Mother Goose (a "Jack" Rhyme)

Reprinted in AppLit with permission from the James Taylor Adams Collection
U of Virginia's College at Wise/Blue Ridge Institute of Ferrum College

Collected by James M. Hylton

Wise, Virginia 

NOTE: This text was recopied directly from a typewritten copy in the archives of the Blue Ridge Institute. James Taylor Adams (1892-1954) kept typewritten copies of the folktales he and others collected during the last thirty years of his life, while he lived in Wise County, VA. Typographical errors in the original have not been corrected, except that three corrections are inserted in square brackets in the poem as well as several corrections in the introduction. Note that we can't tell from the introduction whether this poem had been copied from a book to Miss Moore's book or recorded from the oral tradition of Wise County or elsewhere.. 


James M. Hylton,  

30 Lines

Wise, Virginia.

(FolkloreSongs & Rhymes of Children)


Below is a version of a "Jack" Rhyme given to this Writer by Pearl Dean Moore, who is the mother of several children and the daughter of Aunt Emma an[d] D. C. Dean. Mr. Dean is alive today but Aunt Emma died several years ago at he[r] home here in Wise. Miss Moore did not prefer to give me her age by [but] she was a student at the old Wise High at Wise years ago and has two children married and is a young Grandmother today. She was looking through some old books for the benefit of this Writer several hours at a time this date and found an old book that had the following version of "Mother Goose" written in pencil on the fly-leaf of the book. It was quaint and seemingly odd so I have taken the one time to give it space and time herein. January 8th, 1942, Wise, Virginia at the home of the above.


" Mother Goose "

Old Mother Goose, when she wanted to meander,

Would soar through the sky on a big black gander.

She had a white house that was built in the wood

Where a big black owl for a sentinel stood.

Her son's name was Jack, a funny lad;

Who was not very good, not yet awful bad.

She sent him to the store, and a goose he bought;

Saying, "Mother, hear, it will not go for nought.

So her goose and gander grew very fond;

And both eat together and swam in the pond.

Then Jack w[e]nt a-courting, a lady so gay,

As fair as the lily as sweet as the May.

Jack found, one fine morning, as I've been told,

The goose had laid an egg of pure gold.

He ran to his Mother, the news for to tell,

And she called him a "good boy", and said, "very well".

But he sold his egg to a big mean knave;

And only half of its value to Jack gave.

The Knave and the Squire came behind his back,

And belabored the back of poor Jack.

He then threw the gold egg into the sea,

The[n] when they were gone he dived to where it be.

He made up his mind he would not again sell

His egg of pure gold unless paid for well.

But the knave got the goose which he vowed to kill,

Thus saying his pockets, at once he would fill.

But his Mother caught the goose soon.

And mounted its back and flew to the moon.

The Knave then got nothing which served him quiet [quite] right,

Mother Goose had left him in a sorry plight.


Replacement photocopy made by BRI, 9/1992

copyright 2007 U of Virginia's College at Wise/Blue Ridge Institute of Ferrum College
all rights reserved

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