“Once there was a teeny tiny lady and she lived in a teeny tiny house outside a teeny tiny village and she lived with her teeny tiny dog and her teeny tiny cat. One day the teeny tiny lady decided to go to the teeny tiny village to market. On her way home she saw a teeny tiny bone in a teeny tiny field, so she picked up the teeny tiny bone and took it to her teeny tiny house. When she got home she made herself a teeny tiny supper and she sat down to eat it. She heard a noise from her teeny tiny cupboard, very quiet, barely a whisper, ‘give me my bone.’ She shook her head and didn’t pay it much attention and she finished eating her teeny tiny supper. Then she went to her teeny tiny bed and she went to sleep. When she was laying in her teeny tiny bed the teeny tiny lady heard a teeny tiny voice from her teeny tiny cupboard saying, ‘where’s my bone?’ The teeny tiny lady was afraid so she pulled up the teeny tiny blanket to her teeny tiny face. A little bit while later she heard the voice a little bit louder, ‘Where’s my bone?’ The teeny tiny lady covered her head with the blanket and she pushed herself all the way down into her teeny tiny bed. And then she laid there for a while, and then she heard very loudly coming from the cupboard, ‘I want my bone!’ Then the teeny tiny lady stuck her head out of the blanket and she said, ‘You can have it! Take it!’ And she covered her head back up and crouched down into her bed. In the morning she got up and she went to the cupboard and she opened the cupboard and the teeny tiny bone was gone.”
The informant first heard this tale as a child during the 1960s from either her father or uncle, because it was so long ago she can’t remember which. She says that her family enjoyed listening to a show called “Fractured Fairy Tales” one of these tales being “Old Mother Hubbard”,
“Old mother Hubbard, she went to the cupboard, to get her poor dog a bone, and when she got there the cupboard was bare and so the poor dog had none.”
She says that she used to ask questions about the fairytales they heard. The tale was an explanation for why there was no bone in the cupboard because, why would she check the cupboard if she knew there was no bone? She clearly thought there was a bone in the cupboard?
This tale is used to explain why Mother Hubbard went to check the cupboard and gives context as to why she would think there was a bone in the cupboard for her dog. The use of a tale to explain and give context to another tale is very interesting as one could consider it a sequel, or in this case a prequel. Which shows that tales giving context to folklore are also considered folklore. Of course, the tale itself can be told separately from “Old Mother Hubbard” and be used as a scary story to prevent children from picking things up from the side of the road or taking something that does not belong to them.