Text of Plan #938
  WEEK 37  


The Adventures of Johnny Chuck  by Thornton Burgess

Polly and Johnny Chuck Go House Hunting

J OHNNY CHUCK was happy. Yes, Sir, Johnny Chuck was happy—so happy that he felt like doing foolish things. You see Johnny Chuck loved Polly Chuck and he knew now that Polly Chuck loved him. He had known it ever since he had fought with the foolish little dog who had dared to frighten Polly Chuck.

After the fight was over, and the little dog had been sent home kiyi-yi-ing, Polly Chuck had crept out of the old stone wall where she had been hiding and snuggled up beside Johnny Chuck and looked at him as if she thought him the most wonderful Chuck in all the world, as, indeed, she did. And Johnny had felt his heart swell and swell with happiness until it almost choked him.

So now once more Johnny Chuck began to think of a new home. He had forgotten all about seeing the world. All he wanted now was a new house, built just so, with a front door and a hidden back door, and big enough for two, for no more would Johnny Chuck live alone. So, with shy little Polly Chuck by his side, he began to search for a place to make a new home.

The more he thought about it, the more Johnny wanted to build his house over by the lone elm-tree where he had first seen Polly Chuck. It was a splendid place. From it you could see a great way in every direction. It would be shady on hot summer days. It was near a great big patch of sweet clover. It seemed to Johnny Chuck that it was the best place on all the Green Meadows. He whispered as much to Polly Chuck. She turned up her nose.

"It's too low!" said she.

"Oh!" replied Johnny, and looked puzzled, for really it was one of the highest places on the Green Meadows.

"Yes," said Polly, in a brisk, decided way, "it's altogether too low. Probably it is wet."

"Oh!" said Johnny once more. Of course he knew that it wasn't wet, but if Polly didn't want to live there, he wouldn't say a word. Of course not.

"Now there's a place right over there," continued Polly. "I think we'll build our house right there."

Johnny opened his mouth to say something, but he closed it again without speaking and meekly trotted after Polly Chuck to the place she had picked out. It was in a little hollow. Johnny knew before he began to dig that the ground was damp, almost wet. But if Polly wanted to live there she should, and Johnny began to dig. By and by he stopped to rest. Where was Polly? He looked this way and that way anxiously. Just as he was getting ready to go hunt for her, she came hurrying back.


If Polly wanted to live there she should.

"I've found a perfectly lovely place for our new home!" she cried.

Johnny looked ruefully at the hole he had worked so hard to dig; then he brushed the dirt from his clothes and followed her. This time Johnny had no fault to find with the ground. It was high and dry. But Polly had chosen a spot close to a road that wound down across the Green Meadows. Johnny shook his head doubtfully, but he began to dig. This time, however, he kept one eye on Polly Chuck, and the minute he found that she was wandering off, he stopped digging and chuckled as he watched her. It wasn't long before back she came in great excitement. She had found a better place!

So they wandered over the Green Meadows, Polly leading the way. Johnny had learned by this time to waste no time digging. And he had made up his mind to one thing. What do you think it was? It was this: He would follow Polly until she found a place to suit him, but when she did find such a place she shouldn't have a chance to change her mind again.


The Real Mother Goose  by Blanche Fisher Wright

A Star

Higher than a house, higher than a tree.

Oh! whatever can that be?


  WEEK 37  


Bobby and the Big Road  by Maud Lindsay

The Persimmon-Tree

A PERSIMMON-TREE grew by the side of the Big Road. It was not a very large tree, and there were a great many prettier trees, but there was no tree that Father was so glad to see when he and Mother and Bobby came to live in the country.

"It makes me think of the time when I was a little boy and used to go persimmon-hunting," he told Bobby.

"Shall we go persimmon-hunting?" asked Bobby.

"Yes, indeed, when persimmons are ripe," said Father. "And there's nothing nicer than a ripe, red-as-gold, sweet-as-sugar persimmon."

Bobby had never tasted a persimmon in all his life, and, of course, he wanted to go persimmon-hunting with Father. Every time he passed the tree, he looked to see if there were any persimmons on it; and when at last he spied the fruit on the branches, he was delighted.

