Text of Plan #426
  WEEK 4  

  Monday  


Lawton B. Evans

The Fountain of Youth

PONCE DE LEON was a brave Spanish soldier who came over with Columbus on his second voyage. He was so fine a soldier that he was made governor of a part of Hispaniola. One day he stood on a high hill, and saw the fair shores of Porto Rico. "I will conquer that island," said he, and forthwith sailed across the waters, annexing it as one of his possessions and establishing himself as governor.

Like all the early Spaniards he was cruel to the Indians and greedy for gold. He made the poor natives work hard, and slew them for the slightest offenses. In consequence, De Leon was hated as were all the Spanish oppressors of that period.

De Leon was getting old; his hair was white, his strength was waning, and he longed for the vigor and fire of youth. One time he complained to an Indian of his coming age. The cunning savage replied: "Across the sea, only a few days' [16] sail from here, there is a beautiful land full of flowers and fruit and game. It is the most beautiful place in the world, far more lovely than this island. Somewhere yonder there is a fountain of magic water, in which, if one bathes, his hair will become black and his limbs will become strong. He then can carry his sword without fatigue, and conquer his enemies with his strong arm. He will again be a young man!"

De Leon listened gladly to the story of this wily savage who was merely trying to get him and his men to leave Porto Rico. He resolved to find the beautiful country, so that he might bathe in the Fountain of Youth. He called his men to him at once and told them about the wonderful water. In a few days he set sail on his quest, full of foolish hope and pride.

It was in the early spring; the breeze was soft and the air was mild. In a short while the ship came to land, and De Leon named it Florida. He anchored his ship, and his men rowed him to shore. The spot where they landed was near the mouth of the St. John River, not far from where St. Augustine now stands. They were the first white men to set foot on the soil of the mainland of North America, since the days of the Northmen, five hundred years before.

[17] Now began the vain search for the Fountain of Youth. Deep into the forests the soldiers plunged, wondering at the gorgeous flowers, the abundant fruit, and the plentiful game. The Indians scurried away at the approach of the strange white faces. De Leon and his men were bent on other things than Indians and flowers; they were hunting for their lost youth! In every stream, brook, river, and creek they bathed. Up and down the coast they wandered, trying the waters everywhere. They had never bathed as much before in all their lives, but it was all in vain!

No matter where or how often he bathed, Ponce de Leon's hair remained white, his skin was dried and his limbs were bent with age and fatigue. In vain he tried a hundred places, and at last exclaimed, "There is no such fountain here; we must return to Porto Rico."

Accordingly, he set sail for the island from whence he had departed, just as old, just as white haired, and just as foolish in his belief as when he had started out on his fruitless mission. If De Leon did not find his Fountain of Youth, he at least did discover a beautiful country, and give a name to one of the future states of our Union.

For nearly a year afterwards, De Leon and his men wandered up and down the coast of Florida. [18] Perhaps they were still seeking the Fountain of Youth. One day, they were attacked by the Indians, and De Leon was wounded by an arrow. His followers put him on board ship and sailed away to Cuba. Here De Leon died of his wounds, with all his hopes unfulfilled.

 



Clara Dillingham Pierson

The Little Spider's First Web

[Illustration]

[50]

T HE first thing our little Spider remembered was being crowded with a lot of other little Spiders in a tiny brown house. This tiny house had no windows, and was very warm and dark and stuffy. When the wind blew, the little Spiders would hear it rushing through the forest near by, and would feel their round brown house swinging like a cradle. It was fastened to a bush by the edge of the forest, but they could not know that, so they just wiggled and [51] pushed and ate the food that they found in the house, and wondered what it all meant. They didn't even guess that a mother Spider had made the brown house and put the food in it for her Spider babies to eat when they came out of their eggs. She had put the eggs in, too, but the little Spiders didn't remember the time when they lay curled up in the eggs. They didn't know what had been nor what was to be—they thought that to eat and wiggle and sleep was all of life. You see they had much to learn.

One morning the little Spiders found that the food was all gone, and they pushed and scrambled harder than ever, because they were hungry and wanted more. Exactly what happened nobody knew, but suddenly it grew light, and some of them fell out of the house. All the rest scrambled after, and there they stood, winking and blinking in the bright sunshine, and feeling a little bit dizzy, be- [52] cause they were on a shaky web made of silvery ropes.

Just then the web began to shake even more, and a beautiful great mother Spider ran out on it. She was dressed in black and yellow velvet, and her eight eyes glistened and gleamed in the sunlight. They had never dreamed of such a wonderful creature.

"Well, my children," she exclaimed, "I know you must be hungry, and I have breakfast all ready for you." So they began eating at once, and the mother Spider told them many things about the meadow and the forest, and said they must amuse themselves while she worked to get food for them. There was no father Spider to help her, and, as she said, "Growing children must have plenty of good plain food."

You can just fancy what a good time the baby Spiders had. There were a hundred and seventy of them, so they [53] had no chance to grow lonely, even when their mother was away. They lived in this way for quite a while, and grew bigger and stronger every day. One morning the mother Spider said to her biggest daughter, "You are quite old enough to work now, and I will teach you to spin your web."

The little Spider soon learned to draw out the silvery ropes from the pocket in her body where they were made and kept, and very soon she had one fastened at both ends to branches of the bush. Then her mother made her walk out to the middle of her rope bridge, and spin and fasten two more, so that it looked like a shining cross. After that was done, the mother showed her something like a comb, which is part of a Spider's foot, and taught her how to measure, and put more ropes out from the middle of the cross, until it looked like the spokes of a wheel.

The little Spider got much discouraged, [54] and said, "Let me finish it some other time; I am tired of working now."

The mother Spider answered, "No, I cannot have a lazy child."

The little one said, "I can't ever do it, I know I can't."

"Now," said the mother, "I shall have to give you a Spider scolding. You have acted as lazy as the Tree Frog says boys and girls sometimes do. He has been up near the farm-house, and says that he has seen there children who do not like to work. The meadow people could hardly believe such a thing at first. He says they were cross and unhappy children, and no wonder! Lazy people are never happy. You try to finish the web, and see if I am not right. You are not a baby now, and you must work and get your own food."

So the little Spider spun the circles of rope in the web, and made these ropes sticky, as all careful spiders do. She ate the loose ends and pieces that were left [55] over, to save them for another time, and when it was done, it was so fine and perfect that her brothers and sisters crowded around, saying, "Oh! oh! oh! how beautiful!" and asked the mother to teach them. The little web-spinner was happier than she had ever been before, and the mother began to teach her other children. But it takes a long time to teach a hundred and seventy children.

