Hundreds of additional titles available for
online reading when you join Gateway to the Classics
THE GOTHAM MEN AND THE CUCKOO
HE men of Gotham thought that the cuckoos were the
finest songsters of all the birds." The only thing I do
not like about the cuckoos," said one man, "is that
they do not sing all the year through. They stay with
us only a few months in the spring and summer, and then
they fly away."
"Well," said another man, "why not catch one of the
birds and keep it with us always?"
This plan was pleasing to the men of Gotham and they
said, "Yes, we will catch a cuckoo and we will fix a
place for it near the middle of the village, so that we
can all hear it sing every day."
They went to work at once and in a corner of a field
built a stout paling fence more than six fee high and
filled in all the crevices with brush and willow twigs.
"No bird can get through that fence," said they when it
 Then they caught a cuckoo and put it inside of
the fence, and they said to the cuckoo, "You must sing
there all through the year, or you shall have neither
meat to eat nor water to drink."
But the cuckoo as soon as it was set free inside of the
fence flew away.
"A vengeance on the bird!" exclaimed the men of Gotham.
"We did not make our fence high enough."