Feed the chickens daughter Velma,
So the hens may go and lay;
They've been shut up, loudly calling
For their feed since break of day.
This is sure a lovely morning-
Almost like the month of May.
And I think we'll go a chipping
O'er the pastures far away.
Elsie help me hitch the horses
You're a good girl for such things
I do like a child that's helpful.
Who while working often sings,
Is there fuel in the wood box?
Mamma wants to bake today.
While the rest of us are chipping
On the prairie far away.
Lead the horses first to water,
While I let the cattle through.
Trix goes always on the gee side.
Watch! that colt don't kick at you
Ah, that naughty little sorrel
Thinks he'll go along and stay,
With the team while we are busy
Chipping on the plains today.
Curlie, you stay home with Mamma
Keep the range cows from the door
Drive away the hawks and coyotes,
That is what we've got you for.
If she'd go with us she'd only
Chase jack rabbits, and in vain,
Catching none, while we are busy
Chipping on the level plain.
Here we go now see us travel.
As we swiftly ride along.
Meadow larks are singing loudly
Everywhere their sweetest song
In the distance herds of cattle
And of horses may be seen.
As we go this lovely morning
Chipping where the grass is green.
See that mirage over yonder.
Where the level pastures break.
Stretching out three miles or over.
Looking like a crystal lake.
Cattle standing in the water
With their shadows up side down.
Weeds and tall grass showing double.
Look like little islands brown.
Tell you as to what is mirage?
That's a thing I cannot do!
But there is an Indian legend,
Which I will relate to you.
This vast plain was once an ocean
Where sea monsters lived an died
Level slopes and rolling sand hills
Thus were formed by waves and tide.
Water relics are yet picked up
Where the red man's camp fire burned
And the mirage in the legend,
Is the ocean's ghost returned.
Fleeing as we go toward it.
Baseless as the evening shade
Fleecy clouds and like the rainbow
Fair to see but quickly fades.
I admire this short grass country.
Tis the best place I have found.
There are vacant quarter sections
Smooth and fertile lying round.
Looking like a blue grass meadow
And to own them one but gives
What would but a lot in grave yards
Back East where your Grandpa lives.
I admire these Kansas coal fields
As compared with splitting wood
Like I used to do while renting
Back where heavy timber stood.
Children mine I'll tell you something
Of the way I used to do
Years before we came to Kansas
To this land so strange and new.
In the stormy days of winter
In the cold and in the rain.
In the snow drifts by the rail fence
In the deep mud of the lane
Carried I the ax and crosscut
Maul and sledge and trudge along
To the woods among the tree tops.
Where the cutters skilled and strong
Had cut down tall trees for saw logs
There I did the best I could.
With my old one handled crosscut.
Saw and ax a making wood.
Then I've got out with the wagon
Through the woods and over logs.
Driving through small ponds of water
Noisy with the croak of frogs.
With one hub fast on a sapling
And all four wheels in the mire.
Thus it was in Indiana
Hauling wood to keep a fire.
Now its time to stop the wagon.
Here is what we're looking for,
Cow Chips, dry and oh! so plenty,
Won't they make the cook stove roar!
Now, lets fill the wagon quickly,
Then we all will home ward go,
Counting this days work a picnic
Chipping where the wild flowers grow.