Text of Plan #970
  WEEK 40  


The Little Lame Prince  by Dinah Maria Mulock

The Travelling-Cloak

A ND what of the travelling-cloak? What sort of cloak was it, and what good did it do the Prince?

Stay, and I'll tell you all about it.

Outside it was the commonest-looking bundle imaginable—shabby and small; and the instant Prince Dolor touched it, it grew smaller still, dwindling down till he could put it in his trousers pocket, like a handkerchief rolled up into a ball. He did this at once, for fear his nurse should see it, and kept it there all day—all night, too. Till after his next morning's lessons he had no opportunity of examining his treasure.

When he did, it seemed no treasure at all; but a mere piece of cloth—circular in form, dark green in colour—that is, if it had any colour at all, being so worn and shabby, though not dirty. It had a split cut to the centre, forming a round hole for the neck—and that was all its shape; the shape, in fact, of those cloaks which in South America are called ponchos—very simple, but most graceful and convenient.

Prince Dolor had never seen anything like it. In spite of his disappointment, he examined it curiously; spread it out on the floor, then arranged it on his shoulders. It felt very warm and comfortable; but it was so exceedingly shabby—the only shabby thing that the Prince had ever seen in his life.


Prince Dolor had never seen anything like it.
In spite of his disappointment, he examined it curiously.

"And what use will it be to me?" said he sadly. "I have no need of outdoor clothes, as I never go out. Why was this given me, I wonder? and what in the world am I to do with it? She must be a rather funny person, this dear godmother of mine."

Nevertheless, because she was his godmother, and had given him the cloak, he folded it carefully and put it away, poor and shabby as it was, hiding it in a safe corner of his toy cupboard, which his nurse never meddled with. He did not want her to find it, or to laugh at it, or at his godmother—as he felt sure she would, if she knew all.

There it lay, and by-and-by he forgot all about it; nay, I am sorry to say that, being but a child, and not seeing her again, he almost forgot his sweet old godmother, or thought of her only as he did of the angels or fairies that he read of in his books, and of her visit as if it had been a mere dream of the night.

There were times, certainly, when he recalled her; of early mornings, like that morning when she appeared beside him, and late evenings, when the grey twilight reminded him of the colour of her hair and her pretty soft garments; above all, when, waking in the middle of the night, with the stars peering in at his window, or the moonlight shining across his little bed, he would not have been surprised to see her standing beside it, looking at him with those beautiful tender eyes, which seemed to have a pleasantness and comfort in them different from anything he had ever known.

But she never came, and gradually she slipped out of his memory—only a boy's memory, after all; until something happened which made him remember her, and want her as he had never wanted anything before.

Prince Dolor fell ill. He caught—his nurse could not tell how—a complaint common to the people of Nomansland, called the doldrums, as unpleasant as measles or any other of our complaints; and it made him restless, cross, and disagreeable. Even when a little better, he was too weak to enjoy anything, but lay all day long on his sofa, fidgeting his nurse extremely—while, in her intense terror lest he might die, she fidgeted him still more. At last, seeing he really was getting well, she left him to himself—which he was most glad of, in spite of his dulness and dreariness. There he lay, alone, quite alone.


Even when a little better, he was too weak to enjoy anything,
but lay all day long on his sofa, fidgeting his nurse extremely.

Now and then an irritable fit came over him, in which he longed to get up and do something, or to go somewhere—would have liked to imitate his white kitten—jump down from the tower and run away, taking the chance of whatever might happen.

Only one thing, alas! was likely to happen; for the kitten, he remembered, had four active legs, while he——

"I wonder what my godmother meant when she looked at my legs and sighed so bitterly? I wonder why I can't walk straight and steady like my nurse—only I wouldn't like to have her great, noisy, clumping shoes. Still it would be very nice to move about quickly—perhaps to fly, like a bird, like that string of birds I saw the other day skimming across the sky, one after the other."

These were the passage-birds—the only living creatures that ever crossed the lonely plain; and he had been much interested in them, wondering whence they came and whither they were going.

"How nice it must be to be a bird! If legs are no good, why cannot one have wings? People have wings when they die—perhaps: I wish I was dead, that I do. I am so tired, so tired; and nobody cares for me. Nobody ever did care for me, except perhaps my godmother. Godmother, dear, have you quite forsaken me?"

He stretched himself wearily, gathered himself up, and dropped his head upon his hands; as he did so, he felt somebody kiss him at the back of his neck, and, turning, found that he was resting, not on the sofa pillows, but on a warm shoulder—that of the little old woman clothed in grey.

How glad he was to see her! How he looked into her kind eyes and felt her hands, to see if she were all real and alive! then put both his arms round her neck, and kissed her as if he would never have done kissing!

"Stop, stop!" cried she, pretending to be smothered. "I see you have not forgotten my teachings. Kissing is a good thing—in moderation. Only just let me have breath to speak one word."

"A dozen!" he said.

"Well, then, tell me all that has happened to you since I saw you—or, rather, since you saw me, which is quite a different thing."

"Nothing has happened—nothing ever does happen to me," answered the Prince dolefully.

"And are you very dull, my boy?"

"So dull, that I was just thinking whether I could not jump down to the bottom of the tower, like my white kitten."

"Don't do that, not being a white kitten."

"I wish I were—I wish I were anything but what I am."

"And you can't make yourself any different, nor can I do it either. You must be content to stay just what you are."

The little old woman said this—very firmly, but gently, too—with her arms round his neck and her lips on his forehead. It was the first time the boy had ever heard any one talk like this, and he looked up in surprise—but not in pain, for her sweet manner softened the hardness of her words.

"Now, my prince—for you are a prince, and must behave as such—let us see what we can do; how much I can do for you, or show you how to do for yourself. Where is your travelling-cloak?"

Prince Dolor blushed extremely. "I—I put it away in the cupboard; I suppose it is there still."

"You have never used it; you dislike it?"

He hesitated, not wishing to be impolite. "Don't you think it's—just a little old and shabby for a prince?"

The old woman laughed—long and loud, though very sweetly.

"Prince, indeed! Why, if all the princes in the world craved for it, they couldn't get it, unless I gave it them. Old and shabby! It's the most valuable thing imaginable! Very few ever have it; but I thought I would give it to you, because—because you are different from other people."

"Am I?" said the Prince, and looked first with curiosity, then with a sort of anxiety, into his godmother's face, which was sad and grave, with slow tears beginning to steal down.

She touched his poor little legs. "These are not like those of other little boys."

"Indeed!—my nurse never told me that."

"Very likely not. But it is time you were told; and I tell you, because I love you."

"Tell me what, dear godmother?"

"That you will never be able to walk, or run, or jump, or play—that your life will be quite different to most people's lives; but it may be a very happy life for all that. Do not be afraid."

"I am not afraid," said the boy; but he turned very pale, and his lips began to quiver, though he did not actually cry—he was too old for that, and, perhaps, too proud.

Though not wholly comprehending, he began dimly to guess what his godmother meant. He had never seen any real live boys, but he had seen pictures of them—running and jumping—which he had admired and tried hard to imitate but always failed. Now he began to understand why he failed, and that he always should fail—that, in fact, he was not like other little boys; and it was of no use his wishing to do as they did, and play as they played, even if he had had them to play with. His was a separate life, in which he must find out new work and new pleasures for himself.

The sense of the inevitable,  as grown-up people call it—that we cannot have things as we want them to be, but as they are, and that we must learn to bear them and make the best of them—this lesson, which everybody has to learn soon or late—came, alas! sadly soon, to the poor boy. He fought against it for a while, and then, quite overcome, turned and sobbed bitterly in his godmother's arms.

She comforted him—I do not know how, except that love always comforts; and then she whispered to him, in her sweet, strong, cheerful voice—"Never mind!"

"No, I don't think I do mind—that is, I won't  mind," replied he, catching the courage of her tone and speaking like a man, though he was still such a mere boy.

"That is right, my prince!—that is being like a prince. Now we know exactly where we are; let us put our shoulders to the wheel and——"

"We are in Hopeless Tower" (this was its name, if it had a name), "and there is no wheel to put our shoulders to," said the child sadly.

"You little matter-of-fact goose! Well for you that you have a godmother called——"

"What?" he eagerly asked.


"Stuff-and-nonsense! What a funny name!"

"Some people give it me, but they are not my most intimate friends. These call me—never mind what," added the old woman, with a soft twinkle in her eyes. "So as you know me, and know me well, you may give me any name you please; it doesn't matter. But I am your godmother, child. I have few godchildren; those I have love me dearly, and find me the greatest blessing in all the world."

"I can well believe it," cried the little lame Prince, and forgot his troubles in looking at her—as her figure dilated, her eyes grew lustrous as stars, her very raiment brightened, and the whole room seemed filled with her beautiful and beneficent presence like light.

He could have looked at her forever—half in love, half in awe; but she suddenly dwindled down into the little old woman all in grey, and, with a malicious twinkle in her eyes, asked for the travelling-cloak.

"Bring it out of the rubbish cupboard, and shake the dust off it, quick!" said she to Prince Dolor, who hung his head, rather ashamed. "Spread it out on the floor, and wait till the split closes and the edges turn up like a rim all round. Then go and open the skylight—mind, I say open the skylight,—set yourself down in the middle of it, like a frog on a water-lily leaf; say 'Abracadabra, dum dum dum,' and—see what will happen!"

The prince burst into a fit of laughing. It all seemed so exceedingly silly; he wondered that a wise old woman like his godmother should talk such nonsense.

"Stuff-and-nonsense, you mean," said she, answering, to his great alarm, his unspoken thoughts. "Did I not tell you some people called me by that name? Never mind; it doesn't harm me."

And she laughed—her merry laugh—as child-like as if she were the prince's age instead of her own, whatever that might be. She certainly was a most extraordinary old woman.

