Manvotional: A Little Fellow Follows Me

by Brett & Kate McKay on June 15, 2013 · 56 comments

in A Man's Life, Manvotionals


Editor’s Note: In honor of Father’s Day, I wanted to share an anonymously-penned poem that’s hung in my parents’ home for as long as I can remember. I never gave it much thought as a kid, but since becoming a dad, it’s become one of my favorite poems. It’s a simple, gentle reminder to always be your best self because you’ve got a little person who thinks the world of you. Happy Father’s Day to all the loving and honorable dads out there!

A careful man I want to be –
a little fellow follows me.
I do not dare to go astray,
for fear he’ll go the self-same way.
I cannot once escape his eyes.
Whatever he sees me do he tries.
Like me he says he’s going to be –
that little chap who follows me…
He knows that I am big and fine –
And believes in every word of mine.
The base in me he must not see –
that little chap who follows me…
But after all it’s easier,
that brighter road to climb,
With little hands behind me –
to push me all the time.
And I reckon I’m a better man
than what I used to be…
Because I have this lad at home
who thinks the world of me.

{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Riley Padron June 15, 2013 at 11:33 pm

Almost brought tears to my eyes. Thank you very much Brett; and Happy Father’s Day.

2 Daniel June 16, 2013 at 5:35 am

Beautiful, beautiful. I think I will print this and hang it on my wall. I have a 21-month-old boy and this hits home.

3 Z Ryan Swarr June 16, 2013 at 8:18 am

What a great poem. Thanks so much for sharing. That would be a very good reminder to have hanging on the walls of our home.

4 Daniel June 16, 2013 at 9:11 am

Very nice poem. Do you happen to know the author’s name?


5 david June 16, 2013 at 9:17 am

I like it.

6 Brian V June 16, 2013 at 10:00 am

I’m not crying! I’m just allergic to things that make me cry… oh wait…

7 naguere June 16, 2013 at 10:32 am

Gosh it’s dusty in here.

8 rho June 16, 2013 at 10:59 am

That is s great poem. I am glad I read it. Some things are worth reading, and re-reading.

9 Colin J June 16, 2013 at 11:33 am

How true. Personally, so much of what I have changed into, from my interests to attitudes and behaviors, have changed for the better because I try to think of who my children must think Daddy is.
I try to be the man my daughters should want to marry and who my son aspires to be. I think that’s the hardest and most noble lesson as a father: the day you know that child exists, your life of self-fulfillment is over. You now live for your child. I think a good dad knows this, and loves the challenge.

10 Dan W June 16, 2013 at 11:40 am

I really like the poem “A Little Fellow Follows Me.” Do you have copies for purchase?


11 Victor Castellanos June 16, 2013 at 11:45 am

Very Nice!

12 Sugapablo June 16, 2013 at 12:08 pm

Excellent! I love it!

13 hayat June 16, 2013 at 12:35 pm

awesssssssssssssssommmmmmmmmmmmeeeeeeeeeee…….dude….i’m gonna put this on my wall right away…..

14 Eric Petersen June 16, 2013 at 12:40 pm

This reminds me so much of my dad. He was always the one trying to set the ultimate example for me and my 4 other brothers. So glad you shared this. Thanks for being awesome.

15 Ariel June 16, 2013 at 1:35 pm

Very beautiful! Thanks Brett. Happy Father’s Day, everybody

16 Paul June 16, 2013 at 1:39 pm

Hits home.

17 Camel June 16, 2013 at 4:09 pm

Love it man sent to my father today!!

18 Ted Larson June 16, 2013 at 6:11 pm

Makes me think of my own father who tried hard to do the right thing and teach me right from wrong. Overall, I think he did a good job with what he had to work with.

19 Skweekah June 16, 2013 at 7:54 pm

I cant agree more. Youve got to allow your Boy to grow to be the best he can be — to be better than his Dad. Then, you know youve done a fine job raising your Son. The most any Dad could ever ask.

20 Stephen June 16, 2013 at 8:03 pm

My little man is a complete copy cat to me. It’s incredible how I want to do everything better b/c I know he’s watching.

21 Grayson June 16, 2013 at 8:14 pm

Nice poem. This ought to be one of the poster for sale in the shop.

22 Timothy June 16, 2013 at 10:42 pm

John Wooden wrote that. The Wizard of Westwood was a man of many skills and manliness incarnate.

23 Patrick W June 16, 2013 at 11:23 pm

I completely agree that this one should be available for purchase on the website.

24 dannyb278 June 17, 2013 at 12:20 am

Thanks for this. I just became a father to my first son two weeks ago.

25 EssDee June 17, 2013 at 12:43 am

That must be the best Father’s Day gift ever (except for the hand written piece of Post-It my little felolow made when he was 2)! And no, I am not crying, it’s just the pollution….
Second the guys who asked this as a poster……
Thanks, Brett & Kay! And a very Happy, albeit belated, Father’s Day to all you Dad’s!

26 Timothy June 17, 2013 at 1:07 am

Awesome poem. Big fan of AOM.

27 Emerson June 17, 2013 at 4:35 am

Woah, where did that overpowering smell of onions come from?

28 Lord Highbrow June 17, 2013 at 5:42 am

I don’t have kids, so I relate to it by thinking that the little fellow following me is my conscience, making sure I do the right thing, every time.

