Sturdy and staunch he stands

by chuckofish

Whew! What a week. Suffice it to say, it was busy, stressful, and now my refrigerator is broken and my kitchen full of coolers. But never mind, a dear friend gave me this little guy:

soldier sponge

Isn’t he the best? He’s actually a ‘washing up sponge’, but I can’t bring myself to use him so he stands on the windowsill overlooking the sink. I’ll take pictures of him in situ should I ever get my kitchen back in order. In his new position, he reminds me of Eugene Fields’ heart-breaking poem, “Little Boy Blue”. It’s so sad that when I was in third grade and recited it in front of my whole class, my voice broke. It still makes me teary. Here, in honor of my little kitchen guard and my little-girl self, is the poem. Be sure to have kleenex at the ready when you read it.

The little toy dog is covered with dust,
But sturdy and staunch he stands;
And the little toy soldier is red with rust,
And his musket molds in his hands.
Time was when the little toy dog was new
And the soldier was passing fair,
And that was the time when our Little Boy Blue
Kissed them and put them there.”Now, don’t you go till I come,” he said,
“And don’t you make any noise!”
So toddling off to his trundle-bed
He dreamed of the pretty toys.
And as he was dreaming, an angel song
Awakened our Little Boy Blue,–
Oh, the years are many, the years are long,
But the little toy friends are true.Ay, faithful to Little Boy Blue they stand,
Each in the same old place,
Awaiting the touch of a little hand,
The smile of a little face.
And they wonder, as waiting these long years through,
In the dust of that little chair,
What has become of our Little Boy Blue
Since he kissed them and put them there.

I remember visiting the Eugene Field house and Toy Museum with my mother many, many years ago. It’s a lovely place

eugene field house

— all that’s left of a block of row houses that used to occupy this area of South Broadway in St. Louis.

field house
I guess you could say his house, like the little tin soldier in his lovely poem, stands sturdy and staunch. Long may it be so.

Have a good weekend! If you need a laugh after this melancholy post, watch any episode of QI on Youtube.