Cottleston Pie

 

I remember when I was studying with Saskia Hamilton and she said that “Americans all have an English childhood.” I think she may have said she was quoting someone, but I cannot remember whom. In the US we all read Barrie, Carroll, Stevenson, Milne. (I know they’re not all English, but rather British.) As I’ve been searching for more humorous or whimsical poems this week I’ve been drawn time and time again to the Brits. It seems that when Americans write for children they talk down to them, or lack a certain charm. There are, of course, exceptions, but Cottleston Pie is not by an American.

Cottleston Pie

Cottleston Cottleston Cottleston Pie,
A fly can’t bird, but a bird can fly.
Ask me a riddle and I reply
Cottleston Cottleston Cottleston Pie.

Cottleston Cottleston Cottleston Pie,
Why does a chicken? I don’t know why.
Ask me a riddle and I reply
Cottleston Cottleston Cottleston Pie.

Cottleston Cottleston Cottleston Pie,
A fish can’t whistle and neither can I.
Ask me a riddle and I reply
Cottleston Cottleston Cottleston Pie.

A. A. Milne

The clip below never aired in the US, but it did in the UK. I think it is one of the most charming moments on the Muppet Show.

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