James Whitcomb Riley

(7 October 1849 - 22 July 1916 / Greenfield, Indiana)

The Runaway Boy - Poem by James Whitcomb Riley

Wunst I sassed my Pa, an' he
Won't stand that, an' punished me,--
Nen when he was gone that day,
I slipped out an' runned away.

I tooked all my copper-cents,
An' clumbed over our back fence
In the jimpson-weeds 'at growed
Ever'where all down the road.

Nen I got out there, an' nen
I runned some--an' runned again
When I met a man 'at led
A big cow 'at shooked her head.

I went down a long, long lane
Where was little pigs a-play'n';
An' a grea'-big pig went 'Booh!'
An' jumped up, an' skeered me too.

Nen I scampered past, an' they
Was somebody hollered 'Hey!'
An' I ist looked ever'where,
An' they was nobody there.

I _Want_ to, but I'm 'fraid to try
To go back.... An' by-an'-by
Somepin' hurts my throat inside--
An' I want my Ma--an' cried.

Nen a grea'-big girl come through
Where's a gate, an' telled me who
Am I? an' ef I tell where
My home's at she'll show me there.

But I couldn't ist but tell
What's my _name_; an' she says well,
An' she tooked me up an' says
_She_ know where I live, she guess.

Nen she telled me hug wite close
Round her neck!--an' off she goes
Skippin' up the street! An' nen
Purty soon I'm home again.

An' my Ma, when she kissed me,
Kissed the _big girl_ too, an' _she_
Kissed me--ef I p'omise _shore_
I won't run away no more!


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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 9, 2010



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