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The Sorry Story of Distractible Douglas

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"The Sorry Story of Distractible Douglas" was a poem composed by Miranda Goshawk and published in the Book of Spells as the conundrum accompanying the book's second chapter. The poem tells the tale of Distractible Douglas, a Hogwarts student who was terribly distracted and, as a result, his jinxes were not left up to scratch.

The poem

His letter came from Hogwarts and, oh, Douglas was so pleased!
He would have read the whole thing, but a boil needed squeezed.
He would have packed his trunk himself , but thought he'd seen a fly
Doing loops and backwards flip-flops (it wasn't, but nice try).
He liked the thought of lessons, yes, but Douglas didn't see
Why you had to pay attention and not try to jinx your knee
And tentacles were funny, in a tickly kind of way,
So why the teachers roared at him, he really couldn't say.
It was 'pay attention, Douglas' every single place he went
But Douglas didn't want to, and so letters home were sent
And his father wrote him strictly, saying: 'Douglas, now be warned!
You must finish things you —' Douglas put the letter down and yawned.
Douglas liked to be distracted, because he found it much more fun
His homework was abandoned and his spells and charms half-done
He never really noticed just how far he'd slipped behind
But then someone dared poor Douglas to perform a jinx (not kind).
It went so badly wrong that it is nicer not to dwell
On Dougie's second nose, or on the mess, or on the smell
And nobody could ever say how Douglas came to be
Entrapped inside that drainpipe, with a teacup for a knee.
What was it that he didn't want to do, the silly lad?
Answer me, and do it, and you'll make your teachers glad.

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