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How the Birds lived at Greenlawn

written by "Fenn, George Manville, 1831-1909"
...ying to hoot; while the saucy jackdaw said it was nothing to be afraid of, for it was only old Shoutnight with a bad cold. But, last of all, out came the old gardener with a lantern in one hand, a stick in the other, and his red nightcap on, to look round the garden and see what was the matter. No sooner was he out on the lawn than all the stupid birds began to look about his light to see what it was made of, and how it was that what they took for a glow-worm should be going about the lawn; and still all this while the dreadful cry kept coming, now higher, now lower, and the gardener could not find out what it was; but at last he stood stock-still and scratched his head, until the tassel of his red nightcap went jiffle-iffle, and danced up and down like a loose leaf on a twig. “There, I don’t care,” said the gardener; “I’m going home to bed again; so ye may shout all night, whatever ye are, unless ye like to speak. But, hallo, Boxer, boy! what is it?” he said, as the dog laid hold of his leg and then ran on before him, turning round every now and then to see if his master would follow; and at last he did follow the dog till it stopped, barking and smelling, at the edge of the dip well, where the water-grotto was, and the cresses grew under the trickling spring—a little well-like place it was; and just as the old man came up the cry seemed to rise out of the water so wildly and shrilly, that he gave a jump and dropped his lantern. Fortunately, however, the lantern did not go out, and so he quickly picked it up again and held it down, and there, swimming round and round, and unable to get out, was poor Blacknose, the hedgehog, getting fainter and fainter, and nearly drowned, and crying out for somebody to pull him out. “Well, only to think of that little thornball making all that noise,” said the gardener, helping the poor thing out and setting it on the grass; when it was so grateful that it would have thanked...

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