There was once a little boy, and his mother sent him to buy a sheep's head and pluck; afraid he should forget it, the lad kept saying all the way along:"Sheep's head and pluck!
Trudging along, he came to a stile; but in getting over he fell and hurt himself, and beginning to blubber, forgot what he was sent for. So he stood a little while to consider: at last he thought he recollected it, and began to repeat:"Liver and lights and gall and all!
Away he went again, and came to where a man had a pain in his liver, bawling out:"Liver and lights and gall and all!
Whereon the man laid hold of him and beat him, bidding him say:"Pray God send no more!
The youngster strode along, uttering these words, till he reached a field where a hind was sowing wheat:"Pray God send no more!
This was all his cry. So the sower began to thrash him, and charged him to repeat:"Pray God send plenty more!
Off the child scampered with these words in his mouth till he reached a churchyard and met a funeral, but he went on with his:"Pray God send plenty more!
The chief mourner seized and punished him, and bade him repeat:"Pray God send the soul to heaven!
Away went the boy, and met a dog and a cat going to be hung, but his cry rang out:"Pray God send the soul to heaven!
The good folk nearly were furious, seized and struck him, charging him to say:"A dog and a cat agoing to be hung!
This the poor fellow did, till he overtook a man and a woman going to be married. "Oh! oh!" he shouted:"A dog and a cat agoing to be hung!
The man was enraged, as we may well think, gave him many a thump, and ordered him to repeat:"I wish you much joy!
This he did, jogging along, till he came to two labourers who had fallen into a ditch. The lad kept bawling out:"I wish you much joy!
This vexed one of the folk so sorely that he used all his strength, scrambled out, beat the crier, and told him to say."The one is out, I wish the other was!
On went young 'un till he found a fellow with only one eye; but he kept up his song:"The one is out, I wish the other was!
This was too much for Master One-eye, who grabbed him and chastised him, bidding him call:"The one side gives good light, I wish the other did!
So he did, to be sure, till he came to a house, one side of which was on fire. The people here thought it was he who had set the place a-blazing, and straightway put him in prison. The end was, the judge put on his black cap, and condemned him to die.
Notes: Contains 44 English folktales.
Editor: Joseph Jacobs
Publisher: G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York, London