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GAPA VERSES AN PICTURE.
F -- ^- .^ *-'
GRANDPAPA'S VERSES AND PICTURES.
NA TURAL HISTORY IN PLAY.
T. P. M.
WITH TWENTY-EIGHT ILLUSTRATIONS BY
R. H. MOORE.
GRIFFITH AND FARRAN,
SUCCESSORS TO NEWBERY AND HARRIS,
CORNER OF ST. PAUL'S CHURCHYARD, LONDON.
R. E. PEACH, BATH.
E. P. DUTTON AND CO., NEW YORK.
[The rights of Translation and of Reproduction are reserved.]
TO MY GRANDCHILDREN,
LILY, CAMERON, AND MAUD,
THESE POEMS AND PICTURES
ARE AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED.
THIS collection of poems and pictures originated in a
genuine attempt to amuse and instruct children.
It was the Author's habit to copy the woodcuts of a
work on Natural History into a MS. book, and then to
write descriptive verses upon them. These lines were
read to his children with the pictures before their eyes,
and became very acceptable sources of interest and
After the flight of many years it was found that his
grandchildren were at least as much captivated by his
efforts as those for whom they were first designed, and
so at last publication was thought of as a means of
affording pleasure and instruction to a much wider circle
of little ones.
The illustrations of this volume are, of course, all
suggested by the Author's handiwork, but the accomplished
artist was requested to copy as freely as he chose, or
not to copy at all, provided the details of the verses
were brought out distinctly for the benefit of the children
to whom they might be read.
It may be hoped, perhaps, that many of the rising
generation, in refined and cultivated homes, will be led by
the spirit of these poems to feel a gentle interest in the
lower creatures of God's hand, abhorring cruelty in every
shape and form, and possibly becoming inoculated with
a love of Natural History that shall never grow cold.
0 Lord, how manifold are Thy works 1 In wisdom
hast Thou made them all. The earth is full of Thy
riches."-PSALM civ. 24.
THE OSTRICH 13
THE LLAMA' 14
MERIAN'S OPOSSUM .15
THE KANCHIL 17
THE LYRE-BIRD 19
THE STORK .20
THE LION 21
THE COCKATOO 22
THE IBEX. 23
THE CHINCHILLA 26
THE REINDEER AND GLUTTON 27
THE GREAT BUSTARD 30
THE BITTERN 32
THE TROPIC BIRD 33
THE AYE-AYE AND THE TARSIER 35
THE RESPLENDENT TROGON 37
THE GARDEN DORMOUSE 39
THE GAZELLE 41
THE PUFFIN 44
THE LEOPARD 45
THE HOOPOO 46
THE YELLOW-HAMMER 48
THE KINKAJOU 51
THE OYSTER-CATCHER 52
THE LONG-TAILED TITMOUSE .54
LIST OF FULL-PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS.
THE LYRE-BIRD Frontisiece
THE OSTRICH 13
THE LION 21
THE IBEX 23
THE REINDEER AND GLUTTON 27
THE GAZELLE 41
THE LEOPARD 45
THE OYSTER-CATCHER 53
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS IN THE TEXT.
THE LLAMA 14
MERIAN'S OPOSSUM 15
THE KANCHIL 7. 17
THE STORK 20
12 LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
THE COCKATOO 22
THE CHINCHILLA 26
THE GREAT BUSTARD 30
THE BITTERN 32
THE TROPIC BIRD 33
THE AYE-AYE AND THE TARSIER 35
THE RESPLENDENT TROGON .37
THE GARDEN DORMOUSE 39
THE PUFFIN 44
THE HooPoos .46
THE YELLOW-HAMMER 48
THE KINKAJOU. 51
THE OYSTER-CATCHER 52
THE LONG-TAILED TITMOUSE .54
THE OSTRICH. 13
RUN! old ostrich, run for your life,
No doubt there's a hunter behind you; The ostrich
But I hope that you haven't deserted your wife, and is evident-
I trust she'll be able to find you. one part of it.
does not reveal
And your poor little young ones who toddled along, which part. It
is possible he is
How will they do without you at night ? chasing "the
So I don't think, old ostrich, you ought to have fled,
And forsaken them all in your fright.
