A happy mother stalk of corn
Held close a baby ear,
And whispered: "Cuddle up to me,
I'll keep you warm, my dear.
I'll give you petticoats of green,
With many a tuck and fold
To let out daily as you grow;
For you will soon be old."
A funny little baby that,
For though it had no eye,
It had a hundred mouths; 'twas well
It did not want to cry.
The mother put in each small mouth
A hollow thread of silk,
Through which the sun and rain and air
Provided baby's milk.
The petticoats were gathered close
Where all the threadlets hung.
And still as summer days went on
To mother-stalk it clung;
And all the time it grew and grew—
Each kernel drank the milk
By day, by night, in shade, in sun,
From its own thread of silk.
And each grew strong and full and round
And each was shining white;
The gores and seams were all let out,
The green skirts fitted tight,
The ear stood straight and large and tall,
And when it saw the sun,
Held up its emerald satin gown
To say "Your work is done."
"You're large enough," said Mother Stalk,
"And now there's no more room
For you to grow." She tied the threads
Into a soft brown plume—
It floated out upon the breeze
To greet the dewy morn,
And then the baby said: "Now I'm
A full-grown ear of corn!"