the birds came to my help — the bobolinks, the bobwhites, the sparrows,
the woodpeckers, the robins, the mockingbirds and manj^ others. Here
they came flocking, just as if the dear God had sent them to tend to that
business for me. And they did it, too. Why, in no time there was
hardly a worm left in that cotton patch and everything was growing
with a clean fresh start. I owed my whole cotton crop to the birds that
year, and I haven't forgotten it!"
And just at that very minute such a glad song floated down —
Peas most ripe?"
"Sow more wheat, sow more wheat !
No more wet! no more wet!"
Of course, you know it was Mr. Bobwhite singing; he had heard
every word Dick and Farmer Green said, and he hurried home to tell
Mrs. Bobwhite about it.
"You see, dearie," he said, "the farmer and Dick are our friends,
and you need not feel afraid of them any more!"
Then Mrs. Bobwhite was so happy, and the brown babies were so
happy, and Mr. Bobwhite was so happy, and they lived happily ever
LITTLE FOLKS' LAND 163
The Whippoorwill Twins
MRS. WHIPPOORWILL did not believe in large families as Mrs.
Bobwhite did, who had twenty-two babies all at one time.
Mrs. Whippoorwill said it was all she could to to take care of
tu'o babies at one time, so when she made her nest in the deep woods
across from the buttercup meadow she scratched a place in the brown
leaves on the ground, with only room enough for two babies. And
when they were hatched out of the silvery green eggs those two babies
looked so much alike that Mrs. Whippoorwill said they were twins,
and she named one Brownie and the other Downey. They grew quite
fast and were soon strong enough to follow their mother through the
tall grass, just as Mrs. Bobwhite's children did, whom they favored
very much. Only instead of learning to sing "Bob Bobwhite!"
Brownie and Downey sang:
"Whip-poor-will ! Whip-poor-will !"
Because that was the song their father and mother sang. Joe-Boy had
heard them many times, and he could whistle just like them, but Char-
lotte Anne couldn't, because she didn't know how to hold her mouth
the right way. Downey was a dear little fellow and always minded his
mother just as soon as she spoke, but Brownie always said, "Wait a
minute," every time his mother spoke to him, and you know that was not
the best way to do. At sundown, when it was time to go to bed and
Mrs. Whippoorwill called them to the nest Downey came quickly, but
Brownie always said, "Wait a minute, mother." And in the morning
when it was time for them to go to the creek for their bath, again
Brownie would say, "Wait a minute, mother." But when Mrs. Whip-
poorwill found something nice to eat, and called them to get it, why.
Brownie did not say, "Wait a minute," then — he ran just as fast as
he could and tried to get there first. So, you see, Brownie could mind
all right if he wanted to. That's what Mr. Whippoorwill said, and he
told Brownie he was afraid something sad would happen to him some
day if he did not stop saying, " Wait a minute" — because birdies should
mind as soon as they are spoken to. But Brownie only shook his head
and said, "I'm not afraid of anything! Do you see these little hooks
I have on my middle toe? I'll scratch anjbody that bothers me!"
164 LITTLE FOLKS' LAND
Then he swelled out his brown breast feathers until he felt very
big indeed. One day Mrs. Whippoorwill took the twins berry hunt-
ing, and while they were crossing the little twisting path Mrs. Whip-
poorwill saw Billy Sanders coming along that very path with a sling-
shot in his hand, and it frightened her so she said :
"Run! hide under the leaves and keep very still,
Quick! Billy Sanders is coming over the hill.
Whip-poor-will ! Whip-poor-will !"
So Downey ran as she had told him and hid quickly beneath the
brown leaves, which looked so much like his feathers that no one could
find him, and he kept very still. But Brownie would not run — he saw
a berry that he wanted and he said, "Wait a minute, mother," and just
at that very minute Billy Sanders saw him and pulled back his sling-
shot and hit Brownie right in his left eye, and then Brownie ran and
hid in the grass as quickly as he could, crying softly, "Whip-poor-will!
Whip-poor-will!" The kind leaves hid him away from Billy, but, oh!
how his eye did sting and hurt, and when he tried to open it he couldn't,
and there were drops of blood on his pretty brown head, and he felt so
very sorry that he had said, "Wait a minute."
By-and-by he heard his mother calling softly to them, "Whip-
poor-will! Whip-poor-will!" and little Downey answered back, "Whip-
poor-will! coming, mother," and ran quickly to her side, but poor little
Brownie kept still and cried; and there, in the grass, his mother found
him, with his eye all bruised and bleeding. She was very, very sorry,
but, then, how could she help it? And Downey was sorry, too, and
nestled close to the little twin brother and said, "Never mind, maybe it
will be better in the morning."
