Text of Plan #953
  WEEK 23  


The Story of Doctor Dolittle  by Hugh Lofting

The Barbary Dragon

dropcap image VERYTHING would have gone all right if the pig had not caught a cold in his head while eating the damp sugar-cane on the island. This is what happened:

After they had pulled up the anchor without a sound, and were moving the ship very, very carefully out of the bay, Gub-Gub suddenly sneezed so loud that the pirates on the other ship came rushing upstairs to see what the noise was.

As soon as they saw that the Doctor was escaping, they sailed the other boat right across the entrance to the bay so that the Doctor could not get out into the open sea.

Then the leader of these bad men (who called himself "Ben Ali, The Dragon") shook his fist at the Doctor and shouted across the water,

"Ha! Ha! You are caught, my fine friend! You were going to run off in my ship, eh? But you are not a good enough sailor to beat Ben Ali, the Barbary Dragon. I want that duck you've got—and the pig too. We'll have pork-chops and roast duck for supper to-night. And before I let you go home, you must make your friends send me a trunk-full of gold."

Poor Gub-Gub began to weep; and Dab-Dab made ready to fly to save her life. But the owl, Too-Too, whispered to the Doctor,

"Keep him talking, Doctor. Be pleasant to him. Our old ship is bound to sink soon—the rats said it would be at the bottom of the sea before to-morrow night—and the rats are never wrong. Be pleasant, till the ship sinks under him. Keep him talking."

"What, until to-morrow night!" said the Doctor. "Well, I'll do my best. . . . Let me see—What shall I talk about?"

"Oh, let them come on," said Jip. "We can fight the dirty rascals. There are only six of them. Let them come on. I'd love to tell that collie next door, when we get home, that I had bitten a real pirate. Let 'em come. We can fight them."

"But they have pistols and swords," said the Doctor. "No, that would never do. I must talk to him. . . . Look here, Ben Ali—"


"Look here, Ben Ali—"

But before the Doctor could say any more, the pirates began to sail the ship nearer, laughing with glee, and saying one to another, "Who shall be the first to catch the pig?"

Poor Gub-Gub was dreadfully frightened; and the pushmi-pullyu began to sharpen his horns for a fight by rubbing them on the mast of the ship; while Jip kept springing into the air and barking and calling Ben Ali bad names in dog-language.

But presently something seemed to go wrong with the pirates; they stopped laughing and cracking jokes; they looked puzzled; something was making them uneasy.

Then Ben Ali, staring down at his feet, suddenly bellowed out,

"Thunder and Lightning!—Men, the boat's leaking!"

And then the other pirates peered over the side and they saw that the boat was indeed getting lower and lower in the water. And one of them said to Ben Ali,

"But surely if this old boat were sinking we should see the rats leaving it."

And Jip shouted across from the other ship,

"You great duffers, there are no rats there to leave! They left two hours ago! 'Ha, ha,' to you, 'my fine friends!' "

But of course the men did not understand him. Soon the front end of the ship began to go down and down, faster and faster—till the boat looked almost as though it were standing on its head; and the pirates had to cling to the rails and the masts and the ropes and anything to keep from sliding off. Then the sea rushed roaring in and through all the windows and the doors. And at last the ship plunged right down to the bottom of the sea, making a dreadful gurgling sound; and the six bad men were left bobbing about in the deep water of the bay.

Some of them started to swim for the shores of the island; while others came and tried to get on to the boat where the Doctor was. But Jip kept snapping at their noses, so they were afraid to climb up the side of the ship.

Then suddenly they all cried out in great fear,

"The sharks!  The sharks are coming! Let us get on to the ship before they eat us! Help, help!—The sharks! The sharks!"

And now the Doctor could see, all over the bay, the backs of big fishes swimming swiftly through the water.

And one great shark came near to the ship, and poking his nose out of the water he said to the Doctor,

"Are you John Dolittle, the famous animal-doctor?"

"Yes," said Doctor Dolittle. "That is my name."

"Well," said the shark, "we know these pirates to be a bad lot—especially Ben Ali. If they are annoying you, we will gladly eat them up for you—and then you won't be troubled any more."

"Thank you," said the Doctor. "This is really most attentive. But I don't think it will be necessary to eat them. Don't let any of them reach the shore until I tell you—just keep them swimming about, will you? And please make Ben Ali swim over here that I may talk to him."

So the shark went off and chased Ben Ali over to the Doctor.

"Listen, Ben Ali," said John Dolittle, leaning over the side. "You have been a very bad man; and I understand that you have killed many people. These good sharks here have just offered to eat you up for me—and 'twould indeed be a good thing if the seas were rid of you. But if you will promise to do as I tell you, I well let you go in safety."

"What must I do?" asked the pirate, looking down sideways at the big shark who was smelling his leg under the water.

"You must kill no more people," said the Doctor; "you must stop stealing; you must never sink another ship; you must give up being a pirate altogether."

"But what shall I do then?" asked Ben Ali. "How shall I live?"

"You and all your men must go on to this island and be bird-seed-farmers," the Doctor answered. "You must grow bird-seed for the canaries."

The Barbary Dragon turned pale with anger. "Grow bird-seed!"  he groaned in disgust. "Can't I be a sailor?"

"No," said the Doctor, "you cannot. You have been a sailor long enough—and sent many stout ships and good men to the bottom of the sea. For the rest of your life you must be a peaceful farmer. The shark is waiting. Do not waste any more of his time. Make up your mind."

