Seventeen Giraffes
(Sometimes Kids Can Help Teachers Learn)
 Words and Music by Bill Pere

I worked on this problem so long
The teacher said my answer was wrong
She said "Take seventeen giant giraffes,
I get one ninth, you get one third, Elmo gets half.
It seems you don't know know how to divide!"
And then she took me aside...
She looked at me, a stone cold face, very stern
But sometimes kids can help teachers learn

She said "One ninth of seventeen is one point nine....
That many giraffes will be mine...
One third of them is five point six --
Look them over, then you make your picks
Half of them is eight point five -- "
I said "But don't we all want them alive?"
She looked at me, like I spoke out of turn,
But sometimes kids can help teachers learn.

Now I didn't have to write a great thesis
To know you can't cut giraffes into pieces
I said "Let's borrow a giraffe from a friend
We can give it back to him whole in the end...
And look how that gets things resolved.
And this problem can neatly be solved!"
She looked at me, I said "No cause for concern...
Sometimes kids can help teachers learn."

I said "One half of eighteen is nine
One third is six , that's just fine
One ninth equals two, and I'm on a roll
Cause that's seventeen giraffes, and they're all whole!
Then give back the borrowed one and that's eighteen,
And everything's right, you see what I mean?"
She looked at me, the corners of her mouth start to turn...
Sometimes kids can help teachers learn...

Copyright Bill Pere,  All Rights Reserved