Text of Plan #938
  WEEK 41  


The Adventures of Johnny Chuck  by Thornton Burgess

More Mischief

Mischief's like a snowball

Sent rolling down a hill;

With every turn it bigger grows

And bigger, bigger still.

S AMMY JAY had started mischief by telling Reddy Fox where Johnny Chuck's new house was. If you had asked him, Sammy Jay would have said that he hadn't told. All he had said was that he had happened to be up in Farmer Brown's old orchard and so had called on Johnny Chuck in his new house.

Now Reddy Fox is very sly, oh, very sly. He had pretended to Sammy Jay that he knew all the time where Johnny Chuck was living. When he left Sammy Jay, he had started in the direction of the Green Meadows, just as if he had no thought of going over to Farmer Brown's old orchard.

But Sammy Jay is just as sly as Reddy Fox. He wasn't fooled for one minute, not one little minute. He chuckled to himself as he started to look for Jimmy Skunk. Then he changed his mind.

"I think I'll go up to the old orchard myself!" said Sammy Jay, and away he flew.

He got there first and hid in the top of a big apple-tree, where he could see all that went on. It wasn't long before he saw Reddy Fox steal out from the Green Forest and over to the old orchard. Reddy was nervous, very nervous. You see, it was broad daylight, and the old orchard was very near Farmer Brown's house. Reddy knew that he ought to have waited until night, but he knew that then Johnny Chuck would be fast asleep, Now, perhaps, Johnny Chuck, thinking that no one knew where he lived, would not be on watch, and he might be able to catch Johnny.

So Reddy, with one eye on Farmer Brown's house and one eye on the watch for some sign of Johnny Chuck, stole into the old orchard. Every few steps he would stop and look and listen. At every little noise he would start nervously. Then Sammy Jay would chuckle under his breath.

So Reddy Fox crept and tiptoed about through the old orchard. Every minute he grew more nervous, and every minute he grew more disappointed, for he could find no sign of Johnny Chuck's house. He began to think that Sammy Jay had fooled him, and the very thought made him grind his teeth. At last he decided to give it up.

He was down in the far corner of the old orchard, close by the old stone wall now, and he got all ready to jump over the old stone wall, when he just happened to look on the other side of the big apple-tree he was under, and there was what he was looking for—Johnny Chuck's new house! Johnny Chuck wasn't in sight, but there was the new house, and Johnny must be either inside or not far away. Reddy grinned. It was a sly, wicked, hungry grin. He flattened himself out in the grass behind the big apple-tree.

"I'll give Johnny Chuck the surprise of his life!" muttered Reddy Fox under his breath.

Now Sammy Jay had been watching all this time. He knew that Johnny Chuck was safely inside his house, for Johnny had seen Reddy when he first came into the old orchard. And Sammy knew that Johnny Chuck knew that when Reddy found that new house, he would hide just as he had done.

"Johnny Chuck won't come out again to-day, and there won't be any excitement at all," thought Sammy Jay in disappointment, for he had hoped to see a fight between Reddy Fox and Johnny Chuck. Just then Sammy looked over to Farmer Brown's house, and there was Farmer Brown's boy getting ready to saw wood. The imp of mischief under Sammy's pert cap gave him an idea. He flew over to the old apple-tree, just over Reddy's head, and began to scream at the top of his lungs.

Farmer Brown's boy stopped work and looked over towards the old orchard.

"When a jay screams like that there is usually a fox around," he muttered, as he unfastened Bowser the Hound.


The Real Mother Goose  by Blanche Fisher Wright

This Is the Way

This is the way the ladies ride,

Tri, tre, tre, tree,

Tri, tre, tre, tree!

This is the way the ladies ride,

Tri, tre, tre, tre, tri-tre-tre-tree!

This is the way the gentlemen ride,



This is the way the gentlemen ride,


This is the way the farmers ride,



This is the way the farmers ride,



  WEEK 41  


The Dutch Twins  by Lucy Fitch Perkins

Market Day with Father


Part 1 of 2

O NE afternoon Kit and Kat were playing around the kitchen doorstep, while their Mother sat on a bench by the door, peeling some onions for supper. It was not yet supper-time, but Vrouw Vedder was always ahead of the clock with the work.

Kit and Kat had a pan of water and were teaching their ducklings to swim. They each had one little fat duckling of their very own. The ducklings squawked when Kit lifted them over the edge of the pan into the water.

