Text of Plan #970
  WEEK 20  


Pinocchio  by Carlo Collodi

Pinocchio Is Liberated from Prison

Liberated from prison, he starts to return to the Fairy's house; but on the road he meets with a horrible serpent, and afterwards he is caught in a trap.

Y OU can imagine Pinocchio's joy when he found himself free. Without stopping to take breath he immediately left the town and took the road that led to the Fairy's house.


On account of the rainy weather the road had become a marsh into which he sank knee-deep. But the puppet would not give in. Tormented by the desire of seeing his father and his little sister with blue hair again he ran and leapt like a greyhound, and as he ran he was splashed with mud from head to foot. And he said to himself as he went along: "How many misfortunes have happened to me . . . and I deserved them! for I am an obstinate, passionate puppet . . . I am always bent upon having my own way, without listening to those who wish me well, and who have a thousand times more sense than I have! . . . But from this time forth I am determined to change and to become orderly and obedient . . . For at last I have seen that disobedient boys come to no good and gain nothing. And will my papa have waited for me? Shall I find him at the Fairy's house! Poor man, it is so long since I last saw him: I am dying to embrace him, and to cover him with kisses! And will the Fairy forgive me my bad conduct to her? . . . To think of all the kindness and loving care I received from her . . . to think that if I am now alive I owe it to her! . . . Would it be possible to find a more ungrateful boy, or one with less heart than I have! . . ."

Whilst he was saying this he stopped suddenly, frightened to death, and made four steps backwards.

What had he seen? . . .

He had seen an immense Serpent stretched across the road. Its skin was green, it had red eyes, and a pointed tail that was smoking like a chimney.

It would be impossible to imagine the puppet's terror. He walked away to a safe distance, and sitting down on a heap of stones waited until the Serpent should have gone about its business and had left the road clear.

He waited an hour; two hours; three hours; but the Serpent was always there, and even from a distance he could see the red light of his fiery eyes and the column of smoke that ascended from the end of his tail.

At last Pinocchio, trying to feel courageous, approached to within a few steps, and said to the Serpent in a little, soft, insinuating voice:

"Excuse me, Sir Serpent, but would you be so good as to move a little to one side, just enough to allow me to pass?"

He might as well have spoken to the wall. Nobody moved.

He began again in the same soft voice:

"You must know, Sir Serpent, that I am on my way home, where my father is waiting for me, and it is such a long time since I saw him last! . . . Will you therefore allow me to continue my road?"

He waited for a sign in answer to this request, but there was none: in fact the Serpent, who up to that moment had been sprightly and full of life, became motionless and almost rigid. He shut his eyes and his tail ceased smoking.

"Can he really be dead?" said Pinocchio, rubbing his hands with delight; and he determined to jump over him and reach the other side of the road. But just as he was going to leap the Serpent raised himself suddenly on end, like a spring set in motion; and the puppet, drawing back, in his terror caught his feet and fell to the ground.

And he fell so awkwardly that his head stuck in the mud and his legs went into the air.

At the sight of the puppet kicking violently with his head in the mud the Serpent went into convulsions of laughter, and he laughed, and laughed, and laughed, until from the violence of his laughter he broke a blood-vessel in his chest and died. And that time he was really dead.

Pinocchio then set off running in hopes that he should reach the Fairy's house before dark. But before long he began to suffer so dreadfully from hunger that he could not bear it, and he jumped into a field by the way-side intending to pick some bunches of muscatel grapes. Oh, that he had never done it!

He had scarcely reached the vines when crac . . . his legs were caught between two cutting iron bars, and he became so giddy with pain that stars of every colour danced before his eyes.

The poor puppet had been taken in a trap put there to capture some big polecats who were the scourge of the poultry-yards in the neighbourhood.


The poor puppet had been taken in a trap.


Richard of Jamestown  by James Otis

Captain John Smith Comes to London

This man was no other than Captain John Smith, who, although at this time not above six and twenty years of age, had already served in the French, in the Dutch, and in the Transylvanian armies, where he had met and overcome many dangers.

He had been robbed and beaten and thrown into the sea because of not believing in the religion of the men who attacked him; he had been a slave among the Turks; he had fought, one after another, three of the bravest in the Turkish army, and had cut off the head of each in turn.

Can it be wondered at that Nathaniel Peacock and I were filled to overflowing with admiration for this wonderful soldier, or that we desired above all things to see him?

We loitered about the streets of London town from daylight until night had come again, hoping to feast our eyes upon this same John Smith, who was to us one of the wonders of the world, because in so short a time he had made his name as a soldier famous in all countries, and yet we saw him not.


We had searched London town over and over for mayhap a full month, doing nothing else save hunt for the man whose life had been so filled with adventure, and each time we returned home, Mistress Peacock reproached me with being an idle good for nothing, and Nathaniel but little better.

I believe it was her harsh words which caused to spring up in my heart a desire to venture into the new world, where it was said gold could be found in abundance, and even the smallest lad might pick up whatsoever of wealth he desired, if so be his heart was strong enough to brave the journey across the great ocean.

The more I thought of what could be found in that land, which was called Virginia, the stronger grew my desire, until the time came when it was a fixed purpose in my mind, and not until then did I breathe to Nathaniel a word of that which had been growing within me.

He took fire straightway I spoke of what it might be possible for us lads to do, and declared that whether his mother were willing or no, he would brave all the dangers of that terrible journey overseas, if so be we found an opportunity.

To him it seemed a simple matter that, having once found a ship which was to sail for the far-off land, we might hide ourselves within her, having gathered sufficient of food to keep us alive during the journey. But how this last might be done, his plans had not been made.


Richard of Jamestown  by James Otis

Meeting Captain Smith

Lest I should set down too many words, and therefore bring upon myself the charge of being one who can work with his tongue better than with his hands, I will pass over all that which Nathaniel and I did during the long time we roamed the streets in the hope of coming face to face with Captain Smith.

It is enough if I set it down at once that we finally succeeded in our purpose, having come upon him one certain morning on Cheapside, when there was a fight on among some apprentices, and the way so blocked that neither he nor any other could pass through the street, until the quarrelsome fellows were done playing upon each other's heads with sticks and stones.


It seemed much as if fortune had at last consented to smile upon us, for we were standing directly in front of the great man.

I know not how it chanced that I, a lad whose apparel was far from being either cleanly or whole, should have dared to raise my voice in speech with one who was said to have talked even with a king. Yet so I did, coming without many words to that matter which had been growing these many days in my mind, and mayhap it was the very suddenness of the words that caught his fancy.

"Nathaniel Peacock and I are minded to go with you into that new world, Captain John Smith, if so be you permit us," I said, "and there we will serve you with honesty and industry."


Richard of Jamestown  by James Otis

Captain Smith Speaks to Me

There was a smile come upon his face as I spoke, and he looked down upon Nathaniel and me, who were wedged among that throng which watched the apprentices quarrel, until we were like to be squeezed flat, and said in what I took to be a friendly tone:

"So, my master, you would journey into Virginia with the hope of making yourself rich, and you not out from under your mother's apron as yet?"

"I have no mother to wear an apron, Captain Smith, nor father to say I may go there or shall come here; but yet would serve you as keenly as might any man, save mayhap my strength, which will increase, be not so great as would be found in those older."

Whether this valiant soldier was pleased with my words, or if in good truth boys were needed in the enterprise, I cannot say; but certain it is he spoke me fairly, writing down upon a piece of paper, which he tore from his tablets, the name of the street in which he had lodgings, and asking, as he handed it to me, if I could read.

Now it was that I gave silent thanks, because of what had seemed to me a hardship when my mother forced me to spend so many hours each day in learning to use a quill, until I was able to write a clerkly hand.

It seemed to please this great soldier that I could do what few of the lads in that day had been taught to master, and, without further ado, he said to me boldly:

"You shall journey into Virginia with me, an' it please you, lad. What is more, I will take upon myself the charge of outfitting you, and time shall tell whether you have enough of manliness in you to repay me the cost."

