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What Pa Doesn’t Know

From the Omaha Daily Bee, June 6, 1915. By Edgar A. Guest.

Sometimes when folks come in to call on Ma an’ Pa’s away,
An’ I’m supposed to be where I can’t hear a word they say,
Ma starts to tell ‘em all about Pa’s fine an’ splendid ways,
An’ just how good an’ kind he is, an’ all the jokes he plays;
An’ how he never gives her any reason for complaint,
Until she has the women folks believin’ Pa’s a saint.

Pa’s just an ordinary man—he tells us so himself.
He has to work all day to get his little bit of pelf.
He isn’t one that’s known to fame, he can’t do clever things,
He isn’t one that makes a speech, or out in public sings.
But Ma just makes him out to be a man the world would cheer
If it could know the worth of him—when he’s not there to hear.

When Pa’s away Ma tells her friends how much of him she thinks,
An’ just how good it is to have a man that never drinks.
She dwells upon his thoughtful ways, his patience an’ his worth,
An’ boasts that she is married to the finest man on earth.
But if Pa isn’t home on time, an’ supper has to wait,
She gives it to him, good an’ strong, for gettin’ in so late.

Sometimes when Ma is scolding Pa, an’ he don’t say a word,
I feel like tellin’ him the things that Ma don’t know I’ve heard.
I feel like crawlin’ in his lap, an’ whisperin’, “Never mind,
Deep in her heart Ma really thinks you’re all that’s good an’ kind.
She thinks that you’re the finest man there is on earth, I know
Because most every afternoon she tells the neighbors so.”

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