Field And Hedgerow By Richard Jefferies




























































































 -  The
horsehair or fibre, which to us is an inch or two long, to the bird is a
bamboo or - Page 300
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The Horsehair Or Fibre, Which To Us Is An Inch Or Two Long, To The Bird Is A Bamboo Or Cane Three Or Four Feet In Length.

No one would consider it difficult to weave cane or willow wands as tall as himself.

The girls at Luton perform much more difficult feats in weaving straw-plait for bonnets than any bird accomplishes. A rook's nest looked at in the same way is about as large to the bird as a small breakfast-parlour, and is composed of poles. To understand birds you must try and see things as they see them, not as you see them. They are quite oblivious of your sentiments or ideas, and their actions have no relation to yours. A whole system of sentiment and conduct has been invented for birds and animals based entirely upon the singular method of attributing to them plans which might occur to a human being. The long-tailed tit often builds its nest in the midst of blackthorn thickets (which afford it the lichen it uses), or in deep hawthorn bushes. A man comes along, sees the nest, and after considerable exertion - having to thrust himself into the hedge - and after some pain, being pricked by the thorns, succeeds, with bleeding hands, in obtaining possession of it. 'Ah,' he moralises, 'what wonderful instinct on the part of this little creature to surround itself with a zareba like the troops after Osman Digma! Just look at my hands.' Proof positive to him; but not to any one who considers that through the winter, up till nesting-time, these little creatures have been creeping about such thorns and thickets, and that they had no expectation whatever of a hand being thrust into the bushes.

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