Text of Plan #953
  WEEK 16  

  Monday  


The Story of Doctor Dolittle  by Hugh Lofting

Polynesia and the King

dropcap image HEN they had gone a little way through the thick forest they came to a wide, clear space; and they saw the King's palace which was made of mud.

This was where the King lived with his Queen, Ermintrude, and their son, Prince Bumpo. The Prince was away fishing for salmon in the river. But the King and Queen were sitting under an umbrella before the palace door. And Queen Ermintrude was asleep.


[Illustration]

And Queen Ermintrude was asleep.

When the Doctor had come up to the palace the King asked him his business; and the Doctor told him why he had come to Africa.

"You may not travel through my lands," said the King. "Many years ago a white man came to these shores; and I was very kind to him. But after he had dug holes in the ground to get the gold, and killed all the elephants to get their ivory tusks, he went away secretly in his ship—without so much as saying 'Thank you.' Never again shall a white man travel through the lands of Jolliginki."

Then the King turned to some of the black men who were standing near and said, "Take away this medicine-man—with all his animals, and lock them up in my strongest prison."

So six of the black men led the Doctor and all his pets away and shut them up in a stone dungeon. The dungeon had only one little window, high up in the wall, with bars in it; and the door was strong and thick.

Then they all grew very sad; and Gub-Gub, the pig, began to cry. But Chee-Chee said he would spank him if he didn't stop that horrible noise; and he kept quiet.

"Are we all here?" asked the Doctor, after he had got used to the dim light.

"Yes, I think so," said the duck and started to count them.

"Where's Polynesia?" asked the crocodile. "She isn't here."

"Are you sure?" said the Doctor. "Look again. Polynesia! Polynesia! Where are you?"

"I suppose she escaped," grumbled the crocodile. "Well, that's just like her!—Sneaked off into the jungle as soon as her friends got into trouble."

"I'm not that kind of a bird," said the parrot, climbing out of the pocket in the tail of the Doctor's coat. "You see, I'm small enough to get through the bars of that window; and I was afraid they would put me in a cage instead. So while the King was busy talking, I hid in the Doctor's pocket—and here I am! That's what you call a 'ruse,' " she said, smoothing down her feathers with her beak.

"Good Gracious!" cried the Doctor. "You're lucky I didn't sit on you."

"Now listen," said Polynesia, "to-night, as soon as it gets dark, I am going to creep through the bars of that window and fly over to the palace. And then—you'll see—I'll soon find a way to make the King let us all out of prison."

"Oh, what can you  do?" said Gub-Gub, turning up his nose and beginning to cry again. "You're only a bird!"

"Quite true," said the parrot. "But do not forget that although I am only a bird, I can talk like a man—and I know these people."

So that night, when the moon was shining through the palm-trees and all the King's men were asleep, the parrot slipped out through the bars of the prison and flew across to the palace. The pantry window had been broken by a tennis ball the week before; and Polynesia popped in through the hole in the glass.

She heard Prince Bumpo snoring in his bed-room at the back of the palace. Then she tip-toed up the stairs till she came to the King's bedroom. She opened the door gently and peeped in.

The Queen was away at a dance that night at her cousin's; but the King was in bed fast asleep.

Polynesia crept in, very softly, and got under the bed.

Then she coughed—just the way Doctor Dolittle used to cough. Polynesia could mimic any one.

The King opened his eyes and said sleepily: "Is that you, Ermintrude?" (He thought it was the Queen come back from the dance.)

Then the parrot coughed again—loud, like a man. And the King sat up, wide awake, and said, "Who's that?"


[Illustration]

"Who's that?"

"I am Doctor Dolittle," said the parrot—just the way the Doctor would have said it.

"What are you doing in my bedroom?" cried the King. "How dare you get out of prison! Where are you?—I don't see you."

But the parrot just laughed—a long, deep jolly laugh, like the Doctor's.

"Stop laughing and come here at once, so I can see you," said the King.

"Foolish King!" answered Polynesia. "Have you forgotten that you are talking to John Dolittle, M.D.—the most wonderful man on earth? Of course you cannot see me. I have made myself invisible. There is nothing I cannot do. Now listen: I have come here to-night to warn you. If you don't let me and my animals travel through your kingdom, I will make you and all your people sick like the monkeys. For I can make people well: and I can make people ill—just by raising my little finger. Send your soldiers at once to open the dungeon door, or you shall have mumps before the morning sun has risen on the hills of Jolliginki."

Then the King began to tremble and was very much afraid.

"Doctor," he cried, "it shall be as you say. Do not raise your little finger, please!" And he jumped out of bed and ran to tell the soldiers to open the prison door.

As soon as he was gone, Polynesia crept downstairs and left the palace by the pantry window.

But the Queen, who was just letting herself in at the backdoor with a latch-key, saw the parrot getting out through the broken glass. And when the King came back to bed she told him what she had seen.

Then the King understood that he had been tricked, and he was dreadfully angry. He hurried back to the prison at once

But he was too late. The door stood open. The dungeon was empty. The Doctor and all his animals were gone.

 



Celia Thaxter

Lock the Dairy Door

"Lock the dairy door!

Lock the dairy door!"

Oh, hark, the cock is crowing proudly,

And all the hens are cackling loudly:

"Chickle! chackle, chee," they cry,

"We haven't got the key," they cry,

"Chickle, chackle, chee! Oh, dear,

Wherever can it be!" they cry.

 


  WEEK 16  

  Tuesday  


Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans  by Edward Eggleston

How Benny West Learned To Be a Painter

I N old times there lived in Pennsylvania a little fellow whose name was Benjamin West. He lived in a long stone house.

He had never seen a picture. The country was new, and there were not many pictures in it. Benny's father was a Friend or Quaker. The Friends of that day did not think that pictures were useful things to make or to have.

Before he was seven years old, this little boy began to draw pictures. One day he was watching the cradle of his sister's child. The baby smiled. Benny was so pleased with her beauty, that he made a picture of her in red and black ink. The picture of the baby pleased his mother when she saw it. That was very pleasant to the boy.


[Illustration]

Painting Baby's Portrait

He made other pictures. At school he used to draw with a pen before he could write. He made pictures of birds and of animals. Sometimes he would draw flowers.

