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
 
Kentucky Philosophy
By Harrison Robertson (1856–1939)
 
“YOU Wi’yum, cum ’ere, suh, dis minnit! Wut dat you got under dat box?
I don’t want no foolin’—you hear me? Wut you say? Ain’t nu’h’n but rocks?
’Peahs ter me you’s owdashus perticler. S’posin’ dey’s uv a new kine.
I’ll des take a look at dem rocks. Hi yi! der you t’ink dat I’s bline?
 
“I calls dat a plain watermillion, you scamp, en I knows whah it growed;        5
It come fum de Jimmerson cawn-fiel’, dah on ter side er de road.
You stole it, you rascal—you stole it! I watched you fum down in de lot.
En time I gits th’ough wid you, nigger, you won’t eb’n be a grease spot!
 
“I’ll fix you—Mirandy! Mirandy! Go cut me a hick’ry—make has’e!
En cut me de toughes’ en keenes’ you c’n fine anywhah on de place—        10
I’ll larn you, Mr. Wi’yum Joe Vetters, ter steal en ter lie, you young sinner,
Disgracin’ yo’ ole Christian mammy, en makin’ her leave cookin’ dinner!
 
“Now ain’t you ashamed er yo’se’f, suh? I is. I’s ’shamed you’s my son!
En de holy accorjun angel he’s ’shamed er wut you has done;
En he’s tuk it down up yander in coal-black blood-red letters—        15
‘One watermillion staled by Wi’yum Josephus Vetters.’
 
“En wut you s’posin’ Brer Bascom, yo’ teacher at Sunday-school,
’Ud say ef he knowed how you’s broke de good Lawd’s Gol’n Rule?
Boy, whah’s de raisin’ I give you? Is you boun’ fuh ter be a black villiun?
I’s s’prised dat a chile er yo’ mammy ’ud steal any man’s watermillion.        20
 
“En I’s now gwiner cut it right open, en you shain’t have narry bite,
Fuh a boy who’ll steal watermillion—en dat in de day’s broad light—
Ain’t— Lawdy! it’s GREEN! Mirandy! Mi-ran-dy! come on wi’ dat switch!
Well, stealin’ a g-r-e-e-n watermillion! Who ever heered tell er des sich?
 
“‘Cain’t tell w’en dey’s ripe?’ W’y you thump ’um, en w’en dey go ‘pank,’ dey is green;        25
But when dey go ‘punk’—now you mine me—dey’s ripe, en dat’s des wut I mean.
En nex’ time you hook watermillions—you heered me, you ign’ant young hunk,
Ef you don’t want a lickin’ all over, be sho’ dat dey allers go ‘punk!’”
 
 
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