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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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OLE PETE BATEESE

OLE PETE BATEESE GOT CHASE ONE NIGHT
BY WOLF UP BY THE SOO.
DESE WOLF DEY T'REE, FOUR IN DE PACK
AND DEY SCARE HIM TRU AND TRU.
PRETTY SOON OLE PETE CLIMB UP A TREE;
HE T'INK HE STAY AWHILE.
DESE WOLF DEY SIT DOWN IN DE SNOW
AND LICK DERE CHOPS AND SMILE.
PETE QUICK TWO WOLF GO TROT AWAY;
PETE T'INK DE REST SOON GO.
PRETTY QUICK DESE WOLF COME RIGHT STRAIGHT BACK;
PETE'S SPIRITS DEY SINK LOW.
FOR W'AT YOU T'INK DESE WOLF DEY GOT?
BIG BEAVER- ONE? NO- TWO!
DEY SET DEM DOWN BESIDE DAT TREE
AND SAY, "BY GAR, NOW CHEW."
DOSE BEAVER START IN CHEW DAT TREE;
DEY CHEW LIKE BEAT DE BAND.
PETE T'INK HE SOON BE ON DE GROUN'
UNLESS HE TAKE A HAND.
SO PETE PULL OUT HIS ONE-QUART HOOCH
AND LET IT RUN OUT SLOW.
IT TRICKLE DOWN DE TRUNK TO WHERE
DOSE BEAVER CHEW BELOW.
DOSE BEAVER DEY GOT DRUNK, BY GAR.
DEY DON'T SEE NONE TOO GOOD.
DEY MAKE MISTAKE AND CHEW DE WOLF
INSTEAD OF CHEW DE TREE.
DOSE WOLF RUN 'WAY, AND PETE CLIMB DOWN
AND SIT DOWN IN DE SNOW.
AND CRY AND CRY TO T'INK FOR WHERE
HIS ONE-QUART HOOCH SHE GO.

Submitter comment: THIS POEM IS RECITED ON WEEKEND PARTIES BY
CHEERS FROM THE LOGGING CREWS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAGINAW

James Callow Keyword(s): FRENCH DIALECT

Subject headings: Favorites
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Narrative Verse

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"ZE SKUNK, ZE SKUNK"

I HUNT ZE BEAR; I HUNT ZE WOLF;
SOMETIMES I HUNT ZE RAT.
LAS' WEEK I TAKE MY AX
AN' HUNT ZE SKUNK POLECAT.
MY FRIEND JACQUES SAYS HE'S VER' GOOD FUR,
AN' SOMETIME GOOD TO EAT.
I TELL MY WIFE I GET FUR COAT
AN' SAME TIME GET SOME MEAT.
I WALK TWO, T'REE, FOUR MILE.
I FEEL WAN AWFUL SMELL.
I SAY DIS SKUNK HE'S UP AND DIE,
AN' FUR COAT GONE TO HELL.
BIMEBY I SEE ZE SKUNK,
CLOSE UP BY ONE BEEG TREE.
I SNEAK UP VERA CLOSE BEHIN',
AN' T'INK HE'S NO SEE ME.
BIMEBY I'M CLOSE UP BY ZE SKUNK.
I RAISE MY AX UP HIGH,
WHEN ... UP, KERPLUNK, DIS DAM', DAM' SKUNK
SHE'S T'ROW SOMET'ING IN MY EYE.
SACRE BLU! I T'INK I'M BLIN'.
GEE WHIZ! I CAN NO SEE!
I WALK ROUN' AN' ROUN' AN' ROUN'
AN' BUMP IN DAM' OL' TREE!
BIMEBY I DROP MY AX
AN' LIGHT OUT FOR DA SHACK.
I T'INK A MILLION SKUNKS
DEY CLIM' UPON MY BACK.
MY WIFE SHE MEET ME AT DA DOOR.
SHE SEEK ON ME DA DOG.
SHE SAY."YOU NO SLEEP HERE TONIGHT.
YOU GO SLEEP MIT DA HOG."
I TRY TO CLIM' IN HOG PEN.
GEE WHIZ! NOW WHAT YOU TINK?
DAT DAM' O' HOG NOT STAN' FOR DAT
ON 'COUNT OF AWFUL STINK.
NO MORE I'M HUNT ZE SKUNK POLECAT
TO GET HIS FUR OR MEAT.
FOR IF HIS BREATH HE SMELL SO BAD,
GEE WHIZ WHAT EEFF HE SPEET.

Submitter comment: THIS POEM WAS USUALLY RECITED AROUND A FIRE ON
SATURDAY NIGHTS AT THE LOGGING CAMP.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAGINAW

Keyword(s): LOGGING POEMS

James Callow Keyword(s): FRENCH DIALECT ; SPIT

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Narrative Verse

Date learned: 03-04-1990

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