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The Testimony

It has been demonstrated that docking a horse's tail is a painless operation. Daily paper.


Then up stepped Reggie Toodlekins, the celebrated whip,
Who 's tooled the good coach Tally-ho on many a summer trip;
He bowed before the jury and he smiled upon the judge,
And when they asked, "Does docking hurt?" he answered them, "Oh, fudge!

"I 've driven sixteen hundred steeds and every one was docked,—
Indeed, had they been otherwise, e'en they would have been shocked,—
And I assure you—'pon my word, I 'll gladly swear to it—
I never felt the slightest pain, not e'en a tiny bit!"

Then up rose Pauline Vandergold, the sporting heiress maid.
Who gazed upon the jury with a blue eye unafraid.
"Does docking hurt?" She giggled then. "Excuse me if I smile,
But really that 's the funniest thing I 've heard in quite a while.

"I 've thirty horses in my stalls, O Mr. Lawyer-man,
And banged is every tail of them from Jessie V. to Dan;
And though I 've lived among them since 'way back in '93,
Not one of all my equine pets has e'er complained to me."

Then up spake Mike O'Shaughnessy, a fresh-faced stable-boy—
A corner he in freckles, with a brogue without alloy.
"Doos dockin' hur-ur-rt? Will, Oi din-naw!" he added with a cough;
"Oi niver hod a tail mesilf, so no wan 's cut it off.

"If Oi'd your job, your honor, judge, a-sittin' in the chair,
And yours, O jury gintlemin, a-frownin' over there,
Wid such a ca-ase for sittlemint, Oi rather t'ink moi course
Would be to l'ave dood witnisses, an' go an' ashk the horse."

John Kendrick Bangs.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1924.


The author died in 1922, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.