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Pumberly Pott’s Unpredictable Niece

by Jack Prelutsky
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Pumberly Pott's Unpredictable Niece by Jack Prelutsky

Pumberly Pott’s unpredictable niece
declared with her usual zeal
that she would devour, by piece after piece,
her uncle’s new automobile.

She set to her task very early one morn
by consuming the whole carburetor;
then she swallowed the windshield, the headlights and horn,
and the steering wheel just a bit later.

She chomped on the doors, on the handles and locks,
on the valves and the pistons and rings;
on the air pump and fuel pump and spark plugs and shocks,
on the brakes and the axles and springs.

When her uncle arrived she was chewing a hash
made of leftover hoses and wires
(she’d just finished eating the clutch and the dash
and the steel-belted radial tires).

“Oh, what have you done to my auto,” he cried,
“you strange unpredictable lass?”
“The thing won’t work, Uncle Pott,” she replied,
and he wept, “It was just out of gas.”

  — Jack Prelutsky

Reprinted by permission of the author.

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About the Author

Jack Prelutsky has filled more than fifty books of verse with his inventive wordplay, including the national bestsellers The Wizard, Scranimals, and The New Kid on the Block. He is also the author of Be Glad Your Nose is on your Face, a collection of his most celebrated verses. He was named the nation’s first Children’s Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation. Jack Prelutsky lives in Washington State.

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