A Zooish Riddle
by Monty Edwards
Today I’m all excited ’cause we’re going to the zoo
And there’s something that we’ll see there that I’ll now describe to you.
Since it’s found throughout Australia you would hardly call it rare –
Live for long in any city and you’ll surely find one there.
Not so common in the country, but you still may see a few,
It’s no cuddly koala nor a bounding kangaroo.
Do not think of an echidna or a little bandicoot
This is something that you’ll never ever hear described as cute.
In appearance, on occasions, it’s been likened to a snake,
But it’s certainly not legless in the moves that it can make.
If you see a very large one, you will wish it wasn’t so,
Should it move along quite slowly, you may even see it grow!
You can rule out any reptile, bird or fish that comes to mind,
But I will not tease you further, that would really be unkind.
It’s a line. No, not a lion. There, I’ve given you a clue.
It’s a line of ticket buyers gaining entry through a queue!
- Submitted in response to Poetry Prompt #7
Author comment: I found the array of spellings used to convey the final sound of “queue” quite remarkable and used several. Among them, the zoo provided a useful context for the poem, as aside from rhyming with the key word, the zoo is a familiar and positive experience for most children. Describing the queue as if an unnamed exhibit seemed a good way of arousing curiosity without compromising truth on the way to a surprise conclusion.