The Animal Story Book - online children's book

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

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time for such things; so, to revenge himself, the male proceeded to pull to pieces her work. Seeing that he would have his own way, the female at length consented to play for a little, and fluttered from bush to bush, while her mate flew after her, but she always managed to keep just out of his reach. When he had had enough, he let her go back to her work, while he sang a song for a little, and then made ready to help build the nest. He found, or stole, the materials necessary, and carried them back to his wife, who packed them firmly in and made all tidy. But her husband was much more idle than she, and he soon tired of steady labour. He complained of the heat, and laughed at her for being in such a hurry, and said there was plenty of time before them, and he wanted a little fun. So eight times during that one morning the poor wife had to leave off her building, and hide her im­patience, and pretend to play, when she would much rather have been doing something else, and it was three days before the bottom was finished and the sides begun. Certainly the making of the bottom was rather a troublesome business; for the birds had to roll over every part of it, so as to get it firm and hard. Then, when all was right, they made a border, which they first trimmed round, and next overlaid with cotton, pressing it all to­gether with their breasts and shoulders. The twigs of the bush in which the nest was built were interlaced into the sides to prevent the whole structure being blown down, and particular care was taken that none of them should stick out in the inside of the nest, which was absolutely smooth and solid. After seven days it was done, and very pretty it was. It was perfectly white in colour, and about nine inches high on the outside where it had been made very thick, and not more than five inches within. However that was quite big enough for two such little people.
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