Text of Plan #970
  WEEK 9  


Pinocchio  by Carlo Collodi

Pinocchio Sells His Spelling-Book

Pinocchio sells his Spelling-book that he may go and see a puppet-show.

A S soon as it had done snowing Pinocchio set out for school with his fine Spelling-book under his arm. As he went along he began to imagine a thousand things in his little brain, and to build a thousand castles in the air, one more beautiful than the other.

And talking to himself he said:

"To-day at school I will learn to read at once; then to-morrow I will begin to write, and the day after to-morrow to cipher. Then with my acquirements I will earn a great deal of money, and with the first money I have in my pocket I will immediately buy for my papa a beautiful new cloth coat. But what am I saying? Cloth, indeed! It shall be all made of gold and silver, and it shall have diamond buttons. That poor man really deserves it; for to buy me books and have me taught he has remained in his shirt sleeves. . . . And in this cold! It is only fathers who are capable of such sacrifices! . . ."


Whilst he was saying this with great emotion he thought that he heard music in the distance that sounded like fifes and the beating of a big drum: fi-fi-fi, fi-fi-fi, zum, zum, zum, zum.

He stopped and listened. The sounds came from the end of a cross street that took to a little village on the seashore.

"What can that music be? What a pity that I have to go to school, or else . . ."

And he remained irresolute. It was, however, necessary to come to a decision. Should he go to school? or should he go after the fifes?

"To-day I will go and hear the fifes, and tomorrow I will go to school," finally decided the young scapegrace, shrugging his shoulders.

The more he ran the nearer came the sounds of the fifes and the beating of the big drum: fi-fi-fi, zum, zum, zum, zum.


At last he found himself in the middle of a square quite full of people, who were all crowding round a building made of wood and canvas, and painted a thousand colours.

"What is that building?" asked Pinocchio, turning to a little boy who belonged to the place.

"Read the placard—it is all written—and then you will know."

"I would read it willingly, but it so happens that to-day I don't know how to read."

"Bravo, blockhead! Then I will read it to you. The writing on that placard in those letters red as fire is:


"Has the play begun long?"

"It is beginning now."

"How much does it cost to go in?"


Pinocchio, who was in a fever of curiosity, lost all control of himself, and without any shame he said to the little boy to whom he was talking:


"Would you lend me twopence until to-morrow?"

"I would lend them to you willingly," said the other, taking him off, "but it so happens that to-day I cannot give them to you."

"I will sell you my jacket for twopence," the puppet then said to him.

"What do you think that I could do with a jacket of flowered paper? If there was rain and it got wet, it would be impossible to get it off my back."

"Will you buy my shoes?"

"They would only be of use to light the fire."

"How much will you give me for my cap?"

"That would be a wonderful acquisition indeed! A cap of bread crumb! There would be a risk of the mice coming to eat it whilst it was on my head."

Pinocchio was on thorns. He was on the point of making another offer, but he had not the courage. He hesitated, felt irresolute and remorseful. At last he said:

"Will you give me twopence for this new Spelling-book?"

"I am a boy and I don't buy from boys," replied his little interlocutor, who had much more sense than he had.

"I will buy the Spelling-book for twopence," called out a hawker of old clothes, who had been listening to the conversation.

And the book was sold there and then. And to think that poor Geppetto had remained at home trembling with cold in his shirt sleeves, that he might buy his son a Spelling-book!


The book was sold there and then.


Viking Tales  by Jennie Hall

The Sea Fight


M ANY men felt as Solfi did. So when King Audbiorn and King Arnvid sent out their war arrows, a great host gathered. All men came by sea. Two hundred ships lay at anchor in the fiord, looking like strange swimming animals because of their high carved prows and bright paint. There were red and gold dragons with long necks and curved tails. Sea-horses reared out of the water. Green and gold snakes coiled up. Sea-hawks sat with spread wings ready to fly. And among all these curved necks stood up the tall, straight masts with the long yardarms swinging across them holding the looped-up sails.

When the starting horn blew, and their sails were let down, it was like the spreading of hundreds of curious flags. Some were striped black and yellow or blue and gold. Some were white with a black raven or a brown bear embroidered on them, or blue with a white sea-hawk, or black with a gold sun. Some were edged with fur. As the wind filled the gaudy sails, and the ships moved off, the men waved their hands to the women on shore and sang:

"To the sea! To the sea!

The wind in our sail,

The sea in our face,

And the smell of the fight.

After ship meets ship,

In the quarrel of swords

King Harald shall lie

In the caves under the sea

And Norsemen shall laugh."

In the prow stood men leaning forward and sniffing the salt air with joy. Some were talking of King Harald.

"Yesterday he had a hard fight," they said. "To-day he will be lying still, dressing his wounds and mending his ships. We shall take him by surprise."

They sailed near the coast. Solfi in his "Sea-hawk" was ahead leading the way. Suddenly men saw his sail veer and his oars flash out. He had quickly turned his boat and was rowing back. He came close to King Arnvid and called:

"He is there, ahead. His boats are ready in line of battle. The fox has not been asleep."

King Arnvid blew his horn. Slowly his boats came into line with his "Sea-stag" in the middle. Again he blew his horn. Cables were thrown across from one prow to the next, and all the ships were tied together so that their sides touched. Then the men set their sails again and they went past a tongue of land into a broad fiord. There lay the long line of King Harald's ships with their fierce heads grinning and mocking at the new-comers. Back of those prows was what looked like a long wall with spots of green and red and blue and yellow and shining gold. It was the locked shields of the men in the bows, and over every shield looked fierce blue eyes. Higher up and farther back was another wall of shields; for on the half deck in the stern of every ship stood the captain with his shield-guard of a dozen men.

Arnvid's people had furled their sails and were taking down the masts, but the ships were still drifting on with the wind. The horn blew, and quickly every man sprang to his place in bow and stern. All were leaning forward with clenched teeth and widespread nostrils. They were clutching their naked swords in their hands. Their flashing eyes looked over their shields.

Soon King Arnvid's ships crashed into Harald's line, and immediately the men in the bows began to swing their swords at one another. The soldiers of the shield-guard on the high decks began to throw darts and stones and to shoot arrows into the ships opposite them.

So in every ship showers of stones and arrows were falling, and many men died under them or got broken arms or legs. Spears were hurled from deck to deck and many of them bit deep into men's bodies. In every bow men slashed with their swords at the foes in the opposite ship. Some jumped upon the gunwale to get nearer or hung from the prow-head. Some even leaped into the enemy's boat.

King Harald's ship lay prow to prow with King Arnvid's. The battle had been going on for an hour. King Harald was still in the stern on the deck. There was a dent in his helmet where a great stone had struck. There was a gash in his shoulder where a spear had cut. But he was still fighting and laughed as he worked.

"Wolf meets wolf to-day," he said. "But things are going badly in the prow," he cried. "Ivar fallen, Thorstein wounded, a dozen men lying in the bottom of the boat!"

He leaped down from the deck and ran along the gunwale, shouting as he went:

"Harald and victory!"

So he came to the bow and stood swinging his sword as fast as he breathed. Every time it hit a man of Arnvid's men. Harald's own warriors cheered, seeing him.

"Harald and victory!" they shouted, and went to work again with good heart.

