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  • Writer's pictureDiane M Kellogg

A Scarecrow Poem for Inspiration!

John S. Crow

By Clara Doty Bates

All alone in the field

Stands John S. Crow;

And a curious sight is he,

With his head of tow,

And a hat pulled low

On a face that you never see.

His clothes are ragged

And horrid and old,

The worst that ever were worn;

They're covered with mold,

And in each fold

A terrible rent is torn.

They once were new

And spick and span,

As nice as clothes could be;

For though John hardly can

Be called a man,

They were made for men you see.

That old blue coat,

With a double breast

And a brass button here and there,

Was grandfather's best,

And matches the vest--

The one Uncle Phil used to wear.

The trousers are short;

They belonged to Bob

Before he had got his growth;

But John's no snob,

And, unlike Bob,

Cuts his legs to the length of his cloth.

The boots are a mystery:

How and where

John got such a shabby lot,

Such a shocking pair,

I do declare

Though he may know, I do not.

But the hat that he wears

Is the worst of all;

I wonder that John keeps it on.

It once was tall,

But now it is small--

Like a closed accordeon.

But a steady old chap

Is John S. Crow,

And for months has stood at his post;

For corn you know

Takes time to grow,

And 'tis long between seed and roast.

And it had to be watched

And guarded with care

From the time it was put in the ground,

For over there,

And everywhere,

Sad thieves were waiting around.

Sad thieves in black,

A cowardly set,

Who waited for John to be gone,

That they might get

A chance to upset

The plans of the planter of corn.

They were no kin to John,

Though they bore his name

And belonged to the family Crow;

He'd scorn to claim

Any part of the fame

That is theirs wherever you go.

So he has stuck to the field

And watched the corn,

And been watched by the crows from the hill;

Till at length they're gone,

And so is the corn--

They away, and it to the mill.

Now the work is done,

And it's time for play,

For which John is glad I know;

For though made of hay,

If he could he would say,

"It's stupid to be a scarecrow."

But though it is stupid,

And though it is slow,

To fill such an humble position;

To be a good scarecrow

Is better I know

Than to scorn a lowly condition.

Clara Doty Bates (1838-1895)

Scarecrow cover photo - Public Domain Vectors.

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