THE LAND OF LET'SPRETEND

BY LADY SYBIL GRANT

I.—LET'SPRETEND

This country is not on the map,
But sometimes, curled on Mother's lap,
Or sitting in my bedtime bath,
I wish that I could find the path.

There no one's ever called a dunce,
And you eat jam and cake at once,
Or chocolate and lemon squash,
While nobody need ever wash.

Mothers have nothing else to do
Except to kiss and cuddle you;
And fathers need not "earn their bread,"
But stay and romp with you instead.

There are no girls: just men and boys
And mothers; all the shops sell toys;
Just every one plays Hide and Seek,
And Christmas happens twice a week.

While everybody has a car,
Also a yacht, like Grandpapa,
And lives in wigwams, tents, or huts,
And owns a knife that really cuts.

But some things you can never find,
However tired you make your mind;
Like other things you never know
For sure—if you try ever so.

Just as: how God turns on the rain,
So nobody can quite explain
Exactly where the rainbows end.
And so it is with Let'spretend.

My Father says that all his life
With my Mamma (who is his wife)
They've looked; and they are very old.
My father's thirty, I've been told!


II.—SUPPOSING

Supposing one had been
Shut up in Noah's Ark
(During the flood, I mean)—
It would have been a lark!

The animals, you know,
Were not as they are now;
Quite different long ago—
Just see this purple cow!

The lion, it seems, was pink,
The bears and tigers too,
While zebras had, I think,
Most lovely stripes of blue.

But really, I forget,
For now the stripes are faint,
In my own Noah's Ark set
I once licked off the paint.

At least, so I am told
(A stupid thing to do!
But I was not so old
Then—only half-past two).

Noah's sons—just look at Ham,
Japhet, of course, and Shem!
I think I really am
Glad I don't look like them!


They all stand on green rings
Of grass. Perhaps at night
The cows and sheep and things
Prowled round to steal a bite.

Horrid for Shem to feel
Tickling around his toes,
Hoping to snatch a meal,
Two hungry buffaloes!

But think what lovely pets
Noah had all for his own;
Each one in double sets,
And mostly quite unknown.

Even a tame baboon!—
See, he is painted red—
Would get to know you soon
And sleep upon your bed.

The kangaroo that jumps,
Camels that learn to kneel
And let you ride their bumps,
Or follow you to heel.

The pets that I keep now
Are guinea-pigs and such;
My parents won't allow
The ones I want so much.

A baby crocodile
Or really tame giraffe,
I wonder why you smile;
They, too, say "no" and laugh.
I   would have loved it so
To travel in the Ark,
With all the Zoo, you know—
Except when it was dark!

 

III.—WHEN JIM IS QUITE GROWN UP

When Jim is quite grown up,
And has a bulldog pup,
And sits up very late
Always till half-past eight,
Then, when he is a man,
He means to marry Ann.

Her age is twenty-two,
But he thinks she will do;
He has not told her yet,
Or she might be upset
At having got to wait
Until this distant date.

The life that he will lead
Sounds very fine indeed:
Adventures, wounds, and fights,
And hunting raids of nights;
Murders and blug and fun
With sword and axe and gun.

Airships and hydroplanes,
Mustangs and prairie flames!
Deserts and jungles vast,
And, when quite tired at last
With being on the roam,
Of course, he would come home.

And, after miles of tramp,
Reel, wounded, into camp,
Bound with a handkerchief,
And munching bully-beef;
While Ann at the camp fire
Would listen and admire.

What fun he will have, too!
Nothing he will not do.
He often says to me
(Excepting the V.C.)
Medals he would decline—
They are not in his line.

But he would soar to fame
And win a glorious name.
And Ann? How odd you are!
Why, just like his Mamma,
Would sit at home and sew,
Like women do, you know.