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Page 139

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

single-roomed houses for the bluebirds and tree-swallows, and put them up in the fall. He saved the larger house for the martins this time, by blocking the doorways with strips of wood until it was about time for them to return.
Just as he had hoped, the first bluebirds built in one of the smaller boxes, and a pair of tree swallows in the other. But when he spoke of trying to get the purple martins, most of the neighbors shook their heads and laughed. Nevertheless, about the third week in April, Duncan removed the strips of wood and hoped and waited. At last, on the first day of May, a bright warm morning, he leaped from his bed at the sound of strange, sweet bird voices outside his window. There they were, the longed-for purple martins, sailing gracefully around the bird house by the side of the road, and singing as they sailed. They examined the little dwelling inside and out, and a small colony of them, five pairs, decided to stay and nest in it. Duncan Chellis had scored a triumph. The purple martin, largest and noblest of American swallows, after an absence of many years, had come back to Meriden.

NOTES AND QUESTIONS
Biography. Ernest Harold Baynes (1868- ), the naturalistauthor, lives in Meriden, New Hampshire, where he organized both the Bird Club and the Humane Society. He is the author of the interesting book, Wild Bird Guests, the preface of which was written by Theodore Roosevelt.
During the World War Mr. Baynes was in France, learning what he could of the part birds and animals did to win the war. Wherever he goes he organizes bird clubs, for he wishes to protect our wild birds. He is a member of the American Bison Society and of the National Association of Audubon Societies.
Discussion. 1. Time your reading of this story and compare your reading speed with that of your classmates. 2. After reading it through

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