Just look at the nail on the end of your toe,
I am sure you can kick pretty smartly with that;
Then put a bold face on, and turn to your foe,
And teach him next time to mind what he is at;
Perhaps he will run as fast as he can,
Then you'll be the hunter instead of the man.
14 THE LLAMA.
A chid, very YOU pretty white llama there, taking a snooze,
fond of animals,
and who owns I-How I wish that you'd open your gentle black eye;
a large dog,
addresses the But I would not awake you, I'd let you sleep on,
And watch you to see that no danger came nigh.
The hungry wild beast, how I'd send him away;
I'd bring my dear wolf-dog, and then let him know
That if he came prowling to catch you asleep,
We'd soon make him sorry for frightening us so.
So pretty white llama, go on with your nap,
And if I were with you there, under the willow,
The dog should keep watch, and I'd lay me down too,
And sleep with my head upon you for a pillow.
MERIAN'S OPOSSUM. 15
MRS. OPossUM, can that be you, Mrs. Opos-
lsum is scarcely
With seven little young ones taking a ride ? recognized by
one who used
There they go, piggyback, seven little tails to know her.
Firmly around your great one tied. freely made
upon her and
"I should think they must be too heavy by half, her family.
And they look so funny, it makes me laugh."
16 MERIAN'S OPOSSUM.
She takes it Then laugh if you will, for we don't care,
all in good part,
and in her re- My darlings and I are taking the air,
ply is very com-
municative. Up in the trees, the tall shady trees,
Rock'd to and fro by the swing of the breeze,
And enjoying ourselves as long as we please.
I am never so happy as when they are here,
Perch'd on my back, they're so sweet and so dear.
But the black one, who sits in the midst of his brothers,
He loves cuddling more than the others;
He sucks his thumb, and buries his face,
And always gets hold of the cosiest place.
Now don't think you see the whole family here,
This is only the half, for I went on before;
And Mr. Opossum is coming behind,
And brings on his back seven darlings more.
Seven and seven, that makes fourteen,
The sweetest opossums that ever were seen;
So pleasant, so happy, so fond of each other,
No fighting, no biting, no teasing, no bother,
And all of them good to their father and mother.
'Tis nice for us all thus to love one another."
THE KANCHIL. 17
OH if I had you, little pet, A little child
/1 expresses its
Under the shade, to play with me, wishes about
I the kanchil.
I'd trim your neck with lovely flowers,
And stroke and pat you tenderly.
I'd look into your large round eye,
And bring you milk and bread to eat,
And sit beside you half the day,
And give you everything that's sweet.
18 THE KANCHIL.
I wish you lived in English woods,
Where you'd be safe from harm and fright,
No snakes to dart on you by day,
No tigers prowling all the night.
But no I you're happier where you are,
In Java, with its sunny sky;
For we have dark and dreary days,
And I fear you'd catch a cold and die.
So little kanchil, bound along,
In your own groves and valleys free;
But if you knew I loved you so,
I hope you'd sometimes think of me.
THE LYRE-BIRD. 19
"OH 1 lyre-bird, what becomes of your tail A difficulty
is suggested to
When you walk in the woods or fly up in the trees? a child by the
form of the
Oh I doesn't it catch in the brambles and boughs, bird's tail.
And hinder your going along as you please?"
"No, no, little child I I can let it fall down, The bird's
And it slips along safely wherever I go; reply.
It never gets caught in the brambles and boughs,
And my ladies all think it the finest they know.
"Very often I stand on a stump or a stone,
And spread it out wide in the light of the sun ;
And I call with my voice, and my ladies flock round,
And chatter and laugh so, it's excellent fun.
"They say that the shape of my tail is so like
To an instrument used in the good old times,
On which ancient minstrels delighted to play,
While the bards sung their rigmarole verses and
"So I'm thinking of taking to play on my tail,
And teaching my ladies and children a song;
And then if you'll visit us under the trees,
You shall hear pretty music the whole day long."