Slowly King Arnvid's men fell back before Harald's biting sword. Then Harald's men threw a great hook into that boat and pulled it alongside and still pushed King Arnvid's people back.

"Come on! Follow me!" cried Harald.

Then he leaped into King Arnvid's boat, and his warriors followed him.


"Then he leaped into King Arnvid's boat."

"He comes like a mad wolf," King Arnvid's men said, and they turned and ran back below the deck.

Then Arnvid himself leaped down and stood with his sword raised.

"Can this young Shockhead make cowards of you all?" he cried.

But Harald's sword struck him, and he fell dead. Then a big, bloody viking of King Arnvid leaped upon the edge of the ship and stood there. He held his drinking-horn and his sword high in his hands.

"Ran and not you, Shockhead, shall have them and me!" he cried, and leaped laughing into the water and was drowned.

Many other warriors chose the same death on that terrible day.

All along the line of boats men fought for hours. In some places the cables had been cut, and the boats had drifted apart. Ships lay scattered about two by two, fighting. Many boats sank, many men died, some fled away in their ships, and at the end King Harald had won the battle. So he had King Arnvid's country and King Audbiorn's country. Many men took the oath and became his friends. All people were talking of his wonderful battles.



William Allingham

The Fairies

Up the airy mountain,

Down the rushy glen,

We dare n't go a-hunting,

For fear of little men;

Wee folk, good folk,

Trooping all together;

Green jacket, red cap,

And white owl's feather!

Down along the rocky shore,

Some make their home,

They live on crispy pancakes

Of yellow tide-foam;

Some in the reeds

Of the black mountain lake,

With frogs for their watchdogs,

All night awake.

High on the hill top

The old King sits;

He is now so old and gray

He 's nigh lost his wits.

With a bridge of white mist

Columbkill he crosses,

On his stately journeys

From Slieveleague to Rosses;

Or going up with music

On cold starry nights,

To sup with the queen

Of the gay Northern Lights.

They stole little Bridget

For seven years long;

When she came down again

Her friends were all gone.

They took her lightly back,

Between the night and morrow,

They thought that she was fast asleep,

But she was dead with sorrow.

They have kept her ever since

Deep within the lake,

On a bed of flag leaves,

Watching till she wake.

By the craggy hillside,

Through the mosses bare,

They have planted thorn-trees

For pleasure here and there.

Is any man so daring

As dig them up in spite,

He shall find their sharpest thorns

In his bed at night.

Up the airy mountain,

Down the rushy glen,

We dare n't go a-hunting

For fear of little men;

Wee folk, good folk,

Trooping all together;

Green jacket, red cap,

And white owl's feather!


  WEEK 9  


Fifty Famous Stories Retold  by James Baldwin

The Black Douglas

I N Scotland, in the time of King Robert Bruce, there lived a brave man whose name was Doug-las. His hair and beard were black and long, and his face was tanned and dark; and for this reason people nicknamed him the Black Douglas. He was a good friend of the king, and one of his strongest helpers.

In the war with the English, who were trying to drive Bruce from Scotland, the Black Douglas did many brave deeds; and the English people became very much afraid of him. By and by the fear of him spread all through the land. Nothing could frighten an English lad more than to tell him that the Black Douglas was not far away. Women would tell their chil-dren, when they were naughty, that the Black Douglas would get them; and this would make them very quiet and good.

There was a large cas-tle in Scotland which the English had taken early in the war. The Scot-tish soldiers wanted very much to take it again, and the Black Douglas and his men went one day to see what they could do. It happened to be a hol-i-day, and most of the English soldiers in the cas-tle were eating and drinking and having a merry time. But they had left watch-men on the wall to see that the Scottish soldiers did not come upon them un-a-wares; and so they felt quite safe.

In the e-ven-ing, when it was growing dark, the wife of one of the soldiers went up on the wall with her child in her arms. As she looked over into the fields below the castle, she saw some dark objects moving toward the foot of the wall. In the dusk, she could not make out what they were, and so she pointed them out to one of the watch-men.

"Pooh, pooh!" said the watchman. "Those are nothing to frighten us. They are the farmer's cat-tle, trying to find their way home. The farmer himself is en-joy-ing the hol-i-day, and he has for-gotten to bring them in. If the Douglas should happen this way before morning, he will be sorry for his care-less-ness."

But the dark objects were not cattle. They were the Black Douglas and his men, creeping on hands and feet toward the foot of the castle wall. Some of them were dragging ladders behind them through the grass. They would soon be climbing to the top of the wall. None of the English soldiers dreamed that they were within many miles of the place.

The woman watched them until the last one had passed around a corner out of sight. She was not afraid, for in the dark-en-ing twi-light they looked indeed like cattle. After a little while she began to sing to her child:—

"Hush ye, hush ye, little pet ye,

Hush ye, hush ye, do not fret ye,

The Black Douglas shall not get ye."

All at once a gruff voice was heard behind her, saying, "Don't be so sure about that!"


"Don't be so sure about that!"

She looked around, and there stood the Black Douglas himself. At the same moment a Scottish soldier climbed off a ladder and leaped upon the wall; and then there came another and another and another, until the wall was covered with them. Soon there was hot fighting in every part of the castle. But the English were so taken by surprise that they could not do much. Many of them were killed, and in a little while the Black Douglas and his men were the masters of the castle, which by right be-longed to them.

As for the woman and her child, the Black Douglas would not suffer any one to harm them. After a while they went back to England; and whether the mother made up any more songs about the Black Douglas I cannot tell.


Outdoor Visits  by Edith M. Patch

A Frog Chorus

§ 2. A Frog Chorus

"Father," said Don, "what sound do you like best to hear in spring?"

"A frog chorus in April!" said Father. "When the ice is melted in the ponds and frogs come there to sing, I am happy to hear them."

"It is April, now," said Don.

"May we visit the pond?" asked Nan. "Perhaps the frogs are there. I should like to hear a frog chorus."

"I will go with you," said Father.

Before they reached the pond, Father said, "I can hear them, now!"

Don and Nan stood still to listen.

Then Don said, "I wish we could see them while they sing."

Father said, "If we talk when we are near them, they will hear us and stop singing."

"Then we will not talk," said Nan.

They went to the pond and sat on some big stones. When they were very quiet the frogs began to sing. First a few sang. Then many sang.


Some of the singers had green backs and some had brown backs. They all had dark brown spots and their name was Leopard Frog.

When they sang, their skin puffed out at each side near the ears.


Don and Nan listened to the frog chorus with Father. Then they all went home.

"Once I saw some toads sit in the pond and I heard them sing," said Don. "They did not look like these frogs. They puffed out their throats like little balloons."

"Some kinds of frogs puff their throats out at the middle," said Father, "somewhat as toads do."


Edward Lear

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat went to sea

In a beautiful pea-green boat:

They took some honey, and plenty of money

Wrapped up in a five-pound note.

The Owl looked up to the stars above,

And sang to a small guitar,

"O lovely Pussy, O Pussy, my love,

What a beautiful Pussy you are,

You are,

You are!

What a beautiful Pussy you are!"

Pussy said to the Owl, "You elegant fowl,

How charmingly sweet you sing!

Oh! let us be married; too long we have tarried:

But what shall we do for a ring?"

