Peter H Bloecker, StD
5 min readMay 25, 2020


Picture credit: Unsplash

The Very Proper Gander — James Thurber rewritten

Once upon a time there was a very proper gander, who thought he was the most brilliant and most proper gander ever born. So he told his wife and his seven children, and when they stopped listening, he walked around his backyard, singing for himself … I am the proper gander, and I will become the president of my beautiful country. And I will reset the economy of this country, of course, and make my country great again.

One day a small brown hen was passing by on her bike, but she could not see the proper gander, because the wall was very high, however she heard him singing, I am the proper gander, and I am going to be the president of this beautiful country and I will make my country great again.

And she told the other hens in the yard, I heard a proper gander singing to himself and I suppose he wants to make our country great again and save the world or so.

The other animals heard the rumours of the proper gander and spread the news about the propaganda soon, as there was not much to do except picking some poor worms all day.

And so the news reached the wise owl, who was the leader then.

We will do something, she said to the other animals, just let me think about this for a few nights.

When she had come to a final conclusion she told the animals they should come together one night and they would discuss the issue with the proper gander.

And then everybody had a narrative about the propaganda and some said he must have a pact with the enemies and others knew he was a spy from across the ocean, but nobody could verify what they had heard, and the wise owl just listened until dawn, like Angela Merkel.

Then they all went back home and slept all day.

But one day some birds were falling from the sky without any previous signs of warning and some other strange things happened as well. So the wise owl called another meeting and listened to all the stories the animals had heard since their last meeting, stories about unexpected deaths and animals just not being seen any more, they had just disappeared.

When the brown hen told the story about the bats she had seen coming from the backyard of the proper gander, the wise owl came to a conclusion! We have to…



Peter H Bloecker, StD

EDUCATOR of English and German Literature in Berlin, North Germany, Namibia and Australia. Ex-Language Adviser of the Goethe — Institut Sydney based in BNE.