Author of Pirates in Oz, The Princess of Cozytown, etc.
Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, August 26, 1917.
O-o-o-o-h, listen, my dears, to the wonderful'st tale
You most ever heard of--O-o-o-h! Listen!
Just so many miles to the east by nor'east
Is a field where the corn tassels glisten
Like gold in the sunshine, and guarding the field
Stands a scarecrow, most fearfully grim,
And our story is all of a dear little girl,
Of a wonderful kingdom and him!
One day, in her way through the field, Bettsy May
Lost herself 'mong the tall ears of corn;
Hither and thither she ran, nor knew whither,
Till frightened and scared and forlorn
At last she sank down in a sad little heap;
And being both hungry and weary
She hugged up her dolly and started to weep;
When all at once--all at once, deary--
She heard a great swishing, a rustle and then
Coming near with a jerkety gait;
Oh, my goodness, whoever would guess or suppose!
The most funniest figure--just wait!
'Twas the scarecrow; and bowing politely he took
Off his hat. "Little girl will you go
And have lunch with me? You and your pretty doll, too.
They are waiting for us down below."
And though his one leg was a broomstick, and though
'Tother one was a fence board, the way
That he spoke was so kind Bettsy May didn't mind
How he looked, but sighed: "Oh, sir, today
We were going to have waffles for luncheon, and oh,
How I love them! Hot waffles and honey!"
"Just the thing that his Majesty mentioned to me
He was having for luncheon--how funny!
But corn shucks and corn ears! I'm hungry--let's hurry
For 'tis growing uncommonly late
And if there's one thing that enrages the King
It is having to stop--or to wait."
At this the queer creature jumped thrice in the air,
And at this Bettsy May heard a crash--
Next minute the three were a falling somewhere--
"Oh, I hope that my dolly don't smash!"
Thought Bettsy, but soon they all landed as lightly
As feathers; the little girl gasped,
For she felt she could hardly be seeing things rightly,
Her doll in her arms tightly clasped
She stood gazing--for THERE was a PALACE immense
A palace most gorgeous, my dears,
And strangest of all it was beautifully built
From a million pale golden corn ears!
And strange corn-ear people in robes of pale green
In twos and threes walked up and down--
While a sign at the cross roads in letters of gold
Said, "Most welcome to Corn-Cob Town."
Before she had seen half enough, the Scarecrow
Took her arm and together they hurried
Into the Corn Palace. "Well, there you are, Jim!
I declare, we'd begun to grow worried!"
Spoke up the Corn King, and if you want to know
Just the way that he looked when he said it
Look there at his picture--his crown and his robe
And his scepter--right after you've read it.
The Queen patted Bettsy, the King called her "DEAR,"
And the Corn Courtiers said, "So glad you are here."
And together the company filed out to the hall
And sat down to the table. "Oh, cheer up!"
A singer-man hummed, while the orchestra strummed,
"For we've lovely corn fritters and syrup."
There was corn pone and pudding,
And corn on the cob--
And popcorn a sizzling
Away on the hob!
And when they had finished
Their con starch they rose
And walked 'round the corner,
High up on their toes;
And all wished each other
A very fine day
In Cornish, and right in the midst
Closed her eyes for a minute;
A flash and a flare,
And next thing she knew
She was quite out of there.
(So I'm afraid I can't tell you any more.)
THE FORGETFUL POET
By Ruth Plumly Thompson
Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, November 26, 1916.
The Forgetful Poet tossed off a Thanksgiving poem for you. It sounds mighty queer to me, and I wonder whether you can fix it up. It seems to me that these verses are sort of vice versa!
Thanksgiving Day, the dinner
Was delicious, football brown,
Stuffed with cheers and colored flags,
To chase the football down.
And then I saw the finest game
Of turkey, nuts rang out
And pumpkin pies waved till I
Scarce knew what I was about!
He wants to know when George Washington was chastised and what animal is this:
"The head of a snake,
the neck of a drake,
A back like a beam,
A side like a bream,
The foot of a cat
And the tail of a rat."
Last week's answers were: House, Liverpool and Bark.
[Answers next time]
Copyright © 2002 Eric Shanower and David Maxine. All rights reserved.