Gateway to the Classics: The Story-Teller by Maud Lindsay
The Story-Teller by  Maud Lindsay


I T was a glad day in the olden time when the Story-Teller came to cottage or hall. At Christmas, or New Year; when the May-pole stood on the village green; or the chestnuts were roasting in the coals on All-hallows eve; come when he would, he was always welcome; and if, when he was least expected, he knocked at the door, what joy there was!

Many were the miles, that the Story-Teller had traveled, and many were the places where he had been; and many were the tales he had to tell of what he had seen and what he had heard in the wide world. Sometimes his voice was deep and sweet as the organ in church on Sunday; and sometimes it rang out clear as a bugle; and sometimes as the tale went on he would take the harp which was ever by his side, and touching it with skilful fingers, would weave a gay little song or a tender strain of music into his story, like a jeweled thread in a golden web.

All the children gathered around him, sturdy Gilbert and rosy Jocelyn, roguish Giles and slender Rosalind, eager for a story. Mother and father drew near, and in the background stood the servants, smiling but silent. Oh, everything was still as the house at midnight as the Story-Teller began his magic words: "Once upon a time."

Perhaps the story brought with it laughter, or perhaps a tear, but Life, said the Story-Teller, is made up of smiles and tears; and the little ones, listening to him, learned to rejoice with those whose joy was great, and to mourn with the sorrowful; and were the better and not the worse for it. And so in due time grew into noble men and good women.

It is many and many a year since they lived and died; but still—knock, knock, knock—the Story-Teller comes with his harp and his story to every child's heart to-day.

Open the door and let him come in, give him a seat by the fire and gather close about him. And then you shall hear!

Maud Lindsay   

Sheffield, Alabama

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