ATTENTION IPAD USERS!
Apple doesn't like listing me as "Will Shakespeare (poetry blogger)"
to differentiate me from the other guy, although everybody else does.
They took my first book but now won't take new ones. (Go figure.)
Since Smashwords distributes my books to Apple anyway,
just go to my Smashwords author page and download EPUBs from there.
Smashwords provides samples of my books also.

Friday, January 31, 2014

The Origin of Football

If you want to “toss around the old pigskin…”

Pa sent young Jimmy to the sty
To fetch a hog for dinner;
They’d have a bunch of chops and ham
And bacon once he skint ‘er!

But Jim come squalling, “Pa! Hey, Pa!
They stole our smallest hog!
And I seen footsteps in the mud —
They lead off through the fog.”

Pa grabbed his hat. “Dang nabbit, boy!
What took y’all so long?
Go get the boys; we’ll track ‘em down
Before the thieves git gone!”

So Jimmy rounded up his kin;
Pa grabbed some shotgun rounds.
Eleven of ‘em started out
With Blue, their rabbit hound.

Old Blue went baying down the trail
With Jimmy close behind;
Pa struggled just to keep up as
He led the other nine.

At least the fog was lifting as
They got down to the valley.
Pa hollered, “There’s the critters, boys!
Come on — don’t dilly dally!”

Eleven of the Johnson boys
Was headed for their farm.
The oldest, Donny, had that piggy
Tucked beneath his arm.

Old Blue cut off them Johnson boys!
He snarled and Donny moaned
While Jimmy, Pa, and all the boys
Got ‘twixt the thieves and home.

The Johnsons started hollering:
“Give us this hog… or else!”
But once Pa cocked his shotgun,
All the Johnsons stopped their yells.

Then Bubba (one of Donny’s kin)
Went running ‘round the end.
“Hey, throw it here!” he hollered as
He flashed a toothy grin.

So Donny flung that hog at him
Without a moment’s thought
And, muddy though that pig’s skin was,
Somehow that hog got caught!

“YEE HAW!” yelled Bubba gleefully
As he headed for the barn.
Jim’s brother Jed came running in
And slammed a stiff forearm

Right to his chin and down they went,
Both sprawling in the mud…
But the hog went sailing through the air
And landed with a thud.

Now Jimmy’s brother Homer
Scooped him up and ran for home.
Some other kin surrounded him,
Prepared to break some bones.

As Jimmy’s kin lined up to face
The Johnsons, opposite
Each other on the battlefield,
Pa told ‘em, “This is it!

“Now, Jimmy, you go ‘round the left
And Jed, you take the right
While Homer runs it up the gut.
Them Johnsons ain’t too bright!”

And meanwhile Bubba organized
His brothers in a line.
They squatted down, prepared to lunge
And grab that tiny swine!

The Johnson girls came out to watch
And cheer their menfolk on.
The field was getting muddier;
The day was nearly gone.

Possession of that hog went back
And forth and back again
As more and more folks came to watch
This game no one could win.

At last all twenty-two men fell
Exhausted to the ground.
The little hog? It ran back to
Its ma without a sound.

The crowd helped everybody up
And said, “Wow, what a thrill!
But next time, sell refreshments —
Maybe bring a moonshine still!”

But neither side would try again.
This first game really cost ‘em —
For weeks they lived in dirty clothes
‘Cause Mama wouldn’t wash ‘em!

No comments:

Post a Comment