But when morning came it was no better, and Mrs. Whippoorwill
said, "Billy hit your eye so hard he has put it quite out, and you can not
see with that eye any more. Let us be glad that he did not hit the
other eye, too, for then yould could not see at all, little Brownie — the
sunshine, nor the grass, nor trees and flowers, nor the blue, blue sky —
and that would be very sad."
Brownie thought so, too, and I don't think his mother heard him say
"Wait a minute" any more after that, because Brownie stopped saying ft.
Do you ever say, "Wait a minute," when your mother calls you?
LITTLE FOLKS' LAND 165
Little Kitty Catbird
LITTLE KITTY CATBIRD was her mother's youngest child.
She lived in a briar patch in a very nice nest, indeed, that her
father and mother had made with a great deal of care out of roots
and grass and paper and bark. And, once-upon-a-time, little Kitty Cat-
bird had been inside of a most beautiful green-blue egg; but Kitty Cat-
bird didn't believe it, because she said she was too big to get inside of
an egg. But her little brothers and sisters believed it — because there
were the broken egg shells in the nest to show, and their mother said so,
and, of course, they believed it. There was one very sad thing about
little Kitty Catbird — she wa;? a crj'-baby. Why, she cried when there
was something the matter with her, and she cried when there wasn't any-
thing the matter with her! She cried when she was hungry, and she
cried when she wasn't hungry! She cried when she wanted water, and
she cried when she didn't want water! She cried when she wanted to
go somewhere, and she cried when she didn't want to go anywhere! So,
her mother and father said, Kitty Catbird certainly was a queer bird.
But they loved her anyway, and hoped when she grew older she would
stop being a cry-baby, and sing beautiful songs as her father did.
One day, when Mr. and Mrs. Catbird were away from hime, Kitty
Catbird climbed up on the edge of the nest and said, "I'm just going
to show you birds how to fly! I don't need any mother to show me how
to fly; I know all by myself!"
And then her little sisters and brothers said, "You had better stay
in the nest until mother comes. You know you don't know how to fly,
But Kitty twisted up her mouth and said, "I do! I do! I do! I do!"
So she spread out her tiny wings, and just at that very minute she
tumbled over in to the briar patch — because she didn't know how to fly.
And when she fell over into the briar patch, of course, you know what
she did — cried. How she did cry! I am glad you were not there to hear
her, because she cried so very loud it surely would have given you the
headache. And she said the briars were scratching her feet, and the
briars were scratching her wings, and then she cried and cried some
more. And the little sister and brother catbirds peeped over the edge
of the nest at her and said, "We told you you didn't know how to fly,
166 LITTLE FOLKS' LAND
Kitty Catbird! Why didn't you wait for mother to show you how?
Now you are in the briar patch and we can't help you out. If you
know so well how to fly, why don't you stop cr}ang and fly into the
nest. Fly up to that low twig there, and then to the next — it isn't
very far — maybe you can get back if j^ou'U stop crying, and try!"
But Kitty Catbird wouldn't stop crying, and she wouldn't try!
She just sat on the ground in the middle of that briar patch and opened
her mouth right wide and cried and cried and cried ! Did you ever hear
of a little bird that wouldn't even tryf And while Kitty was crying in
the briar patch the little sisters and brothers heard somebody coming
down the road by the buttercup meadow — a little boy — and they thought
it surely must be Billy Sanders, and he was coming right by the briar
patch, and they were so afraid he would hear Kitty Catbird crying and
carry her home with him they didn't know what to do. And sure
enough the little boy came on down the road until he got to the briar
patch, and then he stopped right still and listened, and he heard the lit-
tle bird crying. Then he climbed over the fence and saw the little bird
crying. And then he crawled underneath the briars and caught the lit-
tle bird and put her in his cap and crawled out again. And then the
little boy did a most beautiful thing — I wonder if you could guess? — he
put the little bird back into the nest as gently and as softly as could be,
and said, "There, little birdie, don't cry!"
And then he ran away to tell Charlotte Anne.
Who was that little boy, I wonder?
Program for Fourteenth Week — Birds
The Little Robins Three
Circle talk, songs and games: Can you tell me the names of the birds
that built their nest in Father Gipsy's coat pocket? Would you
like to have a bird build near your house? If you were a bird
would you build near a house, or in the woods? The robbins
were not afraid to build near Joe-Boy's house (story).
