Text of Plan #970
  WEEK 11  


Pinocchio  by Carlo Collodi

Fire-Eater Pardons Pinocchio

Fire-eater sneezes and pardons Pinocchio, who then saves the life of his friend Harlequin.

T HE showman Fire-eater—for that was his name—looked, I must say, a terrible man, especially with his black beard that covered his chest and legs like an apron. On the whole, however, he had not a bad heart. In proof of this, when he saw poor Pinocchio brought before him, struggling and screaming "I will not die, I will not die!" he was quite moved and felt very sorry for him. He tried to hold out, but after a little he could stand it no longer and he sneezed violently. When he heard the sneeze, Harlequin, who up to that moment had been in the deepest affliction, and bowed down like a weeping willow, became quite cheerful, and leaning towards Pinocchio he whispered to him softly:

"Good news, brother. The showman has sneezed, and that is a sign that he pities you, and consequently you are saved."


For you must know that whilst most men, when they feel compassion for somebody, either weep or at least pretend to dry their eyes, Fire-eater, on the contrary, whenever he was really overcome, had the habit of sneezing.

After he had sneezed, the showman, still acting the ruffian, shouted to Pinocchio:

"Have done crying! Your lamentations have given me a pain in my stomach . . . I feel a spasm, that almost . . . Etci! etci!" and he sneezed again twice.

"Bless you!" said Pinocchio.

"Thank you! And your papa and your mamma, are they still alive?" asked Fire-eater.

"Papa, yes; my mamma I have never known."

"Who can say what a sorrow it would be for your poor old father if I was to have you thrown amongst those burning coals! Poor old man! I compassionate him! . . . Etci! etci! etci!" and he sneezed again three times.


He sneezed again three times.

"Bless you!" said Pinocchio.

"Thank you! All the same, some compassion is due to me, for as you see I have no more wood with which to finish roasting my mutton, and to tell you the truth, under the circumstances you would have been of great use to me! However, I have had pity on you, so I must have patience. Instead of you I will burn under the spit one of the puppets belonging to my company. Ho there, gendarmes!"

At this call two wooden gendarmes immediately appeared. They were very long and very thin, and had on cocked hats, and held unsheathed swords in their hands.

The showman said to them in a hoarse voice:

"Take Harlequin, bind him securely, and then throw him on the fire to burn. I am determined that my mutton shall be well roasted."

Only imagine that poor Harlequin! His terror was so great that his legs bent under him, and he fell with his face on the ground.

At this agonising sight Pinocchio, weeping bitterly, threw himself at the showman's feet, and bathing his long beard with his tears he began to say in a supplicating voice:


Threw himself at the showman's feet.

"Have pity, Sir Fire-eater! . . ."

"Here there are no sirs," the showman answered severely.

"Have pity, Sir Knight! . . ."

"Here there are no knights!"

"Have pity, Commander! . . ."

"Here there are no commanders!"

"Have pity, Excellence! . . ."

Upon hearing himself called Excellence the showman began to smile, and became at once kinder and more tractable. Turning to Pinocchio he asked:

"Well, what do you want from me?"

"I implore you to pardon poor Harlequin."

"For him there can be no pardon. As I have spared you he must be put on the fire, for I am determined that my mutton shall be well roasted."

"In that case," cried Pinocchio proudly, rising and throwing away his cap of bread crumb—"in that case I know my duty. Come on, gendarmes! Bind me and throw me amongst the flames. No, it is not just that poor Harlequin, my true friend, should die for me! . . ."

These words, pronounced in a loud heroic voice, made all the puppets who were present cry. Even the gendarmes, although they were made of wood, wept like two newly-born lambs.

Fire-eater at first remained as hard and unmoved as ice, but little by little he began to melt and to sneeze. And having sneezed four or five times, he opened his arms affectionately, and said to Pinocchio:

"You are a good, brave boy! Come here and give me a kiss."

Pinocchio ran at once, and climbing like a squirrel up the showman's beard he deposited a hearty kiss on the point of his nose.

"Then the pardon is granted?" asked poor Harlequin in a faint voice that was scarcely audible.

"The pardon is granted!" answered Fire-eater; he then added, sighing and shaking his head:

"I must have patience! To-night I shall have to resign myself to eat the mutton half raw; but another time, woe to him who chances! . . ."

At the news of the pardon the puppets all ran to the stage, and having lighted the lamps and chandeliers as if for a full-dress performance, they began to leap and to dance merrily. At dawn they were still dancing.


Viking Tales  by Jennie Hall

King Harald Goes West-Over-Seas


N OW many men hated King Harald. Many a man said:

"Why should he put himself up for king of all of us? He is no better than I am. Am I not a king's son as well as he? And are not many of us kings' sons? I will not kneel before him and promise to be his man. I will not pay him taxes. I will not have his earl sitting over me. The good old days have gone. This Norway has become a prison. I will go away and find some other place."

So hundreds of men sailed away. Some went to France and got land and lived there. Big Rolf-go-afoot and all his men sailed up the great French River and won a battle against the French king himself. There was no way to stop the flashing of his battle-axes but to give him what he wanted. So the king made Rolf a duke, gave him broad lands and gave him the king's own daughter for wife. Rolf called his country Normandy, for old Norway. He ruled it well and was a great lord, and his sons' sons after him were kings of England.

Other Norsemen went to Ireland and England and Scotland. They drew up their boats on the river banks. The people ran away before them and gathered into great armies that marched back to meet the vikings in battle. Sometimes the Norsemen lost, but oftener they won, so that they got land and lived in those countries. Their houses sat in these strange lands like warriors' camps, and the Norsemen went among their new neighbors with hanging swords and spears in hand, ever ready for fight.

There are many islands north of Scotland. They are called the Orkneys and the Shetlands. They have many good harbors for ships. They are little and rocky and bare of trees. Wild sea-birds scream around them. On some of them a man can stand in the middle and see the ocean all about him. Now the vikings sailed to these islands and were pleased.

"It is like being always in a boat," they said. "This shall be our home."

So it went until all the lands round about were covered with vikings. Norse carved and painted houses brightened the hillsides. Viking ships sailed all the seas and made harbor in every river. Norsemen's thralls plowed the soil and planted crops and herded cattle, and gold flowed into their masters' treasure-chests. Norse warriors walked up and down the land, and no man dared to say them nay.

These men did not forget Norway. In the summers they sailed back there and harried the coast. They took gold and grain and beautiful cloth back to their homes. In Norway they left burning houses and weeping women.


"In Norway they left burning houses and weeping women."

Every summer King Harald had out his ships and men and hunted these vikings. There are many little islands. about Norway. They have crags and caves and deep woods. Here the vikings hid when they saw King Harald's ships coming. But Harald ran his boat into every creek and fiord and hunted in every cave and through all the woods and among the crags. He caught many men, but most of them got away and went home laughing at Harald. Then they came back the next summer and did the same deeds over again. At last King Harald said:

"There is but one thing to do. I must sail to these western islands and whip these robbers in their own homes."

So he went with a great number of ships. He found as brave men as he had brought from Norway. These vikings had brought their old courage to their new homes. King Harald's fine ships were scarred by viking stones and scorched by viking fire. The shields of Harald's warriors had dents from viking blows. Many of those men carried viking scars all their lives. And many of King Harald's warriors walked the long, hard road to Valhalla, and feasted there with some of these very vikings that had died in King Harald's battles. But after many hard fights on land and sea, after many men had died and many had fled away to other lands, King Harald won, and he made the men that were yet in the islands take the oath, and he left his earls to rule over them. Then he went back to Norway.

"He has done more than he vowed to do," people said. "He has not only whipped the vikings, but he has got a new kingdom west-over-seas."

Then they talked of that dream that his mother had.

"King Harald was that great tree," they said. "The trunk was red with the blood of his many battles, but higher up the limbs were fair and green like this good time of peace. The topmost branches were white because Harald will live to be an old man. Just as that tree spread out until all of Norway was in its shade, and even more lands, so Harald is king of all this country and of the western islands. The many branches of that tree are the many sons of Harald, who shall be earls and kings in Norway, and their sons after them, for hundreds of years."


Laurence Alma-Tadema

London Wind

The wind blows, the wind blows,

Over the ocean far,

But oh ! it has forgot the waves

And the Isles where the Penguins are.

The wind blows, the wind blows,

Over the forest wide,

But oh! it has forgot the shade

And the dells where the hunted hide.

The wind blows, the wind blows,

Over the houses high,

The paper whirls in the dusty street

And the clouds are atoss in the sky.


  WEEK 11  


Fifty Famous Stories Retold  by James Baldwin

Other Wise Men of Gotham

O NE day, news was brought to Gotham that the king was coming that way, and that he would pass through the town. This did not please the men of Gotham at all. They hated the king, for they knew that he was a cruel, bad man. If he came to their town, they would have to find food and lodg-ing for him and his men; and if he saw anything that pleased him, he would be sure to take it for his own. What should they do?

They met together to talk the matter over.

"Let us chop down the big trees in the woods, so that they will block up all the roads that lead into the town," said one of the wise men.

"Good!" said all the rest.

So they went out with their axes, and soon all the roads and paths to the town were filled with logs and brush. The king's horse-men would have a hard time of it getting into Gotham. They would either have to make a new road, or give up the plan al-to-geth-er, and go on to some other place.

When the king came, and saw that the road had been blocked up, he was very angry.

"Who chopped those trees down in my way?" he asked of two country lads that were passing by.

"The men of Gotham," said the lads.

"Well," said the king, "go and tell the men of Gotham that I shall send my sher-iff into their town, and have all their noses cut off."

The two lads ran to the town as fast as they could, and made known what the king had said.

