by Jay Hickory Wood Some years ago there lived a boy, George Washington by name, A thorough Yankee child was he and up to every game; His parents thought the world of him, he was his mother's pet, His father said, 'That child will lick creation, sir, you bet!' His maiden aunts adored him, he was uncle's only joy, And all because he was a very, very truthful boy. Now George he was a Yankee child, as I remarked before, And learnt whilst very young indeed that two and two make four. (I know you've all been much annoyed, as I was in my youth By tales about this model boy who always told the truth; And so from motives of revenge I mean to have a try And tell the truth about this boy who couldn't tell a lie.) The art of popularity George very quickly found Was humouring the weaknesses of every one around. Whilst yet of very tender years the innocent young lamb Committed burglary one day and stole his mother's jam; His mother, shocked at such a sign of villainy and greed, Inquired of Georgie Porgie if he'd really done the deed. With jam upon his pinafore, this very artful kid, Who saw no way of getting out, replied 'Mamma, I did!' Instead of getting spanked as he deserved and also feared, The family all hugged him till with jam they got besmeared ; His father gave him fifty cents, and called him ' Noble youth!' And all the neighbours flocked to see the child who told the truth. Then Georgie thought the thing well out, and said, 'Now, then, I guess If these folks like confession I suppose I must confess; And as I can't confess unless I first commit a crime, I'll be a little criminal, and own up every time.' He did all sorts of naughty tricks, and found it paid him well To steal a pound or two of cake and then go home and tell. But when he stole provisions... this was, I think, the worst He never owned up straight away, he always ate them first, And when he stole the strawberry jam, the jam he loved the best, He ate one half so that they might reward him with the rest. In course of time it came to pass that Georgie older grew, His parents and the family had taught him all they knew, Which, added to the little facts that Georgie knew alone, Was quite a little fund of information, you must own; But, still, 'twas very clearly time to educate the boy, And so he had to go to school, this mother's only joy. When little George had been at school for p'r'aps a week or two, He thought 'twas time to start and show the master what he knew, He looked around for mischief for his little hands to do, Until he spied a chestnut-tree that in the orchard grew. 'Ha, ha!' cried little Georgie, ' I'll just chop down that tree, And when I have confessed to it they'll give me jam for tea!' He got a little hatchet, 'twas no sooner said than done ; The other boys were gathered all around to see the fun. The master said, 'Who did this deed?' George answered, ' It was I, And I'm the little boy who simply cannot tell a lie ! ' And then he smiled his sweetest smile right in the master's face, Awaiting, very patiently, the usual embrace. But then a thing occurred, which never had occurred before, The master spanked young Georgie till he felt exceeding sore ; Instead of getting jam for tea he got no tea at all, But fed on bread and water with his face turned to the wall! So Georgie thought it out again, ' It's clear it doesn't pay, A thing may not suit 'B' although it's popular with 'A'. At home, where truth is popular, confession is my rule; There's always the alternative for me to use at school.' The incident to Washington a useful lesson taught, And though he oft committed crimes, he ne'er again was caught ; For whene'er he broke a window and desired to get off free, He lost both truth and grammar and replied, 'It wasn't me.' And he's really much more truthful since he grew to be a man... He never says, 'I cannot tell a lie.'... he knows he can.
The end