WEEK 8 |
 OUR hero of Jamestown, Virginia, was such a remarkable character that it is well for us to learn something of his adventures before he came to the New World.
As a boy, he was strong, active, and full of daring. When he was fourteen years of age, he ran away from home to join in the wars of Holland. For four years he served as a soldier; then, getting tired of obeying orders, he left his company and built for himself a hut in the woods. Here he did all his own work, cooked, and studied military tactics. He was determined to be a great soldier.
He now set out for the East to join the Christians who were fighting the Turks. As he passed through France, our young hero lost his money, and had a hard time to keep himself from starving. Finally he reached a port, after walking many miles and begging food along the road, and he boarded a vessel bound for Italy.
After they had been out at sea for a few days, a storm arose, and the ship looked as though she were about to go down. The sailors were so  frightened they began praying. One of them said, "We have a lad here, not of our religion. He has brought on the storm. Overboard with him!" Thereupon, they seized John Smith, and cast him into the sea. But Smith was the best swimmer of his day, and the water was like land to him. So he swam for many hours, and finally landed on a strange shore.
We next hear of him in Austria, where he joined the army and again set out on his way to fight the Turks. Smith won a great name for himself in the following way: A Turkish officer, to amuse the ladies in his camp, sent a challenge to the Austrian army for single combat with any man they might send against him.
"I will accept the challenge," said Smith, and rode out in front of both armies. He dared the Turkish officer to come forth. They fought on horseback, and, as they rushed together, Smith directed his lance so that the point of it went through the eye of his opponent. The Turkish officer fell dead, and Smith cut off his head, carrying it away on his spear. This so enraged the Turkish soldiers that another officer rode out to avenge his comrade's death. But he shared a like fate, and Smith carried his head away on the end of his spear. Then with a great show of daring  he rode up to the Turkish lines, and challenged another to come out and give him battle.
Nothing daunted, a third Turk, big and fierce, came forth on a fresh horse. Smith was tired out by this time, having killed two men, but he spurred his horse into the combat. As the two came together, Smith fell to the ground, and his companions thought he was dead.
The Turkish officer leaped from his horse to complete the victory, but Smith was up in a hurry and, sword in hand, awaited his enemy. Fiercely they fought for an hour, at the end of which time Smith's sword went through the body of the big Turk, and his head also was carried off the field.
By now the Turks had had enough fighting, and the ladies declared they were sufficiently amused for the day.
In one of the battles which occurred, Smith fell into the hands of the Turks and was made a slave, according to the custom of those days. He wore a ring around his neck, and worked about the house for his Turkish mistress. She was so much pleased with him that she sent him as a present to her brother, who lived in a distant town.
Smith found his new master very cruel indeed, and his life was hard. One day a bitter quarrel ensued between them, in which Smith slew his  master. Taking off the dead man's clothes, he dressed himself up as a Turk, and marched away, out of captivity. No one molested him, for he spoke the Turkish language, and acted in every way as though he were a Turk.
Soon he came to the border of Russia, and from there went peaceably through Germany, France and Spain, finally making his way back to England, where he told everybody about the wonderful adventures which had befallen him.
T HERE came a day when all the meadow people rushed back and forth, waving their feelers and talking hurriedly to each other. The fat old Cricket was nowhere to be seen. He said that one of his legs was lame and he thought it best to stay quietly in his hole. The young Crickets thought he was afraid. Perhaps he was, but he said that he was lame.
All the insects who had holes crawled into them carrying food. Everybody was anxious and fussy, and some people were even cross. It was all because the farmer and his men had come into the meadow to cut the grass. They began to work  on the side nearest the road, but every step which the Horses took brought the mower nearer to the people who lived in the middle of the meadow or down toward the river.
"I have seen this done before," said the Garter Snake. "I got away from the big mower, and hid in the grass by the trees, or by the stumps where the mower couldn't come. Then the men came and cut that grass with their scythes, and I had to wriggle away over the short, sharp grass-stubble to my hole. When they get near me this time, I shall go into my hole and stay there."
"They are not so bad after all," said the Tree Frog. "I like them better out-of-doors than I did in the house. They saw me out here once and didn't try to catch me."
A Meadow Mouse came hurrying along. "I must get home to my babies," she said. "They will be frightened if I am not there."
 "Much good you can do when you are there!" growled a voice down under her feet. She was standing over the hole where the fat old Cricket was with his lame leg.
The mother Meadow Mouse looked rather angry for a minute, and then she answered: "I'm not so very large and strong, but I can squeak and let the Horses know where the nest is. Then they won't step on it. Last year I had ten or twelve babies there, and one of the men picked them up and looked at them and then put them back. I was so frightened that my fur stood on end and I shook like June grass in the wind."
"Humph! Too scared to run away," said the voice under her feet.
"Mothers don't run away and leave their children in danger," answered the Meadow Mouse. "I think it is a great deal braver to be brave when you are afraid than it is to be brave when you're  not afraid." She whisked her long tail and scampered off through the grass. She did not go the nearest way to her nest because she thought the Garter Snake might be watching. She didn't wish him to know where she lived. She knew he was fond of young Mice, and didn't want him to come to see her babies while she was away. She said he was not a good friend for young children.
"We don't mind it at all," said the Mosquitoes from the lower part of the meadow. "We are unusually hungry today anyway, and we shall enjoy having the men come."
"Nothing to make such a fuss over," said a Milkweed Butterfly. "Just crawl into your holes or fly away."
"Sometimes they step on the holes and close them," said an Ant. "What would you do if you were in a hole and it stopped being a hole and was just earth?"
 "Crawl out, I suppose," answered the Milkweed Butterfly with a careless flutter.
"Yes," said the Ant, "but I don't see what there would be to crawl out through."
The Milkweed Butterfly was already gone. Butterflies never worry about anything very long, you know.
"Has anybody seen the Measuring Worm?" asked the Katydid. "Where is he?"
"Oh, I'm up a tree," answered a pleasant voice above their heads, "but I sha'n't be up a tree very long. I shall come down when the grass is cut."
"Oh, dear, dear, dear!" cried the Ants, hurrying around. "We can't think what we want to do. We don't know what we ought to do. We can't think and we don't know, and we don't think that we ought to!"
