after all, mistress pussy had destroyed them, and their pretty feathers, perhaps their only relics left, might be so scattered by the wind, that already they might be yards and yards separated from each other. With these sad forebodings clouding his brow, Marten set off with Reuben on his search, feeling that it was a hopeless one, and not one word did the boy utter to all Reuben's lamentations as they crossed the meadow which was spread in front of their house towards a little wood, which was the home of many a bird of the pigeon or dove species, and therefore Marten thought would be the most likely place to go first to look after the strayed ones. Think, then, what must have been his joy as they entered the second meadow not far from the stile, absolutely to behold the ringdoves, his mamma's own ringdoves walking upon the grass cooing and billing, and turning about their soft eyes in this direction and the other, as if half afraid of the freedom they had acquired for themselves. As to Reuben, he was so ple
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