Song: "I'm a Robin."
Game: Dramatize "Two Robin Redbreasts."
Gift: Fourth or sixth. — Illustrate story.
Occupation: Drawing; what the little robins saw on their first
LITTLE FOLKS' LAND 167
The Redbird's Story
Circle Talk, songs and games: Have you ever seen birds on ladies'
hats? Where do you think they come from? Did you ever have
a sling-shot? What is the best thing to shoot at with a sling-shot?
Show picture of redbird.
Game and song: Birds.
Gift: Second gift, beads (enlarged) fence enclosing buttercup meadow.
Occupation: Folding (triangles) redbird.
Mrs. Bobwhite's Family
Circle talk, songs and games: Do you remember where Mr. and Mrs.
Oriole built their nest? How many birds can you name? Did you
ever hear a bird say, "Bob, Bobwhite?" Let me hear you say it.
Show picture and relate story.
Game: Birds, individualized. (See if child can name the bird he
represents, describe and give its call.)
Gift: Modeling, nest with twenty-two eggs. Group work. Show pic-
ture in "Mother Play," the nest.
Occupation: Modeling. Continue the above sequence by changing the
twenty-two eggs into birds. Group in a circle (for sleep) as in
The Whippoorwill Twins
Circle talk, songs and games: How do birds help people? Do you
think Farmer Green loved birds? Why? How many babies did
Mrs. Bobwhite have? Do all birds have so many children? Here
is a picture of a bird who has only two babies. I will tell you
March: Emphasize prompt obedience to calls.
Games: Selected by children.
Gift: Modeling. Each child make the eggs, then change into birds.
Occupations Water color, — baby whippoorwills; or. Nest and two
168 LITTLE FOLKS' LAND
Little Kitty Catbird
Circle talk, songs and games: Name all of the birds we have talked
about. Which one do you think prettiest? Relate storj\
Songs: Review all bird songs.
Games: "Hopping birds," "Walking birds," "Scratching birds."
Gift: Sticks and rings. Picture of a bush and nest.
Occupation: Brush work. Low bush, with nest.
The Thrushes' Picnic
WHEN the redbird and the bluebird and the brown thrush
got together, Joe-Boy and Charlotte Anne could not tell
which was the prettiest. I know one thing, though, the
brown thrush certainly knew how to sing! He could sing almost as
many songs as the mocking bird, and he was so happy all the time,
why, the day wasn't long enough for him, so he would wake up in the
middle of the night and sing — the sweetest songs, oh, they were so
sweet! He and Mrs. Brown-Thrush were keeping house in the grape-
arbor at Charlotte Anne's house, and they had five children — quite a
nice little family, you see. One of the children was named Beauty,
because his tail was so long and pretty, and his feathers such a rich
golden-brown. One morning all the little thrushes learned to fly from
the nest to the ground under the arbor, and when they had hopped
about and found something nice to eat, Mrs. Brown-Thrush said, "Hop
over here, where this pretty white sand is, and see how you like it." All
birdies like sand, you know.
LITTLE FOLKS' LAND 169
But Beauty shook his pretty head and said, "No, no, no, mother,
I don't want to eat sand! I'd rather eat seeds; I don't like sand."
"Why," said Mrs. Brown-Thrush, "you have never tasted sand, so
'how do you know that you do not like it? Taste it and see. I have
never heard of a little bird before who did not like sand — why, even
little chickens eat sand and gravel."
"And does Charlotte Anne eat sand and gravel, too?" asked
"Why, no," said Mrs. Brown-Thrush, "Charlotte Anne has teeth
to chew with, but you haven't any teeth in your mouth. Birds do not
have teeth and that is why they eat sand, to stir up their food and help
change it into rich, new blood, to make them strong and fat."
But Beauty only shook his brown head, and said, "No, no, no, I
do not want to eat sand," and so he hopped away.
But all the other little thrushes tasted the sand, and they said, "Oh-o,
we like sand! Isn't it nice, though!" And they cracked the tiny white
grains in their bills, and then their mother showed them how to wipe
their bills off clean, and brush their feathers, and then the five little
thrushes went back to the nest for a rest.
"When are you going to take us to buttercup meadow, mother?"
said Beauty. "We want to see all the other birds there, and the pond
and the daisies."
"And I want to see them, too," said Mrs. Brown-Thrush, "but
you will have to get strong enough to fly that far, first. By and by,
when you are real strong, we will have a picnic and spend the whole day
in the buttercup meadow — won't that be fine?"
