“Sassafras Tea”

I follered ole Sassafras John down the street,
An’ we stopped at a cottage so cozy an’ neat.
John trudged to the porch, dropped his sack on the floor,
An’ kicked mud from his boots as he pounded the door.

He scairt the ole dog that was takin’ a nap,
An’ he bellered jist like he was caught in a trap.
That mangy ole hound sure was fit to be tied.
Ole John danced an’ yelled, an’ I laughed till I cried.

The door opened wide an’ a lady came out
Jist a wantin’ to know what the noise was about.
“Why good mornin’ Ma’am,” I heard ole John say,
“Would you like some sassafras roots today?”

My Willie would,” she said, “but oh! shoot,”
“Jist how could I fix those ole sassafras roots?”
John winked at me shyly, an’ poked at my ribs,
I knew he was thinkin’ of tellin’ some fibs.

The dog simmered down, an’ was scratchin’ its fleas;
John patted its head an’ spoke slowly with ease.
“To keep ’em from spoilin’ jist put ’em on ice,
An’ fer sumpin real speshul…just take my advise.”

“Jist scrape ’em, an’ mash ’em up fine,
An’ dash ’em with pepper, an’ serve ’em with wine;
Er roll ’em in cornmeal an’ fry ’em like fish,
However you fix ’em you’ll sure have a dish.”

“Yer man will sure love you, he’ll whistle an’ sing,
Fer no better dish could be served to a king.”
Fer only a quarter she bought a whole mess.
John said he’d been jokin’ an’ on second guess,

Mebbe it might be much better if she
Would jist peel off the bark an’ brew it fer tea.
He thanked her an’ picked up his ole gunny sack,
An’ smiled as he swung it up over his back.

He hummed to himself as we went on our way,
A sale had been made…an’ life was so gay.
He mocked the ole dog, but nuthin’ went wrong
Fer the dog he was mockin’…was taggin’ along.

I laugh when I think of the days that are gone,
An’ the fun that I had with ole Sassafras John.
A funny ole man…who played a great part
In the scenes of my boyhood…so dear to my heart.

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