Text of Plan #970
  WEEK 24  


Pinocchio  by Carlo Collodi

The Island of the "Industrious Bees"

Pinocchio arrives at the island of the "Industrious Bees," and finds the Fairy again.

P INOCCHIO, hoping to be in time to help his father, swam the whole night.

And what a horrible night it was! The rain came down in torrents, it hailed, the thunder was frightful, and the flashes of lightning made it as light as day.

Towards morning he saw a long strip of land not far off. It was an island in the midst of the sea.

He tried his utmost to reach the shore: but it was all in vain. The waves, racing and tumbling over each other, knocked him about as if he had been a stick or a wisp of straw. At last, fortunately for him, a billow rolled up with such fury and impetuosity that he was lifted up and thrown violently far on to the sands.

He fell with such force that, as he struck the ground, his ribs and all his joints cracked, but he comforted himself, saying:

"This time also I have made a wonderful escape!"

Little by little the sky cleared, the sun shone out in all his splendour, and the sea became as quiet and smooth as oil.

The puppet put his clothes in the sun to dry, and began to look in every direction in hopes of seeing on the vast expanse of water a little boat with a little man in it. But although he looked and looked, he could see nothing but the sky, and the sea, and the sail of some ship, but so far away that it seemed no bigger than a fly.

"If I only knew what this island was called!" he said to himself. "If I only knew whether it was inhabited by civilised people—I mean by people who have not got the bad habit of hanging boys to the branches of the trees. But who can I ask? who, if there is nobody? . . ."

This idea of finding himself alone, alone, all alone, in the midst of this great uninhabited country, made him so melancholy that he was just beginning to cry. But at that moment, at a short distance from the shore, he saw a big fish swimming by; it was going quietly on its own business with its head out of the water.

Not knowing its name the puppet called to it in a loud voice to make himself heard:

"Eh, Sir fish, will you permit me a word with you?"

"Two if you like," answered the fish, who was a Dolphin, and so polite that few similar are to be found in any sea in the world.

"Will you be kind enough to tell me if there are villages in this island where it would be possible to obtain something to eat, without running the danger of being eaten?"

"Certainly there are," replied the Dolphin. "Indeed you will find one at a short distance from here."

"And what road must I take to go there?"

"You must take that path to your left and follow your nose. You cannot make a mistake."

"Will you tell me another thing? You who swim about the sea all day and all night, have you by chance met a little boat with my papa in it?"

"And who is your papa?"

"He is the best papa in the world, whilst it would be difficult to find a worse son than I am."

"During the terrible storm last night," answered the Dolphin, "the little boat must have gone to the bottom."

"And my papa?"

"He must have been swallowed by the terrible Dog-fish who for some days past has been spreading devastation and ruin in our waters."

"Is this Dog-fish very big?" asked Pinocchio, who was already beginning to quake with fear.

"Big! . . ." replied the Dolphin. "That you may form some idea of his size, I need only tell you that he is bigger than a five-storied house, and that his mouth is so enormous and so deep that a railway train with its smoking engine could pass easily down his throat."

"Mercy upon us!" exclaimed the terrified puppet and putting on his clothes with the greatest haste he said to the Dolphin:

"Good-bye, Sir fish: excuse the trouble I have given you, and many thanks for your politeness."

He then took the path that had been pointed out to him and began to walk fast—so fast, indeed, that he was almost running. And at the slightest noise he turned to look behind him, fearing that he might see the terrible Dog-fish with a railway train in its mouth following him.

After a walk of half an hour he reached a little village called "The village of the Industrious Bees." The road was alive with people running here and there to attend to their business: all were at work, all had something to do. You could not have found an idler or a vagabond, not even if you had searched for him with a lighted lamp.

"Ah!" said that lazy Pinocchio at once, "I see that this village will never suit me! I wasn't born to work!"

In the meanwhile he was tormented by hunger, for he had eaten nothing for twenty-four hours—not even vetch. What was he to do?

There were only two ways by which he could obtain food—either by asking for a little work, or by begging for a halfpenny or for a mouthful of bread.

He was ashamed to beg, for his father had always preached to him that no one had a right to beg except the aged and the infirm. The really poor in this world, deserving of compassion and assistance, are only those who from age or sickness are no longer able to earn their own bread with the labour of their hands. It is the duty of every one else to work; and if they will not work, so much the worse for them if they suffer from hunger.

At that moment a man came down the road, tired and panting for breath. He was dragging alone, with fatigue and difficulty, two carts full of charcoal.

Pinocchio, judging by his face that he was a kind man, approached him, and casting down his eyes with shame he said to him in a low voice:

"Would you have the charity to give me a halfpenny, for I am dying of hunger?"

"You shall have not only a halfpenny," said the man, "but I will give you twopence, provided that you help me to drag home these two carts of charcoal."

"I am surprised at you!" answered the puppet in a tone of offence. "Let me tell you that I am not accustomed to do the work of a donkey: I have never drawn a cart! . . ."

"So much the better for you," answered the man. "Then, my boy, if you are really dying of hunger, eat two fine slices of your pride, and be careful not to get an indigestion."

A few minutes afterwards a mason passed down the road carrying on his shoulders a basket of lime.

"Would you have the charity, good man, to give a halfpenny to a poor boy who is yawning for want of food?"

"Willingly," answered the man. "Come with me and carry the lime, and instead of a halfpenny I will give you five."

"But the lime is heavy," objected Pinocchio, "and I don't want to tire myself."

"If you don't want to tire yourself, then, my boy, amuse yourself with yawning, and much good may it do you."


"Amuse yourself with yawning, and much good may it do you."

In less than half an hour twenty other people went by; and Pinocchio asked charity of them all, but they all answered:

"Are you not ashamed to beg? Instead of idling about the roads, go and look for a little work and learn to earn your bread."

At last a nice little woman carrying two cans of water came by.

"Will you let me drink a little water out of your can?" asked Pinocchio, who was burning with thirst.

"Drink, my boy, if you wish it!" said the little woman, setting down the two cans.

Pinocchio drank like a fish, and as he dried his mouth he mumbled:

"I have quenched my thirst. If I could only appease my hunger! . . ."

The good woman hearing these words said at once:

"If you will help me to carry home these two cans of water, I will give you a fine piece of bread."

Pinocchio looked at the can and answered neither yes nor no.

"And besides the bread you shall have a nice dish of cauliflower dressed with oil and vinegar," added the good woman.

Pinocchio gave another look at the can, and answered neither yes nor no.

"And after the cauliflower I will give you a beautiful bonbon full of syrup."

The temptation of this last dainty was so great that Pinocchio could resist no longer, and with an air of decision he said:

"I must have patience! I will carry the can to your house."

The can was heavy, and the puppet not being strong enough to carry it in his hand, had to resign himself to carry it on his head.

When they reached the house the good little woman made Pinocchio sit down at a small table already laid, and she placed before him the bread, the cauliflower, and the bonbon.


Pinocchio did not eat, he devoured. His stomach was like an apartment that had been left empty and uninhabited for five months.

When his ravenous hunger was somewhat appeased he raised his head to thank his benefactress; but he had no sooner looked at her than he gave a prolonged Oh-h-h! of astonishment, and continued staring at her, with wide open eyes, his fork in the air, and his mouth full of bread and cauliflower, as if he had been bewitched.

"What has surprised you so much?" asked the good woman, laughing.

"It is . . ." answered the puppet, "it is . . . it is . . . that you are like . . . that you remind me . . . yes, yes, yes, the same voice . . . the same eyes . . . the same hair . . . yes, yes, yes . . . you also have blue hair . . . as she had . . . Oh, little Fairy! . . . tell me that it is you, really you! . . . Do not make me cry any more! If you knew . . . I have cried so much, I have suffered so much . . ."

And throwing himself at her feet on the floor, Pinocchio embraced the knees of the mysterious little woman and began to cry bitterly.



Richard of Jamestown  by James Otis

Captain Smith a Prisoner

When the voyage was begun, and the captain no longer had need of me, I was sent into the forward part of the ship to live, as has already been set down, and therefore it was I knew nothing of what was being done in the great cabin, where the leaders of the company were quartered, until after my master was made a prisoner.

Then it was told me by the seaman who had been called by Captain Kendall, as if it was feared my master, being such a great soldier, might strive to harm those who miscalled him a traitor to that which he had sworn.

It seems, so the seaman said, that Captain John Martin was the one who made the charges against my master, on the night after we set sail from Martinique, when all the chief men of the company were met in the great cabin, and he declared that, when it was possible to do so, meaning after we had come to the land of Virginia, witnesses should be brought from the other ships to prove the wicked intent.

Then it was that Captain George Kendall declared my master must be kept a close prisoner until the matter could be disposed of, and all the others, save Captain Bartholomew Gosnold, agreeing, heavy irons were put upon him. He was shut up in his sleeping place, having made no outcry nor attempt to do any harm, save that he declared himself innocent of wrong doing.


But for Captain Gosnold and Master Hunt, the preacher, I should not have been permitted to go in and learn if I might do anything for his comfort. The other leaders declared that my master was a dangerous man, who should not be allowed to have speech with any person save themselves, lest he send some message to those who were said to be concerned with him in the plot.


Richard of Jamestown  by James Otis

I Attend My Master

Master hunt spoke up right manfully in behalf of Captain Smith, with the result that I was given free entrance to that small room which had been made his prison, save that I must at all times leave the door open, so those who were in the great cabin could hear if I was charged with any message to the seamen.

