Uncle Rob says the birds write their music before they
sing it. Isn't that a funny idea! He says too that he has
seen them do it. That seems funnier still. Let me tell you
how he explains it.
   You know the great lines of telegraph and telephone wires
that run along through the country from town to town.
Often and often you have seen the birds sitting on these wires
in flocks.  Well, now, Uncle Rob says he is sure they choose
the wires for their bars, and that the birds arrange them-
selves to form notes.  So I watched them the other day and
would you believe it, this is the way they sat on the wires.
   Suppose this was the C clef, and the birds were notes:
now go and play it on your piano, and you will find it makes a
cute little air, which if sung rapidly by a silvery bird voice
would not be unlike the songs we hear in the woods.  So
perhaps Uncle Rob is right about it and the birds I saw were
composing a new aria to delight us with next season.
   I am sure no one but Uncle Rob could have discovered
their secret, and they would feel very badly about it were
they not such good friends with him.  The next time you
see the birds on the wires you must watch and see what notes
they make.

The Beautiful Land of Nod by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Chicago: Morrill, Higgins & Co. [1892]

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