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What They Say In New England
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WHEN about to run a race or engage in a jumping-match, this rhyme is appropriate:

One to begin,
Two to show,
Three to make ready,
And four to go.

At the end of the race the one who came in last sometimes consoles himself by calling out:

First's the worst,
Second's the same,
Last's the best of all the game.

Question: What's your name?
Answer: Pudden tame;
Ask me again
And I'll tell you the same.

Some of the boys give a much ruder answer to this question in these words:

John Brown,
Ask me again and
I'll knock you down.

Second form:

Question: What's your name?
Answer: Pudden tame.
Question: What's your natur'?
Answer: Pudden tater.
Question: What's your will?
Answer: Pudden swill.

Third form:

Question: What's your name?
Answer: Pudden tame.
Question: What's your other?
Answer: Bread and butter.
Question: Where do you live?
Answer: In a sieve.
Question: What's your number?
Answer: Cucumber.

Crowing hens and jumping sheep
Are the worst property a farmer can keep.

Boys often say it in this way:

Whistling girls and crowing hens
Always come to some bad ends.

Another version is:

Whistling girls and blatting sheep
Are the worst property a farmer can keep.

Still another way to say the same thing is:

Whistling girls and hens that crow
Are always sure to get a blow.

The girl's response to this innuendo is,

"That is not right. It's like this:

Whistling girls and merino sheep
Are the best property a farmer can keep."

When a boy gets mad at another he will sometimes call out derisively:

Paddy Whacker, chew tobacker,
If he dies, it is no matter.

In the following, two children stand and take hold of hands, and swing their arms from side to side in time to the rhythm of the verse they repeat. With the final words, hands still clasped, they turn the arms on one side over their heads and at the same time turn around themselves' The verse runs as follows:

Wash your mother's dishes,
Hang 'em on the bushes.
When the bushes begin to crack,
Hang 'em on the nigger's back.
When the nigger begins to run,
Shoot him with a leather gun.

The following is a programme for Thanksgiving week:

Monday wash,
Tuesday scour,
Wednesday bake,
Thursday devour.

In a game of tag, it is the proper thing to shout out to the one in chase:

Fire on the mountain,
Fire on the sea,
You can't catch me.

A variation:

Fire on the mountain,
Run, boys, run;
The cat's in the cream-pot,
Run, girls, run!

A quick way of counting up to one hundred:

Ten, ten, double ten, forty-five, fifteen.

William Blake, William Austin, and William Bond all lived in the same town. This fact inspired some local poet with the following strains, that proved quite popular among the young people:

Bill Blake made the cake,
Bill Austin made the frostin',
And Bill Bond put it on.

Rhyme addressed to a person who has red hair:

Redny, redny, fire on top,
All the rednys come flipperty flop.

When you are getting ready to jump, swing your arms and say this:

One, two, three,
The bumble bee,
The rooster crows,
And away he goes.
Lazy folks work the best
When the sun is in the west.

This rhyme the women folks like to repeat to the men folks when the latter find it necessary to work in the evening.

A suitable address to a Frenchman is the following:

Frenchy baboo
Lived in a shoe,
Never got up till half-past two.

A French citizen can respond to the American in terms like these:

Yankee Doodle went to town,
Stuck a feather in his crown,
Called him Macaroni.

Another derisive rhyme employed against the French is this:

Pea-soup and Johnny-cake
Make a Frenchman's belly ache.

There was a little man,
He had a little gun,
He put it in his pocket,
And away he did run.


There was a little man,
He had a little gun,
His bullets were made of lead,
And he went out to shoot the duck,
And shot him right in the head.
Then away he did run to old Granny Jones
Because there was a fire to make,
Saying, "Here is the duck I shot in the brook,
And now I'll go after the drake."

Little Dick,
He was so quick,
He tumbled over the timber,
He bent his bow,
To shoot a crow,
And shot the cat in the winder.

If a body meet a body in a bag of beans,
Can a body tell a body what a body means?


THE hero of this tale was probably very like many of the makers of the chance jingles that have caught the children's ears, and become immortal by much repetition.

