Text of Plan #426
  WEEK 13  

  Monday  


Lawton B. Evans

The Flight of Roger Williams

[54] THERE was a young Puritan minister, named Roger Williams, who lived with his wife and two children in the town of Salem, Massachusetts. His congregation was small, but his labors, especially the comfort he gave to those who were sick or in distress, made him greatly beloved.

He at one time had preached at Plymouth, and had visited the Narragansett Indians. He slept in the wigwams, and ate the food of his Indian friends. He went fishing and hunting with them, and learned from them many secrets of Indian woodcraft. After awhile he could speak their language, and for hours would sit around their camp fires and hear them tell their stories. In this way the Indians became his firm friends, and he thus came to understand much about them he would not otherwise have known.

When Roger Williams went to Salem to preach, he became very bold in his opposition to many of the doctrines of his Puritan brethren. For instance, it was the Puritan law that everybody had to go to meeting on Sunday, whether he wished to or not. At the beating of the drum, or the ringing of the bell, or the sounding of the horn, every- [55] body, who was not sick in bed, had to march out and proceed to the meeting-house. In fact there was a captain who inspected the houses to see that nobody was in hiding.

Roger Williams thought this was wrong. "We should not compel people to go to church. If their own consciences do not urge them to attend worship, let them stay at home," he said.

When the Puritans heard of this, they were greatly shocked, and declared Roger Williams a dangerous member of society. To them it was a great crime to stay away from church.

Another rule of the Puritans was that every man had to pay a tax for the support of the Church. No matter whether he was a good man or a wicked one, he had to go to church and had to pay for the preacher.

Roger Williams thought this was wrong. "No man should pay for his religion unless he wishes to do so. His conscience and not the General Court should determine the amount," he said.

When the Puritans heard of this they were still more surprised and shocked, for by this time Roger Williams was becoming so bold that there were threats of sending him out of the community.

But this was not all, by any means. Roger Williams declared, "The King of England has no [56] right to give away the lands in America. They do not belong to him, but they belong to the Indians. The Indians alone have a title to them, and it is from the Indians alone they can be bought."

This was more than the Puritans could stand. "It is dangerous to have such a man in our colony. He must be sent back to England, or he will break up our religion," said the Puritan leaders, and they straightway ordered him before the General Court.

Little mercy did they show the brave minister. "Back you go to England in six weeks, or else you must stop preaching those dangerous doctrines," was what they told him.

"I shall not go to England. I came here to find freedom for my conscience and here I find nothing but persecution. You are trying to do in America the very thing for which we left England," replied Williams boldly.

So he went on preaching his own doctrines and the Puritans decided to seize him, put him on board a ship, and send him to England. The kind Governor Winthrop secretly sent him word that he had better escape, or else he would be arrested.

When Williams received the message, he hastily left his wife and children, and, taking a package of food and a heavy cane, committed himself to the wilderness. It was mid-winter when he started. [57] The ground was covered with snow, and he had only a small pocket compass to guide him through the forest. Fearing that the officers of the General Court would try to overtake him, he traveled only at night, hiding by day in caves or in the deep shelter of the woods.

Thus he wandered for fourteen weeks. At night he built a fire as best he could, and cooked the game he had caught in the snow. Oftentimes he had only acorns to eat. If it had not been for the wigwams of his Indian friends, which he found along his journey, he would have frozen to death; and but for their aid he would long since have starved.

At length he came to Massasoit, one of his oldest friends, "I have come to live with you. My white friends have cast me out, and I am cold, hungry, and very tired," said he to the Indian Chief.

Massasoit took him into his own wigwam, laid him down on a couch of skins, and covered him up so he might be warm. Then Williams slept long, while Massasoit wondered what this friend had done that he was cast out of Salem. When Williams awoke he was given food to eat, a pipe to smoke, and warm clothes to put on.

When Massasoit heard his story he said, "Stay here until the snow has gone, and the spring has [58] come. They shall not find you or hurt you."

Williams stayed in the wigwam of Massasoit until spring.

By this time, the Puritans decided to let him alone, provided he did not come back to them. Hearing this, Williams sent for his wife and children, and, with a few friends who joined him, journeyed to Narragansett Bay in the spring. He bought some land from Canonicus, and made a settlement.

"We shall call this place Providence, for the Lord has provided for us," said he. And so it is called to this day.

 



Clara Dillingham Pierson

The Mosquito Tries To Teach His Neighbors

[Illustration]

[171]

I N this meadow, as in every other meadow since the world began, there were some people who were always tired of the way things were, and thought that, if the world were only different, they would be perfectly happy. One of these discontented ones was a certain Mosquito, a fellow with a whining voice and disagreeable manners. He had very little patience with people who were not like him, and thought that [172] the world would be a much pleasanter place if all the insects had been made Mosquitoes.

"What is the use of Spiders, and Dragon-flies, and Beetles, and Butterflies?" he would say, fretfully; "a Mosquito is worth more than any of them."

You can just see how unreasonable he was. Of course, Mosquitoes and Flies do help keep the air pure and sweet, but that is no reason why they should set themselves up above the other insects. Do not the Bees carry pollen from one flower to another, and so help the plants raise their Seed Babies? And who would not miss the bright, happy Butterflies, with their work of making the world beautiful?

But this Mosquito never thought of those things, and he said to himself: "Well, if they cannot all be Mosquitoes, they can at least try to live like them, and I think I will call them together and talk it over." So he sent word all around, and [173] his friends and neighbors gathered to hear what he had to say.

"In the first place," he remarked, "it is unfortunate that you are not Mosquitoes, but, since you are not, one must make the best of it. There are some things, however, which you might learn from us fortunate creatures who are. For instance, notice the excellent habit of the Mosquitoes in the matter of laying eggs. Three or four hundred of the eggs are fastened together and left floating on a pond in such a way that, when the babies break their shells, they go head first into the water. Then they——"

"Do you think I would do that if I could?" interrupted a motherly old Grasshopper. "Fix it so my children would drown the minute they came out of the egg? No, indeed!" and she hurried angrily away, followed by several other loving mothers.

"But they don't drown," exclaimed the Mosquito, in surprise.

[174] "They don't if they're Mosquitoes," replied the Ant, "but I am thankful to say my children are land babies and not water babies."

