And then, soon as the puddin’ stopped, a crusty
ol’ mince pie
Jumped from its plate and glared at me and winked its little eye;
“You boy,” it says, “Thanksgivin’ Day, don’t dare ter touch a slice
Of me, for if you do, I’ll come and cramp you like a vise.
I’ll root you, and I’ll boot you, and I’ll twist you till you squeal,
I’ll stand on edge and roll around your stomach like a wheel;
I’ll hunch you, and I’ll punch you, and I’ll screech, ‘Remember me!’”
* * * * *
I don’t know what came after that, ’cause I woke up, you see.
You wouldn’t b’lieve that talk like that
one ever could forget,
But, say! ter-day’s Thanksgivin,’ and I’ve et, and et, and et!
And when I’d stuffed jest all I could, I jumped and gave a scream,
’Cause all at once, when ’t was too late, I ’membered ’bout that dream.
And now it’s almost bedtime, and I ought ter say my prayers
And tell the folks “good-night” and go a-pokin’ off up-stairs;
But, oh, my sakes! I dasn’t, ’cause I know them things’ll be
All hidin’ somewheres ’round my bed and layin there fer me.
* * * * *
A solemn Sabbath stillness lies along the Mudville
Among the crags of Shantytown a peaceful quiet reigns,
For down upon McCarty’s dump, in fiery fight for fame,
The Shanties meet the Mudvilles in the final pennant game;
And heedless of the frantic fray, in center field remote,
Behind the biggest ash-heap lies O’Reilly’s billy-goat.
The eager crowd bends forward now, in fierce excitement’s
The pitcher writhes in serpent twist, the umpire says, “Play ball!”
The batsman swings with sudden spite,—a loud, resounding “spat,”
And hissing through the ambient air the horse-hide leaves the bat;
With one terrific battle-cry, the “rooter” clears his throat,
But still serene in slumber lies O’Reilly’s billy-goat.
Alas, alas for Shantytown! the Mudvilles forge ahead;
Alas for patriotic hopes! the green’s below the red;
With one half inning still to play the score is three to two,
The Shantys have a man on base,—be brave my lads, and true;
Bold Captain Muggsy comes to bat, a batsman he of note,
And slowly o’er the ash-heap walks O’Reilly’s billy-goat.
The yelling Mudville hosts have wrecked his slumbers
With deep disgust and sullen eye he gazes o’er the scene.
He notes the center-fielder’s garb, the Mudvilles’ shirt of red;
He firmly plants his sturdy legs, he bows his horned head,
And, as upon his shaggy ears the Mudville slogan smote,
A sneer played ’mid the whiskers of O’Reilly’s billy-goat.
The valiant Muggsy hits the ball. Oh, deep and
He hits it hard and straight, but ah, he hits it in the air!
The Mudville center-fielder smiles and reaches forth in glee,
He knows that fly’s an easy out for such a man as he.
Beware, oh rash and reckless youth, nor o’er your triumph gloat,
For toward you like a comet flies O’Reilly’s billy-goat.