Text of Plan #970
  WEEK 23  


Pinocchio  by Carlo Collodi

Pinocchio Flies with a Pigeon to the Ocean

Pinocchio mourns the death of the beautiful Child with the blue hair. He then meets with a pigeon who flies with him to the seashore, and there he throws himself into the water to go to the assistance of his father Geppetto.

A S soon as Pinocchio was released from the heavy and humiliating weight of the dog-collar he started off across the fields, and never stopped until he had reached the high road that led to the Fairy's house. There he turned and looked down into the plain beneath. He could see distinctly with his naked eye the wood where he had been so unfortunate as to meet with the Fox and the Cat; he could see amongst the trees the top of the Big Oak to which he had been hung; but although he looked in every direction the little house belonging to the beautiful Child with the blue hair was nowhere visible.

Seized with a sad presentiment he began to run with all the strength he had left, and in a few minutes he reached the field where the little white house had once stood. But the little white house was no longer there. He saw instead a marble stone, on which were engraved these sad words:


I leave you to imagine the puppet's feelings when he had with difficulty spelt out this epitaph. He fell with his face on the ground and, covering the tombstone with a thousand kisses, burst into an agony of tears. He cried all night, and when morning came he was still crying although he had no tears left, and his sobs and lamentations were so acute and heart-breaking that they roused the echoes in the surrounding hills.


And as he wept he said:

"Oh, little Fairy, why did you die? Why did not I die instead of you, I who am so wicked, whilst you were so good? . . . And my papa? Where can he be? Oh, little Fairy, tell me where I can find him, for I want to remain with him always and never to leave him again, never again! . . . Oh, little Fairy, tell me that it is not true that you are dead! . . . If you really love me . . . if you really love your little brother, come to life again . . . come to life as you were before! . . . Does it not grieve you to see me alone and abandoned by everybody? . . . If assassins come they will hang me again to the branch of a tree . . . and then I should die indeed. What do you imagine that I can do here alone in the world? Now that I have lost you and my papa, who will give me food? Where shall I go to sleep at night? Who will make me a new jacket? Oh, it would be better, a hundred times better, that I should die also! Yes, I want to die . . . ih! ih! ih!"

And in his despair he tried to tear his hair; but his hair, being made of wood, he could not even have the satisfaction of sticking his fingers into it.

Just then a large Pigeon flew over his head, and stopping with distended wings called down to him from a great height:

"Tell me, child, what are you doing there?"

"Don't you see? I am crying!" said Pinocchio, raising his head towards the voice and rubbing his eyes with his jacket.


"Tell me," continued the Pigeon, "amongst your companions, do you happen to know a puppet who is called Pinocchio?"

"Pinocchio? . . . Did you say Pinocchio?" repeated the puppet, jumping quickly to his feet. "I am Pinocchio!"

The Pigeon at this answer descended rapidly to the ground. He was larger than a turkey.

"Do you also know Geppetto?" he asked.

"If I know him! He is my poor papa! Has he perhaps spoken to you of me? Will you take me to him? Is he still alive? Answer me for pity's sake: is he still alive?"

"I left him three days ago on the sea-shore."

"What was he doing?"

"He was building a little boat for himself, to cross the ocean. For more than three months that poor man has been going all round the world looking for you. Not having succeeded in finding you he has now taken it into his head to go to the distant countries of the new world in search of you."

"How far is it from here to the shore?" asked Pinocchio breathlessly.

"More than six hundred miles."

"Six hundred miles? Oh, beautiful Pigeon, what a fine thing it would be to have your wings! . . ."

"If you wish to go, I will carry you there."


"Astride on my back. Do you weigh much?"

"I weigh next to nothing. I am as light as a feather."

And without waiting for more Pinocchio jumped at once on the Pigeon's back, and putting a leg on each side of him as men do on horseback, he exclaimed joyfully:

"Gallop, gallop, my little horse, for I am anxious to arrive quickly! . . ."

The Pigeon took flight, and in a few minutes had soared so high that they almost touched the clouds. Finding himself at such an immense height the puppet had the curiosity to turn and look down; but his head spun round, and he became so frightened, that to save himself from the danger of falling he wound his arms tightly round the neck of his feathered steed.


The pigeon . . . soared so high that they almost touched the clouds.

They flew all day. Towards evening the Pigeon said:

"I am very thirsty!"

"And I am very hungry!" rejoined Pinocchio.

"Let us stop at that dovecot for a few minutes; and then we will continue our journey that we may reach the seashore by dawn to-morrow."

They went into a deserted dovecot, where they found nothing but a basin full of water and a basket full of vetch.

The puppet had never in his life been able to eat vetch: according to him it made him sick and revolted him. That evening, however, he ate to repletion, and when he had nearly emptied the basket he turned to the Pigeon and said to him:

"I never could have believed that vetch was so good!"

"Be assured, my boy," replied the Pigeon, "that when hunger is real, and there is nothing else to eat, even vetch becomes delicious. Hunger knows neither caprice nor greediness."

Having quickly finished their little meal they recommenced their journey and flew away. The following morning they reached the seashore.

The Pigeon placed Pinocchio on the ground, and not wishing to be troubled with thanks for having done a good action, flew quickly away and disappeared.

The shore was crowded with people who were looking out to sea, shouting and gesticulating.

"What has happened?" asked Pinocchio of an old woman.

"A poor father who has lost his son has gone away in a boat to search for him on the other side of the water, and to-day the sea is tempestuous and the little boat is in danger of sinking."

"Where is the little boat?"

"It is out there in a line with my finger," said the old woman, pointing to a little boat which, seen at that distance, looked like a nutshell with a very little man in it.

Pinocchio fixed his eyes on it, and after looking attentively he gave a piercing scream, crying:

"It is my papa! it is my papa!"

The boat meanwhile, beaten by the fury of the waves, at one moment disappeared in the trough of the sea, and the next came again to the surface. Pinocchio, standing on the top of a high rock, kept calling to his father by name, and making every kind of signal to him with his hands, his handkerchief, and his cap.


Standing on a high rock, kept calling to his father.

And although he was so far off, Geppetto appeared to recognise his son, for he also took off his cap and waved it, and tried by gestures to make him understand that he would have returned if it had been possible, but that the sea was so tempestuous that he could not use his oars or approach the shore.

Suddenly a tremendous wave rose and the boat disappeared. They waited, hoping it would come again to the surface, but it was seen no more.

"Poor man!" said the fishermen who were assembled on the shore, and murmuring a prayer they turned to go home.

Just then they heard a desperate cry, and looking back they saw a little boy who exclaimed, as he jumped from a rock into the sea:

"I will save my papa!"

Pinocchio, being made of wood, floated easily and he swam like a fish. At one moment they saw him disappear under the water, carried down by the fury of the waves and next he reappeared struggling with a leg or an arm. At last they lost sight of him, and he was seen no more.

"Poor boy!" said the fishermen who were collected on the shore, and murmuring a prayer they returned home.


Richard of Jamestown  by James Otis

We Make Sail Again

It seemed to me almost as if we spent an entire lifetime within sight of the country we were minded to leave behind us, and indeed six weeks, with no change of scene, and while one is held to the narrow limits of a ship, is an exceeding long time.

However, as I have heard Captain Smith say again and again, everything comes to him who waits, and so also came that day when the winds were favoring; when Captain Newport, the admiral of our fleet, gave the word to make sail, and we sped softly away from England's shores, little dreaming of that time of suffering, of sickness, and of sadness which was before us.

To Nathaniel and me, who had never strayed far from London town, and knew no more of the sea than might have been gained in a boatman's wherry, the ocean was exceeding unkind, and for eight and forty hours did we lie in that narrow bed, believing death was very near at hand.

There is no reason why I should make any attempt at describing the sickness which was upon us, for I have since heard that it comes to all who go out on the sea for the first time. When we recovered, it was suddenly, like as a flower lifts up its head after a refreshing shower that has pelted it to the ground.

I would I might set down here all which came to us during the voyage, for it was filled with wondrous happenings; but because I would tell of what we did in the land of Virginia, I must be sparing of words now.


Richard of Jamestown  by James Otis

The First Island

It is to be remembered that our fleet left London on the twentieth day of December, and, as I have since heard Captain Smith read from the pages which he wrote concerning the voyage, it was on the twenty-third of March that we were come to the island of Martinique, where for the first time Nathaniel Peacock and I saw living savages.

When we were come to anchor, they paddled out to our ships in frail boats called canoes, bringing many kinds of most delicious fruits, which we bought for such trumpery things as glass beads and ornaments of copper.


It was while we lay off this island that we saw a whale attacked and killed by a thresher and a swordfish, which was a wondrous sight.


