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And the Squirrel, well pleased such diversions to see,
Then out came the Spider, with finger so fine,
From one branch to another, his cobwebs he slung,
But just in the middle-oh! shocking to tell,
From his rope, in an instant, poor Harlequin fell.
Then the Grasshopper came with a jerk and a spring,
And promised the Gazers a Minuet to dance;
But they all laughed so loud that he pulled in his head, And went in his own little chamber to bed.
Then as Evening gave way to the shadows of Night, Their Watchman, the Glowworm, came out with a light.
"Then Home let us hasten, while yet we can see, For no Watchman is waiting for you and for me." So said little Robert, and pacing along,
His merry Companions return'd in a throng.
"WHO stuffed that white owl?" No one spoke in the
The barber was busy, and he couldn't stop;
The customers, waiting their turns, were all reading
The young man who blurted out such a blunt question;
"Don't you see, Mister Brown," Cried the youth, with a frown,
"How wrong the whole thing is,
How preposterous each wing is,
How flattened the head is, how jammed down the neck is—
In short, the whole owl, what an ignorant wreck 'tis !
I make no apology;
I've learned owl-eology.
I've passed days and nights in a hundred collections,
Arising from unskilful fingers that fail
To stuff a bird right, from his beak to his tail.
Mister Brown! Mister Brown!
Do take that bird down,
Or you'll soon be the laughing-stock all over town!"
"I've studied owls
And other night fowls,
And I tell you
What I know to be true:
An owl cannot roost
With his limbs so unloosed;
No owl in this world
Ever had his neck screwed
Into that attitude.
He can't do it, because
An owl has a toe
That can't turn out so!
I've made the white owl my study for years,
And to see such a job almost moves me to tears!
Mister Brown, I'm amazed
You should be so gone crazed
As to put up a bird
In that posture absurd!
To look at that owl really brings on a dizziness;
The man who stuffed him don't half know his business!" And the barber kept on shaving.
"Examine those eyes.
I'm filled with surprise
Do take that bird down;
Have him stuffed again, Brown!"
And the barber kept on shaving.
"With some sawdust and bark
Stuck up there so stiff like a side of coarse leather.
Just then, with a wink and a sly normal lurch,
I'm an owl; you're another. Sir Critic, good-day!"
James T. Fields.