He is said to have lived in Enfield, Conn. One morning, in schooltime, he wrote something on a slip of paper and passed it round among his fellows. It made a good deal of ill-concealed merriment, and the teacher was fortunate enough to capture the offending bit of paper and to ferret out its author. The words on the paper were,

Three little mice ran up the stairs
To hear Miss Blodgett say her prayers.

The teacher realized that she was being made fun of, but was so impressed by the clever expression of the lines that she said, "John, I give you five minutes to make another two lines. If you fail, I shall punish you,"

The boy scratched his head, and went to work. The result was as follows:

When Miss Blodgett said "Amen,"
The three little mice ran down again.

One person says to another:

Adam and Eve and Pinchme
Went out for a swim;
Adam and Eve got drowned,
Who was saved?

The second person answers, "Pinch-me."

Number one responds by giving number two a pinch.

Old rhyme:

Said Aaron to Moses,
"Let's cut off our noses."
Says Moses to Aaron,
"It's the fashion to wear 'em."

Indian counting up to twenty:

Een, teen, tether, fether, fip,
Satra, latra, co, tethery, dick,
Eendick, teendick, tetherdick, fetherdick, bump,
Eenbump, teenbump, tetherbump, fetherbump, jicket.

A boy ties another's stockings together, and then hollers as loud as he can,

"Charlo beef,
The beef was tough,
Poor little Charley
Couldn't get enough."

The name in the third line is changed to suit the case in hand.

This stocking-tying is usually done by a boy's friends while he is in swimming, and the jokers try to tie such a knot that the owner can only untie it by using his teeth. The appropriate time to say the poetry is when the boy begins to work with his teeth on the knot.

Here is a variation:

Chew, chew the beef.
The beef is tough,
If you don't chew hard,
You'll never get enough.

If a boy has a friend named Joseph, he can entertain him by the following rhyme:

Joe, Joe,
Broke his toe
Riding on a buffalo.

If the friend's name is Frank, the following will suit:

Frank, Frank,
Turned the crank,
His mother come out and gave him a spank,
And knocked him over the sandbank.

If his name is Bert the following is appropriate:

Bert, Bert, tore his shirt
Riding on a lump of dirt.

If his name is Samuel, he will very likely be interested in this:

Sam, Sam,
The dirty man,
Washed his face in a frying-pan,
Combed his hair with the back of a chair,
And danced with the toothache in the air.

Something like the above ditty is appropriate for a boy named John. The accepted way to repeat the jingle is as follows:

My son John is a nice old man,
Washed his face in a frying-pan,
Combed his hair with a wagon-wheel,
And died with the toothache in his heel.

Take the baby's foot in your hand, wiggle the toes one after the other, beginning with the big one, and recite:

This little pig says, "I go steal wheat;"
This little pig says, "Where'll you get it?"
This little pig says, "In father's barn;"
This little pig says, "I go tell;"
And this little pig says, "Quee, quee, quee!"

A variation of this story is the following:

This little pig goes to market,
This little pig stays at home,
This little pig has plenty to eat,
This little pig has none,
This little pig says, "Wee, wee, wee!" all the way home.

One of close resemblance to the above is this:

This little pig says, "I want some corn;"
This little pig says, "Where'll you get it?"
This little pig says, "In grandpa's barn;"
This little pig says, "It'll do no harm;"
This little pig says, "Quee, quee, quee,
I can't get over the barn door-sill!"

Another toe refrain is the following, which begins with the smallest of the five:

Little Pee,
Penny Rue,
Ludy Whistle,
Mary Hustle,
Great big Tom, gobble, gobble!

A burlesque:

The boy stood on the burning deck,
Peeling potatoes by the peck.
When all but he had fled,
He cried aloud and said,
"Say! father, say!
Shall I throw the peels away?"

Second form:

The boy stood on the burning deck,
Eating peanuts by the peck.
His father called; he could not go,
Because he did love peanuts so.

Third form:

The boy stood on the burning deck,
Eating peanuts by the peck.
A girl stood by all dressed in blue,
And said, "I guess I'll have some too."