Richard of Jamestown  by James Otis

Captain Smith Accused

And now was a most wicked deed done by those who claimed to be in command of our company, for they declared that my master had laid a plot with some of the men in each vessel of the fleet, whereby the principal members of the company were to be murdered, to the end that Captain Smith might set himself up as king after we were come to the new world.

All this was untrue, as I knew full well, having aided him in such work as a real clerk would have done, and had there been a plot, I must have found some inkling of it in one of the many papers I read aloud to him, or copied down on other sheets that the work of the quill might be more pleasing to the eye.

Besides that, I had been with the captain a goodly portion of the time while the ships were being made ready for the voyage, and if he had harbored so much of wickedness, surely must some word of it have come to me, who sat or stood near at hand, listening attentively whenever he had speech with others of the company of adventurers.



Bumble-Bee and Clover

Came a roaring bumble-bee,

Pockets full of money.

"Ah, good morning, Clover sweet,

What 's the price of honey?"

"Help yourself, sir," Clover said,

"Bumble, you 're too funny;

Never Clover yet so poor

She must sell her honey."


  WEEK 23  


Fifty Famous Stories Retold  by James Baldwin

How Napoleon Crossed the Alps

A BOUT a hundred years ago there lived a great gen-er-al whose name was Na-po´le-on Bo´na-parte. He was the leader of the French army; and France was at war with nearly all the countries around. He wanted very much to take his soldiers into It-a-ly; but between France and Italy there are high mountains called the Alps, the tops of which are covered with snow.

"Is it pos-si-ble to cross the Alps?" said Na-po-le-on.

The men who had been sent to look at the passes over the mountains shook their heads. Then one of them said, "It may be possible, but"—

"Let me hear no more," said Napoleon. "For-ward to Italy!"

People laughed at the thought of an army of sixty thousand men crossing the Alps where there was no road. But Napoleon waited only to see that everything was in good order, and then he gave the order to march.

The long line of soldiers and horses and cannon stretched for twenty miles. When they came to a steep place where there seemed to be no way to go farther, the trum-pets sounded "Charge!" Then every man did his best, and the whole army moved right onward.

Soon they were safe over the Alps. In four days they were marching on the plains of Italy.

"The man who has made up his mind to win," said Napoleon, "will never say 'Impossible.' "


Seaside and Wayside, Book One  by Julia McNair Wright

Mr. Crab and His Friends

T HE crab that has one large claw has many names. Some call him the Fighting Crab, he is so cross.

Others name him the Calling Crab, because, when he runs, he holds his big claw high, as if he called, "Come! come!"

Most people call him the Fiddler Crab, and say that his big claw is his fiddle.


The Fiddler Crab

I think Fiddler Crab is the best name for him. He can, and does, play a tune on that hand. It is his violin, as well as his hand, his spade, and his sword.

Do you see a row of little knobs on the inner edge of his big claw? He rubs those knobs on the edge of the shell that covers his back, and the sound is his tune.

He uses that tune to call his mate. Mrs. Crab thinks it is a fine tune.

Mr. Crab has friends upon the beach, as well as down deep in the sand and in the water.


Mr. Crab and Some of His Friends

When he walks along the sand, he meets big flies with two wings. He is glad to see them. Why? They put their grubs, or young ones, in the sand, and Mr. Crab knows that he can find them to eat.

Mr. Crab also meets a great, green tiger beetle. He does not fight with him. He knows that he shall find the beetle's grubs in the sand and eat them.

While he is digging down below, he meets a little fat, round crab, with big eyes, and a thin, gray shell. He is glad to see him.

If Mr. Crab has not food enough to eat while the tide is high, he will creep along in the sand, and catch and kill this small crab for his dinner.


More Friends of Mr. Crab

Mr. Crab also meets, deep down in the sand, long, green, red, or brown worms. They are making houses for themselves. He does not trouble them.

Out in the sea, Mr. Crab finds some small shell-fish called limpets. He likes them so much that he lets them live on his shell. They take fast hold on his back, and he does not pull them off.


Eugene Field

Little Blue Pigeon

Sleep, little pigeon, and fold your wings—

Little blue pigeon with velvet eyes;

Sleep to the singing of mother-bird swinging—

Swinging the nest where her little one lies.

Away out yonder I see a star—

Silvery star with a tinkling song;

To the soft dew falling I hear it calling

Calling and tinkling the night along.

In through the window a moonbeam comes—

Little gold moonbeam with misty wings;

All silently creeping, it asks: "Is he sleeping—

Sleeping and dreaming while mother sings?"

Up from the sea there floats the sob

Of the waves that are breaking upon the shore,

As though they were groaning in anguish, and moaning—

Bemoaning the ship that shall come no more.

But sleep, little pigeon, and fold your wings,

Little blue pigeon with mournful eyes;

Am I not singing??—see, I am swinging—

Swinging the nest where my darling lies.


  WEEK 23  


The Burgess Bird Book for Children  by Thornton Burgess

A Robber in the Old Orchard

"I DON'T believe it," muttered Johnny Chuck out loud. "I don't believe Jenny Wren knows what she's talking about."

"What is it Jenny Wren has said that you don't believe?" demanded Skimmer the Tree Swallow, as he once more settled himself in his doorway.

"She said that Hummer the Hummingbird is a sort of second cousin to Sooty the Chimney Swift," replied Johnny Chuck.

"Well, it's so, if you don't believe it," declared Skimmer. "I don't see that that is any harder to believe than that you are cousin to Striped Chipmunk and Happy Jack the Gray Squirrel. To look at you no one would ever think you are a member of the Squirrel family, but you must admit that you are."

Johnny Chuck nodded his head thoughtfully. "Yes," said he, "I am, even if I don't look it. This is a funny world, isn't it? You can't always tell by a person's looks who he may be related to. Now that I've found out that Sooty isn't related to you and is related to Hummer, I'll never dare guess again about anybody's relatives. I always supposed Twitter the Martin to be a relative of yours, but now that I've learned that Sooty isn't, I suspect that Twitter isn't either."

"Oh, yes, he is," replied Skimmer promptly. "He's the largest of the Swallow family, and we all feel very proud of him. Everybody loves him."

"Is he as black as he looks, flying round up in the air?" asked Johnny Chuck. "He never comes down here as you do where a fellow can get a good look at him."

"Yes," replied Skimmer, "he dresses all in black, but it is a beautiful blue-black, and when the sun shines on his back it seems to be almost purple. That is why some folks call him the Purple Martin. He is one of the most social fellows I know of. I like a home by myself, such as I've got here, but Twitter loves company. He likes to live in an apartment house with a lot of his own kind. That is why he always looks for one of those houses with a lot of rooms in it, such as Farmer Brown's boy has put up on the top of that tall pole out in his back yard. He pays for all the trouble Farmer Brown's boy took to put that house up. If there is anybody who catches more flies and winged insects than Twitter, I don't know who it is."

"How about me?" demanded a new voice, as a graceful form skimmed over Johnny Chuck's head, and turning like a flash, came back. It was Forktail the Barn Swallow, the handsomest and one of the most graceful of all the Swallow family. He passed so close to Johnny that the latter had a splendid chance to see and admire his glistening steel-blue back and the beautiful chestnut-brown of his forehead and throat with its narrow black collar, and the brown to buff color of his under parts. But the thing that was most striking about him was his tail, which was so deeply forked as to seem almost like two tails.

"I would know him as far as I could see him just by his tail alone," exclaimed Johnny. "I don't know of any other tail at all like it."

"There isn't any other like it," declared Skimmer. "If Twitter the Martin is the largest of our family, Forktail is the handsomest."

"How about my usefulness?" demanded Forktail, as he came skimming past again. "Cousin Twitter certainly does catch a lot of flies and insects but I'm willing to go against him any day to see who can catch the most."

With this he darted away. Watching him they saw him alight on the top of Farmer Brown's barn. "It's funny," remarked Johnny Chuck, "but as long as I've known Forktail, and I've known him ever since I was big enough to know anybody, I've never found out where he builds his nest. I've seen him skimming over the Green Meadows times without number, and often he comes here to the Old Orchard as he did just now, but I've never seen him stop anywhere except over on that barn."

"That's where he nests," chuckled Skimmer.

"What?" cried Johnny Chuck. "Do you mean to say he nests on Farmer Brown's barn?"

"No," replied Skimmer. "He nests in it. That's why he is called the Barn Swallow, and why you never have seen his nest. If you'll just go over to Farmer Brown's barn and look up in the roof, you'll see Forktail's nest there somewhere."

"Me go over to Farmer Brown's barn!" exclaimed Johnny Chuck. "Do you think I'm crazy?"

