as fond of acorns as their mother and father were, and every morning
Mr. Jaybird would say, "Hi, there, you little bluejays, come to break-
fast, I say, the very finest breakfast in all the land!"
And there would be just acorns for breakfast. Then at noon time
Mr. Jaybird would say, "Hi, there, you little bluejays, come to dinner,
I say; the very finest dinner in all the land!"
And there would just be acorns for dinner. Then, when night
time came, Mr. Jaybird would say, "Hi, there, you little bluejays, come
to supper, I say; the very finest supper in all the land!"
And there would just be acorns for supper; and Mr. Jaybird and
Mrs. Jaybird and all the little jaybirds got as fat as fat could be, eating
acorns. Now, Mr. Jaybird was a farmer â he knew somebody had to
plant oak trees if there were to be plenty of acorns to eat, so he said
he believed he would plant oak trees himself, and train up the little
bluejays to plant acorns, too, and then he felt sure there would always
be oak trees growing. So early one morning after breakfast, Mr. Jay-
bird said, "Who wants to help me work today?"
And all the little bluejays said, "I! I! I!"
"Come along, then," said Mr. Jaybird, "fly down to the ground
with me, and do as I do."
So the little bluejays fluttered to the ground by his side, and
watched him very closely with their sharp, bright eyes. Mr. Jaybird
hunted around in the leaves until he found a nice fat acorn, and then
he pecked a little hole in the ground and put that acorn in ft, and
hammered it quickly down with his strong bill, until you couldn't see
even a speck of ft. Then he found another fine, fat acorn, and pecked
153 LITTLE FOLKS' LAND
another hole in the ground, and hammered it down in the ground, â
and another, and another, and another, and another, and another.
"What are you doing, father?" said all the little bluejays. "We
thought acorns were to eat â not to hide in the ground!"
"So they are," said Mr. Jaybird, "but don't acorns have to grow
on oak trees, I'd like to know? And if no one plants acorns, how can
there be any trees?"
"Oh, oh, oh," chirped the little bluejays, "we want to plant oak
trees, too, father."
"All right," said Mr. Jaybird, "just do as I do."
So all the little bluejays planted oak trees all the morning, and
when they got tired planting trees, they carried acorns and hid them
in hollow logs and old posts and stumps â now, why do you think they
did that? While they were busy hiding the acorns away, Mr. Jaybird
found an extra fine acorn, and he said, "I believe I will plant this acorn
on Joe-Boy's lawn."
So he flew across to Joe-Boy's yard and dug a little hole in the
ground and hammered the acorn quickly down, and Joe-Boy saw him
when he did it, and Mother Gipsy saw him, too, and she said, "See,
Mr. Jaybird has planted us an oak tree."
And do you know, that acorn sprouted and really grew into a fine
little tree? I saw it myself, and Joe-Boy and Charlotte Anne called
it "the bluejay's tree."
The Broken Twig
IF Mr. Jaybird was a farmer, because he planted trees, then the
orioles were carpenters, because they mended things. Let me tell
you about it. The orioles built the very prettiest nest that Char-
lotte Anne or Joe-Boy ever saw. But it was not in the buttercup
meadow, nor in the deep woods beyond, nor on the lawn; but it was
over at Charlotte Anne's house in an old apple tree, away down in the
orchard. When Charlotte Anne first saw it she ran all the way across
the street to tell Joe-Boy about it, because she wanted him to come and
see her piece of red hair ribbon â the same that she had hung on the
fence in the birds' store. Those orioles had woven it in and out of
their pretty swinging nest, as well as you or I could have done. The
orioles know all about weaving, and when they have finished their nest
LITTLE FOLKS' LAND 153
of long grasses and strings, woven deep like a pocket, they lace the
edge of the nest to strong twigs, hidden among the leaves, and there
they swing as happy as you please â to and fro in the pretty swinging
cradle. Charlotte Anne thought it was very kind of the orioles to
build their beautiful nest in her apple tree â maybe it was because they
had used a piece of her red hair ribbon â but anyway, when the nest
was finished, Mrs. Oriole laid five of the prettiest white eggs with
queer brown marks on them, and of course she and Mr. Oriole were
very proud of them. But one night a big wind storm came up, and blew
and blew so hard against the tree that it broke the twig â the very twig
that the nest was fastened to, and when Charlotte Anne saw it, there
it hung, almost, but not quite, broken in two, and the orioles were
flying round and round the tree, chirping. They were so afraid the
nest would fall and break the pretty eggs they did not know what to
do! And Charlotte Anne was afraid, too, so she ran to the house to
ask her father to come quickly and help them, but her father had gone
to town. And when she ran over to Joe-Boy's house to get his father
to help, why, he had gone to town, too! And then it began to rain,
and it rained so hard that Charlotte Anne's mother would not let her
go back to the orchard all that day, because she w*as afraid she might
get her feet wet and catch a cold. But the next afternoon the sun was
shining bright, and when Charlotte Anne peeped out of the window
there came Father Gipsy through the gate with a long ladder on his
back and a pocket full of strings, and Joe-Boy was trotting right behind.
