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THE GNICKS AND GNUS

ONCE UPON A TIME THERE WERE TWO VILLAGES VERY CLOSE TO EACH OTHER.
IN ONE OF THESE VILLAGES LIVED THE GNICKS AND IN THE OTHER, THE GNUS.
NOW IT TURNS OUT THAT GNICK HAPPENS TO BE A DELICACY FOR GNUS AND
GNU HAPPENS TO BE A DELICACY FOR GNICKS. SO IN THE FOREST BETWEEN
THE TWO VILLAGES A LOT OF HUNTING TOOK PLACE. THERE WAS ONE YOUNG
GNU WHO SHOWED GREAT PROMISE AS A HUNTER, SO HIS FATHER TOOK HIM OUT
TO TEACH HIM HUNTING WHEN HE WAS VERY YOUNG. HIS FATHER WAS A VERY
GOOD HUNTER HIMSELF, SO HE FIGURED THAT HE COULD MAKE THIS BOY REALLY
GREAT. ON THE FIRST TRIP OUT THE BOY LEARNED A LOT, AND HE SOON
WENT OUT HUNTING ON HIS OWN. ONE DAY HE WAS OUT HUNTING AND HE SAW
THE BIGGEST GNICK ANYONE HAD EVER SEEN. HE SNUCK UP ON HIM AND SHOT
HIM WITH HIS BOW AND ARROW. THE GNICK WAS SO BIG THAT IT TOOK HIM
4 HOURS TO DRAG IT BACK TO THE GNU VILLAGE. EVERYONE IN THE TOWN
WAS WORRIED ABOUT HIM BEING GONE SO LONG, BUT WHEN THEY SAW THE
GNICK HE HAD SHOT THEY UNDERSTOOD BECAUSE IT WAS THE BIGGEST GNICK
ANYONE HAD EVER SEEN. HIS MOTHER AND FATHER WERE VERY PROUD AND
THEY DECIDED THAT THE NEXT DAY THEY WOULD HAVE A HUGE FEAST FOR THE
WHOLE VILLAGE AND SERVE THE GNICK AT IT. SO THEY HUNG THE GNICK
IN A TREE SO THAT WILD ANIMALS COULDN'T GET AT IT AND THEY WENT TO
SLEEP. DURING THE COURSE OF THE NIGHT THE KID IS LYING IN BED AND
HE GETS AWFULLY HUNGRY, AND HE STARTS THINKING ABOUT THAT GNICK
AND HOW GOOD IT WOULD TASTE AND PRETTY SOON HE CAN'T THINK OF
ANYTHING ELSE BUT THAT GNICK. SO HE DECIDES THAT HE NEEDS A LITTLE
TASTE OF IT AND HE SLIPS OUT OF BED AND SNEAKS PAST HIS PARENTS
BEDROOM BEING VERY QUIET, AND HE SNEAKS DOWN THE STAIRS CAREFULLY
AVOIDING THE SECOND ONE FROM THE TOP BECAUSE IT SQUEAKS, GOES OUT IN
THE YARD, CUTS OFF THE GNICK'S FEET AND EATS THEM RIGHT THERE. AND
IT'S THE MOST INCREDIBLE THING HE'S EVER EATEN AND SNEAKS BACK
UPSTAIRS CAREFULLY AVOIDING THE SECOND STEP FROM THE TOP BECAUSE
IT SQUEAKS AND CLIMBS BACK INTO BED AND FALLS ASLEEP. ABOUT TWENTY
MINUTES LATER, HE WAKES UP REALLY HUNGRY AGAIN. AND HE TRIES TO
FIGHT IT BUT IT GETS WORSE AND WORSE UNTIL HE DECIDES HE'LL HAVE TO
HAVE SOME MORE GNICK OR HE'LL NEVER GET TO SLEEP. BESIDES THERE'S A
LOT OF GNICK OUT THERE AND HE DID ALL THE WORK FOR IT. SO HE SNEAKS
DOWNSTAIRS AGAIN CAREFULLY AVOIDING THE SECOND STEP FROM THE TOP
BECAUSE IT SQUEAKS, AND CUTS OFF THE LEGS OF THE GNICK AND EATS THEM.
THEN HE SNEAKS BACK UP THE STAIRS THIS TIME CAREFULLY AVOIDING THE
FIFTH STEP FROM THE BOTTOM BECAUSE IT'S BEGINNING TO SQEAK AND THE
SECOND STEP FROM THE TOP BECAUSE IT'S SQUEAKED RIGHT ALONG AND HE
FALLS BACK INTO BED AND HE FEELS GREAT. THIS TIME HE SLEEPS MAYBE
AN HOUR, AND HE WAKES UP THINKING ABOUT GNICK AGAIN. AND IT'S JUST
OVERWHELMING, HE CAN'T SLEEP WITHOUT SOME MORE OF THAT GNICK. SO