Every-body was in great fright. The men ran from house to house, carrying the news, and asking one another what they should do.

"Our wits have kept the king out of the town," said one; "and so now our wits must save our noses."

"True, true!" said the others. "But what shall we do?"

Then one, whose name was Dobbin, and who was thought to be the wisest of them all, said, "Let me tell you something. Many a man has been punished because he was wise, but I have never heard of any one being harmed because he was a fool. So, when the king's sher-iff comes, let us all act like fools."

"Good, good!" cried the others. "We will all act like fools."

It was no easy thing for the king's men to open the roads; and while they were doing it, the king grew tired of waiting, and went back to London. But very early one morning, the sheriff with a party of fierce soldiers rode through the woods, and between the fields, toward Gotham. Just before they reached the town, they saw a queer sight. The old men were rolling big stones up the hill, and all the young men were looking on, and grunting very loudly.

The sheriff stopped his horses, and asked what they were doing.

"We are rolling stones up-hill to make the sun rise," said one of the old men.

"You foolish fellow!" said the sheriff. "Don't you know that the sun will rise without any help?"

"Ah! will it?" said the old man. "Well, I never thought of that. How wise you are!"

"And what are you  doing?" said the sheriff to the young men.

"Oh, we do the grunting while our fathers do the working," they answered.

"I see," said the sheriff. "Well, that is the way the world goes every-where. " And he rode on toward the town.

He soon came to a field where a number of men were building a stone wall.

"What are you doing?" he asked.

"Why, master," they answered, "there is a cuck-oo in this field, and we are building a wall around it so as to keep the bird from straying away."

"You foolish fellows!" said the sheriff. "Don't you know that the bird will fly over the top of your wall, no matter how high you build it?"

"Why, no," they said. "We never thought of that. How very wise you are!"

The sheriff next met a man who was carrying a door on his back.

"What are you doing?" he asked.

"I have just started on a long jour-ney, " said the man.

"But why do you carry that door?" asked the sheriff.

"I left my money at home."

"Then why didn't you leave the door at home too?"

"I was afraid of thieves; and you see, if I have the door with me, they can't break it open and get in."

"You foolish fellow!" said the sheriff. "It would be safer to leave the door at home, and carry the money with you."

"Ah, would it, though?" said the man. "Now, I never thought of that. You are the wisest man that I ever saw."

Then the sheriff rode on with his men; but every one that they met was doing some silly thing.

"Truly I believe that the people of Gotham are all fools," said one of the horsemen.

"That is true," said another. "It would be a shame to harm such simple people."

"Let us ride back to London, and tell the king all about them," said the sheriff.

"Yes, let us do so," said the horsemen.

So they went back, and told the king that Gotham was a town of fools; and the king laughed, and said that if that was the case, he would not harm them, but would let them keep their noses.


Outdoor Visits  by Edith M. Patch

Ladybird Flies Away

Ladybird was not really a bird. She was a little beetle.

The two pretty wing-covers on her back were red. There was a small black spot on each one. Her two thin wings did not show. They were under her red wing-covers.

She had been in the home of Don and Nan all winter. She came into their house in the fall and found a crack or some other place she liked. Then she went to sleep.

She did not need much room for she was not so long as a fourth of one inch.


Ladybird did no harm in the house. She did not eat any rugs or clothes. She did not like that kind of food.

There was no food in the house she did like. But she was too sleepy to eat. So she was all right so long as she had a good place to rest.

Ladybird woke one pleasant day in spring. She walked about the room on her six little black feet.

She saw the sunshine at the window. She lifted her two red wing-covers and spread her two thin wings. Then she flew to the light.

Mother and Nan saw the beetle on the window glass.

"See the red beetle with black spots on its back!" said Nan.

Mother said, "That is a two-spotted ladybird. She has been resting in the house all winter. Now she would like to be outdoors. She has had nothing to eat. Perhaps she is hungry."

Mother opened the window and said, "Fly away, little Ladybird!"


Her wings were thin and small but she could fly away with them. She went as far as the park and found a rose bush.

Ladybird was hungry but she did not eat the rose bush. She did not like to eat any kind of plant.

Ladybird liked aphids to eat. So it was pleasant for her that there were some on the rose bush.


The aphids were little soft insects with long sharp beaks. They put the ends of their beaks into the tender rose stems and sucked the juice.

The rose bush needed its juice to grow with. So the aphids were not good for the bush.

Don and Nan came to visit Mr. Gray in the park. They found him looking at the rose bush.

Mr. Gray said, "I am very glad Ladybird has come. She will help me take care of the bush."


Eugene Field

The Rock-a-By Lady

The Rock-a-By Lady from Hushaby Street

Comes stealing; comes creeping;

The poppies they hang from her head to her feet,

And each hath a dream that is tiny and fleet—

She bringeth her poppies to you, my sweet,

When she findeth you sleeping!

There is one little dream of a beautiful drum—

"Rub-a-dub!" it goeth;

There is one little dream of a big sugarplum,

And lo! thick and fast the other dreams come

Of popguns that bang, and tin tops that hum,

And a trumpet that bloweth!

And dollies peep out of those wee little dreams

With laughter and singing;

And boats go a-floating on silvery streams,

And the stars peek-a-boo with their own misty gleams,

And up, up, and up, where the Mother Moon beams,

The fairies go winging!

Would you dream all these dreams that are tiny and fleet?

They'll come to you sleeping;

So shut the two eyes that are weary, my sweet,

For the Rock-a-By Lady from Hushaby Street,

With poppies that hang from her head to her feet,

Comes stealing; comes creeping.


  WEEK 11  


The Burgess Bird Book for Children  by Thornton Burgess

Chippy, Sweetvoice, and Dotty

F OR a while Jenny Wren was too busy to talk save to scold Mr. Wren for spending so much time singing instead of working. To Peter it seemed as if they were trying to fill that tree trunk with rubbish. "I should think they had enough stuff in there for half a dozen nests," muttered Peter. "I do believe they are carrying it in for the fun of working." Peter wasn't far wrong in this thought, as he was to discover a little later in the season when he found Mr. Wren building another nest for which he had no use.

Finding that for the time being he could get nothing more from Jenny Wren, Peter hopped over to visit Johnny Chuck, whose home was between the roots of an old apple-tree in the far corner of the Old Orchard. Peter was still thinking of the Sparrow family; what a big family it was, yet how seldom any of them, excepting Bully the English Sparrow, were to be found in the Old Orchard.

"Hello, Johnny Chuck!" cried Peter, as he discovered Johnny sitting on his doorstep. "You've lived in the Old Orchard a long time, so you ought to be able to tell me something I want to know. Why is it that none of the Sparrow family excepting that noisy nuisance, Bully, build in the trees of the Old Orchard? Is it because Bully has driven all the rest out?"

Johnny Chuck shook his head. "Peter," said he, "whatever is the matter with your ears? And whatever is the matter with your eyes?"

"Nothing," replied Peter rather shortly. "They are as good as yours any day, Johnny Chuck."

Johnny grinned. "Listen!" said Johnny. Peter listened. From a tree just a little way off came a clear "Chip, chip, chip, chip." Peter didn't need to be told to look. He knew without looking who was over there. He knew that voice for that of one of his oldest and best friends in the Old Orchard, a little fellow with a red-brown cap, brown back with feathers streaked with black, brownish wings and tail, a gray waistcoat and black bill, and a little white line over each eye—altogether as trim a little gentleman as Peter was acquainted with. It was Chippy, as everybody calls the Chipping Sparrow, the smallest of the family.

Peter looked a little foolish. "I forgot all about Chippy," said he. "Now I think of it, I have found Chippy here in the Old Orchard ever since I can remember. I never have seen his nest because I never happened to think about looking for it. Does he build a trashy nest like his cousin, Bully?"

Johnny Chuck laughed. "I should say not!" he exclaimed. "Twice Chippy and Mrs. Chippy have built their nest in this very old apple-tree. There is no trash in their nest, I can tell you! It is just as dainty as they are, and not a bit bigger than it has to be. It is made mostly of little fine, dry roots, and it is lined inside with horse-hair."

"What's that?" Peter's voice sounded as if he suspected that Johnny Chuck was trying to fool him.

"It's a fact," said Johnny, nodding his head gravely. "Goodness knows where they find it these days, but find it they do. Here comes Chippy himself; ask him."

Chippy and Mrs. Chippy came flitting from tree to tree until they were on a branch right over Peter and Johnny. "Hello!" cried Peter. "You folks seem very busy. Haven't you finished building your nest yet?"

"Nearly," replied Chippy. "It is all done but the horsehair. We are on our way up to Farmer Brown's barnyard now to look for some. You haven't seen any around anywhere, have you?"

Peter and Johnny shook their heads, and Peter confessed that he wouldn't know horsehair if he saw it. He often had found hair from the coats of Reddy Fox and Old Man Coyote and Digger the Badger and Lightfoot the Deer, but hair from the coat of a horse was altogether another matter.

"It isn't hair from the coat of a horse that we want," cried Chippy, as he prepared to fly after Mrs. Chippy. "It is long hair from the tail or mane of a horse that we must have. It makes the very nicest kind of lining for a nest."

Chippy and Mrs. Chippy were gone a long time, but when they did return each was carrying a long black hair. They had found what they wanted, and Mrs. Chippy was in high spirits because, as she took pains to explain to Peter, that little nest would now soon be ready for the four beautiful little blue eggs with black spots on one end she meant to lay in it.

"I just love Chippy and Mrs. Chippy," said Peter, as they watched their two little feathered friends putting the finishing touches to the little nest far out on a branch of one of the apple-trees.

