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Good Stories for Great Holidays by  Frances Jenkins Olcott


 

 

THE STRANGE VISITOR

AN ENGLISH FOLK-TALE
BY JOSEPH JACOBS

A WOMAN was sitting at her reel one night; and still she sat, and still she reeled, and still she wished for company.

In came a pair of broad, broad soles, and sat down at the fireside!

And still she sat, and still she reeled, and still she wished for company.

In came a pair of small, small legs, and sat down on the broad, broad soles!

And still she sat, and still she reeled, and still she wished for company.

In came a pair of thick, thick knees, and sat down on the small, small legs!

And still she sat, and still she reeled, and still she wished for company.

In came a pair of thin, thin thighs, and sat down on the thick, thick knees!

And still she sat, and still she reeled, and still she wished for company.

In came a pair of huge, huge hips, and sat down on the thin, thin thighs!

[259] And still she sat, and still she reeled, and still she wished for company.

In came a wee, wee waist, and sat down on the huge, huge hips!

And still she sat, and still she reeled, and still she wished for company.

In came a pair of broad, broad shoulders, and sat down on the wee, wee waist!

And still she sat, and still she reeled, and still she wished for company.

In came a pair of small, small arms, and sat down on the broad, broad shoulders!

And still she sat, and still she reeled, and still she wished for company.

In came a pair of huge, huge hands, and sat down on the small, small arms!

And still she sat, and still she reeled, and still she wished for company.

In came a small, small neck, and sat down on the broad, broad shoulders!

And still she sat, and still she reeled, and still she wished for company.

In came a huge, huge head, and sat down on the small, small neck!

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

"How did you get such broad, broad feet?" quoth the Woman.

"Much tramping, much tramping!" (gruffly.)



"How did you get such small, small legs?"

"Aih-h-h!—late—and wee-e-e-moul!" (whiningly.)



"How did you get such thick, thick knees?"

"Much praying, much praying!" (piously.)



"How did you get such thin, thin thighs?"

"Aih-h-h!—late—and wee-e-e-moul!" (whiningly.)



"How did you get such big, big hips?"

"Much sitting, much sitting!" (gruffly.)



"How did you get such a wee, wee waist?"

"Aih-h-h!—late—and wee-e-e-moul!" (whiningly.)



"How did you get such broad, broad shoulders?"

"With carrying broom, with carrying broom!" (gruffly.)



"How did you get such small arms?" "Aih-h-h!—late—and wee-e-e-moul!" (whiningly.)



"How did you get such huge, huge hands?"

"Threshing with an iron flail! Threshing with an iron flail!" (gruffly.)


[261] "How did you get such a small, small neck?"

"Aih-h-h!—late—and wee-e-e-moul!" (pitifully.)



"How did you get such a huge, huge head?"

"Much knowledge, much knowledge!" (keenly.)



"What do you come for?"

"FOR YOU! ! !" (at the top of the voice, with a wave of the arms and a stamp of the feet.)


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