James Whitcomb Riley (7 October 1849 - 22 July 1916 / Greenfield, Indiana)
Owned a pair o' skates onc't.--Traded
Fer 'em,--stropped 'em on and waded
Up and down the crick, a-waitin'
Tel she'd freeze up fit fer skatin'.
Mildest winter I remember--
More like Spring- than Winter-weather!--
Did n't _frost_ tel bout December-
Git up airly ketch a' feather
Of it, mayby, 'crost the winder--
Sunshine swinge it like a cinder!
Well--I _waited_--and _kep_' waitin'!
Couldn't see my money's w'oth in
Them-air skates and was no skatin',
Ner no hint o' ice ner nothin'!
So, one day--along in airly
Spring--I swopped 'em off--and barely
Closed the dicker, 'fore the weather
Natchurly jes slipped the ratchet,
And crick--tail-race--all together,
Froze so tight cat couldn't scratch it!
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