A verse for a small boy:

Fishy, fishy, in the brook,
Papa catch him with a hook,
Mama fry him in a pan,
Georgy eat him fast's he can.

The last line sometimes ends, "like a man."

The last two lines may also be changed to read:

Mama fry him in the spider,
Georgy eat him like a tiger.
The boy's name can be varied to suit the speaker.

One way of counting to ten:

Onery, twoery, fithery, sithery, san,
Wheelerbone, whackerbone, finery, ninery, tan.

A verse said by a boy who parts from his companion in the evening:

Sleep tight,
Don't let the bedbugs bite.

A political couplet shouted by school boys:

Republican rats, take off your hats,
And make way for the Democrats.

A jingle to say when churning:

Come, butter, come,
Peter's at the gate,
Waiting for a patty cake.

This used to be said as a charm to make the butter come quickly.

The schoolhouse at the little Massachusetts village of Hockanum seventy-five years ago was far too small to accommodate the outpouring of the population on the momentous occasion of a "last day," and it was the custom to have the exercises in the long hall of "Granther" Lyman's tavern. The piece which created the greatest sensation on one of these last days was delivered before a crowded audience by a certain small boy in the following words:

A woodchuck lived far over the hills, a good way off,
And died with the whooping-cough.

It bears every mark of being original poetry, and it was repeated and laughed over for a long time afterwards.

Whether this boy originated the idea and expression or not, there are at the present time extended variations of the tale. The best of these is the following:

Over the hills and a good way off,
A woodchuck died with the whooping-cough.
The thunders rolled, the lightnings flashed,
And broke grandma's teapot all to smash down cellar.

When you have the baby in your lap, you can amuse it by saying,

"Pat a cake, pat a cake, baker's man."
"So I will, master, as fast as I can."
"Roll it, roll it, roll it,
Prick it, prick it, prick it,
Toss it up in the oven and bake it."

You at the same time take the baby's hands in yours, and pat them together to suit the two first lines, rub them against each other to suit the third, take one finger and dig it into the palm of the other hand to suit the fourth, and toss both hands up, and the baby too if you choose, to suit the final line. Then, if the baby is anything like the babies used to be, it will crow and be very happy.

Here is a variation of the same theme:

Pat a cake, pat a cake, baker's man,
Pat it and pat it as fast as you can,
Pat it and prick it, and mark it with B,
And toss it in the oven for baby and me.

This is acted out in the same way, and the letter B is marked with a finger on the child's palm. B, of course, stands for baby.

Jog the baby up and down on your knees, and say,

Trot, trot to Boston, To buy a loaf of bread.
Trot, trot home again, The old trot's dead.
Trot the baby on your knee, and say,
Seesaw, Jack in the hedge,
Which is the way to London Bridge?

When you have the baby in your arms and are rocking it to sleep, say,

Bye baby bunting,
Papa's gone a-hunting;
Mother's gone to milk the cow;
Sister's gone I don't know how;
Brother's gone to get a skin
To wrap the baby bunting in.

Whether it is a nurse or one of the sisters of the infant that is supposed to say this is not quite clear.

Catch a grasshopper, and say to it,

Grasshopper, grasshopper, give me some molasses,
Or I'll kill you to-day, and bury you tomorrow.

When you are asked to tell a story, or to furnish amusement of most any sort, you can say,

I'll tell you a story
About old Mother Morey,
And now my story's begun;
I'll tell you another
About her brother,
And now my story is done.

Or you can put it in this form:

I'll tell you a story
About Jack a Nory;
And he had a calf,
And that's half;
And he threw it over the wall,
And that's all.

Two children sit opposite each other with their palms on their knees. They say this rhyme together, and clap each other's hands in time to the metre:

Bean porridge hot,
Bean porridge cold,
Bean porridge's best
When nine days old.

In the English version, it is pease porridge or pease pudding, but New Englanders are not acquainted with those dishes.

The child's hands in the following are put palm down on the table. Go over the fingers one word to each to the end of the incantation. The finger that has the final word is turned under. Go over the remaining nine with the same lingo, and turn under the one that comes last. Repeat the process till all are turned under.