They sailed away, for a year and a day,

To the land where the bong-tree grows;

And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood,

With a ring at the end of his nose,

His nose,

His nose,

With a ring at the end of his nose.

"Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling

Your ring?" Said the Piggy, "I will."

So they took it away, and were married next day

By the Turkey who lives on the hill.

They dined on mince and slices of quince,

Which they ate with a runcible spoon;

And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,

They danced by the light of the moon,

The moon,

The moon,

They danced by the light of the moon.


  WEEK 9  


The Burgess Bird Book for Children  by Thornton Burgess

The Old Orchard Bully

P ETER RABBIT'S eyes twinkled when Jenny Wren said that she must look her old house over to see if it was fit to live in. "I can save you that trouble," said he.

"What do you mean?" Jenny's voice was very sharp.

"Only that your old house is already occupied," replied Peter. "Bully the English Sparrow has been living in it for the last two months. In fact, he already has a good-sized family there."



The smallest of the family.


The common sparrow of the streets.

"What?" screamed Jenny and Mr. Wren together. Then without even saying good-by to Peter, they flew in a great rage to see if he had told them the truth. Presently he heard them scolding as fast as their tongues could go, and this is very fast indeed.

"Much good that will do them," chuckled Peter. "They will have to find a new house this year. All the sharp tongues in the world couldn't budge Bully the English sparrow. My, my, my, my, just hear that racket! I think I'll go over and see what is going on."

So Peter hopped to a place where he could get a good view of Jenny Wren's old home and still not be too far from the safety of the old stone wall. Jenny Wren's old home had been in a hole in one of the old apple-trees. Looking over to it, Peter could see Mrs. Bully sitting in the little round doorway and quite filling it. She was shrieking excitedly. Hopping and flitting from twig to twig close by were Jenny and Mr. Wren, their tails pointing almost straight up to the sky, and scolding as fast as they could make their tongues go. Flying savagely at one and then at the other, and almost drowning their voices with his own harsh cries, was Bully himself. He was perhaps one fourth larger than Mr. Wren, although he looked half again as big. But for the fact that his new spring suit was very dirty, due to his fondness for taking dust baths and the fact that he cares nothing about his personal appearance and takes no care of himself, he would have been a fairly good-looking fellow. His back was more or less of an ashy color with black and chestnut stripes. His wings were brown with a white bar on each. His throat and breast were black, and below that he was of a dirty white. The sides of his throat were white and the back of his neck chestnut.

By ruffling up his feathers and raising his wings slightly as he hopped about, he managed to make himself appear much bigger than he really was. He looked like a regular little fighting savage. The noise had brought all the other birds in the Old Orchard to see what was going on, and every one of them was screaming and urging Jenny and Mr. Wren to stand up for their rights. Not one of them had a good word for Bully and his wife. It certainly was a disgraceful neighborhood squabble.

Bully the English Sparrow is a born fighter. He never is happier than when he is in the midst of a fight or a fuss of some kind. The fact that all his neighbors were against him didn't bother Bully in the least.

Jenny and Mr. Wren are no cowards, but the two together were no match for Bully. In fact, Bully did not hesitate to fly fiercely at any of the onlookers who came near enough, not even when they were twice his own size. They could have driven him from the Old Orchard had they set out to, but just by his boldness and appearance he made them afraid to try.

All the time Mrs. Bully sat in the little round doorway, encouraging him. She knew that as long as she sat there it would be impossible for either Jenny or Mr. Wren to get in. Truth to tell, she was enjoying it all, for she is as quarrelsome and as fond of fighting as is Bully himself.

"You're a sneak! You're a robber! That's my house, and the sooner you get out of it the better!" shrieked Jenny Wren, jerking her tail with every word as she hopped about just out of reach of Bully.

"It may have been your house once, but it is mine now, you little snip-of-nothing!" cried Bully, rushing at her like a little fury. "Just try to put us out if you dare! You didn't make this house in the first place, and you deserted it when you went south last fall. It's mine now, and there isn't anybody in the Old Orchard who can put me out."

Peter Rabbit nodded. "He's right there," muttered Peter. "I don't like him and never will, but it is true that he has a perfect right to that house. People who go off and leave things for half a year shouldn't expect to find them just as they left them. My, my, my what a dreadful noise! Why don't they all get together and drive Bully and Mrs. Bully out of the Old Orchard? If they don't I'm afraid he will drive them out. No one likes to live with such quarrelsome neighbors. They don't belong over in this country, anyway, and we would be a lot better off if they were not here. But I must say I do have to admire their spunk."

All the time Bully was darting savagely at this one and that one and having a thoroughly good time, which is more than could be said of any one else, except Mrs. Bully.

"I'll teach you folks to know that I am in the Old Orchard to stay!" shrieked Bully. "If you don't like it, why don't you fight? I am not afraid of any of you or all of you together." This was boasting, plain boasting, but it was effective. He actually made the other birds believe it. Not one of them dared stand up to him and fight. They were content to call him a bully and all the bad names they could think of, but that did nothing to help Jenny and Mr. Wren recover their house. Calling another bad names never hurts him. Brave deeds and not brave words are what count.

How long that disgraceful squabble in the Old Orchard would have lasted had it not been for something which happened, no one knows. Right in the midst of it some one discovered Black Pussy, the cat who lives in Farmer Brown's house, stealing up through the Old Orchard, her tail twitching and her yellow eyes glaring eagerly. She had heard that dreadful racket and suspected that in the midst of such excitement she might have a chance to catch one of the feathered folks. You can always trust Black Pussy to be on hand at a time like that.

No sooner was she discovered than everything else was forgotten. With Bully in the lead, and Jenny and Mr. Wren close behind him, all the birds turned their attention to Black Pussy. She was the enemy of all, and they straightway forgot their own quarrel. Only Mrs. Bully remained where she was, in the little round doorway of her house. She intended to take no chances, but she added her voice to the general racket. How those birds did shriek and scream! They darted down almost into the face of Black Pussy, and none went nearer than Bully the English Sparrow and Jenny Wren.

Now Black Pussy hates to be the center of so much attention. She knew that, now she had been discovered, there wasn't a chance in the world for her to catch one of those Old Orchard folks. So, with tail still twitching angrily, she turned and, with such dignity as she could, left the Old Orchard. Clear to the edge of it the birds followed, shrieking, screaming, calling her bad names, and threatening to do all sorts of dreadful things to her, quite as if they really could.

When finally she disappeared towards Farmer Brown's barn, those angry voices changed. It was such a funny change that Peter Rabbit laughed right out. Instead of anger there was triumph in every note as everybody returned to attend to his own affairs. Jenny and Mr. Wren seemed to have forgotten all about Bully and his wife in their old house. They flew to another part of the Old Orchard, there to talk it all over and rest and get their breath. Peter Rabbit waited to see if they would not come over near enough to him for a little more gossip. But they didn't, and finally Peter started for his home in the dear Old Briar-patch. All the way there he chuckled as he thought of the spunky way in which Jenny and Mr. Wren had stood up for their rights.


The Aesop for Children  by Milo Winter

Hercules and the Wagoner

A farmer was driving his wagon along a miry country road after a heavy rain. The horses could hardly drag the load through the deep mud, and at last came to a standstill when one of the wheels sank to the hub in a rut.

