WEEK 38 |
EVEN with eyes protected by the green spectacles Dorothy and her friends were at first dazzled by the brilliancy of the wonderful City. The streets were lined with beautiful houses all built of green marble and studded everywhere with sparkling emeralds. They walked over a pavement of the same green marble, and where the blocks were joined together were rows of emeralds, set closely, and glittering in the brightness of the sun. The window panes were of green glass; even the sky above the City had a green tint, and the rays of the sun were green.
There were many people, men, women and children, walking about, and these were all dressed in green clothes and had greenish skins. They looked at Dorothy and her strangely assorted company with wondering eyes, and the children all ran away and hid behind their mothers when they saw the Lion; but no one spoke to them. Many shops stood in the street, and Dorothy saw that everything in them was green. Green candy and green pop-corn were offered for sale, as well as green shoes, green hats and green clothes of all sorts. At one place a man was selling green lemonade, and when the children bought it Dorothy could see that they paid for it with green pennies.
There seemed to be no horses nor animals of any kind; the men carried things around in little green carts, which they pushed before them. Everyone seemed happy and contented and prosperous.
The Guardian of the Gates led them through the streets until they came to a big building, exactly in the middle of the City, which was the Palace of Oz, the Great Wizard. There was a soldier before the door, dressed in a green uniform and wearing a long green beard.
"Here are strangers," said the Guardian of the Gates to him, "and they demand to see the Great Oz."
"Step inside," answered the soldier, "and I will carry your message to him."
So they passed through the Palace gates and were led into a big room with a green carpet and lovely green furniture set with emeralds. The soldier made them all wipe their feet upon a green mat before entering this room, and when they were seated he said, politely,
"Please make yourselves comfortable while I go to the door of the Throne Room and tell Oz you are here."
They had to wait a long time before the soldier returned. When, at last, he came back, Dorothy asked,
"Have you seen Oz?"
"Oh, no;" returned the soldier; "I have never seen him. But I spoke to him as he sat behind his screen, and gave him your message. He says he will grant you an audience, if you so desire; but each one of you must enter his presence alone, and he will admit but one each day. Therefore, as you must remain in the Palace for several days, I will have you shown to rooms where you may rest in comfort after your journey."
"Thank you," replied the girl; "that is very kind of Oz."
The soldier now blew upon a green whistle, and at once a young girl, dressed in a pretty green silk gown, entered the room. She had lovely green hair and green eyes, and she bowed low before Dorothy as she said,
"Follow me and I will show you your room."
So Dorothy said good-bye to all her friends except Toto, and taking the dog in her arms followed the green girl through seven passages and up three flights of stairs until they came to a room at the front of the Palace. It was the sweetest little room in the world, with a soft, comfortable bed that had sheets of green silk and a green velvet counterpane. There was a tiny fountain in the middle of the room, that shot a spray of green perfume into the air, to fall back into a beautifully carved green marble basin. Beautiful green flowers stood in the windows, and there was a shelf with a row of little green books. When Dorothy had time to open these books she found them full of queer green pictures that made her laugh, they were so funny.
In a wardrobe were many green dresses, made of silk and satin and velvet; and all of them fitted Dorothy exactly.
"Make yourself perfectly at home," said the green girl, "and if you wish for anything ring the bell. Oz will send for you to-morrow morning."
She left Dorothy alone and went back to the others. These she also led to rooms, and each one of them found himself lodged in a very pleasant part of the Palace. Of course this politeness was wasted on the Scarecrow; for when he found himself alone in his room he stood stupidly in one spot, just within the doorway, to wait till morning. It would not rest him to lie down, and he could not close his eyes; so he remained all night staring at a little spider which was weaving its web in a corner of the room, just as if it were not one of the most wonderful rooms in the world. The Tin Woodman lay down on his bed from force of habit, for he remembered when he was made of flesh; but not being able to sleep he passed the night moving his joints up and down to make sure they kept in good working order. The Lion would have preferred a bed of dried leaves in the forest, and did not like being shut up in a room; but he had too much sense to let this worry him, so he sprang upon the bed and rolled himself up like a cat and purred himself asleep in a minute.
The next morning, after breakfast, the green maiden came to fetch Dorothy, and she dressed her in one of the prettiest gowns—made of green brocaded satin. Dorothy put on a green silk apron and tied a green ribbon around Toto's neck, and they started for the Throne Room of the Great Oz.
First they came to a great hall in which were many ladies and gentlemen of the court, all dressed in rich costumes. These people had nothing to do but talk to each other, but they always came to wait outside the Throne Room every morning, although they were never permitted to see Oz. As Dorothy entered they looked at her curiously, and one of them whispered,
"Are you really going to look upon the face of Oz the Terrible?"
"Of course," answered the girl, "if he will see me."
"Oh, he will see you," said the soldier who had taken her message to the Wizard, "although he does not like to have people ask to see him. Indeed, at first he was angry, and said I should send you back where you came from. Then he asked me what you looked like, and when I mentioned your silver shoes he was very much interested. At last I told him about the mark upon your forehead, and he decided he would admit you to his presence."
Just then a bell rang, and the green girl said to Dorothy,
"That is the signal. You must go into the Throne Room alone."
She opened a little door and Dorothy walked boldly through and found herself in a wonderful place. It was a big, round room with a high arched roof, and the walls and ceiling and floor were covered with large emeralds set closely together. In the center of the roof was a great light, as bright as the sun, which made the emeralds sparkle in a wonderful manner.
But what interested Dorothy most was the big throne of green marble that stood in the middle of the room. It was shaped like a chair and sparkled with gems, as did everything else. In the center of the chair was an enormous Head, without body to support it or any arms or legs whatever. There was no hair upon this head, but it had eyes and nose and mouth, and was bigger than the head of the biggest giant.
As Dorothy gazed upon this in wonder and fear the eyes turned slowly and looked at her sharply and steadily. Then the mouth moved, and Dorothy heard a voice say:
"I am Oz, the Great and Terrible. Who are you, and why do you seek me?"
