Willie dropped a worm that wriggled
In his mother’s cup of tea.
When she saw the joke she giggled:
“Ain’t he smart as he can be!”
Into the family drinking well
Willie pushed his sister Nell.
She’s there yet, because it kilt her —
No we have to buy a filter.
It’s difficult to read this verse without being reminded of Harry Graham’s earlier (1901) poem concerning Aunt Eliza’s similar demise.
From the spring poor Willie had to
Water fetch each morn and night.
Willie to escape this labor
Blew it up with dynamite.
What they now would do for water
Willie did not know nor care;
But his heart was glad within him,
For the spring was in the air!
Little Willie for a frolic,
Ate a melon parabolic;
When the fruit arrived inside,
Little Willie up and died.
Was the trouble — melon-colic?
An earlier version of this verse was published in 1909 in The Central Record with “Johnny” as the title character.