"Everybody does," replied Johnny. "Everybody loves them as much as they hate Bully and his wife. Did you know that they are sometimes called Tree Sparrows? I suppose it is because they so often build their nests in trees?"

"No," said Peter, "I didn't. Chippy shouldn't be called Tree Sparrow, because he has a cousin by that name."

Johnny Chuck looked as if he doubted that. "I never heard of him," he grunted.

Peter grinned. Here was a chance to tell Johnny Chuck something, and Peter never is happier than when he can tell folks something they don't know. "You'd know him if you didn't sleep all winter," said Peter. "Dotty the Tree Sparrow spends the winter here. He left for his home in the Far North about the time you took it into your head to wake up."

"Why do you call him Dotty?" asked Johnny Chuck.

"Because he has a little round black dot right in the middle of his breast," replied Peter. "I don't know why they call him Tree Sparrow; he doesn't spend his time in the trees the way Chippy does, but I see him much oftener in low bushes or on the ground. I think Chippy has much more right to the name of Tree Sparrow than Dotty has. Now I think of it, I've heard Dotty called the Winter Chippy."

"Gracious, what a mix-up!" exclaimed Johnny Chuck. "With Chippy being called a Tree Sparrow and a Tree Sparrow called Chippy, I should think folks would get all tangled up."

"Perhaps they would," replied Peter, "if both were here at the same time, but Chippy comes just as Dotty goes, and Dotty comes as Chippy goes. That's a pretty good arrangement, especially as they look very much alike, excepting that Dotty is quite a little bigger than Chippy and always has that black dot, which Chippy does not have. Goodness gracious, it is time I was back in the dear Old Briar-patch! Good-by, Johnny Chuck."



The reddish-brown cap and dark spot in the middle of his breast are all you need to look for.


The little slate-colored and white ground bird of winter.

Away went Peter Rabbit, lipperty-lipperty-lip, heading for the dear Old Briar-patch. Out of the grass just ahead of him flew a rather pale, streaked little brown bird, and as he spread his tail Peter saw two white feathers on the outer edges. Those two white feathers were all Peter needed to recognize another little friend of whom he is very fond. It was Sweetvoice the Vesper Sparrow, the only one of the Sparrow family with white feathers in his tail.

"Come over to the dear Old Briar-patch and sing to me," cried Peter.

Sweetvoice dropped down into the grass again, and when Peter came up, was very busy getting a mouthful of dry grass. "Can't," mumbled Sweetvoice. "Can't do it now, Peter Rabbit. I'm too busy. It is high time our nest was finished, and Mrs. Sweetvoice will lose her patience if I don't get this grass over there pretty quick."

"Where is your nest; in a tree?" asked Peter innocently.

"That's telling," declared Sweetvoice. "Not a living soul knows where that nest is, excepting Mrs. Sweetvoice and myself. This much I will tell you, Peter: it isn't in a tree. And I'll tell you this much more: it is in a hoofprint of Bossy the Cow."

"In a what?" cried Peter.

"In a hoofprint of Bossy the Cow," repeated Sweetvoice, chuckling softly. "You know when the ground was wet and soft early this spring, Bossy left deep footprints wherever she went. One of these makes the nicest kind of a place for a nest. I think we have picked out the very best one on all the Green Meadows. Now run along, Peter Rabbit, and don't bother me any more. I've got too much to do to sit here talking. Perhaps I'll come over to the edge of the dear Old Briar-patch and sing to you a while just after jolly, round, red Mr. Sun goes to bed behind the Purple Hills. I just love to sing then."

"I'll be watching for you," replied Peter. "You don't love to sing any better than I love to hear you. I think that is the best time of all the day in which to sing. I mean, I think it's the best time to hear singing," for of course Peter himself does not sing at all.

That night, sure enough, just as the Black Shadows came creeping out over the Green Meadows, Sweetvoice, perched on the top of a bramble-bush over Peter's head, sang over and over again the sweetest little song and kept on singing even after it was quite dark. Peter didn't know it, but it is this habit of singing in the evening which has given Sweetvoice his name of Vesper Sparrow.


The Aesop for Children  by Milo Winter

The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse

A Town Mouse once visited a relative who lived in the country. For lunch the Country Mouse served wheat stalks, roots, and acorns, with a dash of cold water for drink. The Town Mouse ate very sparingly, nibbling a little of this and a little of that, and by her manner making it very plain that she ate the simple food only to be polite.


After the meal the friends had a long talk, or rather the Town Mouse talked about her life in the city while the Country Mouse listened. They then went to bed in a cozy nest in the hedgerow and slept in quiet and comfort until morning. In her sleep the Country Mouse dreamed she was a Town Mouse with all the luxuries and delights of city life that her friend had described for her. So the next day when the Town Mouse asked the Country Mouse to go home with her to the city, she gladly said yes.

When they reached the mansion in which the Town Mouse lived, they found on the table in the dining room the leavings of a very fine banquet. There were sweetmeats and jellies, pastries, delicious cheeses, indeed, the most tempting foods that a Mouse can imagine. But just as the Country Mouse was about to nibble a dainty bit of pastry, she heard a Cat mew loudly and scratch at the door. In great fear the Mice scurried to a hiding place, where they lay quite still for a long time, hardly daring to breathe. When at last they ventured back to the feast, the door opened suddenly and in came the servants to clear the table, followed by the House Dog.


The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse

The Country Mouse stopped in the Town Mouse's den only long enough to pick up her carpet bag and umbrella.

"You may have luxuries and dainties that I have not," she said as she hurried away, "but I prefer my plain food and simple life in the country with the peace and security that go with it."

Poverty with security is better than plenty in the midst of fear and uncertainty.


  WEEK 11  


The Girl Who Sat by the Ashes  by Padraic Colum

The King's Son Goes Seeking



A nd that is how the King's son came to hear of the beauty of the maiden who had no name.

His Muime—that is, his ancient foster-mother—had a dormer-room above the goose-fold. She wakened up before the skriek of day and she heard the geese tell of the beauty of the maiden who had on a gleaming dress, with a glittering veil and gleaming shoes. The King's son's ancient foster-mother listened to it all. She was a wise woman, and she knew that the geese had seen what they were speaking of; for the token was that they had eaten next to nothing in the marsh.

She went to the King's son, and she said to him: "Make no hasty choice, son of King Daniel. The Maiden you wed should be one that the moon would bow down to. And I want to tell you that the geese in the goose-fold are telling of one who has such beauty. You would be lucky if you could find her, and my advice to you is that you mount on your horse and ride to all places where the geese have been."

So his Muime said to the King's son. Now the first company of maidens had come that very day and they were being lodged in the fifty-five new chambers in the King's Castle. They had invited the King's son to play Blind Man's Buff up and down the stairs with them; but he listened to what his ancient foster-mother told him, and although he had on the knee-breeches that best showed his legs he sent a message asking to be excused from the game, and he mounted his horse and rode off to find the maiden that the geese made such a clamour about.

Maid-alone came to the goose-fold that morning wearing her Crow-feather Cloak. She drove the geese to the marsh, but knowing they would not feed if she had on any of her fine dresses she made no change in her garb.

The King's son went riding by on his high-mettled horse. He saw the white geese and the grey geese feeding in the great contentment with one of the ganders a little way off keeping watch and ward. A girl was standing there herding the goose-flock, and her bare feet were in the marsh-water. The King's son rode by.

And the next morning, though she came to her dormer-window to listen, the King's son's ancient foster-mother heard no talk of a maiden that was as beautiful as a poplar tree, or a shining water-lily, or as that queen in Greece that one's grandmother remembered. The light-minded geese had forgotten what they had talked about.

But they came to clamour again. The next day, Maid-alone left the flock feeding in the marsh with a gander to keep watch and ward, and she went to the hollow tree and took out the second of her fine dresses. All in silver was she clad now, with a shimmering veil and glimmering shoes.

And what befell before befell again. No goose fed that day and no gander kept watch and ward. With their necks stretched out they told each other of her beauty. They said the same things as they said before. But this time they made twice as much clamour.

When it was near sunset Maid-alone turned to go to the hollow tree. The goose-flock followed her. She ran ahead, and she had the silver dress off and the Crow-feather Cloak on before they came to where she was standing.

But they kept up the clamour in the goose-fold. They wakened up the King's son's ancient foster-mother before the stars had waned in the sky. She heard about the beauty of the maiden who was all clad in silver, and who was more lovely than a poplar tree, or a shining water-lily, or that queen in Greece that one's grandmother remembered.

"What a loss it will be," said his Muime to the King's son, "if you miss marrying the beauty that the geese go hungry from thinking about."

He was sitting in the King's Council Chamber with the King's Councillors around him. And what they were trying to decide was whether it was the first or the second company of maidens—the second company had just come—that had the right to entertain him to the game of Throwing the Apple.

"A loss it would be indeed," said the King's son, "if such a one were near and I missed fixing my choice on her." He went out of the Council Chamber and he mounted his horse and he rode to the marsh where Maid-alone was minding her goose-flock. If she had on then her bronze or her silver dress he would have been sure to notice her.

But there she was standing with her Crow-feather Cloak on and her bare feet in the marsh-water. The King's son looked at her and rode on to his father's Castle.

That day the geese fed in great contentment, and the ganders kept watch and ward in their regular order, for there was nothing for a goose-flock to stretch up necks to. But the next day Maid-alone put on the third of her fine dresses, her dress of gold, with her shining veil and her golden shoes. She went back to the marsh in that attire.

No goose fed and no gander kept watch. The goose-flock told each other the things they had told when she had on her bronze dress and when she had on her silver dress. This time they made three times the clamour they made before. The King's son's ancient foster-mother was kept awake all night. When the morning came she went to the King's son, and she told him that he would never have any luck in his life if he did not go off at once and search for the beauty that gave two-score geese cause for such clamour.