Then it was that Nathaniel raised his voice; but the captain gave him no satisfaction, declaring it was the duty of a true lad to stand by his mother, and that he would lend his aid to none who had a home, and in it those who cared for him.

I could have talked with this brave soldier until the night had come, and would never have wearied of asking concerning what might be found in that new world of Virginia; but it so chanced that when the business was thus far advanced, the apprentices were done with striving to break each other's heads, and Captain Smith, bidding me come to his house next morning, went his way.


Juliana Horatia Ewing

A Friend in the Garden

He is not John the gardener,

And yet the whole day long

Employs himself most usefully,

The flower beds among.

He is not Tom the pussy-cat,

And yet the other day,

With stealthy stride and glistening eye,

He crept upon his prey.

He is not Dash the dear old dog,

And yet, perhaps, if you

Took pains with him and petted him,

You 'd come to love him too.

He 's not a Blackbird, though he chirps,

And though he once was black;

And now he wears a loose, gray coat,

All wrinkled on the back.

He 's got a very dirty face,

And very shining eyes;

He sometimes comes and sits indoors;

He looks—and p'r'aps is—wise.

But in a sunny flower bed

He has his fixed abode;

He eats the things that eat my plants—

He is a friendly toad.


  WEEK 20  


Fifty Famous Stories Retold  by James Baldwin

The Story of William Tell

T HE people of Swit-zer-land were not always free and happy as they are to-day. Many years ago a proud tyrant, whose name was Gessler, ruled over them, and made their lot a bitter one indeed.

One day this tyrant set up a tall pole in the public square, and put his own cap on the top of it; and then he gave orders that every man who came into the town should bow down before it. But there was one man, named William Tell, who would not do this. He stood up straight with folded arms, and laughed at the swinging cap. He would not bow down to Gessler himself.

When Gessler heard of this, he was very angry. He was afraid that other men would disobey, and that soon the whole country would rebel against him. So he made up his mind to punish the bold man.

William Tell's home was among the mountains, and he was a famous hunter. No one in all the land could shoot with bow and arrow so well as he. Gessler knew this, and so he thought of a cruel plan to make the hunter's own skill bring him to grief. He ordered that Tell's little boy should be made to stand up in the public square with an apple on his head; and then he bade Tell shoot the apple with one of his arrows.

Tell begged the tyrant not to have him make this test of his skill. What if the boy should move? What if the bow-man's hand should tremble? What if the arrow should not carry true?


"Will you make me kill my boy?" he said.

"Say no more," said Gessler. "You must hit the apple with your one arrow. If you fail, my sol-diers shall kill the boy before your eyes."

Then, without another word, Tell fitted the arrow to his bow. He took aim, and let it fly. The boy stood firm and still. He was not afraid, for he had all faith in his father's skill.

The arrow whistled through the air. It struck the apple fairly in the center, and carried it away. The people who saw it shouted with joy.

As Tell was turning away from the place, an arrow which he had hidden under his coat dropped to the ground.

"Fellow!" cried Gessler, "what mean you with this second arrow?"

"Tyrant!" was Tell's proud answer, "this arrow was for your heart if I had hurt my child."

And there is an old story, that, not long after this, Tell did shoot the tyrant with one of his arrows; and thus he set his country free.


Seaside and Wayside, Book One  by Julia McNair Wright

More About Mr. Crab

I T would take a year to tell all the queer things about Mr. Crab.

Where are your bones? They are inside your body. Your bones are a frame to hold up your soft flesh.

Mr. Crab's bones are on the outside of his body. His bones are his armor, to keep him from being hurt.

Look at his hard shell, he has no other bones.

He can both walk and swim. You can live only on land. The crab can live and breathe either in water or on land.

Mrs. Crab lays eggs. A hen, you know, lays eggs, one by one, in a nest. She keeps them warm till the chicks come out.

The crab's eggs are put in a long tube or sack. Mrs. Crab does not leave them in a nest. She carries them tied on her legs, or under her body.

When the small crabs come out of the eggs, they grow very fast.

When you catch a crab by his arm or leg, he will pinch you, if he can, with his big claw. If you do not let go, he drops off this arm or leg, and runs.


Mr. Crab runs away.

Could you run with one leg gone? The crab has legs to spare. Then, too, his legs will grow again. Yours would not.

A crab's leg, or hand, will grow again very soon, when one has been lost.

If his eye-peg is cut off, it takes a whole year for a new eye to grow. I think he knows that; he is very careful of his eyes.

The eye-pegs of one kind of crab are very long. He has a wide, flat shell. There is a notch in each side of his shell. He can let his eyes lie in that notch.

How can he do that? His eye-pegs are so long that he can bend them down flat to the shell and keep them safe in the notch.


Richard Monckton Milnes

Good Night and Good Morning

A fair little girl sat under a tree,

Sewing as long as her eyes could see;

Then smoothed her work and folded it right,

And said, "Dear work, good night, good night!"

Such a number of rooks came over her head,

Crying "Caw! caw!" on their way to bed,

She said, as she watched their curious flight,

"Little black things, good night, good night!"

The horses neighed, and the oxen lowed,

The sheep's "bleat! bleat!" came over the road;

All seeming to say, with a quiet delight,

"Good little girl, good night, good night!"

She did not say to the sun, "good night!"

Though she saw him there like a ball of light;

For she knew he had God's time to keep

All over the world, and never could sleep.

The tall pink foxglove bowed his head;

The violets curtsied, and went to bed;

And good little Lucy tied up her hair,

And said, on her knees, her favorite prayer.

And while on her pillow she softly lay,

She knew nothing more till again it was day;

And all things said to the beautiful sun,

"Good morning, good morning! Our work is begun."


  WEEK 20  


The Burgess Bird Book for Children  by Thornton Burgess

More of the Blackbird Family

P ETER RABBIT was dozing. Yes, sir, Peter was dozing. He didn't mean to doze, but whenever Peter sits still for a long time and tries to think, he is pretty sure to go to sleep. By and by he wakened with a start. At first he didn't know what had wakened him, but as he sat there blinking his eyes, he heard a few rich notes from the top of the nearest apple-tree. "It's Goldy the Oriole," thought Peter, and peeped out to see.

But though he looked and looked he couldn't see Goldy anywhere, but he did see a stranger. It was some one of about Goldy's size and shape. In fact he was so like Goldy, but for the color of his suit, that at first Peter almost thought Goldy had somehow changed his clothes. Of course he knew that this couldn't be, but it seemed as if it must be, for the song the stranger was singing was something like that of Goldy. The stranger's head and throat and back were black, just like Goldy's, and his wings were trimmed with white in just the same way. But the rest of his suit, instead of being the beautiful orange of which Goldy is so proud, was a beautiful chestnut color.

Peter blinked and stared very hard. "Now who can this be?" said he, speaking aloud without thinking.

"Don't you know him?" asked a sharp voice so close to Peter that it made him jump. Peter whirled around. There sat Striped Chipmunk grinning at him from the top of the old stone wall. "That's Weaver the Orchard Oriole," Striped Chipmunk rattled on. "If you don't know him you ought to, because he is one of the very nicest persons in the Old Orchard. I just love to hear him sing."

"Is—is—he related to Goldy?" asked Peter somewhat doubtfully.

"Of course," retorted Striped Chipmunk. "I shouldn't think you would have to look at him more than once to know that. He's first cousin to Goldy. There comes Mrs. Weaver. I do hope they've decided to build in the Old Orchard this year."

"I'm glad you told me who she is because I never would have guessed it," confessed Peter as he studied the newcomer. She did not look at all like Weaver. She was dressed in olive-green and dull yellow, with white markings on her wings. Peter couldn't help thinking how much easier it must be for her than for her handsome husband to hide among the green leaves.

As he watched she flew down to the ground and picked up a long piece of grass. "They are building here, as sure as you live!" cried Striped Chipmunk. "I'm glad of that. Did you ever see their nest, Peter? Of course you haven't, because you said you had never seen them before. Their nest is a wonder, Peter. It really is. It is made almost wholly of fine grass and they weave it together in the most wonderful way."