"Don't do that, Kit," said Kat. "The ducklings don't like it. You didn't like it when you  fell into the water, did you?"

"But I'm not a duck," said Kit.

"Well, anyway, they're tired and want to go to their mother," said Kat. "Let's do something else! I'll tell you what! Let's go out to the garden and help Father get the boat loaded for market."

"All right," said Kit. "May we, Mother?"

"Yes," said Vrouw Vedder; "and you may ask Father if he will take you to market with him to-morrow if it's fair. Tell him I said you could ask."

"Oh, goody, goody!" said Kit and Kat, both at once; and they ran as fast as their wooden shoes would take them out into the garden.

They found their father cutting cabbages and gathering them into piles. He was stopping to light his pipe, when they reached him.

"O Father!" said Kit and Kat both together. "May we go on the boat to market with you to-morrow morning? Mother said we might ask!"


Father Vedder blew two puffs from his pipe without answering.

"We'll help you load the boat," said Kit.

"Yes," said Kat, "I can carry a cabbage."

"I can carry two," said Kit. "We'll both be good," said Kat.


"Very well," said Father, at last. "We'll see how you work! And to-morrow morning, if it's fair, I'll see! But you must go to bed early to-night, because you'll have to get up very early in the morning, if you go with me! Now you each take a cabbage and run along."

Father Vedder went back to his work.

Kit and Kat ran to the cabbage-pile. Kat took one, and Kit took two—just to show that he could.

"When Father says 'I'll see,' he always means 'yes,' " Kat said to Kit.

Perhaps it seems queer to you that they should go to market in a boat, but it didn't seem queer at all to the Twins.

You see, in Holland there are a great many canals. They cross the fields like roadways of water, and that is what they really are. Little canals open into big ones, and big ones go clear to the sea.

It is very easy for farmers to load their vegetables for market right on a boat. They can pull the boat out into the big canal, and then away they go to sell their produce in the town.

The canals flow through the towns, too, and make water streets, where boats go up and down as carriages go here.

The Twins and their father worked like beavers, washing the vegetables and packing them in baskets, until their good old boat was filled with cabbages and onions and beets and carrots and all sorts of good things to eat.


By that time it was nearly dark, and they were all three very hungry; so they went home.

They found that Mother Vedder had made buttermilk porridge for supper. The Twins loved buttermilk porridge. They each ate three bowls of it, and then their mother put them to bed.

This is a picture of the bed! It opened like a cupboard right into the kitchen, and it was like going to bed on a shelf in the pantry.


The very next thing the Twins knew, it was morning, and there was Vrouw Vedder calling to them.

"It's market day, and the sun is almost up. Come Kit and Kat, if you want to go with Father," she said.

The Twins bounced out like two rubber balls. They ate some breakfast and then ran to the boat.

Father was there before them. He helped them into the boat and put them both on one seat, and told them to sit still. Then he got in and took the pole and pushed off.

Vrouw Vedder stood on the canal bank to see them pass.

"Be good children; mind Father, and don't get lost," she called after them.

Kit and Kat were very busy all the way to town, looking at the things to be seen on each side of the canal.

It was so early in the morning that the grass was all shiny with dew. Black and white cows were eating the rich green grass, and a few laborers were already in the fields.


They passed little groups of farm buildings, their red-tiled roofs shining in the morning sun; and the windmills threw long, long shadows across the fields.

The blue blossoms of the flax nodded to them from the canal bank; and once they saw a stork fly over a mossy green roof, to her nest on the chimney, with a frog in her mouth.

They went under bridges and by little canals that opened into the main canal. They passed so close to some of the houses that Kit and Kat could see the white curtains blowing in the windows, and the pots of red geraniums standing on the sill. In one house the family waved their hands to Kit and Kat from the breakfast table, and a little farther on they passed a woman who was washing clothes in the canal. Other boats filled with vegetables and flowers of all colors passed them. And they were going to market too. Only no other boat had twins in it.

"Good day, neighbor Vedder," one man called out. "Are you taking a pair of fat pigs to market?"

By and by they came to the town. There were a great many boats in the canal here, and people calling back and forth to each other from them.

Kit and Kat saw a boat that the Captain's family lived in. It was like a floating house.