He was then standing on the steps of his father's Castle, ready to receive the third company of maidens that was coming that very day. But he mounted his horse and rode off again. And he saw a girl with a Crow-feather Cloak upon her and with grey geese and white geese standing around her. And when he saw that sight he rode back to his father's Castle and he told his Muime that that was the last time he would ride out to seek the Maiden that was without a name.


Robinson Crusoe Written Anew for Children  by James Baldwin

I Learn That I Am on an Island

THE sun was still two hours high. I was very tired after my day's work, but I could not rest. I wanted to know what sort of place I was in. I wondered whether I was on an island or on a continent.

About half a mile from the shore there was a large hill. It was steep and high and seemed to overlook all the country.

I thought that if I could get to the top of that hill I might see what kind of country I was in.

So I put one of the pistols in my belt, and one of the guns on my shoulder. I also hung the powder-horn from my neck and put a handful of small shot in my pocket.

Thus armed, I set out for the big hill.

There were but a few shrubs or trees in my way, and the walking was easy. In less than a quarter of an hour I was at my journey's end.

The sides of the hill were not rough, but they were quite steep.

Soon I was at the very top. What a grand lookout it was!

North, south, east, west, the land and the sea were spread out before me.

The sea did I say?

Yes, I was on an island, and the sea was all around.

No other land was in sight except two small islands and some great rocks that lifted themselves out of the water.

I saw that my island was not very large. Perhaps it was ten miles broad; perhaps it was twenty. I had no good idea of distances.

There was no house nor sign of life anywhere. There might be wild beasts in the woods; but I was sure that no men lived there.

The thought of being alone on a desert island made me feel very sad.

I should have been glad at that moment to see even the face of a savage.

But I dared not stay long on the hilltop. I hurried to get back to my raft before the sun should go down.

At the foot of the hill I saw a great bird sitting in a tree. I thought it to be some kind of a hawk and shot it.


The sound of the gun echoed strangely among the rocks and trees. Never before had such a sound been heard there.

I picked up the bird.

It was no hawk. It had no sharp claws nor hooked beak. Its flesh was unfit to eat, and I threw it away.

The sun had set and it was almost dark when I got back to the inlet where my raft was lying. I did not know where to go for the night, nor where to find a resting place.

But the day being gone, there was no time for thinking.

I made a kind of hut with the chests and the loose boards from the raft. Then I crept inside and lay down to rest.

For a little while I listened to every sound. At length I fell asleep and knew nothing more until broad daylight the next morning.


Alice Cary

The Wise Fairy

Once, in a rough, wild country,

On the other side of the sea,

There lived a dear little fairy,

And her home was in a tree;

A dear little, queer little fairy,

And as rich as she could be.

To northward and to southward,

She could overlook the land,

And that was why she had her house

In a tree, you understand.

For she was the friend of the friendless,

And her heart was in her hand.

And when she saw poor women

Patiently, day by day,

Spinning, spinning, and spinning

Their lonesome lives away,

She would hide in the flax of their distaffs

A lump of gold, they say.

And when she saw poor ditchers,

Knee-deep in some wet dike,

Digging, digging, and digging,

To their very graves, belike,

She would hide a shining lump of gold

Where their spades would be sure to strike.

And when she saw poor children

Their goats from the pastures take,

Or saw them milking and milking,

Till their arms were ready to break,

What a splashing in their milking-pails

Her gifts of gold would make!

Sometimes in the night, a fisher

Would hear her sweet low call,

And all at once a salmon of gold

Right out of his net would fall;

But what I have to tell you

Is the strangest thing of all.

If any ditcher, or fisher,

Or child, or spinner old,

Bought shoes for his feet, or bread to eat,

Or a coat to keep from the cold,

The gift of the good old fairy

Was always trusty gold.

But if a ditcher, or fisher,

Or spinner, or child so gay,

Bought jewels, or wine, or silks so fine,

Or staked his pleasure at play,

The fairy's gold in his very hold

Would turn to a lump of clay.

So, by and by the people

Got open their stupid eyes:

"We must learn to spend to some good end,"

They said, "if we are wise;

'T is not in the gold we waste or hold,

That a golden blessing lies."


  WEEK 11  


The Discovery of New Worlds  by M. B. Synge

The Great Fire in Rome

"Darkening the golden roof of Nero's world,

From smouldering Rome the smoke of ruin curled."

—Wm. Watson.

I T has been said, and perhaps it is true, that the emperor was mad at times and not responsible for all he did. Be this as it may, the year 64 was marked by a terrible fire in Rome, which lasted nearly a week and left a great part of Rome in ashes.

The summer had been hot and dry. One warm night in July a fire broke out in some wooden sheds where were stored quantities of spices, oil, and other materials likely to feed the flames. It has been said that the emperor himself set the city on fire in his mad rage; and that, posted on one of the highest points of Rome, dressed in one of his dramatic costumes, he took his lyre, and chanted the verses of Homer on the burning and destruction of Troy.

Here is the account from one of the old historians, Tacitus:—

"All was in the wildest confusion. Men ran hither and thither: some sought to extinguish the conflagration, some never heard that their houses were on fire till they lay in ashes. All shrieked and cried—men, women, children, old folks—in one vast confusion of sound, so that nothing could be distinguished for the noise, as nothing could be seen clearly for the smoke. Some stood silent and in despair, many were engaged in rescuing their possessions, whilst others were hard at work plundering. Men quarrelled over what was taken out of the burning houses, while the crush swayed this way and that way.

"Whilst this was going on at different points, a wind arose and spread the flames over the whole city. No one any longer thought of saving goods and houses, none now lamented their individual losses: all wailed over the general ruin and lamented the fate of the commonwealth."

The treasures gained in the East, the beautiful works of the Greek artists—statues, pictures, temples,—all were gone. A few shattered ruins stood up from among the ashes, and that was all.

Whispers that Nero had lit this fire grew loud. The emperor trembled. The guilt must be laid on some one. Why not on the Christians, who refused to take part in the emperor's riots and plays, his feasts and banquets. They were regarded with suspicion: they would be better away. As they had burned the city, argued the emperor, they themselves should be burned.

At the head of the Christians in Rome Paul was now working with his fellow-apostle Peter. He had toiled hard during his two years' residence in the great city, where the people had lost their ideals, lost their old love of freedom for their state, and lapsed into that condition of ease and luxury which, sooner or later, brings every nation to its fall. Paul was an old man now. His appeal to Nero had been successful, and he had been set at liberty. Here he had written his letters to the men of Ephesus (or the Ephesians),—beautiful letters, sad yet full of hope.

Again and again he repeated his charge to the brethren; they must carry on the work. His own end was near, his fight was nearly fought, his course was nearly finished. The end was now come.

One night a great show was announced by Nero to be held in the circus, within the gardens of the Imperial palace, at the foot of the Vatican Hill. It was summer time, and the Roman people crowded to take their places in the circus, now lit up by the flaming torches. The arena was full of stakes to which were tied human beings—Christians—wrapped in cloths of tow steeped in pitch. While these living torches flared and the shrieks of the martyrs rose above the noise of the music, Nero appeared dressed in green, in an ivory chariot, and drove on the gold sand round the circus.

But this was more than the Romans could endure, and, moved to pity, they begged that the dreadful spectacle should cease.

In this first persecution of the Christians it is said that both Paul and Peter suffered martyrdom in some form or other. Paul, as a Roman citizen, was beheaded; Peter was crucified, as his Master had been before him.

A great revulsion of feeling now set in against Nero. Such tyranny must end in disgrace. As time went on, one by one deserted him: courtiers, slaves, freedmen, all forsook him. At last the very guards at his palace left their post, and he made up his mind to flee from Rome. He could find no one to fly with him.

"Is it so hard to die?" said one man, quoting the poet Virgil.

"I have neither friend nor foe left," wailed Nero, when the gladiator he had ordered to kill him failed to do it.

It was night, a hot summer night, when the wretched emperor disguised himself and rode forth to seek a hiding-place, where at any rate his life might be safe. Summer lightning was flashing over the Alban Hills: it lit up the road before the flying emperor. He shivered with fear. As the morning dawned he was persuaded to creep into a villa owned by a freedman, Phaon. Through a hole at the back he crawled on all-fours, and threw himself on a miserable pallet inside.

A messenger rushed in with a letter. Nero snatched it from his hand and tore it open. He had been declared an enemy of the state, and was sentenced to die a traitor's death.

He must die now. Again and again he strove to nerve himself for the last effort, but it was not till the sound of the horses' hoofs was heard that he put the dagger to his throat.

So died Nero, the last of the Cæsars!


A Child's Book of Myths and Enchantment Tales  by Margaret Evans Price

The Pygmies and the Cranes

I N a valley in Africa, surrounded by high mountains and wide deserts, there once lived a race of very little people called Pygmies. The tallest man among them was no larger than a year-old baby.

They had little villages of houses just big enough for them to stand up in. They had tiny chariots in which to ride. Their bowls and dishes were the size of those which little girls use for dolls' tea parties.

They ate fruit and berries and small fish which the Pygmy fishermen caught in the river in nets made of goat's hair.

Some wore tunics of mole and squirrel fur, while others had small garments made by the Pygmy women from flax which they had spun and woven.

Altogether they were very happy little people, except only at one time of year, when the cold and the snow drove the cranes from northern countries, and sent them south.

These great long-billed birds liked to fly to Africa and spend the winter where the weather was warm and pleasant.

Wherever they alighted, they ate all the fruit from the trees and the berries from the bushes. They ruined the cornfields and trampled the flax.

