The Ballad Of A Runaway Donkey:

: Boys And Girls Bookshelf

by Emilie Poulsson:

here shadow'd forth in divers pictures by Alfred Brenon.

A sturdy little Donkey,

All dressed in sober gray,

Once took it in his long-eared head

That he would run away.

2 So, when a little open

He saw the sable door,

He ran as if he never would

Come back there any more.

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3 Away that Donkey galloped

And ran and ran and ran

And ran and ran and ran and ran

And Ran and RAn and RAN!

4 Behind him ran the Children,

The Groom and Coachman, too;

The Farmer and the farmer's man,

To see what they could do.

5 Some carried whips to whip him,

Some, oats to coax him near,

Some called "Come here you foolish beast!"

And some, "Come, Barney, dear."

6 But not a whit cared Barney

For cross or coaxing word;

And clatter, clatter, clatter still,

His little hoofs were heard.

7 And all across the meadow,

And up and o'er the hill,

And through the woods and down the dale

He galloped with a will.

8 And into every hayfield

And through the swamp and mire

Still Barney ran and ran and ran

As if he'd never tire!

9 His chasers all stopped running,

Then meek as any lamb

Did Barney stand as if to say,

"Come catch me! here I am."

10 But when one of them started,

Then Barney started, too;

As if the chase had just begun

Away he swiftly flew.

11 But there's an end to all things,

And so, (the stupid elf)

When no one else could capture him

This donkey caught himself.

12 For, running in the barn-yard,

He did not calculate

What consequences would befall,

And hit the swinging gate.

13 It quickly swung together,

Down dropped the iron latch

O, Barney Gray! to think that you

The runaway should catch!

14 The Children danced with pleasure,

The Groom roared with delight,

The Others smiled their broadest smiles

Or laughed with all their might.

15 But Barney, naughty Barney,

Had mischief in him still

For when the laughing Coachman tried

To lead him up the hill

16 His donkeyship determined

That he would yet have fun

So braced himself and stood stock still

As if he weighed a ton!

17 But mighty was the Coachman

And pulled with such a will

That Barney soon was being dragged

Full roughly up the hill.

18 "Well, well!" at last thought Barney

"The Coachman is so strong

I might as well be good just now,"

And so he walked along.

19 And when he reached the stable

And stood within the stall,

You'd scarce believe so meek a beast

Could run away, at all!

20 Now all the meditations

Of this same Barney Gray

Are only of some future chance

When he may run away.