The Twins thought it must be grand to live on a boat like that, just going about from town to town, seeing new sights every day.

"We should never have to go to school at all," said Kit.

They wished their own boat were big enough to move about in; but Father told them they must sit very, very still all the time.

There were houses on each side of the canal, in the town, and people were clattering along over the pavement in their wooden shoes.


Mother Goose  by Frederick Richardson

Jack and Jill



  WEEK 41  


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

The Turnip


O NCE upon a time there lived an old man and an old woman.

They had a nice garden.

The old man planted a turnip.

It grew and grew until it was time to pull the turnip out.

The old man went into the garden, and gave the turnip a pull.

But it would not come.

He gave it another pull, a great big pull.

But the turnip would not come out of the ground.

Then the old man called the old woman, and said,

"Come and hold on to me, and help me to pull out the turnip."

The old woman came.

The old man tugged at the turnip.

The old woman tugged at the old man.

And they pulled and they tugged.

And they tugged and they pulled.

But the turnip would not come out of the ground.

Then the old woman called a little girl.

And the old man tugged at the turnip.

The old woman tugged at the old man.

The little girl tugged at the old woman.

And they pulled and they tugged.

And they tugged and they pulled.

But the turnip would not come out of the ground.


Then the little girl called a dog.

And the old man tugged at the turnip.

The old woman tugged at the old man.

The little girl tugged at the old woman.

The dog tugged at the little girl.

And they pulled and they tugged.

And they tugged and they pulled.

But the turnip would not come out of the ground.

Then the dog called a cat.

And the old man tugged at the turnip.

And the old woman tugged at the old man.

The little girl tugged at the old woman.

The dog tugged at the little girl.

The cat tugged at the little dog.

And they pulled and they tugged.

And they tugged and they pulled.

But the turnip would not come out of the ground.

Then the cat called a mouse.

And the man tugged at the turnip.

And the old woman tugged at the old man.

The little girl tugged at the old woman.

The dog tugged at the little girl.

The cat tugged at the dog.

And the mouse tugged at the cat.

And they all stood in line, and gave one great big pull, and out came the turnip.



The Real Mother Goose  by Blanche Fisher Wright

Ducks and Drakes


A duck and a drake,

And a halfpenny cake,

With a penny to pay the old baker.

A hop and a scotch

Is another notch,

Slitherum, slatherum, take her.


  WEEK 41  


Among the Forest People  by Clara Dillingham Pierson

A Swarm Leaves the Bee Tree


T HE old Bee tree was becoming very crowded and the Queen-Mother grew restless. There were many things to make her so. In the tree were thousands of cells made ready for her eggs, and she had been busy for days putting one in each. In the larger cells she laid eggs that would hatch out Drones, and in the smaller ones she laid Worker eggs. She never laid any Queen eggs. Perhaps she did not want any Queens among her children, for there can never be two Queens in one swarm, and when a new one is hatched, the Queen-Mother has to go away and find another home. That is a law among the Bees.

The Workers, however, knew that there must be young Queens growing up all the time. Supposing something should happen to the Queen-Mother, what would become of the swarm if there were nobody to lay eggs? So after she had laid several thousand Worker eggs, and it was time for the young ones to hatch, they decided to change some of the babies into young Queens. And this was easy enough. When they were out for honey, they filled the pockets on their hind legs with pollen, the yellow dust that is found in flowers. This was to be mixed with honey and water and made into bread for the babies, who were now awake, and looked like tiny white worms in the bottom of their cells. Then they made some that was almost like sour jelly, and put it in a few of the Worker cells for the tiny white worms, or Larvæ, to eat. The Larvæ that eat this jelly grow up to be Queens, and can lay eggs. Those that eat the common bread are either Drones or Workers, whichever their mother had planned them to be.

After the Larvæ were five or six days old, the Workers shut them up in their cells and stopped feeding them. That was because the Larvæ had other things to do than eat. They had to spin their cocoons, and lie in them until they were grown and ready to come out among the older Bees. When a Larva, or Bee baby, has finished its cocoon, and is lying inside, it is called a Pupa, and when a Pupa is full grown and has torn its way out of the cocoon and wax, it is called a Drone, or a Worker, or a Queen.

