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The Cat and the Mouse, Jack and the Beanstalk, Mr Vinegar
The Cat and the Mouse
The cat and the mouse
PIay'd in the malt-house:
THE cat bit the mouse's tail off.
'Pray, Puss, give me my tail.'
'No,' says the cat, 'I'll not give you your tail, till you go to the cow, and fetch me some milk.'
First she leapt, and then she ran,
Till she came to the cow, and thus began:
'Pray, Cow, give me milk, that I may give cat milk, that cat may give me my own tail again.'
'No,' said the cow, 'I will give you no milk, till you go to the farmer, and get me some hay.'
First she leapt, and then she ran,
Till she came to the farmer, and thus began:
'Pray, Farmer, give me hay, that I may give cow hay, that cow may give me milk, that I may give cat milk, that cat may give me my own tail again.'
'No,' says the farmer, 'I'll give you no hay, till you go to the butcher and fetch me some meat.'
First she leapt, and then she ran,
Till she came to the butcher, and thus began:
'Pray, Butcher, give me meat, that I may give farmer meat, that farmer may give me hay, that I may give cow hay, that cow may give me milk, that I may give cat milk, that cat may give me my own tail again.'
'No,' says the butcher, 'I'll give you no meat, till you go to the baker and fetch me some bread.'
First she leapt, and then she ran,
Till she came to the baker, and thus began:
'Pray, Baker, give me bread, that I may give butcher bread, that butcher may give me meat, that I may give farmer meat, that farmer may give me hay, that I may give cow hay, that cow may give me milk, that I may give cat milk, that cat may give me my own tail again.'
'Yes,' says the baker, 'I'll give you some bread,
But if you eat my meal, I'll cut off your head.'
Then the baker gave mouse bread, and mouse gave butcher bread, and butcher gave mouse meat, and mouse gave farmer meat, and farmer gave mouse hay, and mouse gave cow hay, and cow gave mouse milk, and mouse gave cat milk, and cat gave mouse her own tail again.
Jack and the Beanstalk
THERE was once upon a time a poor widow who had an only son named Jack, and a cow named Milky-white.
And all they had to live on was the milk the cow gave every morning, which they carried to the market and sold.
But one morning Milky-white gave no milk, and they didn't know what to do.
'What shall we do, what shall we do?'
said the widow, wringing her hands.
'Cheer up, mother, I'll go and get work somewhere,' said Jack.
'We've tried that before, and nobody would take you,' said his mother;
'we must sell Milky-white and with the money start a shop, or something.'
'All right, mother,' says Jack;
'it's market-day today, and I'll soon sell Milky-white, and then we'll see what we can do.'
So he took the cow's halter in his hand, and off he started.
He hadn' t gone far when he met a funny-looking old man, who said to him:
'Good morning, Jack.'
'Good morning to you,' said Jack, and wondered how he knew his name.
'Well, Jack, and where are you off to?'
said the man.
'I'm going to market to sell our cow there.'
'Oh, you look the proper sort of chap to sell cows,' said the man;
'I wonder if you know how many beans make five.'
'Two in each hand and one in your mouth,' says Jack, as sharp as a needle.
'Right you are,' says the man, 'and here they are, the very beans themselves,' he went on, pulling out of his pocket a number of strange-looking beans.
'As you are so sharp,' says he, 'I don't mind doing a swop with you - your cow for these beans.'
'Go along,' says Jack;
'wouldn't you like it?'
you don't know what these beans are,' said the man;
'if you plant them overnight, by morning they grow right up to the sky.'
'you don't say so.'
'Yes, that is so, and if it doesn't turn out to be true you can have your cow back.'
'Right,' says Jack, and hands him over Milky-white's halter and pockets the beans.
Back goes Jack home, and as he hadn't gone very far it wasn't dusk by the time he got to his door.
'Back already, Jack?'
said his mother;
'I see you haven't got Milky-white, so you've sold her.
How much did you get for her?'
'You'll never guess, mother,' says Jack.
'No, you don't say so.
Five pounds, ten, fifteen, no, it can't be twenty.'
'I told you you couldn't guess.
What do you say to these beans;
they're magical, plant them overnight and -'
says Jack's mother, 'have you been such a fool, such a dolt, such an idiot, as to give away my Milky-white, the best milker in the parish, and prime beef to boot, for a set of paltry beans?
And as for your precious beans here they go out of the window.
And now off with you to bed.
Not a sup shall you drink, and not a bit shall you swallow this very night.'
So Jack went upstairs to his little room in the attic, and sad and sorry he was, to be sure, as much for his mother's sake, as for the loss of his supper.
