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The Embarrassing Episode of Little Miss Muffet
by
Guy Wetmore Carryl


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Little Miss Muffet discovered a tuffet,
(Which never occurred to the rest of us)
And, as 'twas a June day, and just about noonday,
She wanted to eat--like the rest of us:
Her diet was whey, and I hasten to say
It is wholesome and people grow fat on it.
The spot being lonely, the lady not only
Discovered the tuffet, but sat on it.
 
A rivulet gabbled beside her and babbled,
As rivulets always are thought to do,
And dragon flies sported around and cavorted,
As poets say dragon flies ought to do;
When, glancing aside for a moment, she spied
A horrible sight that brought fear to her,
A hideous spider was sitting beside her,
And most unavoidably near to her!
 
Albeit unsightly, this creature politely said:
"Madam, I earnestly vow to you,
I'm penitent that I did not bring my hat.
I should otherwise certainly bow to you."
Though anxious to please, he was so ill at ease
That he lost all his sense of propriety,
And grew so inept that he clumsily stept
In her plate--which is barred in society.
 
This curious error completed her terror;
She shuddered, and growing much paler, not
Only left tuffet, but dealt him a buffet
Which doubled him up in a sailor knot.
It should be explained that at this he was pained:
He cried: "I have vexed you, no doubt of it!
Your fist's like a truncheon." "You're still in my luncheon,"
Was all that she answered. "Get out of it!"
 
And the Moral is this: Be it madam or miss
To whom you have something to say,
You are only absurd when you get in the curd
But you're rude when you get in the whey.

From Fables for the Frivolous (Harper & Brothers, 1899).
This poem is in the public domain.

Purchase a framed print of this poem.

 

Guy Wetmore Carryl (1873 – 1904) was an American poet and novelist. Born in New York City, he was published in the New York Times at the age of twenty, and by the time he was twenty-five, was writing for many of the major publications of that era. Handsome, witty and sauve, Guy's promising literary career was cut short by an illness that left him dead at the age of thirty-one. Though he wrote several novels, he is best known for his light verse and parodies of classic fairy tales.

 


Post New Comment:
69Dorcas:
Terrific. Love it.
Posted 01/12/2012 08:31 PM
69Dorcas:
Terrific. Love it.
Posted 01/12/2012 08:31 PM
marenomitchell:
Thanks for this giggle on a stormy day.
Posted 01/12/2012 12:00 PM


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