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Title: The Book of Stories for the Story-teller
Author: Coe, Fanny E.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                           BOOK OF STORIES

                         FOR THE STORY-TELLER


                             FANNY E. COE

                     GEORGE G. HARRAP & CO. LTD.

                       LONDON  CALCUTTA  SYDNEY

                     _First published March 1914_

                   _by_ GEORGE G. HARRAP & COMPANY

            _39-41 Parker Street, Kingsway, London, W. C._

       *       *       *       *       *


There is no need here to enter a plea for story-telling. Its value in
the home and in the school is assured. Miss Bryant, in her charming
book, _How to Tell Stories to Children_, says, "Perhaps never, since
the really old days, has story-telling so nearly reached a recognized
level of dignity as a legitimate and general art of entertainment as
now." And, in the guise of entertainment, the story is often the
vehicle conveying to the child the wholesome moral lesson or the bit
of desirable knowledge so necessary to his well-being at the time.
Thus it has come to be recognized that the ability to tell a story
well is an important part of the equipment of the parent or the
teacher of little children.

The parent is often at a loss for fresh material. Sometimes he "makes
up" a story, with but poor satisfaction to himself or his child. The
teacher's difficulty is quite otherwise. She knows of many good
stories, but these same stories are scattered through many books, and
the practical difficulty of finding time in her already overcrowded
days for frequent trips to the library is well-nigh insurmountable.
The quest is indefinitely postponed, with the result that the stories
are either crowded out altogether, or that the teacher repeats the few
tales she has at hand month after month, and year after year, until
all freshness and inspiration are gone from the story time.

The stories in the present collection are drawn from many nations and
from widely differing sources. Folk tales, modern fairy tales, and
myths have a generous showing; and there is added a new field as a
source for stories. This is Real Life, in which children soon begin to
take decided interest. Under this heading appear tales of child life,
of child heroes, of adult heroes, and of animals.

Mr Herbert L. Willett, of the University of Chicago, has said: "It is
not through formal instruction that a child receives his impulses
toward virtue, honour and courtesy. It is rather from such appeal to
the emotions as can be made most effectually through the telling of a
story. The inculcation of a duty leaves him passionless and unmoved.
The narrative of an experience in which that same virtue finds
concrete embodiment fires him with the desire to try the same conduct
for himself. Few children fail to make the immediate connection
between the hero or heroine of the story and themselves."

Because of this great principle of imitation, a large number of the
stories in this little volume have been chosen for their moral value.
They present the virtues of persistence, faithfulness, truthfulness,
honesty, generosity, loyalty to one's word, tender care of animals,
and love of friends and family. Some themes are emphasized more than
once. "Hans the Shepherd Boy," "The Story of Li'l' Hannibal," and
"Dust under the Rug," teach wholesome facts in regard to work. "The
Feast of Lanterns" and "The Pot of Gold" emphasize the truth that

    East or west,
    Hame's best.

Filial devotion shines from the stories of "Anders' New Cap," "How the
Sun, the Moon, and the Wind went out to Dinner," and "The Wolf-Mother
of Saint-Ailbe."

The form of each story is such that the parent or teacher can tell or
read the story, as it appears in the book, with only such slight
modification as his intimate knowledge of the individual child or
class would naturally prompt him to make.

The compiler wishes especially to express her appreciation for many
helpful suggestions as to material received from Mrs Mary W. Cronan,
teller of stories at various branches of the Boston Public Library.

       *       *       *       *       *



THE FOX AND THE WOLF                                                    11

THE FOX AND THE CAT                     _R. Nesbit Bain_               16

THE HOBYAHS                             _Carolyn Sherwin Bailey_       19

    WENT OUT TO DINNER                  _Fanny E. Coe_                 23

A LEGEND OF THE NORTH WIND              _Mary Catherine Judd_          26

HOW THE ROBIN'S BREAST BECAME RED       _Flora J. Cooke_               30

HOW THE ROBIN CAME                                                     32

THE STORY OF THE RED-HEADED WOODPECKER                                 35

THE LITTLE RABBITS                      _Joel Chandler Harris_         38

"HEYO, HOUSE"                           _Joel Chandler Harris_         44


    _From the French of Frédéric Ortoli_

    _Translated by Joel Chandler Harris_                               49

ST CHRISTOPHER                                                         63

WONDERING JACK                          _James Baldwin_                68


    _From W. T. Stead's "Books for the Bairns"_                        81


PRINCE HARWEDA AND THE MAGIC PRISON     _Elizabeth Harrison_           93

THE HOP-ABOUT MAN                       _Agnes Grozier Herbertson_    107

THE STREET MUSICIANS                    _Lida McMurry_                118

THE STRAW OX                            _R. Nesbit Bain_              124

THE NECKLACE OF TRUTH                   _Jean Macé_                   131

ANDERS' NEW CAP                         _Anna Wohlenberg_             136

DUST UNDER THE RUG                      _Maud Lindsay_                142

A NIGHT WITH SANTA CLAUS                _Annie R. Annan_              149

THE STORY OF LI'L' HANNIBAL             _Carolyn Sherwin Bailey_      157

    ONE-EYE, THE POTATO-WIFE            _Agnes Grozier Herbertson_    164

THE POT OF GOLD                         _Horace E. Scudder_           176

THE FROG-TSAREVNA                       _R. Nesbit Bain_              188

OEYVIND AND MARIT                       _Björne Björneson_            197

THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES                                             207


RHOECUS                                 _Fanny E. Coe_                214

KING SOLOMON AND THE ANTS               _Flora J. Cooke_              217

THE STORY OF PEGASUS                    _Fanny E. Coe_                219

THE WOLF-MOTHER OF SAINT AILBE          _Abbie Farwell Brown_         223

WHO WAS THE MIGHTIER?                   _Fanny E. Coe_                231


HANS THE SHEPHERD BOY                   _Ella Lyman Cabot_            234

NATHAN AND THE BEAR                     _M. A. L. Lane_               236

THE MAN ON THE CHIMNEY                  _Fanny E. Coe_                241

POCAHONTAS                              _E. A. and M. F. Blaisdell_   244

THE DAY KIT AND KAT WENT FISHING        _Lucy Fitch Perkins_          247

THE HONEST FARMER                       _Ella Lyman Cabot_            257

DAMON AND PYTHIAS                       _Ella Lyman Cabot_            259

LINCOLN'S UNVARYING KINDNESS            _Fanny E. Coe_                261

HOW MOLLY SPENT HER SIXPENCE            _Eliza Orne White_            265

HANS AND HIS DOG                        _Maud Lindsay_      275

       *       *       *       *       *

_The Fox and the Wolf_

_A Russian Fable_

Once upon a time there was a fox so shrewd that, although he was
neither so fleet of foot, nor so strong of limb, as many of his
kindred, he nevertheless managed to feed as comfortably as any of

One winter's day, feeling rather hungry, he trotted out of his lair to
take a look round. The neighbouring farmers guarded their hen-roosts
so carefully from his depredations that a nice fat hen was out of the
question, and the weather was too cold to tempt the rabbits out of
their snug warren. Therefore Mr Fox set his wits to work and kept his
eyes open for what might come along.

After a while, as he slunk along the bottom of a dry ditch, he
descried in the distance an old man driving a cart. This was Truvor,
the fisherman, who, since two or three days of December sunshine had
melted the ice, had had a good catch of fish in the lake by the

"Aha!" said the fox to himself, "I should relish a dinner of fine,
fresh trout. Truvor is far too selfish to share them with me, so I
will have them all."

To achieve the purpose in view, he laid himself flat in the road over
which the fisherman must pass and pretended to be dead. The fisherman
beheld him with surprise when he drew near, and jumping from his seat
poked his sleek sides with his whip. The fox did not move a muscle,
and Truvor decided that he had been frozen to death by the cold of the
preceding night.

"I will take him home to my wife," he remarked, as he flung the limp
body into his cart. "His coat will make a very nice rug for our
parlour, and she can use his brush to dust with."

The fox had much ado to refrain from laughing when he heard this and
found himself amongst the fish. They smelt delicious, but he did not
think it wise to eat them then, so he silently dropped them one by one
into the road, and when the cart was empty, sprang out himself.
Knowing nothing of what had been going on, the old man drove on until
he reached his cottage.

"Come and see what I have brought you!" he called to his wife. You can
imagine the good woman's disgust when she found the cart quite empty.
Not only was she without the rug, but they would have no dinner.

Meanwhile, the fox was thoroughly enjoying himself. The fish that he
could not eat he hid away under a heap of grasses that he might make
use of them some other time. While engaged in this occupation a wolf
came up.

"Won't you give me a taste, little brother?" he asked. "I have had no
food for the last two days, and know not where to seek it."

"You have nothing to do but to go to the lake and dip your tail over
the edge of the bank, or through a hole in the ice if the water has
frozen over again, as I expect it has done from the nip in the air. If
you say these words: 'Come, little fish and big fish. Come!' the
finest fish will take hold of the bait, and when you feel them hanging
on you will have only to whisk your tail out of the water."

The wolf was a dull and stupid fellow and, never doubting the fox,
hied him off to the lake. Sure enough the water had once more frozen
over, but, finding a hole, he thrust in his tail and rammed it
through, and sat down to wait till the fish should come. The fox was
delighted to find him still sitting there as he passed by, and looking
at the sky above him murmured: "Sky, sky, keep clear! Water, water,
freeze, freeze!"

"What are you saying?" inquired the wolf, without turning his head.

"Nothing at all," replied the fox. "I was only trying to help you."
Then he went his way, and the wolf sat on all through the night.

When morning came he was cramped with cold, and tried to draw out his
tail. Finding this impossible, since the water had frozen fast around
it, he congratulated himself on having caught so many fish that their
weight prevented him from lifting his tail. He was still pondering how
to transfer them to the surface when some women came to fill their
water jars.

"A wolf! a wolf!" they exclaimed excitedly. "Oh, come and kill it!"

Their cries soon brought their husbands to their sides, and all united
in belabouring the wolf. With a great effort, however, he managed to
free his tail, and ran off howling into the woods.

The fox, meantime, had profited by the absence of the householders to
make a good meal, visiting the various larders, and feasting at will
on the daintiest morsels he could find. Having eaten rather more than
was good for him, he felt disinclined for much exercise, and
determined to go in search of the wolf that he might induce him to
carry him home.

His sense of hearing being unusually keen, even for a fox, he was soon
guided to the wolf's retreat by his mournful howls.

"Look at my tail," cried the wretched animal, as the fox poked his
nose through the bushes. "See what trouble you brought upon me with
your advice! I am in such pain that I can scarcely keep still."

"Look at my head," returned the fox, who had carefully dipped it into
a flour bin after greasing it with butter that it might have the
appearance of having been skinned. The wolf was kind-hearted, though
stupid, and his sympathy was at once aroused.

"Jump on my back, little brother," he said, "and I will carry you

This was exactly what the fox had been scheming for, and the words
were hardly out ere he had taken a comfortable seat. As he rode home
in this way he hummed to himself a sly little song to the effect that
he who was hurt carried him who had no hurt. Arrived at the end of his
journey, he scampered off without a word of thanks, and, as he made a
hearty supper on the remaining fish, he chuckled at the remembrance of
the trick he had played the stupid wolf.

The Fox and the Cat[1]


In a certain forest there once lived a fox, and near to the fox lived
a man who had a cat that had been a good mouser in its youth, but was
now old and half blind.

[Footnote 1: From _Cossack Fairy Tales_ (London: George G. Harrap and

The man didn't want Puss any longer, but not liking to kill it he took
it out into the forest and lost it there. Then the fox came up and
said: "Why, Mr Shaggy Matthew, how d'ye do? What brings you here?"

"Alas!" said Pussy, "my master loved me as long as I could bite, but
now that I can bite no longer and have left off catching mice--and I
used to catch them finely once--he doesn't like to kill me, but he has
left me in the wood, where I must perish miserably."

"No, dear Pussy!" said the fox; "you leave it to me, and I'll help you
to get your daily bread."

"You are very good, dear little sister foxey!" said the cat, and the
fox built him a little shed with a garden round it to walk in.

Now one day the hare came to steal the man's cabbage.
"_Kreem-kreem-kreem!_" he squeaked. But the cat popped his head out of
the window, and when he saw the hare he put up his back and stuck up
his tail and said: "_Ft-t-t-t-t-Frrrrrrr!_"

The hare was frightened and ran away, and told the bear, the wolf and
the wild boar all about it.

"Never mind," said the bear. "I tell you what, we'll all four give a
banquet, and invite the fox and the cat, and do for the pair of them.
Now, look here! I'll steal the man's mead; and you, Mr Wolf, steal his
fat-pot; and you, Mr Wildboar, root up his fruit-trees; and you, Mr
Bunny, go and invite the fox and the cat to dinner."

So they made everything ready as the bear had said, and the hare ran
off to invite the guests. He came beneath the window and said: "We
invite your little ladyship Foxey-Woxey, together with Mr Shaggy
Matthew, to dinner," and back he ran again.

"But you should have told them to bring their spoons with them," said
the bear.

"Oh, what a head I've got!--if I didn't quite forget!" cried the hare,
and back he went again, ran beneath the window and cried: "Mind you
bring your spoons!"

"Very well," said the fox.

So the cat and the fox went to the banquet, and when the cat saw the
bacon he put up his back and stuck out his tail, and cried: "_Mee-oo,
mee-oo!_" with all his might. But they thought he said: "_Ma-lo,

[Footnote 2: "What a little! What a little!"]

"What!" said the bear, who was hiding behind the beeches with the
other beasts, "here have we four been getting together all we could,
and this pig-faced cat calls it too little! What a monstrous cat he
must be to have such an appetite!"

So they were all four very frightened, and the bear ran up a tree, and
the others hid where they could.

But when the cat saw the boar's bristles sticking out from behind the
bushes he thought it was a mouse, and put up his back again and cried:
"_Ft! ft! ft! Frrrrrrr!_" Then they were more frightened than ever.
And the boar went into a bush still farther off, and the wolf went
behind an oak, and the bear got down from the tree, and climbed up
into a bigger one, and the hare ran right away.

But the cat remained in the midst of all the good things and ate away
at the bacon, and the little fox gobbled up the honey, and they ate
and ate till they couldn't eat any more, and then they both went home
licking their paws.

_The Hobyahs_


Once upon a time there lived a little old man and a little old woman
in a house all made of hemp stalks. And they had a little dog named
Turpie who always barked when anyone came near the house.

One night when the little old man and the little old woman were fast
asleep, _creep_, _creep_, through the woods came the Hobyahs, skipping
along on the tips of their toes.

"Tear down the hemp stalks. Eat up the little old man, and carry away
the little old woman," cried the Hobyahs.

Then little dog Turpie ran out, barking loudly, and he frightened the
Hobyahs so that they ran away home again.

But the little old man woke from his dreams, and he said:

"Little dog Turpie barks so loudly that I can neither slumber nor
sleep. In the morning I will take off his tail."

So when morning came, the little old man took off little Turpie's tail
to cure him of barking.

The second night along came the Hobyahs, _creep_, _creep_, through the
woods, skipping along on the tips of their toes, and they cried:

"Tear down the hemp stalks. Eat up the little old man, and carry away
the little old woman."

Then the little dog Turpie ran out again, barking so loudly that he
frightened the Hobyahs, and they ran away home again.

But the little old man tossed in his sleep, and he said:

"Little dog Turpie barks so loudly that I can neither slumber nor
sleep. In the morning I will take off his legs."

So when morning came, the little old man took off Turpie's legs to
cure him of barking.

The third night the Hobyahs came again, skipping along on the tips of
their toes, and they called out:

"Tear down the hemp stalks. Eat up the little old man, and carry away
the little old woman."

The little dog Turpie barked very loudly, and he frightened the
Hobyahs so that they ran away home again.

But the little old man heard Turpie, and he sat up in bed, and he

"Little dog Turpie barks so loudly that I can neither slumber nor
sleep. In the morning I will take off his head."

So when morning came, the little old man took off Turpie's head, and
then Turpie could not bark any more.

That night the Hobyahs came again, skipping along on the tips of their
toes, and they called out:

"Tear down the hemp stalks. Eat up the little old man, and carry off
the little old woman."

Now, since little dog Turpie could not bark any more, there was no one
to frighten the Hobyahs away. They tore down the hemp stalks, they
took the little old woman away in their bag, but the little old man
they could not get, for he hid himself away under the bed.

Then the Hobyahs hung the bag which held the little old woman up in
their house, and they poked it with their fingers, and they cried:

"Look you! Look you!"

But when daylight came, they went to sleep, for Hobyahs, you know,
sleep all day.

The little old man was very sorry when he found that the little old
woman was gone. He knew then what a good little dog Turpie had been to
guard the house at night, so he fetched Turpie's tail, and his legs,
and his head, and gave them back to him again.

Then Turpie went sniffing and snuffing along to find the little old
woman, and soon came to the Hobyahs' house. He heard the little old
woman crying in the bag, and he saw that the Hobyahs were all fast
asleep. So he went inside.

Then he cut open the bag with his sharp teeth, and the little old
woman hopped out and ran home; but Turpie got inside the bag to hide.
When night came, the Hobyahs woke up, and they went to the bag, and
they poked it with their fingers, crying:

"Look you! Look you!"

But out of the bag jumped little dog Turpie, and he ate every one of
the Hobyahs. And that is why there are not any Hobyahs now.

_How the Sun, the Moon, and the Wind went out to Dinner_[3]


Once upon a time the Sun, the Moon, and the Wind went to dine with
their uncle and aunt, the Thunder and the Lightning. They said
good-bye to their mother, the Evening Star, crossed the great dark
arching sky, and came to the deep cave where live Thunder and

[Footnote 3: A folk-story of India.]

Here a wonderful feast was spread, and all sat down to enjoy it.

Now the Sun and the Wind were very greedy. They bent their heads low
over their plates and they ate and ate of every dish that was passed
to them. They thought of nothing but themselves and the good food
before them.

But the Moon remembered her mother at home. Of every delicious dish
she saved a portion for the Star.

At last the evening was over and they returned to their home.

"Well, my children, what have you brought to me?" asked their mother,
the Star.

"I have brought you nothing," said the Sun. "I was having a jolly
evening with my friends, and, of course, I couldn't fetch a dinner to

"Neither have I brought you anything, mother!" said the Wind. "How it
would have looked to be taking double portions of every dish!"

Then the Moon stepped forward. "Bring a plate, mother, for see!" She
opened her hands and showered down rich fruit and delicious cakes
which she had saved for her mother.

Then the Star turned to the Sun and said: "Because you forgot your
mother at home, in the midst of your selfish pleasures, this is your
doom. You shall burn, and burn, and burn with great heat, and men
shall hate you. They shall cover their heads when you appear and seek
the spots where your heat cannot beat upon them."

And that is why the Sun is so hot even to-day.

Then the Star turned to the Wind and said: "Because you also forgot
your mother at home, in the midst of your selfish pleasures, this is
your doom. You shall blow, blow, blow the hot sand and dust before you
until men shall hate you. They shall flee from your face to the cool
hills and even to faraway lands where the trees and grass are not
parched and shrivelled by your fiery breath."

And that is why the Wind in the hot weather is so disagreeable.

Then the Star turned to the Moon and said: "Because you thought of
your mother, in the midst of your happiness, receive my blessing.
Henceforth your light shall be so soft, so cool, and so silvery, that
all men shall delight in you and your beams. They shall seek to have
you smile with favour upon all their loves and all their plans. They
shall call you blessed."

And that is why the light of the Moon is so cool, and so bright, and
so beautiful to this very day.

_A Legend of the North Wind_


North wind likes a bit of fun as dearly as a boy does, and it is with
boys he likes best to play.

One day, North Wind saw a brave little fellow eating his lunch under a
tree. Just as he went to bite his bread, North Wind blew it out of his
hand and swept away everything else that he had brought for his lunch.

"You hateful North Wind!" cried the little fellow. "Give me back my
supper, I'm so hungry."

Now North Wind, like all brave beings, is noble, and so he tried to
make up for the mischief he had done.

"Here, take this tablecloth," said North Wind, "and in whatever house
you stay, spread it on the table; then wish, and you shall have
everything you wish for to eat."

"Thank you!" said the boy, and he took the tablecloth and ran as fast
as he could to the first house, which proved to be an inn.

"I have enough to pay for lodging, so I'll stay all night," he said to

"Bring me a table," he ordered the innkeeper, as he went to his room.

"Ha! ha!" laughed the innkeeper. "You mean bring me a supper."

"No, I don't. I want only a table and that right quick. I'm hungry."

The innkeeper brought the table, but after the door was shut he
watched through the keyhole to see what would happen.

"Beans, bread and bacon," ordered the boy, as he spread out his
tablecloth. On came beans, bread and bacon through the open window,
whirled in by North Wind. Smoking hot they all were, too, for the
dishes were tightly covered. After supper was over, the boy fell sound

North Wind did not waken him as the innkeeper took the table and the
tablecloth and carried them downstairs. Next morning the boy was
hungry again, but there was no tablecloth and so no breakfast.

"You are a cheat, North Wind; you have taken back your tablecloth."

"No," said North Wind, "that is not the sort of thing I do." But the
boy did not get his tablecloth.

After a time North Wind met him again out under the trees.

"This time I will give you a sheep," he said. "Each time that you rub
his wool, out will drop a gold-piece. Take care of him."

The boy ran back and found the sheep at the door of the stable, behind
the inn. He caught the sheep by a strap which was round its neck, and
led it slowly up the stairs of the inn, to the room from which the
tablecloth had disappeared the night before.

As the boy was hungry for his breakfast, he obeyed North Wind's
command and patted the sheep upon its back. A gold-piece fell out of
its fleece upon the floor.

"Good old North Wind!" said the boy. "Here's my breakfast and some hay
for my sheep. Come breakfast, come hay," and through the open window
came first a bundle of hay, and then a fine breakfast for the hungry
boy. After breakfast, the boy paid for a week's lodging with the

He slept soundly that night with his sheep for a pillow, and the next
night also, but the third morning, when the boy awoke, his head lay
upon the floor and the sheep was gone.

Perhaps too many gold-pieces had been seen in the boy's hand, for he
had patted his sheep very often.

He blamed North Wind again. "You have taken back your sheep. I don't
like you. You are as cold-hearted as you can be."

But North Wind said nothing. He put a queer stick into a bag and gave
it to the boy and told him to go back and lock his door as tightly as

"Talk to the bag," he said, "and guard it as carefully as if there
were a jewel in it."

That night the boy was wakened out of his soundest sleep by screams
for help in his room. There was the innkeeper running about, and that
queer stick was pounding him, first on the head, then on the feet,
then on his back, then in his face.

"Help! help!" he cried.

"Give me back my sheep," said the boy.

"Get it, it is hidden in the barn," said the innkeeper.

The boy went out and found his sheep in the barn and drove it away as
fast as he could, but he forgot about the innkeeper, and maybe that
stick is pounding him to this day.

_How the Robin's Breast became Red_


Long ago in the far North, where it is very cold, there was only one
fire. A hunter and his little son took care of this fire and kept it
burning day and night. They knew that if the fire went out the people
would freeze and the white bear would have the Northland all to
himself. One day the hunter became ill, and his son had all the work
to do.

For many days and nights he bravely took care of his father and kept
the fire burning.

The white bear was always hiding near, watching the fire. He longed to
put it out, but he did not dare, for he feared the hunter's arrows.

When he saw how tired and sleepy the little boy was, he came closer to
the fire and laughed to himself.

One night the poor boy could endure the fatigue no longer and fell
fast asleep.

The white bear ran as fast as he could and jumped upon the fire with
his wet feet, and rolled upon it. At last he thought it was all out
and went happily away to his cave.

A brown robin was flying near and saw what the white bear was doing.

She waited until the bear went away. Then she flew down and searched
with her sharp little eyes until she found a tiny live coal. This she
fanned patiently with her wings for a long time.

Her little breast was scorched red, but she did not stop until a fine
red flame blazed up from the ashes.

Then she flew away to every hut in the Northland. Wherever she touched
the ground, a fire began to burn. Soon, instead of one little fire,
the whole North country was lighted up.

The white bear went farther back into his cave in the iceberg and
growled terribly. He knew that there was now no hope that he would
ever have the Northland all to himself.

This is the reason that the people in the North countries love the
robin, and are never tired of telling their children how its breast
became red.

_How the Robin Came_[4]

Long ago, as you know, the Indians roved over the plains and through
the forests of America. Their leaders were called chiefs. This story
tells about an Indian chief and his son.

[Footnote 4: This story is based upon a legend of the Algonquin
Indians. John Greenleaf Whittier has a poem with a similar title,
written upon the same theme.]

The Indian chief was very strong and very brave. He could bear cold,
hunger and pain without a word. He was a wonderful hunter and a fierce
enemy. Nothing ever made him afraid.

He had one son, whom he loved with all his heart. He hoped that this
son would grow up to be a warrior, greater than his father.

But the lad was slender and white-faced. He did not seem strong; long
marches wearied him. When the Indian boys are about eighteen years of
age, they like to show that they will make brave warriors. To do this
they take certain tests. These are some of them. They go without food
and water, five, seven, or even ten days. Again they go without sleep
for ten days. They let their friends cut them with knives and never
even cry out.

The time came when the son of the chief must take the test. He went
away to the wigwam, or lodge, where the testing took place. His father
hoped that he would act like a brave young man.

When some days had passed, the father went to see his son. Pale and
weak, he lay on the ground. He had not eaten nor slept.

"Father," he whispered, "I cannot bear this. Let me go free."

"Ah no, my boy," said the chief. "They will call you woman, if you
fail. It is but two days more. Then you shall have good meat and deep
sleep. Think of the time when you will be a great chief, with a
hundred scalps at your belt. Be strong."

But the lad only shook his head.

Two days later, the father rose with the sun. He heaped moose-meat and
corn into a wooden bowl and set off to his son.

As he drew near the wigwam he called, "Here is food, my son."

There was no reply.

He entered, and there, on the ground before him, lay his boy, dead.

They dug his grave close by the lodge, and brought his bow, pipe, and
knife to bury with him.

As they were placing the youth in his grave, they heard a strange, new
song. They looked up and saw, on the top of the lodge, an unknown
bird. It had a brown coat and a red breast. As they watched, it began
to sing. Its song seemed to say:

"I was once the chief's son. But now I am a bird. I am happier than if
I had lived to be a fierce warrior, with scalps at my belt. Now I
shall make all glad with my song. I shall tell the little children
when spring has come. Then they will search for pussy-willows and
anemones. I am the robin, a little brother to man! Who so happy as I?"

Even the father's grief was comforted by the bright little messenger.
"It is best after all," he said. "My son could not kill men nor
beasts; he is happier as a singer, even as this little bird."

_The Story of the Red-Headed Woodpecker_[5]

Long, long ago, there lived an old woman in a little cottage by the
forest. She was not a poor old woman. She had plenty of wood to burn
in winter, and plenty of meal to bake into bread all the year round.
Her clothes were old-fashioned but warm. She always wore a grey dress
and a little red cap.

[Footnote 5: This story is told in verse in Phoebe Cary's _A Legend
of the Northland_].

Late one summer afternoon, the cottage door was open. The old woman
stood by her fire, baking cakes for her evening meal. How good they

A tall old man who was passing by the cottage stopped a moment. Then
he pushed open the garden gate and walked up the path to the door.

The old woman was bending low over the cakes, but she saw his shadow
and looked up.

"Will you give me one of your cakes?" said the man.

The woman thought to herself, "Why did I leave the door open? The
smell of these hot cakes will bring every beggar within miles to my
house." Then she looked a second time at the man and saw that he was
no beggar. He stood like a king in the doorway. His blue eyes were
kind but very keen.

She looked at the six cakes that lay crisp and hot on the hearth.
"Well, I will give him one," she thought, "but these are all too

She took a small handful of meal from the barrel and began to bake it
into a cake. The man watched her from the door. As she turned the
cake, it seemed to her too large to give away.

"I will bake a smaller one," she said to herself. She did not glance
toward the stranger, but caught up a wee bit of meal and began to cook
the second cake.

But that also looked too large to give away. She cooked a third cake
that was no larger than a thimble. But when it was done, she shook her
head, for it also was too large to give away. And still the old man
waited patiently in the doorway, watching it all.

Then the old woman gathered up the cakes, large and small, and put
them on a plate. The plate she set on the pantry shelf and then locked
the door.

"I have no food for you," she said to the old man. "My cakes seem very
small when I eat them, but they are far too large to give away. Ask
bread at another door."

The old man's blue eyes flashed with fire as he drew himself up

"I have been round the world but never have I met a soul so small. You
have shelter, food, and fire, but you will not share with another.
This is your punishment. You shall seek your scanty food with pain.
You shall bore, bore, bore in hard tree-trunks for your food."

The old man struck his staff on the floor. A strong gust of wind
carried the old woman up the chimney. The flames scorched her grey
clothes black; but her red cap was unharmed.

A woodpecker flew out of the chimney and away to the wood. Rap! rap!
rap! you can hear her tapping her beak on the tree-trunks as she hunts
for food. But always and everywhere, she wears a black coat and a
little red cap. Watch for the woodpecker and see if it is not so.

_The Little Rabbits_[6]


"Honey," said Uncle Remus to the little boy, "why don' you git some
flesh on yo' bones? If I wuz ole Brer Wolf en you wuz a young rabbit,
I wouldn't git hongry 'nuff fer ter eat you, caze you's too bony."

[Footnote 6: From _Uncle Remus and his Friends_.]

"Did Brother Wolf want to eat the young rabbit, Uncle Remus?" inquired
the little boy.

"Ain't I done tole you 'bout dat, honey? Des run over in yo' min' en
see ef I ain't."

The youngster shook his head.

"Well," said Uncle Remus, "ole Brer Wolf want ter eat de little Rabs
all de time, but dey wuz one time in 'tickeler dat dey make his mouf
water, en dat wuz de time when him en Brer Fox wuz visitin' at Brer
Rabbit's house. De times wuz hard, but de little Rabs wuz slick and
fat, en des ez frisky ez kittens. Ole Brer Rabbit wuz off som'ers, en
Brer Wolf en Brer Fox wuz waitin' fer 'im. De little Rabs wuz playin'
'roun', en dough dey wuz little dey kep' der years open. Brer Wolf
look at um out'n de cornder uv his eyes, en lick his chops en wink at
Brer Fox, en Brer Fox wunk back at 'im. Brer Wolf cross his legs, en
den Brer Fox cross his'n. De little Rabs, dey frisk en dey frolic.

"Brer Wolf ho'd his head to'rds um en 'low, 'Dey er mighty fat.'

"Brer Fox grin, en say, 'Man, hush yo' mouf!'

"De little Rabs frisk en dey frolic, en play furder off, but dey keep
der years primed.

"Brer Wolf look at um en 'low, 'Ain't dey slick en purty?'

"Brer Fox chuckle, en say, 'Oh, I wish you'd hush!'

"De little Rabs play off furder en furder, but dey keep der years

"Brer Wolf smack his mouf, en 'low, 'Dey er joosy en tender.'

"Brer Fox roll his eye en say, 'Man, ain't you gwine ter hush up, 'fo'
you gi' me de fidgets?'

"Der little Rabs dey frisk en dey frolic, but dey hear ev'ything dat

"Brer Wolf lick out his tongue quick, en 'low, 'Less us whirl in en
eat um.'

"Brer Fox say, 'Man, you make me hongry! Please hush up!'

"De little Rabs play off furder en furder, but dey know 'zackly what
gwine on. Dey frisk en dey frolic, but dey got der years wide open.

"Den Brer Wolf make a bargain wid Brer Fox dat when Brer Rabbit git
home, one un um ud git 'im wropped up in a 'spute 'bout fust one thing
en den anudder, whiles tudder one ud go out en ketch de little Rabs.

"Brer Fox 'low, 'You better do de talkin', Brer Wolf, en lemme coax de
little Rabs off. I got mo' winning ways wid chilluns dan what you is.'

