Posts Tagged ‘Pilgrim’

Charles Suddeth

(with deepest apologies to Clement Clarke Moore)

‘Twas the night before Thanksgiving, when all through our flat

Not a critter was stirring, not even our cat;

Grocery bags were tacked by the oven somewhere,

In hopes that old Pilgrim would soon be in there;

The children were all snoozing inside their beds;

While visions of pumpkin pies tortured their heads;

Mamma in her nightie, a bourbon in my lap,

Had just settled ourselves for a long winter’s nap,

When out on the street there arose such a din,

I leaped from my bed to see what it was then.

Away to the window I flew in a jiffy,

Tore open the shutters and felt pretty iffy.

The moon glittered on the edge of the cruddy old snow,

Giving a daylight-luster to everything below,

When what to my red, aching eyes did spy,

But a miniature wagon and eight tiny pigs on the fly,

With a crusty driver who sang high on a whim,

I knew in an instant he must be ye old Pilgrim.

Speedier than vultures his little pigs came,

And he groused, and screamed, and called them by name:

“Now Shoat! Now, Bloat! Now Hogeye and Chubby!

On, Runny! On, Funny! On, Hawkeye and Tubby!

On the top of the roof! On the top of that mall!

Now rush away! Rush away! Rush away all!”

As turkeys before wild hurricanes do fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, leap to the sky;

So over the chimneys the eight pigs they flew

With the wagon full of hams and old Pilgrim, too—

And then, right away, I heard on the roof

The clinging and clanging of each porky hoof.

As I ducked down my head, and swiveled around,

Down the chimney old Pilgrim plopped with a bound.

He was dressed all in black, from his hat to his toe,

His clothes were grimy and greasy you must know,

Pots and pans dangled and jangled from his back,

And he looked like a crook who was opening his sack.

His eyes—bloodshot and dreary! His hair was all gone!

His cheeks were like bubbles, his nose like a gun!

His grin and lips were most delightful to me,

And the fuzz on his chin was as curly as could be;

The long pipe he held clamped in his teeth,

The smoke curling over his head like a holiday wreath;

He had a wrinkled face and a big beer belly

That quivered when he chuckled, like stale mint jelly.

He was thick like baloney, like an old-time elf,

And I laughed when I spied him, wanted to hide beneath the shelf;

A wink of one eye, a shake of his head

Soon let me know I would soon have bread;

He uttered not a word, went straight to his pan,

Filled the sacks with snacks; then moved like an old man,

And laying one hand beside his big head,

And giving a smile, out the back door he fled;

He soared to his wagon, to his team gave a shout,

And away they all soared with thunder and clout.

But I heard him exclaim as he dashed through his flight—

“Happy Thanksgiving to all, and to all a good night!”


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