Virginia Barton

31 August 2015: The Master


31 August 2015


Hands up who remembers this fragment of an old English fairy tale?

Master of all mastersA new maid started to work for an eccentric old boy who had invented unusual names for everyday objects about the house. Take “house” as an example: the maid was to call it “high topper mountain.”

The girl learned the words as instructed; but one night there was an unfortunate accident. See if you can deduce what had happened:


“Master of all Masters, jump out of your barnacle!

Put on your squibs and crackers,

for white faced simminy caught a spark
of hot cockalorum on her tail

and if you don’t fetch some pandalorum

high topper mountain will be all hot cockalorum!”


We must have have had that read to us when we were about six, and I’ve never forgotten it. Our grandchildren are too old to enjoy it – or not old enough.

I’ve no idea who did this drawing of the little maid looking meepish…






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