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


Page 138

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

took place, and the nest and eggs might have been thrown to the ground, had not Duncan protected his tenants by driving the sparrows away.
In about two weeks the eggs were hatched, and the parents were on the wing from daylight until dusk, scooping up with their scapnet mouths hundreds of flies to feed their babies. In about two weeks the young swallows, dressed very much like their parents, came out on the roof to be fed. A few days later they left their little home forever, and were soon hunting insects over the fields and through the barnyard of the Chellis homestead.
But the bird house was not long unoccupied. The bluebirds had reared their first brood, and about a week after the swallows had left, Duncan saw new tenants inspecting the little dwelling.
A few busy days of nest building, and then the male, in sky-blue coat and reddish vest, perched on the roof, singing softly to his hidden mate, who sat on four blue eggs in a simple nest of hay.
Qo Still busier times followed when the eggs were hatched, and every day the parents made scores of trips to the fields near by for caterpillars and other insects to feed four gaping mouths.
About a fortnight later the youngsters began to show their heads and their speckled breasts at the doorway, and presently they attempted to fly to the roof. Three of them succeeded, but the fourth fluttered to the ground; and Duncan's mother, who happened to be watching, was just in time to save it from a neighbor's cat. The hired man got a ladder and put the young bird back in the nest, and vely soon the little family got safely away.
Duncan was so much encouraged by his success that he beaa.n to blan for the following season. He built smaller,

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