For one day he said, "Come, I don't like at all The life that I lead, And I cannot see why I should not live just As my own master does; This chain is not strong, Can I break it? I'll try."
After some little time Jacko snapped it in two; Said he to himself, "Well, now where shall I go? To the larder, I think; For my appetite's good, And I'm sure to find Something to eat there, I know."
He entered, and as he Was looking about A lobster just brought From the shop seized his tail, And pinched him, and nipped him, Until our young friend Jumped about, and set up A most piteous wail.
Next he went to the kitchen, And there he espied A bottle of something— "Ha, ha, I must taste!" But he found it was curry, Which burnt his poor throat, So he let drop the bottle, And he ran off in haste.
To the dining-room the He repaired, and he said, "Into master's tea-pot The hot water I'll pour;" But he upset the kettle, And scalded himself, And loudly screamed out As he rolled on the floor.
Quoth Jacko, "the house Doesn't suit me at all, I had better go back To the garden again, And gather some peaches, Or grapes, or some plums, And try to forget All my trouble and pain."
In the corner the rogue Saw a bee-hive—"Why, here Must be honey! Delicious!" Said he; "Just the thing!" So he put in his hand, But he brought out the bees, And they punished poor Jacko With many a sting.
Pinched, scalded, and stung, To his home he returned. Reasoned he, "My past folly I shall not regret; For I'm sure the misfortunes I've gone through to-day Have taught me a lesson I ne'er shall forget."
A Fruitless Sorrow
A little monkey, Dusky, ugly, sad, Sat hopeless, curled Within his narrow cage; Dark was the stifling room, No joy he had; The sick air rang With tones of pain and rage.
From many a prisoned Creature held for sale, Stolen from the happy Freedom of its life: Dull drooping birds, That uttered shriek and wail, And beast and reptile Full of woe and strife.
Into the place A cheerful presence came, And kind eyes lighted On the monkey small; Straightway the weary World was not the same Such fortune did The little thing befall.
Safe in a basket Fastened, he was sent Across the city, Trembling and afraid. But once he saw his new home, What sweet content Was his, while petted And caressed, he played.
A week of bliss, Alas! that it should end! He had forgotten Darkness, pain, and all; But there were monkeys Finer than our friend, His master's eyes On such a one must fall!
So fate had ordered, And the frisky sprite, Dun-coloured, grey, And streaked with cinnamon, Born in far bright Brazil, Was bought at sight, And all the first Poor pet's fortune won.
They brought into The bright and cheerful room The basket small In which he had been borne To such a happy life. He saw his doom At once, the misery Of his lot forlorn.
The moment that The basket met his sight, He dropped his head, And hid his sorrowing eyes Against his arm, Nor looked to left nor right, As any thinking Human creature wise.
They took him back Into his noisome den, His tiny face Concealed as if he wept, So helpless to resist. Heroic men Might such despairing Patient calm have kept.
Poor little thing! And if he lingers yet, Or death has ended Life so hard to bear I know not; But I never can forget His brief rejoicing And his mute despair.
[Page 166—Gee Gee Land]
The horse, the brave. The gallant Horse— Fit theme for the minstrel's song! He hath good claim To praise and fame; As the fleet, the kind, the strong.
Behold him free In his native strength, Looking fit for the sun-god's car; With a skin as sleek As a maiden's cheek, And an eye like a Polar star.
Who wonders not Such limbs can deign To brook the fettering firth; As we see him fly The ringing plain, And paw the crumbling earth?
His nostrils are wide With snorting pride, His fiery veins expand; And yet he'll be led With s silken thread, Or soothed by and infant's hand.
He owns the lion's Spirit and might, But the voice he has learnt to love Needs only be heard, And he'll turn to the word, As gentle as a dove.
The Arab is wise Who learns to prize His barb before all gold; But us his barb More fair than ours, More generous, fast or bold?
A song for the steed, The gallant steed— Oh! grant him a leaf of bay; For we owe much more To his strength and speed, Than man can ever repay.
Whatever his place— The yoke, the chase, The war-field, road, or course, One of Creation's Brightest and best Is the Horse, the noble Horse!
The Wonderful Horse
I've a tale to relate. Such a wonderful tale That really I fear My description must fail; 'Tis about a fine horse Who had powers so amazing. He lived without eating, Or drinking, or grazing; In fact this fine horse Was so "awfully" clever. That left to himself He'd have lived on forever.
He stood in a room, With his nose in the air, And his wide staring eyes Looking no one knows where. His tail undisturbed By the sting of a fly One foot slightly raised As if kicking he'd try, This wonderful horse Never slept or yet dozed, At least if he did so, His eyes never closed.
"Come, gee up, old Dobbin. Look sharp, don't you see I want to be there And get back before tea?" But this obstinate horse Never offered to prance, Or made an attempt At the slightest advance; Harry slashed him so hard. That he slashed off one ear, Then his mane tumbled off, And poor Dobbin looked queer.
With spur, and with whip, And with terrible blows, He soon was deprived Of one eye, and his nose, While his slightly-raised foot Found a place on the floor. The tail once so handsome Was handsome no more, And Harry, the tears Raining down as he stood, Cried, "Bother the horse, It is nothing but wood!"
Oh, Brownie, our pony, A gallant young steed, Will carry us gaily O'er hill, dale, and mead.
So sure is his foot, And so steady his eye. That even our baby To mount him might try.
We haste to his stable To see him each day, And feed him with oats And the sweetest of hay.
We pat his rough coat, And we deck him with flowers, Oh, never was seen Such a pony as ours.
No one deserves to have a horse Who takes delight to beat him: The wise will choose a better course, And very kindly treat him.
If ever it should be my lot— To have, for use or pleasure, One who could safely walk or trot The horse would be a treasure.
He soon would learn my voice to know And I would gladly lead him; And should he to the stable go, I'd keep him clean and feed him.
I'd teach my horse a steady pace. Because, if he should stumble Upon a rough or stony place, We might both have a tumble.
Should he grow aged, I would still My poor old servant cherish; I could not see him weak or ill, And leave my horse to perish.
For should he get too weak to be My servant any longer, I'll send him out to grass quite free, And get another stronger.
Oh! thank you, good Dobbin, You've been a long track, And have carried papa All the way on your back; You shall have some nice oats, Faithful Dobbin, indeed, For you've brought papa home To his darling with speed.
The howling wind blew, And the pelting rain beat, And the thick mud has covered His legs and his feet, But yet on he galloped In spite of the rain, And has brought papa home, To his darling again.
The sun it was setting A long while ago, And papa could not see The road where he should go, But Dobbin kept on Through the desolate wild, And has brought papa home Again safe to his child.
Now go to the stable, The night is so raw, Go, Dobbin, and rest Your old bones on the straw: Don't stand any longer Out here in the rain, For you've brought papa home To his darling again.
A Horse's Petition to his Master
Up the hill, whip me not; Down the hill, hurry me not; In the stable, forget me not; Of hay and corn, rob me not; With sponge and brush, neglect me not; Of soft, dry bed, deprive me not; If sick or cold, chill me not; With bit and reins, oh! jerk me not; And when you are angry, strike me not.
[Page 167—Gee Gee Land]
Work-Horses in a Park on Sunday
'Tis Sabbath-day, the poor man walks Blithe from his cottage door, And to his parting young ones talks As they skip on before.
The father is a man of joy, From his week's toil released; And jocund is each little boy To see his father pleased.
But, looking to a field at hand, Where the grass grows rich and high, A no less merry Sabbath band Of horses met my eye.
Poor skinny beasts, that go all week With loads of earth and stones, Bearing, with aspect dull and meek, Hard work, and cudgel'd bones.
But now let loose to roam athwart The farmer's clover-lea With whisking tails, and jump and snort, They speak a clumsy glee.
Lolling across each other's necks, Some look like brother's dear; Other's are full of flings and kicks— Antics uncouth and queer.
Superannuated Horse to His Master, who has Sentenced him to Die
And hast thou sealed my doom, sweet master, say? And wilt thou kill thy servant old and poor? A little longer let me live, I pray; A little longer hobble round the door.
For much it glads me to behold this place— And house me in this hospitable shed; It glads me more to see mu master's face, And linger on the spot where I was bred.
For oh! to think of what we have enjoyed, In my life's prime, e'er I was old and poor! Then from the jocund morn to eve employed, My gracious master on my back I bore.
Thrice ten years have danced on down along, Since first to thee these way-born limbs I gave; Sweet smiling years! When both of was were young— The kindest master and the happiest slave.
Ah! years sweet smiling, now for ever flown, Ten years, thrice fold, alas! are as a day. Yet as together we are aged grown, Together let us wear that age away.
And hast thou fixed my doom, sweet master, say? And wilt thou kill thy servant old and poor? A little longer let me live, I pray, A little longer hobble round thy door.
But oh! Kind Nature, take thy victim's life! And thou a servant feeble, old, and poor; So shalt thou save me from the uplifted knife, And gently stretch me at my master's door.
The Arab and His Horse
Come, my beauty; come, my dessert darling! On my shoulder lay thy glossy head! Fear not, though the barley sack be empty, Here's half of Hassan's scanty bread.
Thou shalt have thy share of dates, my beauty! And thou knowest my water skin is free; Drink and be welcome, for the wells are distant, And my strength and safety lie in thee.
Bend thy forehead, now, to take my kisses! Lift in love thy dark and splendid eye; Thou art glad when Hassan mounts the saddle— Thou art proud he owns thee; so am I.
Let the Sultan bring his broadest horses, Prancing with their diamond-studded reins; They, my darling, shall not match thy fleetness, When they course with thee the desert plains.
We have seen Damascus, O my beauty! And the splendour of the pachas there; What's their pomp and riches? Why, I would not Take them for a handful of they hair.
The Cab Horse
Pity the sorrows of a poor cab horse, Whose jaded limbs have many a mile to go. Whose weary days are drawing to a close, And but in death will he a rest e'er know.
When the cold winds of dreary winter rage, And snow and hail come down in blinding sheet, And people refuge see 'neath roof or arch, The cab-horse stands unsheltered in the street.
Though worn and weary with useful life, In patient service to his master—man; No fair retirement waits his failing years, He yet must do the utmost work he can.
His legs are stiff, his shoulders rubbed and sore, His knees are broken and his sight is dim, But no physician comes his wounds to heal, The lash is all the cure that's given him.
Ye kindly hearts that spare the whip, and stroke, Just now and then, with kindly hand, his mane; Or pat his sides, or give a pleasant word, Your tender-heartedness is not in vain.
