Text of Plan #970
  WEEK 25  


Pinocchio  by Carlo Collodi

Pinocchio Promises To Be Good and Studious

Pinocchio promises the Fairy to be good and studious, for he is quite sick of being a puppet and wishes to become an exemplary boy.

A T first the good little woman maintained that she was not the little Fairy with blue hair; but seeing that she was found out, and not wishing to continue the comedy any longer, she ended by making herself known, and she said to Pinocchio:

"You little rogue! how did you ever discover who I was?"

"It was my great affection for you that told me."

"Do you remember? You left me a child, and now that you have found me again I am a woman—a woman almost old enough to be your mamma."

"I am delighted at that, for now, instead of calling you little sister, I will call you mamma. I have wished for such a long time to have a mamma like other boys! . . . But how did you manage to grow so fast?"

"That is a secret."

"Teach it to me, for I should also like to grow. Don't you see? I always remain no bigger than a ninepin."

"But you cannot grow," replied the Fairy.


"Because puppets never grow. They are born puppets, live puppets, and die puppets."

"Oh, I am sick of being a puppet!" cried Pinocchio, giving himself a slap. "It is time that I became a man. . . ."

"And you will become one, if you know how to deserve it. . . ."

"Not really? And what can I do to deserve it?"

"A very easy thing: by learning to be a good boy."

"And you think I am not?"

"You are quite the contrary. Good boys are obedient, and you. . . ."

"And I never obey."

"Good boys like to learn and to work, and you. . . ."

"And I instead lead an idle vagabond life the year through."

"Good boys always speak the truth. . . ."

"And I always tell lies."

"Good boys go willingly to school. . . ."

"And school gives me pain all over my body. But from to-day I will change my life."

"Do you promise me?"

"I promise you. I will become a good little boy, and I will be the consolation of my papa. . . . Where is my poor papa at this moment?"


"I do not know."

"Shall I ever have the happiness of seeing him again and kissing him?"

"I think so; indeed I am sure of it."

At this answer Pinocchio was so delighted that he took the Fairy's hands and began to kiss them with such fervour that he seemed beside himself. Then raising his face and looking at her lovingly, he asked:

"Tell me, little mamma: then it was not true that you were dead?"

"It seems not," said the Fairy, smiling.

"If you only knew the sorrow I felt and the tightening of my throat when I read, 'here lies. . . .' "

"I know it, and it is on that account that I have forgiven you. I saw from the sincerity of your grief that you had a good heart; and when boys have good hearts, even if they are scamps and have got bad habits, there is always something to hope for: that is, there is always hope that they will turn to better ways. That is why I came to look for you here. I will be your mamma. . . ."

"Oh, how delightful!" shouted Pinocchio, jumping for joy.

"You must obey me and do everything that I bid you."

"Willingly, willingly, willingly!"

"To-morrow," rejoined the Fairy, "you will begin to go to school." Pinocchio became at once a little less joyful.

"Then you must choose an art, or a trade, according to your own wishes."

Pinocchio became very grave.

"What are you muttering between your teeth?" asked the Fairy in an angry voice.

"I was saying," moaned the puppet in a low voice, "that it seemed to me too late for me to go to school now. . . ."

"No, sir. Keep it in mind that it is never too late to learn and to instruct ourselves."

"But I do not wish to follow either an art or a trade."


"Because it tires me to work."

"My boy," said the Fairy, "those who talk in that way end almost always either in prison or in the hospital. Let me tell you that every man, whether he is born rich or poor, is obliged to do something in this world—to occupy himself, to work. Woe to those who lead slothful lives. Sloth is a dreadful illness and must be cured at once, in childhood. If not, when we are old it can never be cured."

Pinocchio was touched by these words, and lifting his head quickly he said to the Fairy:

"I will study, I will work, I will do all that you tell me, for indeed I have become weary of being a puppet, and I wish at any price to become a boy. You promised me that I should, did you not?"

"I did promise you, and it now depends upon yourself."



Richard of Jamestown  by James Otis

A Variety of Wild Game

Our gentlemen who had the heart to make prisoner of so honest, upright a man as my master, did not cease their sport because of what had befallen Master Brookes, but continued at the hunting until they had brought down two wild boars and also an animal fashioned like unto nothing I had ever seen before. It was something after the manner of a serpent, but speckled on the stomach as is a toad, and Captain Smith believed the true name of it to be Iguana, the like of which he says that he has often seen in other countries and that its flesh makes very good eating.


If any one save Captain Smith had said this, I should have found it hard to believe him, and as it was I was glad my belief was not put to the test.


Two days afterward we were come to an island which Master Hunt says is known to seamen as Monica, and there it was that Nathaniel went on shore in one of the boats, coming back at night to tell me a most wondrous story.

He declared that the birds and their eggs were so plentiful that the whole island was covered with them; that one could not set down his foot, save upon eggs, or birds sitting on their nests, some of which could hardly be driven away even with blows, and when they rose in the air, the noise made by their wings was so great as to deafen a person.


Our seamen loaded two boats full of the eggs in three hours, and all in the fleet feasted for several days on such as had not yet been spoiled by the warmth of the birds' bodies.

It was on the next day that we left behind us those islands which Captain Smith told me were the West Indies, and the seaman who stood at the helm when I came on deck to get water for my master, said we were steering a northerly course, which would soon bring us to the land of Virginia.


Richard of Jamestown  by James Otis

The Tempest

On that very night, however, such a tempest of wind and of rain came upon us that I was not the only one who believed the Susan Constant must be crushed like an eggshell under the great mountains of water which at times rolled completely over her, so flooding the decks that but few could venture out to do whatsoever of work was needed to keep the ship afloat.

After this fierce tempest, when the Lord permitted that even our pinnace should ride in safety, it was believed that we were come near to the new world, and by day and by night the seamen stood at the rail, throwing the lead every few minutes in order to discover if we were venturing into shoal water.


Nathaniel and I used to stand by watching them, and wishing that we might be allowed to throw the line, but never quite getting up our courage to say so, knowing full well we should probably make a tangle of it.


Richard of Jamestown  by James Otis

The New Country Sighted

As Master George Percy has set down in the writings which I have copied for him since we came to Virginia, it was on the twenty-sixth day of April, in the year of our Lord 1607, at about four o'clock in the morning, when we were come within sight of that land where were to be built homes, not only for our company of one hundred and five, counting the boys, but for all who should come after us.

It was while the ship lay off the land, her decks crowded with our company who fain would get the first clear view of that country in which they were to live, if the savages permitted, that I asked my master who among the gentlemen of the cabin was the leader in this adventure.

To my surprise, he told me that it was not yet known. The London Company had made an election of those among the gentlemen who should form the new government, and had written down the names, together with instructions as to what should be done; but this writing was enclosed in a box which was not to be opened until we had come to the end of our voyage.


James Hogg

A Boy's Song

Where the pools are bright and deep,

Where the gray trout lies asleep,

Up the river and o'er the lea,

That's the way for Billy and me.

Where the blackbird sings the latest,

Where the hawthorn blooms the sweetest,

Where the nestlings chirp and flee,

That's the way for Billy and me.

Where the mowers mow the cleanest,

Where the hay lies thick and greenest,

There to trace the homeward bee,

That's the way for Billy and me.

Where the hazel bank is steepest,

Where the shadow falls the deepest,

Where the clustering nuts fall free.

That's the way for Billy and me.

Why the boys should drive away,

Little sweet maidens from the play,

Or love to banter and fight so well,

That's the thing I never could tell.

But this I know, I love to play,

Through the meadow, among the hay;

Up the water and o'er the lea,

That's the way for Billy and me.


  WEEK 25  


Fifty Famous Stories Retold  by James Baldwin

The Story of Regulus

O N the other side of the sea from Rome there was once a great city named Car-thage. The Roman people were never very friendly to the peo-ple of Car-thage, and at last a war began between them. For a long time it was hard to tell which would prove the stronger. First the Romans would gain a battle, and then the men of Carthage would gain a battle; and so the war went on for many years.

