A few years ago my children were given a book called, The Booktime Book of Fantastic First Poems and to be honest I just popped it on the shelf and forgot about it. I’ve got to confess even though I’m a self-confessed bookaholic I just couldn’t see a book of poems standing up to the likes of Julia Donaldson, with all her rhyming words and pages and pages of colourful pictures, surely there was no contest was there?
Well the other night I fancied reading something different at bedtime so dubiously out came the book of poems.
They loved it! Bedtime was forgotten in a fit of laughter and “what about this one mummy,” my eldest thinking it was a school book asked me “can we buy this book mummy, so that I can keep it in my bedroom library?”
The favorite one of the evening was this one called, Yan, Tan, Tether:
Yan, tan, tether, mether, pimp.
Sether, hether, hother, dother, dick.
Yan dick, tan dick, tether dick, mether dick, bumfit.
Yan bumfit, tan bumfit, tether bumfit, mether bumfit, gigot.
The author is anonymous but it’s apparently the Cumbrian way of counting sheep from one to twenty, I’ve got to say my children really enjoyed working out that their cousin is tether bumfit (18). I would be interested if anyone knows, did or do people still count their sheep like this?