20 THE STORK.
A child has GOOD Mr. Stork, I
heard that in \
stork is easily have often heard,
and becomes a That you are a kind,
most amusing -
playfellow. He i
asks if this is good-natured bird,
the case. j
And I want very much
to know if it's true,
That you let little chil-
._ dren play with you,
"i Hunt the Slipper,'and
Hide and Seek,'
And 'Tom Tickler,'
Stood, any day in the
The stork's Oh, yes oh, yes I am fond of play,
reply, and con-
fession of pre- And I can run races too, Off and away !'
But the game I love much better than these,
Is to stand in the water, right up to my knees,
And gobble up fishes and frogs as I please."
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THE LION. 21
"THE desert re-echoes thy terrible voice, Addressfrom
a child to a
And all are afraid of the sound, lion.
And the giraffe and antelope speed o'er the plain,
And the zebra looks timidly round.
Why art thou so cruel, thou king of the beasts ?
Why must thou have blood in thy feasts ?"
"Nay I'll ask you a question much wiser than this; The lion's
Who was it appointed my food,
And gave me my nature, my claws, and my teeth,
And made me to thirst after blood ?
Thy Maker, He form'd me to kill and to fight,
And therefore be sure it is right."
22 THE COCKATOO.
Autobiogr- WHEN I was young, and
phy of a cock-
too. in my nest,
With scarce a feather on
/ wmy breast,
My brothers and my sis-
S Squeaking for food the
t whole day through,
There came a little ugly
SI And stole away our parents' joy.
He carried us home in his hat, one
And we didn't admire our new master at all.
My brothers and sisters soon got ill,
He gave them medicine-a draught and a pill;
But they all of them died, though I hope without pain,
And I thought I should never be happy again.
But the boy was so kind that he made me forget,
He called me his beauty, his darling, his pet;
He taught me to whistle a tune, and to talk,
And I sat on his wrist when he went for a walk.
I have such a fine cage, and I sleep there at night;
But to live in the garden's'my greatest delight,
For there I amuse myself up in the trees,
And chatter and whistle as long as I please.
THE IBEX. 23 '
" You fine old fellow you king of the goats, Aninquiryis
S Vh,1t d Ucs y'ur majesty want up there? theibex.
"Why do you fly to the land of the clouds?
Alone and aghast on those mountains bare?
You look all weary and 1anting for breath,
.Has the cruel hunter been cc-iking your death ?"
"Oh, yes oh, yes! he has hunted me sore, The reply.
11 ; arrows have whistled behind as I fled,
He has climb'd o'er the cliffs that were made but for me,
He has three cf 'y comradc-s beside him dead.
'Tis therefore I nl.dit up as high as I can,
The nearest to hca :i, and the farthest from man."
Dialoguebe- '."--., HONEY-BIRDS, honey-birds,
teen the y sweet little pair,
and some in- You on the nest there,
quisitive person _C ,,
hno wants to and you on the tree,
them. -"... -"--;-'"J" .., I have two little questions to
ask of you both,
And I pray you to give a
S.. true answer to me.
Do you go robbing the busy
If you do so, I never shall
like you more."
Oh, no !" they replied, don't think we are thieves,
We never go plundering the busy bees' hive,
We find all our honey, and suck it ourselves,
And the sweet flowers have plenty to keep us alive.
We have not a care nor a thought for the morrow,
We are happy all day, and we think not of sorrow."
Honey-birds, honey-birds, answer me next,
Which of you two is the happiest,
You, little cock, as you sit on the tree,
Or you, little hen, with your eggs in your nest ?
I hope that you'll very soon answer me true,
For you can't think how long I've been wishing I knew."
"Oh I," said the cock, am the happiest bird,
I'll tell you the reason, I'm sure you'll agree,
I have got such a sweet little hen for my wife,
She's the dearest that ever yet perch'd on a tree;
She never once made me to frown or to sigh,
I should never forget her, if she were to die."
The little hen blush'd when she heard herself praised,
But said she was sure she was happier still,
For while she was sitting so snug on her nest,
The cock brought her honey and flowers in his bill.
And she said, He's so pretty, so gentle, so true,
I know I'm the happiest bird of the two."
26 THE CHINCHILLA.
A child LITTLE chinchilla, come
wishes to know
all about the tell me true,
Andil Where do you live, and
\, -, of what use are you?"
