Text of Plan #981
  WEEK 11  


The Secret Garden  by Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Nest of the Missel Thrush

F OR two or three minutes he stood looking round him, while Mary watched him, and then he began to walk about softly, even more lightly than Mary had walked the first time she had found herself inside the four walls. His eyes seemed to be taking in everything—the gray trees with the gray creepers climbing over them and hanging from their branches, the tangle on the walls and among the grass, the evergreen alcoves with the stone seats and tall flower urns standing in them.

"I never thought I'd see this place," he said at last, in a whisper.

"Did you know about it?" asked Mary.

She had spoken aloud and he made a sign to her.

"We must talk low," he said, "or some one'll hear us an' wonder what's to do in here."

"Oh! I forgot!" said Mary, feeling frightened and putting her hand quickly against her mouth. "Did you know about the garden?" she asked again when she had recovered herself.

Dickon nodded.

"Martha told me there was one as no one ever went inside," he answered. "Us used to wonder what it was like."

He stopped and looked round at the lovely gray tangle about him, and his round eyes looked queerly happy.

"Eh! the nests as'll be here come springtime," he said. "It'd be th' safest nestin' place in England. No one never comin' near an' tangles o' trees an' roses to build in. I wonder all th' birds on th' moor don't build here."

Mistress Mary put her hand on his arm again without knowing it.

"Will there be roses?" she whispered. "Can you tell? I thought perhaps they were all dead."

"Eh! No! Not them—not all of 'em!" he answered. "Look here!"

He stepped over to the nearest tree—an old, old one with gray lichen all over its bark, but upholding a curtain of tangled sprays and branches. He took a thick knife out of his pocket and opened one of its blades.

"There's lots o' dead wood as ought to be cut out," he said. "An' there's a lot o' old wood, but it made some new last year. This here's a new bit," and he touched a shoot which looked brownish green instead of hard, dry gray.

Mary touched it herself in an eager, reverent way.

"That one?" she said. "Is that one quite alive—quite?"

Dickon curved his wide smiling mouth.

"It's as wick as you or me," he said; and Mary remembered that Martha had told her that "wick" meant "alive" or "lively."

"I'm glad it's wick!" she cried out in her whisper. "I want them all to be wick. Let us go round the garden and count how many wick ones there are."

She quite panted with eagerness, and Dickon was as eager as she was. They went from tree to tree and from bush to bush. Dickon carried his knife in his hand and showed her things which she thought wonderful.

"They've run wild," he said, "but th' strongest ones has fair thrived on it. The delicatest ones has died out, but th' others has growed an' growed, an' spread an' spread, till they's a wonder. See here!" and he pulled down a thick gray, dry-looking branch. "A body might think this was dead wood, but I don't believe it is—down to th' root. I'll cut it low down an' see."

He knelt and with his knife cut the lifeless-looking branch through, not far above the earth.

"There!" he said exultantly. "I told thee so. There's green in that wood yet. Look at it."

Mary was down on her knees before he spoke, gazing with all her might.

"When it looks a bit greenish an' juicy like that, it's wick," he explained. "When th' inside is dry an' breaks easy, like this here piece I've cut off, it's done for. There's a big root here as all this live wood sprung out of, an' if th' old wood's cut off an' it's dug round, an' took care of there'll be—" he stopped and lifted his face to look up at the climbing and hanging sprays above him—"there'll be a fountain o' roses here this summer."

They went from bush to bush and from tree to tree. He was very strong and clever with his knife and knew how to cut the dry and dead wood away, and could tell when an unpromising bough or twig had still green life in it. In the course of half an hour Mary thought she could tell too, and when he cut through a lifeless-looking branch she would cry out joyfully under her breath when she caught sight of the least shade of moist green. The spade, and hoe, and fork were very useful. He showed her how to use the fork while he dug about roots with the spade and stirred the earth and let the air in.

They were working industriously round one of the biggest standard roses when he caught sight of something which made him utter an exclamation of surprise.

"Why!" he cried, pointing to the grass a few feet away. "Who did that there?"

It was one of Mary's own little clearings round the pale green points.

"I did it," said Mary.

"Why, I thought tha' didn't know nothin' about gardenin'," he exclaimed.

"I don't," she answered, "but they were so little, and the grass was so thick and strong, and they looked as if they had no room to breathe. So I made a place for them. I don't even know what they are."

Dickon went and knelt down by them, smiling his wide smile.

"Tha' was right," he said. "A gardener couldn't have told thee better. They'll grow now like Jack's bean-stalk. They're crocuses an' snowdrops, an' these here is narcissuses," turning to another patch, "an' here's daffydowndillys. Eh! they will be a sight."

He ran from one clearing to another.

"Tha' has done a lot o' work for such a little wench," he said, looking her over.

"I'm growing fatter," said Mary, "and I'm growing stronger. I used always to be tired. When I dig I'm not tired at all. I like to smell the earth when it's turned up."

"It's rare good for thee," he said, nodding his head wisely. "There's naught as nice as th' smell o' good clean earth, except th' smell o' fresh growin' things when th' rain falls on 'em. I get out on th' moor many a day when it's rainin' an' I lie under a bush an' listen to th' soft swish o' drops on th' heather an' I just sniff an' sniff. My nose end fair quivers like a rabbit's, mother says."

"Do you never catch cold?" inquired Mary, gazing at him wonderingly. She had never seen such a funny boy, or such a nice one.

"Not me," he said, grinning. "I never ketched cold since I was born. I wasn't brought up nesh enough. I've chased about th' moor in all weathers same as th' rabbits does. Mother says I've sniffed up too much fresh air for twelve year' to ever get to sniffin' with cold. I'm as tough as a white-thorn knobstick."

He was working all the time he was talking and Mary was following him and helping him with her fork or the trowel.

"There's a lot of work to do here!" he said once, looking about quite exultantly.

"Will you come again and help me to do it?" Mary begged. "I'm sure I can help, too. I can dig and pull up weeds, and do whatever you tell me. Oh! do come, Dickon!"

"I'll come every day if tha' wants me, rain or shine," he answered stoutly. "It's th' best fun I ever had in my life—shut in here an' wakenin' up a garden."

"If you will come," said Mary, "if you will help me to make it alive I'll—I don't know what I'll do," she ended helplessly. What could you do for a boy like that?

"I'll tell thee what tha'll do," said Dickon, with his happy grin. "Tha'll get fat an' tha'll get as hungry as a young fox an' tha'll learn how to talk to th' robin same as I do. Eh! we'll have a lot o' fun."

He began to walk about, looking up in the trees and at the walls and bushes with a thoughtful expression.

"I wouldn't want to make it look like a gardener's garden, all clipped an' spick an' span, would you?" he said. "It's nicer like this with things runnin' wild, an' swingin' an' catchin' hold of each other."

"Don't let us make it tidy," said Mary anxiously. "It wouldn't seem like a secret garden if it was tidy."

Dickon stood rubbing his rusty-red head with a rather puzzled look.

"It's a secret garden sure enough," he said, "but seems like some one besides th' robin must have been in it since it was shut up ten year' ago."

"But the door was locked and the key was buried," said Mary. "No one could get in."

"That's true," he answered. "It's a queer place. Seems to me as if there'd been a bit o' prunin' done here an' there, later than ten year' ago."

"But how could it have been done?" said Mary.

He was examining a branch of a standard rose and he shook his head.

"Aye! how could it!" he murmured. "With th' door locked an' th' key buried."

Mistress Mary always felt that however many years she lived she should never forget that first morning when her garden began to grow. Of course, it did seem to begin to grow for her that morning. When Dickon began to clear places to plant seeds, she remembered what Basil had sung at her when he wanted to tease her.

"Are there any flowers that look like bells?" she inquired.

"Lilies o' th' valley does," he answered, digging away with the trowel, "an' there's Canterbury bells, an' campanulas."

"Let us plant some," said Mary.

"There's lilies o' th' valley here already; I saw 'em. They'll have growed too close an' we'll have to separate 'em, but there's plenty. Th' other ones takes two years to bloom from seed, but I can bring you some bits o' plants from our cottage garden. Why does tha' want 'em?"

Then Mary told him about Basil and his brothers and sisters in India and of how she had hated them and of their calling her "Mistress Mary Quite Contrary."

"They used to dance round and sing at me. They sang—

'Mistress Mary, quite contrary,

How does your garden grow?

With silver bells, and cockle shells,

And marigolds all in a row.'

I just remembered it and it made me wonder if there were really flowers like silver bells."

She frowned a little and gave her trowel a rather spiteful dig into the earth.

"I wasn't as contrary as they were."

But Dickon laughed.

"Eh!" he said, and as he crumbled the rich black soil she saw he was sniffing up the scent of it, "there doesn't seem to be no need for no one to be contrary when there's flowers an' such like, an' such lots o' friendly wild things runnin' about makin' homes for themselves, or buildin' nests an' singin' an' whistlin', does there?"

Mary, kneeling by him holding the seeds, looked at him and stopped frowning.

"Dickon," she said. "You are as nice as Martha said you were. I like you, and you make the fifth person. I never thought I should like five people."

Dickon sat up on his heels as Martha did when she was polishing the grate. He did look funny and delightful, Mary thought, with his round blue eyes and red cheeks and happy looking turned-up nose.

"Only five folk as tha' likes?" he said. "Who is th' other four?"

"Your mother and Martha," Mary checked them off on her fingers, "and the robin and Ben Weatherstaff."

Dickon laughed so that he was obliged to stifle the sound by putting his arm over his mouth.

"I know tha' thinks I'm a queer lad," he said, "but I think tha' art th' queerest little lass I ever saw."

Then Mary did a strange thing. She leaned forward and asked him a question she had never dreamed of asking any one before. And she tried to ask it in Yorkshire because that was his language, and in India a native was always pleased if you knew his speech.

"Does tha' like me?" she said.

"Eh!" he answered heartily, "that I does. I likes thee wonderful, an' so does th' robin, I do believe!"

"That's two, then," said Mary. "That's two for me."

