There was once a pretty chicken;
But his friends were very few,
For he thought that there was nothing
In the world but what he knew:
So he always, in the farmyard,
Had a very forward way,
Telling all the hens and turkeys
What they ought to do and say.
"Mrs. Goose," he said, "I wonder
That your goslings you should let
Go out paddling in the water;
It will kill them to get wet."
"I wish, my old Aunt Dorking,"
He began to her, one day,
"That you wouldn't sit all summer
In your nest upon the hay.
Won't you come out to the meadow,
Where the grass with seeds is filled?"
"If I should," said Mrs. Dorking,
"Then my eggs would all get chilled."
"No, they won't," replied the chicken,
"And no matter if they do;
Eggs are really good for nothing;
What's an egg to me or you?"
"What's an egg!" said Mrs. Dorking,
"Can it be you do not know
You yourself were in an eggshell
Just one little month ago?
And, if kind wings had not warmed you,
You would not be out to-day,
Telling hens, and geese, and turkeys,
What they ought to do and say!
"To be very wise, and show it,
Is a pleasant thing, no doubt;
But, when young folks talk to old folks,
They should know what they're about."