Three Hundred Games & Pastimes - complete online book

A Book Of Suggestions For Children's Games And Employments.

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32o              What Shall We Do Now?
,piece of dripping or fat, soaked with the sop, makes it more tasty for them. If the supply of bread be short, the birds will be very pleased with chickens' rice. It should be the 'second quality' kind, in the brown husk, which can be procured from most corn-dealers (or from Whiteley's at gd. for y lbs.). But this is hardly necessary excepting in a long hard frost. Starlings are especially fond of bones, and they will esteem it a favour if any which have been used in making soup, and are not required for the dog, are thrown out to them on the ground. Their joyous chattering over them is quite cheering, even on the dreariest winter's day. They are also grateful for the rind of a ham or piece of bacon, after it has been boiled. This should be thrown out to them whole, not cut up in little pieces. They are equally fond of the bones and skin remains of a ' dried ' haddock. Rooks, also, love fish scraps of any kind, but they are usually too wild and shy for you to be able to watch them feed. You can only scatter the food in some part where you have noticed them, and trust that they get it.
" For the bolder birds, such as robins, you will like to put some food on the window-sills, and also on the path or grass close to the house. But remember the more timid ones, and scatter it in other parts of the garden as well.
" Sparrows, of course, deserve their food as well as any of the others ; but it is rather hard to see them taking every morning much more than their share, while the less courageous or im­pudent birds (who also sing to you) get none. It seems im­possible to prevent this, though Mr. Phil. Robinson, in his book Garden, Orcliard, and Spinney (in the chapter entitled ' The Famine in my Garden'), recommends scattering some oatmeal mixed with a few bread crumbs on one side of the house, to keep the sparrows occupied, whilst you feed the other birds else­where. Sparrows, however, have a way of being on every side of the house at once. Still, if you feed your birds daily, and as nearly at the same time as possible (they like it as soon as may be after your own breakfast), you will find them on the look-
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