On May 12, we mark the two-hundredth anniversary of the birth of Edward Lear.

If Lear is remembered at all these days, it's usually as the author of The Owl And The Pussycat. In his day, though, and in spite of his calling as an illustrator, he was known as the author of the wildly popular A Book Of Nonsense, the book that revived and popularized the limerick.

The limericks Lear wrote lived up to their billing as nonsense, and many seem a bit dull to us now, but they struck some collective British funnybone at the time. The book went through several printings and remained in print since its appearance in 1846. Here's an example:

There was an Old Person of Basing,
Whose presence of mind was amazing.
He purchased a steed,
Which he rode at full speed,
And escaped from the people of Basing.



You may wonder what the bicentenary of an author of nonsensical verse has to do with dachshunds, and we respond: "That's up to you." We invite you to write dachshund-related limericks and post them to Facebook page. There are no prizes involved, but if we can get this rolling, all of us should be able to read some amusing rhymes.

Here are the ground rules: Your limerick should be in the traditional form: five lines long. The first, second and fifth lines should rhyme, as should the third and fourth. And most important: We're running a family operation here. Limericks today are frequently – often hilariously – off-color. But we want the kind that you could read to your grandparents or your grandkids without embarrassment.

To start you off, here are a couple examples. Now get writing and get posting!

There once was a dog from Biloxi
Who spent his days nipping at socks. He
Opined, "How it rankles
To reach only ankles.
I'd bite shorts were I not a dachsie."

A devious dog is the teckel.
You'll wonder, "Now what in the heck'll
He get up to next?"
You'll be frequently vexed
To discover he's more Hyde than Jekyll.