He has not many friends to plead his cause; He has not speech his own wrongs to outpour. Pity the sorrows of a poor cab-horse; Give him relief, and Heaven will bless your store.
[Page 168—Gee Gee Land]
Home from his journey Farmer John Arrived this morning safe and sound, His black coat off, and his old clothes on: "Now I'm myself," says Farmer John. And he thinks, "I'll look around!" Up leaps the dog: "Get down, you pup, Are you so glad you would eat me up?" The old cow lows at the gate to greet him. The horses prick up their ears, to meet him. Well, well, old Bay! Ha, ha, old Grey! Do you get good food when I'm away?"
"You haven't a rib!" says Farmer John: "The cattle are looking round and sleek; The colt is going to be a roan, And a beauty too, how he has grown! We'll wean the calf, next week." Says Farmer John, when I've been off, To call you again about the trough, And watch you, and pet you, while you drink, Is a greater comfort than you can think." And he pats old Bay, And he slaps old Grey; "Ah, this is the comfort of going away."
"For after all," says Farmer John, "The best of the journey is getting home! "I've seen great sights, but would I give This spot, and the peaceful life I live, For all their Paris and Rome? These hills for the City's stifled air, And big hotels, all bustle and glare, Lands all horses, and roads all stones, That deafen your ears and batter your bones, Would you, old Bay? Would you, old Grey? That's what one gets by going away."
"I've found out this," says Farmer John, "That happiness is not bought and sold And clutched in a life of waste and hurry, In nights of pleasure and days of worry, And wealth isn't all in gold, Mortgage and stocks, and ten per cent., But in simple ways of sweet content. Few wants pure hopes, and noble ends, Some land to till and a few good friends, Like you, old Bay, And you, old Grey, That's what I've learned by going away.
And a happy man is Farmer John, Oh! a rich and happy man is he; He sees the peas and pumpkins growing, The corn in tassel, and buckwheat blowing; And fruit on vine and tree. The large kind oxen look their thanks, As he rubs their foreheads and strokes their flanks, The doves light round him, and strut and coo; Says Farmer John: "I'll take you too, And you, old Bay, And you, old Grey, The next time I travel so far away."
A horse, long us'd to bit and bridle, But always much disposed to idle, Had often wished that he was able To steal unnotic'd from the stable.
He panted from his utmost soul, To be at nobody's control; Go his own pace, slower or faster. In short, do nothing—like his master.
But yet he ne'er had got at large, If Jack (who had him in his charge) Had not, as many have before, Forgot to shut the stable door.
Dobbin, with expectation swelling, Now rose to quit he present dwelling, But first peep'd out with cautious fear, T' examine if the coast was clear.
At length he ventured from his station, And with extreme self-approbation, As if delivered from a load, He gallop'd to the public road.
And here he stood awhile debating, (Till he was almost tired of waiting) Which way he'd please to bend his course, Now there was nobody to force.
At last, unchecked by bit or rein, He saunter'd down a pleasant lane, And neigh'd forth many a jocund song In triumph, as he pass'd along.
But when dark nights began t'appear, In vain he sought some shelter near, And well he knew he could not bear To sleep out in the open air.
The grass felt damp and raw, Much colder than his master's straw, Yet on it he was forc'd to stretch, A poor, cold, melancholy wretch.
The night was dark, the country hilly, Poor Dobbin felt extremely chilly; Perhaps a feeling like remorse Just now might sting this truant horse.
As soon as day began to dawn, Dobbin, with long and weary yawn, Arose from this his sleepless night, But in low spirits and bad plight.
"If this" (thought he) "is all I get, A bed unwholesome, cold and wet, And thus forlorn about to roam, I think I'd better be at home."
'Twas long ere Dobbin could decide Betwixt his wishes and his pride, Whether to live in all this danger, Or go back sneaking to the manger.
At last his struggling pride gave way, To thought of savoury oats and hay To hungry stomach, was a reason Unanswerable at this season.
So off he set, with look profound, Right glad that he was homeward bound; And, trotting fast as he was able, Soon gain'd once more his master's stable.
Now Dobbin, after his disaster, Never again forsook his master, Convinc'd he'd better let him mount. Than travel on his own account.
[Page 169—Donkey Land]
The Cottager's Donkey
No wonder the Cottager Looks with Pride On the well-fed donkey That stands at his side; For he works, and he lives As hard as he, And a creature more useful There cannot be.
He knows the Cottager's Wife and child, And he loves to play With that dog so wild; And though sometimes So staid and still, He can roll in the meadow With right good will.
He knows the road To the market well, Where garden vegetables He goes to sell: And though it is hilly, And far, and rough, He thinks—for a donkey, It's well enough.
So he trudges along, And little he cares How hard he works, Or how ill he fares! Content when his home Appears in sight, If his kindly master Smiles at night.
S. V. Dodds
Poor Donkey! I'll give him A handful of grass; I'm sure he's an honest, Though stupid, old ass. He trots to the market To carry the sack, And lets me ride all the Way home on his back; And only just stops By the ditch for a minute, To see if there's any Fresh grass for him in it.
'Tis true, now and then He has got a bad trick Of standing stock-still, And just trying to kick: But then, poor old fellow! You know he can't tell That standing stock-still Is not using me well; For it never comes into His head, I dare say, To do his work first, And then afterwards play.
No, no, my good donkey! I'll give you some grass, For you know no better, Because you're an ass; But what little donkeys Some children must look, Who stand, very like you, Stock-still at their book, And waste every moment Of time as it passes— A great deal more stupid And silly than asses!
Up and down on Neddy's back, Taking turns they go, Part the time with trot so fast, Part with pace so slow.
Little sisters side by side, Sharing each the fun and ride. Neddy thinks, "it can't hurt me, But gives the children fun, you see." And so he lends himself that they May happy be this pleasant day.
Old Jack, the Donkey
Old Jack was as sleek And well looking an ass As ever on common Munched thistle or grass; And—though 'twas not gaudy, That jacket of brown— Was the pet of the young And the pride of the town.
And indeed he might well Look so comely and trim, When his young master, Joe, Was so gentle to him; For never did child More affection beget Than was felt by young Joe For his four-footed pet.
Joe groomed him and fed him, And, each market day, Would talk to his darling The whole of the way; And Jack before dawn Would be pushing the door, As though he would say, "Up Joe; slumber no more."
One day Jack was wandering Along the roadside, When an urchin the donkey Maliciously eyed; And aiming too surely At Jack a sharp stone, It struck the poor beast Just below the shin bone.
Joe soothed and caressed him And coaxed him until They came to a stream By the side of the hill; And with cool water He washed the swoll'n limb, And after this fashion Kept talking to him:—
"Poor Jack did they pelt him— The cowards, so sly! I wish I'd been there, With my stick, standing by: It doesn't bleed now— 'Twill be well in a trice; There, let me just wash it— Now isn't that nice?"
And Jack nestled down With his soft velvet nose, And close as he could, Under Joe's ragged clothes; And he looked at his master, As though he would say— "I'm sure I can never Your kindness repay."
S. W. P.
The Donkey's Song
"Please, Mr Donkey, Sing a song," A black-bird said, one day. The don-key o-pened wide his mouth, The black-bird flew a-way.
The Ass, when treated well by man, To pleas him will do all he can; But if his master uses him ill, He will not work, but stand stock-still,
To market he will carry peas, And coals, or any thing you please; He is not over-nice with meat, For thorns and thistles he will eat.
He drinks no water but what's clean; His nose he puts not in the stream; His feet he does not like to wet, But out of dirty roads will get.
Poor Donkey's Epitaph
Down in this ditch poor donkey lies, Who jogg'd with many a load; And till the day death clos'd his eyes, Brows'd up and down this road.
No shelter had he for his head, Whatever winds might blow; A neighb'ring commons was his bed, Tho' drest in sheets of snow.
In this green ditch he often stray'd To nip the dainty grass; And friendly invitations bray'd To some more hungry ass.
Each market-day he jogg'd along Beneath the gard'ner's load, And snor'd out many a donkey's song To friends upon the road.
A tuft of grass, a thistle green, Or cabbage-leaf so sweet, Were all the dainties, he was seen For twenty years to eat.
And as for sport, the sober soul Was such a steady Jack, He only now and then would roll, Heels upward, on his back.
But all his sport, and dainties too, And labours now are o'er. Last night so bleak a tempest blew, He could withstand no more.
He felt his feeble limbs grow cold, His blood was freezing slow, And presently you might behold Him dead upon the snow.
Poor donkey! travellers passing by, Thy cold remains shall view; And 'twould be well if all who die To duty were as true.
[Page 170—Moo Moo Land]
The Cow and The Ass
Beside a green meadow A stream us'd to flow, So clear one might see The white pebbles below; To this cooling brook The warm cattle would stray, To stand in the shade, On a hot summer's day.
A cow, quite oppress'd With the heat of the sun, Came here to refresh As she often had done, And standing quite still, Leaning over the stream, Was musing, perhaps; Or perhaps she might dream.
But soon a brown ass, Of respectable look Came trotting up also, To taste of the brook, And to nibble a few Of the daisies and grass. "How d'ye do?" said the cow: "How d'ye do?" said the ass.
"Take a seat," cried the cow, Gently waving her hand. "By no means, dear madam," Said he, "while you stand." Then stooping to drink, With a complaisant bow, "Ma'am, your health." said the ass; "Thank you, sir," said the cow.
When a few of these compliments More had been pass'd, They laid themselves down On the herbage at last; And waited politely (As gentlemen must), The ass held his tongue, That the cow might speak first.
Then, with a deep sigh, She directly began, "Don't you think, Mr. Ass, We are injured by man? 'Tis a subject that lies With a weight on my mind: We certainly are much Oppress'd by mankind.
"Now what is the reason (I see none at all) That I always must go When Suke pleases to call? Whatever I'm doing ('Tis certainly hard), I'm forc'd to leave off To be milked in the yard.
"I've no will of my own, But must do as they please, And give them my milk To make butter and cheese; I've often a great mind To kick down the pail, Or give Suke a box On the ears with my tail."
"But ma'am," said the ass, "Not presuming to teach— O dear, I beg pardon— Pray finish your speech; I thought you had finish'd, Indeed," said the swain, "Go on, and I'll not Interrupt you again."
"Why, sir, I was only Just going to observe, I'm resolved that these tyrants No longer I'll serve; But leave them for ever To do as they please, And look somewhere else For their butter and cheese."
