Text of Plan #426
  WEEK 3  

  Monday  


Lawton B. Evans

The Conquest of Peru

[10] FRANCISCO PIZARRO was a Spaniard of low birth, and was so ignorant that never in all his life did he learn to read and write. His parents were very poor, and his wicked mother deserted him when he was a child. He would have died if he had not been nursed by an old sow.

When Pizarro became old enough to work, he took up the occupation of a swineherd, feeding and tending pigs. He became very rough and lawless, but like all other Spaniards of the day, was eager for conquest in America. So he ran away from his master, and shipped in a vessel bound for the West Indies. Here he met Vasco Nunez de Balboa, and was one of the party that went with this explorer when he beheld the waters of the Pacific Ocean. He heard a great deal about a land to the south, abounding in gold and silver.

Of course Pizarro wanted to conquer this land, just as Cortez had conquered Mexico. With a small party of men and some horses, he started out in one ship to explore the west coast of South America, where the Peruvians lived. As he went down the coast he saw signs of villages here and there, and some large towns with houses and [11] streets. The people he noticed wore clothing, and appeared to have plenty of gold ornaments.

At one place a party of fifty of his men landed with their horses and began a march into the interior. The Peruvians came against them by the thousands, but the Spaniards fired off their guns and dismounted their horses. The strange noise of armor, and the appearance of an animal that could separate itself into two parts,—for the natives thought the horse and rider were one, so terrified the savages that they fled in dismay.

Seeing the vast numbers of people in this new land, and also its limitless riches of gold and silver, Pizarro decided to return to Spain for larger forces and more supplies, and then to return for the complete conquest of Peru. So he made his way back to Spain and reported to his King what he had seen. The Spanish monarch told Pizarro that he might be governor of all the land he subdued, and in addition he might keep half the gold he found. But the King did not give him any money with which to buy ships and supplies.

Pizarro was not daunted, however, by this. After a few months he found enough men and borrowed enough money to start afresh. He landed again on the Peruvian coast, and remained a year in one place, awaiting reinforcements and [12] supplies. He then started on his march inland to meet Atahualpa, who was the King of the country. Atahualpa sent friendly messages, beautiful presents of gold, silver, and precious stones, together with plentiful provisions for the Spaniards.

Pizarro marched over the narrow mountain passes with a few hundred men, while Atahualpa could easily have gathered fifty thousand soldiers to overwhelm him. But Pizarro's men were fierce as wolves, while the Peruvians were as timid as sheep. There was no opposition to the onward march of the Spaniards. At last they came to a large village, which had been abandoned by the inhabitants and left for the use of the Spaniards. In this village Pizarro quartered his men, and made himself comfortable.

He was now with about two hundred men in the heart of Peru, a thickly settled country of thousands of Indians, who could destroy him at any time they saw fit. But the Indians were superstitious, timid, and not warlike; while the Spaniards had horses and guns, and were long accustomed to war.

Pizarro fortified his town as best he could, and then sent his own brother, with forty men, to Atahualpa's camp to ask him to pay the Spaniards a visit. "Tell the Inca that he must come, or [13] else I shall make him. I will take a few horses and my men, and lay waste all his country."

The terrified King then made haste to visit the Spanish camp.

Pizarro waited all day for Atahualpa to appear. Late in the afternoon he learned that the King and his men were on the outskirts of the village. So word was sent him that supper was prepared and that it would be kept waiting until he arrived. In the meantime, Pizarro made ready for an attack, inasmuch as he feared the treachery of the Spaniards.

Atahualpa appeared, borne on a litter, plated with silver and gold, and adorned with feathers. With him were five thousand soldiers, carrying clubs, slings, and bags of stones. The cortege halted in the great square, and Pizarro came forward to greet his guest. After an exchange of courtesies, a Spanish priest began to expound the Christian religion. The King listened, and grunted as if he were not interested.

Then Atahualpa glanced around at his soldiers, speaking to them in their own language. The Spaniards thought this was a signal for war, drew their swords, and rushed upon the Indians. They met with but slight resistance. Hundreds of the Indians fell in the pursuit, for they all ran away. [14] Those who bore the King's litter dropped it, leaving the poor monarch on the ground. He was easily taken prisoner, all of his army having fled with loud cries over the mountains.

Atahualpa saw what the Spaniards wanted, and offered to buy his life and liberty by giving up many wagon-loads of gold and silver. Pizarro agreed to this and the wagons began to come in, bringing riches in such abundance that it would have been impossible to carry all away. There were vessels, cups, bowls, idols, earrings, ornaments of all kinds—everything of pure gold or silver.

"Take this and leave my country. Also baptize me as a Christian, if you will, for I would serve your God if you will give me back to my people," said Atahualpa.

The eyes of Pizarro burned at the sight of so much wealth. If this were a part of it, why not have it all? His men gathered around the great pile and began to wonder at their own riches.

Pizarro, for no reason whatsoever, began to accuse his captive of treachery, claiming he had an army ready to overwhelm the Spaniards, and hence deserved death for his conduct. He then put the King in chains, and had him tried for treason and for being a heathen.

Poor Atahualpa was sentenced to be burned at [15] the stake. In spite of his willingness to give up all his gold and silver, and to become a Christian, he was cruelly put to death. Thus did Pizarro carry out the practices of the early Spaniards in America, and complete the Conquest of Peru.

 



Clara Dillingham Pierson

An Ant That Wore Wings

[Illustration]

[37]

I N one of the Ant-hills in the highest part of the meadow, were a lot of young Ants talking together. "I," said one, "am going to be a soldier, and drive away anybody who comes to make us trouble. I try biting hard things every day to make my jaws strong, so that I can guard the home better."

"I," said another and smaller Ant, "want to be a worker. I want to help build and repair the home. I want to get the food for the family, and feed [38] the Ant babies, and clean them off when they crawl out of their old coats. If I can do those things well, I shall be the happiest, busiest Ant in the meadow."

"We don't want to live that kind of life," said a couple of larger Ants with wings. "We don't mean to stay around the Ant-hill all the time and work. We want to use our wings, and then you may be very sure that you won't see us around home any more."

The little worker spoke up: "Home is a pleasant place. You may be very glad to come back to it some day." But the Ants with the wings turned their backs and wouldn't listen to another word.

A few days after this there were exciting times in the Ant-hill. All the winged Ants said "Good-bye" to the soldiers and workers, and flew off through the air, flew so far that the little ones at home could no longer see them. All day long they were gone, but the next morning when [39] the little worker (whom we heard talking) went out to get breakfast, she found the poor winged Ants lying on the ground near their home. Some of them were dead, and the rest were looking for food.

The worker Ant ran up to the one who had said she didn't want to stay around home, and asked her to come back to the Ant-hill. "No, I thank you," she answered. "I have had my breakfast now, and am going to fly off again." She raised her wings to go, but after she had given one flutter, they dropped off, and she could never fly again.

The worker hurried back to the Ant-hill to call some of her sister workers, and some of the soldiers, and they took the Ant who had lost her wings and carried her to another part of the meadow. There they went to work to build a new home and make her their queen.

First, they looked for a good, sandy place, on which the sun would shine all [40] day. Then the worker Ants began to dig in the ground and bring out tiny round pieces of earth in their mouths. The soldiers helped them, and before night they had a cosy little home in the earth, with several rooms, and some food already stored. They took their queen in, and brought her food to eat, and waited on her, and she was happy and contented.

