Text of Plan #426
  WEEK 14  

  Monday  


Lawton B. Evans

Old Silver Leg

THE Dutch took possession of the Hudson River settlements, and for forty years their Governor ruled over the colony at the mouth of the river. They called their town, New Amsterdam. Traders came from Holland to traffic with the Indians, and to bring supplies to the merchants of the town. The fat old burghers sat on the door-steps of their quaint Dutch homes, and smoked their pipes of peace, perfectly satisfied with themselves and with all the world.

At last came Peter Stuyvesant from Holland to [59] govern the colony. He had been a fine soldier, and had lost a leg by fighting in the West Indies. He had a wooden leg, of which he was so proud that he had silver bands put around it as ornaments. He used to tap it with his heavy stick and say, "I value this old wooden leg more than all my other limbs put together." The people called him "Old Silver Leg."

Peter was very high-tempered and obstinate. He made his own laws and had them obeyed; but they were very good laws and he was a just old governor, even if he was cross at times. He had a Council of nine men, chosen by himself, but as they were self-satisfied and sleepy old merchants, all they did was to smoke their pipes and hear what Stuyvesant had to say.

If the people did not suit him, or quarreled among themselves, or disobeyed his laws, the irate old man would berate them with his heavy stick, and storm up and down the village streets. But as he was generally right in all he did and required, the people let him have his way, however much he belabored some of them over their backs. Meanwhile, the colony prospered, the Indians were friendly, ships came and went, schools and churches were opened, and the people were contented and happy.

[60] And so the years went by, until the English settlements, up in Connecticut, began to worry the Dutch. As a matter of fact the English still claimed the land the Dutch had occupied, because the territory had been explored by John Cabot, an Englishman, and because Henry Hudson was an Englishman, even if he did sail under a Dutch flag. At last the King of England boldly gave the Dutch colony to his brother, the Duke of York, and told him to go and take possession. This was not very just, but it was the way kings did things in those days.

Stuyvesant was in Boston when he heard of those high-handed plans, and he at once sent word to the Dutch to prepare for war. The Council met and decided to build defenses for their town; but as this cost money and as the people were very thrifty, and as the enemy was not in sight, the poor little city got no fortifications at all.

When the English fleet appeared off the coast of New Amsterdam, demanding the surrender of the town, the people ran to their houses and hid themselves, praying for the brave old Governor to come home and tell them what to do. When Stuyvesant returned from Boston he was in a great rage because nothing had been done. He stormed and threatened the Council for not obeying his [61] orders, and he swore he would not surrender his town.

The burghers listened with dismay. The English commander had told them to surrender, and they could live peaceably under the English flag. Otherwise he would destroy their town and drive them away. They did not care whose flag they lived under so long as they were let alone. English or Dutch, it was all one to the peace-living merchants of New Amsterdam.

They showed Stuyvesant a copy of the summons to surrender. But he thrust it in his pocket, and told the Council to go home; he would defend the colony all by himself, he said. The burgomasters called a meeting of the people, who agreed to surrender the town, and a note was sent to Stuyvesant to that effect. He used the note to light his pipe, and made no reply.

Governor Winthrop, of Connecticut, wrote him a letter, advising him to surrender. The burgomasters came in a body to present this communication. But Stuyvesant tore it into bits, threw the pieces in the face of the nearest man, hit another over the head with his pipe, and kicked the rest down stairs with his wooden leg. "You are a pack of cowards," he called after them. "Out of my sight! I have done with you!"

[62] In the meantime, the English had sent their own men among the Dutch, and had told them of the terrible things that would happen to them if they did not surrender. On the other hand, they were promised they would not be molested if they quietly gave up their town.

And so the Dutch, who loved their stores, houses, gardens and cattle, and cared little for the Dutch flag, decided they would surrender anyhow. When Stuyvesant heard of it, he swore a great oath, but had to agree, for there was nothing else to do.

The treaty of surrender was brought to him to sign. He threw away the pen and tore up the paper. The next day the people gathered in a crowd before his house, and harangued him for three hours. They put the treaty on the end of a pole and thrust it up to his window. At last he signed it, threw it out, and closed the shutters. The British then entered the city, and changed the name from New Amsterdam to New York.

Stuyvesant retired to his farm on Manhattan Island, where he lived quietly the rest of his days, dying at the ripe old age of eighty years.

 



Clara Dillingham Pierson

The Katydids' Quarrel

[Illustration]

[183]

T HE warm summer days were past, and the Katydids came again to the meadow. Everybody was glad to see them, and the Grasshoppers, who are cousins of the Katydids, gave a party in their honor.

Such a time as the meadow people had getting ready for that party! They did not have to change their dresses, but they scraped and cleaned themselves, and all the young Grasshoppers went off by [184] the woods to practise jumping and get their knees well limbered, because there might be games and dancing at the party, and then how dreadful it would be if any young Grasshopper should find that two or three of his legs wouldn't bend easily!

The Grasshoppers did not know at just what time they ought to have the party. Some of the meadow people whom they wanted to invite were used to sleeping all day, and some were used to sleeping all night, so it really was hard to find an hour at which all would be wide-awake and ready for fun. At last the Tree Frog said: "Pukr-r-rup! Pukr-r-rup! Have it at sunset!" And at sunset it was.

Everyone came on time, and they hopped and chattered and danced and ate a party supper of tender green leaves. Some of the little Grasshoppers grew sleepy and crawled among the plantains for a nap. Just then a big Katydid said he would sing a song—which was a very [185] kind thing for him to do, because he really did it to make the others happy, and not to show what a fine musician he was. All the guests said, "How charming!" or, "We should be delighted!" and he seated himself on a low swinging branch. You know Katydids sing with the covers of their wings, and so when he alighted on the branch he smoothed down his pale green suit and rubbed his wing-cases a little to make sure that they were in tune. Then he began loud and clear, "Katy did! Katy did!! Katy did!!!"

