|Paper||Salt Lake Herald-Republican|
|Rights||No Copyright - United States (NoC-US)|
|Publisher||Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah|
|Article Title||The Feathered Emigrants|
|Paper||Salt Lake Herald-Republican|
TIIE FEATllERl'D EMIGRANTS. A TALK lOK t'lIII.DREX. Ouc Christmas timo, not a thousand yours ago, when turkeys built their nests iu old men's beards, there lived in W estminster a family of sparrows. Papa Sparrow was a gentleman of parts, and had the reputation of being a bit of a rake, but Mrs. Sparrow was only a good motherlyjhird, who looked alter the household and lovingly watched her children. Mr. Sparrow's aristocratic friends at the club could not understand how it was , that ho threw himself away on Mrs. S., who was a nobody, but Mr. S. winked his bright little eyes and dropped hints of a tree root full of worms to which his wife was sole heiress, and his friends were satisfied. Stj they wcro married, aud Mr. and Mr.'. Sparrow spent their honeymoon, it was said, iu vtaitinir somo of the ripo orchards orch-ards of Surrey. After a short ab seneo they returned, Mr. Sparrow looking rather rullleu iu mind and feathers, and it was reported tint the worm speculation had not turned out as well as was expected. Still Mr. Sparrow never said so ho was much too proud for that and held his head as high as ever. A f'ut old cockatoo, who had bachelor chambers in tho Albany, Al-bany, said that his cousin in Buckingham Bucking-ham Palace had told him that Sparrow was living over a livery stable in great futviij, iiuu mai iiu wit uuij uoiu iu appear abroad because Mrs. Sparrow, "a good little body," was such an excellent ex-cellent wife and manager. Of course they had a largo family poor folks always have and when Mr, Sparrow would como homo from his afternoon's stroll, and see all their lit-tlo lit-tlo beaks gaping for food, his heart sank into his varnished boots I can tell you. Ho got quito moody, did this little fellow, and used to think about suicide in tho horse trough and other dreadful things. "Tho country is overcrowded, my love!" he used to say; and Mrs. Spai-row, Spai-row, who thought her husband tho o'everest man on earth, would sigh and say: "Sho supposed it was, if he said so," In a milliner's window close by lived a parrot a great green follow with a red top-knet who was a retired port-admiral, and who had tho reputation repu-tation of being a shrewd man of the world, chictly, I think, because he used to swear terribly, lie was not a coui-municativo coui-municativo bird, but everybody knew that, though he did not say much, he thought a great deal, aud that is of more importance. To this parrot Mr. Sparrow applied for advice, and that ancient mariner, after turning himself upside down and drawing several corks, in order to show his loyalty, put his beak between the brass wires and said: '"Euiierate!" h "By Jove," said Mr, ?prrow,"just the thing!" and went home tiy a short cut to tell his wife. ' Says she, "What of the children?" Says he, "Take them with us, my. dear, of course." But when he looked round and saw the ten gaping beaks ais heart went This conversation was overheard by the eldest of the family, a pretty little cock sparrow, who was the image of his lather. "I hope not," said he, for he was quite grown up.and had already vowed eternal love for the pet canary of the livery-stable keeper's daughter. But the notion had taken hold of Mr. Sparrow's mind, and he liked it more and more. Then, how about the children? Ho aked the parrot, but the parrot was suffering from indisposition indis-position owing to sugar, and putting on his quarter-deck manner swore so dreadluiiy whrn he was spok?n to that Mr. Sparrow Hod away in a fright, and 1 went into the back yard whercthe lit-le lit-le hov kept his rabbits. "llow am 1 to take the children?" said he to the buck rabbit, and told him the whole story. "Children!" cried Mr. Buck. "Why look at Mrs. Doe! children indeed thp.t ! j-it what they want!" And then he laid his ears back, and nipping a piece out of a cabbage leaf said, "Assisted "As-sisted emigration of course. Try the Acclimatization Society!" After a little trouble the passage was secured, and one fine Christmas morning, as tho snow lay crisp and sparkling on the ground, and tho tall steeples of Westminster rang out their peals cheerily through tho vast precinct, pre-cinct, while the sun's warm rays glanoed on the windows of the houses dispelling ho fanciful frost-wrearhed devices on the glassand revealing hero and there the interiors . tastefully decked with holly