At last he dropped off to sleep.
When he woke up, the room looked so funny.
The sun was shining into part of it, and yet all the rest was quite dark and shady.
So Jack jumped up and dressed himself and went to the window.
And what do you think he saw?
Why, the beans his mother had thrown out of the window into the garden had sprung up into a big beanstalk which went up and up and up till it reached the sky.
So the man spoke truth after all.
The beanstalk grew up quite close past Jack's window, so all he had to do was to open it and give a jump on to the beanstalk which ran up just like a big ladder.
So Jack climbed, and he climbed and he climbed and he climbed and he climbed and he climbed and he climbed till at last he reached the sky.
And when he got there he found a long broad road going as straight as a dart.
So he walked along and he walked along and he walked along till he came to a great big tall house, and on the doorstep there was a great big tall woman.
'Good morning, mum,' says Jack, quite polite-like.
'Could you be so kind as to give me some breakfast?'
For he hadn't had anything to eat, you know, the night before and was as hungry as a hunter.
'It's breakfast you want, is it?'
says the great big tall woman, 'it's breakfast you'll be if you don't move off from here.
My man is an ogre and there's nothing he likes better than boys broiled on toast.
You'd better be moving on or he'll be coming.'
please, mum, do give me something to eat, mum.
I've had nothing to eat since yesterday morning, really and truly, mum,' says Jack.
'I may as well be broiled as die of hunger.'
Well, the ogre's wife was not half so bad after all.
So she took Jack into the kitchen, and gave him a hunk of bread and cheese and a jug of milk.
But Jack hadn't half finished these when thump!
the whole house began to tremble with the noise of someone coming.
'Goodness gracious me!
It's my old man,' said the ogre's wife, 'what on earth shall I do?
Come along quick and jump in here.'
And she bundled Jack into the oven just as the ogre came in.
He was a big one, to be sure.
At his belt he had three calves strung up by the heels, and he unhooked them and threw them down on the table and said:
'Here, wife, broil me a couple of these for breakfast.
what's this I smell?
I smell the blood of an Englishman,
Be he alive, or be he dead,
I'll have his bones to grind my bread.'
'Nonsense, dear,' said his wife, 'you' re dreaming.
Or perhaps you smell the scraps of that little boy you liked so much for yesterday's dinner.
Here, you go and have a wash and tidy up, and by the time you come back your breakfast'll be ready for you.'
So off the ogre went, and Jack was just going to jump out of the oven and run away when the woman told him not.
'Wait till he's asleep,' says she;
'he always has a doze after breakfast.'
Well, the ogre had his breakfast, and after that he goes to a big chest and takes out a couple of bags of gold, and down he sits and counts till at last his head began to nod and he began to snore till the whole house shook again.
Then Jack crept out on tiptoe from his oven, and as he was passing the ogre he took one of the bags of gold under his arm, and off he pelters till he came to the beanstalk, and then he threw down the bag of gold, which, of course, fell into his mother's garden, and then he climbed down and climbed down till at last he got home and told his mother and showed her the gold and said:
'Welt, mother, wasn't I right about the beans?
They are really magical, you see.'
So they lived on the bag of gold for some time, but at last they came to the end of it, and Jack made up his mind to try his tuck once more at the top of the beanstalk.
So one fine morning he rose up early, and got on to the beanstalk, and he climbed and he climbed and he climbed and he climbed and he climbed and he climbed till at last he came out on to the road again and up to the great tall house he had been to before.
There, sure enough, was the great tall woman a-standing on the doorstep.
'Good morning, mum,' says Jack, as bold as brass, 'could you be so good as to give me something to eat?'
'Go away, my boy,' said the big tall woman, 'or else my man will eat you up for breakfast.
But aren't you the youngster who came here once before?
Do you know, that very day my man missed one of his bags of gold.'
'That's strange, mum,' said Jack, 'I dare say I could tell you something about that, but I'm so hungry I can't speak till I've had something to eat.'
Well, the big tall woman was so curious that she took him in and gave him something to eat.
But he had scarcely begun munching it as slowly as he could when thump!
they heard the giant's footstep, and his wife hid Jack away in the oven.
All happened as it did before.
In came the ogre as he did before, said:
'Fee-fi-fo-fum', and had his breakfast off three broiled oxen.
Then he said:
'Wife, bring me the hen that lays the golden eggs.'
So she brought it, and the ogre said:
'Lay,' and it laid an egg all of gold.
And then the ogre began to nod his head, and to snore till the house shook.