He liked to draw so well, that sometimes he forgot to do his work. His father sent him to work in the field one day. The father went out to see how well he was doing his work. Benny was nowhere to be found. At last his father saw him sitting under a large poke-weed. He was making pictures. He had squeezed the juice out of some poke-berries. The juice of poke-berries is deep red. With this the boy had made his pictures. When the father looked at them, he was surprised. There were portraits of every member of the family. His father knew every picture.


[Illustration]

Flower and Fruit of the Poke‑Berry

Up to this time Benny had no paints nor any brushes. The Indians had not all gone away from that neighborhood. The Indians paint their faces with red and yellow colors. These colors they make themselves. Sometimes they prepare them from the juice of some plant. Sometimes they get them by finding red or yellow earth. Some of the Indians can make rough pictures with these colors.

The Indians near the house of Benny's father must have liked the boy. They showed him how to make red and yellow colors for himself. He got some of his mother's indigo to make blue. He now had red, yellow, and blue. By mixing these three, the other colors that he wanted could be made.

But he had no brush to paint with. He took some long hairs from the cat's tail. Of these he made his brushes. He used so many of the cat's hairs, that her tail began to look bare. Everybody in the house began to wonder what was the matter with pussy's tail. At last Benny told where he got his brushes.


[Illustration]

Making a Paint Brush

A cousin of Benny's came from the city on a visit. He saw some of the boy's drawings. When he went home, he sent Benny a box of paints. With the paints were some brushes. And there was some canvas such as pictures are painted on. And that was not all. There were in the box six beautiful engravings.

The little painter now found himself rich. He was so happy he could hardly sleep at all. At night he put the box that held his treasures on a chair by his bed. As soon as daylight came, he carried the precious box to the garret. The garret of the long stone house was his studio. Here he worked away all day long. He did not go to school at all. Perhaps he forgot that there was any school. Perhaps the little artist could not tear himself away from his work.

But the schoolmaster missed him. He came to ask if Benny was ill. The mother was vexed when she found that he had stayed away from school. She went to look for the naughty boy. After a while she found the little truant. He was hard at work in his garret.

She saw what he had been doing. He had not copied any of his new engravings. He had made up a new picture by taking one person out of one engraving, and another out of another. He had copied these so that they made a picture that he had thought of for himself.

His mother could not find it in her heart to punish him. She was too much pleased with the picture he was making. This picture was not finished. But his mother would not let him finish it. She was afraid he would spoil it if he did anything more on it.

The good people called Friends did not like the making of pictures, as I said. But they thought that Benny West had a talent that he ought to use. So he went to Philadelphia to study his art. After a while he sailed away to Italy to see the pictures that great artists had painted.

At last he settled in England. The King of England was at that time the king of this country, too. The king liked West's pictures. West became the king's painter. He came to be the most famous painter in England.

He liked to remember his boyish work. He liked to remember the time when he was a little Quaker boy making his paints of poke-juice and Indian colors.

 



A. A. Milne

Spring Morning

Where am I going? I don't quite know.

Down to the stream where the king-cups grow—

Up on the hill where the pine-trees blow—

Anywhere, anywhere. I  don't know.


Where am I going? The clouds sail by,

Little ones, baby ones, over the sky.

Where am I going? The shadows pass,

Little ones, baby ones, over the grass.


If you were a cloud, and sailed up there,

You'd sail on water as blue as air,

And you'd see me here in the fields and say:

"Doesn't the sky look green today?"


Where am I going? The high rooks call:

"It's awful fun to be born at all."

Where am I going? The ring-doves coo:

"We do have beautiful things to do."


If you were a bird, and lived on high,

You'd lean on the wind when the wind came by,

You'd say to the wind when it took you away:

"That's  where I wanted to go today!"


Where am I going? I don't quite know.

What does it matter where people go?

Down to the wood where the blue-bells grow—

Anywhere, anywhere. I  don't know.

 


  WEEK 16  

  Wednesday  


Among the Pond People  by Clara Dillingham Pierson

The Clever Water-Adder

N ONE of the pond people were alone more than the Water-Adders. The Snapping Turtle was left to himself a great deal until the day when he and Belostoma drove away the boys. After that his neighbors began to understand him better and he was less grumpy, so that those who wore shells were soon quite fond of him.

Belostoma did not have many friends among the smaller people, and only a few among the larger ones. They said that he was cruel, and that he had a bad habit of using his stout sucking tube to sting with. Still, Belostoma did not care; he said, "A Giant Water-Bug does not always live in the water. I shall have my wings soon, and leave the water and marry. After that, I shall fly away on my wedding trip. Mrs. Belostoma may go with me, if she feels like doing so after laying her eggs here. I shall go anyway. And I shall flutter and sprawl around the light, and sting people who bother me, and have a happy time." That was Belostoma's way. He would  sting people who bothered him, but then he always said that they need not have bothered him. And perhaps that was so.

With the Water-Adders it was different. They were good-natured enough, yet the Mud Turtles and Snapping Turtle were the only ones who ever called upon them and found them at home. The small people without shells were afraid of them, and the Clams and Pond Snails never called upon any one. The Minnows said they could not bear the looks of the Adders—they had such ugly mouths and such quick motions. The larger fishes kept away on account of their children, who were small and tender.

One might think that the Sand-Hill Cranes, the Fish Hawks, and the other shore families would have been good friends for them, but when they called, the Adders were always away. People said that the Adders were afraid of them.

The Yellow Brown Frog wished that the Adders could be scared, badly scared, some time: so scared that a chilly feeling would run down their backs from their heads clear to the tips of their tails. "I wish," said he, "that the chilly feeling would be big enough to go way through to their bellies. Their bellies are only the front side of their backs, anyway," he added, "because they are so thin." Of course this was a dreadful wish to make, but people said that one of the Adders had frightened the Yellow Brown Frog so that he never got over it, and this was the reason he felt so.

The Water-Adders were certainly the cleverest people in the pond, and there was one Mother Adder who was so very bright that they called her "the Clever Water-Adder." She could do almost anything, and she knew it. She talked about it, too, and that showed bad taste, and was one reason why she was not liked better. She could swim very fast, could creep, glide, catch hold of things with her tail, hang herself from the branch of a tree, lift her head far into the air, leap, dart, bound, and dive. All her family could do these things, but she could do them a little the best.

