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coming and going.
Age Rating 8 plus.
Start of Story
There came to our fields a pair of birds that had never built a nest nor
seen a winter. How beautiful was everything! The fields were full of
flowers and the grass was growing tall, and the bees were humming
everywhere. Then one of the birds began singing, and the other bird
said: "Who told you to sing?" And he answered: "The flowers told me, and
the bees told me, and the winds and leaves told me, and the blue sky
told me, and you told me to sing." Then his mate answered: "When did I
tell you to sing?" And he said: "Every time you brought in tender grass
for the nest, and every time your soft wings fluttered off again for
hair and feathers to line the nest." Then his mate said: "What are you
singing about?" And he answered: "I am singing about everything and
nothing. It is because I am so happy that I sing."
By and by five little speckled eggs were in the nest, and his mate said:
"Is there anything in all the world as pretty as my eggs?" Then they
both looked down on some people that were passing by and pitied them
because they were not birds.
In a week or two, one day, when the father bird came home, the mother
bird said: "Oh, what do you think has happened?"
"One of my eggs has been peeping and moving!" Pretty soon another egg
moved under her feathers, and then another and another, till five little
birds were hatched! Now the father bird sang louder and louder than
ever. The mother bird, too, wanted to sing, but she had no time, and she
turned her song into work. So hungry were these little birds that it
kept both parents busy feeding them. Away each one flew. The moment the
little birds heard their wings fluttering among the leaves, five little
yellow mouths flew open wide, so that nothing could be seen but five
"Can anybody be happier?" said the father bird to the mother bird. "We
will live in this tree always, for there is no sorrow here. It is a tree
that always bears joy."
Soon the little birds were big enough to fly, and great was their
parents' joy to see them leave the nest and sit crumpled up upon the
branches. There was then a great time, the two old birds talking and
chatting to make the young ones go alone! In a little time they had
learned to use their own wings, and they flew away and away, and found
their own food, and built their own nests, and sang their own songs with
Then the old birds sat silent and looked at each other, until the mother
bird said: "Why don't you sing?" And he answered: "I can't sing--I can
only think and think." "What are you thinking of?" "I am thinking how
everything changes. The leaves are falling off from this tree, and soon
there will be no roof over our heads; the flowers are all going; last
night there was a frost; almost all the birds have flown away. Something
calls me, and I feel as if I would like to fly away."
"Let us fly away together!"
Then they arose silently, and, lifting themselves far up in the air,
they looked to the north. Far away they saw the snow coming. They looked
to the south. There they saw flowers and green leaves. All day they
flew, and all night they flew and flew, till they found a land where
there was no winter--where flowers always blossom, and birds always