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THE HOOPOE.

sight, in the twinkling of an eye they were on their bellies, and stretched their wings out on the side of their head, so that the large quill feathers touched. They were thus surrounded by a sort of crown formed by the feathers of the tail and wings, while the head leaned on the back, and the bill was pointed upward. In this strange posture they might be taken for an old rag. As soon as the bird which frightened them was gone, they jumped up instantly, and uttered cries of joy. These birds were very fond of lying in the sun. They showed their content by repeating in a quivering tone, “ Vec, vec, vec !”

As will be seen in our engraving, these birds have two rows of long feathers, which formed an arched crest on the head. In colour they are of a ruddy buff. The upper part of the back is vinous grey. There are cross bands of yellowish white on the wings, and very large white bands on the tail. The bill is very long, slightly arched, slender, and just fitted for pulling out the grubs of insects from the small holes in which they live. The feet of the hoopoe are very slender.

Many silly fancies were once held by people about the hoopoe. Its appearance was thought by the Swedes to herald war, and formerly the ignorant in

THE COUNTRY MOUSE AND THE TOWN MOUSE.

our own country thought that it was the forerunner of some general woe. The Turks call the hoopoe the messenger-bird, from the likeness its crest has to the plumes worn by the Turkish courier or messenger.

THE COUNTRY MOUSE AND THE TOWN MOUSE;

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BE CONTENT WITH SUCH THINGS AS YE HAVE."

ONCE on a time a Country Mouse,
Inhabiting an old farm house,
Invited down a London Friend,
A rural week with him to spend.
The invitation, kind and warm,
Accepted was, in all due form.
The London Cousin, leaving town,
To see his rustic friend came down.
The Country Mouse, though rough and plair,
With scanty means to entertain,
Now open'd all his heart and store,
Politely wishing he had more.
Just here and there the London Friend
To pick a bit would condescend,
While nibbling blades of barley straw,
His host sat by him, on the floor.
“ At length,” exclaims he, “my good friend,
How is it that you condescend
To pass in this dull way your hours,
A life so flat compared with ours ?

THE COUNTRY MOUSE AND THE TOWN MOUSE.

From polish'd scenes removed so far,
A toad within a hole you are;
Sure rocks and woods you can't prefer
To London's fashionable stir!
These silent fields and dull retreats
To lively parks and teeming streets ?
I court the gay and busy strife,
And try to make the most of life.
Upon my word, such course to choose
Seems miserably time to lose !
Just come with me, and you shall know
What life, in brilliant towns, can show.”
With such fine words quite overcome
The Mouse consents to leave his home:
Together both of them depart,
And for the stately city start.
At ev'ning time it was, and late,
When to the houses of the great
The London mouse conducts his friend,
A halcyon week with him to spend.
The gay saloon and pictured wall,
The decorated banquet hall,
With velvet couch and carvings rure,
The owner's luxury declare.
Here, on a supper-table vast,
Lay remnants of a rich repast;
And now the courtier played the host,
To shew his was no empty boast.
On cushions soft his friend he seats,
And sets before him dainty treats.

THE COUNTRY MOUSE AND THE TOWN MOUSE.

He runs about still to and fro,
His assiduity to show;
Insisting each fresh course to bring,
As though he waited on a king.
The Country Cousin, for his part,
With easy and familiar art,
Affects to make bimself at home,
And tastes all dishes as they come.
When lol while feasting side by side,
The banquet hall door opens wide,
And revellers, returning home,
Burst suddenly into the room.
In consternation at the sight,
The friends, upon the ground, alight;
And to the first dark hole they spy
For shelter and protection fly.
No sooner do they venture out
Than barking dogs are all about,
And more alarming noises near
To drive them back in greater fear.
At length, when all again seems calm,
No sounds to threaten or alarm,
The Country Mouse, with stealthy pace,
Creeps softly from his hiding-place,
And to his friend approaching nigh,
Just whispers, with his last good-by,
“ Kind sir, it may be very fine
On dainty meats to sup and dine,
But give me my coarse barley bread,
My nuts and cheese-parings instead.

THE COUNTRY MOUSE AND THE TOWN MOUSE.

I'd rather sup on my split peas,
Which I can nibble at my ease,
Than feast upon your sumptuous fare
With insecurity and care."

My story, reader, though but feign'd,
Yet truth to mix with it has deign'd,
That morals may be more imprest
In ornaments of fiction drest.
These fabled Mice are pictures true
Of what in life we daily view :
Two classes of mankind are shewn
By Country Mouse and Mouse in Town.
The lovers of the silent glade,
Whose humble virtues court the shade,
Who spend their hours in rural ease,
“Where life is bliss, and pleasures please ;''
And those who covet pomp and show,
Sad sources both, of care and woe;
Who waste on follies all their prime,
And lavish on the world their time.
Sad blunder this, indeed, to make,
And yet how common the mistake!
How soon can worldly friends ensnare
With promises and speeches fair!
Ah! when the frivolous and gay,
Young reader, would your heart betray,
Remember the poor Country Mouse
Invited to the London house.

-E. Roberts.

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