Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A FATHER'S DILEMMA, by E. PEARL DANCEY

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

A FATHER'S DILEMMA, by            
First Line: He did not know that I was in the woodshed
Last Line: You shouldn't disillusion little folks . . . About their dad!
Subject(s): Fathers & Sons

He did not know that I was in the woodshed, my young son.
He did not know that I could hear him talking to his chum.
I'd scolded him that morning, told him what I hated most
Was listening to little boys who'd stand around and boast.
"Be what you are," I told him; "for the time will come, some day,
When you will have to answer for the things you do and say.
You want me to be proud of you, don't you, when you're a man?
Well, then, don't boast that you can do a thing, until you can."

"I won't," he promised solemnly, and now, behind the shed,
He argued with the lad next door, and this is what he said:

"Aw, watcha talkin' 'bout? A lion bigger'n the two
That we saw fightin', Sunday, in their cages at the Zoo?
You mean he chased your daddy, down yonder in the wood,
An' your dad couldn't lick him? Huh! I betcha my dad could!
Your Dad must be a 'nawful coward! Aw, shucks, I bet he is!
My Dad could lick a half-a-dozen lions! Why, gee whiz!
I betcha he could lick 'em with one hand behind his back!
My Dad sure packs a wallop! . . . Race you to the house an' back."

Well, I sat there in the woodshed with my chin upon my hand . . .
And I did a lot of thinking. . . . He deserved a reprimand. . . .
'Twas nothing less than boasting . . . yet, why quarrel with the lad?
You shouldn't disillusion little folks . . . about their Dad!

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