SMALL FIRE DEPARTMENT RESCUES BIRDS
“The salamanders,” said daddy, “are little creatures very much like lizards in looks, except their skin is not scaly as a lizard’s. They have four legs and a tail, and are very nice, kind and gentle.
“Well, these salamanders agreed that they would have a fire department, and the next thing was to arrange for the hose and ladder. Finally it was decided that their salamander cousins should be chosen to run the hose and ladder.
“‘We shall call ourselves the fire and water fire department,’ said one of the fire salamanders. ‘It will be our business to rush in and rescue the animals who are in danger of being burned to death, and it will be your business to help them down to the brook, where we’ll have our hose ready to sprinkle them with good, cool water.’
“But days and days went by, and still no fire broke out.
“‘I know what’s the trouble,’ said another one of the fire salamanders. ‘We have no fire bell; there may have been fires that we knew nothing of; you never can tell.’
“‘Don’t be gloomy,’ said still another fire salamander. ‘We’ll have a fire bell. I know where a kind old cow left her bell from last year. We’ll put it by the stump just at the edge of the brook and all the animals can be told to move it when there is a fire. Then we will all come out and stop the fire.’
“And soon notices were put up all over the woods and around the brook which read:
“‘To the Animals: Attention! In case of fire, ring the cow bell by the brook. The Fire and Water Fire Department of the Salamanders will PUT IT OUT.’
“These notices were read by all the animals, and the very next day the salamanders heard the cow bell.
“‘Where’s the fire?’ they all shouted.
“‘Over there,’ said Grandfather Frog, who was watching the fire department start off.
“They wiggled and crawled as quickly as they could to the spot where the fire was. It was the vireo family’s nest. You know the vireos are those beautiful, shy birds that live in the woods and have such lovely voices. The fire salamanders rushed right into the fire and pulled out of the nest the vireo children just in time before their little feathers got burnt. And, of course, the Mother and Daddy Vireo were able to fly out.
“When they all reached the brook at last, the Mother and Daddy Vireo sang the most wonderful song as a reward to the brave salamander fire department.”
Red-eyed Vireo song from xeno-canto.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. (Colossians 3:16-17 KJV)
The story doesn’t say which kind of Vireo this was, but Vireos belong to the Vireonidae – Vireos, Greenlets Family. They all have beautiful songs.
Another Bird Tales
Daddy’s Bedtime Bird Stories – Gutenberg ebooks
Mary Graham Bonner
With four illustrations in color by
Florence Choate and Elizabeth Curtis
These stories first appeared in the American Press Association Service and the Western Newspaper Union.
Many of the sketches in this volume are the work of Rebecca McCann, creator of the “Cheerful Cherub,” etc.