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James and Reginald by Eugene Field

The following is the complete text of Eugene Field's "James and Reginald." The various books, short stories and poems we offer are presented free of charge with absolutely no advertising as a public service from Internet Accuracy Project.

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NOTE: We try to present these classic literary works as they originally appeared in print. As such, they sometimes contain adult themes, offensive language, typographical errors, and often utilize unconventional, older, obsolete or intentionally incorrect spelling and/or punctuation conventions.

Warning: Be aware that this classic short story contains themes that may be very offensive to many readers.

James and Reginald by Eugene Field



Once upon a Time there was a Bad boy whose Name was Reginald and there was a Good boy whose Name was James. Reginald would go Fishing when his Mamma told him Not to, and he Cut off the Cat's Tail with the Bread Knife one Day, and then told Mamma the Baby had Driven it in with the Rolling Pin, which was a Lie. James was always Obedient, and when his Mamma told him not to Help an old Blind Man across the street or Go into a Dark Room where the Boogies were, he always Did What She said. That is why they Called him Good James. Well, by and by, along Came Christmas. Mamma said, You have been so Bad, my son Reginald, you will not Get any Presents from Santa Claus this Year; but you, my son James, will get Oodles of Presents, because you have Been Good. Will you Believe it, Children, that Bad boy Reginald said he didn't Care a Darn and he Kicked three Feet of Veneering off the Piano just for Meanness. Poor James was so sorry for Reginald that he cried for Half an Hour after he Went to Bed that Night. Reginald lay wide Awake until he saw James was Asleep and then he Said if these people think they can Fool me, they are Mistaken. Just then Santa Claus came down the Chimney. He had Lots of Pretty Toys in a Sack on his Back. Reginald shut his Eyes and Pretended to be Asleep. Then Santa Claus Said, Reginald is Bad and I will not Put any nice Things in his Stocking. But as for you, James, I will Fill your Stocking Plum full of Toys, because You are Good. So Santa Claus went to Work and Put, Oh! heaps and Heaps of Goodies in James' stocking, but not a Sign of a Thing in Reginald's stocking. And then he Laughed to himself and Said I guess Reginald will be Sorry to-morrow because he Was so Bad. As he said this he Crawled up the chimney and rode off in his Sleigh. Now you can Bet your Boots Reginald was no Spring Chicken. He just Got right Straight out of Bed and changed all those Toys and Truck from James' stocking into his own. Santa Claus will Have to Sit up all Night, said He, when he Expects to get away with my Baggage. The next morning James got out of Bed and when He had Said his Prayers he Limped over to his Stocking, licking his chops and Carrying his Head as High as a Bull going through a Brush Fence. But when he found there was Nothing in his stocking and that Reginald's Stocking was as Full as Papa Is when he comes home Late from the Office, he Sat down on the Floor and began to Wonder why on Earth he had Been such a Good boy. Reginald spent a Happy Christmas and James was very Miserable. After all, Children, it Pays to be Bad, so Long as you Combine Intellect with Crime.

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