Evening News (London), June 15, 1903

The Prodigal.

A club for babies has been formed in Paris.—Daily paper.

Time was when baby rarely strayed
 From out the nursery door.
With rocking-horse and bricks he played,
 Nor found the task a bore.
With soldiers deftly wrought of tin,
 He’d wage a mimic battle;
The pleasant humming-top he’d spin,
 Or work the gleesome rattle.

But then a fatal day there came,
 He asked to join a club.
A friend (aged two) put up his name—
 I had to pay his sub.—
Twelve guineas down, an annual eight—
 And baby was elected;
The net result, I grieve to state,
 Was not what I expected.

His habits altered for the worse,
 For toys he cared no rap;
He sneered when offered by his nurse
 Some quite delightful pap.
With “Nanna” he declined to stay,
 Though knowing she adored him;
Off to the club he’d wend his way;
 He said that females bored him.

But now that time of sorrow’s o’er,
 And past those days of pain;
At length upon his native floor
 Our baby’s back again.
He says he couldn’t stand the wine—
 I heard the true cause later—
It seems they asked him to resign
 For playing with a waiter!


Printed unsigned in newspaper; entered by Wodehouse in Money Received for Literary Work.