It was not such an awful voice as she had expected to come from the big Head; so she took courage and answered,
"I am Dorothy, the Small and Meek. I have come to you for help."
The eyes looked at her thoughtfully for a full minute. Then said the voice:
"Where did you get the silver shoes?"
"I got them from the wicked Witch of the East, when my house fell on her and killed her," she replied.
"Where did you get the mark upon your forehead?" continued the voice.
"That is where the good Witch of the North kissed me when she bade me good-bye and sent me to you," said the girl.
Again the eyes looked at her sharply, and they saw she was telling the truth. Then Oz asked,
"What do you wish me to do?"
"Send me back to Kansas, where my Aunt Em and Uncle Henry are," she answered, earnestly. "I don't like your country, although it is so beautiful. And I am sure Aunt Em will be dreadfully worried over my being away so long."
The eyes winked three times, and then they turned up to the ceiling and down to the floor and rolled around so queerly that they seemed to see every part of the room. And at last they looked at Dorothy again.
"Why should I do this for you?" asked Oz.
"Because you are strong and I am weak; because you are a Great Wizard and I am only a helpless little girl," she answered.
"But you were strong enough to kill the wicked Witch of the East," said Oz.
"That just happened," returned Dorothy, simply; "I could not help it."
"Well," said the Head, "I will give you my answer. You have no right to expect me to send you back to Kansas unless you do something for me in return. In this country everyone must pay for everything he gets. If you wish me to use my magic power to send you home again you must do something for me first. Help me and I will help you."
"What must I do?" asked the girl.
"Kill the wicked Witch of the West," answered Oz.
"But I cannot!" exclaimed Dorothy, greatly surprised.
"You killed the Witch of the East and you wear the silver shoes, which bear a powerful charm. There is now but one Wicked Witch left in all this land, and when you can tell me she is dead I will send you back to Kansas—but not before."
The little girl began to weep, she was so much disappointed; and the eyes winked again and looked upon her anxiously, as if the Great Oz felt that she could help him if she would.
"I never killed anything, willingly," she sobbed; "and even if I wanted to, how could I kill the Wicked Witch? If you, who are Great and Terrible, cannot kill her yourself, how do you expect me to do it?"
"I do not know," said the Head; "but that is my answer, and until the Wicked Witch dies you will not see your Uncle and Aunt again. Remember that the Witch is Wicked—tremendously Wicked—and ought to be killed. Now go, and do not ask to see me again until you have done your task."
Sorrowfully Dorothy left the Throne Room and went back where the Lion and the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman were waiting to hear what Oz had said to her.
"There is no hope for me," she said, sadly, "for Oz will not send me home until I have killed the Wicked Witch of the West; and that I can never do."
Her friends were sorry, but could do nothing to help her; so she went to her own room and lay down on the bed and cried herself to sleep.
The next morning the soldier with the green whiskers came to the Scarecrow and said,
"Come with me, for Oz has sent for you."
So the Scarecrow followed him and was admitted into the great Throne Room, where he saw, sitting in the emerald throne, a most lovely lady. She was dressed in green silk gauze and wore upon her flowing green locks a crown of jewels. Growing from her shoulders were wings, gorgeous in color and so light that they fluttered if the slightest breath of air reached them.
When the Scarecrow had bowed, as prettily as his straw stuffing would let him, before this beautiful creature, she looked upon him sweetly, and said,
"I am Oz, the Great and Terrible. Who are you, and why do you seek me?"
Now the Scarecrow, who had expected to see the great Head Dorothy had told him of, was much astonished; but he answered her bravely.
"I am only a Scarecrow, stuffed with straw. Therefore I have no brains, and I come to you praying that you will put brains in my head instead of straw, so that I may become as much a man as any other in your dominions."
"Why should I do this for you?" asked the lady.
"Because you are wise and powerful, and no one else can help me," answered the Scarecrow.
"I never grant favors without some return," said Oz; "but this much I will promise. If you will kill for me the Wicked Witch of the West I will bestow upon you a great many brains, and such good brains that you will be the wisest man in all the Land of Oz."
"I thought you asked Dorothy to kill the Witch," said, the Scarecrow, in surprise.
"So I did. I don't care who kills her. But until she is dead I will not grant your wish. Now go, and do not seek me again until you have earned the brains you so greatly desire."
The Scarecrow went sorrowfully back to his friends and told them what Oz had said; and Dorothy was surprised to find that the great Wizard was not a Head, as she had seen him, but a lovely lady.
"All the same," said the Scarecrow, "she needs a heart as much as the Tin Woodman."
On the next morning the soldier with the green whiskers came to the Tin Woodman and said,
"Oz has sent for you. Follow me,"
So the Tin Woodman followed him and came to the great Throne Room. He did not know whether he would find Oz a lovely lady or a Head, but he hoped it would be the lovely lady. "For," he said to himself, "if it is the Head, I am sure I shall not be given a heart, since a head has no heart of its own and therefore cannot feel for me. But if it is the lovely lady I shall beg hard for a heart, for all ladies are themselves said to be kindly hearted."
But when the Woodman entered the great Throne Room he saw neither the Head nor the Lady, for Oz had taken the shape of a most terrible Beast. It was nearly as big as an elephant, and the green throne seemed hardly strong enough to hold its weight. The Beast had a head like that of a rhinoceros, only there were five eyes in its face. There were five long arms growing out of its body and it also had five long, slim legs. Thick, woolly hair covered every part of it, and a more dreadful looking monster could not be imagined. It was fortunate the Tin Woodman had no heart at that moment, for it would have beat loud and fast from terror. But being only tin, the Woodman was not at all afraid, although he was much disappointed.
"I am Oz, the Great and Terrible," spake the Beast, in a voice that was one great roar. "Who are you, and why do you seek me?"
[Illustration: "_The Eyes looked at her thoughtfully._"]
"I am a Woodman, and made of tin. Therefore I have no heart, and cannot love. I pray you to give me a heart that I may be as other men are."
"Why should I do this?" demanded the Beast.
"Because I ask it, and you alone can grant my request," answered the Woodman.
Oz gave a low growl at this, but said, gruffly,
"If you indeed desire a heart, you must earn it."
