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Sara Cone Bryant
The Lambikin
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THE LAMBIKIN

[From Indian Fairy Tales. By Joseph Jacobs (David Nutt).]


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 whom 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 gayly. 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 gayly,--

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


But he never got any further, for the
Jackal recognized 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.



 

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