Zbe Hutobiograpbi of a BSirb
VIRGINIA SHARPE PATTERSON
" The Girl of the Teriod," "All on Account of a
'Bonnet," The Wonderland Children," etc.
imtttb introduction bp
HON. JOHN F. LACEY, M.C.
ELIZABETH M. HALLOWELL
2. 3. 1RowlanDb-1420 Cbeetnut Street
Copyright 1899 by the
AMERICAN BAPTIST PUBLICATION SOCIETY
from the Societg's own press
my dear children
%aura, Utrgte, anb 1Robert Georee
this little Volume is
Last night Alicia wore a Tuscan bonnet
LAnd many humming birds were fastened on it.
Caught in a net of delicate creamy crepe
The dainty captives lay there dead together;
3Co dart of slender bill, no fragile shape
Fluttering, no stir of radiant feather;
,Alicia looked so calm, I wondered whether
She cared if birds were killed to trim her bonnet.
Her hand fell lightly on my hana;
,And I fancied that a stain of death
Like that which doomed the Lady of Macbeth
Was on her hand.
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 tour-
ists, who look on with pleasure and wonder
at such a scene.
"The child is father of the man," and
this volume is addressed to the heart and
imagination of every child reader. If chil-
dren are taught to love and protect the
birds they will remember the lesson when
they grow old. When children learn to
prefer to take a "snap-shot" at a bird
with a camera, rather than with a gun,
they will protect these feathered friends
for their beauty, even if they do not regard
them for their usefulness.
Nature has supplied a system of balances
if left to itself. Some forms of insect life
are so prolific that but for the voracity and
industry of the birds the world would be-
come almost uninhabitable.
Bird life appeals to the eye for its beauty,
to the ear for its music, and to the interest
of man for its utility. Shooting-clubs have
foreseen the extermination that awaits
many of the finest of the game birds, and
are taking much pains to enforce the laws
enacted for game protection. A selfish
interest thus is called into activity, and one
class of birds is receiving protection through
the aid of its own enemies.
But the birds of beautiful plumage are
now threatened with extinction by the de-
sire of womankind for personal decoration.
Against this destruction Audubon societies
are organizing a crusade, and Mrs. Patter-
son's principal purpose in this book is to
direct attention to the wholesale slaughter
of the birds of plumage and song.
The Princess of Wales was requested to
write in an album her various peculiarities.
Among the inquiries was: What is your
greatest weakness ?" She answered:
When Napoleon was banished to Elba
it is stated that the fallen monarch was fol-
lowed by Josephine's old millinery bills.
How many of these bills were for the
plumage of slaughtered birds the historian
does not say. But the passion for the
beautiful is very strong in the tender hearts
of women, and an earnest appeal to the
natural gentleness of the sex must be made
to enlist them in the defense of the birds.
Mrs. Patterson enters upon this task
with enthusiasm, and many a bird will live
to flutter through the trees or glisten in the
sunshine and gladden the earth with its
beauty that but for this little book would
have perched for a brief season upon the
headgear of some lovely woman.
Let the good work go on until the mum-
my of a dead bird will be recognized by
all persons as an unfitting decoration for
the head of womankind.
JOHN F. LACEY.
I. THE ORCHARD . . .... .. I
II. DICKEY DOWNY'S MEDITATIONS 21
III. THE RULER WITH THE IRON HAND 27
IV. DICKEY'S COUSINS . .... .. 43
V. "DON'T, JOHNNY" . . .48
VI. THE PARROT AT A PARTY ..... 63
VII. A WINTER IN THE SOUTH . .. 82
VIII. THE PRISON . . .. 103
IX. THE HUNTERS . . .. I8
X. A NEW HOME ............ 126
XI. THE ILL-MANNERED CHILD. ... 141
XII. TWO SLAVES OF FASHION . .. 151
XIII. DICKEY'S VISIT . . .. 157
XIV. THE COUNTRY SCHOOL . .. 170
XV. POLLY'S FAREWELL . .. 18
The Indigo 'Bird .......... 16
The Scarlet Tanager ....... 64
The 'Baltimore Oriole . .. 144
The Bobolink. . . 160
Bobolink, that in the meadow
Or beneath the orchard's shadow
Keepest up a constant rattle,
Joyous as my children's prattle,
Welcome to the North again.
Y native home
was in a pleas-
not far from a
Deep wood, at
I some distance from the high-
way. From this it was sep-
arated by plowed fields and
a winding country lane, carpeted with grass
and fringed with daisies.
While it was yet dawn, long before the
glint of the sun found its way through the
foliage, the air was musical with the twit-
tering of our feathered colony.
It is true our noisy neighbors, the blue-
jays, sometimes disturbed my mother by
their hoarse chattering when she was weary
of wing and wanted a quiet hour to medi-
tate, but they disturbed us younger ones
very little. My mother did not think they
were ever still a minute. Constantly hop-
ping back and forth, first on one bough,
then on another, flirting downbetweentimes
to pick up a cricket or a bug, they were
indeed, a most fidgetty set. Their rest-
lessness extended even to their handsome
top-knots, which they jerked up and down
like a questioning eyebrow. They were
beautiful to look at had they only possessed
a little of the dignity and composure of our
family. But as I said, we little ones did
not trouble ourselves about them.
The air was so pleasant, our nest so cozy,
and our parents provided us such a plenti-
ful diet of nice worms and bugs, that like
other thoughtless babies who have nothing
to do but eat, sleep, and grow, we had no
interest in things outside and did not dream
there was such a thing as vexation or sor-
row or crime in this beautiful world. When
our parents were off gathering our food,
we seldom felt lonely, for we nestled snugly
and kept each other company by telling
what we would do when we should be
strong enough to fly.
At this stage of our existence we were
as ungainly a lot of children as could well
be imagined. To look at our long, scrawny
necks and big heads so disproportioned to
the size of our bodies, which were scantily
covered with a fuzzy down that scarcely
concealed our nakedness, who would have
thought that in time we would develop into
such handsome birds as the bobolink family
is universally considered to be ?
Our mother, who was both very proud
and very fond of us, was untiring in her
watchful care. No human mother bend-
ing over the nursery bed soothing her lit-
tle one to rest, showed more devotion than
did she, as she hovered near the tiny cradle
of coarse grass and leaves woven by her
own cunning skill-alert and sleepless
when danger was near and enfolding us
with her warm, soft wings. Thus tenderly
cared for we passed the early sunny days
After we could fly we often visited a
fragrant orchard that sent its odors across
the grain fields. From its green shade we
made short excursions to the rich, black
soil in search of some choice tid-bit of a
worm turned up by the plow expressly for
our dessert. We were indeed glad to be
of use to the farmer by devouring these
pests so destructive to his crops, but did
not limit our labors to these places; we also
made it our business to pick off the bugs
and slugs that infested the fruit trees, and
often extended our efforts to the tender
young grape leaves in the arbor and the
rose bushes and shrubs in the flower garden.
On a warm morning after a rain was
our favorite time for work, and it was
pleasant to hear the tap-tap-tapping of our
neighbor the woodpecker, as he located
with his busy little bill the bugs in the tree
limb. It was like the hammer of an indus-
trious blacksmith breaking on the still air.
His jaunty red cap and broad white
shoulder cape made of him a very pretty
object as he worked away blithely and
cheerily at his useful task. While the rest
of us did not make so much noise at our
work, we were equally diligent in picking
off the larvae and borers that ruined the
trees, and on a full crop we enjoyed the
consciousness of having aided mankind.
On several occasions I had seen our
enemy, the cat, slinking stealthily on his
padded feet from the direction of the great
brick house which stood on the edge of the
orchard. Crouched in a furrow he would
gaze upward at us so steadily and for so
long a time without so much as a wink or
a blink of his green eyes, that it seemed
he must injure its muscles. Aside from
the many frights he gave us it is sad to re-
late that he succeeded before many days
in getting away with one of our number.
One morning he crept softly up to a young
robin which had flown down in the grass,
but had not sufficient power to rise quickly,
and before the unsuspecting little creature
realized its danger, the cat arched his back,
gave a spring, and seized it. A moment
later he softly trotted out of the orchard
with the poor bird in his mouth and doubt-
less made a dainty dinner in the barn off
our unfortunate comrade. This incident
cast a deep gloom over us, and our songs
for many days held a mournful note.
But while cats were unwelcome visitors
from the great brick house, we sometimes
had others whom we were always glad to
see. The two young ladies of the family,
together with their mother and little niece,
occasionally came out for a saunter under
the trees, and it was very delightful to lis-
ten to their merry chat. So affectionate
toward each other, so gentle and withal so
bright and lively, they seemed to bring a
streak of sunshine with them whenever
they came. Miss Dorothy, who was tall
and stately, seldom sat on the grassy tufts
which rose like little footstools at the base
of each tree, but rambled about while talk-
ing. This was perhaps because she dis-
liked to rumple her beautifully starched
skirts. But Miss Katie-impetuous, dim-
THE INDIGO BIRD
ple-cheeked Katie, would fling herself down
anywhere regardless of edged ruffles or
floating sash ribbons.
