Sunday, 2 April 2017

The Pancake

Once upon a time there was a wife who had seven hungry children, and these she fried a pancake for. It was a raw-milk cake, and it lay in the pan and swelled itself so thick and good, and the children stood around, and their old father sat watching.

“Oh, let me have a little pancake, my mother; I am so hungry,” said one of the children.

“Oh, dear mother,” said the second.

“Oh, dear pretty mother,” said the third.

“Oh, dear pretty, kindly mother,” said the fourth.

“Oh, dear beautiful, pretty, kindly mother,” said the fifth.

“Oh, dear beautiful, pretty, goodly, kindly mother,” said the sixth.

“Oh, dear beautiful, pretty, goodly, kindly sweet mother,” said the seventh; and thus they asked for pancake, each one more beautifully than the last, for they were hungry and kind.

“Yes, my children, but wait until it turns,” she said—“until I turn it,” she should have said. “Then there shall be pancake for everyone; just look at how thick and contentedly it lies there.”

When the pancake heard this, it grew afraid, and just like that, it turned itself over, and would out of the pan; but it fell down again on its other side, and when it had fried there a little while, and it grew firmer, it sprang out, onto the floor, and rolled away like a wheel, out through the door and along the road.

“Hey there!” The woman came after with the pan in one hand and a wooden spoon in the other, as quickly as she could, and the children came after her, with their old father hopping at the rear.

“Hey, will you wait! Pinch it, take it, hey there!” they all cried at the same time, and tried to catch up to catch it again. But the pancake rolled and rolled, and soon it was so far ahead of them that they could not see it, for the pancake was a better runner than everyone.

When it had rolled for a while, it met a man.

“Good day, pancake,” said the man.

“Good day, manny-panny,” said the pancake.

“My dear pancake, don’t roll so quickly; tarry a little and let me eat you,” said the man.

“As I have outrun wifey-strifey, the old father, and seven screaming children, I can certainly outrun you, manny-panny,” said the pancake, and rolled and rolled until it met a hen.

“Good day, pancake,” said the hen.

“Good day, henny-penny,” said the pancake.

“My dear pancake, don’t roll so quickly; tarry a little and let me eat you,” said the hen.

“As I have outrun wifey-strifey, the old father, seven screaming children, and manny-panny, I suppose I can outrun you, henny-penny,” said the pancake, rolling like a wheel along the road. Then it met a cock.

“Good day, pancake,” said the cock.

“Good day, cocky-locky,” said the pancake.

“My dear pancake, don’t roll so quickly; tarry a little and let me eat you,” said the cock.

“As I have outrun wifey-strifey, the old father, seven screaming children, from manny-panny, and from henny-penny, then I suppose I can outrun you, cocky-locky,” said the pancake, and he continued to roll and roll, as quickly as it could. When it had rolled a long while, it met a duck.

“Good day, pancake,” said the duck.

“Good day, ducky-lucky,” said the pancake.

“My dear pancake, don’t roll so quickly; tarry a little and let me eat you,” said the duck.

“As I have outrun wifey-strifey, the old father, seven screaming children, from manny-panny, from henny-penny, and from cocky-locky, then I suppose I can outrun you, ducky-lucky,” said the pancake, and he continued to roll and roll, as quickly as it could. When it had rolled a long, long while, it met a goose.

“Good day, pancake,” said the goose.

“Good day, goosey-lucy,” said the pancake.

“My dear pancake, don’t roll so quickly; tarry a little and let me eat you,” said the goose.

“As I have outrun wifey-strifey, the old father, seven screaming children, from manny-panny, henny-penny, cocky-locky, and from ducky-lucky, then I suppose I can outrun you, goosey-lucy,” said the pancake, and rolled off again. When it had rolled a long, long while, it met a gander.

“Good day, pancake,” said the gander.

“Good day, gander-pander,” said the pancake.

“My dear pancake, don’t roll so quickly; tarry a little and let me eat you,” said the gander.

“As I have outrun wifey-strifey, the old father, seven screaming children, from manny-panny, henny-penny, cocky-locky, ducky-lucky, and from goosey-lucy, then I suppose I can outrun you, gander-pander,” said the pancake, and began to roll and roll, as quickly as it could. When it had rolled a long, long while, it met a pig.

“Good day, pancake,” said the pig.

“Good day, piggy-wiggy,” said the pancake, and it began to roll and roll, as quickly as it could.

“No, tarry a little,” said the pig. “You need not fly off like that; we two can go in peace together across the forest; it is supposed to be a little unsafe there,” he said. This the pancake thought there might be some truth to, and so they did so. But when they had gone a while, they came to a brook. The pig floated on its flesh, it was as nothing for it; but the pancake could not come over.

“Sit now on my snout,” said the pig, “and I shall carry you over,” he said.

The pancake did so.

“Snuff-cuff!” said the pig and took the pancake in one bite; and since the pancake got no further, then this tale will go no further, either.

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