The Story of the Little Rid Hin

by Sara Cone Bryant

From Horace E. Scudder's Doings of the Bodley Family in Town and Country (Houghton, Mifflin & Co.).

  There was once't upon a time
    A little small Rid Hin,
  Off in the good ould country
    Where yees ha' nivir bin.
  Nice and quiet shure she was,
    And nivir did any harrum;
  She lived alane all be herself,
    And worked upon her farrum.
  There lived out o'er the hill,
    In a great din o' rocks,
  A crafty, shly, and wicked
    Ould folly iv a Fox.
  This rashkill iv a Fox,
    He tuk it in his head
  He'd have the little Rid Hin:
    So, whin he wint to bed,
  He laid awake and thaught
    What a foine thing 'twad be
  To fetch her home and bile her up
    For his ould marm and he.
  And so he thaught and thaught,
    Until he grew so thin
  That there was nothin' left of him
    But jist his bones and shkin.
  But the small Rid Hin was wise,
    She always locked her door,
  And in her pocket pit the key,
    To keep the Fox out shure.
  But at last there came a schame
    Intil his wicked head,
  And he tuk a great big bag
    And to his mither said,—
  "Now have the pot all bilin'
    Agin the time I come;
  We'll ate the small Rid Hin to-night,
    For shure I'll bring her home."
  And so away he wint
    Wid the bag upon his back,
  An' up the hill and through the woods
    Saftly he made his track.
  An' thin he came alang,
    Craping as shtill's a mouse,
  To where the little small Rid Hin
    Lived in her shnug ould house.
  An' out she comes hersel',
    Jist as he got in sight,
  To pick up shticks to make her fire:
    "Aha!" says Fox, "all right.
  "Begorra, now, I'll have yees
    Widout much throuble more;"
  An' in he shlips quite unbeknownst,
    An' hides be'ind the door.
  An' thin, a minute afther,
    In comes the small Rid Hin,
  An' shuts the door, and locks it, too,
    An' thinks, "I'm safely in."
  An' thin she tarns around
    An' looks be'ind the door;
  There shtands the Fox wid his big tail
    Shpread out upon the floor.
  Dear me! she was so schared
    Wid such a wondrous sight,
  She dropped her apronful of shticks,
    An' flew up in a fright,
  An' lighted on the bame
    Across on top the room;
  "Aha!" says she, "ye don't have me;
    Ye may as well go home."
  "Aha!" says Fox, "we'll see;
    I'll bring yees down from that."
  So out he marched upon the floor
    Right under where she sat.
  An' thin he whiruled around,
    An' round an' round an' round,
  Fashter an' fashter an' fashter,
    Afther his tail on the ground.
  Until the small Rid Hin
    She got so dizzy, shure,
  Wid lookin' at the Fox's tail,
    She jist dropped on the floor.
  An' Fox he whipped her up,
    An' pit her in his bag,
  An' off he started all alone,
    Him and his little dag.
  All day he tracked the wood
    Up hill an' down again;
  An' wid him, shmotherin' in the bag,
    The little small Rid Hin.
  Sorra a know she knowed
    Awhere she was that day;
  Says she, "I'm biled an' ate up, shure,
    An' what'll be to pay?"
  Thin she betho't hersel',
    An' tuk her schissors out,
  An' shnipped a big hole in the bag,
    So she could look about.
  An' 'fore ould Fox could think
    She lept right out—she did,
  An' thin picked up a great big shtone,
    An' popped it in instid.
  An' thin she rins off home,
    Her outside door she locks;
  Thinks she, "You see you don't have me,
    You crafty, shly ould Fox."
  An' Fox, he tugged away
    Wid the great big hivy shtone,
  Thimpin' his shoulders very bad
    As he wint in alone.
  An' whin he came in sight
    O' his great din o' rocks,
  Jist watchin' for him at the door
    He shpied ould mither Fox.
  "Have ye the pot a-bilin'?"
    Says he to ould Fox thin;
  "Shure an' it is, me child," says she;
    "Have ye the small Rid Hin?"
  "Yes, jist here in me bag,
    As shure as I shtand here;
  Open the lid till I pit her in:
    Open it—niver fear."
  So the rashkill cut the sthring,
    An' hild the big bag over;
  "Now when I shake it in," says he,
    "Do ye pit on the cover."
  "Yis, that I will;" an' thin
    The shtone wint in wid a dash,
  An' the pot oy bilin' wather
    Came over them ker-splash.
  An' schalted 'em both to death,
    So they couldn't brathe no more;
  An' the little small Rid Hin lived safe,
    Jist where she lived before.