"We must feed them," said Charlie.--"Here, little birds, here's some gingerbread for you," he said; and he threw a bit of his gingerbread, which fortunately only hit the nest on the outside, and fell down among the buttercups, where two crickets made a meal of it, and agreed that it was as excellent gingerbread as if old Mother Cricket herself had made it.
"Take care, Charlie," said his mamma; "we do not know enough to feed young birds. We must leave that to their papa and mamma, who probably started out bright and early in the morning to get breakfast for them."
Sure enough, while they were speaking, back came Mr. and Mrs. Robin, whirring through the green shadows of the apple tree; and thereupon all the five little red mouths flew open, and the birds put something into each.
It was great amusement, after this, to watch the daily feeding of the little birds, and to observe how, when not feeding them, the mother sat brooding on the nest, warming them under her soft wings, while the father-bird sat on the topmost bough of the apple-tree and sang to them. In time they grew and grew, and, instead of a nest full of little red mouths, there was a nest full of little, fat, speckled robins, with round, bright, cunning eyes, just like their parents; and the children began to talk together about their birds.
"I'm going to give my robin a name," said Mary. "I call him Brown- Eyes."
"And I call mine Tip-Top," said Jamie, "because I know he'll be a tip-top bird."
"And I call mine Singer," said Alice.
"I 'all mine Toddy," said little Toddlie, who would not be behindhand in anything that was going on.