Shush Shush, the Big Buff Banty Hen Who Laid an Egg in the Postmaster's Hat

Carl Sandburg January 5, 2019
North American
3 min read
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    Shush Shush was a big buff banty hen. She lived in a coop. Sometimes she marched out of the coop and went away and.laid eggs. But always she came back to the coop. And whenever she went to the front door and laid an egg in the door-bell, she rang the bell once for one egg, twice for two eggs, and a dozen rings for a dozen eggs. Once Shush Shush went into the house of the Sniggers family and laid an egg in the piano.

    Another time she climbed up in the clock and laid an egg in the clock. But always she came back to the coop. One summer morning Shush Shush marched out through the front gate, up to the next corner and the next, till she came to the post- office. There she walked into the office of the postmaster and laid an egg in the postmaster’s hat. The postmaster put on his hat, went to the hardware store and bought a keg of nails. He took off his hat and the egg dropped into the keg of nails. The hardware man picked up the egg, put it in his hat, and went out to speak to a police man. He took off his hat, speaking to the policeman, and the egg dropped on the sidewalk. The policeman picked up the egg and put it in his police hat. The postmaster came past; the policeman took off his police hat and the egg dropped down on the sidewalk. The postmaster said, “I lost that egg, it is my egg,” picked it up, put it in his post- master’s hat, and forgot all about having an egg in his hat. Then the postmaster, a long tall man, came to the door of the post office, a short small door. And the postmaster didn’t stoop low, didn’t bend under, so he bumped his hat and his head on the top of the doorway. And the egg broke and ran down over his face and neck.

    And long before that happened, Shush Shush was home in her coop, standing in the door saying, “It is a big day for me because I laid one of my big buff banty eggs in the postmaster’s hat.”

    There Shush Shush stays, living in a coop. Sometimes she marches out of the coop and goes away and lays eggs in pianos, clocks, hats.

    But she always comes back to the coop. And whenever she goes to the front door and lays an egg in the door-bell, she rings the bell once for one egg, twice for two eggs, and a dozen rings for a dozen eggs.

    Many thanks!

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