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The Song of the Cardinal

3.74  ·  Rating Details  ·  264 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
She had taken possession of the sumac. The location was her selection and he loudly applauded her choice. She placed the first twig, and after examining it carefully, he spent the day carrying her others just as much alike as possible. If she used a dried grass blade, he carried grass blades until she began dropping them on the ground.
Paperback, 48 pages
Published November 8th 2006 by Echo Library (first published 1906)
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Barbara Fabricius (du Plooy)
I could read this book over and over. It tells of how just a small creature can make a difference in the life of someone who was ageing and rheumatic and could hardly put his hand to the plough.

One of my favourite parts is when Abram comes upon the hunter shooting at the Cardinal (P. 48)and gives out to him -
P.49 "Young man, I got a couple o' things to say to you." and proceeds to tear into him and then tells him what the Cardinal has mean to him and his wife.

p.51 "My wife comes to see him [the
Laura Verret
May 25, 2010 Laura Verret rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an absolutely adorable tale of a cardinal looking for a mate.
Jun 28, 2016 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
This charming story of a budding romance between two cardinals is sure to delight birdlovers everywhere, but it will be especially meaningful to Indiana residents who know both the bird and this region. This novel sets a leisurely pace as it describes the various natural settings of this region, including the limberlost, and its atmospheric meanderings are as lush and beautiful as the landscapes they invoke. This is not a fast-paced action-filled thriller, but it IS a wonderful tale. A perfect b ...more
Feb 09, 2016 Susan rated it really liked it
Early 20th-century Hoosier author Gene Stratton Porter is known for her love of nature. So if anyone were to write a book chronicling a cardinal’s life, Gene would be a likely candidate.

And she did — it’s called The Song of the Cardinal. This is a short book, at under 100 pages, but it is powerful. We start following the Cardinal’s story when he is hatched. We follow him as he exults in his discoveries of nature (I particularly enjoyed the scene where he discovered his image in a pond).

Human int
Jul 02, 2016 Mayda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: animal-stories
Though written more than 100 years ago, this book has lost none of its charm with age. Gene Stratton-Porter’s book about a somewhat arrogant cardinal is wondrous in its prose, descriptive in its language, and appealing in its Indiana setting. The cardinal has a reason to be proud: he is the biggest, reddest bird ever seen by anyone. Even so, he has trouble wooing and winning his mate. The discovery of these cardinals by the farmer, Abram, and his wife, Maria, is so well told and described, that ...more
Lynn Mackaben
Sep 02, 2014 Lynn Mackaben rated it it was amazing
This unknown classic written by Gene Stratton Porter is her best piece of writing by far, in my opinion. Instead of showing the connection of man and nature by giving human traits to a cardinal, like Disney gave to Mickey Mouse, Porter demonstrates all of the connections people and cardinals actually have. The book follows a magnificent cardinal from egg to adult, through migration and courtship and fatherhood. And she manages to do it without stepping beyond what cardinals quite likely think an ...more
May 03, 2012 Stacy rated it it was amazing
A great read - truly! I read it to my boys and they wouldn't let me stop...who-da thought a book about Cardinal books would be so charming. Gene Stratton-Porter is one of the master storytellers of her time.
May 05, 2014 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very pretty story. Gene Stratton-Porter had a very deft way of educating the reader about important and compelling natural prose by crafting it in a noble story worth reading and loving. This is a remarkable story about a cardinal and how he moves through his beautiful but dangerous world. Somehow a story about a bird had as much interest as a love story. Porter was a genius.
Jun 13, 2014 Dianna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is not Gene Stratton-Porter's finest novel, but when you read it, you can tell she's writing about what she loves. She manages to make the story of one cardinal quite interesting and even touching, and it's a pretty painless way to learn about nature and cardinals.
Dec 30, 2010 Suzanne rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Loved this sweet story about Mr. Cardinal. Here are some quotes:

p. 103 "The Cardinal had opened the fountains of his soul; life took on a new colour and joy; while every work of God manifested a fresh and heretofore unappreciated loveliness. His very muscles seemed to relax, and new strength arouse to meet the demands of his uplifted spirit".

