Text of Plan #426
  WEEK 19  

  Monday  


Lawton B. Evans

Sir William Phips and the Treasure Ship

THIS is the story of a poor boy who lived on a miserable plantation on the Kennebec River, in New England, yet who ended by becoming a nobleman of Old England. His name was William Phips, and he had twenty brothers and five sisters. In his early life he tended sheep, and learned the trade of a ship carpenter. He then went to Boston, where he learned to read and write and, later on, married a good wife. He settled down to hard work, and after ten years became Captain of one of the King's ships. Little did he know he was about to face the great adventure of his life, as we shall see.

These were the days when Spanish ships were seeking silver and gold and precious stones on the coast of Peru; when they were carrying their cargoes back to the old country, if they were fortunate enough to escape the pirates! Some of these [82] cargoes went to the bottom in storms, or ran foul on dangerous reefs. Many were the stories of precious wrecks along the shores of the Bahamas.

On one of his trips to the Bahamas, Phips heard of a Spanish wreck "wherein was left a mighty treasure" at the bottom of the sea. He made up his mind to be the discoverer of that ship and to recover that treasure, if it was possible. Many a man would have laughed at the story, or would have hesitated over the task; but Phips was not like other men. He was born for great adventure, and herein he saw his chance.

Forthwith he sailed for England, and sought the wealthy people of the realm. He was a comely man, full of honesty and sincerity, and Royalty at Court listened to his smooth words with apparent confidence. For he came back to New England, Captain of his King's ship, and with full power to search the seas for silver and gold in sunken cargoes.

Phips's task was not an easy one. Fifty years had passed since the particular ship of which he had heard had sunk; hence the exact spot was not easy to find. All that was known was that it was somewhere near the Bahamas. But men have ventured in search of gold on far less certainty than this, and Phips was not one to be dismayed.

[83] He took his crew to the Bahamas, and began his long and discouraging search. He dredged here and there; he questioned the old inhabitants along every coast; he used every means of information and discovery. But without success.

At length his crew grew mutinous. They wanted to turn pirates, and to set sail for the South Seas. Accordingly, one day they rose, and marched with drawn swords to the Captain, saying, "We will have no more of this. Take us to more profitable waters under the black flag, or we will heave you overboard. We will be pirates henceforth, and will not search the bottom of the sea for ships, when there are plenty to be found on top of it."

Phips was aghast at this mutiny, and, besides, he was unarmed and helpless. Still he was by far the most powerful man on board, and was terrible in his wrath. Slowly he approached the ring-leader, as if to parley with him. Then, with bare hands, he leaped upon him, knocked him down, seized his cutlass, and attacked the others with fury. So impetuous was the onset that in a short time the deck was strewn with wounded men, while many others fled in dismay, begging mercy of the infuriated Captain.

Soon after the mutiny, Phips sailed back to Jamaica in order to get a new crew, more disposed [84] to do as they were told. The treasure-ship must be somewhere, and its riches haunted him day and night. He sailed to Hispaniola in search of information. He met a very old Spaniard who said he knew where the ship was sunk, and who told of the spot on a reef of shoals, a few leagues from Hispaniola, and not far from Port de la Plata which was so named because of a boat-load of sailors who landed there with plate saved from the sinking vessel.

This was enough for our hero. He needed more men and more money, so he bravely returned to England to beg for both. He had a hard time to convince any one of his story, but Phips was very plausible and the account of how he quelled the mutiny on his vessel won him many admirers. Such was not an easy task in those days of adventure. However, it was not long before Captain Phips found himself headed for the lost treasure on the quarter-deck of a new ship, well manned and equipped.

He reached Port de la Plata in due time. It was now about 1685. He set about getting ready a great canoe, hollowed out of the trunk of an enormous tree. The point selected by him for search was a terrible reef, known as "The Boilers," where the sea foamed over a sloping reef—no [85] man knew how deep. Phips anchored his ship near the perilous spot, made ready his divers and his diving-bell, got out the canoe, and set to work with a slow and steady resolve to see the undertaking through or else perish.

Days passed in vain search. The weather was calm and the ship's supplies were abundant. The men did not complain, but dived down, along the reef, looking everywhere for signs of a lost vessel. One day a boatman, gazing into the clear water, saw, growing out of what seemed to be a rock, what he thought was a beautiful sea feather, usually to be found in sea gardens. So an Indian diver went down after it and brought it up in his hands.

"That was not a rock, but a great gun you saw," said the diver to his companions in the boat.

"What do you say? Gun! Gun!" they cried. "It must be what we are seeking! On board, all you divers!" There was intense excitement in the canoe.

Other Indians were sent down, and one of them came back with a lump of silver in his hands. It was a bar worth a thousand dollars. "I found it near the gun. There are other guns and other lumps like it,—many, many!" he explained, his eyes almost starting from their sockets.

The sailors roared with joy. At last the place [86] was found! Their search was over! They were masters of the silver-ship! Riches untold were in their possession! They marked the spot with a buoy, and rowed back to the ship to inform Phips of what they had found and to show him the bar of silver.

"Thanks be to God, our fortunes are made," cried the Captain, and at once repaired with his men to the spot marked by the buoy.

There was no indifference now on the part of the crew. Every diver went down and every sailor lent a hand. Bar after bar was brought up from the ocean's depths, and stored away, as well as cases of silver coin, gold in large quantities, together with pearls and precious stones. Never was there such treasure dug up from the bottom of the ocean, where it had lain for half a century. It was worth a million and a half dollars. The work continued until provisions were exhausted and the men were ill. Though the sunken ship held more, they had to leave it where it was. Phips sailed to England and showed his treasures to the King, and to his friends. He was the most honest and generous man of his day, and paid his crew liberally. He gave his patrons a large share of his fortune, and his employees had nought to complain of. What remained to him after this still left him a [87] very rich man, and for a time he was the most talked of man in England.

As for the King, he was so well pleased with the adventure, and with the admirable manners of Phips, that he made the latter a knight, which meant that he was called "Sir William" from that time on. And this is the story of how a plain country boy of New England came, through his manly qualities and his love of adventure, to belong to the aristocracy of England.

 



Clara Dillingham Pierson

The Young Blue Jay Not Brave Enough To Be Afraid

[Illustration]

[91]

E VERYBODY who is acquainted with the Blue Jays knows that they are a very brave family. That is the best thing that you can say about them. To be sure, they dress very handsomely, and there is no prettier sight, on [92] a fine winter morning, than a flock of Blue Jays flitting from branch to branch, dining off the acorns on the oak trees, and cocking their crested heads on one side as they look over the country. They are great talkers then, and are always telling each other just what to do; yet none of them ever do what they are told to, so they might just as well stop giving advice.

The other people of the forest do not like the Blue Jays at all, and if one of them gets into trouble they will not help him out. This always has been so, and it always will be so. If it could be winter all the time, the Blue Jays could be liked well enough, for in cold weather they eat seeds and nuts and do not quarrel so much with others. It is in the summer that they become bad neighbors. Then they live in the thickest part of the woods and raise families of tiny, fuzzy babies in their great coarse nests. It is then, too, that they change their beautiful coats, and while [93] the old feathers are dropping off and the new ones are growing they are not at all pretty. Oh, then it is the time to beware of the Blue Jays!

