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I couldn't help it, could I? | 24-Sep-09

Enquirer is looking for a comic poem their grandmother used to recite called "I couldn't help it, could I" about the misadventures of a small child.  It includes 2 or 3 lines about a pussy cat.

4 comments have been made on this quote. Click here to read them and then add your own!


Do you know this poem? Do you have any clues to help us find it?


Comments:

Once when I was playing with my little brother Fred
I only got a hammer and hit him on the head,
Cause he got a nasty thing and threw it in my face
I hit him such a whopper that it left a nasty place.
He won't go hurting little girls anymore
cause they took him to an asylum cause his head was sore
but I couldn't help it could I.
margaret stapleton

I don't know that verse. The one I used to recite was "our granny used to live with us but now she's in the sky! Do you know how she got there? It was all through a wicked fly. It settled on her face one day when she was sick in bed, so I got my Granny's walking stick and tried to kill it dead. I killed that naughty, fly I did but broke poor Granny's jaw and the Doctor couldn't mend it, so I won't do that no moe,but I couldn't help it, could I??
Allyce Mattock

I remember my mother reciting this poem in about 1955. It seems to have had many versions. Here are a few loose excerpts I vaguely remember from childhood:

"One day when I was playing with the boy next door, I got a big stick and knocked him to the floor.
He's in a wheel chair now, but I couldn't help it could I. No, course I couldn't.

....then something about the cat coming through the door....
I slammed the door just as poor pussy was coming through.
...
But I couldn't help it could I, no course I couldn't.
Besides, I 'd never seen a real cat's tail come off like that before,
So I couldn't help it, could I?

Paul Watson

I learned this as a child - I can't remember all of verse 3 . . .

My mother says that I'm a very naughty child, just cuz our Parrot did a thing that made me wild. I only tried to kiss her, and the naughty spiteful bird, bit me on the lip and made me say a naughty word. But I couldn't help it, could I? no, of course I couldn't.
Once when I was playing with my little brother Fred, I only took a hammer and hit him on the head. Cuz he got an ol' toad and stuck it in my face, and I gave him such a wallop that it left a nasty place. He won't go hurting little girls not more - they took him to the 'sylum just cuz his head was sore. But I couldn't help it, could I? No, of course I couldn't.
One day when I was playing with my dolly on the floor, my mother asked me would I like to go and shut the door? . . . ? . . .. .
and I never saw a real cat's tail come off like that before! But I couldn't help it, could I? No, of course I couldn't.
My Grandma used to live with us, but now she's in the sky. And do you know how she got there? All on account of a dirty ol' fly. It landed on her face one day when she was sick in bed, so I got Granny's walking stick and tried to kill him dead. I didn't kill the nasty fly, but broke poor Granny's jaw. The Dr. tried to mend it, still, I won't do that no more. But I couldn't help it could I? No, of course I couldn't.

Morna Snair


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