When Pa came home last night he had a package in his hand,
Now Ma,’ said he, ‘I’ve something here which you will say is grand.
A friend of mine got home today from hunting in the woods,
He’s been away a week or two, and got back with the goods.
He had a corking string of birds, I wish you could have seen ’em!’
‘If you’ve brought any partridge home,’ said Ma, ‘you’ll have to clean ’em.’
‘Now listen, Ma,’ said Pa to her, ‘these birds are mighty rare.
I know a lot of men who’d pay a heap to get a pair.
But it’s against the law to sell this splendid sort of game,
And if you bought ’em you would have to use a different name.
It isn’t every couple has a pair to eat between ’em.’
‘If you got any partridge there,’ says Ma, ‘you’ll have to clean ’em.’
‘Whenever kings want something fine, it’s partridge that they eat,
And millionaires prefer ’em, too, to every sort of meat.
About us everywhere tonight are folks who’d think it fine
If on a brace of partridge they could just sit down to dine.
They’ve got a turkey skinned to death, they’re sweeter than a chicken.’
‘If that’s what you’ve brought home,’ says Ma, ‘you’ll have to do the pickin’.’
And then Pa took the paper off and showed Ma what he had,
‘There, look at those two beauties, don’t they start you feelin’ glad?
An’ ain’t your mouth a-waterin’ to think how fine they’ll be
When you’ve cooked ’em up for dinner, one for you an’ one for me?’
But Ma just turned her nose up high, an’ said when she had seen ’em,
‘You’ll never live to eat ’em if you wait for me to clean ’em.’