Text of Plan #426
  WEEK 23  

  Monday  


Lawton B. Evans

The Adventures of Young Washington

[99] WHEN Washington was twenty-one years old, he was sent by Governor Dinwiddie, of Virginia, with a message to the French Commander in the Ohio Valley, directing him to withdraw from that territory, since it was claimed as an English possession. The place where Washington was to go was about five hundred and sixty miles away, through a tangled wilderness, beset by Indians and dangers of all kinds.

Washington, with a small party, started, in October, on his long journey. The winter soon settled down on the travelers as they toiled along. The snow fell thick and fast, the rain froze, and the sleet cut their faces like knives. Still, they were all strong young men, capable of enduring great hardship, and they bravely pursued their way.

When they reached the French settlement, they found the officer in charge busily engaged, preparing his fort. Washington delivered the letter from Governor Dinwiddie. The French Commander politely replied that he was a soldier, acting under orders, and that it was his purpose to stay where he was, until the Governor of Canada directed him [100] to move. He wrote a letter to Governor Dinwiddie to this effect, and handed it to Washington; after which he treated the party with much consideration and kindness, until they were ready to depart.

Our story mainly deals with his return journey. It was now the dead of winter, and very cold. The long pathless forest, the steep mountains, the swollen streams, the treacherous savages, hunger and cold, lay before Washington; but, with a few faithful Indian guides and a companion, named Gist, he prepared to start on his perilous way. The French were polite to the very last. They stocked his canoes with provisions, and gave him everything he needed for his journey.

But Washington found the snow falling so fast that he sent a few men with the horses and baggage through the forest, while he took his own small party in canoes down the river. The way was most difficult. The channel was obstructed by rocks and drifting logs. Shallows and dangerous currents abounded.

"Many times," wrote Washington, "all hands were obliged to get out and remain in the water half an hour or more, while taking their canoes across the shoals. At one place, the ice had lodged and made it impassable by water; so we [101] were forced to carry our canoe across a neck of land the distance of a quarter of a mile."

In six days they went one hundred and thirty miles, on a half frozen river, in frail canoes, to the place where they had planned to meet their horses and baggage. When they arrived, they found the outfit in a very pitiable plight.

Under these conditions Washington and Gist determined to proceed alone on foot, leaving the others to follow. With his gun on his shoulders, his knapsack on his back, and a stout staff to steady his feet, the brave adventurer started, followed by his faithful companion, similarly equipped. Leaving the regular path, they struck a straight course, by the compass, through the woods.

The journey was full of excitement. An Indian at one place met them and agreed to show them the way. At the end of the first day, Washington grew very weary and foot-sore with the heavy traveling. The Indian, who had carried his knapsack, now offered to carry his gun also. This Washington refused, and the Indian fell back a few paces, his face scowling. They had proceeded a few miles further on when the Indian, who had dropped behind, suddenly stopped.

Washington and Gist looked back and saw the treacherous savage aiming his gun at them. With [102] a cry of alarm they both leaped aside, just as the weapon was fired, thereby escaping injury. But it was a narrow escape, and Gist was angry at this treatment; so he ran in pursuit of the Indian, who had taken refuge behind a tree. He seized him by the throat and was on the point of thrusting his knife into him, when Washington called out, "Don't kill him. It will do no good, and will only sound an alarm to bring other savages down upon us. Bind him, and have him go with us."

Gist accordingly bound the Indian and ordered him to walk ahead of the party for a day or more. Then Washington released him, and bade him begone to his home in the woods. The following night they reached the Allegheny River, where they were destined to meet with a most dangerous experience.

They had hoped to cross on the ice, but the river was not frozen hard enough; so they lay down on a bed of snow, and covered themselves up in their blankets, expecting that, by morning, the thick ice would be formed. But on rising, they saw, at a glance, that the ice was not yet to be trusted.

"We will make a raft, and rely on our good fortune to get us safely over," said Washington. Whereupon he and Gist began to cut down trees [103] with their one small hatchet, and to bind the logs together with vines. It took a whole day to complete the raft, but, not caring to spend another night in the same place, they immediately launched their frail craft, and put out from the shore.

Before they had gone half across, the raft was jammed in the floating ice, so that it seemed as if they would be thrown into the water at any moment. Washington tried to hold the raft with his pole, in order to prevent it from drifting down stream. The result was most disastrous. The strength of the current was so great that Washington, powerful as he was, was jerked violently from the raft, and thrown into the icy current.

It was a dangerous moment for the future leader of the Revolutionary armies of America. By heroic effort, he breasted the cold water, pushed aside the floating ice, and caught hold of one end of the raft. Here, Gist assisted him to regain his place, dripping and shivering.

They had to abandon the raft and seek shelter on an island. All night long, without fire and food, his wet clothes freezing to his body, Washington waited for the hours to pass till morning. He kept alive by stamping his feet and beating his arms. When day dawned, the river was frozen over, thick and solid, and our two adventurers [104] hastened to cross to the other side. Gist had his face and fingers frozen, but Washington escaped injury. They reached a trading-post where, after several days, they were completely recovered and ready to resume their journey.

The remaining portion of the trip was without adventure, though it was not without hardship. In due time, Washington reached the capital of Virginia and delivered to the Governor the answer of the French Commander. He had been absent eleven weeks and had traveled over a thousand miles.

 



Clara Dillingham Pierson

The Wild Turkeys Come

[Illustration]

[175]

T HE Wild Turkeys are a wandering people, and stay in one place only long enough to rear their young. One could hardly say that they lived in the Forest, but every year when the acorns and beechnuts were ripe, they came for a visit. It is always an exciting time when the Turkeys are seen [176] gathering on the farther side of the river and making ready to fly over. Some of the Forest People have started for the warmer country in the South, and those who still remain are either talking over their plans for flight, or working hard, if they are to spend the winter in the North, to get their stores of food ready.

It was so this year. One morning a Red-headed Woodpecker brought the news that the Turkeys were gathering. The Ground Hog heard of it just as he was going to sleep after a night of feeding and rambling in the edge of the meadow. One of the young Rabbits told him, and coaxed him to stay up to see the newcomers.

"I've never seen Turkeys in my life," said the young Rabbit, "and they say it is great fun to watch them. Oh, please come with me to the river-bank and see the Turkeys cross over. Please do!"

"Ah-h-h," yawned the Ground Hog. "You might better ask somebody who has [177] not been up all night. I am too sleepy."

You won't be sleepy when you reach the river-bank," said the Rabbit. "Beside, I think there should be someone there to meet them."

At this, the Ground Hog raised his drooping head, opened his blinking eyes, and answered with great dignity: "There should indeed be someone. I will go at once."

When they reached the river-bank there was a sight well worth seeing. On the farther side of the water were a great many Turkeys. Old Gobblers were there, and the mother Turkeys with their broods of children, all looking as fine as you please, in their shining black coats. When they stood in the shadow, one might think that they wore no color but the brilliant red of their heads and necks, where there were no feathers to cover their wrinkled skin. When they walked out into the sunshine, however, their feathers showed gleams of [178] beautiful purple and green, and the Rabbit thought them the most wonderful great creatures he had ever seen.

"Look at them now!" he cried. "Why do those largest ones walk up and down in front of the rest and scold them?"

