THREE limericks to brighten Monday morning. The form, so associated with Edward Lear, has a skilled new practitioner in Ranjit Bolt, a former stock-broker turned playwright. Here are three samples from the Animal section of his forthcoming collection, A Lion Was Learning To Ski (Gibson Square, £9.99).

A lion was learning to ski

In the Alps just outside Chamonix,

But he ruined his hopes

Of mastering the slopes

When he had his instructor for tea.

There was once a comedic giraffe

Whose one-liners were right off the graph,

But, though witty as heck,

It was really his neck

And its length that made everyone laugh.

There was a Scots cat called MacLeod

Who barked when he should have meowed.

This embarrassed him, yet

When a lot of cats met

At least he stood out from the crowd.