Talk about yer Chris'masses
Fourth o' Julys and cirkusses—
They ain't in it for the real fun
That's to be had on April one;
Even Hallowe'en is very tame
To April first—that is 'f yer game.
I think that April first must be
Ind'pendence Day fer kids like me,
When we kin play all sorts of jokes
And not be punished by our folks—
Though pa, he says, in a threat'nin' way:
"Bill, no nonsense from you today!"
When Jim's pants legs are found sewed up;
When ma of coffee takes a sup
And finds the sugar tastes like salt—
I say, quite inn'cent, "Taint my fault."
They frown and say, half-scold, half-laugh,
"This here is some of Willie's chaff."
The teacher has her troubles too
(You know what mischeevous boys can do).
But when I hollered "April Fool!"
She kept me in long after school.
I didn't care much for I knew
She wasn't game—like me or you.
Say, you look as though you might
Know how a boy 'd feel at night,
As though a big day's work was done,
And how h'd fooled 'em all—'cept one—
For pa, he'd said to me, one side,
"Don't ye fool Me, 'r I'll tan yer hide!"
— Will E. Cowles.
And now the cheerful idiot marches promptly to the front,
To blight his race and curse the age, as ever is his wont,
In harmless little "practicals," which mark the dismal way,
And though he spoil one's life he claims "'twas only done in play."
The first, though not the greatest fool, is he who seeks to air
And advertise his lunacy by jerking back one's chair,
Just as one's "brakes" are taken off, from ankle up to neck,
When, in the place of sitting down, one strikes the floor — a wreck.