Skimmer chuckled. "Forktail isn't crazy," said he, "and he goes in and out of that barn all day long. I must say I wouldn't care to build in such a place myself, but he seems to like it. There's one thing about it, his home is warm and dry and comfortable, no matter what the weather is. I wouldn't trade with him, though. No, sir, I wouldn't trade with him for anything. Give me a hollow in a tree well lined with feathers to a nest made of mud and straw, even if it is feather-lined."

"Do you mean that such a neat-looking, handsome fellow as Forktail uses mud in his nest?" cried Johnny.

Skimmer bobbed his head. "He does just that," said he. "He's something like Welcome Robin in this respect. I—"

But Johnny Chuck never knew what Skimmer was going to say next, for Skimmer happened at that instant to glance up. For an instant he sat motionless with horror, then with a shriek he darted out into the air. At the sound of that shriek Mrs. Skimmer, who all the time had been sitting on her eggs inside the hollow of the tree, darted out of her doorway, also shrieking. For a moment Johnny Chuck couldn't imagine what could be the trouble. Then a slight rustling drew his eyes to a crotch in the tree a little above the doorway of Skimmer's home. There, partly coiled around a branch, with head swaying to and fro, eyes glittering and forked tongue darting out and in, as he tried to look down into Skimmer's nest, was Mr. Blacksnake.

It seemed to Johnny as if in a minute every bird in the Old Orchard had arrived on the scene. Such a shrieking and screaming as there was! First one and then another would dart at Mr. Blacksnake, only to lose courage at the last second and turn aside. Poor Skimmer and his little wife were frantic. They did their utmost to distract Mr. Blacksnake's attention, darting almost into his very face and then away again before he could strike. But Mr. Blacksnake knew that they were powerless to hurt him, and he knew that there were eggs in that nest. There is nothing he loves better than eggs unless it is a meal of baby birds. Beyond hissing angrily two or three times he paid no attention to Skimmer or his friends, but continued to creep nearer the entrance to that nest.

At last he reached a position where he could put his head in the doorway. As he did so, Skimmer and Mrs. Skimmer each gave a little cry of hopelessness and despair. But no sooner had his head disappeared in the hole in the old apple-tree than Scrapper the Kingbird struck him savagely. Instantly Mr. Blacksnake withdrew his head, hissing fiercely, and struck savagely at the birds nearest him. Several times the same thing happened. No sooner would his head disappear in that hole than Scrapper or one of the other of Skimmer's friends, braver than the rest, would dart in and peck at him viciously, and all the time all the birds were screaming as only excited feathered folk can. Johnny Chuck was quite as excited as his feathered friends, and so intent watching the hated black robber that he had eyes for nothing else. Suddenly he heard a step just behind him. He turned his head and then frantically dived head first down into his hole. He had looked right up into the eyes of Farmer Brown's boy!

"Ha, ha!" cried Farmer Brown's boy, "I thought as much!" And with a long switch he struck Mr. Blacksnake just as the latter had put his head in that doorway, resolved to get those eggs this time. But when he felt that switch and heard the voice of Farmer Brown's boy he changed his mind in a flash. He simply let go his hold on that tree and dropped. The instant he touched the ground he was off like a shot for the safety of the old stone wall, Farmer Brown's boy after him. Farmer Brown's boy didn't intend to kill Mr. Blacksnake, but he did want to give him such a fright that he wouldn't visit the Old Orchard again in a hurry, and this he quite succeeded in doing.

No sooner had Mr. Blacksnake disappeared than all the birds set up such a rejoicing that you would have thought they, and not Farmer Brown's boy, had saved the eggs of Mr. and Mrs. Skimmer. Listening to them, Johnny Chuck just had to smile.


The Aesop for Children  by Milo Winter

The Travelers and the Purse

Two men were traveling in company along the road when one of them picked up a well-filled purse.

"How lucky I am!" he said. "I have found a purse. Judging by its weight it must be full of gold."

"Do not say 'I  have found a purse,' " said his companion. "Say rather 'we  have found a purse' and 'how lucky we  are.' Travelers ought to share alike the fortunes or misfortunes of the road."

"No, no," replied the other angrily. "I  found it and I  am going to keep it."

Just then they heard a shout of "Stop, thief!" and looking around, saw a mob of people armed with clubs coming down the road.

The man who had found the purse fell into a panic.

"We are lost if they find the purse on us," he cried.

"No, no," replied the other, "You would not say 'we' before, so now stick to your 'I'. Say 'I  am lost.'"

We cannot expect any one to share our misfortunes unless we are willing to share our good fortune also.



  WEEK 23  


The Boy Who Knew What the Birds Said  by Padraic Colum

The King of the Birds


Part 1 of 2


T HE thirteen little wrens sat on the Apple-yard wall in the King's Garden and their mother was there to teach them to fly. One called them the little wrens, but really each one was as big as their mother. She had a tail, however, that was most cunningly cocked and they had no tails, and the consequence was that when they made their little flights they always went sideways. Moreover, their beaks were still yellow and wide and open and this is always a sign of the young bird.

"All I ask of you," said the mother, "is that when you go into the World you remember that you are the Children of the King of the Birds."

"Now why does our Mother call us the Children of the King of the Birds?" said one little wren to the other. "I think we're really very small. And I think our Mother is very small. And there's our Father behind that ivy-leaf and he's very small too."

"And wherever you go, be sure to conduct yourselves like the Children of the King of the Birds," said the Mother.

"It's because we were reared in such a fine nest," said another little wren. "No other birds in the world had ever a finer nest than we have had. That's the reason we're called the Children of the King of the Birds."


"Men call the Wren the King of the Birds, said the Father Wren, as he flew up on a tree, "and surely men ought to know who is the King of the Birds."

"Why do men call the Wren the King of the Birds?" said the little wrens.

"I will tell you," said the Mother, "As we fly from the wall to the tree, and from the tree back to the wall, I will tell you why men honor the wren as the King of the Birds."

She spent a whole day telling the little wrens the story and the Boy Who Knew What the Birds Said was there, and he heard the whole of it.—

The King of the Hither-side of the Mountain conquered the two villages of Half-a-Loaf and Windy-Gap, and the very day he conquered he ordered the two Headmen to come before him.

"You two Headmen are to see that your villages, Half-a-Loaf and Windy-Gap, send me my rightful tribute," said the King to them.

"There isn't much we can send. . . ." said the Headman of Half-a-Loaf.

"A string of salmon," said the Headman of Windy-Gap.

"A basket of plover's eggs," said the Headman of Half-a-Loaf.

"No," said the King, "the tribute that each of your villages must send me is the King of the Birds."

The two Headmen went back to their villages, and that very day each told at the council what tribute the King had ordered them to send. "The King of the Birds," said the people of Half-a-Loaf, "That's the Eagle surely." "The King of the Birds," said the people of Windy-Gap. "What Bird might that be? We"ll have to give thought to this."

The people of Windy-Gap thought about it and thought about it, but the people of Half-a-Loaf declared there was no doubt at all about it —the Eagle was the King of the Birds. And while the people of Windy-Gap were thinking and pondering the people of Half-a-Loaf were sending their young men off to catch an eagle.

But an eagle is a hard fowl to catch, and the people of Half-a-Loaf found they had to send all of their young men out and to send them out every day. And the young men climbed high hills and stony ditches, and they searched the east and they hunted the west; they went out at sunrise and they came back at sunset, but never an eagle did they bring with them.

"It may be that the Eagle is the King of the Birds," said the people of Windy-Gap, "but we had better consider it""

They thought about it from sunrise to sunset; they thought about it while they plowed their fields and sowed them, while they spun their cloth and made their coats, while they mended their nets and mended their shoes, while they thatched their roofs and planted their apple-trees.

And in Half-a-Loaf there was few left to plow the fields and sow them, to spin cloth and to make coats, to mend nets and to mend shoes, to thatch roofs and to plant apple-trees—there was few left to do these things for all the young men were out on the mountain hunting for an eagle.

"The people of Windy-Gap will be ruined," said the people of Half-a-Loaf, "they have done nothing yet to catch the Eagle. When the King gets no tribute from them he'll come down and sell them and their village. Call the young men back that have gone into the fields to work and send them up the mountain again."

At last the people of Half-a-Loaf caught their Eagle—a great golden Eagle he was. They built for him a shed and they fed him on what lambs they had that year.

"We're safe anyway," said the people of Half-a-Loaf, "but the unfortunate folk in Windy-Gap have lost their chance. They'll not have time to catch an eagle now."

The time was coming near when the two villages would have to send their tribute to the King.

"We have our Eagle," said the people of Half-a-Loaf, "But O, Bad Fortune! we have hardly a crop growing. This will be a hard year for us—we havn't lambs to grow into sheep even."

