The Turnip

The pattern and words for the retelling of the Russian folktale is from Judy Sierra’s The Flannel Board Storytelling Book, second edition.

The Turnip
A Russian Folktale

Once there was an old man, so old, in fact, that his old back went crick crack, crick crack when he walked. The old man planted a turnip seed in the ground. He waited for the green leaves to sprout, first a little, then a lot, and when the old man saw how tall the leaves grew, he said, “This is no ordinary turnip! This is a great, big enormous turnip!” And he grabbed the turnip leaves down hear the ground, and he pulled mmmmmmh! and he pulled mmmmmmh! and he pulled mmmmmmh! But the turnip wouldn’t come out.

Along came the old woman, and the old man said, “Fee, fie, foe, fout, this turnip won’t come out!” The old woman said, “Let me help.” So the old woman held onto the old man, and they pulled mmmmmm! and they pulled mmmmmm! and they pulled mmmmmmh! But the turnip wouldn’t come out.

Along came the little girl, and the old woman said, “Fee, fie, for, fout, this turnip won’t come out!” The little girl said, “Let me help.” So the little girl held onto the old woman, and the old woman held onto the old man, and they pulled mmmmmmh! and they pulled mmmmmmh! and they pulled mmmmmmh! But the turnip wouldn’t come out.

Along came the dog, and the little girls said, “Fee, fie, foe, fout, this turnip won’t come out!” The dog said, “Let me help.” So dog held onto the little girl and the little girl held onto the old woman and the old woman held onto the old man, and they pulled mmmmmm! and they pulled mmmmmm! and they pulled mmmmmmh! But the turnip wouldn’t come out.

Along came a cat, and the dog said, “Fee, fie, foe, fout, this turnip won’t come out!” The cat said, “Let me help.” So the cat held onto the dog and the dog held onto the little girl and the little girl held onto the old woman and the old woman held onto the old man, and they pulled mmmmmm! and they pulled mmmmmm! and they pulled mmmmmmh! But the turnip wouldn’t come out.

Along came the mouse, and the cat said, “Fee, fie, foe, fout, this turnip won’t come out!” The cat said, “Let me help.”

“Ha, ha, ha!” laughed the cat. “What help can a little mouse be?”

“You never know,” said the mouse. So the mouse held onto the cat and the cat held onto the dog and the dog held onto the little girl and the little girl held onto the old woman and the old woman held onto the old man, and they pulled mmmmmm! and they pulled mmmmmm! and they pulled mmmmmmh! and the turnip came out!

Sure enough, it really was a great, big, enormous turnip.

One thought on “The Turnip”

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