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THE ORIOLE'S JOURNEY
Frances Bliss Gillespy, in "Kindergarten Review."
FAR away in the Southland, two orioles had built their
nest in an orange tree. The nest was a beautiful
little gray basket hung far out on a forked bough,
where the warm winds rocked it gently to and fro. It
was just the place for a home, there among the sweet
orange blossoms and the gay oranges. The people in the
house nearby said that the orioles and the oranges must
have been made to go together—because they matched so
Mr. and Mrs. Oriole led a very happy life, with never a
care or a worry; and they chirped and sang to each
other until it made one happy just to be near them.
But one day Mrs. Oriole was quiet and sad. She did not
sing so gayly, or seem so happy in the nest. Every
little while she would fly to the top branch of the
tree and look far away. At last Mr. Oriole said:
"What is it, my dear? Why do you seem so sad?"
"I can't quite tell," said Mrs. Oriole, "but I think I
want to fly away. Do you remember the place where we
built our first nest?"
"Oh, yes, indeed," chirped Mr. Oriole. "It was in the
 Northland, and we built it in the apple tree
close by the orchard gate."
"Yes," said Mrs. Oriole; "and do you remember how happy
we all were that year? The brook under the tree sang
to us, and the bees and butterflies called on us—oh,
the dear old orchard! Shall we ever have such a home
So they chirped and twittered until the sun went to
bed, and then they tucked their heads under their wings
and went to bed, too.
The next day Mr. and Mrs. Oriole were astir early, and
out for a little flight. "Listen," said Mrs. Oriole,
"the children in the house are singing: 'The orchard,
the dear old orchard,' and I heard the mother saying
that to-morrow they were to start North. It makes me
want to go, too."
"Why should we not?" said Mr. Oriole. "I, too, long
for our old home. Let us go, too, back to the North."
"When?" said Mrs. Oriole. "To-day?"
"Why not at once?" said Mr. Oriole. "We must get an
early start. There's nothing like being on time."
"Tweet, tweet," chirped Mrs. Oriole. "You are right.
Let us start at once, after we have said good-bye to
our winter home."
Back to the nest they flew, and around and around the
tree, calling good-bye to all their friends. Then they
spread their wings and started on their long journey to
the North. They flew fast, but the sun was down before
they caught a glimpse of the dear old orchard. There
were plenty of trees on the way, though, and they flew
into one and spent the night with their heads tucked
under their wings.
As soon as the sun peeped over the hills, they were up
and away. It was a merry journey. Every now and
 then they would light on a swaying bough and sing the
song of home.
"Do you know our orchard?" they sang to the broad
river they passed, and the river said: "When I was
only a little brook I ran through it."
"Do you know our orchard?" they called down to a
spotted toad. The toad only blinked at them in the
sunshine, and croaked: "I know my stone, and the
meadow grass. Stay here and I'll show you how to be
But they thanked him and hurried on. "Do you know our
meadow?" they asked of a wandering breeze.
"Hush, hush; listen, listen," sang the breeze. "I
stole through there two days ago, and I whispered to
the buds on the apple trees that it was time to awake.
It is a beautiful place, but far from here."
"Then we must fly the faster," said the orioles, and on
they sped. Several days passed, and still they
journeyed on, asking news of the orchard of all they
met. At last, one evening, as the sun was dropping to
rest in a soft cloud, Mrs. Oriole twittered: "I see
the orchard, the dear old orchard."
And as the gray twilight was creeping down, two happy
orioles flew back to the apple tree by the orchard