Ole Ornery

He was the orneriest old dog
That anyone had ever seen.
He ate all of my trailer tires
And then ate half the front door screen

He ate both of my backyard trees,
First the peach tree, and then the pine.
And then he chewed right plum in half
The 250 volt ‘lectric line.

One day about a week ago
Ole Ornery just turned plain mean.
It just was after he had drunk
A half-gallon of gasoline.

He mauled the neighbor’s old tomcat,
Chased the mailman about a mile.
He jumped the neighbor’s three pit bulls
And left them in a mangled pile.

Then today right at half past two,
While he was chasing Cousin Fred,
Somewhere between the house and barn
He just keeled over, stone cold dead.

It was the strangest weirdest thing,
The vet said, he had ever seen.
He wasn’t dead from being sick,
He’d just run out of gasoline!

Ninety percent of all teenagers in America have heard the joke that Ole Ornery was based on so I thought that it would make a cute poem. A good humorous poem is like a good joke. Without a good punch line it is not very fumy.

I tell kids who ask me how to write a funny poem to take the funniest joke that they have heard and put it to rhyme. If the joke has already been tested and found funny by public opinion how can your poem fail?

The poem most often turns out better than the joke because in searching for rhyme you have to add more to the story and when something rhymes it is just a whole lot more fun to read.


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