Text of Plan #938
  WEEK 1  


The Adventures of Reddy Fox  by Thornton Burgess

Granny Fox Gives Reddy a Scare

R EDDY FOX lived with Granny Fox. You see, Reddy was one of a large family, so large that Mother Fox had hard work to feed so many hungry little mouths and so she had let Reddy go to live with old Granny Fox. Granny Fox was the wisest, slyest, smartest fox in all the country 'round, and now that Reddy had grown so big, she thought it about time that he began to learn the things that every fox should know. So every day she took him hunting with her and taught him all the things that she had learned about hunting: about how to steal Farmer Brown's chickens without awakening Bowser the Hound, and all about the thousand and one ways of fooling a dog which she had learned.

This morning Granny Fox had taken Reddy across the Green Meadows, up through the Green Forest, and over to the railroad track. Reddy had never been there before and he didn't know just what to make of it. Granny trotted ahead until they came to a long bridge. Then she stopped.

"Come here, Reddy, and look down," she commanded.

Reddy did as he was told, but a glance down made him giddy, so giddy that he nearly fell. Granny Fox grinned.

"Come across," said she, and ran lightly across to the other side.

But Reddy Fox was afraid. Yes, Sir, he was afraid to take one step on the long bridge. He was afraid that he would fall through into the water or on to the cruel rocks below. Granny Fox ran back to where Reddy sat.

"For shame, Reddy Fox!" said she. "What are you afraid of? Just don't look down and you will be safe enough. Now come along over with me."


"For shame, Reddy Fox!" said she. "What are you afraid of?"

But Reddy Fox hung back and begged to go home and whimpered. Suddenly Granny Fox sprang to her feet, as if in great fright. "Bowser the Hound! Come, Reddy, come!" she cried, and started across the bridge as fast as she could go.

Reddy didn't stop to look or to think. His one idea was to get away from Bowser the Hound. "Wait, Granny! Wait!" he cried, and started after her as fast as he could run. He was in the middle of the bridge before he remembered it at all. When he was at last safely across, it was to find old Granny Fox sitting down laughing at him. Then for the first time Reddy looked behind him to see where Bowser the Hound might be. He was nowhere to be seen. Could he have fallen off the bridge?

"Where is Bowser the Hound?" cried Reddy.

"Home in Farmer Brown's dooryard," replied Granny Fox dryly.

Reddy stared at her for a minute. Then he began to understand that Granny Fox had simply scared him into running across the bridge. Reddy felt very cheap, very cheap indeed.

"Now we'll run back again," said Granny Fox.

And this time Reddy did.


The Adventures of Reddy Fox  by Thornton Burgess

Granny Shows Reddy a Trick

E VERY day Granny Fox led Reddy Fox over to the long railroad bridge and made him run back and forth across it until he had no fear of it whatever. At first it had made him dizzy, but now he could run across at the top of his speed and not mind it in the least.

"I don't see what good it does to be able to run across a bridge; any one can do that!" exclaimed Reddy one day.

Granny Fox smiled. "Do you remember the first time you tried to do it?" she asked.

Reddy hung his head. Of course he remembered—remembered that Granny had had to scare him into crossing that first time.

Suddenly Granny Fox lifted her head. "Hark!" she exclaimed.

Reddy pricked up his sharp, pointed ears. Way off back, in the direction from which they had come, they heard the baying of a dog. It wasn't the voice of Bowser the Hound but of a younger dog. Granny listened for a few minutes. The voice of the dog grew louder as it drew nearer.

"He certainly is following our track," said Granny Fox. "Now, Reddy, you run across the bridge and watch from the top of the little hill over there. Perhaps I can show you a trick that will teach you why I have made you learn to run across the bridge."

