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A Rambler's lease
written by "Torrey, Bradford, 1843-1912"
...ore successful with a humming-bird, who had chosen the tip of a charred stub, only a few rods from my seat, for his favorite perch. Again and again I saw him there preening his feathers, and once or twice I tried to inveigle him into betraying his secret. Either [110]his house was further off than I suspected, however, or else he was too cunning to fall into my snare. At any rate, he permitted me to trample all about the spot, without manifesting the first symptom of uneasiness. What a traveler the humming-bird is! I myself had come perhaps three hundred miles, and had accounted it a long, tiresome journey, notwithstanding I had been brought nearly all the way in a carriage elaborately contrived for comfort, and moving over iron rails. But this tiny insect-like creature spent last winter in Central America, or it may be in Cuba, and now here he sat, perfectly at home again in this Green Mountain nook; and next autumn he will be off again betimes, as the merest matter of course, for another thousand-mile flight. Verily, a marvelous spirit and energy may be contained within a few ounces of flesh! But if Trochilus be indeed Prospero's servant in disguise, as one of our poets makes out, why, then, to be sure, his flittings back and forth are little to wonder at. How slow, overgrown, and clumsy human beings must look in his eyes! I wonder if he is never tempted to laugh at us. Who knows [111]but humming-birds have it for a by-word, "As awkward as a man"? My ruminations were suddenly broken in upon by the approach of a carriage, driven by a boy of perhaps ten years, a son of the farmer from whose land I was, as it were, gathering the first fruits. We had made each other's acquaintance the day before, and now, as he surmounted the hill, he stopped to inquire politely whether I would ride with him. Yes, I answered, I would gladly be carried into the forest a little way. It proved a very little way indeed; for the road was heavy from recent ...

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