In the wee hours of the morning prior to dawn, a farmer sets about his daily chore of milking the cows. Oddly, he chooses to do this within a diving bell. He is the farmer in the bell.

This is an extension from last week’s cartoon. How could I have drawn a large enough vessel that rhymes with ‘dell’ and not put a farmer in there? The temptation was too great. This was not at all planned as a sequence from the beginning, but rather something that occurred to me after describing the difficulties associated with having a cow inside a diving bell.

The work involved was also minimised because it just involved zooming in on the pre-drawn cow in the bell, moving it over a little and adding a stereotypical farmer at its udder.

The way I considered showing this initially, was to have a cut-away section of the bell so that the cow and farmer could be seen through the wall while being totally contained within. I drew a mock-up of this and wasn’t really happy with it because the shape outline indicating the section of wall cut away made it look like part of the wall had been removed via some kind of explosion. The better alternative was to just have the door open so that the cow and farmer could be seen inside.

For a bit of variety, I also had it set during the night time and added some lighting from the diving bell’s external lamps. Farmers are renowned for being up at ridiculously early hours to milk cows, so I deemed this perfectly plausible and appropriate. While this might be true, they are not so renowned for milking cows within the confines of a diving bell.

According to Wikipedia, the lyrics for The Farmer in the Dell are:

“The farmer in the dell
The farmer in the dell
Heigh-ho, the derry-o
The farmer in the dell”

It is thought that the origin of derry, as in ‘derry-o’, is an abbreviation of Londonderry, a county in Ireland.

According to a Scrabble dictionary-based website it is defined as:
noun – a meaningless word used in the chorus of old songs.

To me, being in the context of cows, farming and farmers, it would make more sense to spell it as ‘dairy-o’, but then who am I to talk about things making sense? I have a farmer in the bell milking a cow instead of in the dairy.

I also think derry-o (or dairy-o for that matter) would adapt well as a potential lyric for a Thin Lizzy or Metallica song, in the vein of:

“Musha ring dumma do dumma da
Whack for the daddy-o*
Whack for the daddy-o*
There’s whiskey in the jar(-o).”

* Optionally ‘Whack fol de daddy-o’