By and by the Ant eggs began to hatch, and the workers had all they could do to take care of their queen and her little Ant babies, and the soldier Ants had to help. The Ant babies were little worms or grubs when they first came out of the eggs; after a while they curled up in tiny, tiny cases, called pupa-cases, and after another while they came out of these, and then they looked like the older Ants, with their six legs, and their slender little waists. But whatever they were, whether eggs, or grubs, or curled up in the pupa-cases, or lively little Ants, the workers fed [41] and took care of them, and the soldiers fought for them, and the queen-mother loved them, and they all lived happily together until the young Ants were ready to go out into the great world and learn the lessons of life for themselves.

 



Anonymous

The Rabbits

Between the hill and the brook, ook, ook,

Two rabbits sat in the sun, O!

And then they ate the green, green grass,

Till all the grass was gone, O!


And when they had eaten enough, nough, nough,

They sat down to have a talk, O!

When there came a man with a gun, un, un,

And fired at them over the walk, O!


But when they found they were sound, ound, ound,

Nor hurt by the gun, un, un, O!

They picked themselves up from the ground, ound, ound,

And scampered away like fun, O!

 


  WEEK 3  

  Tuesday  


Amy Steedman

Saint Kentigern

Part 1 of 2

[23] THE night was dark, and never a star shone in the blackness of the sky. The wind howled as it swept across the troubled waters of the Firth of Forth, and there was no light on sea or land to guide any belated fishing-boat to a safe haven. It would have been a difficult and dangerous task for any sailor to steer his boat on such a night, and yet the one frail little barque that was tossing about in the stormy waters made its way surely and steadily towards the land.

It was indeed but a frail little boat that so gallantly held its way. Over the framework of wooden laths was stretched a covering of hides, scarcely strong enough to withstand the lash of the waves. There were no oars and no rudder, and the boat seemed empty save for a dark form that crouched at the bottom with white upturned face.

But though there was no one to guide the boat, still it went steadily onward, rising like a cork over the crests of the threatening waves, so that scarce a drop of their spray fell upon the dark figure that clung there so desperately.

Presently there was a grating sound, and then a wild sweep upward, as the boat was lifted on the crest of a wave and dashed high and dry upon a [24] sandy shore, while the sea sank sullenly back. Then the dark figure rose quickly, and tried to peer with her wild sad eyes into the blackness around. She was but a maiden yet, and very beautiful, but her beauty was dimmed by the look of suffering and weariness that had paled her cheek and dulled her eyes. A king's daughter this, driven out by cruel hands, but carried by the pitiful waves to a safe haven.

All was very black and very still as the maiden gazed around, but presently a tiny glow of light showed through the darkness, and, stumbling as she went, she managed to reach the place where a few dying embers in a circle of rude stones marked the spot where some shepherds had left their fire to die out.

With a sob of thankfulness the tired traveller knelt and, with trembling breath, coaxed the ashes into a glow, and gathered some of the sticks that were scattered around to lay upon the embers. How good it was to feel the warmth stealing through her stiff frozen limbs; how comforting to see the merry little red tongues of flame lighting up the darkness that was so lonely and so terrible!

But another light had now begun to melt the darkness of the night. Far away in the east the long-looked-for dawn was lifting with its rosy finger the grey curtain of morning twilight. And with the light there came to the lonely maiden by the little fire, the light and joy of her life—her baby son, sent by God to comfort her. Poor little wail- [25] ing child, he had but a cold welcome to this world of ours. There was no roof to cover him, no soft garments to enfold him; only his mother's arms to wrap him round, only the little red fire to warm him and bid him welcome.

It was thus that another Baby had come to earth in the stable at Bethlehem long ago, and this little one too, like the King of Heaven, found friends among the kindly shepherd folk. Not far off from the sandy beach the shepherds had been herding their flocks, and as they looked seaward in the dim light of dawn, they saw a thin curl of blue smoke rising from the shore. Surely, then, their fire had not died out, and it would be good to warm themselves in the chill morning air. They were rough strong men these shepherds, accustomed to a rough rude life, but when they came to the sandy beach and saw the poor young mother with her little newborn son, like the shepherds of old they too knelt down in reverence and with tender hands wrapped their warm coats about the mother and child, and brought out their poor breakfast, offering all that they had.

"We must away and tell the good Saint Servanus," said one. "He will care for these poor strangers."

"Hasten, then," cried another, "and we will follow on and gently bear the mother and her little one to the dwelling of the saint."

So it was arranged, and two of the younger shepherds started in hot haste to tell the good saint of the adventure that had befallen them. They knew that they would find him ready to listen to [26] their story, for he ever rose with the dawn to offer his daily service to God.

"Father, father," they cried, as the old man came forth from the little church to meet them. "We have a strange thing to tell thee. On the shore of Culross we have but now found a fair young maiden with her newborn son. The child was born at dawn of day, and we would know if we may bring them both hither to thee."

A wonderful light shone on the face of the old man as he listened to the words. A child born at the dawn of day! Why, that must have been the meaning of the angel's song which had fallen on his wondering ears as he knelt before the altar! His heart had been lifted up in prayer when the song "Gloria in Excelsis" came floating down, and he waited for some sign to show what it all should mean.

Scarcely had the breathless shepherds finished their tale when the others followed on, one gently bearing the weary mother, while the other tenderly held the tiny babe in a fold of his cloak.

The old saint hurried forward with eager steps and held out his trembling hands to take the child.

"My dear one, my dear one," he cried, "blessed art thou that hast come in the name of the Lord."

So the old saint took the child to his heart. The echo of the heavenly voices still rang in his ears, and he felt sure that this little child sent to earth at the dawn of light would be one of the heralds of the True Light that had come into the world.

When a few days had passed and the poor mother [27] had poured her sad tale into his kindly ears, Saint Servanus brought the maiden and her child to the font of the little church, and baptized the mother by the name of Thenew. Then he took the baby in his arms and poured the water over its little downy head, giving him the name of Kentigern. But there was another name by which the child was often called, Mungo, or "dear one," the name used by the old man that early morning when he took the little one into his arms and into his heart.

Under the care of the good saint the child grew into a strong brave boy. He had no lack of companions, for many boys were gathered at the monastery to be taught and trained by the learned Saint Servanus. With them he learned his lessons and played his games, but, although he was kind and generous, the boys did not greatly love him. It was not so much that they envied his quickness at lessons, or his beautiful voice which soared above all the rest in the daily hymn of praise: this they might have suffered, but they felt sure that the master loved him best, and this was more than they could bear. They began to wish with all their hearts that Kentigern would be tempted to do some mean evil deed and thus lose favour in the eyes of the old man, who took such a pride in his goodness and cleverness.

The saints of God have always had a special love for His dumb creatures, and have treated both birds and beasts with tender care. The blessed Saint Francis was never so happy as when among his "little sisters the birds," while all animals came to him at his call [28] as if to a friend. Saint Servanus too had his favourite "little sister," a tiny robin-redbreast, so tame that it would come and perch on the old man's shoulder, hop upon his hand, and at matins would cheerfully chirp its little hymn of praise with the rest. It was so small and trustful, so sure of its welcome when it came hopping down, cocking its head on one side and looking at him with its bright eye, that the saint would smile and call it his spoilt child. Before eating his own meals the "little sister" had first her share.

