NEST BUILDING 197
down from its branch and settled quietly on his shoulder.
" This is th' little fox cub," he said, rubbing the little reddish animal's head. " It's named Captain. An' this here's Soot. Soot he flew across th' moor with me an' Captain he run same as if th' hounds had been after him. They both felt same as I did."
Neither of the creatures looked as if he were the least afraid of Mary. When Dickon began to walk about, Soot stayed on his shoulder and Captain trotted quietly close to his side.
"See here!" said Dickon. "See how these has pushed up, an' these an' these! An' Eh! look at these here ! "
He threw himself upon his knees and Mary went down beside him. They had come upon a whole clump of crocuses burst into purple and orange and gold. Mary bent her face down and kissed and kissed them.
" You never kiss a person in that way," she said when she lifted her head. " Flowers are so different."
He looked puzzled but smiled.
" Eh! " he said, " I've kissed mother many a time that way when I come in from th' moor after a day's roamin' an' she stood there at th' door in th' sun, lookin' so glad an' comfortable."