This is another excerpt from the book In the Child's World by Emilie Poulsson.


A closer study of birds and bird-life will be advisable in the spring, when we welcome the little travelers back. By that time the children will be prepared to observe more in detail and will have more power of expression, as well as a greater familiarity with the activities of the birds through the bird games and finger plays.

If there is a kindergarten canary, it would naturally furnish the text for this talk; but the migration of the birds and the causes which lead to it should be prominent.


(Sing the Froebel finger play, "In the branches of the tree." Show a nest and enlarge somewhat upon the nest building and the family life which the song has only suggested.)

The nest is the birdie's home. A small place for a whole family to live in, is it not? The baby birds are very tiny, however, and cuddle close together under the mother bird's wings; and the father bird generally sits on a branch near the nest.

How do birds get so high in the tree? What do they use in flying? (Let the children tell all they can about birds,—their appearance and habits and songs,—and also tell what birds they know by name.)

What do birds like to eat? Fruit, grains and other seeds, and worms and insects. Where do they find them? Are the worms and insects out in the winter? Are the fruits on the trees in winter? What will the poor birds do, then, when the cold winds blow and the trees are bare and the ground is covered with snow? Poor little things! They could not live if they stayed here. They would freeze or starve in our cold land. So, some time in the autumn, when they find that the air is colder and food is getting scarce, they decide to go away. Whole flocks of them fly away together.

Where do you think they go? Far away to another part of our land where it is warm, bright, summer weather.

Is it not wonderful that they know when and where to go?— wonderful that they can find their way, sometimes across the sea even, and always a long distance? How glad they must be, after flying so far, to reach a place where they find fruit and flowers, and green trees and warm sunshine!

Do all the birds fly away to a warm country? Which birds stay with us all winter? Is it easy for them to find enough to eat? Would you like to help them sometimes this winter? Even if we should only give the birds the crumbs and bits from our lunch every day, it would be a help to them. Perhaps we can sometimes make quite a feast for our little feathered friends.



Lisa and the Birds (From the Norwegian)
by Emilie Poulsson

"Tell me," said little Lisa,
The pretty child so sweet,
"Where do you tiny birdies
Find all you need to eat?
"The little bird in answer
Sang cheerily: "We know!
For us, a dainty table
Is spread where'er we go:
The good brown earth, so kindly,
Has scarce a single plant
Which will not feast the birdies
When seeds or fruits they want."
So sang the birds to Lisa;
But Lisa, pitying, said:
"When little birds are tired
Where can they find a bed?"
Then gaily chirped the birdies,
"In every bush or tree
Where we may choose to build them
We have our dwellings free.
Leaf shaded and leaf hidden
We safely go to rest;
Was never bed more cozy
Than is the birdie's nest."
Still questioned little Lisa:
"But when you wish to drink, What then?"
The birdies warbled:
"We seek the brooklet's brink,
Or sip the dew of morning
Which every leaf holds up;
Or take with joy the raindrops
From some bright flower's cup.
And many a spring and fountain
And many a wayside pool
Their sparkling waters offer,
So fresh and pure and cool."
Then said the loving Lisa:
"When winter cold is here
And everything is frozen,
Oh, you will starve, I fear!"
Again the birds chirped gaily:
"0 little maiden kind,
We fly to lands of sunshine
Where summer joys we find.
And for the birds who stay here
Ev'n when cold winter comes,
Some child as sweet as you, dear,
Will surely scatter crumbs."

Bird Thoughts

I lived first in a little house,
And lived there very well,
I thought the world was small and round,
And made of pale blue shell.

I lived next in a little nest,
Nor needed any other,
I thought the world was made of straw,
And brooded by my mother.

One day I fluttered from the nest
To see what I could find.
I said: "The world is made of leaves,
I have been very blind."

At length I flew beyond the tree,
Quite fit for grown-up labors.
—I don't know how the world is made,
And neither do my neighbors.


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