Bud's Fairy-Tale

A poem by James Whitcomb Riley

Some peoples thinks they ain't no Fairies now
No more yet! - But they is, I bet! 'Cause ef
They wuzn't Fairies, nen I' like to know
Who'd w'ite 'bout Fairies in the books, an' tell
What Fairies does, an' how their picture looks,
An' all an' ever'thing! W'y, ef they don't
Be Fairies anymore, nen little boys
'U'd ist sleep when they go to sleep an' wont
Have ist no dweams at all, - 'Cause Fairies - good
Fairies - they're a-purpose to make dweams!
But they is Fairies - an' I know they is!
'Cause one time wunst, when its all Summertime,
An' don't haf to be no fires in the stove
Er fireplace to keep warm wiv - ner don't haf
To wear old scwatchy flannen shirts at all,
An' aint no fweeze - ner cold - ner snow! - An' - an'
Old skweeky twees got all the gween leaves on
An' ist keeps noddin', noddin' all the time,
Like they 'uz lazy an' a-twyin' to go
To sleep an' couldn't, 'cause the wind won't quit
A-blowin' in 'em, an' the birds won't stop
A-singin' so's they kin. - But twees don't sleep,
I guess! But little boys sleeps - an' dweams, too. -
An' that's a sign they's Fairies.

So, one time,
When I ben playin' "Store" wunst over in
The shed of their old stable, an' Ed Howard
He maked me quit a-bein' pardners, 'cause
I dwinked the 'tend-like sody-water up
An' et the shore-nuff cwackers. - W'y, nen I
Clumbed over in our garden where the gwapes
Wuz purt'-nigh ripe: An' I wuz ist a-layin'
There on th' old cwooked seat 'at Pa maked in
Our arber, - an' so I 'uz layin' there
A-whittlin' beets wiv my new dog-knife, an'
A-lookin' wite up through the twimbly leaves -
An' wuzn't 'sleep at all! - An'-sir! - first thing
You know, a little Fairy hopped out there!
A leetle-teenty Fairy! - hope-may-die!
An' he look' down at me, he did - An' he
Ain't bigger'n a yellerbird! - an' he
Say "Howdy-do!" he did - an' I could hear
Him - ist as plain!

Nen I say "Howdy-do!"
An' he say "I'm all hunkey, Nibsey; how
Is your folks comin' on?"

An' nen I say
"My name ain't 'Nibsey,' neever - my name's Bud.
An' what's your name?" I says to him.

An'he
Ist laugh an' say "'Bud's' awful funny name!"
An' he ist laid back on a big bunch o' gwapes
An' laugh' an' laugh', he did - like somebody
'Uz tick-el-un his feet!

An' nen I say -
"What's your name," nen I say, "afore you bust
Yo'-se'f a-laughin' 'bout my name?" I says.
An' nen he dwy up laughin' - kindo' mad -
An' say "W'y, my name's Squidjicum," he says.
An' nen I laugh an' say - "Gee! what a name!"
An' when I make fun of his name, like that,
He ist git awful mad an' spunky, an'
'Fore you know, he ist gwabbed holt of a vine -
A big long vine 'at's danglin' up there, an'
He ist helt on wite tight to that, an' down
He swung quick past my face, he did, an' ist
Kicked at me hard's he could!

But I'm too quick
Fer Mr. Squidjicum! I ist weached out
An' ketched him, in my hand - an' helt him, too,
An' squeezed him, ist like little wobins when
They can't fly yet an' git flopped out their nest.
An' nen I turn him all wound over, an'
Look at him clos't, you know - wite clos't, - 'cause ef
He is a Fairy, w'y, I want to see
The wings he's got - But he's dwessed up so fine
'At I can't see no wings. - An' all the time
He's twyin' to kick me yet: An' so I take
F'esh holts an' squeeze agin - an' harder, too;
An' I says, "Hold up, Mr. Squidjicum! -
You're kickin' the w'ong man!" I says; an' nen
I ist squeeze' him, purt'-nigh my best, I did -
An' I heerd somepin' bust! - An' nen he cwied
An' says, "You better look out what you're doin'! -
You' bust' my spiderweb-suspen'ners, an'
You' got my woseleaf-coat all cwinkled up
So's I can't go to old Miss Hoodjicum's
Tea-party, 's'afternoon!"

An' nen I says -
"Who's 'old Miss Hoodjicum'?" I says

An'he
Says "Ef you lemme loose I'll tell you."

So
I helt the little skeezics 'way fur out
In one hand - so's he can't jump down t' th' ground
Wivout a-gittin' all stove up: an' nen
I says, "You're loose now. - Go ahead an' tell
'Bout the 'tea-party' where you're goin' at
So awful fast!" I says.

An' nen he say, -
"No use to tell you 'bout it, 'cause you won't
Believe it, 'less you go there your own se'f
An' see it wiv your own two eyes!" he says.
An' he says: "Ef you lemme shore-nuff loose,
An' p'omise 'at you'll keep wite still, an' won't
Tetch nothin' 'at you see - an' never tell
Nobody in the world - an' lemme loose -
W'y, nen I'll take you there!"

But I says, "Yes
An' ef I let you loose, you'll run!" I says.
An' he says "No, I won't! - I hope may die!"
Nen I says, "Cwoss your heart you won't!"