And then they began to work harder than ever and more joyfully. Mary was startled and sorry when she heard the big clock in the courtyard strike the hour of her midday dinner.

"I shall have to go," she said mournfully. "And you will have to go too, won't you?"

Dickon grinned.

"My dinner's easy to carry about with me," he said. "Mother always lets me put a bit o' somethin' in my pocket."

He picked up his coat from the grass and brought out of a pocket a lumpy little bundle tied up in a quiet clean, coarse, blue and white handkerchief. It held two thick pieces of bread with a slice of something laid between them.

"It's oftenest naught but bread," he said, "but I've got a fine slice o' fat bacon with it to-day."

Mary thought it looked a queer dinner, but he seemed ready to enjoy it.

"Run on an' get thy victuals," he said. "I'll be done with mine first. I'll get some more work done before I start back home."

He sat down with his back against a tree.

"I'll call th' robin up," he said, "and give him th' rind o' th' bacon to peck at. They likes a bit o' fat wonderful."

Mary could scarcely bear to leave him. Suddenly it seemed as if he might be a sort of wood fairy who might be gone when she came into the garden again. He seemed too good to be true. She went slowly half-way to the door in the wall and then she stopped and went back.

"Whatever happens, you—you never would tell?" she said.

His poppy-colored cheeks were distended with his first big bite of bread and bacon, but he managed to smile encouragingly.

"If tha' was a missel thrush an' showed me where thy nest was, does tha' think I'd tell any one? Not me," he said. "Tha' art as safe as a missel thrush."

And she was quite sure she was.


Fifty Famous People  by James Baldwin

The Boy and the Wolf

I N France there once lived a famous man who was known as the Marquis de Lafayette. When he was a little boy his mother called him Gilbert.

Gilbert de Lafayette's father and grandfather and great-grandfather had all been brave and noble men. He was very proud to think of this, and he wished that he might grow up to be like them.

His home was in the country not far from a great forest. Often, when he was a little lad, he took long walks among the trees with his mother.

"Mother," he would say, "do not be afraid. I am with you, and I will not let anything hurt you."

One day word came that a savage wolf had been seen in the forest. Men said that it was a very large wolf and that it had killed some of the farmers' sheep.

"How I should like to meet that wolf," said little Gilbert.

He was only seven years old, but now all his thoughts were about the savage beast that was in the forest.

"Shall we take a walk this morning?" asked his mother.

"Oh, yes!" said Gilbert. "Perhaps we may see that wolf among the trees. But don't be afraid."

His mother smiled, for she felt quite sure that there was no danger.

They did not go far into the woods. The mother sat down in the shade of a tree and began to read in a new book which she had bought the day before. The boy played on the grass near by.

The sun was warm. The bees were buzzing among the flowers. The small birds were singing softly. Gilbert looked up from his play and saw that his mother was very deeply interested in her book.

"Now for the wolf!" he said to himself.

He walked quickly, but very quietly, down the pathway into the darker woods. He looked eagerly around, but saw only a squirrel frisking among the trees and a rabbit hopping across the road.

Soon he came to a wilder place. There the bushes were very close together and the pathway came to an end. He pushed the bushes aside and went a little farther. How still everything was!

He could see a green open space just beyond; and then the woods seemed to be thicker and darker.

"This is just the place for that wolf," he thought.

Then, all at once, he heard footsteps. Something was pushing its way through the bushes. It was coming toward him.

"It's the wolf, I'm sure! It will not see me till it comes very near. Then I will jump out and throw my arms around its neck and choke it to death."

The animal was coming nearer. He could hear its footsteps. He could hear its heavy breathing. He stood very still and waited.

"It will try to bite me," he thought. "Perhaps it will scratch me with its sharp claws. But I will be brave. I will not cry out. I will choke it with my strong arms. Then I will drag it out of the bushes and call mamma to come and see it."

The beast was very close to him now. He could see its shadow as he peeped out through the clusters of leaves. His breath came fast. He planted his feet firmly and made ready to spring.

"How proud mamma will be of her brave boy!"

Ah! there was the wolf! He saw its shaggy head and big round eyes. He leaped from his hiding place and clasped it round its neck.

It did not try to bite or scratch. It did not even growl. But it jumped quickly forward and threw Gilbert upon the ground. Then it ran out into the open space and stopped to gaze at him.

Gilbert was soon on his feet again. He was not hurt at all. He looked at the beast, and—what do you think it was?


It was not a wolf. It was only a pet calf that had come there to browse among the bushes.

The boy felt very much ashamed. He hurried back to the pathway, and then ran to his mother. Tears were in his eyes; but he tried to look brave.

"O Gilbert, where have you been?" said his mother.

Then he told her all that had happened. His lips quivered and he began to cry.

"Never mind, my dear," said his mother. "You were very brave, and it is lucky that the wolf was not there. You faced what you thought was a great danger, and you were not afraid. You are my hero."

When the American people were fighting to free themselves from the rule of the king of England, the Marquis de Lafayette helped them with men and money. He was the friend of Washington. His name is remembered in our country as that of a brave and noble man.


Phœbe Cary


Suppose, my little lady,

Your doll should break her head,

Could you make it whole by crying

Till your eyes and nose were red?

And wouldn't it be pleasanter

To treat it as a joke,

And say you're glad 'twas Dolly's,

And not your head, that broke?

Suppose you're dressed for walking,

And the rain comes pouring down;

Will it clear off any sooner

Because you scold and frown?

And wouldn't it be nicer

For you to smile than pout,

And so make sunshine in the house

When there is none without?

Suppose your task, my little man,

Is very hard to get;

Will it make it any easier

For you to sit and fret?

And wouldn't it be wiser

Than waiting like a dunce,

To go to work in earnest

And learn a thing at once?

Suppose that some boys have a horse,

And some a coach and pair;

Will it tire you less while walking

To say, "It isn't fair"?

And wouldn't it be nobler

To keep your temper sweet,

And in your heart be thankful

You can walk upon your feet?

And suppose the world don't please you,

Nor the way some people do;

Do you think the whole creation

Will be altered just for you?

And isn't it, my boy or girl,

The wisest, bravest plan,

Whatever comes or doesn't come

To do the best you can?


  WEEK 11  


Our Island Story  by H. E. Marshall

How the Giant's Dance Was Brought to Britain

V ORTIGERN was dead, but the Saxons whom he had brought to Britain were still rulers of the land. So after burning the castle of Vortigern, Aurelius Ambrosius and Uther Pendragon marched against the Saxons. They defeated them in a great battle, and Hengist was taken prisoner.

Then Aurelius Ambrosius called all the British nobles together in council to decide what should be done with Hengist. Aurelius was a very brave man, but he was not cruel. He was noble, and above all things he hated a lie. Hengist was brave too, but he was cruel, revengeful, and deceitful.

Aurelius would have spared Hengist's life, because he was such a brave man. But Edol, Earl of Gloucester, that noble who fought so well when the Britons were destroyed on Salisbury Plain, stood up. "It is not right," he said, "that Hengist should live. He has brought much sorrow on our land. Through his fault nearly all our nobles were killed on Salisbury Plain. Let him die."

Then all the people shouted, "Let him die."

So Aurelius bowed his head and said, "It is just. Let him die."

Edol then led Hengist away and cut off his head.

But although their leader was gone, many Saxons still remained in Britain, and afterwards you will hear how powerful they became.

Aurelius was now chosen to be King of Britain and, like Vortimer, he began to restore order and rebuild the churches and towns which the heathen Saxons had a second time destroyed. The land which the Saxons had stolen he gave back to those of the Britons to whom it really belonged. He revised the laws, and once more peace and justice reigned in the kingdom.

When Aurelius had put everything in good order, he went to Salisbury Plain to see the place where so many of his people had been put to death by Hengist and his wicked Saxons.

As he stood upon the great plain, he felt very sad. Turning to his nobles who surrounded him, he said, "My people died trying to make peace for their country. Yet there is no stone to mark the spot. I will have a noble monument raised, so that the wickedness of Hengist and the bravery of my people may be remembered for ever."

Then Aurelius sent for all the best builders and masons in the country, and told them to make a splendid monument. But, one after another, they refused. "We are not clever enough to do such a great thing," they said.

This made Aurelius sorry, for he wished very much that people should not forget these British heroes.

Then a wise man came to him and said, "Send for Merlin. If any one can build a great monument he can."

"Who is Merlin?" asked Aurelius.

"Merlin is a great magician," replied the wise man. "He used to live with Vortigern and do wonderful things for him. Since Vortigern's death he has been hiding somewhere in Wales. If you can find him he will build the monument for you."

A magician is a person who can do difficult things quite easily. His real home is in fairyland, and he understands fairy language. The fairies come and whisper their wonderful secrets to him, although no one else can see or hear them.

Aurelius was very glad to hear about Merlin. He sent messengers into all the land to look for him. They searched about for a long time, until at last they found Merlin and brought him to the king.

As soon as Merlin knew what Aurelius wanted, he said, "If you really wish to honour the burying-place of these men with a monument which will last for ever, send to Ireland for the Giant's Dance."

"What is the Giant's Dance?" asked Aurelius.

"The Giant's Dance is a great ring of stones," replied Merlin. "They are so wonderful and so old that no one is sure how they came there. But it is said that long, long ago giants brought these stones from a far-off country called Africa."

When Aurelius heard that, he burst out laughing. "How is it possible," he asked, "to remove such big stones from a far-off country? Have we not enough stones in Britain with which to build a monument?" and he laughed again.

"Do not laugh," said Merlin gravely. "They are wonderful stones. Every one of them will cure some kind of illness. They are fairy stones."

When the Britons heard that, they made up their minds to have these stones, and Uther Pendragon was chosen to go with Merlin to bring them. So, taking a great army of men and many ships, they set sail for Ireland.

When they arrived in Ireland they sent a message to the king, asking him to let them take the Giant's Dance away.

It was now the King of Ireland's turn to laugh. "What mad people these Britons are!" he said. "Was ever such folly heard of? Have they not enough stones in their own country, that they must come to take mine? I shall certainly not give them one single stone of the Giant's Dance. Tell them to go home again and not to be so foolish."

