Text of Plan #953
  WEEK 37  

  Monday  


The Wonderful Wizard of Oz  by L. Frank Baum

The Guardian of the Gates

IT was some time before the Cowardly Lion awakened, for he had lain among the poppies a long while, breathing in their deadly fragrance; but when he did open his eyes and roll off the truck he was very glad to find himself still alive.

"I ran as fast as I could," he said, sitting down and yawning; "but the flowers were too strong for me. How did you get me out?"

Then they told him of the field-mice, and how they had generously saved him from death; and the Cowardly Lion laughed, and said,

"I have always thought myself very big and terrible; yet such small things as flowers came near to killing me, and such small animals as mice have saved my life. How strange it all is! But, comrades, what shall we do now?"

"We must journey on until we find the road of yellow brick again," said Dorothy; "and then we can keep on to the Emerald City."

So, the Lion being fully refreshed, and feeling quite himself again, they all started upon the journey, greatly enjoying the walk through the soft, fresh grass; and it was not long before they reached the road of yellow brick and turned again toward the Emerald City where the great Oz dwelt.

The road was smooth and well paved, now, and the country about was beautiful; so that the travelers rejoiced in leaving the forest far behind, and with it the many dangers they had met in its gloomy shades. Once more they could see fences built beside the road; but these were painted green, and when they came to a small house, in which a farmer evidently lived, that also was painted green. They passed by several of these houses during the afternoon, and sometimes people came to the doors and looked at them as if they would like to ask questions; but no one came near them nor spoke to them because of the great Lion, of which they were much afraid. The people were all dressed in clothing of a lovely emerald green color and wore peaked hats like those of the Munchkins.

"This must be the Land of Oz," said Dorothy, "and we are surely getting near the Emerald City."

"Yes," answered the Scarecrow; "everything is green here, while in the country of the Munchkins blue was the favorite color. But the people do not seem to be as friendly as the Munchkins and I'm afraid we shall be unable to find a place to pass the night."

"I should like something to eat besides fruit," said the girl, "and I'm sure Toto is nearly starved. Let us stop at the next house and talk to the people."

So, when they came to a good sized farm house, Dorothy walked boldly up to the door and knocked. A woman opened it just far enough to look out, and said,

"What do you want, child, and why is that great Lion with you?"

"We wish to pass the night with you, if you will allow us," answered Dorothy; "and the Lion is my friend and comrade, and would not hurt you for the world."

"Is he tame?" asked the woman, opening the door a little wider.

"Oh, yes;" said the girl, "and he is a great coward, too; so that he will be more afraid of you than you are of him."

"Well," said the woman, after thinking it over and taking another peep at the Lion, "if that is the case you may come in, and I will give you some supper and a place to sleep."

So they all entered the house, where there were, besides the woman, two children and a man. The man had hurt his leg, and was lying on the couch in a corner. They seemed greatly surprised to see so strange a company, and while the woman was busy laying the table the man asked,

"Where are you all going?"

"To the Emerald City," said Dorothy, "to see the Great Oz."

"Oh, indeed!" exclaimed the man. "Are you sure that Oz will see you?"

"Why not?" she replied.

"Why, it is said that he never lets any one come into his presence. I have been to the Emerald City many times, and it is a beautiful and wonderful place; but I have never been permitted to see the Great Oz, nor do I know of any living person who has seen him."

"Does he never go out?" asked the Scarecrow.

"Never. He sits day after day in the great throne room of his palace, and even those who wait upon him do not see him face to face."

"What is he like?" asked the girl.

"That is hard to tell," said the man, thoughtfully. "You see, Oz is a great Wizard, and can take on any form he wishes. So that some say he looks like a bird; and some say he looks like an elephant; and some say he looks like a cat. To others he appears as a beautiful fairy, or a brownie, or in any other form that pleases him. But who the real Oz is, when he is in his own form, no living person can tell."

"That is very strange," said Dorothy; "but we must try, in some way, to see him, or we shall have made our journey for nothing."

"Why do you wish to see the terrible Oz?" asked the man.

"I want him to give me some brains," said the Scarecrow, eagerly.

"Oh, Oz could do that easily enough," declared the man. "He has more brains than he needs."

"And I want him to give me a heart," said the Tin Woodman.

"That will not trouble him," continued the man, "for Oz has a large collection of hearts, of all sizes and shapes."

"And I want him to give me courage," said the Cowardly Lion.

"Oz keeps a great pot of courage in his throne room," said the man, "which he has covered with a golden plate, to keep it from running over. He will be glad to give you some."

"And I want him to send me back to Kansas," said Dorothy.

"Where is Kansas?" asked the man, in surprise.

"I don't know," replied Dorothy, sorrowfully; "but it is my home, and I'm sure it's somewhere."

"Very likely. Well, Oz can do anything; so I suppose he will find Kansas for you. But first you must get to see him, and that will be a hard task; for the great Wizard does not like to see anyone, and he usually has his own way. But what do you want?" he continued, speaking to Toto. Toto only wagged his tail; for, strange to say, he could not speak.

