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THE STORY OF HEYDID -DIDDLE-DIDDLE.T HERE was once upon a time a little boy named Hey-diddle. He was a pretty little boy and a clever little boy;but there was one thing about him unlike any other little boy whohad ever been seen. He had never been heard to laugh or seento smile. His father and mother-and they were a great lord .anda grand lady-were sorely grieved; they sent for one doctor afteranother, but no good came of any of them: they tickled him all over,even his knees and the soles of his feet, but it was all of no use."Oh, my- Diddle-diddle, darling," said his mother, " if youdon't laugh I shall die." But he didn't laugh, and the grand ladylived on still, though after that day the young lord went by thename of Hey-diddle;diddle. The great lord offered areward tothe person who should make his boy laugh.Hey-diddle had a fairy godmother, but she had so many god-children that she only went to see each of them once in five years.Accordingly, on Hey-diddle-diddle's fifth birthday, she came in atthe nursery window. His nursewas doing out Hey-diddle's curls."Well, my boy," said the Fairy, " I'm your godmother; haven'tyou got a smile for me ?""Please your ladyship," said the nurse, curtseying, "he don'tdo it, nor laugh neither."The Fairy stamped her foot; and though she was such a littlemite, the nursery shook. "You are a set of donkeys," she said;"take the child to Dame Nature-she'll make him laugh.""Please, ma'am, where does the lady live ?" said the nurse,but the fairy godmother had vanished.**~~ I'~~~ :. ^ ''he Baldwin LibraryRmB 8S UnivaityfIgm' n^ OIfIm MA
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THE CAT AND THE FIDDLE."~T ELL, to be sure," said the nurse, "who is DameVV Nature, I wonder? I've heard of Dame Trot, andMother Bunch, and Mother Goose, and Mother Hubbard-theyare all nursery folk, of course-but I never saw Dame Nature inmy young lord's nursery, and I shouldn't know her if I did."And then the nurse thought of the reward. " I shan't tell any onea word of this," said she. The only plan she could think of wasto take the young lord out with her all day long-till now he hadonly had a short walk every day with his tutor, an old gentlemanwho was deaf and had the gout. "I may meet this Dame when-I least expect it," said nurse, " and it will be handy to have theyoung lord for her to try her skill on."Hey-diddle-diddle was pleased to go, though he didn't smile.Nurse took him out the back way, so as not to lose time."I shall stay here," said Hey-diddle-diddle, when he foundhimself in the court-yard; he had never been there before. " Hark!what's that ?" He held up his finger, and listened. There was alittle boy sitting in a corner, playing a cracked fiddle, and oppositehim sat a cat, with her tail twice its usual size, miau-ing loudly." Stop," said the boy, "it's not your turn yet, Pussy; wait."Pussy waited while he played a tune, and then she miau-ed againlouder than before. "Jack, Jack, where are you ?" said a crossvoice from the kitchen window. Jack was one of the castlescullions, and he ran away in a fright, and left his fiddle behindhim. Pussy sprang on it as if it had been a mouse, but her clawsgot fixed in the strings, and she ran about trying to get free.2
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THE COW SHE JUMPED OVER THE MOON.IN URSE laughed till she cried, it was so comic to see Pussyand the fiddle; and when she looked at the little lord shesaw his mouth twitch. He would hardly be persuaded to goin to dinner, and protested against his afternoon nap. "I wantto see Pussy and the fiddle-I do," he said. "You shall go outagain when you wake," said nurse; and he was soon fast asleep.It may have been that so much more air than he was in the habitof getting had made him drowsy; anyway, he slept till the moon rose.His father and mother had gone to spend a day and anight at Prince Oxgog's castle, or I suppose this long sleep wouldhave frightened them out of their wits; but nurse was so'taken upwith thinking where she should be likely to meet with DameNature, that she was surprised when Hey-diddle woke, and sawhow late it was. "I want to go out; put on my hat," he said.Nurse was afraid to disobey him, though it was so late, so she tookhim down a little staircase which led over a bridge out of thecastle into the fields. "What's that great bit of silver up in thesky ?" said Hey-diddle-diddle, for the poor child had never seenthe moon shining brightly before. "That's the moon;" but nursewas in a great fright at taking him out so late. "It's down onthe ground now," said Hey-diddle-diddle, and there was the largeround moon shining in the water of a ditch that ran through thefield. Just then a cow came up, and directly she saw the moon inthe water, she began to jump over it backwards and forwards asfast as she could. Down went her head, up went her heels, andeach time her tail gave a flourish as if it would say "Bravo."3
