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Caw! Caw! Or, The Chronicle of Crows, A Tale of the Spring-time   By:

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CAW! CAW!

or

The Chronicle of Crows A Tale of the Spring time

by RM

Illustrated by JB

LONDON; GRANT & GRIFFITH, SUCCESSORS TO NEWBERY & HARRIS: THE CORNER OF ST PAUL'S CHURCHYARD.

[Illustration: WHAT HAPPENS IN SPRING WHEN THE LITTLE BIRDS SING.]

In the merry spring time, thus says my song, When the sun shines bright and the days grow long, And the crocuses brilliant, in purple and gold, Bloom in the gardens in numbers untold; When in the fields the grass grows green, And a few early lambs are seen; When daffodils in gaudy gowns Look gay upon the verdant downs, And fair spring flowers of each degree In every sheltered nook you see,

[Illustration: HOW MANY STICKS GO TO THE NEST OF A CROW.]

Upon a bright and sunny day The Crows to one another say, "CAW! CAW! our nests now let us build." Away they fly: each beak is fill'd With little sticks of beechen wood, With which they build their houses good: When all is done, with joy they see The work of their community.

[Illustration: THE NESTS NOW MADE, THE EGGS ARE LAID.]

And, circling widely, CAW! they say, CAW! CAW! our eggs now let us lay. Two spotted eggs in every nest For warmth await the mother's breast. And all the Crows around them fly With flapping wings and joyful cry: "CAW! CAW!" they say, "now it is fit That we upon our eggs should sit."

[Illustration: EACH CROW BRINGS FOOD TO HIS MATE SO GOOD.]

The patient Crows for many a week No other occupation seek; But, while one sits and looks around, The other makes the woods resound With cawings loud, or frequent brings Worms, seeds, or such delicious things, And kindly feeds his brooding mate From early morn till evening late.

[Illustration: THE YOUNG CROW KNOWS WELL HOW TO CHIP THE SHELL.]

Till, to reward their anxious care, A gentle sound the parents hear Of tapping from within the shell: This sound doth please the mother well, And, fondly helping with her bill, She hears the voices weak and shrill. "Caw! Caw!" the downy young ones say, "How lovely is this peep of day, Oh what a glorious sight is this, There can be nothing here but bliss." "CAW! CAW!" replies the mother crow, "There is no joy unmixed with woe."

[Illustration: THE CROWS SEEK SPOIL FROM THE PLOUGHMAN'S TOIL.]

The father crows with tender heart In the parental cares take part "CAW! CAW!" they say, "for food we'll fly Before our young ones hungry cry." In course direct they fly afar To where the ploughmen lab'ring are, And, seeking in the upturn'd soil, They meet with many a wormy spoil; And, filling their capacious beak, Straightway their forest homes they seek.

[Illustration: THE FATHER GOOD BRINGS YOUNG ONES FOOD.]

The young crows see them homeward fly, And stretch their skinny necks on high; And gulping down the luscious food, "Caw! Caw!" they say, "'tis very good." So daily every parent flies, Each young one grows in strength and size; Till seated on a branch at length, Exulting in increasing strength, "Caw! Caw! Caw! Caw!" they proudly cry, "We shall be flying by and bye;" But ah, poor Crows, there's many a slip Between the cup and longing lip.

[Illustration: THE FARMER IN RAGE, WAR DOTH WAGE.]

The farmer heard the cawing sound, And sent to all his neighbours round, Begging of them every one To bring a rifle or a gun, If they would come the sport to see Of shooting at the rookery; And try to check the rural pest, Which did the country so infest, And stop the robbery of corn, Which was no longer to be borne.

[Illustration: LITTLE CARE CROWS FOR THE SCARE CROWS.]

For though the farmers had a plan To scare them with the form of man, The Crows, at first much terrified, And wheeling high in circles wide, Had soon become too bold for that; And even perched upon the hat, And loud in mockery cried "CAW! CAW! 'Tis nothing but a man of straw... Continue reading book >>




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