"Thunder and Lightning!" Ben Ali muttered—"Bird-seed!"  Then he looked down into the water again and saw the great fish smelling his other leg.

"Very well," he said sadly. "We'll be farmers."

"And remember," said the Doctor, "that if you do not keep your promise—if you start killing and stealing again, I shall hear of it, because the canaries will come and tell me. And be very sure that I will find a way to punish you. For though I may not be able to sail a ship as well as you, so long as the birds and the beasts and the fishes are my friends, I do not have to be afraid of a pirate chief—even though he call himself 'The Dragon of Barbary.' Now go and be a good farmer and live in peace."

Then the Doctor turned to the big shark, and waving his hand he said,

"All right. Let them swim safely to the land."


Laura E. Richards

Rosy Posy

There was a little Rosy,

And she had a little nosy,

And she made a little posy,

All pink and white and green.

And she said, "Little nosy,

Will you smell my little posy?

For of all the flowers that growsy,

Such sweet ones ne'er were seen."

So she took the little posy,

And she put it to her nosy,

On her little face so rosy,

The flowers for to smell;

And which of them was Rosy,

And which of them was nosy,

And which of them was posy,

You really could not tell!


  WEEK 23  


Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans  by Edward Eggleston

Daniel Boone's Daughter and Her Friends

D ANIEL BOONE and his brother picked out a good place in Kentucky to settle. Then they went home to North Carolina. They took with them such things as were curious and valuable. These were the skins of animals they had killed, and no doubt some of the heads and tails.

Boone was restless. He had seen Kentucky and he did not wish to settle down to the life of North Carolina.

In two years Boone sold his farm in North Carolina and set out for Kentucky. He took with him his wife and children and two brothers. Some of their neighbors went with them. They traveled by pack train. All their goods were packed on horses.

When they reached the place on the Kentucky River that Boone had chosen for a home they built a fort of log houses. These cabins all stood round a square. The backs of the houses were outward. There was no door or window in the back of a house. The outer walls were thus shut up. They made the place a fort. The houses at the four corners were a little taller and stronger than the others. There were gates leading into the fort. These gates were kept shut at night.

In the evening the people danced and amused themselves in the square. Indians could not creep up and attack them.

When the men went out to feed the horses and cows they carried their guns. They walked softly and turned their eyes quickly from point to point to see if Indians were hiding near. They held their guns so they could shoot quickly.

The women and children had to stay very near the fort so they could run in if an Indian came in sight.

Daniel Boone had a daughter named Jemima. She was about fourteen years old. She had two friends named Frances and Betsey Calloway. Frances Calloway was about the same age as Jemima.

One summer afternoon these three girls went out of the fort. They went to the river and got into a canoe. It was not far from the fort. They felt safe. They laughed and talked and splashed the water with their paddles.

The current carried them slowly near the other shore. They could still see the fort. They did not think of danger.

Trees and bushes grew thick down to the edge of the river. Five strong Indians were hiding in the bushes.

One Indian crept carefully through the bushes. He made no more noise than a snake. When he got to the edge of the water he put out his long arm and caught hold of the rope that hung down from the canoe. In a moment he had turned the boat around and drawn it out of sight from the fort. The girls screamed when they saw the Indian. Their friends heard them but could not cross the river to help them. The girls had taken the only canoe.

Boone and Calloway were both gone from the fort. They got home too late to start that day. No sleep came to their eyes while they waited for light to travel by.

As soon as there was a glimmer of light they and a party of their friends set out. It was in July and they could start early.

They crossed the river and easily found the Indians' tracks where they started. The brush was broken down there.

The Indians were cunning. They did not keep close together after they set out. Each Indian walked by himself through the tall canes. Three of the Indians took the captives.

Boone and his friends tried in vain to follow them. Sometimes they would find a track but it would soon be lost in the thick canes.

Boone's party gave up trying to find their path. They noticed which way the Indians were going. Then they walked as fast as they could the same way for thirty miles. They thought the Indians would grow careless about their tracks after traveling so far.

They turned so as to cross the path they thought the Indians had taken. They looked carefully at the ground and at the bushes to see if any one had gone by.

Before long they found the Indians' tracks in a buffalo path. Buffaloes and other animals go often to lick salt from the rocks round salt springs. They beat down the brush and make great roads. These roads run to the salt springs. The hunters call them streets.

The Indians took one of these roads after they got far from the fort. They could travel more easily in it. They did not take pains to hide their tracks.

As fast as their feet could carry them, Boone and his friends traveled along the trail. When they had gone about ten miles they saw the Indians.

The Indians had stopped to rest and to eat. It was very warm and they had put off their moccasins and laid down their arms. They were kindling a fire to cook by.

In a moment the Indians saw the white men. Boone and Galloway were afraid the Indians would kill the girls.

Four of the white men shot at the Indians. Then all rushed at them.

The Indians ran away as fast as they could. They did not stop to pick up their guns or knives or hatchets. They had no time to put on their moccasins.

The poor worn-out girls were soon safe in their fathers' arms.

Back to Boonesborough they went, not minding their tired feet. When they got to the fort there was great joy to see them alive.

I do not believe they ever played in the water again.


A. A. Milne


Has anybody seen my mouse?