They do very little talking during the summer, and the forest people do not know when they are coming, unless they see a flutter of blue wings among the branches. The Blue Jays have a reason for keeping still then. They are doing sly things, and they do not want to be found out.

The wee babies grow fast and their mouths are always open for more food. Father and Mother Blue Jay spend all their time in the marketing, and they are not content with seeds and berries. They visit the nests of their bird neighbors, and then something very sad happens. When the Blue Jays go to a nest there may be four eggs in it; but when they go away there will not be any left, nothing but pieces of broken egg-shell. It is very, very sad, [94] but this is another of the things which will always be so, and all that the other birds can do is to watch and drive the Jays away.

There was once a young Blue Jay in the forest who was larger than his brothers and sisters, and kept crowding them toward the edge of the nest. When their father came with a bit of food for them, he would stretch his legs and flutter his wings and reach up for the first bite. And because he was the largest and the strongest, he usually got it. Sometimes, too, the first bite was so big that there was nothing left for anyone else to bite at. He was a very greedy fellow, and he had no right to take more than his share, just because he happened to be the first of the family to break open the shell, or because he grew fast.

This same young Blue Jay used to brag about what he would do when he got out of the nest, and his mother told [95] him that he would get into trouble if he were not careful. She said that even Blue Jays had to look out for danger.

"Huh!" said the young Blue Jay; "who's afraid?"

"Now you talk like a bully," said Mother Blue Jay, "for people who are really brave are always willing to be careful."

But the young Blue Jay only crowded his brothers and sisters more than usual, and thought, inside his foolish little pin-feathery head, that when he got a chance, he'd show them what courage was.

After a while his chance came. All the small birds had learned to flutter from branch to branch, and to hop quite briskly over the ground. One afternoon they went to a part of the forest where the ground was damp and all was strange. The father and mother told their children to keep close together and they would take care of them; but the foolish young [96] Blue Jay wanted a chance to go alone, so he hid behind a tree until the others were far ahead, and then he started off another way. It was great fun for a time, and when the feathered folk looked down at him he raised his crest higher than ever and thought how he would scare them when he was a little older.

The young Blue Jay was just thinking about this when he saw something long and shining lying in the pathway ahead. He remembered what his father had said about snakes, and about one kind that wore rattles on their tails. He wondered if this one had a rattle, and he made up his mind to see how it was fastened on. "I am a Blue Jay," he said to himself, "and I was never yet afraid of anything."

The Rattlesnake, for it was he, raised his head to look at the bird. The young Blue Jay saw that his eyes were very bright. He looked right into them, and [97] could see little pictures of himself upon their shining surfaces. He stood still to look, and the Rattlesnake came nearer. Then the young Blue Jay tried to see his tail, but he couldn't look away from the Rattlesnake's eyes, though he tried ever so hard.

The Rattlesnake now coiled up his body, flattened out his head, and showed his teeth, while all the time his queer forked tongue ran in and out of his mouth. Then the young Blue Jay tried to move and found that he couldn't. All he could do was to stand there and watch those glowing eyes and listen to the song which the Rattlesnake began to sing:

"Through grass and fern,

With many a turn,

My shining body I draw.

In woodland shade

My home is made,

For this is the Forest Law.

[98]

"Whoever tries

To look in my eyes

Comes near to my poisoned jaw;

And birds o'erbold

I charm and hold,

For this is the Forest Law."

The Rattlesnake drew nearer and nearer, and the young Blue Jay was shaking with fright, when there was a rustle of wings, and his father and mother flew down and around the Rattlesnake, screaming loudly to all the other Jays, and making the Snake turn away from the helpless little bird he had been about to strike. It was a long time before the forest was quiet again, and when it was, the Blue Jay family were safely in their nest, and the Rattlesnake had gone home without his supper.

After the young Blue Jay got over his fright, he began to complain because he had not seen the Rattlesnake's tail. Then, indeed, his patient mother gave him such [99] a scolding as he had never had in all his life, and his father said that he deserved a sound pecking for his foolishness.

When the young Blue Jay showed that he was sorry for all the trouble that he had made, his parents let him have some supper and go to bed; but not until he had learned two sayings which he was always to remember. And these were the sayings: "A really brave bird dares to be afraid of some things," and, "If you go near enough to see the tail of a danger, you may be struck by its head."

 



Anonymous

Mr. Nobody

I know a funny little man,

As quiet as a mouse,

Who does the mischief that is done

In everybody's house!

There's no one ever sees his face,

And yet we all agree

That every plate we break was cracked

By Mr. Nobody.


'Tis he who always tears our books,

Who leaves the door ajar,

Who pulls the buttons from our shirts,

And scatters pins afar;

That squeaking door will always squeak

For, prithee, don't you see,

We leave the oiling to be done

By Mr. Nobody.


He puts damp wood upon the fire,

That kettles cannot boil;

His are the feet that bring in mud,

And all the carpets soil.

The papers always are mislaid,

Who had them last but he?

There's no one tosses them about

But Mr. Nobody.


The finger marks upon the door

By none of us are made;

We never leave the blinds unclosed,

To let the curtains fade.

The ink we never spill, the boots

That lying round you see,

Are not our boots; they all belong

To Mr. Nobody.

 


  WEEK 19  

  Tuesday  


Amy Steedman

Saint Ursula

Part 1 of 2

[1] ONCE upon a time in the land of Brittany there lived a good king, whose name was Theonotus. He had married a princess who was as good as she was beautiful, and they had one little daughter, whom they called Ursula.

It was a very happy and prosperous country over which Theonotus ruled, for he was a Christian, and governed both wisely and well, and nowhere was happiness more certain to be found than in the royal palace where the king and queen and little Princess Ursula lived.

All went merrily until Ursula was fifteen years old, and then a great trouble came, for the queen, her mother, died. The poor king was heart-broken, and for a long time even Ursula could not comfort him. But with patient tenderness she tried to do for him all that her mother had done, and gradually he began to feel that he still had something to live for.

Her mother had taught Ursula with great care, and the little maid had loved her lessons, and so it came to pass that there was now no princess in all the world so learned as the Princess Ursula. It is said that she knew all that had happened since the beginning of the world, all about the stars and the [2] winds, all the poetry that had ever been written, and every science that learned men had ever known.

But what was far better than all this learning was that the princess was humble and good. She never thought herself wiser than other people, and her chief pleasure was in doing kind things and helping others. Her father called her the light of his eyes, and his one fear was that she would some day marry and leave him alone.

And true it was that many princes wished to marry Ursula, for the fame of her beauty and of her learning had spread to far distant lands.

Now on the other side of the sea, not very far from Brittany, there was a great country called England. The people there were strong and powerful, but they had not yet learned to be Christians. The king of that land had an only son called Conon, who was as handsome as he was brave. And when his father heard of the fame of the Princess Ursula he made up his mind that she should be his son's wife. So he sent a great company of nobles and ambassadors to the court of Brittany to ask King Theonotus for the hand of the Princess Ursula.

That king received the messengers most courteously, but he was very much troubled and perplexed at the request. He did not want to part with Ursula, and he knew she did not wish to marry and leave him. And yet he scarcely dared offend the powerful King of England, who might be such a dangerous enemy.

So to gain time he told the messengers he would [3] give them their answer next day, and then he shut himself up in his room and sorrowfully leaned his head upon his hand as he tried to think what was best to be done. But as he sat there thinking the door opened and Ursula came in.

"Why art thou so sad, my father?" she asked, "and what is it that troubleth thee so greatly?"

"I have this day received an offer for thy hand," answered her father sadly, "and the messengers are even now here, and because they come from the King of England I dare not refuse their request, and yet I know not what answer to give them when they return in the morning."

"If that is all, do not trouble thyself, dear father," answered Ursula; "I myself will answer the messengers and all will be well."

Then the princess left her father and went to her own room that she might consider what answer might be wisest to send. But the more she thought the more troubled she became, until at last she grew so weary that she took off her crown and placed it as usual at the foot of her bed and prepared to go to rest. Her little dog lay guarding her, and she slept calmly and peacefully until she dreamed a dream which seemed almost like a vision. For she thought she saw a bright light shining through the door and through the light an angel coming towards her, who spoke to her and said:—


[Illustration]

"Trouble not thyself, Ursula, for to-morrow thou shalt know what answer thou shalt give. God has need of thee to save many souls, and though this prince doth offer thee an earthly crown, [4] God has an unfading crown of heavenly beauty laid up for thee, which thou shalt win through much suffering."

So next morning when the messengers came into the great hall to receive their answer, they saw the Princess Ursula herself sitting on the throne next to her father. She was so beautiful, and greeted them so graciously that they longed more than ever that their prince might win her for his bride.

And as they listened for the king to speak, it was Ursula's voice that fell on their ears. She began by sending her greeting to the King of England and to Prince Conon, his son, and bade the messengers say that the honour offered her was more than she deserved, but since their choice had fallen upon her, she on her side was ready to accept the prince as her promised husband, if he would agree to three conditions. "And first," went on Ursula, leaning forward and speaking very clearly and slowly, so that the foreign ambassadors might understand every word, "I would have the prince, your master, send to me ten of the noblest ladies of your land to be my companions and friends, and for each of these ladies and for myself a thousand maidens to wait upon us. Secondly, he must give me three years before the date of my marriage so that I and these noble ladies may have time to serve God by visiting the shrines of the saints in distant lands. And thirdly, I ask that the prince and all his court shall accept the true faith and be baptized Christians. For I cannot wed even so great and perfect a prince, if he be not as perfect a Christian."

[5] Then Ursula stopped speaking, and the ambassadors bowed low before her beauty and wisdom and went to take her answer to their king.

Now Ursula did not make these conditions without a purpose, for in her heart she thought that surely the prince would not agree to such demands, and she would still be free. But even if he did all that she had asked, it would surely fulfil the purpose of her dream, and she would save these eleven thousand maidens and teach them to serve and honour God.

Ere long the ambassadors arrived safely in England, and went to report their mission to the king. They could not say enough about the perfections of this wonderful princess of Brittany. She was as fair and straight as a lily, her rippling hair was golden as the sunshine, and her eyes like shining stars. The pearls that decked her bodice were not as fair as the whiteness of her throat, and her walk and every gesture was so full of grace that it clearly showed she was born to be a queen. And if the outside was so fair, words failed them when they would describe her wisdom and learning, her good deeds and kind actions.

The king, as he listened to his nobles, felt that no conditions could be too hard that would secure such a princess for his son, and as for the prince himself his only desire was to have her wishes fulfilled as quickly as possible, so that he might set sail for Brittany and see with his own eyes this beautiful princess who had promised to be his bride.

[6] So letters were sent north, south, east, and west, to France and Scotland and Cornwall, wherever there were vassals of England to be found, bidding all knights and nobles to send their daughters to court with their attendant maidens, the fairest and noblest of the land. All were to be arrayed in the finest and costliest raiment and most precious jewels, so that they might be deemed fit companions for the Princess Ursula, who was to wed Prince Conon, their liege lord.

Then the knights and nobles sent all their fairest maidens, and so eager were they to do as the king desired, that very soon ten of the noblest maidens, each with a thousand attendants, and another thousand for the Princess Ursula, were ready to start for the court of Brittany.

Never before was seen such a fair sight as when all these maidens went out to meet the Princess Ursula. But fairest of all was the princess herself as she stood to receive her guests. For the light of love shone in her eyes, and to each she gave a welcome as tender as if they had all been her own sisters. It seemed a glorious thing to think they were all to serve God together, and no longer to live the life of mere pleasure and vanity.

As may well be believed the fame of these fair maidens spread far and near, and all the nobles and barons crowded to the court to see the sight that all the world talked about. But Ursula and her maidens paid no heed to the gay courtiers, having other matters to think upon.

For when the soft spring weather was come, [7] Ursula gathered all her companions together and led them to a green meadow outside the city, through which a clear stream flowed. The grass was starred with daisies and buttercups, and the sweet scent of the lime blossoms hung in the air, a fitting bower for those living flowers that gathered there that day.

In the midst of the meadow there was a throne, and there the princess sat, and with words of wonderful power she told her companions the story of God's love and of the coming of our Blessed Lord, and showed them what the beauty of a life lived for Him might be.

And the faces of the listening maidens shone with a glory that was more than earthly, as they with one accord promised to follow the Princess Ursula wherever she might lead, if only she would help them to live the blessed life so that they too might win the heavenly crown.

Then Ursula descended from her throne and talked with each of the maidens, and those who had not yet been baptized she led through the flowery meadow to the banks of the stream, and there a priest baptized them while the birds joined in the hymn of praise sung by the whole company.

 



Harriette Taylor Treadwell

Wee Robin's Christmas Song

[34]

Wee Robin Redbreast hopped upon a bush.

An old gray pussy came by and said,

"Where are you going, Wee Robin?"


Wee Robin said, "I'm going to the king.

I shall sing him a song

this good Christmas morning."


Gray pussy said, "Come here, Wee Robin,

I will show you a bonny ring

round my neck."


But Wee Robin said, "No, no, Gray Pussy!

No, no, you worried the wee mouse,

but you can not worry me."


So Wee Robin flew away.


[Illustration]

[35]

Then Wee Robin came to a mud wall.


There he saw a gray hawk.

The gray hawk said,

"Where are you going, Wee Robin?"


Wee Robin said, "I am going to the king.

I shall sing him a song

this good Christmas morning."


Gray hawk said, "Come here, Wee Robin,

I will show you a bonny feather

in my wing."


[36]

But Wee Robin said, "No, no, Gray Hawk!

No, no, you pecked the wee linnet,

but you can not peck me."

So Wee Robin flew away.


Then Wee Robin came to a hole in a cliff.

There he saw a sly fox.

The sly fox said,

"Where are you going, Wee Robin?"


Wee Robin said, "I am going to the king.

I shall sing him a song

this good Christmas morning."


The sly fox said, "Come here, Wee Robin,

I will show you a bonny spot

on my tail."


But Wee Robin said, "No, no, sly fox!

No, no, you worried the wee lamb,

but you can not worry me."

So Wee Robin flew away.


[37]

Then Wee Robin came to a spring.

There he saw a wee lad getting a drink.


And the wee lad said,

"Where are you going, Wee Robin?"


Wee Robin said, "I am going to the king.

I shall sing him a song

this good Christmas morning."


The wee lad said, "Come here, Wee Robin,

I will give you some crumbs."


But Wee Robin said, "No, no, wee lad!

No, no, you hit the little sparrow,

but you can not hit me."

So Wee Robin flew away.


