The Romance of the Chicken

I do so love the Victorian stories for children…so heartwarming and always with a happy ending!!!

Taken from Little Folks a Magazine for the Young; 1890



‘A young Frenchman once made a pet of a Houdan chicken. By throwing it some grain or bread crumbs every morning the chicken at last got into the way of following him about the house. The lad used to go to a seat in the garden and the fowl would jump up beside him, pick food from his hand, and allow its head and back to be stroked. But the boy’s holiday came to an end and he went back to school. At first the chicken did not seem to miss him, and took its food with the other fowls. When, however, after a few days had passed, the chicken began to realise that its young master was gone for good, it became sad and cast down. Morning after morning it hung about the house, as if waiting for its friend. at length it went to the bench in the summer-house and stopped there day and night with its head beneath its wings, refusing all even the most tempting kinds of food. Its intention to starve itself to death soon grew so clear that it was thought most merciful to kill it and put it out of its agony.’


Beheading Alligators

Good old Victorians; heavily into conservation!

Besides that, seemingly, no tale is too gory for 19th century parents to tell their ‘Little Folks.’


Taken from ‘Little Folks a Magazine for the Young’ of 1890.

‘On the river Guayaquil, in South America, sportsmen find a “happy hunting-ground” in the mud banks there, where alligators most do congregate. These ugly and treacherous creatures are detested wherever they exist, and any, even the cruellest method is employed for killing them. One plan is adopted on this river which seems to be brutal, but in this case the end no doubt justifies the means. As the tide goes out the alligators bury themselves in the soft mud and lie there in a sleepy state until the returning water brings with it fishes and reptiles upon which they prey. Armed with a sharp edged axe the hunter wades in top-boots across the mud, and jumping on the drowsy beasts shoulders, hacks at the neck until he severs the head from the trunk. In vain does the aroused alligator strike out with its tail, or turn itself round and round in the hope of “throwing” its executioner, who is placed beyond reach of claw, teeth or tail. all the same the hunter must have great presence of mind, strong nerve, and a sure foot.’

Pussy’s Value

Taken from ‘Little Folks a Magazine for the Young’ of 1890.


‘Whatever might be the case nowadays, there was a  time when the cat was held in considerable honour in Wales. King Howel Dda,”the Good,” who died in 748, ordered that the price of a kitten before it could see was to be one penny. When it caught it’s first mouse its value became twopence, and the price was afterwards raised to fourpence. The Prince’s granary was guarded by cats, and if anyone slew or stole one of these watch-cats he was severely punished. He had either to forfeit a ewe, or to give up as much corn as would cover the cat when it was hung up by its tail.’

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