"Click!" said a Grasshopper, springing into the air. "We must hurry, hurry,  hurry!" He jumped from a stalk of pepper-grass to a plantain. "We must hurry," he said, and he jumped from the plantain back to the pepper-grass.
Up in the tree where the Measuring Worm was, some Katydids were sitting on a branch and singing shrilly: "Did you ever? Did you ever? Ever? Ever? Ever? Did you ever?" And this shows how much excited they were, for they usually sang only at night.
Then the mower came sweeping down the field, drawn by the Blind Horse and the Dappled Gray, and guided by the farmer himself. The dust rose in clouds as they passed, the Grasshoppers gave mighty springs which took them out of the way, and all the singing and shrilling stopped until the mower had passed. The nodding grasses swayed and fell as the sharp knives slid over the ground. "We are going to be hay," they said, "and live in the big barn."
 "Now we shall grow some more tender green blades," said the grass roots.
"Fine weather for haying," snorted the Dappled Gray. "We'll cut all the grass in this field before noon."
"Good feeling ground to walk on," said the Blind Horse, tossing his head until the harness jingled.
Then the Horses and the farmer and the mower passed far away, and the meadow people came together again.
"Well," said the Tree Frog. "That's over for a while."
The Ants and the Grasshoppers came back to their old places. "We did just the right thing," they cried joyfully. "We got out of the way."
The Measuring Worm and the Katydids came down from their tree as the Milkweed Butterfly fluttered past. "The men left the grass standing around the Meadow Mouse's nest," said the Milkweed Butterfly, "and the Cows up  by the barn are telling how glad they will be to have the hay when the cold weather comes."
"Grass must grow and hay be cut," said the wise old Tree
Frog, "and when the time comes we always know what to do.
"I think," said the fat old Cricket, as he crawled out of his hole, "that my lame leg is well enough to use. There is nothing like rest for a lame leg."
The Man in the Moon as he sails the sky
Is a very remarkable skipper,
But he made a mistake when he tried to take
A drink of milk from the Dipper.
He dipped right out of the Milky Way,
And slowly and carefully filled it,
The Big Bear growled, and the Little Bear howled
And frightened him so that he spilled it!
WEEK 8 |
 IN the days of long ago, an old legend tells us, there lived a holy man whose heart was so filled with tender compassion for others that it even grieved him to think that there lay in the church-yard poor forgotten dead people for whom no one cared.
So, when the busy work of the day was done, this holy man made his way to the churchyard, and knelt and prayed there beside the lonely graves. He prayed so earnestly that he never noticed that the sun had set and the twilight was creeping on, and he never saw the silver moon as it rose over the hill. Hour after hour passed, and all the village lights were out, but still the saint knelt on in the churchyard. And then it was that the angels came.
They came in solemn procession, robed in white, with silver censers in their hands, but there was no great glory or heavenly light around them, and the saint thought they were a company of priests passing through the churchyard. Only their garments were whiter than any earthly robes, and the perfume that rose from the silver censers was sweeter than anything on earth.
Here and there among the grass-grown mounds the procession stayed, and the censers were swung  as if before the shrine of a saint. They were but poor neglected graves by which the white-robed angels stopped, some without even a name to mark them, and some among the nettles, where the grass grew so high and rank that there was scarcely a trace to show a grave was there at all. But even there the silver censers were swung on high, and the incense, sweet as the breath of flowers, floated up to heaven.
Each night the holy man returned to pray in the quiet churchyard, and each night the white-robed figures came and went, and the saint longed to ask them what they did. At last, taking courage, he stopped them and put his question. But even as he spoke he knew that these were no earthly priests but a company of angels.
"We are God's messengers," answered one of the white-robed throng, "sent by Him to do honour to His saints whose bodies lie forgotten here. Even their dust is dear to Him, and although the world has forgotten them, He marks their hallowed graves. Each night He sends us to His garden, where His seeds are sown which shall one day, like the flowers, blossom into a more glorious body."
It is a beautiful thought which this old legend teaches us—the thought that even the dust of God's saints is precious in His sight. It comes as a comforting message when we find how quickly the busy world forgets even the names of those saints to whom it owes so much; when the visions which have kept the world in touch with heaven have been forgotten and faith grows dim.
 Among the many half-forgotten churchyards there is one in the little clachan of Shiskine among the Arran hills, where perhaps there is many a humble mound over which the angels swing their silver censers; and we know at least one saint by name whose dust lies there. A flat grey stone covers the grave, and on it is cut the name of Saint Molios and his story still lingers in the memory of the old folk in the country round, although to the young ones he is little more than a name.
But when winter comes, and the evenings are dark and long, the children often ask for a story, and are content then to listen to the tale of Saint Molios. The old grandmother in her white mutch sits in the armchair close to the fire, while the children gather round on their little stools. The sweet scent of peat smoke fills the kitchen and wraps everything in a blue haze, so that the oil-lamp which hangs from the rafters above scarcely lifts the shadows from the dark corners where cupboard-beds can dimly be seen.
"Och ay," says the grandmother, a smile on her sweet old face as her mind goes back to the past, "He was a good man was he they ca' Saint Molaise. Folk say he lived a terrible strict life over yonder in the Holy Isle, close to Lamlash. His house was a wee bit cave, high up among the rocks, and a' he had for a bed was a shelf cut oot o' the side o' the rock, scarcely wide eneuch to turn in. He had a bath too, doon by the sea, for he was aye fond o' the water, and summer and winter he would go in to wash."
 Here for a moment her eye rested upon a little grimy upturned face, which blushed and hid itself against her petticoat.
"He knew it was a good thing to keep the body clean as well as the soul. All alone he lived with no a body to help him, and all the time he had for idleness he was praying and praising God. 'Twas him that brocht the Gospel to the Arran folk, and aften he would cross the hills and come awa' doon to the clachan here, and teach and preach the Word o' God.
"If ony o' the folk were in trouble and needed a friend, it was to Molaise they turned, and he was aye ready to help, not only with the words o' comfort, but with kind acts as well. The poor loved his very name, and the bairns would rin by his side haudin' on to his hand: they likit fine to look up and see the smile on his face. Awa' doon by his cave the sea-birds would come fleein' roond as if they too had come to listen to the good words o' the saint, and the wild deer in the bracken would just gie him a friendly look and go on chumping away at the grass as he passed. They werena feart for him, for a' beasts ken well eneuch that when a man loves God he loves God's craturs too.
