Collectively Speaking

I recently saw a post on Facebook showing a group of baboons, and making fun of them as a “congress of baboons”. I was intrigued by the thought of how the English language has a whole host of terms for describing groups of animals. So I wrote this poem to capture my thoughts.

Collectively Speaking


I’d like to speak reflectively
of animals taken collectively
And how we name them as a group
not one by one, but as a troop.

We speak of geese all in a gaggle
of a drove or herd when watching cattle.
A bevy of swans; a flock of sheep,
a gam of whales, a hive of bees.

There’s hordes of ants, and coveys of grouse;
A nest of hornets outside your house.
A swarm of gnats, a litter of pups;
A flight of birds when we look up.

Little chicks we call a brood,
Fish swim in schools while searching food.
A parade of elephants, a pack of wolves
A pride of lions, a pair of doves.

Eagles represent our nation
Their word’s special: a convocation!
It’s all too clear, I must confess
why a group of baboons is called a: CONGRESS!