Joseph Jacobs There was once upon a time a poor widow who had an only son named Jack, and a cow named Milky-white. And all they had to live on was the milk the cow gave every morning, which they carried to the market and sold. But one morn... Read more of JACK AND THE BEANSTALK at Children Stories.caInformational Site Network Informational
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Jack Sprat

from Popular Rhymes And Nursery Tales - NURSERY-SONGS.





Fragments of this tale are common in the nursery, but I have only met
with one copy of the following poem, which appears to be of some
antiquity, although it is here printed from a modern chap-book:

Jack Sprat could eat no fat,
His wife could eat no lean,
And so between them both,
They licked the platter clean.
Jack eat all the lean,
Joan eat all the fat,
The bone they picked clean,
Then gave it to the cat.

When Jack Sprat was young,
He dressed very smart,
He courted Joan Cole,
And he gained her heart.
In his fine leather doublet,
And old greasy hat,
Oh, what a smart fellow
Was little Jack Sprat!

Joan Cole had a hole
In her petticoat,
Jack Sprat, to get a patch,
Gave her a groat;
The groat bought a patch,
Which stopped the hole,
"I thank you, Jack Sprat,"
Says little Joan Cole.

Jack Sprat was the bridegroom,
Joan Cole was the bride,
Jack said, from the church,
His Joan home should ride.
But no coach could take her,
The lane was so narrow,
Said Jack, then I'll take her
Home in a wheelbarrow.

Jack Sprat was wheeling
His wife by the ditch,
The barrow turned over,
And in she did pitch;
Says Jack, she'll be drown'd,
But Joan did reply,
I don't think I shall,
For the ditch is quite dry.

Jack brought home his Joan,
And she sat in a chair,
When in came his cat,
That had got but one ear.
Says Joan, I'm come home, Puss,
Pray, how do you do?
The cat wagg'd her tail,
And said nothing but "mew."

Jack Sprat took his gun,
And went to the brook,
He shot at the drake,
But he killed the duck.
He brought it to Joan,
Who a fire did make
To roast the fat duck,
While Jack went for the drake.

The drake was swimming
With his curly tail,
Jack Sprat came to shoot him,
But happened to fail;
He let off his gun,
But missing his mark,
The drake flew away,
Crying, "Quack, quack, quack."

Jack Sprat to live pretty,
Now bought him a pig,
It was not very little,
It was not very big;
It was not very lean,
It was not very fat,
It will serve for a grunter
For little Jack Sprat.

Then Joan went to market
To buy her some fowls,
She bought a jackdaw
And a couple of owls.
The owls they were white,
The jackdaw was black,
They'll make a rare breed,
Says little Joan Sprat.

Jack Sprat bought a cow,
His Joan for to please,
For Joan she could make
Both butter and cheese;
Or pancakes or puddings,
Without any fat:
A notable housewife
Was little Joan Sprat.

Joan Sprat went to brewing
A barrel of ale,
She put in some hops
That it might not turn stale;
But as for the malt,
She forgot to put that,
This is brave sober liquor,
Said little Jack Sprat.

Jack Sprat went to market,
And bought him a mare,
She was lame of three legs,
And as blind as she could stare;
Her ribs they were bare,
For the mare had no fat,
She looks like a racer,
Says little Jack Sprat.

Jack and Joan went abroad,
Puss took care of the house,
She caught a large rat
And a very small mouse:
She caught a small mouse,
And a very large rat;
You're an excellent hunter,
Says little Jack Sprat.

Now I have told you the story
Of little Jack Sprat,
And little Joan Cole,
And the poor one-ear'd cat.
Now Jack loved Joan,
And good things he taught her,
Then she gave him a son,
Then after a daughter.

Now Jack has got rich
And has plenty of pelf;
If you know any more,
You may tell it yourself.





Next: Dabbling In The Dew

Previous: My Cock Lily-cock



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