Then Wee Robin came to the king's castle.

There he saw the king and queen.

"Now I shall sing my Christmas song,"

said Wee Robin.


[Illustration]

[38]

So Wee Robin sang

his good Christmas song.


Then the king said,

"What can we give Wee Robin

for his bonny Christmas song?"


"We can give him Jenny Wren

for a wife," said the queen.


So Wee Robin and Jenny Wren

flew away home.


— Scotch Folk Tale

 



Laura E. Richards

An Old Rat's Tale

He was a rat, and she was a rat,

And down in one hole they did dwell.

And each was as black as your Sunday hat,

And they loved one another well.


He had a tail, and she had a tail,

Both long and curling and fine.

And each said, "My love's tail is the finest tail

In the world, excepting mine!"


He smelt the cheese, and she smelt the cheese,

And they both pronounced it good;

And both remarked it would greatly add

To the charm of their daily food.


So he ventured out and she ventured out;

And I saw them go with pain.

But what them befell I never can tell,

For they never came back again.

 


  WEEK 19  

  Wednesday  


James Baldwin

Androclus and the Lion

IN Rome there was once a poor slave whose name was Androclus. His master was a cruel man, and so unkind to him that at last Androclus ran away.

He hid himself in a wild wood for many days; but there was no food to be found, and he grew so weak and sick that he thought he should die. So one day he crept into a cave and lay down, and soon he was fast asleep.

After awhile a great noise woke him up. A lion had come into the cave, and was roaring loudly. [88] Androclus was very much afraid, for he felt sure that the beast would kill him. Soon, however, he saw that the lion was not angry, but that he limped as though his foot hurt him.

Then Androclus grew so bold that he took hold of the lion's lame paw to see what was the matter. The lion stood quite still, and rubbed his head against the man's shoulder. He seemed to say,—

"I know that you will help me."

Androclus lifted the paw from the ground, and saw that it was a long, sharp thorn which hurt the lion so much. He took the end of the thorn in his fingers; then he gave a strong, quick pull, and out it came. The lion was full of joy. He jumped about like a dog, and licked the hands and feet of his new friend.

Androclus was not at all afraid after this; and when night came, he and the lion lay down and slept side by side.

For a long time, the lion brought food to Androclus every day; and the two became such good friends, that Androclus found his new life a very happy one.

One day some soldiers who were passing through the wood found Androclus in the cave. They knew who he was, and so took him back to Rome.

[89] It was the law at that time that every slave who ran away from his master should be made to fight a hungry lion. So a fierce lion was shut up for a while without food, and a time was set for the fight.

When the day came, thousands of people crowded to see the sport. They went to such places at that time very much as people now-a-days, go to see a circus show or a game of baseball.

The door opened, and poor Androclus was brought in. He was almost dead with fear, for the roars of the lion could already be heard. He looked up, and saw that there was no pity in the thousands of faces around him.

Then the hungry lion rushed in. With a single bound he reached the poor slave. Androclus gave a great cry, not of fear, but of gladness. It was his old friend, the lion of the cave.

The people, who had expected to see the man killed by the lion, were filled with wonder. They saw Androclus put his arms around the lion's neck; they saw the lion lie down at his feet, and lick them lovingly; they saw the great beast rub his head against the slave's face as though he wanted to be petted. They could not understand what it all meant.

After a while they asked Androclus to tell them [91] about it. So he stood up before them, and, with his arm around the lion's neck, told how he and the beast had lived together in the cave.


[Illustration]

Androclus and the Lion

"I am a man," he said; "but no man has ever befriended me. This poor lion alone has been kind to me; and we love each other as brothers."

The people were not so bad that they could be cruel to the poor slave now. "Live and be free!" they cried. "Live and be free!"

Others cried, "Let the lion go free too! Give both of them their liberty!"

And so Androclus was set free, and the lion was given to him for his own. And they lived together in Rome for many years.

 



Lucy Fitch Perkins

The Feast

Part 2 of 2

III

After a while the Angakok turned his face to the wall, as he always did when he meant to tell a story or sing a song. Then [85] he said, "Listen, my children!" He called everybody—even the grown up people—his children! Everybody listened. They always listened when the Angakok spoke.

The Angakok knew the secrets of the sun, moon, and stars. He had told them so many times! The people believed it, and it may be that the Angakok really believed it himself, though I have some doubt about that.

"Listen, my children," said the Angakok, "and I will tell you wonderful things.

"There is a world beneath the sea! You catch glimpses of that world yourselves in calm summer weather, when the water is still, and you know that I speak the truth!

"Then you can see the shadows of rocks and islands and glaciers in the smooth water. Far below you see blue sky and white clouds. That is the calm world in which the Spirits of the Dead live. I have visited that underworld, many times—I have talked there with the spirits of your ancestors."

The Angakok paused and looked around [86] to see if every one was paying attention. Then he went on with his story.

"Do you remember how two springs ago there were so few walruses and seals along the coast that you nearly died for lack of food and oil?" he said. "My children, it was I  who brought the seals and walruses back to you! Without my efforts you might all have starved!

"I will tell you of the perils of a fearful journey which I undertook for your sakes. Then you will see what you owe to the skill and faithfulness of your Angakok!"

All the people looked very solemn, and nodded their heads. The Angakok went on.

"You must know that in the depths of the underworld, far beyond the beautiful abode of the Spirits of the Dead, lives the Old Woman of the Sea!

"There she sits forever and forever beside a monstrous lamp. Underneath the lamp is a great saucer to catch the oil which drips from it.

"In that saucer there are whole flocks of sea-birds swimming about! All the [87] animals that live in the sea—the whales and walruses, the codfish and the seals—swarm in the saucer of the Old Woman of the Sea. That is where they all come from. Sometimes the Old Woman of the Sea keeps all the creatures in the saucer. Then there are no seal or fish or walrus along our coasts, and there is hunger among the innuit (human beings).

"At the time of my journey she had kept all the creatures for so long a time in her saucer that you and many others were nearly dead for lack of food."

"It was then that I prepared myself for the perils of this journey to the underworld. I called my Tornak, or guiding spirit, to lead my steps. Without his Tornak an Angakok can do nothing. The Tornak came at once in answer to my call. He took me by the hand, and we plunged down into the water. First we passed through the beautiful World of Spirits, where it is always summer. This part of the way was quite pleasant, but on the farther side of that world we came to a fearful abyss. It could [88] be crossed only on a large slippery wheel, as slippery as ice."

"I mounted this wheel and was whirled across the chasm. No sooner had I reached the other side than new terrors came upon me. I had to pass by great cauldrons of boiling oil, in which seals were swimming about."

"A misstep would have sent me plunging into the boiling oil, and you would have lost your Angakok forever!"

The thought of this was so dreadful that the Angakok paused and wiped his eyes. Then he went on again with his story.

"However, with great courage I kept upon my way until at last I saw the Old Woman's house! A deep gulf lay between us and her dwelling, and outside it stood a great dog with bloody jaws. This dog guards the entrance, and he sleeps only for a single moment, once in a very great while."

"For six days I and my Tornak waited there for the dog to sleep. At last on the seventh day he closed his eyes! Instantly [89] the Tornak seized my hand and drew me across the bridge which spanned the chasm. This bridge was as narrow as a single thread."

