Mr. “Spirit:” —The following little “ Goose Story” has afforded a hearty laugh to several of your constant readers “ hereaway,” as our after-dinner joke, and with the hope that it may prove entertaining to others with whom we have not had the pleasure of crossing legs under the same “ mahogany,” I have ventured to ask an insertion for it in your “ spicy” columns.

If it has ever before come under your discriminating editorial gaze—or if it sends up to your epicurean nostrils anything of a “ Joe Miller” odour, why, you may just “ let it slide” into the fire or some other oblivious receptacle. If not, and you think it worth going down to posterity in the columns of the “ Spirit,” why, then, let it enjoy the “ freedom of the press.”

Away down in the “ smart village” of Cincinnati, there vegetates a certain Hotel-keeper, who, for cuteness, is “ some,” you may depend. Having been frequently imposed upon while supplying his bountiful larder with the article of geese, by the wide-awake “ Buckeye” hucksters, he deemed it high time to try if cheating wasn’t a game that two could play at. So, one morning bright and early, he presents himself before one of the numerous farmer’s wagons surrounding the market squares, with a— "I s-s-say, f-fr-friend—g-g-got any g-g-geese ?” (The poor fellow has Charles Lamb’s defect of speech.)

“ Yes, sir, fine lot—"

“ W-w-w-well, I’ve g-g-g-got, up to my h-h-house, the all-f-fire-firedest set of b-b-boys for g-g-g-geese, you ever d-d-did see, and I want to h-h-head ‘em off a few, with some t-t-tough ones—c-c-cant you p-p-pick me out a few old t-t-tough h-h-h-he fellers ?”

“ Well, I don’t know, but I guess I might find one or two,” and so, turning over his pile of poultry, he collects on one side of his wagon some eight or ten geese, whose claim to the title of “ old he fellers,” needed no corroborative proof of “ Nootka Sound Convention,” or “ Treaty of Florida,” but might justly be pronounced “ clear and unquestionable.”

“ Mine Host,” eyed the process of segregation, with evident satisfaction.

“ Are t-t-those all the t-t-tough ones you’ve g-g-got ?”

“ Yes, sir, and I vow I didn’t know I had so many.”

“ Well,” was the reply, “ I g-g-guess I’ll t-t-t-take the other l-l-lot !”



Source: New York Spirit of the Times 15.48 (24 January 1846): 561. University of Virginia Alderman Library.

Erin Bartels prepared this typescript.

We would like to thank the staff of the Library of Virginia Archives and Special Collections, Alderman Library, and Barrett Collection for their assistance. This page contains material in the public domain and it may be reproduced in its entirety or cited for courses, scholarship, or other non-commercial uses. We ask that users cite the source and support the archives that have provided materials to the Spirit site.