Megan memorised it, when she was about 8, so I tried to see how much she could still remember, prompting her at every line.
"Mum," she said, "I'm not a student, anymore. I'm the teacher, now."
"But, you need to teach it to your students," I reply. "Every child wants to know Robert Louis Stevenson!"
"No," she says, "every child wants to know when the tuckshop is open."
"Or, who's got a new Wii," I muse, sadly.
"No, Mum. Everyone's got a Wii, already."
Well, our children will get to know Robert Louis Stevenson because I'm a bit old-fashioned and I still love his stories and poems. And, if they don't take to him as well as I'd like, I expect they'll still have fond memories of our read alouds with Robert when they're older.
This one's a favourite.
|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—||5|
|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.||10|
|He stays so close beside 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,||15|
|Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.|