Text of Plan #953
  WEEK 24  


The Story of Doctor Dolittle  by Hugh Lofting

Too-Too, the Listener

dropcap image AVING thanked the sharks again for their kindness, the Doctor and his pets set off once more on their journey home in the swift ship with the three red sails.

As they moved out into the open sea, the animals all went downstairs to see what their new boat was like inside; while the Doctor leant on the rail at the back of the ship with a pipe in his mouth, watching the Canary Islands fade away in the blue dusk of the evening.

While he was standing there, wondering how the monkeys were getting on—and what his garden would look like when he got back to Puddleby, Dab-Dab came tumbling up the stairs, all smiles and full of news.

"Doctor!" she cried. "This ship of the pirates is simply beautiful—absolutely. The beds downstairs are made of primrose silk—with hundreds of big pillows and cushions; there are thick, soft carpets on the floors; the dishes are made of silver; and there are all sorts of good things to eat and drink—special things; the larder—well, it's just like a shop, that's all. You never saw anything like it in your life—Just think—they kept five different kinds of sardines, those men! Come and look. . . . Oh, and we found a little room down there with the door locked; and we are all crazy to get in and see what's inside. Jip says it must be where the pirates kept their treasure. But we can't open the door. Come down and see if you can let us in."

So the Doctor went downstairs and he saw that it was indeed a beautiful ship. He found the animals gathered round a little door, all talking at once, trying to guess what was inside. The Doctor turned the handle but it wouldn't open. Then they all started to hunt for the key. They looked under the mat; they looked under all the carpets; they looked in all the cupboards and drawers and lockers—in the big chests in the ship's dining-room; they looked everywhere.

While they were doing this they discovered a lot of new and wonderful things that the pirates must have stolen from other ships: Kashmir shawls as thin as a cobweb, embroidered with flowers of gold; jars of fine tobacco from Jamaica; carved ivory boxes full of Russian tea; an old violin with a string broken and a picture on the back; a set of big chess-men, carved out of coral and amber; a walking-stick which had a sword inside it when you pulled the handle; six wine-glasses with turquoise and silver round the rims; and a lovely great sugar-bowl, made of mother o' pearl. But nowhere in the whole boat could they find a key to fit that lock.

So they all came back to the door, and Jip peered through the key-hole. But something had been stood against the wall on the inside and he could see nothing.

While they were standing around, wondering what they should do, the owl, Too-Too, suddenly said,

"Sh!—Listen!—I do believe there's some one in there!"


"Sh!—Listen!—I do believe there's some one in there!"

They all kept still a moment. Then the Doctor said,

"You must be mistaken, Too-Too. I don't hear anything."

"I'm sure of it," said the owl. "Sh!—There it is again—Don't you hear that?"

"No, I do not," said the Doctor. "What kind of a sound is it?"

"I hear the noise of some one putting his hand in his pocket," said the owl.

"But that makes hardly any sound at all," said the Doctor. "You couldn't hear that out here."

"Pardon me, but I can," said Too-Too. "I tell you there is some one on the other side of that door putting his hand in his pocket. Almost everything makes some  noise—if your ears are only sharp enough to catch it. Bats can hear a mole walking in his tunnel under the earth—and they think they're good hearers. But we owls can tell you, using only one ear, the color of a kitten from the way it winks in the dark."

"Well, well!" said the Doctor. "You surprise me. That's very interesting. . . . Listen again and tell me what he's doing now."

"I'm not sure yet," said Too-Too, "if it's a man at all. Maybe it's a woman. Lift me up and let me listen at the key-hole and I'll soon tell you."

So the Doctor lifted the owl up and held him close to the lock of the door.

After a moment Too-Too said,

"Now he's rubbing his face with his left hand. It is a small hand and a small face. It might  be a woman—No. Now he pushes his hair back off his forehead—It's a man all right."

"Women sometimes do that," said the Doctor.

"True," said the owl. "But when they do, their long hair makes quite a different sound. . . . Sh! Make that fidgety pig keep still. Now all hold your breath a moment so I can listen well. This is very difficult, what I'm doing now—and the pesky door is so thick! Sh! Everybody quite still—shut your eyes and don't breathe."

Too-Too leaned down and listened again very hard and long.

At last he looked up into the Doctor's face and said,

"The man in there is unhappy. He weeps. He has taken care not to blubber or sniffle, lest we should find out that he is crying. But I heard—quite distinctly—the sound of a tear falling on his sleeve."

"How do you know it wasn't a drop of water falling off the ceiling on him?" asked Gub-Gub.

"Pshaw!—Such ignorance!" sniffed Too-Too. "A drop of water falling off the ceiling would have made ten times as much noise!"

"Well," said the Doctor, "if the poor fellow's unhappy, we've got to get in and see what's the matter with him. Find me an axe, and I'll chop the door down."


The Story of Doctor Dolittle  by Hugh Lofting

The Ocean Gossips

dropcap image IGHT away an axe was found. And the Doctor soon chopped a hole in the door big enough to clamber through.

At first he could see nothing at all, it was so dark inside. So he struck a match.

The room was quite small; no window; the ceiling, low. For furniture there was only one little stool. All round the room big barrels stood against the walls, fastened at the bottom so they wouldn't tumble with the rolling of the ship; and above the barrels, pewter jugs of all sizes hung from wooden pegs. There was a strong, winey smell. And in the middle of the floor sat a little boy, about eight years old, crying bitterly.

"I declare, it is the pirates' rum-room!" said Jip in a whisper.

"Yes. Very rum!" said Gub-Gub. "The smell makes me giddy."

The little boy seemed rather frightened to find a man standing there before him and all those animals staring in through the hole in the broken door. But as soon as he saw John Dolittle's face by the light of the match, he stopped crying and got up.

