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Cautionary Tales for Children by  Hilaire Belloc




Who played with a Dangerous Toy, and suffered a Catastrophe
of considerable Dimensions.


When George's Grandmamma was told

That George had been as good as gold,

She promised in the afternoon

To buy him an Immense Balloon.


And so she did; but when it came,

It got into the candle flame,


And being of a dangerous sort

Exploded with a loud report!

The lights went out! The windows broke!

The room was filled with reeking smoke.

And in the darkness shrieks and yells

Were mingled with electric bells,

And falling masonry and groans,

And crunching, as of broken bones,

And dreadful shrieks, when, worst of all,

The house itself began to fall!

It tottered, shuddering to and fro,

Then crashed into the street below—

Which happened to be Savile Row.


When help arrived, among the dead


Were Cousin Mary, Little Fred,


The Footmen (both of them),


. . . . the Groom,


The man that cleaned the Billiard-Room,


The Chaplain, and


. . . .the Still-Room Maid.

And I am dreadfully afraid


That Monsieur Champignon, the Chef,

Will now be permanently deaf—


And both his aides are much the same;


While George, who was in part to blame,

Received, you will regret to hear,

A nasty lump behind the ear.


The moral is that little boys

Should not be given dangerous toys.

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