Of course he didn't mean any real Katy, but was just singing his song. However, there was another Katydid there who had a habit of contradicting, and he had eaten too much supper, and that made him feel crosser than ever; so when the singer said "Katy did!" this cross fellow jumped up and said, "Katy didn't! Katy didn't!! Katy didn't!!!" and they kept at it, one saying that she [186] did and the other that she didn't, until everybody was ashamed and uncomfortable, and some of the little Grasshoppers awakened and wanted to know what was the matter.

Both of the singers got more and more vexed until at last neither one knew just what he was saying—and that, you know, is what almost always happens when people grow angry. They just kept saying something as loud and fast as possible and thought all the while that they were very bright—which was all they knew about it.

Suddenly somebody noticed that the one who began to say "Katy did!" was screaming "Katy didn't!" and the one who had said "Katy didn't!" was roaring "Katy did!" Then they all laughed, and the two on the branch looked at each other in a very shamefaced way.

The Tree Frog always knew the right thing to do, and he said "Pukr-r-rup!" [187] so loudly that all stopped talking at once. When they were quiet he said: "We will now listen to a duet, 'Katy,' by the two singers who are up the tree. All please join in the chorus." So it was begun again, and both the leaders were good-natured, and all the Katydids below joined in with "did or didn't, did or didn't, did or didn't." And that was the end of the quarrel.

 



Christina Georgina Rossetti

The Bow That Bridges Heaven

Boats sail on the rivers,

And ships sail on the seas,

But clouds that sail across the skies

Are prettier than these.

There are bridges in the river

As pretty as you please,

But the bow that bridges heaven

And overtops the trees

And builds a roof from earth to sky

Is prettier far than these.

 


  WEEK 14  

  Tuesday  


Amy Steedman

Saint Columba

Part 2 of 2

There was much work to be done by the brothers of the monastery besides their life of prayer and praise. There was the corn to be sown, the harvest to be reaped, cows to be tended, and there was also a seal farm to be cared for on one of the islands close by, where young seals were reared.

"Cross now to the island of Mull," said Columba one day, "and on the open ground near the sea search for the thief Ere, who secretly came last night from the island of Colonsay. During the day he is trying to hide himself among the sandhills under his boat covered with hay, in order that he may cross over to the little island where our young seals are reared, and there, filling his boat with those he has cruelly slain, may return to his own dwelling."

In great haste the brothers set out, and very angry they were when they found this Ere skulking beneath his boat, just as Columba had said. They dragged him to their master with no gentle hands, and waited grimly for him to receive the punishment he deserved.

But the kindly eyes of the abbot only looked sorrowfully at the thief.

"Why dost thou transgress the divine command so often and steal the things of others?" he asked, [130] "Whenever thou art in want come to us, and thou shalt receive whatever needful things thou askest."

Then he ordered that he should be given food. The thief stood with downcast eyes, more truly punished than the brethren knew, and after that the young seals were left in peace.

Among the many travellers who came to Iona to see Columba and to be entertained at the monastery, there were sometimes kings and nobles of high degree, but their coming did not move the abbot as did the arrival of a single poor guest, for whom he would bid the brethren prepare a special welcome. In the midst of all his work he still had time to care for the weak and helpless of God's creatures. Calling one of the brothers to his cell, he gave him his directions.

"At the dawn of the third day from this," he said, "when sitting on the shore of the sea on the western side of the island, I would have thee keep careful watch. For a crane, a stranger from the northern part of Ireland, driven about by the winds through long flights, will come after the ninth hour of the day. It will be fatigued and very weary, and with its strength almost spent will light on the shore and lie down before thee. Treat it tenderly and carry it to a neighbouring house, and there, when it hath been kindly received, do thou house and feed it three days and three nights. Then when refreshed after the three days' rest, it is unwilling to tarry longer with us, it will return with renewed strength to the pleasant part of Ireland from which it came. [131] I earnestly commend it to thee, because it cometh from our own native place."

The brother did as Columba bade him, and when the crane arrived, weary and spent, he carried it in his arms to a safe shelter and tended it until the third day, when it was once more strong and well. Then the happy bird prepared for its homeward flight, and rising ever higher and higher in the air, searched out its way and flew straight for home, strengthened and refreshed by its visit to the saint, just as many a human heart, fainting and sore, won healing from that same kindly heart.

As time went on, Columba returned once or twice to Ireland; but he never stayed there long, for his heart was in his work and the "Island Soldier" was ever in the forefront of the battle.

It was once, when he was visiting the monastery of Saint Ceran in Ireland, that a great crowd came out to meet him, and the monks were obliged to shelter him under a wooden frame to prevent the people from pressing too closely upon him. There were all kinds of people in the crowd, rich and poor alike, all eager to reach the saint and receive his blessing, and among them was a poor boy belonging to the monastery. Now this boy, living as he did amongst the good brothers, ought to have learnt to be clean and neat, obedient and diligent, but that was exactly what he was not. His face and hands were grimy and dirty; his clothes were torn and untidy; he scarcely ever did what he was told to do; and he never did any work that he could possibly help doing. You would not have thought [132] that any good was hidden away under all that naughtiness, any more than you would think that a pearl could be hidden in an ugly oyster shell. But yet the pearl was there.

This boy, whose name was Ernene, pressed through the crowd that day with half-idle curiosity to see the saint, but when he caught a glimpse of that kind beautiful old face, a wild longing filled his heart. Beneath all his naughtiness there had always been a longing after good and beautiful things, and he had dreamed dreams of doing brave and noble deeds and following some great leader. Here then was the leader he had dreamed of, and the sight of his face woke up all the old desires after goodness and a noble life. But it was all so difficult. He was only a poor boy, with no strength to fight against the snares of the Wicked One, no hope of coming out victor in the fight. Surely though, if he could but get near enough to the saint to touch his robe, some of the wonderful strength the saint possessed might be given to him.

Slowly, then, he crept behind the moving figure, ever nearer and nearer, until at last one grimy little hand was stretched out, and caught for a moment the hem of Columba's robe. It was a swift movement, but the saint was quicker still, and with a sudden swing of his arm he turned and caught the boy by the back of his neck and swung him round in front.

