March 3, 2015 at 3:00pm

Clucking, crowing and braying had featured billing at last spring’s performance of Saint-Seans’ “Carnival of the Animals,” a family concert given by the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra.

The 19th century French musical suite is known world-wide for charming children young and old by mimicking the sounds or personalities of various animals, including lions, elephants and tortoises. MDSO Director Michael Luxner sought to add a Millikin touch to the free performance with the addition of some original poetry written for and read at the concert by Dr. Stephen Frech, associate professor of English. The result was Frech’s “Hens and Roosters” and “The Donkeys,” both written to complement two of the musical piece’s 14 movements.

Hens and Roosters
The hens, a clucky brood,
peck-peck, tisk-tisk,
and croon their “yoo-hoo’s.”

The roosters puff and boast,
they brush their combs,
and waddle their wattles,
crow their triumphs, their cock-a-doodle-do’s —
he’s not shy, that rooster.

But truth be told, neither are hens.
They like what they like,
and they might take a look
at that fine-looking rooster again.

The Donkeys
The donkey, yes the donkey,
scatter-brained and loud,
the donkey, silly donkey,
what cause to be so proud?

What cause? Why not?
Silly filly, funny mare,
any jack or jenny ...
Scatter-brained? That’s fair.

But remember, the donkey’s name
comes from the Spanish “don” —
he is royalty, perhaps a king.
If this silly jack,
then why not me?


Video by Alida Duff Sullivan ’06.

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