Pumberly Pott’s Unpredictable Niece

By Jack Prelutsky b. 1940 Jack Prelutsky
Pumberly Pott’s unpredictable niece
declared with her usual zeal
that she would devour, by piece after piece,
her uncle’s new automobile.

She set to her task very early one morn
by consuming the whole carburetor;
then she swallowed the windshield, the headlights and horn,
and the steering wheel just a bit later.

She chomped on the doors, on the handles and locks,
on the valves and the pistons and rings;
on the air pump and fuel pump and spark plugs and shocks,
on the brakes and the axles and springs.

When her uncle arrived she was chewing a hash
made of leftover hoses and wires
(she’d just finished eating the clutch and the dash
and the steel-belted radial tires).

“Oh, what have you done to my auto,” he cried,
“you strange unpredictable lass?”
“The thing won’t work, Uncle Pott,” she replied,
and he wept, “It was just out of gas.”

Text © 1978 Jack Prelutsky. Used by Permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

Source: The Random House Book of Poetry for Children (HarperCollins Publishers Inc, 1978)

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Poet Jack Prelutsky b. 1940

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

Subjects Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Arts & Sciences, Humor & Satire

Poetic Terms Ballad, Rhymed Stanza

 Jack  Prelutsky

Biography

Jack Prelutsky is a creator of inventive poems for children and adults alike. He served as the Poetry Foundation’s Children’s Poet Laureate from 2006 to 2008. Prelutsky grew up in the Bronx, and when he was young he studied classical music; though he gave up pursuing a career as an opera singer to concentrate on writing, he continues to sing.

In a Scholastic.com interview, when asked where his ideas come from, Prelutsky said, . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Arts & Sciences, Humor & Satire

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

Poetic Terms Ballad, Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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