Text of Plan #981
  WEEK 12  

  Monday  


The Secret Garden  by Frances Hodgson Burnett

"Might I Have a Bit of Earth?"

M ARY ran so fast that she was rather out of breath when she reached her room. Her hair was ruffled on her forehead and her cheeks were bright pink. Her dinner was waiting on the table, and Martha was waiting near it.

"Tha's a bit late," she said. "Where has tha' been?"

"I've seen Dickon!" said Mary. "I've seen Dickon!"

"I knew he'd come," said Martha exultantly. "How does tha' like him?"

"I think—I think he's beautiful!" said Mary in a determined voice.

Martha looked rather taken aback but she looked pleased, too.

"Well," she said, "he's th' best lad as ever was born, but us never thought he was handsome. His nose turns up too much."

"I like it to turn up," said Mary.

"An' his eyes is so round," said Martha, a trifle doubtful. "Though they're a nice color."

"I like them round," said Mary. "And they are exactly the color of the sky over the moor."

Martha beamed with satisfaction.

"Mother says he made 'em that color with always lookin' up at th' birds an' th' clouds. But he has got a big mouth, hasn't he, now?"

"I love his big mouth," said Mary obstinately. "I wish mine were just like it."

Martha chuckled delightedly.

"It'd look rare an' funny in thy bit of a face," she said. "But I knowed it would be that way when tha' saw him. How did tha' like th' seeds an' th' garden tools?"

"How did you know he brought them?" asked Mary.

"Eh! I never thought of him not bringin' 'em. He'd be sure to bring 'em if they was in Yorkshire. He's such a trusty lad."

Mary was afraid that she might begin to ask difficult questions, but she did not. She was very much interested in the seeds and gardening tools, and there was only one moment when Mary was frightened. This was when she began to ask where the flowers were to be planted.

"Who did tha' ask about it?" she inquired.

"I haven't asked anybody yet," said Mary, hesitating.

"Well, I wouldn't ask th' head gardener. He's too grand, Mr. Roach is."

"I've never seen him," said Mary. "I've only seen under-gardeners and Ben Weatherstaff."

"If I was you, I'd ask Ben Weatherstaff," advised Martha. "He's not half as bad as he looks, for all he's so crabbed. Mr. Craven lets him do what he likes because he was here when Mrs. Craven was alive, an' he used to make her laugh. She liked him. Perhaps he'd find you a corner somewhere out o' the way."

"If it was out of the way and no one wanted it, no one could  mind my having it, could they?" Mary said anxiously.

"There wouldn't be no reason," answered Martha. "You wouldn't do no harm."

Mary ate her dinner as quickly as she could and when she rose from the table she was going to run to her room to put on her hat again, but Martha stopped her.

"I've got somethin' to tell you," she said. "I thought I'd let you eat your dinner first. Mr. Craven came back this mornin' and I think he wants to see you."

Mary turned quite pale.

"Oh!" she said. "Why! Why! He didn't want to see me when I came. I heard Pitcher say he didn't."

"Well," explained Martha, "Mrs. Medlock says it's because o' mother. She was walkin' to Thwaite village an' she met him. She'd never spoke to him before, but Mrs. Craven had been to our cottage two or three times. He'd forgot, but mother hadn't an' she made bold to stop him. I don't know what she said to him about you but she said somethin' as put him in th' mind to see you before he goes away again, to-morrow."

"Oh!" cried Mary, "is he going away to-morrow? I am so glad!"

"He's goin' for a long time. He mayn't come back till autumn or winter. He's goin' to travel in foreign places. He's always doin' it."

"Oh! I'm so glad—so glad!" said Mary thankfully.

If he did not come back until winter, or even autumn, there would be time to watch the secret garden come alive. Even if he found out then and took it away from her she would have had that much at least.

"When do you think he will want to see—"

She did not finish the sentence, because the door opened, and Mrs. Medlock walked in. She had on her best black dress and cap, and her collar was fastened with a large brooch with a picture of a man's face on it. It was a colored photograph of Mr. Medlock who had died years ago, and she always wore it when she was dressed up. She looked nervous and excited.

"Your hair's rough," she said quickly. "Go and brush it. Martha, help her to slip on her best dress. Mr. Craven sent me to bring her to him in his study."

All the pink left Mary's cheeks. Her heart began to thump and she felt herself changing into a stiff, plain, silent child again. She did not even answer Mrs. Medlock, but turned and walked into her bedroom, followed by Martha. She said nothing while her dress was changed, and her hair brushed, and after she was quite tidy she followed Mrs. Medlock down the corridors, in silence. What was there for her to say? She was obliged to go and see Mr. Craven and he would not like her, and she would not like him. She knew what he would think of her.

She was taken to a part of the house she had not been into before. At last Mrs. Medlock knocked at a door, and when some one said, "Come in," they entered the room together. A man was sitting in an armchair before the fire, and Mrs. Medlock spoke to him.

"This is Miss Mary, sir," she said.

"You can go and leave her here. I will ring for you when I want you to take her away," said Mr. Craven.

When she went out and closed the door, Mary could only stand waiting, a plain little thing, twisting her thin hands together. She could see that the man in the chair was not so much a hunchback as a man with high, rather crooked shoulders, and he had black hair streaked with white. He turned his head over his high shoulders and spoke to her.

"Come here!" he said.

Mary went to him.

He was not ugly. His face would have been handsome if it had not been so miserable. He looked as if the sight of her worried and fretted him and as if he did not know what in the world to do with her.

"Are you well?" he asked.

"Yes," answered Mary.

"Do they take good care of you?"

"Yes."

He rubbed his forehead fretfully as he looked her over.

"You are very thin," he said.

"I am getting fatter," Mary answered in what she knew was her stiffest way.

What an unhappy face he had! His black eyes seemed as if they scarcely saw her, as if they were seeing something else, and he could hardly keep his thoughts upon her.

"I forgot you," he said. "How could I remember you? I intended to send you a governess or a nurse, or some one of that sort, but I forgot."

"Please," began Mary. "Please—" and then the lump in her throat choked her.

"What do you want to say?" he inquired.

"I am—I am too big for a nurse," said Mary. "And please—please don't make me have a governess yet."

He rubbed his forehead again and stared at her.

"That was what the Sowerby woman said," he muttered absent-mindedly.

Then Mary gathered a scrap of courage.

"Is she—is she Martha's mother?" she stammered.

"Yes, I think so," he replied.

"She knows about children," said Mary. "She has twelve. She knows."

He seemed to rouse himself.

"What do you want to do?"

"I want to play out of doors," Mary answered, hoping that her voice did not tremble. "I never liked it in India. It makes me hungry here, and I am getting fatter."

He was watching her.

"Mrs. Sowerby said it would do you good. Perhaps it will," he said. "She thought you had better get stronger before you had a governess."

"It makes me feel strong when I play and the wind comes over the moor," argued Mary.

"Where do you play?" he asked next.

"Everywhere," gasped Mary. "Martha's mother sent me a skipping-rope. I skip and run—and I look about to see if things are beginning to stick up out of the earth. I don't do any harm."

"Don't look so frightened," he said in a worried voice. "You could not do any harm, a child like you! You may do what you like."

Mary put her hand up to her throat because she was afraid he might see the excited lump which she felt jump into it. She came a step nearer to him.

"May I?" she said tremulously.

Her anxious little face seemed to worry him more than ever.

"Don't look so frightened," he exclaimed. "Of course you may. I am your guardian, though I am a poor one for any child. I cannot give you time or attention. I am too ill, and wretched and distracted; but I wish you to be happy and comfortable. I don't know anything about children, but Mrs. Medlock is to see that you have all you need. I sent for you to-day because Mrs. Sowerby said I ought to see you. Her daughter had talked about you. She thought you needed fresh air and freedom and running about."

"She knows all about children," Mary said again in spite of herself.

"She ought to," said Mr. Craven. "I thought her rather bold to stop me on the moor, but she said—Mrs. Craven had been kind to her." It seemed hard for him to speak his dead wife's name. "She is a respectable woman. Now I have seen you I think she said sensible things. Play out of doors as much as you like. It's a big place and you may go where you like and amuse yourself as you like. Is there anything you want?" as if a sudden thought had struck him. "Do you want toys, books, dolls?"

"Might I," quavered Mary, "might I have a bit of earth?"

In her eagerness she did not realize how queer the words would sound and that they were not the ones she had meant to say. Mr. Craven looked quite startled.

"Earth!" he repeated. "What do you mean?"

"To plant seeds in—to make things grow—to see them come alive," Mary faltered.

He gazed at her a moment and then passed his hand quickly over his eyes.

"Do you—care about gardens so much," he said slowly.

"I didn't know about them in India," said Mary. "I was always ill and tired and it was too hot. I sometimes made little beds in the sand and stuck flowers in them. But here it is different."

Mr. Craven got up and began to walk slowly across the room.

"A bit of earth," he said to himself, and Mary thought that somehow she must have reminded him of something. When he stopped and spoke to her his dark eyes looked almost soft and kind.

"You can have as much earth as you want," he said. "You remind me of some one else who loved the earth and things that grow. When you see a bit of earth you want," with something like a smile, "take it, child, and make it come alive."

"May I take it from anywhere—if it's not wanted?"

"Anywhere," he answered. "There! You must go now, I am tired." He touched the bell to call Mrs. Medlock. "Good-by. I shall be away all summer."

Mrs. Medlock came so quickly that Mary thought she must have been waiting in the corridor.

"Mrs. Medlock," Mr. Craven said to her, "now I have seen the child I understand what Mrs. Sowerby meant. She must be less delicate before she begins lessons. Give her simple, healthy food. Let her run wild in the garden. Don't look after her too much. She needs liberty and fresh air and romping about. Mrs. Sowerby is to come and see her now and then and she may sometimes go to the cottage."

Mrs. Medlock looked pleased. She was relieved to hear that she need not "look after" Mary too much. She had felt her a tiresome charge and had indeed seen as little of her as she dared. In addition to this she was fond of Martha's mother.

"Thank you, sir," she said. "Susan Sowerby and me went to school together and she's as sensible and good-hearted a woman as you'd find in a day's walk. I never had any children myself and she's had twelve, and there never was healthier or better ones. Miss Mary can get no harm from them. I'd always take Susan Sowerby's advice about children myself. She's what you might call healthy-minded—if you understand me."

"I understand," Mr. Craven answered. "Take Miss Mary away now and send Pitcher to me."

When Mrs. Medlock left her at the end of her own corridor Mary flew back to her room. She found Martha waiting there. Martha had, in fact, hurried back after she had removed the dinner service.

"I can have my garden!" cried Mary. "I may have it where I like! I am not going to have a governess for a long time! Your mother is coming to see me and I may go to your cottage! He says a little girl like me could not do any harm and I may do what I like—anywhere!"

"Eh!" said Martha delightedly, "that was nice of him wasn't it?"

"Martha," said Mary solemnly, "he is really a nice man, only his face is so miserable and his forehead is all drawn together."

She ran as quickly as she could to the garden. She had been away so much longer than she had thought she should and she knew Dickon would have to set out early on his five-mile walk. When she slipped through the door under the ivy, she saw he was not working where she had left him. The gardening tools were laid together under a tree. She ran to them, looking all round the place, but there was no Dickon to be seen. He had gone away and the secret garden was empty—except for the robin who had just flown across the wall and sat on a standard rose-bush watching her.

"He's gone," she said wofully. "Oh! was he—was he—was he only a wood fairy?"

Something white fastened to the standard rose-bush caught her eye. It was a piece of paper—in fact, it was a piece of the letter she had printed for Martha to send to Dickon. It was fastened on the bush with a long thorn, and in a minute she knew Dickon had left it there. There were some roughly printed letters on it and a sort of picture. At first she could not tell what it was. Then she saw it was meant for a nest with a bird sitting on it. Underneath were the printed letters and they said:

"I will cum bak."

 



Fifty Famous People  by James Baldwin

Another Wolf Story

I

"W OLF! Wolf! Wolf!"

Three farmers were walking across a field and looking eagerly for tracks in the soft ground. One carried a gun, one had a pitchfork, and the third had an ax.

"Wolf! Wolf! Wolf!" they cried, as they met another farmer coming over the hill.

"Where? where?" he asked.

"We don't know," was the answer, "but we saw her tracks down there by the brook. It's the same old wolf that has been skulking around here all winter."

"She killed three of my lambs last night," said the one whose name was David Brown.

"She's killed as many as twenty since the winter began," said Thomas Tanner.

"How do you know that it is only one beast that does all this mischief?" asked the fourth farmer, whose name was Israel Putnam.

"Because the tracks are always the same," answered David Brown. "They show that three toes have been lost from the left forefoot."

"She's been caught in a trap some time, I guess," said Putnam.