Then Jack crept out of the oven on tiptoe and caught hold of the golden hen, and was off before you could say 'Jack Robinson'.
But this time the hen gave a cackle which woke the ogre, and just as Jack got out of the house he heard him calling:
'Wife, wife, what have you done with my golden hen?'
And the wife said:
'Why, my dear?'
But that was all Jack heard, for he rushed off to the beanstalk and climbed down like a house on fire.
And when he got home he showed his mother the wonderful hen, and said 'Lay' to it;
and it laid a golden egg every time he said 'Lay.'
Well, Jack was not content, and it wasn't long before he determined to have another try at his luck up there at the top of the beanstalk.
So one fine morning, he rose up early, and got to the beanstalk, and he climbed and he climbed and he climbed and he climbed till he got to the top.
But this time he knew better than to go straight to the ogre's house.
And when he got near it, he waited behind a bush till he saw the ogre's wife come out with a pail to get some water, and then he crept into the house and got into the copper.
He hadn't been there long when he heard thump!
as before, and in came the ogre and his wife.
'Fee-fi-fo-fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman,' cried out the ogre.
'I smell him, wife, I smell him.'
'Do you, my dearie?'
says the ogre's wife.
'Then, if it's that little rogue that stole your gold and the hen that laid the golden eggs he's sure to have got into the oven.'
And they both rushed to the oven.
But Jack wasn't there, luckily, and the ogre' s wife said:
'There you are again with your fee-fi-fo-fum.
Why, of course, it's the boy you caught last night that I've just broiled for your breakfast.
How forgetful I am, and how careless you are not to know the difference between live and dead after all these years.'
So the ogre sat down to the breakfast and ate it, but every now and then he would mutter:
'Well, I could have sworn -' and he'd get up and search the larder and the cupboards and everything, only, luckily, he didn't think of the copper.
After breakfast was over, the ogre called out:
'Wife, wife, bring me my golden harp.'
So she brought it and put it on the table before him.
Then he said:
and the golden harp sang most beautifully.
And it went on singing till the ogre fell asleep, and commenced to snore like thunder.
Then Jack lifted up the copper-lid very quietly and got down like a mouse and crept on hands and knees till he came to the table, when up he crawled, caught hold of the golden harp and dashed with it towards the door.
But the harp called out quite loud:
and the ogre woke up just in time to see Jack running off with his harp.
Jack ran as fast as he could, and the ogre came rushing after, and would soon have caught him only Jack had a start and dodged him a bit and knew where he was going.
When he got to the beanstalk the ogre was not more than twenty yards away when suddenly he saw Jack disappear like, and when he came to the end of the road he saw Jack underneath climbing down for dear life.
Well, the ogre didn't like trusting himself to such a ladder, and he stood and waited, so Jack got another start.
But just then the harp cried out:
and the ogre swung himself down on to the beanstalk, which shook with his weight.
Down climbs Jack, and after him climbed the ogre.
By this time Jack had climbed down and climbed down and climbed down till he was very nearly home.
So he called out:
bring me an axe, bring me an axe.'
And his mother came rushing out with the axe in her hand, but when she came to the beanstalk she stood stock still with fright, for there she saw the ogre with his legs just through the clouds.
But Jack jumped down and got hold of the axe and gave a chop at the beanstalk which cut it half in two.
The ogre felt the beanstalk shake and quiver, so he stopped to see what was the matter.
Then Jack gave another chop with the axe, and the beanstalk was cut in two and began to topple over.
Then the ogre fell down and broke his crown, and the beanstalk came toppling after.
Then Jack showed his mother his golden harp, and what with showing that and selling the golden eggs, Jack and his mother became very rich, and he married a great princess, and they lived happy ever after.
MR and Mrs Vinegar lived in a vinegar bottle.
Now, one day, when Mr Vinegar was from home, Mrs Vinegar, who was a very good housewife, was busily sweeping her house, when an unlucky thump of the broom brought the whole house cutter-clatter, cutter-clatter, about her ears.
In an agony of grief she rushed forth to meet her husband.
On seeing him she exclaimed, 'O Mr Vinegar, Mr Vinegar, we are ruined, we are ruined:
I have knocked the house down, and it is all to pieces!'
Mr Vinegar then said:
'My dear, let us see what can be done.
Here is the door;
I will take it on my back, and we will go forth to seek our fortune.'
They walked all that day, and at nightfall entered a thick forest.
They were both very, very tired, and Mr Vinegar said:
'My love, I will climb up into a tree, drag up the door, and you shall follow.'
He accordingly did so, and they both stretched their weary limbs on the door, and fell asleep.