Among the Romans there was a brave gen-er-al named Reg´ul-us,—a man of whom it was said that he never broke his word. It so happened after a while, that Reg-u-lus was taken pris-on-er and carried to Carthage. Ill and very lonely, he dreamed of his wife and little children so far away beyond the sea; and he had but little hope of ever seeing them again. He loved his home dearly, but he believed that his first duty was to his country; and so he had left all, to fight in this cruel war.

He had lost a battle, it is true, and had been taken prisoner. Yet he knew that the Romans were gaining ground, and the people of Carthage were afraid of being beaten in the end. They had sent into other countries to hire soldiers to help them; but even with these they would not be able to fight much longer against Rome.

One day some of the rulers of Carthage came to the prison to talk with Regulus.

"We should like to make peace with the Roman people," they said, "and we are sure, that, if your rulers at home knew how the war is going, they would be glad to make peace with us. We will set you free and let you go home, if you will agree to do as we say."

"What is that?" asked Regulus.

"In the first place," they said, "you must tell the Romans about the battles which you have lost, and you must make it plain to them that they have not gained any-thing by the war. In the second place, you must promise us, that, if they will not make peace, you will come back to your prison."

"Very well," said Regulus, "I promise you, that, if they will not make peace, I will come back to prison."

And so they let him go; for they knew that a great Roman would keep his word.

When he came to Rome, all the people greeted him gladly. His wife and children were very happy, for they thought that now they would not be parted again. The white-haired Fathers who made the laws for the city came to see him. They asked him about the war.

"I was sent from Carthage to ask you to make peace," he said. "But it will not be wise to make peace. True, we have been beaten in a few battles, but our army is gaining ground every day. The people of Carthage are afraid, and well they may be. Keep on with the war a little while longer, and Carthage shall be yours. As for me, I have come to bid my wife and children and Rome fare-well. To-morrow I will start back to Carthage and to prison; for I have promised."

Then the Fathers tried to persuade him to stay.

"Let us send another man in your place," they said.

"Shall a Roman not keep his word?" answered Regulus. "I am ill, and at the best have not long to live. I will go back, as I promised."

His wife and little children wept, and his sons begged him not to leave them again.

"I have given my word," said Regulus. "The rest will be taken care of."

Then he bade them good-by, and went bravely back to the prison and the cruel death which he ex-pect-ed.

This was the kind of courage that made Rome the greatest city in the world.


Seaside and Wayside, Book One  by Julia McNair Wright

The Hermit Crab

D O you wish to hear more about the crab that steals his house? Why does he do that? His back is long and soft, and has no hard shell. If he could find no hard cover, he could not live. All the other crabs would bite or pinch him. So would many fish.

He is called the Hermit Crab because he lives alone. Hermits are folks who live each one alone in a cell.


The House He Lives In

The Hermit Crab has no one with him in his shell.

He has company not far off.

Great numbers of these crabs may be seen creeping about together.

As the Hermit Crab grows too big for one shell, he finds another. He never stays outside his shell until he knows that he is about to die. How does he know that? I cannot tell.

He comes out, lies flat down by his house, and dies. He wants his house to live in, not to die in.


He comes out to die.

When he needs to change his shell-house, he hunts for one to suit him. Then he puts in his long claw, to feel if it is clean and empty. Now and then he finds another crab in it. Then the two fight for it.

If some small thing lives in the shell which the hermit wants, he pulls it out with his long claw. Then he brings the new shell near, and springs from the shell he is in to the shell he wants, as you would spring from chair to chair.

On the end of his long, soft tail he has a hook. He twists his soft body into the new shell. Then he clasps his tail-hook to a small, round post in the top of the curl of the shell. That holds him fast.

His horny legs hang out in front. He can run and carry the shell. He can draw back into the shell and hide.

There is a small, pink sea-animal, like a flower, that one kind of crab likes. He wants it to grow on his shell.

It may be that it helps him to catch food. It may be that he likes it to hide the door of his shell.

Why? Perhaps that he may be hidden as he fishes for his dinner. You know hunters and fishers hide sometimes so that their prey will come nearer to them.

This pink sea-creature can build more shell on the edge of the one the crab lives in. This makes the shell larger. Then the crab need not move so often.

When he moves, he takes his friend with him. He puts out his claw and lifts her off his old shell, and sets her on the edge of the new one. Then he holds her there until she has made herself fast. Then he slips in, tail first.

The fine red, pink, and white frills of the friend hang like a veil over his door. They keep fish and other foes away. For this pink thing can sting.

Once I found a nice shell. I thought it was empty, and I kept it for eight or ten days in a box. Then I laid it on a shelf. One day I heard, clack! clack! clack! And there was my shell running up and down the shelf! I was in a tent close by the sea. I do not know when that animal got into that shell.

In the South Seas some of these crabs do not live in sea shells. They live in cocoa-nut shells. They eat the meat of the nuts. When all of it is eaten they seek for another shell.

Each night these crabs crawl into the water to get wet. They leave their eggs in the water to hatch.


Robert Louis Stevenson

The Cow

The friendly cow all red and white,

I love with all my heart:

She gives me cream with all her might,

To eat with apple-tart.

She wanders lowing here and there,

And yet she cannot stray,

All in the pleasant open air,

The pleasant light of day;

And blown by all the winds that pass

And wet with all the showers,

She walks among the meadow grass

And eats the meadow flowers.


  WEEK 25  


The Burgess Bird Book for Children  by Thornton Burgess

Some Homes in the Green Forest

R EDDY FOX wasted very little time waiting for Peter Rabbit to come out from under that pile of brush where he had hidden at Sammy Jay's warning. After making some terrible threats just to try to frighten Peter, he trotted away to look for some Mice. Peter didn't mind those threats at all. He was used to them. He knew that he was safe where he was, and all he had to do was to stay there until Reddy should be so far away that it would be safe to come out.

Just to pass away the time Peter took a little nap. When he awoke he sat for a few minutes trying to make up his mind where to go and what to do next. From 'way over in the direction of the Old Pasture the voice of Blacky the Crow reached him. Peter pricked up his ears, then chuckled.

"Reddy Fox has gone back to the Old Pasture and Blacky has discovered him there," he thought happily. You see, he understood what Blacky was saying. To you or me Blacky would have been saying simply, "Caw! Caw!" But to all the little people of the Green Forest and Green Meadows within hearing he was shouting, "Fox! Fox!"

"I wonder," thought Peter, "where Blacky is nesting this year. Last year his nest was in a tall pine-tree not far from the edge of the Green Forest. I believe I'll run over there and see if he has a new nest near the old one."

So Peter scampered over to the tall pine in which was Blacky's old nest. As he sat with his head tipped back, staring up at it, it struck him that that nest didn't look so old, after all. In fact, it looked as if it had recently been fixed up quite like new. He was wondering about this and trying to guess what it meant, when Blacky himself alighted close to the edge of it.

There was something in his bill, though what it was Peter couldn't see. Almost at once a black head appeared above the edge of the nest and a black bill seized the thing which Blacky had brought. Then the head disappeared and Blacky silently flew away.

"As sure as I live," thought Peter, "that was Mrs. Blacky, and Blacky brought her some food so that she would not have to leave those eggs she must have up there. He may be the black-hearted robber every one says he is, but he certainly is a good husband. He's a better husband than some others I know, of whom nothing but good is said. It just goes to show that there is some good in the very worst folks. Blacky is a sly old rascal. Usually he is as noisy as any one I know, but he came and went without making a sound. Now I think of it, I haven't once heard his voice near here this spring. I guess if Farmer Brown's boy could find this nest he would get even with Blacky for pulling up his corn. I know a lot of clever people, but no one quite so clever as Blacky the Crow. With all his badness I can't help liking him."

Twice, while Peter watched, Blacky returned with food for Mrs. Blacky. Then, tired of keeping still so long, Peter decided to run over to a certain place farther in the Green Forest which was seldom visited by any one. It was a place Peter usually kept away from. It was pure curiosity which led him to go there now. The discovery that Blacky the Crow was using his old nest had reminded Peter that Redtail the Hawk uses his old nest year after year, and he wanted to find out if Redtail had come back to it this year.