My eyes were filled with tears when my master told me that he had no thought save that of benefiting those who were with him in the adventure, and that he would not lend his countenance to any wicked plot.

I begged him to understand that I knew right well he would do no manner of wrong to any man, and asked the privilege of being with him all the time, to serve him when he could not serve himself because of the irons that fettered his legs.

And so it was that I had opportunity to do that which made my master as true a friend as ever lad had, for in the later days when we were come to Virginia and beset by savages more cruel than wild beasts, he ventured his own life again and again to save mine, which was so worthless as compared with his.

Only that I might tell how the voyage progressed, did I go on deck, or have speech with Nathaniel Peacock, and only through me did my master know when we were come to this island or that, together with what was to be seen in such places.


Richard of Jamestown  by James Otis

Several Islands Visited

Therefore it was that when, on the next day after he was made a prisoner, we were come to anchor off that island which the savages called Guadaloupe, and Nathaniel had been permitted to go on shore in one of the boats, I could tell my master of the wondrous waters which were found there.

Nathaniel told me that water spouted up out of the earth so hot, that when Captain Newport threw into it a piece of pork tied to a rope, the meat was cooked in half an hour, even as if it had been over a roaring hot fire.


After that we passed many islands, the names of which I could not discover, until we came to anchor within half a musket shot from the shore of that land which is known as Nevis. Here we lay six days, and the chief men of the company went on shore for sport and to hunt, save always either Captain Martin or Captain Kendall, who remained on board to watch the poor prisoner, while he, my master, lay in his narrow bed sweltering under the great heat.

During all this while, the seamen and our gentlemen got much profit and sport from hunting and fishing, adding in no small degree to our store of food. Had Captain Smith not been kept from going on shore by the wickedness of those who were jealous because of his great fame as a soldier, I dare venture to say our stay at this island of Nevis would have been far more to our advantage.

From this place we went to what Master Hunt told me were the Virgin islands, and here the men went ashore again to hunt; but my master, speaking no harsh words against those who were wronging him, lay in the small, stinging hot room, unable to get for himself even a cup of water, though I took good care he should not suffer from lack of kindly care.


Then on a certain day we sailed past that land which Captain Gosnold told me was Porto Rico, and next morning came to anchor off the island of Mona, where the seamen were sent ashore to get fresh water, for our supply was running low.

Captain Newport, and many of the other gentlemen, went on shore to hunt, and so great was the heat that Master Edward Brookes fell down dead, one of the sailors telling Nathaniel that the poor man's fat was melted until he could no longer live; but Captain Smith, who knows more concerning such matters than all this company rolled into one, save I might except Master Hunt, declared that the fat of a live person does not melt, however great the heat. It is the sun shining too fiercely on one's head that brings about death, and thus it was that Master Brookes died.


Agnes Mitchell

When the Cows Come Home

With klingle, klangle, klingle,

Way down the dusty dingle

The cows are coming home;

How sweet and clear, and faint and low,

The airy tinklings come and go,

Like chimings from some far-off tower,

Or patterings of an April shower

That makes the daisies grow—

Ko-kling ko-klang, koklingle lingle,

Way down the darkening dingle

The cows come slowly home.

With a klingle, klangle, klingle,

With a loo-oo and moo-oo and jingle

The cows are coming home:

And over there on Merlin's hill

Hear the plaintive cry of the whip-poor-will,

The dewdrops lie on the tangled vines,

And over the poplar Venus shines

And over the silent mill.

Ko-ling, ko-lang, kolingle lingle

With a ting-a-ling and jingle

The cows come slowly home.

Let down the bars, let in the strain

Of long-gone songs, and flowers and rain;

For dear old times come back again

When the cows come home.


  WEEK 24  


Fifty Famous Stories Retold  by James Baldwin

The Story of Cincinnatus

T HERE was a man named Cincinnatus who lived on a little farm not far from the city of Rome. He had once been rich, and had held the highest office in the land; but in one way or another he had lost all his wealth. He was now so poor that he had to do all the work on his farm with his own hands. But in those days it was thought to be a noble thing to till the soil.

Cin-cin-na-tus was so wise and just that every-body trusted him, and asked his advice; and when any one was in trouble, and did not know what to do, his neighbors would say,—

"Go and tell Cincinnatus. He will help you."

Now there lived among the mountains, not far away, a tribe of fierce, half-wild men, who were at war with the Roman people. They per-suad-ed another tribe of bold war-riors to help them, and then marched toward the city, plun-der-ing and robbing as they came. They boasted that they would tear down the walls of Rome, and burn the houses, and kill all the men, and make slaves of the women and children.

At first the Romans, who were very proud and brave, did not think there was much danger. Every man in Rome was a soldier, and the army which went out to fight the robbers was the finest in the world. No one stayed at home with the women and children and boys but the white-haired "Fathers," as they were called, who made the laws for the city, and a small company of men who guarded the walls. Everybody thought that it would be an easy thing to drive the men of the mountains back to the place where they belonged.

But one morning five horsemen came riding down the road from the mountains. They rode with great speed; and both men and horses were covered with dust and blood. The watchman at the gate knew them, and shouted to them as they gal-loped in. Why did they ride thus? and what had happened to the Roman army?

They did not answer him, but rode into the city and along the quiet streets; and everybody ran after them, eager to find out what was the matter. Rome was not a large city at that time; and soon they reached the market place where the white-haired Fathers were sitting. Then they leaped from their horses, and told their story.

"Only yes-ter-day," they said, "our army was marching through a narrow valley between two steep mountains. All at once a thou-sand sav-age men sprang out from among the rocks before us and above us. They had blocked up the way; and the pass was so narrow that we could not fight. We tried to come back; but they had blocked up the way on this side of us too. The fierce men of the mountains were before us and behind us, and they were throwing rocks down upon us from above. We had been caught in a trap. Then ten of us set spurs to our horses; and five of us forced our way through, but the other five fell before the spears of the mountain men. And now, O Roman Fathers! send help to our army at once, or every man will be slain, and our city will be taken."

"What shall we do?" said the white-haired Fathers. "Whom can we send but the guards and the boys? and who is wise enough to lead them, and thus save Rome?"

All shook their heads and were very grave; for it seemed as if there was no hope. Then one said "Send for Cincinnatus. He will help us."

Cincinnatus was in the field plowing when the men who had been sent to him came in great haste. He stopped and greeted them kindly, and waited for them to speak.

"Put on your cloak, Cincinnatus," they said, "and hear the words of the Roman people."

Then Cincinnatus wondered what they could mean. "Is all well with Rome?" he asked; and he called to his wife to bring him his cloak.

She brought the cloak; and Cincinnatus wiped the dust from his hands and arms, and threw it over his shoulders. Then the men told their errand.

They told him how the army with all the noblest men of Rome had been en-trapped in the mountain pass. They told him about the great danger the city was in. Then they said, "The people of Rome make you their ruler and the ruler of their city, to do with everything as you choose; and the Fathers bid you come at once and go out against our enemies, the fierce men of the mountains."


So Cincinnatus left his plow standing where it was, and hurried to the city. When he passed through the streets, and gave orders as to what should be done, some of the people were afraid, for they knew that he had all power in Rome to do what he pleased. But he armed the guards and the boys, and went out at their head to fight the fierce mountain men, and free the Roman army from the trap into which it had fallen.

A few days afterward there was great joy in Rome. There was good news from Cincinnatus. The men of the mountains had been beaten with great loss. They had been driven back into their own place.

And now the Roman army, with the boys and the guards, was coming home with banners flying and shouts of vic-to-ry; and at their head rode Cincinnatus. He had saved Rome.

Cincinnatus might then have made himself king; for his word was law, and no man dared lift a finger against him. But, before the people could thank him enough for what he had done, he gave back the power to the white-haired Roman Fathers, and went again to his little farm and his plow.

He had been the ruler of Rome for sixteen days.


Seaside and Wayside, Book One  by Julia McNair Wright

Some Other Crabs

A LL crabs are not alike. There are many kinds. They differ in shape, color, and habits.

Some are not at all pretty. Some are very pretty. All are very queer.

The Spider Crab has long, thin legs. The front of his shell, which is over his head, is not wide, but is a sharp point. This is to help him dig his way into sand and mud.


Spider Crab

Some crabs do not make a house in the sand; they live in holes in the rocks.

The Horse-Shoe Crab is of a chestnut color.

Some call him the King Crab. Look at his picture. His shell is of the shape of the hoof of a horse, but it has a long tail, with sharp points on the edges. The tail is as hard as wood, and has edges like a file.


The Horse-Shoe or King Crab lives in sand and in mud. He chooses the muddy banks where rivers or streams run into the sea. He pushes his way in the mud, with his big, round shell, and scrapes the mud out with his many feet. He eats the worms he finds in the sand and mud.

Why are the worms down there? Like Mr. Crab, they build a house in the mud. Some time I will tell you about these worms.

Now and then, as Mr. Crab goes along under the ground, he finds in his way a long, soft thing that looks good to eat. It is the long pipe or tube with which a clam takes his food. The King Crab puts out his claw to get it. The King Crab can move his hand claw as quickly as your cat can strike with her paw. But the clam is far more quick than the King Crab, and shuts his shell down on the King Crab's claw. Now is he held fast, like a rat in a trap!

The King Crab waits to see if the clam will let go. No, he will not. Then the crab drops off his claw, and goes away to hide while a new one grows.

Do you see, in the picture, a crab in a shell made like a curl?


