Successful Recitations eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 540 pages of information about Successful Recitations.

I ask him vot he means py “Poots me town,” und den he says he vas von off der tax-men, or assessors off broperty, und he tank me so kintly as nefer vas, pecause he say I vas sooch an honest Deutscher, und tidn’t dry und sheat der gofermants.

I dells you vot it vos, I tidn’t veel any more petter as a hundert ber cent, ven dot man valks oudt of mine schtore, und der nexd dime I makes free mit strangers I vinds first deir peesnis oudt.

THE OWL CRITIC.

JAMES T. FIELDS, IN “HARPER’S MAGAZINE.”

   “Who stuffed that white owl?” No one spoke in the shop! 
   The barber was busy, and he couldn’t stop! 
   The customers, waiting their turns, were all reading
   The Daily, the Herald, the Post, little heeding
   The young man who blurted out such a blunt question;
   Not one raised a head or even made a suggestion;
       And the barber kept on shaving.

   “Don’t you see, Mister Brown,”
   Cried the youth with a frown,
   “How wrong the whole thing is,
   How preposterous each wing is,
   How flattened the head is, how jammed down the neck is—­
   In short, the whole owl, what an ignorant wreck ’tis! 
   I make no apology, I’ve learned owl-eology. 
   I’ve passed days and nights in a hundred collections,
   And cannot be blinded to any deflections
   Arising from unskilful fingers that fail
   To stuff a bird right, from his beak to his tail. 
   Mister Brown!  Mister Brown!  Do take that bird down,
   Or you’ll soon be the laughing-stock all over town!”
       And the barber kept on shaving.

   “I’ve studied owls,
   And other night fowls,
   And I tell you
   What I know to be true;
   An owl cannot roost
   With his limbs so unloosed. 
   No owl in this world
   Ever had his claws curled,
   Ever had his legs slanted,
   Ever had his bill canted,
   Ever had his neck screwed
   Into that attitude. 
   He can’t do it, because
   ’Tis against all bird laws,
   Anatomy teaches,
   Ornithology preaches,
   An owl has a toe
   That can’t turn out so! 
   I’ve made the white owl my study for years,
   And to see such a job almost moves me to tears! 
   Mister Brown, I’m amazed
   You should be so gone crazed
   As to put up a bird
   In that posture absurd! 
   To look at that owl really brings on a dizziness;
   The man who stuffed him don’t half know his business!”
       And the barber kept on shaving.

   “Examine those eyes,
   I’m filled with surprise
   Taxidermists should pass
   Off on you such poor glass;
   So unnatural they seem
   They’d, make Audubon scream,
   And John Burroughs laugh
   To encounter such chaff. 
   Do take that bird down: 
   Have him stuffed again, Brown!”
       And the barber kept on shaving.

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Successful Recitations from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.