Animals Are Jerks

Duration approx. 5 minutes

For high voice, cello or bass, and piano

Written for a friend of mine’s cabaret concert; I decided to write a set of silly pieces about how the benign animals of our communities are actually huge jerks.

Oddly enough, the movement about the bee is actually a rather sentimental piece about my spouse. It relates to a story she told me of being pregnant with our daughter; she was reclining in the sun in our backyard and bees for some reason were landing on her toes.


My mortal enemy the crow,

The beastly black butterfly.

Laying siege to my suite, 

And every house on the street.

They harangue me like a coven of witches,

Scarring my backpack and tugging at my britches.

In a tree outside my house they loom and refuel,

I dread our regularly scheduled morning duel.


The tragic trash panda, the raccoon,

Waddles through our alley every afternoon.

Masked bandit robbing our garbage bins,

Of depleted fruit containers and soup tins.

We first see the glint of her eyes,

That gives away her clumsy disguise.

Not a specimen for lone banditry,

The raccoon brings along its whole thieving family. 


I live in fear of the skunk,

Flatulent flamingos that heave reeking salvoes.

Once when I was lost in the inevitable rain,

On a street near Homer and Main.

A quick and manic beast,

Came charging from the east.

I was stunkk – and at a loss,

For my pantry was completely depleted of tomato sauce.


Clumsy little singing chickadee,

Your song has woken me.

All the other birds are sleeping.

But here you are a-peeping.

My pillow weighs down like a loaded pallet,

This song will never end, will it?

Shut your beak little Chickadee,

I’m trying to fucking sleep.


There is no asshole of less use,

Than this sultry hen: the Canadian Goose.

She has a dignified bearing and onyx jowl,

But she is among the most foul of fowl.

These jade ladies cluster at their ease,

But when your back is turned they go for the knees.

Many underestimate this clumsy waddler,

But she could easily swallow your toddler.


Pesky patches of buzzing bees nibbling at my toe jam,

They till their fertile farms and I’m scared as a lamb.

The prefer the right foot, between my teeniest toes-es,

And the people walking by in the park turn up their noses.

Because I’m stuck here, feeding my toe jam to the bees,

I can’t relax and enjoy the summer breeze.

You see I can’t make any sudden moves, even to tie my shoe string,

‘Cause between your teeniest toes is the worst place to get a sting.