Brief synopsis of "The Lambikin":

This Indian Fairy tale is very similiar to "The Three Little Pigs". One might think the moral of this tale is 'don't make promises you can't keep' but I fail to see the logic in that, either way the lamb would have been eaten. The historical, and cultural differences makes some of these tales hard to figure out. I can't assume this one has no moral to it, that it was just written as a fun little tale; because it really isn't that fun, it has a very sad ending. So perhaps the moral was to convey the dangers of wondering out alone. Perhaps it's about the age old saying, "You can fool all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time."

a lullaby from Indian Fairy Tales
by Joseph Jacobs, 1890

THE LAMBIKIN

Once upon a time there was a wee wee Lambikin, who frolicked about on his little tottery legs, and enjoyed himself amazingly.

Now one day he set off to visit his Granny, and was jumping with joy to think of all the good things he should get from her, when who should he meet but a Jackal, who looked at the tender young morsel and said:

"Lambikin! Lambikin! I'll EAT YOU!"

But Lambikin only gave a little frisk and said:

"To Granny's house I go,
Where I shall fatter grow,
Then you can eat me so."

The Jackal thought this reasonable, and let Lambikin pass.

By-and-by he met a Vulture, and the Vulture, looking hungrily at the tender morsel before him, said:

"Lambikin! Lambikin! I'll EAT YOU!"

But Lambikin only gave a little frisk, and said:

"To Granny's house I go,
Where I shall fatter grow,
Then you can eat me so."

The Vulture thought this reasonable, and let Lambikin pass.

And by-and-by he met a Tiger, and then a Wolf, and a Dog, and an Eagle, and all these, when they saw the tender little morsel, said:

"Lambikin! Lambikin! I'll EAT YOU!"

But to all of them Lambikin replied, with a little frisk:

"To Granny's house I go,
Where I shall fatter grow,
Then you can eat me so."

At last he reached his Granny's house, and said, all in a great hurry, "Granny, dear, I've promised to get very fat; so, as people ought to keep their promises, please put me into the corn-bin at once."

So his Granny said he was a good boy, and put him into the corn-bin, and there the greedy little Lambikin stayed for seven days, and ate, and ate, and ate, until he could scarcely waddle, and his Granny said he was fat enough for anything, and must go home. But cunning little Lambikin said that would never do, for some animal would be sure to eat him on the way back, he was so plump and tender.

"I'll tell you what you must do," said Master Lambikin, "you must make a little drumikin out of the skin of my little brother who died, and then I can sit inside and trundle along nicely, for I'm as tight as a drum myself."

So his Granny made a nice little drumikin out of his brother's skin, with the wool inside, and Lambikin curled himself up snug and warm in the middle, and trundled away gaily. Soon he met with the Eagle, who called out:

"Drumikin! Drumikin!
Have you seen Lambikin?"

And Mr. Lambikin, curled up in his soft warm nest, replied:

"Fallen into the fire, and so will you
On little Drumikin. Tum-pa, tum-too!"

"How very annoying!" sighed the Eagle, thinking regretfully of the tender morsel he had let slip.

Meanwhile Lambikin trundled along, laughing to himself, and singing:

"Tum-pa, tum-too;
Tum-pa, tum-too!"

Every animal and bird he met asked him the same question:

"Drumikin! Drumikin!
Have you seen Lambikin?"

And to each of them the little slyboots replied:

"Fallen into the fire, and so will you
On little Drumikin. Tum-pa, tum too;
Tum-pa, tum-too; Tum-pa, tum-too!"

Then they all sighed to think of the tender little morsel they had let slip.

At last the Jackal came limping along, for all his sorry looks as sharp as a needle, and he too called out--

"Drumikin! Drumikin!
Have you seen Lambikin?"

And Lambikin, curled up in his snug little nest, replied gaily:

"Fallen into the fire, and so will you
On little Drumikin! Tum-pa--"

But he never got any further, for the Jackal recognised his voice at once, and cried: "Hullo! you've turned yourself inside out, have you? Just you come out of that!"

Whereupon he tore open Drumikin and gobbled up Lambikin.

NOTES: LAMBIKIN

Source.--Steel-Temple, Wideawake Stories, pp. 69-72, originally published in Indian Antiquary, xii. 175. The droll is common throughout the Panjab.

Parallels.--The similarity of the concluding episode with the finish of the "Three Little Pigs" (English Fairy Tales, No. xiv.) In my notes on that droll I have pointed out that the pigs were once goats or kids with "hair on their chinny chin chin." This brings the tale a stage nearer to the Lambikin.

Remarks.--The similarity of Pig No. 3 rolling down hill in the churn and the Lambikin in the Drumikin can scarcely be accidental, though, it must be confessed, the tale has undergone considerable modification before it reached England.


from Project Gutenberg (public domain)

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