[Illustration: "_The Lion ate some of the porridge._"]

The woman now called to them that supper was ready, so they gathered around the table and Dorothy ate some delicious porridge and a dish of scrambled eggs and a plate of nice white bread, and enjoyed her meal. The Lion ate some of the porridge, but did not care for it, saying it was made from oats and oats were food for horses, not for lions. The Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman ate nothing at all. Toto ate a little of everything, and was glad to get a good supper again.

The woman now gave Dorothy a bed to sleep in, and Toto lay down beside her, while the Lion guarded the door of her room so she might not be disturbed. The Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman stood up in a corner and kept quiet all night, although of course they could not sleep.

The next morning, as soon as the sun was up, they started on their way, and soon saw a beautiful green glow in the sky just before them.

"That must be the Emerald City," said Dorothy.

As they walked on, the green glow became brighter and brighter, and it seemed that at last they were nearing the end of their travels. Yet it was afternoon before they came to the great wall that surrounded the City. It was high, and thick, and of a bright green color.

In front of them, and at the end of the road of yellow brick, was a big gate, all studded with emeralds that glittered so in the sun that even the painted eyes of the Scarecrow were dazzled by their brilliancy.

There was a bell beside the gate, and Dorothy pushed the button and heard a silvery tinkle sound within. Then the big gate swung slowly open, and they all passed through and found themselves in a high arched room, the walls of which glistened with countless emeralds.

Before them stood a little man about the same size as the Munchkins. He was clothed all in green, from his head to his feet, and even his skin was of a greenish tint. At his side was a large green box.

When he saw Dorothy and her companions the man asked,

"What do you wish in the Emerald City?"

"We came here to see the Great Oz," said Dorothy.

The man was so surprised at this answer that he sat down to think it over.

"It has been many years since anyone asked me to see Oz," he said, shaking his head in perplexity. "He is powerful and terrible, and if you come on an idle or foolish errand to bother the wise reflections of the Great Wizard, he might be angry and destroy you all in an instant."

"But it is not a foolish errand, nor an idle one," replied the Scarecrow; "it is important. And we have been told that Oz is a good Wizard."

"So he is," said the green man; "and he rules the Emerald City wisely and well. But to those who are not honest, or who approach him from curiosity, he is most terrible, and few have ever dared ask to see his face. I am the Guardian of the Gates, and since you demand to see the Great Oz I must take you to his palace. But first you must put on the spectacles."

"Why?" asked Dorothy.

"Because if you did not wear spectacles the brightness and glory of the Emerald City would blind you. Even those who live in the City must wear spectacles night and day. They are all locked on, for Oz so ordered it when the City was first built, and I have the only key that will unlock them."

He opened the big box, and Dorothy saw that it was filled with spectacles of every size and shape. All of them had green glasses in them. The Guardian of the gates found a pair that would just fit Dorothy and put them over her eyes. There were two golden bands fastened to them that passed around the back of her head, where they were locked together by a little key that was at the end of a chain the Guardian of the Gates wore around his neck. When they were on, Dorothy could not take them off had she wished, but of course she did not want to be blinded by the glare of the Emerald City, so she said nothing.

Then the green man fitted spectacles for the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman and the Lion, and even on little Toto; and all were locked fast with the key.

Then the Guardian of the Gates put on his own glasses and told them he was ready to show them to the palace. Taking a big golden key from a peg on the wall he opened another gate, and they all followed him through the portal into the streets of the Emerald City.

 



Anonymous

Blow, Wind, Blow

Blow, wind, blow!

And go, mill, go!

That the miller may grind his corn;

That the baker may take it,

And into rolls make it,

And send us some hot in the morn.

 


  WEEK 37  

  Tuesday  


Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans  by Edward Eggleston

Daniel Webster and His Brother

D ANIEL WEBSTER was a great statesman. As a little boy he was called "Little Black Dan." When he grew larger, he was thin and sickly-looking. But he had large, dark eyes. People called him "All Eyes."

He was very fond of his brother Ezekiel. Ezekiel was a little older than Daniel. Both the boys had fine minds. They wanted to go to college. But their father was poor.

Daniel had not much strength for work on the farm. So little "All Eyes" was sent to school, and then to college. Ezekiel staid at home, and worked on the farm.

While Daniel was at school, he was unhappy to think that Ezekiel could not go to college also. He went home on a visit. He talked to Ezekiel about going to college. The brothers talked about it all night.

The next day Daniel talked to his father about it. The father said he was too poor to send both of his sons to college. He said he would lose all his little property if he tried to send Ezekiel to college. But he said, that, if their mother and sisters were willing to be poor, he would send the other son to college.

So the mother and sisters were asked. It seemed hard to risk the loss of all they had. It seemed hard not to give Ezekiel a chance. They all shed tears over it.

The boys promised to take care of their mother and sisters if the property should be lost. Then they all agreed that Ezekiel should go to college too.

Daniel taught school while he was studying. That helped to pay the expenses. After Daniel was through his studies in college, he taught a school in order to help his brother. When his school closed, he went home. On his way he went round to the college to see his brother. Finding that Ezekiel needed money, he gave him a hundred dollars. He kept but three dollars to get home with.

The father's property was not sold. The two boys helped the family. Daniel soon began to make money as a lawyer. He knew that his father was in debt. He went home to see him.

