Text of Plan #981
  WEEK 52  


The Christmas Reindeer  by Thornton W. Burgess

Attacked by Wolves

S UMMER this year was shorter than usual. As if they knew that the winter would come early and be long and hard, the deer left the Valley of the Good Spirit earlier than ever before, and began the slow journey back toward the winter grazing grounds. At the first movement of the herds, Aklak and Tuktu had been sent back to the main camp to help break camp and move to their winter home. So it was not until the deer were back on the home pastures that they had an opportunity to look for the deer Aklak had so carefully trained.

An unusually bold family of wolves had attacked the herd on the way. There are no more cunning people in all the great world than the wolves. For days they had followed the deer without once being discovered by either the deer or the herders. Perhaps the latter had grown careless. Perhaps they had allowed the deer to scatter too widely. Anyway, the attack came when there were no herders near enough to interfere.

A wary, clever old mother was the leader of those wolves. She knew deer as not even the herders knew them. She knew just how to cut out a small band of animals from the main herd and drive them into the hills to be killed at leisure. She knew how to do it without stampeding the rest of the herd, and she and her well-grown children did it. It wasn't until one of the herders found their tracks in newly-fallen snow that the presence of the wolves was suspected. Then it didn't take long to discover what had happened.

Two of the herders, who were also noted hunters, set out on the trail of the wolves to make sure that the band was not still hanging around. They also hoped that they might find some of the missing deer.

But those deer had been run hard and fast and all the hunters found were the cleanly picked bones of several. The others had been so scattered that it was useless to try to round them up.

There was no way of knowing whose deer the wolves had killed until the winter round-up. Then when the count was made, it would be discovered whose deer were missing. But it was a long time to wait for that winter round-up, so Tuktu and Aklak spent much time going about in the herd looking for those trained deer. And they were not the only ones who were looking. Kutok, their father, had been very proud of those deer, and as soon as the herd was back on the home pastures, he asked Aklak where they were. Of course Aklak had to tell him that he hadn't seen them.

Now trained sled-deer are valuable animals, and Kutok at once called the other herders to him and told them to watch out for these particular deer. He remembered the attack of the wolves and he feared greatly that the eight sled-deer might have been the victims. This was the same fear that was tugging at the hearts of Aklak and Tuktu. There was no way for them to know whether the Good Spirit had chosen those deer, or whether the wolves had killed them. There could be no way of knowing until the return of the herds to the seashore in the early summer. Meanwhile, Aklak was busy training more deer, and one of these was Little Spot. He was still young for sled work, but he was such a splendid young deer, so big and so strong and so willing, that everybody who saw him said that in time he would make the finest sled-deer in all the Northland.

Of course, Tuktu and Aklak said nothing to their father of their hope that the Good Spirit had chosen those deer. They suspected that should they tell, they would be laughed at. Also, they were afraid their father would not like it that they should have dared to think that they could train deer for the Good Spirit. So, when the round-up came and none of the deer were found, but it was discovered that several others of Kutok's deer were also missing, they pretended to think as did all the other folk, that Kutok had been unfortunate and that the wolves had gotten his deer. This was what every one believed and it was repeated so often that Tuktu and Aklak found it difficult at times not to believe that it was true. "Had it not been for those wolves, we should know," Tuktu kept saying over and over. "I hate those wolves! I do so!"

Kutok also hated the wolves. He hated them for the same reason that Tuktu did, and he hated them because he knew that if those deer were not safe in the Valley of the Good Spirit, they most certainly had been eaten by this time and all his hard work had gone for nothing. So it was that the wolves brought worry to the home of Kutok.


Kristy's Christmas Surprise  by Olive Thorne Miller

The Birds' Christmas Tree

T HE younger daughter of the house was very ill, and so the usual Christmas tree was put off, but Santa Claus slipped in quietly and brought presents to the other children, among the rest to Grace, the elder daughter, what she liked best of everything, three or four new books.

After breakfast she started off, meaning to have a long delightful day, curled up in a big blue chair in the library, reading. This pleasant picture Mamma spoiled, as Grace started off with her books after breakfast.

"My dear," she said, "I shall have to depend on you to keep the twins quiet to-day."

"Where's Mary?" said Grace, pausing with her hand on the door-knob, all the sunshine going out of her face.

"Mary had to go home to-day," said Mamma, "and you know, dear, it is the critical day with Bessie. I shall not leave her, and the house must be kept very still."

"Well; I suppose they can stay with me," said Grace, rather ungraciously, adding: "Boys, bring your playthings into the library."

"But, my dear," said Mamma, hesitating, "I hate to spoil your pleasure to-day; but you know if you open a book, you will forget your charge."

"Not look at my new books!" exclaimed Grace. "Oh, I couldn't possibly help it! I won't forget."

"Grace," said her mother gravely, "I know you too well, and it is my particular request that you do not even open one of your books to-day. I know it's hard," she went on, seeing the look in Grace's face, "but the life of your sister may be the forfeit."

"Hard!" cried Grace hotly, "I think it's horrid!" and she rushed out of the room before her mother could say another word. She hurried into the library, flung herself into the blue chair, and burst into angry tears.

"I think it's just horrid!" she sobbed violently. "It's bad enough to take care of those two young ones without giving up my books!"

"But you know, Grace Houghton," said something within, "you know  you'd forget them."

"What if I did for a tiny minute," she burst out in reply to her own thoughts; "they couldn't turn the house over in a minute."

"No; but they could throw down a table, as they did yesterday," suggested the monitor within; "and a sudden shock, the doctor says, might kill Bessie."

"There's one good thing," said Grace suddenly, sitting up and looking fondly at the books she still held in her arms, "she didn't say I should not; she only 'requested' me not to."

"But you wouldn't disobey a request of Mamma's," was the next thought, on which Grace turned red and looked very sulky indeed.

Just then the door opened, and the two boys and a load of playthings were brought in and deposited, with the message:—

"Your mother said I was to bring these to you, Miss Grace."

Well; that was not a very promising opening for Christmas morning, to be sure, and it stayed dismal for some time. Grace sat in the blue chair, very cross and sulky, and the twins, five years old and very lively, played with their toys on the floor. Every few minutes Grace had to interfere with a sharp "Boys, do be still!"  "Harry, stop dragging that train across the floor!"  "Willie, don't climb on that table!" and so on; but in spite of these efforts, a good deal of noise was made in the room.

The fall of a chair at last fully aroused her; she sprang up.

"Grace Houghton," she said warmly, "I'm ashamed of you! Do you want never to see your sister again? Do you care more for a story-book than you do for Bessie?" Resolutely she crossed the room, opened a drawer in a book-case, laid her precious books in, shut it and locked it, put the key in her pocket, and turned to the twins, who had just arranged a street-car with chairs, and were ready for a lively time.

"Dear! dear! what shall I do with them?" she thought, glancing out of the window as she passed it. "I must get up something quiet to amuse them," and vacantly her eyes wandered over the scene outside, the whole world covered with snow, and glittering in the warm sunshine. Something she saw gave her the idea.

"I know!" she suddenly exclaimed, "that'll do, I'm sure! Boys, let's have a Christmas party."

"When? where? Who'll we invite?" came quickly from the pair, who left their own play at once.

"We'll have it as soon as we can get ready," said Grace, lively enough now, "and we'll invite—let me see," she hesitated,—"all the Grays, and the Browns, the Big Blue, and the two Topknots, and—"

"Oh, I know!" shouted Harry, "the birds!"

"Yes, the birds!" said Grace. "You see, the snow has covered up everything they have to eat, and I'm sure they'll come here on the lawn where we always feed them. There's one now—see him?"

"I do!" cried Willie, "A robin! He's waiting for crumbs."

"Well, now, Bobby," speaking to the bird perched on a low tree, and evidently looking at them in the window, "we'll invite you to dinner, and all the rest of the birds out there,"—waving her hand toward the woods, which came quite near the house,—"in about an hour. Please tell everybody to come."

"Tut! tut!" said the robin, with a flirt of his tail.

"Hear him answer you!" cried Harry, laughing.

"Peep! tut! tut! tut!" went on the robin.

"Yes; you'll have to wait till the table's set," said Grace in reply. "We'll—boys!" with a sudden thought, "we'll make them a Christmas tree! You know John got one for us, that we couldn't use because of Bessie. I'll get him to cut it off, and we'll fix it up for the birds."

"Oh, what a funny tree!" cried the boys; "what'll we put on?"

"You'll see," said Grace. "I don't know myself yet, but something they'll like! Now will you sit still as two mice while I go and see if we can have the tree?"

They both promised, but she took care to give them a new picture-book to look at while she was gone. Before they had exhausted their book she came back, and John behind her with the tree, or rather the top of it. He had sawed it off about four feet high, and fitted it into the standard made for it, so that it stood up nicely.

"Now, what shall we put on?" began Willie, tossing the book aside.

"Well, what do we give the birds?" asked Grace.

"Seeds," said Willie, "and crumbs—and—and—"

"And bones," burst in Harry.

"Yes, and meat," said Grace.

"Meat?" cried Harry.

"Why, yes! doesn't Bobby there eat worms all summer on the lawn, and aren't worms meat, I'd like to know?" said Grace; "and you know there's lots of little fellows eat meat. You remember little Quanky, who's always going round and round, knocking at the doors and jerking out the tiny grubs in the trees?"

"Yes," said Harry, with wide-open eyes, "and 'Boy Blue'! Don't you 'member what a long worm he had one day? longer 'n he was."

"An' 'Foxie,'  't used to jump so after grasshoppers," chimed in Willie.

These children knew so much about birds, you must know, because their mother was very fond of them, and told the boys their names, what they ate, and many things about them.

For half an hour there were three very busy pairs of feet in that house, as Grace and the boys collected their Christmas gifts; but at the end of that time everything was piled on the library table, and the work of decoration began. Little boxes made of paper were tightly tied on the branches in many places, to hold the seeds; stems of wheat and oats dried for winter bouquets were bound with thread on the ends of the twigs. Grace even added some heavy, drooping stems of rice in the shell, which Uncle Ben had brought her as a curiosity from Georgia, because she knew a certain fellow in a gay coat who especially delighted in that. Fresh raw beef that the cook good-naturedly cut from a steak was snipped with scissors into tiny strips a half-inch or more long, and not much bigger than a pin. Some of these imitation worms were wedged in among the leaves of the tree, and others tied loosely in a bundle and hung on a branch. Two bones out of the same steak were firmly fastened to the small trunk of the tree. Bunches of bitter-sweet with bright red berries were arranged among the branches. All this, though done by eager fingers, took a long time, and then Grace brought out a cupful of dried currants that had been soaking in hot water all this time. Now they were all plumped out and soft, and she set the happy and busy boys to sticking them onto the sharp, needle-like leaves of the tree.

This was a slow operation, and very droll that tree looked, I can tell you, all blossomed out with dried currants. The last thing was to fill the little boxes with hemp seed, cracked wheat, coarse oatmeal, canary and millet seed, and then, to their great surprise, it was time for luncheon.

When that was over John was called in, and the whole thing carefully carried out and placed on the lawn before the window, just where the birds were used to being fed. Then a dishful of water was set under the tree.

"Will they take a bath?" asked eager Harry.

"No, it's too cold," said Grace, "but they'll want a drink, you know; and now we'll sit in the window and see who comes to our party."

She placed a chair for each.

Hardly were they seated before the fun began.

"There comes Bobby!" from Willie, announced the first arrival. Sure enough, a robin, perhaps the one who had been invited, alighted on a shrub beside this strange new Christmas tree. He looked at it; he flirted his tail; he jerked his body and slapped his wings down on his sides, and at last came down on the snow to see what he could make of it. He ran all around it, in little short runs, stopping and lifting his head every minute to see if anything had happened while he was not looking. He came closer, then something caught his eye—a bone! yes; he knew a beefsteak bone; he'd seen them before; he boldly pounced on the lowest branch, and attacked that bone as if he had not eaten meat in a month. He shook the tree so that some of the seeds were spilled, but that didn't matter, the birds would like them just as well from the snow.

The boys were so taken up with Bobby's performances that they had not noticed another arrival, till Grace called "chick-a-dees!" and there they were, a little flock, all in black caps and white vests, as trim as dandies. They flew back and forth two or three times, then alighted on the snow around the tree, and devoted themselves to picking up what Master Bobby had scattered. Very busy and sociable they were too, chattering and eating as fast as they could and calling their thanks in lively "chick-a-dee-dee's," when they were ready to go.

"Oh, who's that?" cried the boys, as a stranger appeared on the lawn. He was dressed in a neat suit of bluish brown, and he gravely walked over the snow to see what the excitement was. He came on in a droll, little mincing way, bobbed his head at every step, and when he reached the tree he turned his funny little head up and looked at Bobby still working away at that bone, chuckling to himself as though this was the very oddest thing he had seen yet.

"That's a turtle-dove," said Grace, when she got a good sight of him; "isn't he pretty?"

"What'll he eat?" asked Bobby.

"I don't know; we'll see," said Grace. And they did; for he began to pick up the seeds from the snow in a doubtful way, as though he suspected they might be poisoned. But he did not stay long, for now came a very noisy party in rusty black, with faded red shoulder-straps. There were only three or four, but they made noise enough for a dozen. The dove walked off with great dignity, and Bobby took flight in a hurry.

One of the newcomers said "Chack! chack!" another uttered a loud scream, and a third said "Whew!" and they all bustled around as if they hadn't a minute to stay, and had a great deal to talk about. After some little study of the tree, they pounced on it in a body, and the way the eatables disappeared in those long, black bills was alarming.

"They won't leave a thing," said Willie.

"See how they shake the things out!" said Harry.

"And look at them stuffing themselves!" added Willie. "Let's scare 'em away!"

"Why, what for?" said Grace. "Didn't we invite them all? These redwings don't seem to have very fine table manners; but they're having a good time anyway, and we can fill up the boxes again."

The redwings ate their fill, sung a song or two, dipped freely into the water, and then left.

For a few minutes the tree was deserted, and then came a lisping group. They alighted on the Christmas tree without fear, they fell at once to eating of the feast found there, and had a good deal to say about it, but never a word above a soft, hissing whisper,—it was droll enough. They were very handsome in olive-colored dress with black spectacles, tall pointed caps, and brilliant red tags on their wing feathers.

"Cherry birds!" the boys cried.

"Cedar birds," said Grace.

While they were enjoying their silent luncheon, another guest came in, even more silent, for the three hosts in the window did not see him till he flashed around the trunk of the little tree, and gave a long, rattling knock as though he expected a door to open and a grub to walk out.

"Oh, there's Downy!" was announced, and just that minute he caught sight of one of the bits of meat cut to look like tiny worms. He helped himself, and liked it so well that he took another, and another, and then rapped his thanks and disappeared the way he had come.

Next came down a flock of sparrows, chirping and chattering like a party of school children off on a frolic,—tree sparrows with reddish caps, song sparrows with big black breast knots, fox sparrows that the boys called Foxie, white-throats with black half-mask and white bow at the throat, and all dressed in brown with streaks everywhere. They whirled around the tree as if to see it on all sides, and then settled on the ground and picked up the seeds. Then one spied the meat, and hopped up on the lowest branch, and another one did so because he did, and in about a minute the tree could hardly be seen for the sparrows all over it. Oh! but they had a good time, and they said so, too, in their way, chirping and talking and giving little snatches of song by way of thanks; and just as the boys began to think there wouldn't be a thing left, they all suddenly rose in a crowd, whirled once more around the tree, and were off out of sight in a minute.

The next guest alighted on the tree with a flutter, jerked his tail, which he held cocked up in the air, gave a loud call or two, then scolded all whom it might concern, and fell to eating.