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THELITTLE DOG LAUGHED TO SEE SUCH SPORT.H EY-DIDDLE-DIDDLE looked frightened for a minute,but he had a brave heart, and he said, "Well done,Colly !" and clapped his little hands. Nurse laughed so heartilythat she thought he must laugh too, and she looked at his seriousface. He was pressing his lips very tightly together; it almostseemed as if there was a little laugh, only he would not let it comeout. But Snap, Hey-diddle-diddle's little white dog, barked atthe cow's heels till she got frightened. She ran away to thebottom of the field. There was a pond there, with some prettyelder bushes growing over it; and when Hey-diddle-diddle gotto the pond he saw the moon again, much larger and clearerthan she had appeared in the ditch."Nurse, nurse, I want that moon; send Snap into the waterto fetch it," said Hey-diddle-diddle. And Snap went into the pond.The cow stood on the opposite side; she had been too fright-ened when she ran away to see what it was that frightened her; butwhen she saw the little dog she gave a loud Mo-o-o-o, and dashedto meet him, touching the ground with her horns. She saw thewater, and gave one spring to clear the moon again; but, alas!though she could jump over the brook, the pond was quiteanother matter. Down she came, splash! dash! Mo-o-o-o! allamong the water-lilies, and the little dog sat and laughed till henearly burst. If you never heard a dog laugh you can't fancywhat a joke it is; as for nurse, she was forced to hold by a tree tokeep from falling down with laughter: when she looked at Hey-diddle-diddle, there was a smile on his little grave face.4
THE DISH RAN AWAY WITH THE SPOON.D"V EARY me," said nurse, "what shall I do ? If I can butget him into the castle with that smile on his face, I'llclaim the reward that minute." She caught Hey-diddle-diddle bythe hand, and ran home with him; but, alas! she had undone allher work. " I want to stop," cried Hey-diddle-diddle; " I want tohear the little dog laugh.again ;" and when they gof home, hewas crying instead of smiling."Oh, dear! dear!" said nurse, " if you'll only be good, LordHey-diddle, you shall have strawberries and cream for supper."She went and fetched a china bowl full of cream, and sucha great dish of strawberries! It was a blue dish, you could seethat by the edges, but the strawberries covered all the rest of it.Then she heaped a great spoonful of sugar into the cream,and Hey-diddle began to eat the strawberries. Presently heheard a very crackery-crockery sort of voice say, "Don't, I won'thave it." Hey-diddle-diddle looked for nurse, but she had eatenso many strawberries that she was sound asleep. and snoring.Hey-diddle-diddle helped himself to a fresh spoonful. "I shall, ifI choose," said a sweet silvery voice; and this seemed to come outof his own fingers. " Nurse, nurse, wake up !" said the little boy;but the next minute he forgot all about nurse. The spoon jumpedout of his hand, and at the same moment up started the dish,the great blue berries in the centre bulged out and caught holdof the spoon; there was a little struggle, and then the dish ranaway with the spoon. Hey-diddle-diddle lay back in his chair, andlaughed so long and so loud that nurse woke up in a fright.5
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Co4THE END OF HEY-DIDDLE-DIDDLE.N URSE opened her eyes. They were not big eyes, to beginwith, but you should have seen how big they grew, fromsixpences to shillings, till they looked as big as teacups! Hey-diddle never saw them, not he-he only laughed louder and louder;laughed till it seemed as if he were letting out all the laughswhich had been prisoned up inside his poor little body ever sinceit was born. I expect they had been there all the time, coiled uplike a ball of string; and now they came out in hearty ringingpeals, like church bells at a festival, as if they wanted to makeevery one merry with them:-Ha, ha, ha; ha, ha, ha; ha, ha, ha;ha, ha, ha; laughed Hey-diddle-diddle, and he lay back in hischair and kicked his legs up in the air. Nurse ran to the bell-ropes, but she soon pulled them. both down; she dared not leavethe-little lord alone, and yet she wanted every one to come andhear him laugh. She caught up the shovel and the tongs, flungthe lattice-window open, and made an uproar which almostdrowned Hey-diddle-diddle's laughter.Only for a minute, and then she too fell backwards into achair, and up went her heels in the air.The Fairy godmother stood on the window-ledge, and thefather and mother of Hey-diddle-diddle came in at the door."There, you foolish people," said the Fairy, "take your childand make much of him; nurse has got the prescription; and ifyou give him up to that Mr. Stilts again, I'll take him off toFairyland altogether."6
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