English tale.

THERE was once a little boy, and his mother sent him to buy a sheep’s head and pluck; afraid he should forget it, the lad kept saying all the way along:

‘Sheep’s head and pluck!
Sheep’s head and pluck!’

Trudging alone, he came to a stile; but in getting over he fell and hurt himself, and beginning to blubber, forgot what he was sent for. So he stood a little while to consider; at last he thought he recollected it, and began to repeat:

Liver and lights and gall and all!
Liver and lights and gall and all!’

Away he went again, and came to where a man had a pain in his liver, bawling out:

‘Liver and lights and gall and all!
Liver and lights and gall and all!’

Whereon the man laid hold of him and beat him, bidding him say:

Pray God send no more!
Pray God send no more!’

The youngster strode along, uttering these words, till he reached a field where a hind was sowing wheat:

‘Pray God send no more!
Pray God send no more!’

This was all his cry. So the sower began to thrash him, and charged him to repeat:

‘Pray God send plenty more!
Pray God send plenty more!’

Off the child scampered with these words in his mouth till he reached a churchyard and met a funeral, but he went on with his:

‘Pray God send plenty more!
Pray God send plenty more!’

The chief mourner seized and punished him, and bade him repeat:

‘Pray God send the soul to heaven!
Pray God send the soul to heaven!’

Away went the boy, and met a dog and a cat going to be hung, but his cry rang out:

‘Pray God send the soul to heaven!
Pray God send the soul to heaven!’

The good folk nearby were furious, seized and struck him, charging him to say:

‘A dog and a cat agoing to be hung!
A dog and a cat agoing to be hung!’

This the poor fellow did, till he overtook a man and a woman going to be married. ‘Oh, oh!’ he shouted:

‘A dog and a cat agoing to be hung!
A dog and a cat agoing to be hung!’

The man was enraged, as we may well think, gave him many a thump, and ordered him to repeat:

‘I wish you much joy!
I wish you much joy!’

This he did, jogging along, till he came to two labourers who had fallen into a ditch. The lad kept bawling out:

‘I wish you much joy!
I wish you much joy!’

This vexed one of the folk so sorely that he used all his strength, scrambled out, beat the crier, and told him to say:

‘The one is out, I wish the other was!
The one is out, I wish the other was!’

On went young ‘un till he found a fellow with only one eye; but he kept up his song:

‘The one is out, I wish the other was!
The one is out, I wish the other was!’

This was too much for Master One-eye, who grabbed him and chastised him, bidding him call:

‘The one side gives good light, I wish the other did!
The one side gives good light, I wish the other did!’

So he did, to be sure, till he came to a house, one side of which was on fire. The people here thought it was he who had set the place a-blazing, and straightway put him in prison. The end was, the judge put on his black cap, and condemned him to die.