"How?" asked the Woodman.
"Help Dorothy to kill the Wicked Witch of the West," replied the Beast. "When the Witch is dead, come to me, and I will then give you the biggest and kindest and most loving heart in all the Land of Oz."
So the Tin Woodman was forced to return sorrowfully to his friends and tell them of the terrible Beast he had seen. They all wondered greatly at the many forms the great Wizard could take upon himself, and the Lion said,
"If he is a beast when I go to see him, I shall roar my loudest, and so frighten him that he will grant all I ask. And if he is the lovely lady, I shall pretend to spring upon her, and so compel her to do my bidding. And if he is the great Head, he will be at my mercy; for I will roll this head all about the room until he promises to give us what we desire. So be of good cheer my friends for all will yet be well."
The next morning the soldier with the green whiskers led the Lion to the great Throne Room and bade him enter the presence of Oz.
The Lion at once passed through the door, and glancing around saw, to his surprise, that before the throne was a Ball of Fire, so fierce and glowing he could scarcely bear to gaze upon it. His first thought was that Oz had by accident caught on fire and was burning up; but, when he tried to go nearer, the heat was so intense that it singed his whiskers, and he crept back tremblingly to a spot nearer the door.
Then a low, quiet voice came from the Ball of Fire, and these were the words it spoke:
"I am Oz, the Great and Terrible. Who are you, and why do you seek me?" And the Lion answered,
"I am a Cowardly Lion, afraid of everything. I come to you to beg that you give me courage, so that in reality I may become the King of Beasts, as men call me."
"Why should I give you courage?" demanded Oz.
"Because of all Wizards you are the greatest, and alone have power to grant my request," answered the Lion.
The Ball of Fire burned fiercely for a time, and the voice said,
"Bring me proof that the Wicked Witch is dead, and that moment I will give you courage. But so long as the Witch lives you must remain a coward."
The Lion was angry at this speech, but could say nothing in reply, and while he stood silently gazing at the Ball of Fire it became so furiously hot that he turned tail and rushed from the room. He was glad to find his friends waiting for him, and told them of his terrible interview with the Wizard.
"What shall we do now?" asked Dorothy, sadly.
"There is only one thing we can do," returned the Lion, "and that is to go to the land of the Winkies, seek out the Wicked Witch, and destroy her."
"But suppose we cannot?" said the girl.
"Then I shall never have courage," declared the Lion.
"And I shall never have brains," added the Scarecrow.
"And I shall never have a heart," spoke the Tin Woodman.
"And I shall never see Aunt Em and Uncle Henry," said Dorothy, beginning to cry.
"Be careful!" cried the green girl, "the tears will fall on your green silk gown, and spot it."
So Dorothy dried her eyes and said,
"I suppose we must try it; but I am sure I do not want to kill anybody, even to see Aunt Em again."
"I will go with you; but I'm too much of a coward to kill the Witch," said the Lion.
"I will go too," declared the Scarecrow; "but I shall not be of much help to you, I am such a fool."
"I haven't the heart to harm even a Witch," remarked the Tin Woodman; "but if you go I certainly shall go with you."
Therefore it was decided to start upon their journey the next morning, and the Woodman sharpened his axe on a green grindstone and had all his joints properly oiled. The Scarecrow stuffed himself with fresh straw and Dorothy put new paint on his eyes that he might see better. The green girl, who was very kind to them, filled Dorothy's basket with good things to eat, and fastened a little bell around Toto's neck with a green ribbon.
They went to bed quite early and slept soundly until daylight, when they were awakened by the crowing of a green cock that lived in the back yard of the palace, and the cackling of a hen that had laid a green egg.
[Illustration: "_The Soldier with the green whiskers led them through the streets._"]
When the sleepy man comes with the dust on his eyes,
(Oh, weary, my Dearie, so weary!)
He shuts up the earth, and he opens the skies.
(So hush-a-by, weary, my Dearie!)
He smiles through his fingers, and shuts up the sun;
(Oh, weary, my Dearie, so weary!)
The stars that he loves he lets out one by one.
(So hush-a-by, weary, my Dearie!)
He comes from the castle of Drowsy-boy Town;
(Oh, weary, my Dearie, so weary!)
At the touch of his hand tired eyelids fall down.
(So hush-a-by, weary, my Dearie!)
WEEK 38 |
W HEN Daniel Webster was a young lawyer, he was going home one night. There was snow on the ground. It was very cold. It was late, and there was nobody to be seen.
But after a while he saw a poor woman. She was ahead of him. He wondered what had brought her out on so cold a night.
Sometimes she stopped and looked around. Then she would stand and listen. Then she would go on again.
Webster and the Poor Woman
Webster kept out of her sight. But he watched her. After looking around, she turned down the street in which Webster lived. She stopped in front of Webster's house. She looked around and listened.
Webster had put down some loose boards to walk on. They reached from the gate to the door of his house. After standing still a minute, the woman took one of the boards, and went off quickly.
Webster followed her. But he kept out of her sight. She went to a distant part of the town. She went into a poor little house.
Webster went home without saying anything to the woman. He knew that she had stolen the board for firewood.
The next day the poor woman got a present. It was a nice load of wood.
Can you guess who sent it to her?
A bear, however hard he tries,
Grows tubby without exercise.
Our Teddy Bear is short and fat
Which is not to be wondered at;
He gets what exercise he can
By falling off the ottoman,
But generally seems to lack
The energy to clamber back.
Now tubbiness is just the thing
Which gets a fellow wondering;
And Teddy worried lots about
The fact that he was rather stout.
He thought: "If only I were thin!
But how does anyone begin?"
He thought: "It really isn't fair
To grudge me exercise and air."
For many weeks he pressed in vain
His nose against the
And envied those who walked about
Reducing their unwanted stout.
None of the people he could see
"Is quite" (he said) "as fat as me!"
Then, with a still more moving sigh,
"I mean" (he said) "as fat as I!"
Now Teddy, as was only right,
Slept in the ottoman at night,
And with him crowded in as well
More animals than I can tell;
Not only these, but books and things,
Such as a kind relation
Old tales of "Once upon a time,"
And history retold in rhyme.
One night it happened that he took
A peep at an old
Wherein he came across by chance
The picture of a King of France
(A stoutish man) and, down below,
These words: "King Louis So and So,
And (think of it!) the man was fat!
Our bear rejoiced like anything
To read about this famous King,
Nicknamed "The Handsome." There he sat,
And certainly the man was fat.
Nicknamed "The Handsome." Not a doubt
The man was definitely stout.
Why then, a bear (for all his tub)
Might yet be named "The Handsome Cub!"
"Might yet be named." Or did he mean
That years ago he "might have been"?
For now he felt a slight misgiving:
"Is Louis So and So still living?
Fashions in beauty have a way
Of altering from day to day.
Is 'Handsome Louis' with us yet?
Unfortunately I forget."
Next morning (nose to
The doubt occurred to him again.
One question hammered in his head:
"Is he alive or is he dead?"
Thus, nose to pane, he pondered; but
The lattice window, loosely shut,
Swung open. With one startled "Oh!"
Our Teddy disappeared below.
There happened to be passing by
A plump man with a twinkling eye,
Who, seeing Teddy in the street,
Raised him politely to his feet,
And murmured kindly in his ear
Soft words of comfort and of cheer:
"Well, well!" "Allow me!" "Not at all."
"Tut-tut! A very nasty fall."
Our Teddy answered not a word;
It's doubtful if he even heard.
Our bear could only look and look:
The stout man in the
That "handsome" King—could this be he,
This man of adiposity?
"Impossible," he thought. "But still,
No harm in asking. Yes I will!"
"Are you," he said, "by any chance
His Majesty the King of France?"
The other answered, "I am that,"
Bowed stiffly, and removed his hat;
Then said, "Excuse me," with an air,
"But is it Mr. Edward Bear?"
And Teddy, bending very low,
Replied politely, "Even so!"
They stood beneath the window there,
The King and Mr. Edward Bear,
And, handsome, if a trifle fat,
Talked carelessly of this and that . . .
Then said His Majesty, "Well, well,
I must get on," and rang the bell.
"Your bear, I think," he smiled.
And turned, and went upon his way.
A bear, however hard he tries,
Grows tubby without exercise.
Our Teddy Bear is short and fat,
Which is not to be wondered at.
But do you think it worries him
To know that he is far from slim?
No, just the other way
He's proud of being short and stout.
WEEK 38 |
I T was sweet Kittie Clover who found that lilies, and berry bushes, and some other things grow by bulbs and buds instead of by seeds.
You all know Kittie; at least, everybody used to know her, for there was a song about her, beginning, "Sweet Kittie Clover, she bothers me so."
Well, it was Kittie who showed Jack and Ko the funny
little black bulbs in the armpits—no, the
But she agreed with the boys that a great many things in the plant world had to start from seeds.
She used to gather the flower seeds and soak them until they had become soft, and then with her father's big magnifying glass, she would look at the little plants curled up in the seeds.
"Come over here and see something," she called to Jack
and Ko one morning, for they were
Kittie was about half way between Jack and Ko in age, and the three played together a great deal of the time. Of course the boys had told her all the things the plants had said to them. This had pleased her so much that she, too, began talking to the flowers and other live things about her.
She used to get into mischief very often and bother people, and I suppose that is what the song meant.
So there she sat, wishing for something to do, when she
caught sight of the
Then she called the boys, for she thought she really had something worth showing.
Jack and Ko came racing over at Kittie's call, glad of an excuse to see her, for they always felt badly when she was in disgrace, almost as badly as if they had been the cause of it.
Sometimes they were the cause of it, and helped her get into mischief, but they were always sorry—when it was too late!
It is so very easy to get into mischief! Kittie said she never had to try a bit. She had to try hard to do everything else, but that seemed to do itself.
The boys were glad to see Kittie and glad to see what she had to show them.
Everybody remembers how the morning-glory looks when it
first comes out of the ground. Two blunt little leaves
appear that do not look at all like the
Well, Kittie slipped off the black skin of the seed,
inside she found, packed about by some clear,
"That's worth seeing!" said Ko. "It has its food separate from its cotyledons."
"Is that jelly its food?" demanded Jack.
"It must be," said Ko. And Kittie thought so, too.
After a while the morning-glory told them all about it, and Ko was quite proud to learn he had guessed right. The jelly is the food, the morning-glory said.
Then Kittie soaked a lot of four-o'clock seeds, and in each of them found the tender little plant, with no starch to speak of stored in its cotyledons, but instead, lying embedded in a floury mass of food.
It would take a long time to tell of all the queer and
They had a lot of fun doing it, and anybody who likes can have just as much fun, for the seeds are always ready to show their treasures.
Tell me, sunny goldenrod,
Did fairies come from fairyland
And make the dress you wear?
Did you get from mines of gold
Your bright and shining hue?
Or did the baby stars some night
Fall down and cover you?
I love you, laughing goldenrod,
And I will try, like you,
To fill each day with deeds of cheer;
Be loving, kind, and true.
WEEK 38 |
O NCE upon a time there was an old man and his old wife who lived in a wee cottage beside a wee burnie. They had two cows, five hens, and a cock, a cat and two kittens. Now the old man looked after the cows, the cock looked after the hens, the cat looked after a mouse in the cupboard, and the two kittens looked after the old wife's spindle as it twirled and tussled about on the hearthstone. But though the old wife should have looked after the kittens, the more she said, "Sho! Sho! Go away, kitty!" the more they looked after the spindle!
So, one day, when she was quite tired out with saying, "Sho! Sho!" the old wife felt hungry and thought she could take a wee bite of something. So she up and baked two wee oatmeal bannocks and set them to toast before the fire. Now just as they were toasting away, smelling so fresh and tasty, in came the old man, and seeing them look so crisp and nice takes up one of them and snaps a piece out of it. On this the other bannock thought it high time to be off, so up it jumps and away it trundles as fast as ever it could. And away ran the old wife after it as fast as she could run with her spindle in one hand, and her distaff in the other. But the wee bannock trundled faster than she could run, so it was soon out of sight, and the old wife was obliged to go back and tussle with the kittens again.
