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The Story of Ugly Frederick

O waly me! O waly me!
Just such a boy I ne'er did see.
He caught the flies, poor helpless things,
Made hoppers of them, minus wings.
He killed the birds, where'er he could,
And catless made the neighborhood;
And worst of all that he did do,
He banged the housemaid black and blue.

A dog stood drinking at a pump –
The way he made that doglet jump!
He sneaked upon him unaware,
He whacked him here, he whacked him there,
He whacked with all his might and main,
He made him howl and dance with pain,
Until, o'ercome by woe and grief,
The dog, desiring some relief,
Did bite that brutal boy full sore,
Which made the latter prance and roar.
And then the dog did grab the whip,
And with it homeward he did skip.

To bed the boy had to go
And nurse his bite and wail his woe,
The while the Doctor healing brings
And loads him up with drugs and things.

And all this time the dog below
Sings praises soft and sweet and low
O'er Fred'rick's dinner waiting there
For Fred'rick (or for Fred'rick's heir).
The dog's his heir, and this estate
That dog inherits, and will ate.*

He hangs the whip upon the chair,
And mounts aloft and seats him there;
He sips the wine, so rich and red,
And feels it swimming in his head.
He munches grateful at the cake,
And wishes he might never wake
From this debauch; while think by think
His thoughts dream on, and link by link
The liver-sausage disappears,
And his hurt soul relents in tears.

*My child, never use an expression like that. It is utterly unprincipled and outrageous to say ate when you mean eat, and you must never do it except when crowded for a rhyme. As you grow up you will find that poetry is a sandy road to travel, and the only way to pull through at all is to lay your grammar down and take hold with both hands.

M. T.


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