WEEK 13 |
ND soon now the Doctor began to make money again; and his sister, Sarah, bought a new dress and was happy.
Some of the animals who came to see him were so sick that they had to stay at the Doctor's house for a week. And when they were getting better they used to sit in chairs on the lawn.
They used to sit in chairs on the lawn.
And often even after they got well, they did not want to go away—they liked the Doctor and his house so much. And he never had the heart to refuse them when they asked if they could stay with him. So in this way he went on getting more and more pets.
Once when he was sitting on his garden wall, smoking a pipe in the evening, an Italian organ-grinder came round with a monkey on a string. The Doctor saw at once that the monkey's collar was too tight and that he was dirty and unhappy. So he took the monkey away from the Italian, gave the man a shilling and told him to go. The organ-grinder got awfully angry and said that he wanted to keep the monkey. But the Doctor told him that if he didn't go away he would punch him on the nose. John Dolittle was a strong man, though he wasn't very tall. So the Italian went away saying rude things and the monkey stayed with Doctor Dolittle and had a good home. The other animals in the house called him "Chee-Chee"—which is a common word in monkey-language, meaning "ginger."
And another time, when the circus came to Puddleby, the crocodile who had a bad tooth-ache escaped at night and came into the Doctor's garden. The Doctor talked to him in crocodile-language and took him into the house and made his tooth better. But when the crocodile saw what a nice house it was—with all the different places for the different kinds of animals—he too wanted to live with the Doctor. He asked couldn't he sleep in the fish-pond at the bottom of the garden, if he promised not to eat the fish. When the circus-men came to take him back he got so wild and savage that he frightened them away. But to every one in the house he was always as gentle as a kitten.
But now the old ladies grew afraid to send their lap-dogs to Doctor Dolittle because of the crocodile; and the farmers wouldn't believe that he would not eat the lambs and sick calves they brought to be cured. So the Doctor went to the crocodile and told him he must go back to his circus. But he wept such big tears, and begged so hard to be allowed to stay, that the Doctor hadn't the heart to turn him out.
So then the Doctor's sister came to him and said, "John, you must send that creature away. Now the farmers and the old ladies are afraid to send their animals to you—just as we were beginning to be well off again. Now we shall be ruined entirely. This is the last straw. I will no longer be housekeeper for you if you don't send away that alligator."
"It isn't an alligator," said the Doctor—"it's a crocodile."
"I don't care what you call it," said his sister. "It's a nasty thing to find under the bed. I won't have it in the house."
"But he has promised me," the Doctor answered, "that he will not bite any one. He doesn't like the circus; and I haven't the money to send him back to Africa where he comes from. He minds his own business and on the whole is very well behaved. Don't be so fussy."
"I tell you I will not have him around," said Sarah. "He eats the linoleum. If you don't send him away this minute I'll—I'll go and get married!"
"All right," said the Doctor, "go and get married. It can't be helped." And he took down his hat and went out into the garden.
"All right," said the Doctor, "go and get married."
So Sarah Dolittle packed up her things and went off; and the Doctor was left all alone with his animal family.
And very soon he was poorer than he had ever been before. With all these mouths to fill, and the house to look after, and no one to do the mending, and no money coming in to pay the butcher's bill, things began to look very difficult. But the Doctor didn't worry at all.
"Money is a nuisance," he used to say. "We'd all be much better off if it had never been invented. What does money matter, so long as we are happy?"
But soon the animals themselves began to get worried. And one evening when the Doctor was asleep in his chair before the kitchen-fire they began talking it over among themselves in whispers. And the owl, Too-Too, who was good at arithmetic, figured it out that there was only money enough left to last another week—if they each had one meal a day and no more.
One evening when the Doctor was asleep in his chair . . .
Then the parrot said, "I think we all ought to do the housework ourselves. At least we can do that much. After all, it is for our sakes that the old man finds himself so lonely and so poor."
So it was agreed that the monkey, Chee-Chee, was to do the cooking and mending; the dog was to sweep the floors; the duck was to dust and make the beds; the owl, Too-Too, was to keep the accounts, and the pig was to do the gardening. They made Polynesia, the parrot, housekeeper and laundress, because she was the oldest.
Of course at first they all found their new jobs very hard to do—all except Chee-Chee, who had hands, and could do things like a man. But they soon got used to it; and they used to think it great fun to watch Jip, the dog, sweeping his tail over the floor with a rag tied onto it for a broom. After a little they got to do the work so well that the Doctor said that he had never had his house kept so tidy or so clean before.
In this way things went along all right for a while; but without money they found it very hard.
Then the animals made a vegetable and flower stall outside the garden-gate and sold radishes and roses to the people that passed by along the road.
But still they didn't seem to make enough money to pay all the bills—and still the Doctor wouldn't worry. When the parrot came to him and told him that the fishmonger wouldn't give them any more fish, he said,
"Never mind. So long as the hens lay eggs and the cow gives milk we can have omelettes and junket. And there are plenty of vegetables left in the garden. The Winter is still a long way off. Don't fuss. That was the trouble with Sarah—she would fuss. I wonder how Sarah's getting on—an excellent woman—in some ways—Well, well!"
But the snow came earlier than usual that year; and although the old lame horse hauled in plenty of wood from the forest outside the town, so they could have a big fire in the kitchen, most of the vegetables in the garden were gone, and the rest were covered with snow; and many of the animals were really hungry.
