THE CO-OPERATIVE HOUSEKEEPERS
BY ELLIOTT FLOWER
Ten thoughtful women, ever wise,
A wondrous scheme did once devise
For ease, and to economize.
"Cooperation!" was their cry,
And not a husband dared deny
'Twould life and labor simplify.
One gardener, the ten decreed,
Was all the neighborhood would need
To plant and trim and rake and weed.
The money saved they could invest
As vagrant fancy might suggest,
And each could then be better dressed.
So well this worked that, on the whole,
It seemed to them extremely droll
To pay so much for handling coal.
One man all work then undertook,
And former methods they forsook,
Deciding even on one cook.
One dining-room was next in line,
Where, free from care, they all could dine
At less expense, as you'll divine.
"Two maids," they said, "could quickly flit
From home to home, so why permit
Expense that brings no benefit?"
Economy of cash and care
Became a hobby of the fair,
Until their husbands sought a share.
"Although," the latter said, "all goes
For luxuries and costly clothes,
The method still advantage shows.
"While we've not gained, we apprehend
Good Fortune will on us attend,
If we continue to the end.
"If you've succeeded, why should we
From constant toil be never free?
One income should sufficient be;
"And, taking turns in earning that,
We'll have the leisure to wax fat
And spend much time in idle chat.
"So let us see the matter through,
And, in this line, it must be true
One house for all will surely do.
"And if one house means less of strife,
To gain the comforts of this life,
Why, further progress means one wife."
* * * * * *
Ten women now, their acts attest,
Prefer ten homes, and deem it best
To let cooperation rest.