James Whitcomb Riley (7 October 1849 - 22 July 1916 / Greenfield, Indiana)
Me an' Bert an' Minnie-Belle
Knows a joke, an' we won't tell!
No, we don't--'cause we don't know
_Why_ we got to laughin' so;
But we got to laughin' so,
'We ist kep' a-laughin'.
Wind wuz blowin' in the tree--
An' wuz only ist us three
Playin' there; an' ever' one
Ketched each other, like we done,
Squintin' up there at the sun
Like we wuz a-laughin'.
Nothin' funny anyway;
But I laughed, an' so did they--
An' we all three laughed, an' nen
Squint' our eyes an' laugh' again:
Ner we didn't ist _p'ten'_--
We wuz _shore-'nough_ laughin'.
'We ist laugh' an' laugh', tel Bert
Say he _can't_ quit an' it hurt.
Nen I _howl_, an' Minnie-Belle
She tear up the grass a spell
An' ist stop her yeers an' _yell_
Like she'd _die_ a-laughin'.
Never sich fool-youngens yit!
Nothin' funny,--not a bit!--
But we laugh' so; tel we whoop'
Purt'-nigh like we have the croup--
All so hoarse we'd wheeze an' whoop
An' ist _choke_ a-laughin'.
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