"I know that's a wren; see his tail tipped up. Isn't he funny?"

"Yes," said Grace, "and there's some one who doesn't care for his scolding—see?" and she pointed to the lower part of the tree.

"Quanky! Quanky!" called the boys, and "Quank! quank!" said the little fellow, as he circled around the tree trunk and branches, till he found that food grew on the outside of this bark instead of inside, where he was used to finding it. He was all in dull blue, and Grace called him a nuthatch.

All the afternoon the party of three sat inside the library window and watched the visitors to the Christmas tree. Once or twice the boxes were replenished, and everybody that came seemed to get his fill. There were flocks of snowbirds in black and white, with tails opening and shutting like fans; a bluebird and his little mate picked away at the bones; purple finches all in red and brown, and summer yellowbirds in russet winter suits; a pair of cardinals, fashionably late, ate their fill of the rice, sitting in one place and dropping the shells all over the snow. Last of all, after everybody else had taken his Christmas present and gone, and the boys were beginning to be tired and wonder if supper wasn't ready, there arrived the oddest of all their guests. He was a big fellow all in blue and white and black, and he came around in the most wary fashion.

"See the blue jay!" said Grace, and the boys were at once interested. He was a long time making up his mind that the tree was not a new sort of trap. He went around it in long hops, turning his wise-looking head this way and that, and giving droll little hops up, if anything moved. But when he was satisfied it was all right he hopped to the lower branches and proceeded to have a good time in his own way. Some things he ate, but more he threw down; he seemed to regard it as his business to clear the table. Seed boxes were hammered off, currants—what few were left that he didn't eat—he filled his mouth with, flew down and hid them under one corner of the standard; the empty wheat-stalks he pulled off, likewise the bunches of bitter-sweet, from which the berries were eaten.

"Oh, he'll pull everything off!" cried the boys. "Well, what if he does?" said Grace; "the birds can eat from the snow, and he's so busy and funny I like to see him."

So they watched him a long time, for he had a pretty big job. You see he not only wanted to clear the tree completely, but his ardent wish was to carry off and hide every grain of rice, and every loose seed. He had to give it up though, for night came on quickly, as it does on Christmas day, you know. While they watched him Mamma came in and told them that the crisis was over and Bessie would get well.

"And what lovely boys you have been!" she added, as she took one in each arm and went out to supper. "And as for you, Grace," she said warmly, "it has been the most useful day of your life—if it was a hard one."

"It wasn't hard," said Grace honestly, "only at first. It's been a lovely day, Mamma."

"An' we've had a Christmas party, an' lots of folks came to it," broke in the boys together.

"To-morrow you shall tell me all about it," said Mamma.

"It seems to me," said Mr. Roberts, "that all these stories, good as they are, are about girls. Now I shall tell one about boys. I won't say it will be as fine, in fact the boy was very naughty, but it'll be a variety, and anyway it's the only one I can think of—"

"Oh!" interrupted Kristy, "any one who can tell such lovely stories as you, may tell just what he likes."


Emilie Poulsson

Santa Claus and the Mouse

One Christmas eve, when Santa Claus

Came to a certain house,

To fill the children's stockings there,

He found a little mouse.

"A merry Christmas, little friend,"

Said Santa, good and kind.

"The same to you, sir," said the mouse;

"I thought you wouldn't mind

"If I should stay awake to-night

And watch you for awhile."

"You're very welcome, little mouse,"

Said Santa, with a smile.

And then he filled the stockings up

Before the mouse could wink—

From toe to top, from top to toe,

There wasn't left a chink.

"Now, they won't hold another thing,"

Said Santa Claus, with pride.

A twinkle came in mouse's eyes.

But humbly he replied:

"It's not polite to contradict—

Your pardon I implore—

But in the fullest stocking there

I could put one thing more."

"Oh, ho!" laughed Santa, "silly mouse.

Don't I know how to pack?

By filling stockings all these years,

I should have learned the knack."

And then he took the stocking down

From where it hung so high,

And said: "Now put in one thing more;

I give you leave to try."

The mousie chuckled to himself,

And then he softly stole

Right to the stocking's crowded toe

And gnawed a little hole!

"Now, if you please, good Santa Claus,

I've put in one thing more;

For you will own that little hole

Was not in there before."

How Santa Claus did laugh and laugh!

And then he gaily spoke:

"Well! you shall have a Christmas cheese

For that nice little joke."

If you don't think this story true,

Why! I can show to you

The very stocking with the hole

The little mouse gnawed through.


  WEEK 52  


Our Island Story  by H. E. Marshall

The Story of How Prince Hal Was Sent to Prison

P RINCE HAL was clever and brave, but he was so wild and fond of fun that he was called "Madcap Hal." He spent a great deal of time with gay companions and often got into mischief.

One day a servant of Prince Hal, having done something wicked, was taken before the Lord Chief-Justice Gascoigne to be tried and punished. When Prince Hal heard about it he was very angry, and went at once to the court-house. He strode up to where his servant was standing, and turning to the officer beside him, "Take off these fetters," he said. "Let my man go free. How dare you arrest my servant?"

"My lord Prince," said Judge Gascoigne calmly, "your servant has broken the law, and must be punished by the law. If you wish to save him, you must go to the King, your father, and beg mercy from him. He can grant it if he thinks fit. Now, I pray you leave the court, and allow me to deal as I think just with the prisoner."

Prince Hal was very angry at being spoken to like this. He was so angry that he hardly knew what he was doing, and, springing forward, he struck the judge in the face.

The people in the court were dumb with astonishment and fear. What would happen next no one knew. The Prince was in such a passion that they were afraid he might kill the judge.

But Judge Gascoigne sat quite still and unmoved. "Sir," he said sternly to the Prince, "remember that I am here in place of the King, your lord and father. In his name I charge you to give up your sword. For your contempt and disobedience I send you to prison. There you shall remain until the will of the King, your father, shall be known."


"For your contempt and disobedience I send you to prison," said Judge Gascoigne.

At these calm, grave words, the Prince was ashamed. All his anger vanished and, taking off his sword, he bowed humbly to the judge, and went quietly to prison.

As soon as the Prince had gone, some of his servants ran to tell the King what had happened. They expected him to be very angry with the judge. But, after hearing the story, the King sat silent for a few minutes. Then he said, "I thank God that He has given me a judge who does not fear to do justice, and a son who can obey the law."

Towards the end of his troubled reign, Henry IV. was often ill, and although very unwilling to do so, he was obliged to allow Prince Hal to help in ruling the kingdom. Once, while the King was ill, Prince Hal came into his room, and finding him lying very still and quiet thought that he was dead. The crown was beside the King's bed and the Prince lifted it, put it on his own head, and went away.

But the King was not dead, and when he awoke and found that the crown was gone, he was greatly alarmed. He called to his nobles, who were in a room near, "Why have you left me alone? Some one has stolen the crown."

The nobles came running to the King. "The Prince was with you, my lord, while you slept," they said; "he must have taken the crown."

"The Prince took it?" said the King. "Go, bring him here."

When he was told that the King was not dead, Prince Hal returned at once. With tears in his eyes he knelt beside his father's bed. "I never thought to hear you speak again," he said.

And the King replied sadly:—

Thy wish was father, Henry, to that thought:

I stay too long by thee, I weary thee;

Dost thou so hunger for my empty chair,

That thou wilt needs invest thee with mine honours

Before thy hour is ripe? O foolish youth!

Thou seek'st the greatness that will overwhelm thee.

"Oh, pardon me, my liege," said Prince Hal, weeping; and the King pardoned and blessed him before he died.

How I came by the crown, O God, forgive,

And grant it may with thee in true peace live.


Kristy's Christmas Surprise  by Olive Thorne Miller

How the Horse Told

I T was the first day of skating in the village of B——, and nearly the whole town was out to enjoy it. Every boy and girl fortunate enough to own a pair of skates, and many who were forced to content themselves with sliding, were there. The lake was gay with bright colors, and the air filled with shouts of laughter.

Towards evening there arose between the young people a trial of speed, and a race was quickly arranged. Many started together, but soon all fell off, one after another, till only three were left, the acknowledged best skaters in the village: Kittie Manton, a bright girl, and a great favorite among the schoolboys, and two boys who were equally anxious to keep up with her, and to beat each other. They were about evenly matched, but Phil Bartlett happened to wear a pair of bright new skates, and in spite of his opponent's strongest efforts, he went ahead, and kept there.

The sport was put an end to by a snowstorm, and the lake was quickly deserted. The skating contest was all in fun, of course, and no one thought of having any feeling about it, except the boy who was beaten. Harry Carter was rather an important personage, in his own estimation, and he went away in a furious rage.

"The mean sneak!" he muttered to himself, as he stalked off towards home, his skates dangling over his shoulder, "just because he had on new skates! He can't beat me in a fair trial, and he knows it! I wonder where he got those Clubs, anyway—his father's as poor as Job's turkey. I'll pay him off, anyway. I'd like to put a few nicks in those new skates, and then see him try to beat me again!" So he went on—this foolish youth—his mind filled with thoughts of revenge.

Evil designs ripen quickly, and before bed-time Harry had thought of a plan which he meant to carry out that very night.

Phil Bartlett was the son of a farmer, and lived about two miles from the village. After he thought every one was in bed in the quiet town, Harry Carter stole out of his window onto the top of a piazza, climbed down the trellis, to the injury of some vines which grew over it, and took his way to the stable. He dared not touch one of the carriage horses, for his father was very particular about them, and very observing, but neither did he intend walking two miles into the country, even to be revenged. His father had a superannuated horse called Ned, kept solely for the purpose of dragging barrels of water from the spring at the back of the lot which supplied the house.

No one would notice whether Ned was used or not—so reasoned Harry—and Ned should carry him out to the Bartlett farm. The old horse was soon saddled and brought out, though not without some difficulty; for the intelligent animal knew as well as Harry did that night was his time to rest. However, out he was finally driven, and Harry mounted and rode out of the yard.

On ordinary occasions he would not have enjoyed a midnight ride through the lonely woods, but now he was too angry to care for anything, however unpleasant. When he reached Bartlett's, he found the gate open into the yard, and he rode directly in, turning one side away from the house, and off from the road, and tied Ned to a tree near.

Harry's long ride had somewhat cooled his rage, and as he opened the side-door of the farmhouse, which was never locked, the thought struck him that his proceeding was very much like that of a burglar. The notion of Squire Carter's son being a burglar tickled his fancy so much that he had to smother a laugh.

"Now where shall I look for the confounded skates?" he thought, as he fumbled around the walls of the passageway. "I wonder where Phil sleeps? Wouldn't it be a joke to take them right out from under his very nose! No doubt he sleeps with them beside him, they're so precious!" he added sneeringly, his anger of the afternoon rising in his heart again.

Just at the moment his groping hand fell on the skates, hanging from a peg among coats and hats.

"Jolly! that's lucky!" he thought, running his hand over them, to be sure that they were the new ones. "He must have known I was coming, and hung 'em here handy! I'll soon fix you!" he went on, "and I've a good mind to carry off the beggar's coat and hat too, just to keep him at home awhile; the skating won't last long, and it'll be good for his precious health." With this, not stopping to give it a second thought, he snatched a coat and a fur cap which he well knew was Phil's, stole softly out, and closed the door. The garments he thought he would hide for a day or two, and then write a note, anonymously, to tell where they might be found; but the skates he must injure seriously. A few sharp blows across a stone that he had noticed where he tied his horse, made them for the time, at least, if not forever, quite useless. He then gave them a fling towards the house, not wishing to take the trouble to restore them to their peg.

The coat and hat he carried off a half mile on his way home, to a deserted barn he knew of, and threw them into a window. He knew no one would be likely to go to the building, and when he had had enough sport out of it, he could easily let Phil know where they were to be found.

Having thus completed his mischief, he hurried home, urging old Ned into a pace that he seldom indulged in, in his old age. He put the tired horse into the stable, and at last, towards morning, climbed the trellis again, and crept into bed.

As the school bell rang the next morning, and Harry went in with the other scholars, he chuckled at the idea that Master Phil would stay at home to-day, and he smiled as he pictured his rage. What then was his amazement to see Phil in his usual seat, hard at work with his books. He did not look up, and Harry began to fear that he had not yet discovered the accident to his skates, and that he himself must have dreamed about the coat and cap. When out at recess, he saw that Phil wore a different cap, but no other sign could he discover that his revenge had been taken. But although Phil looked calm, there was a tempest under his quiet face. He was only waiting for the proper time, to speak out. On getting up that morning early, as he always did, he had been unable to resist one glance at the beloved skates. A new pair of skates to Harry Carter meant simply going to a store and buying them, but to Phil Bartlett they meant months of saving money, and hours of extra work. This pair was the result of a whole summer's self-denial and saving, and he valued them accordingly. He did not find them in their usual place, and a quick search revealed the fact that his cap was also gone. To get more light, he opened the door. The light snow on the ground, which had ceased before Harry came out, showed footprints and suggested to Phil that a thief had been around.

Careful not to step on the tracks, he went out, and near the door came upon the ruined skates. A cry of horror escaped him as he gathered them up, and now with greatest care—for it was his only clue to the perpetrator—he followed the trail. The footprints led directly to a tree, where he found the tracks of a horse, and the dents in the stone where the skates had been injured.

Following the horse's tracks, which were perfectly clear and distinct, he came to the road, and there they turned towards the village, and were lost. A groan fell from his lips at this point. "I shall never find him!" he thought. Yet in looking closer he noticed something unusual in the footprints of the horse. He stooped to examine, and made the curious discovery that no two of the horse's feet were in the same condition. Of the fore feet one shoe was loose and the other was smooth, as he could easily see from the track; and of the hind feet one had a shoe that was broken and the other had no shoe at all.

Getting these facts carefully in his mind, Phil went back to the house and called his father, who also examined the trail, and then, finding his coat gone from its usual peg, put on another, and started for the village to see lawyer James, telling Phil to go to school as usual, while he worked the thing up.

Near the village he found a cast horseshoe, with which he at once went to the village blacksmith, who made all the horseshoes for the neighborhood. A little questioning brought out the fact that the stray shoe belonged to Squire Carter's Ned, and an examination of the horse's feet confirmed his statement, and also proved that Ned was the horse who had left his tracks in Mr. Bartlett's yard. The broken vines, and the disordered state of the snow on the roof, were scarcely needed to point out the culprit.

The working out of all this, and consulting with the lawyer, took time, and school was about being dismissed before it was brought to a conclusion. Perhaps no one was ever more confounded than Harry Carter, when, on leaving the schoolroom that morning, he found himself face to face with the village constable, who arrested him on the charge of theft, in sight of the whole school.

"It's false!" shouted Harry, white with rage. "Who says so? Prove it!"

"It is easily proved," said the officer. "You were tracked to the door of the house from your own window."

"I admit," said Harry haughtily, noticing Phil's eager face in the crowd which gathered around them, "that I went out to be revenged, and to spoil a pair of skates, but I'm not a burglar—I didn't break into a house."

"Not strictly," said the man, "for the house was not locked, but you are arrested for stealing."

"I never did!" shouted Harry again, furious at this charge.

"There's a coat and hat gone," said the officer quietly. Harry had forgotten them; a scornful smile crept over his face.

"That was a joke; they're in Johnson's barn; I was going to write a note, telling where they could be found, to-morrow or next day."

"The law recognizes no jokes," said the constable. "You entered the house at night, and carried away property, whatever your motive. You'll have to prove it a joke—if you can—before the Justice, and anyway I can't stay here talking. You'll have to go, and you had better go quietly, or—" and he made a significant gesture, which convinced Harry that he meant what he said. It did begin to look like stealing now, and Harry's face fell.