The Hermit Crab

That crab steals his house. He finds an empty shell, and goes into it to live. It is odd to see him run, with the shell he stole on his back.

How does this crab live? By fishing. All crabs hunt and fish. I have told you how they hunt on the sand for bugs and flies. Did I not tell you how they hunt for grubs and worms under ground?

How do crabs fish? Mr. Crab gets into a good place to fish. He pops out his eyes to see all about him. Then when things that he likes to eat float by, he strikes out with his big hand.

He catches what he wants nearly every time, he is so quick. Crabs are very greedy; they spend much time eating.


Lydia Maria Child

Who Stole the Bird's Nest?

"To-whit! to-whit! to-whee!

Will you listen to me?

Who stole four eggs I laid,

And the nice nest I made?"

"Not I," said the cow, "Moo-oo!

Such a thing I'd never do.

I gave you a wisp of hay,

But didn't take your nest away.

Not I," said the cow, "Moo-oo!

Such a thing I'd never do."

"To-whit! to-whit! to-whee!

Will you listen to me?

Who stole four eggs I laid,

And the nice nest I made?"

"Bob-o'-link! Bob-o'-link!

Now what do you think?

Who stole a nest away

From the plum tree, to-day?"

"Not I," said the dog, "Bow-wow!

I wouldn't be so mean, anyhow!

I gave hairs the nest to make,

But the nest I did not take.

Not I," said the dog, "Bow-wow!

I'm not so mean, anyhow."

"To-whit! to-whit! to-whee!

Will you listen to me?

Who stole four eggs I laid,

And the nice nest I made?"

"Bob-o'-link! Bob-o'-link!

Now what do you think?

Who stole a nest away

From the plum tree, to-day?"

"Coo-coo! Coo-coo! Coo-coo!

Let me speak a word, too!

Who stole that pretty nest

From little yellow-breast?"

"Not I," said the sheep, "Oh, no!

I wouldn't treat a poor bird so.

I gave wool the nest to line,

But the nest was none of mine.

Baa! Baa!" said the sheep, "Oh, no,

I wouldn't treat a poor bird so."

"To-whit! to-whit! to-whee!

Will you listen to me?

Who stole four eggs I laid,

And the nice nest I made?"

"Bob-o'-link! Bob-o'-link!

Now what do you think?

Who stole a nest away

From the plum tree, to-day?"

"Coo-coo! Coo-coo! Coo-coo!

Let me speak a word, too!

Who stole that pretty nest

From little yellow-breast?"

"Caw! Caw!" cried the crow;

"I too should like to know

What thief took away

A bird's nest, to-day?"

"Cluck! Cluck!" said the hen;

"Don't ask me again,

Why, I haven't a chick

Would do such a trick.

We all gave her a feather,

And she wove them together.

I'd scorn to intrude

On her and her brood.

Cluck! Cluck!" said the hen,

"Don't ask me again."

"Chirr-a-whirr! Chirr-a-whirr!

We'll make a great stir!

And find out his name,

And all cry 'For shame!' "

"I would not rob a bird,"

Said little Mary Green;

"I think I never heard

Of anything so mean."

"It is very cruel, too,"

Said little Alice Neal;

"I wonder if he knew

How sad the bird would feel?"

A little boy hung down his head,

And went and hid behind the bed,

For he  stole that pretty nest

From poor little yellow-breast

And he felt so full of shame,

He didn't like to tell his name.


  WEEK 24  


The Burgess Bird Book for Children  by Thornton Burgess

More Robbers

B Y the sounds of rejoicing among the feathered folks of the Old Orchard Johnny Chuck knew that it was quite safe for him to come out. He was eager to tell Skimmer the Tree Swallow how glad he was that Mr. Blacksnake had been driven away before he could get Skimmer's eggs. As he poked his head out of his doorway he became aware that something was still wrong in the Old Orchard. Into the glad chorus there broke a note of distress and sorrow. Johnny instantly recognized the voices of Welcome Robin and Mrs. Robin. There is not one among his feathered neighbors who can so express worry and sorrow as can the Robins.

Johnny was just in time to see all the birds hurrying over to that part of the Old Orchard where the Robins had built their home. The rejoicing suddenly gave way to cries of indignation and anger, and Johnny caught the words, "Robber! Thief! Wretch!" It appeared that there was just as much excitement over there as there had been when Mr. Blacksnake had been discovered trying to rob Skimmer and Mrs. Skimmer. It couldn't be Mr. Blacksnake again, because Farmer Brown's boy had chased him in quite another direction.

"What is it now?" asked Johnny of Skimmer, who was still excitedly discussing with Mrs. Skimmer their recent fright.

"I don't know, but I'm going to find out," replied Skimmer and darted away.

Johnny Chuck waited patiently. The excitement among the birds seemed to increase, and the chattering and angry cries grew louder. Only the voices of Welcome and Mrs. Robin were not angry. They were mournful, as if Welcome and Mrs. Robin were heartbroken. Presently Skimmer came back to tell Mrs. Skimmer the news.

"The Robins have lost their eggs!" he cried excitedly. "All four have been broken and eaten. Mrs. Robin left them to come over here to help drive away Mr. Blacksnake, and while she was here some one ate those eggs. Nobody knows who it could have been, because all the birds of the Old Orchard were over here at that time. It might have been Chatterer the Red Squirrel, or it might have been Sammy Jay, or it might have been Creaker the Grackle, or it might have been Blacky the Crow. Whoever it was just took that chance to sneak over there and rob that nest when there was no one to see him."

Just then from over towards the Green Forest sounded a mocking "Caw, caw, caw!" Instantly the noise in the Old Orchard ceased for a moment. Then it broke out afresh. There wasn't a doubt now in any one's mind. Blacky the Crow was the robber. How those tongues did go! There was nothing too bad to say about Blacky. And such dreadful things as those birds promised to do to Blacky the Crow if ever they should catch him in the Old Orchard.

"Caw, caw, caw!" shouted Blacky from the distance, and his voice sounded very much as if he thought he had done something very smart. It was quite clear that at least he was not sorry for what he had done.

All the birds were so excited and so angry, as they gathered around Welcome and Mrs. Robin trying to comfort them, that it was some time before their indignation meeting broke up and they returned to their own homes and duties. Almost at once there was another cry of distress. Mr. and Mrs. Chebec had been robbed of their eggs! While they had been attending the indignation meeting at the home of the Robins, a thief had taken the chance to steal their eggs and get away.

Of course right away all the birds hurried over to sympathize with the Chebecs and to repeat against the unknown thief all the threats they had made against Blacky the Crow. They knew it couldn't have been Blacky this time because they had heard Blacky cawing over on the edge of the Green Forest. In the midst of the excited discussion as to who the thief was, Weaver the Orchard Oriole spied a blue and white feather on the ground just below Chebec's nest.

"It was Sammy Jay! There is no doubt about it, it was Sammy Jay!" he cried.

At the sight of that telltale feather all the birds knew that Weaver was right, and led by Scrapper the Kingbird they began a noisy search of the Old Orchard for the sly robber. But Sammy wasn't to be found, and they soon gave up the search, none daring to stay longer away from his own home lest something should happen there. Welcome and Mrs. Robin continued to cry mournfully, but little Mr. and Mrs. Chebec bore their trouble almost silently.

"There is one thing about it," said Mr. Chebec to his sorrowful little wife, "that egg of Sally Sly's went with the rest, and we won't have to raise that bothersome orphan."

"That's true," said she. "There is no use crying over what can't be helped. It is a waste of time to sit around crying. Come on, Chebec, let's look for a place to build another nest. Next time I won't leave the eggs unwatched for a minute."

Meanwhile Jenny Wren's tongue was fairly flying as she chattered to Peter Rabbit, who had come up in the midst of the excitement and of course had to know all about it.

"Blacky the Crow has a heart as black as his coat, and his cousin Sammy Jay isn't much better," declared Jenny. "They belong to a family of robbers."

"Wait a minute," cried Peter. "Do you mean to say that Blacky the Crow and Sammy Jay are cousins?"

"For goodness' sake, Peter!" exclaimed Jenny, "do you mean to say that you don't know that? Of course they're cousins. They don't look much alike, but they belong to the same family. I would expect almost anything bad of any one as black as Blacky the Crow. But how such a handsome fellow as Sammy Jay can do such dreadful things I don't understand. He isn't as bad as Blacky, because he does do a lot of good. He destroys a lot of caterpillars and other pests.

"There are no sharper eyes anywhere than those of Sammy Jay, and I'll have to say this for him, that whenever he discovers any danger he always gives us warning. He has saved the lives of a good many of us feathered folks in this way. If it wasn't for this habit of stealing our eggs I wouldn't have a word to say against him, but at that, he isn't as bad as Blacky the Crow. They say Blacky does some good by destroying white grubs and some other harmful pests, but he's a regular cannibal, for he is just as fond of young birds as he is of eggs, and the harm he does in this way is more than the good he does in other ways. He's bold, black, and bad, if you ask me."

Remembering her household duties, Jenny Wren disappeared inside her house in her usual abrupt fashion. Peter hung around for a while but finding no one who would take the time to talk to him he suddenly decided to go over to the Green Forest to look for some of his friends there. He had gone but a little way in the Green Forest when he caught a glimpse of a blue form stealing away through the trees. He knew it in an instant, for there is no one with such a coat but Sammy Jay. Peter glanced up in the tree from which Sammy had flown and there he saw a nest in a crotch halfway up. "I wonder," thought Peter, "if Sammy was stealing eggs there, or if that is his own nest." Then he started after Sammy as fast as he could go, lipperty-lipperty-lip. As he ran he happened to look back and was just in time to see Mrs. Jay slip on to the nest. Then Peter knew that he had discovered Sammy's home. He chuckled as he ran.

