nine ferrets in a bottle

Otter Perry ottertee at
Wed Sep 22 20:48:20 EDT 2004

On Wednesday, September 22, 2004, at 04:32 PM, minnow at 

>> I'm imagining some folk song, with patter and guitar thumping and all 
>> that,
>> going something like
>> I had a bottle of ferrets,
>> Which was otherwise filled with gin,
>> I had a bottle of ferrets
>> And the ferrets wuz livin' in sin.
>> Every ferret was male*,
>> Every ferret was tail,
>> Nine ferrets in a bottle,
>> And they wuz livin' in sin.
>> (Alternate version: every ferret fe-male, every ferret be tail, if 
>> you like)
> I started to fall about laughing at around line six, and my chair went 
> out
> from under me, and my daughter says you shouldn't cause her alarm and
> despondency like that, she *ran* upstairs to see if I was all right!
> Thank you, Helen.  :-)
> May I have that, please, to go with the wild cry of "Stoat!!"?

Does anybody know the tune?

One of the great discoveries of my life was the tune to which the
following may be sung:

The common cormorant, or shag,
Lays eggs inside a paper bag.
The reason you will see, no doubt;
It is to keep the lightning out.
But what these unobservant birds
Have never noticed is that herds
Of wandering bears may come with buns
And steal the bags to hold the crumbs.

The tune is 'Greensleeves'.


If at first the idea is not absurd, then there
is no hope for it.

                                          - A. Einstein

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