While Blue-feather was sitting on the fence, a boy saw him. He nearly killed the poor bird with a shot from his sling.
Blue-feather was just able to fly. His leg was lame, and one wing was hurt, but he steered straight for home.
Late at night he arrived at his own dovecote, tired and hungry, but happy to be safe at home again. He found White-coat waiting for him.
White-coat smoothed his poor brother’s feathers, nestled close to him, and soothed him with his coo! coo! coo!
THE HORSE AND THE WOLF
A horse, in the early spring, was turned into a pasture of fresh grass. He was enjoying himself very much when a hungry wolf spied him. The horse did not see the wolf.
The wolf said, “I want that horse. I have not had a good meal for a month. He is so big that I can not catch him as I would a sheep. I shall have to play a trick.” So he lay down on the ground and thought how he could deceive the horse and then catch him.
“I have it,” he said at last. “I will be a doctor. The horse is sound and well, but I will make him think that he needs a doctor; then I shall tell him that I can cure him.” The wolf smacked his lips as he thought of the meal he would soon have.
He marched into the pasture in a very business-like way. Going right up to the horse, he said:
“Good morning, my dear sir. This is fine grass you are eating and a beautiful morning to be out. I am sorry to see you looking so poorly this bright day. I happen to be a doctor. As you know, a good doctor can tell at sight when one is sick. If you were well, you would not have been turned out to pasture. You know that there is much work to be done at this time of the year. Your master must think that you are not able to work.
“Now, my friend, be frank with me; tell me what ails you, that I may cure you. I have been to the best schools in the country. There I learned about diseases of every kind and a sure cure for every disease. If you have no money to pay my bill, do not let that trouble you. We can settle that later.”
The horse looked at the wolf out of the corner of his eye and said, “Now that I think of it, I believe that something is wrong with the bottom of my left hind foot.”
All the time the wolf had been looking for a good chance to spring upon the horse, but the horse did not let him get out of his sight for an instant.
When the horse told of his trouble the wolf replied, “Yes, I understand just what is the matter. There are many others having that same trouble this year. I have had as many as twenty cases. All are doing well. Let me look at your foot. Raise it now, please, care—”
At this instant the horse raised his foot, and with it gave the wolf such a terrible kick in his face that he fell heavily to the ground. The horse went on feeding.