Emma’s Stories Retold – Lizzy and the Penguin Catapult

Emperor Penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri) ©WikiC

Emperor Penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri) ©WikiC

Emma’s Stories Retold – Lizzy and the Penguin Catapult

~ by Emma Foster

Once there was a penguin named Lizzy who lived with many other penguins in cold Antarctica.

As the penguins traveled through the winter, Lizzy watched with great interest all the eggs that lay on the penguin dad’s feet. Lizzy was too young to go fishing with all the mother penguins that year, so she was traveling with the father penguins to someplace slightly warmer.

Emperor with egg on feet ©WikiC

Emperor with egg on feet ©WikiC

Eventually all of the penguins came to an enormous, icy lake that was too large to go around. The penguin parents huddled together and decided to build a catapult out of some wood they brought with them to build their homes. The catapult would shoot penguins one at a time over the lake. The penguins decided this because the dad penguins could not cross the lake with eggs; and, if they all traveled across it at once, the ice might break. The penguins decided the eggs would be safe because there was a lot of snow on the other side of the lake which would cushion their landing.

Gentoo Penguin - Paradise Bay

Gentoo Penguin – Paradise Bay

Lizzy helped build the catapult and it wasn’t long before it was finally completed.

The first penguin had to be launched by the catapult, but no penguin was willing to do it. Lizzy was a brave penguin and decided to go first.

The catapult was launched, and Lizzy flew through the air. She was actually flying!

Adelie Penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) by Bob-Nan

Adelie Penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) by Bob-Nan

Lizzy landed softly and safely in the snow on the other side of the lake and waved to the other penguins. One by one, the rest of the penguins catapulted over the lake with the eggs. When they were all safely on the other side, they traveled to their new home.

The End


Lee’s Addition:

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; (Philippians 4:6 NKJV)

Thanks, Emma, for another delightful story. Lizzy is one brave little Penguin and also willing to help out.

I am sure the penguins, even though not humans, were thankful to their Creator for taking care of them.

“But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; And the birds of the air, and they will tell you; Or speak to the earth, and it will teach you; And the fish of the sea will explain to you. Who among all these does not know That the hand of the LORD has done this, In whose hand is the life of every living thing, And the breath of all mankind? (Job 12:7-10 NKJV)

*

See more of Emma’s Bird Tales

*

ABC’s of the Gospel

*

A Swallow and One Who Isn’t – Chapter 15

Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) by J Fenton

A Swallow and One Who Isn’t

The Tree Swallow and the Chimney Swift.

The Burgess Bird Book For Children

*

Listen to the story read.

CHAPTER 15. A Swallow and One Who Isn’t.

Johnny and Polly Chuck had made their home between the roots of an old apple-tree in the far corner of the Old Orchard. You know they have their bedroom way down in the ground, and it is reached by a long hall. They had dug their home between the roots of that old apple-tree because they had discovered that there was just room enough between those spreading roots for them to pass in and out, and there wasn’t room to dig the entrance any larger. So they felt quite safe from Reddy Fox; and Bowser the Hound, either of whom would have delighted to dig them out but for those roots.

Right in front of their doorway was a very nice doorstep of shining sand where Johnny Chuck delighted to sit when he had a full stomach and nothing else to do. Johnny’s nearest neighbors had made their home only about five feet above Johnny’s head when he sat up on his doorstep. They were Skimmer the Tree Swallow and his trim little wife, and the doorway of their home was a little round hole in the trunk of that apple-tree, a hole which had been cut some years before by one of the Woodpeckers.

Johnny and Skimmer were the best of friends. Johnny used to delight in watching Skimmer dart out from beneath the branches of the trees and wheel and turn and glide, now sometimes high in the blue, blue sky, and again just skimming the tops of the grass, on wings which seemed never to tire. But he liked still better the bits of gossip when Skimmer would sit in his doorway and chat about his neighbors of the Old Orchard and his adventures out in the Great World during his long journeys to and from the far-away South.

To Johnny Chuck’s way of thinking, there was no one quite so trim and neat appearing as Skimmer with his snowy white breast and blue-green back and wings. Two things Johnny always used to wonder at, Skimmer’s small bill and short legs. Finally he ventured to ask Skimmer about them.

“Gracious, Johnny!” exclaimed Skimmer. “I wouldn’t have a big bill for anything. I wouldn’t know what to do with it; it would be in the way. You see, I get nearly all my food in the air when I am flying, mosquitoes and flies and all sorts of small insects with wings. I don’t have to pick them off trees and bushes or from the ground and so I don’t need any more of a bill than I have. It’s the same way with my legs. Have you ever seen me walking on the ground?

Johnny thought a moment. “No,” said he, “now you speak of it, I never have.”

“And have you ever seen me hopping about in the branches of a tree?” persisted Skimmer.

Again Johnny Chuck admitted that he never had.

“The only use I have for feet,” continued Skimmer, “is for perching while I rest. I don’t need long legs for walking or hopping about, so Mother Nature has made my legs very short. You see I spend most of my time in the air.”

Skimmer The Tree Swallow and Forktail The Barn Swallow

“I suppose it’s the same with your cousin; Sooty the Chimney Swallow,” said Johnny.

“That shows just how much some people know!” twittered Skimmer indignantly. “The idea of calling Sooty a Swallow! The very idea! I’d leave you to know, Johnny Chuck, that Sooty isn’t even related to me. He’s a Swift, and not a Swallow.

“He looks like a Swallow,” protested Johnny Chuck.

“He doesn’t either. You just think he does because he happens to spend most of his time in the air the way we Swallows do,” sputtered Skimmer. “The Swallow family never would admit such a homely looking fellow as he is as a member.

“Tut, tut, tut, tut! I do believe Skimmer is jealous,” cried Jenny Wren, who had happened along just in time to hear Skimmer’s last remarks.

“Nothing of the sort,” declared Skimmer, growing still more indignant. “I’d like to know what there is about Sooty the Chimney Swift that could possibly make a Swallow jealous.”

Jenny Wren cocked her tail up in that saucy way of hers and winked at Johnny Chuck. “The way he can fly,” said she softly.

