Emilie Poulsson.

In the child's world; morning talks and stories for kindergartens, primary schools and homes online

. (page 19 of 29)
Online LibraryEmilie PoulssonIn the child's world; morning talks and stories for kindergartens, primary schools and homes → online text (page 19 of 29)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

briefly the story of the "Birds of Killingworth.")

What kind of homes do birds have ? Who makes the nests?
Isn't it wonderful that they can make such dear little nests when
they have only their bills and feet to use for hands and tools?
(Show a bird's nest, and tell how the father and mother bird
work together — the father often collecting the materials for the
mother to weave into a nest. Sing the nest-building songs —
''The swallow is a mason,'' etc. — and the finger play of ''Fly,
little birds, fly east and west." Speak of the beautiful music
which adds so much to the joyousness of the world; and lastly,
tell of the love and devotion of the parent birds, and the helpless-
ness of the nestlings, that the children may behold their own
I'amily life through this beautiful imagery.)


IN THE child's WORLD.


Winners in Life's Race (Chaps. VI, VII), -
Birds of America, . . - - -

Key to North American Birds,
Land and Game Birds, . . . -

Birds and Poets, . - . - -

Son<? of Life, - - -

Birds through an Opera Glass,

April Birds ("Sharp Eyes"),

My Aviary, - - -

Birds of Killingworth. . . - -

The Skylark, - - . -

The Nio:htingale, . - - - -

To a Skylark, - - -

Robert of Lincoln, - - - - -

The Singing Lesson, - - - - -

Sing on, Blithe Bird, - - - - -

The Eagle, - - -

Elizabeth's Concert ("St. Nicholas," June, 1887),

The Lover and Birds, - . - .

The Robin,

The Bluebird,

The Humming Bird,

Under tlie Lighthouse,

The Emperor's Crown,

Arabella Buckley


Elliot Cones


John Burrouf/hs

Margaret Morley

F. Merriam

W. H. Gibson

- O. W. Holmes






*■ - Jean Ingelow

William Motherwell


Bobina S. Smith


Emily Dickinson
Celia Thaxter


The Nightingale, - - - Andersen

Dick and Topsy (" Stories for Kindergarten and Home." )

Singer's Lesson ("Kindergarten Gems.")

Story of Birds and Fishes ( " Kindergarten Stories and

Morning Talks") S. E. Wiltse

IX THE child's would. 285



A sparrow that lived with many others in a public park
offended his neighbors by getting up too early in the morning
and beginning to chirp before they were willing to be waked.
They called a meeting of all the flock, and after considering the
matter told him that he and his mate must look for another home.

This he refused to do, saying that he had as good a right to
stay where he was as they had.

'' These trees do not belong to you," he said, "and you don't
pay rent for thebird-boxes we live in. They wore put up by the
people who own the park, because they love to see us building
our nests and flying about here.

"Besides this," he continued, "I have done nothing with
which you ought to find fault, for I never wake till the break of
day, and do not begin to chirp for several minutes after that,
when all industrious sparrows should be ready for breakfast.
This very morning I heard a cock crow before I opened my bill,
and what sparrow would not be ashamed to be lazier than the

When the other birds heard this speech they did not try to
answer it — for, indeed, it was every word true and they could say
nothing against it — but they attacked the sparrow and his mate
and drove them from the park.

As winter was just coming on, they knew not where to go or
what to do. For the first few nights they roosted on the roof of
a stable; but this was a forlorn, lonely place, and, as they had no
perch to clasp with their little feet, the wind almost blew them
away. Besides this, the man who kept the stable was so saving
of his corn, and swept the yard so clean, that they could hardly
pick up as much as would make a good meal in a whole day.

From the roof of the stable they moved under the eaves of a
carpenter shop, and thought they were nicely fixed, until one
dark night a cat stole softly along the roof to the spot where they

286 IN THE child's world.

were sleeping, and, suddenly putting out her paw, almost caught
them both in her sharp claws !

As it was, she caught poor Jenny's tail and pulled out every
feather of it, which did the cat no good, but was a great loss to
Jenny, for she could hardly guide herself iu flying, and looked
very odd beside.

After this they led a sad, wandering life for the rest of the
winter, always sleeping in fear on clotheslines and fences, and
picking up a poor living — mostly from frozen slop buckets and
around kitchen doors.