But the Britons had quite made up their minds to have the Giant's Dance. As the King of Ireland would not give it to them, they resolved to fight for it. This they did, and soon put the Irish to flight.

Then Merlin led the Britons to the place where the Giant's Dance stood. When they saw it, they were filled with joy and wonder, and set to work at once to move the stones. But try how they might, they could not move even the smallest of them one single inch. They pulled and pushed, struggled and strained, till they were hot and tired, but the stones stood as firm as rocks.

Merlin sat by, watching them and smiling. Then when they were all worn out, and cross and tired, he rose. "Now let me try," he said, "it is really quite easy." And in a very short time, with the help of his wonderful magic, he had moved all the stones and put them on board the ships. The people looked on in amazement and, as soon as he had finished, they set sail for Britain with great rejoicing.

When they landed, messengers were sent to tell King Aurelius Ambrosius. He gathered all the nobles and clergy, and wearing his crown and royal robes, rode to Salisbury Plain. There, with great feasting and ceremony, the stones were set up as a memorial to the dead British heroes. They were placed in exactly the same order as they were found in Ireland. Aurelius changed the name from Giant's Dance to Stonehenge, and the great monument may be seen on Salisbury Plain to this day.

Most people say this is a fairy tale, and ought not to be put in a history book. They say that the stones on Stonehenge were there long before Merlin lived, long before Hengist and his Saxons, or Cæsar and his Romans, even long before Brutus of Troy, came. They say that probably no one will ever find out how these stones came to be there, or why they were placed as they are. I dare say they are right, but fairy tales are very interesting, and this fairy tale (if it is one) is to be found in some of the first histories of Britain that were ever written. So certainly at one time people must have believed it to be true.

Unfortunately, soon after this, a wicked Saxon poisoned the good king, Aurelius Ambrosius. The Britons were very sad at his loss, and they buried him within the Giant's Dance, where so many other noble Britons lay. Then, because Aurelius had no children, the people chose his brother Uther Pendragon to be king.

He, too, was good and wise, but he had to spend most of his time fighting against the Saxons. After the death of Hengist very many Saxons had remained in Britain, and now many more came again in ships from Germany. Fierce and terrible battles were fought, and although the Saxons were often defeated, the Britons could not succeed in driving them away altogether.

But the name of Uther Pendragon became a terror to these heathen. It is said that when he was so old and feeble that he could not stand, he was carried to battle in a litter. And so great was the power and fame of his courage, that the Saxons were utterly defeated. "Ah," he said, laughing, "these heathen call me the half-dead king. And so indeed I am. Yet victory to me half dead is better than to be safe and sound and vanquished. For to die with honour is better than to live with disgrace."

But alas! Uther Pendragon, like so many of the good kings before him, was also poisoned by the wicked Saxons. So he died, and the people buried him close to his brother, Aurelius Ambrosius, within the Giant's Dance on Salisbury Plain.


Holiday Shore  by Edith M. Patch

Eels and Lamper Eels

Voyages of the Eels

C ERTAINLY neither Stickleback nor Hippo Campus knows where the old eels are going when they pass through the cove on their way from the fresh-water in which they grew up to seek in the far sea places to leave their eggs. Yet the eels and their manners are worth knowing, for they are the most famous of all migrating fish. They depart in crowds from rivers that empty into the Atlantic Ocean and gather in the deep water between Bermuda and the Leeward Islands.


Eels and Sea Lampreys

There the father and mother eels spend their spawning season. So the young eels hatch from their eggs in that far-distant place. Do you suppose they stay there? They do not. They start in a northerly and westward direction while they are still very young. After living about a year in the sea, they enter the rivers the old eels left so long before. How do they find their way? Nobody really knows.

If you poke about among small plants near the shore, you are quite likely to find one of these little eels on his way to Holiday River. You may call him "Elver" if you like.

Elver is about two and a quarter inches long by the time he reaches the shore. He is colorless and as clear as glass, and his body is slender and round.


Before Elver reached Holiday River, his body had become slender.

He was not at all like that when he started on his long sea voyage. Indeed, during most of his journey, the baby eel had much the shape of the blade of a small pocketknife. He was as thin as a leaf. If you had placed his flat little body on this page you could have seen the black letters through it almost as easily as you can see them through a piece of clear glass.


Baby eels are thin and flat.

After you say good-by to Elver while he is wriggling slowly toward the mouth of the river, it will be several years (perhaps five or six) before he returns to the shore. If you and Hippo Campus see him then, he will be on his way, with a crowd of other eels, to the distant place beyond Bermuda where he was born.

"Lamprel" and "Agnatha"

Lamprel is not really a fish, as an eel is. He is a sea lamprey. However, his smooth body is almost as slippery as an eel's and he looks so much like an eel that people call him "lamper eel" or "lamprel."

Lampreys spend most of their lives in sea water, and like certain fish we have mentioned, they migrate to fresh water for their nesting season. You and Hippo Campus are quite likely to meet them at Holiday Shore in the spring of the year. Perhaps, then, you may wish to be introduced to Lamprel and learn how to tell him from an eel. That is more, by the way, than some people know.

Lamprel has no coat of scales on his naked, slimy body, but a lack of scales would not help you tell him from an eel, because an eel's scales are so tiny and so hidden in its skin that you would not notice them at all.

But Lamprel has no bones—and who ever heard of a boneless fish? Instead of a bony skeleton, Lamprel has only strong gristle for the firmer parts of his body. He has a nose with only one nostril. Instead of having gills, as a fish has, he has a row of seven slits on each side of his neck. Each slit opens into a little bag called a gill pocket.

This strange creature has plenty of teeth—nearly one hundred and fifty of them, in fact. They are hard, sharp, cone-shaped teeth, more like tiny pieces of horn than bone. Lamprel has no jaws to which they can be attached, so he wears them fastened to the inside of his mouth and on his tongue. He can neither bite nor chew, but he can cling to his food with his sucking mouth and scrape it to shreds with his many teeth.

Lamprel's sucking habits are useful when he travels or rests, as well as at mealtime. He cannot swim against a current of water as a fish can, for he has no paired fins or limbs of any other kind. He moves about very well without limbs, however. He can take a short plunge ahead even in a strong current, and then catch hold of a stone with his mouth and cling to it until he is ready to take another plunge.

Knowing how Lamprel anchors himself to stones, you may not be surprised to learn that one name for a lamprey is "stone sucker."

As likely as not, you may find Lamprel sucking a stone near Holiday Shore when he is about to start on his trip into fresh water to seek his nesting site. A crowd of other lampreys will be keeping him company. This will be in May, and while you watch the resting lampreys, schools of smelts and thousands of alewives may hurry past.

Slowly but surely—that is the way the lampreys travel. Even when they come to the falls over which the salmon went with such violent leaps, Lamprel and his companions take their time. It is now the darkest part of the night, but the lampreys are not discouraged. They need no light by which to find their way. They climb by plunging and clinging, little by little, until at last they reach the top.

Going over the falls is the hardest part of Lamprel's journey. One night, soon after that, a large fish swims near enough so that Lamprel fastens his mouth to the fish's side. As the fish is going up stream, Lamprel keeps his hold and rides for several miles.

When the migrating lampreys reach a rapid stream that empties into Holiday River they travel up that. On their way they meet some eels that will linger there until their migration time comes a few months later. Lamprel and the other father lampreys go a little ahead of the mother lampreys and pick out places for the nests. Each selects a rather shallow spot with a sandy bottom and plenty of pebbles.

By the time Lamprel has cleared the pebbles away from the sand where his nest is to be, a mother lamprey arrives and begins to help him. You may call her Agnatha, if you like. That name is an old word meaning "without jaws."

The current of the stream is so swift that the nest needs to be protected from it. Agnatha and Lamprel do this by piling stones at the edge of the nest to make a breakwater on the up-side of the nest and a little dam on the down-side. They keep hold of the stones, of course, by sucking them. Each can carry a stone as large as a hen's egg in this manner. Sometimes Agnatha and Lamprel both take hold of a heavier stone and carry it together.

When the circular nest, three or four feet across, is properly sheltered by the heaped stones, Agnatha and Lamprel go into the place they have prepared. Agnatha lays her eggs and Lamprel pours his milt over them.

What will happen to the young lamper eels that hatch from those eggs? Oh, more interesting things than we have space in this book to tell you about. They will undergo body changes as strange as that of a caterpillar becoming a butterfly or that of a tadpole becoming a frog. They will, in fact, be three or four years old and about five inches long before they can suck a stone like a regular lamprey. Then they will travel down stream from the fresh water of Holiday River to the salt water of Holiday Bay.

You may see them there, perhaps, before they pass on to deeper waters where they will stay until they are as old and as big as Lamprel and Agnatha. And then? Oh, then, of course, they will be ready for nesting time in May.


William Blake

To Spring

O thou, with dewy locks, who lookest down

Thro' the clear windows of the morning; turn

Thine angel eyes upon our western isle,

Which in full choir hails thy approach, O Spring!

The hills tell each other, and the list'ning

Vallies hear; all our longing eyes are turned

Up to thy bright pavillions: issue forth,

And let thy holy feet visit our clime.

Come o'er the eastern hills, and let our winds

Kiss thy perfumed garments; let us taste

Thy morn and evening breath; scatter thy pearls

Upon our love-sick land that mourns for thee.

O deck her forth with thy fair fingers; pour

Thy soft kisses on her bosom; and put

Thy golden crown upon her languish'd head,

Whose modest tresses were bound up for thee!


  WEEK 11  


The Burgess Animal Book for Children  by Thornton Burgess

A Fellow with a Thousand Spears

"T HERE," said Old Mother Nature, pointing to Prickly Porky the Porcupine, "is next to the largest member of your order, which is?"

"Order of Rodents," piped up Striped Chipmunk.

