The Greedy Little Sparrow
F eathers was a greedy little brown sparrow who was always first on the bird-table and last to go. How he loved the soaked dog-biscuits, the potatoes in their jackets, and the scrapings of milk pudding that Hilda and Fred put out every morning!
He wished he could keep all the other birds away from the table so that he might have even more to eat. But how could he do that ?
" I know! " he said at last. " I'll say that the black cat is about. Then the others will be careful and I shall be able to eat all I want to."
So the next morning, when Hilda and Fred put food on their bird-table, Feathers began to chirrup loudly to the others.
" Be careful! Be careful! Chirrup! Chirrup! The cat's about! Chirrup! She's hiding under a bush! I saw her! Chirrup! She is waiting for us to go on the bird-table and then she will POUNCE! Chirrup! "
All the birds heard this warning cry and stayed quietly in the bushes and on the gutter. Every one was afraid of the cat. No one wanted to be caught by Nigar, whose sharp claws could strike down even a big bird like Glossy the blackbird.
" I'll fly down to the bird-table and see if Nigar is anywhere about still! " chirruped Feathers, very soon. " Keep where you are, everybody! I'll fly down! "
He flew down—and in a trice was pecking hard at the bread-crumbs there. " Chirrup! " he called to the others. " Be careful! I think I can see the cat under the lilac bush! I'll tell you when she goes! "