Ass waited a moment, To see if she'd done, And then, "Not presuming To teach," he begun. "With submission, dear madam, To your better wit, I own I am not quite Convinced by it yet.
"That you're of great service To them is quite true, But surely they are Of some service to you. 'Tis their pleasant meadow In which you regale; They feed you in winter, When grass and weeds fail.
"And then a warm cover They always provide, Dear madam, to shelter Your delicate hide, For my own part, I know I receive much from man, And for him, in return, I do all I can."
The cow, upon this, Cast her eyes on the grass, Not pleas'd at thus being Reproved by an ass, Yet, thought she, "I'm determined I'll benefit by't, For I really believe That the fellow is right."
Come, children, listen to me now, And you will hear about the cow; You'll find her useful, alive or dead, Whether she's black, or white, or red.
When milkmaids milk her morn and night She gives them milk so fresh and white, And this we, little children, think Is very nice for us to drink.
The curdled milk they press and squeeze, And so they make it into cheese; The cream they skim and shake in churns, And then it soon to butter turns.
And when she's dead, her flesh is good, For beef is a very wholesome food, But though 'twill make us brave and strong, To eat too much, you know, is wrong.
Her skin, with lime and bark together, The tanner tans, and makes into leather, And without that, what should we do For soles of every boot and shoe?
The shoemaker cuts it with his knife And bound the tops are by his wife; And so they nail them to the last, And then they stitch them tight and fast.
The hair that grows upon her back Is taken, whether white or black, And mix'd with plaster, short or long, Which makes it very firm and strong.
And, last of all, if cut with care, Her horns make combs to comb our hair; And so we learn—thanks to our teachers— That cows are very useful creatures.
[Page 171—Moo Moo Land]
The Cowboy's Song
"Mooly cow, mooly cow, Home from the wood They sent me to fetch you As fast as I could. The sun has gone down— It is time to go home, Mooly cow, mooly cow, Why don't you come? Your udders are full, And the milkmaid is there, And the children are all waiting, Their suppers to share. I have let the long bars down— Why don't you pass thro'" The mooly cow only said, "Moo-o-o!"
"Mooly cow, mooly cow, Have you not been Regaling all day Where the pastures are green? No doubt it was pleasant, Dear Mooly, to see The clear running brook And the wide-spreading tree, The clover to crop, And the streamlet to wade, To drink the cool water And lie in the shade; But now it is night— They are waiting for you." The mooly cow only said, "Moo-o-o!"
"Mooly cow, mooly cow, Where do you go When all the green pastures Are covered in with snow? You can go to the barn, And we feed you with hay, And the maid goes to milk You there, every day; She pats you, she loves you, She strokes your sleek hide, She speaks to you kindly, And sits by your side: Then come along home, Pretty Mooly cow, do." The mooly cow only said, "Moo-o-o!"
"Mooly cow, mooly cow, Whisking your tail The milkmaid is waiting, I say, with her pail; She tucks up her petticoats, Tidy and neat, And places the three-legged Stool for her seat. What can you be staring at, Mooly? You know That we ought to have gone Home an hour ago. How dark it is growing! O, what shall I do?" The mooly cow only said, "Moo-o-o!"
To the yard, by the barn, Came the farmer one morn, And calling the cattle, he said, While they trembled with fright: "Now which of you, last night, Shut the barn door while I was abed?" Each one of them all shook his head.
Now the little calf Spot, She was down in the lot, And the way the rest talked was a shame; For no one, night before, Saw her shut up the door; But they said that she did, all the same, For they always made her take the blame.
Said the horse (dapple gray), "I was not up that way Last night, as I recollect;" And the bull, passing by, Tossed his horns very high, And said, "Let who may be here object, I say this, that calf I suspect.
Then out spoke the cow, "It is terrible now, To accuse honest folks of such tricks." Said the cock in the tree, "I'm sure 'twasn't me;" And the sheep all cried, "Bah! (there were six) Now that calf's got herself in a fix."
"Why, of course we all knew 'Twas the wrong thing to do," Said the chickens. "Of course," said the cat. "I suppose," cried the mule, Some folks think me a fool, But I'm not quite as simple as that; The poor calf never knows what she's at."
Just that moment, the calf, Who was always the laugh And the jest of the yard, came in sight. "Did you shut my barn door?" Asked the farmer once more, "I did, sir, I closed it last night," Said the calf; "and I thought that was right."
Then each one shook his head, "She will catch it," they cried, "Serves her right for her meddlesome ways." Said the farmer, "Come here, Little bossy, my dear, You have done what I cannot repay, And your fortune is made from to-day.
"For a wonder, last night, I forgot the door quite, And if you had not shut it so neat, All my colts had slipped in, And gone right to the bin, And got what they ought not to eat, They'd have founded themselves on wheat."
The each hoof of them All began to loudly to bawl, The very mule smiled, the cock crew; "Little Spotty, my dear, You're a favourite here," They cried, "we all said it was you, We were so glad to give you your due." And the calf answered knowingly, "Boo!"
[Page 172—Baa Baa Land]
The Lost Lamb
Storm upon the mountain, Rainy torrents beating, And the little snow-white lamb, Bleating, ever bleating! Storm upon the mountain, Night upon its throne, And the little snow-white lamb, Left alone, alone!
Down the glen the shepherd Drives his flock afar; Through the murky mist and cloud, Shines no beacon star. Fast he hurries onward, Never hears the moan Of the pretty snow-white lamb, Left alone, alone!
Up the glen he races, Breasts the bitter wind, Scours across the plain, and leaves Wood and wold behind;— Storm upon the mountain, Night upon its throne— There he finds the little lamb, Left alone, alone!
Struggling, panting, sobbing, Kneeling on the ground, Round the pretty creature's neck Both his arms were wound; Soon, within his bosom, All its bleatings done, Home he bears the little lamb, Left alone, alone!
Oh! the happy faces, By the shepherd's fire! High without the tempest roars, But the laugh rings higher, Young and old together Make that joy their own— In their midst the little lamb, Left alone, alone!
The Pet Lamb
The dew was falling fast, The stars began to blink; I heard a voice; it said, "Drink, pretty creature, drink!" And looking o'er the hedge Before me I espied A snow-white mountain lamb, With a maiden by its side.
Nor sheep nor kine were near; The lamb was all alone, And by a slender cord Was tethered to a stone; With one knee on the grass Did the little maiden kneel, While to this mountain lamb. She gave its evening meal.
"What ails thee, young one; what? Why pull so at thy cord? Is it not well with thee? Well both for bed and board? Thy plot of grass is soft, And green as grass can be; Rest, little young one, rest; What is't that aileth thee?
"What is it thou would'st seek? What is wanting to thy heart? Thy limbs, are they not strong? And beautiful thou art. This grass is tender grass; These flowers they have no peers; And that green corn all day long Is rustling in they ears!
"Rest little young one, rest; Hast thou forgot the day Why my father found the first In places far away; Many flocks were on the hills, But thou wert owned by none, And thy mother from thy side For evermore was gone.
"He took thee in his arms, And in pity brought thee home; Oh! blessed day for thee! Then whither would'st thou roam? A faithful nurse thou hast; The dam that did the yean Upon the mountain top No kinder could have been.
"Thou know'st that thrice a day I have brought thee in this can Fresh water from the brook, As clear as ever ran. And twice, too, in the day, When the ground is wet with dew, I bring thee draughts of milk— Warm milk it is, and new.
"Here, then, thou need'st not dread The raven in the sky; Night and day thou'rt safe; Our cottage is hard by. Why bleat so after me? Why pull so at thy chain? Sleep, and at break of day, I will come to thee again."
A Visit to the Lambs
Mother, let's go and see the lambs; This warm and sunny day I think must make them very glad, And full of fun and play.
Ah, there they are. You pretty things! Now, don't you run away; I'm come on purpose, that I am, To see you this fine day.
What pretty little heads you've got, And such good-natured eyes! And ruff of wool all round your necks— How nicely curl'd it lies!
Come here, my little lambkin, come, And lick my hand—now do! How silly to be so afraid! Indeed I won't hurt you.
Just put your hand upon its back, Mother, how nice and warm! There, pretty lamb, you see I don't Intend to do you harm.
[Page 173—Baa Baa Land]
The Pet Lamb
Once on a time, a shepherd lived Within a cottage small; The grey thatched roof was shaded by An elm-tree dark and tall; While all around, stretched far away, A wild and lonesome moor, Except a little daisied field Before the trellised door.
Now, it was on a cold March day, When on the moorland wide The shepherd found a trembling lamb By its mother's side; And so pitiful it bleated, As with the cold it shook, He wrapped it up beneath his coat, And home the poor lamb took.
He placed it by the warm fireside, And then his children fed This little lamb, whose mother died, With milk and sweet brown bread, Until it ran about the floor, Or at the door would stand; And grew so tame, it ate its food From out the children's hand.
It followed them where'er they went, Came ever at their call, And dearly was this pretty lamb Beloved by them all. And often on a market-day, When cotters crossed the moor, They stopped to praise the snow-white lamb, Beside the cottage door;
They patted it upon its head, And stroked it with the hand, And vowed it was the prettiest lamb They'd seen in all the land.
Now, this kind shepherd was as ill, As ill as he could be, And kept his bed for many a week, And nothing earned he; And when he had got well again, He to his wife did say, "The doctor wants his money, and I haven't it to pay.
"What shall we do, what can we do? The doctor made me well, There's only one thing can be done, We must the pet lamb sell; We've nearly eaten all the bread, And how can we get more, Unless you call the butcher in When he rides by the door?"
"Oh, do not sell my white pet lamb," Then little Mary said, "And every night I'll go up stairs Without my tea to bed; Oh! do not sell my sweet pet lamb; And if you let it live, The best half of my bread and milk I will unto it give."
The doctor at that very time Entered the cottage door, As, with her arms around her lamb, She sat upon the floor. "For if the butcher buys my lamb, He'll take away its life, And make its pretty white throat bleed With his sharp cruel knife;
"And never in the morning light Again it will me meet, Nor come again to lick my hand, Look up upon me and bleat." "Why do you weep, my pretty girl?" The doctor then did say. "Because I love my little lamb, Which must be sold to-day;
It lies beside my bed at night, And, oh, it is so still, It never made a bit of noise When father was so ill. "Oh do not let them sell my lamb, And then I'll go to bed, And never ask for aught to eat
But a small piece of bread." "I'll buy the lamb and give it you," The kind, good doctor said, "And with the money that I pay Your father can buy bread. "As for the bill, that can remain Until another year." He paid the money down, and said, "The lamb is yours, my dear:
You have a kind and gentle heart, And God, who made us all, He loveth well those who are kind To creatures great and small; "And while I live, my little girl, Your lamb shall not be sold, But play with you upon the moor, And sleep within the fold."