Of speckled eggs the birdie sings
And nests among the trees;
The sailor sings of ropes and things
In ships upon the seas.
The children sing in far Japan,
The children sing in Spain;
The organ with the organ man
Is singing in the rain.
WEEK 13 |
OME men are great soldiers. Some are great
Now you are going to read about a man that was great in none of these things. He was not a soldier. He was not a great speaker. He was never rich. He was a poor school-teacher. He never held any office.
And yet he was a great man. He was great for his goodness.
He was born in France. But most of his life was passed in Philadelphia before the Revolution.
He was twenty-five years old when he became a school-teacher. He thought that he could do more good in teaching than in any other way.
School-masters in his time were not like our teachers. Children were treated like little animals. In old times the school-master was a little king. He walked and talked as if he knew everything. He wanted all the children to be afraid of him.
But Benezet was not that kind of man. He was very gentle. He treated the children more kindly than their fathers and mothers did. Nobody in this country had ever seen a teacher like him.
He built a play-room for the children of his school. He used to take them to this room during school time for a little amusement. He managed each child as he found best. Some he could persuade to be good. Some he shamed into being good. But this was very different from the cruel beatings that other teachers of that time gave their pupils.
Of course the children came to love him very much. After they grew to be men and women, they kept their love for the good little school-master. As long as they lived they listened to his advice.
There were no good school-books in his time. He wrote some little books to make learning easier to his pupils. He taught them many things not in their books. He taught them to be kind to brutes, and gentle with one another. He taught them to be noble. He made them despise every kind of meanness.
He was a great teacher. That is better than being a great soldier.
Benezet was a good man in many ways. He was the friend of all poor people. Once he found a poor man suffering with cold for want of a coat. He took off his own coat in the street and put it on the poor man, and then went home in his shirt sleeves.
In those days negroes were stolen from Africa to be sold into America. Benezet wrote little books against this wrong. He sent these books over all the world almost. He also tried to persuade the white men of his own country to be honest and kind with the Indians.
Great men in other countries were pleased with his books. They wrote him letters. When any of them came to this country, they went to see him. They wanted to see a man that was good to everybody. His house was a plain one. But great men liked to sit at the table of the good school-master.
There was war between the English and French at that time. Canada belonged to the French. Our country belonged to the English. There was a country called Acadia. It was a part of what is now Nova Scotia. The people of Acadia were French.
Departure of the Acadians
The English took the Acadians away from their homes. They sent them to various places. Many families were divided. The poor Acadians lost their homes and all that they had.
Many hundreds of these people were sent to Philadelphia. Benezet became their friend. As he was born in France, he could speak their language. He got a large house built for some of them to stay in. He got food and clothing for them. He helped them to get work, and did them good in many other ways.
One day Benezet's wife came to him with a troubled face. She said, "There have been thieves in the house. Two of my blankets have been stolen."
"Never mind, my dear," said Benezet, "I gave them to some of the poor Acadians."
One old Acadian was afraid of Benezet. He did not see why Benezet should take so much trouble for other people. He thought that Benezet was only trying to get a chance to sell the Acadians for slaves. When Benezet heard this, he had a good laugh.
Many years after this the Revolution broke out. It brought trouble to many people. Benezet helped as many as he could.
After a while the British army took Philadelphia. They sent their soldiers to stay in the houses of the people. The people had to take care of the soldiers. This was very hard for the poor people.
One day Benezet saw a poor woman. Her face showed that she was in trouble.
"Friend, what is the matter?" Benezet said to her. She told him that six soldiers of the British army had been sent to stay in her house. She was a washer-woman. But while the soldiers filled up the house she could not do any washing. She and her children were in want.
Benezet went right away to see the general that was in command of the soldiers. The good man was in such a hurry that he forgot to get a pass. The soldiers at the general's door would not let him go in.
At last some one told the general that a queer-looking fellow wanted to see him.
"Let him come up," said the general.
The odd little man came in. He told the general all about the troubles of the poor washer-woman. The general sent word that the soldiers must not stay any longer in her house.
The general liked the kind little man. He told him to come to see him again. He told the soldiers at his door to let Benezet come in whenever he wished to.
Soon after the Revolution was over, Benezet was taken ill. When the
people of Philadelphia heard that he was ill, they gathered in
crowds about his house. Everybody loved him. Everybody wanted to
know whether he was better or not. At last the doctors said he could
not get well.
Then the people wished to see the good man once more.
The doors were opened. The rooms and halls of his house were filled
with people coming to say
When he was buried, it seemed as if all Philadelphia had come to his funeral. The rich and the poor, the black and the white, crowded the streets. The city had never seen so great a funeral.
In the company was an American general. He said, "I would rather be Anthony Benezet in that coffin than General Washington in all his glory."
She wore her yellow
She wore her greenest gown;
She turned to the south wind
And curtsied up and down.
She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbour:
"Winter is dead."
WEEK 13 |
HEN the little Water Spiders first opened their eyes, and
this was as soon as they were hatched, they found
themselves in a cosy home of one room which their
mother had built under the water. This room had no
window and only one door. There was no floor at all.
When Father Stickleback had asked
When her home was done, it was half as large as a big
acorn and a charming place for Water Spider babies.
