A Country Market

The cherry-cheeked farmer’s wife went to market, for to buy a cow. She already had a goat and a hen and a lamb and a hog and a sow. She wanted a cow so she would have a daily supply of milk, and she wanted some worms to provide her with a goodly amount of silk. But the only worms for sale that day were those of the earth and the tape, and the cow she paid good money for was not quite the usual shape. It was a cow in the form of a bear and it stood on its hind legs, and rather than providing her with milk it laid weird furry eggs. For the market to which the farmer’s wife went was a market exceeding odd, where all the beasts were blasphemous offences against God. There were spiders with horns and three-legged crows and giraffes from the gates of Hades, and owls spawned from mud and geese with ears and basilisks to frighten the ladies. The gentlemen were terrified too by the pig with ten million eyes, and the bloated sacs with razor wings which swooped down from the skies. ‘Twas market day in Scroonhoonpooge when the godly tremble and pray, for the devil sells his monsters on Scroonhoonpooge Market Day.

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