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"Did you hear that mocking-bird?"
"I should call it a phebe-bird," answered the girl, looking up with a
twinkle in her black eyes.
"Where did it go?"
"It is here still."
"In my throat. Do you want to hear it?"
"Oh, yes! I'll come in." And Rose crept through the slide to the
wide shelf on the other side, being too hurried and puzzled to go
round by the door.
The girl wiped her hands, crossed her feet on the little island of
carpet where she was stranded in a sea of soap-suds, and then, sure
enough, out of her slender throat came the swallow's twitter, the
robin's whistle, the blue-jay's call, the thrush's song, the
wood-dove's coo, and many another familiar note, all ending as
before with the musical ecstacy of a bobolink singing and
swinging among the meadow grass on a bright June day.
Rose was so astonished that she nearly fell off her perch, and when
the little concert was over clapped her hands delightedly.
"Oh, it was lovely! Who taught you?"
"The birds," answered the girl, with a smile, as she fell to work
"It is very wonderful! I can sing, but nothing half so fine as that.
What is your name, please?"
"I've heard of phebe-birds; but I don't believe the real ones could
do that," laughed Rose, adding, as she watched with interest the
scattering of dabs of soft soap over the bricks, "May I stay and see
you work? It is very lonely in the parlor."
"Yes, indeed, if you want to," answered Phebe, wringing out her
cloth in a capable sort of way that impressed Rose very much.
"It must be fun to swash the water round and dig out the soap. I'd
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