“The way he can fly!” sputtered Skimmer, “The way he can fly! Why, there never was a day in his life that he could fly like a Swallow. There isn’t any one more graceful on the wing than I am, if I do say so. And there isn’t any one more ungraceful than Sooty.”

Chimney Swift of Birds Illustrated by Color Photography, 1897

Chimney Swift of Birds Illustrated by Color Photography, 1897

Just then there was a shrill chatter overhead and all looked up to see Sooty the Chimney Swift racing through the sky as if having the very best time in the world. His wings would beat furiously and then he would glide very much as you or I would on skates. It was quite true that he wasn’t graceful. But he could twist and turn and cut up all sorts of antics, such as Skimmer never dreamed of doing.

“He can use first one wing and then the other, while you have to use both wings at once,” persisted Jenny Wren. “You couldn’t, to save your life, go straight down into a chimney, and you know it, Skimmer. He can do things with his wings which you can’t do, nor any other bird.”

“That may be true, but just the same I’m not the least teeny-weeny bit jealous of him,” said Skimmer, and darted away to get beyond the reach of Jenny’s sharp tongue.

“Is it really true that he and Sooty are not related?” asked Johnny Chuck, as they watched Skimmer cutting airy circles high up in the slay.

Jenny nodded. “It’s quite true, Johnny,” said site. “Sooty belongs to another family altogether. He’s a funny fellow. Did you ever in your life see such narrow wings? And his tail is hardly worth calling a tail.”

Johnny Chuck laughed. “Way up there in the air he looks almost alike at both ends,” said he. “Is he all black?”

“He isn’t black at all,” declared Jenny. “He is sooty-brown, rather grayish on the throat and breast. Speaking of that tail of his, the feathers end in little, sharp, stiff points. He uses them in the same way that Downy the Woodpecker uses his tail feathers when he braces himself with them on the trunk of a tree.”

“But I’ve never seen Sooty on the trunk of a tree,” protested Johnny Chuck. “In fact, I’ve never seen him anywhere but in the air.”

“And you never will,” snapped Jenny. “The only place he ever alights is inside a chimney or inside a hollow tree. There he clings to the side just as Downy the Woodpecker clings to the trunk of a tree.”

Johnny looked as if he didn’t quite believe this. “If that’s the case where does he nest?” he demanded. “And where does he sleep?”

In a chimney, stupid. In a chimney, of course,” retorted Jenny Wren. “He fastens his nest right to the inside of a chimney. He makes a regular little basket of twigs and fastens it to the side of the chimney.”

“Are you trying to stuff me with nonsense?” asked Johnny Chuck indignantly. “How can he fasten his nest to the side of a chimney unless there’s a little shelf to put it on? And if he never alights, how does he get the little sticks to make a nest of? I’d just like to know how you expect me to believe any such story as that.”

Tree Swallows Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge by jeremyjonkman on Flickr From Pinterest

Jenny Wren’s sharp little eyes snapped. “If you half used your eyes you wouldn’t have to ask me how he gets those little sticks,” she sputtered. “If you had watched him when he was flying close to the tree tops you would have seen him clutch little dead twigs in his claws and snap them off without stopping. That’s the way he gets his little sticks, Mr. Smarty, He fastens them together with a sticky substance he has in his mouth, and he fastens the nest to the side of the chimney in the same way. You can believe it or not, but it’s so.”

“I believe it, Jenny, I believe it,” replied Johnny Chuck very humbly. “If you please, Jenny, does Sooty get all his food in the air too?”

“Of course,” replied Jenny tartly. “He eats nothing but insects, and he catches them flying. Now I must get back to my duties at home.”

“Just tell me one more thing,” cried Johnny Chuck hastily. “Hasn’t Sooty any near relatives as most birds have?”

“He hasn’t any one nearer than some sort of second cousins, Boomer the Nighthawk, Whippoorwill, and Hummer the Hummingbird.”

“What?” cried Johnny Chuck, quite as if he couldn’t believe he had heard aright. “Did you say Hummer the Hummingbird?” But he got no reply, for Jenny Wren was already beyond hearing.

*

Even the stork in the sky Knows her seasons; And the turtledove and the swift and the thrush Observe the time of their migration; But My people do not know The ordinance of the LORD. (Jeremiah 8:7 NASB)

Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying, a curse that is causeless does not alight. (Proverbs 26:2 ESV)

A man’s pride will bring him low, But the humble in spirit will retain honor. (Proverbs 29:23 NKJV)

Both of these birds belong to avian families that are mentioned in the Bible

Questions to think about:

  1. Can you describe Skimmer the Swift?
  2. What color is his breast, back and wings?
  3. What is common about the legs of both Skimmer and Sooty?
  4. How do both these birds catch their food?
  5. Why was Skimmer showing a little pride?
  6. Should we be prideful?
  7. Can you describe Sooty the Swallow?
  8. Where and how do Chimney Swallows they make their nest?
  9. Are Skimmer and Sooty in the same bird family?
  10. Who is Sooty second cousins with?
  11. Are both of these birds mentioned in the Bible?

Links:

*

Links:

  Next Chapter (A Robber in the Old Orchard)

 

 

 

Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

  Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

 

 

 

   ABC’s of the Gospel

*

Bob White and Carol the Meadow Lark – Chapter 14

Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna) by Bob-Nan

Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna) by Bob-Nan

Bob White and Carol the Meadow Lark

The So-called Quail and the Meadow Lark.

The Burgess Bird Book For Children

*

Listen to the story read.

CHAPTER 14. Bob White and Carol the Meadow Lark.

“Bob—Bob White! Bob—Bob White! Bob—Bob White!” clear and sweet, that call floated over to the dear Old Briar-patch until Peter could stand it no longer. He felt that he just had to go over and pay an early morning call on one of his very best friends, who at this season of the year delights in whistling his own name—Bob White.

“I suppose,” muttered Peter, “that Bob White has got a nest. I wish he would show it to me. He’s terribly secretive about it. Last year I hunted for his nest until my feet were sore, but it wasn’t the least bit of use. Then one morning I met Mrs. Bob White with fifteen babies out for a walk. How she could hide a nest with fifteen eggs in it is more than I can understand.”