He said, "Father, I am going to pay your debts."

The father said, "You cannot do it, Daniel. You have not money enough."

"I can do it," said Daniel; "and I will do it before Monday evening."

When Monday evening came round, the father's debts were all paid.

When Daniel became a famous man, it made Ezekiel very happy. But Ezekiel died first. When Daniel Webster made his greatest speech, all the people praised him.

But Webster said, "I wish that my poor brother had lived to this time. It would have made him very happy."

 



A. A. Milne

Before Tea

Emmeline

Has not been seen

For more than a week. She slipped between

The two tall trees at the end of the green . . .

We all went after her. "Emmeline!"


"Emmeline,

I didn't mean—

I only said that your hands weren't clean."

We went to the trees at the end of the green . . .

But Emmeline

Was not to be seen.


Emmeline

Came slipping between

The two tall trees at the end of the green.

We all ran up to her. "Emmeline!

Where have you been?

Where have you been?

Why, it's more than a week!" And Emmeline

Said, "Sillies, I went and saw the Queen.

She says my hands are purfickly  clean!"

 


  WEEK 37  

  Wednesday  


Seed-Babies  by Margaret Warner Morley

Apple Seeds

"G IVE me one!" demanded Jack, a few days later, as he found his brother disposing of a big apple.


[Illustration]

"This is all I have, but I'll give you a bite," Ko replied.

"Why can't you give me half?" persisted Jack, who grew hungrier and hungrier for that apple, as he saw his chances of having it diminish.

"Well, piggy-wig, I will."

So Ko cut the apple in two, and in doing so, cut across the core, of course.


[Illustration]

"My!" said Jack, who had come to look much more closely at things since the seeds began to talk to him. "What a cunning cradle those little black babies have! "They are  babies, aren't they, Ko,—those apple seeds?"

"Of course," said Ko, with a very superior air.

"How do you know?" rang out the apple seed's voice, like a little silver bell.

"I don't—exactly," said Ko, good-naturedly, "I just guessed  so, because so many seeds are just the plants' babies, and then the walnut said something about it, though I don't remember just what."

"There, there, never mind looking!" pealed out the silver voice again, as Ko took up the seed to examine it.

"How am I going to find out?" demanded Ko.

"Oh, plant me! I would like that so much better than being pulled to pieces. And you would learn just as much—and more."

"All right," and Ko tucked the apple seed under the ground in the corner of his garden.

Well, it was  a baby, for in the spring it started to grow, and Ko let it alone, and after a few years,—what do you think? He picked golden apples from that little black apple seed's tree!

"I say," said Jack, watching Ko plant it, "what a scheme it would be to plant all the apple seeds, and peach seeds, and pear seeds, and plum seeds,—and everything. Just plant a seed wherever there's a spot big enough for a tree."


[Illustration]

"I heard about a man who did that," said Ko. "He planted something whenever he went for a walk. He put fruit trees in the fields and on the edge of the woods. Wherever he went the fruit trees grew. People found fruit in unexpected places, and were glad. Even when he had been dead a great many years, the people picked his fruit."

"That is nice," said Jack. "I mean to save my seeds."

"It puzzles me about plums and things," said Ko. "Let's ask mother for some plums and peaches, and see how they manage about their seeds. I guess the stones are  seeds, and that they split open to let the baby out."

Perhaps you think I am going to tell you all that Jack and Ko found out about the pits of things,—but you are very  much mistaken. If you want to know these things, as far as I am concerned, you will have to go to work and find them out for yourselves. And it isn't a hard matter, either; anybody with a pair of eyes and any sort of a mind can do it pretty well.


[Illustration]

But this I will tell you,—that Jack and Ko did not stop asking and looking, and when the next summer came, and they could pick the little seeds from the outside of the strawberries, and blackberries, and raspberries, and from the inside of the blueberries, and gooseberries, and currants, and grapes, and found these mites of seeds to be just tiny strawberry, and raspberry, and blackberry, and currant, and gooseberry babies, they thought they knew something about seeds!


[Illustration]

They gathered grain, too, that summer,—heads of wheat, barley, and oats, and ears of corn; and they found them filled with grains, and they said these grains were seeds, and that each seed was a baby. They ended by saying that every seed—even the dandelion, and thistle-down, and the tiniest poppy or turnip seed—was a baby, and nothing but a baby. And maybe they were right about that.

But they did more than this,—what do you think? They said that everything  had to grow from a seed, and that there was no other way to manage it—which shows how very, very little they knew after all.

For it is one thing to say that a lily can grow from a seed, but quite another thing to say it cannot grow except  from a seed.

And right there is where they made their mistake.


[Illustration]

 



Lizzie M. Hadley

The Rainbow Fairies

Two little clouds one summer's day,

Went flying through the sky.

They went so fast they bumped their heads,

And both began to cry.


Old Father Sun looked out and said,

"Oh, never mind, my dears,

I'll send my little fairy folk

To dry your falling tears."


One fairy came in violet,

And one in indigo,

In blue, green, yellow, orange, red,—

They made a pretty row.


They wiped the cloud tears all away,

And then, from out the sky,

Upon a line of sunbeams made,

They hung their gowns to dry.

