First Grade Read Aloud Banquet



Songs for January

I Saw Three Ships



The Mulberry Bush



The North Wind and the Robin



Dance a Baby




Wynken, Blynken, and Nod

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night

Sailed off in a wooden shoe—

Sailed on a river of crystal light,

Into a sea of dew.

"Where are you going, and what do you wish?"

The old moon asked the three.

"We have come to fish for the herring-fish

That live in this beautiful sea;

Nets of silver and gold have we!"

Said Wynken,

Blynken,

And Nod.


The old moon laughed and sang a song,

As they rocked in the wooden shoe,

And the wind that sped them all night long

Ruffled the waves of dew.

The little stars were the herring-fish

That lived in the beautiful sea—

"Now cast your nets wherever you wish,—

Never afeard are we!"

So cried the stars to the fishermen three:

Wynken,

Blynken,

And Nod.


All night long their nets they threw

To the stars in the twinkling foam,—

Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe,

Bringing the fishermen home;

'Twas all so pretty a sail, it seemed

As if it could not be,

And some folks thought 'twas a dream they'd dreamed

Of sailing that beautiful sea—

But I shall name you the fishermen three:

Wynken,

Blynken,

And Nod.


Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,

And Nod is a little head,

And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies

Is a wee one's trundle-bed.

So shut your eyes while Mother sings

Of wonderful sights that be,

And you shall see the beautiful things

As you rock in the misty sea,

Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three—

Wynken,

Blynken,

And Nod.



  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Week 1 My Father Meets the Cat from My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett The First Governor in Boston from Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans by Edward Eggleston The Very Short Story of the Foolish Little Mouse from Among the Farmyard People by Clara Dillingham Pierson Rumpelstiltskin from Fairy Tales Too Good To Miss—Around the Fire by Lisa M. Ripperton The Home of Abraham from On the Shores of the Great Sea by M. B. Synge The Responsible Cuckoo from The Swiss Twins by Lucy Fitch Perkins The Story of a Beautiful Garden from Hurlbut's Story of the Bible by Jesse Lyman Hurlbut
The Man in the Moon, Anonymous
Corner-of-the-Street by A. A. Milne
The New Year by Dinah Mulock
The Lamplighter by Robert Louis Stevenson The Months by Richard B. Sheridan Animal Crackers by Christopher Morley A Diamond or a Coal? by Christina Georgina Rossetti
         Next row Last row
The Bojabi Tree  by Edith Rickert

The Bojabi Tree

[Illustration]

I N the land of All-the-Beasts there was a GREAT HUNGER. Some of the animals who were so HUNGRY were
  Tabby-Tiger
    Bruno Bear
      Katy Crocodile
        Robin Rat
          Pinky Pig
            Giddy Goat
              Tommy Tortoise

and many more—more than you could ever count in a year.

They ran around the wood, here and there and everywhere, eating roots and twigs and any old scraps they could find. But still they were HUNGRY.

One day they came to a Big Tree full of fruit. But they could not eat it, for they did not know what it was.


[Illustration]

They could not eat it.

They sat down in a circle round the tree, and said, "What can we do?"

When they had thought a while, they said, "Let us send Robin Rat up the river to Leo, our King, and ask him what the fruit is and whether we may eat it."


[Illustration]

"Let us send Robin Rat."

Robin Rat was young and spry. He scuttled up the tree and brought down one of its fruits to show King Leo.


[Illustration]

Robin Rat picks the fruit.

It was a DELICIOUS looking fruit!

It looked like an APPLEORANGEPLUMPEARBANANA but it smelled like a BANANAPEARPLUMORANGEAPPLE.

Then Robin Rat scuttled down to the river bank and climbed into his little canoe.

All the day and all the day he paddled
and paddled
and PADDLED

up the river.

And the Great Red Sun dropped behind the trees.


[Illustration]

Sunset on the River

Then he found King Leo on the bank, all ready to receive visitors. He was wearing his crown tipped on the back of his head because he felt happy.


[Illustration]

All ready to receive visitors.

He smiled at Robin Rat as pleasant as you please, and asked him to stay to supper.

