PERCIVAL PROUT
(who Left Things About
and was Himself
Permanently Mislaid)

by
Lesley Gordon
  There are some of you children, without any doubt,
Who share the sad failing of PERCIVAL PROUT,
But I hope and I trust that whatever you do,
What happened to PERCY won't happen to you.
For PERCY, although by his parents adored,
Was a prey to a failing by grown-ups deplored,
And in spite of the protests of poor Mrs. Prout,
Would leave his possessions all lying about.

He'd no use for the tidy, he hated the trim,
A cupboard or drawer had no meaning for him.
His motto, which caused the good lady much pain,
Was, "I'll just put it there, I might want it again."
There were cakes on the mantelpiece, squibs in his boot,
On the window-sill half-eaten portions of fruit;
And poor Mr. Prout was completely unmanned,
To find postage stamps stuck on his wife's baby-grand.

The visitors learned to examine with care
Each sofa they sat on, each cushion and chair,
To avoid the embarrassment caused by reverses
Bespangled with second-hand relics of PERCY'S.
His mother shed many a furrowing tear,
And seventeen maids came and went in a year,
But always the burden of PERCY'S refrain
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