One day she was hanging over the pond in a very graceful position, with her tail twisted carelessly around a willow branch. The Snapping Turtle and a Mud Turtle Father were in the shallow water below her. Her slender forked tongue was darting in and out of her open mouth. She was using her tongue in this way most of the time. "It is useful in feeling of things," she said, "and then, I have always thought it quite becoming." She could see herself reflected in the still water below her, and she noticed how prettily the dark brown of her back shaded into the white of her belly. You see she was vain as well as clever.

The Snapping Turtle felt cross to-day, and had come to see if a talk with her would not make him feel better. The Mud Turtle was tired of having the children sprawl around him, and of Mrs. Mud Turtle telling about the trouble she had to get the right kind of food.

The Clever Water-Adder spoke first of the weather. "It must be dreadfully hot for the shore people," she said. "Think of their having to wear the same feathers all the year and fly around in the sunshine to find food for their children."

"Ah yes," said the Mud Turtle. "How they must wish for shells!"

"Humph!" said the Snapping Turtle. "What for? To fly with? Let them come in swimming with their children, if they are warm and tired."

The Water-Adder laughed in her snaky way, and showed her sharp teeth. "I have heard," she said, "that when the Wild Ducks bring their children here to swim, they do not always take so many home as they brought."

The Snapping Turtle became very much interested in his warty right foreleg, and did not seem to hear what she said. The Mud Turtle smiled. "I have heard," she went on, "that when young Ducks dive head first, they are quite sure to come up again, but that when they dive feet first, they never come up."

"What do you mean?" asked the Snapping Turtle, and he was snappy about it.

"Oh, nothing," replied the Water-Adder, swinging her head back and forth and looking at the scales on her body.

"I know what you mean," said the Snapping Turtle, "and you know what you mean, but I have to eat something, and if I am swimming under the water and a Duckling paddles along just above me and sticks his foot into my mouth, I am likely to swallow him before I think."

The Water-Adder saw that he was provoked by what she had said, so she talked about something else. "I think the Ducks spoil their children," said she. "They make such a fuss over them, and they are not nearly so bright as my children. Why, mine hatch as soon as the eggs are laid, and go hunting at once. They are no trouble at all."

"I never worry about mine," said the Mud Turtle, "although their mother thinks it is not safe for them all to sleep at once, as they do on a log in the sunshine."

"It isn't," said the Adder decidedly. "I never close my eyes. None of us Adders do. Nobody can ever say that we close our eyes to danger." They couldn't shut their eyes if they wanted to, because they had no eyelids, but she did not speak of that. "How stupid people are," she said.

"Most of them," remarked the Turtles.

"All of them," she said, "except us Adders and the Turtles. I even think that some of the Turtles are a little queer, don't you?"

"We have thought so," said the Mud Turtle.

"They certainly are," agreed the Snapping Turtle, who was beginning to feel much better natured.

"What did you say?" asked the Adder who, like all her family, was a little deaf.

"Ouch!" exclaimed the Snapping Turtle. "Ouch! Ouch!"

"What is the matter?" asked the Mud Turtle. Then he began to slap the water with his short, stout tail, and say "Ouch!"

Two naughty young Water-Boatmen had swum quietly up on their backs, and stung the Turtles on their tails. Then they swam away, pushing themselves quickly through the water with swift strokes of their hairy oar-legs.

"Ah-h-h!" exclaimed the Snapping Turtle, and he backed into the mud, knowing that fine, soft mud is the best thing in the world for stings.

"Ah-h-h!" exclaimed the Mud Turtle, "if I could only reach my tail with my head, or even with one of my hind feet!"

"Reach your tail with your head?" asked the Water-Adder in her sweetest voice. "Nothing is easier." And she wound herself around the willow branch in another graceful position, and took the tip of her tail daintily between her teeth.

"Humph!" said the Snapping Turtle, and he pulled his tail out of the mud and swam away.

"Ugh!" said the Mud Turtle, and he swam away with the Snapping Turtle.

"What a rude person she is!" they said. "Always trying to show how much more clever she is than other people. We would rather be stupid and polite."

After a while the Snapping Turtle said, "But then, you know, we are not stupid."

"Of course not," replied the Mud Turtle, "not even queer."

 



Jean Ingelow

Seven Times One

There's no dew left on the daisies and clover,

There's no rain left in heaven;

I've said my "seven times" over and over,

Seven times one are seven.


I am old! so old I can write a letter;

My birthday lessons are done;

The lambs play always, they know no better;

They are only one times one.


O Moon! in the night I have seen you sailing,

And shining so round and low;

You were bright! ah, bright! but your light is failing,—

You are nothing now but a bow.


You Moon! have you done something wrong in heaven,

That God has hidden your face?

I hope, if you have, you will soon be forgiven,

And shine again in your place.


O velvet Bee, you're a dusty fellow,

You've powdered your legs with gold!

O brave marsh Mary-buds, rich and yellow!

Give me your money to hold.


O Columbine! open your folded wrapper,

Where two twin turtle-doves dwell;

O Cuckoo-pint! toll me the purple clapper,

That hangs in your clear, green bell!


And show me your nest with the young ones in it—

I will not steal them away;

I am old! you may trust me, Linnet, Linnet—

I am seven times one to-day.

 


  WEEK 16  

  Thursday  


Fairy Tales Too Good To Miss—Around the Fire  by Lisa M. Ripperton

Little Black Sambo

O NCE upon a time there was a little black boy, and his name was Little Black Sambo. And his Mother was called Black Mumbo, and his Father was called Black Jumbo.

And Black Mumbo made him a beautiful little Red Coat, and a pair of beautiful little Blue Trousers.

And Black Jumbo went to the Bazaar, and bought him a beautiful Green Umbrella, and a lovely little Pair of Purple Shoes with Crimson Soles and Crimson Linings. And then wasn't Little Black Sambo grand?


[Illustration]

So he put on all his Fine Clothes, and went out for a walk in the Jungle. And by and by he met a Tiger.


