So I leave limericks to the professionals. Like Morris Bishop. Here’s a sample, which Louis Untermeyer obviously included in “The Treasury of Laughter”:
A ghoulish old fellow from Kent
Encrusted his wife in cement;
He said, with a sneer:
“I was careful, my dear,
To follow your natural bent.”
Not exactly my cup of tea, form-wise, but I won’t say I disapprove of the content. Untermeyer says Bishop is not “an originator” of light verse as is Ogden Nash, but “knows how to surprise the reader with a combination of round humor and barbed nonsense.”
Which makes me why Untermeyer didn’t include Bishop’s “How to Treat Elves” if he likes that round humor and surprise:
I met an elf man in the woods,
The wee-est little elf!
Sitting under a mushroom tall--
'Twas taller than himself!
"How do you do, little elf," I said,
"And what do you do all day?"
"I dance 'n fwolic about," said he,
"'N scuttle about and play;"
"I s'prise the butterflies, 'n when
A katydid I see,
'Katy didn't' I say, and he
Says 'Katy did!' to me!
"I hide behind my mushroom stalk
When Mister Mole comes froo,
'N only jus' to fwighten him
I jump out'n say 'Boo!'
"'N then I swing on a cobweb swing
Up in the air so high,
'N the cwickets chirp to hear me sing
"'N then I play with the baby chicks,
I call them, chick chick chick!
'N what do you think of that?" said he.
I said, "It makes me sick.
"It gives me sharp and shooting pains
To listen to such drool."
I lifted up my foot, and squashed
The God damn little fool.
Ah-hah. Not so nice. But there is that nice surprise Untermeyer promised. Somehow, I think he and Elmer Fudd would get along just fine.