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And she made the bird her darling,
She was so poor and alone, That she thought it a lovely wonder
To have a bird of her own. She hung the cage in her hovel,
And tended the bird with care ; Aud often when she was hungry
The bird had enough and to spare.
Weary and weary with walking,
Out of her way she would go
Birds are so fond of, you know.
That used to get her some bread, Must go for the seed and sugar
With which her bird-king is fed
The bird sang out sweet and eager
Whenever he saw her come, A beautiful song of welcome,
Making the hovel a home! It flew around and about her;
It sang what it could not speak; It perched on her head and shoulder,
Or laid on her lips its beak.
So the wind blew rather softly,
The sun shone rather more bright, And love was the little secret
That gave to her life some light.
And you with whom love is plenty,
Oh, is not your pity stirr'd
By only loving a bird ?
And when she was faint with hunger,
Weary, and wasted, and ill, And lay on the floor of the hovel,
Clay-cold, and white, and still, And the bird was singing above her,
And flying about and around, And perching on head and shoulder,
And hearing no loving sound ;
O bird, of what were you thinking ?
O bird, shall we never know ?
Your pretty eye glittered so !
And sang with a frightened cry,
Away between earth and sky.
And every creature that met you
You called with a piercing call,
And tried to appeal to them all.
For how could they guess or know That the bird was asking their succour For the woman who loved it so ?
The young were so gay and idle,
With hearts so eager and light; And the grown-up people so busy,
Planning from morning till night; And all were thinking and speaking
Of things they had seen and heard ; And all of themselves or each other,
With never a thought for the bird.
Back flew the bird in its terror,
Back to the hovel again!
And 'tis asking them all in vain;
The girl with the innocent grace, And the hand that was always ready,
And the sweet little pitying face.
And it fluttered and flew about her,
And cried a despairing cry, And flew away to the hovel,
And back to the girl did ily.
But able to understand,
Still goes with the comforting hand.
So the two went into the hovel,
And life went in with them there; For death could not hold the creature
Of whom a bird took such care.
And all who heard the sweet story
Did comfort and aid impart,
: From “Child NATURE.”
THE WHALES' BALL.
DEEP, deep, down in the sea, miles and miles further down than you ever went, is the palace where Whale, the King of the Fish, lives. Such a beautiful cool palace, made of rock, and fitted up inside with coral !
Now in case no fish ever asked you to dine, or to drink salt water with him, I am going to tell you about the ball which King Whale gave when the Prince of the Whales came of age.
Whales usually live in great state, and do not care to see their neighbours; but the queen persuaded the king that solitude is no better for fish than for man or beast, and at last he gave in and said that he would give a ball. Then all was bustle in the sea. You never saw such waves as were kicked up. The dust on the land is nothing to them. In fact, two or three ships were wrecked in consequence.
Salmon, the butler, said that he could not pretend to get through the waiting without more help. All the shells wanted cleaning, and several of them were chipped.
As soon as Salmon's wishes were known, a good
many fish swam after the place. Indeed the wages offered were so good that several Pikes left the fresh water and came into the sea to offer their services.
Next came a Crab; but although he was very handy with his claws, his way of walking was so awkward, the Whale said he was ashamed to see him. However, Salmon told him to come, but to remain in the backwater, where he would not be so much observed. Then hurried up two Eels, with slim genteel figures, and nicely oiled hair. They were very active, almost too much so, in fact; for Mrs. Lobster, the fat red cook, caught one helping himself to sea-weed on the sly. Still they looked so well in their livery, that Salmon engaged them.
At last the great day arrived. The Star-fish were all rubbed bright, and shone beautifully. Lobster got very hot with getting the Jelly-fish into their moulds. The Talking-fish stood ready to announce the visitors' names, and the Crab waited to take off the ladies' cloaks with his claws. First appeared the head and shoulders of General Cod, attended by the Master Smelts. The Smelts were rather grand fish, and very angry at their low relations, the Sprats, who rushed in after them, trying to look as if they belonged to the same party. Between ourselves, I do not think that they had been invited at all, but managed to slip by Salmon when he was not looking
Next tripped up the Miss Whitings, nicely bread-crumbed, and with their tails held neatly in their mouths. Then two Yarmouth Bloaters strolled in-rather dry fellows, but highly respect