"I've found out your secret, Sammy Jay!" cried Peter when at last he caught up with Sammy.

"Then I hope you'll be gentleman enough to keep it," grumbled Sammy, looking not at all pleased.

"Certainly," replied Peter with dignity. "I wouldn't think of telling any one. My, what a handsome fellow you are, Sammy."

Sammy looked pleased. He is a little bit vain, is Sammy Jay. There is no denying that he is handsome. He is just a bit bigger than Welcome Robin. His back is grayish-blue. His tail is a bright blue crossed with little black bars and edged with white. His wings are blue with white and black bars. His throat and breast are a soft grayish-white, and he wears a collar of black. On his head he wears a pointed cap, a very convenient cap, for at times he draws it down so that it is not pointed at all.

"Why did you steal Mrs. Chebec's eggs?" demanded Peter abruptly.

Sammy didn't look the least bit put out. "Because I like eggs," he replied promptly. "If people will leave their eggs unguarded they must expect to lose them. How did you know I took those eggs?"

"Never mind, Sammy; never mind. A little bird told me," retorted Peter mischievously.

Sammy opened his mouth for a sharp reply, but instead he uttered a cry of warning. "Run, Peter! Run! Here comes Reddy Fox!" he cried.

Peter dived headlong under a great pile of brush. There he was quite safe. While he waited for Reddy Fox to go away he thought about Sammy Jay. "It's funny," he mused, "how so much good and so much bad can be mixed together. Sammy Jay stole Chebec's eggs, and then he saved my life. I just know he would have done as much for Mr. and Mrs. Chebec, or for any other feathered neighbor. He can only steal eggs for a little while in the spring. I guess on the whole he does more good than harm. I'm going to think so anyway."

Peter was quite right. Sammy Jay does do more good than harm.


The Aesop for Children  by Milo Winter

The Lion and the Ass

One day as the Lion walked proudly down a forest aisle, and the animals respectfully made way for him, an Ass brayed a scornful remark as he passed.

The Lion felt a flash of anger. But when he turned his head and saw who had spoken, he walked quietly on. He would not honor the fool with even so much as a stroke of his claws.

Do not resent the remarks of a fool. Ignore them.


  WEEK 24  


The Boy Who Knew What the Birds Said  by Padraic Colum

The King of the Birds

Part 2 of 2

What were the people of Windy-Gap to do? They searched round and about but no bird at all could they find. And then as he was being marched off the Headman put his hand under the thatch of his house and took out a Wren that was sheltering there. He put the Wren under his hat and went off with the King's Messenger.

And there, before him on the way to the King's Castle was the Headman of Half-a-Loaf. The riders of the village were with him and they bore their golden Eagle most triumphantly.

"Give to my Falconer the King of the Birds," said the King.

The Headman of Half-a-Loaf presented the Eagle.

"It is well," said the King, "and where have you," said he to the Headman of Windy-Gap, "bestowed the King of the Birds?"

The Headman put his hand under his hat and handed over the Wren to the King's Falconer.

"Tush," said the King, "Why do you call this the King of the Birds?"

The Headman of Windy-Gap was going to say "Because his family is great," but he said instead "Because he flies the highest, my lord."

"If it be truth it's unknown to me," said the King, "but it shall be tried out."

Then said he to the Royal Falconer, "Let the Eagle and the Wren soar together. And when the Eagle outsoars the Wren it shall be proved that the Headman of Windy-Gap is a catiff, and his village and everyone in it will be sold to the Saracens. But if it so happens that the Wren outsoars the Eagle, the tribute sent from the village of Windy-Gap must be accepted."

The Eagle and the Wren rose from the same perch and soared up together. Up and up the Eagle went. "So far my father went, but I shall go farther," said the Eagle. Higher and higher he rose. "So far my grandfather went but I shall go farther." Farther and farther he soared. "So far went my great-grandfather, and no eagle again will fly so high." His wings were stiff and tired. "No bird will ever out-soar this flight of mine," said the Eagle.


He went to close his wings so that he might rest them as he went down. But as he did the Wren came from under his wings.

Up went the Wren, down went the Eagle. Up and up went the Wren. He had been resting while the Eagle had been flying, and now he was able to soar past the point the Eagle had reached at his dead-best.

The Eagle flew down and lighted on the Falconer"s perch. "Has he flown high, Falconer?" asked the King. "No bird has flown so high," said the Falconer. "By the rime on his wings he has gone into the line of frost."

"The Eagle is King of the Birds and no one can deny it," said the King. "The village of Windy-Gap has not sent me my tribute."

"Mercy," said the Headman of Windy-Gap.

"The village and all in it shall be sold to the Saracens," said the King.

Just then the Wren came down and lighted on the perch beside the Eagle. "Where did the Wren fly to?" said the King. "By my glove," said the Falconer "he soared past the line of frost, and went into the line of snow, for what"s on his feathers is a drop of snow."

"The Wren is King of the Birds," said the Headman of Windy-Gap.

"Yes, King of the Birds," said the King, "and, therefore, my lawful tribute."

And so, for ever after the villages sent to the King, not an Eagle, but a Wren as tribute. And in no village ever after were the lands unplowed and the fields unsown, the cloth unspun and the coats not made, the roofs unthatched and the apple-trees unplanted. And in every village in the hollow and on the height the people shouted for the Wren —"The Wren, the Wren, the King of all Birds."



Robinson Crusoe Written Anew for Children  by James Baldwin

I Work under Many Difficulties

MY barley ripened and was ready to be harvested. I had neither scythe nor sickle to cut it down.

But you will member that I had two old swords which I had found in the ship.

With one of the swords I cut off the heads of the barley and dropped them into a big basket I had made. I carried these heads into my cave and thrashed out the grain with my hands.

When all my harvesting was done, I measured the grain. I had two bushels of rice and two bushels and a half of barley.

This pleased me very much. I felt now that I should soon be able to raise grain enough for food.

Have you ever thought how many things are necessary for the making of your bread?

You have nothing to do but eat the bread after others have made it. But I had to sow, to reap, to thrash, to grind, to sift, to mix, and to bake.

To do all these I needed many tools.

I had no plow to turn up the ground. I had no spade nor shovel with which to dig it. But with great labor I made me a wooden spade, which was better than nothing.

After the ground was turned up, I sowed the seed by scattering it with my hands. But it must be covered so it would grow, and I had no harrow. I cut down the branch of a tree, and dragged it over the field. This, I think, was the way that people in old times harrowed their ground.


The third thing to be done was to build a fence around my field. After that came the reaping, the curing, the carrying home, the thrashing, the parting of the grain from the chaff, the grinding.

I needed a mill to do the grinding. I needed a sieve to sift the flour. I needed yeast and salt to mix with the dough. I needed an oven to bake it.

I had to do without the most of these things. And this made my work very slow and hard.

I was very lucky in having saved so many tools from the wreck, and for this I was indeed thankful. What a hard case I would have been in if I had saved nothing at all!

From time to time, as I felt the need of things I made a number of tools that served me very well. They were not such tools as you would buy at the store, but what did it matter?

I have already told you about the shovel which I made from a piece of hard wood. Next to the shovel I needed a pickax most of all.

Among the many things that I had saved from the wreck, I found an old crowbar. This I heated in the fire until it was almost white hot.

I then found that I could bend it quite easily. Little by little I shaped it until I had made quite a good pickax of it. Of course, it was heavy and not at all pretty. But who would look for beauty in a pickax?

I at first felt the need of some light baskets in which to carry my fruit and grain. So I began to study how baskets are made.

It was not until I had searched almost every nook on the island that I found some long slender twigs that would bend to make wicker ware. Then I spent many an hour learning how to weave these twigs together and shape them into the form of a basket.

In the end, however, I was able to make as good baskets as were ever bought in the market.

I had quite a goodly number of edge tools. Among these there were three large axes and a great store of hatchets; for you will remember that we carried hatchets to trade with the savages. I had also many knives.

But all these became very dull with use. I had saved a grindstone from the wreck, but I could not turn it and grind my tools at the same time.

I studied hard to overcome this difficulty. At last, I managed to fasten a string to the crank of the grindstone in such a way that I could turn it with my foot.

My tools were soon sharp, and I kept them so.


William Shakespeare

Under the Greenwood Tree

Under the greenwood tree,

Who loves to lie with me,

And tune his merry note

Unto the sweet bird's throat—

Come hither, come hither, come hither:

Here shall he see

No enemy

But winter and rough weather.

Who doth ambition shun,

And loves to lie i' the sun,

Seeking the food he eats,

And pleased with what he gets,

Come hither, come hither, come hither:

Here shall he see

No enemy

But winter and rough weather.


  WEEK 24  


The Discovery of New Worlds  by M. B. Synge

The First Crusade

"The true old times,

When every morning brought a noble chance,

And every chance brought out a noble knight."


W HILE the Cid was fighting against the followers of Mohammed in Spain, another people had conquered them in Asia. These were known as the Turks, a savage race who had risen to great power, run over the Holy Land, and taken Jerusalem for themselves. For many years pilgrims had flocked to Jerusalem from all parts of Europe. The Turks now treated them with great cruelty. The complaints spread over Europe, till the Christians of every land were stirred with wrath against the cruel Turk.

