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Title: Children's Literature - A Textbook of Sources for Teachers and Teacher-Training Classes
Author: Curry, Charles Madison, 1869-1944, Clippinger, Erle Elsworth, 1875-
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Children's Literature - A Textbook of Sources for Teachers and Teacher-Training Classes" ***

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        When all the novelists and spinners of
        elaborate fictions have been read and judged,
        we shall find that the peasant and the nurse
        are still unsurpassed as mere narrators. They
        are the guardians of that treasury of legend
        which comes to us from the very childhood of
        nations; they and their tales are the abstract
        and brief chronicles, not of an age merely, but
        of the whole race of man. It is theirs to keep
        alive the great art of telling stories as a
        thing wholly apart from and independent of the
        art of writing stories, and to pass on their
        art to children and to children's children.
        They abide in a realm of their own, in blessed
        isolation from that world of professional
        authors and their milk-and-water books "for
                          --C. B. TINKER, "In Praise of Nursery
                            Lore," _The Unpopular Review_,
                            October-December, 1916.




        _Professors of Literature in the Indiana State Normal School_


        CHICAGO     NEW YORK

        _Copyright, 1920, by_

        _Copyright, 1921, by_
        All rights reserved
        Edition of 1926


        Made in U. S. A.




  _General Bibliography_                                               2

  _The Preface_                                                        5

  _General Introduction_                                               7

    1. Literature for Children                                         7

    2. Literature in the Grades                                        8

    3. Story-Telling and Dramatization                                10

    4. Courses of Study                                               13



  _Bibliography_                                                      18

  _Introductory_                                                      19

  MOTHER GOOSE (Shorter rhymes):

    1. A cat came fiddling out of a barn                              23

    2. A diller, a dollar                                             23

    3. As I was going to St. Ives                                     23

    4. As I was going up Pippen Hill                                  23

    5. As I went to Bonner                                            23

    6. As Tommy Snooks and Bessie Brooks                              23

    7. A swarm of bees in May                                         23

    8. Baa, baa, black sheep                                          23

    9. Barber, barber, shave a pig                                    23

   10. Birds of a feather flock together                              23

   11. Bless you, bless you, burnie bee                               23

   12. Bobby Shafto's gone to sea                                     24

   13. Bow, wow, wow                                                  24

   14. Bye, baby bunting                                              24

   15. Come when you're called                                        24

   16. Cross patch                                                    24

   17. Curly locks, curly locks                                       24

   18. Dance, little baby                                             24

   19. Diddle, diddle, dumpling                                       24

   20. Ding, dong, bell                                               24

   21. Doctor Foster                                                  24

   22. Eggs, butter, cheese, bread                                    24

   23. For every evil under the sun                                   24

   24. Four-and-twenty tailors                                        25

   25. Great A, little a                                              25

   26. Hark, hark                                                     25

   27. Here sits the Lord Mayor                                       25

   28. Here we go up, up, up                                          25

   29. Hey! diddle, diddle                                            25

   30. Hickery, dickery, 6 and 7                                      25

   31. Higgledy, Piggledy                                             25

   32. Hickory, dickory, dock                                         25

   33. Hogs in the garden                                             25

   34. Hot-cross buns                                                 26

   35. Hub a dub dub                                                  26

   36. Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall                                    26

   37. If all the sea were one sea                                    26

   38. If all the world was apple-pie                                 26

   39. If I'd as much money as I could spend                          26

   40. If "ifs" and "ands"                                            26

   41. If wishes were horses                                          26

   42. I had a little pony                                            26

   43. I had a little hobby horse                                     26

   44. I have a little sister                                         27

   45. I'll tell you a story                                          27

   46. In marble walls as white as milk                               27

   47. I went up one pair of stairs                                   27

   48. Jack and Jill went up the hill                                 27

   49. Jack be nimble                                                 27

   50. Jack Sprat could eat no fat                                    27

   51. Knock at the door                                              27

   52. Ladybird, ladybird, fly away home                              27

   53. Little boy blue, come blow your horn                           27

   54. Little girl, little girl, where have you been                  27

   55. Little Jack Horner                                             28

   56. Little Jack Jingle                                             28

   57. Little Johnny Pringle                                          28

   58. Little Miss Muffet                                             28

   59. Little Nancy Etticoat                                          28

   60. Little Robin Redbreast                                         28

   61. Little Tommy Tucker                                            28

   62. Long legs, crooked thighs                                      28

   63. Lucy Locket lost her pocket                                    28

   64. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John                                  28

   65. Mistress Mary, quite contrary                                  28

   66. Multiplication is vexation                                     28

   67. Needles and pins                                               29

   68. Old King Cole                                                  29

   69. Once I saw a little bird                                       29

   70. One for the money                                              29

   71. One misty, moisty morning                                      29

   72. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5                                                  29

   73. One, two                                                       29

   74. Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker's man                            29

   75. Pease-porridge hot                                             29

   76. Peter, Peter, pumpkin-eater                                    30

   77. Peter Piper picked a peck                                      30

   78. Poor old Robinson Crusoe                                       30

   79. Pussy-cat, pussy-cat, where have you been                      30

   80. Pussy sits beside the fire                                     30

   81. Ride a cock-horse to Banbury-cross                             30

   82. Ride, baby, ride                                               30

   83. Rock-a-bye, baby                                               30

   84. Rock-a-bye, baby, thy cradle is green                          30

   85. See a pin and pick it up                                       30

   86. See, saw, sacradown                                            31

   87. Shoe the little horse                                          31

   88. Sing a song of sixpence                                        31

   89. Star light, star bright                                        31

   90. The King of France went up the hill                            31

   91. The lion and the unicorn                                       31

   92. The man in the moon                                            31

   93. The north wind doth blow                                       31

   94. The Queen of Hearts she made some tarts                        31

   95. There was a crooked man                                        31

   96. There was a little boy went into a barn                        32

   97. There was a man and he had naught                              32

   98. There was a man in our town                                    32

   99. There was an old man                                           32

  100. There was an old woman, and what do you think                  32

  101. There was an old woman lived under a hill                      32

  102. There was an old woman of Leeds                                32

  103. There was an old woman of Norwich                              32

  104. There was an old woman tossed up in a basket                   32

  105. There was an old woman who lived in a shoe                     33

  106. There was an owl lived in an oak                               33

  107. This is the way the ladies ride                                33

  108. This little pig went to market                                 33

  109. Three blind mice                                               33

  110. Three wise men of Gotham                                       33

  111. To market, to market, to buy a fat pig                         33

  112. Tom, Tom, the piper's son                                      33

  113. Two-legs sat upon three-legs                                   33

  114. When a twister a-twisting 34

  115. "Willy boy, Willy boy, where are you going?"                   34


  116. Milkweed Seeds                                                 34

  117. An Anniversary                                                 34

  118. Twink! twink!                                                  34

  MOTHER GOOSE (Longer rhymes)

  119. A Was an Apple-Pie                                             34

  120. Tom Thumb's Alphabet                                           35

  121. Where Are You Going                                            35

  122. Molly and I                                                    35

  123. London Bridge                                                  36

  124. I Saw a Ship                                                   36

  125. There Was an Old Woman                                         36

  126. Little Bo-Peep                                                 37

  127. Cock a Doodle Doo                                              37

  128. Three Jovial Huntsmen                                          37

  129. There Was a Little Man                                         37

  130. Taffy                                                          38

  131. Simple Simon                                                   38

  132. A Farmer Went Trotting                                         38

  133. Tom the Piper's Son                                            38

  134. When I Was a Little Boy                                        39

  135. The Babes in the Wood                                          39

  136. The Fox and His Wife                                           40

  137. For Want of a Nail                                             40

  138. A Man of Words                                                 40

  139. Jemima                                                         41

  140. Mother Hubbard and Her Dog                                     41

  141. The Courtship, Merry Marriage, and Picnic Dinner of Cock
           Robin and Jenny Wren                                       42

  142. The Burial of Poor Cock Robin                                  44

  143. Dame Wiggins of Lee, and Her Seven Wonderful Cats              45

  144. This Is the House That Jack Built                              47

  145. The Egg in the Nest                                            49

  146. Change About                                                   49



  _Bibliography_                                                      52

  _Introductory_                                                      53


  147. The Old Woman and Her Pig                                      56

  148. Henny-Penny                                                    58

  149. Teeny-Tiny                                                     59

  150. The Cat and the Mouse                                          60

  151. The Story of the Three Little Pigs                             61

  152. Titty Mouse and Tatty Mouse                                    63

  153. The Story of the Three Bears                                   64

  154. The Three Sillies                                              67

  155. Lazy Jack                                                      69

  156. The Story of Mr. Vinegar                                       71

  157. Jack and the Beanstalk                                         73

  158. Tom Thumb                                                      79

  159. Whittington and His Cat                                        84

  160. Tom Tit Tot                                                    89


  161. Little Red Riding Hood                                         92

  162. True History of Little Golden Hood                             94

  163. Puss in Boots                                                  97

  164. Toads and Diamonds                                            100

  165. Cinderella, or the Little Glass Slipper                       102

  166. Drakestail                                                    106

  167. Beauty and the Beast                                          110


  168. Why the Bear Is Stumpy-Tailed                                 122

  169. The Three Billy-Goats Gruff                                   123

  170. The Husband Who Was to Mind the House                         124

  171. Boots and His Brothers                                        125

  172. The Quern at the Bottom of the Sea                            128


  173. The Traveling Musicians                                       131

  174. The Blue Light                                                134

  175. The Elves and the Shoemaker                                   136

  176. The Fisherman and His Wife                                    138

  177. Rose-Bud                                                      142

  178. Rumpelstiltskin 144

  179. Snow-White and Rose-Red                                       146


  180. The Lambikin                                                  150

  181. Tit for Tat                                                   151

  182. The Tiger, the Brahman, and the Jackal                        152

  183. Pride Goeth before a Fall                                     154


  184. The Mirror of Matsuyama                                       156

  185. The Tongue-Cut Sparrow                                        158


  186. The Straw Ox                                                  160


  187. Connla and the Fairy Maiden                                   162

  188. The Horned Women                                              164

  189. King O'Toole and His Goose                                    165



  _Bibliography_                                                     170

  _Introductory_                                                     171


  190. A Four-Leaved Clover                                          174

    I. The Rabbi and the Diadem                                      174

   II. Friendship                                                    175

  III. True Charity                                                  175

   IV. An Eastern Garden                                             176


  191. The Lord Helpeth Man and Beast                                177


  192. The Real Princess                                             179

  193. The Emperor's New Clothes                                     180

  194. The Nightingale                                               183

  195. The Fir Tree                                                  190

  196. The Tinder Box                                                195

  197. The Hardy Tin Soldier                                         200

  198. The Ugly Duckling                                             203


  199. The Story of Fairyfoot                                        209


  200. The Happy Prince                                              217


  201. The Knights of the Silver Shield                              223


  202. The Prince's Dream                                            227


  203. Old Pipes and the Dryad                                       233


  204. The King of the Golden River                                  245



  _Bibliography_ 262

  _Introductory_ 263


  205. The Shepherd's Boy                                            266

  206. The Lion and the Mouse                                        266

  207. The Crow and the Pitcher                                      266

  208. The Frog and the Ox                                           267

  209. The Frogs Desiring a King                                     267

  210. The Field Mouse and the Town Mouse                            268


  211. The City Mouse and the Garden Mouse                           268


  212. The Country Mouse and the Town Mouse                          268


  213. Androcles                                                     269


  214. Androcles and the Lion                                        270


  215. The Wind and the Sun                                          272

  216. The Goose with the Golden Eggs                                272


  217. The Hen with the Golden Eggs                                  272


  218. The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing                                  273

  219. The Hare and the Tortoise                                     273

  220. The Miller, His Son, and Their Ass                            274

  221. The Travelers and the Bear                                    274

  222. The Lark and Her Young Ones                                   275

  223. The Old Man and His Sons                                      275

  224. The Fox and the Grapes                                        276

  225. The Widow and the Hen                                         276

  226. The Kid and the Wolf                                          276

  227. The Man and the Satyr                                         276

  228. The Dog and the Shadow                                        276

  229. The Swallow and the Raven                                     276

  230. Mercury and the Woodman                                       276

  231. The Mice in Council                                           277

  232. The Mountebank and Countryman                                 277

  233. The Milkmaid and Her Pail                                     278


  234. The Dairywoman and the Pot of Milk                            278


  235. The Story of Alnaschar                                        279

  BIDPAI (Indian Fables)