"Brer Wolf say, 'You can't make gourd out'n punkin, Brer Fox. I ain't
no talker. Yo' tongue lots slicker dan mine. I kin bite lots better'n
I kin talk. Dem little Rabs don't want no coaxin'; dey wants
ketchin'--dat what dey wants. You keep ole Brer Rabbit busy, en I'll
ten' der de little Rabs.'

"Bofe un um know'd dat whichever cotch de little Rabs, de tudder one
ain't gwine smell hide ner hair un um, en dey flew up en got ter
'sputin', en whiles dey wuz 'sputin', en gwine on dat way, de little
Rabs put off down de road--_blickety-blickety_,--fer ter meet der
daddy. Kase dey know'd ef dey stayed dar dey'd git in big trouble.

"Dey went off down de road, de little Rabs did, en dey ain't gone so
mighty fur 'fo' dey meet der daddy comin' 'long home. He had his
walkin' cane in one han' en a jug in de udder, en he look ez big ez
life, en twice ez natchul.

"De little Rabs run to'rds 'im en holler, 'What you got, daddy? What
you got, daddy?'

"Brer Rabbit say, 'Nothin' but er jug er 'lasses.'

"De little Rabs holler, 'Lemme tas'e, daddy! Lemme tas'e, daddy!'

"Den ole Brer Rabbit sot de jug down in de road en let um lick de
stopper a time er two, en atter dey is done get der win' back, dey
up'n tell 'im 'bout de 'greement dat Brer Wolf en Brer Fox done make,
en 'bout de 'spute what dey had. Ole Brer Rabbit sorter laugh ter
hisse'f en den he pick up his jug en jog on to'rds home. When he git
mos' dar he stop en tell de little Rabs fer stay back dar out er
sight, en wait twel he call um 'fo' dey come. Dey wuz mighty glad ter
do des like dis, kaz dey done seed Brer Wolf tushes, en Brer Fox red
tongue, en dey huddle up in de broom-sage ez still ez a mouse in de
flour bar'l.

"Brer Rabbit went on home, en sho 'nuff, he fin' Brer Wolf en Brer Fox
waitin' fer 'im. Dey'd done settle der 'spute, en dey wuz settin' dar
des ez smilin' ez a basket er chips. Dey pass the time er day wid Brer
Rabbit, en den dey ax 'im what he got in de jug. Brer Rabbit hummed
en haw'd, en looked sorter sollum.

"Brer Wolf looked like he wuz bleedz ter fin' out what wuz in de jug,
en he keep a-pesterin' Brer Rabbit 'bout it; but Brer Rabbit des shake
his head en look sollum, en talk 'bout de wedder en de craps, en one
thing en anudder. Bimeby Brer Fox make out he wuz gwine atter a drink
er water, en he slip out, he did, fer to ketch de little Rabs. Time he
git out de house, Brer Rabbit look all 'roun' ter see ef he lis'nen,
en den he went ter de jug en pull out de stopper.

"He han' it ter Brer Wolf en say, 'Tas'e dat.'

"Brer Wolf tas'e de 'lasses, en smack his mouf. He 'low, 'What kinder
truck dat? Hit sho is good.'

"Brer Rabbit git up close ter Brer Wolf en say, 'Don't tell nobody.
Hit's Fox-blood.'

"Brer Wolf looked 'stonish'. He 'low, 'How you know?'

"Brer Rabbit say, 'I knows what I knows!'

"Brer Wolf say, 'Gimme some mo'!'

"Brer Rabbit say, 'You kin git some mo' fer yo'se'f easy 'nuff, en de
fresher 'tis, de better.'

"Brer Wolf 'low, 'How you know?'

"Brer Rabbit say, 'I knows what I knows!'

"Wid dat Brer Wolf stepped out, en start to'rds Brer Fox. Brer Fox
seed 'im comin', en he sorter back off. Brer Wolf got little closer,
en bimeby he make a dash at Brer Fox. Brer Fox dodge, he did, en den
he put out fer de woods wid Brer Wolf right at his heels.

"Den atter so long a time, atter Brer Rabbit got done laughin', he
call up de little Rabs, gi' um some 'lasses fer supper, en spanked um
en sont um ter bed.'"

"Well, what did he spank 'em for, Uncle Remus?" asked the little boy.

"Ter make um grow, honey,--des ter make um grow!"

"Did Brother Wolf catch Brother Fox?"

"How I know, honey? Much ez I kin do ter foller de tale when it keeps
in de big road, let 'lone ter keep up wid dem creeturs whiles dey gone
sailin' thoo de woods. De tale ain't persoo on atter um no furder dan
de place whar dey make der disappear'nce. I tell you now, when I goes
in de woods, I got ter know whar I'm gwine."

_"Heyo, House"_[7]


One evening Uncle Remus was telling the little boy a mighty tale of
how Brer Rabbit got the better of ole Brer Lion. He ended in this way:
"All de creeturs hear 'bout it, en dey go 'roun' en say dat Brer
Rabbit sholy is got deze 'ere things up here." Uncle Remus tapped his
forehead, and the little boy laughed.

[Footnote 7: From _Uncle Remus and his Friends_.]

"I don't think Brother Lion had much sense," remarked the little boy.

"Yes, he had some," said Uncle Remus. "He bleedz ter had some, but he
ain't got much ez Brer Rabbit. Dem what got strenk ain't got so mighty
much sense.

"After Brer Rabbit done make way wid ole Brer Lion, all de yuther
creeturs say he sholy is a mighty man, en dey treat 'im good. Dis make
'im feel so proud dat he bleedz ter show it, en so he strut 'roun'
like a boy when he git his fust pa'r er boots.

"'Bout dat time, Brer Wolf tuck a notion dat ef Brer Rabbit kin outdo
ole Brer Lion, he can't outdo him. So he pick his chance one day
whiles ole Miss Rabbit en de little Rabs is out pickin' sallid for
dinner. He went in de house, he did, en wait fer Brer Rabbit ter come
home. Brer Rabbit had his hours, en dis was one un um, en 't wan't
long 'fo' here he come. He got a mighty quick eye, mon, en he tuck
notice dat ev'ything mighty still. When he got a little nigher, he
tuck notice dat de front door wuz on de crack, en dis make 'im feel
funny, kaze he know dat when his ole 'oman en de chillun out, dey
allers pulls de door shet en ketch de latch. So he went up a little
nigher, en he step thin ez a batter-cake. He peep here, en he peep
dar, yit he ain't see nothin'. He lissen in de chimbley cornder, en he
lissen und' de winder, yit he ain't hear nothin'.

"Den he sorter wipe his mustach en study. He 'low ter hisse'f, 'De pot
rack know what gwine up de chimbley, de rafters know who's in de loft,
de bed-cord know who und' de bed. I ain't no pot-rack, I ain't no
rafter, en I ain't no bed-cord, but, please gracious! I'm gwine ter
fin' who's in dat house, en I ain't gwine in dar nudder. Dey mo' ways
ter fin' out who fell in de mill-pond widout fallin' in yo'se'f.'

"Some folks," Uncle Remus went on, "would 'a' rushed in dar, en ef dey
had, dey wouldn't 'a' rushed out no mo', kaze dey wouldn't 'a' been
nothin' 'tall lef' un um but a little scrap er hide en a han'ful er

"Brer Rabbit got better sense dan dat. All he ax anybody is ter des
gi' 'im han'-roomance, en den what kin ketch 'im is mo' dan welly-come
ter take 'im. Dat 'zackly de kinder man what Brer Rabbit is. He went
off a little ways fum de house en clum a 'simmon stump en got up dar
en 'gun ter holler.

"He 'low, 'Heyo, house!'

"De house ain't make no answer, en Brer Wolf, in dar behime de door,
open his eyes wide. He ain't know what ter make er dat kinder doin's.

"Brer Rabbit holler, 'Heyo, house! Why n't you heyo?'

"House ain't make no answer, en Brer Wolf in dar behime de door sorter
move roun' like he gittin' restless in de min'.

"Brer Rabbit out dar on de 'simmon stump holler mo' louder dan befo',
'Heyo, house! Heyo!'

"House stan' still, en Brer Wolf in dar behime de door 'gun ter feel
col' chills streakin' up and down his back. In all his born days he
ain't never hear no gwines on like dat. He peep thoo de crack er de
door, but he can't see nothin'.

"Brer Rabbit holler louder, 'Heyo, house! Ain't you gwine ter heyo? Is
you done los' what little manners you had?'

"Brer Wolf move 'bout wuss'n befo'. He feel like sum un done hit 'im
on de funny-bone.

"Brer Rabbit holler hard ez he kin, but still he ain't git no answer,
en den he 'low, 'Sholy sump'n nudder is de matter wid dat house, kaze
all de times befo' dis, it been holler'n back at me, "Heyo, yo'se'f!"'

"Den Brer Rabbit wait little bit, en bimeby he holler one mo' time,
'Heyo, house!'

"Ole Brer Wolf try ter talk like he speck a house 'ud talk, en he
holler back, 'Heyo, yo'se'f!'

"Brer Rabbit wunk at hisse'f. He 'low, 'Heyo, house! why n't you talk
hoarse like you got a bad col'?'

"Den Brer Wolf holler back, hoarse ez he kin, 'Heyo, yo'se'f!'

"Dis make Brer Rabbit laugh twel a little mo' en he'd a drapt off'n
dat ar 'simmon stump en hurt hisse'f.

"He 'low, 'Eh-eh, Brer Wolf! dat ain't nigh gwine ter do. You'll
hatter stan' out in de rain a mighty long time 'fo' you kin talk
hoarse ez dat house!'

"I let you know," continued Uncle Remus, laying his hand gently on the
little boy's shoulder, "I let you know, Brer Wolf come a-slinkin'
out, en made a break fer home. Atter dat, Brer Rabbit live a long time
wid'out any er de yuther creeturs a-pesterin' un 'im!"

_Teenchy Duck_[8]


_Teenchy Duck finds a Purse of Gold_

Once upon a time there lived in a village in some country (I do not
know where, but certainly nowhere near here), an old man and an old
woman who were very poor indeed. They had never been able to save a
single penny. They had no farm, not even a garden. They had nothing
but a little Duck that walked around on her two feet every day singing
the song of famine. "Quack! quack! Who will give me a piece of bread?
Quack! quack! Who will give me a piece of bread?" This little duck was
so small that she was named Teenchy Duck.

[Footnote 8: Translated from the French by Joel Chandler Harris.]

It so happened one day that Teenchy Duck was paddling in the water
near the river's edge when she saw a fine purse filled with gold. At
once she began to flap her wings and cry: "Quack! quack! Who has lost
his beautiful money? Quack! quack! Who has lost his beautiful money?"

Just at that moment the Prince of the Seven Golden Cows passed along
the road. He was richer than all the kings and emperors, but he was
mean and miserly. He walked along with a stick in his hand, and as he
walked he counted in his mind the millions that he had stored away in
his strong-box.

"Quack! quack! Who lost his beautiful money? Quack! quack! Who lost
his beautiful money?" cried Teenchy Duck.

"I have lost it," cried the Prince of the Seven Golden Cows, and then
he seized the purse full of money that Teenchy Duck held in her bill,
and went on his way.

The poor Puddle Duck was so astonished at this that she could scarcely
stand on her feet.

"Well, well!" she exclaimed, "that rich lord has kept all for himself
and given me nothing. May he be destroyed by a pestilence!"

Teenchy Duck at once ran to her master, and told him what had
happened. When her master learned the value of what Teenchy Duck had
found, and the trick that had been played on her by the Prince of the
Seven Golden Cows, he went into a rage.

"Why, you big simpleton!" he exclaimed, "you find money and you do not
bring it to us! You give it to a big lord, who did not lose it, when
we poor people need it so much! Go out of this house instantly, and
don't dare to come back until you have brought me the purse of gold!"

Poor Teenchy Duck trembled in all her limbs, and made herself small
and humble; but she found her voice to say:

"You are right, my master! I go at once to find the Prince of the
Seven Golden Cows."

But once out of doors the poor Puddle Duck thought to herself
sorrowfully: "How and where can I find the Prince who was so mean as
to steal the beautiful money?"

Teenchy Duck was so bewildered that she began to strike her head
against the rocks in despair. Suddenly an idea came into her mind. She
would follow his tracks and the marks that his walking-stick made in
the ground until she came to the castle of the Prince of the Seven
Golden Cows.

No sooner thought than done. Teenchy Duck went waddling down the road
in the direction taken by the miserly Prince, crying with all her

"Quack! quack! Give me back my beautiful money! Quack! quack! Give me
back my beautiful money!"

_Teenchy Duck's Friends go with her on her Quest_

Brother Fox, who was taking his ease a little way from the road, heard
Teenchy Duck's cries, and knew her voice. He went to her and said:

"What in the world is the matter with you, my poor Teenchy Duck? You
look sad and broken-hearted."

"I have good reason to be," said Teenchy Duck. "This morning, while
paddling in the river, I found a purse full of gold, and gave it to
the Prince of the Seven Golden Cows, thinking it was his. But now,
here comes my master and asks me for it, and says he will kill me if I
do not bring it to him soon."

"Well, where are you going in this style?" asked Brother Fox.

"I am going straight to the Prince of the Seven Golden Cows," said
Teenchy Duck.

"Shall I go with you?" asked Brother Fox.

"I'd be only too glad if you would," exclaimed Teenchy Duck.

"But how can I go?" said Brother Fox.

"Get into my satchel," said Teenchy Duck, "and I'll try to carry you."

"It isn't big enough," said Brother Fox.

"It will stretch," said Teenchy Duck. So Brother Fox got into the
satchel, and Teenchy Duck went waddling along the road, crying:
"Quack! quack! Give me back my beautiful money!"

She had not gone far when she met Brother Wolf, who was passing that

"What are you crying so for?" he inquired. "One would think you were
going to die on the journey."

"It is only too true," said Teenchy Duck, and then she told Brother
Wolf about finding the money-purse, just as she had told Brother Fox.

"Perhaps I can be of some service to you," said Brother Wolf. "Shall I
go with you?"

"I am willing," said Teenchy Duck.

"But how can I go so far?" Brother Wolf asked.

"Get into my satchel," said Teenchy Duck, "and I'll carry you as best
I can."

"It is too small," said Brother Wolf.

"It will stretch mightily," said Teenchy Duck.

So Brother Wolf also got into the satchel with Brother Fox.

Teenchy went on her way again. She didn't walk very fast, for her
satchel was heavy; but she never ceased crying: "Quack! quack! Give me
back my beautiful money!"

Now it happened, as she was going along, she came up with a Ladder,
which said, without asking after her health:

"My poor Teenchy Duck! You do not seem to be very happy."

"I should think not!" exclaimed Teenchy Duck.

"What can the matter be?" the Ladder asked.

Teenchy Duck then told her story over again.

"I am not doing anything at present," said the Ladder, "shall I go
with you?"

"Yes," said Teenchy Duck.

"But how can I go, I who never walk?" inquired the Ladder.

"Why, get into my satchel," said Teenchy Duck, "and I'll carry you the
best I know how."

The Ladder was soon in the satchel with Brother Fox and Brother Wolf,
and Teenchy Duck went on her way, following the tracks of the Prince
of the Seven Golden Cows, and always crying:

"Quack! quack! Give me back my beautiful money!"

Going along and crying thus, Teenchy Duck came to her best and oldest
friend, the River.

"What are you doing here?" said the River, in astonishment, "and why
are you crying so? When I saw you this morning you seemed very happy."

"Ah!" said Teenchy Duck, "would you believe it? I have not eaten since

"And why not?" asked the sympathetic River.

"You saw me find the purse of gold," said Teenchy Duck, "and you saw
the Prince seize it. Ah, well! my master will kill me if I do not get
it and return it to him."

"Sometimes," the River replied, "a little help does a great deal of
good. Shall I go with you?"

"I should be very happy," said Teenchy Duck.

"But how can I follow you--I that have no limbs?" said the River.

"Get into my satchel," said Teenchy Duck. "I'll carry you as best I

Then the River got into the satchel by the side of the other friends
of Teenchy Duck.

She went on her journey, keeping her eyes on the ground, so as not to
lose sight of the tracks of the thief, but still crying for her
beautiful money. On her way she came to a Bee-Hive, which had a mind
to laugh because Teenchy Duck was carrying such a burden.

"Hey, my poor Teenchy Duck! What a big fat satchel you have there,"
said the Bee-Hive.

"I'm not in the humour for joking, my dear," said Teenchy Duck.

"Why are you so sad?"

"I have been very unfortunate, good little people," said Teenchy Duck,
addressing herself to the Bees, and then she told her story.

"Shall we go with you?" asked the Bees.

"Yes, yes!" exclaimed Teenchy Duck. "In these days of sorrow I stand
in need of friends."

"How shall we follow you?" asked the Bees.

"Get into my satchel," said Teenchy Duck. "I'll carry you the best I
know how."

Then the Bees shook their wings for joy and swarmed into the satchel
along with the other friends of Teenchy Duck.

She went on her way always crying for the return of her beautiful
money. She walked and walked without stopping to rest a moment, until
her legs almost refused to carry her. At last, just as night was
coming on, Teenchy Duck saw with joy that the tracks of the Prince of
the Seven Golden Cows stopped at the iron gate that barred the way to
a splendid castle.

"Ah!" she exclaimed, "I have arrived at my journey's end, and I have
no need to knock on the gate. I will creep under."

_What befell Teenchy Duck at the Castle_

Teenchy Duck entered the grounds and cried out: "Quack! quack! Give me
back my beautiful money!"

The Prince heard her and laughed scornfully. How could a poor Teenchy
Duck compel a great lord to return the purse of gold?

Teenchy Duck continued to cry:

"Quack! quack! Give me back my beautiful money!"

It was night, and the Prince of the Seven Golden Cows ordered one of
his servants to take Teenchy Duck and shut her up in the henhouse with
the turkeys, the geese, and the chickens, thinking that these fowls
would kill the stranger, and that her disagreeable song would for ever
be at an end.

This order was immediately carried out by the servant, but no sooner
had Teenchy Duck entered the henhouse than she exclaimed:

"Brother Fox, if you do not come to my aid, I am lost."

Brother Fox came out of the satchel promptly, and worked so well at
his trade that of all the fowls he found there, not one remained

At break of day the servant-girl, whose business it was to attend to
the poultry-yard, opened the door of the henhouse, and was astounded
to see Teenchy Duck come out, singing the same old song:

"Quack! quack! Give me back my beautiful money!"

The astonished girl immediately told her master, the Prince, what had
happened, and the wife of the Prince, who had at that moment learned
all, said to her husband:

"This Duck is a witch. Give her the money, or it will bring us bad

The Prince of the Seven Golden Cows refused to listen. He believed
that the fox had only happened to enter his henhouse by accident.

Teenchy Duck made herself heard all day, and at night the Prince said
to his servants:

"Take this squaller and throw her into the stable under the feet of
the mules and horses. We will see in the morning what she will say."

The servants obeyed, and Teenchy Duck immediately cried:

"Brother Wolf, if you do not come quickly to my aid I shall be

Brother Wolf made no delay, and it was not long before he had
destroyed the horses and the mules. Next morning, before day, the
servants went to get the animals to put them to the ploughs and
waggons; but when they saw them lying dead their astonishment was
great. In the stable Teenchy Duck stood alone, singing in her most
beautiful voice:

"Quack! quack! Give me back my beautiful money!"

When the Prince of the Seven Golden Cows heard the sad news, he became
white with rage, and in his fury he wanted to give his servants a
thousand lashes for not having taken better care of the animals. But
his wife calmed him little by little, then: "My husband, give back to
Teenchy Duck this purse you have taken, or else we shall be ruined,"
she said.

"No," cried the Prince, "she shall never have it!"

All this time Teenchy Duck was walking up and down, to the right and
to the left, singing at the top of her voice:

"Quack! quack! Give me back my beautiful money!"

"Heavens!" said the Prince, stopping his ears, "I am tired of hearing
this ugly fowl squall and squawk. Quick! throw her into the well or
the furnace, so that we may be rid of her."

"What shall we do first?" the servants asked.

"It matters not," said the Prince, "so long as we are rid of her."

The servants took Teenchy Duck and threw her into the well, thinking
this the easier, and the quickest way to be rid of her.

As Teenchy Duck was falling, she cried: "Come to my assistance, good
Ladder, or I am undone."

The Ladder immediately came out of the satchel, and leaned against
the walls of the well. Teenchy Duck came up the rounds, singing:

"Quack! quack! Give me back my beautiful money!"

Everybody was astonished, and the Prince's wife kept saying: "Give the
witch her money."

"They would say that I am afraid of a Teenchy Duck," said the Prince
of the Seven Golden Cows. "I will never give it up." Then, speaking to
his servants, he said: "Heat the oven, heat it to a white heat, and
throw this witch in."

The servants had to obey, but they were so frightened that none dared
touch her. At last, one bolder than the rest seized her by the end of
the wing and threw her into the red-hot oven. Everyone thought that
this was the end of Teenchy Duck, but she had had time to cry out:

"Oh! my dear friend River, come to my assistance, or I shall be

The River rushed out and quenched the fire and cooled the oven.

When the Prince went to see what was left of Teenchy Duck, she met him
and began to repeat her familiar song:

"Quack! quack! Give me back my beautiful money!"

The Prince of the Seven Golden Cows was furious.

"You are all blockheads!" he cried to his servants. "You never knew
how to do anything. Get out of here! I will drive you off the place.
Hereafter I will take charge of this witch myself."

That night, before retiring, the Prince and his wife went and got
Teenchy Duck, and prepared to give her such a beating as they had no
doubt would cause her death.

Fortunately, Teenchy Duck saw the danger and cried out:

"Friend Bees! come out and help me."

A buzzing sound was heard, and then the Bees swarmed on the Prince and
his wife, and stung them so badly that they became frightful to

"Return the money to this ugly witch," groaned the unfortunate wife.
"Run, or we are done for."

The Prince did not wait to be told twice. He ran and got the purse
full of gold, and returned it to Teenchy Duck.

"Here," said he, "I am conquered. But get out of my grounds quickly."

Full of joy, Teenchy Duck went out into the road singing: "Quack!
quack! I have got my beautiful money! Quack! quack! Here is my
beautiful money!"

On her way home she returned the friends that had aided her to the
places where she had found them, thanking them kindly for their help
in time of need.

At break of day Teenchy Duck found herself at her master's door. She
aroused him by her loud cries. After that, the family was rich and
Teenchy Duck was well taken care of. If she went to the village pond
it was only to tell her comrades of her remarkable way of gaining the
beautiful money.

_St Christopher_

Once upon a time there lived a great giant. He had mighty arms and
legs and could carry tons upon his back. His name was Offero.

Offero had one wish. He wished to serve the greatest king on earth. He
was told that the emperor was the most powerful. So he went to him and
said, "Lord Emperor, will you have me for your servant?"

The emperor was delighted with him. "Promise to serve me for ever, my
good fellow," he said.

"Ah no," said Offero. "I dare not promise that. But of this be sure,
as long as I am your servant, no harm shall come to you."

So they journeyed on together. The emperor was delighted with his new
servant. All his soldiers were poor and weak compared to Offero.

In the evening when the soldiers rested, the emperor loved to listen
to music. He had with him a harper who would play upon his harp and
sing sweetly.

Once the harper sang a song in which the name of Satan was heard. At
this name the emperor trembled and made the sign of the cross.

"Why do you tremble, Lord Emperor?" asked the giant.

"Hush!" said the emperor.

"Tell me, or I will leave you," said Offero.

"I tremble because I fear Satan," answered the emperor. "I made the
sign of the cross so that he cannot harm me. He is as wicked as he is

"Farewell," said the giant. "I seek Satan now. If he is stronger than
you, I must serve him."

So he journeyed through the land and soon found Satan at the head of a
large army.

"Where do you go? Whom do you seek?" asked Satan.

"I seek Satan," said Offero. "I would have him for my master, for he
is the mightiest king on earth."

"I am he," answered Satan. "Come with me and you shall have happy and
easy days."

Offero served Satan for months and was well pleased with his master.
At last, as they were marching through the land one day, they came
upon a place where four roads met. Just here stood a cross.

When Satan saw the cross, he turned his army and marched quickly away.
"What does this mean?" asked the giant. "Are you afraid of that
cross, my master?"

Satan was silent.

"Answer me," said Offero, "or I leave you at once."

Then Satan said, "Yes, it is true that I fear the cross. Upon it hung
the Son of Mary."

"Then I leave you straightway," said Offero. "I seek the Son of Mary.
He shall be my king, since he is stronger than you."

Many days he searched, but alas! few could tell him anything of his
new king, the Son of Mary. At last he found an old hermit and asked
him the question he had asked so many others.

"How can I serve the Son of Mary?"

"You must fast," said the hermit.

"Ah, no!" said Offero. "If I fasted I should lose my great strength."

"Then you must pray," said the hermit.

"How can I pray?" asked Offero, "I know no prayers."

"Then," said the gentle old man, "I think the Son of Mary would be
pleased to have you use your strength in some good work. Why not carry
travellers across the stream in the name of the Son of Mary?"

"That is just to my mind," cried Offero, overjoyed. So straightway he
built a hut by the swift stream, and cut a stout staff to steady his
steps when the river roared high.

Travellers were glad to be helped on their way by this rough yet
kindly giant. Sometimes they offered him money, but he always shook
his great head. "I do this for the love of the Son of Mary," he said.

Many years went by. Offero's hair was now white as snow and his back
was a little bent. But his strength was still great. One night, as he
lay asleep, he was awakened by a voice, such a gentle, pleading little
voice--"Dear, good, kind Offero, carry me across!"

He sprang to his feet, caught up his staff, and crossed to the farther
shore. No one was there.

"I must have been dreaming," thought Offero as he laid himself down in
his bed once more.

Again he fell asleep and again the same voice awoke him. How sweet,
yet sad it sounded! "Dear, good, kind Offero, carry me across!"

He patiently crossed the deep, swift river, but again no one was to be
seen. Once more he lay down in his bed and fell asleep. And once more
came the pleading little voice, "Dear, good, kind Offero, carry me

And now, for the third time, the old giant seized his palm-tree staff
and pressed through the cold river. There on the shore stood "a
tender, fair little boy with golden hair. He looked at the giant with
eyes full of trust and love."

Offero tossed him on his shoulder and then turned to the river. Dark
and surging it rose to his waist. The child grew heavier and heavier.
The giant bent under his burden. Now and then he felt he should surely
sink into the river and be swept away.

At last he struggled up the bank and set down the child. "My little
Master," he gasped, "do not pass this way again; I have come near
losing my life."

But the fair child said to Offero, "Fear not, but rejoice. All thy
sins are forgiven thee. Know that thou hast carried the Son of Mary.
That thou mayest be sure of this, fix thy staff in the earth."

Offero obeyed, and lo! out of the bare palm-staff sprang leaves and
dates. Then Offero knew that it was Christ whom he had borne, and he
fell at His feet.

A little hand rested in blessing upon the giant's bowed head.
"Henceforth," said the Son of Mary, "thy name shall be, not Offero but

Thus it was that Christopher came by his name. Because he was true to
his name we always call him St Christopher.

_Wondering Jack_[9]


_The Brothers set out to seek their Fortunes_

Once there was a poor farmer who had three sons--Peter, Paul, and

[Footnote 9: A fairy-tale of Finland.]

Now Peter was big, fat, red-faced, and slow; Paul was slender,
awkward, and ill-natured; Jack was quick, and bright, and so little
that he might have hidden himself in one of Peter's big boots.

The poor farmer had nothing in the world but a little hut that seemed
ready to tumble down every time the wind blew. He worked hard, but it
was all he could do to earn bread for his family.

The boys grew very fast, and by-and-by they were old enough to work.
Then their father said to them, "Boys, I have taken care of you these
many days when you were too little to take care of yourselves. Now I
am old, and you are strong. It is time for you to go out and earn your

So, early the next morning, the three boys started out to seek their

"Where shall we go?" asked Peter.

"Yes, where shall we go?" said Paul. "Things have come to a pretty
pass when one can't stay at home."

"Well, I am going to the King's palace," said Jack.

"And what will you do there?" said Paul. "You are a fine fellow to be
going to kings' palaces."

"I will tell you," said Jack. "The King's palace is a very grand
place. It is built of white stones and it has six glass windows on the
front side of it.

"But a huge oak-tree has grown up right against the glass windows. The
leaves are so many and so big that they shut out all the sunlight, and
the rooms of the palace are dark even in midday."

"Well, what of that?" asked Peter.

"Yes, what of that?" growled Paul. "What have you to do with the oak?"

"The King wants it cut down," said Jack.

"Well, then, why don't his men cut it down?" asked Paul.

"They can't," said Jack. "The tree is so hard that it blunts the edge
of every axe; and whenever one of its branches is cut off, two bigger
ones spring out in place of it. The King has offered three bags of
gold to anyone who will cut the tree down."

"How did you learn all this?" asked Peter.

"Oh, a little bird told me," said Jack. "You see, I can read and you
cannot. I am going to the King's palace to see if I can't earn those
bags of gold."

"Not till I try it," cried Paul; "for I am older than you."

"I should have the first trial," said Peter; "for I am older than
either of you. Come along, boys, let's all go down and take a look at
the big oak."

And so all three took the road that led to the King's palace.

_Their Adventures by the Way_

Peter and Paul went jogging along with their hands in their pockets.
They did not look either to the right or to the left.

But little Jack skipped this way and that, noticing everything by the
roadside. He watched the bees buzzing among the flowers, the
butterflies fluttering in the sunlight and the birds building their
nests in the trees.

He asked questions about everything. "What is this? Why is this? How
is this?"

But his brothers only growled and answered, "We don't know."

By-and-by they came to a mountain and a great forest of pine-trees.
Far up the side of the mountain they could hear the sound of an axe
and the noise of falling branches.

"I wonder who is chopping wood up there," said Jack. "Do you know,

"Of course I don't know," growled Paul. "Hold your tongue."

"Oh, he is always wondering," said Peter. "You would think he'd never
heard an axe before."

"Well, wonder or no wonder," said Jack, "I mean to go up and see who
is chopping wood."

"Go, then," said Paul. "You will tire yourself out and be left behind.
But it will be a good lesson to you."

Jack did not stop to listen to these words. For he was already
climbing up the mountain toward the place where the chopping was

When he came to the top, what do you think he saw?

He saw a bright steel axe working all alone and cutting down a big
pine-tree. No man was near it.

"Good-morning, Mr Axe," he said. "I think you must be tired chopping
at that old tree all by yourself."

"Ah, master," said the axe. "I have been waiting for you a long time."

"Well, here I am," said Jack; and he took the axe and put it into his

Then he ran down the mountain and soon overtook his brothers.

"Well, Mr Why-and-How," said Paul, "what did you find up there?"

"It was really an axe that we heard," answered Jack.

"Of course it was," said Peter. "You might have saved yourself all
your trouble by staying with us."

After the boys had passed through the woods they came to a great rocky
place between two mountains. The path was narrow and crooked, and
steep cliffs towered above it on both sides.

Soon they heard a dull sound high up on the top of a cliff. _Thump!
Thump! Thud!_ it went, like someone striking iron against stone.

"I wonder why anyone is breaking stones up there," said Jack.

"Yes, of course you wonder," growled Paul; "you are always wondering."

"It is nothing but a woodpecker tapping on a hollow tree," said Peter.
"Come along, and mind your own business."

"Business or no business," said Jack, "I mean to see what is going on
up there."

With these words he began to climb up the side of the cliff. But Peter
and Paul stood still and laughed at him, and cried, "Good-bye, Mr

And what do you think Jack found far up on the great rock?

He found a bright steel pickaxe working all alone. It was so hard and
sharp that when it struck a rock it went into it a foot or more.

"Good-morning, Mr Pickaxe," he said. "Are you not tired digging here
all by yourself?"

"Ah, my master," answered the pickaxe, "I have been waiting for you a
long time."

"Well, here I am," said Jack; and he took the pickaxe and put it into
his other pocket.

Then he slid merrily down between the rocks to the place where Peter
and Paul were resting themselves.