Now the boys who were so jealous of Kentigern were inclined to hate the poor little robin too. Many a time had the master bade them take a lesson from his little favourite, mark its prompt obedience in coming at once when it was called, watch its busy ways, and note how cheerful was its song of praise. They answered never a word, but in their hearts they thought it was by no means pleasant to be sent to learn lessons from a silly little bird.

So the evil feeling grew until at last one night, when the saint had gone into the church alone, they found the redbreast chirping away on a branch outside the door, and, as it was so tame, they caught it with the greatest ease. At first they did not mean to harm it, only to frighten it a little, but their ways were rough, and ere long they took to quarrelling as to who should hold it, and began to snatch it from each other's grasp. Then before they half realised what they had done, the poor little bird lay dead in their hands, its feathers all torn and ruffled, its bright [29] eyes closed, its head hanging limp and still. A dreadful hush fell on the noisy throng as they looked at their work.

"Oh! what will the master say?" cried one.

"We dare not tell him," said another.

"He will know without any telling," said a third.

"Oh! how we shall be whipped," wailed all the rest in chorus.

A shiver went round at the words. Each one knew exactly how that whipping would smart, and almost felt it already.

"Here comes the good boy Kentigern," cried another; "he of course is safe from blame, just as he always is."

The boys looked at one another. The same thought had struck them all. Why not put the blame on Kentigern and say that he had killed the bird? Would that not serve two good ends? They would be saved from the master's wrath and that most certain whipping, and Kentigern would be humbled and cast out of favour.

Even as they hurriedly agreed to this plan, the church door opened and the saint came forth. His keen eye saw at once that something was wrong. The crowd of silent boys were all looking expectantly towards him, and in their midst stood Kentigern bending over something which he held in his hand.

"What mishap has befallen?" asked the old man, gazing at the eager faces.

"It is Kentigern," they cried with one voice all together. "He has killed thy little bird."

The master said nothing, but looked at the silent [30] figure bending over the little bunch of ruffled feathers. Kentigern did not seem to hear or to heed the loud accusation. Very gently he stroked the feathers and laid his cheek against the tiny body that was still warm. Then he knelt down, and, raising one hand, made the sign of the cross over the bird.

"Lord Jesus Christ," he prayed, "in whose hands is the breath of every creature, give back to this bird the breath of life, that Thy blessed name may be glorified for ever." And as he prayed there was a faint stirring among the feathers, a ruffling of the wings, and the robin flew to its safe shelter on the shoulder of the master. Now the old chronicle which tells this tale does not add whether the boys received the whipping which they had feared, but we trust that their forebodings were smartly realised. If so, it may have taught them to treat God's creatures more gently, but it certainly did not cure them of the sin of envy and jealousy, for Kentigern continued to have but a hard time amongst them.

It was the rule of Saint Servanus that each of the boys should in turn take charge of the lighting of the sanctuary lamps. Thus the boy whose turn it was to see that the lamps were trimmed and lighted was obliged to keep up the fires while all the rest were in bed, so that there should not fail to be a spark ready to kindle light for the early service. When it fell to Kentigern's turn, the boys thought of a fresh plan to bring disgrace upon his head.

As soon as all the fires had been carefully made up, and Kentigern had gone to rest, the other boys [31] crept silently out of bed and went the round of the monastery, raking out every fire. Not a spark did they leave that could light a single lamp, and then they went joyfully back to bed, feeling well satisfied with their work.

At cockcrow Kentigern rose as usual to go and make ready for the early service, but he found every fire black and dead. Search as he might, there was no means of kindling a light, although he had built up each fire carefully to last until morning.

Then the boy's heart was full of anger. All the wrongs he had suffered patiently, all the unkind tricks of the other boys rose up in his memory, and he felt that he could bear it no longer. It was all so mean and underhand. They did not dare stand up and openly defy him, for they knew he was brave and fearless, but in the dark they plotted and planned how they might punish and disgrace him. No; he would stand it no longer; he would leave the monastery and make his own way in the world.

So forth he went, swinging along with great angry strides until he came to the hedge that bounded the monastery lands. By this time his anger had begun to cool and leave room for other thoughts. After all it was rather cowardly to run away, even from injustice and persecution, for it meant also running away from duty and the good old man who was like a father to him. What would the master say when he entered the church and found it in darkness, the altar lights unlit, the lamps untended?

Very slowly, then, Kentigern retraced his steps, [32] holding in his hand the hazel twig which he had broken off from the hedge when he stood debating which road to take. He was thinking deeply as he walked, and it suddenly flashed across his mind that there was a way of obtaining the light he needed which as yet he had not tried. Surely God would not fail to help him. So, just as he had prayed in faith over the dead bird, he knelt down on the dewy grass and, making the holy sign over the little twig, prayed God to kindle in it a living spark that might light the lamps for His service. The legend tells us that as he prayed God did indeed send down fire that lit into a tiny torch the hazel twig, and that it burnt steadily until all the lamps in the church were lit, one by one.

Again there is no mention of the whipping which those boys deserved, but Kentigern was no tale-bearer, and this his enemies knew full well.

 



Harriette Taylor Treadwell

The Gingerbread Boy

Part 1 of 2


[Illustration]



[Illustration]

[12] There was a little old woman.

There was a little old man.

The little old woman had a cat.

The little old man had a pig.



[Illustration]

[13] The little old woman wanted a boy.

The little old man wanted a boy.

The little old woman said,

"I will make a gingerbread boy."

So she made a gingerbread boy.



[Illustration]

[14] The gingerbread boy ran away.

He ran away from the little old woman,

He ran away from the little old man,

He ran, and he ran, and he ran.



[Illustration]

[15] The gingerbread boy met a cat.

He said, "I am a gingerbread boy, I am, I am, I am.


I ran away from the little old woman, [16] I ran away from the little old man, I can run away from you, I can, I can, I can."

And he ran, and he ran, and he ran.



[Illustration]

The gingerbread boy met a pig.


[17] He said, "I am a gingerbread boy, I am, I am, I am.


I ran away from the little old woman, I ran away from the little old man, I ran away from the cat, I can run away from you, I can, I can, I can."

And he ran, and he ran, and he ran.



[Illustration]

 



Anonymous

Tweedle-Dum and Tweedle-Dee

Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee

Resolved to have a battle,

For Tweedle-dum said Tweedle-dee

Had spoiled his nice new rattle.


Just then flew by a monstrous crow,

As big as a tar barrel,

Which frightened both the heroes so,

They quite forgot their quarrel.

 


  WEEK 3  

  Wednesday  


James Baldwin

The Sons of William the Conqueror

THERE was once a great king of England who was called William the Conqueror, and he had three sons.

One day King William seemed to be thinking of something that made him feel very sad; and the [14] wise men who were about him asked him what was the matter.

"I am thinking," he said, "of what my sons may do after I am dead. For, unless they are wise and strong, they cannot keep the kingdom which I have won for them. Indeed, I am at a loss to know which one of the three ought to be the king when I am gone."

"O king!" said the wise men, "if we only knew what things your sons admire the most, we might then be able to tell what kind of men they will be. Perhaps, by asking each one of them a few questions, we can find out which one of them will be best fitted to rule in your place."

"The plan is well worth trying, at least," said the king. "Have the boys come before you, and then ask them what you please."

