Animal Stories in Rhyme

Animal Stories in Rhyme
The Tale of the Crows

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.”



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