The Winter Wrens' Dew-drop Baths
: Daddy's Bedtime Bird Stories
"The winter wren is really with us during the summer too," said daddy.
"But he is too shy to be near us. We can only hear him sing sometimes.
When winter comes, though, he goes to people for protection and picks up
the crumbs they give him.
"Yesterday he was sitting on a snow-berry bush with a tiny companion.
The snow-berry bushes are full and leafy, and in the spring and summer
are covered with very tiny
pink blossoms. In the autumn and winter they
are covered with little berries which look as if they had been made out
"'Oh, how I dread the winter!' said the tiny wren. 'Just imagine how
dreadful it would be if no one put any bread crumbs out for us, or no
dog left us some of his dinner on a back porch.'
"'Now,' said Mr. Brown Wren, 'you mustn't think of such sad thoughts.
You always do! Someone will look after us. And maybe we'll find a few
spiders now and then in the cracks, and then well have a regular feast.'
"The next day they were back again on the snow-berry bush, and the day
was much warmer. Now the wrens love to bathe above all things! Even in
the winter they will go through a little sheet of ice and get into the
cold, cold water underneath. For they must get their baths! And in the
spring, when the tiny wrens are brought forth from their mossy nests,
the first lesson they have is of bathing in some nearby brook.
"But this day it was early in the morning, the snow-berry bush was
covered with dew-drops and the wrens were delighted.
"'The sun will drive them away soon. Let's take them while we get the
chance,' whispered Mr. Brown Wren.
"'Yes, yes,' said his small companion. 'We will soon have to bathe when
it is so cold. Let us have a good warm bath first.'
"And then those two little brown wrens took the dew-drops in their
beaks, and dropped each one in turn on their feathers. Then they got
under some leaves full of dew-drops and shook them down over their
little feathered bodies.
"After they were well covered with the dew-drops they began to shake all
over just as every bird does when he takes a bath. And back they went to
take another bath when this one was over. For they seemed to enjoy their
last warm bath so much!
"Finally they had bathed enough, and the sun appeared strong as could
be, and shining very hard. They perched still on the branches of the
snow-berry bush and bathed now in the hot sun. Soon their little
feathers were quite dry and they began to sing.
"And truly I think their song was one of gladness because of their