Childhood
        
MATILDA
(who told such dreadful lies.) by Hillaire Belloc Matilda told such Dreadful Lies, It made one Gasp and Stretch one’s Eyes; Her Aunt, who, from her Earliest Youth, Had kept a Strict Regard for Truth, Attempted to believe Matilda: The effort very nearly killed her, And would have done so, had not she Discovered this Infirmity. For once, towards the Close of Day, Matilda, growing tired of play, And finding she was left to alone, Went tiptoe to the telephone And summoned the Immediate Aid Of London’s Nobel Fire-Brigade. Within an hour the Gallant Band Were pouring in on every hand, From Putney, Hackney Downs and Bow, With Courage high and Hearts a-glow They galloped, roaring though the Town, "Matilda’s House is Burning Down" Inspired by British Cheers and Loud Proceeding from the Frenzied Crowd, They ran their ladders through a score Of windows on the Ball Room Floor; And took Peculiar Pains to Souse The Pictures up and down the House, Until Matilda’s Aunt succeeded In showing them they were not needed And even then she had to pay To get the Men to go away! . . . . . It happened that a few Weeks later Here aunt was off to the Theatre To see that Interesting Play The Second Mrs. Tanqueray. She had refused to take her Niece To hear this Entertaining Piece: A Deprivation Just and Wise To Punish her for Telling Lies. That Night a Fire did break out- You should have heard Matilda Shout! You should have heard her Scream and Bawl, And throw the window up and call To People passing in the Street- (The rapidly increasing Heat Encouraging her to obtain Their confidence)-but it was all in vain! For every time She shouted "Fire!" They only answered "Little Liar!" And therefore when her Aunt returned, Matilda, and the House, were burned.
The end