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And swore eternal vengeance on all Inclined to shirk.
It was not long before the band had excavated deep
And made a place wherein the King on sultry days might sleep.
Just before the workers stopped to rest from labors long,
Watermelon caused a stir by shouting to the throng:
"Odds, bobs and likewise zounds, my stick has struck a thing
The like of which Fve never seen, believe me, gracious King!"
The object strange was brought before his Majesty, excited,
an--,^Bfj OW, give me your attention, sweets, and 3711 proceed to
TT |«H^|(^ Store about the wonderful place that started out bo well.
7 0U think, you may recall that Pumpkin, monarch
= 5 ¦ * fraud,
Karched his host to a beauteous spot, where he took up his stand,
The sovereign wisely laid his plans, and to his subjects loyal .
He Issued, through his general, commands both firm and royaL
"It is my regal wish," ha said, "that you give up your sport
And erect for me a palace, wherein shall be my court"
With ringing cheers and loud huzzahs the subjects, small and hie.
Straightway got some pointed sticks and set about to dig.
King Peter chose Prince Orookneck to superintend the work,
Who, afire with interest, said: "My subject shall be knighted
Who'll tell me what it is that has just been expavated—
Whose flesh is like the solid rock, whose skjn is corrugated."
Inspection dose and earnest each subject gave the find,
But none could satisfy the King— none could name its kind.
At last, when Peter, Xing of all, gave up in deep despair,
Old Onion knelt upon his knee and said with* reverent air:.
"I, O gracious sovereign, with the liquid of my veins, .
Can probably give life' anew to these wrinkled old remains."
"Experiment," the monarch spoke, "my subject brave and bright,
And if your plan does well succeed you shall be made a knight."
Old Onion took some of his skin and soaked it with his blood,
Placed it o'er the object's nose and plastered it with mud
Scarcely had the odor strong* reached its sense of smell . .
Than the object scrambled to its feet and gave a piercing yell. \
General Pippin tore away old Onion's plaster strong, .
And led the breathing being to a place before the throng.
"Zf you, my friend," King Peter said to the object of all eyes,
"Will tell us all about yourself you shall have a prize.''
The stranger deeply thought awhile, and seemed quite mystified,
And when he realized his state he with Joy and gladness cried.
In a voice pitched high and squeaky he began to tell his tale,
Which was by, far the strangest ever told In that green -vale.
"One hundred thousand years ago/' the stranger meekly said,
"I was laid away beneath the sod and given up for dead.
'Tis quite hard, I must confess, to revive the memories old,
But Z recall that Z once was a Plum, both young and bold.
The springtime of my life gave way to the winter cold and bleak.
And the ever-working hand of Time made m« old and weak.
At last, as Z remember," and he touched his wrinkled brow,
"I became so very ancient that I looked as I do now.
One br one my faithful comrades turned to dust and stone.
Until, at last, the world left me quite helpless and alone.
Who placed me 'neath the brilliant green I never lived to know. '
But Z suspect the spirits of my. comrades laid me low."
"Your story, friend, gives interest great," the monarch said, in time,
"But I am still much vexed about your days of auld lang syne.
Pray answer this: Zf you were called in youth a Plum so bold,
What are you now, when Time has made you weak and queer and old?"
"As I recall," the stranger said— and the thought came none too soon-*
"Sly comrades were disposed to call me Honorable Grandpa Jt*runs. .
Just why they gave me such a name I'xa at a loss to say, \
Sut probably knew quite well in that patriarchal' day."
"Zf Prune they called you, friend of mine," the sovereign lightly quoth,
"To change the name on this glad day Z should be very loth.
And so, my subjects, one and all, it is my wish that you
Henceforth shall call him Grandpa Prune— my subject loyal and true.
Now, 'twere meet Z keep my word and award to you a prize
For clearing up this mystery that opened wide my eyes.
You are too old to earn your way, but still you can't be missed;
So Z shall start a pension fund and let you head the list."
"Since you, 0 King, so good have been," old Grandpa finally said, •
"I shall tell you a secret great which I kept while I. was dead:
In the misty, far-off times our customs were quite strange,
And every being wore some garb, with now and then a change.
'Neath a rock in yonder wood lies a chest in strength complete.
Wherein are richest treasures and garments fine and neat;
There is clothing of all sizes, designs and patterns gay—
And if you the custom will revive 111 lead you there straightway."
"lead on, brave Prune!" the sovereign said, and waved aloft his hand,
And very soon a start was made for the secret treasure land.
While trudging through the woodland dense the King with ease did
A Potato and a Mushroom, thus adding to his rapture.
The King sought for enlightenment until he was much riled,
But Potato's only, word was "faith," and Mushroom only smiled.
The captives, though, were quite content to Join the happy throng,
And gladly took allegiance with vows both firm and strong
At last the treasure spot was reached, and the subjects ceased their )>.
While the strongest rolled away the rock and lifted up the chest.
Oh, my sweets, if you had seen the contents of that box,
You would be going everywhere and turning over rocks!
There were clothes of every color, every size and every cut,
'And the subjects donned them quickly, and began to prance and strut.
Of course, the fits were not the best in every case, you know,
But the wearers all were satisfied and let the misfits go.
A box of big and black cheroots caused the crowd to wonder—
And when old Watermelon smoked he coughed -like startled thunder.
The King, in robes of stately make, ran to his chosen spot, .
. The subjects following close behind in proud and haughty trot. \
! It .was not long, my precious ones, until the useful creatures
Had built their King a palace grand with many dazzling features $
Next time, my loves, 111 try to tell of something that I think
.Will interest you very much and drive away the blink.
THE WONDERFUL KINGDOM OF
THE SUNDAY; CALX*