Now the Queen-Mother was restless. She could hear the young Queens piping in their cells, and she knew that they wanted to come out and drive her away. She wanted to get to them and stop their piping, but the Workers stood in her way and prevented her. They knew it would not be well for the Queen-Mother to meet her royal children, and when these children tried to come out the Workers covered the doors of their cells with another layer of wax, leaving little holes where they could put out their tongues and be fed.

This made the Queen-mother more restless than ever. "If I cannot do as I wish to with my own children," she said, "I will leave the tree." And she began walking back and forth as fast as she could, and talked a great deal, and acted almost wild with impatience. The Workers saw how she felt, and part of them decided to go with her. When a Worker made up her mind to go with the Queen-Mother, she showed it by also acting wild and walking back and forth, and talking a great deal, sometimes fluttering her wings very fast. Then she would go for honey, because when Bees are about to swarm they fill their honey-pockets just as full as they can. At times the Queen-Mother would be quiet, and you might almost think that she had given up going. Then suddenly she would grow restless again, and all the Workers who were going with her would act as she did, and they would get so warm with excitement that the air in the tree became quite hot.

At last the Queen-Mother thought it time to start, and her followers came around her in the tree, and were very still for a minute. Several of the Workers had been flying in circles around the tree, and now they came to the doorway and called. Then all came out, and hovered in the air a few minutes before stopping to rest on a bush near by. When they rested, the first Bee held on to the bush, the next Bee held on to her, and that was the way they did until they were all clinging tightly together in a squirming, dark-brown mass.

Ah, then the Queen-Mother was happy! She felt that she was young again, and she thought, "How they love me, these dear Workers!" She stroked her body with her legs to make herself as fine as possible, and she noticed, with pleasure, how slender she was growing. "I had thought I should never fly again," she said, "yet this is delightful. I believe I will go off by myself for a little while."

So she flew off by herself and was talking rather airily to a Butterfly when two of the Workers came after her.

"You may return to the rest," she said in a queenly way, as she motioned to them with her feelers. "I will come by and by."

"No," said they, "you must come at once or we shall all go back to the Bee tree. You must stay with us. You must do your part as it should be done." And she had to go, for she knew in her heart that Queens have to obey the law as well as other people.

After she had hung with the Workers on the bush for some time, the ones who had gone ahead to find a new home for the swarm came back and gave the signal for the rest to follow. They went to an old log near the river-bank, and here they began the real work. Crawling through an opening at one end, they found a roomy place within, and commenced to clean house at once.

"If there is anything I do like," said a Worker, as she dropped a splinter of rotten wood outside the door, "it is house-cleaning."

"So do I," said her sister. "But what a fuss the Drones always make when we try to do anything of the sort! A pretty-looking home we'd have if they took care of it!"

"I'm glad none of them came with us to this place," said the first Worker. "I guess they knew they were not wanted."

"There, there!" said the Queen-Mother, coming up to where they were; "you must not talk in that way. It may be that you would rather do without Drones, and perhaps they would rather do without you; but I need you both and I will not have any quarreling." When she said this she walked away with her head in the air, and the Workers did not scold any more. They knew that she was right, and, after all, she was their Queen, even if she did have to obey the laws.

Next they got varnish from the buds of poplar trees and varnished over all the cracks and little holes in the walls of their home, leaving open only the place where they were to go in and out. They also covered with varnish a few heavy fragments of wood that lay on the floor of their home, and when this task was done it was all in order and ready for the furniture, that is, the comb.

You know how the comb looks, and you know how they get the wax from which to make it, but unless you are acquainted with the Bees, and have seen them at work, you have no idea what busy creatures they are. The Queen-Mother, as soon as the cells were ready and she could begin laying eggs again, was as contented and happy as ever.

One day, when she was walking around a corner of the comb, she ran against a sad and discouraged-looking Worker. "Why, what is the matter?" said she, kindly. "Are you sick?"

"No," answered the Worker. "I'm not sick and I'm not tired, only I want to get through."

"Through with what?" asked the Queen.

"With work! It is clean house, varnish the walls, make wax, build combs, get honey, make bread and jelly, and feed the babies. And when they get old enough they'll have to clean house, varnish the walls, make wax, build combs, get honey, make bread and jelly, and feed the babies. I want to know when it is going to stop, and Bees can spend their time in play."