He gets he In South America, far o'er the
answer, and a
piteous remon- sea,
I In the lofty Andes, there live we.
Our use is our soft silky fur, which
Many ladies wear when the
weather is cold.
For this men hunt us from morning
Filling our hearts with most terrible fright.
And is it not cruel that ladies fair
Should rob chinchillas for fur to wear?
For we can't give our fleece, as the bah-lambs do,
And still have our skin and our life left too;
But they trap us, and kill us with gun or with knife,
And care not for children, or husband, or wife.
I am sure there is many a lady kind,
Who has never considered at all in her mind,
That her beautiful tippet, so soft to the touch,
Has cost the poor little chinchilla so much."
Pil 1' ii
; i ,'" ,,i ''1 ,,,',,t ,, i
,I'I. ',' "n r
. :___ ___----
.L ,,' I ,aa E= --_-:
THE REINDEER AND GLUTTON. 27
THE REINDEER AND GLUTTON.
THE reindeer he was milky-white, Ballad of
And a gentle reindeer too. death.
Alas I he did stray one luckless day,
And wander'd the forests through.
The land where he wander'd was Lapland cold,
The forests were forests of fir,
And a glutton lived there in an old hollow tree,
And nothing could satisfy her.
For she hath a litter, a litter of three,
And she seeketh to find them food,
And she snuffs about with her ugly snout,
And pounces on all that is good.
She is on the look-out from the old hollow tree,
She scents from afar with her nose;
And now she espies, with her sharp eager eyes,
The form of the deer as he goes.
He came to the foot of the old fir-tree,
And knew not that danger was nigh,
And scraped the snow for the moss below,-
Oh, fly gentle reindeer, fly I
The glutton sat still, and as silent as death,
So hungry was she for her prey,
Then swiftly, alack I she dropped down on his back,
And he fled like an arrow away.
28 THE REINDEER AND GLUTTON.
And the deer was strong, and he hurried along,
But 'twas vain from the glutton to fly,
For her long sharp teeth were deep in his throat,
She was sucking his life-blood dry.
And wearier grow his footsteps slow,
And shorter and quicker his breath,
And now you can spy by the film on his eye,
How soon he will come to his death.
So the gentle reindeer dropped at last,
All alone in that forest wild,
And knew not that many were searching for him
As a mother would search for her child.
For he to his master had faithful been,
And many a weary round
He had drawn his sledge through the ice and snow,
And kept him safe and sound.
And his master had two little children dear,
Two sweet young brothers were they,
And the reindeer was gentle and good to them both,
And they often with him did play.
And hand in hand they would ride on his back,
As he lay at rest on the ground;
I ween they were frightened and sorrowful too,
When they heard that he could not be found.
THE REINDEER AND GLUTTON. 29
And far and near did they seek in the wild,
Till they came to the place where he died,
And oh what relief could they find to their grief,
As they tenderly kiss'd him and cried ?
And a grave was dug, and a stone was set
To mark where the reindeer lay,
And who can tell how the salt tears fell
As they silently went their way?
And ever at times they visit the spot
Where the gentle creature sleeps,
And it always is sad and lonely there,
And the shadowy fir-tree weeps.
And the moss, ever drooping, hangs overhead,
And they say that the night-wind sighs;
'Twill be always the mournfullest place in the land,
Where the gentle reindeer lies.
30 THE GREAT BUSTARD.
THE GREAT BUSTARD.
A child TELL me, old bustard, tell me why
wishes to know
why the bus- From merry England you did fly;
tards haveha gi ag
taken them- For I've heard it said again and again,
You once lived so happy on Salisbury Plain.
Be sure that no country under the sky
Is better than England-so why did you fly?"
taie:__--, .... _-= I'--- -__ ----_---_- a d a ain
4 !vs f.
-<_- .....e ohap nSaibryPan
:_-. ta Egad-s hyddyo l?
THE GREAT BUSTARD. 31
"Oh I England, I know, is fair to the sight, A very suf-
And we once felt secure there from morning to night; for the depar-
ture is given.