[Illustration]

And the Tiger said to him, "Little Black Sambo, I'm going to eat you up!" And Little Black Sambo said, "Oh, Please, Mr. Tiger, don't eat me up, and I'll give you my beautiful little Red Coat." So the Tiger said, "Very well, I won't eat you this time, but you must give me your beautiful little Red Coat." So the Tiger got poor Little Black Sambo's beautiful little Red Coat, and went away saying, "Now I'm the grandest Tiger in the Jungle."

And Little Black Sambo went on, and by and by he met another Tiger, and it said to him, "Little Black Sambo, I'm going to eat you up!" And Little Black Sambo said, "Oh, please, Mr. Tiger, don't eat me up, and I'll give you my beautiful little Blue Trousers!" So the Tiger said, "Very well, I won't eat you this time, but you must give me your beautiful little Blue Trousers."

So the Tiger got poor Little Black Sambo's beautiful little Blue Trousers, and went away saying, "Now I'm the grandest Tiger in the Jungle."


[Illustration]

And Little Black Sambo went on and by and by he met another Tiger, and it said to him, "Little Black Sambo, I'm going to eat you up!" And Little Black Sambo said, "Oh, please, Mr. Tiger, don't eat me up and I'll give you my beautiful little Purple Shoes with Crimson Soles and Crimson Linings!"


[Illustration]

But the Tiger said, "What use would your shoes be to me? I've got four feet, and you've got only two; you haven't got enough shoes for me." But Little Black Sambo said, "You could wear them on your ears."

"So I could," said the Tiger. "That's a very good idea. Give them to me, and I won't eat you this time." So the Tiger got poor Little Black Sambo's beautiful little Purple Shoes with Crimson Soles and Crimson Linings, and went away saying, "Now I'm the grandest Tiger in the Jungle."

And by and by Little Black Sambo met another Tiger, and it said to him, "Little Black Sambo, I'm going to eat you up!" And Little Black Sambo said, "Oh, please, Mr. Tiger, don't eat me up, and I'll give you my beautiful Green Umbrella!"


[Illustration]

But the Tiger said, "How can I carry an umbrella, when I need all my paws for walking with?"

"You could tie a knot in your tail and carry it that way," said Little Black Sambo. "So I could," said the Tiger. "Give it to me, and I won't eat you this time." So he got poor little Black Sambo's beautiful Green Umbrella, and went away saying, "Now I'm the grandest Tiger in the Jungle." And poor Little Black Sambo went away crying, because the cruel Tigers had taken all his fine clothes.

Presently he heard a horrible noise that sounded like "Gr-r-r-rrrr," and it grew louder and louder. "Oh, dear!" said Little Black Sambo, "there are all the Tigers coming back to eat me up! What shall I do?" So he ran quickly to a palm tree and peeped round it to see what the matter was.


[Illustration]

And there he saw all the Tigers fighting, and disputing which of them was the grandest.


[Illustration]

And at last they all got so angry that they jumped up and took off all the fine clothes, and began to tear each other with their claws, and bite each other with their great big white teeth.

And they came, rolling and tumbling right to the foot of the very tree where Little Black Sambo was hiding, but he jumped quickly in behind the umbrella. And the Tigers all caught hold of each other's tails, as they wrangled and scrambled, and so they found themselves in a ring around the tree.


[Illustration]

Then Little Black Sambo jumped up, and called out, "Oh, Tigers! Why have you taken off all your nice clothes? Don't you want them any more?" But the Tigers only answered, "Gr-r-r-rrrrr!"

Then Little Black Sambo said, "If you want them, say so, or I'll take them away." But the Tigers would not let go of each others' tails, and so they could only say, "Gr-r-r-rrrrr!"

So Little Black Sambo put on all his fine clothes again and walked off. And the Tigers were very, very angry, but still they would not let go of each others' tails. And they were so angry, that they ran round the tree, trying to eat each other up, and they ran faster and faster, till they were whirling round so fast that you couldn't see their legs at all.

And they still ran faster and faster and faster, till they all just melted away, and there was nothing left but a great big pool of melted butter (or "ghi," as it is called in India) round the foot of the tree.


[Illustration]

Now Black Jumbo was just coming home from his work with a great big brass pot in his arms, and when he saw what was left of all the Tigers he said, "Oh, what lovely melted butter! I'll take that home to Black Mumbo for her to cook with." So he put it all into the great big brass pot, and took it home to Black Mumbo to cook with.


[Illustration]

When Black Mumbo saw the melted butter, wasn't she pleased! "Now," said she, "we'll all have pancakes for supper!" So she got flour and eggs and milk and sugar and butter and she made a huge big plate of most lovely pancakes. And she fried them in the melted butter which the Tigers had made, and they were just as yellow and brown as little Tigers. And then they all sat down to supper. And Black Mumbo ate twenty-seven pancakes, and Black Jumbo ate fifty-five but Little Black Sambo ate a hundred and sixty-nine because he was so hungry.

 



Robert Louis Stevenson

The Moon

The moon has a face like the clock in the hall;

She shines on thieves on the garden wall,

On streets and fields and harbour quays,

And birdies asleep in the forks of the trees.


The squalling cat and the squeaking mouse,

The howling dog by the door of the house,

The bat that lies in bed at noon,

All love to be out by the light of the moon.


But all of the things that belong to the day

Cuddle to sleep to be out of her way;

And flowers and children close their eyes

Till up in the morning the sun shall arise.

 


  WEEK 16  

  Friday  


On the Shores of the Great Sea  by M. B. Synge

The Story of the Argonauts

"The life of the Greeks is mirrored in their legends."

T HESE old Greek stories, which were handed down from father to son, are a curious mixture of truth and romance, and no one knows which is which. Let us take their story of the Argonauts, when fifty of their heroes under the guidance of Jason, went off in search of the Golden Fleece. Here is the account of how they built their ship—an account which they must have taken from the Phœnicians:—

"Then they felled their pines and shaped them with an axe, and Argus, the famed shipbuilder, taught them to build a galley, the first long ship that ever sailed the seas. They pierced her for fifty oars, an oar for each hero of the crew, and pitched her with coal-black pitch, and painted her bows with vermilion, and they named her Argo, after Argus, and worked at her all day long.

"And at last the ship was finished, and they tried to launch her down the beach; but she was too heavy for them to move her, and her keel sank deep into the sand.