"There were few graveyards in Arran in those days, and they carried most o' the dead to the wee kirkyard here; and so, when the good man died, they brocht his body across the island and laid him there at the foot o' the hills, where the burn is aye singing; where the grey stones stand so straight and solemn, pointing up the glen.
 "They made a picter of Saint Molaise cut oot o' the stone, and put it there to show where he was laid. And there it lay, winter and summer, for hundreds and hundreds o' years, so they say. And when I was a bairn we had no gran' picter books like what ye have now. The only picter we had was the old stone of Molaise, and we a' loved it and thocht it awfu' bonnie. And when we had a holiday frae the schule it was always there we went, to the wee kirkyard to see the picter on Molaise's stone.
"Whenever a baby was born in the clachan, its mother would go and pit a silver saxpence on the old stone, a kind o' thanksgiving they ca'ed it. But the saxpence never bade there for long, and we bairns aye thocht it was ta'en awa' by Sandy the herd. He was a puir body was Sandy, no quite like ither folk, and he was aye sae joyful when he heard o' a birth in the clachan. There's a queer kind o' crack across the old stone just above where the saint's knees would come, and my mither would sometimes be telling us the tale of how that happened. It was one day, she said, when they would be bringing an old man from the north end o' the island to be buried at Shiskine. There were no roads then where they could drive a cart, so they had to carry the chest on long spakes; and one o' the young men when he got to the kirkyard would be very tired and kind o' impatient, for it had been a heavy job. So he flung down the spake while he would be swearing, and it fell across the saint's stone and crackit it clean across by the knees. An' that very night, when the  young man was finding his way home above the cliffs o' Drumadoon, he slippit and fell, and they found him next morning with baith his legs broken clean across, in the very same place where he had cracked Molaise's stone. Mind I'm no sayin' that was the reason he slippit and hurt himself. Maybe it was, maybe it wasna. But ye can see the crack across the old stone to this day.
"Och ay, but ye wunna find the stone in the old place now. They couldna let it bide in the place where it had always been, but they must take it up to be an ornament for the gran' new kirk, and poor Molaise's picter stands there now, and the grave has only a plain grey stone to mark it.
"Never a hand in the clachan could be bribed to lift that stone, and so they brocht men from the ither side o' the island and took it away in the mirk when no a body saw. Ay, but they say that after moving the saint's picter, one o' the men driving home in the cart met with a terrible accident, for the wheel came off the cart, and the man was coupit oot and was very near killed."
So runs the old woman's story, and if you wander up the glen by the side of the surging burn, past the little ruined church to the old churchyard, you will find among the long dank grass the tomb of Saint Molios. The purple heather grows close to the churchyard gate; the silent hills, like great watchers, keep guard over God's little garden there; and it seems a fitting place for the saint of Arran to take his rest "until the day break, and the shadows flee away."
An old woman had seven children.
She made a big pancake.
The children said, "We want that big pancake."
The pancake heard the children.
It said, "The children shall not eat me."
And it rolled away.
 The old woman ran after the pancake.
The seven children ran after it.
The old woman said, "Stop, pancake. My children want to eat you."
The pancake said, "I can not stop for you."
And it rolled away.
 An old man saw the pancake.
He said, "Good-day, pancake."
"Good-day, old man," said the pancake.
"Stop," said the old man. "Do not go so fast. I want to eat you."
 The pancake said, "I did not stop for the old woman, I did not stop for the seven children, I can not stop for you."
And it rolled away.
It rolled, and it rolled, and it rolled.
 She said, "Good-day, pancake."
"Good-day, hen," said the pancake.
"Stop, pancake," said the hen. "Do not go so fast. I want to eat you."
The pancake said, "I did not stop for the old woman, I did not stop for the seven children, I did not stop for the old man. I can not stop for you."
 And it rolled away.
It rolled, and it rolled, and it rolled.
A cock saw the pancake.
He said, "Good-day to you, pancake."
"Good-day, cock," said the pancake.
 "Stop," said the cock. "Do not go so fast. I want to eat you."
The pancake said, "I did not stop for the old woman, I did not stop for the seven children, I did not stop for the old man, I did not stop for the hen, I can not stop for you."
And it rolled away.
It rolled, and it rolled, and it rolled.
 A boy saw the pancake.
"Stop, stop," said the boy. "You are a big pancake. I want to eat you."
The pancake said, "I did not stop for the old woman, I did not stop for the seven children,  I did not stop for the old man, I did not stop for the hen, I did not stop for the cock, I can not stop for you."
And it rolled away.
It rolled, and it rolled, and it rolled.
A dog saw the pancake.
"Stop, stop," said the dog.  "You are a big pancake. I want to eat you."
The pancake said, "I did not stop for the old woman, I did not stop for the seven children, I did not stop for the old man, I did not stop for the cock, I did not stop for the hen, I did not stop for the boy, I can not stop for you."
And it rolled away.
It rolled, and it rolled, and it rolled.
 The pancake came to the woods.
A pig saw the pancake.
"Good-day to you," said the pig.
"Good-day," said the pancake.
"Do not go so fast," said the pig. "I will go into the woods with you."
 The pancake said, "I thank you. I will go with you."
So they went into the woods.
They came to a brook.
The pig said, "I can swim over the brook."
"I can not swim," said the pancake. "I can not go into the water."
 The pig said, "Get on my snout, And I will swim over with you."
The pancake got on the pig's snout.
The pig said, "Ouf, ouf! You are a good pancake."
And he ate it up.
The cock's on the house-top,
Blowing his horn;
The bull's in the barn,
A-threshing of corn;
The maids in the meadows
Are making the hay,
The ducks in the river
Are swimming away.
WEEK 8 |
THERE is a town in England called Gotham, and many merry stories are told of the queer people who used to live there.
One day two men of Gotham met on a bridge. Hodge was coming from the market, and Peter was going to the market.
"Where are you going?" said Hodge.
"I am going to the market to buy sheep," said Peter.
"Buy sheep?" said Hodge. "And which way will you bring them home?"
"I shall bring them over this bridge," said Peter.
"No, you shall not," said Hodge.
"Yes, but I will," said Peter.
"You shall not," said Hodge.
"I will," said Peter.
 Then they beat with their sticks on the ground as though there had been a hundred sheep between them.
"Take care!" cried Peter. "Look out that my sheep don't jump on the bridge."
