Text of Plan #981
  WEEK 35  

  Monday  


Heidi  by Johanna Spyri

There Is a Great Commotion in the Large House

S EBASTIAN had just shown the tutor into the study on the following morning when there came another and very loud ring at the bell, which Sebastian ran quickly to answer. "Only Herr Sesemann rings like that," he said to himself; "he must have returned home unexpectedly." He pulled open the door, and there in front of him he saw a ragged little boy carrying a hand-organ on his back.

"What's the meaning of this?" said Sebastian angrily. "I'll teach you to ring bells like that! What do you want here?"

"I want to see Clara," the boy answered.

"You dirty, good-for-nothing little rascal, can't you be polite enough to say 'Miss Clara'? What do you want with her?" continued Sebastian roughly.

"She owes me fourpence," explained the boy.

"You must be out of your mind! And how do you know that any young lady of that name lives here?"

"She owes me twopence for showing her the way there, and twopence for showing her the way back."

"See what a pack of lies you are telling! The young lady never goes out, cannot even walk; be off and get back to where you came from, before I have to help you along."

But the boy was not to be frightened away; he remained standing, and said in a determined voice, "But I saw her in the street, and can describe her to you; she has short, curly black hair, and black eyes, and wears a brown dress, and does not talk quite like we do."

"Oho!" thought Sebastian, laughing to himself, "the little miss has evidently been up to more mischief." Then, drawing the boy inside he said aloud, "I understand now, come with me and wait outside the door till I tell you to go in. Be sure you begin playing your organ the instant you get inside the room; the lady is very fond of music."

Sebastian knocked at the study door, and a voice said, "Come in."

"There is a boy outside who says he must speak to Miss Clara herself," Sebastian announced.

Clara was delighted at such an extraordinary and unexpected message.

"Let him come in at once," replied Clara; "he must come in, must he not," she added, turning to her tutor, "if he wishes so particularly to see me?"

The boy was already inside the room, and according to Sebastian's directions immediately began to play his organ. Fraülein Rottenmeier, wishing to escape the A B C, had retired with her work to the dining-room. All at once she stopped and listened. Did those sounds come up from the street? And yet they seemed so near! But how could there be an organ playing in the study? And yet—it surely was so. She rushed to the other end of the long dining-room and tore open the door. She could hardly believe her eyes. There, in the middle of the study, stood a ragged boy turning away at his organ in the most energetic manner. The tutor appeared to be making efforts to speak, but his voice could not be heard. Both children were listening delightedly to the music.

"Leave off! leave off at once!" screamed Fraülein Rottenmeier. But her voice was drowned by the music. She was making a dash for the boy, when she saw something on the ground crawling towards her feet—a dreadful dark object—a tortoise. At this sight she jumped higher than she had for many long years before, shrieking with all her might, "Sebastian! Sebastian!"

The organ-player suddenly stopped, for this time her voice had risen louder than the music. Sebastian was standing outside bent double with laughter, for he had been peeping to see what was going on. By the time he entered the room Fraülein Rottenmeier had sunk into a chair.

"Take them all out, boy and animal! Get them away at once!" she commanded him.

Sebastian pulled the boy away, the latter having quickly caught up the tortoise, and when he had got him outside he put something into his hand. "There is the fourpence from Miss Clara, and another fourpence for the music. You did it all quite right!" and with that he shut the front door upon him.

Quietness reigned again in the study, and lessons began once more; Fraülein Rottenmeier now took up her station in the study in order by her presence to prevent any further dreadful goings-on.

But soon another knock came to the door, and Sebastian again stepped in, this time to say that some one had brought a large basket with orders that it was to be given at once to Miss Clara.

"For me?" said Clara in astonishment, her curiosity very much excited, "bring it in at once that I may see what it is like."

Sebastian carried in a large covered basket and retired.

"I think the lessons had better be finished first before the basket is unpacked," said Fraülein Rottenmeier.

Clara could not conceive what was in it, and cast longing glances towards it. In the middle of one of her declensions she suddenly broke off and said to the tutor, "Mayn't I just give one peep inside to see what is in it before I go on?"

"On some considerations I am for it, on others against it," he began in answer; "for it, on the ground that if your whole attention is directed to the basket—" but the speech remained unfinished. The cover of the basket was loose, and at this moment one, two, three, and then two more, and again more kittens came suddenly tumbling on to the floor and racing about the room in every direction, and with such indescribable rapidity that it seemed as if the whole room was full of them. They jumped over the tutor's boots, bit at his trousers, climbed up Fraülein Rottenmeier's dress, rolled about her feet, sprang up on to Clara's couch, scratching, scrambling, and mewing: it was a sad scene of confusion. Clara, meanwhile, pleased with their gambols, kept on exclaiming, "Oh, the dear little things! how pretty they are! Look, Heidi, at this one; look, look, at that one over there!" And Heidi in her delight kept running after them first into one corner and then into the other. The tutor stood up by the table not knowing what to do, lifting first his right foot and then his left to get it away from the scrambling, scratching kittens. Fraülein Rottenmeier was unable at first to speak at all, so overcome was she with horror, and she did not dare rise from her chair for fear that all the dreadful little animals should jump upon her at once. At last she found voice to call loudly, "Tinette! Tinette! Sebastian! Sebastian!"

They came in answer to her summons and gathered up the kittens; by degrees they got them all inside the basket again and then carried them off to put with the other two.

To-day again there had been no opportunity for gaping. Late that evening, when Fraülein Rottenmeier had somewhat recovered from the excitement of the morning, she sent for the two servants, and examined them closely concerning the events of the morning. And then it came out that Heidi was at the bottom of them, everything being the result of her excursion of the day before. Fraülein Rottenmeier sat pale with indignation and did not know at first how to express her anger. Then she made a sign to Tinette and Sebastian to withdraw, and turning to Heidi, who was standing by Clara's couch, quite unable to understand of what sin she had been guilty, began in a severe voice,—

"Adelaide, I know of only one punishment which will perhaps make you alive to your ill conduct, for you are an utter little barbarian, but we will see if we cannot tame you so that you shall not be guilty of such deeds again, by putting you in a dark cellar with the rats and black beetles."

Heidi listened in silence and surprise to her sentence, for she had never seen a cellar such as was now described; the place known at her grandfather's as the cellar, where the fresh made cheeses and the new milk were kept, was a pleasant and inviting place; neither did she know at all what rats and black beetles were like.

But now Clara interrupted in great distress. "No, no, Fraülein Rottenmeier, you must wait till papa comes; he has written to say that he will soon be home, and then I will tell him everything, and he will say what is to be done with Heidi."

Fraülein Rottenmeier could not do anything against this superior authority, especially as the father was really expected very shortly. She rose and said with some displeasure, "As you will, Clara, but I too shall have something to say to Herr Sesemann." And with that she left the room.

Two days now went by without further disturbance. Fraülein Rottenmeier, however, could not recover her equanimity; she was perpetually reminded by Heidi's presence of the deception that had been played upon her, and it seemed to her that ever since the child had come into the house everything had been topsy-turvy, and she could not bring things into proper order again. Clara had grown much more cheerful; she no longer found time hang heavy during the lesson hours, for Heidi was continually making a diversion of some kind or other. She jumbled all her letters up together and seemed quite unable to learn them, and when the tutor tried to draw her attention to their different shapes, and to help her by showing her that this was like a little horn, or that like a bird's bill, she would suddenly exclaim in a joyful voice, "That is a goat!" "That is a bird of prey!" For the tutor's descriptions suggested all kinds of pictures to her mind, but left her still incapable of the alphabet. In the later afternoons Heidi always sat with Clara, and then she would give the latter many and long descriptions of the mountain and of her life upon it, and the burning longing to return would become so overpowering that she always finished with the words, "Now I must go home! to-morrow I must really go!" But Clara would try to quiet her, and tell Heidi that she must wait till her father returned, and then they would see what was to be done. And if Heidi gave in each time and seemed quickly to regain her good spirits, it was because of a secret delight she had in the thought that every day added two more white rolls to the number she was collecting for grandmother; for she always pocketed the roll placed beside her plate at dinner and supper, feeling that she could not bear to eat them, knowing that grandmother had no white bread and could hardly eat the black bread which was so hard. After dinner Heidi had to sit alone in her room for a couple of hours, for she understood now that she might not run about outside at Frankfurt as she did on the mountain, and so she did not attempt it. Any conversation with Sebastian in the dining-room was also forbidden her, and as to Tinette, she kept out of her way, and never thought of speaking to her, for Heidi was quite aware that the maid looked scornfully at her and always spoke to her in a mocking voice. So Heidi had plenty of time from day to day to sit and picture how everything at home was now turning green, and how the yellow flowers were shining in the sun, and how all around lay bright in the warm sunshine, the snow and the rocks, and the whole wide valley, and Heidi at times could hardly contain herself for the longing to be back home again. And Dete had told her that she could go home whenever she liked. So it came about one day that Heidi felt she could not bear it any longer, and in haste she tied all the rolls up in her red shawl, put on her straw hat, and went downstairs. But just as she reached the hall-door she met Fraülein Rottenmeier herself, just returning from a walk, which put a stop to Heidi's journey.

Fraülein Rottenmeier stood still a moment, looking at her from top to toe in blank astonishment, her eye resting particularly on the red bundle. Then she broke out,—

"What have you dressed yourself like that for? What do you mean by this? Have I not strictly forbidden you to go running about in the streets? And here you are ready to start off again, and going out looking like a beggar."

"I was not going to run about, I was going home," said Heidi, frightened.

"What are you talking about! Going home! You want to go home?" exclaimed Fraülein Rottenmeier, her anger rising. "To run away like that! What would Herr Sesemann say if he knew! Take care that he never hears of this! And what is the matter with his house, I should like to know! Have you not been better treated than you deserved? Have you wanted for a thing? Have you ever in your life before had such a house to live in, such a table, or so many to wait upon you? Have you?"

"No," replied Heidi.

"I should think not indeed!" continued the exasperated lady. "You have everything you can possibly want here, and you are an ungrateful little thing; it's because you are too well off and comfortable that you have nothing to do but think what naughty thing you can do next!"

Then Heidi's feelings got the better of her, and she poured forth her trouble. "Indeed I only want to go home, for if I stay so long away Snowflake will begin crying again, and grandmother is waiting for me, and Greenfinch will get beaten, because I am not there to give Peter any cheese, and I can never see how the sun says good-night to the mountains; and if the great bird were to fly over Frankfurt he would croak louder than ever about people huddling all together and teaching each other bad things, and not going to live up on the rocks, where it is so much better."

"Heaven have mercy on us, the child is out of her mind!" cried Fraülein Rottenmeier, and she turned in terror and went quickly up the steps, running violently against Sebastian in her hurry. "Go and bring that unhappy little creature in at once," she ordered him, putting her hand to her forehead which she had bumped against his.

Sebastian did as he was told, rubbing his own head as he went, for he had received a still harder blow.

Heidi had not moved; she stood with her eyes aflame and trembling all over with inward agitation.

"What, got into trouble again?" said Sebastian in a cheerful voice; but when he looked more closely at Heidi and saw that she did not move, he put his hand kindly on her shoulder, and said, trying to comfort her, "There, there, don't take it to heart so much; keep up your spirits, that is the great thing! She has nearly made a hole in my head, but don't you let her bully you." Then seeing that Heidi still did not stir, "We must go; she ordered me to take you in."

Heidi now began mounting the stairs, but with a slow, crawling step, very unlike her usual manner. Sebastian felt quite sad as he watched her, and as he followed her up he kept trying to encourage her. "Don't you give in! don't let her make you unhappy! You keep up your courage! Why we've got such a sensible little miss that she has never cried once since she was here; many at that age cry a good dozen times a day. The kittens are enjoying themselves very much up in their home; they jump about all over the place and behave as if they were little mad things. Later we will go up and see them, when Fraülein is out of the way, shall we?"

Heidi gave a little nod of assent, but in such a joyless manner that it went to Sebastian's heart, and he followed her with sympathetic eyes as she crept away to her room.

At supper that evening Fraülein Rottenmeier did not speak, but she cast watchful looks towards Heidi as if expecting her at any minute to break out in some extraordinary way; but Heidi sat without moving or eating; all that she did was to hastily hide her roll in her pocket.

When the tutor arrived next morning, Fraülein Rottenmeier drew him privately aside, and confided her fear to him that the change of air and the new mode of life and unaccustomed surroundings had turned Heidi's head; then she told him of the incident of the day before, and of Heidi's strange speech. But the tutor assured her she need not be in alarm; he had already become aware that the child was somewhat eccentric, but otherwise quite right in her mind, and he was sure that, with careful treatment and education, the right balance would be restored, and it was this he was striving after. He was the more convinced of this by what he now heard, and by the fact that he had so far failed to teach her the alphabet, Heidi seeming unable to understand the letters.

