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Nursery Tales Told to the Children by  Amy Steedman

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THE THREE LITTLE PIGS

[32] There was once an old mother pig who had three little pigs. Now the three little pigs grew so fast that the old mother pig thought it was time they should go out into the world to earn their own living. So one day she called them all together and told them what they must do.

"My dear children," she said, "it is quite time you left off saying, 'Wee, wee, wee,' and learned to say, 'Umph, umph, umph,' as I do. You will never learn to be grown-up at home, so you must go away and seek your fortunes."

The eldest little pig was delighted to go off, and he started out proudly, for he felt sure he was quite grown-up already, and that he knew all about everything.

He had not gone far along the road when he met a man carrying a load of straw.

[33] "Kind sir," said the little pig politely, "will you give me some straw to build a house?"

And the man gave him the straw at once, and the little pig built a grand house and was very pleased with himself.

But presently the old grey Wolf came trotting along, and when he saw the straw house he stopped and knocked at the door and cried out, "Little pig, little pig, will you let me in?"

And the little pig answered, "No, no, by the hair of my chinny, chin, chin."

"Then I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house in," growled the Wolf.

And he huffed, and he puffed, and he blew the house in, and ate up the little pig.

Then the second little pig set out to seek his fortune, and he met a man carrying a bundle of furze.

"Will you give me some furze to build my house?" asked the little pig. And the man gave him all he asked for.

So he built a beautiful house, and was just sitting down to enjoy himself, when the old grey Wolf came creeping along the road. [34] The first little pig had tasted so good that he longed for more, so he was very glad when he saw the furze house. He went to the front door and gave a thundering knock, and cried out, "Little pig, little pig, will you let me in?"

"No, no, by the hair of my chinny, chin, chin," answered the little pig gaily.

"Then I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house in," said the Wolf with a growl.

And he huffed and he puffed, and he puffed and he huffed, and he huffed and he puffed, until at last he blew down the house and ate up the little pig.

Now the third little pig was much wiser than his two brothers, and when he set out to seek his fortune he would not build his house of straw or furze, but went on until he met a man with a cartload of bricks.

"That is exactly what I want," said the little pig to himself. So he begged the man to let him have enough bricks to build a house. And the man gave him as many as he wanted.

So the little pig built himself a comfortable [35] little house with a neat kitchen and a big chimney. And he painted the front door green, and put a new brass knocker on it. And then he went to market and bought a great many pots and pans, and one very large pot for soup.

Presently down the road came the old grey Wolf, and when he saw the cottage he went up to the green door and gave a loud knock with the new brass knocker.

"Little pig, little pig, will you let me in?" he growled.

"No, no, by the hair of my chinny, chin, chin," answered the little pig, peeping through the curtains of the sitting-room window.

"Then I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house in," said the Wolf in his most frightening voice.

And he huffed and he puffed, and he puffed and he huffed, and he huffed and he puffed, until he had no breath left, but it was all no use. He could not blow down the strong little brick house.

So he had to think of some other plan, [36] and, as he was a very cunning old Wolf, he tried to make his voice as sweet as possible, and pretended to be quite friendly.

"Little pig," he said, "would you like some fine turnips? I can show you a field where you can get as many as you like."

"Thank you kindly," said the little pig. "Where is the field, and when will you come?"

"It is on Mr. Smith's farm, and I will come at six o'clock to-morrow morning," said the Wolf.

But next morning the little pig went off to the turnip field at five o'clock, and had carried home a large bag of turnips before the old Wolf appeared.

This made the Wolf very angry, but he tried to smile as if he thought it a joke, and he talked again to the little pig in his friendly voice.

"Little pig," he said, "would you like me to go with you to get some apples?"

"Thank you kindly," answered the little pig. "Where is the apple-tree, and when will you come for me?"

[37] "The apple-tree is in Mr. Brown's orchard, and I will come at five o'clock to-morrow morning," said the Wolf.

But of course the little pig got up at four o'clock, and thought he would be back with the apples before the old Wolf was ready. But this time the Wolf got up at four o'clock too, and came prowling into the orchard just as the little pig was filling his sack with apples.

Now as soon as the little pig saw the old Wolf coming he was dreadfully frightened, and climbed up the apple-tree as fast as he could, and then peeped down through the branches.

"Good-morning, Mr. Wolf," he called out politely. "Would you like me to throw down some apples to you?"

And he began to throw the apples as far away as he could, so that they rolled down the hill. And when the Wolf ran to pick them up the little pig slipped down the tree, slung the sack over his shoulder, and ran home as fast as his feet could carry him. But though he ran very fast, the Wolf ran [38] faster still, and came nearer and nearer, until he almost snapped off the end of the little pig's curly tail as it disappeared inside the green door. But the door was slammed in his face, and the little pig was safe that time.

But still the cunning old Wolf tried to pretend he was not angry at all, and he talked in his softest voice.

"Little pig," he said, "do you know there is a Fair in the village to-day? If you would like to go with me I will call for you at three o'clock this afternoon."

"Thank you kindly," said the little pig. "I will be ready at three o'clock."

But long before the clock struck three the little pig arrived at the Fair. He bought a churn, and was gaily rolling it home when whom should he see coming up the hill but the wicked old Wolf.

The little pig was terribly frightened, for he thought the Wolf would certainly catch him this time and gobble him up. There was no place to hide except in the churn, so in crept the little pig, hoping that he might lie hidden there until the Wolf should go [39] past. But as he tucked his hind feet in he gave the churn a jerk, and away it went rolling down the hill, with the little pig safe inside.

Now the churn looked such a frightening thing as it rolled and bumped along that the old Wolf was terrified when he saw it coming, and he turned round and ran away as fast as he could. So when the churn stopped at the foot of the hill the little pig was able to creep out and carry the churn safely home.

And presently the old Wolf trotted along and knocked at the door.

"Little pig," he said, "it was a good thing you did not go to the Fair as you promised. I met the most terrible monster coming down the hill. It had no legs, but it rolled so swiftly that I only just managed to escape from it."

"Ha, ha!" laughed the little pig. "So you did not guess I was inside the monster. It was only my new churn which I had bought at the Fair."

Then the Wolf was so furiously angry that he could not pretend any longer.

[40] "I shall find my way in and eat you up if I have to climb down the chimney," he growled in his most terrible voice.

Then the little pig ran to the kitchen and filled the biggest pot with water and put it on the fire to boil. And before very long he heard a dreadful scrabble, scrabble, scrabble coming down the chimney, and he knew it was the old Wolf. In a moment he whipped the cover off the pot, and only just in time, for down came the Wolf with a horrible clatter and fell right into the water. Before he could scramble out, the little pig had clapped on the cover, and the old Wolf was soon boiled into soup.

So the little pig gave a feast to all his friends, and every one was happy to think there was no longer a wicked old Wolf ready to eat up good little pigs.


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