Adventures of the saucy little squirrel…

April 17, 2018

squirrel tree

The saucy little squirrel depicted in an early American embroidery design drawn by Meredith Eliassen, 2018.

A gentleman went into the woods to stay all day. He took with him two ears of roasted corn and some bread for dinner. After a while, he sat down under a tree to rest himself, and a little squirrel came capering about. The ears of roasted corn were lying in some clean paper on the ground. I suppose the littler squirrel liked the smell of them. He acted very much as if he wanted to carry them off. He looked at the corn, and then he looked at the gentleman’s face. When he saw him smile, he took hold of one ear of corn with his little sharp teeth, and tried to drag it away; but it was quite too heavy for him. So he nibbled off the kernels, and stuffed his mouth as full as he could. Then he trotted off to his house under the ground and put the corn away for his dinner. He came back again, and stuffed his cheeks as full as they could hold.

He looked up in the gentleman’s face, as if he wanted to ask whether he would whip him from taking his corn. But the gentleman loved the squirrel; and he did not make any noise to frighten him away. So the pretty little creature came to the tree again, and again; and every time he came, he carried off as much as his mouth would hold. He did not leave one single kernel of corn on the ears. I wonder his little feet were not tired, before he got it all stowed away in his house.

I should love to go into the woods, and have a little squirrel come and look up in my face, and carry off my dinner.

Source: Lydia Maria Child. 1844. “The Saucy Little Squirrel,” Flowers for Children II for Children from Four to Six Years Old. New York C.S. Francis & Co., 1855: 18-19.

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