Text of Plan #938
  WEEK 2  

  Monday  


The Adventures of Reddy Fox  by Thornton Burgess

Bowser the Hound Isn't Fooled

R EDDY FOX had been taught so much by Granny Fox that he began to feel very wise and very important. Reddy is naturally smart and he had been very quick to learn the tricks that old Granny Fox had taught him. But Reddy Fox is a boaster. Every day he swaggered about on the Green Meadows and bragged how smart he was. Blacky the Crow grew tired of Reddy's boasting.

"If you're so smart, what is the reason you always keep out of sight of Bowser the Hound?" asked Blacky. "For my part, I don't believe that you are smart enough to fool him."

A lot of little meadow people heard Blacky say this, and Reddy knew it. He also knew that if he didn't prove Blacky in the wrong he would be laughed at forever after. Suddenly he remembered the trick that Granny Fox had played on the young hound at the railroad bridge. Why not play the same trick on Bowser and invite Blacky the Crow to see him do it? He would.

"If you will be over at the railroad bridge when the train comes this afternoon, I'll show you how easy it is to fool Bowser the Hound," said Reddy.

Blacky agreed to be there, and Reddy started off to find out where Bowser was. Blacky told every one he met how Reddy Fox had promised to fool Bowser the Hound, and every time he told it he chuckled as if he thought it the best joke ever.

Blacky the Crow was on hand promptly that afternoon and with him came his cousin, Sammy Jay. Presently they saw Reddy Fox hurrying across the fields, and behind him in full cry came Bowser the Hound. Just as old Granny Fox had done with the young hound, Reddy allowed Bowser to get very near him and then, as the train came roaring along, he raced across the long bridge just ahead of it. He had thought that Bowser would be so intent on catching him that he would not notice the train until he was on the bridge and it was too late, as had been the case with the young hound. Then Bowser would have to jump down into the swift river or be run over.

As soon as Reddy was across the bridge, he jumped off the track and turned to see what would happen to Bowser the Hound. The train was half way across the bridge, but Bowser was nowhere to be seen. He must have jumped already. Reddy sat down and grinned in the most self-satisfied way.

The long train roared past, and Reddy closed his eyes to shut out the dust and smoke. When he opened them again, he looked right into the wide-open mouth of Bowser the Hound, who was not ten feet away.

"Did you think you could fool me with that old trick?" roared Bowser.

Reddy didn't stop to make reply; he just started off at the top of his speed, a badly frightened little fox.

You see, Bowser the Hound knew all about that trick and he had just waited until the train had passed and then had run across the bridge right behind it.

And as Reddy Fox, out of breath and tired, ran to seek the aid of Granny Fox in getting rid of Bowser the Hound, he heard a sound that made him grind his teeth.

"Haw, haw, haw! How smart we are!"

It was Blacky the Crow.

 



The Real Mother Goose  by Blanche Fisher Wright

Three Children on the Ice

Three children sliding on the ice

Upon a summer's day,

As it fell out, they all fell in,

The rest they ran away.


Oh, had these children been at school,

Or sliding on dry ground,

Ten thousand pounds to one penny

They had not then been drowned.


Ye parents who have children dear,

And ye, too, who have none,

If you would keep them safe abroad

Pray keep them safe at home.

 


  WEEK 2  

  Tuesday  


The Eskimo Twins  by Lucy Fitch Perkins

The Twins Go Coasting


[Illustration]

Part 1 of 2

I

O NE spring morning, very early, while the moon still shone and every one else in the village was asleep, Menie and Monnie crept out of the dark entrance of their little stone house by the sea.

The entrance to their little stone house was long and low like a tunnel. The Twins were short and fat. But even if they were short they could not stand up straight in the tunnel.

So they crawled out on all fours. Nip and Tup came with them. Nip and Tup were on all fours, too, but they had run that way all their lives, so they could go much faster than the twins. They got out first.