An'he
Ist cwoss his heart; an' nen I weach an' set
The little feller up on a long vine -
An' he 'uz so tickled to git loose agin,
He gwab' the vine wiv boff his little hands
An' ist take an' turn in, he did, an' skin
'Bout forty-'leven cats!

Nen when he git
Through whirlin' wound the vine, an' set on top
Of it agin, w'y nen his "woseleaf-coat"
He bwag so much about, it's ist all tored
Up, an' ist hangin' strips an' rags - so he
Look like his Pa's a dwunkard. An' so nen
When he see what he's done - a-actin' up
So smart, - he's awful mad, I guess; an' ist
Pout out his lips an' twis' his little face
Ist ugly as he kin, an' set an' tear
His whole coat off - an' sleeves an' all. - An' nen
He wad it all togevver an' ist throw
It at me ist as hard as he kin dwive!

An' when I weach to ketch him, an' 'uz goin'
To give him 'nuvver squeezin', he ist flewed
Clean up on top the arber! - 'Cause, you know,
They wuz wings on him - when he tored his coat
Clean off - they wuz wings under there. But they
Wuz purty wobbly-like an' wouldn't work
Hardly at all - 'Cause purty soon, when I
Throwed clods at him, an' sticks, an' got him shooed
Down off o' there, he come a-floppin' down
An' lit k-bang! on our old chicken-coop,
An' ist laid there a-whimper'n' like a child!
An' I tiptoed up wite clos't, an' I says "What's
The matter wiv ye, Squidjicum?"

An'he
Says: "Dog-gone! when my wings gits stwaight agin,
Where you all cwumpled 'em," he says, "I bet
I'll ist fly clean away an' won't take you
To old Miss Hoodjicum's at all!" he says.
An' nen I ist weach out wite quick, I did,
An' gwab the sassy little snipe agin -
Nen tooked my topstwing an' tie down his wings
So's he can't fly, 'less'n I want him to!
An' nen I says: "Now, Mr. Squidjicum,
You better ist light out," I says, "to old
Miss Hoodjicum's, an' show me how to git
There, too," I says; "er ef you don't," I says,
"I'll climb up wiv you on our buggy-shed
An' push you off!" I says.

An nen he say
All wight, he'll show me there; an' tell me nen
To set him down wite easy on his feet,
An' loosen up the stwing a little where
It cut him under th' arms. An' nen he says,
"Come on!" he says; an' went a-limpin' 'long
The garden-path - an' limpin' 'long an' 'long
Tel - purty soon he come on 'long to where's
A grea'-big cabbage-leaf. An' he stoop down
An' say "Come on inunder here wiv me!"
So I stoop down an' crawl inunder there,
Like he say.

An' inunder there's a grea'
Big clod, they is - a awful grea' big clod!
An' nen he says, "Roll this-here clod away!"
An' so I roll' the clod away. An' nen
It's all wet, where the dew'z inunder where
The old clod wuz, - an' nen the Fairy he
Git on the wet-place: Nen he say to me
"Git on the wet-place, too!" An' nen he say,
"Now hold yer breff an' shet yer eyes!" he says,
"Tel I say Squinchy-winchy!" Nen he say -
Somepin in Dutch, I guess. - An' nen I felt
Like we 'uz sinkin' down - an' sinkin' down! -
Tel purty soon the little Fairy weach
An' pinch my nose an' yell at me an' say,
"Squinchy-winchy! Look wherever you please!"
Nen when I looked - Oh! they 'uz purtyest place
Down there you ever saw in all the World! -
They 'uz ist flowers an' woses - yes, an' twees
Wiv blossoms on an' big ripe apples boff!
An' butterflies, they wuz - an' hummin'-birds -
An' yellowbirds an' bluebirds - yes, an' red! -
An' ever'wheres an' all awound 'uz vines
Wiv ripe p'serve-pears on 'em! - Yes, an' all
An' ever'thing 'at's ever gwowin' in
A garden - er canned up - all ripe at wunst! -
It wuz ist like a garden - only it
'Uz little tit o' garden - 'bout big wound
As ist our twun'el-bed is. - An' all wound
An' wound the little garden's a gold fence -
An' little gold gate, too - an' ash-hopper
'At's all gold, too - an' ist full o' gold ashes!
An' wite in th' middle o' the garden wuz
A little gold house, 'at's ist 'bout as big
As ist a bird-cage is: An' in the house
They 'uz whole-lots more Fairies there - 'cause I
Picked up the little house, an 'peeked in at
The winders, an' I see 'em all in there
Ist buggin' wound! An' Mr. Squidjicum
He twy to make me quit, but I gwab him,
An' poke him down the chimbly, too, I did! -
An' y'ort to see him hop out 'mongst 'em there!
Ist like he 'uz the boss an' ist got back! -
"Hain't ye got on them-air dew-dumplin's yet?"
He says.

An' they says no.

An' nen he says
"Better git at 'em nen!" he says, "wite quick -
'Cause old Miss Hoodjicum's a-comin'!"

Nen
They all set wound a little gold tub - an'
All 'menced a-peelin' dewdwops, ist like they
'Uz peaches. - An', it looked so funny, I
Ist laugh' out loud, an' dwopped the little house, -
An' 't busted like a soap-bubble! - An't skeered
Me so, I - I - I - I, - it skeered me so,
I - ist waked up. - No! I ain't ben asleep
An' dream it all, like you think, - but it's shore
Fer-certain fact an' cwoss my heart it is!

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