The wee bannock meanwhile trundled gaily down the hill till it came to a big thatched house, and it ran boldly in at the door and sat itself down by the fireside quite comfortably. Now there were three tailors in the room working away on a big bench, and being tailors they were, of course, dreadfully afraid, and jumped up to hide behind the goodwife who was carding wool by the fire.
"Hout-tout!" she cried. "What are ye a-feared of? 'Tis naught but a wee bit bannock. Just grip hold o' it, and I'll give ye a sup o' milk to drink with it."
So up she gets with the carders in her hands and the tailor had his iron goose and the apprentices, one with the big scissors and the other with the ironing-board, and they all made for the wee bannock; but it was too clever for them, and dodged about the fireside until the apprentice, thinking to snap it with the big scissors, fell into the hot ashes and got badly burnt. Then the tailor cast the goose at it, and the other apprentice the ironing-board; but it wouldn't do. The wee bannock got out at the doorway where the goodwife flung the carders at it; but it dodged them and trundled away gaily till it came to a small house by the road-side. So in it ran bold as bold and sat itself down by the hearth where the wife was winding a clue of yarn for her husband, the weaver, who was click-clacking away at his loom.
"Tibby!" quoth the weaver. "Whatever's that?"
"Naught but a wee bannock," quoth she.
"Well, come and welcome," says he, "for the porridge was thin the morn; so grip it, woman! Grip it!"
"Aye," says she, and reaches out her hand to it. But the wee bannock just dodged.
"Man!" says she, "yon's a clever wee bannockie! Catch it, man! Catch it if you can."
But the wee bannock just dodged. "Cast the clue at it, woman!" shouted the weaver.
But the wee bannock was out at the door, trundling away over the hill like a new tarred sheep or a mad cow!
And it trundled away till it came to a cowherd's house where the goodwife was churning her butter.
"Come in by," cried the goodwife when she saw the wee bannock all crisp and fresh and tasty, "I've plenty cream to eat with you."
But at this the wee bannock began dodging about, and it dodged so craftily that the goodwife overset the churn in trying to grip it, and before she set it straight again the wee bannock was off, trundling away down the hill till it came to a millhouse where the miller was sifting meal. So in it ran and sat down by the trough.
"Ho, ho!" says the miller. "It's a sign o' plenty when the likes of you run about the countryside with none to look after you. But come in by. I like bannock and cheese for supper, so I'll give ye a night's quarters." And with that he tapped his fat stomach.
At this the wee bannock turned and ran; it wasn't going to trust itself with the miller and his cheese; and the miller, having nothing but the meal to fling after it, just stood and stared; so the wee bannock trundled quietly along the level till it came to the smithy where the smith was welding horsenails.
"Hullo!" says he, "you're a well-toasted bannock. You'll do fine with a glass of ale! So come in by and I'll give you a lodging inside." And with that he laughed, and tapped his fat stomach.
But the wee bannock thought the ale was as bad as the cheese, so it up and away, with the smith after it. And when he couldn't come up with it, he just cast his hammer at it. But the hammer missed and the wee bannock was out of sight in a crack, and trundled and trundled till it came to a farmhouse where the goodman and his wife were beating out flax and combing it. So it ran into the fireside and began to toast itself again.
"Janet," says the goodman, "yon is a well-toasted wee bannock. I'll have the half of it."
"And I'll take the tother half," says the goodwife, and reached out a hand to grip it. But the wee bannock played dodgings again.
"My certy," says the wife, "but you're spirity!" And with that she cast the flax comb at it. But it was too clever for her, so out it trundled through the door and away was it down the road, till it came to another house where the goodwife was stirring the scalding soup and the goodman was plaiting a thorn collar for the calf. So it trundled in, and sat down by the fire.
"Ho, Jock!" quoth the goodwife, "you're always crying on a well-toasted bannock. Here's one! Come and eat it!"
Then the wee bannock tried dodgings again, and the goodwife cried on the goodman to help her grip it.
"Aye, mother!" says he, "but where's it gone?"
"Over there!" cries she. "Quick! run to t'other side o' yon chair." And the chair upset, and down came the goodman among the thorns. And the goodwife she flung the soup spoon at it, and the scalding soup fell on the goodman and scalded him, so the wee bannock ran out in a crack and was away to the next house where the folk were just sitting down to their supper and the goodwife was scraping the pot.
"Look!" cries she, "here's a wee well-toasted bannock for him as catches it!" "Let's shut the door first," says the cautious goodman, "afore we try to get a grip on it."
Now when the wee bannock heard this it judged it was time to be off; so away it trundled and they after it helter-skelter. But though they threw their spoons at it, and the goodman cast his best hat, the wee bannock was too clever for them, and was out of sight in a crack.
Then away it trundled till it came to a house where the folk were just away to their beds. The goodwife she was raking out the fire, and the goodman had taken off his breeches.
"What's yon?" says he, for it was nigh dark.
"It will just be a wee bannock," says she.
"I could eat the half of it," says he.
"And I could eat the tother," quoth she.
Then they tried to grip it; but the wee bannock tried dodging. And the goodman and the goodwife tumbled against each other in the dark and grew angry.
"Cast your breeches at it, man!" cries the goodwife at last. "What's the use of standing staring like a stuck pig?"
So the goodman cast his breeches at it and thought he had smothered it sure enough; but somehow it wriggled out, and away it was, the goodman after it without his breeches. You never saw such a race—a real clean chase over the park and through the whins, and round by the bramble patch. But there the goodman lost sight of it and had to go back all scratched and tired and shivering.
The wee bannock, however, trundled on till it was too dark even for a wee bannock to see.
Then it came to a fox's hole in the side of a big whinbush and trundled in to spend the night there; but the fox had had no meat for three whole days, so he just said, "You're welcome, friend! I wish there were two of you!"
And there were two! For he snapped the wee bannock into halves with one bite. So that was an end of it!