The plains stood thick with the gorse and the broom,
There was plenty of food to eat, plenty of room ;
There was shelter from man, and defence from the
And so we enjoy'd ourselves rarely together.
But now, when the land is cover'd with corn,
The broom all vanish'd, the long grass shorn,
With nothing to save us from death and affright,
In a country like this how can we delight ?
But I hear that the likeness of one of our race
Is still hanging up in its well-known place,
Swinging and creaking in wind and rain,
At the Bustard Inn' on Salisbury Plain.
I'm sure we never shall visit you more,
Unless you can alter your land as before."
"* The Bustard Inn of old times is now a farmhouse, and the sign is gone.
32 THE BITTERN.
A lament for / POOR wounded bittern,
the loss of our-
friends in fea- I mourn for thee,
I, The keeper has laid
SI thee low ;
S' And it troubles him not
that his cold leaden
Has hit thee a deadly
No more thy spreading,
rich brown wing
-- _.Willcarry thee through
No more thy hollow booming voice
The lonely traveller scare.
Thy mate will seek thee o'er the moor,
And call and call again;
But oh I how desolate will she be,
When she finds her call in vain.
.- 1 -'
THE TROPIC BIRD. 33
THE TROPIC BIRD.
THE sun is blazing Where the
high lives, and how
In the deep blue rest.
S___.___ southern sky,
And far overhead is
"F A bird on his pinions
And people say
T _O That night and day,
-With unweary wing,
he sails away,
Up so high o'er the rolling main,
As if he would never come down again;
And here his snatches of sleep doth take,
Keeping his glorious wings awake.
Now, tropic bird, is it really true A question
is asked about
That you can be flying and sleeping too ? this.
How know you you mayn't fall into the sea,
And a great shark swallow you instantly?"
"These wings I have tried for many a year, The bird's
And therefore it is I do not fear;
My Maker has form'd them wide and strong,
And right securely they bear me along.
34 THE TROPIC BIRD.
But if I trust His merciful care
To carry me safely.through the air !
Shall I not say thou hast little faith
If thou rememberest not what He saith:
'The hairs of thy head are number'd all;'
'And without Me. not even a sparrow can fall.' "
'y\\ *)'_ *
THE AYE-AYE AND THE TARSIER. 35
THE AYE-AYE AND THE TARSIER.
ONCE on a time-I do not know
The day or the year, but a long time ago-
"I heard two monkeys out in a wood
Chattering away as fast as they could ;
So wishing to know the reason why,
I hid myself in a cave close by,
And saw that the one with the long thin tail
Was ready for battle with tooth and nail.
Some nuts and an apple were not to be found,
Which the Tarsier had hid in a hole underground.
36 THE AYE-AYE AND THE TARSIER.
And the Aye-aye was sitting so near to the place,
And looking so sheepish and odd in the face,
That I'm sorry to say there can't be a doubt
But he was the culprit who took them out.
The Tarsier accused him, called him a thief,
And said he was ugly beyond all belief;
He wouldn't mind asking the beasts all round,
If a monkey so hideous as that could be found.
I will have my nuts and my apple again ;"
'Twas thus that he ended, but all in vain,
For the Aye-aye had eaten up all his store,
His nuts and his apple he never saw more.
"THE RESPLENDENT TROGON. 37
THE RESPLENDENT TROGON.
w ^Thy crimson breast and glorious crest,
M II shouldSHOULD likecious
To smell the fragrant see thee,
With thy train of
Which make the land where thou
More wcrimsondrous far than ours.
So dazzling to behold.
I should like t hat I sh ould soon come
To smell the fragrant flowers,
For England has its charms for me,
Which make the land where in vain.thou
More wondrous far than ours.
But I hope that I should soon come
To my island home again,
For England has its charms for me,
Which I seek elsewhere in vain.
38 THE RESPLENDENT TROGON.
I see no Trogon in our woods,
But I hear the Blackbird sing,
And I never wish for sweeter flowers
Than the violets of the spring.
So gladly should I turn again
To reach my native shore;
And wish, perhaps, when safely there,
Never to leave it more.
THE GARDEN DORMOUSE. 39
THE GARDEN DORMOUSE.