"Then all the heroes looked at each other blushing, but Jason spoke and said, 'Let us ask the magic bough, perhaps it can help us in our need.' Then a voice came from the bough and bade Orpheus play upon the harp, while the heroes waited round, holding the pine-trunks, to help her towards the sea.


[Illustration]

They named her Argo, and worked at her all day long.

"Orpheus took his harp and began his magic song:—

" 'How sweet it is to ride upon the surges, and to leap from wave to wave, while the wind sings in the cheerful cordage and the oars flash fast among the foam! How sweet it is to roam across the ocean, and see new towns and wondrous lands, and to come home laden with treasure and to win undying fame!'

"And the good ship Argo heard him, and longed to be away and out at sea, till she stirred in every timber and heaved from stem to stern, and leapt up from the sand upon the rollers, and plunged onward like a gallant horse, and the heroes fed her path with pine-trunks till she rushed into the whispering sea.

"Then they stored her well with food and water, and pulled the ladder up on board, and settled themselves each man to his oar, and kept time to Orpheus's harp; and away across the bay they rowed southward, while the people lined the cliffs, and the women wept while the men shouted at the starting of that gallant crew.

"Jason was chosen captain, and each hero vowed to stand by their captain, faithfully, in the adventure of the Golden Fleece. And they rowed away over the long swell of the sea, past Olympus, and past the wooded bays of Athos, through the narrow straits, which led into the Sea of Marmora. Up the Bosphorus they went, to that land of bitter blasts, that land of cold and misery, and there was a battle of the winds, and the heroes trembled in silence as they heard the shrieking of the blasts. For the forest pines were hurled earthward, north and south, and east and west, and the Bosphorus boiled white with foam, and the clouds were dashed against the cliffs. And these dark storms and whirlwinds, haunt the Bosphorus until this day.

"Then the Argonauts went out into the open sea, which we now call the Black Sea. No Greek had ever crossed it, and all feared that dreadful sea, and its rocks, and shoals, and fogs, and bitter freezing storms. So the heroes trembled, for all their courage, as they came into that wild Black Sea and saw it stretching out before them without a shore, as far as the eye could see.

"But after a time they looked eastward, and midway between the sea and the sky they saw white snow-peaks hanging, glittering sharp and bright above the clouds. And they knew that they were come to Caucasus, at the end of all the earth; Caucasus, the highest of all mountains, the father of the rivers of the East. It was near here, amid the dark stems of the mighty beeches, that they saw the Golden Fleece.

"It would take too long to tell how Jason at last tore the fleece from off the tree-trunk, and how, holding it on high, he cried, 'Go now, good Argo, swift and steady, if ever you would see Olympus more.'

"And she went as the heroes drove her, grim and silent all, with muffled oars, till the pinewood bent like willow in their hands and stout Argo groaned beneath their strokes.

"On and on beneath the dewy darkness, till they heard the merry music of the surge upon the bar as it tumbled in the moonlight alone. Into the surge they rushed, and Argo leapt the breakers like a horse, for she knew the time was come to show her mettle, and win honour for the heroes and herself.

"Into the surge they rushed, and Argo leapt the breakers like a horse, till the heroes stopped, all panting, each man upon his oar, as she slid into the still broad sea. And the heroes' hearts rose high, and they rowed on stoutly and steadfastly, away into the darkness of the West.

"After many adventures in unknown seas they returned home again; but they were weary and spent with years of voyage; they had no strength to haul their boat on to the beach, so they sat and wept till they could weep no more. For the houses were all altered, the faces they saw were strange, and their joy was swallowed up in sorrow, while they thought of their youth and toil and the gallant comrades they had lost.

" 'Who are you that you sit weeping here?' asked the people at last.

" 'We are the sons of your princes, who sailed out many a year ago, to fetch the Golden Fleece, and we have brought it and grief therewith. Give us news of our fathers and mothers, if any of them be left alive.'

"Then there was shouting and laughing and weeping, and all the kings came to the shore, and they led the heroes to their homes. And Jason found his old father; but the old man would not believe it was his son, who had returned.

" 'Do not mock me, young hero,' he cried. 'My son Jason is dead at sea, long ago.'

" 'But I am your son Jason,' cried the hero. 'And I have brought home the Golden Fleece. Give me now the kingdom.'

"So all the heroes went their several ways, and that was the end of the story of the Argonauts."

 



Elizabeth Lee Follen

Runaway Brook

"Stop, stop, pretty water!"

Said Mary one day,

To a frolicsome brook

That was running away.


"You run on so fast!

I wish you would stay;

My boat and my flowers

You will carry away.


"But I will run after;

Mother says that I may;

For I would know where

You are running away."


So Mary ran on;

But I have heard say,

That she never could find

Where the brook ran away.

 


  WEEK 16  

  Saturday  


The Filipino Twins  by Lucy Fitch Perkins

Fishing

W HEN the first rooster crowed the next morning, Ramon woke up and crept down the stairs in the dark so as to be sure to get ahead of the little hen.


[Illustration]

He blocked one end of the tunnel with straw and then sat patiently on the pile of boards with Dingo beside him until he heard her first cluck, then he crept stealthily to the other end of the tunnel with his coop. When she came out, he clapped the open part down over her and made her a prisoner.

The little hen was furious. She ruffled her neck feathers and scolded, and pecked at Ramon as hard as she could. Once she pecked his thumb. Ramon stuck his thumb in his mouth and danced with pain. He knew just how Dingo had felt the night before. As for Dingo, he was nowhere to be seen, for at the first glimpse of the little hen he had fled.

Ramon moved the box slowly, scraping it along the ground. The hen had to walk along inside of it, though she didn't want to a bit. She clucked frantically to her chicks and scolded all the way. Ramon placed the box on some fresh green grass in the yard, put a dish of water where the mother hen and all the chicks could reach it, and scattered rice-dust on the ground for them to eat.

At breakfast that morning Rita said: "I've been thinking a lot about my basket, Mother, and I'm not going to buy the material for it. I'm going to fix it myself and save money."

"It takes a long while to get the bamboo ready," said her mother. "If you do it all yourself, it will be some time before you can begin weaving."

"I know," said Rita, "but the exhibition won't be until harvest time, and that's a long way off."

"It is," groaned Ramon.