He was followed by all the boys in school, as he marched to the room where the Justice was found, and in shame and mortification heard the whole story of his night's exploit related by Phil. It was corroborated by Mr. Bartlett, and also by his father's stableman, who had to acknowledge finding the old horse tired out, for he was not used of late even to four-mile journeys, and to recognize the missing shoe.

The best witness, however, was Ned himself; for on being taken out to the farm by Squire Carter, who refused to believe in his son's guilt till he had inspected the evidences for himself, the intelligent animal, when the lines were left loose, turned of his own accord into the gate, and leaving the beaten path, turned one side and came to a halt under the tree. The evidence was irresistible, and the horse was the one who told, with his unusual tracks and this conclusive conduct.

Squire Carter, mortified and angry at the foolish performance of his son, resolved to give him a good lesson, that should cure him of any desire to take the law into his own hands again. He first let him spend one night, which was Christmas eve, in the jail to give him time to think about it; and then he settled the matter by the payment of quite a large sum of money. Even that was not the end, for to make sure that the lesson was well learned, and his somewhat hot-headed son thoroughly cured of malicious mischief, he insisted upon Harry's paying the amount of the costs from his own money.

Now this was worse than all. For a year Harry had been saving his money—as well as Phil—but not for a paltry pair of skates. His aim and the desire of his heart was to own a yacht, in which to navigate the waters of a beautiful lake near the village. He was expert in the management of boats, and delighted in them more than in any other thing, and he had collected nearly the amount necessary to make the purchase.

More than this: he had selected his boat, and induced the owner to wait a week more, till his next allowance should complete the sum asked for it; he had talked about it with all the boys, fixed upon a new name for it, and even asked Kittie Manton to confer it as soon as the spring should open and the season begin. He almost felt that the yacht was his own.

And now—it was almost like drawing his heart from his body; but his father sternly insisted that he should give every cent of that precious money to farmer Bartlett, to settle the affair without a trial and imprisonment.

It was many years before Harry Carter could thank his upright father for this act which seemed so cruel at the time, but he did at last; and he admitted—after he had grown to respected manhood—that it had put an end to his boyish desire to be revenged.

"We'll have to go back to the girls if I tell the only unusual story I know of Christmas," said Miss Kate. "This is about one whom we all know, Aunt Jane's pretty niece Bessie. Aunt Jane told it to me herself several years ago. It happened when Bessie first came to her."


Sara Teasdale

Christmas Carol

The Kings they came from out the South,

All dressed in ermine fine;

They bore Him gold and chrysophrase,

And gifts of precious wine.

The Shepherds came from out the North,

Their coats were brown and old:

They brought Him little new-born lambs—

They had not any gold.

The Wise Men came from out the East,

And they were wrapped in white:

The star that led them all the way

Did glorify the night.

The Angels came from heaven high,

And they were clad with wings:

And lo they brought a joyful song

The host of heaven sings.

The Kings they knocked upon the door,

The Wise Men entered in,

The Shepherds followed after them

To hear the song begin.

The Angels sang through all the night

Until the rising sun,

But little Jesus fell asleep

Before the song was done.


  WEEK 52  


The Christmas Reindeer  by Thornton W. Burgess

The Christmas Invitation

I T HAD been known to the village since the forming of new ice that the ship which they had visited in summer had not left for the far-away country from which it had come, but was now frozen in the ice and would spend the winter in the Far Northland. So there was no surprise when one day there arrived two white men and an Eskimo guide, who had journeyed overland by dog sledge. One of these men was the one who had told Tuktu the story of Christmas. As Kutok's house was the largest and the best house in the village, the visitors were entertained there.


They remained two or three days and when they left to return to their ship, all the village turned out to see them go. They had brought things to trade and in return for deer meat and warm clothing of deerskin had left things which were of equal value to the Eskimos. And they had left the feeling of goodwill, for in all their trading they had taken the greatest care to be fair. When they left they had taken with them a promise that those of the men who could be spared from their duties in watching the deer, together with some of the women and children from the village, would visit the ship at a certain time, which the white men called Christmas. There would be much feasting and merrymaking and strange things to see on the ship.

The white man who had made friends with Tuktu had made Kutok promise that Tuktu should come. And this her father had been the more willing to grant, because he had been given a knife he had long wanted. So it was arranged that unless the weather should be too bad, so there could be no traveling, Kutok, Navaluk, and the two children, and perhaps some others of the village, should pay a Christmas visit to the ship.

Tuktu and Aklak could think of and talk about little else. Aklak saw to it that the sled-deer were in the best possible condition. It would take them at least two days and one sleep. That sleep would be at the herder's hut near Kringle Valley. At least, that is the way that Kutok planned to go. There was a longer way around by way of another village and this would be the way that others from the village would go.

Kutok and Aklak went to work on the sleds. They must be put in the best condition for such a long journey. They would take six, one for each of them and two extra to carry provisions and things for trade. It would not be necessary to have extra drivers, for often one driver handles at least three sleds. He rides on the first one, the deer drawing the second one is attached to the rear of his sled, and to the rear of that sled is attached the third deer. So, it would be a simple matter to look out for the extra sleds on this journey. Kutok was to drive Speedfoot; Tuktu would drive Big Spot; Aklak would drive Little Spot; and Navaluk would drive Whitefoot.

While her father and brother were busy going over the sleds and seeing to it that they were in perfect order, Tuktu and her mother were equally busy. They had promised two pairs of boots and two new suits, for which they had taken the measurements when their visitors were with them, and there would be none too much time to get them ready. As she worked, Tuktu kept thinking of all that she had heard from the white man about Christmas. This would be her first Christmas and she wondered if she would see the wonderful Santa Claus. Then she remembered that he would be on his journey around the great world. Besides, had not she been told that those who peeked never saw him? But, despite this, right down in her heart, she couldn't help hoping that she might get just a glimpse of him. She did want to see if this Santa of the white man was in very truth the Good Spirit whom she had seen in Kringle Valley.

The cold grew stronger. The Northern Lights flashed, and the stars seemed so close that one could almost pick them from the sky. It was a world of white, but the snow was not so deep but that the deer could easily paw down through it and get their food. It was just right for good sledding and as the time for the start approached, Tuktu and Aklak watched anxiously lest a fierce northern blizzard should sweep down and delay their journey.

But the blizzard did not come, and at last they were ready to start. Each wore two suits. The inner one was worn with the fur turned in and the outer one with the fur out. The inner hood was trimmed with wolverine fur, because frost does not cling to this fur. With any other fur, the moisture from the breath would freeze and soon make a ring of ice around the face.

The outer hood was trimmed with wolf-skin, the long hair of which would protect the face from the bitter wind. With their bearskin trousers and their double boots, they had nothing to fear from the cold. So with Kutok leading, with a deer and one of the luggage sleds following, Aklak next with the second extra deer and sled behind him, Navaluk next, and Tuktu at the end, the little procession started for their Christmas outing.



Kristy's Christmas Surprise  by Olive Thorne Miller

The Cat's Charm

O NE day Aunt Jane and her niece were sitting quietly at work, when there came a long, pitiful mew at the kitchen door.

"There's that cat again!" cried Aunt Jane excitedly. "Go drive her out, Elizabeth! This minute! Quick!"

A pale, thin child, about ten years old, rose slowly from a low seat by the window, where she was sewing, and started for the door.

"Be lively, now! I believe you've got lead in your feet! I never saw a child of your age so slow," went on Aunt Jane. The child hastened and disappeared through the back door, while Aunt Jane resumed her knitting.

"I certainly don't know what I shall do with that child," she said to herself, as her needles flew in and out of the coarse gray yarn she was fashioning into a sock for the poor of next winter. "Such a mope I never saw!—the very sight of her gives me the blues. If she was nice and bright now, she'd be almost a comfort to me; but she grows stupid and dumb every day, till now she scarcely opens her lips from morning to night. I'm sure I don't know why; I've tried hard enough to do my duty by her; she wants nothing.—But I wonder why she doesn't come back?" she went on, after a pause, at the same time stepping towards the door to look after her charge. As she opened the door the child's voice fell on her ear, and its tone made her pause. It was very different from the dull voice she knew, and then the words amazed her.

"Dear pussy," she heard, in a tender, low tone, "I'm so sorry, but you must go home! Aunt Jane 'hates cats,' and I daren't have you come here. I'm afraid she'll throw something at you!"

The listener stepped a little nearer to look through a window, when she saw the child seated on the step, with an ugly yellow cat in her arms, and actually hugged to her heart.

"Oh, dear kitty!" the little voice went on with a sob, "you remind me so much of my own darling kitty, that I had to leave at home when Papa died, and I want her so! She loved me dearly. I wonder if she's forgotten me!" The little face went down in the yellow fur, and the affectionate cat purred and rubbed against her cheek, trying its best to console her. In a moment the child raised her head.

"I daren't stay any longer, dearest kitty. I haven't got my 'stint' done, and Aunt Jane 'hates idlers.' Good-by, darling"—and she kissed the cat, carefully lifted her over the low fence, and dropped her lightly onto her own steps, while Aunt Jane hastily slipped back to her seat, and began to knit furiously. When, a moment later, the child came in with the old weary step, she saw nothing unusual about her aunt, and she sat down on her stool again and took up her work.

But there was something unusual in Aunt Jane, though it did not show outside; there was commotion in her mind; she had received a new idea, and it was working. Her lips were pursed up as usual, and her needles flew faster than ever, but something like this was passing in her thoughts:

"Really, the child is unhappy! I wonder why! I thought I had done everything for her! We two are the last of the family, and ought to be a comfort to each other." Here she moved her chair a little, and glanced at the child. Bessie was bending over her work, but her hands moved slowly, and her eyes were heavy and dull.

"I suppose she's lonely," was Aunt Jane's next thought, "and perhaps she misses her old friends," she went on more slowly. "How she did talk to that cat! As if she loved it!—Well, I suppose a child needs to love something, if it is only a cat. I wonder if I've been too hard with her? I've lived alone so long, maybe I expect too much. Elizabeth!"—this last aloud.

The child started, and looked up quickly. "What makes you start so when I speak?" said Aunt Jane sharply. "I don't bite."

"I—I—never was called Elizabeth," stammered the child, "except when I was naughty."

"What were you called, then? Elizabeth is your name, I believe."

"Yes, but I was always Bessie at home," said she timidly.

"Humph!" said Aunt Jane, "I don't approve of nicknames."

"Papa always called me so," said Bessie, with a little tremble in her voice.

Aunt Jane rubbed her nose. Bessie's father had been her favorite brother, and his doing anything used to be the best of reasons for her doing it. But she went on.

"What did you do at home?"

Bessie looked up questioningly.

"Did you sew? or play all the time? or what did you do?"

"Oh!—I went to school most always," said the child, her face brightening as thoughts of "home" grew on her, "and I sewed some—I made Papa two beautiful handkerchiefs!—and I picked the berries for tea; and—and—I played a good deal in the yard."

"Did you have a nice yard?" asked Aunt Jane.

"Oh, beautiful!" cried Bessie enthusiastically, "so large and shady—and such green grass—and I had a swing under the apple-tree, and—and—" She stopped short.

"And what?" said Aunt Jane.

"And—I wish I was dead, too!—I do—I do!" burst out poor Bessie, with a flood of tears, "and now I know you'll hate me worse than ever!" and throwing down her work, she ran hastily out of the room, up-stairs to her own bedroom.

Aunt Jane sat as if stunned, for a moment.

"Hate her worse than ever!" she said at last. "What does the child mean? Why should she think I 'hate her'?"

A long time she sat there thinking. The knitting lay idle on her lap; the clock rapidly ticked away the minutes into hours; the fire gradually burned down; all unnoticed by this most systematic housekeeper. Back to her own childhood traveled her busy thoughts: old memories, old hopes, stirred in her heart, and her reverie was long and deep.

"Well, I believe that's the 'charm,' and I'll try it!" she said aloud at last, and coming out of her brown study, she glanced at the clock.

"Six o'clock, as I'm alive! and not a thing done about tea!" She sprang from her seat, sending the coarse sock and its big gray ball across the room, and upsetting her footstool with a crash. Things were lively for a few minutes in that pleasant room, while she mended the fire, put on the kettle, drew out a small round table, and began to spread it for tea. In less time than one would think possible, the kettle was boiling and the tea put on; the table set, and all things ready. She then went to the door and called "Bessie!"

The child had cried herself quiet long before, and was now sitting on the edge of her bed, alarmed at the growing darkness, and fearing her aunt would never forgive her naughty words. "She must have had tea long ago," she thought, "and I don't believe she's going to let me have any; and how can I live here any longer!"

This thought was interrupted by the call of "Bessie." Her heart leaped within her. She rushed to the door.

"What, ma'am?"

"Come to tea, child," said Aunt Jane pleasantly. Bessie could hardly believe her ears, but she crept softly down-stairs. The neat kitchen was light and cheerful, the tea steamed on the table, and beside the usual snowy bread stood a dish of marmalade, her favorite sweetmeat, which she had often looked longingly at, on Aunt Jane's top shelf.

Now pleasant tones are comforting, and so is marmalade, each in its own way, and a smile stole to her lips as she took her seat opposite her aunt.

"Really," thought that lady, looking at the brightening face, "the cat's charm works quickly."

"Bessie, will you have some marmalade?"

"Yes, if you please, Aunt Jane," said Bessie.

When tea was over, Bessie offered to help wash the dishes, for—as you have seen—Aunt Jane was a country-bred, old-fashioned Yankee housekeeper, who couldn't endure a "shiftless servant girl" about her. Bessie had never offered to help before, and now she was very careful as she handled the dainty old china, which was an heirloom, and more precious than gold in Aunt Jane's eyes. "You see, Bessie," said she, as she showed her how to delicately rinse each frail cup and gently dry it on the soft old damask, "this china was your grandmother's, and it'll be yours when I am dead. None but ladies have ever washed a piece of it, and not a piece is broken or lost. It's worth its weight in gold nearly, now that old things are so fashionable; but I'd as soon think of selling my eyes as the dear old china. I hope you'll learn to love it as I do. I can't bear the thought of having it leave the family."

"Oh! I'm sure, Aunt," said Bessie, happily, "if it is ever mine, I'll take the best care of it."

After tea was cleared away, Aunt Jane took her knitting, and Bessie her school-books, and not a word was spoken till the clock struck nine, and the child closed her books to go to bed.

"Bessie," said her aunt, "didn't you ask me, when you first came here, to let you send for your cat?"

"Yes'm," said Bessie, surprised.

"Well, I've thought of it, and concluded to let you have it."

"Why!—I thought you hated cats," burst from the astonished Bessie.

"Well, my dear, I do in general; but I see you are lonely, and I'm going to try having a companion for you. I think a cat will be less trouble than a child."

"And so much nicer!" broke in Bessie. "Oh! I'll be so glad, Aunt Jane!—and I most know you'll like her—she's so beautiful!—and not a bit of trouble."

Aunt Jane smiled. "Well, I'll try it for once."

That night a letter was written to an old neighbor, who had promised to send the cat when Bessie wrote for it, and the next morning a bright-faced girl—quite different from "Elizabeth"—took it to the post office herself.

A week rolled by—Aunt Jane's "charm" still worked well; and much to her surprise that good lady found that it not only made Bessie happy, but reacted on herself, and created a new warmth about her heart. Smiles began to grow common around her mouth, and altogether—so wonderful is that "charm"—the whole house seemed to grow brighter and warmer.

One night, Christmas eve it was, something queer happened. They had gone to bed, and Aunt Jane was roused out of her first doze by a strange noise. She lifted her head and listened. It seemed to be coming down the street, and was like nothing she had ever heard. It grew louder; she sat up in bed to hear better, and at the same moment a door softly opened, and a white, scared face peered in.

