Monday, July 14, 2008

A Sparrow Protected a Lady From Caterpillars


Blessings On Wings — Birds That Seemed to Have Been Sent As Benefactors — 3

A curious circumstance of a bird's kindly assistance is thus related by Miss Alice Moreland of Tennessee, who, for the benefit of her health, spent the spring of 1894 at Lampasas Springs, Tex. Miss Moreland says: "Toward nightfall of an exceedingly sultry April day a fierce wind came swooping down the mountains, bringing what is termed in Texas a 'wet norther.' The wind whistled and shrieked and howled, shaking the house with its force, and the rain came down in perfect torrents.

"I was in my room alone, trying to write some letters which it was necessary for me to get off in next morning's mail, but I was constantly interrupted by horrid little caterpillars which came crawling under my door or between the window sashes where they were imperfectly joined. Those disgusting little pests had made my life a misery to me ever since spring opened, and I really began to feel that the whole great state of Texas was alive with them.

"Do you wonder, then, that I relished seeing one of these bristly fellows perched atop of my paperweight or crawling up the leg of my table? You may imagine that, with the storm raging without and the caterpillars within, my nerves were in a very shaky condition, to say the least, so I was not a little startled in the midst of it all to hear a quick tapping on the transom above my door. I looked to behold 'darkness there, and nothing more.' Again the tapping, and this time a flash of lightning showed me a bird fluttering against the pane and tapping with his beak.

" 'Come in, poor storm tossed little one,' I said, opening the door, and there flew in a bird, one of the great sparrow family, who perched himself upon the broad picture molding which ran around my room. He seemed quite content to remain there, and as the storm had lulled somewhat, and the caterpillars were apparently put to rout by my frequent and frantic attacks upon them with a broom, I felt more comfortable myself and soon finished my writing.

"When I was ready to retire, and just as I was about to blow out the light preparatory to getting into bed, my little feathered guest began to flit around overhead, and by and by dipped down before my very face and caught in his bill a great, yellow, hairy caterpillar, which was quietly reposing on the pillow, where, in a moment later, I would have placed my head, only to feel his innumerable bristles sting their way into my flesh. I exhausted every effort to discover if perhaps another lay in some unsuspected ambush, but in vain. The little bird had proved an efficient protector." — Philadelphia Times.

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