But toward spring better fortune came to them, for a little
girl, looking out of the dining-room window one morning, spied
them hopping about the pavement below, and threw them some
crumbs. Her Joy was great when she saw them quickly eat what
she had thrown and then seem to look up for more. She ran
back to the table and brought them as much as they wanted.

The next day they came again, and after this, every day,
almost as soon as it was light, they might be seen waiting for
their breakfast from the hands of their little friend.

But think of their surprise one April morning, when the sun
was shining brightly and the buds were just beginning to swell
on the rosebushes, to see the carpenter come in at the garden
gate carrying a new bird-box fastened to the top of a high pole,
which he at once began to set up in the middle of the grassplot,
digging a deep hole to set it in, so that it would stand firm in
spite of wind and weather.

Their kind little friend ran out from the house and almost
danced for joy around the pole Avhile it was being planted. And
her father and mother, and brothers and sisters, sharing in her
delight, all left the breakfast table to watch the carpenter at his

That very day the happy j^air — little Jack and Jenny — went
into their new home, and before night were picking up dried
grass and twigs with which to begin building their nest.

Charles Foster.

From " New Lights on Old Paths,'" Chas. Foster Pub. Co., Phila., Pa.

The Spakrows' Home.

288 IN THE child's world,


''The brook! the hrook! let us go to the brook!" cried Willie
and his cousins, George and Eddy, as they looked from a win-
dow after a storm, and saw the overflowed banks of a small

Thick shoes and a cloak were brought for Lizzie; and she
walked by her father's side, while the boys ran shouting and
jumping before them.

They found the brook changed indeed by the rain. A few
days before they had built a dam across it, which made a pretty
waterfall; but now it was all swept away, and the brook was no
longer a narrow stream, but had spread out wide, and ran furi-
ously over the stones.

While the boys were running after chips of wood which they
threw into the water for boats, the father, who stood with Lizzie
under a tree, saw something move near his feet, and picked up a
poor, half-drowned bird. Lizzie called her brother and cousins,
and they all looked sorrowfully at the bird, and said, '' Poor fel-
low! poor fellow!" and begged to take him to the house, for he
shook with cold, and seemed to be dying. He was laid in Lizzie's
hand; she gently covered him and carried him home to her
mother. The little creature was dried and warmed; and his
feathers, which, when wet, did not hide his body, spread out and
covered him with a thick plumage.

''Is it really the same bird?" asked Lizzie. "Oh, I am so
glad papa found him ! "

"See," said Eddy, "the bright yellow on his brown wings!
Let us name him Yellow- wing."

Crumbs of bread were offered to him, but he would not eat,
and cried, " Peep, peep," long after he was laid in a warm

The next morning Yellow-wing looked quite lively, and no
longer cried, " Peep, peep," but cheerfully sang, " Chirp, chirp."

"He is a yellow bird," said George; "and when he is older,
he will be as pretty as a canary."

Willie looked at his mother, and his eyes seemed to say, " May
I keep him?"

IN THE child's WORLD. 28'J

She answered: "'No, my son, it would be cruel to take him
from the green trees and fields; for

" ' How pleasant the life of a bird must be,
Living in love in a leafy tree !' "

"' I know/' said AVillie, "that I should not like to be shut up
in a cage; but what shall we do with him?"

"He cannot fly, poor fellow/' said Lizzie; "we must keep
him until he can fly/'

Eddy told of a nest in the barn, and said that Yellow-wing
might be squeezed in among those young ones.

" But," said George, "the nest in the barn belongs to a swal-
low, who will not like to have a yellow bird among her little

At last it was agreed to take him back to the brook, and try
to find the nest from which he fell. The children soon started
on their errand of love and kindness, more happy in taking a
poor bird to his father and mother than if they had been allowed
to keep him in a cage. Tliey carried him to the tree under
which he was found, and stood him on a fence near it. Yellow-
wing cried, "Peep, peep," and " Peep, peep," was heard from
the tree.

" ' Come up, come up,' they seemed to say,
' Where the topmost twigs to the breezes play!' "

But he could not fly up, and Willie said: " The old birds will
not come down while we are so near." So the children went to
a pile of stones, and sat there quite still.

