Page:A Kentucky Cardinal.djvu/121

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103

liberty where once he sported! Think of the exquisite refinement of cruelty in wishing to take him on the eve of May!

It is hardly a fancy that something as loyal as friendship has sprung up between this bird and me. I accept his original shyness as a mark of his finer instincts; but, like the nobler natures, when once he found it possible to give his confidence, how frankly and fearlessly has it been given. The other day, brilliant, warm, windless, I was tramping across the fields a mile from home, when I heard him on the summit of a dead sycamore, cleaving the air with stroke after stroke of his long melodious whistle, as with the swing of a silken lash. When I drew near he dropped down from bough to bough till he reached the lowest, a few feet from where I stood, and showed by every movement how glad he was to see me. We really have reached the understanding that the im-