ADVENTURES IN WIZARD-LAND
visions; about starvation among the weak birds who could not compete against the strong; about the unfair scrambling for tit-bits which caused grievous bodily hurt. Then a painful rumour was discussed about poor little Mother Starling, who had been taken unawares by a wild beast with terrible whiskers who was seen to pounce upon her and carry her off—and her husband, who still went about vainly calling his mate and would not be comforted. They heard how, in the hospitals under the hedges, things were in a bad way—how one patient was down with a broken wing, with no hope of getting wrell in time to migrate; and of others incurable, and resigned.
All this so depressed the two joyous young larks that they flew some distance away, when through the leaves they discovered in the tree next to them nothing less than the beautiful Bird-Fairy reclining asleep in the branches with her retinue of little sprites in various attitudes all around her, their shining eyes wide open, on guard.
The absolute silence proved too monotonous for our lively pair. So away they flew again—miles and miles away into the open country, enjoying to the fullest freedom found at last, feeding in the sun-gilded fields, drinking from the pools, bathing in the sandy roads, and flying for all they were worth in their youthful spirits. Life like this wras life indeed !