Pearl and her pigeons

When Pearl was seven years old, her brother Freddie gave her two pretty white pigeons. The little girl was as happy as a queen when she saw her pretty pets. She named one Dot and the other Phil.

Pearl loved dearly to play with them, but she did not like to keep them shut up in a cage. Sometimes she would open the window and say to them, “Fly away, my dearies, and play with other birds! I do not wish to keep you here this beautiful morning.”

They would flutter their wings joyously, peck her hand, and make a funny little noise which sounded very much like “goodbye, sweet mistress! We will return soon and tell you all about the sunny world, and what the birds are doing.”

When Pearl went out into the garden to pull flowers, or give her dollies a ride, the pigeons would come to her and light upon her head. And sometimes they would poke their bills into her mouth for a kiss. She fed them with crumbs from her hand, and every morning she gave them some fresh, sparkling water to bathe in.

Phil called Dot his little wife, and he often invited her to take a walk with him. When Dot was not busy, she went with him. In the beautiful springtime, Dot laid two white eggs and sat on them till the wee birds crept out. Dot and Phil were as happy as they could be, and so proud of their little family!

Pearl put crumbs enough for all beside the nest, which pleased Mother Dot very much. Then she would sit down beside the cage and watch the mother-pigeon patiently teaching the little ones to eat. Pearl often heard the mother-bird putting her little family to sleep; and she would say to her darling baby brother, “Listen, dear! I hear the mother-pigeon cooing softly to her little ones.”