"Whereas I," she said aloud, "am as ignorant as a hedge-sparrow."
As she spoke, a sparrow hopped upon a twig close by her, and cocked his bright eye at her expressively.
"I beg your pardon!" said Hildegarde, humbly. "No doubt you are right, and I am a hundred times more ignorant. I could not even imagine how to build a nest; but neither can you crack a nut--ask Mr. Emerson!--or play the piano."
The sparrow chirped defiance, flirted his tail saucily, and was gone.
"And all girls cannot be students!" said Hildegarde, stopping to address a young maple that looked strong-minded. "Everybody cannot go to college; there must be some who are to be just girls,--plain girls,--and stay at home. As for a gir