"Do they have a hanging nest like Goldy's?" asked Peter a bit timidly.

"Not such a deep one," replied Striped Chipmunk. "They hang it between the twigs near the end of a branch, but they bind it more closely to the branch and it isn't deep enough to swing as Goldy's does."

Peter had just opened his mouth to ask another question when there was a loud sniffing sound farther up along the old stone wall. He didn't wait to hear it again. He knew that Bowser the Hound was coming.

"Good-by, Striped Chipmunk! This is no place for me," whispered Peter and started for the dear Old Briar-patch. He was in such a hurry to get there that on his way across the Green Meadows he almost ran into Jimmy Skunk before he saw him.

"What's your hurry, Peter?" demanded Jimmy.

"Bowser the Hound almost found me up in the Old Orchard," panted Peter. "It's a wonder he hasn't found my tracks. I expect he will any minute. I'm glad to see you, Jimmy, but I guess I'd better be moving along."

"Don't be in such a hurry, Peter. Don't be in such a hurry," replied Jimmy, who himself never hurries. "Stop and talk a bit. That old nuisance won't bother you as long as you are with me."

Peter hesitated. He wanted to gossip, but he still felt nervous about Bowser the Hound. However, as he heard nothing of Bowser's great voice, telling all the world that he had found Peter's tracks, he decided to stop a few minutes. "What are you doing down here on the Green Meadows?" he demanded.

Jimmy grinned. "I'm looking for grasshoppers and grubs, if you must know," said he. "And I've just got a notion I may find some fresh eggs. I don't often eat them, but once in a while one tastes good."

"If you ask me, it's a funny place to be looking for eggs down here on the Green Meadows," replied Peter. "When I want a thing I look for it where it is likely to be found."

"Just so, Peter; just so," retorted Jimmy Skunk, nodding his head with approval. "That's why I am here."

Peter looked puzzled. He was puzzled. But before he could ask another question a rollicking song caused both of them to look up. There on quivering wings in mid-air was the singer. He was dressed very much like Jimmy Skunk himself, in black and white, save that in places the white had a tinge of yellow, especially on the back of his neck. It was Bubbling Bob the Bobolink. And how he did sing! It seemed as if the notes fairly tumbled over each other.



He is dressed in black and yellowish white.

Jimmy Skunk raised himself on his hind-legs a little to see just where Bubbling Bob dropped down in the grass. Then Jimmy began to move in that direction. Suddenly Peter understood. He remembered that Bubbling Bob's nest is always on the ground. It was his eggs that Jimmy Skunk was looking for.

"You don't happen to have seen Mrs. Bob anywhere around here, do you, Peter?" asked Jimmy, trying to speak carelessly.

"No," replied Peter. "If I had I wouldn't tell you where. You ought to be ashamed, Jimmy Skunk, to think of robbing such a beautiful singer as Bubbling Bob."

"Pooh!" retorted Jimmy. "What's the harm? If I find those eggs he and Mrs. Bob could simply build another nest and lay some more. They won't be any the worse off, and I will have had a good breakfast."

"But think of all the work they would have to do to build another nest," replied Peter.

"I should worry," retorted Jimmy Skunk. "Any one who can spend so much time singing can afford to do a little extra work."

"You're horrid, Jimmy Skunk. You're just horrid," said Peter. "I hope you won't find a single egg, so there!"

With this, Peter once more headed for the dear Old Briar-patch, while Jimmy Skunk continued toward the place where Bubbling Bob had disappeared in the long grass. Peter went only a short distance and then sat up to watch Jimmy Skunk. Just before Jimmy reached the place where Bubbling Bob had disappeared, the latter mounted into the air again, pouring out his rollicking song as if there were no room in his heart for anything but happiness. Then he saw Jimmy Shrunk and became very much excited. He flew down in the grass a little farther on and then up again, and began to scold.

It looked very much as if he had gone down in the grass to warn Mrs. Bob. Evidently Jimmy thought so, for he at once headed that way. When Bubbling Bob did the same thing all over again. Peter grew anxious. He knew just how patient Jimmy Skunk could be, and he very much feared that Jimmy would find that nest. Presently he grew tired of watching and started on for the dear Old Briar-patch. Just before he reached it a brown bird, who reminded him somewhat of Mrs. Redwing and Sally Sly the Cowbird, though she was smaller, ran across the path in front of him and then flew up to the top of a last year's mullein stalk. It was Mrs. Bobolink. Peter knew her well, for he and she were very good friends.

"Oh!" cried Peter. "What are you doing here? Don't you know that Jimmy Skunk is hunting for your nest over there? Aren't you worried to death? I would be if I were in your place."

Mrs. Bob chuckled. "Isn't he a dear? And isn't he smart?" said she, meaning Bubbling Bob, of course, and not Jimmy Skunk. "Just see him lead that black-and-white robber away."

Peter stared at her for a full minute. "Do you mean to say," said he "that your nest isn't over there at all?"

Mrs. Bob chuckled harder than ever. "Of course it isn't over there," said she.

"Then where is it?" demanded Peter.

"That's telling," replied Mrs. Bob. "It isn't over there, and it isn't anywhere near there. But where it is is Bob's secret and mine, and we mean to keep it. Now I must go get something to eat," and with a hasty farewell Mrs. Bobolink flew over to the other side of the dear Old Briar-patch.

Peter remembered that he had seen Mrs. Bob running along the ground before she flew up to the old mullein stalk. He went back to the spot where he had first seen her and hunted all around in the grass, but without success. You see, Mrs. Bobolink had been quite as clever in fooling Peter as Bubbling Bob had been in fooling Jimmy Skunk.


The Aesop for Children  by Milo Winter

The Plane Tree

Two travellers, walking in the noonday sun, sought the shade of a widespreading tree to rest. As they lay looking up among the pleasant leaves, they saw that it was a Plane Tree.

"How useless is the Plane!" said one of them. "It bears no fruit whatever, and only serves to litter the ground with leaves."

"Ungrateful creatures!" said a voice from the Plane Tree. "You lie here in my cooling shade, and yet you say I am useless! Thus ungratefully, O Jupiter, do men receive their blessings!"

Our best blessings are often the least appreciated.



  WEEK 20  


The Boy Who Knew What the Birds Said  by Padraic Colum

The Stone of Victory


And How Feet-in-the-Ashes, the Swineherd's Son, Came to Find It

Part 1 of 3


"I F we went there, if we went there, maybe we'd find it," said the Cock-grouse to the Hen-grouse as they went together, clucking through the heather.

"And if we found it, if we found it, what good would the Stone of Victory do us?" said the Hen-grouse to the Cock-grouse, answering him back.

"And what good did the Stone of Victory do to the youth who was called Feet-in-the-Ashes, and who was only the Swineherd's Son?" said the Cock-grouse to the Hen-grouse.

"Tell me, tell me, and then I shall know," said the Hen-grouse to the Cock-grouse, answering him back. They went together, clucking through the heather and the Boy who knew what the Birds said followed them.

He lay upon a rock and the Cock-grouse and the Hen-grouse discoursed below him, the Cock-grouse always lifting his voice above the hen's. The Boy heard what they said and he remembered every word of it. And, by the tongue in my mouth, here is the story he heard:—

"Cluck-ee, Cluck-ee, cluck-ee, cloo, cloo, cloo." The King of Ireland stood outside the gate of his Castle and his powerful captains and his strong-armed guards were all around him. And one of his captains went to the mound before him and he gave a shout to the East and a shout to the West, and a shout to the North and a shout to the South. When the King asked him why he did it the Captain said "I want the four quarters of the World to know that the King of Ireland stands here with his powerful Captains and his strong armed guards that no one dare come from the East or West, the North or the South and lay the weight of a finger upon him." And when he said this the other captains flashed their swords and the guards clashed their shields and the King of Ireland said "Well and faithfully am I guarded indeed and luckier am I than any other King on the earth for no one can come from the East or the West, the North or the South and lay the weight of their finger upon me."