The farmer climbed down from his seat and stood beside the wagon looking at it but without making the least effort to get it out of the rut. All he did was to curse his bad luck and call loudly on Hercules to come to his aid. Then, it is said, Hercules really did appear, saying:

"Put your shoulder to the wheel, man, and urge on your horses. Do you think you can move the wagon by simply looking at it and whining about it? Hercules will not help unless you make some effort to help yourself."

And when the farmer put his shoulder to the wheel and urged on the horses, the wagon moved very readily, and soon the Farmer was riding along in great content and with a good lesson learned.

Self help is the best help.

Heaven helps those who help themselves.


Laura E. Richards


Once there was an elephant,

Who tried to use the telephant

No! no! I mean an elephone

Who tried to use the telephone

(Dear me! I am not certain quite

That even now I've got it right.)

Howe'er it was, he got his trunk

Entangled in the telephunk;

The more he tried to get it free,

The louder buzzed the telephee

(I fear I'd better drop the song

Of elephop and telephong!)


  WEEK 9  


The Girl Who Sat by the Ashes  by Padraic Colum

Water for the King's Son



T he tree she was beside had a hollow in it, a hollow wide and clean and dry. She put pegs in the hollow and she hung up her dresses there, the bronze dress, the silver dress, and the golden dress.

Then Maid-alone went in the direction in which she heard the peacocks cry. She came to the King's Castle with its stables and it's kennels, with its mews for hawks and its meres for herons, with its ponds for swans and its parades for peacocks. She came to the King's Castle, and she found the least grand way to enter it, and she went that way and stood before the grille that was in the lowest door. When she knocked, the third of the under-stewardesses opened the grille and looked out at her.

"What do you want, Girl in the Crow-feather Cloak?" said the third of the under-stewardesses.

"To work in the King's Castle," said Maid-alone.

Then the third of the under-stewardesses said to her, "Can you mind geese, girl?"

"Geese would be easy for me to mind," said Maid-alone.

"Then come to me after the ploughmen go into the fields and I'll take you to the goose-shelter," said the third of the under-stewardesses.

She closed the grille, but Maid-alone stayed there until she saw the ploughmen go into the fields. She knocked again, and the third of the under-stewardesses opened the lowest door in the Castle and brought her into the scullery and gave her crusts and scraps for her breakfast.

The she brought Maid-alone to the wide shelter where twoscore geese were lifting up their necks and shaking out their wings and clangouring. She gave her the rod of the goose-herd and told her to take the goose-flock down to the marsh.


When the geese were all feeding in the marsh with one gander to watch for them, Maid-alone left them for a while and came out on the highway. Along the highway a coach with four horses was coming. And at a distance from the coach a horseman was riding with a hound running beside him.

When the coach came near where she was standing it stopped, and out of it stepped two damsels grandly dressed. They were Maid-alone's foster sisters, Berry-bright and Buttercup. There was a third person in the coach and she was Dame Dale, Maid-alone's foster mother.

"It is the King's son who is riding behind us on his high-mettled horse," said Dame Dale to the damsels. "Stand beside the coach now, my fair daughters, and give him the chance of looking at you."

Buttercup and Berry-bright stood alongside the coach in their grand dresses and the King's son came riding up to them.

"Is there aught we can do to serve you, noble lord?" said Berry-bright. The King's son drew the rein of his high-mettled horse and his bell-mouthed hound stayed by him. "Is there aught we can do to serve you, noble lord?" said Buttercup.

"If you would serve me, damsels," said the King's son, "bring me a drink of water from the cold well yonder."

"We have no vessel to bring the water to you, good lord," said Berry-bright.

"Your own beautiful white hands will do to carry the water in," said Dame Dale from the coach.

Berry-bright started off for the well, and Maid-alone in her Crow-feather Cloak, unseen and unknown by them all, stood near and looked on.

Berry-bright came back with her fingers knit together and her palms hollowed out to hold the water. The King's son slipped down from his horse to drink and the hands that were made white with washings in new milk were held up to him. The face of Berry-bright was red with pride, and the face of Buttercup white with envy.

But when he stooped down to drink, the water had flowed away. He lifted his head and he turned away from her.

Then Buttercup started for the well. She came back with her fingers knit and her palms hollowed to hole the water. She held up the hands that were white with washings in new milk, and the red of pride was on her face.

But from her hands, too, the water flowed away, and after he had bent down to empty palms the King's son lifted his head and turned away from her.

Maid-alone stole to the well. She came back with her fingers knit and her palms hollowed to hold the water. The water stayed within her firm hands, and the King's son stooped down and drank all that was held there. Dame Dale and Berry-bright and Buttercup looked on the Girl in the Crow-feather Cloak and knew her for Maid-alone who had minded their Goats.

And the King's son looked on her and on her queer Cloak of crow-feathers. He looked on her once, and he looked on her again. "He is wondering what hole she came out of," said Dame Dale to her daughters.

"Bring water for my hound to dip his tongue in," said the King's son.

Maid-alone went to the well again and came back with water in the hollow of her palms. She stooped down and the King's son's hound put his tongue into the water and then lapped it up. The King's son mounted his high-mettled horse and he rode off with his bell-mouthed hound running beside him.

Berry-bright and Buttercup said not a word to Maid-alone. They stepped into the coach and seated themselves beside Dame Dale and the coach drove off towards the King's Castle.

And as for Maid-alone, she went back to where her goose-flock was feeding in the marsh, and she watched over them. Then when the sun was near sinking she gathered them together and drove them across the fields to the goose-shelter near the castle. When she was eating her supper of scraps in the scullery she heard the news of the Castle. The King's son was soon to choose a wife, and all the maidens of the land were being gathered for him to look at; they would be lodged in the fifty-five new chambers of the Castle. Two had come that very day, arriving in the fourth royal coach, and their mother, Dame Dale, was to be the new house-dame.


Robinson Crusoe Written Anew for Children  by James Baldwin

I Make Me a Raft

THERE was a great deal of water in the ship's hold. But the cabin and the storerooms were dry.

The boxes of food had not been touched by the water.

I was very hungry, but I had no time to lose. So I filled my pockets with dry biscuits and ate them as I went about.

There were many things on the ship. They might be very useful to me if I had them on shore. But there was no boat, and how could I carry them there?

"I will make a raft." I said to myself.

There were several long pieces of timber on the deck. I tied a rope to each of these so that it would not float away. Then I dropped them, one by one, over the ship's side.

After this I slid down my rope into the water, and tied these timbers together. They formed a framework that was strong and would not sink.

On top of this framework I laid all the boards I could find.

I now had a very good raft. It was large enough to carry a great many things. All the time I was building it I was planning how to load it.

In the cabin there were three strong boxes, such as sailors use. These I emptied. Then I carried them out and let them down upon my raft.

Of all the things on board, I would need food the most. So I filled the first chest with bread, rice, cheese, and a few pieces of meat.

I found also a small bag of grain, of which I took good care. It was barley.

Then I began to look around for clothing, and found enough to do for many a day.

While I was getting these together I happened to see the carpenter's chest. It was full of tools.

It was hard work to get it on the raft. I lifted and pulled. I pulled and lifted; and at last I had it alongside of the other boxes. How tired I was!


Edward Lear

Nonsense Verse

There was an old man who said, "How

Shall I flee from this horrible cow?

