CALEDONIA - Eight-year-old Philip Prantle stood in his yard Tuesday, a low sound coming from his throat.
Philip's mother and sisters listened as the sound grew louder, evolving into the distinct moo of a cow.
On Saturday, Philip won the fifth annual Cousins Subs Moo-la-palooza World Famous Mooing Contest at the Wisconsin State Fair in West Allis.
Philip competed against about 75 people, including last year's winner and this year's runner-up, Tony Capla, 8 of Milwaukee. Competition between Philip and Tony was so close that they had to have a "moo-off," said Dawn Bores, marketing representative for Cousins Subs.
"It went by popular vote of the crowd," said Philip's mother, Cheryl Prantle, 41, of Caledonia. The host "would put his hand over Philip and they would cheer. Then he would move his hand over Tony and they would cheer. It went back and forth four or five times. The excitement kept building."
Philip was selected to compete in Moo-la-palooza because he won an online mooing contest. Philip competed online against about 500 others by calling in to record a moo. The moos were played online on the Cousins Subs Web site and people voted. For his online victory, Philip won $500 and an automatic entry into the state fair mooing contest, Cheryl said.
For winning the contest at the fair, Philip won $1,000, a year's supply of Cousins' subs and a 'moo jacket,' a suit-style coat made of cow print fabric. All the prizes were paid for by Cousins Subs of Menomonee Falls. The Prantles already have the jacket and the coupons for free subs in their hands. The $1,000 check is in the mail, Bores said.
Philip never practices mooing and the talent came to him naturally. He has never lived on a farm and does not have cows of his own, but he used to frequent his grandparents farm in Washington, he said.
"They have cows and all kinds of other animals," Cheryl said. "He loves animals. He wants to be a zookeeper when he grows up."
Besides mooing like a cow, Philip can neigh like a horse, bah like a sheep and quack like a duck.
Philip and Tony may have the opportunity to show off their moos on late night TV. Both "The Late Show with David Letterman" and "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno "have expressed interest in having the boys on their programs, Bores said.