Dot Leedle Boy

Poem By James Whitcomb Riley

Ot's a leedle Gristmas story
Dot I told der leedle folks--
Und I vant you stop dot laughin'
Und grackin' funny jokes!--
So help me Peter-Moses!
Ot's no time for monkey-shine,
Ober I vast told you somedings
Of dot leedle boy of mine!

Ot vas von cold Vinter vedder,
Ven der snow vas all about--
Dot you have to chop der hatchet
Eef you got der sauerkraut!
Und der cheekens on der hind leg
Vas standin' in der shine
Der sun shmile out dot morning
On dot leedle boy of mine.

He vas yoost a leedle baby
Not bigger as a doll
Dot time I got acquaintet--
Ach! you ought to heard 'im squall!--
I grackys! dot's der moosic
Ot make me feel so fine
Ven first I vas been marriet--
Oh, dot leedle boy of mine!

He look yoost like his fader!--
So, ven der vimmen said,
'Vot a purty leedle baby!'
Katrina shake der head. . . .
I dink she must 'a' notice
Dot der baby vas a-gryin',
Und she cover up der blankets
Of dot leedle boy of mine.

Vel, ven he vas got bigger,
Dot he grawl und bump his nose,
Und make der table over,
Und molasses on his glothes--
Dot make 'im all der sveeter,--
So I say to my Katrine,
'Better you vas quit a-shpankin'
Dot leedle boy of mine!'

No more he vas older
As about a dozen months
He speak der English language
Und der German--bote at vonce!
Und he dringk his glass of lager
Like a Londsman fon der Rhine--
Und I klingk my glass togeder
Mit dot leedle boy of mine!

I vish you could 'a' seen id--
Ven he glimb up on der chair
Und shmash der lookin'-glasses
Ven he try to comb his hair
Mit a hammer!--Und Katrina
Say, 'Dot's an ugly sign!'
But I laugh und vink my fingers
At dot leedle boy of mine.

But vonce, dot Vinter morning,
He shlip out in der snow
Mitout no stockin's on 'im.--
He say he 'vant to go
Und fly some mit der birdies!'
Und ve give 'im medi-cine
Ven he catch der 'parrygoric'--
Dot leedle boy of mine!

Und so I set und nurse 'im,
Vile der Gristmas vas come roun',
Und I told 'im 'bout 'Kriss Kringle,'
How he come der chimbly down:
Und I ask 'im eef he love 'im
Eef he bring 'im someding fine?
'Nicht besser as mein fader,'
Say dot leedle boy of mine.--

Und he put his arms aroun' me
Und hug so close und tight,
I hear der gclock a-tickin'
All der balance of der night! . . .
Someding make me feel so funny
Ven I say to my Katrine,
'Let us go und fill der stockin's
Of dot leedle boy of mine.'

Vell.--Ve buyed a leedle horses
Dot you pull 'im mit a shtring,
Und a leedle fancy jay-bird--
Eef you vant to hear 'im sing
You took 'im by der topknot
Und yoost blow in behine--
Und dot make much spectakel
For dot leedle boy of mine!

Und gandies, nuts und raizens--
Und I buy a leedle drum
Dot I vant to hear 'im rattle
Ven der Gristmas morning come!
Und a leedle shmall tin rooster
Dot vould crow so loud und fine
Ven he sqveeze 'im in der morning,
Dot leedle boy of mine!

Und--vile ve vas a-fixin'--
Dot leedle boy vake out!
I t'ought he been a-dreamin'
'Kriss Kringle' vas about,--
For he say--'DOT'S HIM!--I SEE 'IM
MIT DER SHTARS DOT MAKE DER SHINE!'
Und he yoost keep on a-gryin'--
Dot leedle boy of mine,--
Und gottin' vorse und vorser--
Und tumble on der bed!
So--ven der doctor seen id,
He kindo' shake his head,
Und feel his pulse--und visper,
'Der boy is a-dyin'.'
You dink I could BELIEVE id?--
DOT LEEDLE BOY OF MINE?

I told you, friends--dot's someding,
Der last time dot he speak
Und say, 'GOOT-BY, KRISS KRINGLE!'
--Dot make me feel so veak
I yoost kneel down und drimble,
Und bur-sed out a-gryin',
'MEIN GOTT, MEIN GOTT IN HIMMEL!--
DOT LEEDLE BOY OF MINE!'
. . . . . . . . . .


Der sun don't shine DOT Gristmas!
. . . Eef dot leedle boy vould LIFF'D--
No deefer-en'! for HEAVEN vas
His leedle Gristmas gift!
Und der ROOSTER, und der GANDY,
Und me--und my Katrine--
Und der jay-bird--is awaiting
For dot leedle boy of mine.

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