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A YEAR WITH THE BIRDS eTwinning Project to commemorate Kristijonas Donelaitis 300th birthday

The climbing sun again was wakening the world And laughing at the wreck of frigid winter's trade. The icy season's grip was thouroughly undone, And heaps of high-piled snow had dwindled down to naught.


Crane

The crane kept circling high amidst the milky clouds  And filling all the skies with melancholy song;  But yet he neither cried nor clamored in the heights.  No, he just told the world that God's majestic will  Is wondrous even in the gleeful voice of birds.


September Monday

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Duck

You there, you gaggling geese, and you too, quacking ducks, Run - run and swim before the streaming rivers freeze.  You roosters and you hens, leave your dirt-pile a while;  Run once again and play before the snowdrifts come.


October Monday

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Crow

There, where the black hawk fed his young on chicken meat,  And where the raven brought a gosling to his nest, Lo, there, all summer joy and merriment is gone!  The crows alone sing praise to the ungainly fall. The rest of the gay flocks are never seen or heard; They hide in cold retreats and dream uncheerful dreams.


November Monday

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Sparrow

Ye animals and birds, it falls on you and us;  The all-pervading cold torments us all alike.  The winter blasts chased you into your dreary dens,  And drove us from the fields into our cheerless homes  To seek welcome warmth at the blazing stove of clay.


December Monday

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Magpie

But e'en among the birds there are some crafty cheats,  Who to have tasty food slay their own kind and kin.  That nasty thug, the hawk, and his mentor, the owl -  The ravens and the crows, and their pals, the magpies -  As we know, ev'ry year kill many wretched birds.  But among us we have no such a murderer  As that sly thing who gapes to gorge fresh meats: the man.


January Monday

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Eagle

As the birds sang and laughed, a hum of wings arose,  And a large eagle soon appeared above the trees.  "Hush, hush, you flocks," quoth he, "keep still and cease your talk! As to how ye, my flocks, fared this long winter past. Had ye enough of food? Who died and who survived?  Was any one killed by a skunk or a marten? Perhaps someone was snatched by an owl or a hawk? “


February Monday

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Stork

Along with them the stork came back to our fair land,  And, husbandlike, atop the roof displayed his voice.  While he gazed and rejoiced, his sweet and loving spouse  Appeared upon the sill in gay and joyful mood  And met her gentle mate with glad and gleaming beak.


March Monday

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Lark

And so now let us part, and with the help of God  Let's hurry to repair our implements and tools;  Because the sun again is thawing the snowdrifts,  And once again the lark is chirping on the wing.


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Nightingale

The nightingale alone was hiding cleverly, Waiting till all the flocks had sung their daily song. Each year the last to start her mellow melodies, Each night she starts to chirp when we are wrapped in sleep, And then all by herself sings eulogies to God.


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Cuckoo

And even our gay birds have suffered selfsame fate. The cuckoo's sad refrain, the nightingale's glad song, The warbling of the lark beneath the sailing clouds - Now we but seldom hear, or never hear at all.  Many a small bird, born in a protected nest,  Now seeks for daily food without parental care - Repeating its tribe's sounds, chirps a sad melody. 


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Swallow

Light-winged swallows rose beyond the distant clouds,  Like speedy bullets shot up through the stilly air. Then having eaten their ungarnished victuals,  Took once again to wing and caroled their glad tale.


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Thrush

Bush, forest, grove and hurst resounded with sweet song; Green fields and meadows rang with mingling melodies.  The cuckoo and the thrush sang their most joyous songs  That gave glad, grateful praise to the Eternal Lord.


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Calendar compiled by Rita Stoškienė Text – K.Donelaitis „Metai”, translation ‘The Seasons’ http://members.efn.org/~valdas/seasons.html Front cover – paper cuttingby J.Daniliauskienė Photos: September – crane http://www.efoto.lt/search/myimages/gerve%20 October – duk http://www.efoto.lt/node/957074 November – crow http://www.efoto.lt/files/images/14779/varna.jpg December – sparrow http://i1.alfi.lt/12145/20/80.jpg January – magpie http://www.efoto.lt/files/images/7891/Pica%20pica.jpg February – eagle http://www.ebirder.net/siteimages/White%20Tailed%20Eagle,%20lift%20off%20p.jpg March – stork http://www.efoto.lt/search/myimages/gandras%20 April – lark http://www.efoto.lt/files/images/38890/vieversys_7.jpg May – nightingale http://www.efoto.lt/files/images/33300/Vente0511_122.jpg June – cuckoo http://www.naturephoto.lt/rusis/gegute-cuculus_canorus July – swallow http://www.efoto.lt/files/images/5653/2007%2007%2016%20008.jpg August – thrush http://www.efoto.lt/search/myimages/strazdas%20

Calendar birds  
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