Incremental Poetry ~ 78 Lines

The Boy and His Dog

I went to the Door to walk the Dog,
But Dog wouldn’t goo.
Dog has four legs; I have but two.
My mother is calling me, what shall I do?

I went to the Doghouse and found me a Flea.
Flea wouldn’t bite Dog,
Dog wouldn’t goo.
My mother is calling me, what shall I do?

I went to the Web and found me a Spider.
Spider wouldn’t catch Flea,
Flea wouldn’t bite Dog,
Dog wouldn’t goo.
My mother is calling me, what shall I do?

I went to the Nest and found me a Bird.
Bird wouldn’t eat Spider,
Spider wouldn’t catch Flea,
Flea wouldn’t bite Dog,
Dog wouldn’t goo.
My mother is calling me, what shall I do?

I went to the Tree and found me a Squirrel.
Squirrel wouldn’t chase Bird,
Bird wouldn’t eat Spider,
Spider wouldn’t catch Flea,
Flea wouldn’t bite Dog,
Dog wouldn’t goo.
My mother is calling me, what shall I do?

I went to the Woods and found me a ‘Coon.
‘Coon wouldn’t scare Squirrel,
Squirrel wouldn’t chase Bird,
Bird wouldn’t eat Spider,
Spider wouldn’t catch Flea,
Flea wouldn’t bite Dog,
Dog wouldn’t goo.
My mother is calling me, what shall I do?

I went to the Town and found me a Hunter.
Hunter wouldn’t shoot ‘Coon,
‘Coon wouldn’t scare Squirrel,
Squirrel wouldn’t chase Bird,
Bird wouldn’t eat Spider,
Spider wouldn’t catch Flea,
Flea wouldn’t bite Dog,
Dog wouldn’t goo.
My mother is calling me, what shall I do?

I went to the Zoo and found me an Elephant.
Elephant wouldn’t squash Hunter,
Hunter wouldn’t shoot ‘Coon,
‘Coon wouldn’t scare Squirrel,
Squirrel wouldn’t chase Bird,
Bird wouldn’t eat Spider,
Spider wouldn’t catch Flea,
Flea wouldn’t bite Dog,
Dog wouldn’t goo.
My mother is calling me, what shall I do?

I went to the Lab and found me a Mouse.
Mouse wouldn’t spook Elephant,
Elephant wouldn’t squash Hunter,
Hunter wouldn’t shoot ‘Coon,
‘Coon wouldn’t scare Squirrel,
Squirrel wouldn’t chase Bird,
Bird wouldn’t eat Spider,
Spider wouldn’t catch Flea,
Flea wouldn’t bite Dog,
Dog wouldn’t goo.
My mother is calling me, what shall I do?

I went down the Street and found me a Cat.
Cat said, “Say PLEASE.”
So THEN —
The Cat began to kill the Mouse,
The Mouse began to spook the Elephant,
The Elephant began to squash the Hunter,
The Hunter began to shoot the ‘Coon,
The ‘Coon began to scare the Squirrel,
The Squirrel began to chase the Bird,
The Bird began to eat the Spider,
The Spider began to catch the Flea,
The Flea began to bite the Dog,
The Dog began to goo.

So it’s all over now and I’m happy.


Copyright © 2021 Abigail Gronway – All Rights Reserved

This is the Rueger version (written 9/30/01) of the Opie version of a poem learned by George Sweetman, of Wincanton in Somerset, England, in his childhood, c. 1842. His story was about the buying of a cat; Opie’s was about the buying of a pig. Opie also added the part about the cat saying “Say please!” which I liked very much.


Welcome to my series, Incremental Poetry, where each week the featured poem will be one line longer than the one I share the week before. I have no idea how long I’ll keep this up, so we’ll just have to wait and see. Thank you for stopping by.

2 Replies to “Incremental Poetry ~ 78 Lines”

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