Gateway to the Classics: Firelight Stories by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey
 
Firelight Stories by  Carolyn Sherwin Bailey

The Odd Company

O NCE upon a time, there lived a little old woman in a little old house in the woods. Now this little old woman lived all alone. She had her fireplace, and her teakettle, and her distaff, and her wheel. But she was a lonely little old woman, and—

Still she sat, and

Still she spun, and

Still she wished for company.

One day as she sat in the chimney corner spinning, she saw her door open a little way, and in came—

A pair of broad, broad soles,

And sat them down by the fireside.

"Now what may this mean?" thought the little old woman, but—

Still she sat, and

Still she spun, and

Still she wished for company.

Then the door opened again, and in came—

A pair of small, small legs,

And sat them down on the broad, broad soles.

"Now this is very queer," thought the little old woman, but—

Still she sat, and

Still she spun, and

Still she wished for company.

Then in through the door came—

A wee, wee waist,

And sat itself on the small, small legs.

"Now this is very queer," thought the little old woman, but—

Still she sat, and

Still she spun, and

Still she wished for company.

Then in came—

A pair of broad, broad shoulders,

And sat them down on the wee, wee waist.

But—

Still she sat, and

Still she spun, and

Still she wished for company.

Then in through the door came—

A pair of long, long arms,

And sat them down on the broad, broad shoulders.

But—

Still she sat, and

Still she spun, and

Still she wished for company.

Then in came—

A pair of fat, fat hands,

And sat them down on the long, long arms.

But—

Still she sat, and

Still she spun, and

Still she wished for company.

Then in came, last of all—

A round, round head,

And sat itself on top of all,

That sat by the fireside.

The little old woman stopped her spinning, and she asked:—

"Where did you get such broad, broad soles?"

"By much tramping, much tramping," said Somebody.

Then said the little old woman:—

"Where did you get such small, small legs?"

"Much running, much running," said Somebody.

"Where did you get such a wee, wee waist?" asked the little old woman.

"Nobody knows, nobody knows," said Somebody.

"Where did you get such broad, broad shoulders?" said the little old woman.

"With carrying brooms," said Somebody.

"Where did you get such long, long arms?" then asked the little old woman.

"Swinging the scythe, swinging the scythe," said Somebody.

"Where did you get such fat, fat hands?" said the little old woman.

"With threshing, with threshing," said Somebody.

"How did you get such a huge, huge head?" asked the little old woman.

"Of a pumpkin I made it," said Somebody.

Then said the little old woman:—

"What did you come for?"

"TO KEEP YOU COMPANY," said Somebody, as he danced about the kitchen.

So the little old woman was not lonely any more.


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