The Pygmies did not want the cranes to stop in their valley or on the hills around them. So the little men armed themselves with clubs and stones, and tried to drive the great birds away.


The Pygmies armed themselves and tried to drive the great birds away.

Each year many of the cranes were killed, yet every season as the birds flew south they continued to stop at the Pygmies' valley and steal grain and fruit from their fields and gardens. Sometimes they even carried away the Pygmy babies.


Sometimes the cranes even carried away the Pygmy babies.

Now it happened that in the valley next to that of the Pygmies there lived a giant named Antaeus. He was the little people's friend and helped them in their war against the cranes.

Antaeus was the son of Neptune and the Earth. His power was unconquerable so long as his feet touched the ground, for the strength of the Earth seemed to flow into his body.

Hercules, hearing of Antaeus, wished to try his strength, and came to Africa to wrestle with the giant.

When the Pygmies learned that Hercules had come to fight with their friend, they climbed the hill overlooking Antaeus' valley, and hid themselves behind trees to watch.

Hercules challenged the giant and they locked their mighty arms around each other. Over and over they rolled, crashing down trees and scattering rocks as they wrestled. But the struggle did not tire Antaeus, for his feet still touched the earth.

At last Hercules realized that Antaeus got his strength from Mother Earth. He lifted him high in the air, and the magic strength of Antaeus left him. He grew limp and weak and lifeless, so Hercules won the fight. Tired out, he lay down to rest.

The Pygmies grieved to see Antaeus overcome. They stole down from the hilltop and would have done harm to Hercules as he lay asleep. They formed in battle line, seized their tiny spears and shields, and marched upon him, but Hercules awakened at the first prick of their little spears, and laughed at them as they charged against him and beat upon his legs.

He gathered a few of them in his arms and carried them back to Greece, intending to give them to the children of his king.

At first the poor little Pygmies were badly frightened. On the journey, Hercules carried them carefully in a pouch made of his lion's skin cloak. He let them keep their heads out, that they might see the lands through which they passed. He fed them honey and fruit, and soon the Pygmies grew fond of him, and seemed quite happy and contented.

When he reached his own land he gave them to the children of King Eurystheus for pets.


Hercules gave them to the royal children for pets.

We do not know what happened to the strange little people in their new home, but it is certain that they must have enjoyed all the new and wonderful sights, and the children of King Eurystheus must have found great happiness in their new friends.

It is very likely that the little princesses made them garments of linen and silk, and fed them from the daintiest of their dishes.

The Pygmies may have sat with them at lessons, and learned much wisdom.

It is pleasant to hope that one day, wise and traveled and experienced beyond any of their race, they returned to Africa to their own people, and shared with them the wonders they had seen in Greece.


Walter de la Mare

The Horseman

I heard a horseman

Ride over the hill;

The moon shone clear,

The night was still;

His helm was silver,

And pale was he;

And the horse he rode

Was of ivory.


  WEEK 11  


Understood Betsy  by Dorothy Canfield Fisher

What Grade Is Betsy?

Part 1 of 2

After the singing the teacher gave Elizabeth Ann a pile of schoolbooks, some paper, some pencils, and a pen, and told her to set her desk in order. There were more initials carved inside, another big H. P. with a little A. P. under it. What a lot of children must have sat there, thought the little girl as she arranged her books and papers. As she shut down the lid the teacher finished giving some instructions to three or four little ones and said, "Betsy and Ralph and Ellen, bring your reading books up here."

Betsy sighed, took out her third-grade reader, and went with the other two up to the battered old bench near the teacher's desk. She knew all about reading lessons and she hated them, although she loved to read. But reading lessons . . . ! You sat with your book open at some reading that you could do with your eyes shut, it was so easy, and you waited and waited and waited while your classmates slowly stumbled along, reading aloud a sentence or two apiece, until your turn came to stand up and read your sentence or two, which by that time sounded just like nonsense because you'd read it over and over so many times to yourself before your chance came. And often you didn't even have a chance to do that, because the teacher didn't have time to get around to you at all, and you closed your book and put it back in your desk without having opened your mouth. Reading was one thing Elizabeth Ann had learned to do very well indeed, but she had learned it all by herself at home from much reading to herself. Aunt Frances had kept her well supplied with children's books from the nearest public library. She often read three a week—very different, that, from a sentence or two once or twice a week.

When she sat down on the battered old bench she almost laughed aloud, it seemed so funny to be in a class of only three. There had been forty in her grade in the big brick building. She sat in the middle, the little girl whom the teacher had called Ellen on one side, and Ralph on the other. Ellen was very pretty, with fair hair smoothly braided in two little pig-tails, sweet, blue eyes, and a clean blue-and-white gingham dress. Ralph had very black eyes, dark hair, a big bruise on his forehead, a cut on his chin, and a tear in the knee of his short trousers. He was much bigger than Ellen, and Elizabeth Ann thought he looked rather fierce. She decided that she would be afraid of him, and would not like him at all.

"Page thirty-two," said the teacher. "Ralph first."

Ralph stood up and began to read. It sounded very familiar to Elizabeth Ann, for he did not read at all well. What was not familiar was that the teacher did not stop him after the first sentence. He read on and on till he had read a page, the teacher only helping him with the hardest words.

"Now Betsy," said the teacher.

Elizabeth Ann stood up, read the first sentence, and paused, like a caged lion pausing when he comes to the end of his cage.

"Go on," said the teacher.

Elizabeth Ann read the next sentence and stopped again, automatically.

"Go on,"  said the teacher, looking at her sharply.

The next time the little girl paused the teacher laughed out good-naturedly. "What is the matter with you, Betsy?" she said. "Go on till I tell you to stop."

So Elizabeth Ann, very much surprised but very much interested, read on, sentence after sentence, till she forgot they were sentences and just thought of what they meant. She read a whole page and then another page, and that was the end of the selection. She had never read aloud so much in her life. She was aware that everybody in the room had stopped working to listen to her. She felt very proud and less afraid than she had ever thought she could be in a schoolroom. When she finished, "You read very well!" said the teacher. "Is this very easy for you?"

"Oh, yes!"  said Elizabeth Ann.

"I guess, then, that you'd better not stay in this class," said the teacher. She took a book out of her desk. "See if you can read that."

Elizabeth Ann began in her usual school-reading style, very slow and monotonous, but this didn't seem like a "reader" at all. It was poetry, full of hard words that were fun to try to pronounce, and it was all about an old woman who would hang out an American flag, even though the town was full of rebel soldiers. She read faster and faster, getting more and more excited, till she broke out with "Halt!" in such a loud, spirited voice that the sound of it startled her and made her stop, fearing that she would be laughed at. But nobody laughed. They were all listening, very eagerly, even the little ones, with their eyes turned toward her.

"You might as well go on and let us see how it came out," said the teacher, and Betsy finished triumphantly.

"Well,"  said the teacher, "there's no sense in your reading along in the third reader. After this you'll recite out of the seventh reader with Frank and Harry and Stashie."

Elizabeth Ann could not believe her ears. To be "jumped" four grades in that casual way! It wasn't possible! She at once thought, however, of something that would prevent it entirely, and while Ellen was reading her page in a slow, careful little voice, Elizabeth Ann was feeling miserably that she must explain to the teacher why she couldn't read with the seventh-grade children. Oh, how she wished she could! When they stood up to go back to their seats she hesitated, hung her head, and looked very unhappy. "Did you want to say something to me?" asked the teacher, pausing with a bit of chalk in her hand.

The little girl went up to her desk and said, what she knew it was her duty to confess: "I can't be allowed to read in the seventh reader. I don't write a bit well, and I never get the mental number-work right. I couldn't do any thing with seventh-grade arithmetic!"

The teacher looked a little blank and said: "I didn't say anything about your number-work! I don't know  anything about it! You haven't recited yet." She turned away and began to write a list of words on the board. "Betsy, Ralph, and Ellen study their spelling," she said. "You little ones come up for your reading."

Two little boys and two little girls came forward as Elizabeth Ann began to con over the words on the board. At first she found she was listening to the little, chirping voices, as the children struggled with their reading, instead of studying "doubt, travel, cheese," and the other words in her lesson. But she put her hands over her ears, and her mind on her spelling. She wanted to make a good impression with that lesson. After a while, when she was sure she could spell them all correctly, she began to listen and look around her. She always "got" her spelling in less time than was allowed the class, and usually sat idle, looking out of the window until that study period was over. But now the moment she stopped staring at the board and moving her lips as she spelled to herself the teacher said, just as though she had been watching her every minute instead of conducting a class, "Betsy, have you learned your spelling?"

"Yes, ma'am, I think so," said Elizabeth Ann, wondering very much why she was asked.

"That's fine," said the teacher. "I wish you'd take little Molly over in that corner and help her with her reading. She's getting on so much better than the rest of the class that I hate to have her lose her time. Just hear her read the rest of her little story, will you, and don't help her unless she's really stuck."

Elizabeth Ann was startled by this request, which was unheard-of in her experience. She was very uncertain of herself as she sat down on a low chair in the corner of the schoolroom away from the desks, with the little child leaning on her knee. And yet she was not exactly afraid, either, because Molly was such a shy little roly-poly thing, with her crop of yellow curls, and her bright blue eyes very serious as she looked hard at the book and began: "Once there was a rat. It was a fat rat." No, it was impossible to be frightened of such a funny little girl, who peered so earnestly into the older child's face to make sure she was doing her lesson right.