The side walls and the rounding ceiling were all of the
finest Spider silk, and the bottom was just one round
doorway. The house was built under the water and
fastened down by tiny ropes of Spider silk which were
tied to the stems of pond plants.
She crept up the stem of the nearest plant and sat in
the air for a few minutes, eating her lunch and
resting. Next she walked down the stem until just the
end of her body was in the air. She stood so, with her
head down, then gave a little jerk and dived to her
home. As she
jerked, she crossed her hindlegs and caught a small
bubble of air between them and her body. When she
reached her home, she went quickly in the open doorway
and let go of her bubble. It did not fall downward to
the floor, as bubbles do in most houses, and there were
two reasons for this. In the first place, there was no
floor. In the second place, air always falls upward in
the water. This fell up until it reached the rounded
ceiling and had to stop. Just as it fell, a drop of
water went out through the open doorway. The home had
been full of water, you know, but now that
She brought down thirteen more bubbles of air and then
the house was filled with it. On the lower side of the
open doorway there was water and on the upper side was
air, and each stayed where it should. When
After she had laid her eggs, she had some days in which
to rest and visit with the
"We know that they have rather too many legs to look
well," said Mrs.
One day, when Mrs. Water Spider was sitting on a
As soon as he got to floating on his back.
"Really?" exclaimed Mrs. Water Spider. "I shall be so
glad! A house always seems lonely to me without
children." She dived to her house, and found some very
Sometimes they teased to go out with her, but this she never allowed. "Wait until you are older," she would say. "It will not be so very long before you can go safely." The children thought it had been a long, long time already, and one of them made a face when his mother said this. She did not see him, and it was well for him that she did not. He should have been very much ashamed of himself for doing it.
The next time Mrs. Water Spider went for food, one of the children said, "I tell you what let's do! Let's all go down to the doorway and peek out." They looked at each other and wondered if they dared. That was something their mother had forbidden them to do. There was no window to look through and they wanted very much to see the world. At last the little fellow who had made a face said, "I'm going to, anyway." After that, his brothers and sisters went, too. And this shows how, if good little Spiders listen to naughty little Spiders, they become naughty little Spiders themselves.
All the children ran down and peeked around the edge of the door, but they had seen that before. They were sadly disappointed. Somebody said, "I'm going to put two of my legs out!" Somebody else said, "I'll put four out!" A big brother said, "I'm going to put six out!" And then another brother said, "I'll put eight out! Dare you to!"
You know what naughty little Spiders would be likely to do then. Well, they did it. And, as it happened, they had just pulled their last legs through the open doorway when a Stickleback Father came along. "Aren't you rather young to be out of the nest?" said he, in his most pleasant voice.
Poor little Water Spiders! They didn't know he was one of their mother's friends, and he seemed so big to them, and the bones on his cheeks made him look so queer, and the stickles on his back were so sharp, that every one of them was afraid and let go of the wall of the house—and then!
Every one of them rose quickly to the top, into the
light and the open air. They crawled upon a
Here Mrs. Water Spider found them. She came home with something for dinner, and saw her house empty. Of course she knew where to look, for, as she said, "If they stepped outside the door, they would be quite sure to tumble up into the air." She took them home, one at a time, and how she ever did it nobody knows.
When they were all safely there and had eaten the food
that was waiting for them,
Instead of saying at once, "Yes, mother," as they should have done, one of them answered, "Why, we didn't run away. We were just peeking around the edge of the doorway, and we got too far out, and somebody came along and scared us so that we let go, and then we couldn't help falling up into the air."
"Oh, no," said their mother, "you couldn't help it then, of course. But who told you that you might peep out of the door?"
The little Water Spiders hung their heads and looked very much ashamed. Their mother went on, "You needn't say that you were not to blame. You were to blame, and you began to run away as soon as you took the first step toward the door, only you didn't know that you were going so far. Tell me," she said, "whether you would ever have gone to the top of the water if you had not taken that first step?"
The little Water Spiders were more ashamed than ever, but they had to look her in the eye and promise to be good.
It is very certain that not one of those children even peeped around the edge of the doorway from that day until their mother told them that they might go into the world and build houses for themselves. "Remember just one thing," she said, as they started away. "Always take your food home to eat." And they always did, for no Water Spider who has been well brought up will ever eat away from his own home.
Boats sail on the rivers,
And ships sail on the seas,
But clouds that sail across the skies
Are prettier than these.
There are bridges in the river
As pretty as you please,
But the bow that bridges heaven
And overtops the trees
And builds a roof from earth to sky
Is prettier far than these.
WEEK 13 |
O NCE upon a time there was a woman, and she baked five pies. And when they came out of the oven, they were that overbaked the crusts were too hard to eat. So she says to her daughter:
"Darter," says she, "put you them there pies on the shelf, and leave 'em there a little, and they'll come again."—She meant, you know, the crust would get soft.
But the girl, she says to herself: "Well, if they'll come again, I'll eat 'em now." And she set to work and ate 'em all, first and last.
Well, come supper-time the woman said: "Go you, and get one o' them there pies. I dare say they've come again now."
The girl went and she looked, and there was nothing but the dishes. So back she came and says she: "Noo, they ain't come again."
"Not one of 'em?" says the mother.
"Not one of 'em," says she.
"Well, come again, or not come again," said the woman, "I'll have one for supper."
"But you can't, if they ain't come," said the girl.
