I haven't written in awhile. It seems when you get out of the habit of writing, it is hard to get back in! I went to visit my mother in California and never wrote again!
Mom lives in San Clemente in assisted living. She has lost a lot of weight and can no longer walk or dress herself. But she is sharp as a tack most days. She still remembers poems from back when she was in school. After a day or two of catching up, we run out of things to tell each other. This time she recited poems to entertain me. She is really good at it and her memory is phenomenal. She uses lots of facial expressions and gets a scary voice in the scary places. I want to buy a Flip camera next visit and record her. Until then, here are the three poems she told me.
The first one I can recite also. I was told it so many times as a child I assumed it was about me. After all, I had curly hair, too. The first part of the poem seems to be from the short poem by Longfellow. I don't know where the rest came from.
There was a girl who had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good she was very, very good
But when she was bad she was horrid.
She stood upon her head in her little trundle bed
With no one near for to hinder.
She yelled and she bawled and she screamed and she squalled
And she kicked her little heels against the winder.
Her mother heard the noise and thought it was the boys
Playing in the empty attic.
She hurried up the stairs and caught her unawares
And spanked her most emphatic!
The next one I also heard as a child but can never seem to remember. Now I have it written down so I won't forget.
Betty At The Party
"When I was at the party,"
Said Betty, aged just four,
"A little girl fell off her chair
right down upon the floor;
And all the other little girls
Began to laugh, but me -
I didn't laugh a single bit,"
Said Betty seriously.
"Why not?" her mother asked her,
Full of delight to find
That Betty, bless her little heart,
had been so sweetly kind.
"Why didn't you laugh my darling,
Or don't you like to tell?"
"I didn't laugh," said Betty
"'Cause it was me that fell."
The last one is her most dramatic. She scrunches up her face and speaks in a low scary voice. I remember being scared as a child, but I am a big girl, now!
The Little Orphan Annie
by James Whitcomb Riley
Little Orphan Annie's come to my house to stay.
To wash the cups and saucers up and brush the crumbs away.
To shoo the chickens from the porch and dust the hearth and sweep,
And make the fire and bake the bread and earn her board and keep.
While all us other children, when the supper things is done,
we sit around the kitchen fire and has the mostest fun,
A listening to the witch tales that Annie tells about
and the goblins will get ya if ya don't watch out!
Once there was little boy who wouldn't say his prayers,
And when he went to bed at night away up stairs,
His mammy heard him holler and his daddy heard him bawl,
And when they turned his covers down, he wasn't there at all!
They searched him in the the attic room and cubby hole and press
And even up the chimney flue and everywheres, I guess,
But all they ever found of him was just his pants and round-abouts
And the goblins will get ya if ya don't watch out!
Once there was a little girl who always laughed and grinned
And made fun of everyone, of all her blood and kin,
And once when there was company and old folks was there,
She mocked them and she shocked them and said she didn't care.
And just as she turned on her heels to go and run and hide,
There was two great big black things a standing by her side.
They snatched her through the ceiling fore she knew what she's about,
And the goblins will get you if you don't watch out!
When the night is dark and scary, and the moon is full
And the creatures are a flying and the wind goes Whooooooooooo,
You better mind your parents and your teachers fond and dear,
And cherish them that loves ya, and dry the orphan's tears
and help the poor and needy ones that cluster all about,
Or the goblins will get YOU if you don't WATCH OUT!!!!