And so the white pet lamb was saved, And played upon the moor, And after little Mary ran About the cottage-floor. It fed upon cowslips tall, And ate the grass so sweet, And on the little garden-walk Pattered its pretty feet;
And with its head upon her lap The little lamb would lay Asleep beneath the elm-tree's shade, Upon the summer's day, While she twined the flowers around its neck, And called it her, "Sweet May."
[Page 174—Piggy Land]
The Pig, He is a Gentleman
The pig, he is a gentleman, And never goes to work; He eats the very best of food Without knife or fork.
The pig, he is a gentleman, And drinks the best of milk; His clothes are good, and thick, and strong And wear as well as silk.
The pig he, is a gentleman, And covers up his head, And looks at you with one eye, And grunts beneath his bed.
He eats, and drinks, and sleeps all day Just like his lady mother, His father, uncle, and his aunt, His sister, and his brother.
E. W. Cole
"Do look at those pigs, as they lie in the straw," Little Richard said to papa; "They keep eating longer than ever I saw, What nasty fat gluttons they are!"
"I see they are feasting," his father replied, "They ear a great deal, I allow; But let us remember, before we deride, 'Tis the nature, my dear, of a sow.
"But when a great boy, such as you my dear Dick, Does nothing but eat all the day, And keeps sucking good things till he makes himself sick, What a glutton, indeed, we may say.
"When plumcake and sugar for ever he picks, And sweetmeats, and comfits, and figs; Pray let him get rid of his own nasty tricks, And then he may laugh at the pigs."
Five Little Pigs
Five lit-tle fingers And five lit-tle pigs, Of each I've a story to tell; Look at their faces And fun-ny curl-ed tails, And hear what each one be-fell.
Ring-tail, that stead-y And good lit-tle pig, To mark-et set off at a trot; And brought him his bas-ket Quite full of nice things, Con-tent-ed and pleas-ed with his lot.
Young Smil-er, the next, Was a stay at home pig, Lik-ed his pipe, and to sit at his ease; He fell fast a-sleep, Burned his nose with his pipe, And a-woke with a ve-ry loud sneeze.
Num-ber three was young Long-snout Who ate up the beef. He was both greed-y and fat; He made him-self ill By eat-ing too much, And then he was sor-ry for that.
And poor lit-tle Grun-ter— You know he had none— A pig-gy so hun-gry and sad! He si-lent-ly wiped The salt tears from his eyes, I think it was real-ly too bad.
Young Squeak-er cried, "Wee, wee, wee," All the way home, A pig-gy so fret-ful was he; He got a good whip-ping, Was sent off to bed, And de-served it, I think you must see.
Oh, these five lit-tle pigs, How they've made child-ren laugh In ages and ages now past! And they'll be quite as fun-ny, In years yet to come, While small toes and small fing-ers last.
The Self-willed Pig
It happened one day, As the other pigs tell, In the course of their walk They drew near to a well, So wide and so deep, With so smooth a wall round, That a pig tumbling in Was sure to be drowned.
But a perverse little brother, Foolish as ever, Still boasting himself Very cunning and clever, Now made up his mind That, whatever befell, He would run on before And jump over the well.
Then away he ran fast To one side of the well, Climbed up on the wall, Slipped, and headlong he fell; And now from the bottom His pitiful shout Was, "Oh mother! I'm in; Pray do help me out!"
She ran to the side When she heard his complaint, And she then saw him struggling, Weakly and faint, Yet no help could she give! But, "My children," cried she, "How often I've feared A sad end his would be!"
"Oh, mother, dear mother;" The drowning pig cried, "I see all this comes Of my folly and pride!" He could not speak more, But he sank down and died, Whilst his mother and brothers Wept round the well-side!
[Page 175—Piggy Land]
Three Naughty Pigs
Three naughty pigs, All in one pen, Drank up the milk Left by the men, Then all the three Fast as they could, Dug their way out To find something good.
Out in the garden A maiden fair Had set some flowers Of beauty rare.
Out in the garden A merry boy Had planted seeds, With childish joy,
One naughty pig Ran to the bed; Soon lay the flowers Drooping and dead.
To naughty pigs Dug up the seeds, And left, for the boy, Not even weeds.
Three naughty pigs, Back in the pen, Never could do Such digging again.
For, in their noses, Something would hurt Whenever they tried To dig in the dirt.
Little Biddy O'Toole, on her three-legged stool, Was 'atin' her praties so hot; Whin up stepped the pig, Wid his appetite big, And Biddy got down like a shot.
The Spectre Pig
It was the stalwart butcher man That knit his swarthy brow, And said the gentle pig must die, And sealed it with a vow.
And oh! it was the gentle pig Lay stretched upon the ground, And ah! it was the cruel knife His little heart that found.
They took him then those wicked men, They trailed him all along; They put a stick between his lips, And through his heels a thong.
And round and round an oaken beam A hempen cord they flung, And like a mighty pendulum All solemnly he swung.
Now say thy prayers, thou sinful man And think what thou hast done, And read thy catechism well, Thou sanguinary one.
For if its sprite should walk by night It better were for thee, That thou were mouldering in the ground, Or bleaching in the sea.
It was the savage butcher then That made a mock of sin, And swore a very wicked oath, He did not care a pin.
It was the butcher's youngest son, His voice was broke with sighs, And with his pocket handkerchief He wiped his little eyes.
All young and ignorant was he, But innocent and mild, And, in his soft simplicity, Out spoke the tender child—
"Oh! father, father, list to me; The pig is deadly sick, And men have hung him by his heels, And fed him with a stick."
It was the naughty butcher then That laughed as he would die, Yet did he soothe the sorrowing child And bid him not to cry.
"Oh! Nathan, Nathan, what's a pig, That thou shouldst weep and wail? Come bear thee like a butcher's child, And thou shalt have his tail."
It was the butcher's daughter then, So slender and so fair, That sobbed as if her heart would break And tore her yellow hair.
And thus she spoke in thrilling tone— Fell fast the tear-drops big: "Ah! woe to me! Alas! alas! The pig! the pig! the pig!"
Then did her wicked father's lips Make merry wit her woe, And call her many a naughty name, Because she whimpered so.
Ye need not weep, ye gentle ones, In vain your tears are shed, Ye cannot wash the crimson hand, Ye cannot sooth the dead.
The bright sun folded on his breast, His robes of rosey flame, And softly over all the west The shades of evening came.
He slept, and troops of murdered pigs Were busy in his dreams; Loud rang their wild, unearthly shrieks, Wide yawned their mortal seams.
The clock struck twelve; the dead hath heard; He opened both his eyes, And sullenly he shook his tail To lash the feeding flies.
One quiver of the hempen cord— One struggle and one bound— With stiffened limb and leaded eye, The pig was on the ground.
And straight towards the sleeper's house His fearful way he wended; And hooting owl, and hovering bat, On midnight wing attended.
Back flew the bolt, uprose the latch, And open swung the door, And little mincing feet were heard Pat, pat, along the floor.
Two hoofs upon the sanded floor, And two upon the bed; And they are breathing side by side, The living and the dead.
"Now wake, now wake, thou butcher man! What makes your cheeks so pale? Take hold! take hold! thou dost not fear To clasp a spectre's tail?"
Untwisted every winding coil; The shuddering wretch took hold, Till like an icicle it seemed, So tapering and so cold.
"Thou com'st with me, thou butcher man!" He strives to loose his grasp, But, faster than the clinging vine, Those twining spirals clasp.
And open, open, swung the door, And fleeter than the wind, The shadowy spectre swept before, The butcher trailed behind.
Fast fled the darkness of the night, And morn rose faint and dim; They called full loud, they knocked full long They did not waken him.
Straight, straight towards that oaken beam, A trampled pathway ran; A ghastly shape was swinging there— It was the butcher man.
O. W. Holmes
[Page 176—Piggy Land]
Little Dame Crump
Little Dame Crump, With her little hair broom, One morning was sweeping Her little bedroom, When, casting he little Grey eyes on the ground, In a sly little corner A penny she found.
"Dear me!" cried the Dame, While she started with surprise, "How lucky I am To find such a prize! To market I'll go, And a pig I will buy, And little John Grubbins Shall make him a sty."
So she washed her face clean, And put on her gown, And locked up the house, And set off for town. Then to market she went, And a purchase she made Of a little white pig, And a penny she paid.
Having purchased the pig, She was puzzled to know How they both should get home; So fearing least piggie Should play her a trick, She drove him along With a little crab stick.
Piggie ran till they came To the foot of a hill, Where a little bridge stood O'er the stream of a mill; Piggie grunted and squeaked, But not further would go: Oh, fie! Piggie, fie! To serve little Dame so.
She went to the mill, And she borrowed a sack To put the pig in, And take him on her back: Piggie squeaked to get out, But the little Dame said, "If you won't go of yourself, You then must be made."
At last when the end Of her journey had come, She was awfully glad She had got the pig home: She carried him straight To his nice little sty, And gave him some hay And some straw, nice and dry.
With a handful of peas Then Piggie she fed, And put on her night-cap, And got into bed: Having first said her prayers, And put out the light; And being quite tired, We'll wish her good night.
The Chinese Pig
Old Madam Grumph, the pig, had got A pig-sty of her own; She is a most un-com-mon pig, And likes to live alone.
A red-tiled roofing covers in The one half of her sty; And, half sur-round-ed by a wall, Is open to the sky.
There stands the trough, they keep it fill'd With pig-wash and with parings; And all the other pigs declare Dame Grumph has dainty fairings.
They like to see what she's about, And poke their noses through A great hole in the pig-sty door, From whence they get a view.
The pigs, that run about the yard, Are very lean and tall, With long hind legs—but Madam Grumph Is round as any ball.
One autumn day, when she awoke ('Twas very cold and raw), She found a litter of young pigs Half buried in the straw.
"Humph," said the dame, "now let me see How many have I got." She counted, "Six and four are ten,— Two dead ones in the lot.
"Eight—That's a nice round family; A black one and two white; The rest are spotted like myself, With prick ears—that's all right.
"What's to be done with those dead things, They'd better be thrown out," Said she, and packed the litter round The others with her snout.
"What's that, old Grumphy?" said a pig, Whose snout peeped through the door; "There's something moving in the straw I never saw before."