"Oh, Auntie! What is that awful  noise?" came trembling from Bessie's lips.

"I don't know, child," said her aunt, "but come in here; we'll soon see, for it's coming nearer."

Nearer it came. The most hideous wails and cries, like a crowd of people in direst agony. Bessie crept into her aunt's bed in terror, while the sounds came ever nearer, accompanied by the noise of a wagon, driven frantically down the street. At last, opposite the door, the wagon seemed to stop, and the mysterious sounds were frightful. Aunt Jane slipped out of bed, and peeped through the blinds.

"Oh, what is it?" gasped Bessie.

"It seems to be a wagon," said Aunt Jane, "with a box! He is taking it out!—and bringing it into my yard! What in the world!—I'll stop it!—I won't have it!" and she turned hastily to seize her wrapper. At that instant came a dreadful peal of the doorbell, and the wagon drove furiously off, while the sounds came with fearful distinctness.

"Oh, what'll you do?" cried Bessie, half dead with terror.

"Go and see what it is," said Aunt Jane resolutely, hunting about for slippers and matches, and everything that is always out of the way when needed.

"I'm afraid to stay alone," sobbed Bessie. "Then come along," said Aunt Jane grimly, as she started down the stairs.

Out of bed sprang the child, and followed close at her heels. On the stairway Aunt Jane lighted the gas, and then proceeded to draw bolt and bar which held the door.

"Oh, Aunt Jane! I'm so frightened!" whispered Bessie.

"Well, then stand behind me," said Aunt Jane hurriedly, as she turned the knob. The door unclosed a little. "Who's there?" she asked.

For reply came a louder, nearer, more horrible wail—nothing else.

Bessie screamed, but something familiar in the sound seemed to strike Aunt Jane.

"Why, goodness gracious! it's cats!"  she cried. "Some bad boys have done it, knowing that I hate cats."

"But why do they cry so?" asked Bessie, still more than half afraid.

"Must be starved," said Aunt Jane, "but what can I do? I can't leave them here yowling all night."

"Oh, Auntie!" exclaimed Bessie, a thought striking her, "could it be my cat? but she never made such a noise."

"Well—well—like enough!" said Aunt Jane, "and she hasn't been fed!—But there must be a dozen in that box. Anyway, we'll see!" and taking hold of a rope handle, she hastily dragged the box into the hall and closed the door.

The top of the box was slats, and between them could be seen a dark moving mass, with many paws grasping the slats, now and then a lashing tail pressing through, and fiery eyes glaring everywhere.

Bessie peered anxiously in.

"They're the same color as mine—maltese—and there! I see a white nose! I do believe it's Muff! Muff—poor Muff! poor pussy!" she went on caressingly. A face came close to the bars, and a long pitiful "mew" replied.

"Oh, it is Muff! You dear old darling!" she cried. "Oh, let me get her out!"

"But wait," said Aunt Jane; "we must get something for them to eat, or they'll eat us. They're wild with hunger; must be. But why so many! I can't understand!"

"Nor I," said Bessie, "only I know Muff. What shall we get to eat?"

"There's nothing in the house," said Aunt Jane reflectively, "except the steak for breakfast! Oh!—and the milk—but that's only a quart, and won't last a minute; however, we must get what we have."

So they hastily rushed to the kitchen, and brought the pan of milk, and the pound of porterhouse steak, cut into bits. Through the bars they fed out the steak, till the first pangs were quieted and the wailing ceased, and then Aunt Jane got a hammer and pulled off one slat. Through the opening leaped in quick succession seven cats!

Aunt Jane laughed, but she jumped upon a chair, while the poor creatures instantly crowded around the pan of milk. Seeing them quiet, Aunt Jane stepped down.

"But why seven!" she continually repeated.

"Where can they stay to-night?" asked Bessie anxiously. "I made a bed for Muff in the shed—but seven!"

"They must all go into the shed to-night," said Aunt Jane, "and in the morning we'll see."

In the morning came a letter from the good-natured farmer who had given Muff a home since Bessie left. In it he said: "Since you went, your cat has brought up a family of kittens, and remembering how fond you are of kittens, and not knowing what else to do with them,—for everybody around here is well supplied with cats,—I send them too. I thought maybe you could give them away in the city."

"Oh, dear! they're every one Muffie's own kittens!" she exclaimed.

"Kittens!" said Aunt Jane.

"Well, they are pretty big," said Bessie, "but they belong to Muff," she added timidly, fearing that seven cats were really too many for one who "hated cats."

"Well," said Aunt Jane at last, "I'll tell you what I'll do, Bessie dear. I'll keep the cats till we find good homes for them, for they are choice,—as cats go,—but I can't consent to keep, for good, any but Muff."

Bessie was obliged to be contented, and she and Aunt Jane went vigorously to work to find homes. One by one they were comfortably settled in life till but two were left, Muff and the prettiest of the kits, a pure maltese. She was an affectionate puss, and had specially clung to Aunt Jane, rubbing against her dress when she came near, and jumping up to rub her head against Aunt Jane's hand. She even sprang into her lap, and after gently putting her down once or twice, Aunt Jane actually at last let her stay a little while.

"Auntie," said Bessie, one evening, "I've asked every girl in school, and the milkman, and the washerwoman, and the grocery boy, and everybody I can think of, and nobody wants another kitten. What can we do?"

"Well, Bessie," said Aunt Jane slowly, "I've been thinking. A cat taught me a charm one day, and it has worked so well that I've concluded to let you keep two cats."

"Oh, you dear old Auntie!" cried Bessie, throwing her arms around her neck, "and you don't hate cats any more?"

"Well, dear," said Aunt Jane, putting her arm around the child, "I'm not fond of them yet, but they're affectionate little creatures, and I owe the race something."

"I'm afraid you've heard all my stories, Kristy," said Miss Martin, the little schoolmistress. "I'm sure I have told you about a funny Christmas celebration that I know about. It was, in fact, the first I ever heard of, when I was a child out West."

"Oh, no, you haven't," said Kristy eagerly. "Do tell it! It's so much nicer to have a story about people we know."


Edith King

The Holly

How happy the holly-tree looks, and how strong,

Where he stands like a sentinel all the year long.

Neither dry summer nor cold winter hail

Can make that gay warrior tremble or quail.

He has beamed all the year, but bright scarlet he'll glow

When the ground glitters white with the fresh fallen snow.


  WEEK 52  


The Beautiful Story of Joan of Arc  by Viola Ruth Lowe

The Martyr Maid of France

T HE MAID waited in her cell for one long terrible week of uncertainty and finally in the chapel of the castle where she remained a prisoner, the good Maid of Domremy was declared by the learned men of the Church to be a heretic, and was condemned to be burned at the stake.

If she had been willing to deny that her Voices were sent by God and that the Saints had never appeared to her, the Maid might have been given her liberty, but she refused to stoop to such base lies.

"If I saw the fire lit and the faggots blazing, if I were in flames, I would say no other thing." This was Joan's decisive and proud reply.

Early one morning she was taken from prison and driven through the streets in a cart, while the crowds jostled her and jeered as she passed.

A cold chill ran through the weakened frame of the young girl as she reached the end of her journey. There, in the market-place was erected a high scaffold with a stake upon it, and faggots waiting to be kindled into flame.

There sat all the judges looking severely at Joan, while one of them preached a long sermon to her. As he spoke words of reproach Joan barely listened, for her thoughts were far away. But suddenly he raised his voice and began to abuse her King, crying out: "It is to you, Joan, I speak, and I tell you your King is a heretic!"

Loyal Joan would not hear her King insulted and said in a firm voice: "Speak of me as you like, but let the King be! By my faith I swear to you under penalty of my life that my King is the most noble Christian of all Christians."

Yet this noble King, who owed his kingdom to the Maid, left her to suffer terrible tortures, and made no attempt to save her.

There she stood upon the solemn scaffold, amidst the pomp of the judges and the noise of the crowd. Again they asked her to renounce her Visions and to sign a paper expressing her submission to their will. The stake loomed before her, and the girl, weak after months of suffering, and fearing the blaze of the fire, said she would submit.

They handed her a long paper to sign.

"Let the Church see it, and if they advise me to sign it, I will obey!"

But they were impatient and cried out, "Sign it at once or be burnt!" And hastily, in fear of her life, she made a cross upon the sheet of paper.


Joan signed the statement denying the Voices and Visions.

Immediately repenting what she had done, the Maid was led back to prison. When the judges visited her a few days later, she told them that she still believed in her Voices, and rejected the paper she had signed, for she knew it was wrong of her to sign the false statements contained in it.

Then they decided that Joan must die, and on the morning of May 30, 1431, she was led forth. One of her judges, L'Oiseleur, was sorry because of the harsh sentence, and climbed into her cart to beg her forgiveness.


L'Oiseleur followed the cart to ask Joan's forgiveness.

She wept pitifully, crying out: "Alas, that my body whole and entire, which has always been kept in purity, should today be consumed and burned to ashes! I appeal to God, the great Judge, for the evils and great wrongs done to me."

They soon reached the market-place and as the Maid mounted the scaffold, she turned to Cauchon and cried, "Bishop, I die through you!"

Then the Maid knelt and prayed, and all who looked upon her wept, while the Bishop of Beauvais read aloud the sentence condemning her to the flames.

Finally the brutal English soldiers who stood about cried out impatiently, "Priests, do you want to make us dine here?"


The Saviour of France was dragged to the stake.

So Joan was bound to the stake. She asked for a cross, and an English soldier made one for her of two bits of wood which he nailed together to form a rude cross. She embraced it, holding it close to her heart, while the bystanders were overcome with remorse.

Then the faggots were set ablaze and the flames mounted around the Maid, illuminating her sweet upturned face with a glory more radiant than the light of the sun. Thus she passed to Paradise.

As the fire dimmed, they found her pure heart untouched by the flames, and the English cried as they fled from the place, "We are lost! We have burned a Saint!"


And the English said, "We are lost! We have burned a Saint!"

True indeed were these prophetic words, for on the 16th of May, 1920, the peasant Maid of France, having at last won recognition from the Church which she loved so dearly, was canonized a Saint to be held in honor and reverence by all.


Kristy's Christmas Surprise  by Olive Thorne Miller

May's Happy Thought

W ELL then: May Dayton had lost her father and mother and come to live with her cousins, the Stanleys, in the far West. About a week before Christmas, she asked Jeanie Stanley what they usually did on Christmas.

"Christmas?" said Jeanie. "Why, nothing; only just not go to school."

"Nothing!" said May, aghast. "Don't you have any Christmas tree?"

"Christmas tree! What's that?" asked Jeanie.

"Nor hang up your stocking?"

Jeanie shook her head.

"Nor have a single bit of a present?" May went on in utter amazement.

"What for?" asked Jeanie.

"Why, don't you know about Santa Claus, who comes down the chimney on Christmas eve, and gives everybody a present?" said May, completely bewildered.

"Don't know nothing 'bout him," said Jeanie. "Don't b'lieve there's any such a person in Missouri."

May drew a long sigh.

"What is a Christmas tree, anyway?" asked Jeanie, seeing that May was not going to speak.

"Oh, it's a beautiful green tree, covered with lights and presents and beautiful things! When Mamma was alive we always had one on Christmas eve."

"Does it grow so?" asked Jeanie curiously.

"Of course not! What a question!" said May. "Do you know what Christmas is, anyhow?" she added, with a quick flush of color.

"Of course I do," retorted Jeanie; "but that hasn't anything to do with Christmas trees."

"Yes, it has," said May earnestly, "a great deal to do with them, and with every way that we have for making everything just as sweet and lovely as we can on that day. Mother always said so."

Jeanie opened her eyes wider, and then asked softly:

"But what about the Christmas tree, May?"

"Well, it's cut down and brought into the house, and all the things put on before you see it, and when it's all ready the folding doors are opened, and—oh! it's beautiful!" May added in ecstasy. "Last Christmas I had such lovely things: the prettiest blue dress you ever saw—I've got a piece of it in my trunk—and new clothes for my doll—oh, such nice ones!—a whole suit with overskirt, and all in the fashion; and a cornucopia of candies and a box of nuts and raisins and—Oh, I can't think of half the things," added May brightly, yet half ready to cry.

"I wish I could see one," said Jeanie, "but we don't have such things here. Ma hasn't got time, nor anybody."

"I'll tell you what we can do, I guess," said May, who had been revolving an idea in her mind. "We might get up one ourselves,—of course it wouldn't be so nice as Mamma's, but it would be better than none."

"Well, let's!" said Jeanie, "and not tell a single one till it's all done."

"Where can we have it? We need a fire and a door that'll lock," said May.

"Oh, Pa'll let me have the out-room, I know, if I coax him," said Jeanie, "and we can put a nail over the latch to fasten the door."

The out-room, you must know, was a roughly built room, a little apart from the house. It had a big open fireplace and a huge kettle, and when there was any big work, like making up the year's soap, or putting down the year's supply of salt pork, a great fire was built there and the out-room came into use.

"Well," said May reflectively, "I guess we can do it; we can trim it up, you know."

"How?" asked Jeanie, to whom all Christmas ways were unknown mysteries.

"Oh, I'll show you. We can get evergreens in the woods, and oh, some of that lovely bitter-sweet, and I can make paper flowers," May went on enthusiastically, as ideas rushed into her mind. "We can have it real pretty; but don't let's tell anybody a thing about it."

The next week was a very busy one for the two plotters. Every moment, when out of school, they were whispering in corners, or engaged in some mysterious work, which they would hide if any one came near.

Mrs. Stanley was glad to see the first cheerful look on the face of the orphan, and did not interfere so long as the girls kept out of her way. The boys—of whom there were two younger and one older than Jeanie—were very curious, and Jack—the older one—rather teasing about it; but on the whole May and Jeanie succeeded very well in keeping their secret.

Two days before Christmas, Jeanie followed her father as he started off in the morning to the barn to feed the cattle. How she managed her teasing I cannot say, but in a short time she came into the house radiant, gave a mysterious nod to May, and they at once disappeared up-stairs. Soon they stole down the back way, armed themselves with brooms, materials for a fire, and a big nail with which to lock the door, and then slipped into the out-room.

It was not a promising looking place, but they were young and enthusiastic, so Jeanie went to work to build a roaring fire and May began with the broom.

Well; they worked all day, harder than ever before in their lives, and all the next day, and when at last the room was ready for company it really looked very pretty. The bare walls were ornamented with wreaths of the gay bitter-sweet and evergreen boughs brightened with an occasional rose or lily neatly made by May of thin white paper. The big kettle was transformed into a table by means of a board or two across the top, and a white sheet spread over all. The two windows were curtained with old newspapers concealed by branches of evergreens. In the middle of the room stood a tub, and braced up in it with sticks of wood hidden under sprays of green, stood a very pretty evergreen tree. There were no candles on it, for the united wisdom of the two workers had not been able to accomplish that. But the bright flickering light of the fire was enough, and in fact made just the right effect, since it did not reveal too much.

On the tree were hung pretty things out of May's trunk—keepsakes from her old playmates. These were used merely for decoration, but besides these were long strings of popped corn, and a present for each one of the family.

All this time one of the girls had been obliged to stay in the room every minute, to keep the door locked, for the boys were just wild to find out the mystery. Mrs. Stanley had stopped in her dreary round of drudgery—for this home was the temple of work—to ask what all the fuss was about. But Jeanie told her that father said she might use the out-room, and Mrs. Stanley was too busy and tired to feel much interest, so she said, Well, she didn't care if they didn't do any mischief.