Bob White - Burgess Bird Book ©©

Bob White – Burgess Bird Book ©©

Peter left the Old Briar-patch and started off over the Green Meadows towards the Old Pasture. As he drew near the fence between the Green Meadows and the Old Pasture he saw Bob White sitting on one of the posts, whistling with all his might. On another post near him sat another bird very near the size of Welcome Robin. He also was telling all the world of his happiness. It was Carol the Meadow Lark.

Peter was so intent watching these two friends of his that he took no heed to his footsteps. Suddenly there was a whirr from almost under his very nose and he stopped short, so startled that he almost squealed right out. In a second he recognized Mrs. Meadow Lark. He watched her fly over to where Carol was singing. Her stout little wings moved swiftly for a moment or two, then she sailed on without moving them at all. Then they fluttered rapidly again until she was flying fast enough to once more sail on them outstretched. The white outer feathers of her tail showed clearly and reminded Peter of the tail of Sweetvoice the Vesper Sparrow, only of course it was ever so much bigger.

Peter sat still until Mrs. Meadow Lark had alighted on the fence near Carol. Then he prepared to hurry on, for he was anxious for a bit of gossip with these good friends of his. But just before he did this he just happened to glance down and there, almost at his very feet, he caught sight of something that made him squeal right out. It was a nest with four of the prettiest eggs Peter ever had seen. They were white with brown spots all over them. Had it not been for the eggs he never would have seen that nest, never in the world. It was made of dry, brown grass and was cunningly hidden is a little clump of dead grass which fell over it so as to almost completely hide it. But the thing that surprised Peter most was the clever way in which the approach to it was hidden. It was by means of a regular little tunnel of grass.

“Oh!” cried Peter, and his eyes sparkled with pleasure. “This must be the nest of Mrs. Meadow Lark. No wonder I have never been able to find it, when I have looked for it. It is just luck and nothing else that I have found it this time. I think it is perfectly wonderful that Mrs. Meadow Lark can hide her home in such a way. I do hope Jimmy Skunk isn’t anywhere around.”

Peter sat up straight and anxiously looked this way and that way. Jimmy Skunk was nowhere to be seen and Peter gave a little sigh of relief. Very carefully he walked around that nest and its little tunnel, then hurried over toward the fence as fast as he could go.

“It’s perfectly beautiful, Carol!” he cried, just as soon as he was near enough. “And I won’t tell a single soul!”

“I hope not. I certainly hope not,” cried Mrs. Meadow Lark in an anxious tone. “I never would have another single easy minute if I thought you would tell a living soul about my nest. Promise that you won’t, Peter. Cross your heart and promise that you won’t.”

Peter promptly crossed his heart and promised that he wouldn’t tell a single soul. Mrs. Meadow Lark seemed to feel better. Right away she flew back and Peter turned to watch her. He saw her disappear in the grass, but it wasn’t where he had found the nest. Peter waited a few minutes, thinking that he would see her rise into the air again and fly over to the nest. But he waited in vain. Then with a puzzled look on his face, he turned to look up at Carol.

Carol’s eyes twinkled. “I know what you’re thinking, Peter,” he chuckled. “You are thinking that it is funny Mrs. Meadow Lark didn’t go straight hack to our nest when she seemed so anxious about it. I would have you to know that she is too clever to do anything so foolish as that. She knows well enough that somebody might see her and so find our secret. She has walked there from the place where you saw her disappear in the grass. That is the way we always do when we go to our nest. One never can be too careful these days.”

Then Carol began to pour out his happiness once more, quite as if nothing had interrupted his song.

Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta)©USFWS

Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta)©USFWS

Somehow Peter never before had realized how handsome Carol the Meadow Lark was. As he faced Peter, the latter saw a beautiful yellow throat and waistcoat, with a broad black crescent on his breast. There was a yellow line above each eye. His back was of brown with black markings. His sides were whitish, with spats and streaks of black. The outer edges of his tail were white. Altogether he was really handsome, far handsomer than one would suspect, seeing him at a distance.

Having found out Carol’s secret, Peter was doubly anxious to find Bob White’s home, so he hurried over to the post where Bob was whistling with all his might. “Bob!” cried Peter. “I’ve just found Carol’s nest and I’ve promised to keep it a secret. Won’t you show me your nest, too, if I’ll promise to keep THAT a secret?”

Rob threw back his head and laughed joyously. “You ought to know, Peter, by this time,” said he, “that there are secrets never to be told to anybody. My nest is one of these. If you find it, all right; but I wouldn’t show it to my very best friend, and I guess I haven’t any better friend than you, Peter.” Then from sheer happiness he whistled, “—Bob White! Bob—Bob White!” with all his might.

Peter was disappointed and a little put out. “I guess,” said he, “I could find it if I wanted to. I guess it isn’t any better hidden than Mrs. Meadow Lark’s, and I found that. Some folks aren’t as smart as they think they are.”

Bob White, who is sometimes called Quail and sometimes called Partridge, and who is neither, chuckled heartily. “Go ahead, old Mr. Curiosity, go ahead and hunt all you please,” said he. “It’s funny to me how some folks think themselves smart when the truth is they simply have been lucky. You know well enough that you just happened to find Carol’s nest. If you happen to find mine, I won’t have a word to say.”

Bob White took a long breath, tipped his head back until his bill was pointing right up in the blue, blue sky, and with all his might whistled his name, “Bob—Bob White! Bob—Bob White!”

Northern Bobwhite

Northern Bobwhite

As Peter looked at him it came over him that Bob White was the plumpest bird of his acquaintance. He was so plump that his body seemed almost round. The shortness of his tail added to this effect, for Bob has a very short tail. The upper part of his coat was a handsome reddish-brown with dark streaks and light edgings. His sides and the upper part of his breast were of the same handsome reddish-brown, while underneath he was whitish with little bars of black. His throat was white, and above each eye was a broad white stripe. His white throat was bordered with black, and a band of black divided the throat from the white line above each eye. The top of his head was mixed black and brown. Altogether he was a handsome little fellow in a modest way.