Fraülein Rottenmeier was considerably relieved by his words, and released the tutor to his work. In the course of the afternoon the remembrance of Heidi's appearance the day before, as she was starting out on her travels, suddenly returned to the lady, and she made up her mind that she would supplement the child's clothing with various garments from Clara's wardrobe, so as to give her a decent appearance when Herr Sesemann returned. She confided her intention to Clara, who was quite willing to make over any number of dresses and hats to Heidi; so the lady went upstairs to overhaul the child's belongings and see what was to be kept and what thrown away. She returned, however, in the course of a few minutes with an expression of horror upon her face.

"What is this, Adelaide, that I find in your wardrobe!" she exclaimed. "I never heard of any one doing such a thing before! In a cupboard meant for clothes, Adelaide, what do I see at the bottom but a heap of rolls! Will you believe it, Clara, bread in a wardrobe! a whole pile of bread! Tinette," she called to that young woman, who was in the dining-room, "go upstairs and take away all those rolls out of Adelaide's cupboard and the old straw hat on the table."

"No! no!" screamed Heidi. "I must keep the hat, and the rolls are for grandmother," and she was rushing to stop Tinette when Fraülein Rottenmeier took hold of her. "You will stop here, and all that bread and rubbish shall be taken to the place they belong to," she said in a determined tone as she kept her hand on the child to prevent her running forward.

Then Heidi in despair flung herself down on Clara's couch and broke into a wild fit of weeping, her crying becoming louder and more full of distress every minute, while she kept on sobbing out at intervals, "Now grandmother's bread is all gone! They were all for grandmother, and now they are taken away, and grandmother won't have one," and she wept as if her heart would break. Fraülein Rottenmeier ran out of the room. Clara was distressed and alarmed at the child's crying. "Heidi, Heidi," she said imploringly, "pray do not cry so! listen to me; don't be so unhappy; look now, I promise you that you shall have just as many rolls, or more, all fresh and new to take to grandmother when you go home; yours would have been hard and stale by then. Come, Heidi, do not cry any more!"

Heidi could not get over her sobs for a long time; she would never have been able to leave off crying at all if it had not been for Clara's promise, which comforted her. But to make sure that she could depend upon it she kept on saying to Clara, her voice broken with her gradually subsiding sobs, "Will you give me as many, quite as many, as I had, for grandmother?" And Clara assured her each time that she would give her as many, "or more," she added, "only be happy again."

Heidi appeared at supper with her eyes red with weeping, and when she saw her roll she could not suppress a sob. But she made an effort to control herself, for she knew she must sit quietly at table. Whenever Sebastian could catch her eye this evening he made all sorts of strange signs, pointing to his own head and then to hers, and giving little nods as much as to say, "Don't you be unhappy! I have got it all safe for you."

When Heidi was going to get into bed that night she found her old straw hat lying under the counterpane. She snatched it up with delight, made it more out of shape still in her joy, and then, after wrapping a handkerchief round it, she stuck it in a corner of the cupboard as far back as she could.

It was Sebastian who had hidden it there for her; he had been in the dining-room when Tinette was called, and had heard all that went on with the child and the latter's loud weeping. So he followed Tinette, and when she came out of Heidi's room carrying the rolls and the hat, he caught up the hat and said, "I will see to this old thing." He was genuinely glad to have been able to save it for Heidi, and that was the meaning of his encouraging signs to her at supper.


[Illustration]

 



Fifty Famous People  by James Baldwin

A Clever Slave

A LONG time ago there lived a poor slave whose name was Æsop. He was a small man with a large head and long arms. His face was white, but very homely. His large eyes were bright and snappy.

When Æsop was about twenty years old his master lost a great deal of money and was obliged to sell his slaves. To do this, he had to take them to a large city where there was a slave market.

The city was far away, and the slaves must walk the whole distance. A number of bundles were made up for them to carry. Some of these bundles contained the things they would need on the road; some contained clothing; and some contained goods which the master would sell in the city.

"Choose your bundles, boys," said the master. "There is one for each of you."

Æsop at once chose the largest one. The other slaves laughed and said he was foolish. But he threw it upon his shoulders and seemed well satisfied.

The next day, the laugh was the other way. For the bundle which he had chosen had contained the food for the whole party. After all had eaten three meals from it, it was very much lighter. And before the end of the journey Æsop had nothing to carry, while the other slaves were groaning under their heavy loads.

"Æsop is a wise fellow," said his master. "The man who buys him must pay a high price."

A very rich man, whose name was Xanthus, came to the slave market to buy a servant. As the slaves stood before him he asked each one to tell what kind of work he could do. All were eager to be bought by Xanthus because they knew he would be a kind master. So each one boasted of his skill in doing some sort of labor.

One was a fine gardener; another could take care of horses; a third was a good cook; a fourth could manage a household.

"And what can you do, Æsop?" asked Xanthus.

"Nothing," he answered.

"Nothing? How is that?"

"Because, since these other slaves do everything, there is nothing left for me to perform," said Æsop.

This answer pleased the rich man so well that he bought Æsop at once, and took him to his home on the island of Samos.

In Samos the little slave soon became known for his wisdom and courage. He often amused his master and his master's friends by telling droll fables about birds and beasts that could talk. They saw that all these fables taught some great truth, and they wondered how Æsop could have thought of them.

Many other stories are told of this wonderful slave. His master was so much pleased with him that he gave him his freedom. Many great men were glad to call him their friend, and even kings asked his advice and were amused by his fables.


One of Aesop's Fables

A N old Cat was in a fair way to kill all the Mice in the barn.


One day the Mice met to talk about the great harm that she was doing them. Each one told of some plan by which to keep out of her way.

"Do as I say," said an old gray Mouse that was thought to be very wise. "Do as I say. Hang a bell to the Cat's neck. Then, when we hear it ring, we shall know that she is coming, and can scamper out of her way."

"Good! good!" said all the other Mice; and one ran to get the bell.

"Now which of you will hang this bell on the Cat's neck?" said the old gray Mouse.

"Not I! not I!" said all the Mice together. And they scampered away to their holes.

 



Katherine Tynan Hinkson

Chanticleer

Of all the birds from East to West

That tuneful are and dear,

I love that farmyard bird the best,

They call him Chanticleer.


Gold plume and copper plume,

Comb of scarlet gay;

'Tis he that scatters night and gloom,

And whistles back the day!


He is the sun's brave herald

That, ringing his blithe horn,

Calls round a world dew-pearled

The heavenly airs of morn.


O clear gold, shrill and bold!

He calls through creeping mist

The mountains from the night and cold

To rose and amethyst.


He sets the birds to singing,

And calls the flowers to rise;

The morning cometh, bringing

Sweet sleep to heavy eyes.


Gold plume and silver plume,

Comb of coral gay;

'Tis he packs off the night and gloom,

And summons home the day!


Black fear he sends it flying,

Black care he drives afar;

And creeping shadows sighing

Before the morning star.


The birds of all the forest

Have dear and pleasant cheer,

But yet I hold the rarest

The farmyard Chanticleer.


Red cock or black cock,

Gold plume or white,

The flower of all the feathered flock,

He whistles back the light!

 


  WEEK 35  

  Tuesday  


Our Island Story  by H. E. Marshall

John Lackland—The Story of Prince Arthur

W HEN Richard Cœur de Lion died, his brother John, who had plotted and rebelled against him when he was alive, became King. He was called by the French John Sans Terre, which means "without land," and John Lackland by the English. He was so called because, when his father, Henry II., died, John had no kingdom left to him as his brothers had.

John was the youngest and the worst of all Henry's sons, and he was not the heir to the throne of England.

The real heir was Prince Arthur of Brittany, the son of John's elder brother Geoffrey. And now the French king, Philip, who had fought against Richard and helped John, suddenly turned round and began to fight against John because he would not let Arthur be king.

John was wicked and wily, and he easily got Arthur into his power and shut him up in prison. But John was not content with that. He greatly feared that the English people might want to have Arthur as their King, and he resolved to make that impossible.

Prince Arthur was placed in the charge of a man called Hubert, and wicked King John ordered this man to put out Arthur's eyes.

Hubert actually said he would do this cruel deed. One morning he brought two men into Arthur's room, ready to put out his pretty blue eyes with their dreadful hot irons.

Arthur was a gentle, loving boy, and he was fond of his stern gaoler, and Hubert in his own rough way was fond of the little prince. Now he felt sad and sick at heart at the thought of what he had to do.

"Are you ill?" said Arthur. "You look so pale. I wish you were a little ill so that I could nurse you and show you how much I love you," he added.

When Arthur spoke to him so kindly the tears came into Hubert's eyes. But he brushed them away and determined to do what the King had commanded.

"I am not ill, but your uncle has commanded me to put out your eyes," he said roughly.

"To put out my eyes! Oh, you will not do it, Hubert?"

"I must."

"Oh, Hubert! Hubert! how can you?" said Arthur, putting his arms round Hubert's neck. "When your head ached only a little I sat up all night with you. Now you want to put out my eyes. These eyes that never did, nor never shall, so much as frown upon you."

"I have sworn to do it," said Hubert sadly.

"Oh, but you will not do it! You will not! You will not, Hubert?" and so Arthur begged and prayed till Hubert could resist no longer, and he sent the wicked men with their dreadful red-hot irons away.

But Hubert was afraid that King John would be angry because his orders had not been obeyed, so he told him the cruel deed had been done, and that Prince Arthur had died of grief and pain.

Then wicked King John was glad. But the people both in France and England were very sad when they heard this news. Every one mourned for the young prince. All through the land bells were tolled as if for a funeral.

There was so much anger against John, and so much sorrow for the prince, that at last Hubert told the people that what he had said was not true, and that Arthur was still alive. Then every one was glad. Even King John was glad at first because many of his nobles had told him plainly that he would find no knight to follow him to battle, nor to guard his castles at home, if he had really killed his little nephew.

But King John's heart was black and wicked, and he could not rest while he knew that Prince Arthur lived. So one dark night he came to the castle in which his nephew was kept prisoner.

After that night no one ever saw Prince Arthur again. Next morning when the sun shone in at the narrow window where he used to sit it shone into an empty room. For Arthur's poor little body was lying at the bottom of the Seine, with a great wound in his heart made by his wicked uncle's cruel, sharp knife.

 



Holiday Pond  by Edith M. Patch

Sandy the Swallow

S ANDY was taking his bath in Holiday Pond. He was only about five inches long but he liked a large bathtub. He was not sitting in shallow water and shaking himself, as a bathing robin does. He was taking a flying bath and splashing into the water here and there as he went. So it was pleasant to have plenty of room.

The water felt cool and comfortable as his hot little body dipped into it. He was glad, too, to stretch his wings in flight. Now and then he caught a nourishing insect as he flew. Bathing and flying and eating rested him when he was tired and hungry.

It was rather hard work digging a cave, and that was what Sandy had been doing. It was going to be a narrow cave about three feet long when it was finished. There was a great deal of dirt to dig out, and the only scraper he had was his bill and his bill was a small one. But Sandy did not mind hard work. He liked digging. The cave was such a nice one!

Browny thought so, too. Browny was Sandy's mate, and she liked the cave as well as he did. She liked it well enough to help dig it. So while Sandy was having his recess at the pond, she scraped busily with her little closed bill, and the cave in the sand bank grew deeper bit by bit.

The sand bank was one high side of a deep gravel pit near the pond. The man who lived at Holiday Farm left that side undisturbed. He called it the "swallows' wall," and said the birds were worth more to him than the dirt in the bank.


[Illustration]

The "Swallows' Wall" was one high side of a gravel pit near the pond. Here the birds lived in little dark caves.

There was a swamp not far away with pools where mosquitoes bred, and the swallows took a great many of their meals over there. They lunched, too, on tiny black hopping beetles that were flying toward the tomato plants in the garden or the potato field. And often they dined on some insects that would have done harm in the orchard if the birds had not eaten them.

The man of Holiday Farm was grateful for the help these swallows gave him, but he welcomed them for other reasons, too. It was pleasant to see them skimming and whirling through the air. They had no musical songs, but he liked to hear their chatter. When he was a boy he had lain for happy idle hours watching such birds busy at their caves, and he had never lost his friendly interest in them.

Before Browny had been working too long, Sandy flew back to the bank. There were about three hundred holes in the bank, for Sandy had many neighbors who had made their homes in caves. The holes looked very much alike, and Browny was nowhere in sight to tell him which one led into their cave.


[Illustration]

There were many caves but Sandy did not lose his way. He found his own home every time.

Sandy did not lose his way, however. He found his own open door and, flying near it, he twittered a greeting to his mate. Chattering a welcome, Browny came out of the cave. The two birds talked for a moment. What they said no one but a swallow can know. They sounded as if they were giggling.

Then Browny flew away for her recess, and Sandy went to work. There was a swallow in almost every one of the three hundred neighboring caves, but each bird was too busy to talk with any one except his mate. So no one came to visit with Sandy, and he did a good bit of digging before Browny returned.

The caves in the sand bank were not all new ones. Some of them had been dug many years ago and had been in use every summer. The swallows that chose one of the old caves sometimes made it deeper, but usually there was not much to do by way of repairs except to make a fresh bed of straws and feathers at the inner end.

