Mon Choual "Castor"

A poem by William Henry Drummond

I'm poor man, me, but I buy las' May
Wan horse on de Comp'nie Passengaire,
An' auction feller w'at sole heem say
She's out of de full-breed "Messengaire."

Good trotter stock, also galluppe,
But work long tam on de city car,
Of course she's purty well break heem up,
So come leetle cheap, twenty-wan dollarre.

Firs' chance I sen' heem on St. Cesaire,
W'ere I t'ink he's have moche better sight,
Mebbe de grass an' de contree air
Very soon was feex heem up all right.

I lef' heem dere till de fall come 'long,
An' dat trotter he can't eat grass no more,
An' w'en I go dere, I fin' heem strong
Lak not'ing I never see before.

I heetch heem up on de light sulkee,
L'enfant! dat horse he is cover groun'!
Don't tak' long tam for de crowd to see
Mon choual he was leek all trotter roun'.

Come down de race course lak' oiseau
Tail over datch boar', nice you please,
Can't tell for sure de quick he go,
S'pose somew'ere 'bout two, t'ree forties.

I treat ma frien' on de whiskey blanc,
An' we drink "Castor" he's bonne santé
From L'Achigan to St. Armand,
He's bes' horse sure on de whole comté.

'Bout week on front of dis, Lalime,
Dat man drive horse call "Clevelan' Bay"
Was challenge, so I match wit' heem
For wan mile heat on straight away.

Dat's twenty dollarre on wan side,
De lawyer's draw de paper out,
But if dem trotter come in tied,
Wall! all dat monee's go on spout.

Nex' t'ing ma backer man, Labrie,
Tak' off his catch-book vingt cinq cents,
An' toss Lalime bes' two on t'ree
For see who's go on inside fence.

Bateese Lalime, he's purty smart,
An' gain dat toss wit' jockey trick.
I don't care me, w'en "Castor" start,
Very soon I t'ink he's mak' heem sick.

Beeg crowd of course was dere for see
Dem trotter on de grand match race
Some people come from St. Remi
An' some from plaintee 'noder place.

W'en all is ready, flag was fall
An' way dem trotter pass on fence
Lak not'ing you never see at all,
It mak' me t'ink of "St. Lawrence."

"Castor," hees tail was stan' so straight
Could place chapeau on de en' of top
An' w'en he struck two forty gait
Don't seem he's never go for stop.

Wall! dat's all right for firs' half mile
W'en Clevelan' Bay commence for break,
Dat mak' me feel very moche lak smile,
I'm sure "Castor" he's took de cake.

But Lalime pull heem hard on line
An' stop "Clevelan'" before go far,
It's all no good, he can't ketch mine
I'm go more quicker lak express car.

I'm feel all right for my monee,
For sure mon Choual he's took firs' place,
W'en 'bout arpent from home, sapré,
Somet'ing she's happen, I'm los' de race.

Wan bad boy he's come out on track,
I cannot see dat bad boy's han';
He's hol' somet'ing behin' hees back,
It was small bell, I understan'.

Can spik for dat, ma horse go well,
An' never show no sign of sweat,
Until dat boy he's ring hees bell,
Misere! I t'ink I hear heem yet!

Wall! jus' so soon mon Choual "Castor"
Was hear dat bell go kling! klang! kling!
He's tink of course of city car,
An' spose mus' be conductor ring.

Firs' t'ing I know ma trotter's drop
Dat tail was stan' so straight before,
An' affer dat, mebbe he stop
For me, I don't know not'ing more.

But w'en I'm come alive again
I fin' dat horse call "Clevelan' Bay"
Was got firs' place, an' so he's gain
Dat wan mile heat on straight away.

An' now w'erever I am go
Bad boy he's sure for holler an' yell
Dis donc! Dis donc! Paul Archambault!
W'at's matter wit' your chestnutte bell?

Mak' plaintee troub' dem bad garçons,
An' offen ring some bell also,
Was mad! Could plonge on de St. Laurent
An' w'at to do, "Castor" don't know.

Las' tam I pass de railway track
For drive avec mon frere Alfred,
In-jinne she's ring, "Castor" he's back,
Monjee! it's fonny I'm not come dead!

Toujours comme ça! an' mak' me sick,
But horse dat work long on les chars
Can't broke dem off on fancy trick
So now I'm busy for sole "Castor."

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