 


  WEEK 37  

  Thursday  


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

Mr. Vinegar

M R. and Mrs. Vinegar were very poor, and they lived in a shabby little house that they had built with their own hands. It was made of old boards and other rubbish which they had picked up, and it rattled and shook in every high wind. One morning, Mrs. Vinegar, who was a very good housewife, was busily sweeping her kitchen floor when an unlucky thump of the broom against the walls brought down the whole house, clitter-clatter about her ears. Mr. Vinegar had gone to a neighboring thicket to gather some fagots, and she hurried off with much weeping and wailing to tell him of the disaster. When she found him she exclaimed, "Oh, Mr. Vinegar! Mr. Vinegar! we are ruined, we are ruined! I have knocked the house down and it is all to pieces!"

"My dear," said Mr. Vinegar, "pray do not weep any more. I will go back with you and see what can be done."

So they returned, and Mr. Vinegar said, "Yes, wife, the house is all in bits and we can never live in it again; but here is the door. I will take that on my back and we will go forth to seek our fortune.


[Illustration]

With his wife's help he got the door on his back and off they started. They walked all that day, and by nightfall they were both very tired. They had now come to a thick forest and Mr. Vinegar said, "My love, I will climb up into a tree with this door and you shall follow after."

So he climbed up among the branches of a great tree, and when he had adjusted the door at a level Mrs. Vinegar climbed up also, and they stretched their weary limbs on it and were soon fast asleep. But in the middle of the night Mr. Vinegar was awakened by the sound of voices directly below him. He looked down and, to his dismay, saw that a party of robbers were met under the tree to divide some money they had stolen. "Jack," said one, "here's five pounds for you; and Bill, here's ten pounds for you; and Bob, here's three pounds for you."

Mr. Vinegar was so frightened he could listen no longer, and he trembled so violently that he shook the door off the branches on which it lay, and he and Mrs. Vinegar had to cling to the tree to save themselves from a bad tumble. When the door began to drop the noise it made startled the robbers and they looked up to learn the cause, but no sooner did they do this than the door came down on their heads and they all ran away greatly terrified.

Mr. and Mrs. Vinegar, however, dared not quit their tree till broad daylight. Then Mr. Vinegar scrambled down. "I hope the door was not broken by its fall," said he as he lifted it.

Just then he espied a number of golden guineas that had been beneath the door where they had been dropped on the ground by the robbers in their haste to get away. "Come down, Mrs. Vinegar!" he cried, "come down, I say! Our fortune is made! Come down, I say!"

Mrs. Vinegar came down as quickly as she could and saw the money with great delight, and when they counted it they found they were the possessors of forty guineas. "Now, my dear," said she, "I'll tell you what you shall do. You must take these forty guineas and go to the nearest town and buy a cow. I can make butter and cheese which you shall sell at market, and we shall then be able to live very comfortably."

"I will do as you say," replied Mr. Vinegar, "and you can stay here till I return."

So he took the money and went off to the nearest town; and there was a fair in the town, and crowds of people. When he arrived he walked about until he saw a beautiful red cow that he thought would just suit him. "Oh, if I only had that cow," said Mr. Vinegar, "I should be the happiest man alive." Then he offered the forty guineas for the cow and the owner was quite ready to part with it at that price, and the bargain was made. Mr. Vinegar was proud of his purchase, and he led the cow backwards and forwards to show it. But by and by he saw a man playing some bag-pipes—tweedledum, tweedledee. The children followed after the bagpipe man, and he appeared to be pocketing a great deal of money.

"What a pleasant and profitable life that musician must lead," said Mr. Vinegar. "If I had that instrument I should be the happiest man alive, and I could earn far more than with this cow."

So he went up to the man and said, "Friend, what a charming instrument that is, and what a deal of money you must make!"

"Why, yes," said the man; "I make a great deal of money, to be sure, and it is a wonderful instrument."

"Oh!" cried Mr. Vinegar, "how I should like to possess it!"

"Well," said the man, "I will exchange it for your red cow."

"Done!" said the delighted Mr. Vinegar.

So the beautiful red cow was given for the bagpipes. Mr. Vinegar walked up and down with his purchase, but in vain he attempted to play a tune, and the children, instead of giving him pennies, hooted and laughed at him. The day was chilly and poor Mr. Vinegar's fingers grew very cold. At last, heartily ashamed and mortified, he was leaving the town when he met a man wearing a fine, thick pair of gloves.

"Oh, my fingers are so very cold!" said Mr. Vinegar to himself. "If I had those warm gloves I should be the happiest man alive."

Then he went up to the man and said to him, "Friend, you seem to have a capital pair of gloves there."

"Yes, truly," replied the man, "these are excellent gloves."

"Well," said Mr. Vinegar, "I should like to have them. I will give you these bagpipes for them."

"All right," said the man, and he took the bagpipes and Mr. Vinegar put on the gloves and felt entirely contented as he trudged along toward the forest.

But the farther he walked the more tired he became, until presently he saw a man coming toward him with a good stout cane in his hand. "Oh!" said Mr. Vinegar, "if I had that cane I should be the happiest man alive."

Then he said to the man, "Friend, what a rare good cane you have."

