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The Cat Bird
And Religion
B. Carradine
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TOPIC and SUBTOPIC: Birds Seem To Have Religion, Except Catbird, Who Fusses All Alone.

TITLE: The Cat Bird

The birds of my strip of woodland seem to be the children of the day.

Full of song, flitting busily through the branches of the trees, and always true to the law of their being, they preach powerfully to the inhabitant of the tent. We readily distinguish them by their varied calls, from the bright-hued woodpecker applauding his own song most vigorously with his bill on some lofty dead limb, to the bright cheery whistle of the partridge as he calls Bob White down yonder in the field just over the fence.

In addition I listen with a thrilled heart to the weird cry of the rain crow in a distant tree top, the fretting of a catbird in a thicket, the faraway coo of a lonely dove, and the musical trill of a field lark just before it takes one of its swift, dipping flights.

They all seem to be on good terms. We have not noticed a single row or misunderstanding among them up to the present writing, the last day of the meeting. No feathers have been pulled, no eyes pecked out. We hear no recriminations. The woods seem to be large and roomy enough for all, and the sunshine abundant for the whole winged community.

All seem to have religion but the catbird, who fusses down the hollow in a little bush all to himself. He seems to be put out with everything, judging from his tones that are querulous and fault-finding beyond anything heard or known elsewhere in the feathered tribes.

The other birds say he is a come-outer, and the woodpecker has been engaged to make his coffin. This, doubtless, was the hammering I heard on the dead limb. The dove has consented to Sing a dirge at the funeral.

Living Illustrations By B. Carradine.

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