Text of Plan #426
  WEEK 17  

  Monday  


Lawton B. Evans

Bloody Marsh

WHEN Georgia was settled by an English colony under Oglethorpe, and the town of Savannah was begun, the enterprise was met with protest from the Spaniards in Florida, because Spain claimed all the territory of America, clear to the Arctic Ocean. She had founded only one colony, that of St. Augustine, in Florida, but still she claimed the whole land.

Ten years after Georgia was settled, the Spaniards resolved to wipe out the colony, then march to Charleston, and so on as far north as possible. We shall see that they did not get very far.

A great fleet of thirty-six ships, with five thousand men on board, appeared off the coast of St. Simon's Island in Georgia. The Spaniards raised the red flag of war and landed their troops on the southern end of the island. Oglethorpe had hastily collected all the men he could, but at best he had only six hundred and fifty to oppose the great army confronting him.

[73] Oglethorpe posted his scouts, and awaited the coming of the Spanish forces. He was determined to make his little army check the advance of the enemy as long as he could. One day a scout came into camp, and announced that the Spaniards were within two miles of Oglethorpe's camp. The General hastily called for a body of his own troops, skirted through the woods, and fell upon the advance forces with such fury that they were nearly all killed or captured. Oglethorpe took two prisoners with his own hands.

"That is a good beginning," he said to one of his captains. "Now for the rest, before they can rally. We will lie in ambush for them." And so he did, along the road by which the Spaniards had to march.

Before long the enemy came in sight, halted in the defile where the ambush was, and stacked their guns. Some began to cook, while others lay down to rest, for it was July and the day was very hot. One of their horses noticed a strange uniform in the bushes, and by rearing and pitching gave the alarm. The Spaniards sprang to their guns, but it was too late. A deadly fire poured into them from an unseen foe,—how many or how few they did not know! They fled in all directions, but were met by the bayonet of the English soldier and the [74] scalping knife of the Indian. The ground was covered with their dead. Because of this victory and the great slaughter of the Spaniards, the place has ever since been called "Bloody Marsh."

The defeat drove back the advance force, but there was still the main body to be accounted for. Oglethorpe resolved to surprise it by night. He knew these soldiers were not accustomed to Indian warfare, or to fighting in the tangled forests, and he was trying to demoralize them with fear before they could attack his small army.

He advanced within a mile of their camp, late in the night, and was making ready to attack, when one of his soldiers, a Frenchman, fired off his gun and ran into the Spanish lines. He was a deserter, and had fled to the enemy to give the alarm. Oglethorpe hastily retreated to save his little army.

He knew the deserter would tell the enemy of his real strength, and he at once devised a plan to thwart this purpose. He wrote a letter in French, urging this man by all means to persuade the Spaniards to attack, to speak of the smallness of his forces and the exposure of his position. He must not, however, mention the reinforcements which had arrived, but must induce the Spaniards to stay on the island so Oglethorpe could attack them in a few days.

[75] Of course this was a decoy letter. He handed it to a Spanish prisoner, and said to him, "Take this letter to the man whose name is on it. He is a friend of mine in the Spanish camp. Say nothing about it to any one, and I will give you your liberty."

The man agreed, was handed the letter, and was set free. The deserter put the paper in his pocket, where it was found by the Spanish Commander, when he ordered the deserter examined. The Commander read the letter with alarm, and was at a loss to know what to do. He called a council of his officers and laid the facts before them. He said, "This deserter is a spy in our camp, and this letter is the opposite of the truth. I believe the English are on us in great force." Thereupon he ordered his great army to get on their ships and sail away. It was a very cowardly thing to do, but the Spaniards were not very anxious to fight any way, and, besides, they were frightened at what might happen.

Thus did General Oglethorpe, with a few hundred men, outwit a force nearly ten times as large as his, and save the southern colonies from invasion by the Spaniards.

 



Clara Dillingham Pierson

The Night Moth with a Crooked Feeler

[Illustration]

[52]

T HE beautiful, brilliant Butterflies of the Meadow had many cousins living in the forest, most of whom were Night Moths. They also were very beautiful creatures, but they dressed in duller colors and did not have slender waists. Some of the Butterflies, you know, wear whole gowns of black and yellow, others have stripes of black and [53] white, while some have clear yellow with only a bit of black trimming the edges of the wings.

The Moths usually wear brown and have it brightened with touches of buff or dull blue. If they do wear bright colors, it is usually only on the back pair of wings, and when the Moth alights, he slides his front pair of wings over these and covers all the brightness. They do not rest with their wings folded over their heads like the Butterflies, but leave them flat or wrap them around their bodies. All day long, when the sun is shining, the Moths have to rest on trees and dead leaves. If they were dressed in yellow or red, any passing bird would see them, and there is no telling what might happen. As it is, their wings are so nearly the color of leaves or bark that you might often look right at them without seeing them.

Yet even among Moths there are some more brightly colored than others, and [54] when you find part of the family quietly dressed you can know it is because they have to lay the eggs. Moths are safer in dull colors, and the egg-layers should always be the safest of all. If anything happened to them, you know, there would be no Caterpillar babies.

One day a fine-looking Cecropia Moth came out of her cocoon and clung to the nearest twig while her wings grew and dried and flattened. At first they had looked like tiny brown leaves all drenched with rain and wrinkled by somebody's stepping on them. The fur on her fat body was matted and wet, and even her feelers were damp and stuck to her head. Her six beautiful legs were weak and trembling, and she moved her body restlessly while she tried again and again to raise her crumpled wings.

She had not been there so very long before she noticed another Cecropia Moth near her, clinging to the under side of a [55] leaf. He was also just out of the chrysalis and was drying himself. "Good morning!" he cried. "I think I knew you when we were Caterpillars. Fine day to leave the cocoon, isn't it?"

"Lovely," she answered. "I remember you very well. You were the Caterpillar who showed me where to find food last summer when the hot weather had withered so many of the plants."

"I thought you would recall me," he said. "And when we were spinning our cocoons we visited together. Do you remember that also?"

Miss Cecropia did. She had been thinking of that when she first spoke, but she hoped he had forgotten. To tell the truth, he had been rather fond of her the fall before, and she, thinking him the handsomest Caterpillar of her acquaintance, had smiled upon him and suggested that they spin their cocoons near together. During the long winter she had regretted [56] this. "I was very foolish," she thought, "to encourage him. When I get my wings I may meet people who are better off than he. Now I shall have to be polite to him for the sake of old friendship. I only hope that he will make other acquaintances and leave me free. I must get into the best society."

All this time her neighbor was thinking, "I am so glad to see her again, so glad, so glad! When my wings are dry I will fly over to her and we will go through the forest together." He was a kind, warm-hearted fellow, who cared more for friendship than for beauty or family.

Meanwhile their wings were growing fast, and drying, and flattening, so that by noon they could begin to raise them above their heads. They were very large Moths and their wings were of a dark gray, with white and brick-red stripes and pink-violet tips. There were black spots near the tips [57] of their front wings and four other white and brick-red spots. On their legs and fat bodies the white and brick-red fur was long and thick. They were very beautiful and strong-looking. When the Cecropias rest, they spread their wings out flat, and do not slide the front pair over the others as their cousins, the Sphinxes, do. The most wonderful of all, though, are their feelers.

The Butterflies have stiff feelers on their heads with little knobs on the ends, or sometimes with part of them thick like tiny clubs. The Night Moths have many kinds of feelers, most of them being curved, and those of the Cecropias look like brown feathers pointed at the end.