Suddenly Bob White stopped whistling and looked down at Peter with a twinkle in his eye. “Why don’t you go hunt for that nest, Peter?” said he.

“I’m going,” replied Peter rather shortly, for he knew that Bob knew that he hadn’t the least idea where to look. It might be somewhere on the Green Meadows or it might be in the Old Pasture; Bob hadn’t given the least hint. Peter had a feeling that the nest wasn’t far away and that it was on the Green Meadows, so he began to hunt, running aimlessly this way and that way, all the time feeling very foolish, for of course he knew that Bob White was watching him and chuckling down inside.

It was very warm down there on the Green Meadows, and Peter grew hot and tired. He decided to run up in the Old Pasture in the shade of an old bramble-tangle there. Just the other side of the fence was a path made by the cows and often used by Farmer Brown’s boy and Reddy Fox and others who visited the Old Pasture. Along this Peter scampered, lipperty-lipperty-lip, on his way to the bramble-tangle. He didn’t look either to right or left. It didn’t occur to him that there would be any use at all, for of course no one would build a nest near a path where people passed to and fro every day.

And so it was that in his happy-go-lucky way Peter scampered right past a clump of tall weeds close beside the path without the least suspicion that cleverly hidden in it was the very thing he was looking for. With laughter in her eyes, shrewd little Mrs. Bob White, with sixteen white eggs under her, watched him pass. She had chosen that very place for her nest because she knew that it was the last place anyone would expect to find it. The very fact that it seemed the most dangerous place she could have chosen made it the safest.

… and do not reveal another’s secret, (Proverbs 25:9b ESV)

Can anyone hide himself in secret places, So I shall not see him?” says the LORD; “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the LORD. (Jeremiah 23:24 NKJV)

Questions:

  • Which bird whistles his own name?
  • How many little ones did they have?
  • Did Peter ever find their nest?
  • Who’s nest did Peter find?
  • What did he promise not to tell?
  • Can you describe the Meadow Lark?
  • What does the Bob White look like?
  • How does the Meadow Lark fly?
  • How do the birds keep people and animals from finding their nest?
  • Do you keep others secret, or do you tell them?
  • Who knows all secrets?

Links:

*

Links:

 

  Next Chapter (A Swallow and One Who Isn’t. Coming Soon)

 

 

Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

 

 

  Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

 

Savannah Sparrow by Ray    Wordless Birds

*

Emma’s Bird Tales Retold – Reginald, Turkey Commander

Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) by Daves BirdingPix

Reginald – (Wild Turkey by Daves BirdingPix)

Reginald, Turkey Commander

By Emma Foster

There once was a turkey named Reginald who lived in the backwoods of Louisiana. Every year Reginald would band together with many other turkeys in a secret fortress underground to protect themselves from hunters hunting for turkeys to eat on Thanksgiving. Reginald and his friends had built the fortress a long time ago.

Reginald could tell it was Thanksgiving when one day he saw many hunters lurking in the backwoods searching for a turkey to eat on that special day. Reginald quickly went home to grab his Army helmet which he used as protection from gun shots, and called all his friends to their special underground fortress.

Many turkeys came prepared for the day. Most of them wore their Army helmets. Many other turkeys were there as well.  They had brought food for Thanksgiving.  Not just people celebrated Thanksgiving, turkeys did too, but without the turkey.

Soon there was a big party going on in the fortress. Not one hunter was aware that all the turkeys in the backwoods were in the underground fortress. The turkeys were joyously celebrating Thanksgiving. They were very thankful they were not “on the menu” that day.

turkey1

Reginald was happy that the hunters could not find any turkeys. All the hunters eventually had to go to the grocery store to get a turkey, and every hunter from the backwoods hates to go to the grocery store and buy a turkey.

Soon Thanksgiving was over, and all the turkeys rejoiced. Even so, Reginald always made sure his Army helmet was where he needed it in case a hunter was nearby.

The End


Lee’s Addition:

“… But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. (1 Corinthians 7:7b KJV)

“Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:4 KJV)

Emma has given us another great Bird Tale. I have been holding this for a while, waiting to get closer to Thanksgiving, but it is too adorable to hold any longer. So, it’s a little early, but ENJOY!

I keep encouraging her to write a tale for us, because she is developing into a gifted author. May we all encourage our young people to develop whatever talent the Lord has given them.

Maybe we can get a follow-up on Reginald and his friends.

Reginald – (Wild Turkey by Daves BirdingPix)
Reginald, Turkey Commander
By Emma Foster

There once was a turkey named Reginald who lived in the backwoods of Louisiana. Every year Reginald would band together with many other turkeys in a secret fortress underground to protect themselves from hunters hunting for turkeys to eat on Thanksgiving. Reginald and his friends had built the fortress a long time ago.

Reginald could tell it was Thanksgiving when one day he saw many hunters lurking in the backwoods searching for a turkey to eat on that special day. Reginald quickly went home to grab his Army helmet which he used as protection from gun shots, and called all his friends to their special underground fortress.

Many turkeys came prepared for the day. Most of them wore their Army helmets. Many other turkeys were there as well.  They had brought food for Thanksgiving.  Not just people celebrated Thanksgiving, turkeys did too, but without the turkey.

Soon there was a big party going on in the fortress. Not one hunter was aware that all the turkeys in the backwoods were in the underground fortress. The turkeys were joyously celebrating Thanksgiving. They were very thankful they were not “on the menu” that day.

Reginald was happy that the hunters could not find any turkeys. All the hunters eventually had to go to the grocery store to get a turkey, and every hunter from the backwoods hates to go to the grocery store and buy a turkey.

Soon Thanksgiving was over, and all the turkeys rejoiced. Even so, Reginald always made sure his Army helmet was where he needed it in case a hunter was nearby.

The End

Lee’s Addition:

“… But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. (1 Corinthians 7:7b KJV)

“Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:4 KJV)

Emma has given us another great Bird Tale. I have been holding this for a while, waiting to get closer to Thanksgiving, but it is too adorable to hold any longer. So, it’s a little early, but ENJOY!

