McGuffey Reader and Poetry



1. Little Patty lives in a log house near a great forest. She has no sisters, and her big brothers are away all day helping their father.
2. But Patty is never lonely; for, though the nearest house is miles away, she has many little friends. Here are two of them that live in the woods.

3. But how did Patty teach them to be so tame? Patty came to the woods often, and was always so quiet and gentle that the squirrels soon found they need not be afraid of her.

4. She brought her bread and milk to eat under the trees, and was sure to leave crumbs for the squirrels.

5. When they came near, she sat very still and watched them. So, little by little, she made them her friends, till, at last, they would sit on her shoulder, and eat from her hand.

6. Squirrels build for themselves summer houses. Those are made of leaves, and sticks, and moss. They are nice and cool for summer, but would never do for the winter cold and snow.

7. So these wise little people find a hollow in an old tree. They make it warm and snug with soft moss and leaves; and here the squirrels live all through the long winter.



  1. Glad to see you, little bird;
    ‘Twas your little chirp I heard:
    What did you intend to say?
    “Give me something this cold day”?
  2. That I will, and plenty, too;
    All the crumbs I saved for you.
    Don’t be frightened–here’s a treat:
    I will wait and see you eat.
  3. Shocking tales I hear of you;
    Chirp, and tell me, are they true?
    Robbing all the summer long;
    Don’t you think it very wrong?
  4. Thomas says you steal his wheat;
    John complains, his plums you eat–
    Choose the ripest for your share,
    Never asking whose they are.
  5. But I will not try to know
    What you did so long ago:
    There’s your breakfast, eat away;
    Come to see me every day.

Chapter List