Horse Feathers

My dad bought himself a horse
From a man the other day.
The man said it sits on eggs
But my father said, “No way!”

He’d heard of an elephant
That hatched an egg in story.
So a horse that sits on eggs
Would just be hunky-dory.

He spoke of hidden dangers
That met with my Father’s scorn.
‘Cause Dad had to have that horse
Just as sure as he’d been born.

He paid the man’s asking price
And then rode off down the trail.
He’d gone about a mile
When he came upon some quail.

That dumb horse quick jumped the fence
Throwing Father on the ground.
Then sat on a nest of eggs
From which came a crunching sound.

Father had to ask for help
Just to get the horse to go.
A farmer chopping cotton
Came and hit her with his hoe.

The man said, “I know this horse.
Avoiding eggs would be best.”
So Dad detoured fifty miles
To avoid a robin’s nest.

They were crossing on a bridge
The horse stopped to take a look.
Then she threw Dad off the side
Went and sat down in the brook.

Father called up on the phone,
So mad his voice a quiver.
“That stupid horse you sold me
Is sitting in the river!”

“You sure have a right to yell
If yelling is what you wish,
‘Cause I forgot to tell you
That she also sits on fish!”


Horse Feathers is based on a story about a horse that sits on eggs that I first saw in a collection of folk-tales from the eighteenth century. Milton Berle later included it in his book of jokes. I wouldn’t doubt it in the least if Dr. Seuss got his idea for “Horton Hatches the Egg” from the same place.

It is a nonsensical story that just needed to be put to rhyme. You will notice that I have updated it somewhat. They didn’t have telephones when the story was first written, nor had they ever heard of Dr. Seuss. My uncle Robin never said a curse word in his life, horse feathers was as close as he ever came.

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