Then they ran round in circles in the snow and barked at the moon. When Menie and Monnie came out of the hole, Tup jumped up to lick Monnie's face. He bumped her so hard that she fell right into the snowbank by the entrance.

Monnie didn't mind a bit. She just put her two fat arms around Tup, and they rolled over together in the snow.

Monnie had on her fur suit, with fur hood and mittens, and it was hard to tell which was Monnie and which was Tup as they tumbled in the snow together.

Pretty soon Monnie picked herself up and shook off the snow. Then Tup shook himself, too. Menie was rolling over and over down the slope in front of the little stone house. His head was between his knees and his hands held his ankles, so he rolled just like a ball.

Nip was running round and round him and barking with all his might. They made strange shadows on the snow in the moonlight.

Monnie called to Menie. Menie straightened himself out at the bottom of the slope, picked himself up and ran back to her.

"What shall we play?" said Monnie.

"Let's get Koko, and go to the Big Rock and slide downhill," said Menie.

"All right," said Monnie. "You run and get your sled."

Menie had a little sled which his father had made for him out of driftwood. No other boy in the village had one. Menie's father had searched the beach for many miles to find driftwood to make this sled.

The Eskimos have no wood but driftwood, and it is so precious that it is hardly ever used for anything but big dog sledges or spears, or other things which the men must have.

Most of the boys had sleds cut from blocks of ice. Menie's sled was behind the igloo. He ran to get it, and then the twins and the pups—all four—started for Koko's house.

Koko's house was clear at the other end of the village. But that was not far away, for there were only five igloos in the whole town.


[Illustration]

First there was the igloo where the twins lived. Next was the home of Akla, the Angakok, and his two wives. Then there were two igloos where several families lived together. Last of all was the one where Koko and his father and mother and baby brother lived.

Koko was six. He was the twins' best friend.

II

The air was very still. There was not a sound anywhere except the barking of the pups, the voices of Menie and Monnie, and the creaking sound of the snow under their feet as they ran.

The round moon was sailing through the deep blue sky and shining so bright it seemed almost as light as day.

There was one window in each igloo right over the tunnel entrance, and these windows shone with a dull yellow light.

In front of the village lay the sea. It was covered with ice far out from shore. Beyond the ice was the dark water out of which the sun would rise by and by.

There was nothing else to be seen in all the twins' world. There were no trees, no bushes even; nothing but the white earth, the shadows of the rocks and the snow-covered igloos, the bright windows, and the moon shining over all.

III

Menie and Monnie soon reached Koko's igloo. Menie and Nip got there first. Monnie came puffing along with Tup just a moment after.

Then the twins dropped on their hands and knees in front of Koko's hut, and stuck their heads into the tunnel. Nip and Tup stuck their heads in, too.

They all four listened. There was not a sound to be heard except loud snores! The snores came rattling through the tunnel with such a frightful noise that the twins were almost scared.


[Illustration]

"They sleep out loud, don't they?" whispered Monnie.

"Let's wake them up," Menie whispered back.

Then the twins began to bark. "Ki-yi, ki-yi, ki-yi, ki-yi," just like little dogs!

Nip and Tup began to yelp, too. The snores and the yelps met in the middle of the tunnel and the two together made such a dreadful sound that Koko woke up at once. When he heard four barks he knew right away that it must be the twins and the little dogs.

So he stuck his head into the other end of the tunnel and called, "Keep still. You'll wake the baby! I'll be there in a minute."

Very soon Koko popped out of the black hole. He was dressed in a fur suit and mittens just like the twins.


[Illustration]

 



Mother Goose  by Frederick Richardson

Cock-a-Doodle-Do!


