What became of Them? and, The Conceited Little Pig
by G. Boare
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Transcriber's Note: Author noted as G. Boare in the opening pages, and as G. Boase at the end of the text. Left as printed.

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Pictured by A. M. Lockyer.

(Designed in England.) Hildesheimer & Faulkner, London E. C. (Printed in Germany.)

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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 befell them I never can tell, For they never came back again.


This poem is reprinted from "St. Nicholas" by kind permission of the Century Company.

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There were six little pigs, as I've heard people say, Went out with their mother-pig walking one day, The sun shone so bright, and the air was so free, They might all have been happy, as happy could be.

And so they all were, except one little brother, Who thought he was wiser, poor thing, than his mother, And was always contriving some nonsense to chatter, And, when she reproved him, said, "What does it matter?" "I scarcely need answer" his mother would say, "You yourself will discover the matter one day. "Take my word, you'll repent it, or sooner or later." Says he "I repent it! why, what does it matter?"

Just while they were talking, a mastiff passed by, Enjoying the sunshine and pretty blue sky. Said this bad little pig "How I long to displease him I daresay, if I grunt, it will mightily tease him."

His mother replied, "It were better by far To let him be quiet, and stay where you are, For, if you affront him, he'll bite you I know." "What matters it whether he bite me or no?"

Said the silly young thing, and he scampered away And grunted at Doggy, but what did Dog say? Why, he turned round, and seizing Pig's ear with his teeth He tore it, and worried him nearly to death.

Then took himself off, and Pig ran away too. And come to his mother to know what to do, Who took no account of his crying and clatter. He said, "Oh my ear!" she said "What does it matter?"

"'Tis only the bite that I bade you beware of, Besides, your own ear you can surely take care of! I wonder to hear you consulting another, Especially me, your poor ignorant mother!"

All this time little Piggy was crying and screaming, And over his cheeks the salt tears were streaming, And sadly he grieved as he cast his eyes round, And saw all his brothers with ears safe and sound.

You'll think after this he was prudent and wise, And loved his good mother and took her advice, You'll think he began his bad ways to forsake, But this, I assure you, is all a mistake.

For still he was naughty, as naughty could be: And as often was punished—then, sorry was he; But as soon as he fairly was rid of the pain, He forgot all about it, and did wrong again.

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, If a pig tumbled in, he was sure to be drowned.

So the mother stopped two, who were running a race, Saying, "Children, take care, 'tis a dangerous place! Walk soberly on till you're safe past the water." "Why, 'tis but a well, and pray, what does it matter?"

Said the obstinate animal, foolish as ever, But thinking himself very cunning and clever. He made up his mind that whatever befell He would run on before, and jump over this well.

"For," says he, "cats and dogs can jump ever so high, And frogs live in the water, and why should not I? I suppose they'll allow I'm as wise as a frog, And I'll very soon show I can jump like a dog."

Away scampered he to the mouth of the well, Climbed up to the top, missed his footing and fell. From the bottom he set up a pitiful shout, "O mother, I'm in, and I cannot get out!"

She ran to the side when she heard his complaint, And saw him in agony, struggling and faint, But no help could she give. "O children!" said she; "How often I told you just how it would be!"

"O mother! O mother!" the little pig cried, "Now I really repent of my folly and pride, Oh, I'm sure I shall die!" and he sank down and died, While his mother and brothers wept round the well side.

G. Boase.


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