p. 128 Do you ever stop to think how full this world is of things to love, if your heart's just big enough to let them in? We love to live for the beauty of
Stephanne Stacey
May 26, 2015 Stephanne Stacey rated it it was amazing
It's a touching short story with a wonderful climactic end. The speech given by the farmer is worth the entire book. A book of integrity.
Rachel Shultz
Jul 06, 2016 Rachel Shultz rated it really liked it
A sweet vintage tale of nature & human interaction with personality and joy.
Joyce M. Tice
Jun 11, 2010 Joyce M. Tice rated it did not like it
Just starting but right on page one I discover that Gene did not research the life history of the cardinal. She has it as a migratory species when in fact it spends its whole life within a mile or two of where it hatched. In general I like her writing so expect a good story in spite of the false premise it starts with.

OK - further on and can't continue. It is so blatantly anthropomorphic and so incaccurate even about cardinals. Have to call a halt and move on to something more worthwhile. Sorry
Apr 29, 2014 Shannon rated it it was ok
Nice nature story not nearly as good as Freckles or Laddie.
Cathy Drolet
Jan 19, 2015 Cathy Drolet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice, short little story about a cardinal who grows up, finds a mate, and raises a family.
Nov 28, 2007 Graceann rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of Good Novels
A love story where the protagonists are actually the cardinals of the title. A warm hearted male pursues with great affection a dove-colored lady - beautifully written and a must for Gene Stratton-Porter fans.
May 18, 2008 Nickie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Did I say I like Gene Stratton-Porter? This little story is written as if Gene was a bird herself. The story of a male cardinal all puffed up in pride because of his beauty. But can he ever catch a wife?
Amanda McReynolds
Dec 13, 2012 Amanda McReynolds rated it really liked it
Probably one of the sweetest books I've read, which is rather bizarre being that this book is about a couple of love birds. Such good instruction hidden beneath the story. Beautiful!
May 25, 2010 Eve rated it it was amazing
beautiful, gentle love story. my little boys loved every word as we entered the world of the red cardinal together through this book.
Feb 25, 2012 Anne rated it liked it
You can learn so much if you take the time to watch nature. The world is filled with some bad things, but also filled with love.
Jul 26, 2014 Kim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
27 Read in Yosemite and fits there well.
Apl0111 rated it it was amazing
Jul 12, 2016
Alva marked it as to-read
Jul 02, 2016
Teresa A. Krizay
Teresa A. Krizay rated it it was ok
Jun 30, 2016
Linda marked it as to-read
Jun 27, 2016
aMandalin marked it as to-read
Jun 18, 2016
Toni marked it as to-read
Jun 17, 2016
Marie rated it it was ok
Jun 16, 2016
Sarah Larson anderson
Sarah Larson anderson marked it as to-read
May 27, 2016
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She was an American author, amateur naturalist, wildlife photographer, and one of the earliest women to form a movie studio and production company. She wrote some of the best selling novels and well-received columns in magazines of the day.

Born Geneva Grace Stratton in Wabash County, Indiana, she married Charles D. Porter in 1886, and they had one daughter, Jeannette.

She became a wildlife photogra
More about Gene Stratton-Porter...

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“Every intoxicating delight of early spring was in the air. The breeze that fanned her cheek was laden with subtle perfume and the crisp, fresh odor of unfolding leaves.” 6 likes
“All the time God ever spent on you was wasted, an' your mother's had the same luck. I s'pose God's used to having creatures 'at He's made go wrong, but I pity your mother. Goodness knows a woman suffers an' works enough over her children, an' then to fetch a boy to man's estate an' have him, of his own free will an' accord, be a liar! Young man, truth is the cornerstone o' the temple o' character. Nobody can put up a good buildin' without a solid foundation; an' you can't do solid character buildin' with a lie at the base. Man 'at's a liar ain't fit for anything! Can't trust him in no sphere or relation o' life; or in any way, shape, or manner. You passed out your word like a man, an' like a man I took it an' went off trustin' you, an' you failed me.” 0 likes
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