Last Updated on May 25, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 156
Context: This cumulative tale belongs more nearly to the medieval fabrications on the models of the fable than to the original Greek fables. Be that as it may, this is one of the most popular of the cluster of fables. It seems that Patty is on her way to town to turn the money she makes from selling the pail of milk into something tangible: chickens which will lay eggs to sell to the parson's wife to buy a new dress and hat to attract the young men.
". . . Polly Shaw will be that jealous: but I don't care. I shall just look at her and toss my head like this." As she spoke she tossed her head back, the Pail fell off and all the milk was spilt. So she had to go home and tell her mother what had occurred.
"Ah my child," said the mother, "Do not count your chickens before they are hatched."
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