The wise men talked with one another for a little while, and then agreed that the young princes should be brought in, one at a time, and that the same questions should be put to each.

The first who came into the room was Robert. He was a tall, willful lad, and was nicknamed Short Stocking.

"Fair sir," said one of the men, "answer me this question: If, instead of being a boy, it had pleased [15] God that you should be a bird, what kind of a bird would you rather be?"

"A hawk," answered Robert. "I would rather be a hawk, for no other bird reminds one so much of a bold and gallant knight."

The next who came was young William, his father's namesake and pet. His face was jolly and round, and because he had red hair he was nicknamed Rufus, or the Red.

"Fair sir," said the wise man, "answer me this question: If, instead of being a boy, it had pleased God that you should be a bird, what kind of a bird would you rather be?"

"An eagle," answered William. "I would rather be an eagle, because it is strong and brave. It is feared by all other birds, and is therefore the king of them all."

Lastly came the youngest brother, Henry, with quiet steps and a sober, thoughtful look. He had been taught to read and write, and for that reason he was nicknamed Beauclerc, or the Handsome Scholar.

"Fair sir," said the wise man, "answer me this question: If, instead of being a boy, it had pleased God that you should be a bird, what kind of a bird would you rather be?"

"A starling," said Henry. "I would rather be a [16] starling, because it is good-mannered and kind and a joy to every one who sees it, and it never tries to rob or abuse its neighbor."

Then the wise men talked with one another for a little while, and when they had agreed among themselves, they spoke to the king.

"We find," said they, "that your eldest son, Robert, will be bold and gallant. He will do some great deeds, and make a name for himself; but in the end he will be overcome by his foes, and will die in prison.

"The second son, William, will be as brave and strong as the eagle but he will be feared and hated for his cruel deeds. He will lead a wicked life, and will die a shameful death.

"The youngest son, Henry, will be wise and prudent and peaceful. He will go to war only when he is forced to do so by his enemies. He will be loved at home, and respected abroad; and he will die in peace after having gained great possessions."

Years passed by, and the three boys had grown up to be men. King William lay upon his death-bed, and again he thought of what would become of his sons when he was gone. Then he remembered what the wise men had told him; and so he declared that Robert should have the lands which he held in France, that William should be the King [17] of England, and that Henry should have no land at all, but only a chest of gold.

So it happened in the end very much as the wise men had foretold. Robert, the Short Stocking, was bold and reckless, like the hawk which he so much admired. He lost all the lands that his father had left him, and was at last shut up in prison, where he was kept until he died.

William Rufus was so overbearing and cruel that he was feared and hated by all his people. He led a wicked life, and was killed by one of his own men while hunting in the forest.

And Henry, the Handsome Scholar, had not only the chest of gold for his own, but he became by and by the King of England and the ruler of all the lands that his father had had in France.

 



Lucy Fitch Perkins

Market Day with Father

Part 2 of 2

The market-place was an open square in the middle of the town. It had little booths and stalls all about it. The farmers brought their fresh vegetables and flowers, or whatever they had to sell, into these stalls, and then sat there waiting for customers.


[Illustration]

[41] Kit and Kat helped their father to unload the boat. Then they sat down on a box, and Father gave them each some bread and cheese to eat; for they were hungry again. They put the cheese between slices of bread and took bites, while they looked about.

Soon there were a good many people in the square. Most of them were women with market baskets on their arms. They went to the different stalls to see what they would buy for dinner.

A large woman with a big basket on her arm came along to the stall where Kit and Kat were sitting.

"Bless my heart!" she said. "Are you twins?"

"Yes, Ma'am," said Kit and Kat. And Kat said, "We're five years old."

"O my soul!" said the large woman. "So you are! What are your names?"


[Illustration]

"Christopher and Katrina, but they call us Kit and Kat for short." It was Kat who said this. And Kit said,

[42] "When we are four feet and a half high, we are going to be called Christopher and Katrina."

"Well, well, well!" said the large woman. "So you are! Now my name is Vrouw Van der Kloot. Are you helping Father?"

"Yes," said the Twins. "We're going to help him sell things."

"Then you may sell me a cabbage and ten onions," said Vrouw Van der Kloot.

[43] Father Vedder's eyes twinkled, and he smoked his pipe. Kit got a cabbage for the Vrouw.

"You can get the ten onions," he said to Kat. You see, really Kit couldn't count ten and be sure of it. So he asked Kat to do it.

Kat wasn't afraid. She took out a little pile of onions in a measure, and said to Vrouw Van der Kloot,

"Is that ten?"

Then Vrouw Van der Kloot counted them with Kat, very carefully. There were eleven, and so she gave back one. Then she gave Kat the money for the onions, and Kit the money for the cabbage.

Father Vedder said,

"Now Kit and Kat, by and by, when you get hungry again, you can go over to Vrouw Van der Kloot's stall and buy something from her. She keeps the sweetie shop."

"Oh! Oh!" cried Kit and Kat. "We're hungry yet! Can't we go now?"

"No, not now," said Father. "We must do some work first."

[44] The Twins helped Father Vedder a long time. They learned to count ten and to do several other things. Then their father gave them the money for the cabbage and the ten onions they had sold to Vrouw Van der Kloot, and said,

"You may walk around the market and look in all the stalls, and buy the thing you like best that costs just two cents. Then come back here to me."


[Illustration]

[45] Kit and Kat set forth on their travels, to see the world. They each held the money tightly shut in one hand, and with the other hand they held on to each other.

"The world is very large," said Kit and Kat.

They saw all sorts of strange things in the market. There were tables piled high with flowers. There was a stall full of birds in cages, singing away with all their might. One cage had five little birds in it, sitting in a row.

"O Kit," cried Kat, "let's buy the birds!"

They asked the woman if the birds cost two cents, and she said,

"No, my angels; they cost fifty cents."

You see, now that the Twins could count ten, they knew they couldn't get the birds for two cents when they cost fifty. So they went to the next place.

There, there were chickens and ducks for sale. But the Twins had plenty of those at home. There were stalls and stalls of veg- [46] etables just like Father's, and there were booths where meat and fish and wood and peat were sold. But the Twins couldn't find anything they wanted that cost exactly two cents.

At last, what should they see but Vrouw Van der Kloot's fat face smiling at them from a stall just full of cakes and cookies and bread, and chocolate, and honey cakes, and goodies of all kinds.

The Twins held up their money.


[Illustration]

There on the counter was a whole row of St. Nicholas dolls with currant eyes, and they knew at once that there was nothing else in all the market they should like so much!

"Do these cost two cents apiece, dear Vrouw Van der Kloot?" asked Kat.

"No," said Vrouw Van der Kloot; "they cost one cent apiece."

The Twins were discouraged.

"I don't believe there's a single thing in this whole market that costs just two cents," said Kat.

[48] "Keep still!" said Kit. "Let me think."


[Illustration]

They sat down on the curb. Kat kept still, and Kit took hold of his head with both hands and thought hard. He thought so hard that he scowled all over his forehead!

"I tell you what it is, Kat," he said at last. "If those St. Nicholas dolls cost one cent a piece, I think  we could get two of them for two cents."

"O Kit," said Kat, "how splendidly you can think! Does it hurt you much? Let's ask Vrouw Van der Kloot."

[49] They went back to the good Vrouw, who was selling some coffee bread to a woman with a basket.