In the middle of the night, Mr Vinegar was disturbed by the sound of voices underneath and to his horror and dismay found that it was a band of thieves met to divide their booty.
'Here, Jack,' said one, 'there's five pounds for you;
here, Bill, here's ten pounds for you;
here, Bob, there's three pounds for you.'
Mr Vinegar could listen no longer;
his terror was so great that he trembled and trembled, and shook down the door on their heads.
Away scampered the thieves, but Mr Vinegar dared not quit his retreat till broad daylight.
He then scrambled out of the tree, and went to lift up the door.
What did he see but a number of golden guineas.
'Come down, Mrs Vinegar,' he cried;
'come down, I say;
our fortune's made, our fortune's made!
Come down, I say.'
Mrs Vinegar got down as fast as she could, and when she saw the money, she jumped for joy.
'Now, my dear,' said she, 'I'll tell you what you shall do.
There is a fair at the neighbouring town;
you shall take these forty guineas and buy a cow.
I can make butter and cheese, which you shall sell at market, and we shall then be able to live very comfortably.'
Mr Vinegar joyfully agrees, takes the money, and off he goes to the fair.
When he arrived, he walked up and down, and at length saw a beautiful red cow.
It was an excellent milker, and perfect in every way.
thought Mr Vinegar, 'if I had but that cow, I should be the happiest man alive.'
So he offered the forty guineas for the cow, and the owner said that, as he was a friend, he'd oblige him.
So the bargain was made, and he got the cow and he drove it backwards and forwards to show it.
By and by he saw a man playing the bagpipes - Tweedle-dum, tweedle-dee.
The children followed him about, and he appeared to be pocketing money on all sides.
'Well,' thought Mr Vinegar, 'if I had but that beautiful instrument I should be the happiest man alive my fortune would be made.'
So he went up to the man.
'Friend,' says he, 'what a beautiful instrument that is, and what a deal of money you must make.'
'Why, yes,' said the man, 'I make a great deal of money, to be sure, and it is a wonderful instrument.'
cried Mr Vinegar, 'how I should like to possess it!'
'Well,' said the man, 'as you are a friend, I don't much mind parting with it:
you shall have it for that red cow.'
said the delighted Mr Vinegar.
So the beautiful red cow was given for the bagpipes.
He walked up and down with his purchase;
but it was in vain he tried to play a tune, and instead of pocketing pence, the boys followed him hooting, laughing, and pelting.
Poor Mr Vinegar, his fingers grew very cold, and, just as he was leaving the town, he met a man with a fine thick pair of gloves.
'Oh, my fingers are so very cold,' said Mr Vinegar to himself.
'Now if I had but those beautiful gloves I should be the happiest man alive.'
He went up to the man, and said to him:
'Friend, you seem to have a capital pair of gloves there.'
'Yes, truly,' cried the man;
'and my hands are as warm as possible this cold November day.'
'Well,' said Mr Vinegar, 'I should like to have them.'
'What will you give?'
said the man;
'as you are a friend, I don't much mind letting you have them for those bagpipes.'
cried Mr Vinegar.
He put on the gloves, and felt perfectly happy as he trudged homewards.
At last he grew very tired, when he saw a man coming towards him with a good stout stick in his hand.
'Oh,' said Mr Vinegar, 'that I had but that stick!
I should then be the happiest man alive.'
He said to the man:
'Friend, what a rare good stick you have got!'
'Yes,' said the man;
'I have used it for many a long mile, and a good friend it has been;
but if you have a fancy for it, as you are a friend, I don't mind giving it to you for that pair of gloves.'
Mr Vinegar's hands were so warm, and his legs so tired, that he gladly made the exchange.
As he drew near to the wood where he had left his wife, he heard a parrot on a tree calling out his name:
'Mr Vinegar, you foolish man, you blockhead, you simpleton;
you went to the fair, and laid out all your money in buying a cow.
Not content with that, you changed it for bagpipes, on which you could not play, and which were not worth one-tenth of the money.
You fool, you - you had no sooner got the bagpipes than you changed them for the gloves, which were not worth one-quarter of the money;
and when you had got the gloves, you changed them for a poor miserable stick;
and now for your forty guineas, cow, bagpipes, and gloves, you have nothing to show but that poor miserable stick, which you might have cut in any hedge.'
On this the bird laughed and laughed, and Mr Vinegar, falling into a violent rage, threw the stick at its head.
The stick lodged in the tree, and he returned to his wife without money, cow, bagpipes, gloves, or stick, and she instantly gave him such a sound cudgelling that she almost broke every bone in his skin.