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A Child's Book of Stories by  Penrhyn W. Coussens

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THE PANCAKE

[212]

O
NCE upon a time there was a goody who had seven hungry bairns, and she was frying a pancake for them. It was a sweet-milk pancake, and there it lay in the pan bubbling and frizzling, so thick and good it was a sight for sore eyes to look at. And the bairns stood round about, and the Goodman sat by and looked on.

"Oh, give me a bit of pancake, mother, dear; I am so hungry," said one bairn.

"Oh, darling, mother," said the second.

"Oh, darling, good mother," said the third.

"Oh, darling, good, nice mother," said the fourth.

"Oh, darling, pretty, good, nice mother," said the fifth.

"Oh, darling, pretty, good, nice, clever mother," said the sixth.

"Oh, darling, pretty, good, nice, clever, sweet mother," said the seventh.

So they begged for the pancake all round, the one more prettily than the other; for they were so hungry and so good.

"Yes, yes, bairns, only wait a bit till it turns itself,"—she ought to have said, "till I can get it turned,"—"and then you shall all have some; a lovely, sweet-milk pancake; only look how fat and happy it lies there."

When the pancake heard that, it got afraid, and in a trice it turned itself all of itself, and tried to jump out of the pan; but it fell back into it again t' other side up, and so when it had [213] been fried a little on the other side, too, till it got firmer in its flesh, it sprang out on the floor, and rolled off like a wheel through the door and down the hill.

"Hallao! Stop, Pancake!" and away went the goody after it, with the frying-pan in one hand and the ladle in the other, as fast as she could, and her bairns behind her, while the Goodman limped after them last of all.

"Hi! Won't you stop? Seize it! Stop, Pancake," they all screamed out, one after the other, and tried to catch it on the run and hold it; but the pancake rolled on and on, and in the twinkling of an eye it was so far ahead that they could n't see it, for the pancake was faster than any of them.

So when it had rolled awhile it met a man.

"Good-day, Pancake," said the man.

"The same to you, Manny Panny," said the pancake.

"Dear Pancake," said the man, "don't roll so fast; stop a little and let me eat you."

"When I have given the slip to Goody Poody, and the goodman, and seven squalling children, I may well slip through your finger, Manny Panny," said the pancake, and rolled on and on till it met a hen.

"Good-day, Pancake," said the hen.

"The same to out, Henny Penny," said the pancake.

"Pancake, dear, don't roll so fast; bide a bit and let me eat you up." said the hen.

"When I have given the slip to Goody Poody, and the Goodman, and seven squalling children, and to Manny Panny, I may well slip through your claws, Henny Penny," said the pancake, and so it rolled on like a wheel down the road.

Just then it met a cock. "Good-day, Pancake," said the cock.

"The same to you, Cocky Locky," said the pancake.

"Pancake, dear, don't roll so fast, but bide a bit and let me eat you up."

[214] "When I have given the slip to Goody Poody, and the Goodman, and seven squalling children, and to Manny Panny, and Henny Penny, I may well slip through your claws, Cocky Locky," said the pancake, and off it set rolling away as fast as it could: and when it had rolled a long wat it met a duck.

"Good-day, Pancake," said the duck.

"The same to you, Ducky Lucky."

"Pancake, dear, don't roll away so fast; bide a bit and let me eat you up."

"When I have given the slip to Goody Poody, and the Goodman, and seven squalling children, and to Manny Panny, and Henny Penny, and Cocky Locky, I may well slip through your fingers, Ducky Lucky," said the pancake, and with that it took to rolling faster than ever; and when it had rolled a long, while, it met a goose.

"Good-day, Pancake," said the goose.

"The same to you, Goosey Poosey."

"Pancake, dear, don't roll so fast; bide a bit and let me eat you up."

"When I have given the slip to Goody Poody, and the Goodman, and seven squalling children, and to Manny Panny, and Henny Penny, and Cocky Locky, and Ducky Lucky, I can well slip through your feet, Goosey Poosey," said the pancake, and off it rolled.

So when it had rolled a long, long way farther, it met a gander.

"Good-day, Pancake," said the gander.

"The same to you, Gander Pander," said the pancake.

"Pancake, dear, don't roll so fast; bide a bit and let me eat you up."

"When I have given the slip to Goody Poody, and the Goodman, and seven squalling children, and to Manny Panny, and Henny Penny, and Cocky Locky, and Ducky Lucky, and [215] Goosey Poosey, I may well slip through your feet, Gander Pander," said the pancake, which rolled off as fast as ever.

So, when it had rolled a long, long time, it met a pig.

"Good-day, Pancake," said the pig.

"The same to you, Piggy Wiggy," said the pancake, which, without another word began to roll swiftly away.

"Oh!" cried the pig, "you need n't be in such a hurry; we two can go together and see one another over the wood, where it is not too safe."

The pancake thought it might be well to do that, so they went together. But after they had gone awhile they came to a brook. Piggy was so fat that he could easily swim across, but the poor pancake could n't get over.

"Sit on my snout," said the pig, "and I'll carry you over."

So the pancake sat on his snout.

"Ouf, ouf," said the pig, and swallowed the pancake at one gulp; and then, as the poor pancake could go no farther, why—this story can go no father either.


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