The Ground Squirrel.

A poem by Clara Doty Bates

By Paul H. Hayne.


I.

Bless us, and save us! What's here?
Pop!
At a bound,
A tiny brown creature, grotesque in his grace,
Is sitting before us, and washing his face
With his little fat paws overlapping;
Where does he hail from? Where?
Why, there,
Underground,
From a nook just as cosey,
And tranquil, and dozy,
As e'er wooed to Sybarite napping
(But none ever caught him a-napping).
Don't you see his burrow so quaint and queer?


II.

Gone! like the flash of a gun!
This oddest of chaps,
Mercurial,
Disappears
Head and ears!
Then, sly as a fox,
Swift as Jack in his box,
Pops up boldly again!
What does he mean by thus frisking about,
Now up and now down, and now in and now out,
And all done quicker than winking?
What does it mean? Why, 'tis plain--fun!
Only Fun! or, perhaps,
The pert little rascal's been drinking?--
There's a cider-press yonder all say on the run!


III.

Capture him! no, we won't do it,
Or, be sure in due time we would rue it!


IV.

Such a piece of perpetual motion,
Full of bother
And pother,
Would make paralytic old Bridget
A Fidget.
So you see (to my notion),
Better leave our downy
Diminutive browny
Alone, near his "diggings;"
Ever free to pursue,
Rush round, and renew
His loved vaulting
Unhalting,
His whirling,
And curling,
And twirling,
And swirling,
And his ways, on the whole
So unsteady!
'Pon my soul,
Having gazed
Quite amazed,
On each wonderful antic
And summersault frantic,
For just a bare minute,
My head, it feels whizzy;
My eyesight's grown dizzy;
And both legs, unstable
As a ghost's tipping table,
Seem waltzing, already!


V.

Capture him! no we won't do it,
Or, in less than no time, how we'd rue it!


Hippity hop
To the barber's shop
To buy a stick of candy.

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