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WASHINGTON'S BIRTHDAY

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Mr Nightingale's New Friend Mr Blackbird

from Daddy's Bedtime Bird Stories





"I heard a story the other day," said daddy, "a quite true story. Mr.
Nightingale had built too large a nest.

"After a while he thought of a visitor he would like to have all the
time, and off he started on his travels.

"As he went along, flying as fast as he could, he kept thinking to
himself how very lonely he had been of late.

"At last he reached the spot he had chosen for resting. It was in a
blackbird's bay. There were many low bushes and shrubs and berry trees
in this bay, and in the marshy water were quantities of pond-lilies.

"Soon a very fine bird--black as black could be, and very shiny, just as
if he'd polished his wings with shoe-blacking--perched on a bush beside
the one where Mr. Nightingale was resting.

"'Did you come to hear us sing or talk or scream?' asked the blackbird.

"Mr. Nightingale sang a little opening song and then began to talk
to the blackbird.

"'Mr. Blackbird,' he said, 'you're a handsome fellow, and you're very
smart. I've heard a secret about your family. Many have done what you
will do. You must try. That's all.' And again Mr. Nightingale sang a
song.

"'What do you mean, Mr. Nightingale? Your song is lovely, but your talk
is very, very queer.' And Mr. Blackbird shook his head sadly.

"'Well, I mean you to come to my nest. It's too big for me. It's fitted
out perfectly--all the latest improvements--fresh water to drink
supplied by my water man, Mr. Showers, and new worms each day my
children bring to my nest in plenty of time for breakfast--and our rooms
are both shady and sunny. In fact, it's a very superior home. But in
the house nearby lives a dear old lady and I want her to be given a
treat. She has gone away on a visit and when she comes back I want you
to be singing duets with me.'

"'What?' shouted the blackbird. 'I'm to sing with you?'

"'Most certainly. Many blackbirds have copied our voices so that you
wouldn't be able to tell us apart if you couldn't see us. The nice old
lady will hear our voices and think that there are two of me! When she
sees that one is you, she'll think you're a smart bird--that's what
she'll think. Besides, I want a companion and I like you.'

"'Well, I never heard so many reasons in all my life,' said the
blackbird. 'But I'll go just as soon as I get my suitcase packed. There
are several little delicacies from the bay I'd like to bring along.' And
Mr. Blackbird stopped to put some red berries and other goodies in his
straw bag. Then off they went, and Mr. Blackbird really did learn to
sing just like Mr. Nightingale."





Next: Mr Plain Sparrow Calls On Ducks

Previous: What The Birds Thought Of The Fourth Of July



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