Their Creator Gave Them The “V”
For a while Jenny Wren was too busy to talk save to scold Mr. Wren for spending so much time singing instead of working. To Peter it seemed as if they were trying to fill that tree trunk with rubbish. “I should think they had enough stuff in there for half a dozen nests,” muttered Peter. “I do believe they are carrying it in for the fun of working.” Peter wasn’t far wrong in this thought, as he was to discover a little later in the season when he found Mr. Wren building another nest for which he had no use.
Finding that for the time being he could get nothing more from Jenny Wren, Peter hopped over to visit Johnny Chuck, whose home was between the roots of an old apple-tree in the far corner of the Old Orchard. Peter was still thinking of the Sparrow family; what a big family it was, yet how seldom any of them, excepting Bully the English Sparrow, were to be found in the Old Orchard.
“Hello, Johnny Chuck!” cried Peter, as he discovered Johnny sitting on his doorstep. “You’ve lived in the Old Orchard a long time, so you ought to be able to tell me something I want to know. Why is it that none of the Sparrow family excepting that noisy nuisance, Bully, build in the trees of the Old Orchard? Is it because Bully has driven all the rest out?”
Johnny Chuck shook his head. “Peter,” said he, “whatever is the matter with your ears? And whatever is the matter with your eyes?”
“Nothing,” replied Peter rather shortly. “They are as good as yours any day, Johnny Chuck.”
(Chipping Sparrow singing ©xeno-canto.org by Ian Cruickshank)
Johnny grinned. “Listen!” said Johnny. Peter listened. From a tree just a little way off came a clear “Chip, chip, chip, chip.” Peter didn’t need to be told to look. He knew without looking who was over there. He knew that voice for that of one of his oldest and best friends in the Old Orchard, a little fellow with a red-brown cap, brown back with feathers streaked with black, brownish wings and tail, a gray waistcoat and black bill, and a little white line over each eye—altogether as trim a little gentleman as Peter was acquainted with. It was Chippy, as everybody calls the Chipping Sparrow, the smallest of the family.
Peter looked a little foolish. “I forgot all about Chippy,” said he. “Now I think of it, I have found Chippy here in the Old Orchard ever since I can remember. I never have seen his nest because I never happened to think about looking for it. Does he build a trashy nest like his cousin, Bully?”
Johnny Chuck laughed. “I should say not!” he exclaimed. “Twice Chippy and Mrs. Chippy have built their nest in this very old apple-tree. There is no trash in their nest, I can tell you! It is just as dainty as they are, and not a bit bigger than it has to be. It is made mostly of little fine, dry roots, and it is lined inside with horse-hair.”
“What’s that?” Peter’s voice sounded as it he suspected that Johnny Chuck was trying to fool him.
“It’s a fact,” said Johnny, nodding his head gravely. “Goodness knows where they find it these days, but find it they do. Here comes Chippy himself; ask him.”
Chippy and Mrs. Chippy came flitting from tree to tree until they were on a branch right over Peter and Johnny. “Hello!” cried Peter. “You folks seem very busy. Haven’t you finished building your nest yet?”
“Nearly,” replied Chippy. “It is all done but the horsehair. We are on our way up to Farmer Brown’s barnyard now to look for some. You haven’t seen any around anywhere, have you?”
Peter and Johnny shook their heads, and Peter confessed that he wouldn’t know horsehair if he saw it. He often had found hair from the coats of Reddy Fox and Old Man Coyote and Digger the Badger and Lightfoot the Deer, but hair from the coat of a horse was altogether another matter.
“It isn’t hair from the coat of a horse that we want,” cried Chippy, as he prepared to fly after Mrs. Chippy. “It is long hair from the tail or mane of a horse that we must have. It makes the very nicest kind of lining for a nest.”
Chippy and Mrs. Chippy were gone a long time, but when they did return each was carrying a long black hair. They had found what they wanted, and Mrs. Chippy was in high spirits because, as she took pains to explain to Peter, that little nest would not soon be ready for the four beautiful little blue eggs with black spots on one end she meant to lay in it.
“I just love Chippy and Mrs. Chippy,” said Peter, as they watched their two little feathered friends putting the finishing touches to the little nest far out on a branch of one of the apple-trees.
“Everybody does,” replied Johnny. “Everybody loves them as much as they hate Bully and his wife. Did you know that they are sometimes called Tree Sparrows? I suppose it is because they so often build their nests in trees?”
“No,” said Peter, “I didn’t. Chippy shouldn’t be called Tree Sparrow, because he has a cousin by that name.”
Johnny Chuck looked as if he doubted that, “I never heard of him,” he grunted.
Peter grinned. Here was a chance to tell Johnny Chuck something, and Peter never is happier than when he can tell folks something they don’t know. “You’d know him if you didn’t sleep all winter,” said Peter. “Dotty the Tree Sparrow spends the winter here. He left for his home in the Far North about the time you took it into your head to wake up.”
“Why do you call him Dotty?” asked Johnny Chuck.
“Because he has a little round black dot right in the middle of his breast,” replied Peter. “I don’t know why they call him Tree Sparrow; he doesn’t spend his time in the trees the way Chippy does, but I see him much oftener in low bushes or on the ground. I think Chippy has much more right to the name of Tree Sparrow than Dotty has. Now I think of it, I’ve heard Dotty called the Winter Chippy.”