"He is not only next to the largest, but is the stupidest," continued Old Mother Nature. "At least that is what people say of him, though I suspect he isn't as stupid as he sometimes seems. Anyway, he manages to keep well fed and escape his enemies, which is more than can be said for some others who are supposed to have quick wits."

"Escaping his enemies is no credit to him. They are only too glad to keep out of his way; he doesn't have to fear anybody," said Chatterer the Red Squirrel to his cousin, Happy Jack.

His remark didn't escape the keen ears of Old Mother Nature. "Are you sure about that?" she demanded. "Now there's Pekan the Fisher—"

She was interrupted by a great rattling on the old stump. Everybody turned to look. There was Prickly Porky backing down as fast as he could, which wasn't fast at all, and rattling his thousand little spears as he did so. It was really very funny. Everybody had to laugh, even Old Mother Nature. You see, it was plain that he was in a great hurry, yet every movement was slow and clumsy.

"Well, Prickly Porky, what does this mean? Where are you going?" demanded Old Mother Nature.

Prickly Porky turned his dull-looking eyes towards her, and in them was a troubled, worried look. "Where's Pekan the Fisher?" he asked, and his voice shook a little with something very much like fear.

Old Mother Nature understood instantly. When she had said, "Now there's Pekan the Fisher," Prickly Porky had waited to hear no more. He had instantly thought that she meant that Pekan was right there somewhere. "It's all right, Prickly Porky," said she. "Pekan isn't anywhere around here, so climb back on that stump and don't worry. Had you waited for me to finish, you would have saved yourself a fright. Chatterer had just said that you didn't have to fear anybody and I was starting to explain that he was wrong, that despite your thousand little spears you have reason to fear Pekan the Fisher."

Prickly Porky shivered and this made the thousand little spears in his coat rattle. It was such a surprising thing to see Prickly Porky actually afraid that the other little folks almost doubted their own eyes. "Are you quite sure that Pekan isn't anywhere around?" asked Prickly Porky, and his voice still shook.

"Quite sure," replied Old Mother Nature. "If he were I wouldn't allow him to hurt you. You ought to know that. Now sit up so that every one can get a good look at you."

Prickly Porky sat up, and the others gathered around the foot of the stump to look at him. "He certainly is no beauty," murmured Happy Jack Squirrel.

Happy Jack was quite right. He was anything but handsome. The truth is he was the homeliest, clumsiest-looking fellow in all the Green Forest. He was a little bigger than Bobby Coon and his body was thick and heavy-looking. His back humped up like an arch. His head was rather small for the size of his body, short and rather round. His neck was even shorter. His eyes were small and very dull. It was plain that he couldn't see far, or clearly unless what he was looking at was close at hand. His ears were small and nearly hidden in hair. His front teeth, the gnawing teeth which showed him to be a Rodent, were very large and bright orange. His legs were short and stout. He had four toes on each front foot and five on each hind foot, and these were armed with quite long, stout claws.

But the queerest thing and the most interesting thing about Prickly Porky was his coat. Not one among the other little people of the Green Forest has a coat anything like his. Most of them have a soft, short under fur protected and more or less hidden by longer, coarser hair. Prickly Porky had the long coarse hair and on his back it was very long and coarse, brownish-black in color up to the tips, which were white. Under this long hair was some soft woolly fur, but what that long hair hid chiefly was an array of wicked-looking little spears called quills. They were white to the tips, which were dark and very, very sharply pointed. All down the sides were tiny barbs, so small as hardly to be seen, but there just the same. On his head the quills were about an inch long, but on his back they were four inches long, becoming shorter towards the tail. The latter was rather short, stout, and covered with short quills.

As he sat there on that old stump some of Prickly Porky's little spears could be seen peeping out from the long hair on his back, but they didn't look particularly dangerous. Peter Rabbit suddenly made a discovery. "Why!" he exclaimed. "He hasn't any little spears on the under side of him!"

"I wondered who would be the first to notice that," said Old Mother Nature. "No, Prickly Porky hasn't any little spears underneath, and Pekan the Fisher has found that out. He knows that if he can turn Prickly Porky on his back he can kill him without much danger from those little spears, and he has learned how to do that very thing. That is why Prickly Porky is afraid of him. Now, Prickly Porky, climb down off that stump and show these little folks what you do when an enemy comes near."

Grumbling and growling, Prickly Porky climbed down to the ground. Then he tucked his head down between his front paws and suddenly the thousand little spears appeared all over him, pointing in every direction until he looked like a giant chestnut burr. Then he began to thrash his tail from side to side.

"What is he doing that for?" asked Johnny Chuck, looking rather puzzled.

"Go near enough to be hit by it, and you'll understand," said Old Mother Nature dryly. "That is his one weapon. Whoever is hit by that tail will find himself full of those little spears and will take care never to go near Prickly Porky again. Once those little spears have entered the skin, they keep working in deeper and deeper, and more than one of his enemies has been killed by them. On account of those tiny barbs they are hard to pull out, and pulling them out hurts dreadfully. Just try one and see."

But no one was anxious to try, so Old Mother Nature paused only a moment. "You will notice that he moves that tail quickly," she continued. "It is the only thing about him which is quick. When he has a chance, in time of danger, he likes to get his head under a log or rock, instead of putting it between his paws as he is doing now. Then he plants his feet firmly and waits for a chance to use that tail."

"Is it true that he can throw those little spears at folks?" asked Peter.

Old Mother Nature shook her head. "There isn't a word of truth in it," she declared. "That story probably was started by some one who was hit by his tail, and it was done so quickly that the victim didn't see the tail move and so thought the little spears were thrown at him."

"How does he make all those little spears stand up that way?" asked Jumper the Hare.

"He has a special set of muscles for just that purpose," explained Old Mother Nature.

"When those quills stick into some one they must pull out of Prickly Porky's own skin; I should think that would hurt him," spoke up Striped Chipmunk.

"Not at all," replied Old Mother Nature. "They are very loosely fastened in his skin and come out at the least little pull. New ones grow to take the place of those he loses. Notice that he puts his whole foot flat on the ground just as Buster Bear and Bobby Coon do, and just as those two-legged creatures called men do. Very few animals do this, and those that do are said to be plantigrade. Now, Prickly Porky, tell us what you eat and where you make your home, and that will end today's lesson."

"I eat bark, twigs and leaves mostly," grunted Prickly Porky ungraciously. "I like hemlock best of all, but also eat poplar, pine and other trees for a change. Sometimes I stay in a tree for days until I have stripped it of all its bark and leaves. I don't see any sense in moving about any more than is necessary."

"But that must kill the tree!" exclaimed Peter Rabbit.

"Well, what of it?" demanded Prickly Porky crossly. "There are plenty of trees. In summer I like lily pads and always get them when I can."

"Can you swim?" asked Peter eagerly.

"Of course," grunted Prickly Porky.

"I never see you out on the Green Meadows," said Peter.

"And you never will," retorted Prickly Porky. "The Green Forest for me every time. Summer or winter, I'm at home there."

"Don't you sleep through the cold weather the way Buster Bear and I do?" asked Johnny Chuck.

"What should I sleep for?" grumbled Prickly Porky. "Cold weather doesn't bother me. I like it. I have the Green Forest pretty much to myself then. I like to be alone. And as long as there are trees, there is plenty to eat. I sleep a great deal in the daytime because I like night best."

"What about your home?" asked Happy Jack.

"Home is wherever I happen to be, most of the time, but Mrs. Porky has a home in a hollow log or a cave or under the roots of a tree where the babies are born. I guess that's all I've got to tell you."

"You might add that those babies are big for the size of their mother and have a full supply of quills when they are born," said Old Mother Nature. "And you forgot to say how fond of salt you are, and how often this fondness gets you into trouble around the camps of men. Your fear of Pekan the Fisher we all saw. I might add that Puma the Panther is to be feared at times, and when he is very hungry Buster Bear will take a chance on turning you on your back. By the way, don't any of you call Prickly Porky a Hedgehog. He isn't any thing of the kind. He is sometimes called a Quill Pig, but his real name, Porcupine, is best. He has no near relatives. Tomorrow morning, instead of meeting here, we'll hold school on the shore of the pond Paddy the Beaver has made. School is dismissed."


A First Book in American History  by Edward Eggleston

William Penn

Part 1 of 2

William Penn, who founded Pennsylvania, was born in London, England, in 1644. He was the only son of Admiral William Penn. Admiral Penn had become a captain before he was twenty, and had distinguished himself in naval battles. He was a rich man, lived fashionably, and was received at court. He wanted to make his son William a man of importance in the world like himself. So William Penn was carefully educated. When he was at Oxford he heard a man named Thomas Loe preach against such things as the wearing of gowns by students. It had been the custom for the students in the colleges at Oxford to wear gowns; but the Puritans, who ruled England after Charles I was beheaded, forbade this, having a notion that it was wicked. When King Charles II was restored to the throne, the students were again required to put on gowns. Under the influence of Loe's preaching, Penn and some other young men refused to dress in this way, and they even went so far as to tear off the gowns of other students. For this Penn was expelled from the university.


Tearing off a Students Gown

William Penn's father was very angry with his son when he came home expelled. He was afraid that his son would join the Friends, or Quakers, who not only refused to take part in the ceremonies of the English Church, but also refused to serve the king as soldiers, believing war to be wicked. They would not make oath in court, nor would they take off their hats to anybody. Admiral Penn did not like to see his son adopt the opinions and ways of a people so much despised and persecuted.

Hoping that William would forget these impressions, he sent him to France. Here young Penn was presented at the court of Louis XIV, and here he finished his education. He then traveled in Italy, and returned to England when he was twenty years old. His father was well pleased to see that he had improved in manners, and seemed to have forgotten his Quaker ideas.

He was presented at the court of Charles II, and became a law student. He also carried dispatches from his father's fleet to the king. In 1665 the plague broke out in London, and in these sad times William Penn's religious feelings began to return.