"Well, I won't say anything more about that, but I must speak of your voices, which are certainly too heavy and loud to be pleasant. I should think you might speak and sing more softly, even if you have no pockets under your wings like mine. I flutter my wings, and the air strikes these pockets and makes my sweet voice."

"Humph!" exclaimed a Bee, "it is a very poor place for pockets, and a very poor use to make of them. Every Bee knows that pockets are handiest on the hind legs, and should be used for carrying pollen to the babies at home."

"My pocket is behind," said a Spider, "and my web silk is kept there. I couldn't live without a pocket."

Some of the meadow people were get- [175] ting angry, so the Garter Snake, who would always rather laugh than quarrel, glided forward and said: "My friends and neighbors; our speaker here has been so kind as to tell us how the Mosquitoes do a great many things, and to try to teach us their way. It seems to me that we might repay some of his kindness by showing him our ways, and seeing that he learns by practice. I would ask the Spiders to take him with them and show him how to spin a web. Then the Bees could teach him how to build comb, and the Tree Frog how to croak, and the Earthworms how to burrow, and the Caterpillars how to spin a cocoon. Each of us will do something for him. Perhaps the Measuring Worm will teach him to walk as the Worms of his family do. I understand he does that very well." Here everybody laughed, remembering the joke played on the Caterpillars, and the Snake stopped speaking.

[176] The Mosquito did not dare refuse to be taught, and so he was taken from one place to another, and told exactly how to do everything that he could not possibly do, until he felt so very meek and humble that he was willing the meadow people should be busy and happy in their own way.

 



Anonymous

Wee Willie Winkie

Wee Willie Winkie runs through the town,

Up stairs and doon stairs, in his nicht gown,

Tirlin' at the window, cryin' at the lock,

"Are the weans in their beds?—for it's noo ten o'clock."

 


  WEEK 13  

  Tuesday  


Amy Steedman

Saint Columba

Part 1 of 2

[119] THE Princess Eithne lay asleep, dreaming of summer days and happy hours spent in flowery meadows. Outside the stormy wintry winds swept the snowdrifts high among the mountain passes, and the howls of hungry wolves mingled with the shriek of the wind. It was cold and bleak at the castle of Gartan among the wild hills of Donegal when winter held sway, and then the Princess would watch the swirling snowflakes and the grey mists that wrapped the hills in solemn majesty. But in the springtime it was a different world, and Eithne could see from her window the length and height of the valley, and count the little mountain lakes that shone like diamonds in their emerald setting, and she thought it was the fairest spot in all the world.

There were so many beautiful things in the life of the Princess, so much to make her happy with the Prince her husband, that there seemed scarcely room for more joy; and yet, as she lay dreaming, she knew that the greatest happiness of all was yet to come.

It seemed to her that, as she dreamed of those flowery meadows, an angel stood beside her and placed in her hands a wonderful robe, more beautiful [120] than anything she had ever seen. It was sewn all over with dainty flowers—the mountain flowers that are fairer and finer than any others because they grow closer to heaven. It was as if a rainbow had fallen into a shower of flowers upon this wondrous mantle and set it thick with buds and blossoms, crimson, white, and blue.

For a space the angel waited while the Princess held the robe and gazed upon its beauty, then very gently it was taken from her and Eithne found her hands were empty.

"Why dost thou take away my beautiful robe so soon?" asked the Princess, stretching out her hands towards the angel and weeping bitterly.

"It is too dearly prized for thee to keep it," was the answer. And as Eithne looked with longing eyes, she saw the angel spread out the robe, and its beautiful folds floated further and further until it covered all that land.

Then in her ears there sounded the comforting voice of the angel bidding her grieve no more, but prepare to receive the little son whom God was sending to her. And Eithne knew that the vision of the robe was sent as a lesson to teach her that her son would belong not only to her but to the world, where God had need of him.

Soon after this the little Prince was born, and, as his mother held him in her arms, her heart was filled with the same great joy as when she had clasped the angel's robe. More than fifty years had passed since the good Saint Patrick had brought Christ's light to [121] Ireland, and now most of the people there were Christians. The father and mother of the little Prince took early care that the baby should be baptized, and in the little chapel of the clan O'Donnel they gave him two names—Crimthann, which means a wolf, and Colum, which means a dove.

Perhaps it was the chief, his father, thinking of his wild brave ancestors living free among those mountains, who gave his little son the name of the wolf, and surely it was the mother, thinking of the angel vision, who wished him to be called by the gentler name.

There was no doubt from the first which name suited the child the best. Strong and fearless, and showing in a hundred ways that he came of a kingly race, there was nothing of the wild wolf nature about Columba. It was always Colum, the dove, that gladdened his mother's heart. Like a flower turning to the light, his heart seemed always to turn naturally to all that was beautiful and pure and good. He was eager to learn, and loved to listen to the stories of those soldiers of Christ who fought against the Evil One, and brought light and peace into the wild dark places of the earth. When he grew up, he too would become one of those soldiers, and meanwhile there was nothing he loved so much as to steal away into the little chapel to join in the service of the Master he meant to serve some day.

The people wondered as they watched the boy leave his games and turn with a happy eager face [122] towards the church whenever the bell called the monks to prayer.

"He should be called Columkill, Colum of the Church," they said: and so it was that the old name of "the dove of the Church" was first given to Columba.

At the monastery school the boy was quick to learn, and the monks told one another that he had the gift of genius. But the master, Saint Finnian, wondered even more at the goodness than the cleverness of his pupil. Watching him one day, he was heard to say that he saw an angel walking by the side of Columba, guiding and guarding him as he went. And, indeed, the boy's face had ever the look of one who walked close to his guardian angel.

So Columba grew to be a man, and learned all the wisdom of the great monasteries, and then, strong and purposeful, he began his work for God, going throughout the land teaching, and founding monasteries and building churches.

But although he worked well and with all his heart, still his great desire had always been to carry God's message of peace and goodwill to the heathen lands outside Ireland, and many a time did he gaze across the sea to the faint blue line of distant hills, thinking of those poor souls in Scotland who knew nothing of God's love and mercy.

Still the years went by, and there always seemed more than enough work for him to do in his own land until, when he was more than forty years old, something happened which changed his life, and sent him forth to begin the new great work.

