Books > Old Books >The Elson Readers Book Six (1910)


Page 136

SERVICE AND THRIFT
A BIRD HOUSE BY THE SIDE OF THE ROAD by
ERNEST HAROLD BAYNES

It was the fifteenth of March, and Duncan Chellis was exactly twelve years old. His parents had given him a. toolchest for a birthday present, and as he walked proudly out of the back door into the morning sunshine, he was wondering what he should make first with the new tools. He had ' hardly gone as far as the pump when he heard a soft, gurgling bird voice from the old apple tree in the yard, and a bluebird fluttered down almost to his feet. In an instant he decided to make a, bird house, and he walked off to the barn to find his father and talk the matter over with him.
Duncan's father, Stickney Chellis, was the best beloved man in Meriden, and the reason was not hard to guess. He tried to be a friend to everyone. Only the night before when he read aloud Sam Walter Foss's poem, "A House by the Side of the Road," Duncan had said to himself, "The man who wrote that must have been thinking of father." And now he thought what fun it would be to have just a little house by the side of the road and be a friend to the birds.
His father gladly agreed to help him and suggested that they build a house suitable for both bluebirds and tree swallows, and for purple martins too if they wished to come, though martins had not nested in Meriden for many years.
First they wrote to the Department of Agriculture in Washington for a pamphlet called Bird Houses and How to Build Them, and with this as a guide they went to work. Early in April the little dwelling was ready to put up. In appearance it was like an old-fashioned, two-story, New England farmhouse, painted white, and it was fastened to

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