[Illustration]

After supper they curled up and went to sleep. There was nothing else to do, you see. For this is the way it looked in the

GREAT WOOD.


[Illustration]

Night in the Great Wood

In the morning King Leo said politely, "What can I do for you, my small friend?"


[Illustration]

In the Morning

Then Robin Rat answered, "Please tell us, King Leo, what is the name of this tree and whether we may eat the fruit of it. We are all SO HUNGRY!"

King Leo looked at the fruit that was like an APPLEORANGEPEARPLUMBANANA and he sniffed at the fruit that was like a BANANAPLUMPEARORANGEAPPLE.


[Illustration]

King Leo sniffs at the fruit.

Then he said, "It is a good fruit. You may eat it. The name of the tree is

B O J A B I."

Then Robin Rat hung his cap over his right ear and climbed into his little canoe.

All the day and all the day he paddled down the great river.


[Illustration]

All the day he paddled.

And all the way he was thinking how much he could eat of that

DELICIOUS fruit.

And at night he came home.

All the Beasts were waiting for him on the shore.


[Illustration]

Waiting for Robin Rat

He came up, whisking his paddle this way and that way through the water, just to show how well he could do it.

"What is it, Robin Rat?" said All the Beasts. "Tell us the name!" they roared and howled and grunted and whined and shrieked and squealed, each in his own PARTICULAR voice.

"Oh!" said Robin Rat. "I knew it a while ago, but now I have clean forgotten."

Then All the Beasts stepped into the water and upset Robin Rat's little canoe.

They SPLASHED and they
             SPLUTTERED and they
             SP-L-ANKED

Robin Rat.

Squeaksqueaksqueaksqueaksqueak!

Nobody heard a word more from him  that day.


[Illustration]

What happened to Robin Rat.


[Illustration]

B UT now All the Beasts were HUNGRIER STILL.

They sat in a circle round the tree and thought a while.

Then they said, "Let us send Pinky Pig to King Leo to ask the name of the tree. But Pinky Pig, DO NOT FORGET IT!"


[Illustration]

"Let us send Pinky Pig."

Pinky Pig trotted away home—trip trap, trip trap, trip trap. He put on his best blue coat and buttoned it up, though it squeezed him a little.

Then he trotted—trip trap, trip trap, trip trap—down to his little rowboat and took his oars to row up the big river.

All the day and all the day he rowed

and he rowed
and he ROWED

up the big river.


[Illustration]

Rowing up the River

And the Great Red Sun dropped behind the trees.

Then he found King Leo on the bank, all ready to receive visitors.


[Illustration]

King Leo on the Bank

His crown was a little crooked because he had put it on in a hurry when he saw Pinky Pig coming.

He smiled politely but he did not invite Pinky Pig to stay to supper.

"What can I do for you, my plump friend?" he asked.


[Illustration]

"What can I do for you?"

Pinky Pig showed him the fruit that looked like an APPLEORANGEPEARPLUMBANANA and smelled like a BANANAPLUMPEARORANGEAPPLE, and said, "Please, King Leo, we must know the name of this tree or we cannot eat the fruit. Please be so kind as to tell us."

Then King Leo said,

"I have told Robin Rat.

I will tell you. The name of the tree is

B O J A B I!

Do not forget it."

Pinky Pig trotted back to his rowboat—trip trap, trip trap, trip trap.

All the night and all the night he rowed—he rowed—and he ro-o-owed until the oars—dropped—from—his—hands—and the big river took the boat down itself.

Pinky Pig curled up under the seat. And this is the sound that came from the boat:

H-r-r-r-umph

  h-h-r-r-r-umph

    h-h-h-r-r-r-r-UM-MPH!


[Illustration]

H-r-r-r-UMPH!

In the morning Pinky Pig sat up and rubbed his eyes. He was at home.


[Illustration]

The Arrival of Pinky Pig

All the Beasts stood on the river bank looking at him. "What is it, Pinky Pig? Tell us the name!" they whistled and snarled and squealed and shrieked and whined and grunted and howled and roared, each in his own PARTICULAR voice.

"I know it," said Pinky Pig. Then he yawned.

"I knew it last night," he said, "but—ah—ah—I—must—have—been—asleep, and—ah—for—got—ten it."

