The Animal Story Book - online children's book

Edited By Andrew Lang And With Numerous Illustrations By H. J. Ford

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However it is only just to the race of cockatoos to observe that they are not always so bad as this, for during the very same season an unlucky young bird, whose wing and leg were broken by an accident, was adopted by an elderly cockatoo who did not care for what her neighbours said, and treated him as her own son. The following year, when nesting time came round, the white cockatoos went back to their acacia branch, but were very much disgusted to find a pair of grey parrots there before them, and a little pair of bald round heads peeping over the edge. These little parrots grew up with such very bad tempers that no one would have anything to do with them, and as for their own relations, they looked upon them with the contempt that a cat often shows to a man. To be sure these relations were considered to be rather odd them­selves, for they did not care to be troubled with a family of their own, so had taken under their protection two little kittens, who had been born in one of the boxes originally set apart for the parrots. The two birds could not endure to see the old cat looking after her little ones, and when­ever she went out for a walk or to get her food, one of the parrots always took her place in the box. It would have been nice to know how long this went on, and if the kittens adopted any parrot-like ways. Luckily, there was one peculiarity of the parrots which it was beyond their power to imitate, and that was the horrible voice which renders the society of a parrot, and still more of a cock­atoo, unendurable to most people.
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