Thursday, November 5



One day in spring four men were riding on horseback along a country

road. These men were lawyers, and they were going to the next town to

attend court.

There had been a rain, and the ground was very soft. Water was dripping

from the trees, and the grass was wet.

The four lawyers rode along, one behind another; for the pathway was

narrow, and the mud on each side of it was deep. They rode slowly, and

talked and laughed and were very jolly.

As they were passing through a grove of small trees, they heard a great

fluttering over their heads and a feeble chirping in the grass by the


"Stith! stith! stith!" came from the leafy branches above them.

"Cheep! cheep! cheep!" came from the wet grass.

"What is the matter here?" asked the first lawyer, whose name was

Speed. "Oh, it's only some old robins!" said the second lawyer, whose

name was Hardin. "The storm has blown two of the little ones out of

the nest. They are too young to fly, and the mother bird is making a

great fuss about it."

"What a pity! They'll die down there in the grass," said the third

lawyer, whose name I forget.

"Oh, well! They're nothing but birds," said Mr. Hardin. "Why should

we bother?"

"Yes, why should we?" said Mr. Speed.

The three men, as they passed, looked down and saw the little birds

fluttering in the cold, wet grass. They saw the mother robin flying

about, and crying to her mate.

Then they rode on, talking and laughing as before. In a few minutes

they had forgotten about the birds.

But the fourth lawyer, whose name was Abraham Lincoln, stopped. He got

down from his horse and very gently took the little ones up in his big

warm hands.

They did not seem frightened, but chirped softly, as if they knew they

were safe.

"Never mind, my little fellows," said Mr. Lincoln "I will put you in

your own cozy little bed."


Then he looked up to find the nest from which they had fallen. It was

high, much higher than he could reach.

But Mr. Lincoln could climb. He had climbed many a tree when he was

a boy. He put the birds softly, one by one, into their warm little

home. Two other baby birds were there, that had not fallen out. All

cuddled down together and were very happy.

Soon the three lawyers who had ridden ahead stopped at a spring to

give their horses water.

"Where is Lincoln?" asked one.

All were surprised to find that he was not with them.

"Do you remember those birds?" said Mr. Speed. "Very likely he has

stopped to take care of them."

In a few minutes Mr. Lincoln joined them. His shoes were covered with

mud; he had torn his coat on the thorny tree.

"Hello, Abraham!" said Mr. Hardin. "Where have you been?"

"I stopped a minute to give those birds to their mother," he answered.

"Well, we always thought you were a hero," said Mr. Speed. "Now we

know it."

Then all three of them laughed heartily. They thought it so foolish

that a strong man should take so much trouble just for some worthless

young birds.

"Gentlemen," said Mr. Lincoln, "I could not have slept to-night, if

I had left those helpless little robins to perish in the wet grass."

Abraham Lincoln afterwards became very famous as a lawyer and

statesman. He was elected president. Next to Washington he was the

greatest American.

 [short story by James Baldwin]


Judy Harper said...

Yes, I agree with you, he was a great man! This is a good story! Thanks for posting it!

sheeza said...