was for the birds to eat â and then they put ever so many things near
by that birds like to build nests with: short strings, rags, paper, straw,
grass, roots, twigs, hay, wool, mud, bark, and even some of Prince
Charming's tail hairs that he did not need, and some of Mrs. Speckle's
feathers, and a piece of Charlotte Anne's red hair ribbon. After the
store was all ready, Charlotte Anne and Joe-Boy would run away and
hide in the deep grass, where they could watch the birds who came to
the store, and see what they each bought. They would always take a
taste of the seeds first, and then such another twitter, twitter, twitter,
as they held their heads first on one side and then on the other â to see
what they wished to buy, to build with. It sounded as if they said:
"Pay you later, pay you later.
With a pretty, pretty, song!
Wait! wait! wait!
It won't be very long!"
When the robins came to the store, they always chose a mud cake,
and some of the tiny twigs. They used the mud to stick the twigs to-
gether with, when the nest was made. The little brown sparrows chose
hay and some of the horse-hair to weave into the bottom of their nest,
so that it would be very soft for the baby birds. The orioles liked bright
colored things, and took Charlotte Anne's hair-ribbon. The barn swal-
low took mud, and straw, and some of Mrs. Speckle's feathers. The
chimney-swallows chose twigs, which they pasted together with glue from
their own mouths, and nearly anything suited little Jenny Wren â she
wasn't hard to please. So all of the birds carried away something from
the store, and each one worked very hard to make the best nest that it
could, so the baby birds would have a cozy place in which to stay, when
they came. They liked to build in the old orchard at Charlotte Anne's
house, or in the buttercup meadow at Joe-Boy's house. Billy Sanders
had a meadow at his house, too. But the birds were afraid to build
there, because Billy Sanders had a sling-shot and a shot-gun, and Billy
Sanders thought birds were just made to shoot at. It would frighten
them so â just to see Billy Sanders cross the road, and they would whis-
per one to the other:
LITTLE FOLKS' LAND 141
"Hush! hush! Oh, keep still;
Billy Sanders is coming oveÂ» the hill.
Spread out your wings, hide the eggs, so, â
Don't let even a speck of them show!
Hush ! hush ! keep very still,
Billy Sanders is coming over the hill."
And then when Billy was passed, and was quite out of sight â such
a glad, glad song, every bird would sing:
"He has gone â
Billy Sanders has gone away!
Cheer up ! cheer up !
Be happy and gay!"
Don't you believe Billy Sanders would have felt tnost dreadful â
if he knew how glad those birds were to see him go away?
Program for Twelfth Week, Birds
Circle talk J songs and games â Have you pigeons at home? Where do
they live? What have you seen them do? Do you know if they
build nests in the house? Did you ever hear them talk together?
How do they sound ?
Play â Pigeon-house.
Gift â Fifth. Pigeon-house.
Occupation â Folding or constructive work of wood or cardboard.
The Little Pigeons Four
Circle talk, songs and games â Did you ever see a baby bird learning to
fly? Do you think they are afraid at first?
Play â Pigeon-house. Babies learning to fly.
Gift â Second Gift Beads (cylinder and balls) counting 1, 2, 3, 4.
Occupation â Free cutting. Eggs or baby pigeons.
142 LITTLE FOLKS' LAND
The Carrier Pigeon
Circle talk, songs and games â If a pigeon were taken away from home
do you think he could find his way home? Could you do it if you
were taken a long, long way from home?
Play â "Little birds, you are welcome."
Gift â Fifth. Ship, or constructive work. Build ship.
Occupation- â Fold envelope. Write letter.
The Return of the Bluebirds
Circle talk, songs and games â ^Where have the bluebirds and robins been
all winter? Have you seen one yet, this spring ? (Show picture of
bluebird.) Relate story.
Play â "All the birds are coming back." "Bird Tag."
Music â "Spring Song" â Mendelssohn.
Gift â Fourth. Boxes for bluebirds. (If possible, let this be followed
by the construction of a real box to be fastened on post or tree in
Occupation â ^Water colors. Spring picture, broad eflFect of earth and
sky. Continue this work for a short period each day, adding little
by little the details needed in a simple spring picture.
The Bird's Store
Circle talk, songs and games â ^What do the birds build nests of? Do
they all build alike, and with the same kind of material? How do
they make their nests hold together? How do they fasten them
Game â "Birds in the Greenwood." "I'm a Robin." (Birds Imper-
Qift â Sixth gift. Fence where the bird store was.
Occupation â Weaving. (Illustrating principle used in nest weaving.)