William Penn as a Young Man

His father, hoping to give him something else to think about, sent him to Ireland to attend to some land which belonged to the admiral. Here he was presented at the court of the viceroy, the Duke or Ormond. He served as a soldier for a little while during an insurrection. You will see that his portrait was painted in armor, after the fashion of fine gentlemen of that time. But while Penn was in Ireland, he heard that Thomas Loe, whose preaching had affected him so much when he was a student, was to preach in Cork. Penn went to hear him; all his old feelings revived, and he became a Friend. He now attended the meetings of the Friends, or Quakers, for which he was at length arrested and thrown into prison with the rest of the congregation. He was afterwards set free. His father, hearing of what his son had been doing, sent for him.

Admiral Penn was very angry with William, but he told him that he would forgive him everything else if he would take off his hat to his father, to the king, and to the king's brother, the Duke of York. William took some time to think of it, and then told his father that he could not promise even this. The admiral then turned his son out of doors. But his mother sent him money, and after a time he was allowed to come home, but not to see his father.


Penn Thinks It Wrong to Take Off his Hat to his Father


----- ---MARCH--- -----

  WEEK 11  


Stories of Siegfried Told to the Children  by Mary Macgregor

Siegfried Goes to the Cave

The ship in which Siegfried set sail drifted on before the wind, while those in Queen Brunhild's castle marvelled, for no one was to be seen on board. This was because the hero had again donned his Cloak of Darkness.

On and on sailed the little ship until at length it drew near to the land of the Nibelungs. Then Siegfried left his vessel and again climbed the mountain-side, where long before he had cut off the heads of the little Nibelung princes.

He reached the cave into which he had thrust the treasure, and knocked loudly at the door. The cave was the entrance to Nibelheim the dark, little town beneath the glad, green grass.

Siegfried might have entered the cave, but he knocked that he might see if his treasure were well guarded.

Then the porter, who was a great giant, when he heard the knock buckled on his armour and opened the door. Seeing, as he thought in his haste, a strange knight standing before him he fell upon him with a bar of iron. So strong was the giant that it was with difficulty that the Prince overcame him and bound him hand and foot.

Alberich meanwhile had heard the mighty blows, which indeed had shaken Nibelheim to its foundations.

Now the dwarf had sworn fealty to Siegfried, and when he, as the giant had done, mistook the Prince for a stranger, he seized a heavy whip with a gold handle and rushed upon him, smiting his shield with the knotted whip until it fell to pieces.

Too pleased that his treasures were so well defended to be angry, Siegfried now seized the little dwarf by his beard, and pulled it so long and so hard that Alberich was forced to cry for mercy. Then Siegfried bound him hand and foot as he had done the giant.

Alberich, poor little dwarf, gnashed his teeth with rage. Who would guard the treasure now, and who would warn his master that a strong man had found his way to Nibelheim?

But in the midst of his fears he heard the stranger's merry laugh. Nay, it was no stranger, none but the hero Prince could laugh thus merrily.

"I am Siegfried your master," then said the Prince. "I did but test thy faithfulness, Alberich," and laughing still, the hero undid the cords with which he had bound the giant and the dwarf.

"Call me here quickly the Nibelung warriors," cried Siegfried, "for I have need of them." And soon thirty thousand warriors stood before him in shining armour.

Choosing one thousand of the strongest and biggest, the Prince marched with them down to the sea-shore. There they embarked in ships and sailed away to Isenland.

Now it chanced that Queen Brunhild was walking on the terrace of her sea-guarded castle with King Gunther when she saw a number of sails approaching.

"Whose can these ships be?" she cried in quick alarm.

"These are my warriors who have followed me from Burgundy," answered the King, for thus had Siegfried bidden him speak.

"We will go to welcome the fleet," said Brunhild, and together they met the brave Nibelung army and lodged them in Isenland.

"Now will I give of my silver and my gold to my liegemen and to Gunther's warriors," said Queen Brunhild, and she held out the keys of her treasury to Dankwart that he might do her will. But so lavishly did the knight bestow her gold and her costly gems and her rich raiment upon the warriors that the Queen grew angry.

"Nought shall I have left to take with me to Rhineland," she cried aloud in her vexation.

"In Burgundy," answered Hagen, "there is gold enough and to spare. Thou wilt not need the treasures of Isenland."

But these words did not content the Queen. She would certainly take at least twenty coffers of gold as well as jewels and silks with her to King Gunther's land.

At length, leaving Isenland to the care of her brother, Queen Brunhild, with twenty hundred of her own warriors as a body-guard, with eighty-six dames and one hundred maidens, set out for the royal city of Worms.

For nine days the great company journeyed homeward, and then King Gunther entreated Siegfried to be his herald to Worms.

"Beg Queen Uté and the Princess Kriemhild," said the King, "beg them to ride forth to meet my bride and to prepare to hold high festival in honour of the wedding feast."

Thus Siegfried with four-and-twenty knights sailed on more swiftly than the other ships, and landing at the mouth of the river Rhine, rode hastily toward the royal city.

The Queen and her daughter, clad in their robes of state, received the hero, and his heart was glad, for once again he stood in the presence of his dear lady, Kriemhild.

"Be welcome, my Lord Siegfried," she cried, "thou worthy knight, be welcome. But where is my brother? Has he been vanquished by the warrior Queen? Oh, woe is me if he is lost, woe is me that ever I was born," and the tears rolled down the maiden's cheeks.

"Nay, now," said the Prince, "thy brother is well and of good cheer. I have come, a herald of glad tidings. For even now the King is on his way to Worms, bringing with him his hard-won bride."

Then the Princess dried her tears, and graciously did she bid the hero to sit by her side.

"I would I might give thee a reward for thy services," said the gentle maiden, "but too rich art thou to receive my gold."

"A gift from thy hands would gladden my heart," said the gallant Prince.

Blithely then did Kriemhild send for four-and-twenty buckles, all inlaid with precious stones, and these did she give to Siegfried.

Siegfried bent low before the lady Kriemhild, for well did he love the gracious giver, yet would he not keep for himself her gifts, but gave them, in his courtesy, to her four-and-twenty maidens.


Siegfried bent low before the lady Kriemhild

Then the Prince told Queen Uté that the King begged her and the Princess to ride forth from Worms to greet his bride, and to prepare to hold high festival in the royal city.

"It shall be done even as the King desires," said the Queen, while Kriemhild sat silent, smiling with gladness, because her knight Sir Siegfried had come home.


The Aesop for Children  by Milo Winter

The Monkey and the Dolphin

It happened once upon a time that a certain Greek ship bound for Athens was wrecked off the coast close to Piraeus, the port of Athens. Had it not been for the Dolphins, who at that time were very friendly toward mankind and especially toward Athenians, all would have perished. But the Dolphins took the ship-wrecked people on their backs and swam with them to shore.

Now it was the custom among the Greeks to take their pet monkeys and dogs with them whenever they went on a voyage. So when one of the Dolphins saw a Monkey struggling in the water, he thought it was a man, and made the Monkey climb up on his back. Then off he swam with him toward the shore.

The Monkey sat up, grave and dignified, on the Dolphin's back.


"You are a citizen of illustrious Athens, are you not?" asked the Dolphin politely.

"Yes," answered the Monkey, proudly. "My family is one of the noblest in the city."

"Indeed," said the Dolphin. "Then of course you often visit Piraeus."

"Yes, yes," replied the Monkey. "Indeed, I do. I am with him constantly. Piraeus is my very best friend."

This answer took the Dolphin by surprise, and, turning his head, he now saw what it was he was carrying. Without more ado, he dived and left the foolish Monkey to take care of himself, while he swam off in search of some human being to save.

One falsehood leads to another.


William Cullen Bryant


The stormy March is come at last,

With wind, and cloud, and changing skies;

I hear the rushing of the blast,

That through the snowy valley flies.

Ah, passing few are they who speak,

Wild, stormy month, in praise of thee;

Yet, though thy winds are loud and bleak,

Thou art a welcome month to me.

For thou to northern lands again

The glad and glorious sun dost bring;

And thou hast joined the gentle train

And wear'st the gentle name of Spring.


  WEEK 11  


The Awakening of Europe  by M. B. Synge

A Wealth of Herrings

"Commerce changes the fate and genius of nations."

—T. Gray.

I T has been said that the Crusades did more for the Netherlands than perhaps the Netherlands did for the Crusades. Thousands of ignorant, half-civilised Hollanders left their cold wet homes in the north to feast their eyes on the sunny land of Syria.

From their huts and rude lives they came into contact with great cities, such as Constantinople and Alexandria. They saw houses of marble and Greek statues; they met men of learning and scholars of Greece and Rome. For the first time they saw the use of linen sheets, carpets, soap, and spices. All the refinement and luxury of the East, the golden sunshine, the brilliant dresses, came before the Hollanders and dazzled them—after their dull lives and overcast climate.

They returned home full of new wants. They, too, must have linen sheets and pillow-cases; they too, must make their food pleasant with the spices of the East. They must build more ships to send round to Venice; they must trade by the overland route to the Queen of the Adriatic, and establish closer relations with the East.

Changes, too, passed over the landscape of Holland. The idea of the windmill was brought back from the East. To make their rough winds work, as they blew over the flat land, commended itself to the Hollanders, and very soon hundreds of windmills were working all over the country. To-day they stand in thousands, like sentinels keeping guard over the land. Not only do they pump water, but they saw wood, grind grain, help to load and unload the boats and hoist burdens. Just as the lazy rivers were made to work, so the wind has been made to do its share too. And these mills played a very large part in the commerce that at this time arose in the Netherlands.

It was natural that a people living in constant conflict with the sea should seek their livelihood in fishing and spend much of their time on the water. From the earliest times they were a sea-faring people. "Holland is an island," wrote an old historian, "inhabited by a brave and warlike people, who have never been conquered by their neighbours and who prosecute their commerce on every sea."

So the Hollanders built their ships, and fished their creeks and inlets, and did a thriving trade in herrings.

Early in the fourteenth century there lived a man called Beukels. He was unknown and poor, but he made a great discovery, which did much to enrich his country. He found out how to keep herrings by curing them, so that they could be packed in barrels and exported. Herrings were a very valuable food in those days, when the Church demanded much fasting for her members. For a long time the Hollanders kept the herring-fishing to themselves. They sailed across to the British coasts opposite and fished in the bays and inlets of Scotland, and they became rich.