At night—Christmas eve—when called to supper, May went in, for Jeanie could not tear herself away from the wonderful tree. To her it was the most beautiful and enchanting thing in the world. With no books but schoolbooks, no pictures, no papers, nothing beautiful to be seen in that little grinding prairie home, she had never even imagined anything so lovely.

When they rose from the table May stopped at the door. "Aunt," she began timidly, for she was rather afraid of the hard-working woman whose sharp gray eyes seemed to look through her and whose lips never opened except to make some practical remark, "will you come over with uncle and see our Christmas tree? Come, boys!" and she started off.

"So that's what the young ones have been up to, is it?" said Mr. Stanley, lighting his pipe. "Come, mother, let's go over and see what they've got. That May's the beater for plans if ever I see one."

"Well," said Mrs. Stanley, pushing back the table that she had already cleared, "I don't mind if I step over a minute before I get out my dish-water. I never see Jane so took up as she has been this week."

They went over to the out-room. The boys were already there, staring in a bewilderment of wonder. May leaned against the unique table, very tired, but happy, and Jeanie fairly danced around with delight.

"Well, well!" said Mr. Stanley, "this looks something like, now! Why, this carries me back to when I was a boy, away down in York state. I'd never 'a' thought you two little gals could fix this old room up so pretty; would you now, mother?"

"Mother" didn't say anything. There was a sort of a choke in her throat, and something suspiciously like a tear in her eye, as she looked at the bright, happy faces of her children—faces such as she had never seen since they were babies, before they were initiated into the regular family grind.

After a moment she recovered herself, went up to May, and, to her utter amazement, gave her a warm kiss, and said:

"It's beautiful; dear, and I thank you for it." And then she looked a few minutes, and said she must go. But Jeanie sprang up.

"Wait, Ma; the presents are coming yet."

"Presents!" said Mr. Stanley, "are there presents, then?"

"Oh, of course!" said May, "else how could it be a Christmas tree?"

"Sure enough!" said Mr. Stanley.

May now went up to the tree and took down first a pretty necktie for Jack, made out of some of her bits of silk.

"Why, that's just the very thing I want," said Jack, amazed. "How did you know that, you witch? and who made it?"

"Jeanie and I," said May.

"No, May made it most every bit," said Jeanie. "I don't know how."

Next came a pair of warm red mittens for Harry.

"Jeanie made these," said May. "I can't knit."

Well, so they went on. Mrs. Stanley had a pretty pin-cushion for her bureau; Mr. Stanley a neat bag for his tobacco; Johnny a pair of wristlets to keep his wrists warm. Each of the children had a little bag of nicely cracked hickory-nuts, a beautiful red apple, and a few sticks of molasses candy. The girls had nothing; they had been so busy they never thought of themselves.

When the presents were all distributed, and the children were busy eating nuts and candy, and having a merry time naming apple seeds, and doing other things that May taught them, Mrs. Stanley stole out, and went back to the kitchen to her dish-washing. But something was the matter, for she moved more slowly than ever before; she let the water run over, put the soap into the milk-cup, and made various other blunders. She was thinking.

And when all the family were in bed that night, and she and Mr. Stanley were sitting alone by the fire, she spoke her thoughts.

"John, that tree has set me a-thinking. We ain't doing just right by our children. It's all work and no play, and they're growing old and sober before their time. We're fore-handed enough now to let up on them a little."

"You're right, mother," said Mr. Stanley. "I've been thinking the same thing myself. That little gal, with her pretty, lady-like ways, does make me think so much of her mother, only 't wa'n't natural to her to be so down-hearted as the little one has been. But see her to-night! I declare I'd do anything a' most to keep that happy face on her. What shall we do, Sally?"

"Well," said Mrs. Stanley, her face unwontedly bright with new thoughts, "it isn't eight o'clock yet, and I've been thinking if you'd go to the village and buy a few things to put by their beds for Christmas it would be good. Children think so much of such things," she added, half apologetically.

"So it would! and I'll do it, wife," said Mr. Stanley, taking his boots out of the corner, and hastening to put them on. "Make out your list, and I'll go down to Kennedy's. He don't shut up till nine."

Kennedy's was a country store, where you could buy everything, from a needle to a threshing-machine, and about nine o'clock Mr. Stanley came home with a market-basket full of things. There was a gay merino dress for Jeanie, a pair of skates for May, a new knife for Jack, a sled and a picture-book for each of the boys.

There was, besides these, a package of real store candy, some raisins, and, down under the whole, where Mrs. Stanley could not see it, a neat dark dress for her, which Mr. Stanley had bought to surprise her.

Well, everybody was  surprised the next morning, you may be sure, and after the breakfast—of which little was eaten—Jack went out and killed a turkey. Jeanie and May put on big aprons and helped; Jack chopped stuffing and suet; and, for the first time in their lives, the children had a real Christmas dinner—plum pudding and all.

That was the beginning of a new life in the plain farmhouse. Little by little books found their way to the table, an easy chair or two stole into the rooms, pictures made their appearance on the walls, and in time a wing was added to the house. After a while a neat-handed farmer's daughter came to help mother. Shrubbery came up in the yard, vines began to grow over the windows, and the fence had a new coat of paint. Now that she was not always tired out, mother began to go out among her neighbors; friendly visits followed, then a tea-party. Jack joined the book-club in the village, and mother invited them to meet at her house in turn. In fact, some innocent pleasures came into these hard-worked lives, and all owing—as Mr. Stanley would say, holding the bright happy May on his knee—"to this little girl's Christmas tree."

"That's splendid!" said Kristy, "and where is Cousin May now, Miss Martin?"

"Oh, she has a home of her own out West, and I've seen many a Christmas tree in it."

"That was a good deal to be done by one little girl," said Aunt Mary, "but I have known wonders worked in another way by a more helpless object than the weakest girl, by a pair of shoes, even, or a little bisque figure."

"That must be magic," said grandmother.

"Tell us a story of magic; do!" said Kristy. "I always liked impossible stories."

"But this is not at all impossible," said Aunt Mary, "though it is a story of magical effects that I propose to tell. But before I begin, lest some of you young ones," looking around with a smile at her audience of "grown-ups,"  "should make a mistake, I will say that the magic is not in the figure, but in the thought back of it."

"Oh! Oh!" cried the audience, "to give us the moral before the story!"

"Well, do go on, Aunt Mary," interrupted Kristy. "Don't mind what they say! the moral's good for them! and besides, the story's for me."

"So it is, dear, and now I begin with Kate Barlow's talk to her mother."


Dinah Mulock

The New Year

Who comes dancing over the snow,

His soft little feet all bare and rosy?

Open the door though the wild winds blow,

Take the child in and make him cozy.

Take him in and hold him dear,

For he is the wonderful glad New Year.


  WEEK 52  


The Christmas Reindeer  by Thornton W. Burgess

The Christmas Vision

I T WAS late when Kutok and his family reached the camp near the Valley of the Good Spirit. It had been a wonderful journey. The snow had been just right and the reindeer had traveled steadily and fast, for they were in splendid condition. Now they were fastened out, each tied by a long line to a hummock under the snow. There was plenty of food here and the deer at once began to paw down to get it. It is one of the advantages in traveling with reindeer that their food does not have to be carried for them. They will get their own food at the end of the day's trip.

Kutok and Navaluk had no thought for anything but rest after the evening meal. But not so the two children. They could not forget that they were in sight of the hills around the Valley of the Good Spirit and that it might be that over there in that Valley were the eight missing deer. So, when their father and mother were asleep, they slipped out from the hut for a look over toward the wonderful valley, for was it not from that valley that the marvelous Northern Lights flashed up through the sky?

There was no wind. The cold was intense. But Tuktu and Aklak were dressed for it and they minded it not at all. It seemed as if the stars were so close that they could be reached. It was not moonlight, for this was the period when the moon was not visible. But the starlight almost made up for it.

And then as they stood there, looking over toward the Valley of the Good Spirit, a long streamer of light suddenly flashed out, and up, up, up, until it was quite overhead. It quivered, almost died down, then shot up again! Then came another and another and another. The Northern Lights—the Merry Dancers of the Sky—dimmed the stars and made the night almost as light as day. At first, these Northern Lights were simply white; and then they were shot with yellow and red.

All their lives Tuktu and Aklak had been familiar with these fires of the sky, but never had they seen them as they now saw them. They caught their breath and held to each other with a little bit of fear. Those fires were were no longer mere flashing white, shimmering, dancing streamers of light. They were yellow and red in many shades, and they appeared, as if in very truth they were fires leaping high up in the sky. And as they had so often heard it said, those dancing, leaping lights were coming out of the Valley of the Good Spirit. Certainly, they were flashing from directly behind the hills that shut away that valley, so of course they must be coming from the valley.

The lights died down. For a few moments there was no light save from the stars. Then from directly over the Valley of the Good Spirit a long streamer of white flickering light crept up and up, and as it crept, it broadened until it was like a broad path across the sky toward the south. There was the tinkle of silver bells. Tuktu touched Aklak. "See, Aklak! See the deer!" she whispered.

But Aklak had already seen them. On that broad shining path a pair of reindeer had appeared. He knew them instantly. They were two of the deer he had trained, and which had disappeared. Out of the shimmering light behind them moved two more. And these he recognized. There could be no doubt. He would have known them among ten thousand deer. They were harnessed two and two, and as they moved forward, another pair appeared, and then another.

Clinging together, breathless, round-eyed, Aklak and Tuktu stared. Eight deer they counted—eight deer harnessed two and two. Would there be more? The curtain of light low above the hilltop seemed to burst in a glory of color such as made what they had seen before seem as nothing. And out of the midst of that glory, drawn by the eight deer, came a sled. On it Tuktu recognized instantly Santa Claus, the Good Spirit, whom she had seen in the Valley.

He was short and jolly and round and fat,

With a fur-trimmed coat and a fur-trimmed hat.

He laughed "Ha! Ha!" and he laughed "Ho! Ho!"

"Hello, Little Folk," he cried, "Hello

The boys and girls of the world this year

Will see for themselves my splendid deer;

Will see and love them and surely know

That the reindeer come, though there be no snow.

For they're magic deer for my magic sleigh,

And we circle the world in a single day.

There is naught so faithful and naught so quick

To carry the message of Old St. Nick.

By training my steeds you have saved for me

Some weeks of labor; and so you see

It happens I'm able to start this year

In time for the children to see the deer.

And all who see them I tell you true

A Christmas greeting will send to you.

"As you will have given joy to all the little folk of the Great World this year, in like degree will your own Christmas be merry, and will happiness fill your hearts. And now, my dears, I must away."

Santa waved a mittened hand to them then turned to his deer and cried:

" 'Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now Prancer and Vixen!

On, Comet! On, Cupid! On, Donder and Blitzen!' "

Down a shining path of light, across the sky toward the south, the eight deer dashed, until in a breath they were mere specks. Up from the valley the orange and red lights streamed higher and higher, until all the sky was a blaze of beautiful light. When they died down, only the stars were to be seen, twinkling so close that it seemed as if they might be picked from the sky.

With shining eyes Tuktu and Aklak returned to the hut. "No one will believe us if we tell it," whispered Tuktu. "They'll say we dreamed it. We'll wait, Aklak, until the blessed deer are returned to us by the Good Spirit next summer, and we can show his ear-mark. Then all will know that we speak truly."

Thus it was that it was made possible for the boys and girls of the Great World to really see Santa Claus and his blessed reindeer. And thus it was that Tuktu and Aklak found happiness and great content, and the real joy of the blessed Christmas Spirit.


Kristy's Christmas Surprise  by Olive Thorne Miller

The Magic Figure

"I DON'T mind giving up an hour or two to go and read to sick folks," exclaimed Kate crossly, "if they'll only keep their rooms half decent."

"Why, what's the matter now, Kate," asked her mother, "isn't it pleasant at Mary's?"

"Pleasant! it's simply horrid! Such a room I never saw! Furniture covered with dust, tables loaded with medicine things and dirty dishes, every chair with something on it, and I don't believe the windows were ever washed."

"But, my dear," said her mother, "you must remember that Mary's mother is poor, and—"

"But she might be clean," interrupted Kate.

"And she has her hands full to take care of all those children."

"Some of them are big enough to help," said Kate.

"There's that Bess! great lazy thing! with an apron a pig would be ashamed to wear!"

"Who is this Mary?" quietly asked Miss Faith, a lady who had come to visit Kate's mother only the day before.

"One of Kate's schoolmates," said Mrs. Barlow, "who fell on the ice and was hurt last winter. She is obliged to lie perfectly still, but the doctors hope she will be well after some months."

"Poor, did you say?" went on Miss Faith.

"Well, not beggars," said Mrs. Barlow, "but they have close work to get along. Her mother is a widow with four or five children, on a small income."

"And she does her own work," put in Kate, "what little's done; but I don't believe she ever clears up Mary's room. I should think she'd die; I should."

"And it wouldn't do, I suppose, to speak to her about it?" suggested Miss Faith.

"Dear me, no!" said Mrs. Barlow; "she's a high-spirited woman; has been used to better times. She would be mortally offended."

"I've seen such cases," said Miss Faith, with a smile, "and I know what to do for them. Kate, I think I can help you."

"I don't know what you can do," sighed Kate; "it seems to me a hopeless case."

"I'll use magic!" said Miss Faith, smiling.

"What!" exclaimed Kate and her mother in one breath.

"I'll send Mary a present," went on Miss Faith, "that shall work magic in the house; you'll be surprised at the result."

"If it clears up that house it'll be magic, sure enough," said Kate.

"It will!" said Miss Faith quietly. "I never knew it to fail. It will not take ten days to accomplish all you can ask."

"I must say I'd like to see it," said Kate, half unbelieving.

"Come up to my room and I'll show you," said Miss Faith, rising.

Kate followed her eagerly to her room, where she unlocked and opened her trunk. The contents of the trunk were rather unusual, but then Miss Faith was rather an unusual person. For dress she cared very little, yet she always was accompanied on her journeys by a big trunk. Kate had often wondered what was in it, and now she looked on with curiosity as Miss Faith took out one thing after another: a pile of children's clothes; three or four pairs of shoes of different sizes; several books—children's books; toys of a cheap and durable kind, and other things equally strange for an elderly lady to carry about in her trunk.

Kate could not help an exclamation of surprise, as these various objects came to light. Miss Faith smiled.

"Queer, isn't it, dear, but these are my magical tools, and here I think I have the particular one you need," and she opened a small wooden box, took out a quantity of soft pack-jug paper, and thus uncovered a little bisque figure. It was not more than eight inches high, and, of course, it was not very costly, but it was a lovely, graceful thing, the figure of a beautiful child.

"Oh! how pretty!" cried Kate; "what a beautiful face! and such a snowy white! Do you really mean to send Mary that? It'll look fearfully out of place in her dingy room."

"So I hope," said Miss Faith; "it would show no magic qualities otherwise."

"Well, it's perfectly lovely, and Mary'll be crazy over it, but how it's to clear up that house I must say I can't see."

"You will see," said Miss Faith, smiling. "Will you take it over to her with my love?"

"Oh, yes!" said Kate warmly; "I'd like to see what she says."

Kate took the pretty gift to Mary, and was gratified to report the delight and happiness it caused.

"She had me set it on her bureau," said Kate, "where she could lie and look at it, and I had to move a dozen things aside to find room for it."

"Near the window?" asked Miss Faith. "Close by the window," answered Kate, "with horrid dirty muslin curtains, too."

"H'm!" said Miss Faith, "I shouldn't wonder if that magic began to work to-night."

