When Ross Begorrah's cuckoo clock developed laryngitis, he asked Mary, his shepherdess friend, to recommend an equally reliable replacement timekeeper. May was feeling drowsy from taking stock of her charges - she kept counting her pet lamb over and over again - so she did not pay Ross the full attention of her new bonnet, she mumbled a garbled reply to Ross's question. "Roe, dial and red," was what she actually said, but it was on the basis of this that Begorrah purchased an originally dumb bird.
"The Morristown Fables: Part 2,"
Word Ways: Vol. 27
, Article 14.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.butler.edu/wordways/vol27/iss3/14