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Walt Kelly

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The Pogo Papers

G.O. Fizzickle Pogo

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comic artists

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The Pogo Papers

Copyright 1952, 1953 by Walt Kelly

Foreword

Some nature lovers may inquire as to the identity of a few characters here portrayed. On this point field workers are in some dispute.

Specializations and markings of individuals everywhere abound in such profusion that major idiosyncracies can be properly ascribed to the mass.* Traces of nobility, gentleness and courage persist in all people, do what we will to stamp out the trend. So, too, do those characteristics which are ugly. It is just unfortunate that in the clumsy hands of a cartoonist all traits become ridiculous, leading to a certain amount of self-conscious expostulation and the desire to join battle.

There is no need to sally forth, for it remains true that those things which make us human are, curiously enough, always close at hand. Resolve, then, that on this very ground, with small flags waving and tinny blasts on tiny trumpets, we shall meet the enemy, and not only may he be ours, he may be us.


* Quimby’s Law (passed by the town of Quimby after the trouble with Harold Porch in 1897).

Topic:

Humanity

Book One
A Narrow Escapade
Chapter 1
A Twig Is Bent . . . . but Unbowed

Churchy la Femme:
Why don’t women marry people what understands them?

Howland Owl:
Like who?

Churchy:
Like other women.

Topic:

Same-sex marriage

Chapter 2
The Trap Awaits With Bated Breath

Porky Pine:
Why, it’s a big fat honor.... They’ll speech at you an’ feed you chicken foot stew an’....

Pogo:
But I don’t like to listen to them speeches an’ I don’t care for chicken foots.

Porky:
If yo’ public is gone give you honor, son, they isn’t gone let yo’ personal taste stand in the way.

Chapter 3
Pogo, the Just, Deserts

Pogo:
I ain’t said much, but I is been pushed aroun’ ee-nuf! I is gone stand up for my rights an’ I is got rights I isn’t hardly used yet!

Porky:
Nothin’ is like a faithful dog. A fambly in Oregon give their dog to a ol’ lady in Maine an’, you know, one night they hears a scratchin’ at the door... Well, sir, ..

Beauregard:
It was the faithful dog!

Porky:
No, it was the ol’ lady... She crawled 43,000 miles on her elbows to ask ’em to take back the dog ’cause he was eaten her outen house and home.

Book Two
I Double (Bridge Term)
Chapter 3
Founders Are Losters

Porky:
Ding bing it! Jes’ when a migratory man needs a fish, it starts to rain! Them fish ain’t gone bite now... git hauled out an’ git all wet. They’s down below sittin’ roun’ the fire tellin’ lies ’bout the big fishermens who almost caught ’em .... an’ I ain’t gone sit outside here .... gittin’ soaked to the skin offerin’ unrequited love to a mess of indoor, unsportin’, summer soldierin’, sedentary, piscatory pussy footers! They kin dig their own worms.

Pogo:
You been complainin’ ever since you been leader, Albert.

Willow McWisper:
Yeah.... It’s a wonder you wouldn’t do somethin’ leaderful ...

Albert:
There! Looky! It stopped rainin’... How’s that?!

Willow:
You can’t take credit for that!

Albert:
Why not?! It happened durin’ my administration din’t it?

Pogo:
He’s right, Willow. Us got to be fair.

Chapter 5
A Very Jiminy Crispness to All

Mouse:
[...] “Silent Night” is effective played fortissimo on a steam calliope.

Topic:

Music

Deacon Mushrat:
Well, ‘tis the Peaceful Season and half the World sleeps .. Nobody doing what he can for Peace.

Albert:
But we is bein’ jes’ ‘bout as peaceful as they com.

Deacon:
It takes more! If a man of goodwill like me could get his hands on this new bomb... Ha! I’d show those who’d live by the sword... I’d drop that Bomb and I’d force Peace right down their bloodthirsty throats!

Book Three
The Screen Sifts
Chapter 3
A High Dudgeon with Southern Exposure

Owl:
You an’ me is through! The next million dollar idea I get I’ll keep for myself!

Seminole Sam:
An’ the next billion dollar idea I’ll keep, so Ha!

Owl:
I’ll keep the next trillion dollar idea, Ha ho!

Sam:
The next quadrillion idea, I’ll keep! Top that!

Owl:
What comes after a quadrillion dollars?

Bug:
If they hears you got it, the federable gummint in less’n a month.

Second bug:
He means in numbers. I’d say a vermillion, take or lose a dozen...

First bug:
Isn’t that goin into the red a li‘l’?

Second bug:
With big figgers like that it don’t seem to matter.

