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Liloriole In Search Of
The Homes Of Fairyland, Part 2



In the swamp among the Cat-tails she found the home of Red-winged Blackbird. Of grasses it was made and in it were three baby birds whom she named Pharoah Phoeniceus, Phoebe Phoeniceus and Phillip Phoeniceus. Their scientific name is Agelaius phoeniceus. One day she tarried with them and for breakfast, dinner and supper they had grasshoppers. She learned that their cousins were the Orioles and the Meadowlarks.

Red-Winged Blackbird
Agelaius phoeniceus
(Peter LaTourrette)

Evening Grosbeak
(Ann Telling)
Purple Finch's SongPurple Finch

Eastern Wood Pewee
Contopus virens

Indigo Bunting
Passerina Cyanea

Chipping Sparrow
Spizella passerina
(Harold Holt )

(Ann Telling)


Northern Flicker

Tree Swallow
(Ann Telling)

Rose-Breasted Grosbeak
Pheucticus ludovicianus

(Ann Telling)

Spotted Towhee
(Peter LaTourrette)

Winter Wren
Troglodytes troglodytes
(Harold Holt)


At a stump she paused as she heard a slight noise from within. While yet she waited near, out of this stump that used to be a tree, came a fairy dressed in these colors three -- red, black and white. The stump was the castle of Red-headed Woodpecker and this was he himself. Soon he returned with a grasshopper and Liloriole took supper with the little Woodpeckers six who had been five days out of six eggs like this one. She learned from Mother Red-headed Woodpecker that their menu throughout the year consisted of grasshoppers, flies, beetles, ants, berries, fruits and nuts; also that they were the cousins of Hairy, Pileated, Lewis and Gila Woodpeckers.
Red-Headed Woodpecker
Agelaius phoeniceus


Liloriole stayed two whole days with Mother Baltimore Oriole. And that cradle -- that swinging cradle of grasses, plant fibers and string was much to her liking. With fine grass, wool and hair it was lined. In it were four baby Orioles who came four days before from four eggs like unto this one. Late on the afternoon she arrived they had cankerworms for supper. And they, the four baby Baltimore Orioles -- Garna Galbula, Garcia Galbula, George Galbula and Grace Galbula -- were hungry; and breakfast, dinner and supper time came often during the day. While with these dear babies, who scientific name is Icterus galbula, Liloriole learned that they were cousins to Blackbirds and Meadowlarks.


It was June time when she came unto the home of the Cedar Waxwings in Cedar tree. The nest was made of twigs, grass, moss and catkins. The four babies in it had been seven days out of four eggs like unto this one. Now these four babies -- Carol Cedrorum, Carl Cedrorum, Clara Cedrorum, and Cleo Cedrorum -- were fed raspberries, cankerworms, bark lice and grasshoppers. She learned that their scientific name was Ampelis cedrorum -- and that their cousins were Phainopeplas.


On the sixth day of June she came unto the house of Rosebreasted Grosbeak in the great blackberry vine. Seven feet and two inches above the ground it was -- like a saucer it was shaped -- and it was builded loosely, of several rootlets. In it were four Grosbeak children who had four days before come out of four eggs like unto this one. Liloriole was very hungry and the first course served after her arrival consisted of potato bugs. Now Liloriole was very fond of potatoes but felt that she must draw the line at potato bugs; so she waited until the next course, which consisted of seeds, and she ate four.


High, higher on a mountain side -- up, up to a ridge Liloriole and Twilight traveled to the home of the Eagle -- to the home of the King of Birds. It was June time and the young Eagles were almost ready to leave their nursery. Liloriole wondered how long since they had come from the eggs -- she wondered about a number of things. The nest was so, so big that there seemed no place to cuddle down. Anyway, she wanted to find out some things first. She learned that these two baby Eagles came in April out of two dull white eggs, marked with blotches of brown and gray -- and that these eggs were laid in March. She saw the Baby Eagles eat squirrels and rabbits. Many things she learned of Eagle family ways, and these she writes of in another book. Two days she lingered at Eagle castle, which was made of many sticks and was a bit over fifty-six inches wide. She learned also that these two Baby Eagles wore coat of down before they had their coats of feathers, that their scientific name was Aquila chrysaetos, and that Mother and Father Golden Eagle mate for life.