Miss Cecropia's feelers were perfect, and she waved them happily to and fro. Those of her friend, she was troubled to see, were not what they should have been. One of them was all right, the other was small and crooked. "Oh, dear," she said to herself, "how that does look! I hope he [58] will not try to be attentive to me." He did not mind it much. He thought about other things than looks.

As night came, a Polyphemus Moth fluttered past. "Good evening!" cried he. "Are you just out? There are a lot of Cecropias coming out to-day."

Miss Cecropia felt quite agitated when she heard this, and wondered if she looked all right. Her friend flew over to her just as she raised her wings for flight. "Let me go with you," he said.

While she was wondering how she could answer him, several other Cecropias came along. They were all more brightly colored than she. "Hullo!" cried one of them, as he alighted beside her. "First-rate night, isn't it?"

He was a handsome fellow, and his feelers were perfect; but Miss Cecropia did not like his ways, and she drew away from him just as her friend knocked him off the branch. While they were fighting, an- [59] other of the strangers flew to her. "May I sit here?" he asked.

"Yes," she murmured, thinking her chance had come to get into society.

"I must say that it served the fellow right for his rudeness to you," said the stranger, in his sweetest way; "but who is the Moth who is punishing him—that queer-looking one with the crooked feeler?"

"Sir," said she, moving farther from him, "he is a friend of mine, and I do not think it matters to you if he is queer-looking."

"Oh!" said the stranger. "Oh! oh! oh! You have a bad temper, haven't you? But you are very good-looking in spite of that." There is no telling what he would have said next, for at this minute Miss Cecropia's friend heard the mean things he was saying, and flew against him.

It was not long before this stranger also was punished, and then the Moth with the crooked feeler turned to the others. "Do [60] any of you want to try it?" he said. "You must understand that you cannot be rude before her." And he pointed his right fore leg at Miss Cecropia as she sat trembling on the branch.

"Her!" they cried mockingly, as they flew away. "There are prettier Moths than she. We don't care anything for her."

Miss Cecropia's friend would have gone after them to punish them for this impoliteness, but she clung to him and begged him not to. "You will be killed, I know you will," she sobbed. "And then what will become of me?"

"Would you miss me?" he asked, as he felt of one of his wings, now broken and bare.

"Yes," she cried. "You are the best friend I have. Please don't go."

"But I am such a homely fellow," he said. "I don't see how you can like me since I broke my wing."

[61] "Well, I do like you," she said. "Your wing isn't much broken after all, and I like  your crooked feeler. It is so different from anybody else's." Miss Cecropia looked very happy as she spoke, and she quite forgot how she once decided to go away from him. There are some people, you know, who can change their minds in such a sweet and easy way that we almost love them the better for it. One certainly could love Miss Cecropia for this, because it showed that she had learned to care more for a warm heart and courage than for whole wings and straight feelers.

Mr. Cecropia did not live long after this, unfortunately, but they were very, very happy together, and she often said to her friends, as she laid her eggs in the best places, "I only hope that when my Caterpillar babies are grown and have come out of their cocoons, they may be as good and as brave as their father was."

 



Anonymous

How the Little Kite Learned to Fly

"I never can do it," the little kite said,

As he looked at the others high over his head;

"I know I should fall if I tried to fly."

"Try," said the big kite; "only try,

Or I fear you never will learn at all."

But the little kite said, "I 'm afraid I'll fall."


The big kite nodded: "Ah, well, good-by;

I'm off"; and he rose toward the tranquil sky.

Then the little kite's paper stirred at the sight,

And trembling he shook himself free for flight.

First whirling and frightened, then braver grown,

Up, up, he rose through the air alone,

Till the big kite looking down could see

The little one rising steadily.


Then how the little kite thrilled with pride,

As he sailed with the big kite side by side.

While far below, he could see the ground,

And the boys like small spots moving round.

They rested high in the quiet air,

And only the birds and clouds were there.

"Oh, how happy I am," the little kite cried;

"And all because I was brave, and tried."

 


  WEEK 17  

  Tuesday  


Amy Steedman

Saint Hugh of Lincoln

Part 1 of 2

[160] EVIL days had fallen upon the little grey island of the north. Those who were strong used their strength to hurt the weak. Little heed was paid to law and order, and King Stephen's hands were too weak and helpless to govern a land that needed a strong stern ruler. Men said in their hearts, "God has forsaken England," for it seemed indeed as if the Evil One alone held sway.

But through the darkness there were faint signs of the coming dawn, and God's army was silently gathering strength to fight His battles and unfurl His banner.

Far away in the sunny land of France a little child was growing up at that time, knowing nothing and caring not at all about the woes of the little grey island of the north. Yet He who trains His saints to fight His battles was training the child to fight in many a hard struggle upon the battle-ground of England.

Little Hugh was born at the castle of Avalon near Grenoble, and was the son of a great noble to whom all Avalon belonged. Softly he was cradled and waited upon: the world was a place of sunshine and happiness to the son of the seigneur, and he had all that a child's heart could desire. But [161] very soon a change came over his pleasant world and the sunshine seemed to fade. There was no mother to run to, no one to tell him where he might find her, only the strange sad words which he could not understand when they told him she was dead.

It was sad for little Hugh, but it was sadder still for his father, and the lord of Avalon felt he could no longer live in the castle that was now so dark and cheerless. So his thoughts turned towards a house close by where men lived together who wished to serve God, and he determined to spend the rest of his life with them. Hugh was only eight years old, too young to be left behind, so together the father and little son entered the priory, and left the castle and lands of Avalon to the elder sons.

It seemed strange for such a child to share the solemn strict life of these servants of God, but his father was glad it should be so. "I will have him taught to carry on warfare for God before he learns to live for the world," he said, as he looked at the well-knit straight little figure with the fearless eyes, every inch a soldier's son. Then little Hugh squared his shoulders and gazed proudly into his father's face. He scarcely understood what it all meant, but he loved the sound of those warlike words, "the warfare of God."

Among all those grave and learned men the child might perhaps have been spoilt, for he had a wonderfully winning way and a keen love of fun, while he was so quick to learn, and had such a [162] marvellous memory, that it was a pleasure to teach him. But the brothers were too kind to spoil the child, and the old chronicle tells us "his infant body was made familiar with the scourge of the pedagogue."

There was a school at Grenoble, close by, to which Hugh was sent, and there he soon became a great favourite. He was eager at games as well as at lessons, and excelled in both. But his father, watching him, would sometimes disapprove of too many games, and would remind him of that "warfare of God."

"Little Hugh, little Hugh," he said, "I am bringing thee up for Christ. Sports are not thy business." Then he would tell him the story of other boys who had been brought up to serve God; about Samuel, who had heard God's voice because he listened so eagerly; of David, who learned to do things thoroughly, and to aim so straight at a mark that afterwards he could not fail to slay the giant and win a victory for the Lord.

So the boy grew into a youth, eager to begin the warfare for which his father had trained him. But there was other service awaiting him first close at home. His father was now growing old and infirm, and needed daily care and patient tending. With skilful gentle hands Hugh served him. Even the commonest duty was a pleasure to the son who so loved his father. He washed and dressed the old man, carried him in his strong young arms, prepared his food, counting each service an honour, as the service to a king. When his father's eyes grew dim, when his hands were frail and trembling, [163] when his feet could no longer bear him, and the pleasant sounds of the busy world woke no echo in his dull ears, Hugh was eyes and hands, feet and ears, giving above all a willing service. Many a lesson had the father taught his child in the days of his strength, but the best of all lessons he taught in the days of his weakness—the lesson of loving patient service. So the old man lived to bless the son whom he had trained for God, and that blessing was like a spring of living water in Hugh's heart. Long after, when many troubles came, and the saint had travelled far along the hot and dusty road of life, he told a friend how the remembrance of his father's blessing was like a cup of cool water which he loved to "draw up thirstily from his eager heart."

