316 What Shall We Do Now?
sponge-cake, lean meat, water-cress, lettuce, and cabbage. If the bird seems ill give him saffron in his water, a little old dry Cheshire cheese grated, some ground rice and a small spider or two. But remember that the lark is a bird that does not perch and is always longing to rise up and up in the sunshine and blue air ; and if you have any doubt about it let him go.
If you keep tits in a cage they should have plenty of room, a branch or two to play upon and cocoa-nut shells hanging from the top for them to sleep in. They like spiders, which you will have to catch for themórather a cruel business ; and ants' eggs and meal-worms, which can be bought. If you live in the country it is much better that your tits should not be in a cage at all, but should merely be encouraged to look upon your garden as a place where no harm will come to them and where food is always to be found. They soon become trustful, and nothing is prettier than the movements of these tiny feathered mice, as they might be called.
Tom-tits, and tits of all kinds, especially like cocoa-nut (though they will come to the window-sill simply for bread crumbs). The cocoa-nut should be sawn in two, and a hole bored through each half, about an inch from the edge. A strong string is then threaded in and they are hung from the bough of a tree. They should be hung rather high up, on a bough reaching as far out from the trunk as possible, so as to avoid all risk from the cat. The tits frequent elm-trees more than any others, because the rough bark contains many insects, but you may choose any kind of tree, as close to your windows as you like. The birds will keep pecking at the cocoa-nut all day long and will soon want a new one. A cocoa-nut should not cost more than 3d., but the best way to get them is to win them in a " roll, bowl, or pitch " place at a fair in the village. If you have no tree near the house you might fasten a cord across the outer frame of your window and tie the pieces of nut to that. The tits would soon find out the cocoa-nut and come to it, and