Elizabeth Ann had never had anything to do with children younger than herself, and she felt very pleased and important to have anybody look up to her!  She put her arm around Molly's square, warm, fat little body and gave her a squeeze. Molly snuggled up closer, and the two children put their heads together over the printed page, Elizabeth Ann correcting Molly very gently indeed when she made a mistake, and waiting patiently when she hesitated. She had so fresh in her mind her own suffering from quick, nervous corrections that she took the greatest pleasure in speaking quietly and not interrupting the little girl more than was necessary. It was fun to teach, lots  of fun! She was surprised when the teacher said, "Well, Betsy, how did Molly do?"

"Oh, is the time up?" said Elizabeth Ann. "Why, she does beautifully, I think, for such a little thing."

"Do you suppose," said the teacher thoughtfully, just as though Betsy were a grown-up person, "do you suppose she could go into the second reader, with Eliza? There's no use keeping her in the first if she's ready to go on."

Elizabeth Ann's head whirled with this second light-handed juggling with the sacred distinction between the grades. In the big brick schoolhouse nobody ever  went into another grade except at the beginning of a new year, after you'd passed a lot of examinations. She had not known that anybody could do anything else. The idea that everybody took a year to a grade, no matter  what! was so fixed in her mind that she felt as though the teacher had said: "How would you like to stop being nine years old and be twelve instead? And don't you think Molly would better be eight instead of six?"


The Adventures of Prickly Porky  by Thornton Burgess

What Happened to Reddy Fox

R EDDY FOX wished with all his might that he had kept his tongue still about not being afraid to meet the strange creature that had given Peter Rabbit such a fright. When he had boasted that he would stop and find out all about it if he happened to meet it, he didn't have the least intention of doing anything of the kind. He was just idly boasting and nothing more. You see, Reddy is one of the greatest boasters in the Green Forest or on the Green Meadows. He likes to strut around and talk big. But like most boasters, he is a coward at heart.

Unc' Billy Possum knew this, and that is why he dared Reddy to go the next morning to the foot of the hill where Prickly Porky the Porcupine lives, and where Peter Rabbit had had his strange adventure, and where Unc' Billy himself claimed to have seen the same strange creature without head, tail, or legs which had so frightened Peter. Unc' Billy had said that he would be there himself up in a tree where he could see whether Reddy really did come or not, and so there was nothing for Reddy to do but to go and make good his foolish boast, if the strange creature should appear. You see, a number of little people had heard him boast and had heard Unc' Billy dare him, and he knew that if he didn't make good, he would never hear the end of it and would be called a coward by everybody.

Reddy didn't sleep at all well that afternoon, and when at dusk he started to hunt for his supper, he found that he had lost his appetite. Instead of hunting, he spent most of the night in trying to think of some good reason for not appearing at Prickly Porky's hill at daybreak. But think as he would, he couldn't think of a single excuse that would sound reasonable. "If only Bowser the Hound wasn't chained up at night, I would get him to chase me, and then I would have the very best kind of an excuse," thought he. But he knew that Bowser was  chained. Nevertheless he did go up to Farmer Brown's dooryard to make sure. It was just as he expected,—Bowser was chained.

Reddy sneaked away without even a look at Farmer Brown's hen-house. He didn't see that the door had carelessly been left open, and even if he had, it would have made no difference. He hadn't a bit of appetite. No, Sir. Reddy Fox wouldn't have eaten the fattest chicken there if it had been right before him. All he could think of was that queer story told by Peter Rabbit and Unc' Billy Possum, and the scrape he had got himself into by his foolish boasting. He just wandered about restlessly, waiting for daybreak and hoping that something would turn up to prevent him from going to Prickly Porky's hill. He didn't dare to tell old Granny Fox about it. He knew just what she would say. It seemed as if he could hear her sharp voice and the very words:

"Serves you right for boasting about something you don't know anything about. How many times have I told you that no good comes of boasting? A wise Fox never goes near strange things until he has found out all about them. That is the only way to keep out of trouble and live to a ripe old age. Wisdom is nothing but knowledge, and a wise Fox always knows what he is doing."

So Reddy wandered about all the long night. It seemed as if it never would pass, and yet he wished it would last forever. The more he thought about it, the more afraid he grew. At last he saw the first beams from jolly, round, red Mr. Sun creeping through the Green Forest. The time had come, and he must choose between making his boast good or being called a coward by everybody. Very, very slowly, Reddy Fox began to walk towards the hill where Prickly Porky lives.


William Wordsworth

Lines Written in Early Spring

I heard a thousand blended notes,

While in a grove I sate reclined,

In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts

Bring sad thoughts to the mind.

To her fair works did Nature link

The human soul that through me ran;

And much it grieved my heart to think

What man has made of man.

Through primrose tufts, in that green bower,

The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;

And 'tis my faith that every flower

Enjoys the air it breathes.

The birds around me hopped and played,

Their thoughts I cannot measure:—

But the least motion which they made

It seemed a thrill of pleasure.

The budding twigs spread out their fan,

To catch the breezy air;

And I must think, do all I can,

That there was pleasure there.

If this belief from heaven be sent,

If such be Nature's holy plan,

Have I not reason to lament

What man has made of man?


  WEEK 11  


Our Island Saints  by Amy Steedman

Saint Patrick

Part 2 of 2

The glad season of Easter was close at hand, but it held no meaning for the people of this dark land. True, they had their own religion, a strange worship of the sun, and their priests, who were called Druids, were said to possess magical powers and great wisdom. They had great festivals too in which all the people joined, and one of these was just about to be held at Tara. Here the Druids were all assembled to do honour to the sun, which was becoming powerful enough to put winter to flight and warm the spring buds into summer blossoms. For some days before the feast, every fire was put out, and not a light was allowed to be kindled, on pain of death, until the great festal light should be lighted on the Hill of Tara.

Now Patrick was brave as a lion, and his heart was set on delivering his message and spreading the True Light in this heathen darkness, so there was no room for fear. The gathering of the priests and the presence of the powerful King Laoghaire seemed to him a splendid opportunity of fighting the powers of evil.

Across hill and dale he travelled swiftly with his little band of followers until he reached the Hill of Slane, close to Tara. There, on Easter Eve, when the land was wrapt in darkness, when not the faintest glimmer of a light could be seen in the solemn blackness that brooded over Tara's Hill, he lit his Easter fire and watched the tongues of flame as they shot up and lighted the whole country round.

The King and his councillors the Druids came hastily together in anger and astonishment when they saw the glowing light.

"Who has dared to do this thing?" asked the King in a fury.

"It is none of our people," said the priest: "it is the challenge of an enemy."

The wise men were troubled and talked together in half-fearful tones. There was an ancient prophecy which rung in their ears, and made them wonder if the man they had seen wending his way at the head of his little company that day to the Hill of Slane was possessed of some magic power.

Slowly one of the Druids chanted the verse, while the others listened sullenly.

"He comes, he comes with shaven crown,

from off the storm-tossed sea,

His garment piercèd at the neck,

with crook-like staff comes he.

Far in his house, at its east end,

his cups and patins lie.

His people answer to his voice:

Amen, Amen, they cry. Amen, Amen."

"Whoe'er he be, he shall not come to challenge our power," quoth the King. "We will go forth and punish this bold stranger."

Down the dark silent hillside the King and his councillors rode furiously, and never stopped until they reached the Hill of Slane. But there the Druids called a halt.

"Let a messenger be sent to fetch forth the man," they said; "we will not venture within the line of his magic fire."

"We will receive him here," said the King, "and let no man rise when he approaches lest he should think that in any way we seek to honour him."

So the men sat down silently to wait until the messenger should return, and ere long Patrick was seen to come swiftly down the hill towards them. That was the man, there was no doubt of it. As he came nearer they could see the shaven crown, the robe pierced at the neck, and in his hand the crook-like staff, while from the hill-top could be heard the music of the Easter hymn and the chanting of the loud "Amen."

The company sat silent and unmoved as Patrick approached. Only one little lad, watching with intent eyes the face of the stranger, rose to his feet in reverent greeting, forgetting the King's command.

A gentle look came into Patrick's eyes as he noticed the eager greeting and, raising his hand, he blessed the little lad.

"Who art thou, and what is thy errand here?" thundered the King.

"I am a torchbearer," answered Patrick. "I bring the True Light to lighten this dark land, to spread around peace and goodwill. All I ask is that thou wilt hear my message."

Alone and unarmed but quite fearless, Patrick stood up before the angry men next day, and spoke such words as they had never heard before. It was a new and wonderful teaching, and many of the wise men and nobles listened eagerly; and when he was done they came and asked to be baptized and enrolled under the banner of Patrick's God.

That was a glad Eastertide for the bishop, and as time went on the light spread far and wide. Many there were who shut their eyes and loved the darkness rather than the light, but Patrick was wise in his dealings with them all. He was never harsh or scornful of their beliefs, but always tried to lead them through what was good and beautiful in their own religion, using old customs and feasts to do honour to Christ, giving them a new meaning that linked them to His service.

Then, too, he wisely tried to win over the chief men of the land to become Christians, knowing that their followers would the more readily follow their masters. Young boys were also his special care, remembering as he always did his bitter years of lonely slavery, and these lads were to him as sons. The boy he had blessed on that Easter Eve on the hillside of Slane was now one of his followers, and years afterwards we hear of him as Bishop of Slane. It was one of these lads whom Patrick loved so well, whose bravery and loyal devotion once saved the good bishop's life.

Coming one day to the spot where a great stone marked the place of the Druids' worship, Patrick overthrew the stone that he might set up an altar instead. This was considered a terrible insult, and one of the heathen chiefs vowed that, come what might, he would kill Patrick wherever he found him.

Now the lad who drove Patrick's chariot heard this threat, and accordingly guarded his master with increased watchfulness. At last, however, his enemy's opportunity came, for Patrick's journeying took him past the chief's abode. The boy Oran knew that his master had no fear and would never turn aside to escape danger, so, as they neared the place, he thought of a plan to save him.

