Stories

The Story of the Little Old Woman and the Lamb

Cassie Davies (1898-1988)

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The Story of the Little Old Woman and the Lamb

Margaret D Jones

You were saying that your mother used to tell you a story when you were a little girl, and that you called this story 'The Little Old Woman and the Lamb', is that right?

Yes. That's it. A little old lady who was sweeping the hearth got three pennies to buy a little lamb:

'Dear little lamb, go home, my back is too weak to carry you.'
'No, I won't.'

'Dear little dog, chase the lamb home. The lamb won't walk home and my back is too weak to carry him.'
'No, I won't.'

'Dear little cudgel, beat the dog. The dog won't chase the lamb, and the lamb won't walk home and my back is too weak to carry him.'
'No, I won't.'

'Dear little axe, cut the cudgel. The cudgel won't beat the dog, the dog won't chase the lamb, the lamb won't walk home and my back is too weak to carry him.'
'No, I won't.'

'Dear little fire, burn the axe. The axe won't cut the cudgel, the cudgel won't beat the dog, the dog won't chase the lamb, the lamb won't walk home and my back is too weak to carry him.'
'No, I won't.'

'Dear little water, put out the fire. The fire won't burn the axe, the axe won't cut the cudgel, the cudgel won't beat the dog, and the dog won't chase the lamb, and the lamb won't walk home and my back is too weak to carry him.'
'No, I won't.'

'Dear little ox, drink the water. The water won't put out the fire, and the fire won't burn the axe, axe won't cut the cudgel, cudgel won't beat the dog, dog won't chase the lamb, and the lamb won't walk home and my back is too weak to carry him.'
'No, I won't.'

'Dear little rope, hang the ox. The ox won't drink the water, the water won't put out the fire, fire won't burn the axe, axe won't cut the cudgel, cudgel won't beat the dog, dog won't chase the lamb, and the lamb won't walk home and my back is too weak to carry him.'
'No, I won't.'

'Dear little mouse, cut the rope. The rope won't hang the ox, and the ox won't drink the water, water won't put out the fire, fire won't burn the axe, axe won't cut the cudgel, cudgel won't beat the dog, dog won't chase the lamb, and the lamb won't walk home and my back is too weak to carry him.'
'No, I won't.'

'Dear little cat - is it? Dear little cat, catch the mouse. The mouse won't cut the rope, and the rope won't hang the ox, and the ox won't drink the water, water won't put out the fire, fire won't burn the axe, axe won't cut the cudgel, cudgel won't beat the dog, dog won't chase the lamb, and the lamb won't walk home and my back is too weak to carry him.'

Off went the cat to catch the mouse, off went the mouse to cut the rope, off went the rope to hang the ox, off went the ox to drink the water, off went the water to put out the fire, off went the fire to burn the axe, off went the axe to cut the cudgel, off went the cudgel to beat the dog, off went the dog to chase the lamb, and off went the lamb homewards.


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