I keep encouraging her to write a tale for us, because she is developing into a gifted author. May we all encourage our young people to develop whatever talent the Lord has given them.

Maybe we can get a follow-up on Reginald and his friends.

Mrs. Patterson’s Parrot – by Emma Foster

George, The Hummingbird

Norman Joins The Baseball Team

Bird Tales

*

Emma’s Tales Retold – Norman Joins The Baseball Team

Wood Stork up close by Lee at Lake Morton

Wood Stork up close by Lee at Lake Morton

Norman Joins The Baseball Team

by Emma Foster

There once was a stork named Norman. Every morning from a high spot in a tree he would watch the children from a nearby neighborhood walk down the street to the bus stop. The bus stop was right next to the zoo, which was where Norman lived.

His favorite part of the day, though, was when some of the kids came to the baseball field to practice. The field was right next to the zoo, and Norman enjoyed the game of baseball so much he decided to join the team.

The coaches were a little shocked at first to see that a stork was trying out for the team, but they decided to give Norman a chance. Norman was given his very own baseball bat, and he stepped up to the plate.

The first time Norman swung at the ball he missed, and a fifth grade boy yelled, “Strike one!” Norman hit the ball the second time, and flew to first base. It was then that Norman learned that you weren’t supposed to fly in baseball, and you had to make sure your baseball bat didn’t go flying as well.

Norman didn’t make it to first base anyway. One of the boys grabbed the ball off the ground and threw it to another boy at first base. The coach said that Norman was out, but Norman was still welcome on the team.

The first game was that Saturday. It was the last inning and Norman was up to bat. The bases were loaded.

The other team’s pitcher threw the ball, Norman swung the bat, and the ball sailed up into the sky. It was a home run! Norman and his team won the game, and Norman was allowed to stay on the baseball team.

The End


Woodstork & Lee by Dan at Lake Morton

Woodstork & Lee by Dan at Lake Morton

Lee’s Addition:

Where the birds make their nests; The stork has her home in the fir trees. (Psalms 104:17 NKJV)

Thanks, Emma, for another delightful story, this time about Norman.

Emma is a teenager now, and I suggested she write us another story. This was her latest then. See her other ones in the Bird Tales section.

Norman might be that friendly Stork that hangs out at Lake Morton I encountered recently. Didn’t see a baseball cap though.

Emma Foster’s Previous Stories:

*
ABC's of the Gospel

  

  ABC’s of the Gospel

 

*

Emma’s Tales Retold – George the Hummingbird

Emma’s Tales Retold – George the Hummingbird

In a tropical rainforest by the shores of Chile, there lived two hummingbirds. One was named George and the other was named Frank. They both lived next door to each other in the rainforest and looked a lot alike. They both had pink, green, and blue feathers which were great camouflage. They were great friends.

Now George and Frank were hummingbirds so they were supposed to be able to fly backward. But George never could fly backward. Finally, one day, he was determined to learn how to fly that way. He flew over to Frank’s house, the next tree over, and knocked on the door with his long beak.

“I need your help,” he said. “I want to finally learn how to fly backward.”

“That will be easy,” said Frank. “I’ll show you.”

They found a big enough space to fly long distances and Frank demonstrated. He flew to a giant palm tree and back quite easily, flying backward. After several attempts, George wasn’t getting any better. The first three times, he fell; and, the fourth time, working his wings the wrong way, he flew into a tree and got his head stuck. Frank had to pull him out.

Then Frank had a solution. He grabbed a battery-powered fan and some rope. He tied the fan onto George’s stomach and turned it on. George was off! Sometimes he would fly so fast, he would run into a tree. A Toucan, living nearby, was so unhappy about this that he squawked angrily and chased them to another tree.

Eventually, George mastered flying backward with the fan, so Frank decided to try him once without it. George tried again and again, but it was always better with the fan. Frank helped him put it back on. George used the fan for flying backward from then on. That was just his way of doing it.

The End

(By Emma Foster a Kids Writer. She is 13.)[Now 18]

One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor…. (Proverbs 12:26 ESV)

Everyone helps his neighbor and says to his brother, “Be strong!” (Isaiah 41:6 ESV)

*

More of Emma’s Stories

Her latest story

*** As I am bringing back the Kids articles, thought you might enjoy re-reading these tales.

If you would like to send in a Bird Tale that you have written, send it to Lee@Leesbird.com to be considered. It can be written by a younger writer or written with the young readers in mind. ***

Singing Bird (Woodstock) and Snoopy

Yellow-throated Vireo (Vireo flavifrons) singing ©nebirdsplus

Yellow-throated Vireo (Vireo flavifrons) singing ©nebirdsplus

This time of the year, as Spring arrives, the birds like to sing. Woodstock is no different, even if he is only a cartoon bird.

Snoopy and Woodstock Singing

Even dogs like to sing:

Singing Dog Sign LPZ by Lee

Singing Dog Sign LPZ by Lee

Singing Dogs at Lowry Pk Zoo

Singing Dogs at Lowry Pk Zoo

“The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;” (Song of Solomon 2:12 KJV)

Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the LORD hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted.” (Isaiah 49:13 KJV)

Prothonotary Warbler (Protonotaria citrea) Neal Addy Gallery

Jenny Wren Arrives – Chapter 1

House Wren (Troglodytes aedon) by Ray

House Wren (Troglodytes aedon) by Ray

Jenny Wren Arrives

Introducing the House Wren

The Burgess Bird Book For Children

*

CHAPTER I. Jenny Wren Arrives.

*

Listen to the story read.

Lipperty-lipperty-lip scampered Peter Rabbit behind the tumble-down stone wall along one side of the Old Orchard. It was early in the morning, very early in the morning. In fact, jolly, bright Mr. Sun had hardly begun his daily climb up in the blue, blue sky. It was nothing unusual for Peter to see jolly Mr. Sun get up in the morning. It would be more unusual for Peter not to see him, for you know Peter is a great hand to stay out all night and not go back to the dear Old Briar-patch, where his home is, until the hour when most folks are just getting out of bed.

