by Mary Waddell
When stars and moon are shining bright
Throughout the forest Thursday night,
My wife and I invite you all
To join us in a fancy ball.
We're well provided with things to eat-
We've even found some honey, sweet.
There's nothing for you to bring, I think,
Unless it be some kind of drink.
So come, let's have a merry night!
We'll dance and feast till morning light.
We hope in style you'll all be dressed.
Let each one wear his very best."
So read the invitation sent
By Bruin to bears on pleasure bent.
In gayest mood they all declared
By Thursday night they'd be prepared.
When Mr. Sun sat down to rest,
He smiled on bears all fuly drest.
When floating clouds Miss Moon peeped through,
She saw them marching two and two.
"Let's merry be," said one big' bear.
"We've left behind us every care.
I have with me a shining cup,
The rest have jugs--come, have a sup!
"We've brought enough of rum tonight
To last us through till morning light."
So down they sat and drank, and vowed
They were a match for any crowd.
"The feast! The feast! stay not to boast!
Let's hasten on to greet our host!"
The cry went up from Tiny One
Whose feet now seemed to weigh a ton.
"O, sure enough," said Teddy Bear,
"No doubt 'tis time that we were there."
So up the mountain side they went,
The summit reached their strength was spent.
And droppin' down to rest awhile
They did the hours with sleep beguile.
'Twas late indeed when they sat down
To Bruin's feast, and met his frown.
"My friends," said be, "why this delay?
You see yourselves 'tis almost day.
How can we spend a night in fun
When daybreak sees us just begun?
"The pig we caught, we've put away
To meet our needs some meatless day.
The turkey hen, as it grew late
In tasting oft, at last we ate.
"The honey also tempting grew;
We have but little left for you.
So eat the scraps with rum tonight,
'Tis drink that gives you such delight."
"O, woe is me!" cried every one
As o'er the hills peeped Rising Sun.
"If only drink we'd let alone
We'd not be gnawing now a bone.
"For worthless rum we've thrown away
A turkey roast and pig this day.
A bad exchange we've made withal
For drink containing alcohol.
"Good food will give us strength each day,
While rum will take our strength away.
We've missed the feast, we've missed the fun;
Our troubles yet have just begun."
"Come, friends, come on," the big bear said,
"Let's all go home, and then to bed.
We'd best be quiet as we go, .
We're not in shape to meet a foe."
Away they went in sorry plight,
And as they shuffled out of sight,
Old Bruin grinned and said, "My Dear,
"I'm really glad they were not here.
"For if they'd come in time to eat
The turkey roast and honey sweet,
There'd naught been left for us, I think,
Except, perhaps, a jug of drink.
"But now we two are feeling great
Although we've both been up so late.
Come, dance with me a merry jig,
And then we'll breakfast on the pig!
"We'll sleep all day and then, tonight,
When moon and stars are shining bright,
We'll venture out across the bog
And bring back home a fattened hog."
"NO DRINK FOR US!" they loudly sang
Till all the woods with echos rang.
"Our sniveling friends are proof enough
It's not the proper kind of stuff."
Published by the Lincoln-Lee Legion, Westerville Ohio
Copyright, 1921. The American Issue Publishing Co.
A hard copy of this story can be found at the Anti-Saloon League Museum: Belated Guests, opens a new window
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