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The Song of the Cardinal

Gene Stratton-Porter

Book Overview: 

The Song of the Cardinal is about a big male Cardinal who lives in a tree near a farmer and his wife. The Cardinal immediately starts to sing to find himself a mate. Meanwhile the farmer and his wife enjoy watching this boisterous bird and seeing what he does. He does find a mate and through his singing the farmer and his wife's marriage is rejuvenated. It's a happy little parallel love story that will sweep you off your feet!

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .From overhead were ringing those first glad notes, caught nearer the Throne than those of any other bird, "Spring o' year! Spring o' year!"; while stilt-legged little killdeers were scudding around the Limberlost and beside the river, flinging from cloudland their "Kill deer! Kill deer!" call. The robins in the orchards were pulling the long dried blades of last year's grass from beneath the snow to line their mud-walled cups; and the bluebirds were at the hollow apple tree. Flat on the top rail, the doves were gathering their few coarse sticks and twigs together. It was such a splendid place to set their cradle. The weatherbeaten, rotting old rails were the very colour of the busy dove mother. Her red-rimmed eye fitted into the background like a tiny scarlet lichen cup. Surely no one would ever see her! The Limberlost and shining river, the fields and forests, the wayside bushes and fences, the stumps, logs, hollow trees, even the bare brown breast of Mother Earth. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This charming story of a budding romance between two cardinals is sure to delight birdlovers everywhere, but it will be especially meaningful to Indiana residents who know both the bird and this region. This novel sets a leisurely pace as it describes the various natural settings of this region, inc

Wonderfully descriptive, imaginative tale of a cardinal seeking a mate and the joys of nature. A true classic.

4.5 stars

We have been sitting on our deck more than normal this year and have been entertained by the variety of birds in the woods behind us. Most notable have been 2 sets of cardinals. It prompted me to find this old book and reread this beautiful love story. I see it as an allegory of Christ, the beautifu

A great read - truly! I read it to my boys and they wouldn't let me stop...who-da thought a book about Cardinal books would be so charming. Gene Stratton-Porter is one of the master storytellers of her time.

What a delightful, quick read. Gene Stratton-Porter has such a beautiful way with the natural world storytelling.

Life of a Cardinal

Very well written account of a cardinal born, learning how to fly, mating and having young ones. Lots of descriptions of the places he went, where he decided to live, his attempts to find a mate and his joy in having young. A farmer and his wife are a part of his story as well as a

This was the first of her books that I read as a young teen; it cemented my love of cardinals permanently. The way she described the interaction between the cardinal and his mate was so 'humanized' that it inspired me to observe all wildlife more closely. I own a battered, very worn early edition of

I could read this book over and over. It tells of how just a small creature can make a difference in the life of someone who was ageing and rheumatic and could hardly put his hand to the plough.

One of my favourite parts is when Abram comes upon the hunter shooting at the Cardinal (P. 48)and gives ou

Though written more than 100 years ago, this book has lost none of its charm with age. Gene Stratton-Porter’s book about a somewhat arrogant cardinal is wondrous in its prose, descriptive in its language, and appealing in its Indiana setting. The cardinal has a reason to be proud: he is the biggest,

Early 20th-century Hoosier author Gene Stratton Porter is known for her love of nature. So if anyone were to write a book chronicling a cardinal’s life, Gene would be a likely candidate.

And she did — it’s called The Song of the Cardinal. This is a short book, at under 100 pages, but it is powerful.

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