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Encyclopedia > Wee Willie Winkie

Wee Willie Winkie is the bedtime figure characterised in the Scottish nursery rhyme of the same name which was written by William Miller in 1841. Wee Willie Winkie is also a book by Rudyard Kipling, a 1937 film with Shirley Temple, and a character in the children's educational weekly Treasure. The character of Wee Willie Winky (aka William Winky) appeared in Jasper Fforde's book The Big Over Easy (2005). Motto: (Eng: No one provokes me with impunity)1 Anthem: Multiple unofficial anthems Capital Edinburgh Largest city Glasgow Official language(s) English, Gaelic, Scots 2 Government Constitutional monarchy  - Queen of the UK Queen Elizabeth II  - Prime Minister of the UK Tony Blair MP  - First Minister Jack McConnell MSP Unification    - by... A nursery rhyme is a traditional song or poem taught to young children, originally in the nursery. ... 1841 is a common year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar). ... Rudyard Kipling Joseph Rudyard Kipling (30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936) was a British author and poet, born in India, and best known today for his childrens books, including The Jungle Book (1894), The Second Jungle Book (1895), Just So Stories (1902), and Puck of Pooks Hill (1906... 1937 (MCMXXXVII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar). ... Shirley Jane Temple (born April 23, 1928), later known as Shirley Temple Black, is an American diplomat and former film child actress. ... Treasure was a British educational magazine for young children published by Fleetway Publications which ran for 418 issues published between 14 January 1963 and 16 January 1971. ... Jasper Fforde Jasper Fforde (born in London on 11 January 1961) is a novelist and aviator living in Wales. ... The Big Over Easy is a novel written by Jasper Fforde and published in 2005. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


The nursery rhyme

The original text was written in Scots and is below Scots is an Anglic variety spoken in Scotland, where it is sometimes called Lowland Scots to distinguish it from Scottish Gaelic spoken by some in the Highlands and Islands (especially the Hebrides). ...

Wee Willie Winkie runs through the toun,
Up stairs and down stairs in his nicht-goun,
Tirlin' at the window, cryin' at the lock,
"Are the weans in their bed, for it's noo ten o'clock?"
"Hey, Willie Winkie, are ye comin' ben?
The cat's singin' grey thrums to the sleepin' hen,
The dog's spelder'd on the floor, and disna gi'e a cheep,
But here's a waukrife laddie that winna fa' asleep!"
Onything but sleep, you rogue! glow'ring like the mune,
Rattlin' in an airn jug wi' an airn spune,
Rumblin', tumblin' round about, crawin' like a cock,
Skirlin' like a kenna-what, wauk'nin' sleepin' fock.
"Hey, Willie Winkie - the wean's in a creel!
Wambling aff a bodie's knee like a verra eel,
Ruggin' at the cat's lug, and ravelin' a' her thrums
Hey, Willie Winkie - see, there he comes!"
Wearit is the mither that has a stoorie wean,
A wee stumple stoussie, that canna rin his lane,
That has a battle aye wi' sleep before he'll close an ee
But a kiss frae aff his rosy lips gies strength anew to me.


A rough English translation is given below

Wee Willie Winkie runs through the town,
Up stairs and down stairs in his night-gown,
Tapping at the window, crying at the lock,
"Are the children in their bed, for it's now ten o'clock?"
"Hey, Willie Winkie, are you coming in?
The cat's singing purring to the sleeping hen,
The dog's spread out on the floor, and doesn't give a cheep,
But here's an insomniac boy who will not fall asleep!"
Anything but sleep, you rogue! glowering like the moon,
Rattling in an iron jug with an iron spoon,
Rumbling, tumbling round about, crowing like a cock,
Shrieking like I don't know what, waking sleeping folk.
"Hey, Willie Winkie - the child's in a basket!
Wriggling from everyone's knee like an eel,
Tugging at the cat's ear, and confusing all her purrs
Hey, Willie Winkie - see, there he comes!"
Weary is the mother who has a dusty child,
A small short child, who can't run on his own,
Who always has a battle with sleep before he'll close an eye
But a kiss from his rosy lips gives strength anew to me.

The spirit

The spirit of Wee Willie Winkie himself shares a field with other bedtime entities such as the Sandman, Ole Lukkøye of Scandinavia, and Dormette of France. Some children even ask Wee Willie Winkie to help them wake when they are to wet the bed or embark on a sleepwalk. The Sandman is a character in popular Western folklore who brings good sleep and dreams by sprinkling magic sand on to the eyes of children. ... Scandinavia is a region in Northern Europe. ... Sleepwalking (also called noctambulism or somnambulism) is a sleep disorder where the sufferer engages in activities that are normally associated with wakefulness while asleep or in a sleeplike state. ...


References

Melville, F The Book of Faeries 2002 Quarto Press


  Results from FactBites:
 
Wee Willie Winkie (527 words)
It was collected in "Wee Willie Winkie and Other Stories" in 1895 and in numerous subsequent reprints of that collection.
Wee Willie Winkie is the six-year-old son of the Colonel, and much loved by all in the regiment.
Also, Wee Willie Winkie was - after all - the son of the Colonel, and the tribesmen knew very well what retribution would follow if he were harmed.
Chapter Wee Willie Winkie of Wee Willie Winkie by Rudyard Kipling (710 words)
Brandis was having tea at the Colonel’s, and Wee Willie Winkie entered strong in the possession of a good-conduct badge won for not chasing the hens round the compound.
If Wee Willie Winkie took an interest in any one, the fortunate man was envied alike by the mess and the rank and file.
In the course of a morning ride Wee Willie Winkie had seen Coppy so doing, and, like the gentleman he was, had promptly wheeled round and cantered back to his groom, lest the groom should also see.
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