Within the fence everything is an impenetrable thicket of weeds and vines — blackberry, thistle, ironweed, pokeweed, elder, golden-rod. As I drew near, I saw two or three birds dive down, with the shy way they have at this season; and when I came to the edge, everything was quiet. But I threw a stone at a point where the tangle was deep, and there was a great fluttering and scattering of the pretenders. And then occurred more than I had looked for. The stone had hardly struck the brush when what looked like a tongue of vermilion flame leaped forth near by, and, darting across, stuck itself out of sight in the green vines on the opposite slope. A male and a female cardinal flew up also, balancing themselves on sprays of the blackberry, and uttering excitedly their quick call-notes. I whistled to the male as I had been used, and he recognized me by shooting up his crest and hopping to nearer twigs with
Page:A Kentucky Cardinal.djvu/100
This page has been validated.