I will sit on this stile

And continue to smile,

Which may soften the heart of the cow."


  WEEK 9  


The Discovery of New Worlds  by M. B. Synge

Voyage and Shipwreck

"Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

—Acts xv. 26.

T O appeal to the great Roman Cæsar the apostle Paul now set sail for his longest voyage. A convoy of prisoners was starting for Rome, and with them Paul embarked at Cæsarea, a new Roman seaport named after Cæsar: with a fair wind the ship soon reached Sidon. It was the last city on the coast of Syria he ever saw.


Leaving Sidon, the old Phœnician port, the wind blew from the north-west and drove them to the north of the island of Cyprus. Still beating against a contrary wind, the ship reached the shores of Asia Minor, and put into the port of Myra, one of the great harbours of the Egyptian service. Here was a ship carrying corn from Alexandria to Rome, a large merchant vessel, which had probably been blown out of her course and taken refuge at Myra. On board this ship Paul and the prisoners were put, and off they sailed once more. Slowly they sailed south against heavy winds and high seas till they reached Crete, where in the harbour, which is known as "Fair Havens" to this day, they anchored to wait for a change of wind.

Time passed, and they were still wind-bound: autumn was coming on, and it was time for navigation in the Mediterranean to cease. The old ships were not fit to brave the storms of winter in the open sea. A discussion took place as to whether they should winter in Crete or push on farther. The owner of the ship was for going on: Paul advised caution.

"Sirs," he said, "I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the cargo and ship, but also of our lives."

In spite of this advice, however, they determined to make for a safer harbour in which to spend the winter. With a south wind blowing softly they set sail, and had neared their desired haven, when a sudden violent wind came down from the mountains of Crete and struck the ship, whirling her round so that steering became impossible. An ancient ship with one huge sail was exposed to extreme danger from such a blast as now blew. The straining of the great sail on the single mast was more than the hull could bear, and the ship might any moment founder in the open sea.

The hurricane blew her southwards, away from Crete, and towards the dreaded quicksands of the African coast near Cyrene.

The violence of the storm continued. After drifting helplessly at the mercy of the wind and waves for two days and nights, they began to throw overboard the cargo to lighten the ship, and then "with our own hands," says the writer of the Acts, "we threw away all the ship's fittings and equipment."

Here is a striking picture of the growing panic. Still the wind blew, no sun shone by day, no stars lit the dark sea by night; cold and wet and very hungry, they drifted on towards death and destruction.

At last Paul made his voice heard above the storm. "Sirs, ye should have hearkened to my counsel, and not have set sail from Crete," he said; "thus you would have been spared this harm and loss. And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man's life among you, but only of the ship."

The gale continued day and night for fourteen days. At the end of that time, towards midnight, the sailors heard the breaking of waves on a shore.

They were nearing land, but the danger was still great, for the ship might be dashed on the rocks and go to pieces. In an agony of terror they waited for the dawn. No coast was visible, only a wild waste of waters. The sailors, under pretext of casting anchors, lowered a boat, intending to row off and leave the sinking ship and its two hundred and seventy-six passengers to their fate. Paul saw their intention.

"Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved," he said to those in authority. They had learnt to listen to the words of this remarkable prisoner. The ropes of the boat were instantly cut, and the sailors' selfish plan failed.

"This is the fourteenth day that you watch and continue fasting, and have taken nothing. Wherefore I beseech you to take some food: for this is for your safety."

Again Paul's advice was taken. Daylight came, land was visible, and they made for a pebbly beach and ran the ship aground. By means of boards and broken planks they all reached land safely, while the old ship which had borne them through the storm went to pieces before their eyes.

They had reached Malta, and the bay where they landed is known to-day as St Paul's Bay. The sight of the ship attracted the natives on the island—Phœnician and Greek settlers, subject now to Rome—and they treated the shipwrecked crew with unusual kindness.

For three months, until February opened the sea again to navigation, they stayed at Malta. Then another corn-ship from Alexandria—the "Castor and Pollux"—took the passengers on board, and sailed for Syracuse in Sicily. Here they waited three days for a good wind, which carried them through the narrow straits of Messina, dividing Italy from Sicily. They passed between chains of snow-clad hills, till at last the merchant ship sailed into a beautiful calm blue bay to unload its cargo, and very soon Paul found himself in the great city of Rome herself.

He had already sent a long letter or epistle to the men of Rome.

"I long to see you," he had written to them three years before this; "I am ready to preach the Gospel to you that are in Rome also."

Now he was among them. True, he was a prisoner: a light chain fastened his hand to that of a soldier who was guarding him, though he had his own house in the city.

And here Paul preached the good news he had brought, and the Romans became Christians in such numbers that they were recognised in the city by the emperor.


A Child's Book of Myths and Enchantment Tales  by Margaret Evans Price

Daedalus and Icarus

T HERE was once a boy named Icarus who, with his father Daedalus, was imprisoned in a tower on the island of Crete.

From the little window of this lonely tower they could see the blue ocean and watch the gulls and eagles sweep back and forth over the island.

Sometimes a ship sailed out toward other lands, and then Daedalus and Icarus would long for freedom, and wish that they might sail away to Delos and never again see the island of Crete.

Daedalus at last found a way for them to escape from the tower, but they were obliged to hide themselves in the loneliest parts of the island. Minos, the king who had put them in prison, watched the coming and going of all ships, and so Daedalus and Icarus never found courage to go near the harbor where the outgoing galleys lay anchored.

In spite of this, Icarus was almost happy. Besides the blue sea, the ships, and the birds, which he loved to watch, he found shellfish along the shore, crabs among the rocks, and many other curious things.

But Daedalus grew more lonely and miserable and spent all his time watching the gulls as they flew in the air, and planning how he and Icarus might escape from the island.

One day Icarus was throwing stones at the gulls. He killed one of the birds and brought it to his father.

"See how the feathers shine, and how long the wings are!" said the boy.


"See," said Icarus, "how the feathers shine, and how long the wings are!"

Daedalus took the bird in his hands and turned it over slowly, examining the wings.

"Now if we had wings," laughed Icarus, "we could fly away and be free."

For a long time his father sat silent, holding the dead bird. Now and then he looked up and watched other birds as they wheeled in the air over the sea and the island.

At last he thought of a plan and said softly to himself, "We shall have wings, too."

After that, Daedalus was idle no more. He plucked feathers from all the birds that Icarus could kill, and began to make two great wings. He fastened the feathers to a framework with melted wax and threads pulled from his linen mantle.


Daedalus fastened the feathers to a framework.

When these two wings were finished, Daedalus bound them on himself. He rose into the air, waving his arms, now up, now down, and went soaring far out over the water.

Icarus jumped about in delight, and shouted to his father to come back and make another pair of wings so that they might fly away and leave Crete forever.

When Daedalus had finished another pair of wings he bound the smaller pair on his son. Then he warned Icarus not to wander off alone in the air but to follow him closely.

"If you fly too low, the dampness of the sea will make your feathers heavy, and you will sink into the water," said Daedalus. But if you fly too near the sun the heat will melt the wax and you will fall."

Icarus promised to fly just as his father bade him. Leaping from the highest cliff on the island, they flew away toward Delos.

