The Scarecrow: Occupation, Crime and Complaint

Image from (by Kristina Layton)


In yonder field he stands erect,
No matter what the weather,
And keeps a watch so circumspect
On foes of every feather.
So faithful is he to the trust
Committed to his keeping
That all the birds suspect he must
Dispense with any sleeping.

Sometimes his hat tips down so low
It seems a cause for censure,
For then some old courageous crow
Believes it safe to venture;
But catching sight of either arm
Outstretched in solemn warning,
The crow decides to leave this farm
Until another morning.

Although his dress is incomplete,
It really does not matter;
Perchance the truest heart may beat
Beneath a patch or tatter.
And it is wrong to base our love
On wealth and name and station,
For he who will may rise above
His daily occupation.

We should not look with eyes of scorn,
And find in him no beauty,
Who stands and guards our fields of corn,
And does the whole world duty.
But honor him for native worth,
For rustic independence,
And send a hearty greeting forth
For him and his descendants.

Martha Caverno Cook, in Harper’s Young People.

The Hazel Green Herald (Hazel Green, Kentucky) Oct 14, 1885

This was also published in The Wellsboro Agitator (Wellsboro, Pennsylvania) on Feb 4, 1890.  One word had been changed in the last line: “To” was used instead of “For.”

The Scarecrow’s Complaint.

The farmer’s daughter fixed me up —
‘Twas really quite a sin;
My hat is down clear o’er my eyes —
I haven’t any chin.

My arms are sticking right out straight —
I scorn this ragged coat;
My trousers — this is worst of all —
Are fastened round my throat.

Alas — that cruel farmer’s girl —
Her heart is hard and bad;
She brings her beaux to look at me —
And giggles just like mad.

— Chicago Record-Herald.

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Jun 17, 1901



The Trial of the Scarecrow.

“The prisoner, your honor,
As the court well knows,
Is accused of the crime
Of alarming the crows.”

Then the jury retired
Till they call could agree
To punish the rascal
Or let him go free.
They found a true bill,
With a great many caws,
“That the scarecrow with malice
Had broken the laws.”

Then up rose the judge,
And he solemnly said,
“I sentence the prisoner
To swing till he’s dead!”

The Daily News (Frederick, Maryland) Sep 30, 1893

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