Friday, September 28, 2007

Little Orphant Annie

It's almost Halloween. One of the most treasured stories my mom passed down to me was Little Orphan Annie. She would tell us this story as often as we'd let her. I like to tell it now, but my kids are a little old for it now. When Megan was in the 4th grade, I was the room parent, and I told this story. At the end you shout out-and when I did, even the other parents jumped. It was great.

Little Orphant Annie
by James Whitcomb Riley
7 October 1849-22 July 1916

Little Orphant Annie's come to our house to stay,
An' wash the cups and saucers up, an' brush the crumbs away.
An' shoo the chickens off the porch,
an' dust the hearth, an' sweep,
An' make the fire, an' bake the bread,
an' earn her board-an'-keep;
An' all us other children, 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 Don't Watch Out!

Onc't they was a little boy wouldn't say his prayers,
--So when he went to bed at night, away upstairs,
His Mammy heerd him holler,
an' his Daddy heerd him bawl,An' when they turn't the kivvers down,
he wasn't there at all!
An' they seeked him in the ratter room, an' cubbyhole, an' press,
An' seeked him up the chimbly flue, an' ever'wheres, I guess;
But all they ever found was thist his pants an' roundabout:
--An' the Gobble-uns 'll git you
Ef you Don't Watch Out!

An' one time a little girl 'ud allus laugh an' grin,
An' make fun of ever'one, an' all her blood an' kin;
An' onc't, when they was "company", an' ole folks was there,
She mocked 'em an she shocked 'em, an' said she didn't care!
An' thist as she kicked her heels, an' turn't to run an' hide,
There was 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
Don't Watch Out!

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 parents, and yer teachers 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 Don't Watch Out!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fantastic! I know this one by heart, and my mother used to love to recite the raggedy man. At the risk of being pedantic, I did some research on some of the references in Orphant Annie: The cubby hole is usually a narrow nook or closet next to the fireplace. The press is the root cellar, and of course the rafter room is the attic. I also deduced that a "roundabout" is a wrapped garment that functions as an undershirt. The last couple of times I recited this it was to my Advanced Placement English class. They were mesmerized and uttered not a peep of laughter at "and yer teachers, fond and dear." What a great blog you have. Do you know Riley's "when father carves the duck?" Dad had to recite this one each Thanksgiving.