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Feeding the Birds in Winter

From The Detroit Times, February 24, 1914. By Margaret Florence McAuley.

“Look!” Cried little Willie to his cousin May;
“See the flock of birdies carry crumbs away.”
“Yes,” said May, “I’ll tell you what we always do
In cold wintry weather when food freezes, too;
On the steps and window sills cracker crumbs we spread,
And soon we hear the birdies chirping overhead;
Then I call ‘Come birdies,’ and my voice they know,
So they fly quite swiftly to their feast below.
Sometimes ten or fifty chirp, and hop, and run,
And to watch them dining, Oh it is such fun.
You can help me feed them while you visit here,
And if you are gentle they will know no fear.
I could tell you stories—some are gay, some sad—
Of the joy and sorrow which my birds have had.
Some days when it’s coldest, and I later sleep,
They hop up to my window and anxiously they peep;
They tap upon the panes and chat in words I’ve learned to know,
Then swiftly to the cracker box you may be sure I go.
When you go home, ask auntie to save the cracker crumbs,
Then feed them to the birdies as soon as winter comes.
We’ve learned to love each other, my little birds and I,
And all year long they hover among the branches nigh.
In winter or in summer, when to the door I go,
My darling birdies greet me with their merry, sweet ‘hello’.”

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