[123] Now you must know that Columba loved books and delighted in making copies of them, for in those days all books were written by hand. He was very skilful in this work of copying. He laid the colours on most carefully for the capital letters, and made the printing black and firm and even. Nothing gave him more pleasure than to have a new book to copy, and he was greatly pleased when one day he heard that his old master Saint Finnian had a wonderful copy of the gospels, and might allow him to see it.

"My father," he said to the old abbot, "I would that I might see the fair copy of the gospels of which I have heard so much. Men say there is no other copy like it in Ireland."

"Ay, my son," answered the abbot proudly, "it is, as thou sayest, a very fair copy. But thou hast a careful hand and knowest the value of such a book, so I will trust the treasure to thee for a space."

Overjoyed at the permission, Columba carried the book carefully home, and the more he looked at it, the more he longed to have one like it. At last he began secretly and swiftly to make a copy, and not until it was done did he return the precious book to Saint Finnian.

Before long, however, the matter came to the ears of the abbot, and he was very angry. He demanded at once that the copy should be given up, and bade Columba deliver it immediately.

"The copy is mine," said Columba calmly, "but if thou thinkest it is thine, we will let the King decide."

[124] So the matter was taken to the King of Meath, and he decided that Columba must give up the book.

"It is written in the ancient law of our land," said the King, "that to every cow belongs its calf, therefore it must be that to every book belongs its copy."

There was a great outcry against this decision, and the clansmen of Columba went out to do battle with the men of Meath, and by the time Columba's anger had cooled, many thousand men had been killed.

Bitterly repentant, Columba went to the old priest Molaise, and asked him what he should do to show his sorrow. Then Molaise bade him leave the land he so dearly loved, cross the sea to Scotland, and win for God from among the heathen as many souls as those whom his hasty quarrel had brought to death.

The long waves of the Atlantic rolled in and broke upon the beach, grey and cold in the light of early morning, when twelve sorrowful-looking men pushed off their frail boats from the Irish shore, and set sail for distant Scotland.

The boats were light, made only of wickerwork with skins stretched tightly over, and they rose gaily on the long waves which came sweeping in as if eager to overwhelm them. But there were heavy hearts in those light boats, and the men looked back with sad eyes at the dear green home they were leaving, seeing it but dimly through a mist of tears. They loved their home, but they loved their master Columba better, and so they were setting sail with him for the land of exile.

[125] Through storm and tempest the frail boats held their way, and the hearts, if sad, were brave and hopeful too, for their faith was strong in God and in their leader.

The first landing-place was on the island of Colonsay, and there the little company waited on the shore while Columba climbed the hill, that he might view the land and see if it was a fit place to make their home.

With long strides he climbed up over rocks and heather until at last he reached the top, and then he stood quite still and looked around him. Yes, the island was just the kind of resting-place he was seeking, since he must no longer live in his own dear land. Lifting up his eyes then, he gazed longingly across the blue sea in the direction of home, and his heart leaped when he saw in the distance the faint blue hills of Erin. Then he sighed, and went slowly back to his waiting companions.

"We must push on," he said. "If we stay here our hearts will be filled with a sore home-longing whenever we gaze across the sea. We must go further, where we cannot see the hills of home."

So the boats were pushed off once more, and the men rowed on until they reached the little island of Hy or Iona. Not the faintest trace of the blue Irish hills could be seen from here, so it was decided that this was to be the place where they would make their new home.

The warm May sunshine was flooding the island as the boats were pulled high on the shore. Sun- [126] beams sparkled on the deep blue waves, and the shining sand of the little bay was dazzling in its whiteness. The sea-birds, disturbed in their loneliness, swooped and screamed over the heads of the new-comers, but there was nobody else to dispute their possession.

Very soon the building of the new home was begun. Columba, tall and strong, with clever hands and clever brain, planned and worked himself, and directed the others. One by one the huts were finished and the little chapel built, and then the monastery was complete. The King of that part of the country, knowing Columba, gave him the island for his own, and so there was no fear that the monks would be disturbed. There were other sounds now besides the screaming of sea-birds to be heard on Iona. There was the chapel bell calling the brothers to prayer; there was the music of the morning and evening hymns, and the cheerful busy sounds of daily work.

Then when all was set in order—fields prepared for harvest, cows brought over to give milk, and everything arranged for the daily life—Columba set out to begin the great work he had planned.

Far in the north lived the pagan King Brude, in a country where no Christian foot had ever trod. He was a strong and powerful King, and he sat in his grey northern castle fearing no man, for there was no army strong enough to march against him, and no one dared to withstand his power.

Who then were these strangers who came so boldly up to the gates and demanded an entrance? [127] They were not soldiers, for they carried no weapons; they wore only robes of coarse homespun, and their shaven heads were uncovered. Yet they bore themselves with a fearless air, and their leader spoke in a voice that seemed accustomed to command. Like a trumpet-call the words rang out, "Open the gates in the name of Christ."

"The gates shall not be opened," swore the King. "These men are workers of magic and of evil. Keep the gates barred."

Then the leader, who was Columba, lifted his head still higher, and those who saw him wondered at the look that shone on his face, while the brothers, seeing that look, were cheered and encouraged as if they too could see the angel who stood near and guided him.

There was a breathless silence as the people waited to see what the strange man would do next, and they saw him slowly lift his hand on high and make the sign of the cross. At that sign, as if opened by unseen hands, the gates swung back, the guards fled to right and left, and the way was clear for Columba to enter. Not as an enemy or the worker of evil magic, as the King had feared, did the great man come, but rather as a dove bearing the olive-branch of God's peace.

And as the gates of iron had opened to God's servant, so the gates of the King's heart were unlocked as he listened to the words of Columba's message. The victory which no earthly force and weapons could win, was won by God's unarmed messenger alone. The King and many of his people [128] were baptized, and the banner of Christ floated over the heathen citadel.

But although the King had become a Christian, there were still many people who hated Columba and his religion. The Druids, priests of the heathen religion, were very angry, and tried in every way to harm this man who had brought a new religion into their country. They could not bear to see the people listening to his teaching, and when it was time for evensong and the brethren were singing their evening hymn of praise, these Druids strove to drown the sound by making hideous noises and raising a terrible din. Little did they know the strength of that voice against which they were striving. Loud and clear rose the hymn of Columba, swelling into a great burst of praise which throbbed through the air and could be heard a mile away. Each word sounded distinctly, and it drowned the evil sounds of those pagan priests, and rose up to heaven as clear and pure as the song of a lark.

