Short Take

Today my walking route included a house where a child’s birthday party was being held. As I passed the inflatable castle, I saw a “clown” (striped shirt, multi-colored fright wig) leading a small crowd of short people in the singing of “Old McDonald Had a Farm.” He gripped the shoulders of a child I assume was the birthday boy, encouraging him to sing louder, but he didn’t seem to be getting a lot of support from the other partygoers. There’s no telling how many animals had already been imitated, but they’d reached “Woof, woof,” as I passed and were moving on to “Quack, quack.”

As I drifted out of earshot, I heard what turned out to be their last verse: “Old McDonald had a farm. E-I-E-I-O. And on that farm he had an alligator…” An alligator? Really? (Turns out the sound an alligator makes is “Chomp, chomp.”

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