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The Porcupine's Quill: A Satire Column
by Arshad M. Khan
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the satire column
April 24, 2016
News Item: Yesterday, April 23, 2016 marked the 400th anniversary of
Not widely known is the story of William Shakespeare's pet parrot. Upon its death,
the bard lost his most severe critic, muse and helpmeet, and retired .
Would Shakespeare have been quite as prolific, knowledgeable and wordsmith
extraordinaire without the world-traveled sophisticate beside him? Now that is the
For example, how would you like "What should I do? Oh, what should I do? I don't
know, I don't know."
And Pretty Polly (that's what the parrot was called) said to him, "Of course you don't,
you bald-headed twit. Am I going to listen to this all night? Is this ever going to be ...
or is it not to be?
I think you got it Polly. Thanks be to you again ... "To be or not to be, that is the
question ... "
And he was off on his famous soliloquy. Now take Portia's famous one. There was
the old bard going ...
Mercy, mercy, mercy, any man deserves mercy from ... When Pretty Polly having
trouble with her birdfeed pops out ...
You know, you old twit ... where have you been getting this birdseed? How many
times do I have to tell you ... quality, quality, quality. It is the most important. And
what about the rocks ... It has to be strained.
Oh, thank you Polly, said the bard. You have saved me again ... The quality of
mercy is not strained ... then he thought of Polly flying down to him ... It droppeth as
a gentle rain from heaven upon the earth beneath ... he thought of Polly again, and
he was off continuing the soliloquy ... It is twice blessed ...