THE MOTHERLESS BIRDS.
There were two men who were neighbors to each other, living in a
distant country were they had to labor hard for the support of their
families. One of them was greatly troubled to know who would take care
of his children if he should die. But the other man was not so
troubled, and was always very cheerful, saying to his neighbor: "Never
One day as the sorrowful man was laboring in th
fields, sad and cast
down, he saw some little birds enter a bush, go out and then return
again. He went towards the bush, and saw two nests side by side, and
in both nests some little birds, newly hatched and still without
feathers. He saw the old birds go in a number of times, and they
carried in their bills food to give their little ones.
At one time, as one of the mothers returned with her beak full, a
large vulture seized her and carried her away; and the poor mother,
struggling vainly under its talons, uttered piercing cries. He thought
the little young birds must certainly die, as they had now no mother
to take care of them. He felt so bad about them that he did not sleep
any that night. The next day, on returning to the fields, he said to
himself: "I will see the little ones of this poor mother; some without
doubt have already perished."
He went up to the bush, and saw that the little ones in both nests
were all alive and well. He was very much surprised at this, and he
hid himself behind the bush to see what would happen. After a little
time he heard a crying of the birds, and soon the second mother came
flying into the bush with her beak full of food, and distributed it
all among the little birds in both nests. He now saw that the orphan
birds were as well provided for as when their own mother was living.
In the evening, he related the whole story to his neighbor, and said
"I will never distress myself again about who will take care of my
children, if I should die before them."
His neighbor replied: "Let us always believe, hope, love, and pursue
our course in peace. If you die before me, I will take cure of your
children, and if I die before you, you will be a father to mine; and
if we are both taken away before our children are able to provide for
themselves, there is a Father in heaven."