"That Little Dog"

by James Whitcomb Riley

James Whitcomb Riley

"That little dog 'ud scratch at that door
And go on a-whinin' two hours before
He'd ever let up! _There!_--Jane: Let him in.--
(Hah, there, you little rat!) Look at him grin!
Come down off o' that!--
W'y, look at him! (_Drat
You! you-rascal-you!_)--bring me that hat!
Look _out!_--He'll snap _you!_--_He_ wouldn't let
_You_ take it away from him, now you kin bet!
That little rascal's jist natchurly mean.--
I tell you, I _never_ (_Git out!! _) never seen
A _spunkier_ little rip! (_Scratch to git in_,
And _now_ yer a-scratchin' to git _out_ agin!
Jane: Let him out!) Now, watch him from here
Out through the winder!--You notice one ear
Kindo' _in_ side-_out_, like he holds it?--Well,
_He's_ got a _tick_ in it--_I_ kin tell!
Yes, and he's cunnin'--
Jist watch him a-runnin',
_Sidelin'_--see!--like he ain't '_plum'd true_'
And legs don't 'track' as they'd ort to do:--
Plowin' his nose through the weeds--I jing!
Ain't he jist cuter'n anything!
"W'y, that little dog's got _grown_-people's sense!--
See how he gits out under the fence?--
And watch him a-whettin' his hind-legs 'fore
His dead square run of a miled er more--
'Cause _Noey_'s a-comin', and Trip allus knows
When _Noey_'s a-comin'--and off he goes!--
Putts out to meet him and--_There they come now!_
Well-sir! it's raially singalar how
That dog kin _tell_,--
But he knows as well
When Noey's a-comin' home!--Reckon his _smell_
'Ud carry two miled?--You needn't to _smile_--
He runs to meet _him_, ever'-once-n-a-while,
Two miled and over--when he's slipped away
And left him at home here, as he's done to-day--
'Thout ever knowin' where Noey wuz goin'--
But that little dog allus hits the right way!
Hear him a-whinin' and scratchin' agin?--
(_Little tormentin' fice!_) Jane: Let him in.
"--You say he ain't _there?_--
Well now, I declare!--
Lem _me_ limp out and look! ... I wunder where--
_Heuh_, Trip!--_Heuh_, Trip!--_Heuh_, Trip!... _There_--
_There_ he is!--Little sneak!--What-a'-you-'bout?--
_There_ he is--quiled up as meek as a mouse,
His tail turnt up like a teakittle-spout,
A-sunnin' hisse'f at the side o' the house!
_Next_ time you scratch, sir, you'll haf to git in,
My fine little feller, the best way you kin!
--Noey _he_ learns him sich capers!--And they--
_Both_ of 'em's ornrier every day!--
_Both_ tantalizin' and meaner'n sin--
Allus a--(_Listen there!_)--Jane: Let him in.
"--O! yer so _innocent!_ hangin' yer head!--
(Drat ye! you'd _better_ git under the bed!)
--Listen at that!--
He's tackled the cat!--
Hah, there! you little rip! come out o' that!--
Git yer blame little eyes scratched out
'Fore you know what yer talkin' about!--
_Here!_ come away from there!--(Let him alone--
He'll snap _you_, I tell ye, as quick as a bone!)
_Hi_, Trip!--_Hey_, here!--What-a'-you-'bout!--
_Oo! ouch!_ 'Ll I'll be blamed!--_Blast ye!_ GIT OUT!
... O, it ain't nothin'--jist _scratched_ me, you see.--
Hadn't no idy he'd try to bite _me_!
_Plague take him!_--Bet he'll not try _that_ agin!--
Hear him yelp.--(_Pore feller!_) Jane: Let him in."

Last updated January 14, 2019