The Collected Poems of Freddy the Pig

The Collected Poems of Freddy the Pig


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The world's most distinguished pig-of-letters

The weather, all animals (with special emphasis on the peculiar attributes of pigs), joy and sorrow, the utility of facial features, and a world of other subjects are poetically worked over by the world's most distinguished pig-of-letters, Freddy—the Bard of Bean Farm.

Whether he's happy or sad Freddy is ever the poet, and his verse—both heavy and light—has created an international fuss among the less gifted pigs and poets. And if Freddy's poetry seems a bit hammy in spots, well...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781585671366
Publisher: The Overlook Press
Publication date: 07/28/2001
Pages: 81
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.55(d)
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

About the Author

Walter R. Brookswas born in Rome, New York on January 9, 1886, and died in Roxbury, New York on August 17, 1958. Brooks attended the University of Rochester and, after graduation, worked for the American Red Cross and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. He became associate editor of Outlook in 1928 and subsequently was a staff writer for several magazines, including The New Yorker. The short stories he began writing at this time were published in The Saturday Evening Post, Atlantic Monthly, and Esquire. Brooks's short story "Ed Takes the Pledge" was the basis for the 1950s television series Mr. Ed, but his most lasting achievement is the Freddy the Pig series, which began in 1928 with To and Again (Freddy Goes to Florida). He subsequently wrote twenty-five more delightful books starring "that charming ingenious pig" (The New York Times), all of which are now available from The Overlook Press.

Kurt Wiese (1887-1974) illustrated over 300 children’s book and wrote and illustrated another 20 books. He received two Newbery Awards and two Caldecott Honor Book Awards.

Read an Excerpt

The Collected Poems of Freddy the Pig

By Walter R. Brooks, Kurt Wiese

The Overlook Press

Copyright © 1953 Walter R. Brooks
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4976-9228-2


Spring and Other Things


    O spring, O spring,
    You wonderful thing!
    O spring, O spring, O spring!
    O spring, O spring,
    When the birdies sing
    I feel like a king,
     O spring!


    Hooray for the spring! What a glorious feeling!
    All the little lambs on the hillsides squealing!
    Tighten up your braces! Tuck in your shirt!
    All the little green things growing in the dirt!


    Spring is in the air;
    Birds are flying north;
    And though trees are bare,
    Now they're putting forth
    Leaves. The fields are green.
    Sun is getting higher.
    Monday Mr. Bean
    Put out the furnace fire.
    Birds are building nests;
    In the swamp are peepers;
    Men discard their vests;
    Eggs are getting cheaper.


    When I set out upon this tour,
    I thought the skies would be much bluer.

    When I set out upon this tramp,
    How could I know 'twould be so damp?

    When I set out on this excursion,
    I did not think it meant submersion.

    When I set out upon this trip
    I should have started in a ship.


    O Pole, O Pole, O glorious Pole!
     To you I sing this song,
    Where bedtime comes but once a year,
     Since the nights are six months long.

    Yes, the nights are six months long, my dears,
     And the days are the same, you see,
    So breakfast and supper each last a week,
     And dinner sometimes three.

    Then there's tea and lunch, and we sometimes munch
     Occasional snacks between—
    Such mountains of candies and cakes and pies
     Have never before been seen.

    Let the wild winds howl about the Pole,
     Let the snowflakes swirl and swoop;
    We're snug and warm and safe from harm
     And they're bringing in the soup.

    We'll sit at the table as long as we're able,
     We'll rise and stretch, and then,
    Since there's nothing to do but gobble and chew,
     We'll sit right down again.

    We'll tuck our napkins under our chins
     To keep our waistcoats neat,
    And then we'll eat and eat and eat
     And eat and eat and eat


    Let others sing of fall and spring,
    Of love and dove, of eyes and sighs;
    My song is not of anything;
    It tells no whats, it gives no whys.

    And is it sad? Or is it gay?
    I do not know. I cannot say.

    It seeks no meaning to convey,
    It has no subject, point or plot.
    It must mean something, you will say—
    But I assure you it does not.

    No scowls across my features creep,
    No tears bedew my handkerchief;
    I do not try to make you weep,
    To moan with anguish, sob with grief.

    Contrariwise, no smiles contort
    My face; I wish to give no cause
    For anyone to roar and snort
    With uncontrollable guffaws.

    And if you ask me: is this so?
    I cannot say. I do not know.


