From the whole of the hedge there rose a shout,
“Oh! you’ll catch it, no doubt!
But remember we gave you warning fair,
Touch him if you dare!”
“If I dare?” said the Dog—“Take that!”
As he gave the Hedgehog a pat.
But oh, how he pitied his own poor paw;
And shook it and licked it, it was so sore.
“It’s much too funny by half,”
Said the Dandelion; “it makes me ill,
For I cannot keep still,
And my hair comes out if I laugh.”
The Hedgehog he spoke never a word,
And he never stirred;
His peeping eyes, his inquisitive nose,
And his tender toes,
Were all wrapped up in his prickly clothes.
A provoking enemy you may suppose!
And a dangerous one to flout—
Like a well-stocked pin-cushion inside out.
The Dog was valiant, the Dog was
He flew at the prickly ball again,
Snapping with all his might and main,
But, oh! the pain!
He sat down on his stumpy tail and howled,
Then he laid his jaws on his paws and growled.
With laughter the Dandelion shook—
“It passes a printed book;
It’s as good as a play, I declare,
But it’s cost me half my back hair!”
The Dog he made another essay,
It really and truly was very plucky—
But “third times,” you know, are not always lucky—
And this time he ran away!
Then the Hedge-plants every
Rustled together, “What fun! what fun!
The battle is done,
The victory won.
Dear Hedge-pig, pray come out of the Sun.”
The Hedge-pig put forth his
He sniffed hither and thither and peeped about;
Then he tucked up his prickly clothes,
And trotted away on his tender toes
To where the hedge-bottom is cool and deep,
Had a slug for supper, and went to sleep.
His leafy bed-clothes cuddled his chin,
And all the Hedge-plants tucked him in.
But the hairs and the tears
that we shed
Never can be recalled;
And when he too went off, in hysterics, to bed,
DANDELION was bald.
To have a good birthday for a grown-up
person is very difficult indeed;
We don’t give it up, for Mother says the harder things are, the harder
you must try till you succeed.
Still, our birthdays are different; we want so many things, and
choosing your own pudding, and even half-holidays are treats;
But what can you do for people who always order the dinner, and never
have lessons, and don’t even like sweets?