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Owl as Good Samaritan

My recollections of nature study in a garden go back a long way. Over twenty years ago I lived in a cottage standing by itself at the corner of a common. There was some rough ivy growing on the front of the cottage, and trailing up the pillars and over the roof of the porch. One sunny morning I was lying in bed, when I noticed a movement in the ivy, which I could see round the edge of the open window. The next moment a squirrel appeared on the window-sill, and jumped down on to the floor. Finding everything quiet, the squirrel began to run about the room.

When a wild creature displays any boldness or friendliness of this kind, it can generally be further encouraged by a little judicious feeding. In the case of the squirrel, I placed several nuts on the window-sill, and, as I expected, the squirrel came back the following morning and found them. After that it was an easy matter to place the nuts at a gradually increasing distance from the window, until finally I succeeded in enticing the beautiful and lively little creature to jump upon the bed-post and snatch away a nut that had been placed there. The squirrel continued these visits for quite a long time, and on one occasion he brought a friend.

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