"We have our crops," said the people of Windy-Gap, "but, Bad Cess to it! What are we to do about paying our tribute to the King?"

And still they couldn't decide whether it was the Eagle or the Cuckoo or the Woodpecker that was King of the Birds. They were still considering it when the King's Messenger came to bid them come with their tribute to the King's Castle.


Robinson Crusoe Written Anew for Children  by James Baldwin

I Harvest My Grain

I CANNOT tell you how glad I was to get to my old house again and lie down in my good hammock bed.

I had been away for nearly a month.

I was so tired from my long journey that I stayed in my castle nearly a week.

While I was thus resting myself, I made a cage for my parrot which I named Poll. He was very gentle for a parrot, and soon became very fond of me.

Then I began to think of the kid that I had left in my summer bower. So I went with my dog to fetch it.

I found it where I had left it. It had eaten all the grass inside of the fence and was now very hungry.

I gave it as much as it wished, and then I tied the string to it to lead it away. But there was no need of that, for it was quite tame.

It followed me everywhere. It was very gentle and loving.

I had now a number of pets and was no longer lonesome.

My life was much happier than it had been while I was sailing the seas. I took delight in many things that I had never cared for before.

My barley and rice had grown well and in another month would be ready to be harvested.

But one day I saw that some animals had been in the field. Goats and rabbits had trampled upon the green stalks and had eaten the long blades of barley.

If things kept on this way I should soon lose my grain.

There was nothing to be done but to build a fence or hedge around the field. This was easy, for the field was not large.

I drove tall stakes into the ground all around my growing crops. These stakes were so close together that not even a rabbit could get between them.

Then I tied my dog near the gate of the little field, so that he would bark whenever any animal came near.

My grain was now safe from the beasts. It grew fast. The barley sent out large heads which soon began to ripen.

But now the birds came down in great flocks to rob me. They sat on the fence, they flew among the stalks of grain, they carried away all the ripe barley they could find.

This troubled me very much. The most of the grain was still green. But I feared that as soon as it ripened I should lose it all.

I loaded my gun and went out to the field. There I saw the thieves, sitting on the fence and watching me. I was so angry that I fired right among them and killed three.


"Now I will show you how to steal my grain!" I cried.

I put up a long pole in the center of the field, and on top of it I hung the three dead birds.

"This will I do to all that venture to come into my field," I said.

Strange to say, this ended all my troubles. Not another bird came to that place so long as my scarecrows hung there. In fact, the birds went away from that part of the island, and I did not soon see another.



The Caterpillar

A tired caterpillar went to sleep one day

In a snug little cradle of silken gray.

And he said, as he softly curled up in his nest,

"Oh, crawling was pleasant, but rest is best."

He slept through the winter long and cold,

All tightly up in his blanket rolled,

And at last he awoke on a warm spring day

To find that winter had gone away.

He woke to find he had golden wings,

And no longer need crawl over sticks and things.

"Oh, the earth is nice," said the glad butterfly,

"But the sky is best, when we learn to fly."


  WEEK 23  


The Discovery of New Worlds  by M. B. Synge

A Spanish Hero

"Hadst thou lived in days of old,

O what wonders had been told."


W HILE the Vikings were sailing over the stormy seas in their great black ships, and while the Normans were crossing over to England to complete their conquests, the Moors from the far East were again overrunning Spain.

These Moors or Arabs were not pagans like the Northmen, the Goths, the Vandals, or the Saxons: they called themselves Mohammedans, or followers of the prophet Mohammed.

Mohammed was born in the sixth century after Christ, about the time when King Arthur was ruling over Britain. But not till he was forty years old did Mohammed come forth and assume the title of prophet.

One day, says an old story, he was wandering in the solitary desert-land around Mecca, depressed and melancholy, when he heard a voice, and beheld between heaven and earth an angel, who assured him that he—Mohammed—was the prophet of God. Nothing doubting, the new prophet came forth and began to teach this: That there was One God, and that Mohammed was his prophet.

To the ignorant wandering Arabs this was a new light. They flocked round Mohammed. His commanding presence, his keen black eyes, his flowing beard, his gracious smile and eloquent teaching, drew more and ever more to his side. His followers increased rapidly. He could not write, but he dictated his doctrines; and they were written down in a book called the Koran, which is to the Mohammedans to-day what the Bible is to the Christians. Mohammedanism is still the religion used chiefly in the East.

"Who goes there?" cries the watchman nightly in the streets of Cairo; and the dusky Arab passes with the answer, "There is no God but God."

These Arabs, then, who had roamed unnoticed in their desert-lands since the very earliest times, now sprang into fame. United in one faith, their armies making converts as they went, they conquered North Africa, and finally became masters of Spain. Charlemagne and Roland had fought against them, but now they were rulers over a great part of the country.

It was at this time that the Cid—the great popular hero of Spain—arose to deliver his country from the power of the Arabs, to deliver Christians from the influence of Mohammedanism.

The story of the Cid is mixed with legend and fable; but there is much truth lying under the husks of legend, and many a sound kernel of history wrapped up in the old fables. And to tell the story of Spain without the story of the Cid would be like telling the story of old Greece without the story of Achilles.

Roderick Diaz is the glory of Spain, the hero of the people, the perfect warrior, the ideal man-at-arms; and he lives in the heart of the nation as does Arthur in England or Roland in France.

The Cid, from a word meaning Lord, was born in 1026, and soon rose to fame. When yet a stripling, not twenty summers old, he led an army of Christian warriors against the Arabs, who had entered a province called Castile in the north of Spain. Five kings led the Arab army, but the Cid defeated them among the Spanish mountains and drove them back.

Not only was their beloved Cid brave in battle and merciful in peace, sang the old poets, but he was kind to those in trouble. Here is a story they tell. After his victory over the five Moorish kings he set out on a journey with his knights and followers. As they journeyed they found a poor leper, stuck fast in the mud, shouting for help. The Spanish knights passed by, but the Cid leaped from his horse, lifted the poor man to his saddle, and took him back. At table that night he shared his plate with the afflicted man, and took him to his own bed. At midnight he awoke. The leper was gone, but he saw a form clothed in dazzling white.

"I, whom thou didst take for a poor leper and didst help—I am St Lazarus," said a voice. "And in return for what thou hast done for the love of God, thou mayst ask whatever thou wilt and it shall be accomplished. Thou shalt be feared by Moor and Christian, and never shall thy enemies prevail over thee."

Faithfully, indeed, did the Cid serve his king; but after a while there were men who whispered evil against him, and the king was angry with the Cid and bade him leave Spain within nine days, never to return. Sadly the Cid went forth from his own city, while men and women wept at the thought of their hero leaving them for ever. But the king forgave him after a time, and the Cid came home again and helped his country against the Moors. He besieged Valencia, which was one of the richest towns in the kingdom, and took it after a desperate resistance from within.

The Cid ruled the city for some years both wisely and well. But again a great Moorish host came against the city led by a king from North Africa. The Cid had grown old and feeble, and his long beard was snowy white, and he knew that death was near. Yet he had been told in a vision that he should still conquer the Moors. The Cid called his people around him: then he spoke. He was very weak, but his voice was clear.

"Ye know that the king will soon be here with seven-and-thirty other kings and with a mighty power of Moors," he said. "After I have departed see that ye utter no cries, that the Moors may not know of my death, but sound your trumpets and tambours and make the greatest rejoicings you can. Then saddle ye my horse and arm him well, and ye shall apparel my body full seemly, and place me upon the horse, and fasten and tie me thereon so that I cannot fall."

The next day the Cid died. And they dressed his body and set it on his beloved horse, supported by a framework of boards. They hung his shield about his neck, they placed his sword upright in his hand, and they led their dead hero against his foes.

The Moors came on. "But it seemed to them that there came against them on the part of the Christians full seventy thousand knights, all as white as snow, and before them a knight of great stature upon a white horse with a cross of blood, who bore in one hand a white banner, and in the other a sword which seemed to be of fire." The Moors were so terrified that they fled, never stopping till they reached the sea. And so great was the press that numbers were drowned before ever they could reach the ships.

So the Cid conquered the Moors even in death, according to this old story; but after all it is but a story of the old days in Spain.


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

Munachar and Manachar


Munachar and Manachar lived a long time ago. One day they went out to pick blackberries. But as fast as Munachar picked the blackberries Manachar ate them, every one.

Munachar said,

"I shall look for a reed

To tie Manachar's hands.

He is eating my blackberries,

every one."

Munachar walked until he came to a reed growing near the brook.

"What news do you bring?" asked the reed.

"I bring you no news," said Munachar.

"I want a reed

To tie Manachar's hands.

He is eating my blackberries,

every one."

"You shall not get me," said the reed, "until you bring an axe to cut my stem."

