Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Old Eagle Tree

Osprey in Flight with Fish in Talon
Osprey in Flight...
Russell Burden
Buy This at Allposters.com

A lesson from McGuffey's Readers


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 

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 


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? 
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