In truth it began sooner than Miss Faith thought, for hardly was Kate out of the house when Mary said to her mother, who had come up from the kitchen to see the new treasure, "Mother, I could see it better if there weren't so many things on the bureau. I wish you'd take some off."

"I will," said the mother, pleased to see Mary interested, and she went to the bureau and in two minutes had it completely cleared.

"Thank you," said Mary in a pleased tone; "that is nice, it looks lovely now."

The magic worked on. The next morning Mary lay in her room alone, looking with untiring interest on the beautiful gift. It was so delicate, so white; suddenly she noticed that the curtains which hung near it looked extremely dingy by contrast. "Mother," she said when she was eating her breakfast a little later, "couldn't you have my curtains washed? They're awful dirty."

"They do look a little dingy," said her mother with a sigh, "but washings are so big that I kind o' put off things."

"Couldn't Bess help?" suggested Mary.

"Could if she had a mind to," said her mother; "but you know what Bess is, I can't make the least impression on her if I scold from morning to night."

"I suppose not," said Mary thoughtfully. "I wish I could—"

"But you can't," interrupted her mother, "and you mus' n't fret about it, dearie. I'll get the curtains washed somehow," for to keep Mary from fretting under her tiresome confinement was her mother's great anxiety.

"Don't you do it, Mother," said Mary. "I'll get Bess to do it—if I can," she added doubtfully.

"Well, you may try her," said Mrs. Benton, "and if she won't do it, I will."

After studying up a plan, Mary went to work quite skillfully on her easy-going sister. She talked about the figure, drew her on to tell how much she admired it, and then called her attention to the dingy looks of the curtains beside it.

"If I was only able," she ended with a sigh, "I would have them washed and ironed before night," and then in a sudden way she offered Bess a book of hers if she  would do it.

Bess wanted the book, and moreover was sorry—in her lazy way—for her sister, and, after a moment's thought, she consented.

The curtains were soon down and in the wash-tub, and then Mary had a chance to notice the windows.

"Why, how dirty they are!" she said to herself; "they ought to be washed while the curtains are down. Mother's busy and Bess'll be too tired," she reflected. Then her eyes fell on a little sister, eight years old, who was playing on the floor. "Susy," she said, "I wonder if you couldn't wash the windows for sister."

" 'Course I can," said Susy, delighted with the idea of unlimited soap and water.

"Well; suppose you do it then," went on Mary coaxingly, "and see if you can't get it all done to surprise mother when she comes up."

Charmed to do grown-up work, Susy went at it eagerly. Under Mary's instructions she brought warm water and other things, and was soon very busy indeed. After a good deal of rubbing, and many directions on Mary's part, Susy managed to get the lower panes pretty clean, but the upper ones Mary dared not let her climb up to try. It was not very satisfactory, to be sure, for the clear glasses only made the others look worse than before.

"Why, Susy!" exclaimed the mother when she came up and heard who had been washing windows, "how nicely you've made the panes look! Mother'll have to wash the upper ones herself to match them." And she did too, so that before night Mary had clean windows and clean white curtains.

Kate, who came the next day to read to Mary, went home with wide-open eyes. "Why, Miss Faith, I do believe it is magic! If you'll credit me, they've begun to clean up; really, clean windows and spick-and-span white curtains. I could hardly believe my eyes."

"I told you it would work," said Miss Faith quietly. "It isn't done yet."

Truly it was not, for the next day Mary began to notice the littered appearance of the room, the medicine bottles and cups, and the confusion generally.

"The windows look so nice," she said to Susy, who was her most constant attendant, "that I wish you would clear up a little more."

"What shall I do?" asked good-natured Susy.

"Well," began Mary, "first take all the dirty dishes out, and set them in the hall where mother or Bess can take them downstairs."

Many times back and forth trotted the busy little feet before this was done.

"Now you can take all the empty bottles," said Mary, "and put them on the shelf in the hall cupboard." So they went on, Mary directing and Susy working, and after an hour's labor the room was much improved.

"Why, how slick you look up here! What's got into you all of a sudden!" exclaimed Mrs. Benton, when she came up.

"Why," explained Mary, "the windows looked so clean it made the rest of the room seem very mussy, and Susy's been clearing up for me; hasn't she done it nicely?"

"Very," assented her mother, "and it does seem more attractive."

"When I don't see anything else," added Mary in a low tone.

"Sure enough, poor child!" said her mother. "We won't let the room get so again."

That day again Kate rushed home with a tale of wonders done by that magic gift.

Still the charm worked. The next day she found the floor swept and the furniture dusted; the third day Mary had a clean white counterpane in place of the old soiled one, and a white towel on her medicine stand; the fourth day a hole in the carpet over which Kate had several times stumbled, was neatly mended; the fifth day the hall was swept and the stairs washed, and the sixth day the whole house had an unwontedly clean air.

Nor was this all; the charm worked on the people as well as on the house. First Kate noticed that Susy had clean face and hands, next that her dress had been washed and mended. Then she saw an improvement in Bess's appearance, and later a gradual change in the looks of every one of the household, even to Mrs. Benton herself. Every day she went home with new wonders to tell, and fresh surprise at the simple cause of all the changes.

"Why, it's a real pleasure to go there now," she said one day, "and all the girls say so. Mary seems ever so much brighter too; I do believe she's better."

"No doubt she is," said Miss Faith; "there's no doctor so good as an interest in things around one. Does she still care for the bisque figure?"

"Care for it! why, she about worships it. That Bess—sure's you live—has patched up some sort of a bracket out of half a flour-barrel cover and some bits of cloth and bright braid, and you wouldn't believe it, but it's real pretty and bright, and she nailed it up between the windows, and on it stands that blessed figure. It really gives the room an air!"

"And I want to tell you, Miss Faith," Kate went on eagerly, "the girls in Mary's class, seeing how hard she tries to have her room pretty, have made a plan to fix it up nice for a Christmas surprise for her. We've talked it over a little, and it's going to be splendid. Carry Bates—her father keeps a paper-hanging store—says she's most sure he'll give paper enough to cover her wall, and perhaps a man to put it on, and Luly Jones is going to get some pretty cretonne out of her father's store, to cover the lounge and a pillow for it; we've got money enough among us to buy matting for the floor, and Mamma says I may give her my Persian rug; and then we're all going to give books and little pictures, and everything pretty we can get. We mean to make her room lovely. Isn't it grand!"

"Indeed it is, Kate!" said Miss Faith warmly, "and I'll help. What shall I do? You may decide."

A bright expression came into Kate's face, then a look of doubt.

"What is it, dear? Tell me just what you wish," said Miss Faith, watching her keenly.

"Would you spend some money?" began Kate hesitatingly, "a good deal, I'm afraid."

"What for?" demanded Miss Faith.

"Oh, for an invalid bed, that can be lifted up at the head, so she can most sit up, or lie down flat. We did want to buy one awfully! but we knew it would cost too much. The girls hadn't much money," Kate pleaded.

Miss Faith thought a moment.

"If I do that, Kate, it will take all my Christmas money," she said gravely. "All the young people to whom I usually make presents will have to go without."

"Oh, I'm sure, dear Miss Faith," said Kate warmly, "they would all be glad to, if they could only know how good it would be for Mary; and she has to lie there always," she added with a shudder. "Think how fearful that is!"

"Well," said Miss Faith, "I'll do it, Kate. You girls select the bed and have the bill sent to me. The magic works beyond Mary Benton's chamber, you see."

"Sure enough," said Kate thoughtfully; "it was that figure began it," and as she walked hastily down in the village to tell the girls the good news about the invalid bed, she thought the whole thing over, from the first day, less than two weeks ago, when Miss Faith had taken the bisque figure out of her trunk, till now. Wonderful indeed had been the changes, not only in Mary's room, but spreading over the house, and then among the school-girls who visited Mary. And at last, as she ran up the steps of Carry Bates's house, came her conclusion: "Well; there must have been magic about that little bisque figure."

It was now getting quite late in the evening, and Mamma, who was last in the circle, suggested that Kristy had heard stories enough for one evening, and that her story better be put off till some other time.

But a chorus of the story-tellers insisted that she should herself follow the rule she had so sternly enforced upon others. Kristy, too, would not hear of postponement. "I can make you tell me another to-morrow," she said, whereupon the audience laughed and applauded, and in the midst of this confusion Mamma knocked on the fire-dogs for silence.

"If I must tell the story, I wish to begin, for it is quite time my patient went to bed. I shall tell of a poor Irish woman I read about last winter in the papers."

"And went to see," whispered Kristy to Uncle John, who was arranging the fire.

Mamma did not hear her, but began at once.


John Greenleaf Whittier

The Joy of Giving

Somehow, not only for Christmas

But all the long year through;

The joy that you give to others

Is the joy that comes back to you;

And the more you spend in blessing

The poor and lonely and sad,

The more of your heart's possessing

Returns to make you glad.


  WEEK 52  


Good Stories for Great Holidays  by Frances Jenkins Olcott

The Wooden Shoes of Little Wolff

Once upon a time,—so long ago that the world has forgotten the date,—in a city of the North of Europe,— the name of which is so hard to pronounce that no one remembers it,—there was a little boy, just seven years old, whose name was Wolff. He was an orphan and lived with his aunt, a hard-hearted, avaricious old woman, who never kissed him but once a year, on New Year's Day; and who sighed with regret every time she gave him a bowlful of soup.

The poor little boy was so sweet-tempered that he loved the old woman in spite of her bad treatment, but he could not look without trembling at the wart, decorated with four gray hairs, which grew on the end of her nose.

As Wolff's aunt was known to have a house of her own and a woolen stocking full of gold, she did not dare to send her nephew to the school for the poor. But she wrangled so that the schoolmaster of the rich boys' school was forced to lower his price and admit little Wolff among his pupils. The bad schoolmaster was vexed to have a boy so meanly clad and who paid so little, and he punished little Wolff severely without cause, ridiculed him, and even incited against him his comrades, who were the sons of rich citizens. They made the orphan their drudge and mocked at him so much that the little boy was as miserable as the stones in the street, and hid himself away in corners to cry—when the Christmas season came.

On the Eve of the great Day the schoolmaster was to take all his pupils to the midnight mass, and then to conduct them home again to their parents' houses.

Now as the winter was very severe, and a quantity of snow had fallen within the past few days, the boys came to the place of meeting warmly wrapped up, with fur-lined caps drawn down over their ears, padded jackets, gloves and knitted mittens, and good strong shoes with thick soles. Only little Wolff presented himself shivering in his thin everyday clothes, and wearing on his feet socks and wooden shoes.

His naughty comrades tried to annoy him in every possible way, but the orphan was so busy warming his hands by blowing on them, and was suffering so much from chilblains, that he paid no heed to the taunts of the others. Then the band of boys, marching two by two, started for the parish church.

It was comfortable inside the church, which was brilliant with lighted tapers. And the pupils, made lively by the gentle warmth, the sound of the organ, and the singing of the choir, began to chatter in low tones. They boasted of the midnight treats awaiting them at home. The son of the Mayor had seen, before leaving the house, a monstrous goose larded with truffles so that it looked like a black-spotted leopard. Another boy told of the fir tree waiting for him, on the branches of which hung oranges, sugar-plums, and punchinellos. Then they talked about what the Christ Child would bring them, or what he would leave in their shoes which they would certainly be careful to place before the fire when they went to bed. And the eyes of the little rogues, lively as a crowd of mice, sparkled with delight as they thought of the many gifts they would find on waking,—the pink bags of burnt almonds, the bonbons, lead soldiers standing in rows, menageries, and magnificent jumping-jacks, dressed in purple and gold.

Little Wolff, alas! knew well that his miserly old aunt would send him to bed without any supper; but as he had been good and industrious all the year, he trusted that the Christ Child would not forget him, so he meant that night to set his wooden shoes on the hearth.

The midnight mass was ended. The worshipers hurried away, anxious to enjoy the treats awaiting them in their homes. The band of pupils, two by two, following the schoolmaster, passed out of the church.

Now, under the porch, seated on a stone bench, in the shadow of an arched niche, was a child asleep,—a little child dressed in a white garment and with bare feet exposed to the cold. He was not a beggar, for his dress was clean and new, and beside him upon the ground, tied in a cloth, were the tools of a carpenter's apprentice.

Under the light of the stars, his face, with its closed eyes, shone with an expression of divine sweetness, and his soft, curling blond hair seemed to form an aureole of light about his forehead. But his tender feet, blue with the cold on this cruel night of December, were pitiful to see!

The pupils so warmly clad and shod, passed with indifference before the unknown child. Some, the sons of the greatest men in the city, cast looks of scorn on the barefooted one. But little Wolff, coming last out of the church, stopped deeply moved before the beautiful, sleeping child.

"Alas!" said the orphan to himself, "how dreadful! This poor little one goes without stockings in weather so cold! And, what is worse, he has no shoe to leave beside him while he sleeps, so that the Christ Child may place something in it to comfort him in all his misery."

And carried away by his tender heart, little Wolff drew off the wooden shoe from his right foot, placed it before the sleeping child; and as best as he was able, now hopping, now limping, and wetting his sock in the snow, he returned to his aunt.



"You good-for-nothing!" cried the old woman, full of rage as she saw that one of his shoes was gone. "What have you done with your shoe, little beggar?"

Little Wolff did not know how to lie, and, though shivering with terror as he saw the gray hairs on the end of her nose stand upright, he tried, stammering, to tell his adventure.

But the old miser burst into frightful laughter. "Ah! the sweet young master takes off his shoe for a beggar! Ah! master spoils a pair of shoes for a barefoot! This is something new, indeed! Ah! well, since things are so, I will place the shoe that is left in the fireplace, and to-night the Christ Child will put in a rod to whip you when you wake. And to-morrow you shall have nothing to eat but water and dry bread, and we shall see if the next time you will give away your shoe to the first vagabond that comes along."

And saying this the wicked woman gave him a box on each ear, and made him climb to his wretched room in the loft. There the heartbroken little one lay down in the darkness, and, drenching his pillow with tears, fell asleep.

But in the morning, when the old woman, awakened by the cold and shaken by her cough, descended to the kitchen, oh! wonder of wonders! she saw the great fireplace filled with bright toys, magnificent boxes of sugar-plums, riches of all sorts, and in front of all this treasure, the wooden shoe which her nephew had given to the vagabond, standing beside the other shoe which she herself had placed there the night before, intending to put in it a handful of switches.

And as little Wolff, who had come running at the cries of his aunt, stood in speechless delight before all the splendid Christmas gifts, there came great shouts of laughter from the street.

The old woman and the little boy went out to learn what it was all about, and saw the gossips gathered around the public fountain. What could have happened? Oh, a most amusing and extraordinary thing! The children of all the rich men of the city, whose parents wished to surprise them with the most beautiful gifts, had found nothing but switches in their shoes!

Then the old woman and little Wolff remembered with alarm all the riches that were in their own fireplace, but just then they saw the pastor of the parish church arriving with his face full of perplexity.

Above the bench near the church door, in the very spot where the night before a child, dressed in white, with bare feet exposed to the great cold, had rested his sleeping head, the pastor had seen a golden circle wrought into the old stones. Then all the people knew that the beautiful, sleeping child, beside whom had lain the carpenter's tools, was the Christ Child himself, and that he had rewarded the faith and charity of little Wolff.

— François Coppée (Adapted)

Kristy's Christmas Surprise  by Olive Thorne Miller

Christmas in the Alley

"I DECLARE for 't, to-morrow is Christmas day an' I clean forgot all about it," said old Ann, the washerwoman, pausing in her work and holding the flat-iron suspended in the air.

"Much good it'll do us," growled a discontented voice from the coarse bed in the corner.