"Samuel Stark saw her the other morning," said Tanner. "He says she was a monster; and she was running straight toward the hills with a little lamb in her mouth. They say she has a family of young wolves up there; and that is why she kills so many lambs."

"Here are the tracks again," said Putnam.

They could be seen very plainly, for here the ground was quite muddy. The four men followed them for some distance, and then lost them on the hillside.

"Let us call the neighbors together and have a grand wolf hunt to-morrow," said Putnam. "We must put an end to this killing of lambs."

All the other men agreed to this, and they parted.


II

The next day twenty men and boys came together for the grand wolf hunt. They tracked the beast to the mouth of a cave, far up on the hills.

They shouted and threw stones into the cave. But the wolf was too wise to show herself. She lay hidden among some rocks, and nothing could make her stir.

"I will fetch her out," said Israel Putnam.

The opening to the cave was only a narrow hole between two rocks. Putnam stooped down and looked in. It was very dark there, and he could not see anything.

Then he tied a rope around his waist and said to his friends, "Take hold of the other end, boys. When I jerk it, then pull me out as quickly as you can."

He got down on his hands and knees and crawled into the cave. He crawled very slowly and carefully.

At last he saw something in the darkness that looked like two balls of fire. He knew that these were the eyes of the wolf. The wolf gave a low growl and made ready to meet him.

Putnam gave the rope a quick jerk and his friends pulled him out in great haste. They feared that the wolf was upon him; but he wished only to get his gun.

Soon, with the gun in one hand, he crept back into the cave. The wolf saw him. She growled so loudly that the men and boys outside were frightened.

But Putnam was not afraid. He raised his gun and fired at the great beast.

When his friends heard the gun they pulled the rope quickly and drew him out. It was no fun to be pulled over the sharp stones in that way; but it was better than to be bitten by the wolf.

Putnam loaded his gun again. Then he listened. There was not a sound inside of the cave. Perhaps the wolf was waiting to spring upon him.

He crept into the cave for the third time. There were no balls of fire to be seen now. No angry growl was heard. The wolf was dead.

Putnam stayed in the cave so long that his friends began to be alarmed. After a while, however, he gave the rope a quick jerk. Men and boys pulled with all their might; and Putnam and the wolf were drawn out together.


This happened when Israel Putnam was a young man. When the Revolutionary War began he was one of the first to hurry to Boston to help the people defend themselves against the British soldiers. He became famous as one of the bravest and best of the generals who fought to make our country free.

 



William Stanley Braithwaite

The World of Wonder

Heart free, hand free,

Blue above, brown under,

All the world to me

Is a place of wonder.

Sunshine, moonshine,

Stars, and winds a-blowing,

All into this heart of mine

Flowing, flowing, flowing!

 


  WEEK 12  

  Tuesday  


Our Island Story  by H. E. Marshall

The Coming of Arthur

A S soon as Uther Pendragon was dead, the mighty nobles of Britain began to quarrel among themselves as to who should be king next. Each noble thought he had the best right, so the quarrelling was dreadful.

While they were all gathered together, fighting and shouting at each other, Merlin came among them, leading a tall, fair-haired boy by the hand. When the nobles saw Merlin, they stopped fighting and were silent. They knew how clever he was, and what wonderful things he could do, and they were rather afraid of him.

Merlin stood quietly looking at them all from under his bushy eyebrows. He was a very old man. But he was tall and strong and splendid, with a long white beard and fierce, glittering eyes. It was no wonder that the Britons felt afraid of him.

"Lords of Britain," said Merlin at last, "why fight ye thus? It were more meet that ye prepare to do honour to your king. Uther Pendragon is indeed dead, but Arthur, his son, reigns in his stead."

"Who is this Arthur? Where is he?" asked the nobles angrily. "Uther Pendragon had no son."

"Hear me," said Merlin, "Uther Pendragon had a son. It was told to me that he should be the greatest king who should ever reign in Britain. So when he was born, lest any harm should befall him, he was given into my care till the time should come for him to reign. He has dwelt in the land of Avilon, where the wise fairies have kept him from evil and whispered wisdom in his ear. Here is your king, honour him."

Then Merlin lifted Arthur up and placed him upon his shoulders, so that all the people could see him. There was something so noble and splendid about Arthur, even although he was only a boy, that the great lords felt awed. Yet they would not believe that he was the son of Uther Pendragon. "Who is this Arthur?" they said again. "We do not believe what you say. Uther Pendragon had no son."

Then Merlin's bright eyes seemed to flash fire. "You dare to doubt the word of Merlin?" he shouted. "O vain and foolish Britons, follow me."

Taking Arthur with him, Merlin turned and strode out of the hall, and all the nobles followed him. As they passed through the streets, the people of the town and the women and children followed too. On they went, the crowd growing bigger and bigger, till they reached the great door of the cathedral. There Merlin stopped, and the knights and nobles gathered around him; those behind pushing and pressing forward, eager to see what was happening.

There was indeed something wonderful to be seen. In front of the doorway was a large stone which had not been there before. Standing upright in the stone was a sword, the hilt of which glittered with gems. Beneath it was written, "Whoso can draw me from this stone is the rightful king of Britain."

One after another the nobles tried to remove the sword. They pulled and tugged till their muscles cracked. They strained and struggled till they were hot and breathless, for each one was anxious to be king. But it was all in vain. The sword remained firm and fast in the rock.

Then last of all Arthur tried. He took the sword by the hilt and drew it from the stone quite easily.

A cry of wonder went through the crowd, and the nobles fell back in astonishment leaving a clear space round the king. Then as he stood there, holding the magic sword in his hand, the British nobles one after another knelt to Arthur, acknowledging him to be their lord.


Illustration

He stood there holding the magic sword in his hand.

"Be thou the king and we will work thy will,

Who love thee." Then the king in low deep tones

And simple words of great authority

Bound them by so strait vows to his own self

That when they rose, knighted from kneeling, some

Were pale as at the passing of a ghost,

Some flushed, and others dazed, as one who wakes

Half-blinded at the coming of a light.

Arthur was only fifteen when he was made king, but he was the bravest, wisest and best king that had ever ruled in Britain. As soon as he was crowned, he determined to free his kingdom from the Saxons. He swore a solemn oath that he would drive the heathen out of the land. His knights he bound by the same solemn oath.

Then, taking the sword which he had won, and which was called Excalibur, and his mighty spear called Ron, he rode forth at the head of his army.

Twelve great battles did Arthur fight and win against the Saxons. Always in the foremost of the battle he was to be seen, in his armour of gold and blue, the figure of the Virgin upon his shield, a golden dragon and crown upon his helmet. He was so brave that no one could stand against him, yet so careless of danger that many times he would have been killed, had it not been for the magic might of his sword Excalibur, and of his spear Ron.

And at last the Saxons were driven from the land.

 



Holiday Shore  by Edith M. Patch

Harbor Birds

Picnics for Larus, the Gull

L ARUS likes to play around with a crowd of other gulls. He does not spend much time alone. There are always a lot of gulls on or near Holiday Shore, and the place suits Larus so well that he stays there most of the year.


[Illustration]

Larus, the Gull

If you watch Larus and his comrades performing in the air, you may think that flying is their favorite sport. They can hold out their straight-spread wings and soar higher and higher; and there is no more beautiful sight than gulls sailing against the wind without moving their wings. But however much pleasure the gulls may take in their easy, graceful flight, they never forget to be on the watch for what is an even greater happiness to them—a picnic feast. Breakfast and dinner and supper are all very well, but they are not enough for gulls. They welcome luncheons between meals, too.

So, as they float far overhead, their keen eyes gaze this way and that way. They notice things that move in the water.

During a certain week or two in the spring, for instance, Larus sees thousands of little black sail-shaped objects moving near the surface of the water below him. These objects are really fins on the backs of fishes, called alewives; and the alewives are crowded together in the bay as they turn their tails toward the ocean and head for the fresh water of Holiday Stream.

One glance at the moving fish is enough for Larus. He gives a joyful scream and drops suddenly through the air, alighting on a stone in shallow water. The other gulls repeat his scream and quickly follow him. They speak no words we know, but they sound and act as if they were yelling something that means "Hurrah! Let's go!" Then and there they indulge in a shore dinner of alewife meat.

This ability of gulls to find crowds of fish in the water is sometimes helpful to men. Gulls have a habit of hovering over schools of herring, of swimming among the fish, and of diving to get some to eat. Long ago fishermen named them "Herring Gulls," because by watching these guides they could tell where the herring were running and follow in boats to catch some for themselves.

Although gulls are good enough fishermen to catch small live fish running in schools, their favorite picnics are those where the food is already prepared for them. So they often follow fishing vessels at times when the men are cleaning fish and throwing the waste into the water. They fly close to the boat, screaming loudly as they swoop down for the food. Those that take the smaller pieces can often pick them up while still on the wing, without stopping to settle on the water. But even those that sit down long enough to gobble the larger pieces do not waste much time. In a few minutes they are up in the air again, flying after the fishing vessel, and screaming for more.

Larus and his comrades often follow passenger steamers out of the harbor to see if waste food is thrown overboard. Perhaps next time you take a boat trip you may remember Larus and toss a crust of bread into the water for him as you leave the dock.

Gulls like the same kinds of meat and cooked vegetables that people do, but they are not at all particular that their food should be fresh. They will even take city garbage that is dumped from scows into the water—and like it. Any bird or other animal that eats very stale food is called a scavenger. The scavenger gulls perform a great service in keeping decaying matter out of the way of animals that cannot remain healthy in unclean places. They help keep the seashore and the harbor sanitary, and one of the names given them is "Harbor Gulls."

Some of the picnics are enjoyed several miles from the shore when the gulls go to the meadows to catch grasshoppers. Sometimes these birds go berrying, too, for they like to pick the sweet blueberries that grow on the hillsides not far away.

But what is Larus doing now? There he goes, flying up from the shore with a clam in his beak. He hovers high above the rocks and drops his clam. Then he darts after it with almost the speed of an arrow. He has need to hurry in order to get the meat out of the broken clam shell before another gull can get there to grab it. (You may know that crows have this same famous trick of dropping clams on rocks to break the shells.)

With so much to interest him there you can easily see why Larus plays about Holiday Shore most of the year. There comes a time in the spring, however, when the voice of Larus takes on a different note. He still screams as harshly and eagerly as ever at mealtime when he rushes for food with the crowd. But during more leisurely moments he may be seen strutting up and down the beach while he lifts and lowers his head and gives a long, loud call.

His call has rather an appealing sound. Mrs. Larus, at least, seems to like it. Last spring she listened to it for a week or more; then she and Larus flew away from the shore, to an island far out in Holiday Bay. Hundreds of other gulls followed them, and all soon were working on homes built among the rocky cliffs of the island.

It did not take much time to arrange the nest. A hollow place in a stone served for the floor. A few sticks and a soft padding of grass and other plants made a good bed on which Mrs. Larus laid three eggs. They were grayish blue in color, speckled with lilac and brown.

Both parents helped keep the eggs warm, Larus taking his turn when Mrs. Larus flew away for food. After nearly four weeks of such care the eggs hatched. The downy youngsters were yellow-buff with their underparts nearly white and their backs quite dark and spotted with black.


[Illustration]

A downy infant gull among the rocks.

The little triplets could run about on their pretty dark pink feet almost as soon as they were out of the eggshells; and by the time they were two or three hours old they had already found pleasant shady places among the rocks to hide while they were waiting for their mother or father to bring them something to eat.

Larus did not carry food to his young in his bill as a parent robin does. He swallowed what he found and carried it to the island in his stomach. When he reached his family he got the food back into his mouth with a sort of pumping motion of his stomach muscles. Then he laid it on the ground and the youngsters helped themselves. Or perhaps they were in such a hurry that they began to eat by reaching into his mouth with their little bills for some of it there.

Father and Mother Larus were kept very busy for the next five or six weeks, for young gulls are even hungrier than old gulls, which is saying a good deal. By the end of that time, however, the greedy youngsters were large and strong enough to fly and swim for their own food.

There being no longer any reason for staying on the nesting island, Father and Mother Larus and the other old gulls returned to the neighborhood of Holiday Shore.

Yes, those two gulls sitting on the cliff now are Larus and his mate. They look alike, do they not? As you see, their heads and tails and all their under feathers are pure white. Their backs have a bluish-gray color that is sometimes called "gull blue." Their wings are "gull blue" above except for some black and white feathers.

Who is that bird that has the same size and shape as Larus but with quite different colors? Oh, that is one of the Larus youngsters. His suits will be all mottled and streaked with ash-gray, buff, and brown until his third year or later. Then he will dress in feathers like those of his parents.


Although Larus keeps chiefly to his own Gull Society, he meets many other harbor birds in the course of the year. On chilly winter days, for instance, he may often pass Golden-Eyes, the sea ducks, swimming along the coast.


