The Ass’s Jawbone

When I tell
This little tale
About a man
Swallowed by a whale,

My tongue gets tangled
In what I say,
It won’t come out
The proper way.

I’ll hurry on
I mustn’t delly;
Jonah was in
The whale of a belly.

Oh dear, not belly
I knew I’d fail.
He spent three days
In the belly of a whale.

For words like “dally,”
I might say “delly,”
But this time I know
I’m right about belly

Jonah swallowed…
Oh leave me alone
Let’s talk about Samson
And the ass’s jawbone.

When we first retired from the Air Force, we went to a small town church with a young pastor named Harry Thrasher. Everyone loved Harry and he preached great sermons. There was only one problem. He made up a lot of his own words. We used to call it “Thrasherese.”

He also had problems with one Bible story that he liked to use frequently, to illustrate some point or another, in a sermon. No matter how hard he tried, “Jonah in the belly of a whale,” would always come out as “Jonah in the whale of a belly.”

I had a lot of fun with it at his expense, and even made him a little wooden whale with Jonah inside. I wrote The Ass’s Jawbone with him in mind.

He is now the pastor of a large church and is a very successful minister, but I bet that he still says “whale of a belly” when he preaches about Jonah.


Leave a comment...

Leave a Comment