 



Anonymous

Daffy-Down-Dilly

Daffy-Down-Dilly

Has come up to town,

In a green petticoat

And a bright yellow gown.

 


  WEEK 4  

  Tuesday  


Amy Steedman

Saint Kentigern

Part 2 of 2

So time went on, and Kentigern grew into a tall lad, the comfort and joy of his master. He was almost a man now, and it was time that he should leave the monastery and his sheltered life there, and find his own work in the world.

Not in anger this time did he plan his departure, but with a humble heart, and he prayed to God for guidance. Not only was he the cause of much quarrelling and jealousy among the rest, but, what was even worse, people had begun to praise and flatter him and call him a wonderful boy, and he felt sure that it was time he should go. So he made up his mind to leave the monastery, and early one morning, after his work was done, he started forth.

[33] It was to the river that Kentigern bent his steps, scarcely knowing which way to turn, but drawn to the place where the shepherds' fire had warmed him as a tiny baby, where the cry of the sea-birds and the moan of the sea had drowned his first feeble wail. Journeying on and on by the side of the winding Forth, he reached at last a place where a bridge spanned the silver river. The water was flowing quietly beneath him as he crossed the bridge, but when he had reached the other side it rose higher and higher in a great spate until the bridge was entirely swamped. Then, as Kentigern stood and watched the furious torrent, he saw his old master on the opposite bank, leaning with one hand upon his staff and with the other beckoning him to return. The aged saint had followed him all the long way from the monastery, and his voice came sounding mournfully across the rushing waters.

"Alas, my son, light of my eyes, staff of my old age, wherefore dost thou leave me?"

"My father," cried Kentigern, "it grieves me sorely, but I must go forth to my work. Thou knowest that as truly as I do."

"Then let me come with thee, my son," cried the old man. "Thou hast been mine since the day when the angels sang of thy birth, and the shepherds placed thee in my arms."

"I know it," said the boy, and he stretched out his arms with a loving gesture towards the old man, "but I must go forth, and my work lies yonder, while thy work lies behind. Fare thee well, and [34] God guard and keep thee until the time when He shall take thee home."

Saint Servanus knew that the boy was right, and that he must finish his life-work alone, while the strong young lad, the herald of the dawn, should carry the light into the dark places of the land. Sorrowfully, then, he returned to the monastery, and Kentigern journeyed on alone.

For a while Kentigern lived and worked at Camock, but as the years went by, the fame of his holy life and the good deeds which he did reached the ears of the king of that country.

The Church was then in evil plight, for although the people had been taught the true religion in days gone by, they had sadly lapsed, and many had learned to worship idols and believe in strange gods, as did the pagans who had invaded their land.

The King and the clergy, therefore, of the Cambrian region sought to strengthen and fortify the Church, and what better weapon could they find for their purpose than this wonderful young man, whose influence over people was so marvellous and who lived such a pure and blameless life?

But when they came to tell Kentigern that they had decided to make him a bishop, he was amazed and dismayed.

"I am too young," he said.

"Thy ways are staid, and thou hast much learning," they answered.

"It would take me from my prayers and meditations," urged Kentigern.

[35] "There are other souls to be saved besides thine own," they gravely answered.

Then Kentigern bowed his head, and said sadly, "But I am not worthy"; and they answered, "Because thou thinkest thyself unworthy, we are all the more certain that thou art the one man we seek."

There was more talk after this, and at last Kentigern saw that there was no other way but to accept the post of honour and difficulty. A bishop from Ireland was ready to consecrate him to his high office, and he was made Bishop of Glesgu, a little place on the banks of the Clyde. There a wattled church was built and a fortified monastery, and there, in the midst of a wild country and a still wilder people, Kentigern began his rule. Little by little, houses were built close around the church and monastery until a village was formed. Then the village became a town, and as the years rolled by the town grew into the great city of Glasgow.

But in the days of Saint Kentigern Glesgu meant only "the dear family," for so the saint named the little gathering of God's servants who dwelt together under one rule and had all things in common, seeking only to do God's service.

There was no jealousy or ill-feeling now for Kentigern to fight against, for the brethren all loved their bishop and obeyed him as their master. But it was no life of ease to which he was called, but one of difficulty, hardship, and strenuous work. Early in the morning he rose from his bed, which boasted no soft pillow nor warm covering, and however cold the morning, he plunged into the river [36] close by to brace his body for his day's work. The clothes he wore were rough and coarse below, but above he wore a pure white alb or cloak and the stole of his office over his shoulder. And well might the white folds of his mantle be to men a sign of the pure childlike soul that dwelt in the strong man's body.

It is said that, as he knelt before the altar, the prayers which rose from "the golden censer of his heart" seemed to reach to the very gates of heaven, for often as the faithful people knelt around him they saw a white dove with a golden beak descend and hover above his head, overshadowing with its snowy wings the altar and the kneeling bishop.

There was little rest for the servants of God in those days. Far and near they journeyed among the people scattered around the wild countryside. However far the journey, Kentigern always went on foot, and there was no hardship which he shrank from enduring if he could but bring one lost sheep back into the fold. Preaching, teaching, building churches, strengthening and leading back those that had wandered from the True Light, his work went on from day to day.

But once in the year, when the season of Lent came round, Kentigern left his brethren and went to dwell alone in a far-off cave. It was the time when our Lord had gone into the wilderness to wrestle with the tempter, and well did Kentigern know how blessed it was to be alone with God.

In the lonely cave there was nothing to chain his [37] thoughts to earth and men. The song of the birds, the rippling laughter of the burns unlocked from their winter bonds of ice, the little grey furry caps of the willow buds, the soft green of the sprouting grass, everything fitted in with the praise and prayer which filled his days.

Then when Good Friday came he returned to his brethren, wan and wasted indeed with fasting, but with a face that seemed to reflect the light of heaven, so near to its gates had he dwelt.

But although Kentigern fasted and endured many hardships, he had always a happy cheerful face, and he had no belief in gloomy looks. Often he would tell his brethren that what he disliked above all was a hypocrite who went about sighing with eyes cast down and a long face. They seemed, he said, to think they were walking after the manner of turtle-doves, whereas in reality it was the peacock they resembled. And what was the use of looking down on the dust when eyes might be lifted to heaven? No, hypocrisy was one of the little foxes that spoiled the grapes, and God loved those who did their work with a cheerful countenance and simplicity of heart.

So many years passed away and then evil times befell the "dear family" at Glesgu. Another king now reigned, one who hated the Church and talked with scornful contempt of the bishop and his workers. The seasons, too, had been bad and the harvest poor, and Kentigern found that there was no corn to feed the brethren nor to give to the poor who came to him for aid.