"Well, Mr Why-and-How," said Paul, "what great wonder did you find up

"It was really a pickaxe that we heard," answered Jack.

About noon the boys came to a pleasant brook. The water was cool and
clear, and it flowed in shady places among reeds and flowers.

The boys were thirsty, and they stopped to drink. Then they lay down
on the grass to rest.

"I wonder where this brook comes from," said Jack.

"Of course you do," growled Paul. "You are always trying to pry into
things and find out where they come from. You are foolish."

"Foolish or not foolish," answered Jack, "I am going to find out all
about this brook."

So, while his brothers went to sleep in the shade, he ran along up its
banks, looking at this thing and that and wondering at them all.

The stream became narrower and narrower until at last it was not
broader than his hand. And when he came to the very beginning of it,
what do you think he found?

He found a walnut shell out of which the water was spouting as from a

"Good-morning, Mr Spring," said Jack. "Are you not tired staying here
all alone in this little nook where nobody comes to see you?"

"Ah, my master," answered the spring in the walnut shell, "I have been
waiting a long time for you."

"Well, here I am," said Jack; and he took the walnut shell and put it
into his cap.

His brothers were just waking up when he rejoined them.

"Well, Mr Why-and-How," said Peter, "did you find where the brook
comes from?"

"Indeed, I did," answered Jack. "It spouts up from a spring."

"You are too clever for this world," growled Paul.

"Clever or not clever," said Jack, "I have seen what I wished to see,
and I have learned what I wished to learn."

_Jack's Victory at the Palace_

At last the three boys came to the King's palace. They saw the great
oak that darkened the windows, and on the gateposts they saw a big
poster printed in red and black letters.

"See there, Jack," said Paul. "Read that, and tell us what it says."

"Yes, I wonder what it says," said Jack, laughing. And this is what he


     Know all men by these presents: If anyone will cut down this
     oak-tree and carry it away, the King will give him three
     bags full of gold. If anyone will dig a well in the
     courtyard so as to supply the palace with water, he may wed
     the King's daughter and the King will give him half of

     The King has said it and it shall be done.

"Better and better," said Peter. "There are three tasks instead of
one, and the prize is more than double."

"But it will take someone smarter than you to win it," said Paul; and
he stroked his head gently.

"It will take someone stronger than you," answered Peter; and he
rolled up his shirt-sleeves and swung his big arms around till their
muscles stood out like whipcords.

The boys went into the courtyard. There they saw another placard
posted over the door of the great hallway.

"Read that, Jack," said Paul. "Read it and tell us what it says."

"Yes," said Jack, "I wonder what it says."


     Know all men by these presents: If anyone shall try to cut
     down the oak and shall not succeed, he shall have both his
     ears cut off. If anyone shall try to dig the well and shall
     not succeed, he shall have his nose cut off. The King in his
     goodness has so commanded, and it shall be done.

"Worse and worse," said Peter. "But hand me an axe, and I will show
you what I can do."

The sharpest axe in the country was given him. He felt its edge; he
swung it over his shoulder. Then he began to chop on the oak with all
his might; but as soon as a bough was cut off, two bigger and stronger
ones grew in its place.

"I give it up," said Peter. "It cannot be done."

And the King's guards seized him and led him away to prison.

"To-morrow his ears shall come off," said the King.

"It was all because he was so awkward," said Paul. "Now, see what a
skilful man can do."

He took the axe and walked carefully round the tree. He saw a root
that was partly out of the ground, and chopped it off. All at once two
other roots much bigger and stronger grew in its place.

He chopped at these, but the axe was dulled, and with all his skill he
could not cut them off.

"Enough!" cried the King; and the guards hurried him also to jail.

Then little Jack came forward.

"What does that wee bit of a fellow want?" asked the King. "Drive him
away, and if he doesn't wish to go, cut off his ears at once."

But Jack was not one whit afraid. He bowed to the King and said,
"Please let me try. It will be time enough to cut off my ears when I
have failed."

"Well, yes, it will, I suppose," said the King. "So go to work quickly
and be done with it."

Jack took the bright steel axe from his pocket. He set it up by the
tree and said, "Chop, Mr Axe! Chop!"

You should have seen the chips fly.

The little axe chopped and cut and split, this way and that, right and
left, up and down. It moved so fast that nobody could keep track of
it, and there was no time for new twigs to grow.

In fifteen seconds the great oak-tree was cut in pieces and piled up
in the King's courtyard, ready for firewood in the winter.

"What do you think of that?" asked Jack, as he bowed again to the

"You have done wonders, my little man," said the King. "But the well
must be dug or I shall take off your ears."

"Kindly tell me where you would like to have the well," said Jack,
bowing again.

A place in the courtyard was pointed out. The King sat in his great
chair on a balcony above, and by him sat his beautiful daughter, the
Princess. They wanted to see the little fellow dig.

Jack took the pickaxe from his other pocket. He set it down on the
spot that had been pointed out.

"Now, Mr Pickaxe, dig! dig!" he cried.

You should have seen how the rocks flew.

In fifteen minutes a well a hundred feet deep was dug.

"What do you think of that?" asked Jack.

"It is a fine well," said the King, "but it has no water in it."

Jack felt in his cap for his walnut shell. He took it out and dropped
it softly to the bottom of the well. As he did so he shouted, "Now, Mr
Spring, spout! spout!"

The water spouted out of the walnut shell in a great stream. It filled
the well. It ran over into the King's garden.

All the people shouted, and the Princess clapped her hands.

With his cap in his hands Jack went and kneeled down before the King.
"Sire," he said, "do you think that I have won the prize?"

"Most certainly I do," answered the King; and he bade his servants
bring the three bags of gold and pour the coins out at Jack's feet.

"But, father," said the Princess, "have you forgotten the other part
of the prize?" and she blushed very red.

"Oh no," said the King; "but you both are very young. When you are a
few years older, we shall have a pretty wedding in the palace. Are you
willing to wait, young man?"

"I am willing to obey you in everything," answered Jack; "but I wonder
if I might not ask you for one other little favour?"

"Say on; and be careful not to ask too much," answered the King.

"May it please you, then," said Jack, "to pardon my two brothers?"

The King nodded, and in a short time Peter and Paul were brought
around into the courtyard.

"Well, brothers," said Jack kindly, "I wonder if I was very foolish
when I wanted to know all about things."

"You have certainly been lucky," said Paul; "and I am glad of it."

"You have saved our ears," said Peter, "and we are all lucky."

_The Feast of Lanterns_[10]

_Wang Chih watches a Game of Chess_

Wang Chih was only a poor man, but he had a wife and children to love,
and they made him so happy that he would not have changed places with
the Emperor himself.

[Footnote 10: The story of a Chinese Rip Van Winkle. From Stead's
_Books for the Bairns_, No. 52, _Fairy Tales from China_. By

He worked in the fields all day, and at night his wife always had a
bowl of rice ready for his supper. And sometimes, for a treat, she
made him some bean soup, or gave him a little dish of fried pork.

But they could not afford pork very often; he generally had to be
content with rice.

One morning, as he was setting off to his work, his wife sent Han
Chung, his son, running after him to ask him to bring home some

"I shall have to go up into the mountain for it at noon," he said. "Go
and bring me my axe, Han Chung."

Han Chung ran for his father's axe, and Ho-Seen-Ko, his little sister,
came out of the cottage with him.

"Remember it is the Feast of Lanterns to-night, father," she said.
"Don't fall asleep up on the mountain; we want you to come back and
light them for us."

She had a lantern in the shape of a fish, painted red and black and
yellow, and Han Chung had got a big round one, all bright crimson, to
carry in the procession; and, besides that, there were two large
lanterns to be hung outside the cottage door as soon as it grew dark.

Wang Chih was not likely to forget the Feast of Lanterns, for the
children had talked of nothing else for a month, and he promised to
come home as early as he could.

At noontide, when his fellow-labourers gave up working, and sat down
to rest and eat, Wang Chih took his axe and went up the mountain slope
to find a small tree that he might cut down for fuel.

He walked a long way, and at last saw one growing at the mouth of a

"This will be just the thing," he said to himself. But, before
striking the first blow, he peeped into the cave to see if it were

To his surprise, two old men, with long, white beards, were sitting
inside playing chess, as quietly as mice, with their eyes fixed on
the chessboard.

Wang Chih knew something of chess, and he stepped in and watched them
for a few minutes.

"As soon as they look up, I can ask them if I may chop down a tree,"
he said to himself. But they did not look up, and by-and-by Wang Chih
got so interested in the game that he put down his axe and sat on the
floor to watch it better.

The two old men sat cross-legged on the ground, and the chessboard
rested on a slab, like a stone table, between them.

On one corner of the slab lay a heap of small, brown objects which
Wang Chih took at first to be date stones; but after a time the
chess-players ate one each, and put one in Wang Chih's mouth; and he
found it was not a date stone at all.

It was a delicious kind of sweetmeat, the like of which he had never
tasted before; and the strangest thing about it was that it took his
hunger and thirst away.

He had been both hungry and thirsty when he came into the cave, as he
had not waited to have his midday meal with the other field workers;
but now he felt quite comforted and refreshed.

He sat there some time longer, and noticed, as the old men frowned
over the chessboard, their beards grew longer and longer, until they
swept the floor of the cave, and even found their way out of the door.

"I hope my beard will never grow as quickly," said Wang Chih, as he
rose and took up his axe again.

Then one of the old men spoke, for the first time. "Our beards have
not grown quickly, young man. How long is it since you came here?"

"About half-an-hour, I daresay," replied Wang Chih. But as he spoke,
the axe crumbled to dust beneath his fingers, and the second
chess-player laughed, and pointed to the little brown sweetmeats on
the table.

"Half-an-hour, or half-a-century--ay, half a thousand years--are alike
to him who tastes of these. Go down into your village and see what has
happened since you left it."

_The Sad Consequences_

So Wang Chih went down as quickly as he could from the mountain, and
found the fields where he had worked covered with houses, and a busy
town where his own little village had been. In vain he looked for his
house, his wife, and his children.

There were strange faces everywhere; and although when evening came
the Feast of Lanterns was being held once more, there was no
Ho-Seen-Ko carrying her red and yellow fish, or Han Chung with his
flaming red ball.

At last he found a woman, a very, very old woman, who told him that
when she was a tiny girl she remembered her grandmother saying how,
when _she_ was a tiny girl, a poor young man had been spirited away by
the Genii of the mountains, on the day of the Feast of Lanterns,
leaving his wife and little children with only a few handfuls of rice
in the house.

"Moreover, if you wait while the procession passes, you will see two
children dressed to represent Han Chung and Ho-Seen-Ko, and their
mother, carrying the empty rice bowl, between them; for this is done
every year to remind people to take care of the widow and fatherless,"
she said.

So Wang Chih waited in the street; and in a little while the
procession came to an end; and the last three figures in it were a boy
and girl, dressed like his own two children, walking on either side of
a young woman carrying a rice bowl. But she was not like his wife in
anything but her dress, and the children were not at all like Han
Chung and Ho-Seen-Ko; and poor Wang Chih's heart was very heavy as he
walked away out of the town.

He slept out on the mountain, and early in the morning found his way
back to the cave where the two old men were playing chess.

At first they said they could do nothing for him, and told him to go
away and not disturb them; but Wang Chih would not go, and they soon
found the only way to get rid of him was to give him some really good

"You must go to the White Hare of the Moon, and ask him for a bottle
of the elixir of life. If you drink that you will live for ever," said
one of them.

"But I don't want to live for ever," objected Wang Chih; "I wish to go
back and live in the days when my wife and children were here."

"Ah, well! For that you must mix the elixir of life with some water
out of the Sky-Dragon's mouth."

"And where is the Sky-Dragon to be found?" inquired Wang Chih.

"In the sky, of course. You really ask very stupid questions. He lives
in a cloud-cave. And when he comes out of it he breathes fire, and
sometimes water. If he is breathing fire, you will be burnt up, but if
it is only water, you will easily be able to catch some in a bottle.
What else do you want?"

For Wang Chih still lingered at the mouth of the cave.

"I want a pair of wings to fly with, and a bottle to catch the water
in," he replied boldly.

So they gave him a little bottle; and before he had time to say,
"Thank you!" a White Crane came sailing past, and lighted on the
ground close to the cave.

"The Crane will take you wherever you like," said the old men. "Go
now, and leave us in peace."

_Wang Chih visits the Fire Dragon_

Wang Chih sat on the White Crane's back, and was taken up, and up, and
up through the sky to the cloud-cave where the Sky-Dragon lived. And
the Dragon had the head of a camel, the horns of a deer, the eyes of a
rabbit, the ears of a cow, and the claws of a hawk.

Besides this, he had whiskers and a beard, and in his beard was a
bright pearl.

All these things show that he was a real, genuine dragon, and if you
ever meet a dragon who is not exactly like this, you will know he is
only a make-believe one.

Wang Chih felt rather frightened when he perceived the cave in the
distance, and if it had not been for the thought of seeing his wife
again, and his little boy and girl, he would have been glad to turn

While he was far away, the cloud-cave looked like a dark hole in the
midst of a soft, white, woolly mass, such as one sees in the sky on an
April day; but as he came nearer he found the cloud was as hard as a
rock, and covered with a kind of dry, white grass.

When he got there, he sat down on a tuft of grass near the cave, and
considered what he should do next.

The first thing was, of course, to bring the Dragon out, and the next
to make him breathe water instead of fire.

"I have it!" cried Wang Chih at last; and he nodded his head so many
times that the White Crane expected to see it fall off.

He struck a light, and set the grass on fire, and it was so dry that
the flames spread all around the entrance to the cave, and made such a
smoke and crackling that the Sky-Dragon put his head out to see what
was the matter.

"Ho! ho!" cried the Dragon, when he saw what Wang Chih had done, "I
can soon put this to rights." And he breathed once, and the water came
from his nose and mouth in three streams.

But this was not enough to put the fire out. Then he breathed twice,
and the water came out in three mighty rivers, and Wang Chih, who had
taken care to fill his bottle when the first stream began to flow,
sailed away on the White Crane's back as fast as he could, to escape
being drowned.

The rivers poured over the cloud-rock, until there was not a spark
left alight, and rushed down through the sky into the sea below.

Fortunately, the sea lay right underneath the Dragon's cave, or he
would have done great mischief. As it was, the people on the coast
looked out across the water toward Japan, and saw three inky-black
clouds stretching from the sky into the sea.

"My word! There is a fine rain-storm out at sea!" they said to each

But of course it was nothing of the kind; it was only the Sky-Dragon
putting out the fire Wang Chih had kindled.

_Wang Chih visits the White Hare of the Moon_

Meanwhile, Wang Chih was on his way to the Moon, and when he got there
he went straight to the hut where the Hare of the Moon lived, and
knocked at the door.

The Hare was busy pounding the drugs which make up the elixir of life;
but he left his work, and opened the door, and invited Wang Chih to
come in.

He was not ugly, like the Dragon; his fur was quite white and soft and
glossy, and he had lovely, gentle brown eyes.

The Hare of the Moon lives a thousand years, as you know, and when he
is five hundred years old he changes his colour, from brown to white,
and becomes, if possible, better tempered and nicer than he was

As soon as he heard what Wang Chih wanted, he opened two windows at
the back of the hut, and told him to look through each of them in

"Tell me what you see," said the Hare, going back to the table where
he was pounding the drugs.

"I can see a great many houses and people," said Wang Chih, "and
streets--why, this is the town I was in yesterday, the one which has
taken the place of my old village."

Wang Chih stared, and grew more and more puzzled. Here he was up in
the Moon, and yet he could have thrown a stone into the busy street of
the Chinese town below his window.

"How does it come here?" he stammered, at last.

"Oh, that is my secret," replied the wise old Hare. "I know how to do
a great many things which would surprise you. But the question is, do
you want to go back there?"

Wang Chih shook his head.

"Then close the window. It is the window of the Present. And look
through the other, which is the window of the Past."

Wang Chih obeyed, and through this window he saw his own dear little
village, and his wife, and Han Chung and Ho-Seen-Ko jumping about her
as she hung up the coloured lanterns outside the door.

"Father won't be in time to light them for us, after all," Han Chung
was saying.

Wang Chih turned, and looked eagerly at the White Hare.

"Let me go to them," he said. "I have got a bottle of water from the
Sky-Dragon's mouth, and----"

"That's all right," said the White Hare. "Give it to me."

He opened the bottle, and mixed the contents carefully with a few
drops of the elixir of life, which was clear as crystal, and of which
each drop shone like a diamond as he poured it in.

"Now, drink this," he said to Wang Chih, "and it will give you the
power of living once more in the Past, as you desire."

Wang Chih held out his hand, and drank every drop.

The moment he had done so, the window grew larger, and he saw some
steps leading from it down into the village street.

Thanking the Hare, he rushed through it, and ran toward his own house,
arriving in time to take from his wife's hand the taper with which she
was about to light the red and yellow lanterns which swung over the

"What has kept you so long, father? Where have you been?" asked Han
Chung, while little Ho-Seen-Ko wondered why he kissed and embraced
them all so eagerly.

But Wang Chih did not tell them his adventures just then; only when
darkness fell, and the Feast of Lanterns began, he took part in it
with a merry heart.

_Prince Harweda and the Magic Prison_



Little Harweda was born a prince. His father was king over all the
land, and his mother was the most beautiful queen the world had ever
seen, and Prince Harweda was their only child. From the day of his
birth, everything that love or money could do for him had been done.
The pillow on which his head rested was made out of the down from
humming-birds' breasts. The water in which his hands and face were
washed was always steeped in rose leaves before being brought to the
nursery. Everything that could be done was done, and nothing which
could add to his ease or comfort was left undone.

But his parents, although they were king and queen, were not very
wise, for they never thought of making the young prince think of
anyone but himself. Never in all his life had he given up one of his
comforts that someone else might have a pleasure. So, of course, he
grew to be selfish and peevish, and by the time he was five years old
he was so disagreeable that nobody loved him. "Dear! dear! what shall
we do?" said the poor queen, and the king only sighed and answered,
"Ah, what indeed!" They were both very much grieved, for they well
knew that little Harweda would never grow up to be really a great king
unless he could make his people love him.

At last they determined to send for his fairy godmother to see if she
could cure Prince Harweda of always thinking about himself. "Well,
well, well!" exclaimed his godmother when they laid the case before
her, "this is a pretty state of affairs! And I his godmother, too! Why
wasn't I called in sooner?" She told them she would have to think a
day and a night and a day again before she could offer them any help.
"But," added she, "if I take the child in charge, you must let me have
my way for a whole year." The king and queen gladly promised that they
would not even speak to or see their son for the year if the fairy
godmother would only cure him of his selfishness. "We'll see about
that," said the godmother. "Humph, expecting to be a king some day and
not caring for anybody but himself--a fine king he'll make!" With that
she flew off, and the king and queen saw nothing more of her for a
day and a night and another day. Then back she came in a great hurry.

"Give me the prince," said she, "I have a house all ready for him. One
month from to-day I'll bring him back to you. Perhaps he'll be cured
and perhaps he won't. If he is not cured then, we shall try two months
next time. We'll see, we'll see." Without any more ado she picked up
the astonished young prince and flew away with him as lightly as if he
were nothing but a feather or a straw. In vain the poor queen wept and
begged for a last kiss. Before she had wiped her eyes, the fairy
godmother and Prince Harweda were out of sight.

They flew a long distance, until they reached a great forest. When
they had come to the middle of it, down flew the fairy, and in a
minute more the young prince was standing on the green grass beside a
beautiful pink marble palace that looked something like a good-sized

"This is your home," said the godmother. "In it you will find
everything you need, and you can do just as you choose with your
time." Little Harweda was delighted at this, for there was nothing in
the world he liked better than to do as he pleased. He tossed his cap
up into the air and ran into the lovely little house without so much
as saying "Thank you" to his godmother. "Humph," said she, as he
disappeared, "you'll have enough of it before you have finished, my
fine prince." With that, off she flew. Prince Harweda had no sooner
set his foot inside the small rose-coloured palace than the iron door
shut with a bang and locked itself. This was because it was an
enchanted house, as of course all houses are that are built by

Prince Harweda did not mind being locked in, as he cared very little
for the great beautiful outside world. The new home was very fine, and
he was eager to examine it. Then, too, he thought that when he was
tired of it, all he would have to do would be to kick on the door and
a servant from somewhere would come and open it--he had always had a
servant to obey his slightest command.

His fairy godmother had told him that it was _his_ house, therefore he
was interested in looking at everything in it.

The floor was made of a beautiful red copper that shone in the
sunlight like burnished gold and seemed almost a dark red in the
shadow. He had never seen anything half so fine before. The ceiling
was of mother-of-pearl, with tints of red and blue and yellow and
green, all blending into gleaming white, as only mother-of-pearl can.
From the middle of this handsome ceiling hung a large gilded bird-cage
containing a beautiful bird, which just at this moment was singing a
glad song of welcome to the prince. Harweda, however, cared very
little about birds, so he took no notice of the singer.

Around on every side were couches with richly embroidered coverings
and soft down pillows. "Ah," thought the prince, "here I can lounge at
my ease with no one to call me to stupid lessons!" Wonderfully carved
jars and vases of gold and silver stood about on the floor, and each
was filled with a different perfume. "This is delicious," said Prince
Harweda. "Now I can have all the sweet odours I want without the
trouble of going into the garden for roses or lilies."

In the centre of the room was a fountain of sparkling water which
leaped up and fell back into its marble basin with a faint, dreamy
music very pleasant to hear.

On a table near at hand were various baskets of the most tempting
pears and grapes and peaches, and near them were dishes of sweetmeats.
"Good," said the greedy young prince, "that is what I like best of
all." Thereupon he fell to eating the fruit and sweetmeats as fast as
he could cram them into his mouth. He ate so much that he had a pain
in his stomach, but strange to say, the table was just as full as
when he began, for no sooner did he reach his hand out and take a
soft, mellow pear or a rich, juicy peach than another pear or peach
took its place in the basket. The same thing happened when he helped
himself to chocolate drops or marsh-mallows, for of course, as the
little palace was enchanted, everything in it was enchanted also.

When Prince Harweda had eaten until he could eat no more, he threw
himself down upon one of the couches and fell asleep. When he awoke,
he noticed, for the first time, the walls which, by the way, were
really the strangest part of his new home. They had in them twelve
long, chequered windows which reached from the ceiling to the floor.
The spaces between the windows were filled with mirrors exactly the
same size as the windows, so that the whole room was walled in with
windows and looking-glasses. Through the three windows that looked to
the north could be seen far distant mountains, towering high above the
surrounding country. From the three windows that faced the south could
be seen the great ocean, tossing and moving and gleaming with white
and silver. The eastern windows gave each morning a glorious view of
the sunrise. The windows on the west looked out upon a great forest of
tall fir-trees, and at the time of sunset most splendid colours could
be seen between the dark, green branches.

But little Harweda cared for none of these beautiful views. In fact he
scarcely glanced out of the windows at all, he was so taken up with
the broad handsome mirrors. In each of them he could see himself
reflected, and he was very fond of looking at himself in a
looking-glass. He was much pleased when he noticed that the mirrors
were so arranged that each one not only reflected his whole body,
head, arms, feet, and all, but that it also reflected his image as
seen in several of the other mirrors. He could thus see his front, and
back, and each side, all at the same time. As he was a handsome boy,
he enjoyed these many views of himself immensely, and would stand and
sit and lie down just for the fun of seeing the many images of himself
do the same thing.

He spent so much time looking at and admiring himself in the wonderful
looking-glasses that he had very little time for the books and games
in the palace. Hours were spent each day first before one mirror and
then another, and he did not notice that the windows were growing
narrower and narrower and the mirrors wider, until the former had
become so small that they hardly admitted light enough for him to see
himself in the looking-glass. Still, this did not alarm him very much,
as he cared nothing for the outside world. It only made him spend more
time at the mirror, as it was now getting quite difficult for him to
see himself at all. The windows at last became mere slits in the wall,
and the mirrors grew so large that they not only reflected little
Harweda but all of the room besides in a dim kind of way.

Finally, however, Prince Harweda awoke one morning and found himself
in total darkness. Not a ray of light came from the outside world,
and, of course, not an object in the room could be seen. He rubbed his
eyes and sat up to make sure that he was not dreaming. Then he called
loudly for someone to come and open a window for him, but no one came.
He got up and groped his way to the iron door and tried to open it,
but it was--as you know--locked. He kicked it, and beat upon it, but
he only bruised his fists and hurt his toes. He grew quite angry now.
How dare any one shut him, a prince, up in a dark prison like this! He
abused the fairy godmother, calling her all sorts of names. In fact,
he blamed everybody and everything but himself for his trouble, but it
was of no use. The sound of his own voice was his only answer. The
whole of the outside world seemed to have forgotten him.

As he felt his way back to his couch, he knocked over one of the
golden jars which had held the liquid perfume, but the perfume was all
gone now and only an empty jar rolled over the floor. He laid himself
down on the couch, but its soft pillows had been removed and a hard
iron framework received him. He was dismayed, and lay for a long time
thinking of what he had best do with himself. All before him was blank
darkness, as black as the darkest night you ever saw. He reached out
his hand to get some fruit to eat, but only one or two withered apples
remained on the table. Was he to starve to death? Suddenly he noticed
that the tinkling music of the fountain had ceased. He hastily groped
his way to it, and he found in the place of the dancing, running
stream a silent pool of water. A hush had fallen upon everything about
him; a dead silence was in the room. He threw himself down upon the
floor and wished that he were dead also. He lay there for a long, long

At last he heard, or thought he heard, a faint sound. He listened
eagerly. It seemed to be some tiny creature not far away, trying to
move about. For the first time for nearly a month, he remembered the
bird in the gilded cage. "Poor little thing," he cried as he sprang
up, "you too are shut within this terrible prison. This thick darkness
must be as hard for you to bear as it is for me." He went toward the
cage, and, as he drew near, the bird gave a glad little chirp.

"That's better than nothing," said the boy. "You must need some water
to drink. Poor thing," continued he, as he filled the drinking-cup,
"this is all I have to give you."

Just then he heard a harsh, grating sound as of rusty bolts sliding
with difficulty out of their sockets, and then faint rays of light,
not wider than a hair, began to shine between the heavy plate mirrors.
Prince Harweda was filled with joy. "Perhaps, perhaps," said he
softly, "I may yet see the light again. Ah, how beautiful the outside
world would look to me now!"

The next day he was so hungry that he began to bite one of the old
withered apples, and as he bit it, he thought of the bird, his
fellow-prisoner. "You must be hungry too, poor little thing," said he,
as he put part of the apple into the bird's cage. Again came the
harsh, grating sound, and the boy noticed that the cracks of light
were growing larger. Still they were only cracks, as nothing of the
outside world could be seen. However, it was a comfort not to have to
grope about in total darkness. Prince Harweda felt quite sure that
the cracks of light were wider, and on going up to one and putting his
eye close to it, as he would to a pinhole in a paper, he was glad to
find that he could tell the greenness of the grass from the blue of
the sky.

"Ah, my pretty bird, my pretty bird!" he cried joyfully, "I have had a
glimpse of the great beautiful outside world, and you shall have it

With these words, he climbed up into a chair and, loosening the cage
from the golden chain by which it hung, he carried it carefully to the
nearest crack of light and placed it close to the narrow opening.
Again was heard the harsh, grating sound, and the walls moved a bit,
and the windows were now at least an inch wide. At this, the poor
prince clasped his hands with delight. He sat down near the bird-cage
and gazed out of the narrow opening. Never before had the trees looked
so tall and stately, or the white clouds floating through the sky so

The next day, as he was carefully cleaning the bird's cage so that his
little friend might be more comfortable, the walls again creaked and
groaned and the mirrors grew narrower by just so many inches as the
windows widened. But Prince Harweda saw only the flood of sunshine
that poured in, and the beauty of the large landscape. He cared
nothing now for the stupid mirrors which could only reflect what was
placed before them. Each day he found something new and beautiful in
the view from the narrow windows. Now it was a squirrel frisking about
and running up some tall tree trunk so rapidly that Prince Harweda
could not follow it with his eyes; again it was a mother bird feeding
her young. By this time, the windows were a foot wide or more.

One day, as two white doves suddenly soared aloft in the blue sky, the
poor little bird, who had become the tenderly cared for comrade of the
young prince, gave a pitiful little trill. "Dear little fellow," cried
Harweda, "do you also long for your freedom? You shall at least be as
free as I am." So saying, he opened the cage door and the bird flew

The prince laughed as he watched it flutter about from chair to table
and back to chair again. He was so occupied with the bird that he did
not notice that the walls had again shaken and that the windows were
now their full size, until the added light caused him to look around.
He turned and saw the room looking almost exactly as it had done on
the day he had entered it with so much pride because it was all his
own. Now it seemed close and stuffy, and he would gladly have given it
all for the humblest home in his father's kingdom where he could meet
people and hear them talk, and see them smile at each other, even if
they should take no notice of him.

One day soon after this, the little bird fluttered up against the
window-pane and beat his wings against it in a vain effort to get out.
A new idea seized the young prince, and taking up one of the golden
jars he went to the window and struck on one of its chequered panes of
glass with all his force. "You shall be free, even if I cannot," said
he to the bird. Two or three strong blows shivered the small pane and
the bird swept out into the free open air beyond. "Ah, my pretty one,
how glad I am that you are free at last," cried the prince, as he
stood watching the flight of his fellow-prisoner. His face was bright
with glad, unselfish joy over the bird's liberty.

The small, pink marble palace shook from top to bottom, the iron door
flew open, and the fresh wind from the sea rushed in and seemed to
catch the boy in its invisible arms. Prince Harweda could hardly
believe his eyes as he sprang to the door. There stood his fairy
godmother, smiling, and with her hand reached out toward him. "Come,
my god-child," said she gently, "we shall now go back to your father
and mother, the king and the queen, and they will rejoice with us that
you have been cured of your terrible selfishness."

Great indeed was the rejoicing in the palace when Prince Harweda was
returned to them a sweet, loving boy, kind and thoughtful to all about
him. Many a struggle he had with the old habit of selfishness, but as
time passed by he grew to be a great, wise king, loving and tenderly
caring for all his people and loved by them in return.

_The Hop-about Man_[11]


Wee-Wun was a little gnome who lived in the Bye-bye Meadow, in a fine
new house which he loved. To live in the Bye-bye Meadow was sometimes
a dangerous thing, for all the big people lived there. Wee-Wun might
have lived on the other common with the other gnomes and fairies if he
had liked; but he did not. He liked better to be among the big people
on the Bye-bye Meadow. And perhaps if he had not been such a careless
fellow he might not have got into so much trouble there; but he was as
careless as he could be.

[Footnote 11: _From Little Folks' Magazine_. By permission of Messrs
Cassell & Co., Ltd.]

One day Wee-Wun was flying across the Bye-bye Meadow, with his cap at
the back of his head, and his pockets full of blue blow-away seeds,
when he saw lying upon the ground two little shoes of blue and silver,
with upturned toes.

"Here is a find!" cried he, and he bent down over the little shoes
with round eyes.

There they were, and they said nothing about how they had come there,
but lay sadly on their sides, as silent as could be.

"I shall certainly take them home to my fine house," said Wee-Wun the
gnome, "for they must be lonely lying here. They shall stand upon my
mantel shelf, and every morning I shall say, 'Good-morning, little
blue shoes,' and every night I shall say, 'Good-night,' and we shall
all be as happy as can be."

So he went to put the little shoes into his pockets, but he found they
were already full of blue blow-away seeds.

Then Wee-Wun took the blue blow-away seeds, and cast them over the
wall into the Stir-about Wife's garden. And he put the little shoes
into his pocket, and flew away.

The garden of the Stir-about Wife is full of golden dandelions. That
is because the Stir-about Wife likes best to brew golden spells that
will make folk happy, and of course dandelions are the flowers you use
for golden spells.

But the very next day after Wee-Wun had passed, when she came into her
garden to gather every twentieth dandelion she could hardly see a
dandelion because of the blow-aways that were growing everywhere, and
casting their fluff into the dandelions' eyes.