"I care not where they jump," said Hodge; "but they shall not go over it."
"But they shall," said Peter.
"Have a care," said Hodge; "for if you say too much, I will put my fingers in your mouth."
"Will you?" said Peter.
Just then another man of Gotham came from the market with a sack of meal on his horse. He heard his neighbors quarreling about sheep; but he could see no sheep between them, and so he stopped and spoke to them.
"Ah, you foolish fellows!" he cried. "It is strange that you will never learn wisdom.—Come here, Peter, and help me lay my sack on my shoulder. "
Peter did so, and the man carried his meal to the side of the bridge.
"Now look at me," he said, "and learn a lesson." And he opened the mouth of the sack, and poured all the meal into the river.
"Now, neighbors," he said, "can you tell how much meal is in my sack?"
"How much meal is in my sack?"
 "There is none at all!" cried Hodge and Peter together.
"You are right," said the man; "and you that stand here and quarrel about nothing, have no more sense in your heads than I have meal in my sack!"
T HE next morning Kit and Kat woke up very early, without any one's calling them. You see, they were afraid they would be too late to go with the milk cart.
But Grandfather Winkle had only just gone out to get the milk ready, and they had plenty of time to dress while Grandmother got breakfast. Grandmother helped with the buttons and the hard parts.
Grandmother Winkle's kitchen was quite like the kitchen at home, only a little nicer. It had red tiles on the floor; and it had ever so many blue plates hanging around on the walls, and standing on edge in a row on the shelves. There was a warming-pan with a bright brass cover, hanging on the wall; and I wish you could have seen the pillows and the coverlet on the best bed!
 Grandmother Winkle had embroidered those all herself, and she was very proud of them. When she had company, she always drew the curtains back so that her beautiful bed would be seen. She said that Kit and Kat were company, and she always left the curtains open when they came to visit her.
When the Twins were all dressed, Grandmother said,
"Mercy sakes! You have on your best clothes! Now that's just like a man to promise to take you out in your best clothes in a milk wagon! Whatever was Grandfather thinking about!"
Kit and Kat thought she was going to say that they couldn't go, so they dug their knuckles in their eyes and began to cry. But they hadn't got farther than the first whimper when Grandmother said,
"Well, well, we must fix it somehow. Don't cry now, that's a good Kit and Kat." So the Twins took their knuckles out of their eyes and began to smile.
 Grandmother went to the press and brought out two aprons. One was a very small apron. It wouldn't reach to Kit's knees. But she put it on him and tied it around his waist.
"This was your Uncle Jan's when he was a little boy," she said. "It's pretty small, but it will help some."
Kit wished that Uncle Jan had taken it with him when he went to America. But he didn't say so.
 Then Grandmother took another apron out of the press. It looked as if it had been there a long time.
"Kat, you must wear this," she said. "It was your mother's when she was a little girl."
Now, this apron was all faded, and it had patches on it of different kinds of cloth. Kat looked at her best dress. Then she looked at the apron. Then she thought about the milk cart. She wondered if she  wanted to go in the milk cart badly enough to wear that apron over her Sunday dress! She stuck her finger in her mouth and looked sidewise at Grandmother Winkle.
Grandmother didn't say a word. She just looked firm and held up the apron.
Very soon Kat came slowly—very slowly—and Grandmother buttoned the apron up behind, and that was the end of that.
The Twins could hardly eat any breakfast, they were in such a hurry to go. As soon as they had taken the last spoonful, and Grandfather Winkle had finished his coffee, they ran out into the place where the dogs were kept, to help Grandfather harness them.
There were two black and white dogs. Their names were Peter and Paul.
The wagon was small, just the right size for the dogs; and it was painted blue. The bright brass cans full of milk were already in; and there was a little seat for Kat to sit on.
 When the last strap was fastened, Grandfather lifted Kat up and set her on the seat. She held on with both hands.
Then Grandfather gave the lines to Kit, and a little stick for a whip, and told him to walk slowly along beside the dogs. He told him to be sure not to let go of the lines.
 Grandfather walked behind, carrying some milk cans.
Grandmother stood in the door to see them off; and, as they started away, Kat took one hand off the cart long enough to wave it to her. Then she held on again; for the bricks in the pavement made the cart joggle a good deal.
"We must go first to Vrouw de Vet," Grandfather called out. "She takes one quart of milk. Go slowly."
At first Kit went slowly. But pretty soon there was a great rattling behind him; and Hans Hite, a boy he knew, drove right past him with his dog cart! He drove fast; and, as he passed Kit, he stuck out his tongue and called out,
"Milk for sale! Milk for sale!
A milk cart drawn by a pair of snails!"
Kit forgot all about going slowly.
"Get up!" he said to the dogs, and he touched them with his long stick.
Peter and Paul "got up." They jumped forward and began to run!
 Kit ran as fast as his legs would go beside the dogs, holding the lines. But the dogs had four legs apiece, and Kit had only two; so you see he couldn't keep up very well.
Kat began to scream the moment that Peter and Paul began to run. The dogs thought that something that made a dreadful noise was after them, and they ran faster  than ever. You see, Grandfather Winkle never in the world screamed like that, and Peter and Paul didn't know what to make of it. So they ran and ran and ran.
Kat held on the best she could, but she bounced up ever so far in the air every time the cart struck a bump in the street. So did the milk cans; and when they came down again, the milk splashed out.
Kat didn't always come down in the same spot. All the spots were hard, so it didn't really matter much which one she struck as she came down.
But Kat didn't think about that; she just screamed. And Peter and Paul ran and ran, and Kit ran and ran, until he couldn't run any more; he just sat down hard on the pavement and slid along. But he didn't let go of the lines!
When Kit sat down, it jerked the dogs so hard that they stopped suddenly. But Kat didn't stop; she went right on. She flew out over the front of the cart and landed on the ground, among all of Peter  and Paul's legs! Then she stopped going, but she didn't stop screaming.
And, though Kit was a boy, he screamed some too. Then Peter and Paul pointed their noses up in the air and began to howl.
Way back, ever so far, Grandfather was coming along as fast as he could; but that wasn't very fast.
All the doors on the street flew open, and all the good housewives came clattering out to see what was the matter. They picked Kat up and told her not to cry, and wiped her eyes with their aprons, and stood Kit on his feet, and patted the dogs; and pretty soon Peter and Paul stopped barking, and Kit and Kat stopped screaming, and then it was time to find out what had really happened.