[38] It was surely the duty of the King to help his people, so the bishop went boldly to the court and asked that out of his abundance the King would spare corn for his hungry people.

The King laughed aloud at the request and answered with mocking words.

"Thou who teachest others to cast their burden upon the Lord, should surely practise thyself the same. How is it that thou who fearest God art poor and hungry, while I, who have never sought the kingdom of heaven, have all things I can desire, and Plenty smileth upon me? Therefore what thou preachest is a lie."

Calmly then did Kentigern make answer that God has often seen fit to afflict the just and allow the wicked to flourish like a green bay tree.

This enraged the King still further, and he bade Kentigern work a miracle if he could.

"If, without the aid of human hands and trusting only in thy God, thou canst transfer to thy house all the grain that is in my barns, I will yield it to thee as a gift," he said, with a mocking laugh.

Kentigern left the King, carrying with him an anxious heavy heart. There were so many hungry mouths to fill and all depended upon him. But not for a moment did he lose his faith in the goodness of God, and he prayed earnestly to Him that the daily bread might be provided.

That very night a great storm came sweeping down the river and the waters began to rise. Higher and higher swelled the torrent until it overflowed the river bank, and swirling round the [39] King's barns, it lifted them bodily from the ground and carried them out on to the river. There the current caught them and swept them along till they reached the place where Kentigern dwelt, where it left them high and dry, with not so much as a grain of corn spoilt by the water. So God took the King's gift to feed His people.

The mocking King was filled with fury when he learned what had happened, and so cruel became his persecution of Kentigern and his brethren, that they at last determined to leave the monastery and to seek afar off some place where they might dwell in peace.

Travelling southward, Kentigern dwelt some time in Cumberland, where, as was his custom wherever he rested, he erected a stone cross, as a sign of his faith, at a little place still known as Crossfell. Then, travelling on by the seashore, he sought in the wild country for some convenient place where he might found another home.

There is a legend that tells of a white boar that guided him, but it was more likely a kindly stream like his own river Clyde which led him by its silver thread to a place which seemed all that he could wish.

They were no mere dreamers these monks of old, and they did not look for miracles to work for them when the work could be done with their own hands. The wilderness was soon humming as with a hive of bees, and in a wonderfully short space of time trees were cut down, fashioned into beams, fitted together, and a great wooden church and monastery was built to the glory of God.

[40] But it seemed as if Kentigern was never to be free from persecution, for scarcely was the monastery finished when the prince of North Britain came riding through the forest with his followers, and demanded what these strangers meant by settling on his land.

In vain did Kentigern answer peaceably. The prince would not be appeased, and in his anger he threatened to pull down the church and chase the builders off the land.

Then a strange thing happened, for suddenly the light of day faded from the eyes of the angry man and black darkness came swiftly over him.

"What is this?" he cried, staggering forward, stretching out helpless groping hands. "The light is gone. I can see nothing."

In haste his men came crowding round and lifted him up, but they saw at once that he was blind and they knew not what to do.

"Bring him hither to me," said Kentigern, and the men led him forward, guiding his stumbling steps.

The heart of the good bishop was touched by the sight of the helpless man, and he earnestly prayed to God that He would lighten the darkness and restore sight to those dull eyes. Even as he prayed the light returned, and the grateful prince knelt at the feet of the saint and kissed the hem of his robe in reverence and thankfulness.

There was no more talk of pulling down the church or chasing the brethren, but the prince humbly sat at Kentigern's feet to be taught to [41] know the True Light which alone could lighten the darkness of his mind.

So things prospered greatly at the new monastery, which grew even greater and more powerful than the old home at Glesgu. But just as Kentigern was beginning to dream of a rest in his old age and thought to end his days in his peaceful new home, he was called once again to fresh labours.

A new king had come to reign over the Cambrian kingdom; one who loved the Church, and strove to establish it once more in his kingdom. Surely, then, the first thing to be done was to send for the good bishop and bid the shepherd return to gather together his flock once more in the old home at Glesgu.

It was hard to leave the home he had made and begin all over again the old work and struggle, but Kentigern never hesitated. The new monastery was left under the care of a faithful brother, Saint Asaph, and Kentigern once more turned his face northwards and returned to his native land.

Many years he laboured, and with him returned peace and prosperity, for the brethren were busy skilled workers, and they taught the people to work the land to the best advantage. The King, too, put all things in his kingdom under the rule of the wise bishop, so that his word was law throughout the country. And it is said that the holy Saint Columba journeyed from his island home to greet the saint whose fame had spread even as far as Iona.

So the herald of the dawn did indeed bring [41] light into the dark places of his beloved land, and when his work was done on the morn of the Epiphany, when the silver lamp of the morning star was paling in the light of the coming dawn, the angels came to carry home the soul of him at whose birth they had sung their "Gloria in Excelsis." And surely now their song must have risen in still higher triumph, for his warfare was accomplished, the work of the weary old man was finished, and behold, his soul was still as the soul of a little child!

 



Harriette Taylor Treadwell

The Gingerbread Boy

Part 2 of 2


[Illustration]

[18] The gingerbread boy met a dog.


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


I ran away from the little old woman, [19] I ran away from the little old man, I ran away from the cat, I ran away from the pig, 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 hen.

[20] 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 ran away from the pig, I ran away from the dog, I can run away from you, I can, I can, I can."

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



[Illustration]

[21] The gingerbread boy met a fox.

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

I ran away from the hen, I ran away from the dog, I ran away from the pig, I ran away from the cat, [22] I ran away from the little old woman, 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.


The fox said, "You can run away from the little old woman, You can run away from the little old man, You can run away from the pig, You can run away from the dog, You can run away from the cat, You can run away from the hen, But you can not run away from the fox.

I shall eat you." And he did.



[Illustration]

[23] There was a little old woman.

There was a little old man.

The little old woman wanted a boy.

The little old man wanted a boy.

So she made a gingerbread boy.

The gingerbread boy ran away.

He ran away from the little old woman, He ran away from the little old man, He ran away from the pig, He ran away from the cat, He ran away from the dog, He ran away from the hen. He did not run away from the fox.

 



Robert Louis Stevenson

The Rain

The rain is raining all around,

It falls on field and tree,

It rains on the umbrellas here,

And on the ships at sea.

 


  WEEK 4  

  Wednesday  


James Baldwin

The White Ship

KING HENRY, the Handsome Scholar, had one son named William, whom he dearly loved. The young man was noble and brave, and everybody hoped that he would some day be the King of England.

One summer Prince William went with his father across the sea to look after their lands in France. [18] They were welcomed with joy by all their people there, and the young prince was so gallant and kind, that he won the love of all who saw him.