That service ended, Hugh's thoughts began to turn to the warfare of which he had always dreamed. He had already been ordained, and his preaching stirred the people, but he longed for some harder duties and a sterner life.

Far away among the heights of the snow-capped mountains, there was a house of holy men just gathered together by Saint Brune. It was called the Great Chartreuse, and there the monks lived almost like hermits. They had little cells cut out of the bare rock, and their dress was a white sheep-skin with a hair-shirt beneath. On Sundays they each received a loaf of bread, which was to last all the week for their food, and although they had their meals together, they ate in strict silence, for no one was allowed to talk.

[164] This was surely a place where one might endure hardness, and Hugh desired eagerly to join the brotherhood. Perhaps, too, he felt that he would be living nearer heaven up there amongst the snowy peaks.

But the prior looked somewhat scornfully at the young eager face.

"The men who inhabit these rocks," he said, "are hard as the rocks themselves, severe to themselves and others."

That was exactly what Hugh was longing for, and made him desire more than ever to enter the service, and although there were many difficulties in the way, he persevered steadfastly, and at last was received as a Carthusian monk.

Like all the other brothers, he lived, of course, a silent solitary life, but for him there were friends and companions which were not recognised in the monastery. He had always loved birds and beasts, and in this quiet life he found they were quick to make friends with him. Little by little he learned their secrets and their ways, and taught them to love and trust him. When he sat down to supper, his friends the birds would come hopping and fluttering in, ready to share his meal, perching on his finger and pecking the food from his spoon. Then from the woods the shy squirrels came flitting in, looking at him boldly with their bright inquiring eyes, while they made themselves quite at home, and whisked the food from his very plate with saucy boldness. Life could never be very lonely for Hugh with such a crowd of companions.

[165] Meanwhile, in the little grey island of the north, better days were dawning, and with the death of King Stephen, law and order began once more to be restored. Henry II. ruled with a firmer hand, and the fear of God, and the desire to serve Him, awoke again in men's hearts. Throughout the land many churches were built, and many a battle was fought for the right. Thomas à Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury, so foully murdered in his own cathedral, gave up his life willingly "in the name of Christ, and for the defence of the Church," and his example roused the people to insist that God's house and God's servants should be properly respected.

The King himself, sorrowfully repentant of his share in the murder of the Archbishop, made a vow to found three abbeys, and invited monks from the monasteries abroad to come and settle in them.

Now one of the places chosen by the King for founding an abbey was Witham in Gloucester, but instead of building a proper home for the monks, Henry merely seized the land from the poor peasants without paying for it, and without finding them other homes. Of course the abbey did not flourish. The first abbot would not stay and the second died, and it seemed as if it was to be quite a failure, until the King thought of sending to the monastery of the Great Chartreuse to ask for an abbot who would rule with a strong arm and help to found a brotherhood.

"We must send our best," said the prior; and [166] when he said that, all the monks knew that Hugh of Avalon would be chosen. Strong and steadfast as the rocks amongst which he dwelt, he was as fearless and brave as a lion, and yet with a heart so gentle and tender that all weak and helpless creatures loved and trusted him.

So it was that Hugh of Avalon came to England, and we may claim him as one of our own saints.

As soon as the new abbot found out how unjustly the King had dealt with the peasants of Witham, he set about to put things right.

"My lord," he said to the King, "until the last penny is paid to these poor men, the place cannot be given to us."

It was little wonder that from the beginning the poor people loved and respected their abbot, and his justice and fearlessness won the King's friendship too. There was no one Henry cared to consult more than this new friend of his, who was never afraid of telling him the truth.

When some time had passed, and the monks' houses still remained unbuilt, three of the brothers went to rernind the King of his broken promises.

"You think it a great thing to give us bread which we do not need," said one of the brothers, who was very angry. "We will leave your kingdom, and depart to our desert Chartreuse and our rocky Alps."

The King turned to Hugh.

"Will you also depart?" he asked.

"My lord," said Hugh quietly, "I do not despair of you. Rather I pity your hindrances and occupa- [167] tions which weigh against the care of your soul. You are busy, but when God will help, you will finish the good work you have begun."

"By my soul," cried the King, "while I breathe thou shalt not leave my kingdom. With thee I will share my counsels, with thee also the necessary care of my soul."

So the monastery was built, and the King's friendship for the abbot increased. It happened just at that time also that, as Henry was crossing to Normandy, the ship in which he sailed came nigh to being wrecked by a great gale that swept suddenly down upon her. The King in his fear prayed to God to save him for the sake of the good deeds and holy life of his friend the abbot. Then as the storm sank and the ship reached land, Henry felt sure he owed his safety to that good man. The country people, too, were fond of talking of the miracles worked by their beloved abbot, but Hugh himself would not hear of them. In the lives of the saints it was the miracles he counted least of all.

"The holiness of the saints," he would say, "was the greatest miracle and the best example for us to follow. Those who look at outward miracles through the little doors of their eyes, often see nothing by the inward gaze of faith."

It was a very different life at Witham to the hermit life among the snowy mountains, but Hugh remained just the same simple steadfast man. He still wore the rough hair-shirt and ate the same poor fare, and here as in his rocky cell the birds [168] flew in to make friends with him and eat from his plate.

But after eleven quiet years at Witham, Hugh was called to harder work, for it was decided to make him Bishop of Lincoln. It was sorely against his will that he accepted the honour, and it was with a heavy heart that he bade farewell to the quiet monastery life.

There was great excitement and delight, however, among the company that attended the abbot on his way to Lincoln. The canons wore their richest cloaks, and the gilded trappings of their horses made a brave show as they clattered along. But all their grandeur could not hide that one shabby figure in their midst. Hugh, clothed in his monk's robe, rode on his old mule, and behind him was strapped a large bundle of bedding, sheep-skins, and rugs.

"Dost see our abbot?" said one to another. "He will put us all to shame. Men will laugh at the sight of the new bishop riding thus, with his old baggage strapped behind."

It was useless to suggest that the servants should take charge of the bundle. Hugh plodded on, too busy with his thoughts to notice the shame and discomfort of his companions.

At last, when twilight had fallen and night was coming on, one of his friends thought of a plan to save their dignity. One of the servants stole up softly from behind and cut the straps which bound the heavy sheep-skin bundle, so that it slipped off and was carried away to be placed among the other [169] baggage, while Hugh went jogging on, dreaming his dreams and thinking little of earthly matters.

There was no thought of personal grandeur in Hugh's heart. Rather he felt like a sailor setting out on a perilous voyage, with storm-clouds already brooding close above the waves of this troublesome world. He walked barefooted to the cathedral where he was enthroned, clad only in his monk's robe. He was a strange shabby figure indeed among those gorgeous churchmen, but he walked with the bearing of a soldier and the dignity of a king.

 



Harriette Taylor Treadwell

The Bremen Band

[Illustration]

Part 1 of 2

      Donkey:     I am getting old
I am getting old,
I can not work.
My master wants to kill me.
What shall I do?
I will run away.
But how can I make a living?
I have a good voice.
I shall go to Bremen.
Then I can sing in the band.


[Illustration]

[25]
      Donkey:     Good morning, Old Whiskers.
Why are you so sad to-day?

           Cat:     How can I be happy?
I am getting old,
I can not catch mice.
My master wants to kill me.
What shall I do?

      Donkey:     Come with me to Bremen.
You have a good voice.
You can sing in the band.

           Cat:     Yes, I will go with you.


[Illustration]

[26]
      Donkey:     Good morning, old dog.
What are you doing here?
Why do you pant so?