About the year 1092 a Frenchman, Peter the Hermit, went on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. There his soul was stirred by the horrors he saw, the inhuman treatment of the Christian pilgrims, and the want of care towards the holy places. An old story says that he spent the night at the Holy Tomb. Weary with watching, he fell asleep; and as he slept Christ appeared to him in his dreams, bidding him hasten home to make known the woes of the Christians. At dawn he rose, hurried to the coast, and took a ship for Italy to tell the Pope all he had seen and heard.

Urban listened with enthusiasm and eagerly bestowed his blessing on Peter the Hermit, who went forth from his presence to carry the message through the length and breadth of the land. Riding upon an ass, with bare head and feet, carrying in his hand a huge cross, Peter the Hermit went far and wide stirring up the people to go and fight for their brethren in Jerusalem. Rich and poor, old and young, knight and peasant, flocked to hear him.

Then a great meeting was held in France. From a lofty scaffold Pope Urban addressed the crowds, princes and soldiers of France, before him. He urged all of them to go a great expedition to the Holy Land. Dangers would beset their way, sufferings would be their lot, but their reward would be for ever.

"Go then on your errand of love," he cried, full of zeal and enthusiasm. "They who die will enter the mansions of heaven, while the living shall behold the sepulchre of their Lord."

Suddenly a great cry broke from the assembled crowds. "It is the will of God! it is the will of God!" they shouted passionately.

"It is in truth His will," answered the Pope, "and let these words be your war-cry when you unsheath your swords against the enemy. You are soldiers of the cross: wear it as a token that His help will never fail you, as the pledge of a vow which can never be recalled."

Men fell on their knees and took vows of service in the Holy War. A red cross marked on the right shoulder was the common sign of all the soldiers thus sworn, and henceforth they were known as Crusaders.

The departure of the great army was fixed for the 15th of August 1096. But before this date a rabble of enthusiasts set out, under Peter the Hermit and Walter the Penniless, for the Holy Land. As might be expected, ignorant of the way, they fell into the hands of fierce tribes who killed them by hundreds, and only Peter the Hermit returned to tell the sad story of their fate.

But the hero of the First Crusade, the model crusader, the perfect knight, was Godfrey de Bouillon. His high birth, fine character, and military courage brought men flocking to his standard, and his great army of Christian enthusiasts started off for their march through Germany and Hungary to Constantinople.

It was Christmas time before the crusaders stood outside the walls of Constantine's capital. Two months later they were across the Bosphorus and standing on the soil of Asia in the eastern world. It was a host vaster than that of Xerxes, mightier than the army of Alexander when he attempted to conquer Asia, that now marched over the site of old Troy. October found them before Antioch, but it was nine months before they succeeded in wresting the city from the Turks, and ten more before they started on their last great march to the Holy City.

The Italian poet Tasso has given us a most wonderful account of the arrival of the crusaders before Jerusalem. He tells us of their joy, mingled as it was with fear and trembling, when their eyes beheld in the distance that town "where Christ was bought and sold,"—how, forgetting all their pains and perils, they each pointed out to one another the longed-for goal. Jerusalem lay in the morning sunshine. Each crusader fell on his knees filled with reverence as he beheld the scene of his desire, and his eyes filled with tears. Putting aside their armour, the crusaders advanced in pilgrim's garb and with bare feet toward the Holy City.

But there was stiff work to be done before Jerusalem was theirs. More than a month passed, until it seemed as if after all the Turks would be victorious. One day, says an old story, in the midst of that deadly struggle a knight was seen on the Mount of Olives, waving his shining shield to rouse the champions of the cross to their supreme effort.

"It is St George the Martyr, who has come to help us," cried Godfrey.

As he spoke all started up. That day they carried all before them, and the first victorious champion of the cross stood on the walls of Jerusalem. The story of the massacre carried out by these Christian knights is not pleasant reading. The horses of the crusaders riding to the temple were up to their knees in blood, says the old chronicle, while the knights showed no mercy to the vanquished.


Each Crusader fell on his knees.

Barefooted, bareheaded, and clad in a robe of pure white linen, Godfrey knelt at the Holy Tomb. The first great Crusade had been accomplished. The leaders of the army now held a council to decide who should be given the crown of Jerusalem. The choice fell on Godfrey de Bouillon. To the surprise of all, he declined.

"I will not wear a golden crown," he answered, "in a city where my King has been crowned only with thorns."

Still he consented to remain and watch over the Holy Tomb, and with his faithful knight Tancred he bade farewell to the crusaders who now started for home.

So ended the First Crusade—one of the most wonderful expeditions in the history of the world.


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

The Three Little Pigs


Once upon a time three little pigs started out to seek their fortune.

The first little pig met a man with a bundle of straw, and said to him, "Please, man, give me that straw to build me a house."

The man gave the straw, and the little pig built a house.

By and by a wolf came along and knocked at the door of the little house, and said "Little pig, little pig, let me come in."

And the little pig said, "No, no, by the hair of my chinny, chin, chin."

And the wolf said, "Then I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house in."

So he huffed, and he puffed,

And he blew the house in.

And he ate up that poor little pig.

The second little pig met a man with bundle of furze, and said to him, "Please, man, give me that furze to build me a house."

The man gave the furze, and the little pig built a house.

By and by a wolf came along and knocked at the door of the little house and said, "Little pig, little pig, let me come in."

The little pig said, "No, no, by the hair of my chinny, chin, chin."

And the wolf said, "Then I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house in."

So he huffed, and he puffed,

And he blew the house in.

And he ate up that poor little pig.

The third little pig met a man with a load of bricks, and he said, "Please, man, give me those bricks to build me a house."

The man gave the bricks and the little pig built a house.

By and by a wolf came along and knocked at the door of the little house and said, "Little pig, little pig, let me come in."

The little pig said, "No, no, by the hair of my chinny, chin, chin."

And the wolf said, "Then I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house in."

So he huffed, and he puffed,

And he puffed, and he huffed,

But he could not blow

That pig's house in.

Then he said, "Little pig, I know where there is a field of nice turnips."

"Where?" asked the little pig.

"In the home field. If you will be ready early to-morrow morning I will call for you. We will go together and get some for dinner."

"Very well," said the little pig. "What time shall I be ready?"

At six o'clock," said the wolf.

The little pig got up at five o'clock, pulled the turnips, and went back home.


The wolf came at six o'clock and called out, "Little pig, are you ready?"

"Ready! I've been and come back. I got a potful of nice turnips for dinner."

The wolf was angry, and he said to himself, "I'll catch that little pig somehow."

So he called out, "Little pig, I know where there is a nice apple-tree."

"Where?" asked the little pig.

"In the orchard not far from here," said the wolf. "If you will wait for me I'll come for you at five o'clock to-morrow morning. We will go together and get some for dinner."

But that little pig got up the next morning at four o'clock and hurried off to get the apples. He hoped to get back before the wolf came, but he had far to go and had to climb the tree. Just as he was scrambling down the tree he saw the wolf coming. Little pig was very much frightened. When the wolf came up he said, "Little pig, you are here before me. Are the apples sweet?"

"Very sweet," said the little pig. "I will throw you down one."

He threw an apple far away from the tree. While the wolf was gone to pick it up the little pig jumped down and ran home.

The next day the wolf came again to the little pig's house and said, "Little pig, there is a fair in the village this afternoon. Will you go?"

"Oh, yes!" said the little pig. "What time shall I be ready?"

"At three," said the wolf.

So the little pig went to the fair before the time. He bought a butter-churn and was hurrying home with it when he saw the wolf coming. He did not know what to do. Then he said to himself, "I'll hide in the butter-churn." He crept in, and by so doing turned the churn round and round. It began to roll along, and soon it started rolling down the hill with the little pig inside. This so frightened the wolf when he saw it that he ran home without going to the fair.

The next day he went to the pig's house and said, "O little pig, when I was going to the fair I saw a great round thing which came rolling past me down the hill."

"Ha! Ha! Ha!" laughed the little pig. "I frightened you, then, did I? I had been to the fair and bought a butter-churn. When I saw you coming I got into it and rolled down the hill."

Then the wolf was very angry, and he said, "I will  eat up that little pig. I'll get down the chimney after him."

When the little pig saw what the wolf meant to do he made up a blazing fire and hung over it a potful of water. Just as the wolf was coming down the chimney the little pig took off the pot-lid and—splash! In fell the wolf! And the little pig ate the wolf for supper and lived happily ever afterward.

English Nursery Tale

Walter de la Mare

The Ruin

When the last colours of the day

Have from their burning ebbed away,

About that ruin, cold and lone,

The cricket shrills from stone to stone;

And scattering o'er its darkened green,

Bands of the fairies may be seen,

Chattering like grasshoppers, their feet

Dancing a thistledown dance round it:

While the great gold of the mild moon

Tinges their tiny acorn shoon.


  WEEK 24  


Understood Betsy  by Dorothy Canfield Fisher

Betsy Has a Birthday

Part 1 of 3

Betsy's birthday was the ninth day of September, and the Necronsett Valley Fair is always held from the eighth to the twelfth. So it was decided that Betsy should celebrate her birthday by going up to Woodford, where the Fair was held. The Putneys weren't going that year, but the people on the next farm, the Wendells, said they could make room in their surrey for the two little girls; for, of course, Molly was going, too. In fact, she said the Fair was held partly to celebrate her being six years old. This would happen on the seventeenth of October. Molly insisted that that was plenty  close enough to the ninth of September to be celebrated then. This made Betsy feel like laughing out, but observing that the Putneys only looked at each other with the faintest possible quirk in the corners of their serious mouths, she understood that they were afraid that Molly's feelings might be hurt if they laughed out loud. So Betsy tried to curve her young lips to the same kind and secret mirth.

