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The very maids about the house
Once only when the flue took fire,
I am not old ! I am not plain !
At Number Six they say Miss Rose
It's very hard, and so it is
THE DROWNING DUCKS.
AMONGST the sights that Mrs. Bond
Enjoyed yet grieved at more than others, Were little ducklings in a pond,
Swimming about beside their mothers — : Small things like living water lilies, But yellow as the daffo-dillies.
" It's very hard,” she used to moan,
“ That other people have their ducklings To grace their waters — mine alone
Have never any pretty chucklings.”
She had a lake — a pond I mean —
Its wave was rather thick than pearly —
She had two ducks, their napes were green
She had a drake, his tail was curly, Yet spite of drake, and ducks, and pond, No little ducks had Mrs. Bond !
The birds were both the best of mothers —
The nests had eggs — the eggs had luck — The infant D.'s came forth like others –
But there, alas! the matter stuck ! They might as well have all died addle, As die when they began to paddle ! —
For when, as native instinct taught her,
The mother set her brood afloat,
Like any over-loaded boat ;
No peccant humour in a gander
Brought havoc on her little folks, -
To appetite, — destroyed their yolks, -
The thing was strange - a contradiction
It seemed of nature and her works ! For little ducks, beyond conviction,
Should float without the help of corks :
Great Johnson it bewildered him !
Poor Mrs. Bond! what could she do
But change the breed — and she tried divers Which dived as all seemed born to do;
No little ones were e'er survivors — Like those that copy gems, I'm thinking, They all were given to die-sinking !
In vain their downy coats were shorn ; [went !
They floundered still ! — Batch after batch The little fools seemed only born
And hatched for nothing but a hatchment ! Whene'er they launched — O sight of wonder ! Like fires the water “ got them under ! ”
No woman ever gave their lucks
A better chance than Mrs. Bond did;
She gave her pond up, and desponded;
But though resolved to breed no more,
She brooded often on this riddle — Alas! 'twas darker than before !
At last about the summer's middle, What Johnson, Mrs. Bond, or none did, To clear the matter up the Sun did !
The thirsty Sirius, dog-like drank
So deep, his furious tongue to cool, The shallow waters sank and sank,
And lo, from out the wasted pool, Too hot to hold them any longer, There crawled some eels as big as conger
I wish all folks would look a bit,
In such a case below the surface ; But when the eels were caught and split
By Mrs. Bond, just think of her face, In each inside at once to spy A duckling turned to giblet-pie !
The sight at once explained the case,
Making the Dame look rather silly, The tenants of that Eely Place
Had found the way to Pick a dilly, And so by under-water suction, Had wrought the little ducks' abduction.