Because they were poets at heart, Mother's family memorized their favorite rhymes and
poetry, and at 85 years of age, my Mother, Ora Jean Juelfs Hardcastle can still recite from memory many of her favorite writings.
So, it came as no surprise to me when she began to recite a poem written in 1917, which began,
"I love you Mother, said little Nell. I love you more than words can tell..." It goes on to say how each of her children declared their love, then raced off to play... all but one child, and that child stayed to help her with the day's work. Then at night when they laid to rest, which of her children loved her best?
Research unearthed this poem:
WHICH LOVED BEST
BY JOY ALLISON (1917)
"I love you Mother," said little John;
Then forgetting his work, his cap went on.
And he was off to the garden swing,
Leaving his mother the wood to bring.
"I love you Mother," said rosy Nell,
"I love you more than tongue can tell."
Then she teased and pouted full half the day.
Till her mother was glad when she went to play.
"I love you Mother," said little Fan,
"Today I'll help you all I can;
How glad I am that school doesn't keep!"
And she rocked the babe til he fell asleep.
Then stepping softly, she took the broom,
And swept the floor, and dusted the room.
Busy and happy all day was she;
Helpful and happy as a child could be.
"I love you Mother," again they said,
Three little children going to bed.
How do you think their mother guessed
Which of them really loved her best?