UTTLE FOLKS' LAND 143
Thirteenth Week, Birds
DEAR little Jenny Wren went hopping along over the grass in
Joe-Boy's back yard. She held her dainty brown head first on
one side and then on the other, while her bright black eyes kept
a sharp watch out. She was looking for a good place in which to build
her nest ; she did not wish to build in the buttercup meadow, nor in the
deep woods beyond, with its little twisting path, nor even in the barn,
though she had built there, once upon a time.
"I shall find a new place in which to build my nest this year," said
Jenny Wren, "and I shouldn't mind building in Joe-Boy's house â he
throws me so many nice crumbs to eat. I believe I'll hop up on the back
porch and look around."
So Jenny Wren hopped up the steps, not the least bit afraid â she
knew Billy did not live there â and then she hopped up and down the
porch. Hanging in the corner on a big nail, she saw Father Gipsy's
rain coat, with its big sleeves and broad pockets.
"My!" said Jenny Wren, "is that a man hanging up there in the
corner, I wonder? I don't believe I ever saw a man hanging on a nail
before, and he hasn't any head on, either â let me see!"
Then she flew up in the corner to take a good look, and when she
got there she found it wasn't a man at all, and she twittered and
twittered, for that was the way Jenny Wren laughed, you know.
"Ho! ho!" she said, "this is Father Gipsy's big coat; I believe I'll
just take a peep in the pockets and see what he's got there."
So she peeped in every one, and there wasn't anything there but a
string. And then Jenny- Wren said, "I am going to borrow this string
from Father Gipsy to build my nest with â he won't care â and I'm
going to build my nest right here in Father Gipsy's coat pocket, and
won't he be surprised!"
Then she flew off to find Mr. Wren and tell him about it, be-
cause of course she couldn't build a nest all by herself. Mr. Wren
gave a long, low whistle when he heard about it â he thought the barn
would be the best place to build. But then, he wanted to do the thing
that Jenny-Wren liked best â because he loved her so, and lie said, "All
right, my dear, only we must be very careful in carrying straws, and not
144 LITTLE FOLKS' LAND
let anybody see us building the nest. We will keep it a secret until the
eggs are laid and the baby wrens hatched. Then won't they be surprised
to find out we've been renting rooms and keeping house in Father
Gipsy's coat pocket!"
And they laughed till their fat sides shook with joy, and flew
quickly away to hunt twigs and scraps for their nest. Some they got
from their birds' store, some they got in the barnyard, and some they
found on the lawn, but they had the most fun building that nest!
Why, sometimes they would hop into the sleeve, and think that was a
pocket, and sometimes they would hop into the wrong pocket, and
have to hop out again, dragging -the straw behind them, and then some-
times Joe-Boy would skip out on the porch at the very time they were
not looking for him, and they would have to hide as quickly! â just
smuggle down under the big coat collar, and not speak a word, until
Joe-Boy ran in the house again. You know they had heaps of fun, and
they surely did fool Joe-Boy nicely, because he didn't know one thing
about that nest!
^ At last when the nest was all finished, Jenny-Wren laid the eggs
â four of them, all white, and then she said, "Now, Mr. Wren, you
must play you are policeman, and watch while I sit on the eggs. We
must never leave them alone for a minute, and when I go to take my
bath and find something to eat you must watch them, better than at any
other time. Just suppose Father Gipsy should put on that coat and
walk off with it â what would we do!"
"Pshaw!" said Mr. Wren, "I'm not looking for any bad luck like
that to happen, and even if it did Father Gipsy is such a kind man
I'm sure he wouldn't hurt our eggs." Well, the days went quickly
past, and of course you know that the baby wrens came from the pretty
white eggs, just as Mrs. Speckle's babies did, and just as White- Wings'
did, and Mr. Wren said it seemed to him they kept their mouths open
morning, noon and night, and they did not know when they did have
enough to eat! Why, it kept him and Jenny-Wren both hard at work
finding nice things for them to eat. But at last they were large enough
to learn to fly, and early one morning, before Joe-Boy got out of bed,
Jenny- Wren showed them how to spread their wings and fly from the
nest, and they tried so very hard that soon every one of the four baby
wrens knew how to fly, and they were so happy and liked it so much
that they wanted to fly all the time. At night they flew up in the leafy
LITTLE FOLKS' LAND 145
trees and tucked themselves away and went to sleep, singing the soft
little songs that birdies know.
It was not long after the baby wrens had left the nest that one
day Father Gipsy lost his pocket knife, and couldn't tell where to find it.