  236. The Camel and the Pig                                         280

  237. The Ass in the Lion's Skin                                    281

  238. The Talkative Tortoise                                        282

  239. A Lion Tricked by a Rabbit                                    283


  240. The Cock and the Fox                                          284


  241. The Grasshopper and the Ant                                   284

  242. The Cock, the Cat, and the Young Mouse                        285


  243. The Hare with Many Friends                                    286


  244. The Musical Ass                                               287


  245. The Swan, the Pike, and the Crab                              287

  From the BIBLE

  246. The Bramble Is Made King                                      288

  247. The Good Samaritan                                            289

  248. The Prodigal Son                                              289


  249. The Anxious Leaf                                              290


  250. The Whistle                                                   291

  251. The Ephemera                                                  292


  252. The Vision of Mirzah                                          294


  253. The Discontented Pendulum                                     297


  254. Croesus and Solon                                             299



  _Bibliography_                                                     302

  _Introductory_                                                     303



  255. A Story of the Springtime                                     306


  256. The Paradise of Children                                      309

  257. The Miraculous Pitcher                                        319


  258. The Narcissus                                                 330

  259. The Apple of Discord                                          332


  260. Icarus and Daedalus                                           335

  261. Admetus and the Shepherd                                      337


  262. Midas                                                         338


  263. Phaëthon                                                      340



  264. Thor's Visit to Jötunheim                                     343


  265. Odin's Search for Wisdom                                      348


  266. How the Fenris Wolf was Chained                               351


  267. Frey                                                          354


  268. The Death of Balder                                           360



  _Bibliography_                                                     368

  _Introductory_                                                     369


  269. The Three Little Kittens                                      371

  270. The Moon                                                      371

  271. Runaway Brook                                                 372

  272. Ding Dong! Ding Dong!                                         372


  273. The Little Kitty                                              372


  274. Mary Had a Little Lamb                                        372


  275. Baby Bye                                                      373


  276. The Brown Thrush                                              374


  277. Thanksgiving Day                                              375

  278. Who Stole the Bird's Nest                                     375


  279. How the Leaves Came Down                                      377


  280. They Didn't Think                                             377

  281. The Leak in the Dike                                          378


  282. Whole Duty of Children                                        381

  283. The Cow                                                       381

  284. Time to Rise                                                  381

  285. Rain                                                          381

  286. A Good Play                                                   382

  287. The Lamplighter                                               382

  288. The Land of Nod                                               382

  289. The Land of Story-Books                                       382

  290. My Bed Is a Boat                                              383

  291. My Shadow                                                     383

  292. The Swing                                                     383

  293. Where Go the Boats                                            384

  294. The Wind                                                      384

  295. Windy Nights                                                  384


  296. Spinning Top                                                  384

  297. Flying Kite                                                   385

  298. King Bell                                                     385

  299. Daisies                                                       385


  300. Wynken, Blynken, and Nod                                      385

  301. The Sugar-Plum Tree                                           386

  302. The Duel                                                      387


  303. The Treasures of the Wise Man                                 387

  304. The Circus-Day Parade                                         388

  305. The Raggedy Man                                               389


  306. A Boy's Song                                                  389


  307. The Spider and the Fly                                        390


  308. The Wind in a Frolic                                          391


  309. The Cow                                                       392

  310. Meddlesome Matty                                              392


  311. "I Like Little Pussy"                                         393

  312. The Star                                                      394


  313. Seldom or Never                                               394

  314. An Emerald Is as Green as Grass                               394

  315. Boats Sail on the Rivers                                      394

  316. A Diamond or a Coal?                                          395

  317. The Swallow                                                   395

  318. Who Has Seen the Wind?                                        395

  319. Milking Time                                                  395


  320. The Peddler's Caravan                                         395

  321. The Wonderful World                                           396


  322. Good-Night and Good-Morning                                   396


  323. The Butterfly's Ball                                          397


  324. Can You?                                                      398


  325. Pippa's Song                                                  399


  326. Little and Great                                              399


  327. Casabianca                                                    399


  328. Three Things to Remember                                      400

  329. The Lamb                                                      401

  330. The Shepherd                                                  401

  331. The Tiger                                                     401

  332. The Piper                                                     401


  333. Try Again                                                     402


  334. The Owl and the Pussy-Cat                                     403

  335. The Table and the Chair                                       404

  336. The Pobble Who Has No Toes                                    404


  337. The Walrus and the Carpenter                                  405

  338. A Strange Wild Song                                           406


  339. Against Idleness and Mischief                                 407

  340. Famous Passages from Dr. Watts                                408


  341. The Skeleton in Armor                                         408

  342. The Day Is Done                                               410

  343. A Psalm of Life                                               411


  344. The Three Fishers                                             412

  345. The Sands of Dee                                              412


  346. "What Does Little Birdie Say?"                                413

  347. Sweet and Low                                                 413

  348. The Poet's Song                                               413

  349. Crossing the Bar                                              414


  350. Abou Ben Adhem                                                414


  351. For Those Who Fail                                            415


  352. Eldorado                                                      415


  353. The Destruction of Sennacherib                                416


  354. To a Waterfowl                                                416

  355. The Planting of the Apple-Tree                                417


  356. My Garden                                                     418


  357. Daffodils                                                     419

  358. The Solitary Reaper                                           419


  359. The Arab to His Favorite Steed                                420


  360. The Inchcape Rock                                             421


  361. Over Hill, Over Dale                                          423

  362. A Fairy Scene in a Wood                                       423


  363. Fable                                                         424

  364. Concord Hymn                                                  424


  365. Breathes There the Man                                        424


  366. Old Ironsides                                                 425


  367. How Sleep the Brave                                           425


  368. The Ballad of Nathan Hale                                     425


  369. The Red Thread of Honor                                       427


  370. Recessional                                                   428


  371. Invictus                                                      429


  372. The Falcon                                                    429

  373. The Shepherd of King Admetus                                  430


  374. The Yarn of the Nancy Bell                                    430


  375. Darius Green and His Flying Machine                           432


  376. Beth Gêlert                                                   436


  377. King John and the Abbot of Canterbury                         437



  _Bibliography_                                                     442

  _Introductory_                                                     443


  378. The Renowned History of Little Goody Two-Shoes                445


  379. Eyes, and No Eyes                                             451


  380. The Good-Natured Little Boy                                   456


  381. Waste Not, Want Not                                           458


  382. Jackanapes                                                    478


  383. Betty's Ride                                                  496


  384. The Big Bear                                                  500

  "O. HENRY"

  385. The Gift of the Magi                                          505



  _Bibliography_                                                     510

  _Introductory_                                                     511


  386. The Tale of Peter Rabbit                                      513


  387. Johnny Chuck Finds the Best Thing in the World                514


  388. Mr. 'Possum's Sick Spell                                      516


  389. Wild Life in the Farm-Yard                                    520


  390. The Vendetta                                                  524


  391. Pasha, the Son of Selim                                       527


  392. Moufflou                                                      534


  393. Bird Habits: I. Where He Sleeps II. His Travels               548


  394. The Poacher and the Silver Fox                                551


  395. The Story of a Salmon                                         556


  396. Moti Guj--Mutineer                                            562


  397. Last Bull                                                     566



  _Bibliography_                                                     576

  _Introductory_                                                     577


  398. Ali Baba, and the Forty Thieves                               579


  Reynard the Fox

  399. How Bruin the Bear Sped with Reynard the Fox                  586

  400. The Battle Between the Fox and the Wolf                       591


  King Arthur and His Round Table

  401. How Arthur Became King                                        594

  402. A Tourney with the French                                     597

  403. Adventures of Arthur                                          598


  404. Arthur and Sir Accalon                                        603


  405-411. Stories from _Don Quixote_

    I. Dreams and Shadows                                            606

   II. Preparing for the Quest                                       608

  III. The Quest Begins                                              610

   IV. The Knightly Vigil                                            613

    V. On Honor's Field                                              615

   VI. The Return Home                                               617

  VII. The Battle with the Windmills                                 618


  412. The Proud King                                                620


  413. Robin and the Merry Little Old Woman                          623


  414. Allen-a-Dale                                                  628



  _Bibliography_                                                     632

  _Introductory_                                                     633


  415. How Columbus Got His Ships                                    635


  416. The Boyhood of Washington                                     642


  417. The Autobiography                                             645


  418. Lincoln's Early Days                                          655


  419. In the Western Wilderness                                     662


  420. The Pass of Thermopylae                                       671



  Home Reading Lists by Grades                                       679

  General Index                                                      687





  Tappan, Eva March, _The Children's Hour_. 10 vols.

  Neilson, William Patten, and others, _The Junior Classics_.
     10 vols.

  Sylvester, Charles H., _Journeys through Bookland_. 10 vols.

  Aldrich, Thomas Bailey, and others, _The Young Folks' Library_.
     30 vols.

  Mabie, Hamilton Wright, _After School Library_. 12 vols.

  Scudder, Horace E., _The Children's Book_. [Best single-volume
     collection for early grades.]

  Barnes, Walter, _Types of Children's Literature_.


  Darton, F. J. Harvey, "Children's Books," in _Cambridge History
     of English Literature_, Vol. XI, chap. xvi. [Best brief account
     of development in England. Elaborate bibliography.]

  Tassin, Algernon, "Books for Children," in _Cambridge History of
     American Literature_, Vol. II, chap. vii. [Best account of
     American development. Extended bibliography.]

  Field, Mrs. E. M., _The Child and His Book_. The history and
     progress of children's literature in England. [Stops with

  Moses, Montrose J., _Children's Books and Reading_. [Deals
     with both English and American side. Book-lists and

  Ashton, John, _Chapbooks of the Eighteenth Century_.

  Halsey, Rosalie V., _Forgotten Books of the American Nursery_.

  Welsh, Charles, _A Bookseller of the Last Century_. [John

  "Godfrey, Elizabeth," _English Children in the Olden Time_.

  Earle, Florence Morse, _Child Life in Colonial Days_.



  Barnes, Walter, _English in the Country School_.

  Carpenter, G. R., Baker, F. T., and Scott, F. N., _The Teaching
     of English_. [Pp. 155-187, "Literature in the Elementary
     Schools," by Professor Baker.]

  Chubb, Percival, _The Teaching of English_.

  Cox, John Harrington, _Literature in the Common School_.

  Barron, Julia S., Bacon, Corinne, and Dana, J. C., _Course of
     Study for Normal School Pupils on Literature for Children_.
     [A syllabus.]

  Hosic, James Fleming, _The Elementary Course in English_.

