Osprey in Flight...
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A lesson from McGuffey's Readers
THE OLD EAGLE TREE.
Remark. — One important use of stops is, to give an opportunity to take breath. Articulate distinctly, and pronounce correctly. Field, not fiel: seem'd to, not seem' to: for-est, not for-es: nest, not nes: coast, not coace: nest-lings, not nes-lings: next, not nex: yield, not yiel: ev-i-dent-ly, not ev-i-dunt-ly : again, (pro. a-gen) not a-gin nor a-gane: birds, not buds: for-get, not for-git: cru-el-ty, not crule-ty. 1 . In a remote field, stood a large tulip tree, apparently of a century's growth, and one of the most gigantic of that splendid species. It looked like the father of the surround- ing forest. A single tree, of huge dimensions, standing all alone, is a sublime object. 2. On the top of this tree, an old eagle, commonly called the "Fishing Eagle," had built her nest every year, for many years, and unmolested raised her young. What is remarkable, as she procured her food from the ocean, this tree stood full ten miles from the sea-shore. It had long been known as the " Old Eagle Tree." 3. On a warm, sunny day, the workmen were hoeing corn in an adjoining field. At a certain hour of the day, the old eagle was known to set off for the seaside, to gather food for her young. As she this day returned with a large fish in her claws, the workmen surrounded the tree, and by yelling, and hooting, and throwing stones, so scared the poor bird, that she dropped her fish, and they carried it off in triumph. 4. The men soon dispersed, but Joseph sat down under a bush near by, to watch, and to bestow unavailing pity. The bird soon returned to her nest, without food. The eaglets at once set up a cry for food so shrill, so clear, and so clamorous, that the boy was greatly moved. 5. The parent bird seemed to try to soothe them; but their appetites were too keen, and it was all in vain. She then perched herself on a limb near them, and looked down into the nest with a look that seemed to say, " I know not what to do next." 6. Her indecision was but momentary ; again she poised herself, uttered one or two sharp notes, as if telling them to "lie still," balanced her body, spread her wings, and was away again for the sea! 7. Joseph was determined to see the result. His eye fol- lowed her till she grew small, smaller, a mere speck in the sky, and then disappeared. What boy has not thus watched the flight of the bird of his country? 8. She was gone nearly two hours, about double her usual time for a voyage, when she again returned, on a slow, weary wing, flying uncommonly low, in order to have a heavier atmosphere to sustain her, with another fish in her talons. 9. On nearing the field, she made a circuit round it, to see if her enemies were again there. Finding the coast clear, she once more reached the tree, drooping, faint, and weary, and evidently nearly exhausted. Again the eaglets set up their cry, which was soon hushed by the distribution of a dinner such as, save the cooking, a king might admire. 10. "Glorious bird!" cried the boy in ecstasy, and aloud, "what a spirit! Other birds can fly more swiftly, others can sing more sweetly, others scream more loudly; but what other bird, when persecuted and robbed, when weary, when discouraged, when so far from the sea, would do this? 11. "Glorious bird! I will learn a lesson from thee to- day. I will never forget, hereafter, that when the spirit is determined, it can do almost any thing. Others would have drooped, and hung the head, and mourned over the cruelty of man, and sighed over the wants of the nestlings ; but thou, by at once recovering the loss, hast forgotten all. 12. "I I will learn of thee, noble bird! I will remember this. I will set my mark high. I will try to do something, and to be something in the world; I will never yield to discouragements." -Todd. Questions. — Upon what does the eagle feed? What became of the fish which it was carrying to its young? What did it then do? What do men often do, after having suffered loss and disap- pointment? What ought we to do? What is the advantage of doing this? Is it a duty also? Do our duty and real profit ever disagree? What marks are those after "discouragements?" Point out the pronouns in the last paragraph. What is a pronoun ? What does the word pronoun mean? Why are I and thee called Per- sonal Pronouns? How many kinds of pronouns are there?