[Illustration]

 


  WEEK 2  

  Wednesday  


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

Teeny-Tiny

O NCE upon a time there was a teeny-tiny woman who lived in a teeny-tiny house in a teeny-tiny village. Now, one day this teeny-tiny woman put on her teeny-tiny bonnet, and went out of her teeny-tiny house to take a teeny-tiny walk. And when this teeny-tiny woman had gone a teeny-tiny way, she came to a teeny-tiny gate; so the teeny-tiny woman opened the teeny-tiny gate, and went into a teeny-tiny churchyard. And when this teeny-tiny woman had got into the teeny-tiny churchyard, she saw a teeny-tiny bone on a teeny-tiny grave, and the teeny-tiny woman said to her teeny-tiny self, "This teeny-tiny bone will make me some teeny-tiny soup for my teeny-tiny supper." So the teeny-tiny woman put the teeny-tiny bone into her teeny-tiny pocket, and went home to her teeny-tiny house.


[Illustration]

Now, when the teeny-tiny woman got home to her teeny-tiny house, she was a teeny-tiny bit tired; so she went up her teeny-tiny stairs to her teeny-tiny bed, and put the teeny-tiny bone into a teeny-tiny cupboard. And when this teeny-tiny woman had been to sleep a teeny-tiny time, she was awakened by a teeny-tiny voice from the teeny-tiny cupboard, which said:

"Give me my bone!"

And this teeny-tiny woman was a teeny-tiny frightened, so she hid her teeny-tiny head under the teeny-tiny clothes and went to sleep again. And when she had been to sleep again a teeny-tiny time, the teeny-tiny voice again cried out from the teeny-tiny cupboard a teeny-tiny louder,

"Give me my bone!"

This made the teeny-tiny woman a teeny-tiny more frightened, so she hid her teeny-tiny head a teeny-tiny further under the teeny-tiny clothes. And when the teeny-tiny woman had been to sleep again a teeny-tiny time, the teeny-tiny voice from the teeny-tiny cupboard said again a teeny-tiny louder,

"GIVE ME MY BONE!"

And this teeny-tiny woman was a teeny-tiny bit more frightened, but she put her teeny-tiny head out of the teeny-tiny clothes, and said in her loudest teeny-tiny voice, "TAKE IT!"

 



The Real Mother Goose  by Blanche Fisher Wright

Cross Patch

Cross patch, draw the latch,

Sit by the fire and spin;

Take a cup and drink it up,

Then call your neighbors in.

 


  WEEK 2  

  Thursday  


Among the Forest People  by Clara Dillingham Pierson

Why Mr. Great Horned Owl Hatched the Eggs

[Illustration]

I F the Rattlesnake is the king of the forest in the daytime, the Great Horned Owl is the king at night. Indeed, he is much the more powerful of the two, for he is king of air and earth alike and can go wherever he wishes, while the snake can only rule over those who live near the ground or who are so careless as to come to him there.

There was but one pair of Great Horned Owls in the forest, and they lived in the deepest shade, having their great clumsy nest in the hollow of a tall tree. You might have walked past it a hundred times and never have guessed that any Owls lived there, if you did not notice the round pellets of bone and hair on the grass. They are such hungry fellows that they swallow their food with the bones in it. Then their tough little stomachs go to work, rolling all the pieces of bone and hair into balls and sending them back to be cast out of the Owls' mouths to the ground.

The Great Horned Owl was a very large bird. His whole body was covered with brown, dull yellow, and white feathers. Even his feet and legs were covered, and all that you could see besides were his black claws and his black hooked bill. Yes, at night you could see his eyes, too, and they were wonderful great eyes that could see in the dark, but they were shut in the daytime when he was resting. His wife, who was the queen of the forest at night, looked exactly like him, only she was larger than he. And that is the way among Owls,—the wife is always larger than her husband.

Every night when the sun had gone down, the Great Horned Owl and his wife would come out of their hollow tree and sit blinking on a branch near by, waiting until it got dark enough for them to see quite plainly. As the light faded, the little black spots in their eyes would grow bigger and bigger, and then off they would go on their great soft, noiseless wings, hunting in the grass and among the branches for the supper which they called breakfast.

