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Central chest spot, irregular
And bold -- as for his song,
He was a rich, clear whistler.
Nothing in him not strong.
What did I see out there instead
But a rat -- a young one, shy,
Intelligent -- almost, as my wife said,
Pretty, in silvery gray.
He matched a silvery stick of pine
I'd left there, at the tip
Of which he paused, working his fi ne-
ly whiskered upper lip:
The fi rst rat here we ever saw.
And we two stood entranced
Watching him daintily withdraw.
And the dull day advanced.
And inside, in the same gray air
Alone once more, I sat
And made place for that seemly pair
The earwig and the rat.