The Foolish Fish

"DEAR mother," said a little fish,

"Pray is not that a fly?

I'm very hungry, and I wish

You'd let me go and try."

"Sweet innocent," the mother cried,

And started from her nook,

"That horrid fly is meant to hide

The sharpness of a hook."

Now as I've heard, this little trout

Was young and silly too.

And so he thought he'd venture out.

To see what he could do.

And round about the fly he played,

With many a longing look;

And often to himself he said,

"I'm sure that's not a hook."

"I can but give one little pluck,

To try, and so I will."

So on he went, and lo, it stuck

Quite through its little gill.

And as he faint and fainter grew,

With hollow voice he cried,

"Dear mother, if I'd minded you

I should not thus have died."