Peter had been out all night this time, but he wasn’t sleepy, not the least teeny, weeny bit. You see, sweet Mistress Spring had arrived, and there was so much happening on every side, and Peter was so afraid he would miss something, that he wouldn’t have slept at all if he could have helped it. Peter had come over to the Old Orchard so early this morning to see if there had been any new arrivals the day before.

“Birds are funny creatures,” said Peter, as he hopped over a low place in the old stone wall and was fairly in the Old Orchard.

Jenny Wren - Burgess Bird Book ©©

Jenny Wren – Burgess Bird Book ©©

“Tut, tut, tut, tut, tut!” cried a rather sharp scolding voice. “Tut, tut, tut, tut, tut! You don’t know what you are talking about, Peter Rabbit. They are not funny creatures at all. They are the most sensible folks in all the wide world.”

Peter cut a long hop short right in the middle, to sit up with shining eyes. “Oh, Jenny Wren, I’m so glad to see you! When did you arrive?” he cried.

“Mr. Wren and I have just arrived, and thank goodness we are here at last,” replied Jenny Wren, fussing about, as only she can, in a branch above Peter. “I never was more thankful in my life to see a place than

I am right this minute to see the Old Orchard once more. It seems ages and ages since we left it.”

“Well, if you are so fond of it what did you leave it for?” demanded Peter. “It is just as I said before—you birds are funny creatures. You never stay put; at least a lot of you don’t. Sammy Jay and Tommy Tit the Chickadee and Drummer the Woodpecker and a few others have a little sense; they don’t go off on long, foolish journeys. But the rest of you—”

“Tut, tut, tut, tut, tut!” interrupted Jenny Wren. “You don’t know what you are talking about, and no one sounds so silly as one who tries to talk about something he knows nothing about.”

Peter chuckled. “That tongue of yours is just as sharp as ever,” said he. “But just the same it is good to hear it. We certainly would miss it. I was beginning to be a little worried for fear something might have happened to you so that you wouldn’t be back here this summer. You know me well enough, Jenny Wren, to know that you can’t hurt me with your tongue, sharp as it is, so you may as well save your breath to tell me a few things I want to know. Now if you are as fond of the Old Orchard as you pretend to be, why did you ever leave it?”

Jenny Wren’s bright eyes snapped. “Why do you eat?” she asked tartly.

“Because I’m hungry,” replied Peter promptly.

“What would you eat if there were nothing to eat?” snapped Jenny.

“That’s a silly question,” retorted Peter.

“No more silly than asking me why I leave the Old Orchard,” replied Jenny. “Do give us birds credit for a little common sense, Peter. We can’t live without eating any more than you can, and in winter there is no food at all here for most of us, so we go where there is food. Those who are lucky enough to eat the kinds of food that can be found here in winter stay here. They are lucky. That’s what they are—lucky. Still—” Jenny Wren paused.

“Still what?” prompted Peter.

“I wonder sometimes if you folks who are at home all the time know just what a blessed place home is,” replied Jenny. “It is only six months since we went south, but I said it seems ages, and it does. The best part of going away is coming home. I don’t care if that does sound rather mixed; it is true just the same. It isn’t home down there in the sunny South, even if we do spend as much time there as we do here. THIS is home, and there’s no place like it! What’s that, Mr. Wren? I haven’t seen all the Great World? Perhaps I haven’t, but I’ve seen enough of it, let me tell you that! Anyone who travels a thousand miles twice a year as we do has a right to express an opinion, especially if they have used their eyes as I have mine. There is no place like home, and you needn’t try to tease me by pretending that there is. My dear, I know you; you are just as tickled to be back here as I am.”

House Wren (Troglodytes aedon) by Ian

House Wren (Troglodytes aedon) by Ian

“He sings as if he were,” said Peter, for all the time Mr. Wren was singing with all his might.

Jenny Wren looked over at Mr. Wren fondly. “Isn’t he a dear to sing to me like that? And isn’t it a perfectly beautiful spring song?” said she. Then, without waiting for Peter to reply, her tongue rattled on. “I do wish he would be careful. Sometimes I am afraid he will overdo. Just look at him now! He is singing so hard that he is shaking all over. He always is that way. There is one thing true about us Wrens, and this is that when we do things we do them with all our might. When we work we work with all our might. When Mr. Wren sings he sings with all his might.”

“And, when you scold you scold with all your might,” interrupted Peter mischievously.

Jenny Wren opened her mouth for a sharp reply, but laughed instead. “I suppose I do scold a good deal,” said she, “but if I didn’t goodness knows who wouldn’t impose on us. I can’t bear to be imposed on.”

“Did you have a pleasant journey up from the sunny South?” asked Peter.

“Fairly pleasant,” replied Jenny. “We took it rather easily, Some birds hurry right through without stopping, but I should think they would be tired to death when they arrive. We rest whenever we are tired, and just follow along behind Mistress Spring, keeping far enough behind so that if she has to turn back we will not get caught by Jack Frost. It gives us time to get our new suits on the way. You know everybody expects you to have new things when you return home. How do you like my new suit, Peter?” Jenny bobbed and twisted and turned to show it off. It was plain to see that she was very proud of it.

“Very much,” replied Peter. “I am very fond of brown. Brown and gray are my favorite colors.” You know Peter’s own coat is brown and gray.

“That is one of the most sensible things I have heard you say,” chattered Jenny Wren. “The more I see of bright colors the better I like brown. It always is in good taste. It goes well with almost everything. It is neat and it is useful. If there is need of getting out of sight in a hurry you can do it if you wear brown. But if you wear bright colors it isn’t so easy. I never envy anybody who happens to have brighter clothes than mine. I’ve seen dreadful things happen all because of wearing bright colors.”

“What?” demanded Peter.

“I’d rather not talk about them,” declared Jenny in a very emphatic way. “‘Way down where we spent the winter some of the feathered folks who live there all the year round wear the brightest and most beautiful suits I’ve ever seen. They are simply gorgeous. But I’ve noticed that in times of danger these are the folks dreadful things happen to. You see they simply can’t get out of sight. For my part I would far rather be simply and neatly dressed and feel safe than to wear wonderful clothes and never know a minute’s peace. Why, there are some families I know of which, because of their beautiful suits, have been so hunted by men that hardly any are left. But gracious, Peter Rabbit, I can’t sit here all day talking to you! I must find out who else has arrived in the Old Orchard and must look my old house over to see if it is fit to live in.”