"You aren't one of the pirates, are you?" he asked.

And when the Doctor threw back his head and laughed long and loud, the little boy smiled too and came and took his hand.

"You laugh like a friend," he said—"not like a pirate. Could you tell me where my uncle is?"

"I am afraid I can't," said the Doctor. "When did you see him last?"

"It was the day before yesterday," said the boy. "I and my uncle were out fishing in our little boat, when the pirates came and caught us. They sunk our fishing-boat and brought us both on to this ship. They told my uncle that they wanted him to be a pirate like them—for he was clever at sailing a ship in all weathers. But he said he didn't want to be a pirate, because killing people and stealing was no work for a good fisherman to do. Then the leader, Ben Ali, got very angry and gnashed his teeth, and said they would throw my uncle into the sea if he didn't do as they said. They sent me downstairs; and I heard the noise of a fight going on above. And when they let me come up again next day, my uncle was nowhere to be seen. I asked the pirates where he was; but they wouldn't tell me. I am very much afraid they threw him into the sea and drowned him."

And the little boy began to cry again.

"Well now—wait a minute," said the Doctor. "Don't cry. Let's go and have tea in the dining-room, and we'll talk it over. Maybe your uncle is quite safe all the time. You don't know  that he was drowned, do you? And that's something. Perhaps we can find him for you. First we'll go and have tea—with strawberry-jam; and then we will see what can be done."

All the animals had been standing around listening with great curiosity. And when they had gone into the ship's dining-room and were having tea, Dab-Dab came up behind the Doctor's chair and whispered.

"Ask the porpoises if the boy's uncle was drowned—they'll know."

"All right," said the Doctor, taking a second piece of bread-and-jam.

"What are those funny, clicking noises you are making with your tongue?" asked the boy.

"Oh, I just said a couple of words in duck-language," the Doctor answered. "This is Dab-Dab, one of my pets."

"I didn't even know that ducks had a language," said the boy. "Are all these other animals your pets, too? What is that strange-looking thing with two heads?"

"Sh!" the Doctor whispered. "That is the pushmi-pullyu. Don't let him see we're talking about him—he gets so dreadfully embarrassed. . . . Tell me, how did you come to be locked up in that little room?"

"The pirates shut me in there when they were going off to steal things from another ship. When I heard some one chopping on the door, I didn't know who it could be. I was very glad to find it was you. Do you think you will be able to find my uncle for me?"

"Well, we are going to try very hard," said the Doctor. "Now what was your uncle like to look at?"

"He had red hair," the boy answered—"very red hair, and the picture of an anchor tattooed on his arm. He was a strong man, a kind uncle and the best sailor in the South Atlantic. His fishing-boat was called The Saucy Sally—a cutter-rigged sloop."

"What's 'cutterigsloop'?" whispered Gub-Gub, turning to Jip.

"Sh!—That's the kind of a ship the man had," said Jip. "Keep still, can't you?"

"Oh," said the pig, "is that all? I thought it was something to drink."

So the Doctor left the boy to play with the animals in the dining-room, and went upstairs to look for passing porpoises.

And soon a whole school came dancing and jumping through the water, on their way to Brazil.

When they saw the Doctor leaning on the rail of his ship, they came over to see how he was getting on.

And the Doctor asked them if they had seen anything of a man with red hair and an anchor tattooed on his arm.

"Do you mean the master of The Saucy Sally?"  asked the porpoises.

"Yes," said the Doctor. "That's the man. Has he been drowned?"

"His fishing-sloop was sunk," said the porpoises—"for we saw it lying on the bottom of the sea. But there was nobody inside it, because we went and looked."

"His little nephew is on the ship with me here," said the Doctor. "And he is terribly afraid that the pirates threw his uncle into the sea. Would you be so good as to find out for me, for sure, whether he has been drowned or not?"

"Oh, he isn't drowned," said the porpoises. "If he were, we would be sure to have heard of it from the deep-sea Decapods. We hear all the salt-water news. The shell-fish call us 'The Ocean Gossips.' No—tell the little boy we are sorry we do not know where his uncle is; but we are quite certain he hasn't been drowned in the sea."

So the Doctor ran downstairs with the news and told the nephew, who clapped his hands with happiness. And the pushmi-pullyu took the little boy on his back and gave him a ride round the dining-room table; while all the other animals followed behind, beating the dish-covers with spoons, pretending it was a parade.



My Maid Mary

My maid Mary she minds the dairy,

While I go a-hoeing and a-mowing each morn;

Gaily runs the little reel and the little spinning wheel,

Whilst I am singing and mowing my corn.


  WEEK 24  


Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans  by Edward Eggleston

Decatur and the Pirates

N EARLY a hundred years have passed since the ship "Philadelphia" was burned. But the brave sailors who did it will never be forgotten.

The people of Tripoli in Africa were pirates. They took the ships of other nations at sea. They made slaves of their prisoners. The friends of these slaves sometimes sent money to buy their freedom. Some countries paid money to these pirates to let their ships go safe.

Our country had trouble with the pirates. This trouble brought on a war. Our ships were sent to fight against Tripoli.

One of the ships fighting against the pirates was called the "Philadelphia." One day she was chasing a ship of Tripoli. The "Philadelphia" ran on the rocks. The sailors could not get her off. The pirates came and fought her as she lay on the rocks. They took her men prisoners. Then they went to work to get her off. After a long time they got her into deep water. They took her to Tripoli. Our ships could not go there after her, because there were so many great cannons on the shore near the ship.

The pirates got the "Philadelphia" ready to go to sea. They loaded her cannons. They meant to slip out past our ships of war. Then they would take a great many smaller American ships.

