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Mrs. Bullwinkle

Collins, Wilkie. "Mrs. Bullwinkle." New-York Saturday Press. 12 Jun. 1866: 2.
short fiction

In Collin’s comic short story, a husband laments the recent expenditure of having taken on Mrs. Bullwinkle, as his wife’s nurse. Not being a man of extravagant means, the narrator frets over the expense of having to hire a monthly nurse to aid in his wife’s convalescence following the birth of their sixth child. Since their regular nurse is unavailable to attend, the couple hires Mrs. Bullwinkle, a tall, slender woman with features of a Grecian beauty. Upon entering the household, Mrs. Bullwinkle admonishes the cook that she eats little but often. Soon after her arrival, the narrator is alarmed by the increased food bill, for which both the cook and the wife blame Mrs. Bullwinkle. Addressing the narrator’s incredulity, his wife claims that Mrs. Bullwinkle, like a cow, has multiple stomachs. To see if Mrs. Bullwinkle is responsible for the large food bill, the narrator has his wife and the cook keep separate accounts of Mrs. Bullwinkle’s meals. The narrator gives a catalogue of Mrs. Bullwinkle’s daily diet; as an example, Mrs. Bullwinkle is said to eat for dinner, one of her eight daily meals, a roast loin of mutton, mashed potatoes, ale, and hot gin and water. The narrator concludes his story with the insolvent state of the household and admonishes other husbands to be leery of hiring any one of Mrs. Bullwinkle's description.