When the Stir-about Wife saw this mournful sight she wept, because
her beautiful spell, which she was about to finish, was quite spoiled.
And after a little while she went into her house and made another
spell instead.

On the morrow Wee-Wun the gnome came flying over the Bye-bye Meadow,
just as careless as ever. He stopped for a moment by the Stir-about
Wife's garden to look at the spot where he had found the little blue
shoes, to see if there were another pair there. And after he had seen
that no one had dropped another pair of little blue shoes, he hung
over the Stir-about Wife's wall and looked at her garden, and when he
saw the blue blow-aways he laughed so that he fell upon the ground.

"That is a new kind of dandelion," said he, and he picked himself up,
laughing still. Then he saw that upon the ground where he had fallen
there lay a large seed that shone in the sun. It was as blue as the
little blue shoes, and Wee-Wun had never seen any seed like it before.
He took it in his hand, and how it twinkled and shone!

"I shall plant this in my garden," said Wee-Wun, "and I shall have a
plant which will have sunbeams for flowers."

So he dropped it into his pocket and flew away home. That evening he
made a little hole, and when he had dropped the blue seed into it he
patted the earth down.

"Grow quickly, little seed," said he. Then he thought of the
Stir-about Wife's garden, and he began to laugh, and he laughed now
and again the whole night through.

But when he awakened in the morning, alack! he laughed no more, for
his fine home was so dark that he could see not a pace in front of

"This is very odd, very odd, indeed!" said Wee-Wun the gnome, and he
rubbed his eyes very hard. But this was no dream, and no matter how
hard he rubbed, he could not rub it away. Then he heard upon the floor
a clatter and a rustle, and then a stepping noise--one, two; one,
two--and that was the little blue shoes that were marching round and
round over the floor very steadily.

And as they marched they sang this song:

    "Ring-a-ding-dill, ring-a-ding-dill,
    The Hop-about Man comes over the hill.
    Why is he coming, and what will he see?
    Rickety, rackety--one, two, three."

And they sang it over and over again.

"Well, this is a fine time to sing, when it is as dark as can be!"
cried Wee-Wun. But the little shoes took no notice at all.

So Wee-Wun went outside to his garden, and then he saw that the whole
world was not dark, as he had supposed, but only his little home. For
in the spot where he had sown the blue seed had sprung up a huge plant
which covered over the window of Wee-Wun's fine house, and reached far
above its roof.

Wee-Wun began to weep, for he did not see why this thing had come to
him. And after he had wept awhile he went close to the fearful plant
and walked round it, and looked up and down.

And then he said, "Why, it is a blue blow-away!" And so it was, but
far, far larger than any Wee-Wun had ever seen in his life before. And
it had grown so high and as big as that in just one night.

"What will it be like to-morrow?" thought Wee-Wun, and he began to
weep again. But the blue blow-away took no notice of his tears, and
the little shoes inside the house went on singing; so Wee-Wun had to
stir his wits, and consider what was to be done. And when he had
considered awhile, he set off for the house of the Green Ogre, shaking
in his shoes.

The Green Ogre was planting peas, one by one. When he saw Wee-Wun come
along, with tears still on his cheeks and shaking in his shoes, he

"My little gnome, you had better keep away, lest I plant you in
mistake for a pea."

But Wee-Wun said:

"Oh, dear Green Ogre, wouldn't you like a nice blue blow-away for your
garden? I have one which is quite big enough for you; it is taller
than my little house. You have never seen a blow-away so fine."

"And are you weeping, my Wee-Wun, because you have such a fine blue
blow-away?" asked the Green Ogre, and he began to laugh.

But Wee-Wun said:

"I am weeping to see such a fine garden as yours without a blue
blow-away in it. That is a sad sight."

"There is something in that," said the Green Ogre, and he set down his
peas, and thought. Then he said: "Very well, I will come and look at
your blue blow-away." And he set off at once.

Now when the Green Ogre saw the blue blow-away in Wee-Wun's garden he
thought it was certainly the best he had ever seen, and much too fine
for a little gnome like Wee-Wun. So he dug it up in a great hurry and
carried it away.

"There, that was managed very easily," said Wee-Wun the gnome joyously
to himself, and he looked at the hole where the blue blow-away had
been, and laughed. Then he went into his fine home, but that was no
longer empty, for in the seat by the fireside sat a little man in a
blue smock and feather cap. And he looked quite happy and at home. And
above his head on the mantel shelf were the little blue shoes, as
quiet as could be.

"This is a nice thing," said Wee-Wun, opening his eyes wide. "Who are
you that you have come into my little house where I like to sit all

And the little man replied at once:

"I am the Hop-about Man, and since you have let the Green Ogre carry
away the blue blow-away in which I lived, I have come to live with

"But my fine house is not big enough to hold two people," cried
Wee-Wun, and he was in a way.

"It is big enough to hold twelve tigers," said the Hop-about Man, "so
it can easily hold two little gnomes. As for me, here I am, and here I
mean to stay."

And not another word would he say. At this Wee-Wun was in a terrible
way, as you may think. But there was the Hop-about Man, and he did not
seem to care, not one bit.

So Wee-Wun went on his way, and when he had made a platter of porridge
for his breakfast, the Hop-about Man said:

"Ah, that is my breakfast, I see," and he ate it up in a twink. So
Wee-Wun had to make another platterful, and alack, he was careless,
and let that porridge burn, and he could not eat it, though he tried
hard. Afterwards he went out to fetch wood for his fire, and when he
had fetched it, he threw it into a corner, and he left the door wide
open, so that a draught fell upon the Hop-about Man. But the Hop-about
Man said nothing.

Then Wee-Wun went out to dig in his garden, and he dug there the whole
day long, and when he came in in the evening, there was the Hop-about
Man sitting in his chair. When Wee-Wun looked at his blue smock and
his feather cap he saw that the Hop-about Man looked just like a blue
blow-away growing in the chair at Wee-Wun's fireside. But when Wee-Wun
the gnome came in the Hop-about Man flew out of his chair, and he flew
all around the room, singing this song:

    "Ring-a-ding-dill, ring-a-ding-dill,
    Let all careless things hop about if they will."

Alack! he had no sooner sung this song than the door which Wee-Wun had
left open jumped off its hinges and ran about the floor, and the wood
which he had thrown into the corner flew out and rushed about too. The
Hop-about Man's platter, which Wee-Wun had forgotten to wash, flew up
to the ceiling, and the wooden spoon spun round like a top on the
floor, and all the chairs and tables Wee-Wun had left awry began to

"Certainly my fine house will come down about my ears," cried poor

Then he felt a tug at his hair, and that was his cap, which he had put
on inside out, and which was anxious to be off and join in the fun.
And his spade, which he had left lying on the ground outside, came
running in at the place where the door had been, stirring everything
as it came. That was a muddle, and Wee-Wun began to weep.

"Oh, dear Hop-about Man," he cried, "do tell everything to be quiet
again, please, for I can hear the walls of my fine house shaking!"

But the Hop-about Man, who was again sitting in his chair, replied:

"Things will be quiet again when you have put all careless things

So Wee-Wun set to work, and he wept ever so fast. You see it is
difficult to put careless things straight when they are running about
all the time, and you have to catch them first. But at last Wee-Wun
set the door on its hinges, and put the wood in the wood cellar, and
washed the Hop-about Man's platter and spoon, and set straight all the
chairs and tables, and put the spade in the place where it ought to
be, and he was so tired that he could hardly move another step. But
the Hop-about Man did not notice him at all, and when Wee-Wun cried
out to the little blue shoes:

"See how hard I am working," they were quite silent. And you do not
know how silent blue shoes can be.

The Hop-about Man was falling asleep in his chair when all was
finished, and Wee-Wun again shed tears.

"Oh, Hop-about Man," he cried, "are you never going away?"

And the Hop-about Man replied:

"Certainly I am very comfortable here, with half of this fine house
for my own, and I can only walk away if I have a pair of little blue
shoes to walk in, and I can only go when you have set all careless
things straight."

Poor Wee-Wun! He took the little blue shoes in a hurry, and his tears
were dropping all the time.

"Good-bye, little blue shoes," he said, but the Hop-about Man did not
seem to notice. And when Wee-Wun gave them to him he put them upon his
feet, but he did not stir, not an inch.

Then Wee-Wun sighed a long sigh, and he flew over the Bye-bye Meadow
till he reached the garden of the Stir-about Wife, which is bound
about by a wall. And there all night he weeded, pulling up blue
blow-aways by the score. But when in the morning he went back to his
fine house, the Hop-about Man was gone.

_The Street Musicians_


A donkey who had carried sacks to the mill for his master a great many
years became so weak that he could not work for a living any longer.
His master thought that he would get rid of his old servant, that he
might save the cost of his food. The donkey heard of this, and made up
his mind to run away. So he took the road to a great city where he had
often heard the street band play. "For," thought he, "I can make music
as well as they."

He had gone but a little way when he came to a dog stretched out in
the middle of the road and panting for breath, as if tired from

"Why are you panting so, friend?" asked the donkey.

"Oh, dear!" he replied. "Now that I am old and growing weaker and
weaker, and am not able to hunt any more, my master has ordered that I
should be killed. So I have run away, but how I am to earn a living I
am sure I do not know."

"Will you come with me?" said the donkey. "You see, I am going to try
my luck as a street musician in the city. I think we might easily earn
a living by music. You can play the bass drum and I can play the

"I will go," said the dog, and they both walked on together.

Not long after they saw a cat sitting in the road, with a face as
dismal as three days of rainy weather.

"Now what has happened to you, old Whiskers?" said the donkey.

"How can I be happy when I am in fear for my life?" said the cat. "I
am getting old, and my teeth are only stumps. I cannot catch mice any
longer, and I like to lie behind the stove and purr. But when I found
that they were going to drown me, away I ran as fast as my four legs
could carry me. But now that I have come away, what am I to do?"

"Go with us to the city," said the donkey. "You often give night
concerts, I know, so you can easily become a street musician."

"With all my heart," said the cat, so she walked on with them.

After travelling quite a long distance the three "runaways" came to a
farmyard, and on the gate stood a rooster, crowing with all his

"Why are you standing there and making such a fuss?" said the donkey.

"I will tell you," replied the rooster. "I heard the cook say that
there is company coming on Wednesday and she will want me to put into
the soup. That evening my head will be cut off, so I shall crow at the
top of my voice as long as I can."

"Listen, Red Comb," said the donkey. "Would you like to run away with
us? We are going to the city, and you will find something better there
than to be made into soup. You have a fine voice, and we are all

The rooster was glad to go, and all four went on together.

They could not reach the city in one day, and evening came on just as
they reached a wood, so they agreed to stay there all night.

The donkey and the dog lay down under a large tree, the cat stretched
herself out on one of the branches, and the rooster flew to the top,
where he felt quite safe.

Before they slept the rooster, who from his high roost could see every
way, spied far off a tiny light, and calling to his comrades told them
he thought they were near a house in which a light was shining.

"Then," said the donkey, "we must rouse up and go on to this light,
for no doubt we shall find a good stopping-place there."

The dog said he would be glad of a little piece of meat, or a couple
of bones if he could get nothing more.

Very soon they were on their way to the place where the light shone.
It grew larger and brighter as they came nearer to it, till they saw
that it came from the window of a small hut. The donkey, who was the
tallest, went near and looked in.

"What is to be seen, old Grey Horse?" said the rooster.

"What do I see?" answered the donkey. "Why, a table spread with plenty
to eat and drink, and robbers sitting at it and having a good time."

"That ought to be our supper," said the rooster.

"Yes, yes," the donkey answered; "how I wish we were inside."

Then they talked together about how they should drive the robbers
away. At last they made a plan that they thought would work. The
donkey was to stand on his hind legs and place his forefeet on the
window-sill. The dog was to stand on his back. The cat was to stand on
the dog's shoulders, and the rooster promised to light upon the cat's

As soon as they were all ready they began to play their music
together. The donkey brayed, the dog barked, the cat mewed, the
rooster crowed. They made such a noise that the window rattled.

The robbers, hearing the dreadful din, were terribly frightened, and
ran as fast as they could to the woods. The four comrades, rushing in,
hurried to the table and ate as if they had had nothing for a month.
When they had finished their meal they put out the light, and each one
chose a good bed for the night. The donkey lay down at full length in
the yard, the dog crouched behind the door, the cat curled herself up
on the hearth in front of the fire, while the rooster flew to the roof
of the hut. They were all so tired after their long journey that they
were soon fast asleep.

About midnight one of the robbers, seeing that the light was out and
all quiet, said to his chief: "I do not think that we had any reason
to be afraid, after all."

Then he called one of his robbers and sent him to the house to see if
it was all right.

The robber, finding everything quiet, went into the kitchen to light a
match. Seeing the glaring, fiery eyes of the cat, he thought they were
live coals, and held a match toward them that he might light it. But
Puss was frightened; she spat at him and scratched his face. This
frightened the robber so terribly that he rushed to the door, but the
dog, who lay there, sprang out at him and bit him on the leg as he
went by.

In the yard he ran against the donkey, who gave him a savage kick,
while the rooster on the roof cried out as loud as he could,

Then the robber ran back to his chief.

"Oh! oh!" he cried, "in that house is a horrible woman, who flew at me
and scratched me down the face with her long fingers. Then by the door
stood a man with a knife, who stabbed me in the leg, and out in the
yard lay a monster who struck me a hard blow with a huge club; and up
on the roof sat the judge, who cried, 'Bring me the scoundrel here.'
You may be sure I ran away as fast as I could go."

The robbers never went back to the house, but got away from that place
as quickly as they could. The four musicians liked their new home so
well that they thought no more of going on to the city. The last we
heard of them, they were still there and having happy times together.

_The Straw Ox_[12]


There was once upon a time an old man and an old woman. The old man
worked in the fields as a pitch-burner, while the old woman sat at
home and spun flax. They were so poor that they could save nothing at
all; all their earnings went in bare food, and when that was gone
there was nothing left. At last the old woman had a good idea:

"Look now, husband," cried she, "make me a straw ox, and smear it all
over with tar."

[Footnote 12: From _Cossack Fairy Tales_ (London: George G. Harrap &

"Why, you foolish woman!" said he, "what's the good of an ox of that

"Never mind," said she, "you just make it. I know what I am about."

What was the poor man to do? He set to work and made the ox of straw,
and smeared it all over with tar.

The night passed away, and at early dawn the old woman took her
distaff, and drove the straw ox out into the steppe to graze, and she
herself sat down behind a hillock, and began spinning her flax, and

"Graze away, little ox, while I spin my flax. Graze away, little ox,
while I spin my flax!" And while she spun, her head drooped down and
she began to doze, and while she was dozing, from behind the dark wood
and from the back of the huge pines a bear came rushing out upon the
ox and said:

"Who are you? Speak, and tell me!"

And the ox said:

"A three-year-old heifer am I, made of straw and smeared with tar."

"Oh!" said the bear, "stuffed with straw and trimmed with tar, are
you? Then give me of your straw and tar, that I may patch up my ragged
fur again!"

"Take some," said the ox, and the bear fell upon him and began to tear
away at the tar.

He tore and tore, and buried his teeth in it till he found he couldn't
let go again. He tugged and he tugged, but it was no good, and the ox
dragged him gradually off, goodness knows where.

Then the old woman awoke, and there was no ox to be seen. "Alas! old
fool that I am!" cried she, "perchance it has gone home." Then she
quickly caught up her distaff and spinning board, threw them over her
shoulders, and hastened off home, and she saw that the ox had dragged
the bear up to the fence, and in she went to her old man.

"Dad, dad," she cried, "look, look! The ox has brought us a bear. Come
out and kill it!" Then the old man jumped up, tore off the bear, tied
him up, and threw him in the cellar.

Next morning, between dark and dawn, the old woman took her distaff
and drove the ox into the steppe to graze. She herself sat down by a
mound, began spinning, and said:

"Graze, graze away, little ox, while I spin my flax! Graze, graze
away, little ox, while I spin my flax!" And while she spun, her head
dropped down and she dozed. And, lo! from behind the dark wood, from
the back of the huge pines, a grey wolf came rushing out upon the ox
and said:

"Who are you? Come, tell me!"

"I am a three-year-old heifer, stuffed with straw and trimmed with
tar," said the ox.

"Oh! trimmed with tar, are you? Then give me of your tar to tar my
sides, that the dogs and the sons of dogs tear me not!"

"Take some," said the ox. And with that the wolf fell upon him and
tried to tear the tar off. He tugged and tugged, and tore with his
teeth, but could get none off. Then he tried to let go, and couldn't;
tug and worry as he might, it was no good. When the old woman woke,
there was no heifer in sight. "Maybe my heifer has gone home!" she
cried. "I'll go home and see." When she got there she was astonished,
for by the palings stood the ox with the wolf still tugging at it. She
ran and told her old man, and her old man came and threw the wolf into
the cellar also.

On the third day the old woman again drove her ox into the pastures to
graze, and sat down by a mound and dozed off. Then a fox came running
up. "Who are you?" it asked the ox.

"I'm a three-year-old heifer, stuffed with straw and daubed with tar."

"Then give me some of your tar to smear my sides with, when those dogs
and sons of dogs tear my hide!"

"Take some," said the ox. Then the fox fastened her teeth in him and
couldn't draw them out again. The old woman told her old man, and he
took and cast the fox into the cellar in the same way. And after that
they caught Pussy Swift-foot[13] likewise.

[Footnote 13: The hare.]

So when he had got them all safely the old man sat down on a bench
before the cellar and began sharpening a knife. And the bear said to

"Tell me, daddy, what are you sharpening your knife for?"

"To flay your skin off, that I may make a leather jacket for myself
and a pelisse for my old woman."

"Oh! don't flay me, daddy dear! Rather let me go, and I'll bring you a
lot of honey."

"Very well, see you do it," and he unbound and let the bear go. Then
he sat down on the bench and again began sharpening his knife. And the
wolf asked him:

"Daddy, what are you sharpening your knife for?"

"To flay off your skin, that I may make me a warm cap against the

"Oh! Don't flay me, daddy dear, and I'll bring you a whole herd of
little sheep."

"Well, see that you do it," and he let the wolf go.

Then he sat down, and began sharpening his knife again. The fox put
out her little snout, and asked him:

"Be so kind, dear daddy, as to tell me why you are sharpening your

"Little foxes," said the old man, "have nice skins that do capitally
for collars and trimmings, and I want to skin you!"

"Oh! Don't take my skin away, daddy dear, and I will bring you hens
and geese."

"Very well, see that you do it!" and he let the fox go.

The hare now alone remained, and the old man began sharpening his
knife on the hare's account.

"Why do you do that?" asked Puss, and he replied:

"Little hares have nice little, soft, warm skins, which will make me
nice gloves and mittens against the winter!"

"Oh! daddy dear! Don't flay me, and I'll bring you kale and good
cauliflower if only you let me go!"

Then he let the hare go also.

Then they went to bed: but very early in the morning, when it was
neither dusk nor dawn, there was a noise in the doorway like

"Daddy!" cried the old woman, "there's someone scratching at the door:
go and see who it is!"

The old man went out, and there was the bear carrying a whole hive
full of honey. The old man took the honey from the bear; but no sooner
did he lie down again than there was another _Durrrrr!_ at the door.
The old man looked out and saw the wolf driving a whole flock of sheep
into the courtyard. Close on his heels came the fox, driving before
him geese and hens, and all manner of fowls; and last of all came the
hare, bringing cabbage and kale, and all manner of good food.

And the old man was glad, and the old woman was glad. And the old man
sold the sheep and oxen, and got so rich that he needed nothing more.

As for the straw-stuffed ox, it stood in the sun till it fell to

_The Necklace of Truth_


Once there was a little girl named Coralie. She had but one fault. She
told falsehoods. Her parents tried to cure her in many ways, but in
vain. Finally they decided to take her to the enchanter Merlin.

The enchanter Merlin lived in a glass palace. He loved truth. He knew
liars by their odour a league off. When Coralie came toward the
castle, Merlin was forced to burn vinegar to keep himself from being

Coralie's mother began to explain the reason for their coming. But
Merlin stopped her.

"I know all about your daughter, my good lady," he said. "She is one
of the greatest liars in the world. She often makes me ill."

Merlin's face looked so stern that Coralie hid her face under her
mother's cloak. Her father stood before her to keep her from harm.

"Do not fear," said Merlin. "I am not going to hurt your little girl.
I only wish to make her a present."

He opened a drawer and took from it a magnificent amethyst necklace.
It was fastened with a shining clasp of diamonds.

Merlin put the necklace on Coralie's neck and said, "Go in peace, my
friends. Your little daughter carries with her a sure guardian of the

Then he looked sternly at Coralie and said, "In a year I shall come
for my necklace. Do not dare to take it off for a single moment. If
you do, harm will come to you!"

"Oh, I shall always love to wear it! It is so beautiful!" cried
Coralie. And this is the way she came by the wonderful Necklace of

The day after Coralie returned home she was sent to school. As she had
long been absent, the little girls crowded round her. There was a cry
of admiration at sight of the necklace.

"Where did it come from? Where did you get it?" they asked.

"I was ill for a long time," replied Coralie. "When I got well, mamma
and papa gave me the necklace."

A loud cry rose from all. The diamonds of the clasp had grown dim.
They now looked like coarse glass.

"Yes, indeed, I have been ill! What are you making such a fuss

At this second falsehood the amethysts, in turn, changed to ugly
yellow stones. A new cry arose. Coralie was frightened at the strange
behaviour of the necklace.

"I have been to the enchanter Merlin," she said very humbly.

Immediately the necklace looked as beautiful as ever. But the children
teased her.

"You need not laugh," said Coralie, "for Merlin was very glad to see
us. He sent his carriage to the next town to meet us. Such a splendid
carriage, with six white horses, pink satin cushions, and a negro
coachman with powdered hair. Merlin's palace is all of jasper and
gold. He met us at the door and led us to the dining-room. There stood
a long table covered with delicious things to eat. First of all we

Coralie stopped, for the children were laughing till the tears rolled
down their cheeks. She glanced at the necklace and shuddered. With
each new falsehood, the necklace had become longer and longer, till it
already dragged on the ground.

"Coralie, you are stretching the truth," cried the girls.

"Well, I confess it. We walked, and we stayed there only five

The necklace shrank at once to its proper size.

"The necklace--the necklace--where did it come from?"

"He gave it to me without saying a word. I think----"

She had not time to finish. The fatal necklace grew shorter and
shorter till it choked her. She gasped for breath.

"You are keeping back part of the truth," cried her schoolmates.

"He said--that I was--one of the greatest--liars in the world." The
necklace loosened about her neck, but Coralie still cried with pain.

"That was why Merlin gave me the necklace. He said that it would make
me truthful. What a silly I have been to be proud of it!"

Her playmates were sorry for her. "If I were in your place," said one
of them, "I should send back the necklace. Why do you not take it

Poor Coralie did not wish to speak. The stones, however, began to
dance up and down and to make a terrible clatter.

"There is something you have not told us," laughed the little girls.

"I like to wear it."

Oh, how the diamonds and amethysts danced! It was worse than ever.

"Tell us the true reason."

"Well, I see I can hide nothing. Merlin forbade me to take it off. He
said great harm would come if I disobeyed."

Thanks to the enchanted necklace, Coralie became a truthful child.
Long before the year had passed, Merlin came for his necklace. He
needed it for another child who told falsehoods.

No one can tell to-day what has become of the wonderful Necklace of
Truth. But if I were a little child in the habit of telling
falsehoods, I should not feel quite sure that it might not be found
again some fine day.

_Anders' New Cap_[14]


Once upon a time there was a little boy, called Anders, who had a new
cap. And a prettier cap you never could see, for mother herself had
knitted it, and nobody could make anything quite as nice as mother
could. And it was altogether red, except a small part in the middle
which was green, for the red yarn had given out; and the tassel was

[Footnote 14: _A Swedish Fairy Tale._]

His brothers and sisters walked about squinting at him, and their
faces grew long with envy. But Anders cared nothing about that. He put
his hands in his trousers pockets and went out for a walk, for he did
not begrudge anybody's seeing how fine he was.

The first person he met was a farm labourer walking alongside a load
of peat and smacking at his horse. He made a bow so deep that his back
came near breaking, and he was dumbfounded, I can tell you, when he
saw it was nobody but Anders.

"Dear me," he said, "if I did not think it was the gracious little
count himself." And then he invited Anders to ride on the peat load.

But when one has a fine red cap with a blue tassel, one is too fine to
ride on peat loads, and Anders trotted proudly by.

At the turn of the road he ran up against the tanner's boy, Lars. He
was such a big boy that he wore high boots and carried a jack-knife.
He gazed and gazed at the cap, and could not keep from fingering the
blue tassel.

"Let's swap caps," he said, "and I will give you my jack-knife to

Now this knife was a splendid one, though half the blade was gone, and
the handle was a little cracked; and Anders knew that one is almost a
man as soon as one has a jack-knife. But still it did not come up to
the new cap which mother had made.

"Oh no, I am not as stupid as all that!"

And then he said good-bye to Lars with a nod; but Lars only made faces
at him, for he was very much put out because he could not cheat Anders
out of his cap which his mother had made.

Soon after this, Anders met a very old, old woman who curtsied till
her skirts looked like a balloon. She called him a little gentleman
and said that he was so fine that he might go to the royal court ball.

"Yes, why not?" thought Anders. "Seeing that I am so fine, I may as
well go and visit the King."

And so he did. In the palace yard stood two soldiers with shining
helmets, and with muskets over their shoulders; and when Anders came,
both the muskets were levelled at him.

"Where may you be going?" asked one of the soldiers.

"I am going to the court ball," answered Anders.

"Indeed you are not," said the other soldier, and put his foot
forward. "Nobody is allowed there without a uniform."

But just at this instant the Princess came tripping across the yard.
She was dressed in white silk with bows of ribbon. When she became
aware of Anders and the soldiers, she walked over to them.

"Oh," she said, "he has such an extraordinarily fine cap on his head,
that that will do just as well as a uniform."

And she took Anders' hand and walked with him up the broad marble
stairs, where soldiers were posted at every third step, and through
the magnificent halls where courtiers in silk and velvet stood bowing
wherever he went. For, like as not, they must have thought him a
prince when they saw his fine cap.

At the farther end of the largest hall a table was set with golden
cups and golden plates in long rows. On huge silver platters were
pyramids of tarts and cakes, and red wine sparkled in glittering
decanters. The Princess sat down under a blue canopy with bouquets of
roses; and she let Anders sit in a golden chair by her side.

"But you must not eat with your cap on your head," she said, and was
going to take it off.

"Oh yes, I can eat just as well," said Anders, and held on to his cap,
for if they should take it away from him, nobody would any longer
believe that he was a prince, and, besides, he did not feel sure that
he would get it back again.

"Well, well, give it to me," said the Princess, "and I will give you a

The Princess certainly was beautiful, and he would have dearly liked
to be kissed by her, but the cap which his mother had made he would
not give up on any condition. He only shook his head.

"Well, but now?" said the Princess; and she filled his pockets with
cakes, and put her own heavy gold chain around his neck, and bent down
and kissed him.

But he only moved farther back in his chair, and did not take his
hands away from his head.

Then the doors were thrown open, and the King entered with a large
suite of gentlemen in glittering uniforms and plumed hats. And the
King himself wore an ermine-bordered purple mantle which trailed
behind him, and he had a large gold crown on his white curly hair.

He smiled when he saw Anders in the gilt chair.

"That is a very fine cap you have," he said.

"So it is," said Anders. "And it is made of mother's best yarn, and
she knitted it herself, and everybody wants to get it away from me."

"But surely you would like to change caps with me," said the King, and
raised his large, heavy gold crown from his head.

Anders did not answer. He sat as before, and held on to his red cap
which everybody was so anxious to get. But when the King came nearer
to him, with his gold crown between his hands, then he grew frightened
as never before, for a King can do what he likes, and he would be
likely to cheat him out of his cap, if he did not take good care.

With one jump Anders got out of his chair. He darted like an arrow
through all the halls, down all the stairs, and across the yard. He
twisted himself like an eel between the outstretched arms of the
courtiers, and over the soldiers' muskets he jumped like a little
rabbit. He ran so fast that the Princess's necklace fell off his
neck, and all the cakes jumped out of his pockets. But he had his cap.
He still held on to it with both hands as he rushed into his mother's

And his mother took him up in her lap, and he told her all his
adventures, and how everybody wanted his cap. And all his brothers and
sisters stood round and listened with their mouths open.

But when his big brother heard that he had refused to give his cap for
a King's golden crown, he said that Anders was a stupid. Just think
what splendid things one might get in exchange for the crown; and
Anders could have had a still finer cap.

Anders' face grew red. That he had not thought of. He cuddled up to
his mother and asked:

"Mother, was I stupid?"

But his mother hugged him close.

"No, my little son," she said. "If you dressed in silk and gold from
top to toe, you could not look any nicer than in your little red cap."

Then Anders felt brave again. He knew well enough that mother's cap
was the best cap in all the world.

_Dust under the Rug_


There was once a mother, who had two little daughters; and, as her
husband was dead and she was very poor, she worked diligently all the
time that they might be well fed and clothed. She was a skilled
worker, and found work to do away from home, but her two little girls
were so good and so helpful that they kept her house as neat and as
bright as a new pin.

One of the little girls was lame, and could not run about the house;
so she sat still in her chair, and sewed, while Minnie, the sister,
washed the dishes, swept the floor, and made the home beautiful.

Their home was on the edge of a great forest; and after their tasks
were finished the little girls would sit at the window and watch the
tall trees as they bent in the wind, until it would seem as though the
trees were real persons, nodding and bending and bowing to each other.

In the spring there were birds, in the summer the wild flowers, in
autumn the bright leaves, and in winter the great drifts of white
snow; so that the whole year was a round of delight to the two happy
children. But one day the dear mother came home ill; and then they
were very sad. It was winter, and there were many things to buy.
Minnie and her little sister sat by the fireside and talked it over,
and at last Minnie said:

"Dear sister, I must go out to find work, before the food comes to an
end." So she kissed her mother, and, wrapping herself up, started from
home. There was a narrow path leading through the forest, and she
determined to follow it until she reached some place where she might
find the work she wanted.

As she hurried on, the shadows grew deeper. The night was coming fast
when she saw before her a very small house, which was a welcome sight.
She made haste to reach it, and to knock at the door.

Nobody came in answer to her knock. When she had tried again and
again, she thought that nobody lived there; and she opened the door
and walked in, meaning to stay all night.

As soon as she stepped into the house, she started back in surprise;
for there before her she saw twelve little beds with the bedclothes
all tumbled, twelve little dirty plates on a very dusty table, and the
floor of the room so dusty that I am sure you could have drawn a
picture on it.

"Dear me!" said the little girl, "this will never do!" And as soon as
she had warmed her hands, she set to work to make the room tidy.

She washed the plates, she made up the beds, she swept the floor, she
straightened the great rug in front of the fireplace, and set the
twelve little chairs in a half-circle around the fire; and, just as
she finished, the door opened and in walked twelve of the queerest
little people she had ever seen. They were just about as tall as a
carpenter's rule, and all wore yellow clothes; and when Minnie saw
this, she knew that they must be the dwarfs who kept the gold in the
heart of the mountain.

"Well!" said the dwarfs, all together, for they always spoke together
and in rhyme,

    "Now isn't this a sweet surprise?
    We really can't believe our eyes!"

Then they spied Minnie, and cried in great astonishment:

    "Who can this be, so fair and mild?
    Our helper is a stranger child."

Now when Minnie saw the dwarfs, she came to meet them. "If you
please," she said, "I'm little Minnie Grey; and I'm looking for work
because my dear mother is sick. I came in here when the night drew
near, and----"

Here all the dwarfs laughed, and called out merrily:

    "You found our room a sorry sight,
    But you have made it clean and bright."

They were such dear funny little dwarfs! After they had thanked Minnie
for her trouble, they took white bread and honey from the closet and
asked her to sup with them.

While they sat at supper, they told her that their fairy housekeeper
had taken a holiday, and their house was not well kept, because she
was away.