Halfway over to that lonesome place in the Green Forest a trim little bird flew up from the ground, hopped from branch to branch of a tree, walked along a limb, then from pure happiness threw back his head and cried, "Teacher, teacher, teacher, teacher, teacher!" each time a little louder than before. It was Teacher the Oven Bird.

In his delight at seeing this old friend, Peter quite forgot Redtail the Hawk. "Oh, Teacher!" cried Peter. "I'm so glad to see you again!"

Teacher stopped singing and looked down at Peter. "If you are so glad why haven't you been over to see me before?" he demanded. "I've been here for some time."

Peter looked a little foolish. "The truth is, Teacher," said he very humbly, "I have been visiting the Old Orchard so much and learning so many things that this is the first chance I have had to come 'way over here in the Green Forest. You see, I have been learning a lot of things about you feathered folks, things I hadn't even guessed. There is something I wish you'd tell me, Teacher; will you?"

"That depends on what it is," replied Teacher, eyeing Peter a little suspiciously.

"It is why you are called Oven Bird," said Peter.

"Is that all?" asked Teacher. Then without waiting for a reply he added, "It is because of the way Mrs. Teacher and I build our nest. Some people think it is like an oven and so they call us Oven Birds. I think that is a silly name myself, quite as silly as Golden Crowned Thrush, which is what some people call me. I'm not a Thrush. I'm not even related to the Thrush family. I'm a Warbler, a Wood Warbler."

"I suppose," said Peter, looking at Teacher thoughtfully, "they've given you that name because you are dressed something like the Thrushes. That olive-green coat, and white waistcoat all streaked and spotted with black, certainly does remind me of the Thrush family. If you were not so much smaller than any of the Thrushes I should almost think you were one myself. Why, you are not very much bigger than Chippy the Chipping Sparrow, only you've got longer legs. I suppose that's because you spend so much time on the ground. I think that just Teacher is the best name for you. No one who has once heard you could ever mistake you for any one else. By the way, Teacher, where did you say your nest is?"

"I didn't say," retorted Teacher. "What's more, I'm not going to say."

"Won't you at least tell me if it is in a tree?" begged Peter.

Teacher's eyes twinkled. "I guess it won't do any harm to tell you that much," said he. "No, it isn't in a tree. It is on the ground and, if I do say it, it is as well hidden a nest as anybody can build. Oh, Peter, watch your step! Watch your step!" Teacher fairly shrieked this warning.

Peter, who had just started to hop off to his right, stopped short in sheer astonishment. Just in front of him was a tiny mound of dead leaves, and a few feet beyond Mrs. Teacher was fluttering about on the ground as if badly hurt. Peter simply didn't know what to make of it. Once more he made a movement as if to hop. Teacher flew right down in front of him. "You'll step on my nest!" he cried.

Peter stared, for he didn't see any nest. He said as much.

"It's under that little mound of leaves right in front of your feet!" cried Teacher. "I wasn't going to tell you, but I just had to or you certainly would have stepped on it."

Very carefully Peter walked around the little bunch of leaves and peered under them from the other side. There, sure enough, was a nest beneath them, and in it four speckled eggs. "I won't tell a soul, Teacher. I promise you I won't tell a soul," declared Peter very earnestly. "I understand now why you are called Oven Bird, but I still like the name Teacher best."

Feeling that Mr. and Mrs. Teacher would feel easier in their minds if he left them, Peter said good-by and started on for the lonesome place in the Green Forest where he knew the old nest of Redtail the Hawk had been. As he drew near the place he kept sharp watch through the treetops for a glimpse of Redtail. Presently he saw him high in the blue sky, sailing lazily in big circles. Then Peter became very, very cautious. He tiptoed forward, keeping under cover as much as possible. At last, peeping out from beneath a little hemlock-tree, he could see Redtail's old nest. He saw right away that it was bigger than it had been when he saw it last. Suddenly there was a chorus of hungry cries and Peter saw Mrs. Redtail approaching with a Mouse in her claws. From where he sat he could see four funny heads stretched above the edge of the nest.

"Redtail is using his old nest again and has got a family already," exclaimed Peter. "I guess this is no place for me. The sooner I get away from here the better."

Just then Redtail himself dropped down out of the blue, blue sky and alighted on a tree close at hand. Peter decided that the best thing he could do was to sit perfectly still where he was. He had a splendid view of Redtail, and he couldn't help but admire this big member of the Hawk family. The upper parts of his coat were a dark grayish-brown mixed with touches of chestnut color. The upper part of his breast was streaked with grayish-brown and buff, the lower part having but few streaks. Below this were black spots and bars ending in white. But it was the tail which Peter noticed most of all. It was a rich reddish-brown with a narrow black band near its end and a white tip. Peter understood at once why this big Hawk is called Redtail.



This is one of our largest hawks and may be recognized by the chestnut red of his tail.

It was not until Mr. and Mrs. Redtail had gone in quest of more food for their hungry youngsters that Peter dared steal away. As soon as he felt it safe to do so, he headed for home as fast as he could go, lipperty-lipperty-lip. He knew that he wouldn't feel safe until that lonesome place in the Green Forest was far behind.

Yet if the truth be known, Peter had less cause to worry than would have been the case had it been some other member of the Hawk family instead of Redtail. And while Redtail and his wife do sometimes catch some of their feathered and furred neighbors, and once in a while a chicken, they do vastly more good than harm.


The Aesop for Children  by Milo Winter

The Frogs Who Wished for a King

The Frogs were tired of governing themselves. They had so much freedom that it had spoiled them, and they did nothing but sit around croaking in a bored manner and wishing for a government that could entertain them with the pomp and display of royalty, and rule them in a way to make them know they were being ruled. No milk and water government for them, they declared. So they sent a petition to Jupiter asking for a king.

Jupiter saw what simple and foolish creatures they were, but to keep them quiet and make them think they had a king he threw down a huge log, which fell into the water with a great splash. The Frogs hid themselves among the reeds and grasses, thinking the new king to be some fearful giant. But they soon discovered how tame and peaceable King Log was. In a short time the younger Frogs were using him for a diving platform, while the older Frogs made him a meeting place, where they complained loudly to Jupiter about the government.

To teach the Frogs a lesson the ruler of the gods now sent a Crane to be king of Frogland. The Crane proved to be a very different sort of king from old King Log. He gobbled up the poor Frogs right and left and they soon saw what fools they had been. In mournful croaks they begged Jupiter to take away the cruel tyrant before they should all be destroyed.


"How now!" cried Jupiter "Are you not yet content? You have what you asked for and so you have only yourselves to blame for your misfortunes."

Be sure you can better your condition before you seek to change.


  WEEK 25  


The Boy Who Knew What the Birds Said  by Padraic Colum

Bloom-of-Youth and the Witch of the Elders


Part 1 of 2


B LOOM-OF-YOUTH was a young, young girl. But, young as she was, she would have to be married, her step-mother said. Then married she was while she was still little enough to walk through the doorway of her step-mother's hut without stooping her head.

Her husband was a hunter and he took her to live in a hut at the edge of a wood. He was out hunting the whole of the day. Now what did Bloom-of-Youth do while she had the house to herself? Little enough indeed. She swept the floor and she washed the dishes and she laid them back on their shelf. Then she went to the well for pails of water. When she went out she stayed long, for first she would look into the well at her own image and then she would make a wreath of flowers and put it on her head and look at herself again. After that, maybe, she would delay to pick berries and eat them. Then she would go without hurrying along the path, singing to herself.—

'Said when he saw

Me all in blue,

"Who is the maid

The sky must woo?"

'Said when he saw

Me all in green,

"Who is the maid

The grass calls queen?" '

When she would have got back to the hut the fire on the hearth would have gone out and she would have to light it again and then sweep the floor clear of the ashes that had blown upon it. After that she would have little time to do anything else except prepare a meal against the time when her husband would be back from his hunting.