But no sooner did he say that than they saw a Giant coming across the hill and towards the place where they were standing. And when the Giant came to them he lifted up his hand and he doubled his hand into a fist and he struck the King of Ireland full in the mouth and he knocked out three of his teeth. He picked the King's teeth up, put them in his pouch, and without one word walked past them and went down to the sea.

"Who will avenge the insult put upon me?" said the King of Ireland, "and which of my captains will go and win back for me the three best teeth I had?" But not one of his captains made a step after the Giant.

"I know now," said the King, "How well you serve and how well you guard me. Well, if none of you will help me and if none of you will avenge me, I'll find those who will. And now I'll make a proclamation and I'll solemnly declare that whoever avenges the insult offered to me, and, in addition brings back to me the three that were the best teeth in my head, even though he be a servant or the son of a servant, I'll give him my daughter in marriage and a quarter of my kingdom, and, more than that," said he, "I'll make him full captain over all my guards."

The proclamation was sent all over the Castle and in the end it came to the ears of the Swineherd's Son who was called Feet-in-the-Ashes. And when he heard it he rubbed the ashes out of his hair and he said to his grandmother—"If there is anything in the world I want it is the King's daughter in marriage and a quarter of the Kingdom. I'll want provision for my journey," said he, "so, grandmother, bake a cake for me." "I'll do better than that for you, honey, if you are going to win back the King's teeth and marry the King's daughter," said his grandmother. "I have a few things of my own that no one knows anything about, and I'll give them to you with your cake. Here," said she, "is my crutch. Follow the Giant's tracks until you come to the sea, throw the crutch into the sea and it will become a boat, step into the boat and in it you can sail over to the Green Island that the Giant rules. And here's this pot of balsam. No matter how deep or deadly the sword-cut or the spear-thrust wound is, if you rub this balsam over it it will be cured. Here's your cake too. Leave good-luck behind you and take good-luck with you, and be off now on your journey."

"And why was the youth called Feet-in-the-Ashes?" said the Hen-grouse to the Cock-grouse.

He was called Feet-in-the-Ashes because he had sat in the chimney-corner from the time he could stand upon two legs. And everybody who called him Feet-in-the-Ashes thought he was too lazy to do anything else. Well, he left good-luck behind him and he took good-luck with him and he started off on his journey with the cake, the crutch and the cure. He followed the Giant's tracks until they came down to the sea. Into the sea he flung his grandmother's crutch. It became a boat with masts and sails. He jumped into the boat, and the things that had to be done in a boat were done by him.—

He hoisted the sails—the red sail, the

black sail and the speckled sail,

He gave her prow to the sea and her stern

to the land,

The blue sea was flashing,

The green sea was lashing,

But on they went with a breeze that he him-

self would have chosen,

And the little creatures of the sea sat up on

their tails to watch his going.

and so he went until he came near the Green Island where Shamble-shanks the Giant who had carried off the three teeth of the King of Ireland had his Castle and his stronghold.

He fastened his boat where a boat should be fastened and he went through the Island until he came to a high grey Castle. No one was about it and he went through it, gate, court and hall. He found a chamber where a fire burned on the hearth-stone. He went to the fire gladly. He looked around the chamber and he saw three beds. "There's room to rest myself here, at all events," said Feet-in-the-Ashes.

Night came on and he left the fire and got into a bed. He pulled one of the soft skins over him. Just as he was going to turn on his side to sleep three youths came into the chamber. Feet-in-the-Ashes sat up on the bed to look at them.

When they saw him they began to moan and groan and when he looked them over he saw they were all covered with wounds—with spear-thrusts and with sword-cuts. The sight of him in the bed, more than their wounds, made them moan and groan, and when he asked them why this was so the first of the three youths said:—

"We came here, the three of us, to fight the Giant Shamble-shanks and to take from this Island the Stone of Victory. We came to this Castle yesterday and we made three beds in this chamber so that after the combat we might rest ourselves and be healed so that we might be able to fight the Giant again to-morrow or the day after, for we know that we cannot win victory over him until many combats. Now we come back from our first fight and we find you in one of the beds we had made. We are not able to put you out of it. One of us must stay out of bed and the one that stays out will die to-night. Then we shall be only two against the Giant and he will kill us when we come to combat again." And when the first one had said all this the three youths began to moan and groan again.

Feet-in-the-Ashes got out of bed. "You can have your rest, the three of you," said he. "And as for me I can sit by the fire with my feet in the ashes as often as I did before." The three youths got into the three beds and when they were in them Feet-in-the-Ashes took the pot of balsam that his grandmother had given him and rubbed some of it on each one of them. In a while their pain and their weariness left them and their wounds closed up. Then the three youths sat up in their beds and they told Feet-in-the-Ashes their story.

"Cluck-ee, cluck-ee, cluck-ee, cluck, cluck," said the Hen-grouse, "and what was the story they told?"

"Cluck, cluck," said the Cock-grouse, "wait until you hear, cluck, cluck."

Said the first of these youths. "On this island there is a moor, and on that moor there is a stone, and that stone is not known from other stones, but it is the Stone of Victory. The Giant Shamble-shanks has not been able to find it himself, but he fights with all who come here to find it. Today we went to the moor. As soon as we got there the Giant came out of the Grey Castle and fought with us. We fought and we fought, but he wounded us so sorely that we were like to die of our wounds. We came back to rest here. Thanks to your balsam we are cured of our wounds. We'll go to fight the Giant to-morrow, and with the surprise he'll get at seeing us before him so soon we may be able to overcome him."

"And along with the surprise, there's another thing that will help you," said Feet-in-the-Ashes, "and that is myself. I have to fight the same Giant Shamble-shanks and I may as well fight him in company as alone."

"Your help will be welcome if you have not come here to win the Stone of Victory."

"Not for the Stone of Victory I have come, but to win back the three teeth that were knocked out of the King of Ireland's head and to avenge the insult that was offered to him."

"Then we'll be glad of your help, good comrade." The three youths got out of their beds and they sat with Feet-in-the-Ashes round the fire and the four spent a third of the night in pleasant story-telling, and slumber nor weariness did come near them at all.


Robinson Crusoe Written Anew for Children  by James Baldwin

I Make Me a Calendar

IT was now just one year since I was cast upon this lonely island.

Do you wonder how I have kept an account of the time? I will tell you.

A few days after the ship wreck it came into my mind that I should lose track of the days and the seasons. For I had neither almanac nor notebook. It would be hard always to remember the days of the week and I might even forget when it was Sunday.

So I set up a large post by my door. At the top of this post I cut in large letters these words:

SEPTEMBER 30, 1659.

Every morning I cut a little notch on the side of the post under these words.

Every seventh notch was twice as long as the rest, and this showed me that the day was Sunday.


Every thirtieth notch was longer still and broader. This showed me that a full month had gone by.

It was thus I made my calendar.

One morning I found, on counting up, that there were three hundred and sixty-five notches on the post. I knew, therefore, that it was just one year since my landing.

I kept this day as a solemn fast.

I sat in my castle and thought of the goodness of God in thus keeping me alive and safe in the midst of so many perils

I humbled myself, and thanked him for his many mercies.

For twelve hours I tasted nothing. When, at last, the sun went down, I ate a biscuit and a bunch of grapes and went to bed.

Having now been on the island a whole year, I had learned that the seasons there were not the same as in England.

They were not to be spoken of as spring, summer, autumn, and winter. They were rather to be called the wet season and the dry season. Indeed, there were two wet seasons and two dry seasons, in the year.


Helen Barron Bostwick

Little Bud Dandelion

Little Bud Dandelion

Hears from her nest

"Merry Heart, Starry Eyes,

Wake from your rest."

Wide ope the daisy lids

Robin's above,

Wise little Dandelion

Smiles at his love.

Gay little Dandelion

Lights up the meads,

Swings on her slender foot,

Telleth her beads,

Lists to the robin's note

Poured from above;

Wise little Dandelion

Asks not for love.

Cold lie the daisy banks

Clothed but in green,

Where, in the days agone,

Bright hues were seen.

Wild pinks are slumbering,

Violets delay;

True little Dandelion

Greeteth the May.

