This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Saturday Rave: The King's Breakfast by A A Milne.

The King asked
The Queen, and
The Queen asked
The Dairymaid:
“Could we have some butter for
The Royal slice of bread?”
I have a horrible feeling that kings and queens are out of fashion.
This is a pity, because as far as I can see kings and queens are not
only quite as silly and entertaining as the rest of us but they tend to
have nicer houses and better clothes.
The king in this short poem is an innocent, lovable man, living
pathetically at the bottom of a power-structure that has at its apex...
....a cow.

As it happens, it's an Alderney cow:
Luckily the cow turns out to be a kindly soul, and the poor oppressed king ends up transported with happiness.
The story is told in very short lines (sometimes consisting of a single word), with an absolute control of rhythm, and an infectious galloping delight.

The whole poem can be found HERE. And as if that's not enough there's a Muppet version on YouTube, too, featuring Twiggy.

Hugely cheering.

Word To Use Today: AlderneyAlderney is one of the Channel islands. The word is probably derived from an Old Norse word meaning "island near the coast". Alternatively, it may derive from three Norse elements: alda, swelling wave, renna, strong current, and oy, island.


  1. Oh, what a wonderful little poem! I really wish I knew of it when my kid was growing up! Actually, I would've been happy to hear it myself in my younger years!
    I'm so glad he got his butter!
    Are there any not nice cows in literature?
    I've only come across nice ones, and I really don't think I want to know of a bad one!
    I do like cows!
    I did find it on Youtube, and saw Twiggy! The Queen's not exactly a beauty is she!!
    Thank you again for another piece of literature I missed out on!

    1. Are there any not nice cows in literature? That's interesting. I shall have to think.
      Actually, you know something? I think there's the germ of a femininist treaty in that idea. Somewhere.

  2. The Laughing Cow.

    C'mon - spreadable cheese just isn't that funny; defo something sinister going on there.

    1. Especially as she may only be smiling...

  3. I used to know the entire poem by heart and recite it all over the place to the consternation of many people. Not sure it's all still there, but yards and yards of it are...I love it!

    1. They may have been consternated (that's a word that should exist) but I bet they were jolly entertained, all the same.
      And those that weren't are miserable rotters who DON'T MATTER.