Outdoor Visits  by Edith M. Patch

Sounds of Spring

§ 1. The Call of Wild Geese

Uncle Tom went to the farm one Saturday in March. Don and Nan went with him.

"If you hear a strange sound coming down from the sky, please tell me about it," said Uncle Tom.

"Will it be a pleasant sound?" Nan asked.

"It is the call I like best to hear in spring," said her uncle.

"What will make it?" asked Don.

"If you hear it, I will tell you," said Uncle Tom.

When it was time to go to bed, Don said, "We did not hear any strange call to-day."

Uncle Tom said, "Perhaps you will hear it to-night."

Don went to sleep but in the night something woke him. He went to the window and looked out. A big moon was in the sky and he liked to watch it.

While he stood by the window he heard something calling. The sound was high over the house. He did not know what it was.

He ran to Uncle Tom's door and said, "I hear it! I hear it! Come to the window and listen, too."

They woke Nan so she could listen with them.


"That is the call of the wild geese," said Uncle Tom. "They have been in the South for the winter. Now they are flying to the North."

"It is very cold," said Nan. "How do they know it is spring?"

"They feel like flying when the time comes. That is all I can tell you about it," said Uncle Tom.

"No man knows why the wild geese come when they do. Some springs there is still snow on the ground when they come. Often the ice is not all melted in the lakes when they fly over."

"I like to hear them," said Nan. "I think each one calls to tell the other geese that he is coming, too."

The next morning Don and Nan went outdoors. After a while they saw something like a big V in the sky. One goose made the point of the V and the other geese flew in two lines like the sides of the letter.

The birds that flew in a flock shaped like a letter V were wild geese. Don and Nan could hear them call.

They ran to find Uncle Tom. He was standing on a little hill while he watched the geese fly over. He could see them fly far away.

"I wonder how they know the way to their summer homes," said Nan.


"I wonder how they fly South in the fall and North in the spring without any maps," said Don.

"I wonder, too," said Uncle Tom, "and no one can tell us!"