Sylvia comes to enjoy the company of the pleasant hunter/ornithologist she meets on the path home, but she also loves the nature he seems determined to possess.
When he offers her ten dollars to lead him to the elusive white heron, Sylvia's conflict comes to a head. Not only does she like and want to please the hunter, $10 is a great deal of money to her poor family. The story was written in 1886, and running that amount through an inflation calculator indicates that he was offering her $276 in today's money, income she and her grandmother could badly use. On the other hand, she knows the man will shoot, kill, and stuff the white heron for his collection if she betrays the bird's whereabouts to him.
So young Sylvia is caught on the horns of a dilemma: help out the friendly man as well as her grandmother, or protect the beautiful and beloved bird. It would be practical to sacrifice the bird to her own needs, but this Sylvia, a child of nature, cannot do.
At first, she thinks she can do...
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