The Irish are hard to beat when it comes to story telling. Don’t know if it’s the DNA, the Guinness or the Bailey’s Creme that we can thank for that, but one of the most enjoyable parts of our recent visit to the UK was hearing a lot of those funny stories. When we were in Dublin, either on our way to or from supper and a show at an Irish cabaret, we listened to a CD of a music group singing the tongue-twister of a song about Petey the little snake who couldn’t quit hissing–in the wrong place, I might add. In a search for the origins, I found that in the 1960s, a poet named Frank Mickelson (from Missouri, I believe) wrote it as a poem, but put it away into the back of a desk drawer because, as he said, it was a little risque for even those times. By 1986, it had made the rounds of the worldwide web, and it’s impossible to say who came up with it first. If you love the play on words as I do, I’ve jotted it down here in yet another version.
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Petey was a snake, only so big, who lived in a pit with his mother. One day Petey was hissing around the pit when his Mother said, “Petey don’t hiss in the pit, go outside the pit to hiss.” So Petey went outside to hiss. Petey was hissing all around when he finally leaned over and hissed–yep, you guessed it–in the pit again.
Petey’s Mother heard Petey hissing in the pit again, and said. “Petey, if you must hiss in the pit, go over to Mrs. Pott’s pit to hiss in her pit.” So Petey went over to Mrs. Pott’s pit to hiss in her pit, but Mrs. Pott was not at home. So he hissed in her pit anyway. While Petey was hissing in Mrs. Pott’s pit, Mrs. Pott came home and caught Petey hissing in her pit. She said, “Petey, if you must hiss in a pit, you shouldn’t hiss in my pit! Go to your own pit and hiss.” This made Petey very sad, and he cried all the way home.
When Petey got home his Mother saw him crying and said, “Petey, what’s the matter?”
Petey said, “I went over to Mrs. Pott’s to hiss in her pit but Mrs. Pott came home and found me hissing in her pit and said “Petey, if you must hiss in a pit, go on home to your own pit and hiss. Don’t hiss in my pit.”
This made Petey’s Mother very angry and she said, “Why that mean old lady. I knew Mrs. Pott when she didn’t have a pit to hiss in.”
Have a great week!