Bookin' It

So Many Books. So Little Time. Let's Review!

Little Orphant Annie by James Whitcomb Riley

In honor of the spooky days ahead this month, I thought I’d share another James Whitcomb Riley poem with you.  Believe it or not, I had to memorize this one way back in the dark ages, when I was in fifth grade.  I fell in love with the dialect that Riley so favored in his country style, and have never forgotten it.  Okay, I’m lying.  I’ve forgotten huge chunks of it, but still…I remember many lines from it, and the gist of the whole story.  Maybe you will, too, once you’ve read it.  Enjoy!

Little Orphant Annie


James Whitcomb Riley

 LITTLE Orphant Annie’s come to our house to stay,
        An’ wash the cups an’ saucers up, an’ brush the crumbs away,
        An’ shoo the chickens off the porch, an’ dust the hearth, an’ sweep,
        An’ make the fire, an’ bake the bread, an’ earn her board-an’-keep;
        An’ all us other childern, when the supper-things is done,
        We set around the kitchen fire an’ has the mostest fun
        A-list’nin’ to the witch-tales ‘at Annie tells about,
        An’ the Gobble-uns ‘at gits you
        Ef you
        Wunst they wuz a little boy wouldn’t say his prayers,–
        An’ when he went to bed at night, away up-stairs,
        His Mammy heerd him holler, an’ his Daddy heerd him bawl,
        An’ when they turn’t the kivvers down, he wuzn’t there at all!
        An’ they seeked him in the rafter-room, an’ cubby-hole, an’ press,
        An’ seeked him up the chimbly-flue, an’ ever’-wheres, I guess;
        But all they ever found wuz thist his pants an’ roundabout:–
        An’ the Gobble-uns ‘ll git you
        Ef you
        An’ one time a little girl ‘ud allus laugh an’ grin,
        An’ make fun of ever’ one, an’ all her blood-an’-kin;
        An’ wunst, when they was “company,” an’ ole folks wuz there,
        She mocked ’em an’ shocked ’em, an’ said she didn’t care!
        An’ thist as she kicked her heels, an’ turn’t to run an’ hide,
        They wuz two great big Black Things a-standin’ by her side,
        An’ they snatched her through the ceilin’ ‘fore she knowed what she’s about!
        An’ the Gobble-uns ‘ll git you
        Ef you
        An’ little Orphant Annie says, when the blaze is blue,
        An’ the lamp-wick sputters, an’ the wind goes woo-oo!
        An’ you hear the crickets quit, an’ the moon is gray,
        An’ the lightnin’-bugs in dew is all squenched away,–
        You better mind yer parunts, an’ yer teachurs fond an’ dear,
        An’ churish them ‘at loves you, an’ dry the orphant’s tear,
        An’ he’p the pore an’ needy ones ‘at clusters all about,
        Er the Gobble-uns ‘ll git you
        Ef you

Single Post Navigation

4 thoughts on “Little Orphant Annie by James Whitcomb Riley

  1. I don’t believe I have ever read the whole poem. Thank you for that!!


  2. You’re welcome, SC! Really glad you enjoyed it. I always thought it was a lot of fun. Riley is one of the poets whose work is even better read aloud.

    Thanks for stopping by!


  3. My mom used to read this poem to my sis and me, and we were so scared. What a classic.


  4. I don’t think my parents ever read it, even for themselves. They weren’t much for poetry, sadly. But I sure loved it, anyway. Nice to see you, Alice!


Let Us Hear From You! NOTE: If in doubt about leaving comments on this blog, please read privacy statement under ABOUT, in menu bar above.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Sue Rovens

Suspense Lives Here

Author D.L. Finn

Embrace your inner child by reading a good book!

Writing and Music

Books and music - It's all about words!

Hugh's Views & News  

WordPress & Blogging tips, flash fiction, photography and lots more!

Jeanne Owens, author

Blog about author Jeanne Owens and her writing

Fiction Favorites

with John W. Howell

Welcome to the World of Suzanne Burke.

It's a writers world, a world that seeks to explore and entertain


Let's Talk About Books

Bette A. Stevens, Maine Author

A writer inspired by nature and human nature

Entertaining Stories

Just a fiction writer, trying to reach the world.

Welcome to Harmony Kent Online

The home of all things books

Lemon Shark Reef

Frolicking In The Ocean Of Fiction

Author Don Massenzio

Independent Authors Unite!

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Blog magazine for lovers of health, food, books, music, humour and life in general

Robbie's inspiration

Ideas on writing and baking

Books and Such

YA author supporting other authors

Joan Hall

Mystery / Romantic Suspense / Legends / Folklore

Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Myths of the Mirror

Life is make believe, fantasy given form


Life in a flash - a weekly writing blog

Using my talent to bring more love and beauty into the world.

Staci Troilo

Character-Driven Fiction/Pulse-Pounding Plots

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog


Books! Where are the great books?

Story Empire

Exploring the World of Fiction

Lemon Shark

Navigating the Uncharted Waters of Life

Nicholas C. Rossis

Award-winning, dream-protecting author

Judith Barrow

Writer & Author


A lovers review of everything books. Come for the reviews, stay for the pictures!

Archer's Aim

The speculative fiction of P. H. Solomon

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

Echoes of Life, Love and Laughter

Bookin' It

So Many Books. So Little Time. Let's Review!

Callum McLaughlin

If I'm not reading books, I'm probably talking about them on the internet

%d bloggers like this: