THE DUEL by Eugene Field
The gingham dog and the calico cat
Side by side on the table sat.
T’was half past twelve and (what do you think!)
Nor one nor t’other had slept a wink!
The old Dutch clock and the Chinese plate
Appeared to know as sure as fate
There was going to be a terrible spat
(I wasn’t there; I simply state
What was told to me by the Chinese plate!)
The gingham dog went “Bow-wow-wow!”
And the calico cat replied “Mee-ow!)
The air was littered, an hour or so,
With bits of gingham and calico,
While the old Dutch clock in the chimney-place
Up with its hands before its face,
For it always dreaded a family row!
(Now mind: I’m only telling you
What the old Dutch clock declares is true!)
The Chinese plate looked very blue,
And wailed, “Oh, dear! What shall we do!)
But the gingham dog and the calico cat
Walled this way and tumbled that,
Employing every tooth and claw
In the awfulest way you ever saw—
And oh, how the gingham and calico flew!
(don’t fancy I exaggerate—I got my news from the Chinese plate!)
Next morning, where the two had sat
They found no trace of dog or cat;
And some folks think unto this day
That burglars stole that pair away!
But the truth about that cat and pup
Is this: they ate each other up!
Now what do you really thing of that!
(the old Dutch clock it told me so,
And this is how I came to know.)
I was reading something else (isn’t this always how it goes) and remembered a fragment of this old poem. I believe it perfectly describes parts of out current political climate. I just hope there won’t be shreds of gingham and calico when it’s all over. It makes for a great mental picture though. The doors of the house and senate open and all that’s left are multicolored shreds of fabric.