  MacClintock, Porter Lander, _Literature in the Elementary

  McMurry, Charles A., _Special Method in Reading in the Grades_.

  Welch, John S., _Literature in the School: Aims, Methods, and


  Bates, Arlo, _Talks on the Teaching of Literature_.

  Bennett, Arnold, _Literary Taste and How to Form It_.

  Colby, J. Rose, _Literature and Life in School_.

  Kerfoot, J. B., _How to Read_.

  Lee, Gerald Stanley, _The Child and the Book_.

  Quiller-Couch, Sir Arthur, _On the Art of Reading_. [Children's

  Scudder, Horace E., _Literature in the Schools_.

  Smith, C. Alphonso, _What Can Literature Do for Me?_

  Woodberry, George E., _The Appreciation of Literature_. _The
     Heart of Man._


  Arnold, Gertrude W., _A Mother's List of Books for Children_.

  Field, Walter Taylor, _Fingerposts to Children's Reading_.

  Hunt, Clara W., _What Shall We Read to the Children?_

  Lowe, Orton, _Literature for Children_.

  Macy, John, _A Child's Guide to Reading_.

  Moore, Annie Carroll, _Roads to Childhood_.

  Olcott, Frances Jenkins, _The Children's Reading_.

  _One Thousand Good Books for Children._ [Classified and graded
     list prepared by National Congress of Mothers' Literature
     Committee, Alice M. Jordan, Chairman. Issued by U. S. Bureau
     of Education, Washington, D. C., as Home Education Circular
     No. 1.]

  Stevens, David Harrison, _The Home Guide to Good Reading_.


  Allison, S. B., and Perdue, H. A., _The Story in Primary

  Bailey, Carolyn Sherman, _For the Story-Teller_.

  Bryant, Sarah Cone, _How to Tell Stories to Children_. _Stories
     to Tell to Children._ [Introduction.]

  Cather, Katherine D., _Educating by Story-Telling_.

  Cowles, Julia D., _The Art of Story-Telling_.

  Cross, Allen, and Statler, Nellie M., _Story-Telling for Upper

  Forbush, William B., _Manual of Stories_.

  Horne, H. H., _Story-Telling, Questioning, and Studying_.

  Keyes, Angela M., _Stories and Story-Telling_.

  Kready, Laura F., _A Study of Fairy Tales_. [Chap. iii, "The
     Telling of Fairy Tales."]

  Lindsay, Maud, _The Story-Teller for Little Children_.

  Lyman, Edna, _Story Telling: What to Tell and How to Tell It_.

  McMurry, Charles A., _Special Method in Reading in the Grades_.

  Moore, Annie C., Article "Story-Telling," _Cyclopedia of
     Education_. [Ed. Monroe.]

  Partridge, Emelyn N., and George E., _Story-Telling in the School
     and Home_.

  Shedlock, Marie L., _The Art of the Story-Teller_.

  St. John, Edward Porter, _Stories and Story-Telling in Moral and
     Religious Education_.

  Wiltse, Sara E., _The Place of the Story in Early Education_.

  Wyche, Richard Thomas, _Some Great Stories and How to Tell Them_.


  Briggs, T. H., and Coffman, L. D., _Reading in Public Schools_.
     [Chap. x, "Dramatic Reading," and chap. xxiii, "Dramatics."]

  Curtis, Elnora W., _The Dramatic Instinct in Education_.

  Finlay-Johnson, Harriet, _The Dramatic Method of Teaching_.

  Gesell, Arnold L., and Beatrice C., _The Normal Child and Primary
     Education_. [Chapter on "Dramatic Expression."]

  Herts, Alice M., _The Children's Educational Theatre_.

  Nixon, Lillian E., _Fairy Tales a Child Can Read and Act_.


  Moulton, Richard Green, _A Short Introduction to the Literature
     of the Bible_.

        The simplest and best discussion for teachers
        of the Bible as literature. The books that
        follow are good sources for story material from
        the Bible.

  Baldwin, James, _Old Stories from the East_.

  Hodges, George, _The Garden of Eden_. _The Castle of Zion._ _When
     the King Came._

  Houghton, Louise Seymour, _Telling Bible Stories_.

  Moulton, Richard Green, _Bible Stories: Old Testament_. _Bible
     Stories: New Testament._ [Two volumes of _The Modern Reader's
     Bible for Children_. The only variations from the text are by

  Olcott, Frances Jenkins, _Bible Stories to Read and Tell_.

  Smith, Nora Archibald, _Old, Old Tales from the Old, Old Book_.

  Stewart, Mary, "_Tell Me a True Story_."


  Aldrich, Thomas Bailey, _The Story of a Bad Boy_.

  Du Bois, Patterson, _Beckonings from Little Hands_.

  Gilson, Roy Rolfe, _In the Morning Glow_.

  Grahame, Kenneth, _Dream Days_. _The Golden Age_.

  Howells, William Dean, _A Boy's Town_.

  Kelly, Myra, _Little Citizens_.

  Larcom, Lucy, _A New England Girlhood_.

  Loti, Pierre, _The Story of a Child_.

  Martin, George Madden, _Emmy Lou, Her Book and Heart_.

  Masters, Edgar Lee, _Mitch Miller_.

  Pater, Walter, _The Child in the House_.

  Shute, Henry A., _The Real Diary of a Real Boy_.

  Smith, William Hawley, _The Evolution of Dodd_.

  Stuart, Ruth McEnery, _Sonny_.

  Walpole, Hugh, _Jeremy_.

  Warner, Charles Dudley, _On Being a Boy_.

  White, William Allen, _The Court of Boyville_.


  Addams, Jane, _Youth and Our City Streets_.

  Adler, Felix, _The Moral Instruction of Children_.

  Antin, Mary, _The Promised Land_.

  Cabot, Ella Lyman, _The Seven Ages of Childhood_.

  Dawson, George E., _The Child and His Religion_.

  Engleman, J. O., _Moral Education_.

  Griggs, Edward Howard, _Moral Education_.

  Hall, G. Stanley, _Youth_.

  Henderson, C. Hanford, _Education and the Larger Life_.

  Hoyt, Franklin Chase, _Quicksands of Youth_.

  Oppenheim, Nathan, _The Development of the Child_.

  Puffer, J. Adams, _The Boy and His Gang_.




This book is primarily a handbook for teachers in the grades and for
students preparing to teach in the grades. Although it does not ignore
problems of grading and presentation, the chief purpose is to acquaint
teachers and prospective teachers with standard literature of the
various kinds suitable for use in the classroom and to give them
information regarding books and authors to aid them in directing the
selection of books by and for children.

In discussing the early training of children in literature with large
classes of young people preparing for teaching in the grades, the
compilers found themselves face to face with two difficulties. In the
first place, only a limited number of these prospective teachers were in
any real sense acquainted with what may be called the basic traditional
material. Rhymes, fables, myths, stories were so vaguely and
indistinctly held in mind that they were practically of no great value.
It was therefore not possible to assume much real acquaintance with the
material needed for use with children, and the securing of such an
acquaintance seemed the first essential. After all is said, a discussion
of ways and means must follow such a mastery of basic material.

In the second place, there was the difficulty of finding in any compact
form a body of material sufficient in extent and wide enough in its
range to serve as a satisfactory basis for such a course. No doubt the
ideal way would be to send the student to the many authoritative volumes
covering the various fields dealt with in this collection. But with
large classes and a limited amount of time such a plan was hardly
practicable. The young teacher cannot be much of a specialist in any of
the various fields of knowledge with the elements of which he is
expected to acquaint children. The principles of economy demand that the
brief courses which specifically prepare for teaching should be such as
will make the work in the schoolroom most helpful and least wasteful
from the very beginning. Hence this attempt to collect in one volume
what may somewhat roughly be spoken of as material for a minimum basic
course in Children's Literature.

The important thing about this book, then, is the actual literary
material included in it. The notes and suggestions scattered throughout
are aimed to direct attention to this material either in the way of
pointing out the sources of it, or helping in the understanding and
appreciation of it, or suggesting some ways of presenting it most
effectively to children.

In the case of folk material, an effort has been made to present
reliable versions of the stories used. Many of the folk stories, for
instance, appear in dozens of collections and in dozens of forms,
according to the artistic or pedagogic biases of the various compilers.
As a rule the most accessible stories are found in versions written
down to the supposed needs of children, and intended to be read by the
children themselves. Even if we grant the teacher the right to make
extensive modifications, it is still reasonable to insist that some
correct traditional form be used as the starting point. Such a plan
insures a mastery of one's material. The sources of the versions used in
this text are pointed out in order that teachers who wish to do so may
extend their acquaintance to other folk material by referring to the
various collections mentioned.

Such a book as this must necessarily be selective. No doubt omissions
will be noted of poems or stories that many teachers deem indispensable.
Others will find selections included that to their minds are
questionable. The editors can only plead in extenuation that they have
included what they have found by experience to offer a sound basis for
discussing with training classes the nature of this basic material and
the form in which it should be presented to children. To accomplish
these ends it has sometimes seemed well to give parallel versions, and
occasionally to give a version that will necessitate the discussion of
such subjects as the use of dialect, the inclusion of items of terror or
horror, and the soundness of the ethical appeal. These various problems
are indicated in the notes accompanying individual selections.

The editorial apparatus does not constitute a treatise on literary
criticism, or a manual of mythology or folklore, or a "pedagogy" of
children's literature as such, or anything like an exhaustive
bibliography of the fields of study touched upon. It aims at the very
modest purpose of immediate and practical utility. It hopes to fill a
place as a sort of first aid for the inexperienced teacher, and as soon
as the teacher gets some real grasp of the elements of the problem this
book must yield to the more elaborate and well-knit discussions of
specialists in the various subjects treated. The bibliographical
references throughout are intended to offer help in this forward step.
These bibliographies are, in all cases, frankly selective. As a rule
most of the books mentioned are books now in print. In the
bibliographies connected with the sections of traditional material some
of the more important works in the field of scholarship are named in
each case for the benefit of those who may be working where such books
are available in institutional or public libraries. Titles of books are
printed in italics, while titles of poems, separate stories, and
selections are printed in roman type inclosed in quotation marks.

The grouping of material is in no sense a hard and fast one. Those who
work in literary fields understand the pitfalls that beset one who
attempts such a classification. Only a general grouping under headings
used in the ordinary popular sense has been made. Fine distinctions are
beside the mark in such a book as this. Popular literature was not made
for classification, but for higher purposes, and anything that draws
attention from the pleasure-giving and spirit-invigorating qualities of
the literature itself should be avoided. Hence, the classifications
adopted are as simple and unobtrusive as possible.

Finally, the editors make no pretense to original scholarship. They have
not attempted to extend the limits of human knowledge, but to point out
pleasant paths leading to the limitless domains of literature. They have
tried to reflect accurately the best practices and theories, or to point
out how teachers may get at the best. Their obligations to others are
too extended to be noted in a preface, but will be apparent on every
page of the text. Their most important lessons have come from the
reactions secured from hundreds of teachers who have been under their

Copyright obligations are indicated in connection with the selections



_The beginnings._ During the eighteenth century the peoples of Europe
and America turned their attention in a remarkable way to a
consideration of the worth and rights of the individual. In America this
so-called democratic movement culminated in the Declaration of
Independence in 1776. The most dramatic manifestation of the movement in
Europe was the French Revolution of 1789, but every country of Europe
was thrilled and changed by the new thought. Every important democratic
movement leads to an awakened interest in the welfare of children, for
they are among the weak and helpless. This great movement of the
eighteenth century brought such a remarkable change of thought regarding
children as to mark the beginning of a new kind of literature, known as
literature for children.