I opened his box for half a minute,

Just to make sure he was really in it,

And while I was looking, he jumped outside!

I tried to catch him, I tried, I tried. . . .

I think he's somewhere about the house.

Has anyone  seen my mouse?

Uncle John, have you seen my mouse?

Just a small sort of mouse, a dear little brown one,

He came from the country, he wasn't a town one,

So he'll feel all lonely in a London street;

Why, what could he possibly find to eat?

He must be somewhere. I'll ask Aunt Rose:

Have you  seen a mouse with a woffelly nose?

Oh, somewhere about—

He's just got out. . . .

Hasn't anybody  seen my mouse?


  WEEK 23  


Seed-Babies  by Margaret Warner Morley



"W ELL, I never!"

Jack said that because all the beans he had planted were on top of the ground.

Jack was only six years old, and not very well acquainted with beans.

No wonder he was surprised to find them on top of the ground when he had tucked them so snugly out of sight in the brown earth only a few days before.


Jack looked at his beans and began to get red in the face.

He looked a little as if he were going to cry.

"When Ko comes I'll just punch him!" he said at last.

For who could have uncovered his beans but his brother Ko?

For Ko would rather tease than eat his dinner,—except when there was chocolate pudding for dessert.


Ko's real name was Nicholas, but it took too long to say that, so Jack called him Ko for short.

Jack picked up a bean to replant it, and what do you think had happened? Something had, for it did not look as it did when he first put it in the ground.

It had turned green to begin with. Jack had planted white beans.

He knew they were white all through, for he had bitten a good many in two to see how they looked inside. And now the coat on the outside, that stuck so tightly at first, had peeled half off, and the bean was green!

Something more had happened,—a little white stem had come out of the bean and gone into the ground.

Jack was so surprised at all this that he forgot he was angry at Ko, and when his brother came up only told him to look.

Ko tried to pick up a bean too, but it was fastened quite firmly in the ground.

"They're growing," said Ko.

"Did you pull them up?" asked Jack.

"No, indeed!" said Ko.

"They must have pulled themselves up," said Jack.


"Yes," said Ko, "that's it. They grew so fast they pulled themselves right up."

Then Jack sprinkled earth over them until he could not see them, and went away.

In two or three days they were all on top of the ground again!

"Well, well, well!" said Jack, "they don't know anything—to keep unplanting themselves that way!"

But now he could not pick up any of the beans without tearing loose the stout little stem with roots at the end, that had gone down into the ground.

"You bean," he said, tapping one on its green head,—for they had grown very green now,—"you bean, I shall plant you deep enough this time; you will die and not grow at all if you don't stay still in the ground."

At this the bean smiled.

A bean cannot smile, you say? Oh well, that is what nearly everybody would say, but I can tell you, a great many people do not know about beans, and I am sure that bean smiled.


"If I did stay still in the ground, how could I grow?" asked the bean.

You think beans cannot talk?

Well, as I said before, a great many  people do not know about beans; and whether they can talk or not, this bean asked Jack how it could grow if it stayed still in the ground. And what is more, Jack was "stumped," as the boys say, by the question, and could not answer.

Of course nothing that stayed perfectly still could grow.

"But why don't you send up a little stem and let the bean that I planted stay planted?" asked Jack.

"I will tell you," said the bean; and if by this time you do not believe beans can talk, you may as well not read another word of this story.

Talking beans are just as true as "Cinderella," or "Hop-o-my-thumb," or "Little Red Riding-Hood," or "Jack the Giant Killer," and those people.

Of course everybody knows how true they  are.

So Jack's bean said, "I will tell you," and then asked, "Are your hands clean?"

"They're fair to middling," said Jack, looking at his hands, and for the first time in his life wishing he had washed them.

"Oh well," said the bean, "if they are not sticky it won't matter. I am going to let you look at me, but I don't want you to pull me apart, either on purpose or by accident."

"I won't," said Jack.


"Well, then, very  gently open this green part that you planted when it was white, and that won't stay under the ground, and look."

Jack did so.

He found the green part was split in two halves, and right between the halves, fastened at the end where the root went down, were stowed away two pretty green leaves.

"My!" said Jack.

"Well, I guess so!" said the bean, rather proudly. "You see I have these little leaves packed away even when I am white.

"But then they are also white and very, very small.

"You very likely would not even see them, at least not with your own eyes.

"You would see something if you knew where to look, but you would not see two leaves without the help of a magnifying glass.

"But I know they are there all the time."



"TELL me more," said Jack. He thought it the jolliest thing in the world, as it certainly was, to have the beans talk to him.

The bean was as pleased as he was, for it liked to talk, and it could not always find so good a listener.


So it said, "I keep my two white little leaves very closely packed away between my two big hard white cotyledons."

"Your two big hard white what?" asked Jack.


"My!" said Jack.

"Yes, cotyledons. You probably did not know there were two; you thought it was just one mass of white stuff. Probably you did not know my cotyledons had a coat, either."

"Yes," said Jack, "I knew that. It tears open when you grow. And I knew you split in two, only I didn't know you called yourself cotyledons."

"We  don't," said the bean, with a funny little laugh, "but it is no matter what we call ourselves,—grown-up men call our seed-leaves cotyledons."

"I would rather know what you  call them," said Jack.


"Oh, I can't tell you that; nobody can. But why don't you ask me what I mean by my seed-leaves?"

"I think you mean the two halves that come apart with the two little leaves between them," said Jack.