"Believe me or not, it doesn't matter," said she. "Here is the cloak: when you want to go travelling on it, say Abracadabra, dum, dum, dum;  when you want to come back again, say Abracadabra, tum tum ti.  That's all; good-bye."

A puff of most pleasant air passing by him, and making him feel for the moment quite strong and well, was all the Prince was conscious of. His most extraordinary godmother was gone.

"Really now, how rosy your Royal Highness's cheeks have grown! You seem to have got well already," said the nurse, entering the room.

"I think I have," replied the Prince very gently—he felt kindly and gently even to his grim nurse. "And now let me have my dinner, and go you to your sewing as usual."

The instant she was gone, however, taking with her the plates and dishes, which for the first time since his illness he had satisfactorily cleared, Prince Dolor sprang down from his sofa, and with one or two of his frog-like jumps reached the cupboard where he kept his toys, and looked everywhere for his travelling-cloak.

Alas! it was not there.

While he was ill of the doldrums, his nurse, thinking it a good opportunity for putting things to rights, had made a grand clearance of all his "rubbish"—as she considered it: his beloved headless horses, broken carts, sheep without feet, and birds without wings—all the treasures of his baby days, which he could not bear to part with. Though he seldom played with them now, he liked just to feel they were there.

They were all gone! and with them the travelling-cloak. He sat down on the floor, looking at the empty shelves, so beautifully clean and tidy, then burst out sobbing as if his heart would break.

But quietly—always quietly. He never let his nurse hear him cry. She only laughed at him, as he felt she would laugh now.

"And it is all my own fault!" he cried. "I ought to have taken better care of my godmother's gift. Oh, godmother, forgive me! I'll never be so careless again. I don't know what the cloak is exactly, but I am sure it is something precious. Help me to find it again. Oh, don't let it be stolen from me—don't, please!"

"Ha, ha, ha!" laughed a silvery voice. "Why, that travelling-cloak is the one thing in the world which nobody can steal. It is of no use to anybody except the owner. Open your eyes, my prince, and see what you shall see."

His dear old godmother, he thought, and turned eagerly round. But no; he only beheld, lying in a corner of the room, all dust and cobwebs, his precious travelling-cloak.

Prince Dolor darted toward it, tumbling several times on the way,—as he often did tumble, poor boy! and pick himself up again, never complaining. Snatching it to his breast, he hugged and kissed it, cobwebs and all, as if it had been something alive. Then he began unrolling it, wondering each minute what would happen. What did happen was so curious that I must leave it for another chapter.


Richard of Jamestown  by James Otis

Pocahontas Begs for Smith's Life

He was forced down on the earth, with his head upon a great rock, while two half naked savages came forward with heavy stones bound to wooden handles, with which to beat out his brains, and these weapons were already raised to strike, when the girl Pocahontas ran forward, throwing herself upon my master, as she asked that Powhatan give him to her.


Now, as we afterward came to know, it is the custom among savages, that when one of their women begs for the life of a prisoner, to grant the prayer, and so it was done in this case, else we had never seen my master again.

It is also the custom, when a prisoner has thus been given to one who begged for his life, that the captive shall always be held as slave by her; but Pocahontas desired only to let him go back to Jamestown. Then it was she told her father how she had been treated when visiting us, and Powhatan, after keeping Captain Smith prisoner until he could tell of what he had seen in other countries of the world, set him free.


Richard of Jamestown  by James Otis

The Effect of Captain Smith's Return

It was well for us of Jamestown that my master returned just when he did, for already had our gentlemen, believing him dead, refused longer to work, and even neglected the hunting, when game of all kinds was so plentiful. They had spent the time roaming around searching for gold, until we were once more in need of food.

The sickness had come among us again, and of all our company, which numbered an hundred when Captain Newport sailed for England, only thirty-eight remained alive.

Within four and twenty hours after Captain Smith came back, matters had so far mended that every man who could move about at will, was working for the common good, although from that time, until Captain Newport came again, we had much of suffering.

With the coming of winter Nathaniel and I were put to it to do our work in anything like a seemly manner. What with the making of candles, or of rushlights; tanning deer hides in such fashion as Captain Smith had taught us; mending his doublets of leather, as well as our own; keeping the house and ground around it fairly clean, in addition to cooking meals which might tempt the appetite of our master, we were busy from sunrise to sunset.


Nor were we without our reward. On rare occasions Captain Smith would commend us for attending to our duties in better fashion than he had fancied lads would ever be able to do, and very often did Master Hunt whisper words of praise in our ears, saying again and again that he would there were in his house two boys like us.

This you may be sure was more of payment than we had a reasonable right to expect, for certain it is that even at our best the work was but fairly done, as it ever must be when there are house-boys instead of housewives at home.

Master Hunt had a serving man, William Rods, and he was not one well fitted to do a woman's work, for in addition to being clumsy, even at the expense of breaking now and then a wooden trencher bowl, he had no thought that cleanliness was, as the preacher often told us, next to godliness.

It was he, and such as he, that caused Captain Smith and those others of the Council who were minded to work for the common good, very much of trouble.

The rule, as laid down by my master, was that those living in a dwelling should keep cleanly the land roundabout the outside for a space of five yards, and yet again and again have I seen William Rods throw the refuse from the table just outside the door, meaning to take it away at a future time, and always forgetting so to do until reminded by some one in authority.

However, it is not for me to speak of such trifling things as these, although had you heard Captain Smith and Master Hunt in conversation, you would not have set them down as being of little importance. Those two claimed that only by strict regard to cleanliness, both of person and house, would it be possible for us, when another summer came, to ward off that sickness which had already carried away so many of our company.

After Captain Smith had brought matters to rights in the village, setting this company of men to building more houses, and that company to hewing down trees for firewood, which would be needed when the winter had come, Master Hunt made mention of a matter which I knew must have been very near his heart many a day.


Richard of Jamestown  by James Otis

A New Church

During all the time we had been on shore, the only church in Jamestown was the shelter beneath that square of canvas which he himself had put up. When it stormed, he had called such of the people as were inclined to worship into one or another of the houses; but now he asked that a log building be put together, while it was yet so warm that the men could work out of doors without suffering, and to this, much to my pleasure, for I had an exceedingly friendly feeling toward Master Hunt, Captain Smith agreed.

Therefore it was that when the storms of October came, Master Hunt had a place in which to receive those whom he would lead to a better life, and I believe that all our people, the men who were careless regarding the future life, and those who followed the preacher's teachings, felt the better in mind because there was at last in our village a place which would be used for no other purpose than that of leading us into, and helping us to remain in, the straight path.



The Raggle, Taggle Gypsies

There were three gypsies a-come to my door,

And downstairs ran this lady, O.

One sang high and another sang low,

And the other sang "Bonnie, Bonnie Biskay, O."

Then she pulled off her silken gown,

And put on hose of leather, O.

With the ragged, ragged rags about her door

She's off with the Raggle, Taggle Gypsies, O.

'T was late last night when my lord came home,

Inquiring for his lady, O.

The servants said on every hand,

"She's gone with the Raggle, Taggle Gypsies, O."

"Oh, saddle for me my milk-white steed,

Oh, saddle for me my pony, O,

That I may ride and seek my bride

Who's gone with the Raggle, Taggle Gypsies, O."

Oh, he rode high and he rode low,

He rode through woods and copses, O,

Until he came to an open field,

And there he espied his lady, O.

"What makes you leave your house and lands?

What makes you leave your money, O?

What makes you leave your new-wedded lord

To go with the Raggle, Taggle Gypsies, O?"

"What care I for my house and lands?

What care I for my money, O,

What care I for my new-wedded lord?

I'm off with the Raggle, Taggle Gypsies, O."

"Last night you slept on a goose-feather bed,

With the sheet turned down so bravely, O.

To-night you will sleep in the cold, open field,

Along with the Raggle, Taggle Gypsies, O."

"What care I for your goose-feather bed,

With the sheet turned down so bravely, O?

For to-night I shall sleep in a cold, open field,

Along with the Raggle, Taggle Gypsies, O."


  WEEK 40  


Fifty Famous Stories Retold  by James Baldwin

The Kingdoms

T HERE was once a king of Prussia whose name was Frederick William.

On a fine morning in June he went out alone to walk in the green woods. He was tired of the noise of the city, and he was glad to get away from it.

So, as he walked among the trees, he often stopped to listen to the singing birds, or to look at the wild flowers that grew on every side. Now and then he stooped to pluck a violet, or a primrose, or a yellow but-ter-cup. Soon his hands were full of pretty blossoms.

After a while he came to a little meadow in the midst of the wood. Some children were playing there. They were running here and there, and gathering the cow-slips that were blooming among the grass.

It made the king glad to see the happy children, and hear their merry voices. He stood still for some time, and watched them as they played.

Then he called them around him, and all sat down to-geth-er in the pleasant shade. The children did not know who the strange gentleman was; but they liked his kind face and gentle manners.


"Now, my little folks," said the king, "I want to ask you some ques-tions, and the child who gives the best answer shall have a prize."

Then he held up an orange so that all the children could see.

"You know that we all live in the king-dom of Prussia," he said; "but tell me, to what king-dom does this orange belong?"

The children were puz-zled. They looked at one another, and sat very still for a little while. Then a brave, bright boy spoke up and said,—

"It belongs to the veg-e-ta-ble kingdom, sir."

"Why so, my lad?" asked the king.

"It is the fruit of a plant, and all plants belong to that kingdom," said the boy.

The king was pleased. "You are quite right," he said; "and you shall have the orange for your prize."

He tossed it gayly to the boy. "Catch it if you can!" he said.

Then he took a yellow gold piece from his pocket, and held it up so that it glit-tered in the sunlight.

"Now to what kingdom does this belong?" he asked.

Another bright boy answered quick-ly, "To the min-er-al kingdom, sir! All metals belong to that kingdom."

"That is a good answer," said the king. "The gold piece is your prize."

