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How Best To Educate Your Child At Home

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202
FIRESIDE EDUCATION.
would build beneath your window, is tolerated. Not even the little ground squirrel, that enlivens the woods, is permitted to eat his nut in safety. And when the boy becomes a youth, the same exterminating war is carried on. though with a different weapon. With the fowling-piece in his hand, he roams the orchard and the field, slaughtering, without discrimination, jays, woodpeckers, sparrows, blackbirds, bob-o-links, and the rest of the feathered family.
Now, is not this all wrong? Does not this partake of cruelty ? And, beside, is it not obvi­ous folly? For my own part, I love to see the birds enlivening the landscape. The rigor of our climate drives them away for half the year, but I mourn when they are gone, and rejoice at their return. They are a great resource to those who will observe them. Their songs, how­ever varied, are ever beautiful. Their forms, habits and capacities are themes of interesting study. It is delightful to see them building their nests, rearing their young, pursuing their food, and displaying their various musical gifts. Why, then, should we drive these creatures away ? Some of them, it is true, are thieves, and take more cherries and corn than we are willing to spare them, and I approve of neces­sary scarecrows and suitable pelting in these
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