"The foundations of Amsterdam are laid on herring-bones," they used to say of one of their most wealthy towns. So herring-fishery helped to lay the foundation of the wealth of the Netherlands.

But there were soon other sources of wealth. Flax was brought back from Egypt and grown in Holland, until Dutch flax became famous all over Europe. Linen-factories sprang up. Tablecloths, shirts, handkerchiefs, were manufactured. For a long time linen sheets, pillow-cases, and shirts were used only by kings and nobles. They were rough and dark-coloured; but the Dutch studied the art of bleaching, till all over Europe the "finest linen, white as snow," was known as holland. The ground around Haarlem was used largely for this process of bleaching or spreading out the sheets of linen in the sun, till the country looked as if a snowstorm had whitened the earth.

The wool trade, carried on chiefly in the south of the Netherlands, was a source of power, and the Flemish weavers were famous throughout Europe. The towns of Ghent and Bruges had long been centres of importance; they were among the richest towns in Europe. From foreign lands came raw material to be made up here. Every year the famous "Northern Squadron" from Venice visited the neighbourhood; it was the great market-place of English wool, and thrived until that day when Vasco da Gama found the route to India by the Cape of Good Hope. Then, with Venice, the famous cities of Ghent and Bruges fell.

"Grass grew in the fair and pleasant streets of Bruges, and seaweed clustered about the marble halls of Venice."

The next city to rise to great importance was Antwerp, which soon became the commercial capital not only of the Netherlands, but of the whole world. This was under Charles V., one of the greatest figures in the early part of the sixteenth century, whom it will be interesting now to know.


Gods and Heroes  by Robert Edward Francillon

The Sun-Flower

T HERE was a nymph named Clytĭĕ, who was so beautiful that Apollo fell in love with her. She was very proud and glad of being loved by the god of the Sun, and loved him a great deal more than he loved her. But she believed that his love was as great as her own: and so she lived happily for a long time.

But one day, Apollo happened to see a king's daughter, whose name was Leucŏthŏē. He thought she was the most beautiful creature he had ever seen: so he fell in love with her, and forgot Clytie as much as if there was nobody but Leucothoe in the world. Clytie, however, knew nothing of all this, and only wondered why Apollo never came to see her any more.

Now the king, whose name was Orchămus, kept his daughter very strictly: and did not wish her to have anything to do with Apollo. I suppose he was afraid of Apollo's loving her for a time, and then leaving her to be miserable and unhappy, as happened to many nymphs and princesses in those days besides Clytie. So when King Orchamus found that Apollo was making love to Leucothoe, he shut her up in his palace, and would not allow her to go out or anybody else to go in.

But Apollo was much too clever to be beaten in that way. He disguised himself as Leucothoe's own mother, and so came to see her whenever he pleased, without anybody being anything the wiser. And so everything went on just as he wished, if it had not been for Clytie, whom he had treated just as King Orchamus was afraid he would treat Leucothoe.

Clytie wondered why Apollo never came to see her till she could bear it no longer; and she watched him, to find out what was the reason of it all. She watched till at last she saw somebody who looked like a queen go into the palace of King Orchamus. But she knew Apollo much too well to be taken in by any disguise. She secretly followed him into the palace, and found him making love to Leucothoe.

In her misery and jealousy, she went straight to King Orchamus, and told him what she had seen. Perhaps she hoped that the king would send his daughter away altogether, so that Apollo would then come back to her. She could not possibly foresee what would really happen. King Orchamus was so enraged with his daughter for receiving Apollo's visits against his commands that he ordered Leucothoe to be buried alive. Of course he could not punish Apollo: because Apollo was a god, while he was only a king.

Perhaps you will think that Apollo might have managed to save Leucothoe from such a terrible death as her father had ordered for her. As he did not, I suppose that King Orchamus had her buried before anybody could tell the news—at any rate she was dead when Apollo arrived at her grave. All he could do for her was to show his love and his sorrow by turning her into a tree from which people take a sweet-smelling gum called myrrh.

As to Clytie, whose jealousy had caused the death of the princess, he refused ever to speak to her or look at her again: and he turned her into a sunflower, which has no perfume like the myrrh-tree into which he had changed Leucothoe. But, in spite of his scorn and of everything he could do to her, Clytie loved him still: and though he would not look at her, she still spends her whole time in gazing up at him with her blossoms, which are her eyes. People say that the blossoms of the sunflower always turn toward the sun—towards the east when he is rising, towards the west when he is setting, and straight up at noon, when he is in the middle of the sky. Of course, like all other blossoms, they close at night, when he is no longer to be seen. As for the sun himself, I suspect he has forgotten both Clytie and Leucothoe long ago; and sees no difference between them and any other trees or flowers.


----- Poem by Rachel Field -----

  WEEK 11  


Fairy Tales Too Good To Miss—Beside the Sea  by Lisa M. Ripperton

How Boots Befooled the King


dropcap image NCE upon a time there was a king who was the wisest in all of the world. So wise was he that no one had ever befooled him, which is a rare thing, I can tell you. Now, this king had a daughter who was as pretty as a ripe apple, so that there was no end to the number of the lads who came asking to marry her. Every day there were two or three of them dawdling around the house, so that at last the old king grew tired of having them always about.

So he sent word far and near that whoever should befool him might have the princess and half of the kingdom to boot, for he thought that it would be a wise man indeed who could trick him. But the king also said, that whoever should try to befool him and should fail, should have a good whipping. This was to keep all foolish fellows away.

The princess was so pretty that there was no lack of lads who came to have a try for her and half of the kingdom, but every one of these went away with a sore back and no luck.

Now, there was a man who was well off in the world, and who had three sons; the first was named Peter, and the second was named Paul. Peter and Paul thought themselves as wise as anybody in all the world, and their father thought as they did.

As for the youngest son, he was named Boots. Nobody thought anything of him except that he was silly, for he did nothing but sit poking in the warm ashes all of the day.

One morning Peter spoke up and said that he was going to the town to have a try at befooling the king, for it would be a fine thing to have a princess in the family. His father did not say no, for if anybody was wise enough to befool the king, Peter was the lad.

So, after Peter had eaten a good breakfast, off he set for the town, right foot foremost. After a while he came to the king's house and—rap! tap! tap!—he knocked at the door.

Well; what did he want?

Oh! he would only like to have a try at befooling the king.

Very good; he should have his try. He was not the first one who had been there that morning, early as it was.

So Peter was shown in to the king.

"Oh, look!" said he, "yonder are three black geese out in the courtyard!"

But no, the king was not to be fooled so easily as all that. "One goose is enough to look at at a time," said he; "take him away and give him a whipping!"

And so they did, and Peter went home bleating like a sheep.

One day Paul spoke up. "I should like to go and have a try for the princess, too," said he.

Well, his father did not say no, for, after all, Paul was the more clever of the two.

So off Paul went as merrily as a duck in the rain. By and by he came to the castle, and then he too was brought before the king just as Peter had been.

"Oh, look!" said he, "yonder is a crow sitting in the tree with three white stripes on his back!"

But the king was not so silly as to be fooled in that way. "Here is a Jack," said he, "who will soon have more stripes on his back than he will like. Take him away and give him his whipping!"

Then it was done as the king had said, and Paul went away home bawling like a calf.


One day up spoke Boots. "I should like to go and have a try for the pretty princess, too," said he.

At this they all stared and sniggered. What! he go where his clever brothers had failed, and had nothing to show for the trying but a good beating? What had come over the lout! Here was a pretty business, to be sure! That was what they all said.

But all of this rolled away from Boots like water from a duck's back. No matter, he would like to go and have a try like the others. So he begged and begged until his father was glad to let him go to be rid of his teasing, if nothing else.

Then Boots asked if he might have the old tattered hat that hung back of the chimney.

Oh, yes, he might have that if he wanted it, for nobody with good wits was likely to wear such a thing.

So Boots took the hat, and after he had brushed the ashes from his shoes set off for the town, whistling as he went.

The first body whom he met was an old woman with a great load of earthenware pots and crocks on her shoulders.

"Good-day, mother," said Boots.

"Good-day, son," said she.

"What will you take for all of your pots and crocks?" said Boots.

"Three shillings," said she.

"I will give you five shillings if you will come and stand in front of the king's house, and do thus and so when I say this and that," said Boots.

Oh, yes! she would do that willingly enough.

So Boots and the old woman went on together, and presently came to the king's house. When they had come there, Boots sat down in front of the door and began bawling as loud as he could—"No, I will not! I will not do it, I say! No, I will not do it!"

So he kept on, bawling louder and louder until he made such a noise that, at last, the king himself came out to see what all of the hubbub was about. But when Boots saw him he only bawled out louder than ever. "No, I will not! I will not do it, I say!"

"Stop! stop!" cried the king, "what is all this about?"

"Why," said Boots, "everybody wants to buy my cap, but I will not sell it! I will not do it, I say!"

"But, why should anybody want to buy such a cap as that?" said the king.

"Because," said Boots, "it is a fooling cap and the only one in all of the world."

"A fooling cap!" said the king. For he did not like to hear of such a cap as that coming into the town. "Hum-m-m-m! I should like to see you fool somebody with it. Could you fool that old body yonder with the pots and the crocks?"

"Oh, yes! That is easily enough done," said Boots, and without more ado he took off his tattered cap and blew into it. Then he put it on his head again and bawled out, "Break pots! break pots!"

No sooner had he spoken these words than the old woman jumped up and began breaking and smashing her pots and crocks as though she had gone crazy. That was what Boots had paid her five shillings for doing, but of it the king knew nothing. "Hui!" said he to himself, "I must buy that hat from the fellow or he will fool the princess away from me for sure and certain." Then he began talking to Boots as sweetly as though he had honey in his mouth. Perhaps Boots would sell the hat to him?


Oh no! Boots could not think of such a thing as selling his fooling cap.