They sighed when they said this; and after supper, when Minnie washed
the dishes and set them carefully away, they looked at her often and
talked among themselves. When the last plate was in its place they
called Minnie to them and said:

    "Dear mortal maiden, will you stay
    All through our fairy's holiday?
    And if you faithful prove, and good,
    We will reward you as we should."

Now Minnie was much pleased, for she liked the kind dwarfs, and wanted
to help them, so she thanked them, and went to bed to dream happy

Next morning she was awake with the chickens, and cooked a nice
breakfast; and after the dwarfs left, she cleaned up the rooms and
mended the dwarfs' clothes. In the evening when the dwarfs came home,
they found a bright fire and a warm supper waiting for them; and every
day Minnie worked faithfully until the last day of the fairy
house-keeper's holiday.

That morning, as Minnie looked out of the window to watch the dwarfs
go to their work, she saw on one of the window-panes the most
beautiful picture she had ever seen.

A picture of fairy palaces with towers of silver and frosted
pinnacles, so wonderful and beautiful that as she looked at it she
forgot that there was work to be done, until the cuckoo clock on the
mantel struck twelve.

Then she ran in haste to make up the beds, and wash the dishes; but
because she was in a hurry she could not work quickly, and when she
took the broom to sweep the floor it was almost time for the dwarfs to
come home.

"I believe," said Minnie aloud, "that I will not sweep under the rug
to-day. After all, it is nothing for dust to be where it can't be
seen." So she hurried to her supper and left the rug unturned.

Before long the dwarfs came home. As the rooms looked just as usual,
nothing was said; and Minnie thought no more of the dust until she
went to bed and the stars peeped through the window.

Then she thought of it, for it seemed to her that she could hear the
stars saying:

"There is the little girl who is so faithful and good"; and Minnie
turned her face to the wall, for a little voice, right in her own
heart, said:

"Dust under the rug! dust under the rug!"

"There is the little girl," cried the stars, "who keeps home as bright
as star-shine."

"Dust under the rug! dust under the rug!" said the little voice in
Minnie's heart.

"We see her! we see her!" called all the stars joyfully.

"Dust under the rug! dust under the rug!" said the little voice in
Minnie's heart, and she could bear it no longer. So she sprang out of
bed, and, taking her broom in her hand, she swept the dust away; and
lo! under the rug lay twelve shining gold-pieces, as round and as
bright as the moon.

"Oh! oh! oh!" cried Minnie, in great surprise; and all the little
dwarfs came running to see what was the matter.

Minnie told them all about it; and when she had ended her story, the
dwarfs gathered lovingly round her and said:

    "Dear child, the gold is all for you,
    For faithful you have proved and true;
    But had you left the rug unturned,
    A groat was all you would have earned.
    Our love goes with the gold we give,
    And oh! forget not while you live,
    That in the smallest duty done
    Lies wealth of joy for everyone."

Minnie thanked the dwarfs for their kindness to her; and early next
morning she hastened home with her golden treasure, which bought many
things for the dear mother and little sister.

She never saw the dwarfs again; but she never forgot their lesson, to
do her work faithfully; and she always swept under the rug.

_A Night with Santa Claus_


Not very long ago, and not far from here, lived a little boy named
Robby Morgan. Now I must tell at once how Robby looked, else how will
you know him if you meet him in the street? Blue-eyed was Rob, and
fair-haired, and pug-nosed,--just the sweetest trifle, his mother

Well, the day before Christmas, Rob thought it would be a fine thing
to run down the High Street and see what was going on. After dinner
his mother put on his fur cap and bright scarf, and filled his pockets
with biscuits. She told him to be very polite to Santa Claus if he
should happen to meet him.

Off he trotted, merry as a cricket, with now a skip, and now a slide.
At every corner he held his breath, half expecting to run into Santa
himself. Nothing of the sort happened, however, and he soon found
himself before the gay windows of a toyshop.

There he saw a spring hobbyhorse, as large as a Shetland pony, all
saddled and bridled, too--lacking nothing but a rider. Rob pressed his
nose against the glass, and tried to imagine the feelings of a boy in
that saddle. He might have stood there all day, had not a ragged
little fellow pulled his coat. "Wouldn't you like that popgun?" he

"Catch me looking at popguns!" said Rob shortly. But when he saw how
tattered the boy's jacket was, he said more softly, "P'r'aps you'd
like a biscuit?"

"Only try me!" said the shrill little voice.

There was a queer lump in Rob's throat as he emptied one pocket of its
biscuits and thrust them into the dirty, eager hands. Then he marched
down the street without so much as glancing at that glorious steed

Brighter and brighter grew the windows, more and more full of toys. At
last our boy stood, with open eyes and mouth, before a great shop
lighted from top to bottom, for it was growing dark. Rob came near
taking off his cap and saying, "How do you do, sir?"

To whom? you ask. Why, to an image of Santa Claus, the size of life,
holding a Christmas tree hung with wonderful fruit.

Soon a happy thought struck Rob. "Surely this must be Santa Claus's
own store, where he comes to fill his basket with toys! What if I were
to hide there and wait for him?"

As I said, he was a brave little chap, and he walked straight into the
shop with the stream of big people. Everybody was busy. No one had
time to look at our mite of a Rob. He tried in vain to find a quiet
corner, till he caught sight of some winding stairs that led up to the
next storey. He crept up, scarcely daring to breathe.

What a fairyland! Toys everywhere! Oceans of toys! Nothing but toys!
Excepting one happy little boy! Think of fifty great rocking-horses in
a pile; of whole flocks of woolly sheep and curly dogs, with the real
bark in them; stacks of drums; regiments of soldiers armed to the
teeth; companies of firemen drawing their hose-carts; no end of
wheel-barrows and bicycles!

Rob screwed his knuckles into his eyes, as a gentle hint, that they
had better not play him any tricks, and then stared with might and

Suddenly Rob thought he heard a footstep on the stairs. Fearing to be
caught, he hid behind a go-cart. No one came, however, and as he felt
rather hungry, he took out the remaining biscuits and had a fine

Why didn't Santa Claus come?

Rob was really getting sleepy. He stretched out his tired legs, and,
turning one of the woolly sheep on its side, pillowed his curly head
upon it. It was so nice to lie there, looking up at the ceiling hung
with toys, and with the faint hum of voices in his ears. The blue
eyes grew more and more heavy. Rob was fast asleep.

Midnight! The bells rang loud and clear, as if they had great news to
tell the world. What noise is that besides the bells? And look, oh,
look! who is that striding up the room with a great basket on his
back? He has stolen his coat from a polar bear, and his cap, too, I
declare! His boots are of red leather and reach to his knees. His coat
and cap are trimmed with wreaths of holly, bright with scarlet

Good sir, let us see your face--why! that is the best part of him--so
round and so ruddy, such twinkling eyes, and such a merry look about
those dimples! But see his long white beard--can he be old?

Oh, very, very old! Over nineteen hundred years! Is that not a long
life, little ones? But he has a young heart--this dear old man,--and a
kind one. Can you guess his name? "Hurrah for Santa Claus!"
Right!--the very one.

He put his basket down near Robby, and with his back turned to him
shook the snow from his fur coat. Some of the flakes fell on Rob's
face and roused him from his sleep. Opening his eyes, he saw the white
figure, but did not stir nor cry out, lest the vision should vanish.

But bless his big heart! _he_ had no idea of vanishing till his
night's work was done. He took a large book from his pocket, opened at
the first page, and looked at it very closely.

"Tommy Turner" was written at the top, and just below was a little
map,--yes, there was Tommy's heart mapped out like a country. Part of
the land was marked _good_, part of it _bad_. Here and there were
little flags to point out places where battles had been fought during
the year. Some of them were black and some white; wherever a good
feeling had won the fight, there was a white one.

"Tommy Turner," said Santa Claus aloud,--"six white flags, three black
ones. That leaves only three presents for Tommy: but we must see what
can be done for him."

So he bustled among the toys, and soon had a ball, a horse, and a
Noah's ark tied up in a parcel, which he tossed into the basket.

Name after name was read off, some of them belonging to Rob's
playmates, and you may be sure that the little boy listened with his
heart in his mouth.

"Robby Morgan!" said Santa Claus.

In his excitement that small lad nearly upset the cart, but Santa did
not notice it.

"One, two, three, four, five, six, seven"--Rob's breath came very

He almost clapped his hands.

"One, two, three, _blacks_! Now I wonder what that little chap would
like--here's a drum, a box of tools, a knife, a menagerie. If he
hadn't played truant from school that day, and then told a fib about
it, I'd give him a rocking-horse."

Rob groaned in anguish of spirit.

"But, bless him! he's a fine little fellow, and perhaps he will do
better next year if I give him the horse."

That was too much for our boy. With a "hurrah" he jumped up and turned
a somersault right at Santa Claus's feet.

"Good gracious!" cried Santa, "what's this?"

"Come along, I'll show you the one," cried Rob.

Santa Claus allowed himself to be led off to the pile of horses. You
may believe that Rob's sharp eyes soon picked out the one with the
longest tail and thickest mane.

"Well, he beats all the boys that I ever saw! What shall I do with the
little spy?"

"O dear Santa Claus!" cried Robby, hugging the red boots, "do just
take me along with you; I'll stick tight when you slide down the

"Yes, no doubt you will stick tight--in the chimney, my little man."

"I mean to your back," said Rob, with a quiver in his voice.

Santa Claus can't bear to see little folks in trouble, so he took the
boy into his arms, and asked him where he wanted to go.

"To Tommy Turner's, and oh, you know that boy in the awful old jacket
that likes popguns," was the breathless reply.

Of course he knew him, for he knows every boy and girl in Christendom;
so a popgun was added to the medley of toys. Santa Claus then strapped
Rob and the basket on his back. He next crept through an open window
to a ladder he had placed there, down which he ran as nimbly as a
squirrel. The reindeer before the sledge were in a hurry to be off,
and tinkled their silver bells right merrily. An instant more, and
they were snugly tucked up in the white robes--an instant more, and
they were flying like the wind over the snow.

Ah! Tommy's home. Santa Claus sprang out, placed the light ladder
against the house, and before Rob could wink--a good fair wink--they
were on the roof making for the chimney. Whether it swallowed him, or
he swallowed it, is still a puzzle to Robby.

Tommy lay sleeping in his little bed and dreaming of a merry
Christmas. His rosy mouth was puckered into something between a
whistle and a smile. Rob longed to give him a friendly punch, but
Santa Claus shook his head. They filled his stocking and hurried
away, for empty little stockings the world over were waiting for that
generous hand.

On they sped again, never stopping until they came to a wretched
little hovel. A black pipe instead of a chimney was sticking through
the roof.

Rob thought, "Now I guess he'll _have_ to give it up." But no, he
softly pushed the door open and stepped in.

On a ragged cot lay the urchin to whom Robby had given the biscuits.
One of them, half-eaten, was still clutched in his hand. Santa Claus
gently opened the other little fist and put the popgun into it.

"Give him my drum," whispered Rob, and Santa Claus, without a word,
placed it near the rumpled head.

How swiftly they flew under the bright stars! How sweetly rang the

When Santa Claus reined up at Robby's door, he found his little
comrade fast asleep. He laid him tenderly in his crib, and drew off a
stocking, which he filled with the smaller toys. The rocking-horse he
placed close to the crib, that Rob might mount him on Christmas

A kiss, and he was gone.

_P.S._ Rob's mother says it was all a dream, but he declares that
"it's true as true can be!" I prefer to take his word for it.

_The Story of Li'l' Hannibal_


Once on a time, 'way down South, there lived a little boy named
Hannibal, Li'l' Hannibal. He lived along with his gran'mammy and his
gran'daddy in a li'l' one-storey log cabin that was set right down in
a cotton field. Well, from morning until night, Li'l' Hannibal's
gran'mammy kept him doin' things. As soon as she woke up in the
morning it was:

"Oh, Li'l' Hannibal, fetch a pine knot and light the kitchen fire."

"Oh, Li'l' Hannibal, fetch the tea-kettle to the well and get some
water for the tea."

"Oh, Li'l' Hannibal, mix a li'l' hoecake for your gran'daddy's

"Oh, Li'l' Hannibal, take the bunch of turkeys' feathers and dust the

And from morning until night Li'l' Hannibal's gran'daddy kept him
doin' things too.

"Oh, Li'l' Hannibal," his gran'daddy would say, "fetch the corn and
feed the turkeys."

"Oh, Li'l' Hannibal, take your li'l' axe and chop some wood for your
gran'mammy's fire."

"Oh, Li'l' Hannibal, run 'round to the store and buy a bag of flour."

"Oh, Li'l' Hannibal, fetch your basket and pick a li'l' cotton off the
edge of the field."

So they kept poor Li'l' Hannibal at work 'most all day long, and he
had only four or five hours to play.

Well, one morning Li'l' Hannibal woke up and he made up his mind to
something. Before they could ask him to light the kitchen fire, or
fill the tea-kettle, or mix the hoecake, or dust the hearth, or feed
the turkeys, or chop any wood, or go to the store, or pick any cotton,
he had made up his mind that he was not going to work for his
gran'mammy and his gran'daddy any longer. He was going to run away!

So Li'l' Hannibal got out of bed very quietly. He put on his li'l'
trousers, and his li'l' shirt and his li'l' suspenders and his li'l'
shoes--he never wore stockings. He pulled his li'l' straw hat down
tight over his ears and then Li'l' Hannibal ran away!

He went down the road past all the cabins. He went under the fence and
across the cotton fields. He went through the pine grove past the
schoolhouse, stooping down low so the schoolmistress wouldn't see him,
and then he went 'way, 'way off into the country.

When he was a long way from town, Li'l' Hannibal met a Possum loping
along by the edge of the road, and the Possum stopped and looked at
Li'l' Hannibal.

"How do? Where you goin', Li'l' Hannibal?" asked the Possum.

Li'l' Hannibal sat down by the side of the road and he took off his
straw hat to fan himself, for he felt quite warm, and he said:

"I done run away, Br'er Possum. My gran'mammy and my gran'daddy kep'
me totin', totin' for them all the time. I doesn't like to work, Br'er

"Po' Li'l' Hannibal!" said the Possum, sitting up and scratching
himself. "Any special place you boun' for?"

"I don't reckon so," said Li'l' Hannibal, for he was getting tired and
he had come away without any breakfast.

"You come along of me, Li'l' Hannibal," said the Possum; "I reckon I
kin take you somewhere."

So the Possum and Li'l' Hannibal went along together, the Possum
loping along by the side of the road and Li'l' Hannibal going very
slowly in the middle of the road, for his shoes were full of sand and
it hurt his toes. They went on and on until they came, all at once, to
a sort of open space in the woods and then they stopped. There was a
big company there--Br'er Rabbit, and Br'er Partridge, and Br'er
Robin, and Ol' Miss Guinea Hen.

"Here's Po' Li'l' Hannibal come to see you," said the Possum. "Li'l'
Hannibal done run away from his gran'mammy and gran'daddy."

Li'l' Hannibal hung his head as if he was ashamed, but nobody noticed
him. They were all as busy as they could be, so he just sat down on a
pine stump and watched them.

Each one had his own special work and he was keeping at it. Br'er
Robin was gathering all the holly berries from the south side of the
holly-tree and singing as he worked:

    "Cheer up, cheer-u-up!"

Br'er Partridge was building a new house down low in the bushes. As he
hurried to and fro with twigs, he would stop and drum a little, he
felt so happy to be busy.

Ol' Miss Guinea Hen was almost the busiest of the whole company, for
she was laying eggs. As soon as ever she had had one she would get up
on a low branch and screech, "Catch it! Catch it! Catch it!" like to
deafen everybody.

But Li'l' Hannibal was most interested to see what Br'er Rabbit was
doing. Br'er Rabbit had on a li'l' apron, and he kept bringing things
in his market-basket. Then he cooked the things over a fire in the
bushes, and when it got to be late in the afternoon, he spread a
tablecloth on a big stump and then he pounded on his stew-pan with his
soup-ladle. "Supper's ready," said Br'er Rabbit.

Then Br'er Robin and Br'er Partridge and Br'er Possum and Ol' Miss
Guinea Hen all scrambled to their places at the table and Li'l'
Hannibal tried to find a place to sit at, but there wasn't any for

"Po' Li'l' Hannibal!" said Br'er Rabbit as he poured the soup.
"Doesn't like work! Cyant have no supper!"

"Catch him! Catch him!" said Ol' Miss Guinea Hen, but no one did it.
They were all too busy eating.

They had a grand supper. There was roast turkey and fried chicken, and
mutton and rice and potatoes and peas and beans and baked apples and
cabbage and hot biscuits and muffins and butter-cakes and golden

When they had finished eating, it was quite dark, and they all went
home, even Br'er Possum, and they left Li'l' Hannibal sitting there
all by himself.

Well, after a while it began to get darker. Br'er Mocking Bird came
out, and he looked at Li'l' Hannibal and then he began to scream,
just like Ol' Miss Guinea Hen:

    "Catch him! Catch him! Catch him!"

Br'er Screech Owl looked down from a tree and he said very hoarsely:

    "Who! Who! Who-oo!"

Then all the frogs began to say, loud and shrill:

    "Li'l' Hannibal! Li'l' Hannibal!"

So Li'l' Hannibal got up from his pine stump and he said, "I reckon I
better go home to my gran'mammy."

Well, Li'l' Hannibal started for home slowly, because his feet hurt
and he was hungry. When he came to the pine grove by the schoolhouse
the shadows came out from behind the trees and followed him, and that
was much worse than seeing the schoolmistress. But Li'l' Hannibal got
away from them all right. He crawled under the fence and ran across
the cotton field and there in the door of the cabin was his gran'daddy
with a lantern. His gran'daddy had been out looking for Li'l'

"Why, Li'l' Hannibal, where you been all day?" asked his gran'daddy.

"Oh, Li'l' Han," said his gran'mammy, "here's your porridge, I kep'
it warm on the hearth, but afore you eat your supper, Li'l' Han, jus'
take your li'l' basket and run 'round to the chicken house for a
couple of eggs."

So Li'l' Hannibal took his li'l' basket and he started for those eggs,
singing all the way. You see, he reckoned he was mighty glad to be at
home, and working again.

_How Wry-Face played a Trick on One-Eye the Potato-Wife_[15]


_The Overturned Cart_

One day, as Oh-I-Am the Wizard went over Three-Tree Common, his shoe
became unstringed, and he bent down to refasten it. Then he saw
Wry-Face, the gnome, hiding among the bracken and looking as
mischievous as anything. In one hand he held a white fluff-feather.
Now these feathers are as light as anything, and will blow in the
wind; and whatever they are placed under, whether light or heavy, they
are bound to topple over as soon as the wind blows.

[Footnote 15: From _Cap o' Yellow_.]

As Oh-I-Am tied his shoe he saw Wry-Face place his fluff-feather
carefully in the roadway; and at the same moment there came along
One-Eye, the potato-wife, with her cart full of potatoes. The cart
went rumble, crumble, crack, crack, crack, over the leaves and twigs,
and One-Eye sang to her donkey:

    "Steady, steady,
    We're always ready,"

in a most cheerful voice.

Then the cart came to the fluff-feather, and over it went--crash,
bang, splutter; and the potatoes flew everywhere, like rain.

Wry-Face, the gnome, laughed to himself so that he ached, and he
rolled over the ground with mirth. Then he flew away, laughing as he

But One-Eye, the potato-wife, was not laughing. Her tears went
drip-drip as she started to gather her potatoes together. And as to
getting her cart straight again, she did not know how she was to do

But when she turned round from gathering together the potatoes, she
found that the cart was all right again, since Oh-I-Am the Wizard had
straightened it for her, and the donkey was standing on his legs, none
the worse for his fall.

Oh-I-Am looked stern and straight in his brown robe which trailed
behind him. He said:

"One-Eye, have you got all your potatoes together?"

One-Eye still wept. She said, "No, I have not found all of them, for
some have wandered far. And I must not seek farther, for this is
market-day, and I must away to the town."

And she began to gather up the potatoes, and drop them into the cart,
thud, thud, thud.

Oh-I-Am stooped then, and he, too, gathered up the potatoes; and he
threw them into the cart splish-splash-splutter!

"Alas!" said One-Eye, "if you throw them into the cart,
splish-splash-splutter, you will bruise and break them. You must throw
them in gently, thud, thud, thud."

So Oh-I-Am held back his anger, and he threw the potatoes in gently,
thud, thud, thud. But when the potato-wife had gone on her way, he
flew off to his Brown House by the Brown Bramble; and he began to
weave a spell.

He put into it a potato, and a grain of earth, and a down from a
pillow, and a pearl, and an apple-pip from a pie. And when the spell
was ready, he lay down, and fell asleep.

Wry-Face had gone round to all the neighbours to tell them the grand
joke about One-Eye, the potato-wife. Sometimes he told it through the
window, and sometimes he stood at the door. Sometimes he told it to a
gnome who was fine and feathery, and sometimes to one who was making
bread. But all the time he laughed, laughed, laughed, till he was
scarcely fit to stand.

Now he did not call at Oh-I-Am's fine house to tell _him_, not he! And
it was quite unnecessary, since Oh-I-Am knew the joke already, every

Oh-I-Am had hidden the spell in his cupboard. When it was
evening-time, he stole out and laid it by Wry-Face's door. Then he
went home, and went to bed.

_The Magic Potato Plant_

Wry-Face was making a pie for his supper. Suddenly the room became
dark as dark. The darkness was not night coming on, for this was
summer-time and night never came on as quickly as all that.

"Dear me, what can be the matter?" thought Wry-Face; for he could
hardly see to finish making his pie.

Then he heard a little voice from his window, crying, "Here I am,
Wry-Face, here I am!" But he could not go out to see what it was yet

Then the apple-pie was finished, and in the oven; and Wry-Face ran
outside as fast as he could. But he did not see the spell which
Oh-I-Am had placed by his door.

What he did see was a great potato-plant which had sprung up suddenly
close to his window, and was springing up farther still, high, high,
and higher.

"Good gracious me!" cried Wry-Face in a rage, "I never planted a
potato-plant there, not in my whole life! Now I should just like to
know what you are doing by my window?"

The potato-plant took no notice, but went on climbing high, high, and
higher; and ever so far above he heard a tiny faint voice crying:

"Here I am, Wry-Face, here I am!"

"Well, I never did!" cried Wry-Face, and he began to weep; for he saw
that the potato-plant would climb up to his roof and round his chimney
and he would never be able to get rid of it.

And he wept and wept.

At last he went in, and took his pie out of the oven, and set it in
the pantry, for it was quite done. And he found a spade, and went out,
and began to dig and dig at the root of the potato-plant. But his
digging did not seem to make any difference; and the evening began to
grow darker.

Wry-Face fetched his little lamp, which is named Bright-Beauty, and
which always burns without flickering. Then he went on digging, and he
dug, and dug, and dug.

And when he had dug for hours and hours, so that he was tired to
death, the potato-plant began suddenly to dwindle and dwindle. It
dwindled as fast as anything, the leaves disappeared, and the stem
disappeared and all the horrid stretching arms. They sank down, down,
and down, till at last there was nothing left at all but--a big brown

"Well, I do declare!" cried Wry-Face. "I should like to know what you
have to do with my fine garden!"

The potato replied, "I jumped here from the cart of One-Eye, the
potato-wife, and it is quite certain that, unless I am taken back to
her immediately, I shall start again, growing, and growing, and

"Dear potato, you must not start growing again!" cried Wry-Face, in a
great way. "To-night I am so tired I cannot do anything, but if you
will but wait till to-morrow I will take you back to One-Eye, the
potato-wife--I will, indeed!"

At first the potato would not listen to this at all; but after a while
it said, "Well, well, I will wait till to-morrow. But remember, if
to-morrow you do not carry me home to One-Eye, the potato-wife, I
shall grow into a potato-_tree_, without a doubt!"

So Wry-Face carried the potato into his house, and stored it in his
bin. But he never noticed the spell which Oh-I-Am had placed by his

_The Strange Apple Pie_

"I am so tired, I can hardly yawn," said Wry-Face. "It is quite time I
had my supper, and went to bed."

So he fetched the apple-pie from the pantry, and set it upon the
table; and presently he sat down to his meal.

And he forgot for a moment how tired he was, thinking how delightful
it was to sit down to a supper of apple-pie.

Then he lifted his knife and fork to cut off a large piece; but alas,
the fork stuck fast. As for the knife, it would not move either, not
an inch. Wry-Face began to weep.

"Alack, what has happened to my apple-pie?" cried he; and his tears
fell round as round.

Then he got upon his feet, and he caught hold of the knife and fork
and pulled, and pulled, and pulled. And with the last pull the top of
the apple-pie came off, sticking to the knife and fork, and Wry-Face
saw that within the pie there was not one piece of apple, but--a big
brown potato!

Wry-Face wept again with horror at the sight.

"I should like to know," cried he, "what are you doing in my fine

But the brown potato replied, as cool as cool, "I am one of the
potatoes belonging to One-Eye, the potato-wife, and I turned the
apples out, that I might hide here a while. But this I must tell you,
my Wry-Face, unless you take me home immediately to the potato-wife,
here, in this pie-dish, I intend to remain."

"Alas," cried Wry-Face, "to-night I am so tired I could never find
One-Eye; but if you will but wait till to-morrow, I will carry you
home to the potato-wife--I will indeed!"

At first the potato would not agree to this at all, but after a while
it said, "Very well, I will wait till to-morrow. But remember, my
Wry-Face, if to-morrow you do not carry me home to One-Eye, I will
creep into every pie you make; and you will die at last of starvation
without a doubt!"

So Wry-Face stored the potato in the potato-bin, and he went
supperless to bed. And he knew nothing of the spell which Oh-I-Am had
placed by his door.

_The Lumpy Mattress_

Now he got into bed, and thought he would go to sleep; but, oh, how
hard the mattress was! Wry-Face lay this way, then that, but no
matter what way he lay, he found a great lump just beneath him which
was as hard as hard, and as nobbly as could be.

Wry-Face tossed and tossed till it was nearly morning; and his bones
were so sore that he could lie no longer.

Then he pulled the mattress from the bed and cut a great hole in it,
and when he had searched and searched he found in the middle of the
mattress--a big brown potato!

"This," cried Wry-Face, "is why I have not slept the whole night
through!" and he wept like anything.

But the potato was as cool as cool.

"I belong," it said, "to One-Eye, the potato-wife; and let me tell
you, my little gnome, unless you take me to her immediately, I shall
climb into your mattress again; and there I shall remain!"

"Alas," cried Wry-Face, "I have tossed about for hours and hours, and
am too tired to do anything. But if you will wait till to-morrow, dear
potato, I will carry you to One-Eye, the potato-wife--I will, indeed!"

At first the potato was unwilling to listen to this, but after a while
it said: "Very well, then, I will wait till the morning. But this much
I know, my Wry-Face, if you do not carry me then to One-Eye, the
potato-wife, I shall get into your mattress and roll again _every

So Wry-Face put the potato in the bin. When he had done that he went
back to bed, and slept, and slept.

When the sun was shining he awakened, and he remembered that he had to
carry the potatoes back to One-Eye, the potato-wife; and he was as
cross as anything.

_The Fairy Sack of Pearls_

"Well, I suppose I must!" he said. And when he had had his breakfast,
he went to his cupboard to get a sack.

Then he found that his sack was full of pearls which he had gathered
together for Heigh-Heavy the Giant, whose daughter So-Small he wished
to marry.

So he thought, "First of all I will carry the pearls to Heigh-Heavy,
for that is more important." And away he went with the sack upon his
back. And he never saw the spell which Oh-I-Am had placed beside his

When he reached the Most-Enormous-House of Heigh-Heavy the Giant,
there the giant was, sitting in his parlour lacing his shoes.

So Wry-Face cried out in a gay little voice, "Here I am, Heigh-Heavy,
here I am! And here is a bag of pearls which I have brought you in
exchange for your beautiful daughter So-Small!"

When Heigh-Heavy heard this, he stopped lacing his shoes, and he said,
"You must bring me in exchange for my daughter So-Small as many pearls
as will cover my palm."

Then Wry-Face skipped forward, and he tipped up the sack; and he shook
out all that it held into the hand of Heigh-Heavy the Giant, standing
high upon his toes.

Now all that it held was--one brown potato!

Wry-Face the gnome stared, and stared, and stared, his eyes growing
rounder and rounder; but he had no time to weep on account of
Heigh-Heavy the Giant who had fallen into a rage terrible to see.

"Now there is one thing quite certain," said Heigh-Heavy, "and that is
that you shall never marry my daughter So-Small; for, my Wry-Face, I
will turn you into a brown potato, and a brown potato you shall remain
your whole life through!"

When Wry-Face heard this terrible threat, he took to his heels, and
ran from the Most-Enormous-House of Heigh-Heavy the Giant. And he ran,
and ran, till his coat was torn and his ears were red. And he never
rested till he reached his cottage door, and got inside.

Heigh-Heavy laughed till he cried to see the little gnome run. "He
will play no tricks on _me_!" said he. And he went in and shut the

But Wry-Face said to himself as, weeping, he carried the potatoes to
the potato-wife:

"I will never play a trick on _anyone_ again, not as long as I live!"

_The Pot of Gold_


_Chrif begins the Search_

Once upon a time there stood by the roadside an old red house. In this
house lived three people. They were an old grandmother; her
grandchild, Rhoda; and a boy named Christopher. Christopher was no
relation to Rhoda and her grandmother. He was called Chrif for short.

The grandmother earned her living by picking berries. Every day in
fair weather she went to the pastures. But she did not take the
children with her. They played at home.

Rhoda had a flower garden in an old boat. The boat was filled with
earth. There grew larkspur and sweet-william. Rhoda loved her flowers
and tended them faithfully.

Chrif did not care much for flowers. He preferred to sail boats. He
would cut them out of wood with his jack-knife, and load them with
stones and grass. Then he would send the boats down the little stream
that flowed past the old red house.

"This ship is going to India," he would say to Rhoda. "She carries
gold and will bring back pearls and rice."

"How much you know, Chrif," said Rhoda.

"I mean to go to India some day," said Chrif. "People ride on
elephants there."

Rhoda would sail little twigs in the stream. Her boats were small, but
they sometimes went farther than Chrif's. His were loaded so heavily
that they often overturned.

One day the children were sailing boats when a thunder-storm arose.
How fast the rain fell! And how fast they ran to the house!

"Poor grandmother will be all wet!" said Rhoda. She and Chrif were
watching the falling rain from the window.

Suddenly the sun came out. A little rain was still falling, but the
children ran into the yard.

"Look, there's a rainbow!" cried Chrif. "What pretty colours! and how
ugly our old red house looks! I wish I were where the rainbow is."

"I see just the colour of my larkspur in the rainbow," said Rhoda.

"O pooh!" said Chrif, "only a flower! That's not much. Now if I were
only rich, I wouldn't stay here. I'd go off into the world. How grand
it must be over there beyond the rainbow."

"One end is quite near us," said Rhoda.

"Are ye looking for a pot of gold, children?" said a voice behind
them. It was the old broom-woman. She had a little house in the woods
and sold brooms for a living.

"A pot of gold!" cried Chrif. "Where is it?"

"It's at the foot of the rainbow," said the broom-woman. "If ye get to
the foot of the rainbow and then dig and dig, ye'll come to a pot of

"Rhoda! let's go quick!" said Chrif.

"No," said Rhoda, "I ought to weed my flowers."

"Ye must hurry," laughed the old broom-woman. "The rainbow won't stay
for lazy folks."

"I'm off!" cried Chrif; and away he went in search of the pot of gold.
Rhoda watched him out of sight. Then she turned to weed the

When her grandmother came from the berry pasture, Rhoda told her where
Chrif had gone. "We shall all be rich when he comes back with his pot
of gold," said the little girl.

"He will not find it," said the grandmother. Rhoda, however, was not
so sure.