One morning her husband left his coat down on the bench."My coat is torn; sew it for me," he said. Bloom-of-Youth said she would do that. But she did no more to the coat than take it up and leave it down again on the bench.

The next day her husband said "My vest is torn too; have it and the coat sewn for me." He left the vest beside the coat and went out to his hunting.

Bloom-of-Youth did nothing to the coat and nothing to the vest, and every day for a week her husband went out without coat or vest upon him.

One day he put on his torn coat and his torn vest and went out to his hunting. When he came home that evening he had a bundle of wool with him.

"Your step-mother," said he, "sends you this bundle of wool and she bids you spin it that there may be cloth for new clothes for me." "I will spin it," said Bloom-of-Youth.

But the next day when her husband went away she did what she had always done before. She went to the well and she looked for long at her image; she put a wreath of flowers on her head and she looked at her image again; she picked berries and ate them; she went along the path without hurrying, singing to herself.—

'Said when he saw

Me all in blue,

"Who is the maid

The sky must woo?"

'Said when he saw

Me all in green,

"Who is the maid

The grass calls queen?" '

She had to light the fire again when she came in and sweep away the ashes that had gathered on the floor and after she had done all that it was time to prepare the meal for the evening. But before her husband came home she took the spinning wheel out of the corner and put it near the light of the doorway.

"I see," said her husband, "that you are going to spin the wool for my clothes."

"I am when to-morrow comes," said Bloom-of-Youth.

But the next day she did as she done every day and no wool was spun. The day after she put wool on the wheel and gave it a few turns. In a week from that evening she had one ball of thread spun.

"Your step-mother bids me ask you how much of the wool have you spun?" said her husband to her one evening. Bloom-of-Youth was so much afraid that her husband would send her to her step-mother through the dark, dark wood, that she said "I have spun many balls."

"Your step-mother bade me count the balls you have spun," said her husband.

"I will go up to the loft and throw them down to you and then you will throw them back to me and we will count them that way," said Bloom-of-Youth.

She went up to the loft and she flung down the ball she had spun.

"One," said her husband, and he threw it back to her.

She flung him the ball again.

"Two," said her husband, and he flung it back to her. Then he said "three," and then "four," and then "five," and so on until he had counted twelve. "You have done well," said he, "and now before the week is out take the twelve balls to your step-mother's house and she will weave the thread into cloth for clothes for me."

Bloom-of-Youth was greatly frightened. To her step-mother's house she would have to go with a dozen balls of thread in a few days. The next day she hurried back from the well and she sat at her wheel before the door spinning and spinning. But, do her best, she could not get a good thread spun in the long length of the day.


And while she was spinning and spinning and getting her thread knotted and broken a black and crooked woman came and stood before the door. "You're spinning hard I see," said she to Bloom-of-Youth.

Bloom-of-Youth gave her no answer but put her head against the wheel and cried and cried.

"And what would you say," said the black and crooked woman, "if I took the bundle of wool from you now and brought it back to you to-morrow spun into a dozen balls of thread?"

"It is not what I would say; it is what I should give you," said Bloom-of-Youth.

"Give me!" said the black and crooked woman. "What could you give me?" But as she said it she gave Bloom-of-Youth a baleful look from under her leafy eyebrows. "No, no, you need give me nothing for spinning the wool for you. All that I'll ask from you is that you tell me my name within a week from this day."

"It will be easy to find out her name within a week," said Bloom-of-Youth to herself. She took the bundle of wool out of the basket and gave it to her. The black and crooked woman put the wool under her arm and then she lifted up her stick and shook it at Bloom-of-Youth.

"And if you don't find out my name within a week you will have to give me your heart's blood—a drop of heart's blood for every ball of wool I spin for you." The hag went away then. Bloom-of-Youth was greatly frightened, but after a while she said to herself,"I need not be afraid, for in a week I'll surely find out the name of the black and crooked woman who can't live far from this."

The next day the hag came to the door and left twelve balls of wool on the bench outside the house. "In a week, in a week," said she, "you'll have my name or I'll have twelve drops of your heart's blood to make the leaves of my Elder Tree fresh and fine."


Robinson Crusoe Written Anew for Children  by James Baldwin

I Become a Potter

WHEN it came to making bread, I found that I needed several vessels. In fact, I needed them in many ways.

It would be hard to make wooden vessels. Of course it was out of the question to make vessels of iron or any other metal. But why might I not make some earthen vessels?

If I could find some good clay, I felt quite sure that I could make pots strong enough to be of use.

After much trouble I found the clay. The next thing was to shape it into pots or jars.

You would have laughed to see the first things I tried to make. How ugly they were!

Some of them fell in pieces of their own weight. Some of them fell in pieces when I tried to lift them.

They were of all shapes and sizes.

After I had worked two months I had only two large jars that were fit to look at. These I used for holding my rice and barley meal.

Then I tried some smaller things, and did quite well.

I made some plates, a pitcher, and some little jars that would hold about a pint.

All these I baked in the hot sun. They kept their shape, and seemed quite hard. But of course they would not hold water or bear the heat of the fire.

One day when I was cooking my meat for dinner, I made a very hot fire. When I was done with it, I raked down the coals and poured water on it to put it out.

It so happened that one of my little earthenware jars had fallen into the fire and been broken. I had not taken it out, but had left it in the hot flames.

Now, as I was raking out the coals, I found some pieces of it and was surprised at the sight of them, for they were burned as hard as stones and as red as tiles.

"If broken pieces will burn so," said I, "why cannot a whole jar be made as hard and as red as these?"

I had never seen potters at work. I did not know how to build a kiln for firing the pots. I had never heard how earthenware is glazed.

But I made up my mind to see what could be done.

I put several pots and small jars in a pile, one upon another. I laid dry wood all over and about them, and then set it on fire.

As fast as the wood burned up, I heaped other pieces upon the fire. The hot flames roared all round the jars and pots. The red coals burned beneath them.


I kept the fire going all day. I could see the pots become red-hot through and through. The sand on the side of a little jar began to melt and run.

After that I let the fire go down, little by little. I watched it all night, for I did not wish the pots and jars to cool too quickly.

In the morning I found that I had three very good earthen pots. They were not at all pretty, but they were as hard as rocks and would hold water.

I had two fine jars also, and one of them was well glazed with the melted sand.

After this I made all the pots and jars and plates and pans that I needed. They were of all shapes and sizes.

You would have laughed to see them.

Of course I was awkward at this work. I was like a child making mud pies.

But how glad I was when I found that I had a vessel that would bear the fire! I could hardly wait to put some water in it and boil me some meat.

That night I had turtle soup and barley broth for supper.


Robert Frost

The Pasture

I'm going out to clean the pasture spring;

I'll only stop to rake the leaves away

(And wait to watch the water clear, I may):

I shan't be gone long.—You come too.

I'm going out to fetch the little calf

That's standing by the mother. It's so young,

It totters when she licks it with her tongue.

I shan't be gone long.—You come too.


  WEEK 25  


The Discovery of New Worlds  by M. B. Synge

Frederick Barbarossa

"When the hand

Of Barbarossa grasped imperial sway,

That name ne'er uttered without tears in Milan."


A LTHOUGH Godfrey de Bouillon died within the year, yet for the next half century the Christians kept Jerusalem from the attacks of the Mohammedans around them, till a time came of danger, and strong help was needed from Europe, and the Second Crusade was formed. It was led by the ruler of Germany and the King of France, for by this time the old kingdom of the Franks had disappeared, and our modern countries of Germany, France, and Italy existed separately.

Marching under the banner of the cross in this ill-fated crusade was young Frederick Barbarossa—as he was afterwards called, by reason of his red beard. Though the Crusade itself was a miserable failure, Barbarossa won golden opinions, and when his uncle died he became ruler of Germany.

Charlemagne had conquered the Lombards in the north of Italy and made their towns subject to Germany, but since his day a spirit of independence had grown up among these people, and for many years the German rulers had left them alone. But Barbarossa meant to assert his right over these northern cities of Italy, and he spent his life trying to suppress them, till he found out his mistake.

Ambitious of restoring the old rights, Barbarossa invaded Lombardy with "the arts of a statesman, the valour of a soldier, and the cruelty of a tyrant." He insisted on being crowned with the iron crown of the Lombards, and afterwards in Rome with the golden crown of the Empire. He left discontent behind him when he returned to Germany, and some years later, followed by a brilliant army of knights and nobles, he re-entered Lombardy. By all the passes of the Alps the German soldiers poured into Italy. Cries of despair arose from the freedom-loving cities when the people beheld this vast army. Milan, one of the chief towns, was besieged and starved into submission.

"Milan shall be a desert," Barbarossa declared, as he took his way back to Germany.

But the brave endurance of the Milanese had roused the other towns in Lombardy to fierce rebellion. They now made a league, known to history as the Lombard League, to preserve that liberty which the emperor sought to destroy. They all agreed to rebuild Milan and to defend one another against Barbarossa should he come again.

He did come again. It was in the year 1176 that the German army met the army of the League at a place called Legnano, some fifteen miles from the new town of Milan.

In the centre of the Milanese soldiers was the sacred car of the city, a ponderous waggon drawn by four white oxen harnessed with red trappings. In the centre of this corrocio,  as it was called, rose a figure of Christ with outstretched arms, supported on a globe, while above towered a lofty mast from which floated the banner of the Republic. An altar, a chest of medicine, bandages for the wounded, and a band of martial music completed the furniture of this quaint vehicle.

To the flower of the troops, under the name of the Company of Death, was entrusted its defence. Its presence inspired the Milanese with courage and enthusiasm. Its loss meant defeat and disgrace, for it was the very heart of the army. An old legend tells how, at the beginning of this battle, two white doves descended upon the out-stretched figure of Christ, as if in token that the blessing of Heaven was resting on the Italians. A tremendous charge of German cavalry made the Lombards give way, and the Germans pressed forward towards the corrocio  in the centre of the army.

Nine hundred desperate patriots forming the Company of Death defended the sacred car. Seeing the Germans were gaining ground, fearful for the safety of their treasure, they suddenly knelt down and renewed their vow to God that they would perish for their country. Then, excited to a pitch of unwonted zeal, they charged the Germans. The attack was so sudden and so furious that the tide of victory turned.

Encouraged by such an example, the rest of the Italians rushed forward, and the Germans fled, defeated.

Barbarossa was now convinced of the power of the League, and made peace with the Lombards. His defeat proved of value to him, for it changed his stern attitude towards these people to one of mercy, and he turned the restless enemies of Lombardy into contented subjects.

This victorious struggle of the Lombards against Frederick Barbarossa is one of the landmarks of history, for it is the first entry of the people upon the stage of Europe.

Barbarossa was now an old man when he determined to join the Third Crusade, which was starting for Jerusalem. He reached Asia Minor, where he was stopped at a ford by a crowd of pack-horses. Impatient of delay, he, though now nearly seventy years old, set spurs to his horse and plunged into the water. The current was rapid, and the strong charger struggled against it in vain. In the sight of his army the old man was carried away and drowned.

Great was the regret of all. No ruler of Germany ever won a more lasting place in the affections of his people than Barbarossa.

The legends say that he is still sleeping, away among the Salzburg hills, and that his red beard has grown through the granite rock by which he sits. But some day, it says, when the ravens cease to fly round the mountain, he will awake and bring to his old country the dawn of a golden age.


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

The Travels of a Fox

Once upon a time a fox was travelling along the road. He stopped to dig behind the stump of a tree. Up flew a large bumble bee which he caught and put into a bag. On walked the fox until he came to the first house.


"May I leave my bag here while I go to Squintum's?" he asked the mistress.

"Yes, sir, you may," said the woman.

"Be very careful not to open the bag," said the fox.

But as soon as he was out of sight the woman opened a corner of the bag and peeped in.

Buzz! Buzz! Buzz! Out flew the bee. Snap! The old woman's little rooster caught him and ate him up.

In a little while the fox came back. He looked into his bag and said, "Where is my bumblebee?"

"Oh, sir," said the woman, "I opened a corner of the bag to see what was in it. flew the bee. My little rooster caught him and ate him up."

"Very well," said the fox, "I must have the little rooster, then."

So he caught the rooster and put him into the bag. On walked the fox down the road until he came to the next house.

"May I leave my bag here while I go to Squintums's?" he asked the mistress of the house.

"Yes, sir, you may," said the woman.

"Be very careful not to open the bag," said the fox.

But as soon as the fox was out of sight the woman opened a corner of the bag and peeped in.

Flap! Flap! Flap! Out flew the rooster. Snap! The old woman's pig caught the little rooster and ate him up.

In a little while the fox came back. He looked into the bag and said, "Where is my little rooster?"

"Oh, sir," said the woman, "I opened a corner of the bag to see what was in it. Out flew the little rooster. My pig caught him and ate him up."

"Very well, I must have the pig, then."

So the fox caught the pig and put him into the bag. On he walked down the road until he came to the next house.

"May I leave my bag here while I go to Squintum's?" he asked the mistress of the house.

"Yes, sir, you may," said the woman.

"Be very careful not to open the bag," said the fox.

But as soon as the fox was out of sight the woman opened the bag and peeped in.

"Squeak! Squeak! Squeak!" Out jumped the pig. Snap! The old woman's ox caught him and ate him up.

In a little while the fox came back. He looked into his bag and said, "Where is my pig?"

"Oh, sir," said the woman, "I opened the bag to see what was in it. Out jumped the pig. My ox caught him and ate him up."

"Very well," said the fox. "I must have the ox, then."

So he caught the ox and put him into the bag. On walked the fox down the road until he came to the next house.

"May I leave my bag here while I go to Squintum's?" he asked the mistress of the house.

"Yes, sir, you may," said the woman.

"Be very careful not to open the bag," said the fox.

But as soon as the fox was out of sight the woman opened the bag and peeped in.

Moo—oo—oo! Out jumped the ox and ran out of the house. The woman's little boy chased him far away over the fields.

In a little while the fox came back. He looked into the bag and said, "Where is my ox?"

"Oh, sir," said the woman, "I opened the bag to see what was in it. Out jumped the ox. He ran out of the house and my little boy chased him far away over the fields."

"Very well," said the fox. "I must have your little boy, then."

So he caught the woman's little boy and put him into the bag. On walked the fox down the road until he came to the next house.

"May I leave my bag here while I go to Squintum's?" he asked the mistress of house.

"Yes, sir, you may," said the woman.

"Be very careful not to open the bag," said the fox.

It happened that the woman was baking a cake. When she took it out of the oven the children cried out, "Please, mother, give me a piece of cake! Please, mother, give a piece of cake!"


And the little boy who was tied up in the bag smelled the cake and cried out, "Please, mammy, give me a piece of cake!"

The woman opened the bag and out stepped the little boy. She put the house-dog quickly into the bag and tied the bag up. Then she gave the little boy a piece of cake. He and the other children ate the cake and were very happy.

In a little while the fox came back. He thought his bag had not been opened for it was tied up as he had left it. He put it over his back and walked on down the road and into the deep woods. He sat down and untied his bag.

Bow, wow, wow! Out jumped the house-dog and ate up that fox.

New England Nursery Tale



Walter de la Mare

In Vain

I knocked upon thy door ajar,

While yet the woods with buds were grey;

Nought but a little child I heard

Warbling at break of day.

I knocked when June had lured her rose

To mask the sharpness of its thorn;

Knocked yet again, heard only yet

Thee singing of the morn.

The frail convolvulus had wreathed

Its cup, but the faint flush of eve

Lingered upon thy Western wall;

Thou hadst no word to give.

Once yet I came; the winter stars

Above thy house wheeled wildly bright;

Footsore I stood before thy door

Wide open into night.