"They are the Gobblers," answered the Ground Hog, "and they are doing that to show that they are not afraid to cross the river. They strut and gobble, and strut and gobble, and say: 'Who's-afraid? Who's-afraid?' until the rest are ready to fly over."

"Now the others are doing the same thing," said the Rabbit, as the mothers and young Turkeys began to strut back and forth.

"That shows that they are willing to cross," answered the Ground Hog. "Now they will fly up to the very tops of the trees on the hill and visit there for a time. It is always so. They start from the highest point they can find. It will be [179] some time before they come over, and I will take a short nap. Be sure to awaken me when they start. I want to welcome them to the Forest." And the Ground Hog curled himself up beside a log and went to sleep.

The Rabbit wandered around and ate all the good things he could find. Then he fell to wondering how it would feel to be a bird. He thought it would be great fun to fly. To pass so swiftly through the air must be delightful, and then to sweep grandly down and alight softly on the ground without having people know that you were coming!

He had a good mind to try it. There was nobody to watch him, and he crept up the trunk of a fallen tree which leaned over against its neighbors. It was a foolish thing to do, and he knew it, but young Rabbits are too full of mischief to always be wise.

"I will hold my hind legs very still," he [180] thought, "and flap my forelegs for wings." With that he jumped off and came crashing down upon the dry leaves. He felt weak and dizzy, and as he picked himself up and looked around he hoped that nobody had seen him. "It may be a great deal of fun to fly," he said, "but it is no fun alighting from your flight unless you have real feather wings. It is too bumpy when you fly with your legs."

At this minute he heard an old Gobbler call out, and saw the flock of Turkeys coming toward him. "Wake up! Wake up!" he cried to the Ground Hog. But the Ground Hog never moved.

Still the Turkeys came nearer. The Rabbit could see that the fat old ones were getting ahead of the others, and that here and there a young or weak Turkey had to drop into the river and swim, because his wings were tired. They got so near that he could see the queer little tufts of wiry feathers which the Gobblers wear [181] hanging from their breast, and could see the swaying scarlet wattles under their beaks. He called again to the Ground Hog, and getting no answer, poked him three times with his head.

The Ground Hog turned over, stretched, yawned, moved his jaws a few times as though he dreamed of eating fresh spring grass, and then fell asleep once more. After that the Rabbit left him alone.

The first to alight were the Gobblers, and they began at once to strut and chatter. Next came the mother Turkeys and their young, and last of all came the weak ones who swam across. It was a fine sight to see them come in. The swimmers spread their tails, folded their wings tightly, stretched their necks, and struck out swiftly and strongly with their feet.

The young Rabbit could hear a group of mothers talking together. "The Gobblers are growing quite fond of the children," said one.

[182] "Yes," said another; "my husband told me yesterday that he was very proud of our little ones."

"Well, it is the season for them to begin to walk together," said the first speaker; "but I never in my life had such a time as I had this spring. I thought my husband would break every egg I laid."

"I had a hard time too," said the other. "None of my eggs were broken, but after my chicks were hatched I had to hurry them out of their father's sight a dozen times a day."

"It is very trying," said a third mother Turkey with a sigh; "but that is always the way with the Gobblers. I suppose the dear fellows can't help it;" and she looked lovingly over at her husband as he strutted around with his friends. You would not have believed if you had seen her fond looks, and heard her husband's tender "Gobble," that they had hardly spoken to each other all summer. To be [183] sure, it was not now as it had been in the springtime. Then he would have beaten any other Gobbler who came near her, he loved her so; still, the Rabbit could see as he watched them that when he found some very large and fine acorns, this Gobbler would not eat them all, but called his wife to come and share with him; and he knew that they were happy together in their own Turkey way of being happy.

At this minute the Ground Hog opened his eyes and staggered to his feet. The loud talking had awakened him. He did not look very dignified just now. His fur was rumpled, and he blinked often from sleepiness. There was a dry leaf caught on one of his ears, too, that made him look very odd. The Rabbit wanted to laugh, but he did not dare to do so. The Ground Hog walked toward the Gobblers, and raised himself on his haunches. "Good-evening, good-evening," said [184] he (it was really morning, you know). "We are very glad to welcome you to the forest. Make yourselves perfectly at home. The grass is not so tender as it was a while ago, yet I think that you will find good feeding," and he waved his paws politely.

"Thank-you,—thank-you!" answered the Gobblers, while the mothers and young Turkeys came crowding up to look at the Ground Hog. "We came for the acorns and nuts. We shall certainly enjoy ourselves."

"That is right," said the Ground Hog heartily. "We have a very fine forest here. You will pardon me for remarking it. The Pond People have a saying that is very true: 'It's a might poor Frog that won't croak for his own puddle.' And my grandfather used to say that if a Ground Hog didn't love his own home he was a very poor Hog indeed. Good-night, my friends, good-night." And he [185] trotted happily away, followed by the Rabbit.

When he was gone, the Turkeys said: "How very kind of him!" and "What fine manners!" And the young Rabbit thought to himself: "It is queer. He was sleepy and his fur was rumpled, and that leaf bobbed around his ear when he talked. He said 'evening' instead of 'morning,' and spoke as though Turkeys came here to eat grass. And yet they all liked him, and were pleased by what he said."

You see the young Rabbit had not yet learned that the power of fine manners is more than that of looks; and that people could not think of the Ground Hog's mistakes in speaking because they knew his kindness of heart.

 



Julia Fletcher Carney

Little Things

Little drops of water,

Little grains of sand,

Make the mighty ocean

And the pleasant land.


So the little moments,

Humble though they be,

Make the mighty ages

Of Eternity.


So the little errors

Lead the soul away

From the paths of virtue

Far in sin to stray.


Little deeds of kindness,

Little words of love,

Make this earth an Eden,

Like the Heaven above.

 


  WEEK 23  

  Tuesday  


Amy Steedman

Saint Christopher

Part 2 of 2

Far and near did Offero wander, asking all he met if they could tell him where he might find the Christ—this man who once hung upon a cross and who was greater and more powerful even than Satan, the King of Evil. And some said one thing and some another, but no one could aid him in his quest, until at last in his wanderings he came to a little hut in the midst of a desert.

Here a holy man dwelt, with no living soul near him, serving God day and night.

Most gladly did he welcome Offero, but gladder still was he when Offero eagerly asked him the question that had been upon his lips so long:

"Good hermit, canst thou tell me where I may find the King called Christ, He who once hung upon a cross, and who is stronger even than the King of Evil?"

"That can I," answered the hermit, "for He is the [35] Master whom I serve, and in His name thou art welcome indeed."

And taking Offero into his hut, the hermit gave him food and made him rest. Then in the cool of the evening, when the red sun was sinking behind the belt of distant palm-trees, and a mellow glow turned the sands of the desert into grains of gold, the hermit sat without the hut and told the wonderful Christ story to the listening ears of the giant who lay upon the ground at his feet.

Never had Offero heard words like these before. Even the vision had not prepared him for this. With all his soul in his eyes he listened. Filled with wonder was he at the thought that the King of all heaven should have deigned to come to earth in the form of a little helpless child. But as the hermit went on and told of His power and majesty, His infinite compassion for the weak and helpless, His courage and fearlessness in the face of His foes, ending with the great sacrifice of the cross, Offero sprang to his feet, and grasping his sword in his hand, he raised it to heaven and vowed he would be Christ's faithful soldier and servant unto his life's end, and would fight under no other banner but His, the King of Heaven and Earth.

