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Coded epitaph?

Coded epitaph?

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 11:36PM GMT
Classification: Query
I read on a public library listserv about a person researching an epitaph from a headstone. It states "There is a bird in a zoo called a pelican." They's like to know if it could be a coded message as it was engraved on a headstone of someone that had served in
World War II. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Re: Coded epitaph?

Posted: 14 Apr 2012 10:25PM GMT
Classification: Query
Was he in Iowa? Was he shot and killed? A Bird Lover, game warden? Could be a reference to his service in the war if he was a sharpshooter or sniper.
Here is what I found doing a Google search of the term. It is on the front of a Post Card sent in 1954.

"THERE IS A BIRD IN THE ZOO / CALLED THE PELICAN / IOWA STATE FAIR" Back continues: "These pelicans were crippled by shooters who didn't / know or care that the big birds are protected in / Iowa...Make sure of your target, shoot / only at lawful game species, and give rare birds / and animals a chance for survival."
"Lengthy & interesting ecological message sent 1954 at Des Moines, black & white post card, toned back, small corner crease, unusual subject matter. $6.00 ebi"

This is the website with an image of the post card of 2 pelicans:
http://www.judnick.com/Birds.htm

Re: Coded epitaph?

Posted: 19 Apr 2012 12:37AM GMT
Classification: Query
Back in the 1950's or 60's there was a show on TV called
'What's my line', and the host was Gary Moore. One of the people on the panel who was to guess what the guest did or "what was their line" was a poet named Ogden Nash.
He has a book of poems, and one of them, this is not a quote from the book but off the top of my head as best I can remember, I am almot 80, but here goes.

There is a bird called a Peligan,
Its' beak can hold more than its' belly can,
but I don't know how in the hell it can

How old is your tombstone? I used to like to tromp around old cemeteries for a pass time. I have seen some real doozies, some very ornate and beautiful. I came across a stone in an old cemetery in a rural area of Tennessee many years ago, and it had an inscription from a wife on her husbands' stone that went something like this:

When he died, so did all my dreams and hopes
God Bless You
I said to myself, she sure must have loved that man, lucky fellow to have someone care do deeply about you. We should all be so fortunate.

Cliff

Re: Coded epitaph? Pelican poem (Ogden Nash reference)...

Posted: 21 Apr 2013 11:52AM GMT
Classification: Query
I believe the pelican poem goes something like this, as told to me by my grandfather many years ago (a favorite bit of foolishness)...

"A marvelous bird is the Pelican,
It's bill can hold more than it's belly can,
It can put in it's beak enough food for a week,
I oft' wonder how in the hell he can"

Cheers!
Jeff

Re: Coded epitaph? Pelican poem (Ogden Nash reference)...

Posted: 21 Sep 2013 6:49PM GMT
Classification: Query
I believe almost everyone here got a little piece of it. My first thought was that it was the first line of a limerick, which has a very specific rhyme scheme, which @MajorWilliamsTree comes closest to replicating.
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