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Francis James Child
Francis James Child, a-ponderin'


Child Book

Lessons learned while reading the ballad collection of Francis James Child.

by David Kessler

     Dear Francis,

     In my youth I was something of a town hero for my strength and my skill with a sword.  You may even have heard of me - Old Bangrum.  I have many stories of those glorious times and I often regale the younger generation with them.  If I exaggerate somewhat, it's only the license of a proud man a little past his prime.  If they see me as an iron fighter with unshakable nerves, that's because my oratory is as powerful as my right arm once was.
     Recently, several local youths were wounded and one was killed, while on a boar hunt.  Well, the story got blown out of all proportion and now the boar is so fierce that they want me to take my sword and pistol and hunt it.  They say that in its lair are the bones of a thousand men.  This is obviously an exaggeration of its fierceness, but at my age any reasonably stout boar would skewer me in a moment.
     What am I to do?  Help me.

     Don't want to be gored

     Dear Don't want to be gored,

     Call it poetic justice; either fight the boar, or chicken out.

     Francis J. Child

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