Classic and Contemporary Poetry
RABBIT, by JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY Poet's Biography
First Line: I s'pose it takes a feller 'at's be'n
Last Line: Fer eatin' purposes!
Alternate Author Name(s): Johnson Of Boone, Benj. F.
Subject(s): Animals; Country Life; Rabbits; Youth; Hares
I S'POSE it takes a feller 'at's be'n
Raised in a country-town, like me,
To 'preciate rabbits! . . . Eight er ten
Bellerin' boys and two er three
Yelpin' dawgs all on the trail
O' one little pop-eyed cottontail!
'Bout the first good fall o' snow --
So's you kin track 'em, don't you know,
Where they've run, -- and one by one
Hop 'em up and chase 'em down
And prod 'em out of a' old bresh-pile
Er a holler log they're a-hidin' roun',
Er, way en-nunder the ricked cord-wood
Er crosstie-stack by the railroad track
'Bout a mile
Out o' sight o' the whole ding town! . . .
Well! them's times 'at I call good!
Rabbits! -- w'y, as my thoughts goes back
To them old boyhood days o' mine,
I kin sic him now and see "Old Jack"
A-plowin' snow in a rabbit-track
And a-pitchin' over him, head and heels,
Like a blame' hat-rack,
As the rabbit turns fer the timber-line
Down the County Ditch through the old cornfields. . . .
Yes, and I'll say right here to you,
Rabbits that boys has earnt, like that --
Skinned and hung fer a night or two
On the old back-porch where the pump's done froze --
Then fried 'bout right, where your brekfust's at,
With hot brown gravy and shortenin' bread, --
Rabbits, like them -- er I ort to 'a' said,
Rabbits like those
Ain't so p'ticalar pore, I guess,
Fer eatin' purposes!
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