O it's I that am the captain of a tidy little ship,
Of a ship that goes a-sailing on the pond;
And my ship it keeps a-turning all around and all about;
But when I'm a little older, I shall find the secret out
How to send my vessel sailing on beyond.
For I mean to grow as little as the dolly at the helm,
And the dolly I intend to come alive;
And with him beside to help me, it's a-sailing I shall go,
It's a-sailing on the water, when the jolly breezes blow
And the vessel goes a divie-divie-dive.
O it's then you'll see me sailing through the rushes and the reeds,
And you'll hear the water singing at the prow;
For beside the dolly sailor, I'm to voyage and explore,
To land upon the island where no dolly was before,
And to fire the penny cannon in the bow.
WEEK 38 |
"My son, thou art invincible."
W HEN he was but sixteen years old, Alexander had his first experience of public affairs; for in the summer of this year, 340, Philip set out on an expedition, leaving his young son "in charge of affairs and of the seal." Alexander made better use of his time than his father; for where Philip had failed, his son succeeded beyond all expectation in subduing a restless mountain tribe. His influence now grew rapidly, and the Macedonians murmured already, "Alexander is king."
But a family quarrel arose; hot words passed between Alexander and his father. There was a scene, in which the king sprang on his son with drawn sword; but he fell down before he reached him, and Alexander's taunt has passed into history.
"Here is a man," he cried scornfully, "who has been preparing to cross from Europe into Asia, but he has been upset in crossing from one couch to another."
After this, Alexander and his mother left the country. But not for long. Before the year was out Philip was dead—killed by an assassin—and Alexander was king of Macedonia.
He was surrounded by enemies on all sides. Now, since the days of Socrates, when Athens was at the height of her glory, Greece had suffered greatly from her want of unity. She had been torn by her small wars, and even the common danger of Persia had not brought her union. Now there was another common danger, but the Greeks were slow to realise it. There was one Greek citizen, however, who saw more clearly than the rest, how yearningly the eyes of Philip were turned towards Greece.
"Let the Greeks cease their quarrels with one another and unite to preserve the liberty, which is their birthright, against the despot who seeks to enslave them all."
Such was the cry of Demosthenes, this far-seeing man—the most famous orator Greece ever had. But he cried to the people in vain. Philip came down to Greece, and it was not long before her liberties were crushed and she became a province of Macedonia. Now, Philip was dead, and the Grecian states hoped to shake off the yoke of Macedonia. Demosthenes was seen in the streets of Athens, wearing a garland about his head and dressed in white, as for a holiday, for he knew the enemy of Athens was dead, and he did not know, that Alexander would be a greater conqueror, than his father had been.
The new young King of Macedonia, though full of foreign schemes, first turned his attentions to Greece. He marched south to Corinth. City after city in Greece submitted to the new and powerful King of Macedonia, until with the fall of Thebes, the last Grecian town to hold out, Alexander's campaign in Europe was at an end. The rest of his life was spent in Asia.
The world toward which Alexander had set his face, and which he was now preparing to enter, was the great old world of the East—that world which was great long before Greece and Rome—that world which was being left utterly behind, in the great march of mankind forwards.
The boundary between Asia and Europe has always been a rigid one. It was the same in the days of Alexander as
To unite the East and West was the dream of Alexander's life—that is to say, he tried to do what has not been
Lullaby, oh, lullaby!
Flowers are closed and lambs are sleeping;
Lullaby, oh, lullaby!
Stars are up, the moon is peeping;
Lullaby, oh, lullaby!
While the birds are silence keeping,
Lullaby, oh, lullaby!
Sleep, my baby, fail a-sleeping,
Lullaby, oh, lullaby!
WEEK 38 |
W HEN breakfast was over you could tell by the long, long shadow of the fig tree that it was still very early in the morning. On sunny days Doña Teresa could tell the time almost exactly by its shadow, but on rainy days she just had to guess, because there was no clock in her little cabin.
It was lucky that it was so early, because there were so many things to be done. The Twins and their mother were not the only busy people about, however, for there were two hundred other peons beside Pancho who worked on the hacienda, and each one had a little cabin where he lived with his family.
There were other vaqueros besides Pancho. There were ploughmen, and farmers, and water-carriers, and servants for the great white house where Senor Fernandez lived with his wife and pretty daughter Carmen. And there was the gatekeeper, José, whom the Twins loved because he knew the most wonderful stories and was always willing to tell them.
There were field-workers, and wood-cutters, and even fishermen. The huts where they all lived were huddled together like a little village, and the village, and the country for miles and miles around, and the big house, and the little chapel beside it, and the schoolhouse, and everything else on that great hacienda, belonged to Senor Fernandez.
It almost seemed as if the workers all belonged to Senor Fernandez, too, for they had to do just what he told them to, and there was no other place for them to go and nothing else for them to do if they had wanted ever so much to change.
All the people, big and little, loved the fiesta of San Ramon. They thought the priest's blessing would cause the hens to lay more eggs, and the cows to give more milk, and that it would keep all the creatures well and strong.
Though it was a feast day, most of the men had gone away from their homes early, when Pancho did; but the women and children in all the little cabins were busy as bees, getting themselves and their animals ready to go in procession to the place where the priest was to bless them.
As soon as breakfast was eaten, Doña Teresa said to Tonio: "Go now, my Tonio, and make Tonto beautiful! His coat is rough and full of burs, and he will make a very poor figure to show the priest unless you give him a good brushing. Only be careful of his hind legs. You know Tonto is sometimes very wild with his hind legs. It is strange to me that his front ones should be so much more tame, but it seems to be the nature of the poor creature."
Tonio went to Tonto's shed and brought him out and tied him to a tree. Then he brushed his coat and took out the burs, and braided the end of his tail, and even made a wreath of green leaves and hung it over his left ear. And Tonto seemed to know that it was San Ramon's Day, for he never kicked at all, and brayed only once, when Tonio pulled a very large bur out of his ear.
While Tonio was making Tonto beautiful, Tita swept the ground under the fig tree and sprinkled it with water, and washed and put away the few dishes they had used.