Although the door holes of the caves looked much alike, the caves themselves differed somewhat in shape and length. Some were only about two feet deep, and some were as much as four. Some were straight, and some turned around the corners of the stones in the bank. They all had the passageways gently sloping up from the holes. If any rain came in at the doors, the water fell and ran out again, and so the beds were kept dry.

Of course Sandy and Browny needed no straw and feather bed for themselves. But they made one, just the same, when their cave was long enough to suit them. And into that bed Browny put five pure white eggs.

The little eggs were kept warm. With a straw mattress and a feather bed under them and the downy breast of a parent bird tucked over them, there was no danger of their being chilled. Inside the white shells a wonderful growth took place. The yolks and whites of the eggs became bodies of young birds. Hour by hour, day and night, the tiny unhatched bodies grew and changed, until at last they were big and strong enough to break the shells that had held them safe and snug.

After the five baby swallows had cracked their eggshells, they cuddled close together in the nest. They wiggled and stretched and slept and, most of all, they ate.

That was a busy time for Sandy and Browny. They whirled and swept through the air. They hunted over the pond, over the meadow, over the swamp. They chased insects early and they chased them late. They brought food often to the young ones, who ate all that was given them and asked for more.

At first the young birds could not walk and Sandy and Browny brought the insects to the nest at the end of the cave. But by the time they were nearly the size of their father and mother, they came to the doorway to be fed. There was a narrow shelf of hard dirt just outside the hole. Sometimes the five youngsters sat there in a row to welcome Sandy when he came home from his hunt with his mouth full of tasty insects for them. When the parent bird left them, they hurried back into the cave out of sight.

One fine day there was a stir of excitement among the swallows. The young of Sandy and Browny were able to fly! So were the other young birds in the other caves! There were chattering and twittering and giggling sounds. The youngsters could fly, and all the swallows in the bank were going to celebrate. They were going to a picnic at Holiday Marsh.

The young birds started with fine courage, but they stopped to rest very soon. There was a telegraph wire a few rods from their bank. When they came to this, they perched on it in a row. It was just the right size to fit their little claws. They clung to it gladly. For a while it was more fun to balance there than to fly.


[Illustration]

The young swallows rested on the telegraph wire.

So the young birds rested on the telegraph wire in a row—hundreds and hundreds of them. Their parents urged them to fly away to the picnic at Holiday Marsh, but all they did was to flutter their wings and open their mouths. That was their way of teasing for food. They were begging their fathers and mothers to give them a picnic luncheon right there on the wire.

They were only babies after all. They had really done very well to fly as far as the wire. Perhaps the old birds were pleased that they had come even so far on the way. There was only one thing to do, and the patient old birds did it. They went hunting for insects. They flew over the pond or over the meadow or over the marsh, and came back with their mouths full.

How Sandy and Browny knew which of the hundreds of young birds belonged to their family, it would be hard to say. The children who were spending the summer at Holiday Farm had come to see the birds on the wire, and they thought all the young birds in the row looked alike. But Sandy and Browny seemed to know which of the fluttering, teasing wings belonged to their babies, and they put something into each of the five open mouths. The other parent birds were as patient and busy and careful as Sandy and Browny, and in time all the young birds were fed.

Food seemed to give the youngsters courage to fly again. So off they went with their fathers and mothers, who urged them and guided them. When they reached the marsh, they perched on the slender stems of the reeds and fluttered their wings and opened their mouths.

Of course Sandy and Browny knew what that meant. But they were really very cheerful and nice. They seemed happy to have their family with them. It was pleasant and sociable to be together, and, besides, they did not need to carry the food so far. It was much easier to feed the young Sandies and Brownies on the reeds of the marsh than to make a trip to the caves every time they caught a mouthful of insects.

The day passed gayly. The sun sank low in the west behind gray and rose-pink clouds. Evening came. Holiday Marsh grew dark. The stars gleamed high overhead. Above the distant tree tops the moon came into sight—full and round and golden.

Do you think the young Sandies and Brownies were back in their cave on a hot bed of dry grass and feathers? Not at all. They were roosting on slender reeds near old Sandy and Browny. They had moved. Their night home was now among the reeds and rushes, with the marsh beneath them and the open sky above them.

In the daytime they flew where they wished, and began to hunt insects for themselves. But they did not catch enough, and every time Sandy or Browny came near them, they sat on a reed or a twig and fluttered their wings and opened their mouths.

The bank swallows were not the only swallows camping at the marsh. There were the tree swallows that had nested in hollow trees in the woods or in bird boxes at the farm. They had dark, glistening, bluish green backs and pure white breasts. There, too, were the cliff or eave swallows that had come from their clay nests under the eaves of the farm barn. They were steel-blue and chestnut-red and brown and gray and white, and each had a whitish moon on its forehead. Besides these, there were the barn swallows that had left their nests on the beams and rafters of the open sheds at the farm. They had long, forked tails and chestnut-colored throats and steel-blue backs.

When the boys and girls from the farm came to the marsh, they had a game of telling which kind of swallows they saw. They always knew a bank swallow because it was mouse-colored above and white beneath and had a mousy brown band across its breast.

One afternoon while it was still warm, sunny weather, the children went to the marsh to play. But they did not play their swallow game. There were no swallows there. They waited until evening, but the birds did not come to roost among the reeds. The marsh seemed empty and lonesome. The swallows had left for another camp. This time Sandy and Browny and the young Sandies and Brownies and all the other bank swallows went on a long journey together. They flew by day and hunted insects as they went. They sometimes rested on telegraph wires along the way, and they passed many nights among the reeds in swampy places.

They flew through Mexico and Central America and into South America. Perhaps they camped in Brazil. Perhaps they went to Peru.

This much is certain: they stayed in southern countries while it was winter in the north.

When at last it was warm in North America again the bank swallows came back to their summer haunts. Some flew as far as Arctic places. Several hundred, however, stopped when they reached the caves near Holiday Pond. Among these were Sandy and Browny.

 



William Blake

Nurse's Song

When voices of children are heard on the green,

And laughing is heard on the hill,

My heart is at rest within my breast,

And everything else is still.


"Then come home, my children, the sun is gone down,

And the dews of night arise:

Come, come, leave off play, and let us away,

Till the morning appears in the skies."


"No, no, let us play, for it is yet day,

And we cannot go to sleep—

Besides, in the sky the little birds fly,

And the hills are all covered with sheep."


"Well, well, go and play till the light fades away,

And then go home to bed."

The little ones leaped, and shouted, and laughed

And all the hills echoèd.

 


  WEEK 35  

  Wednesday  


The Burgess Animal Book for Children  by Thornton Burgess

Lightfoot, Blacktail and Forkhorn

O F all the people who live in the Green Forest none is more admired than Lightfoot the Deer. So perhaps you can guess how delighted every one was when, just as the morning lesson was to begin, Lightfoot himself stepped daintily out from a thicket and bowed to Old Mother Nature.


[Illustration]

The Virginia or White‑tailed Deer, known and loved by everybody.

"I heard," said he, "that my little friends here are to learn something about my family this morning, and thought you would not mind if I joined them."

"I should say not!" exclaimed Peter Rabbit forgetting that Lightfoot had spoken to Old Mother Nature.

All laughed, even Old Mother Nature. You see, Peter was so very much in earnest, and at the same time so excited, that it really was funny.

"Peter has spoken for all of us," said Old Mother Nature. "You are more than welcome, Lightfoot. I had intended to send for you, but it slipped my mind. I am delighted to have you here and I know that the others are. I suspect you will be most comfortable if you lie down, but before you do this I want everybody to have a good look at you. Just stand for a few minutes in that little open space where all can see you."

Lightfoot walked over to the open space where the sun fell full on him and there he stood, a picture of grace and beauty with just enough honest pride in his appearance to give him an air of noble dignity. There was more than one little gasp of admiration among his little neighbors.

"There," began Old Mother Nature, "is one of the most beautiful of all my children, and the knowledge that he is beautiful does not spoil him. Lightfoot belongs to the Deer family, as you all know, and this in turn is in the order called Ungulata, which means hoofed."

Peter Rabbit abruptly sat up, and his ears stood up like exclamation points. "Farmer Brown's cows have those funny feet called hoofs; are they related to Lightfoot?" he asked eagerly.

"They belong to another family, but it is in the same order. So they are distant cousins of Lightfoot," replied Old Mother Nature.

"And Farmer Brown's Pigs, what about them?" asked Chatterer the Red Squirrel.

"They also belong to that order and so are related," explained Old Mother Nature.

"Huh!" exclaimed Chatterer. "If I were in Lightfoot's place I never, never would acknowledge any such homely, stupid creatures as those as relatives of mine."

"Don't forget that Prickly Porky the Porcupine and Robber the Rat are members of the same order to which you belong," retorted Old Mother Nature softly, and Chatterer hung his head. "Lightfoot," she continued, "is the White-tailed or Virginia Deer, and is in some ways the most beautiful of the Deer family. You have only to look at him to know that those slim legs of his are meant for speed. He can go very fast, but not for long distances without stopping. Like Peter Rabbit he is a jumper rather than a true runner, and travels with low bounds with occasional high ones when alarmed. He can make very long and high jumps, and this is one reason he prefers to live in the Green Forest where there are fallen trees and tangles of old logs. If frightened he can leap over them, whereas his enemies must crawl under or climb over or go around them. Ordinary fences, such as Farmer Brown has built around his fields, do not bother Lightfoot in the least. He can leap over them as easily as Peter Rabbit can jump over that little log he is sitting beside.

"Just now, because it is summer, Lightfoot's coat is decidedly reddish in color and very handsome. But in winter it is wholly different."

"I know," spoke up Chatterer the Red Squirrel. "It is gray then. I've often seen Lightfoot in winter, and there isn't a red hair on him at that season.

"Quite right," agreed Old Mother Nature. "His red coat is for summer only. Notice that Lightfoot has a black nose. That is, the tip of it is black. Beneath his chin is a black spot. A band across his nose, the inside of each ear and a circle around each eye is whitish. His throat is white and he is white beneath. Now, Peter, you are so interested in tails, tell me without looking what color Lightfoot's tail is."

"White, snowy white," replied Peter promptly. "I suppose that is why he is called the White-tailed Deer."

"Huh!" grunted Johnny Chuck who happened to be sitting a little back of Lightfoot, "I don't call it white. It has a white edge, but mostly it is the color of his coat."

Now while Lightfoot had been standing there his tail had hung down, and it was as Johnny Chuck had said. But at Johnny's remark up flew Lightfoot's tail, showing only the under side, and that was as Peter had said,—snowy white. It was like a pointed white flag. With it held aloft that way, no one behind Lightfoot would suspect that his whole tail was not white.

"Notice how long and fluffy the hair on that tail is," said Old Mother Nature. "Mrs. Lightfoot's is just like it, and this makes it very easy for her babies to follow her in the dark. When Lightfoot is feeding or simply walking about he carries it down, but when he is frightened and bounds away, up goes that white flag. Now look at his horns. They are not true horns. The latter are hollow, while these are not. Farmer Brown's cows have horns. Lightfoot has antlers. Just remember that. The so-called horns of all the Deer family are antlers and are not hollow. Notice how Lightfoot's curve forward with the branches or tines on the back side."

Of course everybody looked at Lightfoot's crown as he held his head proudly. "What is the matter with them?" asked Whitefoot the Wood Mouse. "They look to me as if they are covered with fur. I always supposed them to be hard like bone."

"So they will be a month from now," explained Old Mother Nature, smiling down at Whitefoot. "That which you call fur will come off. He will rub it off against the trees until his antlers are polished, and there is not a trace of it left. You see Lightfoot has just grown that set this summer."

"Do you mean those antlers?" asked Danny Meadow Mouse, looking very much puzzled. "Didn't he have any before? How could things like those grow, anyway?"

"Don't you know that he loses his horns, I mean antlers, every year?" demanded Jumper the Hare. "I thought every one knew that. His old ones fell off late last winter. I know, for I saw him just afterward, and he looked sort of ashamed. Anyway, he didn't carry his head as proudly as he does now. He looked a lot like Mrs. Lightfoot; you know she hasn't any antlers."

"But how could hard, bony things like those grow?" persisted Danny Meadow Mouse.

"I think I will have to explain," said Old Mother Nature. "They were not hard and bony when they were growing. Just as soon as Lightfoot's old antlers dropped off, the new ones started. They sprouted out of his head just as plants sprout out of the ground, and they were soft and very tender and filled with blood, just as all parts of your body are. At first they were just two round knobs. Then these pushed out and grew and grew. Little knobs sprang out from them and grew to make the branches you see now. All the time they were protected by a furry skin which looks a great deal like what men call velvet. When Lightfoot's antlers are covered with this, they are said to be in the velvet state.

"When they had reached their full size they began to shrink and harden, so that now they are quite hard, and very soon that velvet will begin to come off. When they were growing they were so tender that Lightfoot didn't move about any more than was necessary and kept quite by himself. He was afraid of injuring those antlers. By the time cool weather comes, Lightfoot will be quite ready to use those sharp points on anybody who gets in his way.

