Ode to a Rat-Trap

~Bud Rainey


One night in our old dining room when suppertime was through,

We sat around the table like a family likes to do,

An’ talked o’ this an’ that with ev’rybody takin’ turn,

Discussin’ different angles to our problems o’ concern,

We got so interested that nobody stopped to think,

That Mom was out there rasslin’ with the dishes in the sink,

But then we saw her comin’ in, a dryin’ off a cup:

She said, “I want a word before you break this meetin’ up!”


We knew jes’ by her tone that she was mad as she could be,

An’ ev’rybody sort o’ squirmed an’ acted fidgety,

We knew that she meant bizness when she acted that a’way,

An’ we was kind o’ feared about that word she had to say;

We sat an’ eyed each other, feelin’ guilty, ev’ryone,

‘Cause all of us was conscious of some mischief we had done,

We wondered which of us had been discovered in a sin,

An’ then she hung her apron up, sat down, an’ started in.


“Somebody in this house,” she said, “is in fer somethin’ bad,

An’ when I find out who it is, they’ll wish they never had;

I ain’t a’ sayin’ who it is, or what it’s all about,

But I’m a’ warnin’ him right now, he’d best be watchin’ out!”

That’s all she said, an’ then walked out, an’ left us in a fuss,

‘Cause what she said would jes’ about fit any one of us,

So off to bed we scampered, in a quandary, discontent—

It’s wasn’t long, however, ‘til we found out what she meant.


We heard some awful screamin’, an’ we heard Mom say, “Ah-ha!—

Come down here all you young’uns, an’ jes’ take a look at Pa!”

An’ Pa was dancin’ ‘cross the floor, an’ yellin’ high an’ low:

He had a great big rat-trap hangin’ smack upon his toe;

We tried to get it off, an’ had a time, fer it was stuck,

An’ Mom sat there a’laughin’, an’ Pa scowled an’ cussed his luck!

When it was off, he got plum mad, limped out an’ slammed the door,

But to my knowledge, he ain’t robbed the ice-box anymore!