The hermit was startled as he looked at the gleaming sword, upheld by that strong arm, and in his calm, kind voice, he said:

"My son, the Lord Christ seeketh not to be served as an earthly king. His soldiers fight not with earthly swords, but with the weapons of prayer and fasting."

[36] "But, father," said Offero, "how can I fight with weapons I know nothing of? If He has given me this great strength, surely there must be a way that He would have me use it in His service."

Then the hermit was troubled, for he saw that Offero must needs serve Christ in some other way.

All night he pondered, and in the morning he bade Offero come with him, and together they journeyed forth for many days until they came to the banks of a river. There the hermit stayed his steps.

It was a very deep and dangerous river and, because there was no bridge across it and the current was strong, many travellers lost their lives in trying to ford it.

This the hermit told Offero, and bade him stay and watch there, so that he might help those who wished to cross, and save the lives of those who might otherwise perish without his aid.

"And in helping others," said the hermit, "thou wilt be helping Christ, and it may be He will accept thy service, and will one day come unto thee and take thee for His servant."

So Offero built a hut on the river bank, and pulling up a palm-tree that was growing there, he used it as a staff to lean upon when he waded through the deep water. He was so tall and strong that no matter how high the river rose he could always wade across it. He was ever ready to help the weary footsore travellers, and often when they were too weak to stand against the current, even with the support of his strong arm, he would [37] take them up upon his broad shoulders and carry them safely across.

For a long time did Offero live in his little hut on the river-bank, doing his work well, in the hope that his Master might come to him as the hermit had promised. But weeks and months went by, and still the King did not come, and Offero began to fear that He never would pass that way.

Then one night a terrible storm began to rage. The wind howled round the lonely little hut, and the waters roared as they rushed past in the darkness.

"I need not watch to-night," thought Offero, "for no one will seek to cross the river in such a storm as this."

But as he sat listening to the roll of the thunder and the clashing of the hail on the roof, he fancied he heard, above the noise of the storm, a little voice crying outside and a faint knocking at the door.

It sounded like the cry of a child, and Offero hastily rose up and, unbarring the door, looked out. For a moment he could see nothing in the thick darkness and blinding rain, but presently he heard the cry again, sounding quite close to where he stood, and looking down he saw something small and white, and heard the little voice sounding clear above the storm:

"Kind Offero, wilt thou carry me across the river to-night?"

Then Offero saw it was a little child who was standing out there upon the threshold—a child [38] who looked up at him with pleading eyes, his golden curls lying wet against his cheek, and his little white robe drenched with the driving rain.

Very tenderly Offero stooped down and lifted the little one in his kind, strong arms, and asked him how it came that he was out alone on such a stormy night.

"I must cross the river to-night," said the child in his soft, clear voice, "and the water is deep and I am afraid. I saw thy hut and thought perchance one might dwell here who would help me."

"That will I gladly do," said Offero, as he felt the little arms clinging round his neck. "The night is dark, and the river runs high indeed, but thou art such a tiny child, I shall scarcely feel thy weight. I will place thee high upon my shoulder, so that the water may not reach even thy feet."

So Offero took his great staff in his hand, and placed the child upon his shoulder and stepped down into the roaring flood.

Higher and higher rose the water, stronger and stronger grew the current, as Offero waded on. Never before had his strength been put to such a test. And not only did the torrent threaten to sweep him off his feet, but the child upon his shoulder seemed to grow heavier and heavier with every step, until he could scarcely stagger on under the tremendous weight. But on he went, fighting for each step. And now he was past the worst and into the shallower water beyond. Putting forth all his remaining strength, with one last great effort he struggled up the farther side and with a sigh of [39] relief he climbed upon the bank, and gently set the little child upon the grass.


[Illustration]

Then Offero stood looking at him in great wonder and astonishment and said:

"How is it that thou, who seemest but a feather-weight, hast yet become heavier than any burden I ever bore in all my life before?"

And as Offero spoke, the child looked up into his face, and lo! a strange light seemed to shine round the golden head, and his white robe became bright and glistening as the light. And the wonderful look of majesty in those eyes drew Offero down to his knees. And as he knelt there, scarce daring to lift his eyes before that wonderful gaze, he heard the sweet, clear voice of the little child again, and knew it for the same that had guided him since the vision of his boyhood.

"No wonder that I seemed to thee a heavy burden, for I bear upon my shoulders the sins and sorrows of the whole world. I am Christ, whom thou hast sought to serve. I came to thee in the form of a little helpless child, that I might prove thee, if thou wert indeed my faithful servant. And because thou hast been faithful in helping others, thou shalt be counted worthy to enter my service, and I will give thee the new name of Christopher, because thou hast borne Christ upon thy shoulders. Take now thy staff and strike it into the earth, and thou shalt know by a sign that I am indeed thy King."

Then the light faded away, and the child was gone. But where Christopher struck his staff, [40] behold, it took root and budded out into leaves of tender green.

And Christopher knelt on there in the darkness with a great joy in his heart, for he had seen the face of his King, and had found his Master at last. He knew that his search was ended, and that henceforth he would serve only the highest. And all the trouble and perplexity had vanished away, for he understood now that in ministering to others he would always be serving his King, even if the work seemed but small and mean.

So Christopher learned to be Christ's true soldier and servant even unto death, and because he fought manfully under His banner unto his life's end, he is called a saint. His old name of Offero has been long forgotten, and we know him only by that new name which the Christ-child gave him that stormy night, and call him Saint Christopher.

 



Harriette Taylor Treadwell

Group of Christina G. Rossetti's Poems


[Illustration]

[51]

Brown and furry

Caterpillar in a hurry;

Take your walk

To the shady leaf, or stalk.


May no toad spy you,

May the little birds pass by you;

Spin and die,

To live again a butterfly.


— Christina G. Rossetti

[52]

Mix a pancake,

Stir a pancake,

Pop it in the pan.


Fry a pancake,

Toss a pancake,

Catch it if you can.


— Christina G. Rossetti

If a pig wore a wig

What could we say?

Treat him as a gentleman

And say, "Good day."


If his tail chanced to fail,

What could we do?

Send for a tailoress

To get one new.


— Christina G. Rossetti


[Illustration]

[53]

A frisky lamb

And a frisky child,

Playing their pranks

In a cowslip meadow:

The sky all blue

And the air all mild,

And the fields all sun

And the lanes half shadow.


— Christina G. Rossetti

[54]

What does the bee do?

Bring home honey.

What does Father do?

Bring home money.

And what does Mother do?

Lay out the money.

And what does Baby do?

Eat up the honey.


— Christina G. Rossetti

On the grassy banks,

Lambkins at their pranks;

Woolly sisters, woolly brothers

Jumping off their feet,

While their woolly mothers

Watch by them and bleat.


— Christina G. Rossetti


[Illustration]

[55]

All the bells were ringing,

All the birds were singing,

When Molly sat down crying

For her broken doll.


O you silly Moll!

Sobbing and sighing

For a broken doll,

When all the bells are ringing,

And all the birds are singing.


— Christina G. Rossetti

[55]

What do the stars do

Up in the sky,

Higher than the wind can blow,

Or the clouds can fly?


