‘Why Pterodactyls Make Great Pets’ by Mark F. Stone The Society October 12, 2019 Children's, Culture, Humor, Poetry 36 Comments Choosing a pet can be vexing and yet it’s important to vet all the choices you’ve got. If you’re in search of a pet who will perch on your silver white birch, it’s the best of the lot. Dactyls are clever as hunters and never go hungry whenever they’re ready to eat. Not just a yard bird, the dactyl’s a guard bird and, as such, a hard bird for others to beat. Its beak and claws will make trespassers pause and give cat burglars cause to look elsewhere for loot. Dactyls obey each command that you say. Thus, it’s rarely that they must be given the boot. Next thing to do is decide whether you are inclined to own two, since the choice may be hard. Two pterodactyls (and I will be tactful) would be quite impactful when cleaning the yard. Dactyls like dating, the joys of relating. It’s alienating to live all alone. Dactyls may mope if you force them to cope with the loss of all hope for a love of their own. Dactyl romance should be given a chance so I’ll offer my answer, precise and succinct. Always buy two, otherwise it is you who, without meaning to, help make dactyls extinct! Mark F. Stone grew up near Seattle, Washington. After graduating from Brandeis University and Stanford Law School, he worked as an attorney for the United States Air Force for 33 years. He served 11 years as an active duty Air Force JAG attorney. He then served 22 years as an Air Force civilian attorney (while serving part time in the Air Force Reserves as a JAG attorney). He began writing poems in 2005, as a way to woo his bride-to-be into wedlock. He recently retired, giving him time to focus on poetry. He lives in central Ohio. NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets. 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CODEC News:Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 36 Responses Benjamin Daniel Lukey October 12, 2019 Mr. Stone, Your poem made my morning, and I suspect I will have the tactful/impactful line stuck in my head for days. The whimsical style and clever rhymes are reminiscent of the best of Shel Silverstein. Bravo! Reply Mark F. Stone October 13, 2019 Benjamin, Your words are very kind. Thank you. Mark Reply Joe Tessitore October 12, 2019 A tapestry of rhyme, with a healthy dose of humor added to the mix! A pleasure to read! Reply Mark F. Stone October 13, 2019 Joe, I’m glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for commenting. Mark Reply Amy Foreman October 12, 2019 Wonderful, Mark! Reply Mark F. Stone October 13, 2019 Amy, Thank you very much! Mark Reply James A. Tweedie October 12, 2019 Mark, After reading your poem . . Petrarch would likely be scratching his head, And Milton would probably roll over dead. Donne would have seizures and gag or else choke,, And Tennyson probably misses the joke. But Shakespeare, I think, would just laugh and say, “Here,” “Let’s pop in the pub and I’ll buy you a beer!” What a wonderfully odd contortion of the English language and marvelously amusing distraction from reality. And the most side-splitting thing about the poem is that you wrote it in dactyls! Reply Mark F. Stone October 13, 2019 James, I was reading about dactyls in the book Writing Metrical Poetry by William Baer. I decided to try my hand at a dactylic meter poem, but I needed a subject matter. Pterodactyls seemed like a logical choice! And I love your poem, by the way. Mark Reply James Sale October 12, 2019 I was privileged to hear Mark read this and what great fun it was! Marvellous! Reply Mark F. Stone October 13, 2019 James, Thank you for hosting the SCP-sponsored poetry reading at Bryant Park in Manhattan last June. You were a very polished, erudite and witty emcee, and I enjoyed reading the poem at the event. I’m glad you like the poem. Mark Reply Joseph S. Salemi October 12, 2019 Dactylic rhyming couplets, with internal rhyme in the first line! Great work, Mark. Reply Mark F. Stone October 13, 2019 Professor Salemi, Thank you. I very much appreciate your assessment. V/R. Mark Reply Julian D. Woodruff October 12, 2019 Excellent, Mark I hope to see this as a kids’ book in a year or 2. Good luck with an agent if you don’t have one. I need to find one who’ll like my “Terrafractyl,” which I’m hoping will be out online early next year. Reply Peter Hartley October 12, 2019 Mark – This is certainly one among the half-dozen or so finest paeans in praise of the Terror Dactyl that I have read in recent weeks, and given suitable names for