The Poetry Corner

Flying Squirrels

By Banjo Paterson (Andrew Barton)

On the rugged water shed At the top of the bridle track Where years ago, as the old men say, The splitters went with a bullock dray But never a dray came back. At the time of the gum tree bloom, When the scent in the air is strong, And the blossom stirs in the evening breeze, You may see the squirrels among the trees, Playing the whole night long. Never a care at all Bothers their simple brains; You can see them glide in the moonlight dim From tree to tree and from limb to limb, Little grey aeroplanes. Each like a dormouse sleeps In the spout of a gum tree old, A ball of fur with a silver coat; Each with his tail around his throat For fear of his catching cold. These are the things he eats, Asking his friends to dine: Moths and beetles and newborn shoots, Honey and snacks of the native fruits, And a glass of dew for wine.