Wherever Columba preached and taught he also built a little church, and left behind some of the brethren to go on with the work of spreading God's light. So through all the land there was a chain of churches and the light grew ever brighter and brighter.

But it was always to Iona that Columba returned, and which he made his home. There he worked and prayed and gathered fresh strength to fight the good fight. There in his cell he made fair copies of the books he loved, and was ready to help any one who came to him for advice and [129] counsel. He was so kindly and patient, this great saint, that he never lost his temper, even when the visitors came and interrupted his work with unnecessary questions, and in their eagerness to embrace him knocked over his ink-horn and spilt his ink.

 



Harriette Taylor Treadwell

The Three Little Pigs


[Illustration]

Part 1 of 2

[1]

Once upon a time there were

three little pigs.

One morning the mother said,

"You must go out

and make your living."

So they all set out.


The first little pig met a man

with some straw.

He said, "Please give me some straw,

I want to build a house."

The man gave the little pig some straw.

Then the little pig made a house.


[Illustration]

[2]

Soon an old wolf came along.

He knocked at the door and said,

"Little pig, little pig, let me come in."


The little pig said,

"No, no, by the hair

of my chinny, chin, chin.

I won't let you in."


The wolf said,

"Then I'll huff and I'll puff,

and I'll blow your house in."

So he huffed and he puffed,

and he blew the house in.

Then he ate up the little pig.


[3]

The second little pig met a man

with some sticks.

He said, "Please give me some sticks,

I want to build a house."

The man gave the little pig some sticks,

and he built a house.


Then the old wolf came along.

He knocked at the door and said,

"Little pig, little pig, let me come in."


The little pig said,

"No, no, by the hair

of my chinny, chin, chin.

I won't let you in."


[Illustration]

[4]

The wolf said,

"Then I'll huff and I'll puff,

and I'll blow your house in."

So he huffed and he puffed,

and he blew the house in.

Then he ate up the little pig.


The third little pig met a man

with some bricks.

He said, "Please give me some bricks,

I want to build a house."

The man gave the little pig some bricks,

and he built a house.


Then the old wolf came along.

He knocked at the door and said,

"Little pig, little pig, let me come in."

The little pig said,

"No, no, by the hair

of my chinny, chin, chin.

I won't let you in."


[5]

"Then I'll huff and I'll puff,

and I'll blow your house in,"

said the wolf.


"You may huff and you may puff,

but you can not blow my house in,"

said the little pig.


The wolf huffed and he puffed,

and he huffed and he puffed.

But he could not blow the house in.

 



Robert Louis Stevenson

Windy Nights

Whenever the moon and stars are set,

Whenever the wind is high,

All night long in the dark and wet,

A man goes riding by.

Late in the night when the fires are out,

Why does he gallop and gallop about?


Whenever the trees are crying aloud,

And ships are tossed at sea,

By, on the highway, low and loud,

By at the gallop goes he.

By at the gallop he goes, and then

By he comes back at the gallop again.

 


  WEEK 13  

  Wednesday  


James Baldwin

George Washington and His Hatchet

WHEN George Washington was quite a little boy, his father gave him a hatchet. It was bright and new, and George took great delight in going about and chopping things with it.

He ran into the garden, and there he saw a tree which seemed to say to him, "Come and cut me down!"

George had often seen his father's men chop down the great trees in the forest, and he thought [60] that it would be fine sport to see this tree fall with a crash to the ground. So he set to work with his little hatchet, and, as the tree was a very small one it did not take long to lay it low.

Soon after that, his father came home.


[Illustration]

"Who has been cutting my fine young cherry tree?" he cried. "It was the only tree of its kind [61] in this country, and it cost me a great deal of money."

He was very angry when he came into the house.

"If I only knew who killed that cherry tree," he cried, "I would—yes, I would"—

"Father!" cried little George. "I will tell you the truth about it. I chopped the tree down with my hatchet."

His father forgot his anger.

"George," he said, and he took the little fellow in his arms, "George, I am glad that you told me about it. I would rather lose a dozen cherry trees than that you should tell one falsehood."

 



James Baldwin

Grace Darling

IT was a dark September morning. There was a storm at sea. A ship had been driven on a low rock off the shores of the Farne Islands. It had been broken in two by the waves, and half of it had been washed away. The other half lay yet on the rock, and those of the crew who were still alive were clinging to it. But the waves were dashing over it, and in a little while it too would be carried to the bottom.

Could any one save the poor, half-drowned men who were there?

[62] On one of the islands was a lighthouse; and there, all through that stormy night, Grace Darling had listened to the storm.

Grace was the daughter of the lighthouse keeper, and she had lived by the sea as long as she could remember.

In the darkness of the night, above the noise of the winds and waves, she heard screams and wild cries. When daylight came, she could see the wreck, a mile away, with the angry waters all around it. She could see the men clinging to the masts.

"We must try to save them!" she cried. "Let us go out in the boat at once!"

"It is of no use, Grace," said her father. "We cannot reach them."

He was an old man, and he knew the force of the mighty waves.

"We cannot stay here and see them die," said Grace. "We must at least try to save them."

Her father could not say, "No."

In a few minutes they were ready. They set off in the heavy lighthouse boat. Grace pulled one oar, and her father the other, and they made straight toward the wreck. But it was hard rowing against such a sea, and it seemed as though they would never reach the place.

At last they were close to the rock, and now [63] they were in greater danger than before. The fierce waves broke against the boat, and it would have been dashed in pieces, had it not been for the strength and skill of the brave girl.

But after many trials, Grace's father climbed upon the wreck, while Grace herself held the boat. Then one by one the worn-out crew were helped on board. It was all that the girl could do to keep the frail boat from being drifted away, or broken upon the sharp edges of the rock.

Then her father clambered back into his place. Strong hands grasped the oars, and by and by all were safe in the lighthouse. There Grace proved to be no less tender as a nurse than she had been brave as a sailor. She cared most kindly for the ship-wrecked men until the storm had died away and they were strong enough to go to their own homes.

