THE BLACKBIRD AND THE FOX NE day Madame Fox, who was strolling along under the hedge, heard a Blackbird trilling on a branch. Quick as thought she jumped and seized the little fellow, and was about to gobble him down then and there. But the Blackbird began to chirp piteously:— “Oh, oh, Madame Fox! What are you thinking of? Just see, I am such a tiny mouthful! And when I am gone—I am gone. Only let me free and I will tell you something. Look! Here come some peasant women with eggs and cheese which they are carrying to the market at Verrières. That would be a meal worth having! Only let me go, and I will help you, Master Fox.” The Fox saw that [&hellip

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HOW THE BLACKBIRD SPOILED HIS COAT NCE upon a time, our friend Blackbird, who comes first of the feathered brothers in the spring, was not black at all. No, indeed; he was white—white as feather-snow new fallen in the meadow. There are very few birds who have been thought worthy to dress all in beautiful white, for that is the greatest honor which a bird can have. So, like the Swan and the Dove, Master Whitebird—for that is what they called him then—was very proud of his spotless coat. He was very proud and happy, and he sang all day long, the jolliest songs. But you see he did not really deserve this honor, because he was at heart a greedy bird; and therefore a [&hellip

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THE EARLY GIRL HERE were once two girls who were very dear friends, Zaïca and Tourtourelle. One morning Zaïca woke up and said, “O Tourtourelle! Last night I had such a strange dream!” “And so did I!” cried Tourtourelle. “Let us tell each other the dreams. But you first, Zaïca.” Zaïca began to laugh. “I dreamed I was a pretty bird with a tuft of feathers on my head. I could fly, and, O Tourtourelle! it was great fun! But the most amusing thing of all was that I could sing so finely, and mock all the birds of the forest. Nay, I could even imitate the sounds of animals. I cannot help laughing when I think what a jolly time I had.” “Why, Zaïca!” [&hellip

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MRS. PARTRIDGE’S BABIES ONG, long ago, when the world was very young indeed, the Birds and Animals used to send their children to school, to Mother Magpie’s kindergarten. All the morning long the babies learned their lessons which it was needful for them to know. And when the noon hour came their various mammas came to the school bringing lunches for the children. You can imagine how gladly they were received by the hungry little scholars. One day Mrs. Partridge was very busy with her house-cleaning, and when the noontime came she could not leave her work to go to the school with her babies’ lunch. “Dear me,” she said, looking out of the nest, “here it is noon and the little Partridges will be [&hellip

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WHY THE NIGHTINGALE WAKES HEN the other birds are sound asleep in their nests, with their little heads tucked comfortably under their feathers, Sister Nightingale, they say, may not rest, but still sounds the notes of her beautiful song in grove and thicket. Why does she sing thus, all night long as well as through the day? It is because she dares not go to sleep on account of the Blindworm, who is waiting to catch her with her eyes closed. Once upon a time, when the world was very new, the Blindworm was not quite blind, but had one good eye. Moreover, in those days the Nightingale also had but one eye. As for the Blindworm, it mattered very little; for he was a [&hellip

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THE INQUISITIVE WOMAN HERE was once a woman who was so very inquisitive that she wished to know everything. She was never happy unless she was poking her nose into some mystery, and the less a matter concerned her the more curious she was about it. One day the Lord gathered together all the insects in the world, all the beetles, bugs, bees, mosquitoes, ants, locusts, grasshoppers, and other creatures who fly or hop or crawl, and shut them up in a huge sack well tied at the end. What a queer, squirming, muffled-buzzing bundle it made, to be sure! Then the Lord called the woman to him and said, “Woman, I would have you take this sack and throw it into the sea. But [&hellip

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THE ROBIN WHO WAS AN INDIAN HE name of Robin makes us think at once of the jolliest and most sociable of all our little brother birds. In every land the name is a favorite, and wherever he goes he brings happiness and kind feeling. The American Robin is not the same bird as his English cousin, though both have red breasts. It was in a different manner that our little American friend came to have the ruddy waistcoat which we know so well. There was a time, so the Indians say, a very early time, long, long before Columbus discovered America,—even before histories began to be written,—when there were no Robins. In those days in the land of the Ojibways, which is far in [&hellip

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THE PIOUS ROBIN “Art thou the bird whom man loves best, The pious bird with the scarlet breast, Our little English Robin?” Wordsworth. HE English Robin is not precisely like our little American friend whom we call by that name, although, as the lines of poetry quoted above will show, in two ways he is the same as ours: he has a red breast, and he is the bird whom every one loves. Of all the little brothers of the air, in every land and clime, the pretty, jolly, neighborly Robin Redbreast is the favorite. There are many stories about him: some which tell how he came by his scarlet breast, others which explain why he has always been best beloved of the birds. I [&hellip

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KING SOLOMON AND THE BIRDS ING SOLOMON was wiser than all men, and his fame was in all nations round about Jerusalem. He was so wise that he knew every spoken language; yes, but more than this, he could talk with everything that lived, trees and flowers, beasts and fowls, creeping things and fishes. What a very pleasant thing that was for Solomon, to be sure! And how glad one would be nowadays to have such knowledge! Solomon was especially fond of birds, and loved to talk with them because their voices were so sweet and they spoke such beautiful words. One day the wise King was chatting pleasantly with the birds who lived in his wonderful garden, and these are some of the things [&hellip

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THE MASQUERADING CROW HE Crow became very sour and disagreeable after his friend the Peacock’s cousin deserted him for more gorgeous company. Though he pretended not to care because the Pheasant was now a proud, beautifully-coated dandy, while he was the shabbiest of all the birds in his coat of rusty black, yet in truth he did care very much. He could not forget how the Peacock’s cousin had dyed him this sombre hue, after promising to paint him bright and wonderful, like himself. He could not help thinking how fine he would have looked in similar plumage of a rainbow tint, or how becoming a long swallow-tail would be to his style of beauty. He wished that there was a tailor in Birdland to [&hellip

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