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rapacious kind to stay near his dwelling, but would attack them boldly and put them to flight. He did no mischief among his master's poultry, nor were the chickens, and young ducks, after a while, afraid of him. But he was not kind to the hens and chickens of his neighbors, and would sometimes pounce upon them ; so that his master was often obliged to advertise that he would pay for all mischief his buzzard might be guilty of. He was, however, frequently fired at, and at different times received fifteen musket shots, without however having a bone broken.
10. "Once, while flying near a forest, he dared to attack a young fox, which being seen by a man, he was fired at twice. The fox was killed by the shot, and the bird had his wing broken, but contrived to escape from the man, and was lost for seven days. The man knowing, by the noise of the bell on the bird, to whom he belonged, went and informed the owner what he had done. Search was made, but the buzzard could not be found.
11. "A whistle, which used to call him home, was blown every day, for six days, but the bird made no answer. On the seventh day, however, he answered with a feeble cry, and was soon found with his wing broken, being very weak and lean. He had walked a mile and a half from the place where he was wounded, and had nearly reached his master's house. In six weeks, his wounds were healed, and he began to fly about, and follow his old habits as before. Thus he continued for about a year, when he disappeared, never to return. Whether he was killed, or escaped from choice, was not known.'
ERROR s. 1. ketches for catches. . 3. fust for first. 7. almuz for always. 8. takin for taking ; kerried for carried. 10. bein for being ; scape for escape. 11. foller for follow.
QUESTIONS. What sort of a bird is a Buzzard? What things did this Buz zard dislike ? Could he drive a cat or a dog ? What tricks did he play upon the laborers? What was he trying to kill when he wils wounded ?
What is the Rule before this Lesson ?
3. and 11. What do the marks of quotation signify? 9. What 19 the apostrophe the sign of ina master's ?
Rule. Sit or stand erect when you read. To hold the head down and the shoulders forward when you read, makes the voice sound badly ; and it .njures the health to read much in this way.
THE MOCKING BIRD 1. The name of this bird very properly expresses its principal quality, that of mocking, or imitating the songs and notes of other birds. .
2. This bird is a native of America, and in its wild state is nowhere else to be found As a natural, and untaught songster, it stands unrivalled among the feathered creation ; there being no bird capable of uttering such a variety of tones, o of giving equal entertainment to an audience.
3. The mocking bird builds her nest on some tree not far from the habitations of men. Sometimes an apple tree standing alone answers her purpose, and she places it not far from the ground. But if these birds are not careful to conceal their habitation, the male is always ready to defend it; for neither cat, dog, man, nor any other animal can come near, while the female is sitting, without meeting with a sudden and violent attack. The cat, in particular, is an object of the most inveterate hatred, and is tormented with such repeated assaults, as generally to make her escape without delay.
4. The black snake is another deadly enemy, and when found lurking about the nest, is sure to meet with à sound drubbing, and does well to come off even with this; for the male sometimes darts upon it with such fury, and strikes it on the head with such force, as to leave it dead on the field of battle.
5. Having destroyed his enemy, this courageous bird flies to the tree which contains his nest and his companion, and seating himself on the highest branch, pours forth his best song in token of victory.
6. Although the plumage of the mocking bird is not so beautiful as that of many others, his slim and well made figure entitles him to a respectable standing for looks among his feathered brethren. But it is not his appearance, but his song, that raises him so high in the estimation of man, and fixes his value above that of almost any other bırd.
7. A stranger who hears this songster for the first time, listens to him with perfect astonishment. His voice is clear, strong, full, and of such compass as to enable him to imitate the notes of every other bird he has ever heard.. : 8. He also has a most remarkable memory; for when there is not another songster in his hearing, he will recollect and repeat the songs of nearly every bird in the forest. This he does with such truth, passing from one song to another, with such surprising rapid ity, that one who did not see him, and know the secret, would believe that half the feathered creation had assembled to hold a musical festival. Nor do the notes of his brother songsters lose any of their sweetness or brilliancy by such repetition. On the contrary, most of the tones are sweeter and better than those of the birds which are imitated.
9. Sometimes the mocking bird deceives and provokes the sportsman by imitating the notes of the game he is in pursuit of, and thus leading him the wrong way. Sometimes also, he brings many other birds around him by counterfeiting the soft tones of their mates, or by imitating the call of the old ones for their young; and then, perhaps, he will throw them into the most terrible alarnı by screaming out like a hawk.
10. One who has never heard this bird, after all that can be said, will have but a faint idea of his pow. ers. He will perhaps begin with the song of the robin, then whistle like a quail, then squall like a cat bird, then twitter like a swallow, and so on, running through the notes of every bird in the woods, with surprising truth and rapiditv
11. When tamed, he mocks every sound he hears with equal exactness, and it is often very amusing to witness the effect of this deception. He whistles for the dog; the dog jumps up, wags his tail, and runs to look for his master. He peeps like a hurt chicken ; and the old hen runs clucking to see who has injured her brood. He mews like a kitten, and mother puss hearkens and stares, to find where the noise comes from; and many other things of this kind he does to perfection.
12. The mocking bird is much esteemed by those who are fond of such amusements, and in most of our large cities they are kept for sale by the dealers in birds. The price for common singers is from ten to twenty dollars. For fine singers from thirty to fifty dollars, and for very extraordinary ones even a hundred dollars have been refused.
13. When we walk out into the woods, how are we cheered with the songs, and gratified with the sight of the birds which surround us. The green grass, the beautiful flowers, and the tall trees of the forest, it is true, are pleasant to the sight. But these are inanimate; they preserve a dead and perpetual silence.
14. They gratify the eye, but the ear would be left untouched, and the charms of nature but half complete, without the feathered songsters. When we walk alone through the solitary forest, they become our companions, and seem to take pleasure in displaying their beauties, and raising their best notes for our amusement.
ERRORS. 2. natral or natteral for natural. 3. vierlent for violent; petickelar for particular. 6. valler for value. 9. terrubble