  WEEK 25  


Understood Betsy  by Dorothy Canfield Fisher

Betsy Has a Birthday

Part 2 of 3

Now, now was the moment to remember what Cousin Ann would have done. She would certainly not have shaken all over with hurt feelings nor have allowed the tears to come stingingly to her eyes. So Betsy sternly made herself stop doing these things. And Cousin Ann wouldn't have given way to the dreadful sinking feeling of utter discouragement, but would have gone right on to the next place. So, although Betsy felt like nothing so much as crooking her elbow over her face and crying as hard as she could cry, she stiffened her back, took Molly's hand again, and stepped out, heartsick within but very steady (although rather pale) without.

She and Molly walked along in the crowd again, Molly laughing and pointing out the pranks and antics of the young people, who were feeling livelier than ever as the afternoon wore on. Betsy looked at them grimly with unseeing eyes. It was four o'clock. The last train for Hillsboro left in two hours and she was no nearer having the price of the tickets. She stopped for a moment to get her breath; for, although they were walking slowly, she kept feeling breathless and choked. It occurred to her that if ever a little girl had had a more horrible birthday she never heard of one!

"Oh, I wish I could, Dan!" said a young voice near her. "But honest! Momma'd just eat me up alive if I left the booth for a minute!"

Betsy turned quickly. A very pretty girl with yellow hair and blue eyes (she looked as Molly might when she was grown up) was leaning over the edge of a little canvas-covered booth, the sign of which announced that home-made doughnuts and soft drinks were for sale there. A young man, very flushed and gay, was pulling at the girl's blue gingham sleeve. "Oh, come on, Annie. Just one turn! The floor's elegant. You can keep an eye on the booth from the hall! Nobody's going to run away with the old thing anyhow!"

"Honest, I'd love to! But I got a great lot of dishes to wash, too! You know Momma!" She looked longingly toward the open-air dancing floor, out from which just then floated a burst of brazen music.

"Oh, please!"  said a small voice. "I'll do it for twenty cents."

Betsy stood by the girl's elbow, all quivering earnestness.

"Do what, kiddie?" asked the girl in a good-natured surprise.

"Everything!" said Betsy, compendiously. "Everything! Wash the dishes, tend the booth; you  can go dance! I'll do it for twenty cents."

The eyes of the girl and the man met in high amusement. "My! Aren't we up and coming!" said the man. "You're most as big as a pint-cup, aren't you?" he said to Betsy.

The little girl flushed—she detested being laughed at—but she looked straight into the laughing eyes. "I'm ten years old today," she said, "and I can wash dishes as well as anybody." She spoke with dignity.

The young man burst out into a great laugh.

"Great kid, what?" he said to the girl, and then, "Say, Annie, why not? Your mother won't be here for an hour. The kid can keep folks from walking off with the dope and . . . "

"I'll do the dishes, too," repeated Betsy, trying hard not to mind being laughed at, and keeping her eyes fixed steadily on the tickets to Hillsboro.

"Well, by gosh," said the young man, laughing. "Here's our chance, Annie, for fair! Come along!"

The girl laughed, too, out of high spirits. "Wouldn't Momma be crazy!" she said hilariously. "But she'll never know. Here, you cute kid, here's my apron." She took off her long apron and tied it around Betsy's neck. "There's the soap, there's the table. You stack the dishes up on that counter."

She was out of the little gate in the counter in a twinkling, just as Molly, in answer to a beckoning gesture from Betsy, came in. "Hello, there's another one!" said the gay young man, gayer and gayer. "Hello, button! What you going to do? I suppose when they try to crack the safe you'll run at them and bark and drive them away!"

Molly opened her sweet, blue eyes very wide, not understanding a single word. The girl laughed, swooped back, gave Molly a kiss, and disappeared, running side by side with the young man toward the dance hall.

Betsy mounted on a soap box and began joyfully to wash the dishes. She had never thought that ever in her life would she simply love  to wash dishes beyond anything else! But it was so. Her relief was so great that she could have kissed the coarse, thick plates and glasses as she washed them.

"It's all right, Molly; it's all right!" she quavered exultantly to Molly over her shoulder. But as Molly had not (from the moment Betsy took command) suspected that it was not all right, she only nodded and asked if she might sit up on a barrel where she could watch the crowd go by.

"I guess you could. I don't know why not,"  said Betsy doubtfully. She lifted her up and went back to her dishes. Never were dishes washed better!


Never were dishes washed better!

"Two doughnuts, please," said a man's voice behind her.

Oh, mercy, there was somebody come to buy! Whatever should she do? She came forward intending to say that the owner of the booth was away and she didn't know anything about . . . but the man laid down a nickel, took two doughnuts, and turned away. Betsy gasped and looked at the home-made sign stuck into the big pan of doughnuts. Sure enough, it read "2 for 5." She put the nickel up on a shelf and went back to her dishwashing. Selling things wasn't so hard, she reflected.

As her hunted feeling of desperation relaxed she began to find some fun in her new situation, and when a woman with two little boys approached, she came forward to wait on her, elated, important. "Two for five," she said in a businesslike tone. The woman put down a dime, took up four doughnuts, divided them between her sons, and departed.

"My!" said Molly, looking admiringly at Betsy's coolness over this transaction. Betsy went back to her dishes, stepping high.

"Oh, Betsy, see! The pig! The big ox!" cried Molly now, looking from her coign of vantage down the wide, grass-grown lane between the booths.

Betsy craned her head around over her shoulder, continuing conscientiously to wash and wipe the dishes. The prize stock was being paraded around the Fair; the great prize ox, his shining horns tipped with blue rosettes; the prize cows, with wreaths around their necks; the prize horses, four or five of them as glossy as satin, curving their bright, strong necks and stepping as though on eggs, their manes and tails braided with bright ribbon; and then, "Oh, Betsy, look  at the pig!" screamed Molly again—the smaller animals, the sheep, the calves, the colts, and the pig, which waddled along with portly dignity.

Betsy looked as well as she could over her shoulder . . . and in years to come she can shut her eyes and see again in every detail that rustic procession under the golden, September light.

But she looked anxiously at the clock. It was nearing five. Oh, suppose the girl forgot and danced too long!

"Two bottles of ginger ale and half a dozen doughnuts," said a man with a woman and three children.

Betsy looked feverishly among the bottles ranged on the counter, selected two marked ginger ale, and glared at their corrugated tin stoppers. How did  you get them open?

"Here's your opener," said the man, "if that's what you're looking for. Here, you get the glasses and I'll open the bottles. We're in kind of a hurry. Got to catch a train."

Well, they were not the only people who had to catch a train, Betsy thought sadly. They drank in gulps and departed, cramming doughnuts into their mouths. Betsy wished ardently that the girl would come back. She was now almost sure that she had forgotten and would dance there till nightfall. But there, there she came, running along, as light-footed after an hour's dancing as when she had left the booth.

"Here you are, kid," said the young man, producing a quarter. "We've had the time of our young lives, thanks to you."

Betsy gave him back one of the nickels that remained to her, but he refused it.

"No, keep the change," he said royally. "It was worth it."

"Then I'll buy two doughnuts with my extra nickel," said Betsy.

"No, you won't," said the girl. "You'll take all you want for nothing . . . Momma'll never miss 'em. And what you sell here has got to be fresh every day. Here, hold out your hands, both of you."

"Some people came and bought things," said Betsy, happening to remember as she and Molly turned away. "The money is on that shelf."

"Well, now!"  said the girl, "if she didn't take hold and sell things! Say . . ."—she ran after Betsy and gave her a hug—"you smart young one, I wish't I had a little sister just like you!"


The Adventures of Unc' Billy Possum  by Thornton Burgess

Reddy Fox Thinks He Sees a Ghost

R EDDY FOX came down the Lone Little Path through the Green Forest on his way to the Green Meadows. He had brushed his red coat until it shone. His white waistcoat was spotless, and he carried his big tail high in the air, that it might not become soiled. Reddy was feeling as fine as he looked. He would have liked to sing, but every time he tried his voice cracked, and he was afraid that some one would hear him and laugh at him. If there is one thing that Reddy Fox dislikes more than another, it is being laughed at.