“Gracious, what a mix-up!” exclaimed Johnny Chuck. “With Chippy being called a Tree Sparrow and a Tree Sparrow called Chippy, I should think folks would get all tangled up.”
“Perhaps they would,” replied Peter, “if both were here at the same time, but Chippy comes just as Dotty goes, and Dotty comes as Chippy goes. That’s a pretty good arrangement, especially as they look very much alike, excepting that Dotty is quite a little bigger than Chippy and always has that black dot, which Chippy does not have. Goodness gracious, it is time I was back in the dear Old Briar-patch! Good-by, Johnny Chuck.”
Away went Peter Rabbit, lipperty-lipperty-lip, heading for the dear Old Briar-patch. Out of the grass just ahead of him flew a rather pale, streaked little brown bird, and as he spread his tail Peter saw two white feathers on the outer edges. Those two white feathers were all Peter needed to recognize another little friend of whom he is very fond. It was Sweetvoice the Vesper Sparrow, the only one of the Sparrow family with white feathers in his tail.
“Come over to the dear Old Briar-patch and sing to me,” cried Peter.
Sweetvoice dropped down into the grass again, and when Peter came up, was very busy getting a mouthful of dry grass. “Can’t,” mumbled Sweetvoice. “Can’t do it now, Peter Rabbit. I’m too busy. It is high time our nest was finished, and Mrs. Sweetvoice will lose her patience if I don’t get this grass over there pretty quick.”
“Where is your nest; in a tree?” asked Peter innocently.
“That’s telling,” declared Sweetvoice. “Not a living soul knows where that nest is, excepting Mrs. Sweetvoice and myself. This much I will tell you, Peter: it isn’t in a tree. And I’ll tell you this much more: it is in a hoofprint of Bossy the Cow.”
“In a WHAT?” cried Peter.
“In a hoofprint of Bossy the Cow,” repeated Sweetvoice, chuckling softly. “You know when the ground was wet and soft early this spring, Bossy left deep footprints wherever she went. One of these makes the nicest kind of place for a nest. I think we have picked out the very best one on all the Green Meadows. Now run along, Peter Rabbit, and don’t bother me any more. I’ve got too much to do to sit here talking. Perhaps I’ll come over to the edge of the dear Old Briar-patch and sing to you a while just after jolly, round, red Mr. Sun goes to bed behind the Purple Hills. I just love to sing then.”
“I’ll be watching for you,” replied Peter. “You don’t love to sing any better than I love to hear you. I think that is the best time of all the day in which to sing. I mean, I think it’s the best time to hear singing,” for of course Peter himself does not sing at all.
(Vesper Sparrow singing ©xeno-canto.org by Chris Parrish)
That night, sure enough, just as the Black Shadows came creeping out over the Green Meadows, Sweetvoice, perched on the top of a bramble-bush over Peter’s head, sang over and over again the sweetest little song and kept on singing even after it was quite dark. Peter didn’t know it, but it is this habit of singing in the evening which has given Sweetvoice his name of Vesper Sparrow.
“Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.” (Psalms 100:2 KJV)
Listen to the story read.
Are you busy doing the things that need to done? Do you sing? Most thought better of Chippy than Bully. Are more like Chippy or Bully?
Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
(Ephesians 5:19-20 KJV)
Next Chapter (Peter Learns Something He Hadn’t Guessed. Coming Soon)
We have been attacked repeatedly lately by an Angry Bird. A Northern Mockingbird has decided that he has a rival inside our windows. As the sun shines on different windows during the day, he attacks those windows with vigor.
Apparently he has been thinking about starting another family and is trying to clear the area of competitors. He starts at early light and attacks the bird (his imaginary enemy) at one of the two bedroom windows. Then he goes out front and sits in the palm tree by the Florida room windows. Lo and behold, his enemy arrives and he starts attacking that window. It even has a screen on it. Later in the day, about mid-morning his “enemy” shows up in the side window of our living room.
I put some stick-on Christmas tree decorations on the back window, but he still sees his enemy and bangs on the windows. You just have to chuckle.
As most of you already know, our Northern Mockingbird is seeing his own reflection in the windows. I told Dan yesterday that the Angry Bird is “His own worst enemy!” He is causing his own problems. If he would just relax, (and stay away from the windows) things would be okay.
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. (James 1:22-24 NKJV)
How many times are we “our own worst enemy?” We make big “to-dos” about nothing. Or we think we have an issue when we really don’t have one. Sometimes we cause our own problems.
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:33-34 NKJV)
One of the passages that mentions “face to face” that I like is:
“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:11-13 NKJV)
Our angry Mockingbird is definitely not showing love.
Have a great day and remember to put your trust in the Lord and not in things you think you see.
The morning after the fight between Jenny and Mr. Wren and Bully the English Sparrow found Peter Rabbit in the Old Orchard again. He was so curious to know what Jenny Wren would do for a house that nothing but some very great danger could have kept him away from there. Truth to tell, Peter was afraid that not being able to have their old house, Jenny and Mr. Wren would decide to leave the Old Orchard altogether. So it was with a great deal of relief that as he hopped over a low place in the old stone wall he heard Mr. Wren singing with all his might.
