By And By A Pert-Looking, Bright-Feathered, Dapper Cock
Chaffinch Dropped Down From The Bush, And, Advancing To One Of
The Two, The Rustiest And Most Forlorn-Looking, Started
Running Round And Round Him As If To Make A Close Inspection
Of His Figure, Then Began To Tease Him.
At first I thought it
was all in fun - merely animal spirit which in birds often
discharges itself in this way in little pretended attacks and
But the blackbird had no play and no fight in him, no
heart to defend himself; all he did was to try to avoid the
strokes aimed at him, and he could not always escape them.
His spiritlessness served to inspire the chaffinch with
greater boldness, and then it appeared that the gay little
creature was really and truly incensed, possibly because the
rusty, draggled, and listless appearance of the larger bird
was offensive to him. Anyhow, the persecutions continued,
increasing in fury until they could not be borne, and the
blackbird tried to escape by hiding in the bramble. But he
was not permitted to rest there; out he was soon driven and
away into another bush, and again into still another further
away, and finally he was hunted over the sheltering wall into
the bleak wind on the other side. Then the persecutor came
back and settled himself on his old perch on the bramble, well
satisfied at his victory over a bird so much bigger than
himself. All was again peace and harmony in the little social
gathering, and the pleasant talkee-talkee went on as before.
About five minutes passed, then the hunted blackbird returned,
and, going to the identical spot from which he had been
driven, composed himself to rest; only now he sat facing his
lively little enemy.
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