And, I can't tell you why, this effort not to hurt Molly's feelings made her have a perfect spasm of love for Molly. She threw herself on her and gave her a great hug that tipped them both over on the couch on top of Shep, who stopped snoring with his great gurgling snort, wriggled out from under them, and stood with laughing eyes and wagging tail, looking at them as they rolled and giggled among the pillows.

"What dress are you going to wear to the Fair, Betsy?" asked Cousin Ann. "And we must decide about Molly's, too."

This stopped their rough-and-tumble fun in short order, and they applied themselves to the serious question of a toilet.

When the great day arrived and the surrey drove away from the Wendells' gate, Betsy was in a fresh pink-and-white gingham which she had helped Cousin Ann make, and plump Molly looked like something good to eat in a crisp white little dimity, one of Betsy's old dresses, with a deep hem taken in to make it short enough for the little butter-ball. Because it was Betsy's birthday, she sat on the front seat with Mr. Wendell, and part of the time, when there were not too many teams on the road, she drove, herself. Mrs. Wendell and her sister filled the back seat solidly full from side to side and made one continuous soft lap on which Molly happily perched, her eyes shining, her round cheeks red with joyful excitement. Betsy looked back at her several times and thought how very nice Molly looked. She had, of course, little idea how she herself looked, because the mirrors at Putney Farm were all small and high up, and anyhow they were so old and greenish that they made everybody look very queer-colored. You looked in them to see if your hair was smooth, and that was about all you could stand.

So it was a great surprise to Betsy later in the morning, as she and Molly wandered hand in hand through the wonders of Industrial Hall, to catch sight of Molly in a full-length mirror as clear as water. She was almost startled to see how faithfully reflected were the yellow of the little girl's curls, the clear pink and white of her face, and the blue of her soft eyes. An older girl was reflected there also near Molly, a dark-eyed, red-cheeked, sturdy little girl, standing very straight on two strong legs, holding her head high and free, her dark eyes looking out brightly from her tanned face. For an instant Betsy gazed into those clear eyes and then . . . why, gracious goodness! That was herself she was looking at! How changed she was! How very, very different she looked from the last time she had seen herself in a big mirror! She remembered it well—out shopping with Aunt Frances in a department store, she had caught sight of a pale little girl with a thin neck, and spindling legs half-hidden in the folds of Aunt Frances's skirts. But she didn't look even like the sister of this browned, muscular, upstanding child who held Molly's hand so firmly.

All this came into her mind and went out again in a moment, for Molly caught sight of a big doll in the next aisle and they hurried over to inspect her clothing. The mirror was forgotten in the many exciting sights and sounds and smells of their first county fair.

The two little girls were to wander about as they pleased until noon, when they were to meet the Wendells in the shadow of Industrial Hall and eat their picnic lunch together. The two parties arrived together from different directions, having seen very different sides of the Fair. The children were full of the merry-go-rounds, the balloon-seller, the toy-venders, and the pop-corn stands, while the Wendells exchanged views on the shortness of a hog's legs, the dip in a cow's back, and the thickness of a sheep's wool. The Wendells, it seemed, had met some cousins they didn't expect to see, who, not knowing about Betsy and Molly, had hoped that they might ride home with the Wendells.

"Don't you suppose," Mrs. Wendell asked Betsy, "that you and Molly could go home with the Vaughans? They're here in their big wagon. You could sit on the floor with the Vaughan children."

Betsy and Molly thought this would be great fun, and agreed enthusiastically.

"All right then," said Mrs. Wendell. She called to a young man who stood inside the building, near an open window: "Oh, Frank, Will Vaughan is going to be in your booth this afternoon, isn't he?"

"Yes, ma'am," said the young man. "His turn is from two to four."

"Well, you tell him, will you, that the two little girls who live at Putney Farm are going to go home with them. They can sit on the bottom of the wagon with the Vaughan young ones."

"Yes, ma'am," said the young man, with a noticeable lack of interest in how Betsy and Molly got home.

"Now, Betsy," said Mrs. Wendell, "you go round to that booth at two and ask Will Vaughan what time they're going to start and where their wagon is, and then you be sure not to keep them waiting a minute."

"No, I won't," said Betsy. "I'll be sure to be there on time."

She and Molly still had twenty cents to spend out of the forty they had brought with them, twenty-five earned by berry-picking and fifteen a present from Uncle Henry. They now put their heads together to see how they could make the best possible use of their four nickels. Cousin Ann had put no restrictions whatever on them, saying they could buy any sort of truck or rubbish they could find, except the pink lemonade. She said she had been told the venders washed their glasses in that, and their hands, and for all she knew their faces. Betsy was for merry-go-rounds, but Molly yearned for a big red balloon; and while they were buying that a man came by with toy dogs, little brown dogs with curled-wire tails. He called out that they would bark when you pulled their tails, and seeing the little girls looking at him he pulled the tail of the one he held. It gave forth a fine loud yelp, just like Shep when his tail got stepped on. Betsy bought one, all done up neatly in a box tied with blue string. She thought it a great bargain to get a dog who would bark for five cents. (Later on, when they undid the string and opened the box, they found the dog had one leg broken off and wouldn't make the faintest squeak when his tail was pulled; but that is the sort of thing you must expect to have happen to you at a county fair.)

Now they had ten cents left and they decided to have a ride apiece on the merry-go-round. But, glancing up at the clock-face in the tower over Agricultural Hall, Betsy noticed it was half-past two and she decided to go first to the booth where Will Vaughan was to be and find out what time they would start for home. She found the booth with no difficulty, but William Vaughan was not in it. Nor was the young man she had seen before. There was a new one, a strange one, a careless, whistling young man, with very bright socks, very yellow shoes, and very striped cuffs. He said, in answer to Betsy's inquiry: "Vaughan? Will Vaughan? Never heard the name," and immediately went on whistling and looking up and down the aisle over the heads of the little girls, who stood gazing up at him with very wide, startled eyes. An older man leaned over from the next booth and said: "Will Vaughan? He from Hillsboro? Well, I heard somebody say those Hillsboro Vaughans had word one of their cows was awful sick, and they had to start right home that minute."

Betsy came to herself out of her momentary daze and snatched Molly's hand. "Hurry! quick! We must find the Wendells before they get away!"

In her agitation (for she was really very much frightened) she forgot how easily terrified little Molly was. Her alarm instantly sent the child into a panic. "Oh, Betsy! Betsy! What will we do!" she gasped, as Betsy pulled her along the aisle and out of the door.

"Oh, the Wendells can't be gone yet," said Betsy reassuringly, though she was not at all sure she was telling the truth. She ran as fast as she could drag Molly's fat legs, to the horse-shed where Mr. Wendell had tied his horses and left the surrey. The horse-shed was empty, quite empty.

Betsy stopped short and stood still, her heart seeming to be up in her throat so that she could hardly breathe. After all, she was only ten that day, you must remember. Molly began to cry loudly, hiding her weeping face in Betsy's dress. "What will we do, Betsy! What can we do!"  she wailed.

Betsy did not answer. She did not know what they would  do! They were eight miles from Putney Farm, far too much for Molly to walk, and anyhow neither of them knew the way. They had only ten cents left, and nothing to eat. And the only people they knew in all that throng of strangers had gone back to Hillsboro.

"What will we do, Betsy?" Molly kept on crying out, horrified by Betsy's silence and evident consternation.

The other child's head swam. She tried again the formula which had helped her when Molly fell into the Wolf Pit, and asked herself, desperately, "What would Cousin Ann do if she were here?" But that did not help her much now, because she could not possibly imagine what Cousin Ann would do under such appalling circumstances. Yes, one thing Cousin Ann would be sure to do, of course; she would quiet Molly first of all.

At this thought Betsy sat down on the ground and took the panic-stricken little girl into her lap, wiping away the tears and saying, stoutly, "Now, Molly, stop crying this minute. I'll take care of you, of course. I'll get you home all right."

"How'll you ever do it?" sobbed Molly. "Everybody's gone and left us. We can't walk!"

"Never you mind how," said Betsy, trying to be facetious and mock-mysterious, though her own under lip was quivering a little. "That's my surprise party for you. Just you wait. Now come on back to that booth. Maybe Will Vaughan didn't go home with his folks."

She had very little hope of this, and only went back there because it seemed to her a little less dauntingly strange than every other spot in the howling wilderness about her; for all at once the Fair, which had seemed so lively and cheerful and gay before, seemed now a horrible, frightening, noisy place, full of hurried strangers who came and went their own ways, with not a glance out of their hard eyes for two little girls stranded far from home.

The bright-colored young man was no better when they found him again. He stopped his whistling only long enough to say, "Nope, no Will Vaughan anywhere around these diggings yet."

"We were going home with the Vaughans," murmured Betsy, in a low tone, hoping for some help from him.

"Looks as though you'd better go home on the cars," advised the young man casually. He smoothed his black hair back straighter than ever from his forehead and looked over their heads.

"How much does it cost to go to Hillsboro on the cars?" asked Betsy with a sinking heart.

"You'll have to ask somebody else about that," said the young man. "What I don't know about this Rube state! I never was in it before." He spoke as though he were very proud of the fact.

