The Flying Squirrel by Mary E. Burt









The Flying Squirrel
by Mary E. Burt

Of all the woodland creatures,
The quaintest little sprite
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.


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.