Belly like a bream

This short traditional rhyme is a wonderful invitation to close observation and imaginative invention. It is a list of ingredients to create an animal, and it works through its use of similes. The exciting thing about it for the writer, and consequently the reader, is to find new and surprising smiles. One of the pleasures of this rhyme is its tight rhythm which is hard to replicate. We can compensate for that by the details we choose. Try ‘wings like wrangled wire’ or stripes like ‘the slither of black snakes’.

How a Good Greyhound is Shaped

He needs
A head like a snake, a neck like a drake,
A back like a beam, a belly like a bream,
A foot like a cat, and a tail like a rat.

Find you own form for this. Choose the animal and think about its distinctive features. Off you go!

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