For it is clean dirt," she laughingly
said, when Miss Dorothy playfully scolded
her for it. "This kind of dirt is health-
ful, and it isn't going to hurt me if a few
dusty twigs or a bit of dried grass or weeds
should cling to my gown. You must re-
member, Sister Dorothy, there are differ-
ent kinds of dirt. I haven't any respect
for grease spots or for clothes soiled from
wearing them too long. I don't like that
kind of dirt, but to get close to dear old
mother earth, and have a scent of her
fresh soil once in a while is what I enjoy.
It is delightful. I like nature too well to
stand on ceremony with her."
"You like butterflies too, don't you,
aunty? asked little Marian.
"To be sure I do, dear. I love all the
pretty things that fly."
"And the birdies too?" asked the
Yes, indeed; I love the birds the best
And the old cat was awful naughty
when he caught the baby robin the other
day and ate it up. Wasn't he, aunty? "
Yes. Tom is a cruel, bad, bad cat,"
responded Miss Katie, as she squeezed
Marian's little pink hand between her own
palms. That naughty puss gets plenty
to eat in the house and there are lots of
nice fat mice in th& barn, and yet he slips
slyly out to the orchard and takes the life
of a poor, innocent little bird."
And it made the mamma-bird cry
because her little one was dead," added
Miss Dorothy, who had drawn near.
Little Marian heaved a deep sigh and
her rosy lips trembled suspiciously. Poor
mamma-bird! It can never have its baby
bird any more," she said, with a sob of
sympathy. Don't you feel sorry for it,
Aunt Dorothy? "
Yes, dear. I feel very sorry for it."
"And I expect the poor mamma-bird
cries and cries and weeps and grieves when
she comes home to supper and finds out
her little children are gone forever and
ever. And with her bright eyes dimmed
with tears of pity, Marian, clasping a hand
of each of the young ladies, walked slowly
to the house still bewailing the fate of the
My heart warmed toward these sweet
young girls for their tender sympathy. I
almost wished I were a carrier pigeon, that
I might devote myself hereafter to their
service by bearing loving messages from
them to their friends.
But, alas I was to have a rude awaken-
ing from this pleasant thought. As we
flew that evening to our roosting-place, I
observed to my mother that if there were
no cats in the world what a delightful time
we birds might have.
You have a greater enemy than the
cat," she responded sadly. It is true
the cat is cruel and tries to kill us, but it
knows no better."
If not the cat, what enemy is it? I
asked in surprise. I thought the cat was
the most bloodthirsty foe the birds had."
My mother dipped her wings more slowly
and poised her body gracefully a moment.
Then she said impressively, Our greatest
enemy is man. No," suddenly correct-
ing herself, "not man, but women,
women and children."
"Women and dear little children our
enemies?" said I, in astonishment. "The
pretty ladies who speak so sweet and kind !
The pretty ladies who gather roses in the
garden! Would they deprive us of life?'
My mother nodded.
"Yes," she answered, "the pretty
ladies, the wicked ladies."
DICKEY DOWNY'S MEDITATION
It hath the excuse of youth.
HAT night I pon-
dered long upon
what my mother had
if told me. Ever since
.,i I left my shell I had
been taught to re-
spect my elders, and that it was a mark of
ill manners and bad breeding for children
to question the superior knowledge of those
much older than themselves. Notwith-
standing this, in my secret heart I could
not help thinking that my mother was mis-
taken in her estimate of women when she
called them wicked. She had surely mis-
judged them. However, I took good care
not to mention these doubts to her.
I had heard from my grandmother, who
had traveled a great deal from the tropics
to the North and back again, that women
were the leaders in the churches and were
foremost in all Christian and philanthropic
work; that they provided beautiful homes
for orphan children, where they took care
of them and nursed them when they were
sick. She told me about the hospitals
where diseased and aged people were
kindly cared for by them. She said they
were active in the societies for the preven-
tion of cruelty to children and to animals.
They fed armies of tramps out of sheer
pity; even the debauched drunkard was
the object of their tenderest care and their
earnest prayers. They held out a friendly
hand to the prisoners in the jails and sent
them flowers and Bibles; they pitied and
cheered the outcast with kind words. They
offered themselves as missionaries for for-
eign lands to convert the heathen and bring
3ichep Vown'npgo MIfbitatton
them to Christ. They soothed the sick and
made easy the last days of the dying.
On the battlefield, when blood was flow-
ing and cannon smoking, my grandmother
had seen the Red Cross women like angels
of mercy binding up the gaping wounds
and gently closing the glazed eyes of the
expiring soldier. In woman's ear was
poured his last message to his loved ones
far away, and when death was near it was
woman who spoke the words of consola-
tion and her finger that pointed hopefully
to the stars.
Did not all this prove her to be sweet
and tender and loving and gentle and kind?
Yes-a thousand times yes.
My grandmother once had her nest near
a cemetery, and often related pathetic in-
cidents which had come under her obser-
vation at that time. One in particular I
now recalled. It was of a woman who
came every day to weep over the mound
where her babe was buried. She was
worn to a shadow from her long watching
through its illness, and when it was taken
from her, her grief was deep. The bright
world was no longer bright since she was
bereft of her darling, and her moans for
the lost loved one were heartrending.
This incident was only yet another in-
stance of the tenderness of woman's na-
ture, and I could not reconcile it with what
my mother had told me.
No, no," I repeated as I cuddled my
head under my wing, never can I believe
that woman, tender-hearted woman, who is
all love and mercy, all gentleness and pity,
never can I believe she is our enemy."
And resolving to ask my mother to more
fully explain her unjust assertion I fell
But a source of fresh anxiety arose
which for a time caused me to forget the
The lindens which fringed the wood
were now in full leafage, adorned with
their delicate ball-like tassels, and hosts of
birds flitted among them daily. Many of
them were of the kind frequently known as
indigo birds, smaller than the ordinary
bluebird. In color they were of the me-
tallic cast of blue which has a sheen dis-
Dicherl Downpo'e Mllebftatfon
tinct from the rich shade seen on the jay's
wings or the brilliance of the bluebird.
Flashing in and out among the hanging
blossoms their beautiful blue coats made
them an easy target for the boys who at-
tended the neighborhood country school.
To bring down a sweet songster with a
shower of stones, panting and bleeding to
the ground, they thought was the best sport
in the world, and the woods rang and
echoed with their whoops and cheers as
each poor bird fell to the earth. A mere
glimpse of one of the blue beauties as he
hid among the leaves seemed to fire these
cruel children with a wish to kill it.
One half-grown boy, who went by the
name of Big Bill, was noticeable for his
brutality. He encouraged the others in
cruelties which they might not have thought
of, for such is the force of evil example and
companionship. A distinguishing mark
was a large scar on his cheek, probably
inflicted by some enraged animal while
being tortured by him. I always felt sure
Big Bill would come to some bad end.
My mother said that a cruel childhood was
often a training school for the gallows, and
the boy who killed defenseless birds and
bugs deadened his sensibilities and de-
stroyed his moral nature so that it was easy
to commit greater crimes.
So dreadful became the persecutions of
the schoolboys that the indigo birds finally
held a council and determined to leave that
part of the country and settle far from the
habitations of men, where they might live
unmolested and free from persecutions.
THE RULER WITH THE IRON HAND
But evil is wrought by want of thought
As well as want of heart.
NE morning as
we flew across
Slay between the wood
and the wheat fields,
we noticed two gen-
tlemen in the orchard
ri.. iwho were carefully
'" ::' examining the trees,
peering curiously into the cracks of the
rough bark or unfolding the curled leaves.
As we came nearer we discovered that
one of them was the owner of the place,
the father of Miss Dorothy and Miss Katie.
The other was a thin gentleman in spec-
tacles, who held a magnifying glass through
which he intently looked at a twig which
he had broken off.
After a few minutes' inspection he said:
"Colonel, your orchard is somewhat af-
fected. This is a specimen of the chion-
"Is it anything like the scurfy-bark
louse ? inquired the colonel.
"The same thing exactly. It occurs
more commonly in the apple, but it in-
fects the pear and peach trees. You will
find it on the mountain ash, and sometimes
on the currant bushes," he answered.
The colonel asked him if he would rec-
ommend spraying to get rid of the pests,
and was advised to begin immediately,
using tobacco water or whale-oil soap.
"By the way," said the colonel, "there
is a beetle attacking my shade trees. They
are ruining that fine row of elms in front of
Ube IRuler wttb tbe Iron 14ano
It is undoubtedly the melolon/ia vul-
garis," said the professor. I designate
him in this way because he used such large
words we did not understand. My mother
told us that she was positive he was pres-
ident of a college. "The melolontha vul-
garis is the most destructive of beetles, but
the larvae are still more injurious. They do
incalculable damage to the farmer. For-
tunately enormous numbers of these grubs
are eaten by the birds."
