Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Funny Bones, 1913 (11)

Funny Bones, 1913 (11)

By: Ardis E. Parshall - October 05, 2013




“What is a baby?” he asked, and then someone gave the following complicated definition: “The prince of wails, a dweller in lapland, the morning caller, noon-day crawler, midnight brawler; the only possession that never excites envy; a key that opens the hearts of all classes, the rich and poor alike, in all countries; a stranger with unspeakable cheek that enters the house within a stitch to his back, and is received with open arms.”


While visiting in New York City, a lady asked the little son of her friend, “Johnny, do you like going to school?”

“Yes, ma’am,” answered the truthful urchin, “and I like coming home, too; but I don’t like staying there between times.”


“Now, how do you suppose Noah spent the time in the ark during the flood?” the Sunday school teacher asked.

“Prayin’,” suggested Willie.

Fishin’,” ventured Dick.

“Humph!” grunted Willie, contemptuously.

“’Twould be fine fishin’ wid only two worms, wouldn’t it?”



Oliver Wendell Holmes enjoyed nothing so much as a clever retort, even if it happened to be at his own expense. One day, at an entertainment, he was seated near the refreshment table, and observed a little girl looking with longing eyes at the good things. With his invariable fondness for children, he said, kindly:

“Are you hungry, little girl?”

“Yes, sir,” was the reply.

“Then why don’t you take a sandwich?”

“Because I haven’t any fork.”

“Fingers were made before forks,” said the doctor, smiling.

The little girl looked up at him and replied, to his delight: “Not my fingers.”





A small boy in the juvenile grammar class, being asked to compare the adjective “little,” answered: “Little, small, nothing at all.”


“Tommy,” queried his father, “how do you stand in school these days?”

“In the corner most of the time,” replied truthful Tommy.


Gabe: “What is an optimist?”

Steve: “An optimist is a cross-eyed man who is thankful that he isn’t bow-legged.”


She (on the Atlantic liner): “Did you observe the great appetite of that man at dinner?”

He: “Yes; he must be what they call a stowaway.”


Uncle John: “Willie, if you could have your way, who would you rather be than anybody else?”

Small Willie: “Just me – if I could always have my way.”


Parents and children often differ in their views concerning the uses to which various articles should be put. As thus:

Mother (at breakfast): “You ought always to use your napkin at the table, George.”

George: “I am using it, mother. I have got the dog tied to the leg of the table with it.”


Edgar, aged four, came running into the house one day with a long scratch on his hand. “Why, Edgar, how did that happen?” asked his mother.

“It didn’t happen,” replied Edgar. “The old cat done it.”


“That’s a terrible noise in the nursery, Mollie,” said her mistress. “What is the matter? Can’t you keep the baby quiet?”

“Sure, mum,” replied Mollie. “I can’t keep him quiet unless I let him make a noise.”



  1. I adored the napkin one! 😀

    Comment by Alison — October 5, 2013 @ 8:05 am

  2. The “Barn Swallow” looks like something out of a Stephen King short story.

    Actually, better yet, Manly Wade Wellman — who wrote (among many other things) a connected series of Southern horror/ghost stories many years ago. He had one interlude about a back-country monster that disguised itself as an abandoned hut and would then eat weary travelers who would see it as a place to spend the night and step inside.

    Comment by bfwebster — October 5, 2013 @ 9:14 am

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