" See, see his mother! " whispered Lizzie, as a larger bird flew
from the tree and alighted close to Yellow-wing. Soon the old
bird flew off a little, and the young one spread his wings and
followed her; a little further went the mother bird, and Yellow-
wing flew after her; and thus, by flying a short distance at a
time, he soon learned to fly well enough to reach a low branch of
a tree, then a higher one, and at last both birds were hid among
the leaves. And Lizzie said: "Hark! I hear the ' Chirp, chirp,'
of dear little Yellow-wing, he is so glad to get back into the

warm nest/'




" Birdie, Birdie, will you pet?
Summer is far and far away yet.
I 've a silken quilt and a feather bed,
And a pillow of satin for your head."

" I'd rather sleep in the ivy wall,
No rain comes through, though I hear it fall;
The sun peeps gay at dawn of day,
And I sing and wing away, away.''

" O Birdie, Birdie, will you pet?
Here are diamonds, amber and jet!
I '11 make a necklace, fair and fine,
To please this pretty bird of mine."

" Oh! Thanks for diamonds and thanks for jet
But here is something costlier yet:
A feather necklace, round and round,
That I would n't sell for a thousand pound."

" O Birdie, Birdie, wonH you pet?
I '11 give you a dish of silver fret,
A golden cup and an ivory seat.
And carpets soft beneath your feet."

" Can running water be drunk from gold?
Can a silver dish the forest hold?
A rocking twig is the finest chair,
And the softest paths lie through tte air.
Good-bye, good-bye, to my lady fair! "'



Children, did you ever see a Sandpiper? "No.'' (Show a
picture of one.) " What long legs it has for such a little bird! "
Yes. Why do you suppose he has such long legs? " To wade
with?" Yes. Mr. Sandpiper lives by the side of a great piece
of salt water called an ocean. The land that is close to the
water is called a beach. It is sometimes rocky, but where Mr.
Sandpiper lives it is sandy. He is not very sociable, for he and

IN THE child's world. ;^91

his wife and the babies live where there are no other families of
Sandpipers very near them. Mrs. Sandpiper makes her nest
near the beach.

One day the whole family were on the beach, running up and
down, and the father and mother were scratching in the loose
sand and getting worms for the baby Sandpipers and for them-
selves to eat. Every time one of the little Sandpipers called, the
father or mother put a worm into its open mouth. But the
babies wanted so much food that, after a while, their mamma
thought they had better learn to catch worms for themselves;
so she called them and showed them how to scratch up the sand,
and how to catch the worms when they were in sight. The
Sandpiper family were having a very good time eating and play-
ing, when suddenly they saw some men coming. Each of these
men carried a gun.

Then Mamma Sandpiper was frightened and ran to her nest,
and the baby Sandpipers hid under her wings. But Papa
Sandpiper was afraid that the men would find them, and what
do you suppose he did? He made believe that he was hurt, and,
with his wings drooping, ran along before the men to make
them follow him; but lie would not let them get near enough to
fire at him. So he led them along, farther and farther from his
family, till he thought the men were far enough away; then he hid
from them, and after awhile, when he was sure they could not
see him, he went back as fast as he could to the other birdies,
who were very glad to see him safe and well, and thanked him
for saving them. What do you suppose they said? "Peep,
peep.'' Yes, that is just what they did say. Then they all went
back to the beach, but they did not see the men again.

Josephine Jaryis.

( 'uhden, III.


To THE Teacher: —

In preparation for this talk tlie teacher should get several nests — as
many as possible — in order to show the ingenuity and skill of the little
builders and the variety of materials used.

Sing a bird-song to introduce the subject of nests, or lead to it from the
finger play of "The Family," speaking of the child's home and then of
other homes.


When do the birds build their nests? They usually seem anx-
ious to have a home as soon as possible after they come back in
the spring. "What is the first thing they do about it? Choose a
place. Ah! yes; and if you had a chance to watch them you
would find they thought that a very important piece of work.

Why do they choose so carefully, do you think? Where do they
build their nests? Not only in trees, but sometimes in low bushes,
sometimes on the ground, sometimes in the barn, or even in a

chimney or stone wall or a
sand bank. Th-e place which
one bird likes would not suit
another bird at all; for in-
stance, the robin often chooses
the apple trees while the Bal-
timore oriole seeks the tallest elm, and the little ground sparrow
feels safest on the ground. (The children will not know much
of nests being built in other places than trees, but should be
shown the advantages of different sites. )

Now let us look at these nests. Look sharply and see what the
birds have woven together — string, leaves, hay, straws, sticks,
mud, moss, bark, feathers, hair, wool, etc., etc.