"O Vrouw Van der Kloot," said Kat, "Kit says that if those St. Nicholas dolls cost one cent a piece, he thinks  we could get two for two cents. Do you think so?"

"Of course you can," said Vrouw Van der Kloot; and she winked at the lady with the bread.

"But you've got two cents, and I've got two," said Kat to Kit. "If you should get two Nicholas dolls, why, I should have my two cents left; shouldn't I? Oh! dear, it won't come out right anyway!"

"Let me think some more," said Kit; and when he had thought some more, he said,

"I'll tell you what let's! You get two with your two cents, and I'll get two with mine! And I'll give my other one to Mother and you can give your other one to Father!"

[50] "That's just what we'll do," said Kat.

They went back to Vrouw Van der Kloot.

"We'll take four  dolls," said Kat.

"Well, well, well!" said the Vrouw. "So you've figured it all out, have you?" And she counted out the dolls—"One for Kit, and one for Kat, and one for Father, and one for Mother, and an extra one for good measure!"

"O Kit, she's given us one more!" said Kat. "Let's eat it right now! Thank you, dear Vrouw Van der Kloot."

So they ate up the one more then and there, beginning with the feet. Kit bit one off, and Kat bit the other; and they took turns until the St. Nicholas doll was all gone.

Then they took the four others, said good-bye to the good Vrouw, and went back to Father's stall. They found that Father had sold all his things and was ready to go home.


[Illustration]

They carried their empty baskets back [51] to the boat, and soon were on their way home. The Twins sat on one seat, holding tight to their dolls, which were growing rather sticky.

The boat was so light that they went home from market much more quickly than they had come, and it did not seem long before they saw their own house. There it was, with its mossy roof half hidden among the trees, and Vrouw Vedder waiting for them at the gate.

[52] Dinner was all ready, and the Twins set the four St. Nicholas dolls in a row, in the middle of the table.

"There's one for Father, and one for Mother, and one for Kat, and one for me," said Kit.

"O Mother," said Kat, "Kit can think! He thought just how many dolls he could buy when they were one for one cent! Isn't it fine that he can do that?"

"You've learned a great deal at the market," said Vrouw Vedder. But Kit didn't say a word. He just looked proud and pleased and put his hands in his pockets.


[Illustration]

"By and by, when you are four and a half feet high and are called Christopher, you can go with Father every time," said Vrouw Vedder.

"I can think a little bit, too," said Kat. "Can't I go?"

"No," said Vrouw Vedder. "Girls shouldn't think much. It isn't good for them. Leave thinking to the men. You can stay at home and help me."

 



Anonymous

Little Cock-Sparrow

A little cock-sparrow sat on a green tree,

And he chirruped, he chirruped, so merry was he;

A little cock-sparrow sat on a green tree,

And he chirruped, he chirruped, so merry was he.


A naughty boy came with his wee bow and arrow,

Determined to shoot this little cock-sparrow.

A naughty boy came with his wee bow and arrow,

Determined to shoot this little cock-sparrow.


"This little cock-sparrow shall make me a stew,

And his giblets shall make me a little pie, too."

"Oh, no!" said the sparrow, "I won't  make a stew."

So he flapped his wings, and away he flew.

 


  WEEK 3  

  Thursday  


Mary Macgregor

Siegfried Journeys to Worms

[27] To the Netherlands, as to many another land, came rumours of the beauty and the gentleness of the Princess Kriemhild. Siegfried at first paid little heed to what he heard of a wonder-maid who dwelt in the famous court of Worms. Yet by and by he began to think she was strangely like the unknown maid whose image he carried in his heart.

When he heard that many knights had ridden far that they might see this fair Princess, he made up his mind that he also would go thither to the court at Worms.

Siegmund and Sieglinde had often begged the Prince to wed some great princess. He thought, therefore, that they would be well pleased that he was going into Burgundy to see the beautiful maiden Kriemhild.

[28] But the King and Queen were grieved when they knew that Siegfried must leave them. Kriemhild, it was true, was as good as she was beautiful, but two of her brothers were proud and haughty men of Burgundy, moreover their uncle Hagen had a grim and cruel temper, and it was he who really ruled the land. It might be that their son would not be welcomed to the court at Worms, and ill might betide him in a strange country.

Yet Siegfried would have his way. He must certainly go to Burgundy to woo the gentle maiden who had already sent many knights away, unmoved by all their vows of courtesy and love. For, indeed, no knight yet had the lady seen whom she would call her lord.

Then Siegmund, seeing that Siegfried had determined to go to Worms, warned him that King Gunther was too weak to be trusted, while Hagen his chief counsellor was so powerful at court that he might work ill on whom he would.

As of old, the hero laughed aloud.

"Should Hagen deny what I shall ask in courtesy, he shall learn that strong is my [29] right hand!" cried the Prince. "His country and his kings I will surely wrest from him if he treat me with disdain."

"Speak not thus foolishly," said King Siegmund. "Should thy wild words be carried to Hagen's ears, thou wouldst never be allowed to cross the borders of his country. If go thou must to Burgundy, take with thee an armed force. See, I will summon my warriors to follow thee lest danger befall."

"Nay, but an army will I not take with me, lest Gunther dream I have come to invade his land. I, with eleven brave knights to follow me, will ride to Burgundy. Your help do I crave, good father. Give me, I pray thee, eleven stalwart warriors."

Then Siegmund called for eleven of his bravest knights, and bade them prepare to follow their Prince.

Meanwhile Queen Sieglinde had been weeping bitterly for fear lest her dear son should fall into danger in King Gunther's country.

But Siegfried stole to her side, and taking her frail, white hands in his strong ones, he said tenderly, "Lady mother, I pray thee weep not, [30] neither fear for me." Then, knowing well what would please the Queen best, he pleaded with her to aid him in his adventure.

"Provide me and my eleven knights with beautiful garments," thus he coaxed his lady mother, "that we may go to Burgundy clad as proud heroes should."

Swiftly the Queen dried her tears. "If go thou must, dear son," she said, "thou shalt go clothed in the best apparel ever warrior wore, thou and also thy brave comrades."

Thus day by day, while the eleven warriors polished their armour until it shone as the noontide sun, Sieglinde and her maidens sat stitching, stitching. Gladly they stitched, nor ever did their fingers loiter at their seams until Prince Siegfried's garments were complete.

At length all was ready and Siegfried and his eleven brave warriors took farewell of their native land. Gently the bold hero kissed his lady mother as once again her sad tears fell. "Fear not, dear mother," he said, "fear not; ere long I will return and bring with me the beauteous maiden Kriemhild." Yet the Queen and her maidens wept, and over the little band [31] of knights a sudden gloom fell, they knew not why.

But ere long as they journeyed along, gay thoughts cheered the warriors, laughter and merry jests filled the air, for were they not going forward to fame and fair adventure.

For six days Siegfried and his knights journeyed, and on the seventh they reached the sandbank by the Rhine which led them into Worms. Boldly, and clad in their most costly garments, the Prince and his companions entered the royal city.

 



Mary Macgregor

Siegfried's Welcome to Worms

[32] As the heroes entered the streets of Worms the people came out of their houses all agape with wonder. Who could the bold strangers be? See how their horses' trappings shone as burnished gold and how their white armour glittered in the sunlight.


