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The Canary's Music Lesson - from Harper's


"Now teach me your song, Canary," said Maud with the roguish eyes,
"And when father comes home with mother, I'll give them such a surprise;
They'll think I am you, Canary, and wonder what set you free,
And nearly die a-laughing, when they find it is only me.
Teach me your song, Canary; I'll whistle it if I can;
Now open your throat, dear Tiptoe, and sing like a little man."

Tiptoe, the pretty fellow, cocked up his bright black eye,
As if to say, "Little mistress, it will do you no harm to try."
Then taking some slight refreshments, and polishing off his bill,
Broke into a rapture of singing that ended off with a trill;
And Maud, with her head bent forward, sat listening to his lay,
And fast as he sang, she whistled, till gathered the twilight gray.

Then she crept down to the parlor as quietly as a mouse:
The maids were in the kitchen, and no one else in the house.
And when the key in the doorway the dear little mischief heard,
She whistled away so sweetly, they thought it was surely the bird.
Hither and thither she flitted, behind the sofa and chairs;
Her mother cried, "Mercy, Edward! the bird! Is the cat down stairs?"

Wildly they stared around them, till, "It's me, it is me, papa!"
Said Maud, from her corner springing. Ah, then what a loud "Ha! ha!"
Rang through the room. Her father, convulsed, on the sofa sat.
Gravely appeared among them their sober old pussy cat.
Maud merrily laughed and shouted, "A cunning old cat like you—
To think you should mistake me for a little canary too!"