I have been telling this story since 1992 when Scottish teller, David Campbell gave it to me at the first Glistening Waters Festival in Masterton, New Zealand. He explained that it was a very, very old tale - well, old in the Western European tradition - which means hundreds, rather than thousands of years. Like all old tales it just gets better the more you tell it. Folktales have so much room inside them for the listener and the teller to roam around, connecting the tale to their own story as well as the shared family and cultural experience. Mr Wiggle and Mr Waggle is just such a story. It is a simple finger rhyme with a great walking rhythm up the hill and down the hill.
A couple of years ago some dear friends, the Korting family from Calliope, gave me two small finger puppets who they had named Mr Wiggle and Mr Waggle. I had told them the story many times and it was a family favourite - different every time and full of laughter. Mr Wiggle and Mr Waggle are on the road with me. These are a couple of photos of them at the WeHi River camp at Moree and in a gnarly old tree at Coonabarrabran.