Thursday, August 28, 2014

August DMC Wrap-Up + Giveaway

Lori Degman challenged us to wake Farmer McPeeper this month.  

Not an easy task, as it turns out.  

Your hosts

To pass the time while Farmer has been sleeping, Cow and Sheep have been planning a barn party.
Guess what?  You're invited!

It'sa hoEdown, y'allll!

Horse appears to have been partying for some time already.

As the submissions ambled in, slowly at first, several people remarked on the difficulty of this challenge. Lori makes it look easy, of course, but to write within a prescribed meter and rhyme scheme is definitely harder than it looks.  Throw in some wordplay and a pun or two for good measure, and it wouldn't be surprising to find your knickers in a twist! 

So here's a hip hip hooray and a big barnyard thanks (clucks, honks, bleats, and moos) to everyone who gave this challenge a try... even if Farmer McPeeper, himself, has shown no appreciation whatsoever.

Illustration of Farmer McPeeper by Deborah Zemke

Let the hoedown begin!

                    "This shouldn't be hard," 
                    said the cat in the yard. 
                    "I'll bet it's as easy as pie." 
                    Her cock-a-doodle purrr 
                    was as fuzzy as fur, 
                    but at least she gave it a try. 

                    – Miranda Barnes (age 11), all rights reserved

                                        "I slither and slide
                                        and take immense pride
                                        in being a most helpful snake."
                                        But Snake's forked tongue kiss
                                        and Cock-a-doodle-HISS
                                        did not help Farmer McPeeper wake.

                                        – Bridget Magee, all rights reserved

                                                                "A farmer that's sleepy
                                                                needs someone who's creepy.
                                                                That's me!" said Squirmy the Worm
                                                                "I'll slide up his toes,
                                                                Cock-a-doodle his nose!"
                                                                But a sneeze left Sir Wormy infirm.

                                                                – Buffy Silverman, all rights reserved

Next to come round
was a rock-n-roll hound
descended from Elvis the King.
This hound dog’s to-do:
Cock-a-doodle aaahrrrooooooooooo!
The blues was all he could sing. 

– Michelle Heidenrich Barnes, all rights reserved

                    The owl said, "Wait, I'm already in flight,
                    I'll offer who, whos for the crowd.
                    I know that near chickens, I am not allowed.
                    I'll cock-a-doodle-who (but not too loud).
                    Don't want to give the farmer a fright!

                    – Linda Baie, all rights reserved

                                        "I'm a fast-swimming fish.
                                        Let me give it a swish.
                                        I’ll zip once ‘round the pond to get set.
                                        One, two, three - watch me dash.
                                        Cock-a-doodle-Splish! Splash!"
                                        But it turned out that fish was all wet!

                                         – Tamera Will Wissinger, all rights reserved

                                                            "My powerful croak
                                                            will wake that farmer bloke,"
                                                            a baritone bullfrog boasted,
                                                            He filled up his cheeks
                                                            and out came some squeaks,
                                                            that sound won't get him promoted.
                                                            – Kathy Mazurowski, all rights reserve

                                                                                I'm a mosquito and tiny,
                                                                                but I am loud and most whiny.
                                                                                I'll fly to his ear, drive him crazy.
                                                                                Listen to my song so fine.
                                                                                It's a cock-a-doodle whi-ii-ine.
                                                                                But that farmer is just too lazy.

                                                                                – Patricia Podlipec, all rights reserved

Cock-A-Doodle Flea

I yelled cock-a-doodle
Atop of his poodle
Who's sleeping right next to his head
But he can't hear my chant
'Cause I'm small as an ant
So maybe I'll bite him instead

– Jan Gars, all rights reserved

                    Cock-A-Doodle Parrot

                    I'll cock-a-doodle doo
                    And scream I love you
                    If only he'll get out of bed
                    The farmer's a slacker
                    And I want a cracker
                    Or Polly will poop on his head

                    – Jan Gars, all rights reserved

                                                  ... and a few more stanzas:

                                                  The cock-a-doodle honk
                                                  From a grey goose named Zonk
                                                  Did not stir the farmer from bed
                                                  His old wife heard the sound
                                                  And she took to the ground
                                                  To catch and lock him in the shed

                                                   A sweet little pony
                                                   They called Macaroni
                                                   Saw Farmer McPeeper asleep
                                                   She tried cock-a-doodle
                                                   No sound could she oodle
                                                   A little hoarse, she could not peep

                                                  The old cow named Noodle
                                                  Then cried cock-a-doodle
                                                  The farmer she still did not wake
                                                  So she kicked a bucket
                                                  From here to Nantucket
                                                  But never his snoring did break

                                                  – Jan Gars, all rights reserved

                                                                       "Let me try," said the mare.
                                                                       "We've got no time to spare!"
                                                                       Now she was the mane attraction.
                                                                       But cock-a-doodle-neigh
                                                                       was all she could say,
                                                                       prompting much dissatisfaction.

                                                                       – Kristi Veitenheimer, all rights reserved

Then elephant shouted,
"I'm not to be doubted.
I can wake up that farmer, I swear."
Though his "Cock-a-doodle-A-ROO!"
woke up all Timbuktu,
Farmer slept through the elephant’s blare.

– Katie Gast, all rights reserved

                    "I can do it for sure,
                    I have done it before,"
                    said monarch of beasts, the King Lion.
                    But his Cockadoo-ROAR
                    made the farmer snore more.
                    Trending: "Thank you Lord #Lyin' for tryin'."