The song was coming from quite the other side of the Old Orchard from where Bully and Mrs. Bully had set up housekeeping. Peter hurried over. He found Mr. Wren right away, but at first saw nothing of Jenny. He was just about to ask after her when he caught sight of her with a tiny stick in her bill. She snapped her sharp little eyes at him, but for once her tongue was still. You see, she couldn’t talk and carry that stick at the same time. Peter watched her and saw her disappear in a little hole in a big branch of one of the old apple-trees. Hardly had she popped in than she popped out again. This time her mouth was free, and so was her tongue.
“You’d better stop singing and help me,” she said to Mr. Wren sharply. Mr. Wren obediently stopped singing and began to hunt for a tiny little twig such as Jenny had taken into that hole.
“Well!” exclaimed Peter. “It didn’t take you long to find a new house, did it?”
“Certainly not,” snapped Jenny “We can’t afford to sit around wasting time like some folk I know.”
Peter grinned and looked a little foolish, but he didn’t resent it. You see he was quite used to that sort of thing. “Aren’t you afraid that Bully will try to drive you out of that house?” he ventured.
Jenny Wren’s sharp little eyes snapped more than ever. “I’d like to see him try!” said she. “That doorway’s too small for him to get more than his head in. And if he tries putting his head in while I’m inside, I’ll peck his eyes out! She said this so fiercely that Peter laughed right out.
“I really believe you would,” said he.
“I certainly would,” she retorted. “Now I can’t stop to talk to you, Peter Rabbit, because I’m too busy. Mr. Wren, you ought to know that that stick is too big.” Jenny snatched it out of Mr. Wren’s mouth and dropped it on the ground, while Mr. Wren meekly went to hunt for another. Jenny joined him, and as Peter watched them he understood why Jenny is so often spoken of as a feathered busybody.
For some time Peter Rabbit watched Jenny and Mr. Wren carry sticks and straws into that little hole until it seemed to him they were trying to fill the whole inside of the tree. Just watching them made Peter positively tired. Mr. Wren would stop every now and then to sing, but Jenny didn’t waste a minute. In spite of that she managed to talk just the same.
“I suppose Little Friend the Song Sparrow got here some time ago,” said she.
Peter nodded. “Yes,” said he. “I saw him only a day or two ago over by the Laughing Brook, and although he wouldn’t say so, I’m sure that he has a nest and eggs already.”
Jenny Wren jerked her tail and nodded her head vigorously. “I suppose so,” said she. “He doesn’t have to make as long a journey as we do, so he gets here sooner. Did you ever in your life see such a difference as there is between Little Friend and his cousin, Bully? Everybody loves Little Friend.”
Once more Peter nodded. “That’s right,” said he. “Everybody does love Little Friend. It makes me feel sort of all glad inside just to hear him sing. I guess it makes everybody feel that way. I wonder why we so seldom see him up here in the Old Orchard.”
“Because he likes damp places with plenty of bushes better,” replied Jenny Wren. “It wouldn’t do for everybody to like the same kind of a place. He isn’t a tree bird, anyway. He likes to be on or near the ground. You will never find his nest much above the ground, not more than a foot or two. Quite often it is on the ground. Of course I prefer Mr. Wren’s song, but I must admit that Little Friend has one of the happiest songs of any one I know. Then, too, he is so modest, just like us Wrens.”
Peter turned his head aside to hide a smile, for if there is anybody who delights in being both seen and heard it is Jenny Wren, while Little Friend the Song Sparrow is shy and retiring, content to make all the world glad with his song, but preferring to keep out of sight as much as possible.
Jenny chattered on as she hunted for some more material for her nest. “I suppose you’ve noticed,” said she, “that he and his wife dress very much alike. They don’t go in for bright colors any more than we Wrens do. They show good taste. I like the little brown caps they wear, and the way their breasts and sides are streaked with brown. Then, too, they are such useful folks. It is a pity that that nuisance of a Bully doesn’t learn something from them. I suppose they stay rather later than we do in the fall.”
“Yes,” replied Peter. “They don’t go until Jack Frost makes them. I don’t know of any one that we miss more than we do them.”
“Speaking of the sparrow family, did you see anything of Whitethroat?” asked Jenny Wren, as she rested for a moment in the doorway of her new house and looked down at Peter Rabbit.
Peter’s face brightened. “I should say I did!” he exclaimed. “He stopped for a few days on his way north. I only wish he would stay here all the time. But he seems to think there is no place like the Great Woods of the North. I could listen all day to his song. Do you know what he always seems to be saying?”
“What?” demanded Jenny.
“I live happ-i-ly, happ-i-ly, happ-i-ly,” replied Peter. “I guess he must too, because he makes other people so happy.” (listen-©xeno-canto)
Jenny nodded in her usual emphatic way. “I don’t know him as well as I do some of the others,” said she, “but when I have seen him down in the South he always has appeared to me to be a perfect gentleman. He is social, too; he likes to travel with others.”
“I’ve noticed that,” said Peter. “He almost always has company when he passes through here. Some of those Sparrows are so much alike that it is hard for me to tell them apart, but I can always tell Whitethroat because he is one of the largest of the tribe and has such a lovely white throat. He really is handsome with his black and white cap and that bright yellow spot before each eye. I am told that he is very dearly loved up in the north where he makes his home. They say he sings all the time.”
“I suppose Scratcher the Fox Sparrow has been along too,” said Jenny. “He also started sometime before we did.”
“Yes,” replied Peter. “He spent one night in the dear Old Briar-patch. He is fine looking too, the biggest of all the Sparrow tribe, and HOW he can sing. The only thing I’ve got against him is the color of his coat. It always reminds me of Reddy Fox, and I don’t like anything that reminds me of that fellow. When he visited us I discovered something about Scratcher which I don’t believe you know.”
