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TIME FOR A NEW YEAR – Around The Frame

Gingham Dog and Calico Cat at 12:30 just before the spat! Hand embroidered summer blanket circa 1960.

Happy New Year dear Waynedale Readers! By the time you read this, Meteorological Winter is half over. Winter weather hasn’t been too bad and the time keeps flying by.

I guess it is part and parcel of a new year that we think of time, the one thing we can never make up: Time squandered is time loss.

One of my favorite children’s poems is The Duel by American children’s writer and humorist Eugene Field. If you don’t recall it by title, the poem begins:

“The gingham dog and calico cat side by side on the table sat: ‘T was half-past twelve, and (what do you think!) Nor one t’ other had slept a wink!
The old Dutch clock and the Chinese plate Appeared to know as sure as fate
There was going to be a terrible spat (I wasn’t there; I simply state what was told to me by the Chinese plate!)”

A terrible fight between the two ensues as witnessed by the Chinese Plate. The old Dutch clock puts his hands in front of this face because he always dreads a family row. The Chinese plate wonders what shall we do as the fur begins to fly and by the next morning there is nothing left as the cat and pup ate each other up!

So what caused such a row? Was it for lack of sleep, someone having territory issues, or just the nature of cats and dogs? Why didn’t the Chinese plate try to stop the row instead of just wondering what to do? The sad thing is they both died: there were no winners in this epic battle. In his own way with his silly rhymed poem, Mr. Field conveyed a lesson all children need to learn: how to resolve differences in a constructive way without growling and hissing, and what a difference a caring friend can make in stepping in to help calmly resolve an issue before it escalates out of control. Lessons to be carried into adulthood!

Lois Levihn

She is the author of the "Around the Frame" quilting column. She is a graduate of Wayne HS. Quilts have always been important to her, she loves the stories surrounding them, the techniques used in making them, & restoring them. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer