Text of Plan #953
  WEEK 7  

  Monday  


My Father's Dragon  by Ruth Stiles Gannett

My Father Meets a Lion


[Illustration]

M Y father waved goodbye to the rhinoceros, who was much too busy to notice, got a drink farther down the brook, and waded back to the trail. He hadn't gone very far when he heard an angry animal roaring, "Ding blast it! I told you not to go blackberrying yesterday. Won't you ever learn? What will your mother say!"

My father crept along and peered into a small clearing just ahead. A lion was prancing about clawing at his mane, which was all snarled and full of blackberry twigs. The more he clawed the worse it became and the madder he grew and the more he yelled at himself, because it was himself he was yelling at all the time.

My father could see that the trail went through the clearing, so he decided to crawl around the edge in the underbrush and not disturb the lion.

He crawled and crawled, and the yelling grew louder and louder. Just as he was about to reach the trail on the other side the yelling suddenly stopped. My father looked around and saw the lion glaring at him. The lion charged and skidded to a stop a few inches away.


[Illustration]

"Who are you?" the lion yelled at my father.

"My name is Elmer Elevator."

"Where do you think you're going?"

"I'm going home," said my father.

"That's what you think!" said the lion. "Ordinarily I'd save you for afternoon tea, but I happen to be upset enough and hungry enough to eat you right now." And he picked up my father in his front paws to feel how fat he was.

My father said, "Oh, please, Lion, before you eat me, tell me why you are so particularly upset today."

"It's my mane," said the lion, as he was figuring how many bites a little boy would make. "You see what a dreadful mess it is, and I don't seem to be able to do anything about it. My mother is coming over on the dragon this afternoon, and if she sees me this way I'm afraid she'll stop my allowance. She can't stand messy manes! But I'm going to eat you now, so it won't make any difference to you."

"Oh, wait a minute," said my father, "and I'll give you just the things you need to make your mane all tidy and beautiful. I have them here in my pack."

"You do?" said the lion. "Well, give them to me, and perhaps I'll save you for afternoon tea after all," and he put my father down on the ground.

My father opened the pack and took out the comb and the brush and the seven hair ribbons of different colors. "Look," he said, "I'll show you what to do on your forelock, where you can watch me. First you brush a while, and then you comb, and then you brush again until all the twigs and snarls are gone. Then you divide it up in three and braid it like this and tie a ribbon around the end."


[Illustration]

As my father was doing this, the lion watched very carefully and began to look much happier. When my father tied on the ribbon he was all smiles. "Oh, that's wonderful, really wonderful!" said the lion. "Let me have the comb and brush and see if I can do it." So my father gave him the comb and brush and the lion began busily grooming his mane. As a matter of fact, he was so busy that he didn't even know when my father left.


[Illustration]

 



Kate Greenaway

Somewhere Town

Which is the way to Somewhere Town?

Oh, up in the morning early.

Over the tiles and the chimney pots,

That is the way quite clearly.


And which is the door to Somewhere Town?

Oh, up in the morning early.

The round red sun is the door to go through,

That is the way quite clearly.

 


  WEEK 7  

  Tuesday  


Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans  by Edward Eggleston

Franklin His Own Teacher

F EW people ever knew so many things as Franklin. Men said, "How did he ever learn so many things?" For he had been a poor boy who had to work for a living. He could not go to school at all after he was ten years old.

His father made soap and candles. Little Ben Franklin had to cut wicks for the candles. He also filled the candle molds. He also sold soap and candles, and ran on errands. But when he was not at work he spent his time in reading good books. What little money he got he used to buy books with.

He read the old story of Pilgrim's Progress, and liked it so well that he bought all the other stories by the same man. But as he wanted more books, and had not money to buy them, he sold all of these books. The next he bought were some little history books. These were made to sell cheaply, and they were sold by peddlers. He managed to buy forty or fifty of these little books of history.

Another way he had of learning was by seeing things with his own eyes. His father took him to see carpenters at work with their saws and planes. He also saw masons laying bricks. And he went to see men making brass and copper kettles. And he saw a man with a turning lathe making the round legs of chairs. Other men were at work making knives. Some things people learn out of books, and some things they have to see for themselves.

As he was fond of books, Ben's father thought that it would be a good plan to send him to learn to print them. So the boy went to work in his brother's printing office. Here he passed his spare time in reading. He borrowed some books out of the stores where books were sold. He would sit up a great part of the night sometimes to read one of these books. He wished to return it when the bookstore opened in the morning. One man who had many books lent to Ben such of his books as he wanted.


[Illustration]

Franklin at Study

It was part of the bargain that Ben's brother should pay his board. The boy offered to board himself if his brother would give him half what it cost to pay for his board. His brother was glad to do this, and Ben saved part of the money and bought books with it. He was a healthy boy, and it did not hurt him to live mostly on bread and butter. Sometimes he bought a little pie or a handful of raisins.

Long before he was a man, people said, "How much the boy knows!" This was because—

He did not waste his time.

He read good books.

He saw things for himself.

 



A. A. Milne

The Four Friends

Ernest was an elephant, a great big fellow,

Leonard was a lion with a six-foot tail,

George was a goat, and his beard was yellow,

And James was a very small snail.


Leonard had a stall, and a great big strong one,

Ernest had a manger, and its walls were thick,

George found a pen, but I think it was the wrong one,

And James sat down on a brick.


Ernest started trumpeting, and cracked his manger,

Leonard started roaring, and shivered his stall,

James gave the huffle of a snail in danger

And nobody heard him at all.


Ernest started trumpeting and raised such a rumpus,

Leonard started roaring and trying to kick,

James went a journey with the goat's new compass

And he reached the end of his brick.


Ernest was an elephant and very well-intentioned,

Leonard was a lion with a brave new tail,

George was a goat, as I think I have mentioned,

But James was only a snail.

 


  WEEK 7  

  Wednesday  


Among the Pond People  by Clara Dillingham Pierson

The Biggest Frog Awakens

T HE Biggest Frog stretched the four toes of his right forefoot. Then he stretched the four toes of his left forefoot. Next he stretched the five toes of his right hindfoot. And last of all he stretched the four toes of his left hindfoot. Then he stretched all seventeen toes at once. He should have had eighteen toes to stretch, like his friends and neighbors, but something had happened to the eighteenth one a great many years before. None of the pond people knew what had happened to it, but something  had, and when the Tadpoles teased him to tell them what, he only stared at them with his great eyes and said, "My children, that story is too sad to tell."

After the Biggest Frog had stretched all his toes, he stretched his legs and twitched his lips. He poked his head out of the mud a very, very little way, and saw a Minnow swimming past. "Good day!" said he. "Is it time to get up?"

"Time!" exclaimed the Minnow, looking at him with her mouth open. "I should say it was. Why, the watercress is growing!"

Now every one who lives in a pond knows that when the watercress begins to grow, it is time for all the winter sleepers to awaken. The Biggest Frog crawled out of the mud and poked this way and that all around the spot where he had spent the cold weather. "Wake up!" he said. "Wake up! Wake up!" The water grew dark and cloudy because he kicked up so much mud, but when it began to clear again he saw the heads of his friends peeping up everywhere out of that part of the pond bottom. Seven of them had huddled close to him all winter. "Come out!" he cried. "The spring is here, and it is no time for Frogs to be asleep."

"Asleep! No indeed!" exclaimed his sister, an elderly and hard-working Frog, as she swam to the shore and crawled out on it. She ate every bit of food that she found on the way, for neither she nor any of the others had taken a mouthful since the fall before.

The younger Frogs followed through the warmer shallow water until they were partly out of it. There is always a Biggest Frog in every pond. All the young Frogs thought how fine it would be to become the Biggest Frog of even a very small puddle, for then they could tell the others what to do. Now they looked at their leader and each said to himself, "Perhaps some day I shall begin the concert."

The Biggest Frog found a comfortable place and sat down. He toed in with his eight front toes, as well-bred frogs do, and all his friends toed in with their eight front toes. He toed out with his nine back toes, and all his friends toed out with their ten back toes. One young Yellow Brown Frog said, "How I wish I did not have that bothersome fifth toe on my left hindfoot! It is so in the way! Besides, there is such a style about having one's hind feet different." He spoke just loud enough for the Biggest Frog to hear. Any one would know from this remark that he was young and foolish, for when people are wise they know that the most beautiful feet and ears and bodies are just the way that they were first made to be.

Now the Biggest Frog swallowed a great deal of air, filled the sacs on each side of his neck with it, opened his big mouth, and sang croakily, "Frogs! Frogs! Frogs! Frogs! Frogs! Frogs! Frogs! Frogs!" And all the others sang, "Frogs! Frogs! Frogs!" as long as he. The Gulls heard it, and the Muskrats heard it, and all were happy because spring had come.

A beautiful young Green Brown Frog, who had never felt grown-up until now, tried to sing with the others, but she had not a strong voice, and was glad enough to stop and visit with the Biggest Frog's Sister. "Don't you wish we could sing as loudly as they can?" said she.

"No," answered the Biggest Frog's Sister. "I would rather sit on the bank and think about my spring work. Work first, you know, and pleasure afterward!"

"Oh!" said the Green Brown Frog. "Then you don't want to sing until your work is done?"

"You may be very sure I don't want to sing then," answered the older Frog. "I am too tired. Besides, after the eggs are laid, there is no reason for wanting to sing."

"Why not?" asked the Green Brown Frog. "I don't see what difference that makes."

"That," said the older Frog wisely, "is because you are young and have never laid eggs. The great time for singing is before the eggs are laid. There is some singing afterward, but that is only because people expect it of us, and not because we have the same wish to sing." After she had said all this, which was a great deal for a Frog to say at once, she shut her big mouth and slid her eyelids over her eyes.

There was another question which the Green Brown Frog wanted very much to ask, but she had good manners and knew that it was impolite to speak to any Frog whose eyes were not open. So she closed her own eyes and tried to think what the answer would be. When she opened them again, the Biggest Frog's Sister had hopped away, and in her place sat the Yellow Brown Frog, the same handsome young fellow who had found one of his toes in the way. It quite startled her to find him sitting so close to her and she couldn't think of anything to say, so she just looked at him with her great beautiful eyes and toed in a little more with her front feet. That made him look at them and see how pretty they were, although of course this was not the reason why she had moved them.

The Yellow Brown Frog hopped a little nearer and sang as loudly as he could, "Frogs! Frogs! Frogs! Frogs! Frogs! Frogs! Frogs! Frogs!" Then she knew that he was singing just for her, and she was exceedingly happy. She swallowed air very fast because she seemed to be out of breath from thinking what she should answer. She wanted to ask the Biggest Frog's Sister what she should say if any one sang to her alone. She knew that if she wanted to get away from him, all she had to do was to give a great jump and splash into the water. She didn't want to go away, yet she made believe that she did, for she hopped a little farther from him.

He knew she was only pretending, though, for she hadn't hopped more than the length of a grass-blade. So he followed her and kept on singing. Because she knew that she must say something, she just opened her mouth and sang the first words that she could think of; and what she sang was, "Eggs! Eggs! Eggs! Eggs! Eggs! Eggs! Eggs! Eggs!" As it happened, this was exactly what she should have sung, so he knew that she liked him. They stayed together for a long, long time, and he sang a great deal and very loudly, and she sang a little and very softly.

After a while she remembered that she was now a fully grown Frog and had spring work to do, and she said to him, "I really must lay some eggs. I am going into the water."

"Then I will go too," said he. And they gave two great leaps and came down with two great splashes.


[Illustration]

"Then I will go too," said he.

The Green Brown Frog laid eggs for four days, and the Yellow Brown Frog stayed with her all that time and took care of the eggs after she had laid them. They were covered with a sort of green jelly which made them stick to each other as they floated in little heaps on the water. The Frogs thought that a good thing, for then, when the Tadpoles hatched, each would have playmates near.

One day, after the eggs were all laid and were growing finely (for Frogs' eggs grow until the Tadpoles are ready to eat their way out), the Green Brown Frog sat alone on the bank of the pond and the Biggest Frog's Sister came to her. She had a queer smile around the corners of her mouth. Frogs have excellent mouths for smiling, but it takes a very broad smile to go way across, so when they smile a little it is only at the corners. "How are your eggs growing?" she asked.

"Oh," answered the Green Brown Frog sadly, "I can't tell which ones they are."

"That's just like a young Frog," said the Biggest Frog's Sister. "Is there any reason why you should know which ones they are? It isn't as though you were a bird and had to keep them warm, or as though you were a Mink and had to feed your children. The sun will hatch them and they will feed themselves all they need."

"I think," said the Green Brown Frog, "that my eggs were a little better than the rest."

"Yes," croaked the Biggest Frog's Sister, "every Frog thinks that."

"And I wanted to have my own Tadpoles to look after," sighed the Green Brown Frog.

"Why?" asked the Biggest Frog's Sister. "Can't you take any comfort with a Tadpole unless you laid the egg from which he was hatched? I never know one of my own eggs a day after it is laid. There are such a lot floating around that they are sure to get mixed. But I just make the best of it."

"How?" asked the Green Brown Frog, looking a little more cheerful.

"Oh, I swim around and look at all the eggs, and whenever I see any Tadpoles moving in them I think, 'Those may be mine!' As they are hatched I help any one who needs it. Poor sort of Frog it would be who couldn't like other people's Tadpoles!"

"I believe I'll do that way," said the Green Brown frog. "And then," she added, "what a comfort it will be if any of them are cross or rude, to think, 'I'm glad I don't know that they are mine.' "

"Yes," said the Biggest Frog's Sister. "I often tell my brother that I pity people who have to bring up their own children. It is much pleasanter to let them grow up as they do and then adopt the best ones. Do you know, I have almost decided that you are my daughter? My brother said this morning that he thought you looked like me."

 



Henry C. Bunner

One, Two, Three

It was an old, old, old, old lady,

And a boy that was half-past three;

And the way that they played together

Was beautiful to see.


She couldn't go running and jumping,

And the boy, no more could he;

For he was a thin little fellow,

With a thin little twisted knee.


They sat in the yellow sunlight,

Out under the maple tree;

And the game that was played I'll tell you,

Just as it was told to me.


It was Hide-and-Go-Seek they were playing,

Though you'd never have known it to be—

With an old, old, old, old lady,

And a boy with a twisted knee.


The boy would bend his face down

On his little sound right knee,

And he guessed where she was hiding,

In guesses One, Two, Three!


"You are in the china closet!"

He would cry, and laugh with glee—

It wasn't the china closet;

But he still had Two and Three.


"You are up in papa's big bedroom,

In the chest with the queer old key!"

And she said: "You are warm  and warmer;

But you're not quite right," said she.


"It can't be the little cupboard

Where Mamma's things used to be—

So it must be the clothespress, Gran'ma!"

And he found her with his Three.


Then she covered her face with her fingers,

That were wrinkled and white and wee,

And she guessed where the boy was hiding,

With a One and a Two and a Three.


And they never had stirred from their places,

Right under the maple tree—

This old, old, old, old lady,

And the boy with the lame little knee—

This dear, dear, dear old lady,

And the boy who was half-past three.

 


  WEEK 7  

  Thursday  


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

Nanny Who Wouldn't Go Home to Supper

T HERE was once upon a time a woman who had a son and a goat. The son was called Espen and the goat was called Nanny. But they were not good friends, and did not get on together, for the goat was perverse and wayward, as goats will be, and she would never go home at the right time for her supper. So it happened one evening that Espen went out to fetch her home, and when he had been looking for her awhile, he saw Nanny high, high up on a crag.

"My dear Nanny, you must not stay any longer up there; you must come home now, it is just supper-time. I am so hungry and want my supper."

"No, I sha'n't," said Nanny, "not before I have finished the grass on this tussock, and that tussock—and this and that tussock."

"Then I'll go and tell mother," said the lad.

"That you may, and then I shall be left to eat in peace," said Nanny.

So Espen went and told his mother.

"Go to the fox and ask him to bite Nanny," said his mother.

The lad went to the fox. "My dear fox, bite Nanny, for Nanny won't come home in time. I am so hungry, and I want my supper," said Espen.

"No, I don't want to spoil my snout on pig's bristles and goat's beard," said the fox.

So the lad went and told his mother.

"Well, go to the wolf," said his mother.

The lad went to the wolf. "My dear wolf, tear the fox, for the fox won't bite Nanny, and Nanny won't come home in time. I am so hungry, and I want my supper."

"No," said the wolf, "I won't wear out my paws and teeth on a skinny fox."

So the lad went and told his mother.

"Well, go to the bear and ask him to slay the wolf," said the mother.

The lad went to the bear. "My dear bear, slay the wolf, for the wolf won't tear the fox, and the fox won't bite Nanny, and Nanny won't come home in time. I am so hungry and want my supper."

"No, that I won't," said the bear; "I don't want to wear out my claws for that."

So the lad went and told his mother.

"Well, go to the Finn and ask him to shoot the bear."

The lad went to the Finn. "My dear Finn, shoot the bear, for the bear won't slay the wolf, the wolf won't tear the fox, the fox won't bite Nanny, and Nanny won't come home in time. I am so hungry and want my supper."

"No, I will not," said the Finn; "I am not going to shoot away my bullets for that."

So the lad went and told his mother.

"Well, go to the fir," said his mother, "and ask it to crush the Finn."

The lad went to the fir-tree. "My dear fir, crush the Finn, for the Finn won't shoot the bear, the bear won't slay the wolf, the wolf won't tear the fox, the fox won't bite Nanny, and Nanny won't come home in time. I am so hungry and want my supper."

"No, I will not," said the fir; "I am not going to break my boughs for that."

So the lad went and told his mother.

"Well, go to the fire," said his mother, "and ask it to burn the fir."

The lad went to the fire. "My dear fire, burn the fir, for the fir won't crush the Finn, the Finn won't shoot the bear, the bear won't slay the wolf, the wolf won't tear the fox, the fox won't bite Nanny, and Nanny won't come home in time. I am so hungry and want my supper."

"No, I will not," said the fire; "I am not going to burn myself out for that."

So the lad went and told his mother.

"Well, go to the water, and ask it to quench the fire," she said.

The lad went to the water. "My dear water, quench the fire, for the fire won't burn the fir, the fir won't crush the Finn, the Finn won't shoot the bear, the bear won't slay the wolf, the wolf won't tear the fox, the fox won't bite Nanny, and Nanny won't come home in time. I am so hungry and want my supper."

"No, I will not," said the water; "I am not going to waste myself for that."

So the lad went and told his mother.

"Well, go to the ox," said she, "and ask him to drink up the water."

The lad went to the ox. "My dear ox, drink up the water, for the water won't quench the fire, the fire won't burn the fir, the fir won't crush the Finn, the Finn won't shoot the bear, the bear won't slay the wolf, the wolf won't tear the fox, the fox won't bite Nanny, and Nanny won't come home in time. I am so hungry and want my supper."

"No, I will not," said the ox; "I am not going to burst myself for that."

So the lad went and told his mother.

"Well, go to the yoke," said she, "and ask it to throttle the ox."

The lad went to the yoke. "My dear yoke, throttle the ox, for the ox won't drink the water, the water won't quench the fire, the fire won't burn the fir, the fir won't crush the Finn, the Finn won't shoot the bear, the bear won't slay the wolf, the wolf won't tear the fox, the fox won't bite Nanny, and Nanny won't come home in time. I am so hungry and want my supper."

"No, I will not," said the yoke; "I am not going to break myself in two for that."

So the lad went and told his mother.

"Well, go to the ax," said she, "and tell it to split the yoke."

The lad went to the ax. "My dear ax, split the yoke, for the yoke won't throttle the ox, the ox won't drink the water, the water won't quench the fire, the fire won't burn the fir, the fir won't crush the Finn, the Finn won't shoot the bear, the bear won't slay the wolf, the wolf won't tear the fox, the fox won't bite Nanny, and Nanny won't come home in time, I am so hungry and want my supper."

"No, I will not," said the ax; "I am not going to blunt my edge for that."

So the lad went and told his mother.

"Well, go to the smith," said she, "and ask him to hammer the ax."

The lad went to the smith. "My dear smith, hammer the ax, for the ax won't split the yoke, the yoke won't throttle the ox, the ox won't drink the water, the water won't quench the fire, the fire won't burn the fir, the fir won't crush the Finn, the Finn won't shoot the bear, the bear won't slay the wolf, the wolf won't tear the fox, the fox won't bite Nanny, and Nanny won't come home in time. I am so hungry and want my supper."

"No, I will not," said the smith; "I'll not burn my coals and wear out my sledge-hammers for that."

So the lad went and told his mother.

"Well, go to the rope," said she, "and ask it to hang the smith."

The lad went to the rope. "My dear rope, hang the smith, for the smith won't hammer the ax, the ax won't split the yoke, the yoke won't throttle the ox, the ox won't drink the water, the water won't quench the fire, the fire won't burn the fir, the fir won't crush the Finn, the Finn won't shoot the bear, the bear won't slay the wolf, the wolf won't tear the fox, the fox won't bite Nanny, and Nanny won't come home in time. I am so hungry and want my supper."

"No, I will not," said the rope; "I am not going to break in two for that."

So the lad went and told his mother.

"Well, go to the mouse," said she, "and ask her to gnaw the rope."

The lad went to the mouse. "My dear mouse, gnaw the rope, for the rope won't hang the smith, the smith won't hammer the ax, the ax won't split the yoke, the yoke won't throttle the ox, the ox won't drink the water, the water won't quench the fire, the fire won't burn the fir, the fir won't crush the Finn, the Finn won't shoot the bear, the bear won't slay the wolf, the wolf won't tear the fox, the fox won't bite Nanny, and Nanny won't come home in time. I am so hungry and want my supper."

"No, I will not," said the mouse; "I am not going to wear out my teeth for that."

So the lad went and told his mother.

"Well, go to the cat," said she, "and ask her to catch the mouse."

The lad went to the cat. "My dear cat, catch the mouse, for the mouse won't gnaw the rope, the rope won't hang the smith, the smith won't hammer the ax, the ax won't split the yoke, the yoke won't throttle the ox, the ox won't drink the water, the water won't quench the fire, the fire won't burn the fir, the fir won't crush the Finn, the Finn won't shoot the bear, the bear won't slay the wolf, the wolf won't tear the fox, the fox won't bite Nanny, and Nanny won't come home in time. I am so hungry and want my supper."

"Yes, but give me a drop of milk for my kittens and then—" said the cat.

Yes, that she should have. So the cat caught the mouse, and the mouse gnawed the rope, and the rope hanged the smith, and the smith hammered the ax, and the ax split the yoke, and the yoke throttled the ox, and the ox drank the water, and the water quenched the fire, and the fire burned the fir, and the fir crushed the Finn, and the Finn shot the bear, and the bear slew the wolf, and the wolf tore the fox, and the fox bit Nanny, and Nanny took to her heels, scampered home, and ran against the barn wall and broke one of her legs.

"M—a—h—a—h!" bleated the goat. There she lay, and if she isn't dead she is still limping about on three legs. But Espen said it served her right, because she would not come home in time for supper that day.

 



Robert Louis Stevenson

The Land of Nod

From breakfast on through all the day

At home among my friends I stay,

But every night I go abroad

Afar into the land of Nod.


All by myself I have to go,

With none to tell me what to do—

All alone beside the streams

And up the mountain-sides of dreams.


The strangest things are there for me,

Both things to eat and things to see,

And many frightening sights abroad

Till morning in the land of Nod.


Try as I like to find the way,

I never can get back by day,

Nor can remember plain and clear

The curious music that I hear.

 


  WEEK 7  

  Friday  


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

The Children of Israel

"Unto a land flowing with milk and honey."

—Exodus iii. 8.

T HE children of' Jacob, or Israel, lived long in the land of Egypt, on the plot of land given to them by Pharaoh. Fifty-four years after his father, Joseph died. Like Jacob, he yearned to be buried in the land of his fathers, but for the present this was impossible. The years rolled on, and king after king reigned and died in Egypt, until the memory of Joseph was forgotten.

Meanwhile the children of Israel were rejoicing in the good pasture-land watered by the Nile, the land of Goshen as it was called, between Memphis and the Great Sea, and their families increased, till they had become quite a large colony in the land of Egypt. But in course of time there arose a Pharaoh, who no longer cared to have all Joseph's descendants settled in the land; this great colony of foreigners would be a danger in case of war.

So he set taskmasters over them and oppressed them. He took them away from their quiet shepherd lives, to "service in the field," such as we still see along the banks of the Nile. There to-day the peasants work under the burning sun, drawing up buckets of water, from the level of the river, to pour on the fields above. The children of Israel were made to build the high brick walls, too, which surrounded the old cities of the land of Goshen; they were treated as slaves, and beaten by the Egyptians in authority over them, until we seem to hear their bitter cries, for deliverance from this bondage.

At last, as more and more children were born to the children of Israel, Pharaoh ordered that all the sons born to these strangers should henceforth be thrown into the Nile.

But a son was born, soon after this order, to a great grandson of Jacob's, and he was so beautiful, that his mother hid him in the house, for three months. Then, fearing for his life, she put him in a little boat or basket made of reeds, and laid him away among the rushes, by the river-side.

The story of Moses is well known, and every child has heard how the royal princess, one of Pharaoh's daughters, came down with her maidens, to bathe in the river. How she found the little basket and the crying child within, and how she had not the heart to let the baby drown. How he was nursed by his own mother, brought up in the house of the Egyptian princess, and named Moses: "Because," said the princess, "I drew him out of the water."

Now, though Moses was brought up as an Egyptian child, he was yet an Israelite at heart; when he grew old enough he resented seeing his own people badly treated, and even beaten, in the land of their adoption. And this was the man chosen to lead his own people from the land of Egypt, back to their own land—the land given to their forefathers Abraham and Jacob—the land of Canaan.

The story of their start for home is very picturesque. One can see the shepherd tribes of Goshen snatching their last hasty meal; their feet, usually bare, now shod for their long journey; men, women, and children with staffs in their hands, their long Eastern garments girt up round their waists, for walking over the sandy desert.

It was night too; probably one of those glorious African nights, with stars shining out brightly, even as they shine to-day over stretches of veldt, while the moon lit up the country round.

"Get you forth from among my people; also take your flocks and herds, as ye have said, and be gone," were the words wrung at last from the reluctant Pharaoh, who had so long refused to let them go.

So in that quiet starlit night, the children of Israel, like a huge army, with their camels and asses, stole forth from Egypt, on their way back to their fatherland.

Very soon the green pasture-land of the Nile was left behind; the scorching desert track lay before.

Encamped by the shores of the Red Sea, suddenly a cry of alarm would run through the vast multitude, as across the ridges of the desert hills came the terrible Egyptian chariots pursuing after them. In the midst of their terror the sun sank down, and darkness fell over the waters of the Red Sea, which cut them off from the land of Canaan. The story of their crossing over is too well known to repeat. When morning broke over the hills of Arabia, they stood in safety on the farther shore, but the chariots and horsemen of Egypt had perished in the waters.

 



Samuel Francis Smith

America

My country, 'tis of thee,

Sweet land of liberty,

Of thee I sing;

Land where my fathers died,

Land of the Pilgrims' pride,

From every mountain-side

Let freedom ring.


My native country, thee,

Land of the noble free,

Thy name I love;

I love thy rocks and rills,

Thy woods and templed hills,

My heart with rapture thrills

Like that above.


Let music swell the breeze,

And ring from all the trees,

Sweet freedom's song;

Let mortal tongues awake,

Let all that breathe partake,

Let rocks their silence break—

The sound prolong.


Our fathers' God, to Thee,

Author of liberty,

To Thee we sing,

Long may our land be bright

With freedom's holy light;

Protect us by Thy might,

Great God, our King.

 


  WEEK 7  

  Saturday  


The Swiss Twins  by Lucy Fitch Perkins

The Lonely Herdsman

Part 2 of 2

"I'm a little afraid, I think," confessed Leneli. She looked at the moon and thought how it must be shining down on the old farm-house; and of her mother, who at that very moment must be frantic with fears for their safety; and of the long and perilous journey before they could see her again, and though she tried hard to swallow them, three little sobs slipped out.

The old man heard them. "Why, bless me, bless me," he said, rumpling his hair until it stood on end, "this will never do at all! Why, bless us, think of William Tell! Think of Peter, who lived long ago in your own Lucerne, and who saved the whole city! To take a little herd of goats down a strange pass is child's play compared with what he did; and he was only a boy like Seppi here, and I always thought girls were braver than boys."

Leneli sat up and sniffed resolutely. "I think—I'm almost sure—I'm going to be brave now," she said. "Tell us about Peter."

"Well, it was like this," said the herds-man. "Peter was a smart, likely lad enough, but nobody thought he was a hero. In fact, he never suspected it himself. You see, you can't tell whether you are one or not until something happens that calls for courage. Then if you do the right thing, whether you are afraid or not, you'll know you are one. Well, one summer night this Peter went out to have a swim in the lake, and when he crawled upon the bank to dress again, he was so tired he fell asleep. By and by he was wakened by voices and, opening his eyes, he saw five or six men creeping stealthily along the lake-shore.

" 'Aha,' says Peter to himself, 'that's not the walk of honest men.'

"He got up on his elbow in the long grass and watched them without being seen. He saw many more men steal silently after the first group, and among them he recognized the Bailiff of Rothenburg, whom he knew to be an Austrian and the sworn enemy of Lucerne. He saw the men talk together and heard enough of what they said to be sure that danger threatened his beloved town. So when they moved on, he followed them, slipping along behind rocks and bushes, until suddenly they disappeared as if the earth had swallowed them. Peter groped about hunting for them until at last he saw a faint light shining from out a dark cavern among the rocks. Then, though he knew how dangerous it was, he followed the light and found himself in a long, dark tunnel."

"Oh," shuddered Leneli. "I could never be as brave as that. I don't like dark places."

"Peter knew that a tunnel ran underneath the walls of the town and that the other end of it opened by a trap-door into a stable in Lucerne," went on the old man without noticing Leneli's interruption, "and at once he saw that some traitor must have told the Austrians of this secret passage. He crept closer and closer to the group of men, until he was near enough to hear what they said. You may be sure his blood ran cold in his veins when he heard the voice of a man he knew, telling the Austrians just how best they could capture the town! He knew that terrible things would happen in Lucerne that night if the enemy ever reached the other end of the tunnel, and at once made up his mind that he must alarm the town. He dropped on his hands and knees and was beginning to crawl back toward the entrance, when he heard some one coming into the tunnel! He sprang to his feet and tried to run past, but the passage was narrow, and he was caught at once and dragged into the light."

"Oh! Oh!" gasped the Twins, breathless with excitement. "It sounds just like a bad dream."

"It was no dream," said the old herdsman, "for when the traitor, whose name was Jean de Malters, saw Peter, he was terribly angry. 'How did you come here,' he roared, in a voice that made the earth shake.

" 'I was asleep on the bank and you woke me up, so I followed to see what was going on,' said Peter.

" 'I don't believe you. Some one sent you to spy upon us,' said Jean de Matters, and he shook Peter. 'Who sent you?'

" 'No one,' said Peter. 'I have told you the truth.'

" 'You lie,' said his captor. 'I give you just two minutes to tell who sent you, and if you do not tell us then, you shall die!'

"Poor Peter thought of his home and his mother and father, and there never was a more homesick boy in the world than he was at that moment, but though he was terribly frightened, he did not say a single word.

" 'He shall die, then,' said Jean de Falters, when the two minutes were up, and Peter had not spoken.

"One of the Austrians interfered. 'No,' he said. 'It would be bad luck to begin the night's work by shedding the blood of a child. Make him swear he will not tell what he has seen to any living soul, and let him go.'

"In spite of Jean de Matters, who was bound that he should be killed, that was what they did, and the moment he was free you may be sure Peter ran like the wind for home.

"Now you see," said the old herdsman, and he shook his finger at Seppi and Leneli, "I this was a dreadful position for Peter. He had solemnly promised not to tell a living soul what he had seen and heard, but if he didn't tell, his parents and friends would be murdered before morning.

