Said the Table to the Chair,
‘You can hardly be aware,
‘How I suffer from the heat,
‘And from chilblains on my feet!
‘If we took a little walk,
‘We might have a little talk!
‘Pray let us take the air!’
Said the Table to the Chair.
Said the Chair unto the Table,
‘Now you know we are not able!
‘How foolishly you talk,
‘When you know we cannot walk!’
Said the Table, with a sigh,
‘It can do no harm to try,
‘I’ve as many legs as you,
‘Why can’t we walk on two?’
So they both went slowly down,
And walked about the town
With a cheerful bumpy sound,
As they toddled round and round.
And everybody cried,
As they hastened to their side,
‘See! the Table and the Chair
Have come out to take the air!’
But in going down an alley,
To a castle in a valley,
They completely lost their way,
And wandered all the day,
Till, to see them safely back,
They paid a Ducky-quack,
And a Beetle, and a Mouse,
Who took them to their house.
Then they whispered to each other,
‘O delightful little brother!
What a lovely walk we’ve taken!
Let us dine on Beans and Bacon!’
So the Ducky, and the leetle
Browny-Mousy and the Beetle
Dined, and danced upon their heads
Till they toddled to their beds.
by Edward Lear
Chilblain: A painful, itching swelling on the skin, typically on a hand or foot, caused by poor circulation in the skin when exposed to cold; also known as pernio.
Leetle: A very tiny and disgustingly cute and/or fascinating thing; derived from ‘little.’
Toddle: To move with short unsteady steps while learning to walk; said of a child.
Edward Lear was born on 12 May 1812 in Halloway, England as one of twenty-one children of a stockbroker and his wife. His childhood was passed in a comfortable home in Highgate, where, because of his epilepsy and asthma, he was educated by his sisters Anne and Sarah. They introduced him to sketching and coloring. He lacked formal training, but his interest and energy made him a skilled draftsman. Edward Lear traveled extensively, including to Egypt and India, as a talented watercolor painter of birds, animals, and landscapes. He made marvelous paintings of parrots and did whimsical illustrations for the many limericks he wrote. Edward Lear passed on at 76 years of age on 29 January 1888 in San Remo, Italy.