the creatures in question this poem would knock Lear and Carroll into a cocked heat. If I might venture a single hint of animadversion you might have given slightly more weight to the indulgent and affectionate nature of this bird (or lizard) towards humankind and rather less to its usefulness a a guard dog. But this is only a minor blemish, for me, in a magisterial epic that flows well with a clever use of dactyls and internal rhyme. Reply Mark F. Stone October 13, 2019 Peter, I am gobsmacked by the generosity of your comments. I also enjoyed reading your comments because it’s good for me to learn new words. If I decide to expand the poem, or try to turn it into a children’s book, I’ll keep in mind your wise ideas (naming the pterodactyls and highlighting their affection toward humankind). Thank you again. Mark Mark F. Stone October 13, 2019 Julian, A children’s book is a great idea (although I have no clue on how to start on this process and I don’t have an agent). I’d love to read your “Terrafractyl.” Is it available anywhere? Thanks again for commenting. Mark Reply Dave Whippman October 12, 2019 Clever and witty piece. Reply Mark F. Stone October 13, 2019 Dave, Thank you! Mark Reply Sally Cook October 12, 2019 Then Is the Archeo is first cousin to the Pterydac or are they one and the same? Some questions never seem to get answered. but I must say you have done poetic justice to the petodactyl and the teryx. Yikes !! Reply Mark F. Stone October 13, 2019 Sally, I’m afraid that I’m not familiar enough with the pterodactyl to confirm who is cousin to whom. I probably should be at this point. Nevertheless, I do appreciate your kind comment! Mark Reply C.B. Anderson October 13, 2019 Two different animals, Sally. The Pterodactyl (which means, roughly, wing fingers, is a dinosaur. The Archaeopteryx is supposedly a transitional form between reptiles and birds, but it is no longer believed that any birds are actually descendants of this creature.. You can check that out. Reply David Paul Behrens October 12, 2019 Very imaginative! Reply Mark F. Stone October 13, 2019 David, Thank you! Mark Reply joespringza October 12, 2019 What fun 🙂 Reply Mark F. Stone October 13, 2019 Joe, I’m glad the poem gave you a smile. Mark Reply David Watt October 13, 2019 This is a witty and imaginative piece. The spill over of internal rhyme to a second line reminds me of Poe’s technique. Well done! Reply Mark F. Stone October 13, 2019 David, The AAAB/CCCB rhyme scheme is definitely a fun one. Thank you for your kind words! Mark Reply Monty October 13, 2019 I’ll never forget the very first time I read Poe’s ‘The Raven’: it positively blew my mind. I’d never before encountered such a generous use of internal-rhyme, and I spent the next hour or so constantly re-reading it until my awe subsided. I imagine that if I’d never before encountered ‘The Raven’, I’d be sat here now in a similar state of awe after reading your technically-dexterous piece above. How resourceful of you, Mark, to employ this method of poetry to accommodate such an unusual, imaginative subject-matter. High class stuff . . Reply Mark F. Stone October 13, 2019 Monty, I am also a big fan of “The Raven.” I very much appreciate your thoughtful and generous comment. Thank you for stopping by! Mark Reply James Sale October 14, 2019 Ha ha ha!!! Some coincidences are just too exquisite: of course Mark read The Raven – with others of us – in Bryant Park! So big fans indeed – along with Pterodactyls! Reply Monty October 14, 2019 I dunno if ya’v seen it or not, but in the last cuppla daze I finally got round to reacting to your (and Mr Grein’s) comment under the Theresa Rodriguez poem ‘New Day’. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant October 19, 2019 This huge grin of a poem is a cleverly crafted, thoroughly entertaining, imaginative, inspirational joy! It speaks to my inner child while challenging my creative leanings to lean a bit further. Wonderful! Reply Mark F. Stone October 21, 2019 Susan, Thank you for the kind words! Mark Reply Anissa Gage November 10, 2019 Mr. Stone, it’s impossible for me to sound appropriately witty and erudite. This was adorable! I can’t stop giggling. And in dactyls! And Mr Tweedie’s rejoider! Oh my! I’ll be laughing for hours! Reply Mark F. Stone November 13, 2019 Anissa, I’m very pleased that you enjoyed the poem. Thank you for commenting. Mark Reply Cyrus J February 8, 2020 A poem about pterodactyls written in dactyls? It doesn’t get much better than that. 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