[Illustration]

The heroes entered the streets of Worms

Then down from the castle rode Gunther's warriors to welcome the strangers. Right courteously did they greet Siegfried and his eleven brave knights. As the custom was, they sent their minions to lead away the strangers' chargers to the stalls, and to bear their shields to a place of safety.

But Siegfried cried gaily, "Nay, from our steeds and our armour will we not part, for ere long I and my gallant warriors will ride away again to our own country. I pray thee now [33] tell me where I shall find thy King, for to speak with him came I thither."

"King Gunther," cried his warriors, "is even now seated in yonder hall, and around him are gathered many gallant heroes, many brave knights."

Now in the hall tidings had reached King Gunther of the band of strangers who had so boldly entered into the royal city.

When he heard of their gorgeous raiment and their shining armour, much did he desire to know from whence they came.

Then one of his lords said to the King, "We know not who these strangers be, yet if thou wilt send for Hagen, it may be he can tell thee. For to Hagen strange lands are well known, as also the kings and princes who dwell therein."

Therefore Hagen was summoned in all haste to the presence of King Gunther.

"Tell me now," said the King, as his counsellor bowed low before him, "tell me, if in truth thou knowest, who be these strangers that ride so boldly towards the castle?"

Strong and stern Hagen stood up before the [34] King. No winsome hero was this man, but a warrior fierce and grim, with eyes to pierce all on whom he gazed, so keen, so quick they were.

"The truth, sire, will I tell to thee," answered Hagen, and he walked over to the castle window, flung it wide and cast his searching glance on Siegfried and his noble knights, who were now drawing near to the castle.

Well was the grim counsellor pleased with the splendour of these strangers with their shining helmets, their dazzling white armour, their noble chargers, yet from whence they came he could not tell.

Hagen turned from the window to where the King stood awaiting his answer.

"Whence come these knights I know not," he said. "Yet so noble is their bearing that they must needs be princes or ambassadors from some great monarch. One knight, the fairest and the boldest, is, methinks, the wondrous hero Siegfried, though never have I seen that mighty Prince."

Then, his fierce eyes gleaming, Hagen told the King of the great treasure Siegfried had [35] won from the Nibelungs. His eyes gleamed with a greed he could not hide as he told King Gunther of the gold that had been strewed upon the mountain-side, of the jewels that had sparkled there, for Hagen was envious of the riches of the great hero.

He told the King, too, how Siegfried had seized the good sword Balmung, and with it had killed the two little princely dwarfs, their twelve giants and seven hundred great champions of the neighbouring country. Of Alberich, too, Hagen told his master, of Alberich from whom Siegfried had taken the Cloak of Darkness and the Magic Wand, and who now guarded the hoard for the mighty hero alone.

Never was such a warrior as Siegfried, thought King Gunther, who was himself neither strong nor brave.

But yet more had Hagen to tell, even how Siegfried had slain a great dragon and bathed in its blood until his skin grew tough and horny, so that no sword-thrust could do him any hurt.

But of the linden leaf and of the tiny spot [36] between the hero's shoulders where he could be smitten as easily as any other knight, of these things Hagen, knowing nothing, did not speak.

"Let us hasten to receive this young Prince," said the counsellor, "as befits his fame. Let us hasten to gain his good-will lest our country suffer from his prowess."

The King was well pleased with the counsel of his uncle Hagen, for as he gazed at the young hero from the castle window King Gunther loved him for his strength of limb, for his fair young face, and would fain welcome him to the land of Burgundy.

"If in truth the knight be Siegfried," said the King, "right glad am I. More bold and peerless a prince have I never seen."

"Siegfried, if so he be, is the son of a wealthy king," said Hagen. "Well pleased would I be to know for what purpose he and his knights have journeyed to our land."

"Let us go down and welcome the strangers," said Gunther. "If their errand be peaceful they shall tarry at our court and see how merry the knights of Burgundy can be."

[37] With Hagen by his side and followed by his courtiers, Gunther then walked toward the gates of the castle, which he reached as Siegfried and his knights rode through them.

Graciously then did the King welcome the noble knight, and Siegfried, bowing low, thanked him for his kindly greeting.

"I beseech thee, noble knight," said the King, "tell me why thou hast journeyed to this our royal city, for thy purpose is yet unknown."

Now Siegfried was not ready to speak of the fair Princess of whom he had heard in his own country, so he answered the King thus:

"Tidings reached me in my fatherland of the splendour of thy court, O King. Never monarch was more bold, more brave than thou, never ruler had more valiant warriors. Such tales were told to me by the people of my land and I have come to see if they be true. I also, King Gunther, am a warrior, and I, too, shall one day wear a crown, for I am Siegfried, Prince of the Netherlands. Nor shall I be content until I have done great deeds to make the whole world marvel. For [38] then in truth will people cry aloud that I am worthy to reign."

At that moment Siegfried caught sight of Hagen's grim, stern face, and something he saw in it provoked the gay prince to say right hardily, "Therefore to do great deeds have I come to Worms, even to wrest from thee, King Gunther, thy broad realm of Burgundy and likewise all thy castles. They shall be mine ere many suns have set."

Then indeed did the King and all his warriors marvel at the bold young knight. "Was ever heard so monstrous a plan?" murmured the warriors each to the other. "The stripling from a foreign land, with but eleven bold knights to aid him, would seize Burgundy and banish the King from his realm. It is a monstrous plan."

"Thou dost repay my welcome but coldly," said Gunther to the valorous knight. "My fathers ruled over these lands; with honour did they rule. Wherefore then shall they be taken from their son?"

But Siegfried cried, "Thyself must fight and win peace for thy fatherland. For unless thou [39] dost conquer me I shall rule in my great might in this realm, and when I die it shall be my heir who shall become king."

Then Gunther's brother, King Gernot, spoke, and peaceful were his words.

"We rule over a fair country, bold knight, and our liegemen serve us in all good faith. No need have we to fight for this our fatherland. Therefore do thou go and leave us in peace."

But King Gunther's warriors listened sullenly to the words of Gernot, and they muttered, "Such words shall scarce save the braggart stranger, for hath he not challenged our King to fight," and the hands of the stout warriors crept to their sword-hilts. "We will master his haughty Prince," they cried aloud then in their anger.

Hot was Siegfried's temper as he heard their words, and proudly did he answer, "Ye are all but vassals and would ye measure swords with me, a king's son? Nor, should ye fall on me altogether, could ye hope to overcome me," and Siegfried swung aloft his good sword Balmung. Then one of the stout war- [40] riors whom Siegfried thus defied called lustily for his armour and his shield.

But again King Gernot spoke. "Not yet hath Siegfried done us any hurt, let us not provoke him to fierce deeds, rather let us seek to gain his good-will."

King Gunther looked at Hagen. He was not content that his chief counsellor should keep silence. And indeed at that very moment Hagen's stern voice was heard.

"We do well to be wrathful at the words of this bold stripling," he said, his keen eyes glancing fiercely meanwhile at Gernot. "We do well to be wrathful, for why should Siegfried thus mock at us who have never done him aught of ill?"

"Dost think I but mock thee with my words," cried the rash knight. "Ere long thou shalt see the deeds which my strong right hand shall do in this fair land of Burgundy."

Again amid the angry tumult Gernot's voice was raised, forbidding his warriors to answer the stranger with harsh words.

