Jan Brzechwa
A Strange, Strange Duck

Under a bush, by the water,
Once lived a mother-duck’s daughter,
But rather than stick to the banks,
She walked round looking for pranks.

She jumped in a barber’s chair:
“I’ll have some cheese, my good sir!”

A pharmacy was round the bend
“A quarter-pounder of milk, friend.”

Next came the laundry ramp,
She asked for a postal stamp.

 Older ducks ruffled their feathers:
“You won’t see us flocking together!”

She’d only lay eggs boiled hard,
Adorned her crest with a card,
Teased a few ducks and a chick,
by combing herself with a pick.

She’d toss poppy seed in a flock
and call out for poppycock.
Munching old ribbons with foam
She’d say it was pasta from Rome,
And having swallowed some money,
She swore: “You’ll get it back honey.”

The other ducks could but fret:
“What good is a weirdo like that?”

Finally, as happens with luck,
A man said: “Roast me that duck!”

A chef brought his craft to the spot,
A baking pan and what not,

But then, right out of thin air,
The duck-roast turned into hare,
More still, neatly wrapped in sweet tuck.

Now, that’s what I call a strange duck!

(Translated by: Witold Wojtaszko)