What does the fox say … about kids and nature?


The other day at the office, one of the local newspaper editors made a reference to the viral online children’s song/video, “What does the fox say?” Not one to really worry too much about trending topics and viral online videos, I brushed it off.

Then earlier today my 9-year-old daughter started singing the song and dancing around. Asked where she heard the song, she said that everyone at her intermediate school love the song. Suddenly, my curiosity was spiked enough to jump on YouTube and see what the buzz was about.

First, it’s a kids song, and fortunately, it stays that way throughout. Simple lyrics without innuendo or hidden meanings. The concerned over-protected dad side of me was satisfied — which is a big deal in a world filled with “twerking” and wardrobe malfunctions.

And the tune is extremely catchy — annoyingly so at times as it is hard to get it out of your head once you listen a time or two.

The plotline isn’t earth-shattering. Dog goes woof. Cat goes meow. Some quacking ducks and tooting elephants. And then the burning question of the moment is shared: What does the fox really say?

Of course, those of us who savor the outdoors and have run into a fox or two know that the fox sounds are very similar to a dog’s yips along with some growls and a few other fairly common sounds. Some of the goofy noises shared in the song may not be far off, but don’t expect to see many foxes if you use the tune in your electronic predator caller.

Yes the concept is silly, but it is somewhat cool to someone who shares a vested interest in children becoming more outdoors-savvy.  It does teach a few things about foxes — such as they have pointy noses, like chasing mice and digging holes. And while these factoids buried late in the song may not qualify as Einstein-ian “aha” discoveries, it is cool that a trendy song can actually teach a few simple details about nature. The bigger picture is also encouraging — that it is OK to be curious about nature and ask silly questions about the world around us. My daughter actually asked me later this afternoon what a fox really does say in nature. Score one for the home team!

Personally, there are questions that have always bothered me that would really translate into neat songs … like what does a giraffe say? Or what does a deer think when it sees me waddling up the mountainside during the season opener?  Does he roll his eyes and give off a quiet little deer chuckle — and what exactly does a deer chuckle sound like, anyway?

And perhaps the biggest question I’d love to answer: What does my brother say when we both bag a nice buck this season but mine has a few extra tines and a few inches larger spread?

I’ll get back to you on that one hopefully sometime in the next week or so.

 

 

 

~ by zaktansky on November 29, 2013.

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