"I wish you'd mind your own affairs," Said she, and stepp'd between The young pigs and the pig-sty door, Not wishing to be seen.
"I hope you slept well," said the pig, "The wind was very high; You are most comfortably lodged— A most con-ve-ni-ent sty."
"I thought I told you once before To mind your own affairs," Said she, and bristling up her back, She bit the lean pig's ears.
"Squeak," said the bitten pig, "sque-e-ak, Old Grumphy's biting hard;" And all the lean pigs scamp-ed'd up From all sides of the yard.
They grumbled and they grunted loud, The squeak'd in every key; At last another pig peep'd through, To see what he could see.
Dame Grumph was standing by her pigs, And looking very proud, And all the little piggy-wigs Were squeaking very loud.
"These lovely creatures," said old Grumph, "These lovely pigs are mine; There're fat and pink like human babes, Most pro-mi-sing young swine."
"Indeed," ex-claim'd the peeping pig, "I never should have thought, They were so very promising." Old Grumphy gave a snort.
"They're of a most dis-tin-guished race; My mother and her brother Were both im-por-ted from Pekin,— My pigs are like my mother.
"They never shall as-so-ci-ate With long-legged pigs like you." Said she, ad-dress-ing the lean pig, Whose snout was peeping through.
"Begging your pardon, ma'am I really think," said he, "The dif-fer-ence is not so great As it appears to be.
"If you and I were bacon, ma'am The dif-fer-ence between An Irish and a Chinese pig Would hardly then be seen.
"Give me your comfortable sty, And some of your nice food, Our little fa-mi-lies might prove In-dif-fer-ent-ly good."
Aunt Effie's Rhymes
[Page 177—Piggy Land]
The Old Woman and Her Pig
Once an old woman was sweeping her house, and found a crooked sixpence, and went to market to buy a pig. As she was coming home she came to a stile, and the pig would not get over it: so she went a little farther and met a dog, and said to the dog:—
"Dog, dog, bite pig; Piggy won't get over the stile, And I shan't get home to-night." But the dog would not.
She went a little farther and met a stick, and said:
"Stick, stick, beat dog; dog won't bite pig, Piggy won't get over the stile, And I shan't get home to-night." But the stick would not.
She went a little farther and met a fire, and said:
"Fire, fire, burn stick; stick won't beat dog, Dog won't bite pig, Piggy won't get over the stile, And I shan't get home to-night." But the fire would not.
She went a little farther and met some water, and said:
"Water, water, quench fire, Fire won't burn stick, Stick won't beat dog, dog won't bite pig, Piggy won't get over the stile, And I shan't get home to-night." But the water would not.
She went a little farther and met an ox, and said:
"Ox, ox, drink water, Water won't quench fire, fire won't burn stick, Stick won't beat dog, dog won't bite pig, Piggy won't get over the stile, And I shan't get home to-night." But the ox would not.
She went a little farther and met a butcher, and said:
"Butcher, butcher, kill ox, Ox won't drink water, Water won't quench fire, fire won't burn stick, Stick won't beat dog, dog won't bite pig, Piggy won't get over the stile, And I shan't get home to-night." But the butcher would not.
She went a little farther and met a rope, and said:
"Rope, rope, hang butcher. Butcher won't kill ox, ox won't drink water, Water won't quench fire, fire won't burn stick, Stick won't beat dog, dog won't bite pig, Piggy won't get over the stile, And I shan't get home to-night." But the butcher would not.
She went a little farther and met a rat, and said:
"Rat, rat, gnaw rope; Rope won't hang butcher, Butcher won't kill ox, ox won't drink water, Water won't quench fire, fire won't burn stick, Stick won't beat dog, dog won't bite pig, Piggy won't get over the stile, And I shan't get home to-night." But the rat would not.
She went a little farther and met a cat, and said:
"Cat, cat, kill rat; rat won't gnaw rope, Rope won't hang butcher, Butcher won't kill ox, ox won't drink water, Water won't quench fire, fire won't burn stick, Stick won't beat dog, dog won't bite pig, Piggy won't get over the stile, And I shan't get home to-night."
But the cat said to her, "If you will go to yonder cow, and fetch me a saucer of milk, I will kill the rat." So away went the old woman to the cow, and said:
"Cow, cow, give me some milk, cat won't kill rat, Rat won't gnaw rope, rope won't hang butcher, Butcher won't kill ox, ox won't drink water, Water won't quench fire, fire won't burn stick, Stick won't beat dog, dog won't bite pig, Piggy won't get over the stile, And I shan't get home to-night."
But the cow said to her, "If you will go to yonder haymakers and fetch me a wisp of hay, I'll give you the milk."
So away the old woman went to the haymakers and said:
"Haymakers, give me a wisp of hay; Cow won't give me milk, cat won't kill rat, Rat won't gnaw rope, rope won't hang butcher, Butcher won't kill ox, ox won't drink water, Water won't quench fire, fire won't burn stick, Stick won't beat dog, dog won't bite pig, Piggy won't get over the stile, And I shan't get home to-night."
But the haymakers said to her, "If you will go and fetch us a bucket of water, we'll give you the hay." So away the old woman went; but she found the bucket was full of holes. So she covered the bottom with pebbles, and then filled the bucket with water, and away she went back with it to the haymakers; and they gave her a wisp of hay.
As soon as the cow had eaten the hay, she gave the old woman the milk; and away she went with it in a saucer to the cat. As soon as the cat had drank the milk, the cat began to kill the rat, the rat began to gnaw the rope, the rope began to hang the butcher, the butcher began to kill the ox, the ox began to drink the water, the water began to quench the fire, the fire began to burn the stick, the stick began to beat the dog, the dog began to bite to pig, the pig in a great fright jumped over the stile, and so the old woman got home that night in time to boil some apple dumplings for her husband's supper.
The Flying Pig
Dickery, dickery dare, The pig flew up in the air, But Patrick Brown soon brought him down, Dickery, dickery, dare.
The Story of the Three Little Pigs
Once there was an old pig, who had three little pigs, and sent them out to seek their fortune. The first one went and built a house with straw, and soon after a wolf came and knocked at the door and said, "Little pig, let me come in." But the little pig said, "No, no by the hair of my chin." The wolf then said, "I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house in." So he huffed, and he puffed, and blew the house in, and ate up the little pig.
The next little pig built a house with sticks, and the old wolf came along and called out, "Little pig, let me come in." And the little pig answered, "No, no, by the hair of my chin." "Then," says the wolf, "I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house in." So he huffed and he puffed, and blew the house down, and ate up the little pig also.
The third little pig built a house with bricks. Just after along came the old wolf, and said, "Little pig, let me come in." The little pig said, "No, no, by the hair of my chin." "Then I'll huff and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house down." Well, he huffed and he puffed, and he huffed and he puffed, and he puffed and he huffed; but he could not get the house down.
When he found he could not, with all his huffing and puffing, blow the house down, he said "Little pig, I know where there is a nice field of turnips." "Where?" said the little pig. "Oh, in Mr. Smith's home field, and if you will be ready to-morrow morning I will call for you, and we will go together, and get some for dinner."
"Very well," said the little pig, "I will be ready. What time do you mean to go?" "Oh, at six o'clock." Well, the little pig got up at five, and got the turnips before the wolf came, which he did about six, and said, "Little pig, are you ready?" The little pig said, "Ready; I've been and come back again and got a nice potful for dinner."
The wolf felt very angry at this, but thought that he would be up to the little pig somehow or other, so he said, "Little pig, I know where there is a nice apple tree." "Where?" said the little pig. "Down at Merry Garden," replied the wolf, "and if you will not deceive me I will come for you at five o'clock to-morrow, and we will go together and get some apples."
Well, the pig bustled up the next morning at four o'clock, and went off for the apples, hoping to get back before the wolf came; but he had further to go, and had to climb the tree, so that just as he was coming down from it he saw the wolf coming, which, as you may suppose, frightened him very much. When the wolf came up he said, "Little pig, what; are you here before me? Are they nice apples?"
"Yes, very," said the little pig, "I will throw you down one." And he threw it so far that, while the wolf was gone to pick it up, the little pig jumped down and ran home. The next day the wolf came again, and said "Little pig, there is a fair at Shanklin this afternoon, will you go?" Oh, yes," said the pig, "I will go: what time shall you be ready?" "At three," said the wolf.
So the little pig went off before the time as usual, got to the fair, and bought a butter-churn, which he was going home with, when he saw the wolf coming. Then he could not tell what to do. So he got into the churn to hide, and by doing so turned it around, and it rolled down the hill with the pig in it, which frightened the wolf so much that he ran home without going to the fair. He went to the little pig's house and told him how frightened he had been by a great round thing which came down the hill past him.
Then the little pig said "Ha! I frightened you, then. I had been to the fair and bought a butter-churn, and when I saw you I got into it and rolled down the hill." Then the wolf was very angry indeed, and declared he would eat up the little pig, and that he would get down the chimney after him.
When the little pig saw what he was about, he hung onto the pot full of water, and made up a blazing fire, and just as the wolf was coming down, took off the cover, and in fell the wolf; so the little pig put on the cover again in an instant, boiled him up, and ate him for supper, and lived happy ever afterwards.
[Page 178—Rabbit Land]
The Wild Rabbits
Among the sand-hills, Near by the sea, Wild young rabbits Were seen by me.
They live in burrows With winding-ways, And there they shelter On rainy days.
The mother rabbits Make cosy nests, With hairy linings From their breasts.
The tender young ones Are nursed and fed, And safely hidden In this warm bed.
And when they are older, They all come out Upon the sand-hills And frisk about.
They play and nibble The long, dry grass, But scamper away Whenever you pass.
A pert little rabbit, Once lived in a hole, And just did whatever he pleased; His ways were so funny, His antics so droll, That his parents were terribly teased.
"Now, dear," said his mother, "You'd best stay at home, And try to be patient and good." But No! he was fully Determined to roam Through the green and beautiful wood.
So what did he do? On a fine summer day, When mother was not to be seen, He took to his heels, And scampered away Right over the meadow so green.
He shook his long ears, And he whisked up his tail, His eyes dancing with glee, As onward he ran Through a beautiful vale, And oh! how delighted was he!
'Twas not very long Till he found a haystack, Where of course there was shelter and food. Said he to himself, "Now, I'll never go back To my stupid old home in the wood.
"I'll dig myself a nice den For myself in the hay; How warm it will be and how nice! Why in my old burrow Full many a day I've often felt colder than ice!"
So bunny soon dug him A nice little hole, And made it as round as an O; And really he looked So exceedingly droll, You'd have laughed had you seen him, I know.
