Robert Louis Stevenson > A Child’s Garden of Verses and Underwoods > 19. My Shadow
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Stevenson, Robert Louis (1850–1894).  A Child’s Garden of Verses and Underwoods.  1913.
  
19. My Shadow

I HAVE a little shadow that goes in and out with me, 
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see. 
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head; 
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed. 
  
The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow—         5
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow; 
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an India-rubber ball, 
And he sometimes gets so little that there’s none of him at all. 
  
He hasn’t got a notion of how children ought to play, 
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.  10
He stays so close beside me, he’s a coward you can see; 
I’d think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me! 
  
One morning, very early, before the sun was up, 
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup; 
But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,  15
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed. 

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