Her mother was very busy meanwhile, grinding the corn for tortillas. You see, every single meal they had tortillas. It was their bread, and their meat too, most of the time, so it would never do to miss getting the corn ground, not even if it were the greatest feast day of the whole year.
When Tita had finished putting things in order, her mother said to her, "Now, my pigeon, see if you can't catch the little white hen, and the red rooster, and the turkey. The red rooster crows so sweetly I shall miss him when he is put in the pot, but he is not long for this world! He is so greedy there's no satisfying him with food. He has no usefulness at all, except to wake us in the morning.
"But the little white hen now! There is the useful one! She has already begun to lay. She must surely go to the priest. And as for the turkey, he needs to go for the sake of his temper! I hope the padrecito will lay a spell on him to stop his gobbling from morning till night. It will be no grief to me when he is put on to boil."
The red rooster, the hen, and the turkey were all wandering round in the little patch of garden behind the house, when Tita came out, rattling some corn in a dish.
The red rooster began to run the moment he heard corn rattle, and he called to the hens to come too. He seemed to think they wouldn't know enough even to eat corn unless he advised them to.
They swarmed around Tita's feet, pecking at each other and snatching greedily at each kernel as it fell.
"You all need to go to the priest for your manners," Tita said to them severely. "You behave like the pigs."
She set the dish down on the ground, and when they all tried to get their heads into it at once, she picked out the legs of the red rooster and seized them with one hand, and those of the little white hen with the other, and before they could guess what in the world was happening to them she had them safely in the house, where she tied them to the legs of the table.
When Tita went back after the turkey, she found him eating the very last kernels of corn out of the dish. He had driven all the hens away and was having a very nice time by himself. Tita made a grab for his legs, but he was too quick for her. He flew up into the fig tree and from there to the roof. Tita looked up at him anxiously.
"Don't you think you ought to get blessed?" she said. "Come down now, that's a good old gobbler! Mother says your temper is so bad you must surely go to the priest, and how can I take you if you won't come down?"
"Gobble," said the turkey, and stayed where he was.
Tita was in despair. She threw a stick at him, but he only walked up the thatched roof
with his toes turned in, and sat down on the
Just then Tita looked down the river path, and there was Tonio coming with the goat! At least he was trying to, but the goat didn't seem to care any more about being blessed than the turkey did. She was standing with her four feet braced, pulling back with all her might, while Tonio pulled forward on the lasso which was looped over her horns.
Tonio looked very angry. He called to Tita, "Come here and help me with this fool of a goat! I believe the devil himself has got into her! She has acted just like this all the way from the pasture!"
Tita ran down the path and got behind the goat. She pushed and Tonio pulled, and by and by they got her as far as the fig tree. Then they tied her to a branch, and while Doña Teresa milked her, the Twins went after the turkey again.
Tonio had practiced lassoing bushes and stumps and pigs and chickens and even Tita
herself, ever since he could remember, and you may be sure no turkey could get the best of
him. He stood down in the yard and whirled his lasso in great circles round his head, and
then all of a sudden the loop flew into the air and dropped right over the turkey on the
If he hadn't had wings the turkey certainly would have tumbled off the roof. As it was, he spread his wings and flopped down, and Tita took him into the cabin and tied him to the third leg of the table. There he made himself very disagreeable to the little white hen, and gobbled angrily at the red rooster, and even pecked at Tita herself when she came near.
"There!" sighed Doña Teresa, when the turkey was safely tied; "at last we have them all together. Now we will make them all gay."
She went to the chest which held all their precious things, took out three rolls of tissue paper, and held them up for the Twins to see. One was green, one was white, and one was red.
"Look," said she. "These are all Mexican animals, so I thought it would be nice for them to wear the Mexican colors. Come, my angels, and I will show you how to make wreaths and streamers and fringes and flowers for them to wear. Our creatures must not shame us by looking shabby and dull in the procession. They shall be as gay as the best of them."
For a long time they all three worked, and when they had made enough decorations for all the animals, Doña Teresa brought out another surprise. It was some gilt paint and a brush! She let Tonio gild the goat's horns and hoofs, and Tita gilded the legs and feet of the little white hen.
While she was doing it, the red rooster stuck his bill into the dish and swallowed two great big bites of gold paint on his own account! Doña Teresa saw him do it.
"If he isn't trying to gild himself on the inside!" she cried. "Did you ever see such sinful pride!" And then she made him swallow a large piece of red pepper because she was afraid the paint would disagree with him.
The red rooster seemed depressed for a long time after that; but whether it was because of the paint, or the pepper, or being so awfully dressed up, I cannot say. His bill was gilded because he had dipped it in the gold paint, so they gilded his legs to match. Then they tied a white tissue-paper wreath with long streamers around his neck.
They tied a red one on the little white hen. They tried to decorate the turkey, too, but he was in no mood for it, and gobbled and pecked at them so savagely that Doña Teresa had to tie up his head in a rag!
They stuck some red tissue-paper flowers in Tonto's wreath, and tied red tissue-paper streamers to the goat's horns. They put a green ruff around the cat's neck, and a red one on the dog; but the dog ran at once to the river and waded in and got it all wet, and the color ran out and dyed his coat, and the ruff fell off, before they were even ready to start.
A fairy went
She bought a little fish;
She put it in a crystal bowl
Upon a golden dish.
An hour she sat in wonderment
And watched its silver gleam,
And then she gently took it up
And slipped it in a stream.
A fairy went
She bought a coloured bird;
It sang the sweetest, shrillest song
That ever she had heard.
She sat beside its painted cage
And listened half the day,
And then she opened wide the door
And let it fly away.
A fairy went
She bought a winter gown
All stitched about with gossamer
And lined with thistledown.
She wore it all the afternoon
With prancing and delight,
Then gave it to a little frog
To keep him warm at night.
A fairy went
She bought a gentle mouse
To take her tiny messages,
To keep her tiny house.
All day she kept its busy feet
Pit-patting to and fro,
And then she kissed its silken ears,
Thanked it, and let it go.
