Emma’s Stories – Ted and Red

House Finch male ©Glenn Bartley-Wichita StateU

Ted and Red

by Emma Foster

Once there were two finches named Ted and Red who were brothers. They lived in two trees that had been planted next to each other. Their trees were in a courtyard by a museum, which provided them with plenty of shade because Florida was almost always hot. Both birds had many friends in the courtyard.

The birds spent most of their time flying around the beaches and hectic streets searching for food or just having fun watching the different tourists around the coast. Many times, people on the dock would feed them breadcrumbs.

Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Cranes

But as summer came, the days grew hotter and longer, and there were many rainy days. Ted and Red stayed in their nests most of the time under the protection of their large shady trees. Their friends stayed in their little homes too: the fish remained comfortable in their pond, the two cranes who lived nearby nestled in their nests in the bushes, and the black snake stayed in his small hole in the grass.

House Finch Resting

One day when there wasn’t much rain, Red went out to search for some food. While he was gone, the clouds grew black, and Red knew he needed to hurry home. However, when he reached the courtyard, the rain poured down harder, and Red couldn’t see very well. He flew toward a light that he saw up ahead and accidentally flew into the museum, sliding across the slippery floor. Red knocked against a small object, sending it crashing to the ground. An alarm went off somewhere, and Red quickly flew back outside and into his nest, where he told Ted what had happened. The rain slowly lessened, and the alarm stopped. Several museum employees had to clean up the mess. Red felt terrible for breaking the vase, but Ted and their friends told him it was an accident and it wasn’t his fault.

House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus) by Raymond Barlow

Just then, another alarm went off, and someone ran out of one of the entrances, holding a large vase. Ted, Red, and their friends thought fast. The fish quickly pointed to the machine that visitors inserted quarters into to obtain fish food to throw to the fish. Ted and Red flew against it and beat on it with their feet as hard as they could, while the two cranes beat their wings against it. The black snake followed behind the man in case he turned around, hoping that the man would be too scared to step over him. The fish food spilled across the walkway, and the man stealing the vase fell over, while the security guards ran after him and caught him. The security guards were afraid to step over the black snake too. Ted and Red flew back into their nests. Red felt much better afterwards, knowing that he made up for his earlier mistake.

House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) by Ian

House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) by Ian

Ted and Red spent the rest of their summer with their friends in the courtyard. From then on, whenever it rained Ted and Red were careful to stay in their comfortable nests. To their friends, they were now considered honorary security guards.


What an interesting story, Emma. I trust our readers enjoy it as much as I do. The teamwork of this mixture of critters reminds us of how, as Christians, we work together, even though we have different gifts. The seems to blend us together to accomplish His Will.

“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” (1 Corinthians 12:4-7 ESV)

See More of Emma’s Stories

The McGuffey’s Reader Posts

Bald Eagle (close up) LP Zoo by Lee

Bald Eagle (close up) LP Zoo by Lee

If you have stopped by recently, you have noticed the different articles from the McGuffey’s Readers. So far, there have been posts from the Second Grade, Third Grade, Fourth Grade and the Sixth Grade Readers.

McGuffey Readers were a series of graded primers for grade levels 1-6. They were widely used as textbooks in American schools from the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century, and are still used today in some private schools and in homeschooling.

My question is would you like more of these posted? School will be starting soon and your young readers may find these useful for reading practice. Then again, they may be so busy they do not have time to read extra stories.

These all have good tales to tell, and I have been busy finding the BIRD stories, of course. I have found many more articles that can be made from the McGuffey’s Readers. They are full of stories that have good morals to them. Here they are updated with current neat bird pictures and Scripture verses.

House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) Five ©Indiatoday

House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) Five ©Indiatoday

Please leave a comment about whether these are helpful and enjoyable to you, your children, or your grandchildren. Maybe, even your students.

These are coming from the Gutenberg books online:

Yes, I have plans to do First Grade and Fifth Grade stories, if the answers are positive.

“Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend [to show rage or worthy purpose].” (Proverbs 27:17 AMP)

Wordless Birds

The Sandpiper – Fourth Grade McGuffey’s Reader

Semipalmated Sandpiper (Calidris pusilla) ©WikiC

Semipalmated Sandpiper (Calidris pusilla) ©WikiC

McGuffey Readers were a series of graded primers for grade levels 1-6. They were widely used as textbooks in American schools from the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century, and are still used today in some private schools and in homeschooling.

Here is a story of The Eagle from the Fourth Grade Reader. (From Gutenberg) Pictures are current photos.

Fourth Grade McGuffey Reader

XLIX. THE SANDPIPER. 
By CELIA THAXTER.

1. Across the lonely beach we flit,
One little sandpiper and I,
And fast I gather, bit by bit,
The scattered driftwood, bleached and dry.
The wild waves reach their hands for it,
The wild wind raves, the tide runs high,
As up and down the beach we flit,
One little sandpiper and I.

Rock Sandpiper (Calidris ptilocnemis) by Ian

2. Above our heads the sullen clouds
Scud, black and swift, across the sky;
Like silent ghosts in misty shrouds
Stand out the white lighthouses high.
Almost as far as eye can reach
I see the close-reefed vessels fly,
As fast we flit across the beach,
One little sandpiper and I.

Least Sandpiper at Fort DeSoto by Lee

Least Sandpiper at Fort DeSoto by Lee

3. I watch him as he skims along,
Uttering his sweet and mournful cry;
He starts not at my fitful song,
Nor flash of fluttering drapery.
He has no thought of any wrong,
He scans me with a fearless eye;
Stanch friends are we, well-tried and strong,
The little sandpiper and I.

Rock Sandpiper (Calidris ptilocnemis) ©USFWS

4. Comrade, where wilt thou be to-night,
When the loosed storm breaks furiously?
My driftwood fire will burn so bright!
To what warm shelter canst thou fly?
I do not fear for thee, though wroth
The tempest rushes through the sky;
For are we not God’s children both,
Thou, little sandpiper, and I?

DEFINITIONS.—l. Sand’pi-per, a bird of the snipe family, found along the seacoast. Drift’wood. wood tossed on shore by the waves. Bleached, whitened. Tide, the regular rise and fall of the ocean which occurs twice in a little over twenty-four hours. 2. Scud, fly hastily. Shrouds, Winding sheets, dresses of the dead. Close’reefed, with sails contracted as much as possible. 3. Fit’ful, irregularly variable. Draper-y, garments. Scans, looks at care-fully. Stanch, firm. 4. Wroth, angry.

“I would hasten my escape From the windy storm and tempest.” (Psalms 55:8 NKJV)

You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.” (John 15:14 NKJV)

Title: McGuffey’s Fourth Eclectic Reader, Author: William Holmes McGuffey
Release Date: February 2, 2005 [EBook #14880], Language: English

Wordless Birds

 

The Kingbird – McGuffey’s Second Grade Reader

Grey Kingbird (Tyrannus dominicensis) by Lee at Honeymoon Is SP

McGuffey Readers were a series of graded primers for grade levels 1-6. They were widely used as textbooks in American schools from the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century, and are still used today in some private schools and in homeschooling. [Posting these for young readers to enjoy and practice reading while school is out.]

Here is a story of Kingbird from the Second Grade Reader. (From Gutenberg)

McGuffey Reader Set ©WikiC

LESSON XVIII.

New Words:

ber’ries strikes rob’in ea’gle short king rid

foe dart fails sharp hawk worms ac’tive

Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus) by Margaret Sloan

THE KINGBIRD.

1. The kingbird is not bigger than a robin.

2. He eats flies, and worms, and bugs, and berries.

3. He builds his nest in a tree, near some house.

4. When there are young ones in the nest, he sits on the top of a tree near them.

5. He watches to see that no bird comes to hurt them or their mother.

6. If a hawk, a crow, or even an eagle comes near, he makes a dash at it.

7. Though he is so small, he is brave, and he is also very active.

8. He never fails to drive off other birds from his nest.

9. He flies around and around the eagle, and suddenly strikes him with his sharp bill.

10. He strikes at his eye, and then darts away before the eagle can catch him.

11. Or he strikes from behind, and is off again before the eagle can turn round.

12. In a short time, the great eagle is tired of such hard blows, and flies away. He is very glad to get rid of his foe.

13. Is not the little fellow a brave bird?

14. Because he can drive off all other birds, he is called the KINGBIRD.

“Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.” (1 Corinthians 16:13 NKJV)

