Epitaph for a Squirrel

One of the things I always loved about 
Ben Franklin is his disregard for fashion. His
fur cap is a great example. In case you're wonder-
ing, I believe it is beaver, not squirrel.

This image is in the public domain in the US
copyright expired.

Here Skugg
Lies snug
As a bug
In a rug.

First of all, hat tip to Two Nerdy History Girls for their excellent post on colonial bed rugs. I had never heard of these useful, if somewhat appalling-looking bedcovers.

It was from their post that I also learned of the origin of the phrase “snug as a bug in a rug.” 

While I wasn’t too surprised to learn that the bugs in question were bed bugs, the bane of colonial existence – and a bit of a problem even today – I was surprised to learn that the author of this little poem was none other than Ben Franklin.

Update: While reading The True Benjamin Franklin, written by Sydney George in 1898, I discovered that epitaph writing was fairly common in the 18th century. Although, most of them were for people, not squirrels.

In addition to his invention of the lightning rod, Franklin is also credited with such useful devices as the Franklin stove, bifocals, and flexible urinary catheters. As one of the longest-lived of the founding fathers (he died at 84) it's no wonder he had several inventions that would have made old age easier.

This particular poem is an epitaph written for a lady friend’s pet squirrel. For all that Franklin contributed to our society, who would have though that this would be one that was so well-remembered! 


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