Le Père Joseph Maltrait
"Often our meanness,
When you tally it up,
Is only a bad mistake."
This truth deserves an example:
A Creole had a melon patch
So rich in fruits that Sir Pigs, his swine,
Ate nothing but melons.
Making one morning his customary rounds
He noticed all around
Bits of rind and tracks on the ground
There he was in a furious state,
Screaming, "May he die,
The thief who has
Done the injustice of
Trespassing last night
Laying waste to my land!"
But as is the custom on a typical day,
He suspected one of his neighbors:
"It's that negro and his little negrolings,"
Said he, "who are eating my melons!"
And listening only to his anger,
Straightaway to the apothecary he ran
To buy poison;
(It was, I believe, strychnine,)
With which he pricked
A most lovely melon.
Then he withdrew, saying to himself:
"Just let my glutton of a darky come now:
I promise him a delightful colic
The thief came. On him the poison had a powerful effect,
And at daybreak the melon grower found him dead.
It was his only son!