_Chrif in the New Land_

Chrif ran straight across the fields toward the glowing rainbow. One
end of the lovely arch seemed to touch the top of a distant hill.
Chrif climbed the hill, but the rainbow was no longer there. It rested
on the far side of a valley. He hurried down the hill and into the
valley. When he reached the spot where the end of the rainbow had
rested, the rainbow was gone. Chrif could see it nowhere.

The lad stopped and looked around him. Not far away a flock of sheep
were feeding. A shepherd-boy lay on the ground near them. He was
reading a book.

Chrif crept to the shepherd-boy's side and read over his shoulder.
This is what he read: "Beyond the setting of the sun lies the New
Land. Here are mountains, forests, and mighty rivers. The sands of the
streams are golden; the trees grow wonderful fruit; the mountains hide
strange monsters. Upon a high pillar near the coast is the famous pot
of gold."

"Oh, where is this country?" cried Chrif.

"Will you go?" asked Gavin, the shepherd-boy.

"Go! That I will," said Chrif. "The pot of gold is there, and that is
what I have set out to find."

"Yes," said Gavin, "the pot of gold is there and many other things. I
long to see them all. Let us hurry on our way."

The two boys first went through a forest. Then they came out upon the
ocean side. The sun was setting in the sea. A path of gold lay across
the water.

A gay ship was about to set sail. Her white canvas was spread; her
oars were in place. Her deck was crowded with lads. They were all
starting for the wonderful New Land across the sea.

Chrif and Gavin climbed on board and the ship bounded from the land.

On and on they went, straight into the sunset. The rowers sang as they
worked. Gavin tried to read his book, but Chrif looked eagerly ahead.
How he longed to see the new country to which they were going!

And very soon the New Land came in sight. Then a party landed; Chrif,
Gavin, and a boy named Andy were among them.

They walked some distance and then night darkened down around them.
The mountains looked cruel; the fields barren. "Let us return to the
ship," said many.

But Chrif would not turn back. "I must find the pot of gold," he said,
"it cannot now be far away." And Gavin and Andy went with him.

"I should like to dip my fingers into your pot of gold," said Andy.

"You shall have your share," said Chrif. "It is on the top of a pillar
not far from the coast. If you'll stand below, I'll get on your
shoulders, and then perhaps I can reach it."

"Only don't let it drop on my head," said Andy, with a laugh.

They walked along the shore in silence. After a time Chrif cried out
with joy, "Here is a path leading into the woods. And I do believe I
see the pillar!"

"Hurrah!" cried Andy, "let's push on!"

And now the three stood at the foot of the pillar and looked up to the
top. By the faint light of the moon they saw the pot of gold.

"Climb on Andy's shoulders, Gavin, and then I will stand on yours,"
said Chrif.

"I don't want the pot of gold," said Gavin. "I have seen it; that is
enough. I will go to see the Magic Fountain," and Gavin turned into
the forest.

The other two friends stood by the pillar. "I must have that pot of
gold. I want it for Rhoda and the old grandmother."

As Chrif spoke, he looked at the pillar. Lo! a picture was on its
side. He saw the old red house, the grandmother at the window, and
Rhoda in the garden. Rhoda was watering the flowers in the dear old
boat. Now and then she would turn her head and look up the road. She
seemed hoping that Chrif would come.

The pillar and the pot of gold faded away; then the picture of home
went too. Chrif was left in darkness.

Then Andy spoke. "Hark!" he whispered, "I hear something."

_Chrif at the Palace_

Chrif listened and he too heard distant music. Its notes were very

"Come, let us go where the music is!" said Andy.

Chrif and Andy made their way through the woods and entered a shining
city. Every street was blazing with lights; the fronts of the houses
were hung with lanterns; fireworks were being set off in the public
squares. All the people wore their finest clothes.

"How gay they all are! I wonder why?" said Andy.

"Hush!" cried Chrif.

A man on a prancing horse had just come in sight. He reined in his
horse and blew a horn. Then he cried with a loud voice these words:
"This night there is a ball in the palace. All are welcome. The Pot
of Gold will be given to the one with whom the Princess shall dance."

"Hurrah!" cried the people. "Hurrah! hurrah!" cried Chrif, louder than
them all.

When Chrif and Andy entered the palace, they saw the Princess upon her
throne. Dancing was going on, but the Princess did not dance. She was
waiting for the handsomest dancer. All who thought themselves
good-looking stood in a row not far from the Princess. Each lad was
trying to look handsomer than the others in the line.

Over the throne was a pearl clock. It was that kind of clock called a
cuckoo clock. When the hours struck, a golden cuckoo would come out of
a little door. He would cuckoo as many times as there were hours and
then go back, shutting the door after him.

When Chrif and Andy entered the hall, the Princess saw them at once.
"Those two are the handsomest of all," she thought, "and one of them
is handsomer than the other."

She looked at Chrif again. Then she stepped down from the throne.

"Dance with me," she said, "and you shall have the pot of gold," and
she held out her hand to Chrif.

"What was I to do with it?" asked Chrif. "Oh, I know. I was to take it
home to Rhoda."

That moment the little bird burst open the pearl door. "Cuckoo!
cuckoo! cuckoo!" he cried.

But to Chrif he seemed to say: "Rhoda sits by the window watching for
Chrif. The flowers are dead in the boat-garden. 'Chrif will never come
back,' says grandmother, 'he cares nothing for us.'"

Again Chrif saw the beautiful hall and the Princess standing before
him. Then, suddenly, the music grew harsh; the palace walls fell; the
dancers were gone. Chrif was all alone.

_Chrif and his Books_

When day dawned, Chrif was walking over a wide plain. On the far side
of the plain stood a ruined house. Between a row of poplar-trees a
path led to the door.

Chrif knocked, but no one came. Then he pushed open the door and
entered. An old man sat at a table. The table was covered with great
books and many papers. Overhead a lamp burned dimly.

The old man was bent over the books. He seemed to study busily, but
when Chrif went near, he saw that the old man was dead.

There were two doors to this room. One was the door by which Chrif had
entered. The other was opposite. This door was of stone. On it was
written: "Behind this door is the Pot of Gold. To open you must first
read the words written below."

The words written below were strange; the letters too were strange.

"These books may help me read the writing," thought Chrif. "This old
man has spent his life in the search. Shall I be more successful I

Then he buried the old man, lighted the lamp, and read the books.
Weeks passed and even months. Chrif ate little and slept less.

At last, one day, he lifted a shining face. "I have found the secret!"
he cried, "the letters are plain."

Then stepping to the door, he read: "Knock and this door will open."

Chrif knocked once, and the door flew open. One shining spot he saw in
the darkness. It was the pot of gold.

Chrif put out his hand to take it, when lo! burning words shone on its
side. And Chrif read:

"I am the Pot of Gold; I can give thee all things save one. If thou
hast me, thou canst not have that. Close thine eyes. Then, if thou
choosest me, open them again."

Chrif closed his eyes. He saw the old red house dark and cold. No one
lived there now. The boat-garden was hidden under the snow. Someone in
white passed him by. She was weeping bitterly. "Rhoda!" he cried and
followed in her steps.

Suddenly a warm hand fell upon his shoulder.

"Chrif, dear Chrif!"

He opened his eyes, and O joy! Rhoda stood beside him.

_Chrif's Return_

"I have come to look for you," said Rhoda. "Why, Chrif, you have been
gone three years!"

"Three years!" gasped Chrif.

"When grandmother died, last winter, I was so lonely, I said, 'When
spring comes I will find Chrif.'"

"Grandmother dead! Why, it was but yesterday that I left home!"

"Ah, no," answered Rhoda. And she looked at Chrif and smiled.

And so they came again to the old red house. There was the dear old
boat-garden. Sweet-peas were in bloom and morning-glories climbed up
the side of the house. It was very pleasant.

As they stood by the boat-garden, a voice called to them. The old
broom-woman stood in the road.

"Have ye found the pot of gold?" she asked.

"No; but I have found something else far better!" said Chrif, "I have
found home."

_The Frog-Tsarevna_[16]


In a certain kingdom, in a certain Empire, there lived a Tsar with his
Tsaritsa, and he had three sons, all of them young, valiant, and
unwedded, the like of whom is not to be told in tales nor written by
pens, and the youngest of them was called the Tsarevich Ivan.

[Footnote 16: From _Russian Fairy Tales_ [Adapted]. (London: George G.
Harrap and Company.)]

And the Tsar spoke these words to them: "My dear children, take unto
you your darts, gird on your well-spanned bows, and go hence in
different directions, and in whatsoever courts your arrows fall, there
choose ye your brides!"

The elder brother discharged his arrow and it fell into a boyar's[17]
court, right in front of the terem[18] of the maidens. The second
brother discharged his arrow and it flew into the court of a merchant
and remained sticking in a beautiful balcony, and on this balcony was
standing a lovely young maiden soul, the merchant's daughter. The
youngest brother discharged his arrow, and the arrow fell into a
muddy swamp, and a quacking-frog seized hold of it.

[Footnote 17: Nobleman.]

[Footnote 18: The women's apartments.]

The Tsarevich Ivan said to his father: "How can I ever take this
quacker to wife? A quacker is not my equal!"

"Take her!" replied his father, "'tis thy fate to have her!"

So the Tsareviches all got married--the eldest to the boyar's
daughter, the second to the merchant's daughter, and the youngest to
the quacking-frog. And the Tsar called them to him and said: "Let your
wives, to-morrow morning, bake me soft white bread."

Ivan returned home, and he was not happy, and his impetuous head hung
down lower than his shoulders. "_Qua! qua!_ Ivan Tsarevich! wherefore
art thou so sad?" asked the Frog. "Or hast thou heard unpleasant words
from thy father the Tsar?"

"Why should I not be sad? My father and sovereign lord hath commanded
thee to bake soft white bread to-morrow."

"Do not afflict thyself, O Tsarevich! lie down and rest. The morning
is wiser than the evening."

She made the Tsarevich lie down and rest, then, casting her frog-skin,
she turned into a maiden soul, went out upon her beautiful balcony,
and cried with a piercing voice: "Nurseys--nurseys! assemble, set to
work and make me soft white bread such as I myself used to eat at my
dear father's!"

In the morning Ivan awoke. The frog had got the bread ready long ago,
and it was so splendid that the like of it is neither to be imagined
nor guessed at, but is only to be told of in tales. The loaves were
adorned with various cunning devices, royal cities were modelled on
the sides thereof, with moats and ditches.

The Tsar praised Ivan greatly because of his bread, and gave this
command to his three sons: "Let your wives weave me a carpet in a
single night."

Ivan returned home, and he was sad, and his impetuous head hung lower
than his shoulders. "_Qua! qua!_ Tsarevich Ivan! wherefore art thou so
sad? Or hast thou heard cruel, unfriendly words from thy father the

"Have I not cause to grieve? My father and sovereign lord commands
thee to weave him a silk carpet in a single night!"

"Fret not, Tsarevich! come, lay thee down and sleep. The morning is
wiser than the evening!" Then she made him lie down to sleep, and
turning into the lovely maiden went forth upon her beautiful balcony,
and cried with a piercing voice: "Nurseys--nurseys! assemble, set to
work and weave me a silk carpet such as I was wont to sit upon at my
dear father's!"

No sooner said than done. In the morning Ivan woke, and the frog had
had the carpet ready long ago, and it was such a wondrous carpet that
the like of it can only be told in tales, but may neither be imagined
nor guessed at. The carpet was adorned with gold and silver and with
divers bright embroiderings.

The Tsar greatly praised Ivan for his carpet, and there and then gave
the new command that all three Tsareviches were to appear before him
on the morrow to be inspected together with their wives.

Again Ivan returned home and he was not happy, and his impetuous head
hung lower than his shoulders.

"_Qua! qua!_ Tsarevich Ivan! wherefore art thou grieved? Or hast thou
heard words unkind from thy father the Tsar?"

"Have I not cause to be sad? My father and sovereign lord has
commanded me to appear before him with thee to-morrow! How can I show
thee to people?"

"Fret not, Tsarevich! Go alone to the Tsar and pay thy visit, and I
will come after thee. The moment you hear a rumbling, and a knocking,
say: 'Hither comes my dear little Froggy in her little basket!'"

And behold! the elder brothers appeared, to be inspected with their
richly attired and splendidly adorned consorts. There they stood and
laughed at the Tsarevich Ivan and said: "Why, brother! Why hast thou
come hither without thy wife? Why, thou mightest have brought her with
thee in a kitchen clout. And where didst thou pick up such a beauty? I
suppose thou didst search through all the swamps fairly?"

Suddenly there was a great rumbling and knocking, the whole palace
shook. The guests were all terribly frightened and rushed from their
places, and knew not what to do; but Ivan said: "Fear not, 'tis only
my little Froggy coming in her little basket!"

And then a golden coach drawn by six horses flew up the steps of the
Tsar's balcony, and out of it stepped such a beauty as is only to be
told of in tales, but can neither be imagined nor guessed at. Ivan
took her by the hand and led her behind the oaken table, behind the
embroidered tablecloth. The guests began to eat and drink and make

The lovely Tsarevna drank wine, but the dregs of her cup she poured
behind her left sleeve; she ate also of the roast swan, but the bones
thereof she concealed behind her right sleeve.

The wives of the elder brothers watched these devices, and took care
to do the same.

Afterward, when Tsarevna began dancing with Ivan, she waved her left
hand and a lake appeared; she waved her right hand and white swans
were swimming in the water.

The Tsar and his guests were astonished.

And now the elder brides began dancing. They waved their left hands
and all the guests were squirted with water; they waved their right
hands and the bones flew right into the Tsar's eyes. The Tsar was
wroth, and drove them from court with dishonour.

Now one day the Tsarevich waited his opportunity, ran off home, found
the frog-skin and threw it into a great fire. Soon the Tsarevna missed
her frog-skin, was sore troubled, fell a-weeping, and said to the
Tsarevich: "Alas! Tsarevich Ivan! what hast thou done? If thou hadst
but waited for a little, I should have been thine for ever more, but
now farewell! Seek for me beyond lands thrice-nine, in the Empire of
Thrice-ten, at the house of Koshchei."[19] Then she turned into a
white swan and flew out of the window.

[Footnote 19: Koshchei Bezsmertny, the deathless skeleton.]

Ivan wept bitterly, turned to all four points of the compass and
prayed to God, and went straight before his eyes. He went on and
on,--whether it was near or far, or long or short, matters not; when
there met him an old, old man. "Hail, good youth!" said he, "what dost
thou seek, and whither art thou going?"

The Tsarevich told him all his misfortune. "Alas! Tsarevich Ivan, why
didst thou burn that frog-skin? Thou didst not make, nor shouldst thou
therefore have done away with it. Vasilisa, thy wife, was born wiser
and more cunning than her father; he was therefore angry with her, and
bade her be a frog for three years. Here is a little ball for thee,
follow it whithersoever it rolls."

Ivan thanked the old man, and followed after the ball. He went along
the open plain, and there met him a bear. "Come now!" thought Ivan, "I
will slay this beast." But the bear implored him: "Slay me not,
Tsarevich Ivan, I may perchance be of service to thee somehow."

He went on farther, and lo! behind them came waddling a duck. The
Tsarevich bent his bow; he would have shot the bird, when suddenly she
greeted him with a human voice: "Slay me not, Ivan Tsarevich! I also
will befriend thee!"

Ivan had pity upon her, and went on farther to the blue sea, and
behold! on the beach lay gasping a pike. "Alas! Tsarevich Ivan!"
sighed the pike, "have pity on me and cast me into the sea." And he
cast it into the sea, and went on along the shore.

The ball rolled a short way, and it rolled a long way, and at last it
came to a miserable hut; the hut was standing on hen's legs and
turning round and round. Ivan said to it: "Little hut, little hut!
stand the old way as thy mother placed thee, with thy front to me, and
thy back to the sea!" And the little hut turned round with its front
to him, and its back to the sea. The Tsarevich entered in, and saw the
bony-legged Baba-Yaga lying on the stove, on nine bricks and grinding
her teeth.

"Hillo! good youth, why dost thou visit me?" asked the Baba-Yaga.

"Fie, thou old hag! thou call'st me a good youth, but thou shouldst
first feed and give me drink, and prepare me a bath, then only
shouldst thou ask me questions."

The Baba-Yaga fed him and gave him to drink, and made ready a bath for
him, and the Tsarevich told her he was seeking his wife, Vasilisa.

"I know," said the Baba-Yaga; "she is now with Koshchei. 'Tis hard to
get thither, and it is not easy to settle accounts with Koshchei. His
death depends upon the point of a needle. That needle is in a hare,
that hare is in a coffer, that coffer is on the top of a high oak,
and Koshchei guards that tree as the apple of his eye."

The Baba-Yaga then showed him in what place that oak grew: Ivan went
thither, but did not know what to do to get at the coffer. Suddenly,
how who can tell, the bear rushed at the tree and tore it up by the
roots, the coffer fell and was smashed to pieces, the hare leaped out,
and with one bound had taken cover.

But look! the other hare bounded off in pursuit, hunted him down and
tore him to bits; out of the hare flew a duck and rose high, high in
the air, but the other duck dashed after her, and struck her down,
whereupon the duck laid an egg, and the egg fell into the sea.

Ivan, seeing the irreparable loss of the egg, burst into tears, when
suddenly the pike came swimming ashore, holding the egg between its
teeth. He took the egg, broke it, drew out the needle and broke off
its little point. Then he attacked Koshchei, who struggled hard, but
wriggle about as he might he had to die at last.

Then Ivan went into the house of Koshchei, took Vasilisa, and returned
home. After that they lived together for a long, long time, and were
very, very happy.

_Oeyvind and Marit_[20]


Oeyvind was his name. A low, barren cliff overhung the house in which
he was born; fir and birch looked down on the roof, and wild cherry
strewed flowers over it. Upon this roof there walked about a little
goat, which belonged to Oeyvind. He was kept there that he might not
go astray; and Oeyvind carried leaves and grass up to him. One fine
day the goat leaped down, and away to the cliff; he went straight up,
and came where he never had been before.

[Footnote 20: From _A Happy Boy_ in J. G. Whittier's _Child Life in

Oeyvind did not see him when he came out after dinner, and thought
immediately of the fox. He grew hot all over, looked round about, and
called, "Killy-killy-killy-goat!"

"_Bay-ay-ay_," said the goat, from the brow of the hill, as he cocked
his head on one side and looked down.

But beside the goat there kneeled a little girl. "Is it yours--this
goat?" she asked.

Oeyvind stood with eyes and mouth wide open, thrust both hands into
the breeches he had on, and asked, "Who are you?"

"I am Marit, mother's little one, father's fiddle, the elf in the
house, granddaughter of Ole Nordistuen of the Heide farms, four years
old in the autumn, two days after the frost nights, I!"

"Are you really?" he said, and drew a long breath, which he had not
dared to do so long as she was speaking.

"Is it yours, this goat?" asked the girl again.

"Ye-es," he said, and looked up.

"I have taken such a fancy to the goat. You will not give it to me?"

"No, that I won't."

She lay kicking her legs, and looking down at him, and then she said,
"But if I give you a butter-cake for the goat, can I have him then?"

Oeyvind came of poor people, and had eaten butter-cake only once in
his life; that was when grandpa came there, and anything like it he
had never eaten before or since. He looked up at the girl. "Let me see
the butter-cake first," said he.

She was not long about it, and took out a large cake, which she held
in her hand. "Here it is," she said, and threw it down.

"Ow, it went to pieces," said the boy. He gathered up every bit with
the utmost care; he could not help tasting the very smallest, and
that was so good he had to taste another, and, before he knew it
himself, he had eaten up the whole cake.

"Now the goat is mine," said the girl.

The boy stopped with the last bit in his mouth, the girl lay and
laughed, and the goat stood by her side, with white breast and dark
brown hair, looking sideways down.

"Could you not wait a little while?" begged the boy; his heart began
to beat. Then the girl laughed still more, and got up quickly on her

"No, the goat is mine," she said, and threw her arms round its neck,
loosened one of her garters, and fastened it round. Oeyvind looked up.
She got up, and began pulling at the goat. It would not follow, but
twisted its neck downward to where Oeyvind stood.

"_Bay-ay-ay_," it said.

But she took hold of its hair with one hand, pulled the string with
the other, and said gently, "Come, goat, and you shall go into the
room and eat out of mother's dish and my apron." And then she sang:

    "Come, boy's goat,
    Come, mother's calf,
    Come, mewing cat
    In snow-white shoes.
    Come, yellow ducks,
    Come out of your hiding-place;
    Come, little chickens,
    Who can hardly go;
    Come, my doves
    With soft feathers;
    See, the grass is wet,
    But the sun does you good;
    And early, early is it in summer,
    But call for the autumn, and it will come."

There stood the boy.

He had taken care of the goat since the winter before, when it was
born, and he had never imagined he could lose it; but now it was done
in a moment, and he would never see it again.

       *       *       *       *       *

His mother came up humming from the beach, with wooden pans which she
had scoured; she saw the boy sitting with his legs crossed under him
on the grass, crying, and she went up to him.

"What are you crying about?"

"Oh, the goat, the goat!"

"Yes; where is the goat?" asked his mother, looking up at the roof.

"It will never come back again," said the boy.

"Dear me! How could that happen?"

He would not confess immediately.

"Has the fox taken it?"

"Ah, if it only were the fox!"

"Are you mad?" said his mother. "What has become of the goat?"

"Oh-h-h, I happened to--to--to sell it for a cake!"

As soon as he had uttered the word, he understood what it was to sell
the goat for a cake; he had not thought of it before. His mother said:

"What do you suppose the little goat thinks of you, when you could
sell him for a cake?"

And the boy thought about it, and felt sure that he could never again
be happy in this world, and not even in heaven, he thought,
afterwards. He felt so sorry, that he promised himself never again to
do anything wrong, never to cut the thread on the spinning wheel, nor
let the goats out, nor go down to the sea alone. He fell asleep where
he lay, and dreamed about the goat, that he had gone to heaven; our
Lord sat there with a great beard, as in the catechism, and the goat
stood eating the leaves off a shining tree; but Oeyvind sat alone on
the roof, and could not come up.

Suddenly there came something wet close up to his ear, and he started
up. "_Bay-ay-ay!_" it said; and it was the goat, who had come back

"What! have you got back?"

He got up, took it by the two forelegs, and danced with it as if it
were a brother; he pulled its beard, and he was just going in to his
mother with it, when he heard someone behind him, and, looking, saw
the girl sitting on the greensward by his side. Now he understood it
all, and let go the goat.

"Is it you who have come with it?"

She sat tearing the grass up with her hands, and said:

"They would not let me keep it; grandfather is sitting up there,

While the boy stood looking at her, he heard a sharp voice from the
road above call out, "Now!"

Then she remembered what she was to do; she rose, went over to
Oeyvind, put one of her muddy hands into his, and, turning her face
away, said:

"I beg your pardon!"

But then her courage was all gone; she threw herself over the goat,
and wept.

"I think you had better keep the goat," said Oeyvind, looking the
other way.

"Come, make haste!" said grandpapa, up on the hill; and Marit rose,
and walked with reluctant feet upwards.

"You are not forgetting your garter?" Oeyvind cried after her. She
turned around, and looked first at the garter and then at him. At last
she came to a great resolution, and said, in a choked voice:

"You may keep that."

He went over to her, and, taking her hand, said:

"Thank you!"

"Oh, nothing to thank for!" she answered, but drew a long sigh, and
walked on.

He sat down on the grass again. The goat walked about near him, but he
was no longer so pleased with it as before.

       *       *       *       *       *

The goat was fastened to the wall; but Oeyvind walked about, looking
up at the cliff. His mother came out and sat down by his side; he
wanted to hear stories about what was far away, for now the goat no
longer satisfied him. So she told him how once everything could talk:
the mountain talked to the stream, and the stream to the river, the
river to the sea, and the sea to the sky; but then he asked if the sky
did not talk to any one; and the sky talked to the clouds, the clouds
to the trees, the trees to the grass, the grass to the flies, the
flies to the animals, the animals to the children, the children to the
grown-up people; and so it went on, until it had gone round, and no
one could tell where it had begun.

Oeyvind looked at the mountain, the trees, the sky, and had never
really seen them before. The cat came out at that moment, and lay down
on the stone before the door in the sunshine.

"What does the cat say?" asked Oeyvind, pointing. His mother sang:

    "'At evening softly shines the sun,
    The cat lies lazy on the stone.
    Two small mice,
    Cream, thick, and nice,
    Four bits of fish,
    I stole behind a dish,
    And am so lazy and tired,
    Because so well I have fared,'

says the cat."

But then came the cock, with all the hens. "What does the cock say?"
asked Oeyvind, clapping his hands together. His mother sang:

    "'The mother hen her wings doth sink,
    The cock stands on one leg to think:
    That grey goose
    Steers high her course;
    But sure am I that never she
    As clever as a cock can be.
    Run in, you hens, keep under the roof to-day,
    For the sun has got leave to stay away,'

says the cock."

But the little birds were sitting on the ridgepole, singing. "What do
the birds say?" asked Oeyvind, laughing.

    "'Dear Lord, how pleasant is life,
    For those who have neither toil nor strife,'

say the birds."

And she told him what they all said, down to the ant who crawled in
the moss, and the worm who worked in the bark.

       *       *       *       *       *

That same summer, one day, his mother came in and said to him,
"To-morrow school begins and then you are going there with me."

Oeyvind had heard that school was a place where many children played
together, and he had no objection. Indeed, he was much pleased, and he
was so anxious to get there that he walked faster than his mother up
over the hills.

When he came in there sat as many children around a table as he had
ever seen at church. Others were sitting around the walls. They all
looked up as Oeyvind and his mother entered, and as he was going to
find a seat they all wanted to make room for him. He looked around a
long time with his cap in his hand, and just as he was going to sit
down he saw close beside him, sitting by the hearth-stone, Marit of
the many names. She had covered her face with both hands, and sat
peeping at him through her fingers.

"I shall sit here," said Oeyvind quickly, seating himself at her side,
and then she laughed and he laughed too.

"Is it always like this here?" he whispered to Marit.

"Yes, just like this; I have a goat now," she said.

"Have you?"

"Yes; but it is not so pretty as yours."

"Why don't you come oftener up on the cliff?" said he.

"Grandpapa is afraid I shall fall over."

"But it is not so very high."

"Grandpapa won't let me, for all that."

"Mother knows so many songs," said he.

"Grandpapa does too, you can believe."

"Yes, but he does not know what mother does."

"Grandpapa knows one about a dance. Would you like to hear it?"

"Yes, very much."

"Well, then, you must come farther over here, and I will tell it to

He changed his place, and then she recited a little piece of a song
three or four times over so that the little boy learned it, and that
was the first he learned at school.

Then the children sang, and Oeyvind stood with Marit by the door. All
the children stood with folded hands and sang. Oeyvind and Marit also
folded their hands, but they could not sing. And that was the first
day at school.

_The Emperor's New Clothes_

There once lived an Emperor who was so fond of fine clothes that he
spent great sums of money in order to be beautifully dressed. He cared
little about his army or other affairs of State; he did not care for
amusements; nothing pleased him so much as walking abroad to show off
his new clothes. He had a coat for every hour of the day; and as they
often say of a king, "He is in the council chamber," here it would
usually be, "The Emperor is at his toilet."

The great city in which he lived had always something fresh to show;
every day many strangers came there. One day two men arrived who said
that they were weavers, and knew how to manufacture the most beautiful
cloth imaginable. Not only were the material and texture uncommonly
beautiful, but clothes made of the stuff possessed this wonderful
property that they were invisible to anyone who was not fit for his
office, or who was very stupid.

"Those must indeed be splendid clothes," thought the Emperor.
"Besides, if I had an outfit, I could find out which of my servants
are unfit for the offices they hold; I should know the wise from the
stupid! Yes, this cloth must be woven for me." And he gave the men
much money that they might begin at once to weave their cloth.

Of course they were impostors, but they put together two looms, and
began to move about as if they were working, though they had nothing
whatever on the looms. They were also given quantities of the finest
silk and the best gold, which they hid.

"I wonder how far they have got on with the cloth," thought the
Emperor one day. He remembered that whoever was stupid or not fit for
his office would be unable to see the material. He certainly believed
that he had nothing to fear for himself, but he decided first to send
a high official in order to see how he stood the test. Everybody in
the whole town knew by this time what a wonderful power the cloth had,
and all were curious to see what was to happen.

"I will send my prime minister to the weavers," thought the Emperor.
"He can judge best what the cloth is like, for he is the wisest man in
my kingdom."

Accordingly the old minister went to the hall where the impostors sat
working at the empty looms. "Dear me!" thought the old man, opening
his eyes wide, "I cannot see any cloth!" But he did not say so. "Dear,
dear!" thought he, "can I be stupid? Can I be not fit for my office?
No, I must certainly not admit that I cannot see the cloth!"

"Have you nothing to say?" asked one of the men.

"Oh, it is lovely, most lovely!" answered the old minister, looking
through his spectacles. "What smooth texture! What glowing colours!
Yes, I will tell the Emperor that it is certainly very fine."

"We are delighted to hear you say that," said both the weavers, and
they proceeded to name the colours and describe the appearance of the

The old minister listened with great attention, so that he could tell
the Emperor all about it on his return.

The impostors now demanded more money, and more silk and gold to use
in their weaving. They pocketed all, and went on as they had done
before, working at the empty loom. The Emperor soon sent another
official to report as to when the cloth would be finished. The
minister looked and looked, but there was nothing on the empty loom
and of course he could see nothing.

"Is it not a beautiful piece of cloth?" asked the impostors, and they
appeared to display material which was not there.

"Stupid I am not!" thought the minister, "so it must be that I am not
fitted for my office. It is strange certainly, but no one must be
allowed to notice it." And he, too, praised the cloth and pretended
delight at the beautiful colours and the splendid texture. "Yes, it is
indeed beautiful," he reported to the Emperor.

Everybody in the town was talking of the magnificent cloth, and the
Emperor decided to see it himself while it was still on the loom. With
a great crowd of courtiers, among whom were both the ministers who had
been there before, he went to the impostors, who were making believe
to weave with all their might.

"Is it not splendid!" said both the old statesmen. "See, your Majesty,
how fine is the texture! What remarkable colours!" And then they
pointed to the empty loom, believing that all but themselves could see
the cloth quite well.

"What is wrong?" thought the Emperor. "I can certainly see nothing!
This is indeed horrible! I must be stupid, or unfit to be Emperor! It
will never do to let it be known! Yes, it is indeed very beautiful,"
he said. "It has my entire approval."

And then he nodded pleasantly, and examined the empty loom with an
appearance of interest, for he would not admit that he could see

His courtiers, too, looked and looked, and saw no more than the
others; but they said like the Emperor, "Oh! it is beautiful!"
Everyone seemed so delighted that the Emperor gave to the impostors
the title of Weavers to the Emperor.

Now there was to be a State procession the following week and
throughout the night before and the morning of the day on which this
was to take place the impostors were working by the light of many
candles. The people could see that they appeared to be busy putting
the finishing touches to the Emperor's new clothes. They pretended
that they were taking the cloth from the loom; they cut nothing with
huge scissors, sewed with needles without thread, and at last said,
"The clothes are finished!"

The Emperor came himself with his favourites and each impostor held up
his arms as if he were showing something and said, "See! here are the
breeches! Here is the coat! Here the cloak!" and so on.

"Our clothes are so comfortable that one might imagine one had nothing
on; that is the beauty of them!"

"Yes," nodded the courtiers, although they could see nothing, there
being nothing there.

"Will it please your Majesty graciously to disrobe," said the

The Emperor took off all his clothes, and the men busied themselves as
if they were putting on various garments, while meantime the Emperor
surveyed himself in the mirror.

"How beautifully they fit! How well they suit his Majesty!" said

"If it please your Majesty, the procession is ready," announced the
Master of the Ceremonies.

"I am ready," said the Emperor. And he turned again to the mirror as
if to take a last admiring view of his finery.

The courtiers whose duty it was to bear the Emperor's train put their
hands near the floor as if to lift the train; then they acted as if
they were holding it up. They would not have it known that they could
see nothing.