"We haven't much extra, to be sure," answered Ann cheerfully, bringing the iron down onto the shirt-bosom before her, "but at least we've enough to eat, and a good fire, and that's more 'n some have, not a thousand miles from here either."

"We might have plenty more," said the fretful voice, "if you didn't think so much more of strangers than you do of your own folks' comfort, keeping a houseful of beggars, as if you was a lady!"

"Now, John," replied Ann, taking another iron from the fire, "you're not half so bad as you pretend. You wouldn't have me turn them poor creatures into the streets to freeze, now would you?"

"It's none of our business to pay rent for them," grumbled John. "Every one for himself, I say, these hard times. If they can't pay you'd ought to send 'em off; there's plenty as can."

"They'd pay quick enough if they could get work," said Ann. "They're good honest fellows, every one, and paid me regular as long as they had a cent. But when hundreds are out o' work in the city, what can they do?"

"That's none o' your business, you can turn 'em out!" growled John.

"And leave the poor children to freeze as well as starve?" said Ann. "Who'd ever take 'em in without money, I'd like to know? No, John," bringing her iron down as though she meant it, "I'm glad I'm well enough to wash and iron, and pay my rent, and so long as I can do that, and keep the hunger away from you and the child, I'll never turn the poor souls out, leastways not in this freezing winter weather."

"An' here's Christmas," the old man went on whiningly, "an' not a penny to spend, an' I needin' another blanket so bad, with my rhumatiz, an' haven't had a drop o' tea for I don't know how long!"

"I know it," said Ann, never mentioning that she too had been without tea, and not only that, but with small allowance of food of any kind, "and I'm desperate sorry I can't get a bit of something for Katey. The child never missed a little something in her stocking before."

"Yes," John struck in, "much you care for your flesh an' blood. The child ha'n't had a thing this winter."

"That's true enough," said Ann, with a sigh, "an' it's the hardest thing of all that I've had to keep her out o' school when she was doing so beautiful."

"An' her feet all on the ground," John growled.

"I know her shoes is bad," said Ann, hanging the shirt up on a line that stretched across the room, and was already nearly full of freshly ironed clothes, "but they're better than the Parker children's."

"What's that to us?" almost shouted the weak old man, shaking his fist at her in his rage.

"Well, keep your temper, old man," said Ann. "I'm sorry it goes so hard with you, but as long as I can stand on my feet, I sha'n't turn anybody out to freeze, that's certain."

"How much'll you get for them?" said the miserable old man, after a few moments' silence, indicating by his hand the clean clothes on the line.

"Two dollars," said Ann, "and half of it must go to help make up next month's rent. I've got a good bit to make up yet, and only a week to do it in, and I sha'n't have another cent till day after to-morrow."

"Well, I wish you'd manage to buy me a little tea," whined the old man; "seems as if that would go right to the spot, an' warm up my old bones a bit."

"I'll try," said Ann, revolving in her mind how she could save a few pennies from her indispensable purchases, to get tea and sugar, for without sugar he would not touch it.

Wearied with his unusual exertion, the old man now dropped off to sleep, and Ann went softly about, folding and piling the clothes into a big basket already half full. When they were all packed in, and nicely covered with a piece of clean muslin, she took an old shawl and hood from a nail in the corner, put them on, blew out the candle, for it must not burn one moment unnecessarily, and taking up her basket, went out into the cold winter night, softly closing the door behind her.

The house was on an alley, but as soon as she turned the corner she was in the bright streets, glittering with lamps and gay people. The shop windows were brilliant with Christmas displays, and thousands of warmly dressed buyers were lingering before them, laughing and chatting, and selecting their purchases. Surely it seemed as if there could be no want here.

As quickly as her burden would let her, the old washerwoman passed through the crowd into a broad street and rang the basement bell of a large, showy house.

"Oh, it's the washerwoman!" said a flashy-looking servant who answered the bell; "set the basket right in here. Mrs. Keithe can't look them over to-night, there's company in the parlor—Miss Carry's Christmas party."

"Ask her to please pay me—at least a part," said old Ann hastily. "I don't see how I can do without the money. I counted on it."

"I'll ask her," said the pert young woman, turning to go up-stairs; "but it's no use."

Returning in a moment, she delivered the message. "She has no change to-night, you're to come in the morning."

"Dear me!" thought Ann, as she plodded back through the streets, "it'll be even worse than I expected, for there's not a morsel to eat in the house, and not a penny to buy one with. Well—well—the Lord will provide, the Good Book says, but it's mighty dark days, and it's hard to believe."

Entering the house, Ann sat down silently before the expiring fire. She was tired, her bones ached, and she was faint for want of food.

Wearily she rested her head on her hands, and tried to think of some way to get a few cents. She had nothing she could sell or pawn, everything she could do without had gone before, in similar emergencies. After sitting there some time, and revolving plan after plan, only to find them all impossible, she was forced to conclude that they must go supperless to bed.

Her husband grumbled and Katey—who came in from a neighbor's—cried with hunger, and after they were asleep old Ann crept into bed to keep warm, more disheartened than she had been all winter.

If we could only see a little way ahead! All this time—the darkest the house on the alley had seen—help was on the way to them. A kind-hearted city missionary, visiting one of the unfortunate families living in the upper rooms of old Ann's house, had learned from them of the noble charity of the humble old washerwoman. It was more than princely charity, for she not only denied herself nearly every comfort, but she endured the reproaches of her husband, and the tears of her child.

Telling the story to a party of his friends this Christmas eve, their hearts were touched, and they at once emptied their purses into his hands for her. And the gift was at that very moment in the pocket of the missionary, waiting for morning to make her Christmas happy.

Christmas morning broke clear and cold. Ann was up early, as usual, made her fire, with the last of her coal, cleared up her two rooms, and leaving her husband and Katey in bed, was about starting out to try and get her money, to provide a breakfast for them. At the door she met the missionary.

"Good-morning, Ann," he said. "I wish you a merry Christmas."

"Thank you, sir," said Ann cheerfully; "the same to yourself."

"Have you been to breakfast already?" asked the missionary.

"No, sir," said Ann. "I was just going out for it."

"I haven't either," said he, "but I couldn't bear to wait till I had eaten breakfast before I brought you your Christmas present—I suspect you haven't had any yet."

Ann smiled. "Indeed, sir, I haven't had one since I can remember."

"Well, I have one for you. Come in, and I'll tell you about it."

Too much amazed for words, Ann led him into the room. The missionary opened his purse, and handed her a roll of bills.

"Why!—what!—" she gasped, taking it mechanically.

"Some friends of mine heard of your generous treatment of the poor families up-stairs," he went on, "and they send you this, with their respects and best wishes for Christmas. Do just what you please with it—it is wholly yours. No thanks," he went on, as she struggled to speak. "It's not from me. Just enjoy it—that's all. It has done them more good to give than it can you to receive," and before she could speak a word he was gone.

What did the old washerwoman do?

Well—first she fell on her knees and buried her agitated face in the bedclothes. After a while she became aware of a storm of words from her husband, and she got up, subdued—as much as possible—her agitation, and tried to answer his frantic questions.

"How much did he give you, old stupid?" he screamed; "can't you speak, or are you struck dumb?—Wake up!—I just wish I could reach you!—I'd shake you till your teeth rattled!"

If his vicious looks were a sign, it was evident that he only lacked the strength to be as good as his word.

Ann roused herself from her stupor and spoke at last.

"I don't know. I'll count it." She unrolled the bills and began.

"O Lord!" she exclaimed excitedly, "here's ten-dollar bills! One, two, three, and a twenty—that makes five—and five are fifty-five—sixty—seventy—eighty—eighty-five—ninety—one hundred—and two and five are seven, and two and one are ten, twenty—twenty-five—one hundred and twenty-five! Why, I'm rich!" she shouted. "Bless the Lord! Oh, this is the glorious Christmas day! I knew He'd provide. Katey! Katey!" she screamed at the door of the other room, where the child lay asleep. "Merry Christmas to you, darlin'! Now you can have some shoes! and a new dress! and—and—breakfast, and a regular Christmas dinner! Oh! I believe I shall go crazy!"

But she did not. Joy seldom hurts people, and she was brought back to every-day affairs by the querulous voice of her husband.

"Now I will have my tea, an' a new blanket, an' some tobacco—how I have wanted a pipe!" and he went on enumerating his wants while Ann bustled about, putting away most of her money, and once more getting ready to go out.

"I'll run out and get some breakfast," she said, "but don't you tell a soul about the money."

"No! they'll rob us!" shrieked the old man.

"Nonsense! I'll hide it well, but I want to keep it a secret for another reason. Mind, Katey, don't you tell."

"No!" said Katey, with wide eyes. "But can I truly have a new frock, Mammy, and new shoes?—and is it really Christmas?"

"It's really Christmas, darlin'," said Ann, "and you'll see what Mammy'll bring home to you, after breakfast."

The luxurious meal of sausages, potatoes, and hot tea was soon smoking on the table, and was eagerly devoured by Katey and her father. But Ann could not eat much. She was absent-minded, and only drank a cup of tea. As soon as breakfast was over, she left Katey to wash the dishes, and started out again.

She walked slowly down the street, revolving a great plan in her mind.

"Let me see," she said to herself. "They shall have a happy day for once. I suppose John'll grumble, but the Lord has sent me this money, and I mean to use part of it to make one good day for them."

Having settled this in her mind, she walked on more quickly, and visited various shops in the neighborhood. When at last she went home, her big basket was stuffed as full as it could hold, and she carried a bundle besides.

"Here's your tea, John," she said cheerfully, as she unpacked the basket, "a whole pound of it, and sugar, and tobacco, and a new pipe."

"Give me some now," said the old man eagerly; "don't wait to take out the rest of the things."

"And here's a new frock for you, Katey," old Ann went on, after making John happy with his treasures, "a real bright one, and a pair of shoes and some real woolen stockings; oh! how warm you'll be!"

"Oh, how nice, Mammy!" cried Katey, jumping about. "When will you make my frock?"

"To-morrow," answered the mother, "and you can go to school again."

"Oh, goody!" she began, but her face fell. "If only Molly Parker could go too!"

"You wait and see," answered Ann, with a knowing look. "Who knows what Christmas will bring to Molly Parker?"

"Now here's a nice big roast," the happy woman went on, still unpacking, "and potatoes and turnips and cabbage and bread and butter and coffee and—"

"What in the world! You goin' to give a party?" asked the old man between the puffs, staring at her in wonder.

"I'll tell you just what I am going to do," said Ann firmly, bracing herself for opposition, "and it's as good as done, so you needn't say a word about it. I'm going to have a Christmas dinner, and I'm going to invite every blessed soul in this house to come. They shall be warm and full for once in their lives, please God! And Katey," she went on breathlessly, before the old man had sufficiently recovered from his astonishment to speak, "go right up-stairs now, and invite every one of 'em, from the fathers down to Mrs. Parker's baby, to come to dinner at three o'clock; we'll have to keep fashionable hours, it's so late now; and mind, Katey, not a word about the money. And hurry back, child, I want you to help me."

To her surprise, the opposition from her husband was less than she expected. The genial tobacco seemed to have quieted his nerves, and even opened his heart. Grateful for this, Ann resolved that his pipe should never lack tobacco while she could work.

But now the cares of dinner absorbed her. The meat and vegetables were prepared, the pudding made, and the long table spread, though she had to borrow every table in the house, and every dish to have enough to go around.

At three o'clock when the guests came in, it was really a very pleasant sight. The bright warm fire, the long table, covered with a substantial, and to them, luxurious meal, all smoking hot. John, in his neatly brushed suit, in an armchair at the foot of the table, Ann in a bustle of hurry and welcome, and a plate and a seat for every one.

How the half-starved creatures enjoyed it, how the children stuffed and the parents looked on with a happiness that was very near to tears, how old John actually smiled and urged them to send back their plates again and again, and how Ann, the washerwoman, was the life and soul of it all, I can't half tell.

After dinner, when the poor women lodgers insisted on clearing up, and the poor men sat down by the fire to smoke, for old John actually passed around his beloved tobacco, Ann quietly slipped out a few minutes, took four large bundles from a closet under the stairs, and disappeared up-stairs. She was scarcely missed before she was back again.

Well, of course, it was a great day in the house on the alley, and the guests sat long into the twilight before the warm fire talking of their old homes in the fatherland, the hard winter, and prospects for work in the spring.

When at last they returned to the chilly discomfort of their own rooms, each family found a package containing a new warm dress and pair of shoes for every woman and child in the family.

"And I have enough left," said Ann, the washerwoman, to herself, when she was reckoning up the expenses of the day, "to buy my coal and pay my rent till spring, so I can save my old bones a bit. And sure John can't grumble at their staying now, for it's all along of keeping them that I had such a blessed Christmas day at all."

"That's the best of all," said Grandma. "I'm glad Kristy didn't let us lose that story."

"I knew it would be one of the very best," said Kristy warmly. "Mamma does tell beautiful stories. And now I'll go to bed, if you please, and the rest of you may have something to eat after your labors."

The four-hand throne was made once more by her two uncles and Kristy seated upon it. At the door she asked them to stop a moment while she said good-night.

"My dear guests," she began, "I hope you've enjoyed the evening half as much as I have. As for me, I thank you for the most delightful Christmas I ever had, and I mean to invite you to do it over again next year."

This announcement was received with groans and cries of "No! no!" but Kristy laughed, kissed her hand good-night, and only said:

"You'll see!"


Mary Mapes Dodge

The Glad New Year

It's coming, boys,

It's almost here.

It's coming, girls,

The grand New Year.

A year to be glad in,

Not to be sad in;

A year to live in,

To gain and give in.

A year for trying,

And not for sighing;

A year for striving

And healthy thriving.

It's coming, boys,

It's almost here.

It's coming, girls,

The grand New Year.


  WEEK 52  


How To Tell Stories to Children and Some Stories To Tell  by Sara Cone Bryant

The Golden Cobwebs

This story was told me in the mother-tongue of a German friend, at the kindly instance of a common friend of both; the narrator had heard it at home from the lips of a father of story-loving children for whom he often invented such little tales. The present adaptation has passed by hearsay through so many minds that it is perhaps little like the original, but I venture to hope it has a touch of the original fancy, at least.

A Story To Tell by the Christmas Tree

I am going to tell you a story about something wonderful that happened to a Christmas Tree like this, ever and ever so long ago, when it was once upon a time.

It was before Christmas, and the tree was trimmed with bright spangled threads and many-coloured candles and (name the trimmings of the tree before you), and it stood safely out of sight in a room where the doors were locked, so that the children should not see it before the proper time. But ever so many other little house-people had seen it. The big black pussy saw it with her great green eyes; the little grey kitty saw it with her little blue eyes; the kind house-dog saw it with his steady brown eyes; the yellow canary saw it with his wise, bright eyes. Even the wee, wee mice that were so afraid of the cat had peeped one peep when no one was by.

But there was someone who hadn't seen the Christmas tree. It was the little grey spider!

You see, the spiders lived in the corners,—the warm corners of the sunny attic and the dark corners of the nice cellar. And they were expecting to see the Christmas Tree as much as anybody. But just before Christmas a great cleaning-up began in the house. The house-mother came sweeping and dusting and wiping and scrubbing, to make everything grand and clean for the Christ-child's birthday. Her broom went into all the corners, poke, poke,—and of course the spiders had to run. Dear, dear, how  the spiders had to run! Not one could stay in the house while the Christmas cleanness lasted. So, you see, they couldn't see the Christmas Tree.

Spiders like to know all about everything, and see all there is to see, and these were very sad. So at last they went to the Christ-child and told him about it.

"All the others see the Christmas Tree, dear Christ-child," they said; "but we, who are so domestic and so fond of beautiful things, we are cleaned up!  We cannot see it, at all."