At first Icarus was obedient and followed close behind his father, but soon in the joy of flying he forgot all that his father had told him, and stretching his arms upward he went higher and higher into the heavens.


Icarus went higher and higher into the heavens.

Daedalus called to him to return, but the wind passed so swiftly that it carried all sound away, and Icarus could not hear. His wings bore him higher and still higher into the region of the clouds. As he went up and up the air grew warmer and warmer, but he forgot his father's warning and flew on.

At length he saw feathers floating in the air around him and suddenly he remembered his father's warning. He knew that the heat of the sun had melted the wax that held the feathers to the framework.

Finally Icarus felt himself sinking, and fluttered his wings wildly in an effort to fly, but such a storm of feathers swept around him that he could not see.

With a wild cry, turning and whirling through the sky, poor Icarus fell down into the blue waters of the sea—known ever since as the Icarian.

Daedalus heard his cry and flew to the spot, but nothing could be seen of Icarus or his wings except a handful of white feathers which floated on the water.

Sadly the father went on with his journey, and finally reached the shore of a friendly island. There he built a temple to Apollo and hung up his wings as an offering to the god. But ever after he mourned his son, and never again did he try to fly.


Walter de la Mare

Nobody Knows

Often I've heard the Wind sigh

By the ivied orchard wall,

Over the leaves in the dark night,

Breathe a sighing call,

And faint away in the silence

While I, in my bed,

Wondered, 'twixt dreaming and waking,

What it said.

Nobody knows what the Wind is,

Under the height of the sky,

Where the hosts of the stars keep far away house

And its wave sweeps by—

Just a great wave of the air,

Tossing the leaves in its sea,

And foaming under the eaves of the roof

That covers me.

And so we live under deep water,

All of us, beasts and men,

And our bodies are buried down under the sand,

When we go again;

And leave, like the fishes, our shells,

And float on the Wind and away,

To where, o'er the marvellous tides of the air,

Burns day.


  WEEK 9  


Understood Betsy  by Dorothy Canfield Fisher

Betsy Goes to School

Part 1 of 2

Elizabeth Ann was very much surprised to hear Cousin Ann's voice calling, "Dinner!" down the stairs. It did not seem possible that the whole morning had gone by. "Here," said Aunt Abigail, "just put that pat on a plate, will you, and take it upstairs as you go. I've got all I can do to haul my own two hundred pounds up, without any half-pound of butter into the bargain." The little girl smiled at this, though she did not exactly know why, and skipped up the stairs proudly with her butter.

Dinner was smoking on the table, which was set in the midst of the great pool of sunlight. A very large black-and-white dog, with a great bushy tail, was walking around and around the table, sniffing the air. He looked as big as a bear to Elizabeth Ann; and as he walked his great red tongue hung out of his mouth and his white teeth gleamed horribly. Elizabeth Ann shrank back in terror, clutching her plate of butter to her breast with tense fingers. Cousin Ann said, over her shoulder: "Oh, bother! There's old Shep, got up to pester us begging for scraps! Shep!  You go and lie down this minute!"

To Elizabeth Ann's astonishment and immense relief, the great animal turned, drooping his head sadly, walked back across the floor, got upon the couch again, and laid his head down on one paw very forlornly, turning up the whites of his eyes meekly at Cousin Ann.

Aunt Abigail, who had just pulled herself up the stairs, panting, said, between laughing and puffing: "I'm glad I'm not an animal on this farm. Ann does boss them around so." "Well, somebody has to!" said Cousin Ann, advancing on the table with a platter. This proved to have chicken fricassee on it, and Elizabeth Ann's heart melted in her at the smell. She loved chicken gravy on hot biscuits beyond anything in the world, but chickens are so expensive when you buy them in the market that Aunt Harriet hadn't had them very often for dinner. And there was a plate of biscuits, golden brown, just coming out of the oven! She sat down very quickly, her mouth watering, and attacked with extreme haste the big plateful of food which Cousin Ann passed her.

At Aunt Harriet's she had always been aware that everybody watched her anxiously as she ate, and she had heard so much about her light appetite that she felt she must live up to her reputation, and had a very natural and human hesitation about eating all she wanted when there happened to be something she liked very much. But nobody here knew that she "only ate enough to keep a bird alive," and that her "appetite was so  capricious!" Nor did anybody notice her while she stowed away the chicken and gravy and hot biscuits and currant jelly and baked potatoes and apple pie—when did Elizabeth Ann ever eat such a meal before? She actually felt her belt grow tight.

In the middle of the meal Cousin Ann got up to answer the telephone, which was in the next room. The instant the door had closed behind her Uncle Henry leaned forward, tapped Elizabeth Ann on the shoulder, and nodded toward the sofa. His eyes were twinkling, and as for Aunt Abigail she began to laugh silently, shaking all over, her napkin at her mouth to stifle the sound. Elizabeth Ann turned wonderingly and saw the old dog cautiously and noiselessly letting himself down from the sofa, one ear cocked rigidly in the direction of Cousin Ann's voice in the next room. "The old tyke!" said Uncle Henry. "He always sneaks up to the table to be fed if Ann goes out for a minute. Here, Betsy, you're nearest, give him this piece of skin from the chicken neck." The big dog padded forward across the room, evidently in such a state of terror about Cousin Ann that Elizabeth Ann felt for him. She had a fellow-feeling about that relative of hers. Also it was impossible to be afraid of so abjectly meek and guilty an animal. As old Shep came up to her, poking his nose inquiringly on her lap, she shrinkingly held out the big piece of skin, and though she jumped back at the sudden snap and gobbling gulp with which the old dog greeted the tidbit, she could not but sympathize with his evident enjoyment of it. He waved his bushy tail gratefully, cocked his head on one side, and, his ears standing up at attention, his eyes glistening greedily, he gave a little, begging whine. "Oh, he's asking for more!" cried Elizabeth Ann, surprised to see how plainly she could understand dog-talk. "Quick, Uncle Henry, give me another piece!"


"Oh, he's asking for more!" cried Elizabeth Ann.

Uncle Henry rapidly transferred to her plate a wing-bone from his own, and Aunt Abigail, with one deft swoop, contributed the neck from the platter. As fast as she could, Elizabeth Ann fed these to Shep, who woofed them down at top speed, the bones crunching loudly under his strong, white teeth. How he did enjoy it! It did your heart good to see his gusto!

There was the sound of the telephone receiver being hung up in the next room—and everybody acted at once. Aunt Abigail began drinking innocently out of her coffee-cup, only her laughing old eyes showing over the rim; Uncle Henry buttered a slice of bread with a grave face, as though he were deep in conjectures about who would be the next President; and as for old Shep, he made one plunge across the room, his toe-nails clicking rapidly on the bare floor, sprang up on the couch, and when Cousin Ann opened the door and came in he was lying in exactly the position in which she had left him, his paw stretched out, his head laid on it, his brown eyes turned up meekly so that the whites showed.

I've told you what these three did, but I haven't told you yet what Elizabeth Ann did. And it is worth telling. As Cousin Ann stepped in, glancing suspiciously from her sober-faced and abstracted parents to the lamb-like innocence of old Shep, little Elizabeth Ann burst into a shout of laughter. It's worth telling about, because, so far as I know, that was the first time she had ever laughed out heartily in all her life. For my part, I'm half surprised to know that she knew how.

