stories

Fir Tails

Upon a time when animals could speak
And trees could hear and understand that squeak
There came a day; a sad, sad day of fire
When forests burned and flames leapt ever higher.
Big Bear, he ran with stride so wide he’s sure
He will outrun, the fire won’t touch his fur.
And dear so thin with legs so slim will run
Beyond the flame, for she could jump the sun.
But mouse, wee mouse, whatever shall we do?
With legs so short this fire will catch you too.
Oh you can run and hope to hide my mouse
But fire’s faster and will burn down your house.
The flames do leap and soon will catch your tail
You run and run but little legs will fail.
You can’t hope to run beyond disaster
Go up, go up! Little mouse, run faster!
At first mouse met with the Big Leaf Maple
“Oh tree, hide me please, if you are able.”
“’fraid not, little mouse. Sure you might not see
This hot forest fire’ll, be the end of me.”
On she ran until she met with the oak
“Oh please wrap me up in your leafy cloak”
“Young mouse that won’t help you one little bit
For I’m gonna burn up like a charcoal pit.”
The forest edge now and where can mouse go
She can’t keep running for still the fires glow
has got her trapped. One last chance, Grandpa Fir!
She must ask Douglas. “Oh, please help me sir.
“If you can’t help me then what shall I do
“This fire has caught me, I’m in such a stew.”
“Reckon I’ll help,” Douglas Fir rumbled out
“Gonna help you my mouse, now have you no doubt
“For my skin is thick, my bark is so strong
“This fire has no chance and it won’t last long.
“So climb on up, but to make double sure
“Hide in my seed-cone and there stay secure.”
Mouse scampered and climbed to the very tree top
Hid in the pine cone and there she did stop.
Her friends followed, till the seed-cone was packed
With small mice and long tails, it almost cracked!
But the fire passed them and no harm was done
Douglas Fir stood strong till the fire was gone.
Yet to this day if you look in his cone
You’ll see long mouse tails where once there were none.

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