Manx Nursery Tale – The Story of the Little Kid

Manx Nursery Tale – The Story of the Little Kid

There was once a little, little man, and a little, little woman, and a little, little house, and a little, little dog. The man, the woman, and the dog went to market and bought a little kid.

On the way home she said to the kid, “Go over the stream to the master.” “I don’t,” says the kid.

Says she to the dog, “Go bite the little kid for it will not go over the stream to the master.” “I don’t,” says the dog.

Says she to the stick, “Beat the dog, for it will not bite the little kid and the little kid will not go over the stream to the master.” “I don’t,” says the stick.

Says she to the fire, “Burn the stick, for it will not beat the dog, and the dog will not bite the little kid, and the little kid will not go over the stream to the master.” “I don’t,” says the fire.

Says she to the water, “Quench the fire, for it will not burn the stick, and the stick will not beat the dog, and the dog will not bite the little kid, and the little kid will not go over the stream to the master.” “I don’t,” says the water.

Says she to the ox, “Drink the water, for it will not quench the fire, and the fire will not burn the stick, and the stick will not beat the dog, and the dog will not bite the little kid, and the little kid will not go over the stream to the master.” “I don’t,” says the ox.

Says she to the butcher, “Kill the ox, for it will not drink the water, and the water will not quench the fire, and the fire will not burn the stick, and the stick will not beat the dog, and the dog will not bite the little kid, and the little kid will not go over the stream to the master.” “I don’t,” says the butcher.

Says she to the rope, “Hang the butcher, for he will not kill the ox, and the ox will not drink the water, and the water will not quench the fire, and the fire will not burn the stick, and the stick will not beat the dog, and the dog will not bite the little kid, and the little kid will not go over the stream to the master.” “I don’t,” says the rope.

Says she to the mouse, “Gnaw the rope, for it will not hang the butcher, and the butcher will not kill the ox, and the ox will not drink the water, and the water will not quench the fire, and the fire will not burn the stick, and the stick will not beat the dog, and the dog will not bite the little kid, and the little kid will not go over the stream to the master.” “I don’t,” says the the mouse.

Says she to the cat, “Kill the mouse, for it will not gnaw the rope, and the rope will not hang the butcher, and the butcher will not kill the ox, and the ox will not drink the water, and the water will not quench the fire, and the fire will not burn the stick, and the stick will not beat the dog, and the dog will not bite the little kid, and the little kid will not go over the stream to the master.” “Give me a drop of milk,” says the cat.

So she went to the cow who said to her, “If you will go to yonder haystack and fetch me a handful of hay, I will give you the milk.” So away went the little, little woman to the haystack and she brought the hay to the cow.

As soon as the cow had eaten the hay, she gave the little, little woman the milk and away the little, little woman went with it in a saucer to the cat.

As soon as the cat had lapped up the milk, the cat began to kill the mouse; the mouse began to gnaw the rope; the rope began to hang the butcher; the butcher began to kill the ox; the ox began to drink the water; the water began to quench the fire; the fire began to burn the stick; the stick began to beat the dog; the dog began to bite the little kid and the little kid, in a fright, jumped over the stream and went to the master. So the little, little woman got home that night.

And the cat made them all answer to him and do what was desired; and the cat is ready to this present day to kill the mouse after having a nice drop of milk.


(source A Manx Notebook and Sacred Texts – adapted from both; photo, unknown source on facebook)

Bernadette Weyde

Bernadette Weyde

I'm a web designer, amateur historian and keen gardener and I enjoy bringing Manx history, folklore and poetry to a modern audience.


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