So the Emperor strutted forward in the procession under a splendid
canopy, and the people in the streets and at the windows said, "How
grand are the Emperor's new clothes! What beautiful silk, how it

No one would admit that he could see nothing, for that would have
proved him unfit for his office, or stupid. None of the Emperor's
clothes had ever been so praised.

"But the Emperor has nothing on!" said a child at last.

"Listen to the innocent child!" said the father, and each one
whispered to his neighbour what the child had said.

"The Emperor has nothing on!" the people began to call out at last.

This seemed to the Emperor to be true; but he thought to himself, "I
must not stop now." And the courtiers walked behind him with pompous
air, gravely holding up the train which was not there.



Long ago there lived a Grecian youth named Rhoecus. Just outside the
city where Rhoecus dwelt was a wood. This wood was very old. Some
said there were oaks in the forest that had been growing for a
thousand years.

[Footnote 21: Based upon the story of James Russell Lowell's poem of
the same name.]

One day Rhoecus was passing through the wood. Before him he saw a
noble oak about to fall. He ran and propped its mossy trunk with great
branches that he took from the ground.

As he was turning away, he heard a soft voice say, "Rhoecus." There
beside the tree stood a beautiful dryad.

"I am the spirit of this tree," she said. "As long as it lives, I
live. When it falls, I die. You, Rhoecus, have just saved my life.
Ask what you will and it is yours."

Rhoecus gazed at the dryad with wonder and awe. "You are the fairest
being I have ever seen. Give me your love," he cried.

"You shall have it, Rhoecus," replied the dryad sadly. "Meet me
here an hour before the sunset."

With a happy heart and a gay step Rhoecus went on his way to the
town. He had won a most beautiful bride. To celebrate his joy, he
thought he would play a game of dice with his friends.

The game took all his thought, for he was most unlucky. He lost once,
twice, and even a third time. He forgot all about the dryad. The sun
sank lower and lower and still he played on.

At last a bee entered the window and brushed against his forehead.
Rhoecus shook it off. Again and again the bee returned. At last
Rhoecus, in anger, struck the little creature and wounded it. Away
flew the bee and Rhoecus, looking after it, saw the red sun setting
over the trees of the thousand-year-old forest. He was too late!

Through the city and out of its gates he rushed. He sped across the
plain and entered the wood. At the tree no fair dryad awaited him. But
he heard a voice saying sadly, "Ah, Rhoecus, you forgot your promise
to me. You drove away with a cruel blow my little messenger who sought
to remind you of me. Because you have been harsh to the little bee,
your punishment is this: You shall never see me again."

"Ah, no! sweet spirit," cried Rhoecus. "Forgive me this once. I will
never sin again."

"Alas! it cannot be. Farewell," sighed the dryad. And Rhoecus saw
her no more.

In that hour he changed from a happy youth to a sad and lonely man.
All his life he longed to see the dryad whom he had lost for ever.

_King Solomon and the Ants_


One morning the Queen of Sheba started back to her home in the South.
King Solomon and all his court went with her to the gates of the city.

It was a glorious sight. The King and Queen rode upon white horses.
The purple and scarlet coverings of their followers glittered with
silver and gold.

The King looked down and saw an ant hill in the path before them.

"See yonder little people," he said; "do you hear what they are saying
as they run about so wildly?

"They say, 'Here comes the King men call wise, and good, and great. He
will trample us under his cruel feet.'"

"They should be proud to die under the feet of such a King," said the
Queen. "How dare they complain!"

"Not so, great Queen," replied the King.

He turned his horse aside and all his followers did the same.

When the great company had passed, there was the ant hill unharmed in
the path.

The Queen said, "Happy, indeed, must be your people, wise King. I
shall remember the lesson. He only is noble and great who cares for
the helpless and weak."

_The Story of Pegasus_


Long ago in Greece there lived a young man named Bellerophon.
Bellerophon was brave; he was handsome; he was kind-hearted.

Nearly everyone loved Bellerophon; but there was one man who did not
like him. This was the King of the country in which Bellerophon lived.
The King was jealous. He saw how everyone, rich and poor, high and
low, loved Bellerophon. He feared that they might want to have
Bellerophon for their King. So he thought, "I must send this young man

He wrote letters to his wife's father, the King of Lycia. These
letters he sent by Bellerophon.

The King of Lycia welcomed Bellerophon to his court. For nine days
there was feasting, and Bellerophon won everyone's heart by his wit
and grace.

On the tenth day he gave his letters to the King. The King opened them
and read. Then his face changed. He went into the next room and bowed
his head upon his hands. He was greatly troubled. His son-in-law had
asked that Bellerophon should be killed.

"But he has just eaten my bread," said the King of Lycia. "He is my
guest. I cannot kill him." He thought for some time and then spoke
again: "I will not kill him myself. I will send him to fight the

Now the Chimæra was a terrible monster that roamed the fields of
Lycia. It had the body of a lion and it had three heads. These heads
were those of a lion, a goat, and a dragon. With its fiery breath the
Chimæra burned up everything that came near it.

Bellerophon was troubled when he heard the orders of the King of
Lycia. He went to ask the advice of the wisest man of that country.
The wise man said: "Bellerophon, if you can ride Pegasus, you will
kill the Chimæra easily."

"What is Pegasus?" said Bellerophon.

"Pegasus is a winged horse. His home is on Mount Olympus. But no one
has tamed him except Athene, the goddess of wisdom. I should ask her

Bellerophon prayed in the temple of Athene and then fell asleep. He
dreamed that Athene herself stood by him. He saw her grey eyes, her
golden hair, and her glistening armour. He thought she put a golden
bridle into his hand.

When he awoke, he found it was no dream, for he held a golden bridle.

He hastened at once to a certain spring where Pegasus often came to
drink. There stood the spirited steed. Bellerophon drew near. Pegasus
spread his strong wings and was just about to fly when Bellerophon
held out the bridle. Then the noble horse bent his head and walked up
to the young man. He knew that the golden bridle came from his

Bellerophon slipped the bridle upon Pegasus and they soared high into
the air. Pegasus was as swift as an eagle.

The next day Bellerophon fought with the ugly Chimæra. With the help
of Pegasus he easily slew the monster.

Then the King of Lycia gave him other hard tasks. But he did them all
easily, with the help of his winged horse. At last the King gave
Bellerophon his daughter as a wife.

And now, just when he was happiest, trouble came to Bellerophon. He
grew proud and vain. He thought that with his winged horse, he could
do anything.

One day he said, "I should like to visit the gods on Mount Olympus. I
can reach their home easily. I should like to see Jupiter and Mars
face to face."

He mounted Pegasus and turned his head toward the highest heaven.

"This is too great daring," said Jupiter; "Bellerophon must be

Jupiter sent a gadfly to sting Pegasus. The noble horse reared. He
thought his master had struck him and was furious with pain and anger.
Bellerophon lost his seat and fell to the earth.

All the rest of his days he went about a blind and lame old man.

Thus the gods punished his too great daring.

_The Wolf-Mother of Saint Ailbe_


_Ailbe's Babyhood_

This is the story of a poor little Irish baby whose cruel father and
mother did not care anything about him. But because they could not
sell him nor give him away they tried to lose him. They wrapped him in
a piece of cloth and took him up on the mountain-side, and there they
left him lying all alone on a bush of heather.

Now an old mother-wolf was out taking her evening walk on the mountain
after tending her cubs in the den all day. And as she was passing the
heather bush she heard a faint, funny little cry. She pricked up her
pointed ears and said, "What's that!" And lo and behold, when she came
to sniff out the mystery with her keen nose, it led her straight to
the spot where the little pink baby lay, crying with cold and hunger.

The heart of the mother-wolf was touched, for she thought of her own
little ones at home, and how sad it would be to see them so helpless
and lonely and forgotten. So she picked the baby up in her mouth
carefully and ran with him to her den in the rocks at the foot of the
mountain. Here the little one, whose name was Ailbe, lived with the
baby wolves sharing their breakfast and dinner and supper, playing and
quarrelling and growing up with them. The wolf-mother took good care
of him and saw that he had the best of everything, for she loved him
dearly, indeed. And Ailbe grew stronger and stronger, taller and
taller, handsomer and handsomer every day, living his happy life in
the wild woods of green Ireland.

_Ailbe leaves his Forest Home_

Now one day, a year or two after this, a hunter came riding over the
mountain on his way home from the chase, and he happened to pass near
the cave where Ailbe and the wolves lived. As he was riding under the
trees he saw a little white creature run across the path in front of
him. At first he thought it was a rabbit; but it was too big for a
rabbit, and besides, it did not hop. The hunter jumped down from his
horse and ran after the funny animal to find out what it was. His long
legs soon overtook it in a clump of bushes where it was hiding, and
imagine the hunter's surprise when he found that it had neither fur
nor horns nor four feet nor a tail, but that it was a beautiful child
who could not stand upright, and whose little, bare body ran on
all-fours like a baby wolf! It was little Ailbe, the wolf-mother's
pet, who had grown so fast that he was almost able to take care of
himself. But he was not quite able, the hunter thought; and he said to
himself that he would carry the poor little thing home to his kind
wife, that she might take care of him. So he caught Ailbe up in his
arms, kicking and squealing and biting like the wild little animal he
was, and wrapped him in a corner of his great cloak. Then he jumped on
his horse with a chirrup and galloped away out of the woods toward his

But Ailbe did not want to leave his forest home, the wolf-den, and his
little wolf-brothers. Especially he did not want to leave his dear
foster mother. So he screamed and struggled to get away from the big
hunter, and he called to the wolves in their own language to come and
help him. Then out of the forest came bounding the great mother-wolf
with her four children, now grown to be nearly as big as herself. She
chased the fleeting horse and snapped at the loose end of the
huntsman's cloak, howling with grief and anger. But she could not get
the thief, nor get back her adopted son, the little smooth-skinned
foundling. So after following them for miles, the five wolves
gradually dropped farther and farther behind. And at last, as he
stretched out his little arms to them over the hunter's velvet
shoulder, Ailbe saw them stop in the road panting, with one last howl
of farewell. They had given up the hopeless chase. And with their
tails between their legs and their heads drooping low, they slunk back
to their lonely den where they would never see their little boy
playmate any more. It was a sad day for the wolf-mother.

But the hunter carried little Ailbe home with him on the horse's back.
And he found a new mother there to receive him. Ailbe never knew who
his first mother was, but she must have been a bad, cruel woman. His
second mother was the kind wolf. And this one, the third, was a
beautiful Princess. For the hunter who had found the child was a
Prince, and he lived in a grand castle by a lake near Tipperary, with
hundreds of servants and horses and dogs and little pages for Ailbe to
play with. And here he lived and was very happy; and here he learned
all the things which in those days made a little boy grow up into a
wise and great man. He grew so wise and great that he was made a
Bishop and had a palace of his own in the town of Emly. People came
to see him from far and near, who made him presents, and asked him
questions, and ate his dinners.

But though he had grown so great and famous, Ailbe had never forgotten
his second mother, the good wolf, nor his four-footed brothers in
their coats of grey fur. And sometimes when his visitors were stupid
and stayed a long time, or when they asked too many questions, or when
they made him presents which he did not like, Ailbe longed to be back
in the forest with the good beasts.

_Ailbe finds the Wolf-Mother again_

A great many years afterward there was one day a huge hunt in Emly.
All the lords for miles around were out chasing the wild beasts, and
among them was the Prince, Ailbe's foster father. But the Bishop
himself was not with them. He did not see any sport in killing poor
creatures. It was almost night, and the people of Emly were out
watching for the hunters to return. The Bishop was coming down the
village street on his way from church, when the sounds of horns came
over the hills close by, and he knew the chase was nearing home.

Louder and louder came the _tantaratara_! of the horns, and then he
could hear the thud of the horses' hoofs and the yelp of the hounds.
But suddenly the Bishop's heart stood still. Among all the other noises
of the chase he heard a sound which made him think--think--think. It was
the long-drawn howl of a wolf, a sad howl of fear and weariness and
pain. It spoke a language which he had almost forgotten. But hardly had
he time to think again and remember before down the village street came
a gaunt figure, flying in long leaps from the foremost dogs who were
snapping at her heels. It was Ailbe's wolf-mother.

He recognized her as soon as he saw her green eyes and the patch of
white on her right foreleg. And she recognized him too--how I cannot
say, for he had changed greatly since she last saw him, a naked little
sun-browned boy. But, at any rate, in his fine robes of purple and
linen and rich lace, with the mitre on his head and the crozier in his
hand, the wolf-mother knew her dear son. With a cry of joy she bounded
up to him and laid her head upon his breast, as if she knew he would
protect her from the growling dogs and the fierce-eyed hunters. And
the good Bishop was true to her. For he drew his beautiful velvet
cloak about her tired, panting body, and laid his hand lovingly on her
head. Then in the other, he held up his crook warningly to keep back
the ferocious dogs.

"I will protect thee, old mother," he said tenderly. "When I was
little and young and feeble, thou didst nourish and cherish and
protect me; and now that thou art old and grey and weak, shall I not
render the same love and care to thee? None shall injure thee."

Then the hunters came tearing up on their foaming horses. Some were
angry, and wanted even now to kill the poor wolf, just as the dogs did
which were prowling about snarling with disappointment. But Ailbe
would have none of it. He forbade them to touch the wolf. And he was
so powerful and wise and holy that they dared not disobey him, but had
to be content with seeing their prey taken out of their clutches.

But before the hunters and their dogs rode away, Saint Ailbe had
something more to say to them. And he bade all the curious towns-folk
who had gathered about him and the wolf listen. He repeated the
promise which he had made to the wolf, and warned everyone henceforth
not to hurt her or her children, either in the village or in the woods
or on the mountain. And, turning to her once more, he said:

"See, mother, you need not fear. They dare not hurt you now you have
found your son to protect you. Come every day with my brothers to my
table, and you and yours shall share my food, as once I so often
shared yours."

And so it was. Every day after that, so long as she lived, the old
wolf-mother brought her four children to the Bishop's palace and
howled at the gate for the porter to let them in. And every day he
opened to them, and the steward showed the five into the great
dining-hall where Ailbe sat at the head of the table, with five places
set for the rest of the family. And there, with her five children
about her in a happy circle, the kind wolf-mother sat and ate the good
things which the Bishop's friends had sent him. But the child she
loved best was none of those in furry coats and fine whiskers that
looked like her; it was the blue-eyed Saint at the top of the table in
his robes of purple and white.

But Saint Ailbe would look about him at his foster mother and his
brothers and would laugh contentedly.

"What a handsome family we are!" he would say. And it was true.

_Who was the Mightier?_[22]


Glooskap, the Indian chief, had returned from the warpath. His foes
were slain or scattered. No other tribe of red men dared to stand
before him.

[Footnote 22: A Tale of the Penobscot Indians.]

Glooskap was very proud of what he had done. "My work is over," he
often said to himself. "Whom else is there for me to conquer? No one."

One day he walked through the village. He was a tall fierce figure
with brightly painted body and brilliant headdress of feathers.

He stopped to speak to an old squaw. He said aloud what he had often
thought, "My work is over, my enemies are dead. Whom is there for me
to conquer?"

The old squaw raised her hand and pointed toward the wigwam. "There
sits one whom no man will ever conquer!" she said.

Glooskap took one stride to the wigwam and raised the canvas door.
Within, seated on the floor, was a fat, happy baby. He was happy
because he was sucking a bit of maple sugar. He opened his bright
black eyes, and stared hard at the gay feathers of the chief.

"Who is he?" asked Glooskap.

"It is the mighty Wasis. But leave him in peace. Otherwise you will be
in sore trouble."

Now the Indian chief had never married. He knew nothing of children
and their ways. But he thought, as is the manner of such, that he knew

So he knelt on one knee, held out a hand, and smiling sweetly, said,
"Baby, come to me!"

Wasis smiled, but did not stir.

Again the chief smiled kindly and said in a coaxing tone, "Baby, come
to me."

Wasis looked again at the chief. Then he took a bite of the maple

Glooskap then arose, frowning; he stamped his foot angrily, and he
spoke savagely. "Baby, come to me."

Wasis dropped his maple sugar. "Goo, goo!" he said; "Goo, goo! Goo,
goo, goo!"

"These must be his war-cries!" thought the chief. "I'll teach him who
is master and must be obeyed."

So he sang his terrible war-songs; he drew his knife and leaped into
the air; he roared his orders to Wasis again and again. "Come to me:
come to me!"

This was too much for the baby. His little face puckered and grew red.
Then he opened his mouth and uttered shrieks so ear-piercing that
their like had never been heard before. At least so the chief thought.
He rushed from the wigwam and fled a mile before he stopped to breathe

Meanwhile Wasis had found his maple sugar and was calm again. "Goo,
goo!" he said; "Goo, goo! Goo, goo, goo!"

And to this day when you see a baby crowing and saying "Goo, goo!"
remember he is thinking of the time when he overcame the Indian chief
who had conquered all the world. For of all created things the Baby
alone is master.

_Hans the Shepherd Boy_


Hans was a little shepherd boy who lived in Germany. One day he was
keeping his sheep near a great wood when a hunter rode up to him.

"How far is it to the nearest village, my boy?" asked the hunter.

"It is six miles, sir," said Hans. "But the road is only a
sheep-track. You might easily miss your way."

"My boy," said the hunter, "if you will show me the way, I will pay
you well."

Hans shook his head. "I cannot leave the sheep, sir," he said. "They
would stray into the wood, and the wolves might kill them."

"But if one or two sheep are eaten by the wolves, I will pay you for
them. I will give you more than you can earn in a year."

"Sir, I cannot go," said Hans. "These sheep are my master's. If they
are lost, I should be to blame."

"If you cannot show me the way, will you get me a guide? I will take
care of your sheep while you are gone."

"No," said Hans, "I cannot do that. The sheep do not know your
voice--and----" Then he stopped.

"Can't you trust me?" asked the hunter.

"No," said Hans. "You have tried to make me break my word to my
master. How do I know that you would keep your word?"

The hunter laughed. "You are right," he said. "I wish I could trust my
servants as your master can trust you. Show me the path. I will try to
get to the village alone."

Just then several men rode out of the wood. They shouted for joy.

"Oh, sir!" cried one, "we thought you were lost."

Then Hans learned to his great surprise that the hunter was a Prince.
He was afraid that the great man would be angry with him. But the
Prince smiled and spoke in praise of him.

A few days later a servant came from the Prince and took Hans to the

"Hans," said the Prince, "I want you to leave your sheep to come to
serve me. I know you are a boy whom I can trust."

Hans was very happy over his good fortune. "If my master can find
another boy to take my place, then I will come to serve you."

So Hans went back and tended the sheep until his master found another
boy. After that he served the Prince many years.

_Nathan and the Bear_


Little Nathan King was driving home his father's cows.

It was a cold night in October. In the clear sky the stars shone

The dry leaves fluttered down upon the road where they lay in drifts.

The air was sharp. Once a chestnut burr dropped at the boy's feet.

"Winter will soon be here," Nathan said to himself. He was thinking of
the snug kitchen and the good warm supper that his mother would have
ready for him.

It was dark. Nathan could just see the black shapes of the cows.

There were five of them. They were good, kind cows. Nathan liked to
take care of them.

He liked to pat their sleek, smooth sides.

The cows were fond of Nathan. Sometimes the black cow would put out
her rough tongue and touch his hand.

Now they were all in a hurry to reach the warm barn. They walked along
the road as fast as they could.

"I think I will go by the wood path," said Nathan to himself. "It is
only half as far, and I know every step of the way."

So he ran on before the cows, and let down the bars into the wood

The cows went on after him. They, too, knew every step of the path.
Nathan often took them home that way. The end of the wood path was
near the door of the barn.

It was very still in the woods. The dry leaves rustled as the cows
walked through them. There was no other sound. The trees looked big
and black.

Nathan whistled as he walked. He had never been in the woods after
dark before. He was glad that he was not far from home.

Once the black cow stepped on a long, dry branch. The other end of the
branch flew up in Nathan's face and made him jump.

"What a baby I am!" said he. "There is nothing to be afraid of. I can
see the lamp in our kitchen now."

Nathan was now on the top of the hill. The trees were cut down on one
side of the path. He could look across a cornfield to his home.

He whistled more loudly than ever and walked bravely on.

"I wonder if there are any bears in these woods," he was thinking.
"Tom Shaw's father saw a bear on the mountain last week. Tom says he
would like to meet one. I should run if I heard a bear coming."

Nathan stopped a moment to listen. His heart beat fast. He could feel
it thump, thump, thump against his jacket. But there was no sound
except the breaking of twigs and the rustling of leaves under the
heavy step of the cows.

"Home at last!" said Nathan.

His father heard him open the great gate, and came out with a light.

Nathan stood aside to let the cows go through the gateway. He always
counted them as they went through.

One, two, three, four, five--one, two, three, four, five--Nathan
rubbed his eyes. Then he counted again. One, two, three, four, five,
six! Where did the sixth cow come from? Was it a cow? It looked more
like a dog.

"Father!" cried Nathan. "Here's a bear with the cows!"

Mr King laughed. He had opened the barn door. The cows were going in,
one by one.

"What a boy you are!" he said. "You and Tom Shaw--why, it is a bear!"

Yes, it really was a bear. Mr King swung the lantern close, to make

When the bear saw the bright light, he turned slowly; then he went
back through the gateway across the road, into the wood path.

"Let me get my gun!" cried Mr King. "Take the lantern, Nathan!"

"Oh, don't shoot him, father!" begged Nathan. "Please don't shoot him.
He came all the way through the woods with me, and he did not hurt me
at all."

The boy was almost crying. He was holding his father's arm with both

"Please don't shoot him!" he said again.

"Well," said Mr King, "I don't like to let a bear go like that. He
seems gentle enough, but he might do some harm. Where did you find
him, Nathan?"

"I did not find him," said the boy, still holding fast his father's
arm. "He must have been in the woods. I was counting the cows just
now, and there he was! I wish you would let him go. He was good to me
when he might have hurt me. I think it would be mean to shoot him

"It is strange that the cows were not frightened," said Mr King. "I
suppose the old fellow was cold. He thought you looked as if you were
a kind boy, Nathan."

Nathan knew that his father would not go after the bear now. He
laughed gaily as he went into the barn.

"I wish Tom Shaw had been here," said he. "I think I shall come home
by the road to-morrow night. I am not very fond of bears, after all."

_The Man on the Chimney_


Once upon a time some workmen were repairing the tall chimney of a
factory. It was so tall that no ladder could reach its top, so the men
went up and down on a rope. The rope passed through a pulley which was
firmly fixed to the top of the chimney.

At last the work was ended. The workmen came down quickly, glad to be
safe on the ground once more.

When the next to the last man reached the ground, by mistake he pulled
the rope from the pulley. Then he looked back and saw another man
standing alone on the chimney.

"Oh! what have I done!" he cried. "Poor fellow, what will become of
him? He cannot get down! He will die!"

The workmen were so alarmed that they could think of no way to help
their comrade. They stood helpless, looking first at the coil of rope
at their feet and then at their friend high in the air.

"He will starve if he stays there, and he will be killed if he tries
to climb down," they said sadly.

Just then the wife of the man appeared. She did not cry, scold, or
fret. Instead, she said to herself, "What can I do to save him? There
must be some way."

Soon a bright idea came to her, and she shouted to her husband:

"John! John! Unravel your stocking! Begin at the toe!"

John understood at once. He took off the coarse yarn stocking that she
had knitted for him, cut off the toe, and began to unravel the yarn.

When he had pulled out a long piece, he tied the end around a small
piece of brick. This he very carefully let down to the ground.

How eagerly the men below seized upon it. They fastened the yarn to a
ball of twine which John's wife had fetched. Then they shouted:

"Pull up the yarn till you get the twine."

Soon John called to them:

"I have it."

They next fastened the twine to the heavy rope and shouted:

"Pull up the twine till you get the rope."

"All right," said John, and in a very few minutes he held the stout
rope in his hand. With its aid, he let himself safely down to the
ground. How they all cheered as his foot touched the earth!

Do you think he left the remnant of his stocking on the chimney-top?
No, indeed. He brought it down, buttoned under his coat. It was a
precious keepsake. He often showed it to his children, as he told them
the wonderful story of how his life had been saved by their mother.



Pocahontas was a beautiful Indian maiden, the daughter of the great
chief, Powhatan, and she was so good and kind that she was loved by
all the tribe over which her father ruled.

She lived in the forests of Virginia, with the birds and squirrels for
her companions.

She was an Indian princess, but she learned to cook and to sew and to
weave mats, just like the other Indian girls. She liked to embroider,
too, and spent many happy hours decorating her dresses with the
pretty-coloured shells and beads that were given to her father.

One day, when she was twelve years old, an Indian came to Powhatan and
told him a white man had been captured and brought to the village.

"He is a wonderful man," said the scout. "He can talk to his friends
by making marks on paper, and he can make a fire without a flint."

"Bring him here," said the chief, and Captain John Smith was brought
before Powhatan.

The chief received the prisoner in his wigwam, and talked with him,
asking him many questions.

Captain Smith told the Indians that the earth was round, and that the
sun chased the night around it. He said that the sun that set in the
west at night was the same sun that rose in the east in the morning.
He showed them his compass and told them how it guided him through the

At last the Indians began to fear him, thinking that so wise and
powerful a man might do them some harm. So, after holding him as a
prisoner for many days, they decided to put him to death.

In the meantime Captain Smith and Pocahontas had become the best of
friends. He told her many stories of his childhood in a land across
the sea--of the blue-eyed, fair-haired boys and girls, of their toys
and games, their homes and schools, and how they learned to read and

So when Pocahontas learned that her dear friend must die, she felt
very sad, and tried to think of some way of saving his life.

And she did save his life, for just as Captain Smith was to be killed,
the child threw her arms about his neck, and begged her father to
spare the white man's life, for her sake.

Powhatan loved his little daughter, and wished to please her in
everything, so he promised to set the prisoner free, and to send him
at once to his friends.

Pocahontas often visited Captain Smith, and learned to know and love
his friends. In later years she went to England to see the fair-haired
boys and girls and the homes and schools he had told her about during
his captivity.

_The Day Kit and Kat went Fishing_


This is a story of Kit and Kat, twins who lived in Holland. Their real
names were Christopher and Katrina, but their mother, Vrouw Vedder,
says that they are not to be called Christopher and Katrina until they
are four and a half feet high. So they are Kit and Kat while they are
on the way to four and a half feet. Kit is the boy and Kat is the
girl. Here is the story of the day they went fishing.

_At Home_

One summer morning, very early, Vrouw Vedder opened the door of her
little Dutch kitchen and stepped out.

She looked across the road which ran by the house, across the canal on
the other side, across the level green fields that lay beyond, clear
to the blue rim of the world, where the sky touches the earth. The sky
was very blue; and the great, round, shining face of the sun was just
peering over the tops of the trees, as she looked out.

Vrouw Vedder listened. The roosters in the barnyard were crowing, the
ducks in the canal were quacking, and all the little birds in the
fields were singing for joy. Vrouw Vedder hummed a slow little tune of
her own, as she went back into her kitchen.

Kit and Kat were still asleep in their little cupboard bed. She gave
them each a kiss. The twins opened their eyes and sat up.

"Oh, Kit and Kat," said Vrouw Vedder, "the sun is up, the birds are
all awake and singing, and grandfather is going fishing to-day. If you
will hurry you may go with him! He is coming at six o'clock; so pop
out of bed and get dressed. I will put up some lunch for you in the
yellow basket, and you may dig worms for bait in the garden. Only be
sure not to step on the young cabbages that father planted."

Kit and Kat bounced out of bed in a minute. Their mother helped them
to put on their clothes and new wooden shoes. Then she gave them each
a bowl of bread and milk for their breakfast. They ate it sitting on
the kitchen doorstep.

Soon Kit and Kat were digging for worms. They did just as their mother
said, and did not step on the young cabbages. They sat on them,
instead. But that was an accident.

Kit dug the worms, and Kat put them into a basket, with some earth in
it to make them feel at home.

When grandfather came, he brought a large fishing-rod for himself and
two little ones for the twins. There was a little hook on the end of
each line.

Vrouw Vedder kissed Kit and Kat good-bye.

"Mind grandfather, and don't fall into the water," she said.

Grandfather and the twins started off together down the long road
beside the canal.

The house where the twins lived was right beside the canal. Their
father was a gardener, and his beautiful rows of cabbages and beets
and onions stretched in long lines across the level fields by the

Grandfather lived in a large town, a little way beyond the farm where
the twins lived. He did not often have a holiday, because he carried
milk to the doors of the people in the town, every morning early. Some
time I will tell you how he did it; but I must not tell you now,
because if I do, I can't tell you about their going fishing.

This morning, grandfather carried his rod and the lunch-basket. Kit
and Kat carried the basket of worms between them, and their rods over
their shoulders, and they were all three very happy.

_On the Dyke_

They walked along ever so far, beside the canal. Then they turned to
the left and walked along a path that ran from the canal across the
green fields to what looked like a hill.

But it wasn't a hill at all, really, because there aren't any hills in
Holland. It was a long, long wall of earth, very high--oh, as high as
a house, or even higher! And it had sloping sides.

There is such a wall of earth all round the country of Holland, where
the twins live. There has to be a wall, because the sea is higher than
the land. If there were no walls to shut out the sea, the whole
country would be covered with water; and if that were so, then there
wouldn't be any Holland, or any Holland twins, or any story. So you
see that it was very lucky that the wall was there. They called it a

Grandfather and Kit and Kat climbed the dyke. When they reached the
top, they sat down a few minutes to rest and look at the great blue
sea. Grandfather sat in the middle, with Kit on one side, and Kat on
the other; and the basket of worms and the basket of lunch were there,

They saw a great ship sail slowly by, making a cloud of smoke.

"Where do the ships go, grandfather?" asked Kit.

"To England, and America, and China, and all over the world," said

"Why?" asked Kat. Kat almost always said "Why?" and when she didn't,
Kit did.

"To take flax and linen from the mills of Holland to make dresses for
little girls in other countries," said grandfather.

"Is that all?" asked Kit.

"They take cheese and herring, bulbs and butter, and lots of other
things besides, and bring back to us wheat and meal and all sorts of
good things from the lands across the sea."

"I think I'll be a sea captain when I'm big," said Kit.

"So will I," said Kat.

"Girls can't," said Kit.

But grandfather shook his head and said:

"You can't tell what a girl may be by the time she's four feet and a
half high and is called Katrina. There's no telling what girls will
do, anyway. But, children, if we stay here we shall not catch any

_On the Pier_

They went down the other side of the dyke and out upon a little pier
that ran from the sandy beach into the water.

Grandfather showed them how to bait their hooks. Kit baited Kat's for
her, because Kat said it made her all wriggly inside to do it. She did
not like it. Neither did the worm!

They all sat down on the end of the pier. Grandfather sat on the very
end and let his wooden shoes hang down over the water; but he made Kit
and Kat sit with their feet stuck straight out in front of them, so
that they just reached to the edge--"So that you can't fall in," said

They dropped their hooks into the water and sat very still, waiting
for a bite. The sun climbed higher and higher in the sky, and it grew
hotter and hotter on the pier. The flies tickled Kat's nose and made
her sneeze.

"Keep still, can't you?" said Kit crossly. "You'll scare the fish.
Girls don't know how to fish."

Pretty soon Kat felt a queer little jerk on her line. She was
perfectly sure she did.

Kat squealed and jerked her rod. She jerked it so hard that one foot
flew right up in the air, and one of her new wooden shoes
went--splash!--right into the water!

But that wasn't the worst of it! Before you could say Jack Robinson,
Kat's hook flew around and caught in Kit's clothes and pricked him.

Kit jumped and said, "Ow!" And then--no one could tell how it
happened--there was Kit in the water, too, splashing like a young
whale, with Kat's hook still holding fast to his clothes in the back!

Grandfather jumped then, too, you may be sure. He caught hold of Kat's
rod and pulled hard and called out, "Steady, there, steady!"

And in one minute there was Kit in the shallow water beside the pier,
puffing and blowing like a grampus!

