260 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON
apples and pears became black and withered, the plums and apricots were nothing but hard kernels surrounded by a tough skin ; on the other hand, the indigenous productions multiplied a hundredfold : the bananas, the figs, the guavas, the oranges and the citron, made our corner of the island a paradise.
Our beautiful flowers also attracted numerous guests : these were the humming-birds ; and it was one of our greatest amusements to watch these little birds flying around us, sparkling like precious stones, and hardly perceptible, so quick were their movements. They were passionate, choleric little fellows, and would attack others twice their size, and drive them away from their nests, and at other times they would tear in pieces the unlucky flower that had deceived their expectations of a feast.
The family of Turk and Flora had each year been increased by a certain number of puppies, out of which we had kept the healthiest, so that each member of the family now called a particular dog his own.
But the greatest changes of all were in my sons. When I thought of what children they were when I landed, I looked at them with thankfulness. Fritz had become a strong and vigorous man;