Hop, hop, hop! In it came at the window, the dearest little yellow canary, not a bit afraid; chirping, turning its pretty head this way and that, and asking its little bird questions which nobody could understand.
George, and Winifred, and little Bruce were all filled with delight and amazement at the small visitor. Wise George flew to shut the window, kind Winnie ran for cake, and solemn Bruce took his finger out of his mouth and stared.
Meanwhile Dicky sidled, and fluttered, and chattered, and at last showed he was used to society by setting down on George’s finger, winking at Bruce, and making a good meal of Winnie’s cake.
“Do you think he can have flown straight from the Canary Islands?” asked Winnie.
But still they had a feeling that the little visitor was a sort of emigrant, who must be led to settle at Fairleigh Cottage; and Winnie ran to ask her mother for the half-crown out of her money-box to buy him a cage.
“Mother’s coming,” she said. “She thinks Birdie belongs to someone else because he is so tame.”
“But there are no canaries in the village, except the schoolmaster’s pair,” said wise George; “and this little beauty is not one of them. I really think this bird must have come to look for a home.”
Canary: a mainly African finch with a melodious song, typically having yellowish-green plumage. One kind is popular as a pet bird and has been bred in a variety of colors, especially bright yellow.
Delight: great pleasure.
Wise: having or showing experience, knowledge, and good judgment.
Solemn: not cheerful or smiling; serious.
Sidled: walk in a furtive, unobtrusive, or timid manner, especially sideways or obliquely.
Society: people living together in a more or less ordered community.
Canary Islands: The Canary Islands, a Spanish archipelago off the coast of northwestern Africa, are rugged volcanic isles known for their black- and white-sand beaches. Tenerife, the largest island, is dominated by the sometimes-snowy active volcano Mt. Teide, which has its own astronomical observatory and is part of Teide National Park.
Emigrant: a person who leaves their own country in order to settle permanently in another.
Half-Crown: a former British coin and monetary unit equal to two shillings and sixpence.
Tame: (of an animal) not dangerous or frightened of people; domesticated.
Schoolmaster: a male teacher in a school.