Mrs. Owl could not be gone very long at a time, for there were two large round white eggs in the nest which must not get cold. Her husband was on the wing most of the night, and he often flew home with some tender morsel for her. He was really a kind-hearted fellow, although you could never have made the small birds think so. Sometimes his wife would sigh and tell how tired she was of sitting still, and how glad she would be when the eggs were hatched and she could go more with him. When she began to speak of that, the Great Horned Owl would get ready for another flight and go off saying: "It is too  bad. I am so  sorry for you. But then, one would never have young Owlets if one didn't stick to the nest." He was always proud of his children, and he thought himself a very good husband. Perhaps he was; still he had never taken his place on the nest while his wife went hunting.

One night, after they had both been flying through forest and over field, he came back to the hollow tree to rest. He expected to find Mrs. Owl, for she had started home before he did. She was not there and he grew quite impatient. "I should like to know what keeps her so long," he said, fretfully. After a while he looked into the nest and saw the two big white eggs. "It is a shame," he said. "Our beautiful eggs will be chilled, and it will be all her fault if we have no Owlets this summer."

You see, even then he did not seem to think that he could do anything to keep them warm. But the next time he looked in, he put one feathered foot on the round eggs and was surprised to find how cool they were.

It fairly made his head feathers stand on end to think of it, and he was so frightened that he forgot to be cross, and stepped right in and covered them with his own breast. What if they had already been left too long, and the Owlets within would never hatch? Would Mrs. Owl ever forgive him for being so stupid? He began to wonder if any of the other fellows would see him. He thought it so absurd for the king of the forest to be hatching out a couple of eggs, instead of swooping around in the dark and frightening the smaller birds.

The night seemed so long, too. It had always been short enough before, and he had often disliked to have daylight come, for then he had to go to bed. He was very much upset, and it is no wonder that when he heard a doleful wail from a neighboring tree, and knew that his cousin, the Screech Owl, was near, he raised his head and called loudly, "Hoo-hoo-oooo? Waugh-hoo!"

The Screech Owl heard him and flew at once to a branch beside the nest hollow. He was a jolly little fellow in spite of his doleful call, and before he could talk at all he had to bend his body, look behind him, nod his head, and shake himself, as Screech Owls always do when they alight. Then he looked into the tree and saw his big cousin, the Great Horned Owl, the night king of the forest, sitting on the eggs and looking very, very grumpy. How he did laugh! "What is the matter?" said he. "Didn't you like your wife's way of brooding over the eggs? Or did she get tired of staying at home and make you help tend the nest?"

"Matter enough," grumbled the Great Horned Owl. "We went hunting together at twilight and she hasn't come home yet. I didn't get into the nest until I had to, but it was growing very cold and I wouldn't miss having our eggs hatch for anything. Ugh-whoo! How my legs do ache!"

"Well," said his cousin, "you are having a hard time. Are you hungry?"

The Great Horned Owl said that he was, so the Screech Owl went hunting and brought him food. "I will look in every night," he said, "and bring you a lunch. I'm afraid something has happened to your wife and that she will not be back."

As he flew away he called out, "It is too  bad. I am very  sorry for you. But then, I suppose you would never have the Owlets if you didn't stick to the nest."

This last remark made the Great Horned Owl quite angry. "Much he knows about it," he said. "I guess if he had ever tried it he would be a little more sorry for me." And then he began to think, "Who have I heard say those very words before? Who? Who? Who?"

All at once the Great Horned Owl remembered how many times he had said just that to his patient wife, and he began to feel very uncomfortable. His ears tingled and he felt a queer hot feeling under his face feathers. Perhaps he hadn't been acting very well after all! He knew that even when he told her he was sorry, he had been thinking she made a great fuss. Well, if she would only come back now, that should all be changed, and he shifted his weight and wriggled around into a more comfortable position.