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Title: McGuffey’s Second Grade Reader – Gutenberg – Author: William Holmes McGuffey

Release Date: June 29, 2005 [EBook #14668] – Language: English

Wordless Birds

Emma Foster’s Directionally Challenged Goose

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) by Ian

Walter the Directionally Challenged Goose by Emma Foster

Once there was a large Canadian goose named Walter. He lived in the north beside a little pond, and he went south for the winter. Sometimes he got lost because he didn’t know which way was North and which way was South. Walter was directionally challenged. On the times he did not get lost, he usually stayed by the beach where it was warm.

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) ©USFWS

Is That South?

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) by Ian

Or Is That South?

Walter loved to stay by his little pond because it had just the right amount of grass, the water was always cool, and he always had plenty to eat. After successfully making his way back to the pond after flying south for the winter, Walter looked forward to relaxing in the warm spring sun. However, he noticed that it was a bit colder than he remembered it being at that time of year.

Walter started thinking. Maybe he had come back too early or maybe he had come back too late and it was already winter again. A few moments later it started to snow, and Walter began to shiver. He decided that he would just have to go back south for the rest of the winter, though he first had to figure out which way South was again. After thinking for another minute in the snow, Walter soared into the sky and began flying, nearly running into a few trees in the process.

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) by Kent Nickel

After flying for what felt like hours, Walter thought that the air seemed a bit warmer. He didn’t know if he was South yet because he hadn’t found a beach or anything. Eventually, however, he found a large lake that seemed like the perfect place to spend the winter. Walter dove down toward the lake, skimming down to what he thought was water.

Bang! Walter flew straight into a giant garage door then tumbled down toward the water. The garage door was so close to the lake that Walter accidentally misdirected his flight by a few feet. He felt fine, but he decided to lie there for a few minutes before getting up. After a while, he fell asleep.

When Walter woke up, he realized he was in a small cage. He flailed about trying to get out. He was afraid because he didn’t know where he was, but he was able to calm down when a lady came in and gave him some food. Walter noticed a while later that his foot was bandaged.

Canadian Goose with injured foot

Walter stayed at the veterinary clinic for a few days while his foot healed. When he was able to walk a little better, he waddled around the clinic, where he met new people. The veterinarians at the clinic always said hello when Walter wandered into the front lobby, and he always had plenty to eat. He grew very comfortable at the clinic because he was never lonely.

A few days later, some of the vets took Walter to the lake where he had attempted to land earlier and set him free. For a while, he kept following them back to the truck because he didn’t want them to leave.

When the truck pulled away, Walter sat by the lake, sad. After a few minutes of thinking, he suddenly came up with a good idea. He flew up into the air, swooped down, and hit the same garage door again, though this time lightly enough so that he wouldn’t get injured as badly.

The veterinarians came back and took him to the clinic, even though Walter was perfectly fine this time. The vets at the clinic ultimately decided to let Walter stay since he liked it there so much, and Walter was very happy now because he didn’t have to worry about which way was South and which way was North.


Lee’s Addition:

Wow! Emma. Another great story. This is very interesting, especially because of all the birds that are migrating north now. I hope there aren’t any other “directionally challenged” birds facing Walter’s dilemma.

Maybe Walter should have prayed and read Psalm 143:8 before he travels.

“Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk [FLY], for I lift up my soul unto thee.” (Psalms 143:8 KJV)

See Bird Tales For More of Emma’s Stories

 

 

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)

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See more of Emma’s Bird Tales

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ABC’s of the Gospel

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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.

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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:

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Links:

  Next Chapter (A Robber in the Old Orchard)

 

 

 

Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

  Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

 

 

 

   ABC’s of the Gospel

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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

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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:

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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

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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

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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:

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ABC's of the Gospel

  

  ABC’s of the Gospel

 

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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)

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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