[Illustration]

Whistler and Quandy

Father Golden-Eye whistles—not with his mouth but with his wings. As he flies he moves his wings with strong upward and downward strokes. He spreads the long stiff feathers at the tips of his wings as he does so. The air rushes between these stiff feathers with a musical whistling sound as his wings beat rapidly downward. Men who hear such a duck in his flight say, "There goes the Whistler!" That is how Father Golden-Eye got his nickname.

Just how Mother Golden-Eye came by the name of Quandy we cannot tell you; but it takes only a glance at these handsome ducks to know why they are called "Golden-Eyes."

Whistler's spring suit is white underneath. Some of his top feathers are also white. The dark parts of his body, except his head, are gray or sooty brown. His puffy head looks black if he is some distance away; but if he is near enough you can see a beautiful dark, glossy green color with some violet reflections. He has a rather large, rounded, white spot on each side of his head between the eye and the base of his bill. Quandy's head is not quite so puffy, or fluffy, as Whistler's, and it has a plain cinnamon-brown color with no white spot.

Would you like to know where Whistler and Quandy spend their time when they are not wintering off Holiday Shore? Well, last spring, for instance, they flew inland with whistling wings. They went as soon as the water in the streams began to run and the ice was melting in lakes and ponds. Some of the Golden-Eyes who had been their winter companions traveled northward almost far enough to reach Arctic places. Others stopped here and there in Canada. Quandy and Whistler, however, did not get quite to Canada, for they found a tree in one of our northern states which just suited them.

The tree was a large one and in its trunk was a hole exactly right for their nest. A brook ran by the base of the tree, about thirty feet below the nesting hole.

Many birds line their nests with something soft before they lay their eggs. Quandy laid her eggs first on the dry chips in the bottom of the hole and then pulled off enough of her breast feathers to cover them with a downy comforter. It took her nearly two weeks to lay her glossy ash-green eggs for she had a dozen of them. (Some Golden-Eyes lay more than that and some lay as few as five or six.)

After sitting on those twelve eggs most of the time day and night for about twenty days, Quandy had the pleasure of welcoming her brood of youngsters as they broke the shells that had held their growing bodies.

Of course Quandy had had brief recesses during her days of brooding while she went for necessary food and drink; but even so twenty days made a long time for her to live in a hole in a tree instead of swimming freely in the water. She had been quite contented to do so, of course, for nothing would have tempted her away from her eggs. But now that the youngsters were hatched—well, that brook looked very inviting to her!

Quandy waited, however, until the downy little Golden-Eyes were two days old. Then she looked them over carefully and left the nest forever. She had had enough of it. She flew down to the water below the hole and clucked. Her babies heard her call and hurried to the doorway of their nest. Then out they tumbled, one after another. They could not fly, but they flapped their tiny wings as they dropped from the high hole in the tree to the brook beside their mother.

Those babies could not fly but they could swim. They did not even need to learn how. So off they paddled down stream with Quandy. Whistler came and stayed with his family much of the time, too.

The Golden-Eye youngsters thrived so well on food, such as little fish and juicy plants they found by diving in freshwater streams and ponds, that early in the fall they had grown to be as large as their parents. They all looked very much like their mother in their first suits. (The sons will not have glossy green feathers and big white spots on their heads until their second winter.)

When cold weather came the ducks did not mind in the least. They were even quite comfortable sitting in the first snow on the bank. But one morning they found something hard and shiny on top of the pond. They could not get their breakfast. Although they did not suffer from the chill winds, all wrapped up in their feather coats, they did object to going without their meals. So they flew to the open sea where they could swim and dive for little fish and other salt-water food during the winter season.


Sandpipers

Besides the sea ducks and other swimming birds Larus meets in the harbor, there are many beach birds who visit Holiday Shore twice a year. Larus is somewhere about as they come and go, but he seems to have no particular interest in them.

People find delight in watching them even if Larus does not. See those little sandpipers over there, for instance. They are also known as sand peeps, or bumblebee peeps. When they are resting you might easily pass along the shore without noticing them at a little distance. They are small, about the size of sparrows, and their little streaked brownish-gray backs do not show clearly against the pebbles or the sand. But you can see the whole flock as they race along the wet sand, following the out-going waves to see what sort of shore dinner they washed up for them.


[Illustration]

Mr. and Mrs. Bumblebee Peep

During four or five weeks each spring these little sandpipers may be seen lingering about Holiday Shore. They have come from farther south where they spent the winter; and they are going to Labrador or other northern places to rear their young bumblebee peeps.

Late in the summer they return, the old sandpipers arriving first and their grown sons and daughters following about a fortnight later. During August and September flocks of these little birds are most common on Holiday Shore, though some stay until nearly or quite all winter.

When they are not running along the sand on their almost black stiltlike legs, they seem a leisurely lot. They gather in sleepy flocks, tuck their bills under the feathers on their backs, and doze—each, as likely as not, standing on one leg the while. They may have reason enough to be so sleepy, for perhaps they were awake most of the night before. They often travel by night as well as by day.


* * *

What time are you going to Holiday Shore for your next visit? Of course there is plenty to interest one at any time of the year, but we should not be surprised to hear you say, "I think I'll choose to go while those little sandpipers are visiting there, too."

 



Sara Teasdale

Dusk

The city's street, a roaring, blackened stream

Walled in by granite, through whose thousand eyes

A thousand yellow lights begin to gleam,

And over all the pale, untroubled skies.

 


  WEEK 12  

  Wednesday  


The Burgess Animal Book for Children  by Thornton Burgess

A Lumberman and Engineer

J OHNNY CHUCK and Striped Chipmunk were the only ones who were not on hand at the pond of Paddy the Beaver deep in the Green Forest at sun-up the next morning. Johnny and Striped Chipmunk were afraid to go so far from home. To the surprise of everybody, Prickly Porky was there.

"He must have traveled all night to get here he is such a slow-poke," said Peter Rabbit to his cousin, Jumper the Hare.

Peter wasn't far from the truth. But however he got there, there he was, reaching for lily pads from an old log which lay half in the water, and appearing very well satisfied with life. You know there is nothing like a good meal of things you like, to make everything seem just as it should.

Old Mother Nature seated herself on one end of Paddy's dam and called the school to order. Just as she did so a brown head popped out of the water close by and a pair of anxious eyes looked up at Old Mother Nature.

"It is quite all right, Paddy," said she softly. "These little folks are trying to gain a little knowledge of themselves and other folks, and we are going to have this morning's lesson right here because it is to be about you."

Paddy the Beaver no longer looked anxious. There was a sparkle in his eyes. "May I stay?" he asked eagerly. "If there is a chance to learn anything I don't want to miss it."

Before Old Mother Nature could reply Peter Rabbit spoke up. "But the lesson is to be about you and your family. Do you expect to learn anything about yourself?" he demanded, and chuckled as if he thought that a great joke.

"It seems to me that some one named Peter learned a great deal about his own family when he first came to school to me," said Old Mother Nature. Peter had grace enough to hang his head and look ashamed. "Of course you may stay, Paddy. In fact, I want you to. There are some things I shall want you to explain. That is why we are holding school over here this morning. Just come up here on your dam where we can all get a good look at you."

Paddy the Beaver climbed out on his dam. It was the first time Happy Jack Squirrel ever had seen him out of water, and Happy Jack gave a little gasp of surprise. "I had no idea he is so big!" he exclaimed.

"He is the biggest of all the Rodents in this country, and one of the biggest in all the Great World. Also he is the smartest member of the whole order," said Old Mother Nature.

"He doesn't look it," said Chatterer the Squirrel with a saucy jerk of his tail.

"Which means, I suppose, that you haven't the least doubt that you are quite as smart as he," said Old Mother Nature quietly, and Chatterer looked both guilty and a little bit ashamed. "I'll admit that you are smart, Chatterer, but often it is in a wrong way. Paddy is smart in the very best way. He is a lumberman, builder and engineer. A lot of my little people are workers, but they are destructive workers. The busier they are, the more they destroy. Paddy the Beaver is a constructive worker. That means that he is a builder instead of a destroyer."

"How about all those trees he cuts down? If that isn't destroying, I don't know what is!" said Chatterer, and with each word jerked his tail as if somehow his tongue and tail were connected.

"So it is," replied Old Mother Nature good-naturedly. "But just think of the number of trees you destroy."

"I never have destroyed a tree in my life!" declared Chatterer indignantly.

"Yes, you have," retorted Old Mother Nature.

"I never have!" contradicted Chatterer, quite forgetting to whom he was speaking.

But Old Mother Nature overlooked this. "I don't suppose you ever ate a chestnut or a fat hickory nut or a sweet beechnut," said she softly.

"Of course," retorted Chatterer sharply. "I've eaten ever and ever and ever so many of them. What of it?"

"In the heart of each one was a little tree," explained Old Mother Nature. "But for you very many of those little trees would have sprung up and some day would have made big trees. So you see for every tree Paddy has destroyed you probably have destroyed a hundred. You eat the nuts that you may live. Paddy cuts down the trees that he may live, for the bark of those trees is his food. Like Prickly Porky he lives chiefly on bark. But, unlike Prickly Porky, he doesn't destroy a tree for the bark alone. He wastes nothing. He makes use of every bit of that tree. He does something for the Green Forest in return for the trees he takes."

Chatterer looked at Happy Jack and blinked in a puzzled way. Happy Jack looked at Peter Rabbit and blinked. Peter looked at Jumper the Hare and blinked. Jumper looked at Prickly Porky and blinked. Then all looked at Paddy the Beaver and finally at Old Mother Nature, and all blinked. Old Mother Nature chuckled.

"Don't you think the Green Forest is more beautiful because of this little pond?" she asked. Everybody nodded. "Of course," she continued. "But there wouldn't be any little pond here were it not for Paddy and the trees he has cut. He destroyed the trees in order to make the pond. That is what I meant when I called him a constructive worker. Now I want you all to take a good look at Paddy. Then he will show us just how as a lumberman he cuts trees, as a builder he constructs houses and dams, and as an engineer he digs canals."


[Illustration]

This shows his wonderful dam and his house.

As Paddy sat there on his dam, he looked rather like a giant member of the Rat family, though his head was more like that of a Squirrel than a Rat. His body was very thick and heavy, and in color he was dark brown, lighter underneath than above. Squatting there on the dam his back was rounded. All together, he was a very clumsy-looking fellow.

Peter Rabbit appeared to be interested in just one thing, Paddy's tail. He couldn't keep his eyes off it.

Old Mother Nature noticed this. "Well, Peter," said she, "what have you on your mind now?"

"That tail," replied Peter. "That's the queerest tail I've ever seen. I should think it would be heavy and dreadfully in the way."

Old Mother Nature laughed. "If you ask him Paddy will tell you that that tail is the handiest tail in the Green Forest," said she. "There isn't another like it in all the Great World, and if you'll be patient you will see just how handy it is."

It was  a queer-looking tail. It was broad and thick and flat, oval in shape, and covered with scales instead of hair. Just then Jumper the Hare made a discovery. "Why!" he exclaimed, "Paddy has feet like Honker the Goose!"

"Only my hind feet," said Paddy. "They have webs between the toes just as Honker's have. That is for swimming. But there are no webs between my fingers." He held up a hand for all to see. Sure enough, the fingers were free.

"Now that everybody has had a good look at you, Paddy," said Old Mother Nature, "suppose you swim over to where you have been cutting trees. We will join you there, and then you can show us just how you work."

Paddy slipped into the water, where for a second or two he floated with just his head above the surface. Then he quickly raised his broad, heavy tail and brought it down on the water with a slap that sounded like the crack of a terrible gun. It was so loud and unexpected that every one save Old Mother Nature and Prickly Porky jumped with fright. Peter Rabbit happened to be right on the edge of the dam and, because he jumped before he had time to think, he jumped right into the water with a splash. Now Peter doesn't like the water, as you know, and he scrambled out just as fast as ever he could. How the others did laugh at him.

"What did he do that for?" demanded Peter indignantly. "To show you one use he has for that handy tail," replied Old Mother Nature. "That is the way he gives warning to his friends whenever he discovers danger. Did you notice how he used his tail to aid him in swimming? He turns it almost on edge and uses it as a rudder. Those big, webbed hind feet are the paddles which drive him through the water. He can stay under water a long time—as much as five minutes. See, he has just come up now."

Sure enough, Paddy's head had just appeared clear across the pond almost to the opposite shore, and he was now swimming on the surface. Old Mother Nature at once led the way around the pond to a small grove of poplar trees which stood a little way back from the water. Paddy was already there. "Now," said Old Mother Nature, "show us what kind of a lumberman you are."

