Most worthy of praise
Were the virtuous ways
Of Little Red Riding Hood's Ma,
And no one was ever
More cautious and clever
Than Little Red Riding Hood's Pa.
They never mislead,
For they meant what they said,
And would frequently say what they meant:
And the way she should go
They were careful to show,
And the way that they showed her, she went.
For obedience she was effusively thanked,
And for anything else she was carefully spanked.
It thus isn't strange
That Red Riding Hood's range
Of virtues so steadily grew,
That soon she was prizes
Of different sizes,
And golden encomiums, too!
As a general rule
She was head of her school,
And at six was so notably smart
That they gave her a cheque
For reciting, "The Wreck
of the Hesperus," wholly by heart!
And you all will applaud her the more, I am sure,
When I add that this money she gave to the poor.
At eleven this lass
Had a Sunday-school class,
At twelve wrote a volume of verse,
At thirteen was yearning
For glory, and learning
To be a professional nurse.
To a glorious height
The young paragon might
Have grown, if not nipped in the bud,
Bu the following year
Struck her smiling career
With a dull and a sickening thud!
(I have shed a great tear at the thought of her pain,
And must copy my manuscript over again!)
Not dreaming of harm
One day on her arm
A basket she hung. It was filled
With jellies, and ices,
And gruel, and spices,
And chicken-legs, carefully grilled,
And a savory stew,
And a novel or two
She'd persuaded a neighbor to loan,
And a hot-water can,
And a Japanese fan,
And a bottle of eau-de-cologne,
And the rest of the things that your family fill
Your room with, whenever you chance to be ill!
She expected to find
Her decrepit but kind
Old Grandmother waiting her call,
But the visage that met her
Completely upset her:
It wasn't familiar at all!
With a whitening cheek
She started to speak,
But her peril she instantly saw: