WE had to fasten a box for our mail on the gate-post, because the postman is afraid of our dog, and will not come in the yard. Last summer two little blue birds made a nest in that box. The mamma bird laid five tiny eggs and sat on them, letting the postman drop the letters on her. Every morning and evening the newsboy put in the paper. The papa bird brought worms, and mamma, sister and I used to watch him, and, strange, he would never go into the box while we looked on, and as we walked away he would dart down as quick as a flash.
By-and-by there were five little birds, and we thought that surely the letters and papers would kill them, but they grew nicely, and their mouths were always wide open.
One day I put some fine crumbs into the nest, thinking they would like them, and the mother bird flew around, acting as though she was angry. At last she began to take them all out, one by one. This was not the food these birds needed yet.
For some weeks we watched them grow. We wanted to see the mother teach them to fly, but they left very suddenly, and we could never tell one from the other in the yard. I brought the nest into the house for the winter, and wondered if we should see them again. At the opening of spring, the blue birds did come back, and made a nest in the same box. This time they lined the nest with horse-hair, and put it in one corner.
The mother bird laid five eggs; one day we missed one, then two, and so on till all were gone. We were sorry, for we could not see them. Now this mother bird came back again, and papa put a lock on, to keep the bad boys away. This time the mother bird had four little birds, and when they were fed they opened their mouths wide. They soon grew to be large ones, and had nests of their own.
The Nest in the Mail Box
A Fictional Short Story by
Agnes Taylor Ketchum & Ida M. Jorgensen