Daily Chronicle, May 13, 1903

(At the National Industrial Exhibition at Osaka, Japan, perambulators and nurses are provided for babies for a small sum. They are duly numbered, and a receipt is given for them.)

If you will be attentive, I’ll
 Explain my sad position.
One day I thought it worth my while
 To view the exhibition.
My wife and I, to banish care,
 (Such entertainments we adore)
Went thither with our son and heir,
 Our little Thomas Theodore.

To hire a conscientious nurse,
 Her charge to leave our boy in,
Right readily did I disburse
 The necessary coin.
Then to a serviceable pram
 They took, while still he slumbered, him.
They put him in (a precious lamb!)
 Gave me a check and numbered him.

The hours were speeding blithely on,
 When, with a sudden shock, it
Occurred to me that check was gone.
 I felt in every pocket.
I’d documents of every sort.
 In all my pockets many were.
But not the document I sought.
 I couldn’t find it anywhere.

And now, to fill my bitter cup,
 I cannot claim that sweet form.
The nurse declines to give him up
 Without that lost receipt-form.
So still in stranger’s hands he stays,
 And fed with alien food is he.
I’ve brought a suit these many days.
 At present it’s sub judice.

P. G. W. 



sub judice: being considered in a court of law