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Stories of Curds & Whey


The Original:

Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet,
Eating her curds and whey;
Along came a spider,
Who sat down beside her
And frightened Miss Muffet away.

Little Miss Muffet, nursery rhyme
origin uncertain.

(And now for a Prelude to a Pun)


(1893) Guy Wetmore Carryl, American humorist & poet (1873-1904)

    Little Miss Muffet discovered a tuffet,
    (Which never occurred to the rest of us)
    And, as 'twas a June day, and just about noonday,
    She wanted to eat - like the rest of us:
    Her diet was whey, and I hasten to say
    It is wholesome and people grow fat on it.
    The spot being lonely, the lady not only
    Discovered the tuffet, but sat on it.

    A rivulet gabbled beside her and babbled,
    As rivulets always are thought to do,
    And dragon flies sported around and cavorted,
    As poets say dragon flies ought to do;
    When, glancing aside for a moment, she spied
    A horrible sight that brought fear to her,
    A hideous spider was sitting beside her,
    And most unavoidably near to her!

    Albeit unsightly, this creature politely,
    Said: "Madam, I earnestly vow to you,
    I'm penitent that I did not bring my hat.
    I should otherwise certainly bow to you."

    Thought anxious to please, he was so ill at ease
    That he lost all his sense of propriety,
    And grew so inept that he clumsily stept
    In her plate - which is barred in Society.

    This curious error completed her terror;
    She shuddered, and growing much paler, not
    Only left tuffet, but dealt him a buffet
    Which doubled him up in a sailor knot.
    It should be explained that at this he was pained:
    He cried: "I have vexed you, no doubt of it!
    Your fists's like a truncheon."  "You're still in my luncheon,"

    Was all that she answered. "Get out of it!"

And the Moral is this:

    Be it madam or miss
    To whom you have something to say,
    You are only absurd when you get in the curd
    But you're rude when you get in the whey.

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