           Dog:     I am getting old,
My master is going to kill me,
     so I have run away.
But how can I make my living?

      Donkey:     Come with us to Bremen.
We can all sing in the band.

           Dog:     Yes, I will go with you.


[Illustration]

[26]
      Donkey:     Good morning, Red Cock.
Why do you crow so loud?

          Cock:     Cock-a-doodle-do! cock-a-doodle-do!
Company is coming to-night,
     I heard the cook say.
They want me for supper,
     so I crow while I can.

      Donkey:     Will you come with us to Bremen?
You have a good voice.
You can sing in our band.

          Cock:     Yes, I will go with you.


[Illustration]

 



Lizzie M. Hadley

The Rainbow Fairies

Two little clouds one summer's day,

Went flying through the sky.

They went so fast they bumped their heads,

And both began to cry.


Old Father Sun looked out and said,

"Oh, never mind, my dears,

I'll send my little fairy folk

To dry your falling tears."


One fairy came in violet,

And one in indigo,

In blue, green, yellow, orange, red,—

They made a pretty row.


They wiped the cloud tears all away,

And then, from out the sky,

Upon a line of sunbeams made,

They hung their gowns to dry.

 


  WEEK 17  

  Wednesday  


James Baldwin

The Story of Cincinnatus

THERE was a man named Cincinnatus who lived on a little farm not far from the city of Rome. He had once been rich, and had held the highest office [77] in the land; but in one way or another he had lost all his wealth. He was now so poor that he had to do all the work on his farm with his own hands. But in those days it was thought to be a noble thing to till the soil.

Cincinnatus was so wise and just that everybody trusted him, and asked his advice; and when any one was in trouble, and did not know what to do, his neighbors would say,—

"Go and tell Cincinnatus. He will help you."

Now there lived among the mountains, not far away, a tribe of fierce, half-wild men, who were at war with the Roman people. They persuaded another tribe of bold warriors to help them, and then marched toward the city, plundering and robbing as they came. They boasted that they would tear down the walls of Rome, and burn the houses, and kill all the men, and make slaves of the women and children.

At first the Romans, who were very proud and brave, did not think there was much danger. Every man in Rome was a soldier, and the army which went out to fight the robbers was the finest in the world. No one staid at home with the women and children and boys but the white-haired "Fathers," as they were called, who made the laws for the city, and a small company of men who [78] guarded the walls. Everybody thought that it would be an easy thing to drive the men of the mountains back to the place where they belonged.

But one morning five horsemen came riding down the road from the mountains. They rode with great speed; and both men and horses were covered with dust and blood. The watchman at the gate knew them, and shouted to them as they galloped in. Why did they ride thus? and what had happened to the Roman army?

They did not answer him, but rode into the city and along the quiet streets; and everybody ran after them, eager to find out what was the matter. Rome was not a large city at that time; and soon they reached the market place where the white-haired Fathers were sitting. Then they leaped from their horses, and told their story.

"Only yesterday," they said, "our army was marching through a narrow valley between two steep mountains. All at once a thousand savage men sprang out from among the rocks before us and above us. They had blocked up the way; and the pass was so narrow that we could not fight. We tried to come back; but they had blocked up the way on this side of us too. The fierce men of the mountains were before us and behind us, and they were throwing rocks down [79] upon us from above. We had been caught in a trap. Then ten of us set spurs to our horses; and five of us forced our way through, but the other five fell before the spears of the mountain men. And now, O Roman Fathers! send help to our army at once, or every man will be slain, and our city will be taken."

"What shall we do?" said the white-haired Fathers. "Whom can we send but the guards and the boys? and who is wise enough to lead them, and thus save Rome?"

All shook their heads and were very grave; for it seemed as if there was no hope. Then one said "Send for Cincinnatus. He will help us."

Cincinnatus was in the field plowing when the men who had been sent to him came in great haste. He stopped and greeted them kindly, and waited for them to speak.

"Put on your cloak, Cincinnatus," they said, "and hear the words of the Roman people."

Then Cincinnatus wondered what they could mean. "Is all well with Rome?" he asked; and he called to his wife to bring him his cloak.

She brought the cloak; and Cincinnatus wiped the dust from his hands and arms, and threw it over his shoulders. Then the men told their errand.

They told him how the army with all the noblest [80] men of Rome had been entrapped in the mountain pass. They told him about the great danger the city was in. Then they said, "The people of Rome make you their ruler and the ruler of their city, to do with everything as you choose; and the Fathers [81] bid you come at once and go out against our enemies, the fierce men of the mountains."


[Illustration]

So Cincinnatus left his plow standing where it was, and hurried to the city. When he passed through the streets, and gave orders as to what should be done, some of the people were afraid, for they knew that he had all power in Rome to do what he pleased. But he armed the guards and the boys, and went out at their head to fight the fierce mountain men, and free the Roman army from the trap into which it had fallen.

A few days afterward there was great joy in Rome. There was good news from Cincinnatus. The men of the mountains had been beaten with great loss. They had been driven back into their own place.

And now the Roman army, with the boys and the guards, was coming home with banners flying and shouts of victory; and at their head rode Cincinnatus. He had saved Rome.

Cincinnatus might then have made himself king; for his word was law, and no man dared lift a finger against him. But, before the people could thank him enough for what he had done, he gave back the power to the white-haired Roman Fathers, and went again to his little farm and his plow.

He had been the ruler of Rome for sixteen days.

 



Lucy Fitch Perkins

The Snow House

I

[64]

I T is very hard to tell what day it is, or what hour in the day, in a place where the days and nights are all mixed up, and where there are no clocks.

Menie and Monnie had never seen a clock in their whole lives. If they had they would have thought it was alive, and perhaps would have been afraid of it.

But people everywhere in the world get sleepy, so the Eskimos sometimes count their time by "sleeps." Instead of saying five days ago, they say "five sleeps" ago.

The night after the bear was killed it began to snow. The wind howled around the igloo and piled the snow over it in huge drifts.

The dogs were buried under it and had [65] to be dug out, all but Nip and Tup. They stayed inside with the twins and slept in their bed.

The twins and their father and mother were glad to stay in the warm hut.

At last the snow stopped, the air cleared, and the twins and Kesshoo went out. Koolee stayed in the igloo.

She sat on her sleeping bench upon a pile of soft furs. A bear's skin was stretched up on the wall behind her. She had a cozy nest to work in.

The lamp stood on the bench beside her. She was making a beautiful new suit for Menie. It was made of fawn-skin as soft as velvet, and the hood and sleeves were trimmed with white rabbit's fur.

Her thimble was made of ivory, and her needle too. Her thread was a fine strip of hide. There was a bunch of such thread beside her.

Soon Kesshoo came in, bringing with him a dried fish and a piece of bear's meat, from the storehouse.

Koolee looked up from her sewing. "Isn't [66] it five sleeps since you killed the bear?" she said.

Kesshoo counted on his fingers. "Yes," he said, "it is five sleeps."

"Then it is time to eat the bear's head," said Koolee. "His spirit is now with our fathers."

"Why not have a feast?" said Kesshoo. "There hasn't been any fresh meat in the village since the bear was killed, and I don't believe the rest have had anything to eat but dried fish. We have plenty of bear's meat still."

Koolee hopped down off the bench and put some more moss into the lamp.

"You bring in the meat," she said, "and tell the twins to go to all the igloos and invite the people to come at sunset."

"All right," Kesshoo answered, and he went out at once to the storehouse to get the meat.

II

When he came out of the tunnel, Kesshoo found the twins trying to make a snow house [67] for the dogs. They weren't getting on very well.