But evening drew on, It was lonely and dark, So Bunny lay down in his den; Said he to himself, "I'll get up with the lark, And won't I be ravenous then!
"For really this hay, Though it does for a nest, Is somewhat too dry for my food; At home there is clover, The thing I love best, And lettuce and carrots so good.
"I wish I had some At this moment! but then I'm out on my travels just now, And I greatly prefer To reside in this den, Than at home where there's often a row!
"Ah, well! I feel sleepy, I'd best go to bed— But what is that noise that I hear? There seems to be someone Right over my head, I hope that no wild beasts are near!"
Meanwhile an old fox With a great bushy tail Was prowling about and around, But poor little Bunny Was hidden so well That never a bit was he found!
When morning had come, And the fox disappeared, Then Bunny came forth to the light, Said he to himself, "It was just as I feared, A fox has been here through the night.
"I think I had better Go scampering home To the dear little home in the wood, And never, oh never Again will I roam, Or leave my dear mother so good."
Away then he ran, Without once looking back, Till he saw the dear home he loved best. And mother came hopping Along the hard track To welcome him home to the nest.
And, oh! such a breakfast Before him there lay, Such clover and grass from the wood; And always I've heard, From that terrible day, That Bunny is patient and good.
B. R. McKean
The Pet Rabbit
I have a little Bunny With his coat as soft as down, And nearly all of him is white Except one bit of brown. The first thing in the morning, When I get out of bed, I wonder if my bunny's still Safe in his shed.
And then the next thing that I do, I daresay you have guessed; It's at once to go and see him, When I am washed and dressed. And every day I see him, I like him more and more, And each day he is bigger Than he was the day before.
I feed him in the morning With bran and bits of bread. And every night I take some straw To make his little bed. What with carrots in the morning And turnip-tops for tea, If a bunny can be happy, I'm sure he ought to be.
Then when it's nearly bed-time I go down to his shed, And say "Good-night, you bunny!" Before I go to bed, I think there's only one thing That would make me happy quite, If I could take my bunny dear With me to bed at night.
[Page 179—Hare Land]
The Little Hare
Beyond the palings of the park A Hare had made her form, Beneath a drooping fern, that made A shelter snug and warm.
She slept until the daylight came, And all thinks were awake, And then the Hare, with noiseless steps, Crept softly from the brake.
She stroked her whiskers with her paws, Looked timidly around With open eyes and ears erect That caught the smallest sound.
The Field-Mouse rustled in the grass, The Squirrel in the trees, But Puss was not at all afraid Of common sounds like these.
She frisked and gambolled with delight, And cropped a leaf or two Of clover and of tender grass, That glistened in the dew.
What was it, then, that made her start, And run away so fast? She heard the distant sound of hounds, She heard the huntsman's blast.
Tally-ho!-hoy tally-ho! The hounds are in full cry; Ehew! ehew—in scarlet coats The men are sweeping by.
So off she set with a spring and a bound, Over the meadows and open ground, Faster than hunter and faster than hound And on—and on—till she lost the sound, And away went the little Hare.
Peter and the Hare
Thoughtless little Peter, With his little gun, Went out by the woodside For a little fun; Saw a happy little hare, Who on clover fed— With his little gun took aim And shot him in the head.
Thoughtful little Peter, Sad for what he'd done, Sat down on a stump, and there By it laid his gun; Wished that he could bring to life That little hare so still; "Never more," said he, "will I A harmless creature kill."
Epitaph on a Hare
Here lies whom hound did ne'er pursue, Nor swifter greyhound follow, Whose foot ne'er tainted morning dew Nor ear heard huntsman's halloo.
Old Tiney, surliest of his kind, Who, nursed with tender care, And to domestic bounds confined, Was still a wild Jack-hare.
Though duly from my hand he took His pittance every night, He did it with a jealous look, And when he could he would bite.
On twigs of hawthorn he regaled, On pippin's russet peel; And when his juicy salads fail'd, Sliced carrot pleased him well.
A Turkey carpet was his lawn, Whereon he loved to bound, To skip and gambol like a fawn, And swing himself around.
His frisking was at evening hours For then he'd lost his fear! But most before approaching showers, Or when a storm drew near.
Eight years and five round-rolling moons He thus saw steal away, Dozing out all his idle noons And every night at play.
I kept him for his humour's sake, For he would oft beguile My heart of thoughts that made it ache, And force me to a smile.
But now, beneath this walnut shade, He finds his long last home, And waits, in snug concealment laid Till gentler puss shall come.
He, still more aged, feels the shocks From which no care can save; And partner once of Tiney's box, Must soon partake his grave.
Punch's Appeal for the Hunted Hare
All on the bare and bleak hillside, One night this merry Christmastide, A shivering hunted hare did hide; Poor Pussy!
Though we had hunted puss all day, The wind had blown her scent away, And balked the dogs, so there she lay, Poor Pussy!
There to the earth she humbly crept, There brooding o'er her lot she wept, There, on her empty stomach she slept. Poor Pussy!
And there, while frozen fell the dew, She dreamt an ugly dream or two, As starved, wet folk are apt to do, Did Pussy!
Loud hungry hounds of subtle ken, And thundering steeds, and hard-eyed men, Are fast on Pussy's trail again, Poor Pussy!
Onwards she strains, on, as they tear Foremost amongst the foremost there, Are ruthless women's faces fair; Poor Pussy!
One moment's check, to left, to right, In vain she spends her little might, Some yokel's eyes have marked her flight, Poor Pussy!
What use her fine small wits to rack! Closer, and faster on her track Hurries the hydra-headed pack, Lost Pussy!
"For pity's sake, kind huntsman, stop! Call off the dogs before I drop, And kill me with your heavy crop." Shrieks Pussy!
With shuddering start and stifled scream, She wakes!—She finds it all a dream; How kind the cold, cold earth doth seem To Pussy!
[Page 180—Rat Land]
The Pied Piper of Hamelin —or— The Vanished Children
Hamelin Town's in Brunswick By famous Hanover city; The river Weser, deep and wide, Washes its wall on the southern side. A pleasanter spot you never spied; But, when begins my ditty, Almost five hundred years ago, To see the townsfolk suffer so From vermin was a pity.
Rats! They fought the dogs and killed the cats, And bit the babies in the cradles, And ate the cheeses out of the vats, And licked the soup from the cook's own ladles, Split open the kegs of salted sprats, Made nests inside men's Sunday hats, And even spoiled the women's chats, By drowning their speaking, With shrieking and squeaking In fifty different sharps and flats.
At last the people in a body To the Town Hall came flocking: "'Tis clear," cried they, "our Mayor's a noddy; And as for our Corporation—shocking To think we buy gowns lined with ermine For dolts that can't or won't determine What's best to rid us of our vermin!
The mayor and Town Councillors were greatly perplexed what to do, when there entered a strange-looking piper, and offered to charm away all the rats for a thousand guilders. The council joyfully agreed to this, and at once:—
Into the street the Piper swept, Smiling first a little smile, As if he knew what magic slept In his quiet pipe the while: Then, like a musical adept, To blow the pipe his lips he wrinkled, And green and blue his sharp eyes twinkled Like a candle flame where salt is sprinkled; And ere three shrill notes the pipe uttered, You heard as if an army muttered; And the muttering grew to a grumbling; And out of the houses the rats came tumbling.
Great rats, small rats, lean rats, brawny rats, Brown rats, black rats, grey rats, tawny rats, Grave old plodders, gay young friskers, Fathers, mothers, uncles, cousins, Cocking tails and pricking whiskers, Families by tens and dozens, Brothers, sisters, husbands wives— Followed the Piper for their lives. From street to street he piped advancing, Until they came to river Weser Wherein all plunged and perished —Save one.
You should have heard the Hamelin people Ringing the bells till they rocked the steeple. "Go," cried the Mayor, "and get long poles! Poke out the nests and block up the holes! Consult with carpenters and builders, And leave in our town not even a trace Of the rats!"—when suddenly up the face Of the Piper perked in the market-place, With a "First, if you please, my thousand guilders!"
The mayor and Councillors abused the Piper, refused to pay him the thousand guilders, and offered him fifty and a drink, he refused to take less than they had offered, and said:
"Folks who put me in a passion May find me pipe to another fashion," "How?" cried the Mayor, "d'ye think I'll brook Being worse treated than a crook? Insulted by a lazy ribald With idle pipe and vesture piebald? You threaten us, fellow? Do your worst, Blow your pipe there till you burst!" Once more he stept into the street: And to his lips again Laid his long pipe of smooth straight cane; And ere he blew three notes (such sweet Soft notes as yet musicians cunning Never gave the enraptured air), There was a rustling, that seemed like a bustling Of merry crowds pustling, at pitching and hustling, Small feet were pattering, wooden shoes clattering, Little hands clapping, and little tongues chattering, And like fowls in a farmyard when barley is scattering, Out came the children running, All the little boys and girls, With rosy cheeks and flaxen curls, And sparkling eyes and teeth like pearls, Tripping and skipping, ran merrily after The wonderful music with shouting laughter.
The Mayor was dumb, and the Council stood As if they were carved into blocks of wood, Unable to move a step, or cry To the children merrily skipping by— And could only follow with the eye That joyous crowd at the Piper's back. But how the Mayor was on the rack, And the wretched Council's bosoms beat, As the Piper turned from the High street To where the Weser rolled its waters Right in the way of their sons and daughters! However he turned from South to West, And to Koppelberg Hill his steps addressed, And after him the children pressed; Great was the joy in every breast.
"He never can cross that mighty top! He's forced to let the piping drop, And we shall see out children stop!" When lo! as they reached the mountain's side, A wondrous portal opened wide, As if a cavern was suddenly hollowed And the Piper advanced and the children followed. And when all were in to the very last, The door in the mountain-side shut fast, Did I say all? No! one was lame, And could not dance the whole of the way!
And in after years, if you would blame His sadness, he was used to say— "It's dull in our town since my playmates left; I can't forget that I'm bereft Of all they pleasant sights they see, Which the Piper also promised me; For he led us, he said, to a joyous land, Joining the town and just at hand, Where waters gushed and fruit trees grew, And flowers put forth a fairer hue.
[Page 181—Rat Land]
And everything was strange and new; The sparrows were brighter than peacocks here, And their dogs outran our fellow deer, And honey-bees had lost their stings; And horses were born with eagles' wings, And just as I became assured My lame foot would be speedily cured, The music stopped, and I stood still, And found myself outside the Hill, Left alone against my will, To go now limping as before, And never hear of that country more!" Alas, alas for Hamelin! There came into many a burgher's pate A text which says, that Heaven's Gate Opens to the Rich at as easy rate As the needle's eye takes a camel in!