"When we were safely across the bridge we passed the sleeping dog and boldly entered the Old Woman's house. The Old Woman is terrible to look upon! Her hand is the size of a large walrus, and her teeth like the rocks along the coast!" The Angakok dropped his voice to a whisper.

"However, when she looked upon me she trembled!" he said. "She saw at once that I possessed great power, and was a great Angakok. I spoke to her flattering words. Then I told her of the hunger of my children!"

"I begged that she would send the seal and walrus and sea-birds to our coast at once. But she had no mind to yield to my requests. Then I stormed and threatened." The Angakok's voice grew louder. "The walls shook with the thunder of my voice! At last I seized her by the hair! I tipped over the saucer with my foot! My great [90] power prevailed against the mighty sorceress!"

"The seal and walrus swam away. The birds flew into the air and were gone. I had conquered the Old Woman of the Sea! My children were saved!" The Angakok was silent for a moment. Then he spoke again in a natural voice.

"When I opened my eyes in my own igloo again," he said, "the famine was already over. Flocks of sea-birds were flying overhead. The sea swarmed with fish, and with walrus and seal. Every one along the whole coast was happy. Ask yourselves—is it not so?"

The Angakok seemed very much pleased with himself, and he looked about, as if he expected every one else to be pleased with him too. All the people were filled with wonder at his great power. They began to talk among themselves.

"Yes, I remember the famine well," said Koko's father. "I was away up the coast that season. Several died in our village for lack of food."

[91] Other men remembered things about other times when food had been scarce.

"It is lucky," they said to each other, "that here we have a great Angakok who understands all the secrets of the World and who can save us from such dreadful things."

IV

[92] At last Kesshoo said, "Will you tell us, great Angakok, how you make these wonderful journeys?"

"Do you really wish to know?" asked the Angakok. "If you do, I will summon my guiding spirits to tell you, but they will speak only in the darkness."

Kesshoo took the lamp at once and put it out in the tunnel. Then he placed a thick musk-ox hide over the entrance, so that not a single ray of light came into the room. The darkness could almost be felt. Everybody sat very still and listened.

Soon a heavy body was heard to strike the floor with a dull thud, and a strange voice said, "Who calls me?"

Another voice said, "You are called, mighty spirits, to tell these children of the labors of their Angakok."

Then began all sorts of strange noises, as of different persons speaking. All the voices sounded much like the Angakok's, and they all said what a great medicine man the Angakok was, and how everyone [93] in the village must be sure to do what he told them to!

At last the Angakok himself spoke, in his own voice. "I will tell you how I make these strange journeys," he said.

"My body is now lying on the floor at your feet. Now I begin to rise. You cannot see me. You cannot touch me. Now I am floating about your heads, now I am touching the roof! I can go wherever I please! Nothing can stop me! I know the secret places of the sun, moon, and stars. I can fly through the roof and go at once to the moon, if I wish to."

Then the voice was still. Nobody moved or spoke.

Monnie had gone to sleep in the corner of the bed, but Koko and Menie were still awake. They had listened to every word about the Old Woman of the Sea, and how the Angakok traveled to the moon.

You know I told you before that Koko was six. He wanted to know all about things. So he spoke right out in the dark, when every one else was still.

[94] He said, "Mother, if the Angakok can go anywhere he wants to, why couldn't he get out of the tunnel?"

Koko's mother tried to hush him up. "Sh, sh," she said, and put her hand over his mouth. At least she thought she did, but she made a mistake in the dark and put her hand over Menie's mouth instead!


[Illustration]

Menie tried to say, "I never said a word," but he could only make queer sounds, [95] because Koko's mother's hand was tight on his mouth.

Of course Koko didn't know his mother was trying to keep him still, so he said again, "Why is it, mother?"

Koko's mother heard Koko's voice speaking just as plainly as ever though she was sure she had her hand over his mouth! She was frightened.

"Magic! magic!" she screamed. "Bring the light! Koko is bewitched! I have my hand over his mouth, yet you hear that he talks as plainly as ever!"

Koko tried to say, "Your hand isn't over my mouth," and Menie tried to say, "It's over mine!" but he could only say, "M-m-m," because she held on so tight!

Koko's mother was making so much noise herself that she wouldn't have heard what either one said anyway. The baby woke up and whimpered. Nip and Tup woke up and barked like everything.

Kesshoo got the light from the tunnel as quickly as he could, and set it on the bench. Then every one saw what was the [96] matter! They all laughed—all but Menie and the Angakok. The Angakok said to Koko's father, "You'd better look after that boy. He is disrespectful to me. That is a bad beginning!"


[Illustration]

Koko's father was ashamed of him. He said, "Koko is so small!"

But the Angakok said, "Koko is six. He is old enough to know better."

V

Everybody was so glad to see the light again that they all began to talk at once.

Some one said to Kesshoo, "Tell us about [97] the long journey to the south you took once long ago."

Then everybody else listened, while Kesshoo told about how once he had taken his dog sledge with a load of musk ox and seal skins on it far down the coast and how at last he had come to a little settlement where the houses were all made of wood, if they would believe it!

He told them that in the bay before the village there was a boat as big as the Big Rock itself. It had queer white wings, and the wind blew on these wings and made the boat go!

Kesshoo had been out in a kyak to see it. He had even paddled all round it. The men on the great boat had fair hair, and one of them, the chief man of all, had bought some of Kesshoo's skins and one of his dogs. The man was a great chief. His name was Nansen.

This great chief had told Kesshoo that he was going to take a sledge and go straight into the inland country where the Giants live! He said he was going to cross the [98] great ice! No man had ever done that since the world began.

Kesshoo thought probably the great chief had been eaten by the Giants, but he did not know surely, because he had never been back there since to find out. And to be sure, if he had been eaten by Giants, no one ever would know about it anyway.

Then Kesshoo showed them all a great knife that the white chief had given him, in exchange for a sealskin, and two steel needles that he had sent to Koolee. Koolee kept the needles in a little ivory case all by themselves.

She always carried the case in her kamik, so it would not be lost. She could do wonderful sewing with the needles. Koolee was very proud of her sewing. No one else in the whole village could sew so well, because they had not such good needles to do it with. Koolee used them only for her very finest work.

At last the Angakok said, "It is time to go home." He called to his wives. They climbed down off the bench.

[100] That started the others. One after another they put on their upper garments, which they had taken off in the warm igloo, said good bye, and popped down into the tunnel. Last of all came the Angakok's turn.

Then Kesshoo and Koolee and the Angakok's wives all began to look very anxious. The Angakok looked a little worried himself. If he had stuck coming in, what would happen now after he had eaten so much!


[Illustration]

He got down on his hands and knees, and looked at the hole. He had taken off his thick fur coat when he came in. Now he took off his undercoat, and his thick fur trousers! He gave them to his wives.

Then he stretched himself out just as long as he possibly could and slowly hitched himself down into the tunnel, groaning all the way.

Kesshoo and Koolee and the wives waited until his feet disappeared, and they heard him scraping along through the tunnel. Then they breathed a great sigh of relief, [101] and the two wives popped down after him.

The last Kesshoo and Koolee heard of the Angakok, was a kind of muffled roar when a piece of ice fell from the top of the tunnel on to his bare back.

Menie and Monnie and the pups were already sound asleep in their corner of the bench when their father and mother fixed the lamp for the night and crawled in among the fur robes beside them.

 



Lydia Maria Child

Who Stole the Bird's Nest?