Today we think of Andersen, Stevenson, Mrs. Ewing, and scores of others
as writers of literature for children. Such writers did not exist before
the democratic movement of the eighteenth century. It is true that a few
short books and articles had been written for children as early as the
fifteenth century, but they were written to teach children to be
obedient and respectful to parents and masters or to instruct them in
the customs of the church--they were not written primarily to entertain
children and give them pleasure. Within the last century and a half,
too, many authors have collected and retold for children innumerable
traditional stories from all parts of the earth--traditional fairy
stories, romantic stories of the Middle Ages, legends, and myths.

_The child's inheritance._ As has been indicated, children's literature
is of two kinds: first, the traditional kind that grew up among the folk
of long ago in the forms of rhyme, myth, fairy tale, fable, legend, and
romantic hero story; and, second, the kind that has been produced in
modern times by individual authors. The first, the traditional kind, was
produced by early civilization and by the childlike peasantry of long
ago. The best of the stories produced by the childhood of the race have
been bequeathed to the children of today, and to deprive children of the
pleasure they would get from this inheritance of folklore seems as
unjust as to deprive them of traditional games, which also help to make
the first years of a person's life, the period of childhood, the period
of imaginative play. The second kind of children's literature, that
produced in modern times by individual authors, has likewise been
bequeathed to children. Some of it is so new that its worth has not been
determined, but some of it has passed the test of the classics. The best
of both kinds is as priceless as is the classical literature for adults.
The world would not sell Shakespeare; yet one may well doubt that
Shakespeare is worth as much to humanity as is Mother Goose. To evaluate
truly the worth of such classics is impossible; but we may be assured
that the child who has learned to appreciate the pleasures and the
beauties of Mother Goose is the one most likely to appreciate the
pleasures and the beauties of Shakespeare when the proper time comes.

The true purpose of education is to bring the child into his
inheritance. For many years educators have talked about the use of
literature _in_ the grades as one means of accomplishing this purpose.
The results of attempts to teach literature in the grades have sometimes
been disappointing because often the literature used has not been _for_
the grades; that is, it has not been children's literature. In other
cases the attempts have failed because the literature has not been
presented as literature--it has, for example, been presented as reading
lessons or composition assignments. Students preparing to teach in the
grades have been studying textbooks from which literature for children
has been excluded, regardless of its artistic worth. Consequently many
teachers have not been prepared to teach literature in the grades. Often
they have assumed that the reading lesson would develop in the pupil an
appreciation of good literature, not realizing that the reading lesson
may cause pupils to dislike literature, especially poetry, unless it is
supplemented by appropriate work in children's literature. If the
student reads thoughtfully the literary selections in the following
sections of this book, he probably will realize that children's
literature is also literature for adults, and that it is not only the
child's inheritance, but also the inheritance of humanity.

The fact that literature for children is likely to have a strong
interest for adults is strikingly suggested in a few sentences in John
Macy's _A Child's Guide to Reading_:

        When "juveniles" are really good, parents read
        them after children have gone to bed. I do not
        know whether _Tom Brown at Rugby_ is catalogued
        by the careful librarian as a book for boys,
        but I am sure it is a book for men. I dare say
        that a good many pairs of eyes that have passed
        over the pages of Mr. John T. Trowbridge and
        Elijah Kellogg and Louisa M. Alcott have been
        old enough to wear spectacles. And if Mrs. Kate
        Douglas Wiggin ever thought that in _Timothy's
        Quest_ and _Rebecca_ she was writing books
        especially for the young, adult readers have
        long since claimed her for their own. I have
        enjoyed Mr. A. S. Pier's tales of the boys at
        St. Timothy's, though he planned them for
        younger readers. We are told on good authority
        that _St. Nicholas_ and _The Youth's Companion_
        appear in households where there are no
        children, and they give a considerable portion
        of their space to serial stories written for
        young people. Between good "juveniles" and good
        books for grown persons there is not much
        essential difference.


_Reading and literature distinguished._ A country school-teacher once
abruptly stopped the routine of daily work and, standing beside her
desk, told the story of the maid who counted her chickens before they
were hatched. One of her pupils, who is now a man, remembers vividly how
the incident impressed him. Although he was in the second grade, that
was the first time he had known a teacher to stop regular school work to
tell a story. Immediately the teacher was transformed. She had been
merely a teacher, one of those respected, awe-inspiring creatures whose
business it is to make the school mill go; but the magic of her story
established the relation of friendship between teacher and pupil. She
was no longer merely a teacher. If the story had been read as a part of
the reading lesson, it would not have impressed the pupil greatly. It
was impressive because it was presented as literature.

A clear distinction should be made between reading and literature,
especially in the primary grades. In the work of the reading course the
pupil should take the lead, being guided by the teacher. If the pupil is
to progress, he must master the mechanics of reading--he must learn to
pronounce printed words and to get the meaning of printed sentences and
paragraphs. The course in reading requires patient work on the part of
the pupil, just as the course in arithmetic does, and the chief pleasure
that the primary pupil can derive from the work is a consciousness of
enlarged power and of success in accomplishing what is undertaken.

In the work with literature, however, the teacher should take the lead.
She should open to the pupils the magic treasure house of the world's
best story and song. The literature period of the day should be the
pupil's imaginative play period, bringing relief from the tension of
tired nerves. The teacher who makes the study of literature a mechanical
grind instead of a joyous exercise of imagination misses at least two of
her greatest opportunities as a teacher. First, by failing to cultivate
in her pupils an appreciation of good literature, she misses an
opportunity to make the lives of her pupils brighter and happier.
Second, by failing to realize that the person with a story and a song is
everybody's friend, she misses an opportunity to win the friendship,
admiration, and love of her pupils. The inexperienced teacher who is
well-nigh distracted in her efforts to guide forty restless, disorderly
pupils through the program of a day's work might charm half her troubles
away by the magic of a simple story or by the music and imagery of a
juvenile poem. Her story or poem would do more than remove the cause of
disorder by giving the pupils relaxation from nerve-straining work: it
would help to establish that first essential to all true success in
teaching--a relation of friendship between pupils and teacher.

_Culture through literature._ He was a wise educator who said, "The boy
who has access to good books and who has learned to make them his close
friends is beyond the power of evil." Literature in the grades, in
addition to furnishing intellectual recreation, should so cultivate in
the pupil the power of literary appreciation that he will make good
books his close friends. The child who has heard good music from infancy
is not likely to be attracted by popular ragtime. The boy who has been
trained in habits of courtesy, industry, and pure thinking in his home
life, and school life is not likely to find pleasure in the rudeness,
idleness, and vulgarity of the village poolroom. The pupil who is taught
to appreciate the beautiful, the true, and the good in standard
literature is not likely to find pleasure in reading the melodramatic
and sentimental trash that now has prominence of place and space in many
book stores and in some public libraries. It is the duty of the teacher,
and it should be her pleasure, to cultivate in her pupils such a taste
for good literature as will lead them to choose the good and reject the
bad, a taste that will insure for them the culture that good literature

_Selection of material._ In choosing selections of literary worth to
present to her pupils, the teacher should keep in mind the pupil's stage
of mental development and she should not forget that the study of
literature should give pleasure. Often pupils do not like what moral
writers think they should like, and usually the pupils are right. Good
literature is sincere and is true in its appeal to the fundamental
emotions of humanity, and an obvious attempt to teach a moral theory at
the expense of truth is no more to be tolerated in literature for
children than in literature for adults. The childhood of the race has
produced much literature with a true appeal to the human heart, in the
form of fable, fairy story, myth, and hero story. Most of this
literature appeals strongly to the child of today. For several hundred
years the nursery rhymes of "Mother Goose" have delighted children with
their melody, humor, and imagery. As literature for the kindergarten and
first grade, they have not often been excelled by modern writers. The
task of selecting suitable material from the many poems, stories, and
books written for children in recent years is difficult, but if the
teacher has a keen appreciation of good literature and is guided by the
likes and dislikes of her pupils, she probably will not go far astray.

_Supplemental reading._ If the teacher examines the juvenile books
offered for sale by the book dealers of her town or city, she probably
will discover that most of them are trash not fit to be read by anyone,
and she will realize the importance of directing parents in the
selection of gift books for children. A good way to get better books
into the book stores and into the hands of children is to give the
pupils a list of good books, with the suggestion that they ask their
parents to buy one of them the next time a book is to be bought as a
present. Such lists of books also will improve the standard of books in
the town library, for librarians will be quick to realize the importance
of supplying standard literature if there is a demand for it.


_Story-telling._ Most stories are much more effective when well told
than they are when read, just as most lectures and sermons are most
effective when delivered without manuscript. To explain just why the
story well told is superior to the story read might not be easy, but
much of the superiority probably comes from the freedom of the "talk
style" and the more appropriate use of inflection and emphasis. Then,
too, the story-teller can look at her audience and is free to add a
descriptive word or phrase occasionally to produce vividness of
impression. Some stories, of course, are so constructed that they must
follow closely the diction of the original form. "Henny-Penny" and
Kipling's _Just-So Stories_ are of this type. Such stories should be
read. Most stories, however, are most effective when well told. The
teacher, especially the teacher of one of the primary grades, should not
consider herself prepared to teach literature until she has gained
something of the art of story-telling.

_Selection of stories._ Never attempt to tell a story that you do not
like. You are not prepared to interest pupils in a story, however
appropriate it otherwise may be, if you are not interested in it
yourself. Try to choose stories adapted in structure and content to the
age and experience of the children of your grade. For the first or
second grade, choose a few simple fables, a few short, simple fairy
tales, and a few short, simple nature stories, such as "Peter Rabbit,"
"How Johnny Chuck Finds the Best Thing in the World," and "Mr. 'Possum's
Sick Spell." Remember that a story for the first or second grade should
be short.

_Two principles._ Learn to apply readily the following principles of
method: First, use the past tense in telling a story except in direct
quotation. The rules of grammar require this, and it is an aid to
clearness and effectiveness. For example, do not say, "So he goes" or
"Then he says"; but say, "So he went" or "Then he said" (or, for
variety, _replied_, _growled_, _mumbled_, etc.). Second, use direct
discourse (the exact words of the characters) rather than indirect
discourse. For example, do not say, "The Troll asked who was tripping
over his bridge"; but say, "'WHO'S THAT tripping over my bridge?' roared
the Troll." Direct discourse always gives life and vividness to a story.

_Preparation and presentation._ When you have selected a suitable story,
read it carefully several times to learn the essential details and the
order in which they should come. Keep in mind the fact that you are to
use the past tense and direct discourse. If the story is a fable, you
probably will see that you should add much conversation and description
not in the text. A little description of the witch, giant, fairy, or
castle may give vividness to your story. If the story is a long fairy
tale, you may see that many details may be omitted. If the story is as
concise and dramatic as is the version of "The Three Billy-Goats Gruff"
in this book, it may be suitable for presentation without any changes.
When you have the story clearly in mind as you wish to present it, tell
it to the pupils several times, and then have some of them tell it.

Your story, of course, should not be told in a lifeless monotone. Some
parts should be told slowly, and others rapidly. In some parts the voice
should be low and soft, while in other parts it should be loud and gruff
or harsh. The words of the princess should not sound like those of the
old witch or the soldier. The daintiness and grace of elves and fairies
should be indicated in the delivery.