All this happened a long time ago, but the name of Grace Darling will never be forgotten. She lies buried now in a little churchyard by the sea, not far from her old home. Every year many people go there to see her grave; and there a monument has been placed in honor of the brave girl. It is not a large monument, but it is one that speaks of the noble deed which made Grace Darling famous. It is a figure carved in stone of a woman lying at rest, with a boat's oar held fast in her right hand.

 



Lucy Fitch Perkins

The Twins Go Coasting


[Illustration]

Part 1 of 2

I

[17]

O NE spring morning, very early, while the moon still shone and every one else in the village was asleep, Menie and Monnie crept out of the dark entrance of their little stone house by the sea.

The entrance to their little stone house was long and low like a tunnel. The Twins were short and fat. But even if they were short they could not stand up straight in the tunnel.

So they crawled out on all fours. Nip and Tup came with them. Nip and Tup were on all fours, too, but they had run that way all their lives, so they could go much faster than the twins. They got out first.

Then they ran round in circles in the snow and barked at the moon. When Menie and Monnie came out of the hole, Tup jumped up to lick Monnie's face. He [18] bumped her so hard that she fell right into the snowbank by the entrance.

Monnie didn't mind a bit. She just put her two fat arms around Tup, and they rolled over together in the snow.

Monnie had on her fur suit, with fur hood and mittens, and it was hard to tell which was Monnie and which was Tup as they tumbled in the snow together.

Pretty soon Monnie picked herself up and shook off the snow. Then Tup shook himself, too. Menie was rolling over and over down the slope in front of the little stone house. His head was between his knees and his hands held his ankles, so he rolled just like a ball.

Nip was running round and round him and barking with all his might. They made strange shadows on the snow in the moonlight.

Monnie called to Menie. Menie straightened himself out at the bottom of the slope, picked himself up and ran back to her.

"What shall we play?" said Monnie.

[19] "Let's get Koko, and go to the Big Rock and slide downhill," said Menie.

"All right," said Monnie. "You run and get your sled."

Menie had a little sled which his father had made for him out of driftwood. No other boy in the village had one. Menie's father had searched the beach for many miles to find driftwood to make this sled.

The Eskimos have no wood but driftwood, and it is so precious that it is hardly ever used for anything but big dog sledges or spears, or other things which the men must have.

Most of the boys had sleds cut from blocks of ice. Menie's sled was behind the igloo. He ran to get it, and then the twins and the pups—all four—started for Koko's house.

Koko's house was clear at the other end of the village. But that was not far away, for there were only five igloos in the whole town.


[Illustration]

First there was the igloo where the twins lived. Next was the home of Akla, the [20] Angakok, and his two wives. Then there were two igloos where several families lived together. Last of all was the one where Koko and his father and mother and baby brother lived.

Koko was six. He was the twins' best friend.

II

The air was very still. There was not a sound anywhere except the barking of the pups, the voices of Menie and Monnie, and [21] the creaking sound of the snow under their feet as they ran.

The round moon was sailing through the deep blue sky and shining so bright it seemed almost as light as day.

There was one window in each igloo right over the tunnel entrance, and these windows shone with a dull yellow light.

In front of the village lay the sea. It was covered with ice far out from shore. Beyond the ice was the dark water out of which the sun would rise by and by.

There was nothing else to be seen in all the twins' world. There were no trees, no bushes even; nothing but the white earth, the shadows of the rocks and the snow-covered igloos, the bright windows, and the moon shining over all.

III

Menie and Monnie soon reached Koko's igloo. Menie and Nip got there first. Monnie came puffing along with Tup just a moment after.

Then the twins dropped on their hands [22] and knees in front of Koko's hut, and stuck their heads into the tunnel. Nip and Tup stuck their heads in, too.

They all four listened. There was not a sound to be heard except loud snores! The snores came rattling through the tunnel with such a frightful noise that the twins were almost scared.


[Illustration]

"They sleep out loud, don't they?" whispered Monnie.

"Let's wake them up," Menie whispered back.

Then the twins began to bark. "Ki-yi, ki-yi, ki-yi, ki-yi," just like little dogs!

Nip and Tup began to yelp, too. The snores and the yelps met in the middle of the tunnel and the two together made such a dreadful sound that Koko woke up at once. When he heard four barks he knew right away that it must be the twins and the little dogs.

So he stuck his head into the other end of the tunnel and called, "Keep still. You'll wake the baby! I'll be there in a minute."

[24] Very soon Koko popped out of the black hole. He was dressed in a fur suit and mittens just like the twins.


[Illustration]

 



Kate Greenaway

My Robin

Under the window is my garden

Where sweet, sweet flowers grow;

And in the pear tree dwells a robin—

The dearest bird I know.


Though I peep out betimes in the morning

Still the flowers are up the first;

Then I try and talk to the robin

And perhaps he'd chat—if he durst.

 


  WEEK 13  

  Thursday  


H. E. Marshall

How the Water Witch Warred with the Dane Folk

[43] And now while the people came and went, marvelling and praising the skill of him who had overcome the Goblin, men and women hurried hither and thither making gay the Hall.

The carving and gem work was much broken and destroyed by the fearful combat which had taken place within. The roof alone was quite unhurt. But beautiful tapestries gleaming with gold and colours were hung upon the walls, silken banners and embroideries were spread upon the benches, until the whole Hall glowed in splendour.

[44] Then came the king with all his knights and nobles to the great feast which was prepared. Never was there more splendid banquet. Hart Hall from end to end was filled with friends, and laughter, and rejoicing sounded through it.

Then when the feasting was over Hrothgar gave to Beowulf rich presents. A splendid banner he gave him richly sewed with gold, a helmet and coat of mail, a sword the hilt of which was all of twisted gold.

Eight splendid horses, too, were led into the court about the Hall. Their harness was all of gold, and upon one was a saddle gaily decorated and finely adorned with silver. It was the saddle upon which Hrothgar himself rode when he went forth to battle.

All these the king gave to Beowulf, and much wealth besides.

[45] And to his companions also, to the mighty heroes who were with their master, great treasure was given of swords and gold. Also for the man whom Grendel had slain Hrothgar ordered that much gold should be paid.

Then when the present-giving was over, the minstrel took his harp and sang. He sang of love and battle, and of the mighty deeds of heroes.

The singing ceased, and the noise of laughter and merriment burst forth once more. Around the board the cup-bearers carried the wine in vessels wondrously wrought.

