|The cow jumped over the moon|
Hey diddle diddle,
The cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon.
The little dog laughed,
To see such sport,
And the dish ran away with the spoon.
When I started building this rhyme, I wasn't sure if cows really jumped. They do! On the internet, I found an assorted collection of pictures showing cows that didn't quite make the jump over the fence enclosing their pasture. They didn't seem hurt - just startled to be stuck on top of the fence beam. I also discovered a story about Regina Mayer, a German teenager, who taught her cow Luna to jump like a show horse.
My search for stories about jumping cows also lead me to a wonderful version of this rhyme sculpted entirely from butter! Sculptors Deborah Brown and Barbara Westover made an exquisite butter "Hey Diddle Diddle" piece for the Utah State Fair. Their piece reminded me of the butter cow that makes an annual appearance at the Iowa State Fair. My husband and I lived in Iowa for a number of years and made the trip to the late summer fair several times where we saw enormous pumpkins, prize winning carrots, the world's largest bull and, of course, the butter cow.