"Yes," the man responded, "I have used it for many a mile and it has been a great help."

"How would it suit you to give it to me in exchange for these gloves?" asked Mr. Vinegar.

"I will do so willingly," replied the man.

"My hands had become perfectly warm," said Mr. Vinegar as he went on with his cane, "and my legs were very weary. I could not have done better."

As he drew near to the forest where he had left his wife he heard an owl on a tree laughing, "Hoo, hoo, hoo!" Then it called out his name and he stopped to ask what it wanted.


[Illustration]

"Mr. Vinegar," said the owl, "you foolish man, you blockhead, you simpleton! you went to the fair and laid out all your money in buying a cow. Not content with that, you changed the cow for some bagpipes on which you could not play and which were not worth one tenth as much as the cow. Ah, foolish, foolish man! Then you no sooner had the bagpipes than you changed them for the gloves that were worth not one quarter as much as the bagpipes; and when you got the gloves you exchanged them for a cane, and now for your forty guineas you have nothing to show but that poor miserable stick which you might have cut in any hedge. Hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo!"

The bird laughed loud and long, and Mr. Vinegar became very angry and threw his cane at its head. The cane lodged in the tree, and Mr. Vinegar returned to his wife without money, cow, bagpipes, gloves, or stick, and she said things to him that he liked even less than what the bird had said.

 



Robert Louis Stevenson

The Little Land

When at home alone I sit

And am very tired of it,

I have just to shut my eyes

To go sailing through the skies—

To go sailing far away

To the pleasant Land of Play;

To the fairy land afar

Where the Little People are;

Where the clover-tops are trees,

And the rain-pools are the seas,

And the leaves, like little ships,

Sail about on tiny trips;

And above the daisy tree

Through the grasses,

High o'erhead the Bumble Bee

Hums and passes.


In that forest to and fro

I can wander, I can go;

See the spider and the fly,

And the ants go marching by,

Carrying parcels with their feet

Down the green and grassy street.

I can in the sorrel sit

Where the ladybird alit.

I can climb the jointed grass

And on high

See the greater swallows pass

In the sky,

And the round sun rolling by

Heeding no such things as I.


Through that forest I can pass

Till, as in a looking-glass,

Humming fly and daisy tree

And my tiny self I see,

Painted very clear and neat

On the rain-pool at my feet.

Should a leaflet come to land

Drifting near to where I stand,

Straight I'll board that tiny boat

Round the rain-pool sea to float.


Little thoughtful creatures sit

On the grassy coasts of it;

Little things with lovely eyes

See me sailing with surprise.

Some are clad in armour green—

(These have sure to battle been!)—

Some are pied with ev'ry hue,

Black and crimson, gold and blue;

Some have wings and swift are gone;—

But they all look kindly on.


When my eyes I once again

Open, and see all things plain:

High bare walls, great bare floor;

Great big knobs on drawer and door;

Great big people perched on chairs,

Stitching tucks and mending tears,

Each a hill that I could climb,

And talking nonsense all the time—

O dear me,

That I could be

A sailor on the rain-pool sea,

A climber in the clover tree,

And just come back, a sleepy-head,

Late at night to go to bed.

 


  WEEK 37  

  Friday  


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

Alexander the Great

"Men are but children of a larger growth."

—Dryden.

W HILE Rome is struggling into existence, while Carthage is growing in power on the opposite coast of Africa, let us take a look at a newly growing nation to the north of Greece, which threatened for a time the whole existing world. The story of this nation, which was known as Macedonia, is really the story of Alexander the Great, for it was due to his greatness alone, that Macedonia became the power she was.

Some two hundred miles to the north of Athens, lay the little mountainous country of Macedonia. It was of little or no importance in the then known world, until a king called Philip arose, who in the year 356 b.c. had a son called Alexander. Philip boasted his descent from Hercules, while his wife traced her lineage back to the hero Achilles, so that in the boy Alexander two lines of ancient northern kings were joined.

One story survives of Alexander's boyhood, which shows what stuff he was made of. A vicious horse was one day brought before King Philip in a field where he was standing with his wife and son. But the animal seemed so fierce and unmanageable, rearing high when the grooms tried to mount it, that Philip bade them take it away.

"What an excellent horse they are losing for want of skill and spirit to manage him," said the boy Alexander several times, until his father turned to him, saying, "Young man, you find fault with your elders, as if you could manage the horse better."

"I could manage this horse better than others do," answered the boy.

"And if you do not," said his father, "what will you pay for your rashness?"

"I will pay the whole price of the horse," he answered bravely.

At this the whole company laughed, but Alexander ran at once to the horse. Laying hold of the animal's bridle, he turned him first to the sun, for he noticed how the strong shadow disturbed the animal. Then letting him go forward a little, still keeping the reins in his hand and stroking him gently, when he found him beginning to grow fiery, he let fall his upper garment softly and with one nimble leap, securely mounted him. When he was seated, he drew in the bridle and curbed him gradually, without striking him. Then he let him go at full speed, urging him on with a commanding voice and touching him with his heel.

The king and assembled company looked on, in silent anxiety, till they saw the boy riding the horse back in triumph. Then they all burst out in loud applause, and his father kissed him with tears in his eyes as he cried in his joy, "O my son, look thee out a kingdom equal to thyself, for Macedonia is too small for thee."

