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SONGS ABOUT ANIMALS                      193
What member of the Poetry Society of America would apos­trophize a buzzard, I ask you? Yet the colored man of the field finds fellowship even there, as we see in a stanza reported by Professor W. A. Kern, of Randolph-Macon Woman's College, Lynchburg, Virginia.
Old King Buzzard floating high,
" Sho do wish old cow would die."
Old cow died, old calf cried,
"Oh mourner, you shall be free."
What camaraderie is shown in such lines as those to a wood­pecker, sent in by Elsie Brown, of Asheville, North Carolina!
Peckerwood, peckerwood, What makes your head so red? You peck out in the sun so long, It's a wonder you ain't dead.
A Negro on Howard Snyder's plantation in Mississippi summed up considerable of his philosophy of life, as well as of nature study, in stanzas which lack logical sequence but seem fervent and sincere.
Monkey settin' on de end uf a rail Pickin' his teeth wid de end uf his tail. Mulberry leaves un' calico sleeves, All school teachers is so hard to please.
Red bird settin' up in de 'sirnmon tree, Possum settin' on de ground; Sparrow come along un' say, " Shake dem 'simmons down."
De hen dip de snuff, De rooster chew terbaccer, De guinea don't chew But strut her sulf.
Pigs under de table Rats on de shelf. I'm so tired uf sleepin' All by my sulf.
The Negro is interested in the domestic fowls perhaps mote than in wild birds, and drumsticks move him to song more spontaneously than feathered vocal cords, it would seem. He feels midnight in­spiration at times, but not from rheumatic waiting to hear a night­ingale warble. No, he goes in search of his thrills and finds them in

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