The Woodpecker family were around on various trees drumming, drumming on the bark. Mr. Hairy Woodpecker, Mr. Downy Woodpecker, and Mr. Red-Headed Woodpecker were hard at work.
"Let's start a band," suggested Mr. Hairy Woodpecker.
"What's that you say?" asked Mr. Red-Headed Woodpecker, who had been so busy at work that he had not heard what Mr. Hairy Woodpecker had been suggesting.
"A band," repeated Mr. Hairy Woodpecker.
"What sort of a band?" asked Mr. Red-Headed Woodpecker.
"In the first place," continued Mr. Hairy Woodpecker, "our bills are not only fine tools for the work we have to do getting the insects from the trees, and burrowing for our nests, but they would be splendid to use in beating the drums in a band."
"Where would we get the drums?" asked Mr. Red-Headed Woodpecker.
"The trees, of course, you silly!" said Mr. Hairy Woodpecker.
"Oh yes, yes," agreed Mr. Red-Headed Woodpecker.
And Mr. Downy Woodpecker said, "Of course, of course. The trees will be our drums."
"We'll get the other birds," said Mr. Hairy Woodpecker, "to help us. We need something in a band besides the drums. We will ask the goldfinches, the mocking-birds, the bobolinks, the phoebe and chickadee families, all of the warbler and vireo families, and the robins of course. Then I think we'll ask the orioles, the whippororwills, the thrush family, and the song sparrows."
"Oh," said Mr. Downy Woodpecker, "that will make a perfect band. We'd better get started right away." And the woodpeckers began to practice. They made such a noise that the birds came from far and near to see what they were doing. Mr. Sapsucker, Mr. Crested Woodpecker, and Mr. Flicker Woodpecker had all joined in beating the drums too!
"Why are you making so much noise?" asked the birds as they flew around to the nearby trees to talk to the woodpeckers.
"Oh," said Mr. Hairy Woodpecker, "we were just going to ask you all to join our band. We will beat the drums."
"And just what do you want us to do?" asked Mr. Robin Redbreast, who was always eager to help.
"You must all sing."
"But we all sing differently," chirped a song sparrow. "We know different tunes and different songs."
"Oh," said Mr. Hairy Woodpecker, "I never thought about that. But nevermind, you can have little parts to sing alone, and other choruses where you will all sing together. I'm sure it will be a very fine band after we have practiced." And they began pounding the drums again.
"Well," said Mr. Robin Redbreast, "if the bird band isn't to be the finest in the land, at least we'll make a cheerful noise!"