Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. I. Of Home: of Friendship
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume I. Of Home: of Friendship.  1904.
Poems of Home: III. Fun for Little Folk
“Max and Maurice”: Trick Second
Wilhelm Busch (1832–1908)
Translated by Charles Timothy Brooks

WHEN the worthy Widow Tibbets
(Whom the cut below exhibits)
Had recovered, on the morrow,
From the dreadful shock of sorrow,
She (as soon as grief would let her        5
Think) began to think ’t were better
Just to take the dead, the dear ones
(Who in life were walking here once),
And in a still noonday hour
Them, well roasted, to devour.        10
True, it did seem almost wicked,
When they lay so bare and naked,
Picked, and singed before the blaze,—
They that once in happier days,
In the yard or garden ground,        15
All day long went scratching round.
Ah! Frau Tibbets wept anew,
And poor Spitz was with her, too.
Max and Maurice smelt the savor.
“Climb the roof!” cried each young shaver.        20
Through the chimney now, with pleasure,
They behold the tempting treasure,
Headless, in the pan there, lying,
Hissing, browning, steaming, frying.
At that moment down the cellar        25
(Dreaming not what soon befell her)
Widow Tibbets went for sour
Krout, which she would oft devour
With exceeding great desire
(Warmed a little at the fire).        30
Up there on the roof, meanwhile,
They are doing things in style.
Max already with forethought
A long fishing-line has brought.
Schnupdiwup! there goes, O Jeminy!        35
One hen dangling up the chimney.
Schnupdiwup! a second bird!
Schnupdiwup! up comes the third!
Presto! number four they haul!
Schnupdiwup! we have them all!—        40
Spitz looks on, we must allow,
But he barks: Row-wow! Row-wow!
But the rogues are down instanter
From the roof, and off they canter.—
Ha! I guess there ’ll be a humming;        45
Here ’s the Widow Tibbets coming!
Rooted stood she to the spot,
When the pan her vision caught.
Gone was every blessèd bird!
“Horrid Spitz!” was her first word.        50
“O you Spitz, you monster, you!
Let me beat him black and blue!”
And the heavy ladle, thwack!
Comes down on poor Spitz’s back!
Loud he yells with agony,        55
For he feels his conscience free.
Max and Maurice, dinner over,
In a hedge, snored under cover;
And of that great hen-feast now
Each has but a leg to show.        60
This was now the second trick,
But the third will follow quick.

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