Mr. Gumpy’s Outing
by John Burningham
This is Mr. Gumpy.
Mr. Gumpy owned a boat and his house was by a river.
One day Mr. Gumpy went out in his boat.
“May we come with you?” said the children. “Yes,” said Mr. Gumpy,
“if you don’t squabble.”
“Can I come along, Mr. Gumpy?” said the rabbit. “Yes, but don’t hop about.”
“I’d like a ride,” said the cat.
“Very well,” said Mr. Gumpy.
“But you’re not to chase the rabbit.”
“Will you take me with you?” said the dog.
“Yes,” said Mr. Gumpy.
“But don’t tease the cat.”
“May I come, please, Mr. Gumpy?” said the pig. “Very well, but don’t muck about.”
“Have you a place for me?” said the sheep.
“Yes, but don’t keep bleating.”
“Can we come too?” said the chickens.
“Yes, but don’t flap,” said Mr. Gumpy.
“Can you make room for me?” said the calf. “Yes, if you don’t trample about.”
“May I join you, Mr. Gumpy?” said the goat. “Very well, but don’t kick.”
For a little while they all went along happily but then… The goat kicked
The calf trampled
The chickens flapped
The sheep bleated
The pig mucked about
The dog teased the cat
The cat chase the rabbit
The rabbit hopped
The children squabbled
The boat tipped…
and into the water they fell.
Then Mr. Gumpy and the goat and the calf and the chickens and the sheep and the pig and the dog and the cat and the rabbit and the children all swam t the bank and climbed out to dry in the hot sun.
“We’ll walk home across the fields,” said Mr. Gumpy.
“It’s time for tea.”
“Goodbye,” said Mr. Gumpy.
“Come for a ride another day.”