"As Jumper has said, Mrs. Lightfoot has no antlers. Otherwise she looks much like Lightfoot, save that she is not quite as big. Have any of you ever seen her babies?"

"I have," declared Jumper, who, as you know, lives in the Green Forest just as Lightfoot does. "They are the dearest little things and look like their mother, only they have the loveliest spotted coats."

"That is to help them to remain unseen by their enemies," explained Old Mother Nature. "When they lie down where the sun breaks through the trees and spots the ground with light they seem so much like their surroundings that unless they move they are not often seen even by the sharpest eyes that may pass close by. They lie with their little necks and heads stretched flat on the ground and do not move so much as a hair. You see, they usually are very obedient, and the first thing their mother teaches them is to keep perfectly still when she leaves them.

"When they are a few months old and able to care for themselves a little, the spots disappear. As a rule Mrs. Lightfoot has two babies each spring. Once in a while she has three, but two is the rule. She is a good mother and always on the watch for possible danger. While they are very small she keeps them hidden in the deepest thickets. By the way, do you know that Lightfoot and Mrs. Lightfoot are fine swimmers?"

Happy Jack Squirrel looked the surprise he felt. "I don't see how under the sun any one with little hoofed feet like Lightfoot's can swim," said he.

"Nevertheless, Lightfoot is a good swimmer and fond of the water," replied Old Mother Nature. "That is one way he has of escaping his enemies. When he is hard pressed by Wolves or Dogs he makes for the nearest water and plunges in. He does not hesitate to swim across a river or even a small lake.

"Lightfoot prefers the Green Forest where there are close thickets with here and there open places. He likes the edge of the Green Forest where he can come out in the open fields, yet be within a short distance of the protecting trees and bushes. He requires much water and so is usually found not far from a brook, pond or river. He has a favorite drinking place and goes to drink early in the morning and just at dusk. During the day he usually sleeps hidden away in a thicket or under a windfall, coming out late in the afternoon. He feeds mostly in the early evening. He eats grass and other plants, beechnuts and acorns, leaves and twigs of certain trees, lily pads in summer and, I am sorry to say, delights to get into Farmer Brown's garden, where almost every green thing tempts him.

"Like so many others he has a hard time in winter, particularly when the snows are deep. Then he and Mrs. Lightfoot and their children live in what is called a yard. Of course it isn't really a yard such as Farmer Brown has. It is simply a place where they keep the snow trodden down in paths which cross and recross, and is made where there is shelter and food. The food is chiefly twigs and leaves of evergreen trees. As the snow gets deeper and deeper they become prisoners in the yard until spring comes to melt the snow and set them free.

"Lightfoot depends for safety more on his nose and ears than on his eyes. His sense of smell is wonderful, and when he is moving about he usually goes up wind; that is, in the direction from which the wind is blowing. This is so that it will bring to him the scent of any enemy that may be ahead of him. He is very clever and cunning. Often before lying down to rest he goes back a short distance to a point where he can watch his trail, so that if any one is following it he will have warning.

"His greatest enemy is the hunter with his terrible gun. How any one can look into those great soft eyes of Lightfoot and then even think of trying to kill him is more than I can understand. Dogs are his next worst enemies when he lives near the homes of men. When he lives where Wolves, Panthers and Bears are found, he has to be always on the watch for them. Tufty the Lynx is ever on the watch for Lightfoot's babies.

"The White-tailed Deer is the most widely distributed of all the Deer family. He is found from the Sunny South to the great forests of the North—everywhere but in the vast open plains of the middle of this great country. That is, he used to be. In many places he has been so hunted by man that he has disappeared. When he lives in the Sunny South he never grows to be as big as when he lives in the North.

"In the great mountains of the Far West lives a cousin, Blacktail, also called Columbian Blacktailed Deer, and another cousin, Forkhorn the Mule Deer. Blacktail is nearly the size of Lightfoot. He is not quite so graceful, his ears are larger, being much like those of Forkhorn the Mule Deer, to whom he is closely related, and his tail is wholly black on the upper surface. It is from this he gets his name. His antlers vary, sometimes being much like those of Lightfoot and again like those of Forkhorn. He is a lover of dense forests and is not widely distributed. He is not nearly so smart as Lightfoot in outwitting hunters.

"Forkhorn the Mule Deer, sometimes called Jumping Deer, is larger than Lightfoot and much more heavily built. His big ears, much like those of a Mule, have won for him the name of Mule Deer. His face is a dull white with a black patch on the forehead and a black band under the chin. His tail is rather short and is not broad at the base like Lightfoot's. It is white with a black tip. Because of this he is often called Blacktailed Deer, but this is wrong because that name belongs to his cousin, the true Blacktail.

"Forkhorn's antlers are his glory. They are even finer than Lightfoot's. The prongs, or tines, are in pairs like the letter Y instead of in a row as are those of Lightfoot, and usually there are two pairs on each antler. Forkhorn prefers rough country and there he is very much at home, his powers of jumping enabling him to travel with ease where his enemies find it difficult to follow. Like Blacktail he is not nearly so clever as Lightfoot the White-tail and so is more easily killed by hunters.


[Illustration]

You may know him by the black tip of his tail, his mule‑like ears and the forked tines of his antlers.

"All these members of the Deer family belong to the round-horn branch, and are very much smaller than the members of the flat-horn branch. But there is one who in size makes all the others look small indeed. It is Bugler the Elk, or Wapiti, of whom I shall tell you to-morrow."

 



A First Book in American History  by Edward Eggleston

How the Unted States Became Larger

An Object Lesson in Historic Geography


Part 1 of 2

When Washington was a young man, the French claimed all the land west of the Alleghany Mountains. If the French had succeeded in holding all this western country the United States would always have been only a little strip of thirteen States along the Atlantic coast, reaching from Maine to Georgia. But by conquering Canada the English got possession of all the territory east of the Mississippi River. This was given up to England by the French in the treaty made twelve years before the Revolutionary War. Daniel Boone and other settlers soon afterwards crossed the mountains and began to take possession of the great West.

During the first year of the Revolution no care was taken to drive the British from the forts in the West. But in 1778 George Rogers Clark led a little band of Kentucky settlers through the wilderness to the Mississippi River, where he captured the British fort at Kaskaskia, in what is now Illinois. He then marched eastward and captured Vincennes, in the present State of Indiana. These and other victories of Clark gave the United States, at the close of the war, a claim to all the country lying east of the Mississippi. In the map, page 191, you will see what was the size of our country when the war closed.


[Illustration]

In 1803, twenty-one years after the close of the Revolutionary War, President Jefferson bought from France all that large region beyond the Mississippi River known then as Louisiana. It has since been cut up into many States and Territories. You will see by the section of the map on page 193 just how large it was. If you cut off the white part of page 191 and lay the leaf down on page 193, you will see just how much the United States was increased in size when Jefferson bought the old province of Louisiana. The size of the country was more than doubled when Louisiana was added to it.


[Illustration]

The province of Louisiana did not reach to the westward of the Rocky Mountains. But in 1791, before Louisiana was bought, Robert Gray, the first sea captain that ever carried the American flag around the world, discovered the river Oregon, which he called the Columbia, after the name of his ship. After Jefferson had bought Louisiana for the United States, he sent the explorers Lewis and Clark with a party to examine the western part of the new territory, and to push on to the Pacific. These men were two years and four months making the trip from St. Louis to the Pacific Ocean and back. They reached the ocean in 1805, and spent the winter at the mouth of the Columbia River. The "Oregon country," as it was called, was then an unclaimed wilderness, and the discovery of the river by Captain Gray, with the exploration of the country by Lewis and Clark, gave the United States a claim to it. The region which was added to the United states by these explorations is shown on page 195. By cutting off the white part of page 193 and laying it down upon 195, you will see how the "Oregon country" extended the United States to the Pacific Ocean.


[Illustration]

 



Christina Georgina Rossetti

The Swallow

Fly away, fly away, over the sea,

Sun-loving swallow, for summer is done.

Come again, come again, come back to me,

Bringing the summer, and bringing the sun.


When you come hurrying home o'er the sea,

Then we are certain that winter is past.

Cloudy and cold though your pathway may be,

Summer and sunshine will follow you fast.

 


  WEEK 35  

  Thursday  


Stories of Roland Told to the Children  by H. E. Marshall

The Punishment of Ganelon

T HE Emperor sat upon his throne with all his wise men around him, and into the hall came Aude, the fair sister of Oliver. At the foot of the throne she knelt. "Sire," she said, "where is Roland, whose bride I am?"

Full of grief the Emperor bent his head. Tears stood in his eyes, and at first he could not speak. Then gently taking Aude by the hand, "Dear sister," he said, "dear friend, thou askest news of a dead man. But grieve not. Thou art not left without a lover. Thou shalt be the bride of Louis, my son."

Then Aude stood up. Her face was very pale. With both hands she pushed back her golden hair from her face. "What strange words are these?" she said. "If Roland be dead, what is any man to me? Please God and His saints and angels, I too may die." And so speaking she fell at the Emperor's feet.

Charlemagne thought that she had but fainted, and springing up, he lifted her in his arms. But her head fell back upon her shoulder, and he saw that she was dead. Then calling four countesses he bade them carry her to a convent near. And so tended by the greatest ladies in the land, fair Aude was laid to rest with chant, and hymn, and great state and pomp as befits a hero's bride.


[Illustration]

He saw that she was dead

Then, with chains upon his hands and feet, Ganelon was brought into the hall of judgment. Sitting upon his throne, the Emperor spoke to his wise men who were gathered around him, and told them all the tale of Ganelon's treachery, and of how for gold he had betrayed his comrades.

Proud and haughty as ever, Ganelon stood before his judges. "It is true," he said; "I will never deny it. I hated Roland, for his riches made me wrathful against him. I sought to bring him to shame and death. But I do not admit that it was treason."

"Of that we shall be the judges," said the Franks.

Tall and straight and proud, Ganelon stood before the Emperor. With haughty looks he eyed his judges, and then his thirty kinsmen who stood near him. "Hear me, barons," he cried, in a bold, loud voice. "When I was with the army of the Emperor, I served him in faith and love. But Roland his nephew hated me. He condemned me to death, yea, to a very miserable death, in sending me to the court of Marsil. That I escaped that death I owe to mine own skill. And I defied Roland, I defied Oliver and all his companions, before the face of Charlemagne and his barons. Well knew the Emperor of that defiance. It was just vengeance, then, that I took. Of no treason am I guilty."

"We shall judge of that," said the Franks. And so they passed into the council chamber.

Then when Ganelon saw that it was like to go ill with him, he gathered his thirty kinsmen about him, and begged them to plead for him. But it was chiefly in Pinabel, his nephew, that he trusted, for he was wise and could plead well, and as a good soldier there was none like him. "In thee do I trust," said Ganelon, "thou art he who must save me from death and shame."

"I will be thy champion," replied Pinabel. "If any Frank say that thou art a traitor, I will give him the lie with the steel of my sword."

Then Ganelon fell upon his knees and kissed Pinabel's hand.

And when all the wise men and barons were gathered together, Pinabel pleaded so well for Ganelon that at last they said, "Let us pray the Emperor to pardon Ganelon this once. Henceforward he will serve him in love and faith. Roland is dead. Not all the gold or all the silver in the world can bring him to life again. To fight about it, that were folly."

Only one knight, called Thierry, would not agree. "Ganelon is a traitor worthy of death," he said. But the others would not listen to him, and they all returned to Charlemagne, to tell him what they had decided. "Sire," they said, "we come to beg thee to set Ganelon free. He is a true knight, though this once he hath done ill. He repents him, and will henceforth serve thee in love and faith. Roland is dead, and not all the gold or silver in the world can bring him back again."

When the Emperor heard these words, his face grew dark with anger. "Ye are all felons," he cried. Then dropping his head upon his breast, "Unhappy man that I am," he moaned, "to be thus forsaken of all."

Out of the crowd stepped Thierry. He was slim and slight, but very knightly to look upon. "Sire," he cried, "thou art not forsaken of all. By my forefathers I have a right to be among the judges in this cause. What quarrel lay between Roland and Ganelon hath nought to do with this. Ganelon, I say, is a felon. Ganelon is a traitor. Ganelon is a liar. Let him be hanged and his body thrown to the dogs. Such is the punishment of traitors. And if any of his kin say I lie, I am ready to prove the truth of my words with my good sword which hangeth by my side."

"Well spoken! well spoken!" cried the Franks.

Then before the Emperor, Pinabel advanced. He was tall and strong, and with his sword most skilful. "Sire," he cried, "thine is the right to decide this cause. Thierry hath dared to judge in it. I say he lieth. Battle thereon will I do," and so speaking he flung his glove on the ground.

"Good," said Charlemagne, well pleased. "But I must have hostages. Thirty of Ganelon's kinsmen shall be held in ward until this jousting be done."