                    – Violet Nesdoly, all rights reserved

                                        "Cover your ears," the woodpecker boasts;
                                        I'll show you how easy it is.
                                        I'll rat-a-tat-tat on the metal downspout!
                                        He'll jump awake, head first, then toes.
                                        – Martha O'Quinn, all rights reserved

                                                            Though some dogs are furriah,
                                                            A Bahston terriah
                                                            Can bahk awake any old fahmah
                                                            Except Farmer Peepah,
                                                            A real heavy sleepah.
                                                            To wake him just isn't good kahmah.

                                                            – Bonnie T. Ogle, all rights reserved

A somnolent bear fast asleep in his lair
Dreamt of growling awake Squire McPeeper.
Bear stirred in his slumber and yet he stayed under;
None could tell who was sleeping the deeper.

– Peter Barnes, all rights reserved

There are some unusual animals on this farm, to be sure.  But at least they all know how to have a good time!

Honk! Honk! Coming through!

Better hurry if you want to get in on the fun!   

You have until Sunday, August 31st, to send your cock-a-doodle stanza to TodaysLittleDitty (at) gmail (dot) com or use the contact form in the sidebar to the right. 

Everyone who participates in this month's challenge will automatically be entered to win a personalized copy of Lori's new picture book, Cock-a-Doodle Oops! (One entry per participant, not per poem.) Alternatively, you may earn an entry into the giveaway by commenting below.  If you contribute a poem and comment below you will earn two entries in total.  Comments must be received no later Tuesday, September 2, 2014.

The winner will be determined by and announced next Friday, September 5th, when we feature our new Spotlight ON interview and ditty challenge.  

"That'll do, Pig. That'll do."
~ Farmer Hoggett, BABE

Jone MacCulloch is hosting today's Poetry Friday celebration over at Check It Out.


  1. These are much fun, Michelle. Thanks to Tamera for the challenge, and to you for the invitation! Love that pic of the geese, too!

    1. Oops! ...or should I say, cock-a-doodle oops! I think you meant Lori, not Tamera. ;) I hope and expect the challenges will continue to be wonderfully varied. Thank you for being one of my star players, Linda!

    2. So sorry for the mistake! Apologies to you, Lori!

  2. Some fun poems here! I wish I'd had the time to get one written, but I'm not sure I could've done better than some of these!

    1. You never know what might pop into your head in the middle of the night, Matt... especially your imaginative, edit-wild head! You've got till Sunday... go for it!

  3. Laughing at the clever idea of a mosquito waking up folks at the farm!
    And so many favorite ideas but what strikes me, maybe due to all the
    frogs in our backyard pool this summer:

    He filled up his cheeks
    and out came some squeaks,
    that sound won't get him promoted.
    by Kathy Mazurowski, all rights reserved

    (To me this is a spot-on riff on my own writing as it so often it doesn't measure up.)

    And, I am so charmed by the student poet's artistry, my favorite entry. You rock! Miranda B.

    Plus, slightly off topic, enjoying so many rooster calls here, this calls to mind a sprightly barnyard picture book I luv, COOK-A-DOODLE-DO, by the kitchen sister team of Janet Stevens & Susan Stevens Crummel.

    Inventive challenge!

    1. Love your enthusiasm, Jan! And also the terrific connection you made between the bullfrog and the writer's struggle. So true! I'll have to see if I can find COOK-A-DOODLE-DO-- thanks for the recommendation.

  4. Oh, what fun - a barnyard full of fun!

  5. What wonderful verses, Michelle! I am so impressed by the talent you have rounded up here!

    1. Me too, Becky! The talent and variety never fails to blow me away.

  6. What a fun hoedown! Loved all the stanzas and your wonderful pics :).

  7. I'm worried about ol' Farmer McPeeper! I'm not sure that I could sleep through even one of those "Doodle-Dos!" Thanks for rounding 'em all up, Michelle! And thanks to Lori Degman for creating such a wonderful book that inspired all this barnyard fun.

    1. Breathe easy, Bridget. I can assure you, the poor comatose farmer does wake up eventually. I hope everyone has an opportunity to read this book--the ending is fantastic!

  8. Will there be a sequel with all these great verses in it? I am totally impressed.

    1. There probably should be! BTW, no rhyming next month, Margaret-- will look forward to seeing you jumping in again. :)

  9. All I can say is that farmer is a sound sleeper, as in, has a real talent to sleep through a variety of sounds. Well done Michelle - thanks for the fun!

    1. Ha! That he is, Violet! Thanks for your super contribution. :)

  10. So sooo nice to see such a variety of poems from Poetry Friday friends! What a fun challenge indeed. :)

  11. Fun Fun FUN!! Three cock-a-doodle-cheers to all!!

  12. This was way more fun than I ever expected!! Thanks so much everyone who wrote verses - they were so diverse and all were wonderful!!

    1. So glad this was as fun for you as it is for me each month, Lori! Like Bridget said, it was wonderful to be inspired by such a fun book. Alfred Hitchcock said "Puns are the highest form of literature," so that must mean Cock-A-Doodle Oops! is well on its way to becoming a classic. :)

  13. These are awesome! And hurray for for the youngest entrant! Great job, Miranda!

  14. These are great!!
    I only WISH I could sleep as well as Farmer McPeeper. Even Macaroni could wake me up.

  15. These have been so fun to read. My vacation got in the way of entering this, but thanks to all those who shared their verses.