"To-whit! to-whit! to-whee!

Will you listen to me?

Who stole four eggs I laid,

And the nice nest I made?"


[51]

"Not I," said the cow, "Moo-oo!

Such a thing I'd never do.

I gave you a wisp of hay,

But didn't take your nest away.

Not I," said the cow, "Moo-oo!

Such a thing I'd never do."


"To-whit! to-whit! to-whee!

Will you listen to me?

Who stole four eggs I laid,

And the nice nest I made?"


"Bob-o'-link! Bob-o'-link!

Now what do you think?

Who stole a nest away

From the plum tree, to-day?"


"Not I," said the dog, "Bow-wow!

I wouldn't be so mean, anyhow!

I gave hairs the nest to make,

But the nest I did not take.

Not I," said the dog, "Bow-wow!

I'm not so mean, anyhow."


"To-whit! to-whit! to-whee!

Will you listen to me?

Who stole four eggs I laid,

And the nice nest I made?"


"Bob-o'-link! Bob-o'-link!

Now what do you think?

Who stole a nest away

From the plum tree, to-day?"


"Coo-coo! Coo-coo! Coo-coo!

Let me speak a word, too!

Who stole that pretty nest

From little yellow-breast?"


"Not I," said the sheep, "Oh, no!

I wouldn't treat a poor bird so.

I gave wool the nest to line,

But the nest was none of mine.

Baa! Baa!" said the sheep, "Oh, no,

I wouldn't treat a poor bird so."


"To-whit! to-whit! to-whee!

Will you listen to me?

Who stole four eggs I laid,

And the nice nest I made?"


"Bob-o'-link! Bob-o'-link!

Now what do you think?

Who stole a nest away

From the plum tree, to-day?"


"Coo-coo! Coo-coo! Coo-coo!

Let me speak a word, too!

Who stole that pretty nest

From little yellow-breast?"


"Caw! Caw!" cried the crow;

"I too should like to know

What thief took away

A bird's nest, to-day?"


"Cluck! Cluck!" said the hen;

"Don't ask me again,

Why, I haven't a chick

Would do such a trick.


We all gave her a feather,

And she wove them together.

I'd scorn to intrude

On her and her brood.

Cluck! Cluck!" said the hen,

"Don't ask me again."


"Chirr-a-whirr! Chirr-a-whirr!

We'll make a great stir!

And find out his name,

And all cry 'For shame!' "


"I would not rob a bird,"

Said little Mary Green;

"I think I never heard

Of anything so mean."


"It is very cruel, too,"

Said little Alice Neal;

"I wonder if he knew

How sad the bird would feel?"


A little boy hung down his head,

And went and hid behind the bed,

For he  stole that pretty nest

From poor little yellow-breast

And he felt so full of shame,

He didn't like to tell his name.

 


  WEEK 19  

  Thursday  


H. E. Marshall

King Marsil's Council

[1] For seven long years the great King Charlemagne had been fighting in Spain against the Saracens. From shore to shore he had conquered the land. Everywhere the heathen people had bowed before him, owning him as their master and Christ as their God. Only the fair city of Saragossa, sitting safe among its hills, was yet unconquered. But Charlemagne had taken the not far distant Cordres, and he now was making ready to march against Saragossa.

King Marsil knew not how to save his city from the conqueror. So one day he seated himself upon his marble throne, and called his wise men together. The throne was set under the shade of his great orchard trees, for there, when the summer sun was hot, he held his court.

[2] "My lords," he said, "great Karl of France besets our town. No host have I strong enough to meet him in the field, none that may guard our walls against him. I pray you, my lords, give me counsel. How shall we guard us, that shame and death come not upon us?"

Then all the wise men were silent, for well they knew the power and might of Charlemagne, and they wist not what to counsel.

At last Blancandrin spoke. A knight of great valour was he, and of all the heathen lords he was the wisest and most prudent. And when he spoke, all men listened.

"Send a message to this proud and haughty Karl," he said. "Promise him great friendship, give him rich presents of lions, bears and dogs; seven hundred camels ye shall send unto him, a thousand falcons. Give him four hundred mules laden with gold and silver; give him as much as fifty waggons may hold, so that he may have gold and to spare with which to pay his soldiers. But say to him, 'Too long hast [3] thou been far from France. Return, return to thy fair city of Aix, and there at the feast of Holy Michael will I come to thee and be thy man, and be baptized, and learn of thy gentle Christ.' Charlemagne will ask hostages of thee. Well, give them—ten—twenty—whatever he may ask of thee. We will give our sons. See! I will be the first, I will give my son. And if he perish it is better so than that we should all be driven from our land to die in beggary and shame."

Then Blancandrin was silent, and all the heathen lords cried aloud, "It is well spoken."

"Yea," Blancandrin went on, "by my long beard I swear, then shalt thou see the Franks quickly return to their own land, each man to his home. St. Michael's Day will dawn. Charlemagne will hold a great feast awaiting thee. But the days will pass and thou wilt not come. Then, for the Emperor is terrible and his wrath fierce, he will slay our sons whom he holds as hostages for thee. Better so, I say, than that we [4] should lose fair Spain and live in slavery and woe."

"Yea, so say we all!" cried the heathen lords.

"So be it," said King Marsil; "let it be done as Blancandrin hath said."

Then one by one the King called ten of his greatest lords about him. "Go ye with Blancandrin," he said. "Take olive branches in your hands in token of peace and lowliness. Say to the great Karl that for the sake of his gentle Christ he shall show pity upon me, and give me peace. Say that ere a month has gone I will follow after you. Then will I kneel to him, and put my hands in his, and swear to be his true and faithful vassal. Then shall he sprinkle me with the water of Holy Christ, and I shall be his for evermore."

All this King Marsil said with treachery in his heart, for well he knew that he would do none of these things.

"It is well," said Blancandrin, "the peace is sure."

Then mounted upon white mules, with [5] saddles of silver and harness of gold, with olive branches in their hands and followed by a great train of slaves carrying rich presents, Blancandrin and the ten messengers set out to seek the court of the great Christian King, Charlemagne.

 



Clara Dillingham Pierson

The Red Squirrels Begin Housekeeping

[Illustration]

[100]

T HE first thing that Mr. Red Squirrel did after coming to the forest and meeting the Gray Squirrel was to look for something to eat. It was not a good season for a stranger who had no hidden store of nuts and seeds to draw upon. The apples and corn were not ripe, and last year's seeds and acorns were nearly gone. What few remained here and there had lost their sweet and [101] wholesome taste. Poor Mr. Red Squirrel began to wish that he had eaten breakfast before he ran away. He even went to the edge of the forest and looked over toward the farmhouse, where his open cage hung in the sunshine. He knew that there were nuts and a fresh bit of fruit inside of it, and his mouth watered at the thought of them, but he was a sensible young fellow, and he knew that if he went back to eat, the cage door would be snapped shut, and he would never again be free to scamper in the beautiful trees.

"I will starve first!" he said to himself, and he was so much in earnest that he spoke quite loudly.

The words were hardly out of his mouth when "Pft!" a fat acorn came down at his feet. He caught it up with his forepaws before looking around. It was smooth and glossy, not at all as though it had passed a long winter on an oak branch. He took a good nibble at it [102] and then looked up to see if there were more on the tree above him. You can think how surprised he was to find himself sitting beneath a maple, for in all the years since the world began no maple has ever borne acorns.

