Jones' father brought him a present. It appeared to be a cuckoo clock, but the bird didn't look like a cuckoo, and it didn't make any sounds, and one never knew just when it would pop out. Jones didn't mind, though; a silent German bird in a clock"" was just what he wanted. Then one night the house caught on fire. One whiff of smoke was all the bird needed to go into one of those ecstasies of confusion that can make a machine so endearing. The doors flapped open and shut, the bird slipped in and out, with squeaks, whistles, crows, squawks, and finally a rendition of ""The Star Spangled Banner"" in German. That Plus one of the super sneezes Jones had learned from his father was enough to rouse all the family and bring the fire department. It's one of those slightly erratic, but lovable families, and the clock is Just what they need. The pen and ink drawings by Ib Ohlsson are inconsequential.