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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 180 pages of information about Wake-Robin.

In the mean time the wrens were beside themselves with delight; they fairly screamed with joy.  If the male was before “ruffled with whirlwind of his ecstasies,” he was now in danger of being rent asunder.  He inflated his throat and caroled as wren never caroled before.  And the female, too, how she cackled and darted about!  How busy they both were!  Rushing into the nest, they hustled those eggs out in less than a minute, wren time.  They carried in new material, and by the third day were fairly installed again in their old headquarters; but on the third day, so rapidly are these little dramas played, the female bluebird reappeared with another mate.  Ah! how the wren stock went down then!  What dismay and despair filled again those little breasts!  It was pitiful.  They did not scold as before, but after a day or two withdrew from the garden, dumb with grief, and gave up the struggle.

The bluebird, finding her eggs gone and her nest changed, seemed suddenly seized with alarm and shunned the box; or else, finding she had less need for another husband than she thought, repented her rashness and wanted to dissolve the compact.  But the happy bridegroom would not take the hint, and exerted all his eloquence to comfort and reassure her.  He was fresh and fond, and until this bereaved female found him I am sure his suit had not prospered that season.  He thought the box just the thing, and that there was no need of alarm, and spent days in trying to persuade the female back.  Seeing he could not be a stepfather to a family, he was quite willing to assume a nearer relation.  He hovered about the box, he went in and out, he called, he warbled, he entreated; the female would respond occasionally and come and alight near, and even peep into the nest, but would not enter it, and quickly flew away again.  Her mate would reluctantly follow, but he was soon back, uttering the most confident and cheering calls.  If she did not come he would perch above the nest and sound his loudest notes over and over again, looking in the direction of his mate and beckoning with every motion.  But she responded less and less frequently.  Some days I would see him only, but finally he gave it up; the pair disappeared, and the box remained deserted the rest of the summer. 1867

VIII

THE INVITATION

Years ago, when quite a youth, I was rambling in the woods one Sunday, with my brothers, gathering black birch, wintergreens, etc., when, as we reclined upon the ground, gazing vaguely up into the trees, I caught sight of a bird, that paused a moment on a branch above me, the like of which I had never before seen or heard of.  It was probably the blue yellow-backed warbler, as I have since found this to be a common bird in those woods; but to my young fancy it seemed like some fairy bird, so unexpected.  I saw it a moment as the flickering leaves parted, noted the white spot on its wing, and it was gone.  How the

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