Poem: Collective Nouns And Crime.

Collective Nouns And Crime.


‘Who burgled a business of flies’?

Asked a murmuration of starlings.

‘Who stole a parcel of penguins,

Wrapped in a rag of colts

And tied with a string of ponies’?


‘A murder of crows  did it

With an ambush of tigers as cover’,

Lied a storytelling of crows.

But they were told to stop fibbing

And be silent as a bed of clams.


‘This is a fine kettle of hawks’

Said a parliament of owls

Sitting in a building of rooks,

With a fine tower of giraffes

Behind a high hedge of heron.


‘We must ask a shrewdness of apes

To unwrap such a knot of toads.

For we have no idea of the culprit,

Though we were all fee-paying pupils

At a top public school of dolphins’.


But soon the crime was solved

By a clever sleuth of bears,

Who were presented with a bouquet of pheasants,

While a rhumba of rattlesnakes danced

To the music of a band of gorillas.


The crime had been committed

By a cowardice of curs

Aided by a criminal skulk of foxes.

Cleverly tracked by bears, following a litter of pigs

That led straight to their hiding place.


‘We could cut off all your heads

With a sord of mallards’, the criminals were told,

‘But we have been persuaded to clemency

By a lamentation of swans

And a pitying of turtledoves.’


‘Your fate has now been carefully decided,

Upon the random choice of a card

Drawn blindly from a pack of dogs.

Your punishment shall be duly delivered

By a really hard smack of jellyfish.’




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