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The Stubborn Boot. Rhymes and Jingles by Mary Mapes Dodge for children

Bother! was all John Clatterby said.
His breath came quick, and his cheek was red,
He flourished his elbows, and looked absurd,
While, over and over, his "Bother!" I heard.

Harder and harder the fellow worked,
Vainly and savagely still he jerked;
The boot, half on, would dangle and flap—
"Oh bother!" and then he broke the strap.

Redder than ever his hot cheek flamed;
Harder than ever he fumed and blamed;
He wriggled his heel, and tugged at the leather
Till knees and chin came bumping together.

"My boy!" said I, in a voice like a flute,
"Why not—ahem!—try the mate of that boot;
Or the other foot?"—"I'm a goose," laughed John,
As he stood, in a flash, with his two boots on.

In half the affairs
Of this busy life
(As that same day
I said to my wife),
Our troubles come
From trying to put
The left-hand shoe
On the right-hand foot,
Or vice versa
(Meaning, reverse, sir).
To try to force,
As quite of course,
Any wrong foot
In the right shoe,
Is the silliest thing
A man can do.

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