Unfortunately the birds are not so nu-
merous as they used to be. They are being
destroyed so rapidly, more's the pity!
These grounds and woods yonder were
formerly alive with birds of all kinds.
Flocks of the purple grakle used to follow
the plow and eat up the worms at a great
rate. You are familiar with their habits ?
You know they are most devoted parents.
I have often watched them feeding their
young. The little ones have such aston-
ishingly good appetites that it keeps the
old folks busy to supply them with enough
to eat. They work like beavers as long as
daylight lasts, going to and from the fields
carrying on each return trip a fat grub or a
I am a great lover of birds," returned
the professor enthusiastically, and I find
them very interesting subjects of study.
By the way, I was reading the other day a
little incident connected with one of Amer-
ica's great men which impressed me
deeply. The story goes that he was one
day walking in company with some noted
statesmen, busily engaged in conversation.
But he was not too much occupied to notice
that a young bird had fallen from its nest
near the path where they were walking.
He stopped short and crossing over to
where the bird was lying, tenderly picked
it up and put it back into its nest. There
was a gentleman of a noble nature! No
wonder that man was a leader and a lib-
"Who was he?"
"The grand, the great Abraham Lin-
coln," responded the professor impres-
Well, he'd be the very one to do just
such a kind deed as that," was the colonel's
Ube VRuler witb tbe Iron 1Mano
hearty response. No man ever lived
who had a bigger, more merciful heart
than 'Honest Abe.' "
For myself I did not know who Abra-
ham Lincoln was. I had never heard the
name before, but I was quite sure from the
proud tone of the professor's voice that he
was a distinguished man, as I was equally
sure from the story of his pity for the help-
less bird, that he was a good man.
You mentioned the industry of the
grakle a moment ago," resumed the pro-
fessor. Do you know that the redwing
is equally as useful, and besides he is a de-
lightful singer ?
The redwing flutes his o-ka-lee.
Do you remember that line, colonel ?"
and the professor softly whistled a strain
in imitation of a bird's note. The serv-
ices of our little brothers of the air are ex-
ceedingly valuable to the horticulturist.
And think of the damage done to arbori-
culture by the woodborers alone were it
not for the help given by the birds. Did
you ever notice those borers at work,
colonel ? Some writer has well described
them as animated gimlets. They just stick
their pointed heads into the bark and turn
their bodies around and around and out
pours a little stream of sawdust. The
birds would pick off such pests fast enough
if people would only give them a chance
and not scare them off with shotguns."
Yes, the birds earn their way, there is
no denying it, and he is a very stupid
farmer who begrudges them the little corn
and wheat they take from the fields. The
account is more than balanced by the good
they do." Then the conversation ceased,
for the colonel and his friend moved off to
inspect the quince bushes.
Pleased by the praises they had bestowed
on us for our efforts in cleaning the fruit
trees and cornfields of injurious insects, I
went to work with new vigor to get out
some bugs for my luncheon, and was thus
pleasantly employed when a sharp twitter
from my mother attracted my attention.
"Look, children!" she exclaimed.
Here come our young ladies with some
company from the city. Be careful to
Zbe 1Ruter witb tbe Iron 14anD
notice what they have on their heads and
then tell me what you think of our sweet,
One of my brothers was swaying lightly
on a little swing below me. I flew down
hastily and placed myself on the next
bough, where I could also get a good view
of the ladies as they strolled toward us.
They were in a very merry mood and each
one seemed striving to say something more
amusing than her companions. Miss Dor-
othy led the way, her arm linked in that
of one of the stranger guests. Then fol-
lowed the others with Miss Katie and Ma-
rian hand in hand in the rear. They were
all very handsomely dressed, and having
just returned from a drive had not yet re-
moved their hats.
As they came under the tree where we
were perched, which was a favorite spot
with Miss Katie, they halted for some time
and consequently I had an excellent op-
portunity to look, as my mother had bid-
And what did I see ?
I saw six ladies' hats trimmed with dead
birds. Fastened on sidewise, head down-
ward, on one was a magnificent scarlet
tanager, his body half concealed by folds
of tulle, his fixed eye staring into vacancy.
On another was the head and breast of
a beautiful yellow-hammer ; it was sur-
mounted by the tall sweeping plumes of
the egret, which this bird produces only at
breeding time. Oh, how much joy and
beauty the world had lost by that cruel
deed! A third hat had two song sparrows
imprisoned in meshes of star-studded lace.
Their blithesome carol had been rudely si-
lenced, their cheer to the world cut short,
simply that they might be used for hat
trimming. Of the remaining ones some
were as yet unknown to me, but my mother,
who had an extensive acquaintance with
foreign birds, said that in that strange mur-
derous mixture of millinery, far-away Aus-
tralia had furnished the filmy feathers of the
lyre bird which swept upward from a knot
of ribbons, and that the forests of Germany
had contributed the pretty green linnet.
Dove's wings and the rosy breast of the
grosbeak completed the barbarous display.
Cbe 1Ruler witb tbe Iton I4ano
How my heart sickened as I gazed at
these pleasant, refined, soft-voiced women
flaunting the trophies of their cruelty in the
Had they no compassion for the feath-
ered mother who had been robbed of her
young for the sake of a hat ?
Oh, how can they do such dreadful,
such wicked things!" I moaned. My
mother heard my lament and signaled for
us to come up where she was perching.
You see now who are our worst en-
emies," said she. "The cat preys on us
to satisfy his bodily hunger, but women
have no such excuse. We are not slaugh-
tered to sustain their lives but to minister
to their vanity. For years the women of
Christian lands have waged their unholy
war against us. We have been driven
from our old haunts and forced to seek
new places. We have been shot down by
thousands every season until now many
species are destroyed from the face of the
earth. There is no security for us in any
place. The hunter with his gun penetrates
into the deepest forests, he perils his life
in scaling the most dangerous cliffs, he
wades through bog and marsh and mud
and tracks us to our feeding grounds to
surprise us with the deadly shot, and kills
the mother hovering over the nest of her
helpless offspring with as little compunc-
tion as if she were a poisonous reptile in-
stead of a melodious joy-giver. And all
this horrible slaughter is for women."
I grew feverish with excitement at this
terrible arraignment of the gentler sex."
" But why are they so cruel ? Why do
they do this wicked thing ?" I asked.
"For the sake of Fashion," said my
Fashion, what is that ?"
My mother was very patient with me, so
when I asked questions she did not put me
off by telling me she didn't know, or advise
me to fly away and play, or tell me she was
busy and couldn't be bothered just then,
therefore she now took pains to make me
You ask me what is Fashion," she
began. "Well, Fashion is an exacting
ruler, a great, tyrannical god who has
Ube 1Ruler witb tbe Ilron SHanb
many, many worshipers, and these he rules
with an iron hand. His followers cannot
be induced to do anything contrary to his
wishes. He sits on a high throne from
which he dictates to his slaves what they
must do. Often they do the most out-
rageous things, not because they like to,
but because he demands it. He is con-
stantly laying down new laws for their
guidance, and some of these laws are so
unreasonable and absurd that a part of
his followers frequently threaten to rebel.
They do not hold out against him long, for
he manages to make it quite unpleasant
for those who disobey him or refuse to
come under his yoke."
Has he any men slaves ?" asked my
Yes, he has some slaves among men,
but the larger number of those who wear
his most galling fetters are women. If he
but crooks his little finger these bond-
women rush pell-mell in the direction he
points. They are thus keen to do his bid-
ding, because each woman who is the first
to carry out his rules in her own particular
town or neighborhood acquires great dis-
tinction in the eyes of the other wor-
"His slaves are nearly always rich
women, aren't they ?" asked my brother.
"By no means. Many of them are
poor working women who have to labor
hard for a living. But they will rob them-
selves of necessities and needed rest to get
the means to follow his demands. Often
it takes them a long time to do this, and
perhaps just as they have accomplished the
weary task he suddenly proclaims a new
law, and all this toiling and drudging and
stinting must begin over again. In this
way the unhappy creatures have never a
breathing spell. It is utterly impossible
for them to conform to the new law when
it is first proclaimed by the god, and so
they are always struggling to keep up.
Their chains are never lifted or lightened
If the chain is so heavy why don't
they break it ?" I asked impatiently.
Because they are afraid," she replied.
"Afraid of the god ?"
Ube TRuler witb tbe Iron lHan&
No, no, child, they are afraid of each
other. They are afraid the richer slaves,
who are able to comply with the demands
will laugh at them and ridicule them, and
that is why they strain every nerve to fol-
low the god's wishes. A slave, whether
she is rich or poor, grows more cringing
year by year, until at last she loses all her
individuality, and becomes a mere echo of
"What about the slaves who rebel at
first and afterward yield ?"
Oh, they denounce the god very se-
verely when he lays down some new law
they don't happen to like, but as all the
other slaves are obediently complying with
it they dislike to be set off by themselves
as different, and so they reluctantly give
in after a time. Sometimes they try to
compromise with the god by going half-
I inquired what the other slaves thought
They mildly tolerate them," said she.
