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Poems Every Child Should Know by  Mary E. Burt


 

 

THE FLYING SQUIRREL

"The Flying Squirrel" is an honest account of a live creature that won his way into scores of hearts by his mad pranks and affectionate ways. It is enough that John Burroughs has commended the poem.

Of all the woodland creatures,

The quaintest little sprite

[61]

Is the dainty flying squirrel

In vest of shining white,

In coat of silver gray,

And vest of shining white.


His furry Quaker jacket

Is trimmed with stripe of black;

A furry plume to match it

Is curling o'er his back;

New curved with every motion,

His plume curls o'er his back.


No little new-born baby

Has pinker feet than he;

Each tiny toe is cushioned

With velvet cushions three;

Three wee, pink, velvet cushions

Almost too small to see.


Who said, "The foot of baby

Might tempt an angel's kiss"?

I know a score of school-boys

Who put their lips to this,—

This wee foot of the squirrel,

And left a loving kiss.


The tiny thief has hidden

My candy and my plum;

Ah, there he comes unbidden

To gently nip my thumb,—

Down in his home (my pocket)

He gently nips my thumb.


[62]

How strange the food he covets,

The restless, restless wight;—

Fred's old stuffed armadillo

He found a tempting bite,

Fred's old stuffed armadillo,

With ears a perfect fright.


The Lady Ruth's great bureau,

Each foot a dragon's paw!

The midget ate the nails from

His famous antique claw.

Oh, what a cruel beastie

To hurt a dragon's claw!


To autographic copies

Upon my choicest shelf,—

To every dainty volume

The rogue has helped himself.

My books! Oh dear! No matter!

The rogue has helped himself.


And yet, my little squirrel,

Your taste is not so bad;

You've swallowed Caird completely

And psychologic Ladd.

Rosmini you've digested,

And Kant in rags you've clad.


Gnaw on, my elfish rodent!

Lay all the sages low!

My pretty lace and ribbons,

They're yours for weal or woe!

My pocket-book's in tatters

Because you like it so.


MARY E. BURT.


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