But the Americans laid a plan to burn the "Philadelphia." It was a very dangerous thing to try to do. The pirates had ships of war near the "Philadelphia." They had great guns on the shore. There was no way to do it in the day-time. It could only be done by stealing into the Bay of Tripoli at night.

The Americans had taken a little vessel from the pirates. She was of the kind that is called a ketch. She had sails. She also had long oars. When there was no wind to sail with, the sailors could row her with the oars.

This little ketch was sent one night to burn the "Philadelphia." The captain of this boat was Stephen Decatur. He was a young man, and very brave.

Decatur made his men lie down, so that the pirates would not know how many men he had on his ketch. Only about ten men were in sight. The rest were lying hidden on the boat.

They came near to the "Philadelphia." It was about ten o'clock at night. The pirates called to them. The pilot of the ketch told them that he was from Malta. He told them that he had come to sell things to the people of Tripoli. He said that the ketch had lost her anchor. He asked them to let him tie her to the big ship till morning.

The pirates sent out a rope to them. But when the ketch came nearer, the pirates saw that they had been fooled. They cried out, "Americans, Americans!"

Then the Americans lying down took hold of the rope and pulled with all their might, and drew the ketch close to the ship. They were so close, that the ship's cannons were over their heads. The pirates could not fire at them.

The men who had been lying still now rose up. There were eighty of them. In a minute they were scrambling up the sides of the big ship. Some went in one way, some another. They did not shoot. They fought with swords and pikes, or short spears.

Soon they drove the pirates to one side of the ship. Then they could hear the pirates jumping over into the water. In a few minutes the pirates had all gone.

But the Americans could not stay long. They must burn the ship before the pirates on the shore should find out what they were doing.

They had brought a lot of kindling on the ketch. They built fires in all parts of the ship. The fire ran so fast, that some of the men had trouble to get off the ship.

When the Americans got back on the ketch, they could not untie the rope that held the ketch to the ship. The big ship was bursting into flames. The ketch would soon take fire.

They took swords and hacked the big rope in two. Then they pushed hard to get away from the fire. The ketch began to move. The sailors took the large oars and rowed. They were soon safe from the fire.

All this they had done without any noise. But, now that they had got away, they looked back. The fire was shooting up toward the sky. The men stopped rowing, and they gave three cheers. They were so glad, that they could not help it.

By this time the pirates on shore had waked up. They began to fire great cannon balls at the little ketch. One of the balls went through her sails. Ah! how the sailors rowed!

The whole sky was now lighted up by the fire. The pirates' cannons were thundering. The cannon balls were splashing the water all round the ketch. But the Americans got away. At last they were safe in their own ships.


A. A. Milne

The King's Breakfast

The King asked

The Queen, and

The Queen asked

The Dairymaid:

"Could we have some butter for

The Royal slice of bread?"

The Queen asked

The Dairymaid,

The Dairymaid

Said, "Certainly,

I'll go and tell

The cow


Before she goes to bed."

The Dairymaid

She curtsied,

And went and told

The Alderney:

"Don't forget the butter for

The Royal slice of bread."

The Alderney

Said sleepily:

"You'd better tell

His Majesty

That many people nowadays

Like marmalade


The Dairymaid

Said, "Fancy!"

And went to

Her Majesty.

She curtsied to the Queen, and

She turned a little red:

"Excuse me,

Your Majesty,

For taking of

The liberty,

But marmalade is tasty, if

It's very



The Queen said


And went to

His Majesty:

"Talking of the butter for

The Royal slice of bread,

Many people

Think that


Is nicer.

Would you like to try a little



The King said,


And then he said,

"Oh, dear me!"

The King sobbed, "Oh, deary me!"

And went back to bed.


He whimpered,

"Could call me

A fussy man;

I only  want

A little bit

Of butter for

My bread!"

The Queen said,

"There, there!"

And went to

The Dairymaid.

The Dairymaid

Said, "There, there!"

And went to the shed.

The cow said,

"There, there!

I didn't really

Mean it;

Here's milk for his porringer

And butter for his bread."

The Queen took

The butter

And brought it to

His Majesty;

The King said,

"Butter, eh?"

And bounced out of bed.

"Nobody," he said,

As he kissed her


"Nobody," he said,

As he slid down

The banisters,


My darling,

Could call me

A fussy man—


I do like a little bit of butter to my bread!"


  WEEK 24  


Seed-Babies  by Margaret Warner Morley

Sweet Peas

"Y OU don't seem to have to come out of the ground to get started," Jack said to his sweet peas one day.

"Oh, no," was the reply.

"But why? Don't you need air and light?"


"Yes; but we have enough food stored underground to start us, and, as a matter of fact, we prefer to lie still and let our clean, fresh leaves go out into the world."

"Do garden peas act the same way as sweet peas?" asked Jack, very much awake by this time to what was going on in the garden.

"Yes," the sweet pea said, in a voice as musical as a summer brook. "Yes the garden peas are our cousins,—our country cousins, as it were; they grow in the same way we do, and we are very fond of them."

"Do you have a baby in your seed, too?" demanded Jack, sitting down cross-legged on the ground to have a good, comfortable chat with his new friends.

"My seed is  a baby pea," was the reply. "Between my two round cotyledons you can see the rest of the infant tucked away, ready when warmth and moisture come, to spring up and grow into a vine.


"Yes, that's so," Jack said, slowly; then added, "Ain't you afraid to stay out in the garden all night?" It had come over him all of a sudden that he  would be very much afraid.

"Do you mean, 'Aren't  you afraid'?" asked the pea, politely but a little severely.


