Page:The Folk-Lore Journal Volume 7 1889.djvu/279

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255
DORSETSHIRE CHILDREN’S GAMES, ETC.

tended to represent a story, or a series of questions and answers, such as I have first mentioned, to a mere collection of nonsense verses, from which it is impossible to evolve any connected thread or idea whatever.

The following is often said by boys and girls as a general rhyme, but in some districts of Dorset it is adopted as a nursery one, when the nurse or other person on taking off a child’s boots pretends to knock nails into its foot, saying:

“ ‘[John Smith] fellow fine,
  Can you shoe this horse of mine?’
  ‘Yes, good sir, that I can,
  As well as any other man.
  Here’s a nail and here’s a prod,
  And now, good sir, your horse is shod.’ ”[1]

The next is common, with its variants, to many countries:

“One, two,
 Buckle my shoe;
 Three, four,
 Open the door;
 Five, six,
 Pick up sticks;
 Seven, eight,
 Lay them straight;
 Nine, ten,
 A good fat hen;
 Eleven, twelve,
 Let them delve;
 Thirteen, fourteen,
 Maids a-courtin’;
 Fifteen, sixteen,
 Maids a-kissin’;
 [Maids in the kitchen;]
 Seventeen, eighteen,
 Maids a-waitin’;
 [I’m a-waitin’;]
 Nineteen, twenty,
 My stomach’s empty;
 Please, mother, give me some dinner.”[2]

  1. Conf. two variants of this rhyme in Gregor’s Folklore of North East of Scotland.
  2. Conf. similar lines in Gregor’s Folklore of North East of Scotland, p. 20. Also Halliwell’s Nursery Rhymes (ed. 1846), No. xxxv.