Multiplication Fable


Multiplication Fable

We were to memorize if able
the whole multiplication table.
I learned the ones to sixes fine,
yet still have trouble with seven through nine.
So when the cents approach a dime,
I always have an awful time.

It was during chicken pox
(when I, attired in gloves and sox
was simply trying to score an itch)
that my math skills developed a hitch.
As others mastered seven through nine,
I was there at home, supine.

Six times seven’s forty-two.
that’s the last sum I easily do.
Six times eight is forty eight–
determined after some debate.
But six times nine or nine times six
always leaves me in a fix.

Sixty-three, perhaps, or more.
Could it instead be sixty-four?
At nine times eight I’m surely lost.
Those sums I should have had embossed
upon my wrist in a tattoo.
These long delays just will not do.

I breathe a sigh when once again
the multiplier ends up as ten.
Ten is easy, so I strut
as I just add a zero, but
as I stumble through its next-of-kin,
I approximate, then write it in.


The prompt today was memorize.

7 thoughts on “Multiplication Fable

  1. slmret

    Sevens and Eights are still difficult — pure memory. Nines are easy for me: the two digits always add to nine, and the first digit is one less than the multiplier — eg. 6×9 = 54 (5 is one less than 6, and 5+4=9).Tough when multiplier is >11! Talking of which, the temps will be in the triple digits again today — fans are on, house is closed, and a/c will be running all day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lifelessons Post author

      Were you a teacher? Wish someone had taught me that 60 years ago!!! If I can remember that I have a formula, it will come in handy for the rest of my life. Thanks, Janet. It has been raining here for two or three days, constantly. Also cool for Mexico. A hurricane off the coast always affects our weather, even though we are hours away.


      1. slmret

        My mother taught me that formula when I was learning the multiplication tables — she was not a teacher (and nor was I), so I guess she must have learned it as a little girl too! There are bunches of nice tricks like that within simple arithmetic! My career was in student financial aid and student loans (before they became so troublesome)..


  2. carol1945

    Actually, I did have a dementia test for insurance I was applying for (after age 70, they insist), and all they asked was to subtract by 3’s from 20. It was easy. I had heard they make you subtract by 7’s from 100. I was terrified they would do that. 7’s are my nemesis.


  3. Marilyn Armstrong

    Actually, NINES are easy because the answer always adds up to nine. The first number is one less than the multiplies so that 7 times 9 = 63 (six plus three is 9) and 8 times 9 = 72 (seven plus two is 9) … It’s the only one I can ALWAYS remember.

    Liked by 1 person


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.