" Sometimes they look askance at them
when they meet, and try to show their su-
priority as being obedient, full-blooded,
genuine slaves, while the others are only
lukewarm servants of the monarch! "
I wondered how the slaves regarded the
woman who was independent and wouldn't
worship the god.
My mother twittered softly at my ques-
tion, and I knew she was smiling to her-
self. "Why," said she, "they call that
kind of a woman a crank-whatever that
It was very evident that this god Fashion
was a cruel tyrant, and it was clearly
through his influence that we were killed,
and I so told my mother. She looked
very sorrowful as she replied:
"Yes, the women do not hate us. They
do not dislike to hear our pretty songs;
they have no revenge to gratify; but the
god orders them to have us killed, and they
do it. He tells them that to wear our poor
mutilated dead bodies will add to their ap-
pearance, and so we are sacrificed on the
altar of their vanity and silly pride. As
members of humane societies women have
denounced the docking of horses' tails as
Cbe 1Ruler witb tbe Iron Wtan&
cruel, but from what I know of woman's
indifference to the sufferings of the inno-
cent birds, I venture to assert that were
Fashion to say that she should trim her
cloak with horse tails there would not be
left an undocked horse in the country."
I knew my mother was very excited or
she would never have been so vehement.
"Just hear how those birds twitter,"
remarked one of the ladies, looking up
into our tree. One would think they
were holding an indignation meeting over
Yes, the dear little things; I love to
hear them chirp," commented Miss Katie,
turning a sweet glance toward us, and then
the party moved to go and we saw the six
hats loaded with their mournful freigh' file
off to the house. We followed the retreat-
ing hats with sad eyes till they were lost to
My brother broke the silence by asking,
"Are there any Christian women who
wear birds, and are among the god's wor-
My mother's manner grew very grave
and solemn. "That is not for me to
say," she replied. They know whether
they are guiltless of our wholesale slaugh-
ter, and they know too, how the gentle,
merciful Christ regarded us when he de-
clared that 'not a sparrow is forgotten be-
Another of my airy creatures breathes such sweet
music out of her little instrumental throat that it
might make mankind to think that miracles are not
ceased. We might well be lifted up above the earth
and say, Lord, what music hast
thou provided for the saints in
,k when thou
such music on
earth ?--I iaak Walton.
HE fine pasture
adjoining was a
popular resort for
birds that often
visited it as a playground.
They were said to be relatives
of ours, but I do not think
they were closer than sev-
enth or eighth cousins, which
is so distant that it doesn't count-espe-
cially if one doesn't want it to.
All I know is that their family name was
the same as ours, Icteridce, and means
something or other, I forget what. It was
a good honorable name, however, and our
branch was as proud of our ancestry as
any Daughter of the American Revolution
could possibly be.
There were some tall weeds growing
along the margin of a little stream in the
pasture which.produced quantities of de-
licious seeds, and to these we often re-
paired when we wanted a choice breakfast,
as well as to watch the playful pastimes of
these queer bipeds.
What would you think of a bird taking
a bareback ride on a cow ? They were
extremely fond of settling themselves on
the cattle which browsed in the field and
presented a truly comical picture as they
complacently gathered in little groups on
the backs of those huge animals. Moving
slowly along munching the dewy grass,
first on one side, then on the other, the
cows did not seem particularly to mind
their saucy bareback riders. Occasionally
they would toss their heads backward,
when up all the birds would fly into the air
only to descend again as soon as the cattle
As I said, they were very handsome. At
a short distance they looked to be clothed in
black, but the breast and neck were really
a very rich brown, with the rest of the body
like jet and as lustrous as satin. They
were not general favorites with the other
birds on account of some' dishonorable
tricks which they did on the sly. For in-
stance, they never troubled themselves to
make nests, but watched their chance to
sneak in and lay their eggs, only one in a
place, in the nests of other birds. For
some reason their eggs always hatch a
little sooner than the eggs rightfully be-
longing there, consequently the foster-pa-
rents, not knowing of the deception, are
quite delighted with the first little one that
comes out of the shell, and immediately fly
off to get food for it. This is very unfor-
tunate, for during their absence their own
eggs get cold and will not hatch. After a
time the old birds grow disgusted and
tumble the poor eggs all out of the nest
and bestow their whole attention to the
juvenile cowbird, entirely ignorant of the
fact that they are the victims of a "put-up
Once when we were dining in the pasture
we found out the cause of the booming
noise we had often heard sounding through
the woods. Two men, each carrying in
his hand a long club, shaped large at one
end, appeared in the meadow and began
looking among the long grasses which
sheltered the nests of some meadow larks.
A number of the larks were on the wing,
others sat on the rail fence rolling out ca-
denzas in concert in a gush of melody
from their downy throats. The men moved
cautiously nearer under cover of the weeds.
Raising their long clubs to their shoulders
they gazed along their narrow points a
moment. Without exactly knowing why,
we took alarm, and larks, bobolinks, and
cowbirds sped upward like the wind. At
the same instant something bright shim-
mered in the sunlight, and with it a horrid
burst of noise and a puff of smoke. We
did not all get away, for some of the beau-
tiful larks fell to the ground pierced by the
sportsman's deadly hail.
Again and again, all through that long,
sad day we heard the ominous booming
crash, and knew the savage work of killing
was going on.
Among our acquaintances was a lame
redbird who at one time had been trapped
and made a prisoner, confined behind the
bars of a wire cell for many weeks and
months. Luckily he made his escape one
day when his grated door was accidentally
opened, and he speedily made his way
back to his dearly loved forest.
During the period of his imprisonment
in the city he had picked up a great deal
of information regarding the bird trade,
and some of the facts recited by him of
the terrible cruelties perpetrated and the
carnage which had been going on for years,
almost caused our feathers to stand upright
in horror as we listened.
Farewell happy fields, where joy forever dwells.
VERY pleasant, so-
ciable fellow was this
redbird, and often
when on hot after-
noons we were hiding in the treetops from
the rays of the sun he told us stories and
anecdotes about the people he had seen
while he lived in the city.
He and his brother had been caught in
a trap in the woods set by a farmer's boy.
One cold spring morning when the boy
came to look at his trap he was overjoyed
to find he had snared two redbirds, and
forthwith carried them to the village near-
by and sold them to the grocer for five
cents apiece, which sum he said he was
going to invest in a rubber ball.
As he put the dime into his coat pocket
he tcld the man that one of the birds was
named Admiral Dewey and the other
Napoleon Bonaparte. The groceryman
agreed that these names were good enough
names for anybody, but he thought he'd
change Bonaparte's name to Teddy Roose-
velt, as being easier to pronounce, and the
two birds were accordingly given these
titles then and there. Not having any
cage at hand to put them in, the man
thought that for a few days the new-comers
could share the quarters of an old sparrow
he had in the rear end of the store until
an extra cage could be procured.
But alas for Teddy Roosevelt! The
very first night he was ignominiously
whipped by the spiteful occupant of the
cage, who resented having these country
2hicfep s ownp
visitors thrust into his house without his
leave. Poor Teddy died the next day.
Admiral Dewey stood the battle better
than his unfortunate friend, but he too was
pecked at in a way so threatening that the
groceryman concluded it would be wise to
get rid of him immediately. Because the
admiral had not defended himself better
from his pet's attack, the grocer regarded
him with some disgust.
Being as there was two of you and
only one of the sparrow, 'pears as if you
hadn't much grit," he said. "I would
better take your high-soundin' name away
from you and call you something else be-
sides Dewey, if you can't fight."
For all the man's censure, the redbird
knew that if Teddy Roosevelt had killed
the sparrow instead of being killed by it,
the grocer would have been much more
grieved at the loss, for he had heard him
say the sparrow was like one of his family.
The man forgot that the result might have
been different if the redbirds had been
Having decided to dispose of the admi-
ral, the grocer, who had an errand in the
city the next day, carried the bird with
him. He knew of a probable customer
for it in a gentleman named Morris, who
had been advertising in the papers for a
redbird. He soon found the street and
number where was located the gentleman's
office, at which the advertisement was to
be answered, and displayed the admiral.
Your bird looks kind of ragged, as
though he hadn't been treated well," said
Mr. Morris, as he examined the scarlet
plumage. My boy wants a redbird, and
I promised him one if he would get the
highest grade in arithmetic in his class this
term and he did it, so of course I must
keep my word. What d'ye ask for this
He'd be cheap at five dollars," an-
swered the groceryman. "A nice redbird
is hard to get, and they're powerful nice
singers, but bein' as it's for your boy that
has earned it by studying his lessons so
good-I always like a boy that is fond of
his books-you can have it for two dollars
and a quarter."
