Friday, 26 February 2010

Three clever ducklings

The poem Three clever ducklings is for our younger readers. Here's one! His name is Arlo.

The ducks have names too, as we shall see.

Three clever ducklings

There were three ducklings
with snow white coats
and pretty hats of brown.
Three plump and happy ducklings.

And the first of them was Ogagack
and the second Wulliwack,
the third of them was Wulliwuck
(she had a lot of pluck).

There came a fox, Herr Frissifrass,
who thought, it would be such a treat
to have those ducks - yes, all the three
with lettuce and an egg to eat!

"Come here," he called, "my Ogagack!
I love you so, my Wulliwack!
And here for Wulliwuck
are delicious sweets to suck!"

Those ducklings knew something was wrong
and said, "Herr Frissifrass,
please excuse us very much -
but we simply don't have time to pass!"

"We must fly now," said Ogagack,
"To great grandmama," said Wulliwack.
"At once!" said Wulliwuck
(she had a lot of pluck).

What should three ducklings do
In the belly of a hungry fox?
For him, they were too smart!

"Enjoy your meal!" called Ogagack.
"Have a good day!" called Wulliwack.
And Wulliwuck called out:
"Bye, bye, you dumb old fox!"

Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ...
At this point in the story the fox stuck out his tongue in anger! The moral, children, is that when you are in the park, or on the bus, or some such place, never - really never - accept presents from strangers; one of them could be a fox.
gw2010 - a free translation, from the German, of a rhyme for children by Peter Hammerschlag (1905-41)


  1. I hope these three ducks are floating in your bath, even as we speak? :)

  2. All 3 ducks all at once in the bath? Heaven forbid! There'd be no room for my submarine :)

  3. And then there's Struwwelpeter, for those who like a little moral instruction slipped in...

  4. A good reminder, Susan. As for Stru'peter - I think the Mark Twain translations are not very good. They could be done much better.


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