Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sentimental Sunday: Aunt Rae's "Five Little Squirrels" Story

Liam and Aunt Rae (& Elmo!)
My sister, Cindy, recently reminded me of a story that our Great Aunt Rae (Grandma Donna's sister) told us when we were little kids. Cindy has a picture of Aunt Rae telling the story to my nephew, Liam, when he was a little guy. I'm glad that she thought to write it all down! Aunt Rae said that that her mom, Great Grandma Madsen, used to tell this story to her children and grandchildren:

Five Little Squirrels

Five little squirrels up in the tree,

This little squirrel says, "What do I see?"

This little squirrel says, "I smell a gun!"

This little squirrel says, "Let us run!"

This little squirrel says, "I'll hide in the shade."

This little squirrel says, "I'm not afraid!"

BANG!!! goes the gun and they run, everyone.

I was curious about this little poem, so I went in search of its history. I haven't yet figured out the origin, but did find several versions of it in old teaching manuals, including one that dates back to 1888! Nearly a hundred and twenty five years ago, teachers used this as a counting poem as well as to teach language.

Since Aunt Rae passed away last year, this has brought back very sweet memories of her for Cindy and me. Now, it's up to us to make sure that Liam and his brother, Evan, remember this poem to share with future generations!


  1. Much better than Monkeys jumping on the bed... :-)
    Theresa (Tangled Trees)

  2. I remember hearing it without the gun. "nuts that lay at the foot of the tree." I guess that's a newer version, politically-correct and all that.