This PDF ebook was created by José Menéndez. Page 3. TO THE THREE DEAREST CHILDREN. IN THE WORLD,. BERTHA,
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COPYRIGHT INFORMATION Book: The Birds™ Christmas Carol Author: Kate Douglas Wiggin, 1856Œ1923 First published: 1886 The original book is in the public domain in the United States and in most, if not all, other countries as well. Readers outside the United States should check their own countries™ copyright laws to be certain they can legally download this ebook. The Online Books Page has an FAQ which gives a summary of copyright durations for many other countries, as well as links to more official sources. This PDF ebook was created by José Menéndez.

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CONTENTS AND LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS PAGE Vignette Title I. A LITTLE SNOW BIRD 5 fiShe is a little Christmas Childfl 9 II. DROOPING WINGS 11 III. THE BIRD™S NEST 15 Carol at her window 16 IV. fiBIRDS OF A FEATHER FLOCK TOGETHERfl 21 The fiWindow Schoolfl 24 V. SOME OTHER BIRDS ARE TAUGHT TO FLY 28 fiThe little Ruggleses bore it bravelyfl 32 fiI want ter see how yer goin™ ter behavefl 34 VI. fiWHEN THE PIE WAS OPENED, THE BIRDS BEGAN TO SING!fl } 39 fiI beat the hull lot o™ yer!fl 42 fiThe Ruggleses never forgot itfl 43 VII. THE BIRDLING FLIES AWAY 49 fiMy Ain Countreefl 50 fiI thought of the Star in the Eastfl 53

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5 I A Little Snow Bird T was very early Christmas morning, and in the stillness of the dawn, with the soft snow falling on the housetops, a little child was born in the Bird household. They had intended to name the baby Lucy, if it were a girl; but they had not expected her on Christmas morning, and a real Christmas baby was not to be lightly namedŠ the whole family agreed in that. They were consulting about it in the nursery. Mr. Bird said that he had assisted in naming the three boys, and that he should leave this matter entirely to Mrs. Bird; Donald wanted the child called fiDorothy,fl after a pretty, curly-haired girl who sat next him in school; Paul chose fiLuella,fl for Luella was the nurse who had been with him during his whole babyhood, up to the time of his first trousers, and the name suggested all sorts of comfortable things. Uncle Jack said that the first girl should always be named for her mother, no matter how hideous the name happened to be. Grandma said that she would prefer not to take any part in the discussion, and everybody suddenly remembered that Mrs. Bird had thought of naming the baby Lucy, for Grandma herself; and, while it would be indelicate for her to favor that name, it would be against human nature for her to suggest any other, under the circumstances. Hugh, the fihitherto baby,fl if that is a possible term, sat in one corner and said nothing, but felt, in some mysterious I

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Kate Douglas Wiggin 6 way, that his nose was out of joint; for there was a newer baby now, a possibility he had never taken into consideration; and the fifirst girl,fl too,Š a still higher development of treason, which made him actually green with jealousy. But it was too profound a subject to be settled then and there, on the spot; besides, Mamma had not been asked, and everybody felt it rather absurd, after all, to forestall a decree that was certain to be absolutely wise, just, and perfect. The reason that the subject had been brought up at all so early in the day lay in the fact that Mrs. Bird never allowed her babies to go over night unnamed. She was a person of so great decision of character that she would have blushed at such a thing; she said that to let blessed babies go dangling and dawdling about without names, for months and months, was enough to ruin them for life. She also said that if one could not make up one™s mind in twenty-four hours it was a sign thatŠ But I will not repeat the rest, as it might prejudice you against the most charming woman in the world. So Donald took his new velocipede and went out to ride up and down the stone pavement and notch the shins of innocent people as they passed by, while Paul spun his musical top on the front steps. But Hugh refused to leave the scene of action. He seated himself on the top stair in the hall, banged his head against the railing a few times, just by way of uncorking the vials of his wrath, and then subsided into gloomy silence, waiting to declare war if more fifirst girl babiesfl were thrust upon a family already surfeited with that unnecessary article. Meanwhile dear Mrs. Bird lay in her room, weak, but safe and happy, with her sweet girl baby by her side and the heaven of motherhood opening again before her. Nurse was making gruel in the kitchen, and the room was dim and quiet. There was a cheerful open fire in the grate, but though the

