Famous Children Poem

The Mountain And The Squirrel By Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson was a licensed minister who resigned from the clergy when his first wife passed away a couple years into their marriage. In this poem, a squirrel and a mountain have a quarrel because the mountain feels as though it is more important. Each person has his or her own individual talents, and everyone/everything has its purpose in this world, none greater or less than another.

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I was in fifth grade in 1942 when my teacher presented this to my class. We all had to memorize it. I think it has subliminally stayed with me all these years. I was a stutterer at the time...

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The Mountain And The Squirrel

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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."

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Has this poem touched you? Share your story!
  • by June Littler, Gainesville, FL
  • 2 years ago

I was in fifth grade in 1942 when my teacher presented this to my class. We all had to memorize it. I think it has subliminally stayed with me all these years. I was a stutterer at the time with a poor self concept. I eventually outgrew it, but I think I always remembered that I was no worse and no better than anyone else, and likewise others were the same. I took part in the civil rights movement, as I knew that "under the skin" we all had the same goal of - at the very least - wanting to be respected, not bullied, and to get along peacefully with others.

  • by Indira Gokulachandra
  • 8 months ago

I do not remember how I came across this poem, but ever since I knew it, it has been my favorite. A little squirrel standing up for itself against the mighty mountain and putting it in place with the right perspective! Whenever I feel a bit violated in real life, I remember the squirrel, and courage comes as a fountain! WOW, what an inspirational poem!

  • by Danielle Godfrey
  • 1 year ago

This is a wonderful poem, embracing the importance we all play in this Great Universe of ours. Beautifully illustrated in this anecdote by you, June, who accepted being You, and let July go... as she would come anyway! xx Love and light to All, and if only we could all contemplate the meeting point between superior and inferior, as it lives within each of us simultaneously.

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