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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Burgess - When Mr. Hummingbird Got His Long Bill - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

From my kitchen window the other day I watched what at first looked like a large moth.  It was a hummingbird blown about by the wind while it tried to get near a flowering bush.  The wind was too strong for it, but today's story convinces me that bird came back later.  Thornton W. Burgess shows just how determined these little birds can be.

Today's selection and all of the other stories in Mother West Wind "When" Stories are not on the list of 35 Project Gutenberg books by Burgess.  I went searching for another source only to find it is at Project Gutenberg!  So you can read the rest of the stories from this nature book, first published in 1917.

The frame on this story took until page 210, but the story would work well by itself if you were to say it was inspired by the Burgess tale . . . or would that be like the hummingbird's short tail?

A final Burgess story is the next public domain story here on Keeping the Public in Public Domain.
This is part of a series of bi-weekly posting of stories under the category, "Keeping the Public in Public Domain."  The idea behind Public Domain was to preserve our cultural heritage after the authors and their immediate heirs were compensated.  I feel strongly current copyright law delays this intent on works of the 20th century.  I hope you enjoy discovering new stories. 

Currently I'm involved in projects taking me out of my usual work of sharing stories with an audience.  My own library of folklore includes so many books within the Public Domain I decided to share stories from them.  This fall I expect to return to my normal monthly posting of a research project here.  Depending on response, I will decide at that time if "Keeping the Public in Public Domain" should continue along with my monthly postings.

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