All through the bright fall days he watched the fruit changing from green to yellow, from yellow to red-gold. It looked so tempting that he thought it must be ripe. But when he asked if they could go persimmon-hunting Father said, "Not yet. Wait a little longer."

Bobby waited patiently enough until the day the wind came down the Big Road. This is how it happened:

Bobby was standing by the side of the road waiting for Father and Greylocks. He did not even know that the wind was anywhere near, when it came by and off went Bobby's hat, whirling and twirling all the way from the little brown house to the persimmon-tree. Oh, how the wind blew! But Bobby was a fast runner. He and the hat reached the persimmon-tree at almost the very same second.

Bobby was stooping to pick the hat up when—oo-oo-oo—the wind came whistling through the branches of the tree and down came a big red-gold persimmon right at Bobby's feet.

Then Bobby could not wait any longer; or at least he thought he couldn't. And he set his little white teeth right in the middle of the big persimmon.

Oh! How could anybody like a persimmon that puckered up your mouth and nipped your tongue? Dear me! It was worse than medicine! Oh! Why hadn't Bobby heeded what Father said?

"I'll wait until he goes persimmon-hunting with me before I eat any more persimmons," said Bobby.

But who do you think was the first to find ripe persimmons? Mother!

She came in from a walk one day and said to Bobby:

"Open your mouth and shut your eyes,

And I'll give you something to make you wise."

And she put a bit of persimmon that was as sweet as sugar into Bobby's open mouth.

Oh, how good persimmons were—when they were ripe!


Bobby and the Big Road  by Maud Lindsay

The Visitor

O NE night when Bobby was fast asleep in his little white bed, and everybody else who lived by the road was asleep and dreaming, and there was nothing awake to see him but the stars in the sky, a visitor came to the Big Road.

He did not ride on horseback nor in a carriage, nor yet in an automobile. He had no feet so he could not walk. He had no wings so he could not fly; but there was no place on the road from beginning to end where he did not go.

He brought nothing with him, boxes or bags, trunks or chests. He had no tools, he had no hands; yet he was busy at work the long night through.

He did not make any noise. He was as quiet as the watching stars; yet there was nothing on the road that he did not touch.

In the morning, all the flowers that grew by the roadside drooped their heads, as if they were asleep. The morning-glory vines hung limp on the porch of the little brown house, and Mother's geranium that had bloomed so red in the dooryard only the day before, was crumpled and dark.

But out in the fields beyond the road and by the roadside, and in the yard the grasses and weeds and fallen leaves glistened and shone all silvery white. The Big Road was like a fairy land in the sunlight.

Father was astonished when he looked out and saw it early in the morning; and he made haste to call Bobby.

"Wake up, Bobby, wake up!" he said. "Jack Frost has come. Let's go and see if the brook is frozen over."


Mother Goose  by Frederick Richardson

Two Birds



  WEEK 37  


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

The Three Billy Goats Gruff


dropcap image NCE on a time there were three Billy-goats, who were to go up to the hill-side to make themselves fat, and the name of all three was Gruff.

On the way up was a bridge over a burn they had to cross; and under this bridge lived a great ugly Troll, with eyes as big as saucers, and a nose as long as a poker.

So first of all came the youngest billy-goat Gruff to cross the bridge.


"Trip, trap; trip, trap!" went the bridge.

"WHO'S THAT tripping over my bridge?" roared the Troll.

"Oh! it is only I, the tiniest billy-goat Gruff; and I'm going up to the hill-side to make myself fat," said the billy-goat, with such a small voice.

"Now, I'm coming to gobble you up," said the Troll.

"Oh, no! pray don't take me. I'm too little, that I am," said the billy-goat; "wait a bit till the second billy-goat Gruff comes. He's much bigger."

"Well! be off with you," said the Troll.

A little while after came the second billy-goat Gruff to cross the bridge.

"TRIP, TRAP!  TRIP, TRAP!  TRIP, TRAP!" went the bridge.

