Limericks are fun! Very often, during a short session on creative writing, we work with limericks. They’re good fun, sparking much conversation and laughter. Many, many children love limericks too – one of my students even wrote a short story in limericks, which is part of Flickering Flames – An Anthology of Poems and Short Stories. But that one deserves a post on its own, so I’ll come to it some other time.
Recently, we were talking about limericks at a workshop for 7 to 10-year-olds. One girl wanted to share a limerick she knew by heart, so she did. It’s a famous one by Edward Lear, which may be familiar to many.
There was an old man with a beard,
Who said, “It is just as I feared—
Two owls and a hen,
Four larks and a wren,
Have all built their nests in my beard!”
Very often, though, in a workshop that has a widish age-group of children, I need to explain a lot of words before everyone in the room finds the limerick amusing. So I explained the idea … I told them that wrens and larks are birds … I also explained that the humour lies in the sense of the ridiculous …
The seven-year-old listened, wide-eyed. After that, she asked, “What is a beard?” And before I could respond, she went on in a very hushed voice, “Is it … is it a drink?”