The internet is divided over which animal the nursery rhyme depicts, with guesses ranging from ducks and sea cucumbers to polar bears.
When Arthur Kendrick’s 5-year-old son gave him the drawing, the Texas native had no idea what the “animal” was supposed to be.
With a long green body, webbed feet and his son’s name “William” written in bold, Kendrick didn’t know what to make of the strange creature.
He shared the artwork on Reddit’s R/Funny sub, asking users: “Any guesses as to what animal my 5 year old drew?”
Fellow Redditors had many suggestions, with the post receiving nearly 50,000 upvotes and over 10,000 comments.
‘Feet Are the Only Track’
In 1947, Viktor Lowenfeld—a trailblazer of art education theory—published. Creative Growth and Intellectual Growth. Believing that a child’s social, physical, mental and creative development is reflected in their artwork, this book contained his theory of “Stages of Artistic Development.”
According to Lowenfeld, children begin to develop visual perception between the ages of 4 and 6. At this point, children’s drawings represent what they feel is most important about the story—so it’s not surprising if their representation of a person or animal is true.
Children also have little spatial awareness at this age, and color choices are often emotional rather than realistic.
It took Kendrick and his wife a while to figure out what William’s painting represented, as the feet were “the only clue.”
He was also shocked by the response from Reddit users wanting to know what the animal was supposed to be.
“I sent it before I went to bed and forgot about it until morning,” he said Newsweek.
“When I looked at my Reddit account and I had 8,000 messages I was really confused for a minute.”
‘I Don’t Know Where The Confusion Comes From’
Redditors’ speculation was wide-ranging, with elus1vet suggesting plankton—the usually invisible sea creatures made famous SpongeBob SquarePants.
“OBVIOUSLY a frog,” said rawrc, while ConfidentGennel5258 believed the painting was a dog.
Lunaris52 guessed a platypus and bevybloom an iguana, but tonguetwister described the creature as “a sea cucumber, but with style.”
“I’d say it’s a pickle, actually,” wrote erst77.
“Without question: The Prince of Wales,” said DickweedMcGee. “I thought it was a photo at first….”
“A polar bear and nailed it,” notes Keeps-ittooreal, while WheresTheDonut suspects “a whale.”
Anonymouswallabee guessed the chameleon, but PsychoNerd92 said the answer was obviously “William.”
“I don’t know where this confusion is coming from,” he said. “The kid wrote it and everything. Get a tip, this is William.”
Unfortunately, there can only be one correct answer, when NurmGurpler correctly guessed the duck.
“He said he drew it because he wanted a pet duck,” said Kendrick.
“Chameleon was the top guess, and honestly probably the best guess, even if it was wrong, (but) Team Duck took the day.”