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The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes. 1906.

James Whitcomb Riley (1849–1916)

A Liz-Town Humorist

From “Afterwhiles”

SETTIN’ round the stove, last night,

Down at Wess’s store, was me

And Mart Strimples, Tunk, and White,

And Doc Bills, and two er three

Fellers of the Mudsock tribe

No use tryin’ to describe!

And says Doc, he says, says he—

“Talkin’ ’bout good things to eat,

Ripe mushmillon’s hard to beat!”

I chawed on. And Mart he ’lowed

Wortermillon beat the mush—

“Red,” he says, “and juicy—Hush!—

I’ll jes’ leave it to the crowd!”

Then a Mudsock chap, says he—

“Punkin’s good enough fer me—

Punkin pies, I mean,” he says—

“Them beats millons! What say, Wess?”

I chawed on. And Wess says—“Well,

You jes’ fetch that wife of mine

All yer wortermillon-rine,

And she’ll bile it down a spell—

In with sorgum, I suppose,

And what else, Lord only knows!—

But I’m here to tell all hands,

Them p’serves meets my demands!”

I chawed on. And White he says—

“Well, I’ll jes’ stand in with Wess—

I’m no hog!” And Tunk says—“I

Guess I’ll pastur’ out on pie

With the Mudsock boys!” says he;

“Now what’s yourn?” he says to me:

I chawed on—fer quite a spell—

Then I speaks up, slow and dry—

“Jes’ tobacker!” I-says-I—

And you’d orto’ heerd ’em yell!