WHEN GRAN'PA WAS YOUNG
(A Boy's Thanksgiving.)

My gran'pa 'lowed ole Satan's curse
       Had fell upon creation.
An that the world was gittin worse
       With ev'ry gineration.
"Why, when I was a boy," said he --
       An then he'd tell some story
That allus made him out to be
       An angel crowned with glory.

A tinker came Thanksgivin' day
       To mend the pots and kittles,
An in addition to his pay
       He et his fill o' vittles.
While gran'pa sot and talked around
       Of one thing an another
Until the two ole felluz found
       They ust to know each other.

"D'ye mind the times," the tinker said,
       "We licked the district teacher,
An tarred the Watson baby's head,
       An rotten-egged the preacher!
D'ye mind the night we stole the brine
       An poured it in the melons,
An hung the undertaker's sign
       Jest under Doc McClellan's!

"An say, d'ye mind the Sunday night
       'Twas blowin so, an sleetin,
We stuffed the ole church chimley tight
       An smoked 'em out o' meetin?
An then, the time we bored the wood
       An loaded it with powder,
An no one ever understood
       What blowed the stove to chowder."

They gassed along an hour or more,
       Not knowin I was layin
A-listenin behind the door
       To all that they was sayin.
An never was Thanksgivin day
       So full o' real Thanksgivin
As when I heard my gran'pa say:
       "By cracky! that was livin."

                        --- Willis B. Hawkins

published in the Oakland Republican
November 21, 1901; Oakland, Nebraska



© Oldtime Nebraska -- When Gran'pa was Young, submitted by Bill Wever - June 1998