Success Is When You Win

The Pelican

A wonderful bird is the pelican,
His mouth can hold more than his belly can,
He can hold in his beak,
Enough food for a week!
I'm damned if I know how the hell he can!

-Dixon Lanier Merritt, a Southern newspaper editor and President of the American Press Humorists Association, penned this famous limerick in 1910. It is carved in stone and displayed prominently at Brook Green gardens in SC.

Watching several Pelicans feed in the tributaries of Murrells Inlet, SC, I was taken by how often they fail to catch fish. It is fairly easy to mark a successful dive, as the stately bird will raise its beak skyward to send the fish wiggling down its gullet. I began keeping score. I counted a total of twenty five dives between four birds and could only verify a catch seven times. With a slightly better than 25% success rate, these gobbling fowl still are known as great fishers.

I guess nature confirms the old saying, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

1. Hunger for something will keep you trying.
2. The pain of failure is quickly forgotten once the benefits of success arrive.
3. Never give up.


  1. Always loved that poem... there is much truth in nature if you pay attention.

    1. so true and it seems it takes so little effort to see the lessons...


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