Posted by John on May 25, 2004
I've just spotted this entry on your bulletin board.
The version I learnt as a child is "They're off said the monkey", the adult version has the additional words "as his balls got caught in the chaff cutter". Having worked with an old fashioned chaff cutter I sympathise with the monkey.
I have heard this while working on farms in Australia and New Zealand. Often in the context of the start of a (horse) race.