21 August 2013

Reed Birds on Toast

Very Good for the Palate, but Bad for the Purse

"Reed birds on toast" is the first sign that one now observes on entering a first-class restaurant, and naturally the observer shoots his eyes along the eating bar, and there lay the jolly fat little rascals, brown and seasoned, curled upon a section of seal-brown toast, the whole not more than a single mouthful for a healthy feeder. Reed birds

Are in Their Prime

of fatness and juiciness now, and it makes a fellow's mouth water to think about them, but his mouth will have to water on unless he has a healthy pocketbook, for these delicious morsels rate high. Served to order they now demand $1.20 per dozen. A dozen is just about an ordinary meal. Add to that a bottle of claret, seventy-five cents, and we find the total cost of such luxuries to be $1.95. Rather

Steep for the Average Eater.

"They come high, but we must have 'em," said a Treasury clerk who sat munching the bones of a dozen reedbirds in an uptown cafe to-day, and he munched and smiled and put on as many airs as though he owned a railroad. In the meantime, the market is being well supplied. Just now, the neighboring marshes are alive with reedbirds and blackbirds, and

The Professional Gunner is On the Field

blazing away hourly creating sad havoc. Amateur gunners are blowing down their gun-barrels preparing to enter the warfare and the coroner and local newspaper reporter on the alert for casualties. Just what the innocent victims of these sanguinary invaders think of all this is better described in the following lines that floated in from the marshes to-day.

The Reed Bird's Song.

On a swaying reed in the marsh so green
Sits a reed bird and a reed bird lean,
Chatting and Chirping so merry and gay,
And watching the hills and the clouds far away,
"Tis here," they chirrup, "we'll make our home,"
"Till the murderous gunner and dogs all come
"To scatter shot and drive us out,
"With banging and barking and deafening shout.
"No harm to them could a reed bird bring."
These two little reed birds went on to sing,
"Till 'bang' went a gun from a tuft hard by,
And the two little chaps lay down to die.
No doubt they would rather have lived to see
The season out, to fly off in glee,
But fate and a gunner's steady aim,
Removed then from future praise or fame;
And so it will happen, through all this weather,
Has passed in his chips, and become a ghost,
Of his former self served up on toast.
September 2, 1882. Washington Evening Critic 15(4220): 1.