*

Why did Jenny and Peter Wren leave? Do you know what that is called?

How far did they travel?

What color are they and why does Jenny like it?

What kind of tongue did Jenny have? How is your tongue?

Even the stork in the sky Knows her seasons; And the turtledove and the swift and the thrush Observe the time of their migration; But My people do not know The ordinance of the LORD. (Jeremiah 8:7 NASB)

*

Links:

Bully the English Sparrow, Chippy the Chipping Sparrow - Burgess Bird Book ©©

 

  Next Chapter – The Old Orchard Bully

 

Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

 

 

  Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

 

Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum) ©WikiC   Wordless Birds

*

The Burgess Bird Book For Children – Introduction

House Wren (Troglodytes aedon) by Ian

House Wren (Troglodytes aedon) by Ian

The Burgess Bird Book For Children

By Thornton W. Burgess

TO THE CHILDREN AND THE BIRDS OF AMERICA THAT THE BONDS OF LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN THEM MAY BE STRENGTHENED THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED


PREFACE

This book was written to supply a definite need. Its preparation was undertaken at the urgent request of booksellers and others who have felt the lack of a satisfactory medium of introduction to bird life for little children. As such, and in no sense whatever as a competitor with the many excellent books on this subject, but rather to supplement these, this volume has been written.

Its primary purpose is to interest the little child in, and to make him acquainted with, those feathered friends he is most likely to see. Because there is no method of approach to the child mind equal to the story, this method of conveying information has been adopted. So far as I am aware the book is unique in this respect. In its preparation an earnest effort has been made to present as far as possible the important facts regarding the appearance, habits and characteristics of our feathered neighbors. It is intended to be at once a story book and an authoritative handbook. While it is intended for little children, it is hoped that children of larger growth may find in it much of both interest and helpfulness.

Mr. Louis Agassiz Fuertes, artist and naturalist, has marvelously supplemented such value as may be in the text by his wonderful drawings in full color. They were made especially for this volume and are so accurate, so true to life, that study of them will enable any one to identify the species shown. I am greatly indebted to Mr. Fuertes for his cooperation in the endeavor to make this book of real assistance to the beginner in the study of our native birds.

It is offered to the reader without apologies of any sort. It was written as a labor of love—love for little children and love for the birds. If as a result of it even a few children are led to a keener interest in and better understanding of our feathered friends, its purpose will have been accomplished.

THORNTON W. BURGESS

CONTENTS

Introduction

  1. Jenny Wren Arrives.  – Introducing the House Wren
  2. The Old Orchard Bully. – The English or House Sparrow.
  3. Jenny Has a Good Word for Some Sparrows. – The Song, White-throated and Fox Sparrows.
  4. Chippy, Sweetvoice, and Dotty. – The Chipping, Vesper and Tree Sparrows.
  5. Peter Learns Something He Hadn’t Guessed. – The Bluebird and the Robin.
  6. An Old Friend In a New Home. – The Phoebe and the Least Flycatcher.
  7. The Watchman of the Old Orchard. – The Kingbird and the Great Crested Flycatcher.
  8. Old Clothes and Old Houses. – The Wood Peewee and Some Nesting Places.
  9. Longbill and Teeter. – The Woodcock and the Spotted Sandpiper.
  10. Redwing and Yellow Wing. – The Red-winged Blackbird and the Golden-winged Flicker.
  11. Drummers and Carpenters. – The Downy, Hairy and Red-headed Woodpeckers.
  12. Some Unlikely Relatives. – The Cowbird and the Baltimore Oriole.
  13. More of the Blackbird Family. – The Orchard Oriole and the Bobolink.
  14. Bob White and Carol the Meadow Lark. – The So-called Quail and the Meadow Lark.
  15. A Swallow and One Who Isn’t. The Tree Swallow and the Chimney Swift.
  16. A Robber in the Old Orchard. – The Purple Martin and the Barn Swallow.
  17. More Robbers. – The Crow and the Blue Jay.
  18. Some Homes in the Green Forest. – The Crow, the Oven Bird and the Red-tailed Hawk.
  19. A Maker of Thunder and a Friend in Black. – The Ruffed Grouse and the Crow Blackbird.
  20. A Fisherman Robbed. – The Osprey and the Bald-headed Eagle.
  21. A Fishing Party. – The Great Blue Heron and the Kingfisher.
  22. Some Feathered Diggers. – The Bank Swallow, the Kingfisher and the Sparrow Hawk.
  23. Some Big Mouths. – The Nighthawk, the Whip-poor-will and Chuck-wills-widow.
  24. The Warblers Arrive. – The Redstart and the Yellow Warbler.
  25. Three Cousins Quite Unlike. – The Black and White Warbler, the Maryland Yellow-Throat and the Yellow-breasted Chat.
  26. Peter Gets a Lame Neck. – The Parula, Myrtle and Magnolia Warblers.
  27. A New Friend and an Old One. – The Cardinal and the Catbird.
  28. Peter Sees Rosebreast and Finds Redcoat. – The Rose-breasted Grosbeak and the Scarlet Tanager.
  29. The Constant Singers. – The Red-eyed, Warbling and Yellow-throated Vireos.
  30. Jenny Wren’s Cousins. – The Brown Thrasher and the Mockingbird.
  31. Voices of the Dusk. – The Wood, Hermit and Wilson’s Thrushes.
  32. Peter Saves a Friend and Learns Something. – The Towhee and the Indigo Bunting.
  33. A Royal Dresser and a Late Nester. – The Purple Linnet and the Goldfinch.
  34. Mourner the Dove and Cuckoo. – The Mourning Dove and the Yellow-billed Cuckoo.
  35. A Butcher and a Hummer. – The Shrike and the Ruby-throated Hummingbird.
  36. A Stranger and a Dandy. – The English Starling and the Cedar Waxwing.
  37. Farewells and Welcomes. – The Chickadee.
  38. Honker and Dippy Arrive. – The Canada Goose and the Loon.
  39. Peter Discovers Two Old Friends. – The White-breasted Nuthatch and the Brown Creeper.
  40. Some Merry Seed-Eaters. – The Tree Sparrow and the Junco.
  41. More Friends Come With the Snow. – The Snow Bunting and the Horned Lark.
  42. Peter Learns Something About Spooky. – The Screech Owl.
  43. Queer Feet and a Queerer Bill. – The Ruffed Grouse and the Crossbills.
  44. More Folks in Red. – The Pine Grosbeak and the Redpoll.
  45. Peter Sees Two Terrible Feathered Hunters. – The Goshawk and the Great Horned Owl.