The Features

    NO. 1: THE EYES

    The eyes are brown or black or blue
    Or grey, and of them there are two.
    They are arranged beside the nose,
    One to each side, which, I suppose
    Was done because no other place
    Was vacant in the human face.
    How helpfully eyes scan the dish
    And watch for bones when eating fish,
    Or with a side glance, indirect, eyes
    Warn us of grease spots on our neckties.
    Then, eyes are used to show our feelings,
    In place of yells and sobs and squealings.
    For instance, to express surprise,
    You raise the lids and pop the eyes;
    In showing grief, the lids are dropped
    And tears (if any) gently sopped
    Up with a handkerchief—a white one
    (And preferably clean) 's the right one.
    The eyes are cleverly equipped
    With little lids, which can be flipped
    Up in the morning, down at night,
    To let in or shut out the light.
    We could fill pages with our cries
    Of admiration for the eyes;
    They're indispensable (see above).
    True, eyebrows are well spoken of;
    The ears are hard to do without;
    The nose is useful too, no doubt;
    But eyes! Do not dispense with those!
    Abandon ears; give up your nose;
    But we most earnestly advise:
    Hang on most firmly to your eyes.

    NO. 2: THE EARS

    The ears are two in number, and
    Beside the head, on either hand,—
    One to the left, one to the right—
    They are attached extremely tight.
    Their purpose is twofold, to wit:
    To give the hat a place to sit,
    So that it will not lose its place
    And, slipping down, engulf the face.
    Also to ventilate the brain,
    When heated by great mental strain,
    By standing at right angles out
    To catch whatever wind's about,
    Or when the summer breeze is napping,
    To substitute by gently flapping.
    Do not, therefore, attempt to pull
    The ears from off the parent skull.
    Though ears look odd and out of place,
    And add so little to the face,
    Though as adornment they're lamentable,
    Without them you'd be unpresentable;
    And he who rashly grabs the shears
    Will find too late, with bitter tears,
    That there's no substitute for ears.

    NO. 3: THE NOSE

    The nose, in general, finds its place
    About the center of the face,
    Continuing the forehead south
    Between the eyes, down towards the mouth,
    Above which, usually it
    Stops short, in order not to hit
    The chin, which in its normal place
    Below the mouth, completes the face.
    (Though here of ears we make no mention,
    They are well worthy of attention.)
    And thus we see, by its position,
    The nose has an important mission;
    For, gathered round it in a troop,
    The other features thus can group
    Themselves upon it, each in place
    Symmetrically to form a face.
    Without a nose to rally round
    The other features would be bound
    To wander off in all directions
    And with the face lose all connections.
    Without a nose, I rather guess
    Your face would be an awful mess.
    A nose, too, if not badly bent
    Can be a handsome ornament
    Which one can wear with joy and pride,
    So do not lay your nose aside.
    Preserve your nose at any cost;
    You can't replace it if it's lost.
    And wear it in its normal place,
    Right in the middle of your face.

    NO. 4: THE MOUTH

    The mouth is located below
    The nose, and is constructed so
    That when it grins, it stretches wide
    To touch the ears on either side.
    This elasticity is handy
    In eating pie, or hunks of candy.
    Though hunks that stretch the mouth too tight
    (By some considered impolite)
    Require much earnest concentration,
    And interfere with conversation.
    In fact, there are extremely few
    Who can, with charm, both talk and chew.
    It's best to keep the two things separate;
    When dinner's served, just salt and pepper it,
    And for your conversation wait
    Until there's nothing on your plate.

    NO. 5: THE CHIN

    Proceeding south upon the face
    The forehead first takes up some space,
    Beneath which you will find the eyebrows
    And then the eyes (called "orbs" by highbrows).
    Along the nose continue south
    And presently you reach the mouth
    And see, beyond, on the horizon,
    The chin's bold promontory risin'.
    Consider, then, the chin. Although it's
    Never been praised by famous poets,
    Yet do not sneer at it, nor scoff,
    And never, never chop it off,
    For if removed, the face is shortened,
    The mouth no longer looks important
    But rests directly on the collar—
    Which makes the public laugh and holler.
    For with no chin you'd be no vision
    Of beauty. You'd invite derision.
    You'd look half-witted; you'd look funny;
    No one would ever lend you money;
    And dentists, putting in a filling,
    Would have no place to lean when drilling.
    The chin is used in mastication;
    Thrust out, it shows determination;
    And other uses I could mention—
    But I'm afraid that your attention
    Is wandering. Confidentially,
    This verse is even boring me.
    As for the chin, I must admit
    I'm getting good and sick of it.