There was an instant halt, and angry voices rose from those around. "Let him go, let him go," they cried. "Why touch that unhappy naughty lad?" But [133] no one dared to thrust the child away while Columba's hand still held him close. "Suffer it, brethren," said Columba gently; "suffer it to be so now."

Then he looked down at the poor little quaking form, shaken with terror and confusion. "My son," he said suddenly, "open thy mouth and put out thy tongue."

The boy obeyed instantly. The saint might mean to punish him in some dreadful way, but he was ready to do whatever that voice commanded.

But Columba had seen the shining pearl lying deep down in that little black heart, and he knew of that longing to do noble deeds. Very kindly he smiled into the frightened eyes of the child, and raised his hand, not to strike but to bless. Then he turned to the monks who stood wondering round.

"Though this lad now appears to you vile and worthless," he said, "let no one on that account despise him; for from this hour he shall not only not displease you, but shall greatly delight you. From day to day he shall gradually advance in good conduct, and great shall be his progress in your company. Moreover, to his tongue shall be given of God sound and learned eloquence."

There was no more carelessness, no more disobedience, no more idleness for Ernene after this. Day by day, everything evil and ugly that hid the pearl of good desire was gradually cleared away, and the boy grew to be one of the best and greatest of those who served God in the monastery. There was many a fight before the Evil One was beaten, but the tongue blessed by Columba learned to [134] speak only the words that were true and kindly and pure, and like the helm of a ship, although it was but a little thing, yet it held command over the whole body.

There is no room to tell of all the wonders and brave deeds and kindly acts of Saint Columba. It seemed as if there was nothing that he could not do, for he always believed that God would answer his prayers. When his servant Diomit was dying, Columba knelt by his bedside and prayed for his life, and the life was given back. When the brethren were out one day on a stormy sea in one of the frail hide-covered boats, it was again Columba's prayers that saved them. He had worked with all his might baling out the water, while the waves dashed over the side of the boat and threatened every moment to sink it.

"Pray to God for us," cried the brethren. "That is our only hope."

Then Columba stood up, drenched and blinded by the spray, and he stretched his hands out to heaven and prayed to the Master who once, in a little fishing-boat with His disciples, had met just such a storm as this. And as he prayed, in an instant the answer came. Winds and waves, as of old, knew when to obey the voice of command, and "there was a great calm."

Like his Master, too, Columba loved to seek some lonely quiet place where he could spend the time in prayer, and the place he loved best was the little hill behind the convent. The brothers sometimes wondered why he stayed there so long, [135] and once it happened that one of them, filled with curiosity, climbed up secretly to see what their abbot was doing. But the sight that he saw there put his prying eyes to shame, for it was a vision of angels that met his gaze. There, around the praying form of Columba, God's white-robed messengers hovered, waiting to carry his prayers up to the throne of God. So it is that the place is called the "Angels' Hill" to this day.

The years passed by and Columba, growing old and frail, knew that his work was nearly done and the end drawing nigh. He had half hoped that at Eastertide God would call him home, but knowing that the Easter joy of the others would then be turned into sadness, he waited patiently for God's good time.

The month of June had come. The island looked its fairest, decked in tender greens and embroidered with late spring flowers. The sea was at its bluest under the cloudless sky, and everything spoke of life and joy. But the hearts of the brethren in the monastery were heavy and sad. Each day they saw their beloved abbot growing more and more feeble, and they too knew the end was near. His steps now were slow and painful, and it was with difficulty that he made his way to the granary to bless the corn, as was his wont. As he went he leaned upon the shoulder of his faithful servant Diomit, but even then he could go but slowly; and coming back he sat down to rest at the wayside, for he was very weary. The white horse belonging to the monastery came by [136] as he sat there, and seeing its master, stopped and looked with wise, sorrowful eyes at the tired figure resting by the roadside. All animals loved Columba, and many a kind word and handful of corn had this horse received from the master's hand as it daily carried the milk pails to the monastery.

But to-day, in some curious way, the white horse saw the shadow of death which was already beginning to steal up over the waning life of the saint, and it came nearer and nearer until it nuzzled its head in Columba's bosom, giving little whinnying cries of distress while the tears filled its eyes. Diomit would have driven the creature off, but Columba would not allow that.

"Suffer him, since he loves me," he said, "to pour out his grief into my bosom. Thou, though thou art a man, could in no way have known of my departure if I had not told thee, but to this animal the Creator in His own way has revealed that his master is about to leave him."

Then, slowly rising, Columba lifted his hand and blessed the horse as it stood there with sorrowful hanging head.

Before returning home, the saint, weary as he was, climbed once more the little hill he loved, and there, looking down upon the monastery, he blessed it in words that have been carried down through all the years.

"To this place," he said, "small and mean though it be, not only the Kings of the Scots with their peoples, but also rulers of strange and foreign nations and their subjects, shall bring great honour [137] in no common measure, and by the saints of other churches shall no slight reverence be shown."

So the last blessing was given, and the work almost finished. Only a few verses of the Psalms remained to be copied, and these Columba sat writing when he returned to his hut.

"They that seek the Lord shall want no manner of thing that is good."

Slowly and carefully the words were written, and the work was finished.

"Here I shall stop," he said, and the pen was laid aside for ever.

The summer twilight lingered on long after the crimson banners of the sinking sun had faded into grey. Then one by one the stars came out, and a deep silence brooded over the monastery. Suddenly, as midnight struck, the chapel bell rang out clear and sharp, and in an instant there was a stir among the little huts as the brothers prepared to answer the call to prayer. Swiftly then a tall grey figure came running towards the chapel and entered the door. Diomit, hurrying after, paused and looked up at the windows in amazement. The whole chapel was filled with a blaze of light, and the glory was reflected in every window. What could it mean?

Hastening on he reached the door, but when he entered the light had faded and all within was thick darkness.

"My father, my father, where art thou?" cried Diomit, as he groped his way in with trembling outstretched hands. Then, as his eyes grew more [138] accustomed to the darkness, he dimly saw a figure lying silent and still before the altar. In a moment he was kneeling by Columba's side and raising him in his arms, while the rest of the brothers, bearing lights, came hurrying in.

