Mother Earth's Children
Mother Earth's Children: The Frolics of the Fruits and Vegetables (1914) is a collection of poems for young children to appreciate the joy of fresh food! See if you can make a game of finding and naming them next time you are at the farmer's market or grocery store. You may also enjoy whimsical poetry and stories by Carl Sandburg
LITTLE Miss Radish, pretty thing,
Has her birthday in the spring;
She and the little Onions play
Out in the garden all the day.
WHEN Orchard Oriole sings his song
The Rhubarb children troop along;
They’re hardy, healthy youngsters, too,
And stay the whole, long summer through.
SAID Lettuce, tender-hearted lass:
“Come Dandelion, ’neath my glass;”
But Dandelion smiled and said
She liked the nice fresh air instead.
"SAID Spanish Onion: “I don’t see
Why people weep at sight of me;
I’m a nice, friendly sort of chappie
And like to make everybody happy.”
THE Button Mushrooms went to play
With the small Puff Balls one bright day;
They had such heaps of glorious fun,
But all ran home at set of sun.
ASPARAGUS in early spring
Came up to hear the robins sing;
When she peeped out her dress was white;
It turned green in the sunshine bright.
THE Green Pea children went to sail
On the Sauce Pan ocean in a gale;
“This boat’s a shell,” they cried; “Dear me!
We might capsize in this deep sea.”
SAID Spinach: “In my dress of green
I’m just as happy as a queen.
I’m truly glad that I am good
For little babies’ early food.”
LITTLE Wild Strawberry came down
To visit with her folks in town;
She’s a sweet child with charming ways
And blushes modestly at praise.
SAID Endive: “I was born in France
But travel when I get a chance.”
Said Celery: “I travel, too,
But my real home’s in Kalamazoo.”
THE Carrot ladies love to go
To church on Sundays in a row;
And, tall or short, each lady fair
Wears a green feather in her hair.
PEARL Onion, tiny little thing,
Lives out doors from early spring;
She’s German, so I understand,
And dearly loves her father-land.
“CHERRIES are ripe,” said Old Blue Jay
As he flew by one August day;
“Why, he means us,” the Cherries cried,
“Perhaps we’d better go inside.”
THE String Beans love to climb a pole,
And so their clothes are seldom whole.
Mother Bean said: “I’ll mend the tatters;
While they are happy, nothing matters!”
SAID Dame Potato: “Hurry, Pat!
And wash your face and feed the cat,
Then run to school, or you’ll be late;
Just see! It’s nearly half past eight!”
“GOOD morning, friends! Know who I am?
I’m Raspberry who makes the jam;
You know—that on the pantry shelf—
I make that every year myself.”
RED Pepper said a biting word
Which Miss Green Pepper overheard;
Said she: “Hot words you can’t recall;
Better not say such things at all.”
SAID Miss Cucumber: “I have brought
My fan, because the day is hot;
Our family have a splendid rule,—
Whatever happens, we keep cool.”
GUMBO’S a splendid southern cook,
And, without looking in the book,
He’ll make a savory soup or stew,
And send it, steaming hot, to you.
THE Blueberry children love to run
Around the hillsides in the sun;
Smiling and jolly, plump and sweet,
Best-natured youngsters one could meet.
“EVERY one knows,” said Madame Beet
“My disposition’s very sweet;
And though to plumpness I am prone,
My color’s every bit my own.”
“MY new spring dress,” said Chicory,
“Is just as lacy as can be;
Shading from green to purest white
Its ruffles are my heart’s delight!”
THE Currant ladies look so sweet
In their green dresses, cool and neat.
They offer you, for your delight,
Their strings of berries, red and white.
SAID Brussels Sprout: “I am so glad
That I’m such a good-looking lad.”
Horseradish said: “I’m glad I’m plain
If good looks make a chap so vain.”
SAID Rutabaga Turnip: “Wow!
I just escaped that hungry cow;
I jumped behind a great big tree
Or she’d have surely eaten me!”
“DEAR me!” Madam Muskmelon said,
“Those children will not stay in bed;
Before the darlings get misplaced
I’ll tie each baby to my waist.”
WATERMELON’S dress of green
Trimmed in rose pink you all have seen
She has such pleasant smiling ways,
We welcome her on summer days.
SAID Cauliflower: “I used to be
A cabbage, so some folks tell me;
When I’ve improved some more—who knows?
Maybe I’ll be a Cabbage Rose.”
HAND in hand with summer comes
The happy family called the Plums,
Some dressed in purple, some in red;
They’re very pretty and well bred.
SAID pompous, purple Egg-plant: “Well!
So that is egg in that queer shell;
Really! It’s very hard to see
Why they named that chap after me!”
SAID Mother Pear: “Dear me! Those twins
Are just as much alike as pins;
I must do something, I declare!”
So she cut little sister’s hair.
BANANA wears a yellow coat
Buttoned quite snugly ’round his throat.
He comes from where it’s warm, you see,
And feels cold more than you or me.
HERE’S Apple, loved by young and old
And sometimes worth his weight in gold.
We hail him with delighted cries
When he comes to us, baked in pies.
SAID Mr. Gourd: “You’ll plainly see
We are a busy family;
We give you bottles, cups and things,
And curly vines for playtime rings.”
WILD Grape just loves to run away
And in the green woods climb and play;
You’ll know him when among the trees
His fragrant blossoms scent the breeze.
THE Lemons every summer go
In groups to see the Wild West Show;
Come rain or shine, they never stay
At home on any circus day.
MISS Orange said: “I’d like to know
Those pretty mountain girls called ‘Snow;’”
“Don’t,” said her Dad, “or we are lost;
They’re relatives of Sir Jack Frost.”
CRANBERRY dearly loves to go
Wading in places wet and low;
She wears soft gowns of dainty floss
Made of the pretty yellow moss.
NORTH Wind came whistling by one day
Where the Tomatoes were at play;
It gave those children such a fright
They put their blankets on that night.
THE Pumpkin children, everyone,
On Hallowe’en go out for fun;
With Jack o’lantern and his crew
They find such jolly things to do.
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