Paddy picked out a small tree, sat up much as Happy Jack Squirrel does, but with his big flat tail on the ground to brace him, seized the trunk of the tree in both hands, and went to work with his great orange-colored cutting teeth. He bit out a big chip. Then another and another. Gradually he worked around the tree. After a while the tree began to sway and crack. Paddy bit out two or three more chips, then suddenly slapped the ground with his tail as a warning and scampered back to a safe distance. He was taking no chances of being caught under that falling tree.

The tree fell, and at once Paddy returned to work. The smaller branches he cut off with a single bite at the base of each. The larger ones required a number of bites. Then he set to work to cut the trunk up in short logs. At this point Old Mother Nature interrupted.

"Now show us," said she, "what you do with the logs."

Paddy at once got behind a log, and by pushing, rolled it ahead of him until at last it fell with a splash in the water of a ditch or canal which led from near that grove of trees to the pond. Paddy followed into the water and began to push it ahead of him towards the pond.

"That will do," spoke up Old Mother Nature. "Come out and show us how you take the branches."

Obediently Paddy climbed out and returned to the fallen tree. There he picked up one of the long branches in his mouth, grasping it near the butt, twisted it over his shoulder and started to drag it to the canal. When he reached the latter he entered the water and began swimming, still dragging the branch in the same way. Once more Old Mother Nature stopped him. "You've shown us how you cut trees and move them, so now I want you to answer a few questions," said she.

Paddy climbed out and squatted on the bank.

"How did this canal happen to be here handy?" asked Old Mother Nature.

"Why, I dug it, of course," replied Paddy looking surprised. "You see, I'm rather slow and clumsy on land, and don't like to be far from water. Those trees are pretty well back from the pond, so I dug this canal, which brings the water almost to them. It makes it safer for me in case Old Man Coyote or Buster Bear or Yowler the Bobcat happens to be looking for a Beaver dinner. Also it makes it very much easier to get my logs and branches to the pond."

Old Mother Nature nodded. "Just so," said she. "I want the rest of you to notice how well this canal has been dug. At the other end it is carried along the bottom of the pond where the water is shallow so as to give greater depth. Now you will understand why I called Paddy an engineer. What do you do with your logs and branches, Paddy?"

"Put them in my food-pile, out there where the water is deep near my house," replied Paddy promptly. "The bark I eat, and the bare sticks I use to keep my house and dam in repair. In the late fall I cut enough trees to keep me in food all winter. When my pond is covered with ice I have nothing to worry about; my food supply is below the ice. When I am hungry I swim out under the ice, get a stick, take it back into my house and eat the bark. Then I take the bare stick outside to use when needed on my dam or house."

"How did you come to make this fine pond?" asked Old Mother Nature.

"Oh, I just happened to come exploring up the Laughing Brook and found there was plenty of food here and a good place for a pond," replied Paddy. "I thought I would like to live here. Down where my dam is, the Laughing Brook was shallow—just the place for a dam."

"Tell us why you wanted a pond and how you built that dam," commanded Old Mother Nature.

"Why, I had to have a pond, if I was to stay here," replied Paddy, as if every one must understand that. "The Laughing Brook wasn't deep or big enough for me to live here safely. If it had been, I would have made my home in the bank and not bothered with a house or dam. But it wasn't, so I had to make a pond. It required a lot of hard work, but it is worth all it cost.

"First, I cut a lot of brush and young trees and placed them in the Laughing Brook in that shallow place, with the butts pointing up-stream. I kept them in place by piling mud and stones on them. Then I kept piling on more sticks and brush and mud. The water brought down leaves and floating stuff, and this caught in the dam and helped fill it in. I dug a lot of mud in front of it and used this to fill in the spaces between the sticks. This made the water deeper in front of the dam and at the same time kept it from getting through. As the water backed up, of course it made a pond. I kept making my dam longer and higher, and the longer and higher it became the bigger the pond grew. When it was big enough and deep enough to suit me, I stopped work on the dam and built my house out there."

Everybody turned to look at Paddy's house, the roof of which stood high out of water a little way from the dam. "Tell us how you built that," said Old Mother Nature quietly.

"Oh, I just made a big platform of sticks and mud out there where it was deep enough for me to be sure that the water could not freeze clear to the bottom, even in the coldest weather," replied Paddy, in a matter-of-fact tone. "I built it up until it was above water. Then I built the walls and roof of sticks and mud, just as you see them there. Inside I have a fine big room with a comfortable bed of shredded wood. I have two openings in the floor with a long passage leading from each down through the foundations and opening at the bottom of the pond. Of course, these are filled with water. Some houses have only one passage, but I like two. These are the only entrances to my house.

"Every fall I repair my walls and roof, adding sticks and mud and turf, so that now they are very thick. Late in the fall I sometimes plaster the outside with mud. This freezes hard, and no enemy who may reach my house on the ice can tear it open. I guess that's all."

Peter Rabbit drew a long breath. "What a dreadful lot of work," said he. "Do you work all the time?"

Paddy chuckled. "No, Peter," said he. "In the spring and summer I like to play and go on exploring trips. But when it is time to work, I work every minute. I believe in working with all my might when it is time to work, and playing the same way in play-time."

Old Mother Nature nodded in approval. "Quite right," said she. "Quite right. Are there any more questions?"

"Do you eat nothing but bark?" It was Happy Jack Squirrel who spoke.

"Oh, no," replied Paddy. "In summer I eat berries, mushrooms, grass and the leaves and stems of a number of plants. In winter I vary my fare with lily roots and the roots of alder and willow. But bark is my principal food."

Old Mother Nature waited a few minutes, but as there were no more questions she added a few words. "Now I hope you understand why I am so proud of Paddy the Beaver, and why I told you that he is a lumberman, builder and engineer," said she. "For the next lesson we will take up the Rat family."

 



A First Book in American History  by Edward Eggleston

William Penn

Part 2 of 2

William Penn presently began to preach and write in favor of the doctrines of the Friends. He soon got into trouble, and was imprisoned in the Tower of London for eight months. The duke of York was a great friend of William Penn's father, and he finally got Penn released from the Tower. The father now gave up opposing his son's religion. William Penn was arrested again in about a year for preaching in the street. He was tried, and spoke for himself very boldly in court. The jury, after listening to him, would not bring in any verdict but that he was guilty of speaking in the street.


[Illustration]

Tower of London

The judges were very angry with the jury, but the jurymen would not change their verdict. The judges of that day were very tyrannical. The jurymen in this case were fined, and sent to prison along with William Penn, who was imprisoned for wearing his hat in court. Soon after Penn was released, his father died. The admiral asked the Duke of York to befriend his son, who, he feared, would always be in trouble.


[Illustration]

Penn Appeals to the Jury

Penn now traveled in England, Wales, Ireland, Holland, and Germany, on his preaching journeys. He used all the influence he had at court with the king and the king's brother, the Duke of York, to get Quakers and other persecuted people out of prison.

The American colonies had come to be a place for people of all religions to flee to when they were troubled in England. Some members of the Society of Friends—Penn among others—began to be interested in West Jersey, a part of what is now the State of New Jersey, as a place of refuge for Quakers.

The English Government owed Penn's father a large sum of money. Charles II was in debt, and found it hard to pay what he owed, so at length Penn persuaded the king to grant him a tract of land on the west side of the Delaware River. The king named this Pennsylvania, in honor of Admiral Penn. William Penn made the laws of his colony such that nobody in it would be troubled because of his religion. He sent some colonists there in 1681. Some of the people dug holes in the river bank to live in when they first reached Pennsylvania. Penn himself came the next year, and laid out a city, naming it Philadelphia, which means "Brotherly Love."


[Illustration]

The site of Philadelphia is marked on this map by the letter "P"

William Penn managed the Indians well, and for many years after his death Pennsylvania had no wars. Penn made a treaty with the Indians under a large elm, in 1682. The woods were filled with savages, all armed and painted. The Quakers were but a handful. They wore neither weapons nor ornaments, except that Penn had a sky-blue sash around his waist. The Indians seated themselves on the ground around their various chiefs in the form of half-moons.


[Illustration]

Penn and the Indians

When Penn was a young man he had been famous for his skill in jumping and other exercises. Finding the Indians engaged in a jumping match one day, he took part with them, and they were much pleased to have the great governor share in their sport. Pennsylvania grew much faster than any of the other colonies. The government established by Penn was free, the Indians were friendly, and the land was sold in small farms, so that poor men could own their farms. People, therefore, liked to settle in Penn's colony.

After two years William Penn went back to England. King Charles II died soon after. William Penn's friend, the Duke of York, now became king as James II, and Penn was seen a great deal in the palace. He got the Friends relieved from all their troubles, but he came to be hated a great deal by those who disliked King James. When this king was driven from England, and King William and Queen Mary were set up in his stead, Penn was very much suspected of wishing to bring James back. He was arrested several times, but nothing could be proved against him. The control of Pennsylvania was taken from him also, but this was afterwards restored.

Penn returned to Pennsylvania in 1699. He was once taking a journey through his province when he met a little girl named Rebecca Wood going to "meeting" on foot. He took the little girl up behind him on his horse, and the great proprietor of Pennsylvania was seen riding gravely along with the bare legs and feet of a poor little girl dangling at his horse's side.

Penn returned again to England, and, after many years, died in 1718. His descendants appointed the governors of Pennsylvania until the Revolution.


[Illustration]

Wampum Belt Given by the Indians to William Penn

 



Charles Lamb

The Magpie's Nest

When the arts in their infancy were,

In a fable of old 'tis expressed,

A wise magpie constructed that rare

Little house for young birds, called a nest.


This was talked of the whole country round;

You might hear it on every bough sung,

"Now no longer upon the rough ground

Will fond mothers brood over their young.


"For the magpie with exquisite skill

Has invented a moss-covered cell,

Within which a whole family will

In the utmost security dwell."


To her mate did each female bird say,

"Let us fly to the magpie, my dear;

If she will but teach us the way,

A nest we will build us up here.


"It's a thing that's close arched overhead,

With a hole made to creep out and in;

We, my bird, might make just such a bed

If we only knew how to begin."


To the magpie soon all the birds went,

And in modest terms made their request,

That she would be pleased to consent

To teach them to build up a nest.


She replied: "I will show you the way,

So observe everything that I do.

First, two sticks 'cross each other I lay—"

"To be sure," said the crow, "why, I knew


"It must be begun with two sticks,

And I thought that they crossed should be,"

Said the pie, "Then some straw and moss mix

In the way you now see done by me."


"Oh, yes, certainly," said the jackdaw,

"That must follow, of course, I have thought;

Though I never before building saw,

I guessed that, without being taught."


More moss, more straw, and feathers, I place

In this manner," continued the pie.

"Yes, no doubt, madam, that is the case;

Though no builder myself, so thought I."


Whatever she taught them beside,

In his turn every bird of them said,

Though the nest-making art he ne'er tried,

He had just such a thought in his head.


Still the pie went on showing her art,

Till the nest she had built up halfway;

She no more of her skill would impart,

But in her anger went fluttering away.


And this speech in their hearing she made,

As she perched o'er their heads on a tree:

"If ye all were well skilled in my trade,

Pray, why came ye to learn it of me?"

 


  WEEK 12  

  Thursday  


Stories of Siegfried Told to the Children  by Mary Macgregor

The Wedding Feast

In joy and merriment the days flew by, while the court at Worms prepared to hold high festival in honour of King Gunther's matchless bride.

As the royal ships drew near Queen Uté and the Princess Kriemhild, accompanied by many a gallant knight, rode along the banks of the Rhine to greet Queen Brunhild.

Already the King had disembarked, and was leading his bride toward his gracious mother. Courteously did Queen Uté welcome the stranger, while Kriemhild kissed her and clasped her in her arms.

Some as they gazed upon the lovely maidens said that the warlike Queen Brunhild was more beautiful than the gentle Princess Kriemhild, but others, and these were the wiser, said that none could excel the peerless sister of the King.

In the great plain of Worms silk tents and gay pavilions had been placed. And there the ladies took shelter from the heat, while before them knights and warriors held a gay tournament. Then in the cool of the evening, a gallant train of lords and ladies, they rode toward the castle at Worms.

Queen Uté and her daughter went to their own apartments, while the King with Brunhild went into the banqueting hall where the wedding feast was spread.

But ere the feast had begun, Siegfried came and stood before the King.

"Sire," he said, "hast thou forgotten thy promise, that when Brunhild entered the royal city thy lady sister should be my bride?"

"Nay," cried the King, "my royal word do I ever keep," and going out into the hall he sent for the Princess.

"Dear sister," said Gunther, as she bowed before him, "I have pledged my word to a warrior that thou wilt become his bride, wilt thou help me to keep my promise?" Now Siegfried was standing by the King's side as he spoke.

Then the gentle maiden answered meekly, "Thy will, dear brother, is ever mine. I will take as lord him to whom thou hast promised my hand." And she glanced shyly at Siegfried, for surely this was the warrior to whom her royal brother had pledged his word.