"jVIaybe it is in the pocket of your big coat on the back porch,"
said Mother Gipsy, and Joe-Boy and Father Gipsy went to see. And
Father Gipsy felt in all the pockets, and then he came to the pocket
where Jenny-Wren's nest had been, and he felt and felt! And then
he said, "What under the sun is this queer bundle in my coat pocket?
â 1-e-t me see! It doesn't feel like a knife nor a ball nor a handkerchief I
What can it be?"
"Look, father, look!" said Joe-Boy, dancing around, "maybe it is
a bundle of candy!"
Jenny-Wren was just outside the porch watching, and it tickled her
so when Father Gipsy reached his hand down and pulled out a bundle
of strings and rags and straw, that used to be her nest. And Father
Gipsy laughed, too â he thought it was very funny; and Joe-Boy
laughed, and Betty laughed, and Mother Gipsy laughed. *
"Goodness me," said Father Gipsy, "I do wonder who put this
pile of trash in my coat pocket â did you do it, Joe-Boy?"
"No, sir," said Joe-Boy, "maybe mother did."
"Not I," said Mother Gipsy, "I believe Jenny-Wren and Mr.
Wren have been playing an April-fool on Father Gipsy, because that
surely is a wren's nest. It is built out of all kinds of things, you see.
There is a piece of Silver- Lock's wool, and some of Mrs. Speckle's
feathers, and a piece of Prince Charming's hair, and a piece of my dress,
and a piece of Joe-Boy's trousers â my! it took almost as many helpers
to build Jenny-Wren's house as it took to build our house! Even
Father Gipsy lent them his coat pocket â that was a great help."
And then they laughed again, and Father Gipsy said, "That surely
was a funny place in which to build a nest."
Note. â A true incident.
The Gray Swallow's Fright
R. and Mrs. Gray-Swallow had a most dreadful experience!
Now, don't you think experience means something to eat, be-
cause it doesn't. And it does not mean anything to drink,
either â experience just means something that happened. And I am
going to tell you what happened to Mr. and Mrs. Gray-Swallow.
146 LITTLE FOLKS' LAND
All the birds were talking about it. You see, Mr. and Mrs. Gray-
Swallow had built their nest in Charlotte Anne's chimney, but they
didn't tell Charlotte Anne about it, so how was she to know? She had
seen them gather the twigs and fly on top of the house with them, but
she did not see them go down the chimney, so she thought the nest was
under the eves of the house, high up where she could not see, and all
that time Mr. and Mrs. Gray-Swallow had glued those twigs together
with paste from their mouths and made a fine, snug nest, fastened tight
to the side of the great, black chimney. They thought it was very fine,
and at night they would cuddle together with their three baby swallows
and have the nicest time! The stars peeped down and saw them, and
they peeped up and saw the stars; and the pretty silver moon peeped
down at them, and they peeped up at the pretty silver moon. That
was a merry little family tucked away in Charlotte Anne's chimney,
even if she didn't know anything about it. But I mustn't forget about
the experience I started out to tell you about. One morning Charlotte
Anne said, "I believe I will wash and iron Saraphena's clothes today
â she hasn't any clean dresses to wear."
Saraphena was Charlotte Anne's doll, you know, and Joe-Boy
said, 'Til help." So they rolled up their sleeves, away up h-i-g-h, â up
above their elbows, so they couldn't get wet, and then they got the tub
and filled it full of water, and then they got soap â a whole bar â and
splashed and splashed it about in the water until the soap suds foarned
up soft and white, and then they got all of Saraphena's clothes and put
them in the water, and scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed, until they
were just as clean. And then they squeezed them out and hung them
on the line in a long, long row, to dry.
"There now," said Charlotte Anne, "while they are drying we will
make a fire in the big fire-place and get the irons hot, and then we will
iron Saraphena's clothes for her." So she and Joe-Boy went to work
and kindled a fire right in that very chimney where Mrs. Gray-Swallow's
nest was! Don't you know they wouldn't have done that thing for the
world if they had known about Mr. and Mrs. Gray-Swallow and their
baby birds living there? But they didn't know, and the smoke rose
higher and higher up the chimney, and got in the baby birds' eyes, and
in their mouths and up their noses, and they sneezed and sneezed and
didn't know what was the matter. Mr. and Mrs. Gray-Swallow were
LITTLE FOLKS' LAND 147
off hunting something to eat, but when they saw the smoke curling out
of the chimney they came flying home in a big hurry. "Dear me," said
Mrs. Gray-Swallow, "what shall we do? I did not know people made
fires in their chimneys in the summer time! My poor baby birds will be
killed with the smoke."
