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I Have a Little Shadow

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me, 

And what can be the use of him is more than I can see. 

He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head; 

And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed. 

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow -- 

Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow; 

For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball, 

And he sometimes gets so little that there's none of him at all. 

He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play, 

And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way. 

He stays so close behind me, he's a coward you can see; 

I'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me! 

One morning, very early, before the sun was up, 

I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup; 

But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head, 

Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.    

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