Little Bunny Foo Foo

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Little Bunny Foo Foo is a children's poem, involving a rabbit harassing a population of field mice. The rabbit is scolded and eventually punished by a fairy. Like many traditional folk songs, there are multiple versions with differing variations. It is also known under the alternative name Little Rabbit Foo Foo; "Foo Foo" is sometimes spelled as "Fu Fu". The poem is sung to the tune of Down By The Station (1948), and melodically similar to the popular French Canadian children's song Alouette (1879).

The rhyme is usually sung by an older person to a younger child, using a repetitive tune that reinforces the meter, accompanied by hand gestures. In this mode of transmission, it is a form of tickle play that teaches and reinforces motor skills, often passed as childlore.

One of the more popular versions of the song is as follows:

Little bunny Foo Foo
Went hopping through the forest
Scooping up the field mice
And bopping them on the head
Down came the Good Fairy, and she said
"Little bunny Foo Foo
I don't want to see you
Scooping up the field mice
And bopping them on the head."

I'll give you 3 chances,

And if you don't behave, I will turn you into a goon!"

And the next day...

Little bunny Foo Foo
Went hopping through the forest
Scooping up the field mice
And bopping them on the head
Down came the Good Fairy, and she said
"Little bunny Foo Foo
I don't want to see you
Scooping up the field mice
And 'bopping them on the head."

I'll give you 2 more chances,

And if you don't behave, I will turn you into a goon!"

And the next day...

Little bunny Foo Foo
Went hopping through the forest
Scooping up the field mice
And bopping them on the head
Down came the Good Fairy, and she said
"Little bunny Foo Foo
I don't want to see you
Scooping up the field mice
And bopping them on the head."

I'll give you 1 more chance,

And if you don't behave, I will turn you into a goon!"

And the next day...

Little bunny Foo Foo
Went hopping through the forest
Scooping up the field mice
And bopping them on the head
Down came the Good Fairy, and she said
"Little bunny Foo Foo
I don't wanna to see you
Scooping up the field mice
And bopping them on the head."

I gave you three chances and you didn't behave so.... POOF. She turned him into a Goon.

An alternate version is

"Little Bunny Foo Foo
Hopping through the forest
Scoopin' up the field mice
Bopping em on the head!
Then the Good Fairy came and said:
'Little Bunny Foo Foo
I don't want see you
Scoopin' up the field mice
Bashing'em on the head!
I'll give you 3 chances,
And if you don't behave, I will turn you into a goon!"

Some versions were similar, but different:

"Little Rabbit Foo Foo
Running through the forest
Scooping up the field mice
And bopping them on the head!
Down came the Good Fairy, and she said:
"Little Rabbit Foo Foo
I don't wanna see you
Scooping up the field mice
And bashing them on the head!
I will give you three chances,
And if you don't behave, I will turn you into a Goon!"

One other version goes

"Little Bunny Foo Foo
hopping through the forest
Scooping up the field mice
And bashing them on the head!
Down came the Good Fairy, and she said:
"Little Bunny Foo Foo
I don't wanna see you
Scooping up the field mice
And bashing them on the head!
I will give you three chances,
Then POOF you're a Goon.

The result: 'Hare today, Goon tomorrow'

In some versions the Good Fairy turns Little Bunny Foo-foo into a Goose or a Goon.[1] Also, in other versions, little bunny foo-foo reforms and is rewarded by the fairy by not being transmogrified. Also, in some versions the Angel Gabriel is used instead of the Good Fairy, in others the Green Fairy. Some versions replace "I don't wanna see you" with "I don't like your attitude" or "What am I gonna do with you".

One common ending has Little Bunny Foo Foo turned into a Goon, with a pun ending "And the moral of the story is: Hare today, goon tomorrow."

The story is also retold in the book "Lenore, The Cute Dead Girl: Noogies" ([1]) whereby Lenore plays as Little Bunny Foo Foo and gets told to stop bopping field mice on the head by the good fairy. She continues bopping other animals instead, and so the good fairy reappears and reprimands her by saying: "no bopping ANY animals on the head!". Lenore responds by bopping the fairy. The moral of the story was: "be more specific".

The rhyme is retold in illustrated children's books.[2]

A version of this rhyme is sung by Butters Stotch in an episode of South Park called Something You Can Do with Your Finger, which aired in season 4.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Inside the classroom (and out), Kenneth L. Untiedt, p. 36.
  2. ^ Little Rabbit Foo Foo by Michael Rosen illustrated by Harold Robins, Walker Books Ltd, 2003, ISBN 978-0-7445-9800-1 and Little Bunny Foo Foo: Told and Sung by the Good Fairy by Paul Brett Johnson, Scholastic Press, 2004, ISBN 978-0-439-37301-2