Right glad then was the King, and Siegfried grew rosy with delight as he received the lady's troth. Then together they went to the banqueting hall, and on a throne next to King Gunther sat the hero-prince, the lady Kriemhild by his side.

But when Brunhild saw the King's beautiful sister sitting on a throne with Siegfried by her side, she began to weep.

"Why dost thou weep, fair lady?" said King Gunther. "Are not my lands, my castles, and all my warriors thine? Dim not thy bright eyes with thy tears."

"I may well weep," said Queen Brunhild, "because thy sister has plighted her troth to one who is but a vassal of thine own. Thy sister is worthy of a prince."

"Weep not," cried the King, "and when the banquet is ended I will tell thee how it is that Siegfried has won the hand of my lady sister."

"Nay," cried the impatient Queen, "thou must tell me without delay or never will I be thy wife," and Brunhild arose and stepped down from the throne.

King Gunther was displeased with the Queen's impatience, yet lest his guests should be disturbed, he answered her quickly:

"The hero Siegfried has as many castles as have I, and his realms are broader. In truth he is no vassal of mine. Ere long he will be King of the Netherlands."

Brunhild could but hide her anger now, yet in her heart she disliked Siegfried more than she had done before. It did not please her that he should be a greater king than Gunther.

When the banquet was ended, the wedding was celebrated, and the King placed a crown upon the brow of the haughty bride, for now she was his wife, and Queen of his fair realm of Burgundy.

Siegfried too was wedded to the maiden whom he loved so well, and though he had no crown to place upon her brow, the Princess was well content.

As wedding gifts the hero gave to his dear wife the treasure he had won from the Nibelungs, also the girdle and the ring which he had taken from Brunhild in her contests with King Gunther.

With his merry laugh Siegfried told his wife how he had fought for her royal brother, himself unseen, because he had on his Cloak of Darkness. And Kriemhild listening thought never had she known so fair, so brave a knight.

For fourteen days the wedding festivities never ceased. Then King Gunther and Prince Siegfried scattered costly gifts among their guests, so that they returned to their own lands in great glee.

No sooner were the guests departed than Siegfried also began to make ready to journey to his own country. Fain would he take his beautiful wife to see Siegmund and Sieglinde, and to dwell in the land over which one day he would be king.

Kriemhild, too, was glad to go to her dear lord's country. Taking a loving farewell of her lady mother, Queen Uté, and of her royal brothers, with five hundred knights of Burgundy and thirty-two Burgundian maids, Kriemhild rode away, Sir Siegfried by her side.

 



The Aesop for Children  by Milo Winter

The Wolf and the Ass

An Ass was feeding in a pasture near a wood when he saw a Wolf lurking in the shadows along the hedge. He easily guessed what the Wolf had in mind, and thought of a plan to save himself. So he pretended he was lame, and began to hobble painfully.

When the Wolf came up, he asked the Ass what had made him lame, and the Ass replied that he had stepped on a sharp thorn.

"Please pull it out," he pleaded, groaning as if in pain. "If you do not, it might stick in your throat when you eat me."

The Wolf saw the wisdom of the advice, for he wanted to enjoy his meal without any danger of choking. So the Ass lifted up his foot and the Wolf began to search very closely and carefully for the thorn.

Just then the Ass kicked out with all his might, tumbling the Wolf a dozen paces away. And while the Wolf was getting very slowly and painfully to his feet, the Ass galloped away in safety.


[Illustration]

"Serves me right," growled the Wolf as he crept into the bushes. "I'm a butcher by trade, not a doctor."

Stick to your trade.

 



Celia Thaxter

Wild Geese

The wind blows, the sun shines, the birds sing loud,

The blue, blue sky is flecked with fleecy dappled cloud,

Over earth's rejoicing fields the children dance and sing,

And the frogs pipe in chorus, "It is spring! It is spring!"


The grass comes, the flower laughs where lately lay the snow,

O'er the breezy hill-top hoarsely calls the crow,

By the flowing river the alder catkins swing,

And the sweet song-sparrow cries,"Spring! It is spring!"


Hark, what a clamor goes winging through the sky!

Look, children! Listen to the sound so wild and high!

Like a peal of broken bells,—kling, klang, kling,—

Far and high the wildgeese cry, "Spring! It is spring!"


Bear the winter off with you, O wild geese dear!

Carry all the cold away, far away from here;

Chase the snow into the North, O strong of heart and wing,

While we share the robin's rapture, crying, "Spring! It is spring!"

 


  WEEK 12  

  Friday  


The Awakening of Europe  by M. B. Synge

A Dutch Reformer

"Erasmus laid the egg and Luther hatched it."

—Old Monks of the Reformation.

T HE Netherlands now became absorbed in the greater kingdom of Charles V., who ruled over the largest empire since the days of Charlemagne. He was the grandson of that Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain who had driven the Moors from Granada and sent Columbus on his great voyage to the New World. From his father he inherited the Netherlands, and in the year 1519 he was elected Emperor over the heads of the Kings of France and England, both claimants for the high position. His reign was full of importance, not only for the Netherlands, but for the whole world; for a wonderful change was passing over Europe—that great Renaissance, at which we have already glanced for a moment. The new learning was spreading rapidly now, and the great empire of this Charles V. was not behind-hand to adopt it. Indeed Holland was to produce one of the greatest scholars of the age in Erasmus, the forerunner of Martin Luther, the famous German Reformer.

"I have given up my whole soul to Greek learning," said this man in the early days of his enthusiasm, "and as soon as I get any money I shall buy Greek books, and then I shall buy some clothes."

Erasmus was born at Rotterdam, one of the famous towns of the Netherlands at this time, in the year 1467, seven years after the death of the sailor Prince of Portugal. He was a bright little boy with flaxen hair, grey-blue eyes, and with the voice of an angel.

"This little fellow will come to something by-and-by," said a famous scholar, patting the boy's flaxen head; for he had been struck with the ability of Erasmus as he inspected the school where he was learning. The boy had a passion for study. He devoured any book he could get hold of. He was always at work, writing poetry or essays; always thinking and pondering, though full of life and brightness. But monastery life was distasteful to him, and at the age of twenty he was glad to escape to Paris, still wearing his monk's dress, to continue his studies. He yearned to go to Italy, the centre of the new learning; to mix with the great Greek scholars; to breathe in the new life, which had not as yet taken root in his own country. But money was not forthcoming for this, and he made his way to England, where the new learning had been well received.

"I have found in Oxford," he soon wrote, "so much polish and learning that now I hardly care about going to Italy at all. When I listen to my friend Colet, it seems like listening to Plato himself."

Amid a little group of English scholars Erasmus found the sympathy he needed. Still he worked on at Greek translations, and wrote a new grammar-book for the little scholars under the new learning. Moreover, he gained some repute by writing a song of triumph over the old world of darkness and ignorance, which was to vanish away before the light and knowledge of the new era.

But more than this. He had studied his Bible very deeply and carefully, specially the New Testament and the writings of the early Fathers. He was greatly struck with the difference between the teaching of Christ by His disciples in the old days of long ago, and the distorted version of Christianity now taught by the priests, monks, and clergy of Europe. The people knew only what they were taught by the priests. Copies of the Bible were rare, shut up in convent libraries, and read only by the few. Erasmus saw that before any reform could take place the Bible must be in the hands of all, rich and poor alike.

"I wish that even the weakest woman might read the Gospels and the Epistles of St Paul," he says as he works during the long hours at his translation and notes. "I long for the day when the husbandman shall sing portions of them to himself as he follows the plough, when the weaver shall hum them to the tune of his shuttle, when the travellers shall while away with their stories the weariness of the journey."

Since his boyhood printing-presses had been established everywhere. At last his work was finished, text and translation printed, and the wonderful story of Christ, His disciples and His teaching, was revealed to an astonished world in all its beautiful simplicity.

"A single candle shone far in the universal darkness."

The New Testament of Erasmus became the topic of the day; every household eagerly purchased a copy; it was read and discussed with alternate fear and joy. A new era was dawning. Erasmus had sown the seeds of that more far-reaching movement which Martin Luther was to finish. He had prepared the way; but a greater than he was needed to stand up boldly, with the eyes of Europe on him, to denounce the abuses that had crept into the Christian teaching, and to show mankind the Christ of the New Testament.

 



Gods and Heroes  by Robert Edward Francillon

The Narcissus

T HIS story has nothing to do with Apollo: but I may as well tell it among the other flower stories.


There was a very beautiful nymph named Echo, who had never, in all her life, seen anybody handsomer than the god Pan. You have read that Pan was the chief of all the Satyrs, and what hideous monsters the Satyrs were. So, when Pan made love to her, she very naturally kept him at a distance: and, as she supposed him to be no worse-looking than the rest of the world, she made up her mind to have nothing to do with love or love-making, and was quite content to ramble about the woods all alone.

But one day, to her surprise, she happened to meet with a young man who was as different from Pan as any creature could be. Instead of having a goat's legs and long hairy arms, he was as graceful as Apollo himself: no horns grew out of his forehead, and his ears were not long, pointed, and covered with hair, but just like Echo's own. And he was just as beautiful in face as he was graceful in form. I doubt if Echo would have thought even Apollo himself so beautiful.

The nymphs were rather shy, and Echo was the very shyest of them all. But she admired him so much that she could not leave the spot, and at last she even plucked up courage enough to ask him, "What is the name of the most beautiful being in the whole world?"

"Whom do you mean?" asked he. "Yourself? If you want to know your own name, you can tell it better than I can."

"No," said Echo, "I don't mean myself. I mean you. What is your  name?"

"My name is Narcissus," said he. "But as for my being beautiful—that is absurd."

"Narcissus!" repeated Echo to herself. "It is a beautiful name. Which of the nymphs have you come to meet here in these woods all alone? She is lucky—whoever she may be."

"I have come to meet nobody," said Narcissus. "But—am I really so beautiful? I have often been told so by other girls, of course; but really it is more than I can quite believe."

"And you don't care for any of those girls?"

"Why, you see," said Narcissus, "when all the girls one knows call one beautiful, there's no reason why I should care for one more than another. They all seem alike when they are all always saying just the same thing. Ah! I do wish I could see myself, so that I could tell if it was really true. I would marry the girl who could give me the wish of my heart—to see myself as other people see me. But as nobody can make me do that, why, I suppose I shall get on very well without marrying anybody at all."

Looking-glasses had not been invented in those days, so that Narcissus had really never seen even so much of himself as his chin.

"What!" cried Echo, full of hope and joy; "if I make you see your own face, you will marry me?"

"I said so," said he. "And of course what I say I'll do, I'll do."

"Then—come with me!"


Echo took him by the hand and led him to the edge of a little lake in the middle of the wood, full of clear water.

"Kneel down, Narcissus," said she, "and bend your eyes over the water-side. That lake is the mirror where Diana comes every morning to dress her hair, and in which, every night, the moon and the stars behold themselves. Look into that water, and see what manner of man you are!"

Narcissus kneeled down and looked into the lake. And, better than in any common looking-glass, he saw the reflected image of his own face—and he looked, and looked, and could not take his eyes away.

But Echo at last grew tired of waiting. "Have you forgotten what you promised me?" asked she. "Are you content now? Do you see now that what I told you is true?"

He lifted his eyes at last. "Oh, beautiful creature that I am!" said he. "I am indeed the most divine creature in the whole wide world. I love myself madly. Go away. I want to be with my beautiful image, with myself, all alone. I can't marry you. I shall never love anybody but myself for the rest of my days." And he kneeled down and gazed at himself once more, while poor Echo had to go weeping away.

Narcissus had spoken truly. He loved himself and his own face so much that he could think of nothing else: he spent all his days and nights by the lake, and never took his eyes away. But unluckily his image, which was only a shadow in the water, could not love him back again. And so he pined away until he died. And when his friends came to look for his body, they found nothing but a flower, into which his soul had turned. So they called it the Narcissus, and we call it so still. And yet I don't know that it is a particularly conceited or selfish flower.

As for poor Echo, she pined away too. She faded and faded until nothing was left of her but her voice. There are many places where she can even now be heard. And she still has the same trick of saying to vain and foolish people whatever they say to themselves, or whatever they would like best to hear said to them. If you go where Echo is, and call out loudly, "I am beautiful!"—she will echo your very words.

 

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


  WEEK 12  

  Saturday  


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

Baba Yaga


[Illustration]

"T ELL us about Baba Yaga," begged Maroosia.

"Yes," said Vanya, "please, grandfather, and about the little hut on hen's legs."

"Baba Yaga is a witch," said old Peter; "a terrible old woman she is, but sometimes kind enough. You know it was she who told Prince Ivan how to win one of the daughters of the Tzar of the Sea, and that was the best daughter of the bunch, Vasilissa the Very Wise. But then Baba Yaga is usually bad, as in the case of Vasilissa the Very Beautiful, who was only saved from her iron teeth by the cleverness of her Magic Doll."

