Saturday, 16 February 2008


A right Royal Feast today – both for the eyes and for the soul! Mums and babes (and David helping to keep little hands out of harm's way) all gathered round Anne and David's big circular table to enjoy Anne's freshly baked walnut bread and wholewheat brown loaf. Big slices for us, crusts for wee Ish; the two newborns really missed out.

Memories of long ago, being read this poem from a first edition book When We Were Very Young by A. A. Milne that my mother greatly prized. I remember it having a dark green cover. I often think of this poem, not so much in terms of having a nice slice of bread, but rather on occasions when I am frustrated and mutter to myself "Oh for heaven's sakes! I only want a little bit of butter for my bread!"

The King's Breakfast

The King asked
The Queen, and
The Queen asked
The Dairymaid:
"Could we have some butter for
The Royal slice of bread?"

The Queen asked the Dairymaid,
The Dairymaid
Said, "Certainly,
I'll go and tell the cow
Before she goes to bed."

The Dairymaid
She curtsied,
And went and told the Alderney:
"Don't forget the butter for
The Royal slice of bread."

The Alderney said sleepily:
"You'd better tell
His Majesty
That many people nowadays
Like marmalade

The Dairymaid
Said "Fancy!"
And went to
Her Majesty.
She curtsied to the Queen, and
She turned a little red:
"Excuse me,
Your Majesty,
For taking of
The liberty,
But marmalade is tasty, if
It's very

The Queen said
And went to his Majesty:
"Talking of the butter for
The royal slice of bread,
Many people
Think that
Is nicer.
Would you like to try a little

The King said,
And then he said,
"Oh, deary me!"
The King sobbed, "Oh, deary me!"
And went back to bed.
He whimpered,
"Could call me
A fussy man;
I only want
A little bit
Of butter for
My bread!"

The Queen said,
"There, there!"
And went to
The Dairymaid.
The Dairymaid
Said, "There, there!"
And went to the shed.
The cow said,
"There, there!
I didn't really
Mean it;
Here's milk for his porringer
And butter for his bread."

The queen took the butter
And brought it to
His Majesty.
The King said
"Butter, eh?"
And bounced out of bed.
"Nobody," he said,
As he kissed her
"Nobody," he said,
As he slid down
The banisters,
My darling,
Could call me
A fussy man -

I do like a little bit of butter to my bread!"

A. A. Milne


Poem by A. A. Milne in the collection entitled When We Were Very Young, Methuen, 1924.

Illustration by E.H. Shepherd

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