Little Cock Sparrow, The
DESCRIPTION: "A little cock sparrow sat on a green tree" A "naughty boy" with bow and arrow says he will shoot the sparrow to make a stew and pie. The sparrow says otherwise and flies away.
EARLIEST DATE: 1846 (Halliwell, according to Opie-Oxford2)
KEYWORDS: escape hunting bird youth food
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Opie-Oxford2 111, "A little cock sparrow sat on a green tree" (1 text)
Baring-Gould-MotherGoose #182, p. 130, "(A little cock sparrow sat on a green tree)"
Bodleian, Harding B 25(1117), "The Little Cock Sparrow," W. Oxlade (Portsea), n.d.
NOTES: Bird fanciers will note that this is the English sparrow, known in America as a "House Sparrow" but actually a weaverfinch, rather than a true sparrow; it's generally not possible to tell the genders of true sparrows without detailed examination. English sparrows are also generally more given to chattering, and spend more time in trees; true sparrows are groundfeeders. Not that a nursery rhyme writer is likely to worry about such details. - RBW
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