Tuesday, October 27, 2015
The Gobble-uns That Gets You
Little Orphant Annie
By James Whitcomb Riley
Little Orphant Annie's come to our house to stay,
An' wash the cups an' saucers up, an' brush the crumbs away,
An' shoo the chickens off the porch, an' dust the hearth, an' sweep,
An' make the fire, an' bake the bread, an' earn her board-an'-keep;
An' all us other children, when the supper-things is done,
We set around the kitchen fire an' has the mostest fun
A-list'nin' to the witch-tales 'at Annie tells about,
An' the Gobble-uns 'at gits you
Wunst they wuz a little boy wouldn't say his prayers,--
An' when he went to bed at night, away up-stairs,
His Mammy heerd him holler, an' his Daddy heerd him bawl,
An' when they turn't the kivvers down, he wuzn't there at all!
An' they seeked him in the rafter-room, an' cubby-hole, an' press,
An' seeked him up the chimbly-flue, an' ever'-wheres, I guess;
But all they ever found wuz thist his pants an' roundabout:--
An' the Gobble-uns 'll git you
An' one time a little girl 'ud allus laugh an' grin,
An' make fun of ever' one, an' all her blood-an'-kin;
An' wunst, when they was "company," an' ole folks wuz there,
She mocked 'em an' shocked 'em, an' said she didn't care!
An' thist as she kicked her heels, an' turn't to run an' hide,
They wuz two great big Black Things a-standin' by her side,
An' they snatched her through the ceilin' 'fore she knowed what she's about!
An' the Gobble-uns 'll git you
An' little Orphant Annie says, when the blaze is blue,
An' the lamp-wick sputters, an' the wind goes woo-oo!
An' you hear the crickets quit, an' the moon is gray,
An' the lightnin'-bugs in dew is all squenched away,--
You better mind yer parunts, an' yer teachurs fond an' dear,
An' churish them 'at loves you, an' dry the orphant's tear,
An' he'p the pore an' needy ones 'at clusters all about,
Er the Gobble-uns 'll git you
This is especially effective when read aloud in a low, spooky voice. Find a child or two and thrill ’em!
Last Wednesday a small group of us from St. George’s Episcopal Church rode in two cars down to LaCrosse, Wisconsin, to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe. (If you want an interesting story, look up the facts of that visitation, which happened in Mexico City back in the 1500s.) We drove down along the Mississippi on the Wisconsin side, which I’d never done before. It was so absolutely gorgeous a ride it took my breath away. Rising hills on the left covered with small meadows and large forests ablaze with autumn colors and here and there small, quaint towns; and on the right a broad, winding river. We came home on the Minnesota side, which was almost as beautiful and lined here and there with tall bluffs and newer towns. I drove my husband’s old Lexus, which was like driving a couch, with its tan leather seats and luxurious suspension. The shrine, by the way, is set in eighty acres of forested land with a number of buildings, including a big, magnificent church.
We’re leaving Thursday morning for Indianapolis, to attend Magna cum Murder, sponsored by Ball State University, at The Columbia Club Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Then Ellen will fly home and I’ll go to Marshall, Illinois, for a Pulver family reunion. There will be at least thirty people in attendance, some I know, and some I’ve never met. (A setup for a great murder mystery if ever there was one.)