"Yes, so I do; but there are more than two leaves between; there is a little end that grows down and makes the root."

"Yes," said Jack, "I know."

"Hush!" said the bean, "you don't know anything about it. You mustn't tell me you know. You must just keep on asking me about myself."

"You are cross," said Jack.

"I am not," said the bean, "I am only right."

"Well, what shall I ask?" demanded Jack.

"Stupid! if you have nothing to ask, I have nothing to tell you, so good-by."

"Oh, don't," begged Jack. "I will ask and ask and ask, only don't stop telling."

"Well, ask away," said the bean.


"What makes you turn green? What makes you so hard before you're planted? How do you know when it's time to wake up? Where do—"


"Just hear the boy!" interrupted the bean, "asking a dozen questions and not waiting for an answer to any of them! Why don't you stop to take breath?"


"Why," said Jack, "now you can answer a long time."

"There's something in that," returned the bean, "and I will tell you about turning green. You turn green—"

"I don't," said Jack.


"Don't interrupt. I turn green because I cannot digest my food unless I do, and how am I to live without food? Even you could not live if you could not digest your food."

"I'm glad I don't turn green when I digest my food," said Jack; then asked, "What do you eat?"

"There you go again, another question and the first set not answered yet. I get my food from the air and the earth. I am fond of gas, and when I turn green I can digest it. You know the air is nothing but gas. Well, I can eat air."

"I'm glad I don't have to," said Jack, thinking of chocolate pudding.

"Oh, of course, you prefer much coarser things, but don't interrupt. I am fond of air, and the little leaves that I have stowed away need much food, so I just grow up to the top of the ground where there is to be found air and sunlight, and then I let my two little leaves draw all the good out of my cotyledons.


"They have air, too, and water, and the root sends them food, but they eat all the good out of my cotyledons as well, and that is why they grow so fast.

"Look there! see that bean plant over there!

"The cotyledons are all withered and look like dried leaves; that is what they are, just dried leaves.

"That is the way mine will look some day.

"But I don't care, for more leaves will grow above the first two, and I shall have plenty of stem and many leaves; and after a while beautiful flowers will come, and then lots of new seeds will grow from my flowers. You see how it is, don't you? I am just the bean baby."


"You are a great talker for a baby," said Jack.

"Oh, yes, you can't understand that, of course, but as I said before, some people do not know about beans."


"You say that pretty often," said Jack.


But the bean only laughed and replied, "Well, it's true, whether you like it or not."


"CAN you tell me about peas?" Jack asked the bean next day. "I planted some and they stayed in the ground."


"Perhaps I can," the bean replied, "but they are different from us, and I have told you enough."

"Well, I suppose after what you have told me, I can find out something about peas for myself," said Jack.

"Of course you can," replied the bean. "Some people never know anything, because they cannot find out without being told."

"Good-by," said Jack politely, "I am very much obliged to you"; but the bean was not so polite as Jack, for it did not answer at all.

Perhaps, however, that is the polite way among beans.

Jack was still thinking about beans when he went into the house and saw a pan of dried Lima beans soaking for dinner.

He took one up and slipped it out of its white jacket, and it fell apart in his hand, so that he saw quite plainly the little plant packed away at one end.

"It must like water better than I do—to swell itself that full," said he to himself, for the soaked beans were about twice as large as the dried ones.

"Couldn't grow a bit without it," said Jack's bean in a cross voice, popping from between his fingers back into the pan of water, "we have begun to grow, we have."


In spite of its crossness Jack felt a little sorry that it was to be eaten for dinner instead of growing in some damp and lovely place, "but," he thought, and no doubt he was right, "maybe among beans it doesn't matter if they are eaten. I don't know beans," he added, screwing up one eye.

"Why do we eat beans?" he asked his father at dinner.

Because they are nearly all starch, and starch is good food," his father replied.

"Does the baby bean eat starch?" Jack asked.

"Oh, yes," his father said, "the baby bean grows on the starch stored up in the bean. The little plant is stowed away in one corner of the bean, and lives on the starch of the cotyledons when it first begins to grow."

"Yes, I know," said Jack, "but don't you think it is rather hard on the bean for us to eat it?"

"No," his father replied, "there would not be room for all the beans to grow. Some would have to die anyway; and if the bean could understand, I am sure it would be very glad to give us food."


"Perhaps it does  understand," said Jack thoughtfully. "Beans are great thinkers."

"If that is so," said papa, smiling, "they must be a little proud to know that all the animals depend upon the plant life for food."

"I don't see how that is," said Ko.

"Well, I will tell you," said his father. "Plants can eat gases and other minerals."

"Yes, I know that," said Jack, remembering what the bean had told him about it.

"They change these things into plant material," his father went on, "and people, who cannot eat earth and air, eat the plants, and so all are able to live."

"But we might live on meat," said Jack.

"But what makes meat?" asked his father. "What do the animals we use for meat live on?"

"Plants," Jack replied, nodding his head to show he understood.

"Yes, plants; and so, first or last, all the animals depend upon the plants for their lives."

"If we keep on we shall know beans," Ko said to Jack in a very sleepy tone of voice that night. But Jack, tucked up in his crib, was already in the Land of Nod.



A Pretty Game

The sun and the rain in fickle weather

Were playing hide and seek together;

And each in turn would try to chase

The other from his hiding place.