The children were de-light-ed. With eager faces they waited to hear what the stranger would say next.

"I will ask you only one more question," said the king, "and it is an easy one." Then he stood up, and said, "Tell me, my little folks, to what kingdom do I belong?"

The bright boys were puz-zled now. Some thought of saying, "To the kingdom of Prussia." Some wanted to say, "To the animal kingdom." But they were a little afraid, and all kept still.

At last a tiny blue-eyed child looked up into the king's smiling face, and said in her simple way,—

"I think to the kingdom of heaven."

King Frederick William stooped down and lifted the little maiden in his arms. Tears were in his eyes as he kissed her, and said, "So be it, my child! So be it."


Outdoor Visits  by Edith M. Patch

A Round Goldenrod Gall

When Don went to visit goldenrod plants, he found a gall on a stem.

The gall was a part of the stem that had grown large and round. It was the home of a little insect.

The insect that lived in this gall was a baby fly. It was white. It had no wings or legs. A baby fly is called a maggot.


When the maggot was hungry it ate some of the inside part of the gall. The gall was its home and its food, too.

The maggot ate gall food and grew fat. Then it rested without food.

The young gall insect was quiet all winter. In the spring its six legs and two wings grew.

Then it was not a maggot any more. It was a grown fly with dark wings.

The grown fly could not eat the same kind of food the maggot did.

The gall was not a good home for a grown fly. So the fly came out and flew away.

There was a little round hole in the gall where the fly came out.


When the fly with the pretty dark wings was ready to lay her eggs, she went to some goldenrod stems. She put each egg in a good place on a green growing stem.

Then the goldenrod stem began to grow in a queer way. It grew like a big round ball around the egg.

There was a baby maggot in the egg. When the maggot hatched it was in a round gall. The gall was its good home and its food, too.


Eugene Field

The Bottle-Tree

A Bottle-Tree bloometh in Winkyway land—

Heigh-ho for a bottle, I say!

A snug little berth in that ship I demand

That rocketh the Bottle-Tree babies away

Where the Bottle Tree bloometh by night and by day

And reacheth its fruit to each wee, dimpled hand;

You take of that fruit as much as you list,

For colic's a nuisance that doesn't exist!

So cuddle me close, and cuddle me fast,

And cuddle me snug in my cradle away,

For I hunger and thirst for that precious repast—

Heigh-ho for a bottle, I say!

The Bottle-Tree bloometh by night and by day!

Heigh-ho for Winkyway land!

And Bottle-Tree fruit (as I've heard people say)

Makes bellies of Bottle-Tree babies expand—

And that is a trick I would fain understand!

Heigh-ho for a bottle to-day!

And heigh-ho for a bottle to-night!—

A bottle of milk that is creamy and white!

So cuddle me close, and cuddle me fast,

And cuddle me snug in my cradle away,

For I hunger and thirst for that precious repast—

Heigh-ho for a bottle, I say!


  WEEK 40  


The Burgess Bird Book for Children  by Thornton Burgess

A Royal Dresser and a Late Nester

J ENNY and Mr. Wren were busy. If there were any busier little folks anywhere Peter Rabbit couldn't imagine who they could be. You see, every one of those seven eggs in the Wren nest had hatched, and seven mouths are a lot to feed, especially when every morsel of food must be hunted for and carried from a distance. There was little time for gossip now. Just as soon as it was light enough to see Jenny and Mr. Wren began feeding those always hungry babies, and they kept at it with hardly time for an occasional mouthful themselves, until the Black Shadows came creeping out from the Purple Hills. Wren babies, like all other bird babies, grow very fast, and that means that each one of them must have a great deal of food every day. Each one of them often ate its own weight in food in a day and all their food had to be hunted for and when found carried back and put into the gaping little mouths. Hardly would Jenny Wren disappear in the little round doorway of her home with a caterpillar in her bill than she would hop out again, and Mr. Wren would take her place with a spider or a fly and then hurry away for something more.

Peter tried to keep count of the number of times they came and went but soon gave it up as a bad job. He began to wonder where all the worms and bugs and spiders came from, and gradually he came to have a great deal of respect for eyes sharp enough to find them so quickly. Needless to say Jenny was shorter-tempered than ever. She had no time to gossip and said so most emphatically. So at last Peter gave up the idea of trying to find out from her certain things he wanted to know, and hopped off to look for some one who was less busy. He had gone but a short distance when his attention was caught by a song so sweet and so full of little trills that he first stopped to listen, then went to look for the singer.

It didn't take long to find him, for he was sitting on the very tiptop of a fir-tree in Farmer Brown's yard. Peter didn't dare go over there, for already it was broad daylight, and he had about made up his mind that he would have to content himself with just listening to that sweet singer when the latter flew over in the Old Orchard and alighted just over Peter's head. "Hello, Peter!" he cried.

"Hello, Linnet!" cried Peter. "I was wondering who it could be who was singing like that. I ought to have known, but you see it's so long since I've heard you sing that I couldn't just remember your song. I'm so glad you came over here for I'm just dying to talk to somebody."

Linnet the Purple Finch, for this is who it was, laughed right out. "I see you're still the same old Peter," said he. "I suppose you're just as full of curiosity as ever and just as full of questions. Well, here I am, so what shall we talk about?"

"You," replied Peter bluntly. "Lately I've found out so many surprising things about my feathered friends that I want to know more. I'm trying to get it straight in my head who is related to who, and I've found out some things which have begun to make me feel that I know very little about my feathered neighbors. It's getting so that I don't dare to even guess who a person's relatives are. If you please, Linnet, what family do you belong to?"

Linnet flew down a little nearer to Peter. "Look me over, Peter," said he with twinkling eyes. "Look me over and see if you can't tell for yourself."

Peter stared solemnly at Linnet. He saw a bird of Sparrow size most of whose body was a rose-red, brightest on the head, darkest on the back, and palest on the breast. Underneath he was whitish. His wings and tail were brownish, the outer parts of the feathers edged with rose-red. His bill was short and stout.

Before Peter could reply, Mrs. Linnet appeared. There wasn't so much as a touch of that beautiful rose-red about her. Her grayish-brown back was streaked with black, and her white breast and sides were spotted and streaked with brown. If Peter hadn't seen her with Linnet he certainly would have taken her for a Sparrow. She looked so much like one that he ventured to say, "I guess you belong to the Sparrow family."

"That's pretty close, Peter. That's pretty close," declared Linnet. "We belong to the Finch branch of the family, which makes the sparrows own cousins to us. Folks may get Mrs. Linnet mixed with some of our Sparrow cousins, but they never can mistake me. There isn't anybody else my size with a rose-red coat like mine. If you can't remember my song, which you ought to, because there is no other song quite like it, you can always tell me by the color of my coat. Hello! Here comes Cousin Chicoree. Did you ever see a happier fellow than he is? I'll venture to say that he has been having such a good time that he hasn't even yet thought of building a nest, and here half the people of the Old Orchard have grown families. I've a nest and eggs myself, but that madcap is just roaming about having a good time. Isn't that so, Chicoree?"

"Isn't what so?" demanded Chicoree the Goldfinch, perching very near to where Linnet was sitting.

"Isn't it true that you haven't even begun thinking about a nest?" demanded Linnet. Chicoree flew down in the grass almost under Peter's nose and began to pull apart a dandelion which had gone to seed. He snipped the seeds from the soft down to which they were attached and didn't say a word till he was quite through. Then he flew up in the tree near Linnet, and while he dressed his feathers, answered Linnet's question.

"It's quite true, but what of it?" said he. "There's time enough to think about nest-building and household cares later. Mrs. Goldfinch and I will begin to think about them about the first of July. Meanwhile we are making the most of this beautiful season to roam about and have a good time. For one thing we like thistledown to line our nest, and there isn't any thistledown yet. Then, there is no sense in raising a family until there is plenty of the right kind of food, and you know we Goldfinches live mostly on seeds. I'll venture to say that we are the greatest seed-eaters anywhere around. Of course when the babies are small they have to have soft food, but one can find plenty of worms and bugs any time during the summer. Just as soon as the children are big enough to hunt their own food they need seeds, so there is no sense in trying to raise a family until there are plenty of seeds for them when needed. Meanwhile we are having a good time. How do you like my summer suit, Peter?"

"It's beautiful," cried Peter. "I wouldn't know you for the same bird I see so often in the late fall and sometimes in the winter. I don't know of anybody who makes a more complete change. That black cap certainly is very smart and becoming."

Chicoree cocked his head on one side, the better to show off that black cap. The rest of his head and his whole body were bright yellow. His wings were black with two white bars on each. His tail also was black, with some white on it. In size he was a little smaller than Linnet and altogether one of the smartest appearing of all the little people who wear feathers. It was a joy just to look at him. If Peter had known anything about Canaries, which of course he didn't, because Canaries are always kept in cages, he would have understood why Chicoree the Goldfinch is often called the Wild Canary.



There is no mistaking this little yellow and black bird.

Mrs. Goldfinch now joined her handsome mate and it was plain to see that she admired him quite as much as did Peter. Her wings and tail were much like his but were more brownish than black. She wore no cap at all and her back and head were a grayish-brown with an olive tinge. Underneath she was lighter, with a tinge of yellow. All together she was a very modestly dressed small person. As Peter recalled Chicoree's winter suit, it was very much like that now worn by Mrs. Goldfinch, save that his wings and tail were as they now appeared.

All the time Chicoree kept up a continual happy twittering, breaking out every few moments into song. It was clear that he was fairly bubbling over with joy.

"I suppose," said Peter, "it sounds foolish of me to ask if you are a member of the same family as Linnet."

"Very foolish, Peter. Very foolish," laughed Chicoree. "Isn't my name Goldfinch, and isn't his name Purple Finch? We belong to the same family and a mighty fine family it is. Now I must go over to the Old Pasture to see how the thistles are coming on."

