Here to return to
THE TALE OF RUSTY WREN
A PLEASANT HOME
Now, Rusty Wren had found — and shown to his wife — a hollow apple tree and a hole in a fence-rail, either of which he thought would make a pleasant place in which to live.
But since the little couple were house wrens, Rusty’s wife said she thought that they oughtn’t to be so far from the farmhouse.
“Why not build our nest behind one of the shutters?” she suggested.
But Rusty shook his head quickly — and with decision.
“That won’t do,” said he. “Somebody might come to the window and close the shutter; and then our nest would fall to the ground. And if we happened to have six or eight eggs in it, you know you wouldn’t like that very well.”
Rusty’s wife agreed with him on that point. But she still insisted that she wanted to live near the farmhouse; and she said that she expected her husband to find a good spot for their nest, for she certainly wasn’t going to spend the summer in a hole in a fence-rail, or in an old apple tree, either.
Rusty Wren saw at once that there was no sense in arguing with her. If he wanted any peace, he knew that he might as well forget the old hollow apple tree and the hole in the fence-rail too. He had better forget them and resume his search for a home. So he gave his plump little cinnamon-colored body a shake and held his tail at even a higher angle than usual, just to show people that he was going to be the head of the house — when they should have one. Then with a flirt of his short, round wings he hurried over to Farmer Green’s dooryard — after calling to his wife that he would come back and tell her if he had any luck.
Rusty Wren spent some busy moments about Farmer Green’s buildings. And since he loved to be busy and was never so happy as when he had something important to do, he hopped and climbed and fluttered to his heart’s content, looking into a hundred different holes and cracks and crannies.
But he didn’t find a single one that suited him. Every place into which he peered was either too big or too little, or too high or too low; or it was where the rain would beat upon it; or maybe it was( so situated that the cat could thrust her paw inside. Anyhow, every possible nook for a nest had some drawback. And Rusty was wondering what he could say to his wife, who was sure to be upset if her plans went wrong, when all at once he came upon the finest place for a house that he had ever seen. One quick look through the small round opening that led to it was enough.
He knew right away that his search was ended. So he hurried back to the orchard to find Mrs. Rusty and tell her the good news.
“I’ve found the best spot for a house in all Pleasant Valley!” he cried, as he dropped down beside her and hopped about in his excitement.
“Is it in a good neighborhood?” she inquired calmly.
“Yes, indeed!” he replied. “It’s in a tree close to Farmer Green’s bedroom window.”
“A hole in a tree!” she exclaimed somewhat doubtfully. “Not an old squirrel’s nest, I hope?”
“No, no!” he assured her. “It’s not really in a tree. It’s nailed to a tree. Come with me and I’ll show you.”
At that the bustling little pair hastened toward the farmhouse. And, to Rusty’s delight, the moment his wife saw what he had found she said at once that it was exactly the sort of house she had always hoped to have, some time.