Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A VERMONT CHICKEN BUYER, by DANIEL LEAVENS CADY

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

A VERMONT CHICKEN BUYER, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: When stronger grew november's cold
Last Line: With other chaps and chickens.
Subject(s): Business; Chickens; Holidays; Thanksgiving; Vermont; Businessmen; Businesswomen

WHEN stronger grew November's cold
And Boreas used to bellow,
There never failed to come along
Another breezy fellow;
He wore his hair like Walter Scott,
His whiskers much like Dickens—
Was he an author? He was not,
He used to buy our chickens.

You should have seen him anytime
When he was 'round a-buying,
He'd reach right up inside the air
And catch a chicken flying;
And as I hear the piercing squawk
The air with feathers thickens—
It took a lot of squawk and talk
To buy our folkses' chickens.

He'd hold a big raw rooster up
And blow all through the feathers—
I see him blow, I feel the fuzz
That on his mustash gathers;
And then he'd growl, "They ain't quite ripe,
Good corn the white meat thickens,
Jest give 'em anything but tripe—
I want the choicest chickens."

He went to Boston every Fall
A week before Thanksgiving,
And sold the frozen birds he'd bought
When they was warm and living;
He rode inside the red caboose
Along with drover Pickens,
And you jest bet he jest cut loose
With half a car of chickens.

'Twas great to see him "taking in"
This side the railroad station;
He'd thumb a pullet to the point
Of exarticulation,
Then holler "Foul!" and sling the bird,
It surely beat the Dickens,
You'd think that he was playing third
Instead of packing chickens.

Each year before he started trade
He borrowed fifty dollars
Of grandpa Tripp, to get up steam—
Of course you know what follers,
For when he said, "I can't pay back,"
Then grandpa's language quickens;
Says he, "You'll lose your homestead, Jack,
A-buying folkses' chickens."

We used to watch his face come home
From Boston—if 'twas sunny
We knew that he had likely made
A rattling pile of money;
I still can see his eyebrows dance,
Or else the frown that thickens—
He played the game and took his chance
With other chaps and chickens.

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