“What?” demanded Jenny rather sharply.
“That when he scratches among the leaves he uses both feet at once,” cried Peter triumphantly. “It’s funny to watch him.”
“Pooh! I knew that,” retorted Jenny Wren. “What do you suppose my eyes are make for? I thought you were going to tell me something I didn’t know.”
Peter looked disappointed.
The heart of the wise instructs his mouth And adds persuasiveness to his lips. Pleasant words are a honeycomb, Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. (Proverbs 16:23-24 NASB)
Listen to the story read.
Jenny seems to be in a kinder mood in this chapter. She has kind words about three different Sparrows. Can you name them?
What kind of sparrow was Little Friend? What kind of songs does he sing? Where does he like to live? What color cap does he have?
Our second sparrow is pictured at the top. Where was Whitethroat headed? What color is his cap? What does his song sound like? (When people use word to descrbe a song, that is called – Mnemonics.
Who is the largest sparrow? What color is Scratcher’s coat? Why is he called “Scratcher”?
Jenny is using nice words about the sparrows this time. Don’t you like to have good words spoken about you? Do you use nice words when talking about someone?
Read the two verses and think about how the Lord wants your speech.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer. (Psalms 19:14 NKJV)
Bonus – A Fox Sparrow Scratching
Next Chapter – Chippy, Sweetvoice, and Dotty.
In the recent article, The Old Orchard Bully – Chapter 2, the whole group of birds united to chase off the Black Cat. That is called, “mobbing.”
Some ask why don’t the bigger birds fight back? Here are a few quotes from various sources:
“This behavior – like calling your family for help – is used by many bird species. The best time to observe mobbing is spring and early summer, when breeding birds are trying to protect their nests and young. Birds including swallows, blackbirds, and even these American Crows, seen here mobbing a Red-tailed Hawk, know that there is strength and power in numbers. And they’ve learned to join forces to protect themselves. Be sure to watch the video!”
Quote from Why Don’t Hawks Fight Back? :All agreed that if a red-tailed hawk reached out and grabbed a crow with its talons, that would be the end of the crow. Or as one of the professionals put it, in scientific terms, “the crow would be toast.” But although large raptors have the necessary weapons, the energy cost of pursuing or otherwise attempting to catch a crow is normally not worth it. Crows are agile creatures and would be very difficult to catch in flight. So a hawk typically ignores the crows or flies away.”
A Great Horned Owl being mobbed!
Just as the Lord helps His Created critters, the Lord gives us promises about seeking His help:
But the LORD your God you shall fear; and He will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.” (2 Kings 17:39 NKJV)
Give us help from trouble, For the help of man is useless. Through God we will do valiantly, For it is He who shall tread down our enemies. (Psalms 60:11-12 NKJV)
I have pursued my enemies and overtaken them; Neither did I turn back again till they were destroyed. (Psalms 18:37 NKJV)
O my God, I trust in You; Let me not be ashamed; Let not my enemies triumph over me. (Psalms 25:2 NKJV)
My times are in Your hand; Deliver me from the hand of my enemies, And from those who persecute me. (Psalms 31:15 NKJV)
For I will not trust in my bow, Nor shall my sword save me. But You have saved us from our enemies, And have put to shame those who hated us. In God we boast all day long, And praise Your name forever. Selah (Psalms 44:6-8 NKJV)
Some interesting links about mobbing:
Why Don’t The Crows Fight Back? – Savannah River Ecology Lab
Small Birds Mob Big Ones – Bird Note, with audio
Mobbing – RSPB
The Superb Fairywren – The Corporate Mob ~ by a j mithra
Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders which You have done, And Your thoughts toward us; There is none to compare with You. If I would declare and speak of them, They would be too numerous to count. (Psalms 40:5 NASB)
We finally took some time to go see what birds were at Lake Howard. I was a little disappointed that the winter birds haven’t started arriving yet. It is either that, or the fact that they have been re-working the shoreline at the park. They are making it more “people-friendly,” but seem to be making it less “bird-friendly.” Trust that is not going to keep our Wood Ducks, Ring-neck Ducks and Ruddies away. None of them were present.
I really didn’t check the whole lake though. I have been having some leg issues and haven’t been birdwatching lately. In fact, I only crossed the street and birded right there by the shore. You might keep me in your prayers. Had a Doctor appointment today with encouraging word, especially that surgery most like can be avoided on my feet. Friday, another appointment to start some physical therapy for my left leg. It has been weak and causing me to “waddle” like the ducks. Never heard of a “Lee Duck” have you? Hope not.
Here are some of the photos taken Saturday by the shore of Lake Morton. There are still some swans in the pens after the recent yearly round-up of the swans. They gave them all vaccinations. Rounded up well over a hundred of them.
And the swan, and the pelican, and the gier eagle, (Leviticus 11:18 KJV)
I found this very interesting video from YouTube when they did the round-up in 2010.
This link is to this year’s story about the Swan Round-up. (It has some neat photos)
Enjoy a slide show of some of what we saw.
Hey, boys and girls, Golden Eagle here. How have you been since last time? Do you ever wonder why the Universe is here? Why is the Earth here? Why are we alive? Is there something after death? Will I see my departed loved ones again? What is my purpose for existence? Where did my conscience come from? Questions are great and never be afraid to ask your parents or teachers the hard questions.
