Cautionary Tales for Children

- By Hilaire Belloc
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Joseph Hilaire Pierre René Belloc (/hɪˈlɛər ˈbɛlək/, French: [ilɛːʁ bɛlɔk]; 27 July 1870[1] – 16 July 1953) was an Anglo-French writer and historian and one of the most prolific writers in England during the early twentieth century. Belloc was also an orator, poet, sailor, satirist, writer of letters, soldier, and political activist. His Catholic faith had a strong impact on his works. He was President of the Oxford Union and later MP for Salford South from 1906 to 1910. He was a noted disputant, with a number of long-running feuds. Belloc became a naturalised British subject in 1902 while retaining his French citizenship. His writings encompassed religious poetry and comic verse for children. His widely sold Cautionary Tales for Children included "Jim, who ran away from his nurse, and was eaten by a lion" and "Matilda, who told lies and was burned to death".[2] He wrote historical biographies and numerous travel works, including "The Path to Rome" (1902).[3] He also collaborated with G. K. Chesterton on a number of works.[4][5][6]
Who ran away from his Nurse, and was eaten by a Lion.
There was a Boy whose name was Jim; His Friends were very good to him. They gave him Tea, and Cakes, and Jam, And slices of delicious Ham, And Chocolate with pink inside, And little Tricycles to ride, And read him Stories through and through, And even took him to the Zoo- But there it was the dreadful Fate Befell him, which I now relate.
You know-at least you ought to know. For I have often told you so- That Children never are allowed To leave their Nurses in a Crowd;
Now this was Jim's especial Foible, He ran away when he was able, And on this inauspicious day He slipped his hand and ran away! He hadn't gone a yard when-
Bang! With open Jaws, a Lion sprang, And hungrily began to eat The Boy: beginning at his feet.
Now just imagine how it feels When first your toes and then your heels, And then by gradual degrees, Your shins and ankles, calves and knees, Are slowly eaten, bit by bit.
No wonder Jim detested it! No wonder that he shouted "Hi!" The Honest Keeper heard his cry, Though very fat he almost ran To help the little gentleman. "Ponto!" he ordered as he came (For Ponto was the Lion's name), "Ponto!" he cried, with angry Frown. "Let go, Sir! Down, Sir! Put it down!" The Lion made a sudden Stop, He let the Dainty Morsel drop, And slunk reluctant to his Cage, Snarling with Disappointed Rage But when he bent him over Jim, The Honest Keeper's image Eyes were dim. The Lion having reached his Head, The Miserable Boy was dead! image When Nurse informed his Parents, they Were more Concerned than I can say:- His Mother, as She dried her eyes, Said, "Well-it gives me no surprise, He would not do as he was told!" His Father, who was self-controlled, Bade all the children round attend To James' miserable end, And always keep a-hold of Nurse For fear of finding something worse. Henry King, Who chewed bits of String, and was early cut off in Dreadful Agonies. The Chief Defect of Henry King Was image chewing little bits of String. At last he swallowed some which tied Itself in ugly Knots inside. image Physicians of the Utmost Fame Were called at once; but when they came They answered, image as they took their Fees, "There is no Cure for this Disease. Henry will very soon be dead." His Parents stood about his Bed Lamenting his Untimely Death, When Henry, with his Latest Breath, Cried- "Oh, my Friends, be warned by me, That Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch and Tea Are all the Human Frame requires ..." With that the Wretched Child expires.

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Word Lists:

Inauspicious : not conducive to success; unpromising

Image : a representation of the external form of a person or thing in art

Delicious : highly pleasant to the taste

Reluctant : unwilling and hesitant; disinclined

Swallow : cause or allow (something, especially food or drink) to pass down the throat

Miserable : (of a person) wretchedly unhappy or uncomfortable

Dim : (of a light, color, or illuminated object) not shining brightly or clearly

Dreadful : causing or involving great suffering, fear, or unhappiness; extremely bad or serious


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Rating: A

Words: 473

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