Munachar walked on until he came to an axe near a wood-pile.

"What news do you bring?" asked the axe.

"I bring you no news," said Munachar.

"I want an axe;

An axe to cut a reed;

A reed to tie Manachar's hands.

He is eating my blackberries,

every one."

"You shall not get me," said the axe, "until you fetch a stone to sharpen my edge."

Munachar walked on until he came to a stone near a wall.

"What news do you bring?" asked the stone.

"I bring you no news," said Munachar.

"I want a stone;

A stone to sharpen an axe;

An axe to cut a reed;

A reed to tie Manachar's hands.

He is eating my blackberries,

every one."

"You shall not get me," said the stone, "until you fetch some water to wet me."

Munachar walked on until he came to a spring in the meadow.

"What news do you bring?" asked the spring.

"I bring you no news," said Munachar.

"I want some water;

Water to wet a stone;

A stone to sharpen an axe;

An axe to cut a reed;

A reed to tie Manachar's hands.

He is eating my blackberries,

every one."

"You shall not get me," said the spring, "until you drive the cow here to drink my water."

Munachar walked on until he came to the cow in the barnyard.

"What news do you bring?" asked the cow.

"I bring you no news," said Munachar.

"I want a cow;

A cow to drink some water;

Water to wet a stone;

A stone to sharpen an axe;

An axe to cut a reed;

A reed to tie Manachar's hands.

He is eating my blackberries,

every one."

"You shall not get me," said the cow, "until you bring me a wisp of hay from the farmer."

Munachar walked on until he came to a farmer in the stable.

"What news do you bring?" asked the farmer.

"I bring you no news," said Munachar.


"I want a wisp of hay;

Hay to feed the cow;

Cow to drink some water;

Water to wet a stone;

A stone to sharpen an axe;

An axe to cut a reed;

A reed to tie Manachar's hands.

He is eating my blackberries,

every one."

"You shall not get a wisp of hay from me," said the farmer, "until you bring me water from the brook in a sieve."

So Munachar got a sieve and ran away to the brook in the meadow.

He filled the sieve with water and lifted it up. But the water ran through the sieve and left it empty. Again he filled the sieve with water and lifted it up. Again the water ran through the sieve and left it empty.

"Oh, what shall I do?" asked Munachar. "The water will not stay in the sieve."

A crow flew over the brook and cried out, "Daub! Daub! Daub it with clay!"

"I never thought of that," laughed Munachar.

He took up a handful of clay and daubed it all over the holes in the sieve. Then he filled the sieve with water and carried it to the farmer.

The farmer gave a wisp of hay;

The hay fed the cow;

The cow drank the water;

The water wet the stone;

The stone sharpened the axe;

The axe cut the reed.

Away ran Munachar with the reed to Manachar's hands. But the greedy Manachar had eaten all the blackberries—and had burst!

Celtic Nursery Tale

Walter de la Mare

The Little Green Orchard

Some one is always sitting there,

In the little green orchard;

Even when the sun is high

In noon's unclouded sky,

And faintly droning goes

The bee from rose to rose,

Some one in shadow is sitting there

In the little green orchard.

Yes, when the twilight's falling softly

On the little green orchard;

When the grey dew distills

And every flower-cup fills;

When the last blackbird says,

"What—what!" and goes her way—ssh!

I have heard voices calling softly

In the little green orchard

Not that I am afraid of being there,

In the little green orchard;

Why, when the moon's been bright,

Shedding her lonesome light,

And moths like ghosties come,

And the horned snail leaves home:

I've sat there, whispering and listening there,

In the little green orchard.

Only it's strange to be feeling there,

In the little green orchard;

Whether you paint or draw,

Dig, hammer, chop or saw;

When you are most alone,

All but the silence gone. . .

Some one is watching and waiting there,

In the little green orchard.


  WEEK 23  


Understood Betsy  by Dorothy Canfield Fisher

The New Clothes Fail

Part 2 of 2

The next day they were to have school only in the morning. In the afternoon they were to go in a big hay-wagon down to the village to the "exercises." 'Lias came to school in his new blue-serge trousers and his white blouse. The little girls gloated over his appearance, and hung around him, for who was to "visit school" that morning but Mr. Pond himself! Cousin Ann had arranged it somehow. It took Cousin Ann to fix things! During recess, as they were playing still-pond-no-more-moving on the playground, Mr. Pond and Uncle Henry drew up to the edge of the playground, stopped their horse, and, talking and laughing together, watched the children at play. Betsy looked hard at the big, burly, kind-faced man with the smiling eyes and the hearty laugh, and decided that he would "do" perfectly for 'Lias. But what she decided was to have little importance, apparently, for after all he would not get out of the wagon, but said he'd have to drive right on to the village. Just like that, with no excuse other than a careless glance at his watch. No, he guessed he wouldn't have time, this morning, he said. Betsy cast an imploring look up into Uncle Henry's face, but evidently he felt himself quite helpless, too. Oh, if only Cousin Ann had come! She  would have marched him into the schoolhouse double-quick. But Uncle Henry was not Cousin Ann, and though Betsy saw him, as they drove away, conscientiously point out little 'Lias, resplendent and shining, Mr. Pond only nodded absently, as though he were thinking of something else.

Betsy could have cried with disappointment; but she and the other girls, putting their heads together for comfort, told each other that there was time enough yet. Mr. Pond would not leave town till tomorrow. Perhaps . . . there was still some hope.

But that afternoon even this last hope was dashed. As they gathered at the schoolhouse, the girls fresh and crisp in their newly starched dresses, with red or blue hair-ribbons, the boys very self-conscious in their dark suits, clean collars, new caps (all but Ralph), and blacked shoes, there was no little 'Lias. They waited and waited, but there was no sign of him. Finally Uncle Henry, who was to drive the straw-ride down to town, looked at his watch, gathered up the reins, and said they would be late if they didn't start right away. Maybe 'Lias had had a chance to ride in with somebody else.

They all piled in, the horses stepped off, the wheels grated on the stones. And just at that moment a dismal sound of sobbing wails reached them from the woodshed back of the schoolhouse. The children tumbled out as fast as they had tumbled in, and ran back, Betsy and Ralph at their head. There in the woodshed was little 'Lias, huddled in the corner behind some wood, crying and crying and crying, digging his fists into his eyes, his face all smeared with tears and dirt. And he was dressed again in his filthy, torn old overalls and ragged shirt. His poor little bare feet shone with a piteous cleanliness in that dark place.

"What's the matter? What's the matter?" the children asked him all at once. He flung himself on Ralph, burying his face in the other boy's coat, and sobbed out some disjointed story which only Ralph could hear . . . and then as last and final climax of the disaster, who should come looking over the shoulders of the children but Uncle Henry and Mr. Pond!  And 'Lias all ragged and dirty again! Betsy sat down weakly on a pile of wood, utterly disheartened. What was the use of anything!

"What's the matter?" asked the two men together.

Ralph turned, with an angry toss of his dark head, and told them bitterly, over the heads of the children: "He just had some decent clothes. . . . First ones he's ever  had! And he was lotting on going to the exercises in the Town Hall. And that darned old skunk of a stepfather has gone and taken 'em and sold 'em to get whiskey. I'd like to kill  him!"

Betsy could have flung her arms around Ralph, he looked so exactly the way she felt. "Yes, he is  a darned old skunk!" she said to herself, rejoicing in the bad words she did not know before. It took  bad words to qualify what had happened.

She saw an electric spark pass from Ralph's blazing eyes to Mr. Pond's broad face, now grim and fierce. She saw Mr. Pond step forward, brushing the children out of his way, like a giant among dwarfs. She saw him stoop and pick little 'Lias up in his great, strong arms, and, holding him close, stride furiously out of the woodshed, across the playground to the buggy which was waiting for him.

"He'll go to the exercises all right!" he called back over his shoulder in a great roar. "He'll go if I have to buy out the whole town to get him an outfit! And that whelp won't get these clothes, either; you hear me say so!"

He sprang into the buggy and, holding 'Lias on his lap, took up the reins and drove rapidly forward.

They saw little 'Lias again, entering the Town Hall, holding fast to Mr. Pond's hand. He was magnificent in a whole suit of store clothes, coat and all, and he wore white stockings and neat, low shoes, like a city child!

They saw him later, up on the platform, squeaking out his little patriotic poem, his eyes, shining like stars, fixed on one broad, smiling face in the audience. When he finished he was overcome with shyness by the applause, and for a moment forgot to turn and leave the platform. He hung his head, and, looking out from under his eyebrows, gave a quaint, shy little smile at the audience. Betsy saw Mr. Pond's great smile waver and grow dim. His eyes filled so full that he had to take out his handkerchief and blow his nose loudly.