Then came Queen Wealtheow forth once more, clad in splendid robes, wearing a golden crown upon her head, bearing in her hand a golden cup.

To the king she went where he sat with his sons and Beowulf beside him.

[46] "Accept this cup, my beloved Lord," she said, "and be thou happy. Far and near now hast thou peace. Hart Hall is cleansed of the Evil One."

Then to Beowulf she turned bearing the cup to him with friendly words. At his feet she laid a rich dress with bracelets and a collar of fine gold.

"Take this collar, dear Beowulf," she said, "and this mantle. Long mayest thou wear them and enjoy life. A deed hast thou done this night that shall be remembered for all time. Far as the seas circle the land shall it be told of thee. Take thou my thanks, and be thou a friend to my sons."

Then the queen went again to her place and sat beside the king.

Once more there was song and laughter throughout the Hall until the shadows of evening fell. Then the king and Beowulf [47] arose, and went forth to rest, each to his own chamber. But the Dane lords, as they had done so often before in days gone by, spread their beds and pillows upon the floor of the great Hall. For now that the Ogre was dead they had no more fear.

At the head of his bed each man placed his shield. Upon the bench near him stood his helmet, his sword and spear and coat of mail. Then each man lay down to rest secure and happy. For was not the terrible giant slain? No more was there need to watch and fear.

So silence and darkness fell upon the Hall, and all men sank to sleep.

But out on the wide moorland, far away in the Water Dragon's lake, there was one who waked and mourned. Over the dead body of her son Grendel's mother wept, desiring revenge.

[48] Very terrible was this Water Witch to look upon. Almost as fearful as her wicked son she was. And as the darkness fell upon the land she crept forth across the moorland to Hart Hall.

On and on she crept until she reached the door. Then in she rushed among the sleeping warriors, eager for slaughter. The fear and confusion were great. A wild cry rang through the Hall, and each man sprang to his feet seizing his sword and shield.

Then the Water Witch, finding herself discovered, made haste to be gone. No mind had she to face these swords and spears. But ere she went she stretched forth her hand and seized a warrior, and tightly holding him, she carried him off to the moor. And though her haste to be gone was great she found yet time to seize the hand of Grendel and take it with her to her dark dwelling.

[49] Great was the sound of woe throughout the Hall. For the warrior whom the Water Witch had carried off was a dear comrade of the king. He was the best beloved of all Hrothgar's thanes.

Now when messengers came running in all haste to the old king with the direful news, he was filled with grief and anger. His joy at the death of Grendel was all dashed with grief for the loss of his friend.

"Oh that Beowulf had been there," he moaned.

Then all men's thoughts turned to Beowulf. Quickly they ran to fetch him, and he, waked thus suddenly out of his sleep, came with his comrades wonderingly to the king where he awaited them.

The sun had not yet risen, and all the Hall was dim in grey shadow, as Beowulf and his men marched through it, breaking [50] the stillness with the clang of their weapons and armour.

"My lord king," said Beowulf, as he reached the Gift-seat, "hath the night not passed fair and pleasantly with thee? Is some evil chance befallen that thy messengers seek me thus early?"

Hrothgar leaned his head upon his hand and sighed.

"Ask not thou of happiness," he moaned. "Sorrow is renewed to the Dane folk. My dearest comrade is dead, my friend and counsellor. Thou didst slay Grendel yesternight, but one hath come to avenge him, even his mother. She it is who hath carried off my dear warrior to slay and devour him in her dwelling.

"Scarce a mile hence lieth that grim lake. Dank trees overshadow it and no man knoweth its depth, for all shun the gloomy place. Yet if thou durst, seek it out. Rid me of this Water Witch, avenge [51] there the death of my comrade, and with treasure and twisted gold will I reward thee," and overcome with grief Hrothgar ceased from speaking.

"Sorrow not, O king," replied Beowulf. "It is ever better to avenge than to grieve for one's friend. To each of us must death come, and well for him then who hath done justice while he yet lived. Arise, O king, let us see quickly the track of Grendel's kin. I promise thee she shall not escape. Do thou but have patience this day, that only do I ask of thee."

Then up sprang the aged king. "May the gods be praised," he cried, "who have sent me such a man."

Quickly he gave orders that horses should be brought, and mounting, he rode forth with Beowulf. After them came a great train of warriors as across the moor they went, following the track of the Water Witch to her home.

[52] By rocky gorges and lonely ways over the murky moor they went, following always the gory track of the foe. At length they came to the place where gloomy trees hung over red and troubled waters. Upon the bank lay the head of that Dane warrior, Hrothgar's dear friend, and at the sight of it the knights were again filled with woe.

Upon the dark water there swam strange Sea Dragons, many kinds of snakes and savage worms. But when they saw the company of Danes upon the bank, and heard the blast of the war-horn, they fled swimming away, diving into the depths.

Yet ere they vanished Beowulf drew his bow and shot one of them. Then quickly with boar-spears and hooks the warriors drew him to land, and as he lay there dead they gazed in wonder upon the grisly monster.

[53] And now once more did Beowulf prepare himself for battle. He wore his trusty coat of steel, and upon his head was a wondrously wrought helmet, through which no sword might bite.

Then as Beowulf made ready, Hunferth came to him. In his hand he bare an ancient and famous sword named Hrunting. The edge of it was stained with poisonous twigs and hardened in gore. Never had it failed a man, who carrying it went forth to ways of terror and war. Many valiant deeds had it wrought.

And now Hunferth, remembering how he had taunted Beowulf, and in sorrow at the memory, brought the famous sword to the Goth hero.

Hunferth himself durst not venture his life amid the waves to do the deed, and thus fame was lost to him. But he was now eager to aid Beowulf. And the Goth, [54] who thought no longer of Hunferth's taunting words, received the sword right gladly.

Then Beowulf turned to King Hrothgar. "I am ready, O prince," he said, "for my journey. Let me but first call to thy mind what we have already spoken. If I for thy need lose my life, be thou a friend to my fellow-thanes. And do thou also send the treasure which thou hast given unto me to my king, Hygelac. Then by that gold may he know that I did fight manfully, and found in thee a noble rewarder.

"But to Hunferth I pray thee to give the curious war-sword which is among thy gifts, for he is a right noble warrior. With his Hrunting I will work renown, or death shall take me."

Then, waiting for no answer, Beowulf plunged into the dark lake and was lost to sight.