Now, if this were just a story, one could say that Mrs. Owl came back and that they were all happy together; but the truth is she never did come, and nobody ever knew what became of her. So her husband, the night king of the forest, had to keep the eggs warm and rear his own Owlets. You can imagine how glad he was on the night when he first heard them tapping on the inside of their shells, for then he knew that he would soon be free to hunt.

A finer pair of children were never hatched, and their father thought them far ahead of all his other broods. "If only Mrs. Owl were here to see them, how lovely it would be!" he said. Yet if she had been there he would never have had the pleasure of hearing their first faint cheeps, and of covering them with his soft breast feathers as he did each day. He forgot now all the weary time when he sat with aching legs, wishing that his cousin would happen along with something to eat. For that is always the way,—when we work for those we love, the weariness is soon forgotten and only happiness remains.

It is said that the Screech Owl was more thoughtful of his wife after his cousin had to hatch the eggs, and it is too bad that some of the other forest people could not have learned the same lesson; but the Great Horned Owl never told, and the Screech Owl kept his secret, and to this day there are many people in the forest who know nothing whatever about it.

 



A Book of Nursery Rhymes  by Francis D. Bedford

Goosie, Goosie Gander

[Illustration]
[Illustration]
 


  WEEK 2  

  Friday  


Mother Stories  by Maud Lindsay

Dust under the Rug

THERE was once a mother, who had two little daughters; and, as her husband was dead and she was very poor, she worked diligently all the time that they might be well fed and clothed. She was a skilled worker, and found work to do away from home, but her two little girls were so good and so helpful that they kept her house as neat and as bright as a new pin.

One of the little girls was lame, and could not run about the house; so she sat still in her chair and sewed, while Minnie, the sister, washed the dishes, swept the floor, and made the home beautiful.

Their home was on the edge of a great forest; and after their tasks were finished the little girls would sit at the window and watch the tall trees as they bent in the wind, until it would seem as though the trees were real persons, nodding and bending and bowing to each other.

In the Spring there were the birds, in the Summer the wild flowers, in Autumn the bright leaves, and in Winter the great drifts of white snow; so that the whole year was a round of delight to the two happy children. But one day the dear mother came home sick; and then they were very sad. It was Winter, and there were many things to buy. Minnie and her little sister sat by the fire and talked it over, and at last Minnie said:—

"Dear sister, I must go out to find work, before the food gives out." So she kissed her mother, and, wrapping herself up, started from home. There was a narrow path leading through the forest, and she determined to follow it until she reached some place where she might find the work she wanted.

As she hurried on, the shadows grew deeper. The night was coming fast when she saw before her a very small house, which was a welcome sight. She made haste to reach it, and to knock at the door.

Nobody came in answer to her knock. When she had tried again and again, she thought that nobody lived there; and she opened the door and walked in, thinking that she would stay all night.

As soon as she stepped into the house, she started back in surprise; for there before her she saw twelve little beds with the bedclothes all tumbled, twelve little dirty plates on a very dusty table, and the floor of the room so dusty that I am sure you could have drawn a picture on it.

"Dear me!" said the little girl, "this will never do!" And as soon as she had warmed her hands, she set to work to make the room tidy.

She washed the plates, she made up the beds, she swept the floor, she straightened the great rug in front of the fireplace, and set the twelve little chairs in a half circle around the fire; and, just as she finished, the door opened and in walked twelve of the queerest little people she had ever seen. They were just about as tall as a carpenter's rule, and all wore yellow clothes; and when Minnie saw this, she knew that they must be the dwarfs who kept the gold in the heart of the mountain.

"Well!" said the dwarfs all together, for they always spoke together and in rhyme,

"Now isn't this a sweet surprise?

We really can't believe our eyes!"

Then they spied Minnie, and cried in great astonishment:—

"Who can this be, so fair and mild?

Our helper is a stranger child."

