Holidays at the Farm.
"Y^E spent our last holidays at Uncle Tohn's farm, and enjoyed our visit even more than we do our seaside one. The meadows all daisies and buttercups, and the golden wheat-fields all so beautiful! The first morning we were cJP there the crowing of cocks woke
us very early, and directly we had had breakfast we asked Cousin Amy to take us to see the poultry, She put some barley in a basket for me to feed the fowls, and we set out. Just as we were outside the yard we heard a great clucking, A hen was telling us that she had laid one of three eggs that lay on the grass. We. picked them up, and put them in the; basket, and Amy said we should Let ye them for breakfast next day. The poultry yard was full of fowls, and the
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cock looked very handsome. Then
was quite out; two others had their
we peeped into the hen-house, and
saw a hen whose chicks were just
breaking their shells. One chicken
heads out, but they were quite yellow, not like their sister. Amy told me that they were little ducks; for the duck is not a very good mother, and so they put her eggs into a hen's nest to be hatched. But she was sorry.for the hen, because, when the ducklings ran into the water, the poor thing would be so frightened, and so unhappy, for fear they would be di owned. Once a little chicken, seeing his little yellow brothers run into the pond, ran after them into it, and
at once sank in the water, and was drowned, while the hen
stood screaming on the bank.
a naughty chick to disobey its
mother; the little ducks could
not help going in." Then we
But," said little Amy, "it was
walked into the meadow, and by and by we saw some geese making an angry hiss at a boy who stood with his arms out close to the hedge. But when we told Amy to look at thff boy, she laughed and said, "It is only a scarecrowa figure dressed up to frighten away the birds. The geese hiss at him, but they will not dare go into the wheatfield. Geese
heard a grunting noise, and zf
by and by we came to *A
some little pigs. One ,-y ^^^^^^^^^3
of them had got into a ^4/^4>>!H7// V
basket, and looked very com- \ i^f, V*^. ^
1 / %
fortable; the others grunted, as much as to say, "How came you in there?" Amy says geese are very clever birds, and as watchful as dogs; they would make a great noise if any thief came near the place where they are; yet sometimes a fox will get one. We told her (at least, Will did) that, once on a time, some geese saved the old City of Rome from being taken by its enemies, as their quacking waked the soldiers, who then drove the Gauls (who were trying to get in) away. She said also that pigs are very clever animals; they grow very tame to those who are kind to them, and we saw that she was, for, when we went on, the pigs trotted after us; even the little piggie in the basket came out and followed her, grunting as it walked, till we came to the gate, when Amy drove them back. Now we saw nine fowlr,
for they have a good run on the farm, and Amy pointed to her own pet hen with great pride. We gave her some barley, and threw some to the black hen and her chicks. The boys had disappeared; but our
Cousin Tom came back and leaned over the pales, and asked Amy to bring me to see his pigeons. She promised that she would when we had beer across the other meadow. But here we stayed some time, for I could not leave the buttercups without gathering a great bunch of them. Amy said that the land was good when buttexups grew on it; but that it did not make the butter yellow, for the cows do not eat them. The birds were singing so sweetly in the trees that I was sorry to leave the meadow even after I had gathered as many buttercups as I could hold in" my hand.
We found Tom near the dovecot, and soon we saw the
beautiful pigeons. There was one, on the shaded green feathers. of which the sun shone brightly; and there was a white pouter; but I did not think he was as pretty as the more common pigeons, he looked half-choked. And there was a fan-tail or two also. They were all thought to be very fine birds, but I like the ordinary pigeon best of all, Tom was very proud of them, and they perched on his shoulder, and fed from his hand. There are a great many pigeons besides Tom's, and they are so tame they flutter round us without any fear. Amy said that she would ask her mother to give me a-pair to take to London with me; I shall love to "XjT
The cows are also very fine on the
farm, and give us a great deal of ~7 ^l^lllll milk and cream and delicious butter.
We love to see them standing in the
pond, or in the deep grass on its banks. ^SPil/'
Sometimes a crow will perch on a cow's ^ '/ back for ever so long, and seem to peck it, but Amy says it is only taking insects off the cow's skin, and that she is glad it does. The "moo! moo!" they say is a pleasant sound on the warm summer air. But there is one field we must not go through, Amy said, because the bull feeds there, and he is very fierce and savage. He can toss a man up with his horns, and kill him, for he is very brave, and afraid of nothing; and in some countries they are so cruel as to amuse themselves by making the bull fight with men on horseback; once upon a time the people in England used to bait bulls with. dogs, but now it is not allowed. He hates the colour red, and will attack anyone who goes near him with anything red on. He is a grand
looking beast. There are some goats on the farm; the milk of the goat is good, and the kid's flesh is very nice, and very much like lamb, but we do not eat it in England. The kids are merry little thing;, and they are very tame. But on the mountains of Wales they are wild, and they leap and run very swiftly on the edge even of precipices, that is, great deep hollows in hills, and never fall off. One of the goats has made a great friend of one of Uncle's horses that used to be in the same meadow, and will keep by his side all day. Now we have ^-^ ^ >^i/'
told you all about Uncle's farm, and trust you have a holiday as f f J |N -,>.'''.
nice as we
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red [riding hood. puss in boots. holidays at the farm.
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