_Corroborative opinion._ The many books on the art of story-telling by
skilled practitioners and the emphasis placed upon the great practical
value of story-telling by all those charged with the oversight of the
education of children show conclusively that the story method in
teaching is having its grand renascence. The English education minister,
Mr. H. A. L. Fisher, speaking recently on the subject of "History
Teaching," set forth admirably the general principles back of this

        There is no difficulty about interesting
        children. The real difficulty is to bore them.
        Almost any tale will interest a child. It need
        not be well constructed or thrilling; it may be
        filled with the most unexciting and trivial
        incidents, but so long as it carries the mind
        along at all, it will interest a child. The
        hunger which intelligent children have for
        stories is almost inexhaustible. They like to
        have their stories repeated, and insist that
        the characters should reappear over and over
        again, for they have an appetite for reality
        and a desire to fix these passing figments into
        the landscape of the real life with which they
        are surrounded.

        One of the great qualities in childhood which
        makes it apt for receiving historical
        impressions is just this capacity for giving
        body to the phantoms of the mind. The limits
        between the real and the legendary or
        miraculous which are drawn by the critical
        intelligence do not exist for the childish
        mind. . . . It would then be a great educational
        disaster if this valuable faculty in childhood
        were allowed to run to waste. There are certain
        years in the development of every normal
        intelligent child when the mind is full of
        image-making power and eager to make a friend
        or enemy of any god, hero, nymph, fairy, or
        servant maid who may come along. Then is the
        time when it is right and fitting to affect
        some introductions to the great characters of
        mythology and history; that is the age at which
        children will eagerly absorb what they can
        learn of Achilles and Orpheus, of King Arthur
        and his Knights, of Alexander and Christopher
        Columbus and the Duke of Wellington. I do not
        think it is necessary to obtrude any moralizing
        commentary when these great and vague images
        are first brought into the landscape of the
        child's intellectual experience. A little
        description, a few stories, a picture or two,
        will be enough to fix them in the memory and to
        give them body and shape together with the
        fairies and witches and pirate kings and
        buccaneering captains with whom we have all at
        one time been on such familiar terms. Let us
        then begin by teaching the past to small
        children by way of stories and pictures.

_Dramatization._ The play spirit that leads children to play lady,
doctor, church, and school will also lead them to enjoy dramatizing
stories, or "playing the stories," as they call it. Some stories, of
course, are so lacking in action as to be not well suited for
dramatization, and others have details of action, character, or
situation that may not well be represented in the schoolroom. The
teacher may be surprised, however, to see how ingenious her pupils are
in overcoming difficulties after they have had a little assistance in
playing two or three stories. Unconsciously the pupil will get from the
dramatization a training in oral English, reading, and literary
appreciation that can hardly be gained in any other way.

When the pupils have learned a story thoroughly, they are ready to make
plans for playing it. The stage setting may be considered first, and
here the child's imagination can work wonders in arranging details. The
opening under the teacher's desk may become a dungeon, a cave, a cellar,
or a well. If a two-story house is needed, it may be outlined on the
floor in the front part of the schoolroom, with a chalk-mark stairway,
up which Goldilocks can walk to lie down on three coats--the three beds
in the bed-chamber of the three bears.

The pupils can probably soon decide what characters are necessary, but
more time may be required to assign the parts. To play the part of a
spider, bear, wolf, fairy, sheep, or butterfly does not seem difficult
to a child who has entered into the spirit of the play.

The most difficult part of dramatization may be the plan for
conversation, especially if the text version of the story contains
little or no direct discourse. The pupils should know the general nature
of the conversation and action before they begin to play the story,
although they need not memorize the parts. Suppose that the fable "The
Shepherd's Boy" is to be dramatized. The first part of the dramatization
might be described about as follows:

        The shepherd boy, tending his flock of
        pupil-sheep in the pasture land at one side of
        the teacher's-desk-mountain, looked toward the
        pupil-desk-village at one side of the room and
        said quietly, "It certainly is lonely here. I
        believe I'll make those villagers think a wolf
        has come to eat the sheep. Then perhaps they'll
        come down here, and I'll have a little company
        and some excitement." Then he jumped around
        frantically, waving his yardstick-shepherd's
        crook, and shouted to the villagers, "Wolf!

        The villagers came rushing down to the pasture
        land, asking excitedly, "Where's the wolf? Has
        he killed many of the sheep?"

        "Oh, oh, oh," laughed the boy, "there wasn't
        any wolf. I certainly did fool you that time."

        "I don't think that's very funny," said one of
        the villagers.

        "Well, we might as well go back to our work,"
        said another. Then they went back to the

        After they had gone, the boy said, "I guess
        I'll try that joke again."

If the teacher puts much direct discourse in a story of this kind when
she tells it to the pupils, the task of dramatizing will naturally be
made easier.

Some stories lend themselves in the most natural manner to
dramatization. An interesting example of such a story may be found among
the tales dealing with the Wise Men of Gotham. These Wise Men are
referred to in one of the best known of the Mother Goose rhymes. It
would seem that the inhabitants of Gotham, in the reign of King John,
had some reason of their own for pretending to be mad, and out of this
event the legends took their rise. The number of fishermen may be
changed to seven or some other number to suit the number in the acting
group. Here is the story:

        On a certain time there were twelve men of
        Gotham that went to fish, and some stood on dry
        land. And in going home, one said to the other
        "We have ventured wonderfully in wading. I pray
        God that none of us come home to be drowned."
        "Nay, marry," said the other, "let us see that,
        for there did twelve of us come out." Then they
        counted themselves, and every one counted
        eleven. Said the one to the other, "There is
        one of us drowned." They went back to the brook
        where they had been fishing and sought up and
        down for him that was drowned, making great

        A stranger coming by asked what it was they
        sought for, and why they were sorrowful. "Oh!"
        said they, "this day we went to fish in the
        brook; twelve of us came together, and one is
        drowned." Said the stranger, "Tell how many
        there be of you." One of them, counting, said,
        "Eleven," and again he did not count himself.
        "Well," said the stranger, "what will you give
        me if I find the twelfth man?" "Sir," said
        they, "all the money we have got." "Give me the
        money," said the stranger, and began with the
        first, and gave him a stroke over the shoulders
        with his whip, which made him groan, saying,
        "Here is one," and so he served them all, and
        they all groaned at the matter. When he came to
        the last he paid him well, saying, "Here is the
        twelfth man." "God's blessing on thy heart,"
        said they, "for thus finding our dear brother."


As an aid to inexperienced teachers, it seems well to suggest in a
summary how a selection of material suitable for each grade might be
made from the material of this book. The summary, however, should be
regarded as suggestive in a general way only. No detailed outline of a
course of study in literature for the grades can be ideal for all
schools because the pupils of a given grade in one school may be much
more advanced in the knowledge of literature and the ability to
understand and appreciate it than are the pupils of the same grade in
another school. Many literary selections, too, might appropriately be
taught in almost any grade if the method of presentation in each case
were suited to the understanding of the pupils. _Robinson Crusoe_, for
example, may appropriately be told to second-grade pupils, or it may be
read by fourth- or fifth-grade pupils, or it may be studied as fiction
by eighth-grade pupils or university students. All poems of remarkable
excellence that are suitable for primary pupils are also suitable for
pupils in the higher grades and for adults, and the same is true of many
prose selections.

The summary that follows, then, is to be regarded as "first aid" to the
untrained, inexperienced teacher. The teacher's own personal likes and
dislikes and her success in presenting various literary selections
should eventually lead her to modify any prescribed course of study. If
a teacher of the sixth grade discovers that her pupils should rank only
second grade in knowledge and appreciation of literature, she may very
properly begin with traditional fairy tales. Another outlined course of
study is given in Section XII of this book.

_First, second, and third grades._ Since pupils in the primary grades
read with difficulty if at all, the teacher should tell or read all
selections presented as literature in these grades.

No kind of prose is better suited for use in the primary grades than
traditional fairy tales. About half a dozen might well be presented in
each of the three grades. For the first grade, the simplest should be
chosen, such as "The Old Woman and Her Pig," "Teeny-Tiny," "The Cat and
the Mouse," "The Three Pigs," "The Three Bears," and "The Elves and the
Shoemaker." As suitable stories for the second grade, we might choose
"The Three Sillies," "Little Red Riding-Hood," "Cinderella," "The Three
Billy-Goats Gruff," "The Straw Ox," and "The Horned Women." For the
third grade, somewhat longer and more complex stories might be chosen.

About half a dozen fables might also be used appropriately in each of
the primary grades. Simple Aesopic fables in prose seem best for the
first two grades. More complex forms might be chosen for the third
grade, for example, "The Story of Alnaschar," "The Good Samaritan," "The
Discontented Pendulum," "The Musical Ass," "The Swan, the Pike, and the
Crab," and "The Hen with the Golden Eggs."

Much of the nature literature of the primary grades may be in the form
of verse, but some simple nature prose may be used successfully. From
the selections in this book, "Peter Rabbit" should be chosen for the
first grade, while "Johnny Chuck," and "Mr. 'Possum's Sick Spell" are
appropriate for the second and third grades.

The simplest of Andersen's _Fairy Tales_ may be used in the third grade,
and perhaps in the second. Some suitable stories are "The Real
Princess," "The Fir Tree," "The Tinder Box," "The Hardy Tin Soldier,"
and "The Ugly Duckling."

The ideal verse for the first grade is nursery rhymes, which may be
chosen from the first 135 selections of this book. These may be
supplemented by such simple verse as "The Three Kittens," "The Moon,"
"Ding Dong," "The Little Kitty," "Baby Bye," "Time to Rise," "Rain," "I
Like Little Pussy," and "The Star." In the second and third grades,
traditional verses from those following Number 135 in Section II may be
used. The poems by Stevenson are ideal for these grades, and those by
Field, Sherman, and Christina Rossetti are good. In addition the teacher
might select such poems as "The Brown Thrush," and "Who Stole the Bird's

_Fourth, fifth, and sixth grades._ Although pupils in these intermediate
grades may be expected to read some library books, the teacher should
read and tell stories frequently, for this is the surest way to develop
in the pupil a taste for good literature. The teacher should remember,
too, that the story she recommends to the pupils as suitable reading
should be about two grades easier than those told or read by the
teacher. Probably every poem presented as literature in these grades
should be read or recited by the teacher because pupils are not likely
to get the charm of rhythm, melody, and rhyme if they do the reading.
Pupils who dislike poetry are pupils who have not heard good poetry well

Myths are appropriate for each of the intermediate grades. Most teachers
prefer for the fourth grade the simpler classical myths, such as "A
Story of Springtime," "The Miraculous Pitcher," "The Narcissus," and
"The Apple of Discord." In the fifth grade, the teacher may use the more
difficult classical myths, reserving the Norse myths for the sixth

Modern fairy and fantastic stories are also appropriate for each of
these grades. Suitable stories for the fourth grade are "The Four-Leaved
Clover," "The Emperor's New Clothes," "The Nightingale," and "The Story
of Fairyfoot." Stories appropriate for the fifth grade are "The Happy
Prince," "The Knights of the Silver Shield," and "The Prince's Dream."
In the sixth grade, the teacher might use "Old Pipes and the Dryad" and
"The King of the Golden River."

Two or three symbolic stories or fables in verse from the last part of
Section V should be used in each of these grades.

Nature prose should appeal more and more to children as they advance
from the fourth to the eighth grade. Many pupils in the fourth grade
will enjoy reading for themselves books by Burgess and Paine, while
fifth- and sixth-grade pupils will get much pleasure from the simpler
books by Sharp, Seton, Long, Miller, and Roberts. In the intermediate
grades, the teacher may read such stories as "Wild Life in the Farm
Yard," "The Vendetta," "Pasha," "Moufflou," and "Bird Habits."

