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SONGS ABOUT ANIMALS                     185
Charles Carroll of New Orleans sings it after this fashion:
I went to the river And could n't get across. Jumped on an alligator And thought it was a horse.
Mrs. Hatchell, New Orleans, knows this form:
I went to the river, And could n't get across; Paid five dollars For an old blind horse.
A nonsense fragment about an antique equine was given by Mrs. W. D. Martin.
De old hoss kick
And a hippy-doodle.
De old hoss kick
And a hippy-doodle.
The old hoss kick hard in the stable,
And he could n't git his foot out
Because he was n't able I
The little pony whose rider chose a queer position for economic reasons had its running-mate in an old mule that was treated in like fashion:
I had a old mule,
His name was Jack,
I rode on his tail to save his back.
The lightning roll, the thunder flash,
An' split my coat-tail clear to smash.
The mule seems an unpoetic subject, on the whole, and it would perhaps be dangerous to take vers liberties with him, for his feet, while perhaps not strictly metrical in their movement, have their own crude emphasis. But poets or "songsters" refuse to be fettered as to inspiration, and so the mule, too, has his celebrants in song. The lyric outburst given below was contributed by Mary Stevenson Callcott, of Texas. It is fervent and sincere in its emotion, one must confess.

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III