Kesshoo could make wonderful snow houses. He had made a beautiful one when the first heavy snows of winter had come, and the family had lived in it while Koolee finished building the stone igloo. The twins had watched him make it. It seemed so easy they were sure they could do it too. Kesshoo said, "If you will run to all the igloos and tell the people to come at sunset to eat the bear's head, I will help you build the snow house for the dogs."

Menie and Monnie couldn't run. Nobody could. The snow was too deep. They went in every step above their knees. But they ploughed along and gave their message at each igloo.

Everybody was very glad to come, and Koko said, "I'll come right now and stay if you want me to."

"Come along," said the twins.

They went back to their own house, kicking the snow to make a path. Koko went with them. The snow was just the [68] right kind for a snow house. It packed well and made good blocks.

While the twins were away giving the invitations, Kesshoo carried great pieces of bear's meat into the house.

Koolee put in the cooking pan all the meat it would hold, and kept the blaze bright in the lamp underneath to cook it.

Then Kesshoo took his long ivory knife and went out to help the twins with the snow house, as he had promised.

"See, this is the way," he said to them.

[69] He took an unbroken patch of snow where no one had stepped. He made a wide sweep of his arm and marked a circle in the snow with his knife.


[Illustration]

The circle was just as big as he meant the house to be. Then he cut out blocks of snow from the space inside the circle. He placed these big blocks of snow around the circle on the line he had marked with his knife.

When he got the first row done Menie said, "I can do that! Let me try."

He took the knife and cut out a block. It wasn't nice and even like his father's blocks.

"That will never do," his father said. "Your house will tumble down unless your blocks are true."

He made the sides of the block straight by cutting off some of the snow.

"Now all the other blocks in this row must be just like this one," he said.

Koko tried next. His block was almost right the first time. But then, as I have told you before, Koko was six.

[70] Monnie tried the next one. I am sorry to say hers wouldn't do at all. It was dreadfully crooked. They took turns. Menie cut a new block while Koko placed the last one on the snow wall.


[Illustration]

Kesshoo had to put on the top blocks to make the roof. Neither Koko nor Menie could do it right, though they tried and tried. It is a very hard thing to do.

When the blocks were all laid up and the dome finished, Kesshoo said, "Now, Monnie can help pack it with snow."

[71] Monnie got the snow shovel. The snow shovel was made of three flat pieces of wood sewed together with leather thongs. It had an edge of horn sewed on with thongs, too.

Monnie threw loose snow on the snow house and spatted it down with the back of the shovel.


[Illustration]

While she was doing this, Menie and Koko built a tunnel entrance for the dogs just like the big one on the stone house.

They worked so hard they were warm as toast, though it was as cold as our coldest winter weather; and when it was all finished Menie ran clear over it just to show how strong and well built it was.

III

When the snow house was all ready, Menie called the three big dogs. Tooky was the leader, and the three dogs together were Kesshoo's sledge team. Tooky was a hunting dog too.

When Menie called the dogs, the dogs thought they were going to be harnessed, so they hid behind the igloo arid pretended [73] they didn't hear. Koko and Menie followed them, but the moment they got near, the dogs bounded away. They went round to the front of the igloo and ran into the tunnel.

Koolee was just turning the meat in the pan with a pointed stick. There was a piece of bear's meat lying on the bench.

The dogs smelled the meat. They stuck their heads into the room, and when Koolee's back was turned, Tooky stole the meat!

Just then Koolee turned around. She saw Tooky. She shrieked, "Oh, my meat, my meat!" and whacked Tooky across the nose with the snow stick!

But Tooky was bound to have the meat. She ran out of the tunnel with it in her mouth, just as Menie and Koko got round to the front of the igloo once more.

"I-yi! I-yii" they screamed, "Tooky's got the meat!" Kesshoo caught up his dog-whip and came running from the storehouse.

The other two dogs wanted the meat too. They flew at Tooky and snarled and fought with her to get it.

[74] Then Koolee's head appeared in the tunnel hole! Tooky was crouching in the snow in front of the tunnel, trying to fight off the other two dogs and guard the meat at the same time.

She wasn't doing a thing with her tail, but she was very busy with all the rest of her. Her tail was pointed right toward the tunnel.

The moment she saw it Koolee seized the tail with both hands and jerked it like everything! Tooky was so surprised she yelped. And when she opened her mouth to yelp, of course she dropped the meat.

Just at that instant Kesshoo's whip lash came singing about the ears of all three dogs.

"Snap, snap," it went. They jumped to get out of the way of the lash.

Then Koolee leaped forward and snatched the meat from under their noses, and scuttled back with it into the tunnel before you could say Jack Robinson.

It is dangerous to snatch meat away from hungry dogs. If Kesshoo hadn't been [75] slashing at them with his whip, and if Menie and Koko hadn't been screaming at them with all their might, so the dogs were nearly distracted, Koolee might have been badly bitten.

Just then Monnie came up with some dried fish. She threw one of the fish over in front of the snow house.

The dogs saw it and leaped for it. Then she threw another into the snow hut itself. They went after that. She fed them all with dried fish until they were so full they curled up in the snow house and went to sleep.

 



Anonymous

The Quarrelsome Kittens

Two little kittens, one stormy night,

Began to quarrel, and then to fight;

One had a mouse and the other had none,

And that's the way the quarrel begun.


"I'll have that mouse," said the biggest cat,

"You'll have that mouse? We'll see about that!"

"I will have that mouse," said the eldest son;

"You shan't have that mouse," said the little one.


I told you before 'twas a stormy night

When these two little kittens began to fight;

The old woman seized her sweeping broom,

And swept the two kittens right out of the room.


The ground was covered with frost and snow,

And the two little kittens had nowhere to go.

So they laid them down on the mat at the door

While the angry old woman finished sweeping the floor.


Then they crept in, as quiet as mice,

All wet with snow and as cold as ice;

For they found it was better, that stormy night,

To lie down and sleep than to quarrel and fight.

 


  WEEK 17  

  Thursday  


H. E. Marshall

How Beowulf Overcame the Dragon

[89] Beowulf left his comrades upon the rocky point jutting out into the sea, and alone he strode onward until he spied a great stone arch. From beneath the arch, from out the hillside, flowed a stream seething with fierce, hot fire. In this way the Dragon guarded his lair, for it was impossible to pass such a barrier unhurt.

So upon the edge of this burning river Beowulf stood and called aloud in anger. Stout of heart and wroth against the winged beast was he.

The king's voice echoed like a warcry through the cavern. The Dragon heard it and was aroused to fresh hate of man. For [90] the guardian of the treasure-hoard knew well the sound of mortal voice. Now was there no long pause ere battle raged.

First from out the cavern flamed forth the breath of the winged beast. Hot sweat of battle rose from out the rock. The earth shook and growling thunder trembled through the air.

The Dragon, ringed around with many-coloured scales, was now hot for battle, and, as the hideous beast crept forth, Beowulf raised his mighty shield and rushed against him.

Already the king had drawn his sword. It was an ancient heirloom, keen of edge and bright. Many a time it had been dyed in blood; many a time it had won glory and victory.

But ere they closed, the mighty foes paused. Each knew the hate and deadly power of the other.

[91] The mighty prince, firm and watchful, stood guarded by his shield. The Dragon, crouching as in ambush, awaited him.

Then suddenly like a flaming arch the Dragon bent and towered, and dashed upon the Lord of the Goths. Up swung the arm of the hero, and dealt a mighty blow to the grisly, many-coloured beast. But the famous sword was all too weak against such a foe. The edge turned and bit less strongly than its great king had need, for he was sore pressed. His shield, too, proved no strong shelter from the wrothy Dragon.