Away he flew calling, "Chic-o-ree, per-chic-o-ree, chic-o-ree!" Mrs. Goldfinch followed. As they flew, they rose and fell in the air in very much the same way that Yellow Wing the Flicker does.

"I'd know them just by that, even if Chicoree didn't keep calling his own name," thought Peter. "It's funny how they often stay around all winter yet are among the last of all the birds to set up housekeeping. As I once said to Jenny Wren, birds certainly are funny creatures."

"Tut, tut, tut, tut, tut! It's no such thing, Peter Rabbit. It's no such thing," scolded Jenny Wren as she flew past Peter on her way to hunt for another worm for her hungry babies.


The Aesop for Children  by Milo Winter

The Monkey and the Camel

At a great celebration in honor of King Lion, the Monkey was asked to dance for the company. His dancing was very clever indeed, and the animals were all highly pleased with his grace and lightness.

The praise that was showered on the Monkey made the Camel envious. He was very sure that he could dance quite as well as the Monkey, if not better, so he pushed his way into the crowd that was gathered around the Monkey, and rising on his hind legs, began to dance. But the big hulking Camel made himself very ridiculous as he kicked out his knotty legs and twisted his long clumsy neck. Besides, the animals found it hard to keep their toes from under his heavy hoofs.

At last, when one of his huge feet came within an inch of King Lion's nose, the animals were so disgusted that they set upon the Camel in a rage and drove him out into the desert.

Shortly afterward, refreshments, consisting mostly of Camel's hump and ribs, were served to the company.

Do not try to ape your betters.



  WEEK 40  


The Forge in the Forest  by Padraic Colum


No sooner had he finished than the second story-teller was ready to begin. The King, the hammer in his hand, stood by the anvil; he watched the fire that was now deep in the coals, burning around the iron that had been put into it. Before the apprentice-smith blew with the bellows, and before the fire had mounted up, the second story-teller told:



The Forge in the Forest  by Padraic Colum

Old King Fork-Beard and the Scarf That He Gave

dropcap image ITH his kettle of fire burning above him, old King Fork‑Beard stays under a hill in our land. Sometimes the fire in his kettle burns very low, and then the people say, "King Fork‑Beard is sleeping." Sometimes the fire in his kettle lights up the sky, and then they say, "We had better look out, for now King Fork‑Beard is dreaming that he will come down and wet his horse's hoofs in the sea."

Old King Fork‑Beard was always dreaming that he would wet his horse's hoofs in the sea.


Old King Fork‑Beard was always dreaming that he would wet his horse's hoofs in the sea.

His red horse stayed beside him where he stayed, under the kettle of fire, and fed upon black oats. Then a day would come when King Fork‑Beard would stand straight up. He would tip over the kettle and spill the fire down the hill. He would mount his red horse and go galloping down towards the sea.

And our own horses, as King Fork‑Beard upon his red horse came along, would break out of their stables. The goats would have gone first, and the horses would follow where the goats led. The cattle would go plunging about. The sheep would run up a hillside. The cocks would crow, seeing the redness from the kettle of fire. The hens and chickens would go flying from bush to bush, thinking that each bush would be the last they would have to fly to. The ducks would be the most quiet of all; they would find a stream and go swimming in it. The geese would remember they had wings; they would spread them out, and some of them would go flying towards the moon.

And so old King Fork‑Beard upon his red horse would go through the land. On and on he would go, so that his horse might wet its hoofs in the sea. And many a good corn-field and many a good grazing field he would spoil for us as he went upon his way. But after a while he would be back under his hill, sleeping, with his knees drawn up to his beard, and his horse beside him feeding upon black oats, and the kettle of fire burning above him.

And as he stays there with his kettle of fire burning low there are some in our land who say a good word for King Fork‑Beard. Indeed there are some who mention his name with the names of the heroes who have saved the land. And they who mention his name in this way tell this story about the gift that King Fork‑Beard gave.

They tell of a maiden to whom he gave a scarf, and this scarf was such that wherever it was spread fire came. The maiden to whom it was given was named Ortrud. And when her father died Ortrud was made ruler of our land.

A lord who came from across the sea married Ortrud, the ruler of our land. He married her vowing that he would bring no soldiers from across the sea into our country and have no arms that the Council of our people did not know of. So Ortrud ruled our land, and the lord whom she had married was by her side. And in those days King Fork‑Beard slept, and the fire from his kettle was hardly to be seen.

Ortrud was happy with her lord, and the people who thought that all oaths were being kept were happy with their ruler. All was well and very well, with the land, and the soldiers that we had were hardly in the hundreds.

It happened that Ortrud was one day spinning in a high room in the great house of the rulers of the land. Her maidens were around her, spinning, and singing a song that had in it words about the sleep of King Fork‑Beard. The spindle that Ortrud had fell from her hand. It rolled away and it fell down through a crack that was in the floor.

She went and she looked down through the crack that the spindle had fallen through. And she saw men in the wide chamber below, men standing silently in the half-darkness, with arms in their hands. Then Ortrud knew that the oaths that her husband had sworn had been broken, and that he had brought into the country armed men who could overthrow it and enslave it. She did not cry out as she looked down and saw the soldiers standing stiffly there, under the roof of the rulers of the land.

She rose up, and she left her maidens, and she went to where her husband was pacing up and down in his chamber. She looked straight into his eyes, but he did not look straight into hers. He did not speak to her; she did not speak to him. She went back to where her maidens were, and she whispered to them, and they rose up and went out of the high room, and left the great house, and all those whom they found and spoke to left the great house also.

Then Ortrud went into her own chamber where many sacred things were, and she took the scarf that King Fork‑Beard had given her. She left it down on the floor of the great house, and she went outside and joined her maidens and those who had gone out of the house. Her maidens had brought their spindles, and she sat amongst them and had them go on with their spinning.

But now fire came upon the great house and the redness of burning. The fire that was from the scarf King Fork‑Beard had given broke out from the walls and leaped up to the very roof, and the thousand starlings that had just come to nestle along the eaves flew into a cloud of smoke. Then men came up from beneath the flooring of the great house, cutting their way through the timbers with their axes and great swords, and throwing off their armour that was hot upon them, and throwing down their weapons that were hot within their hands. They came up, crying out in terror, and they fled away. And the husband of Ortrud came out of the great house, and the light of the burning was upon his face, making it seem all crooked. He and the men he had brought into our country fled down to the sea, and they took to their ships, and they sailed away from the land.

And so Ortrud was left alone, and the great house that she had lived in as ruler was left there standing blackened and broken as a monument to the great deed that was hers when she spread the scarf that was King Fork‑Beard's upon the floor of the house and saved the land from the armed men who would have overthrown it.

And so it comes that when our people speak of those who saved the land in the old days they speak of King Fork‑Beard who gave the scarf that Ortrud spread upon the floor, bringing the fire that routed those armed men. They speak kindly of King Fork‑Beard, although he has just come down from his hill and narrowed the corn-lands and the grazing fields upon us. I have been there when he has gone by upon his red horse. But not always does he have his horse wet its hoofs in the sea. The Woman in the Sky sometimes pours down a flood that makes his horse halt. The people say that she, like Ortrud, lets her spindle fall down. And sometimes when she looks to where it has fallen she sees King Fork‑Beard riding along upon his red horse. She halts them then before the horse has wet its hoofs in the sea.


Robinson Crusoe Written Anew for Children  by James Baldwin

I Get Hold of a Savage

FOR a year and a half I kept close watch upon the farther shore of the island as well as upon that nearest to my castle. But not a single savage came near.

One morning in June, however, I had a great surprise.

I was just starting out from my castle when I saw five canoes lying high and dry on the beach not a mile away. There was not man near them. The people who had come in them were perhaps asleep among the trees.

The number of canoes was greater than I had ever counted upon seeing. For there were always four or six savages in each canoe, and there must now be between twenty and thirty men somewhere on the shore.

I did not know what to think of it. I did not feel brave enough to attack so many.

So I stayed in my castle and made ready to defend myself.

"There is little hope of getting a savage this time," I thought to myself.

I waited a long while, but heard no unusual sound. I grew tired of waiting, and made up my mind to see what was going on.

So, with the help of my ladder, I climbed up to my lookout on the top of the rock. I put my spyglass to my eyes and looked down upon the beach.

Surely enough! there they were. I saw no fewer than thirty naked savages dancing around a fire. I saw that they were broiling meat upon the coals, but I could not tell what kind of meat it was.

As I watched I saw some of the dancers run to a boat and drag two miserable prisoners from it. They must have been in the boat all the time, but as they were lying down I did not see them.

All the dancers now crowded around the poor prisoners. They knocked one of them down with a club, and then fell upon him with their knives. I supposed they were going to cut him up for their horrid feast.

For a few moments they seemed to forget the other prisoner, for they left him standing alone at one side.

All at once he made a break for liberty. You never saw a hound run so fast. He ran along the sandy beach, right toward my castle. I was dreadfully frightened. I thought that now my dream was coming true, and that he would surely hide in my grove.

But would the other part of the dream come true? Would the other savages lose sight of him, and running another way, not come near the castle? I feared not.

However, I stayed in my lookout and watched to see what would happen.

I saw, to my joy, that only three of the savage followed him. He ran so fast that he gained ground on them. If he could hold out for ten or fifteen minutes, he would get away from them all.

Between the savages and my castle there was the little river where I had first landed with my raft. If the poor fellow could not swim across this stream, he would surely be taken. I watched to see what he would do.

To my surprise the river did not hinder him at all. The tide was up, but he plunged in and with twenty or thirty strokes was across. I had never seen a finer swimmer.

When his pursuers reached the stream, he was already far away. Two of them jumped in and swam across. The other one stood still a minute and then turned softly back. It was lucky for him that he could not swim.

"Now," thought I to myself, "now is the time to get me a savage!"