"OH! mousy! mousy! A remon-
strance to the
what can it be dormouse.
SThat takes you up to
Sthe apple-tree ?
That beautiful pippin,
so ripe and sweet,
Was never intended
for you to eat."
"Oh, yes! but it was. The dor-
mouse in reply
The fruit is all mine makes an ex-
On apple-tree, pear- and is good
enough to give
tree, peach-tree, and us a little bit
Sof his private
vine ; history.
Gooseberries, currants, and strawberries too,
I nibble the best of them through and through.
And besides all this, so prudent am I,
That I think of the winter before it comes nigh,
And lay up a store of sweet chestnuts and berries,
And the nice little kernels you find in the cherries.
And then when the days grow chilly and dark,
And I hear no more the sweet song of the lark,
I roll myself up in my nest like a ball,
And sleep without feeling the winter at all:
40 THE GARDEN DORMOUSE.
Waking up now and then, for the sake of a munch
On the larder shelf, by way of a lunch.
But again in the spring, the sun and the showers,
The voice of the ringdove, the smell of the flowers,
They rouse me up from my long, long sleep,
And out of my doorway I joyfully peep,
And hasten out of my nest once more,
And go on exactly the same as before."
THE GAZELLE. 41
IF you travel in the desert wild, where the grass is scant
When you wish in vain, on the burning plain, for a breath
of sweet cool air;
If you look to right and look to left for the clear refreshing
And nothing spy but sand and sky, how desolate will it
And Arabia is a land like this, yet the beautiful fleet
Doth daily roam in this dreary home, and loveth it
For they are as free as the wild waves be, and swifter
than horse and hound:
You would wonder much in their native plains to see
them leap and bound.
But the hunter is a crafty man, a store of tricks hath he:
He diggeth a pit in the fountain path, and hideth it
And then at eve, when the fair gazelles, they hie them
down to drink,
He seeth them suddenly, as they pass, in his treacherous
And at times he taketh his hawks and dogs-for he
knoweth his business well-
Together to follow, o'er hill and hollow, the beautiful
42 THE GAZELLE.
The hawk on high, o'er his soft black eye, is fluttering
with his wing,
And the savage hound is gaining ground, and making
his deadly spring.
And now, alas the slender throat has felt the fierce
And a crimson flood of his heart's best blood is dyeing
the sand beneath.
"Oh, sweet gazelle, I love you well; if you'll come and live
I'll save you from harm, and snare and alarm, and my
playfellow you shall be.
We'll order a carriage easy and light, with harness soft
And you and your mate, at no end of a rate, with me
shall scamper away;
I will let you stop now and then on the road, to nibble
the green spring grass,
And the people will stare and cry out, 'Look there!' as
they see us rapidly pass.
I will build you a house to shelter you from the tempest
and the rain;
And the drifting snow, when the north winds blow,
shall sweep around in vain.
It will be so nice if you take my advice, and I really
think you will,
And find yourself safer and happier far than out in
the desert still."
THE GAZELLE. 43
'Twas thus an innocent home-bred child addressed the
But see you not that he quite forgot what he ought to
have known so well,-
That the barren, thirsty wilderness, where these gentle
Though full of danger and of fear, is still their beloved
And here their merciful Maker's eye is over them night
And it must be well for the fair gazelle in his desert home
44 THE PUFFIN.
A child "You little funny punchy
makes its ob- -n -
servations on puffin,
the puffin's ap- puffin,
"asks a veryper You look as if you were
sonal question. always stuffing;
r I hCome now, and tell me
How many fish you eat
in the day?"
The pufin's How many fish ?' why
reply and de-
fence of its I eat just enough,
And I don't like to hear you say that I stuff;
For I have no breakfast, or dinner, or tea,
And other nice things made ready for me.
And so when I meet with a shoal of fish,
Which is not so often quite as I wish,
I'm obliged to pack them closely in,
And sometimes, I own, they reach up to my chin;
For, perhaps, if I let them go swimming away,
I shall try, but in vain, to find them next day.
So 'catch while you're able,' and 'eat while you can,'
Is the rule for puffins, but not for man."
