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Main > English folktales > Fairy tale "Old Mother Wiggle-Waggle"

Old Mother Wiggle-Waggle

The fox and his wife they had a great strife,

They never ate mustard in all their whole life;

They ate their meat without fork or knife

And loved to be picking a bone, e-ho!

The fox went out, one still, clear night,

And he prayed the moon to give him light,

For he'd a long way to travel that night,

Before he got back to his den-o!

The fox when he came to yonder stile,

He lifted his lugs and he listened a while!

"Oh, ho!" said the fox, "it's but a short mile

From this unto yonder wee town, e-ho!"

And first he arrived at a farmer's yard,

Where the ducks and the geese declared it was hard,

That their nerves should be shaken and their rest should be marred

By the visits of Mister Fox-o!

The fox when he came to the farmer's gate,

Who should he see but the farmer's drake;

"I love you well for your master's sake,

And long to be picking your bones, e-ho!"

The grey goose she ran round the hay-stack,

"Oh, ho!" said the fox, "you are very fat;

You'll grease my beard and ride on my back

From this into yonder wee town, e-ho!"

Then he took the grey goose by her sleeve,

And said: "Madam Grey Goose, by your leave

I'll take you away without reprieve,

And carry you back to my den-o!"

And he seized the black duck by the neck,

And slung him all across his back,

The black duck cried out "quack, quack, quack,"

With his legs all dangling down-o!

Old Mother Wiggle-Waggle hopped out of bed,

Out of the window she popped her old head;

"Oh! husband, oh! husband, the grey goose is gone,

And the fox is off to his den, oh!"

Then the old man got up in his red cap,

And swore he would catch the fox in a trap;

But the fox was too cunning, and gave him the slip,

And ran through the town, the town, oh!

When he got to the top of the hill,

He blew his trumpet both loud and shrill,

For joy that he was safe and sound

Through the town, oh!

But at last he arrived at his home again,

To his dear little foxes, eight, nine, ten,

Says he "You're in luck, here's a fine fat duck

With his legs all dangling down-o!

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