Now when Minnie saw the dwarfs, she came to meet them. "If you please," she said, "I'm little Minnie Grey; and I'm looking for work because my dear mother is sick. I came in here when the night drew near, and—" here all the dwarfs laughed, and called out merrily:—

"You found our room a sorry sight,

But you have made it clean and bright."

They were such dear funny little dwarfs! After they had thanked Minnie for her trouble, they took white bread and honey from the closet and asked her to sup with them.

While they sat at supper, they told her that their fairy housekeeper had taken a holiday, and their house was not well kept, because she was away.

They sighed when they said this; and after supper, when Minnie washed the dishes and set them carefully away, they looked at her often and talked among themselves. When the last plate was in its place they called Minnie to them and said:—

"Dear mortal maiden will you stay

All through our fairy's holiday?

And if you faithful prove, and good,

We will reward you as we should."

Now Minnie was much pleased, for she liked the kind dwarfs, and wanted to help them, so she thanked them, and went to bed to dream happy dreams.

Next morning she was awake with the chickens, and cooked a nice breakfast; and after the dwarfs left, she cleaned up the room and mended the dwarfs' clothes. In the evening when the dwarfs came home, they found a bright fire and a warm supper waiting for them; and every day Minnie worked faithfully until the last day of the fairy housekeeper's holiday.

That morning, as Minnie looked out of the window to watch the dwarfs go to their work, she saw on one of the window panes the most beautiful picture she had ever seen.

A picture of fairy palaces with towers of silver and frosted pinnacles, so wonderful and beautiful that as she looked at it she forgot that there was work to be done, until the cuckoo clock on the mantel struck twelve.

Then she ran in haste to make up the beds, and wash the dishes; but because she was in a hurry she could not work quickly, and when she took the broom to sweep the floor it was almost time for the dwarfs to come home.

"I believe," said Minnie aloud, "that I will not sweep under the rug to-day. After all, it is nothing for dust to be where it can't be seen!" So she hurried to her supper and left the rug unturned.

Before long the dwarfs came home. As the rooms looked just as usual, nothing was said; and Minnie thought no more of the dust until she went to bed and the stars peeped through the window.

Then she thought of it, for it seemed to her that she could hear the stars saying:—

"There is the little girl who is so faithful and good"; and Minnie turned her face to the wall, for a little voice, right in her own heart, said:—

"Dust under the rug! dust under the rug!"

"There is the little girl," cried the stars, "who keeps home as bright as star-shine."

"Dust under the rug! dust under the rug!" said the little voice in Minnie's heart.

"We see her! we see her!" called all the stars joyfully.

"Dust under the rug! dust under the rug!" said the little voice in Minnie's heart, and she could bear it no longer. So she sprang out of bed, and, taking her broom in her hand, she swept the dust away; and lo! under the dust lay twelve shining gold pieces, as round and as bright as the moon.

"Oh! oh! oh!" cried Minnie, in great surprise; and all the little dwarfs came running to see what was the matter.


[Illustration]

All the little dwarfs came running out to see what was the matter.

Minnie told them all about it; and when she had ended her story, the dwarfs gathered lovingly around her and said:—

"Dear child, the gold is all for you,

For faithful you have proved and true;

But had you left the rug unturned,

A groat was all you would have earned.

Our love goes with the gold we give,

And oh! forget not while you live,

That in the smallest duty done

Lies wealth of joy for every one."

Minnie thanked the dwarfs for their kindness to her; and early next morning she hastened home with her golden treasure, which bought many good things for the dear mother and little sister.

She never saw the dwarfs again; but she never forgot their lesson, to do her work faithfully; and she always swept under the rug.

 



The Real Mother Goose  by Blanche Fisher Wright

The Old Woman under a Hill


[Illustration]

There was an old woman

Lived under a hill;

And if she's not gone,

She lives there still.

