THE BIRDS SET FREE
- A man was walking one day through a large city. On a street corner he saw a boy with a number of small birds for sale in a cage.
- He looked with sadness upon the little prisoners flying about the cage, peeping through the wires, beating them with their wings, and trying to get out.
- He stood for some time looking at the birds. At last he said to the boy, “How much do you ask for your birds?”
- “Fifty cents apiece, sir,” said the boy. “I do not mean how much apiece,” said the man, “but how much for all of them? I want to buy them all.”
- The boy began to count, and found they came to five dollars. “There is your money,” said the man. The boy took it, well pleased with his morning’s trade.
- No sooner was the bargain settled than the man opened the cage door, and let all the birds fly away.
- The boy, in great surprise, cried, “What did you do that for, sir? You have lost all your birds.”
- “I will tell you why I did it,” said the man. “I was shut up three years in a French prison, as a prisoner of war, and I am resolved never to see anything in prison which I can make free.”
Continue to Lesson 20