(His portion of rice that morning had been very small.)

"And besides," Rita went on, "I can work ever so hard when I do begin,—and if I do it all myself, the basket will be my very own. It will be more my own than Ramon's chickens will ever be his, for he didn't even set the hen! She set herself."

"Pooh," said Ramon, "anyway, chickens are alive, and live things are lots better than an old basket any day."

"It isn't an old basket," said Rita hotly. "It's a lovely new basket!"

There might have been a quarrel right there if their mother had not said, "Gently, gently! It isn't any kind of a basket at all yet, you know."

"Well," said Rita proudly. "It's going to be one! You'll see!"

"Pooh," said Ramon again. "You'll never finish it, even if you begin. It will take all summer, and you know very well you give up if things are hard to do and you get tired."

Rita buttoned up her lips and, though she didn't say a word, she looked volumes at Ramon. She made up her mind right then that, no matter what happened, she would finish that basket. She would show Ramon whether she could stick to a task or not!

So she went out that very morning to hunt for young bamboo stems. Before it was time to go to school, she had found six long, slender green stalks and had put them under the house to wither in the shade. Every day on her way to and from school, she hunted for more, and it was not long before she had quite a bundle of them. Then one Saturday she set to work with her knife and cut and split the bamboo stems into narrow thin strips. Even then they were not ready for weaving. They still had to be flattened out, scraped, boiled, and bleached before she could use them.

Ramon watched her slow, patient work from day to day and took pains to tell her how fast his chicks were growing. "Lots faster than your old basket," he said. "One of the roosters is beginning to get tail-feathers."


[Illustration]

"My basket will be in use long after your rooster is dead," Rita answered fiercely.

At last she began her weaving. Round and round the framework her patient fingers plaited the tiny thread-like strips and slowly the basket grew.

She was busily at work upon it one Friday morning, before school, when Felix came in from an early visit to the rice-field and said to his wife: "The rice is growing well, and I can now spare a little time from the farm work, so I'm going out with the raft after some fish. A boat named the Rosita comes up along this coast every Saturday now, to buy oysters, shrimps, and fish for the Manila market, and I can sell my catch right here instead of carrying it to the village."

"I hope you'll have good luck," sighed Petra, "for we need the money so badly. The children's shoes are all worn out."

"I know it," said Felix, "but I could not leave the field work before. I shall get the raft ready to-day, and to-night we will go out on the river after crabs and fish."

"May we go, too? may we go, too?" begged the Twins.

Their mother laughed. "You look just like Dingo when he wants you to throw sticks in the water for him," she cried. "He pricks up his ears, and watches you with his eyes shining and his mouth open, just the way you are watching Father now."

"Yes, you may go with us!" smiled Felix.

"And stay out all night?" they cried.

Their father nodded. "Don't be late home from school," he said.

He needn't have said it. Nothing would have induced the children to loiter that night.

When they came tearing into the yard after school, they found Felix busy getting the raft ready.

At the front end of it there were two long bamboo poles which stood upright, and from these he was hanging a large fish-net, which could be let down and pulled up again by means of a pulley.

"Go to the house," said Felix, "and help your mother bring down the things we are to take with us."

Petra was just packing food into a basket. When the children came running in, she had a worried look and was counting on her fingers. "There's the stove, that's one," she said, touching with her foot a small box filled with earth. "A little rice, that's two. The frying-pan is three, the wood is four, the salt is five, and the fat to cook the fish in is six. Dear me! There were surely more things than that, but I can't think what they were!"

"Father's waiting," called Rita.

"I know, I know," said her mother. "I'm coming," and, hastily picking up the basket, she started for the raft.

Rita carried the frying-pan, and Ramon the stove, and in a few moments they were all at the water's edge. Dingo was there before them, running distractedly along the bank and barking joyfully. He never doubted for a moment that they wanted him to go, too.

Petra sighed. "Dingo on the raft would be a perfect nuisance," she said, but Dingo was already on the raft.

Ramon, obeying his mother's command, tried to put him off, but he sat down and refused to budge, and when Ramon tried to pull him off, he just slid along sitting down.

"It's no use," said Felix. "We're losing time. Let him stay. Load on the rest of the stuff, and I'll push off."

Petra and the children flew like good sailors to obey the captain's orders. They stowed the stove, the basket, the wood, and themselves on board, and Felix was just pushing off with his long pole, when Petra clapped her hand to her head and shrieked: "Wait a minute! Where are the matches?" She searched frantically through the basket.

"Santa Maria! they were left behind," she cried.

The raft was already a short distance from shore, but Ramon took a running jump, and as he was bare-footed, it didn't matter so very much that he landed in the mud about a foot from shore. He raced up to the house, burst into the kitchen, seized the matches, and leaped down the steps and over the chicken-coop, which stood by the door.

The little brown hen was in the coop, clucking away as if she had clock-works inside of her. She had clucked every minute she was awake through all the five weeks since her brood had hatched. She had clucked herself thin, but she had taken good care of her chicks. They were all fat and running about after bugs as Ramon dashed by. "There," he thought to himself, "I ought to feed the little hen and put her coop under the house in case of rain, but I can't stop now. It won't hurt her to go hungry for once, anyway."

He sped past her and, jumping aboard the raft, tossed the match-box to his mother.

"I thought all the time there was something missing," said Petra. "But I couldn't think what it was. I said the list over and over to myself, just like my rosary. It's lucky I thought of it at last, for whatever should we do without matches?"

Felix said, "Humph!" That was all he said about the matches. Then he pushed the raft out into the stream, and the fishing expedition was begun.

When they were well cut in the stream, Felix let down the net. He let it down and drew it up again three times without finding a single fish in it. Each time it came up empty, he poled the raft to another spot and tried again. Petra sat beside the fish-baskets, waiting to help empty the net and sort the fish, and Ramon and Rita lay on their stomachs, peering down into the dark water over the edge of the raft. They saw clouds reflected in the smooth surface and their own faces looking back at them, but no fish.

It grew later and later, and still they had not caught even one fish to cook for their supper. Felix was disgusted, Ramon and Rita were tired of keeping still, Dingo's ears drooped and even Petra looked downcast. Then the sun dropped out of sight behind the hills of Bataan across the bay and the sudden tropic night was upon them.

