Giant Turnip


Farmer – field of turnips (if telling in a country where turnips are unkown, use any local root vegetable).
Wanted to pull up a big one – found one that was enormous.
But so big, he couldn’t pull it out.
Called for wife.
But was so big, even together they couldn’t pull it out.
Called for son.
For daughter.
For grandma.
For dog.
For cat.
Still couldn’t pull it out.
Then little mouse came by. “I’ll help you.”
“You? You’re too small.”
“I’m small, but I’m very strong.” So one last try. They all pulled – at end of line the mouse pulled. And at last the turnip came out.
All had turnip for dinner! (And mouse had biggest helping of all!)

If telling as a participation tale with young children, improvise a chorus on the lines of
Now pull together, pull together, pull together – pull!

Told in many countries.
I first heard it years ago from my mother-in-law. In her Romanian version the final pull was provided by a tiny, tiny beetle.

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Permission to tell outlines my views on copyright

For those who are teachers: Telling stories in the classroom: basing language teaching on storytelling