The Bobolinks Have A Tea Party
: Daddy's Bedtime Bird Stories
"The other day," commenced daddy, "the bobolinks had an afternoon tea.
"The tea party was given for the meadow larks. The bobolinks are great
friends of the meadow larks and they wanted to be the first this season
to entertain them. Besides, most of the bobolinks had new summer homes
and their colony was near a beautiful stream.
"You know the bobolinks always build their homes in the meadows--but
they build very near a stream and their homes are always deep down
in the long grass.
"They had all come to live in Waving Grassland for the summer--that is,
all the bobolinks who always moved about together in the summer and
winter--and many of their friends, the meadow larks, were on hand to
greet them. A number of others were going to arrive in a few
days--before the tea party.
"Now Waving Grassland was very beautiful country. The meadows were very
large and the grass was so beautiful and so long that it always waved
in the soft breezes, so that the bobolinks named their new summer
place Waving Grassland.
"And so the bobolinks made all their preparations for the tea party. The
guests arrived dressed up in their best new summer plumage. The meadow
larks came first, as they were the guests of honor.
"The red-breasted grosbeak family were all there looking too lovely for
words. And the bluejays, downy woodpeckers, the orioles, the thrush
family, the chipping sparrows, the robins, the indigo birds--and even
the shy vireos ventured forth. Of course, usually they hate parties, but
they loved the stream nearby and the beautiful country the bobolinks
were living in, and they thought at least once a year they ought to be a
little bit sociable and friendly with their neighbors.
"After they had all chatted together--to us it would have sounded more
like chirping--the bobolinks began to serve tea.
"They had spring water for their tea--the water from the cool stream
which had a deep spring within it. And this tea they served in little
moss-covered stones. That gave it the most delicious flavor, and all the
birds asked the bobolinks where they had found such good tea. You know
in birdland they don't ask each other where anything is bought, but
where it is found! And the bobolinks told their secret.
"But as they were drinking cup after cup--or stoneful after stoneful--of
tea, who should arrive but all the fairies!
"The birds greeted the fairies with their best songs--or their way of
saying 'We're so glad to see you'--and the bobolinks trilled with joy
because they had arranged this lovely surprise for their guests."