Nonfiction > Lionel Strachey, et al., eds. > The World’s Wit and Humor > American
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The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes.  1906.
Vols. I–V: American
 
Grampy Sings a Song
By Holman Francis Day (1865–1935)
 
ROW-DIDDY, dow de, my little sis,
Hush up your teasin’ and listen to this:
’Tain’t much of a jingle, ’tain’t much of a tune,
But it’s spang-fired truth about Chester Cahoon.
The thund’rinest fireman Lord ever made        5
Was Chester Cahoon of the Tuttsville Brigade.
He was boss of the tub and the foreman of hose;
When the ’larm rung he’d start, sis, a-sheddin’ his clothes,
—Slung coat and slung wes’coat and kicked off his shoes,
A-runnin’ like fun, for he’d no time to lose.        10
And he’d howl down the ro’d in a big cloud of dust,
For he made it his brag he was allus there fust.
—Allus there fust, with a whoop and a shout,
And he never shut up till the fire was out.
And he’d knock out the winders and save all the doors,        15
And tear off the clapboards, and rip up the floors,
For he allus allowed ’twas a tarnation sin
To ’low ’em to burn, for you’d want ’em agin.
He gen’rally stirred up the most of his touse
In hustling to save the outside of the house.        20
And after he’d wrassled and hollered and pried,
He’d let up and tackle the stuff ’twas inside.
To see him you’d think he was daft as a loon,
But that was just habit with Chester Cahoon.
Row diddy-iddy, my little sis,        25
Now see what ye think of a doin’ like this:
The time of the fire at Jenkins’ old place
It got a big start—was a desprit case;
The fambly they didn’t know which way to turn.
And by gracious, it looked like it all was to burn.        30
But Chester Cahoon—oh, that Chester Cahoon,
He sailed to the roof like a reg’lar balloon;
Donno how he done it, but done it he did,
—Went down through the scuttle and shet down the lid.
And five minutes later that critter he came        35
To the second-floor winder surrounded by flame.
He lugged in his arms, sis, a stove and a bed,
And balanced a bureau right square on his head.
His hands they was loaded with crockery stuff,
China and glass; as if that warn’t enough,        40
He’d rolls of big quilts round his neck like a wreath,
And carried Miss Jenkins’ old aunt with his teeth.
You’re right—gospel right, little sis—didn’t seem
The critter’d get down, but he called for the stream,
And when it come strong and big round as my wrist,        45
He stuck out his legs, sis, and give ’em a twist;
And he hooked round the water jes’ if ’twas a rope,
And down he come, easin’ himself on the slope,
—So almighty spry that he made that ’ere stream
As fit for his pupp’us as if ’twas a beam.        50
Oh, the thund’rinest fireman Lord ever made
Was Chester Cahoon of the Tuttsville Brigade.
 
 
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