Neither of the Twins had any broken bones; the good housewives wiggled all their arms and legs, and felt of their bones to see. But shocking things had happened, nevertheless! Kat had torn a great hole in the front of her best dress; and Kit had  worn two round holes in the seat of his Sunday clothes, where he slid along on the pavement; and, besides that, the milk was slopped all over the bottom of the cart!
Just then Grandfather came up. If it hadn't been that his pipe was still in his mouth, I really don't know what he might not have said! He looked at the cart, and he looked at the Twins. Then he took his pipe out of his mouth and said sternly to Kit,
 "Why didn't you do as I told you?"
"I did," said Kit, very much scared. "You told me to be sure to hold tight to the lines, and I did! I never let go once."
"Yes, and look at his clothes," said one of the women. She turned him around and showed Grandfather the holes.
 "I told you to go slowly," said Grandfather. "Now look at the cart, and see what you've done by not minding,—spoiled your best clothes and Kat's, and spilled the milk! Go back to Grandmother."
"But I couldn't mind twice at one time," said Kit. "I was minding about not letting go."
"Oh dear," sobbed Kat, "I wish we were four and a half feet high now! If we were, this never would have happened."
Grandfather took the dogs and went on to Vrouw de Vet's, without another word.
The Twins took each other's hands, and walked back to Grandmother's house. Quite a number of little boys and girls in wooden shoes clattered along with them. Grand-  mother heard all the noise, and ran to the door to see what was the matter.
"Laws a mercy me, I told you so!" she cried, the moment she saw them. "Look at your clothes! See how you've torn them!"
"I can't see the holes in mine," said Kit.
"But I can," said Kat. And then all the children talked at once; and what with wooden shoes and the tongues all going, Grandmother clapped her hands over her ears to shut out the noise. Then she took Kit and Kat into the kitchen and shut the door. She put on her glasses and got down on the floor so she could see better.
Then she turned Kit and Kat all around and looked at the holes. "O! my soul!" she said. She took off the aprons and the torn clothes and put the Twins to bed while she mended.
She got out a pair of Grandfather's oldest velveteen breeches that had been patched a great deal, and found a good piece to patch with. Then she patched the holes in  Kit's breeches so neatly that one had to look very carefully indeed to see that there had ever been any holes there at all.
Then she patched Kat's dress; and, when it was all done, she shook it out and said to herself,
"Seems to me those Twins have been quiet for a long time."
She went over to the cupboard bed; and there were Kit and Kat fast asleep; with their cheeks all stained with tears and dirt. Grand-  mother Winkle kissed them. Kit and Kat woke up, and Grandmother dressed them in their Sunday clothes again, and washed their faces and made them feel as good as new.
By and by Grandfather Winkle came home from going about with the milk. Grandmother Winkle scrubbed the cart and made it all clean again; and by noon you would never have known, unless you had looked very, very closely—much more closely than would be polite—that anything had happened to the Twins or the milk cart, or their clothes or anything.
After they had eaten their dinner, and the dogs were rested and Grandfather had smoked his pipe he said,
"Kit, if you think you can mind, I will take you and Kat both home in the dog cart." Kit and Kat both nodded their heads very hard. "Only, I'll do the driving myself," said Grandfather Winkle. And he did.
He put Kit and Kat both on the seat, and  he walked slowly beside the cart. They went out on the road beside the canal toward home. They got there just as the sun was getting low in the west, and Vrouw Vedder was going out to feed her chickens.
As I walked over the hill one day,
I listened and heard a mother-sheep say,
"In all the green world there is nothing so sweet,
As my little lamb, with his nimble feet;
With his eye so bright,
And his wool so white,
Oh, he is my darling, my heart's delight!"
And the mother-sheep and her little one
Side by side lay down in the sun.
I went to the kitchen and what did I see,
But the old gray cat with her kittens three!
I heard her whispering soft: said she,
"My kittens, with tails so cunningly curled,
Are the prettiest things that can be in the world.
The bird on the tree,
And the old ewe, she,
May love their babies exceedingly;
But I love my kittens there,
Under the rocking-chair.
I love my kittens with all my might,
I love them at morning, noon, and night.
Now I'll take up my kitties, the kitties I love,
And we'll lie down together, beneath the warm stove."
I went to the yard and saw the old hen
Go clucking about with her chickens ten;
She clucked and she scratched and she bustled away,
And what do you think I heard the hen say?
I heard her say, "The sun never did shine
On anything like to these chickens of mine;
You may hunt the full moon, and the stars, if you please,
But you never will find such chickens as these.
My dear, downy darlings, my sweet little things,
Come, nestle now cozily under my wings."
So the hen said,
And the chickens all sped
As fast as they could to their nice feather bed.
WEEK 8 |
 In the court of the Netherlands there was great gladness, for tidings had come that Prince Siegfried and his beautiful wife were already on their homeward way.
King Siegmund rejoiced, and resolved that now indeed his son should wear the crown.
Sieglinde wept for joy, then dried her tears, and bade her maidens look out their richest robes that they might welcome the young bride as became her rank.
Then the King and Queen rode forth to meet the travellers, and greeted them with kisses and fair words, and with great rejoicings the whole company returned to the castle. Here a great feast was held, and Siegmund, calling together all his liegemen, placed the crown upon his dear son's head, bidding them henceforth swear fealty to him alone.
 The Netherlanders were indeed well pleased to have the mighty hero Siegfried for their king, and the castle walls shook with the shouts of strong men crying, "Hail, King Siegfried, hail!"
For ten years Siegfried ruled and did justice in the land. At the end of ten years a little son came to gladden the hearts of the brave King and his gentle wife, and in memory of her royal brother, Kriemhild named him Gunther.
Now Queen Sieglinde had grown old and feeble, and after her little grandson had been born she grew still more weak until one day she passed away from earth.
Then Kriemhild took charge of the royal household. So kind was she and gentle that she was loved by all her maidens and indeed by all who dwelt in the castle.
Meanwhile Brunhild, the haughty Queen of Burgundy, was not happy, even her little son could not bring joy to her heart. Little had she to vex her, yet day by day her unhappiness grew.