- 7- w -------,
SL ,- '|. ,f'' "
v '' *
THE LEOPARD. 45
OH fly, little lamb, if a lamb you are
That are lying on the ground,
For see that hungry leopard there
Is going to make his bound.
They say if he miss his aim at first,
He will not follow more;
So fly, little lamb, if a lamb you are,
And hasten on before.
Oh fly, little deer, if a deer you are,
For there is not time to wait;
The leopard's spring is a dreadful thing,
And you may fly too late.
And oh if you are a little child
He is marking as you play;
Alas I fear you will never have time
To rise and hasten away.
But even then, from His secret place,
The eye of God can see,
And His mighty arm can shield you from harm,
And I trust that so it may be.
For how should your mother smile again,
If you were snatch'd away?
But remember another time, my child,
And be careful where you play.
46 THE HOOPOOS.
A child s, I SEE your nice little
makes a sug-
gestion to the cosy hole in the
hoopoos. [ :---: -
.,hoopoos. old oak-tree,
But I think now,
Mr. and Mrs.
S If I were as clever
and handy as
To I should build up a
-door as fast as
Slor suppose a wild cat came prowl-
Wen- hv ing ahsng,
( IlShe might eat you up with her
teeth so strong,
: he might put her great claws
right into your nest,
While you were securely taking
The bird's Why, to tell you the truth, little child, as we ought,
reply. TO build up a door we never were taught.
We know how to gather the sticks and the moss,
We have learned how to weave them across and across;
THE HOOPOOS. 47
We know all the things it is needful to know,
And why should you wish us still further to go?
We are not always fearing the cat to detect us,
"With God up in heaven to keep and protect us.
So pray don't put such things into our mind,
Although I am sure that you meant to be kind."
48 THE YELLOW-HAMMER.
A song of THE spring! the spring! the
z the spring.
"the spring. delightful spring,
When lambkins sport, and
-- It has its heralds everywhere,
>/ So full of joy is the earth and
The dear little hedge-sparrow
twitches his tail,
And pipes his tune on the garden rail.
The titmice are clearing their throats for a
They'll manage it nicely before very long.
The raven croaks on the old oak-tree,
That is his way of showing his glee;
And the frog strikes up his muddlededee.
"The spring is coming! to-day! to-day!
The spring is coming !" they all of them say.
And the funny old rooks, they show their pleasure
By fighting and squabbling beyond all measure;
Up and down in the tall elm-trees,
With twigs in their beaks, as busy as bees:
All in a fidget, and all in a flurry,
They seem to live in no end of a hurry.
While a chorus of sweet little birds keeps ringing
A peal of gladness with their singing.
THE YELLOW-HAMMER. 49
We love them for their own dear sake,
And they sing as if their hearts would break.
The yellow-hammer-he is one
Of the heralds of the bright spring sun;
His voice is silvery-sweet, and mellow,
His livery-suit is brown and yellow;
He bustles about from bush to bush,
He nudges the blackbird, and stirs up the thrush;
SHe says that the cuckoo is just coming over,
And several swallows arrived at Dover;
He thinks that a golden-crested wren-
It might be a cock, or it might be a hen-
Was seen by a friend flying over the fen.
This is the joyful news he brings,
These are the words of the song he sings.
It rouses the geese, who seem'd very lazy,
And sends the green woodpecker almostcrazy,
Laughing and screaming, away flies he,
And sets to work tapping the hollow beech-tree."
The lark, all alive, sets his crest on high,
And mounts up carolling into the sky,
And seems to go nearly as high as the moon,
And there trills out his merry spring tune.
And the yellow-hammer's work is done,
For every one knows when the lark has begun.
One would think that all the world were new,
For every creature has something to do;
They're running and flying from place to place,
And blue-bottle flies come bump in your face.
The hedges hear the moving sound,
50 THE YELLOW-HAMMER.
And leaflets show themselves all around;
And flowers come blossoming one by one,
Smiling beneath the fruitful sun.
Ye faithful heralds of the spring,
We thank you all for the news ye bring;
We thank you all, although ye are many,
And the yellow-hammer more than any.