"Ye-e-s," said Jack, half a mind to rebel against having to correct bad grammar out of school, but not wanting to offend the pea either; "Aren't you afraid?"

"No, I am not afraid. We plants love the night-time. We can see as well as in the day-time."

Jack wanted to ask if they could see at any time without eyes, but feared it might be considered impolite.

The pea replied to his thought.

"Not as you see, but we have a way of knowing about things that you see. I cannot explain how it is, for you are not a pea and could not understand."

"Can you hear?" asked Jack.

"Not as you hear. But we have a way of knowing about things that you hear. I cannot explain how it is, for you are not a pea and could not understand."

"Can you smell, or taste, or feel?" persisted Jack.

"Not as you smell, or taste, or feel. But we have a way of knowing about things that you smell, and taste, and feel. I cannot explain how it is, for you are not a pea and could not understand."

"I don't seem to know peas either," muttered Jack to himself.


"No, you don't know about peas. If you did, you would know more than the President of the United States and the Principal of your school put together."

"My!" said Jack.

"You never will know all about peas," the pea went on. "You can know a good many things about them, as well as about other things, that will be good for you, if you keep your eyes open and your brain working."

"How they all like to teach a feller," thought Jack, as the pea settled down as though through talking.

"Teach a fellow,"  said the pea, rousing up; "teach a boy  would sound better yet."

"Teach a boy," corrected Jack meekly, and then walked off and found Ko, and told him all the pea had said.


"You dreamed it, you silly," said Ko, with a very fine air, for he was two years older than Jack, and sometimes liked to remind his brother of this fact. "You dreamed it, and anyway 't ain't polite to listen to what people think."

"No," said Jack, politely but a little severely, just as the pea had said it to him, "it isn't  polite, but then that may be polite among peas,—you don't know peas, you must remember, that."


Mary Howliston

Our Flag

There are many flags in many lands,

There are flags of every hue,

But there is no flag, however grand,

Like our own "Red, White and Blue."

I know where the prettiest colors are,

And I'm sure if I only knew

How to get them here I could make a flag

Of glorious "Red, White and Blue."

I would cut a piece from an evening sky,

Where the stars were shining through

And use it just as it was on high,

For my stars and field of blue.

Then I'd want a part of a fleecy cloud,

And some red from a rainbow bright

And put them together side by side,

For my stripes of red and white.

We shall always love the "Stars and Stripes,"

And we mean to be ever true.

To this land of ours and the dear old flag,

The Red, the White and the Blue.

Then hurrah for the flag! our country's flag,

Its stripes and white stars too;

There is no flag in any land,

Like our own "Red, White and Blue!"


  WEEK 24  


Fairy Tales Too Good To Miss—Up the Stairs  by Lisa M. Ripperton

Hans Clodhopper


F AR away in the country stood a large, rambling old house in which there lived an old Squire and his three grown sons. Two of these sons, who thought themselves too clever by far, had made up their minds to woo the King's Daughter; for she had publicly announced that she would take for her husband that man who had most to say for himself.

The two smart youths took a week to prepare themselves. That was all the time they had, but it was enough for them, as they already had many accomplishments.

One of them knew the entire Latin dictionary by heart and could repeat, backwards or forwards, all that had been in the town newspaper for the last three years.

The other one had read all the laws of the world, and knew by heart everything that an alderman has to know. So he was sure that he would be able to talk brilliantly about affairs of state. He was also very clever with his fingers; he could embroider harness with roses and beautiful designs.

"I shall win the King's Daughter!" cried each of these sons.

Their old father gave them two handsome horses. The Latin scholar had a black horse, while the lawyer's was milk-white.

Before they started the youths rubbed the corners of their mouths with sweet oil to make them run easily.

Then, while all the servants stood about in the yard watching the two brothers mount their fine horses, the third brother put in an appearance. Almost every one forgot that there were three sons, for this one knew nothing that his brothers knew, and, indeed, people usually called him Hans Clodhopper.

"Where are you going with your Sunday clothes on?" asked Hans Clodhopper.

"To court, to talk ourselves into favor with the King's Daughter. Haven't you heard the news that has spread like wildfire through the country?" And then they told him what the King's Daughter had declared.

"By my stars," said Hans Clodhopper, "then I must go too!"

But his two brothers burst out laughing and rode away.

"Father," said Hans, "give me a horse, too. I feel desperately inclined to get married! If she takes me, she takes me; and if she doesn't take me, then I'll take her, for she shall be mine!"

"Nonsense!" said his old father, "I have no horse to give you. You have nothing to say for yourself. Your brothers, now, speak like statesmen."

"Well," said Hans Clodhopper, "if I can't have a horse, then I'll take the old billy goat. He belongs to me, and he can carry me very well!"

He threw himself astride the billy goat, dug his heels into its sides, and galloped off down the highroad like a hurricane.

"Hei, houp! Here I come!" cried Hans Clodhopper. And he shouted and sang until the air rang with the echoes of his voice.

His brothers, meantime, rode on in silence. They did not say a word to each other, for they were storing up all the bright ideas that they intended to use for the benefit of the King's Daughter.

"Halloo! Here I come!" shouted Hans Clodhopper, as he rode up to them. "See what I've found on the highroad!"

He showed them a dead crow.

"What on earth are you going to do with that, Clodhopper?" asked his two brothers.

"Why, give it to the King's Daughter!" answered Hans.

"I would!" laughed his brothers.

"Halloo! Here I come again! Just see what I've found now! You don't find that on the highroad every day!"

"Hans," said they, "that's nothing but a piece of an old wooden shoe. Are you going to give that to the Princess, too?"

"Why, of course I am!" replied Hans Clodhopper.

Again the two clever brothers rode ahead, laughing.

