Anna Maria Pratt (fl. 1890s)
in Chelsea, MA, Pratt was a teacher for several years in Cleveland, Ohio.
Her focus was on children's literature, and she published Little Rhymes
for Little People in 1896.
A Mortifying Mistake
I studied my tables over and over,
and backward and forward, too;
But I could n't remember six times nine,
and I didn't know what to do,
Till sister told me to play with my doll, and
not to bother my head.
"If you call her `Fifty-four' for a while,
you'll learn it by heart," she said.
So I took my favorite, Mary Ann (though I
thought 't was a dreadful shame
To give such a perfectly lovely child such a
perfectly horrid name),
And I called her my dear little "Fifty-
four" a hundred times, till I knew
The answer of six times nine as well as the
answer of two times two.
day Elizabeth Wigglesworth, who
always acts so proud,
Said, "Six times nine is fifty-two," and I
nearly laughed aloud!
But I wished I had n't when teacher said,
"Now, Dorothy, tell if you can."
For I thought of my doll and--sakes
alive!--I answer, "Mary Ann!"