Grues (Also Knowm as Little Willies)

ed rosenthal
February 18, 2015

In the late 50's , my father was fond of sitting by the fireplace in his underwear, sometimes with a beer in hand, and reciting verses.  Father William, Jabberwocky, and the like from Lewis Carroll were particular favorites, but the verse he recited most often, was this (it exists in many variants):

Little Willie, in the best of sashes,
Fell inn the fire and was burned to ashes.
Soon the room grew cold and chilly,
But no one came to poke up Willy

Little Willies, also known as Grues (which is what my father called them) are sick jokes in verse form.  They have been around at least since the early twentieth century.  An interesting collection as well as history and background  can be found here.

The following are a few grues of my own composition:

(Note: In the verses that follow, Papa and Mama are accented on the second syllable, which was not unusual when little Willies were in vogue)

Little Willie, full of pique,
Drowned the poodle in the creek.
He was punished, you can bet,
For money wasted on the vet.

Little Willie, did I mention?
Coveted Papa's attention.
He chopped the backyard oak and dashed.
Papa came home that night quite smashed.

Little Willie, in a hurry
Put emetic in the curry.
Little Sister took a bite,
And hogged the bathroom, out of spite.

Little Willie, naughty fellow,
Punctured his Mama's umbrella.
Came the downpour, you can guess,
It soaked her in her Sunday dress.

Little Willie, feeling tender,
Put his kitty in a blender.
Then he made his big mistake.
He served Papa a kitty shake.

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