"I grow so weary with this long day of driving, my master," he said. "My hands can scarce hold the reins. If thou wouldst but drive for a space and let me rest, all would be well."

"Thou shouldst have asked sooner, my son," said the bishop kindly. "I am but a hard master to overtask thy strength."

So saying, Patrick changed seats, and gathering up the reins, drove on, while the boy sat behind in his master's seat, and prayed that the gathering darkness might close in swiftly, so that no one could mark the change.

Very soon they reached the outskirts of a dense wood, and from the sheltering trees a dark figure sprang out. The frightened horse reared for a moment, there was a singing sound of some weapon whizzing through the air, and when Patrick turned to see what it meant, the boy lay dead with a javelin in his heart—the murderer's weapon, which had been meant for the master. Well might Patrick, as he knelt there in his bitter grief, bear in his heart the echo of his Master's words, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."

Journeying on from place to place teaching the people, Patrick came at one time to Cruachan, and there, by the well of Clebach, he stopped to rest in the early morning with his little band of followers. Very earnestly they talked together in the dim morning light, and they had no eyes to notice the glorious golden banners flung out in the east to herald the rising sun, nor did they notice two white-clad figures that came stealing up towards the well where they sat.

When the day is just awakening, and the stillness and mystery of the night still lies hid in sleepy hollows and shadowy woods, there is a magic spell upon the earth. It is the same old world, and yet all is fresh, all is good and beautiful. Fear is not yet awake. Wild creatures are tame and friendly. Who would hurt them in this magic hour? Every flower holds its drop of dew close at its heart; there will be time enough to open later on when the sunbeams steal in and drink the crystal drops. Some there are who call this time "God's hour," and say the strange hush and peacefulness are there because the good God walks through His world at dawn.

It was at this hour that King Laoghaire's two daughters, Ethne and Fedelin, stole up the hillside to bathe in the clear waters of the Clebach spring. Hand in hand they climbed, glancing half fearfully at the hollows where the shadows still lingered, and speaking in whispers lest they should frighten the fairies that had been dancing all night on the hillside.

Suddenly, when they came in sight of the well, they stopped in amazement and half in fear. Had they caught the fairies at last, or were these spirits, these quiet solemn men seated there like a circle of grey ghosts?

Slowly Ethne the Fair went forward and spoke to the spirit who seemed to be king among the rest.

"Whence do you come?" she asked, "and what is your name?"

Fedelin the Ruddy then drew near to hear the answer. She was no longer afraid when she saw how kindly was the look in the stranger's eyes.

"Nay," answered Patrick, "it matters little who I am and whence I came, for I must soon pass away. Better it were to seek to know the God whom I serve, for He liveth for ever."

"Who is your God?" asked Ethne, "and where is He? Is He in heaven or in earth, in the sea or in mountains?"

"How can we know Him?" asked Fedelin. "Where is He to be found?"

"My God is the God of all men, and He is everywhere," answered Patrick. Then, pointing to the rosy east, the mist-wrapt mountains and homely meadowland, he told them how God had made the world and all that is in it, how He loved it, and had sent His son, born of a pure virgin, to redeem it.

"He is the King of Heaven and Earth," said Patrick, "and it is meet that ye, the daughters of an earthly king, should also be the children of the heavenly King."

It was a wonderful story, and the two maidens listened with breathless attention. "Teach us most diligently how we may believe in the heavenly King," they said. "Show us how we may see Him face to face, and whatsoever thou shalt say unto us, we will do."

The clear water of the fountain was close at hand, and Patrick led the two fair princesses to the brink and there baptized them in the name of Christ.

"Yet can ye not see the King face to face," he said, "until ye sleep in death and your souls shall wing their way up to His starry chamber."

The maidens earnestly prayed that they might not have long to wait, and the old story tells us that then they "received the Eucharist of God, and they slept in death." Like two fair flowers just opening their petals in the dawning light, the Master's hand gathered them before the heat and dust of the working day had time to wither their freshness or soil their spotless purity.

Many there were besides these gentle maidens who learned to believe in Patrick's God. His teaching came like a trumpet-call to the strong men and lawless chieftains who ruled the land. They were brave and fearless warriors these heathen chiefs, men who met pain and suffering with unflinching courage and scorned to show their hurt; men after Patrick's own heart, fit soldiers to serve his King. There was one, Aengus by name, King of Munster, who gladly obeyed the call and welcomed Patrick to his palace, asking that he might be baptized and received as God's servant. The water was brought and Patrick, leaning on his crozier, did not notice that the sharp point was resting on the foot of Aengus. Deeper and deeper the point pierced the bare foot as Patrick went through the service, but not a sign did the brave man make. This, he thought, must be part of his baptism, and he was ready, nay, eager to endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

Not until Patrick tried to lift his staff did he perceive what he had done, and then, in spite of his sorrow, the sight of that pierced foot made him thank God in his heart for a brave man's endurance.

It was the custom of many of these chieftains when they became Christians, to give Patrick a piece of land on which to build a church, so ere long churches and monasteries were built wherever Patrick journeyed, and there he left teachers to carry on his work. All who loved learning found their way to these monasteries, and among them were many of the Druids, who were the poets and musicians of that time. They tuned their harps now in God's service, and so beautiful was the music they made that it is said "the angels of heaven stooped down to listen," and the harp became the badge of Christian Ireland.

As a rule Patrick was allowed to choose which piece of land he wanted, but when he came to Armagh, the chieftain, whose name was Daire, would only allow him to have a piece of low-lying meadowland, and refused to give him the good place on the hillside which Patrick had wanted. Then, perhaps feeling a little ashamed of himself, he thought that he would make it up to the good bishop by presenting him with a splendid present. This was a wonderful brass cauldron which had been brought from over the sea, and there was no other like it in the land. So Daire came to where Patrick was and presented the cauldron.

"This cauldron is thine," said Daire. "Gratzacham" (I thank thee), answered the saint. That was all, and Daire went home, becoming more and more angry as he went.

"The man is a fool," he said; "he can say nothing for a wonderful cauldron of three firkins except Gratzacham."

Then, turning to his slaves, he added: "Go and bring us back our cauldron."

So back they went and said to Patrick, "We must take away the cauldron." And all that Patrick said was, "Gratzacham, take it."

Now, when they returned to Daire, carrying the cauldron, he asked them, "What said the Christian when ye took away the cauldron?"

"He said Gratzacham again," answered the slaves.

"He saith the same when I give as when I take away," said Daire. "He is a man not easily moved, and he shall have his cauldron back."

And not only was the cauldron returned, but the chieftain himself came to Patrick and told him he should have the piece of land which he desired. Together they went to climb the hill, and when they came to the place they found there a roe lying with her fawn. The men ran forward and would have killed the fawn, but Patrick was quicker than they, and he lifted the little creature gently in his arms and carried it to another place of safety. The roe seemed to know he was a friend, and trotted happily by his side until he stooped down and gave her back her fawn once more. Some say that the altar of the great cathedral of Armagh covers the spot where once on the grassy hillside the fawn found a shelter in the arms of Saint Patrick.

The years went by, and each day was filled by Patrick with service for his Master, until the useful life drew to a close. Then, in the spring of the Year, when the March winds were blowing, when the shamrocks he loved were decking the land in dainty green, came the King's command, "Come up higher." It was but a gentle call, for he had dwelt so close to the Master that it was only a step from the Seen to the Unseen, and he needed no loud summons, for his feet were on the threshold of home.

"Christ with me, Christ before me,

Christ behind me, Christ within me,

Christ beneath me, Christ above me,

Christ at my right, Christ at my left,

Christ in the fort,

Christ in the chariot-seat,

Christ in the ship."

So runs part of the beautiful old hymn of Saint Patrick, and we do not wonder that he who was so truly a follower of Christ came to be called a saint.

A helpless captive, a hard-worked slave, a lonely swineherd! Who would have dreamed that to him would have belonged the honour of leading into freedom and light the land of his captivity? Who would have thought that the lowly slave would be the torchbearer of the King, the patron saint of the green isle of Erin?


The Sandman: His Ship Stories  by Willliam J. Hopkins

The Chanty Story

O NCE upon a time there was a wide river that ran into the ocean, and beside it was a little city. And in that city was a wharf where great ships came from far countries. And a narrow road led down a very steep hill to that wharf, and anybody that wanted to go to the wharf had to go down the steep hill on the narrow road, for there wasn't any other way. And because ships had come there for a great many years, and all the sailors and all the captains and all the men who had business with the ships had to go on that narrow road, the flagstones that made the sidewalks were much worn. That was a great many years ago.

The river and the ocean are there yet, as they always have been and always will be; and the city is there, but it is a different kind of a city from what it used to be. And the wharf is slowly falling down, for it is not used now; and the narrow road down the steep hill is all grown up with weeds and grass.

Once, in the long ago, the brig Industry  had sailed from that wharf and had sailed away over the great ocean for many days, around the end of the country where the monkeys live, and had come to the far country. And the sailors had taken out the things she had brought to that country to sell and they had loaded her with all the pretty things that she would carry home again. And they had put aboard all the things that they would eat on the way home and the water that they would drink, and she was all ready to start.

And, pretty soon, the mate saw Captain Solomon coming out to them in his boat. Then he told the sailors to pull in on the anchor chains; for the Industry  was anchored out in the middle of a river. The water near the shore wasn't deep enough for a ship as big as the Industry  to go in, and the Industry  wasn't a very big ship, either.

"Heave her short, now!" said the mate. "Rouse her up, boys!" And that meant to pull in the anchor chains until they were almost straight up and down. A ship at anchor lies with the anchor chains pretty well out, for that makes the anchors take a better hold of the mud and dirt at the bottom.

