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  "Grues are grisly little comic poems with sadistic
content and trick last lines. They are sometimes
called Little Willies in honor of the "hero" of so
many, but the name grue, coined by Robert Louis
Stevenson from "gruesome," is more appropriate.
Though their content is never worse than the daily
news, most grues are anonymous:"

       Willie poisoned father's tea;
        Father died in agony.
        Mother looked extremely vexed;
        "Really, Will," she said, "what next?"

(Robert Hendrickson, The Henry Holt Encyclopedia
of Word and Phrase Origins
, New York, NY)      


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