bearing k's bright red berries, ber-ries, and pieces of mistletoe, the Sparrows Spar-rows took their departure, and in a few hours wcro on board an Australian liner, which wa soon swinging down the English Channel with a tine breeze'. Mrs. Sparrow wept a good deal, and Mr. Sparrow sulked a little, but on the i whole they were glad to get away all but the littJ-i Coek sparrow, who dc-chred dc-chred that "Loodon was the only placi for a gentleman to live in." Alter a peasant voyaee thev reached Melbourne. It was blowing a hot wind and tho dust was whirlin? down the streets io big red clouds. The little lit-tle Coeksparrow pecked at his wires, and said he was confident ho shouldn't livo a month in sueh a climate. But his reflections woro put, Lu uu end by a sailor, who took the cage containing con-taining the Sparrow family and whipped it over the side, before they even had time to say good bye to the ono fowl that had escaped the curry-pot. They went to the Society's gardens, and were soon omfortablo onouxh, all except tho little Coeksparrow who wished he was at home again. '! hero wcro many strange crcalurcs in the gardens. There was a Kangaroo Kan-garoo with mclaneholy eyes and long legs, who leaped twrnty t'ect at a spring. There was a Black Swan with a yellow biil and a red rim to his eyes, who gave himself airs because ono of his ancestors had been mentioned in the classics. There was a queer uni-nial uni-nial with a duck's bill and amolo's body, whose lite was a burden to him, because Professors Owen and Agassiz couldn't dctcrmino whether he was a beast or a bird. Thcro wero white Cockatoos with yellow crests, who spoke a fureigu language, and yaiu that they knew nothing about the green parrot at home, uulcss ho oanio from the Sydney side. Thcro wero Satin birds, Mocking birds, Emeus and even Axij Deer. There was a Llama, with long hair like a waking she oak trco, and thnro wero several LmghiriK Jackasses," who called themselves them-selves philosophers, and laughed at everything. Some people said it was iKcau.-e thfy wore so cluver, and others because they could do nothing clso. But our little Coeksparrow turned up bis beak at all his companions, and said they wore people of no family and had never been to Londou. Tho Kangaroo hopped up with that sudden obtrusivonesa which belongs to naturally timid people and said, "How do you do, my lit r to brown bird?" ''Brown yourt-clf!" nuid tho Cook-sparrow, Cook-sparrow, "I am a Londoner and have lived in good society, I can tell you! Cut that in yr.ur pouch, my long-legged friend!" Whereat tho Kangaroo hopped off again aud talked to tho Native Companion. The Axis Deer pas?cd the timo of diy, and said that it was warm. "Warm" said the little Cockwparrrw, "Warm do you ci'l it? It was much hotter in L'-ndnu!" NV.crtholcss ho wns cm pin? lor breath all tho time. "And what uo you think nf th, colony'.'' mid tho beautiful Mcnura Mi.rcading out his Lyrc-.diaped tail ta th' b'-st advnntnfi. "Oh. f, s-o," said little Cock Spar-Tnw. Spar-Tnw. "It is not la'l'as fig as London thmiL'h!" A' uliich the laughing J;i''!.,i.-s biir-t, into hiieh a roar, that thi'K'ji'i'M- .Iiova-. nrnnkif.fr his pipe at Mm 'I 'ir i rr.'.n ' o Ip.'ich ton, although al-though l.c cm.M i'.. I t -ii !:-t he was lam-din:: at, fur t!;- Y- i-l' him. ;1l'T r-v:;'ini:::- -it th raideris until the fnliou-ir;: summer, (ho keepc-r cauio Australian kingfisher. i one day and put tho Sparrow family into a cage and sent them up to Balla-rat, Balla-rat, for the farmers around Burrum-bcot Burrum-bcot and tho lakes wanted Sparrows to kill tho grubs, which wero destroying their crops. So when they got to Ballarat they wero taken outside tho town and set free. Oh how nico it was! a lovely summer evening, with tho sun going down behind tho big porplo hills, aud the air cool and balmy ! "Hero is a big worm!" cried Mr, Sparrow, "and another, and another," So they ail had supper, and when they had done, Mrs Sparrow put up her head and said, "Tweet, tweet!" which is the Sparrow for grace, you know. Then Mr. Sparrow found out a t ri -, angular hole iu a stable roof, and flew in among the sweet clean .straw. A lovely nest! and his family followed him; and, as he put his head under his little weary wiug, ho said "How glad I am that we cm mi gra ," and then hu tveut asleep Tho sum of his hopes was complete 1 But discontented littlo Cock Sparrow Spar-row remained behind. " Why," said he, "should I, who have been used to live in a town, remain here? This is a horriblo colony. I wtll go into the world and seek my fortune," and