"Yes, yes," chirped all the little thrushes.
"And may I go, too, mother?" said Beauty, nestling up to her.
"If you are strong enough," said Mrs. Brown-Thrush, "I should
hate to leave any of my birdies behind, when we go to the picnic."
"So, for many days, the little thrushes could not talk about any-
thing else but the picnic, and when they flew down to the ground they
would see if their wings were getting stronger and stronger, and Mrs.
Brown-Thrush would say, "Don't forget about the sand, for that helps
to make birdies' strong, you know."
And all the little thrushes would scratch for the grains of sand —
all but Beauty; he would toss his little brown head, and say, "No, no,
no, I do not want to eat any sand."
170 LITTLE FOLKS' LAND
And he just would not eat any. One bright, bright morning, Mr.
Brown-Thrush said, "This is the very day for us to spend on a picnic in
the buttercup meadow — are all you birdies strong enough to fly that far."
And all the little thrushes said, "Yes, yes, yes, we are very strong,
see our wings!"
"All-right," said Mr. Brown-Thrush, "we will start. Your mother
and I will fly in front and you birdies follow close behind."
So Beauty and all the other little thrushes shook out their wings
and fluttered to the ground, then off they started to the picnic. But they
had only flown half way across the orchard, y^^hen Beauty cried out,
"Oh please wait for me, I am so tired."
"Tired ?" said the other little thrushes, "why, we've just started ;
come on and catch up with us."
So Beauty flew a little farther, and then he cried again, "Wait,
wait, oh please wait for me, I'm so very tired!"
But the other little thrushes said, "Why we are not tired one bit.
It is such fun flying! Come on; father and mother are getting way
ahead of us. Let's see who can catch them."
So ofi they started again and got as far as the orchard fence, when
Beauty stopped and said, "Oh, wait, wait, wait for me, I am so tired I
can't go any farther."
But all the other little thrushes had gotten so far ahead of Beauty
that they did not hear him call, and he was left on the orchard fence all
by himself, so tired he couldn't get any farther.
When the other little thrushes caught up with their mother, she
said, "Why, where is Beauty, didn't he want to come?"
"Yes, he wanted to come," said the little thrushes, "but he was too
tired, and we left him resting on the orchard fence."
"That is too bad," said Mrs. Brown-Thrush, "I am so sorry he
wasn't strong enough to come. Maybe he has forgotten to eat his sand.
Well, never mind, we must try to have a nice time without him, and I
think next time Beauty will be strong enough to come with us."
So they flew into the meadow, and down to the brook where they
all went in bathing, and saw some tiny fishes, and found some nice
berries, and danced on the grass, and saw so many other little birds, and
oh, they had the nicest time, all the day long. Just at sundown they
started home, and soon got back to their cosy nest. And when they got
there where to you think they found Beauty? He was hopping about
under the arbor, eating something? Just guess what it was?
LITTLE FOLKS' LAND 171
The Red-Head Woodpecker
ONE morning the children at kindergarten were out en the lawn
playing "birds." They were building nests, and Joe-Boy and
Charlotte Anne were mates, and when they flew down by the
fence to find straws, they heard something up on the telephone pole, go —
thump, thump, thump, thump thump, thump! And when they looked,
there was a red-headed Woodpecker hammering away like a real car-
penter. His head was just as red as it could be, and there was a band
of pure white around his breast and back, which Charlotte Anne said
was his white sash, and his wings were jet black, tipped with white.
Don't you know he was a pretty bird! He was so busy working,
though, that he did not even see Joe-Boy and Charlotte Anne. He was
boring a round hole high up on the telephone post. And Joe-Boy said,
"Oh, let's run tell the other children!"
And when they heard about it, the kindergarten teacher said, "Let
us all tip-toe down there and see him."
And though they put their fingers on their lips and tip-toed all
the way, when they got there, why, they couldn't find Mr. Woodpecker
at all. The kindergarten teacher said, "Sit very, very still and watch
the little round hole. IMr. Woodpecker and his mate have a nest in
the hollow of that pole, and by and by he will peep at us from the
little round door. Let us watch."
So all the children locked their lips and hands and feet, and sat
as still as still could be. And all at once, sure enough Mr. Woodpecker
poked his pretty crimson head through the hole, and when he saw the
children watching, he jumped back as quick — because you know he did
not want any one to know that his nest was down in the hollow pole.
