from Leslie's Monthly
Why I Went to the Foot
by Ellis Parker Butler
Was ever a maiden so worried?
I'll admit I am partial to Jim,
For Jimmie has promised to wed me
When I'm old enough to wed him.
But then I love teacher, too, dearly,
She's always so lovely to me,
And she's pretty and kind and sweet-tempered,
And gentle as gentle can be.
I wouldn't for worlds hurt Jim's feelings,
For he never would like me again--
But there was my dearest, sweet teacher,
And I'd die if my words gave her pain.
"Two plus two equals what?" was the problem.
And I knew teacher thought it made "four";
But Jimmie said "six," and maintained it
As long as he stood on the floor.
And I saw I must soon choose between them,
For I was the next in the line.
Should I side with my teacher or Jimmie?
What a sad situation was mine!
And just as my heart with that problem
Of friendship was so sorely vexed
I was called on to answer the other,
For teacher had said, sharply, "Next!"
It was then that the brilliant thought struck me,
That by compromise I could contrive
To hurt neither teacher nor Jimmie,
And that's how I came to say "five."