Brave little Dandelion

Fast falls the snow,

Bending the daffodil's

Haughty head low.

Under that fleecy tent

Careless of cold,

Blithe little Dandelion

Counteth her gold.

Meek little Dandelion,

Groweth more fair

Till dies the amber dew

Out from her hair.

High rides the thirsty sun,

Fiercely and high;

Faint little Dandelion

Closeth her eye.

Pale little Dandelion,

In her white shroud,

Heareth the angel-breeze

Call from the cloud;

Tiny plumes fluttering

Make no delay;

Little winged Dandelion

Soareth away.


  WEEK 20  


The Discovery of New Worlds  by M. B. Synge

The Hero of Two Nations

"The greatest man of the Middle Ages."

—De Quincey.

T HE England for which Arthur had fought—for which he had died—was now in the hands of his old foes the Saxons; but as the years rolled on it was evident that a nation over the seas was rising to a dangerous greatness. This was the power of another tribe known as the Franks, and the man who led the Franks to victory, who made of them a great nation and so created our modern Europe, was Charles the Great, or Charlemagne, as the poets call him.

As quite a little boy this Charlemagne had accompanied his father, Pepin, from his home in North Germany to Italy to fight there, and for his services Pepin the Short was made king of the Franks. An ardent Christian himself, he spent his life spreading Christianity through his kingdom and checking the wandering heathen tribes. When Charlemagne succeeded him, this too was the object of his life. It seems a strange thing in these days to teach the gospel of peace with the edge of the sword, but Charlemagne thought it the right thing. He soon became a hero in the eyes of his people. He was tall and strong, with the eyes of a lion, a will of iron strength, and an energy that was dauntless.

"The best man on earth and the bravest was Charlemagne," said the Saxons, though they had every cause to hate the rival Franks; for had they not sprung from a common parent, the Germans?

Not only had he the Saxons in the north to fight, but he must needs go south and conquer the Lombards, who were again overrunning Italy, and against whom he had fought with his father when quite a little boy. Once more he was victorious: for his success he was crowned in Rome as King of the Lombards, and so added a large part of North Italy to his already large kingdom.

He was now a marked man, and Spain cried out to him to come and help her against her foes, the Arabs or Moors, who had swept over the land from the East. In the course of the next few years he had conquered all the land down to the sea, and his banners were riddled through. He was returning over the Pyrenees when a sad thing happened. The tragic death of his young nephew Roland has been a favourite subject with poets and singers, until it has become difficult to know what is fact and what is fiction. Here is the story.

The main army under Charlemagne had reached the borders of Spain, leaving Roland in command of the rear-guard, some way behind. Roland led his men up a long rocky pass, and they had climbed a mountain ridge, when, looking down, they saw the valley below bristling with spears, while the murmur of this mighty pagan host rose to them on the mountain top as the murmur of the sea.

"What shall we do?" asked his trusted friend and companion.

"This will we do," answered Roland calmly. "When we have rested we will go forward, for sweet it is to do our duty for our king."

"But," said his friend, "we are but a handful, and these are more in number than the sands of the sea. Be wise. Take your horn, good comrade, and sound it; perchance Charlemagne may hear, and come back with his host to succour us."

"God forbid I should sound my horn and bring the king back, and lose my good name and bring disgrace upon us all," answered Roland proudly.

There was not a man but loved Roland unto death, and cheerfully they obeyed him. So the little band of men charged down the mountainside into the valley of death, ever following their leader and the snow-white banner carried by the guard. For hours they fought that great pagan host, till at last hardly a handful of Franks were left.

"Blow thy horn, blow thy horn," urged his friends. And Roland put the horn to his mouth and blew a great blast. Far away up the valley went the sound, and it reached the ears of Charlemagne.

"Listen, what is that?" he cried; "surely our men do fight to-day."

"It is only the sighing of the wind," said the traitor who was with him.

Weary with battle, Roland took his horn again and winded it with all his strength. So long and mighty was the blast that the veins stood out upon his forehead in great cords.

"Hark, it is Roland's horn," cried Charlemagne again, and again they persuaded him that Roland was but hunting in the woods.

Then in sore pain and heaviness Roland lifted the horn feebly to his lips and blew for the last time. Charlemagne now started up; the salt tears gathered in his eyes and dropped upon his snowy beard.

"Oh Roland, my brave captain, too long have I delayed," he sobbed; and with all his host he set out at full speed for Roland.

Meanwhile Roland fought on—fought till every man of the rear-guard lay dead and he himself was sore wounded. When he found that he was dying, he lay down and set his face towards Spain and towards his enemies, that men should see he died a conqueror. By him he put his sword and his horn. "They will see that the guard has done its duty," he said to himself contentedly. Then, raising his weary hands to Heaven, he died.

The low red sun was setting in the west when Charlemagne and his host rode up, and there was not a man in all that host that did not weep for pity at the sight before them now.

But Charlemagne had fallen on his face on Roland's dead body, with an exceeding bitter cry, for the knight was passing dear to him.

Right gladly would he have given Spain and all the fruits of that war to have had Roland back again. But Charlemagne had work to do in his own great realm. He dreamt of uniting all the conquered countries—all the heathen tribes that had so long been at war with each other—into one great empire, in which the power and learning of ancient Rome should be united to a Christian religion.

Was this dream realised when, in the year 800, he was made Emperor of Rome? It was Christmas Day, and Charlemagne was kneeling with his two sons in the church of St Peter, when suddenly a crown of gold was placed on his head, while voices thundered forth the old formula: "To Charles the Augustus, crowned of God, the great and pacific Emperor, long life and victory." Thus the Roman Empire of the West, which had fallen more than three hundred years before, was now restored by Charlemagne the Frank.


Nursery Tales from Many Lands  by Eleanor L. and Ada M. Skinner

The Teeny Tiny Woman


Once upon a time there was a teeny tiny woman. She lived all alone in a teeny tiny house.

One night when this teeny tiny woman was in her teeny tiny bed she heard a noise. Up she jumped from her teeny tiny bed and lighted her teeny tiny candle.

She looked under her teeny tiny bed. There was nothing there. She looked behind her teeny tiny door. There was nothing there.

So this teeny tiny woman blew out her teeny tiny candle and crept back into her teeny tiny bed.

The teeny tiny woman closed her teeny tiny eyes. She was just going to sleep when she heard a noise.

Up she jumped out of her teeny tiny bed. She lighted her teeny tiny candle and crept down her teeny tiny stairs. She went into her teeny tiny kitchen. She looked under her teeny tiny chairs. There was nothing there. She looked under her teeny tiny stove. There was nothing there.

So she crept up her teeny tiny stairs. She blew out her teeny tiny candle. She crept once more into her teeny tiny bed.

This teeny tiny woman closed her teeny eyes again. She was just going to sleep when she heard a noise.

Up she jumped out of her teeny tiny bed.

She lighted her teeny tiny candle. She crept down her teeny tiny stairs. She went to her teeny tiny kitchen. She crept up to her teeny tiny cupboard. She opened the teeny tiny door. She took a teeny tiny peep in. And out jumped—boo!

"Well, well," said the teeny tiny woman. To be frightened by nothing but—boo!"

English Nursery Tale

Walter de la Mare

The Little Bird

My dear Daddie bought a mansion

For to bring my Mammie to,

In a hat with a long feather,

And a trailing gown of blue;

And a company of fiddlers

And a rout of maids and men

Danced the clock round to the morning,

In a gay house-warming then.

And when all the guests were gone, and

All was still as still can be,

In from the dark ivy hopped a

Wee small bird: and that was Me.


  WEEK 20  


Understood Betsy  by Dorothy Canfield Fisher

Betsy Starts a Sewing Society

Part 2 of 3

Apparently Betsy's question had brought something half forgotten and altogether neglected into their minds. They talked for some time after that about 'Lias, the teacher confirming what Betsy and Stashie had said.

"And we sitting right here with plenty to eat and never raising a hand!" cried Aunt Abigail.

"How you will  let things slip out of your mind!" said Cousin Ann remorsefully.

