Page:The Folk-Lore Journal Volume 7 1889.djvu/285

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261
DORSETSHIRE CHILDREN’S GAMES, ETC.

    ‘Call upon him, call upon him.’
    ‘What is his name?’
    ‘I have told you twice,

    And won’t tell you again.’ ”

(Answer: “Bean.”)[1]

(vii.) “Little Miss Etticott,
    In a a white petticoat,
    And a red nose;
    The longer she stands.
    The shorter she grows.”

(Answer: A candle.)

(viii.)—The answer to the following riddle or puzzle is to be found by altering the punctuation, when it will be seen that the whole sense is completely changed.

“I saw a fish-pond all on fire,
 I saw a house bow to a squire,
 I saw a parson twelve feet high,
 I saw a cottage near the sky,
 I saw a balloon made of lead,
 I saw a coffin drop down dead,
 I saw two sparrows run a race,
 I saw two horses making lace,
 I saw a girl just like a cat,
 I saw a kitten wear a hat,
 I saw a man who saw these too,
 And said though strange they all were true.”[2]

I think I cannot do better in closing this last section of Dorsetshire children’s games and rhymes than quote at length a humorous poem by the late Mr. Barnes, called “Riddles,” which contains very fair specimens of that kind of ingenious word-puzzling which affords so much amusement to the peasant youth of both sexes and in most countries.

  1. These last two riddles, with slight variations, are to be found in Gregor’s Folklore of North East Scotland.
  2. For another specimen of the same kind see Halliwell’s Nursery Rhymes (ed. 1846), No. cccclxxxv.