But now the great round yellow sun
Is going down the west;
And soon the birds will every one
Be home, and in the nest.
Then we to rest shall go home too;
And while we’re fast asleep,
Amid the darkness and the dew,
Perhaps the sprouts will peep.
And, when our plants have grown so high
That leaves are on the stem,
We’ll call the pretty birdies nigh,
And scatter crumbs for them.
For mother loved their songs to hear,
To watch them on the wing:
She’ll love to know they still come near
Her little ones, and sing.”
“Heaven shield thee, precious child!”
“And sister Annie too!
And may your future days be fraught
With blessings ever new!”
Hanna F. Gould
* * * * *
This is a true story. A little girl received it in a letter from a very dear friend before it was printed.
So, my dear little friend, you wish for an answer to your letter, and could not understand that the little feather brush I sent you was a reply to your loving remembrance, just as if I had written one with pen and ink. But you were a kind and loving child to transfer the gift to little Julia, in your pity for her tears. I hope it soothed her troubled heart, and dried her blue eyes; and you now shall have, instead, the story which those soft feathers were sent to tell.
One evening last summer, Miss L—— came home from one of her rides, with a large basket closely covered; and what do you think it contained? Why, a great anxious mother-hen, all tawny-colored and white, with thirteen downy little chickens, who were frightened enough, and wondering where in the wide world they were. We made a house for them in the green meadow, of a barrel turned upside down; and they all crept under their mother’s wing, and went to sleep. But, lo! a great storm came in the night, such a pouring rain, such a blowing gale,—we really feared the tiny things would be drowned! But a kind neighbor put on his big coat, and went to their rescue. He put them all together in the basket again, and brought it into the kitchen, where they got thoroughly warm and dry; after which, they were taken out to the barn, where they lived a few days very comfortably. Then one of them disappeared, we never knew where; and another lamed herself in some way, and, notwithstanding all our care, she died. But the rest grew up, a healthy and obedient little family, always ready to eat, and so quick to run with their tiny feet, when any one appeared at the door, that it was very funny to see them.