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Main > English folktales > Fairy tale "Stupid's Cries"

Stupid's Cries

There was once a little boy, and his mother sent him to buy a sheep's head and pluck; afraid he should forget it, the lad kept saying all the way along:

"Sheep's head and pluck!

Sheep's head and pluck!"

Trudging along, he came to a stile; but in getting over he fell and hurt himself, and beginning to blubber, forgot what he was sent for. So he stood a little while to consider: at last he thought he recollected it, and began to repeat:

"Liver and lights and gall and all!

Liver and lights and gall and all!"

Away he went again, and came to where a man had a pain in his liver, bawling out:

"Liver and lights and gall and all!

Liver and lights and gall and all!"

Whereon the man laid hold of him and beat him, bidding him say:

"Pray God send no more!

Pray God send no more!"

The youngster strode along, uttering these words, till he reached a field where a hind was sowing wheat:

"Pray God send no more!

Pray God send no more!"

This was all his cry. So the sower began to thrash him, and charged him to repeat:

"Pray God send plenty more!

Pray God send plenty more!"

Off the child scampered with these words in his mouth till he reached a churchyard and met a funeral, but he went on with his:

"Pray God send plenty more!

Pray God send plenty more!"

The chief mourner seized and punished him, and bade him repeat:

"Pray God send the soul to heaven!

Pray God send the soul to heaven!"

Away went the boy, and met a dog and a cat going to be hung, but his cry rang out:

"Pray God send the soul to heaven!

Pray God send the soul to heaven!"

The good folk nearly were furious, seized and struck him, charging him to say:

"A dog and a cat agoing to be hung!

A dog and a cat agoing to be hung!"

This the poor fellow did, till he overtook a man and a woman going to be married. "Oh! oh!" he shouted:

"A dog and a cat agoing to be hung!

A dog and a cat agoing to be hung!"

The man was enraged, as we may well think, gave him many a thump, and ordered him to repeat:

"I wish you much joy!

I wish you much joy!

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Category: United States folktales
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