“THOSE are the robbers!" grandpa said 

To neighbor's boy, Gold-locks, and Ted, 

Out on the doorstep. As he spoke, 

Over toward a distant oak 

He pointed, where in fluttering rows 

Were perched the black and noisy crows 

Brown, and smelling an earthy sweet, 

The field spread out beneath the heat, 

With faintest lines of green to show 

Where the corn had just begun to grow; 

Hither had come the thieves in flocks—

"Little black hens," said wise Gold-locks. 

"What shall we do?" with aspect grim, 

To the three small folks who watched with him, 

Said grandpa—he whose gentle hand 

Spared even the spoilers of his land, 

And who always planted thoughtfully 

With an eye to squirrel, bird, and bee: 

His frown was only a thin disguise 

To hide the gentleness of his eyes; 

For the veriest worm before his tread 

Could lift unhurt its humble head. 

But Ted, half cheated by his tone, 

Thought gravely something must be done. 

"We'll build a scarecrow, Jack, hurrah!" 

(Hark! distant answer—"Caw, caw, caw! ") 

And, glad of a novel work to do, 

Up to the attic stores they flew; 

Sought for the worst of everything; 

Then off to the field went scampering. 

There, soon, a figure gaunt up-rose, 

With grandpa's long-discarded clothes 

Hung from its limbs, no fit at all, 

Too large in parts, in parts too small, 

His hat upon its bristling hair, 

Waving a threatening arm in air. 

What did the sentry on the bough 

Say to his pilfering comrades now? 

Why, when the direful thing he saw, 

He croaked serenely, "Caw, ca-aw, ca-a-w!" 

And still along the corn's green track 

Stalked the thieves in glistening black. 

Never a stately step showed fright, 

Never a wing took hurried flight; 

But still the flocks came, day by day, 

To find where the yellow kernels lay. 

No whit did the saucy creatures care 

For the broom the scarecrow waved in air. 

Gold-locks puzzled her little mind, 

The secret of their ways to find; 

She pondered; counseled much with Ted, 

And, at last—a bright discovery—said: 

"I know: if we wanted to scare the crows, 

We shouldn't have put on grandpa's clothes! " 

—Wide Awake.