Childhood
        
THE INVENTOR'S WIFE
by Mrs. E. T. Corbet Submitted by Bob Sharp ( March 2007 ) It's easy to talk of the patience of Job - Job had nothing to try him! If he'd been married to 'Bijah Brown Folks wouldn't have dared come nigh him. Trials indeed! Now I'll tell you what - If you want to be tired of your life, Just come and change places with me a spell, For I'm an Inventor's Wife! And such inventions! I'm never sure, When I take up the coffee-pot, That 'Bijah aint been improving it And it mayn't go off like a shot! Why, didn't he make me a cradle once That would keep itself a-rocking? And didn't it pitch the baby out? And wasn't his head bruised? Shocking! Then there was that patent peeler too - A wonderful thing, I'll say! But it had one fault: it never stopped Till the apple was peeled away! As for locks and clocks and mowing-machines And reapers and all such trash - Why, 'Bijah invented heaps of them, But they don't bring in any cash! He invented a Jew's-harp to go by steam And a newfangled powder-horn While the children were going barefoot to school And the weeds were a-choking our corn! When 'Bijah and me kept company He wasn't like this, you know. Our folks all thought he was dreadful smart But that was years ago! He was as handsome as any picture then And had such a glib, bright way. I never thought as I'd see the time When I'd rue my wedding-day! But since I've been forced to chop the wood And tend to the farm beside, And to see 'Bijah just sitting there - Well, I've just sat down and cried! We lost the whole of our turnip crop While he was inventing a gun; But I counted it one of my mercies When it bust afore it was done! So he turned it into a burglar alarm - It ought to give thieves a fright; It would scare an honest man out of his wits If he set it off at night! Sometimes I wonder if 'Bijah's crazy, He does such curious things! Have I told you about his bedstead yet? 'Twas full of wheels and springs. It had a key to wind it up And a clock face at the head, And all you did was to turn the hands And, at any hour you said, The bed got up and shook itself, Then bounced you on the floor, And then shut up, just like a box, So you couldn't sleep any more. Well, 'Bijah - he fixed it all complete And set it at half-past five, But he hadn't no more than got into it, When - Strike me sakes alive! - The wheels began to whiz and whirr - I heard a fearful snap - And there was the bedstead, with 'Bijah inside, Shut up - just like a trap! I screamed, but of course it wasn't no use And I worked the whole long night A-trying to open the pesky thing; At last I got in a fright. I couldn't hear his voice inside And thought he might be dying, So I took a crowbar and smashed it in And there was 'Bijah, peacefully lying Inventing a way to get out again! That's all very well to say, But I don't believe he'd have found it out If I'd left him in all day! Now since I've told you my story Do you wonder I'm tired of my life And think it strange I often wish That I weren't an INVENTOR'S WIFE?
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