(Ellis Parker Butler)

A Culinary Puzzle

In our dainty little kitchen,
Where my aproned wife is queen
Over all the tin-pan people,
In a realm exceeding clean,
Oft I like to loiter, watching
While she mixes things for tea;
And she tasks me, slyly smiling,
Now just guess what this will be!

Hidden in a big blue apron,
Her dimpled arms laid bare,
And the love-smiles coyly mingling
With a housewifes frown of care
See her beat a golden batter,
Pausing but to ask of me,
As she adds a bit of butter,
Now just guess what this will be!

Then I bravely do my duty,
Guess it, pudding, cake or pie,
Dumplings, waffles, bread or muffins;
But no matter what I try,
This provoking witch just answers:
Never mind, just wait and see!
But I think you should be able,
Dear, to guess what this will be.

Little fraud! she never tells me
Until tis baked and browned
And I think I know the reason
For her secrecy profound
She herself with all her fine airs
And her books on cookery,
Could not answer, should I ask her,
Dearest, what will that mess be?

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