Reddy trotted across the long bridge and up to the top of the hill, as Granny had told him to. Then he sat down to watch. Granny trotted out in the middle of a field and sat down. Pretty soon a young hound broke out of the bushes, his nose in Granny's track. Then he looked up and saw her, and his voice grew still more savage and eager. Granny Fox started to run as soon as she was sure that the hound had seen her, but she did not run very fast. Reddy did not know what to make of it, for Granny seemed simply to be playing with the hound and not really trying to get away from him at all. Pretty soon Reddy heard another sound. It was a long, low rumble. Then there was a distant whistle. It was a train.

Granny heard it, too. As she ran, she began to work back toward the long bridge. The train was in sight now. Suddenly Granny Fox started across the bridge so fast that she looked like a little red streak. The dog was close at her heels when she started and he was so eager to catch her that he didn't see either the bridge or the train. But he couldn't begin to run as fast as Granny Fox. Oh, my, no! When she had reached the other side, he wasn't half way across, and right behind him, whistling for him to get out of the way, was the train.

The hound gave one frightened yelp, and then he did the only thing he could do; he leaped down, down into the swift water below, and the last Reddy saw of him he was frantically trying to swim ashore.

"Now you know why I wanted you to learn to cross a bridge; it's a very nice way of getting rid of dogs," said Granny Fox, as she climbed up beside Reddy.


The Real Mother Goose  by Blanche Fisher Wright



Rain, rain, go away,

Come again another day;

Little Johnny wants to play.


  WEEK 1  


The Eskimo Twins  by Lucy Fitch Perkins

The Eskimo Twins

T HIS is the true story of Menie and Monnie and their two little dogs, Nip and Tup.

Menie and Monnie are twins, and they live far away in the North, near the very edge.

They are five years old.

Menie is the boy, and Monnie is the girl. But you cannot tell which is Menie and which is Monnie,—not even if you look ever so hard at their pictures!

That is because they dress alike.

When they are a little way off even their own mother can't always tell. And if she can't, who can?

Sometimes the twins almost get mixed up about it themselves. And then it is very hard to know which is Nip and which is Tup, because the little dogs are twins too.

Nobody was surprised that the little dogs were twins, because dogs often are.

But everybody in the whole village where Menie and Monnie live was simply astonished to see twin babies!

They had never known of any before in their whole lives.

Old Akla, the Angakok, or Medicine Man of the village, shook his head when he heard about them. He said, "Such a thing never happened here before. Seals and human beings never have twins! There's magic in this."

The name of the twins' father was Kesshoo. If you say it fast it sounds just like a sneeze.

Their mother's name was Koolee. Kesshoo and Koolee, and Menie and Monnie, and Nip and Tup, all live together in the cold Arctic winter in a little stone hut, called an "igloo."

In the summer they live in a tent, which they call a "tupik." The winters are very long and cold, and what do you think! They have one night there that is four whole months long!

For four long months, while we are having Thanksgiving, and Christmas, and even Lincoln's Birthday, the twins never once see the sun!

But at last one day in early spring the sun comes up again out of the sea, looks at the world for a little while, and then goes out of sight again. Each day he stays for a longer time until after a while he doesn't go out of sight at all!

Then there are four long months of daylight when there is never any bedtime. Menie and Monnie just go to sleep whenever they feel sleepy.

Although many Eskimos think twins bring bad luck, Kesshoo and Koolee were very glad to have two babies.

They would have liked it better still if Monnie had been a boy, too, because boys grow up to hunt and fish and help get food for the family.

But Kesshoo was the best hunter and the best kyak man in the whole village. So he said to Koolee, "I suppose there must be girls in the world. It is no worse for us than for others."

So because Kesshoo was a brave fisherman and strong hunter, and because Koolee was clever in making clothing and shoes out of the skins of the animals which he brought home, the twins had the very best time that little Eskimo children can have.

And that is quite a good time, as you will see if you read all about it in this book.



Mother Goose  by Frederick Richardson

Old Mother Goose



  WEEK 1  


Fairy Tales Too Good To Miss—In the Meadow  by Lisa M. Ripperton

The Cap That Mother Made

O NCE upon a time there was a little boy named Anders, who had a new cap. And a prettier cap you never have seen, for mother herself had knit it; and nobody could make anything quite so nice as mother did. It was altogether red, except a small part in the middle which was green, for the red yarn had given out; and the tassel was blue.

His brothers and sisters walked about squinting at him, and their faces grew long with envy. But Anders cared nothing about that. He put his hands in his pockets and went out for a walk, for he wished everybody to see how fine he looked in his new cap.

The first person he met was a farmer walking along by the side of a wagon load of wood. He made a bow so deep that his back came near breaking. He was dumbfounded, I can tell you, when he saw it was nobody but Anders.

"Dear me," said he, "if I did not think it was the gracious little count himself!" And then he invited Anders to ride in his wagon.

But when one has a pretty, red cap with a blue tassel, one is too fine to ride in a wagon, and Anders walked proudly by.

At the turn of the road he met the tanner's son, Lars. He was such a big boy that he wore high boots, and carried a jack-knife. He gaped and gazed at the cap, and could not keep from fingering the blue tassel.

"Let's trade caps," he said. "I will give you my jack-knife to boot."

Now this knife was a very good one, though half the blade was gone and the handle was a little cracked; and Anders knew that one is almost a man as soon as one has a jack-knife. But still it did not come up to the new cap which mother had made.

"Oh, no, I'm not so stupid as all that; no, I'm not!" Anders said.

And then he said good-by to Lars with a nod; but Lars only made faces at him, for he had not been to school much, poor boy; and, besides, he was very much put out because he could not cheat Anders out of his cap which mother had made.

Anders went along, and he met a very old, old woman who courtesied till her skirts looked like a balloon. She called him a little gentleman, and said that he was fine enough to go to the royal court ball.

"Yes, why not?" thought Anders. "Seeing that I am so fine, I may as well go and visit the King."

And so he did. In the palace yard stood two soldiers with shining helmets, and with muskets over their shoulders; and when Anders came to the gate, both the muskets were leveled at him.

"Where may you be going?" asked one of the soldiers.

"I am going to the court ball," answered Anders.

"No, you are not," said the other soldier, stepping forward. "Nobody is allowed there without a uniform."

But just at this instant the princess came tripping across the yard. She was dressed in white silk with bows of gold ribbon. When she saw Anders and the soldiers, she walked over to them.

"Oh," she said, "he has such a very fine cap on his head, and that will do just as well as a uniform."

And she took Anders' hand and walked with him up the broad marble stairs where soldiers were posted at every third step, and through the beautiful halls where courtiers in silk and velvet stood bowing wherever he went. For no doubt they thought him a prince when they saw his fine cap.

At the farther end of the largest hall a table was set with golden cups and golden plates in long rows. On huge silver dishes were piles of tarts and cakes, and red wine sparkled in shining glasses.

The princess sat down at the head of this long table; and she let Anders sit in a golden chair by her side.

"But you must not eat with your cap on your head," she said, putting out her hand to take it off.

"Oh, yes, I can eat just as well," said Anders, holding on to his cap; for if they should take it away from him nobody would any longer believe that he was a prince; and, besides, he did not feel sure that he would get it back again.

"Well, well, give it to me," said the princess, "and I will give you a kiss."

The princess was certainly beautiful, and Anders would have dearly liked to be kissed by her, but the cap which mother had made he would not give up on any condition. He only shook his head.

"Well, but see," said the princess; and she filled his pockets with cakes, and put her own gold chain around his neck, and bent down and kissed him.

But he only moved farther back in his chair and did not take his hands away from his head.

Then the doors were thrown open, and the King entered with a large number of gentlemen in glittering uniforms and plumed hats. The King himself wore a purple mantle which trailed behind him, and he had a large gold crown on his white curly, hair.

He smiled when he saw Anders in the gilt chair.

"That is a very fine cap you have," he said.

"So it is," replied Anders. "Mother knit it of her very best yarn, and everybody wishes to get it away from me."

"But surely you would like to change caps with me," said the King, raising his large, heavy crown from his head.

Anders did not answer. He sat as before, and held on to his red cap which everybody was so eager to get. But when the King came nearer to him, with his gold crown between his hands, then Anders grew frightened as never before. If he did not take good care, the King might cheat him out of his cap; for a King can do whatever he likes.

With one jump Anders was out of his chair. He darted like an arrow through all the beautiful halls, down all the marble stairs, and across the yard.

He twisted himself like an eel between the outstretched arms of the courtiers, and over the soldiers' muskets he jumped like a little rabbit.

He ran so fast that the princess's necklace fell off his neck, and all the cakes jumped out of his pockets. But his cap he still had. He was holding on to it with both hands as he rushed into his mother's cottage.

His mother took him up in her lap, and he told her all his adventures, and how everybody wanted his cap. And all his brothers and sisters stood around and listened with their mouths open.

But when his big brother heard that he had refused to give his cap for the King's golden crown, he said that Anders was stupid. Just think how much money one might get for the King's crown; and Anders could have had a still finer cap.

That Anders had not thought of, and his face grew red. He put his arms around his mother's neck and asked:

"Mother, was I stupid?"

His mother hugged him close and kissed him.

"No, my little son," said she. "If you were dressed in silver and gold from top to toe, you could not look any nicer than in your little red cap." Then Anders felt brave again. He knew well enough that mother's cap was the best cap in all the world.


The Real Mother Goose  by Blanche Fisher Wright

The Clock


There's a neat little clock,—

In the schoolroom it stands,—

And it points to the time

With its two little hands.

And may we, like the clock,

Keep a face clean and bright,

With hands ever ready

To do what is right.


  WEEK 1  


Among the Forest People  by Clara Dillingham Pierson

Mr. Red Squirrel Comes To Live in the Forest


L IFE in the forest is very different from life in the meadow, and the forest people have many ways of doing which are not known in the world outside. They are a quiet people and do not often talk or sing when there are strangers near. You could never get acquainted with them until you had learned to be quiet also, and to walk through the underbrush without snapping twigs at every step. Then, if you were to live among them and speak their language, you would find that there are many things about which it is not polite to talk. And there is a reason for all this.

In the meadow, although they have their quarrels and their own troubles, they always make it up again and are friendly, but in the forest there are some people who can never get along well together, and who do not go to the same parties or call upon each other. It is not because they are cross, or selfish, or bad. It is just because of the way in which they have to live and hunt, and they cannot help it any more than you could help having eyes of a certain color.

These are things which are all understood in the forest, and the people there are careful what they say and do, so they get on very well indeed, and have many happy times in that quiet, dusky place. When people are born there, they learn these things without thinking about it, but when they come there from some other place it is very hard, for everybody thinks it stupid in strangers to ask about such simple matters.

When Mr. Red Squirrel first came to the forest, he knew nothing of the way in which they do, and he afterward said that learning forest manners was even harder than running away from his old home. You see, Mr. Red Squirrel was born in the forest, but was carried away from there when he was only a baby. From that time until he was grown, he had never set claw upon a tree, and all he could see of the world he had seen by peeping through the bars of a cage. His cousins in the forest learned to frisk along the fence-tops and to jump from one swaying branch to another, but when this poor little fellow longed for a scamper he could only run around and around in a wire wheel that hummed as it turned, and this made him very dizzy.

He used to wonder if there were nothing better in life, for he had been taken from his woodland home when he was too young to remember about it. One day he saw another Squirrel outside, a dainty little one who looked as though she had never a sad thought. That made him care more than ever to be free, and when he curled down in his cotton nest that night he dreamed about her, and that they were eating acorns together in a tall oak tree.

The next day Mr. Red Squirrel pretended to be sick. He would not run in the wheel or taste the food in his cage. When his master came to look at him, he moaned pitifully and would not move one leg. His master thought that the leg was broken, and took limp little Mr. Red Squirrel in his hand to the window to see what was the matter. The window was up, and when he saw his chance, Mr. Red Squirrel leaped into the open air and was away to the forest. His poor legs were weak from living in such a small cage, but how he ran! His heart thumped wildly under the soft fur of his chest, and his breath came in quick gasps, and still he ran, leaping, scrambling, and sometimes falling, but always nearer the great green trees of his birthplace.

At last he was safe and sat trembling on the lowest branch of a beech-tree. The forest was a new world to him and he asked many questions of a fat, old Gray Squirrel. The Gray Squirrel was one of those people who know a great deal and think that they know a great, great deal, and want others to think so too. He was so very knowing and important that, although he answered all of Mr. Red Squirrel's questions, he really did not tell him any of the things which he most wanted to know, and this is the way in which they talked:

"What is the name of this place?" asked Mr. Red Squirrel.

"This? Why this is the forest, of course," answered the Gray Squirrel. "We have no other name for it. It is possible that there are other forests in the world, but they cannot be so fine as this, so we call ours 'the forest.' "

"Are there pleasant neighbors here?" asked Mr. Red Squirrel.

"Very good, very good. My wife and I do not call on many of them, but still they are good enough people, I think."

"Then why don't you call?"

"Why? Why? Because they are not in our set. It would never do." And the Gray Squirrel sat up very straight indeed.

"Who is that gliding fellow on the ground below?" asked the newcomer. "Is he one of your friends?"

"That? That is the Rattlesnake. We never speak to each other. There has always been trouble between our families."

"Who lives in that hollow tree yonder?"

"Sh, sh! That is where the Great Horned Owl has his home. He is asleep now and must not be awakened, for Squirrels and Owls cannot be friendly."

"Why not?"

"Because. It has always been so."

"And who is that bird just laying an egg in her nest above us?"

"Speak softly, please. That is the Cowbird, and it is not her nest. You will get into trouble if you talk such things aloud. She can't help it. She has to lay her eggs in other birds' nests, but they don't like it."

Mr. Red Squirrel tried very hard to find out the reason for this, but there are always some things for which no reason can be given; and there are many questions which can never be answered, even if one were to ask, "Why? why? why?" all day long. So Mr. Red Squirrel, being a wise little fellow, stopped asking, and thought by using his eyes and ears he would in time learn all that he needed to know. He had good eyes and keen ears, and he learned very fast without making many mistakes. He had a very happy life among the forest people, and perhaps that was one reason. He learned not to say things which made his friends feel badly, and he did not ask needless questions. And after all, you know, it would have been very foolish to ask questions which nobody could answer, and worse than foolish to ask about matters which he could find out for himself.

It is in the forest as in the world outside. We can know that many things are, but we never know why they are.


A Book of Nursery Rhymes  by Francis D. Bedford

The Whale


  WEEK 1  


More Mother Stories  by Maud Lindsay

The Broken Window Pane

It was the day after Christmas when Jack broke the window pane. He was playing with his fine new ball that Santa Claus had brought him, and he had just said to himself, as he tossed it up, "This time it will go as high as the house top," when, crash the ball went right into the little window and the glass came shivering down.

The little window was in Jack's own room. He could lie in bed at night and see the twinkling stars and the shining moon through its bright panes, and every morning the sunbeams came streaming in to fill the room with golden light. There were four panes of glass, each one as clear as crystal, and not one had ever been broken before that Jack could remember.

The north wind that had been singing all day in the tree tops hurried into the house through the broken glass. It rattled the window and slammed the door and made such a stir in the little boy's room that his mother went in to see what was the matter.

"Dear me, dear me!" she said when she saw the broken window pane, and she made haste to sweep up the broken bits of glass and to fasten a blanket across the window.

"It would never do to have the north wind in the house on a day like this, she said as she closed the door and went back to her work. She was still talking about it when Jack came in from the yard.

"Of all the days in the year for such a thing to have happened," she said to the maid. "But I have fastened a blanket across the window, and that will keep the wind out till we can get a new glass."

She did not ask Jack any questions, though, and he did not say a word. He sat down behind the stove and listened to the north wind singing outside, "Ooooooo!

"Who broke the little window, who?

I know and so do you;"

that is what it seemed to say.

He did not like to hear it, so by and by he got up and went out to the barn where the hired man was mending the harness. The hired man was singing too:—

"Yankee Doodle went to town

Upon a little pony,

He stuck a feather in his cap

And called it Macaroni."

"Did I ever tell you about the panther that I saw when I was about your size?" he said when he saw Jack.

The hired man knew the nicest stories. They always were about bears, or squirrels, or panthers, but this day Jack did not care to listen. "Did you ever break a window?" he asked as soon as the story was ended.

"I don't know that I ever did," said the hired man, "Did you?" but somebody called Jack and he went out without answering.

The little boy who lived next door was calling. "If you will come over here I will show you my soldiers," he said. "I got them yesterday, and they are made of wood. Go ask your Mama if you may come."

But Jack did not feel like visiting. He went into the house again and up the stairs to his own room. The blanket was across the window just as his mother had said, and the room was as dark. It did not look like the same room that he had left only a little while before, even though his sled and his top and his new Christmas bank were there just where he had put them when he ran out to play with his ball. The ball was there too, lying under the bed where it had rolled when it came through the window, but Jack did not look for it. There was a lump in his throat and an ache in his heart, and he lay down on the bed and hid his face in the pillow.

He lay there so long that he fell asleep, and when he waked up his mother was in the room. It was growing late and she had a lighted candle in her hand that made the whole room bright.

"What was my little boy doing up here in the dark by himself?" she asked.

"Oh, mother, mother," cried Jack, "it was I who broke the window pane. I—" but before he could say another word his mother's arms were around him. She sat down on the bed and he sat close beside her and told her all about it. The lump had gone from his throat and the ache from his heart, and when the north wind rushed round the house singing its song "Oooooo," it did not seem to say a word about the broken glass. The very next morning Jack went to town and bought a window pane as clear and as bright as the one he had broken. He paid for it too, with some of the money from his Christmas bank, and when he went home the hired man helped him to put it in the little window. The blanket was folded up and put away then, for the wind could not get in. Only the sunbeams could come through the little window and they streamed in to fill the room with golden light.


"Oh, mother, mother," cried Jack, "it was I who broke the window pane."


The Real Mother Goose  by Blanche Fisher Wright


Cold and raw the north wind doth blow,

Bleak in the morning early;

All the hills are covered with snow,

And winter's now come fairly.


  WEEK 1  


The Sandman: More Farm Stories  by Willliam J. Hopkins

The Skating Story

dropcap image NCE upon a time there was a farm-house, and it was painted white and had green blinds; and it stood not far from the road. In the fence was a wide gate to let the wagons through to the barn. And the wagons, going through, had made a little track that led up past the kitchen door and past the shed and past the barn and past the orchard to the wheat-field.

One day, after the summer was all over and every thing was ready for the winter, it began to get cold. It got colder and colder, and the wind blew hard and blew the dust up from the road, and it was so cold and so windy that the cows didn't want to go to the pasture. So Uncle John let them stay in the cow-yard, where it was sunny and they could get where the cold wind wouldn't blow on them.

When Uncle John found how cold it was getting, he said to the little boys, "Boys, if it keeps on cold for another day and night, there will be some skating." And the little boys were glad, and they hoped it would stay cold, because they liked to go skating.

It did stay cold, and on the second morning after that, after breakfast, Uncle John called out, "Do any boys want to go skating?" And all the little boys called out, "I do." But little Sam didn't know how to skate, because he was too little.

So little Charles and little John ran up-stairs to get their skates that were put away in the attic, and Uncle John went to get his skates. And little Sam waited down-stairs and wished that he knew how to skate. Then the little boys and Uncle John came down with their skates. They were funny-looking skates. There was a wooden part that went against the sole of the shoe, to stand on, and near the back end of this wooden part was a screw that screwed right into a hole in the heel of the shoe. And there was a long strap to go around the ankle and hold up the back end, and a wider short strap to hold up the front end. The runners were fastened to the under side of the wooden part, and in front they curled high up over the boys' toes, and on the end of each runner was a little knob like an acorn.


When the little boys had got their skates, they put on their thick coats and their comforters and their caps and their mittens. And they buckled the long strap of one skate to the long strap of the other skate, and they put the straps over behind their necks, so that the skates hung down in front, one skate in front of each shoulder. And Uncle John had his skates the same way, and little Sam didn't have any skates, but he was all wrapped up. Then they all went out the kitchen door and down the little track that was all frozen hard, and out the wide gate and along the road until they came where the road went near the pond. There was a little place that Uncle Solomon called the harbour, where the water was not deep at all, so that if any little boy happened to break through the ice, the water wouldn't come any higher than his knees.

When they had reached this place, they all turned off the road, and stopped at the shore of the pond, and they saw that the pond was all frozen. The ice was so smooth and so clear that it looked black. Little Charles and little John sat on a log that was on the shore and took the skates off their necks and undid the straps. Then little Charles took his knife out of his pocket, and he put one foot up on the other knee, and he dug the dirt and the little stones out of the hole in the heel of his shoe, with his knife. Little John didn't have any knife, so Uncle John had to dig the stones and the dirt out of the holes in his heels.

When the holes were all clean, the little boys screwed the skates on, and they buckled the straps over the ankles and the wider straps over their toes. Then they were all ready, and they stood up and skated off over the black ice; for the log they were sitting on was close to the ice.


They stood up and skated off over the black ice.

Then Uncle John had his skates on and he skated off, too. But little Sam was afraid to go on that black ice, because it looked as if he would be going right into the water.

The two little boys couldn't skate so very well. All they could do was to skate right ahead, sort of scrambling. But Uncle John could skate better, and he could do some of the things that the boys thought were fancy. He could skate forward or backward, the regular kind, and he could do the kind the boys called piander, forward and backward, and he could do the Dutch roll and make figures that looked like an 8. So Uncle John did all these fancy things, and he made pretty figures on the smooth ice, and the little boys watched him and skated around after him, to try to learn how to do those fancy things. But when they tried to do the Dutch roll or to skate backward, they fell down, and that made them laugh. And when Uncle John and little Charles and little John had skated around for awhile, then the ice was covered with white marks where they had gone, and it didn't look so black. So little Sam wasn't afraid any longer, and he ran on the ice and slid. And when the little boys were tired of trying to do the fancy things, they made Uncle John play tag with them, and they all tried to catch him. In that game, the only way he could skate was backward, but the boys had hard work to catch him.

So they skated and played around on the ice for a long time. And after awhile, it began to snow. Little fine flakes came down, not fast, so that the boys didn't know that it was snowing at all until they saw that snow was on the black ice. It was just a little thin layer, and they thought it was fun to skate in it and make marks. And then it began to snow a little faster, and they had been there almost all the morning, and Uncle John said it was time to go home, to get ready for dinner. For it was Thanksgiving Day and all their uncles and aunts were coming, and they were going to have a big dinner, with a lot of good things to eat. So they sat down on the log again and scraped off the ice that was on the straps of the skates, and they took off their skates and buckled the long straps together and hung the skates around their necks.

Then they walked into the road and along the road to the farm-house, and in at the wide gate and up to the kitchen door. Aunt Deborah wasn't there to meet them, because she was so busy getting dinner ready. The boys had had a very good time, and they were glad it was almost dinner-time, because they were very hungry.

And that's all.


Mother Goose  by Frederick Richardson

John Smith



  WEEK 1  


The Nursery Book of Bible Stories  by Amy Steedman

The Beautiful World

W HEN night comes down and everything is dark and black, we sometimes are a little afraid, for we cannot see all the pleasant things around us, and it makes us feel lonely to be in the dark. The very first thing of all we want is light.

So it was when God made the world that the very first thing He did was to make the light. It had all been quite dark until He looked down and said, "Let there be light," and then the beautiful light came.

