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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Why I Am an Old Woman in an English Folktale!

When I was a little girl, I loved an old English folktale, The Old Woman and Her Pig.  I remember thinking it was SO funny that she kept saying "and I shan't get home tonight!"  It was also fun to try to remember all the parts of the story to retell them accurately.  There were other "chain" stories and songs in my childhood--but this one was my favorite.  (Although, disturbingly violent....now that I read it as an adult!)



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."

As she was coming home, she came to a stile. But the piggy wouldn't 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 tonight." 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 tonight." 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; piggy won't get over the stile; and I shan't get home tonight." 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; piggy won't get over the stile; and I shan't get home tonight." 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; piggy won't get over the stile; and I shan't get home tonight." 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; piggy won't get over the stile; and I shan't get home tonight." 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; piggy won't get over the stile; and I shan't get home tonight." 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; piggy won't get over the stile; and I shan't get home tonight." 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; piggy won't get over the stile; and I shan't get home tonight."

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 hay-stack; 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 in a fright jumped over the stile; and so the old woman got home that night."


Apparently, stories you love in your childhood come true for your adulthood!  (Children, be careful what you love!!)  Because I found a little crooked sixpence this last week and thought I would go to market and finish the hall bathroom flooring!  We have kids and grandkids coming for Christmas and it would be so nice if they could have a useable bathroom!

But here's what happened instead!


Remember this funny bathroom?  The one with white caulking on the "Chocolate Swirl" faux marble counter?


Remember how it has a step up to the bath?



And how I started laying the flooring so that the carpet people could attach to it?

Yes!?  You do remember?  Well, then, here is the rest of the story.....



I said, "Flooring, Flooring, lay on the floor!"  But the Flooring wouldn't.  Toilet was in the way.


So I said, "Toilet, Toilet, move out of the way!"  But Toilet wouldn't go easily.  Toilet was gross!  And wanted a replacement before he would move.


I thought I was starting to get somewhere with Flooring....until......


"Flooring, Flooring, lay up over that weird step up!"  But Flooring wouldn't.


Flooring got cut for step, but Flooring wouldn't stay.  Flooring needed Stair Edging.


"Stair Edging, Stair Edging, nail down over Flooring so Flooring will stay....or I shan't get home tonight!"  But Stair Edging wouldn't.


In order to be cut the right length, Stair Edging had to know where new Baseboards would be.


"Baseboards, Baseboards, cut and attach to wall so that Stair Edging will nail down to Flooring....or I shan't get home tonight!"  But Baseboards wouldn't.  They didn't want to get paint on them from Walls.


"Walls, Walls, Get Painted!"  But the Walls wouldn't.  They needed the ugly Chair Rail Removed.


They needed the places where old wallpaper had been painted over removed and fixed!



They needed corners patched.  And new wallboard installed under the window seat!


And all the holes filled and sanded!

So the Old Woman Sat Down on Flooring, put her head in her hands and said,

"I Shan't Get Home Tonight!!!"

(Stay Tuned to see if the Old Woman ever gets home!)

2 comments:

  1. I love that story! My mom told it to me, and I told it to my children. But I would hate to be the woman with the flooring issues! Good luck getting home!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks!!! And now I know you blog, too! Cool pics from your vacation!!!!

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