IDEAL HOME LIFE
the necessity of taking sides, and I would build and put up bird-houses and cat-guards.
Engaging a Bird Orchestra
You know to how much care and expense people go to keep birds in cages. Holden's price for a male songster catbird is from $5 to $10. How much more is it worth to have a pair of free birds come and nest by your window, to have them sing for you every morning all summer, and to have them show you and your friends the secrets of their wonderful housekeeping? If you will supply homes, nesting-places and materials for nests, food and water, you can have almost your own choice of the glorious chorus: Wrens for the porch, catbirds for the syringa bush, swallows for the barn.
Children can perform even greater miracles. A wild robin can be tamed to come at call by means of a few meal worms; chipping sparrows will feed from the hand, and almost all nestlings become so contented after being properly fed that they will fall asleep in the palm.
In Volume V of The Treasury is a whole section called "How to Know the Birds," which you ought to study.
The Twelve Secrets of the Woods
These are offered by Ernest Thompson Seton, of the Woodcraft League:
Do you know the umbrella that stands up spread to show that there is a restaurant in the cellar ?
Do you know the "manna-food" that grows on the rocks, summer and winter, and holds up its hands in the Indian sign of "innocence," so all who need may know how good it is?
Do you know the vine that climbs above the sedge to whisper on the wind, "There are cocoanuts in my basements" ?
Can you tell why the rabbit puts its hind feet down ahead of its front ones as he runs?
Can you tell why the squirrel buries every other nut, and who it was that planted those shag-barks all along the fence?