Of course, when she laughed, Aunt Abigail had to laugh too, setting down her coffee-cup and showing all the funny wrinkles in her face screwed up hard with fun; and that made Uncle Henry laugh, and then Cousin Ann laughed and said, as she sat down, "You are bad children, the whole four of you!" And old Shep, seeing the state of things, stopped pretending to be meek, jumped down, and came lumbering over to the table, wagging his tail and laughing too; you know that good, wide dog-smile! He put his head on Elizabeth Ann's lap again and she patted it and lifted up one of his big black ears. She had quite forgotten that she was terribly afraid of big dogs.

After dinner Cousin Ann looked up at the clock and said: "My goodness! Betsy'll be late for school if she doesn't start right off." She explained to the child, aghast at this sudden thunderclap, "I let you sleep this morning as long as you wanted to, because you were so tired from your journey. But of course there's no reason for missing the afternoon session."


The Adventures of Prickly Porky  by Thornton Burgess

Jimmy Skunk and Unc' Billy Possum Tell Stories

T HE little people of the Green Meadows and the Green Forest didn't know what to believe. First came Peter Rabbit with the strangest kind of a story about being chased by a terrible creature without legs, head, or tail. He said that it had come down the hill where Prickly Porky the Porcupine lives in the Green Forest. Jimmy Skunk had been sent to call on Prickly Porky and ask him if he had seen any strange creature such as Peter Rabbit had told about. Prickly Porky had said that he hadn't seen any stranger in that part of the Green Forest, and Jimmy had straightway returned to the Green Meadows and told all his friends there that Peter Rabbit must have had something the matter with his eyes or else was crazy, for Prickly Porky hadn't been away from home and yet had seen nothing unusual.

At the same time Unc' Billy Possum was going about in the Green Forest telling everybody whom he met that he had called on Prickly Porky, and that Prickly Porky had told him that Peter Rabbit undoubtedly had seen something strange. Of course Jimmy Skunk's story soon spread through the Green Forest, and Unc' Billy Possum's story soon spread over the Green Meadows, and so nobody knew what to believe or think. If Jimmy Skunk was right, why Peter Rabbit's queer story wasn't to be believed at all. If Unc' Billy was right, why Peter's story wasn't as crazy as it sounded.

Of course all this aroused a great deal of talk and curiosity, and those who had the most courage began to make visits to the hill where Prickly Porky lives to see if they could see for themselves anything out of the ordinary. But they always found that part of the Green Forest just as usual and always, if they saw Prickly Porky at all, he seemed to be fast asleep, and no one liked to wake him to ask questions. Little by little they began to think that Jimmy Skunk was right, and that Peter Rabbit's terrible creature existed only in Peter's imagination.

About this time Unc' Billy told of having just such an experience as Peter had. It happened exactly as it did with Peter, very early in the morning, when he was passing the foot of the hill where Prickly Porky lives.

"Ah was just passing along, minding mah own business, when Ah heard a noise up on the hill behind me," said Unc' Billy, "and when Ah looked up, there was something coming straight down at me, and Ah couldn't see any legs or head or tail."

"What did you do, Unc' Billy?" asked Bobby Coon.

"What did Ah do? Ah did just what yo'alls would have done,—Ah done run!" replied Unc' Billy, looking around the little circle of forest and meadow people, listening with round eyes and open mouths. "Yes, Sah, Ah done run, and Ah didn't turn around until Ah was safe in mah holler tree."

"Pooh!" sneered Reddy Fox, who had been listening. "You're a coward. I wouldn't have run! I would have waited and found out what it was. You and Peter Rabbit would run away from your own shadows."

"You don't dare go there yourself at daybreak to-morrow!" retorted Unc' Billy.

"I do too!" declared Reddy angrily, though he didn't have the least intention of going.

"All right. Ah'm going to be in a tree where Ah can watch to-morrow mo'ning and see if yo' are as brave as yo' talk," declared Unc' Billy.

Then Reddy knew that he would have to go or else be called a coward. "I'll be there," he snarled angrily, as he slunk away.


Frank Dempster Sherman

The Four Winds

In winter, when the wind I hear,

I know the clouds will disappear;

For 'tis the wind who sweeps the sky

And piles the snow in ridges high.

In spring, when stirs the wind, I know

That soon the crocus buds will show;

For 'tis the wind who bids them wake

And into pretty blossoms break.

In summer, when it softly blows,

Soon red I know will be the rose;

For 'tis the wind to her who speaks,

And brings the blushes to her cheeks.

In autumn, when the wind is up,

I know the acorn's out its cup;

For 'tis the wind who takes it out,

And plants an oak somewhere about.


  WEEK 9  


Hurlbut's Story of the Bible  by Jesse Lyman Hurlbut

The Present That Ehud Brought to King Eglon

Judges i: 1, to iii: 31.

dropcap image OU would suppose that, after all that God had done for the Israelites, and after their own promises to serve him faithfully, they would never turn to the idols which could not save their own people, the Canaanites. Yet, when Joshua was no longer living, and the men who knew Joshua had also died, the people began to forget their own God and to worship images of wood and stone.

Perhaps it was not so strange after all. In all the world, so far as we know, at that time the Israelites were the only people who did not worship idols. All the nations around them, the Egyptians, from whose land they had come, the Edomites on the south, the Moabites on the east, the Philistines on the west beside the Great Sea,—all these bowed down to images, and many of them offered their own children upon the idol-altars.

Then, too, you remember that the Canaanites had not been driven out of the land. They were there still, in their own cities and villages everywhere, and their idols were standing under the trees on many high places. So the Israelites saw idols all around them, and people bowing down before them; while they themselves had no God that could be seen. The Tabernacle was far away from some parts of the land; and the people were so busy with their fields and their houses that few of them went up to worship.

And so it came to pass that the people began to neglect their own worship of the Lord, and then to begin the worship of the idols around them. And from idol-worship they sank lower still into wicked deeds. For all this the Lord left them to suffer. Their enemies came upon them from the lands around, and became their masters; for when God left them they were helpless. They were made poor, for these rulers who had conquered them robbed them of all their grain, and grapes, and olive-oil.

After a time of suffering the Israelites would think of what God had done for them in other times. Then they would turn away from the idols, and would call upon God. And God would hear them, and raise up some great man to lead them to freedom, and to break the power of those who were ruling over them. This great man they called "a judge;" and under him they would serve God, and be happy and successful once more.

As long as the judge lived and ruled, the people worshipped God. But when the judge died they forgot God again, and worshipped idols and fell under the power of their enemies as before, until God sent another judge to deliver them. And this happened over and over again in the three hundred years after Joshua died. Seven nations in turn ruled over the Israelites, and after each "oppression," as this rule was called, a "deliverer" arose to set the people free.

The idols which the Israelites worshipped most of all were those named Baal and Asherah. Baal was an image looking somewhat like a man; and Asherah was the name given to the one that looked like a woman. These images were set up in groves and on hills by the Canaanite people, and to these the Israelites bowed down, falling on their faces before them.