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Kate Douglas Wiggin 8 She opened her eyes and drew the baby closer. It looked like a rose dipped in milk, she thought, this pink and white blossom of girlhood, or like a pink cherub, with its halo of pale yellow hair, finer than floss silk. fiCarol, brothers, carol, Carol joyfully, Carol the good tidings, Carol merrily!fl The voices were brimming over with joy. fiWhy, my baby,fl whispered Mrs. Bird in soft surprise, fiI had forgotten what day it was. You are a little Christmas child, and we will name you ‚Carol™Šmother™s Christmas Carol!fl fiWhat!fl said Mr. Bird, coming in softly and closing the door behind him. fiWhy, Donald, don™t you think ‚Carol™ is a sweet name for a Christmas baby? It came to me just a moment ago in the singing, as I was lying here half asleep and half awake.fl fiI think it is a charming name, dear heart, and sounds just like you, and I hope that, being a girl, this baby has some chance of being as lovely as her mother;flŠat which speech from the baby™s papa, Mrs. Bird, though she was as weak and tired as she could be, blushed with happiness. And so Carol came by her name. Of course, it was thought foolish by many people, though Uncle Jack declared laughingly that it was very strange if a whole family of Birds could not be indulged in a single Carol; and Grandma, who adored the child, thought the name much more appropriate than Lucy, but was glad that people would probably think it short for Caroline.

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THE BIRDS™ CHRISTMAS CAROL 9 Perhaps because she was born in holiday time, Carol was a very happy baby. Of course, she was too tiny to understand the joy of Christmas-tide, but people say there is everything in a good beginning, and she may have breathed in unconsciously the fragrance of evergreens and holiday dinners; while the peals of sleigh-bells and the laughter of happy children may have fallen upon her baby ears and wakened in them a glad surprise at the merry world she had come to li ve in. Her cheeks and lips were as red as holly-berries; her hair was for all the world the color of a Christmas candle-flame; her eyes were bright as stars; her laugh like a chime

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Kate Douglas Wiggin 10 of Christmas-bells, and her tiny hands forever outstretched in giving. Such a generous little creature you never saw! A spoonful of bread and milk had always to be taken by Mamma or nurse before Carol could enjoy her supper; whatever bit of cake or sweetmeat found its way into her pretty fingers was straightway broken in half to be shared with Donald, Paul, or Hugh; and when they made believe nibble the morsel with affected enjoyment, she would clap her hands and crow with delight. fiWhy does she do it?fl asked Donald thoughtfully. fiNone of us boys ever did.fl fiI hardly know,fl said Mamma, catching her darling to her heart, fiexcept that she is a little Christmas child, and so she has a tiny share of the blessedest birthday the world ever knew!fl

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11 II Drooping Wings T was December, ten years later. Carol had seen nine Christmas trees lighted on her birthdays, one after another; nine times she had assisted in the holiday festivities of the household, though in her babyhood her share of the gayeties was somewhat limited. For five years, certainly, she had hidden presents for Mamma and Papa in their own bureau drawers, and harbored a number of secrets sufficiently large to burst a baby brain, had it not been for the relief gained by whispering them all to Mamma, at night, when she was in her crib, a proceeding which did not in the least lessen the value of a secret in her innocent mind. For five years she had heard fi ™Twas the night before Christmas,fl and hung up a scarlet stocking many sizes too large for her, and pinned a sprig of holly on her little white nightgown, to show Santa Claus that she was a fitrulyfl Christmas child, and dreamed of fur-coated saints and toy-packs and reindeer, and wished everybody a fiMerry Christmasfl before it was light in the morning, and lent every one of her new toys to the neighbors™ children before noon, and eaten turkey and plum-pudding, and gone to bed at night in a trance of happiness at the day™s pleasures. Donald was away at college now. Paul and Hugh were great manly fellows, taller than their mother. Papa Bird had I

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