"Tell us the story of the Magic Doll," begged Maroosia.

"I will some day," said old Peter.

"And has Baba Yaga really got iron teeth?" asked Vanya.

"Iron, like the poker and tongs," said old Peter.

"What for?" said Maroosia.

"To eat up little Russian children," said old Peter, "when she can get them. She usually only eats bad ones, because the good ones get away. She is bony all over, and her eyes flash, and she drives about in a mortar, beating it with a pestle, and sweeping up her tracks with a besom, so that you cannot tell which way she has gone."

"And her hut?" said Vanya. He had often heard about it before, but he wanted to hear about it again.

"She lives in a little hut which stands on hen's legs. Sometimes it faces the forest, sometimes it faces the path, and sometimes it walks solemnly about. But in some of the stories she lives in another kind of hut, with a railing of tall sticks, and a skull on each stick. And all night long fire glows in the skulls and fades as the dawn rises."

"Now tell us one of the Baba Yaga stories," said Maroosia.

"Please," said Vanya.

"I will tell you how one little girl got away from her, and then, if ever she catches you, you will know exactly what to do."

And old Peter put down his pipe and began:—

Baba Yaga and the Little Girl
with the Kind Heart

Once upon a time there was a widowed old man who lived alone in a hut with his little daughter. Very merry they were together, and they used to smile at each other over a table just piled with bread and jam. Everything went well, until the old man took it into his head to marry again.

Yes, the old man became foolish in the years of his old age, and he took another wife. And so the poor little girl had a stepmother. And after that everything changed. There was no more bread and jam on the table, and no more playing bo-peep, first this side of the samovar and then that, as she sat with her father at tea. It was worse than that, for she never did sit at tea. The stepmother said that everything that went wrong was the little girl's fault. And the old man believed his new wife, and so there were no more kind words for his little daughter. Day after day the stepmother used to say that the little girl was too naughty to sit at table. And then she would throw her a crust and tell her to get out of the hut and go and eat it somewhere else.

And the poor little girl used to go away by herself into the shed in the yard, and wet the dry crust with her tears, and eat it all alone. Ah me! she often wept for the old days, and she often wept at the thought of the days that were to come.

Mostly she wept because she was all alone, until one day she found a little friend in the shed. She was hunched up in a corner of the shed, eating her crust and crying bitterly, when she heard a little noise. It was like this: scratch—scratch. It was just that, a little gray mouse who lived in a hole.

Out he came, his little pointed nose and his long whiskers, his little round ears and his bright eyes. Out came his little humpy body and his long tail. And then he sat up on his hind legs, and curled his tail twice round himself and looked at the little girl.

The little girl, who had a kind heart, forgot all her sorrows, and took a scrap of her crust and threw it to the little mouse. The mouseykin nibbled and nibbled, and there, it was gone, and he was looking for another. She gave him another bit, and presently that was gone, and another and another, until there was no crust left for the little girl. Well, she didn't mind that. You see, she was so happy seeing the little mouse nibbling and nibbling.

When the crust was done the mouseykin looks up at her with his little bright eyes, and "Thank you," he says, in a little squeaky voice. "Thank you," he says; "you are a kind little girl, and I am only a mouse, and I've eaten all your crust. But there is one thing I can do for you, and that is to tell you to take care. The old woman in the hut (and that was the cruel stepmother) is own sister to Baba Yaga, the bony-legged, the witch. So if ever she sends you on a message to your aunt, you come and tell me. For Baba Yaga would eat you soon enough with her iron teeth if you did not know what to do."

"Oh, thank you," said the little girl; and just then she heard the stepmother calling to her to come in and clean up the tea things, and tidy the house, and brush out the floor, and clean everybody's boots.

So off she had to go.

When she went in she had a good look at her stepmother, and sure enough she had a long nose, and she was as bony as a fish with all the flesh picked off, and the little girl thought of Baba Yaga and shivered, though she did not feel so bad when she remembered the mouseykin out there in the shed in the yard.

The very next morning it happened. The old man went off to pay a visit to some friends of his in the next village, just as I go off sometimes to see old Fedor, God be with him. And as soon as the old man was out of sight the wicked stepmother called the little girl.

"You are to go to-day to your dear little aunt in the forest," says she, "and ask her for a needle and thread to mend a shirt."

"But here is a needle and thread," says the little girl.

"Hold your tongue," says the stepmother, and she gnashes her teeth, and they make a noise like clattering tongs. "Hold your tongue," she says. "Didn't I tell you you are to go to-day to your dear little aunt to ask for a needle and thread to mend a shirt?"

"How shall I find her?" says the little girl, nearly ready to cry, for she knew that her aunt was Baba Yaga, the bony-legged, the witch.

The stepmother took hold of the little girl's nose and pinched it.

"That is your nose," she says. "Can you feel it?"

"Yes," says the poor little girl.

"You must go along the road into the forest till you come to a fallen tree; then you must turn to your left, and then follow your nose and you will find her," says the stepmother. "Now, be off with you, lazy one. Here is some food for you to eat by the way." She gave the little girl a bundle wrapped up in a towel.

The little girl wanted to go into the shed to tell the mouseykin she was going to Baba Yaga, and to ask what she should do. But she looked back, and there was the stepmother at the door watching her. So she had to go straight on.

She walked along the road through the forest till she came to the fallen tree. Then she turned to the left. Her nose was still hurting where the stepmother had pinched it, so she knew she had to go straight ahead. She was just setting out when she heard a little noise under the fallen tree. "Scratch—scratch."

And out jumped the little mouse, and sat up in the road in front of her.

"O mouseykin, mouseykin," says the little girl, "my stepmother has sent me to her sister. And that is Baba Yaga, the bony-legged, the witch, and I do not know what to do."

"It will not be difficult," says the little mouse, "because of your kind heart. Take all the things you find in the road, and do with them what you like. Then you will escape from Baba Yaga, and everything will be well."

"Are you hungry, mouseykin?" said the little girl.

"I could nibble, I think," says the little mouse.

The little girl unfastened the towel, and there was nothing in it but stones. That was what the stepmother had given the little girl to eat by the way.

"Oh, I'm so sorry," says the little girl. "There's nothing for you to eat."

"Isn't there?" said mouseykin, and as she looked at them the little girl saw the stones turn to bread and jam. The little girl sat down on the fallen tree, and the little mouse sat beside her, and they ate bread and jam until they were not hungry any more.

"Keep the towel," says the little mouse; "I think it will be useful. And remember what I said about the things you find on the way. And now good-bye," says he.

"Good-bye," says the little girl, and runs along.

As she was running along she found a nice new handkerchief lying in the road. She picked it up and took it with her. Then she found a little bottle of oil. She picked it up and took it with her. Then she found some scraps of meat.

"Perhaps I'd better take them too," she said; and she took them.

Then she found a gay blue ribbon, and she took that. Then she found a little loaf of good bread, and she took that too.

"I daresay somebody will like it," she said.

And then she came to the hut of Baba Yaga, the bony-legged, the witch. There was a high fence round it with big gates. When she pushed them open they squeaked miserably, as if it hurt them to move. The little girl was sorry for them.

"How lucky," she says, "that I picked up the bottle of oil!" and she poured the oil into the hinges of the gates.

Inside the railing was Baba Yaga's hut, and it stood on hen's legs and walked about the yard. And in the yard there was standing Baba Yaga's servant, and she was crying bitterly because of the tasks Baba Yaga set her to do. She was crying bitterly and wiping her eyes on her petticoat.

"How lucky," says the little girl, "that I picked up a handkerchief!" And she gave the handkerchief to Baba Yaga's servant, who wiped her eyes on it and smiled through her tears.

Close by the hut was a huge dog, very thin, gnawing a dry crust.

"How lucky," says the little girl, "that I picked up a loaf!" And she gave the loaf to the dog, and he gobbled it up and licked his lips.

The little girl went bravely up to the hut and knocked on the door.

"Come in," says Baba Yaga.

The little girl went in, and there was Baba Yaga, the bony-legged, the witch, sitting weaving at a loom. In a corner of the hut was a thin black cat watching a mouse-hole.

"Good-day to you, auntie," says the little girl, trying not to tremble.

"Good-day to you, niece," says Baba Yaga.

"My stepmother has sent me to you to ask for a needle and thread to mend a shirt."

"Very well," says Baba Yaga, smiling, and showing her iron teeth. "You sit down here at the loom, and go on with my weaving, while I go and get you the needle and thread."

The little girl sat down at the loom and began to weave.

Baba Yaga went out and called to her servant, "Go, make the bath hot and scrub my niece. Scrub her clean. I'll make a dainty meal of her."

The servant came in for the jug. The little girl begged her, "Be not too quick in making the fire, and carry the water in a sieve." The servant smiled, but said nothing, because she was afraid of Baba Yaga. But she took a very long time about getting the bath ready.

Baba Yaga came to the window and asked,—

"Are you weaving, little niece? Are you weaving, my pretty?"

"I am weaving, auntie," says the little girl.

When Baba Yaga went away from the window, the little girl spoke to the thin black cat who was watching the mouse-hole.

"What are you doing, thin black cat?"

"Watching for a mouse," says the thin black cat. "I haven't had any dinner for three days."

"How lucky," says the little girl, "that I picked up the scraps of meat!" And she gave them to the thin black cat. The thin black cat gobbled them up, and said to the little girl,—

"Little girl, do you want to get out of this?"

"Catkin dear," says the little girl, "I do want to get out of this, for Baba Yaga is going to eat me with her iron teeth."

"Well," says the cat, "I will help you."

Just then Baba Yaga came to the window.

"Are you weaving, little niece?" she asked. "Are you weaving, my pretty?"

"I am weaving, auntie," says the little girl, working away, while the loom went clickety clack, clickety clack.

Baba Yaga went away.

Says the thin black cat to the little girl: "You have a comb in your hair, and you have a towel. Take them and run for it while Baba Yaga is in the bath-house. When Baba Yaga chases after you, you must listen; and when she is close to you, throw away the towel, and it will turn into a big, wide river. It will take her a little time to get over that. But when she does, you must listen; and as soon as she is close to you throw away the comb, and it will sprout up into such a forest that she will never get through it at all."

"But she'll hear the loom stop," says the little girl.

"I'll see to that," says the thin black cat.

The cat took the little girl's place at the loom.

Clickety clack, clickety clack; the loom never stopped for a moment.

The little girl looked to see that Baba Yaga was in the bath-house, and then she jumped down from the little hut on hen's legs, and ran to the gates as fast as her legs could flicker.

The big dog leapt up to tear her to pieces. Just as he was going to spring on her he saw who she was.

"Why, this is the little girl who gave me the loaf," says he. "A good journey to you, little girl;" and he lay down again with his head between his paws.

When she came to the gates they opened quietly, quietly, without making any noise at all, because of the oil she had poured into their hinges.

Outside the gates there was a little birch tree that beat her in the eyes so that she could not go by.

"How lucky," says the little girl, "that I picked up the ribbon!" And she tied up the birch tree with the pretty blue ribbon. And the birch tree was so pleased with the ribbon that it stood still, admiring itself, and let the little girl go by.

How she did run!

Meanwhile the thin black cat sat at the loom. Clickety clack, clickety clack, sang the loom; but you never saw such a tangle as the tangle made by the thin black cat.

And presently Baba Yaga came to the window.

"Are you weaving, little niece?" she asked. "Are you weaving, my pretty?"

"I am weaving, auntie," says the thin black cat, tangling and tangling, while the loom went clickety clack, clickety clack.

"That's not the voice of my little dinner," says Baba Yaga, and she jumped into the hut, gnashing her iron teeth; and there was no little girl, but only the thin black cat, sitting at the loom, tangling and tangling the threads.

"Grr," says Baba Yaga, and jumps for the cat, and begins banging it about. "Why didn't you tear the little girl's eyes out?"

"In all the years I have served you," says the cat, "you have only given me one little bone; but the kind little girl gave me scraps of meat."

Baba Yaga threw the cat into a corner, and went out into the yard.

"Why didn't you squeak when she opened you?" she asked the gates.

"Why didn't you tear her to pieces?" she asked the dog.

"Why didn't you beat her in the face, and not let her go by?" she asked the birch tree.

"Why were you so long in getting the bath ready? If you had been quicker, she never would have got away," said Baba Yaga to the servant.

And she rushed about the yard, beating them all, and scolding at the top of her voice.

"Ah!" said the gates, "in all the years we have served you, you never even eased us with water; but the kind little girl poured good oil into our hinges."

"Ah!" said the dog, "in all the years I've served you, you never threw me anything but burnt crusts; but the kind little girl gave me a good loaf."

"Ah!" said the little birch tree, "in all the years I've served you, you never tied me up, even with thread; but the kind little girl tied me up with a gay blue ribbon."