Does it seem possible that a home could be made of such bits
and scraps? Do you think we could make anything out of them

'Z'.l-i IN THE child's WORLD,

that would be strong enough to hold a mother bird and her eggs,
and, by and by, the young birds? (If practicable let the children
gather materials and attempt making a nest, and they will be the
more impressed with the wondrous skill of the bird.)

How do the birds get all these things for building their nests?
They have to find them. Can they carry much at one time?
Just think how many times they must fly back and forth before
they can have enough. Perhaps you can put some strings and
threads out of doors where the birds can see them easily and get
them. Shouldn't you like to give something towards building
a bird's nest?

What tools does a bird use? Only her beak and her feet; and
yet she can weave, or sew, or plaster, or bore holes, or dig, just
as she finds the best and safest way for making her nest.

'' Of all the weavers that I know the oriole is the best." Her
nest is like a deep pocket and so closely woven that the rain can-
not get through the sides at all. She must have long pieces for
her. weaving, so she tears strips from the tough stems of plants
and finds long hairs from the horse's tail.

The best sewer is the tailor bird, who does not come to our
land, however. She takes long leaves and actually sews them
together with real stitches. How interesting it must be to see
the little creature making the holes and putting the thread through
with her sharp bill !

The swallow plasters her nest under the eaves with mud, so we
call her a mason. Robin, too, likes mud and is wise enough to
mix straws with the mud so that it shall not crumble away.

The woodpecker is the most like a carpenter, for he works with
wood instead of these soft things. He hammers at a tree with
his sharp, strong bill till he makes a round, smooth hole large
enough to pass through, and then he and Mrs. Woodpecker take
turns working till they have hollowed out a nice nest. They carry
out their chips as they work, too.

The chimney swallow makes a kind of glue with which
she glues the sticks together and fastens them to the side of the

All these are perching birds, which are the best nest-builders,
because they have the strong yet delicate feet and bills, which



make the best tools. The ground birds make loose, simple nests,
most of them digging their nests in the sand.

The smallest and prettiest nest is made by the smallest and
prettiest bird in the world— the humming bird. With softest cot-
ton or wool on the inside, and pretty bits of moss and bark on the
outside, and put together with filmy spider's web, it is really
beautiful. And it shows how wise and careful the humming bird
is, too, for the moss and bark make the nest so like the tree on
which it is placed that it is seldom found.

Birds do not always build new nests. Some of them find their
own old one where they lived the year before, and use that, mend-
ing it if necessary; others take nests which another kind of bird
has built, but the most of them make a new nest for each brood
of little ones, as if they wanted to be sure to have as strong and
safe and nice a home for their other children as they had had for
their first nestlings.


Homes without Hands, - - - - - J. G. Wood

Preface (" Merry Songs and Games " ), - - - Susan E. Blow

Birds' Nests (" Wake Robin" ), . . - John Burroughs

The Tragedies of the Nests ( " Signs and Seasons"), John Burroughs

Sharp Eyes ("Locusts and Wild Honey"), - John Burroughs

Bird Nest Materials ("Sharp Eyes"), - - - W.H.Gibson

The White Heron, - . . . _ Sarah O. Jewett

An Order for a Picture, . _ - . - Alice Gary

Choosing a Building Spot, - 1 - - Emily Braddock


The Branible Bush and the Lambs j ^.. Kindergarten Stories
A. Queer Place for a Bud s Home ) ^ "

and Morning Talks"), . - - - -

S. E. Wiltse

296 IJS THE child's world.



The farmer looked at his cherry tree,
With thick buds clustered on every bough;
"I wish I could cheat the robins," said he;
" If somebody only wovild show me how!

"I '11 make a terrible scarecrow grim.

With threatening arms and with bristling head,
And up in the tree I '11 fasten him
To frighten them half to death," he said.

He fashioned a scarecrow tattered and torn —

Oh! 'twas a horrible thing to seel
And very early, one summer morn,

He set it up in his cherry tree.

The blossoms were white as the light sea-foam.
The beautiful tree was a lovely sight,

But the scarecrow stood there so much at home
All the birds flew screaming away in fright.

The robins, who watched him every day,
Heads held aslant, keen eyes so bright!
Surveying the monster, began to say,
" Why should this monster our prospects blight?

"He never moves round for the roughest weather,
He's a harmless, comical, tough old fellow;
Let's all go into the tree together,
For he won't budge till the fruit is mellow! "

So up they flew; and the sauciest pair

Mid the shady branches peered and perked.