Grandfather reached down and pulled him up.

When Kit was safely on the pier, Kat threw her arms around his neck,
though the water was running down in streams from his hair and eyes
and ears.

"Oh, Kit," she said, "I truly thought it was a fish on my line when I

"Just like a g-g-girl," said Kit. "They don't know how to f-f-fish!"
You see his teeth were chattering, because the water was cold.

"Well, anyway," said Kat, "I caught more than you did. I caught you!"

Then Kat thought of something else. She shook her finger at Kit.

"Oh, Kit," she said, "mother told you not to fall into the water!"

"'T-t-t-was all your fault," roared Kit. "Y-y-you began it! Anyway,
where is your new wooden shoe?"

"Where are both of yours?" screamed Kat.

Sure enough, where were they? No one had thought about shoes, because
they were thinking so hard about Kit.

They ran to the end of the pier and looked. There was Kat's shoe
sailing away toward England like a little boat! Kit's were still
bobbing about in the water near the pier.

"Oh! Oh! Oh!" shrieked Kat; but the tide was going out and carrying
her shoe farther away every minute. They could not get it; but
grandfather reached down with his rod and fished out both of Kit's
shoes. Then Kat took off her other one and her stockings, and they all
three went back to the beach.

_On the Beach_

Grandfather and Kat covered Kit up with sand to keep him warm while
his clothes were drying. Then grandfather stuck the twins' fish-poles
up in the sand and tied the two lines together for a clothes-line,
and hung Kit's clothes up on it, and Kat put their three wooden shoes
in a row beside Kit.

Then they ate their luncheon of bread and butter, cheese and milk,
with some radishes from father's garden. It tasted good even if it was
sandy. After lunch grandfather said:

"It will never do to go home without any fish at all."

So by-and-by he went back to the pier and caught one while the twins
played in the sand. He put it in the lunch-basket to carry home.

Kat brought shells and pebbles to Kit, because he had to stay covered
up in the sand, and Kit built a play dyke all around himself with
them, and Kat dug a canal outside the dyke. Then she made sand-pies in
clam-shells and set them in a row in the sun to bake.

They played until the shadows of the dyke grew very long across the
sandy beach, and then grandfather said it was time to go home.

He helped Kit to dress, but Kit's clothes were still a little wet in
the thick parts. And Kat had to go barefooted and carry her one wooden

They climbed the dyke and crossed the fields, and walked along the
road by the canal. The road shone, like a strip of yellow ribbon
across the green field. They walked quite slowly, for they were tired
and sleepy.

By-and-by Kit said, "I see our house"; and Kat said, "I see mother at
the gate."

Grandfather gave the fish he caught to Kit and Kat, and Vrouw Vedder
cooked it for their supper; and though it was not a very big fish,
they all had some.

Grandfather must have told Vrouw Vedder something about what had
happened; for that night, when she put Kit to bed, she felt his
clothes very carefully--but she didn't say a word about their being
damp. And she said to Kat: "To-morrow we will see the shoemaker and
get him to make you another shoe."

Then Kit and Kat hugged her and said good-night, and popped off to
sleep before you could wink your eyes.

_The Honest Farmer_


There was a war in Germany long ago and thousands of soldiers were
scattered over the country. A captain of cavalry, who had a great many
men and horses to feed, was told by his colonel that he must get food
from the farmers near by. The captain walked for some time through the
lonely valley, and at last knocked at the door of a small cottage. The
man who opened it looked old and lame. He leaned on a stick.

"Good-day, sir," said the captain. "Will you kindly show me a field
where my soldiers can cut the grain and carry it off for our army?"

The old man led the soldiers through the valley for about a mile, and
in the distance they saw a field of barley waving in the breeze.

"This is just what we want. We'll stop here," exclaimed the captain.

"No, not yet," said the old man. "You must follow me a little

After another mile or two they came to a second field of barley. The
soldiers alighted, cut down the grain, tied it in sheaves, and rode
away with it.

Then the captain said to the old farmer: "Why did you make us walk so
far? The first field of barley was better than this one."

"That is true, sir," answered the honest old man; "but it was not

_Damon and Pythias_


More than two thousand years ago two young men who were intimate
friends lived in Sicily. Their names were Damon and Pythias.

The ruler of the country, named Dionysius, was a cruel man. He put
Pythias in prison and fixed a day for his death. Pythias had done
nothing wrong, but he had angered Dionysius.

The father and mother of Pythias lived far away. "May I go home to bid
my father and mother good-bye, and to arrange my affairs before I
die?" asked Pythias.

The ruler laughed. "That is a strange request," said he. "Of course
you would escape and you would never come back."

At that moment Damon stepped forward. "I am his friend," he said. "I
will stay in prison till Pythias returns."

Then the ruler asked: "What will happen if Pythias does not return?"

"I will die for him," said Damon.

This surprised Dionysius very much. He put Damon in prison and Pythias
went home. Weeks went by and Pythias did not return. At last the day
of execution came, and Damon was led out to be put to death. He said:
"Pythias will come if he is alive. I can trust him absolutely."

Just then soldiers ran up shouting: "Here he comes! Here he comes!"

Yes, there was Pythias, breathless with haste. He had been shipwrecked
on his journey and had been cast ashore many miles away.

Dionysius was greatly moved. "You are both free," said he. "I would
give all I have for one such friend. Will you let me become a friend
to you both?"

_Lincoln's Unvarying Kindness_


Abraham Lincoln, the great President of the United States, loved not
only men, women and children, but animals as well. If he saw an animal
in trouble of any sort he always stopped to aid it. Even in the most
crowded day he found time to be merciful.

When Abraham was twenty-one he helped his father to move to the West.
Other friends went, too. They packed their goods in large waggons
drawn by oxen. It was quite a little company.

They started on their journey in February. The roads were heavy with
frost and mud. There were no bridges, and so the streams must be
forded. Again and again they had to break the ice to let the wheels

At one of these fords a little dog was left behind on the farther
shore. He ran up and down the bank and howled pitifully, but no one
seemed to notice him. At last tall, bony Abe Lincoln turned.

The dog looked pleadingly at him. "Am I to be left behind to die in
this wilderness?" his soft dark eyes seemed to say.

Lincoln hesitated. The water of the river was icy cold. However, he
took off his shoes, turned up his trousers, and waded across. He
caught up the shivering little animal, which licked his hands and face
in a very passion of gratitude.

When Lincoln set him down on the right side of the river, the little
dog showed his gladness by leaping upon everyone and barking wildly.

"His frantic leaps of joy repaid me for what I had done," said

Years afterward, when Lincoln was a busy lawyer, he was one day riding
to court on horseback. With him were some friends of his who were also

The small party had some distance to go. The day was warm and the
roadsides were soft with spring mud.

Suddenly their gay talk was interrupted. "Cheep! cheep! cheep!" they
heard. On the ground, not far from the roadside, two little birds lay
in the grass. They had fallen from the nest in the tree above them.
Their mother fluttered about, uttering pitiful cries.

"See those young robins that have fallen from their nest," said one

"That's too bad," said another. "They are sure to die down there."

"Some cat will get them," said a third.

On they went, but soon they missed Abraham Lincoln. They looked
behind, but a turn of the road hid him from sight. "We can guess what
kept him," laughed the leader. "He has stopped to put those robins
back into their nest."

They were right. Abraham Lincoln was even then climbing the tree to
the nest with the tiny birds cuddled tenderly in one big kind hand.

Soon he rejoined his friends. One of them raised his riding-whip and
pointed at Lincoln's muddy boots. "Confess now, old Abe," he said,
"wasn't it those young robins that kept you?"

"We know you, old fellow!" said another.

"Yes, boys, you are right," Lincoln replied. "But if I hadn't put
those birds back into the nest I shouldn't have slept a wink all

Here is another story of the great-hearted Lincoln. He passed a beetle
one day that was sprawling upon its back. It was kicking hard in its
efforts to turn over. Lincoln stooped and set it right. "Do you know,"
he said to the friend beside him, "I shouldn't have felt just right if
I'd left that insect struggling there. I wanted to put him on his
feet and give him a chance with all the other beetles."

Another time Lincoln and a party of lawyers were riding from one town
to another to attend court. Each lawyer wore his best clothes. Lincoln
was most careful of his well-worn suit.

On the road the party passed a small pig that had fallen into a ditch.
The poor little creature cried in a most pitiful fashion. At a bend of
the road Lincoln drew rein. His friends rode on, but he returned. He
jumped into the muddy ditch, lifted up the helpless pig, and placed
him again on solid ground. Then he galloped after the others.

The splashes of mud told their own story. His friends laughed at the
big man with the tender heart. "I could not do otherwise," said

_How Molly spent her Sixpence_


Molly and Priscilla were two little cousins. They had been spending a
week together at their grandmother's.

When Molly was going home, the two little girls exchanged silver
sixpences. Each wished to have a remembrance of the other.

_Molly's Start_

Molly meant to keep Priscilla's sixpence always, but she had not been
at home many days before she received a letter from her cousin that
altered her intentions. Molly's mamma read it aloud.

       *       *       *       *       *

"DEAR MOLLY,--I miss you very much. I cried the day you went, for it
was so lonely. I have spent your sixpence. I meant to get pink and
blue and yellow tissue paper, but Guy Fawkes Day came and I got
fireworks instead. They are all gone now, but it was fun while they
lasted. They made a splendid noise. I like crackers.

"Please get something to remember me by on my birthday. As I have
spent your sixpence, I want you to spend mine, and then we shall be
even. My birthday is the eighth of December. I wish you were my
sister. Your loving cousin,


       *       *       *       *       *

"It is the eighth of December to-day, Molly dear," said Mrs Benson.

"Then I think I had better go and look round the shops."

"You will find a great variety of things at Fletcher's," said her
mamma; "and if you like, you may go there all by yourself like a
grown-up person."

This pleased Molly, and she put on her brown hat and started out with
a little shopping bag that her Aunt Ruth had given her last Christmas.
Her small purse was in the bottom holding her silver sixpence. Just as
she reached the gate, she saw Julia Harding coming out of the big
house opposite.

"Where are you going, Molly?" Julia asked. "I was coming over to play
with you."

"I am going to do some shopping," said Molly.

"What are you going to buy?"

"I don't know."

"You don't know what you are going to buy?"

"It may be tissue paper, or it may be paper dolls' furniture, or it
may be a new dress for Sylvia or Jane, but whatever it is, it must
cost just sixpence."

Then Molly told Julia the story of the exchange of the silver

"I should get sweets if it were mine," said Julia, "and then we could
eat some."

"But I don't want to eat up my lovely present," said Molly.

_Molly's Perplexities_

Fletcher's was a delightful shop. It had almost everything in it that
anyone could want. In fact it was so full of charming things that it
was hard to make a choice.

Molly's eyes were fascinated by a card full of paper-doll patterns,
and their pretty blue, red, and white dresses. There was a back and a
front view of each little girl, to be cut out and pasted together so
as to make a complete person. There were also on the same card a
tennis racket and a hoop and a dear little doll's carriage for the
rag-doll children to play with, and a shopping-bag and a green
watering-pot. Molly was afraid that these children and their outfit
would cost a great deal of money, and that she could not afford to buy

"How much are they?" she shyly asked the girl behind the counter.

"Sixpence-halfpenny a card. They are very cheap, for they came from
Germany. Would you like one?"

Molly shook her head. "I only have sixpence," she answered with a

"I will let you have it for sixpence seeing that it is you," the girl

She was very pleasant, with kind, grey eyes. "Sixpence is very cheap
for two children and their entire wardrobe, not to mention
play-things," she added.

"Yes, it is cheap," said Molly.

Julia, meanwhile, had discovered some paper doll furniture. One card
was full of kitchen things, and another was devoted to parlour
furniture, while a third displayed a bedroom set.

"How perfectly beautiful!" Molly said, as she looked at the little
brown dressing-table with white-and-red cover and the red pin-cushion
full of pins.

"What a dear little rug!" said Julia, pointing to a charming brown
skin rug.

"And look at the towels and the little towel-rack," said Molly.

"And the bed and washstand and the pretty blue screen," added Julia.

"See the brown chairs and the dear little brown clock. What fun it
would be to cut them out, Julia!"

"Look at the parlour set," said Julia. "See the piano, and the red
sofa and chairs, and the tall piano-lamp with its red shade."

"The kitchen is a dear place," said Molly. "See the table with a
lobster on it in a dish, and the sweet little cooking-stove, and the
pretty blue dishes in the cupboard; they all seem so real."

"See the spice-box," said Julia. "Pepper, nutmeg, c-i-n-n-a-m-o-n,

"Oh, look at that dear little pussy cat in the kitchen!" said Molly.
"How much are these cards?" she asked.

"Sixpence each."

"Only sixpence! I don't know which I want the most."

"I should choose the parlour set," said Julia.

"I like the kitchen and the bedroom set the best, because we could
have more fun with them."

"We have the same things at threepence a card in a smaller size," the
assistant said.

"At threepence a card! Then I can have two of them, Julia! and I can
send one of them to Priscilla, for poor Priscilla has spent all her
money on fireworks, and hasn't anything to remember me by."

"I should keep them both," said Julia. "If she chose to spend her
money on fireworks, that is her lookout. We could have more fun if you
had the kitchen and parlour furniture, too."

"Yes, we could," said Molly. "I must look round a little more before
I decide," she added prudently. "Oh, Julia, see that pretty pink stuff
with white spots on it! How becoming that would be to Sylvia! It takes
only half-a-yard for her dress. How much is it for half-a-yard?"

"It is one shilling and a halfpenny a yard," the assistant replied.

"How much would that be for half-a-yard, Julia?"

"I don't know."

"We don't know how much it would be for half-a-yard," said Molly

"Well, we would charge you sixpence."

"Sixpence!" said Molly. She was almost sorry, for if it had cost more
she could not have bought it, and it would have been a little easier
to choose.

"Look at this sweet doll, Molly," said Julia, from the other end of
the shop. "A tiny doll and yet so prettily dressed. How much is it?"


"Everything is sixpence in this shop," said Molly, in despair. "I
can't ever decide; but I have so many dolls that I don't really need
any more."

"Oh, Molly, see this!" and Julia paused before a tall round basket. A
white card hung above it, and on this card was printed in large black

                     THE LUCKY DIP

                       3d. a Dip


Julia pushed up the cover of the basket, and she and Molly peeped in
over the top. There were flat parcels to be seen and three-cornered
parcels, and long ones and square ones, and they were all done up in
tissue paper. There was something very interesting and mysterious
about the dip. Those paper packages might have something in them even
rarer and more beautiful than the paper dolls, or the furniture, or
the pink stuff.

"You could have two dips for sixpence," Julia suggested. "You could
dip and I could dip, and I could give you what I get."

She was longing to know the contents of a certain interesting
irregular parcel.

"The furniture is so sweet," said Molly, "and I am sure I want it."

"The paper dolls are sweet, too," said Julia.

"Yes, and so is the pink stuff. I shall _have_ to take a dip to decide

Meanwhile a more important customer had come in with whom the
assistant was busy, so Molly went over to her and handed her the

"We will have two dips," she said.

"Thank you. Did you say you would have three yards, madam?" she asked,
turning to the lady customer.

_Molly's Purchases_

"You dip first," said Julia.

Molly looked from the flat parcels to the three-cornered ones and
could not decide which to choose.

"I think I will shut my eyes," she said, and she put in her hand at
random and pulled out a small, flat parcel. She opened it eagerly, and
took out a block of black paper, to be used as a slate, and a pencil
with which to write on it. She was sadly disappointed, and felt very
much like crying.

"It is a horrid thing," said Julia. "We don't want a paper slate when
you have that nice blackboard. You were very silly to shut your eyes.
I shall choose with my eyes open. I am going to take that package that
looks as if it might be a doll."

She took out the enticing-looking package and began to untie the
string, and presently drew forth a pink-and-white-and-green china vase
of a hideous shape. It was too large for dolls, and too small for
people, and too ugly to please either.

"That dip is perfectly horrid," said Julia.

Molly was sure that she had never been so unhappy. She knew, now that
it was too late, that she wanted the paper doll furniture more than
anything in the whole world. The little girls were very sober all the
way home. When they reached Molly's gate, Julia handed over the vase.

"Take the old thing," she said. "You have got something to remember
Priscilla by always now, and you can send the paper slate to her."

"Well, what did you buy, dear?" her mamma asked cheerfully, as Molly
came into the parlour.

The little girl found it hard to keep back her tears. Her Aunt Mary
and her brother Fred were sitting there, too. She felt it would have
been easier to confess her folly to her mother alone.

She held up the vase and the paper block silently.

"The block was a sensible choice," said her mamma, "but I don't see
why you chose the vase."

"I didn't choose either of them," Molly burst out. "We dipped and we
got them."

"In short, they chose you," said Fred.

Then the little girl told the whole story. "I _did_ want the paper
doll furniture so much," she ended.

"Why didn't you buy it, then?" asked her aunt.

"Because we thought it would be more fun to dip."

"This will be a very good lesson for you, Molly," said her aunt. "It
is never well to spend money unless you are sure what you are spending
it for. I am sorry for you, but you will never be so foolish again."

"There will be time to go to Fletcher's again before tea," said Fred.
"I will go with you, and we will pretend the sixpence I have was
Priscilla's and you shall choose what you want all over again."

Molly danced up and down with pleasure, and she and Fred went to
Fletcher's together. This time she made her choice very quickly, for
she knew just what she wanted. She bought the bedroom set and the
kitchen furniture. She remembered Julia's words: "I should keep them
both. If Priscilla chose to spend her money on fireworks, that is her

But now she herself had spent her money foolishly. If Fred had thought
as Julia did, that nobody who had made an unwise investment ought to
have anything given her, she would never have had the dear paper doll
furniture. So she kept the kitchen set and sent the bedroom set to

_Hans and his Dog_


_The Golden Coin_

Far away across the sea, in a country called Switzerland, there once
lived a little boy whose name was Hans.

Switzerland is a wonderful country, full of beautiful snowy mountains,
where gleaming ice-fields shine, and dark pine forests grow.

Hans lived with his aunt and his uncle in a village up among these
mountains. He could not remember any other home, for his father and
his mother had died when he was a little baby, and his aunt and his
uncle, who had not a child of their own, had taken care of him ever

Han's uncle was a guide. He showed the safest ways and best paths to
travellers, who came from all over the world to see the mountains.

Every summer the little town where Hans lived was full of strangers.
Some of them came in carriages, some on foot; some were rich, some
were poor; but all of them wanted to climb to the mountain-tops, where
the snows are always white and dazzling against the blue sky.

The paths over the mountains are slippery and dangerous, leading
across the ice-fields by cracks and chasms most fearful to see. The
travellers dared not climb them without someone to show the way, and
nobody in the village knew the way so well as Hans's uncle.

The uncle was so brave and trusty that he was known throughout the
whole country, and everybody who came to the mountains wanted him as

One day a Prince came, and no sooner had he rested from his journey
than he sent for Hans's uncle.

That very day Hans was five years old, and so his uncle told him that
because it was his birthday, he, too, might go to see the Prince.

This was a great treat for Hans, and his aunt made haste to dress him
in his best clothes.

"You must be good," she told him a dozen times before he set out with
his uncle to the hotel where the Prince was staying.

When they got there they found everything in a bustle, for the place
was full of fine ladies and gentlemen who had come with the Prince,
and the servants were hurrying here and there to wait on them.

Nobody even saw the little boy, in holiday clothes, who tiptoed so
quietly over the beautiful carpets. Nobody, I should say, but the
Prince; for after the Prince had finished his business with Hans's
uncle, he smiled at Hans and asked his name and how old he was. Hans
was very proud to say that he was five years old that very day; and
when the Prince heard this he took a gold-piece from his purse and
gave it to Hans.

"This is for a birthday present," he said, "and you must buy what you
want most."

_The Silver Chain_

Hans could scarcely believe his own eyes. He ran every step of the way
home, to show the gold-piece to his aunt; and, when she saw it, she
was almost as pleased as he was.

"You must buy something that you can keep always," she said. "What
shall it be?--a silver chain!" she cried, clasping her hands at the
thought of it. "A silver chain to wear upon your coat when you are a
man, and have, perhaps, a watch to hang upon it! 'Twill be a fine
thing to show--a silver chain that a Prince gave you!"

Hans was not certain that he wanted a chain more than anything else,
but his aunt was very sure about it; so she gave the gold-piece to a
soldier cousin, who bought the chain in a city where he went to drill
before the very Prince who had given Hans the money.

When the chain came, the aunt called all the neighbours to see it.
"The Prince himself gave the child the money that bought it," she said
again and again.

Hans thought the chain very fine; but after he had looked at it a
while he was quite willing that his aunt should put it away in the
great chest where she kept the holiday clothes and the best

The chain lay there so long that Hans felt sorry for it, and wondered
if it did not get lonely. He got lonely often himself, for there was
nobody to play with him at his own home, and his aunt did not
encourage him to play with other children. She liked a quiet house,
she said, and she supposed that everybody else did.

Hans made no more noise than a mouse. He stayed a great deal in the
stable with the cows. The cows and he were good friends. One of them,
the oldest of all, had given milk for him when he was a baby, and he
never forgot to carry her a handful of salt at milking-time.

He often thought that he would rather have bought a cow with the
gold-piece than a silver chain; but he did not tell anybody, for fear
of being laughed at.

Once he asked his aunt to let him play with the silver chain; but she
held up her hands in amazement at the thought of such a thing. So the
chain lay in the dark chest, as I have said, for a long time--nearly a

Then there was a great festival in the town, and the aunt took the
chain from its wrappings and fastened it about Hans's neck with a

She and Hans had on their best clothes, and all the village was
prepared for a holiday.

Flags were flying, fiddlers were playing gay tunes on their fiddles,
and the drummer boy kept time on his drum and made a great noise.

In the middle of the village square was a merry-go-round, which Hans
and the other children liked best of all.

"If you are good, you shall ride," said Hans's aunt, as she hurried
him on to the place where the strong men of the village were lifting
great stones to show their strength. Then the swift runners ran races,
and the skilful marksmen shot at targets.

_The Saint Bernard Dog_

Oh! Hans was tired before he saw half the sights; and he wished that
his aunt would remember about the merry-go-round. He did not like to
worry her, though, so he sat down on a doorstep to rest, while she
talked to her friends in the crowd.

By-and-by a man with a covered basket came and sat down beside him. He
put the basket down on the step, and Hans heard a queer little
grumbling sound inside. "Oh yes," said the man, "you want to get out."

"Row, row!" said the thing in the basket.

When the man saw how surprised Hans looked, he lifted the lid of the
basket and let him peep in. What do you think was in the basket? The
dearest baby puppy that Hans had ever seen.

"There," said the man, shutting down the lid, "there is the finest
Saint Bernard dog in Switzerland. Do you know anybody who might want
to buy him?"

"Are you going to sell him?" asked Hans.

"Yes, indeed," said the man. "How would you like to buy him yourself?"

"I!" said Hans. "Oh! I would rather have him than anything else in the
world; but I haven't any money. I haven't anything of my own but this
silver chain."

"Is that yours?" asked the man. "It is a very fine chain."

"Oh yes," cried Hans. "But I would a thousand times rather have a

"Well, then," said the man, "if you are sure that the chain is yours,
and if you want the dog so much, I'll let you have him for it,
although he's worth a fortune."

And so, in less time than I take to tell it, the chain was off Hans's
neck and the dog was in his arms.

Then he ran to find his aunt. "Oh, aunt!" he called, even before he
reached her, "look at this beautiful dog. He is my very own. The man
let me have him for my silver chain."

"Your silver chain!" cried his aunt angrily, coming to meet him in
haste. "Your silver chain! What do you mean, you stupid child? Not the
silver chain that was bought for your birthday? Not the silver chain
that the Prince gave you? A nice bargain, indeed! Where is the man?"
And, catching the child by the hand, she hurried back through the
crowd so fast that he almost had to run to keep up with her. The great
tears ran down Hans's cheeks and on to the dog's back, but his aunt
did not notice them. She scolded and scolded as she made her way back
to the doorstep.

When they got there the man was nowhere to be seen, and nobody could
tell them which way he had gone. So, although they looked for him
until almost dark, they had to go home without finding him.

Hans still carried the dog in his arms, and all the neighbours they
met stopped to ask if silly Hans had really given his silver chain
for a dog, as they had heard.

His aunt had a great deal to say to them, but Hans said nothing at
all. He only hugged the dog the closer, and wondered how long it would
be before he would have to give him up.

But Hans's aunt let him keep the dog in spite of her scolding. "A dog
is better than nothing," she said.

Hans named him Prince, for, after all, the dog was the Prince's
birthday present.

At first Prince did nothing but sleep and eat. Then he began to grow,
oh! so fast.

By the time he had lived two years in the house he was a great, fine
dog, with long, thick hair and soft, loving eyes. He was very
beautiful. All the travellers who came in the summer to see the
mountains said so, and even Hans's aunt thought so, although she did
not love the dog.

Hans was never lonely after Prince came. Even at night they stayed
together; and in the winter Hans would put his arms about his friend's
shaggy neck and sleep close beside him to keep warm.

The winters are very cold in the country where Hans lived. The winds
whistle through the pine-trees, and the snow comes down for days,
till the valleys are as white as the mountain-tops.

Few travellers go to the mountains then. They are afraid of the bad
roads, and of the snow, which sometimes slides in great masses,
burying everything in its way.

Hans's uncle knew many stories of travellers who had been lost in the
snow, and he told, too, of some good men, living in the mountains, who
sent their dogs out to find and help people who were lost--"dogs like
our Prince here," he would say; and Hans would hug Prince and say: "Do
you hear? Your uncles and cousins and brothers save people out of the
cold snow."

Prince would bark sharply whenever Hans told him this, just as if he
were proud. He knew all about travellers, and snow, for, often, Hans's
uncle took him on short trips over the mountains.

Hans always let him go, willingly, with his good uncle; but one day
when his soldier cousin (the one who had bought the silver chain in
the city) asked if he might take the dog with him for a day, Hans was
very sorry to let Prince go.

"Fie!" said his aunt, when she saw his sorrowful face. "What harm
could come to a great dog like that?"

But Hans was not satisfied. All day long his heart was heavy, and
when, in the afternoon, the little white snowflakes came flying down
he watched for the return of his soldier cousin and the dog with
anxious eyes.

After a long while he heard great laughing and talking on the road,
and he ran out to see who was coming.

It was the soldier cousin with a party of friends, and they laughed
still more when they saw Hans.

"Little Hans! Little Hans!" cried one of them, "this fine cousin of
yours has forgotten your dog."

"Forgotten my dog!" said Hans. "What do you mean?"

"He was asleep behind the stove at the inn," said the soldier cousin,
who looked very much ashamed of himself.

"And he never missed him until now," cried the friends. "Think of
that--a great dog like Prince!"

Hans looked from one to another with tears in his eyes; but they were
all too busy with their joking to notice him. Only the soldier cousin,
who was really sorry for his carelessness, tried to comfort him.

"He'll be here," he said, patting Hans on the head, "by milking-time,
I warrant; for he is wise enough to take care of himself anywhere."

"Wiser than you," laughed the rest; and they all went off merrily,
leaving the little boy standing in the road.

He scarcely saw them go, for he was thinking of the night so near at
hand, and the winds and the snow-slides. How could the dear dog find
his way through the darkness alone?

"I will go for him in the morning, if he does not come home to-night,"
called the soldier cousin.

But morning seemed very far away to the dog's anxious little master,
and the big tears began to roll down his cheeks.

Just then a thought sprang into his mind, as thoughts will. "Why not
go yourself for him now?" was the thought.

_The Rescue_

Hans clapped his hands joyfully. Of course he could go. He knew the
way, for he had been to the inn only the summer before with his uncle.

The loud winds whistled, and the snowflakes kissed his cheeks and his
nose; but he thought of his playmate and started out bravely.

"Moo! moo!" called the old cow from the stable. Hans knew her voice.
"Bring me my salt," she seemed to say.

"When I come back," he answered, as he struggled up the frozen road.

He was very cold, for he had even forgotten his cap in his haste; but
the snowflakes powdered his hair till he looked as if he wore a white

He could scarcely pucker up his mouth to whistle. His feet were numb
and his fingers tingled, and the wind sang in his ears till he was as
sleepy as sleepy could be.

"I'll sit down and rest," said Hans to himself, "and then I can go
faster." But when he sat down he could not keep his eyes open, and
before many minutes he was fast asleep and lay in a little dark heap
on the white snow.

"Let's cover him up," said the snowflakes, hurrying down; but before
they had time to whiten his clothes a great big beautiful Saint
Bernard dog came bounding down the road.

It was Prince. He had waked up from his nap behind the stove, and
hastened after the soldier cousin as fast as his four feet could carry
him. He was not afraid of the night or the snow, and he was as warm as
toast in his shaggy coat.

He was thinking of Hans as he hurried along--when, suddenly, he spied
him lying there so still by the roadside.

In an instant the good dog sprang to the child's side, barking
furiously, for every dog in Switzerland knows that those who sleep on
snow pillows seldom wake up.

"Bow-wow! Bow-wow!" he barked, loud and long, "Bow-wow! Bow-wow!"
which meant in his language, "Little master, wake up!"

But Hans was dreaming of the mountains where the travellers went, and
did not hear.

"Bow-wow! Bow-wow! Wake up! Wake up!" called the dog; and he licked
Hans's face and tugged at his coat, pulling him along with his strong

"You can't wake him up," said the wind.

"Bow-wow! I can," barked Prince; and he ran down the road and called
for help: "Bow-wow! Bow-wow! Come here! Come here!"

The sound of his voice reached the village, where everything was as
quiet as the snow itself. The cows heard it first and mooed in their
stalls. The soldier cousin heard it, on his way to Hans's house, where
he was going to find out whether Prince had come back. Hans's uncle
and aunt heard it as they searched through the house for their little
boy. The neighbours heard it, and opened their doors to listen.

"Bow-wow! Bow-wow! Come here! Come here!"

"Something is wrong," said the people; and they all hurried out of
their houses, away from their fires and their suppers, up the
mountain-side, till they came to the spot where the faithful dog kept
guard over his little master.

Hans's uncle never tired of telling how Prince saved Hans. He tells it
on the long winter evenings when the winds whistle through the pines
and he tells it in the summer to the travellers as they climb the

Hans thinks it is more beautiful than a fairy story, and so does his
aunt; for ever since that snowy night she has been ready to agree that
the dear dog is better than all the silver chains in the world.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Story-Teller's Series


Books for Story-Tellers

How to Tell Stories to Children

And Some Stories to Tell. By SARA CONE BRYANT. Thirteenth Impression.

Stories to Tell to Children

By S. C. BRYANT. Twelfth Impression.

The Book of Stories for the Story-Teller

By FANNY E. COE. Seventh Impression.

Songs and Stories for the Little Ones

By E. GORDON BROWNE. Fourth Impression, Enlarged.

Stories for Character Training

By E. L. CABOT and E. EYLES. Sixth Impression.

Stories for the Story Hour

From January to December. By ADA M. MARZIALS. Fourth Impression.

Stories for the History Hour

From Augustus to Rolf. By NANNIE NIEMEYER. Third Impression.

Stories for the Bible Hour

By R. BRIMLEY JOHNSON. Third Impression.

Nature Stories to Tell to Children

By H. W. SEERS. Fourth Impression.

Everyday Stories to Tell to Children

By Mrs H. C. CRADOCK. Second Impression.

Stories for the Nature Hour

By A. and E. SKINNER. Second Impression.

Stories to Tell the Littlest Ones

By S. C. BRYANT. Fifth Impression.

Mother Stories

By MAUD LINDSAY. Fifth Impression.

More Mother Stories

By MAUD LINDSAY. Third Impression.

More Nature Stories


Little Stories to Tell

Three Hundred Stories. By F. H. LEE.

Fifty Stories from Uncle Remus

Retold by F. H. PRITCHARD.

Stories to Read and to Tell


Listen, Children!

Stories for Spare Moments. By STEPHEN SOUTHWOLD.

       *       *       *       *       *

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