“Whose are the little beds,” I asked,
“Which in the valleys lie?”
Some shook their cones, and others smiled,
And no one made reply.
“Perhaps they did not hear,” I said;
“I will ask again.
Whose are the beds, the tiny beds
So thick upon the plain?”
“ ’T is Tom Gnome’s in the shortest;
A little farther on,
Nearest the door to wake the first,
Little Leon Gnome’s.
“ ’T is Iris Gnome’s, and Aster
Gnome’s; and Gerald the Fell
Gnome’s in the blanket red,
And chubby Gnome’s named Annabel.”
Meanwhile at many Gnomes
Her busy foot she plied,
Kicking each with angry toe
To make them go inside.
“Hush! Eddie Gnome wakes!
Your babbling stirs his kids,
And if he catches you inquiring
He’s sure to blow his lid.”
Then, turning from them, reverent,
“Their bed-time ’t is,” she said;
“Pardon I did not know your question—
For a Gnome-herder, I’m slightly deaf.”