Book Four
A Piper Pied a la Mole
Chapter 2
Divers Dove Tales

Mole:
I won’t threaten you, Mr. Owl. But here is a book that says: Owls migrate north about April first... You got a day to pack.

Owl:
Why, you jes’ writ that you’ own self .... Where’s Captain Wimby’s Bird Atlas?

Mole:
Discredited. It didn’t agree with our observations... Did it, men?

Cowbird:
No sir, it’s out of date...

Second cowbird:
and on fire.

Mole:
There’s noting quite so lovely as a brightly burning book.

Chapter 3
Peek Aboo About Nothing

Churchy:
He say he got a mandate from the people.

Pogo:
People say he can shove ‘em around?

Churchy:
No, but neither is they say he can’t.

Topic:

Politicians

Chapter 4
A Loco Motive In Our Madness

Porky:

Give me your tired, your poor;

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost, to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

Mole:
Hmm.... Where’d you say you got that?

Porky:
Well, a nice lady name of Emma Lazarus writ it.... But I got it off’n another lady... A old lady, standin’ out in the bay.... night an’ day... A lady carryin’ a big flamin’ torch.

Mole:
I’m afraid you doves are right... He’s crazy... or the ol’ woman is: out in the water in all weather armed with a torch! Hah! A pyromaniac, no doubt! A danger to all.

Churchy (to Porky, who’s brandishing a club):
No! Not a ol’ man what can’t see.

Porky:
But he’s talkin’ about the woman I love.

Book Five
A Simple Case of Malarkey
Chapter 3
A Brew of Eels

Deacon:
How can you simpletons laugh when authority is taken from the hands of the Rightful.?

Porky:
You brung in them two expert birdwatchers ... sayin’ it was to keep us from makin’ dern fools of ourselfs ... whereas it’s the inherent right of all to make dern fools of theirselfs... It ain’t a right held by you official types alone. ... The rest of us might not have the sheer ability at it but us do got the right.... So don’t mess with it....

text checked (see note) Feb 2009

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G.O. Fizzickle Pogo

Copyright © 1957, 1958 by Walt Kelly

included in Pogo’s Will Be That Was

Copyright © 1979 by the estate of Walt Kelly, Selby Kelly, executrix

The Abominable Snowman

In these days when most of our heads seem rising to a peak and summit conferences wax and wane in the manner of everybody’s mood it might be a good idea to remember the two frogs. You will recall that each started from his home country, traveled along a road, each heading toward the other, both intent upon seeing what sort of land lay beyond the mountain on the middle border.

They met at the summit and each stood erect for a quick preview of the place he’d like to see. Naturally, with their eyes on the tops of their heads, like respectable frogs everywhere, each frog’s gaze projected backward along the route that he had taken. So, with a certain amount of grumbling and complaint they decided to return home. “For,” as one said to the other, “everything in your country is exactly as it is in mine.”

Of course, each had again looked at his own land, and the miracle of the story lies not in the fact that both were fooled, but that from such a vantage point neither had seen anything strange, wonderful or new about his home country.

The eighteen months of the G. O. Fizzickle Year, wherein we have plumbed our depths and flung moons into the stars, could be followed by a Year of Man, a never-ending year devoted to the study of inner space. For, as has been said before, how can we understand the outsider if we do not know the stranger who is in our skin?

A Word to the Fore

Porky:
How come folks tells stories ’bout folks on other planets? What do we know about ’em?

Pogo:
Guess everybody here is gettin’ so friendly it’s dangerous to laugh at anybody who ain’t out of this world.

Chapter 1
Uncle Sam, you made the months too long

Owl:
Here’s a interestin’ item... This here is the International Geophysical Year... and it’s eighteen months long.

Churchy:
Good.

Owl:
What’s good about it? That gives us one and a half birthdays this year.

Churchy:
And one and a half Christmases.

Owl:
Goin’ at that rate in a man’s allotted seventy years he’d wind up bein’ a hundred an’ five years old..

Churchy:
Do he gain or lose?

Topic:

Age

Chapter 6
Crazy as a Bug in a Rug

Mouse:
The mice have perfected a satellite.. They’re gonna start sendin’ ’em up manned by men. Boom! One up! Bam! Two! Whoosh! Three! Zoom! A hundred! A thousand! A million! Bam wham! Billions! Boom!

Pogo:
Billions? How in the world you gone to bring ’em back?

Mouse:
Bring ’em back? Are you nuts?

Mouse:
What!? Hard life? I could be a bug with one arm tied ahind of my back... Bugs have it easy.. You ever hear the maxim “cozy as a bug in a rug”?

Flea:
That’s cozy? How’d you like to be workin in a rug? Nobody to talk to but them brainless moths and a few cigaret ashes.... Did you ever try to put the bite on a carpet?

