THE OLD WOMAN AND HER PIG

ONCE upon a time an old woman was sweeping her little house, when, to her great joy, she found a silver sixpence.

"What," said she, "shall I do with this little sixpence? I think I will go to market and buy a pig." So the next day she went to market and bought a nice little white pig. She tied a string to one of the pig's legs and began to drive him home.

On the way the old woman and her pig came to a stile, and she said:

"Please, pig, get over the stile."

But the pig would not.

Just then a little dog came trotting up, and the old woman said to him:

"Dog, dog, bite pig;
Pig won't get over the stile,
And I sha'n't get home to-night."


But the dog would not. So the old woman held up her stick, and said:

"Stick, stick, beat dog;
Dog won't bite pig;
Pig won't get over the stile,
And I sha'n't get home to-night."


But the stick would not.

So the old woman gathered some bits of wood together to make a fire, and set them on fire, and then threw her stick into the fire and said:

"Fire, fire, burn stick;
Stick won't beat dog;
Dog won't bite pig;
Pig won't get over the stile,
And I sha'n't get home to-night."


But the fire would not.

So the old woman fetched a pail of water that was standing near and 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 sha'n't get home to-night."


But the water would not.

Then the old woman saw an ox coming; so she said:

"Ox, ox, drink water;
Water won't quench fire;
Fire won't bum stick;
Stick won't beat dog;
Dog won't bite pig;
Pig won't go;
I see by the moonlight
It's long past midnight;
Time pig and I were home an hour and a half ago."


But the ox would not.

So the old woman turned around and saw a butcher, and 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 go.
I see by the moonlight
It's long past midnight;
Time pig and I were home an hour and a half ago."


But the butcher would not.

So the old woman took a rope out of her pocket, and 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 go.
I see by the moonlight
It's long past midnight;
Time pig and I were home an hour and a half ago."


But the rope would not.

Just then a large brown mouse ran across the meadow, and she said:

"Mouse, mouse, 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 go.
I see by the moonlight
It's long past midnight;
Time pig and I were home an hour and a half ago."


"Yes," said the mouse, "I will, if you will give me some cheese."

So the old woman put her hand in her pocket and found a nice piece of cheese; and when the mouse had eaten it:

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 pig,
And the pig began to go.

But what time the old woman and her pig got home you, nor I, nor nobody knows.


--Tales of Laughter (1902), eds. Kate Douglas Wiggin and Nora Archibald Smith

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