"Ah!" said the servant, "in all the years I've served you, you have never given me even a rag; but the kind little girl gave me a pretty handkerchief."

Baba Yaga gnashed at them with her iron teeth. Then she jumped into the mortar and sat down. She drove it along with the pestle, and swept up her tracks with a besom, and flew off in pursuit of the little girl.

The little girl ran and ran. She put her ear to the ground and listened. Bang, bang, bangety bang! she could hear Baba Yaga beating the mortar with the pestle. Baba Yaga was quite close. There she was, beating with the pestle and sweeping with the besom, coming along the road.


[Illustration]

There she was, beating with the pestle and sweeping with the besom.

As quickly as she could, the little girl took out the towel and threw it on the ground. And the towel grew bigger and bigger, and wetter and wetter, and there was a deep, broad river between Baba Yaga and the little girl.

The little girl turned and ran on. How she ran!

Baba Yaga came flying up in the mortar. But the mortar could not float in the river with Baba Yaga inside. She drove it in, but only got wet for her trouble. Tongs and pokers tumbling down a chimney are nothing to the noise she made as she gnashed her iron teeth. She turned home, and went flying back to the little hut on hen's legs. Then she got together all her cattle and drove them to the river.

"Drink, drink!" she screamed at them; and the cattle drank up all the river to the last drop. And Baba Yaga, sitting in the mortar, drove it with the pestle, and swept up her tracks with the besom, and flew over the dry bed of the river and on in pursuit of the little girl.

The little girl put her ear to the ground and listened. Bang, bang, bangety bang! She could hear Baba Yaga beating the mortar with the pestle. Nearer and nearer came the noise, and there was Baba Yaga, beating with the pestle and sweeping with the besom, coming along the road close behind.

The little girl threw down the comb, and it grew bigger and bigger, and its teeth sprouted up into a thick forest, thicker than this forest where we live—so thick that not even Baba Yaga could force her way through. And Baba Yaga, gnashing her teeth and screaming with rage and disappointment, turned round and drove away home to her little hut on hen's legs.

The little girl ran on home. She was afraid to go in and see her stepmother, so she ran into the shed.

Scratch, scratch! Out came the little mouse.

"So you got away all right, my dear," says the little mouse. "Now run in. Don't be afraid. Your father is back, and you must tell him all about it."

The little girl went into the house.

"Where have you been?" says her father; "and why are you so out of breath?"

The stepmother turned yellow when she saw her, and her eyes glowed, and her teeth ground together until they broke.

But the little girl was not afraid, and she went to her father and climbed on his knee, and told him everything just as it had happened. And when the old man knew that the stepmother had sent his little daughter to be eaten by Baba Yaga, he was so angry that he drove her out of the hut, and ever afterwards lived alone with the little girl. Much better it was for both of them.

"And the little mouse?" said Ivan.

"The little mouse," said old Peter, "came and lived in the hut, and every day it used to sit up on the table and eat crumbs, and warm its paws on the little girl's glass of tea."

"Tell us a story about a cat, please, grandfather," said Vanya, who was sitting with Vladimir curled up in his arms.

"The story of a very happy cat," said Maroosia; and then, scratching Bayan's nose, she added, "and afterwards a story about a dog."

"I'll tell you the story of a very unhappy cat who became very happy," said old Peter. "I'll tell you the story of the Cat who became Head-forester."

 



Seaside and Wayside, Book One  by Julia McNair Wright

The Wise Bees

I N the bee-hive all is not peace and joy. Foes come in and try to kill the poor bees. Who are these foes? A caterpillar may come into the hive to live. The bees do not like him. He is not clean; he is in their way.

Slugs also come in. Snails and moths come to steal the honey. When the foe is a small fly or slug, the bees kill it and take it out.

A large worm or a slug they cannot take out. What do they do then? They kill it, if they can, with their stings. Then they build over it a tomb, or grave, of wax and gum. That is to keep any bad smell from the cells. If a snail comes in, they take this same strong gum and glue him to the floor. Then he must die in his shell.


[Illustration]

The Fate of the Intruder

If a strange queen flies in, they will not sting her, but she must not stay. So the work bees form a ball about her, until she dies for lack of air.

I have told you how wasps kill bees. Birds eat bees. Some birds break into the hive to get honey. Bears like honey. They break up wild bees' nests.

Hens and toads eat bees. Moths make the worst trouble in bee-hives.


[Illustration]

A Foe at the Gate

In June or July, the work bees kill all the drones. They do not wish to feed them when it is cold. Bees lay up honey to eat when the flowers are dead and gone.

In the winter, bees sleep most of the time. They need some food to eat when they rouse. As soon as spring comes, they come out and go to work.

 



Anonymous

The Whale

It was in the year of ninety-four, in March the twentieth day,

Our gallant tars their anchors weighed, and for sea they bore away,

Brave boys,

And for sea they bore away.


Speedicut was our captain's name, our ship was the Lyon bold,

And we had gone to sea, brave boys, to face the storm and cold.


When that we came to the cold country

Where the frost and the snow did lie,

Where the frost and the snow, and the whale-fish so

blue and the daylight's never gone,

Brave boys,

And the daylight's never gone.


Our boatswain went to topmost high, with his spy-glass in his hand,

"A whale, a whale, a whale," he did cry,

"And she blows at every span."


Our captain stood on the quarter deck, and a clever

little man was he,

Overhaul, overhaul, let the wind-tackle fall, and

to launch your boats so free,

Brave boys,

And to launch your boats so free.


There's harpooneers, and line coilers, and line colecks also;

There's boat-steerers and sailors brave;

To the whale, to where she blows, to the whale, to where she blows,

Brave boys,

To the whale, to where she blows.


We struck the whale, and away she went, casts a flourish

with her tail,

But Oh, and alas, we've lost one man, and we did not kill the whale,

Brave boys,

And we did not kill that whale.


When that the news to our captain it did come, a sorrowful

man was he,

For the losing of his prentice boy, and down his colours drew he,

Brave boys,

And down his colours drew he.


Now, my lads, don't be amazed for the losing of one man,

For fortune it will take its place, let a man do all he can,

Brave boys,

Let a man do all he can.

 


  WEEK 12  

  Sunday  


Our Island Saints  by Amy Steedman

Saint Cuthbert

Part 2 of 2

The prior himself taught the boy his new lessons, for his love for the lad grew stronger and deeper each day. Boisil felt sure there was a great future before the youth, and he often dreamed dreams of the greatness in store for him and the work that he should do for God in the world.

"Who knows," he would say, "what honour God hath in store for thee. If heaven sends dreams, then is thy future sure, for I have seen thee wearing the bishop's mitre and holding the pastoral staff."

As for Cuthbert himself, he was too busy to think much of dreams or make plans for the future. Just as he had played his boyish games with all his might, so now he threw his whole soul into the work of the monastery. Lessons, prayer, fast and vigil, all were diligently attended to, and it was pleasant to see his glad cheerfulness when he was set to labour with his hands. The harder the task the more he seemed to enjoy it, and he rejoiced in the strength of his body which made him able to undertake much service. Although he now lived in the sheltered convent of the valley, his thoughts would often fly back, like homing birds, to the green hillsides, the glens and rocky passes, back to the little lonely weather-beaten hut where the old nurse lived. He never could forget the people who lived up there among the hills—poor shepherds, work-worn women and little children. It was a hard life they lived, with never a soul to bring them a message of hope or good cheer. Little wonder that their ways were often crooked and evil, and the thought of God but a far-off, dim, half-forgotten dream. Little wonder that black magic and witchcraft should still have power to enchain them in their ignorance and fearfulness.

The good prior often talked with the eager young brother about these wandering sheep, and when the time came he sent Cuthbert out with his blessing to work amongst the hills once more, to gather the flock into the true fold.

How well did Cuthbert know those steep mountain paths! With what a light heart did he find his way over the rough hillsides where no paths were, to reach some cluster of huts where a few poor families lived, or even a solitary dwelling where some poor soul needed his care. There was something about the young monk that won a welcome for him wherever he went. Perhaps it was because he was so sure that all would rejoice to hear the message he brought; perhaps it was because he looked for the best in every one and so they gave him of their best.

From place to place Cuthbert went, and it mattered not to him how rough was the road or how terrific the storms that swept over the border-land. The snow might lie deep upon the hills, and he might be forced to spend the whole day without food, but no difficulty ever turned him back or forced him to leave one but unvisited.

Far and near the people began to look anxiously for his coming, and to listen eagerly to his teaching. There was always much for him to do; many a tale of sin to listen to, many a sinner to be taught the way of repentance. There were children, too, to be baptized, and this was work which Cuthbert always loved. They were the little lambs of the flock to be specially guarded from the Evil One, who was ever prowling around to snatch them from the fold. The hut where the old nurse lived was often visited, for Cuthbert never forgot his friends.

There were other friends too that Cuthbert remembered and loved. His "little sisters the birds" soon learned to know and trust him again, and the wild animals of the hills grew tame under his hand. It is said that on one of his journeys, as he went to celebrate Mass with a little boy as server, they had finished all their food and were obliged to go hungry. Just then an eagle hovered above their heads and dropped a fish which it had just caught. The little boy seized it gladly and would have promptly prepared it for their meal, but Cuthbert asked if he did not think the kind fisherman deserved his share. The boy looked at the eagle and then at the small fish; but he knew what the master meant, so the fish was cut in half and the eagle swooped down to secure its share of the dinner.

There is another story told of the kindness shown by his furry friends to Saint Cuthbert, and it is a story which many people have remembered even when the history of Saint Cuthbert's life has been wellnigh forgotten.

It was when Cuthbert went to visit the holy Abbess of Coldingham, that, as was his wont when night came on, he wandered out to say his prayers in silence and alone. Now one of the brothers had long been anxious to know how it was that Cuthbert spent the long hours of the night, and so he stole down to the seashore and hid among the rocks, watching to see what would happen.

It was a cold bleak night, and the sea lay black and sullen outside the line of breakers, but Cuthbert seemed to have no fear of cold or blackness. Reaching the edge of the waves, he waded in deeper and ever deeper until the water rose as high as his chest. Standing thus, he sang his hymn of praise to God, and the sound of the psalms rose triumphant, hour after hour, above the sob of the sea and the wail of the wintry wind. Not till the first faint gleam of dawn touched the east with rosy light did Cuthbert cease his vigil of prayer and praise. Then, numbed and half frozen, he waded out and stood upon the shelving beach once more, and from the sea there followed him two otters. The watcher among the rocks saw the two little animals rub themselves tenderly against the frozen feet, until their soft fur brought back some warmth and life to the ice-cold limbs; and when their work was done they stole quietly back into the water and were seen no more. It is this legend of the kindness of the otters which has never been forgotten whenever the name of Saint Cuthbert is mentioned.

For fourteen years Cuthbert remained at Melrose, and when the good Boisil died the brethren chose the favourite young monk as their prior. But it was not long before he left the abbey of Melrose and went to the monastery of Lindisfarne, on the wild bleak island known as Holy Island. Here for twelve years he did his work as thoroughly and bravely as he had done when he was a monk at Melrose, and within the monastery his gentleness and infinite patience, his kindliness and wise dealing, smoothed away every difficulty, and brought peace and happiness to all the community.

It was no easy life he led on that bleak, bare, wind-swept island of the North Sea, but still Cuthbert sought for something harder and more difficult to endure. He longed to follow the example of the hermit saints of old, and he made up his mind to seek some desert spot where he might live alone with God, far from the world with its love of ease and its deadly temptations.

From the monastery of Lindisfarne, Cuthbert had often gazed across to the little islands which in summer-time shone like jewels set in a silver sea, and in winter seemed like little grey lonely ghosts wrapped in their shroud of easterly haar, or lashed by the cruel north wind until only the white foam of the breakers marked the spot where they stood. It was whispered by the brethren that evil spirits had their haunt upon the wildest of those little islands, and it seemed a fit place for the powers of darkness to work their will. There was not a tree and scarcely a plant upon the little island of Farne, for the bitter winds blew the salt spray in from every side, and only the wild sea-birds, gulls, kittiwakes, puffins, and eider-ducks, found shelter among the rocks to build their nests.

It seemed exactly the spot that Cuthbert sought for his retreat, and he only smiled when the brethren sought to dissuade him, and talked of the dangers that awaited any one who dared to land upon that island.

"Have we not ourselves heard the demon shrieks and their wild wicked laughter on stormy nights?" said one brother solemnly.

"Ay, and have we not seen the glitter of the demon lights set there to lure poor fishermen to their destruction?" said another.

"The greater need, then, that I should go," said Cuthbert. "Christ's soldier is the fittest champion to fight the powers of darkness."

