“The Kittens’ Quartet”

O see, O see the little birds,

     The little birds, the little birds,

O see, O see the little birds,

     All singing in the tree.

All singing in the tree, the tree,

     All singing in the tree;

I suppose they belong to somebody else, 

     But I wish they belonged to me.

From: Carrie Jacobs-Bond, Tales of Little Cats (New York: P.F. Volland, 1918).

It’s a fascinating, if short, poem that imputes upon cats the ability to ascertain ownership of the wild. Who is this “somebody else” that the birds on the trees belong to? Why, all humankind, one would presume. The cat is presented as seeking rights above its station.

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