How the Hat Ashes Shovel Helped Snoo Foo

Carl Sandburg August 29, 2016
North American
Intermediate
3 min read
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    If you want to remember the names of all six of the Sniggers children, remember that the three biggest were named Blink, Swink and Jink but the three littlest ones were named Blunk, Swunk and Junk. One day last January the three biggest had a fuss with the three littlest. The fuss was about a new hat for Snoo Foo, the snow man, about what kind of a hat he should wear and how he should wear it. Blink, Swink and Jink said, “He wants a crooked hat put on straight.” Blunk, Swunk and Junk said, “He wants a straight hat put on crooked.” They fussed and fussed. Blink fussed with Blunk, Swink fussed with Swunk, and Jink fussed with Junk. The first ones to make up after the fuss were Jink and Junk. They decided the best way to settle the fuss. “Let’s put a crooked hat on crooked,” said Jink. “No, let’s put a straight hat on straight,” said Junk. Then they stood looking and looking into each other’s shiny laughing eyes and then both of them exploded to each other at the same time, “Let’s put on two hats, a crooked hat crooked and a straight hat straight.”

    Well, they looked around for hats. But there were not any hats anywhere, that is, no hats big enough for a snow man with a big head like Snoo Foo. So they went in the house and asked their mother for the hat ashes shovel. Of course, in most any other house, the mother would be all worried if six children came tramping and clomping in, banging the door and all six ejaculating to their mother at once, “Where is the hat ashes shovel?” But Missus Sniggers wasn’t worried at all. She rubbed her chin with her finger and said softly, “Oh lah de dah, oh lah de dah, where is that hat ashes shovel, last week I had it when I was making a hat for Mister Sniggers; I remember I had that hat ashes shovel right up here over the clock, oh lah de dah, oh lah de dah. Go out and ring the front door bell,” she said to Jink Sniggers. Jink ran away to the front door. And Missus Sniggers and the five children waited. Bling-bling the bell began ringing and—listen—the door of the clock opened and the hat ashes shovel fell out. “Oh lah de dah, get out of here in a hurry,” said Missus Sniggers.

    Well, the children ran out and dug a big pail of hat ashes with the hat ashes shovel. And they made two hats for Snoo Foo. One was a crooked hat. The other was a straight hat. And they put the crooked hat on crooked and the straight hat on straight. And there stood Snoo Foo in the front yard and everybody who came by on the street, he would take off his hat to them, the crooked hat with his arm crooked and the straight hat with his arm straight. That was the end of the fuss between the Sniggers children and it was Jink, the littlest one of the biggest, and Junk, the littlest one of the littlest, who settled the fuss by looking clean into each other’s eyes and laughing. If you ever get into a fuss try this way of settling it.

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