A Strange Transformation

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When Algy ventured out the next day, he discovered to his surprise that the world had undergone a strange transformation. Everywhere that there should have been water, there was now something else instead, and it was very cold! Experimenting cautiously at first, he tried perching on what should have been the middle of the flowing burn, and found that he could glide over the surface with ease… that is, if he could tolerate a freezing pain in the tail feathers!

Friendship Sparkles

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Algy has been deeply touched by all the sweet “welcome back” messages and comments which he has received from so many friends around the world since his return two days ago. He can’t help wondering whether any other fluffy bird ever had friends like this before… So he sends you all his very fluffiest hugs and his warmest thanks, and these lines from an Aztec poem:

Like a quetzal plume, a fragrant flower,
friendship sparkles:
like heron plumes, it weaves itself into finery.
Our song is a bird calling out like a jingle:
how beautiful you make it sound!
Here, among flowers that enclose us,
among flowery boughs you are singing.

[Algy is quoting part of an ancient Aztec poem, which he believes to have been written by Nezahualcoyotl, King of Texcoco in the 15th century.]

Winter Continues

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Algy flew over to a high point overlooking the Sound, and studied the world to which he had returned. Although there were crocuses flowering in cultivated spots, the landscape as a whole was still dressed in its drab winter clothes, and the sky was threatening snow. As the freezing east wind bit through his feathers, Algy knew that although spring was surely just around the corner, winter was not quite over yet…

Return…

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Algy had been away on a long, sad journey through the depths of the most dismal winter he had known, but as the year turned once more, and the sun started to rise higher in the sky each day, he gradually made his way back home. And there he found his little black teddy bear, waiting patiently to show him the first beautiful crocuses of the new spring…

Algy sat himself down on the damp ground and gazed at the lovely flowers, while he inhaled their sweet fragrance of saffron. Although the temperature was only just above freezing, the sun warmed his feathers until at last he began to feel quite fluffy again. He looked happily at his little black teddy, and then started to recite this poem:

Down in my solitude under the snow,
Where nothing cheering can reach me;
Here, without light to see how to grow,
I’ll trust to nature to teach me.

I will not despair, nor be idle, nor frown,
Locked in so gloomy a dwelling;
My leaves shall run up, and my roots shall run down,
While the bud in my bosom is swelling.

Soon as the frost will get out of my bed,
From this cold dungeon to free me,
I will peer up with my little bright head;
All will be joyful to see me.

Then from my heart will young petals diverge,
As rays of the sun from their focus;
I from the darkness of earth will emerge
A happy and beautiful Crocus!

Gaily arrayed in my yellow and green,
When to their view I have risen,
Will they not wonder how one so serene
Came from so dismal a prison?

Many, perhaps, from so simple a flower
This little lesson may borrow—
Patient to-day, through its gloomiest hour,
We come out the brighter to-morrow!

[Algy is reciting the poem The Crocus’s Soliloquy by the early 19th century American poet Hannah Flag Gould.]