Meddlesome Matty

Independent Reading. Read the poem below. Read aloud then answer the questions that follow.

1. Oh, how one ugly trick has spoiled
     The sweetest and the best!
   Matilda, though a pleasant child,
     One grievous fault possessed,
   Which, like a cloud before the skies,
   Hid all her better qualities.

2. Sometimes, she’d lift the teapot lid
     To peep at what was in it;
   Or tilt, the kettle, if you did
     But turn your back a minute.
   In vain you told her not to touch,
   Her trick of meddling grew so much.

3. Her grand mamma went out one day,
     And, by mistake, she laid
   Her spectacles and snuffbox gay,
     Too near the little maid;
   “Ah! well,” thought she, “I’ll try them on,
   As soon as grand mamma is gone.”

4. Forthwith, she placed upon her nose
     The glasses large and wide;
   And looking round, as I suppose,
     The snuffbox, too, she spied.
   “Oh, what a pretty box is this!
   I’ll open it,” said little miss.

5. “I know that grandmamma would say,
     ‘Don’t meddle with it, dear;’
   But then she’s far enough away,
     And no one else is near;
   Beside, what can there be amiss
   In opening such a box as this?”

6. So, thumb and finger went to work
     To move the stubborn lid;
   And, presently, a mighty jerk
     The mighty mischief did;
   For all at once, ah! woeful case!
   The snuff came puffing in her face.

7. Poor eyes, and nose, and mouth, and chin
     A dismal sight presented;
   And as the snuff got further in,
     Sincerely she repented.
   In vain she ran about for ease,
   She could do nothing else but sneeze.

8. She dashed the spectacles away,
     To wipe her tingling eyes;
   And, as in twenty bits they lay,
     Her grandmamma she spies.
   “Heyday! and what’s the matter now?”
   Cried grandmamma, with angry brow.

9. Matilda, smarting with the pain,
     And tingling still, and sore,
   Made many a promise to refrain
     From meddling evermore;
   And ‘t is a fact, as I have heard,
   She ever since has kept her word.

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