I first heard this poem from my granny years ago. Despite my best efforts i couldn’t find it anywhere online. So eventually, I made my mum track down a single piece of paper with it written out:
Tell tale Matilda was seven years old,Yet she did not repent as she ought to have done, for the terrible tales she had told.Her brother had caught her again and again, telling such lies about Jackie and Jane,That he took her and shook her and said,“Do you know what bogie-men do with tale-telling tattering children like you?They will come through the night and they’ll cut out your tongue,Then out to the dogs in the street it is flung!”This didn’t make Mattie a single bit better,So her big brother Jim thought he never would get her to stop telling stories.But one dreadful night when the household was sleeping,Matilda turned cold and quite giddy with fright,For in through the window two black men came creeping,Although she screamed for her life,The one with the knife came up to her bed and said:“Although you are young, we have come here to cut out that bad little tongue.”And although Mattie struggled and tried hard to answer,“If you give me one chance, I’ll be good if I can sir.”He opened her mouth, and he put the knife in it,He nipped at her tongue, it was off in a minute,Then she found with a scream, it was only a dream,With the post at the foot of the bed she’d been fighting,While her poor little tongue was so swollen with biting,That for nearly a week, she hardly could speak,But since she’s recovered, Matilda no more is –A girl who is given to falsehoods and stories.
I’ve no idea who the original artist is, and I’ve never seen it anywhere else since.
I’m curious, if you’ve ever heard it before, leave a comment.