That is the way he talked when he was yawning.

Then All the Beasts jumped into the water and smashed Pinky Pig's boat and his oars.

They  PLUNGED about and
              PUNCHED poor Pinky Pig and
              POUNDED him

until he went plop—plop—into the water.

SQue-e-e-e-e-e-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-AL!

He ran home with the water running off him and making little puddles here and there.


[Illustration]

Nobody heard a word more from him  that day.


B UT now All the Beasts were HUNGRIER and HUNGRIER. They could have eaten nails if there had been any nails in the Great Wood.

They sat in a circle round the tree and thought a while.


[Illustration]

Then they said, "Giddy Goat is older than Pinky Pig, and wiser than Robin Rat. Let us send him to King Leo to ask the name of the tree, so that we may eat the fruit of it before we starve.

But Giddy Goat,

D O  N O T  F O R G E T  I T!"


[Illustration]

"A-rashum!" said Giddy Goat. He was afraid of catching cold. Away he ran—ker-lipp, ker-lipp—to his house to get a big woolly muffler to wear on the river. He wrapped it three times round his neck and tucked it neatly under his beard.

Then he ran—ker-lipp, ker-lipp—down to his little sailboat on the river.

All the day and all the day he sailed

and he sailed
and he SAILED

up the big river.

And the Great Red Sun dropped behind the trees.


[Illustration]

Sailing to King Leo

Then he found King Leo on the bank, not  ready to receive visitors. His crown was on straight and he looked very CROSS.

"Whatdoyouwant?" he snapped—just like that.

"A-rashum!" said Giddy Goat. "I beg your Majesty's pardon. I have a cold coming on."


[Illustration]

"I beg your majesty's pardon."

He showed King Leo the fruit that looked like an APPLEORANGEPEARPLUMBANANA and smelled like a BANANAPLUMPEARORANGEAPPLE, and said, "If you would be so very kind, King Leo, to tell us the name of this tree, so that we may know whether we may eat the fruit of it."

Then King Leo said,

"I have told Robin Rat.

I have told Pinky Pig.

I will tell you.

But I will not tell ANYBODY ELSE.

The name is B O J A B I.

DO NOT FORGET IT!"

"A-rash-oo!" said Giddy Goat and he skipped away—ker-lipp, ker-lipp—to his sailboat.


[Illustration]

All the night and all the night he sailed

and he sailed
and he SAILED.

All the way he was remembering the name, and he remembered it very well.

He sailed so fast that he got home in the early, early morning.

And all the way when he wasn't remembering the name, he was sneezing:

"A-tchoo! A-rashum! A-tchoo!"

All the Beasts were waiting for him—rows and rows of them. Those in the back rows looked over the shoulders of those in the front rows, or climbed on their backs.

They pushed and jostled one another until they had upset Giddy Goat's sailboat. Kersplash!—he went into the river.


[Illustration]

Such a sight!

Such a sight as he was when they pulled him out. His long hair was full of water. His beard was full of water. His eyes were full of water. His beautiful new muffler was full of water. When the animals crowded round him to ask the name of the tree, he shook himself so that the water flew in their faces, and ran away home—ker-lipp, ker-lipp—with a most dreadful A-TCHOO!


[Illustration]

His wife made him go to bed. And not one word could anyone get from him all that day but A-tchoo! A-rashum! A-TCHOO!


[Illustration]

B Y this time All the Beasts were so H U N G R Y that they sat round the tree and cried.

You see there was no one else who had a boat.

"What shall we do?" they wailed and howled and buzzed and grunted and groaned and sobbed and lamented, each in his own most PARTICULAR voice.

Then Tommy Tortoise, who had been lying asleep in the sun, opened one eye, and said, "What is all this fuss about? Haven't you found out the name of this tree YET?"

They said they had not and cried harder than ever.

"Oh, well," said he, "if that's all, I'll go and get it for you."

"YOU!" snarled Tabby Tiger.

"You! You!" grunted Bruno Bear.

"You!" snapped Katy Crocodile, biting her word off short.

"You-u-u-u!" trumpeted Elizabeth Elephant.