The warlike blow made greater still the anger of the fiery foe. Now he belched forth flaming fire. All around fierce lightnings darted.


[Illustration]

Now he belched forth flaming fire

Beowulf no longer hoped for glorious victory. His sword had failed him. The edge was turned and blunted upon the [92] scaly foe. He had never thought the famous steel would so ill serve him. Yet he fought on ready to lose his life in such good contest.

Again the battle paused, again the king and Dragon closed in fight.

The Dragon guardian of the treasure had renewed his courage. His heart heaved and boiled with fire, and fresh strength breathed from him. Beowulf was wrapped in flame. Dire was his need.

Yet of all his comrades none came near to help. Nay, as they watched the conflict they were filled with base fear, and fled to the wood hard by for refuge.

Only one among them sorrowed for his master, and as he watched his heart was wrung with grief.

Wiglaf was this knight called, and he was Beowulf's kinsman. Now when he saw his liege lord hard pressed in battle [93] he remembered all the favours Beowulf had heaped upon him. He remembered all the honours and the wealth which he owed to his king. Then could he no longer be still. Shield and spear he seized, but ere he sped to aid his king he turned to his comrades.

"When our lord and king gave us swords and armour," he cried, "did we not promise to follow him in battle whenever he had need? When he of his own will chose us for this expedition he reminded us of our fame. He said he knew us to be good warriors, bold helmet-wearers. And although indeed our liege lord thought to do this work of valour alone, without us, because more than any man he hath done glorious and rash deeds, lo! now is the day come that hath need of strength and of good warriors. Come, let us go to him. Let us help our [94] chieftain although the grim terror of fire be hot.

"Heaven knoweth I would rather the flame would blast my body than his who gave me gold. It seemeth not fitting to me that we should bear back our shields to our homes unless we may first fell the foe and defend the life of our king. Nay, it is not of the old custom of the Goths that the king alone should suffer, that he alone should sink in battle. Our lord should be repaid for his gifts to us, and so he shall be by me even if death take us twain."

But none would hearken to Wiglaf. So alone he sped through the deadly smoke and flame, till to his master's side he came offering aid.

"My lord Beowulf," he cried, "fight on as thou didst in thy youth-time. Erstwhile didst thou say that thou wouldest not let thy greatness sink so long as life lasteth. [95] Defend thou thy life with all might. I will support thee to the utmost."

When the Dragon heard these words his fury was doubled. The fell wicked beast came on again belching forth fire, such was his hatred of men. The flame waves caught Wiglaf's shield, for it was but of wood. It was burned utterly, so that only the boss of steel remained. His coat of mail alone was not enough to guard the young warrior from the fiery enemy. But right valiantly he went on fighting beneath the shelter of Beowulf's shield now that his own was consumed to ashes by the flames.

Then again the warlike king called to mind his ancient glories, again he struck with main strength with his good sword upon the monstrous head. Hate sped the blow.

But alas! as it descended the famous [96] sword Nægling snapped asunder. Beowulf's sword had failed him in the conflict, although it was an old and well-wrought blade. To him it was not granted that weapons should help him in battle. The hand that swung the sword was too strong. His might overtaxed every blade however wondrously the smith had welded it.

And now a third time the fell Fire-Dragon was roused to wrath. He rushed upon the king. Hot, and fiercely grim the great beast seized Beowulf's neck in his horrid teeth. The hero's life-blood gushed forth, the crimson stream darkly dyed his bright armour.

Then in the great king's need his warrior showed skill and courage. Heeding not the flames from the awful mouth, Wiglaf struck the Dragon below the neck. His hand was burned with the fire, but his [97] sword dived deep into the monster's body and from that moment the flames began to abate.

The horrid teeth relaxed their hold, and Beowulf, quickly recovering himself, drew his deadly knife. Battle-sharp and keen it was, and with it the hero gashed the Dragon right in the middle.

The foe was conquered. Glowing in death he fell. They twain had destroyed the winged beast. Such should a warrior be, such a thane in need.

To the king it was a victorious moment. It was the crown of all his deeds.

Then began the wound which the Fire-Dragon had wrought him to burn and to swell. Beowulf soon found that baleful poison boiled in his heart. Well knew he that the end was nigh. Lost in deep thought he sat upon the mound and gazed wondering at the cave. Pillared and [98] arched with stone-work it was within, wrought by giants and dwarfs of old time.

And to him came Wiglaf his dear warrior and tenderly bathed his wound with water.

Then spake Beowulf, in spite of his deadly wound he spake, and all his words were of the ending of his life, for he knew that his days of joy upon this earth were past.


[Illustration]

He knew that his days of joy upon this earth were past

"Had a son been granted to me, to him I should have left my war-garments. Fifty years have I ruled this people, and there has been no king of all the nations round who durst meet me in battle. I have known joys and sorrows, but no man have I betrayed, nor many false oaths have I sworn. For all this may I rejoice, though I be now sick with mortal wounds. The Ruler of Men may not upbraid me with treachery or murder of kinsmen when my soul shall depart from its body.

[99] "But now, dear Wiglaf, go thou quickly to the hoard of gold which lieth under the hoary rock. The Dragon lieth dead; now sleepeth he for ever, sorely wounded and bereft of his treasure. Then haste thee, Wiglaf, for I would see the ancient wealth, the gold treasure, the jewels, the curious gems. Haste thee to bring it hither; then after that I have seen it, I shall the more contentedly give up my life and the kingship that I so long have held."

Quickly Wiglaf obeyed his wounded lord. Into the dark cave he descended, and there outspread before him was a wondrous sight. Treasure of jewels, many glittering and golden, lay upon the ground. Wondrous vessels of old time with broken ornaments were scattered round. Here, too, lay old and rusty helmets, mingled with bracelets and collars cunningly wrought.

[100] Upon the walls too hung golden flags. From one a light shone forth by which the whole cavern was made clear. And all within was silent. No sign was there of any guardian, for without lay the Dragon, sleeping death's sleep.

Quickly Wiglaf gathered of the treasures all that he could carry. Dishes and cups he took, a golden ensign and a sword curiously wrought. In haste he returned, for he knew not if still he should find his lord in life where he had left him.

And when Wiglaf came again to where Beowulf sat he poured the treasure at his feet. But he found his lord in a deep swoon. Again the brave warrior bathed Beowulf's wound and laved the stricken countenance of his lord, until once more he came to himself.

Then spake the king: "For this treasure [101] I give thanks to the Lord of All. Not in vain have I given my life, for it shall be of great good to my people in need. And now leave me, for on this earth longer I may not stay. Say to my warriors that they shall raise a mound upon the rocky point which jutteth seaward. High shall it stand as a memorial to my people. Let it soar upward so that they who steer their slender barks over the tossing waves shall call it Beowulf's mound."

The king then took from his neck the golden collar. To Wiglaf, his young thane and kinsman, he gave it. He gave also his helmet adorned with gold, his ring and coat of mail, and bade the warrior use them well.

"Thou art the last of our race," he said. "Fate hath swept away all my kinsmen, all the mighty earls. Now must I too follow them."

[102] That was the last word of the aged king. From his bosom the soul fled to seek the dwellings of the Just. At Wiglaf's feet he lay quiet and still.

 



Clara Dillingham Pierson

The Bees and the Kingbird

[Illustration]

[62]

T HERE was in the forest a great hollow tree where for years a swarm of Bees had made their home. To look at it in winter, one would never guess what a store of honey was sealed up within, but in summer the Bees were always passing in and out, and it was indeed a busy place. Then the workers had to gather honey and build the cells and look [63] out for the Queen-Mother's many babies. The Queen-Mother had so much care of her eggs that she could really do nothing but attend to them. After they were ready in their cells, the Workers took care of them, and tucked in a lot of bread for the babies to eat when they were hatched. Then there was the bread-making to be done also, and all the Workers helped bring the pollen, or flower-dust, out of which it was made.