Siegfried was now a mightier King than Gunther, and this displeased her more and  more, for certainly he had once been but her lord's vassal. Had she not herself, from her castle window at Isenland, seen him hold King Gunther's charger until he had mounted, and that a Prince would have scorned to do. Yet to-day Siegfried was a King. Brunhild could not understand how this could be, and the more she thought about it, the angrier she grew. Even the gentle Kriemhild seemed to have grown haughty and disdainful, and for her too Brunhild had no love.
At length Brunhild made up her mind to speak to her husband.
"It is many years," she said to King Gunther, "since Siegfried has been at Worms. Bid him come hither with his wife."
Then Gunther frowned, ill-pleased at her words. "Thou dost not dream that I may command so mighty a King as Siegfried!" he cried.
But these words only made the Queen more angry. "However great Siegfried may be, he dare not disobey his lord," she said.
King Gunther smiled to himself at Brunhild's foolish thoughts. Full well he knew that the  King of the Netherlands owed no duty to him, the King of Burgundy.
Then Brunhild, seeing that by anger she would not gain her wish, smiled and coming close to Gunther said, "My lord, fain would I see thy sweet sister once more. If thou mayest not bid, wilt thou not entreat Siegfried to bring Kriemhild to our country that again we may sit together as we were used to do? In truth the gentleness of thy lady sister did ever please me well."
Now Gunther, hearing his wife's kind words, was wishful to do her will. Therefore he sent for thirty warriors, and bade them ride into King Siegfried's land, and entreat him once again to come with his fair wife to the royal city of Worms. Queen Uté also sent messages to Queen Kriemhild beseeching her to come again to her own country.
Well pleased was Kriemhild when the knights from Burgundy were shown into her presence, and right glad was the welcome given to them by King Siegfried. Then one of the knights hastened to deliver King Gunther's greetings and the greetings of Queen Uté and her ladies.
 "The King and Queen bid you also welcome to a high festival which they hold as soon as the winter is ended," he said.
But King Siegfried, thinking of all the business of the state, answered courteously, "Nay, I fear that I may scarce leave my land without a king. Yet will I lodge you here while I take counsel with my liegemen."
For nine days King Gunther's men tarried in the Netherlands, and banquets and tournaments were given in their honour.
Then Siegfried summoned his liegemen together and told them of King Gunther's desire that he and his Queen should go to Rhineland, and bade them give him their counsel.
"Take with thee a thousand warriors, sire, and if it be thy will ride thus into Burgundy," said the King's chief adviser.
"I also will go with thee," said Siegmund, for well did he love his son. "I also will go with thee and take a hundred swordsmen along with me."
Right glad was Siegfried when he heard his father's words. "My own good father dear," he cried, and seizing his hand he kissed it. "In  twelve days will I leave my realm and journey toward Burgundy, and thou shalt ride with me and Queen Kriemhild."
Then the heralds of King Gunther, laden with rich gifts, were bidden to hasten back to their own land with tidings that Siegfried and his Queen would ere long follow them to the royal city.
When the heralds stood again before King Gunther, they delivered their tidings, and then spread out before him and his courtiers the raiment and the gold which Siegfried had bestowed upon them.
Hagen looked upon the gifts, his keen eyes full of greed. "Well may the mighty King Siegfried give such gifts," he said. "If he were to live for ever, yet could he not spend the great treasure which he possesses in the land of the Nibelungs."
 One fine morning Siegfried and all his fair company set out on their journey to Rhineland. Their little son they left at the palace in the Netherlands.
As they drew near to Burgundy, a band of Gunther's most gallant warriors rode forth to meet their guests. Brunhild also went to greet the royal company, yet in her heart the hatred she felt for Siegfried and his wife grew ever more fierce, more cruel.
Gunther rejoiced when he saw the brave light-hearted hero once again, and he welcomed him right royally. As for Brunhild, she kissed the Queen of the Netherlands, and smiled upon her, so that the lovely lady was well pleased with her greeting.
Twelve hundred gallant warriors sat round the banqueting table in the good city of Worms  that day. Then the feast ended, and the travellers sought their couches, weary with their long journey. The next morning the great chests which they had brought with them were opened, and many precious stones, and many beautiful garments were bestowed by King Siegfried and Queen Kriemhild on the ladies and the knights of the royal city.
Queen Uté, too, was happy, for now again she might look upon the face of her dear daughter.
Then a tournament was held, and the knights tilted, while beautiful damsels looked down upon them from the galleries of the great hall. And at evensong the happy court would wend its way to the Minster, and there, the Queens, wearing their crowns of state, would enter side by side. Thus for eleven days all went merry as a marriage ball.
One evening, ere the Minster bell pealed for vespers, the two Queens sat side by side under a silken tent. They were talking of Siegfried and Gunther, their lords.
"There is no braver warrior in the wide world than my lord Siegfried," said Kriemhild.
 "Nay," cried Brunhild angrily, "nay, thou dost forget thy brother, King Gunther. None, I trow, is mightier than he."
Then the gentle Kriemhild forgot her gentle ways, and bitter to Queen Brunhild's ears were the words she spoke.
"My royal brother is neither strong nor brave as is my lord," she cried. "Dost thou not know that Siegfried it was, not Gunther, who vanquished thee in the contests held at thy castle in Isenland? Dost thou not know that it was Siegfried, clad in his Coat of Darkness, who wrested from thee both thy girdle and thy ring?" And Kriemhild pointed to the girdle which she was wearing round her waist, to the ring which she was wearing on her finger.
Brunhild, when she saw her girdle and her ring, wept, and her tears were tears of anger. Never would she forgive Siegfried for treating her thus; never would she forgive Kriemhild for telling her the truth.
"Alas! alas!" cried the angry Queen, "no hero have I wed, but a feeble-hearted knave."
Meanwhile, Kriemhild, already grieved that  she had spoken thus foolishly, had left the angry Queen and gone down to the Minster to vespers.
That evening Brunhild had no smiles, no gentle words, for her lord.
"It was Siegfried, not thou, my lord, who vanquished me in the contests at Isenland," she said in a cold voice to the startled King.
Had Siegfried then dared to boast to the Queen of the wonderful feats he had done in the land across the sea? Nay, King Gunther could not quite believe that the hero would thus boast of his great strength.
But the Queen was still scolding him, so Gunther, in his dismay, stammered, "We will summon the King to our presence, and he shall tell us why he has dared to boast of his might as though he were stronger than I."
