I know a little maiden, but really, on my word,
You would sooner think this person was a Tee-hee bird.
     For no matter what you say,
     If it's sad or if it's gay,
This silly maiden answers you with "Tee-he-he,"
  With a "Tee-he, tee-he, tee-he-he."

She's quite a pretty little girl, with bright and smiling eyes,
And, in some things, I understand that she is very wise.
     But though she knows her letters,
     No matter what her betters
Or her elders may remark to her, this little maiden, she
Is sure to end her answer with a "Tee-he-he,"
  With a "Tee-he, tee-he, tee-he-he."

If you tell her that your pocket is just stuffed all full of toys,
If you tell her you've a headache and she must not make a noise,
     If you tell her she's your pride,
     Or if you scold and chide,
It really is the same to her so far as I can see,
For her answer is a giggle with a "Tee-he-he."
  A "Tee-he, tee-he, tee-he-he."

I have heard this little maiden say that she was very tired;
I have heard her ask for lots of things she very much desired;
     But to everything she uttered,
     Or mumbled forth or muttered,
She tacked that senseless giggle that is quite devoid of glee--
That foolish little habit of a "Tee-he-he,"
  A "Tee-he, tee-he, tee-he-he!"

I sometimes feel quite worried lest an elf of whom I've heard
Should come along and change this girl into a Tee-hee bird;
     When, in all sorts of weather,
     With each curl turned to a feather,
She'd have to sit the livelong day alone upon a tree,
Just calling out to folks below her, "Tee-he-he!"
  Her "Tee-he, tee-he, tee-he-he."

By Ella Wheeler Wilcox

St. Nicholas Magazine XXII (November 1894 to April 1895): 474.

Courtesy of Elaine Russell

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