So Christ's soldier went out to seek a home on the desolate island, and all alone there he set to work to found a little kingdom of his own. Whether the demons fled at the approach of the holy man, or whether they fought for their kingdom and were cast out by the might of Saint Cuthbert, or whether he found only the shrieking wind and wail of the wild birds instead of the howls of a demon crew, we know not. But certain it is that when at last some of the brothers ventured over, half timidly, to see how their prior fared, they found only Cuthbert and the wild birds there in peaceful solitude.

The hut which he had built for himself against the rocks was almost like a sea-bird's nest, for it was hollowed out deep within, and its walls were of rough stones and turf, its roof of poles and dried grass. It must have been a work of great labour to build that wall, and some of the stones were so large that it seemed as if it would have needed three men to move them.

"He could not have done it by himself," whispered the brethren; "it is God's angels who have helped him." And when, too, they found a spring of clear water gushing from the rock close to the little oratory, they said in their hearts, "He who turneth the stony rock into pools of water, hath here again shown His care for His servant."

At first it was needful that food should be brought to Cuthbert on the desolate island, but he was very anxious to provide for himself, for he always loved to work with his hands. The first crop of corn which he sowed came to nought, but the next thing he tried was barley, and that grew and flourished, and Cuthbert was content to think that now no longer was he dependent on others for his food. Yet it was but a scanty supply of grain that he had, and it was not without reason that the people whispered that the angels must bring food to the holy man, for he never seemed to lack the daily bread.

The wild birds that built their nests in the island of Farne soon grew accustomed to their new companion, and ceased to rise in white clouds when he came near. Of all the birds the eider-ducks were his special favourites and his special friends, and even to this day they are known by the name of Saint Cuthbert's ducks. So friendly did they become that, when the sunny month of June smiled on the little island and the mother duck was sitting upon her nest, she would allow Saint Cuthbert to come near and gently stroke her, and even let him peep inside at the hidden treasure—the five pale olive-coloured eggs that lay so snugly at the bottom of the nest.

For eight years Cuthbert lived his life of prayer and self-denial in the little home he had made for himself, but at the end of that time God had other work for him to do. In the world of strife and human passions the Church had need of a strong arm and a pure heart, and it was decided that the hermit of Farne Island should be called forth and made a bishop.

A company of men landed on the island and brought the message to the lonely man in his little oratory, but Cuthbert would not listen to their pleading. The honour was too great for him, he said, and he prayed them to leave him to his prayers. Then it was that the King himself, with the bishops and great men of the kingdom, came in a wondrous procession and besought Cuthbert to come out and do battle for God in the Church. Cuthbert saw then that it was the will of God, and very sorrowfully he yielded. It was with a sad heart that he left his home among the wild birds and prepared to take his place in the world again as Bishop of Lindisfarne. The dreams of Boisil, the good prior of Melrose, had indeed come true. The shepherd lad of the hills, the monk of Melrose, the prior of Lindisfarne, the hermit of Farne, now held the pastoral staff and wore the mitre of a bishop.

It was no mere sign of office that Cuthbert held in his hand the pastoral staff. He was indeed a shepherd and bishop of men's souls, and he guarded and tended his flock as carefully as in the old days he had tended the sheep upon the hills. Once again he trod the rough hilly paths and brought comfort and help to those who were afar off, and lit the lamp of faith that had grown dim. Sometimes, in the wild waste districts where there was no church and but few huts, the people would build a shelter for him with the boughs of trees, and there, in Nature's green cathedral, they would gather the children together for confirmation. Surely none of the little ones ever forgot that moment when they knelt before the good Bishop and felt the touch of his hand upon their bowed heads. The pale thin face was worn with suffering and hardship now, but the old sweet smile still drew all men's hearts out to him, and the love that shone in his eyes seemed more of heaven than of earth. He had always loved the lambs of the flock, and each little fair head upon which he laid his hand had a special place in his heart, as he gathered them into the fold of the Good Shepherd.

But it was not only the souls of his people for which Cuthbert cared, but for their bodies as well. Many an illness did he cure: many a stricken man owed his life to the Bishop's care. It seemed as if his very presence put fresh courage and strength into those who were thought to be dying, so that the touch of his hand led them back from the very gates of death. God had indeed given His servant special powers of healing, and who shall measure the power of a good man's prayers?

Once, in a far-off hamlet which had been visited by a deadly sickness, Cuthbert had gone from hut to hut, visiting and cheering each one of his people, leaving behind him courage and returning health. He was very weary and worn out, for the work had been heavy, but before leaving, he turned to a priest who was with him and said, "Is there still any one sick in this place whom I can bless before I depart?"

"There is still one poor woman over yonder," answered the priest. "One of her sons is already dead and the other is dying even now."

A few swift strides and the Bishop was by the side of the stricken mother. No thought had he of the danger of catching the terrible disease. His strong loving hands gently drew the dying child from her arms, and, holding the little one close to his heart, he knelt and prayed that God would spare the little life. Even as he prayed the child's breathing grew easier, and the cold cheek grew flushed and warm, and when he placed him again in his mother's arms it was a living child she held and not a dying one now.

But Cuthbert's strength was waning fast, and the old splendid health and strength were gone. He knew his work was drawing to a close and the days of his usefulness were over, and with the knowledge came a great longing to creep away to the little sea-girt island, and spend the last few months alone with God.

It was with heavy hearts that the brothers watched the little boat made ready which was to carry their beloved Bishop away from their care.

"Tell us, Reverend Bishop, when may we hope for thy return?" cried one.

"When you shall bring my body back," was the calm answer. Then they knew that this was their last farewell, and they knelt in silence to receive his blessing.

The end was not far off. A few short weeks amongst the happy birds; a worn weary body laying itself down to rest before the altar in the little oratory; a glad soul winging its triumphant flight back to God, and Saint Cuthbert's earthly life was over.

The end? Nay, there is no ending to the lives of God's saints, for they come down to us through the ages, a golden inheritance which can never die; stars in the dark night shining steadily on, with a light "which shineth more and more unto the perfect Day."

 



Winnie-the-Pooh  by A. A. Milne

Christopher Robin Leads an Expotition

Part 1 of 2

O NE fine day Pooh had stumped up to the top of the Forest to see if his friend Christopher Robin was interested in Bears at all. At breakfast that morning (a simple meal of marmalade spread lightly over a honeycomb or two) he had suddenly thought of a new song. It began like this:

"Sing Ho! for the life of a Bear."

When he had got as far as this, he scratched his head, and thought to himself "That's a very good start for a song, but what about the second line?" He tried singing "Ho," two or three times, but it didn't seem to help. "Perhaps it would be better," he thought, "if I sang Hi for the life of a Bear." So he sang it . . . but it wasn't. "Very well, then," he said, "I shall sing that first line twice, and perhaps if I sing it very quickly, I shall find myself singing the third and fourth lines before I have time to think of them, and that will be a Good Song. Now then:"

Sing Ho! for the life of a Bear!

Sing Ho! for the life of a Bear!

I don't much mind if it rains or snows,

'Cos I've got a lot of honey on my nice new nose,

I don't much care if it snows or thaws,

'Cos I've got a lot of honey on my nice clean paws!

Sing Ho! for a Bear!

Sing Ho! for a Pooh!

And I'll have a little something in an hour or two!

He was so pleased with this song that he sang it all the way to the top of the Forest, "and if I go on singing it much longer," he thought, "it will be time for the little something, and then the last line won't be true." So he turned it into a hum instead.

Christopher Robin was sitting outside his door, putting on his Big Boots. As soon as he saw the Big Boots, Pooh knew that an Adventure was going to happen, and he brushed the honey off his nose with the back of his paw, and spruced himself up as well as he could, so as to look Ready for Anything.

"Good-morning, Christopher Robin," he called out.

"Hallo, Pooh Bear. I can't get this boot on."

"That's bad," said Pooh.

"Do you think you could very kindly lean against me, 'cos I keep pulling so hard that I fall over backwards."

Pooh sat down, dug his feet into the ground, and pushed hard against Christopher Robin's back, and Christopher Robin pushed hard against his, and pulled and pulled at his boot until he had got it on.


[Illustration]

"And that's that," said Pooh. "What do we do next?"

"We are all going on an Expedition," said Christopher Robin, as he got up and brushed himself. "Thank you, Pooh."

"Going on an Expotition?" said Pooh eagerly. "I don't think I've ever been on one of those. Where are we going to on this Expotition?"

"Expedition, silly old Bear. It's got an 'x' in it."

"Oh!" said Pooh. "I know." But he didn't really.

"We're going to discover the North Pole."

"Oh!" said Pooh again. "What is  the North Pole?" he asked.

"It's just a thing you discover," said Christopher Robin carelessly, not being quite sure himself.

"Oh! I see," said Pooh. "Are bears any good at discovering it?"

"Of course they are. And Rabbit and Kanga and all of you. It's an Expedition. That's what an Expedition means. A long line of everybody. You'd better tell the others to get ready, while I see if my gun's all right. And we must all bring Provisions."

"Bring what?"

"Things to eat."

"Oh!" said Pooh happily. "I thought you said Provisions. I'll go and tell them." And he stumped off.


[Illustration]

The first person he met was Rabbit.

"Hallo, Rabbit," he said, "is that you?"

"Let's pretend it isn't," said Rabbit, "and see what happens."

"I've got a message for you."

"I'll give it to him."

"We're all going on an Expotition with Christopher Robin!"

"What is it when we're on it?"

"A sort of boat, I think," said Pooh.

"Oh! that sort."

"Yes. And we're going to discover a Pole or something. Or was it a Mole? Anyhow we're going to discover it."

"We are, are we?" said Rabbit.

"Yes. And we've got to bring Pro—things to eat with us. In case we want to eat them. Now I'm going down to Piglet's. Tell Kanga, will you?"


[Illustration]

He left Rabbit and hurried down to Piglet's house. The Piglet was sitting on the ground at the door of his house blowing happily at a dandelion, and wondering whether it would be this year, next year, sometime or never. He had just discovered that it would be never, and was trying to remember what "it"  was, and hoping it wasn't anything nice, when Pooh came up.

"Oh! Piglet," said Pooh excitedly, "we're going on an Expotition, all of us, with things to eat. To discover something."

"To discover what?" said Piglet anxiously.

"Oh! just something."

"Nothing fierce?"

"Christopher Robin didn't say anything about fierce. He just said it had an 'x'."

"It isn't their necks I mind," said Piglet earnestly. "It's their teeth. But if Christopher Robin is coming I don't mind anything."

In a little while they were all ready at the top of the Forest, and the Expotition started. First came Christopher Robin and Rabbit, then Piglet and Pooh; then Kanga, with Roo in her pocket, and Owl; then Eeyore; and, at the end, in a long line, all Rabbit's friends-and-relations.


[Illustration]

"I didn't ask them," explained Rabbit carelessly. "They just came. They always do. They can march at the end, after Eeyore."

"What I say," said Eeyore, "is that it's unsettling. I didn't want to come on this Expo—what Pooh said. I only came to oblige. But here I am; and if I am the end of the Expo—what we're talking about—then let me be  the end. But if, every time I want to sit down for a little rest, I have to brush away half a dozen of Rabbit's smaller friends-and-relations first, then this isn't an Expo—whatever it is—at all, it's simply a Confused Noise. That's what I  say."


[Illustration]

"I see what Eeyore means," said Owl. "If you ask me—"

"I'm not asking anybody," said Eeyore. "I'm just telling everybody. We can look for the North Pole, or we can play 'Here we go gathering Nuts and May' with the end part of an ant's nest. It's all the same to me."

There was a shout from the top of the line.

"Come on!" called Christopher Robin.

"Come on!" called Pooh and Piglet.

"Come on!" called Owl.

"We're starting," said Rabbit. "I must go." And he hurried off to the front of the Expotition with Christopher Robin.

"All right," said Eeyore. "We're going. Only Don't Blame Me."

So off they all went to discover the Pole. And as they walked, they chattered to each other of this and that, all except Pooh, who was making up a song.

 



Sir Walter Scott

Lullaby of an Infant Chief

Oh, hush thee, my babie, thy sire was a knight,

Thy mother a lady, both lovely and bright;

The woods and the glens from the tower which we see,

They all are belonging, dear babie, to thee.

O ho ro, i ri ri, cadul gu lo

O ho ro, i ri ri, cadul gu lo


Oh, fear not the bugle, though loudly it blows,

It calls but the warders that guard thy repose;

Their bows would be bended, their blades would be red,

Ere the step of a foeman draws near to thy bed.

O ho ro, i ri ri, cadul gu lo

O ho ro, i ri ri, cadul gu lo


Oh, hush thee, my babie, the time will soon come,

When thy sleep shall be broken by trumpet and drum;

Then hush thee, my darling, take rest while you may,

For strife comes with manhood, and waking with day.

O ho ro, i ri ri, cadul gu lo

O ho ro, i ri ri, cadul gu lo