There came a day when Liloriole came unto the home of the descendants of the world's first paper makers -- unto the cradle of the Wasp fairies. And this home was of paper made of wood pulp from old worn boards and fences these Yellow Jacket fairies had secured their material, and by saliva in their mouths it had been reduced to pulp -- then layer on layer was placed. Liloriole went exploring in Wasp palace and bumped into a nurse -- from her she learned that the combs were not for storing honey, but that the Baby Wasps were there cradled. And the funny part about it was that these chubby larval youngsters hung head downward. She saw the nurse feeding the Baby Wasps, and noticed that they all faced toward the center of the nest so that nurse did not need to turn their heads about to feed them. They were all arranged in nice order, making possible a hooverizing of the time required for their feeding. Liloriole thought Madame Yellow Jacket's taste in the matter of dress very becoming. The yellow trimmings were so well arranged and stripes were becoming, as they were slender folk. Also their hair was done in the pompadour way (now Liloriole had seen a certain Lady Yellow Jacket under the microscope some years before -- and noted her hair being done pompadour). She saw one lady much larger than the other Yellow Jackets -- and learned that this was Queen Vespa. Now, Queen Vespa was a busy personality and had not much time for conversation, as she was busily engaged in laying more eggs that there might be more baby Yellow Jackets in the world. Other Wasp people about were caring for the baby Wasps, who were on the way to being grown-up Yellow Jackets. The workers now busily caring for eggs, and chubby youngsters who had come out of like eggs, had themselves come out of the first eggs laid by Queen Vespa in the Spring.


One day in May she came unto the home of Bob White in the field at the foot of a stump. The cradle was only a slight depression in the ground lined with grass and leaves, but in it were fifteen eggs like unto this one. And Mother and Father Bob White took turns at keeping those eggs warm -- and Liloriole nestled under the wing of one and under the wing of the other. Later, when the fluffy brown baby Bob Whites were about, Liloriole met them one day and roamed about with them. She learned that they were very fond of grass seeds, berries, and insects. She also learned that their scientific name is Colinus virginianus.


Near unto a stream she met Father Prothonotary Warbler, and in a tree close unto the water was the Prothonotary cradle. In it were four eggs. Mother and Father Prothonotary Warbler were lovely to Liloriole.


Liloriole perched on a leaf of a tree and sat there wondering to what home her next visit would be, when along came Father Scarlet Tanager to get a caterpillar and another caterpillar from that tree -- and having secured the caterpillars, he paused a moment beside the leaf upon which Liloriole sat and moved a little nearer that she might mount upon his back, for he was going to take her to Mother Scarlet Tanager (who hasn't a speck of scarlet upon her, but who is yellow and green). He had heard the Earth Things talking -- the grass, the flowers, and the many little folk that live in the earth and upon the earth -- and telling one another of Liloriole's search for the homes of Fairyland. So Scarlet Tanager knew of her search and he knew that she would like to know Mother Scarlet Tanager and the little Tanagers three.


In the grass field was the home of Horned Larks. Of grasses and corn leaves it was made, and was near unto a tuft of grass. In the nest were four eggs like unto this one -- and Liloriole named the four little birds that were to be -- Otis Otocoris, Otho Otocoris, Othella Otocoris and Ora Otocoris -- for their scientific name was Otocoris alpestris. Mother and Father Horned Lark were very fond of weed seeds. Liloriole was glad to learn that they were cousins of Skylark of Europe of whom the poet sings:

Up with me! Up with me into the clouds!
For thy song, Lark, is strong;
Up with me! Up with me into the clouds!
Singing, singing,
With clouds and sky above thee ringing.
With a soul as strong as a mountain river,
Pouring out praise to the Almighty Giver.
-- Wordsworth


It was on a May day eleven days past the first day that Liloriole came unto the home of Chipping Sparrow in the fir tree. And great was her joy as she entered into the home built of little things, little grasses and little root; for within it she met again Mother Chipping Sparrow, whose nursery she had assisted last year when she was a big girl. This nest, too, was lined with hair, even as the home of last year. In it were three Chipping Sparrow babies only three days out of the blue eggs like unto this one. And as she lingered with them she was fed upon a varied diet -- seeds of last year's Foxtail and Crab grass, Pig Weed and Chickweed, Cabbage Worms and Canker Worms. Near the end of the second day she said goodbye to the babies three and called each one by his scientific name, Spizella socialis.


