Jest' Fore Christmas

Father calls me William, sister calls me Will,
Mother calls me Willie, but the fellers call me Bill!
Mighty glad I ain't a girl... ruther be a boy,
Without them sashes, curls, an' things that's worn by Fauntleroy!
Love to chawnk green apples an' go swimmin' in the lake...
Hate to take the castor-ile they give for belly-ache!
'Most all the time, the whole year round, there ain't no flies on me.
But jest 'fore Christmas, I'm as good as I kin be!

Got a yeller dog named Spot, sick him on the cat;
First thing she knows she doesn't know where she is at!
Got a clipper sled, an' when us kids goes out to slide,
'Long comes the grocery cart, an' we all hook a ride!
But sometimes when the grocery man is worried and cross,
He reaches at us with his whip, an' larrups up his hoss,
An' then I laff an' holler, "Oh ye never teched me!"
But jest 'fore Christmas, I'm as good as I kin be!

Gran'ma says she hope than when I git to be a man,
I'll be a missionarer like her oldest brother Dan,
As was et by cannibuls that lives in Ceylon's Isle,
Where every prospeck pleases, an' only man is vile!
But Gran'ma she has never been to see a Wild West show,
Nor read the Life of Daniel Boone, or else I guess she'd know
That Buff'lo Bill and cowboys is good enough for me!
Excep'  jest 'fore Christmas, I'm as good as I kin be!

And then old Spot he hangs around, so solemn-like an' still,
His eyes they keep a-sayin': "What's the matter, little Bill?"
The old cat sneaks down off her perch an' wonders what's become
of them two enemies of hern that used to make things hum!
But I am so perlite an'   'tend so earnestly to biz,
That Mother says to Father: "How improved our Willy is!"
But Father, havin' been a boy hisself, suspicions me
When jest 'fore Christmas, I'm as good as I kin be!

For Christmas, with its lots an' lots of candies, cakes, an' toys,
Was made, they say, for proper kids an' not for naughty boys;
So wash yer face an' bresh your hair an' mind yer p's and q's,
An' don't bust out your pantaloons, an' don't wear out yer shoes;
Say "Yessum" to the ladies, an' "Yessur" to the men,
An' when they's company, don't pass your plate for pie again;
But, thinking of the things yer'd like to see upon on that tree,
Jest 'fore Christmas, be as good as yer kin be!

Author: Eugene Field


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