The Duel (poem)

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"The Duel" is a poem by American humorist and children's writer Eugene Field.[1] It shares subject matter with the poem, a limerick in some versions and a seven-line extended limerick in others, "There Once Were Two Cats from Kilkenny."

The duel described in the text is between a gingham dog and a calico cat, with a Chinese plate and an old Dutch clock as very unwilling witnesses, whom the poem's narrator credits for having described the events to him. The dueling animals, explains the narrator, eventually eat each other up and thus are both destroyed, causing the duel to end in a draw.

Field claimed that the calico cat in the poem was inspired by the Ithaca Kitty.[2]

It inspired the 1993 album and its title track, The Gingham Dog and the Calico Cat, by Chet Atkins and Amy Grant.[3]

The poem was mentioned in the comic strip Arlo and Janis[4] on February 23, 2018.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Sachse, Gretchen (2016-07-28). "Ithaca Kitty was a success across America". The Ithaca Journal. Ithaca, New York. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
  3. ^ Rabbit Ears Productions
  4. ^

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