Lee’s Addition:

I think you will greatly enjoy this book. Birds and their behaviors are presented in a story, but many birdwatching truths are introduced. Look for questions and Christian principle at the end of the chapters. These are also a good way to read and teach your child or grandchild. Enjoy!

(P.S. – Just found a source for audio for these chapters. They will be attached.)

(The first chapter is being released today)


The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Burgess Bird Book for Children, by Thornton W. Burgess

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at http://www.gutenberg.org

Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

 

 Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

 

 

Savannah Sparrow by Ray    Wordless Birds

 

*

Emma’s Tales Retold – Mrs. Patterson’s Parrot

 

Emma’s Tales Retold – Mrs. Patterson’s Parrot

 

Parrot Had A Little Trouble Getting Into The House by Emma Foster

Parrot Had A Little Trouble Getting Into The House by Emma Foster

[Patterson’s Parrot, originally posted in 2012 as Mrs. Patterson’s Parrot]

One day an old lady named Mrs. Patterson decided that she should have more company around. She traveled down to her local pet store and parked her car. Mrs. Patterson was guided by one of the workers through the store. When they came to the section where the birds were, Mrs. Patterson stopped at an enormous parrot. The parrot had red wings, green all over his body, a blue ring around his neck and a yellow spot on his tail. Mrs. Patterson wanted him for her bird.

It took awhile before the parrot could fit through the door! The parrot was so big that he had to wear a leash that Mrs. Patterson held through the window of her car and soar above it. The parrot had a little trouble getting in the house! When he got into the house, Mrs. Patterson named him Bob.

But one day a visitor came to the door and addressed himself as Mr. Field. He explained that Bob was his parrot that he had lost long ago. After saying goodbye, Bob left with Mr. Field, wearing a leash, and flew away above Mr. Field’s truck.

The next day Mr. Field came back with Bob! Mr. Field said that he worked at a circus with Bob, but Bob could not remember any of his tricks so he had to bring him back. Mrs. Patterson thanked him and sat down in a chair with Bob. She knew he would always be her parrot.

The End

(I did no editing of the article. Click the photo to enlarge it.)


Lee’s Addition:

Emma was 12 years old and Home Schooled when this was first posted. She attends our church and likes to draw and write. I told her that if she wrote about a bird, I would publish it here on the blog. Above is her story and drawing of Bob the enormous Parrot. I trust you enjoy it as well as I did. She was in the 7th Grade at the time. [She is now in college] If you enjoy it, please click the Like button as that will be an encouragement to her.

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6 ESV)

P.S. Emma is the Granddaughter of another of our Guest Writers, Dot Malcolm. She has written three articles for us.

The Joy of Awareness

When the Robins Came

Return of the Robins

plus more

*

*** As I am bringing back the Kids articles, thought you might enjoy re-reading these tales.

If you would like to send in a Bird Tale that you have written, send it to Lee@Leesbird.com to be considered. It can be written by a younger writer or written with the young readers in mind. ***

Bible Birds – Sparrows I

Russet Sparrow (Passer rutilans) by Nikhil Devasar

Russet Sparrow (Passer rutilans) by Nikhil Devasar

In the Bible, the Sparrows are mentioned in 7 verses. Check out these from the NKJV:

Even the sparrow has found a home, And the swallow a nest for herself, Where she may lay her young— Even Your altars, O LORD of hosts, My King and my God. (Psalms 84:3 NKJV)

I lie awake, And am like a sparrow alone on the housetop. (Psalms 102:7 NKJV)

Like a flitting sparrow, like a flying swallow, So a curse without cause shall not alight. (Proverbs 26:2 NKJV)

Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. (Matthew 10:29 NKJV)

Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. (Matthew 10:31 NKJV)

Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. (Luke 12:6 NKJV)

But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. (Luke 12:7 NKJV)

Sparrows are not always thought of very highly. Many people think they are just “little brown birds” and are of no use. But is that what the Scriptures says in those verses? No.

What can you learn from those verses?

The sparrow has found a ____________

The sparrow is found on the __________________

How does the sparrow fly? (see Proverbs 26:2) _______________

Who is aware of or allows a sparrow to fall to the ground? ______________

Are sparrows forgotten by God? ______________

How many sparrows were sold for one copper coin? ________

For two copper coins? ___________

Who is more valuable, you or a sparrow? _____________

We will talk more about Sparrows in the next Bible Birds – Sparrows II. For now, here are a few pictures of different Sparrows around the world.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

*

Bible Birds – Sparrows

Wordless Birds

*

Kicking Up a Real Dust Storm!!

Dust Storm in Texas in 1935 ©WikiC

Well, I really have a dust storm brewing behind the scenes of this blog. So, if things don’t exactly work right for a few days, BEWARE!

Tomorrow is the 10th Anniversary of Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures. On February 16th of 2008, the first post came out. At that time I was using Blogspot. Then in July of that year, I switched to WordPress, and have enjoyed having the blog here. The name was changed to Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures Plus. That is when other topics besides birds began appearing. Later, I started Birds of the Bible for Kids blog to house many of the Birds of the Bible articles but written for the younger readers. [Kids] It grew from there.

Then about four years ago, I closed down that site for several reasons, like “old age” and needing more “naps.” The blog has continued to exist by having links over to Leesbird.com. The yearly fee has also been continually paid.

Now, I have a desire to re-open that blog and make it active again……

To read the rest of this CLICK HERE!