Page images
PDF
EPUB

in and near an ostrich's nest, but a smaller number is more common. Each female lays from twelve to sixteen eggs.

[graphic]

6. The food of the ostrich consists chiefly of the tops of shrubby plants, seeds, and grain. It will, however, swallow greedily sticks, stones, pieces of metal, leather, and other things, which sometimes cause its death.

7. Ostriches have been known even to swallow leaden bullets, as they were thrown upon the floor, scorching hot from the mould. Probably these substances are taken into the stomach to grind the hard food which they have eaten, even as the common barn-door hens pick up little pebbles and bits of glass for a similar purpose.

8. It takes from thirty-six to forty days to hatch the young ostriches, but in the middle of the day the nest is often left by all the birds, as the heat of the sun is then quite enough to keep the eggs at the proper warmth. This gave rise to an idea at one time that the ostrich did not sit on her eggs to hatch them, but left the sun to do the work which she was too careless to perform.

9. When the ostrich is young its flesh is very good to eat, and its eggs are also excellent. If, however, the birds find out that the eggs have been disturbed in the nest, they break them all and leave the spot. For this reason the natives remove the eggs by means of a long stick, so as to make the birds continue to lay for some time.

10. The height of the full-grown male is from seven to eight feet. The beautiful feathers, which are so highly valued by ladies, are got from the wings and tail. It can run so swiftly that no horse could overtake it, if it did not frequently run in a zig-zag course, which enables the hunter to come up with it by his keeping in a straight line, instead of following all the windings made by the bird.

SUMMARY.–The ostrich lives in the sandy desert. It roams over the plains of Africa and Arabia. Its nest is formed by merely scraping up the sand and making a round hollow about the size which one hen can cover. Sometimes as many as sixty eggs are found in one nest. The beautiful feathers which are so highly valued by ladies, are got from the wings and tail. It can run so quickly that no horse could overtake it if it were not in the habit of going in a zig-zag course. This enables the hunter to overtake it, by keeping a straight line instead of following all the windings which are made by the bird. Con-sists', is made up of. Pro-tect', take care of. Fre-quent-ly, often.

Swift-ly, quickly. Per-form', to work into.

Wind-ings, turnings.

QUESTIONS. What is the ostrich formed very each female lay? What does like? What name did the ostrich the food of the ostrich consist of: at one time get? What place What does the ostrich swallow does this bird inhabit? In what greedily ? For what purpose are countries is it found roaming these substances taken into the about? How is the ostrich's nest stomach! What kind of voice has formed? How many lay their the ostrich ? From what parts of eggs in one nest? What do the the bird are the beautiful feathers males protect the eggs and young so highly valued by ladies obfrom at night? How many eggs tained? How swiftly can it run? are sometimes found in and near What does the hunter do in order a nest? How many eggs does to come up with it?

XI.-THE WILFUL BOY. laughed a-loud' in-sists' serv-ants grat-i-fy mocks

al-though mis-tress weak-ness im-pu-dent reach cher-ished no-tice de-ni-al re-fus-es spoilt com-mon pet-ted e qual-ly seem-ing-ly wealth cor-rect' prom-ised ex-am-ple 0-ver-hear-ing

1. A lady had an only child, a boy; and, as is very common in such cases, she petted him so much, by giving him everything he asked for, that he became fretful and peevish whenever any of the servants did not, at a moment's notice, gratify his wishes, however absurd they might be.

2. One day the lady saw her cherished boy crying, and seemingly very angry at one of the servants, who instead of giving him what he wanted, told him he could not get it, and that he might save himself the trouble of crying for it. But, worse still, he laughed in the boy's face, and called him a little fool for his pains.

3. The lady overhearing the last remark, was enraged at the servant's denial. Instead of asking what was the cause, in order to see whether or not it was a proper thing for her child to get, she said to the servant, “Give him at once what he wants. Why do you make him cry so ?”

4. “Madam, although he should cry till tomorrow, he will not get what he wishes.”

· How now; what do you mean by such conduct? I command you to please the little darling this very instant!"

Madam, it is impossible.” 5. “Ohi this is really too much. I shall call your master, who will teach you not to cross the poor child in this manner.”

6. The lady called aloud to her husband, who was walking in the garden at the time with a few friends. In great anger and excitement she said, “Turn away this impudent servant, who mocks me, and seems to take a pleasure in contradicting our dear boy. He refuses to give him something he is crying for, and will not give it even at my command."

7. “This is very strange," said the equally indulgent father to the servant; “very strange indeed ! that

you allow yourself to fail so greatly in your duty to your mistress, and that you laugh to see your young master cry so. Give him what he wants, or leave the house."

8. "I will leave the house, if it must be so, sir; but how can I give him the moon, which he has seen in a pail of water, and which he insists I should reach down and bring up to him ?”

9. At these words the master and mistress looked at each other for a moment. All the company burst out laughing. Husband and wife followed the merry example, and promised each other to correct their weakness towards their spoilt child, whose every wish they saw too well it would be hard to please.

10. It also became clear that the more they indulged their child the more unhappy they would make him, when at any time he should wish for things which even their wealth could not purchase for him.

SUMMARY. —A boy who was petted too much by his mother became fretful and peevish when the servants did not gratify his wishes. On one occasion his mother found him crying and angry because he did not get what he wanted. He had seen the moon in a pail of water, and wished the servant to reach down and bring it up:

The servant laughed, but the parents were angry at his doing so. He was ordered to leave the house, but all were greatly surprised when they heard that the boy had been crying for the moon ! Both father and mother resolved henceforth to check their habit of indulging the child. Ab-surd', nonsensical.

Fret-ful, ill-tempered. Con-tra-dict-ing, going against Im-pos-si-ble, unable to be the desires of.

done. En-raged', very angry.

In-dul-gent, yielding. Ev'i-dent, easily seen.

Peev-ish, ill-natured. Ex-cite-ment, agitation. Pur-chase, buy.

QUESTIONS. What did the lady give her the servant call her boy a fool, boy? What did he become? At what did she say? What answer whom was the boy very angry? did the servant give? What did What did the servant tell the boy the husband and wife promise he was? When the lady heard each other?

« PreviousContinue »