"Hip, hip, hoorah!" once more shouted Hans Clodhopper. "Hip, hip, hoorah! Now this is really extraordinary!"

"Well, what is it this time?" asked the brothers.

"I hardly have breath to tell you! Won't the Princess be delighted?"

"Why, it's only sand picked up out of the ditch!"

"That's exactly what it is," said Hans Clodhopper. "The finest kind of sand, too. It is so fine you can hardly keep it from slipping through your fingers!"

Now his brothers galloped on as fast as they could and arrived at the town gate a whole hour before Hans.

At the gate each suitor received a number, and all were placed in rows, six in each line. They were packed so closely together that they could not move their arms, and that was a good thing; they surely would have come to blows if they had had the free use of their arms. For each wanted to be ahead of the others.

All the people of the city were gathered about the castle, some peeping into the very windows, to see the Princess receive her suitors.

But as each suitor stepped into the room he immediately lost the power of speech.

"Good for nothing!" said the King's Daughter. "Away with him!"

Soon it came the turn of that brother who knew the entire Latin dictionary by heart. But no sooner had he stepped inside the room than he forgot it completely. The boards seemed to crack beneath his feet. and the ceiling was polished like a mirror, so that he kept seeing himself standing on his head. At every window sat three clerks and a chief reporter, who wrote down every single word that was said, so that it might be printed in the newspapers and sold at the street corners. They had, moreover, made such a fire in the stove that the room was red hot.

"It is dreadfully warm here," said the first brother.

"That is because my father is going to roast young chickens to-day."

Baa! There he stood like a baa-lamb. He had not expected a conversation of this sort, and just when he wanted to say something especially witty, he could not think of a word!

"No good!" said the Princess. "Away with him!"

And out he went.

Then came the second brother.

"It is terribly hot here," he said.

"Yes, we are roasting young chickens to-day."

"What—what did you—what—?"

And all the reporters wrote down just that.

"Good for nothing! said the Princess. Off with him!"

Then came the turn of Hans Clodhopper. He rode straight into the hall on his billy goat.

"What a blazing heat you have here!" he exclaimed.

"That is because we are roasting chickens," answered the King's Daughter.

"That's lucky!" said Hans Clodhopper. "Perhaps you'll let me have a crow cooked at the same time?"


"Certainly," said the King's Daughter. "But have you anything to roast it in? For I have neither pot nor pan."

"Yes, I have," answered Hans. "Here is a splendid kettle!"

He brought out the old piece of a wooden shoe and put the crow into it.

"Well, that is a great dish!" said the King's Daughter. "But where shall we get any dripping to baste it with?"

"Oh, I have some in my pocket—enough and to spare." And he poured a little of the wet sand out of his pocket.

"Now, I like that!" said the Princess. "You have an answer for everything and something to say for yourself. I don't mind having you for a husband. But do you know that every word you say will be in the paper to-morrow? At every window sit three reporters and a head reporter, and he is the worst of all, for he always twists everything that is said into something much worse than it really is!"

She said this to frighten Hans Clodhopper. The reporters all chuckled with joy and threw ink out of their pens upon the floor.

"Oh, those are the gentlemen, are they?" said Hans Clodhopper. "Then I will give to the head reporter the best thing that I have to say for myself!" And he turned out his pockets and flung the sand straight into the head reporter's face!

"That was neatly done!" said the Princess. "I could not have done that, but I shall try to learn."

So Hans Clodhopper was made king; he married a wife, received a crown, and sat upon a throne.

At least, that is what we read in the head reporter's paper, but that, of course, is not altogether to be depended upon.



Robert Louis Stevenson

The Hayloft

Through all the pleasant meadow-side

The grass grew shoulder-high,

Till the shining scythes went far and wide

And cut it down to dry.

Those green and sweetly smelling crops

They led in waggons home;

And they piled them here in mountain tops

For mountaineers to roam.

Here is Mount Clear, Mount Rusty-Nail,

Mount Eagle and Mount High;—

The mice that in these mountains dwell,

No happier are than I!

Oh, what a joy to clamber there,

Oh, what a place for play,

With the sweet, the dim, the dusty air,

The happy hills of hay!


  WEEK 24  


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

A Cloud in the East

"He shall stir up all the realms against Grecia."

—Dan. xi.

W HILE the Greeks were sailing their seas and working out their laws, untroubled by any thoughts of fear, beyond the shores of the blue Mediterranean, great kingdoms were rising and falling in the East.

King Nebuchadnezzar, of whose acts the book of Daniel is so full, had restored the kingdom of Babylon, beyond the Euphrates. He had made the city of Babylon, the greatest city in the world. Stray Greeks had visited it and brought back stories of the amazing palaces and temples, the hanging gardens and terraced parks. With the death of King Nebuchadnezzar the kingdom of Persia rose to fame under King Cyrus.

Now the deeds of Nebuchadnezzar had not troubled Greece at all, but now that Cyrus was King of Persia, things were different. Already Babylon had fallen to him, and he was casting his eyes towards the Greek colonies, on the shores of Asia Minor under one Crœsus.

A story is told of these two monarchs. Cyrus had determined to put Crœsus to death; so he built a great pyre, and placed Crœsus on it, bound in chains. While he stood waiting for the flames to rise around him, some words uttered by Solon, came into his head, and groaning aloud he cried, "Oh, Solon, Solon, Solon!"

Cyrus heard him, and asked of whom he spoke. Crœsus quoted Solon's wise words, "Call no man happy, till his death."

Cyrus was greatly struck. "Surely," he reflected, "here is a man worth saving." And he ordered the prisoner to be set free. But already, the flames were blazing with such strength and fury, that the men could not put them out. Then Crœsus cried to one of the Greek gods for help, and the story says, suddenly clouds came into the clear sky and a downpour of rain put out the roaring fire. So Crœsus lived and became the friend and adviser of the King of Persia.

