3 NOVEMBER 1917, Page 28


[To THE EDITOR or THE SPECTATOR."I should like to tell you about my tame rook. Whilst she was still a fledgling her parents found her too much of a handful nod east her out of the nest. I picked her up in the drive, and took her into the house, and the nest day stressed to Ireland. One of my household brought her up by hand, and on my return I found the rectory in the possession of a very strong personality, who has ruled it ever since. She has been perfectly free all her life, we do not cut her wing; at night she sleeps in a cage, and often herself calls for it if tired. She wanders about the house, making the workroom her headquarters. She laid last year after see had had her four years, but woo badly egg-bound and nearly died. This year I noticed she had a tendency to carry things to the mantelpiece, so I fixed a cushion to shut oft a place between the mantel and overmantel; she innnediately began to build inside. Tim nest was constructed entirely of what could be got in the house; she started with twigs out of the houaemaid's box, then impounded four work scissors, my two-foot rule, three silver teaspoons, the receipt file, reels of cotton and silk, two tape measures, a strap, string, and tape. All these were wonderfully worked in, the interlacing being most clever and laborious. Having satisfied herself with the outside she proceeded to line it, the first precious prize being a new chamois leather; this was followed by three cleaning cloths, a pair of stockings, pieces of linen, flannel, silk, a newspaper torn to shreds and taken piece by piece. Bright colour was a great attraction, always preferred to white or brown goods. Three days were occupied in building, and the first of five eggs was deposited in the nest the day after it was finished. We waited twelve days after the fifth egg, removed the cushion, and let the nest fall down; the eggs had previously been taken away. She was very sad, and began immediately to reconstruct the nest from the ilShris, and when she had finished laid five more eggs. There was a very marked improvement in the construction of the second nest; it was smaller, less clumsy, much smoother and softer inside. During the time she was on the nest, whenever I came into the room I had to feed her—she demanded this attention most imperiously. During my absence she fed herself.

She has a wonderful treasury on the top of n cupboard of things which she hue collected, and which she loves to play with and talk to. No one must go near it, but if I go, every single item is brought to me, and when I have got all she has to give she bows and spreads her wings and tail and cries her very heart out with delight. I have to share her food. The little lady brings me first- fruits before she begins. Iler power of hearing is for more acute than ours; she hears the mail cart every morning long before we de, and is always the first to detect an aeroplane. She hears me immediately 1 get into the garden and is on the window to greet me. As I write she is on my wrist talking to me all the time.—

Marto. Rectory. Bristol.

!Prebendary Lambrick has sent for our inspection some photo- graphs of this most engaging bird.—En. Spectator.]