Stories of various other kinds may be read by the teacher in the
intermediate grades. "Goody Two-Shoes" and "Waste Not, Want Not," are
suitable for the fourth grade. The biographies "How Columbus Got His
Ships" and "Boyhood of Washington" are excellent in the fifth or sixth
grade as an introduction to history study, and the romance "Robin Hood
and the Merry Little Old Woman" may be used appropriately in any of
these grades, especially if it is made to supplement a discussion of the
Norman conquest.

Most of the poems up to about No. 342, and a few beyond that, are within
the range of the work for these grades.

_Seventh and eighth grades._ Although pupils in the seventh and eighth
grades may be expected to read simple narrative readily, the teacher
should read to the pupils frequently. It cannot be too much emphasized
that reading aloud to children is the surest way of developing an
appreciation of the best in literature. In poetry especially this is a
somewhat critical time, as the pupil is passing from the simpler and
more concrete verse to that which has a more prominent thought content.
The persuasion of the reading voice smooths over many obstacles here.
Outside the field of poetry, the teacher's work in these grades is
mainly one of guidance and direction in getting the children and the
right books in contact. Children at this period are likely to be
omnivorous readers, ready for any book that comes their way, and the job
of keeping them supplied with titles of enough available good books for
their needs is indeed one to tax all a teacher's knowledge and

The demand for highly sensational stories on the part of pupils in the
upper grades is so insistent that it constitutes a special problem for
the teacher. It is a perfectly natural demand, and no wise teacher will
attempt to stifle it. Such an attempt would almost certainly result in a
more or less surreptitious reading of a mass of unwholesome books which
have come to be known as "dime novels." Instead of trying to thwart this
desire for the thrilling story the teacher should be ready to recommend
books which have all the attractive adventure features of the "dime
novel," and which have in addition sound artistic and ethical qualities.
While many such books are mentioned in the bibliographies in the latter
part of this text, it has seemed well to bring together here a short
list of those which librarians over the country have found particularly
fitted to serve as substitutes for the dime novel.

  Alden, W. L., _The Moral Pirate_.

  Altsheler, Joseph A., _The Young Trailers_. _Horsemen of the

  Barbour, Ralph H., _The Crimson Sweater_.

  Bennett, John, _The Treasure of Peyre Gaillard_.

  Burton, Charles P., _The Boys of Bob's Hill_.

  Carruth, Hayden, _Track's End_.

  Cody, William F., _Adventures of Buffalo Bill_.

  Drysdale, William, _The Fast Mail_.

  Grinnell, George Bird, _Jack among the Indians_. _Jack, the
     Young Ranchman._

  Hunting, Henry G., _The Cave of the Bottomless Pool_.

  Janvier, Thomas A., _The Aztec Treasure House_.

  Kaler, James Otis, _Toby Tyler, or Ten Weeks with a Circus_.

  London, Jack, _The Call of the Wild_.

  Malone, Captain P. B., _Winning His Way to West Point_.

  Masefield, John, _Jim Davis_.

  Mason, Alfred B., _Tom Strong, Washington's Scout_.

  Matthews, Brander, _Tom Paulding_.

  Moffett, Cleveland, _Careers of Danger and Daring_.

  Munroe, Kirk, _Cab and Caboose_. _Derrick Sterling._

  O'Higgins, Harvey J., _The Smoke Eaters_.

  Quirk, Leslie W., _The Boy Scouts of the Black Eagle Patrol_.

  Sabin, Edwin L., _Bar B Boys_.

  Schultz, James Willard, _With the Indians in the Rockies_.

  Stevenson, Burton E., _The Young Train Despatcher_.

  Stevenson, Robert Louis, _Treasure Island_.

  Stoddard, William O., _Two Arrows_. _Talking Leaves._

  Trowbridge, John T., _Cudjo's Cave_. _The Young Surveyor._

  Verne, Jules, _20,000 Leagues under the Sea_.

  Wallace, Dillon, _Wilderness Castaways_.

  White, Stewart Edward, _The Magic Forest_.





        c. 1760. _Mother Goose's Melody._ [Published by
        John Newbery, London.]

        No copy of this issue known to be in existence.

c. 1783. Ritson, Joseph, _Gammer Gurton's Garland, or the Nursery
Parnassus_. [1810, enlarged.]

c. 1785. _Mother Goose's Melody._ [Reprint of Newbery, by Isaiah Thomas,
Worcester, Mass.]

        [1889. Whitmore, W. H., _The Original Mother
        Goose's Melody_, as first issued by John
        Newbery, of London, about A.D. 1760. Reproduced
        in _facsimile_ from the edition as reprinted by
        Isaiah Thomas, of Worcester, Mass., about A.D.
        1785. With introduction and notes.]

1824 ff. _Mother Goose's Quarto, or Melodies Complete._ [Various issues
by Munroe and Francis, Boston.]

        [Hale, Edward Everett, _The Only True Mother
        Goose Melodies_. Exact reproduction of the text
        and illustrations of the original edition
        (_Mother Goose's Melodies: The Only Pure
        Edition_) printed in Boston in 1834 by Monroe
        and Francis. With an introduction.]

1826. Chambers, Robert, _Popular Rhymes of Scotland_. [1870, enlarged.]

1834. Ker, John Bellenden, _An Essay on the Archaeology of Popular
English Phrases and Nursery Rhymes_. [Supplemented 1840 and 1842.]

1842. Halliwell (Phillips), J. O., _The Nursery Rhymes of England_.

1849. Halliwell (Phillips), J. O., _Popular Rhymes and Nursery Tales_.

1864. Rimbault, Edward F., _Old Nursery Rhymes with Tunes_.


  Baring-Gould, Sabine, _A Book of Nursery Songs and Rhymes_.

  Headland, I. T., _Chinese Mother Goose Rhymes_.

  Jerrold, Walter, _The Big Book of Nursery Rhymes_.

  Lang, Andrew, _The Nursery Rhyme Book_.

  Newell, W. W., _Games and Songs of American Children_.

  Saintsbury, G. E. B., _National Rhymes of the Nursery_.

  Welsh, Charles, _A Book of Nursery Rhymes_.

  Wheeler, William A., _Mother Goose's Melodies_.


  Crane, Walter, _The Baby's Bouquet, a Fresh Bunch of Old Rhymes
     and Tunes_.

  Homer, Sidney, _Songs from Mother Goose_.

  Le Mair, H. Willebeck, _Our Old Nursery Rhymes_.

  Le Mair, H. Willebeck, _Little Songs of Long Ago_.

  Perkins, Raymond, _Thirty Old-Time Nursery Songs_.


  Bolton, H. C., _Counting-out Rhymes of Children, Their Antiquity,
     Origin, and Wide Distribution_.

  Earle, Alice Morse, _Child Life in Colonial Days_. [Especially
     chap. xiv.]

  Eckenstein, Lina, _Comparative Studies in Nursery Rhymes_.

  Godfrey, Elizabeth, _English Children in the Olden Time_.
     [Especially chap. ii.]

  Gomme, A. B., _The Traditional Games of England, Scotland, and
     Ireland_. 2 vols.

  Green, P. B., _The History of Nursery Rhymes_.

  Halsey, Rosalie V., _Forgotten Books of the American Nursery_.

  Field, W. T., _Fingerposts to Children's Reading_, pp. 193 ff.

  Moses, M. J., _Children's Books and Reading_, pp. 40 ff.



_A flawless literature._ The one literature that is supremely adapted to
its purpose is the collection of rhymes associated with Mother Goose. To
every child it comes with an irresistible appeal. It has a power so
natural and fundamental that it defies explanation. The child takes it
for granted just as he does his parents. It has a perfection of rhythm
and structure not attainable by modern imitators. It has been perfected
through the generations by the surest of all tests, that of constant
popular use. Much of it is common to many different nations. It is an
international literature of childhood. While much of it is known to
children long before they enter school, these jingles, like all folk
literature, never lose their charm through repetition. The schools have
long since learned the value of the familiar in teaching. The process of
learning to read is usually based on some of the better known rhymes.
Teachers of literature in more advanced classes think they can generally
detect the students who have been especially "learned" in "Mother Goose
her ways" by their quick responsiveness to the facts of verbal rhythm
and rhythmical structure in more sophisticated products. "If we have no
love for poetry to-day, it may not impossibly be due to the fact that we
have ceased to prize the old, old tales which have been the delight of
the child and the child-man since the foundations of the world. If you
want your child to love Homer, do not withhold Mother Goose."

_Who was Mother Goose?_ The answer to this, as to other questions
suggested below, may be of no direct or special interest to the children
themselves. But teachers should know some of the main conclusions
arrived at by folklorists and others in their investigations of the
traditional materials used for basic work in literature. All the
evidence shows that Mother Goose as the name of the familiar old lady of
the nursery came to us from France. Andrew Lang discovered a reference
to her in a French poem of 1650, where she figures as a teller of
stories. In 1697 Perrault's famous fairy tales were published with a
frontispiece representing an old woman spinning, and telling tales to a
man, a girl, a little boy, and a cat. On this frontispiece was the
legend, _Tales of Our Mother Goose_. (See note to No. 161.)

As a teller of prose tales, Mother Goose came to England with the
translation of Perrault about 1730. We do not find her name connected
with verse until after the middle of the eighteenth century. About the
year 1760 a little book called _Mother Goose's Melody_ was issued by
John Newbery, a London publisher and a most important figure in the
history of the production of books for children. It is a pleasant and
not improbable theory that this first collection of nursery rhymes, upon
which later ones were built, was the work of Oliver Goldsmith, who was
for some years in Newbery's employ. However that may be, it is certain
that from this date the name of Mother Goose has been almost exclusively
associated with nursery rhymes.

Newbery's _Mother Goose's Melody_ was soon reprinted by Isaiah Thomas,
of Worcester, Massachusetts, and thus came into the hands of American
children early in our national life. A long-since exploded theory was
advanced about 1870 that Mother Goose was a real woman of Boston in the
early eighteenth century, whose rhymes were published by her son-in-law,
Thomas Fleet, in 1719. But no one has identified any such publication
and there is no evidence whatever that this old lady in cap and
spectacles is other than purely mythical.

_Whence came the jingles themselves?_ It is certain that many nursery
rhymes are both widespread geographically in distribution and of great
antiquity. Halliwell and others have found references to some of them in
old books which prove that many of the English rhymes go back several
centuries. They are of popular origin; that is, they took root
anonymously among the folk and were passed on by word of mouth. When a
rhyme can be traced to any known authority we generally find that the
folk have extracted what pleased, have forgotten or modified any
original historical or other application the rhymes may have possessed,
and in general have shaped the rhyme to popular taste. "Thus our old
nursery rhymes," says Andrew Lang, "are smooth stones from the book of
time, worn round by constant friction of tongues long silent. We cannot
hope to make new nursery rhymes, any more than we can write new fairy

Here are a few illustrations of what scholars have been able to tell us
of the sources of the rhymes: "Jack and Jill" preserves the Icelandic
myth of two children caught up into the moon, where they can still be
seen carrying a bucket on a pole between them. "Three Blind Mice" is
traced to an old book called _Deuteromalia_ (1609). "Little Jack Horner"
is all that is left of an extended chapbook story, _The Pleasant History
of Jack Horner, Containing His Witty Tricks_, etc. "Poor Old Robinson
Crusoe" is a fragment from a song by the character Jerry Sneak in
Foote's _Mayor of Garratt_ (1763). "Simple Simon" gives all that the
nursery has preserved of a long chapbook verse story. "A Swarm of Bees
in May" was found by Halliwell quoted in Miege's _Great French
Dictionary_ (1687). These and numerous like facts serve only to impress
us with the long and honorable history of the nursery rhyme.

