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Li'L' Gal (1904)
Illustrated with photographs by
Leigh Richmond Miner
of the Hampton Institute Camera Club
Decorations by Margaret Armstrong
First published by Dodd, Mead and Company
Copyright 1896, 1899, 1903, and 1904
Soliloquy Of A Turkey
Dey's a so't o' threatenin' feelin' in de blowin' of de breeze,
An' I's feelin' kin' o' squeamish in de night;
I's a-walkin' 'roun' a-lookin' at de diffunt style o' trees,
An' a-measurin' dey thickness an' dey height.
Fu' dey's somep'n mighty 'spicious in de looks de da'kies give,
Ez dey pass me an' my fambly on de' groun',
So it 'curs to me dat lakly, ef I caihs to try an' live,
It concehns me fu' to 'mence to look erroun'.
Dey's a cu'ious kin' o' shivah runnin' up an' down my back,
An' I feel my feddahs rufflin' all de day,
An' my laigs commence to trimble evah blessid step I mek;
W'en I sees a ax, I tu'ns my head away.
Folks is go'gin' me wid goodies, an' dey 's treatin' me wid caih,
An' I's fat in spite of all dat I kin do.
I's mistrus'ful of de kin'ness dat's erroun' me evahwhaih,
Fu' it 's jes' too good, an' frequent, to be true.
Snow's a-fallin' on de medders, all erroun' me now is white,
But I's still kep' on a-roostin' on de fence;
Isham comes an' feels my breas'bone, an' he hefted me las' night,
An' he's gone erroun' a-grinnin' evah sence.
'T ain't de snow dat meks me shivah; 't ain't de col' dat meks me shake;
'T ain't de wintah-time itse'f dat's 'fectin me;
But I t'ink de time is comin', an' I 'd bettah mek a break,
Fu' to set wid Mistah Possum in his tree.
W'en you hyeah de da'kies singin', an' de quahtahs all is gay,
'T ain't de time fu' birds lak me to be erroun';
W'en de hick'ry chips is flyin', an' de log 's been ca'ied erway,
Den hit's dang'ous to be roostin' nigh de groun'.
Grin on, Isham! Sing on, da'kies! But I flop my wings an' go
Fu' de sheltah of de ve'y highest tree,
Fu' dey's too much close ertention -- an' dey's too much fallin' snow --
An' it's too nigh Chris'mus mo'nin' now fu' me.