    The whiskers on some men are quite
    The most important things in sight.
    On Mr. Bean or General Grant.
    Among the foliage you can't
    Tell ears from eyes or mouth from nose;
    The beard among the features grows
    Luxuriant, it overflows
    The chin, cascading down the chest,
    Conceals the collar, tie and vest.
    (Were I with whiskers so bedecked, I
    'd never, never wear a necktie.)
    But there are dangers to be feared,
    For of one aged man I've heerd
    Who had a most enormous beard
    And chipmunks, mice and other creatures,
    Who ventured in among his features
    Got lost among those bushy cheeks
    And wandered there for weeks and weeks.
    Yes, some, they say, went in and then
    Vanished, were never seen again.
    Such stories, though, can hardly be
    Accepted unreservedly.
    It's possible, of course, they're true;
    For one bewhiskered gent I knew,
    A traveling man from Kalamazoo,
    Who used his beard to keep things in—
    His pipe, tobacco, and a tin
    Or two of Portuguese sardines,
    Boxes of crackers, cans of beans,
    And several current magazines.
    When traveling on local trains,
    In steamships or in aeroplanes,
    His simple wants he kept supplied
    With what he had concealed inside
    That whiskered shade—as gum, or smokes,
    Light lunches or a book of jokes.
    Thus were his lonely journeys cheered—

    But that's enough about the beard.

    NO. 7: THE HAIR

    The hair is an adornment
    Which grows upon the head;
    It's black or yellow, brown or grey,
    Occasionally red;
    But never blue or green or puce;
    Such colors would look like the deuce.

    That's just one pig's opinion—
    Some have a preference
    For hair that's not so usual,
    For colors more intense.
    They go for violet or carmine,
    And think that pink is simply charmin'.

    So if you're really anxious
    To change to green or red,
    Just tell your barber what you want
    And when he soaps your head,
    The functionary who shampoos you
    Will tint your hair light blue or fuchsia.

    Aside from being pretty
    The hair can be of help
    If someone bangs you on the head
    So hard it makes you yelp!
    If you have hair that's thick and tangled
    You're not so likely to get mangled.

    Without hair you'd look funny,
    And rather like a squash,
    And every morning you would have
    A lot more face to wash.
    Your face would go up past your forehead,
    And you'll agree that would look horrid.

    Grass only grows in summer,
    Hair grows the whole year through;
    It must be mowed quite frequently,
    And raked twice daily, too.
    Your hair (called "locks," and sometimes "tresses")
    If never combed, an awful mess is.

    Yet some folks never cut it—
    Prefer to let it grow.
    This has advantages of course,
    And even though it's slow,
    In time they get enough to fill a
    Small mattress, or to stuff a pillow.


Marching Songs


    Oh, the sailor may sing of his tall, swift ships,
     Of sailing the deep blue sea,
    But the long, white road where adventures wait
     Is the better life for me.

    On the open road, when the sun goes down,
     Your home is wherever you are.
    The sky is your roof and the earth is your bed
     And you hang your hat on a star.

    You wash your face in the clear, cold dew,
     And you say good-night to the moon,
    And the wind in the tree-tops sings you to sleep
     With a drowsy boughs-y tune.

    Then it's hey! for the joy of a roving life,
     From Florida up to Nome,
    For since I've no home in any one spot,
     Wherever I am is home.

    Then it's out of the gate and down the road
     Without stopping to say good-bye,
    For adventure waits over every hill,
     Where the road runs up to the sky.

    We're off to play with the wind and the stars,
     And we sing as we march away:
    O, it's all very well to love your work,
     But you've got to have some play.


    Oh, the winding road is long, is long,
     But never too long for me.
    And we'll cheer each mile with a song, a song,
    A song as we ramble along, along,
     So fearless and gay and free.


    Oh, it's over the hill and down the road
     And we'll borrow the moon for a light,
    And wherever we go, one thing we know:
     The road will lead us right.

    If you start from home by any road,
     And follow each dip and bend,
    What fortune you find, whether cold or kind,
     You find home again at the end.

    Oh, the roads run east, and the roads run west,
     And it's lots of fun to roam
    When you know that whichever road you take—
     That road will lead you home.