"Run, Charlotte Anne," he said, "I told father about the oriole's
nest, and he has come to mend it for them."
So they all three went through the orchard gate and down the little
path to the old apple tree, and therij what do you think? Father Gipsy
said, "Why, I don't see any broken limb here, Charlotte Anne!" And
Charlotte Anne looked and Joe-Boy looked, and sure enough the limb
was all mended back again â just as good as ever. And then Father
Gipsy said, "I'll just climb this tree, and see about this thing! And
when he had climbed up to the limb where the nest swung, he said,
"Well, sir! Did I ever! I didn't know birds were this smart before.
Why, these orioles do not need us to mend this nest for them! They
are better carpenters than we are, and have already mended the broken
limb. They have wrapped moss and strings and hair around and round
until the twig is just as tight and strong as I could ever fix it! And they
154 LITTLE FOLKS' LAND
must have worked in the rain, too â well, well, well ! Now, wasn't that
"Oh, let me see! let me see!" said Charlotte Anne.
"Oh, let me see! let me see, too!" said Joe-Boy.
So Father Gipsy said, "Well, hurry along, before the orioles get
back. They might not like to see us peeping in their nests, and I have
heard that birds sometimes leave their nests for ever and ever if they
catch people looking in them. We should be very sorry to have the
orioles leave this nest after mending it so nicely."
So, then, Charlotte Anne scrambled up the ladder and looked at
the mended limb, and then Joe-Boy scrambled up the ladder and looked
at the mended limb.
And Charlotte Anne said, "Well, sir! did you ever!"
And Joe-Boy said, "Well, sir! did you ever!"
And then Father Gipsy took the ladder down, and said, "Run chil-
dren, r-u-n! Mr. Oriole is coming! R-u-n! R-u-n! R-u-n!"
And away those two children scampered up that orchard path â
and Mr. Oriole did not know one word about it.
Note. â A true incident.
Program for Thirteenth Week
Circle talk, songs and games â Have any of you ever found a bird's nest?
What did you do with it? What was it made of? Do you be-
lieve birds love their nest homes as well as we love our homes?
Show Jenny- Wren's picture.
Songs â Birds.
Games â "Hopping birds."
Giftâ Third. Porch.
Occupation â Paper folding and cutting. Coat, where Jenny- Wren
The Gray Swallows' Fright
Circle talk, songs and games â Did you ever have a swallow build a nest
in your chimney? Did you ever see one build under the eaves of
LITTLE FOLKS' LAND 155
your house ? What do swallows like to build their nests of ? How
do you suppose they keep them from falling down the chimney?
Song â "The Swallow is a Mason,"
Game â Swallows flying.
Gift â Fourth or Sixth. Sequence, house, chimney, washtub, scrub-
Occupation â Modeling. Co-operative work. Chimney and nest.
The Baby Mockingbirds
Circle talk, songs and games â Relate stor>' first. What do you think
of Billy Sanders?
Songs and games â Review previous bird songs and games.
Gift period â Modeling, Nest and eggs. Tell poem, "Who stole the
Occupation â Drawing. Illustrate the story of the "Baby Mocking-
How the Jaybirds Planted Trees
Circle talk, songs and games â Tell me what birds like to eat? Did
you ever know of a bird that ate acorns? A bird that says, "Jay,
jay." Show nest and picture of jaybird.
Song â All the birds are back again.
Game â Birdies' Ball.
Gift â Pegboards. Plant trees. Use song in which the fingers repre-
Occupation â Paper cutting. Acorns.
The Broken Twig
Circle talk, songs and games â Did you ever swing? Suppose your
swing should break, â what would you do? Joe-Boy knew of some
birds that liked to swing. I will tell you about them.
Song â "I'm an Oriole."
Games â Birds.
Qift â Modeling. Oriole's nest. Show picture and nest.
Occupation â Sewing. Outline a nest. As few stitches as possible.
