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The straw parlor

by
 Way up at the top of a big stack of straw
Was the cunningest parlor that ever you saw!
And there could you lie when aweary of play
And gossip or laze in the coziest way;
No matter how careworn or sorry one's mood
No worldly distraction presumed to intrude.
As a refuge from onerous mundane ado I think I approve of straw parlors, don't you? A swallow with jewels aflame on her breast On that straw parlor's ceiling had builded her nest; And she flew in and out all the happy day long, And twittered the soothingest lullaby song.
Now some might suppose that that beautiful bird Performed for her babies the music they heard; I reckon she twittered her répertoire through For the folk in the little straw parlor, don't you? And down from a rafter a spider had hung Some swings upon which he incessantly swung.
He cut up such didoes--such antics he played Way up in the air, and was never afraid! He never made use of his horrid old sting, But was just upon earth for the fun of the thing! I deeply regret to observe that so few Of these good-natured insects are met with, don't you? And, down in the strawstack, a wee little mite Of a cricket went chirping by day and by night; And further down, still, a cunning blue mouse In a snug little nook of that strawstack kept house! When the cricket went "chirp," Miss Mousie would squeak "Come in," and a blush would enkindle her cheek! She thought--silly girl! 't was a beau come to woo, But I guess it was only the cricket, don't you? So the cricket, the mouse, and the motherly bird Made as soothingsome music as ever you heard And, meanwhile, that spider by means of his swings Achieved most astounding gyrations and things! No wonder the little folk liked what they saw And loved what they heard in that parlor of straw! With the mercury up to 102 In the shade, I opine they just sizzled, don't you? But once there invaded that Eden of straw The evilest Feline that ever you saw! She pounced on that cricket with rare promptitude And she tucked him away where he'd do the most good; And then, reaching down to the nethermost house, She deftly expiscated little Miss Mouse! And, as for the Swallow, she shrieked and withdrew-- I rather admire her discretion, don't you? Now listen: That evening a cyclone obtained, And the mortgage was all on that farm that remained! Barn, strawstack and spider--they all blew away, And nobody knows where they're at to this day! And, as for the little straw parlor, I fear It was wafted clean off this sublunary sphere! I really incline to a hearty "boo-hoo" When I think of this tragical ending, don't you?

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