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by one leg; and although he did his best, when brought to the foot of the ladder, in trying to get up, he failed utterly, and had to be half-shoved, halfhauled all the way-which, as he got astride, after the manner of equestrians, on every other bar, was a work of some difficulty. I hurried him into the cab, and ordering the man to drive as quickly as possible, got in with my guests. At first, I had to keep dodging my head about, to keep my face away from his bill as he turned round; but all of a sudden he broke the little window at the back of the cab, thrust his head through, and would keep it there, notwithstanding I kept pulling him back. Consequently, when we drew up at my door, there was a mob of about a thousand strong around us. I got him in as well as I could, and shut the door.
How can I describe the spending of that evening? how can I get sufficient power out of the English language to let you know what a nuisance that bird was to us? How can I tell you the cool manner in which he inspected our domestic arrangements ?-walking slowly into rooms, and standing on one leg until his curiosity was satisfied; the expression of wretchedness that he threw over his entire person when he was tethered to the banisters, and had found out that, owing to our limited accommodation, he was to remain in the hall all night; the way in which he ate the snails specially provided for him, verifying to the letter the naturalist's description of his appetite. How can you, who have not had a stork staying with you, have any idea of the change which came over his temper after his supper-how he pecked at everybody who came near him ; how he stood sentinel at the foot of the stairs ; how my wife and I made fruitless attempts to get past, followed by ignominious retreats ; how at last we outmaneuvred him by throwing a table-cloth over his head, and then rushing by him, gained the top of the stairs before he could disentangle himself.
Added to all this, we had to endure language from
that parrot which would have disgraced a pot-house ; indeed, so scurrilous did he become, that we had to take him and lock him up in the coal-hole, where, from fatigue, or the darkness of his bedroom, he soon swore himself to sleep.
We were quite ready for rest, and the forgetfulness which, we hoped, sleep, that “balm of hurt minds," would bring with it; but our peace was not to last long. About 2 A.M., I was awakened by my wife, and told to listen; I did so, and heard a sort of scrambling noise outside the door. “What can that be ?” thought I. “He has broken his string, and is coming up stairs," said my wife; and then, remembering that the nurserydoor was generally left open, she urged my immediately stopping his further progress. “But, my dear,” said I, “ what am I to do in my present defenceless state of clothing, if he should take to pecking ?” My wife's expression at the idea of my considering myself before the baby, determined me at once, come what might, to go and do him battle. Out I went, and sure enough there he was on the landing, resting himself, after his unusual exertion, by tucking one leg up. He looked so subdued, that I was about to take him by the string and lead him down stairs, when he drew back his head, and in less time than it takes to relates, I was back in my room, bleeding profusely from a very severe wound in the leg. I shouted out to the nurse to shut the door, and determined to let the infamous bird go where he liked. I bound up my leg and went to bed again ; but the thought that there was a stork wandering about the house, prevented me from getting any more sleep. From certain sounds that we heard, we had little doubt but that he was passing some of his time in the cupboard where we kept our spare crockery, and an inspection the next day confirmed this.
In the morning I ventured cautiously out, and finding he was in our spare bedroom, I shut the door upon him. I then sent for a large sack, and with the help of the table-cloth, and the boy who cleans our shoes, we got him into it without any further personal damage. I took him off in this way to the station, and sent him and the parrot off to my uncle by the first train.
We have determined that, taking our chance about a place in my uncle's will or not, we will never again have anything to do with any foreign animals, however much he may ask and desire it.
(By permission of Messrs. Chambers.)
THE SURGEON AND THE HOUSE PAINTERS.
Fix on our panels and our planks,
Out, till they've fairly played their pranks.
Spectres cease to haunt our vision ;
To calculate it with precision,
Destined to pacify the yearning
There dwelt a surgeon, who went halves With the apothecary, in the earnings
From broken limbs and accidents arising. But, somehow, the good Romford drones Were so confounded careful against harms,
They neither broke their legs nor arms, Nor even slipped their collar bones.
In short, he couldn't find one benefactor Among these cruel calf and pig herds,
To treat him with a single fracture :Was ever such a set of niggards ?
The fact is, that they never took the road,
But if with other legs you take a journey,
What wonder if they sometimes overturn ye? One morn a patent safety coach
Departed from the Swan with two NecksA sign that seems intended to reproach
Those travellers of either sex,
Just as they entered Romford with a dash,
With a low post-was shivered-smash!
“ Zooks !" cried the coachman, as he swore and cursed, " That rascal Jack will get to Chelmsford first.
We might have had worse luck on't; for I sees
None of the horses hasn't broke their knees."
Luckily for the passengers, the master
Of the Plough Inn, who witnessed the disaster,
The imprisoned sufferers unpounded,
Into his house;
He came-inquired the wounds and spasms
Of all the mistresses and masters;
And then ran home to tell how matters stood.
His wife put on her tragi-comic features :
She had a heart-but also an uncommon eye
Don't tell me any more, my dear Cathartic,
The horrid story really makes my heart ache. One broken riban ankle sprained that's worse;
I mean that's better, for it lasts the longer; Those careless coachmen are the traveller's curse,
How lucky that they hadn't got to Ongar! Two bad contusions-several ugly wounds, Why this should be a job of fifty pounds!
So now there's no excuse for being stingy; 'Tis full twelve years—no matter when it was—
At all events, the parlour's horrid dingy, And now it shall be painted—that is poz!"
The painters come-two summer days they give
To scrape acquaintance with each panel ; Then mix the deadly stuff by which they live,
(The smell's enough to make the stoutest man ill), And now, in all their deleterious glory,
They fall upon the wainscot con amore. The parlour's done-you wouldn't know the room, It looks four times as large, and eight times
lighter; But most unluckily, as that grew whiter, The hall looked less, and put on tenfold gloom.
“There's no use doing things by halves, my dear,
We must just titivate the hall, that's clear." “Well, be it so, you've my consent, my love, But when that's done, the painters go, by Jove!"
They heard him, and began. All hurry-scurry,
They set to work instanter,
Into a species of snail's canter.