156 LITTLE FOLKS' LAND
Fourteenth Week, Birds
The Little Robins Three
I WONDER if you can guess which one of the birds built a nest in
the vines which climbed all over Joe-Boy's front veranda. The
nest was made from mud and grass and tiny roots, and lined with
soft fine grass. It was not Mr. Swallow's nest, because he did not
build it, but it belonged to the robins, because they made it all by them-
selves, and Joe-Boy watched them from the very beginning. It was
he who first saw the three beautiful green blue eggs in the nest which
had hatched into the three baby robins that Mr. and Mrs. Robin
thought were the prettiest babies in the wide, wide world. And once,
while they were off hunting worms for the baby robins, Joe-Boy had
tipped up and peeped at them, lying cosily in the nest, and I think the
baby robins must have thought Joe-Boy was their mother, for they
opened their mouths wide for him to give them something to eat. Little
Sister Wee was the smallest robin of all, and then came the two little
brothers. Tee and Dee. And do you know, those two little brother
robins thought they knew everything in the world? Why, even you
and I don't know that, do we? And one day while Mr. and Mrs.
Robin were away from home the little robins got to talking about how
the world was made. Brother Dee hopped up on the edge of the
nest, and when he saw the pretty green leaves that grew all about on
the vine, near his nest home, he said, "Oh pshaw! I guess I know how
this world is made ! It is made out of leaves â nothing but leaves, that's
And then Brother Tee tried to hop up to the edge of the nest,
too, but he couldn't, and he said, "No, the world isn't made out of
leaves, little brother; the world is made out of straw and mud, because
I see it. Look, it is all around us â straw and mud."
Then little Sister Wee, who was not even strong enough to stand
up, said, "No, no, no, little brothers, I know what the world is made of.
It isn't leaves and it isn't straw and mud, either; the world is made out
of blue egg shells, and I know it is!"
And then those little robins got to fussing, and all about how the
world was made. When Mrs. Robin got back to the nest, why, she
couldn't hear a thing but leaves, and mud, and straw, and egg shells,
all mixed up together.
LITTLE FOLKS' LAND 157
"You foolish little robins," she said, "wait until you've learned
to fly before you talk about how the world is made. Baby robins can
not know everjthing â fi, fi!"
Then she showed them how to tuck their heads beneath their wings
and take a nap. The next day was such a pretty day, all the baby
robins begged to fly, so Mrs. Robin showed them how to lift their
wings, and spread them, so, and they flew down from the nest to the
banister railing, and then down to the grass below. Even little Sister
Wee learned to fly just a little, though she was very much afraid at
first, and cried so loud when she got to the banister that Joe-Boy ran
out to see what was the matter. But Mrs. Robin saw him and chirped
out quickly, "Don't touch her! Don't touch her! She's learning to fly!"
And of- course Joe-Boy ran into the house again, and only peeped
through the window. Each day the baby robins flew a little farther,
until one morning they even flew to the buttercup meaSow, and took a
bath in the cool brook, splashing the water-drops up over their heads,
and then shaking themselves dry in the sunshine like three flufiFy balls.
And then, do you know, those birdies said that the world was made out
of water and sun!. Wasn't that funny?
Another day Air. and Mrs. Robin took them to the orchard at
Charlotte Anne's house, and they saw apple trees, and plum trees, and
pear trees, and peach trees, and cherry trees, and all kinds of fruit
trees, and the little robins had the nicest time, but it was too funny
when those very same little baby robins â Brother Dee and Brother Tee
and Sister Wee â said, "Ho, ho, mother, we know now how the world
is made! It is made out of trees, see, see!"
Now what do you think of those three baby robins?
The Redbird's Story
ONE day such a pretty, pretty bird came to the buttercup meadow.
His feathers were a bright, rich red, his wings tipped with
gray, and a most beautiful crest of soft, black feathers on the
top of his head. Joe-Boy and Charlotte Anne both saw him the same
day, but they did not see his mate, and they wondered and wondered
where Mrs. Redbird could be. The other birds in the meadow won-
dered, too, â they were all busy housekeeping, and nearly all of them
had baby birds large enough to fly; and they felt very sorry, because
158 LITTLE FOLKS' LAND
Mr. Redbird did not have a pretty mate, and dear baby birds, too, so
they asked him why.
"It makes me sad to think about my pretty, pretty mate," said
Mr. Redbird, â "somebody stole her away from me one day."
"Billy Sanders! Billy Sanders!" chirped all the birds in a chorus.
"I do not know whether it was Billy Sanders or not," said Mr.