"Never," said the Queen-Mother; and she spoke very gently, for she saw that the Worker was crazy. "It will never stop. If you had nothing to do but play all your life you would soon want to die, and you ought to, for there is no place in this world for idlers. You know that after a while the Drones die because they do nothing, and it is right they should."

"Don't you ever get tired of your eggs?" asked the Worker.

"No," answered the Queen-Mother, "I don't. You see, I have so much to think about, and happy thoughts make tasks light. And then, you know, it is not always the same kind of egg, and that makes a pleasant change for me. I will give you a motto to remember: 'As long as a Bee is well, work is pleasant when done faithfully.' "

"Perhaps that is the matter with me," said the Worker, raising her drooping head. "I have been careless lately when I thought nobody was looking. I will try your way."

When she had gone, the Queen-Mother smiled to herself and said: "Poor child! When work is no longer a pleasure, life is indeed sad. But any Larva should know better than to work carelessly when she is not watched."


A Book of Nursery Rhymes  by Francis D. Bedford

Is John Smith Within?


  WEEK 41  


Mother Stories  by Maud Lindsay

The Journey

A LITTLE BOY, named Joseph, went with his papa, once upon a time, to visit his Grandma. Grandma was an old, old lady, with hair as white as drifted snow; and she petted Joseph's papa almost as much as she did Joseph, for Papa had been her baby long, long before.

It was a fine thing to go to see Grandma; and Joseph would have been willing to stay a long time if it had not been that Mamma and the baby and big brother were at home.

He knew they needed him there, too, for Mamma wrote it in a letter.

"Dear Papa," she said, in the letter that the stage coach brought, "When are you, and my precious Joseph coming home? The baby and Brother and I are well but we want to see you. We need a little boy here who can hunt hens' nests and feed chickens, and rock the baby's cradle. Please bring one home with you."

This made Joseph laugh for, of course, Mamma meant him; and though he forgot some of her letter he always remembered that; and when Papa said: "Look here, Joseph, we must go home," he was just as glad to go, as he had been to come to see Grandma.

Now Joseph and his papa had to travel by stage coach, because there were no trains in those days; and after they had told Grandma goodbye, on the morning they left, they went down to the inn to wait for the stage.

The inn was the place where travelers who were away from home might stop and rest, and the landlady tried to be always pleasant and make everybody feel at home; so she hurried out on the porch, with two chairs for Joseph and his papa, as soon as she saw them.

They were a little early for the stage, so Joseph sat and watched the wagons and carriages, that passed the inn. All the carriages had ladies and children inside, and Joseph thought they must be going to see their grandmas.

Most of the wagons that passed the inn were loaded down. Some of them were full of hay; and Joseph knew in a minute, where they were going, for he had heard his Grandma say that she was going to store her hay away in a barn, that very day.

Some of the wagons carried good things to sell; and the men who drove them would ring their bells, and call out, now and then: "Apples to sell! Apples to sell!" or "Potatoes and corn! Potatoes and corn!" which made Joseph laugh.

Then there was the milkman. His tin cans were so bright that you could see yourself in them, and Joseph knew that they carried good sweet milk.

This made him think of their own cows. He could shut his eyes and see how each one looked. Clover was red, Teenie black, and Buttercup had white spots on her back.

Just then he heard the sound of a horn; and his father jumped up in a hurry and collected their bundles. "For," said he, "that is the guard blowing his horn, and the stage coach is coming!"

Joseph was so pleased when he heard this that he jumped up and down; and while he was jumping, the stage coach whirled around the corner.

There were four horses hitched to it, two white, and two black; and they were trotting along at a fine pace. The driver was a jolly good fellow, who sat on the top of the coach and cracked his whip; and the guard sat behind with the horn.

The wheels were turning so fast that you could scarcely see them, but as soon as the inn was reached, the horses stopped and the stage coach stood still. The guard jumped down to open the door, and Joseph and his papa made haste to get in. The guard blew his horn, the driver cracked his whip, the horses dashed off, and away went Joseph and his papa.


As soon as the inn was reached the horses stopped.

The stage coach had windows, and Joseph looked out. At first, all he could see was smooth, level ground; but after a while, the horses walked slowly and you could have counted the spokes in the wheels, for they were going up hill and the driver was careful of his horses.

The hill was so much higher than the rest of the country that when Joseph looked out at the houses in the valley he felt very great, although it was only the hill that was high, after all.