The first nation to come from another land against the Israelites was the people of Mesopotamia, between the great rivers Euphrates and Tigris on the north. Their king led his army into the land and made the Israelites serve him eight years. Then they cried to the Lord, and the Lord sent to them Othniel, who was a younger brother of Caleb, of whom we read in Story 40. He set the people free from the Mesopotamians, and ruled them as long as he lived, and kept them faithful to the Lord. Othniel was the first of the judges of Israel.

But after Othniel died the people again began to worship images, and again fell under the power of their enemies. This time it was the Moabites who came against them from the land east of the Dead Sea. Their king at this time was named Eglon, and he was very hard in his rule over the Israelites. Again they cried to the Lord, and God called a man named Ehud, who belonged to the tribe of Benjamin, to set the people free.

Ehud came one day to visit King Eglon, who was ruling over the land. He said:

"I have a present from my people to the king. Let me go into his palace and see him."

They let Ehud into the palace, and he gave to the king a present; then he went out, but soon came back, and said:

"I have a message to the king that no one else can hear. Let me see the king alone."

As he had just brought a present they supposed that he was a friend to the king. Then, too, he had no sword on the side where men carried their swords. But Ehud was left-handed, and he carried on the other side a short, sharp sword which he had made, like a dagger. This sword was out of sight under his garment.

He went into the room where King Eglon was sitting alone, and said, "I have a message from the Lord to you, and this is the message."

And then he drew out his sword and drove it up to the handle into the king's body so suddenly that the king died without giving a sound. Ehud left the sword in the dead body of the king, and went out quietly by the rear door. The servants of the king thought he was asleep in his room, and for a while did not go in to see why he was so still; but when they found him dead Ehud was far away.

Ehud blew a trumpet and called his people together, and led them against the Moabites. They were so helpless without their king that Ehud and his men easily drove them out of Israel and set the people free. Ehud became the second judge over the land. And after that it was many years before enemies again held rule over Israel.

The next enemies to Israel were the Philistines, who lived on the shore of the Great Sea on the west. They came up from the plain against the Israelites; but Shamgar, the third judge, met them with a company of farmers, who drove the Philistines back with their ox-goads, and so kept them from ruling over the land.


The Sandman: His Ship Stories  by Willliam J. Hopkins

The Fitting 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 sidewalks were much worn. That was a great many years ago.

The river and the ocean are there yet, as they always have been and always will be; and the city is there, but it is a different kind of a city from what it used to be. And the wharf is slowly falling down, for it is not used now; and the narrow road down the steep hill is all grown up with weeds and grass.

One day, in the long ago, the brig Industry  lay at that wharf, and she had been unloaded and the things that she had brought from the far country had been put away in the great warehouse that was Captain Jonathan's and Captain Jacob's, and some of the things had been taken to Captain Jacob's house. Captain Solomon was the captain of the Industry.

Now Captain Solomon thought that the ship ought to have some new things before she started out on another voyage, for some of the sails were not so strong as they ought to be, and some of the ropes had been used so much that they were beginning to be frayed and old. The sails and the ropes had been strong and good when she first sailed on the voyage to the far country; but the sails had been blown upon by the winds of the great ocean for almost a year, and the ropes had been pulled and hauled and they had been wet with rains and with the water of the ocean, and they had been chafed by the blocks where they ran through them so often, and Captain Solomon thought there was danger that they wouldn't last through the whole of another long voyage. A great deal depends upon the strength of the sails and the ropes and the spars.

So he went to the sailmakers and told them that he would like to have them come and measure the Industry  for some new sails. And the sailmakers heard him, and said that they would come. And they came and measured the ship for what new sails she needed, and then they went back to the sail-loft and began to make them.

And Captain Solomon went to the riggers of ships, and he told them that he would like to have them come and take down all the yards of the Industry, and get ready to rig her with new running rigging. The shrouds and the stays were strong and good. And she might need some new yards, for some of the old yards might be strained or cracked. And the riggers heard him, and they said that they would come. And they came, and they took down all the yards, and they took out all the ropes that the sailors pull and haul on, that are called the running rigging, and they took down the very tip-topmasts, for they found that these top-gallant-masts had been cracked in the storm that the Industry  went through, on her voyage to the far country. And they began to make new yards to take the place of those that were strained, and they made new masts to go in the place of the tip-topmasts. And when these were done they would fit the iron straps and bands and rings that belonged.

While the sailmakers and the riggers of ships were busy in making the new things for the Industry, Captain Solomon had her taken to the marine railway. This was very near the wharf where she had been lying, so that the men could pull her to it with ropes. There was a great cradle with wheels that went on a track right down into the water, and it could be pulled up, out of the water, with great ropes. And the men got the Industry  over the cradle when it was let down. They did this at high tide; and the tide fell, and the ship settled into the cradle as the water got lower, and the men pushed and pulled her until she was right, and they braced her firmly to the cradle so that she couldn't fall over.

When the men had got her braced firmly enough, two horses were started going round and round, up at the head of the railway, winding the rope in very slowly. And the cradle started going up, very slowly indeed, with the ship on it. And in two or three hours she was all out of the water and far enough up. Then the men could look at her bottom and could fix anything that needed to be fixed. There wasn't much to do, for the Industry  was a new ship; but they took off some of the copper sheets which had got torn, and they put new sheets of copper in their places, and they put in new copper nails where the old nails had got pulled out. And when they saw that there wasn't anything more to be done, they let the ship slowly down into the water again, and she was pulled back to the wharf that was Captain Jonathan's and Captain Jacob's.

Then the riggers came, and they got the new masts, that had been made, up to their places, and they got the yards up. And they put in new ropes for the sailors to pull and haul, and they got the ship all rigged excepting for her sails, and when they had done all that they could they went away.

While the riggers were doing their work, Captain Solomon had had men loading the Industry. The things that she was to carry, on her next voyage, had come, and a part of them were already on the wharf. And the men took their little trucks, and they began to go, in a procession, up one plank, pushing the loaded trucks, and down the other, dragging the empty trucks behind them but when they came down, with the empty trucks, they ran. And other men had the rope arranged for hoisting, and what could be hoisted they hoisted up from the wharf and let down through the hatchway. And more things kept coming until there was as much as the Industry  could carry, and the men kept putting them in the ship, and by the time the riggers had their work all done the ship was almost all loaded.


They began to go, in a procession, up one plank . . . and down the other.

Then the sailmakers came with the sails, and they put them on, each in its place, and when they were all on, they furled them nicely, up against the yards. And the sailmakers went away. And Captain Solomon saw that the Industry  was all ready to sail on another voyage as soon as he had got his crew, and as soon as he had the things to eat and the water that they would drink. But those things were left until the very last. And Captain Solomon was glad; for, at that time, he wasn't married, and he didn't care about staying ashore, but he was looking forward to his voyage as captain.

And that's all.


James Whitcomb Riley

The First Bluebird

Jest rain and snow! and rain again!

And dribble! drip! and blow!

Then snow! and thaw! and slush! and then—

Some more rain and snow!

This morning I was'most afeard

To wake  up—when, I jing!

I seen the sun shine out and heerd

The first bluebird of Spring!

Mother she'd raised the winder some—

And in acrost the orchurd come,

Soft as a angel's wing,

A breezy, treesy, beesy hum,

Too sweet fer anything!

The winter's shroud was rent a-part—

The sun bu'st forth in glee—

And when that bluebird  sung, my hart

Hopped out o' bed with me!