There Once Was A Puffin…

There Once Was a Puffin

Oh, there once was a Puffin
Just the shape of a muffin,
And he lived on an island
In the bright blue sea!

He ate little fishes,
That were most delicious,
And he had them for supper
And he had them for tea.

But this poor little Puffin,
He couldn’t play nothin’,
For he hadn’t anybody
To play with at all.

So he sat on his island,
And he cried for awhile, and
He felt very lonely,
And he felt very small.

Then along came the fishes,
And they said, “If you wishes,
You can have us for playmates,
Instead of for tea!”

So they now play together,
In all sorts of weather,
And the Puffin eats pancakes,
Like you and like me.

by Florence Page Jaques

(This poem was originally in Child Life magazine and then reprinted in The Big Golden Book Of Poetry by Jane Werner Watson (1947). I will continue to try to track down the original issue and year of Child Magazine this lovely poem appeared and report it when I do.)

See this post for an update–with pictures from the original book There Once Was A Puffin was reprinted in, The Big Golden Book of Poetry by Jane Werner Watson (1947).

  • Victoria C. Slotto says:

    I love it! My 93 year old mother who has dementia also is able to recite the entire poem from memory. She has had a passion for both poetry and puffins her whole life.

    I am using it for a poetry prompt on a poetry blog I contribute to. The prompt will be to write a poem for children. It will post on 10-19-2013 at Thanks for this.

    October 9, 2013 at 4:00 pm
  • Kathie says:

    I first heard this poem when I was 5 (it was in a 16 volumn set called “The Children’s Hour”) and had it memorized by time I was 6. ALL of my family have this memorized; parents, siblings, children, grandchildred, and the great grandchildren are working on it.

    November 22, 2013 at 1:01 pm
  • Richard M. says:

    Loving this poem as a child and leaarning it by heart, I was thrilled to see my first live puffins on the coast of Norway when I was already 23 years old. Later on the Oregon Coast. I recebtly brought a stuffed puffin toy to my great-grandson in France and was looking for the exact text to translate to him. Thank you for this web site. I was happy to find the French translation for puffin. Macareux.

    December 21, 2013 at 6:29 am
  • Puffinpalooza says:

    How lovely! I am so glad to have helped spread this lovely poem far and wide! =)

    February 13, 2014 at 4:42 am
  • Puffinpalooza says:

    That is so fantastic! What fun this poem is… did you have any other favorites from that collection?

    February 13, 2014 at 4:44 am
  • Puffinpalooza says:

    You are most welcome. I am so happy you found it and were able to share it with your great-grandson! =)

    February 13, 2014 at 4:45 am

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