Redbird, "but it was a boy, for I peeped at him through the bushes
when he carried my mate away. We had built such a pretty nest in .
a tangle of bushes, and worked hard for many days gathering twigs,
grape-vine baric, leaves and fine grass, and after the nest was finished
there were soon four pretty white-spotted eggs inside, and we were
happy, so happy, the long day through. And then came the baby birds,
and we were kept busy flying back and forth bringing them food to
eat, and they were growing very fast and almost ready to fly, when
one morning, early, my pretty mate said: "You stay near the baby
birds and watch them, while I fly away for their breakfast, then at
dinner time I will watch, and you fly away to find something to eat."
So she left me with a merry song, flying away through the trees.
I waited and waited and waited, but she did not come back, and by and
by, when the baby birds began to cry for their breakfast, I flew away
and brought them some, and then I waited and waited until dinner
time and all through the long afternoon, but still she did not come back,
though I called and called and called. When night came I felt sure
something had happened to my pretty mate â maybe some one had killed
her with a rock or a sling-shot, or a big gun. If they knew, though
how we waited and watched for her, they would not have killed her.
Then the baby birds began to cry ; they were cold and wanted to nestle
beneath the warm wings that had always covered them. I did not
know how, very well, but I got into the nest and tried my very best,
and by and by the little ones were fast asleep. But I could not sleep
and kept wondering and wondering about my pretty mate. Early the
next morning, when I had fed the baby birds well, I told them to stay
close in the nest, and then I flew away to see if I could find their
mother. On and on I flew, until I came to a big swamp, not far from
here, and when I called, "Sweet! Sweet!" I stopped and listened, for
I thought I heard her call answer mine â "Sweet! Sweet!'* Again I
called, and again I heard her chirp answer to mine, and when I fol-
lowed the sound of her voice, I saw the red of her pretty wings, low on
LITTLE FOLKS' LAND 159
the ground, and there I found her in a trap, some cruel one had set
to catch birds in â to carry them away, to keep them in wire cages, or
perhaps wear their wings in their hats. I fluttered to the ground by her
side, and she said, "I thought you would never come, dearie; how are
the baby birds?"
"They are well," I said, and I told her how we had missed her,
while I tried hard to lift the ugly trap and set her free, but it was too
heavy, and just then I heard footsteps coming down the path, and I
flew into the bushes close by to hide. The bo}- saw me, and raised his
sling to shoot, but I darted away out of his sight, and he turned to the
trap with a glad laugh.
"Oh, you pretty bird," he said, "I have you at last, though your
mate has flown. I shall carry you home with me and put you in my
wire cage; or maybe I will sell you to the store where they make ladies'
Sunday hats. Your red wings will look pretty on somebody's head,
mixed up with ribbons and laces, so come with me."
Then the boy stooped down and carried her away from me â my
pretty mate ! I hurried back to my baby birds â there was no mother to
care for them now, and I was to be mother and father, too. I felt glad
that they were at least spared to me, though how could I tell them about
the boy who had carried away the light of our dear, happy home; how
could I tell them they would never see the little mother again. I chirped
when I got near the bush where the nest was, that they might know
that I was coming, but they did not answer me, as they always did, and
when I peeped into the nest â it was empty. The boy's footprints were
on the ground, and the nest was torn and broken. I knew too well what
had happened, and that I should never see my baby birds again. The
pretty home was ruined, and all the joy stolen from it. Of course, I
could not stay there, then, with the empty nest ever in sight, so I flew
on and on until I came here, and that is my storj^"
"We are all glad you came, too," said the bluebirds, "this butter-
cup meadow is a happy, happy place ! We've been coming here for
ever so many springs, and love it more and more. Never have we seen a
sling-shot, nor a gun, nor a trap, nor anything else that frightens birds
here â Father Gipsy would not have it so, and Mother Gipsy says this
meadow belongs to us, just as long as we choose to stay. You'll love Joe-
Boy, too. because he loves the birds. We have never seen him tear a nest
nor steal an egg, nor carry a baby bird away; and you'll love Charlotte
160 LITTLE FOLKS' LAND
Anne, too â she plays in the meadow, but she wouldn't wear birds' wings
on her hat, not for anything; we heard her say so. Yonder she comes
now, and Joe-Boy close behind. See, their soft hands are full of seeds
and bread crumbs ; they will scatter them on the fence there, where they
keep bird store. That means for us to come to dinner â you come, too."
