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DE APPILE-TREE

BY JOEL CHANDLER HARRIS


"BUT WATCH ME KEEP IN DE MIDDLE ER DE ROAD"


Dat's a mighty quare tale 'bout de Appile-tree
In de Pa'dise gyarden whar Adam run free,
Whar de butterflies drunk honey wid ol' Mammy Bee.
Talk 'bout good times! I bet you he had 'em—
Adam—
Ol' man Adam un' de Appile-tree.

He woke one mornin' wid a pullin' at his sleeve;
He open one eye, an' dar wuz Eve;
He shuck her han', wid "Honey, don't you grieve!"
Talk 'bout good times! I bet you dey had 'em—
Adam-
Adam an' Eve un' de Appile-tree.

Den Eve tuck a bite er de Appile fruit,
An' Adam he bit, an' den dey scoot
(Dar's whar de niggers l'arned de quick callyhoot),
An' run an' hid behime de fig-tree.
Talk about troubles! I bet you dey had 'em—
Adam—
Adam an' Eve behime de fig-tree.

Dey had der frolics an' dey had der flings,
An' den atter dat der fun tuck wings.
Honey mighty sweet, but bees got stings.
Talk about hard times! I bet you dey had 'em—
Adam—
Adam an' Eve behime de fig-tree.

Kaze out er dat gyarden dey had fer ter skin,
Fer ter look fer de crack whar Satan crope in.
Dey s'arch fur an' wide, an' dey s'arch mighty well—
Eve she knowed, but she 'fuse fer ter tell.
Ol' Satan's trail wuz all rubbed out,
Ceppin' a track er two whar he walked about.
Talk about troubles! Well, I bet you dey had 'em—
Adam—
Adam an' Eve an' all der kin.

An' when dey got back, de gate wuz shot,
An' dat wuz de pay what Adam got.
In dat gyarden he went no mo';
De overseer gi' 'im a shovel an' a hoe,
A mule an' plow, an' a swingletree.
Talk about hard times! I bet you dey had 'em—
Adam—
An' all er his chillun, bofe slave an' free;
Dey had 'em—
Bekaze er de fruit er de Appile-tree.

An' de chillun er Adam, an' de chillun's kin,
Dey all got smeared wid de pitch er Sin;
Dey shot der eyes ter de big hereatter,
An' flung Sin aroun' wid a tur'ble splatter,
An' collogued wid Satan, an' dat what de matter.
An' troubles—well, I bet you dey had 'em—
Adam—
De chillun er Adam dat fergit ter pray—
Dey had 'em—
An' dey keep on a-had'n' 'em down ter dis day!

But dat wa'n't de last er de Appile-tree,
Kaze she scatter her seeds bofe fur an' free,
An' dat's what de matter wid you an' me.
I knows de feelin's what fotch on de Fall,
De red Appile an' ol' Satan's call—
Lor' bless yo' soul, I knows um all!
I'm kinder lopsided an' pidjin-toed,
But watch me keep in de middle er de road,
Kaze de troubles I got is a mighty big load.
Talk about troubles! I got um an' had um,
An' I know mighty well dat I cotch um fum Adam
An' de Appile-seeds what he scatter so free—
Adam—
Adam an' Eve an' de Appile-tree.

This work was published before January 1, 1924, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.