Tuesday, December 23, 2008

R.M. Ballantyne - “The Kitten Pilgrims” 1882

The following illustrations and prose can be found in the incredible childrens book written and drawn 126 years ago by R.M Ballantyne, The Kitten Pilgrims. The story involves a group of kittens and a dog who must adventure into a land of monsters, each one representing a different sin.

An awful creature first they met,
A worm of low degree;
Its name was Sloth—a terrible thing,
With tails that caught the three.
And down they fell, but Flim escaped,
And back to the rescue ran;
And stabbed, and gashed, and pluckily slashed,
As brave as the bravest man!

Oh-o-o-o! what terrible monsters they did fight
While travelling through the land!

In desolate land, remote and grand,
They met with the Griffin Rage;
The most horrible thing—head, body, and wing, -
That kittens could well engage.
They fought him hard, and they fought him long,
And he nearly killed them all;
For wasn’t he gruff, and fearfully tough,
Though at last he went to the wall!

Oh-o-o-o! what monsters fierce they had to fight
While travelling through the land!

An eight-armed Octopus next they slew,
On the shore of the lovely sea;
So flabby and still and dead he seemed, -
But a regular cheat was he.
With a beak concealed to tear their flesh,
And glittering eyes to glare;
A face all puckers, with dozens of suckers
Hid under him slily there.

Oh-o-o-o! what monstrous cheats they had to fight
While travelling through the land!

And now at last, the journey past,
“Home, home!” they shout with cheers.
When, ghastly and cold, that sinner of old,
The Giant him-Self appears.
They fight him and catch him, and horribly scratch him,
Till a biddable slave is he;
Then, back to the Mother, Truss, Flim, and the brother,
With Self and the Monkey flee.

Oh-o-o-o! what dangerous foes they fought and felled
While travelling through the land!

The entire book can be viewed at Athelstane E-Books.

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