In a little old house lived a little wild girl.
She stayed all alone in her own little world.
She ran and she jumped and she danced and she played
Alone in the house all night and all day.

Now the little old house was a friendly old house.
It had many big windows and one little white mouse.
The sofa was fluffy and so were the chairs.
There was a big warm fire at the bottom of the stairs.
And the freezer was full of chocolate bars.
And the house had no roof, she slept under the stars.

But the best place of all in the little old house
Was the white white bathroom where the little white mouse
Would sail on the soap in the old white tub.
And the soap made bubbles that went Bubbly Bub Bub.
And the tub grabbed the floor with four terrible paws.
And each paw had four toes and the toes were called Claws.

And the tub was magic. The tub had a knack:
If you told it your name it would say it right back!
You could say Jimmy! and the tub would say Jimmy!
You could say Timmy! and the tub would say Timmy!
You could say Suzi or Peter or Ted
And the tub would repeat whatever you said.

But that was a problem. This was a fact.
For a name was something that the little girl lacked.
For try as she might with a whisper or shout
It was stuck on her tongue and it wouldn’t come out.
If she had a name then why couldn’t she say it?
If a name was a game then surely she’d play it.
If a name was a ball then surely she’d throw it.
Maybe the problem was she didn’t know it!

“WHAT’S MY NAME?” said the girl and she got no answer
she was stuck like a dance on the floor with no dancer.
“What’s my name?” said girl, and she knew it was missing
like a song about lovers that never got kissing.
“Where is everybody? Where’d everyone go?
Does anyone love me? Why don’t they say so?”

The fire wouldn’t say so, the bed wouldn’t speak.
The tub couldn’t talk and the mouse wouldn’t squeak.
The chair and the sofa were fluffin and puffin
But none of them helped. Nobody said nothing!
So the little girl cried. She cried and she cried.
She cried until both of her eyes were dried.

“Nobody loves me,” the little girl said.
“Not the mouse or the fire or the tub or the bed.”
So the little girl lay and she looked at the stars
And she thought, “How lucky some people are.
Somebody loves them, somebody who
Will hug them and kiss them and tuck them in, too.”

Then the little girl slept and she dreamed a strange dream.
She lived in a house that was somewhere between
The stars and the moon and though it was home
There was no one else there and she was alone.
Then the most wonderful, wonderful, wonderful thing
Happened so quickly it changed everything!
The whole house was different though it all looked the same
The little girl woke and remembered her name!

“My name is MAGGIE,” she told the old bed.
“My name is MAGGIE!” the little girl said.
“My name is Maggie and I’m not alone.
Somebody loves me and Now I Am Home!”

“Somebody loves me,” she said to the mouse.
“Somebody loves me,” she said to the house.
“My name is MAGGIE! I know what I knew!”
And the tub said it back. It remembered her, too!

And finally the little girl knew where to go.
She had to go fast, she couldn’t go slow.
So she ran down the hall to where the babies’ room was
Where the twins slept all night in their twin pajamas.
Noah’s was blue and Emma’s was pink.
And sometimes the twins’ pajamas would stink.

But Maggie didn’t care. She was happy and wild.
And the twins were awake and they both had a smile.
They were so glad to see her; they’d been waiting a while.
And she kissed them and told him that she missed them, too.
She said, “Somebody loves you! Somebody loves you!
Somebody loves you! It’s me and I DO!”

—Patrick O’Leary
For Maggie, and Noah and Emma

Fingerpainting by Stephanie Metz “Girl in a Nightgown”
(For more of her work click on the picture)


2 Responses

  1. This is lovely. It would make a nice children’s book, have you thought of that?

    • Thx. Yes, I’ve tried to get it published as a kid’s book. In fact, my wife and I are working on a new one.

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