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YASHPEH
International Folktales Collection

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Story No. 310


Henny-Penny

Book Name:

English Fairy Tales

Tradition: England

One day Henny-penny was picking up corn in the cornyard when--whack!--something hit her upon the head. 'Goodness gracious me!' said Henny-penny; 'the sky's a-going to fall; I must go and tell the king.'

So she went along and she went along and she went along till she met Cocky-locky. 'Where are you going, Hennypenny?' says Cocky-locky. 'Oh! I'm going to tell the king the sky's a-falling,' says Henny-penny. 'May I come with you?' says Cocky-locky. 'Certainly,' says Henny-penny. So Hennypenny and Cocky-locky went to tell the king the sky was falling.

They went along, and they went along, and they went along, till they met Ducky-daddles. 'Where are you going to, Hennypenny and Cocky-locky?' says Ducky-daddles. 'Oh! we're going to tell the king the sky's a-falling,' said Henny-penny and Cocky-locky. 'May I come with you?' said Ducky-daddles. 'Certainly,' said Henny-penny and Cocky-locky. So Hennypenny, Cocky-locky, and Ducky-daddles went to tell the king the sky was a-falling.

So they went along and they went along, and they went along, till they met Goosey-poosey. 'Where are you going to, Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, and Ducky-daddles?' said Gooseypoosey. 'Oh! we're going to tell the king the sky's a-falling,' said Henny-penny and Cocky-locky and Ducky-daddles. 'May I come with you?' said Goosey-poosey. 'Certainly,' said Hennypenny, Cocky-locky, and Ducky-daddles. So Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, and Goosey-poosey went to tell the king the sky was a-falling.

So they went along, and they went along, and they went along, till they met Turkey-lurkey. 'Where are you going, Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, and Gooseypoosey?' says Turkey-turkey. 'Oh! we're going to tell the king the sky's a-falling,' said Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Duckydaddies, and Goosey-poosey. 'May I come with you, Hennypenny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, and Goosey-poosey?' said Turkey-lurkey. 'Oh, certainly, Turkey-turkey,' said Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, and Gooseypoosey. So Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey, and Turkey-lurkey all went to tell the king the sky was a-falling.

So they went along, and they went along, and they went along, till they met Foxy-woxy, and Foxy-woxy said to Hennypenny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey, and Turkey-lurkey: 'Where are you going, Henny-penny, Cockylocky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey, and Turkey-lurkey?' And Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey poosey, and Turkey-lurkey said to Foxy-woxy: 'We' re going to tell the king the sky's a-falling.' 'Oh! but this is not the way to the king, Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey, and Turkey-lurkey,' says Foxy-woxy; 'I know the proper way; shall I show it you?' 'Oh, certainly, Foxywoxy,' said Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey, and Turkey-lurkey. So Henny-penny, Cockylocky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey, Turkey-lurkey, and Foxy-woxy all went to tell the king the sky was a-falling. So they went along, and they went along, and they went along, till they came to a narrow and dark hole. Now this was the door of Foxy-woxy's cave. But Foxy-woxy said to Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey, and Turkeyturkey: 'This is the short way to the king's palace: you'll soon get there if you follow me. I will go first and you come after, Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey, and Turkey-turkey.' 'Why, of course, certainly, without doubt, why not?' said Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey, and Turkey-lurkey.

So Foxy-woxy went into his cave, and he didn't go very far, but turned round to wait for Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey, and Turkey-lurkey. So at last at first Turkey-lurkey went through the dark hole into the cave. He hadn't got far when 'Hrumph', Foxy-woxy snapped off Turkey-lurkey's head and threw his body over his left shoulder. Then Goosey-poosey went in, and 'Hrumph', off went her head and Goosey-poosey was thrown beside Turkey-lurkey. Then Ducky-daddles waddled down, and 'Hrumph', snapped Foxy-woxy, and Ducky-daddles's head was off and Duckydaddies was thrown alongside Turkey-turkey and Gooseypoosey. Then Cocky-locky strutted down into the cave, and he hadn't gone far when 'Snap, Hrumph!' went Foxy-woxy, and Cocky-locky was thrown alongside of Turkey-lurkey, Gooseypoosey, and Ducky-daddles.

But Foxy-woxy had made two bites at Cocky-locky, and when the first snap only hurt Cocky-locky, but didn't kill him, he called out to Henny-penny. But she turned tail and off she ran home, so she never told the king the sky was a-falling.

Comments:

SOURCE I give this as it was told to me in Australia in 1860. The fun consists in the avoidance of all pronouns, which results in jaw-breaking sentences almost equal to the celebrated 'She stood at the door of the fish-sauce shop, welcoming him in'.

PARALLELS Halliwell, p. 151, has the same with the title 'Chicken-Licken'. It occurs also in Chambers's Popular Rhymes, p. 59, with the same names of the dramatis personae as my version. Kennedy, Fireside Tales of Ireland, p. 25, has it under the title 'The End of the World'. For European parallels, see Crane, Ital. Pop. Tales, 377, and authorities there quoted.

Abstract:

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