But at last the time came for them to go back to England. The king, with his wise men and brave knights, set sail early in the day; but Prince William with his younger friends waited a little while. They had had so joyous a time in France that they were in no great haste to tear themselves away.

Then they went on board of the ship which was waiting to carry them home. It was a beautiful ship with white sails and white masts, and it had been fitted up on purpose for this voyage.

The sea was smooth, the winds were fair and no one thought of danger. On the ship, everything had been arranged to make the trip a pleasant one. There was music and dancing, and everybody was merry and glad.

The sun had gone down before the white-winged vessel was fairly out of the bay. But what of that? The moon was at its full, and it would give light enough; and before the dawn of the morrow, the narrow sea would be crossed. And so the prince, and the young people who were with him, gave themselves up to merriment and feasting and joy.

The earlier hours of the night passed by; and [19] then there was a cry of alarm on deck. A moment afterward there was a great crash. The ship had struck upon a rock. The water rushed in. She was sinking. Ah, where now were those who had lately been so heart-free and glad?

Every heart was full of fear. No one knew what to do. A small boat was quickly launched, and the prince with a few of his bravest friends leaped into it. They pushed off just as the ship was beginning to settle beneath the waves. Would they be saved?

They had rowed hardly ten yards from the ship, when there was a cry from among those that were left behind.

"Row back!" cried the prince. "It is my little sister. She must be saved!"

The men did not dare to disobey. The boat was again brought alongside of the sinking vessel. The prince stood up, and held out his arms for his sister. At that moment the ship gave a great lurch forward into the waves. One shriek of terror was heard, and then all was still save the sound of the moaning waters.

Ship and boat, prince and princess, and all the gay company that had set sail from France, went down to the bottom together. One man clung to a floating plank, and was saved the next day. He was the only person left alive to tell the sad story.

[20] When King Henry heard of the death of his son, his grief was more than he could bear. His heart was broken. He had no more joy in life; and men say that no one ever saw him smile again.

Here is a poem about him that your teacher may read to you, and perhaps, after a while, you may learn it by heart.

HE NEVER SMILED AGAIN

The bark that held the prince went down,

The sweeping waves rolled on;

And what was England's glorious crown

To him that wept a son?

He lived, for life may long be borne

Ere sorrow breaks its chain:

Why comes not death to those who mourn?

He never smiled again.


There stood proud forms before his throne,

The stately and the brave;

But who could fill the place of one,—

That one beneath the wave?

Before him passed the young and fair,

In pleasure's reckless train;

But seas dashed o'er his son's bright hair—

He never smiled again.


He sat where festal bowls went round;

He heard the minstrel sing;

He saw the tourney's victor crowned

Amid the knightly ring.

[21]

A murmur of the restless deep

Was blent with every strain,

A voice of winds that would not sleep—

He never smiled again.


Hearts, in that time, closed o'er the trace

Of vows once fondly poured,

And strangers took the kinsman's place

At many a joyous board;

Graves which true love had bathed with tears

Were left to heaven's bright rain;

Fresh hopes were born for other years—

He never smiled again!

MRS. HEMANS
 



Lucy Fitch Perkins

Mother's Day

[Illustration]

Part 1 of 2

[57] "YESTERDAY was a very long day," said Vrouw Vedder on the morning after Market Day. "You were gone such a long time."

Kat gave her mother a great hug.

"We'll stay with you all day today, Mother," she said. "Won't we, Kit?"

"Yes," said Kit; and he hugged her too.

"And we'll help you just as much as we helped Father yesterday. Won't we, Kit?"

"More," said Kit.

"I shouldn't wonder!" said Father.

"I shall be glad of help," said Vrouw Vedder, "because Grandma is coming, and I want everything to be very clean and tidy [58] when she comes. I'm going first to the pasture to milk the cow. You can go with me and keep the flies away. That will be a great help."

Vrouw Vedder put a yoke across her shoulders, with hooks hanging from each end of it. Then she hung a large pail on one of the hooks, and a brass milk can on the other. She gave Kat a little pail to carry, and Kit took some switches from the willow tree in the yard, with which to drive away the flies. Then they all three started down the road to the pasture.

Pretty soon they came to a little bridge over the canal, which they had to cross.

"Oh, dear," said Kat, looking down at the water, "I'm scared!" You see, there was no railing at all to take hold of, and the bridge was quite narrow.

"Ho! 'Fraidy cat!" said Kit. "I'll go first and show you how."

"And I'll walk behind you," said Vrouw Vedder.

Kat walked very slowly and held on hard [59] to her pail, and so she got over the bridge safely.


[Illustration]

"When I'm four feet and a half high, I'm going to jump over the canal on a jumping pole," said Kit.

"O how brave you are!" said Kat. "I should be scared. And besides I'm afraid I should drop my shoes in the water."

[60] "Well, of course," said Kit, "boys can do a great many things that girls can't do."

When they reached the pasture, there was Mevrouw Holstein waiting for them. Mevrouw Holstein was the cow's name. Kit and Kat named her.

Vrouw Vedder tucked up her skirts—and that was quite a task, for she wore a great many of them—and sat down on a little stool. Kit and Kat stood beside her and waved their willow wands and said "Shoo!" to the flies; and Vrouw Vedder began to milk.

Mevrouw Holstein had eaten so much of the green meadow grass that Vrouw Vedder filled both the big pail and the brass can, and the little pail too, with rich milk.

"I shall have milk enough to make butter and cheese," said Vrouw Vedder. "There are no cows like our Dutch cows in all the world, I believe."

"O Mother, are you going to churn today?" asked Kat.


[Illustration]

[62] "Yes," said the Vrouw, "I have cream enough at home to make a good roll of butter, and you may help me if you will be very careful and work steadily."

"I will be very steady," said Kat. "I'm big enough now to learn."

"All Dutch girls must know how to make good butter and cheese," said Vrouw Vedder.

"And boys can drink the buttermilk," said Kit.

"I'll drink some too," said Kat.

"There'll be plenty for both," said their mother.

When she had finished milking, Vrouw Vedder shook out her skirts, put the yoke across her shoulders again and lifted the large pail of milk. She hung it on one of the hooks and the brass milk can on the other. Kat took the small pail, and they started back home. The milk was quite heavy, so they walked slowly.

They had crossed the bridge and were just turning down the road, when what should [63] they see but their old goose and gander walking along the road, followed by six little goslings!


[Illustration]

"O Mother, Mother," screamed Kat; "there is the old goose that we haven't seen for so long! She has stolen her nest and hatched out six little geese all her own! They are taking them to the canal to swim."

"Quick, Kit, quick!" said Vrouw Vedder. "Don't let them go into the canal! We must drive them home."

Kit ran boldly forward in front of them, and Kat ran too. She spilled some of the milk; but she was in such a hurry that she never knew it, until afterwards, when she found some in her wooden shoes!


[Illustration]

[64] "K-s-s-s!" said the old goose; and she ran straight for the Twins with her mouth open and her wings spread! The old gander ran at them too. I can't begin to tell you how scared Kat was then! She stood right still and screamed.

[65] Kit was scared too; but he stood by Kat, like a brave boy, and shook his willow switches at the geese, and shouted "Shoo! Shoo!" just as he did at the flies.

Vrouw Vedder set her pails down in the road and came up behind, flapping her apron. Then the old goose and the gander and all the little goslings started slowly along the road for home, saying cross words in Goose talk all the way!


[Illustration]

Father Vedder was working in the garden, when the procession came down the road. First came the geese, looking very [66] indignant, and the goslings. Then came Kit with the leaves all whipped off his willow switches. Then came Kat with her pail; and, last of all, Vrouw Vedder and the milk!

When the new family of geese had been taken care of, and the fresh milk had been put away to cool, Vrouw Vedder got out her churn and scalded it well. Then she put in her cream, and put the cover down over the handle of the dasher.

"Now, Kit and Kat, you may take turns," she said, "and see which one of you can bring the butter, but be sure you work the dasher very evenly or the butter will not be good."

"Me first!" said Kat, and she began. Kit sat on a little stool and watched for the butter.

Kat worked the dasher up and down, up and down. The cream splashed and splashed inside the churn, and a little white ring of spatters came up around the dasher.

Kat worked until her arms ached.


[Illustration]

[67] "Now it's my turn," said Kit. Then he took the dasher, and the cream splashed and splashed for quite a long time; but still the butter did not come.

"Ho!" said Kat. "You're nothing but a boy. Of course you don't know how to churn. Let me try." And she took her turn.

Dash! Splash! Splash, dash! She worked away; and very soon, around the [68] dasher, there was a ring of little specks of butter.

"Come, butter, come! Come, butter, come!

Some for a honey cake, and some for a bun,"

she sang in time to the dasher; and truly, when Vrouw Vedder opened the churn, there was a large cake of yellow butter!

Vrouw Vedder took out the butter and worked it into a nice roll. Then she gave each of the Twins a cup of buttermilk to drink.

While the Twins drank the buttermilk, their mother washed the churn and put it away. When she was all through, it was still quite early in the morning, because they had gotten up with the sun.

"Now we must clean the house," she said.

So she got out her scrubbing-brushes, and mops, and pails, and dusters, and began.

First she shook out the pillows of the best bed, that nobody ever slept in, and pushed back the curtains so that the em- [69] broidered coverlet could be seen. Then she put the other beds in order and drew the curtains in front of them.


[Illustration]

She dusted the linen press and left it open just a little, so that her beautiful rolls of white linen, tied with ribbons, would show. Kat dusted the chairs, and Kit car- [70] ried carried the big brass jugs outside the kitchen door to be polished.

Then they all three rubbed and scoured and polished them until they shone like the sun.


[Illustration]

 



Laura E. Richards

Rosy Posy

There was a little Rosy,

And she had a little nosy,

And she made a little posy,

All pink and white and green.

And she said, "Little nosy,

Will you smell my little posy?

For of all the flowers that growsy,

Such sweet ones ne'er were seen."


So she took the little posy,

And she put it to her nosy,

On her little face so rosy,

The flowers for to smell;

And which of them was Rosy,

And which of them was nosy,

And which of them was posy,

You really could not tell!

 


  WEEK 4  

  Thursday  


Mary Macgregor

Siegfried's Sojourn at Worms

[42]

A T the court of Worms high festival was held to do honour to Siegfried and his eleven brave warriors. It is true that his boldness when he entered the city had made the Kings and their liegemen wish to serve the dauntless hero, yet now it was not of his boldness that they thought, but of his happy, winsome ways. Indeed it was but a short time until he was the most favoured Prince in all the gallant throng of courtiers that gathered round King Gunther in his royal city.

Only one in all the country hated the gallant Prince of the Netherlands, and that one was the stern and fierce-eyed Hagen; but of the counsellor's ill-will the light-hearted hero knew nought.

Merry were the frolics, gay the pastimes at [43] the court of Worms, and in every game and sport Siegfried was the most skilful.

Did the warriors hurl the stone? None could hurl it as far as could Siegfried. Did they leap? No one ever leaped as far as did the Prince. Did they go a-hunting? No one brought down the prey as often as did the hero. Did they tilt in the tournament? Siegfried it was who ever gained the prize. Yet none was envious of the Prince, so glad he was, so light of heart.

When games were held in the great castle hall, ladies clad in garments of richest hue, and sparkling with gems of ruddy gold, would come into the galleries. And ever as they watched the gallant knights their eyes would follow the most gallant of them all, the hero Siegfried. But among these fair counts and ladies the Princess Kriemhild was never to be seen, and Siegfried had no thought to spare for any other damsel. In his heart was ever the image of the maiden whom he had come hither to win.

The Princess might not go down to the great hall to see the tournament, yet as she sat in her tower she would ofttimes think of the mighty [44] strength of this hero, of his heart of gold. And almost before she was aware Kriemhild had found the Prince whom she would gladly call her lord.

When she heard the knights running and leaping in the courtyard, Kriemhild would lay her seam aside, and Princess though she was, she would run to her lattice window, and peeping through, she would watch her hero with glad eyes, victor in every pastime. Nor would she turn away until the sports were ended and the courtyard once again grew silent and deserted.

Siegfried did not know that Kriemhild's glad eyes were peeping through her lattice window, and had he known he would scarce have dared to dream that her glance was fixed on no other save on him alone.

Indeed sometimes the hero's heart misgave him. When would he see the maiden whom he loved? Had she no pleasure in his knightly games, no smile to give him for his skill? Nay, she was as great a stranger to him now as when he had ridden into the royal city of Worms in hope to gain her favour.

Thus for one whole year Siegfried dwelt with [45] the three Kings of Burgundy, and during all that time he never once saw the wonder-lady of his dreams, the Princess Kriemhild.

At the end of the year King Gunther's fair realm of Burgundy was threatened with invasion and with mighty wars. No longer did the castle hall at Worms ring with the merry pastimes of the courtiers. All was grave, silent, for King Gunther and his brothers and his counsellors were in sore distress.

That day heralds had ridden into the land and demanded audience of King Gunther.

"Now who hath sent you hither?" said the King in angry mood.

"Our masters," cried the heralds. "King Ludegast and King Ludeger have sent us to warn thee that they hate thee and will invade thy land. With great armies will they come to thy realm of Burgundy. Within twelve weeks will they be here, unless thou dost offer a ransom for thy kingdom."