As it grew dark, Petra rose from her seat by the empty baskets and went to the back of the raft and, placing the stones upon the little stove, began to lay a fire.

"We shall just have to make our supper of the rice," she said. "But there is only a little of it. I thought surely there would be a fish to cook. It's a lucky thing I thought of the matches in time," she went on, as she struck a light and set fire to the fuel.

"I put them in a tin box on purpose so they couldn't get wet." She handed the box to her husband. "You had better light the torches before it gets quite dark," she said.

Felix had brought five bamboo flares. One he fastened to the bamboo net pole and the other four he placed on the four corners of the raft. Petra's fire was soon crackling merrily, and long streamers of light from the flares and the fire danced over the rippling waters. Other lights shone out from distant fishing boats and were mirrored in the bay. Overhead the sky was dark.


[Illustration]

"It looks as if the stars had all fallen out of the sky and were floating about on the sea, doesn't it?" said Rita, looking up into the darkness overhead and then at the glittering lights below.

Just then Felix drew up the net again, and there, to their great joy, were ten crabs! He dumped them into one of the fish-baskets, where they crawled and sprawled on each other like huge spiders, and again let down the net. This time there were still more crabs. "They are like moths about a candle," said Felix. "They follow the lights."

With every dip of the great net, he now brought up either crabs or fish. He put the fish in one basket and the crabs in another, and let down the net again as soon as he could. Dingo sat beside the baskets and watched the crabs, yelping and backing off now and then when one of the fierce-looking creatures moved a threatening claw in his direction.

"If this luck keeps up, we shall have a fine catch for the Rosita in the morning," said Felix joyfully as he emptied another netful on the squirming mass.

It was very unlucky for Dingo that he was so near the basket just at that moment, for one of the crabs spilled over the edge of it and lit on his tail, and the next instant he was racing like a mad dog round and round the raft with the crab bouncing and rattling after him. The harder Dingo ran to get away from it, the harder it thumped and bumped after him for the dreadful thing had shut its claws firmly on Dingo's tail and had no notion of letting go. He ran round the fish-baskets, leaped over the stove, upset the frying-pan, and finally whirled round and round trying to catch his tail. He barked at it indignantly and slapped at it with his paw, but every time the tail whisked past just out of reach. The whole family roared with laughter until Ramon caught the tail and held it while Felix removed the crab.

Dingo's feelings were so hurt he went to the farthest corner of the raft and sat down by himself.

When quiet was restored again, Petra quickly cleaned a fine, large pompano fish, and soon the sputter of frying fat gave promise of supper. Felix could not bear to leave his fishing, even to eat, so he snatched a mouthful now and then as he could between letting the net down and hauling it up again.

The Twins sat near the stove with their mother, stuffing themselves with rice and fried fish while Dingo, his injuries forgotten, lay flat on his stomach gnawing at the fish's head in great content. They were all so absorbed in what they were doing that no one realized that the raft, borne quietly along by the river current, had slipped out into the bay and that the ebbing tide was carrying it farther and farther with every receding wave.

 



Benjamin Franklin

He Who Would Thrive

He who would thrive

Must rise at five;

He who hath thriven

May lie till seven;

And he who by the plough would thrive

Himself must either hold or drive.

 


  WEEK 16  

  Sunday  


Hurlbut's Story of the Bible  by Jesse Lyman Hurlbut

From the Prison to the Palace

Genesis xl: 1, to xli: 44.

dropcap image HE men who bought Joseph from his brothers were called Ishmaelites, because they belonged to the family of Ishmael, who, you remember, was the son of Hagar, the servant of Sarah (Story 9). These men carried Joseph southward over the plain which lies beside the great sea on the west of Canaan; and after many days they brought Joseph to Egypt. How strange it must have seemed to the boy who had lived in tents, to see the great river Nile, and the cities, thronged with people, and the temples, and the mighty pyramids!


[Illustration]

A great temple in Egypt.

The Ishmaelites sold Joseph as a slave to a man named Potiphar, who was an officer in the army of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. Joseph was a beautiful boy, and cheerful and willing in his spirit, and able in all that he undertook; so that his master, Potiphar, became very friendly to him, and after a time he placed Joseph in charge of his house, and everything in it. For some years Joseph continued in the house of Potiphar, a slave in name, but in reality the master of all his affairs, and ruler over his fellow-servants.

But Potiphar's wife, who at first was very friendly to Joseph, afterward became his enemy, because Joseph would not do wrong to please her. She told her husband falsely that Joseph had done a wicked deed. Her husband believed her, and was very angry at Joseph, and put him in the prison with those who had been sent to that place for breaking the laws of the land. How hard it was for Joseph to be charged with a crime, when he had done no wrong, and to be thrust into a dark prison among wicked people!

But Joseph had faith in God, that at some time all would come out right: and in the prison he was cheerful, and kind, and helpful, as he had always been. The keeper of the prison saw that Joseph was not like the other men around him, and he was kind to Joseph. In a very little while Joseph was placed in charge of all his fellow-prisoners, and took care of them; just as he had taken care of everything in Potiphar's house. The keeper of the prison scarcely looked into the prison at all, for he had confidence in Joseph, that he would be faithful and wise in doing the work given to him. Joseph did right, and served God; and God blessed Joseph in everything.

While Joseph was in prison, two men were sent there by the king of Egypt, because he was displeased with them. One was the king's chief butler, who served the king with wine; the other was the chief baker, who served him with bread. These two men were under Joseph's care, and Joseph waited on them, for they were men of rank.

One morning, when Joseph came into the room in the prison where the butler and the baker were kept, he found them looking quite sad. Joseph said to them:

"Why do you look so sad to-day?" Joseph was cheerful and happy in his spirit, and he wished others to be happy, even in prison.

And one of the men said, "Each one of us dreamed last night a very strange dream; and there is no one to tell us what our dreams mean."

For in those times, before God gave the Bible to men, he often spoke to men in dreams; and there were wise men, who could sometimes tell what the dreams meant.

"Tell me," said Joseph, "what your dreams were. Perhaps my God will help me to understand them."

