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The Story About Ping is a popular children's book written by Marjorie Flack and illustrated by Kurt Wiese. First published in 1933, Ping is a colorfully illustrated story about a domesticated Chinese duck lost on the Yangtze River.[1] Based on a 2007 online poll, the National Education Association named the book one of its "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children".[2]

The Story About Ping
AuthorMarjorie Flack
IllustratorKurt Wiese
CountryUnited States
Published1933 (Viking Press)



The story begins when Ping, the duck, is taken by his owner to feed on the riverbank. Later, when it is evening, Ping is the last duck to return, so he hides to avoid being spanked. The following day Ping observes some fishing birds and then a boy captures him for his family's dinner, but the boy releases Ping that evening. The next day, he sees his master's boat. He hurries to return to his family knowing he will be the last duck again. But this time he accepts the punishment.[1]

Ping in filmEdit

The Story About Ping was adapted for film by Weston Woods Studios in 1955. [3]

Ping on televisionEdit

Ping has appeared on television since the 1950s. Actor Sterling Holloway or possibly Captain Kangaroo (or his friend Mr. Greenjeans) read Ping once a week on his show for seventeen years, while displaying its colorful illustrations in stark black and white on the screen. Only Stone Soup, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, and The Little Engine That Could had longer runs on the show.[4]

Soupy Sales and Howdy Doody both featured Ping on numerous occasions, and Shari Lewis's sock puppet Lamb Chop once played the role of Ping in an adaptation for sock puppets and ventriloquists.

Sesame Street had an animated version that ran in the 1970s. This version featured the song Jinzhur as the background music.[4]

It served as an important plot point on the Season Three finale of Louie in which Louie gives his daughter a copy of the book for Christmas.[5]


Because of a coincidence in naming with the ping computer program, this book has become known in the Unix and Internetworking technical communities.[6]


  1. ^ a b Marjorie Flack; Kurt Wiese (1933). The Story About Ping. Viking Press. ISBN 978-0-670-67223-3.
  2. ^ National Education Association (2007). "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children". Retrieved August 22, 2012.
  3. ^ The Story about Ping (Film, 1955) []
  4. ^ a b Pomfret, John (2016-11-29). The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom: America and China, 1776 to the Present. Henry Holt and Company. ISBN 9781429944120.
  5. ^ Haglund, David (27 Sep 2012). "For the season finale, Louie goes dark". Slate. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
  6. ^ Mike Muuss, The Story of the PING Program Archived 2011-05-14 at the Wayback Machine