— Christina G. Rossetti

Wrens and robins in the hedge,

Wrens and robins here and there;

Building, perching, pecking, fluttering

Everywhere!


— Christina G. Rossetti

Fly away, fly away over the sea,

Sun-loving swallow, for summer is done;

Come again, come again, come back to me,

Bringing the summer and bringing the sun.


— Christina G. Rossetti

 



Mother Goose

Little Bo-Peep

Little Bo-Peep has lost her sheep,

And can't tell where to find them;

Leave them alone and they'll come home,

And bring their tails behind them.


Little Bo-peep fell fast asleep,

And dreamed she heard them bleating;

But when she awoke she found it a joke,

For they were still a-fleeting.


Then up she took her little crook,

Determined for to find them;

She found them indeed, but it made her heart bleed,

For they'd left their tails behind them.

 


  WEEK 23  

  Wednesday  


James Baldwin

The Ungrateful Guest

AMONG the soldiers of King Philip there was a poor man who had done some brave deeds. He had pleased the king in more ways than one, and so the king put a good deal of trust in him.

One day this soldier was on board of a ship at sea when a great storm came up. The winds drove the ship upon the rocks, and it was wrecked. The soldier was cast half-drowned upon the shore; and he would have died there, had it not been for the kind care of a farmer who lived close by.


[Illustration]

[104] When the soldier was well enough to go home, he thanked the farmer for what he had done, and promised that he would repay him for his kindness.

But he did not mean to keep his promise. He did not tell King Philip about the man who had saved his life. He only said that there was a fine [105] farm by the seashore, and that he would like very much to have it for his own. Would the king give it to him?

"Who owns the farm now?" asked Philip.

"Only a churlish farmer, who has never done anything for his country," said the soldier.

"Very well, then," said Philip. "You have served me for a long time, and you shall have your wish. Go and take the farm for yourself."

And so the soldier made haste to drive the farmer from his house and home. He took the farm for his own.

The poor farmer was stung to the heart by such treatment. He went boldly to the king, and told the whole story from beginning to end. King Philip was very angry when he learned that the man whom he had trusted had done so base a deed. He sent for the soldier in great haste; and when he had come, he caused these words to be burned in his forehead:—

"THE UNGRATEFUL GUEST."

Thus all the world was made to know of the mean act by which the soldier had tried to enrich himself; and from that day until he died all men shunned and hated him.

 



James Baldwin

Alexander and Bucephalus

[106] ONE day King Philip bought a fine horse called Bucephalus. He was a noble animal, and the king paid a very high price for him. But he was wild and savage, and no man could mount him, or do anything at all with him.

They tried to whip him, but that only made him worse. At last the king bade his servants take him away.

"It is a pity to ruin so fine a horse as that," said Alexander, the king's young son. "Those men do not know how to treat him."

"Perhaps you can do better than they," said his father scornfully.

"I know," said Alexander, "that, if you would only give me leave to try, I could manage this horse better than any one else."

"And if you fail to do so, what then?" asked Philip.

"I will pay you the price of the horse," said the lad.

While everybody was laughing, Alexander ran up to Bucephalus, and turned his head toward the sun. He had noticed that the horse was afraid of his own shadow.

He then spoke gently to the horse, and patted [107] him with his hand. When he had quieted him a little, he made a quick spring, and leaped upon the horse's back.

Everybody expected to see the boy killed outright. But he kept his place, and let the horse run as fast as he would. By and by, when Bucephalus had become tired, Alexander reined him in, and rode back to the place where his father was standing.

All the men who were there shouted when they saw that the boy had proved himself to be the master of the horse.

He leaped to the ground, and his father ran and kissed him.

"My son," said the king, "Macedon is too small a place for you. You must seek a larger kingdom that will be worthy of you."

After that, Alexander and Bucephalus were the best of friends. They were said to be always together, for when one of them was seen, the other was sure to be not far away. But the horse would never allow any one to mount him but his master.

Alexander became the most famous king and warrior that was ever known; and for that reason he is always called Alexander the Great. Bucephalus carried him through many countries and in many fierce battles, and more than once did he save his master's life.

 



Lucy Fitch Perkins

The Woman-Boats

I

[140]

D URING the long, dark hours of the winter Kesshoo found many pleasant things to do at home. He was always busy. He carved a doll for Monnie out of the ivory tusk of a walrus.

Monnie named the doll Annadore, and she loved it dearly. Koolee dressed Annadore in fur, with tiny kamiks of sealskin, and Monnie carried her doll in her hood, just the way Koko's mother carried her baby.

For Menie, his father made dog harnesses out of walrus hide. He made them just the right size for Nip and Tup.

Menie harnessed the little dogs to his sledge. Then he and Monnie would play sledge journeys. Annadore would sit on the [141] sledge all wrapped in furs, while Menie drove the dogs, and Monnie followed after.

Nip and Tup did not like this play very well, and they didn't always go where they were told to. Once they dashed right over the igloo and spilled Annadore off.

Annadore rolled down one side of the igloo, while Nip and Tup galloped down the other. Annadore was buried in the snow and had to be dug out, so it was quite a serious accident, you see, but Nip and Tup did not seem to feel at all responsible about it.

Kesshoo made knives and queer spoons out of bone or ivory for Koolee, and for himself he made new barbs for his bladder-dart, new bone hooks for fishlines, and all sorts of things for hunting.

He made salmon spears, and bird darts, and fishlines, and he ornamented his weapons with little pictures or patterns. He carved two frogs on the handle of his snow knife, and scratched the picture of a walrus on the blade.

Sometimes Koolee carved things, too, but [142] most of the time she was busy making coats or kamiks, or chewing skins to make them soft and fine for use in the igloo; or to cover the kyaks, or to make their summer tent.

Once during the winter the whole family went thirty miles up the coast by moonlight to visit Koolee's brother in another village. They went with the dog sledge, and it took them two days.

They had meat and blubber with them and plenty of warm skins, and when they got tired, Kesshoo made a snow house for them to rest in. The twins thought this was the best fun of all.

II

When spring came on, there were other things to do. As the days grew longer, the ice in the bay cracked and broke into small pieces and floated away.

The water turned deep blue, and danced in the sunlight, and ice floated about in it. Often there were walrus on these ice-pans.


[Illustration]

[143] The twins sometimes saw their huge black bodies on the white ice, and heard their hoarse barks. Then all the men in the village would rush for their kyaks and set out after the walrus.

The men were brave and enjoyed the dangerous sport, but the women used to watch anxiously until they saw the kyaks coming home towing the walrus behind them.

Then they would rush down to the shore, help pull the kyaks up on the beach, [144] where they cut the walrus in pieces and divided it among the families of the hunters.

When the snow had melted on the Big Rock, hundreds of sea birds made their nests there and filled the air with their cries.

Sometimes Kesshoo went egg hunting on the cliff, and sometimes he set traps there for foxes, and he helped Menie and Koko make a little trap to catch hares. There was plenty to do in every season of the year.

At last the nights shortened to nothing at all. The long day had begun. The stone hut, which they had found so comfortable in winter, seemed dark and damp now.

Menie and Monnie remembered the summer days when they did not have to dive down through a hole to get into their house, so Menie said to Monnie one day, "Let's go and ask father if it isn't time to put up the tents."

They ran out to find him. He was down on the beach talking with Koko's father and the other men of the village.