"Tarry a little," said Gunther, "until I have spoken with my counsellors, then shall ye carry my answer back to thy masters."

King Gernot had heard the challenge of the [46] heralds, and dauntless he cried, "Our good swords shall defend us. What fear we from the foreign host!"

But Hagen cried, "Ludegast and Ludeger are fierce, and evil will overtake us, for scarce have we time in which to gather our liegemen together ere the foe will be in our land. Speak thou, O King, unto the hero Siegfried. It may be that his powers can help us now."

Meanwhile King Gunther commanded that the heralds should be lodged with all due courtesy, and this he did for the sake of his fair fame.

Now as Gunther sat brooding over the evil which seemed as though it would overtake his land, Siegfried came to his side. He knew no reason for the King's distress.

"What hath come to pass," said the hero, "that all our merry pastimes are ended? For since ever I came into the fair land of Burgundy hath the castle hall of thy royal city echoed with the ring of knightly deeds, and tilts and jousts have long held sway. Why, therefore, are the merry pastimes ended, and wherefore dost thou sit here thus sad and downcast?"

[47] "Not to every one," said King Gunther, "would I tell my sorrow, nay, to none save a steadfast friend dare I declare it."

When Siegfried heard the King's words, his fair face flushed, then paled again.

"Already," cried the hero, "have I followed thee in time of need." For indeed during the year which he had spent at Worms, Siegfried had gone with Gunther on more than one foray into the neighbouring kingdoms.

"Now," he continued, "now if trouble hath come to thee my arm is strong to bring thee aid. I will be thy friend if thou art willing while life is mine."

"God reward thee, Sir Siegfried!" cried King Gunther, and right glad of heart was he. "It may be I shall not need thy strength to aid me in my battles, yet do I rejoice that thou art my friend. Never while my life lasts shalt thou be sorry for thy words."

Then King Gunther told to the brave knight the insolent message which the heralds had brought from their masters, Ludegast and Ludeger.

"Thou needst not be troubled at these tidings," [48] said the young knight. "If thy foes were as many as thirty thousand, yet with one thousand warriors would I destroy them. Therefore leave the battle in my hands."

King Gunther, for he was not very brave, rejoiced at Siegfried's words, and scattered his fears to the four winds.

Then he sent for the heralds, and bade them return to their masters to say that King Gunther defied their threats, and in proof thereof would ere long send an army to punish them for their insolence.

Now when the heralds reached their own country with these tidings, King Ludegast of Denmark, and King Ludeger the Saxon, who was his brother, were filled with dread. Moreover the heralds told them that the famous hero Siegfried would fight for Burgundy, and when they heard that the hearts of the rude kings failed for fear.

In great haste they gathered together their warriors, and soon Ludegast had twenty thousand men ready to defend his land. Ludeger the Saxon, too, had called together even more than forty thousand men, and the two armies formed a mighty host.

[49] King Gunther meanwhile had assembled his men, and the chief command was given to Hagen with the grim face and the piercing eyes.

When Siegfried saw that Gunther was buckling on his armour he drew near to him, and said, "Sir King, stay thou at home in the royal city and guard the women. Neither dost thou have any fear, for in good sooth, I can protect both thine honour and thy men."

And King Gunther stayed in the royal city while his warriors went forth to battle.

From the Rhine river Gunther's vast army marched toward the Saxon country, and all along the borders they smote those who were in favour of their foes, until fear fell upon those lands.

Then leaving Hagen with the main army, Siegfried rode forward alone to seek the foe. Nor was it long ere on a plain before him he saw a great host encamped.

In advance of the great army of more than forty thousand men stood a single warrior, as though he were a sentinel guarding the plain. A shining shield of gold was in his hand, and when Siegfried saw that, he knew that the [50] sentinel was none other than Ludegast himself.

Even as Siegfried knew his enemy and spurred forward his steed, Ludegast saw the hero. Digging his spurs into the sides of his horse he also sprang forward, and, with lances poised, the two mighty men met and charged with all their strength.

On dashed the noble steeds as though driven by a tempest, until the King and the Prince drew rein, and turning faced each other once again, their swords now in their hands.

With such great strokes did Siegfried ply his foe, that fiery sparks flamed all around the helmet of the King, while the noise of his mighty blows filled the space around as with peals of thunder.

King Ludegast was a worthy foe and many an ugly thrust did Siegfried parry with his shield. But at length with his good sword Balmung, the hero pierced through the steel harness of Ludegast the King. Three times he struck, until his enemy lay helpless at his feet.

With piteous moan then did Ludegast beg [51] the Prince to spare his life, and this Siegfried did.

Then, as the hero was going to sheathe his sword, up rode thirty of the King's warriors, who had watched the fray from afar. Fiercely they beset the hero who had vanquished their King and stealthily did they seek to rescue his prisoner. But Siegfried brandished his good sword Balmung, and with his own strong right hand slaughtered the thirty warriors, all save one. Him the Prince spared that he might carry the dire tidings of the capture of King Ludegast to the army on the plain.

Then Siegfried, left alone with his royal prisoner, lifted him on to his own charger, and brought him to Hagen.

But the Prince did not linger with the army. Without delay he set out for the forefront of the fray, and close behind him rode his own eleven knights, while Gernot followed with a thousand men. And soon the great plain was a grim battlefield.

Loud and fierce was the conflict. Many a clanging blow fell upon uplifted shields, many an eager sword-thrust struck through helmet [52] and through mail, and ever in the thickest of the fight rode Siegfried, the valiant Prince of the Netherlands.

The hero was seeking for King Ludeger, the leader of the Saxon host. Three times did he cleave his way through the mighty host until at length he stood before the King.

Now Ludeger had seen how Siegfried swung his good sword Balmung, and how he cleft in twain the helmet of many of the toughest warriors in the Saxon army, and his heart was filled with rage. He knew also that his brother Ludegast had been taken captive by this same bold Prince.

Thus it was that when Siegfried stood before his royal foe, the onslaught of the King was more violent than the hero had expected. So violent was it that the Prince's war-horse staggered and well-nigh fell. With a mighty effort, the steed recovered from the shock, but the rage of the hero was terrible. In his eagerness to reach the fierce King Ludeger he dismounted, as also did his foe, and thus they fought, while all around them flew the splinters of broken swords and spears.

[53] At length with a great blow Siegfried struck the shield from Ludeger's hold; a moment more and he had him at his mercy. For the second time that day the Prince was victor over a King.

As Siegfried stooped to bind his prisoner, Ludeger's eyes fell upon the crown which was emblazoned on his victor's shield. Then he knew that the rumour which had reached him was true. This mighty hero was none other than Siegfried, the son of Siegmund, King of the Netherlands.