"WHO'S THAT tripping over my bridge?" roared the Troll.



"Oh! it's the second billy-goat Gruff, and I'm going up to the hill-side to make myself fat," said the billy-goat, who hadn't such a small voice.

"Now, I'm coming to gobble you up," said the Troll.

"Oh, no! don't take me. Wait a little till the big billy-goat Gruff comes. He's much bigger."

"Very well! be off with you," said the Troll.


But just then up came the big billy-goat Gruff.

"TRIP, TRAP!  TRIP, TRAP!  TRIP, TRAP!" went the bridge, for the billy-goat was so heavy that the bridge creaked and groaned under him.

"WHO'S THAT tramping over my bridge?" roared the Troll.

"IT'S I! THE BIG BILLY-GOAT GRUFF," said the billy-goat, who had an ugly, hoarse voice of his own.


"Now, I'm coming to gobble you up," roared the Troll.

"Well, come along! I've got two spears,

And I'll poke your nose and pierce your ears;

I've got besides two curling-stones,

And I'll bruise your body and rattle your bones."

That was what the big billy-goat said; and so he flew at the Troll, and tossed him out into the burn, and after that he went up to the hill-side. There the billy-goats got so fat they were scarcely able to walk home again; and if the fat hasn't fallen off them, why they're still fat; and so:

Snip, snap, snout,

This tale's told out.



The Real Mother Goose  by Blanche Fisher Wright

The Greedy Man


The greedy man is he who sits

And bites bits out of plates,

Or else takes up an almanac

And gobbles all the dates.


  WEEK 37  


Among the Meadow People  by Clara Dillingham Pierson

The Mosquito Tries To Teach His Neighbors


I N this meadow, as in every other meadow since the world began, there were some people who were always tired of the way things were, and thought that, if the world were only different, they would be perfectly happy. One of these discontented ones was a certain Mosquito, a fellow with a whining voice and disagreeable manners. He had very little patience with people who were not like him, and thought that the world would be a much pleasanter place if all the insects had been made Mosquitoes.

"What is the use of Spiders, and Dragon-flies, and Beetles, and Butterflies?" he would say, fretfully; "a Mosquito is worth more than any of them."

You can just see how unreasonable he was. Of course, Mosquitoes and Flies do help keep the air pure and sweet, but that is no reason why they should set themselves up above the other insects. Do not the Bees carry pollen from one flower to another, and so help the plants raise their Seed Babies? And who would not miss the bright, happy Butterflies, with their work of making the world beautiful?

But this Mosquito never thought of those things, and he said to himself: "Well, if they cannot all be Mosquitoes, they can at least try to live like them, and I think I will call them together and talk it over." So he sent word all around, and his friends and neighbors gathered to hear what he had to say.

"In the first place," he remarked, "it is unfortunate that you are not Mosquitoes, but, since you are not, one must make the best of it. There are some things, however, which you might learn from us fortunate creatures who are. For instance, notice the excellent habit of the Mosquitoes in the matter of laying eggs. Three or four hundred of the eggs are fastened together and left floating on a pond in such a way that, when the babies break their shells, they go head first into the water. Then they——"

"Do you think I would do that if I could?" interrupted a motherly old Grasshopper. "Fix it so my children would drown the minute they came out of the egg? No, indeed!" and she hurried angrily away, followed by several other loving mothers.

"But they don't drown," exclaimed the Mosquito, in surprise.

"They don't if they're Mosquitoes," replied the Ant, "but I am thankful to say my children are land babies and not water babies."

"Well, I won't say anything more about that, but I must speak of your voices, which are certainly too heavy and loud to be pleasant. I should think you might speak and sing more softly, even if you have no pockets under your wings like mine. I flutter my wings, and the air strikes these pockets and makes my sweet voice."

"Humph!" exclaimed a Bee, "it is a very poor place for pockets, and a very poor use to make of them. Every Bee knows that pockets are handiest on the hind legs, and should be used for carrying pollen to the babies at home."

"My pocket is behind," said a Spider, "and my web silk is kept there. I couldn't live without a pocket."

