The Christmas Feast     /p1

Once upon a time there was a little old man who lived all by himself in a little old house far off in the country. He had no neighbors, but he was not lonely, for he had built a lovely little birdhouse and set it high on a pole near his window. In each of the tiny rooms lived a little bird family, and the birds kept the little old man company with their singing.

When winter came, the birds did not like to leave their friend all alone, so they decided to stay in their cozy little house, instead of flying south as most birds do. When the ground was covered with snow, it was hard for the birds to find seeds and insects to eat. And the air was so sharp and cold that the little birds did not like to go far from home to hunt for food. Sometimes they were quite hungry.

Now the little old man noticed on his calendar that Christmas was coming, but since he had no family or friends or any little children around, he did not know what he could do to celebrate.

On Christmas Eve, when the birds were cuddled all close together in their homes, fast asleep, the little old man was dozing before the fire. Suddenly he awoke with a start. He knew what he would do to celebrate Christmas!

In the darkness, the little old man went out to his little barn, and took some cracked corn, wheat, sunflower seeds and chicken feed for the hungry little birds. Then he took his stepladder, set it up next to the tall pole in his yard, and hung the basket filled with food close to the birdhouse.

At daylight on Christmas morning, he tiptoed to his window. The basket was crowded with happy little birds. The air was filled with cheery chirping and chattering. It was the happiest Christmas the little old man had ever had!