I am always conscious of my responsibility to pass culture on to my four-year-old granddaughter R.  Thus I recited to her the following oxymoron-filled rhyme, which I think I got from my parents, on the way back from school the other day:

One fine day, in the middle of the night,

Two dead men got up to fight;

One blind man to see fair play;

One dumb man to shout ‘Hooray!’

An old lame donkey came galloping by,

Gave them all a kick in the eye;

Kicked them over a ten-foot wall

Into a dry ditch, which drowned them all.

She enjoyed it, and remembered it well enough to do a fair job of repeating it to the family later. Her father disputed the accuracy of it, though, and gave another rendition along the lines of this one, which I found on the net:

One bright morning in the middle of the night,

Two dead boys got up to fight.

Back-to-back they faced one another,

Drew their swords and shot each other.

One was blind and the other couldn’t see,

So they chose a dummy for a referee.

A blind man went to see fair play,

A dumb man went to shout “hooray!”

A deaf policeman heard the noise,

And came and killed those two dead boys.

A paralyzed donkey walking by,

Kicked the copper in the eye,

Sent him through a nine inch wall,

Into a dry ditch and drowned them all.

(If you don’t believe this lie is true,

Ask the blind man — he saw it too!)

There seem to be other variations on it as well. I’m wondering if everyone has come across it in one form or another, and if there are any further interesting versions?

Let me try something in this genre:

It was a fine and stormy day

When Jick and Jall went in to play,

The birds were flying through the ground,

In curving squares all round and round;

Snakes slithered high up in the sky,

Leviathan pods all fluttered by,

Which opened for a clump of whales

Descending up the keys in scales;

A mountain jumped into the sea

Because it wanted dry to be,

In hushly silence place this took –

For nobody was there to look;

And sudden showers of meteors

Were saturating skates in scores …

Nah! It is starting to make far too much sense, and wandering away from oxymorons!

© October 2012 Colonialist (WordPress/Blogs24)

About colonialist

Active septic geranium who plays with words writing fantasy novels and professionally editing, with notes writing classical music, and with riding a mountain bike, horses and dinghies. Recently Indie Publishing has been added to this list.
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  1. Gobetween says:

    All new to me, my parents never bothered with stuff like that. Your grandchildren will at least have a language advantage with your guidance.


  2. What a romp, Col! Laughed out loud at your own moronic oxen I will never be able to take oxymorons seriously again.


  3. gipsika says:

    LOL. We’ve got a similar one in German. “It was very dark as the moon shone brightly, glittery green on a white meadow…”


    • colonialist says:

      That sounds like a good one? What action takes place?


      • gipsika says:

        It won’t rhyme – I can’t get translations to rhyme, but maybe at least I can get the rhythm to work.

        Twas very dark as the moon shone brightly,
        Glittery green on a meadow white,
        As a carriage as slow as a snail
        Came speeding around the corner. (Alright.)

        Inside it sat people, standing
        Silently immersed in talk
        As a hare that had been shot dead
        Was ice-skating on the sandbank outside.

        And upon a quaint red bench
        Which had recently been painted green
        Sat a blond cherubic young man
        With pitch-devil-fork-black hair.

        Next to him an ancient hag
        Counting, possibly, fifteen years
        And she ate some bread-and-butter
        Which was spread with lard.

        (Did I get that right? “Schmaltz” is pork or goose fat. Does that translate to lard? Of course, in music “schmaltz” – note the small capital letter – pertains to a soppy-sounding passage.)


  4. Zirkie says:

    I see my comment disappeared again. Testing to see whether this one will show! Have a great weekend, Col!


  5. nrhatch says:

    Never heard either of them before.
    Which is just as well . . . I enjoyed yours more.


  6. Zirkie says:

    LOL!! Col, are my comments regarded as spam and does it lie in a spam folder?


  7. As I started reading, I was thinking “oh, I remember this one” but then you put up the next and now I truly don’t know what I remember. I remember then, that I remember nothing!


  8. I love those … I know the same one that Ghia mentioned 🙂 I don’t know yours though 🙂 Going to print them 🙂


  9. adinparadise says:

    i only know my version, which goes:
    “One fine day in the middle of the night,
    Two dead men got up to fight.
    Back to back they faced one another,
    With their swords, they shot each other.” 🙂


  10. The Asian says:

    Never heard of these before, but I got a good giggle from them 🙂
    Hope that today was better than yesterday!


  11. Pussycat44 says:

    These made me laugh. I used to say the first one to my boys and later to the junior pupils I taught. Very oxy-moronic!


  12. 68ghia says:

    Those rhymes can get quite involved
    The one I know is about the blind man looking out a windowless room, talking to his deaf daughter, sitting on the corner of a round table…
    And that’s about it I’m afraid!!


  13. Patti says:

    I remember hearing some version of that story as well – though I don’t remember it even close to verbatim, I do know the version I heard was not exactly the same – I definitely remember the “back to back they faced each other, drew their swords and shot each other” angle of it. And the part about drowning in a dry ditch.


  14. optie says:

    Those rhymes really tickle my silly side 🙂


  15. kragenhai says:

    Having read the Colonialist’s blog, the blind man said to his deaf daughter while they were sitting round a square table, eating boiled potatoes raw, “I see, so that is what an oxymoron is!”


  16. newsferret says:

    Confusing I must say,
    perhaps for me intellectually
    it is a very off day


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