The Singular Sangfroid of Baby Bunting

An Asinine Classic

by Guy Wetmore Carryl

BARTHOLOMEW Benjamin Bunting
Had only three passions in life,
And one of the trio was hunting,
The others his babe and his wife.
And always, so rigid his habits,
He frolicked at home until two,
And then started hunting for rabbits,
And hunted till fall of the dew.
 
Belinda Bellonia Bunting,
Thus widowed for half of the day,
Her duty maternal confronting,
With baby would patiently play.
When thus was her energy wasted,
A patented food she'd dispense.
(She had bought it the day that they pasted
The posters all over her fence.)
 
But Bonaparte Buckingham Bunting,
The infant thus blindly adored,
Replied to her worship by grunting,
Which showed he was brutally bored.
'T was little he cared for the troubles
Of life. Like a crab on the sands,
From his sweet little mouth he blew bubbles,
And threatened the air with his hands.
 
Bartholomew Benjamin Bunting
One night, as his wife let him in,
Produced as the fruit of his hunting
A cottontail's velvety skin,
Which, seeing young Bonaparte wriggle,
He gave him without a demur,
And the babe with an aqueous giggle
He swallowed the whole of the fur!
 
Belinda Bellonia Bunting
Behaved like a consummate loon:
Her offspring in frenzy confronting
She screamed herself mottled maroon:
She felt of his vertebrae spinal,
Expecting he'd surely succomb,
And gave him one vigorous, final,
Hard prod in the pit of his tum.
 
But Bonaparte Buckingham Bunting,
At first but a trifle perplexed,
By a change in his manner of grunting
Soon showed he was horribly vexed.
He displayed not a sign of repentance
But spoke, in a dignified tone,
The only consecutive sentence
He uttered. 'T was: "Lemme alone."
 
The Moral: The parent that uses
Precaution his folly regrets:
An infant gets all that he chooses,
An infant chews all that he gets.
And colics? He constantly has 'em
So long as his food is the best,
But he'll swallow with never a spasm
What ostriches couldn't digest.

Originally published in A Nonsense Anthology (1915).

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