The mayor sent East, West, North and South, To offer the Piper by word of mouth, Wherever it was men's lot to find him, Silver and gold to his heart's content, If he'd only return the way he went, And bring the children all behind him. But at length they saw 'twas a lost endeavour, For Piper and dancers were gone for ever.
The Wicked Bishop Hatto
The summer and autumn had been so wet That in winter the corn was growing yet; 'Twas a piteous sight to see all around The grain lie rotting on the ground.
Every day the starving poor Crowded around Bishop Hatto's door, For all the neighbourhood could tell His granaries were furnished well.
At last Bishop Hatto appointed a day To quiet the poor without delay: He bade them to his great Barn repair And they should have food for the winter there.
Rejoiced such tidings good to hear, The poor folk flocked from far and near; So the great Barn was full as it could hold Of women and children, and young and old.
Then when he saw it could hold no more, Bishop Hatto he made fast the door; And while for mercy with shrieks they call, He set fire to the Barn and burnt them all,
"A rare and excellent bonfire!" quoth he, "And the country is greatly obliged to me, For ridding it in these times forlorn Of Rats that only consume the corn."
So then to his palace returned he, And he sat down to supper merrily, And he slept that night like an innocent man;— But Bishop Hatto never slept again.
In the morning as he entered the hall, Where his picture hung against the wall, A sweat like death all over him came, For the Rats had eaten it out of the frame.
As he looked, there came a man from his farm, He had a countenance white with alarm;— "I opened your granaries this morn, And the Rats had eaten all the corn."
Another came running presently, And he was pale as pale could be;— "Fly! my Lord Bishop, without delay, Ten thousand rats are coming this way."
"I'll go to my tower on the Rhine," quoth he, "'Tis the safest place in Germany; The walls are high and the shores are steep, And the stream is long and the water deep."
Bishop Hatto fearfully hastened away, And he crossed the Rhine without delay, And reached his tower, and barred with care All the windows, doors, and loopholes there.
He laid him down, and closed his eyes. But soon a scream made him arise: He started, and saw two eyes of flame On his pillow, from whence the screaming came.
He listened, and looked—it was only the cat; But the Bishop grew more fearful for that, For she sat screaming, mad with fear, At the army of rats that were drawing near.
For they have swum over the river so deep, And they have climed the shores so steep, And up the tower their way is bent, To do the work for which they were sent.
They are not to be told by the dozen or score— By the thousands they come, and by myriads, and more; Such numbers have never been heard of before, Such a judgement had never been witnessed of yore.
Down on his knees the Bishop fell, And faster and faster his beads did tell, As louder and louder, drawing near, The gnawing by their teeth he could hear.
And in at the windows, and in at the door, And through the walls helter-skelter they pour, And down from the ceiling, and up from the floor, From the right and the left, from behind and before, From within and without, from above and below; And all at once to the Bishop they go.
They have whetted their teeth against the stones, And now they pick the Bishop's bones; They gnawed the flesh from every limb, For they were sent to do judgement on him.
What became of them!
He was a rat, and she was a rat, And down in one hole they did dwell, And both were as black as a witch's cat, And they loved one another well.
He had a tail, and she had a tail, Both long and curling and fine, And each said, "Yours is the finest tail In the world, excepting mine."
He smelt the cheese, and she smelt the cheese, And they both pronounced it good; And both remarked it would greatly add To the charms of their daily food.
So he ventured out, and she ventured out, And I saw them go with pain; But what befel them I never can tell, For they never came back again.
[Page 182—Mousey Land]
The Gingerbread Cat
A baby-girl, on Christmas night Had filled her little apron white With all a happy child could take Of Christmas toys and Christmas cake;
But on the stairway she let fall The chiefest treasure of them all— A little cat of gingerbread All frosted white from tail to head.
Now in the moonlit midnight time, When merry mice do run and climb, A plump gray mouse come down the stair And saw the Christmas cake-cat there.
She stood still in her cruel fright And gazed upon the monster white Who seemed to feel as great surprise, And stared with both his raisin eyes.
Poor mousie dared not, could not stir! Her little brain was in a whirr! Five minutes—ten—but not a paw Had puss put forth! "I never saw
A cat like this!" the poor mouse said. A brave bold thought came in her head— Her wee heart beating pit-a-pat, She moved her own paw—touched the cat—
Then sprang upon it with a squeal And made a most delicious meal "Ho! ho!" she cried, "Sugar! spice! And everything that's good and nice—
That's what cats are made of, The cats that we're afraid of!" Then up the stairs she madly pranced, And o'er the attic floor she danced
And then she stood upon her head And to her 'stonished friends she said, "O, joy to every mouse and rat, For I have eaten up the cat!"
The mice are in their holes, And there they hide by day; But when 'tis still at night, They all come out to play.
They climb up on the shelves, And taste of all they please; They drink the milk and cream, And eat the bread and cheese.
But if they hear the cat, At once they stop their fun; In fright they seek their holes As fast as they can run.
Three Mice went into A hole to spin, Puss came by, Puss peeped in; What are you doing, My little old men? We're weaving coats For gentlemen. Shall I come and help you To wind up your threads? Oh, no, Mrs. Pussy, You'd bite off our heads!
Says Pussy, "You are So wondrous wise I love your whiskers And round black eyes; Your house is the prettiest House I see. And I think there is room For you and me." The mice were so pleased That they opened the door, And Pussy soon laid them All dead on the floor.
"Run Mousey, Run!"
I am sitting by the fireside, Reading, and very still, There comes a little sharp-eyed mouse, And run about he will.
He flies along the mantelpiece He darts beneath the fender; It's just as well that Jane's not here, Or into fits he'd send her.
And now he's nibbling at some cake She left upon the table. He seems to think I'm somebody To hurt a mouse unable.
Run, mousey, run! I hear the cat, She's scratching at the door, Once she comes in, you'll have no chance Beneath her savage claw.
Run, mousey, run! I hear Jane's foot, She's coming up to bed, If puss but makes a spring at you, Poor mousey, you'll be dead!
A Mouse Caught in a Cage
I'm only a poor little mouse, ma'am! I live in the wall of your house, ma'am! With a fragment of cheese, and a very few peas, I was having a little carouse, ma'am!
No mischief at all I intend, ma'am! I hope you will act as my friend, ma'am! If my life you should take, many hearts it would break, And the trouble would be without end, ma'am!
My wife lives in there in the crack, ma'am! She's waiting foe me to come back, ma'am! She hoped I might find a bit of rind, Or the children their dinner will lack, ma'am!
I never was given to strife, ma'am! (Don't look at that terrible knife, ma'am!) The noise overhead that disturbs you in bed, 'T is the rats, I will venture my life, ma'am!
In your eyes I see mercy I'm sure, ma'am! Oh, there's no need to open the door, ma'am! I'll slip through the crack, and I'll never come back, Oh I'll never come back any more, ma'am!
The Foolish Mouse
In a crack, near the cupboard, With dainties provided, A certain young mouse With her mother resided; So securely they lived, In that snug, quiet spot, Any mouse in the land Might have envied their lot.
But one day the young mouse, Which was given to roam, Having made an excursion Some way from her home, On a sudden returned, With such joy in her eyes, That her grey, sedate parent Expressed some surprise,
"Oh mother," said she, "The good folks of this house I'm convinced, have not any Ill-will to a mouse; And those tales can't be true You always are telling, For they've been at such pains To construct us a dwelling.
"The floor is of wood, And the walls are of wires Exactly the size that One's comfort requires; And I'm sure that we there Shall have nothing to fear, If ten cats, with kittens, At once should appear.
"And then they have made Such nice holes in the wall, One could slip in and out, With no trouble at all; But forcing one through Such rough crannies as these, Always gives one's poor ribs A most terrible squeeze.
"But the best of all is, They've provided, as well, A large piece of cheese, Of most exquisite smell; 'Twas so nice, I had put In my head to go through, When I thought it my duty To come and fetch you."
"Ah, child," said the mother, "Believe, I entreat, Both the cage and the cheese Are a terrible cheat; Do not think all that trouble They took for our good, They would catch us and kill us All there if they could.
"Thus they've caught and killed scores, And I never could learn, That a mouse who once entered Did ever return." Let young people mind What the old people say. And, when danger is near them, Keep out of the way.
[Page 183—Mousey Land]
A Clever and Good Mother Mouse
One Summer day the sun shone bright, Mid sweet flowers roved the bee, And I wandered in a garden old Beside the deep blue sea.
But close at hand, a shady path, Beneath some beech trees wound, And there. that sultry summer day, A pleasant seat I found.
Suddenly, just beside my chair, A little sound I heard; A scratch upon the gravel path, As of a mouse or bird.
I turned my head; there, on the path, What strange sight did I see! A little mouse, and in her mouth Another still more wee.
Softly she crept across the path, And then, her journey done, In a hole beneath the green grass verge She laid her little one.
And back and forth from side to side, I watched her carry five Sweet little mice, her own dear brood, Long tailed, and all alive.
She never wearied in her work, Yet oh! so small was she! And thus, that bright, hot summer day She moved her nursery.
Dear mother mouse! My verse has told Your patient loving deed; Methinks our boys and girls may learn Some lessons as they read.
Francis E. Cooke
The True History of a Poor Little Mouse
A poor little mouse Had once made him a nest, And he fancied, the warmest, And safest, and best, That a poor little mouse could enjoy; So snug and convenient, So out of the way. This poor little mouse And his family lay, They fear'd neither pussy nor boy.
It was in a store That was seldom in use, Where shavings and papers Were scattered in loose, That this poor little mouse made his hole, But alas! Master Johnny Had seen him one day, As in a great fright He had scampered away, With a piece of plum pudding he stole.
As soon as young Johnny (Who, wicked and bad, No pitiful thoughts For dumb animals had) Descried the poor fellow's retreat, He crept to the shavings And set them alight, And, before the poor mouse Could run off in its fright, It was smother'd to death in the heat!
Poor mouse! how it squeak'd I can't bear to relate, Nor how its poor little Ones hopp'd in the grate, And died, one by one, in the flame! I should not much wonder To hear, that, some night, This wicked boy's bed-curtains Catching alight, He suffered exactly the same.
The Mouse's Call
A little mouse crept out one day, When all was still about; To dollie's house he took his way, The lady being out.