On the beach were two very long boats. [145] The men were looking them over carefully to see if they were water tight.


[Illustration]

Koko was with the men. When he saw the twins coming, he tore up the slope to meet them, waving his arms and shouting, "They're getting out the woman boats! They're getting out the woman boats!"

This was glorious news to the twins. They ran down to the beach with Koko as fast as their legs could carry them.

They got there just in time to hear Koko's father say to Kesshoo, "I think it's safe to [146] start. The ice is pretty well out of the bay, and the reindeer will be coming down to the fiords after fresh moss."

All the men listened to hear what Kesshoo would say, and the twins listened, too, with all their ears.

"If it's clear, I think we could start after one more sleep," said Kosshoo.

III

The twins didn't wait to hear any more. They flew for home, and dashed down the tunnel and up into the room.

Koolee was gathering all the knives and spoons and fishing-things and sewing things, and dumping them into a large musk-ox hide which was spread on the floor.

The musk ox hide covered the entrance hole. The first thing Koolee knew something thumped the musk ox skin on the under side, and the knives and thimbles and needle cases and other things flew in all directions. Up through the hole popped the faces of Menie and Monnie!

[147] "Oh, Mother," they shouted. "We're going off on the woman boats! After only one more sleep, if it's pleasant! Father said so!"

Koolee laughed. "I know it!" she said. "I was just packing. You can help me. There's a lot to do to get ready."

The twins were delighted to help. They got together all their own treasures—the sled, and the fishing rods, the dog harnesses, and Annadore, and bound them up with walrus thongs. All but Annadore. Annadore rode in Monnie's hood as usual.

Koolee gathered all her things together again and wrapped them in the musk ox hide. She took down the long narwhal tusks that the dog harnesses were hung on.

These were the tent poles. She and the twins carried all these things to the beach. The men stayed on the beach and packed the things away in the boats. The other women brought down their bundles from their igloos. There was room for everything in the two big boats.

Only the skins were left on the sleeping- [148] bench in the hut. When everything else was ready, Koolee and the twins went up on top of the igloo.

They pulled the moss and dirt out of the chinks between the stones that made the roof, and then Koolee pulled up the stones themselves and let them fall over to one side. This left the roof open to the sky.


[Illustration]

"What makes you do that?" Menie asked.

[149] "So the sun and rain can clean house for us," said Koolee.

Everybody else in the village got ready in the same way.

At last Kesshoo came up from the beach and said to Koolee, "Let us have some meat and a sleep and then we will start. Everything is ready. The boats are packed and it looks as if the weather would be clear."

Koolee brought out some walrus meat and blubber for supper, though it might just as well be called breakfast, for there was no night coming, and the twins ate theirs sitting on the roof of the igloo with their feet hanging down inside.


[Illustration]

Once Menie's feet kicked his father's head. It was an accident, but Kesshoo reached up and took hold of Menie's foot and pulled him down on to the sleeping bench and rolled him over among the skins.

"Crawl in there and go to sleep," he said.

Monnie let herself down through the roof by her hands and crept in beside Menie. Then Kesshoo and Koolee wrapped them- [150] selves in the warm skins and lay down, too.

It took Menie and Monnie some time to go to sleep, for they could look straight up through the roof at the sky, and the sky was bright and blue with little white clouds sailing over it. Besides, they were thinking about the wonderful things that would happen when they should wake up.


[Illustration]

 



Sarah Josepha Hale

Mary Had a Little Lamb

Mary had a little lamb,

Its fleece was white as snow;

And everywhere that Mary went,

The lamb was sure to go.


He followed her to school one day,

That was against the rule;

It made the children laugh and play,

To see a lamb at school.


And so the teacher turned him out,

And still he lingered near,

And waited patiently about,

Till Mary did appear.


[15]

And then he ran to her, and laid

His head upon her arm,

As if he said, "I'm not afraid;

You'll save me from all harm."


"What makes the lamb love Mary so?"

The eager children cry.

"Oh! Mary loves the lamb, you know,"

The teacher did reply.

 


  WEEK 23  

  Thursday  


H. E. Marshall

Roland Sounds His Horn

[50] Alone, King Margaris fled, weary and wounded, until he reached King Marsil, and fell panting at his feet.

"Ride! ride! Sire," he cried, "thy army is shattered, thy knights to the last man lie dead upon the field; but thou wilt find the Franks in evil plight. Full half of them also lie dead. The rest are sore wounded and weary. Their armour is broken, their swords and spears are shattered. They have naught wherewith to defend themselves. To avenge the death of thy knights were now easy. Ride! oh, ride!"

In terrible wrath and sorrow King Marsil gathered a new army. In twenty columns through the valleys they came marching. The sun shone upon the gems and goldwork [51] of their helmets, upon lances and pennons, upon buckler and embroidered surcoat. Seven thousand trumpets sounded to the charge, and the wind carried the clamour afar.

"Oliver, my comrade," said Roland, when he heard it, "Oliver, my brother, the traitor Ganelon hath sworn our death. Here his treachery is plainly to be seen. But the Emperor will bring upon him a terrible vengeance. As for us, we must fight again a battle fierce and keen. I will strike with my trusty Durindal and thou with thy Hauteclere bright. We have already carried them with honour in many battles. With them we have won many a victory. No man may say scorn of us."

And so once again the Franks made ready for battle.

But King Marsil was a wily foe. "Hearken, my barons all," he cried, "Roland is a prince of wondrous strength. Two battles are not enough to vanquish him. He shall have three. Half of ye shall go forward now, and [52] half remain with me until the Franks are utterly exhausted. Then shall ye attack them. Then shall we see the day when the might of Charlemagne shall fall and France shall perish in shame."

So King Marsil stayed upon the hill-side while half of his knights marched upon the Franks with battle-cry and trumpet-call.

"Oh Heaven, what cometh now!" cried the Franks as they heard the sound. "Woe, woe, that ever we saw Ganelon the felon."

Then spoke the brave Archbishop to them. "Now it is certain that we shall die. But it is better to die sword in hand than in slothful ease. Now is the day when ye shall receive great honour. Now is the day that ye shall win your crown of flowers. The gates of paradise are glorious, but therein no coward shall enter."

"We will not fail to enter," cried the Franks. "It is true that we are but few, but we are bold and staunch," and striking their golden spurs into their chargers' flanks, they rode to meet the foe.

[53] Once more the noise and dust of battle rose. Once more the plain was strewn with dead, and the green grass was crimson-dyed, and scattered wide were jewels and gold, splintered weapons, and shattered armour.

Fearful was the slaughter, mighty the deeds of valour done, until at last the heathen broke and fled amain. After them in hot pursuit rode the Franks. Their bright swords flashed and fell again and again, and all the way was marked with dead.

At length the heathen cries of despair reached even to where King Marsil stayed upon the hill-side. "Marsil, oh our King! ride, ride, we have need of thee!" they cried.

Even to the King's feet the Franks pursued the fleeing foe, slaying them before his face.

Then Marsil, mounting upon his horse, led his last knights against the fearful foe.

[54] The Franks were nigh exhausted, but still three hundred swords flashed in the sunlight, three hundred hearts still beat with hope and courage.

As Roland watched Oliver ever in the thickest of the fight, dealing blow upon blow unceasingly, his heart swelled anew with love for him. "Oh, my comrade leal and true," he cried, "alas! this day shall end our love. Alas! this day we shall part on earth for ever."

