What is the name of this children's book?
September 6, 2007 12:59 PM   Subscribe

I'm trying to remember the name of a children's book I read when I was younger. I think it was about a guy who had his own names for everything (including fire), then one day his house caught fire and his daughter (or servant?) couldn't tell him, because she couldn't remember the word.

I think his word for fire was "hot cockeloren" or similar. I also suspect it was an English book (ie- from the UK).

I can't remember if, in the end, the man learned a valuable lesson about not picking his own names for things, or if he simply burned to death.
posted by mrnutty to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
man! I remember this. Not the title though. sorry!
posted by chickaboo at 1:02 PM on September 6, 2007

Master of all Masters! Get your squibs and crackers for White-Faced Shiminey has gotten a spot of Hot Cockolorum on her tail and if you don't get some Pondolorium, High Topper Mountain will be all on Hot Cockolorum! That is all.

Or something like that.
posted by crush-onastick at 1:07 PM on September 6, 2007

I am all about the premature posting today. It was in our copy of the My Book House Books. And I believe it's a folk tale called "Master of all Masters"
posted by crush-onastick at 1:09 PM on September 6, 2007

It's also a folktale called The Barn is Burning.
posted by iconomy at 1:12 PM on September 6, 2007

The used to run that one all the time on the Toronto Public Library Dial-A-Book phone service. Master of All Masters it is.
posted by GuyZero at 1:19 PM on September 6, 2007

There's a song usually misatributed to Momus (it's actually by Mason Williams) that this reminded me off. Lyrics copied from here:
There was once a prince who acted strangely in that
He thought life was stupid and it was for him so
He made up a world in which he liked the things we liked
But he had different reasons why he liked them

He liked butter for its color
He would order toast and color
Waitresses, confused would utter
Sir, I've never heard of toast and color

He'd get angry and begin to choke them
The law would come, and they'd arrest and book him
So his life was a mess of trouble
Still he kept it up

He had dogs, a hundred cocker spaniels and he
Called them panties, 'cause they did that mostly, and he
Did not care at all if they would bark and fetch sticks
Run and jump, roll over, and play dead tricks

No, he liked them only for their panting
So he would run them ragged, but one day they got fed up
And chased the prince right up against the fence
And the prince was eaten by his panties
posted by now i'm piste at 9:53 PM on September 6, 2007

lizbt is referring to a short story by Paul Jennings (an Australian author) in one of his short story compilations for young people-- Unreal, Unbelievable, Unmentionable, and several other by those names.

The story I'm thinking of, there's a fire, the good doctor's trapped inside, and when his daughter's asked by emergency services if there's anyone inside, she says "No" (meaning yes).

If that's not the story you're thinking about, I would still recommend the stories, they're quite fun.
posted by roshy at 2:31 AM on September 7, 2007

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