The Elf Child; or, Little Orphant Annie

by James Whitcomb Riley

Little orphant Annie's come to our house to stay,
And wash the cups and saucers up, an' brush the crumbs away,
An' shoo the chickens off the porch, an' dust the hearth, an' sweep,
An' make the fire, and bake the bread, an' earn her board an' keep;
An' all us other children, when the supper things is done,
We set around the kitchen fire, an' has the mostest fun
A-list'ning to the witch tales 'at Annie tells about,
An' the gobble-uns 'at gits you
Ef you
Don't
Watch
Out!
Onc't they was a little boy wouldn't say his pray'rs;
An' when he went to bed 'at night, away upstairs,
His mammy heard him holler, and his daddy heard him bawl,
An' whin they turn'd the kivvers down, he wasn't there at all!
An' they seeked him in the rafter room, and cubby hole and press,
An' seeked him up the chimbly flue an' ever'wheres, I guess,
But all they ever found was thist his pants an' roundabout!
An' the gobble-uns 'll git you
Ef you
Don't
Watch
Out!
 
An' one time a little girl 'ud allus laugh and grin,
An' make fun of ever'one, an' all her blood an' kin;
An' onc't when they was company an' ole folks was there,
She mocked 'em an' shocked 'em, an' said she didn't care!
An' thist as she kicked her heels, an' turn't to run an' hide,
They was two great big Black Things a-standin' by her side,
An' they snatched her through the ceilin' 'fore she know'd what she's about,
An' the gobble-uns 'll git you
Ef you
Don't
Watch
Out!
An' little orphant Annie says, when the blaze is blue,
An' the lampwick sputters, an' the wind goes woo-oo!
An' you hear the crickets quit, an' the moon is grey,
An' the lightnin' bugs in dew is all squelched away,
You better mind yer parents, an' yer teachers fond an' dear,
An' cherish them 't loves you, and dry the orphant's tear,
An' he'p the pore an' needy ones 'at cluster all about,
Er the gobble-uns 'll git you
Ef you
Don't
Watch
Out!