Saturday, April 1, 2017

April Fool's Day / Will E. Cowles

April Fool's Day

Talk about yer Chris'masses
Fourth o' Julys and cirkusses —
They ain't in it for the real fun
That's to be had on April one;
Even Hallowe'en is very tame
To April first — that's if yer game.

I think that April first must be
Ind'pendence Day fer kids like me,
When we kin play all sorts of jokes
And not be punished by our folks —
Though pa, he says, in a threat'nin' way:
"Bill, no nonsense from you today!"

When Jim's pants legs are found sewed up;
When ma of coffee takes a sup
And finds the sugar tastes like salt —
I say, quite inn'cent, "Taint my fault."
They frown and say, half-scold, half-laugh,
"This here is some of Willie's chaff."

The teacher has her troubles too
(You know what mischeevous boys can do).
But when I hollered "April Fool!"
She kept me in long after school.
I didn't care much for I knew
She wasn't game — like me or you.

Say, you look as though you might
Know how a boy 'd feel at night,
As though a big day's work was done,
And how he'd fooled 'em all — 'cept one —
For pa, he'd said to me, one side,
"Don't ye fool Me, 'r I'll tan yer hide!"

Will E. Cowles
from The Globe, April 1900

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

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