“Hik-Tee-Dik!”: The War-Cry Of Billy And Buddy by James Whitcomb Riley

When two little boys–renowned but for noise–
Hik-tee-dik! Billy and Buddy!–
May hurt a whole school, and the head it employs,
Hik-tee-dik! Billy and Buddy!
Such loud and hilarious pupils indeed
Need learning–and yet something further they need,
Though fond hearts that love them may sorrow and bleed.
Hik-tee-dik! Billy and Buddy!

O the schoolmarm was cool, and in no wise a fool;
Hik-tee-dik! Billy and Buddy!
And in ruling her ranks it was her rule to rule;
Hik-tee-dik! Billy and Buddy!
So when these two pupils conspired, every day,
Some mad piece of mischief, with whoop and hoo-ray,
That hurt yet defied her,–how happy were they!–
Hik-tee-dik! Billy and Buddy!

At the ring of the bell they ‘d rush in with a yell–
Hik-tee-dik! Billy and Buddy!
And they’d bang the school-door till the plastering fell,
Hik-tee-dik! Billy and Buddy!
They’d clinch as they came, and pretend not to see
As they knocked her desk over–then, My! and O-me!
How awfully sorry they’d both seem to be!
Hik-tee-dik! Billy and Buddy!

This trick seemed so neat and so safe a conceit,–
Hik-tee-dik! Billy and Buddy!–
They played it three times–though the third they were beat;
Hik-tee-dik! Billy and Buddy!
For the teacher, she righted her desk–raised the lid
And folded and packed away each little kid–
Closed the incident so–yes, and locked it, she did–
Hik-tee-dik! Billy and Buddy!

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