In another moment I was down in my castle. I picked up my two guns. I was over the wall in less time than it takes me to tell about it. Never once did I think of fear.

I ran swiftly down the hill toward the sea. In another minute I was between the poor captive and his pursuers.

"Hello, there! Come back! I will help you," I cried.

Of course he did not understand a word. But he heard me and looked back. I beckoned to him with my hand, and this he understood better.

There was no time for waiting, however. The two savages that followed were close upon me.

I rushed upon the foremost one and knocked him down with my gun. I did not want to shoot, lest the other savages would hear the noise and come to his rescue.

The second pursuer came, running and panting, only a little way behind. When he saw me, he stopped as if he were frightened. I ran toward him, with my gun to my shoulder.

As I came nearer, I saw that he had a bow and arrow and was taking aim at me. What could I do but shoot? He fell to the ground and never moved again.

I now looked around to see what had become of the poor captive. I saw him standing still and gazing at me. The noise of my gun had frightened him so that he did not know what to do.

I called to him: "Come here, my good fellow I will not hurt you."

But of course he did not understand. Then I motioned to him with signs. He came a little way and then stopped. He came a little farther and stopped again. He was trembling like a leaf.

No doubt he was afraid that he would be killed as his two pursuers had been.

I spoke kindly to him and made signs that I would not hurt him. He came nearer and nearer, trembling, and kneeling down at almost every step.

I smiled; I looked as pleasant as I could; I made still other signs.

He came quite close to me. He laid his head upon the ground. He took hold of my foot and set it on his neck. This was his way of saying that he would be my slave forever.


I took hold of his hand and lifted him up. I spoke kindly to him.

Thus I at last got hold of a savage, as I had so long desired.


Juliana Horatia Ewing

Big Smith

Are you a Giant, great big man, or is your real name Smith?

Nurse says—you 've got a hammer that you hit bad children with.

I'm good to-day, and so I 've come to see if it is true

That you can turn a red-hot rod into a horse's shoe.

Why do you make the horses' shoes of iron instead of leather?

Is it because they are allowed to go out in bad weather?

If horses should be shod with iron, Big Smith, will you shoe mine?

For now I may not take him out, excepting when it's fine.

Although he 's not a real live horse, I 'm very fond of him;

His harness won't take off and on, but still it's new and trim.

His tail is hair; he has four legs, but neither hoofs nor heels:

I think he'd seem more like a horse without those yellow wheels.

They say that Dapple-gray's not yours, but don't you wish he were?

My horse's coat is only paint, but his is soft gray hair;

His face is big and kind like yours, his forelock white as snow—

Shan't you be sorry when you 've done his shoes and he must go?

I do so wish, Big Smith, that I might come and live with you—

To rake the fire, to heat the rods, to hammer two and two.

To be so black, and not to have to wash unless I choose;

To pat the dear old horses, and to mend their poor old shoes.

When all the world is dark at night, you work among the stars,

A shining shower of fireworks beat out of red-hot bars.

I've seen you beat, I 've heard you sing, when I was going to bed ;

And now your face and arms looked black, and now were glowing red.

The more you work, the more you sing, the more the bellows roar;

The falling stars, the flying sparks stream shining more and more.

You hit so hard, you look so hot, and yet you never tire;

It must be very nice to be allowed to play with fire.

I long to beat and sing and shine, as you do, but instead

I put away my horse, and Nurse puts me away to bed.

I wonder if you go to bed; I often think I'll keep

Awake and see, but, though I try, I always fall asleep.

I know it's very silly, but I sometimes am afraid

Of being in the dark alone, especially in bed,

But when I see your forge-light come and go upon the wall,

And hear you through the window, I am not afraid at all.

I often hear a trotting horse, I sometimes hear it stop;

I hold my breath—you stay your song—it 's at the blacksmith's shop.

Before it goes, I'm apt to fall asleep, Big Smith, it's true;

But then I dream of hammering that horse's shoes with you!


  WEEK 40  


The Discovery of New Worlds  by M. B. Synge

Golden Goa

"Where the gorgeous East, with richest hand,

Showers on her kings barbaric pearls and gold."


W HILE Vasco da Gama was on his way back from India to Portugal, another expedition left Lisbon under a man who was destined to be one of the wisest and justest of Portuguese rulers in that far-off country. Affonso d'Albuquerque was brought up at the Court of the King of Portugal, and taught with the king's own sons. He had shown himself fearless in battle, chivalrous in action, and wise in times of peace. It was natural, therefore, that he should be selected to take charge of three ships—bound, as all ships from Portugal were bound at this time, for the coast of India.

He soon returned from a successful voyage to lay before the king his idea of closing other routes to this rich country of India, so that Portugal alone could get its treasure. Up to this time ships manned by the Moors and Arabs had taken the treasure to Ormuz, a rich city on the Persian Gulf, whence it was taken to the mouth of the Euphrates, across Asia Minor on caravans to the coast, and shipped thus to Europe. Or it was taken by ship to Suez, thence by caravan to Cairo, and down the Nile to Alexandria, whence ships from Venice distributed it to Europe.

"This must be stopped," said Albuquerque, jealous for his country's wealth.

And with this object in view he again started for the East. He sailed to Ormuz, "the richest jewel set in the ring of the world," as the old writer called it, and grasped the importance of getting the town to stop the trade between India and Europe that way. Having arranged matters to his satisfaction with the King of Ormuz, and planned a Portuguese fort, he cruised about on the shores of Arabia, establishing the power of Portugal everywhere.

Then he sailed to India, where by royal orders he was made Governor.

One of his first acts was the capture of the town of Goa, to the north of Calicut, for the commercial capital of the Portuguese in India. The island of Goa was formed by the mouths of two rivers, which fitted it easily for defence. There was safe anchorage, and it had long been visited by the merchants of many nations. The capture of Goa was not easy, but Albuquerque was determined to take it, and finally did so. He then forbade the towns of Calicut and others to buy and sell, so that Goa—"Golden Goa" as she was called—became one of the most splendid and wealthy cities on the face of the earth for the next hundred years. Ships laden with the wealth of India sailed from Goa to Lisbon, and no one was allowed to trade with India except by leave of the Portuguese at this time.

On the east coast of Africa to-day we have names surviving from these times. Algoa Bay—to Goa—was a stopping-place for ships journeying to this great Indian island of Goa; while Delagoa Bay, farther north and still belonging to the Portuguese, was the other stopping-place back from Goa, as its name implies.

Early in the year 1513 Albuquerque sailed out of the harbour of Goa, bound for the Red Sea, with a fleet of twenty ships.

Now the Arabs living on the shores of the Red Sea greatly resented the Portuguese taking away their trade with India, and when they heard that the fleet was already sailing for Aden, a town at the narrow straits leading into the Red Sea, they lit fires on the hills beyond, to lure the ships to destruction. But the Portuguese steered safely into harbour, and after an unsuccessful attempt to storm the city, set fire to the ships and sailed on. Albuquerque explored the shores of the Red Sea, but did not reach Suez, the goal he had in view. It is, however, an interesting point to be noted here, that the route from Europe to India that Albuquerque tried to close is to-day the short highway for ships to the far East. For in the year 1869 the Suez canal was opened, 100 miles in length, which joined the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea.

Albuquerque now sailed back past Aden to the mouth of the Persian Gulf in order to reduce Ormuz. For the old king was dead, and the Portuguese fortress was not finished. The great governor of India and conqueror of Goa soon made his presence felt. Ormuz was conquered and the fortress completed. The fame of Albuquerque was now at its height, but his health was broken.

Day by day he grew worse. Such was his fame that people from all over the country came to the fortress at Ormuz to try and get a sight of him. If perchance he rode out on horseback, so great was the crowd that he could hardly go forward. At last he felt sure the end was nearing. He wished to reach Goa, the city he had conquered, the city he loved.

So one day, early in November 1515, a ship sailed away from Ormuz bearing the dying man back to India. A deep sorrow awaited him. He lived to learn that the king had appointed another governor to succeed him.

"In bad repute with men because of the king, and in bad repute with the king because of men," cried the dying man, holding up his hands. "It were well that I were gone."

Outside Goa, the great capital of Indian commerce, he died; and so great was the crying and weeping on all sides, that it seemed as if "the very river of God was being poured out," cried the old chronicler.


Merry Tales  by Eleanor L. Skinner

The Stone Lion

Captain W. P. O'Connor

O NCE there were two brothers who lived with their mother in a large house on a farm. Their father was dead. The older brother was clever and selfish, but the younger was kind and gentle. The older brother did not like the younger because he was so honest that he never could get the best of a bargain. One day he said to him: "You must go away. I cannot afford to support you any longer."

So the younger brother packed all his belongings, and went to bid his mother good-by. When she heard what the older brother had done, she said, "I will go with you, my son. I will not live here any longer with so hardhearted a man as your brother."

The next morning the mother and the younger brother started out together. Toward night when they reached the foot of the hill, they came to a hut with nothing in it except an ax which stood behind the door. But they managed to get their supper and stayed in the hut all night.

In the morning they saw that on the side of the hill near the hut was a great forest. The son took the ax, went up on the hillside and chopped enough wood for a load to carry to the town on the other side of the hill. He easily sold it, and with a happy heart brought back food and some clothing to make his mother and himself comfortable.

"Now, mother," he said, "I can earn enough to keep us both, and we shall be happy here together."

One day, in search of timber, the boy went farther up the hill than he had ever gone before. As he climbed up the steep hillside, he suddenly came upon a lion carved from stone.

"Oh," thought the boy, "this must be the guardian spirit of the mountain. I will make him some offering to-morrow morning without fail."

That night he bought two candles and carried them to the lion. He lighted them, put one on each side of the lion, and asked that his own good fortune might continue.

As he stood there, suddenly the lion opened his great stone mouth and said:

"What are you doing here?"

