Birds and Death
The bird, however hard the frost may be, flies briskly to his customary roosting-place, and, with beak tucked into his wing, falls asleep. He has no apprehensions; only the hot blood grows colder and colder, the pulse feebler as he sleeps, and at midnight, or in the early morning, he drops from his perch---death.
Yesterday he lived and moved, responsive to a thousand external influences, reflecting earth and sky in his small brilliant brain as in a looking-glass; also he had a various language, the inherited knowledge of his race, the faculty of flight, by means of which he could shoot, meteor-like, across the sky, and pass swiftly from place to place; and with it such perfect control over all his organs, such marvelous certitude in all his motions, as to be able to drop himself plumb down from the tallest tree-top , or out of the void air , on to a slender spray , and scarcely cause its leaves to tremble . Now , on this morning , he lies stiff and motionless ; if you were to take him up and drop him from your hand , he would fall to the ground like a stone or a lump of clay-so easy and swift is the passage from life to death in wild nature! But he was never miserable