Helping Mother

I shall help mother when I am grown big;
When I am old enough, oh! wont I dig,
Plough with the horses, and call out “Gee-ho!”
Plant the potatoes, fell timber, and mow?

Then I shall fetch the cows home to the byre,
Carry such fagots to make mother’s fire,
Reap and make hay—Hush! who calls? I shant go!
Its only to play with the baby, I know.

A boy who is seven is too big to do that,
Can’t mother nurse her, or give her the cat?
Oh, what a bother! She’s calling me still—
“Come and take the baby off my hands, Bill.”

“I must get your father’s socks finished to-night,
And I can’t while the little girl pulls the thread tight;
There—lift him up, play at ball or Peep-bo—
You will help mother then very greatly you know.”

Bill waited a moment. Then into his mind
Came a thought,—”Little boy, if you don’t feel inclined
To help mother now, when you easily can,
I’m afraid you won’t do it when you are a man.”

So he brightened his face till the baby smiled too;
Hid himself in the cupboard and called out “Cuckoo.”
And on his knee fed her with delicious cream,
And helping mother was not so bad it would seem.