And then she forgot all about herself, and flew right into the
chimney, to the nest, and spread her wings out over the baby birds, so
that the smoke could not get to them. Mr. Swallow flew round and
round the chimney, calling and calling for some one to come quickly and
save the nest of pretty birds. It was just at that minute that Charlotte
Anne and Joe-Boy ran into the yard to bring the doll clothes in, and
they heard the swallows crying, and looked up and saw Mr. Gray-
Swallow flying round and round the chimney, and then Charlotte Anne
said, "Mercy me! I think those swallows must have a nest in our
chimney, and we are burning them up â run, run, run!"
And what do you think they did ? You know, they could not climb
up a high ladder to take the baby birds out of the nest â they couldn't
get down the chimney, so Charlotte Anne said, "Water, water, water,
we will pour water on the fire and put it all out â hurry!"
So Joe-Boy got a tin bucket full of water, and Charlotte Anne got
a tin bucket full of water, and they dashed it all 'over the fire â and
some of it spilled down on the floor â and by and by the fire was all out,
and then of course there wasn't any smoke to go up the chimney, and
Mr. Gray-Swallow was so glad and so verj'^ thankful! He flew right
into the chimney to Mrs. Grav-Swallow, and fanned and fanned her
until she opened her pretty eyes and looked at him ; and the first thing
she said was, "Are the baby birds safe?"
"Yes, yes," said Mr. Gray-Swallow, "you saved their lives when
you covered them with your wings. Did the smoke hurt you very
much?" "It hurt my eyes dreadfully," said Mrs. Gray-Swallow, "but
that doesn't make any difference now, just so the baby birds are safe."
Well, Saraphena's clothes did not get ironed that day, but Char-
lotte Anne ironed them the next morning while the cook was getting
dinner, and when she had finished she dressed Saraphena up in a right
clean dress and took her out walking, and she passed Mr. and Mrs.
Gray-Swallow, sitting on the fence, and the baby swallows hopping on
the ground, close by, and Jenny-Wren and the bluebirds were sitting on
148 LITTLE FOLKS' LAND
the fence, too, and I think Mr. and Mrs. Gray-Swallow were telling
them about their experience â that is what I think they were doing.
Note. â A true incident.
The Baby Mockingbirds
WHEN Mr. and Mrs. Mockingbird made their nest they put
it in the cedar tree close by the road, and if you climbed
up on the fence you could peep into the nest and see the
pretty pale green eggs with spots of brown â four of them, l}'ing on the
soft feathers and hair that Mr. and Mrs. Mockingbird had lined their
nest with, making the outside strong with rags and roots and strips of
bark. Mrs. Mockingbird sat on the nest and kept the eggs warm, and
Mr. Mockingbird sat on the very top twig of the cedar tree and sang
and sang until the woods rang with his merry song! Why, Mr. Mock-
ingbird thought that cedar tree belonged to him, and he thought the
fence belonged to him, too, and what was more, Mr. Mockingbird
thought the big road belonged to him, and so he sang and sang and
sang! And Mr. Mockingbird could sing more than one song, too â he
could sing like a canary or a thrush or a catbird or an oriole or any
other kind of bird you ever heard. And he could whistle like bobwhite
or Joe-Boy, and he could even go like a train letting off steam â only not
quite so loud â and Mrs. Mockingbird was very proud of him. When
the baby mockingbirds came, though, Mr. Mockingbird did not have
time to sing very much, because the baby birds had to be fed, and Mr.
Mockingbird was kept so busy hunting worms he did not have time
to do anything else. Everj^ time he came near the nest all the baby
birds held their mouths wide open, ready for something to be dropped
in, and they were very much disappointed if they did not get something
nice to eat. When the baby birds were seven days old they knew how
to chirp, and Mrs. Mockingbird said she just knew they were all going
to make fine singers, because they had a few white feathers coming on
their wings â and that was a good sign. When they were eight days old
Mr. and Mrs. Mockingbird both flew away to Charlotte Anne's orchard
to hunt for worms, and while they were away the baby birds cried so
loud â all at the same time â that Billy Sanders, who was coming down
the road, heard them. And Billy stopped right still by the rail fence
LITTLE FOLKS' LAND 149
and listened and listened and listened, and then he climbed up on the
fence, right close to that cedar tree, and found Mr. and Mrs. Mock-
ingbirds' nest, and he peeped over in the nest and saw the four baby
birds with their mouths wide open, and then Billy reached into the nest
and took those baby mockingbirds out, and put them into his cap and
jumped down from the fence and away Billy Sanders ran along the
big road home. And when he got there, why, he put the baby mocking-
birds in a wire cage, and said he was going to keep them for his very
own, â to sing for him. And the baby birds cried and cried and cried,
because they wanted their mother. Well, by and by, Mr. and Mrs.