Philip now sent for Aristotle, the most learned and celebrated philosopher of his time, to come and teach his son, who was now thirteen. Aristotle had been the pupil of Plato, from whom he must have learnt much of Socrates, Plato's beloved master. Such a man, then, as this Aristotle—whose works are read and taught everywhere today—was likely to train the mind of this exceptional boy to the very best advantage.


[Illustration]

A story is told, that Aristotle taught several princes, as well as Alexander, in the school by the shady Grove. One day he said to one of these kings' sons, "When, some day, you become king, what favour do you think you will show me, your teacher?"

"You shall dine at my table, and I will make all show you honour and respect," answered the boy.

"And you?" he inquired of another.

"I will make you my chief treasurer," answered the next.

Then turning to Alexander he said, "And you, my son, what do you propose to do with me, your old teacher, when you come to sit on the throne of your father?"

"What right have you to ask me of the future?" answered the boy. "As I have no knowledge of the morrow, I can only say, that when the day and hour is come, then I will give you your answer."

"Well said," cried his master, "well said, Alexander, world-monarch, for thou wilt one day be the greatest king of all."

And Aristotle was right.

 



Christina Georgina Rossetti

Can't

Seldom "can't,"

Seldom "don't";

Never "shan't,"

Never "won't."

 


  WEEK 37  

  Saturday  


The Mexican Twins  by Lucy Fitch Perkins

The Mexican Twins


[Illustration]

T HIS is a picture of Antonio Francisco Gomez and his twin sister, Margarita Teresa Gomez.

They live on the great hacienda, or plantation, of Señor Fernandez, in the wonderful country of Mexico, and they are eight years old.

The boy is named Antonio for Saint Antonio and Francisco for his father, and the girl is named Margarita for Saint Margarita and Teresa for her mother.

But nobody ever thinks of calling the Twins by all these names. They are called just Tonio and Tita, to save time.

Even their father isn't called by his long name! Everybody calls him Pancho—that is, everybody but the Twins, of course.

Their mother isn't called anything at all for short. She is always called Doña Teresa. I do not know why this is, unless perhaps it is because she can make better tortillas, and chicken mole, and candied sweet potatoes than any one else on the whole hacienda.

Pancho is a vaquero, or cowboy.

There are hundreds of cows and oxen and sheep and goats on Senor Fernandez's hacienda, and all day long, every day, Pancho rides about on his horse Pinto, rounding up cattle, driving the cows to pasture after milking, or getting the oxen together for the plowing.

The Twins think it is a fine thing to be a vaquero and ride horseback all the time.

Tonio means to be one when he grows up. He practices riding on Tonto, the donkey, now, and he has had his own lasso since he was six.

If you will turn the page you will find a picture of the little adobe hut where Tonio and Tita and Pancho and Doña Teresa live. Pancho isn't in the picture, because he and Pinto are away in the fields, but Doña Teresa is there grinding her corn, and Tita is feeding the chickens, while Tonio plays with his dog, Jasmin.

Tonto is looking out from the shed at the end of the hut. Tita's cat is on the roof. She is almost always on the roof when Jasmin is about.


[Illustration]

Beside the hut is a fig tree, which bears the most delicious figs. Every night the red rooster, the five hens, and the turkey go to roost in its branches, and every day its green boughs make a pleasant shade across the dooryard.

Back of the hut there is a tiny garden with bee-hives, and beyond that there is a path through the woods that leads down to a little river. It was in this very path, just where the stepping-stones cross the river, that Tonio met—But there! it tells all about that in the story and you can read it for yourselves.


[Illustration]

 



The Mexican Twins  by Lucy Fitch Perkins

San Ramon's Day in the Morning

I

O NE summer morning the red rooster on his perch in the fig tree woke up and took a look at the sky.

He was a very responsible rooster. He was always the first one up in the morning, and I really think he believed that if it were not for him the sun himself would forget to rise.

It was so very early that a few stars still shone, and a pale moon was sailing away toward the west. Over the eastern hills the rooster saw a pink cloud, and knew at once that it was time to wake the world. He stood up and stretched his wings. Then he crowed so long and loud that he nearly fell off his perch backward, on to the cat, who was sleeping on the roof just below.

"Cock a doodle do-o-o!" he screamed. "I'm awake, are you-oo-oo?"


[Illustration]

At least that is the way it must have sounded to all the other roosters in the little village, for they began at once to answer him.

"Cock a doodle doo-oo, we're up as soon as you-oo," they cried; and soon there was such a chorus of them calling back and forth that the five hens woke up, one after another, and flew down from the perch, to hunt bugs for their breakfast.

Last of all the turkey opened his eyes and flapped heavily to the ground, gobbling all the way.

The cat stretched herself and sprang from the roof to the fig tree and sharpened her claws on its bark.

The birds began to sing, and still there was no sound from the tiny gray adobe house under the fig tree.

The little white hen tiptoed round to the front of the hut and peeped in at the open door. There in one corner of their one room lay Tonio and Tita and their father and mother, all sound asleep.