Under Cambyses, the son of Cyrus, Persia became yet more powerful, for he conquered Egypt from the Pharaohs, and, as we have already seen, would have taken Carthage, if the Phœnician sailors had helped him.

But it was the third great King of Persia, Darius, that the Greeks feared the most, and they had good reason to fear; for was he not king of the mightiest kingdom of the East?

Had not the Persians already subdued the sea-coast on the farther shores of the Archipelago? was not the land of Egypt—that rich and fertile land—theirs too? Was it likely that Darius would be content with what he had, when he could command the soldiers of so many lands?

No sooner had he set his kingdom in order at home, than he started forth on his conquests.

Now when Darius made up his mind to go into Europe, his shortest way would have been to cross the Black Sea; but this was impossible in early days. To get to Europe at all, the water must be crossed, so Darius ordered the Ionian Greeks living on the coast and in the islands off the coast, to raise a fleet of six hundred ships. Then he marched to the shores of the Bosphorus, a narrow strait that divides Asia from Europe. Here a bridge of boats had been made by an engineer from one of the Greek islands belonging to Persia, and the Persian army marched over it to the shores of Europe.

Darius marched the army northward till he reached the river Danube, which, at this time, was supposed to be the greatest river in the world. Here, according to their orders, the Greeks had already built a bridge of boats, across the river. Darius now took a cord—so says the old legend—in which he tied sixty knots.

"Untie one of these knots every day," he said to the Greek captains, "and remain here and guard the bridge till they are all untied. If I have not returned at the end of that time, sail home."

The sixty days passed, the knots were untied, but Darius did not return. The Greeks heard rumours, that the Persians had been defeated and were in full retreat, and that their only hope of safety lay in the bridge.

"Let us destroy the bridge," urged one of the Greeks, Miltiades, the future hero of Marathon; "then shall Darius and his army perish and we shall regain our freedom."

"No," said another; "by destroying Darius, we destroy ourselves."

His counsel prevailed. The Greeks kept the bridge, and Darius passed back in safety.


William Shakespeare

Ariel's Song

Come unto these yellow sands,

And then take hands,—

Curtsied when you have and kiss'd;

(The wild waves whist)—

Foot it featly here and there;

And, sweet sprites, the burden bear.

Hark, hark!

Bough wough,

The watchdog's bark,

Bough wough,

Hark, hark, I hear

The strain of strutting chanticleer,

Cry, cock-a-doodle-doo.


  WEEK 24  


The Irish Twins  by Lucy Fitch Perkins

The Tinkers

After Larry and Eileen had gone around the turn in the road there were no houses in sight for quite a long distance.

On one side of the road stretched the brown bog, with here and there a pool of water in it which shone bright in the colors of the setting sun. It was gay, too, with patches of yellow buttercups, of primroses, and golden whins. The whins had been in bloom since Easter, for Larry and Eileen had gathered the yellow flowers to dye their Easter eggs. On the other side of the road the land rose a little, and was so covered with stones that it seemed as if there were no earth left for things to grow in. Yet the mountain fern took root there and made the rocks gay with its green fronds.

The sun was so low that their shadows stretched far across the bogland beside them, as the Twins trudged along.

Three black ravens were flying overhead and a lark was singing its evening song.

Eileen looked up in the sky. "There 's the ghost of a moon up there! Look, Larry," she said.

Larry looked up. There floating high above them, was a pale, pale moon, almost the color of the sky itself. "It looks queer and lonesome up there," he said, "and there 's no luck at all in three ravens flying. They 'll be putting a grudge on somebody's cow, maybe. I wonder where the little lark does be hiding herself."

Larry was still looking up in the sky for the little lark, when Eileen suddenly seized his arm. "Whist, Larry," she whispered. "Look before you on the road!"

Larry stopped stock-still and looked. A man was coming toward them. The man was still a long way off, but they could see that he carried something on his back. And beside the road, not so far away from where the Twins stood, there was a camp, like a gypsy camp.

" 'T is the Tinkers!" whispered Larry. He took Eileen's hand and pulled her with him behind a heap of stones by the road. Then they crept along very quietly and climbed over the wall into a field.

From behind the wall they could peep between the stones at the Tinkers' Camp without being seen.

The Twins were afraid of Tinkers. Everybody is in Ireland, because the Tinkers wander around over the country without having any homes anywhere.

They go from house to house in all the villages mending the pots and pans, and often they steal whatever they can lay their hands on.

At night they sleep on the ground with only straw for a bed, and they cook in a kettle over a camp-fire.

The Twins were so badly scared that their teeth chattered.

Eileen was the first to say anything. "However will we g-g-g-get home at all?" she whispered. "They 've a dog with them, and he 'll b-b-b-bark at us surely. Maybe he 'll bite us!"


They could see a woman moving about through the Camp. She had a fire with a kettle hanging over it. There were two or three other people about, and some starved-looking horses. The do; was lying beside the fire, and there was a baby rolling about on the ground. A little pig was tied by one hind leg to a thorn bush.

"If the dog comes after us," said Larry, "I 'll drop a stone on him, out of a tree, just the way the good son did in the story, and kill him dead."

"But there 's never a tree anywhere about," said Eileen. "Sure, that is no plan at all."

"That 's a true word," said Larry, when he had looked all about for a tree, and found none. "We 'll have to think of something else."

Then he thought and thought. "We might go back to Grannie's," he said after a while.

"That would be no better," Eileen whispered, "for, surely, our Mother would go crazy with worrying if we did n't come home, at all, and we already so late."

