Archive for Thursday, July 19, 2012

100 years ago: An ode to the chigger

July 19, 2012


From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for July 19, 1912:

[This poetic gem was making the rounds in the nation's newspapers in July 1912, especially in the Midwestern states.]

"Because of chiggers, those blamed little diggers,

No more dare I bask in the green woodland nook,

No more draw a measure of sweet wholesome pleasure

From seeking the groves with a bat and a book!

A man can give battle to serpents that rattle,

To all the wild creatures infesting the woods;

But chiggers defy him; as soon as they spy him

They camp on his frame and deliver the goods.

With swatters and beaters he fights off the skeeters,

With smudge fire he baffles their cousins and aunts;

The chigger bird senses his futile defenses

And calmly crawls under the leg of his pants.

A man on the leas'll meet polecat or weasel

And come out the victor, if given a show;

The coon and the possum -- he's able to boss 'em,

He'd whip seven owls if they stood in a row;

But ah, what a figure he cuts when the chigger

Gets into his system, a-drilling for oil;

He gets on his knees and his yells bust his weasand,

He claws up the grass and bites chunks from the soil.

The woods are deserted where erstwhile we flirted

With Susan Mirandy and t'other nice maid;

The tall poplars wonder why no one sits under --

The chiggers have driven the boys from their shade!"

["Chiggers," by Walt Mason. Copyright 1912 by George Matthew Adams.]


Ronda Miller 5 years, 10 months ago

Lol, poetry seemed to be quite popular back in the day.... Thanks for digging this one out, Sarah. It's catchy and just beginning to work its way under my skin. ;()

FlintlockRifle 5 years, 10 months ago

Good timing there Miss Sarah with this little ditty, they are out in the yards south of Kaw. Have an old remedy to get rid of these little buggers----------Take a bottle of booze and a box of sand , put it out in the yard, later in the day they will drink the booze get drunk and then start throwing sand pebbles and stone each other to death, end of chiggers-------

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