As he had paid but five cents for it this
advance in price would be a fine business
speculation. After a little further talk,
Mr. Morris counted out the money, and
the man went back to his home doubtless
wishing he had a hundred more redbirds
to sell at the same handsome profit. After
he had gone, Mr. Morris went to a box
hanging against the wall, and turning a
handle began talking to the box as if it
were a human being. Though it was just
a plain wooden box, the admiral said there
was something mysterious about it, for
Mr. Morris actually seemed to be carrying
on a conversation with it, though the bird
could not hear what the box answered, but
he felt sure it talked back.
Mr. Morris' residence was a fine stone
house with wide porches and sunny bay
windows, over which were trained graceful
creeping vines. A boy of about eleven
years of age and a very pretty lady stood
arm in arm on the broad steps leading up
to the front entrance that evening when
Mr. Morris and the admiral arrived. They
were Johnny Morris and his mother, who
had already learned that Mr. Morris had
bought the bird and would bring it when
he came to dinner. The admiral discov-
ered the next day that Mrs. Morris owned
a box like the one at the office, into which
she talked, and that it was called a tele-
phone. He often mentioned this mysteri-
ous box as one of the most remarkable
things he saw during his stay among men.
Johnny Morris capered and danced and
jumped so hard in the exuberance of his
joy at receiving the redbird that all the way
to the sitting room his mother was coaxing
him to be quiet.
"Don't act so foolishly," she begged;
but he only capered and kicked up his
heels still harder. When the cage was
placed on a stand in the bay window he
pranced around it, whistled and chirped,
threw the bottom of the cage floor full of
seed and splashed the water about so reck-
lessly in his attempts to be friendly as
nearly to frighten the poor admiral to
"Now, Johnny, don't," pleaded his
"Johnny, don't do that," commanded
his father every few minutes.
It was a constant Don't, Johnny, do
this and "Don't, Johnny, do that," until,
the admiral said, the conversation was so
mixed up with Don't-Johnny's as made
it almost unintelligible. Of course these
expostulations made not a bit of impression
on Johnny Morris. To be sure, he might
stop for the moment, but the next second
he was doing something else which brought
a fresh round of Don't-Johnny's" from
He was such a generous, affectionate,
pretty boy, with his rosy cheeks and wavy
yellow hair, it was a great pity that he
should keep a whole household in a state
of constant commotion by his habit of not
promptly minding when he was spoken to.
His father and mother were very indulgent
to him, and the admiral believed he had
every kind of a toy known to the boy
world. He also had a machine to ride on,
which they called a "wheel." On this
he went out occasionally, although Mrs.
Morris declared she never felt at ease a
minute while he was gone, because he
never came back at the hour he promised
he would. Besides this, he had a dear
little pony, named Jock, on whose back he
often cantered about the big park. Fre-
quently from the bay window the admiral
watched him as he mounted Jock and rode
away, while his mother stood on the house
step and called after him as long as he was
in sight: Don't ride in that reckless way,
Johnny; you'll tumble off," or "Don't,
Johnny; the pony will throw you," at
which Johnny would laugh and make the
pony go faster.
Among the boy's other possessions was
a parrot, which the admiral asserted was
the smartest bird in the world. She was a
highly educated parrot, and much time
had been spent on her training, and she
was usually very willing to show off to
company all her various accomplishments.
Occasionally she assumed an air of of-
fended dignity when asked to display her
talents, and no amount of threats or coax-
ing could change her purpose. At such
times she impatiently flapped her wings
and croaked "No, no" in her harshest
Her favorite retreat when her temper
was ruffled was on the back of an arm-
chair, where she would sit with her bill in
the air and her head cocked disdainfully
on one side, pretending not to hear or see
any one. In her affable moods, however,
no one could be more complaisant and
entertaining than Bessie.
Her name was an uncommon one for a
parrot. Strangers usually accosted her as
Polly, at which mistake she was greatly
No, no-not Polly; call me Bessie,"
she would scream, so angrily that it al-
ways made people laugh, which angered
her still more.
Bessie could sing a verse of an old-time
song, at least she thought she could. The
admiral said nothing could have induced
him to sing for company if his voice had
been as harsh and cracked as hers, but he
said it was a fact that everybody seemed
to enjoy her noise more than his music;
that when she took up her position on top
of the piano to sing, they crowded around
and called her nice Bessie," "nice
lady," and praised her, and gave her bits
of sugar, as if she were the finest singer
in the world. The admiral thought they
showed very poor taste, for her music was
simply horrid and couldn't compare with
the warblings of the woods birds. It is
well, however, to make allowance for the
admiral's opinion, for musicians are pro-
verbially jealous of each other.
The song the parrot sang was Listen
to the Mocking Bird," to which Mrs. Mor-
ris played a little gliding accompaniment
on the piano. Great hand-clappings al-
ways followed the performance. These
Bessie accepted with an air of studied in-
difference. But if for the purpose of
teasing her they did not applaud her per-
formance, she shrilly screamed: Bessie's
a good bird, a good bird I tell you,"
raising her voice higher and higher at each
Then she would wait a moment for some
one to assure her that she was indeed a
very good bird, quite the smartest bird
that ever breathed. But if these soothing
assurances were not quickly forthcoming,
she would retire to the back of her favorite
chair and, elevating her bill to show her
disdain, sulk in silence.
Did she like you ? I asked the admi-
ral one day when he was telling us about
her funny tricks.
No, she was a little bit jealous of me;
yet she was not unfriendly, except when
Johnny or some other member of the
family paid me attention. She always
wanted to be the center of attraction her-
self, which showed she was a vain creature.
No matter how silent she had been or how
firmly she might have refused to talk only
the minute before, if Johnny came to my
cage and called, Hello, Admiral! you're
a daisy,' Bessie immediately struck up
such a chattering as would almost deafen
"'Johnny dear, open my cage. I
want to take a walk,' she would say in her
most coaxing manner. If she happened
to be already out of her cage and walking
about the room, she endeavored to get him
"D Don't, aobnnp"
to leave me by saying: 'Here, Johnny,
boy, put me on your finger. Kiss poor
Mrs. Morris used to laugh at these
schemes of the parrot to attract notice,
and said Bessie reminded her of some
people she had met who always wanted to
monopolize the conversation."
"Monopolize?" said I. "That's a
large word. I don't know the meaning of
"Well, I think it means getting the
most of anything and crowding other
people out," replied the admiral; and it
was true in Bessie's case, for she always
wanted the most attention. A gentleman
friend of the Morrises had this habit too.
He had been a general in a war that took
place in the South a good many years ago,
and was often entertained at dinner at the
Morrises'. Though he was a well-informed,
genial man, he was almost rude in making
himself heard, so determined was he that
people should listen to his jokes and
stories, which were generally something
about himself. At a large tableful of
guests, General Peterson's voice was al-
ways heard above that of every one else.
He seemed to compel the rest of the com-
pany to listen. His big voice drowned
the others out. Though Mr. and Mrs.-
Morris liked him very much, when they
were alone they often ridiculed this dis-
Bessie and General Peterson are just
alike,' Mrs. Morris used to say jokingly,
when the parrot pushed herself into notice
by her loud jabbering. Neither of them
can endure to have any one else receive
attention when they are present.'
"'Although Bessie had not a pony to ride
on as Johnny had, she took a great many
jaunts around the parlors on the cat's
back. This cat was a great pet in the
house. A very striking-looking cat he
was too. He was jet black with a flat
face and long white whiskers. Johnny al-
ways said he resembled an old colored
man who used to be their coachman, and
he wondered if they were any relation to
When Bessie was out of her cage the
cat did not often visit the parlor, because
he was afraid of her. He always ap-
peared to be much relieved when she did
not notice him. If she had decided to
take a ride, however, he never was quick
enough to get away from her. With a
shrill laugh of triumph she would fly upon
his back, and holding on by digging her
claws into his fur, around and around the
room they would go, the poor cat feeling
so completely disgraced that he dragged
his body lower and lower at every step,
until his legs could scarcely be seen at all.
"Bessie enjoyed it greatly. She seemed
to take a wicked satisfaction in making
poor Jett ridiculous, and laughed and
chuckled and scolded till the cat looked as
if he were ready to drop from very shame.
Urging him on with, Get up, get up,
you lazy thing,' she refused to be shaken
off till his body was actually dragging on
the floor, a sign of his complete humilia-
tion. As soon as he threw off his unwel-
come burden, Jett always ran away to hide.
With his tail slinking, his ears drooping,
and crawling rather than walking, he was
the most abject-looking, miserable cat in
existence. Bessie meanwhile flirted her-
self saucily and chuckled with the con-
scious air of having done a very smart
THE PARROT AT A PARTY
A parrot there I saw, with gaudy pride
Of painted plumes, that hopped from side to side.
