Classic and Contemporary Poetry
THOMAS THE PRETENDER, by JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY Poet's Biography
First Line: Tommy's alluz playin' jokes
Last Line: "an' grease the welts, ""pore pa! Pore pa!"
Alternate Author Name(s): Johnson Of Boone, Benj. F.
Subject(s): Children; Family Life; Jokes; Childhood; Relatives
TOMMY'S alluz playin' jokes,
An' actin' up, an' foolin' folks;
An' wunst one time he creep
In Pa's big chair, he did, one night,
An/ squint an' shut his eyes bofe tight,
An' say, "Now I'm asleep."
An' nen we knowed, an' Ma know' too,
He ain't asleep no more'n you!
An' wunst he clumbed on our backfence
An' flop his arms an' nen commence
To crow, like he's a hen;
But when he falled off, like he done,
He didn't fool us children none,
Ner didn't crow again.
An' our Hired Man, as he come by,
Says, "Tom can't crow, but he kin cry."
An' one time wunst Tom 'tend'-like he's
His Pa an' goin' to rob the bees;
An', first he know -- oh, dear!
They ist come swarmin' out o' there
An' sting him, an' stick in his hair --
An' one got in his yeer! --
An' Uncle sigh an' say to Ma,
An' grease the welts, "Pore Pa! pore Pa!"
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