Intra, mintra, cute-ra corn,
Apple-seed and apple-thorn,
Wire, brier, limber lock,
Six geese in a flock,
Sit and sing by the spring,
O-u-t, out; up on yonder hill
There sits old Father Wells;
He has jewels, he has rings,
He has many pretty things,
Whip-jack, two nails, blow the bellows out, old man.

This is also said as follows:

lntra, mintra, cute-ra, corn,
Apple-seed, and apple-thorn,
Wire, brier, limber lock,
Six geese in a flock,
Seven sit by the spring, O-u-t, out,
Hang mother's dishcloth out,
Fling, Hang, flash it off.

Wash on Monday,
Iron on Tuesday,
Bake on Wednesday,
Brew on Thursday,
Churn on Friday,
Mend on Saturday,
Go to meeting on Sunday.

A girl will sometimes make the following remarks to the new moon. I have never heard that the revelation was made to her that she prayed for at any rate, not by the moon.

New moon, new moon, pray tell to me
Who my true lover is to be.
The color of his hair,
The clothes he will wear,
And the day he'll be wedded to me.

If before April first one boy tries to fool another, boy number two squelches the would-be fooler by saying,

April fool's a-coming,
And you're the biggest fool a-running.

If the attempt is made after April first, he says,

April fool is past,
And you're the biggest fool at last.

A rhyme that does service for both occasions is this:

Up the ladder, and down the tree,
You're a bigger fool than me.

Shoe the old horse, shoe the old mare,
Drive a nail here, and drive a nail there;
But let the little nobby colt go bare.

When you say, "Shoe the old horse," pat the bottom of the baby's right foot to imitate the driving of nails. When you say, "Shoe the old mare," pat the left foot. Continue this process in the second line, first the right foot, then the left. In the final line it is imagined that the little nobby colt kicks up its heels, and you must catch the baby's ankles, and give them a grand toss to suit this idea.

Boy number one inquires of boy number two, "What do you do when your mother licks you?"

Boy number two replies,

Made by steam,
Sold by a donkey in a charcoal team."

At picnics you will sometimes hear the children say,

Made in the shade,
Stirred with a spade,
By an old maid.

The children at one time used to enjoy shouting at each other the following poem:

Oh, what is the use
Of chewing tobacco,
And spitting the juice?

Whether it was the rhythm and rhyme of the piece or its moral sentiment that was so pleasing to them is uncertain.

Here is one way to amuse a child. Clasp your hands with the fingers turned inward, and repeat the following ditty, which you illustrate by changing the position of your fingers and hands:

Here's a meeting-house, there's the steeple,
Look inside and see all the people.
Here's the singers going up-stairs,
And here's the minister saying his prayers.

To make the steeple, elevate your forefingers with the tips joined. To suit the second line open your hands a little, and wiggle the ends of your clasped fingers. Illustrate the singers going up-stairs by making the fingers of your right hand walk up those of your left. Lastly, clinch your hands, put one fist on top of the other, and that is the minister.

When a schoolboy wishes to be humorous, he will sometimes call out to a companion,

"Can you read, can you write,
Can you smoke your daddy's pipe?"

A small girl who wishes her companions to understand that she is overcome by ennui will sometimes sighingly remark,

"Oh, dear, bread and beer,

if I was home I shouldn't be here!"

Five little rabbits went out to walk;
They liked to boast as well as talk.
The first one said, "I hear a gun!"
The second one said, "I will not run!"
Two little ones said, "Let's sit in the shade;"
The big one said, "I'm not afraid!"
Bang, bang! went a gun,
And the five little rabbits run.

The child holds up one of its hands while it repeats these lines. The fingers are the five rabbits. With his other hand he takes hold of each finger in turn as he speaks of the rabbit it represents. "The first one" is the thumb. "The second one" is the forefinger. "The two little ones" are the two final fingers. "The big one" is the middle finger.

"Fire, fire! " Said Mrs. McGuire.
"Where, where?" Said Mrs. Ware.
"Down town! " Said Mrs. Brown.
"Oh, Lord save us!" Said Mrs. Davis.

Two's a couple,
Three's a crowd,
Four on the sidewalk
Is never allowed.

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