Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
1202. A Mortifying Mistake
By Anna M. Pratt
I STUDIED my tables over and over, and backward and forward, too;
But I could n’t remember six times nine, and I did n’t know what to do,
Till sister told me to play with my doll, and not to bother my head.
“If you call her ‘Fifty-four’ for a while, you ’ll learn it by heart,” she said.
So I took my favorite, Mary Ann (though I thought ’t was a dreadful shame        5
To give such a perfectly lovely child such a perfectly horrid name),
And I called her my dear little “Fifty-four” a hundred times, till I knew
The answer of six times nine as well as the answer of two times two.
Next day Elizabeth Wigglesworth, who always acts so proud,
Said, “Six times nine is fifty-two,” and I nearly laughed aloud!        10
But I wished I had n’t when teacher said, “Now, Dorothy, tell if you can.”
For I thought of my doll and—sakes alive!—I answered, “Mary Ann!”


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