"That evening his father and a number of other men were gathered together in the town hall of Lucerne to talk over community affairs, when Peter suddenly burst into the room, his eyes as big as saucers.

"The men gathered about him, thinking he must have some tremendous piece of news, but Peter spoke never a word to them. Instead, he marched up to the great porcelain stove that stood in the room.

" 'O Stove,' said Peter, 'I have just heard terrible things which I have promised not to tell to a living soul, but you, O Stove, have no soul, so to you I will say that the Austrians are now in the tunnel underneath the walls and that at midnight they will break in and sack the town.'

"At first the men thought Peter had gone crazy, but when he had finished telling the stove all he had seen and heard, they flew to alarm the town and get their weapons.

"At midnight, when the Austrians came up through the hole in the stable floor, they were received by a little army of men of Lucerne, and in the battle that followed they were completely whipped and driven from the town forever. And it was Peter who saved the city.

"You see that was Peter's chance to show what he was made of, and he didn't miss his chance. He did the right thing, even though he was afraid. It's a great thing not to miss one's chance."


[Illustration]

The old herdsman looked up at the moon as if he hadn't meant any one in particular when he said that about missing one's chance, and the children didn't say a word for a minute.

Then Seppi said, "If Peter could save a whole town, I guess we can get down that pass with a few goats."

"Why, of course," said the herdsman. "It's your chance, you see, and when you get home very likely you'll find you are both heroes. You see if there were never any danger, there never could be any heroes at all! Now climb up into the hay, both of you, and I'll wake you for an early start in the morning."

 



Elizabeth Prentiss

Cradle Song

Sleep, baby, sleep!

Thy father's watching the sheep,

Thy mother's shaking the dreamland tree,

And down drops a little dream for thee.

Sleep, baby, sleep.


Sleep, baby, sleep!

The large stars are the sheep;

The little stars are the lambs, I guess,

The bright moon is the shepherdess.

Sleep, baby, sleep.

 


  WEEK 7  

  Sunday  


Hurlbut's Story of the Bible  by Jesse Lyman Hurlbut

The Angel by the Well

Genesis xvi: 1, to xvii: 27.

dropcap image OU remember that Abram's wife, who had journeyed with him from Ur of the Chaldees, and who lived in his tent all those years, was named Sarai. Now Sarai had a maid, a servant that waited on her, whose name was Hagar. She came from the land of Egypt, where were the pyramids and the temples. But Sarai and her maid Hagar had some trouble; they could not agree, and Sarai was so sharp and severe with Hagar, that at last Hagar ran away from Sarai's tent.

She went out into the desert, and took the road that led down to Egypt, her own country, the land from which she had come. On the way she stopped beside a spring of water. There an angel from the Lord met her, and said to her:

"Hagar, are you not the servant of Sarai, Abram's wife? What are you doing here? Where are you going?"


[Illustration]

Hagar by the spring of water.

And Hagar said to the angel:

"I am going away from my mistress Sarai, because I do not wish to stay with her and serve her any longer."

Then the angel said to Hagar:

"Go back to your mistress Sarai, and submit to her, for it is better for you than to go away. God knows all your troubles, for he sees you and hears you, and he will help you. By and by you shall have a son, and you shall call his name Ishmael, because God has heard you."

The word Ishmael means "God hears." So whenever Hagar should speak her boy's name, she would think "God has heard me."

Then the angel told Hagar that her son Ishmael should be strong and fierce, and that no one should be able to overcome him, or his children, or his descendants, those who should come after him.

So Hagar was comforted, and went back again to serve Sarai.

And afterward the well where she saw the angel was called by a name which means "The well of the Living One who sees me." And after this, Hagar had a son; and as the angel told her, she called his name Ishmael; that is, "God hears." We shall read more about Hagar and Ishmael a little later. After this, while Abram was living near Hebron, the Lord came to him again and spoke to him, while Abram bowed with his face to the ground. God said:

"I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be perfect; and I will make you a father of many nations. And your name shall be changed. You shall no more be called Abram, but Abraham, a word that means "Father of a multitude," because you shall be the father of many nations of people. And your wife's name shall also be changed. She shall no more be called Sarai, but Sarah; that is, "princess." And you and Sarah shall have a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; and he shall have sons when he becomes a man, and his descendants, those who spring from him, shall be very many people." So from this time he was no longer Abram, but Abraham, and his wife was called Sarah.

 



Christina Georgina Rossetti

The Dear Old Woman in the Lane

The dear old woman in the lane

Is sick and sore with pains and aches,

We'll go to her this afternoon,

And take her tea and eggs and cakes.


We'll stop to make the kettle boil,

And brew some tea, and set the tray,

And poach an egg, and toast a cake,

And wheel her chair round, if we may.