then ho tiew away. The first place ho came to was an engine shed of a threshing machine, and ho went io and slopt on somo oil pnera Rofnrn nni;l,t , . light a fire, and tried to catch him with his cap; but tho Sparrow was too quick for him and got away. "Now, isn't this a horrible co!ouy!" said the Cock Sparrow. Tho next night ho came to a bush tavern, whoro two men wero drinking, and as ho sat on the iron ring of tho verandah post, ho heard ono say to the other "I say, Jom, I'll bet you drinks that I knock that bird over." "Done!" saysthe othor. And before our littlo Sparrow could fly away, a big quartz pebble oamo whizzing past his head, and the men burst into a roar of laughter. "lhat wouldn't have happened in London I" said tho Cook Sparrow. By and by he came to a cornfield for instead of going back to Ballarat ho was flying further up the country and he got down among the stalks for a night's rest, but just as ho was dropping drop-ping off, a big black snako glided by and startled him. "1 hato snakcs,"said the Cock Sparrow; Spar-row; "they havo nono in London," And ho flew of again in disgust. Tho next ni.ht he oame toa fruit garden, and made a luxurious supper. "Como," he said, "the fruit is not bad any way I" But in the morning out oamo the owner with a big blunderbuss, and says he, "small birds again I" Bang! Bang ! But he had been sitting up lato the night hofore, and his hand shook, so he missed his aim, and tho sparrow flew away, only singed. "What a terrible colony this is!" says the Cock Sparrow. So ho became be-came discontented, and wished himself homo again. "I could do some good at home," said he to himself. "London in n nlnnn where they appreciate talent. There is no opening for a bird of my abilities here. I do not so much mind the hot winds or the rough living, but it is the gross ignorance of tho inhabitants I object to ! Eire at me, indeed ! I wonder what they would say to that in London ! '' Ho told this to a Toad, who lived under a stone in a squatter's garden, and tho Toad said, "Ab, you are youDg. You will know better one of thefc days. I thought so myself when I was a child." "Why, were you bjrn in London?" asked the Sparrow. "No," said the Toad, "1 was born in an Egyptian catacomb, two thousand thou-sand years before London was thought of." "Oh, what a story !" cried the Cock-sparrow; Cock-sparrow; "Why, London is as old as the world." But tho Toad being ugly and poor, was aecustomed to be contradicted, po he said ootbing. Thcro was a lien in the squatter's family, and when the Sparrow told her his gricvanco sho began to cluck in tho most angry manner. "Tut-tut-tut," said sho, "you miserable miser-able little Coeksparrow, go and do eome good in f the world. Don't twitter to me, don't 1 can you lay eggs ?" "No," said the Sparrow. "Tut, tut. Then what's thefcood of you, I should liko to know ? Master Chick, if you don't come out of that kitchen directly, I'll peck your poll for you I" And she went off io high dudgeon. dud-geon. "Oh, dear, dear !" paid tho Sparrow, "what shall I do to be useful ?." So ho went on ami on, uutil ho mot a Porcupine AhI-Eater. "Please Mr. Porcupine," Raid he, with his little heart sinking nearly as low as his father's did when tho beaks used to gipo, ' tell mo what I must do to be useful." "Dig." paid the Aot-Kater, "Everybody "Every-body who ia worth anything digs!" "But I can't diL'." nu it, f'..i. sparrow. I wasn't made for it." But the Porcupine didn't hear him, for he was already six inches below hc sur-faun. sur-faun. Then he went on, and q'j, and on until ho met a Shcep-Dop. ; "Hloaao, good Mr. Sh-ep'-Dog," said no. toll mo What 1 must d0 t0 be useful." "Drive sheep" lho gh Dog. Everybody w10 i3 wortll any thing drives shjcp." "Hut I can't, b?rk V said tho Coeksparrow. Coek-sparrow. "Hoot m.on," said tho Sheep Dog ho waa.ol Scotch oxtraction "that's D0,p lr f unne," und went away. Thun ha went on an.l on, until ho met a Magpie. "Please Mr. Macpio." said ho, tell mo what I must do to bo useful. use-ful. "Can't you steal?" a.skod tho M:ik-pio, M:ik-pio, with hm knowing head on ono side "I don't know, said tho Coeksparrow, Coekspar-row, "I never tried." "Oh, you're a fool," said tho Magpio, and flew awav in a hurry, for ho was; meiuhor uf Congress and had some "proper representations" to make. So tho poor little Coeksparrow sat down on a stone by the road side and begun to cry. (i "1 am a fool I suppose, said ho, and that is it. I can do nothing but eat and drink, and cry 'Tweot tweet.' Oh. dear!" Now close to tho roadside nns a log onhin, with a