Children’s Verse
{A Bumbershoot Special Feature}

Robert Schechter

curated the Riddles feature for this issue of Bumbershoot.

He has had poems and translations published in Light Quarterly, Anon, Evansville Review, and Poetry East, among other journals.

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The Horse Who Said Moo

There once was a horse who refused to say neigh.
Ask him a question, he’d answer with moo.
He didn’t give milk, and he loved to eat hay.
But starting when he was a young foal, he knew,

the first time he heard a cow speak to a cow,
that neighing and whinnying just wouldn’t do.
“Let dogs say woof woof and let cats say meow,”
he told himself then, “but this horse will say moo.”

Did his parents get angry? They sure did, and how!
We both say neigh, why can’t you say neigh, too?
Haven’t you noticed that you’re not a cow?”
“Of course,” he said, not with a neigh but a moo,

“but mooing alone does not make me a cow.
Watch me! I still love to gallop and trot.
I even enjoy being hitched to a plough!
But do I enjoy saying neigh? I do not.”

His parents relented. “Fine, then, say moo.
Meow if you want to. Oink, roar or bray.
If it makes you happy, say cock-a-doodle-doo.
Just be a proud horse and you need not say neigh.”