Down the chimney's treacherous way
A flying squirrel fell one day,
And, terror-stricken, flew around
With scratching sound and bumping sound,
Behind the pictures, chairs, and vases,
In all obscure, protecting places.
And how persistently, with shout,
And flapping cloth and poker stout,
We tried to drive the rascal out
There was the sunny world outside,
And doors and windows open wide,
Yet that poor beastie, foolish-wise,
With quivering breast and frightened eyes,
His little body one wild fear.
He darted there and scuttled here,
But shunned, the silly! o'er and o'er,
The open windows and the door.
Till last a nervous, lucky blow
Worked the poor fool a happy woe,—
Struck him to floor, a furry heap,
And there he lay as if asleep.
We took him up with tender care
And bore him to the outer air;
When suddenly his heady eyes
Snapped open in a glad surprise;
"Too good," he thought it, "to be true.
But yet I'll try," and off he flew!
And so, dear human squirrels,we,
Caught where it is not best to be,
By some mischance or likelier sin,
The same wild blundering course begin.
We rave, we faint, we fly, we fall,
We dash our heads against the wall,
We scramble there, we scurry here.
We palpitate in nameless fear,
In stupid corners still we hide,
And miss the windows, open wide.
Till last, struck down by some stern blow
That seems a climax to our woe,
As there we lie in helplessness,
God's great, strong hand of tenderness
Closes around us, lifts us high,
And bears us forth beneath the sky,
And leaves us where we ought to be,
Under blue heavens, glad, and free.