It was an old, old, old, old lady,
And a boy that was half past three;
And the way that they played together
Was beautiful to see.
She couldn’t go running and jumping,
And the boy, no more could he;
For he was a thin little fellow,
With a thin little twisted knee,
They sat in the yellow sunlight,
Out under the maple-tree;
And the game that they played I’ll tell you,
Just as it was told to me.
It was Hide-and-Go-Seek they were playing,
Though you’d never have known it to be—
With an old, old, old, old lady,
And a boy with a twisted knee.
The boy would bend his face down
On his one little sound right knee,
And he’d guess where she was hiding,
In guesses One, Two, Three!
“You are in the china-closet!”
He would cry, and laugh with glee—
It wasn’t the china-closet;
But he still had Two and Three.
“You are up in Papa’s big bedroom,
In the chest with the queer old key!”
And she said: “You are warm and warmer;
But you’re not quite right,” said she.
“It can’t be the little cupboard
Where Mamma’s things used to be—
So it must be the clothes-press, Gran’ma!”
And he found her with his Three.
Then she covered her face with her fingers,
That were wrinkled and white and wee,
And she guessed where the boy was hiding,
With a One and a Two and a Three.
And they never had stirred from their places,
Right under the maple-tree—
This old, old, old, old lady,
And the boy with the lame little knee—
This dear, dear, dear old lady,
And the boy who was half past three.