"But I can," says she. "Go you, and bring the best of 'em."
"Best or worst," says the girl, "I've ate 'em all, and you can't have one till that's come again."
Well, the woman she was done, and she took her spinning to the door to spin, and as she span she sang:
"My darter ha' ate five, five pies today.
My darter ha' ate five, five pies today.
The king was coming down the street, and he heard her sing, but what she sang he couldn't hear, so he stopped and said:
"What was that you were singing, my good woman?"
The woman was ashamed to let him hear what her daughter had been doing, so she sang, instead of that:
"My darter ha' spun five, five skeins today.
My darter ha' spun five, five skeins today.
"Stars o' mine!" said the king, "I never heard tell of anyone that could do that."
Then he said: "Look you here, I want a wife, and I'll marry your daughter. But look you here," says he, "eleven months out of the year she shall have all she likes to eat, and all the gowns she likes to get, and all the company she likes to keep; but the last month of the year she'll have to spin five skeins every day, and if she don't I shall kill her."
"All right," says the woman; for she thought what a grand marriage that was. And as for the five skeins, when the time came, there'd be plenty of ways of getting out of it, and likeliest, he'd have forgotten all about it.
Well, so they were married. And for eleven months the girl had all she liked to eat, and all the gowns she liked to get, and all the company she liked to keep.
But when the time was getting over, she began to think about the skeins and to wonder if he had 'em in mind. But not one word did he say about 'em, and she thought he'd wholly forgotten 'em.
However, the last day of the last month he takes her to a room she'd never set eyes on before. There was nothing in it but a spinning-wheel and a stool. And says he: "Now, my dear, here you'll be shut in to-morrow with some victuals and some flax, and if you haven't spun five skeins by the night, your head'll go off."
And away he went about his business.
Well, she was that frightened, she'd always been such a gatless girl, that she didn't so much as know how to spin, and what was she to do to-morrow with no one to come nigh her to help her? She sate down on a stool in the kitchen, and law! how she did cry!
However, all of a sudden she heard a sort of a knocking low down on the door. She upped and oped it, and what should she see but a small little black thing with a long tail. That looked up at her right curious, and that said:
"What are you a-crying for?"
"What's that to you?" says she.
"Never you mind," that said, "but tell me what you're a-crying for."
"That won't do me no good if I do," says she.
"You don't know that," that said, and twirled that's tail round.
"Well," says she, "that won't do no harm, if that don't do no good," and she upped and told about the pies, and the skeins, and everything.
"This is what I'll do," says the little black thing. "I'll come to your window every morning and take the flax and bring it spun at night."
"What's your pay?" says she.
That looked out of the corner of that's eyes, and that said: "I'll give you three guesses every night to guess my name, and if you haven't guessed it before the month's up you shall be mine."
Well, she thought, she'd be sure to guess that's name before the month was up. "All right," says she, "I agree."
"All right," that says, and law! how that twirled that's tail.
Well, the next day, her husband took her into the room, and there was the flax and the day's food.
"Now, there's the flax," says he, "and if that ain't spun up this night, off goes your head."
And then he went out and locked the door.
He'd hardly gone, when there was a knocking against the window.
She upped and she oped it, and there sure enough was the little old thing sitting on the ledge.
"Where's the flax?" says he.
"Here it be," says she. And she gave it to him.
Well, come the evening a knocking came again to the window. She upped and she oped it, and there was the little old thing with five skeins of flax on his arm.
"Here it be," says he, and he gave it to her.
"Now, what's my name?" says he.
"What, is that Bill?" says she.
"Noo, that ain't," says he, and he twirled his tail.
"Is that Ned?" says she.
"Noo, that ain't," says he, and he twirled his tail.
"Well, is that Mark?" says she.
"Noo, that ain't," says he, and he twirled his tail harder, and away he flew.
Well, when her husband came in, there were the five skeins ready for him. "I see I shan't have to kill you to-night, my dear," says he; "you'll have your food and your flax in the morning," says he, and away he goes.
Well, every day the flax and the food were brought, and every day that there little black impet used to come mornings and evenings. And all the day the girl sate trying to think of names to say to it when it came at night. But she never hit on the right one. And as it got towards the end of the month, the impet began to look so maliceful, and that twirled that's tail faster and faster each time she gave a guess.
At last it came to the last day but one. The impet came at night along with the five skeins, and that said:
"What, ain't you got my name yet?"
"Is that Nicodemus?" says she.
"Noo, t'ain't," that says.
"Is that Sammle?" says she.
"Noo, t'ain't," that says.
"A-well, is that Methusalem?" says she.
"Noo, t'ain't that neither," that says.
Then that looks at her with that's eyes like a coal of fire, and that says: "Woman, there's only to-morrow night, and then you'll be mine!" And away it flew.
Well, she felt that horrid. However, she heard the king coming along the passage. In he came, and when he sees the five skeins, he says, says he:
"Well, my dear," says he. "I don't see but what you'll have your skeins ready to-morrow night as well, and as I reckon I shan't have to kill you, I'll have supper in here to-night." So they brought supper, and another stool for him, and down the two sate.
Well, he hadn't eaten but a mouthful or so, when he stops and begins to laugh.
"What is it?" says she.
