The Christmas Carol of the Birds by Mrs. G. Hall

Do you know, when we are having such good times at Christmas, what sweet music they have in Norway, that cold country across the sea? One day in the year the simple peasants who live there make the birds very happy, so that they sing, of their own free-will, a glad, joyous carol on Christmas morning.

watching the birds

And this is why they sing on that morning more than on any other. After the birds have found shelter from the north wind  on Christmas-eve, and the night is still and bright with stars, or even if the storm be ever so severe, the good people bring out sheaves of corn and wheat from their storehouses. Tying them on slender poles, they raise them from every spire, barn, gatepost, and gable; then, when the Christmas sun rises over the hills, every spire and gable bursts forth into joyous song.

You can well believe that these songs of the birds make the people of Norway very happy. They echo, with all their hearts, their living, grateful anthem, "Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace, good-will to men!"