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The Old Woman And Her Pig

English Folktale

An old woman was sweeping her house, and she found a little crooked sixpence. "What," said she, "shall I do with this little sixpence? I will go to market, and buy a little pig."

So she bought a little pig; but as she was coming home, she came to a stile, and the piggy would not go over the stile.

She went a little further, and she met a dog. So she said to him, "Dog! dog! bite pig; piggy won't go over the stile; and I shan't get home till midnight." But the dog wouldn't.

She went a little further, and she met a stick. So she said, "Stick! stick! beat dog; dog won't bite pig; piggy won't get over the stile; and I shan't get home till midnight." But the stick wouldn't.

She went a little further, and she met a fire. So she said, "Fire! fire! burn stick; stick won't beat dog; dog won't bite pig; pig won't get over the stile; and I shan't get home till midnight." But the fire wouldn't.

She went a little further, and she met some water. So she said, "Water! water! quench fire; fire won't burn stick; stick won't beat dog; dog won't bite pig; pig won't get over the stile; and I shan't get home till midnight." But the water wouldn't.

She went a little further, and she met an ox. So she said, "Ox! ox! drink water; water won't quench fire; fire won't burn stick; stick won't beat dog; dog won't bite pig; pig won't get over the stile; and I shan't get home till midnight." But the ox wouldn't.

She went a little further, and she met a butcher. So she said, "Butcher! butcher! kill ox; ox won't drink water; water won't quench fire; fire won't burn stick; stick won't beat dog; dog won't bite pig; pig won't get over the stile; and I shan't get home till midnight." But the butcher wouldn't.

She went a little further, and she met a rope. So she said, "Rope! rope! hang butcher; butcher won't kill ox; ox won't drink water; water won't quench fire; fire won't burn stick; stick won't beat dog; dog won't bite pig; pig won't get over the stile; and I shan't get home till midnight." But the rope wouldn't.

She went a little further, and she met a rat. So she said, "Rat! rat! gnaw rope; rope won't hang butcher; butcher won't kill ox; ox won't drink water; water won't quench fire; fire won't burn stick; stick won't beat dog; dog won't bite pig; pig won't get over the stile; and I shan't get home till midnight." But the rat wouldn't.

She went a little further, and she met a cat. So she said, "Cat! cat! kill rat; rat won't gnaw rope; rope won't hang butcher; butcher won't kill ox; ox won't drink water; water won't quench fire; fire won't burn stick; stick won't beat dog; dog won't bite pig; pig won't get over the stile; and I shan't get home till midnight." But the cat said to her, "If you will go to yonder cow, and fetch me a saucer of milk, I will kill the rat." So away went the old woman to the cow.

But the cow said to her, "If you will go to yonder haystack, and fetch me a handful of hay, I'll give you the milk." So away went the old woman to the haystack; and she brought the hay to the cow.

As soon as the cow had eaten the hay, she gave the old woman the milk; and away she 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 rat; the rat 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 pig; the little pig squealed and jumped over the stile; and so the old woman got home before midnight.

English Fairy Tales

More English fairy tales

Notes: Contains 41 English folktales.

Author: Flora Annie Steel
Published: 1918
Publisher: Macmillan And Co., Limited, London

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