With apologies to Joyce Kilmer
I doubt if you’ve ever knew a
Beast as foul as the Peluda.
Snaky head, teeth of the shark,
Got booted off of Noah’s ark.
You may look but never stare
At its dread quills and bright green hair
For all day long, it spews cruel death
From poisoned spines and fire-breath.
Yes, I may have flaws considered odd.
But peludas are fault of only God.
Peluda (La velue or the shaggy beast): a devilish creature with a snakelike head and tail and a body covered with green fur and poisonous porcupine-like quills. It lived in the Huisne River in France, causing floods with its thrashing in the water. Supposedly the Peluda refused to enter Noah’s ark but survived anyway. It breathed fire and could shoot its venomous quills. Usually peludas simply raided farms, concentrating on livestock, rarely people. After a young man watched in horror as the Peluda ate his fiancé, he consulted a witch who told him that the key to defeating the monster was to attack its tail, its most vulnerable point. The Peluda troubled the French no more.
Parody: a humorous imitation of something else which often takes form of what it is imitating, in this case Joyce Kilmer’s “Trees.” Lewis Carroll employed parody throughout his Alice books, most notably with “You are Old, Father William,” a twisted version of the solemn poem by Robert Southey.
According to Simon Brett in The Faber Book of Parodies, “The first duty of the parody is to entertain.” Dwight MacDonald in Parodies: An Anthology from Chaucer to Beerbohm—and After claims “Parodies age faster than any other literary form” and lists three rules for parody:
1. The authors being parodied must be known today
2. “the broader the worser”
3. “No parody involving fleas or seasickness is enjoyable.”
Hemingway was not a fan of parody and ranked it as being a step above writing on bathroom walls.