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Cautionary Tales for Children by  Hilaire Belloc




Who Slammed Doors For Fun And Perished Miserably


A trick that everyone abhors

In little girls is slamming doors.

A wealthy banker's little daughter

Who lived in Palace Green, Bayswater


(By name Rebecca Offendort),

Was given to this furious sport.


She would deliberately go

And slam the door like billy-o!


To make her uncle Jacob start.

She was not really bad at heart,

But only rather rude and wild;

She was an aggravating child . . .

It happened that a marble bust

Of Abraham was standing just

Above the door this little lamb

Had carefully prepared to slam,


And down it came! It knocked her flat!

It laid her out! She looked like that.


Her funeral sermon (which was long

And followed by a sacred song)

Mentioned her virtues, it is true,

But dwelt upon her vices too,

And showed the deadful end of one

Who goes and slams the door for fun.


The children who were brought to hear

The awful tale from far and near

Were much impressed, and inly swore

They never more would slam the door,

—As often they had done before.

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