Oliver heard him and through the press of fighting he urged his horse to Roland's side. "Friend," he said, "keep near to me. So it please God we shall at least die together."

On went the fight, fiercer and fiercer yet, till but sixty weary Franks were left. Then, sadly gazing upon the stricken field, Roland turned to Oliver. "Behold! our bravest lie dead," he cried. "Well may France weep, for she is shorn of all her most valiant knights. Oh my Emperor, my friend, alas, why wert thou not here? Oliver, my brother, how [55] shall we speed him now our mournful news?"

"I know not," said Oliver sadly, "rather come death now than any craven deed."

"I will sound upon my horn," said Roland, all his pride broken and gone. "I will sound upon my horn. Charlemagne will hear it and the Franks will return to our aid."

"Shame would that be," cried Oliver. "Our kin would blush for us and be dishonoured all their days. When I prayed of thee thou wouldst not sound thy horn, and now it is not I who will consent to it. Sound upon thy horn! No! there is no courage, no wisdom in that now. Had the Emperor been here we had been saved. But now it is too late, for all is lost. Nay," he cried in rising wrath, "if ever I see again my fair sister Aude, I swear to thee thou shalt never hold her in thine arms. Never shall she be bride of thine." For Roland loved Oliver's beautiful sister Aude and was loved by her, and when Roland would return to France she had promised to be his bride.

[56] "Ah, Oliver, why dost thou speak to me with so much anger and hate," cried Roland sadly.

"Because it is thy fault that so many Franks lie dead this day," answered Oliver. "It is thy folly that hath slain them. Hadst thou done as I prayed thee our master Charlemagne had been here. This battle had been fought and won. Marsil had been taken and slain. Thy madness it is, Roland, that hath wrought our fate. Henceforward we can serve Charlemagne never more. And now here endeth our loyal friendship. Oh, bitter the parting this night shall see."

With terrible grief in his heart, stricken dumb with misery and pain, Roland gazed upon his friend. But Archbishop Turpin had heard the strife between the two, and setting spurs to his horse he rode swiftly towards them. "Sir Roland, and you, Sir Oliver," he cried, "I pray you strive not thus. See! we all must die, and thy horn, Roland, can avail nothing now. Great Karl is too far and would return too late. [57] Yet it were well to sound it. For the Emperor when he hears it will come to avenge our fall, and the heathen will not return joyously to their homes. When the Franks come, they will alight from their horses, they will find our bodies, and will bury them with mourning and with tears, so we shall rest in hallowed graves, and the beasts of the field shall not tear our bones asunder."

"It is well said," cried Roland.

Then to his lips he laid his horn, and taking a deep breath he blew mightily upon it. With all the strength left in his weary body he blew.


[Illustration]

With all the strength left in his weary body he blew

Full, and clear and high the horn sounded. From mountain peak to mountain peak the note was echoed, till to the camp of Charlemagne, full thirty leagues away, it came.

Then as he heard it, sweet and faint, borne upon the summer wind, the Emperor drew rein, and bent his ear to listen, "Our men give battle; it is the horn of Roland," he cried.

[58] "Nay," laughed Ganelon scornfully, "nay, Sire, had any man but thou said it I had deemed he lied."

So slowly and sad at heart, with many a backward glance, the Emperor rode on.

Again Roland put his horn to his mouth. He was weary now and faint. Blood was upon his pale lips, the blue veins in his temples stood out like cords. Very mournfully he blew upon his horn, but the sound of it was carried far, very far, although it was so feeble and so low.

Again to the soft, sweet note Charlemagne bent his ear. Duke Naimes, too, and all the Frankish knights, paused at the sound. "It is the horn of Roland," cried the Emperor, "and very surely had there been no battle, he had not sounded it."

"There is no battle," said Ganelon in fretful tones. "Thou art grown old and fearful. Thou talkest as a frightened child. Well thou knowest the pride of Roland, this strong, bold, great and boastful Roland, that God hath suffered so long upon His earth. [59] For one hare Roland would sound his horn all day long. Doubtless now he laughs among his Peers. And beside, who would dare to attack Roland? Who so bold? Of a truth there is none. Ride on, Sire, ride on. Why halt? Our fair land is still very far in front."

So again, yet more unwillingly, the Emperor rode on.

Crimson stained were the lips of Roland. His cheeks were sunken and white, yet once again he raised his horn. Faintly now, in sadness and in anguish, once again he blew. The soft, sweet notes took on a tone so pitiful, they wrung the very heart of Charlemagne, where, full thirty leagues afar, he onward rode.

"That horn is very long of breath," he sighed, looking backward anxiously.

"It is Roland," cried Duke Naimes. "It is Roland who suffers yonder. On my soul, I swear, there is battle. Some one hath betrayed him. If I mistake not, it is he who now deceives thee. Arm, Sire, arm! Sound [60] the trumpets of war. Long enough hast thou hearkened to the plaint of Roland."

Quickly the Emperor gave command. Quickly the army turned about, and came marching backward. The evening sunshine fell upon their pennons of crimson, gold and blue, it gleamed upon helmet and corslet, upon lance and shield. Fiercely rode the knights. "Oh, if we but reach Roland before he die," they cried, "oh, what blows we will strike for him."

Alas! alas! they are late, too late!

The evening darkened, night came, yet on they rode. Through all the night they rode, and when at length the rising sun gleamed like flame upon helmet, and hauberk and flowing pennon, they still pressed onward.

Foremost the Emperor rode, sunk in sad thought, his fingers twisted in his long white beard which flowed over his cuirass, his eyes filled with tears. Behind him galloped his knights, strong men though they were, every one of them with a sob in his throat, a [61] prayer in his heart, for Roland, Roland the brave and fearless.

One knight only had anger in his heart. That knight was Ganelon. And he by order of the Emperor had been given over to the keeping of the kitchen knaves. Calling the chief among them, "Guard me well this felon," said Charlemagne, "guard him as a traitor, who hath sold all mine house to death."

Then the chief scullion and a hundred of his fellows surrounded Ganelon. They plucked him by the hair and buffeted him, each man giving him four sounding blows. Around his neck they then fastened a heavy chain, and leading him as one might lead a dancing bear, they set him upon a common baggage-horse. Thus they kept him until the time should come that Charlemagne would ask again for the felon knight.

 



Clara Dillingham Pierson

The Travellers Go South

[Illustration]

[186]

O NE night a maple tree, the very one under which Mr. Red Squirrel sat when he first came to the forest, dreamed of her winter resting-time, and when she awakened early in the morning she found that her leaves were turning yellow. They were not all brightly colored, but on each was an edging, or a tip, or a splash of gold. You may be sure that the Forest People noticed it at once.

"I told you so," chirruped a Robin to [187] her mate. "The Orioles went long ago, and the Bobolinks start to-day. We must think about our trip to the South." When she said this, she hopped restlessly from twig to twig with an air of being exceedingly busy.

Her husband did not answer, but began to arrange his new coat of feathers. Perhaps he was used to her fussy ways and thought it just as well to keep still. He knew that none of the Robins would start South until the weather became much colder, and he did not think it necessary to talk about it yet. Perhaps, too, Mr. Robin was a trifle contrary and was all the more slow and quiet because his wife was uneasy. In that case one could hardly blame her for talking over the family plans with the neighbors.