 


  WEEK 2  

  Saturday  


The Sandman: More Farm Stories  by Willliam J. Hopkins

The Sled 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 morning, when the winter was just beginning, it had been snowing for two nights and nearly two days. Little John woke up that morning and he looked over to the side of the room, and on the floor he saw a great pile of snow. It was near the window, and it had blown into the room under the window, through the crack, and had made a drift on the floor. So little John woke little Charles and told him to look at the snow-drift on the floor. And little Charles looked, and seeing the snow made the little boys very cold. So they jumped out of bed and grabbed up their clothes and ran down-stairs to the kitchen, where it was warm.

The little boys dressed themselves in the kitchen and watched Aunt Deborah and Aunt Phyllis getting breakfast. Then they looked out the window and they saw the snow all white and smooth, covering the little track and the ground all around, and the fields as far as they could see, and in some places it covered the stone walls. And they thought it would be fun to get their sled and make tracks all about in the smooth snow. Then, while they were looking at the snow, they saw Uncle John out there. He was all wrapped up, and he had a big wooden shovel, and he was shovelling the snow, making a path to the barn. And he saw them at the window, and he threw some snow at them, with the shovel.


[Illustration]

When they had finished their breakfast, little Charles and little John got their coats and their comforters and their caps and their mittens, and put them on, and Aunt Deborah got some very thick stockings that were large enough, and she pulled the stockings on the little boys' legs, right over their boots and all. These stockings were so thick that they would keep their legs warm in the snow, and the snow wouldn't melt on them. They couldn't put on rubber boots, because they didn't have rubber boots then. Then the little boys ran out of the kitchen door to the shed.

In the shed was the sled. It was a very strong sled that Uncle Solomon had made, and it was almost too heavy for one boy to drag alone. It was made of oak boards that Uncle Solomon had cut the right shape and had fastened together with oak pins instead of nails, the same way they built wooden ships. And the blacksmith had made some iron runners that were fastened on the bottom of the wooden runners. The sled was big enough for three little boys to get on at once.

Little Charles and little John took hold of the rope and walked off into the snow, dragging the sled behind them. The snow was so deep that it came almost up to little John's waist, and it was hard work wading through it, but the snow splashed about beautifully, and the sled made a pretty track behind, and the little boys thought it was fun. They pretended they were the oxen and the sled was the wood-sled, and that they were going to the wood-lot for a load of wood. So they walked along, the way the oxen walked, but they didn't go straight along. They walked about in fancy figures, like the figures Uncle John made, skating, and sometimes they made figures like an 8 and sometimes they made other curly tracks, and sometimes they walked straight. They walked all about in the smooth snow as far as the wheat-field and covered it all over with tracks. Then they were tired of doing that and they wondered what else they could do that would be fun.


[Illustration]

Little Charles and little John took hold of the rope.

So little Charles thought of something and he said it would be fun to make a coast. Little John thought that would be fun, so they got a hoe from the barn, and a shovel, and they went to the track that led down into the orchard, where it was sloping. Then they hoed away some of the snow, and they beat the rest down with the shovel as well as they could, and then they stamped on it to make it hard. Little Charles wanted to get some water to pour on it, to make it more slippery, but little John thought that would be too hard work, carrying water from the well through all the deep snow, and they didn't do it.

When the little boys had the snow all beaten down as hard as they could make it, they put the sled at the highest part and they sat on the sled. Little Charles sat behind, and he hitched along with his feet to start them. Then the sled came to the sloping part and it began to slide, and it slid down over the snow they had beaten down, way into the orchard, and it ran into the soft snow at the end, so that little John was all covered with snow. But he didn't care, and the boys got up and dragged the sled up to the top and slid down again. And so they kept on sliding down and dragging the sled up to the top for a long time. Then little Sam saw them sliding, and he came out and got on the sled and coasted, too.

So the little boys kept on coasting all the morning, and the coast kept getting harder and smoother, and the sled went faster every time, and every time it ran into the soft snow at the end, so that the boys were all covered with snow until they looked like snow boys. And once it ran off at the side and tipped them all off, and they thought that was great fun.

