Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE THREE WISHES, by EDMUND VANCE COOKE



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THE THREE WISHES, by            
First Line: Well, now,' drawled the fairy, 'I'll grant you three wishes
Last Line: "for self-washing dishes -- the thing's -- bolshe-vistic!"
Subject(s): Fairies; Housekeeping; Wishes; Elves


[A Modern Version.]

"Well, now," drawled the fairy, "I'll grant you three wishes."
"Not me," said the housewife, "I'm not super-stitious,
Yet I think you'd be put in a bit of a box,
If I wished that my husband wore self-darning socks."

"'Tis done," said the fairy, "this day they begin,
If ever they ravel, to heal like his skin."
"Well, then," said the housewife, "as wishes are reckoned,
I figure my next wish is only my second,
And so, to escape a detestable chore,
I wish every room had a self-sweeping floor."

The fairy's face darkened. "You're very adept
At wishing," she cried, "but your floors shall be swept,
And if too cleanly swept, recollect you preferred
To trifle with fortune. And now for the third."
"Oh, well," said the housewife, "the last of my wishes
Is simple enough. I want self-washing dishes!"
The good fairy screamed and went up in the air;
"I shall picket your house! I shall post you 'Unfair'!
Had you asked me for rubies or royal connection,
For moderate hips or a paint-proof complexion,
For fame in the movies, or freedom from bunions,
For a violet breath, after suppers of onions,
But to ask me -- a fairy, a miniature mystic,
For self-washing dishes -- the thing's -- Bolshe-vistic!"





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