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1) The long cold winter was gone at last. At first the cold nights went away slowly, then suddenly the warm days of spring started to come.

2) There was new life again in the earth, and things started to grow and ] come up. For the first time green corn plants began to show — they pushed through the soil and could now be seen above the ground.

3) After the long winter months the crows, the big black birds, were hungry. And when they saw the little green plants, they flew down to eat them.

4) Old Mother Rigby tried to make the noisy and hungry birds go away. They made her very angry. She did not want the black birds to eat her corn. She wanted it to grow so that she herself could eat the corn.

5) But the birds would not go away, so early one morning just as the sun started to rise, Mother Rigby jumped out of bed. She had a plan to stop those black birds from eating her corn.

6) Mother Rigby could do anything — she was a witch, a woman with 1 strange powers. She could make water run uphill, or change a beautiful woman into a white horse.

7) Many nights when the moon was full and bright, she could be seen I flying over the tops of the houses in the village, sitting on a long wooden stick. It was a broomstick and it helped her to do all sorts of strange tricks.

8 ) Mother Rigby ate a quick breakfast, and then started to work on her 1 broomstick. She was planning to make something that would look like a man. It would fill the birds with fear and scare them from eating her com — the way most farmers protect themselves from those black birds.

9) Mother Rigby worked quickly. She held her magic broomstick straight, and then tied another piece of wood across it, and already it began to look like a man with arms. Then she made the head; she put a pumpkin, a vegetable the size of a football, on top of the broomstick. She made two small holes in the pumpkin for eyes and made another cut lower down that looked just like a mouth.

10) At last, there he was! He seemed ready to go to work for Mother Rigby and stop those old birds from eating her corn. But Mother Rigby was not happy with what she made. She wanted to make her scarecrow look better and better, for she was a good worker. She made a purple coat and put it around her scarecrow, and dressed him in white silk stockings. She covered him with false hair and an old hat, and in that hat she stuck the feather of a bird. She examined him closely and decided she liked him much better now dressed up in a beautiful coat with a fine feather on top of his hat. And she named him «Feathertop.»

#1.(…) Why did Old Mother Rigby try to make the big black birds fly away?

#2. (…) What was magically unusual about Mother Rigby?

#3. (…) Could she be seen on dark violent nights?

#4. (…) What did she make her Feathertop from?

#5. (…) Why did Mother Rigby work so well at her scarecrow?

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