My mother had Riley's "Li'l Orphant Annie" committed to memory in completion. She'd recite it with voice inflection I can hear still, but I was never afraid because she was right there. It's a wonder the childhood tales of long ago didn't scare children silly! The poem was written long before the creation of the Orphan Annie we've come to know today. I scoured the net for an illustration from the original Riley book, and could find none, so I've created Annie as she appeared in my mind's eye all those years ago, when this second verse was my very favorite:
"Once there was a little boy who wouldn't say his prayers
And when he went to bed at night away up stairs
His mommy heard him holler and his daddy heard him bawl
But when they pulled the covers back he wasn't there at all.
They seeked him in the attic room, the cubby hole and press
And even up the chimney flue, and everywhere, I guess.
But all they ever found of him was his pants and roundabouts
And the goblins'll getcha if you don't watch out!"
Thanks for the challenge that brought this memory back to me, and thanks to all of you for listening to my tale!