THE KINKAJOU. 51
" LISTEN, you kinkajou, An accusa-
tion is made
I've a word to say to you; against the
I call you a thief, and I'm quite distress'd,
To see that you rob the poor honey-bees' nest."
But he didn't look ashamed, He doesn't
S. seem to care
That saucy kinkajou ; for it.
But he asked if little boys and girls
Weren't fond of honey too.
And then he put out his long thin tongue,
And lick'd out the cells to his mind;
And when he had lick'd them over again,
He left the wax behind.
52 THE OYSTER-CATCHER.
nl,,^ ._ -
A difficulty BUT how does he manage, for I can't tell,
is suggested as
to the bird's To get at the oyster inside his shell ?"
method of pro-
ceeding, and a Oh this is a ticklish matter, my dear,
given. But how it is done you shall quickly hear.
For he steals upon tip-toe, so quiet and sly,
And listens and looks without winking his eye.
And then when the oyster is taking a snooze,
And opens his door--which they can if they choose-
The enemy pokes in his bill like a dart,
And sticks the poor oyster right through the heart.
Oh, dear oh, dear! it's all over now,
And this is one way, if you ask me how.
THE OYSTER-CATCHER. 53
"But then if the oyster won't open at all, Second solu.
Defending himself in his castle wall :
The bird seems to say, It's all up with you now,'
And catches him firmly, I scarcely know how,
And bears him aloft, so high, so high,
And then lets him fall plump down from the sky.
First choosing a stone as hard as a rock,
And dropping him neatly upon it the shock
Beats open the shell with a bang and a. crash,
Which turns the poor oyster to batter and smash.
Then the bird flies down, and stands at his leisure,
And eats up the mincemeat with oh so much pleasure.
I think it is clever to manage so well,
And swallow the oyster in spite of his shell."
54 THE LONG-TAILED TITMOUSE.
THE LONG-TAILED TITMOUSE.
Brief state- LITTLE tit-bits
ment of prin- z
ciples of man- -_ For little tom-tits,
agement in a -j
tom-titnursery. Each little morsel
? Exactly fits
The delicate throats
Of these baby tom-
A childfan But where, oh! where
asks where the Are the baby tom-tits,
are. / That want to be fed
S. With these little tit-bits?"
The answer. Oh inside the nest, dear,
To keep them from harm,
Half buried in feathers,
So cosy and warm.
Oh there, all alive,
Are the little tom-tits
That require to be fed
With these dainty tit-bits.
And see I on a twig
One parent-bird sits,
While the other is hunting
For little tit-bits.
THE LONG-TAILED TITMOUSE. 55
Early and late,
In holes and in pits,
They rummage about
For the best of tit-bits.
Scouting and foraging
All the day long,
And so tired at night,
For they're not over strong."
But tell me, oh I tell me, to thort as
The sort of tit-bits tit-bits.
That are good for the food
Of these long-tail'd tom-tits."
Not 'snicks and snails, The reply
And puppy-dogs' tails ;' much detail.
But soft little morsels
Of delicate size,
Scarcely so large
As a tom-tit's eyes.
Crisp little tickly-wigs
Out of the flowers,
And tiniest flies,
That keep buzzing for hours;
Little fat cock-tails,
Before they grow old ;
And tenderest worms
From the garden mould;
Ticsies, which make
The poor bah-lamb itch;
56 THE LONG-TAILED TITMOUSE.
Eggs of the gadfly,
As sticky as pitch;
Tight little crawly-mites,
Juicy and plump;
Nice young crickets,
Before they can jump;
Tiny red spiders,
From holes in the walls;
With a few baby wood-lice,
As round as balls;
Soft green blighties,
All cover'd with splutter,
Nutritious and melting,
Like freshly-made butter.
These and such like
Are the dainty tit-bits
Prepared for the stomachs
Of long-tailed tom-tits."
The upshot And so by degrees
of it all.
They grow fatter and stronger,
Their odd little tails
Every day getting longer;
Till at last they pop out
One by one from the nest,
And perch on the twigs
That are handiest;
And learn from their parents
The nature and habits
Of long-tailed tom-tits.
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THE ESSENTIALS OF GEOMETRY, PLANE AND
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