Like many nursery rhymes from centuries ago, parts of this can sound brutal to today's ears...

Notes

Here's a slightly different version from The Little Mother Goose (1912), illustrated by Jessie Willcox Smith:

There was a little man,
And he had a little gun,
And his bullets were made of lead, lead, lead;
He went to the brook
And saw a little duck,
And he shot it through the head, head, head.

He carried it home
To his old wife Joan,
And bid a fire for to make, make, make,
To roast the little duck,
He had shot in the brook,
And he'd go and fetch her the drake, drake, drake.

There Was a Little Man and He Had a Little Gun - English Children's Songs - England - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Comment After Song Image
There Was a Little Man and He Had a Little Gun - English Children's Songs - England - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World 1

Comments

This rhyme and 2nd illustration can be found in The Real Mother Goose (1916), illustrated by Blanche Fisher Wright. The 1st illustration is from The Nursery Rhyme Book, edited by Andrew Lang and illustrated by L. Leslie Brooke (1897).

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