ation that the pigeons should evermore be held in reverence."
Paolo paused, well-nigh exhausted by his enthusiasm, and, reaching over, laid his withered hand on the birds that still cooed contentedly in Maria's lap.
"It's no wonder they're so tame when every one has been loving them for the last five or six hundred years!" she murmured.
"Paolo!" Andrea suddenly asked, with sparkling eyes, "do you suppose that we can teach my pigeon to carry messages?"
"I shouldn't be surprised," replied the old caretaker, entering into the lad's enthusiasm; "they're as intelligent now as they ever were. All they need is the training. It's funny how their little heads can hold so much."
Reaching over, he took one of the birds from Maria's lap and pointed to the bulge just above the tiny ear:
"Some people say that's where their sense of direction is located, but you can't convince me it isn't in their hearts. It's the love they have for their homes that makes 'em fly from any distance straight to their nesting
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