Betsy turned and went over to the older man who had told them about the Vaughans.

Molly trotted at her heels, quite comforted, now that Betsy was talking so competently to grown-ups. She did not hear what they said, nor try to. Now that Betsy's voice sounded all right she had no more fears. Betsy would manage somehow. She heard Betsy's voice again talking to the other man, but she was busy looking at an exhibit of beautiful jelly glasses, and paid no attention. Then Betsy led her away again out of doors, where everybody was walking back and forth under the bright September sky, blowing on horns, waving plumes of brilliant tissue-paper, tickling each other with peacock feathers, and eating pop-corn and candy out of paper bags.

That reminded Molly that they had ten cents yet. "Oh, Betsy," she proposed, "let's take a nickel of our money for some pop-corn."

She was startled by Betsy's fierce sudden clutch at their little purse and by the quaver in her voice as she answered: "No, no, Molly. We've got to save every cent of that. I've found out it costs thirty cents for us both to go home to Hillsboro on the train. The last one goes at six o'clock."

"We haven't got but ten," said Molly.

Betsy looked at her silently for a moment and then burst out, "I'll earn the rest! I'll earn it somehow! I'll have to! There isn't any other way!"

"All right," said Molly quaintly, not seeing anything unusual in this. "You can, if you want to. I'll wait for you here."

"No you won't!" cried Betsy, who had quite enough of trying to meet people in a crowd. "No, you won't! You just follow me every minute! I don't want you out of my sight!"

They began to move forward now, Betsy's eyes wildly roving from one place to another. How could  a little girl earn money at a county fair! She was horribly afraid to go up and speak to a stranger, and yet how else could she begin?

"Here, Molly, you wait here," she said. "Don't you budge till I come back."

But alas! Molly had only a moment to wait that time, for the man who was selling lemonade answered Betsy's shy question with a stare and a curt, "Lord, no! What could a young one like you do for me?"

The little girls wandered on, Molly calm and expectant, confident in Betsy; Betsy with a very dry mouth and a very gone feeling. They were passing by a big shed-like building now, where a large sign proclaimed that the Woodford Ladies' Aid Society would serve a hot chicken dinner for thirty-five cents. Of course the sign was not accurate, for at half-past three, almost four, the chicken dinner had long ago been all eaten and in place of the diners was a group of weary women moving languidly about or standing saggingly by a great table piled with dirty dishes. Betsy paused here, meditated a moment, and went in rapidly so that her courage would not evaporate.

The woman with gray hair looked down at her a little impatiently and said, "Dinner's all over."

"I didn't come for dinner," said Betsy, swallowing hard. "I came to see if you wouldn't hire me to wash your dishes. I'll do them for twenty-five cents."

The woman laughed, looked from little Betsy to the great pile of dishes, and said, turning away, "Mercy, child, if you washed from now till morning, you wouldn't make a hole in what we've got to do."

Betsy heard her say to the other women, "Some young one wanting more money for the side-shows."


The Adventures of Unc' Billy Possum  by Thornton Burgess

Unc' Billy Possum Is Caught

T HE Green Meadows were thrown into great excitement late one afternoon, just as the black shadows came creeping down from the Purple Hills. Reddy Fox brought the news, and when he told it he grinned as if he enjoyed it and was glad of it.

"Old Billy Possum is dead. I know it because I saw Farmer Brown's boy carrying him home by the tail," said Reddy. "So you see he wasn't so smart as you thought he was," he added maliciously.

No one really believed Reddy Fox, for every one knows that he seldom tells the truth, but when Jimmy Skunk came mournfully down the Crooked Little Path and said that it was true, they had to believe it. Then everybody began to talk about Unc' Billy and say nice things about him and tell how much they had enjoyed having him live in the Green Forest since he came up from "Ol' Virginny." That is, everybody but Reddy Fox said so. Reddy said that it served Unc' Billy right, because he was of no account, anyway. Then everybody began to hoot and hiss at Reddy until he was glad enough to slink away.

And while they were all saying such nice things about him, Unc' Billy Possum was having an exciting adventure. For once he had been too bold. He had gone up to Farmer Brown's hen-house before dark. Jimmy Skunk had tried to stop him, but he had heeded Jimmy Skunk not at all. He had said that he was hungry and wanted an egg, and he couldn't wait till dark to get it. So off he had started, for Unc' Billy Possum is very headstrong and obstinate.

He had reached the hen-house and slipped inside without being seen. The nests were full of eggs, and soon Unc' Billy was enjoying his feast so that he forgot to keep watch. Suddenly the door opened, and in stepped Farmer Brown's boy to get some eggs for supper. There was no time to run. Unc' Billy just dropped right down in his tracks as if he were dead.

When Farmer Brown's boy saw him, he didn't know what to make of him, for he had never seen Unc' Billy before.

"Well, well, I wonder what happened to this fellow," said Farmer Brown's boy, turning Unc' Billy over with the toe of one foot. "He certainly is dead enough, whatever killed him. I wonder what he was doing in here."

Then he saw some egg on Unc' Billy's lips. "Ho! ho!" shouted Farmer Brown's boy. "So you are the thief who has been getting my eggs!" And picking up Unc' Billy by the tail, he started with him for the house.

As they passed the woodpile, he tossed Unc' Billy on the chopping-block while he gathered an armful of kindlings to take to the house. When he turned to pick up Unc' Billy again, Unc' Billy wasn't there.

Farmer Brown's boy dropped his wood and hunted everywhere, but not a trace of Unc' Billy could he find.


Jean Ingelow

Seven Times One

There's no dew left on the daisies and clover,

There's no rain left in heaven;

I've said my "seven times" over and over,

Seven times one are seven.

I am old! so old I can write a letter;

My birthday lessons are done;

The lambs play always, they know no better;

They are only one times one.

O Moon! in the night I have seen you sailing,

And shining so round and low;

You were bright! ah, bright! but your light is failing,—

You are nothing now but a bow.

You Moon! have you done something wrong in heaven,

That God has hidden your face?

I hope, if you have, you will soon be forgiven,

And shine again in your place.

O velvet Bee, you're a dusty fellow,

You've powdered your legs with gold!

O brave marsh Mary-buds, rich and yellow!

Give me your money to hold.

O Columbine! open your folded wrapper,

Where two twin turtle-doves dwell;

O Cuckoo-pint! toll me the purple clapper,

That hangs in your clear, green bell!

And show me your nest with the young ones in it—

I will not steal them away;

I am old! you may trust me, Linnet, Linnet—

I am seven times one to-day.


  WEEK 24  


Hurlbut's Story of the Bible  by Jesse Lyman Hurlbut

The Last of the Judges

I Samuel vii: 2 to 17.

dropcap image HEN the ark of God was taken and the Tabernacle fell into ruins, Samuel was still a boy. He went to his father's house at Ramah, which was in the mountains, about four miles north of Jerusalem. Ramah was the home of Samuel after this as long as he lived.

For some years, while Samuel was growing up, there was no judge in Israel, and no head of the tribes. The Philistines ruled the people and took from them a large part of their harvests, their sheep, and their oxen. Often in their need they thought of the ark of the Lord, standing alone in the house at Kirjath-jearim. And the eyes of all the people turned to the young Samuel growing up at Ramah. For Samuel walked with God, and God spoke to Samuel, as God had spoken to Abraham, and to Moses, and to Joshua.

As soon as Samuel had grown up to be a man, he began to go among the tribes and to give to the people everywhere God's word to them. And this was what Samuel said:

"If you will really come back with all your heart to the Lord God of Israel, put away the false gods, the images of Baal, and of Asherah, and seek the Lord alone and serve him, then God will set you free from the Philistines."

After Samuel's words the people began to throw down the idols and to pray to the God of Israel. And Samuel called the people from all the land to gather in one place, as many as could come. They met at a place called Mizpah, in the mountains of Benjamin, not far from Jerusalem.

There Samuel prayed for the people, and asked God to forgive their sin in turning away from God to idols. They confessed their wrong-doings, and made a solemn promise to serve the Lord, and to serve the Lord only.

The Philistines upon the plain beside the Great Sea heard of this meeting. They feared that the Israelites were about to break away from their rule, and they came up with an army to drive the Israelites away to their homes and keep them under the rule of the Philistines.

When the Israelites saw the Philistines coming against them they were greatly alarmed. The Philistines were men of war, with swords, and shields, and spears, and they were trained in fighting; while the men of Israel had not seen war. It was more than twenty years since their fathers had fought the Philistines and twice had been beaten by them. They had neither weapons nor training, and they felt themselves helpless against their enemies. They looked to Samuel, just as children would look to a father, and they said to him, "Do not cease praying and crying to the Lord for us, that he may save us from the Philistines."

Then Samuel took a lamb and offered it up to the Lord as a burnt-offering for the people, and he prayed mightily that God would help Israel; and God heard his prayer.

Just as the Philistines were rushing upon the helpless men of Israel there came a great storm with rolling thunder and flashing lightning. Such storms do not come often in that land, and this was so heavy that it frightened the Philistines. They threw down their spears and swords in sudden terror and ran away.

The men of Israel picked up these arms and gathered such other weapons as they could find, and they followed the Philistines and killed many of them, and won a great victory over them. By this one stroke the power of the Philistines was broken, and they lost their rule over Israel. And it so happened that the place where Samuel won this great victory was the very place where the Israelites had been beaten twice before, the place where the ark of God had been taken, as we read in the last Story. On the battlefield Samuel set up a great stone to mark the place, and he gave it the name Eben-ezer, which means "The Stone of Help."

