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ROOKS TALK. Rooks can talk, and no doubt understand each other just as well as we do, although they only seem to us to utter an unmeaning “Caw, caw.” But if we were wise enough to understand birdlanguage, like the clever people in Fairytales, we should hear many wonderful things from the Rooks. A rookery is, as I have told you before, a town or city of the Rooks, and they place watch-birds for sentinels round about it, to warn the inhabitants of any approaching danger. When one of these watch-birds utters a peculiar note, the others all know what it means, and they immediately fly off in an opposite direction to the coming danger, so that the watch-bird must not only have told them that danger was near, but also which way it was coming. Rooks always make a great noise in the evening time, just before going to bed. A little girl once said, when listening to this noise, that “it was the Rooks saying their prayers.” Perhaps it was.
THE CAYMAN OF SOUTH
AMERICA. HERE was a frightful position to be in! Captain Watson was rowing along one of the great rivers in South America when suddenly he saw a huge Alligator, or Cayman, as they are called there, coming up to him. In general, Alligators will not attack men, and suffer boats and canoes to pass them, without taking any notice, but this creature came up flapping his tail in the water, and uttering such a fearful bellowing noise, that Captain, Watson thought he had better escape if he could. So he swung himself out of his boat and caught hold of the branches of a tree that overhung the river. He had no sooner done so than the hideous reptile came up to him with its mouth open, and its horrible teeth showing, as if it would devour him on the spot. Fortunately he managed to climb the tree, and there he remained, watched by the Cayman until morning, when a negro came by and shot his foe,
A COUNTRY SCENE. HERE is a thorough English country scene! The little homely thatched cottage with its big chimneys, the clothes hanging out to dry, the old horse grazing in the meadow, and the happy peasant boys wading in the shallow pond to cool their hot, dusty feet. A very pleasant scene that poor wayfarer thinks it, who is sitting on the edge of the pond, with his stick and hat beside him. The thatched cottage and the bright meadow and pond remind him of the days of his childhood, before he went out into the far world, and he seems to remember himself as just such an urchin as one of those who are swimming that little boat in the clear water. He is roused from his thoughts by a young woman with a baby in her arms, who says, “ You look tired, poor man; would you like to come into our cottage and have a draught of milk?” He thanks her, and rests a while in the cottage, and then goes on his way refreshed