My youngest son handed me this scrap of paper, asking what it was.
Around your waist a measuring line please place,
But not too tightly,
t is not well to wear tight bands and we
nt this to be done rightly.
r each inch a cent please place
thin the apron pocket,
t will bring a smile upon your face
To wrench it from its socket.
But, if your pocket book is flat
Put in less than that.
Creepy and a little unsettling isn't it? At least out of context and with no idea where your child got it from. It starts out oddly but more or less innocent sounding -- then there's that whole "wrench it from its socket" thing.
I wanted to know what this weird bit of verse was. Teenage Daughter and I both thought it was some kind of sewing instructions, except for the wrenching part. I did a Google search, halfway expecting to find that this came from one of those books that my boys love with all of the weird little pockets and removable clues that are made to look old.
There's a slightly different version of the poem in an online history of St. Luke's Episcopal Church of Wamego, Kansas. It was distributed along with little cloth aprons as part of a guild fundraiser in the 1930s.
I don't know if this little bit of paper worked its way out of one of the broken drawers of my treadle sewing machine or fell out from between the pages of an old cookbook. Maybe it came from the same place as that antique needle case that materialized last year. I could go through that sewing machine cabinet to see what else might be hiding in there....or I could wait to see whatever other bit of neat ephemera pops up when I'm least expecting it.
That sounds more fun.