Later in the day, a Bobolink came up from the marsh to say good-by. He had on his travelling suit of striped brown, and you would never have known him for the [188] same gay fellow who during the spring and early summer wore black and buff and sang so heartily and sweetly. Now he did not sing at all, and slipped silently from bush to bush, only speaking when he had to. He was a good fellow and everyone disliked to have him go.

Mrs. Cowbird came up while they were talking. Now that she did not care to lay any more eggs, the other birds were quite friendly with her. They began to talk over the summer that was past, and said how finely the young birds were coming on. "By the way," said she, in the most careless manner possible, "I ought to have a few children round here somewhere. Can anybody tell me where they are?"

Mrs. Goldfinch looked at her husband and he looked at the sky. The Warblers and the Vireos, who had known about the strange egg in the Goldfinches' nest, had already left for the winter, and there [189] seemed to be no use in telling their secret now or quarrelling over what was past. Some of the other birds might have told Mrs. Cowbird a few things, but they also kept still.

"It is a shame," she said. "I never laid a finer lot of eggs in my life, and I was very careful where I put them. I wish I knew how many there were, but I forgot to count. I have been watching and watching for my little birds to join our flock; I was sure I should know them if I saw them. Mothers have such fine feelings, you know, in regard to their children." (As though she had any right to say that!)

The Mourning Doves were there with their young son and daughter, and you could see by looking at them that they were an affectionate family. "We shall be the last to go South," they cooed. "We always mean to come North in the very early spring and stay as late as possible. [190] This year we came much later than usual, but it could not be helped." They had spoken so before, and rather sadly. It was said that they could tell a sorrowful story if they would; but they did not wish to sadden others by it, and bore their troubles together bravely and lovingly.

"How do the new feathers work?" asked a Crow, flying up at this minute and looking blacker than ever in his fall coat. Then all the birds began to talk about dress. As soon as their broods were raised, you know, their feathers had begun to drop out, and they had kept on moulting until all of the old ones were gone and the new ones on. When birds are moulting they never feel well, and when it is over they are both happy and proud.

"I changed later than usual this year," said the Crow, "and I feel that I have the very latest fashions." This was a joke which he must have picked up among the [191] Barnyard People, and nobody knows where they got it. Fashions never change in the Forest.

"I think," remarked a Red-headed Woodpecker, "that I have the best wing feathers now that I ever had. They seem to be a little longer, and they hook together so well. I almost wish I were going South to try them on a long journey."

"Mr. Woodpecker's wing feathers are certainly excellent," said his wife, who was always glad to see him well dressed. "I am sure that the strongest wind will never part them. I don't see how the Owls can stand it to wear their feathers unhooked so that some of the air passes through their wings each time they flap them. It must make flying hard."

"Well, if you were an Owl you would understand," chuckled the Crow. "If their great wings were like ours, the noise of their flying would scare every creature [192] within hearing, and there would not be much fun in hunting."

And so they chatted on, while from the meadow came the sound of the happy insects piping in the sunshine. It was chilly now at night and in the early morning, and they could give concerts only at noon-day. The next day the Wild Turkeys came and there was great excitement in the forest. The Squirrels were busier than ever storing up all the acorns that they could before the newcomers reached the oak trees; and the Blue Jays were so jealous of the Turkeys that they overate every day for fear there would not be enough to go around. As though there were any danger!

The Ground Hog was getting so sleepy now that he would doze off while people were talking to him, and then he would suddenly straighten up and say: "Yes, yes, yes! Don't think that I was asleep, please. The colors of the trees are so [193] bright that they tire my eyes and I sometimes close them." The dear old fellow really never knew how he had been nodding.

The Snakes, too, were growing dull and slow of motion, while the Bats talked freely of hanging themselves up for the winter. The Grouse and Quail made daily trips to the edges of the grain-fields, and found rich picking among the stubble. You could almost fancy that they came home each night fatter than when they went away in the morning.

Life went on in this way for many days, and the birds had all stopped singing. There were no more happy concerts at sunrise and no more carols at evening; only chirrupings and twitterings as the feathered people hopped restlessly from one perch to another. All could see that they were busily thinking and had no time for music. The truth was that each bird who was not to spend the winter in [194] the Forest felt as though something were drawing—drawing—drawing him southward. It was something they could not see or hear, and yet it was drawing—drawing—drawing all day and all night. They spoke of it often to each other, and the older birds told the young ones how, before long, they would all start South, and fly over land and water until they reached their winter home.

"How do we know where to go?" asked the children.

"All that you have to do," the older ones said, "is to follow us."

"And how do you know?" they asked.

"Why, we have been there before," they answered; "and we can see the places over which we pass. But perhaps that is not the real reason, for sometimes we fly over such great stretches of water that we can see nothing else and it all looks alike. Then we cannot see which way to go, but still we feel that we are [195] drawn South, and we only have to think about that and fly onward. The fathers and sons can fly the faster and will reach there first. The mothers and daughters come a few days later. We never make a mistake."

"It is wonderful, wonderful," thought a young Rabbit on the grass below. "I must watch them when they go."

The very next morning the Forest People awakened to find a silvery frost on the grass and feel the still air stirred by the soft dropping of damp red, brown, and yellow leaves from the trees. Over the river and all the lowland near it hung a heavy veil of white mist.

"It is time!" whispered the Robins to each other.

"It is time!" cooed the Mourning Doves.

"It is time!" cried the Cowbirds in their hoarse voices.

All through the forest there was restlessness and quiet haste. The Juncoes [196] had already come from the cold northland and were resting from their long flight. The Ground Hogs, the Rabbits, and the Squirrels were out to say good-by. The Owls peeped from their hollow trees, shading their eyes from the strong light of the sun. And then the travellers went. The Robins started in family parties. The Mourning Doves slipped quietly away. The Cowbirds went in a dashing crowd. And the Crows, after much talking and disputing on the tree-tops, took a noisy farewell of the few members of the flock who were to remain behind, and, joining other flocks from the North, flew off in a great company which darkened the sky and caused a shadow to pass over the stubble-field almost like that of a summer cloud.

"They are gone!" sighed the Ground Hog and his wife. "We shall miss them sadly. Well, we can dream about them, and that will be a comfort."

[197] "Jay! Jay!" shrieked a handsome-crested fellow from the tree above. "What if they are gone? They will be back in the spring, and we have plenty to eat. What is the use of feeling sad? Jay! Jay!"

But all people are not so heartless as the hungry Blue Jays, and the song-birds had many loving friends who missed them and longed for their return.

 



Edward Lear

Nonsense Alphabet

A was an ant

Who seldom stood still,

And who made a nice house

In the side of a hill.

Nice little ant!


B was a book

With a binding of blue,

And pictures and stories

For me and for you.

Nice little book!


C was a cat

Who ran after a rat;

But his courage did fail

When she seized on his tail.

Crafty old cat!


D was a duck

With spots on his back,

Who lived in the water,

And always said "Quack!"

Dear little duck!


E was an elephant,

Stately and wise:

He had tusks and a trunk,

And two queer little eyes.

Oh, what funny small eyes!


F was a fish

Who was caught in a net;

But he got out again,

And is quite alive yet.

Lively young fish!


G was a goat

Who was spotted with brown:

When he did not lie still

He walked up and down.