Then they all came down on the other side, and the horses trotted faster. It was early in the morning, and the sunshine was so bright and the air so fresh that the horses tossed their heads, and their hoofs rang out as they hurried over the hard road.

The road ran through the wood, and Joseph could see the maples with their wide-spreading branches, and the poplar with its arms held up to the sky, and the birches with their white dresses, all nodding in the wind, as though they said, "How do you do?" Once, too, he saw a little squirrel running about, and once a queer rabbit.

Then the stage-coach stopped with a jerk.

"What's the matter?" called Joseph's papa, as the driver and guard got down.

"The linch-pin has fallen out," answered the driver, "and we have just missed losing a wheel."

"Can we go on?" Joseph asked. And when his papa said "No," he felt sorry. But the guard said that he would go after a wheelwright who lived not far beyond; and Joseph and his papa walked about until the wheelwright came running, with his tools in his hand.

He set to work, and Joseph thought it was very funny that the great wheel could not stay on without the linch-pin; but the wheelwright said that the smallest screws counted. He put the wheel quickly in order, and off the stage-coach went.

The wheels whirled around all the more merrily because of the wheelwright's work; and when the hoofs of the horses clattered on the road, Joseph's papa said that the horse-shoes were saying:—

"It is the little shoes, the little shoes, that help the horse to go!"

Then Joseph looked down at his own small shoes and thought of his mother's letter, and the little boy that she needed to hunt eggs and feed chickens and rock the baby's cradle; and he was anxious to get home.

Clip, clap! clip, clap! The horses stepped on a bridge, and Joseph looked out to see the water. The bridge was strong and good, with great wooden piers set out in the water and a stout wooden railing to make it safe.

The sun was high and shining very brightly on the water, and little Joseph began to nod. He rested his head on papa's arm, and his eyelids dropped down over his two sleepy eyes, and he went so fast asleep that his papa was obliged to give him a little shake when he wanted to wake him up.

"Wake up, Joseph! wake up!" he cried, "and look out of the window!"

Joseph rubbed his eyes and looked out of the window; and he saw a red cow, a black cow, and a cow with spots on her back; and a little further on, a big boy and a baby; and, what do you think?—yes, a mamma! Then the stage-coach could not hold him or his papa another minute, because they were at home!


The Real Mother Goose  by Blanche Fisher Wright

The Donkey

Donkey, donkey, old and gray,

Ope your mouth and gently bray;

Lift your ears and blow your horn,

To wake the world this sleepy morn.


  WEEK 41  


The Sandman: His Farm Stories  by Willliam J. Hopkins

The Apple 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 went up past the kitchen door and past the shed and past the barn and past the orchard to the wheat-field.

In the orchard grew many apple-trees. Some had yellow apples and some had green apples and some had red apples and some had brown apples. And the yellow apples got ripe before the summer was over; but the green apples and the red apples and the brown apples were not ripe until the summer was over and it was beginning to get cold.

So, one day, after the summer was over and it was beginning to get cold, Uncle John saw that the apples on one of the trees were ready to be picked. And they were red apples. So he got out the old oxen, and they put their heads down and he put the yoke over and the bows under and hooked the tongue of the ox-cart to the yoke. Then he said: "Gee up there, Buck; gee up there, Star." And the old oxen began walking slowly along, past the barn to the orchard. And they turned in through the wide gate into the orchard and went along until they came to the right tree.

Then they stopped and Uncle John took a basket and climbed up into the tree. And he picked the apples very carefully and put them into the basket. And when the basket was full, he climbed down from the tree and emptied the basket carefully into the cart. Then he climbed up again and filled the basket again; and so he did until the cart was full. Then Uncle John said: "Gee up there;" and the old oxen started and turned around and walked slowly back to the barn and in at the big door. Then Uncle John took all the apples out of the cart and put them in a kind of pen, and the old oxen started again and walked slowly back to the orchard.


So Uncle John gathered all the apples from that tree and put them in the pen in the barn. Then he unhooked the tongue of the cart and took off the yoke, and the old oxen went to their places and went to sleep.

The next morning, Uncle Solomon and Uncle John and little John all went out to the barn, and they took little three-legged stools that had one end higher than the other,—the kind they used when they milked the cows,—and they sat on these stools and looked over all the apples, one by one. The apples that were very nice indeed they put in some barrels that were there; and the apples that were good, but not quite so nice and big, they put in a pile on the floor; and the apples that had specks on them or holes in them, or that were twisted, they put in another pile. And this last pile they gave to the horses and cows and oxen and pigs, and the apples in the barrels were to go to market, or for the people to eat.

