John F. McCullagh
The Mouse Before Christmas - Poem by John F. McCullagh
The Mouse before Christmas
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a person was sleeping, all because of one mouse;
The glue traps were placed by the kitchen and stair
In hopes that St. Mickey soon would be there;
The children were hiding, afraid in their beds,
While nightmares of furry pests danced in their heads;
And mamma in her one piece and I in my wrap,
Had just finished baiting the last of the traps,
When down on my lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
bumped into the bedpost and incurred quite a gash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight mouseketeers,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Mick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
'Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all! '
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of cheese, and old St. Mick too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little thief
As I reached for my bat, and was turning around,
Down the chimney old St. Mick came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his tail,
And his clothes looked like stuff from a second hand sale;
A sack to hold cheese he had flung on his back,
he looked like a smart shopper as he planned his attack.
His eyes - how they twinkled! his whiskers, how merry!
His cheeks were light grey, his nose like a berry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up to reveal,
a pair of incisors gleaming brightly like steel;
The knob of the bat I held tight in my hand,
and I swung it like I hoped to hit a grand slam;
I missed him completely and took down our tree
He near stroked out with laughter so great was his glee,
as he used tinsel garland to bind and to gag me;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his tail,
Soon gave me to know I had epically failed;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
and stole all our cheese; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his right paw aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
So Long to you sucker, and thanks for the bite!
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