That Little Dog

A poem by 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."

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