Reddy chuckled at his thoughts, and what do you think he was thinking about? Why, about how he had seen Farmer Brown's boy carrying off Unc' Billy Possum by the tail the afternoon before. He knew how Farmer Brown's boy had caught Unc' Billy in the hen-house, and with his own eyes he had seen Unc' Billy carried off. Of course Unc' Billy was dead. There could be no doubt about it. And Reddy was glad of it. Yes, Sir, Reddy was glad of it. Unc' Billy Possum had made altogether too many friends in the Green Forest and on the Green Meadows, and he had made Reddy the laughing-stock of them all by the way he had dared Reddy to meet Bowser the Hound, and actually had waited for Bowser while Reddy ran away.

Reddy remembered that Unc' Billy's hollow tree was not far away. He would go over that way, just to have another look at it. So over he went. There stood the old hollow tree, and half way up was the door out of which Unc' Billy used to look down on him and grin. It was Reddy's turn to grin now. Presently he sat down with his back against the foot of the tree, crossed his legs, looked this way and that way to make sure that no one was about, and then in a dreadfully cracked voice he began to sing:

"Ol' Bill Possum, he's gone before!

Ol' Bill Possum, he is no more!

Bill was a scamp, Sir;

Bill was a thief!

Bill stole an egg, Sir;

Bill came to grief.

Ol' Bill Possum, it served him right;

And he is no more, for he died last night."

"Very good, Sah, very good. Ah cert'nly am obliged to yo'all for yo' serenade," said a voice that seemed to come out of the tree at Reddy's back.

Reddy Fox sprang up as if some one had stuck a pin into him. Every hair stood on end, as he looked up at Unc' Billy's doorway. Then his teeth began to chatter with fright.


Reddy Fox sprang up as if some one had stuck a pin into him.

Looking out of Unc' Billy's doorway and grinning down at him was something that looked for all the world like Unc' Billy himself.

"It must be his ghost!" said Reddy, and tucking his tail between his legs, he started up the Crooked Little Path as fast as his legs could take him.

Reddy never once looked back. If he had, he might have seen Unc' Billy Possum climb down from the hollow tree and shake hands with Jimmy Skunk, who had just come along.

"How did Ah do it? Why, Ah just pretended Ah was daid, when Farmer Brown's boy caught me," explained Unc' Billy. "Of course he wouldn't kill a daid Possum. So when he tossed me down on the chopping-block and turned his back, Ah just naturally came to life again, and here Ah am."

Unc' Billy Possum grinned broader than ever, and Jimmy Skunk grinned, too.


William Allingham


Ring ting! I wish I were a Primrose,

A bright yellow Primrose, blowing in the spring!

The stooping bough above me,

The wandering bee to love me,

The fern and moss to creep across,

And the Elm-tree for our king!

Nay,—stay! I wish I were an Elm-tree,

A great lofty Elm-tree, with green leaves gay!

The winds would set them dancing,

The sun and moonshine glance in,

And birds would house among the boughs,

And sweetly sing.

Oh—no! I wish I were a Robin,—

A Robin, or a little Wren, everywhere to go,

Through forest, field, or garden,

And ask no leave or pardon,

Till winter comes with icy thumbs

To ruffle up our wing!

Well,—tell! where should I fly to,

Where go to sleep in the dark wood or dell?

Before the day was over,

Home must come the rover,

For mother's kiss,—sweeter this

Than any other thing.


  WEEK 25  


Hurlbut's Story of the Bible  by Jesse Lyman Hurlbut

The Tall Man Who Was Chosen King

I Samuel viii: 1, to x: 27.

dropcap image HEN Samuel, the good man and the wise judge, grew old he made his sons judges in Israel, to help him in the care of the people. But Samuel's sons did not walk in his ways. They did not try always to do justly. When men brought matters before them to be decided, they would decide for the one who gave them money, and not always for the one who was in the right.

The elders of all the tribes of Israel came to Samuel at his home in Ramah, and they said to him, "You are growing old, and your sons do not rule as well as you have ruled. All the lands around us have kings. Let us have a king also, and do you choose the king for us."

This was not pleasing to Samuel, not because he wished to rule, but because the Lord God was their king, and he felt that for Israel to have such a king as those who ruled the nations around them would be turning away from the Lord. Samuel prayed to the Lord, and the Lord said to him, "Listen to the people in what they ask, for they have not turned away from you; they have turned away from me in asking for a king. Let them have a king, but tell them of the wrong that they are doing, and show them what trouble their king will bring upon them."

Then Samuel called the elders of the people together, and he said to them, "If you have a king, as do the nations around, he will take your sons away from you, and will make some of them soldiers, and horsemen, and men to drive his chariots. He will take others of your sons to wait on him, to work in his fields, and to make his chariots and his weapons for war. Your king will take the best of your fields and your farms, will give them to the men of his court who are around him. He will make your daughters cook for him, and make bread, and serve in his palace. He will take a part of your sheep, and your oxen, and your asses. You will find that he will be your master and you shall be his servants. The time shall come when you will cry out to the Lord on account of the king that you have chosen, and the Lord will not hear you." But the people would not follow Samuel's advice. They said, "No, we will have a king to reign over us, so that we may be like other nations, and our king shall be our judge and shall lead us out to war."

It was God's will that Israel should be a quiet, plain people, living alone in the mountains, serving the Lord and not trying to conquer other nations. But they wished to be a great people, to be strong in war and to have riches and power. And the Lord said to Samuel, "Do as the people ask, and choose a king for them."

Then Samuel sent the people to their homes, promising to find a king for them.

There was at that time in the tribe of Benjamin a young man named Saul, the son of Kish. He was a very large man and noble looking. From his shoulders he stood taller than any other man in Israel. His father Kish was a rich man, with wide fields and many flocks. Some asses that belonged to Kish had strayed away, and Saul went out with a servant to find them. While they were looking for the asses they came near to Ramah, where Samuel lived. The servant said to Saul, "There is in this city a man of God whom all men honor. They say that he can tell what is about to happen, for he is a seer. Let us go to him and give him a present. Perhaps he can tell us where to find the asses."

In those times a man to whom God made known his will was called a seer; in later times he was called a prophet.

So Saul and his servant came to Ramah and asked for the seer; and while they were coming the seer, who was Samuel, met them. On the day before the Lord had spoken to Samuel, and had said:

"To-morrow, about this time, I will send you a man out of the tribe of Benjamin, and you shall make him the prince of my people, and he shall save my people from the Philistines."

And when Samuel saw this tall and noble-looking young man coming to meet him, he heard the Lord's voice, saying:

"This is the man of whom I spoke to you. He is the one that shall rule over my people."

Then Saul came near to Samuel, not knowing who he was, and he said, "Can you tell me where the seer's house is?" And Samuel answered Saul, "I am the seer; come with me up to the hill. We are to have an offering and a feast there. As for the asses that were lost three days ago, do not be troubled about them, for they have been found. But on whom is the desire of all Israel? Is it not on you and on your father's house?" Saul could not think what the seer meant in those last words. He said, "Is not my tribe of Benjamin the smallest of all the tribes? And is not my family the least of all the families in the tribe? Why do you say such things to me?"

But Samuel led Saul and his servant into the best room at his house; at the table, where thirty had been invited, he gave Saul the best place, and he put before him the choicest of the meat, and he said, "This has been kept for you of all those invited to the feast."

That night Saul and his servant slept in the best room, which was on the roof of Samuel's house. And the next morning Samuel sent the servant on while he spoke with Saul alone. He brought out a vial of oil and poured it on Saul's head, and said:

"The Lord has anointed you to be prince over his land and his people."


Samuel anoints Saul king.

