My Little Red Hat


My Little Red Hat
© Elma E. Main, 1985

I was just a small girl of four.
Mother took me with her to the hat store;
It was on the east side of the street
With felt and velvet plumed hats so neat.

Mother sat down in front of the mirror.
She tried on hat after hat — poor dear.
Nothing suited her just right;
Something was either too large or too tight.

Red Hat

Now I had some time to roam,
Looking for one I might take home;
I stood up on my tiptoes,
Reached for a blue one and froze.

There, right beside it was a prize,
A red velvet one in just my size!
It had streamers and a turned-up brim
That made me feel quite prim.

Red Hat

I stepped over to see myself;
How could I put it back on the shelf?
So, I waited until Mother chose one;
She paid the clerk and then was done.

Mother gently lifted the hat from my head,
We left the store and not much was said.
On the ride home, a tire went flat —
My thoughts were still on the pretty red hat.


Not long after that, Christmas came.
We hung up our stockings for gifts with our name.
Unwrapped Christmas morning, the red hat I found.
I could not have been happier if I had been crowned!

1913 Ford Model T

We went to my grandparents’ a few miles away —
We always went there on Christmas day.
I was so proud when I walked in
Holding my hat because of the wind.

They all made a fuss over me,
Almost missing the ornaments on the tree.
Grandma had made us donuts to eat;
Her candy and goodies could not be beat.

Red Hat

The family enjoyed the day,
Then it was time for all to go our way.
As I went to the car, the wind tipped my hat.
I reached to hold on to it quick as a bat.

A storm was moving in on the day;
There was no more time for us to play.
We must get home soon or put the side curtains on —
When I got home my hat was gone!

Red Hat

The day had been long and tiring for me,
So I fell asleep on the way home, you see.
With me not holding onto my hat,
It just blew away and that is that.

I felt badly and wanted to go look now,
But Dad said, “No, I must tend to the cow.”
Mother said, “The roads are turning to slush;
For now, you must forget it and hush.”


I had my turn as “Queen For a Day,”
Even wearing my red hat out to play.
Christmas has brought many gifts since that,
But I still remember my little red hat.





  1. This poem is just magical thank you so much.

  2. I’m almost certain that was the only poem she wrote down, but I’m just as sure there were many more short ones she used to entertain her grandchildren. I know Julie enjoyed her stories, especially when she was a little girl.. back in the ‘GOOD OLD DAYS.’ I wish I knew the year it was written.

  3. Grandma wrote this poem when she was 73 years old, which means about 1985. It was the last thing she included in the journal she gave me in 1986.

  4. Once again, you have more info than I.. Really, I should have asked you about the date, as I knew the only written copy was a part of that journal she was making for you. Thanks, Love ya.

  5. Good job, Gram.

    Love you,

  6. I think you need your own little, red hat.

  7. I see you gave me my own little, red hat on Flickr. Great job, thanks.

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