At last they met to say, "Good-by,"

And lo! a rainbow spanned the sky.


  WEEK 23  


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


T HERE was once a forester who went into the forest to hunt, and as he entered it he heard a sound of screaming as if a little child were there. He followed the sound, and at last came to a high tree, and at the top of this a little child was sitting, for the mother had fallen asleep under the tree with the child, and a bird of prey had seen it in her arms, had flown down, snatched it away, and set it on the high tree.

The forester climbed up, brought the child down, and thought to himself, "Thou wilt take him home with thee, and bring him up with thy Lina." He took it home, therefore, and the two children grew up together. The one, however, which he had found on a tree was called Fundevogel, because a bird had carried it away. Fundevogel and Lina loved each other so dearly that when they did not see each other they were sad.

The forester, however, had an old cook, who one evening took two pails and began to fetch water, and did not go once only, but many times, out to the spring. Lina saw this and said, "Hark you, old Sanna, why are you fetching so much water?"


"If thou wilt never repeat it to anyone, I will tell thee why."

So Lina said, no, she would never repeat it to anyone, and then the cook said, "Early to-morrow morning, when the forester is out hunting, I will heat the water, and when it is boiling in the kettle, I will throw in Fundevogel, and will boil him in it."

Betimes next morning the forester got up and went out hunting, and when he was gone the children were still in bed. Then Lina said to Fundevogel, "If thou wilt never leave me, I too will never leave thee."

Fundevogel said, "Neither now, nor ever will I leave thee."

Then said Lina, "Then I will tell thee. Last night, old Sanna carried so many buckets of water into the house that I asked her why she was doing that, and she said that if I would promise not to tell any one she would tell me, and I said I would be sure not to tell any one, and she said that early to-morrow morning when father was out hunting, she would set the kettle full of water, throw thee into it and boil thee; but we will get up quickly, dress ourselves, and go away together."

The two children therefore got up, dressed themselves quickly, and went away.

When the water in the kettle was boiling, the cook went into the bed-room to fetch Fundevogel and throw him into it. But when she came in, and went to the beds, both the children were gone. Then she was terribly alarmed, and she said to herself, "What shall I say now when the forester comes home and sees that the children are gone? They must be followed instantly to get them back again."

Then the cook sent three servants after them, who were to run and overtake the children. The children, however, were sitting outside the forest, and when they saw from afar the three servants running, Lina said to Fundevogel, "Never leave me, and I will never leave thee."

Fundevogel said, "Neither now, nor ever."

Then said Lina, "Do thou become a rose-tree, and I the rose upon it."

When the three servants came to the forest, nothing was there but a rose-tree and one rose on it, but the children were nowhere. Then said they, "There is nothing to be done here," and they went home and told the cook that they had seen nothing in the forest but a little rose-bush with one rose on it.

Then the old cook scolded and said, "You simpletons, you should have cut the rose-bush in two, and have broken off the rose and brought it home with you; go, and do it at once."

They had therefore to go out and look for the second time.

The children, however, saw them coming from a distance. Then Lina said, "Fundevogel, never leave me, and I will never leave thee."

Fundevogel said, "Neither now, nor ever."

Said Lina, "Then do thou become a church, and I'll be the chandelier in it."

So when the three servants came, nothing was there but a church, with a chandelier in it. They said therefore to each other, "What can we do here, let us go home."

When they got home, the cook asked if they had not found them; so they said no, they had found nothing but a church, and that there was a chandelier in it.

And the cook scolded them and said, "You fools! why did you not pull the church to pieces, and bring the chandelier home with you?"

And now the old cook herself got on her legs, and went with the three servants in pursuit of the children.

The children, however, saw from afar that the three servants were coming, and the cook waddling after them.

Then said Lina, "Fundevogel, never leave me, and I will never leave thee."

Then said Fundevogel, "Neither now, nor ever."

Said Lina, "Be a fishpond, and I will be the duck upon it."

The cook, however, came up to them, and when she saw the pond she lay down by it, and was about to drink it up. But the duck swam quickly to her, seized her head in its beak and drew her into the water, and there the old witch had to drown. Then the children went home together, and were heartily delighted, and if they are not dead, they are living still.


Robert Louis Stevenson

The Flowers

All the names I know from nurse:

Gardener's garters, Shepherd's purse,

Bachelor's buttons, Lady's smock,

And the Lady Hollyhock.

Fairy places, fairy things,

Fairy woods where the wild bee wings,

Tiny trees for tiny dames—

These must all be fairy names!

Tiny woods below whose boughs

Shady fairies weave a house;

Tiny tree-tops, rose or thyme,

Where the braver fairies climb!

Fair are grown-up people's trees,

But the fairest woods are these;

Where, if I were not so tall,

I should live for good and all.


  WEEK 23  


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

Some More about Greece

"Two voices are there: one is of the sea,

One of the mountains; each a mighty voice.

In each from age to age thou didst rejoice;

They were thy chosen music, Liberty."


W HILE Carthage is growing day by day, and year by year, to take her place among the peoples, round the Mediterranean Sea, let us return to Greece, now taking a far larger part in the world's history, than Carthage would ever take.

A little inland, on the western coast of Southern Greece, was a wide and beautiful plain. It was watered by a flowing stream and shaded by well-wooded mountains. The spot was called Olympia, and it was dedicated to the worship of the great god Zeus. To this place every fourth year flocked the men of Greece, in olden times, to take part in the great festival, held in the god's honour. Games were the chief feature of the festival.

