The young Miss Hardaheerin

This 2 x 2 inch print appears over the rhyme in the book.

"Miss Hardaheerin (ret)" © wood engraving (ed. 40) image: 4.25 x 4 in. $60.00 (go to "Hi There" for purchase information)

I'd say this nursery rhyme lets the little people in on an age-old communication secret, known commonly as "selective hearing". Men are most commonly accused of this. But Mother Goose has been known to give her collection of rhymes some gender balance now and then.

SHALL WE GO A-SHEARING?

Old woman, old woman, shall we go a-shearing?

Speak a little louder, sir, I'm very thick of hearing.

Old woman, old woman, shall we go a gleaning?

Speak a little louder, sir, I cannot tell your meaning.

Old woman, old woman, shall we go a walking?

Speak a little louder, sir, or what's the use of talking?

Old woman, old woman, shall I kiss you dearly?

Thank you, kind sir, I hear you very clearly.

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