AT AUNTY’S HOUSE.
One time when we’s at aunty’s
’Way in the country—where
They’s ist but woods and pigs and cows,
An’ all’s outdoors and air!
An orchurd swing; an’ churry trees,
An’ churries in ’em! Yes, an’ these
Here red-head birds steal all they please
An’ tech ’em if you dare!
W’y wunst, one time when we wuz there,
We et out on the porch!
Wite where the cellar door wuz shut
The table wuz; an’ I
Let aunty set by me an’ cut
My wittles up—an’ pie.
Tuz awful funny! I could see
The red heads in the churry tree;
An’ bee-hives, where you got to be
So keerful going by;
An’ comp’ny there an’ all! An’ we—
We et out on the porch!
An’—I ist et p’surves
’At ma don’t ’low me to—
An’ chickun gizzurds (don’t like wings
Like parunts does, do you?)
An’ all the time the wind blowed there
An’ I could feel it in my hair,
An’ ist smell clover ever’where!
An’ a old red head flew
Purt’ nigh wite over my high chair,
When we et out on the porch!
THE PASSING OF THE PEACOCKS.
I would rather look at a peacock
than eat him. The feathers of an
angel and the voice of a devil.
The story of this farm would not be complete without a brief rehearsal of my experiences, exciting, varied, and tragic, resulting from the purchase of a magnificent pair of peacocks.
My honest intention on leasing my forty-dollars-a-year paradise was simply to occupy the quaint old house for a season or two as a relief from the usual summer wanderings. I would plant nothing but a few hardy flowers of the old-fashioned kind—an economical and prolonged picnic. In this way I could easily save in three years sufficient funds to make a grand tour du monde.
That was my plan!
For some weeks I carried out this resolution, until an event occurred, which changed the entire current of thought, and transformed a quiet, rural retreat into a scene of frantic activity and gigantic undertaking.
In the early summer I attended a poultry show at Rooster, Mass., and, in a moment of impulsive enthusiasm, was so foolish as to pause and admire and long for a prize peacock, until I was fairly and hopelessly hypnotized by its brilliant plumage.
I reasoned: Anybody can keep hens, “me and Crankin” can raise ducks, geese thrive naturally with me, but a peacock is a rare and glorious possession. The proud scenes he is associated with in mythology, history, and art rushed through my mind with whirlwind rapidity as I stood debating the question. The favorite bird of Juno—she called the metallic spots on its tail the eyes of Argus—imported