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Cuckoo Rhyme

( Originally Published 1884 )

You may assure Mr. Dickinson, p. 4, the notion of the Cuckoo, in part, subsisting by sucking the eggs of other birds, does universally prevail ; and, though it is not noticed by authors of notoriety, there is a humble production, entituled "Songs for Children," which has inculcated it for many years, if not for many generations, in the following stanzas :

" The cuckoo's a pretty bird,
Sings as she flies ;
She brings us good tidings,
And tells us no lies :
She sucks little birds' eggs
And never cries cuckoo
Till summer draws near."

From my own observation, l can inform him that she frequently despoils the nest of some smaller birds of their eggs (and that most probably by sucking them, as the remains of the broken empty shells are generally found in them), and then deposits one, and sometimes, though but seldom, two, of her own; where she leaves them to be hatched by a foster mother; this fact is also proved by your succeeding correspondent Cleric us Eboracensis; but whether this is the universal method of increasing her species, I am not competent to determine : though I have never heard of her eggs, nor nestlings, being found in any other situation.



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