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

Florence E. Pratt

Courting in Kentucky

WHEN Mary Ann Dollinger got the skule daown thar on Injun Bay,

I was glad, fer I like ter see a gal makin’ her honest way.

I heerd some talk in the village abaout her flyin’ high,

Tew high fer busy farmer folks with chores ter do ter fly;

But I paid no sorter attention ter all the talk ontell

She come in her reg’lar boardin’ raound ter visit with us a spell.

My Jake an’ her had been cronies ever since they could walk

An’ it tuk me aback to hear her kerrectin’ him in his talk.

Jake ain’t no hand at grammar, though he hain’t his beat for work;

But I sez ter myself, “Look out, my gal, yer a-foolin’ with a Turk!”

Jake bore it wonderful patient, an’ said in a mournful way,

He p’sumed he was behindhand with the doin’s at Injun Bay.

I remember once he was askin’ for some o’ my Injun buns,

An’ she said he should allus say “them air,” stid o’ “them is” the ones.

Wal, Mary Ann kep’ at him stiddy mornin’ an’ evenin’ long,

Tell he dassent open his mouth for fear o’ talkin’ wrong.

One day I was pickin’ currants daown by the old quince-tree,

When I heerd Jake’s voice a-sayin’, “Be yer willin’ ter marry me?”

An’ Mary Ann kerrectin’, “‘Air ye willin’,’ yeou sh’d say;”

Our Jake he put his foot daown in a plum decided way,

“No wimmen-folks is a-goin’ ter be rearrangin’ me.

Hereafter I says ‘craps,’ ‘them is,’ ‘I calk’late,’ an’ ‘I be.’

Ef folks don’t like my talk, they needn’t hark ter what I say;

But I ain’t a-goin’ to take no sass from folks from Injun Bay.

I asked you free an’ final, ‘Be ye goin’ ter marry me?’”

An’ Mary Ann says, tremblin’, yet anxious-like, “I be.”