Then Thierry too drew off his glove and gave it to the Emperor. For him also thirty hostages were held in ward until it should be seen who should have right in this quarrel.

Beyond the walls of Aix there was a fair meadow, and there the champions met. All around there were seats set so that the knights and barons might look on, and in the middle of them was Charlemagne's throne.

The champions were both clad in new and splendid armour, the trumpets sounded, and springing to horse they dashed upon each other. Fiercely they fought. Their shields were dinted by many a blow, their armour battered and broken, and at last they met with such a shock that both were unhorsed and fell to the ground.

"Oh, Heaven!" cried Charlemagne, "show me which hath right." Then he remembered his dream of the bear and his thirty brethren, and of how the hound from out his palace hall had grappled with the greatest of them.

Both knights sprang lightly from their fall and began to fight on foot. "Yield thee, Thierry," cried Pinabel, "and I will henceforth be thy man and serve thee in faith and love. All my treasure will I give to thee, if thou but pray the Emperor to forgive Ganelon."

"Never," cried Thierry, "shame be to me should I think thereon. Let God decide between me and thee this day."

So they fought on.

"Pinabel," said Thierry presently, "thou art a true knight. Thou art tall and strong, and all men know of thy courage, so yield thee, and make thy peace with Charlemagne. As to Ganelon, let justice be done on him, and let us never more speak his name."

"Nay," replied Pinabel, "God forbid that I should so forsake my kinsman, and to mortal man I will never yield. Rather let me die than earn such disgrace."

So once again they closed in fight. Thicker and faster fell the blows. Their chain-mail was hacked to pieces. The jewels of their helmets sparkled on the grass. Thierry was wounded in the face. Blood blinded him, but raising his sword with all his remaining strength, he brought it crashing down on Pinabel's helmet.

For a moment the knight waved his sword wildly in the air. Then he fell to the ground dead. The fight was over.

"Now by the judgment of God, is it proved that Ganelon is a traitor," cried the Franks. "He deserves to be hanged, both he and all his kindred who have answered for him."

And as all the people cheered the champion of Roland's cause, Charlemagne rose from his throne, and going to him took him in his arms and kissed him, and threw his royal mantle around his shoulders. Then very tenderly his squires disarmed the wounded knight, set him upon a gently pacing mule, and led him back in triumph to Aix.

Once again Charlemagne called all his wise men and barons together. "What shall be done with the hostages who pled for Ganelon?" he asked.

"Let them all die the death," replied the Franks.

Then the Emperor called an old provost to him. "Go," he said, "hang them all on the gallows there. And if one escape, by my long white beard, thou shalt die the death."

"None shall escape," replied the provost, "trust me." Then taking with him a hundred sergeants he hanged the thirty high upon the gallows tree.

But a still more fearful death was to be the fate of the traitor Ganelon himself. Bound hand and foot, he was led through the town riding upon a common cart-horse, while the people cursed him as he passed. And beyond the walls, where his champion had fought and died for him, he was torn to pieces by wild horses.


[Illustration]

The people cursed him as he passed

And thus in fearful wise was Ganelon repaid for his treachery, and thus was Roland avenged.

Now when the Emperor's anger was satisfied, he called all his bishops together. "In my house," he said, "there is a prisoner of noble race. 'Tis Bramimonde the Saracen Queen. She hath been taught in grace, and hath opened her heart to the true light. Let her now be baptized, so that her soul may be saved."

Then many noble ladies were gathered together to be sponsors for the Queen, and a great crowd of knights and nobles came too, and Bramimonde was baptized and became Christian, and was no longer called Bramimonde, but Julienne.

Then at last had the Emperor rest. The long day was over, quiet night came, and Charlemagne lay down to sleep. But as he lay in his vaulted chamber the angel Gabriel stood beside him. "Charlemagne, Charlemagne," he called, "gather all the armies of thy kingdom. March quickly to the land of Bire to help the Christian King Vivien, for there the heathen besiege him in his city and the Christians cry aloud for help."

Then the Emperor turned upon his couch and wept. He longed for rest from his great labours, and yet he could not disobey the command.

"Alas," he cried, "what a life of toil is mine!"

 



The Aesop for Children  by Milo Winter

The Farmer and the Snake

A Farmer walked through his field one cold winter morning. On the ground lay a Snake, stiff and frozen with the cold. The Farmer knew how deadly the Snake could be, and yet he picked it up and put it in his bosom to warm it back to life.

The Snake soon revived, and when it had enough strength, bit the man who had been so kind to it. The bite was deadly and the Farmer felt that he must die. As he drew his last breath, he said to those standing around:

Learn from my fate not to take pity on a scoundrel.

 



G. W. Thornbury

Dirge on the Death of Oberon, the Fairy King

Toll the lilies' silver bells!

Oberon, the King, is dead!

In her grief the crimson rose

All her velvet leaves has shed.


Toll the lilies' silver bells!

Oberon is dead and gone!

He who looked an emperor

When his glow-worm crown was on.


Toll the lilies' silver bells!

Slay the dragonfly, his steed;

Dig his grave within the ring

Of the mushrooms in the mead.

 


  WEEK 35  

  Friday  


The Awakening of Europe  by M. B. Synge

The Story of Henry Hudson

"To achieve what they have undertaken, or else to give reason wherefore it will not be."

—Henry Hudson.

A DUTCH East India Company had been formed, and one of its most daring servants was an Englishman, Henry Hudson. His name can never be forgotten, for it is written large on every map of the world. There is Hudson Bay in North America; Hudson river, on which New York now stands; Hudson Strait,—all of which remind us of one of the bravest and ablest seamen that ever lived. The story of his success in the frozen north, his patient endurance of hardships, and his tragic death in the waters of the bay he himself had discovered, is a thrilling one in the annals of the sea.

Henry Hudson first makes his appearance as a sea-captain in 1607, leaving London with the intention of finding a passage to China by the frozen seas of the north. The merchants of London, in spite of failure, were still bent on finding a northern passage to the lands of spice and gold which were enriching Spain and Portugal. Frobisher and Davis had tried in vain to find a way to the north-west. Other men, notably the Dutchman Barentz and the Englishman Willoughby, had failed to find a passage by the north-east.

Now a bolder scheme arose. Was there a sailor daring enough to sail over the mysterious north pole itself to reach the other side? Yes. Henry Hudson was willing to try. And in a tiny ship, with a scanty crew, he sailed away on his adventurous voyage to the frozen seas. A fortnight later he had reached Greenland. The weather was thick and foggy, and his sails and ropes were soon frozen hard. He tried to sail to the north, but a barrier of ice blocked his way. Sailing along this barrier he reached Spitzbergen. Again and again he tried to find a way through the ice and snow to reach the north pole. But winter was coming on, he had already explored farther north than any one else, and he reluctantly turned homewards. Among other pieces of news, he brought home information of the whales he had seen in the seas about Spitzbergen, thus starting the whale-fishing, which was a great source of wealth to England.

A second expedition failed to discover any possible passage to China, though Hudson reached Nova Zembla and explored that region. The sailors brought back a story of how they had seen a mermaid. She came close to the ship's side, they said, and looked earnestly at them. Then the sea came and overturned her. Her skin was white, and long black hair hung down behind. As she went down they saw her tail, which was like the tail of a porpoise and speckled like a mackerel. The creature they saw was probably a seal, but the idea took the fancy of the poets and story-tellers.

Hudson's third voyage was made in the service of the Dutch East India Company. He left Amsterdam in a ship called the Good Hope, with a crew of mixed English and Dutch. Failing to get farther to the north, Hudson sailed for the shores of North America. Having touched at Newfoundland and seeing "a great fleet of Frenchmen fishing on the bank," he sailed along the coast, partly looking for the English colony of Virginia, partly seeking some passage to the west. While cruising thus he discovered the Hudson river. Here is his own account:

"The sun rose and we saw the land all like broken islands. We then came to a great lake of water, looking like a drowned land. The mouth of that land hath many shoals, and the sea breaketh on them. It is a very good land to fall in with, and a pleasant land to see. At 3 of the clock in the afternoon we came to three great rivers, where we saw many salmons and mullets, very great.

"We found a very good harbour, and went in with our ship. Then we took our nets to fish, and caught ten great mullets and a ray as great as four men could haul into the ship. The people of the country seemed glad of our coming and brought green tobacco. They dress in deer-skins. They have a great store of maize, whereof they make good bread. We now turned into the river. It is a mile broad, and there is high land on both sides."

Sailing, rowing, and fishing, anchoring by night to keep a careful watch on the treacherous natives, Hudson went some hundred miles up the great river that was to bear his name—the river on which to-day stands New York, the largest city in America.

He brought home news, too, of an opening to the west, which he wished to explore farther.

Yet a fourth time we find Hudson leaving home. This time in an English ship called the Discovery, which brought him safely to the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. It was for the last time. He had intended to strike the coast of America near the Hudson river, but contrary winds and icebergs drove the ship out of her course, through an unknown strait, into a great inland sea. Both of these waters still bear the explorer's name—Hudson Strait and Hudson Bay.

Day after day the little ship sailed on, but no opening could be seen by which they could escape from the ice-bound sea which they had unknowingly entered. For three months they tried, but in vain. Then winter overtook them. "The nights were long and cold and the ground was covered with snow." Food was scarce and the sailors grew dissatisfied. The ice broke up at last, and Hudson still hoped to find a passage to the west. But now the sailors rose in mutiny.

"We would rather be hanged at home than starved abroad," they cried drearily. In order to make the food last longer they bound their brave captain and forced him with his son and a few sick men into an open boat. And then, amid that icy sea, far away from friends and home, with no food and no human help, they cast Henry Hudson adrift. At the last moment the carpenter sprang into the drifting boat, resolved to die with his captain rather than desert him. The little boat and its starving crew were never heard of again. Henry Hudson, one of the bravest and most daring of English seamen, must have found a grave in the icy waters of the very inland sea he had discovered.

He had done much. He gave to England the fisheries of Spitzbergen and the fur-trade of Hudson Bay, as well as the vast tract of country between that bay and the Pacific Ocean. He gave to Holland the colony at the mouth of the Hudson river, which they called New Amsterdam, but which under the English became New York, its name to-day.

One more expedition was made some six years later, and then for two hundred years the lonely solitude of those ice-bound regions remained unbroken.

 



Gods and Heroes  by Robert Edward Francillon

His Third Labor: The Stag

THE stag of Œnoe was sacred to Diana; and no wonder, for besides being so swift that no horse or hound could follow it, it had brazen feet and horns of pure gold. Of course this labor was not so dangerous as the others, but apparently more utterly impossible.

Impossible as it was, however, Hercules had to try. Had he been ordered to bring the stag to Mycenæ dead, he might perhaps hope to catch it with an arrow; but his orders were to bring it alive. So, having started it from its lair, he followed it with his utmost speed and skill. At first he tried to run it down; but the stag was not only the swifter, but had as much endurance as he. Then he tried to drive it to bay, but it always managed to escape out of the seemingly most hopeless corners. He tried to catch it asleep; but his slightest and most distant movement startled it, and off it raced again. All the arts of the deer-stalker he put in practice, but all in vain. And thus he hunted the stag of Œnoe, scarce resting day and night for a whole year. It looked as if he were to spend the rest of his life in pursuing what was not to be caught by mortal man; and the worst of it was that, while there was real use in destroying wild beasts and monsters, like the lion and the Hydra, his present labor, even if it succeeded, would be of no use at all.

Still it had to be attempted; and I suppose you have guessed that he succeeded, and that it was in some wonderful way. Well—he did succeed at last, but it was not in a wonderful way at all. It was just by not giving in. One of the two had to give in, and it was not Hercules. One day he managed to drive the stag into a trap and to seize it by the horns.

As he was returning to Mycenæ, dragging the stag, he met a tall and beautiful woman, dressed for the chase, and carrying a bow and quiver. As soon as her eyes fell upon the struggling stag she frowned terribly.

"What mortal are you," she asked, "who have dared to lay hands on my own stag, the stag sacred to me, who am Diana? Loose it, and let it go."

Hercules sighed. "I would do so gladly, great goddess," he answered; "but it is not in my power."

"Not in your power to open your hand?" she asked, in angry surprise. "We will soon see that," and she seized her stag by the other horn to pull it away.

"It goes against me," said Hercules, "to oppose a goddess; but I have got to bring this stag to Mycenæ, and neither gods nor men shall prevent me, so long as I am alive."

"I am Diana," she said again, "and I command you to let the stag go."

"And I," said he, "am only Hercules, the servant of Eurystheus, and therefore I cannot let it go."

"Then I wish," said Diana, "that any of the gods had so faithful a servant as Eurystheus has! So you are Hercules?" she said, her frown changing to a smile. "Then I give you the stag, for the sake of the oracle of my brother Apollo. I am only a goddess; you are a man who has conquered himself, and whom therefore even the gods must obey."

So saying, she vanished. And the stag no longer struggled for freedom, but followed Hercules to Mycenæ as gently and lovingly as a tame fawn.