Some of the meadow people were getting angry, so the Garter Snake, who would always rather laugh than quarrel, glided forward and said: "My friends and neighbors; our speaker here has been so kind as to tell us how the Mosquitoes do a great many things, and to try to teach us their way. It seems to me that we might repay some of his kindness by showing him our ways, and seeing that he learns by practice. I would ask the Spiders to take him with them and show him how to spin a web. Then the Bees could teach him how to build comb, and the Tree Frog how to croak, and the Earthworms how to burrow, and the Caterpillars how to spin a cocoon. Each of us will do something for him. Perhaps the Measuring Worm will teach him to walk as the Worms of his family do. I understand he does that very well." Here everybody laughed, remembering the joke played on the Caterpillars, and the Snake stopped speaking.

The Mosquito did not dare refuse to be taught, and so he was taken from one place to another, and told exactly how to do everything that he could not possibly do, until he felt so very meek and humble that he was willing the meadow people should be busy and happy in their own way.


A Book of Nursery Rhymes  by Francis D. Bedford

Winter Song


  WEEK 37  


More Mother Stories  by Maud Lindsay

Wishing Wishes

A Story for the All Gone Song

Once upon a time two little boys sat on a doorstep wishing wishes.


Once upon a time two little boys sat on a doorstep wishing wishes.

"I wish, I wish," said the first little boy, whose name was Billy, "I wish I had something to eat as good as ice-cream!"

"So do I," said the other little boy, whose name was Bobbie, "and a rose as red as my sister's new Sunday dress."

"Yes, indeed," said Billy, "and a pony to ride."

"Oh, yes," cried Bobbie, clapping his hands, "a real, live pony to ride away"—

And then they both cried "Oh!" For, do you believe it? there right before them stood the tiniest, the loveliest lady they had ever seen!

Her hair was like sunshine, her eyes like the skies, and her cheeks like roses; and she had wings more beautiful than the wings of a butterfly; for she was a fairy.

"I am your fairy godmother," said she, "and I will grant your three wishes if you will do just as I tell you."

Billy and Bobbie had never known before that they had a fairy godmother; but they were very glad of it, and listened eagerly to all she said.

"Get up in the morning when the stars are growing pale," said the fairy godmother, "and be at my golden gates when the lark sings his first song."

"But how shall we find your golden gates?" cried Billy and Bobbie together.

Then the fairy godmother put her hand into her pocket and took out two tiny feathers.

"Blow these into the air," she said, as she gave one to each child, "and follow them wherever they go; and when they fall to the earth again you will find my golden gates near by."

Then, before the little boys had time to answer, she vanished from sight, and only a bright spot of sunshine showed where she had stood.

Billy laid his feather down on the door-step and ran to look for her, and when he came back the feather was gone, for a breeze had blown by and whisked it away; and though Billy ran after it he never could catch it.

"Now, there!" he said, "that horrid breeze has blown away my feather, and how shall I find my fairy godmother's golden gates?"

"Never mind," said Bobbie, "I have my feather safe in my handkerchief; and if you will get up early in the morning you can go with me."

"All right," cried Billy; and both the little boys ran home to tell their mothers the wonderful thing that had happened to them.

When Bobbie got to his home and had told his mother and eaten his supper, he made haste to go to bed; for he knew that he must be up betimes the next morning. He folded his clothes on a chair, tied the feather up loosely in the handkerchief and pinned the handkerchief to his jacket, that everything might be ready when he waked up.

Early, early in the morning, when the stars were pale, he jumped up and dressed, and ran to Billy's house.

"Billy! Billy!" he called, as soon as he got there; but Billy was asleep. He had not gone to bed with the birds, and he did not hear Bobbie call until his big brother waked him up; and then he said:—

"Oh! I'm too sleepy to go now. Tell Bobbie to go on and I will catch up with him."

So Bobbie started off alone. When he reached the road he shook out his handkerchief, and away flew the feather over the fields and meadows where the dewdrops waited for the sunbeams to make them bright. Bobbie followed it wherever it went, and by and by it flew near the lark's nest. The lark was just getting up.

