A riddle and devilish rhyme as a light-hearted post for R: rhythm and rhyme …
As I was going to St Ives,
I met a man with seven wives,
Each wife had seven sacks,
Each cat had seven cats,
Each cat had seven kits:
Kits, cats, sacks, and wives,
How many were there going to St Ives?
Answers on a postcard please!!!
This a traditional English-language nursery rhyme in the form of a riddle. Its Roud Folk Song index number is 19772. I wrote about the Roud data base and the unknown Royal babe at that time on 22nd July 2013 – the index is not Cornish, but that baby will be anon, but it’s interesting information (well I think so!).
|Part of the Rhind Papyrus - now in the British Museum|
A similar problem to this riddle is found in the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus (problem 79) dated to around 1650BC. I shall stop here ... and let you wander over to Wikipedia to check out the answers to the Roud, Rhind, Riddle …
|Looking east towards Plymouth, Devon|
Now we take on the devil … he who dared cross the Tamar, the river boundary between Devon and Cornwall, rapaciously rambling towards Launceston … who but rapidly turned on his heel back to Devon for fear of ending up as pasty filling?!
|Depiction of the Devil as seen|
in the Codex Gigas: The Devil's
Bible (13th C Bohemia)
The poor devil having sweated to get down to Cornwall found that the Tamar was a damp and miserable barrier – and to his horror … that various kinds of pie were customary; he feared that devilly pie might be up next on the Cornish menus.
He was also dumbfounded to come across another blogger in this confounded A-Z Challenge, those 21st century bods write about, in that April Fool of a month ... and that is Annalisa Crawford, who would have goaded the devil on, as he hot-footed it past her town of Essa (Saltash), with the devilly encouraging words of we need new blood ...
The legend is set to music in the traditional Cornish folk song:
Fish and Tin and Copper
Old Nick, as he was wont to do
Was Wand’ring up and down
To see what mischief he could brew,
And made for Launceston-town.
For ‘tis fish and tin and copper, boys
And Tre and Pol and Pen,
And one and all we may rejoice
That we are Cornishmen.
Across the Tamar he had come
Though you might think it strange,
And having left his Devon home
Tried Cornwall for a change.
Now when to Launceston he grew near,
A-skipping o’er the sod,
He spied a rustic cottage there
With windows all abroad.
And in the kitchen might be seen
A dame with knife in hand,
Who cut and slashed and chopped, I ween
To make a pasty grand.
“Good Mornin’, Missus, what is that?”
“Of all sorts, is a daub.
‘Tis beef and mutton, pork and fat,
Potatoes, leeks and squab.”
“A Cornish pasty, sure”, says she,
“And if thou doesn’t mind,
I soon shall start to cut up thee
And put ye in, you’ll find!”
In fear he turned and straight did flee
Across the Tamar green
And since that day in Cornwall
He has never more been seen!
|c/o Tin Fish, California|
That is R for Rhythm and Rhyme with a Riddle for Rhind, mathematical Rumblers, all recorded in the Roud Index … from Aspects of British Cornish …
Roud Index – my post: “PuppyDog’s Tails or Sugar and Spice” … and the next one will be born soon … Sugar or Spice?
Wikipedia – “As I wasgoing to St Ives …”
Wikipedia – Rhind Mathematical Papyrus problem
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories