Text of Plan #938
  WEEK 16  


The Adventures of Reddy Fox  by Thornton Burgess

The Hunt for Reddy Fox

"Trouble, trouble, trouble, I feel it in the air;

Trouble, trouble, trouble, it's round me everywhere."

O LD GRANNY FOX muttered this over and over, as she kept walking around uneasily and sniffing the air.

"I don't see any trouble and I don't feel any trouble in the air. It's all in the sore places where I was shot," said Reddy Fox, who was stretched out on the door-step of their home.

"That's because you haven't got any sense. When you do get some and learn to look where you are going, you won't get shot from behind old tree trunks and you will be able to feel trouble when it is near, without waiting for it to show itself. Now I feel  trouble. You go down into the house and stay there!" Granny Fox stopped to test the air with her nose, just as she had been testing it for the last ten minutes.

"I don't want to go in," whined Reddy Fox. "It's nice and warm out here, and I feel a lot better than when I am curled up way down there in the dark."

Old Granny Fox turned, and her eyes blazed as she looked at Reddy Fox. She didn't say a word. She didn't have to. Reddy just crawled into his house, muttering to himself. Granny stuck her head in at the door.

"Don't you come out until I come back," she ordered. Then she added: "Farmer Brown's boy is coming with his gun."

Reddy Fox shivered when he heard that. He didn't believe Granny Fox. He thought she was saying that just to scare him and make him stay inside. But he shivered just the same. You see, he knew now what it meant to be shot, for he was still too stiff and sore to run, all because he had gone too near Farmer Brown's boy and his gun.

But old Granny Fox had not been fooling when she told Reddy Fox that Farmer Brown's boy was coming with a gun. It was true. He was coming down the Lone Little Path, and ahead of him was trotting Bowser the Hound. How did old Granny Fox know it? She just felt it! She didn't hear them, she didn't see them, and she didn't smell them; she just felt  that they were coming. So as soon as she saw that Reddy Fox had obeyed her, she was off like a little red flash.

"It won't do to let them find our home," said Granny to herself, as she disappeared in the Green Forest.

First she hurried to a little point on the hill where she could look down the Lone Little Path. Just as she expected, she saw Farmer Brown's boy, and ahead of him, sniffing at every bush and all along the Lone Little Path, was Bowser the Hound. Old Granny Fox waited to see no more. She ran as fast as she could in a big circle which brought her out on the Lone Little Path below Farmer Brown's boy and Bowser the Hound, but where they couldn't see her, because of a turn in the Lone Little Path. She trotted down the Lone Little Path a very little way and then turned into the woods and hurried back up the hill, where she sat down and waited. In a few minutes she heard Bowser's great voice. He had smelled her track in the Lone Little Path and was following it. Old Granny Fox grinned. You see, she was planning to lead them far, far away from the home where Reddy Fox was hiding, for it would not do to have them find it.

And Farmer Brown's boy also grinned, as he heard the voice of Bowser the Hound.

"I'll hunt that fox until I get him," he said. You see, he didn't know anything about old Granny Fox; he thought Bowser was following Reddy Fox.


The Real Mother Goose  by Blanche Fisher Wright


Hush-a-bye, baby,

Daddy is near;

Mamma is a lady,

And that's very clear.


  WEEK 16  


The Japanese Twins  by Lucy Fitch Perkins

The Japanese Twins and Bot'chan

A WAY, away, ever so far away, near the western shores of the Ocean of Peace, lie the Happy Islands, the Paradise of Children.

Some people call this ocean the "Pacific" and they call the Happy Islands "Japan," but the meaning is just the same. Those are only their grown-up names, that you find them by on the map, in the geography.

They are truly Happy Islands, for the sun shines there so brightly that all the people go about with pleasant, smiling faces, and the children play out of doors the whole year through without ever quarreling. And they are never, never spanked! Of course, the reason for that is that they are so good they never, never need it! Or maybe their fathers and mothers do not believe in spanking.

I have even been told—though I don't know whether to think it's true or not—that Japanese parents believe more in sugar-plums than in punishments to make children good!

Anyway, the children there are very good indeed.

In a little town near a large city on one of the Happy Islands, there is a garden. In the garden stands a house, and in that House there live Taro, who is a boy, and Take (Tah'-kay), who is a girl.

They are twins. They are Japanese Twins and they are just five years old, both of them.

Of course, Taro and Take do not live alone in the house in the garden. Their Father and Mother live there too, and their Grandmother, who is very old, and the Baby, who is very young.

Taro and Take cannot remember when Grandmother and Father and Mother happened, because they were all there when the Twins came; and the Twins could not possibly imagine the world without Father and Mother and Grandmother.

But with the Baby it was different. One day there wasn't any Baby at all, and the next day after that, there he was, looking very new but quite at home already in the little house in the garden, where Taro and Take lived.

"Taro" means eldest son, and the Baby might have been called "Jiro," because "Jiro" means "second," and he was the second boy in the family; but from the day he came they called him just "Bot'Chan." That is what they call boy babies in Japan.

"Take" means "bamboo," and the Twins' Father and Mother named their little daughter "Take" because they hoped she would grow up to be tall and slender and strong and graceful like the bamboo tree.

Now, can you think of anything nicer in this world than being Twins, and living with a Mother and Father and Grandmother and a Baby Brother, in a dear little house, in a dear little garden, in a dear little, queer little town in the middle of the Happy Islands that lie in the Ocean of Peace?

Taro and Take thought it was the nicest thing that could possibly have happened; though, as they hadn't ever lived anywhere else, or been anybody but themselves for a single minute, I don't see how they could be quite so sure about it.

This book is all about Taro and Take and the Baby, and what a nice time they had living. And if you want to know some of the things that happened on the very first day that the Twins and Bot'Chan ever saw each other you can turn over to the next page and read about the day the Baby came. That tells all about it, just exactly as it was.



The Japanese Twins  by Lucy Fitch Perkins

The Day the Baby Came


Part 1 of 2

T ARO and Take were standing right beside their Father early one morning when the nurse came into the room with a bundle in her arms.

It was a queer-looking, knobby kind of a bundle, and there was something in it that squirmed!

The nurse looked so happy and smiling that the twins knew at once there must be something very nice in the bundle, but what it was they could not guess.

Taro thought, "Maybe it's a puppy." He had wanted a puppy for a long time.

And Take thought, "Perhaps it's a kitten! But it looks pretty large for a kitten, and it doesn't mew. Kittens always mew."

And they both thought, "Anyway, it's alive."


The nurse carried the bundle across the room. She knelt down on the floor before the Twins' Father and laid it at his feet.

The Twins' Father looked very much surprised, and as for Taro and Take, they felt just exactly the way you feel when you look at your stocking on Christmas morning.

They dropped down on their knees beside the bundle, one on each side of their Father. They wanted dreadfully to open it. They wanted so dreadfully to open it that they had to hold their hands hard to keep from touching it, but they never even laid a finger on it, because the nurse had given it to their Father!

Taro just said aloud: "Is it a puppy?"

At the very same moment Take said: "Is it a kitten?"

And then their Father said: "I haven't opened the bundle yet, so how can I tell? We must ask the nurse. What is it, Natsu?"

And Natsu, the nurse, put her two hands together on the matting in front of her, bobbed her head down nearly to the floor, and said: "It is a little son, Master. Will you accept him?"

Then the Father sat right down on the floor, too, between Taro and Take. He took the little squirming bundle in his arms, and turned back the covers—and there was a beautiful baby boy, with long, narrow eyes and a lock of hair that stood straight up on the top of his head!

"Oh! oh! Is he truly ours—a real live baby, for us to keep?" cried Take.


"Would you like to keep him?" her Father asked.

Take clapped her hands for joy. "Oh, yes, yes!" she said. "For then I can have a little brother of my own to carry on my back, just the way O Kiku San carries hers! I've never had a thing but borrowed babies before! And O Kiku San is not polite about lending hers at all! Please, please let me hold him!"


She held up her arms, and the Father laid the little baby in them very, very gently.

Taro was so surprised to see a baby in the bundle that he had not said a word. He just sat still and looked astonished.

"Well, Taro, how is it with you?" said his Father. "Would you like to keep the Baby, too?"

"I'd even rather have him than a puppy!" said Taro very solemnly. And that was a great deal for Taro to say, for he had wanted a puppy for ever so many weeks.

"So would I rather have him than a puppy," the Father said; "ever so much rather."

Just then the Baby puckered up his nose, and opened his little bit of a mouth—and a great big squeal came out of it! You would never have believed that such a big squeal could possibly come out of such a little mouth. And he squirmed more than ever.

Then Natsu, the nurse, said, "There, there, little one! Come to your old Natsu, and she will carry you to Mother again."

"Let me carry him," Take begged.

"No, let me," said Taro.

But Natsu said, "No, no, I will carry him myself. But you may come with me, if you want to, and see your Mother."


So Taro and Take and their Father all tiptoed quietly into the Mother's room, and sat down on the floor beside her bed.

They sat on the floor because everybody sits on the floor in Japan. The bed was on the floor, too.

It was made of many thick quilts, and the pillow a little block of wood! We should think it very uncomfortable, but the Twins' Mother did not think so. She lay with the wooden pillow under her head in such a way that her hair was not mussed by it—instead, it looked just as neat as if she were going to a party. And it was just as nice as a party, because they all had such a happy time together watching the new baby.

Bot'Chan acted just like all the other babies in the world. First he got his fist into his mouth by accident, and sucked it. Then he got it out again without meaning to, and punched himself in the nose with it—such a funny little nose, no bigger than a small button! Then he opened his mouth wide and yawned.

"See how sleepy the little mouse is," said the Mother. "Run out and play now, my children, and let him rest."

Taro and Take left the room softly and went out on the porch. They sat down on the top step to talk over the wonderful thing that had happened.



Mother Goose  by Frederick Richardson

When the Snow Is on the Ground



  WEEK 16  


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


O NCE there was a little furry rabbit, who lived with his mother deep down in a nest under the long grass. His name was Raggylug, and his mother's name was Molly Cottontail. Every morning, when Molly Cottontail went out to hunt for food, she said to Raggylug, "Now, Raggylug, lie still, and make no noise. No matter what you hear, no matter what you see, don't you move. Remember you are only a baby rabbit, and lie low." And Raggylug always said he would.

One day, after his mother had gone, he was lying very still in the nest, looking up through the feathery grass. By just cocking his eye, so, he could see what was going on up in the world. Once a big blue-jay perched on a twig above him, and scolded someone very loudly; he kept saying, "Thief! thief!" But Raggylug never moved his nose, nor his paws; he lay still. Once a lady-bird took a walk down a blade of grass, over his head; she was so top-heavy that pretty soon she tumbled off and fell to the bottom, and had to begin all over again. But Raggylug never moved his nose nor his paws; he lay still.

The sun was warm, and it was very still.

Suddenly Raggylug heard a little sound, far off. It sounded like "Swish, swish," very soft and far away. He listened. It was a queer little sound, low down in the grass, "rustle—rustle—rustle"; Raggylug was interested. But he never moved his nose or his paws; he lay still. Then the sound came nearer, "rustle—rustle—rustle"; then grew fainter, then came nearer; in and out, nearer and nearer, like something coming; only, when Raggylug heard anything coming he always heard its feet, stepping ever so softly. What could it be that came so smoothly,—rustle—rustle—without any feet?

He forgot his mother's warning, and sat up on his hind paws; the sound stopped then. "Pooh," thought Raggylug, "I'm not a baby rabbit, I am three weeks old; I'll find out what this is." He stuck his head over the top of the nest, and looked—straight into the wicked eyes of a great big snake. "Mammy, Mammy!" screamed Raggylug. "Oh, Mammy, Mam—" But he couldn't scream any more, for the big snake had his ear in his mouth and was winding about the soft little body, squeezing Raggylug's life out. He tried to call "Mammy!" again, but he could not breathe.

Ah, but Mammy had heard the first cry. Straight over the fields she flew, leaping the stones and hummocks, fast as the wind, to save her baby. She wasn't a timid little cottontail rabbit then; she was a mother whose child was in danger. And when she came to Raggylug and the big snake, she took one look, and then hop! hop! she went over the snake's back; and as she jumped she struck at the snake with her strong hind claws so that they tore his skin. He hissed with rage, but he did not let go.

Hop! hop! she went again, and this time she hurt him so that he twisted and turned; but he held on to Raggylug.

Once more the mother rabbit hopped, and once more she struck and tore the snake's back with her sharp claws. Zzz! How she hurt! The snake dropped Raggy to strike at her, and Raggy rolled on to his feet and ran.

"Run, Raggylug, run!" said his mother, keeping the snake busy with her jumps; and you may believe Raggylug ran! Just as soon as he was out of the way his mother came too, and showed him where to go. When she ran, there was a little white patch that showed under her tail; that was for Raggy to follow,—he followed it now.

Far, far away she led him, through the long grass, to a place where the big snake could not find him, and there she made a new nest. And this time, when she told Raggylug to lie low you'd better believe he minded!


The Real Mother Goose  by Blanche Fisher Wright


Daffy-down-dilly has come to town

In a yellow petticoat and a green gown.


  WEEK 16  


Among the Meadow People  by Clara Dillingham Pierson

The Lazy Snail


I N the lower part of the meadow, where the grass grew tall and tender, there lived a fine and sturdy young Snail; that is to say, a fine-looking Snail. His shell was a beautiful soft gray, and its curves were regular and perfect. His body was soft and moist, and just what a Snail's body should be. Of course, when it came to travelling, he could not go fast, for none of his family are rapid travellers, still, if he had been plucky and patient, he might have seen much of the meadow, and perhaps some of the world outside. His friends and neighbors often told him that he ought to start out on a little journey to see the sights, but he would always answer, "Oh, it is too hard work!"

There was nobody who liked stories of meadow life better than this same Snail, and he would often stop some friendly Cricket or Snake to ask for the news. After they had told him, they would say, "Why, don't you ever get out to see these things for yourself?" and he would give a little sigh and answer, "It is too far to go."

"But you needn't go the whole distance in one day," his visitor would say, "only a little at a time."

"Yes, and then I would have to keep starting on again every little while," the Snail would reply. "What of that?" said the visitor; "you would have plenty of resting spells, when you could lie in the shade of a tall weed and enjoy yourself."

"Well, what is the use?" the Snail would say. "I can't enjoy resting if I know I've got to go to work again," and he would sigh once more.

So there he lived, eating and sleeping, and wishing he could see the world, and meet the people in the upper part of the meadow, but just so lazy that he wouldn't start out to find them.

He never thought that the Butterflies and Beetles might not like it to have him keep calling them to him and making them tell him the news. Oh, no indeed! If he wanted them to do anything for him, he asked them quickly enough, and they, being happy, good-natured people, would always do as he asked them to.

There came a day, though, when he asked too much. The Grasshoppers had been telling him about some very delicious new plants that grew a little distance away, and the Snail wanted some very badly. "Can't you bring me some?" he said. "There are so many of you, and you have such good, strong legs. I should think you might each bring me a small piece in your mouths, and then I should have a fine dinner of it."

The Grasshoppers didn't say anything then, but when they were so far away that he could not hear them, they said to each other, "If the Snail wants the food so much, he might better go for it. We have other things to do," and they hopped off on their own business.

The Snail sat there, and wondered and wondered that they did not come. He kept thinking how he would like some of the new food for dinner, but there it ended. He didn't want it enough to get it for himself.

The Grasshoppers told all their friends about the Snail's request, and everybody thought, "Such a lazy, good-for-nothing fellow deserves to be left quite alone." So it happened that for a very long time nobody went near the Snail.

The weather grew hotter and hotter. The clouds, which blew across the sky, kept their rain until they were well past the meadow, and so it happened that the river grew shallower and shallower, and the sunshine dried the tiny pools and rivulets which kept the lower meadow damp. The grass began to turn brown and dry, and, all in all, it was trying weather for Snails.

One day, a Butterfly called some of her friends together, and told them that she had seen the Snail lying in his old place, looking thin and hungry. "The grass is all dried around him," she said; "I believe he is starving, and too lazy to go nearer the river, where there is still good food for him."

They all talked it over together, and some of them said it was of no use to help a Snail who was too lazy to do anything for himself. Others said, "Well, he is too weak to help himself now, at all events, and we might help him this once." And that is exactly what they did. The Butterflies and the Mosquitoes flew ahead to find the best place to put the Snail, and all the Grasshoppers, and Beetles, and other strong crawling creatures took turns in rolling the Snail down toward the river.

They left him where the green things were fresh and tender, and he grew strong and plump once more. It is even said that he was not so lazy afterward, but one cannot tell whether to believe it or not, for everybody knows that when people let themselves grow up lazy, as he did, it is almost impossible for them to get over it when they want to. One thing is sure: the meadow people who helped him were happier and better for doing a kind thing, no matter what became of the Snail.


A Book of Nursery Rhymes  by Francis D. Bedford

Girls and Boys Come Out To Play


  WEEK 16  


More Mother Stories  by Maud Lindsay

Dumpy the Pony

There was once a little boy who had a very dear pony whose name was Dumpy.

His fairy godmother had given him this pony and she had said, "Here is a friend who will love you and serve you all the days of your life—

"If when you eat, and when you drink,

You will upon his comfort think,

For he who for the beasts hath care,

And with the birds his feast will share,

Will find a blessing ev'rywhere."

Dumpy the Pony liked to trot and canter and gallop away, and the little boy liked to ride, so they both were as happy as happy could be as long as the little boy remembered what his fairy godmother had said.

One day, however, he ate his fare and drank his fill, and ran off to his play without a thought of the friend in the barnyard who was waiting to greet him.

When Dumpy the Pony saw him going away he began to call:—

"Stay, little boy, stay,

I'm hungry to-day."

But the little boy was chasing a yellow butterfly and did not hear him. The yellow butterfly flew over the heath and over the fields, lighting on the flowers and whirling in the sunshine, and it seemed to say to the little boy:—


But the little boy was chasing a yellow butterfly and did not hear him.

"Catch me if you can. Catch me if you can."

So he ran after it over the heath and over the fields, through the flowers and out in the sunshine, answering gayly:—

"I'll catch you if I can. I'll catch you if I can."

He did not think of Dumpy the Pony till the evening shadows began to gather and he went scampering home. When he got back to the barnyard his good friend Dumpy was nowhere to be seen. He looked in the barn and behind the barn and out in the wood-lot, but he could not find him anywhere, so he sat down on the wood-pile and began to cry:—

"What can I do? What can I say?

My pretty pony's gone astray."

He cried so loud that the baby birds who lived in a tree near by waked up and called, "Mother dear, mother dear!"

"Hush, hush!" said the mother bird; "it is only a little boy who is crying because he has lost his pony."

"Will he never find him again?" said the baby birds.

"When he remembers what his fairy godmother told him," answered the grandfather owl, who was the wisest bird in the world.

The little boy could not remember what his fairy godmother had said, but early next morning he put some bread and cheese in his pocket and started out to go to her house, that he might ask her to help him.

There were yellow butterflies flying over the fields and over the heath, lighting on the flowers and whirling in the sunshine, but, though each one of them seemed to say, "Catch me if you can, catch me if you can," the little boy would not run after them.

He went, instead, as fast as he could, down the long green lane that led to his fairy godmother's house, and he had not gone far before he met an old horse, who was limping along with a stone in his foot.

"Who will help me? Who will help me?" said the old horse.

"I will," said the little boy, for he thought of Dumpy the Pony, "I will"; and he ran to take the stone from the horse's foot.

"Bless you," said the old horse.

"Why do you bless me?" asked the child.

"Oh, he who for the beasts hath care,

And with the birds his feast will share,

Will find a blessing ev'rywhere,"

answered the old horse, and he galloped away down the long green lane, the very way that the little boy was going.

"Why, that's just what my fairy godmother says," cried the child, and he hurried after the horse to ask where he had learned it, but before he could overtake him he came to a well by the wayside, and by the well stood a thirsty cow.

"Who will help me? Who will help me?" cried the thirsty cow.

"I will," answered the little boy, and he made haste to let down the bucket that she might have water to drink.

"Bless you," said the thirsty cow.

"Why do you bless me?" asked the child.

"Oh, he who for the beasts hath care,

And with the birds his feast will share,

Will find a blessing ev'rywhere,"

answered the old cow, and before the little boy could say a word she swished her tail over her back and trotted off down the long green lane, the very way that he was going.

The lane was long and the sun was hot and the little boy was tired, so he sat down on the grass to eat his bread and cheese, and while he was eating a hungry hen came up to watch him.

"Who will help me? Who will help me?" said the hungry hen.

"I will," answered the little boy, as he divided his bread and cheese; "I will," and he gave her half of it.

"Bless you," said the hungry hen.

"Why do you bless me?" asked the child.

"Oh, he who for the beasts hath care,

And with the birds his feast will share,

Will find a blessing ev'rywhere,"

answered the hen, and she stretched out her wings and hurried away down the long green lane, the very way that the little boy was going.

She was soon out of sight, and the little boy went on alone till he came to the turning of the lane, where the house of his fairy godmother stood.

"Come in," said the fairy godmother, when he knocked at her door, and when he went in, there in his fairy godmother's house he saw the old horse and the thirsty cow and the hungry hen that he had met in the long green lane.

They were just as much at home as if they had been in a barn and when the little boy had told his fairy godmother what he wanted and asked her to help him, she said to them,

"What do you say, my trusty friends?"

"He helped me," answered the horse.

"He gave me drink," said the cow.

"He fed me," cried the hen, and when the fairy godmother had listened to them she opened her great back door, and there in her barnyard what do you think the little boy saw? Dumpy the Pony!

He was as glad to see the little boy as the little boy was to see him, and they went home together, where they lived happily ever after. Every day Dumpy the Pony took the little boy to ride, trotting and galloping to his heart's delight, and every day the little boy fed Dumpy the Pony and gave him drink, for he never forgot again what his fairy godmother said:—

"He who for the beasts hath care,

And with the birds his feast will share,

Will find a blessing ev'rywhere."


The Real Mother Goose  by Blanche Fisher Wright

The Girl in the Lane


The girl in the lane, that couldn't speak plain,

Cried, "Gobble, gobble, gobble":

The man on the hill that couldn't stand still,

Went hobble hobble, hobble.


  WEEK 16  


The Sandman: His Farm Stories  by Willliam J. Hopkins

The Rail Fence 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 track that led up past the kitchen door and past the shed and past the barn and past the orchard to the wheat-field; and through the wheat-field to the maple-sugar woods.

All about were other fields; and one of them was a great enormous field where Uncle John used to let the horses and cows go to eat the grass, after he had got the hay in. This field was so big that Uncle John thought it would be better if it was made into two fields. He couldn't put a stone wall across it, because all the stones in the field had been made into the wall that went around the outside. So he thought an easy way would be to put a rail fence across.

So, one day, when it was winter and snow was on the ground, Uncle John and Uncle Solomon took their axes and walked along the little track, past the barn and past the orchard, and climbed over the bars into the wheat-field. Then they walked across the wheat-field and climbed over the bars into the maple-sugar woods; and they walked along the road in the woods until they came to a place where were some trees that were just the right size to make rails and posts. They were not maple-sugar trees, but a different kind.

Then they cut down enough of these trees to make all the rails and all the posts they wanted; and they cut off all the branches and they cut some of the trees into logs that were just long enough for rails, and they cut the other trees into logs that were just long enough for posts. Then they took the rail logs and with their axes they split each one all along from one end to the other, until it was in six pieces. Each piece was a rail. But the post logs they didn't split.


Then they left the logs and the rails lying there and walked back, and climbed over into the wheat-field, and went across the wheat-field and climbed over at the other side, and walked past the orchard and past the barn and past the shed and went in at the kitchen door.

The next morning, Uncle John got out the old oxen, and they put their heads down low, and he put the yoke over and the bows under, and hooked the tongue of the sled to the yoke. Then he said: "Gee up there," and they started walking slowly along, past the barn and past the orchard to the wheat-field; and Uncle John took down the bars and they walked across the wheat-field, and he took down the bars at the other side. Then the old oxen walked through the gate and along the road to the place where the post logs and the rails were; and Uncle Solomon had come too, and little John. But they didn't let little John come when they cut the trees down, because they were afraid he might get hurt.

Then Uncle Solomon and Uncle John piled the rails on the sled, and the post logs on top, and the old oxen started and walked along the road and through into the wheat-field and across the field, and Uncle John put the bars up after the oxen had gone through the gates. Then they dragged the sled along past the orchard and past the barn to the shed. There they stopped and Uncle John and Uncle Solomon took off the logs and the rails. The rails were piled up under the shed, to dry; but the logs they had to make square, and holes had to be bored in them before they would be posts. Then Uncle John unhooked the tongue of the sled from the yoke and took off the yoke, and the old oxen went into the barn.

The next day, Uncle John took an axe that was a queer shape, and he made the post logs square. Then he bored the holes in the logs for the rails to go in, and piled the posts up under the shed. They were all ready to set into the ground, but the ground was frozen hard, and they couldn't be set until the winter was over and the ground was soft.

After the winter was over and it was getting warm, the ground melted out and got soft. Then Uncle John and Uncle Solomon took a crowbar—a great, heavy iron bar with a sharp end—and a shovel, and they went to the great enormous field. Then they saw where they wanted the fence to be, and they dug a lot of holes in the ground, all in a row, to put the posts in.


Then they went back and Uncle John got out the oxen and put the yoke over and the bows under and hooked the tongue of the cart to the yoke. On the cart they piled the posts, and there were so many they had to come back for another load. Then the oxen started and walked down the little track and out through the wide gate into the road, and along the road to the great enormous field where the holes were all dug for the posts. Then Uncle Solomon and Uncle John put the posts in the holes and pounded the dirt down hard.

Then the oxen walked back along the road to the farm-house and in at the gate and up to the shed. And Uncle John put the rails on the cart and the oxen walked back to the field again and in beside the row of posts. And Uncle John took the rails off the cart and put them in the holes in the posts, so that they went across from one post to the next. And in each post were four holes, and four rails went across.

Then the oxen went a little farther and the rails were put in between the next posts, and so on until the rails reached all the way across the field, and the fence was done. And when Uncle John wanted the cows or the horses to go through, he could take down the rails at any part of the fence.

Then the old oxen started walking back out of the field into the road and along the road to the farm-house. And they went in at the wide gate and up the track past the kitchen door to the shed, and there they stopped.

And Uncle John unhooked the tongue of the cart from the yoke and put the cart in the shed. And he took off the yoke and the old oxen went into the barn and went to sleep.

And that's all.


Mother Goose  by Frederick Richardson

Miss Jane



  WEEK 16  


The Nursery Book of Bible Stories  by Amy Steedman

David, the Fighter

I T was not long before the call came to David; and when it came it found him ready. Saul, the king, still reigned over the people, and still led them to battle; but he was no longer the strong, confident leader, God's chosen servant. Dark hours had come upon him. He sat alone in his tent, his head bowed in sullen misery, a terror to himself and his servants.

"An evil spirit from God troubleth him," whispered the servants one to another. They scarcely dared go near him or speak to him. But at last one ventured to suggest that music might cheer him and help to cast out that evil spirit.

"Let our lord now command thy servants to seek out a man who is a cunning player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well," they said.

Saul caught at this hope at once. "Provide me now a man that can play well, and bring him to me," he said eagerly.

Now where should they find this maker of music? Why, of course, said one of the servants, we must send and fetch the shepherd boy David, the son of Jesse, for they say he has wonderful skill, and can not only play the harp, but himself makes the songs which he sings.

So the shepherd boy was brought to the king's darkened tent, and came into the gloom like a ray of sunlight, his harp in his hand, its strings all twined with lilies to shield them from the fierce burning sun, which might warp them.

"God's child, with His dew

On thy gracious gold hair, and those lilies still living and blue,

Just broken to twine round thy harp strings, as if no wild heat

Were now raging to torture the desert."

In that darkened tent David could but dimly see the great form of the king, crouching there with bowed head, and he longed to help him. As he took his harp and began to play, all his heart was in his music, and into the blackness he brought the wild freshness of the sunlit hills, the call to the sheepfold, the happy song of workers in the fields, the music of birds in the cool, green woods. And the sweet music acted like a charm; the misery was lifted from Saul's heart, and the evil spirit was put to flight by the song of the shepherd boy.

So God made use of David's skill in music, and before very long there came another call, this time for one who had a quick, well-trained eye and a steady hand, one who could aim straight and true.

The country was in danger. The fierce Philistines had come out in battle array again to conquer the land, and they were so mighty and so strong that the armies of the Israelites seemed helpless before them. On either side of a narrow valley, divided by a stream which ran below over smooth stones, the armies were encamped, like wild beasts ready to fly at each other's throats. Every man who was old enough to fight was there, and David's elder brothers had joined the army to defend their country. David himself was still but a boy, and must stay at home; but one day, to his joy, he was sent by his father to carry food and gifts from the Bethlehem farm to his brothers on the field of battle.

It was a wonderful sight to see those great armies covering the steep hillsides. David could only gaze at them spellbound; and as he was looking there was a stir in the enemy's camp, and a mighty challenge sounded across the narrow valley. Out of the Philistine ranks stepped a giant warrior, so tall, so terrifying in his great strength, that he seemed to dwarf the hills around him. His voice, too, was like the sound of a mighty trumpet.

"Choose you a man for you," came the ringing challenge, "and let him come down to me. If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us. I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together."

David looked eagerly on the ranks of his own side. Surely the challenge would be answered at once. Some man would spring forward then and there to force the words back into the boaster's throat.

But a great silence reigned. No one moved or spoke. David's cheek burned with shame. What were his people doing to allow a heathen Philistine to defy the armies of the living God? Eagerly he asked the soldiers of the camp what it meant, and he was told that the Philistine giant, Goliath, uttered that challenge twice every day, and no man was found brave enough to dare to go out and give him battle. It could not have been pleasant for those soldiers to meet the astonished, indignant look that blazed from the eyes of the little shepherd boy, and David's brothers were very angry with him.

"Why camest thou down hither?" one of them asked, "and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle."

But David was quite ready to act as well as to ask questions. He would go out to meet this giant, and would fight him for the honour of God and his country.

"Thou art not able to go out against this Philistine to fight with him," said Saul, when David was brought to him: "for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war."

It seemed madness to think of this slender boy standing out as champion against the mighty soldier; but David answered steadily and wisely. He was strong and skilful, he said, and had once fought a lion and a bear single-handed when they had tried to rob his flock.

"The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion and out of the paw of the bear, He will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine," he ended, with triumphant confidence.

It was an echo of the confidence which Saul had once felt himself in the old days when his whole trust had been in God, and he recognized the true ring of the boy's courage.

"Go," he said, "and the Lord be with thee."

Then they began to bring out heavy armour and a great sword with which David might defend himself; but he would have none of them. He could not move freely, cased in armour, and he had never learned how to use a sword. No, he would do his best with the only weapon which he thoroughly understood.

So in his shepherd's coat and his sling in his hand he set out to cross the dividing brook, and, in passing, to fill his wallet with smooth stones fit for his purpose. Then with springing steps he began to climb the opposite side.

The rage of Goliath was great when he saw this fair-faced boy, without either armour or sword coming so boldly to meet him.


"The Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David."

"Am I a dog," he thundered, "that thou comest to me with staves?"

"I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied," rang out the clear answer. "The Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord's, and He will give you into our hands."

The great giant in wrath poised his spear, ready with one blow to put an end to this unequal fight. But David did not wait to come within reach of the spear. Long before Goliath could reach him he stopped, fitted a stone carefully into his sling, and let fly. The stone whizzed through the air, straight as an arrow, and hit the giant fair in the middle of his forehead. The huge figure swayed and fell, and David, running forward, seized the Philistine's sword and cut off his head.

So God's people were saved, and so God again made use of the shepherd boy's skill and training. Many adventures still awaited David before he became king, as Samuel had promised; but always, in every danger and difficulty, he was ready to do God's bidding, just as he had done his duty faithfully when he tended his sheep on the hills of Bethlehem.


David King over Israel


The Real Mother Goose  by Blanche Fisher Wright



Hush-a-bye, baby, lie still with thy daddy,

Thy mammy has gone to the mill,

To get some meal to bake a cake,

So pray, my dear baby, lie still.