"Good morning," said Bobbie. "When will you sing your first song?"

"When I fly up to the blue sky," answered the lark; and he flew up, up, till he looked like a tiny speck against the sky, and then he sang his morning song.

Just then the feather fell to the earth, and Bobbie found himself before the fairy godmother's golden gates which were swinging wide open.

The fairy godmother herself was waiting to greet him, and she led him into her beautiful garden where all the birds and all the flowers were waking up. In the garden, under a tree, was a little silver table, and on the table were two golden bowls, each with a golden spoon beside it, and filled to the brim with fairy snow.

"One is for you," said the fairy godmother; and when Bobbie had tasted the fairy snow he liked it so well that he ate it all up, and it was better than ice-cream!

Then the fairy godmother took him down the garden path till they came to a rose-bush; on the rose-bush grew two roses as red as Bobbie's sister's new dress, and that was very red indeed.

"One of these is for you," said the fairy godmother; and after Bobbie had plucked one very carefully, he pinned it on his jacket that he might carry it to his mother.

"Now," said the fairy godmother, "what was the last wish?"

"A pony!" cried Bobbie; "but you surely can't give me that."

"Look under the willow tree," said the fairy godmother, smiling. And there, sure enough, were two ponies! One was white and one was brown; and they had saddles on their backs, and golden bridles, and were all ready for little boys to ride.

Bobbie looked at them both and took the brown one, because it was a little like his father's big brown horse.

"Good-by," said the fairy, as he jumped on the pony's back. "You have done your part and I have done mine, and I wish you well in the world."

Then Bobbie thanked her and rode away through the golden gates toward home; and on the way he met Billy.

Now Billy had got up late in the morning when the sun was high, and had started out to look for his fairy godmother's golden gates. As he was wandering about, he met a grasshopper, and said:—

"Grasshopper, grasshopper, do you know where my fairy godmother lives?"

"Not I," said the grasshopper, laughing till his sides shook. "What a funny boy, not to know the way to his own god-mother's!"

This did not please Billy, so he hurried away; and before long he met a bird.

"Bird, bird," he cried, "do you know where my fairy godmother lives?"

"Not I," said the bird, whistling in surprise.

"Nobody knows anything!" said Billy; but just then the lark flew by, and when he had heard the whole story he said:—

"A little boy passed my nest just as I was waking up this morning, and I will show you the way he went."

Then Billy made haste as fast as he could from the lark's meadow, and very soon he met Bobbie on the brown pony.

"It is all there, Billy," cried Bobbie, "just as she said. There's a bowl of fairy snow on the table, and a rose in the garden, and a pony under the willow tree!"

When Billy heard this he ran as fast as he could to the golden gates; and he scarcely spoke to the fairy godmother, for he spied the golden bowl on the silver table.

But the fairy snow was all gone. It had melted away in the warm sunshine, and when Billy looked in there was only a drop of water left in the bottom of the bowl.

"The sun has been shining while you were on the way," said the fairy godmother.

But Billy thought of the rose and the pony, and made haste down the garden path till he came to the rose-bush.

But the rose as red as the Sunday dress was gone, and only a heap of rose petals and a stem showed where it had been.

"The wind has been blowing while you were on the way," said the fairy godmother.

"Dear me!" said Billy. But he remembered the pony, and off he ran to the willow tree.

But when he got there all he could see was a golden bridle hung up in a tree; for the pony had gotten so tired of waiting and waiting and waiting for somebody who did not come, that he had broken loose from his bridle and gone back to fairyland.

"There now!" said Billy, "I've had all my trouble for nothing. I wish I hadn't come!"

And, do you believe it? he had scarcely spoken when something whisked him up and whirled him away, and the next thing he knew he was sitting on the very doorstep where he had been when he was wishing wishes!


The Real Mother Goose  by Blanche Fisher Wright

The Ten O'Clock Scholar


A diller, a dollar, a ten o'clock scholar!

What makes you come so soon?

You used to come at ten o'clock,

But now you come at noon.


  WEEK 37  


The Sandman: His Farm Stories  by Willliam J. Hopkins

The Butter 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.

