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Birds in Town and Village

W. H. Hudson

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .A lean, grey little man, clad in a quaintly barred and mottled mantle, woven by his own hands from some soft silky material, and a close-fitting brown peaked cap on his head with one barred feather in it for ornament, and a small wizened grey face with a thin sharp nose, puckered lips, and a pair of round, brilliant, startled eyes.

So distinct was this image to my mind's eye that it became unnecessary for me to see the creature, and I ceased to look for him; then all at once came disillusion, when one day, hearing the familiar high-pitched laugh with its penetrating and somewhat nasal tone, I looked and beheld the thing that had laughed just leaving its perch on a branch near the ground and winging its way across the field. It was only a bird after all—only the wryneck; and that mysterious faculty I spoke of, saying that we all of us possessed something of it (meaning only some of us) was nothing after all but the old common faculty of imagination.

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Community Reviews

i really enjoyed listening to the musings of a naturalist/ornithologist who lived and wrote over 100 years ago. It gives me a new perspective on where we are and how we got here. And how we were able to decimate so many species…. Women wore birds as fashion, “naturalists”. killed and stuffed birds f

Antiquated and out of date, but the writing is glorious and it’s a delight to listen to.