“A Squash and a Squeeze” – Academic Edition

With apologies to Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

A little old lady worked all on her own
On a paper about a result she had shown.
A wise old man heard her grumble and rage:
“There’s not enough room on my page!
Wise old man, won’t you help me, please?
My paper’s a squash and a squeeze.”

“Bring in more proofs,” said the wise old man. 
“Bring in more proofs? What a curious plan.”
So she added a proof of each lemma in turn
But found that this led to increasing concern.
The little old lady cried, “God in his heaven!
My paper was ten pages; now it’s eleven!
Printing this out will use twenty-three trees!
My paper’s a squash and a squeeze! 
Wise old man, won’t you help me, please?
My paper’s a squash and a squeeze.”

“Bring in more graphs,” said the wise old man. 
“Bring in more graphs? What a curious plan.”
So she added some bar charts and one scatter plot
But found that this lengthened her work quite a lot.
The little old lady cried, “Though I have tried,
My paper’s now entered its seventeenth side!
Should I remove all the words that have e’s?
My paper’s a squash and a squeeze! 
Wise old man, won’t you help me, please?
My paper’s a squash and a squeeze.”

“Bring in more quotes,” said the wise old man. 
“Bring in more quotes? What a curious plan.”
So she added a quote and it made her work stronger,
But, lo and behold, her paper got longer!
The little old lady cried, “Please help me trim it,
I need to get down to my editor’s limit.
I added quotations and, well, quelle surprise:
My paper’s a squash and a squeeze! 
Wise old man, won’t you help me, please?
My paper’s a squash and a squeeze.”

“Take them all out,” said the wise old man.
“But then I’ll be back where I first began!”
So she made an appendix for all of her proofs
(Which anyway probably had a few goofs),
She chopped out the graphs and replaced them with tables
(She never did like all those x-axis labels),
She took out the quotes, and she had a good stare:
“I’m under the limit with four lines to spare!”
“Thank you, old man, for your canny suggestions!
Your strategy certainly raised a few questions,
But worked like a treat. So when I next edit
My paper I’ll give you appropriate 

Credit.”

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