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To a Mouse
by Robert Burns

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Brain Snacks: Tasty Tidbits of Knowledge

Robert Burns was a poor tenant farmer in Scotland and became known as the "Heaven-taught ploughman" because, although he was taught to read at a young age (Scotland had one of the highest literacy rates in the world at that time) and had an excellent tutor who exposed him to classic literature, he didn't have the advantage of a fancy formal education. (Source.)

Burns was something of a ladies' man: various different women inspired many of his poems; he fathered twins with the woman whom he eventually married; he almost left his wife to run off to the West Indies with his lover… the list could go on. Even though he died at the relatively young age of 37, he ended up fathering 14 children by six different mothers. (Source.)

Robert Burns' father died in bankruptcy when Burns was only 25, and he and his brother had to take over the family farm. It was a lot of work to get the family out of debt, and Burns wasn't all that happy about it. Fortunately, he published his successful first book of poems only two years later. (Source.)

Robert Burns' birthday, January 25, is now celebrated all over the world as "Robbie Burns' Day." Plan a party next year. (Source.)

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