The Squirrel Poem Summary, Explanation & Analysis

“The Squirrel” is a composition by Mildred Bowers Armstrong. The article here helps the students with notes based on the poem “The Squirrel”. The study notes contain a summary, word meanings, stanza wise explanation and analysis, theme and message of the poem “The Squirrel”.

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Summary of the Poem ‘The Squirrel’

The poem contains only one stanza that describes the characteristics and behaviour of a squirrel. The squirrel’s tail is compared to a question mark, and it wears a gray overcoat. The squirrel sits upright to eat nuts and enjoys teasing and playing. If someone chases the squirrel, it runs in the opposite direction.

Theme of the Poem ‘The Ant and the Squirrel’

The theme of this poem is the description of a playful and mischievous squirrel. The stanza in the poem describes the squirrel’s physical appearance with a “question mark” for a tail and an “overcoat of gray.” It also portrays the squirrel’s playful nature, as it enjoys teasing and playing. Additionally, the stanza depicts the squirrel’s quick and agile movements, as it goes the other way when the humans try to catch it. Overall, the theme of the stanza could be seen as the charming and lively personality of a typical squirrel.

Stanza Wise Explanation of the Poem ‘The Squirrel’

The Squirrel Poem Text

He wore a question mark for tail,

An overcoat of gray,

He sat up straight to eat a nut.

He liked to tease and play,

And if we ran around his tree,

He went the other way.


Word meanings of the Poem The Squirrel’:

  1. “Question mark for tail” – This phrase refers to the curled-up shape of the squirrel’s tail, which resembles a question mark punctuation symbol. The description is meant to convey the distinct shape of the squirrel’s tail.
  2. “Overcoat of gray” – This phrase is a metaphor that describes the squirrel’s fur as an overcoat, implying that it is thick and provides warmth. The use of the colour gray describes the specific colour of the squirrel’s fur, indicating a sense of neutrality.
  3. “Sat up straight” – This phrase refers to the posture of the squirrel while eating a nut, implying that the squirrel sits in an upright position with its back straight. This description helps to create a clear image of the squirrel’s behaviour.
  4. “Tease and play” – This phrase suggests that the squirrel enjoys playful behaviour, often teasing and having fun with its surroundings. It implies a sense of mischievousness and enjoyment in the squirrel’s personality.
  5. “Run around his tree” – This phrase indicates that the squirrel is comfortable and familiar with its surroundings, particularly with its tree. It also implies that the squirrel is aware of its surroundings and may have a sense of territoriality or ownership over its tree.
  6. “Went the other way” – This phrase implies that the squirrel avoids confrontation and prefers to take the path of least resistance. It also suggests a sense of caution and awareness in the squirrel’s behaviour.

Explanation in English:

This stanza describes the behaviour of a squirrel in a playful and mischievous way. The first line, “He wore a question mark for tail,” is a metaphorical description of the squirrel’s tail, which is long and curved like a question mark. The second line, “An overcoat of gray,” is a literal description of the squirrel’s fur colour.

The third line, “He sat up straight to eat a nut,” suggests that the squirrel is alert and focused on its food. The fourth line, “He liked to tease and play,” implies that the squirrel enjoys playful behaviour, which is often seen in squirrels as they chase each other and jump from tree to tree.

The final line, “And if we ran around his tree, he went the other way,” shows the squirrel’s cleverness and ability to adapt to its environment. It suggests that the squirrel is aware of its surroundings and can quickly change direction to avoid danger or unwanted attention.

Overall, the stanza portrays the squirrel as a curious and playful creature with a clever and adaptive nature.

Explanation in Hindi:

यह कविता एक गिलहरी के व्यवहार को चंचल और शरारती तरीके से वर्णित करता है। पहली पंक्ति, “उसने पूंछ के लिए एक प्रश्न चिह्न धारण किया हुआ था,” गिलहरी की पूंछ का एक रूपक वर्णन है, जो एक प्रश्न चिह्न की तरह लंबा और घुमावदार है। दूसरी पंक्ति, “ग्रे का एक ओवरकोट,” गिलहरी के फर के रंग का शाब्दिक विवरण है।

तीसरी पंक्ति, “वह अखरोट खाने के लिए सीधे बैठ गया,” बताता है कि गिलहरी सतर्क है और अपने भोजन पर ध्यान केंद्रित कर रही है। चौथी पंक्ति, “वह चिढ़ाना और खेलना पसंद करता था,” का अर्थ है कि गिलहरी चंचल व्यवहार का आनंद लेती है, जो अक्सर गिलहरियों में देखी जाती है क्योंकि वे एक-दूसरे का पीछा करते हैं और पेड़ से पेड़ पर कूदते हैं।

अंतिम पंक्ति, “और अगर हम उसके पेड़ के चारों ओर दौड़ते हैं, तो वह दूसरी तरफ चला गया,” गिलहरी की चतुराई और अपने पर्यावरण के अनुकूल होने की क्षमता को दर्शाता है। यह बताता है कि गिलहरी अपने परिवेश से अवगत है और खतरे या अवांछित ध्यान से बचने के लिए जल्दी से दिशा बदल सकती है।

कुल मिलाकर, कविता गिलहरी को एक चतुर और अनुकूली प्रकृति के साथ एक जिज्ञासु और चंचल प्राणी के रूप में चित्रित करता है।

Analysis of the Poem ‘The Squirrel’

The stanza describes the behaviour of a squirrel, who is portrayed as a mischievous and playful creature. The first line of the stanza, “He wore a question mark for tail,” is a metaphor that refers to the shape of the squirrel’s tail, which curls up in a way that resembles a question mark. This creates a vivid image in the reader’s mind and also adds a sense of curiosity and wonder to the description.

The second line, “An overcoat of gray,” provides a visual description of the squirrel’s fur, which is gray in colour. The use of the word “overcoat” suggests that the squirrel’s fur provides protection and warmth, just like a human would wear a coat.

The third and fourth lines describe the squirrel’s behaviour while eating a nut. The squirrel is depicted as sitting up straight, which indicates alertness and focus. The phrase “He liked to tease and play” suggests that the squirrel enjoys playful activities, which is a characteristic often associated with squirrels.

The final two lines describe the squirrel’s response to the presence of humans around its tree. The squirrel is depicted as going the other way, which implies that it is avoiding the humans. This behaviour is consistent with squirrels’ tendency to be skittish and cautious around humans.

The one stanza poem presents a charming and light-hearted description of a squirrel’s behaviour and personality, using vivid imagery and playful language.

Message of the Poem ‘The Squirrel’

The poem describes the behaviour of a squirrel and doesn’t seem to contain a specific moral or message. However, it could be interpreted as conveying the idea that squirrels are playful and mischievous animals who enjoy teasing and running away from humans. if we are adamant on relating with humans then what we can say is the squirrel relates to a lively and fickle behaviour a child.

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