The little white hen must have told the red rooster what she saw, for he followed her and looked into the hut too. Then he ruffled his neck feathers, flapped his wings, and crowed so loudly that Pancho and Dona Teresa and the Twins all woke at once and sat up with a bounce, to see what was the matter.

It startled the little white hen to see them all sit up suddenly in a row, so she squawked and scrambled out through the open door as fast as she could go.

The red rooster ran too, and the two of them never stopped until they disappeared behind the bee-hives in the garden.


II

The moment she was really awake, Dona Teresa began to talk.

"Upon my soul!" she cried, crossing herself, "the red rooster gave me a dreadful turn. I was just in the midst of a most beautiful dream! But now he has driven it all out of my head with his silly noise, and I cannot even remember what it was about!"

Dona Teresa rose, and while she talked she deftly rolled up the mat on which she had slept and stood it on end in the corner of the room. You see it didn't take any time at all to dress, because they always slept with their clothes on. But Dona Teresa was very particular about one thing. She made them all wash their faces and hands the very first thing every single morning!

For a wash-basin there was a part of a log, hollowed out like a trough. Beside the hollow log there was a large red olla, with a gourd in it. Pancho had dipped water from the olla into the trough and was already splashing about, while Dona Teresa, rolled the Twins off on to the floor and placed their mats in the corner with the others.


[Illustration]

"Come, my pigeons," she said to them, "it is time to be stirring. We are very lazy to lie in bed after cockcrow on San Ramon's Day!

"Oh, Little Mother," cried Tita, picking herself up, "is it really the fiesta of San Ramon? And may I take the little white hen to be blessed, all myself?"

"You may take the little white hen if you can catch her," Dona Teresa answered. "Indeed, we must take all the animals, or at the very least one of each kind to stand for all the others. The turkey must be caught, and the goat must be brought from the field so I can milk her. Tonto [that was what they called the donkey] is waiting in the shed to be made ready, not to speak of the cat and dog! Bless my soul, how many things there are to be done!"

While his mother talked, Tonio had taken his lasso down from the nail where it hung, and was just quietly slipping out of the door with it, when Dona Teresa saw him. "Here you—Tonio," she cried, "come back and wash yourself!"


[Illustration]

Can't I wait until I've caught Pinto?" Tonio begged. "What's the use of washing? You only get dirty again. Lots of the boys don't wash at all except on Sunday."

"Come right back and wash yourself this minute," commanded Dona Teresa. "You might as well say it's no use to eat your breakfast because you'll be hungry again right away! As long as I'm your mother you shall begin the day right at least."

Tonio groaned a little, and came back to the trough. There he did something that he called washing, though I feel quite sure that there were corners behind his ears that were not even wet!

On the wall above the place where the sleeping mats had been spread, there was a picture of the Virgin and Child, and Dona Teresa kept a little taper always burning before the picture.

When they had all washed, Dona Teresa called Pancho and the Twins to her side, and all four knelt in a row before the picture, crossed themselves, and murmured a little prayer.

"If you want the day to go right," said Dona Teresa as she rose from her knees, "always begin with saying your prayers and washing your face. And now, Tonio, run and catch Pinto for your father while I get his breakfast, for the cows must be rounded up for milking even if it is San Ramon's Day; and Tita, you take the little red olla and go for water!"


III

While the Twins were gone on these errands, Pancho fed the donkey, and Doña Teresa made the fire in her queer little stove; only she didn't call it a stove—she called it a brasero.


[Illustration]

It was a sort of box built up of clay and stones. The brasero stood in an alcove, and beside it was a large red olla, which Doña Teresa kept filled with water for her cooking. Beyond the brasero was a cupboard for the dishes.

Doña Teresa knelt before the brasero and pulled out the ashes of yesterday's fire. Then she put in some little sticks, lighted them, and set a flat red dish on top of the brasero over the tiny flames.

In the corner of the room there was a pretty basket covered with a white drawn-work napkin. Doña Teresa turned back the napkin and counted out ten flat cakes, made of corn meal. They were yesterday's tortillas. These she put in the dish to heat.

When they were warm, she brought some of them to Pancho, with a dish of beans and red chile sauce. Pancho sat down on a flat stone under the fig tree to eat his breakfast. He had no knife or fork or spoon, but he really did not need them, for he tore the tortillas into wedge-shaped pieces and scooped up the beans and chile sauce with them, and ate scoop, beans, chile sauce, and all in one mouthful. The chile sauce was so hot with red pepper that you would have thought that Pancho must have had a tin throat in order to swallow it at all; but he was used to it, and never even winked his eyes when it went down. Just as he was taking the last bite of the last tortilla, Tonio came back, leading Pinto by the rope of his lasso.


[Illustration]

Tonio was very proud of catching Pinto and bringing him back to his father all by himself. He even put the saddle on. But the moment he felt the saddle-girth around him Pinto swelled up like everything, so that Tonio couldn't buckle it! Tonio pulled and tugged until he was red in the face, but Pinto just stood still with his ears turned back, and stayed swelled.

Then Pancho came up. He took hold of the strap, braced his knee against Pinto's side, and pulled.

Pinto knew it was no use holding his breath any longer, so he let go, and in a minute Pancho had the strap securely fastened and had vaulted into the saddle.