"A-why," says he, "I was out a-hunting today, and I got away to a place in the wood I'd never seen before. And there was an old chalk-pit. And I heard a kind of a sort of humming. So I got off my hobby, and I went right quiet to the pit, and I looked down. Well, what should there be but the funniest little black thing you ever set eyes on. And what was that doing, but that had a little spinning-wheel, and that was spinning wonderful fast, and twirling that's tail. And as that span that sang:
Nimmy nimmy not
My name's Tom Tit Tot.
Well, when the girl heard this, she felt as if she could have jumped out of her skin for joy, but she didn't say a word.
Next day that there little thing looked so maliceful when he came for the flax. And when night came she heard that knocking against the window panes. She oped the window, and that come right in on the ledge. That was grinning from ear to ear, and Oo! that's tail was twirling round so fast.
"What's my name?" that says, as that gave her the skeins.
"Is that Solomon?" she says, pretending to be afeard.
"Noo, t'ain't," that says, and that came further into the room.
"Well, is that Zebedee?" says she again.
"Noo, t'ain't," says the impet. And then that laughed and twirled that's tail till you couldn't hardly see it.
"Take time, woman," that says; "next guess, and you're mine." And that stretched out that's black hands at her.
Well, she backed a step or two, and she looked at it, and then she laughed out, and says she, pointing her finger at it:
"Nimmy nimmy not
Your name is
Well, when that heard her, that gave an awful shriek and away that flew into the dark, and she never saw it any more.
The sun is not a-bed, when I
At night upon my pillow lie;
Still round the earth his way he takes,
And morning after morning makes.
While here at home, in shining day,
We round the sunny garden play,
Each little Indian sleepy-head
Is being kissed and put to bed.
And when at eve I rise from tea,
Day dawns beyond the Atlantic Sea;
And all the children in the west
Are getting up and being dressed.
WEEK 13 |
"And King Solomon made a navy of ships . . .
on the shore of the Red Sea."
—1 Kings ix. 26.
N OW when Solomon had finished building the wonderful temple at Jerusalem, he turned his attention to other parts of his dominions. He had learned much from the Phœnicians; he saw the wealth that poured yearly into Tyre, and he felt that a navy for his own people, would greatly tend to improve foreign trade and commerce.
True he had, by his marriage with the daughter of Pharaoh, King of Egypt, improved the trade-routes between the two countries of Egypt and Canaan. But the power of the sea was beginning to make itself felt through the Eastern world, and Solomon appealed to Hiram for help.
Now, the Phœnicians had no port on the shores of the Red Sea, and very gladly Hiram seems to have thrown himself into the scheme for building a new navy for Solomon. To the chosen port, King Solomon travelled himself, to arrange about the making of the fleet. "The Giant's Backbone," as the port was called, was soon teeming with life and activity, shipbuilders from Tyre, and sailors from the land of Phœnicia, were hard at work preparing the new ships, until at last the great fleet was ready to sail forth.
Guided by Phœnician pilots, manned by Phœnician sailors, Phœnicians and Israelites sailed forth together on their mysterious voyages, into the southern seas. They sailed to India, to Arabia and Somaliland, and they returned with their ships laden with gold and silver, with ivory and precious stones, with apes and peacocks.
The amount of gold brought to Solomon by his navy was enormous. Silver was so abundant, as to be thought nothing of in those days, and all the king's drinking-cups and vessels were of wrought gold, and every three years his fleet returned with yet more and more gold and silver.
For the first time, too, we can see the beginning of contact between the West and East.
"The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents," sang the Psalmist. This was from the West, from the Tarshish in Spain, already discovered by the Phœnician sailors, the Tarshish from whence pure silver flowed in glowing streams.
"The kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts," sang the Psalmist again. This was from the East, from the shores of Arabia, from the yet more distant coasts of India, now opened up for the first time in history. "Yea, all kings shall fall down before him; all nations shall serve him." So it was the Phœnicians that taught the Israelites, how to attain all this splendour and riches, insomuch as they taught them the value of the sea.
Now, though the Phœnicians were the first pioneers of the sea, yet they did not neglect their homework. They excelled in bronze work and ivory carving. There are two bronze gates now to be seen in England, carved by these old Phœnicians; they are covered with groups of figures busy with all the occupations of a seaport.
Tyrian dyes, too, were renowned throughout the ancient world. Here is the old story of how they discovered the purple dye.
It was in the old, old days,—so they said,—that one day the nymph Tyros was walking by the sea-shore with Hercules, her beloved. Suddenly her dog broke a small shell with his teeth, and his mouth immediately became dyed with a brilliant red colour. Tyros declared that unless Hercules would procure for her a robe of the same tint, he should see her face no more. Hercules gathered a number of the shells, and having dipped a garment in the blood of the shellfish, he presented it to Tyros, who was henceforth adorned with the royal purple, which throughout all ages has remained the royal colour for British kings and princes.
In mining, too, the Phœnicians were experts. They dug mines in Lebanon—their own mountains—then in the country now known as Rhodesia in South Africa.
While Phœnicia was still at the height of her fame, Hiram, King of Tyre, died. And still
I creep upon the ground, and the children say,
"You ugly old thing!" and push me away.
I lie in my bed, and the children say,
"The fellow is dead; we'll throw him away."
At last I awake, and the children try
To make me stay, as I rise and fly.
