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A Comparison

From The Detroit Times, October 16, 1912.
By Ida M. Budd.

 Old Biddy Minorca was out on the fallow,
   Briskly digging out worms for her downy young brood,
 Working now on the hillside and now in the hollow,
   (She found no small task to provide them with food.)
 When suddenly, out of the somewhere-or-other,
   A flash and a wide-sweeping circle of wings;
 ’Twas a great hungry hawk, and the chicks flew to mother
   With the cry of alarm such a happening brings.
 With great self-possession she called them to shelter,
   Just settling herself, with a cluck, on the ground,
 While her babies ducked under her, helter-te-skelter,
   And when the hawk swooped not a chick could be found.
 Then old Biddy turned on him, the principal factors
   Of her lightning maneuvers, her fierce beak and claw,
 And, when you consider the size of the actors,
   ’Twas as handsome a battle as ever you saw.
 And the hen came off best—oh, but say! how they praised her
   And called her a “jewel” and all the nice things!
 I am sure their attentions must quiet have amazed her
   As she hovered her brood ‘neath her motherly wings.
 Then, seeing no more of the dreaded sky-ranger,
   She led them away, clucking softly and low
 To assure them that she would protect them from danger
   At the risk of her life, let who might be the foe.
 But here’s Mrs. McBlankton who wishes the ballot
   And modestly asks for it—yes, suffragette—
 Not the kind that resort to the hammer or mallet,
   But she has boys and girls and the district is “wet”
 Or from other conditions she seeks to defend them,
   Yet you call her unwomanly, wanting a voice
 In her country’s laws, either to make or amend them,
   And you claim that the men have the sole right of choice.
 Now, why should a hen be considered a jewel
   For protecting her children so nobly and well,
 And a woman unwomanly (ah! that sounds cruel!)
   For the very same reason? Can anyone tell?
 You have them before you—the bird and the human.
   Just study them please, for a moment and then
 If you charge that the one’s an unwomanly woman
   I insist that the other’s an unhenly hen.

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