My pa held me up to the moo-cow-moo
So close I could almost touch,
En I fed him a time or two,
En I wasn’t a ‘fraid-cat, much.
But if my papa goes into the house,
En mamma, she goes in, too,
I jest keep still, like a little mouse
For the moo-cow-moo might moo.
The moo-cow’s tail is a piece of rope
All raveled out where it grows;
En it’s just like feeling a piece of soap
All over the moo-cow’s nose.
En the moo-cow-moo has lots of fun
Just switching his tail about,
But if he opens his mouth, why, then I run,
For that’s where the moo comes out.
The moo-cow-moo has deers on his head,
En his eyes stick out of their place,
En the nose of the moo-cow-moo is spread
All over the moo-cow’s face.
En his feet are nothing but fingernails,
En his ma don’t keep them cut,
En he gives folks milk in water pails,
When he don’t keep his handles shut.
But if you or I pull his handles, why
The moo-cow-moo says it hurts,
But the hired man sets down close by
En squirts, en squirts, en squirts!
–Edmund Vance Cooke
first published in the Saturday Evening Post, November 21, 1903