OW did you
W from the
Morrises ? "
heartily, as if
"Well," said he, "it all came about
through Johnny's having a tea party. For
months he had been coaxing and begging
his mother to invite his schoolfellows to
the house and entertain them with games
and plays and music, ending with a fine
supper. Early in the spring when he be-
gan talking of it, it was too cold, his mother
said. Then after a while it was too rainy,
or too warm, or they were house-cleaning,
or something, and so she kept putting him
off from one time to another, hoping by
deferring it to make him forget it. The
Morrises always spent the month of August
at their seaside cottage, and the night be-
fore they left home, Johnny tried to get
Mrs. Morris to promise that he might have
the party the very first thing on their re-
"'I'll think about it, my dear,' she an-
"'Whenever you say you'll think about
it then I'm pretty sure not to .get what I
want,' sighed Johnny.
His mother seemed to be much amused
at this statement. 'Oh, no, my son, it
doesn't always turn out that way; but you
know it wouldn't do for me to promise to
have it just as soon as we get back,' she
objected. I am always very busy just at
THE SCARLET TANAGER
Ube Varrot at a VIartv
our return. It might be very inconvenient
for me to prepare for a children's evening
at that time; but when I am ready I shall
take pleasure in getting up a nice party for
you sometime in the autumn.'
This sounded well, but it was not defi-
nite enough to suit Johnny. However he
said no more at that time. While the
family were gone Bessie and I had the
back porch to ourselves, and no one being
there except the housemaid to whom she
could display her superiority over me, she
grew to be quite agreeable. For some time
before the Morrises had bought her, which
was years and years before, long before
Johnny was born, she had lived in a taxi-
dermist's shop. The owner of the shop
was also a bird dealer in a small way. Onm
account of her accomplishments he hadi
held her at a price that few were willing or-
able to pay, and so she had been forced to
stay with him a long time. She much pre-
ferred being owned by a refined family to
living in a dingy store, for she was a bird
of luxurious tastes, she said.
I too had never ceased being glad
that the grocer had sold me to the Mor-
rises, for I was sure that life would not
have been so comfortable for me in the
back part of a country store, inhaling the
odors from fish barrels and molasses kegs,
and with the dreary outlook afforded by
shelves full of canned vegetables and
cracker boxes. The only point in favor
of a life at the grocery was that I would
have been nearer to the woods; but if I
could not be in the woods, of what avail
was that ? The Morrises were people of
elegance and refinement, and their home
expressed their culture. I had made a
pleasant exchange, and I felt it was wise
to be as contented as possible.
*"August slowly passed, and Johnny
,came back. The big house that had been
:so quiet for four weeks was suddenly wak-
ened as from a sleep. His noisy, joyous
-voice rang through the halls, and from cel-
Jar to garret.
Bless the b'y he's that played to git
back, it does one's sowl good to hear him,'
said the housemaid.
Mrs, Morris was so busy for the first
Cbe parrot at a 1artt
day or two that she saw little of Johnny.
He was sent on several errands, and took
his own time in returning, but every one
had too much to do to inquire what kept
him so long.
Can't I shine up Bessie's and the ad-
miral's cages ?' he asked his mother after
dinner the second day.
Mrs. Morris was delighted with her
son's thoughtfulness. 'Why, Johnny,' she
said, 'I'll be so glad to have you do it.'
So master Johnny wiped and dusted
our cages till we felt very clean, although
I own I did not enjoy having him work
about me with his brush and dust cloth.
Just as he had finished and put us back in
our places the doorbell sounded, and pres-
ently we heard children's voices in the hall
asking the maid if Johnny Morris was at
"' It is some one to see you,' said Mrs.
Morris. But Johnny did not reply. He was
nowhere to be seen. At the first sound he
had quietly slipped out of the room and I
could now see him hiding behind the cur-
tains in the library. Soon Sarah came
ushering three or four little barefooted
children into the parlor.
"'They've come to Johnny's party,
ma'am,' she explained to Mrs. Morris,
who looked up from her work as the chil-
"'How do you do, my dears?' said
Mrs. Morris sweetly, though I could see
she was greatly surprised. I believe I
don't know your names, so you will have
to introduce yourselves.'
The children looked bashful, and made
"'You are not Johnny Morris' school-
mates, are you?' she questioned.
"'No, ma'am,' answered the tallest
girl, as she gazed about the handsome
room with wide-open eyes. I could see
that she was not accustomed to such beau-
"' Where did you get acquainted with
him, then ?' went on Mrs. Morris kindly.
'We hain't acquainted at all, ma'am;
but he seed us on the street this morning,
and said for us to come to his party to-day.
He thought as how maybe they'd be ice-
Ube Parrot at a partp
cream to eat, and he told us where he
lived, and so we are here.'
'Well, we must try to make you have
a pleasant time,' she replied. Sarah,
please call Johnny and tell him his guests
But Sarah had been answering a sec-
ond peal of the bell, and now appeared
with a very queer smile on her face at the
head of a line of three girls and a small
boy, whom she introduced by saying:
"'A few more children, ma'am, who
have come to take tea with master Johnny.'
"'Why, really,' exclaimed Mrs. Mor-
ris, in a sort of flutter, as she helped Sarah
to seat the new arrivals. The house is
hardly in order for company.'
The children appeared quite embar-
rassed, and ranged themselves silently and
sedately on the chairs to which they had
'Dear me, Sarah, what a predicament
to be in Where do you suppose Johnny
scraped up all these youngsters ? I don't
know what I ought to do to him for play-
ing me this trick.' Mrs. Morris said this
to the maid as they came to my side of the
room. 'Think of all the work to be done,
and which will have to be stopped for the
day-the house all upside down-no chance
for preparations for an extra supper for his
company. And that big girl bespoke ice-
cream as soon as she entered.' And then
Mrs. Morris and Sarah turned into the re-
cess of the bay window and laughed softly.
Her vexation seemed to pass away in a
few minutes, for she added, 'We must
make the best of it, since they are here,
and let everything else go. But there's
the bell; I expect it's another batch of
"And so it proved, for these were old
acquaintances, eight or ten of his school-
mates. Little misses dressed in fine style,
in dainty ruffled frocks and necklaces and
bright hair-ribbons, tripped gracefully in
and advanced to meet Mrs. Morris, quite
like grown ladies in their manners. Be-
hind them came several boys, spick and
span in fresh white linen waists and silk
neckties and well-fitting shoes.
"'Ah! here are Frances and Naomi
Ube IParrot at a iartl
and Justice and Karl and Mary Ethel and
Philip and Jessica and all the rest,' said
Mrs. Morris, giving them each a hand of
welcome as they gathered about her in a
pretty group. 'Will you make yourselves
quite at home and help me to entertain
these other visitors till Johnny comes in ?
I don't know what keeps him so long. If
you'll excuse me I'll go and look for him.
There are the pictures in the portfolio that
you might like to show to these little girls.
And there's the admiral, our redbird, and
Bessie, the parrot. Maybe they would like
to look at them.'
"The two girls whom she had desig-
nated as Jessica and Frances looked at the
strange children a minute but made no
movement to carry out Mrs. Morris' wishes.
Instead they drew a little apart and began
to talk to each other. Mary Ethel, a
round-faced girl who giggled a great deal
behind her fan, crossed over to where sat
the large girl who had mentioned the ice-
cream, and started a conversation by re-
marking that it was a warm day. The girl
made no audible answer, only nodded.
"'Do you like to go to school?' in-
quired Mary Ethel.
The girl again nodded. There was a
little pause. Mary Ethel, who was bent on
carrying out Mrs. Morris' suggestion to
help her entertain them, began again on
the weather. I suppose she couldn't think
of anything new to say, so she observed:
'It's a nice warm day for the first of
September, don't you think ?'
"The girl's head once more wagged up
and down in assent, but not a word did she
utter. At this a subdued titter came from
Frances and Jessica. Mary Ethel's face
grew red and she frowned at them.
"Just at this moment in ran Johnny.
He had put on his best suit. His yellow
hair was freshly brushed and his face was
wreathed in smiles. He reminded one of
a dancing sunbeam. It was wonderful to
see how quickly he set the social wheel
moving in the parlor. In three minutes he
had them all acquainted and talking to
each other. At one side I noticed Naomi
and Jessica who were trying to make the
parrot talk for the big girl. Mary Ethel
be parrot at a IDartt
was turning the crank of a small music
box, around which were clustered a group
of the stranger children. On a sofa three
or four others had the portfolio of pictures
spread out. Others came to my cage coax-
ing me to whistle for them, while Johnny
capered hither and thither and joked and
had more funny things to say than anybody
in the room. When he let Bessie out of
her cage and put her on the piano to sing
the Mocking Bird,' the joy of the visitors
knew no bounds.
"'Have you a parrot, Jeannette?' he
asked one of the little barefooted girls,
whose dancing black eyes showed how
much she enjoyed Bessie's performance.
No, but I have two lovely cats.' She
made the announcement as if very proud
of their ownership.
"'I have a cat too. He dresses in
black and wears long white whiskers, and
looks just like a respectable old colored
man.' This description amused the chil-
dren very much.
"'What's your cat's name?' they
"'Jett. What do you call your cats,
"' The big one is Boule de Neige and
and the little one is Jaune Jaquette.'
