Teddy the Teazer by M. E. B.

A Moral Story with a Velocipede Attachment

He wanted a velocipede,

And shook his saucy head;

He thought of it in daytime,

He dreamed of it in bed,

He begged for it at morning,

He cried for it at noon,

And even in the evening

He sang the same old tune.

He wanted a velocipede!

It was no use to say

He was too small to manage it,

Or it might run away,

Or crack his little occiput,

Or break his little leg—

It made no bit of difference,

He'd beg, and beg, and beg.

He wanted a velocipede,

A big one with a gong

To startle all the people,

As they saw him speed along;

A big one, with a cushion,

And painted red and black,

To make the others jealous

And clear them off the track.

He wanted a velocipede,

The largest ever built,

Though he was only five years old

And wore a little kilt,

And hair in curls a-waving,

And sashes by his side,

And collars wide as cart-wheels,

Which hurt his manly pride!

He wanted a velocipede

With springs of burnished steel;

He knew the way to work it—

The treadle for the wheel,

The brake to turn and twist it,

The crank to make it stop,

My! hadn't he been riding

For days, with Jimmy Top?

He wanted a velocipede!

Why, he was just as tall

As six-year-old Tom Tucker,

Who wasn't very small!

And feel his muscle, will you?

And tell him, if you dare,

That he's the sort of fellow

To get a fall, or scare?

They got him a velocipede;

I really do not know

How they could ever do it,

But then, he teased them so,

And so abused their patience,

And dulled their nerves of right,

That they just lost their senses

And brought it home one night.

They bought him a velocipede—

O woe the day and hour!

When proudly seated on it,

In pomp of pride and power,

His foot upon the treadle,

With motion staid and slow

He turned upon his axle,

And made the big thing go.

Alas, for the velocipede!

The way ran down a hill—

The whirling wheels went faster,

And fast, and faster still,

Until, like flash of rocket,

Or shooting star at night,

They crossed the dim horizon

And rattled out of sight.

So vanished the velocipede,

With him who rode thereon;

And no one, since that dreadful day,

Has found out where 'tis gone!

Except a floating rumor

Which some stray wind doth blow.

When the long nights of winter

Are white with frost and snow,

Of a small fleeting shadow,

That seems to run astray

Upon a pair of flying wheels,

Along the Milky Way.

And this they think is Teddy!

Doomed for all time to speed—

A wretched little phantom boy,

On a velocipede!