"Well, then," Larry answered, "we must just bide here until it 's dark, and creep by, the best way we can. Anyway, I 've the piece of coal in my pocket, and Grannie said no harm would come to us at all, and we having it."

Just then the man, who had been coming up the road, reached the Camp. The dog ran out to meet him, barking joyfully. The man came near the fire and threw the bundle off his shoulder. It was two fat geese, with their legs tied together!

"The Saints preserve us," whispered Eileen, if those are n't our own two geese! Do you see those black feathers in their wings?"

"He 's the thief of the world," said Larry.

He forgot to be frightened because he was so angry, and he spoke right out loud! He stood up and shook his fist at the Tinker. His head showed over the top of the wall. Eileen jerked him down.


"Whist now, Larry darling," she begged. "If the dog sees you once he 'll tear you to pieces."

Larry dropped behind the wall again, and they watched the Tinker's wife loosen the string about the legs of the geese, and tie them by a long cord to the bush, beside the little pig. Then all the Tinker people gathered around the pot and began to eat their supper.

The baby and the dog were on the ground playing together. The Twins could hear the shouts of the baby, and the barks of the dog.

It was quite dusk by this time, but the moon grew brighter and brighter in the sky, and the flames of the Tinkers' fire glowed more and more red, as the night came on.


"Sure, it is n't going to get real dark at all," whispered Larry.

"Then we 'd better be going now," said Eileen, "for the Tinkers are eating their supper, and their backs are towards the road, and we 'll make hardly a taste of noise with our bare feet."

They crept along behind the rocks, and over the wall. "Now," whispered Larry, "slip along until we 're right beside them, and then run like the wind!"

The Twins took hold of hands. They could hear their hearts beat. They walked softly up the road.

The Tinkers were still laughing and talking; the baby and the dog kept on playing.

The Twins were almost by, when all of a sudden, the geese stood up. "Squawk, squawk," they cried. "Squawk, squawk."

"Whatever is the matter with you, now?" said the Tinker's wife to the geese. "Can't you be quiet?" The dog stopped romping with the baby, sniffed the air, and growled. "Lie down," said the woman; "there 's a bone for your supper." She threw the dog a bone. He sprang at it and began to gnaw it.

Larry and Eileen had crouched behind a rock the minute the geese began to squawk. "I believe they know us," whispered Eileen.

They waited until everything was quiet again. Then Larry whispered, "Run now, and if you fall, never wait to rise but run till we get to Tom Daly's house!"

Then they ran! The soft pat-pat of their bare feet on the dirt road was not heard by the Tinkers, and soon another turn in the road hid them from view, but, for all that, they ran and ran, ever so far, until some houses were in sight.

They could see the flicker of firelight in the windows of the nearest house. It was Tom Daly's house. They could see Tom's shadow as he sat at his loom, weaving flax into beautiful white linen cloth. They could hear the clack! clack! of his loom. It made the Twins feel much safer to hear this sound and see Tom's shadow, for Tom was a friend of theirs, and they often went into his house and watched him weave his beautiful linen, which was so fine that the Queen herself used it. Up the road, in the window of the last house of all, a candle shone.


"Sure, Mother is watching for us," said Larry. "She 's put a candle in the window."

They went on more slowly now, past Tom Daly's, past the Maguires' and the O'Briens' and several other houses on the way, and when they were quite near their own home Larry said, "Sure, I 'll never travel again without a bit of coal in my pocket. Look at all the danger we 've been in this night, and never the smallest thing happening to us."

And Eileen said, "Indeed, musha, 't is well we 're the good children! Sure, the Good Little People would never at all let harm come to the likes of us, just as Grannie said."


Edward Lear

Nonsense Alphabet

A was an ant

Who seldom stood still,

And who made a nice house

In the side of a hill.

Nice little ant!

B was a bat,

Who slept all the day,

And fluttered about

When the sun went away.

Brown little bat!

C was a camel;

You rode on his hump;

And if you fell off,

You came down such a bump!

What a high camel!

D was a duck

With spots on his back,

Who lived in the water,

And always said "Quack!"

Dear little duck!

E was an elephant,

Stately and wise:

He had tusks and a trunk,

And two queer little eyes.

Oh, what funny small eyes!

F was a fish

Who was caught in a net;

But he got out again,

And is quite alive yet.

Lively young fish!

G was a goat

Who was spotted with brown:

When he did not lie still

He walked up and down.

Good little goat!

H was a hat

Which was all on one side;

Its crown was too high,

And its brim was too wide.

Oh, what a hat!

I was some ice

So white and so nice,

But which nobody tasted;

And so it was wasted.

All that good ice!

J was a jug,

So pretty and white,

With fresh water in it

At morning and night.

Nice little jug!

K was a kite

Which flew out of sight,

Above houses so high,

Quite into the sky.

Fly away, kite!

L was a lily,

So white and so sweet!

To see it and smell it

Was quite a nice treat.

Beautiful lily!

M was a man,

Who walked round and round;

And he wore a long coat

That came down to the ground.

Funny old man!

N was a net

Which was thrown in the sea

To catch fish for dinner

For you and for me!

Nice little net!

O was an orange

So yellow and round:

When it fell off the tree,

It fell down to the ground.

Down to the ground!

P was a Polly,

All red, blue, and green,

The most beautiful Polly

That ever was seen.

Poor little Polly!

Q was a quail

With a very short tail;

And he fed upon corn

In the evening and morn.

Quaint little quail!

R was a rabbit,

Who had a bad habit

Of eating the flowers

In gardens and bowers.

Naughty fat rabbit!

