But alas! Nobody threw any crumbs for the sparrows that day:
At last Mr. Sparrow said:
“All the people must be away on holiday.”
“Then why don’t we go away on holiday?” chirped Mrs. Sparrow.
Mr. Sparrow cocked his head on one side.
“Yes, we will have a holiday. We will go into the country to visit our cousins, the Hedge Sparrows.”
“Hurrah!” chirped all the little sparrows.
They flew over the houses and the chimneys, and soon they came to the fields, which were full of golden corn. There were lots of brown sparrows pecking the grain.
“These are our country cousins,” said Mr. Sparrow.
“How do you do!” chirped the Hedge Sparrows. “We are very pleased to see you.”
Too soon it was time to go home. So they said “Goodbye” to their country cousins, and away they flew, over the fields and hedges, back to the houses and chimneys. But they did not forget the kindness of their country cousins. When winter came Mrs Sparrow said:
“We will invite our country cousins to spend Christmas with us. There will not be much to eat in their part of the world now.”
So the Hedge Sparrows came to spend Christmas among the houses and chimneys.
And they all had a jolly time. There was plenty to eat, because in winter everyone puts out crumbs and titbits for the birds.
So in winter, when you throw out crumbs for the birds, do not forget to throw a little extra for the country cousins too.