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Poem by Alan Alexander Milne

The Little Black Hen

Berryman and Baxter, 
	Prettiboy and Penn
And old Farmer Middleton 
	Are five big men...
And all of them were after 
	The Little Black Hen.

She ran quickly,
	They ran fast; 
Baxter was first, and
	Berryman was last. 
I sat and watched
	By the old plum-tree... 
She squawked through the hedge
	And she came to me.

The Little Black Hen
	Said, Oh, its you!
I said, Thank you, 
	How do you do?
And please will you tell me, 
	Little Black Hen,
What did they want,
	Those five big men?

The Little Black Hen
	She said to me: 
They want me to lay them
	An egg for tea. 
If they were Emperors,
	If they were Kings, 
Im much too busy
	To lay them things.

Im not a King
	And I havent a crown: 
I climb up trees,
	And I tumble down, 
I can shut one eye,
	I can count to ten, 
So lay me an egg, please,
	Little Black Hen.

The Little Black Hen said, 
	What will you pay,
If I lay you an egg
	For Easter Day?

Ill give you a Please
	And a How-do-you-do,
Ill show you a Bear
	Who lives in the Zoo,
Ill show you the nettle-place 
	On my leg,
If you'll lay me a great big 
	Eastery egg.

The Little Black Hen
	Said, I dont care 
For a How-do-you-do
	Or a Big-brown-bear, 
But Ill lay you a beautiful
	Eastery egg, 
If you'll show me the nettle-place
	On your leg.

I showed her the place
	Where I had my sting. 
She touched it gently
	With one black wing. 
Nettles dont hurt
	If you count to ten. 
And now for the egg,
	Said the Little Black Hen.

When I wake up
	On Easter Day, 
I shall see my egg
	Shes promised to lay. 
If I were Emperors,
	If I were Kings, 
It couldnt be fuller
	Of wonderful things.

Berryman and Baxter,
	Prettiboy and Penn, 
And old Farmer Middleton
	Are five big men. 
All of them are wanting
	An egg for their tea,
But the Little Black Hen is much too busy, 
The Little Black Hen is much too busy, 
The Little Black Hen is MUCH too busy... 
	Shes laying my egg for me!

Alan Alexander Milne

Poem Theme: Alan Alexander Milne

Alan Alexander Milne's other poems:
  1. In the Fashion
  2. Swing Song
  3. Independence
  4. Cottleston Pie
  5. The Four Friends

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