Hey diddle, diddle
The cat and fiddle
The cow jumped over the moon.
The little dog laughed
To see such sport.
And the dish ran away with the spoon.
(The Cow Jumped over the Moon)
On the other hand, in 1963, when Alex Colville completed the painting, the world was in the throes of the Cold War. Children hovered under their desks during atomic bomb drills. The hands of the superpower leaders hovered over the nuclear "button". Mercifully, President John F. Kennedy had recently averted disaster with the diplomacy he displayed during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Only two years before however, President Kennedy had promised to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. And while the world sat on the precipice of World War III, which would have put us back into the stone age, the two superpowers were working feverishly behind the scenes to forge ahead and put a man on the moon. The Space Race refocussed their attention. It would be only six years later that 600 million spectators would watch in hushed silence as Neil Armstrong placed his boot on the moon's dusty surface and declared: "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."