Vain was it to fight longer with such a hero among their foes, and Ludeger raised his voice loud above the tumult, and cried to his brave Saxon warriors, "My warriors, my lieges, cease to give battle. Lay down your arms, lower your standards, for none may conquer where Prince Siegfried wars."

At Ludeger's words all that was left of the great armies of Danes and Saxons laid down their arms, lowered their standards, while their King humbly sued for peace.

By Hagen's command peace was granted, but Ludeger, along with Ludegast and five [54] hundred warriors who had been taken prisoner, were forced to go with the Burgundians to the royal city of Worms.

The victorious army was soon upon its homeward way, the wounded being carried in litters by the command of King Gernot.

Tidings were sent to King Gunther, telling him to rejoice, for his warriors had won the day. Yet to all it was well known that the victory was due to the prowess of the mighty Prince Siegfried.

Nor did the heralds who were sent to the city with the glad news of victory forget to tell of the marvellous deeds of the hero.

In Worms there had been grief lest their warriors should be vanquished, but now the city was full of triumph, and noble dames and happy maidens gathered round the squires who had brought the good news.

Then Kriemhild sent secretly for one of the squires, for she wished to hear without delay all that had befallen her gallant knight. Had she not mourned his absence and scarce slept the long nights through lest danger should come nigh so fearless a warrior? Had she not vowed [55] to herself that she would own no other knight as lord, save only this great hero? For unawares love had stolen into the tender heart of the Lady Kriemhild.

When the squire was led to the bower of the Princess, he stood quiet, modest before the beauteous lady.

"Tell me the dear tidings," she said, "stint not thy words, and gold will I give to thee in plenty."

Yet at first the Princess had no courage to ask of Siegfried's prowess.

"How fared my brother Gernot, and how have my other kinsmen fought? Are many wounded left upon the field?"

Then to her lips sprang the words she would fain have the squire answer before all others.

"And who did best of any?" said the Princess, and her voice broke, and her tears fell as she spoke.

But the young squire knew what the maiden wished to hear, and he told her of the mighty deeds done on the battlefield, and how ever in the forefront, where the danger was the [56] greatest, was to be seen the gallant Prince of the Netherlands, his good sword Balmung in his hand. Of his two royal captives, too, the young squire told, and as Kriemhild listened to the exploits of her knight, her lovely face became rosy red with delight.

Well rewarded indeed was the squire for his joyous tidings, for the Princess gave him costly raiment and ten gold coins as well.

Ere many more days had passed away there came the tramp of armed men along the banks of the great Rhine river. The troops were coming home.

Then to the windows of the castle rushed the maidens, and among them was the beautiful Princess, and together they watched as the warriors rode through the streets of the royal city.

King Gunther himself went forth to welcome his troops, and to thank the young hero who had so gallantly saved the realm of Burgundy from invasion.

Of all those who had gone forth to battle but sixty men were left behind, stricken by the foe.

[57] The royal prisoners Ludegast and Ludeger the King treated with honour. He indeed promised to set them free if their liegemen, who had been taken prisoners, would stay as hostages in his land. And this the prisoners were well pleased to do, that their Kings might return without ransom to their own lands.

Siegfried the hero now began to think that it was fitting that he should go back to his old father Siegmund, and his dear mother Sieglinde.

But King Gunther, to whom he told his wish, entreated him to stay yet a little longer in the royal city.

"For now," said the King, "will we hold a merry festival and kings and princes will we summon to our court. Stay, then, Sir Siegfried, that thou mayest show thy skill in the great tournament."

Yet it was neither the wishes of the King nor the thought of the tournament which made Siegfried willing to linger on still in the fair Burgundian town. It was the image of a gentle maiden, whom yet he had never seen, [58] which kept him from speeding home to his own country.

Perchance if he waited he would see her soon, the wonder-maiden, whose image even on the battlefield was safe hidden in his heart.

 



Clara Dillingham Pierson

The Beetle Who Did Not Like Caterpillars

[Illustration]

[56]

O NE morning early in June, a fat and shining May Beetle lay on his back among the grasses, kicking his six legs in the air, and wriggling around while he tried to catch hold of a grass-blade by which to pull himself up. Now, Beetles do not like to lie on their backs in the sunshine, and this one was hot and tired from his long struggle. Beside that, he was very cross because he was late in getting his breakfast, so when he [57] did at last get right side up, and saw a brown and black Caterpillar watching him, he grew very ill-mannered, and said some things of which he should have been ashamed.

"Oh, yes," he said, "you are quick enough to laugh when you think somebody else is in a fix. I often lie on my back and kick, just for fun." (Which was not true, but when Beetles are cross they are not always truthful.)

"Excuse me," said the Caterpillar, "I did not mean to hurt your feelings. If I smiled, it was because I remembered being in the same plight myself yesterday, and what a time I had smoothing my fur afterwards. Now, you won't have to smooth your fur, will you?" she asked pleasantly.

"No, I'm thankful to say I haven't any fur to smooth," snapped the Beetle. "I am not one of the crawling, furry kind. My family wear dark brown, glossy coats, [58] and we always look trim and clean. When we want to hurry, we fly; and when tired of flying, we walk or run. We have two kinds of wings. We have a pair of dainty, soft ones, that carry us through the air, and then we have a pair of stiff ones to cover over the soft wings when we come down to the earth again. We are the finest family in the meadow."

"I have often heard of you," said the Caterpillar, "and am very glad to become acquainted."

"Well," answered the Beetle, "I am willing to speak to you, of course, but we can never be at all friendly. A May Beetle, indeed, in company with a Caterpillar! I choose my friends among the Moths, Butterflies, and Dragon-flies,—in fact, I  move in the upper circles."

"Upper circles, indeed!" said a croaking voice beside him, which made the Beetle jump, "I have hopped over your head for two or three years, when you [59] were nothing but a fat, white worm. You'd  better not put on airs. The fine family of May Beetles were all worms once, and they had to live in the earth and eat roots, while the Caterpillars were in the sunshine over their heads, dining on tender green leaves and flower buds."

The May Beetle began to look very uncomfortable, and squirmed as though he wanted to get away, but the Tree Frog, for it was the Tree Frog, went on: "As for your not liking Caterpillars, they don't stay Caterpillars. Your new acquaintance up there will come out with wings one of these days, and you will be glad enough to know him." And the Tree Frog hopped away.

The May Beetle scraped his head with his right front leg, and then said to the Caterpillar, who was nibbling away at the milkweed: "You know, I wasn't really in earnest about our not being friends. I [60] shall be very glad to know you, and all your family."

