LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE

James Whitcomb Riley

 

1

Reader 1

Little Orphan Annie's come to our house to stay

 

2

Reader 2

And wash the cups and saucers up and brush the crumbs away

 

3

Reader 3

And shoo the chickens off the porch and dust the hearth and sweep

 

4

Reader 4

And make the fire and bake the bread and earn her board-and-keep;

 

5

All

And all us other children, when the supper things are done,

 

6

 

We sit around the kitchen fire and have the most-est fun

 

7

 

A-list'nin' to the witch tales that Annie tells about

 

8

 

And the gobble-uns that get you--if you

 

9

 

Don't

10

 

     Watch

11

 

          Out!

 

 

 

12

Reader 5

Once there was a little boy who wouldn't say his prayers,

 

13

Reader 6

And when he went to bed at night, away upstairs,

 

14

Reader 7

His mommy heard him holler, and his daddy heard him bawl,

 

15

Reader 8

And when they turned the covers down

16

Reader 9

He wasn’t there at all.

17

Reader 10

And they sought him in the rafter-room and cubby-hole and press,

 

18

 

And sought him up the chimney-flue and everywhere, I guess;

 

19

 

But all they ever found was just his pants and roundabout,

 

20

All

And the gobble-uns'll get you--if you

 

21

 

Don’t

22

 

     Watch

23

 

          Out!

 

 

 

24

Reader 11

And one time a little girl who’d always laugh and grin

25

 

And make fun of everyone and all her blood and kin

 

26

 

And once, when there was "company," and old folks were there,

 

27

 

She mocked 'em and shocked 'em and said she didn't care!

 

28

 

And just as she kicked her heels and turned to run and hide,

 

29

 

There were two great big black things a-standing by her side,

 

30

All

And they snatched her through the ceiling 'fore she knew what was about!

 

31

 

And the gobble-uns'll get you--if you

 

32

 

Don’t

33

 

     Watch

34

 

          Out!

 

 

 

35

Reader 12

And Little Orphan Annie says, when the blaze is blue,

 

36

 

And the lamp wick sputters, and the wind goes woo-oo!_

37

Reader 13

And you hear the crickets quit, and the moon is gray,

 

38

 

And the lightning bugs in dew are all squinched away,--

 

39

 

You’d better mind your parents and your teachers fond and dear

 

40

 

And cherish them that love you and dry the orphan's tear

 

41

All

And help the poor and needy ones that cluster all about,

 

42

 

Or the gobble-uns'll get you--if you

 

43

 

Don’t

44

 

     Watch

45

 

          Out!

 

Glossary

rafter-room - attic
cubbyhole - a small, snug place
press - a cupboard for storing clothes and linen
roundabout – a short, close-fitting coat

blood and kin – relatives

blaze is blue – fireplace fire is dying down

squinch – to crouch down