It struck Betsy vividly that 'Lias was not at all the one they blamed for his objectionable appearance. She felt quite ashamed to go on with the other things she and the little girls had said, and fell silent, pretending to be very much absorbed in her game of checkers.

"Do you know," said Aunt Abigail suddenly, as though an inspiration had just struck her, "I wouldn't be a bit surprised if that Elmore Pond might adopt 'Lias if he was gone at the right way."

"Who's Elmore Pond?" asked the schoolteacher.

"Why, you must have seen him—that great, big, red-faced, good-natured-looking man that comes through here twice a year, buying stock. He lives over Digby way, but his wife was a Hillsboro girl, Matey Pelham—an awfully nice girl she was, too. They never had any children, and Matey told me the last time she was back for a visit that she and her husband talked quite often about adopting a little boy. Seems that Mr. Pond has always wanted a little boy. He's such a nice man! 'Twould be a lovely home for a child."

"But goodness!" said the teacher. "Nobody would want to adopt such an awful-looking little ragamuffin as that 'Lias. He looks so meeching, too. I guess his stepfather is real mean to him, when he's been drinking, and it's got 'Lias so he hardly dares hold his head up."

The clock struck loudly. "Well, hear that!" said Cousin Ann. "Nine o'clock and the children not in bed! Molly's most asleep this minute. Trot along with you, Betsy! Trot along, Molly. And, Betsy, be sure Molly's nightgown is buttoned up all the way."

So it happened that, although the grown-ups were evidently going on to talk about 'Lias Brewster, Betsy heard no more of what they said.

She herself went on thinking about 'Lias while she was undressing and answering absently little Molly's chatter. She was thinking about him even after they had gone to bed, had put the light out, and were lying snuggled up to each other, back to front, their four legs, crooked at the same angle, fitting in together neatly like two spoons in a drawer. She was thinking about him when she woke up, and as soon as she could get hold of Cousin Ann she poured out a new plan. She had never been afraid of Cousin Ann since the evening Molly had fallen into the Wolf Pit and Betsy had seen that pleased smile on Cousin Ann's firm lips. "Cousin Ann, couldn't we girls at school get together and sew—you'd have to help us some—and make some nice, new clothes for little 'Lias Brewster, and fix him up so he'll look better, and maybe that Mr. Pond will like him and adopt him?"

Cousin Ann listened attentively and nodded her head. "Yes, I think that would be a good idea," she said. "We were thinking last night we ought to do something for him. If you'll make the clothes, Mother'll knit him some stockings and Father will get him some shoes. Mr. Pond never makes his spring trip till late May, so we'll have plenty of time."

Betsy was full of importance that day at school and at recess time got the girls together on the rocks and told them all about the plan. "Cousin Ann says she'll help us, and we can meet at our house every Saturday afternoon till we get them done. It'll be fun! Aunt Abigail telephoned down to the store right away, and Mr. Wilkins says he'll give the cloth if we'll make it up."

Betsy spoke very grandly of "making it up," although she had hardly held a needle in her life, and when the Saturday afternoon meetings began she was ashamed to see how much better Ellen and even Eliza could sew than she. To keep her end up, she was driven to practising her stitches around the lamp in the evenings, with Aunt Abigail keeping an eye on her.

Cousin Ann supervised the sewing on Saturday afternoons and taught those of the little girls whose legs were long enough how to use the sewing machine. First they made a little pair of trousers out of an old gray woolen skirt of Aunt Abigail's. This was for practice, before they cut into the piece of new blue serge that the storekeeper had sent up. Cousin Ann showed them how to pin the pattern on the goods and they each cut out one piece. Those flat, queer-shaped pieces of cloth certainly did look less like a pair of trousers to Betsy than anything she had ever seen. Then one of the girls read aloud very slowly the mysterious-sounding directions from the wrapper of the pattern about how to put the pieces together. Cousin Ann helped here a little, particularly just as they were about to put the sections together wrong-side-up. Stashie, as the oldest, did the first basting, putting the notches together carefully, just as they read the instructions aloud, and there, all of a sudden, was a rough little sketch of a pair of knee trousers, without any hem or any waist-band, of course, but just the two-legged, complicated shape they ought to be! It was like a miracle to Betsy! Cousin Ann helped them sew the seams on the machine, and they all turned to for the basting of the facings and the finishing. They each made one buttonhole. It was the first one Betsy had ever made, and when she got through she was as tired as though she had run all the way to school and back. Tired, but very proud, although when Cousin Ann inspected that buttonhole, she covered her face with her handkerchief for a minute, as though she were going to sneeze, although she didn't sneeze at all.

It took them two Saturdays to finish up that trial pair of trousers, and when they showed the result to Aunt Abigail she was delighted. "Well, to think of that being my old skirt!" she said, putting on her spectacles to examine the work. She did not laugh, either, when she saw those buttonholes, but she got up hastily and went into the next room, where they soon heard her coughing.

Then they made a little blouse out of some new blue gingham. Cousin Ann happened to have enough left over from a dress she was making. This thin material was ever so much easier to manage than the gray flannel, and they had the little garment done in no time, even to the buttons and buttonholes. When it came to making the buttonholes, Cousin Ann sat right down with each one and supervised every stitch. You may not be surprised to know that they were a great improvement over the first batch.

Then, making a great ceremony of it, they began on the store material, working twice a week now, because May was slipping along very fast, and Mr. Pond might be there at any time. They knew pretty well how to go ahead on this one, after the experience of their first pair, and Cousin Ann was not much needed, except as adviser in hard places. She sat there in the room with them, doing some sewing of her own, so quiet that half the time they forgot she was there. It was great fun, sewing all together and chattering as they sewed.

A good deal of the time they talked about how splendid it was of them to be so kind to little 'Lias. "My! I don't believe most girls would put themselves out this way for a dirty little boy!" said Stashie, complacently.

"No, indeed!"  chimed in Betsy. "It's just like a story, isn't it?—working and sacrificing for the poor!"

"I guess he'll thank us all right for sure!" said Ellen. "He'll never forget us as long as he lives, I don't suppose."

Betsy, her imagination fired by this suggestion, said, "I guess when he's grown up he'll be telling everybody about how, when he was so poor and ragged, Stashie Monahan and Ellen Peters and Elizabeth Ann . . ."

"And Eliza!" put in that little girl hastily, very much afraid she would not be given her due share of the glory.

Cousin Ann sewed, and listened, and said nothing.

Toward the end of May two little blouses, two pairs of trousers, two pairs of stockings, two sets of underwear (contributed by the teacher), and the pair of shoes Uncle Henry gave were ready. The little girls handled the pile of new garments with inexpressible pride, and debated just which way of bestowing them was sufficiently grand to be worthy the occasion. Betsy was for taking them to school and giving them to 'Lias one by one, so that each child could have her thanks separately. But Stashie wanted to take them to the house when 'Lias's stepfather would be there, and shame him by showing that little girls had had to do what he ought to have done.

Cousin Ann broke into the discussion by asking, in her quiet, firm voice, "Why do you want 'Lias to know where the clothes come from?"


The Adventures of Prickly Porky  by Thornton Burgess

A Plot To Frighten Old Man Coyote

Mischief leads to mischief, for it is almost sure

To never, never be content without a little more.

N OW you would think that after Peter Rabbit's very, very, narrow escape from the clutches of Old Granny Fox that Jimmy Skunk, Unc' Billy Possum, Peter Rabbit, and Prickly Porky would have been satisfied with the pranks they already had played. No, Sir, they were not! You see, when danger is over, it is quickly forgotten. No sooner had Peter been made comfortable in the old house behind the big stump on the hill where Prickly Porky lives than the four scamps began to wonder who else they could scare with the terrible creature without head, legs, or tail which had so frightened Reddy and Old Granny Fox.

"There is Old Man Coyote; he is forever frightening those smaller and weaker than himself. I'd just love to see him run," said Peter Rabbit.

"The very one!" cried Jimmy Skunk. "I wonder if he would be afraid. You know he is even smarter than Granny Fox, and though she was frightened at first, she soon got over it. How do you suppose we can get him over here?"