Of course, Mr. Redbird went, and when Charlotte Anne and Joe-
Boy saw him hopping along the fence, eating seeds and crumbs, they
were so glad, and Charlotte Anne put her finger on her lips and said,
"S-h-e-e!" because that was the first time Mr. Redbird had ever taken
dinner with them, and they did not want to frighten him away.
Mrs. Bobwhite's Family
MR. and Mrs. Bobwhite lived out in the country in Farmer Green's
wheat field. They had built their nest right down on the
ground in a bunch of dry straw that arched prettily above the
nest. And it was hidden so well you never would guess the nest was
there at all â you would think it was only a bunch of dry grass, until you
peeped underneath and saw the twenty-two pearly white eggs lying
snugly in the nest. Twenty-two! Only think, more than you have
fingers and toes! Mrs. Bobwhite did not believe in small families. She
said, "The more, the merrier," and a great many children kept things
lively and were always company for one another. Mr. Bobwhite felt
the same way about it and sometimes, just as soon as Mrs. Bobwhite
finished hatching one nest of eggs, why, she would go right straight to
laying another nest of eggs, and then Mr. Bobwhite would make the
best nurse. He would take all the baby birds away, and feed them and
sleep with them, so they wouldn't worry Mrs. Bobwhite while she was
busy hatching the other babies. Then sometimes Mr. Bobwhite would
even sit on the eggs part of the time, while Mrs. Bobwhite rested.
"Come, come, my dearie," he gaily would say,
"You must get tired sitting all the day;
Spread wide your wings and fly for a rest,
I'll sit on the eggs and watch o'er the nest."
Then Mrs. Bobwhite would fly away with a happy heart, because
she knew Mr. Bobwhite could keep house as nicely as she could, and she
LITTLE FOLKS' LAND 161
was very proud of him. But, I can tell you, it kept them both busy to
nurse those twenty-two babies of theirs â dear little brown darlings,
with their dainty white throats â they were very, very small, and went
peep, peep, peep, following their mother through the tall grass, like
ever so many little chickens, hunting for grass seeds or berries or tiny
worms. At first they slept in the nest at night, but after they got large
enough Mr. and Mrs. Bobwhite taught them how to sleep in a ring
with their tails turned in and their heads turned OMt. Then they could
all watch, you know, in ever so many different ways, so hawks nor
foxes nor anything else could frighten them before they could fly up
with a whirring sound and find some other place to sleep.
Farmer Green knew that Mr. and Mrs. Bobwhite had a nest in his
field, and he was very glad â he told Dick so. They could hear Mr.
Bobwhite singing every day:
Peas most ripe?
Then another time he would sing:
Sow more wheat ; sow more wheat !
No more wet, no more wet!"
"I wonder where their nest is this year," said Dick.
"I have not found it yet, though I have hunted and hunted. Why,
the other day I was down in the field chopping, and all at once something
went "whir-r-r!" right by my side, and I saw Mrs. Bobwhite's twenty-
two children, scattering through the grass to hide from me. They were
the cutest little brown birds! and Mrs. Bobwhite was so afraid I was
going to catch them that she fluttered on the ground before me and
made out that her wing was broken. She just wanted to give her babies
a chance to hide, you know, and she wanted me to try and catch her
instead. Mrs. Bobwhite knew I wasn't going to catch her, though, for
just as soon as I stooped to see what was the matter with her broken
wing, up she jumped and away she flew with her sweet, low whistle.
It sounded just as if she said, 'Oh, yes, I have fooled you this time, Dick!
My wings are strong, you see, and my baby birds hidden away â catch
us if you can !' "
163 LITTLE FOLKS' LAND
"She Is a smart bird," said Farmer Green, "but, dear me, she
needn't be afraid of us, need she, Dick? Why, I don't know how I'd
run my farm if it wasn't for the birds to help me out. They are my
best friends, and they are more than welcome to the fruit and berries
and vegetables they' pick up on my farm. I'm sure they earn it, every bit.
They may eat a few wheat and oat seeds, but they eat the seeds of weeds
and grass, too, and that helps to keep my crop clean â every seed they eat
takes away a weed, you know, and an apple they peck is that much
sweeter to me, for it makes me remember their merry songs. And don't
I remember, too, the summer when the canker worms got into my cot-
ton patch, hundreds and hundreds of them, and were stripping the
leaves from every stalk, stem and all! We couldn't smoke them off,
and we couldn't pick them off, and it looked as if every plant would die,
and I was feeling very blue and thinking I'd have no cotton to sell to
the factory-man to make the children's clothes from. But just then