Liloriole, lingering in a treetop, was puzzled when she heard a low call twice repeated. It sounded a bit like the voice of the Mother Mouse, with whom she had stayed one day last week. While she was pondering over this mouse-like call, the fairy who had given it with a flip and a hop was on the branch beside her. She soon learned that he had two names -- Blue Gray Gnatcatcher and Sylvan Flycatcher; that his home was nearby, and that having learned of her mission he had come to invite her to spend the night with Mother Blue Gray Gnatcatcher and the baby Blue Gray Gnatcatchers five, who had so recently come out of five pale greenish-white eggs with pretty spots of lilac and reddish brown upon them.
Liloriole, standing up, took a good deep breath, tied back her curls with thistledown, fastened her birch-bark sandals, and was ready to start upon the journey with Blue Gray Gnatcatcher.
"Oh," said she, when in seventeen seconds they stopped three trees away.
"Yes," said he, "you were very near unto our fairy home." There it was a tiny, cup-shaped cradle, all covered in lichens -- and when Liloriole was inside she thought it so lovely that she decided to nestle down among the nestlings and go to sleep at once.
"Not yet, not yet, dear child!" said Mother Blue Gnatcatcher -- "Supper first." And for supper they had gnats, flies, and mosquitoes for dessert.


It was in the oak tree -- in a forked twig. It was cup-shaped and made of grasses, little strips of bark, lichens and vegetable fibers. In it were five eggs just like this one. Liloriole knew not whose home it was until -- until Mrs. Red-eyed Vireo came and nestled down upon the eggs, whereupon Liloriole edged near unto the rim of the nest and asked her if it was her home. And in this home with Mother Vireo, whose other name is Vireo olivaceus, she spent the night and learned that when the Vireo babies came from the five eggs they would be hungry and would be fed insects and berries.

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher
Polioptila caerulea
(Peter LaTourrette)


Tripping along on a southern hillside she stubbed her toe on the rim of something and landed on the round door of something. So much like the earth around it this rim and door looked that she thought it would be difficult for a grown-up person to find it. After she got up she sat down by this queer thing and wondered what it was. She had not been wondering long when something big and blackish with eight great fuzzy legs pushed the door open from beneath, and who was it but Trap-Door Spider, the maker and owner of the home. Liloriole learned from him that he had dug the tunnel in the ground, then coated the wall of it with earth and saliva, and then had lined the tunnel with silk.


In May, June and July she watched for the goldfinch home, but found it not. One hot August day when going along a hillside among Vine-Maples she caught sight of a bit of olive-brown. It was the Mother Goldfinch at home. The home was in a crotch of the Vine-Maple, and it was made of many plant fibers. Liloriole had not long been cuddled under Mother Goldfinch's wing when Father Goldfinch came to feed her. And the food he gave unto her was weed seeds. Liloriole thought perhaps Goldfinches had put off home-building until the time when many weed seeds would be about for Baby Goldfinches to feed upon when they left the nest -- and she also thought she could hardly wait until Baby Goldfinches came from those four pale bluish white eggs. Father Goldfinch told her that their scientific name was Astragalinus tristis, and that their cousins were Sparrows, Buntings and Grosbeaks.


From the Wind Fairies she learned of the palaces wherein dwell tiny fairies, who become, when they grow up, tiny flies -- and at their growing up leave their tiny palaces. Liloriole had often wondered what caused those Oak Apples on the leaves -- the ones children call pop-balls -- and she learned that these same pop-balls are the palaces of little folk, who when they grow up go out into the big world -- little four-winged flies. On these stems of plants she found also Galls -- and the dweller within one of these spoke thus to her:

A green little world with me at its heart!
A house grown by magic, of a green stem a part;
My walls give me food and protect me from foes,
I eat at my leisure, in safety repose.
My house hath no window, 'tis dark as the night!
But I make me a door and batten it tight;
And when my wings grow I throw wide my door,
And to my green castle I return nevermore.

Next Chapter:
In Our Cathedral