And they saw little 'Lias once more, for the last time. Mr. Pond's buggy drove rapidly past their slow-moving hay-wagon, Mr. Pond holding the reins masterfully in one hand. Beside him, very close, sat 'Lias with his lap full of toys, oh, full—like Christmas! In that fleeting glimpse they saw a toy train, a stuffed dog, a candy-box, a pile of picture-books, tops, paper-bags, and even the swinging crane of the big mechanical toy dredge that everybody said the storekeeper could never sell to anybody because it cost so much!

As they passed swiftly, 'Lias looked out at them and waved his little hand flutteringly. His other hand was tightly clasped in Mr. Pond's big one. He was smiling at them all. His eyes looked dazed and radiant. He turned his head as the buggy flashed by to call out, in a shrill, exulting little shout, "Good-bye! Good-bye! I'm going to live with . . . " They could hear no more. He was gone, only his little hand still waving at them over the back of the buggy seat.

Betsy drew a long, long breath. She found that Ralph was looking at her. For a moment, she couldn't think what made him look so different. Then she saw that he was smiling. She had never seen him smile before. He smiled at her as though he were sure she would understand, and never said a word. Betsy looked forward again and saw the gleaming buggy vanishing over the hill in front of them. She smiled back at Ralph silently.

Not a thing had happened the way she had planned; no, not a single thing! But it seemed to her she had never been so happy in her life.


The Adventures of Prickly Porky  by Thornton Burgess

Buster Bear Gives It All Away

I T was very clear that Old Man Coyote wasn't thinking about his stomach just then, but about his legs and how fast they could go. He had been half-way up the hill when he first saw the terrible creature without head, tail, or legs rolling down straight at him. He stopped only long enough for one good look and then he started for the bottom of the hill as fast as he could make his legs go. Now, it is a very bad plan to run fast down-hill. Yes, Sir, it is a very bad plan. You see, once you are started, it is not the easiest thing in the world to stop. And then again, you are quite likely to stub your toes.

This is what Old Man Coyote did. He stubbed his toes and turned a complete somersault. He looked so funny that the little scamps watching him had all they could do to keep from shouting right out. Old Granny Fox and Reddy Fox, looking on from a safe distance, did laugh. You know they had not been friendly with Old Man Coyote since he came to live on the Green Meadows, and as they had themselves had a terrible fright when they first saw the strange creature, they rejoiced in seeing him frightened.

But Old Man Coyote didn't stop for a little thing like a tumble. Oh, my, no! He just rolled over on to his feet and was off again, harder than before. Now there are very few people who can see behind them without turning their heads as Peter Rabbit can, and Old Man Coyote is not one of them. Trying to watch behind him, he didn't see where he was going, and the first thing he knew he ran bump into—guess who! Why, Buster Bear, to be sure.

Where Buster had come from nobody knew, but there he was, as big as life. When Old Man Coyote ran into him, he growled a deep, provoked growl and whirled around with one big paw raised to cuff whoever had so nearly upset him. Old Man Coyote, more frightened than ever, yelped and ran harder than before, so that by the time Buster Bear saw who it was who had run into him, he was safely out of reach and still running.

Then it was that Buster Bear first saw, rolling down the hill, the strange creature which had so frightened Old Man Coyote. Unc' Billy Possum, Jimmy Skunk, Sammy Jay, Peter Rabbit and Mrs. Peter, watching from safe hiding places, wondered if Buster would run too. If he did, it would be almost too good to be true. But he didn't. He looked first at the strange creature rolling down the hill, then at Old Man Coyote running as hard as ever he could, and his shrewd little eyes began to twinkle. Then he began to laugh.

"Ha, ha, ha! Ho, ho, ho! Ha, ha, ho! I see you are up to your old tricks, Prickly Porky!" he shouted, as the strange creature rolled past, almost over his toes and brought up against a little tree at the foot of the hill.


"I see you are up to your old tricks, Prickly Porky!"

Old Man Coyote heard him and stopped short and turned to see what it meant. Very slowly the strange creature unrolled and turned over. There was a head now and a tail and four legs. It was none other than Prickly Porky himself! There was no doubt about it, though he still looked very strange, for he was covered with dead leaves which clung to the thousand little spears hidden in his coat. Prickly Porky grinned.

"You shouldn't have given me away, Buster Bear, just because you have seen me roll down hill before in the Great Woods where we both came from," said he.

"I think it was high time I did," replied Buster Bear, still chuckling. "You might have scared somebody to death down here where they don't know you."

Then everybody came out of their hiding places, laughing and talking all at once, as they told Buster Bear of the joke they had played on Old Man Coyote, and how it had all grown out of the fright Peter Rabbit had received when he just happened along as Prickly Porky was rolling down hill just for fun. As for Old Man Coyote, he sneaked away, grinding his teeth angrily. Like a great many other people, he couldn't take a joke on himself.

So Prickly Porky made himself at home in the Green Forest and took his place among the little people who live there. In just the same way Old Man Coyote came as a stranger to the Green Meadows and established himself there. In the next book you may read all about how he came to the Green Meadows and of some of his adventures there and in the Green Forest.


William Shakespeare

Hark! Hark! The Lark!

Hark! hark! the lark at heaven's gate sings,

And Phoebus 'gins arise

His steeds to water at those springs

On chaliced flowers that lies;

And winking Mary-buds begin

To ope their golden eyes;

With everything that pretty is,

My lady sweet, arise;

Arise, arise!


  WEEK 23  


Our Island Saints  by Amy Steedman

Saint Columba

Part 2 of 2

There was much work to be done by the brothers of the monastery besides their life of prayer and praise. There was the corn to be sown, the harvest to be reaped, cows to be tended, and there was also a seal farm to be cared for on one of the islands close by, where young seals were reared.

"Cross now to the island of Mull," said Columba one day, "and on the open ground near the sea search for the thief Ere, who secretly came last night from the island of Colonsay. During the day he is trying to hide himself among the sandhills under his boat covered with hay, in order that he may cross over to the little island where our young seals are reared, and there, filling his boat with those he has cruelly slain, may return to his own dwelling."

In great haste the brothers set out, and very angry they were when they found this Ere skulking beneath his boat, just as Columba had said. They dragged him to their master with no gentle hands, and waited grimly for him to receive the punishment he deserved.

But the kindly eyes of the abbot only looked sorrowfully at the thief.

"Why dost thou transgress the divine command so often and steal the things of others?" he asked, "Whenever thou art in want come to us, and thou shalt receive whatever needful things thou askest."

Then he ordered that he should be given food. The thief stood with downcast eyes, more truly punished than the brethren knew, and after that the young seals were left in peace.

Among the many travellers who came to Iona to see Columba and to be entertained at the monastery, there were sometimes kings and nobles of high degree, but their coming did not move the abbot as did the arrival of a single poor guest, for whom he would bid the brethren prepare a special welcome. In the midst of all his work he still had time to care for the weak and helpless of God's creatures. Calling one of the brothers to his cell, he gave him his directions.

"At the dawn of the third day from this," he said, "when sitting on the shore of the sea on the western side of the island, I would have thee keep careful watch. For a crane, a stranger from the northern part of Ireland, driven about by the winds through long flights, will come after the ninth hour of the day. It will be fatigued and very weary, and with its strength almost spent will light on the shore and lie down before thee. Treat it tenderly and carry it to a neighbouring house, and there, when it hath been kindly received, do thou house and feed it three days and three nights. Then when refreshed after the three days' rest, it is unwilling to tarry longer with us, it will return with renewed strength to the pleasant part of Ireland from which it came. I earnestly commend it to thee, because it cometh from our own native place."

The brother did as Columba bade him, and when the crane arrived, weary and spent, he carried it in his arms to a safe shelter and tended it until the third day, when it was once more strong and well. Then the happy bird prepared for its homeward flight, and rising ever higher and higher in the air, searched out its way and flew straight for home, strengthened and refreshed by its visit to the saint, just as many a human heart, fainting and sore, won healing from that same kindly heart.

As time went on, Columba returned once or twice to Ireland; but he never stayed there long, for his heart was in his work and the "Island Soldier" was ever in the forefront of the battle.

It was once, when he was visiting the monastery of Saint Ceran in Ireland, that a great crowd came out to meet him, and the monks were obliged to shelter him under a wooden frame to prevent the people from pressing too closely upon him. There were all kinds of people in the crowd, rich and poor alike, all eager to reach the saint and receive his blessing, and among them was a poor boy belonging to the monastery. Now this boy, living as he did amongst the good brothers, ought to have learnt to be clean and neat, obedient and diligent, but that was exactly what he was not. His face and hands were grimy and dirty; his clothes were torn and untidy; he scarcely ever did what he was told to do; and he never did any work that he could possibly help doing. You would not have thought that any good was hidden away under all that naughtiness, any more than you would think that a pearl could be hidden in an ugly oyster shell. But yet the pearl was there.