"'What queer names! exclaimed Mary
Ethel. 'How did you happen to select
such names for them ?'
'Oh, miss, because the names do suit
them so well.'
"'They don't sound like any cats'
names that ever I heard. I don't under-
stand how they would suit.' Mary Ethel
"'Why, miss, on account of the color
of those cats, to be sure,' said Jeannette in
"'Pooh!' explained Johnny, 'that's
easy. Boule de neige is the French for
snowball, and jaune means yellow, so
.jaune jaquette means yellow jacket. I
learned that in our French reader. I expect
one of the cats is all white and the other
is a yellow one. Is that it, Jeannette ?'
Yes, sir,' said the French child, and
she tipped him a polite little bow that was
very pretty indeed.
Ibe Varrot at a parts
"' Boule de Nezge! what a funny name.
I haven't named our white kitten yet. I
believe I'll call it Boule de Neige for a
change,' said Karl.
Then Jett was brought in and Bessie
pounced upon him for a ride, she chuc-
kling and singing and looking from side to
side with proud satisfaction, knowing she
was being observed by everybody. The
children almost screamed with delight at
"'Now, Bessie,' said Johnny, as the
poor cat at last shook her off and slank
away. You did that beautifully, and you
deserve something to eat. I am going to
let you have some bread and milk right
here in the parlor, and the company can
see how nicely you can feed yourself with
'All right,' croaked the parrot. Sarah
brought in a saucer in which was a little
bread moistened with milk, and two spoons
with it. A cloth was spread over one
corner of the table and Bessie crawled up
to the top of a chair which had been
placed with its back close to the table.
This brought the bird almost in line with
the saucer. Johnny took his seat beside
her and broke the bread into tiny pieces
with his spoon, shoving the particles into
the other spoon as fast as Bessie disposed
of them. She gravely clasped her spoon
with one claw and brought it to her mouth
quite dextrously and ate the contents with
evident relish, though it was plain that she
enjoyed being admired for being able to do
it really more than she enjoyed the bread.
Once in a while her grasp was uncertain
and the food was spilled on her breast
feathers or fell to the floor. At this she
scolded herself roundly and seemed quite
'One of these days, when I get time,
I am going to train her to use a napkin
when she eats,' said Johnny.
'She'll be a perfectly accomplished
lady then,' added Mary Ethel.
"By this time some of the stranger chil-
dren had left the table and had come over
to my cage to look at me.
'The admiral's an awful purty feller,
Ube Parrot at a Vartr
'Wouldn't his tail be sweet on a Sun-
day hat?' suggested another.
'Oh, I choose his wings for my hat,'
exclaimed a third.
"'I choose his head and breast for
mine,' said the first one who had spoken.
'And Naomi chooses his whole body for
her hat, I expect,' she added as Naomi
"'No,' said Naomi, 'we don't wear
birds any more in our family. My sister
and I used to have our hats trimmed with
them, but we've quit. I had a lovely one
on my blue velvet hat last year. It was a
beautiful hat,' and she smiled at the recol-
lection. 'But we've quit now,' she added
"'Why?' asked the other girls in a
"'Oh, because my mother thinks it is
wrong to wear them. Little boy, little boy,
be careful or you'll let the bird out,' she
But the warning was too late. While
the girls had been talking the small boy
who was with them had been entertaining
himself by slightly opening my cage door
and letting it spring back to its fasten-
ing. Suddenly he was seized with fright
at discovering that it had stuck while half-
way back, and refused to come together.
'Oh, dear!' he called. 'He's out.'
Mercy on us Oh, dear! screamed
the girls as I made a dash through the
opening, and flew to the top of a picture
frame. 'Johnny, Johnny, your redbird's
out,' they called.
"All was confusion in an instant. Boys
and girls ran hither and thither, tumbling
over each other, and over the chairs and
stools, and all talking and screaming at
Bring a broom or a flagpole, Johnny,'
called Philip. 'I'll shoo him down for
you while you stand underneath and catch
"'Shoo, shoo! said Jeannette, catch-
ing her dress skirt with both hands and
waving it back and forth rapidly. In a
minute all the girls were waving their dress
skirts at me and saying shoo.'
"'Oh, my pretty Admiral Dewey, my
Ube lParrot at a 1Iarttp
dear old admiral,' wailed Johnny, almost
"I didn't wait for the broom or the flag-
pole to help me from the picture frame. I
balanced myself steadily and then I flew
out of the open window and away into the
world, without saying good-bye to anybody.
I suppose they all crowded to the window
to look after me as I disappeared, for the
last thing I heard was Mrs. Morris' voice
saying, 'Don't, Johnny; you'll fall out if
you lean over so far. Papa will get you
another bird. Don't grieve so hard. Don't,
Did you ever see Johnny afterward ?"
we asked the redbird.
Yes, once I saw him cantering along
slowly on Jock. He could not go very
fast because he was holding a great bunch
of red and pink roses in one hand. His
cheeks were as pink as the flowers and his
yellow hair curled up under the edge of his
cap the same as it used to. I knew him
in a minute. A great many carriages were
on the street trimmed in flags and flowers.
Little flags were fastened to the horses'
harness. Jock had one on each side of his
head, which made him look very pretty.
Children were running about carrying
wreaths. On a corner of the street where
a band was playing some men were hold-
ing banners. I heard some one say it was
Decoration Day, and that everybody
strewed flowers on the graves in the big
cemetery that day. I thought it was a
very beautiful custom. Through all the
buzz and confusion I kept an eye on
Johnny. He didn't seem to be riding any-
where in particular, but was just looking
around for the fun of the thing. Presently
he drew up to the sidewalk where a little
ragged boy was leaning up against a tree.
He had a wistful look, as if he would like
to be taking part.
"' Hello!' said Johnny, as he reined
Jock in. 'Aren't you going to help to
"'Naw-ain't got any posies, I tell
you.' The boy said this in a sullen tone.
"'Here, take these. I brought you a
big bunch so you could divide 'em with
some of your friends. There's enough for
Ube Varrot at a Vartpl
all of you boys to have a few flowers to
take to the cemetery.' Johnny extended
the roses with a smile as he spoke.
"The boy grabbed them eagerly. 'My !
You're a jolly one, I'll say that for you,'
he said heartily by way of thanks, then he
ran off with a whoop.
I saw from this action that Johnny was
the same generous, kind-hearted boy he
used to be, and I felt proud to have had
the honor of his acquaintance."
A WINTER IN THE SOUTH
I was wrong about the Phcebe bird;
Two songs it has, and both of them I've heard;
I did not know those strains of joy and sorrow
Came from one throat.
S the sea-
ly our mu-
merely a metallic but pleasant, "chink,
chink," and we knew we would soon be
putting on our new fall attire, as toward the
close of the summer our family exchange
their pretty black-and-white suits, so much
admired, for a becoming yellowish-brown
21 Ullinter in tbe soutb
one. The different flocks were also now
arranging for their regular winter trip to the
sunny Southland, where their winters were
I was very glad to know that we bob-
olinks were to travel only in the daytime,
as that would afford us younger ones a
better opportunity to see the country. The
return trip to the North is always made by
night. A great many people have won-
dered why we do this, and those who are
interested in our habits have tried to find
out; but it is a secret the birds have never
yet divulged, and probably never will.
The blue jays were going to remain be-
hind, for the winters which we dreaded so
much had no terrors for them. Sometimes
when we were preening our feathers under
the radiant skies near the Southern gulf, I
thought of our old neighbors the jays, and
fancied them in their bleak Northern home
flitting about in the tops of the leafless
trees, swayed by the icy winds from the
upper lakes, and with perhaps but little to
eat. I would not have exchanged places
with them for the world. But my older
comrades assured me the jays were not in
need of my sympathy or pity. They liked
the invigorating cold and chattered mer-
rily in the desolate boughs and enjoyed
many a nice meal from under the melt-
ing snow. The crimson dogwood berries,
standing out like rosettes of coral, at which
they liked to peck, also furnished them an
aesthetic and sumptuous feast. Much more
to be dreaded than the winter's cold was
the cruel sportsman, said my comrades.
The day of our departure came. The
concourse of birds setting out on their an-
nual journeys was immense, and oh, what
joy it was to soar aloft on buoyant pinion
high up in the blue sky, over housetops
and tops of trees, skimming along above
rushing waters or tranquil streams in quiet
meadows. Mere existence was a keen de-
light. The sense of freedom, of lightness,
of airiness, was gloriously exhilarating, a
delicious sensation known only to the
feathered tribes of all God's creation.
Our trip took us across some densely
wooded mountains, where we rested for a
time. A thick undergrowth of young sap-
i Winter in tbe Soutb
lings prevented any roads, and only occa-
sional narrow footpaths showed that people
sometimes passed that way.
The mountain was grand in its loneliness;
but doubtless was a desolate spot to the
settlers, whose cabins were scattered at long
distances from each other in the depths of
the wood. I could imagine how cut off
from the whole world the women and chil-
dren in these cabins would feel, for it is
natural for human beings to love society.
