Ode to an Otter

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Continuing in the series of silly children’s poems related to the fiction picture book series I am writing .

                    Wild Otter

It is utterly, notterly, possibly true

that my otter you’ll find at your local zoo.

My otter is totally, otterly wild,

I’m afraid you may never see him, my child.


He keeps him home secret from dangerous men.

He doesn’t want you exploring his den.

He doesn’t want you tearing up his kelp bed,

Or poking your nose in his pod, ‘nuff said!


He’s fed up with fishing boats trawling with nets,

Oil spills play havoc with him and his pets,

The plastic he took for a jellyfish feast,

Meant tummy ache trouble for weeks and weeks.


If you truly decide to watch otters at sea,

They can sometimes be viewed drifting happily free

from the dangers of man, floating paw in paw,

far from pollution and far from the shore.


I love it when they hold ‘hands’

These playful, sociable, highly intelligent, furry sea mammals are an aquatic member of the weasel family and are found along the coasts of the Pacific Ocean in North America and Asia. The sea otter spends most of its time in the water but, in some locations, comes ashore to sleep or rest.

Sea otters often float at the water’s surface on their backs. They sleep this way, often gathered in groups (pods) anchored into some sea kelp.

In the 18th century, sea otters were hunted for their fur, almost to the point of extinction. 100 years ago only 1,000 to 2,000 animals remained. Today, 100,000 to 150,000 sea otters exist. They are a threatened, but no longer endangered, species, and are protected by law.

Last week’s Bactrian camel poem can be found here.

© 2011 Joanna Marple, all rights reserved



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23 Responses to Ode to an Otter

  1. What’s not to adore about otters? They are the most joyful creatures that play with such enthusiasm they make want to jump in and join them. Of course, that would be disastrous for us both, so I only enjoy from them from land. Loved your otterly poem.

  2. That poem is adorable (I just read it to my 8yo)! And the otters holding hands! So cute (I had no idea they did that!).

    • Joanna says:

      How cool that you read the poem to your 8yo! They really are very sociable, makes writing a story about them and the dangers they face, much easier.

  3. Saba says:

    OMG! That was utterly, notterly CUTE!!! Otters are just about the most adorable creatures in the water, next to Nemo and Dory of course. 🙂

    • Joanna says:

      You know, I am surprised Pixar haven’t done an otter movie. Mmm do picture books ever get big film deals, or does it have to be YA for that?? 🙂

  4. This was so cute and catchy. And I think otters are adorable.

  5. Susanna says:

    I love your poem! Otters are lovely, aren’t they? So appealing and engaging and sweet 🙂

  6. Another favorite animal of mine. Hmm, I guess there aren’t really many animals I’m not in love with. We still have wild otters here in Florida–so darling!

  7. Joanna says:

    I am glad the Floridans are looking after their otter populations, Gail 🙂

  8. Diane says:

    Loved your Otter Poem Joanna, they are indeed the most cutiest animals.

  9. Carla says:

    I have to tell you, I absolutely LOVE the alliteration and rhyme in the first line: “utterly, notterly, possibly true” ! Really wonderful!

  10. Love the poem, followed by information about another endangered species. Very clever way to engage your readers. You write so well. I love otters too, so I found this post delightful


  11. alberta ross says:

    beautiful – loved that – I read it out to my friend from forever/editor who is staying with me this weekend and she felt the same – she also says could she show it to her neice who is a teacher of small kids so she cold read it out – wont if you say.

    thanks for visiting my site by the way and your kind words – isn’t this challenge fun

    • Joanna says:

      Alberta, thanks for dropping by and for your comments. I am happy for the poem to be read out in class 🙂 The book is still in the revision stage before seeking a publisher, so won’t be out for a while!
      It is part of a series of stories about endangered species across the continents. Yes, indeed, I am having great fun with this challenge and getting to know other writers, including yourself 🙂

  12. alberta ross says:

    when will the book be out – I’ll buy it for my friend from forever/editor’s neice

  13. In all the ups and downs of the last few days, I missed this post! Delightful, as always, Joanna!

    (I, too, love seeing them holding hands!)

    Thank you!

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