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Cautionary Tales for Children   By: (1870-1953)

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Designed for the Admonition of Children between the ages of eight and fourteen years

Verses by H. BELLOC

Pictures by B. T. B.



First published by Eveleigh Nash, 1907 First published by Gerald Duckworth & Co. Ltd., 1918 Thirteenth Impression, 1957

All rights reserved

Made and Printed in Great Britain by Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd London and Edinburgh



Upon being asked by a Reader whether the verses contained in this book were true.


And is it True? It is not True. And if it were it wouldn't do, For people such as me and you Who pretty nearly all day long Are doing something rather wrong. Because if things were really so, You would have perished long ago, And I would not have lived to write The noble lines that meet your sight, Nor B. T. B. survived to draw The nicest things you ever saw. H. B.


Who ran away from his Nurse, and was eaten by a Lion.


There was a Boy whose name was Jim; His Friends were very good to him. They gave him Tea, and Cakes, and Jam, And slices of delicious Ham, And Chocolate with pink inside, And little Tricycles to ride, And


read him Stories through and through, And even took him to the Zoo But there it was the dreadful Fate Befell him, which I now relate.

You know at least you ought to know. For I have often told you so That Children never are allowed To leave their Nurses in a Crowd;

Now this was Jim's especial Foible, He ran away when he was able, And on this inauspicious day He slipped his hand and ran away! He hadn't gone a yard when


Bang! With open Jaws, a Lion sprang, And hungrily began to eat The Boy: beginning at his feet.

Now just imagine how it feels When first your toes and then your heels, And then by gradual degrees, Your shins and ankles, calves and knees, Are slowly eaten, bit by bit.


No wonder Jim detested it! No wonder that he shouted "Hi!" The Honest Keeper heard his cry, Though very fat


he almost ran To help the little gentleman. "Ponto!" he ordered as he came (For Ponto was the Lion's name), "Ponto!" he cried,


with angry Frown. "Let go, Sir! Down, Sir! Put it down!"

The Lion made a sudden Stop, He let the Dainty Morsel drop, And slunk reluctant to his Cage, Snarling with Disappointed Rage But when he bent him over Jim, The Honest Keeper's


Eyes were dim. The Lion having reached his Head, The Miserable Boy was dead!


When Nurse informed his Parents, they Were more Concerned than I can say: His Mother, as She dried her eyes, Said, "Well it gives me no surprise, He would not do as he was told!" His Father, who was self controlled, Bade all the children round attend To James' miserable end, And always keep a hold of Nurse For fear of finding something worse.


Who chewed bits of String, and was early cut off in Dreadful Agonies.

The Chief Defect of Henry King Was


chewing little bits of String. At last he swallowed some which tied Itself in ugly Knots inside.


Physicians of the Utmost Fame Were called at once; but when they came They answered,


as they took their Fees, "There is no Cure for this Disease... Continue reading book >>

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