Twas the night after Christmas
a care of the animals
by Sarah Orne Jewett
It was late in the afternoon of Christmas Day, and the presents had all been given and taken, and the surprises were all over with.....
"It seems so funny to have had dinner at one o'clock," said Jack. "It makes me lose my reckoning. If I weren't so lazy, I would go out for a little while," and he gave a desperate yawn, so that Tatters, the dog, who had been lying in front of the fire, got up and came to look at him with an air of deep anxiety, at which his master laughed and patted him and smoothed the hair under his new collar.
"Tatters seems to be as sleepy as the rest of us," said Aunt Grace, laughing. "I think he must have had a famous dinner. He looks rounder and lazier than ever. Poor little doggy! he's growing quite old and sober. I meant to tell you, in better season, such a pretty thing that I read the other day, in a book about Norway. They always give all the animals belonging to a household double their usual allowance, and so there is a great Christmas feasting; but, more than that, both the peasants and the people in the towns always feed the wild birds. They buy little sheaves of oats and barley in the markets or tie them up for themselves on the farms, and these are fastened on trees or outside the houses. Nobody forgets, not even the very poorest people, to give the birds a Christmas dinner."
"I'm going down-stairs this very minute for some crumbs," said Annie. "Here is a whole flock of sparrows just outside, on the parlor window roof," and away she went in a hurry.