How the Bluebird Crossed by Abbie Farwell Brown

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HOW THE BLUEBIRD CROSSED

OF course every one knows that the Bluebird was made from a piece of the azure sky itself. One has only to match his wonderful color against the April heaven to be sure of that. Therefore the little Bluebird was especially dear to the Spirit of the sky, the Father in Heaven.

One day this venturesome little bird started out upon a long journey across the wide Pacific Ocean toward this New World which neither Columbus nor any other man had yet discovered. Under him tossed the wide, wide sea, rolling for miles in every direction, with no land visible anywhere on which a little bird might rest his foot. For this was also before there were any islands in all that stretch of waters. Soon the poor little Bluebird became very weary and wished he had not ventured upon so long a flight. His wings began to droop and he sank lower and lower toward the sea which seemed eager to overwhelm his blueness with its own. He had come so far over the salty wastes that he was very thirsty; but with water, water everywhere there was not a drop to drink. The poor little bird glanced despairingly up toward the blue sky from which he had been made and cried,—

“O Spirit of the blue sky, O my Father in Heaven, help your child the Bluebird! Give me, I pray you, a place to rest and refreshment for my thirsty throat, or I perish in the cruel blue waters!”

At these sorrowful words the kind Father took pity upon his little Bluebird. And what do you think? He made a baby earthquake which heaved a rocky point of land up through the waves, just big enough for a little bird’s perch. It was a tiny reef, and a crack in the rock held but a few drops of the rain which began to fall; but it meant at least a moment’s safety and draught of life for the weary bird, and glad enough he was to reach it.

He had not been there long, however, when a big wave almost washed him away. He was not yet safe. Still he lacked the rest and refreshment which he so sorely needed. For the raindrops were soon turned brackish by the waves which dashed upon the reef from all sides, and the Bluebird had to keep hopping up and down to avoid being drowned in the tossing spray. He was more tired than ever, and this continuous exercise made him even more thirsty. Once more he prayed to the Father for help. And once more the kind Spirit of the Sky heard him from the blueness.

This time there was a terrible earthquake, until the sea boiled and rolled into huge waves as if churned by a mighty churn at the very bottom of things, and with a terrified scream the Bluebird flew high into the air.

But when the noise and the rumbling died away and once more the sea lay calm and still, what do you think the Bluebird saw? The great ocean which had once stretched an unbroken sheet of blue as far as the eye could see was now dotted here and there by islands, big islands and little islands, groups and archipelagoes of them, just as on the map one sees them to-day peppering the Pacific Ocean. Samoa came up, and Tonga, and Tulima, and many others with names quite as bad, if not worse. From one island to another the Bluebird flew, finding rest and refreshment on each, until he reached the mainland in safety. And there the islands remain to this day for other travelers to visit, breaking their journey from west to east or from east to west. There are forests and cascades, springs of fresh and pleasant water, delicious fruits, wonderful birds and animals, and finally a race of strange, dark men. (But they came long, long after.)

So the Bluebird crossed the Pacific, folk tell. Was it not wonderful how the kind Father came to scatter those many islands in the Pacific Ocean,—stepping-stones for a tiny little Bluebird so that he need not wet his feet in crossing that wide salty river?

Another lovely short story about a bird tomorrow…

Project Gutenberg's The Curious Book of Birds, by Abbie Farwell Brown

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Title: The Curious Book of Birds
Author: Abbie Farwell Brown
Illustrator: E. Boyd Smith
Release Date: June 27, 2005 [EBook #16140]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

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