"Thank you," answered the Caterpillar, "thank you very much, but I have been thinking it over myself, and I feel that I really could not be friendly with a May Beetle. Of course, I don't mind speaking to you once in a while, when I am eating, and getting ready to spin my cocoon. After that it will be different. You see, then I shall belong to one of the finest families in the meadow, the Milkweed Butterflies. We  shall eat nothing but honey, and dress in soft orange and black velvet. We  shall not blunder and bump around when we fly. We  shall enjoy visiting with the Dragon-flies and Moths. I shall not forget you altogether, I dare say, but I shall feel it my duty to move in the upper circles, where I belong. Good-morning."

 



Margaret Johnson

A Bonny Boat

One, two, three!

A bonny boat I see;

A silver boat, and all afloat

Upon a rosy sea.


One, two, three!

The riddle tell to me.

The moon afloat is the bonny boat,

The sunset is the sea.

 


  WEEK 4  

  Friday  


Edward Eggleston

One Little Bag of Rice

THE first white people that came to this country hardly knew how to get their living here. They did not know what would grow best in this country.

Many of the white people learned to hunt. All the land was covered with trees. In the woods were many animals whose flesh was good to eat.

[22] There were deer, and bears, and great shaggy buffaloes. There were rabbits and squirrels. And there were many kinds of birds. The hunters shot wild ducks, wild turkeys, wild geese, and pigeons. The people also caught many fishes out of the rivers.

Then there were animals with fur on their backs. The people killed these and sold their skins. In this way many made their living.

Other people spent their time in cutting down the trees. They sawed the trees into timbers and boards. Some of it they split into staves to make barrels. They sent the staves and other sorts of timber to other countries to be sold. In South Carolina men made tar and pitch out of the pine trees.

But there was a wise man in South Carolina. He was one of those men that find out better ways of doing. His name was Thomas Smith.

Thomas Smith had once lived in a large island thousands of miles away from South Carolina. In that island he had seen the people raising rice. He saw that it was planted in wet ground. He said that he would like to try it in South Carolina. But he could not get any seed rice to plant. The rice that people eat is not fit to sow.

One day a ship came to Charleston, where Thomas Smith lived. It had been driven there by storms. The ship came from the large island [23] where Smith had seen rice grow. The captain of this ship was an old friend of Smith.

The two old friends met once more. Thomas Smith told the captain that he wanted some rice for seed. The captain called the cook of his ship, and asked him if he had any. The cook had one little bag of seed rice. The captain gave this to his friend.

There was some wet ground at the back of Smith's garden. In this wet ground he sowed some of the rice. It grew finely.

He gathered a good deal of rice in his garden that year. He gave part of this to his friends. They all sowed it. The next year there was a great deal of rice.

After a while the wet land in South Carolina was turned to rice fields. Every year many thousands of barrels of rice were sent away to be sold.

All this came from one little bag of rice and one wise man.


[Illustration]

Rice Plant

 



Edward Eggleston

The Story of a Wise Woman

[24] YOU have read how Thomas Smith first raised rice in Carolina. After his death there lived in South Carolina a wise young woman. She showed the people how to raise another plant. Her name was Eliza Lucas.

The father of Miss Lucas did not live in Carolina. He was governor of one of the islands of the West Indies. Miss Lucas was fond of trying new things. She often got seeds from her father. These she planted in South Carolina.

Her father sent her some seeds of the indigo plant. She sowed some of these in March. But there came a frost. The indigo plant cannot stand frost. Her plants all died.

But Miss Lucas did not give up. She sowed some more seeds in April. These grew very well until a cut-worm found them. The worm wished to try new things, too. So he ate off the indigo plants.

But Miss Lucas was one of the people who try, try again. She had lost her indigo plants twice. Once more she sowed some of the seed. This time the plants grew very well.

Miss Lucas wrote to her father about it. He [25] sent her a man who knew how to get the indigo out of the plant.

The man tried not to show Miss Lucas how to make the indigo. He did not wish the people in South Carolina to learn how to make it. He was afraid his own people would not get so much for their indigo.

So he would not explain just how it ought to be done. He spoiled the indigo on purpose.

But Miss Lucas watched him closely. She found out how the indigo ought to be made. Some of her father's land in South Carolina was now planted with the indigo plants.


[Illustration]

Indigo Plant

Then Miss Lucas was married. She became Mrs. Pinckney. Her father gave her all the indigo growing on his land in South Carolina. It was all saved for seed. Some of the seed Mrs. Pinckney gave to her friends. Some of it her husband sowed. [26] It all grew, and was made into that blue dye that we call indigo. When it is used in washing clothes, it is called bluing.

In a few years, more than a million pounds of indigo were made in South Carolina every year. Many people got rich by it. And it was all because Miss Lucas did not give up.

 



Ellen C. Babbitt

The Turtle Who Could n't Stop Talking

[18]

A TURTLE lived in a pond at the foot of a hill. Two young wild Geese, looking for food, saw the Turtle, and talked with him. The next day the Geese came again to visit the Turtle and they became very well acquainted. Soon they were great friends.

"Friend Turtle," the Geese said one day, "we have a beautiful home far away. We are going to fly back to it to-morrow. It will be a long but pleasant journey. Will you go with us?"

"How could I? I have no wings," said the Turtle.


[Illustration]

"How could I go with you?" said the Turtle.

"Oh, we will take you, if only you can keep your mouth shut, and say not a word to anybody," they said.

"I can do that," said the Turtle. "Do take me with you. I will do exactly as you wish."

[19] So the next day the Geese brought a stick and they held the ends of it. "Now take the middle of this in your mouth, and don't say a word until we reach home," they said.


[Illustration]

The Geese sprang into the air.

The Geese then sprang into the air, with the Turtle between them, holding fast to the stick.

The village children saw the two Geese flying along with the Turtle and cried out: "Oh, see the Turtle up in the air! Look at the Geese carrying a Turtle by a stick! Did you ever see anything more ridiculous in your life!"

The Turtle looked down and began to say, "Well, and if my friends carry me, what business is that of yours?" when he let go, and fell dead at the feet of the children.

As the two Geese flew on, they heard the people say, when they came to see the poor Turtle, "That fellow could not keep his mouth shut. He had to talk, and so lost his life."


[Illustration]

"Oh, see the Turtle up in the air."

 



Celia Thaxter

Lock the Dairy Door

"Lock the dairy door!

Lock the dairy door!"

Oh, hark, the cock is crowing proudly,

And all the hens are cackling loudly:

"Chickle! chackle, chee," they cry,

"We haven't got the key," they cry,

"Chickle, chackle, chee! Oh, dear,

Wherever can it be!" they cry.