Selected a spot with the utmost care.
And all day merrily sang and worked.

And where do you think they built their nest?

In the scarecrow's pocket, if you please.
That, half concealed on his ragged breast.

Made a charming covert of safety and ease!

IN THE child's WORLD. 2'J7

By the time the cherries were ruby-red,

A thriving family, hungry and brisk,
The wliole day long on the ripe fruit fed;
'Twas so convenient! They ran no risk!

Until the children were ready to fly.

All undisturbed they lived in the tree;
For nobody thought to look at the Guy

For a robin's flourishing family !

Celia Thaxter.


Mr. and Mrs. Oriole arrived from the South one bright day in
May. They had had a pleasant journey, but were glad to find
themselves once more at the old summer home — the great elm
tree which stood on the top of the hill and swung its branches
over the farmhouse in which Ned and Kitty lived. You would
never have thought that those two birds had been traveling hun-
dreds of miles, if you had seen the way they darted about, Mr.
Oriole's yellow feathers showing like flashes of sunshine as he flew
swiftly past.

The two birds were very happy to be back, and had so many
things to do that they had no desire to sit still, not they! Mr.
Oriole wanted to see the Eobins and Bluebirds and all the other
friends who had arrived, and to get the spring news. He also
wanted to see the Pigeons and hear how the winter had gone with
them. But Mrs. Oriole was anxious to get to nest-building at

''My dear mate," said she, "you know how much material it
takes to make a nest and how much work it is to weave it. Do
help me first to collect some things for weaving. There will be
plenty of time for visiting later."

" But if we go to the barn where the pigeons are perhaps I can
get you some of those long hairs which are so good for weaving,"
suggested Mr. Oriole.

" Oh ! then we '11 go, by all means," said Mrs. Oriole; and away
they went. •

298 IN THE child's world.

Now while tlie orioles had been chatting together, Ned and
Kitty had been watching them with great delight. Ned could
not remember seeing the orioles last year; but Kitty, who was
older, felt that she had known them a long while, for she had
watched them build their nest several times.

This year the children had a great plan. Kitty had thought
of it one day when she was crocheting, and she had saved some
pieces of bright worsted which she had at first thought of throw-
ing away.

"The orioles will soon be back," she had said; "I may as well
keep these worsteds. What a gay spot they will make in a nest! "
After this she had saved other pieces, and now had a bright bunch
of red and orange and yellow and green and blue and purple; and
she and Ned had planned that the oriole nest this year should
be the most gorgeous that ever was woven.

When Mr. and Mrs. Oriole returned from their visit to the
barn they were in high glee, for they had each found one of the
long hairs from the farm-horses' tails, and this was great good
fortune! Kitty and Ned slipped away from the bushes near the
elm tree just in time. They had spread some bright red worsted
out in plain sight, and now stood in the doorway watching.

Mrs. Oriole was flying ahead of her mate, and, reaching the
tree first, alighted on the tip of a long, slender branch high up in
the tree. This was the spot which they had decided upon for
their nest.

No sooner had they perched on the branch with the horsehairs
trailing from their bills, than they spied the red worsted on the
bushes below. You can not think how delighted they were.

" We can get to work very soon if we have such good fortune
as this'' chirped Mrs. Oriole. " Now let us go and find one of
those plants * which have such good stalks to tear strips from."

Mr. Oriole agreed, and the two flew away again. They found

* "For fibrous materials she broke, hackled, and gathered the flax of the asclepias
and hibiscus stalks, tearing off long strings and flying with them to the scene of her


" A peculiar flax-like substance seems to be always sought after and always found."

"Alncent Barnard of Pennsylvania says that a friend of his, on observing the bird
(an oriole) beginning to build, hung out near the prospective nest skeins of many-

IN THE child's WORLD. "^99

the plant they wanted and tugged away with their beaks and their
claws till they ench had a good long strij). Tiiey flew back to tiie
elm tree again, and behold! upon the same bush where the red
worsted had so mysteriously appeared, were now some orange and
yellow strands, as gay as the oranges and lemons whicli they had
seen in the land where they had spent the winter.

"Quick! Quick!" called Mrs. Oriole in great excitement.
'*' Let us get that, too! I must begin to work immediately."

Online LibraryEmilie PoulssonIn the child's world; morning talks and stories for kindergartens, primary schools and homes → online text (page 19 of 29)