The Ballad of Blunderbuss Bill

There once was a man named Blunderbuss Bill

Who lived out on the range

He’d a dog named dog

And a bird named bird

And a cat whose name was Change


Now Change, it seemed, was a sly old cat

With many a trick in his head

And Mrs. Bill would often say

“I wish that cat were dead!”


It's been many a change of seasons now

Since Ms. Bill cursed that wretched cat

And from time to time Bill wonders

What fate befell his beloved pet

Ah but the old Dutch clock in the corner

Has quite the story to tell!

He remembers that night quite clearly

The night Change served his hell


The wind was blowing fierce that night

Snow fell thick as the hide of a bear

And poor Bill was a nervous wreck

For Change wasn’t anywhere


Says he, “I must go and check the traps

Down by the river’s way

You know about curiosity and the cat

And how much Change loves to stray!”


Well Ms. Bill grunted a callous grunt
And stocked the stove to keep his dinner warm

Bill pulled on his winter coat

And stomped off into the storm


But oh alas! While Bill was out

She chanced upon the cat

Who was very unluckily chasing

A very lucky rat


The next few things that happened

Are too gruesome for this poem

But I’d be foolish not to mention

That when poor, poor Bill got home


She set his food down on the table

Said, “Eat up! It’ll make you strong and able”

So poor Bill picked up his spoon

Looking lonely and forlorn


He noted that the stew...

Well, it tasted mighty funny

And he asked her what was in it

But she just said, “Nothing Honey”


Then in spite of all her sins

The Missus turned around and grinned

And unjust though it is

They still have a happy home



Author's Notes/Comments: 

Just found a poem I wrote when I was 13 or 14 years old. It was for an English assignment that required we write a poem using quatrains; the subject had to deal with the idea of "change". Still not having completed the assignment the night before it was due, I set my alarm for 4am the next morning. I remember hazily mentally composing this poem in my bed, drifting in and out of sleep. I hurriedly printed it up just before rushing out the door in the morning, and voilà! I don't think my teacher appreciated my free-spirited interpretation of the poem's subject matter (change), but I remember I got a good grade nonetheless. ha!

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Starward's picture

What a great fictive

What a great fictive character!  I hope you will give him a sequel or two,


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OliveMarie's picture

Haha! Maybe I should revisit

Haha! Maybe I should revisit them, see what other trickery Mrs. Bill has gotten up to....

Starward's picture

I read this one year ago

I read this one year ago today.  And I am still hoping for a sequel.  I like the way you use the ballad form with such a deft touch.


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