Then 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 ox-cart to the yoke. And he put into the cart all the apples that were in the first pile, those that were good but not quite big enough to put in the barrels, and he put two empty kegs—little barrels—on the top of the load. Then the old oxen started walking slowly along, out of the barn and along the wagon track past the shed and past the kitchen door and through the gate into the road. And they turned along the road, not the way to the field where they went to get water, but the other way. And Uncle John walked beside, and little John ran ahead, and they went along until they came to a little house by the side of the road, and there they stopped. Then Uncle John opened the door of the little house and they went in. And inside there was nothing but a log against the wall, to sit on, and in the middle of the room a kind of a thing they called a cider-press. It had a place to put the apples in, and a flat cover that came down on top, and a screw and a long handle above. Besides the cider-press, there was a chopper to chop the apples into little pieces.

Then little John sat down on the log and Uncle John put the apples in the chopper and chopped them up fine. Then he put some chopped apples, with some straw over them, in the place that was meant for apples, and then he took hold of the long handle, and walked around and around. That made the screw turn and the cover squeeze down on the apples so that the juice ran out below into the keg that was put there. And when the juice was all squeezed out of those apples, he walked around the other way, holding the handle, and that made the cover lift up. Then he took out the squeezed apples and put in some other apples and squeezed them the same way. And when all the apples in the cart had been squeezed, both kegs were full of juice. And they call the juice cider.


So Uncle John put the great stoppers that they call bungs into the bung-holes in the kegs, so that the cider would not run out. Then he put the kegs in the cart, and little John came out of the little house and Uncle John shut the door, and the old oxen turned around and walked slowly along until they came to the gate, and they walked up the track to the kitchen door, and there they stopped. Then Uncle John and Uncle Solomon took the kegs down into the cellar, and they took out a little bung near the bottom of one of the kegs, and put in a wooden spigot—a kind of a faucet. Then they set that keg on a shelf, so that a pitcher or a mug could go under the spigot.

Then Uncle John took the yoke off the oxen and they went into the barn and went to sleep.

After supper that evening, Uncle Solomon and Uncle John were sitting in the sitting-room and Uncle John spoke to little John, and said: "John, I think I would like a drink of cider."

So little John took a pitcher down into the cellar, and his mother held a light while he put the pitcher under the spigot and turned the spigot; and the cider ran into the pitcher, and when enough had run in he turned the spigot the other way and the cider stopped running. Then he carried the cider up to his father, and his father drank it.


And when Uncle John had drunk the cider, he said to Uncle Solomon: "Father, that's pretty good cider; you'd better have some."

And Uncle Solomon said: "Don't care if I do." So little John had to go down cellar again and get another pitcher of cider.

Those two kegs of cider lasted for a while and then more apples were ripe and they made enough cider to last all winter and some to send to market besides.

And that's all.


Ring o' Roses  by L. Leslie Brooke

Hickety, Pickety, My Black Hen


Hickety, pickety, my black hen,

She lays eggs for gentlemen;


Gentlemen come every day

To see what my black hen doth lay.


  WEEK 41  


The Nursery Book of Bible Stories  by Amy Steedman

The Two Brothers, Jacob and Esau

I T had indeed been a shining road of happiness which Rebekah had trod since she had left her far distant home to become the wife of Isaac, and perhaps the greatest happiness of all had come when her twin babies were born, and they told her that God had sent her two little sons.

Now, although the babies were twins they were not in the least alike, and the older they grew the more different they became. Esau, the elder, was a big strong boy, fond of working in the open air, a keen hunter, loving all kinds of out-of-door sports. He was rough-looking, too, beside his smooth-faced, gentle brother Jacob, who was a thoughtful, quiet boy, quite content to do indoor work, and caring very little for rough games or the excitement of hunting.

It was Jacob who was his mother's favourite. She had always loved him best. It displeased her to think that Esau with his rough ways and rough looks was to be lord of all, was to have his father's blessing as well as the birthright, and that Jacob, her quiet, beautiful boy, should have nothing. There was always an echo in her heart of God's words, "the elder shall serve the younger."