The boy told him how cruel the elder brother had been; how the mother and himself had been obliged to leave home and live in a hut at the foot of the hill. When he had heard all of the story, the lion said:

"If you will bring a bucket here to-morrow and put it under my mouth, I will fill it with gold for you."

The next day the boy brought the bucket.

"You must be very careful to tell me when it is nearly full," said the lion, "for if even one piece of gold should fall to the ground, great trouble would be in store for you."

The boy was very careful to do exactly as the lion told him, and soon he was on his way home to his mother with a bucketful of gold. They were so rich now that they bought a beautiful farm and went there to live.

At last the hard-hearted brother heard of their good fortune. He had married since his mother and brother had gone away, so he took his wife and went, to pay a visit to his younger brother. It was not long before he had heard the whole story of their good fortune, and how the lion had given them all the gold.

"I will try that, too," he said.

He and his wife went to the same but his brother had lived in, and there they passed the night.

The next morning he started out with a bucket to visit the stone lion. When he had told the lion his errand, the lion said:

"I will grant your wish, but you must be very careful to tell me when the bucket is nearly full; for if even one little piece of gold touches the ground, great misery will surely fall upon you."

Now the elder brother was so greedy that he kept shaking the bucket to get the gold pieces closer together. And when the bucket was full he did not tell the lion, as the younger brother had done, for he wanted all he could possibly get.

Suddenly one of the gold pieces fell upon the ground.

"Oh," cried the lion, "a big piece of gold is stuck in my throat. Put your hand in and get it out. It is the largest piece of all."

The greedy man thrust his hand at once into the lion's mouth and the lion snapped his jaws together! And there the man stayed, for the lion would not let him go. And the gold in the bucket turned into earth and stones.

When night came and the husband did not return, the wife became anxious and went out to search for him. At last she found him with his arm held fast in the lion's mouth. He was tired and cold and hungry.

"Alas!" she said, "I wish we had not tried to get the gold. There is no food in the hut for us and we shall have to die."

The lion was listening to all that was said, and he was so pleased at their misfortune that he began to laugh at them, "Ha, ha, ha!" As he laughed, he opened his mouth  and the greedy man quickly  drew out his hand, before the lion had a chance to close his jaws again. They were glad enough to get away, and they went to their brother's house once more. The brother was sorry for them and gave them enough money to buy a home.

The younger brother and his mother lived very happily in their beautiful home, but they always remembered the Stone Lion on the hillside, who gave them their good fortune.


Walter de la Mare

Dream Song

Sunlight, moonlight,

Twilight, starlight—

Gloaming at the close of day,

And an owl calling,

Cool dews falling

In a wood of oak and may.

Lantern-light, taper-light,

Torchlight, no-light:

Darkness at the shut of day,

And lions roaring,

Their wrath pouring

In wild waste places far away.

Elf-light, bat-light,

Touchwood-light and toad-light,

And the sea a shimmering gloom of grey,

And a small face smiling

In a dream's beguiling

In a world of wonders far away.


  WEEK 40  


The Bears of Blue River  by Charles Major

The Wolf Hunt

Part 2 of 2

Balser at once lay down upon the hillside above the wolf den, and Tom took his place to whine.

The boys understood their job thoroughly, and Tom's whines soon brought out the old she-wolf. She looked cautiously about her for a moment, stole softly over to her dead mate, and dropped by his side with a bullet through her heart.

Tom was about to rise, but Balser said:—

"Whine again; whine again, and the young ones will come out."

Tom whined, and sure enough, out came two scrawny, long-legged wolf whelps.

The boys rushed upon them, and caught them by the back of the neck, to avoid being bitten, for the little teeth of the pups were as sharp as needles and could inflict an ugly wound. Balser handed the whelp he had caught to Tom, and proceeded to cut two forked sticks from a tough bush, which the children called "Indian arrow." These forked branches the boys tied about the necks of the pups, with which to lead them home.


"Caught them by the back of the neck."

Tom then cut a strong limb from a tree with his pocket-knife. This was quite an undertaking, but in time he cut it through, and trimmed off the smaller branches. The boys tied together the legs of the old wolves and swung them over the pole, which they took upon their shoulders, and started home leading the pups. They arrived home an hour or two before sunset, and found that Liney and Sukey had arranged supper under the elms.


"The boys tied together the legs of the old wolves and swung them
over the pole . . . and started home leading the pups."

The boys scoured their faces and hands with soft soap, for that was the only soap they had, and sat down to supper with cheeks shining, and hair pasted to their heads slick and tight.

"When a fellow gets washed up this way, and has his hair combed so slick, it makes him feel like it was Sunday," said Tom, who was uneasily clean.

"Tom, I wouldn't let people know how seldom I washed my face if I were you," said Liney, with a slight blush. "They'll think you clean up only on Sunday."

Tom, however, did not allow Liney's remarks to interrupt his supper, but continued to make sad havoc among the good things on the log.

There was white bread made from wheat flour, so snowy and light that it beat cake "all holler!" the boys "allowed." Wheat bread was a luxury to the settler folks in those days, for the mill nearest to the Blue River settlement was over on Whitewater, at Brookville, fifty miles away. Wheat and the skins of wild animals were the only products that the farmers could easily turn into cash, so the small crops were too precious to be used daily, and wheat flour bread was used only for special occasions such as Christmas, or New Year's or company dinner.

Usually three of four of the farmers joined in a little caravan and went in their wagons to Brookville twice a year. They would go in the spring with the hides of animals killed during the winter, that being the hunting season, and the hides then taken being of superior quality to those taken at any other time.

Early in the fall they would go again to Brookville, to market their summer crop of wheat.

Mr. Fox and a few neighbours had returned from an early trip to market only a day or two before the children's party at Balser's home, and had brought with them a few packages of a fine new drink called coffee. That is, it was new to the Western settler, at the time of which I write, milk sweetened with "tree sugar" being the usual table drink.

Liney had brought over a small gourdful of coffee as a present to Mrs. Brent, and a pot of the brown beverage had been prepared for the supper under the elms.

The Yates children and Tom were frank enough to admit that the coffee was bitter, and not fit to drink; but Liney had made it, and Balser drank it, declaring it was very good indeed. Liney knew he told a story, but she thanked him for it, nevertheless, and said that the Yates children and Tom were so thoroughly "country" and green that she couldn't expect them to like a civilized drink.

This would have made trouble with Tom, but Balser, who saw it coming, said:—

"Now you shut up, Tom Fox." And Balser had so recently whipped Tom that his word bore the weight of authority.

Besides the coffee and the white bread there was a great gourd full of milk with the cream mixed in, just from the spring-house, delicious and cold. There was a cold loin of venison, which had been spitted and roasted over a bed of hot coals in the kitchen fireplace that morning. There was a gourd full of quail eggs, which had been boiled hard and then cooled in the spring-house. There were heaping plates of fried chicken, and rolls of glorious yellow butter just from the churn, rich with the genuine butter taste, that makes one long to eat it by the spoonful; then there was a delicious apple pie, sweet and crusty, floating in cream almost as thick as molasses in winter.

They were backwoods, homely children; but the supper to which they sat down under the elms was fit for a king, and the appetite with which they ate it was too good for any king.

During the supper the bear cubs had been nosing about the log table, begging each one by turns for a bite to eat. They were so troublesome that Jim got a long stick, and whenever they came within reach he gave them a sharp rap upon the head, and soon they waddled away in a pet of indignant disgust.

For quite a while after Jim had driven them off there had been a season of suspicious quietude on the part of the cubs.

Suddenly a chorus of yelps, howls, growls, and whines came from the direction of the wolf pups. The attention of all at the table was, of course, at once attracted by the noise, and those who looked beheld probably the most comical battle ever fought. Tom and Jerry, with their everlasting desire to have their noses into everything that did not concern them, had gone to investigate the wolf pups, and in the course of the investigation a fight ensued, whereby the wolves were liberated. The cubs were the stronger, but the wolves were more active, thus the battle was quite even. The bears, being awkward, of course, were in each other's way most of the time, and would fall over themselves and roll upon the ground for a second or two, before they could again get upon their clumsy feet. The consequence was that the wolves soon had the best of the fight, and, being once free from the cubs, scampered off to the woods and were never seen again.

When the wolves had gone the cubs turned round and round, looking for their late antagonists; but, failing to find them, sat down upon their haunches, grinned at each other in a very silly manner, and then began to growl and grumble in the worst bear language any one had every heard.

Balser scolded the cubs roundly, and told them he had taught them better than to swear, even in bear talk. He then switched them for having liberated the wolves, and went back to supper.

The switching quieted the bears for a short time, but soon their spirit of mischief again asserted itself.

After another period of suspicious silence on the part of the cubs, Jim put a general inquiry to the company:—

"What do you s'pose they're up to this time?"

"Goodness only knows," responded Balser. "But if I hear another grunt out of them, I'll take a stick to them that'll hurt, and off they'll go to their pen for the night,"

The settlers frequently caught swarms of bees in the woods, and Balser's father had several hives near the house. These hives were called "gums," because they were made from sections of a hollow gum tree, that being the best wood for the home of the bees. These hollow gums were placed on end upon small slanting platforms, and were covered with clapboards, which were held tightly in their place by heavy stones. There was a small hole, perhaps as large as the end of your finger, cut in the wood at the base, through which the bees entered, and upon the inside of the hive they constructed their comb and stored their honey.


"These hives were called 'gums.' "

I told you once before how bears delight to eat fish and blackberries. They are also very fond of honey. In fact, bears seem to have a general appetite and enjoy everything, from boys to blackberries.

Hardly had Balser spoken his threat when another duet of howls and yelps reached his ears.

"Now what on earth is it?" he asked and immediately started around the house in the direction whence the howls had come.

"Geminy! I believe they've upset the bee-gum," said Jim.

"Don't you know they have?" asked Balser. By that time the boys were in sight of the bears.

