Shawn L. Bird is a poet, a novelist, and an educator. Here is my artist’s conception of her, but I do not do her justice, and I hope you visit her site to find that that is true.
Recently Shawn posted an “Unfinished Canadian Joke” about a beaver crossing the road, thus:
On the side of the highway:
a body of thick fur and flat leathery tail.
Why did the beaver cross the road?
I guess we’ll never know.
I commented, thus:
Because with Beavers it’s one dam thing after another.
She replied, thus:
You should lodge a complaint.
And from then on it went like this:
Gary: I tried, but my tail fell flat.
Shawn: Keep gnawing at it, and I’m sure it’ll work out.
Gary: Is that incisor information?
Shawn: Dam right! Stick to it!
Gary: Would that I could, but I can’t afford to be chewsy. [sad face]
Shawn: Yes, you have to beavery careful…
Gary: I’ll bite–why?
Shawn: It wood be quite a tail to explain.
Gary: That’s fine, as long as it’s not pulp fiction and I can sink my teeth into it.
Shawn: O no, it’s tree-mendous.
Gary: Ah, sweet Miss Tree of Life. No wonder you’re so poplar. And why aren’t I? Elmentary, my dear Watson…
Shawn: Well now we’re branching out, aren’t we?
Gary: I beleaf so.
Shawn: I willow you for this!
Gary: Weep not, O Poet. I know payback’s a beech.
Shawn, in her e-mail kindly granting permission to make a post of this, says, “I’m still pondering my rebuttal! You may have won the pun-off! [winky face]” But rebuttal or no, she is the winner: She inspired, she generously gave of her time and wit, and she gave as good or better than she got. She proves that the much-maligned Pun has layers of value, as a vehicle for playfulness, as a way of geometrically expanding reality, and as an engagement of mind that helps stave off mind-loss. Life handled lightly from time to time is more enjoyable, and this is one way to enjoy it. Thank you, Shawn!