“Dear me! what signifies a pin!
I’ll leave it on the floor.
My pincushion has others in,
Mamma has plenty more:
A miser will I never be,”
Said little heedless Emily.
So tripping on to giddy play,
She left the pin behind,
For Betty’s broom to whisk,
Or some one else to find;
She never gave a thought, indeed,
To what she might to-morrow need.
Next day a party was to ride,
To see an air-balloon!
And all the company beside
Were dress’d and ready soon:
But she, poor girl, she could not stir,
For just a pin to finish her.
‘Twas vainly now, with eye and hand,
She did to search begin;
There was not one–not one, the band
Of her pelisse to pin!
She cut her pincushion in two,
But not a pin had slidden through!
At last, as hunting on the floor,
Over a crack she lay,
The carriage rattled to the door,
Then rattled fast away.
Poor Emily! she was not in,
For want of just–a single pin!
There’s hardly anything so small
So trifling or so mean,
That we may never want at all,
For service unforseen:
And those who venture willful waste,
May woeful want expect to taste.
by Ann Taylor, 1782-1866
I’ve had several instances recently when I couldn’t find something that I needed because I hadn’t taken the time to put the item in its proper place. Unfortunately, some of my kids have inherited this problem of mine. The other day I misplaced a bill and forgot to pay it, which then led to a frustrating late fee. That was actually the motivation for my marathon desk-cleaning session earlier this week. This poem is a cute reminder that it’s worth the effort to take the time to do things the right way the first time.