The Drones didn't do anything, not a thing, not a single thing, unless it were taking care of the Queen when she flew away from the tree. They had done that once, but it was long ago, before she had laid an egg and while she was still quite young. They were handsome great fellows, strong and well-formed, and if you didn't know about them, you might have thought them the pleasantest Bees in the tree. Of course you would not care for them after finding how lazy they were, for [64] people are never liked just because they are fine-looking.

The Drones always found some excuse for being idle, and like many other lazy people they wanted the busy ones to stop and visit with them. "What is the hurry?" they would say. "There will be more honey that you can get to-morrow. Stop a while now."

But the Workers would shake their brown heads and buzz impatiently as they answered, "We can get to-morrow's honey when to-morrow comes, but to-day's honey must be gathered to-day."

Then the Drones would grumble and say that they didn't see the sense of storing up so much honey anyway. That also was like lazy people the world over, for however much they scold about getting the food, they are sure to eat just as much as anybody else. Sometimes lazy people eat even more than others, and pick for the best too.

[65] On cloudy days, the Workers did stay at home in the tree, but not to play. They clung to the walls and to each other and made wax. It took much patience to make wax. When they were gathering honey there was so much that was interesting to be seen, and so many friends to meet, that it was really quite exciting; but when they made wax they had to hang for a long, long time, until the wax gathered in flakes over their bodies. Then it was ready to scrape off and shape into six-sided cells to hold honey or to be homes for the babies.

One sunshiny morning the Queen-Mother stopped laying her eggs and cried: "Listen! did you hear that?"

"What?" asked the Workers, crowding around her.

"Why, that noise," she said. "It sounded like a bird calling 'Kyrie! K-y-rie!' and I thought I heard a Worker buzzing outside a minute ago, but no one [66] has come in. I am afraid—" and here she stopped.

"Of what are you afraid!" asked the Drones, who, having nothing to do but eat and sleep, were always ready to talk about anything and everything. The great trouble with them was that if you once began to talk they did not like to have you leave and go to work.

"Why," said the Queen-Mother, "I don't want to alarm you, but I thought it was a Kingbird."

"Well, what if it was?" said a big Drone. "There is only one of him and there are a great many of us."

"Yes," said the Queen-Mother, "but there may not be so many of us very long if he begins to watch the tree. I have lived much longer than you and I know how Kingbirds act."

This was true, for Queens live to be very old, and Drones never live long because they are so lazy.

[67] "Well," said the big Drone, "we must find out about this. Just fly around and see if it is a Kingbird," he said to a Worker. "We must know about things before we act."

"Suppose you should go," she replied. "I have my leg-pockets full of pollen, and it ought to be made into bread at once. I never saw Larvæ so hungry as these last ones are."

"I only wish that I could go," said the big Drone, limping as he got out of her way; "but my fifth foot just stepped on my third foot, and I can hardly move."

When he said this, all the Workers smiled, and even the Queen-Mother had to turn away her head. The Drones looked as solemn as possible. It would not do for them to laugh at their brother. They did not want him to laugh at them when they made excuses for staying at home. They even pretended not to hear one of the Workers when she said that it [68] was funny how some people couldn't use their wings if one of their feet hurt them.

"Yes," said another Worker, "and it is funny, too, how some people can get along very well on three legs when they have to, while others are too helpless to do anything unless they can use the whole six."

The Drones began to talk together. "I think that the whole swarm should fly at the Kingbird and sting him and drive him away," said one. "There is no sense in allowing him to perch outside our home and catch us as we pass in and out. I  say that we should make war upon him!" He looked very fierce as he spoke, buzzing and twitching his feelers at every step.

"Exactly!" cried another Drone. "If I had a sting, I would lead the attack. As it is, I may be useful in guarding the comb. It is a great pity that Drones have no stings." You would have thought, to hear him speak, that if he had been given a sting like those of the Workers, [69] not all the Bees in the tree could keep him from fighting.

While the Drones were talking about war, some of the Workers sent to their Queen for advice. "Tell us," they said, "how to drive away the Kingbird. Should we try to sting him? You know it kills a Bee to sting anybody, and we don't want to if we can help it, yet we will if you say so."

The Queen-Mother shook her head. "You must not bother me about such things," she said. "I have all that I can do to get the eggs ready, and you must look after the swarm. Nobody else can do my work, and I have no time to do yours." As she spoke, she finished the one hundred and seventeenth egg of that day's lot, and before night came she would probably have laid more than a thousand, so you can see she was quite right when she said she had no time for other things.

[70] This left the Workers to plan for themselves, and they agreed that a number of them should fly out together and see where the Kingbird was. Then they could decide about attacking him later. When one gave the signal, they dashed out as nearly together as possible.

After the Workers returned with honey and pollen, the Drones crowded around them, asking questions. "Where is he? What does he look like? Did he try to catch you?" The Workers would not answer them, and said: "Go and find out for yourself. We all came back alive." Then they went about their work as usual.

"I don't see how they dared to go," said a very young Bee who was just out of her cocoon and was still too weak to fly.

"Pooh!" said the big Drone. "You wouldn't see me hanging around this tree if I were not lame."

[71] "There is no use in stopping work even if you are scared," said one of the Workers. She smiled as she spoke, and whispered something to the Queen-Mother as she passed her. The Queen-Mother smiled also.

"Why don't you Drones go for honey?" she said. "You must be getting very hungry."

"We don't feel very well," they answered. "Perhaps it would be better for our health if we were to keep quiet for a while and save our strength. We will lunch off some of the honey in the comb if we need food."

"Not a bit of it!" exclaimed the Workers. "Stay in the tree if you want to for your health, but don't you dare touch the honey we have gathered for winter, when the day is clear and bright like this." And whenever a Drone tried to get food from the comb they drove him away.

The poor Drones had a hard day of it, [72] and at night they were so hungry they could hardly sleep. The next morning they peeped out, and then rushed away to the flowers for their breakfast. They stayed out all day, and when they returned at night they rushed swiftly into the tree again.

"There!" they said; "we escaped the Kingbird."

"What Kingbird?" asked a Worker.

"The one who was there yesterday," answered the Drones. "Has he been back to-day?"

"There was no Kingbird near the tree yesterday," said the Worker.

"What!" cried the Drones.

"No," said the Queen-Mother, "I was mistaken when I thought I heard him. The Workers told me after they had been out for honey. Perhaps they forgot to tell you."

But her eyes twinkled as she spoke, and all the Workers smiled, and for some reason the Drones did not know what to say.

 



Clara Doty Bates

Who Likes the Rain?

"I," said the duck, "I call it fun,

For I have my little red rubbers on;

They make a cunning three-toed track

In the soft, cool mud. Quack! Quack!"


"I," cried the dandelion, "I,

My roots are thirsty, my buds are dry."

And she lifted a towsled yellow head

Out of her green and grassy bed.


"I hope 't will pour! I hope 't will pour!"

Purred the tree-toad at his gray back door,

"For, with a broad leaf for a roof,

I am perfectly weatherproof."


Sang the brook: "I laugh at every drop,

And wish they never need to stop

Till a big river I grew to be,

And could find my way to the sea."


"I," shouted Ted, "for I can run,

With my high-top boots and my rain-coat on,

Through every puddle and runlet, and pool

That I find on my way to school."

