which means they mate for life),
And Paterson was truly fond
Of his sweet puffin wife.
They lived upon a craggy isle
Beyond the western coast,
Where other seabirds often smiled
To hear his proud wife boast,
O Paterson my Paterson!
Sweet parrot of the sea!
You truly are the king of birds,
Fit for a queen like me!


Now Paterson could barely fly
And when he tried to land,
He’d either crash into the sea
Or bounce across the sand!
O Paterson my Paterson!
Proud master of the ocean!
You truly are magnificent,
Sheer poetry in motion!


The others laughed at Paterson
And when he tried to sing,
They’d cover up their ears and shout,
‘Good heavens! What a din!’
O Paterson my Paterson!
Sweet songbird of delight!
Sing a song of love for me
Before the morning light!


His dancing it was clumsy
And he capered like a goon!
His orange feet they flipped and flopped
Beneath the silv’ry moon.
O Paterson my Paterson!
Sweet prince of the Atlantic!
Your really are quite elegant,
And hopelessly romantic!


But he could dive beneath the waves
And dance amongst the fishes.
He caught a dozen for his wife
Who found them most delicious!
O Paterson my Paterson!
Sweet emperor of me!
Such lovely gifts you bring me
From the bottom of the sea!



Mr. Puffin’s wedding
Was a very grand affair.
All his distant cousins
From the Hebrides were there.

Dressed in silk tuxedos
They arrived in single file,
Looking rather nervous
As they shuffled down the aisle.

Soon the bride herself arrived
Upon a seashell carriage,
Pulled by sixteen walruses
Who’d come to see the marriage.

The service was conducted
By a dignified Great Auk,
Who stepped up to the pulpit
To address the gathered flock.

‘Do you take this puffin
For your lawful, wedded wife?
To cherish and protect her
And to love her all your life?’

‘I do!’ cried Mr. Puffin
As he fumbled with the ring,
And weeping salty tears of joy
He slipped it on her wing.

‘I now pronounce you bird and wife!’
The Great Auk proudly said.
Many birds began to sniff
And several tears were shed.


The newlyweds’ reception
Was a wonderful success!
Everybody raved about
The bride’s exquisite dress.

The music was enchanting
And the seafood just divine.
Everybody helped themselves
To caviar and brine.

The razorbill was riotous
And danced a mad quadrille,
Balancing a glass of punch
And trying not to spill.

The gannet gobbled everything
(Including several guests),
He tried to kiss a kittiwake
And made himself a pest.

The guillemot was garrulous
And told the same old tale,
About the time he hitched a ride
Upon a humpback whale.

Eventually the newlyweds
Got tired and went to bed.
‘Such a lovely couple!’
As the oystercatcher said.

Mr. Puffin’s wedding
Was a very grand affair.
All the birds attended,
Such a shame you weren’t there!

Copyright (c) 2021 Andrew Neil MacLeod

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