I read this as a kid in the 70s or 80s. It had a man (Census Taker, Reporter, Author?) visiting an unusual family. I seem to recall they were VERY advanced for time frame the story was set in. They might even have had supernatural abilities.

The only other thing I can remember is one of the youngest children was chanting (singing?) what the man thought was a nonsense verse. When he was leaving however, he remarked that the chant sounded like the theory of relativity ie.. E=MC2 etc... (ee em see to...)

It was NOT the Hogben series, they were more a typical suburban family.

This has bugged me for years! OCD can suck sometimes. :-) I have done numerous net searches to no avail, hopefully someone out there can shed some light.

1 Answer 1


This is likely Fritz Leiber's "Nice Girl With Five Husbands." Although the protagonist is not a census taker; he is mysteriously sent forward in time and meets an unconventional family. But what clinches the ID for me is that it ends with a little girl chanting a rhyme that turns out to be Einstein's generalized gravitational theory. The protagonist returns to current day but never figures out what happened or what the girl was chanting.

Here's a bad scan of the ending.

Here's a bad scan of the ending

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    This is probably it, it's not quite what I remembered, but it has been 30 or so years. :-) Thank You Jan 31, 2015 at 6:59

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