WEEK 13 |
This is a picture of the little
Back of the house there is a pasture and a
This is a fishing-raft which once belonged to Twins' father. He kept it tied to a coconut tree at the river's edge. You can see the place on the map.
was a little tiny house like a tent in the middle of
the raft. It was covered with nipa thatch like the roof
Here are the Twins who live in the little
This is the Twins' mother. Her name is
Petra (pronounced Pā′tra). She is
sitting out of doors embroidering pretty white leaves
on a piece of white cloth. She is thinking about what
she will cook for supper. She knows it is almost
This is the father of Ramon and Rita. His name is Felix
Santos (pronounced Fā′-leex Sahn′-tōs).
He is tired, for he has just come back from
plowing in the hot
This is old Bobtail, the carabao, with his friend the white heron on his back. When she is not with old Bobtail the heron flies away to the mangrove swamp across the river, but no one has ever yet found her nest. She likes to ride on Bobtail's back. Bobtail likes to have her, because she catches the flies and bugs that always swarm about him. Bobtail is tired from the plowing, too, so he has broken out of his pasture and is going to the river to rest himself by wallowing in the mud.
This is Dingo, the Twins' dog. Their teacher named him Dingo when he was a puppy. Dingo is a yellow dog. The teacher said that was why she named him Dingo. Ramon and Rita could not see why that was a reason, but they called him Dingo just the same. Dingo hears the Twins coming home from school; so he is running to meet them, barking and wagging his tail.
This is Fatty, the pig, with her six little pigs. They
belong to the Twins' father. They are running because
they hear him coming and they know it is
This is the goat, and her little kid. The Twins call her "Maah" because that is the sound she makes. She is saying it now in the picture. The kid hasn't any name because it is so very new that the Twins have not thought of a name yet.
Here are the ducks. They are hungry, too. They are going down to the river to hunt for bugs and little frogs for their supper.
"S ANTA MARIA!" said the Twins' mother, getting up from her seat under a coconut tree and going up the steps into her little kitchen. "Felix is already back from the field, and it is time the children were home from school! They are late and they will be very hungry. I must make a fire at once. Then, when they come, it will not take long to cook the rice."
She started to make a fire, but there was no wood in the kitchen. So she climbed down the steps again, and went under the house. The house was set up on high posts, and under it there was always a pile of dry guava branches and mangrove wood for fuel.
Dingo lived under the house, too, when he was at home,
and there were baskets
there besides, and a heap of peanut straw. There were
also an old farm cart and a pile of boards. Two hens
had already gone to roost on the
"Shoo!" said the Twins' mother, flapping her skirt at them.
When they fled squawking, she gathered a bundle of sticks in her arms and toiled up to her kitchen again.
"Ramon must bring up some wood for me as soon as he comes home," she said aloud to herself when she reached the kitchen. She threw the sticks down on the floor and prepared to make a fire.
The stove was just a long box standing on four legs. It was filled with earth. First she put three stones together on top of the earth, like this:
Then she piled sticks between the stones and lighted them. She washed four handfuls of rice and put them in an earthen pot. Then she filled the pot with water from a long hollow bamboo tube and set it on the stones. Soon the fire was crackling merrily and the steam was sailing in little clouds up into the thatch of the roof above her head.
When all this was done, she looked out of the window,—at least she tried to, but she couldn't see out because the window was closed and there was no glass in it. Instead of glass there were little thin shells set in a sliding frame, and of course she could not see through that. She pushed back the shell window and looked out. She heard Dingo barking. Then she heard voices. Then she saw Ramon and Rita coming along the shore of the bay, with Dingo jumping up to give them dog kisses. She ran out to meet them and give them mother kisses too. Then they all came back into the kitchen together.
When Ramon had brought up more wood from under the house, he said to his mother, "Manang" (that was their pet name for her), "I am so hungry I could eat a plate of rice as big as this house!"
"So could I," Rita chimed in.
"Ay! What shall I do!" cried their mother, throwing up her hands in mock despair. "There is not so much as a single roomful cooking in the pot." She smiled down at them and added, "But, my nenes" (that was her pet name for them), "may it not be that your eyes hold more than your stomachs? I put four handfuls in the pot. It would be sad indeed to see you burst yourselves."
Rita peeped into the pot. "There is no danger of our bursting ourselves, if that's all you are going to cook," she cried. "I could eat every bit of that myself."
This time their mother did not smile at them. "It is
all we can spare
The Twins stared at their mother.
"But, Manang, we cannot live without rice! We have it every single meal," said Ramon.
His mother pinched his cheek. "You have not gone hungry
yet," she said, "and if we are careful, and if Father
has good luck with his fishing, we shall have enough to
eat, even if we do have very little rice." She took
"There are some
"Take off your shoes!" their mother called after them. "If you don't, you will get them wet and muddy, and you must keep them nice for school."
The Twins sat down at once and took
off their shoes. They left them at the foot of a
coconut tree and ran along the
A turtle, which had been sunning itself on a log near by, slid into the water with a splash. A little fish swam slowly down stream among the reeds near the shore. The children saw both the turtle and the fish, but not a single crab could they find. In vain Ramon lay on his stomach on the bank and poked about in the river mud with a stick, getting his arms smeared with black to the elbows. At last he rose to his knees in disgust.
"May the plague take all crabs!" he said to Rita. "I'm not going to poke about here any more. There aren't any here, anyway. I'm going farther up the river and try again. Come along." He sprang to his feet, and the two trotted away up stream, with Dingo at their heels.
