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THE BIRD CONGRESS. What a number of different birds have met together in this little nook amongst the mountains! I think they must be holding a sort of congress to decide upon some important question of Bird-land. First there is the Partridge on the left bank, feeling quite secure, as it is summer-time, and he knows no one dare shoot him. By his side, close to the edge of the water, there are the Water Wagtail and the Pewit. On the opposite bank is little Jenny Wren, with her tail cocked up, and under the ferns there are three Pochards. But the bird who is making most noise is that chattering Magpie on the projecting piece of rock. He is addressing the meeting, but no one seems to pay any attention to him; and as Magpies always talk great nonsense they probably do not lose much. I cannot tell the names of all the little birds in the air, but probably the large one is a Kite.
THE WHITE BEAR. The White Bear, or Polar Bear as he is usually called, is a native of the icy regions round the North Pole. He is often found on the large floating icebergs, and will swim from one iceberg to another, for he can live in the water as well as on the land, and chiefly feeds upon fish. The Esquimaux, it is said, have a very funny method of catching this bear. They bend a piece of whalebone nearly double and dip the two ends into the fat of the whale, which is called blubber. They then leave the fat to freeze, which is soon done in their country, and when the bear pursues them they offer him this delicacy. · He swallows it eagerly, but the heat of his stomach immediately causes the blubber to melt, and thus sets free the bent whalebone, which had been held down by the frozen blubber. It flies out to its full extent in poor Bruin's stomach, and effectually kills him.
THE BIRTHDAY PRESENT.
It is Margaret's eighth birthday, and her Mamma has bought her a beautiful photographic album, and has put her Papa's portrait and her own inside it to make a beginning. See how delighted all the other children are at their sister Margaret having such a nice present! They would rather she had it than have it themselves ever so much, for they are very fond of their eldest sister, and even little Tommy shouts with delight at the pretty book; and when he sees the portrait he says “Mamma," " Papa,” which is all he can say, so he says it all day long. Margaret hopes she will get some more portraits for her album. She means to ask Uncle George for his, and Uncle Alfred for his, and also Aunt Emma and Aunt Laura for theirs. Then she and all her brothers and sisters are going to have their portraits taken, so the book will soon be full.