 

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


  WEEK 35  

  Saturday  


Fairy Tales Too Good To Miss—Aboard the Ship  by Lisa M. Ripperton

Katie Woodencloak

O NCE on a time, there was a King who had become a widower. By his Queen he had one daughter, who was so clever and lovely, there wasn't a cleverer or lovelier Princess in all the world. So the King went on a long time sorrowing for the Queen, whom he had loved so much, but at last he got weary of living alone, and married another Queen, who was a widow, and had, too, an only daughter; but this daughter was just as bad and ugly as the other was kind, and clever, and lovely. The stepmother and her daughter were jealous of the Princess, because she was so lovely; but so long as the King was at home they daren't do her any harm, he was so fond of her.

Well, after a time he fell into war with another King, and went out to battle with his host, and then the stepmother thought she might do as she pleased; and so she both starved and beat the Princess, and was after her in every hole and corner of the house. At last she thought everything too good for her, and turned her out to herd cattle. So there she went about with the cattle, and herded them in the woods and on the fells. As for food, she got little or none, and she grew thin and wan, and was always sobbing and sorrowful. Now in the herd there was a great dun bull, which always kept himself so neat and sleek, and often and often he came up to the Princess, and let her pat him. So one day when she sat there, sad, and sobbing, and sorrowful, he came up to her and asked her outright why she was always in such grief. She answered nothing, but went on weeping.

"Ah!" said the Bull, "I know all about it quite well, though you won't tell me; you weep because the Queen is bad to you, and because she is ready to starve you to death. But food you've no need to fret about, for in my left ear lies a cloth, and when you take and spread it out, you may have as many dishes as you please."

So she did that, took the cloth and spread it out on the grass, and lo! it served up the nicest dishes one could wish to have; there was wine too, and mead, and sweet cake. Well, she soon got up her flesh again, and grew so plump, and rosy, and white, that the Queen and her scrawny chip of a daughter turned blue and yellow for spite. The Queen couldn't at all make out how her stepdaughter got to look so well on such bad fare, so she told one of her maids to go after her in the wood, and watch and see how it all was, for she thought some of the servants in the house must give her food. So the maid went after her, and watched in the wood, and then she saw how the stepdaughter took the cloth out of the Bull's ear, and spread it out, and how it served up the nicest dishes, which the stepdaughter ate and made good cheer over. All this the maid told the Queen when she went home.

And now the King came home from war, and had won the fight against the other king with whom he went out to battle. So there was great joy throughout the palace, and no one was gladder than the King's daughter. But the Queen shammed sick, and took to her bed, and paid the doctor a great fee to get him to say she could never be well again unless she had some of the dun bull's flesh to eat. Both the King's daughter and the folk in the palace asked the doctor if nothing else would help her, and prayed hard for the Bull, for every one was fond of him, and they all said there wasn't that Bull's match in all the land. But no; he must and should be slaughtered, nothing else would do. When the King's daughter heard that, she got very sorrowful, and went down into the byre to the Bull. There, too, he stood and hung down his head, and looked so downcast that she began to weep over him.

"What are you weeping for?" asked the Bull.

So she told him how the King had come home again, and how the Queen had shammed sick and got the doctor to say she could never be well and sound again unless she got some of the Dun Bull's flesh to eat, and so now he was to be slaughtered.

"If they get me killed first," said the Bull, "they'll soon take your life too. Now, if you're of my mind, we'll just start off, and go away to-night."

Well, the Princess thought it bad, you may be sure, to go and leave her father, but she thought it still worse to be in the house with the Queen; and so she gave her word to the Bull to come to him.

At night, when all had gone to bed, the Princess stole down to the byre to the Bull, and so he took her on his back, and set off from the homestead as fast as ever he could. And when the folk got up at cockcrow next morning to slaughter the Bull, why, he was gone; and when the King got up and asked for his daughter, she was gone too. He sent out messengers on all sides to hunt for them, and gave them out in all the parish churches; but there was no one who had caught a glimpse of them. Meanwhile, the Bull went through many lands with the King's daughter on his back, and so one day they came to a great copper-wood, where both the trees, and branches, and leaves, and flowers, and everything, were nothing but copper.

But before they went into the wood, the Bull said to the King's daughter,—

"Now, when we get into this wood, mind you take care not to touch even a leaf of it, else it's all over both with me and you, for here dwells a Troll with three heads who owns this wood."

No, bless her, she'd be sure to take care not to touch anything. Well, she was very careful, and leant this way and that to miss the boughs, and put them gently aside with her hands; but it was such a thick wood, 'twas scarce possible to get through; and so, with all her pains, somehow or other she tore off a leaf, which she held in her hand.

"AU! AU!  what have you done now?" said the Bull; "there's nothing for it now but to fight for life or death; but mind you keep the leaf safe."

Soon after they got to the end of the wood, and a Troll with three heads came running up,—

"Who is this that touches my wood?" said the Troll.

"It's just as much mine as yours," said the Bull.

"Ah!" roared the Troll, "we'll try a fall about that."

"As you choose," said the Bull.

So they rushed at one another, and fought; and the Bull he butted, and gored, and kicked with all his might and main; but the Troll gave him as good as he brought, and it lasted the whole day before the Bull got the mastery; and then he was so full of wounds, and so worn out, he could scarce lift a leg.


[Illustration]

Then they were forced to stay there a day to rest, and then the Bull bade the King's daughter to take the horn of ointment which hung at the Troll's belt, and rub him with it. Then he came to himself again, and the day after they trudged on again. So they travelled many, many days, until, after a long long time, they came to a silver wood, where both the trees, and branches, and leaves, and flowers, and everything, were silvern.

Before the Bull went into the wood, he said to the King's daughter,—

"Now, when we get into this wood, for heaven's sake mind you take good care; you mustn't touch anything, and not pluck off so much as one leaf, else it is all over both with me and you; for here is a Troll with six heads who owns it, and him I don't think I should be able to master."

"No," said the King's daughter; "I'll take good care, and not touch anything you don't wish me to touch."

But when they got into the wood, it was so close and thick, they could scarce get along. She was as careful as careful could be, and leant to this side and that to miss the boughs, and put them on one side with her hands, but every minute the branches struck her across the eyes, and, in spite of all her pains, it so happened she tore off a leaf. "AU! AU!  what have you done now?" said the Bull. "There's nothing for it now but to fight for life and death, for this Troll has six heads, and is twice as strong as the other, but mind you keep the leaf safe, and don't lose it."

Just as he said that, up came the Troll,—

"Who is this," he said, "that touches my wood?"  "It's as much mine as yours," said the Bull. "That we'll try a fall about," roared the Troll.

"As you choose," said the Bull, and rushed at the Troll, and gored out his eyes, and drove his horns right through his body, so that the entrails gushed out; but the Troll was almost a match for him, and it lasted three whole days before the Bull got the life gored out of him. But then he, too, was so weak and wretched, it was as much as he could do to stir a limb, and so full of wounds, that the blood streamed from him. So he said to the King's daughter she must take the horn of ointment that hung at the Troll's belt, and rub him with it. Then she did that, and he came to himself; but they were forced to stay there a week to rest before the Bull had strength enough to go on.

At last they set off again, but the Bull was still poorly, and they went rather slow at first. So to spare time the King's daughter said as she was young and light of foot, she could very well walk, but she couldn't get leave to do that. No; she must seat herself up on his back again. So on they travelled through many lands a long time, and the King's daughter did not know in the least whither they went; but after a long, long time they came to a gold wood. It was so grand, the gold dropped from every twig, and all the trees, and boughs, and flowers, and leaves, were of pure gold. Here, too, the same thing happened as had happened in the silver wood and copper wood. The Bull told the King's daughter she mustn't touch it for anything, for there was a Troll with nine heads who owned it, and he was much bigger and stouter than both the others put together, and he didn't think he could get the better of him. No; she'd be sure to take heed not to touch it; that he might know very well. But when they got into the wood, it was far thicker and closer than the silver wood, and the deeper they went into it the worse it got. The wood went on getting thicker and thicker, and closer and closer; and at last she thought there was no way at all to get through it. She was in such an awful fright of plucking off anything, that she sat, and twisted and turned herself this way and that, and hither and thither, to keep clear of the boughs, and she put them on one side with her hands; but every moment the branches struck her across the eyes, so that she couldn't see what she was clutching at; and lo! before she knew how it came about, she had a gold apple in her hand. Then she was so bitterly sorry she burst into tears and wanted to throw it away; but the Bull said she must keep it safe and watch it well, and comforted her as well as he could; but he thought it would be a hard tussle, and he doubted how it would go.

Just then up came the Troll with the nine heads, and he was so ugly, the King's daughter scarcely dared to look at him.

"WHO IS THIS THAT TOUCHES MY WOOD?" he roared.

"It's just as much mine as yours," said the Bull.

"That we'll try a fall about," roared the Troll again.

"Just as you choose," said the Bull; and so they rushed at one another, and fought, and it was such a dreadful sight the King's daughter was ready to swoon away. The Bull gored out the Troll's eyes, and drove his horns through and through his body, till the entrails came tumbling out; but the Troll fought bravely; and when the Bull got one head gored to death, the rest breathed life into it again, and so it lasted a whole week before the Bull was able to get the life out of them all. But then he was utterly worn out and wretched. He couldn't stir a foot, and his body was all one wound. He couldn't so much as ask the King's daughter to take the horn of ointment which hung at the Troll's belt, and rub it over him. But she did it all the same, and then he came to himself by little and little; but they had to lie there and rest three weeks before he was fit to go on again.

Then they set off at a snail's pace, for the Bull said they had still a little farther to go, and so they crossed over many high hills and thick woods. So after a while they got upon the fells.

"Do you see anything?" asked the Bull.

"No, I see nothing but the sky and the wild fell," said the King's daughter.


[Illustration]

So when they clomb higher up, the fell got smoother, and they could see farther off.

"Do you see anything now?" asked the Bull.

"Yes, I see a little castle far, far away," said the Princess.

"That's not so little though," said the Bull.

After a long, long time, they came to a great cairn, where there was a spur of the fell that stood sheer across the way.

"Do you see anything now?" asked the Bull.

"Yes, now I see the castle close by," said the King's daughter, "and now it is much, much bigger."

"Thither you're to go," said the Bull. "Right underneath the castle is a pig-sty, where you are to dwell. When you come thither you'll find a wooden cloak, all made of strips of lath; that you must put on, and go up to the castle and say your name is 'Katie Woodencloak,' and ask for a place. But before you go, you must take your penknife and cut my head off, and then you must flay me, and roll up the hide, and lay it under the wall of rock yonder, and under the hide you must lay the copper leaf, and the silvern leaf, and the golden apple. Yonder, up against the rock, stands a stick; and when you want anything, you've only got to knock on the wall of rock with that stick."

At first she wouldn't do anything of the kind; but when the Bull said it was the only thanks he would have for what he had done for her, she couldn't help herself. So, however much it grieved her heart, she hacked and cut away with her knife at the big beast till she got both his head and his hide off, and then she laid the hide up under the wall of rock, and put the copper leaf, and the silvern leaf, and the golden apple inside it.

So when she had done that, she went over to the pig-sty, but all the while she went she sobbed and wept. There she put on the wooden cloak, and so went up to the palace. When she came into the kitchen she begged for a place, and told them her name was Katie Woodencloak. Yes, the cook said she might have a place—she might have leave to be there in the scullery, and wash up, for the lassie who did that work before had just gone away.

"But as soon as you get weary of being here, you'll go your way too, I'll be bound."

No; she was sure she wouldn't do that.

So there she was, behaving so well, and washing up so handily. The Sunday after there were to be strange guests at the palace, so Katie asked if she might have leave to carry up water for the Prince's bath; but all the rest laughed at her, and said,—

"What should you do there? Do you think the Prince will care to look at you, you who are such a fright?"

But she wouldn't give it up, and kept on begging and praying; and at last she got leave.


[Illustration]

So when she went up the stairs, her wooden cloak made such a clatter, the Prince came out and asked,—

"Pray, who are you?"

"Oh, I was just going to bring up water for your Royal Highness's bath," said Katie.

"Do you think now," said the Prince, "I'd have anything to do with the water you bring?" and with that he threw the water over her.

So she had to put up with that, but then she asked leave to go to church; well, she got that leave too, for the church lay close by. But first of all she went to the rock, and knocked on its face with the stick which stood there, just as the Bull had said. And straightway out came a man, who said,—

"What's your will?"

So the Princess said she had got leave to go to church and hear the priest preach, but she had no clothes to go in. So he brought out a kirtle, which was as bright as the copper wood, and she got a horse and saddle beside. Now, when she got to the church, she was so lovely and grand, all wondered who she could be, and scarce one of them listened to what the priest said, for they looked too much at her. As for the Prince, he fell so deep in love with her, he didn't take his eyes off her for a single moment.

So, as she went out of church, the Prince ran after her, and held the church door open for her; and so he got hold of one of her gloves, which was caught in the door. When she went away and mounted her horse, the Prince went up to her again, and asked whence she came.

