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Frost on the Pumpkin?

Posted by Masakim on November 15, 2002

In Reply to: Frost on the Pumpkin? posted by R. Berg on November 15, 2002

: : I've often been puzzled by the phrase "When the frost is on the pumpkin..." and wondered where it originated. I assume it refers to the cycle of autumn turning into winter and the need to prepare for the approaching cold weather, but was it coined by a particular author or poet?

: James Whitcomb Riley, poet. A little information is at the link below ( indiana/riley.html). I haven't been able to find the text of the poem on-line.

Its title is "When the Frost is on the Punkin," not "... the Pumpkin."
WHEN the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock,
And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin' turkey-cock,
And the clackin' of the guineys, and the cluckin' of the hens,
And the rooster's hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence;
O, it's then the time a feller is a-feelin' at his best, 5
With the risin' sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest,
As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

See the text at: 104/10.html

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