Then the chief butler told his dream. He said, "In my dream I saw a grape-vine with three branches; and as I looked the branches shot out buds, and the buds became blossoms, and the blossoms turned into clusters of ripe grapes. And I picked the grapes, and squeezed their juice into King Pharaoh's cup, and it became wine; and I gave it to King Pharaoh to drink, just as I used to do when I was beside his table."

Then Joseph said, "This is what your dream means. The three branches mean three days. In three days King Pharaoh will call you out of prison, and will put you back in your place; and you shall stand at his table, and shall give him his wine, as you have given it before. But when you go out of prison, please to remember me, and try to find some way to get me, too, out of this prison. For I was stolen out of the land of Canaan, and sold as a slave; and I have done nothing wrong, to deserve being put in this prison. Do speak to the king for me, that I may be set free."

Of course the chief butler felt very happy to hear that his dream had so pleasant a meaning; and then the chief baker spoke, hoping to have an answer as good.

"In my dream," said the baker, "there were three baskets of white bread on my head, one above the other, and on the topmost basket were all kinds of roasted meat and food for Pharaoh; and the birds came, and ate the food from the baskets on my head."

And Joseph said to the baker:

"This is the meaning of your dream, and I am sorry to tell it to you. The three baskets are three days. In three days, by order of the king, you shall be lifted up, and hanged upon a tree; and the birds shall eat your flesh from your bones as you are hanging in the air."

And it came to pass, just as Joseph had said. Three days after that, King Pharaoh sent his officers to the prison. They came and took out both the chief butler and the chief baker. The baker they hung up by his neck to die, and left his body for the birds to pick in pieces. The chief butler they brought back to his old place, where he waited at the king's table, and handed him his wine to drink.

You would have supposed that the butler would remember Joseph, who had given him the promise of freedom, and had shown such wisdom. But in his gladness, he forgot all about Joseph. And two full years passed by, while Joseph was still in prison, until he was a man thirty years old.

But one night, King Pharaoh himself dreamed a dream, in fact two dreams in one. And in the morning he sent for all the wise men of Egypt, and told them his dreams; but there was not a man who could give the meaning of them. And the king was troubled, for he felt that the dreams had some meaning, which it was important for him to know.

Then suddenly the chief butler, who was by the king's table, remembered his own dream, in the prison two years before, and remembered, too, the young man who had told its meaning so exactly. And he said:

"I do remember my faults this day. Two years ago King Pharaoh was angry with his servants, with me and the chief baker, and he sent us to the prison. While we were in the prison, one night each of us dreamed a dream, and the next day a young man in the prison, a Hebrew from the land of Canaan, told us what our dreams meant; and in three days they came true, just as the Hebrew had said. I think that, if this young man is in the prison still, he could tell the king the meaning of his dreams."

You notice that the butler spoke of Joseph as "a Hebrew." The people of Israel, to whom Joseph belonged, were called Hebrews as well as Israelites. The word Hebrew means "one who crossed over," and it was given to the Israelites, because Abraham their father, had come from a land on the other side of the great river Euphrates, and had crossed over the river on his way to Canaan.

Then King Pharaoh sent in haste to the prison for Joseph; and Joseph was taken out, and he was dressed in new garments, and was led in to Pharaoh in the palace. And Pharaoh said to Joseph: "I have dreamed a dream, and there is no one who can tell what it means. And I have been told that you have power to understand dreams and what they mean."

And Joseph answered Pharaoh: "The power is not in me; but God will give Pharaoh a good answer. What is the dream that the king has dreamed?"


[Illustration]

Joseph before Pharaoh

"In my first dream," said Pharaoh, "I was standing by the river; and I saw seven fat and handsome cows come up from the river to feed in the grass. And while they were feeding, seven other cows followed them up from the river, very thin, and poor, and lean, such miserable creatures as I had never seen. And the seven lean cows ate up the seven fat cows; and after they had eaten them, they were as lean and miserable as before. Then I awoke.

"And I fell asleep again, and dreamed again. In my second dream, I saw seven heads of grain growing upon one stalk, large, and strong, and good. And then seven heads came up after them, that were thin, and poor, and withered. And the seven thin heads swallowed up the seven good heads, and afterward were as poor and withered as before.

"And I told these two dreams to all the wise men, and there is no one who can tell me their meaning. Can you tell me what these dreams mean?"

And Joseph said to the king:

"The two dreams have the same meaning. God has been showing to King Pharaoh what he will do in this land. The seven good cows mean seven years, and the seven good heads of grain mean the same seven years. The seven lean cows, and the seven thin heads of grain also mean seven years. The good cows and the good grain mean seven years of plenty, and the seven thin cows and thin heads of grain mean seven poor years. There are coming upon the land of Egypt seven years of such plenty as have never been seen; when the fields shall bring greater crops than ever before; and after those years shall come seven years when the fields shall bring no crops at all. And then for seven years there shall be such need, that the years of plenty will be forgotten, for the people will have nothing to eat.

"Now, let King Pharaoh find some man who is able and wise, and let him set this man to rule over the land. And during the seven years of plenty, let a part of the crops be put away for the years of need. If this shall be done, then when the years of need come there will be plenty of food for all the people, and no one will suffer, and all will have enough."


[Illustration]

Joseph telling Pharaoh the meaning of his dream.

And King Pharoah said to Joseph:

"Since God has shown you all this; there is no other man as wise as you. I will appoint you to do this work, and to rule over the land of Egypt. All the people shall be under you; only on the throne of Egypt, I will be above you."

And Pharaoh took from his own hand the ring which held his seal, and put it on Joseph's hand, so that he could sign for the king, and seal in the king's place. And he dressed Joseph in robes of fine linen, and put around his neck a gold chain. And he made Joseph ride in a chariot which was next in rank to his own. And they cried out before Joseph, "Bow the knee." And thus Joseph was ruler over all the land of Egypt.

So the slave boy, who was sent to prison without deserving it, came out of prison to be a prince and a master over all the land. You see that God had not forgotten Joseph, even when he seemed to have left him to suffer.

 



Christina Georgina Rossetti

Fair To See

Oh, fair to see—

Bloom-laden cherry tree,

Arrayed in sunny white;

An April day's delight,

Oh, fair to see!


Oh, fair to see—

Fruit-laden cherry tree,

With balls of shining red

Decking a leafy head,

Oh, fair to see!