It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Old MacDonald had a mbrglcock

We are off to the 7-Eleven for stamps.

We amuse ourselves by singing as we travel. We worked through Three Little Monkeys Swinging in a Tree, and Three Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed (busy little monkeys, aren’t they?), and we’re well into Old MacDonald, and only halfway there. (It’s not really all that far, probably no more than a km, tops, but Malli and Nigel are walking, which puts us at about, oh, 2 km an hour. Maybe less.)

Good thing Old MacDonald can go on FOR-EEEEEEE-VER.

“Old MacDonald had a farm,” I start. “E-I-E-I-O. And on that farm he had a… What did he have?”

“SHEEP!” Malli is quick on the draw. We baa-baa our way down another block. With the next verse, Nigel picks “COW”; then Anna picks “CHICKEN”, and Timmy wants “HORSIE!!”

“How about you, Emily? What animal do you want?”


“…and on this farm he had a… ” I attempt to prime the pump.


Uh. Well, then. “Do you mean rooster, sweetie? Cock-a-doodle-doo?”

“No. mbrlmCOCK.”

“I didn’t hear that, love. Try again.” Call me demented for getting the child to repeat this three times in succession, but I get the feeling she’s really trying to communicate something. Something non-PG rated, even.


Ah. See? (You don’t? You weren’t listening carefully enough.)

“PEAcock. Can you say that? PEAcock.” Because good enunciation makes for good communication.




Once more, with feeling.



It will do for now.

“So, PEAcock? Do you know what kind of a noise a PEAcock makes?”

Silence from the assembly. They haven’t a clue.

It just so happens that I do. I once visited this amazing place routinely, and I’ve been serenaded auditorally assaulted by their song hideous shrieks.

“Peacocks go like this.” And, after a quick glance up and down the street, I throw self-consciousness to the wind and open my throat in as close an approximation as I can manage.

The children are delighted. Open season on shrieking! We squawk our way up the final block.

I’m thinking that Mr. Peacock is going to be a permanent addition to Old MacDonald’s farm. I just hope they remember MY version of his name…

September 18, 2007 - Posted by | Emily, music, outings, the cuteness!, The Tots


  1. I know it’s not exactly sophisticated humour, but pee-pee-cock just about had me in stitches. I’ve heard the peacocks here at the Calgary Zoo – they really have quite the voice! I was surprised the first time I heard one.

    Comment by Stacey | September 18, 2007 | Reply

  2. It’s in Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? as well, for their reading and shrieking pleasure!

    Comment by kittenpie | September 18, 2007 | Reply

  3. Cock (as in cockerel) is the word we all use in this country. Funny story, though!

    Comment by z | September 18, 2007 | Reply

  4. where i went to college, they had two or three peacocks roaming around campus. the sound they made sounded like “buh-GAW”! i got so good at imitating their call, that they would respond to me!

    Comment by Dana | September 18, 2007 | Reply

  5. Oh that’s too funny. This weekend my husband and I sang this to our Peanut to keep her happy, until we came to the rooster.

    “with a cock-a-doodle here, and a cock-a-doodle there, here a…”

    And that’s about where we ran into problems.

    Comment by b*babbler | September 18, 2007 | Reply

  6. That’s simply adorable AND hilarious! I totally missed your pee-pee cock imitation?? I’m never in the right place at the right time!!!

    Comment by Mama's Moon | September 18, 2007 | Reply

  7. TOO funny! Quite a farm that Old McDonald has…

    When I first began working at the Memphis Zoo, the peacocks used to like to get out and stroll around – and you are so right about the noise. Some critters just need to stay quiet and look pretty.

    Comment by Florinda | September 18, 2007 | Reply

  8. Too funny! I would suggest Peacock every time, just for my own amusement.

    Comment by nomotherearth | September 18, 2007 | Reply

  9. so funny!
    I’ll keep peacock in mind when I run out of animals…

    Comment by marcelarhodus | September 18, 2007 | Reply

  10. LOL! I had to read that one aloud to my husband,

    “Pee-pee-cock!” *giggle*

    Comment by Ms. Huis Herself | September 18, 2007 | Reply

  11. Stacey: It’s not sophisticated humour, but they’re not sophisticated critters. The toddlers, not the pee-pee-cocks.

    Kittenpie: I confess I stopped at Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See? Obviously, I need to extend my reading!

    Z: Having a raft of British relatives, I’m aware of some of the differences in usage. Here, cock has one and only one meaning. (Well, sometimes you might hear it as a verb – ‘cock and eyebrow’ – but it’s unusual and would probably make quite a few people snicker.)

    Dana: Well, gee. Next time we sing Old MacDonald, we’ll have to call on your peacock impersonation skills. You don’t plan on a quick trip to Ottawa anytime soon?

    Babbler: Yup. There’s just no tidy way out of that one…

    Mama’s Moon: Had I seen you on the street, you’d not have heard it…

    Florinda: Some critter just need to stay quiet and look pretty. This one made me laugh out loud. Too true!

    NME: You know, I think I might just do that.

    marcela: Sometimes, when we run out of animals, Old MacDonald has a fire truck, a police car, a bumblebee, a tugboat — all SORTS of odd things on that farm of his!

    MsHuis: I hope he enjoyed it as much as you!

    Comment by MaryP | September 19, 2007 | Reply

  12. That sounds wonderful. I have to admit we’ve never had a peacock on our farm, but we do have fire trucks, ambulances, penguins and anything else we have a noise for!

    Comment by Dani | September 19, 2007 | Reply

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