And the Dish Ran Away With the Spoon


January 23, 2002|By Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel

*Editor's note: A famous rhyme goes awry with the disappearance of two key characters.

Hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle,

The cow jumped over the moon;

The little dog laughed to see such sport.

And the dish ran away with the spoon.

"Everybody up! They didn't come back!"

Cow opened one eye. "What do you mean, they didn't come back? Dish and Spoon always come back."

"Not this time!" said Cat. "Look, they're gone for good. History. Adios."

"Leave 'em alone and they'll come home," mumbled Dog. "Now leave me alone. Can't you see I'm dog-tired?"

"You're tired?" said Cow. "Ever tried jumping over the moon?"

"Well, whoop-dee-doo to you," said Dog. "Why do we need Dish and Spoon anyway?"

"We just do," said Cat. "It's the way our rhyme goes. I fiddle, she jumps, you laugh, they run. Then they come back so we can do it again the next time! Without Dish and Spoon, there's no rhyme. No more diddle diddle. It's over."

"Why don't we just change their part?" Dog growled.

Cow yawned. "We could end it 'and the cow took a nap until noon.' "

"Or maybe, 'and the little dog bit a baboon.' " Dog smirked.

"Stop fiddling around!" Cat demanded. "We don't have much time. You know our rhyme gets read every night, but it can't be read without Dish and Spoon. We have to find them now!"

Cow slowly got up. "Don't have a cow, Cat. I'm coming, I'm coming."

"Doggone it," muttered Dog. "I guess I'm coming, too."

So, off went the three with a hey diddle dee

by the light of the silvery moon -- the cat

with his fiddle, the cow and the dog to

bring back the dish and the spoon.

Soon they came to a fork in the road.

"Excuse me, Fork, we're in a jam," said Cat. "Dish and Spoon ran away, and our rhyme can't be read without them. Can you help us?"

"Hmmm." Fork thought for a moment. "Oh yes, I remember seeing a dish with little flowers on it and a long, skinny spoon. In fact, they looked kind of familiar. I think we're from the same place setting!"

"Which way should we go?" asked Cat.

Suddenly a voice boomed in the distance.

"Fee, fi, fo, fish, I smell the blood of a spoon and dish!"

Cat, Dog and Cow froze.

"The voice is coming from the east," said Cow.

"It sounds like the giant!" cried Dog. "Dish and Spoon must be at the beanstalk."

With a fee and a fum and a twiddle dee

dum, the cow jumped high in the air. Over

the forest and meadows they flew, and lick-

ety split -- they were there!

Cow, Cat and Dog landed at the foot of the beanstalk.

"Hel-l-l-l-l-p!" came a cry from above.

"We're falling down ... falling down ... falling dowwnnn --"



At last they had found Dish and Spoon.

Cat rushed over. "Spoon! Spoon! Are you all right?"

"I -- I think so," said Spoon. "But -- but -- where's Dish?"

"She's over here," said Cow.

"And she's over here," said Dog.

"And she's over here, too," said Cat.

"Oh no!" cried Spoon. "She's everywhere!"

As they picked up the broken pieces, Spoon sobbed. "Wolf chased us up the beanstalk, then Giant chased us down the beanstalk and we slipped. We didn't mean to run away. Each time our rhyme was read, we went a little farther ... and a little farther. This time we went too far and got lost. It was scary."

"Now what are we going to do?" Cat moaned as they traveled south toward home. "This is really the end. The final curtain. Dish is nothing but a pile of chips. Our rhyme is over forever!"

Dog stopped in her tracks. "Look, Humpty's wall. He falls apart every day. Somebody has to put him back together. Let's go find out who!" They raced toward the wall. Dog spotted a sign on a nearby tree:


"You blew it, I glue it"

"What's the problem?" asked Jack, gluing a tail on a mouse.

"Dish went to pieces. Our rhyme has fallen apart. Can you help us?" Cat asked sadly.

"I am a jack-of-all-trades, and I'm nimble and quick, too!" Jack took the sack. "But this looks bad, really bad. I'll see what I can do.

At last Jack returned -- and Dish was right behind him.

"It was tough, but I stuck with it. See, Dish is as good as new!" said Jack.

"Hooray! Dish is back together and so are we!" Everyone cheered as they rushed outside.

Hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle,

The cow jumped over the moon;

The little dog laughed to see such sport.

And the dish stayed at home with the spoon.

Text copyright 2001 by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel, Illustrations copyright 2001 by Janet Stevens from And the Dish Ran Away With the Spoon, reprinted by permission of Harcourt Inc.

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