Paul Laurence Dunbar

(1872-1906 / Ohio / United States)

When A Feller's Itching To Be Spanked - Poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar

W'EN us fellers stomp around, makin' lots o' noise,
Gramma says, 'There's certain times comes to little boys
W'en they need a shingle or the soft side of a plank;'
She says 'we're a-itchin' for a right good spank.'
An' she says, 'Now thes you wait,
It's a-comin' — soon or late,
W'en a fellers itchin' fer a spank.'
W'en a feller's out o' school, you know how he feels,
Gramma says we wriggle 'roun like a lot o' eels.
W'y it's like a man that's thes home from out o' jail.
What's the use o' scoldin' if we pull Tray's tail?
Gramma says, tho', 'thes you wait,
It's a-comin' — soon or late,
You'se the boys that's itchin' to be spanked.'
Cats is funny creatures an' I like to make 'em yowl,
Gramma alwus looks at me with a awful scowl
An' she says, 'Young gentlemen, mamma should be thanked
Ef you'd get your knickerbockers right well spanked.'
An' she says, 'Now thes you wait,
It's a-comin' — soon or late,'
W'en a feller's itchin' to be spanked.
Ef you fin' the days is gettin' awful hot in school
An' you know a swimmin' place where it's nice and cool,
Er you know a cat-fish hole brimmin' full o' fish,
Whose a-goin' to set around school and wish?
'Tain't no use to hide your bait,
It's a-comin' — soon or late,
W'en a feller's itchin' to be spanked.
Ol' folks know most ever'thing 'bout the world, I guess,
Gramma does, we wish she knowed thes a little less,
But I alwus kind o' think it 'ud be as well
Ef they wouldn't alwus have to up an' tell;
We kids wish 'at they'd thes wait,
It's a-comin' — soon or late,
W'en a feller's itchin' to be spanked.


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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 2, 2010



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