58 THE SECRET GARDEN
perched Ben Weatherstaff's robin redbreast, tilting forward to look at her with his small head on one side.
" Oh! " she cried out, " is it you — is it you? " And it did not seem at all queer to her that she spoke to him as if she was sure that he would understand and answer her.
He did answer. He twittered and chirped and hopped along the wall as if he were telling her all sorts of things. It seemed to Mistress Mary as if she understood him, too, though he was not speaking in words. It was as if he said: * " Good morning! Isn't the wind nice? Isn't the sun nice ? Isn't everything nice ? Let us both chirp and hop and twitter. Come on! Come on!"
Mary began to laugh, and as he hopped and took little flights along the wall she ran after him. Poor little thin, sallow, ugly Mary — she actually looked almost pretty for a moment.
" I-like you! I like you! " she cried out, pattering down the walk; and she chirped and tried to whistle, which last she did not know how to do in the least. But the robin seemed to be quite satisfied and chirped and whistled back at her. At last he spread his wings and made a darting flight to the top of a tree, where he perched and sang loudly.