"For," said Samuel, "this was the place where the Lord helped us."

After this defeat the Philistines came no more into the land of Israel in the years while Samuel ruled as judge over the tribes. He was the fifteenth of the judges, and the last. He went throughout the land, and people everywhere brought to him their questions and their differences for Samuel to decide, for they knew that he was a good man and would do justly between man and man. From each journey he came back to Ramah. There was his home, and there he built an altar to the Lord.


Tomb near Jeruslaem called "The Tomb of the Judges".

Samuel lived many years, and ruled the people wisely, so that all trusted in him. He taught the Israelites to worship the Lord God, and to put away the idols, which so many of them had served. While Samuel ruled there was peace in all the tribes, and no enemies came from the lands around to do harm to the Israelites. But the Philistines were still very strong, and held rule over some parts of Israel near their own land, although there was no war. Samuel was not a man of war, like Gideon or Jephthah, but a man of peace, and his rule was quiet, though it was strong.


The Boxcar Children  by Gertrude Chandler Warner

Building the Dam

E VEN a hammer makes a good pillow if one is tired enough, and the freight-car family slept until the nine-o'clock church bells began to ring faintly in the valley. There were at least a dozen churches, and their far-away bells sounded sweetly harmonious in so many different keys.

"They almost play a tune," said Violet, as she listened.

"I like music all right," replied Henry in a business-like way, "but I for one shall have to get to work."

"This will be a good day to wash all the stockings," said Jess. "We'll all be wading so much in the brook, anyway."

After breakfast the first thing Henry did was to survey, with critical eyes, the spot they had chosen for a pool. It was a hollow about three yards across. There were no stones in it at all.

"It's big  enough already," remarked Henry at last, "but it hasn't enough water in it." He measured its depth with a stick. "We'll have to guess at inches," he said.

"I have a little tape measure in my workbag," ventured his sister Violet.

Henry flashed a smile at her. "Is there anything you haven't  got in your workbag?" he asked her.

The children measured the wet stick carefully. The water was just ten inches deep in the deepest part.

Henry explained his plan of engineering to his sisters. "We will have to haul some big logs across this narrow part and stuff them from this end with stones and underbrush. It ought to be three feet deep before we get through."

"O Henry!" protested Jess. "Benny would get drowned."

"Drowned!" echoed Henry. "How tall do you think he is, anyhow?"

They measured the little boy and found him to be forty-two inches tall. That settled it; the pool was designed to be three feet in depth.

Luckily the largest logs were not far away; but as it was, it was a matter of great labor for the builders to drag them to the scene of operations.

"Let's get all the logs up here first," suggested Jess. "Then we can have the fun of laying them across."

The two older children dragged all the logs, while Violet and Benny attended to the stones, with the help of the cart. Occasionally Henry was called upon to assist with a heavy stone, but for the most part Benny puffed out his cheeks and heaved the stones himself. In fact, Henry decided at this point to let Benny drop them into the water as he gathered them. "Splash 'em right in, old fellow," he directed. "Only keep them in a nice straight line right across this place between these two trees. It won't make any difference how wet he gets," he added in an aside to Jess. "We can dry him in the sun."

Jess thought a little differently, although she said nothing. She took off Benny's little crinkled blouse and one pair of bloomers, and started to hang them on the line.

"Good time to wash them!" she exclaimed.

"Let me wash them," begged Violet. "You're more useful building the dam." There was wisdom in this suggestion, so Jess accepted it gratefully, and even added Henry's blouse to the laundry.

"When we finish the dam they will surely be dry," she said.

As for Henry, he was only too glad to work without it. "Makes me feel lighter," he declared.

Rare and beautiful birds came and watched the barefooted children as they scurried around, building their wall of masonry. But the children did not have any eyes for birds then. They watched with delighted eyes as each stone was added to the wall under the clear water, and it began to rise almost to the surface.

"That makes a solid foundation for the logs, you see," explained Henry with pride. "They won't be floating off downstream the minute we lay them on."

Then at last the time arrived when they were to lay the logs on.

"Let's wedge the first one between these two trees," said Jess, with a happy thought. "Then if each end of the log is on the upper side of the trees, the harder the water pounds the tighter the dam gets."

"Good work!" exclaimed Henry admiringly. "That's just what we'll do."

But the children were not at all prepared for what happened the moment the first big log was splashed into its place on top of the stone wall.

The water, defeated in its course down the rocky bed, gurgled and chased about as it met the opposing log, and found every possible hole to escape.

"Leaks," said Henry briefly, as the water began to rush around both ends and pour over the top of the log. "We'll make the logs so thick it can't  get through. We'll lay three logs across, with three logs on top of them, and three more on top of that."

The children set about stubbornly to accomplish this. Violet held great sprays of fine underbrush in place until each log was laid. Wetter children never were seen. But nobody cared. They resolutely plugged the ends with more stones, more underbrush, and more logs. Each time a leak was discovered, someone dropped a stone over it. Even Benny caught the fever of conquering the mischievous water which slipped from their grasp like quicksilver.

When the three top logs were at last dropped into place, the excited children sat down to watch the pool fill. This it did slowly.

Finding now no means of exit, the water was quieter. It rose steadily up the barricade of logs. It widened beautifully. Henry could not sit still. "It slopes!" he cried. "See how clear it is! And still! See how still it is!"

And then the water began to overflow the logs. It spilled over the top with a delightful curve. And on the other side it formed a second waterfall—not high and narrow and graceful like the natural fall above, but very low and wide. "Just like a regular mill dam," said Henry.

He held the measuring stick out as far as he could and plunged it into the water. It lacked an inch of being three feet deep.

"Deep enough," he declared.

In fact it looked so deep that Benny could not conceal a slight fear.

"That's the beauty of the slope," observed Jess. "Benny can wade in just as far as he wants to, and no farther. We all know what the bed of the pool is like—no holes or stones."

The girls had to leave to prepare dinner, but Henry could not be persuaded to leave the wonderful swimming pool. "I'd rather swim than eat," he said.

Luckily for the children, their supply of provisions was the largest of any day since their flight. The girls lighted the fire and heated up the remainder of the stew and cut the bread. The butter, hard and cold in the refrigerator, was taken out, and four portions cut from it. The two doughnuts made four half rings for dessert.

The cooks rang the dinner bell. This was an ingenious arrangement hung on a low branch. It consisted of a piece of bent steel swung on a string. Violet hit it sharply with another piece of steel. It sounded deeply and musically through the woods, and the boys understood it and obeyed at once.

It was evident the moment they appeared that at least three of the family had been swimming. Watch shook himself violently at intervals, spattering water drops in all directions. Henry and Benny, fresh and radiant, with plastered hair and clean dry stockings and blouses, apparently liked to swim and eat, too.

"You can actually swim a few strokes in it, Jess, if you're careful," Henry said, with excusable pride, as he sat down to dinner.

Building a dam is wonderful sauce for a dinner. "I think stew is much better the second day," observed Benny, eating hungrily.

There remained two more adventures for the eventful day. The girls cut their hair. Violet's dark curls came off first. "They're awfully in the way," explained Violet, "and so much trouble when you're working."

They were tangled, too, and Jess cut them off evenly by a string, with Violet's little scissors. Jess' chestnut hair was long and silky and nicely braided, but she never murmured as it came off too. The two girls ran to the brook mirror to see how they looked. The new haircut was very becoming to both.

"I like you better that way," said Henry approvingly. "Lots more sensible when you're living in the woods."

Around four o'clock the children took a long walk in the opposite direction from any of their other explorations. They were rewarded by two discoveries. One was a hollow tree literally filled with walnuts, gathered presumably by a thrifty squirrel the previous fall. The other discovery frightened them a little just at first. For with bristling back and a loud bark, Watch suddenly began to rout out something in the leaves, and that something began to cackle and half run and half fly from the intruders. It was a runaway hen. The children succeeded in catching the dog and reducing him to order, although it was clear he liked very much to chase hens.

"She had some eggs, too," remarked Benny as if trying to make pleasant conversation.

Jess bent over incredulously and saw a rude nest in the moss in which there were five eggs.

"A runaway hen!" said Henry, hardly believing his eyes. "She wants to hide her nest and raise chickens."

The children had no scruples at all about taking the eggs.

"Almost a gift from heaven," said Violet, stroking one of the eggs with a delicate finger. "It wouldn't be polite to refuse them."

Scrambled eggs made a delicious supper for the children. Jess broke all the eggs into the biggest bowl and beat them vigorously with a spoon until they were light and foamy. Then she added milk and salt and delegated Violet to beat them some more while she prepared the fire. The big kettle, empty and clean, was hung over the low fire and butter was dropped in. Jess watched it anxiously, tipping the kettle slightly in all directions. When the butter had reached the exact shade of brown, Jess poured in the eggs and stirred them carefully, holding her skirts away from the fire. She was amply repaid for her care when she saw her family attack the meal. Clearly this was a feast day.

"We shall have to be satisfied tomorrow to live on bread and milk," she observed, scraping up the last delicious morsel.

But when tomorrow came they had more than bread and milk, as you will soon see.


Phoebe Cary


If you're told to do a thing,

And mean to do it really;

Never let it be by halves;

Do it fully, freely!

Do not make a poor excuse,

Waiting, weak, unsteady;

All obedience worth the name,

Must be prompt and ready.