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To a Well-Connected Mouse

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To a Well-Connected Mouse

(Upon reading of the genetic closeness of mice and men.)

 

Wee, sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous beastie,

Braw science says that at the leastie

We share full ninety-nine per cent

O’genes, wher’er the odd ane went.

 

O nibblin, pink-tail’d, bright-ee’d sir,

We hail frae ane sma’ fearful blur

’Neath dinosaur feet, lang syne—

Na mair be pestie, cousin mine.

 

Stay oot my larder, oot my traps

An’ they’ll snap softer doon, p’rhaps,

For theft and murther blither go

When a’s i’ th’ family, bro’ an’ bro’.

 

— John Updike

 

Reprinted by permission; ©2003 John Updike.
Originally published in The New Yorker. All rights reserved.

 

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