Author of Handy Mandy in Oz, "The Wizard of Pumperdink," "King, King! Double King!" etc.
Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, August 30, 1914.
This is the story of a pear who fell in love with a peach! It all happened because the pear and peach tree mothers WOULD chat over the garden wall! While they were discussing the weather, the east wind and things like that, their two finest children were bobbing and ducking at one another in a shocking fashion.
The pear thought he had never seen so fair a lady as the radiant peach (indeed, she was the very finest peach on the tree). What the peach thought of the pear I cannot tell you, but, at any rate, she danced in her most heart-breaking fashion. The poor pear almost wrenched himself from his branch, so as not to lose sight of her for even a second.
That NIGHT, when all the other peaches and pears had retired under their leaves and gone to sleep, the finest pear was still awake. So was the finest peach. They said a good bit to each other in their peach and pear way, and at last the pear asked the peach to run off with him. She said that she would. “We’ll travel all over the garden,” said he, “and you will never need to be eaten up at ALL. I tell you, we will be a handsome pair! But now, when I count three, make ready to jump, and I will jump, also!” (I think he called her Sweetheart, but I am not sure.)
“One!” began the pear, swinging gently, “Two! Now, then, are you ready?” he called at last, and DOWN he went crashing through the leaves to the ground.
But what of the peach? My dears—she never jumped at all, but danced more gaily than ever up in the tree. “Ho! Ho! Mr. Pear,” she called wickedly, “I hope you are not very much smashed!” The pear answered never a word, for he was smashed to bits indeed. And the sad reason of it all was this—the peach under all of her rosy blushes had a heart of STONE—and the pear—the pear had a soft spot in his side.
Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, May 26, 1918
Spring Housecleaning in Supposyville
The tang of suds is in the air,
Of paint and tar and putty,
And woe betide all dust and rust
And everything that’s smutty!
Supposyville’s so thorough that
When once it starts a-cleaning
It sends the winter’s dinginess
Like autumn leaves careening.
The good dames mobilize and, armed
With brushes, soap and pails,
Are followed by the men folks
Weighted down with paint and nails.
The army of invasion takes
The kingdom quite by storm.
From end to end, from house to house
The good Supposies swarm.
And not a spot is left unscrubbed,
Not even roofs or hidden grooves
Or puppy dogs are spared.
The Queen, with sleeves rolled up, is in
The window-washing group;
Sir Solomon Tremendous Wise
He bosses the whole troop.
The King, who simply loves to paint,
Now wields a brush with vim;
His crown awry, himself perched high
On swinging board so slim.
I tremble for the folks below—
Ah, well! The rope is strong,
And in Supposyville they never
Nurse their bruises long.
And would you just believe it, dears
And ducks, all through this season
They carry umbrellas, and,
I say, ’tis done with reason.
For water gushes from the roofs
And charges out each door;
From every shingle, ledge and wedge
Cascades of soapsuds pour.
But, oh! they have the finest lark.
I wonder, honeys, whether
We’ll ever learn to work that way,
All happily together.
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