English Fairy Tales: Mouse and Mouser

Jacobs explains that he discovered a Scottish version of this same rhyme, The Cattie Sits in the Kilnring Spinning. Note the way the cat addresses the mouse as "good body," meaning "good person, good fellow," using the word "body" to mean "person" as we do in pronouns like somebody, anybody, etc. Notice also that the word "pudding" here means a savory meat dish, not a dessert.

Explore: For another story about a sneaky predator, see The Story of the Three Little Pigs. For another story with the promise of pudding, see Mr. Miacca.

[Notes by LKG.]

This story is part of the English Fairy Tales (1) unit. Story source: English Fairy Tales by Joseph Jacobs with illustrations by John D. Batten (1890).


Mouse and Mouser



THE Mouse went to visit the Cat, and found her sitting behind the hall door, spinning.

MOUSE
What are you doing, my lady, my lady,
What are you doing, my lady?

CAT (sharply)
I'm spinning old breeches, good body, good body,
I'm spinning old breeches, good body.

MOUSE
Long may you wear them, my lady, my lady,
Long may you wear them, my lady.

CAT (gruffly)
I'll wear 'em and tear 'em, good body, good body,
I'll wear 'em and tear 'em, good body.

MOUSE
I was sweeping my room, my lady, my lady,
I was sweeping my room, my lady.

CAT
The cleaner you'd be, good body, good body,
The cleaner you'd be, good body.

MOUSE
I found a silver sixpence, my lady, my lady,
I found a silver sixpence, my lady.

CAT
The richer you were, good body, good body,
The richer you were, good body.

MOUSE
I went to the market, my lady, my lady,
I went to the market, my lady.

CAT
The further you went, good body, good body,
The further you went, good body.

MOUSE
I bought me a pudding, my lady, my lady,
I bought me a pudding, my lady.

CAT (snarling)
The more meat you had, good body, good body,
The more meat you had, good body.

MOUSE
I put it in the window to cool, my lady,
I put it in the window to cool.

CAT (sharply)
The faster you'd eat it, good body, good body,
The faster you'd eat it, good body.

MOUSE (timidly)
The cat came and ate it, my lady, my lady,
The cat came and ate it, my lady.

CAT (pouncingly)
And I'll eat you, good body, good body,
And I'll eat you, good body.

(Springs upon the mouse and kills it.)

(300 words)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments for Google accounts; you can also contact me at laura-gibbs@ou.edu.