Friday, March 23, 2018

Poetry Friday -- Fable

Flickr Creative Commons Photo by James Havard

by Ralph Waldo Emerson

The mountain and the squirrel 
Had a quarrel; 
And the former called the latter ‘Little Prig.’ 
Bun replied, 
‘You are doubtless very big; 
But all sorts of things and weather 
Must be taken in together,
To make up a year 
And a sphere. 
And I think it no disgrace 
To occupy my place. 
If I’m not so large as you, 
You are not so small as I, 
And not half so spry. 
I’ll not deny you make 
A very pretty squirrel track; 
Talents differ; 
all is well and wisely put; 
If I cannot carry forests on my back, 
Neither can you crack a nut.’

Laura has the Poetry Friday Roundup this week at Writing the World for Kids.


  1. "But all sorts of things and weather..." This is a wonderful poem to share with students, funny yet profound.

  2. You've got me thinking about how we carry forests on our backs... thank you! xo

  3. I love that picture, too, Mary Lee, and the poem helps us know a way to look at others in our lives. Wise Emerson!

  4. Three cheers for a thoughtful squirrel! Happy Friday!

  5. How does one carry a forrest on her back? What a remarkable image. I wonder who was in his mind as he was writing this.

    1. The mountain carries the forest on its back. Isn't that a wonderful image?

  6. Such a charming poem (and I love the photo!).

  7. I love the ending, especially. Those last four lines. Yes.

  8. A great tale to remind us to look at each others' talents and be positive. The photo is adorable.

  9. Neither can you crack a nut.’
    I had forgotten about this poem - thanks for sharing it! "Neither can you crack a nut"...priceless.

  10. Anonymous6:54 AM

    So much wisdom in this poem! "Talents differ;
    all is well and wisely put" indeed! Thanks for sharing this, Mary Lee.

  11. Oh that last line! Such a fun line for a serious poet. I have many gaps in my poetry I don't know this one. Thanks for being my teacher today!

  12. What a gorgeous poem to remind us that we all have a place here. We all have our individual talents and skills. Thanks for sharing.

  13. We each have our space and our talents to share! Love this poetic reminder.

  14. This reminds me of the fish in a tree quote. It's another great reminder that we all have our own talents--from carrying trees to cracking nuts!

  15. Too bad us human-types can't listen and learn as well as these two... and we're all the same species!

  16. Telling little squirrel he is, lovely Emerson poem Mary Lee–and that photo is sweet as can be, thanks!

  17. A wonderful poem. Great voice in it. It's important to remember voice in poetry.


Comment moderation is turned on.