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dreadfully rummaging necessity colony heartily quarrelling disagreeable delinquents vagabonds occupied hovering industrious If
you have never seen a rookery, I would advise you, the first time you get in some old-fashioned neighbourhood, where one of these airy cities are built, to visit it without delay, for there you will find much to amuse you. The rooks are all thieves, every man-jack of them! and they think no more about walking off with a beam from another rook's house, and strengthening their own nest with it, than a big thief of a boy does of snatching up some poor little fellow's marbles, putting them into his pocket, and walking away with them. Then these rooks quarrel dreadfully; often getting from words to blows, and I dare say, abusing each other heartily, in their way, before they begin to fight. I have sometimes amused myself by trying to find out what they were quarrel. ing about, and have often fancied, when I have seen a couple of poor rooks, returning home with a stick apiece in their mouths (reckoning, no doubt, in their own minds, how many more trips they would have to make before their nest was completed), what must have been their conversation, when, instead of finding the foundation of their nest as they had left it, every stick had been stolen during their absence by a couple of lazy vagabonds, who were too idle to go and fetch the materials with which to finish their building, so stayed at home to steal whatever they could lay their evil hands upon, while their more industrious and honest neighbours were busily employed in rummaging about the fields. I have fancied
how annoyed they must have felt when, returning with their last two sticks, they have, perhaps, said to one another, just before they reached home, "Well, never mind! though it is hard work flying such a distance, and bringing Lack such pieces of heavy timber, yet we have already made above a hundred journeys, and as many more will complete our task; then we shall have such a nice nest of our own, and can go to bed when we like, and get up whenever we please, or at least lie awake; for those low-bred people, who live above our heads in the attics, are always up and quarrelling at the first peep of day, and
, there is no getting a wink of sleep after; andbut, bless me how is this? we must have mistaken the bough; and yet that can't be, neither! That must be Black-cap, peeping out over his house-top there; and I know Splay-foot, who lives next door, by his claws; and the other nest belongs to the longnosed fellow I had such a battle with last Spring-I know him by the scar above his eye, which I madewith my sharp beak when we fought, and which he'll carry to his grave with him. Well—what a shame! I declare if some of the thieves out of the next street havn't been here during our absence, and carried away every stick and stake that we had piled together, even to the very scaffolding! It's too bad; that it is! and I won't stand it any longer; so, come along." And they spread out their black wings, and away they sail to the next tree, and alight on the bough next to that occupied by the robbers, whom they have no difficulty in detecting, for the very bulk intowhich their nest has so suddenly grown, plainly tells that they have not come by the materials honestly. “ What do you mean, you scoundrel, by coming and carrying off the whole of my house, while I was.
away?” commences the bolder rook of the two.
Beg your pardon,” answers the black rascal, whose very looks condemn him; “but I thought, as you were so long gone, you had perhaps left this place altogether, to reside in some more peaceable neighbourhood—for this is but a sorry spot to live in; so, making sure that some other rook would be stepping in and take possession, why, I took the liberty. Beg pardon; but hope there's no offence." “ No offence!” exclaims the injured, “take that, you thievish-looking fellow," and he fetches him such a bat on the head with the point of his beak, as sends him spinning on the other side of the nest. “I will thank you not to strike my husband,” cries out Mrs. Rook, who has hitherto remained silent. “Your husband deserves it, and you too, madam,” exclaims the injured lady, who has accompanied her husband; “for you are, both of you, dishonest persons.” “I would thank you to keep your impertinence to yourself," replies the robber's wife;" for if you do not, you will put mé under the painful necessity of compelling you.” “You compel me! you dirty, black-looking thing! When did you wash your face last ? I'd box your ears for two straws—that I would, you saucy madam, you !' “At your peril dare to lift up your hand against me!” replies the other; for if you do, I'll call my relations, and give you in charge, that I will!" “ This stick's mine," says the other hopping down, and planting her claws upon it; “ deny it, if you can. It's mine, and I'll have it !” “Not by my consent, madam !” answers the other, also putting her claws upon it. Then battle-royal commences; they pull, they peck, they strike, they thrust; they stop a moment to take breath, and at it they go again. Their husbands are also fighting;
all the neighbourhood is up! from every nest there are a couple of heads poked out, looking on the combatants—some crying, “ Serve 'em right! Well done! Give it 'em!” Some hovering about in the air, and exclaiming, “Bless me, what a disagreeable neighbourhood this is to live in! nothing but fighting and quarrelling, picking and stealing; really, Mr. So-andso, I think it's high time you and I moved to a more respectable place; but I'm glad that the honest pecple have thrashed 'em, and recovered their own again ; and, as the whole colony seem to be up, driving these low, thievish people away, I think it our duty to join in showing our disapprobation, lest, by our standing aloof, we should be suspected of countenancing the delinquents."
HOME AND CLASS WORK. Learn the spellings at the top of the page; and write sentences containing these words.
THE DEW-DROP AND THE STREAM.
The brakes with golden flowers were cro
Sure, little drop, rejoice we may,