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Eugene Field

(2 September 1850 - 4 November 1895 / St Louis / Missouri / United States)

Pittypat and Tippytoe


All day long they come and go--
Pittypat and Tippytoe;
Footprints up and down the hall,
Playthings scattered on the floor,
Finger-marks along the wall,
Tell-tale smudges on the door--
By these presents you shall know
Pittypat and Tippytoe.
How they riot at their play!
And a dozen times a day
In they troop, demanding bread--
Only buttered bread will do,
And the butter must be spread
Inches thick with sugar too!
And I never can say "No,
Pittypat and Tippytoe!"
Sometimes there are griefs to soothe,
Sometimes ruffled brows to smooth;
For (I much regret to say)
Tippytoe and Pittypat
Sometimes interrupt their play
With an internecine spat;
Fie, for shame! to quarrel so--
Pittypat and Tippytoe!
Oh the thousand worrying things
Every day recurrent brings!
Hands to scrub and hair to brush,
Search for playthings gone amiss,
Many a wee complaint to hush,
Many a little bump to kiss;
Life seems one vain, fleeting show
To Pittypat and Tippytoe!
And when day is at an end,
There are little duds to mend;
Little frocks are strangely torn,
Little shows great holes reveal,
Little hose, but one day worn,
Rudely yawn at toe and heel!
Who but you could work such woe,
Pittypat and Tippytoe!
On the floor and down the hall,
Rudely smutched upon the wall,
There are proofs in every kind
Of the havoc they have wrought,
And upon my heart you'd find
Just such trade-marks, if you sought;
Oh, how glad I am 'tis so,
Pittypat and Tippytoe!

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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  • Jake Baskin (9/25/2008 7:04:00 PM)

    My grandpa told me he tears up every time he reads this. It certainly is a wonderful tribute to the fleeting wonders of childhood and to the heroes and heroines who look after those same children. (Report) Reply

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