This boy, whose name was Ernene, pressed through the crowd that day with half-idle curiosity to see the saint, but when he caught a glimpse of that kind beautiful old face, a wild longing filled his heart. Beneath all his naughtiness there had always been a longing after good and beautiful things, and he had dreamed dreams of doing brave and noble deeds and following some great leader. Here then was the leader he had dreamed of, and the sight of his face woke up all the old desires after goodness and a noble life. But it was all so difficult. He was only a poor boy, with no strength to fight against the snares of the Wicked One, no hope of coming out victor in the fight. Surely though, if he could but get near enough to the saint to touch his robe, some of the wonderful strength the saint possessed might be given to him.

Slowly, then, he crept behind the moving figure, ever nearer and nearer, until at last one grimy little hand was stretched out, and caught for a moment the hem of Columba's robe. It was a swift movement, but the saint was quicker still, and with a sudden swing of his arm he turned and caught the boy by the back of his neck and swung him round in front.

There was an instant halt, and angry voices rose from those around. "Let him go, let him go," they cried. "Why touch that unhappy naughty lad?" But no one dared to thrust the child away while Columba's hand still held him close. "Suffer it, brethren," said Columba gently; "suffer it to be so now."

Then he looked down at the poor little quaking form, shaken with terror and confusion. "My son," he said suddenly, "open thy mouth and put out thy tongue."

The boy obeyed instantly. The saint might mean to punish him in some dreadful way, but he was ready to do whatever that voice commanded.

But Columba had seen the shining pearl lying deep down in that little black heart, and he knew of that longing to do noble deeds. Very kindly he smiled into the frightened eyes of the child, and raised his hand, not to strike but to bless. Then he turned to the monks who stood wondering round.

"Though this lad now appears to you vile and worthless," he said, "let no one on that account despise him; for from this hour he shall not only not displease you, but shall greatly delight you. From day to day he shall gradually advance in good conduct, and great shall be his progress in your company. Moreover, to his tongue shall be given of God sound and learned eloquence."

There was no more carelessness, no more disobedience, no more idleness for Ernene after this. Day by day, everything evil and ugly that hid the pearl of good desire was gradually cleared away, and the boy grew to be one of the best and greatest of those who served God in the monastery. There was many a fight before the Evil One was beaten, but the tongue blessed by Columba learned to speak only the words that were true and kindly and pure, and like the helm of a ship, although it was but a little thing, yet it held command over the whole body.

There is no room to tell of all the wonders and brave deeds and kindly acts of Saint Columba. It seemed as if there was nothing that he could not do, for he always believed that God would answer his prayers. When his servant Diomit was dying, Columba knelt by his bedside and prayed for his life, and the life was given back. When the brethren were out one day on a stormy sea in one of the frail hide-covered boats, it was again Columba's prayers that saved them. He had worked with all his might baling out the water, while the waves dashed over the side of the boat and threatened every moment to sink it.

"Pray to God for us," cried the brethren. "That is our only hope."

Then Columba stood up, drenched and blinded by the spray, and he stretched his hands out to heaven and prayed to the Master who once, in a little fishing-boat with His disciples, had met just such a storm as this. And as he prayed, in an instant the answer came. Winds and waves, as of old, knew when to obey the voice of command, and "there was a great calm."

Like his Master, too, Columba loved to seek some lonely quiet place where he could spend the time in prayer, and the place he loved best was the little hill behind the convent. The brothers sometimes wondered why he stayed there so long, and once it happened that one of them, filled with curiosity, climbed up secretly to see what their abbot was doing. But the sight that he saw there put his prying eyes to shame, for it was a vision of angels that met his gaze. There, around the praying form of Columba, God's white-robed messengers hovered, waiting to carry his prayers up to the throne of God. So it is that the place is called the "Angels' Hill" to this day.

The years passed by and Columba, growing old and frail, knew that his work was nearly done and the end drawing nigh. He had half hoped that at Eastertide God would call him home, but knowing that the Easter joy of the others would then be turned into sadness, he waited patiently for God's good time.

The month of June had come. The island looked its fairest, decked in tender greens and embroidered with late spring flowers. The sea was at its bluest under the cloudless sky, and everything spoke of life and joy. But the hearts of the brethren in the monastery were heavy and sad. Each day they saw their beloved abbot growing more and more feeble, and they too knew the end was near. His steps now were slow and painful, and it was with difficulty that he made his way to the granary to bless the corn, as was his wont. As he went he leaned upon the shoulder of his faithful servant Diomit, but even then he could go but slowly; and coming back he sat down to rest at the wayside, for he was very weary. The white horse belonging to the monastery came by as he sat there, and seeing its master, stopped and looked with wise, sorrowful eyes at the tired figure resting by the roadside. All animals loved Columba, and many a kind word and handful of corn had this horse received from the master's hand as it daily carried the milk pails to the monastery.

But to-day, in some curious way, the white horse saw the shadow of death which was already beginning to steal up over the waning life of the saint, and it came nearer and nearer until it nuzzled its head in Columba's bosom, giving little whinnying cries of distress while the tears filled its eyes. Diomit would have driven the creature off, but Columba would not allow that.

"Suffer him, since he loves me," he said, "to pour out his grief into my bosom. Thou, though thou art a man, could in no way have known of my departure if I had not told thee, but to this animal the Creator in His own way has revealed that his master is about to leave him."

Then, slowly rising, Columba lifted his hand and blessed the horse as it stood there with sorrowful hanging head.

Before returning home, the saint, weary as he was, climbed once more the little hill he loved, and there, looking down upon the monastery, he blessed it in words that have been carried down through all the years.

"To this place," he said, "small and mean though it be, not only the Kings of the Scots with their peoples, but also rulers of strange and foreign nations and their subjects, shall bring great honour in no common measure, and by the saints of other churches shall no slight reverence be shown."

So the last blessing was given, and the work almost finished. Only a few verses of the Psalms remained to be copied, and these Columba sat writing when he returned to his hut.

"They that seek the Lord shall want no manner of thing that is good."

Slowly and carefully the words were written, and the work was finished.

"Here I shall stop," he said, and the pen was laid aside for ever.

The summer twilight lingered on long after the crimson banners of the sinking sun had faded into grey. Then one by one the stars came out, and a deep silence brooded over the monastery. Suddenly, as midnight struck, the chapel bell rang out clear and sharp, and in an instant there was a stir among the little huts as the brothers prepared to answer the call to prayer. Swiftly then a tall grey figure came running towards the chapel and entered the door. Diomit, hurrying after, paused and looked up at the windows in amazement. The whole chapel was filled with a blaze of light, and the glory was reflected in every window. What could it mean?

Hastening on he reached the door, but when he entered the light had faded and all within was thick darkness.

"My father, my father, where art thou?" cried Diomit, as he groped his way in with trembling outstretched hands. Then, as his eyes grew more accustomed to the darkness, he dimly saw a figure lying silent and still before the altar. In a moment he was kneeling by Columba's side and raising him in his arms, while the rest of the brothers, bearing lights, came hurrying in.

There was a wild outburst of sobs and cries of grief as the brethren gathered round, but all sounds were hushed when they looked at the face of their dying master. It was no earthly joy that shone there, but a glory of shining happiness reflected from the angel faces which only his eyes could see. Diomit, praying for a last blessing, raised the master's hand, and as the sign was given, Columba's soul went home to God.

Kneeling round, the brothers sang the usual midnight service, their voices choked with sobs; and in their midst lay the quiet figure, the vision of angels still reflected upon the calm happy face.


The Boxcar Children  by Gertrude Chandler Warner

At Home

J ESS and Henry had a short committee meeting next morning before the others awoke. It was agreed that nobody should be allowed to stray off into the woods alone, not even the dog. And with much mystery Henry left some orders with all of them, as to what they should build for him during the morning.

"What for?" asked Benny.

"Shan't tell, old fellow," teased Henry. "You just build it, and you'll see later."

So Henry walked briskly through the woods, feeling sure that the noise in the night had been made by a rabbit.

Having no watch, Henry made a slight mistake by appearing at the young doctor's door before eight o'clock. He was just in time to meet the doctor coming in from a night call.

If Henry had not been so eager to begin work, he would have noticed how the young man's dark eyes examined him from head to foot, even to his plastered hair, wet with brook water. It was not the doctor who directed his work, but the doctor's mother—the sweet-faced Mrs. McAllister, whose heart was centered in her son and her vegetable garden.

Her heart warmed to the boy when she saw how carefully he thinned out the carrots, which had been sadly neglected.