I am not a parrot! I am a high-flying eagle, but I am a little bit familiar with the Bible, the Word of God. In Revelation 4:11 the Bible says that Jesus “hast created ALL THINGS, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” Even the animals can teach us things, if we want to learn. Do you know, a small feathered fowl just landed on my perch? I’ll be back in a minute. I need to send my feathered friend on a mission, in order to reclaim my perch.
“But ask now the beasts (animals), and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air (the birds), and they shall teach thee. Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee; and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee.” What will these things teach us? WHO KNOWETH NOT IN ALL THESE THAT THE HAND OF THE LORD HATH WROUGHT THIS? IN WHOSE HAND IS THE SOUL OF EVERY LIVING THING, AND THE BREATH OF ALL MANKIND.” Jesus Christ has created everything.
From the colors of the rainbow to the spots on a lady bug, Jesus created it all! Some of you have watched Disney’s Tinker Bell movies. They have water fairies, and color fairies, and Spring fairies, etc. But did you know?
Fairies are not real, but God’s angels are real!
There are Angels for the wind. (Revelation 7:1) “I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth…”
“And I heard the angel of the waters say…” There is a water angel!
“And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun…” (Revelation 16:8)
Jesus Christ created visible and invisible things! In every blade of grass, there is a lesson about photosynthesis. Our DNA is packed full with information from God. Your DNA had the information for the color of your eyes, the color of your hair, the thickness of your bones, and how tall you will eventually reach.
Water floats when it freezes! Did you ever wonder why? Most things, when they change from a liquid to a solid get heavier, but not water. Water gets lighter, and ice floats in your glass! Why? Because Jesus designed it that way, so in the winter the lakes don’t freeze solid! The ice freezes on top of the lake and fish and plants can continue to live in the winter time.
Every snowflake is different. Did you ever wonder why? “Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail, which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?” (Job 38:22-23) You know, snow helped George Washington in the battle for America’s Independence from England. Napoleon was turned back from Russia because of the cold and snow.
You see, there are so many things to learn. The greatest of all is the learn about the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the One-true Living God. Everything was made for Him! He wants you to get saved, and then to live for Him. When you do that, you will begin to fulfill the purpose God intended you to have.
Us birds, we have our place in God’s economy! And boys and girls, you have your place. Read the Bible every day to find out more. Sometimes, birds are smarter than you think. Maybe, if someone calls you a “bird-brain” in the future, that might be a compliment!
This is Golden Eagle flying off! See Ya…
Peter Rabbit’s eyes twinkled when Jenny Wren said that she must look her old house over to see if it was fit to live in. “I can save you that trouble,” said he.
“What do you mean?” Jenny’s voice was very sharp.
“Only that our old house is already occupied,” replied Peter. “Bully the English Sparrow has been living in it for the last two months. In fact, he already has a good-sized family there.”
“What?” screamed Jenny and Mr. Wren together. Then without even saying good-by to Peter, they flew in a great rage to see if he had told them the truth. Presently he heard them scolding as fast as their tongues could go, and this is very fast indeed.
“Much good that will do them,” chuckled Peter. “They will have to find a new house this year. All the sharp tongues in the world couldn’t budge Bully the English sparrow. My, my, my, my, just hear that racket! I think I’ll go over and see what is going on.”
So Peter hopped to a place where he could get a good view of Jenny Wren’s old home and still not be too far from the safety of the old stone wall. Jenny Wren’s old home had been in a hole in one of the old apple-trees. Looking over to it, Peter could see Mrs. Bully sitting in the little round doorway and quite filling it. She was shrieking excitedly. Hopping and flitting from twig to twig close by were Jenny and Mr. Wren, their tails pointing almost straight up to the sky, and scolding as fast as they could make their tongues go. Flying savagely at one and then at the other, and almost drowning their voices with his own harsh cries, was Bully himself. He was perhaps one fourth larger than Mr. Wren, although he looked half again as big. But for the fact that his new spring suit was very dirty, due to his fondness for taking dust baths and the fact that he cares nothing about his personal appearance and takes no care of himself, he would have been a fairly good-looking fellow. His back was more or less of an ashy color with black and chestnut stripes. His wings were brown with a white bar on each. His throat and breast were black, and below that he was of a dirty white. The sides of his throat were white and the back of his neck chestnut.
By ruffling up his feathers and raising his wings slightly as he hopped about, he managed to make himself appear much bigger than he really was. He looked like a regular little fighting savage. The noise had brought all the other birds in the Old Orchard to see what was going on, and every one of them was screaming and urging Jenny and Mr. Wren to stand up for their rights. Not one of them had a good word for Bully and his wife. It certainly was a disgraceful neighborhood squabble.
Bully the English Sparrow is a born fighter. He never is happier than when he is in the midst of a fight or a fuss of some kind. The fact that all his neighbors were against him didn’t bother Bully in the least.
Jenny and Mr. Wren are no cowards, but the two together were no match for Bully. In fact, Bully did not hesitate to fly fiercely at any of the onlookers who came near enough, not even when they were twice his own size. They could have driven him from the Old Orchard had they set out to, but just by his boldness and appearance he made them afraid to try.
All the time Mrs. Bully sat in the little round doorway, encouraging him. She knew that as long as she sat there it would be impossible for either Jenny or Mr. Wren to get in. Truth to tell, she was enjoying it all, for she is as quarrelsome and as fond of fighting as is Bully himself.