"We-uns will take Brer Jay into our secret. Brer Jay will tell Brer Coyote that Brer Rabbit is up here on Brer Porky's hill, hurt so that he can't get home," said Unc' Billy Possum. "That's all Brer Jay need to say. Brer Coyote is gwine to come up here hot foot with his tongue hanging out fo' that dinner he's sho' is waiting fo' him here."

"You won't do anything of the kind!" spoke up little Mrs. Peter, who, you know, had bravely left the dear Old Briar-patch and come up here in the Green Forest to take care of Peter. "Peter has had trouble enough already, and I'm not going to let him have any more, so there!"

"Peter isn't going to get into any trouble," spoke up Jimmy Skunk. "Peter and you are going to be just as safe as if you were over in the Old Briar-patch, for you will be in that old house where nothing can harm you. Now, please, Mrs. Peter, don't be foolish. You don't like Old Man Coyote, do you? You'd like to see him get a great scare to make up for the scares he has given Peter and you, wouldn't you?"

Little Mrs. Peter was forced to admit that she would, and after a little more teasing she finally agreed to let them try their plan for giving Old Man Coyote a scare. Sammy Jay happened along just as Jimmy Skunk was starting out to look for him, and when he was told what was wanted of him, he agreed to do his part. You know Sammy is always ready for any mischief. Just as he started to look for Old Man Coyote, Unc' Billy Possum made another suggestion.

"We-uns have had a lot of fun with Reddy and Granny Fox," said he, "and now it seems to me that it is no more than fair to invite them over to see Old Man Coyote and what he will do when he first sees the terrible creature that has frightened them so. Granny knows now that there is nothing to be afraid of, and perhaps she will forget her anger if she has a chance to see Old Man Coyote run away. Yo' know she isn't wasting any love on him. What do yo' alls say?"

Peter and Mrs. Peter said "No!" right away, but Jimmy Skunk and Prickly Porky thought it a good idea, and of course Sammy Jay was willing. After a little, when it was once more pointed out to them how they would be perfectly safe in the old house behind the big stump, Peter and Mrs. Peter agreed, and Sammy started off on his errand.


William Allingham

The Fairies

Up the airy mountain,

Down the rushy glen,

We dare n't go a-hunting,

For fear of little men;

Wee folk, good folk,

Trooping all together;

Green jacket, red cap,

And white owl's feather!

Down along the rocky shore,

Some make their home,

They live on crispy pancakes

Of yellow tide-foam;

Some in the reeds

Of the black mountain lake,

With frogs for their watchdogs,

All night awake.

High on the hill top

The old King sits;

He is now so old and gray

He 's nigh lost his wits.

With a bridge of white mist

Columbkill he crosses,

On his stately journeys

From Slieveleague to Rosses;

Or going up with music

On cold starry nights,

To sup with the queen

Of the gay Northern Lights.

They stole little Bridget

For seven years long;

When she came down again

Her friends were all gone.

They took her lightly back,

Between the night and morrow,

They thought that she was fast asleep,

But she was dead with sorrow.

They have kept her ever since

Deep within the lake,

On a bed of flag leaves,

Watching till she wake.

By the craggy hillside,

Through the mosses bare,

They have planted thorn-trees

For pleasure here and there.

Is any man so daring

As dig them up in spite,

He shall find their sharpest thorns

In his bed at night.

Up the airy mountain,

Down the rushy glen,

We dare n't go a-hunting

For fear of little men;

Wee folk, good folk,

Trooping all together;

Green jacket, red cap,

And white owl's feather!


  WEEK 20  


Hurlbut's Story of the Bible  by Jesse Lyman Hurlbut

The Little Boy with a Linen Coat

I Samuel i: 1, to iii: 21.

dropcap image AMSON the strong man (see Story 47) ruled Israel as the thirteenth of the judges; and after him came Eli as the fourteenth judge. Eli was also the high-priest of the Lord in the Tabernacle at Shiloh.

While Eli was the priest and the judge, a man was living at Ramah in the mountains of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah. He had two wives, as did many men in that time. One of these wives had children, but the other wife, whose name was Hannah, had no child.

Every year Elkanah and his family went up to worship at the house of the Lord in Shiloh, which was about fifteen miles from his home. And at one of these visits Hannah prayed to the Lord, saying:

"O Lord, if thou wilt look upon me, and give me a son, he shall be given to the Lord as long as he lives."

The Lord heard Hannah's prayer, and gave her a little boy; and she called his name Samuel, which means "Asked of God," because he had been given in answer to her prayer. While he was still a little child she brought him to Eli, the priest, and said to him:

"My Lord, I am the woman who stood here praying. I asked God for this child; and now I have promised that he shall be the Lord's as long as he lives. Let him stay here with you and grow up in God's house."


Hannah brings her boy to Eli.

So the child Samuel stayed at Shiloh and lived with Eli the priest in one of the tents beside the Tabernacle. As he grew up he helped Eli in the work of the Lord's house. He lit the lamps, and opened the doors, and prepared the incense, and waited on Eli, who was now growing old and was almost blind.

Samuel was all the more a help and a comfort to Eli because his own sons, who were priests, were very wicked young men. Eli had not trained them to do right, nor punished them when they did wrong, when they were children; so they grew up to become evil, to disobey God's law, and to be careless in God's worship. Eli's heart was very sad over the sins of his sons; but now that he was old he could do nothing to control them.

It had been a long time since God had spoken to men, as in other days God had spoken to Moses, to Joshua, and to Gideon. The men of Israel were longing for the time to come when God would speak again to his people as of old.

One night Samuel, while yet a child, was lying down upon his bed in a tent beside the Tabernacle; he heard a voice calling him by name. It was the Lord's voice, but Samuel did not know it.

He answered, "Here I am!" and then he ran to Eli, saying, "Here I am. You called me; what do you wish me to do?"

And Eli said, "My child, I did not call you. Go and lie down again."

Samuel lay down, but soon again heard the voice calling to him, "Samuel! Samuel!"

Again he rose up and went to Eli, and said, "Here I am; for I am sure that you called me."

"No," said Eli, "I did not call you. Lie down again."


The boy who lived in the temple.

A third time the voice was heard; and a third time the boy rose up from his bed and went to Eli, sure that Eli had called him. Eli now saw that this was the Lord's voice that had spoken to Samuel. He said:

"Go, lie down once more; and if the voice speaks to you again, say 'Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth.' "

Samuel went and lay down, and waited for the voice. It spoke as if some one unseen were standing by his bed, and saying, "Samuel! Samuel!"

Then Samuel said to the Lord, "Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth."

And the Lord said to Samuel:

"Listen to what I say. I have seen the wickedness of Eli's sons. And I have seen that their father did not punish them when they were doing evil. I am going to give to them such a punishment that the story shall make every one's ears tingle who hears it."

Samuel lay in his room until the morning. Then he arose and went about his work as usual, preparing for the daily worship and opening the doors. He said nothing of God's voice until Eli asked him. Eli said to him:

"Samuel, my son, tell me what the Lord said to you last night. Hide nothing from me."

And Samuel told Eli all that God had said, though it was a sad message to Eli. And Eli said, "It is the Lord; let him do what seems good to him."

And then the news went through all the land that God had spoken once more to his people. And Hannah, the lonely mother in the mountains of Ephraim, heard that her son was the prophet to whom God spoke as his messenger to all Israel.

From that time God spoke to Samuel, and Samuel gave God's word to the twelve tribes.


The Boxcar Children  by Gertrude Chandler Warner

A New Home

"K EEP still!" whispered Jess.

Benny obeyed. The three children were as motionless as stone images, huddled inside the freight car. Jess opened her mouth in order to breathe at all, her heart was thumping so wildly. She watched like a cat through the open door, in the direction of the rustling noise. And in a moment the trembling bushes parted, and out crawled a dog. He was an Airedale and was pulling himself along on three legs, whimpering softly.

Jess drew a long breath of relief, and said to the children, "It's all right. Only a dog. But he seems to be hurt."