As Gernot's peaceful voice fell upon Siegfried's ear for the third time, he began to think [41] of Kriemhild, the wonder-lady of his dreams. He grew ashamed of his anger. He would curb it lest he should never win the Princess for his bride.

Then Gernot, seeing the fierceness die out of the stranger's face, spoke yet again. "Thou shalt be welcome, thou and thy comrades, to Worms, and right glad will we be to serve thee," and Gernot ordered goblets of the King's wine to be brought to the strange guests.

Siegfried and his knights took the goblets, and having drained them they were ready to forget their warlike words.

King Gunther, seeing that his guests were no longer angry, led them to the banqueting hall, and Siegfried was soon laughing his own glad, gay laugh. When at length the feast was ended the stranger knights were lodged each as befitted his rank.

Then throughout the fair land of Burgundy there stole the story of the King's bold hero guest, Sir Siegfried.

 



Clara Dillingham Pierson

The Cheerful Harvestmen

[Illustration]

[42]

S OME of the meadow people are gay and careless, and some are always worrying. Some work hard every day, and some are exceedingly lazy. There, as everywhere else, each has his own way of thinking about things. It is too bad that they cannot all learn to think brave and cheerful thoughts, for these make life happy. One may have a comfortable home, kind neighbors, and plenty to eat, yet if he is in the habit of thinking disagreeable thoughts, not even all these good things can make him happy. Now there was the young Frog who thought herself sick—but that is another story.

Perhaps the Harvestmen were the most cheerful of all the meadow people. The [43] old Tree Frog used to say that it made him feel better just to see their knees coming toward him. Of course, when he saw their knees, he knew that the whole insect was also coming. He spoke in that way because the Harvestmen always walked or ran with their knees so much above the rest of their bodies that one could see those first.

The Harvestmen were not particularly fine-looking, not nearly so handsome as some of their Spider cousins. One never thought of that, however. They had such an easy way of moving around on their eight legs, each of which had a great many joints. It is the joints, or bending-places, you know, which make legs useful. Besides being graceful, they had very pleasant manners. When a Harvestman said "Good-morning" to you on a rainy day, you always had a feeling that the sun was shining. It might be that the drops were even then [44] falling into your face, but for a moment you were sure to feel that everything was bright and warm and comfortable.

Sometimes the careless young Grasshoppers and Crickets called the Harvestmen by their nicknames, "Daddy Long-Legs" or "Grandfather Graybeard." Even then the Harvestmen were good-natured, and only said with a smile that the young people had not yet learned the names of their neighbors. The Grasshoppers never seemed to think how queer it was to call a young Harvestman daughter "Grandfather Graybeard." When they saw how good-natured they were, the Grasshoppers soon stopped trying to tease the Harvestmen. People who are really good-natured are never teased very long, you know.

The Walking-Sticks were exceedingly polite to the Harvestmen. They thought them very slender and genteel-looking. Once the Five-Legged Walking-Stick [45] said to the largest Harvestmen, "Why do you talk so much with the common people in the meadow?"

The Harvestman knew exactly what the Walking-Stick meant, but he was not going to let anybody make fun of his kind and friendly neighbors, so he said: "I think we Harvestmen are rather common ourselves. There are a great, great many of us here. It must be very lonely to be uncommon."

After that the Walking-Stick had nothing more to say. He never felt quite sure whether the Harvestman was too stupid to understand or too wise to gossip. Once he thought he saw the Harvestman's eyes twinkle. The Harvestman didn't care if people thought him stupid. He knew that he was not stupid, and he would rather seem dull than to listen while unkind things were said about his neighbors.

Some people would have thought it [46] very hard luck to be Harvestmen. The Garter Snake said that if he were one, he should be worried all the time about his legs. "I'm thankful I haven't any," he said, "for if I had I should be forever thinking I should lose some of them. A Harvestman without legs would be badly off. He could never in the world crawl around on his belly as I do."

How the Harvestmen did laugh when they heard this! The biggest one said, "Well, if that isn't just like some people! Never want to have anything for fear they'll lose it. I wonder if he worries about his head? He might lose that, you know, and then what would he do?"

It was only the next day that the largest Harvestman came home on seven legs. His friends all cried out, "Oh, how did it ever happen?"

"Cows," said he.

"Did they step on you?" asked the Five-Legged Walking-Stick. He had not [47] lived long enough in the meadow to understand all that the Harvestman meant. He was sorry for him, though, for he knew what it was to lose a leg.

"Huh!" said a Grasshopper, interrupting in a very rude way, "aren't any Cows in this meadow now!"

Then the other Harvestmen told the Walking-Stick all about it, how sometimes a boy would come to the meadow, catch a Harvestman, hold him up by one leg, and say to him, "Grandfather Graybeard, tell me where the Cows are, or I'll kill you." Then the only thing a Harvestman could do was to struggle and wriggle himself free, and he often broke off a leg in doing so.

"How terrible!" said the three Walking-Sticks all together. "But why don't you tell them?"

"We do," answered the Harvestmen. "We point with our seven other legs, and we point every way there is. Some- [48] times we don't know where they are, so we point everywhere, to be sure. But it doesn't make any difference. Our legs drop off just the same."

"Isn't a boy clever enough to find Cows alone?" asked the Walking-Sticks.

"Oh, it isn't that," cried all the meadow people together. "Even after you tell, and sometimes when the Cows are right there, they walk off home without them."

"I'd sting them," said a Wasp, waving his feelers fiercely and raising and lowering his wings. "I'd sting them as hard as I could."

"You wouldn't if you had no sting," said the Tree Frog.

"N-no," stammered the Wasp, "I suppose I wouldn't."

"You poor creature!" said the biggest Katydid to the biggest Harvestman. "What will you do? Only seven legs!"

"Do?" answered the biggest Harvestman, and it was then one could see how [49] truly brave and cheerful he was. "Do? I'll walk on those seven. If I lose one of them I'll walk on six, and if I lose one of them I'll walk on five. Haven't I my mouth and my stomach and my eyes and my two feelers, and my two food-pincers? I may not be so good-looking, but I am a Harvestman, and I shall enjoy the grass and the sunshine and my kind neighbors as long as I live. I must leave you now. Good-day."

He walked off rather awkwardly, for he had not yet learned to manage himself since his accident. The meadow people looked after him very thoughtfully. They were not noticing his awkwardness, or thinking of his high knees or of his little low body. Perhaps they thought what the Cicada said, "Ah, that is the way to live!"

 



Wilhelmina Seegmuller

There Was a Little Robin

There was a little robin

Sat singing in a tree;

From early morn till dark he sang—

"The world was made for me."

 


  WEEK 3  

  Friday  


Edward Eggleston

Indian Pictures

[16] WHEN Marquette and his men left the Illinois, they went on down the river. The friendly Illinois had told them that the Indians they would see were bad, and that they would kill any one who came into their country.

The Frenchmen had heard before this that there were demons and monsters in the river. One day they saw some high rocks with pictures painted on them. The ugly pictures made them think of these monsters. They were painted in red, black, and green colors. They were pictures of two Indian demons or gods.

Each one of these monsters was about the size of a calf. They had horns as long as those of a deer. Their eyes were red. Their faces were like a man's, but they were ugly and frightful. They had beards like a tiger's. Their bodies were covered with scales like those on a fish. Their long tails were wound round their bodies, and over their heads, and down between their legs. The end of each tail was like that of a fish.

