Three Children

Author: Lewis Carroll  | Date: 1871


(To Miss Mary Watson.)

THREE children (their names were so fearful

You’ll excuse me for leaving them out)

Sat silent, with faces all tearful-

What was it about?

They were sewing, but needles are prickly,

And fingers were cold as could be-

So they didn’t get on very quickly,

And they wept, silly Three!

"O Mother!" said they, "Guildford’s not a

Nice place for the winter, that’s flat.

If you know any country that’s hotter,

Please take us to that!"

"Cease crying," said she, "little daughter!

And when summer comes back with the flowers,

You shall roam by the edge of the water,

In sunshiny hours."

"And in summer", said sorrowful Mary,

"We shall hear the shrill scream of the train

That will bring that dear writer of fairy-

tales hither again."

(Now the person she meant to allude to

Was- well it is best to forget.

It was some one she always was rude to,

Whenever they met.)

"It’s my duty", their Mother continued,

"To fill with things useful and right

Your small minds: if I put nothing in, you’d

Be ignorant quite.

"But enough now of lessons and thinking:

Your meal is quite ready, I see-

So attend to your eating and drinking,

You thirsty young Three!"

Apr. 10, 1871.

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Chicago: Lewis Carroll, Three Children Original Sources, accessed May 25, 2024,

MLA: Carroll, Lewis. Three Children, Original Sources. 25 May. 2024.

Harvard: Carroll, L, Three Children. Original Sources, retrieved 25 May 2024, from