There was a wild outburst of sobs and cries of grief as the brethren gathered round, but all sounds were hushed when they looked at the face of their dying master. It was no earthly joy that shone there, but a glory of shining happiness reflected from the angel faces which only his eyes could see. Diomit, praying for a last blessing, raised the master's hand, and as the sign was given, Columba's soul went home to God.

Kneeling round, the brothers sang the usual midnight service, their voices choked with sobs; and in their midst lay the quiet figure, the vision of angels still reflected upon the calm happy face.

 



Harriette Taylor Treadwell

The Three Little Pigs

Part 2 of 2

Then the wolf said, "Little pig,

I know of a fine field of turnips."


"Where is it?" said the pig.


"Down in the field," said the wolf.

"Will you go with me?

I will call for you in the morning.

Then we can get some for dinner."


"I will be ready," said the pig.

"What time shall we go?"


[6]

"At six o'clock," said the wolf.


The little pig got up at five o'clock,

and he went to the field.

He got some turnips and ran home.


The wolf came at six o'clock.

He knocked at the door and said,

"Little pig, are you ready?"


"I went at five o'clock," said the pig,

"and I have a pot full of turnips."


The wolf was angry, but he said,

"Little pig, I know of a fine apple-tree."


"Where is it?" said the pig.


"Down in the garden," said the wolf.

"Will you go with me in the morning?

I will come at five o'clock.

Then we can get some apples."


"I will go," said the pig.


[Illustration]

[7]

This time the little pig got up

at four o'clock.

He went to the garden,

and filled his bag with apples.

He was getting down,

when he saw the wolf.


The wolf was very angry, but he said,

"Little pig, are the apples good?"


"Very good," said the little pig.

"Let me throw you some."


[8]

The pig threw the apples far away.

The wolf ran to get them.

Then the little pig ran home.


The next day the wolf came again and said,

"Little pig, let us go to the fair."


"I will go in the morning," said the pig.

"What time shall we go?"


"Let us go at three o'clock," said the wolf.


The next morning the pig got up

at two o'clock.

He went to the fair and got a churn.

He was going home when he saw the wolf.

The little pig was frightened.

So he jumped into the churn to hide,

and it rolled down the hill.

The wolf saw the churn rolling

down the hill.

He was frightened, too, and ran home.


[Illustration]

[9]

Next morning the wolf went

to the little pig's house.

He said, "Little pig, I went to the fair.

I met a great round thing on the way.

It was rolling down the hill.

It frightened me and I ran home."


[10]

"I frightened you," said the pig.

"I went to the fair at two o'clock,

and I got a churn.

On the way home I saw you coming.

So I jumped into the churn,

and it rolled down the hill."


The wolf was now very angry.

"I shall come down the chimney," he said,

"and I shall eat you up."


The little pig made a fire.

He hung a pot of water over it.

Soon he heard the wolf coming

down the chimney.

He took the lid off the pot.

The wolf fell into it.


And the little pig had a good supper.


— English Folk Tale

 



Anonymous

Goldenrod

Tell me, sunny goldenrod,

Growing everywhere,

Did fairies come from fairyland

And make the dress you wear?


Did you get from mines of gold

Your bright and shining hue?

Or did the baby stars some night

Fall down and cover you?


I love you, laughing goldenrod,

And I will try, like you,

To fill each day with deeds of cheer;

Be loving, kind, and true.

 


  WEEK 14  

  Wednesday  


James Baldwin

The Story of William Tell

[64] THE people of Switzerland were not always free and happy as they are to-day. Many years ago a proud tyrant, whose name was Gessler, ruled over them, and made their lot a bitter one indeed.

One day this tyrant set up a tall pole in the public square, and put his own cap on the top of it; and then he gave orders that every man who came into the town should bow down before it. But there was one man, named William Tell, who would not do this. He stood up straight with folded arms, and laughed at the swinging cap. He would not bow down to Gessler himself.

When Gessler heard of this, he was very angry. He was afraid that other men would disobey, and that soon the whole country would rebel against him. So he made up his mind to punish the bold man.

William Tell's home was among the mountains, and he was a famous hunter. No one in all the land could shoot with bow and arrow so well as he. Gessler knew this, and so he thought of a cruel plan to make the hunter's own skill bring him to grief. He ordered that Tell's little boy should be made to stand up in the public square with an apple on his head; and then he bade Tell shoot the apple with one of his arrows.

[65] Tell begged the tyrant not to have him make this test of his skill. What if the boy should move? What if the bowman's hand should tremble? What if the arrow should not carry true?


[Illustration]

"Will you make me kill my boy?" he said.

"Say no more," said Gessler. "You must hit the apple with your one arrow. If you fail, my soldiers shall kill the boy before your eyes."

[66] Then, without another word, Tell fitted the arrow to his bow. He took aim, and let it fly. The boy stood firm and still. He was not afraid, for he had all faith in his father's skill.

The arrow whistled through the air. It struck the apple fairly in the center, and carried it away. The people who saw it shouted with joy.

As Tell was turning away from the place, an arrow which he had hidden under his coat dropped to the ground.

"Fellow!" cried Gessler, "what mean you with this second arrow?"

"Tyrant!" was Tell's proud answer, "this arrow was for your heart if I had hurt my child."

And there is an old story, that, not long after this, Tell did shoot the tyrant with one of his arrows; and thus he set his country free.

 



James Baldwin

Arnold Winkelried

A GREAT army was marching into Switzerland. If it should go much farther, there would be no driving it out again. The soldiers would burn the towns, they would rob the farmers of their grain and sheep, they would make slaves of the people.

[67] The men of Switzerland knew all this. They knew that they must fight for their homes and their lives. And so they came from the mountains and valleys to try what they could do to save their land. Some came with bows and arrows, some with scythes and pitchforks, and some with only sticks and clubs.

But their foes kept in line as they marched along the road. Every soldier was fully armed. As they moved and kept close together, nothing could be seen of them but their spears and shields and shin-ing armor. What could the poor country people do against such foes as these?