He skipped about with bead-bright eyes From table down to chair; He thought the house was just the size For him to settle there.
He found some jelly cake so nice, This naughty little mouse; He nibbled first, then in a trice 'Twas gone from dollie's house.
He curl'd himself upon the floor, To have a little nap, When suddenly upon the floor There came a fearful rap.
The mouse who had not left a crumb, With fear began to shake, For dollie's mistress back had come To get her piece of cake.
She opened wide the little house, Her doll lay on her arm, And when she spied the trembling mouse She cried out with alarm.
She tumbled back upon the ground, Her dear doll falling too, While the mouse went rushing round, Not knowing what to do.
At last he tumbled down the stair, Then to his hole he flew; And which did most the other scare They never, never knew.
[Page 184—Froggy Land]
The Foolish Frog
In a tank at the foot of the hill Lived Mr. and Mrs. Frog, At the head of the sparkling rill, By the side of a queachy bog; And they had children ten— All froggies as yellow as gold, Who loved to play on the fen, But they often were over-bold.
Now it fell out one bright day, As it never had done before, When Father Frog was away A stickleback sailed to the door. "Oh! Mrs. Frog," said he, "Your sister is very ill; And much she wants to see You down at the water mill."
Then Mother frog showed her grief In such tears as you never saw; And, having no handkerchief, She wiped her eyes with a paw. Said she, "Now, froggies dear, You must not go to the fen: There is no danger here, And I'll soon come back again!"
But the naughty little froggies, Disobeyed their mother and went.
Then a duck, which had lazily swum For hours in a reedy pool, Seeing the shadows come, And feeling the air grow cool. With a "Quack, quack, quack," came out She meant, "It is time to sup!" So finding the froggies about, She gobbled them quickly up.
So Mr. and Mrs. Frog, By the peeping stars made bold, Came back by the queachy bog, To their froggies all yellow as gold. They never saw them again— Alas! that it should be so. They were told not to go to the fen; But the did not obey, you know.
Marriage of Mr. Froggie
There was a Frog Lived in a bog— A Frog of high degree— A stylish youth, And yet, forsooth, A bachelor was he.
He had not wed Because, he said, He'd ne'er in all his life Seen in the bog A pollywog He cared to make his wife.
But one fine day, When drest up gay, He passed a pretty house, And there beside The window spied A most attractive mouse.
He raised his hat, And gazing at Miss Mouse, in suit of gray, He made a bow, Likewise a vow To marry her straightway.
When he was drest In scarlet vest, And coat of velvet sheen With frills of lace, And sword in place, His like was nowhere seen.
His smile was bland, His style so grand, He said with pride, "I know Miss Mouse so fair, Can find nowhere So suitable a beau!
"If she'll agree To live with me, And be my faithful wife, Oh, she shall dine On dishes fine, And lead an easy life."
When he went by, Miss Mouse so shy, Would hide her blushing face; But truth to tell Could see quite well Through curtains of thin lace.
And from her nook, Ah! many a look She gave, with heart a-stir; And oft did she Confess that he Was just the beau for her.
At last so blue Poor froggie grew, He went up to the house And rang the bell, In haste to tell His love for Mistress Mouse.
He passed the door, And on the floor He knelt and kissed her hand, "Wilt marry me?" He asked, while she Her burning blushes fanned.
She answered "Yes," As you may guess, To Mister Frog's delight; His arm he placed Around her waist, And joy was at its height.
The wedding-day Was set straightway, The town was all agog; And gifts, not few, Were sent unto Miss Mouse and Mister Frog.
And never yet Was banquet set, In country or in town, With fare more rich Than that to which The wedding guests sat down.
And, after all, There was the ball, For which the band was hired, And frogs and mice Were up in a trice, And danced till their toes were tired.
Frogs at School
Twenty froggies went to school, Down beside a rushy pool; Twenty little coats of green, Twenty vests all white and clean, "We must be in time," said they; "First we study, then we play; That is how we keep the rule When we froggies go to school."
Master Bullfrog, grave and stern, Called the classes in their turn; Taught them how to nobly strive, Likewise how to leap and dive; From his seat upon the log Showed them how to say, "Ker-chog!" Also, how to dodge a blow From the sticks which bad boys throw.
Twenty froggies grew up fast; Bullfrogs they became at last; Not one dunce among the lot, Not one lesson they forgot. Polished in a high degree, As each froggie ought to be, Now they sit on other logs, Teaching other little frogs.
[Page 185—Froggy Land]
Mouse that Lost her Tail
Once upon a time a Cat and Mouse were playing together, when, quite by accident, the cat bit off the Mouse's tail.
It was very strange that the Cat did not bite off the Mouse's head. But this Mouse was a good Mouse, and never stole any cheese; and so the Cat only bit off her tail. Mousey was very much vexed to see that her tail was gone, so she said to Pussy—
"Oh, dear Pussy! do give me my tail again." "No, that I will not," said Pussy, "till you get me some milk for my breakfast." "Oh, the Cow will give me some," said the Mouse.
So she frisked and jumped, and then she ran Till she came to the Cow, and thus began:—
"Please, Cow, give me some milk. I want to give Pussy milk, and Pussy will give me my own tail again." "So I will, Mousey, if you will get me some hay for my breakfast." said the Cow. "Oh, the Farmer will give me some," said the Mouse.
So she frisked and jumped, and then she ran Till she came to the Farmer, and thus began:—
"Please, Mr. Farmer, give me some hay; I want to give the Cow hay. The Cow will give me some milk; I will give Pussy milk; and Pussy will give me my own tail again." "So I will, Mousey, if you get me some bread for my breakfast," said the Farmer. "Oh, the Baker will give me some," said the Mouse.
So she frisked and jumped, and then she ran Till she came to the Baker, and thus began:—
"Please, Mr. Baker, give me some bread; I want to give the Farmer bread. The Farmer will give me some hay; I will give the Cow hay, the Cow will give me some milk; I will give Pussy milk; and Pussy will give me my own tail again." "So I will, Mousey, if you get me some meat for my breakfast," said the baker. "Oh, the Butcher will give me some," said the Mouse.
So she frisked and jumped, and then she ran Till she came to the Butcher, and thus began:—
"Please, Mr. Butcher, give me some meat. I want to give the Baker meat. The Baker will give me some bread; I will give the Farmer bread. The Farmer will give me some hay; I will give the Cow hay, the Cow will give me some milk; I will give Pussy milk; and Pussy will give me my own tail again." "So I will, Mousey, if you will eat up the crumbs that have fallen at my breakfast," said the Butcher. "Oh, that I will," said the Mouse, and she soon cleared the floor of every crumb.
Then the Butcher gave the Mouse some meat, and the Mouse gave the Baker the meat, and the Baker gave the Mouse some bread, and the Mouse gave the Farmer the bread, and the Farmer gave the Mouse some hay, and the Mouse gave the Cow the hay, and the Cow gave the Mouse some milk, and the Mouse gave Pussy the milk, and then Pussy gave poor little Mousey her own tail again.
So she frisked and jumped, and away she ran And cried out to Pussy, "Catch me if you can!"
There was an Old Person of Ewell, Who chiefly subsisted on gruel, But to make it taste nice, he inserted some mice, Which refreshed that Old Person of Ewell.
Some little mice sat in a barn to spin, Pussy came by and she popped her head in. "Shall I come in and cut your threads off?" "Oh, no, kind sir, you will bite our heads off!"
Mouse Ran up the Clock
Hickory, diccory dock, The mouse ran up the clock, The clock struck one, the mouse ran down, Hickory, diccory, dock.
A Frog he would a-Wooing Go
A Frog he would a-wooing go, Whether his mother would have it or no; So off he set with his nice new hat, And on the road he met a rat.
"Pray, Mr. Rat, will you go with me, Kind Mrs. Mousey for to see!" When they came to the door of Mousey's hall, They gave a loud knock, and gave a loud call.
"Pray, Mrs. Mouse, are you within?" "Oh, yes, kind sirs, I'm sitting to spin." "Pray, Mrs. Mouse, Will you give us some beer? For Froggy and I are fond of good cheer."
"Pray, Mr. Frog, will you give us a song— But let it be something that's not very long!" "Indeed, Mrs. Mouse," replied the Frog, "A cold has made me as hoarse as a dog."
"Since you have a cold, Mr. Frog," Mousey said, "I'll sing you a song that I have just made." But while they were all a merry-making, A cat and her kittens came tumbling in.
The cat she seized the rat by the crown; The kittens they pulled the little mouse down. This put Mr. Frog in a terrible fright: He took up his hat, and wished them good-night. But as Froggy was crossing over a brook, A lily-white duck came and gobbled him up, So there was an end of one, two, and three. The Rat, the Mouse, and the little Frog-ee.
Man that Caught a Mouse
The Little priest of Felton, The little priest of Felton, He killed a mouse within his house, And ne'er a one to help him.
Three Blind Mice
Three blind mice! three blind mice! See how they run! see how they run! They all ran after the farmer's wife, They cut off their tails with a carving knife; Did you ever see such a thing in your life As three blind mice?
The Three Unfortunate Mice
Three little dogs were basking in the cinders; Three little cats were playing in the windows; Three little mice hopped out of a hole, And a piece of cheese they stole; The three little cats jumped down in a trice, And cracked the bones of the three little mice.
The Foolish Mouse
In a crack near the cupboard, with dainties provided, A certain young mouse with her mother resided; So securely they lived in that snug, quiet spot, Any mouse in the land might have envied their lot.
But one day the young mouse, which was given to roam, Having made an excursion some way from her home, On a sudden returned, with such joy in her eyes, That her grey, sedate parent expressed some surprise.
"O mother," said she, "The good folks of this house, I'm convinced, have not any ill-will to a mouse; And those tales can't be true you always are telling, For they've been at such pains to construct us a dwelling.
"The floor is of wood, and the walls are of wires, Exactly the size that one's comfort requires; And I'm sure that we there shall have nothing to fear, If ten cats, with kittens, at once should appear.
"And then they have made such nice holes in the wall, One could slip in and out, with no trouble at all; But forcing one through such rough crannies as these, Always gives one's poor ribs a most terrible squeeze.
"But the best of all is, they've provided, as well, A large piece of cheese, of most exquisite smell; 'T was so nice, I had put in my head to go through, When I thought it my duty to come and fetch you."
"Ah, child," said the mother, "believe, I entreat, Both the cage and the cheese are a terrible cheat; Do not think all that trouble they took for our good, They would catch us and kill us there if they could.