At last, Aunt Deborah opened the kitchen door and called to them that dinner was ready. And they were very much surprised, because they were having such a good time they didn't know how long they had been there. But they got up out of the snow, and little Charles and little John walked along to the shed, dragging the sled behind them, with little Sam on it. And they put the sled in the shed, and they all went into the house to dinner.

And that's all.

 



Mother Goose  by Frederick Richardson

The Clever Hen


[Illustration]

 


  WEEK 2  

  Sunday  


The Nursery Book of Bible Stories  by Amy Steedman

Noah and the Rainbow of Hope

A S God looked down upon the beautiful world He had made, it grieved Him to see how it was spoilt by the wickedness of the people who lived upon it. No one tried to be good or to obey God's laws, and as time went on they grew worse and worse, until God was sorry that He had made the world at all.

"I will destroy it," God said, "both man and beast, and the creeping things, and the fowls of the air."

But there was just one man in all the world who loved God, and tried to please Him; and in the end God determined not to destroy everything, but to save this man and his family, and some of the animals and birds and creeping things as well. And so God told the man, whose name was Noah, exactly what to do—how he was to build a great ark of safety, to be ready for the time when God would destroy the world by a great flood.

All the rest of the people in the world went on enjoying themselves and doing just as they liked, never thinking of God at all. Only Noah worked with all his might to obey God's directions. He tried to warn the people of what was coming, but they only laughed at him and his work. What was this curious kind of ship that he was building? It surely must be meant to float upon the water. But Noah was building it inland, far away from any sea, and no one had ever beheld such a huge vessel before.

"Where is the great sea on which it is going to float?" asked the people; and they only scoffed when he told them that God would send a mighty flood that would cover the earth and drown all the people of the world. There was no sign of a flood, they said, and they did not believe any flood was coming. What a fool he was to toil all day and wear himself out with work, instead of taking his ease and enjoying his pleasures.

But Noah worked on. And as the years passed by, the ark at last was finished, and Noah went in with his wife and family and two of each of the birds and beasts and insects which God had promised to save. Then the sky grew black with clouds, and a terrible rain began to pour down. Blacker and blacker grew the sky, and fiercer and fiercer blew the wind, and the rain came down in such torrents that the rivers began to swell and overflow their banks, and presently the whole world was just one great sea of tossing grey waters.

But God remembered His promise, and the ark floated safely on that tossing sea. For many long days the storm raged, and then at last the rain stopped, and the flood began to subside. Noah waited patiently still for a while, and then opened one of the windows of the ark, and sent out a raven and a dove to see if they would find anything to rest upon. But the dove came back with tired wings, and Noah knew that there was no dry ground yet showing above the water. So he waited for another seven days, and again sent the dove out; and this time she came back with a tiny green olive leaf in her beak. And the third time he sent her out she did not return at all.


[Illustration]

"And, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf plucked off."

The waters were slowly going down; the earth, all fresh and clean, began to show itself once more, and the green things were all beginning to grow again. Then God bade Noah open the ark and set all the animals free upon the green earth once more.

So Noah came out with his wife and all his family, and he built an altar to God, and sacrificed upon it the best of everything in a great thanksgiving service.

Then God blessed Noah, and promised that never again would He send another flood to destroy the world. And as Noah listened to God's voice, he looked up, and saw in the sky a beautiful half-circle of shining light made up of all the fairest colours, its ends touching the earth, and its circle stretching across the sky.

It was the sign of God's promise, the rainbow of hope, which should always bring to us its message telling of sunshine after rain, joy after sorrow.

 



The Real Mother Goose  by Blanche Fisher Wright

Tweedle-Dum and Tweedle-Dee

Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee

Resolved to have a battle,

For Tweedle-dum said Tweedle-dee

Had spoiled his nice new rattle.


Just then flew by a monstrous crow,

As big as a tar barrel,

Which frightened both the heroes so,

They quite forgot their quarrel.