Once upon a time, there was a little boy,
Who did not always do what’s right.
He tried to stay awake all night.
One evening, when Mother and Father had tried to coax him to go to sleep, Old Aunt Rachel, came clumpety-clump, clump up the stairs. She took the little boy in her arms and rocked to and fro in the old rocking chair.
As they went rocking to and fro, the little boy stared at the great moon and said,
“I don’t like a sleepy song.
I want to stay up all night long.”
At this, the Old Rachel pretended she did not hear and said in a sing-song kind of way,
“Little Men, Little Men,
skipping o’er the hill and glen;
Little Men, Little Men,
carry sacks of dreams, what then?
Little Men, Little Men,
here they all come out again.”
“Who are the Little Men?” asked the little boy. Aunt Rachel rocked to and fro and said,
“See them creeping over the moon.
One will be in your bedroom soon.”
Then the most surprising thing happened! The little boy looked, and up over the moon crept a wee little man with a sack on his back. There came another, and another, and another. Would they never stop coming? As they came nearer and nearer and nearer, you could even hear the song one Little Man was singing:
“Rock away, rock away to and fro,
I’ll bring a Rocking Chair dream, you know.”
One Little Man came so near you could hear the patter, patter, patter of his little feet. Then he danced right on the windowsill and sang,
“Hello, bright eyes, I’ll tickle your toes.
I am in earnest, goodness knows.”
Before Mammy or the little boy could say a word, in came the Little Man and tickled the little boy’s toes!
The Little Man sang as he tickled the little boy’s toes,
“Nid-nid-nodding, goes your head.
Ha, ha, ho, ho, it’s time for bed.”
At this very minute, the little boy’s head went nid-nid-nodding. Then the Little Man kissed him on both cheeks and said,
“Rock away, rock away,
sleeping ’til the break of day.”
As the little boy fell fast asleep, the Little Man took a beautiful dream out of his bag, and he and the little boy joined hands and skipped away, away, away. They left Mammy asleep rocking gently to and fro in the old rocking chair. As they sailed up, up, up among the clouds, the little boy said,
“It is fun to sail at night
when the moon and stars are bright.”
The Little Man said,
“I’m glad you did, as you were told.
I’ll go and dig for fairy gold.”
There they were with the little Moon Men, and they were all digging for gold! Click, click, click went the spades, and up came the gold pieces! Big gold pieces, little gold pieces, middle-sized gold pieces! Just as the little boy cried, “Let me dig!” and took hold of one of the little wee spades, he woke up and saw that Aunt Rachel was gone, but the rocking chair still rocked to and fro in the moonlight.
He was safe and sound in his wee little bed. He put his hand under his pillow and pulled out a shining gold piece. On it was written,
“Go to sleep when you are told,
then you will gather fairy gold.”
Will you believe it? His head went nid-nid-nodding right away again, and he was asleep in two minutes.
The rocking chair in the corner was very wise and old. It sang,
“I can tell other tales, my dears,
for I have rocked one hundred years.”
I wonder if your rocking chair rocks to and fro in the corner?