Come, come; the king wanted that hat, and sooner than miss buying it he would give a whole bag of gold money for it.

At that Boots looked up and looked down, scratching his head. Well, he supposed he would have to sell the hat some time, and the king might as well have it as anybody else. But for all that he did not like parting with it.

So the king gave Boots the bag of gold, and Boots gave the king the old tattered hat, and then he went his way.

After Boots had gone the king blew into the hat and blew into the hat, but though he blew enough breath into it to sail a big ship, he did not befool so much as a single titmouse. Then, at last, he began to see that the fooling cap was good on nobody else's head but Boots's; and he was none too pleased at that, you may be sure.

As for Boots, with his bag of gold he bought the finest clothes that were to be had in the town, and when the next morning had come he started away bright and early for the king's house. "I have come," said he, "to marry the princess, if you please."


At this the king hemmed and hawed and scratched his head. Yes; Boots had befooled him sure enough, but, after all, he could not give up the princess for such a thing as that. Still, he would give Boots another chance. Now, there was the high-councillor, who was the wisest man in all of the world. Did Boots think that he could fool him also?

Oh, yes! Boots thought that it might be done.

Very well; if he could befool the high-councillor so as to bring him to the castle the next morning against his will, Boots should have the princess and the half of the kingdom; if he did not do so he should have his beating.

Then Boots went away, and the king thought that he was rid of him now for good and all.

As for the high-councillor, he was not pleased with the matter at all, for he did not like the thought of being fooled by a clever rogue, and taken here and there against his will. So when he had come home, he armed all of his servants with blunderbusses, and then waited to give Boots a welcome when he should come.

But Boots was not going to fall into any such trap as that! No indeed! not he! The next morning he went quietly and bought a fine large meal-sack. Then he put a black wig on over his beautiful red hair, so that no one might know him. After that he went to the place where the high-councillor lived, and when he had come there he crawled inside of the sack, and lay just beside the door of the house.

By and by came one of the maid servants to the door, and there lay the great meal-sack with somebody in it.

"Ach!" cried she, "who is there?"

But Boots only said, "Sh-h-h-h-h!"

Then the serving maid went back into the house, and told the high-councillor that one lay outside in a great meal-sack, and that all that he said was, "Sh-h-h-h-h!"

So the councillor went himself to see what it was all about. "What do you want here?" said he.

"Sh-h-h-h-h!" said Boots, "I am not to be talked to now. This is a wisdom-sack, and I am learning wisdom as fast as a drake can eat peas."

"And what wisdom have you learned?" said the councillor.

Oh! Boots had learned wisdom about everything in the world. He had learned that the clever scamp who had fooled the king yesterday was coming with seventeen tall men to take the high-councillor, willy-nilly, to the castle that morning.

When the high-councillor heard this he fell to trembling till his teeth rattled in his head. "And have you learned how I can get the better of this clever scamp?" said he.

Oh, yes! Boots had learned that easily enough.

So, good! Then if the wise man in the sack would tell the high-councillor how to escape the clever rogue, the high-councillor would give the wise man twenty dollars.

But no, that was not to be done; wisdom was not bought so cheaply as the high-councillor seemed to think.

Well, the councillor would give him a hundred dollars then.

That was good! A hundred dollars were a hundred dollars. If the councillor would give him that much he might get into the sack himself, and then he could learn all the wisdom that he wanted, and more besides.


So Boots crawled out of the sack, and the councillor paid his hundred dollars and crawled in.

As soon as he was in all snug and safe, Boots drew the mouth of the sack together and tied it tightly. Then he flung sack, councillor, and all over his shoulder, and started away to the king's house, and anybody who met them could see with half an eye that the councillor was going against his will.

When Boots came to the king's castle he laid the councillor down in the goose-house, and then he went to the king.

When the king saw Boots again, he bit his lips with vexation. "Well," said he, "have you fooled the councillor?"

"Oh, yes!" says Boots, "I have done that."

And where was the councillor now?

Oh, Boots had just left him down in the goose-house. He was tied up safe and sound in a sack, waiting till the king should send for him.

So the councillor was sent for, and when he came the king saw at once that he had been brought against his will.

"And now may I marry the princess?" said Boots.

But the king was not willing for him to marry the princess yet; no! no! Boots must not go so fast. There was more to be done yet. If he would come to-morrow morning he might have the princess and welcome, but he would have to pick her out from among fourscore other maids just like her; did he think that he could do that?

Oh, yes! Boots thought that might be easy enough to do.

So, good! then come to-morrow; but he must understand that if he failed he should have a good whipping, and be sent packing from the town.

So off went Boots, and the king thought that he was rid of him now, for he had never seen the princess, and how could he pick her out from among eighty others?

But Boots was not going to give up so easily as all that! No, not he! He made a little box, and then he hunted up and down until he had caught a live mouse to put into it.

When the next morning came he started away to the king's house, taking his mouse along with him in the box.

There was the king, standing in the doorway, looking out into the street. When he saw Boots coming towards him he made a wry face. "What!" said he, "are you back again?"

Oh, yes! Boots was back again. And now if the princess was ready he would like to go and find her, for lost time was not to be gathered again like fallen apples.

So off they marched to a great room, and there stood eighty-and-one maidens, all as much alike as peas in the same dish.

Boots looked here and there, but, even if he had known the princess, he could not have told her from the others. But he was ready for all that. Before anyone knew what he was about, he opened the box, and out ran the little mouse among them all. Then what a screaming and a hubbub there was. Many looked as though they would like to swoon, but only one of them did so. As soon as the others saw what had happened, they forgot all about the mouse, and ran to her and fell to fanning her and slapping her hands and chafing her temples.

"This is the princess," said Boots.

And so it was.

After that the king could think of nothing more to set Boots to do, so he let him marry the princess as he had promised, and have half of the kingdom to boot.

That is all of the story.

Only this: It is not always the silliest one that sits kicking his feet in the ashes at home.



Seaside and Wayside, Book One  by Julia McNair Wright

The Bee's Work

Y OU now know how the new queen bee grows and how she lives. Let us see how the work bee gets on. The work bee in its small cell does not grow so large as the queen bee. It has larger wings. When it is a true bee, it pulls or breaks off the cap of its cell and comes out. It is wet and cold and weak.

Near by is a cell, open, and full of honey. The new bee takes a nice meal. Then it goes out of the hive into the sun.

The other bees come to it, and touch it with their feelers. They lick it with their tongues, to smooth its brown coat, and help it to spread its wings.

Then off it goes to get honey and flower dust. It knows how at once. It does not need to learn.

It finds its way. It knows the right flowers. It tries to keep out of the way of things that will hurt it.

What color do the bees like best? They like blue best, and red and purple next best. They like flowers with a sweet smell, and all flowers that have honey.

They bring home dust of flowers, honey, and a kind of gum. The gum is to line the cells and to help make them strong.

If a queen bee dies, and all the baby queens are also dead, what can the bees do? They take a baby work bee and make a queen. Can they not live if they have no queen? No, not long; there will be no eggs laid.

How do they make a queen of a work bee? They pick out a good grub. They put it into a round queen cell.

They feed the work grub with the queen-food, or "royal jelly." When it grows up, it is not a work bee, but is a queen.


Thomas Hood

I Remember, I Remember

I remember, I remember

The house where I was born,

The little window where the sun

Came peeping in at morn;

He never came a wink too soon,

Nor brought too long a day;

But now, I often wish the night

Had borne my breath away.

I remember, I remember

The roses, red and white,

The violets, and the lily-cups—

Those flowers made of light!

The lilacs where the robin built,

And where my brother set

The laburnum on his birthday,—

The tree is living yet!

I remember, I remember

Where I was used to swing,

And thought the air must rush as fresh

To swallows on the wing;

My spirit flew in feathers then

That is so heavy now,

And summer pools could hardly cool

The fever on my brow.

I remember, I remember

The fir trees dark and high;

I used to think their slender tops

Were close against the sky:

It was a childish ignorance,

But now 'tis little joy

To know I'm farther off from Heaven

Than when I was a boy.


  WEEK 11  


Our Island Saints  by Amy Steedman

Saint Cuthbert

Part 1 of 2

In all the countryside there was no other boy so strong and fearless as Cuthbert, the shepherd lad who dwelt amongst the hills above the old town of Melrose.

It was in the time when life was hard and rough, and there were but few comforts or luxuries even in the houses of the rich. The children in those days early learned to brave many a danger and suffer many a hardship, and so they grew up sturdy and strong of limb, accustomed to an open-air life, little heeding the icy winds of winter or the snow-storms that swept their southern border-lands of Scotland.

But among all these hardy children of the hills there was none to compare with Cuthbert. In all their games of skill or strength he easily won the foremost place. Whether it was winter and they played at mimic warfare, with wonderful snow castles to be stormed and good round snowballs for their ammunition, or whether it was summer time and they ran and wrestled on the grassy slopes of the hillside, it was Cuthbert who led the attack on the victorious side, Cuthbert who was champion among the wrestlers and swiftest in the race. When others grew tired and cried for a truce, Cuthbert was still fresh and eager, ready to urge them on, for he never seemed to know what it meant to give in. And yet there were times when the boy stole away silently by himself to a lonely part of the hill that overlooked the little grey road beneath, and there sat as quiet and motionless as the rabbits that peeped out of their holes in the rocks beside him. So still did he sit that any one seeing him might have thought he was asleep, if they had not seen his keen bright eyes and guessed that he was as busy with his thoughts as he had been about his games.

But there was no one on the wild hillside to watch the silent boy; only his little furry friends the rabbits stole out and nibbled the grass about his feet, and the birds came hopping around him, knowing they had nought to fear from one who never harmed them, waiting for the meal which he always shared with these his friends. Sometimes impatient of his long long thoughts, they would come nearer and peck at his bare feet, and Cuthbert would raise himself and chide them for their greediness, as he spread the crumbs which he had saved for them.