"Well, I know now they have, if that suits you any better. Golly! Look at them paw and scratch, and rub their eyes when the bees sting. Good enough for you. Give it to 'em, bees!" And Jim threw back his head and almost split his sides with laughter.

Sure enough, the bears had got to nosing about the bee-gums, and in their every hungry greediness had upset one. This, of course, made the bees very angry, and they attacked the cubs in a buzzing, stinging swarm that set them yelping, growling, and snapping, in a most desperate and comical manner. All their snapping and growling, however, did no good, for the bees continued to buzz and sting without any indication of being merciful. A little of this sort of thing went a long way with the black mischief-makers, and they soon ran to Balser and Jim for help. The bees, of course, followed, and when the boys and girls saw the bees coming toward them they broke helter-skelter in all directions, and ran as fast as they could go. The bears then ran to the river, and plunged in to escape their tormentors.

When the gum had been placed in position again and the bees had become quiet, the cubs, thinking the field clear, came out of the water dripping wet. Then they waddled up close to the girls, and out of pure mischief shook themselves and sprinkled the dainty clean frocks with a shower from their frowzy hides.

That sealed the fate of the cubs for the day, and when Balser marched them off to their pen they looked so meek and innocent that one would have thought that they had been attending bear Sunday-school all their lives, and were entirely lacking in all unwarrantable and facetious instincts.

They went to bed supperless that evening, but had their revenge, for their yelps and whines kept the whole family awake most of the night.

By the time the bears had been put to bed, darkness was near at hand, so the supper dishes and gourds were washed and carried to the kitchen. Then the visitors said good night and left for home.



The Adventures of Unc' Billy Possum  by Thornton Burgess

Unc' Billy Possum Lies Low

F ARMER BROWN'S BOY was angry. Yes, Sir, he was angry. There was no doubt about that. He had found the empty shells of the eggs which Unc' Billy had eaten in the night, and Unc' Billy knew by the sound of his voice that Farmer Brown's boy meant to find the thief.

It was a terrible position to be in, right there in the hen-house, with no chance to run. Unc' Billy wished with all his might that he had never thought of eggs, and that he was safe back home in the dear old hollow tree in the Green Forest. Oh, dear! oh, dear! Why hadn't he gone right straight back there, after eating those eggs, instead of taking a nap? But he hadn't. He had taken a nap and overslept, and here he was, right in the hen-house, in broad daylight.

"It must have been a Skunk," said Farmer Brown's boy, "and if it was, he must have left some tracks in the snow outside. I'll just look around a bit."

Unc' Billy almost chuckled as he heard Farmer Brown's boy go out.

"He'll find Jimmy Skunk's tracks, but he won't find mine," thought Unc' Billy. "Isn't it lucky that I thought to step right in Jimmy Skunk's tracks when I came here?"

He lay still and listened to Farmer Brown's boy poking around outside. He heard him exclaim: "Ah, I thought so!" and knew that he had found the tracks Jimmy Skunk had made in the snow. Unc' Billy almost chuckled again as he thought what a smart fellow he had been to step in Jimmy Skunk's tracks. And right then he heard something that put an end to all his fine thoughts about his own smartness, and sent little cold shivers up and down his backbone.

"Hello!" said the voice of Farmer Brown's boy. "These are queer tracks! That Skunk must have had a queer tail, for here are the marks of it in the snow, and they look as if they might have been made by the tail of a very big rat."

Unc' Billy remembered then for the first time that when he had thought he was so smart, he had forgotten to hold his tail up. He had dragged it in the snow, and of course it had left a mark.

"I guess that there was more than one visitor here last night," continued the voice of Farmer Brown's boy. "Here are the tracks of the Skunk going away from the hen-house, but I don't see any of those other queer tracks going away. Whoever made them must be right around here now."

Back into the hen-house came Farmer Brown's boy and began to poke around in all the corners. He moved all the boxes and looked in the grain bin. Then he began to look in the nests. Unc' Billy could hear him coming nearer and nearer. He was looking in the very next nest to the one in which Unc' Billy was. Finally he looked into that very nest. Unc' Billy Possum held his breath.

Now the nest in which Unc' Billy was hiding was on the topmost row in the darkest corner of the hen-house, and Unc' Billy had crawled down underneath the hay. Perhaps it was because that corner was so dark, or perhaps it was because that nest was so high up, that Farmer Brown's boy really didn't expect to find anything there. Anyway, all he saw was the hay, and he didn't take the trouble to put his hand in and feel for anything under the hay.

"It's queer," said Farmer Brown's boy. "It's very queer! I guess I shall have to set some traps."

And all the time Unc' Billy Possum held his breath and lay low.


Christina Georgina Rossetti

The City Mouse and the Garden Mouse

The city mouse lives in a house—

The garden mouse lives in a bower,

He's friendly with the frogs and toads,

And sees the pretty plants in flower.

The city mouse eats bread and cheese—

The garden mouse eats what he can;

We will not grudge him seeds and stalks,

Poor little timid furry man.


  WEEK 40  


Hurlbut's Story of the Bible  by Jesse Lyman Hurlbut

The Prophet's Story of the Little Lamb

II Samuel xi: 1 to 25;
Psalm 51.

dropcap image HEN David first became king he went with his army upon the wars against the enemies of Israel. But there came a time when the cares of his kingdom were many, and David left Joab, his general, to lead his warriors, while he stayed in his palace on Mount Zion.

One evening, about sunset, David was walking upon the roof of his palace. He looked down into a garden near by, and saw a woman, who was very beautiful. David asked one of his servants who this woman was, and he said to him, "Her name is Bath-sheba, and she is the wife of Uriah."

Now Uriah was an officer in David's army, under Joab; and at that time he was fighting in David's war against the Ammonites, at Rabbah, near the desert, on the east of Jordan. David sent for Uriah's wife, Bath-sheba, and talked with her. He loved her, and greatly longed to take her as one of his own wives,—for in those times it was not thought a sin for a man to have more than one wife. But David could not marry Bath-sheba while her husband, Uriah, was living. Then a wicked thought came into David's heart, and he formed a plan to have Uriah killed, so that he could then take Bath-sheba into his own house.

David wrote a letter to Joab, the commander of his army. And in the letter he said, "When there is to be a fight with the Ammonites, send Uriah into the middle of it, where it will be the hottest; and manage to leave him there, so that he may be slain by the Ammonites."

And Joab did as David had commanded him. He sent Uriah with some brave men to a place near the wall of the city, where he knew that the enemies would rush out of the city upon them; there was a fierce fight beside the wall; Uriah was slain, and other brave men with him. Then Joab sent a messenger to tell King David how the war was being carried on, and especially that Uriah, one of his brave officers, had been killed in the fighting.

When David heard this, he said to the messenger, "Say to Joab, 'Do not feel troubled at the loss of the men slain in battle. The sword must strike down some. Keep up the siege; press forward, and you will take the city.' "

And after Bath-sheba had mourned over her husband's death for a time, then David took her into his palace, and she became his wife. And a little child was born to them, whom David loved greatly. Only Joab, and David, and perhaps a few others, knew that David had caused the death of Uriah; but God knew it, and God was displeased with David for this wicked deed.

Then the Lord sent Nathan, the prophet, to David to tell him that, though men knew not that David had done wickedly, God had seen it, and would surely punish David for his sin. Nathan came to David, and he spoke to him thus:

"There were two men in one city; one was rich, and the other poor. The rich man had great flocks of sheep and herds of cattle; but the poor man had only one little lamb that he had bought. It grew up in his home with his children, and drank out of his cup, and lay upon his lap, and was like a little daughter to him.

"One day a visitor came to the rich man's house to dinner. He did not take one of his own sheep to kill for his guest. He robbed the poor man of his lamb, and killed it, and cooked it for a meal with his friend."

When David heard this, he was very angry. He said to Nathan, "The man who did this thing deserves to die! He shall give back to his poor neighbor fourfold for the lamb taken from him. How cruel to treat a poor man thus, without pity for him!"

And Nathan said to David, "You are the man who has done this deed. The Lord made you king in place of Saul, and gave you a kingdom. You have a great house, and many wives. Why, then, have you done this wickedness in the sight of the Lord? You have slain Uriah with the sword of the men of Ammon; and you have taken his wife to be your wife. For this there shall be a sword drawn against your house; you shall suffer for it, and your wives shall suffer, and your children shall suffer, because you have done this."


The prophet Nathan reproves David.

When David heard all this, he saw, as he had not seen before, how great was his wickedness. He was exceedingly sorry, and said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the Lord."

And David showed such sorrow for his sin that Nathan said to him, "The Lord has forgiven your sin; and you shall not die on account of it. But the child that Uriah's wife has given to you shall surely die."

Soon after this the little child of David and Bath-sheba, whom David loved greatly, was taken very ill. David prayed to God for the child's life; and David took no food, but lay in sorrow, with his face upon the floor of his house. The nobles of his palace came to him, and urged him to rise up and take food, but he would not. For seven days the child grew worse and worse, and David remained in sorrow. Then the child died; and the nobles were afraid to tell David, for they said to each other, "If he was in such grief while the child was living, what will he do when he hears that the child is dead?"

But when King David saw the people whispering to one another with sad faces, he said, "Is the child dead?"

And they said to him, "Yes, O king, the child is dead."

Then David rose up from the floor where he had been lying. He washed his face, and put on his kingly robes. He went first to the house of the Lord, and worshipped; then he came to his own house, and sat down to his table, and took food. His servants wondered at this, but David said to them, "While the child was still alive, I fasted, and prayed, and wept; for I hoped that by prayer to the Lord, and by the mercy of the Lord, his life might be spared. But now that he is dead, my prayers can do no more for him. I cannot bring him back again. He will not come back to me, but I shall go to him."

And after this God gave to David and to Bath-sheba, his wife, another son, whom they named Solomon. The Lord loved Solomon, and he grew up to be a wise man.