The Christ-child was sorry for the little spiders when he heard this, and he said they should see the Christmas Tree.

The day before Christmas, when nobody was noticing, he let them all go in, to look as long as ever they liked.

They came creepy, creepy, down the attic stairs, creepy, creepy, up the cellar stairs, creepy, creepy, along the halls,—and into the beautiful room. The fat mother spiders and the old papa spiders were there, and all the little teeny, tiny, curly spiders, the baby ones. And then they looked! Round and round the tree they crawled, and looked and looked and looked. Oh, what a good time they had! They thought it was perfectly beautiful. And when they had looked at everything they could see from the floor, they started up the tree to see more. All over the tree they ran, creepy, crawly, looking at every single thing. Up and down, in and out, over every branch and twig, the little spiders ran, and saw every one of the pretty things right up close.

They stayed till they had seen all there was to see, you may be sure, and then they went away at last, quite  happy.

Then, in the still, dark night before Christmas Day, the dear Christ-child came, to bless the tree for the children. But when he looked at it—what  do you suppose?—it was covered with cobwebs! Everywhere the little spiders had been they had left a spider-web; and you know they had been everywhere. So the tree was covered from its trunk to its tip with spider-webs, all hanging from the branches and looped round the twigs; it was a strange sight.

What could the Christ-child do? He knew that house-mothers do not like cobwebs; it would never, never do to have a Christmas Tree covered with those. No, indeed.

So the dear Christ-child touched the spider's webs, and turned them all to gold! Wasn't that a lovely trimming? They shone and shone, all over the beautiful tree. And that is the way the Christmas Tree came to have golden cobwebs on it.


The Tailor of Gloucester  by Beatrix Potter

The Tailor of Gloucester

I N the time of swords and periwigs and full-skirted coats with flowered lappets—when gentlemen wore ruffles, and gold-laced waistcoats of paduasoy and taffeta—there lived a tailor in Gloucester.

He sat in the window of a little shop in Westgate Street, cross-legged on a table, from morning till dark.


All day long while the light lasted he sewed and snippeted, piecing out his satin and pompadour, and lutestring; stuffs had strange names, and were very expensive in the days of the Tailor of Gloucester.

But although he sewed fine silk for his neighbours, he himself was very, very poor—a little old man in spectacles, with a pinched face, old crooked fingers, and a suit of thread-bare clothes.

He cut his coats without waste, according to his embroidered cloth; they were very small ends and snippets that lay about upon the table—"Too narrow breadths for nought—except waistcoats for mice," said the tailor.


One bitter cold day near Christmastime the tailor began to make a coat—a coat of cherry-coloured corded silk embroidered with pansies and roses, and a cream coloured satin waistcoat—trimmed with gauze and green worsted chenille—for the Mayor of Gloucester.


The tailor worked and worked, and he talked to himself. He measured the silk, and turned it round and round, and trimmed it into shape with his shears; the table was all littered with cherry-coloured snippets.

"No breadth at all, and cut on the cross; it is no breadth at all; tippets for mice and ribbons for mobs! for mice!" said the Tailor of Gloucester.

When the snow-flakes came down against the small leaded window-panes and shut out the light, the tailor had done his day's work; all the silk and satin lay cut out upon the table.


There were twelve pieces for the coat and four pieces for the waistcoat; and there were pocket flaps and cuffs, and buttons all in order. For the lining of the coat there was fine yellow taffeta; and for the button-holes of the waistcoat, there was cherry-coloured twist. And everything was ready to sew together in the morning, all measured and sufficient—except that there was wanting just one single skein of cherry-coloured twisted silk.

The tailor came out of his shop at dark, for he did not sleep there at nights; he fastened the window and locked the door, and took away the key. No one lived there at night but little brown mice, and they run in and out without any keys!


For behind the wooden wainscots of all the old houses in Gloucester, there are little mouse staircases and secret trap-doors; and the mice run from house to house through those long narrow passages; they can run all over the town without going into the streets.

But the tailor came out of his shop, and shuffled home through the snow. He lived quite near by in College Court, next the doorway to College Green; and although it was not a big house, the tailor was so poor he only rented the kitchen.

He lived alone with his cat; it was called Simpkin.


Now all day long while the tailor was out at work, Simpkin kept house by himself; and he also was fond of the mice, though he gave them no satin for coats!

"Miaw?" said the cat when the tailor opened the door. "Miaw?"

The tailor replied—"Simpkin, we shall make our fortune, but I am worn to a ravelling. Take this groat (which is our last fourpence) and Simpkin, take a china pipkin; buy a penn'orth of bread, a penn'orth of milk and a penn'orth of sausages. And oh, Simpkin, with the last penny of our fourpence buy me one penn'orth of cherry-coloured silk. But do not lose the last penny of the fourpence, Simpkin, or I am undone and worn to a thread-paper, for I have no more twist."

Then Simpkin again said, "Miaw?" and took the groat and the pipkin, and went out into the dark.


The tailor was very tired and beginning to be ill. He sat down by the hearth and talked to himself about that wonderful coat.

"I shall make my fortune—to be cut bias—the Mayor of Gloucester is to be married on Christmas Day in the morning, and he hath ordered a coat and an embroidered waistcoat—to be lined with yellow taffeta—and the taffeta sufficeth; there is no more left over in snippets than will serve to make tippets for mice——"

Then the tailor started; for suddenly, interrupting him, from the dresser at the other side of the kitchen came a number of little noises—

Tip tap, tip tap, tip tap tip!

"Now what can that be?" said the Tailor of Gloucester, jumping up from his chair. The dresser was covered with crockery and pipkins, willow pattern plates, and tea-cups and mugs.

The tailor crossed the kitchen, and stood quite still beside the dresser, listening, and peering through his spectacles. Again from under a tea-cup, came those funny little noises—

Tip tap, tip tap, Tip tap tip!

"This is very peculiar," said the Tailor of Gloucester; and he lifted up the tea-cup which was upside down.


Out stepped a little live lady mouse, and made a curtsey to the tailor! Then she hopped away down off the dresser, and under the wainscot.


The tailor sat down again by the fire, warming his poor cold hands, and mumbling to himself——

"The waistcoat is cut out from peach-coloured satin—tambour stitch and rose-buds in beautiful floss silk. Was I wise to entrust my last fourpence to Simpkin? One-and-twenty button-holes of cherry-coloured twist!"

But all at once, from the dresser, there came other little noises:

Tip tap, tip tap, tip tap tip!

"This is passing extraordinary!" said the Tailor of Gloucester, and turned over another tea-cup, which was upside down.


Out stepped a little gentleman mouse, and made a bow to the tailor!

And then from all over the dresser came a chorus of little tappings, all sounding together, and answering one another, like watch-beetles in an old worm-eaten window-shutter—

Tip tap, tip tap, tip tap tip!

And out from under tea-cups and from under bowls and basins, stepped other and more little mice who hopped away down off the dresser and under the wainscot.

The tailor sat down, close over the fire, lamenting—"One-and-twenty button-holes of cherry-coloured silk! To be finished by noon of Saturday: and this is Tuesday evening. Was it right to let loose those mice, undoubtedly the property of Simpkin? Alack, I am undone, for I have no more twist!"


The little mice came out again, and listened to the tailor; they took notice of the pattern of that wonderful coat. They whispered to one another about the taffeta lining, and about little mouse tippets.

And then all at once they all ran away together down the passage behind the wainscot, squeaking and calling to one another, as they ran from house to house; and not one mouse was left in the tailor's kitchen when Simpkin came back with the pipkin of milk!


Simpkin opened the door and bounced in, with an angry "G-r-r-miaw!" like a cat that is vexed: for he hated the snow, and there was snow in his ears, and snow in his collar at the back of his neck. He put down the loaf and the sausages upon the dresser, and sniffed.

"Simpkin," said the tailor, "where is my twist?"

But Simpkin set down the pipkin of milk upon the dresser, and looked suspiciously at the tea-cups. He wanted his supper of little fat mouse!

"Simpkin," said the tailor, "where is my twist?"

But Simpkin hid a little parcel privately in the tea-pot, and spit and growled at the tailor; and if Simpkin had been able to talk, he would have asked: "Where is my mouse?"


"Alack, I am undone!" said the Tailor of Gloucester, and went sadly to bed.

All that night long Simpkin hunted and searched through the kitchen, peeping into cupboards and under the wainscot, and into the tea-pot where he had hidden that twist; but still he found never a mouse!

Whenever the tailor muttered and talked in his sleep, Simpkin said "Miaw-ger-r-w-s-s-ch!" and made strange horrid noises, as cats do at night.

For the poor old tailor was very ill with a fever, tossing and turning in his four-post bed; and still in his dreams he mumbled—"No more twist! no more twist!"

All that day he was ill, and the next day, and the next; and what should become of the cherry-coloured coat? In the tailor's shop in Westgate Street the embroidered silk and satin lay cut out upon the table—one-and-twenty button-holes—and who should come to sew them, when the window was barred, and the door was fast locked?


But that does not hinder the little brown mice; they run in and out without any keys through all the old houses in Gloucester!

Out of doors the market folks went trudging through the snow to buy their geese and turkeys, and to bake their Christmas pies; but there would be no Christmas dinner for Simpkin and the poor old Tailor of Gloucester.

The tailor lay ill for three days and nights; and then it was Christmas Eve, and very late at night. The moon climbed up over the roofs and chimneys, and looked down over the gateway into College Court. There were no lights in the windows, nor any sound in the houses; all the city of Gloucester was fast asleep under the snow.

And still Simpkin wanted his mice, and he mewed as he stood beside the four-post bed.


But it is in the old story that all the beasts can talk, in the night between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in the morning (though there are very few folk that can hear them, or know what it is that they say).

When the Cathedral clock struck twelve there was an answer—like an echo of the chimes—and Simpkin heard it, and came out of the tailor's door, and wandered about in the snow.


From all the roofs and gables and old wooden houses in Gloucester came a thousand merry voices singing the old Christmas rhymes—all the old songs that ever I heard of, and some that I don't know, like Whittington's bells.

First and loudest the cocks cried out: "Dame, get up, and bake your pies!"

"Oh, dilly, dilly, dilly!" sighed Simpkin.

And now in a garret there were lights and sounds of dancing, and cats came from over the way.

"Hey, diddle, diddle, the cat and the fiddle! All the cats in Gloucester—except me," said Simpkin.


Under the wooden eaves the starlings and sparrows sang of Christmas pies; the jack-daws woke up in the Cathedral tower; and although it was the middle of the night the throstles and robins sang; the air was quite full of little twittering tunes.

But it was all rather provoking to poor hungry Simpkin!

Particularly he was vexed with some little shrill voices from behind a wooden lattice. I think that they were bats, because they always have very small voices—especially in a black frost, when they talk in their sleep, like the Tailor of Gloucester.

They said something mysterious that sounded like—

"Buz, quoth the blue fly, hum, quoth the bee,

Buz and hum they cry, and so do we!"

and Simpkin went away shaking his ears as if he had a bee in his bonnet.


From the tailor's shop in Westgate came a glow of light; and when Simpkin crept up to peep in at the window it was full of candles. There was a snippeting of scissors, and snappeting of thread; and little mouse voices sang loudly and gaily—

"Four-and-twenty tailors

Went to catch a snail,

The best man amongst them

Durst not touch her tail,

She put out her horns

Like a little kyloe cow,

Run, tailors, run! or she'll have you all e'en now!"

Then without a pause the little mouse voices went on again—

"Sieve my lady's oatmeal,

Grind my lady's flour,

Put it in a chestnut,

Let it stand an hour——"


"Mew! Mew!" interrupted Simpkin, and he scratched at the door. But the key was under the tailor's pillow, he could not get in.

The little mice only laughed, and tried another tune—

"Three little mice sat down to spin,

Pussy passed by and she peeped in.

What are you at, my fine little men?

Making coats for gentlemen.

Shall I come in and cut off your threads?

Oh, no, Miss Pussy, you'd bite off our heads!"

"Mew! Mew!" cried Simpkin. "Hey diddle dinketty?" answered the little mice—

"Hey diddle dinketty, poppetty pet!

The merchants of London they wear scarlet;

Silk in the collar, and gold in the hem,

So merrily march the merchantmen!"


They clicked their thimbles to mark the time, but none of the songs pleased Simpkin; he sniffed and mewed at the door of the shop.

"And then I bought

A pipkin and a popkin,

A slipkin and a slopkin,

All for one farthing——

"Mew! scratch! scratch!" scuffled Simpkin on the window-sill; while the little mice inside sprang to their feet, and all began to shout at once in little twittering voices: "No more twist! No more twist!" And they barred up the window shutters and shut out Simpkin.


But still through the nicks in the shutters he could hear the click of thimbles, and little mouse voices singing—

"No more twist! No more twist!"

Simpkin came away from the shop and went home, considering in his mind. He found the poor old tailor without fever, sleeping peacefully.

Then Simpkin went on tip-toe and took a little parcel of silk out of the tea-pot, and looked at it in the moonlight; and he felt quite ashamed of his badness compared with those good little mice!

When the tailor awoke in the morning, the first thing which he saw upon the patchwork quilt, was a skein of cherry-coloured twisted silk, and beside his bed stood the repentant Simpkin!


"Alack, I am worn to a ravelling," said the Tailor of Gloucester, "but I have my twist!"

The sun was shining on the snow when the tailor got up and dressed, and came out into the street with Simpkin running before him.


The starlings whistled on the chimney stacks, and the throstles and robins sang—but they sang their own little noises, not the words they had sung in the night.

"Alack," said the tailor, "I have my twist; but no more strength—nor time—than will serve to make me one single button-hole; for this is Christmas Day in the Morning! The Mayor of Gloucester shall be married by noon—and where is his cherry-coloured coat?"

He unlocked the door of the little shop in Westgate Street, and Simpkin ran in, like a cat that expects something.

But there was no one there! Not even one little brown mouse!

The boards were swept clean; the little ends of thread and the little silk snippets were all tidied away, and gone from off the floor.

But upon the table—oh joy! the tailor gave a shout—there, where he had left plain cuttings of silk—there lay the most beautifullest coat and embroidered satin waistcoat that ever were worn by a Mayor of Gloucester.


There were roses and pansies upon the facings of the coat; and the waistcoat was worked with poppies and corn-flowers.


Everything was finished except just one single cherry-coloured button-hole, and where that button-hole was wanting there was pinned a scrap of paper with these words—in little teeny weeny writing—

no more twist

And from then began the luck of the Tailor of Gloucester; he grew quite stout, and he grew quite rich.

He made the most wonderful waistcoats for all the rich merchants of Gloucester, and for all the fine gentlemen of the country round.


Never were seen such ruffles, or such embroidered cuffs and lappets! But his button-holes were the greatest triumph of it all.

The stitches of those button-holes were so neat—so  neat—I wonder how they could be stitched by an old man in spectacles, with crooked old fingers, and a tailor's thimble.

The stitches of those button-holes were so small—so  small—they looked as if they had been made by little mice!


Alfred Lord Tennyson

Ring Out, Wild Bells

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,

The flying cloud, the frosty light:

The year is dying in the night;

Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,

Ring, happy bells, across the snow:

The year is going, let him go;

Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,

For those that here we see no more;

Ring out the feud of rich and poor,

Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,

And ancient forms of party strife;

Ring in the nobler modes of life,

With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,

The faithless coldness of the times;

Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,

But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,

The civic slander and the spite;

Ring in the love of truth and right,

Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;

Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;

Ring out the thousand wars of old,

Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,

The larger heart, the kindlier hand;

Ring out the darkness of the land,

Ring in the Christ that is to be.