 


  WEEK 17  

  Friday  


Edward Eggleston

Daniel Boone's Daughter and Her Friends

[79] DANIEL BOONE and his brother picked out a good place in Kentucky to settle. Then they went home to North Carolina. They took with them such things as were curious and valuable. These were the skins of animals they had killed, and no doubt some of the heads and tails.

Boone was restless. He had seen Kentucky and he did not wish to settle down to the life of North Carolina.

In two years Boone sold his farm in North Carolina and set out for Kentucky. He took with him his wife and children and two brothers. Some of their neighbors went with them. They traveled by pack train. All their goods were packed on horses.

When they reached the place on the Kentucky River that Boone had chosen for a home they built a fort of log houses. These cabins all stood round a square. The backs of the houses were outward. There was no door or window in the back of a house. The outer walls were thus shut up. They made the place a fort. The houses at the four corners were a little taller and stronger than the others. [80] There were gates leading into the fort. These gates were kept shut at night.

In the evening the people danced and amused themselves in the square. Indians could not creep up and attack them.

When the men went out to feed the horses and cows they carried their guns. They walked softly and turned their eyes quickly from point to point to see if Indians were hiding near. They held their guns so they could shoot quickly.

The women and children had to stay very near the fort so they could run in if an Indian came in sight.

Daniel Boone had a daughter named Jemima. She was about fourteen years old. She had two friends named Frances and Betsey Calloway. Frances Calloway was about the same age as Jemima.

One summer afternoon these three girls went out of the fort. They went to the river and got into a canoe. It was not far from the fort. They felt safe. They laughed and talked and splashed the water with their paddles.

The current carried them slowly near the other shore. They could still see the fort. They did not think of danger.

Trees and bushes grew thick down to the edge [81] of the river. Five strong Indians were hiding in the bushes.

One Indian crept carefully through the bushes. He made no more noise than a snake. When he got to the edge of the water he put out his long arm and caught hold of the rope that hung down from the canoe. In a moment he had turned the boat around and drawn it out of sight from the fort. The girls screamed when they saw the Indian. Their friends heard them but could not cross the river to help them. The girls had taken the only canoe.

Boone and Calloway were both gone from the fort. They got home too late to start that day. No sleep came to their eyes while they waited for light to travel by.

As soon as there was a glimmer of light they and a party of their friends set out. It was in July and they could start early.

They crossed the river and easily found the Indians' tracks where they started. The brush was broken down there.

The Indians were cunning. They did not keep close together after they set out. Each Indian walked by himself through the tall canes. Three of the Indians took the captives.

Boone and his friends tried in vain to follow [82] them. Sometimes they would find a track but it would soon be lost in the thick canes.

Boone's party gave up trying to find their path. They noticed which way the Indians were going. Then they walked as fast as they could the same way for thirty miles. They thought the Indians would grow careless about their tracks after traveling so far.

They turned so as to cross the path they thought the Indians had taken. They looked carefully at the ground and at the bushes to see if any one had gone by.

Before long they found the Indians' tracks in a buffalo path. Buffaloes and other animals go often to lick salt from the rocks round salt springs. They beat down the brush and make great roads. These roads run to the salt springs. The hunters call them streets.

The Indians took one of these roads after they got far from the fort. They could travel more easily in it. They did not take pains to hide their tracks.

As fast as their feet could carry them, Boone and his friends traveled along the trail. When they had gone about ten miles they saw the Indians.

The Indians had stopped to rest and to eat. [83] It was very warm and they had put off their moccasins and laid down their arms. They were kindling a fire to cook by.

In a moment the Indians saw the white men. Boone and Galloway were afraid the Indians would kill the girls.

Four of the white men shot at the Indians. Then all rushed at them.

The Indians ran away as fast as they could. They did not stop to pick up their guns or knives or hatchets. They had no time to put on their moccasins.

The poor worn-out girls were soon safe in their fathers' arms.

Back to Boonesborough they went, not minding their tired feet. When they got to the fort there was great joy to see them alive.

I do not believe they ever played in the water again.

 



Ellen C. Babbitt

The Crab and the Crane

[84]

I N the Long Ago there was a summer when very little rain fell.

All the Animals suffered for want of water, but the Fishes suffered most of all.

In one pond full of Fishes, the water was very low indeed.

A Crane sat on the bank watching the Fishes.

"What are you doing?" asked a little Fish.

"I am thinking about you Fishes there in the pond. It is so nearly dry," answered the Crane.

"Yes," the Crane went on, "I was wishing I might do something for you. I know of a pond in the deep woods where there is plenty of water."

"I declare," said the little Fish, "you are the first Crane that ever offered to help a Fish."

"That may be," said the Crane, "but the water is so low in your pond. I could easily carry you one by [85] one on my back to that other pond where there is plenty of water and food and cool shade."

"I don't believe there is any such pond," said the little Fish. "What you wish to do is to eat us, one by one."

"If you don't believe me," said the Crane, "send with me one of the Fishes whom you can believe. I'll show him the pond and bring him back to tell you all about it."

A big Fish heard the Crane and said, "I will go with you to see the pond—I may as well be eaten by the Crane as to die here."

So the Crane put the big Fish on his back and started for the deep woods.


[Illustration]

So the Crane put the big Fish on his back and started for the deep woods.

Soon the Crane showed the big Fish the pool of water. "See how cool and shady it is here," he said, "and how much larger the pond is, and how full it is!"

"Yes!" said the big Fish, "take me back to the little pond and I'll tell the other Fishes all about it." So back they went.

The Fishes all wanted to go when they heard the big Fish talk about the fine pond which he had seen.

Then the Crane picked up another Fish and car- [87] ried it away. Not to the pool, but into the woods where the other Fishes could not see them.

Then the Crane put the Fish down and ate it. The Crane went back for another Fish. He carried it to the same place in the woods and ate it, too.

This he did until he had eaten all the Fishes in the pond.

The next day the Crane went to the pond to see if he had left a Fish. There was not one left, but there was a Crab on the sand.

"Little Crab," said the Crane, "would you let me take you to the fine pond in the deep woods where I took the Fishes?"

"But how could you carry me?" asked the Crab.

"Oh, easily," answered the Crane. "I'll take you on my back as I did the Fishes."

"No, I thank you," said the Crab, "I can't go that way. I am afraid you might drop me. If I could take hold of your neck with my claws, I would go. You know we Crabs have a tight grip."

The Crane knew about the tight grip of the Crabs, and he did not like to have the Crab hold on with his claws. But he was hungry, so he said:

"Very well, hold tight."

[89] And off went the Crane with the Crab.


[Illustration]

And off went the Crane with the Crab.

When they reached the place where the Crane had eaten the Fishes, the Crane said:

"I think you can walk the rest of the way. Let go of my neck."

"I see no pond," said the Crab. "All I can see is a pile of Fish bones. Is that all that is left of the Fishes?"

"Yes," said the Crane, "and if you will let go of my neck, your shell will be all that will be left of you."

And the Crane put his head down near the ground so that the Crab could get off easily.

But the Crab pinched the Crane's neck so that his head fell off.

"Not my shell, but your bones are left to dry with the bones of the Fishes," said the Crab.

 



Charles Kingsley

The Lost Doll

I once had a sweet little doll, dears,

The prettiest doll in the world;

Her cheeks were so red and so white, dears,

And her hair was so charmingly curled;

But I lost my poor little doll, dears,

As I played in the heath one day;

And I cried for her more than a week, dears,

But I never could find where she lay.


I found my poor little doll, dears,

As I played in the heath one day;

Folks say she's terribly changed, dears,

For her paint is all washed away,

And her arm's trodden off by the cows, dears,

And her hair's not the least bit curled;

Yet for old sake's sake she is still, dears,

The prettiest doll in the world.