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An Usurper Punished

AnimalAnecdotes Home

Some years ago a sparrow had early in spring taken possession of an old
swallow's nest, and had laid some eggs in it, when the original builder
and owner of the castle made her appearance, and claimed possession. The
sparrow, firmly seated, resisted the claim of the swallow; a smart battle
ensued, in which the swallow was joined by its mate, and during the
conflict by several of their comrades. All the efforts of the assembled
swallows to dislodge the usurper were, however, unsuccessful. Finding
themselves completely foiled in this object, it would seem that they had
held a council of war to consult on ulterior measures; and the resolution
they came to shows that with no ordinary degree of ingenuity some very
lofty considerations of right and justice were combined in their
deliberations. Since the sparrow could not be dispossessed of the nest,
the next question with them appears to have been, how he could be
otherwise punished for his unlawful occupation of a property
unquestionably belonging to its original constructor. The council were
unanimous in thinking that nothing short of the death of the intruder
could atone for so heinous an offence; and having so decided, they
proceeded to put their sentence into execution in the following very
extraordinary manner. Quitting the scene of the contest for a time, they
returned with accumulated numbers, each bearing a beak full of building
materials; and without any further attempt to beat out the sparrow, they
instantly set to work and built up the entrance into the nest, enclosing
the sparrow within the clay tenement, and leaving her to perish in the
stronghold she had so bravely defended.

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