'The Tiny, Tiny Boy and the Big, Big Cow'

Story Time

April 04, 2001|By Nancy Van Laan

* Editor's note: One persistent lad finds out just how difficult a simple chore can be when a stubborn bovine does not cooperate.

A tiny, tiny boy had a big, big cow. When he went out to milk her, she would not stand still.

"Oh no!" said the tiny, tiny boy. "What shall I do now, with this big, big cow?" So he went to tell his ma.

"Ma," said he, "cow won't stand still. Tiny, tiny boy can't milk big, big cow."

"Humph," said his ma. "Go tell that cow she must stand still."

So off went the tiny, tiny boy to the big, big cow and said, "Big, big cow can't have her way! She must stand still. Stand still, I say!"

But the big, big cow kicked up her hard, hard heels and would not stand still. "Ma," groaned the tiny, tiny boy, "big, big cow won't stand still. Tiny, tiny boy can't milk big, big cow."

"Humph," said his ma. "Get a fat, fat stick. Shake it at that cow."

So off went with a fat, fat stick, shook it at the big, big cow and said, "Big, big cow you must stand still or my fat, fat stick I'll make you feel!"

But the big, big cow kicked up her hard, hard heels, swished her long, long tail, and would not stand still.

"Ma," cried the tiny, tiny boy, "I told the big, big cow she must. I shook the fat, fat stick, but she won't stand still. Tiny, tiny boy can't milk big, big cow."

"Humph," said his ma. "Take my golden gown of silk to coax that cow."

So off he went with the golden gown of silk, laid it down on the ground and said, "Hold still, big, big cow. Fill my bucket full of milk and then I'll let you wear this golden gown of silk."

"Ma," moaned the tiny, tiny boy, "I told the big, big cow she must. I shook the fat, fat stick, offered her the golden gown of silk, but she won't stand still. Tiny, tiny boy can't milk big, big cow."

"Humph," said his ma. "Tell that cow if she gives us milk, she can have a cup of tea."

So off he went with a teapot and two cups to the big, big cow and said, "Big, big cow, please listen to me. If you give us milk, you can have a cup of tea."

But the big, big cow kicked up her hard, hard heels, swished her long, long tail, tossed her empty, empty head, dropped her sharp, sharp horns, and would not stand still.

"Ma," wept the tiny, tiny boy, "I told the big, big cow she must. I shook the fat, fat stick, offered her the golden gown of silk, and invited her to tea, but she won't stand still. Tiny, tiny boy can't milk big, big cow."

"Humph," said his ma. "Go to that cow and warm her cold, cold heart. Tell her a sweet, sweet kitten is crying for her milk."

So off he went with a kitten and he said, "Big, big cow, here's a sweet, sweet kitten with soft, soft hair. She's very, very hungry and hopes that you care. You would cry in this bucket if only you would think. She's moaning and she's groaning for a drop of milk to drink."

"Ma," wailed the tiny, tiny boy, "I told the big, big cow she must. I shook the fat, fat stick, offered her the golden gown of silk, and invited her to tea. I showed the sweet, sweet kitten, but she won't stand still. Tiny, tiny boy can't milk big, big cow."

"Humph," said his ma. "This time you tell her SHE MUST NOT STAND STILL!"

So off he went with nothing and said, "Big, big cow, DON'T YOU DARE STAND STILL!"

And the big, big cow kicked up her hard, hard heels, swished her long, long tail, tossed her empty, empty head, dropped her sharp, sharp horns, wobbled her knobby, knobby knees, bellowed out loudly, "MOO-O-OO!" and at last stood still!

From THE TINY, TINY BOY AND THE BIG, BIG COW by Nancy Van Laan, illustrated by Marjorie Priceman. Text copyright (c) 1993 by Nancy Van Laan. Illustration copyright (c) 1993 by Marjorie Priceman. Reprinted by arrangement with Random House Children's Books, a division of Random House, Inc. New York, New York. All rights reserved.

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