The Indians prayed to these ugly gods when they passed in their canoes. Even Mar-quette and his men were a little frightened when they saw such pictures in a place so lonely.

[17] The Frenchmen went down the river about twelve hundred miles. Sometimes the Indians tried to kill them, but by showing the peace pipe they made friends. At last they turned back. Joliet went to Canada. Marquette preached to the Indians in the West till he died.

 



Edward Eggleston

William Penn and the Indians

THE King of England gave all the land in Pennsylvania to William Penn. The King made Penn a kind of king over Pennsylvania. Penn could make the laws of this new country. But he let the people make their own laws.

Penn wanted to be friendly with the Indians. He paid them for all the land his people wanted to live on. Before he went to Pennsylvania he wrote a letter to the Indians. He told them in this letter that he would not let any of his people do any harm to the Indians. He said he would punish anybody that did any wrong to an Indian. This letter was read to the Indians in their own language.

Soon after this Penn got into a ship and sailed from England. He sailed to Pennsylvania. When he came there, he sent word to the tribes of Indians to come to meet him.

[18] The Indians met under a great elm tree on the bank of the river. Indians like to hold their solemn meetings out of doors. They sit on the ground. They say that the earth is the Indian's mother.

When Penn came to the place of meeting, he found the woods full of Indians. As far as he could see, there were crowds of Indians. Penn's friends were few. They had no guns.

Penn had a bright blue sash round his waist. One of the Indian chiefs, who was the great chief, put on a kind of cap or crown. In the middle of this was a small horn. The head chief wore this only at such great meetings as this one.

When the great chief had put on his horn, all the other chiefs and great men of the Indians put down their guns. Then they sat down in front of Penn in the form of a half-moon. Then the great chief told Penn that the Indians were ready to hear what he had to say.

Penn had a large paper in which he had written all the things that he and his friends had promised to the Indians. He had written all the promises that the Indians were to make to the white people. This was to make them friends. When Penn had read this to them, it was explained to them in their own lan-guage. Penn told them that they might stay in the country that they had sold to the white [19] people. The land would belong to both the Indians and the white people.

Then Penn laid the large paper down on the ground. That was to show them, he said, that the ground was to belong to the Indians and the white people together.

He said that there might be quarrels between some of the white people and some of the Indians. But they would settle any quarrels without fighting. Whenever there should be a quarrel, the Indians were to pick out six Indians. The white people should also pick out six of their men. These were to meet, and settle the quarrel.

Penn said, "I will not call you my children, because fathers sometimes whip their children. I will not call you brothers, because brothers sometimes fall out. But I will call you the same person as the white people. We are the two parts of the same body."

The Indians could not write. But they had their way of putting down things that they wished to have remembered. They gave Penn a belt of shell beads. These beads are called wampum. Some wampum is white. Some is purple.

They made this belt for Penn of white beads. In the middle of the belt they made a picture of purple beads. It is a picture of a white man [20] and an Indian. They have hold of each other's hands. When they gave this belt to Penn, they said, "We will live with William Penn and his children as long as the sun and moon shall last."


[Illustration]

Penn jumping with the Indians

Penn took up the great paper from the ground. He handed it to the great chief that wore the horn on his head. He told the Indians to keep it and hand it to their children's children, that they might know what he had said. Then he gave them many presents of such things as they liked.

[21] They gave Penn a name in their own language. They named him "Onas." That was their word for a feather. As the white people used a pen made out of a quill or feather, they called a pen "onas." That is why they called William Penn "Brother Onas."

Penn sometimes went to see the Indians. He talked to them, and gave them friendly advice. Once he saw some of them jumping. They were trying to see who could jump the farthest.

Penn had been a very active boy. He knew how to jump very well. He went to the place where the Indians were jumping. He jumped farther than any of them.

When the great governor took part in their sport, the Indians were pleased. They loved Brother Onas more than ever.

 



Ellen C. Babbitt

The Merchant of Seri

[13]

T HERE was once a merchant of Seri who sold brass and tinware. He went from town to town, in company with another man, who also sold brass and tinware. This second man was greedy, getting all he could for nothing, and giving as little as he could for what he bought.

When they went into a town, they divided the streets between them. Each man went up and down the streets he had chosen, calling, "Tinware for sale. Brass for sale." People came out to their door-steps, and bought, or traded, with them.

In one house there lived a poor old woman and her granddaughter. The family had once been rich, but now the only thing they had left of all their riches was a golden bowl. The grandmother did not know it was a golden bowl, but she had kept this because her husband used to eat out of it in the old days. It [14] stood on a shelf among the other pots and pans, and was not often used.


[Illustration]

He threw the bowl on the ground.

The greedy merchant passed this house, calling, "Buy my water-jars! Buy my pans!" The granddaughter said: "Oh, Grandmother, do buy something for me!"

"My dear," said the old woman, "we are too poor to buy anything. I have not anything to trade, even."

"Grandmother, see what the merchant will give for the old bowl. We do not use that, and perhaps he [15] will take it and give us something we want for it."

The old woman called the merchant and showed him the bowl, saying, "Will you take this, sir, and give the little girl here something for it?"

The greedy man took the bowl and scratched its side with a needle. Thus he found that it was a golden bowl. He hoped he could get it for nothing, so he said: "What is this worth? Not even a halfpenny." He threw the bowl on the ground, and went away.

By and by the other merchant passed the house. For it was agreed that either merchant might go through any street which the other had left. He called: "Buy my water-jars! Buy my tinware! Buy my brass!"

The little girl heard him, and begged her grandmother to see what he would give for the bowl.

"My child," said the grandmother, "the merchant who was just here threw the bowl on the ground and went away. I have nothing else to offer in trade."

"But, Grandmother," said the girl, "that was a cross man. This one looks pleasant. Ask him. Perhaps he'll give some little tin dish."

[16] "Call him, then, and show it to him," said the old woman.

As soon as the merchant took the bowl in his hands, he knew it was of gold. He said: "All that I have here is not worth so much as this bowl. It is a golden bowl. I am not rich enough to buy it."

"But, sir, a merchant who passed here a few moments ago, threw it on the ground, saying it was not worth a halfpenny, and he went away," said the grandmother. "It was worth nothing to him. If you value it, take it, giving the little girl some dish she likes for it."

But the merchant would not have it so. He gave the woman all the money he had, and all his wares. "Give me but eight pennies," he said.

So he took the pennies, and left. Going quickly to the river, he paid the boatman the eight pennies to take him across the river.

Soon the greedy merchant went back to the house where he had seen the golden bowl, and said: "Bring that bowl to me, and I will give you something for it."

"No," said the grandmother. "You said the bowl was worthless, but another merchant has paid a great price for it, and taken it away."


[Illustration]

"It is a golden bowl."

[17] Then the greedy merchant was angry, crying out, "Through this other man I have lost a small fortune. That bowl was of gold."

He ran down to the riverside, and, seeing the other merchant in the boat out in the river, he called: "Hallo, Boatman! Stop your boat!"

But the man in the boat said: "Don't stop!" So he reached the city on the other side of the river, and lived well for a time on the money the bowl brought him.

 



Anonymous

Blow, Wind, Blow

Blow, wind, blow!

And go, mill, go!

That the miller may grind his corn;

That the baker may take it,

And into rolls make it,

And send us some hot in the morn.