_Can nursery rhymes be helpfully classified?_ This question seems of
more consequence to the teacher than the previous ones because it deals
with the practical organization of his material. The most superficial
observer can see that Nos. 3, 36, 46, 59, 62, and 113, on the following
pages, are riddles; that Nos. 22 and 30 are counting-out rhymes; that
Nos. 37, 38, 39, 40, and 41 are replies that might be made to one who
indulged unduly in suppositions; that No. 27 is a face game, No. 75 a
hand game, and No. 108 a toe game; that Nos. 42, 81, 82, 107, and 111
are riding songs; that Nos. 7, 10, 23, 67, and 137 are proverbial
sayings; that Nos. 64 and 89 are charms; and so one might continue with
groupings based on the immediate use made of the rhyme, not forgetting
the great number that lend themselves to the purposes of the crooned
lullaby or soothing song.

Halliwell made the first attempt at any complete classification in his
_Nursery Rhymes of England_ (1842), using eighteen headings: (1)
Historical, (2) Literal, (3) Tales, (4) Proverbs, (5) Scholastic, (6)
Songs, (7) Riddles, (8) Charms, (9) Gaffers and Gammers, (10) Games,
(11) Paradoxes, (12) Lullabies, (13) Jingles, (14) Love and Matrimony,
(15) Natural History, (16) Accumulative Stories, (17) Local, (18)
Relics. Andrew Lang follows Halliwell, but reduces the classes to
fourteen by combining (2) and (5), (7) and (11), (8) and (12), and by
omitting (17). These classifications are made from the standpoint of the
folklore scholar, and are based on the sources from which the rhymes
originally sprang. Professor Saintsbury scouts the value of any such
arrangement, since all belong equally in the one class, "jingles," and
he also rightly points out that "all genuine nursery rhymes . . . have
never become nursery rhymes until the historical fact has been
practically forgotten by those who used them, and nothing but the
metrical and musical attraction remains."

Without denying the great significance of popular rhymes to the student
of folklore, we must look elsewhere for any practical suggestion for the
teacher in the matter of arrangement. Such a suggestion will be found in
the late Charles Welsh's _Book of Nursery Rhymes_, a little volume that
every teacher interested in children's literature must make use of. The
rhymes are grouped into three main divisions: (1) Mother Play, (2)
Mother Stories, and (3) Child Play, with subordinate groupings under
each. About 250 rhymes are included in Welsh's collection, and the
arrangement suggests the best order for using them practically, without
dropping into any ironclad system.

It may be argued that any attempt at classification of material so
freely and variously used as the Mother Goose rhymes is sure to stiffen
the work of the class and render it less enjoyable. Spontaneity is more
vital here than at any other stage of one's literary education.

_What is the secret of the nursery rhyme's appeal to children?_ Here at
least we are face to face with what may be called a final fact, that
these jingles do make an appeal so universal and remarkable that any
attempt to explain it seems always to fall far short of completeness.
Perhaps the best start may be made with Mr. Welsh's suggestion that this
appeal is threefold: first, that which comes from the rhyming jingle, as
in "Higgledy, piggledy, my fat hen"; second, that which comes from the
nonsense surprises, as in "Hey diddle diddle," "Three wise men of
Gotham," and "I'll tell you a story"; third, that which comes from the
dramatic action, as in "Little Miss Muffet," and "Little Jack Horner."
This summary does not differ much from Mr. Walter Taylor Field's
conclusions: "The child takes little thought as to what _any_ of these
verses mean. There are perhaps four elements in them that appeal to
him,--first, the jingle, and with it that peculiar cadence which modern
writers of children's poetry strive in vain to imitate; second, the
nonsense,--with just enough of sense in it to connect the nonsense with
the child's thinkable world; third, the action,--for the stories are
quite dramatic in their way; and fourth, the quaintness." Mr. Field also
emphasizes the probable charm of mystery in the face of the unknown
facts beyond the child's horizon, which appear in many of the rhymes.

Other commentators do little beyond expanding some of these suggestions.
All of them agree in stressing the appeal made by rhythm, the jingle,
the emphatic meter. This seems a fundamental thing in all literature,
though readers are mainly conscious of it in poetry. Just how
fundamental it is in human life has not been better hinted than in a
sentence by Mrs. MacClintock: "One who is trying to write a sober
treatise in a matter-of-fact way dares not, lest he be set down as the
veriest mystic, say all the things that might be said about the
function of rhythm, especially in its more pronounced form of meter,
among a community of children, no matter what the size of the group--how
rhythmic motion, or the flow of measured and beautiful sounds,
harmonizes their differences, tunes them up to their tasks, disciplines
their conduct, comforts their hurts, quiets their nerves; all this apart
from the facts more or less important from the point of view of
literature, that it cultivates their ear, improves their taste, and
provides them a genuinely artistic pleasure."

Professor Saintsbury, as usual, adds a fascinating turn to the
discussion when, after agreeing that we may see in the rhymes, "to a
great extent, the poetical appeal of sound as opposed to that of meaning
in its simplest and most unmistakable terms," he continues: "And we
shall find something else, which I venture to call the attraction of the
inarticulate. . . . In moments of more intense and genuine feeling . . .
[man] does not as a rule use or at least confine himself to articulate
speech. . . . All children . . . fall naturally, long after they are able
to express themselves as it is called rationally, into a sort of pleasant
gibberish when they are alone and pleased or even displeased. . . . It must
be a not infrequent experience of most people that one frequently falls
into pure jingle and nonsense verse of the nursery kind. . . . I should
myself, though I may not carry many people with me, go farther than this
and say that this 'attraction of the inarticulate,' this allurement of
mere sound and sequence, has a great deal more to do than is generally
thought with the charm of the very highest poetry. . . . In the best
nursery rhymes, as in the simpler and more genuine ballads which have so
close a connection with them, we find this attraction of the
inarticulate--this charm of pure sound, this utilizing of alliteration
and rhyme and assonance." Those who have noticed the tendency of
children to find vocal pleasure even of a physical or muscular sort in
nonsense combinations of sounds, and who also realize their own tendency
in this direction, will feel that Professor Saintsbury has hit upon a
suggestive term in his claim for "the attraction of the inarticulate" as
a partial explanation of the Mother Goose appeal.

Through song, game, memorization, and dramatization, traditional or
original, the rhymes may be made to contribute to the child's
satisfaction in all of the directions pointed out.


        (Books referred to by authors' names are listed
        in preceding bibliography.)

        For orientation read Chauncey B. Tinker, "In
        Praise of Nursery Lore," _Unpopular Review_,
        Vol. VI, p. 338 (Oct.-Dec., 1916). For a most
        satisfactory presentation of the whole subject
        read chap. x, "Mother Goose," in Field. For the
        origin of Mother Goose as a character consult
        Lang's introduction to his edition of
        _Perrault's Popular Tales_. For the theory of
        her American nativity see Wheeler and Whitmore.
        For the origins of the rhymes themselves the
        authorities are Halliwell and Eckenstein. For
        pedagogical suggestions see Welsh, also his
        article "Nursery Rhymes," _Cyclopedia of
        Education_ (ed. Monroe). For many interesting
        facts and suggestions on rhythm in nursery
        rhymes consult Charles H. Sears, "Studies in
        Rhythm," _Pedagogical Seminary_, Vol. VIII, p.
        3. For the whole subject of folk songs look
        into Martinengo-Cesaresco, _The Study of Folk
        Songs_. Books and periodicals dealing with
        primary education often contain brief
        discussions of value on the use of rhymes. Many
        Mother Goose records have been prepared by the
        educational departments of the various
        talking-machine companies, and may be used to
        advantage in the work in rhythm.

The shorter rhymes (Nos. 1-115) are arranged in alphabetical order.
There are many slight variations in the form of the text as found in
printed versions and in the oral versions used by children in different
communities. While Halliwell has been used as the basis for rhymes given
in his collection, the following versions try to reproduce the forms of
expression that seem generally most pleasing to children.


        A cat came fiddling out of a barn,
        With a pair of bagpipes under her arm;
        She could sing nothing but fiddle-de-dee,
        The mouse has married the bumble-bee;
        Pipe, cat--dance, mouse--
        We'll have a wedding at our good house.


              A diller, a dollar,
              A ten o'clock scholar,
        What makes you come so soon?
        You used to come at ten o'clock,
        And now you come at noon.


            As I was going to St. Ives,
            I met a man with seven wives;
            Every wife had seven sacks,
            Every sack had seven cats,
            Every cat had seven kits:
            Kits, cats, sacks, and wives,
        How many were there going to St. Ives?


        As I was going up Pippen Hill,--
          Pippen Hill was dirty,--
        There I met a pretty miss,
          And she dropped me a curtsy.

        Little miss, pretty miss,
          Blessings light upon you;
        If I had half-a-crown a day,
          I'd spend it all upon you.


        As I went to Bonner,
          I met a pig
          Without a wig,
        Upon my word of honor.


        As Tommy Snooks and Bessie Brooks
          Were walking out one Sunday,
        Says Tommy Snooks to Bessie Brooks,
          "To-morrow will be Monday."


        A swarm of bees in May
        Is worth a load of hay;
        A swarm of bees in June
        Is worth a silver spoon;
        A swarm of bees in July
        Is not worth a fly.


        Baa, baa, black sheep,
          Have you any wool?
        Yes, marry, have I,
          Three bags full;
        One for my master,
          And one for my dame,
        And one for the little boy
          Who lives in the lane.


        Barber, barber, shave a pig,
        How many hairs will make a wig?
        "Four and twenty, that's enough."
        Give the barber a pinch of snuff.


        Birds of a feather flock together,
          And so will pigs and swine;
        Rats and mice will have their choice,
          And so will I have mine.


        Bless you, bless you, burnie bee;
        Say, when will your wedding be?
        If it be to-morrow day,
        Take your wings and fly away.


        Bobby Shafto's gone to sea,
        With silver buckles at his knee;
        He'll come back and marry me,--
          Pretty Bobby Shafto!

        Bobby Shafto's fat and fair,
        Combing out his yellow hair,
        He's my love for evermore,--
          Pretty Bobby Shafto!


        Bow, wow, wow,
        Whose dog art thou?
        Little Tom Tinker's dog,
        Bow, wow, wow.


        Bye, baby bunting,
        Daddy's gone a-hunting,
        To get a little rabbit skin
        To wrap the baby bunting in.


        Come when you're called,
          Do what you're bid,
        Shut the door after you,
          Never be chid.


          Cross patch,
          Draw the latch,
        And sit by the fire and spin;
          Take a cup,
          And drink it up,
        Then call your neighbors in.


        Curly locks! curly locks! wilt thou be mine?
        Thou shalt not wash the dishes, nor yet feed the swine.
        But sit on a cushion and sew a fine seam,
        And feed upon strawberries, sugar, and cream!


        Dance, little baby, dance up high,
        Never mind, baby, mother is by;
        Crow and caper, caper and crow,
        There, little baby, there you go;

        Up to the ceiling, down to the ground,
        Backward and forward, round and round;
        Dance, little baby, and mother will sing,
        With the merry coral, ding, ding, ding!


        Diddle, diddle, dumpling, my son John,
        He went to bed with his stockings on;
        One shoe off, the other shoe on,
        Diddle, diddle, dumpling, my son John.