S was the sugar-tongs,


To take up the sugar

To put in our tea


T was a tortoise,

All yellow and black:

He walked slowly away,

And he never came back.

Torty never came back!

U was an urn

All polished and bright,

And full of hot water

At noon and at night.

Useful old urn!

V was a veil

With a border upon it,

And a ribbon to tie it

All round a pink bonnet.

Pretty green veil!

W was a watch,

Where, in letters of gold,

The hour of the day

You might always behold.

Beautiful watch!

X was King Xerxes

Who wore on his head

A mighty large turban,

Green, yellow, and red.

Look at King Xerxes!

Y was a yew,

Which flourished and grew

By a quiet abode

Near the side of a road.

Dark little yew!

Z was the zebra,

All striped white and black

And if he were tame,

You might ride on his back.

Pretty striped Zebra!


  WEEK 24  


Hurlbut's Story of the Bible  by Jesse Lyman Hurlbut

From the Land of Famine to the Land of Plenty

Genesis xlv: 25, to l: 26.

dropcap image O Joseph's eleven brothers went home to their old father with the glad news that Joseph was alive and was ruler over the land. It was such a joyful surprise to Jacob that he fainted. But after a time he revived; and when they showed him the wagons that Joseph had sent to bring him and his family to Egypt, old Jacob said, "It is enough; Joseph my son is yet alive; I will go and see him before I die."

Then they went on their journey, with their wives, and children, and servants, and sheep and cattle, a great company. They stopped to rest at Beersheba, which had been the home of Isaac and of Abraham, and made offerings to the Lord, and worshipped. And that night the Lord appeared to Jacob, and said to him:

"Jacob, I am the Lord, the God of your father; fear not to go down to Egypt; for I will go down with you; and there you shall see your son Joseph; and in Egypt I will make of your descendants, those that come from you, a great people; and I will surely bring them back again to this land."

They came down to Egypt, sixty-six of Jacob's children and grand-children. Joseph rode in his chariot to meet his father, and fell on his neck, and wept upon him. And Jacob said, "Now, I am ready to die, since I know that you are still alive; and I have seen your face." And Joseph brought his father in to see King Pharaoh; and Jacob, as an old man, gave his blessing to the king.


Joseph brings Jacob to Pharaoh.

The part of the land of Egypt where Joseph found for his brothers a home, was called Goshen. It was on the east, between Egypt and the desert, and it was a very rich land, where the soil gave large harvests. But at that time, and for five years after, there were no crops, because of the famine that was in the land. During those years, the people of Israel in the land of Goshen, were fed as were all the people of Egypt, with grain from the store-houses of Joseph.

Jacob lived to be almost a hundred and fifty years old. Before he died he blessed Joseph and all his sons, and said to them:

"When I die, do not bury me in the land of Egypt, but take my body to the land of Canaan, and bury me in the cave at Hebron, with Abraham, and Isaac my father."

And Joseph brought his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, to his father's bed, Jacob's eyes were dim with age, as his father Isaac's had been (see Story Twelve), and he would not see the two young men. And he said, "Who are these?"

And Joseph said, "They are my two sons, whom God has given me in this land."

"Bring them to me," said Jacob, "that I may bless them before I die."

And Jacob kissed them, and put his arms around them, and he said:

"I had not thought that I should ever see your face, my son; and God has let me see both you and your children also."

And Jacob placed his right hand on Ephraim's head, the younger, and his left on Manasseh the older. Joseph tried to change his father's hands, so that his right hand should be on the older son's head. But Jacob would not allow him, and he said:

"I know what I am doing, God will bless the older son; but the greater blessing shall be with the younger, for his descendants, those who spring from him, shall be greater and stronger than the descendants of his brother."

And so it came to pass many years after this; for the tribe of Ephraim, the younger son, became greater and more powerful than the tribe of Manasseh, the older son.

When Jacob died a great funeral was held. They carried his body up out of Egypt to the land of Canaan, and buried it,—as he had said to them,—in the cave of Machpelah, where Abraham and Isaac were buried already.


The tomb of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

When the sons of Jacob came back to Egypt after the burial of their father, they said one to another:

"It may be that Joseph will punish us, now that his father is dead, for the wrong that we did to him many years ago."

And they sent a message, asking Joseph to forgive them, for his father's sake. And again they came and bowed down before him, with their faces to the ground; they said, "We are your servants; be merciful to us."

Jacob wept when his brothers spoke to him, and he said:

"Fear not. Am I in God's place to punish and to reward? It is true that you meant evil to me, but God turned it to good, so that all your families might be kept alive. Do not be afraid; I will care for you, and for your children."

After this Joseph lived to a good old age, until he was a hundred and ten years old. Before he died he said to his children, and to all the children of Israel, who had now increased to very many people:

"I am going to die; but God will come to you, and will bring you up out of this land, into your own land, which he promised to your fathers, to Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob. When I die do not bury me in Egypt, but keep my body until you go out of this land, and take it with you."

So when Joseph died they embalmed his body, as the Egyptians embalmed the dead; so that the body would not decay, and they placed his body in a stone coffin, and kept it in the land of Goshen among the people of Israel. Thus Joseph not only showed his faith in God's promise, that he would bring his people back to the land of Canaan; but he also encouraged the faith of those who came after him. For as often as the Israelites looked on the stone coffin that held the body of Joseph, they said to one another:

"There is the token, the sign, that this land is not our home. This coffin will not be buried until we bury it in our own land, the land of Canaan, where God will lead us in his own time."


Christina Georgina Rossetti

Is the Moon Tired?

Is the moon tired? she looks so pale

Within her misty veil:

She scales the sky from east to west,

And takes no rest.

Before the coming of the night

The moon shows papery white;

Before the dawning of the day

She fades away.