There was an old story saying that Hercules, when a little boy, had here won a foot-race with his brothers, so some of the Greeks in the south, founded this feast, with foot-races, for all the people to take part in. There were chariot-races and horse-races as well as foot-races; boxing-matches, wrestling, throwing weights, singing and reciting of poetry, so that all might have a chance.

The only prize given to the winners was a garland of wild olive, cut from a sacred tree in the grove. The victors were thus crowned before the people, each holding a palm branch in his hand, while the heralds proclaimed his name and that of his father and country.

From north and south, and east and west, the men of Greece flocked to Olympia. It was a bond of union, for all the scattered tribes of Greece. It helped the colonies to keep in touch with the mother country. It made a centre where men of all parts could meet and discuss matters of importance, and it gave a feeling of brotherhood to those, who were separated by the natural barriers of their divided country.

Now, amongst the chief people who attended these games, every four years at Olympia, were the Spartans. They lived in the south of Greece, and they were supposed to be the descendants of Hercules, and to have settled there, after their return from the siege of Troy. These Spartans were a very strict people, every citizen was a soldier. If a child were born weak or unhealthy, legend said, it was laid out on the wild slopes of the mountain-side to die. Only the strong and healthy were allowed to live.

So the Spartans became a very strong people. When seven years old, a boy was taken from his home, he was taught to endure hardships, and trained to love his country. At twenty he became a soldier and lived under stern discipline. The one aim of his life, was to become a good soldier; he existed for the State alone. His food was of the plainest; he had to wear the same garment summer and winter; no complaints were tolerated. Indeed there are stories telling how the Spartan boys, would die under the lash of the whip, rather than utter a murmur of complaint.

Women were proud of their sons, and urged them to acts of heroism.

"Return either with  your shield or upon  it," they would cry to the young soldiers, going forth to battle.

So the Spartans became a well-trained body of soldiers at a time, when military training was little thought about in Greece. They grew very powerful, and subdued the lesser States around them.

Another important spot in Greece at this time was Athens, and the men of Athens travelled far, to be present at the games of Olympia every four years. They had a lovely city built on a rocky height jutting out into the sea.

There was an old story that the gods Neptune and Athene had a strife as to which should be the patron of the city, and that it was to be given to whichever should produce the most precious gift for it. Neptune struck the earth, and there appeared a war-horse; but Athene's touch brought forth an olive-tree, and this was judged the most useful gift. So the city bore her name, and the olive-tree grew in the court of the old Acropolis, a sacred citadel on a rock above the city.

The King of Athens was called Solon; he was supposed to have been one of the seven wisest men of Greece at this time. He drew up a very clever code of laws for the men of Athens, laws which are spoken of, to the present day.

Corinth was another important centre, from which the Greeks flocked to Olympia. This city stood on the rocky isthmus that connects North and South Greece together; an isthmus called by one of the old poets the "bridge of the untiring sea."

And these three States, Sparta, Athens, and Corinth, played a large part in the history of Greece.


Jane Taylor

I Love Little Pussy

I love little Pussy,

Her coat is so warm;

And if I don't hurt her,

She'll do me no harm.

So I'll not pull her tail,

Nor drive her away,

But Pussy and I

Very gently will play.

She shall sit by my side,

And I'll give her some food;

And she'll love me, because

I am gentle and good.

I never will vex her,

Nor make her displeased,

For Puss doesn't like

To be worried or teased.


  WEEK 23  


The Irish Twins  by Lucy Fitch Perkins

The Tale of the Leprechaun

Grannie reached for the teapot and poured herself a cup of tea. As she sipped it, she said to the twins, "Did you ever hear of the Leprechauns? Little men they are, not half the bigness of the smallest baby you ever laid your two eyes on. Long beards they have, and little pointed caps on the heads of them.

"And it 's forever making the little brogues (shoes) they are, and you can hear the tap-tap of their hammers before you ever get sight of them at all. And the gold and silver and precious things they have hidden away would fill the world with treasures.

"But they have the sharpness of the new moon, that 's sharp at both ends, and no one can get their riches away from them at all. They do be saying that if you catch one in your two hands and never take your eyes off him, you can make him give up his money.

"But they 've the tricks of the world to make you look the other way, the Leprechauns have. And then when you look back again, faith, they 're nowhere at all!"

"Did Mary O'Connor catch one?" asked Eileen.

"Did she now!" cried Grannie. "Listen to this. One day Mary O'Connor was sitting in her bit of garden, with her knitting in her hand, and she was watching some bees that were going to swarm.

"It was a fine day in June, and the bees were humming, and the birds were chirping and hopping, and the butterflies were flying about, and everything smelt as sweet and fresh as if it was the first day of the world.

"Well, all of a sudden, what did she hear among the bean-rows in the garden but a noise that went tick-tack, tick-tack, just for all the world as if a brogue-maker was putting on the heel of a pump!

"'The Lord preserve us,' says Mary O'Connor; 'what in the world can that be?'

"So she laid down her knitting, and she went over to the beans. Now, never believe me, if she did n't see sitting right before her a bit of an old man, with a cocked hat on his head and a dudeen (pipe) in his mouth, smoking away! He had on a drab-colored coat with big brass buttons on it, and a pair of silver buckles on his shoes, and he working away as hard as ever he could, heeling a little pair of pumps!