 



Clara Dillingham Pierson

The Frog Who Thought Herself Sick

[Illustration]

[177]

B Y the edge of the marsh lived a young Frog, who thought a great deal about herself and much less about other people. Not that it was wrong to think so much of herself, but it certainly was unfortunate that she should have so little time left in which to think of others and of the beautiful world.

Early in the morning this Frog would awaken and lean far over the edge of a pool to see how [178] she looked after her night's rest. Then she would give a spring, and come down with a splash in the cool water for her morning bath. For a while she would swim as fast as her dainty webbed feet would push her, then she would rest, sitting in the soft mud with just her head above the water.

When her bath was taken, she had her breakfast, and that was the way in which she began her day. She did nothing but bathe and eat and rest, from sunrise to sunset. She had a fine, strong body, and had never an ache or a pain, but one day she got to thinking, "What if sometime I should be sick?" And then, because she thought about nothing but her own self, she was soon saying, "I am afraid I shall be sick." In a little while longer it was, "I certainly am sick."

She crawled under a big toadstool, and sat there looking very glum indeed, until a Cicada came along. She told the Cicada [179] how sick she felt, and he told his cousins, the Locusts, and they told their cousins, the Grasshoppers, and they told their cousins, the Katydids, and then everybody told somebody else, and started for the toadstool where the young Frog sat. The more she had thought of it, the worse she felt, until, by the time the meadow people came crowding around, she was feeling very sick indeed.

"Where do you feel badly?" they cried, and, "How long have you been sick?" and one Cricket stared with big eyes, and said, "How dr-r-readfully she looks!" The young Frog felt weaker and weaker, and answered in a faint little voice that she had felt perfectly well until after breakfast, but that now she was quite sure her skin was getting dry, and "Oh dear!" and "Oh dear!"

Now everybody knows that Frogs breathe through their skins as well as through their noses, and for a Frog's skin [180] to get dry is very serious, for then he cannot breathe through it; so, as soon as she said that, everybody was frightened and wanted to do something for her at once. Some of the timid ones began to weep, and the others bustled around, getting in each other's way and all trying to do something different. One wanted to wrap her in mullein leaves, another wanted her to nibble a bit of the peppermint which grew near, a third thought she should be kept moving, and that was the way it went.

Just when everybody was at his wits' end, the old Tree Frog came along. "Pukr-r-rup! What is the matter with you?" he said.

"Oh!" gasped the young Frog, weakly, "I am sure my skin is getting dry, and I feel as though I had something in my head."

"Umph!" grunted the Tree Frog to himself. "I guess there isn't enough in her head to ever make her sick; and, as [181] for her skin, it isn't dry yet, and nobody knows that it ever will be."

But as he was a wise old fellow and had learned much about life, he knew he must not say such things aloud. What he did say was, "I heard there was to be a great race in the pool this morning."

The young Frog lifted her head quite quickly, saying: "You did? Who are the racers?"

"Why, all the young Frogs who live around here. It is too bad that you cannot go."

"I don't believe it would hurt me any," she said.

"You might take cold," the Tree Frog said; "besides, the exercise would tire you."

"Oh, but I am feeling much better," the young Frog said, "and I am certain it will do me good."

"You ought not to go," insisted all the older meadow people. "You really ought not."

[182] "I don't care," she answered, "I am going anyway, and I am just as well as anybody."

And she did go, and it did seem that she was as strong as ever. The people all wondered at it, but the Tree Frog winked his eyes at them and said, "I knew that it would cure her." And then he, and the Garter Snake, and the fat, old Cricket laughed together, and all the younger meadow people wondered at what they were laughing.

 



Kate Greenaway

To the Sun Door

They saw it rise in the morning,

They saw it set at night,

And they longed to go and see it;

Ah, if they only might.


The little soft white clouds heard them,

And stepped from out of the blue,

And each laid a little child softly

Upon its bosom of dew.


And they carried them higher and higher,

And they nothing knew any more

Until they were standing waiting

In front of the round gold door.


And they knocked and called and entreated,

Whoever should be within;

But all to no purpose, for no one

Would hearken to let them in.

 


  WEEK 13  

  Friday  


Edward Eggleston

How Washington Got Out of a Trap

AFTER the battle of Trenton, Washington went back across the Delaware River. He had not men enough to fight the whole British army.

But the Americans were glad when they heard [64] that he had beaten the Hessians. They sent him more soldiers. Then he went back across the river to Trenton again.

There was a British general named Cornwallis. He marched to Trenton. He fought against Washington. Cornwallis had more men than Washington had. Night came, and they could not see to fight. There was a little creek between the two armies.

Washington had not boats enough to carry his men across the river. Cornwallis was sure to beat him if they should fight a battle the next morning.

Cornwallis said, "I will catch the fox in the morning."

He called Washington a fox. He thought he had him in a trap. Cornwallis sent for some more soldiers to come from Princeton in the morning. He wanted them to help him catch the fox.

But foxes sometimes get out of traps.

When it was dark, Washington had all his camp fires lighted. He put men to digging where the British could hear them. He made Cornwallis think that he was throwing up banks of earth and getting ready to fight in the morning.

But Washington did not stay in Trenton. He did not wish to be caught like a fox in a trap. He could not get across the river. But he knew a road that went round the place where Cornwallis and his [65] army were. He took that road and got behind the British army.

It was just like John waiting to catch James. James is in the house. John is waiting at the front door to catch James when he comes out. But James slips out by the back way. John hears him call "Hello!" James has gone round behind him and got away.

Washington went out of Trenton in the darkness. You might say that he marched out by the back door. He left Cornwallis watching the front door. The Americans went away quietly. They left a few men to keep up the fires, and make a noise like digging. Before morning these slipped away too.


[Illustration]

When morning came, Cornwallis went to catch his fox. But the fox was not there.

[66] He looked for the Americans. There was the place where they had been digging. Their camp fires were still burning. But where had they gone?

Cornwallis thought that Washington had crossed the river by some means. But soon he heard guns firing away back toward Princeton. He thought that it must be thunder. But he found that it was a battle. Then he knew that Washington had gone to Princeton.

Washington had marched all night. When he got to Princeton, he met the British coming out to go to Trenton. They were going to help Cornwallis to catch Washington. But Washington had come to Princeton to catch them. He had a hard fight with the British at Princeton. But at last he beat them.

