Many, Many Weddings in One Corner House

Carl Sandburg January 5, 2019
North American
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4 min read
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    There was a corner house with corners every way it looked. And up in the corners were bugs with little bug houses, bug doors to open, bug windows to look out of. In the summer time if the evening was cool or in the winter time if the evening was warm, they played games—bugs-up, bugs-down, run- bugs-run, beans-bugs-beans. This corner house was the place the Rag and the Broom Handle came to after their wedding. This was the same time those old people, Hammer and Nails, moved into the corner house with all the little Hammers and all the little Nails.

    So there they were, the young couple, the Rag Doll and the Broom Handle, and that old family, Hammer and Nails, and up in the corners among the eave troughs and the roof shingles, the bugs with little bug houses, bug doors to open, bug windows to look out of, and bug games—bugs-up, bugs-down, run-bugs- run, or beans-bugs-beans. Around the corner of the house every Saturday morning came the Hot Cookie Pan with a pan of hot cookies for Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and the rest of the week. The Ice Tongs came with ice, the Coal Bucket came with coal, the Potato Sack came with potatoes. And the Bushel Basket was always going or coming and saying under his breath, “Bushels, bushels, bushels.”

    One day the bugs in the little bug houses opened the bug doors and looked out of the bug windows and said to each other, “They are washing their shirts and sewing on buttons— there is going to be a wedding.” And the next day the bugs said, “They are going to have a wedding and a wedding breakfast for Jack Knife and Kindling Wood. They are asking everybody in the kitchen, the cellar, and the back yard, to come.”

    The wedding day came. The people came. From all over the kitchen, the cellar, the back yard, they came. The Rag Doll and the Broom Handle were there. Hammer and Nails and all the little Hammers and all the little Nails were there. The Ice Tongs, the Coal Bucket, the Potato Sack, were all there —and the Bushel Basket going and coming and saying under his breath, “Bushels, bushels, bushels.” And, of course, the Hot Cookie Pan was there hopping up and down with hot cookies.

    So Jack Knife and Kindling Wood began living in the corner house. A child came. They named her Splinters. And the Hot Cookie Pan and Splinters met and kissed each other and sat together in cozy corners close to each other. And the bugs high up in the corners in the little bug houses, they opened the bug doors, looked out of the bug windows and said, “They are washing their shirts and sewing on buttons, there is a wedding again—the Hot Cookie Pan and Splinters.”

    And now they have many, many children, the Hot Cookie Pan and Splinters. Their children have gone all over the world and everybody knows them. “Whenever you find a splinter or a sliver or a shiny little shaving of wood in a hot cookie,” the bugs in the little bug houses say, “whenever you find a splinter or a sliver or a shiny little shaving of wood in a hot cookie, it is the child of the Hot Cookie Pan and the girl  named Splinters, the daughter of Jack Knife and Kindling Wood, who grew up and married the Hot Cookie Pan.” And sometimes if a little bug asks a big bug a queer, quivvical, quizzical question hard to answer, the big bug opens a bug door, looks out of a bug window and says to the little bug, “If you don’t believe what we tell you, go and ask Hammer and Nails or any of the little Hammers and Nails. Then run and listen to the Bushel Basket going and coming and saying under his breath, ‘Bushels, bushels, bushels.’

     

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