"You may believe me or not, Larry and Eileen McQueen, but the minute she clapped her eyes on him, she knew him for a Leprechaun.

"And she says to him very bold, 'God save you, honest man! That 's hard work you 're at this hot day!' And she made a run at him and caught him in her two hands!

" 'And where is your purse of money?' says she.

" 'Money!' says he; 'money is it! And where on top of earth would an old creature like myself get money?' says he.

" 'Maybe not on top of earth at all, but in  it,' says she; and with that she gave him a bit of a squeeze. 'Come, come,' says she. 'Don't be turning your tricks upon an honest woman!'

"And then she, being at the time as good-looking a young woman as you 'd find, put a wicked face on her, and pulled a knife from her pocket, and says she, 'If you don't give me your purse this instant minute, or show me a pot of gold, I 'll cut the nose off the face of you as soon as wink.'

"The little man's eyes were popping out of his head with fright, and says he, 'Come with me a couple of fields off, and I 'll show you where I keep my money!'

"So she went, still holding him fast in her hand, and keeping her two eyes fixed on him without so much as a wink, when, all of a sudden, what do you think?

"She heard a whiz and a buzz behind her, as if all the bees in the world were humming, and the little old man cries out, 'There go your bees a-swarming and a-going off with themselves like blazes!'

"She turned her head for no more than a second of time, but when she looked back there was nothing at all in her hand.

"He slipped out of her fingers as if he were made of fog or smoke, and sorrow a bit of him did she ever see after."

"And she never got the gold at all," sighed Eileen

"Never so much as a ha'penny worth," said Grannie Malone.

"I believe I 'd rather get rich in America than try to catch Leprechauns for a living," said Larry.

"And you never said a truer word," said Grannie. " 'T is a poor living you 'd get from the Leprechauns, I 'm thinking, rich as they are."

By this time the teapot was empty, and every crumb of the cakeen was gone, and as Larry had eaten two potatoes, just as Eileen thought he would, there was little left to clear away.

It was late in the afternoon. The room had grown darker, and Grannie Malone went to the little window and looked out.

"Now run along with yourselves home," she said, "for the sun is nearly setting across the bog, and your Mother will be looking for you. Here, put this in your pocket for luck." She gave Larry a little piece of coal. "The Good Little People will take care of good children if they have a bit o' this with them," she said; "and you, Eileen, be careful that you don't step in a fairy ring on your way home, for you 've a light foot on you like a leaf in the wind, and 'The People' will keep you dancing for dear knows how long, if once they get you."


"We 'll keep right in the boreen (road), won't we, Larry? Good-bye, Grannie," said Eileen.

The Twins started home. Grannie Malone stood in her doorway, shading her eyes with her hand, and looking after them until a turn in the road hid them from sight. Then she went into her little cabin and shut the door.



Victor Hugo

Good Night!

Good night! Good night!

Far flies the light;

But still God's love

Shall flame above,

Making all bright.

Good night! Good night!


  WEEK 23  


Hurlbut's Story of the Bible  by Jesse Lyman Hurlbut

A Lost Brother Found

Genesis xliii: 1, to xlv: 24.

dropcap image HE food which Jacob's sons had brought from Egypt did not last long, for Jacob's family was large. Most of his sons were married and had children of their own; so that the children and grand-children, were sixty-six, besides the servants who waited on them, and the men who cared for Jacob's flocks. So around the tent of Jacob was quite a camp of other tents and an army of people.

When the food that had come from Egypt was nearly eaten up, Jacob said to his sons:

"Go down to Egypt again, and buy some more food for us."

And Judah, Jacob's son, the man who years before had urged his brothers to sell Joseph to the Ishmaelites (see Story Fifteen), said to his father:

"It is of no use for us to go to Egypt, unless we take Benjamin with us. The man who rules in that land said to us, 'You shall not see my face, unless your youngest brother be with you.' "

Israel said, "Why did you tell the man that you had a brother? You did me great harm when you told him."

"Why," said Jacob's sons, "we could not help telling him. The man asked us all about our family. Is your father yet living? Have you any more brothers? And we had to tell him, his questions were so close. How should we know that he would say, 'Bring your brother here for me to see him.' "

And Judah said, "Send Benjamin with me, and I will take care of him. I promise you, that I will bring him safely home. If he does not come back, let me bear the blame forever. He must go, or we shall die for want of food; and we might have gone down to Egypt and come home again, if we had not been kept back." And Jacob said, "If he must go, then he must. But take a present to the man, some of the choicest fruits of the land, some spices, and perfumes, and nuts, and almonds. And take twice as much money, besides the money that was in your sacks. Perhaps that was a mistake, when the money was given back to you. And take your brother Benjamin; and may the Lord God make the man kind to you, so that he will set Simeon free, and let you bring Benjamin back. But if it is God's will that I lose my children, I cannot help it."

So ten brothers of Joseph went down a second time to Egypt, Benjamin going in place of Simeon. They came to Joseph's office, the place where he sold grain to the people; and they stood before their brother, and bowed as before. Joseph saw that Benjamin was with them, and he said to his steward, the man who was over his house: "Make ready a dinner, for all these men shall dine with me to-day."


Benjamin is brought to Joseph.

