Was ever a maiden so worried?
I’ll admit I am partial to Jim,
For Jimmie has promised to wed me
When I’m old enough to wed him.
But then I love teacher, too, dearly,
She’s always so lovely to me,
And she’s pretty and kind and sweet-tempered,
And gentle as gentle can be.
I wouldn’t for worlds hurt Jim’s feelings,
For he never would like me again—
But there was my dearest, sweet teacher,
And I’d die if my words gave her pain.
“Two plus two equals what?” was the problem.
And I knew teacher thought it made “four”;
But Jimmie said “six,” and maintained it
As long as he stood on the floor.
And I saw I must soon choose between them,
For I was the next in the line.
Should I side with my teacher or Jimmie?
What a sad situation was mine!
And just as my heart with that problem
Of friendship was so sorely vexed
I was called on to answer the other,
For teacher had said, sharply, “Next!”
It was then that the brilliant thought struck me,
That by compromise I could contrive
To hurt neither teacher nor Jimmie,
And that’s how I came to say “five.”