Saturday, September 28, 2013

He'll Never Hear That!

We've all heard it, seen it, or maybe even experienced it. I overheard it today. Father and child, in the store, and child is throwing a fit. Daddy says in a loud but Mr-Nice-Guy tone, "Do I need to take you to the car? Do I need to take you to the car? are not controlling yourself. You need to make a decision to calm down. "
 The word "No" never comes up on the Dad's part, but that is obviously the favorite word of the child! What does he think the child is going to say, anyway?
"Yes, Dad! I really, really need to go to the car."
He'll never hear it.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Wishing Bridge

Two Little Girls Cross a River by Means of a Rustic Bridge; Swallows Fly around Them

Among the legends sung or said
Along our rocky shore,
The Wishing Bridge of Marblehead
May well be sung once more.

An hundred years ago (so ran
The old-time story) all
Good wishes said above its span
Would, soon or late, befall.

If pure and earnest, never failed
The prayers of man or maid
For him who on the deep sea sailed,
For her at home who stayed.

Once thither came two girls from school,
And wished in childish glee
And one would be a queen and rule,
And one the world would see.

Time passed; with change of hopes and fears,
And in the self-same place,
Two women, gray with middle years,
Stood, wondering, face to face.

With wakened memories, as they met,
They queried what had been
"A poor man's wife am I, and yet,"
Said one, "I am a queen.

"My realm a little homestead is,
Where, lacking crown and throne,
I rule by loving services
And patient toil alone."

The other said: "The great world lies
Beyond me as it lay;
O'er love's and duty's boundaries
My feet may never stray.

"I see but common sights of home,
Its common sounds I hear,
My widowed mother's sick-bed room
Sufficeth for my sphere.

"I read to her some pleasant page
Of travel far and wide,
And in a dreamy pilgrimage
We wander side by side.

"And when, at last, she falls asleep,
My book becomes to me
A magic glass: my watch I keep,
But all the world I see.

"A farm-wife queen your place you fill,
While fancy's privilege
Is mine to walk the earth at will,
Thanks to the Wishing Bridge."

"Nay, leave the legend for the truth,"
The other cried, "and say
God gives the wishes of our youth,
But in His own best way!"

-By John Greenleaf Whittier, 1882

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Monday, September 2, 2013

Cobbler! Stick To Your Last; Or, The Adventures Of Joe Dobson

A Milkmaid and Shepherd Outside a Cottage, Circa Late 1640s

Joe Dobson was and Englishman
In days of Robin Hood,
A Country Farmer eke was he, 
In Forest of Sherwood.

Joe Dobson said unto his Dame, 
I vow that I could do
More household work in any day
Than you could do in two.

She soon replied, I do declare
Your words you shall fulfill, 
To-morrow you my place shall take,
I'll to the plow and mill.

Next morning came, they sallied forth, 
Each sure of doing well;
She with her stick, he with a pail, 
The rest I soon will tell.

Away went Joe to milk the cow, 
His business to begin;
She tossed the pail and kicked his leg, 
The blood ran down his shin.

But see him now sit down to reel
The yarn his rib had spun,
But puzzled and perplexed was he--
He swore it was no fun.

Next job to boil the pot he went--
The fire he had forgot;
He ran with chips and burnt his head, 
Oh! grievous was his lot.

Away went Joe to wash the clothes, 
But sore against his will;
The water scalded both his hands, 
Bad luck pursued him still.

He went to hang the clothes to dry--
It was a lovely day;
But oh, alas! a magpie came
And stole his wig away.

Away went Dobson in despair
At losing thus his wig;
The magpie flew with rapid flight
And left it on a twig.

Good lack! quoth he, I must dispatch
And haste the bread to make,
But stooping down to knead it well 
His back did sorely ache.

Loud crowed the cocks, the turkeys screamed,
The geese and ducks now quacked;
Enraged for food, which Joe forgot,
He was by all attacked.

An effort then poor Dobson made
The little pigs to feed;
The old sow tripped him in the mud
In spite of all his heed.

The old Dame now with speed returned
Quite stout and blithe was she,
And found poor Joe all bruised and ill--
Fatigued as he could be.

Now Mrs. Dobson, tidy soul,
Soon set all neat and right,
Prepared the meat and drew the ale--
They bravely fared that night.

Whilst they partook this dainty meal
Joe sullenly confessed
He was convinced that wives could do
The household business best.

A Picturesque Country Cottage, with Cottager Carrying Two Heavy Buckets