"Oh, I'm from Bath," said Katie; and while the Prince took out the glove to give it to her, she said,—

"Bright before and dark behind,

Clouds come rolling on the wind;

That this Prince may never see

Where my good steed goes with me."


[Illustration]

The Prince had never seen the like of that glove, and went about far and wide asking after the land whence the proud lady, who rode off without her glove, said she came; but there was no one who could tell where "Bath" lay.

Next Sunday some one had to go up to the Prince with a towel.

"Oh, may I have leave to go up with it?" said Katie.

"What's the good of your going?" said the others; "you saw how it fared with you last time."

But Katie wouldn't give in; she kept on begging and praying, till she got leave; and then she ran up the stairs, so that her wooden cloak made a great clatter. Out came the Prince, and when he saw it was Katie, he tore the towel out of her hand, and threw it into her face.

"Pack yourself off, you ugly Troll," he cried; "do you think I'd have a towel which you have touched with your smutty fingers?"

After that the Prince set off to church, and Katie begged for leave to go too. They all asked what business she had at church—she who had nothing to put on but that wooden cloak, which was so black and ugly. But Katie said the Priest was such a brave man to preach, what he said did her so much good; and so at last she got leave. Now she went again to the rock and knocked, and so out came the man, and gave her a kirtle far finer than the first one; it was all covered with silver, and it shone like the silver wood; and she got besides a noble steed, with a saddle-cloth broidered with silver, and a silver bit.

So when the King's daughter got to the church, the folk were still standing about in the churchyard. And all wondered and wondered who she could be, and the Prince was soon on the spot, and came and wished to hold her horse for her while she got off. But she jumped down, and said there was no need, for her horse was so well broke, it stood still when she bade it, and came when she called it. So they all went into church, but there was scarce a soul that listened to what the priest said, for they looked at her a deal too much; and the Prince fell still deeper in love than the first time.

When the sermon was over, and she went out of church, and was going to mount her horse, up came the Prince again and asked her whence she came.

"Oh, I'm from Towelland," said the King's daughter; and as she said that, she dropped her riding-whip, and when the Prince stooped to pick it up, she said,—

"Bright before and dark behind,

Clouds come rolling on the wind;

That this Prince may never see

Where my good steed goes with me."

So away she was again; and the Prince couldn't tell what had become of her. He went about far and wide, asking after the land whence she said she came, but there was no one who could tell him where it lay; and so the Prince had to make the best he could of it.

Next Sunday some one had to go up to the Prince with a comb. Katie begged for leave to go up with it, but the others put her in mind how she had fared the last time, and scolded her for wishing to go before the Prince—such a black and ugly fright as she was in her wooden cloak. But she wouldn't leave off asking till they let her go up to the Prince with his comb. So, when she came clattering up the stairs again, out came the Prince, and took the comb, and threw it at her, and bade her be off as fast as she could. After that the Prince went to church, and Katie begged for leave to go too. They asked again what business she had there, she who was so foul and black, and who had no clothes to show herself in. Might be the Prince or some one else would see her, and then both she and all the others would smart for it; but Katie said they had something else to do than to look at her; and she wouldn't leave off begging and praying till they gave her leave to go.

So the same thing happened now as had happened twice before. She went to the rock and knocked with the stick, and then the man came out and gave her a kirtle which was far grander than either of the others. It was almost all pure gold, and studded with diamonds; and she got besides a noble steed, with a gold broidered saddle-cloth and a golden bit.

Now when the King's daughter got to the church, there stood the priest and all the people in the churchyard waiting for her. Up came the Prince running, and wanted to hold her horse, but she jumped off, and said,—

"No; thanks—there's no need, for my horse is so well broke, it stands still when I bid him."

So they all hastened into church, and the priest got into the pulpit, but no one listened to a word he said; for they all looked too much at her, and wondered whence she came; and the Prince, he was far deeper in love than either of the former times. He had no eyes, or ears, or sense for anything, but just to sit and stare at her.

So when the sermon was over, and the King's daughter was to go out of the church, the Prince had got a firkin of pitch poured out in the porch, that he might come and help her over it; but she didn't care a bit—she just put her foot right down into the midst of the pitch, and jumped across it; but then one of her golden shoes stuck fast in it, and as she got on her horse, up came the Prince running out of the church and asked whence she came.

"I'm from Combland," said Katie. But when the Prince wanted to reach her the gold shoe, she said,—

"Bright before and dark behind,

Clouds come rolling on the wind;

That this Prince may never see

Where my good steed goes with me."

So the Prince couldn't tell still what had become of her, and he went about a weary time all over the world asking for "Combland;" but when no one could tell him where it lay, he ordered it to be given out everywhere that he would wed the woman whose foot could fit the gold shoe.

So many came of all sorts from all sides, fair and ugly alike; but there was no one who had so small a foot as to be able to get on the gold shoe. And after a long, long time, who should come but Katie's wicked stepmother, and her daughter, too, and her the gold shoe fitted; but ugly she was, and so loathly she looked, the Prince only kept his word sore against his will. Still they got ready the wedding-feast, and she was dressed up and decked out as a bride; but as they rode to church, a little bird sat upon a tree and sang,—

"A bit off her heel,

And a bit off her toe;

Katie Woodencloak's tiny shoe

Is full of blood—that's all I know."

And, sure enough, when they looked to it, the bird told the truth, for blood gushed out of the shoe.

Then all the maids and women who were about the palace had to go up to try on the shoe, but there was none of them whom it would fit at all.

"But where's Katie Woodencloak?" asked the Prince, when all the rest had tried the shoe, for he understood the song of birds very well, and bore in mind what the little bird had said.

"Oh, she! think of that!" said the rest; "it's no good her coming forward. Why, she's legs like a horse."

"Very true, I daresay," said the Prince; "but since all the others have tried, Katie may as well try too."

"Katie!" he bawled out through the door; and Katie came trampling up-stairs, and her wooden cloak clattered as if a whole regiment of dragoons were charging up.

"Now, you must try the shoe on, and be a Princess, you too," said the other maids, and laughed and made game of her.

So Katie took up the shoe, and put her foot into it like nothing, and threw off her wooden cloak; and so there she stood in her gold kirtle, and it shone so that the sunbeams glistened from her; and, lo! on her other foot she had the fellow to the gold shoe.

So when the Prince knew her again, he grew so glad, he ran up to her and threw his arms round her, and gave her a kiss; and when he heard she was a King's daughter, he got gladder still, and then came the wedding-feast; and so

"Snip, snip, snover,

This story's over."

 



Seaside and Wayside, Book Two  by Julia McNair Wright

Ants and Their Trades

S INCE you know that bees, ants, and wasps all belong to the same great family of living creatures, you will not wonder that many of their ways are alike.

You know there are wasps and bees that live alone. You have read how, in the spring, Mrs. Social Wasp builds her home and raises a brood of babies.

These, as soon as full-grown, begin to build more rooms and nurse the next babies. Mrs. Ant does as Mrs. Wasp does.

Mrs. Ant begins a new hill, and as her children grow they help her. But Mrs. Ant does not often begin her hill in the spring. She chooses the early fall to begin work.

As the eggs change into working ants, Mrs. Ant gets plenty of help in her work.

You have seen bees swarm, and hang in a bunch, or curtain. Ants also cling together and form balls. But this is for warmth or safety. It is called "snugging." In some lands, in times of flood, ants form balls as large as your play ball. Thus they can float on the water, and do not drown.

As Mrs. Wasp makes paper, so Mrs. Ant can make a thin paper, for her nest. But it is poor paper, not so good as Mrs. Wasp makes. Mrs. Wasp is the chief of the paper-makers.

I told you how one Mrs. Bee cuts leaves to line her nest. So one Mrs. Ant does. With cut leaves she lines a neat little nest. As the spider makes a fine spun ball to put her babies in, there is an ant that makes a woolly nest.

You have read of the Tower Spider, that builds a neat tower of sticks, straw, and grass over her nest. There is an ant that thatches its hill in much the same way.

There is a brown ant that is a mason. She makes her nest of little balls of mud, laid up like bricks in a wall.

Then there is a carpenter ant, as there is a carpenter bee. These carpenters cut their way into trees and logs. These ants hollow out the inside of a tree, or beam, until it is ready to fall to pieces. In this way they do much harm.

Besides their other trades, the ants know the trade of war. There are soldier ants. Ants are mild and kind to each other while at work. But they are brave, and have armies for war.

It is odd to see how much ant ways and ant soldiers are like human ways and human soldiers.

The ants make war to get slaves, or servants. I will tell you more of that in the next lesson. They also make war to get cows, as you will hear by and by. They seem to have some other reasons for war.

When the ant army marches, it keeps in line and order. It seems to have captains to rule and lead it. Scouts go before to seek out the way.

The ant-hill has some soldiers for sentries, to see that no danger comes near. When a work ant gets into trouble, it will run to a soldier for help.

The soldier ants do not appear to be cross. They have very large heads, as if they wore big hats. Some of them have smooth heads, and some hairy heads. They eat much and love to sleep.

The soldier ants do not do much work. They rouse up only for a battle. In an ant-hill, the soldiers are larger, and often more in number, than the other ants.

The workers are the smallest ants in a hill. There are fewer queens than any other kind, except after most of the drone ants go off and die. At that time there are very few drones.

In a battle, two ants will often cling to each other by their jaws, until both die. The usual way in which an ant soldier kills a foe is by cutting off the head.

Sometimes the battle ends without any killing. At other times the ants are very fierce, and large numbers are cut to pieces.

When strange ants get into a hill, sometimes they are driven out; sometimes they are killed; sometimes they are treated kindly.

I put a black ant into the gate of a city of brown ants. You should have seen how they drove him out! He ran as if he were wild with fear. Three or four brown ants came after him to the edge of their hill.

But though some strange ants are cast out so fiercely, there are two or three kinds of beetles which go into ant-hills and live with the ants. The ants do not harm them in any way. You shall hear about that when we have some lessons about beetles.

 



Robert Buchanan

The Green Gnome

Ring, sing! ring, sing! pleasant Sabbath bells!

Chime, rime! chime, rime! through dales and dells!

Rime, ring! chime, sing! pleasant Sabbath bells!

Chime, sing! rime, ring! over fields and fells!


And I galloped and I galloped on my palfrey white as milk,

My robe was of the sea-green woof, my serk was of silk;

My hair was golden yellow, and it floated to my shoe,

My eyes were like two harebells bathed in little drops of dew;

My palfrey, never stopping, made a music sweetly blent

With the leaves of autumn dropping all around me as I went;

And I heard the bells, grown fainter, far behind me peal and play,

Fainter, fainter, fainter, till they seemed to die away;

And beside a silver runnel, on a little heap of sand,

I saw the green gnome sitting, with his cheek upon his hand.


Then he started up to see me, and he ran with cry and bound,

And drew me from my palfrey white and set me on the ground.

Oh crimson, crimson were his locks, his face was green to see,

But he cried, "O light-haired lassie; you are bound to marry me!"

He clasped me round the middle small, he kissed, me on the cheek,

He kissed me once, he kissed me twice—I could not stir or speak.

He kissed me twice, he kissed me thrice—but when he kissed again,

I called aloud upon the name of Him who died for men.


Sing, sing! ring, ring! pleasant Sabbath bells!

Chime, rime! chime, rime! through dales and dells!

Rime, ring! chime, sing! pleasant Sabbath bells!

Chime, sing! rime, ring! over fields and fells!


Oh faintly, faintly, faintly, calling men and maids to pray,

So faintly, faintly, faintly rang the bells far away;

And as I named the Blessed Name, as in our need we can,

The ugly green green gnome became a tall and comely man;

His hands were white, his beard was gold, his eyes were black as sloes,

His tunic was of scarlet woof, and silken were his hose;

A pensive light from Faëryland still lingered on his cheek,

His voice was like the running brook, when he began to speak:

"Oh, you have cast away the charm my stepdame put on me,

Seven years I dwelt in Faëryland, and you have set me free.

Oh, I will mount thy palfrey white, and ride to kirk with thee,

And, by those little dewy eyes, we twain will wedded be!"


Back we galloped, never stopping, he before and I behind,

And the autumn leaves were dropping, red and yellow, in the wind;

And the sun was shining clearer, and my heart was high and proud,

As nearer, nearer, nearer, rang the kirk bells sweet and loud,

And we saw the kirk before us, as we trotted down the fells,

And nearer, clearer, o'er us, rang the welcome of the bells.


Ring, sing! ring, sing! pleasant Sabbath bells!

Chime, rime! chime, rime! through dales and dells!

Rime, ring! chime, sing! pleasant Sabbath bells!

Chime, sing! rime, ring! over fields and fells!

 


  WEEK 35  

  Sunday  


In God's Garden  by Amy Steedman

Saint Giles

It was in the beautiful land of Greece that Saint Giles was born, very far away from the grey northern city, whose cathedral bears his name. His parents were of royal blood, and were, moreover, Christians; so the boy was brought up most carefully, and taught all that a prince should know.