The perpetual stillness must have been
hard to bear when months sometimes
passed away, especially in the winter sea-
son, without their getting a glimpse of
other human faces.
The mountains were full of wildcats too,
which made their situation worse, as these
fierce animals were frequently known to
attack men as savagely as wolves do.
One day while we were there two travelers
camped under the tree where our family
was roosting. They had evidently had a
hard time making their way through the
tangled undergrowth, for as one of the
men flung himself down on the ground and
stretched himself out at full length, he ex-
Well, I don't want any more such ex-
periences. I'm dead tired; my face is all
scratched with the thorns and bushes; and
I haven't seen a newspaper for a week. If
the railroad company needs any more work
of this kind done, they must get somebody
Fiddle-dee-dee! You mustn't be so
easily discouraged," answered the other
young man, who had already set to work
scraping up dry chips and pieces of bark
to make a fire. "Think of these poor
mountaineers who stay here all their lives.
Your little tramp of a few days is nothing
to what they do all the time and never
think of complaining. The half of them
are too poor to own a mule. They eat
hog and hominy the year around, and are
thankful to get it. Their clothes are fear-
fully and wonderfully made, but for all
that they don't give up and think life isn't
As the two young fellows talked on in
this strain I named them Growler and
R Milnter tn tbe !Boutb
Cheery, because the one was so determined
to look on the dark side, while the other
took a cheerful view of everything. Growler
continued to lounge on the ground, looking
with careless interest at Cheery, who was
The dinner was in a small tin box which
he took from his coat pocket. Opening it
he disclosed some eatables very compactly
put in. He took out several articles and
set them on the ground in front of him.
In the box was a bottle stoutly corked con-
taining a dark liquid, some of which he
poured into a flat tin cup which formed a
part of the lid of the box. This he set
over the fire, which by this time was snap-
"Come," he said. "Here's a lunch fit
for a king. Get up and have your share.
Maybe when your stomach is warmed up
with a few ham and mustard sandwiches,
some cheese and coffee, you'll be in better
spirits. These crackers are good eating
Fit for a king, eh ? Mighty poor kind
of a king, I should say," growled Growler
sarcastically; but he rose and flicked the
leaves and twigs from his clothing before
he helped himself to the coffee which was
One cup for two people is just one too
few," laughed Cheery when it came his
turn to take some. My! but it tastes
good. There's nothing like the open air
to give one an appetite."
I don't like coffee without cream,"
objected Growler, chewing moodily at his
Well, we'll get to Girard by to-night,
and then possibly we will get a good sup-
While they were lunching I had observed
another traveler slowly approaching through
the underbrush. Over one shoulder was
slung a leather strap in which were a few
books. He carried a rifle, and from his
coat pocket bulged a small package. As
he drew nearer the sound of his footsteps
startled Growler who nervously upset his
coffee over his shirt front.
What d'ye suppose he is ?" he asked
of Cheery as the stranger approached.
Za Winter in tbe Soutb
I judge he's a parson, from the cut of
his clothes," observed Cheery. Then as
the new-comer advanced he called: "Hello,
friend Who'd 'a thought of meeting com-
pany this far back in these mountains ?"
"'This is only about eight miles from the
town where I live," answered the gentle-
man, who now seated himself near them
with his back against a tree. "I know the
paths through here fairly well, for I come
this way several times through the summer.
But this will be my last trip for the season,
and I'm giving a little more time to it on
that account. I've taken it somewhat leis-
He was a delicate-looking, middle-aged
man, with a mild voice and a kind face.
You're a drummer for a publishing
house, I take it ? said Growler, nodding
toward the books in the strap. "I've
just been wondering where you'd find any
buyers in these infernal woods."
The gentleman laughed. "No," said
he, "this is my regular route; but I'm
not a commercial traveler in any sense.
I'm a pastor at a town near here, and I go
out to these mountain families to hold serv-
ices every few weeks."
You don't mean you foot it through
these bushes and among these wildcats to
preach to the mountaineers! exclaimed
Growler in astonishment.
"Certainly I do. These poor people
would never hear the sound of the gospel
if some one did not take it to them. They
have souls to be saved, my friend. I feel
it is my duty to carry the word to them.
As for the wildcats," he continued, smiling,
"I have my rifle. Besides the government
offers a small bounty for every wildcat."
"Oh, yes, I see. You combine business
with pleasure and have your wildcat bounty
to pay expenses as you go along-or else
keep it for pin-money," and Growler
laughed good-humoredly at his own fun.
You're the parson from St. Thomas,
I judge," said Cheery.
The gentleman bowed, and said he was
the pastor of that little church.
I've heard of your mission work, and
I understand you've done a great deal of
good among the mountain whites."
R WUUinter in tbe Zoutb
"'How many churches have you in these
mountains ?" interrupted Growler.
I have but the one church organization,
for outside through the mountains there are
no churches-no buildings, no organiza-
tions. People ten and fifteen miles apart
can't very well have churches. I visit the
families. I have three on this mountain
side. I am well repaid for all the sacri-
fice of comfort I make, in knowing how
glad they are to have me come. To
many of them I am the connecting link
with the rest of mankind. Ah! the world
knows nothing of the privations and sor-
rows and ignorance of many of these poor
creatures Through the winter I am obliged
to stop my visitations, but I generally leave
a few books and papers for those who can
read, and pictures for the children."
"Well, parson, I didn't know there was
enough goodness in any man in the United
States to make him willing to tramp right
into the wildest part of the Allegheny
Mountains to preach the gospel to half a
dozen poor people! exclaimed Growler,
still more astonished.
My friend," responded the gentleman
earnestly, "the world is full of Christian
men and women who are trying to help
Just then my mother said to me, "When
I hear the beautiful words that minister
speaks and see what he is doing, then in-
deed do I believe that human beings have
As we resumed our journey I wondered
if Growler would profit by the sunshiny
example of Cheery and the devotion of the
parson of St. Thomas.
Later in our travels we came upon some
old acquaintances. Our stopping-place
was near an ancient house on a mountain
side. The outlook was the grandest I had
ever seen, and though I have traveled
much since then I have never found any-
thing to exceed it in beauty. A glistening
river wound its way in a big loop at the
foot of the mountain, and beyond it lay
stretched out a busy city.
A good many years before a battle had
been fought on these heights, which people
still remembered and talked about. I heard
2 winter in the Soutb
them speak of it as the Battle above the
clouds." There was still a part of a can-
non wagon in the yard which visitors came
to see and examined with much interest.
They also often requested the landlady to
let them look at the walls of an old stone
dairy adjoining the house, because the
soldiers had carved their names there.
To me it seemed strange that the guests
would sit for hours on the long gallery of
this hotel, and go over and over the inci-
dents of the battle, telling where this regi-
ment stood, or where that officer fell, as if
war and the taking of life were the most
pleasant rather than the most distressful
subjects in the world. In the distance
was a mammoth field of graves, miles of
graves, beautifully kept mounds under
which lay the dead heroes of that sad time.
The days up here were beautiful, but it
was at night that this was a scene of sur-
passing loveliness. Far below the lights
of the city glowed like spangles in the
darkness. Above us was the star-encrusted
sky. It was like being suspended between
a floor and a ceiling of glittering jewels.
On this plateau grew the biggest cherry
trees I ever saw, and they bore the biggest
and sweetest cherries, though I could not
taste any at that time, as the season was
past. I heard the landlady complaining
one day to some of her guests that the
rascally birds had hardly left her a cherry
to put up.
"The saucy little thieves! they must
have eaten bushels of the finest fruit," she
"And didn't you get any?" inquired a
childish voice. There was something fa-
miliar in the voice and I flew to the porch
railing to see who it was. And who should
it be but dear little Marion. And there too
was her aunty, Miss Dorothy, and the pro-
fessor, and in the parlor I caught a glimpse
of Miss Katie and the colonel. They were
having a pleasant vacation together.
Marion looked inquiringly into the land-
lady's face. No doubt she was thinking
the mountain birds were very greedy to eat
up all the cherries and not leave one for
the poor woman to can.
"Our birds always eat some of our
R1 Winter in the Soutb
cherries too," she said, but they always
leave us plenty."
There were bushels left on our trees,"
observed the landlady's daughter. "We
had all we wanted, mother. We couldn't
possibly have used the rest if the birds had
not eaten them. We had a cellar full of
canned cherries left over from the year be-
fore, you remember, and that is the way it
is nearly every year."
"Yes, yes, I know," answered her
mother impatiently; "but for all that I
don't believe in letting the birds have
I never begrudge a bird what it eats,"
commented the professor. "Of course you
can discourage the birds, drive them off,
break up their nests, starve them out, and
have a crop of caterpillars instead of cher-
ries. But, beg pardon, madam, maybe
you don't object to caterpillars," and he
bowed low to the landlady.
The laugh was against her and I was
glad of it, for I didn't consider it either
kind or polite to call us "saucy little