Origami Heaven

Cloud 9 - Cartoons and poetry

The website of writer and paperfolding designer David Mitchell


How the cormorant got its name
A Cormorant is more than an ant,

it’s more than a Cormor too,

and it got its name in a very strange way

that I’ll explain to you.


Not long after the world began,

when dinosaurs lived in the swamps,

all the animals and birds in the world

were feeling down in the dumps.


For down by the rocks where the sea begins

and the waves turn into spray,

a new and curious creature

was causing great dismay.


Some said, ‘It’s a bird!’ Some said, ‘It’s a fish!’

Some said, ‘It’s in between!’

But all agreed it was the strangest thing

that they had ever seen.


The Zebra said, ‘You can see it’s a bird,

a bird that can swim and dive.’

But the Raven said, ‘That’s completely absurd.

You can see it’s a fish that flies!’


The Lion called a committee

to help him choose a name.

All the animals, the birds and the fishes

and even the insects came.


There was one of every species,

one Lion, one Kangaroo,

one Hawk, one Fly, one Pelican

and one Rhinoceros too.


The Whale swam round and counted,

one Bat, one Chimpanzee,

but when he came to count the Ant

there were a million and thirty three.


‘No need to look so worried!’

the Great Anteater said,

‘I forgot to eat my breakfast,

but these will do instead.’


The Elephant thought that ‘Jumbird’

was a stylish sort of name,

but none of the other creatures

appeared to feel the same.


Each held their own opinion

of the name they thought was best,

and each one thought their own idea

far better than the rest.


So they argued all day and they quarrelled all night,

but still they couldn’t agree

what to call a fish that flew high in the air

or a bird that swam deep in the sea.


Then just as the night was running out

and the sun was drying the dew

the Anteater, looking down, said, ‘Cor! More ants!

and a very great number too!’


Well the Lion roared, the animals cheered,

and the fish and the birds cheered too.

Said the Lion, ‘You can bet there’ll be more trouble yet,

but the name will certainly do!’