Birds of a Feather


Birds of a Feather

There’s a paddling of ducklings in my lake
And a purr of pussycats half awake

There’s a trembling of finches on my lawn
And a purr of pussycats stretch and yawn

There’s a troubling of hummingbirds in my blossom
And a purr of pussycats playing possum

There’s a pitying of turtledoves cooing to their mate
And a purr of pussycats rubbing on the gate

There’s a quarrel of sparrows busy with their fight
And a purr of pussycats keeping out of sight

There’s a peep of chickens and a bevy of quails
And a purr of pussycats wagging their tails

But then, in the sky, is a murder of crows
And a prickle of pussycats hide in the rose

Jackie Hosking

Poetry Prompt #41 continued Fur, Feathers and Fins


This week due to an incredible response we will continue for one more week.

“Fur, Feathers and Fins”

These three words are stretching into three great weeks. On 25th of October we had 998 views to this site. Please keep emailing people the link to get the word out there.

This weeks quote to ponder on:

Maya Angelou (1928-2014) was a poet and civil rights activist who wrote seven autobiographies



Do you know what I am?

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Do you know what I am?



Click, clack, click, clack

No, I’m not a knick-knack

Do you know what I am?

Can you do what I can?


Crash, clang, bang, bash

Eyes flash the cymbals smash

Put me down, see me go

Watch me give a tuneful show


Walking, marching, shuffling too

Do you need another clue?


Wind me up and I will roam

Romping, plodding through your home.

In a fancy stripy jacket,

Making such an awesome racket.


A very long and curly tail

Swirling like a garden snail

Brown and fluffy, squashed flat nose

Arms and legs and curly toes.


Do you know what I am?

Can you do what I can?


I am of course a children’s toy,

A lovable pal for girl or boy.

A wind-up monkey with a hat

To chase away that sneaky cat!


By Tabitha Page



The Dreamers


The Dreamers


Once a waddling goose and gander

On a search for something grander

Left their farmyard to meander

Down a stream.

Now the goose was named Cassandra

And the gander, Alexander,

With a new home by the water

As their dream.


They had found the farmyard boring

With the crows’ incessant cawing

And the sleepy dogs all snoring

Through the day.

While the river looked appealing

And it gave the pair a feeling

In their new home by the water

They would stay.


But the farmer had been boasting

Of the geese he planned on roasting

At a dinner he was hosting

For his friend.

So he searched in haste to catch them

And he speedily despatched them.

Thus the dreamers by the river

Met their end.


Monty Edwards


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Fire! (published in Anna the Goanna 2000)



Old Kangaroo and his mate Cockatoo

were travelling south

where the icy winds blew.

As night came around,

they found some flat ground

in the shade of a cave

where the river gums grew.


“It’s freezing down here,”

grumbled Old Kangaroo.

“But I’ll make a good fire

to warm us right through.

I’ve never seen trees

As enormous as these,

I’m sure I can find us a big log or two.”


So into the bush

Hopped Old Kangaroo,

Straight to the place

Where the biggest trees grew.

He was back in a while

With a humungous pile,

“This is great,” said his mate, “cos I’m shivering too.”


Then Old Kangaroo and his mate Cockatoo

fetched small sticks and big sticks

and old sticks and new.

They even took leaves

from the bushes and trees.

“This will soon warm our bones,” laughed the triumphant two.


As the fire came alive,

the old fellows threw

more branches, more logs,

and a giant tree or two.

Way up on high

they could see the sparks fly.

“I’m feeling much warmer,” said Old Kangaroo.


Then down from the ranges,

a little breeze blew,

and it whistled and whined

through the trees as it grew.

Soon everywhere

in the hot smoky air,

sparks from the roaring fire floated and flew.


“Now I’m … ouch! … much too hot,

complained Old Kangaroo,

“Well my feathers are melting,”

cried poor Cockatoo.

