Counting Out Rhyme – India

Inky Binky Bonky

Father Had a Donkey

Donkey Died

Father Cried

Inky Binky Bonky

I first heard this rhyme when I visited India in 1992. At that time I was 4 years old. This rhyme was taught to me by my cousins who were around the same age as I was. We were choosing who was going to go upstairs and bring the board game and we used this counting out rhyme to pick the person who goes upstairs. I found it very funny when I heard this rhyme for the first time. Especially when the father cried, because at the time I thought that grown up men do not cry.

I have no clue where the origin of this rhyme is from. At first I thought it was only said in India but after some research I found out that it is also said here in the United States. I don’t think the words inky and binky are real. I think they said it just for the sake sounding fluid.

Counting out rhymes like these are very popular all over the world. There are many variants in many languages. For examples there is a “Farting” counting out rhyme in the Indian language of Hindi. There are many variants in English such as “eenie meenie mynie mo.” Most of these versions are said at a very early age like in elementary school. It most likely fades away by the time kids reach middle school.