There were many things to be done after that. There was the light to be divided into day and night, and the sky and the land and the sea to be made and set all in their right places; and as God worked He was glad, because He saw that it was all going to be very beautiful and very good. But still the earth was quite bare, worse even than the garden in winter when all the flowers are dead, because there had never been any trees or flowers or grass at all. So then God made a glad springtime to come bursting over the earth, and flowers and trees began to grow, and green leaves and buds and corn began to sprout; and instead of a bare, dark world there was a great garden, all clothed in a beautiful green dress and starred with flowers.

Now there is one thing which a garden needs above everything else, and that is sunshine. So God made the sun to shine down from the blue sky in the day-time, and he made the silver moon that hangs up there like a great lamp in the night-time, and all the stars that shine "like diamonds in the sky." Spring, summer, autumn, and winter—God arranged them all, so that everything should grow in its right time.

It was a very silent earth still, for trees and flowers grow very quietly; but soon the sweet sound of music came stealing into the world, for, after making all the fishes that swim in the seas and rivers and streams, God made the dear birds that chirp and twitter as they fly about. He taught them, too, to make their nests, and bring up the baby birds, so that we should always have birds in the world to sing their songs to us.

Now in the air there was the sound of fluttering wings, and in the water the fishes swam and flashed their tails, and only the earth was waiting for the animals and insects that were to make it their home. So God next made all the beasts and cattle and all the creeping things, and when He looked down He saw it was all very good.

Then it was that God made the greatest thing of all, for it was something that was made "in His own image," which means like God Himself. He made the first man Adam, and the first woman Eve, and He made them different from all the other things which He had created, because He put into them some of His own life, the part of us which we call our soul.

At first the two people whom God had made were very happy indeed. They lived in the most beautiful garden, where all the most wonderful trees and flowers grew, where there was nothing to harm them and everything to make them happy. All the animals and birds were their friends, and Adam gave all of them their names; and there was no suffering or pain in the garden, because everything was good.

Then a sad day came, when Eve was disobedient and all the happiness was spoilt. God had said that Adam and Eve might enjoy all the delicious fruit that grew in the garden except the fruit of one special tree which they were forbidden to touch. But the tempter came, and whispered to Eve that it was very hard that she should not taste that fruit, and that God would not really punish her if she did. Poor Eve was not wise enough to listen to the voice inside her, which told her she must not disobey God; and so she did as the tempter suggested, and all the happiness in that beautiful garden came to an end.

Neither Adam nor Eve had ever known before what fear meant; but now that they had disobeyed God, they were afraid to meet Him, and went and hid themselves. And God was very sorrowful to think His children had disobeyed Him, and by their wrongdoing had brought sin and death into the beautiful world which He had made so good.

No longer could Adam and Eve live in the fair garden, for they must be punished; and God sent them out, and placed His angels with flaming swords to guard the way back.

It had been easy work for Adam in the garden to look after all the growing things; but now it was very different. Thorns and thistles, and all kinds of weeds began to spring up and to choke the good plants, and Adam had to toil hard from morning till night; and Eve too soon learned what it meant to be tired and sorrowful.

But even then there was still some happiness left, for God sent Eve a great gift, the gift of a little son. She called his name Cain. And afterwards another baby boy was born, and this second boy she called Abel.

Perhaps she thought she could never be very sorrowful again, now that she had two boys to love and care for; but, sad to say, as the boys grew up, sorrow and sin crept in again. Cain began to be jealous of his younger brother. From angry, jealous thoughts came angry words, until at last followed angry blows, and Cain killed his brother out in the fields, where he thought no one could see him. But he forgot that God sees everything we do, even when we think we are quite alone, and his punishment followed swiftly. God put a mark upon his brow, and sent him to wander alone out into the world, far away from his home and his mother. Then Eve knew, even better than before, all the trouble and pain and suffering which sin had brought into the world.




The Real Mother Goose  by Blanche Fisher Wright

Fingers and Toes


Every lady in this land

Has twenty nails, upon each hand

Five, and twenty on hands and feet:

All this is true, without deceit.