Chapter 7
The Song of the Flea

Mouse:
Cats and dogs are all the same.... frustrated mice! .. Loungin’ around the house, makin’ out like they got a honest job.. Ha! Who keeps ’em employed? Us mice! The cats chase us; the dog chases the cat; the lady of the house chases the dog ... The kids chase the mother ... It’s work for everybody.. Who plans it all? ... Mice! The key to the economy!

Topic:

Mice

Chapter 14
The Plotters Thicken

Owl:
Lemme give yo some figgers, Albert, on how impossible it’ll be to defend the moon from the earth. To keep ’em form springin’ off the earth, headed for the moon, you gotta guard 25,000 miles around the world.. Say you needs 1 guard per mile.. You don’t even know 25,000 people. Whereas not only is the moon smaller, but every once in a while it skrunches down into a even smaller site.. like this waxin’ crescent.

Albert:
True, true.

Owl:
Durin’ that period, with a whole nine-tenths of the moon gone, you could rush around throwin’ people off the moon single-handed, if you was up there! A idea what staggers the ordinary intellect.

Albert:
The ordinary.. Yes, perhaps the ordinary.

Owl:
Do you see anything wrong with our plan?

Flea:
No! Of course not!

Owl:
You mean you like it?

Flea:
No! I was in the box an’ din’t hear.. How could I like it?

Owl:
You mean you don’t like it? An’ you never heard it!? Boy! What a bigot! Mind all made up!

Topic:

Bigotry

Chapter 16
Queen of the Dogs

Albert:
Give alligators a even start with dogs an’ they’d be gettin’ the left-overs, a place by the hearth, pedicures, front seats at the dog shows.. Alone at night! Guarding the small children from fire, from ptomaine, from death by nightmare...

Chapter 17
Away We Woo

Pogo:
The more I thinks of it, the more I believe we ought to form a animal society to prevent cruelty of people to people.

Churchy:
Uncle Washboard tried to form a society for peace one time.

Pogo:
How’d he make out?

Churchy:
Wonderful, while he had only one member, him... But when he invited Cousin Splat into it they got into a argument about whose idea it was in the first place... Cousin Splat bit Uncle Washboard on the ear an’ Uncle poured corn syrup into ol’ Splat’s shoes... They ain’t spoke for twenty year... which is sorta peaceable.

Chapter 18
Are We Downhearted? Yes!

Flea:
Oh, I started this life with a will... yearning for wings... a trip through the wild blue wonder..... Now it’s ashes ... I’m a burned-out rocket... I’m gonna write a book..

Mouse:
But..

Flea:
.... I’ll call it “Look Back from Hunger” .. a motorcycle ride thorugh the black jacket of existence.

Mouse:
But somebody already wrote a book.

Topic:

Books (particular)

Flea:
Havin’ been heartbroke by a dog, I got a wealth of miserable experience behind me what I wouldn’t trade for love or money.

Mouse:
Not even in cold cash?

Flea:
As a professional flea, I can tell you that love don’t come in cold cash... Love comes in smooshery lumps... what sometimes gotta be thawed out... sometimes gotta be warmed up...

Mouse:
Or cooled down?

Flea:
Love comes in individual gobs, in family sizes and the large economy weekend container for all the world .. (works only on Sundays) ...

Topic:

Love

Mouse:
The flea here got a bug in his ear about the beat generation an’ thinks he ought to join up.

Pogo:
Good fer him! Do he get to wear a uniform??

Flea:
No.. Ah, but, Nay! and neigh in the night nostrils of the stampedic stallion.. Our cloak is but a dagger of nonevity .. Oh, of Adore and non-ado to sing!

Churchy:
I make up stuff like that an’ bam! They throws me into a comic strip ... fer life!

Topic:

Bad poetry

Chapter 26
A Think in the Deep

Mailman:
A butterfly! How can I hand in a report to H.Q. sayin’ I was bit by a butterfly?

Pogo:
You could point out that in times of normalcy at least one federal service ought to get a little fancy.

Topic:

Butterflies

Chapter 31
Butterflies and Butterfingers

Bat Boy:
Ars longa vita brevis... Get yourself another boy.

second Bat Boy:
What kind of talk is that fer a friend?

first Bat Boy:
That’s Latin or French or one of them... It means you gotta draw fast before you drops dead.. It’s a very high-tone remark all about art and life and which is the taller..

Topic:

Art

Chapter 36
A Demon Stration

Albert:
I don’t want no inexperienced quacks mussin’ into my illness.

Churchy:
I assure you, sir, I’m one of the most experienced quacks in the game.

Topic:

Medicine

text checked (see note) Feb 2008

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Graphics copyright © 2005 by Hal Keen