Richard Armour and Armour's Armory
Jun 04, 2014 | 1508 views | 0 0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print

When I was a growing boy in East Texas, the Sunday newspaper had Parade Magazine, which periodically included something called "Armour's Armory." Richard Armour was an author well known for his humorous writings. Armour's Armory had quips and funny poems.

As a boy, I knew nothing of Armour's prestigious education at Harvard, his doctorate in English, his professorship, or his many, many books. I knew only of his humorous writings and how entertaining I found them.

When I was taking eighth grade English with Mrs. Chastain, she gave us an assignment to pick a poem we liked and draw pictures to accompany it. I chose one of Mr. Armour's poem, entitled "Watchdog." Fifty years later, that poem still resonates in my mind and in my heart. It bears repeating, and I honor it here today by asking you to read it.


by Richard Armour

We bought him for a watchdog,

But he mixes up his ends:

He wags his tail at strangers,

And barks at all our friends.

We got him for protection,

We thought he'd earn his keep.

But he frightens little children

When he isn't fast asleep.

He's very fond of hoboes

And gypsies and the like,

But nips the friendly postman

And the newsboy on his bike.

He causes feuds and lawsuits,

He keeps us tense and grim . . . .

We bought him for a watchdog,

But we keep watch on him.

Our sensitivities today might make a few of the generalizations less acceptable, but the gist of the poem remains the same. You only think your dog will be helpful watching your home. It may not distinguish well between friend and foe.

Mr. Armour passed away twenty five years ago, while in his early eighties. His humorous writing are truly legendary. From the simple poems which entertained children to colorful parodies of famous authors, his work is richly written.

Here is a bibliography of Mr. Armour's work, which includes many children's books. Enjoy his work!




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