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The Dance in the Kitchen, from Harper's

 

Oh, that winter afternoon,
Such a merry, merry tune
As the jolly, fat tea-kettle chose its singing to begin!
'Twas a lilting Scottish air,
And it seemed, I do declare,
As though bagpipe played by fairy was forever joining in.

Then the bagpipe ceased to play,
And another tune straightway
Sang the kettle, louder, louder, till its voice grew very big;
And the feet of laughing girls
(Girls with shamrock in their curls)
You could almost hear a-keeping time to that old Irish jig.

Darling, smiling, cunning Bess
Grasped with tiny hands her dress,
And a pretty courtesy making, while the kettle made a bow,
"I'll your partner be," said she;
"Forward, backward, one, two, three;"
And pussy cried, "Bravo! my dears," in one immense me-ow.

And they danced right merrily
Till 'twas nearly time for tea,
The kettle tilting this way and then that way—oh, what fun!
And its hat bobbed up and down
On its moist and steamy crown,
With a clatter falling off at last, and then the dance was done.
 

"'I'LL YOUR PARTNER BE,' SAID SHE."—Drawn by Sol Eytinge, Jun.

"'I'LL YOUR PARTNER BE,' SAID SHE."—Drawn by Sol Eytinge, Jun.