WEEK 38 |
Numbers xiii: 1, to xiv: 45.
HE Israelites stayed in their camp before Mount Sinai almost a year, while they were building the Tabernacle and learning God's laws given through Moses. At last the cloud over the Tabernacle rose up; and the people knew that this was the sign for them to move. They took down the Tabernacle and their own tents, and journeyed northward toward the land of Canaan for many days led by the pillar of cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night.
At last they came to a place just on the border between the desert and Canaan, called Kadesh, or Kadesh-barnea. Here they stopped to rest, for there were many springs of water and some grass for their cattle. While they were waiting at Kadesh-barnea, and were expecting soon to march into the land which was to be their home, God told Moses to send onward some men who should walk through the land, and look at it, and then come back and tell what they had found; what kind of a land it was, and what fruits and crops grew in it, and what people were living in it. The Israelites could more easily win the land, if these men after walking through it could act as their guides, and point out the best places in it and the best plans of making war upon it. There was need of wise and bold men for such a work as this, for it was full of danger.
So Moses chose out some men of high rank among the people, one ruler from each tribe, twelve men in all. One of these was Joshua, who was the helper of Moses in caring for the people, and another was Caleb, who belonged to the tribe of Judah. These twelve men went out, and walked over the mountains of Canaan, and looked at the cities, and saw the fields. In one place, just before they came back to the camp, they cut down a cluster of ripe grapes which was so large that two men carried it between them, hanging from a staff. They named the place where they found this bunch of grapes Eshcol, a word which means "a cluster." These twelve men were called "spies," because they went "to spy out the land." After forty days they came back to the camp; and this was what they said:
"We walked all over the land, and found it a rich land. There is grass for all our flocks, and fields where we can raise grain, and trees bearing fruits, and streams running down the sides of the hills. But we found that the people who live there are very strong, and are men of war. They have cities with walls that reach almost up to the sky; and some of the men are giants, so tall that we felt that we were like grasshoppers beside them."
The two young men carried a cluster of grapes between them.
One of the spies, who was Caleb, said, "All that is true, yet we need not be afraid to go up and take the land. It is a good land, well worth fighting for. God is on our side, and he will help us to overcome those people."
But all the other spies, except Joshua, said, "No; there is no use in trying to make war upon such strong people. We can never take those walled cities, and we dare not fight those tall giants."
And the people, who had journeyed all the way through the wilderness to find this very land, were so frightened by the words of the ten spies, that now on the very border of Canaan they dared not enter it. They forgot that God had led them out of Egypt, that he had kept them in the dangers of the desert, that he had given them water out of the rock, and bread from the sky, and his law from the mountain.
All that night, after the spies brought back their report, the people were so filled with fear that they could not sleep. They cried out against Moses, and blamed him for bringing them out of the land of Egypt. They forgot all their troubles in Egypt, their toil and their slavery; and they resolved to go back to that land. They said, "Let us choose a ruler in place of Moses, who has brought us into all these evils, and let us turn back to the land of Egypt!"
But Caleb and Joshua, two of the spies, said, "Why should we fear? The land of Canaan is a good land; it is rich with milk and honey. If God is our friend and is with us, we can easily conquer the people who live there. Above all things, let us not rebel against the Lord or disobey him and make him our enemy."
But the people were so angry with Caleb and Joshua that they were ready to stone them and kill them. Then suddenly the people saw a strange sight. The glory of the Lord, which stayed in the Holy of Holies, the inner room of the Tabernacle, now flashed out and shone from the door of the Tabernacle in the faces of the people.
And the Lord out of this glory spoke to Moses, and said:
"How long will this people disobey me and despise me?
They shall not go into the good land that I have
promised them. Not one of them shall enter in except
Caleb and Joshua, who have been faithful to me. All of
the people who are twenty years old and over it, shall
die in the desert; but their little children shall grow
up in the wilderness, and when they become men they
shall enter in and own the land that I promised to
their fathers. You people are not worthy of the land
that I have been keeping for you. Now turn back into
the desert, and stay there until you die. After you are
dead, Joshua shall lead your children into the land of
Canaan. And because Caleb showed another spirit, and
was true to me, and followed my will fully, Caleb shall
live to go into the land, and shall have his choice of
a home there.
And God told Moses that for every day that the spies had spent in Canaan, looking at the land, the people should spend a year in the wilderness; so that they should live in the desert forty years, instead of going at once into the promised land.
When Moses told all God's words to the people, they felt worse than before. They changed their minds as suddenly as they had made up their minds. "No," they all said; "we will not go back to the wilderness. We will go straight into the land, and see if we are able to take it, as Joshua and Caleb have said."
"You must not go into the land," said Moses, "for you are not fit to go; and God will not go with you. You must turn back into the desert, as the Lord has commanded."
But the people would not obey. They rushed up the mountain, and tried to march at once into the land. But they were without leaders and without order, a mob of men untrained and in confusion. And the people in that part of the land, the Canaanites and Amorites, came down upon them and killed many of them, and drove them away. Then, discouraged and beaten, they obeyed the Lord and Moses, and went once more into the desert.
And in the desert of Paran, on the south of the land of Canaan, the children of Israel stayed nearly forty years; and all because they would not trust in the Lord.
It was not strange that the Israelites should act like children, eager to go back one day, and then eager to go forward the next day. Through four hundred years they had been weakened by living in the hot land of Egypt; and their hard lot as slaves had made them unfit to care for themselves. They were still in heart slavish and weak. Moses saw that they needed the free life of the wilderness; and that their children, growing up as free men and trained for war, would be better fitted to win the land of promise than they had shown themselves to be. So they went back into the wilderness to wait and to be trained for the work of winning their land in war.
What is pink? a rose is pink
By the fountain's brink.
What is red? a poppy's red
In its barley bed.
What is blue? the sky is blue
Where the clouds float thro'.
What is white? a swan is white
Sailing in the light.
What is yellow? pears are yellow,
Rich and ripe and mellow.
What is green? the grass is green,
With small flowers between.
What is violet? clouds are violet
In the summer twilight.
What is orange? why, an orange,
Just an orange!