“You’re a sneak! You’re a robber! That’s my house, and the sooner you get out of it the better!” shrieked Jenny Wren, jerking her tail with every word as she hopped about just out of reach of Bully.
“It may have been your house once, but it is mine now, you little snip-of-nothing!” cried Bully, rushing at her like a little fury. “Just try to put us out if you dare! You didn’t make this house in the first place, and you deserted it when you went south last fall. It’s mine now, and there isn’t anybody in the Old Orchard who can put me out.”
Peter Rabbit nodded. “He’s right there,” muttered Peter. “I don’t like him and never will, but it is true that he has a perfect right to that house. People who go off and leave things for half a year shouldn’t expect to find them just as they left them. My, my, my what a dreadful noise! Why don’t they all get together and drive Bully and Mrs. Bully out of the Old Orchard? If they don’t I’m afraid he will drive them out. No one likes to live with such quarrelsome neighbors. They don’t belong over in this country, anyway, and we would be a lot better off if they were not here. But I must say I do have to admire their spunk.”
All the time Bully was darting savagely at this one and that one and having a thoroughly good time, which is more than could be said of any one else, except Mrs. Bully.
“I’ll teach you folks to know that I am in the Old Orchard to stay!” shrieked Bully. “If you don’t like it, why don’t you fight? I am not afraid of any of you or all of you together.” This was boasting, plain boasting, but it was effective. He actually made the other birds believe it. Not one of them dared stand up to him and fight. They were content to call him a bully and all the bad names they could think of, but that did nothing to help Jenny and Mr. Wren recover their house. Calling another bad names never hurts him. Brave deeds and not brave words are what count.
How long that disgraceful squabble in the Old Orchard would have lasted had it not been for something which happened, no one knows. Right in the midst of it some one discovered Black Kitty, the cat who lives in Farmer Brown’s house, stealing up through the Old Orchard, her tail twitching and her yellow eyes glaring eagerly. She had heard that dreadful racket and suspected that in the midst of such excitement she might have a chance to catch one of the feathered folks. You can always trust Black Kitty to be on hand at a time like that.
No sooner was she discovered than everything else was forgotten. With Bully in the lead, and Jenny and Mr. Wren close behind him, all the birds turned their attention to Black Kitty. She was the enemy of all, and they straightway forgot their own quarrel. Only Mrs. Bully remained where she was, in the little round doorway of her house. She intended to take no chances, but she added her voice to the general racket. How those birds did shriek and scream! They darted down almost into the face of Black Kitty, and none went nearer than Bully the English Sparrow and Jenny Wren.
Now Black Kitty hates to be the center of so much attention. She knew that, now she had been discovered, there wasn’t a chance in the world for her to catch one of those Old Orchard folks. So, with tail still twitching angrily, she turned and, with such dignity as she could, left the Old Orchard. Clear to the edge of it the birds followed, shrieking, screaming, calling her bad names, and threatening to do all sorts of dreadful things to her, quite as if they really could.
When finally she disappeared towards Farmer Brown’s barn, those angry voices changed. It was such a funny change that Peter Rabbit laughed right out. Instead of anger there was triumph in every note as everybody returned to attend to his own affairs. Jenny and Mr. Wren seemed to have forgotten all about Bully and his wife in their old house. They flew to another part of the Old Orchard, there to talk it all over and rest and get their breath. Peter Rabbit waited to see if they would not come over near enough to him for a little more gossip. But they didn’t, and finally Peter started for his home in the dear Old Briar-patch. All the way there he chuckled as he thought of the spunky way in which Jenny and Mr. Wren had stood up for their rights.
A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness. The eyes of the LORD are in every place, Keeping watch on the evil and the good. A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, But perverseness in it breaks the spirit. (Proverbs 15:1-4 NKJV)
Listen to the story read.
What caused all the fuss between the Sparrows and the Wrens?
Why did Bully have a right to the house?
Where had the Wrens gone?
When the cat came by, do you know what it is called when birds attack like that? It is called – Mobbing. (A simple definition of mobbing is an group of individuals around a potentially dangerous predator (the cat).
Are we suppose to get angry when things don’t go our way?
Sparrows are listed in the Bible several times and usually with a promise of God taking care of them.
Wrens are really nice birds that sing often and do raise their tail frequently.
“Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. (Luke 12:6-7 NKJV)
Lipperty-lipperty-lip scampered Peter Rabbit behind the tumble-down stone wall along one side of the Old Orchard. It was early in the morning, very early in the morning. In fact, jolly, bright Mr. Sun had hardly begun his daily climb up in the blue, blue sky. It was nothing unusual for Peter to see jolly Mr. Sun get up in the morning. It would be more unusual for Peter not to see him, for you know Peter is a great hand to stay out all night and not go back to the dear Old Briar-patch, where his home is, until the hour when most folks are just getting out of bed.
Peter had been out all night this time, but he wasn’t sleepy, not the least teeny, weeny bit. You see, sweet Mistress Spring had arrived, and there was so much happening on every side, and Peter was so afraid he would miss something, that he wouldn’t have slept at all if he could have helped it. Peter had come over to the Old Orchard so early this morning to see if there had been any new arrivals the day before.
“Birds are funny creatures,” said Peter, as he hopped over a low place in the old stone wall and was fairly in the Old Orchard.