HE GETS UP AGAIN AND SNEAKS DOWN THE STAIRS BEING ESPECIALLY
CAREFUL IN THE HALL IN FRONT OF HIS PARENTS' ROOM BECAUSE LAST TIME
WHEN HE CAME IN IT HAD SQUEAKED AND ALMOST WOKE HIS FATHER UP. HE
ALSO CAREFULLY AVOIDED THE SECOND STEP FROM THE TOP SINCE IT
SQUEAKED AND THE FIFTH STEP FROM THE BOTTOM BECAUSE IT NOW HAD A
FULL- FLEDGED SQUEAK ALSO. HE WENT OUT IN THE YARD AND CUT OFF
EVERYTHING BUT THE HEAD AND ATE IT. HE WAS A LITTLE GUILTY BY
THIS TIME BUT HE KNEW THAT THE HEAD OF THE GNICK WAS EVEN BETTER
THAN THE REST AND THERE WAS STILL A LOT OF HEAD LEFT. SO HE WENT
BACK UPSTAIRS AND CAREFULLY AVOIDED THE FIFTH STEP FROM THE BOTTOM
AND THE SECOND STEP FROM THE TOP AND IN FACT HE HAD TO BE REALLY
CAREFUL EVERYWHERE, BECAUSE BY THIS TIME HE WAS GETTING PRETTY
HEAVY AND THEY WERE ALL BEGINNING TO MAKE NOISE. HE GOT BACK TO
HIS ROOM AND FELL RIGHT BACK TO SLEEP FOR ABOUT ANOTHER HOUR. HE WOKE
UP AND THIS TIME COULD THINK OF NOTHING BUT GNICK HEAD, AND IT GOT
WORSE AND WORSE UNTIL HE REALIZED THAT HE WAS GOING TO HAVE TO GO
DOWN AND GET THE REST OF THE GNICK. THAT'S WHAT HE DID, THIS TIME
GOING VERY SLOWLY THE WHOLE WAY TO AVOID WAKING ANYBODY, AND
CAREFULLY STAYING RIGHT NEXT TO THE WALL ON THE STAIRS BECAUSE THEY
SQUEAKED LESS THAT WAY. HE GOT OUTSIDE AND CUT DOWN THE HEAD AND
ATE IT AND HE REALIZED NOW WHY THE HUNTER ALWAYS GOT THE HEAD OF THE
GNICK THAT HE SHOT. IT WAS INCREDIBLE. HE HAD TO SIT DOWN UNDER THE
TREE FOR A WHILE TO GET OVER THE EXPERIENCE AND TO WORK UP THE
ENERGY TO GET BACK UP THE STAIRS. AND AFTER A WHILE HE GOT UP AND
MANAGED TO SNEAK BACK TO HIS ROOM VERY SLOWLY AVOIDING JUST ABOUT
EVERYTHING SINCE THE WHOLE HOUSE SEEMED TO BE DEVELOPING A SQUEAK.
HE MADE IT BACK TO HIS ROOM AND FELL DOWN ON THE BED AND LOOKED
AT HIS STOMACH WHICH BY THIS TIME HAD GROWN SO THAT IT MADE A BIG
BUMP UNDER THE BLANKETS. AND HE WENT TO SLEEP FEELING VERY
SATISFIED. THE NEXT MORNING, HIS PARENTS WOKE UP EARLY TO START
WORKING ON THE GNICK, HIS MOTHER WENT INTO THE KITCHEN TO START
PREPARING HER FAMOUS GNICK SAUCE AND HER HUSBAND WENT OUT TO GET
THE GNICK. HE GOT OUTSIDE, SAW THE BONES LYING THERE AND THOUGHT THAT
SOME WILD ANIMAL HAD GOTTEN TO THE GNICK. SO HE WENT UPSTAIRS TO
TELL HIS SON THE BAD NEWS AND HE GOT THERE AND SAW THE BUMP UNDER THE
COVERS AND FIGGERED OUT WHAT HAD HAPPENED. HE WOKE THE KID UP AND
GRABBED HIM BY THE SCRUFF OF THE NECK AND DRAGGED HIM DOWN TO THE
KITCHEN AND SAID TO HIS WIFE, YOUR SON ATE THAT ENTIRE GNICK
OVERNIGHT AND I WANT YOU TO GIVE HIM A SPANKING HE'LL NEVER FORGET.
SHE TURNED AROUND AND LOOKED AT HIM AND SAID, PADDLE YOUR OWN GNU.

Submitter comment: C15 IN BRUNVAND'S SHAGGY DOG INDEX

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): PUN

Subject headings: Favorites
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Formula tale

Date learned: 11-00-1973

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