How joyously he pranced along,
Among the girls and boys,
The happiest of all the throng,
The loudest in his noise!

But now the stern command has come.
No matter how he begs,
He must needs turn and scramble home,
His tail between his legs.


One day my uncle found a bat
Up in a tree beside his house,
And brought it in for me to see;
At first I thought it was a mouse,

And then I saw it had no tail;
But folded at its side were wings
Of thin black skin; and at the top
Were two sharp hooks – the queerest things.

My uncle said the bat would hang
By these two hooks and sleep all day;
Then when the evening came, ‘twould wake
And spread its wings and fly away.

I’m glad I’m not a bat; I know
I shouldn’t like at all to keep
Shut out from all my toys and things,
And hang up on two hooks to sleep!


At sunset when the sky is red,
The crows go flying overhead,
Like small black airships sailing high,
and caw, caw, caw they loudly cry.
They’re coming home from near and far
To where their wives and children are.
It’s nice for them, but when they call
Caw, caw, I am not pleased at all.
For when the crows fly overhead,
I know it’s nearly time for bed.


Toward dusk, when it is getting late,
And I am standing at the gate,
I hear a something make a jump,
And on the walk a toad comes plump.
He sits and blinks his goggle-eyes
In stupid half-awake surprise;
I wonder at his warty coat,
His great wide mouth and puffy throat,
And think he’s queer as he can be —
I’m sure he thinks the same of me!
We stare without a word to say,
And then he hop-hop-hops away.


The owls have eyes that can see in the dark
(And very large eyes they are, too);
The owls have very deep voices–and hark!
Out in the woods they are
calling to you:
They fly about softly on great downy wings
(And very swift wings they are, too);
And nobody knows all the strange cruel things
That out in the big hungry darkness
they do.


I see them through the window
On a cold clear winter day,
In their little round soft jackets
And their waistcoats satin-gray.

They crowd the thorny bushes
Where the barberries are red,
And they seem to like their luncheon
As I do my jam-and-bread.


Little mouse, pretty mouse,
In your coat of brown,
Do you think you like the fields
Better than the town?
When you make that funny squeak,
What is it you say?
Little mouse, pretty mouse,
Do not run away!

Little mouse, pretty mouse,
Are you all alone?
Do you have a furry nest
Underneath a stone?
Are there baby mousies there,
Pink and soft and wee?
Little mouse, pretty mouse,
I should like to see!


Little monkey in the Zoo,
Life is very gay for you.
When you like to, you can swing
Back and forth upon a ring.

Hanging by your tail and toes,
You can poke your stubby nose
Through the bars, and beg the boys
For their apples and their toys.

You can do just what you choose:
Never have to black your shoes,
Never wash your hands and face,

Eat with forks or wait for grace;
Never go to bed at night.
Little monkey in the Zoo,
Life is only play for you!


One day a little rabbit came
Right into our back-yard, and sat
And wagged his long gray velvet ears,
And sniffed about at this and that,
As if he wondered where he was;
And then with scary little hops,
He scuttled up the garden paths,
And nibbled at the radish-tops.
I thought he’d come to live with us;
But when I ran across the lawn,
He gave a jump, and tossed his head
And small white tail – and then was gone.


The peacock on my uncle’s lawn
Is such a friend of mine!
He comes up close and lets me see
How bright his feathers shine.

He love the crumbs I save for him,
And gobbles all I bring;
And then he makes a dreadful noise,
As if he tried to sing.

And when I say, “Oh, peacock dear,
You’re handsome as can be!”

And spreads his tail for me.


See the pretty goldfish,
Swimming in the sun,
Darting gaily in and out,
Playmates every one!

Poking noses on the glass,
Flirting little tails,
Shaking off the gleams of light
From their yellow scales.

How they love their crystal house,
Round and bright and clear!
How they flit about and play,
All the happy year!


The ants are all about the ground,
Each working hard to climb or dig:
Such tiny creatures to be there,
When all around them is so big.

A little stone is like a cliff
Above their heads; a catnip stem
Is like a tall green poplar tree:
How strange the world must look to them!


He’s like a dear soft pussy-cat: –
I should not care for him myself,
But what a woolly snuggly pet
He’d be for some nice little elf!


He hops about his little perch,
And drinks, and cracks his seed,
And seems to chirp, “I’ve everything
A bird could ever need.”
I wonder if he never longs
To float upon the wing?
I’m sure if I were in a cage,
I’d never, never sing!


I saw him on the kitchen floor,
When cook had gone to get some milk;
His tiny claws were thin and clean,
His little coat was smooth as silk.

I wasn’t scared at all; I sat
As still as could be, on a chair,
And ate my jelly-tart, and watched
The mousie creeping here and there.

His eyes were very black and bright,
His ears as pink as any rose;
He had a tail just like a string,
And whiskers all around his nose.

He sat up on his wee hind-legs,
And took a crumb and nibbled it,
And looked at me as if to say,
“I’m not afraid of you, a bit.”

When cook came back, he ran away
And hid behind a jar of mince;
I’ve hunted for him every day,
But never found my mousie since.


Our parrot is a silly bird:
He hardly ever says a word.
Most every day I try to see
If he won’t have a chat with me;
But when I ask all sorts of things,
He only squeals and flaps his wings.

I don’t think birds who’ve learned to talk
Should sit upon a perch and squawk.