Soon they came to the place where old Bobtail, the carabao, was wallowing and splashing about in the muddy water. The flies, as usual, were buzzing about him in swarms, and the white heron was on his back gobbling them up. The ducks were swimming near by. They were catching flies, too.
Dingo did not like Bobtail. Once, when he had barked at him, old Bobtail had chased him so that Dingo had had to run for his life. He had jumped over a bamboo fence on to a young maguey plant. The sharp spines of the maguey had stuck into Dingo. As soon as he could pick himself up he had run home with his tail between his legs, yelping all the way, and had hidden himself under the house to nurse his wounds. Ever since that time he had not liked Bobtail.
Now, when he saw the carabao deep in the mud and water, he thought his chance had come. He knew he could run away before old Bobtail could climb out of the mud and run after him. So he jumped about on the bank and barked and barked. He meant to make old Bobtail think he was a very dangerous dog indeed, who would like nothing better than to snap off his head at one bite.
Old Bobtail was a gentle beast nearly all the time, but he did not like Dingo any better than Dingo liked him, so he began to climb right out of the water, grunting and wallowing about in a way to scare even an elephant or a tiger if there had been any such beasts about, which of course there were not.
The white heron screamed and flew away to the mangrove swamp with her long legs streaming out behind her. The ducks swam up the river as fast as they could go, and as for Dingo and the Twins, they ran like a streak of lightning for home. Of course Dingo got there first. He ran under the house, and was already hidden beneath the farm wagon when the Twins scrambled up the steps and dashed into the kitchen.
"Oh! Oh!" cried their mother, "you can't have caught any crabs in this time! Why are you back so soon?"
She looked up from her
"What in the world is the matter?" she cried, gazing at them in surprise.
"Bobtail!" gasped the
Their mother dropped the banana she was just about to
put in the
She ran to the door and looked out. There was Bobtail in the dooryard, dripping with mud and grunting with rage.
"The saints preserve us, the beast has
gone mad!" she cried, slamming the door shut, as if
she thought he might try to climb the steps and come
into the kitchen. "He has been dragging the plow all
day in the
"We don't know. We haven't seen him," wailed the Twins.
Their mother ran to the front of the house, slid back
the shell window, and looked out. There, directly
before her, lay the blue waters of Manila Bay, dotted
with the sails of
"Ay! Ay!" she cried to the children. "Your father is nowhere to be seen!"
She ran to the kitchen window and called, "Felix! Felix!"
The Twins stuck their heads out too and shouted, "Father! Father!"
When he heard their voices, Dingo under the house gave a mournful howl. Old Bobtail heard him, and the voice of his enemy seemed to rouse him to fresh fury. There was a ring in his nose and a rope was fastened to the ring. The rope had been tied to one of his horns to keep it out of the way, but in his fit of temper it had become loosened and now was hanging on the ground. When Dingo howled, old Bobtail shook his head angrily and started toward the house. In doing so he stepped on the rope and pulled his own nose. This was too much!
Maybe he thought Dingo had pulled his nose. Anyway, he
gave a savage grunt and plunged forward as if he meant
to find him. He was too big to get under the house, and
besides there was a bamboo lattice to keep him out, but
he put his head down and looked through the opening by
the kitchen steps. When Dingo saw the carabao's nose so
near him, he yelped as if he had fallen again on a
maguey plant. Then he dashed through a hole in the
lattice on the opposite side of the house and never
stopped running until he was out of sight. He ran
through the coconut grove, past the clump of banana
trees, past the bamboos along the river, and sat down
at last with his tongue hanging out, on top of a little
hill back of the
Just then around the corner of the house came the Twins' father, carrying the empty basket in one hand and in the other the bamboo pail which held the milk. When he saw the basket old Bobtail thought there might be something good to eat in it; so he came lumbering along toward his master.
"Come in, come in quick!" screamed the children and their mother. "He's as mad as he can be!" They thought old Bobtail might try to toss Felix up in the air, as carabaos sometimes do when they are angry.
But Felix was not afraid. He held out the basket, and
the great beast stopped and sniffed at it. "Poor old
Bobtail!" said Felix, "it was hot in the
"He chased us!" cried Rita.
"We ran home as fast as we could," shouted Ramon.
"Dingo barked at him," explained the mother. "It made Bobtail angry, and now Dingo has run away."
Felix handed the milk to Petra. "Bring me some water," he said to Ramon.
Ramon ran into the kitchen and brought out a long bamboo tube filled with water. His father emptied it on the carabao's back, then old Bobtail acted as pleased as a cat when its fur is stroked.
"He is quiet enough now," said Felix. "It was only a passing fit of anger. He was hot and tired, and that pest of a Dingo must have driven him wild. He deserves a beating. Come, Ramon, there is no more danger. Climb up on his back and drive him to pasture." Ramon was used to taking care of the carabao and, no longer afraid of him, he ran down the steps, seized Bobtail's stumpy tail, and planting one foot firmly against his hind leg, climbed to a seat on his broad back.
His father took the rope's end in his hand and
started toward the pasture.
Rita and her mother watched them from the kitchen door, and when they saw that all danger was past, turned back to the stove where their supper was cooking. Alas! it was not cooking any more. The fire had gone out and the rice was only half done.
