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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Asia (02/26/09)

TITLE: Peking Duck
By Beth LaBuff


In an undisclosed location
Somewhere in China’s wall,
A most uncommon baker
Cooked from dawn to post nightfall.

This surreptitious baker
Used fortune and good luck
To craft world-famous dishes,
His name was Peking Duck.

So skilled in Asian cooking
This waterfowl’d become.
The multi-tasking Peking Duck
Could wok while chewing gum.

His specialty was cookies,
Though he stressed over the crumbs,
Which led to frequent meltdowns –
The China chef Syndrome.

To some he was a legend,
A mystic cooking fable.
He sold his fortune cookies
With the Great Wall Cookie label.

His ancient oven used by those
Within his family tree,
Before this duck was Egg Foo Young,
Before Ming’s Dynasty.

His copy of the recipe
Recorded in his scrawl
Was written down graffiti-style—
Handwriting on the wall.

No need to keep this recipe
Secured behind a lock,
The secret won’t be advertised
Because the “walls don’t talk”.

His prized obscure ingredient,
Stored in a flour sack,
And stirred in with a chopstick
Was the semi-precious “quack”.

A special tool, to seal the edge,
Chef Peking Duck devised.
He’d step down squarely on the dough
His webbed foot utilized.

He’d puzzled o’er the crescent shape,
Persistence would prevail,
He took the flattened cookie
To mold it ‘round his tail.

When family honor—saving face
Had caused blood-ties to thicken,
His second cousin, twice removed,
The noble Kung Pao Chicken…

The chicken wrote a letter—
Requisitioned the republic
And petitioned that the new year
Be “the year of Peking duck”.


Somewhere … inside a restaurant
Were signs “No MSG,”
And “Specials of the Evening” were
Lo Mein and Chop Suey.”

The music’s plinky melody
In pentatonic scale,
Where chairs and tables artfully staged
With strict feng shui detail,

And waitresses and waiters with
Their hair in braided queues,
Served egg rolls to the patrons
And distributed menus.

Each meal would not be complete
Without dessert’s addition.
Each patron got a cookie
That was fashioned per tradition.

A Great Wall Cookie cookie
That compelled a smile to crack
‘Cause when they broke it open
It exhaled a little “quack.”

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This article has been read 1786 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Mona Purvis03/06/09
I loved this! Hubby and I thought it is great fun!
Joanne Sher 03/07/09
Just delightful and fun and silly and so typical of the author ;)

This quacked me up too ;)The one-liners, as usual, are amazing.
Connie Dixon03/07/09
You are truly amazing in your use of words. Lots of great humor here, and brilliant in your details within ryhme. Great job!
Sonya Leigh03/07/09
Oh what fun, what fun. Such a colorful painting of words and rhyme. I loved every verse. Great job.
Lynda Schultz 03/08/09
Hilarious—such wonderful imagination.
Linda Payne03/10/09
This was delightfully funny. I loved the way you interwove Chinese words/phrases with humor.
Peter Stone03/11/09
Very funny, and you managed to gently send up so many aspects of China, or at least, our perception of it, such as the China Syndrome.
Sara Harricharan 03/11/09
ROFL, ROFL, ROFL!!! This is just too, too funny! I absolutely loved this! Hilarious lines and hilarious take, i really hope this does well, it's one of my favorites for this week!
Lyn Churchyard03/11/09
I'm sitting here shaking my head in amazement. This was just plain wonderful. Talent and humor... brilliant!
Joy Faire Stewart03/11/09
Love this..."Could wok while chewing gum." The poem is a delight and love the humor!
Norma-Anne Hough03/12/09
Excellent and very clever.
Dianne Janak03/12/09
You did it AGAIN! Congrats Beth... a win so well deserved.. as always your gift to us blesses and amazes me!
Laury Hubrich 03/12/09
This is so funny. Very good writing! Congratulations, Beth! This piece so deserves an EC!!!
Marty Wellington 03/12/09
Absolutely marvelous. A truly enjoyable read. Congratulations on your EC!
Diana Dart 03/12/09
Fantastic, so funny and I was bouncing a little as I read it! Congrats.
Dee Yoder 03/12/09
Congratulations, Beth! This is deliciously funny and fun to read! Wonderful. ( :
Jim McWhinnie 03/15/09

What a delightful tour de force in whimsy ...

Edy T Johnson 03/23/09
So THAT's where the fortune cooky came from! You are so clever and funny. I'm glad faithwriters gets to publish this first for all the world to see!

And, I so appreciate your finding my recent short story and taking time to leave a comment. Thanks so much!