"I have been so busy," she declared, "that I have actually stayed awake nights worrying about these carrots. There—see that?" She pulled out a fairly good-sized carrot as she spoke. It had to come out, for it was much too near its neighbors. In fact, when Henry had thinned out half a row he had quite a little pile of eatable carrots, each as large as his thumb. When Mrs. McAllister saw Henry deftly press the earth back again around the carrots which remained standing, she left him quietly with a smile. Here was a gardener whom she could trust.

Henry worked steadily in the hot sun, completing row after row of carrots, parsnips, and onions. When the mill bells rang at noon he worked on, without noticing that his employer was again watching him.

When he did at last notice her he asked her, smiling, what she wanted done with the things he had pulled up.

"Oh, throw them away," she said indifferently. "Toss them over into the orchard, and sometime we'll burn them when they get dry."

"Do you mind if I take them myself?" asked Henry, hesitatingly.

"Oh, no," said Mrs. McAllister cordially. "Have you chickens? That will be fine."

Henry was thankful that she went right along without waiting for an answer. But in a way he did have chickens, he thought.

"You must stop working now," she said. "Any time you want to do something, there will be a place for you here." She gave him a dollar bill, and left the delighted boy with the piles of precious little vegetables. As long as Henry expected to return so soon, he hastily selected an orderly bunch of the largest of the carrots and the smallest of the onions. He added a few of the miniature parsnips for good measure. They looked like dolls' vegetables. When Henry walked down the drive with his "bouquet," he would have seen a face at the window if he had looked up. But he did not look up. He was too anxious to get to the little old man's shop and order his meat.

So it happened that Henry walked in upon his little family at about two o'clock with all the materials for a feast. The feast could not be made ready before night, Jess hastened to explain to Benny, who was perfectly satisfied anyway with bread and milk in his pink cup.

"Your building is done," Benny informed his brother. "I builded lots of it."

"He really did," agreed Violet, leading the way to the sunny open spot a trifle behind the house. The "building" was a fireplace. With an enormous amount of labor, the children had made quite a hollow at the base of a rock. This was lined completely with flat stones. More flat stones had been set on end to keep out the wind. On top of the stones lay the most wonderful collection of firewood that you can imagine, all ready to light. There were chips and bits of crumpled paper, pine cones, and dry twigs. Beside the big rock was a woodpile. The children had apparently been working like beavers all the morning. Jess had found a heavy wire in the dump, and had fastened it between two trees. On the wire the kettle swung merrily.

"Fine! Fine!" shouted Henry when he saw it. "I couldn't have done it so well myself." And he honestly believed it.

"We have dinner at night, here," observed Jess impressively. "What did you buy?"

When the girls saw the tiny vegetables they began with cries of delight to cut them from their stalks with Henry's knife and a broken paring knife. They scrubbed them in the "washtub," filled the kettle half full of water from the "well," and proceeded in great excitement to cut the raw meat into cubes. When this had been dropped into the kettle, Henry lighted the fire. It burned frantically, as if it were trying to encourage the stew to do its best. Violet laid the tin plate over the top for a cover, and they all stood by to hear the first bubble. Soon the savory stuff in the kettle began to boil in good earnest. Watch sat down gravely near it, and gave an approving sniff at intervals.

"Keep it boiling," advised Henry as he departed again. "When I come home tonight I'll bring some salt. And for mercy's sake, don't get on fire."

Violet pointed silently at the big teapot. The little girl had filled it with water in case of emergency. "That's if Benny gets on fire," she explained—"or Watch."

Henry laughed and went on his way happily enough. He wished he might share the delightful task of keeping the fire going and sniffing the stew, but when he found out his afternoon's duties, he changed his mind abruptly.

"Think you can clean up this garage?" asked Dr. McAllister quizzically when he appeared.

Henry flashed a look around the place, and met the young man's eyes with a smile. It did need cleaning rather badly. When its owner purred out in his high-powered little car, Henry drew a long breath and began in earnest. He opened all the chests of drawers to begin with. Then he arranged all the tools in the largest deep drawer, and with a long-handled brush and a can of black paint that was nearly dry, he labeled the drawer TOOLS with neat lettering. Another drawer he lettered NAILS, and assorted its contents into a few of the many boxes that were lying around. He folded up the robes he found, swept off the shelves and arranged the oil cans in orderly ranks, sorted out innumerable pairs of gloves, and then swept the floor. He washed the cement floor with the hose, and while waiting for it to dry he rinsed his brushes in turpentine.

To tell the truth, Henry had found a few things in the rubbish which he had stored in his own pocket. The treasure consisted in this case of a quantity of bent and rusty nails of all sizes, and a few screws and nuts.

When Dr. McAllister returned at six o'clock he found Henry corking up the turpentine and arranging the brushes on the shelf.

"My word!" he exclaimed, staring at his garage with his mouth open. Then he threw back his head and laughed till his mother came down the walk to see what the matter was.

"Look at my gloves, Mother," he said, wiping his eyes. "All mated up. They never met each other before, that I remember."

Mrs. McAllister looked the garage over, and observed the newly labeled drawers. Her son opened one of them, and looked at his four hammers.

"My tack hammer, Mother," he said, "your tack hammer, and two other hammers! That last one I never expected to see again. If you can use it, you may have it, my boy."

Now, it is no exaggeration to say that at that moment if Henry had been asked what he wanted most of anything in the world he would have answered without any hesitation whatever, "A hammer."

He accepted it gratefully, hardly able to stand still, so anxious was he to put it into use on the hill he called home.

"Tomorrow's Sunday," said the doctor. "Shall I see you on Monday?"

"Oh, yes," replied Henry, who had lost all track of the days.

"The cherries need picking," said his new friend. "We could use any number of cherry pickers, if they were as careful as you." He gave him an odd look.

"Could you?" asked Henry eagerly. "I'll surely come down."

With that, he bade his friends good-by and started for home, richer by another dollar, two doughnuts the cook had given him, a pocket full of crooked nails, and the rest of the vegetables.

When he reached his freight-car home a delicious savor greeted him.

"Onions!" he shouted, running up to the kettle. The cook stood by and took off the cover and put in the salt. It was absolutely the most tantalizing odor that Henry had ever smelled. Years afterward Jess tried to duplicate it with the same kettle, vegetables from the same garden and all stirred with the same spoon, but it didn't equal this stew in flavor.

"A ladle, as sure as I live!" gasped Henry. Jess had found a tin cup in the dump, and fastened on a wooden handle with a bit of wire. And when she ladled out four portions on four plates of all sizes, some of them tin, and laid a spoon in each, the children felt that the world held no greater riches. The tiny onions floated around like pearls; the carrots melted in your mouth; and the shreds of meat were as tender as possible from long boiling. A bit of bread in one hand helped the feast along wonderfully. The little wanderers ate until they could eat no more.

"I have time before dark to make Benny's cart," observed Henry, biting a crisp, sweet carrot.

"With my wheels?" asked Benny.

"Yes, sir, with your wheels," agreed Henry. "Only, when it's done, you'll have to cart stones in it."

"Sure," said Benny with satisfaction. "Cart stones or anything."

"We'll need it in making the dam," explained Henry for the benefit of his sisters. "Tomorrow's Sunday, so I shan't work down in the town. Do you think it's all right to build the pool on Sunday, Jess?"

"I certainly do," replied Jess with emphasis. "We're just building the dam so we can keep clean. I guess if Sunday is your only day off, it'll be all right."

Henry's conscience was set at rest as he began with great delight to hammer out his bent nails. He and Benny ran about finding pieces of wood to fasten the wheels on. A visit to the dump was necessary at last, in order to find just the right piece of timber for a tongue, but before it was too dark to see, Henry had pounded the last nail in place and trundled the flat cart back and forth just to see it go. The cart seemed valuable enough to all of them to take into the house for the night. And Henry could not afford to laugh at Benny for going to sleep with his hand upon one of his precious wheels, for he himself had tucked his new hammer under his pillow.


Nellie M. Garabrant


There's a dandy little fellow,

Who dresses all in yellow,

In yellow with an overcoat of green;

With his hair all crisp and curly,

In the springtime bright and early

A-tripping o'er the meadow he is seen.

Through all the bright June weather,

Like a jolly little tramp,

He wanders o'er the hillside, down the road;

Around his yellow feather,

The gypsy fireflies camp ;

His companions are the woodlark and the toad.

But at last this little fellow

Doffs his dainty coat of yellow,

And very feebly totters o'er the green;

For he very old is growing

And with hair all white and flowing,

A-nodding in the sunlight he is seen.

Oh, poor dandy, once so spandy,

Golden dancer on the lea!

Older growing, white hair flowing,

Poor little baldhead dandy now is he!