“Tut, tut, tut, tut, tut!” cried a rather sharp scolding voice. “Tut, tut, tut, tut, tut! You don’t know what you are talking about, Peter Rabbit. They are not funny creatures at all. They are the most sensible folks in all the wide world.”
Peter cut a long hop short right in the middle, to sit up with shining eyes. “Oh, Jenny Wren, I’m so glad to see you! When did you arrive?” he cried.
“Mr. Wren and I have just arrived, and thank goodness we are here at last,” replied Jenny Wren, fussing about, as only she can, in a branch above Peter. “I never was more thankful in my life to see a place than
I am right this minute to see the Old Orchard once more. It seems ages and ages since we left it.”
“Well, if you are so fond of it what did you leave it for?” demanded Peter. “It is just as I said before—you birds are funny creatures. You never stay put; at least a lot of you don’t. Sammy Jay and Tommy Tit the Chickadee and Drummer the Woodpecker and a few others have a little sense; they don’t go off on long, foolish journeys. But the rest of you—”
“Tut, tut, tut, tut, tut!” interrupted Jenny Wren. “You don’t know what you are talking about, and no one sounds so silly as one who tries to talk about something he knows nothing about.”
Peter chuckled. “That tongue of yours is just as sharp as ever,” said he. “But just the same it is good to hear it. We certainly would miss it. I was beginning to be a little worried for fear something might have happened to you so that you wouldn’t be back here this summer. You know me well enough, Jenny Wren, to know that you can’t hurt me with your tongue, sharp as it is, so you may as well save your breath to tell me a few things I want to know. Now if you are as fond of the Old Orchard as you pretend to be, why did you ever leave it?”
Jenny Wren’s bright eyes snapped. “Why do you eat?” she asked tartly.
“Because I’m hungry,” replied Peter promptly.
“What would you eat if there were nothing to eat?” snapped Jenny.
“That’s a silly question,” retorted Peter.
“No more silly than asking me why I leave the Old Orchard,” replied Jenny. “Do give us birds credit for a little common sense, Peter. We can’t live without eating any more than you can, and in winter there is no food at all here for most of us, so we go where there is food. Those who are lucky enough to eat the kinds of food that can be found here in winter stay here. They are lucky. That’s what they are—lucky. Still—” Jenny Wren paused.
“Still what?” prompted Peter.
“I wonder sometimes if you folks who are at home all the time know just what a blessed place home is,” replied Jenny. “It is only six months since we went south, but I said it seems ages, and it does. The best part of going away is coming home. I don’t care if that does sound rather mixed; it is true just the same. It isn’t home down there in the sunny South, even if we do spend as much time there as we do here. THIS is home, and there’s no place like it! What’s that, Mr. Wren? I haven’t seen all the Great World? Perhaps I haven’t, but I’ve seen enough of it, let me tell you that! Anyone who travels a thousand miles twice a year as we do has a right to express an opinion, especially if they have used their eyes as I have mine. There is no place like home, and you needn’t try to tease me by pretending that there is. My dear, I know you; you are just as tickled to be back here as I am.”
“He sings as if he were,” said Peter, for all the time Mr. Wren was singing with all his might.
Jenny Wren looked over at Mr. Wren fondly. “Isn’t he a dear to sing to me like that? And isn’t it a perfectly beautiful spring song?” said she. Then, without waiting for Peter to reply, her tongue rattled on. “I do wish he would be careful. Sometimes I am afraid he will overdo. Just look at him now! He is singing so hard that he is shaking all over. He always is that way. There is one thing true about us Wrens, and this is that when we do things we do them with all our might. When we work we work with all our might. When Mr. Wren sings he sings with all his might.”
“And, when you scold you scold with all your might,” interrupted Peter mischievously.
Jenny Wren opened her mouth for a sharp reply, but laughed instead. “I suppose I do scold a good deal,” said she, “but if I didn’t goodness knows who wouldn’t impose on us. I can’t bear to be imposed on.”
“Did you have a pleasant journey up from the sunny South?” asked Peter.
“Fairly pleasant,” replied Jenny. “We took it rather easily, Some birds hurry right through without stopping, but I should think they would be tired to death when they arrive. We rest whenever we are tired, and just follow along behind Mistress Spring, keeping far enough behind so that if she has to turn back we will not get caught by Jack Frost. It gives us time to get our new suits on the way. You know everybody expects you to have new things when you return home. How do you like my new suit, Peter?” Jenny bobbed and twisted and turned to show it off. It was plain to see that she was very proud of it.
“Very much,” replied Peter. “I am very fond of brown. Brown and gray are my favorite colors.” You know Peter’s own coat is brown and gray.
“That is one of the most sensible things I have heard you say,” chattered Jenny Wren. “The more I see of bright colors the better I like brown. It always is in good taste. It goes well with almost everything. It is neat and it is useful. If there is need of getting out of sight in a hurry you can do it if you wear brown. But if you wear bright colors it isn’t so easy. I never envy anybody who happens to have brighter clothes than mine. I’ve seen dreadful things happen all because of wearing bright colors.”
“What?” demanded Peter.
