The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Hole Book

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Title: The Hole Book

Author: Peter Newell

Release date: January 11, 2022 [eBook #67144]

Language: English

Original publication: United States: Harper & Brothers, 1908

Credits: Chuck Greif, deaurider and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at (This file was produced from images generously made available by The Internet Archive)


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Copyright, 1908, by Harper & Brothers.

All rights reserved.
Published October, 1908.




Tom Potts was fooling with a gun
(Such follies should not be),
When—bang! the pesky thing went off
Most unexpectedly!
Tom didn’t know ’twas loaded, and
It scared him ’most to death—
He tumbled flat upon the floor
And fairly gasped for breath.
The bullet smashed a fine French clock
(The clock had just struck three),
Then made a hole clean through the wall,
As you can plainly see.


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Out in the kitchen Bridget Quinn
Was busying about,
When through the boiler crashed the shot
And let the water out!
The floor was flooded like a pond,
The room was filled with steam,
And Bridget gathered up her skirts
And rushed out with a scream.


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Out in the back yard Sister Sue,
With “Sis” and Mabel Dunn,
Was swinging underneath the trees,
And having lots of fun,—
When zip! the speeding bullet sang,
And cut the rope in two,
Then hurtled through the high board fence,
And to the ground came Sue!


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Just then an automobile passed,
Its body painted green—
The bullet struck its side and pierced
The tank of gasolene.
A loud explosion followed and
A tremor shook the air!
The passengers were tossed aloft
Amidst the smoke and glare!


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An artist in a studio,
Who had a medal won,
Was painting on “A Laughing Boy,”
Which work was all but done:
The ball of lead this picture smote,
As through the room it ranged,
And through the canvas bored its way,
And the expression changed!


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Old Granny Fink was sound asleep—
As sound as one could wish;
Beside her an aquarium
Was standing, stocked with fish:
The bullet struck the crystal globe,
And roused her from her nap—
And Granny found that she was drenched,
With goldfish in her lap!
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A lady came into a store
Where animals were sold,
To buy a parrot with a tongue
That wouldn’t swear or scold;
But as she talked about the bird
And asked about the price,
The bullet plunged clean through a box
And freed a lot of mice!
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Old Hagenschmit, behind his house,
His new Dutch pipe was trying,
When—bing! the bullet smashed the bowl
And sent the pieces flying!
“Who put dot bombshell in my pipe?”
Exclaimed the startled smoker.
“If I could git my hands on him,
Dere would be vone less joker!”
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A pear-tree, seen above the wall,
With fruit was laden down,
And Ned, below, appeared to be
The saddest boy in town;
Just then the restless bullet passed,
And clipped a branching limb
Which bore a dozen pears or more
And passed it down to him!
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G. Foozleman, in high silk hat,
Along the street was trailing,
When through the crown the bullet sped
And sent his hat a-sailing!
“What do you mean, sir,” blurted he,
To Harvey Jones, behind him,
“By knocking off my high silk hat?”
But Harvey didn’t mind him.
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Dick Bumble, with a bag of grain,
Was going out to grind it,
When through the bag the bullet tore
And left a hole behind it!
Dick neither knew the bag was pinked,
Nor that a hole was in it,
And wondered why the load he bore
Grew lighter every minute.
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Tim Nickleby had hooked a fish,
And was about to land it,
When—snap! his fish-pole broke in two—
He couldn’t understand it.
Of course the bullet did the trick;—
It would have been more thrilling
If it had punctured Timothy,
Who was in need of drilling.
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A restless wild-cat had escaped,
And roamed the gardens free;
The keeper, frightened at the sight,
Had climbed a lofty tree:
The savage brute espied him there,
And with an agile bound,
It met the bullet in the air,
And tumbled to the ground!
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A watermelon, large and fine,
Was in the kitchen shed;
The bullet drilled a hole through it
As on its way it sped.
“Who plugged dat melon?” mammy cried,
As through the door she came.
“I’d spank de chile dat done dat trick,
Ef I could learn his name.”
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A vender of balloons, a chap
In Russia born and bred,
Came ambling through the dusty street,
His wares above his head.
“Balloons! Balloons! Who vants to buy?”
He shrilly cried. “I say—”
Just then his enterprise collapsed—
The shot had come that way.
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A German band was on parade,
And all the district knew it,
When—boom! the bass-drum sounded out—
The shot had gone clean through it!
The leader turned about in ire,
And pointing at the drummer,
Exclaimed: “You sthart too soon, my friendt—
You make a better plumber!”
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Mis’ Silverman had built a fire
And shovelled on some coal,
When through the stove-pipe crashed the shot
And made a gaping hole!
The smoke in murky columns rose,
The lady raised a shout;
Then on the scene the firemen came,
And put the lady out!
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A cat espied a tiny mouse,
And crouched to make a spring;
The mousey couldn’t find a place
In which to hide—poor thing!
Just then the bullet made a hole—
A fair-sized hole at that—
And in it dashed the frightened mouse,
And thus escaped the cat.
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A thief was stealing in the door—
A clever chap was he;
For he had waited till the gong
Had summoned all to tea.
But at that moment came the shot,
And smote the door-bell clear—
The butler reached the door in time
To see him disappear!
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Old Sandy, on his Highland pipes,
Was drooning “Robin Hood,”
And coaxing from the boys and girls
Such pennies as he could,
When suddenly the bag went “squash!”
The drone became a sigh—
The fleeting shot had pierced the bag
Of wind in passing by!
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For some excitement, good and hot,
These lads were fairly spoiling,
When through the bee-hive plunked the shot,
And set the pot a-boiling!
The startled swarm came streaming out
In temper hot and baneful,
And drove the foe in awful rout,
With volleys sharp and painful!
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When Felix Fenno flew his kite,
He found his hands were full;
It seemed determined to escape,
So strongly did it pull.
But presently the whizzing shot
The kite-string neatly parted,
And, like an air-ship on a cruise,
His precious kite departed!
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The grocer boy was teasing Snip
By pelting him with rice,
And keeping just beyond his reach—
Which wasn’t very nice.
Just then the bullet clipped the chain
That held the pup, and—joy!
He fairly sprinted through the air,
And nabbed that grocer boy!
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Mis’ Newlywed had made a cake,
With icings good and stout—
The bullet struck its armor belt,
And meekly flattened out.
And this was lucky for Tom Potts,
The boy who fired the shot—
It might have gone clean round the world
And killed him on the spot.
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