A Poem for Tuesday

Beloved faithful reader Bobbie found me last night with concern in her voice for why I had not written to you yesterday. I am fine. The boys are fine. I was just tired and had a lot on my mind yesterday, and to be honest, I just forgot. My eyes are healing nicely, but they aren’t working perfectly perfect just yet and I find I am a little more off center than usual.

Anyway . . . today’s poem is another Grandma Malmberg favorite. She actually made me a calico cat and gingham dog. I had forgotten about this poem until I was in a situation last week that made me feel a bit like the Chinese plate. If you don’t know this one, I hope you enjoy it and I dedicate it to Bobbie for worrying about me.

The Duel
Eugene Field

THE GINGHAM dog and the calico cat
Side by side on the table sat;
‘T was half-past twelve, and (what do you think!)
Nor one nor t’ other had slept a wink!
The old Dutch clock and the Chinese plate
Appeared to know as sure as fate
There was going to be a terrible spat.
(I wasn’t there; I simply state
What was told to me by the Chinese plate!)

The gingham dog went “bow-wow-wow!”
And the calico cat replied “mee-ow!”
The air was littered, an hour or so,
With bits of gingham and calico,
While the old Dutch clock in the chimney-place
Up with its hands before its face,
For it always dreaded a family row!
(Never mind: I ‘m only telling you
What the old Dutch clock declares is true!)

The Chinese plate looked very blue,
And wailed, “Oh, dear! what shall we do!”
But the gingham dog and the calico cat
Wallowed this way and tumbled that,
Employing every tooth and claw
In the awfullest way you ever saw—
And, oh! how the gingham and calico flew!
(Don’t fancy I exaggerate—
I got my news from the Chinese plate!)

Next morning where the two had sat
They found no trace of dog or cat;
And some folks think unto this day
That burglars stole that pair away!
But the truth about the cat and pup
Is this: they ate each other up!
Now what do you really think of that!
(The old Dutch clock it told me so,
And that is how I came to know.)

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