Piddlin’ Poem


One of the reasons I love poetry has got to be because of my grandpa, Charles Horn. He loved reading and reciting poems. He memorized quite a few throughout his life.  I enjoyed listening him recite in cadence and rhythm. He would get lost in them, it seems.

As a treat for you, I am sharing one of my grandpa’s favorite poems. I remember him reading this and stopping to laugh and dry his eyes from the humor he found in it. This remarkable little rhyme was published in a small volume entitled Bawdy Ballads and Lusty Lyrics: A Curious Collection of Somewhat Salty Classics Seldom Sung in Sunday Schools, edited by John Henry Johnson, published by Maxwell Droke, Indianapolis, 1935.

The Romance of Rex
[A Tale of a Pedigreed Piddlin’ Pup in Ten Piddles and a Puddle]
Piddle No. 1
A farmer’s dog came into town,
His Christian name was Rex,
A noble pedigree had he
Unusual was his text.
And as he trotted down the street
T’was beautiful to see
His work on every corner —
His work on every tree.
Piddle No. 2
He watered every gateway too,
And never missed a post
For piddling was his specialty
And piddling was his boast.
The City Curs looked on amazed
With deep and jealous rage
To see a simple country dog
The piddler of the age.
Piddle No. 3
Then all the dogs from everywhere
Were summoned with a yell,
To sniff the country stranger o’er
And judge him by the smell.
Some thought that he a king might be
Beneath his tail a rose,
So every dog drew near to him
And sniffed it up his nose.
Piddle No. 4
They smelled him over one by one
They smelled him two by two
And noble Rex, in high disdain,
Stood still till they were thru.
Then just to show the whole shebang
He didn’t give a dam
He trotted in a grocery store
And piddled on a ham.
Piddle No. 5
He piddled in a mackerel keg —
He piddled on the floor,
And when the grocer kicked him out
He piddled through the door.
Behind him all the city dogs
Lined up with instinct true
To start a piddling carnival
And see the stranger through.
Piddle No. 6
They showed him every piddling post
The had in all the town,
And started in with many a wink
To pee the stranger down.
They sent for champion piddlers
Who were always on the go,
Who sometimes did a piddling stunt
Or gave a piddle show.
Piddle No. 7
They sprung these on him suddenly
When midway in the town;
Rex only smiled and polished off
The ablest, white or brown.
For Rex was with them every trick
With vigor and with vim
A thousand piddles more or less
Were all the same to him.
Piddle No. 8
So he was wetting merrily
With hind leg kicking high,
When most were hoisting legs in bluff
And piddling mighty dry,
On and on, Rex sought new grounds
By piles and scraps and rust;
Till every city dog went dry
And piddled only dust.
Piddle No. 9
But on and on went noble Rex
As wet as any rill,
And all the champion city pups
Were pee’d to a standstill.
The Rex did free-hand piddling
With fancy flirts and flits
Like “double dip” and gimlet twist”
And all those latest hits.
Piddle No. 10
And all the time this country dog
Did never wink or grin,
But piddled blithely out of town
As he had piddled in.
The Puddle
The city dogs conventions held
To ask “What did defeat us?”
But no one ever put them wise
That Rex had diabetes.

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