The Gruffalo (with apologies to Julia Donaldson)

Ane mous gan walkeande þurgh wildforest grene

Til þe gode mous a fox him sene.

“Wherso goeth þe, litel mous broune?

Com eten at bord wyth me, in min hame.”

“Gramercy, y þanke þe, Fox, bot y may no-

Ygo sitte at mete wyth ane Gruffalo.

He han tuskes drede & talons drede

& tethe drede in dredworthi hede.”

“Werso wil ye dinne?”

“Ici, by thes rokkes. Yknaw his delit ys to eten an fox.”

Fox saith, “Ane fox! O noe! Weilawai!

Ymost gan hame, so y wische þe god dai!”


“Litel mous, wer gos þe?

Com eten mete wyth me in min tre.”

“Y þank yow, Hule, bot imote goe.

Ywoll have mete wyth ane Gruffalo.

His knee es knarri and fete splaide

& of his nase most men be affraiede.”

“Wher comst him?”

“Her, next þe burne. Et Hule Glacé es ane þinge he doth ʒerne.”

“Hule Glacé! Towit towoe!

Gode dai, litel mous, awai ich flo!”


(Mani creaturs did he mette

Bot þis scryveyn alas forʒette.)


O! Whoso es þis creatur wyth tuskes drede

& tethe drede in dredworthi hede

& knes knarri & fete splaide

& nase þat meken me so affraiede

& brimston eyen & tonge blakke

& spikkes purpyl on his bakke?

“Alas! O woe! Es ane Gruffalo!”

“Sopper ys her,” þe Gruffalo saide.

“Gode for eten wyth mede & bred.”

“Gode?” saith Mous, “Y ben nat gode.

Y am an monstre yn thes wodde.”

Mous & Gruffalo gan walkeande

To se if Mous was foe or frende.

Al þe creatures were afferde

(þo y thinke yt was þe Gruffalo þat þei ferde).

“Forsooth, y am þe drede Mous.

Wol ye dinne in min hous?

Y luffe mete, bot of alle y

Luffe eteande Gruffalo pie.”

Þe Gruffalo gan running þurgh þe wod.

Þe mous ete a clowster of notys. Thei were gode.


Written 1st April 2016


Detail of a mouse operating a catapult from London, British Library, Harley MS 6563, f. 71v


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