Grandmother's Alphabet


Grandmother's Alphabet was published in Ms. Richards' collection for very young children, Three Minute Stories, illustrated by Josephine H. Bruce (1914). It is a great wordplay poem, perfect for toddlers who know their ABC's! Does your child know all the animals named in this poem? What about a "xiphias"?
Grandmother's Alphabet, cowThe Ant is so busy
It makes her quite dizzy,
She says that her head
Goes whirl-around-whizzy.

The Bunny is funny;
He cannot make honey,
Nor write with a pen,
Nor shoot with a gunny.

The Cow is not able
To sit at the table,
And so we must send her
To eat in the stable.

The Duck goes a-quacking
And clicking and clacking,
And eats all she finds
From beeswax to blacking.

Grandmother's Alphabet, elephantThe Elephant mighty
Can not find his nighty!
It makes him feel nervous,
And fractious and flighty.

The Fish has no wish
To be put in a dish,
So he’s off like a flash
With a swishety-swish.

The Goose has no use
For an Indian pappoose,
So she looks at it sadly,
And says, “What’s the use?”

The Hen lays an egg,
And stands on one leg,
And says, “Cut-ker-dah-cut!
Observe me, I beg!”

The Ibis is pretty,
But not very witty;
And when he is tired
He plays with the kitty.

Grandmother's Alphabet, mooseThe Jaguar so cruel
Was killed in a duel,
And left his poor wife
To eat nothing but gruel.

The kind Kangaroo
Has so little to do,
That he talks to the Moolly
And tries to say “Moo!”

The Lizard goes sighing,
And sobbing and crying,
Because his poor tail
Got shrunk in the dyeing.

The Moose is all humpy,
And grumpy and lumpy,
And if you say, “Boo!”
He is off with a thumpy.

The Newt has a neighbor
Who fights with a sabre,
And when he has conquered
He beats on a tabor.

Grandmother's Alphabet, owlThe Owl and the Oyster
Went off for a royster,
And when they came back
They were put in a cloister.

The Pig bought a carrot
To give to his parrot:
But Poll was so frightened
She hid in the garret.

The Queen in her crown
And velvety gown,
She went to the circus,
And laughed at the clown.

The Ram and the Rattle-
Snake had a great battle:
For each called the other
A tittlety-tattle.

Grandmother's Alphabet, snakeThe Stork had a fancy
To go to a dancy,
But people said, “No!
You are rather too prancy!”

The timorous Tapir
Was reading the paper,
And found that his aunt
Had married a draper.

The Unicorn tried
On a camel to ride,
But there came a sad fall
To himself and his pride.

The Viper is vain,
]And cannot explain
Why people persist so
In calling him plain.

Grandmother's Alphabet, woodchuck, zebraThe Woodchuck is wealthy,
And hearty and healthy:
But sometimes his movements
Are snooping and stealthy.

The Xiphias perks his
Head up to see Xerxes:
And thinks him much finer
Than Tartars or Turkses.

The Yammering Yak
Has spots on his back:
He can’t get them off,
So he puts on a sacque.

The Zebra with zeal
Was cooking a meal:
But he found it was onions
And stopped with a squeal.

Featured in our collection, Pre-K Wordplay! Your child may also enjoy My First Alphabet. What other words have the same beginning sound as what is in each picture?


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Add Grandmother's Alphabet to your library.

Return to the Laura E. Richards library , or . . . Read the next poem; Little Boy

Or read more short stories for kids in our Children's Library

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