Good little goat!


H was a hat

Which was all on one side;

Its crown was too high,

And its brim was too wide.

Oh, what a hat!


I was some ice

So white and so nice,

But which nobody tasted;

And so it was wasted.

All that good ice!


J was a jackdaw

Who hopped up and down

In the principal street

Of a neighboring town.

All through the town!


K was a kite

Which flew out of sight,

Above houses so high,

Quite into the sky.

Fly away, kite!


L was a light

Which burned all the night,

And lighted the gloom

Of a very dark room.

Useful nice light!


M was a mill

Which stood on a hill,

And turned round and round

With a loud hummy sound.

Useful old mill!


N was a net

Which was thrown in the sea

To catch fish for dinner

For you and for me.

Nice little net!


O was an orange

So yellow and round:

When it fell off the tree,

It fell down to the ground.

Down to the ground!


P was a pig,

Who was not very big;

But his tail was too curly,

And that made him surly.

Cross little pig!


Q was a quail

With a very short tail;

And he fed upon corn

In the evening and morn.

Quaint little quail!


R was a rabbit,

Who had a bad habit

Of eating the flowers

In gardens and bowers.

Naughty fat rabbit!


S was the sugar-tongs,

Nippity-nee,

To take up the sugar

To put in our tea.

Nippity-nee!


T was a tortoise,

All yellow and black:

He walked slowly away,

And he never came back.

Torty never came back!


U was an urn

All polished and bright,

And full of hot water

At noon and at night.

Useful old urn!


V was a villa

Which stood on a hill,

By the side of a river,

And close to a mill.

Nice little villa!


W was a whale

With a very long tail,

Whose movements were frantic

Across the Atlantic.

Monstrous old whale!


X was King Xerxes,

Who, more than all Turks, is

Renowned for his fashion

Of fury and passion.

Angry old Xerxes!


Y was a yew,

Which flourished and grew

By a quiet abode

Near the side of a road.

Dark little yew!


Z was some zinc,

So shiny and bright,

Which caused you to wink

In the sun's merry light.

Beautiful zinc!

 


  WEEK 23  

  Friday  


Edward Eggleston

Don't Give up the Ship

[105] FRED was talking to his sister one day. He said,—

"Alice, what makes people say, 'Don't give up the ship'?"

Alice said, "I don't know. That's what the teacher said to me yesterday when I thought that I could not get my lesson."

"Yes," said Fred, "and that's what father said to me. I told him I never could learn to write well." He only said, "You must not give up the ship, my boy."

"I haven't any ship to give up," said Alice.

"And what has a ship to do with my writing?" said Fred.

"There must be some story about a ship," Alice said.

"Maybe grandfather would know," said Fred. "Let's ask him."

They found their grandfather writing in the next room. They did not wish to disturb him. They turned to leave the room.

But grandfather looked up just then. He smiled, and laid down his pen.

"Did you want something?" he asked.

[106] "We wanted to ask you a question," said Alice. "We want to know why people say, 'Don't give up the ship.' "

"We thought maybe there is a story to it," said Fred.

"Yes, there is," said their grandfather. "And I know a little rhyme that tells the story."

"Could you say it to us?" asked Alice.

"Yes, if I can think of it. Let me see. How does it begin?"

Grandfather leaned his head back in the chair. He shut his eyes for a moment. He was trying to remember.

"Oh, now I remember it!" he said.

Then he said to them these little verses:—

Grandfather's Rhyme

When I was but a boy,

I heard the people tell

How gallant Captain Law-rence

So bravely fought and fell.

The ships lay close together,

I heard the people say,

And many guns were roaring

Upon that battle day.

[107]

A grape-shot struck the captain,

He laid him down to die:

They say the smoke of powder

Made dark the sea and sky.

The sailors heard a whisper

Upon the captain's lip:

The last command of Law-rence

Was, "Don't give up the ship."

And ever since that battle

The people like to tell

How gallant Captain Lawrence

So bravely fought and fell.

When disappointment happens,

And fear your heart annoys,

Be brave, like Captain Lawrence—

And don't give up, my boys!

 



Ellen C. Babbitt

The Stupid Monkeys

[24]

O NCE upon a time a king gave a holiday to all the people in one of his cities.

The king's gardener thought to himself: "All my friends are having a holiday in the city. I could go into the city and enjoy myself with them if I did not have to water the trees here in this garden. I know what I will do. I will get the Monkeys to water the young trees for me." In those days, a tribe of Monkeys lived in the king's garden.

So the gardener went to the Chief of the Monkeys, and said: "You are lucky Monkeys to be living in the king's garden. You have a fine place to play in. You have the best of food—nuts, fruit, and the young shoots of trees to eat. You have no work at all to do. You can play all day, every day. To-day my friends are having a holiday in the city, and I want to enjoy myself with them. Will you water the young trees so that I can go away?"

"Oh, yes!" said the Chief of the Monkeys. "We shall be glad to do that."

[25] "Do not forget to water the trees when the sun goes down. See they have plenty of water, but not too much," said the gardener. Then he showed them where the watering-pots were kept, and went away.

[Illustration] When the sun went down the Monkeys took the watering-pots, and began to water the young trees. "See that each tree has enough water," said the Chief of the Monkeys.

"How shall we know when each tree has enough?" they asked. The Chief of the Monkeys had no good answer, so [26] he said: "Pull up each young tree and look at the length of its roots. Give a great deal of water to those with long roots, but only a little to those trees that have short roots."

Then those stupid Monkeys pulled up all the young trees to see which trees had long roots and which had short roots.

When the gardener came back the next day, the poor young trees were all dead.

 



Ellen C. Babbitt

The Cunning Wolf

[27]

O NCE upon a time the people in a certain town went out into the woods for a holiday. They took baskets full of good things to eat. But when noontime came they ate all the meat they had brought with them, not leaving any for supper.

"I will get some fresh meat. We will make a fire here and roast it," said one of the men.

So taking a club, he went to the lake where the animals came to drink. He lay down, club in hand, pretending to be dead.

[Illustration] When the animals came down to the lake they saw the man lying there and they watched him for some time.

"That man is playing a trick on us, I believe," said the King of the Wolves. "The rest of you stay here while I will see whether he is really dead, or whether he is pretending to be dead."

[28] Then the cunning King of the Wolves crept up to the Man and slyly pulled at his club.

At once the man pulled back on his club.

Then the King of the Wolves ran off saying: "If you had been dead, you would not have pulled back on your club when I tried to pull it away. I see your trick. You pretend you are dead so that you may kill one of us for your supper."

The man jumped up and threw his club at the King of the Wolves. But he missed his aim. He looked for the other animals but there was not one in sight. They had all run away.

[29] Then the man went back to his friends, saying: "I tried to get fresh meat by playing a trick on the animals, but the cunning Wolf played a better trick on me, and I could not get one of them."


[Illustration]
 



Anonymous

Gaelic Lullaby

Hush! the waves are rolling in,

White with foam, white with foam;

Father toils amid the din;

But baby sleeps at home.


Hush! the winds roar hoarse and deep,—

On they come, on they come!

Brother seeks the wandering sheep;

But baby sleeps at home.


Hush! the rain sweeps o'er the knowes,

Where they roam, where they roam;

Sister goes to seek the cows;

But baby sleeps at home.