Interpretation and the Latest Fad

I work at a zoo for non-releasable native wildlife.  At our red fox exhibit, on a guided tour, a third grader asked: “what does the fox say?”  I gave him a straight answer and his friends laughed hysterically.  Young boys being goofy- that’s not unusual.  I forgot all about it.  A week later, another staff member mentioned giggly kindergarteners and asked if I had seen it?


Almost a quarter billion people watched the official video for “What Does the Fox Say” on YouTube by the time I heard about it.  Related videos have millions of hits. It didn’t occur to me that the nine year-old might be making a tongue in cheek pop-culture reference.


I missed a golden opportunity to connect with my audience.  I didn’t have my finger on the pulse.  So, in case you have no idea what I am talking about, the dance song by a Norwegian comedy group illuminates a pressing dilemma.  It tells us, insightfully, “cow goes moo, frog goes croak and the elephant goes toot” (who knew); but what does the fox say?


If knowing that elementary students love it does not inspire you to watch the music video, the costumes and dance moves are worth the 3:45 of your time.  The surprise ending is just gravy.  Plus, you never know when it might come in handy.  I had a parent raise his hand during a program for fourth graders and ask, completely off topic, “What does the fox say?”  I shared my story of being clueless and said I am practicing the dance moves.  Everyone laughed and it got my audience engaged.  Next time someone asks, I may just bust out those dance moves.

Categories: General | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Interpretation and the Latest Fad

  1. This is a great post and a good example of the need to stay relevant about what’s hot and what’s not. We all know that using humor to connect with different audiences can be a tricky thing. Being just three years short of the half-century mark in chronological age, I realize just how out of touch I am with younger audiences (45). Does anyone have any suggestions for this old fuddie-duddie to keep up with the things in the pop-culture world that are new and exciting from these younger audiences’ perspective? Seriously, how do we stay “relevant”?

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