"There are no more to come," he said. "I must take small bites and make it last as long as I can." And he turned it around and around, clutching it tightly with his long, crooked claws, so that not the tiniest bit could be lost. At last it was all eaten, not a crumb was left, and then "Pft!" down came a walnut. This hit him squarely on the back, but he was too hungry to mind, and he ate it all, just stopping long enough to say: "If this maple bears such fruit as acorns and walnuts, I should like to live in a maple grove."

Next came a hazelnut, then a butternut, and last of all a fat kernel of yellow corn. He knew now that some friend was hidden in the branches above, so he [103] tucked the corn in one of his cheek-pockets, and scampered up the maple trunk to find out who it was. He saw a whisking reddish-brown tail, and knew that some other Red Squirrel was there. But whoever it was did not mean to be caught, and such a chase as he had! Just as he thought he had overtaken his unknown friend, he could see nothing more of her, and he was almost vexed to think how careless he must have been to miss her. He ran up and down the tree on which he last saw her, and found a little hollow in one of its large branches. He looked in, and there she was, the same dainty creature whom he had so often watched from his cage. He could see that she was breathless from running so fast, yet she pretended to be surprised at seeing him. Perhaps she now thought that she had been too bold in giving him food, and so wanted him to think that it had been somebody else.

[104] "Good morning!" said he. "Thank you very much for your kindness."

"What do you mean?" said she.

"As though you didn't know!" he answered. "I never heard of a maple tree that bore acorns, nuts, and corn, and that in the springtime."

"Oh, well," said she, tossing her pretty head, "you have lived in a cage and may not know what our forest trees can do."

That was a rather saucy thing to say, but Mr. Red Squirrel knew her kind heart and that she said it only in mischief. "How do you know I have lived in a cage?" he asked.

"I—I thought you looked like the Squirrel at the farmhouse," she said; and then forgetting herself, she added, "You did look so surprised when that walnut hit you."

"Where were you then?" he asked quickly.

"Oh! I was on a branch above [105] you," she answered, seeing that he now knew all about it. "You looked so hungry, and I had plenty of food stored away. You may have some whenever you wish. It must have been dreadful in that cage."

Now Mr. Red Squirrel had loved his little friend ever since the first time he saw her on the rail fence, but he had never thought she would care for him—a tired, discouraged fellow, who had passed such a sorrowful life in prison. Yet when he heard her pitying words, and saw the light in her tender eyes, he wondered if he could win her for his wife.

"I shall never be able to do anything for you," said he. "You are young and beautiful and know the forest ways. I am a stranger and saddened by my hard life. I wish I could help you."

"The Blue Jays! The Blue Jays!" she cried, starting up. "They have found my hidden acorns and are eating them."

[106] And sure enough, a pair of those handsome robbers were pulling acorn after acorn out of a tree-hollow near by, and eating them as fast as they could. You should have seen Mr. Red Squirrel then! He leaped from branch to branch until he reached the Blue Jays; then he stood by the hole where the acorns were stored, and scolded them. "Chickaree-chickaree-quilch-quilch-chickaree-chickaree!" he said; and that in the Red Squirrel language is a very  severe scolding. He jumped about with his head down and his tail jerking, while his eyes gleamed like coals of fire. The Blue Jays made a great fuss and called "Jay! Jay!" at him, and made fun of him for being a stranger, but they left at last, and Mr. Red Squirrel turned to his friend.

"What would I have done without your help?" she said. "I was so dreadfully frightened. Don't you see how my paws are shaking still?" And she held [107] out the prettiest little paws imaginable for him to see.

Then Mr. Red Squirrel's heart began to thump very fast and hard beneath the white fur of his chest, and he sighed softly. "I wish I might always help you and protect you," he said; "but I suppose there are better fellows than I who want to do that." And he sighed again.

"Yes, they might want to," she said, looking away from him and acting as though she saw another Blue Jay coming.

"You wouldn't be my little wife, would you?" he asked, coming nearer to her.

"Why—I—might!" she answered, with a saucy flirt of her tail, and she scampered away as fast as she could. Do you think Mr. Red Squirrel stopped then to eat his fat kernel of yellow corn? Or do you think he waited to see whether the Blue Jays were around? No, indeed! He followed as fast as his legs could carry [108] him from tree to tree, from branch to branch, and it was not until he had reached the top of a tall beech that he overtook his little sweetheart. They were still there when the Gray Squirrel happened along in the afternoon.

"Ah!" said he, squinting at Mr. Red Squirrel, for his eyes were poor. "You are getting acquainted, are you? Pleasant society here. The Squirrel set is very select. You must meet some of our young people. Suppose you will begin housekeeping one of these days?"

"I have done so already, sir," answered Mr. Red Squirrel, although his wife was nudging him with one paw and motioning him to keep quiet. "Mrs. Red Squirrel and I will build our round home in the top fork of this tree. We shall be pleased to have you call when we are settled."

"Is that so?" exclaimed the Gray Squirrel. "I did not know that you were [109] married. I thought you came alone to the forest."

"This is my wife, sir," said Mr. Red Squirrel, and the Gray Squirrel made his very best bow and looked at her as sharply as his poor eyes would let him.

"I think I must have seen you somewhere," he said; "your face is very familiar." And he scratched his poor old puzzled head with one claw.

"Why, Cousin Gray Squirrel, don't you know Bushy-tail?" she cried. "You lived the next tree to mine all winter."

"To be sure!" he exclaimed. "But isn't your marriage rather sudden?"

"No," she said, blushing under her fur. "We have always liked each other, although we never spoke until this morning. I used to scamper along the rail fence to see Mr. Red Squirrel in his cage."

"Did you truly come for that?" asked her husband, after their caller had gone.

[110] "I truly did," she answered, "but I never expected anybody to know it. You poor fellow! I felt so sorry for you. I would have given every nut I had to set you free."

They were a very happy couple, and the next fall the Gray Squirrel watched them and their children gathering nuts for their winter stores. Mr. Red Squirrel, as the head of the family, planned the work, yet each did his share. The nuts were not yet ripe, and they gnawed off the stems, then came to the ground, filled their cheek-pockets with the fallen nuts, and scampered off to hide them in many places. They were stored in tree-hollows, under the rustling leaves which strewed the ground, in the cracks of old logs, beneath brush-heaps, and in holes in the ground.

"Don't stop to think how many you need," said the little mother to her children. "Get every nut you can. It may be a very long winter."

[111] "And if you don't eat them all," said their hard-working father with a twinkle in his eyes, "you may want to drop a few down to some poor fellow who has none. That was your mother's way."

"When was it her way? What makes you smile when you say it? Mother, what does he mean?" cried the young Red Squirrels all in a breath.

"I gave some nuts to a hungry Squirrel once," she said, "and he was so grateful that he drove the Blue Jays away when they tried to rob me." But she looked so happy as she spoke that the children knew there was more to the story. They dared not tease her to tell, so they whispered among themselves and wondered what their father meant.

As they gathered nuts near the Gray Squirrel, he motioned them to come close. "S-sh!" said he. "Don't tell it from me, but I think the poor hungry fellow was your father, and it was a lucky thing [112] for you that she had enough to give away."

"Do you suppose that was it?" the young Red Squirrels whispered to each other. "Do you really suppose so?"