brick chimney, and in this cabin lived an old woman and her son. The son used to bo away all day sinking a shaft, for tho cabin was on tho outskirts of a gold iiuld, and io some of tho great red mounds that rose up among lho dusty gum saplings much gold had been found in days gtmo by. But the diggings wcro half deserted now, for tho quartz reels which had boon opened 6omo live miles off had atti acted most of tho people, and only tho io who woro very poor, liko tho old wonan and her boo, lived on the spot. They had built the hut in the good timet, aud had fbn'jcd in a little pieco of ground with a wattle fence, thinking think-ing that tho rush ui going to lat, but tho tido of fortune had rollod back again, and left them stranded on the shore. The old woman said that sho wou'd Btay in tho old hut until sho died; and her sod, who was a good stupid fellow and loved his mother, t-aid that ho would stop with her. So, all day the son went away to tho big mound, with tho windlass standing ui clear against tho fi- rco blue sky, and cvury night ho came baek with as many cold grains as would pay the bill at tho store. Tho floor was ol oarth. the door was hail oil" its bullock-hide hinge, there win a hole in the roi.f, and (ho old woman lay upon a slmteher, in tho inner of the two rooms, dying. ' " It was Chri-tmas day. Tho nun was very hot, and the air Mjcuied to Miuruor. The goals had crept under the Hum trees aud wattle bushes, and tho only companion of tho old womaq, a shaggy watch dog, had retired to coo himself in a water holo down tho orcck. Prom a break in the purple lino of hills, seen from tho hut window, win-dow, a thin column of whito smoke roso up a lire and no sound broke tho stillness savo tho sharp 'whirr' of the (XcritJa; and tho occasional occa-sional crack of tho whip over ihe shoulders of tho whim horse down in the hollow. Suddenly the little Cock-sparrow Cock-sparrow hopped up on ono of tho broken railings that surrounded the desolate place, and said, "Tweet, tweet ! Tweet, tweet. !" Tho old woman had been lying in a sort of stupor, looking at the paiehed Australian landscape, and waving from time to time her withered hand before her face to keep the Hies 'off. At tho iawit sound fhe raised her head. "Tweet, twret !" What was it? Did she dream ? "Tweet, tweet !" She had not heard that sound for years; not since she was a merry young girl at service in ibe house of tho merchant mer-chant at Cambenvcll, whoro John wooed aud won her. "Tweet, tweet!" She began to think of her childhood, child-hood, in the old Kentish farm, where the harvest moon rose, full-orbed, over tho apple blossoms, and tho sparrows twittered iu tho orchard. . "Tweet, twcctl" How pleasant it used to bo in those time?, when she was young, aud rosy, and liglit -ueartcul How well she remembered re-membered parting at the garden gate, with the coach waiting down the road, and her mother" a whito apron! Sho herself woro a print dress with lilac spots, and a straw hat with cherry-colored cherry-colored ribbons. "Tweet tweet!" Ah, but her courting days! The snug back ki'.chen in the prim merchant's mer-chant's houso, with the cuokoo clock tick-tick-ticking from tho snowy wall, and John, the carpenter, sitting on tho edge of his shiny wooden chair, andlookiog sheepishly at her as she worked. Then the wedding dress, and the riug. and tho clasped Bih'e that her good mitress give her. She remembered re-membered that tho minister had an iron-mould spot on his surplice, and that it would catch her eye, do what she might. "Twecttwcet!" Tito little home in (he big city, with herself sitting working aud rocking the oradle, and John coming home to supper sup-per l'rom the warehouse, long, long bo-fore bo-fore they thought of emigrating! Ah! happy days ol youth, gone never to roturu! She could see it all; the little by-street, the narrow lattice, with the box of mignonette, and the "Twcet-twcct!" Sho raised hersalf and turned her fast glazing eyes io ihe window. There it wa! A little brown bird, perched, half timidly, half boldly, on tho wooden ledge, with his head on one side, and chirruping. "Twect-twcet!" A miserable, du.ty, acclimatised, discontented, London Sparrow. A smile ofstrangc sweetness passed over her withered lips, and then the eyes closed, and the weary head fell back on tho pillow, her last thoughts lin(frinrr !iti,int tlm linma nf her childhood! When the son returned toward the cabin a bird fhw away from the window sill, crying, "Tweet-tweet!" It went up, and up, and up, until one could see it no longer. Its task wa done! K. B.