Babes in the Wood

traditional children's tale

Babes in the Wood, also known as Kids of the Wood, is a traditional children's tale first published as a ballad by Thomas Millington in Norwich in 1595. Quotes here are from the illustrated edition by Randolph Caldecott (ca. 1879–1886).

Cover illustration by Randolph Caldecott


  • He did not have these pretty babes,
    A twelve-month and a daye,
    But, for their wealth he did devise
    To make them both away.
  • No burial these pretty babes
    Of any man receives,
    Till Robin Redbreast painfully
    Did cover them with leaves.

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