His mate was sitting on the four pretty white eggs that very minute.
And when he hopped back so quickly the children had to laugh just a
little. But after a while he peeped at them again, and • of course he
wasn't afraid when he found out it was only the kindergarten children
watching him. You know they wouldn't worry Mr. Woodpecker for
anything! But while the children were watching Mr. Woodpecker,
Billy Sanders came running down the sidewalk, and they said, "Oh-o!
here comes Billy Sanders! What shall we do! He will be sure to see
Mr. Woodpecker— Oh-o!"
172 LITTLE FOLKS' LAND
But the kindergarten teacher said, "Wait, let us call Billy and
show him Mr. Woodpecker's neat, round door. We will ask him
to help us take care of the nest, and I believe he will."
"Yes, let's do," said Joe-Boy. So yv^hen the kindergarten teacher
called Billy, he hopped right over the fence, and sat on the grass by
her side, and when she pointed out the little round door, and told about
how hard Mr. Woodpecker had worked to bore it, Billy's eyes got very
bright, and he promised never to let anybody trouble it.
"I know a story about the very first woodpecker that ever was,"
said the kindergarten teacher, looking at Billy. "Are you in too big
a hurry to listen?"
"No," said Billy, "shoot ahead! I never did hear any stories."
So the kindergarten teacher smiled and said, "Once-upon-a-time,
there was an old woman who lived all by herself. She wore a funny
red cap on her head and a black dress and a long white apron with a
white sash. It is a very sad thing to tell, but this old woman kept
everything she had for herself, and would not give anything away!
Why, she had an apple tree, full of apples, but she would not give any-
body one! And she had a cherry tree full of fine cherries, and she
wouldn't give one of those away. And she had a pear tree full of pears,
and a plum tree full of plums, and a peach tree full of peaches, but
still she would give none of them away, but kept them all for herself!"
"Humph!" said Billy, "she was a stingy old woman!"
"Indeed, she was," smiled the kindergarten teacher.
"One day the old woman said, 'I believe I will make some apple
tarts today — they are very nice.' So she rolled up her sleeves and made
a great large dish of apple tarts, and placed them in a row on the pantry
shelf. And then she went back to bake some more. And while she
was baking her tarts an old, bent over man came up to her door and said,
'Please, kind lady, give me one of j^our tarts. I am very hungry, and
while I have no money to pay you for it, you may make a wish, and it
will surely come true.'
"Then the old woman looked at the row of tarts she had baked, and
she said to herself, 'These look too nice and brown to give to a begger;
I'll keep them for myself, and bake him another.'
"So she pinched olif a small piece of dough and baked a tart for
the old man, but when it was finished it looked as nice and brown as
the others, so the old woman shook her head and said, 'I couldn't give
that tart away; I'll bake him another.' So she pinched off a smaller piece
LITTLE FOLKS' LAND 173
of dough, and baked that, but that looked too nice to give away, too, so
she put it on the shelf with the others. Then the old woman pinched
off a still smaller piece — very small, and baked another tart, but she
thought that was too big to give away, and so she kept it for herself.
At last she pinched off a wee, wee, wee piece of dough, not any bigger
than a pin-head, and do you know, when she baked that piece this
selfish old woman said it was too big to give away, and so she put it
on the shelf and gave the old man a dry crust of bread, and told him
that was all she could spare."
"Gee!" said Billy Sanders.
"Wasn't it dreadful!" said the kindergarten teacher.
"Well, after the old man had walked away, the old woman got
to thinking, and she said, 'How mean and stingy I was not to give
the old man any of my apple tarts! I wish I were a bird, and then I
could fly to him with the very largest tart that I have, and tell him
how sorrj'^ I am!' And then something very queer happened, for just
as soon as the old woman said 'I wish I were a bird,' why she began
to grow smaller, and smaller, and smaller, and her black dress changed
into black wings, and her white apron changed into white feathers, and
her queer red cap changed into red feathers, and the first thing she
knew she wasn't an old woman any more, but a bird, just like the red-
headed woodpecker! And she flew into an old tree and began pecking
away at the bark, hunting for something to eat. And ever since we
have seen woodpeckers on the earth, boring round little holes in trees
and posts. But the old woman said, 'I was not a kind old woman, but
I shall try to be a very kind bird, and then everybody will learn to love
me.' So she did, and that is the end of my story."
"Tell it again!" said Billy Sanders.
Revised from Miss Cook's Nature Myths.
Billy Sanders' Canary
THE next morning before school, the kindergarten teacher went