Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Little Orphan Annie

Just came across an old book of poetry by James Whitcomb Riley, and couldn't help but smile when I came across this story. It was one of my favorites when I was a kid. I remember Dad reading it to me in the perfect "story-teller" voice. It would give me chills when he would get to the part about the gobble-uns!!!! So, anyway, I thought I'd share..... Enjoy!!!
To all the little children: -- The happy ones; and sad ones;The sober and the silent ones; the boisterous and glad ones;The good ones -- Yes, the good ones, too; and all the lovely bad ones.

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'
An' make the fire, an' bake the bread, an' earn her board-an'-
An' all us other childern, 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
Ef 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'
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
Ef 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
Ef 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
Ef you


Olive_12 said...

Manda had to memorize some of that poem! I remember.

alli-gal said...

I think Aunt Sissy and Uncle Dale read that story to me when I was little too.

Andrea said...

Mom used to read that to me and she used a really good voice - the gobblin's part was REAAAAAALLLLLY scary!

I can still hear mom reading it if I really think about it.

s-hooks said...

Wow...that's something else when you read it rather than having it read to you when you're little!!

enN2sp said...

Yeah, Olive-12 is right in the 3rd grade she had to memorize the whole poem.
Her clas even went to the Whitcomb Riley museum and they ever resighted to poem to the tour guide.
It was fun to look at all the OLD thing in there.
I think she still has some of the things from there I have a napkin with the poem on it.

alli-gal said...

I would like to go see that old house. The beginning of my book has a little history about his life. It was really interesting to read about things going on back in the 1800's on Lockerbie street in Indianapolis. Clint hangs out in a bar on that street. I think I've been there before too.

mike n. said...

My mother used to read the poem to me, at bedtime yet, using her scariest voice. My room was way at the top of the stairs, and only had one light and a closet. I was about three or four and I could identify with the little boy in the story. I particularly remember the line which read "and when they turned the covers down, he wasn't there at all. Mom always put emphasis on this line. After I wet the bed a few times, she finally figured out what was wrong. But I still loved the poem. And I later knew a little girl who was just like the one in the story.

alli-gal said...

Brings back a lot of memories, doesn't it........