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and after he had amused her with a sweet song she would give him nice things to eat.
These pleasures became, however, familiar to Jessie. Her father one day made her a present of a new book full of pictures. She was so delighted with this book that she began to forget Cherry. He would chirp the moment he saw her, though ever so far off, but Jessie did not hear him. Almost a week had passed since he had had either fresh greens or biscuit. He repeated the sweetest airs that his mistress had taught him, and composed fresh ones to amuse her, but in vain. The truth was, Jessie's thoughts were engaged on other things.
Her birthday took place soon after, when her godfather presented her with a large doll. This doll, which she called Columbine, made her forget all about her bird. From morning till night she was busy with doing nothing else but dressing and undressing Miss Columbine a hundred times, talking to her, and carrying her up and down the room. The poor bird was fortunate if he got some food towards evening. Sometimes it happened that he was obliged to wait for it till the next day.
At length one day when Mr. Brown was at table he chanced to look towards the cage, and saw the canary bird lying upon its breast panting for breath. Its feathers were ruffled, and it seemed doubled up all in a lump. Mr. Brown went up to it, but it did not chirp; the poor little creature had hardly strength sufficient to draw its breath. "Jessie," said Mr. Brown, "what is the matter
with your canary bird?" Jessie blushed. "Why, somehow, papa, I forgot to give him his food;" and, all in a tremble, she ran to fetch him some biscuit.
"Alas, poor bird!" said Mr. Brown, "thou art fallen into cruel hands. If I had thought you would have been treated in this way, I would never have bought you." All the company rose up from table and held up their hands, crying 66 the poor bird" Mr. Brown put some seed in the drawer, and filled the cup with fresh water, but had much difficulty in bringing Cherry back to life. Jessie left the table, and going into her room, cried so much, that her handkerchief was quite wet with her tears.
THE CANARY BIRD.
The next day Mr. Brown ordered the bird to be carried out of the house, and given to the son of Mr. Clarke,, his neighbour, who was known to be a very careful boy, and certain to see that he had plenty to eat and drink. But Jessie begged and prayed that she might have another trial. She said, "Ah! my dear bird! my poor Cherry! Indeed, I promise you, papa, that I will never forget him after this a single moment as long as I live."
Mr. Brown saw she was touched, and he consented at last that the bird should be again com
mitted to her care. He, however, gave her a sharp lecture for her carelessness in leaving him to suffer so keenly the pangs of hunger. "This poor little creature," said he, "is shut up, and therefore not able to provide for its own wants. If you want anything you can ask for it; but Cherry cannot make people understand his language. Take care that he never suffers hunger or thirst again."
these words Jessie shed a flood of tears. She kissed her papa, but her grief was so great that she could not utter a word. Now Jessie was once more mistress of Cherry, and Cherry was on the best of terms with Jessie.
About a month after, Mr. Brown had to go into the country a few days with his wife. "Jessie, Jessie," said he, in parting with his daughter, “I trust you will not forget Cherry." Her parents had scarcely got into the carriage when Jessie ran to the cage, and gave her bird everything that it wanted.
In a few days, however, her time began to hang heavily. She sent for some of her little friends to come and play with her, and by this means soon became cheerful and happy. They went out for a walk together, and on their return played at blind-man's-buff and puss-in-the-corner.
that, they danced, and when it was time to go to bed, Jessie was quite tired. The next morning she awoke early, and began to think what capital sport she had had the night before. If her governess had let her, she would have run as soon as she got up to see the Miss Marshalls; but she was obliged
to wait till after dinner. She hurried over her dinner, and went at once to see them, without thinking anything about poor Cherry. The following day was also spent in amusements, and the canary was forgotten again. It was the same the third day: Jessie was altogether taken up with playing with her friends.
The fourth day, Mr. and Mrs. Brown returned from the country. When her father had kissed her, and inquired after her health, he asked her how Cherry was? "Very well," cried Jessie, a little confused, and she ran to his cage to carry him some water. Alas! the poor little creature was dead. He lay upon his back, with his wings spread out, and his bill open. Jessie screamed out, and wrung her hands. Every one in the house. ran to see what was the matter. "Ah! poor bird," cried Mr. Brown; "how painful has thy death been. If I had wrung thy head off the day I went into the country, thou wouldst have had but the pain of a moment, whereas thou hast now endured for several days the pangs of hunger and thirst, and hast died in a long and cruel agony."
Jessie was so sorry for the death of her poor bird, that she would have given all her playthings, and all her pocket money to purchase the life of Cherry; but it was then too late. Mr. Brown had the skin of the bird stuffed, and hung from the ceiling. Jessie shrank from looking at it, and if by chance she saw it, her eyes were instantly filled with tears. Every day she entreated her father to remove it out of her sight. At last he
consented to do so, but whenever Jessie showed any signs of giddiness or inattention, the bird was hung up again in its place, and her friends would say, "Poor Cherry! what a cruel death you suffered!"
Oft I had heard of Lucy Gray,
No mate, no comrade, Lucy knew,
You yet may spy the fawn at play,
"To-night will be a stormy night—
"That, father, will I gladly do!
The minster clock has just struck two,