At the sound of her voice the dog lifted his eyes and wagged his tail feebly. He held up his front foot.

"Poor doggie," murmured Jess soothingly, as she clambered out of the car. "Let Jess see your poor lame foot." She approached the dog carefully, for she remembered that her mother had always told her never to touch a strange dog unless he wagged his tail.

But this dog's tail was wagging, certainly, so Jess bent over without fear to look at the paw. An exclamation of pity escaped her when she saw it, for a stiff, sharp thorn had been driven completely through one of the cushions of the dog's foot, and around it the blood had dried.

"I guess I can fix that," said Jess briskly. "But taking the thorn out is going to hurt you, old fellow."

The dog looked up at her as she laid his paw down, and licked her hand.

"Come here, Violet and Benny," directed Jess.

She took the animal gently in her lap and turned him on his side. She patted his head and stroked his nose with one finger, and offered him the rest of her breadcrust, which she had put in her apron pocket. The dog snapped it up as if he were nearly starved. Then she held the soft paw firmly with her left hand, and pulled steadily on the thorn with her right hand. The dog did not utter a sound. He lay motionless in her lap, until the thorn suddenly let go and lay in Jess' hand.

"Good, good!" cried Violet.

"Wet my handkerchief," Jess ordered briskly.

Violet did so, dipping it in the running brook. Jess wrapped the cool, wet folds around the hot paw, and gently squeezed it against the wound, the dog meanwhile trying to lick her hands.

"We'll s'prise Henry, won't we?" laughed Benny delightedly. "Now we got a dog!"

"To be sure," said Jess, struck with the thought, "but that isn't what I intended for a surprise. You know I was intending to get a lot of blueberries, and maybe find some old dishes in a dump or something—"

"Can't we look while you hold the dog?" asked Violet anxiously.

"Of course you can, Pet!" said Jess. "Look over there by those rocks."

Benny and Violet scrambled through the underbrush to the place Jess pointed out, and investigated. But they did not hunt long, for the blueberries were so thick that the bushes almost bent over with their weight.

"O Jessy," screamed Benny, "you never saw so many in your life! What'll we pick 'em into?"

"Come and get a clean towel," said Jess, who noticed that Benny was already "picking into" his own mouth.

"But that's just as well," she thought. "Because he won't get so hungry waiting for the milk." She watched the two children a moment as they dropped handfuls of the bluish globes on the towel. Then she carefully got up with her little patient and went over and sat down in the center of the patch. The berries were so thick she did not have to change her position before the towel held over a quart.

"Oh, dear," sighed Jess. "I wish I could hunt for some dishes, so we could have blueberries and milk."

"Never mind tonight," said Violet. "We can just eat a handful of berries and then take a drink of milk, when Henry comes."

But it was even better than that, for when Henry came he had two bottles of milk under one arm, a huge loaf of brown bread under the other, and some golden cheese in waxed paper in his pocket.

But you should have seen Henry stare when he saw what Jess was holding!

"Where in the world—" began the boy.

"He camed  to us," volunteered Benny. "He camed for a s'prise for you. And he's a nice doggie."

Henry knelt down to look at the visitor, who wagged his tail. "It wouldn't be a bad thing to have a watchdog," said Henry. "I worried about you all the time I was gone."

"Did you bring some milk?" inquired Benny, trying to be polite, but looking at the bottles with longing eyes.

"Bless his heart!" said Jess, struggling to her feet with the dog. "We'll have dinner right away—or is it supper?"

"Call it supper," suggested Henry, "for it's the last thing we'll have to eat today."

"And then tomorrow we'll start having three meals every day," laughed Jess.

It was certainly a queer meal, whatever it was. Jess, who liked above all things to be orderly, spread out the big gray laundry bag on the pine needles for a tablecloth. The brown loaf was cut by a very excited little hostess into five thick squares; the cheese into four.

"Dogs don't eat cheese," Benny remarked cheerfully. The poor little fellow was glad of it, too, for he was very hungry. He could hardly wait for Jess to set the milk bottles in the center of the table and heap the blueberries in four little mounds, one at each place.

"I'm sorry we haven't cups," Jess remarked. "We'll just have to drink out of the same bottle."

"No, we won't," said Henry. "We'll drink half of each bottle, so that will make at least two things to drink out of."

"Good for you, Henry," said Jess, much relieved. "You and Benny use one, and Violet and I will use the other."

So the meal began. "Look, Benny," directed Henry. "Eat a handful of blueberries, then take a bite of brown bread, then a nibble of cheese. Now, a drink of milk!"

"It's good! It's good!" mumbled Benny to himself all through the meal.

You must not imagine that the poor wandering dog was neglected, for Jess fed him gently, as he lay in her lap, poking morsels of bread into his mouth and pouring milk into her own hand for him to lap up.

When the meal was over, and exactly half of each bottle of milk remained, Jess said, "We are going to sleep on beds tonight, and just as soon as we get our beds made, we are all going to be washed."

"That'll be fun, Benny," added Violet. "We'll wash our paws in the brook just the way Cinnamon does."

"First, let's gather armfuls of dry pine needles," ordered Jess. "Get those on top that have been lying in the sunshine." Jess laid the dog down on a bed of moss as she spoke, and started energetically to scoop up piles of the fragrant needles. Soon a pile as high as her head stood just under the freight-car door.

"I think we have enough," she said at last. Taking the scissors from Violet's workbag, she cut the laundry bag carefully into two pieces, saving the cord for a clothesline. One of the big squares was laid across Benny's hay and tucked under. That was the softest bed of all. Violet's apron and her own, she cut off at the belt.

"I'll sleep next to Benny," said Henry, "with my head up by the door. Then I can hear what is going on." A big pile of pine needles was loaded into the freight car for Henry's bed, and covered with the other half of the laundry bag.

The remainder of the needles Jess piled into the farthest corner of the car for herself and Violet. "We'll all sleep on one side, so we can call it the bedroom."

"What'll be the other side?" inquired Benny.

"The other side?" repeated Jess. "Let me think! I guess that'll be the sitting room, and perhaps some of the time the kitchen."

"On rainy days, maybe the dining room," added Henry with a wink.

"Couldn't it be the parlor?" begged Benny.

"Certainly, the parlor! We forgot that," agreed Jess, returning the wink. She was covering the last two soft beds with the two aprons. "The tops of these aprons are washcloths," she said severely. Then armed with the big cake of soap she led the way to the brook. The dog watched them anxiously, but when Jess said, "Lie still," he obeyed. From the moment Jess drew the thorn from his foot he was her dog, to obey her slightest command and to follow her wherever she went.

The clean cool brook was delightful even to Benny. The children rolled up their sleeves and plunged their dusty arms into its waters, quarreling good-naturedly over the soap, and lathering their stained faces and necks with it. When they were well rinsed with clear water they dried themselves with the towel. Then Jess washed both towels nicely with soap, rinsed them, and hung them on the clothesline of tape, which she had stretched between two slender birch trees. They flapped lazily in the wind.

"Looks like home already, Jess," said Henry, smiling at the washing.

The tired children clambered into the "bedroom," Jess coming last with the wounded dog.

"We'll have to leave the door open, it's so hot," said Henry, lying down with a tired sigh.

And in less than ten minutes they were fast asleep, dog and all—asleep at six o'clock, asleep without naming the dog, without locking the door, without fear, for this was the first night in four that they had been able to go to sleep at night,  as children should.


James Whitcomb Riley

A Barefoot Boy

A barefoot boy! I mark him at his play—

For May is here once more, and so is he—

His dusty trousers, rolled half to the knee,

And his bare ankles grimy, too, as they:

Cross-hatchings of the nettle, in array

Of feverish stripes, hint vivdly to me

Of woody pathways winding endlessly

Along the creek, where even yesterday

He plunged his shrinking body—gasped and shook—

Yet called the water "warm," with never lack

Of joy. And so, half enviously I look

Upon this graceless barefoot and his track—

His toe stubbed—ay, his big toe-nail knocked back

Like unto the clasp of an old pocketbook.