The Conspiracy Of The Clothes

By Amos Russel Wells

Mother called, and I called, and Father called, and Kate:
“Johnny! Johnny!” “Get up, Johnny!” “John, get up! It’s late!”
Not a ripple, all our shouting, on the current of his dreams.
Others, though, were lighter sleepers. Something else was roused, it seems.
First a rustle, then a whisper, then a queer and muffled cry
From the nook where Johnny’s Jacket chanced in tumbled state to lie;
Fie upon this lazy Johnny! Brother Clothes, observe the sun!
Two full hours ago, believe me, was this glorious day begun!”
Piped the cap from off the washstand, “Oh, the sky is blue and red!
“What a joy to look up at it from the top of Johnny’s head!”
Groaned the shoes beneath the bureau, “Ah, the grass is cool and sweet!
What a frolic with the clover were we once on Johnny’s feet!”
Socks and shirt and tie and trousers in indignant chorus cried,
“It’s a shame to make us lie here when the world’s so fine outside!”
“Friends,” the socks cried, “let as punish this great sleepy, lazy lout.
We, at least, when he does want us, will he found turned inside out!”
Instantly the shirt assented, muttering with sarcastic cough.
“I’ve a button, Master Johnny, which I fear is coming off!”
And the shoestrings from the bureau added themselves to the plot;
“When Sir Johnny goes to tie us he will find an ugly knot.”
Said the cap, I’ll run and hide me The suspenders, old and thin,
Threatened breaking, and the necktie innocently lost its pin.
Thus they schemed and thus they plotted, till at length persistent Kate
Woke up lazy Master Johnny at precisely half-past eight—
And the school at nine! Young Johnny, half-shut eyes and sleepy face,
Falls to dressing in a panic, at a most alarming pace.
But the shirt sticks to his elbows as he tries to draw it on,
And, in all his lifetime, never were the socks so hard to don.
The suspenders break. A button impolitely takes its leave.
Johnny’s left arm gets acquainted with the right-arm jacket sleeve.
The shoestrings knot and tangle, and unseasonably snap.
And “Oh, mother, where’s my Reader?” and “Oh, mother, where’s my cap?”
There’s a hurry and a worry and a grumble and a fret,
And a very scanty breakfast is the best that he can get.
“I do wonder,” thought young Johnny, stumbling, tardy, to his place
In the midst of tittering schoolmates, with a very sheepish face,
“What’s the reason all goes wrong when a chap has overslept?”
But he never understood it, for the clothes their secret kept.

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