And as a fresh breeze

carried sparks to the trees,

the two silly friends were beginning to stew.


“Bushfire!” At last cried one of the two,

“Everything’s burning!

What are we to do?”

But try as they might,

it was too late to fight,

for feathers and fur were burning up too.


Yes, feathers and fur were burning up too –

Nothing was saved

as the fire roared through.

All the birds and the bees,

all the bushes and trees,

all the creatures that lived there,

had perished there too.


*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *


Many years later, a young kangaroo,

was travelling south

with his mate Cockatoo.

They stopped at the scene

where the fire had been,

and decided to camp

where the river gums grew.


“I’m shaking with cold,”

said one of the two.

“Let’s have a fire

to warm us right through.

I’ll get some sticks,

and a few little bits.

We don’t need too much –

just a small fire will do.”


Jill McDougall


“The Fur-O-Saurus” with Teacher notes

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The Fur-O-Saurus moved in one day

And I’m sad to say that it’s here to stay.

It raids the cupboards and fridge for food;

When you’re not looking, it’s up to no good.

Fur-O-Saurus; Fur-O-Saurus;

Its eyes and teeth are quite enormous.

Fur-O-Saurus; Fur-O-Saurus:

A cat or a dog; or is it a walrus?


The Fur-O-Saurus sleeps on my bed.

I have suggested the roof instead.

Rodents don’t interest it at all –

“A rat – what’s that? A mouse? Too small!”

Fur-O-Saurus; Fur-O-Saurus;

Its eyes and teeth are quite enormous.

Fur-O-Saurus; Fur-O-Saurus;

If there was a tune, this would be a chorus.


The Fur-O-Saurus is not polite.

It lazes all day and yowls all night.

It’s large and lumpy and striped and strange;

It has fleas and flies and mumps and mange.

Fur-O-Saurus; Fur-O-Saurus;

Its eyes and teeth are quite enormous.

Fur-O-Saurus; Fur-O-Saurus;

In a certain light, it is weirdly gorgeous.


I tried to donate it to the zoo:

“A Fur-O-Saurus – it’s old but new.”

But sad to say, they turned it down;

I’ll wait till the circus comes to town.

Fur-O-Saurus; Fur-O-Saurus;

Its eyes and teeth are quite enormous.

Fur-O-Saurus; Fur-O-Saurus;

What a spectacular performance!


Jaz Stutley

This poem started life as a song, which is why a tune is mentioned. Do you think it would make a good song?

It is a about a large beast which could look like a dog or cat, or perhaps a dinosaur with fur. In any case you don’t wish to meet one on a dark night!
It is lazy, eats a lot, and doesn’t do anything useful. Do you know an animal like this? You could draw a picture of what you think a Fur-o-Saurus looks like.

Some of the rhymes are “near” rhymes – such as food and good; enormous and walrus, chorus, gorgeous, performance.
Sometimes a writer can use this method when there is a word that is difficult to rhyme – as long as the rhythm works when you say the lines out loud.
Do you think it does? Beat out the rhythm as you read the lines.

Also there is an “internal rhyme” (words that rhyme in the same line) near the beginning of the poem. Can you find it?

Fantastic Feathers


Fantastic Feathers


Compared to fur or human hair

feathers are a smart affair.

As down, their fluffy unzipped form

of under-feathers, keeps birds warm.


But barbs and barbules, shaft and quill

hide clues to how birds fly with skill.

Their contour feathers, zipped and long

make wafting wings so light yet strong.


From dowdy mums to vivid males

with crazy crests and splendid tails;

for camouflage or bright display

feathers have lots of roles to play.


by Celia Berrell

First published in Double Helix (September 2015)

Reproduced with permission of CSIRO


Take Note: from pillows to pens, feathers have helped humans sleep well and become educated!  Recently we learnt that some dinosaurs were feathered too.  Compared to fur, feathers are fascinatingly complex and some are almost magically colourful.  I find feathers fabulously beautiful.