When Cornwallis knew that the Americans had gone to Princeton, he hurried there to help his men. But it was too late. Washington had beaten the British at Princeton, and had gone on into the hills, where he was safe.

The fox had got out of the trap.

 



Edward Eggleston

Washington's Last Battle

[67] WASHINGTON had been fighting for seven years to drive the British soldiers out of this country. But there were still two strong British armies in America.

One of these armies was in New York. It had been there for years. The other army was far away at Yorktown in Virginia. The British general at Yorktown was Cornwallis. You have read how Washington got away from him at Trenton.

The King of France had sent ships and soldiers to help the Americans. But still Washington had not enough men to take New York from the British. Yet he went on getting ready to attack the British in New York. He had ovens built to bake bread for his men. He bought hay for his horses. He had roads built to draw his cannons on.

He knew that the British in New York would hear about what he was doing. He wanted them to think that he meant to come to New York and fight them. When the British heard what the Americans were doing, they got ready for the coming of Washington and the French.

[68] All at once they found that Washington had gone. He and his men had marched away. The French soldiers that had come to help him had gone with him.

Nobody knew what it meant. Washington's own men did not know where they were going. They went from New Jersey into Pennsylvania. Then they marched across Pennsylvania. Then they went into Maryland. They marched across that State, and then they went into Virginia.

By this time everybody could tell where Washington was going. People could see that he was going straight to Yorktown. They knew that Washington was going to fight his old enemy at Yorktown.

But he had kept his secret long enough. The British in New York could not send help to Cornwallis. It was too late. The French ships sailed to Virginia, and shut up Yorktown on the side of the sea. Washington's men shut it up on the side of the land. They built great banks of earth round it. On these banks of earth they put cannons.

The British could not get away. They fought bravely. But the Americans and French came closer and closer.

Then the British tried to fight their way out. But they were driven back. Then Cornwallis tried [69] to get his men across the river. He wanted to get out by the back door, as Washington had done. But the Americans on the other side of the river drove them back again. Washington had now caught Cornwallis in a trap.

The Americans fired red-hot cannon balls into Yorktown. These set the houses on fire. At last Cornwallis had to give up. The British marched out and laid down their guns and swords.

The British army in New York could not fight the Americans by itself. So the British gave it up. Then there was peace after the long war. The British pulled down the British flag and sailed away. The country was free at last.

 



Ellen C. Babbitt

The Princes and the Water-Sprite

[63]

O NCE upon a time a king had three sons. The first was called Prince of the Stars. The next was called the Moon Prince and the third was called the Sun Prince. The king was so very happy when the third son was born that he promised to give the queen any boon she might ask.

The queen kept the promise in mind, waiting until the third son was grown before asking the king to give her the boon.

On the twenty-first birthday of the Sun Prince she said to the king, "Great King, when our youngest child was born you said you would give me a boon. Now I ask you to give the kingdom to Sun Prince."

But the king refused, saying that the kingdom must go to the oldest son, for it belonged by right to him. Next it would belong by right to the second son, and not until they were both dead could the kingdom go to the third son.

[64] The queen went away, but the king saw that she was not pleased with his answer. He feared that she would do harm to the older princes to get them out of the way of the Sun Prince.

So he called his elder sons and told them that they must go and live in the forest until his death. "Then come back and reign in the city that is yours by right," he said. And with tears he kissed them on the foreheads and sent them away.

As they were going down out of the palace, after saying good-by to their father, the Sun Prince called to them, "Where are you going?"

And when he heard where they were going and why, he said, "I will go with you, my brothers."

So off they started. They went on and on and by and by they reached the forest. There they sat down to rest in the shade of a pond. Then the eldest brother said to Sun Prince, "Go down to the pond and bathe and drink. Then bring us a drink while we rest here."

Now the King of the Fairies had given this pond to a water-sprite. The Fairy King had said to the water-sprite, "You are to have in your power all who go down into the water except those who give the [65] right answer to one question. Those who give the right answer will not be in your power. The question is, 'What are the Good Fairies like?' "


[Illustration]

The Sun Prince went into the pond.

When the Sun Prince went into the pond the water-sprite saw him and asked him the question, "What are the Good Fairies like?"

"They are like the Sun and the Moon," said the Sun Prince.

"You don't know what the Good Fairies are like," [66] cried the water-sprite, and he carried the poor boy down into his cave.

By and by the eldest brother said, "Moon Prince, go down and see why our brother stays so long in the pond!"

As soon as the Moon Prince reached the water's edge the water-sprite called to him and said, "Tell me what the Good Fairies are like!"

"Like the sky above us," replied the Moon Prince.

"You don't know, either," said the water-sprite, and dragged the Moon Prince down into the cave where the Sun Prince sat.

"Something must have happened to those two brothers of mine," thought the eldest. So he went to the pond and saw the marks of the footsteps where his brothers had gone down into the water. Then he knew that a water-sprite must live in that pond. He girded on his sword, and stood with his bow in his hand.

The water-sprite soon came along in the form of a woodsman.


[Illustration]

The water-sprite in the form of a woodman.

"You seem tired, Friend," he said to the prince. "Why don't you bathe in the lake and then lie on the bank and rest?"

[67] But the prince knew that it was a water-sprite and he said, "You have carried off my brothers!"

"Yes," said the water-sprite.

"Why did you carry them off?"

"Because they did not answer my question," said the water-sprite, "and I have power over all who go down into the water except those who do give the right answer."

[68] "I will answer your question," said the eldest brother. And he did. "The Good Fairies are like

The pure in heart who fear to sin,

The good, kindly in word and deed."

"O Wise Prince, I will bring back to you one of your brothers. Which shall I bring?" said the water-sprite.

"Bring me the younger one," said the prince. "It was on his account that our father sent us away. I could never go away with Moon Prince and leave poor Sun Prince here."

"O Wise Prince, you know what the good should do and you are kind. I will bring back both your brothers," said the water-sprite.

After that the three princes lived together in the forest until the king died. Then they went back to the palace. The eldest brother was made king and he had his brothers rule with him. He also built a home for the water-sprite in the palace grounds.

 



Anonymous

April

When April was asked whether

She could bring reliable weather,

She laughed till she cried

And said, "I have tried,

But things will get so mixed up together."