29 Wil June 17, 2013 at 6:59 am

Thanks for sharing a great one. “IF” by Rudyard Kipling is one of my all time favorites in a Fathers day sorta way.

30 Christine Welch June 17, 2013 at 7:15 am

Love that Poem.
I know a father like this must be wonderful. My children should have been so lucky.

31 John Leopold June 17, 2013 at 9:06 am

Thank you for making me realize how great of a dad I have. He’s been the best role model I could have ever wanted. Thank you for making me see that.

32 woodrow June 17, 2013 at 9:34 am

Written by Rev. Claude Wisdom White, Sr , I belive. Though Wooden is known to have recited it.

33 Steve June 17, 2013 at 10:35 am

Thank you Brett for the reminder. I never had a son, but I have a grandson who currently lives with us.

34 Rich G. June 17, 2013 at 2:14 pm

I just adopted a little fellow two weeks ago. As a first time dad this not only moves me but clarifies my role for the little fellow and puts it in perspective. Thank you!

35 Jim June 17, 2013 at 2:36 pm

Certainly puts fatherhood into perspective and let’s me know that my actions don’t take place in a vacuum!!!

36 Andy June 17, 2013 at 2:52 pm

I’d buy this on the store in a heartbeat. Make the posters and we will come!

37 Bob Giraldi June 18, 2013 at 12:35 am

Brett, I was so moved by this, thank you for posting it. I’m sure my father had this in the back of his mind when I was growing up, even if he never read it. Its who he was.

38 Dustin Russell June 18, 2013 at 10:15 am

Excellent Father’s Day gift, thank you.
Also, I agree that this would be a best seller if added to the available posters.

39 Peter June 18, 2013 at 12:42 pm

That crushed me. I now must pull myself back together. Thanks for the poem.

40 MGM June 18, 2013 at 1:18 pm


41 CWOLF June 18, 2013 at 1:52 pm

Well done

42 Radio Matty June 19, 2013 at 5:02 am

Like a few others have stated, this is getting printed out- and even framed. As as a father-to-be in a few months, this really hits home. Thanks a lot, Brett!

43 Nick June 19, 2013 at 8:36 am

Saw comment from Timothy that John Wooden wrote poem. Thought that was so cool. Look around for a story. Looks like he spoke the poem a lot. But this story on John Wooden says Rev. Claude Wisdom White, Sr wrote the poem.

It has a link to a cool YouTube video of a Gatorade commercial with Coach Wooden reciting the poem. It is a great poem no matter who originally wrote it. Great stuff AOM. Always making us want to learn more about things, especially being better me. Thanks.

44 Wade June 20, 2013 at 2:16 pm

I absolutely loved that. Yep. Made this Daddy’s eyes sweat.

45 Aaron June 20, 2013 at 2:50 pm

… must have something in my eye.

46 Edin June 21, 2013 at 2:57 am

Awesome poem. Big fan of AoM.

47 Rob Berra June 21, 2013 at 9:20 am

I will never have a son, and that saddens me a bit. I love my daughter to distraction, but she’s the only child we’re going to have. I’ve accepted it, but pieces like this make me tear up a bit anyway. Thanks, Brett!
–Rob (who will take the sentiment to heart and seek to follow it in his dealings with his daughter)

48 Dalton June 24, 2013 at 10:18 am


49 Vern June 24, 2013 at 11:02 am

This poem reminds me a lot of my late Father. He worked so hard to provide for all of us, I wish he had had an easier life. He set a great example for his sons.

50 Sam June 25, 2013 at 9:50 am

Beautiful. I still remember when this was read to me before the birth of my first boy. I have two little men now and I am a proud papa. Thanks for posting this poem. Happy belated Fathers Day!!

51 Steve July 1, 2013 at 6:53 am

My greatest Father’s Day present was my youngest son, on the very day, 40 years ago last month. My father was not perfect, nor am I, yet I believe in my heart that we (and all the men in my family back along) have tried to live our lives in full consciousness of the little men following us. May it always be so. Happy Father’s Day to all (Dads of daughters, too!)

52 Thomas July 10, 2013 at 4:26 pm

My firstborn son is just 10 months old. This poem is new to me and brought tears to my eyes. Having a “little fellow” watching me is reminding me every day to strive to be a better man than I was yesterday. The Art of Manliness is helping me find the man that my father raised me to be. Thank you for a great website!

53 mike July 15, 2013 at 9:30 pm

Very powerful words. From a father who lost his only son, my advice is for you younger fathers to always remember them.

54 Steve Thomas July 16, 2013 at 11:34 am

When I was about 15 years old, a visiting Boy Scout leader stopped me on the stairs of our church and gave me a copy of the peom — and he said “I think you are going to need this.” I did not know the man and he could not have known me. But that poem stayed in my wallet and now hangs on my office wall 40 years later. I have four sons and two daughters and have always appreciated the reminder and ecouragement of the poem.

55 Vern July 26, 2013 at 10:00 am

Although we have never met, allow me to say that I am very sorry to read that you lost your son. The loss of ones child is tragic indeed.

56 Mick February 22, 2014 at 12:07 pm

This was my code as my two kids grew up. Now they are splendid young adults so aware of right and wrong and, I think, possessing even more integrity than I, This rearing would not have worked without the partnership of my amazing wife whose consistency set roads straight and true.

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