When Joseph's brothers found that they were taken into Joseph's house, they were filled with fear; they said to each other:

"We have been taken here on account of the money in our sacks. They will say that we have stolen it; and then they will sell us all for slaves."

But Joseph's steward, the man who was over his house, treated the men kindly, and when they spoke of the money in their sacks, he would not take it again, saying: "Never fear; your God must have sent you this as a gift. I had your money." The steward received the men into Joseph's house, and washed their feet, according to the custom of the land. And at noon, Joseph came in to meet them. They brought him the present from their father, and again they bowed before him, with their faces on the ground.

And Joseph asked them if they were well, and said: "Is your father still living, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he well?"

And they said, "Our father is well, and he is living." And again they bowed to Joseph. And Joseph looked at his younger brother, Benjamin, the child of his own mother, Rachel; and he said: "Is this your youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me? God be gracious unto you, my son."

And Joseph's heart was so full that he could not keep back his tears. He went in haste to his own room, and wept there. Then he washed his face, and came out again, and ordered the table to be set for dinner. They set Joseph's table for himself, as the ruler, and another table for his Egyptian officers, and another for the eleven men from Canaan; for Joseph had brought Simeon out of the prison, and had given him a place with his brothers.

Joseph himself arranged the order of the seats for his brothers, the oldest at the head; and all in order of age down to the youngest. The men wondered at this, and could not see how the ruler of Egypt should know the order of their ages. And Joseph sent dishes from his table to his brothers; and he gave to Benjamin five times as much as to the others. Perhaps he wished to see whether they were as jealous of Benjamin as in other days they had been toward him.

After dinner, Joseph said to his steward, "Fill the men's sacks with grain, as much as they can carry; and put each man's money in his sack. And put my silver cup in the sack of the youngest, with his money."

The steward did as Joseph had said; and early in the morning the brothers started to go home. A little while afterward, Joseph said to his steward:

"Hasten, follow after the men from Canaan, and say, 'Why have you wronged me, after I had treated you kindly? You have stolen my master's silver cup, out of which he drinks.' " The steward followed the men, and overtook them, and charged them with stealing. And they said to him:

"Why should you talk to us in this manner? We have stolen nothing. Why, we brought back to you the money that we found in our sacks; and is it likely that we would steal from your lord his silver or gold? You may search us; and if you find your master's cup on any of us, let him die, and the rest of us may be sold as slaves."

Then they took down the sacks from the asses, and opened them; and in each man's sack was his money, for the second time. And when they came to Benjamin's sack, there was the ruler's silver cup! Then, in the greatest sorrow, they tied up their bags again, and laid them on the asses, and came back to Joseph's palace.


The cup was found in the sack of Benjamin.

And Joseph said to them:

"What wicked thing is this that you have done? Did you not know that I would surely find out your deeds?"

Then Judah said, "O my lord, what can we say? God has punished us for our sins; and now we must all be slaves, both us that are older, and the youngest in whose sack the cup was found."

"No," said Joseph, "only one of you is guilty, the one who has taken away my cup; I will hold him as a slave, and the rest of you can go home to your father."

Joseph wished to see whether his brothers were still selfish, and were willing to let Benjamin suffer, if they could escape.

Then Judah, the very man who had urged his brothers to sell Joseph as a slave, came forward, and fell at Joseph's feet, and pleaded with him to let Benjamin go. He told again the whole story, how Benjamin was the one whom his father loved the most of all his children, now that his brother was lost. He said:

"I promised to bear the blame, if this boy was not brought home in safety. If he does not go back, it will kill our poor old father, who has seen much trouble. Now let my youngest brother go home to his father, and I will stay here as a slave in his place!"

Joseph knew now what he had longed to know, that his brothers were no longer cruel nor selfish, but one of them was willing to suffer, so that his brother might be spared. And Joseph could not any longer keep his secret, for his heart longed after his brothers, and he was ready to weep again, with tears of love and joy. He sent all his Egyptian servants out of the room, so that he might be alone with his brothers, and then said:

"Come near to me, I wish to speak with you;" and they came near, wondering. Then Joseph said:

"I am Joseph, is my father really alive?" How frightened his brothers were, as they heard these words, spoken in their own language by the ruler of Egypt, and for the first time, knew that this stern man, who had their lives in his hand, was their own brother whom they had wronged! Then Joseph said again:

"I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. But do not feel troubled because of what you did. For God sent me before you to save your lives. There have been already two years of need and famine, and there are to be five years more, when there shall neither be plowing of the fields nor harvest. It was not you who sent me here, but God, and he sent me to save your lives. God has made me like a father to Pharaoh and ruler over all the land of Egypt. Now, go home, and bring down to me my father and all his family, for that is the only way to save their lives."

Then Joseph placed his arms around Benjamin's neck, and kissed him, and wept upon him. And Benjamin wept on his neck. And Joseph kissed all his brothers, to show them that he had fully forgiven them; and after that his brothers began to lose their fear of Joseph, and talked with him more freely.

Afterward Joseph sent his brothers home with good news, and rich gifts, and abundant food. He sent also wagons in which Jacob and his wives and the little ones of his family might ride from Canaan down to Egypt. And Joseph's brothers went home happier than they had been for many years.


Christina Georgina Rossetti

The Days Are Clear

The days are clear,

Day after day,

When April's here,

That leads to May,

And June

Must follow soon:

Stay, June, stay!—

If only we could stop the moon

And June!