Nursery Rhymes: Natural History, Part 1

This story is part of the Nursery Rhymes unit. Story source: The Nursery Rhyme Book edited by Andrew Lang and illustrated by L. Leslie Brooke (1897).


Nursery Rhymes: Natural History, Part 1





I HAD a little dog, and they called him Buff;
I sent him to the shop for a hap'orth of snuff;
But he lost the bag, and spill'd the snuff:
"So take that cuff—and that's enough."

~ ~ ~

BURNIE bee, burnie bee,
Tell me when your wedding be?
If it be to-morrow day,
Take your wings and fly away.

~ ~ ~

SOME little mice sat in a barn to spin;
Pussy came by, and popped her head in;
"Shall I come in and cut your threads off?"
"Oh no, kind sir, you will snap our heads off?"

~ ~ ~

ALL of a row,
Bend the bow,
Shot at a pigeon,
And killed a crow.

~ ~ ~

GREY goose and gander,
Waft your wings together,
And carry the good king's daughter
Over the one strand river.

~ ~ ~




Pussy-cat, pussy-cat, where have you been?
PUSSY-CAT, pussy-cat, where have you been?
I've been to London to look at the queen.
Pussy-cat, pussy-cat, what did you there?
I frighten'd a little mouse under the chair.

~ ~ ~

CUCKOO, Cuckoo,
What do you do?
"In April
I open my bill;
In May
I sing night and day;
In June
I change my tune;
In July
Away I fly;
In August
Away I must."

~ ~ ~

HICKETY, pickety, my black hen,
She lays eggs for gentlemen;
Gentlemen come every day
To see what my black hen doth lay.

~ ~ ~

THE cock doth crow,
To let you know,
If you be wise,
'Tis time to rise.

~ ~ ~

ROBERT BARNES, fellow fine,
Can you shoe this horse of mine?
"Yes, good sir, that I can,
As well as any other man:
There's a nail, and there's a prod,
And now, good sir, your horse is shod."

~ ~ ~

[Bird boy's song.]

EAT, birds, eat, and make no waste;
I lie here and make no haste:
If my master chance to come,
You must fly, and I must run.

~ ~ ~

"HIE, hie," says Anthony,
"Puss in the pantry,
Gnawing, gnawing
A mutton mutton-bone;
See now she tumbles it,
See now she mumbles it,
See how she tosses
The mutton mutton-bone."

~ ~ ~




FOUR and twenty tailors went to kill a snail;
The best man among them durst not touch her tail.
She put out her horns like a little Kyloe cow;
Run, tailors, run, or she'll kill you all e'en now.

~ ~ ~

THE cuckoo's a fine bird:
He sings as he flies;
He brings us good tidings;
He tells us no lies.

He sucks little birds' eggs
To make his voice clear;
And when he sings "Cuckoo!"
The summer is near.

~ ~ ~

"CROAK!" said the Toad, "I'm hungry, I think;
To-day I've had nothing to eat or to drink;
I'll crawl to a garden and jump through the pales,
And there I'll dine nicely on slugs and on snails."

"Ho, ho!" quoth the Frog, "is that what you mean?
Then I'll hop away to the next meadow stream;
There I will drink, and eat worms and slugs too,
And then I shall have a good dinner like you."

~ ~ ~



THERE was a piper, he'd a cow,
And he'd no hay to give her;
He took his pipes and played a tune:
"Consider, old cow, consider!"

The cow considered very well,
For she gave the piper a penny,
That he might play the tune again,
Of "Corn rigs are bonnie."

~ ~ ~

A PIE sate on a pear-tree,
A pie sate on a pear-tree,
A pie sate on a pear-tree.
Heigh O, heigh O, heigh O!

Once so merrily hopp'd she,
Twice so merrily hopp'd she,
Thrice so merrily hopp'd she.
Heigh O, heigh O, heigh O!

~ ~ ~

ONCE I saw a little bird
Come hop, hop, hop;
So I cried, "Little bird,
Will you stop, stop, stop?"
And was going to the window,
To say, "How do you do?"
But he shook his little tail,
And far away he flew.

~ ~ ~

THE winds they did blow;
The leaves they did wag;
Along came a beggar boy,
And put me in his bag.

He took me up to London;
A lady did me buy,
Put me in a silver cage,
And hung me up on high,

With apples by the fire,
And nuts for to crack,
Besides a little feather bed
To rest my little back.

~ ~ ~

COCK ROBIN got up early
At the break of day,
And went to Jenny's window,
To sing a roundelay.

He sang Cock Robin's love
To the pretty Jenny Wren;
And when he got unto the end,
Then he began again.

~ ~ ~

BETTY PRINGLE had a little pig,
Not very little and not very big;
When he was alive he lived in clover;
But now he's dead, and that's all over.
So Billy Pringle he laid down and cried,
And Betty Pringle she laid down and died;
So there was an end of one, two, and three:
Billy Pringle he,
Betty Pringle she,
And the piggy wiggy.

~ ~ ~



A LONG-TAIL'D pig, or a short-tail'd pig,
Or a pig without e'er a tail,
A sow-pig, or a boar-pig,
Or a pig with a curly tail.

~ ~ ~

A LITTLE cock-sparrow sat on a green tree (tris),
And he cherruped, he cherruped, so merry was he (tris);
A little cock-sparrow sat on a green tree,
And he cherruped, he cherruped, so merry was he.

A naughty boy came with his wee bow and arrow (tris),
Determined to shoot this little cock-sparrow (tris);
A naughty, &c.
Determined, &c.

"This little cock-sparrow shall make me a stew (tris),
And his giblets shall make me a little pie too" (tris);
"Oh, no," said the sparrow, "I won't make a stew;"
So he flapped his wings, and away he flew.

~ ~ ~

LITTLE Robin Red-Breast
Sat upon a rail:
Niddle-naddle went his head!
Wiggle-waggle went his tail.

~ ~ ~




DAME, what makes your ducks to die?
What the pize ails 'em? what the pize ails 'em?
They kick up their heels, and there they lie;
What the pize ails 'em now?
Heigh, ho! heigh, ho!
Dame, what makes your ducks to die?
What a pize ails 'em? what a pize ails 'em?
Heigh, ho! heigh, ho!
Dame, what ails your ducks to die?
Eating o' polly-wigs, eating o' polly-wigs.
Heigh, ho! heigh, ho!

~ ~ ~

IN the month of February,
When green leaves begin to spring,
Little lambs do skip like fairies,
Birds do couple, build, and sing.

~ ~ ~

PUSSY cat sits by the fire;
How did she come there?
In walks the little dog,
Says, "Pussy! are you there?"

"How do you do, Mistress Pussy?
Mistress Pussy, how d'ye do?"
"I thank you kindly, little dog,
I fare as well as you!"

~ ~ ~

THERE was a little boy went into a barn,
And lay down on some hay;
An owl came out and flew about,
And the little boy ran away.

~ ~ ~

THE dove says, "Coo, coo, what shall I do?
I can scarce maintain two."
"Pooh, pooh," says the wren; "I have got ten,
And keep them all like gentlemen!"





(1000 words)










No comments:

Post a Comment

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