Then he told Saul just what he would find on the way, where he would meet certain people, and what he must do. He said:

"When you come to the tomb where Rachel is buried, two men will meet you and will say to you, 'The asses for which you were looking have been found, and now your father is looking for you.' Then under an oak you will meet three men carrying three kids, three loaves of bread, and a skin-bottle full of wine; and these men will give you as a present two loaves of bread. Next you will meet a company of prophets, men full of God's Spirit, with instruments of music, and the Lord's Spirit shall come upon you and a new heart shall be given to you. All these things will show you that God is with you. Now go, and do whatever God tells you to do."

And it came just as Samuel had said. These men met Saul, and when the prophets came near, singing and praising God, Saul joined them and also sang and praised the Lord. And in that hour a new spirit came to Saul. He was no more the farmer's son, for in him was the soul of a king.


A company of prophets meet Saul.

He came home, and told at home how he had met Samuel, and that Samuel said to him that the asses had been found. But he did not tell them that Samuel had poured oil upon his head and said that he was to be the king of Israel.

Then Samuel called all the people to the meeting place at Mizpah. And he told them that they had wished for a king, and God had chosen a king for them.

"Now," said Samuel, "let the men of the tribes pass by, each tribe and each family by itself."

The people passed by Samuel, and when the tribe of Benjamin came, out of all the tribes Benjamin was taken; out of Benjamin one family, and out of that family Saul's name was called. But Saul was not with his family; he had hidden away. They found him and brought him out; and when he stood among the people his head and shoulders rose above them all. And Samuel said: "Look at the man whom the Lord has chosen! There is not another like him among all the people!" And all the people shouted, "God save the king! Long live the king!"

Then Samuel told the people what should be the laws for the king and for the people to obey. He wrote them down in a book, and placed the book before the Lord. Then Samuel sent the people home, and Saul went back to his own house at a place called Gibeah, and with Saul went a company of men to whose hearts God had given a love for the king. So after three hundred years under the fifteen judges Israel now had a king. But among the people there were some who were not pleased with the new king, because he was an unknown man from the farm. They said, "Can such a man as this save us?" They showed no respect to the king and in their hearts looked down upon him. But Saul said nothing and showed his wisdom by appearing not to notice them.


The Boxcar Children  by Gertrude Chandler Warner

Cherry Picking

H ENRY meditated awhile all to himself early the next morning as to whether he ought to take any one with him for the cherry picking. "He certainly said he could use more than one," he mused.

Failing to decide the question, he laid it before his sisters as they ate bread and milk for breakfast.

"I can't see any reason, except one, why we shouldn't all go," said Jess.

"What's that?" asked Henry.

"Well, you see there are four of us, and supposing grandfather is looking for us, it will be easier to find four than one."

"True," agreed Henry. "But supposing we went down the hill and through the streets two by two? And you took Watch?"

It was finally agreed that Henry and Benny would attract very little attention together; Violet and Jess would follow with the dog, who would trace Henry. And so they set out. They took down the clothesline and closed the car door. Everything instantly looked as lonesome as heart could wish. Even the merry little brook looked deserted.

When the children arrived at the McAllister orchard they soon saw that they were not the only workers. Two hired men and the young doctor himself were carrying ladders and baskets from the barn, and the Irish cook was bringing piles of square baskets from the house—the kind that strawberries are sold in.

"The girls can pick cherries as well as I can," said Henry, introducing his sisters. "Benny ought not to climb very tall trees, but we had to bring him."

"Benny can carry the baskets, perhaps," suggested the doctor, much amused. "You see, this is a cherry year, and we have to work quickly when we once begin. Perhaps he could fill the small baskets from the big ones."

It was a "cherry year," certainly. There were two varieties in the orchard, the pale yellow kind with a red cheek, and the deep crimson ones which were just as red in the center as they were on the outside. The red ones were huge, bursting with juice, and the trees were laden full with the luscious fruit. Even the air was perfumed.

It was a pretty sight that the doctor finally turned his back upon when he went on his calls. Henry, slim, tanned, and graceful, picked rapidly from the tallest ladder in the largest tree. The two girls in their sensible bloomer suits could climb like cats. They leaned against the ladders easily about halfway up, their fluffy short hair gleaming in the sun. Benny trotted to and fro, waiting upon the busy pickers, his cheeks as red as the cherries themselves.

"Eat all you want," Dr. McAllister called back. They did not really obey this command, but occasionally a set of white teeth bit into one of the glorious oxhearts.

In less than an hour Benny had made five firm friends. The hired men joked with him, the cook petted him, the young doctor laughed at him delightedly, and sweet Mrs. McAllister fell in love with him. Finally he seated himself comfortably at her side under the trees and filled square boxes with great care under her direction.

"I never had such a cheerful crowd of cherry pickers before," Mrs. McAllister said at last. "I'd much rather stay out here than go into the house where it is cool."

Evidently Mary the cook felt the same way, for she kept coming to the orchard for some reason or other. When the doctor returned at lunch time his orchard was ringing with laughter, and good-natured barks from Watch who could not feel easy in his mind with his mistress so high up in a tree where he couldn't follow.

Dr. McAllister paused in the garage long enough to give a sniff to the boiling cherries in the kitchen, and then made his way to the orchard, where he received a warm welcome.

"There's no use in your going home to lunch," he smilingly observed, at the same time watching Henry's face carefully. "You can eat right here in the orchard, unless your mother will be worrying about you."

This remark met with an astounding silence. Henry was the first to collect his wits. "No, our mother is dead," he said evenly, without embarrassment.

It was the doctor who hastened to change the subject he had introduced. "I smelled something when I came in," he said to Benny.

"What did it smell like?" inquired Benny.

"It smelled like cherry slump," replied the doctor with twinkling eyes.

"Cherry what?"  asked Jess, struggling down her ladder with a full basket.

"I think that's what they call it—slump," repeated Dr. McAllister. "Do you care to try it?"

At this moment Mary appeared in the orchard with an enormous tray. And at the first sight of her cookery, nobody cared the least what its name was. It was that rare combination of dumpling beaten with stoned cherries, and cooked gently in the juice of the oxheart cherries in a real "cherry year." It was steaming in the red juice, with the least suspicion of melted butter over the whole.

"Do get two more, Mary," begged Mrs. McAllister, laughing. "It tastes so much better under the cherry trees!"

This was another meal that nobody ever forgot. Even the two hired men sitting under another tree devouring the delicious pudding, paused to hear Benny laugh. Nowadays those two men sometimes meet Henry—but that's another story. Anyway, they never will forget that cherry slump made by Irish Mary.

Almost as soon as lunch was over Benny rolled over on the grass and went to sleep, his head, as usual, on the dog's back. But the others worked on steadily. Mrs. McAllister kept an eye on them from the screened porch without their knowledge.

"Just see how those children keep at it," she said to her son. "There is good stuff in them. I should like to know where they come from."

Dr. McAllister said nothing. He sauntered out into the orchard when he thought they had worked long enough. He paid them four dollars and gave them all the cherries they could carry, although they tried to object.

"You see, you're better than most pickers, because you're so cheerful."

He noticed that they did not all leave the yard at the same time.

When the cherry pickers returned to their little home they examined everything carefully. Nothing had been disturbed. The door was still shut, and the milk and butter stood untouched in the refrigerator. They made a hilarious meal of raw cherries and bread and butter, and before the stars came out they were fast asleep—happy and dreamless.

That evening, very much later, a young man sat in his study with the evening paper. He read the news idly, and was just on the point of tossing the paper aside when this advertisement caught his eye:

Lost. Four children, aged thirteen, twelve, ten and five. Somewhere around the region of Middlesex and Townsend. $5000 reward for information.

James Henry Cordyce

"Whew!" whistled the young man. "James Henry Cordyce!"

He sat in perfect silence for a long time, thinking. Then he went to bed. But long after he had gone upstairs he whistled again, and could have been heard to say-if anyone had been awake to hear it—"James Henry Cordyce! Of all people!"


William Shakespeare

Ariel's Song from The Tempest

Where the bee sucks, there suck I:

In a cowslip's bell I lie;

There I couch when owls do cry:

On the bat's back I do fly,

After summer merrily.

Merrily, merrily, shall I live now,

Under the blossom that hangs on the bough!