It was the little grey road beneath on which his eyes were fixed, and his thoughts followed its windings until it reached the old abbey of Melrose, the home of the holy monks, the servants of God. Sometimes he would see two or three of the brothers in their homespun cloaks passing beneath, and would listen to the soft notes of the vesper hymn as it floated upwards, and the eager light in his eyes grew ever brighter as he watched and listened. He knew what these good monks did for the people around; how they protected the weak, helped the helpless, nursed the sick, and went about unarmed and fearless through all the dangers that beset their path. There was something about the look of their kind strong faces that fascinated the boy, and drew him to watch for their passing and to dream of their work and their courage. Then he would softly sing over the fragments of their hymns which his keen ear had caught, and the sound stirred something in his soul.

"Who knows; some day I too may become a servant of God," he would whisper to himself. And it was a wonderful thought to dream about.

Then came a day which Cuthbert never forgot. He was playing as usual with the other boys, who were leaping and wrestling, and in their wild spirits trying to twist themselves into every kind of curious shape. They were all laughing and shouting together, when a little boy, scarce more than a baby, ran up and pulled Cuthbert by his coat.

"Why dost thou play such foolish games?" asked the child gravely.

Cuthbert stood still and looked down with surprise into the child's solemn eyes.

"Little wise one," he answered with a laugh, pushing him aside, but with no rough touch, "wilt thou teach us thy games of wisdom instead?"

The child turned away and with a sob flung himself upon the ground, crying as if his heart would break. The children gathered round, fearing he was hurt, but no one could find out what it was that vexed him, until Cuthbert lifted him up and soothed him with kindly words.

"Has aught harmed thee?" asked Cuthbert.

"No, no," sobbed the child; "but how canst thou, Cuthbert, chosen by God to be His servant and bishop, play at foolish games with babes, when He has called thee to teach thy elders?"

What strange words were these? The other boys had little patience with the crying child, and roughly bade him go home. But in Cuthbert's ears the words rang with a solemn sound, and he stored them up in his mind to ponder upon their meaning. What had the child meant? Was it possible that some day the words would come true and he would indeed be chosen by God to enter His service?

There was so much to think about that the lonely hours on the hillside grew longer and longer, and he but rarely joined in the games now. Even at night he could not rest, thinking those long long thoughts. He knew that the holy monks spent many a night in prayer to God, and he learned to love the dark solemn stillness when he crept out on the bare hillside to say his prayers under the starlit sky.

It seemed to be a link between him and those servants of God, and he thought in his childish way that if the angels were there to carry the holy prayers up to God's throne, they might in passing take his little prayer as well, and in that goodly company God would accept the best that a child could offer, knowing it was the prayer of one who longed to serve Him too.

As Cuthbert grew older there was less time for dreaming or for play. The sheep that were entrusted to him needed constant watchful care, for it was no easy task to be a shepherd in those wild days. Many an enemy lurked on the hillside, ready to snatch away a lamb if the shepherd was not careful. Not only did wolves prowl hungrily around, but men, not too honest, were as ready as the wolves to rob the flock, and it behoved the shepherd to be ever watchful and wary.

At night-time the shepherd lads would gather their sheep together and spend the hours in company watching round the fire, which they piled high with dried heather and dead branches from the wood. It was no hardship to Cuthbert, for he loved the long quiet nights on the hillside, and often while the others slept he watched alone, using the time for prayer.

He had helped to make the watch-fire as usual one night and had seen to the safety of the sheep, and then, one by one, the shepherd lads had fallen asleep in the warmth of the glowing fire. There was no need to rouse them, for he could keep guard alone, and he stole away a little apart to spend the night in prayer, as was his custom.

It was a dark night; the sky was velvet black, without even a star to prick a point of light through its heavy blackness, and the reflection of the fire served only to make the darkness more dense on the lonely hillside. Cuthbert could scarcely see the outline of the sheep, huddled together for warmth, and in that great silence and solitude God seemed very near. Then, as he knelt in prayer, gazing upwards, a vision such as that which gladdened the eyes of the shepherds of Bethlehem burst upon his view. A great stream of dazzling light broke through the darkness, as if a window in heaven had been opened, and in that white shaft of light a company of angels swept down to earth. It was no birthday message which they brought this time, but their song of triumph told of a good life ended, the crowning of a victor in a well-fought fight, as they bore upward the soul of one whose warfare was accomplished and who was entering into the joy of his Lord.

A great awe and joy filled the soul of Cuthbert as he gazed. Long after the last gleam of heavenly light had vanished, the last echo of the angels' songs had ceased, he knelt on there. This then was the glorious end of those who entered the service of God. "Fight the good fight: lay hold on eternal life"; was that an echo of the angels' song, or how was it that he seemed to hear the words spoken clearly in his ears?

With a cry Cuthbert sprang to his feet and ran back to the fire where the sleeping shepherds lay.

"Wake up, wake up," he cried, shaking them by the shoulders as he spoke. "How can ye sleep when ye might have beheld the vision of God's angels?"

The startled lads jumped up, wondering at first whether it might be an alarm of wolves or robbers, but even they were awed when they caught sight of Cuthbert's face and saw the light that shone upon it. With breathless interest they listened to the tale he had to tell of the angels' visit and the soul they had carried up to God. What could it all mean? They wished that they too had spent the night in prayer, instead of sleeping there.

Early in the morning, as soon as it was light and he could leave the sheep, Cuthbert found his way to the nearest hamlet, and there he learned that Aiden, the holy Bishop of Lindisfarne, had died that night.

So it was the soul of the good Bishop whose glorious end, nay rather whose triumphant new beginning, had been heralded by the angel throng. Cuthbert was awed to think that his eyes had been permitted to gaze upon that wondrous vision, and he felt that it must surely be a sign that God had given ear to his prayers, and would accept him as His servant. It was a call to arms; there should be no delay. He was eager and ready to fight the good fight, to lay hold on eternal life.

Before very long all his plans were made. It was but a simple matter to follow the example of the disciples of old, to leave all and to follow the Master. Only the sheep were to be gathered into the fold and their charge given up; only the little hut on the hillside to be visited, and a farewell to be said to the old nurse who dwelt there. Cuthbert had lost both father and mother when he was eight years old, and the old woman had taken charge of him ever since. She was sorely grieved to part with the lad, but she saw that his purpose was strong and that nothing would shake it. With trembling hands she blessed him ere he left her, and bade him not forget the lonely little hut on the hillside and the old nurse who had cared for him.

So at last all was ready, and Cuthbert set off down the hillside and along the little grey road that led to the monastery of Melrose, beside the shining silver windings of the Tweed.

Snow lay on all the hills around, and the wintry wind wailed as it swept past the grey walls and through the bare branches of the trees that clustered round the abbey. So mournful and so wild was the sound that it might have been the spirit of evil wailing over the coming defeat in store for the powers of darkness, when the young soldier should arrive to enrol his name in the army of God's followers.

At the door of the monastery a group of monks were standing looking down the darkening road for the return of one of the brothers. The prior Boisil himself was among them, and was the first to catch sight of a figure coming towards them with a great swinging stride. "A stranger," said one of the brothers, trying to peer through the gathering gloom.

"It is no beggar," said another. "Methinks it is a young knight. His steps are eager and swift, and he hath strong young limbs."

The prior said naught, but he too eagerly watched the figure as it came nearer. A strange feeling of expectancy had seized him. Something was surely about to happen which he had half unconsciously long waited for. Then, as the boy drew near and lifted his eager questioning eyes to the prior's face, the good man's heart went out to him.

"Behold a servant of the Lord." Very solemnly the words rang out as Boisil stretched out both hands in welcome, and then laid them in blessing upon the young fair head that was bowed before him.

The greeting seemed strange to the brethren gathered around. Who was this boy? What did their prior mean? But stranger still did the greeting sound in the ears of Cuthbert himself, and he could scarcely believe that he heard aright. "A servant of God": did the holy man really mean to call him, the shepherd lad, by that great name?

"Father," he cried, almost bewildered, "wilt thou indeed teach me how I may become God's servant, for it is His service that I seek?"

The prior smiled kindly at the anxious face, and bade him enter the monastery in God's name.

"My son," he said, "there is much for thee to learn, much to suffer, much to overcome, but surely the victory shall be thine."

So Cuthbert entered the monastery and the gates were shut. The old life was left behind and the new life begun.


Winnie-the-Pooh  by A. A. Milne

Kanga and Baby Roo Come to the Forest

Part 2 of 2

Kanga and Roo were spending a quiet afternoon in a sandy part of the Forest. Baby Roo was practising very small jumps in the sand, and falling down mouse-holes and climbing out of them, and Kanga was fidgeting about and saying "Just one more jump, dear, and then we must go home." And at that moment who should come stumping up the hill but Pooh.

"Good afternoon, Kanga."

"Good afternoon, Pooh."

"Look at me jumping," squeaked Roo, and fell into another mouse-hole.


"Hallo, Roo, my little fellow!"

"We were just going home," said Kanga. "Good afternoon, Rabbit. Good afternoon, Piglet."

Rabbit and Piglet, who had now come up from the other side of the hill, said "Good afternoon," and "Hallo, Roo," and Roo asked them to look at him jumping, so they stayed and looked.

And Kanga looked too. . . .

"Oh, Kanga," said Pooh, after Rabbit had winked at him twice, "I don't know if you are interested in Poetry at all?"

"Hardly at all," said Kanga.

"Oh!" said Pooh.

"Roo, dear, just one more jump and then we must go home."

There was a short silence while Roo fell down another mouse-hole.

"Go on," said Rabbit in a loud whisper behind his paw.

"Talking of Poetry," said Pooh, "I made up a little piece as I was coming along. It went like this. Er—now let me see—"

"Fancy!" said Kanga. "Now Roo, dear—"

"You'll like this piece of poetry," said Rabbit. "You'll love it," said Piglet.

"You must listen very carefully," said Rabbit. "So as not to miss any of it," said Piglet.

"Oh, yes," said Kanga, but she still looked at Baby Roo.

"How  did it go, Pooh?" said Rabbit.

Pooh gave a little cough and began.