Stories

The Big Crow and the Little Crow Go Gathering Nuts in the Woods

Mary Thomas (1905-83)

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A big crow and a little crow went gathering nuts in the woods. They both went up to the top of the tree. In a while the big crow called to the little crow: 'Did you get a cupful? Did you get a dishful?' No answer. She called again: 'Did you get a cupful?' No answer. 'Did you get a dishful?' No answer. The big old crow got down from the tree. The little crow had fallen and cut her head while gathering nuts.

She ran then to the calf: 'Dear little calf, give me two hairs from your head to bind the head of the little crow who's fallen while gathering nuts.'

'Tell the cow to give me some milk, and I will.'

She ran then to the cow: 'Dear little cow, give the calf some milk, so the calf will give me two hairs from his head to bind the head of the little crow who's fallen while gathering nuts.'

'Tell the carpenter to make me a collar, and I will.'

'Dear little carpenter, give the cow a collar, so the cow will give the calf some milk, so the calf will give me two hairs from his head to bind the head of the little crow who's fallen while gathering nuts.'

'Tell the shoemaker to make me some shoes, and I will.'

'Dear little shoemaker, make the carpenter some shoes, so the carpenter will make a collar for the cow, so the cow will give the calf some milk, so the calf will give me two hairs from his head to bind the head of the little crow who's fallen while gathering nuts.'

'Tell the pig to give me a bristle, and I will.'

'Dear little pig, give the shoemaker a bristle, so the shoemaker will make the carpenter some shoes, so the carpenter will give the cow a collar, so the cow will give the calf some milk, so the calf will give me two hairs from his head to bind the head of the little crow who's fallen while gathering nuts.'

'Tell the maid to give me some slops, and I will.'

'Dear little maid, give the pig some slops, so the pig will give the shoemaker a bristle, so the shoemaker will make the carpenter some shoes, so the carpenter will give the cow a collar, so the cow will give the calf some milk, so the calf will give me two hairs from his head to bind the head of the little crow who's fallen while gathering nuts.'

'Tell the mistress to give me some bread and butter, and I will.'

'Dear little mistress, give the maid some bread and butter, so the maid will give the pig some slops, so the pig will give the shoemaker a bristle, so the shoemaker will make the carpenter some shoes, so the carpenter will give the cow a collar, so the cow will give the calf some milk, so the calf will give me two hairs from his head to bind the head of the little crow who's fallen while gathering nuts.'

'Tell the master to give me the key, and I will.'

'Dear little master, give the mistress the key, so the mistress will give the maid some bread and butter, so the maid will give the pig some slops, so the pig will give the shoemaker a bristle, so the shoemaker will make the carpenter some shoes, so the carpenter will give the cow a collar, so the cow will give the calf some milk, so the calf will give me two hairs from his head to bind the head of the little crow who's fallen while gathering nuts.'

Off went the master to give the key to the mistress, off went the mistress to give the maid the bread and butter, off went the maid to give the slops to the pig, off went the pig to give the bristle to the shoemaker, off went the shoemaker to give the carpenter some shoes, off went the carpenter to give the collar to the cow, off went the cow to give some milk to the calf, off went the calf to give two hairs from his head to bind the head of the little crow who had fallen while gathering nuts. And by the time they got back, the little crow's head was stinking!

[MT and her husband, William Thomas, laugh for a long time.]


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