And by and by 'Erb got discouraged,
A rather perplexed little lad,
For there's no use in doing the dirty
Unless you get somebody mad.

'E grew listless and somewhat dejected
Which pleased old Pinwinkle, 'is sire,
And Ma nearly fainted the day she found 'Erb
Singing 'ymns in the Sunday School Choir.

"Nah then," said 'is father," 'e's perfect."
"Not quite," said 'is Ma with a sigh
"Every statement 'e makes is ten miles from the truth,
We must teach 'im it's wicket to lie."

They reasoned with 'Erb, soft and gentle,
Told 'im lying was rather uncouth,
In the end 'Erb gave in and said, "So 'elp me John,
From now on I'll tell nought but the truth."

Then Mrs. Pinwinkle was 'appy
To see 'er young 'Erb so refined
But Pa scratched 'is 'ead and said under 'is breath.
"There's a catch in it somewhere, you'll find."
  The next day 'Erb's mother brought 'ome a new 'at,
All trimmed up with ribbons and fruit.
"And 'ow does it look, Pa?" she asked with a smile,
Pa answered quite bravely, "It's cute!"

Then she turned to young 'Erb and she said, very sweet,
"Let us see what our sonny boy thinks."
"It's lovely to frighten the neighbors," said 'Erb,
"But as millinery, it... it's awful."

To say Ma was angry is putting it mild
She wiggled 'er foot and said, "Well!"
Said Father, "Now, don't blame it all on the child,
It's the truth that we've taught 'im to tell."

Then one day Ma asked Father, "Where 'ave you been?"
In a voice that was tinged with suspicion;
Pa cleared 'is throat, dropped 'is eyes and replied,
"To tell you the truth, I've been fishin'."

Then young 'Erbert laughed a most guttural laugh
" 'E's been down at the Tavern, 'e means,
'E was dipping 'is beak when I passed by the door,
And 'e 'asn't been drinking sardines."
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