Rita ran for more sticks, her mother blew on the coals and fed the flames with dry leaves and twigs, and soon the pot was bubbling away merrily again.
Ramon and his father were gone for some time, for they had to mend the bamboo fence around the pasture where old Bobtail had broken through. When they came home, supper was waiting for them, and, although there was not as much rice as they would have liked, there were plenty of fried bananas, and Petra had also cooked some dried fish, since there were no crabs.
Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you;
But when the leaves hang trembling
The wind is passing through.
Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I.
But when the trees bow down their heads
The wind is passing by.
WEEK 13 |
Genesis xxvii: 46, to xxx: 24.
FTER Esau found that he had lost his birthright and his blessing, he was very angry against his brother Jacob; and he said to himself, and told others, "My father Isaac is very old, and cannot live long. As soon as he is dead, then I shall kill Jacob for having robbed me of my right."
When Rebekah heard this, she said to Jacob, "Before it is too late, do you go away from home, and get out of Esau's sight. Perhaps when Esau sees you no longer, he will forget his anger; and then you can come home again. Go and visit my brother Laban, your uncle, in Haran, and stay with him for a little while, until Esau's anger is past."
You remember that Rebekah came from the family of Nahor, Abraham's younger brother, who lived in Haran, a long distance to the northeast of Canaan; and that Laban was Rebekah's brother, as was told in Story Eleven.
So Jacob went out of Beersheba, on the border of the desert, and walked alone toward a land far to the north, carrying his staff in his hand. One evening, just about sunset, he came to a place among the mountains, more than sixty miles distant from his home. And as he had no bed to lie down upon, he took a stone and rested his head upon it for a pillow, and lay down to sleep. We would think that a hard pillow, but Jacob was tired, and soon feel asleep.
And on that night Jacob had a wonderful dream. In his dream he saw stairs leading up to heaven from the earth where he lay; and angels were coming down and going up upon the stairs. And above the stairs, he saw the Lord God standing. And God said to Jacob:
"I am the Lord, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac your father; and I will be your God, too. The land where you are lying all alone, shall belong to you and to your children after you; and your children shall spread abroad over the lands, east, and west, and north, and south, like the dust of the earth: and in your family all the world shall receive a blessing. And I am with you in your journey, and I will keep you where you are going, and will bring you back to this land. I will never leave you, and I will surely keep my promise to you."
Jacob's wonderful dream.
And in the morning Jacob awaked from his sleep, and he said, "Surely the Lord is in this place and I did not know it! I thought that I was all alone, but God has been with me. This place is the house of God; it is the gate of heaven!"
And Jacob took the stone on which his head had rested, and he set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on it as an offering to God. And Jacob named that place Bethel, which in the language that Jacob spoke means "The House of God."
And Jacob made a promise to God at that time, and said:
"If God really will go with me, and will keep me in the way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and will bring me to my father's house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God; and this stone shall be the house of God; and of all that God gives me, I will give back to God one-tenth as an offering."
Then Jacob went onward in his long journey. He waded across the river Jordan in a shallow place, feeling the way with his staff; he climbed mountains, and journeyed beside the great desert on the east, and at last he came to the city of Haran. Beside the city was the well, where Abraham's servant had met Jacob's mother, Rebekah (see Story Eleven); and there, after Jacob had waited for a time, he saw a young woman coming with her sheep, to give them water.
Then Jacob took off the flat stone that was over the mouth of the well, and drew water, and gave it to the sheep. And when he found that this young woman was his own cousin Rachel, the daughter of Laban, he was so glad that he wept for joy. And at that moment he began to love Rachel, and longed to have her for his wife.
Rachel's father, Laban, who was Jacob's uncle, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob's mother, gave a welcome to Jacob, and took him into his home.
And Jacob asked Laban if he would give his daughter Rachel to him as his wife; and Jacob said, "If you will give me Rachel, I will work for you seven years." And Laban said, "It is better that you should have her than that a stranger should marry her."
So Jacob lived seven years in Laban's house, caring for his sheep and oxen and camels; and such was his love for Rachel that the seven years seemed like a few days.
At last the day came for the marriage; and they brought in the bride, who after the manner of that land was covered with a thick veil, so that her face could not be seen. And she was married to Jacob; and when Jacob lifted up her veil, he found that he had married, not Rachel whom he loved, but her older sister Leah, who was not beautiful, and whom Jacob did not love at all.
Jacob was very angry that he had been deceived, though that was just the way in which Jacob himself had deceived his father and cheated his brother Esau (see Story Twelve). But his uncle Laban said:
"In our land we never allow the younger daughter to be married before the older daughter. Keep Leah for your wife, and work for me seven years longer, and you shall have Rachel also."
For in those times, as we have seen, men often had two wives or even more than two. No one thought that it was wrong then to have more than one wife, although now it is considered very wicked. So Jacob stayed seven years more, fourteen years in all, before he received Rachel as his wife.
While Jacob was living at Haran, eleven sons were born to him. But only one of these was the child of Rachel, whom Jacob loved. This son was Joseph, who was dearer to Jacob than any other of his children, partly because he was the youngest, and also because he was the child of his beloved Rachel.
A linnet in a gilded cage—
A linnet on a bough—
In frosty winter one might doubt
Which bird is luckier now.
But let the trees burst out in leaf,
And nests be on the bough,
Which linnet is the luckier bird,
Oh who could doubt it now?