Posts filed under ‘Three Little Kittens’

Three Little Kittens

The True Mother Goose – Songs for the Nursery, Or, Mother Goose’s Melodies for Children. Notes and Pictures by Blanche McManus. Published by Lamson, Wolffe and Co., Boston. 1895.

True Mother Goose
True Mother Goose

May 26, 2008 at 1:12 pm Leave a comment

THREE LITTLE KITTENS

THE ROLE OF CATS IN NURSERY RHYMES
by Sarah Hartwell

Three little kittens they lost their mittens, and they began to cry,
“Oh mother dear, we sadly fear that we have lost our mittens.”
“What! Lost your mittens, you naughty kittens!
Then you shall have no pie.”
“Meeow, meeow, meeow, now we shall have no pie.”
The three little kittens they found their mittens,
And they began to cry,
“Oh mother dear, see here, see here
For we have found our mittens.”
“Put on your mittens, you silly kittens
And you shall have some pie”
“Meeow, meeow, meeow, now let us have some pie.”
The three little kittens put on their mittens
And soon ate up the pie,
“Oh mother dear, we greatly fear
That we have soiled our mittens.”
“What! soiled you mittens, you naughty kittens!”
Then they began to cry,
“Meeow, meeow, meeow” then they began to sigh.
The three little kittens they washed their mittens
And hung them out to dry,
“Oh mother dear, do you not hear
That we have washed our mittens.”
“What! washed your mittens, you are good kittens.”
But I smell a rat close by,
“Meeow, meeow, meeow” we smell a rat close by…

This is a much longer cautionary tale about children losing, damaging or soiling their clothing. The rhyme takes the form of a conversation between a mother and her children. The kittens are chastised for losing their mittens and rewarded with pie for finding them later on. The crafty kittens then soil their mittens, again annoying mother, and they have to wash them to get back in her good books. The “meeow, meeow, meeow” sounds like kittens crying – whether in sadness, or because they have had the equally traditional smack is left unsaid.

However, it seems that the kittens may have deliberately soiled their mittens in the hope of getting another reward for washing them. Their wise mother sees through their childish deception and “smells a rat” (is suspicious). Instead of getting another pie, the kittens once again end up crying – very likely through being punished for telling lies. So the Three Little Kittens not only tells children to take good care of their belongings, it also tells them not to try to profit from dishonesty.

May 26, 2008 at 1:07 pm Leave a comment

Three Little Kittens

Three KittensA cautionary tale with words directed toward to a mother and child and the common occurrence of losing an article, then finding it and finally being rewarded! The word “meeow” shows effective use of onomatopoeia where a word sounds like the action. The mother cat was correct in her view that she could “smell a rat!” This Nursery Rhyme first appeared in the ” Only True Mother Goose Melodies” in 1843.

Three Little Kittens poem

AKA – 3 Little Kittens
Three little kittens they lost their mittens, and they began to cry,
“Oh mother dear, we sadly fear that we have lost our mittens.”
“What! Lost your mittens, you naughty kittens!
Then you shall have no pie.”
“Meeow, meeow, meeow, now we shall have no pie.”
The three little kittens they found their mittens,
And they began to cry,
“Oh mother dear, see here, see here
For we have found our mittens.”
“Put on your mittens, you silly kittens
And you shall have some pie”
“Meeow, meeow, meeow,
Now let us have some pie.”
The three little kittens put on their mittens
And soon ate up the pie,
“Oh mother dear, we greatly fear
That we have soiled our mittens.”
“What! soiled you mittens, you naughty kittens!”
Then they began to cry, “Meeow, meeow, meeow”
Then they began to sigh.
The three little kittens they washed their mittens
And hung them out to dry,
“Oh mother dear, do you not hear
That we have washed our mittens.”
“What! washed your mittens, you are good kittens.”
But I smell a rat close by,
“Meeow, meeow, meeow” we smell a rat close by…

May 26, 2008 at 1:01 pm Leave a comment

Three Little Kittens

An illustration from R. N. Ballantyne's 1858 story based on the Three Little Kittens nursery rhyme.Three Little Kittens

Three little kittens,
They lost their mittens,
And they began to cry,
Oh, mother dear,
We sadly fear
Our mittens we have lost.
What! Lost your mittens,
You naughty kittens!
Then you shall have no pie.
Mee-ow, mee-ow, mee-ow, mee-ow.
You shall have no pie.

The three little kittens,
They found their mittens,
And they began to cry,
Oh, mother dear,
See here, see here,
Our mittens we have found.
What! Found your mittens,
You darling kittens!
Then you shall have some pie.
Mee-ow, mee-ow, mee-ow, mee-ow.
You shall have some pie.

The three little kittens,
Put on their mittens,
And soon ate up the pie;
Oh, mother dear,
We greatly fear
Our mittens we have soiled.
What! Soiled your mittens,
You naughty kittens!
Then they began to sigh,
Mee-ow, mee-ow, mee-ow, mee-ow.
They began to sigh.

The three little kittens,
They washed their mittens,
And hung them out to dry;
Oh mother dear,
Look here, look here,
Our mittens we have washed.
What! Washed your mittens,
You’re such good kittens.
I smell a rat close by!
Hush! Hush! Hush! Hush!
Hush! Hush! Hush!
I smell a rat close by.

May 25, 2008 at 1:33 pm Leave a comment


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