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The child in the poem requests his father to walk slower. The poet implies that the child wants to understand his father’s actions better. The father is the child’s role model. The child would like to act the same way. The poem is divided into four stanzas and follows the abcb rhyme scheme.
‘Walk a little slower, Daddy,’ Said a little child so small. ‘I’m following in your footsteps And I don’t want to fall.
The poem begins with a small child requesting his father to slower the pace as he wants to keep up with the father. The child is following in the father’s footsteps and does not want to trip. This stanza subtly implies that the child wants to walk with his father and does not wish to fail, it is not merely about walking, but also other behaviors and actions.
‘Sometimes your steps are very fast, Sometimes they are hard to see; So, walk a little slower, Daddy, For you are leading me.’
The father is leading and the child is following. The father’s steps are sometimes fast and difficult to see. This means that sometimes the father does things that the child does not entirely understand but they need to be done for the benefit of the child.
‘Some day when I’m all grown up, You’re what I want to be; Then I will have a little child Who’ll want to follow me.
The child hopes that one day when he is all grown up, he too will become a father and aspires to be like his own father. He believes that his father is an excellent man and if he turns out to be the same, then his child too would want to follow him.
‘And I would want to lead just right, And know that I was true; So walk a little slower, Daddy, For I must follow you.’
The child is impressed by his father and wants to lead correctly. He wants to be a true leader and in order to achieve this status, he must follow his father. Hence, he consistently requests his father to walk slower.