When Siegfried stood before the angry Brunhild, the crestfallen King said as sternly as he dared, "Hast thou boasted that it was thou who conquered the maiden Brunhild?"
But even as he spoke all Gunther's suspicions fled away. Siegfried with the steadfast eyes  and the happy laugh had never betrayed him. Of that he felt quite sure. It was true that he might have told his wife Kriemhild—
Ah, now King Gunther knew what had happened! Not Siegfried, but his lady sister had told Brunhild the secret. Truly it was no fault of the gallant hero that Queen Brunhild had that day learned the secret which he would fain have kept from her for ever.
So King Gunther stretched out his hand to Siegfried, who had stood in silence before him, and said, "Not thou, but my sister Kriemhild hath boasted of thy prowess in Isenland," and the two Kings walked away together leaving Brunhild in her anger.
But not long was she left to weep alone, for Hagen, the keen-eyed, coming into the hall, saw her tears.
"Gracious lady, wherefore dost thou weep?" he asked.
"I weep for anger," said Brunhild, and she told Hagen the foolish words which Siegfried's wife had spoken.
When Hagen had heard them he smiled grimly to himself. Siegfried, the hero, nor his  beautiful wife, should escape his vengeance now. And he began at once to plan with the Queen how he might punish them. Well did he know that Brunhild would do all in her power to aid him in his plots.
Slowly but very surely Hagen drew Gernot and one or two warriors into his schemes against the King of the Netherlands. But when Giselher heard that the cruel counsellors even wished to slay Siegfried, he was angry, and said bravely, "Never has Siegfried deserved such hate from any knight of Burgundy."
But Hagen did not cease his evil whispers against the hero. He would even steal upon King Gunther as he sat at his council-table, and he would whisper in his ear that if Siegfried were not so strong, his Burgundian heroes would win more glory for their arms, that if Siegfried were not living, all his broad lands would belong, through Kriemhild, to Burgundy.
At first, Gunther would bid Hagen be silent, and lay aside his hate of the mighty hero. But afterward he would listen and only murmur, "If Siegfried heard thy words, none of us would  be safe from his wrath." For King Gunther was weak and easily made to fear.
"Fear not," said Hagen grimly, "Siegfried shall never hear of our plots. Leave the matter to me. I will send for two strange heralds to come to our land. They shall pretend that they have come from our old enemies, Ludegast and Ludeger, and they shall challenge us to battle once again."
"When Siegfried hears that thou must go forth to fight, he will even as aforetime offer to go for thee against the foe. Then, methinks, shall I learn the secret of the great warrior's strength from Kriemhild, ere he set out, as she will believe he must do, for the battlefield."
And Gunther listened and feared to gainsay the words of his wicked counsellor, also he thought of the great treasure, and longed that he might possess it.
A FEW days after the Measuring Worm came to the meadow he met the Grasshoppers. Everybody had heard of the Caterpillars' wish to be fashionable, and some of the young Grasshoppers, who did not know that it was all a joke, said they would like to teach the Measuring Worm a few things. So when they met him the young Grasshoppers began to make fun of him, and asked him what he did if he wanted to run, and whether he didn't wish his head grew on  the middle of his back so that he could see better when walking.
The Measuring Worm was good-natured, and only said that he found his head useful where it was. Soon one fine-looking Grasshopper asked him to race. "That will show," said the Grasshopper, "which is the better traveller."
The Measuring Worm said: "Certainly, I will race with you to-morrow, and we will ask all our friends to look on." Then he began talking about something else. He was a wise young fellow, as well as a jolly one, and he knew the Grasshoppers felt sure that he would be beaten. "If I cannot win the race by swift running," thought he, "I must try to win it by good planning." So he got the Grasshoppers to go with him to a place where the sweet young grass grew, and they all fed together.
The Measuring Worm nibbled only a little here and there, but he talked a great  deal about the sweetness of the grass, and how they would not get any more for a long time because the hot weather would spoil it. And the Grasshoppers said to each other: "He is right, and we must eat all we can while we have it." So they ate, and ate, and ate, and ate, until sunset, and in the morning they awakened and began eating again. When the time for the race came, they were all heavy and stupid from so much eating,—which was exactly what the Measuring Worm wanted.
The Tree Frog, the fat, old Cricket, and a Caterpillar were chosen to be the judges, and the race was to be a long one,—from the edge of the woods to the fence. When the meadow people were all gathered around to see the race, the Cricket gave a shrill chirp, which meant "Go!" and off they started. That is to say, the Measuring Worm started. The Grasshopper felt so sure he could beat  that he wanted to give the Measuring Worm a little head start, because then, you see, he could say he had won without half trying.
The Measuring Worm started off at a good, steady rate, and when he had gone a few feet the Grasshopper gave a couple of great leaps, which landed him far ahead of the Worm. Then he stopped to nibble a blade of grass and visit with some Katydids who were looking on. By and by he took a few more leaps and passed the Measuring Worm again. This time he began to show off by jumping up straight into the air, and when he came down he would call out to those who stood near to see how strong he was and how easy it would be for him to win the race. And everybody said, "How strong he is, to be sure!" "What wonderful legs he has!" and "He could beat the Measuring Worm with his eyes shut!" which made the Grasshopper so exceedingly vain that he stopped  more and more often to show his strength and daring.
That was the way it went, until they were only a short distance from the end of the race course. The Grasshopper was more and more pleased to think how easily he was winning, and stopped for a last time to nibble grass and make fun of the Worm. He gave a great leap into the air, and when he came down there was the Worm on the fence! All the Meadow people croaked, and shrilled, and chirped to see the way in which the race ended, and the Grasshopper was very much vexed. "You shouldn't call him the winner," he said; "I can travel ten times as fast as he, if I try."
"Yes," answered the judges, "we all know that, yet the winning of the race is not decided by what you might do, but by what you did do." And the meadow people all cried: "Long live the Measuring Worm! Long live the Measuring Worm!"
I woke before the morning, I was happy all the day,
I never said an ugly word, but smiled and stuck to play.
And now at last the sun is going down behind the wood,
And I am very happy, for I know that I've been good.
My bed is waiting cool and fresh, with linen smooth and fair,
And I must off to sleepsin-by, and not forget my prayer.
