Thursday, August 8, 2013

Curiosity...A Grandaughter's Question

Birdie, Birdie, Wait a little Longer...
That's the way she used to say it...

My Grandma Platt used to say that to me every time my "wants" were greater than my "needs". 
(Here she is in her favorite room in her tiny apartment.  
I can still see every detail and smell those rolls coming out of the oven......)

It wasn't until recently, while going through all the sentimental bins in my basement, that I ran across all the cards and letters that my Grandma had sent me through the years. 
From Late Teen years to Adulthood, I had them all. 
I read as many as I could while still trying to be productive and not cry...(Like that happened.)  Her handwriting and the cadence of her words in her letters made me curious as to where she got the endeared Birdie phrase from.  I never knew if it was a self proclaimed quote that came from living through the depression, raising 6 children, or working and helping support her own family.  
So what does any curious person do when they want an answer? 

I Googled it.

It is a child's poem. 

She was quoting Tennyson, as in, Lord Alfred.

Why was I surprised?  She was intelligent, well read, and quick witted. 
Was it read to her in her youth? Did she recite it in school? 
Had she found it later in life when her own children were in their cradles? 

Questions I can't Google.  
For now, I'll have to be satisfied with the Google response and the unanswered questions.  

Here is the Original Poem as written:

Cradle Song
by Lord Alfred Tennyson

What does little birdie say
In her nest at peep of day?
Let me fly, says little birdie,
Mother, let me fly away.
Birdie, rest a little longer,
Till thy little wings are stronger.
So she rests a little longer,
Then she flies away.
What does little baby say,
In her bed at peep of day?
Baby says, like little birdie,
Let me rise and fly away.
Baby, sleep a little longer,
Till thy little limbs are stronger.
If she sleeps a little longer,
Baby too shall fly away.

Miss you tons Grandma. Thanks for the lesson.

Time to Fly