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CHICK, D.D. Right in the very heart of Christmas-tree Land there was a forest of firs that pointed to the sky as straight as steeples. A hush lay over the forest, as if there were something very wonderful there, that might be meant for you if you were quiet and waited for it to come. Perhaps you have felt like that when you walked down the aisle of a church, with the sun shining through the lovely glass in the windows. Men have often called the... more...

THE EAGLE. The Eagle is often called the King of Birds, and therefore it is of him that we ought to speak first. Very likely you have often seen eagles in the Zoological Gardens, and, if so, you know what noble looking birds they are. But they seem very sad in their prison-houses, to which no kindness can ever attach them. They are formed to soar boldly to the top of some lonely mountain height, and there dwell far from the abode of men. And to... more...

IN THE SNOW It was a bright, wintry day. The frost jewels sparkled on the snow. The winds blew cutting cold from the north. Phyllis, in her scarlet coat and cap, and long, warm leggings, waded in the deepest drifts she could find. Out by the garden fence was the greatest drift. After floundering through it, Phyllis climbed up and perched on the top rail of the fence. She sat quite still, for she was almost breathless after her struggle in the... more...

BIRDS FROM A CITY ROOF I laid down my book and listened. It was only the choking gurgle of a broken rain-pipe outside: then it was the ripple and swish of a meadow stream. To make out the voices of redwings and marsh-wrens in the rasping notes of the city sparrows behind the shutter required much more imagination. But I did it. I wanted to hear, and the splash of the water helped me. The sounds of wind and water are the same everywhere.... more...

HISTORY OF THE MOVEMENT FOR "BIRD DAY" In the spring of 1894 the writer's attention was attracted to the interest of the children in that part of their nature study which related to birds. Their descriptions of the appearance and habits of the birds they had observed were given with evident pleasure. They had a strong desire to tell what they had seen, not in the spirit of rivalry, but with the wish of adding to the knowledge of a subject in... more...


CHIRP THE FIRST. The winter of 1878 was certainly an unusually dreary one, and so thought a remarkably fine young Blackbird, as he perched one morning on the bare bough of a spreading lime-tree, whose last brown leaf had fallen to the ground some weeks before. With the exception of the Scotch firs and other fortunate evergreens, there was nothing to be seen on all sides but leafless branches standing out sharply against the cold, grey sky.... more...

CHAPTER I. Jenny Wren Arrives. Lipperty-lipperty-lip scampered Peter Rabbit behind the tumble-down stone wall along one side of the Old Orchard. It was early in the morning, very early in the morning. In fact, jolly, bright Mr. Sun had hardly begun his daily climb up in the blue, blue sky. It was nothing unusual for Peter to see jolly Mr. Sun get up in the morning. It would be more unusual for Peter not to see him, for you know Peter is a great... more...

INTRODUCTION This beautiful volume has been written for a good purpose. I had the pleasure of reading the proof-sheets of the book while in the Yellowstone National Park, where no gun may be lawfully fired at any of God's creatures. All animals there are becoming tame, and the great bears come out of the woods to feed on the garbage of the hotels and camps, fearless of the tourists, who look on with pleasure and wonder at such a scene. "The... more...

The Swan. The Swan is a very beautiful bird. It is generally white, though a black swan has been discovered in Australia. It is not very often seen in this country. It was brought from Asia and Eastern Europe into England—from whence, most probably, a few specimens have been introduced into this country. The Swan is very graceful in the water, but on land it is an awkward waddler.   The Coot. The Coot is generally found in large... more...

In coming before the public with a newly made edition of my writings, what can I say to my reader at this stage of our acquaintance that will lead to a better understanding between us? Probably nothing. We understand each other very well already. I have offered myself as his guide to certain matters out of doors, and to a few matters indoor, and he has accepted me upon my own terms, and has, on the whole been better pleased with me than I had any... more...