I know that, till to-morrow when I see the sun arise,
No ugly dream shall fright my mind, no ugly sight my eyes.
But slumber hold me tightly till I waken in the dawn,
And hear the thrushes singing in the lilacs round the lawn.
WEEK 8 |
 JOHN STARK was a famous general in the Revolution. But this story is not about the Revolution. It is about Stark before he became a soldier.
When he was a young man, Stark went into the woods. His brother and two other young men were with him. They lived in a camp. It was far away from any houses.
The young men set traps for animals in many places. They wanted to catch the animals that have fur on them. They wanted to get the skins to sell.
The Indians were at war with the white people. One day the young men saw the tracks of Indians. Then they knew that it was not safe for them to stay in the woods any longer. They began to get ready to go home.
John Stark went out to bring in the traps set for animals. The Indians found him, and made him a prisoner. They asked him where his friends were.
Stark did not wish his friends to be taken. So he pointed the wrong way. He took the Indians a long way from the other young men.
But John Stark's friends did not know that he was a prisoner. When he did not come back, they  thought that he had lost his way. They fired their guns to let him know where they were.
When the Indians heard the guns, they knew where the other hunters were. They went down to the river, and waited for them. When one of the men came down, they caught him.
Then John Stark's brother and the other man came down the river in a boat. The Indians told Stark to call them. They wanted them to come over where the Indians were. Then they could take them.
John knew that the Indians were cruel. He knew that if he did not do what they told him to, they might kill him. But he wished to save his brother. He called to his brother to row for the other shore.
When they turned toward the other shore, the Indians fired at them. But Stark knocked up two of their guns. They did not hit the white men. Then some of the other Indians fired. Stark knocked up their guns also. But the man that was with his brother was killed.
John now called to his brother, "Run! for all the Indians' guns are empty."
His brother got away. The Indians were very angry with John. They did not kill him. But they gave him a good beating.
Stark running the Gauntlet
 These Indians were from Canada. They took their prisoners to their own village. When they were coming home, they shouted to let the people know that they had prisoners.
The young Indian warriors stood in two rows in the village. Each prisoner had to run between these two rows of Indians. As he passed, every one of the Indians hit him as hard as he could with a stick, or a club, or a stone.
The young man who was with Stark was badly hurt in running between these lines. But John Stark knew the Indians. He knew that they liked a brave man.
When it came his turn to run, he snatched a club from one of the Indians. With this club he fought his way down the lines. He hit hard, now on this side, and now on that. The young Indians got out of his way. The old Indians who were looking on sat and laughed at the others. They said that Stark was a brave man.
One day the Indians gave him a hoe and told him to hoe corn. He knew that the Indian warriors would not work. They think it a shame for a man to work. Their work is left for slaves and women. So Stark pretended that he did not know how to hoe. He dug up the corn instead of the weeds. Then he threw the hoe into the river.
 He said, "That is work for slaves and women."
Then the Indians were pleased with him. They called him the young chief.
After a while some white men paid the Indians a hundred and three dollars to let Stark go home. They charged more for him than for the other man, because they thought that he must be a young chief. Stark went hunting again. He had to get some furs to pay back the money the men had paid the Indians for him. He took good care that the Indians should not catch him again.
He afterwards became a great fighter against the Indians. He had learned their ways while he was among them. He knew better how to fight them than almost anybody else.
In the Revolution he was a general. He fought the British at Bennington, and won a great victory.
A T one time a dishonest king had a man called the Valuer in his court. The Valuer set the price which ought to be paid for horses and elephants and the other animals. He also set the price on jewelry and gold, and things of that kind.
This man was honest and just, and set the proper price to be paid to the owners of the goods.
The king was not pleased with this Valuer, because he was honest. "If I had another sort of a man as Valuer, I might gain more riches," he thought.
One day the king saw a stupid, miserly peasant come into the palace yard. The king sent for the fellow and asked him if he would like to be the Valuer. The peasant said he would like the position. So the king had him made Valuer. He sent the honest Valuer away from the palace.
Then the peasant began to set the prices on horses  and elephants, upon gold and jewels. He did not know their value, so he would say anything he chose. As the king had made him Valuer, the people had to sell their goods for the price he set.
So they went before the king.
By and by a horse-dealer brought five hundred horses to the court of this king. The Valuer came and said they were worth a mere measure of rice. So the king ordered the horse-dealer to be given the measure of rice, and the horses to be put in the palace stables.
 The horse-dealer went then to see the honest man who had been the Valuer, and told him what had happened.
"What shall I do?" asked the horse-dealer.
"I think you can give a present to the Valuer which will make him do and say what you want him to do and say," said the man. "Go to him and give him a fine present, then say to him: 'You said the horses are worth a measure of rice, but now tell what a measure of rice is worth! Can you value that standing in your place by the king?' If he says he can, go with him to the king, and I will be there, too."
The horse-dealer thought this was a good idea. So he took a fine present to the Valuer, and said what the other man had told him to say.
The Valuer took the present, and said: "Yes, I can go before the king with you and tell what a measure of rice is worth. I can value that now."
"Well, let us go at once," said the horse-dealer. So they went before the king and his ministers in the palace.
The horse-dealer bowed down before the king, and said: "O King, I have learned that a measure of rice is the value of my five hundred horses. But will  the king be pleased to ask the Valuer what is the value of the measure of rice?"
He ran away from the laughing crowd.
The king, not knowing what had happened, asked: "How now, Valuer, what are five hundred horses worth?"
"A measure of rice, O King!" said he.
"Very good, then! If five hundred horses are worth a measure of rice, what is the measure of rice worth?"
"The measure of rice is worth your whole city," replied the foolish fellow.
 The ministers clapped their hands, laughing, and saying, "What a foolish Valuer! How can such a man hold that office? We used to think this great city was beyond price, but this man says it is worth only a measure of rice."
Then the king was ashamed, and drove out the foolish fellow.
"I tried to please the king by setting a low price on the horses, and now see what has happened to me!" said the Valuer, as he ran away from the laughing crowd.
Moon, so round and yellow,
Looking from on high,
How I love to see you
Shining in the sky!
Oft and oft I wonder,
When I see you there,
How they get to light you,
Hanging in the air.
Where you go at morning,
When the night is past,
And the sun comes peeping
O'er the hills at last.
Sometime I will watch you
When you think I'm sleeping
Snugly in my bed.