He was just starting away, when Doña Teresa came running out of the hut with something in her hand. "Here's a bite of lunch for you," she said, "in case you get hungry in the field. There's beans and chile sauce and four tortillas."

She had put it all nicely in a little dish with the tortillas fitted in like a cover over the chile sauce and beans, and it was all tied up in a clean white cloth.

Pancho took off his sombrero, put the dish carefully on his head, and clapped his hat down over it. The hat was large, and the dish just fitted the crown, so it seemed quite safe. Then he galloped off, looking very grand and gay, with his red serape flying out behind him.


[Illustration]

When he was out of sight, Doña Teresa and the Twins had their breakfasts too, sitting on the stones under the fig tree.


[Illustration]

 

 
  WEEK 37  

  Sunday  


Hurlbut's Story of the Bible  by Jesse Lyman Hurlbut

The Story of a Scarlet Cord

Joshua i: 1, to ii: 24.

dropcap image FTER the death of Moses, while the children of Israel were still encamped upon the east bank of the river Jordan, God spoke to Joshua, and said:

"Now that Moses my servant is dead, you are to take his place and to rule this people. Do not delay, but lead them across the river Jordan, and conquer the land which I have given to them."

Then God told Joshua how large would be the land which the Israelites were to have, if they should show themselves worthy of it. It was to reach from the great river Euphrates, far in the north, down to the border of Egypt on the south, and from the desert on the east to the Great Sea on the west. And God said to Joshua:

"Be strong and of a good courage. I will be with you as I was with Moses. Read constantly the book of the law which Moses gave you, and be careful to obey all that is written in it. Do this and you will have good success."

Then Joshua gave orders to his officers. He said, "Go through the camp, and tell the people to prepare food for a journey; for in three days we shall pass over the river Jordan, and shall go into the land which the Lord has promised us."

To say this was very bold; for at that time of the year, in the spring, the Jordan was much larger than at other times. All its banks were overflowed, and it was running as a broad, deep, swift river, down to the Dead Sea, a few miles to the south. No one could possibly walk through it; only a strong man could swim in its powerful current; and the Israelites had no boats in which they could cross it.

On the other side of the river, a few miles distant, the Israelites could see the high walls of the city of Jericho, standing at the foot of the mountains. Before the rest of the land could be won, this city must be taken, for it stood beside the road leading up to the mountain country.

Joshua chose two careful, brave, and wise men, and said to them, "Go across the river, and get into the city of Jericho; find out all you can about it, and come back in two days."

The two men swam across the river, and walked over to Jericho, and went into the city. But they had been seen, and the king of Jericho sent men to take them prisoners. They came to a house which stood on the wall of the city, where was living a woman named Rahab; and she hid the men.

But these strange men had been seen going into her house, and the king sent his officers after them. The woman hid the men on the roof of the house, and heaped over them stalks of flax, which are like long reeds, so that the officers could not find them. After the officers had gone away, thinking that the two spies had left the city, the woman Rahab came to the two men, and said to them:

"All of us in this city know that your God is mighty and terrible, and that he has given you this land. We have heard how your God dried up the Red Sea before you, and led you through the desert, and gave you victory over your enemies. And now all the people in this city are in fear of you, for they know that your God will give you this city and all this land."

"Now," said Rahab, "promise me in the name of the Lord, that you will spare my life, and the lives of my father and mother, and of my brothers and sisters, when you take this city."

And the men said, "We will pledge our life for yours, that no harm shall come to you; for you have saved our lives."

This woman's house stood on the wall of the city. From one of its windows Rahab let down outside a rope, upon which the men could slide down to the ground. It happened that this rope was of a bright scarlet color.

The two spies said to Rahab, "When our men come to take this city, you shall have this scarlet rope hanging in the window. Bring your father, and mother, and family into the house, and keep them there while we are taking the city. We will tell all our men not to harm the people who are in the house where the scarlet cord hangs from the window; and thus all your family will be safe when the city is taken."

Then the two men, at night, slid down the rope and found their way to the river, and swam over it again, and told their story to Joshua. They said, "Truly the Lord has given to us all the land; for all the people in it are in terror before us, and will not dare to oppose us."


[Illustration]

The two spies let down by a rope.

One fact was a great help to the Israelites in their plans for taking the land of Canaan. It was not held by one people, or ruled over by one king, who could unite all his people against the Israelites. There were many small nations living in the land, and each little tribe, and even each city, was ruled by its own king. So it would be easy for the Israelites to destroy them one by one, so long as they kept apart and did not band themselves together into one army.

The Israelites were now a strong and united people, trained for war, and willing to obey one leader, so that all the twelve tribes were ready to fight as one man.

 



Christina Georgina Rossetti

How Many Seconds in a Minute?

How many seconds in a minute?

Sixty, and no more in it.


How many minutes in an hour?

Sixty for sun and shower.


How many hours in a day?

Twenty-four for work and play.


How many days in a week?

Seven both to hear and speak.


How many weeks in a month?

Four, as the swift moon runn'th.


How many months in a year?

Twelve the almanac makes clear.


How many years in an age?

One hundred, says the sage.


How many ages in time?

No one knows the rhyme.