"We must break their lines," cried their leader; "for we cannot harm them while they keep together."

The bowmen shot their arrows, but they glanced off from the soldiers' shields. Others tried clubs and stones, but with no better luck. The lines were still unbroken. The soldiers moved steadily onward; their shields lapped over one another; their thousand spears looked like so many long bristles in the sunlight. What cared they for sticks and stones and huntsmen's arrows?

"If we cannot break their ranks," said the Swiss, "we have no chance for fight, and our country will be lost!"

[68] Then a poor man, whose name was Arnold Winkelried, stepped out.

"On the side of yonder mountain," said he, "I have a happy home. There my wife and children wait for my return. But they will not see me again, for this day I will give my life for my country. And do you, my friends, do your duty, and Switzerland shall be free."

With these words he ran forward. "Follow me!" he cried to his friends. "I will break the lines, and then let every man fight as bravely as he can."

He had nothing in his hands, neither club nor stone nor other weapon. But he ran straight onward to the place where the spears were thickest.

"Make way for liberty!" he cried, as he dashed right into the lines.

A hundred spears were turned to catch him upon their points. The soldiers forgot to stay in their places. The lines were broken. Arnold's friends rushed bravely after him. They fought with what-ever they had in hand. They snatched spears and shields from their foes. They had no thought of fear. They only thought of their homes and their dear native land. And they won at last.

Such a battle no one ever knew before. But Switzerland was saved, and Arnold Winkelried did not die in vain.

 



Lucy Fitch Perkins

The Twins Go Coasting

Part 2 of 2

IV

The three children went along together toward the Big Rock. Monnie rode on the sled, and Menie and Koko pulled it. The Big Rock was very straight up and down [25] on one side, and long and slanting on the other. The twins were going to coast down the slanting side.

They climbed to the top, and Menie had the first ride. He coasted down on his stomach with his little reindeer-skin kamiks (shoes) waving in the air.

Next Koko had a turn. What do you think he did? He stood straight up on the sled with the leather cord in his hand, and slid down that way! But then, you see, he was six.

When Monnie's turn came she wanted to go down that way, too. But Menie said, "No. You'd fall off and bump your nose! You have hardly any nose as it is, and you'd better save it!"

"I have as much nose as you have, anyway," said Monnie.

"Mine is bigger! I'm a boy!" said Menie.

Koko measured their noses with his finger.

"They are just exactly alike," he said.

Monnie turned hers up at Menie and said, "What did I tell you?"

[26] Menie never said another word about noses. He just changed the subject. He said, "Let's all slide down at once."

Koko and Menie sat down on the sled. Monnie sat on Menie. Then they gave a few hitches to the sled and off they went.

Whiz! How they flew!

The pups came running after them. In some places where it was very slippery the pups coasted, too! But they did not mean to. They did not like it. The sled was almost at the end of the slide when it struck a piece of ice. It flew around sideways and spilled all the children in the snow.


[Illustration]

[27] Just then Nip and Tup came sliding along behind them. They couldn't stop, so there they all were in a heap together, with the dogs on top!

Menie rolled over and sat up in the snow. He was holding on to the end of his nose. "Iyi, iyi!" he howled, "I bumped my nose on a piece of ice!"

Monnie sat up in the snow, too. She pointed her fur mitten at Menie's nose and laughed. "Don't you know you haven't much nose?" she said. "You ought to be more careful of it!"

Koko kicked his feet in the air and laughed at Menie, and the little dogs barked. Menie thought he'd better laugh, too. He had just let go of his nose to begin when all of a sudden the little dogs stopped barking and stood very still!

Their hair stood up on their necks and they began to growl!

"Hark, the dogs see something," said Menie.

Monnie and Koko stopped laughing and listened. They could not hear anything. [28] They could not see anything. Still Nip and Tup growled. The twins and Koko were children of brave hunters, so, although they were scared, they crept very quietly to the side of the Big Rock and peeped over.


[Illustration]

Just that minute there was a dreadful growl! "Woof!" It was very loud, and very near, and down on the beach a shadow [29] was moving! It was the shadow of a great white BEAR!

He was looking for fish and was cross because everything was frozen, and he could not find any on the beach.

The moment they saw him, the twins and Koko turned and ran for home as fast as ever their short legs could go! They did not even stop to get the precious sled. They just ran and ran.

Nip and Tup ran, too, with their ears back and their little tails stuck straight out behind them!

If they had looked back, they would have seen the bear stand up on his hind legs and look after them, then get down on all fours and start toward the Big Rock on a run.

But neither the children nor the little dogs looked back! They just ran with all their might until they reached the twins' igloo. Then they all dived into the tunnel like frightened rabbits.


[Illustration]

[30]

V

When they came up in the one little room of the igloo at the other end of the tunnel Kesshoo and Koolee were just crawling out of the warm fur covers of their bed. Menie and Monnie and Koko and the little dogs all began to talk at once.

The moment the twins' father and mother heard the word—bear- they jumped off the sleeping-bench and began to put on their clothes.

They both wore fur trousers and long kamiks, with coats of fur, so they looked almost as much alike in their clothes as the twins did in theirs.

[31] The mother always wore her hair in a topknot on top of her head, tied with a leather thong. But now she wanted to make the bear think she was a man, too, so she pulled it down and let it hang about her face, just as her husband did.

In two minutes they were ready. Then the father reached for his lance, the mother took her knife, and they all crawled out of the tunnel.


[Illustration]

The father went first, then the mother, [32] then the three children and the pups. At the opening of the tunnel the father stopped, and looked all around to see if the bear were near.

The dogs in the village knew by this time that some strange animal was about, and the moment Kesshoo came out into the moonlight and started for the Big Rock, all the dogs ran, too, howling like a pack of wolves.

Kesshoo shouted back to his wife, "There really is a bear! I see him by the Big Rock; call the others."

So she sent Monnie into the igloo of the Angakok, and Menie and Koko into the next huts. She herself screamed, "A bear! A bear!" into the tunnel of Koko's hut.

The people in the houses had heard the dogs bark and were already awake. Soon they came pouring out of their tunnels armed with knives and lances. The women had all let down their hair, just as the twins' mother did. Each one carried her knife.

[33] They all ran toward the Big Rock, too. Far ahead they could see the bear, and the dogs bounding along, and Kesshoo running with his lance in his hand.

Then they saw the dogs spring upon the bear. The bear stood up on his hind legs and tried to catch the dogs and crush them in his arms. But the dogs were too nimble. The bear could not catch them.

When Kesshoo came near, the bear gave a great roar, and started for him. The brave Kesshoo stood still with his lance in his hand, until the bear got quite near. Then he ran at the bear and plunged the lance into his side. The lance pierced the bear's heart. He groaned, fell to the ground, rolled over, and was still.

Then how everybody ran! Koko's mother had her baby in her hood, where Eskimo mothers always carry their babies. She could not run so fast as the others. The Angakok was fat, so he could not keep up, but he waddled along as fast as he could.

"Hurry, hurry," he called to his wives. "Bespeak one of his hind legs for me."

[34] Menie and Monnie and Koko had such short legs they could not go very fast either, so they ran along with the Angakok, and Koko's mother, and Nip and Tup.

When they reached the bear they found all the other people crowded around it. Each one stuck his fingers in the bear's blood and then sucked his fingers. This was because they wanted all bears to know how they longed to kill them. As each one tasted the blood he called out the part of the bear he would like to have.

The wives of the Angakok cried, "Give a hind leg to the Angakok."

"The kidneys for Koko," cried Koko's mother when she stuck in her finger. "That will make him a great bear-hunter when he is big."

"And I will have the skin for the twins' bed," said their mother.

Kesshoo promised each one the part he asked for. An Eskimo never keeps the game he kills for himself alone. Every one in the village has a share.

[35] The bear was very large. He was so large that though all the women pulled together they could not drag the body back to the village. The men laughed at them, but they did not help them.

So Koolee ran back for their sledge and harnesses for the dogs. Koko and Menie helped her catch the dogs and hitch them to the sledge.

It took some time to catch them for the dogs did not want to work. They all ran away, and Tooky, the leader of the team, pretended to be sick! Tooky was the mother of Nip and Tup, and she was a very clever dog. While Koolee and Koko and Menie were getting the sledge and dog-team ready, the rest of the women set to work with their queer crooked knives to take off the bear's skin. The moon set, and the sky was red with the colors of the dawn before this was done.

At last the meat was cut in pieces and Kesshoo and Koko's father held the dogs while the women heaped it on the sledge. The dogs wanted the meat. They jumped and howled and tried to get away.

[36] When everything was ready, Koolee cracked the whip at the dogs. Tooky ran ahead to her place as leader, the other dogs began to pull, and the whole procession started back to the village, leaving a great red stain on the clean white snow where the bear had been killed.


[Illustration]

Last of all came the twins and Koko. They had loaded the bear's skin on Menie's sled.

"It's a woman's work to pull the meat home. We men just do the hunting and fishing," Menie said to Koko. They had heard the men say that.

"Yes, we found  the bear," Koko answered. "Monnie can pull the skin home."

And though Monnie had found the bear [37] just as much as they had, she didn't say a word. She just pulled away on the sled, and they all reached the igloo together just as the round red sun came up out of the sea, and threw long blue shadows far across the fields of snow.


[Illustration]

 



William Brighty Rands

The Peddler's Caravan

I wish I lived in a caravan,

With a horse to drive like a peddler-man!

Where he comes from nobody knows,

Or where he goes to, but on he goes!


His caravan has windows two,

And a chimney of tin, that the smoke comes through;

He has a wife, with a baby brown,

And they go riding from town to town.


Chairs to mend, and delf to sell!

He clashes the basins like a bell;

Tea trays, baskets ranged in order,

Plates, with alphabets round the border!


The roads are brown, and the sea is green,

But his home is like a bathing-machine;

The world is round, and he can ride,

Rumble and splash, to the other side!


With the peddler-man I should like to roam,

And write a book when I came home;

All the people would read my book,

Just like the Travels of Captain Cook!

 


  WEEK 14  

  Thursday  


H. E. Marshall

How Beowulf Overcame the Water Witch

[55] Down and down and down Beowulf dived. It seemed to him that he dived for a whole day's space ere he reached the bottom of that dark lake.

But as soon as he touched the water, the grim and greedy Water Witch knew by the movement of the waves that a mortal man was coming. So she made ready to seize the daring one in her horrid clutches.

No sooner then did Beowulf near the bottom than he was grasped by long and skinny fingers. The fingers crushed him, and tore at him, but so strong and trusty was his coat of mail that the Water Witch could in no wise hurt him.

[56] Then seeing that she could not so easily as she had hoped harm him, she dragged him into her dwelling. And so fast was Beowulf in her clutches that he could not unsheath his sword.

As the Water Witch dragged Beowulf along, wondrous sea-brutes followed them. Beasts they were with terrible tusks, shining scales and sharp fins. With these they attacked the hero so fiercely that his armour was rent, yet was he unwounded.

At last the Water Witch reached a great cave. Here there was no water, and a fire burned with a strange weird flame, lighting up the vast dim place.

Then by the pale light of the goblin fire Beowulf saw that it was no other than Grendel's mother, the Water Witch, who held him. And he knew that the time for battle had come.

With a mighty effort he wrenched him- [57] self free. Then drawing the sword Hrunting which Hunferth had given him, he dealt with it many great blows. But all his strength was vain. Hrunting, so famous in many battles, was useless against the Water Witch. No harm could the warrior do to her.

Then in wrath Beowulf threw the shining blade upon the ground. He would trust no more in weapons but with his hands alone would he fight.

Seizing the Water Witch by the shoulders, he dragged her downwards. But she grappled with him fiercely. Then was there a fearful fight in that dim hall, deep under the water, far from all hope of help.

Back and forth the two swayed, the strong warrior in armour and the direful Water Witch. So strong was she that at last she bore him to the ground and [58] kneeled upon his breast. She drew her dagger. Now she would avenge her son, her only son.