But if his mother loved Jacob best, it was on Esau that all his father's hopes and love were fixed. Isaac delighted in the wild adventures and strength of his hunter son. He loved the strong hairy hands which were so skilful in the use of weapons, and the rough looks of his son only filled him with pride. When Esau entered he brought with him the wild fragrance of the woods and hills which clung even to his clothes, and it rejoiced his father's heart.

In many ways it was Jacob who was the cleverer of the two boys; but it was this very cleverness which sometimes led him into crooked ways and taught him to take a mean advantage of his brother. So one day, when Esau had been out hunting and came home hungry and faint, Jacob offered him food, a dish of red pottage cooked and ready, if for it he would give up his birthright. Esau was too hungry and too careless to think what that meant. He did not indeed deserve the birthright if he was willing to give it away so easily. But he only thought how hungry he was, and that he might die if he did not have food, and so Jacob's crooked plan was successful.

Now, although Jacob had managed to get the birthright, there was something else he wanted, something which his mother, too, thought of day and night. Whichever of the two sons received their father's blessing he it was who would be master of all, who would inherit all the good things, and carry on the family name. It was of this blessing that Jacob and his mother thought continually, and at last the time came when it must be decided once for all.

Isaac had grown very old and knew he had not much longer to live, and he called Esau, his beloved elder son, and told him to go out hunting and to prepare some venison for him, the special dish which he loved.

"Make me savoury meat, such as I love," he said, "that my soul may bless thee before I die."

Rebekah, listening at the tent door, knew what that meant. She watched Esau set out to do his father's bidding, and then she called quickly to Jacob. There was not a moment to be lost. He must go at once to the flock that was feeding in the field close by, and bring her two kids. She would make of them the savoury meat, and he would then take the dish to his father and pretend that he was Esau. The poor old father was almost blind now; he would not be able to tell the difference.

But Jacob hesitated. He did not think it was a safe plan. Suppose that his father should touch him and feel his smooth skin. Why, he would know at once that it was not Esau.

"Go and do as I tell thee," said his mother. He might leave it all to her; she had planned everything. And after cooking the food, she took the hairy skins of the kids and put them on Jacob's hands and on his neck; and she dressed him, too, in some of his brother's clothes. Then she sent him in quickly to his father, with the smoking dish of savoury meat in his hands.

The blind old father could not see who it was, he could only stretch out groping hands to feel if this was really his son Esau. Somehow he had an uneasy idea that the voice did not sound like Esau's voice.

"Come near, I pray thee, that I may feel thee, my son," he said, "whether thou be my very son Esau or not."

Those groping hands felt carefully over Jacob's hairy neck and hands. Yes, it must be Esau, but he would make quite sure.

"Art thou my very son Esau?" he asked.

And Jacob answered, "I am."

The food was eaten, and again Isaac called his son to come near to him, and as Jacob bent down to kiss him the old man smelt the sweet earthy fragrance of Esau's borrowed clothes. That smell was a delight to him, and he blessed his son with a wonderful blessing.

"See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the Lord hath blessed," he began, "therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven and the fatness of the earth."


"So he blessed him."

Jacob was to be lord of all. The blessing was his now, and no one could take it away. He had only been just in time; the blessing was scarcely ended, and he had only just left the tent, when Esau came hurrying in.

Then the trick was discovered.

"Thy brother hath come with subtilty and taken away thy blessing," said Isaac, trembling with grief. And when he heard that, there burst from Esau an exceeding bitter cry.

Surely that cry must have hurt his mother's heart, surely Jacob must have hated his own mean ways when he heard that terrible cry of grief.

Already his crooked ways were bringing their punishment. He dared not stay any longer in his home, but must flee away into a distant land, to his mother's people, where he would be safe from Esau's anger.

Alone in the desert, with only a stone for his pillow, he dreamed that God's angels came down the golden stairs of heaven to bring him a message of comfort; but there was little comfort for one who was banished from home, and who knew that he deserved his punishment. He repented sorely now, and God forgave him and allowed him to enjoy the blessing; but all his life he suffered for his deceit, and paid in sorrow for the evil he had done.


Jacob's Dream


The Real Mother Goose  by Blanche Fisher Wright


If all the world were apple pie,

And all the sea were ink,

And all the trees were bread and cheese,

What should we have for drink?