“I’d rather not talk about them,” declared Jenny in a very emphatic way. “‘Way down where we spent the winter some of the feathered folks who live there all the year round wear the brightest and most beautiful suits I’ve ever seen. They are simply gorgeous. But I’ve noticed that in times of danger these are the folks dreadful things happen to. You see they simply can’t get out of sight. For my part I would far rather be simply and neatly dressed and feel safe than to wear wonderful clothes and never know a minute’s peace. Why, there are some families I know of which, because of their beautiful suits, have been so hunted by men that hardly any are left. But gracious, Peter Rabbit, I can’t sit here all day talking to you! I must find out who else has arrived in the Old Orchard and must look my old house over to see if it is fit to live in.”
Listen to the story read.
Why did Jenny and Peter Wren leave? Do you know what that is called?
How far did they travel?
What color are they and why does Jenny like it?
What kind of tongue did Jenny have? How is your tongue?
Even the stork in the sky Knows her seasons; And the turtledove and the swift and the thrush Observe the time of their migration; But My people do not know The ordinance of the LORD. (Jeremiah 8:7 NASB)
Next Chapter – The Old Orchard Bully.
TO THE CHILDREN AND THE BIRDS OF AMERICA THAT THE BONDS OF LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN THEM MAY BE STRENGTHENED THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED
This book was written to supply a definite need. Its preparation was undertaken at the urgent request of booksellers and others who have felt the lack of a satisfactory medium of introduction to bird life for little children. As such, and in no sense whatever as a competitor with the many excellent books on this subject, but rather to supplement these, this volume has been written.
Its primary purpose is to interest the little child in, and to make him acquainted with, those feathered friends he is most likely to see. Because there is no method of approach to the child mind equal to the story, this method of conveying information has been adopted. So far as I am aware the book is unique in this respect. In its preparation an earnest effort has been made to present as far as possible the important facts regarding the appearance, habits and characteristics of our feathered neighbors. It is intended to be at once a story book and an authoritative handbook. While it is intended for little children, it is hoped that children of larger growth may find in it much of both interest and helpfulness.
Mr. Louis Agassiz Fuertes, artist and naturalist, has marvelously supplemented such value as may be in the text by his wonderful drawings in full color. They were made especially for this volume and are so accurate, so true to life, that study of them will enable any one to identify the species shown. I am greatly indebted to Mr. Fuertes for his cooperation in the endeavor to make this book of real assistance to the beginner in the study of our native birds.
It is offered to the reader without apologies of any sort. It was written as a labor of love—love for little children and love for the birds. If as a result of it even a few children are led to a keener interest in and better understanding of our feathered friends, its purpose will have been accomplished.
THORNTON W. BURGESS
I think you will greatly enjoy this book. Birds and their behaviors are presented in a story, but many birdwatching truths are introduced. Look for questions and Christian principle at the end of the chapters. These are also a good way to read and teach your child or grandchild. Enjoy!
(P.S. – Just found a source for audio for these chapters. They will be attached.)
(The first chapter is being released today)
The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Burgess Bird Book for Children, by Thornton W. Burgess
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at http://www.gutenberg.org
This is for every blessed parent who so anxiously works hard in raising their kids in the way of the Lord…
And for the kids being fed by their parents.
Birds emerge from the shell blind and so weak
they can’t even hold their heads up.
Parents must feed babies frequently because
baby birds digest their food quickly.
If birds can feed so much to their chicks every day,
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1/blockquote>
thoughts from the forest
Home of Lukas Kondraciuk Photography
There are several different rose types, and each is very different. There are many different types of roses with many different colors and different sizes, The pictures in this photo gallery provide examples of some of the types of roses available.
FREE backyard nature pics to copy or print.
Personal reflections and photos displaying the Christian journey
"If you want to see birds, you must have birds in your heart." -- John Burroughs
Grateful to be a citizen of the United States of America, knowing that gives me the liberty to speak freely about what's on my heart and mind.
Prayer A to Z excerpts, Bible studies on prayer
Celebrating all things bright, beautiful, sweet and fluffy
Your source for insights and information about Godinterest.com
“Today everything exists to end in a photograph.” - Susan Sontag
Photoblog of Images of People by Joshi Daniel
Thoughts on the Bible and its relevance to modern mankind.
Receive God's Grace Every Day
World-wide virtual custom coaching, consulting, training, Donkeys, Horses, Mules and life on the farm
.:| version 2.0 |:.
NATUR - HIGHLIGHTS SÜDSTEIERMARK - KUNST trifft NATUR & Motorsport
The Handbook of Shorebirds of the World Publication Project Blog
Village life with the Meadow Mice
Finding Clear and Simple Faith
Mostly mid-Atlantic states
All about Birding, Travel, People, Places, Food, Photography and some more Birding! :)
Birding around the Globe
Fun Learning Resouces for Kids
My journey through photography
Simple Thoughts for Peaceful and Beautiful Life.
A take on Hobbies, Learning and Lifestyle
"Everybody loves what they know"
art and practice
Empowering Faith. Transforming Culture.
A blog for the gorgeous soul, inside and out!
A site devoted to getting up close and personal with God, through knowing and believing His Word.
The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.
A New & Creative Way to promote Biblical Values & Content
The Wedgwood neighborhood in northeast Seattle
God's Nature Lessons
The greatest WordPress.com site in all the land!
Ideas for success in relationships, career, happiness, health, wealth, with some jokes thrown in for fun
creation science worded for all of us
wings and things
Ramblings on rambling in Dorset
Relflecting on the new ways in life, nature and sceince
Learning to hear & recognize God's voice
Discussions on faith and perseverance