Little Gustava by Celia Thaxter

Little Gustava sits in the sun,
Safe in the porch, and the little drops run
From the icicles under the eaves so fast,
For the bright spring sun shines warm at last,
And glad is little Gustava.

She wears a quaint little scarlet cap,
And a little green bowl she holds in her lap,
Filled with bread and milk to the brim,
And a wreath of marigolds round the rim:
“Ha! ha!” laughs little Gustava.

Up comes her little gray coaxing cat
With her little pink nose, and she mews, “What’s that?”
Gustava feeds her, – she begs for more;
And a little brown hen walks in at the door:
“Good day!” cries little Gustava.

She scatters crumbs for the little brown hen.
There comes a rush and a flutter, and then
Down fly her little white doves so sweet,
With their snowy wings and crimson feet:
“Welcome!” cries little Gustava.

So dainty and eager they pick up the crumbs.
But who is this through the doorway comes?
Little Scotch terrier, little dog Rags,
Looks in her face, and his funny tail wags:
“Ha! ha!” laughs little Gustava.

“You want some breakfast too?” and down
She sets her bowl on the brick floor brown;
And little dog Rags drinks up her milk,
While she strokes his shaggy locks like silk:
“Dear Rags!” says little Gustava.

Waiting without stood sparrow and crow,
Cooling their feet in the melting snow:
“Won’t you come in, good folk?” she cried.
But they were too bashful, and stood outside
Though “Pray come in!” cried Gustava.

So the last she threw them, and knelt on the mat
With doves and biddy and dog and cat.
And her mother came to the open house-door:
“Dear little daughter, I bring you some more.
My merry little Gustava!”

Kitty and terrier, biddy and doves,
All things harmless Gustava loves.
The shy, kind creatures ’tis joy to feed,
And oh, her breakfast is sweet indeed
To happy little Gustava!