Origin of the Toboggan (Poem by James McIntyre)

Suggested Poem

Origin of the Toboggan

By James McIntyre


I am a hunter by profession,
And when I make this confession,
Of what I saw with mine own eyes,
It may cause you some surprise.

But we at once now you do warn,
That this is not a made up yarn,
It happened in the interior,
Far north of Lake Superior.

When up the hill setting my traps,
I heard on trees peculiar raps,
It made me then attentive hark,
And then I heard pulling off the bark.

It was a bright and pleasant day,
The distance was three miles away,
And it caused me but slight alarm,
When they around bark placed each arm.

And threw the bark o'er their shoulder,
I being a distant beholder
Knew not what end they had in view,
But I must own my wonder grew.

When I saw those men were warm dressed
With good fur robe each one was blessed,
In single file they marched up hill
With strangest thoughts my mind did fill.

When each man in his robe began
With tough bark to make toboggan,
And quick as lightning down they slide,
It seemed to me a dangerous ride.

The spot was covered o'er with hairs,
And it seem'd mixed with blood of bears,
And my two dogs Bull and Daisy,
At sight and scent of it went crazy.

Could none of these been a true man,
Or was I gross deceived by bruin,
It was a long and glassy slide,
Reached far up the mountain side.

They had been first enjoying the fun
Of sliding down on their bare skin,
Until their hide was getting worn,
And their flesh was somewhat torn.

So Bear invented Toboggan,
Which is a blessing to young man,
And the fair maiden by his side,
For both enjoy the pleasant ride.

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