In the morning, when Uncle John had milked all the cows, he took all the milk, in the big pails, to the milk-room that was in the corner of the barn, and he poured it through a cloth into some cans. Then he carried the pails to the kitchen door, and Aunt Deborah washed them out with cold water. Then she poured some very hot water into them and rinsed them out, and set them in the sunshine. And Uncle John went back to the milk-room and took the cans of milk and carried them out to the spring-house.

The spring-house was a little low house that was in the orchard, and a stream of water ran right through the middle of it. It was the same stream of water that ran on through the big field where the cows went to eat the grass, and then it ran on, under the road and through another field and into the river. They didn't have ice then, in the summer time, but the water of the little stream was cool, and they used that to keep the milk and the butter from getting too hot. They had made a trench for the water to run through, and in the bottom of the trench they had put great flat stones, so that the water ran over the stones. And on top of the stones the water wasn't deep at all.

So Uncle John took the milk to the spring-house and poured it into big flat pans, and set the pans in the water on the flat stones, so that the water would keep the milk cool while the cream came to the top. The cream is the yellow, fat part of milk, and when the milk stands still, the cream comes to the top.

Every time Uncle John had finished milking the cows, he took the milk to the spring-house and put it in flat pans and left the pans in the cool water.


And when the milk had stood so for as long as all day or all night, Aunt Deborah went out to the spring-house and took a kind of big spoon and skimmed the cream off the top of the milk, and put the cream into a stone jar. And she left the cream in the jar for two or three days until it was just right to make into butter.

When the cream in the jar was just right, Aunt Deborah and Aunt Phyllis took it to the buttery and put it in the churn, a kind of box that had a long handle. And on the end of the handle was a big piece of wood with holes all through it. Then Aunt Phyllis took hold of the long handle and made it go up and down, and Aunt Deborah held on to the churn, so that it wouldn't tip over. And when Aunt Phyllis was tired, Aunt Deborah made the handle go up and down, and Aunt Phyllis held on to the churn. And the cream splashed all about, and at last it began to turn into butter, in little lumps.


When it was done enough, Aunt Deborah poured off the watery stuff that they called buttermilk, and she washed the butter with water, and she put in a lot of salt. The buttermilk she saved, because sometimes people like to drink it. Then she took the butter that was all in little lumps, and she worked it together, so that the water came out of it, and it was all in big lumps. And she worked that all together until it was worked enough, and was in one big lump.

Then she got a little mould, a kind of cup with a cover. And in the inside of the cover was a picture, cut into the wood, of an ear of corn and some marks all about. Then Aunt Deborah put some of the butter into the mould, and she put the cover over, and pushed hard, and the butter was squeezed into a little round cake, with the picture of the ear of corn on the top. Then she took out that piece and put in some more, and she made a little cake of that. And so she did with all the butter, until it was all in little cakes; and those cakes of butter they call pats.

When all the butter was made into pats, Aunt Deborah put the pats into a great round wooden box and carried the box out to the spring-house to get cold, and keep until it was wanted. Every week she made enough butter to fill the big round box. That was enough for them to eat, and some to take to market besides.

And that's all.


The Sandman: His Farm Stories  by Willliam J. Hopkins

The Swimming 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.

In that farm-house lived Uncle Solomon and Uncle John, and little John and little Charles and their mother, Aunt Deborah, and little Sam and his mother, Aunt Phyllis.

One day in summer it was very hot. Little Charles was about nine years old, and little John was about seven, and little Charles said to little John: "John, let's go in swimming."

And little John said: "All right."

So they went very quietly away from the kitchen door, where they were playing, and went toward the barn, as though they were going to look for eggs. But they sneaked around the barn and down close to the house on the other side, where Aunt Deborah wouldn't see them, and over the fence into the road. And they went along the road until they came to the field that they used to go through to get water from the river. Then they turned into that field and went down to the river, and along the bank of the river until they came to a great big tree that grew close by the edge of the river, at the end of a stone wall.

