Hop o My Thumb Got Rid of an Onus
couple, man and wife,
Dragged on a discontented life:
The reason, I should state,
That it was destitute of joys,
Was that they had a dozen boys
To feed and educate,
And nothing such patience demands
As having twelve boys on your hands!
twenty years they tried their best
To keep those urchins neatly dressed
And teach them to be good,
But so much labor it involved
That, in the end, they both resolved
To lose them in a wood,
Though nothing a parent annoys
Like heartlessly losing his boys!
when their sons had gone to bed,
Though bitter tears the couple shed,
They laid their little plan.
"Faut b'en que ça sfasse. Quand meme,"
The woman said, "J'en suis tout' blème.
"Ca colle!" observed the man,
"Mais ça coute, que ces gosses fichus!
B'en, quoi! Faut qu'i's soient perdus!"
quite omitted to explain
That they were natives of Touraine;
I see I must translate.)
"Of course it must be done, and still,"
The wife remarked, "it makes me ill."
"You bet!" replied her mate:
"But we've both of us counted the cost,
And the kids simply have to be lost!"
while they plotted, every word
The youngest of the urchins heard,
And winked the other eye;
His height was only two feet three.
(I might remark, in passing, he
Was little, but O My!)
He added: "I'd better keep mum."
(He was foxy, was Hop O' My Thumb!)
They took the boys into the wood,
And lost them, as they said they should,
And came in silence back.
Alas for them! Hop O' My Thumb
At every step had dropped a crumb,
And so retraced the track.
While the parents sat mourning their fate
He led the boys in at the gate!
placed his hand upon his heart,
And said: "You think you're awful smart,
But I have foiled you thus!"
His parents humbly bent the knee,
And meekly said: "H. O. M. T.,
You're one too much for us!"
And both of them solemnly swore
"We won't never do so no more!"
Moral is: While I do not
Endeavor to condone the plot,
I still maintain that one
Should have no chance of being foiled,
And having one's arrangements spoiled
By one's ingenious son.
If you turn down your children, with pain,
Take care they don't turn up again!
Guy Wetmore. Grimm Tales Made Gay. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin
& Co., 1902.