The Duel

The gingham dog and the calico cat
Side by side on the table sat;
'Twas half past twelve, and, what do you think,
Neither of them had slept a wink!
And the old Dutch clock and Chinese plate
Seemed to know, as sure as fate,
There was going to be an awful spat.
(I wasn't there -- I simply state
What was told to me by the Chinese plate.)

The gingham dog went "bow-wow-wow!"
And the calico cat replied "me-ow?"
And the air was streaked for an hour or so
With fragments of gingham and calico,
While the old Dutch clock in the chimney place
Up with its hands before its face,
For it always dreaded a family row!
(Now mind, I'm simply telling you
What the old Dutch clock declares is true.)

The Chinese plate looked very blue
And wailed; "Oh, dear, what shall we do!"
But the gingham dog and the calico cat,
Wallowed this way and tumbled that,
And utilized every tooth and claw
In the awfulest way you ever saw - -
And Oh! how the gingham and calico flew!
(Don't think that I exaggerate - -
I got my news from the Chinese plate.)

Next morning where the two had sat,
They found no trace of dog or cat;
And some folks think unto this day,
That burglars stole that pair away;
But the truth about the cat and pup
Is that they ate each other up - -
Now, what do you really think of that?
(The old Dutch clock it told me so
And that is how I came to know.)

Eugene Field

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