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SLEDGING OVER THE SNOW. The carriages you see in the picture are called sledges, and riding in them is called sledging, which means sliding; and it must be a very nice and easy way of riding over the snow.

As you may see they have no wheels, which might sink into the snow when they turned fast round; but the carriage rests on two broad pieces of wood which are bent upward a little at each end to keep clear of the snow. In this way they glide along so smoothly that there is no shaking or fear of breaking down. Even if one of the horses should fall and the sledge be upset, those who were in it would not be likely to break their bones, for they would only be rolled among the soft snow, which would afford them more fun than harm.

The people in the northern parts of America and in Canada are very fond of this easy way of winter riding; but Russia, with its long snow-time, is the most famous for its sledges, which are mostly covered over all round except the front. In such a carriage a lady and gentleman, muffled up in warm furs and bear-skins, will be sheltered from the fierce winds

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and biting cold. Some of the Russian sledges will have three horses abreast, with a man to drive them, who tries to keep himself warm by beating first one and then another with a heavy whip, calling them by their names, sometimes scolding them, and then coaxing them. But the horses are always glad to have a gallop among the snow.

As we seldom have much snow in England now, we as seldom see such a thing as a sledge. Well : never mind. We have many other good things, like good houses, and warm firesides, and snug beds, for which we shall do well to be thankful. I think so; and I hope you do.



We have a Parrot in our house,

A noisy saucy fellow,
Who screams and whistles, but his voice

Is very far from mellow.

As for myself, I'm sure I could

Do quite as well without him;
But as we have him I must tell

Some little tales about him.


We keep him in a large wire cage,

With one round perch to stand on; I'm sure a jackdaw or a jay

Had never such a grand one.

Above the perch, up at the top,

There is a metal ring,
To which he climbs if he would like

To have a jolly swing.

We have to lock him up inside

With padlock on a chain;
If we did not he'd slide the door,

And soon be out again,

His feathers almost all are grey,

The head and legs are white; Under his tail they are bright red,

But almost out of sight.

His beak is bent just like a hook,

With which he climbs about;
His tongue is quite as black inside

As his black beak without.

His four long claws upon each foot

Seem made to use when feeding ; With them he holds his food as you

Would hold your book when reading. But set him down upon the floor,

And see how now he waddles


Just like a duck, whose feet were made

To be a pair of paddles. These Parrots always are called Poll;

I dont know why that should be, For some are he and some are she,

And nothing else they could be. A strange thing in these birds is this,

Their mouths are made for talking, Better, it seems, than their long claws

Were made to go a walking.
I've heard a blackbird sing a song

Once taught him on a fiddle;
And when I heard him, I confess,

It seemed to me a riddle.

A starling said, “I can't get out ;"

A jackdaw shouted “carrots !" But none of all these birds can say

So many words as Parrots.

Our Parrot can say many words,

Some of which she was taught, And some are words said now and then,

Which her quick ear has caught.
But of one thing I feel quite sure,

She is a selfish elf,
For very often all her talk

Is just about herself.


“ Poor Poll,” and “ Pretty Poll,” she cries,

“ Come kiss me; kiss poor Poll;" Then she will smack a kiss or two,

And that is very droll.

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