He was a dreamy, quiet boy, and what he loved best was to wander out in the green woods by himself, with no companions but the animals and birds and flowers. He would lie for hours watching the birds busily build their nests, or the rabbits as they timidly peeped at him out of their holes. And soon all the woodland creatures began to look upon him as their friend, and even the wildest would come gradually nearer and nearer, almost within reach of his hand; and they seemed to listen when he talked to them, as if they could understand what he said. One thing they certainly did understand, and that was that he loved them and would do them no harm.

Saint Giles could not bear to see anything suffer, and his pity was great for all those in pain; and often he would mend a bird's broken wing, or bind up a little furry foot that had been torn in a trap; and the birds and beasts always lay quiet under his hand, and seemed to know that he would cure them, even though the touch might hurt.

It happened that one day, when Saint Giles was kneeling in church, he saw a poor beggar lying there on the cold, stone floor. He had scarcely any clothes to keep him warm, and his face had a hungry, suffering look, which filled the heart of the saint with pity. He saw that the poor man was ill and trembling with cold, so without a moment's thought, he took off his own warm cloak and tenderly wrapped it round the beggar.

The warmth of the cloak seemed to bring life back to the poor chilled body, and when Saint Giles had given him food and wine, he was able to lift himself up, and to bless the kind youth who had helped him.

And when the people saw what had happened they thought Saint Giles had worked a miracle, and cured the man by his wonderful touch; for they did not realise that all kind deeds work miracles every day.

It did not please Saint Giles that people should think he possessed this miraculous gift of healing, and he had no wish to be called a saint. He only longed to lead his own quiet life and to help all God's creatures who needed his care. But the people would not leave him alone, and they brought to him those who were sick and lame and blind, and expected that he would heal them.

It is true that many needed only a little human aid, and the food and help which Saint Giles gave them would soon make them well again; but there were some he could not help, and it wrung his heart to see their pleading eyes, and to watch them bring out their little store of hard-earned money, eager to buy the aid which he so willingly would have given had he been able.

So at last Saint Giles determined to leave his native city, for he had been all alone since his father and mother had died. He wished to escape from the anxious crowds that refused to leave him in peace; but first he sold all that he had and gave it to the poor of the city, an act which made them surer than ever that he was one of God's saints. Then he sailed away across the sea to a far-off country.

There Saint Giles found a lonely cave in which an old hermit lived. "Here at last I shall find peace and quietness," said he to himself, "and men will soon forget me."

But even here ere long his friends found him, for his fame had spread across the seas. So once more he set out and went further and further away, by paths that few had ever trod before, until in the depths of a green forest he found another shelter, a cave among grey rocks overgrown with lichens, and hidden by the sheltering boughs of the surrounding trees. Saint Giles had always loved the woods and this was just the home he had longed for. A clear stream flowed not far off, and his only companions would be the birds and beasts and flowers.

Early in the morning the birds would wake him with their song, and the wild creatures would come stealing out of the wood to share his meal. And his silent friends, the flowers, would cheer and help him by their beauty, and remind him of God's garden whose gate would one day open for him, where he would wander in the green pastures beside the still waters of Life for evermore.

But of all his companions the one Saint Giles loved best was a gentle white doe, who came to him as soon as he settled in the cave. She seemed to have no fear of him from the first, and stayed with him longer and longer each time, until at last she took up her abode with him, and would never leave him, lying close to him when he slept, and walking by his side wherever he went.

This peaceful life went on for a long time and it seemed as if nothing could disturb its quiet happiness. But it happened that one day as Saint Giles was praying in the cave, and his companion, the white doe, was nibbling her morning meal of fresh grass by the banks of the stream, a curious noise was heard afar off. It came nearer and nearer, and then shouts of men's voices could be heard, the sound of horses galloping and the note of the hunter's horn. Then came the deep baying of dogs, and before the startled doe could hide, the whole hunt was upon her. With a wild halloo they chased her across the greensward and through the trees, and just as she disappeared into the cave, one of the huntsmen drew his bow and sent an arrow flying after her. Then they all dismounted and went to see what had become of the hunted doe, and soon found the opening into the cave. But what was their surprise, when they burst in, to find an old man kneeling there. He was sheltering the terrified doe who had fled to him for refuge, and an arrow had pierced the kind hand that had been raised to shield her.

The huntsmen were ashamed of their cruel sport when they saw the wounded hand of the old man and the trembling form of the white doe as it crouched behind him, and they listened with reverence to the hermit's words as he spoke to them of man's duty towards God's dumb creatures. The King of France, who was one of the hunting party, came often after this to see Saint Giles, and at last offered to build him a monastery and give him all that he could want; but the old man begged to be left alone in his woodland cave, to serve God in peace and quietness. So there he lived quietly and happily for many years, until God took him, and he left his cave for the fairer fields of paradise.

People loved the thought of this peaceful old saint who dwelt in the woods and was the protector of all sorrowful and suffering creatures, and so they often called their churches after Saint Giles, especially those churches which were built in the fields or near green woods.

The surroundings of many of these churches are to-day changed. There are no fields now round his great cathedral church in the old town of Edinburgh; but the poor and sick and sorrowful crowd very near to its shelter, and the memory of the pitiful heart of the gentle old saint still hovers like a blessing round the grey old walls.

 



The Wind in the Willows  by Kenneth Grahame

Toad's Adventures

Part 2 of 3

Next evening the girl ushered her aunt into Toad's cell, bearing his week's washing pinned up in a towel. The old lady had been prepared beforehand for the interview, and the sight of certain gold sovereigns that Toad had thoughtfully placed on the table in full view practically completed the matter and left little further to discuss. In return for his cash, Toad received a cotton print gown, an apron, a shawl, and a rusty black bonnet; the only stipulation the old lady made being that she should be gagged and bound and dumped down in a corner. By this not very convincing artifice, she explained, aided by picturesque fiction which she could supply herself, she hoped to retain her situation, in spite of the suspicious appearance of things.

Toad was delighted with the suggestion. It would enable him to leave the prison in some style, and with his reputation for being a desperate and dangerous fellow untarnished; and he readily helped the gaoler's daughter to make her aunt appear as much as possible the victim of circumstances over which she had no control.

"Now it's your turn, Toad," said the girl. "Take off that coat and waistcoat of yours; you're fat enough as it is."

Shaking with laughter, she proceeded to "hook-and-eye" him into the cotton print gown, arranged the shawl with a professional fold, and tied the strings of the rusty bonnet under his chin.

"You're the very image of her," she giggled, "only I'm sure you never looked half so respectable in all your life before. Now, good-bye, Toad, and good luck. Go straight down the way you came up; and if any one says anything to you, as they probably will, being but men, you can chaff back a bit, of course, but remember you're a widow woman, quite alone in the world, with a character to lose."

With a quaking heart, but as firm a footstep as he could command, Toad set forth cautiously on what seemed to be a most hare-brained and hazardous undertaking; but he was soon agreeably surprised to find how easy everything was made for him, and a little humbled at the thought that both his popularity, and the sex that seemed to inspire it, were really another's. The washerwoman's squat figure in its familiar cotton print seemed a passport for every barred door and grim gateway; even when he hesitated, uncertain as to the right turning to take, he found himself helped out of his difficulty by the warder at the next gate, anxious to be off to his tea, summoning him to come along sharp and not keep him waiting there all night. The chaff and the humourous sallies to which he was subjected, and to which, of course, he had to provide prompt and effective reply, formed, indeed, his chief danger; for Toad was an animal with a strong sense of his own dignity, and the chaff was mostly (he thought) poor and clumsy, and the humour of the sallies entirely lacking. However, he kept his temper, though with great difficulty, suited his retorts to his company and his supposed character, and did his best not to overstep the limits of good taste.

It seemed hours before he crossed the last courtyard, rejected the pressing invitations from the last guardroom, and dodged the outspread arms of the last warder, pleading with simulated passion for just one farewell embrace. But at last he heard the wicket-gate in the great outer door click behind him, felt the fresh air of the outer world upon his anxious brow, and knew that he was free!

Dizzy with the easy success of his daring exploit, he walked quickly towards the lights of the town, not knowing in the least what he should do next, only quite certain of one thing, that he must remove himself as quickly as possible from the neighbourhood where the lady he was forced to represent was so well-known and so popular a character.

As he walked along, considering, his attention was caught by some red and green lights a little way off, to one side of the town, and the sound of the puffing and snorting of engines and the banging of shunted trucks fell on his ear. "Aha!" he thought, "this is a piece of luck! A railway station is the thing I want most in the whole world at this moment; and what's more, I needn't go through the town to get it, and shan't have to support this humiliating character by repartees which, though thoroughly effective, do not assist one's sense of self-respect."

He made his way to the station accordingly, consulted a time-table, and found that a train, bound more or less in the direction of his home, was due to start in half-an-hour. "More luck!" said Toad, his spirits rising rapidly, and went off to the booking-office to buy his ticket.

He gave the name of the station that he knew to be nearest to the village of which Toad Hall was the principal feature, and mechanically put his fingers, in search of the necessary money, where his waistcoat pocket should have been. But here the cotton gown, which had nobly stood by him so far, and which he had basely forgotten, intervened, and frustrated his efforts. In a sort of nightmare he struggled with the strange uncanny thing that seemed to hold his hands, turn all muscular strivings to water, and laugh at him all the time; while other travellers, forming up in a line behind, waited with impatience, making suggestions of more or less value and comments of more or less stringency and point. At last—somehow—he never rightly understood how—he burst the barriers, attained the goal, arrived at where all waistcoat pockets are eternally situated, and found—not only no money, but no pocket to hold it, and no waistcoat to hold the pocket!

To his horror he recollected that he had left both coat and waistcoat behind him in his cell, and with them his pocket-book, money, keys, watch, matches, pencil-case—all that makes life worth living, all that distinguishes the many-pocketed animal, the lord of creation, from the inferior one-pocketed or no-pocketed productions that hop or trip about permissively, unequipped for the real contest.

In his misery he made one desperate effort to carry the thing off, and, with a return to his fine old manner—a blend of the Squire and the College Don—he said, "Look here! I find I've left my purse behind. Just give me that ticket, will you, and I'll send the money on to-morrow? I'm well-known in these parts."

The clerk stared at him and the rusty black bonnet a moment, and then laughed. "I should think you were pretty well known in these parts," he said, "if you've tried this game on often. Here, stand away from the window, please, madam; you're obstructing the other passengers!"

An old gentleman who had been prodding him in the back for some moments here thrust him away, and, what was worse, addressed him as his good woman, which angered Toad more than anything that had occurred that evening.

Baffled and full of despair, he wandered blindly down the platform where the train was standing, and tears trickled down each side of his nose. It was hard, he thought, to be within sight of safety and almost of home, and to be baulked by the want of a few wretched shillings and by the pettifogging mistrustfulness of paid officials. Very soon his escape would be discovered, the hunt would be up, he would be caught, reviled, loaded with chains, dragged back again to prison and bread-and-water and straw; his guards and penalties would be doubled; and O, what sarcastic remarks the girl would make! What was to be done? He was not swift of foot; his figure was unfortunately recognisable. Could he not squeeze under the seat of a carriage? He had seen this method adopted by schoolboys, when the journey-money provided by thoughtful parents had been diverted to other and better ends. As he pondered, he found himself opposite the engine, which was being oiled, wiped, and generally caressed by its affectionate driver, a burly man with an oil-can in one hand and a lump of cotton-waste in the other.

"Hullo, mother!" said the engine-driver, "what's the trouble? You don't look particularly cheerful."

"O, sir!" said Toad, crying afresh, "I am a poor unhappy washerwoman, and I've lost all my money, and can't pay for a ticket, and I must  get home to-night somehow, and whatever I am to do I don't know. O dear, O dear!"

"That's a bad business, indeed," said the engine-driver reflectively. "Lost your money—and can't get home—and got some kids, too, waiting for you, I dare say?"

"Any amount of 'em," sobbed Toad. "And they'll be hungry—and playing with matches—and upsetting lamps, the little innocents!—and quarrelling, and going on generally. O dear, O dear!"

"Well, I'll tell you what I'll do," said the good engine-driver. "You're a washerwoman to your trade, says you. Very well, that's that. And I'm an engine-driver, as you well may see, and there's no denying it's terribly dirty work. Uses up a power of shirts, it does, till my missus is fair tired of washing of 'em. If you'll wash a few shirts for me when you get home, and send 'em along, I'll give you a ride on my engine. It's against the Company's regulations, but we're not so very particular in these out-of-the-way parts."

 



Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Mountain and the Squirrel

The mountain and the squirrel

Had a quarrel,

And the former called the latter "Little prig!"

Bun replied,

"You are doubtless very big,

But all sorts of things and weather

Must be taken in together

To make up a year,

And a sphere;

And I think it no disgrace

To occupy my place.

If I'm not so large as you,

You are not so small as I,

And not half so spry;

I'll not deny you make

A very pretty squirrel track.

Talents differ, all is well and wisely put.

If I cannot carry forests on my back,

Neither can you crack a nut."