Poem by Rudyard Kipling

following the story "Elephant's Child" in "Just So Stories"


I keep six honest serving-men
  (They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
  And How and Where and Who.
I send them over land and sea,
  I send them east and west;
But after they have worked for me,
  I give them all a rest.

I let them rest from nine till five,
  For I am busy then,
As well as breakfast, lunch, and tea,
  For they are hungry men.
But different folk have different views;
  I know a person small
She keeps ten million serving-men,
  Who get no rest at all!
She sends em abroad on her own affairs,
  From the second she opens her eyes
One million Hows, Two million Wheres,
  And seven million Whys!

 


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Last updated 1st November, 1997 - Poem text typed by Ralph Rose in Japan.