After God had forgiven David's great sin, David wrote the Fifty-first Psalm, in memory of his sin and of God's forgiveness. Some of its verses are these:

Have mercy upon me. O God, according to thy

loving kindness

According to the multitude of thy tender mercies

blot out my transgressions

Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity,

And cleanse me from my sin,

For I acknowledge my transgressions;

And my sin is ever before me.

Against thee, thee only, have I sinned,

And done that which is evil in thy sight.

* * * * *

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;

Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

* * * * *

Hide thy face from my sins,

And blot out all my iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God,

And renew a right spirit within me,

Cast me not away from thy presence;

And take not thy holy spirit from me,

Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation;

And uphold me with a free spirit.

Then will I teach trangressors thy ways;

And sinners shall be converted with thee.

* * * * *

For thou delightest not in sacrifice; else would I give it:

Thou hast no pleasure in burnt-offering.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;

A broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou will not despise.


The Sandman: His Sea Stories  by Willliam J. Hopkins

The Shark Story

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

The wharf was Captain Jonathan's and Captain Jacob's, and they owned the ships that sailed from it; and, after their ships had been sailing from that wharf in the little city for a good many years, they changed their office to Boston. After that, their ships sailed from a wharf in Boston.

Once the brig Industry  had sailed for a far country. Little Jacob and little Sol had gone on that voyage, and they always raced through their breakfast so that they could get out on deck and see what there was to see. Little Sol generally beat and went on deck first, but sometimes little Jacob was first. The reason that little Sol generally beat was that little Jacob had been brought up not to hurry through his meals, but to wait for the older people; and he had to wait, anyway, because he couldn't get the second part until his father and his mother, and any company they had, had finished the first part. Then the first part was carried out and the second part was brought in; and little Jacob had to sit quietly in his chair with his hands folded in his lap until it came in. But little Sol didn't bother much about those things.

One morning little Jacob and little Sol had raced through breakfast, as they always did, and they had finished at exactly the same time, because little Jacob hurried. Then they both tried to go on deck at the same time. They managed to go up the cabin steps together, but they couldn't get through the door together without squeezing very tightly. And, in that squeezing, little Jacob caught his jacket on the lock of the door so that the jacket tore. But little Jacob didn't know it, and he kept on pushing, and at last he and little Sol went bouncing out and fell sprawling on the deck.

Captain Solomon was sitting in the cabin, and he laughed to see them go sprawling out, but he thought that he guessed the little boys had done enough of that racing business. For somebody would have to mend little Jacob's jacket and, besides, there was danger that little Jacob would forget his manners, and that would never do. Little Jacob had beautiful manners. So Captain Solomon made up his mind that Sol would have to wait until little Jacob finished his breakfast, after that, and then they should go up the cabin steps like little gentlemen and not push and crowd and tear their jackets. And that would be a good thing for little Sol, too, but he wouldn't like it at first. Captain Solomon didn't care whether he liked it or not.

The little boys didn't know what Captain Solomon was thinking about, and they laughed and picked themselves up and looked around. And they didn't see anything but water all about, and the bright sunshine, and one or two little hilly clouds, and all the many sails of the Industry. For they were still in the trade winds where it is generally good weather. And they saw the mate, and he was standing at the stern and looking down into the water behind the ship.

"Let's see what Mr. Steele is looking at," said little Sol.

"All right," said little Jacob, "let's."

So the two little boys walked to the stern and leaned on the rail and looked down at the water. But first little Jacob said "Good morning" to the mate.

"Good morning, Jacob," said the mate. "Now, what do you see there?"

"I know," cried little Sol. "It's a shark."

"Oh, is it?" cried little Jacob. He was very much interested and excited. "Where is it, Sol?"

Little Sol pointed. "Right there," he said. "You can see his back fin, just as plain."


"Right there," he said. "You can see his back fin."

And little Jacob looked again, and he saw all the little swirls and bubbles and foam that made the wake of the ship, and right in the middle of it all he saw a great three-cornered thing sticking up out of the water. It was dark colored, and it followed after the ship as if it were fastened to it.

"Is that his back fin?" asked little Jacob, "that three-cornered thing? I don't see the rest of him."

"If you look hard," said Mr. Steele, "you'll make him out. He's clear enough to me."

Little Jacob looked hard and at last he saw the shark himself; but there were so many bubbles and swirls, and the shark was colored so exactly like the water, as he looked down into it, that it wasn't easy to see him. Both the little boys watched him for some time without saying anything.

At last little Jacob sighed. "He's pretty big," he said. "Why do you suppose he follows the ship that way? It's just as if we were towing him."

"Well," said the mate, "I never had a chance to ask any shark that question—and get an answer—but I think it's to get what the cook throws overboard." The mate turned and looked forward. "I see the cook now, with a bucket of scraps. You watch Mr. Shark."

Little Jacob and little Sol both looked and they saw the cook walking from the galley with his bucket. The galley is the kitchen of the ship. And he emptied the bucket over the side. Then the two little boys looked quickly at the shark again, to see what he would do.

They saw the shark leave his place at the stern of the Industry  as the things came floating by, and they saw him turn over on his side and eat one or two of the things. He took them into his mouth slowly, as though he had plenty of time; or it seemed as if he ate them slowly. Really, he didn't. They lost sight of him, for he stayed at that place until every scrap was gone.

Little Jacob smiled. "He doesn't have to race through his breakfast," he said, "does he, Sol? Did you see that his underneath parts were white? I wonder why that is. I s'pose it's because anything that looks down looks into darkness, and anything that looks up looks into lightness. Is that why, Mr. Steele?"

"So that the fish wouldn't see him coming?" asked Mr. Steele. "Well, Jacob, to tell you the truth, I never thought much about it. And I don't really know how a shark would look from underneath, in the water. The pearl divers in India could tell you. But I guess that comes as near to the reason as any other—near enough, anyway. I've no doubt that his coloring makes him very hard to see, in the water."

"I would like to see the pearl divers," said little Jacob, "but I s'pose I can't. And I'm rather glad the shark is gone."

"Huh!" said little Sol. "He isn't gone. He only stopped a minute. He'll be back. Won't he, Mr. Steele?"

Mr. Steele smiled. "There he comes, now."

And the boys looked and they saw the three-cornered fin cutting through the water at a great rate. The shark caught up with the ship easily and took his old place, just astern.

The shark stayed with the Industry  all of that day, and little Jacob watched him once in a while. He thought the shark was kind of horrible and he wished that he would go away. But he didn't, that day or that night, or the next. And Captain Solomon didn't like it, either.


So, when Captain Solomon saw him on the third morning, he spoke to the mate.

"Better get rid of that fellow, Mr. Steele," he said. "Got a shark hook?"

"Yes, sir," answered the mate. "But I'm afraid it isn't big enough for him."

But Captain Solomon told him to try it, anyway. And he called some of the sailors and told them to rig a tackle on the end of the mainyard. That was so that it would be easy to haul the shark in, when they hooked him. And he went down and got the shark hook. It was a great, enormous fishhook and it had about a yard of chain hitched to it, because if it was rope that went in the shark's mouth, he might bite it off. And a large rope ran through the blocks of the tackle, and the sailors hitched the end of that rope to the end of the chain. A lot of sailors took hold of the other end of the rope, and they stood with the rope in their hands ready to run away with it, just as they did when they were hoisting a yard with a sail.

Then the cook came with a big chunk of fat salt pork, and he put it on the hook so that the point of the hook was all covered. And the mate looked at it, to see if it was done right, and he saw that it was.

"Slack away on the line," he called to the sailors.

And they let out the rope, until the mate thought that there was enough let out, and then he threw the hook, that was baited with the salt pork, overboard, and it trailed out astern.

The shark saw the pork and he left his place at the stern and went over to see about it. First he seemed to smell of it and make up his mind that it was good to eat. Then he turned lazily over upon his side, showing his whitish belly, and opened his mouth and swallowed the pork, with the hook inside it, and nearly all of the chain. Little Jacob was watching him, and he saw that the shark's mouth was not at the end of his nose, as most fishes' mouths are, but it was quite a way back from his snout, on the under side. And he saw his teeth quite clearly. There were a great many of them, and they seemed to be in rows. Little Jacob didn't have time to count the rows, but he thought that the teeth looked very cruel. The shark's mouth was big enough to take in a man whole. And then the mate, who still had his hand on the rope, jerked it with all his might.

What happened then was never quite clear to little Jacob. He heard the sailors running away with their end of the rope and shouting a chanty and stamping their feet. And he saw the water alongside the ship being all foamed up by an enormous monster that seemed large enough for a whale. Then some water came up from the ocean and hit him in the face, so that he couldn't see for a few minutes and his jacket was all wet through. But the noise kept on.

When little Jacob could see again, the enormous monster was half out of the water and rising slowly to the yard-arm, while he made a tremendous commotion with his tail in the water, and a sailor was just reaching out with an axe. The sailor struck twice with the axe, but little Jacob didn't see where. Then the shark dropped back into the ocean with a great splash and out of sight.

"Well!" said the mate. "He's a good one! Took a good shark hook with him and pretty near a fathom of new chain!

And when little Jacob had got his breath back again, he ran down into the cabin to write all about the shark in the log-book.

And that's all.


Lucy Larcom

If I Were a Sunbeam

"If I were a sunbeam,

I know what I'd do:

I would seek white lilies

Rainy woodlands through;

I would steal among them,

Softest light I'd shed,

Until every lily

Raised its drooping head.

"If I were a sunbeam,

I know where I'd go:

Into lowliest hovels

Dark with want and woe;

Till sad hearts looked upward,

I would shine and shine;

Then they'd think of heaven,

Their sweet home and mine."

Art thou not a sunbeam,

Child whose life is glad

With an inner radiance

Sunshine never had?

Oh, as God has blessed thee,

Scatter rays divine!

For there is no sunbeam

But must die, or shine.