[Illustration]

She bore him to the ground and kneeled upon his breast

The dagger shone and fell again and yet again. And then truly Beowulf's last hour had come had his armour not been of such trusty steel. But through it neither point nor edge of dagger might pierce. The blows of the Water Witch were all in vain, and again Beowulf sprang to his feet.

And now among the many weapons with which the walls were hung, Beowulf saw a huge sword. It seemed the work of giants. Its edge was keen and bright, the hilt of glittering gold.

Quickly Beowulf grasped the mighty weapon. And now fighting for his very life he swung it fiercely, and smote with fury.

Down upon the floor sank the Water Witch, and from the red-dyed blade a [59] sudden flame shone out, and all the cave was lighted up.

Curiously Beowulf gazed around him. Dead at his feet lay the Water Witch, and hard by on a couch lay the body of Grendel.

Then Beowulf was minded to bear away with him some prize. So once more swinging the great sword, he smote off the Ogre's head.

Meanwhile far up above beyond the water-waves Hrothgar and his men and all Beowulf's comrades sat waiting and watching. And now as Beowulf smote off Grendel's head they saw the waves all dyed with blood.

Then the old men shook their heads and spoke together. They talked sadly of the brave champion who had gone alone beneath that awful water. For now that they saw the waves red-dyed they [60] had no longer hope that he would ever return. Nay, these red and turgid waters seemed to prove to them that the Water Witch had overcome Beowulf and torn him in pieces.

So as the hours passed, and Beowulf came no more, Hrothgar arose, and he and all his warriors sadly wended their way homeward. Nevermore did they hope to see the hero.

But Beowulf's comrades would not go. Sad at heart they sat by the lake's edge gazing into the water, wishing, but hardly hoping, that they might see their dear lord again.

And now far beneath the dark waves a strange thing happened. As Beowulf struck off the head of Grendel, the great sword began to melt away. More quickly than ice when the thaw is come melted the shining steel, until there was nothing [61] left but the golden hilt which Beowulf held in his hand. Such was the poison of the Ogre's blood.

Beowulf gazed in wonder at the miracle. Then he made haste to be gone. All around him lay great treasure. Gold and gems gleamed in the pale firelight. Yet of it all Beowulf took nothing save the hilt of the sword wherewith he had slain the Water Witch.

Hunferth's sword, Hrunting, he once more hung at his side, then, with the grisly head of Grendel in his hand, he dived up through the waves. And as he swam through it, all the water was made pure and clear again, for the power of the grim Ogre was over for ever.

Long time Beowulf swam upwards, but at last he reached the surface and sprang to land. Then round him, greatly rejoicing, crowded his thanes. Quickly they [62] loosed his helmet and coat of mail, and joyed to find that he had suffered no hurt.


[Illustration]

They carried with them the hideous head of Grendel

Then right merrily they turned back to Hart Hall. With them they carried the hideous head of Grendel, which was so huge and heavy that it had need of four of them to bear it. Yet gladly they bore it, rejoicing as they went at the return of their master.

 



Clara Dillingham Pierson

The Last Party of the Season

[Illustration]

[188]

S UMMER had been a joyful time in the meadow. It had been a busy time, too, and from morning till night the chirping and humming of the happy people there had mingled with the rustle of the leaves, and the soft "swish, swish," of the tall grass, as the wind passed over it.

True, there had been a few quarrels, and some unpleasant things to remem- [189] ber, but these little people were wise enough to throw away all the sad memories and keep only the glad ones. And now the summer was over. The leaves of the forest trees were turning from green to scarlet, orange, and brown. The beech and hickory nuts were only waiting for a friendly frost to open their outer shells, and loosen their stems, so that they could fall to the earth.

The wind was cold now, and the meadow people knew that the time had come to get ready for winter. One chilly Caterpillar said to another, "Boo-oo! How cold it is! I must find a place for my cocoon. Suppose we sleep side by side this winter, swinging on the same bush?"

And his friend replied: "We must hurry then, or we shall be too old and stiff to spin good ones."

The Garter Snake felt sleepy all the time, and declared that in a few days he would doze off until spring.

[190] The Tree Frog had chosen his winter home already, and the Bees were making the most of their time in visiting the last fall flowers, and gathering every bit of honey they could find for their cold-weather stock.

The last eggs had been laid, and the food had been placed beside many of them for the babies that would hatch out in the spring. Nothing was left but to say "Good-by," and fall asleep. So a message was sent around the meadow for all to come to a farewell party under the elm tree.

Everybody came, and all who could sing did so, and the Crickets and Mosquitoes made music for the rest to dance by.

The Tree Frog led off with a black and yellow Spider, the Garter Snake followed with a Potato Bug, and all the other crawling people joined in the dance on the grass, while over their heads the Butterflies and other light-winged ones fluttered to and fro with airy grace.

[191] The Snail and the fat, old Cricket had meant to look on, and really did so, for a time, from a warm corner by the tree, but the Cricket couldn't stand it to not join in the fun. First, his eyes gleamed, his feelers waved, and his feet kept time to the music, and, when a frisky young Ant beckoned to him, he gave a great leap and danced with the rest, balancing, jumping, and circling around in a most surprising way.

When it grew dark, the Fireflies' lights shone like tiny stars, and the dancing went on until all were tired and ready to sing together the last song of the summer, for on the morrow they would go to rest. And this was their song:

The autumn leaves lying

So thick on the ground,

The summer Birds flying

The meadow around,

Say, "Good-by."

[192]

The Seed Babies dropping

Down out of our sight,

The Dragon-Flies stopping

A moment in flight,

Say, "Good-by."

The red Squirrels bearing

Their nuts to the tree,

The wild Rabbits caring

For babies so wee,

Say, "Good-by."

The sunbeams now showing

Are hazy and pale,

The warm breezes blowing

Have changed to a gale,

So, "Good-by."

The season for working

Is passing away.

Both playing and shirking

Are ended to day,

So, "Good-by."

The Garter Snake creeping

So softly to rest,

The fuzzy Worms sleeping

Within their warm nest,

Say, "Good-by."