    Oh, a life of adventure is gay and free,
     And danger has its charm;
    And no pig of spirit will bound his life
     By the fence on his master's farm.

    Yet there's no true pig but heaves a sigh
    At the pleasant thought of the old home sty.

    But one tires at last of wandering,
     And the road grows steep and long,
    A treadmill round, where no peace is found,
     If one follows it overlong.

    And however they wander, both pigs and men
    Are always glad to get home again.


    Oh, the winding road to Florida
     Is a dusty road, and long,
    But we animals gay have cheered the way
     With many a merry song.
    Our hearts were bold—but our homes were cold,
     And that is why we've come
    To Florida, to Florida,
     From our far-off northern home.

    In Florida, in Florida,
     Where the orange-blossom blows,
    Where the alligator sings so sweet,
     And the sweet-potato grows;
    Oh, that is the place where I would be,
     And that is where I am—
    In Florida, in Florida,
     As happy as a clam.


    We're out on the winding road again,
     The road where we belong;
    By hill and valley, by meadow and stream,
     On the road that's never too long.

    Never too long is the winding road,
     Though it climbs the steepest hill,
    Though dark the night, and heavy the load,
     When the rain drives hard and chill.

    For the stormiest weather will always mend;
     There's a top to the highest hill;
    But the winding road has never an end,
     Whether for good or ill.

    And we travel the road for the love of the road,
     For love of the open sky,
    For love of the smell of fields fresh mowed,
     As we go tramping by.

    For love of the little wandering breeze,
     And the thunder's deep bass song,
    Which rattles the hills and shakes the trees
     Like the roar of a giant's gong.

    For love of the sun, and love of the moon
     And love of the lonely stars;
    And the treetoads' trill, and the blackbirds' tune,
     And the smell of Bill Wonks' cigars.

    And there, where the road curves out of sight,
     Or surely, beyond that hill,
    Adventure lies, and perhaps a fight,
     And perhaps a dragon to kill.

    Or perhaps it's a brand new friend we'll make,
     Or a haunted house to visit,
    Or a party with peach ice cream and cake,
     Or something else exquisite.

    So now for us all, for pigs and men,
     For lions and tigers and bears,
    The open road lies open again,
     And we toss aside our cares.

    And we sing and holler and shout Hurray!
     No matter what the weather
    For we'll not be back for many a day
     While we're out on the road together.


Excerpted from The Collected Poems of Freddy the Pig by Walter R. Brooks, Kurt Wiese. Copyright © 1953 Walter R. Brooks. Excerpted by permission of The Overlook Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Spring and Other Things,
Ode to Spring,
Spring Song,
Buds and Peepers,
On a Walk in the Rain,
Ode to the North Pole,
Ode to Nothing,
The Features,
No. 1: The Eyes,
No. 2: The Ears,
No. 3: The Nose,
No. 4: The Mouth,
No. 5: The Chin,
No. 6: The Whiskers,
No. 7: The Hair,
Marching Songs,
The Open Road,
On Roads,
The Homesick Pig,
The Open Road Again,
Circus Marching Song,
The Animals' Marching Song,
Camping Song,
Florida Weather Note,
Admire the Pig,
P, as in Pig,
The Happiness of Pigs,
Vacation Song,
The Courageous Pig,
Advantages of Being a Pig,
Ode to the Pig: His Tail,
Ode to the Pig: His Legs,
Flying Pigs,
Ranch and Range,
Home on the Farm,
Two-Gun Freddy,
From the Ballad of Two-Gun Freddy,
Warning to Rustlers,
Serenade with Yodels,
Chant of the Horrible Ten,
More Horribles,
Pursuit of Bannister by Horribles,
Chant of the Horrible Twenty,
Salute to the Fearless Skunk,
Chant of the Horrible Thirty,
Not about Pigs,
Ants, Although Admirable, Are Awfully Aggravating,
Bees, Bothered by Bold Bears, Behave Badly,
Tribute to the Eagle,
Song of the Homesick Spider,
Diet of Robins,
Valentine for Jerry,
I Feel Awful,
The Days of My Youth,
Gloom Song,
Justice for the Pig,
A Waggable Tail,
Home Is Where the Heart Is,
The Wanderer Pig,
Queen's Song,
By Other Animals,
Prisoners' Songs,
Rats' Song,
Rats on Freddy,
Thoughts on Talkers,

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