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By Rudolf Ammann, 4 December 2003

Right. You knew this was coming: Limericks.

Rule, though: your piece must include a place near the place mentioned in the previous piece. ‘Near’ means that it has to be located in a neighbouring canton, province, prefecture, county, bundesland, state or country. Disregard oceans: it’s OK to jump from, say, Ireland to Iceland.

The place must also be hyperlinked to a map. As a reminder:

<a href="http://www.creative-writing.ch">Home</a>

will produce the following link:


Caution: make sure the quotation marks in your hyperlink are straight quotes (technically known as ‘double primes’); if you copy and paste the verse from a text processing application that automatically transforms quotation marks into typographically correct ‘curly quotes’ (that’s “ and ”), the link will break. If in doubt, use the Preview button before you post.

Update: To get a map of a particular place, go to MapQuest, select a country, enter the place name and hit ‘Get Map’. Then copy and paste the URL (yes, it’ll be a bit long, but never mind) from your browser’s address field into a link tag as above.

Here’s your starting point:

There was this geezer from Bern
Who thought he would earn
Some major credit
When he started to edit
The Ode on a Grecian Urn.

Your Contributions

Hi Ruedi, here’s a quick one. Any similarity to young women we know or have known is purely coincidental. :-) Even Lear limmericks have been known to cheat once in a while (the so-called alliterative cop-out).

There was a young lady from Biel
From whose suitors she tried to conceal
A large muscled hairy chest
With a frilled Sunday-best
That turned her from Julian to Jill.

That one didn’t work so well, the structure was a bit lax. Let’s try again. Lear’s tradition does not, of course, always oblige one to make sense.

There was an old codger from Thun
Whose hobby, by the light of the moon
Was fishing for fillet
In rusty old skillets
By using a runcible spoon

A young sports fanatic from Brig
after watching the champions league
      sent his boss a brief note
      that he had a sore throat
and a mild case of combat fatigue

An unsanitary young man in Airolo
fought his halitosis by sucking a Polo
the success was so-so
(he’d ignored his b.o.),
which explains why he is still solo.

A reckless young man from Ascona
took part in a race at Daytona.
    An ill-starred first round
    had him leave the ground
as Daytona’s prime organ donor.

There once was a girl in Des Moines
Who didn’t want to be all alone.
So she did a great laugh,
that split her in half
and that was the end of her fun.

There once was a man in Eastwick,
who was known to be prone to kick.
But he was cured from that
when he kicked a hat
that sat on a heavy and unyielding brick.

A bonnie wee lassie from Scotland
had moved to a rather hot land
where the sun was so bright
her red hair turned white
and her skin looked like that of a cowhand

There once was a crone from Stavanger
who figured that she would look younger
      if she ate only salad.
      And the end of this ballad?
Predictably, she died of hunger.

There once was a worm in Warwick
who thought his waist was much too thick
so he reduced his consumption
of compost at luncheon
and -you know what?- that actually did the trick!

There once was a bottle in York
who was suddenly left by its cork.
An investigation
produced a sensation,
for the cork had run away with a fork!!

There was a young man from Leeds
who stepped on a packet of peas,
he slipped and he slithered,
he wriggled and withered,
and landed in a patch of weeds.

There once was a cow in Mas Nou
who loved to hear cats say ‘meow’.
In order to hear
this sound loud and clear
she kicked the felines against a trough.

There once was a horse from Marseille
which oft like a donkey would bray
which was a disgrace
to th’ equestrian race
but when asked to desist it said “Neigh!”


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