"Aye, aye, sir!" cried the sailors. And some of them went to the capstan, and they went running. And each sailor, as he got to the capstan, took a capstan bar out of the rack where the bars were, and he put the end of it into a hole in the top of the capstan where it was meant to go. The capstan is shaped something like a person's body, with a big top, where the bars go in, and a smaller part, a sort of a waist, where the chain goes around like a belt, and the bottom part next to the deck is big around again, as though the body didn't have any legs. And when they aren't using the capstan they keep the bars on a rack near it.


Before you could have said "Jack Robinson" all the capstan bars were in the holes that were meant for them, in the capstan head, and behind each bar was a sailor, to push. And another sailor was all ready to take in the slack of the chain and pile it nicely in a heap. The chain was very heavy, and it really needed two sailors to take it in and pile it. They didn't coil it, as they would have done with a rope.

And when the sailors were all ready, the second mate said, "Now, chanty her up, boys!" A chanty is a queer kind of a song, and it is a great help in pulling on the ropes; just the same kind of help that the music of a band is to men that are marching. Chanty is called shanty.


As soon as the second mate had said that, one of the sailors began to sing. The same one always began to sing, whatever the sailors were pulling on; and so he was called the chanty-man. And he began to roar out the song, but the sound was sweet enough, too.

In Amsterdam there dwelt a maid,

And, before he had quite finished his line, all the sailors began to roar out the chorus.

Mark well what I do say!

Then, before the sailors had quite finished their line, the chanty-man began again:

In Amsterdam there dwelt a maid,

In Amsterdam there dwelt a maid,

And the sailors didn't wait until he had finished, but sang again:

I'll go no more a-ro-o-ving with you, fair maid,

A-roving, a-roving,

Since roving's been my ru-i-in.

I'll go no more a-ro-o-ving with you, fair maid.

As soon as the song was begun, the sailors began to push on the capstan bars. They went slowly at first, for they had to move the ship as they pulled in the chain; but as the ship began to move, they went faster and faster, until they were running around the capstan. And every sailor had to step over the anchor chain twice every time he went around, once where it went out to the anchor and again where the sailor was taking up the slack and piling it. And they stamped their feet in time to the chanty, and they roared out the song; and the anchor chain kept coming in, and it clanked merrily as it came.

And all the men in boats on that river stopped whatever they were doing when they heard the noise of that chanty and the sound of the chain; for it was as merry a noise as you would be likely to hear. And all the men on shore, as far as the sound reached, stopped their work, too; so that, while the Industry  was being pulled up to her anchor, there was no work done within reach of the noise of the chanty. And Captain Solomon heard it, while he was being rowed out to the ship, and he smiled. And the sailors that were rowing him heard it, and they only rowed the harder.

There were several stanzas, or verses, to that chanty, and the sailors began at the beginning again when they had finished it once. But they hadn't time to finish it twice before the second mate said that the anchor was hove short, and he told them to stop. And they stopped, and each sailor took out his bar and put it in the rack again. And the sailors felt so lively because they had sung that chanty, that they ran, and one of them turned a handspring. But the second mate told that sailor that he had better save his strength for the halliards and the braces. And the sailor didn't say anything, for it isn't a good plan for a sailor to answer the second mate or the first mate or the captain, unless he says, "Yes, sir!" or "Aye, aye, sir!"

Then Captain Solomon came aboard and his boat was hoisted up to its place. But while this was being done, the sailors were all busy in getting up the fore- topsail. On the Industry, this sail was all in one piece, although, later, they made the topsails of ships in two pieces, the upper topsails and the lower topsails. For single topsails were very heavy and hard to manage. To get them up, they had to hoist the great yard, with the sail that was fastened to it, and it was very hard work to do this.

But the sailors took hold of the halliards, and when they were all ready, they gave two or three pulls, and then the chanty-man began:

A long, long time and a long time ago,

And then the sailors sang a chorus, without waiting for the chanty-man to finish.

To me, way hay, o-hi-o.

The sailors stamped their feet and pulled on the halliards when they sang this. And the chanty-man began again before the sailors had quite finished.

A long, long time and a long time ago,

And the sailors sang again:

A long time ago,

Then the chanty-man,

A smart Yankee packet lay out in the bay.

And the sailors,

To me, way hay, o-hi-o.

Then the chanty-man,

A smart Yankee packet lay out in the bay,

And the sailors,

A long time ago.

And the chanty-man and the sailors kept singing this song, and the yard kept bumping up, until, at last, it was up as far as it would go, and then the sailors stopped singing. For this chanty was the kind that they could stop at one place as well as another.

Then the sailors finished getting up the anchor, and it came out of the mud very hard, for it had been there for three weeks. So they had to go slowly around the capstan, and push as hard as they could, while they sang:

In Amsterdam there lived a maid.

But the anchor came out at last with a jump, so that the sailors almost fell down. And some of them took their bars out of the capstan quickly, and put them in the rack, and jumped for the jib halliards, to hoist the jib. For the wind was blowing down the river, and they had to turn around. And two men finished heaving up the anchor while the ship was turning.

At last the Industry  was turned around and heading down the river, and the sailors hoisted some more sails. And some of them they helped go up with the same chanty they had sung before,

A long, long time and a long time ago.

But when they were tired of singing this one, they sang a new one. The tune to it was a sad kind of a tune.

The chanty-man began it.

They call me Hanging Johnny,

And then the sailors sang the chorus:


And the chanty-man sang again:

They call me Hanging Johnny,

Then the sailors sang:

So hang, boys, hang.

It was a slow, wavering kind of a tune, and Captain Solomon didn't like it.

"Avast there!" he cried. "That's a pretty chanty to be singing when we're just bound for home. Can't you sing something more cheerful?"

And the men grinned, and they cheered when he said they were just bound home; and they finished hoisting that sail to a new tune.

The chanty-man sang:

Come all you little nigger boys,

And the sailors sang the chorus:

And roll the cotton down.


Then the chanty-man sang again:

Come all you little nigger boys,

And the sailors roared out:

And roll the cotton down.

That made Captain Solomon laugh, for it was a merry tune. "That's the sort!" he said. And the sailors laughed, too, for it made them feel frisky. But, by this time, they were beginning to be tired with all their pulling on ropes and hoisting sails, so that they didn't caper very much.

And by and by the Industry  had got out of that river and she was sailing on a great ocean. And she had to change her course, and, to make the wind take her sails right, they had to swing the yards around as far as they would go. And the mate had all the sailors take hold of the braces, which are the right ropes to swing the yards around; and they wanted to swing the main-yard and the fore-yard at the same time. These are the heaviest yards and the biggest that there are on the ship.

So the mate had all the men take hold of these ropes, and strain them tightly.

"Now, chanty up, there," he cried, "and run away with them."

And when he said that, the sailors all burst out singing with a roar, and they began to walk away with the ropes; but they went faster and faster. And this was the song they sang:

What shall we do with a drunken sailor?

What shall we do with a drunken sailor?

What shall we do with a drunken sailor?

So early in the morning?

Way, hay, there she rises;

Way, hay, there she rises;

Way, hay, there she rises,

So early in the morning.

And they stamped their feet in time to the "Way, hay," and by the time they had finished this much of the song, they were running; and the great yards were spinning around, and altogether there was a great noise and excitement. But there was another stanza, and they had time to sing it before the yards were where they wanted them to be.

Chuck him in the long-boat till he gets sober,

Chuck him in the long-boat till he gets sober,

Chuck him in the long-boat till he gets sober,

So early in the morning.

Way, hay, there she rises;

Way, hay, there she rises;

Way, hay, there she rises;

So early in the morning.

And the great yards came around with a crash, and the sailors made the ropes fast to big pins that were stuck in the rail.

Then there were other ropes to be hauled, to make the sails take the wind better. Those ropes were called bowlines. And the sailors all took hold of the bowlines, and the chanty-man began singing:

Haul on the bowline,

The fore and main-top bowline,

Haul on the bowline.

And then the sailors sang:

The bowline haul.

And the sailors pulled on the ropes in time to the chanty, and with the last word of it all, they fell back on the rope and gave a great pull. And the bowlines were made fast to other pins.

And so they did with every rope that they had to pull and haul on, and there was a chanty for every kind of a rope. The sailors always sang, or roared, whenever they had to pull on any kind of a rope, but it is not told about in the other ship stories, because it would make them too long.

And that's all.


James Whitcomb Riley

When Early March Seems Middle May

When country roads begin to thaw

In mottled spots of damp and dust,

And fences by the margin draw

Along the frosty crust

Their graphic silhouettes, I say,

The Spring is coming round this way.

When morning-time is bright with sun

And keen with wind, and both confuse

The dancing, glancing eyes of one

With tears that ooze and ooze—

And nose-tips weep as well as they,

The Spring is coming round this way.

When suddenly some shadow-bird

Goes wavering beneath the gaze,

And through the hedge the moan is heard

Of kine that fain would graze

In grasses new, I smile and say,

The Spring is coming round this way.

When knotted horse-tails are untied,

And teamsters whistle here and there,

And clumsy mitts are laid aside,

And choppers' hands are bare,

And chips are thick where children play,

The Spring is coming round this way.

When through the twigs the farmer tramps,

And troughs are chunked beneath the trees,

And fragrant hints of sugar-camps

Astray in every breeze—

When early March seems middle-May,

The Spring is coming round this way.

When coughs are changed to laughs, and when

Our frowns melt into smiles of glee,

And all our blood thaws out again

In streams of ecstasy,

And poets wreak their roundelay,

The Spring is coming round this way.