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There Was a Little Man and He Had a Little Gun

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(Pick A Letter to Choose a Rhyme!)

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

There Was a Little Man and He Had a Little Gun

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 shot it right through the head, head, head.

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

The drake was a-swimming with his curly tail;
The little man made it his mark, mark, mark.
He let off his gun, but he fired too soon,
And the drake flew away with a quack, quack, quack.

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.

Photos & Illustrations

There Was a Little Man and He Had a Little Gun - Mama Lisa's House of English Nursery Rhymes, Comment Image

There Was a Little Man and He Had a Little Gun - Mama Lisa's House of English Nursery Rhymes 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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