Mockingbird flew back to their nest in the cedar tree with some worms
for their babies, and when they peeped into the nest and there were not
any baby birds there, why, they did not know what to think about it.
"Maybe they have been trying to fly, and have fallen on the
ground," said Mr. Mockingbird, "j'ou know baby mockingbirds alwa3'S
try to fly before they are strong enough. Come, let us look all in the
grass and in the road; maybe we can find them."
So they flew to the ground and looked and looked and looked, but
no baby birds could they find. And then they chirped and chirped and
called and called, until the bluebirds and wrens and swallows and all
the other birds flew across from the meadow to see what was the matter
with Mr. and Mrs. Mockingbird. And when they all saw the empty
nest they felt very sorrj^ indeed. IVIr. Owl, who was a very wise bird,
said, "Some one has stolen those birds away â who? who? who?"
"Not I," said the jaybird, "I wouldn't do such a thing."
"Not I," said the swallow; "that is a mean, mean thing!"
"Not I," said the wren, "I would not think of doing such a thing!"
"Not I! No, no, not I!" said every one of the birds, "but we will
So they flew to the meadow and to the orchard and to the deep
woods, but they could not find the baby birds.
"Do you suppose Joe-Boy could have taken my baby birds away?"
said Mrs. Mockingbird.
"No, no," said little Jenny-Wren, "of that I am verj' sure!"
"Do you suppose Charlotte Anne could have taken them?" said
"No, no," said the swallows, "Charlotte Anne wouldn't do such a
150 LITTLE FOLKS' LAND
"What about Billy Sanders," said the bluebirds, "could he have
Then all the birds looked at one another, and said, "Billy Sanders!
Billy Sanders!" Then Mrs, Mockingbird did not wait another minute,
but she flew quickly down the big road to Billy's house, and Mr. Mock-
ingbird followed close behind. Sure enough, when they got to Billy's
house they heard the baby birds crying and saw them in a wire cage on
Billy's back porch. Mrs. Mockingbird flew quickly to them, and
chirped to her baby birds softly, and they chirped back again, so glad
to see her once more; and then Mr. Mockingbird flew down and
pecked and pecked at the cage door, trying to get it open, but it was
tied with a strong wire, and though he tried and tried he could not get
the door to come open. Mrs. Mockingbird kept chirping sweetly to
them â "Don't be afraid, baby birds; mother is near; don't you hear?
Cheer up, cheer up."
But Billy Sanders soon came out on the porch and frightened them
away, and the father and mother mockingbirds flew in<"0 a tree near by
and hid among the ieaves.
"Well," said Mr. Mockingbird, "I am afraid we shall never get
our baby birds away from Billy Sanders. He means to keep them in
the wire cage for his very own, and he is big and strong, and we are
very small â how can we help ourselves?"
"My baby birds shall not live in a wire cage," said Mrs. Mocking-
bird. "They can not be happy there. Birds like to fly through the air,
and flit among the trees and hop over the grass. A cage is like a jail,
and I would rather rny birdies were dead than to have to live there â
no, no, no!"
"Well, I think so, too," said Mr. Mockingbird, "I should much
rather be dead than to live in a wire cage the rest of mj'^ days, and I
believe the baby birds would, too. And, though it is a very sad thing
to do, let us hunt some poisonous worms, and bring them to the baby
birds to eat, and let them die."
And that is just what they did â the very next day â and when
Billy Sanders came to feed the baby birds he found them lying on the
bottom of the cage with their pretty ej'es all closed. Don't j^ou think
Billy Sanders would have felt very sorry for Mr. and Mrs. Mocking-
bird if he had only known?
Note. â ^A true incident.
LITTLE FOLKS' LAND 151
How the Jaybirds Planted Trees
YOU could hardly find a prettier bird than Mr. Jaybird, with his
coat of dark, rich blue, trimmed in black, a vest of white, and a
most beautiful crest of feathers on his head. And while he
could not sing so very well, he was a fine dancer, and did so many funny
things you could not help but love him. There was one thing that
Mr. and Mrs. Jaybird liked better than anything else in all the world
â and that was acorns! Why, they thought acorns were better than
ice cream and candy, and you know how good that is. So they always
built their nest in an oak grove, because the little bluejays were just