66 Chapters
Medium 9780253022790

Little Orphant Annie

James Whitcomb Riley Indiana University Press ePub

LITTLE Orphant Annie’s come to our house to stay,

An’ wash the cups an’ saucers up, an’ brush the crumbs away,

An’ shoo the chickens off the porch, an’ dust the hearth, an’ sweep,

An’ make the fire, an’ bake the bread, an’ earn her board-an’-keep;

An’ all us other childern, when the supper things is done,

We set around the kitchen fire an’ has the mostest fun

A-list’nin’ to the witch-tales ’at Annie tells about,

An’ the Gobble-uns ’at gits you

Ef you




Onc’t they was a little boy wouldn’t say his prayers,—

So when he went to bed at night, away up stairs,

His Mammy heerd him holler, an’ his Daddy heerd him bawl,

An’ when they turn’t the kivvers down, he wasn’t there at all!

An’ they seeked him in the rafter-room, an’ cubby-hole, an’ press,

An’ seeked him up the chimbly-flue, an’ ever’wheres, I guess;

But all they ever found was thist his pants an’ roundabout:—

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Boy Lives on Our Farm, The

James Whitcomb Riley Indiana University Press ePub

THE BOY lives on our Farm, he’s not

Afeard o’ horses none!

An’ he can make ’em lope, er trot,

Er rack, er pace, er run.

Sometimes he drives two horses, when

He comes to town an’ brings

A wagon-full o’ ’taters nen,

An’ roastin’-ears an’ things.

Two horses is “a team,” he says,

An’ when you drive er hitch,

The right-un’s a “near-horse,” I guess

Er “off”—I don’t know which—

The Boy lives on our Farm, he told

Me, too, ’at he can see,

By lookin’ at their teeth, how old

A horse is, to a T!

I’d be the gladdest boy alive

Ef I knowed much as that,

An’ could stand up like him an’ drive,

An’ ist push back my hat,

Like he comes skallyhootin’ through

Our alley, with one arm

A-wavin’ Fare-ye-well! to you—

The Boy lives on our Farm!

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Jolly Miller, The

James Whitcomb Riley Indiana University Press ePub

[Restored Romaunt.]

IT was a Jolly Miller lived on the River Dee;

He looked upon his piller, and there he found a flea:

“O Mr. Flea! You have bit’ me,

And you shall shorely die!”

So he scrunched his bones against the stones—

And there he let him lie!

’Twas then the Jolly Miller he laughed and told his wife,

And she laughed fit to kill her, and dropped her carvin’-knife!—

“O Mr. Flea!” “Ho-ho!” “Tee-hee!”

They both laughed fit to kill,

Until the sound did almost drownd

The rumble of the mill!

“Laugh on, my Jolly Miller! and Missus Miller, too!—

But there’s a weeping-willer will soon wave over you!”

The voice was all so awful small—

So very small and slim!—

He durst’ infer that it was her,

Ner her infer ’twas him!

That night the Jolly Miller, says he, “It’s Wifey dear,

That cat o’ yourn, I’d kill her!—her actions is so queer,—

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When Early March Seems Middle May

James Whitcomb Riley Indiana University Press ePub







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Happy Little Cripple, The

James Whitcomb Riley Indiana University Press ePub

I’M thist a little cripple boy, an’ never goin’ to grow

An’ get a great big man at all!—’cause Aunty told me so.

When I was thist a baby onc’t, I falled out of the bed

An’ got “The Curv’ture of the Spine”—’at’s what the Doctor said.

I never had no Mother nen—fer my Pa runned away

An’ dassn’t come back here no more—’cause he was drunk one day

An’ stobbed a man in thish-ere town, an’ couldn’t pay his fine!

An’ nen my Ma she died—an’ I got “Curv’ture of the Spine!”

I’m nine years old! An’ you can’t guess how much I weigh, I bet!—

Last birthday I weighed thirty-three!—An’ I weigh thirty yet!

I’m awful little fer my size—I’m purt’ nigh littler ’nan

Some babies is!—an’ neighbers all calls me “The Little Man!”

An’ Doc one time he laughed an’ said: “I ’spect, first thing you know,

You’ll have a little spike-tail coat an’ travel with a show!”

An’ nen I laughed—till I looked round an’ Aunty was a-cryin’—

Sometimes she acts like that, ’cause I got “Curv’ture of the Spine.”

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