Photo Caption Contest


Have a funny idea for what’s going on in this photograph from the University of Rhode Island library archives? Email your caption to, or respond at


March Winners

Winning caption:“For the record, he’s a Rhode Island White, and I know it doesn’t rhyme, but when he dies, he’ll be Rhode Island dead.” – Steve Bousquet ’76

Runner Up:

“The problem with your idea, Mr. Jones, is that, while crowing ‘cock-a doodle doo’ comes naturally to him, the bird lacks the intelligence to be taught to crow ‘Think-a big, we do.’ ” – Bob Crossley ‘81

Two Honorable Mentions:

“Take note, this is the end the egg comes out of.” – Kim Craig Ponte ‘83

“Hey professor, how many of these did you say make up a 12-piece bucket?” – David Singer

Chickens are part of the DNA at Kingston, and more than 20 people entered captions—some more than one—for the undated photo we ran in the last issue, which is labeled simply “Poultry Class” in our archives. Of course, chicken-and-egg and chicken-crossing-road jokes are irresistibly evergreen. But our alumni surprised us with their depth of fowl knowledge—for instance, many pointed out that the rooster in question is too light in coloring to be our state bird, the Rhode Island Red—and their literary pizzazz—including a reference to Plato’s last words.

So what do we know about this photo? Well, the cock is likely to be a Leghorn, a common breed, says Animal and Veterinary Sciences Lecturer Fred Launer. It could also be a Rhode Island White, a breed developed in Peacedale, R.I., in the late 1880s.

As for the class-like ensemble, John Hosea Washburn, first president of the R.I. College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, initiated the nation’s first, six-week Poultry School during his tenure from 1892 to 1902. The classes, an early blooming of what would become URI’s Cooperative Extension, continued after Washburn’s tenure ended, drawing farmers from all over the state.

With so many great entries, it was almost impossible to choose winners, and some were a little too earthy to print. Here are some of our favorites; please see more online at •