Posts Tagged Jack

east of the moon and west of the stars

This is a scottish traditional tale, beautifully animated, called The Green man Of Knowlege.

Jack sets meets the Green Man of Knowledge and is challenged to meet him again, “east of the moon and west of the stars”. Now, where would that be??

Anyway, Jack travels, always taking the “roads less travelled” to reach there…

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who is stronger?

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This is the house that Jack built.
This is the malt that lay in the house that Jack built.
This is the rat that ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.
This is the cat that killed the rat
That ate the malt that lay in the house that Jack built.
This is the dog that worried the cat
That killed the rat that ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.
This is the cow with the crumpled horn
That tossed the dog that worried the cat
That killed the rat that ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.
This is the maiden all forlorn
That milked the cow with the crumpled horn
That tossed the dog that worried the cat
That killed the rat that ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.
This is the man all tattered and torn
That kissed the maiden all forlorn
That milked the cow with the crumpled horn
That tossed the dog that worried the cat
That killed the rat that ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.
This is the priest all shaven and shorn
That married the man all tattered and torn
That kissed the maiden all forlorn
That milked the cow with the crumpled horn
That tossed the dog that worried the cat
That killed the rat that ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.
This is the cock that crowed in the morn
That waked the priest all shaven and shorn
That married the man all tattered and torn
That kissed the maiden all forlorn
That milked the cow with the crumpled horn
That tossed the dog that worried the cat
That killed the rat that ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.
This is the farmer sowing his corn
That kept the cock that crowed in the morn
That waked the priest all shaven and shorn
That married the man all tattered and torn
That kissed the maiden all forlorn
That milked the cow with the crumpled horn
That tossed the dog that worried the cat
That killed the rat that ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.

I read this to my class, got them to act it out with puppets, made a book of it, and suchlike, like teachers do. Then one of the girls brought in a fantastic version:

It’s by Simms Taback.

I love the illustrations:


He mentions that it comes from an old Jewish cumulative song:

“Had Gadya (An Only Kid, Aramaic) is a popular song sung in Aramaic at the conclusion of the Passover seder along with other concluding songs, to amuse the children and keep them from falling asleep. Composed of ten stanzas the verse runs as follows:

A father bought a kid for two zuzim;
a cat came and ate the kid;
a dog then bit the cat;
the dog was beaten by a stick;
the stick was burned by fire;
water quenched the fire;
an ox drank the water;
a shohet (ritual slaughterer) slaughtered the ox;
the shohet was killed by the Angel of Death who
in punishment was destroyed by God.”

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