When they came to that big tree, they stopped and took off all their clothes and went into the water. And they stayed in the water a long time and swam around and chased each other, and they ran along in the water where it wasn't very deep, and splashed and had a fine time. And when they had been in long enough and were all cool, they went back to the place where they had left their clothes, and they took their shirts and got themselves dry with their shirts as well as they could. Then they spread their shirts out in the sunshine to dry, and they ran about on the bank. And when their shirts were dry, they put their clothes on. Then they went back along the road and over the fence and around the barn, the way they had come, and began to play near the shed as though they hadn't been away at all.


Pretty soon Aunt Deborah came to the kitchen door and she called to little Charles. "Charles, I want you to get me some eggs."

And when Charles turned around to go, Aunt Deborah looked at him very hard, and she called: "Charles, come here to me." But Charles didn't want to come very near, so he came only a little way.

And Aunt Deborah said: "Charles, I want you to come right here to me."

So Charles came slowly beside his mother, and she took off his hat and looked at his hair. His hair was a little wet, for he couldn't get it quite dry with his shirt.

And Aunt Deborah said: "Charles, you've been in swimming."

And Charles dug up the dirt with his bare feet and said, "Yes'm." For little Charles and little John never said things that were not true, although they sometimes did things they ought not to do.

Then Aunt Deborah said: "Charles, if you do that again I'll tell your father."

And Charles said, "Yes'm." Then he ran away quickly to find the eggs.

Then Aunt Deborah said: "John, come here to me."

So little John came beside his mother, and she took off his hat and saw that his hair was wet.

And she said: "John, you've been swimming, too." And little John looked at his mother and grinned and said, "Yes'm."

And Aunt Deborah said, "You mustn't do that, John. You're too little. Don't do it again, and I'll ask Uncle Solomon to take you and Charles in his boat." So little John ran off after little Charles.

The next morning Uncle Solomon called to all the little boys: "Who wants to go out in the boat with me?"

And little Charles and little John and little Sam all said at the same time, "I do."

So Uncle Solomon said, "Come on, boys."

Then he walked along the track and into the road and along the road, and the little boys ran ahead; for they knew where he was going. And by and by they came to the pond. It was a great big pond, and Uncle Solomon's boat was on the bank under some trees. Uncle Solomon had built that boat himself, for he had been a sailor, and knew all about boats. So he pushed the boat off into the water, and the little boys all got in and sat still. For Uncle Solomon wouldn't let them jump around in the boat because that might tip it over.

So Uncle Solomon rowed the little boys over to a nice place where it was shady, and where the water was not very deep; and he rowed cross-handed, because he thought that was easier. When they had got to the place, the little boys all took off their clothes, and Uncle Solomon took up each boy and threw him over into the water. They were not afraid, because he had taught them how to swim, and he was right there, to see that nothing happened to harm them. And they swam around and had a fine time.

And when Uncle Solomon thought they had been in the water long enough, he made them swim near the boat, and he reached over and pulled them into the boat, one at a time. Then they dried themselves with a towel he had brought, and they put on their clothes, and Uncle Solomon rowed the boat back to the place where he kept it. Then the little boys got out and he pulled the boat up on the shore, and they all went back along the road to the farm-house. And they went in at the wide gate and up to the kitchen door. And there was Aunt Deborah, with four pieces of gingerbread. One piece she gave to little Charles and one to little John and one to little Sam, and the biggest piece of all she gave to Uncle Solomon.

And they all ate their gingerbread, and thought it was very good indeed.

And that's all.



Ring o' Roses  by L. Leslie Brooke

There Was a Little Man


There was a little man,

And he had a little gun,

And his bullets were made of lead, lead, lead;


He went to the brook

And saw a little duck,

And he shot it right through the head, head, head.


He carried it home

To his old wife Joan,

And bid her a fire for to make, make, make;

To roast the little duck

He had shot in the brook,

And he'd go and fetch her the drake, drake, drake.


  WEEK 37  


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



Oh, my pretty cock, oh, my handsome cock,

I pray you, do not crow before day,

And your comb shall be made of the very beaten gold,

And your wings of the silver so gray.