The Peppery Man

You feel grumpy…. and you don’t really care who knows it.

(Ever have one of ‘those’ days?)

The disposition of the Peppery Man just might make you feel like a saint!


The Peppery Man           

The Peppery Man was cross and thin;

He scolded out and scolded in;

He shook his fist, his hair he tore;

He stamped his feet and slammed the door.


pepper1Heigh ho, the Peppery Man,

The rabid, crabbed Peppery Man!

Oh, never since the world began

Was any one like the Peppery Man.


His ugly temper was so sour

He often scolded for an hour;

He gnashed his teeth and stormed and scowled,

He snapped and snarled and yelled and howled.


He wore a fierce and savage frown;

He scolded up and scolded down;

He scolded over field and glen,

And then he scolded back again.


His neighbors, when they heard his roars,

Closed their blinds and locked their doors,

Shut their windows, sought their beds,

Stopped their ears and covered their heads.


He fretted, chafed, and boiled and fumed;

With fiery rage he was consumed,

And no one knew, when he was vexed,

What in the world would happen next.


Heigh ho, the Peppery Man,

The rabid, crabbed Peppery Man!pepper

Oh, never since the world began

Was any one like the Peppery Man.


-Arthur Macy


The kids and I read this poem during school last year and couldn’t help but smile!

pepper3Afterwards, when one of us would start to be in a bad temper, I would say “does the Peppery Man live here?” It would often soften the scene!

Having never read any other poems by Arthur Macy, I decided to do a little research.

Contrary to the character in this poem, Macy was “above all things cheery, and to his praise be it said, he hated a bore.”

Arthur Macy (1842-1904) was known to have a quick and keen sense of humor. After being wounded twice on the first day at Gettysburg (as part of Company B, 24th Michigan Volunteer Infantry), he managed to “crawl into the town and get as far as the steps of the Court House, which was fast filling with wounded from both sides. His sense of humor was in evidence even at such a time. A Confederate officer rode up and asked, “Have those men in their got arms?” Quick as a flash Macy answered: “Some of them have and some of them haven’t.”

From my reading, Macy sounded like a jolly, honest, humble, and hard working businessman who enjoyed writing poetry but didn’t consider it worthy of attention. He felt that his was “not Poetry with a big P, and that is the only kind that should be published.” Thankfully, I easily found 50+ poems of his that are still available.

Hopefully, you enjoyed The Peppery Man but are seldom like him!pepper2

Rather may it be said of us – as it was of Arthur Macy- that we are ‘above all things cheery’!


(Information in quotations taken from the writings of William Alfred Hovey of Boston, June 7, 1905)


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