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by peter newell.
Start of Story
Age rating 8 plus.
The Steiners on the floor above
Of breakfast were partaking;
Crash! came the rocket, unannounced,
And set them all a-quaking!
It smote a catsup bottle, fair,
And bang! the thing exploded!
And now these people all declare
That catsup flask was loaded.
Before the fire old Grandpa Hopp
Dozed in his arm-chair big,
When from a trunk the rocket burst
And carried off his wig!
It passed so near his ancient head
He roused up with a start,
And, turning to his grandsons, said,
"You fellows think you're smart!"
Algernon Bracket, somewhat rash,
Had blown a monster bubble,
When, oh! there came a blinding flash,
But Algy turned in mild disgust,
And called to Mama Bracket,
"Say, did you hear that bubble bu'st?
It made an awful racket!"
Jo Budd, who'd bought a potted plant,
Was dousing it with water.
He fancied this would make it grow,
And Joseph loved to potter.
Then through the pot the rocket shot
And made the scene look sickly!
"Well, now," said Jo, "I never thought
That plant would shoot so quickly!"
Right here 'tis needful to remark
That Dick and "Little Son"
Were playing with a Noah's ark
And having loads of fun,
When all at once that rocket, stout,
Up through the ark came blazing!
The animals were tossed about
And did some stunts amazing.
A Burglar on the next floor up
The sideboard was exploring.
(The family, with the brindled pup,
Were still asleep and snoring.)
Just then, up through the silverware
The rocket thundered, flaring!
The Burglar got a dreadful scare;
Then out the door went tearing.
Miss Mamie Briggs with no mean skill
Was playing "Casey's Fling"
To please her cousin, Amos Gill,
Who liked that sort of thing,
When suddenly the rocket, hot,
The old piano jumbled!
It stopped that rag-time like a shot,
Then through the ceiling rumbled.
Up through the next floor on its way
That rocket, dread, went tearing
Where Winkle stood in bath-robe, gay,
A tepid bath preparing.
The tub it punctured like a shot
And made a mighty splashing.
The man was rooted to the spot;
Then out the door went dashing.
Bob Brooks was puffing very hard
His football to inflate,
While round him stood his faithful guard,
And they could hardly wait.
Then came the rocket, fierce and bright,
And through the football rumbled.
"You've got a pair of lungs, all right!"
His staring playmates grumbled.
The family dog, with frenzied mien,
Was chasing Fluff, the mouser,
When, poof! the rocket flashed between,
And quite astonished Towzer.
Now, if this dog had wit enough
The English tongue to torture,
He might have growled such silly stuff
As, "Whew! that cat's a scorcher!"
While Carrie Cook sat with a book
The phonograph played sweetly.
Then came the rocket and it smashed
That instrument completely.
Fair Carrie promptly turned her head,
Attracted by the roar.
"Dear me, I never heard," she said,
"That record played before!"
De Vere was searching for a match
To light a cigarette,
But failed to find one with despatch,
Which threw him in a pet.
Just then the rocket flared up bright
Before his face and crackled,
Supplying him the needed light--
"Thanks, awfully," he cackled.
Home from the shop came Maud's new hat--
A hat of monstrous size!
It almost filled the tiny flat
Before her ravished eyes.
When, sch-u-u! up through the box so proud
The rocket flared and spluttered.
"I said that hat was all too loud!"
Her peevish husband muttered.
Tom's pap had helped him start his train,
And all would have been fine
Had not the rocket, raising Cain,
Blocked traffic on the line.
It blew the engine into scrap,
As in a fit of passion.
"Who would have thought that toy," said pap,
"Would blow up in such fashion!"
Orlando Pease, quite at his ease,
The "Morning Star" was reading.
"My dear," said he to Mrs. Pease,
"Here's a report worth heeding."
The rocket then in wanton sport
Flashed through the printed pages.
The lady gasped, "A wild report!"
Then swooned by easy stages.
Doc Danby was a stupid guy,
So, lest he sleep too late,
He placed a tattoo clock near by
To waken him at eight.
But, ah! the rocket smote that clock
And smashed its way clean through it!
"You have a fine alarm," said Doc,
"But, say, you overdo it!"
A penny-liner, Abram Stout,
Was writing a description.
"The flame shot up," he pounded out--
Then threw a mild conniption.
For through his Flemington there shied
A rocket, hot and mystic.
"I didn't mean to be," he cried,
"So deuced realistic!"
Gus Gummer long had set his head
Upon some strange invention.
"Be careful, Gus," his good wife said;
"It might explode. I mention--"
Just then the pesky rocket flared
And wrecked that Yankee notion.
"I feared as much!" his wife declared;
Then fainted from emotion.
While Burt was on his hobby-horse
And riding it like mad,
The rocket on its fiery course
Upset the startled lad.
The frightened pony plunged a lot,
Like Fury playing tag.
"Whoa, Spot!" said Burt. "Who would have thought
You such a fiery nag!"
A taxidermist plied his trade
Upon a walrus' head.
It really made him quite afraid
To meet its stare so dread.
When suddenly the rocket, bright,
Flared up and then was off!
"Oh, Minnie," cried the man in fright,
"Just hear that walrus cough!"
Oh, it was just a splendid flight--
That rocket's wild career!
But to an end it came, all right,
As you shall straightway hear.
It plunged into a can of cream
That Billy Bunk was freezing,
And froze quite stiff, as it would seem,
And so subsided, wheezing.