The mother, I said to myself; for I knew
That the woman before me was certainly that,
For there lay in a corner a tiny cloth shoe,
And I saw on a stand such a wee little hat;
And the beard of the husband said plain as could be,
"Two fat, chubby hands have been tugging at me."
And he took from his pocket a gay picture book,
And a dog that would bark if you pulled on a string;
And the wife laid them up with such a pleased look;
And I said to myself, "There is no other thing
But a babe that could bring about all this, and so
That one is in hiding here somewhere, I know."
I stayed but a moment, and saw nothing more,
And heard not a sound, yet I know I was right;
What else could the shoe mean that lay on the floor--
The book and the toy, and the faces so bright?
And what made the husband as still as a mouse?
I am sure, very sure, there's a babe in that house.
Shells by Ella Wheeler
Milwaukee: Hauser & Storey, 1873.
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