 



F. C. Woodworth

The Snow Bird

The ground was all covered with snow one day,

And two little sisters were busy at play

When a snow bird was sitting close by on a tree,

And merrily singing his chick-a-de-dee,

Chick-a-de-dee, chick-a-de-dee,

And merrily singing his chick-a-de-dee.


He had not been singing his tune very long

Ere Emily heard him, so loud was his song;

"Oh, sister, look out of the window," said she.

"Here's a dear little bird singing chick-a-de-dee,

Chick-a-de-dee, chick-a-de-dee,

Here's a dear little bird singing chick-a-de-dee.


"Oh, mother, do get him some stockings and shoes,

And a nice little frock, and a hat if he choose,

I wish he'd come into the parlor and see

How warm we would make him, poor chick-a-de-dee.

Chick-a-de-dee, chick-a-de-dee.

How warm we would make him, poor chick-a-de-dee."


"There is One, my dear child, though I cannot tell who,

Has clothed me already, and warm enough, too;

Good-morning! Oh, who are as happy as we?"

And away he went singing his chick-a-de-dee;

Chick-a-de-dee, chick-a-de-dee;

And away he went singing his chick-a-de-dee.

 


  WEEK 19  

  Friday  


Edward Eggleston

Stories about Jefferson

THOMAS JEFFERSON was one of the great men of the Revolution. He was not a soldier. He was not a great speaker. But he was a great thinker. And he was a great writer.

He wrote a paper that was the very beginning of the United States. It was a paper that said that we would be free from England, and be a coun- [88] try by ourselves. We call that paper the Declaration of Independence.

When he was a boy, Jefferson was fond of boyish plays. But when he was tired of play, he took up a book. It pleased him to learn things. From the time when he was a boy he never sat down to rest without a book.

At school he learned what other boys did. But the difference between him and most other boys was this: he did not stop with knowing just what the other boys knew. Most boys want to learn what other boys learn. Most girls would like to know what their school-mates know. But Jefferson wanted to know a great deal more.

As a young man, Jefferson knew Latin and Greek. He also knew French and Spanish and Italian.

He did not talk to show off what he knew. He tried to learn what other people knew. When he talked to a wagon maker, he asked him about such things as a wagon maker knows most about. He would sometimes ask how a wagon maker would go to work to make a wheel.

When Jefferson talked to a learned man, he asked him about those things that this man knew most about. When he talked with Indians, he got them to tell him about their language. That is the way [89] he came to know so much about so many things. Whenever anybody told him anything worth while, he wrote it down as soon as he could.

One day Jefferson was traveling. He went on horse-back. That was a common way of traveling at that time. He stopped at a country tavern. At this tavern he talked with a stranger who was staying there.

After a while Jefferson rode away. Then the stranger said to the landlord, "Who is that man? He knew so much about law, that I was sure he was a lawyer. But when we talked about medicine, he knew so much about that, that I thought he must be a doctor. And after a while he seemed to know so much about religion, that I was sure he was a minister. Who is he?"

The stranger was very much surprised to hear that the man he had talked with was Thomas Jefferson.

Jefferson was a very polite man. One day his grandson was riding with him. They met a negro. The negro lifted his cap and bowed. Jefferson bowed to the negro. But his grandson did not think it worth while to bow.

Then Jefferson said to his grandson, "Do not let a poor negro be more of a gentleman than you are."

[90] In the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson wrote these words: "All men are created equal." He also said that the poor man had the same right as the rich man to live, and to be free, and to try to make himself happy.

 



Ellen C. Babbitt

The Girl Monkey and the String of Pearls

[3]

O NE day the king went for a long walk in the woods. When he came back to his own garden, he sent for his family to come down to the lake for a swim.

When they were all ready to go into the water, the queen and her ladies left their jewels in charge of the servants, and then went down into the lake.

As the queen put her string of pearls away in a box, she was watched by a Girl Monkey who sat in the branches of a tree near-by. This Girl Monkey wanted to get the queen's string of pearls, so she sat still and watched, hoping that the servant in charge of the pearls would go to sleep.

At first the servant kept her eyes on the jewel-box. But by and by she began to nod, and then she fell fast asleep.

[4] As soon as the Monkey saw this, quick as the wind she jumped down, opened the box, picked up the string of pearls, and quick as the wind she was up in the tree again, holding the pearls very carefully. She put the string of pearls on, and then, for fear the guards in the garden would see the pearls, the Monkey hid them in a hole in the tree. Then she sat near-by looking as if nothing had happened.

By and by the servant awoke. She looked in the box, and finding that the string of pearls was not there, she cried, "A man has run off with the queen's string of pearls."

Up ran the guards from every side.

The servant said: "I sat right here beside the box where the queen put her string of pearls. I did not move from the place. But the day is hot, and I was tired. I must have fallen asleep. The pearls were gone when I awoke."

The guards told the king that the pearls were gone.

"Find the man who stole the pearls," said the king. Away went the guards looking high and low for the thief.

After the king had gone, the chief guard said to himself:

"There is something strange here. These pearls," thought he, "were lost in the garden. There was a strong guard at the gates, so that no one from the outside could get into the garden. On the other hand, there are hundreds of [6] Monkeys here in the garden. Perhaps one of the Girl Monkeys took the string of pearls."

Then the chief guard thought of a trick that would tell whether a Girl Monkey had taken the pearls. So he bought a number of strings of bright-colored glass beads.

After dark that night the guards hung the strings of glass beads here and there on the low bushes in the garden. When the Monkeys saw the strings of bright-colored beads the next morning, each Monkey ran for a string.

[Illustration] But the Girl Monkey who had taken the queen's string of pearls did not come down. She sat near the hole where she had hidden the pearls.

The other Monkeys were greatly pleased with their strings of beads. They chattered to one another about them. "It is too bad you did not get one," they said to her as she sat quietly, saying nothing. At last she could stand it no longer. She put on the queen's string of pearls and came down, saying proudly: "You have only strings of glass beads. See my string of pearls!"

Then the chief of the guards, who had been hiding near-by, caught the Girl Monkey. He took her at once to the king.

"It was this Girl Monkey, your Majesty, who took the pearls."

[7] The king was glad enough to get the pearls, but he asked the chief guard how he had found out who took them.

The chief guard told the king that he knew no one could have come into the garden and so he thought they must have been taken by one of the Monkeys in the garden. Then he told the king about the trick he had played with the beads.

"You are the right man in the right place," said the king, and he thanked the chief of the guards over and over again.


[Illustration]
 



Lydia Maria Child

Thanksgiving Day

Over the river and through the wood,

To grandfather's house we go;

The horse knows the way

To carry the sleigh

Through the white and drifted snow.


Over the river and through the wood,—

Oh, how the wind does blow!

It stings the toes,

And bites the nose

As over the ground we go.


Over the river and through the wood,

To have a first-rate play,—

Hear the bells ring,

"Ting-a-ling-ding!"

Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day!


Over the river, and through the wood,

Trot fast, my dapple-gray!

Spring over the ground,

Like a hunting-hound!

For this is Thanksgiving Day.


Over the river and through the wood,

And straight through the barnyard gate,

We seem to go

Extremely slow,—

It is so hard to wait!


Over the river and through the wood,—

Now grandmother's cap I spy!

Hurrah for the fun!

Is the pudding done?

Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!