2481. Sing a song of sixpence

To put it mildly, the king was sick to death of four and twenty blackbirds popping out of his pie and singing their heads off.

“This is not a dainty dish at all,” said the king. “In fact it’s downright disgusting. Try eating pastry that’s had twenty-four birds plopping around on it. I shall once again go out into the scullery and boil myself an egg.”

The king exited. Next thing there were loud screams emanating from outside the scullery window. The king reappeared in the dining room. “Call an ambulance,” he cried. “One of those birds has pecked off the maid’s nose while she was hanging out the washing.”

The queen arrived, having heard all the noise. “Oh,” she said. “The king is boiling an egg again. There’s plenty of bread and honey in the parlour, darling. There’s no need to boil Humpty-Dumpty every day.”

“Nowhere,” said the king, “does it say that Humpty-Dumpty is an egg.” With that the king issued an edict: From now on no one may refer to Humpty-Dumpty as an egg.

And they all lived happily ever after in a little crooked house.

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