[193]

The Honey Bees crawling

Around the full comb,

The tiny Ants calling

Each one to the home,

Say, "Good-by."

We've ended our singing

Our dancing, and play,

And Nature's voice ringing

Now tells us to say

Our "Good-by."

 



Anonymous

Swallow, Swallow

Swallow, Swallow, neighbor Swallow,

Starting on your autumn flight,

Pause a moment at my window,

Twitter softly a good night.


Now the summer days are ended,

All your duties are well done,

And the little homes you've builded

Have grown empty, one by one.


Swallow, Swallow, neighbor Swallow,

Are you ready for your flight?

Are the little coats completed?

Are the feathered caps all right?


Are the young wings strong and steady

For their flight to warmer sky?

Come again in early springtime.

Until then, good-by, good-by.

 


  WEEK 14  

  Friday  


Edward Eggleston

Marion's Tower

GENERAL MARION was one of the best fighters in the Revolution. He was a homely little man. He was also a very good man. Another general said, "Marion is good all over."

The American army had been beaten in South Carolina. Marion was sent there to keep the British from taking the whole country.

Marion got together a little army. His men had nothing but rough clothes to wear. They had [70] no guns but the old ones they had used to shoot wild ducks and deer with.

Marion's men wanted swords. There were no swords to be had. But Marion sent men to take the long saws out of the saw mills. These were taken to blacksmiths. The blacksmiths cut the saws into pieces. These pieces they hammered out into long, sharp swords.

Marion had not so many men as the British. He had no cannon. He could not build forts. He could not stay long in one place, for fear the British should come with a strong army and take him. He and his men hid in the dark woods. Sometimes he changed his hiding place suddenly. Even his own friends had hard work to find him.

From the dark woods he would come out suddenly. He would attack some party of British soldiers. When the battle was over, he would go back to the woods again.

When the British sent a strong army to catch him, he could not be found. But soon he would be fighting the British in some new place. He was always playing hide and seek.

The British called him the Swamp Fox. That was because he was so hard to catch. They could not conquer the country until they could catch Marion. And they never could catch the Swamp Fox. [71] At one time Marion came out of the woods to take a little British fort. This fort was on the top of a high mound. It was one of the mounds built a long time ago by the Indians.

Marion put his men all round the fort, so that the men in the fort could not get out to get water. He thought that they would have to give up. But the men in the fort dug a well inside the fort. Then Marion had to think of another plan.

Marion's men went to the woods and cut down stout poles. They got a great many poles. When night came, they laid a row of poles alongside one another on the ground. Then they laid another row across these. Then they laid another row on top of the last ones, and across the other way again.


[Illustration]

Marion's Tower

They laid a great many rows of poles one on top of another. They crossed them this way and that. As the night went on, the pile grew higher. Still they handed poles to the men on top of the pile.

Before morning came, they had built a kind [72] of tower. It was higher than the Indian mound.

As soon as it was light, the men on Marion's tower began to shoot. The British looked out. They saw a great tower with men on it. The men could shoot down into the fort. The British could not stand it. They had to give up. They were taken prisoners.

 



Ellen C. Babbitt

The King's White Elephant

[69]

O NCE upon a time a number of carpenters lived on a river bank near a large forest. Every day the carpenters went in boats to the forest to cut down the trees and make them into lumber.

One day while they were at work an Elephant came limping on three feet to them. He held up one foot and the carpenters saw that it was swollen and sore. Then the Elephant lay down and the men saw that there was a great splinter in the sore foot. They pulled it out and washed the sore carefully so that in a short time it would be well again.


[Illustration]

He held up one foot and the carpenters saw that it was swollen and sore.

Thankful for the cure, the Elephant thought: "These carpenters have done so much for me, I must be useful to them."

So after that the Elephant used to pull up trees for the carpenters. Sometimes when the trees were chopped down he would roll the logs down to the river. [70] Other times he brought their tools for them. And the carpenters used to feed him well morning, noon and night.

Now this Elephant had a son who was white all over—a beautiful, strong young one. Said the old Elephant to himself, "I will take my son to the place in the forest where I go to work each day so that he may learn to help the carpenters, for I am no longer young and strong."

[71] So the old Elephant told his son how the carpenters had taken good care of him when he was badly hurt and took him to them. The white Elephant did [72] as his father told him to do and helped the carpenters and they fed him well.


[Illustration]

The Elephant used to pull up trees for the carpenters.

When the work was done at night the young Elephant went to play in the river. The carpenters' children played with him, in the water and on the bank. He liked to pick them up in his trunk and set them on the high branches of the trees and then let them climb down on his back.

[73] One day the king came down the river and saw this beautiful white Elephant working for the carpenters. The king at once wanted the Elephant for his own and paid the carpenters a great price for him. Then with a last look at his playmates, the children, the beautiful white Elephant went on with the king.


[Illustration]

With a last look at his playpmates the beautiful white Elephant went on with the king.

The king was proud of his new Elephant and took the best care of him as long as he lived.

 



Jean Ingelow

Seven Times One

There's no dew left on the daisies and clover,

There's no rain left in heaven;

I've said my "seven times" over and over,

Seven times one are seven.


I am old! so old I can write a letter;

My birthday lessons are done;

The lambs play always, they know no better;

They are only one times one.


O Moon! in the night I have seen you sailing,

And shining so round and low;

You were bright! ah, bright! but your light is failing,—

You are nothing now but a bow.


You Moon! have you done something wrong in heaven,

That God has hidden your face?

I hope, if you have, you will soon be forgiven,

And shine again in your place.


O velvet Bee, you're a dusty fellow,

You've powdered your legs with gold!

O brave marsh Mary-buds, rich and yellow!

Give me your money to hold.


O Columbine! open your folded wrapper,

Where two twin turtle-doves dwell;

O Cuckoo-pint! toll me the purple clapper,

That hangs in your clear, green bell!


And show me your nest with the young ones in it—

I will not steal them away;

I am old! you may trust me, Linnet, Linnet—

I am seven times one to-day.