"You! You! You!" chattered Mimi Monkey.

You never heard such a noise—not even at the circus—as there was when they all said this, each in his own PARTICULAR voice.

"Yes, me—I mean I,"  said Tommy Tortoise in his little, thin voice.

Then he crawled slowly home, trailing one foot after the other, as some boys do an their way to school.

He found his mother knitting stockings and rocking the baby.

"Hssh!" said Mrs. Tortoise. "He's just dropping off."

"Mother," said Tommy Tortoise. "How can I remember the name of that tree if I go up the river to get it?"

"Tommy," said Mrs. Tortoise, "do you remember how you used to go to school with all the other little tortoises and learn things?"

"Yes, said Tommy.
          "Nine times one makes nine,
            Nine times two makes eighteen,
            Nine times three makes twenty-seven—"

He said the Nines table because anybody can say the Tens, and he wasn't sure about the Elevens.

"Hsh!" said Mrs. Tortoise. "That will do. You will wake the Baby."

"But I will tell you how to remember." She whispered in his ear.


[Illustration]

Mrs. Tortoise gives advice.

Then she said, "Now, Tommy, whatever happens to you, mind your manners. Remember to bow to King Leo and to speak to him so politely that he will know you have been well brought up."

"Yes, Mother," said Tommy Tortoise.

Then he put on his cap with the red tassel, and he went down to the river. He had no boat; so he had to swim.

All the day and all the day he swam

and he swam
and he SWAM.

When he was tired swimming, he would turn over on his shell and float with all his legs kicking in the water, just as the Baby kicks in his bath.

And the Great Red Sun dropped behind the trees.

When Tommy Tortoise reached King Leo's home, King Leo was NOT curled up comfortably wearing his crown and ready to receive visitors. He was standing on the river bank waving his tail. His big head was waggling this  way and that  way, and he was not smiling AT ALL.

Before Tommy could speak a word, or even make his best bow, King Leo said:

"R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R! S-s-cat! S-scamper! S-scat! S-skedaddle!

I told Robin Rat.

I told Pinky Pig.

I told Giddy Goat.

I WILL NOT TELL YOU that the name of the tree is bojabi.

R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-R!"


[Illustration]

"I will not tell you."

"Bojabi," whispers Tommy Tortoise to himself, and jumps—ker-lump—into the river again.

All the night and all the night he swam

and he swam
and he SWAM.

But it was easy work to let the big river carry him on its back.


[Illustration]

Singing on the River

All the night and all the night he made up a little song and sang it, like this:

"O Robin Rat, what shall we eat?

Bojabi—bojabi—bojabi.

O Pinky Pig, so fat and neat,

Bojabi—bojabi—bojabi.

O Giddy Goat, so fast and fleet,

Bojabi—bojabi—bojabi.

O Humpy Hippo, hard to beat,

Bojabi—bojabi—bojabi.

O Bruno Bear, with clumsy feet,

Bojabi—bojabi—bojabi.

O Katy Crocodile, here's a treat,

Bojabi—bojabi—bojabi.

O Tommy Tortoise, of Puddle Street,

Bojabi—bojabi—bojabi.

O All-the-Beasts, come quick and eat

Bojabi—bojabi—bojabi."

And THAT was what his mother had told him to do.

All the Beasts were lying on the bank of the river. Far away they heard the little, thin voice of Tommy' Tortoise singing his song. They pricked up their ears, looking this  way and that  way as they listened.

And presently Tommy Tortoise came crawling up through the mud.

"What is it?" they cried, each in his own PARTICULAR voice. You would have thought that all the circuses in the world were there.


[Illustration]

"Bojabi," said Tommy Tortoise, and crawled away home without another word.

That night All the Beasts had bojabi for their supper.


[Illustration]

Supper!

But Tommy Tortoise had cream with his.

After that All the Beasts in that wood were never hungry. They could always eat bojabi.

They made Tommy Tortoise their king. "For," they said, "if he could remember the name of the bojabi tree, he can do anything."


[Illustration]

The King of All the Beasts

As far as I know he is king of All the Beasts in the Great Wood to-day.


— Adapted from an African Folk Tale

[Illustration]