        Ding, dong, bell!
        Pussy's in the well.
        Who put her in?
        Little Tommy Green.
        Who pulled her out?
        Little Johnny Stout.
        What a naughty boy was that,
        To drown the poor, poor pussy-cat,
        Who never did him any harm,
        But killed the mice in his father's barn.


          Doctor Foster
          Went to Glo'ster,
        In a shower of rain;
          He stepped in a puddle,
          Up to his middle,
        And never went there again.


        Eggs, butter, cheese, bread,
        Stick, stock, stone dead,
        Stick him up, stick him down,
        Stick him in the old man's crown.


        For every evil under the sun,
        There is a remedy, or there is none.
        If there be one, try to find it,
        If there be none, never mind it.


        Four-and-twenty tailors went to kill a snail,
        The bravest man among them dursn't touch her tail;
        The snail put out her horns, like a little Kyloe cow,
        Run, tailors, run, or she'll kill you all e'en now.


        Great A, little a,
          Bouncing B!
        The cat's in the cupboard,
          And she can't see.


          Hark, hark,
          The dogs do bark,
        The beggars are coming to town:
          Some in tags,
          Some in rags,
        And some in velvet gowns.


        Here sits the Lord Mayor,        (_touching forehead_)
          Here sit his two men,          (_eyes_)
        Here sits the cock,              (_right cheek_)
          Here sits the hen,             (_left cheek_)
        Here sit the little chickens,    (_tip of nose_)
          Here they all run in;          (_mouth_)
        Chinchopper, chinchopper,
          Chinchopper chin!              (_chuck the chin_)


        Here we go up, up, up,
          And here we go down, down, down;
        And here we go backwards and forwards,
          And here we go round, round, round.


        Given as usually known to children. In some
        older versions the word "craft" was used
        instead of "sport," thus making a rhyme. There
        is an old story of an overly serious parent who
        was greatly disturbed by the evident
        exaggerations in this jingle. After calling the
        attention of his children to the offensive
        improbabilities, the good man suggested the
        following "revised version."

          Hey diddle diddle,
          The cat and the fiddle,
        The cow jumped _under_ the moon;
          The little dog _barked_,
          To see the sport,
        And the _cat_ ran after the spoon!

          Hey! diddle, diddle,
          The cat and the fiddle,
        The cow jumped over the moon;
          The little dog laughed
          To see such sport,
        And the dish ran away with the spoon.


        Hickery, dickery, 6 and 7,
        Alabone Crackabone, 10 and 11,
        Spin, span, muskidan;
        Twiddle 'um, twaddle 'um, 21.


        Higgledy, Piggledy,
          My black hen,
        She lays eggs
          For gentlemen;
        Sometimes nine,
          And sometimes ten,
        Higgledy, Piggledy,
          My black hen!


        Hickory, dickory, dock,
        The mouse ran up the clock,
        The clock struck one,
        The mouse ran down;
        Hickory, dickory, dock.


        Hogs in the garden, catch 'em, Towser.
        Cows in the cornfield, run, boys, run;
        Cats in the cream-pot, run, girls, run, girls;
        Fire on the mountains, run, boys, run.


            Hot-cross buns!
            Hot-cross buns!
        One a penny, two a penny,
            Hot-cross buns!

            Hot-cross buns!
            Hot-cross buns!
        If you have no daughters,
            Give them to your sons.


        Hub a dub dub,
        Three men in a tub;
        The butcher, the baker,
        The candlestick-maker,
        They all fell out of a rotten potato.


        Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
        Humpty Dumpty had a great fall;
        Threescore men and threescore more
        Cannot place Humpty Dumpty as he was before.
                                         (_An egg._)


        If all the sea were one sea,
        What a _great_ sea that would be!
        And if all the trees were one tree,
        What a _great_ tree that would be!
        And if all the axes were one axe,
        What a _great_ axe that would be!
        And if all the men were one man,
        What a _great_ man he would be!
        And if the _great_ man took the _great_ axe,
        And cut down the _great_ tree,
        And let it fall into the _great_ sea,
        What a splish splash _that_ would be!


        If all the world was apple-pie,
        And all the sea was ink,
        And all the trees were bread and cheese,
        What should we have for drink?


        If I'd as much money as I could spend,
        I never would cry, "Old chairs to mend!
        Old chairs to mend! Old chairs to mend!"
        I never would cry, "Old chairs to mend!"
        If I'd as much money as I could tell,
        I never would cry, "Old clothes to sell!
        Old clothes to sell! Old clothes to sell!"
        I never would cry, "Old clothes to sell!"


              If "ifs" and "ands"
              Were pots and pans,
        There would be no need for tinkers!


        If wishes were horses,
          Beggars might ride;
        If turnips were watches,
        I'd wear one by my side.


        I had a little pony,
          His name was Dapple-gray,
        I lent him to a lady,
          To ride a mile away;
        She whipped him, she slashed him,
          She rode him through the mire;
        I would not lend my pony now
          For all that lady's hire.


        I had a little hobby horse,
          His name was Tommy Gray,
        His head was made of pease straw,
          His body made of hay;
        I saddled him and bridled him,
          And rode him up to town,
        There came a little puff of wind
          And blew him up and down.


        I have a little sister, they call her peep, peep;
        She wades the waters deep, deep, deep;
        She climbs the mountains high, high, high;
        Poor little creature, she has but one eye.
                                              (_A star._)


          I'll tell you a story
          Of Jack-a-Nory,
        And now my story's begun.
          I'll tell you another
          About Jack's brother,
        And now my story is done.


        In marble walls as white as milk,
        Lined with a skin as soft as silk;
        Within a fountain crystal clear,
        A golden apple doth appear.
        No doors there are to this stronghold,
        Yet thieves break in and steal the gold.
                                 (_An egg._)


        1. I went up one pair of stairs.
        2. Just like me.
        1. I went up two pair of stairs.
        2. Just like me.
        1. I went into a room.
        2. Just like me.
        1. I looked out of a window.
        2. Just like me.
        1. And there I saw a monkey.
        2. Just like me.


        Jack and Jill went up the hill,
          To fetch a pail of water;
        Jack fell down, and broke his crown,
          And Jill came tumbling after.


        Jack be nimble,
        Jack be quick,
        Jack jump over the candlestick.


        Jack Sprat could eat no fat,
          His wife could eat no lean;
        And so between them both, you see,
          They licked the platter clean.


          Knock at the door,        (_forehead_)
            And peep in,            (_lift eyelids_)
          Open the door,            (_mouth_)
            And walk in.
        Chinchopper, chinchopper,
          Chinchopper chin!


        These lines, common in similar form to many
        countries, are said by children when they throw
        the beautiful little insect into the air to
        make it take flight.

        Ladybird, ladybird, fly away home,
        Your house is on fire, your children all gone;
        All but one, and her name is Ann,
        And she crept under the pudding-pan.


        Little boy blue, come blow your horn,
        The sheep's in the meadow, the cow's in the corn;
        Where is the boy that looks after the sheep?
        He's under the haycock fast asleep.
        Will you wake him? No, not I;
        For if I do, he'll be sure to cry.


        Little girl, little girl, where have you been?
        Gathering roses to give to the queen.
        Little girl, little girl, what gave she you?
        She gave me a diamond as big as my shoe.


            Little Jack Horner
            Sat in a corner,
        Eating his Christmas pie.
            He put in his thumb,
            And he pulled out a plum,
        And said, "What a good boy am I!"


              Little Jack Jingle,
              He used to live single,
        But when he got tired of this kind of life,
        He left off being single and lived with his wife.


        Little Johnny Pringle had a little pig;
        It was very little, so was not very big.
        As it was playing beneath the shed,
        In half a minute poor Piggie was dead.
        So Johnny Pringle he sat down and cried,
        And Betty Pringle she lay down and died.
        This is the history of one, two, and three,
        Johnny Pringle he,
        Betty Pringle she,
        And the Piggie-Wiggie.


          Little Miss Muffet
          Sat on a tuffet,
        Eating of curds and whey;
          There came a great spider,
          And sat down beside her,
        And frightened Miss Muffet away.


        Little Nancy Etticoat,
        In a white petticoat,
        And a red nose;
        The longer she stands,
        The shorter she grows.
                                 (_A candle._)


        Little Robin Redbreast
          Sat upon a rail;
        Niddle naddle went his head,
          Wiggle waggle went his tail.


        Little Tommy Tucker
        Sings for his supper;
        What shall he eat?
        White bread and butter.
        How shall he cut it
        Without e'er a knife?
        How will he be married
        Without e'er a wife?


        Long legs, crooked thighs,
        Little head and no eyes.
                                 (_The tongs._)


        Lucy Locket lost her pocket,
          Kitty Fisher found it:
        Nothing in it, nothing in it,
          But the binding round it.


        Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John
        Guard the bed that I lie on!
        Four corners to my bed,
        Four angels round my head;
        One to watch, one to pray,
        And two to bear my soul away.


        Mistress Mary, quite contrary,
          How does your garden grow?
        With cockle-shells, and silver bells,
          And pretty maids all in a row.


        Multiplication is vexation,
          Division is as bad;
        The Rule of Three perplexes me,
          And Practice drives me mad.


        Needles and pins, needles and pins,
        When a man marries his trouble begins.


        Old King Cole
        Was a merry old soul,
        And a merry old soul was he;
        He called for his pipe,
        And he called for his bowl,
        And he called for his fiddlers three.
        Every fiddler, he had a fine fiddle,
        And a very fine fiddle had he;
        Twee tweedle dee, tweedle dee, went the fiddlers.
            Oh, there's one so rare,
            As can compare
        With old King Cole and his fiddlers three!


        Once I saw a little bird
          Come hop, hop, hop;
        So I cried, "Little bird,
          Will you stop, stop, stop?"
        And was going to the window
          To say, "How do you do?"
        But he shook his little tail,
          And far away he flew.


        One for the money,
          And two for the show;
        Three to make ready,
          And four to go.


        One misty, moisty morning,
          When cloudy was the weather,
        I chanced to meet an old man
          Clothed all in leather,
        He began to compliment,
          And I began to grin,--
        "How do you do," and "How do you do,"
          And "How do you do" again!


        1, 2, 3, 4, 5!
        I caught a hare alive;
        6, 7, 8, 9, 10!
        I let her go again.


        One, two,
        Buckle my shoe;
        Three, four,
        Shut the door;
        Five, six,
        Pick up sticks;
        Seven, eight,
        Lay them straight;
        Nine, ten,
        A good fat hen;
        Eleven, twelve,
        Who will delve?
        Thirteen, fourteen,
        Maids a-courting;
        Fifteen, sixteen,
        Maids a-kissing;
        Seventeen, eighteen,
        Maids a-waiting;
        Nineteen, twenty,
        My stomach's empty.


        Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker's man!
        So I will, master, as fast as I can:
        Pat it, and prick it, and mark it with T,
        Put it in the oven for Tommy and me.


        Pease-porridge hot,
          Pease-porridge cold,
        Pease-porridge in the pot,
          Nine days old;
        Some like it hot,
          Some like it cold,
        Some like it in the pot,
          Nine days old.


        Peter, Peter, pumpkin-eater,
        Had a wife and couldn't keep her;
        He put her in a pumpkin-shell,
        And there he kept her very well.


        Halliwell suggests that "off a pewter plate" is
        sometimes added at the end of each line. This
        rhyme is famous as a "tongue twister," or
        enunciation exercise.

        Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers;
        A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked;
        If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
        Where's the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?


        Poor old Robinson Crusoe!
        Poor old Robinson Crusoe!
        They made him a coat,
        Of an old nanny goat,
          I wonder how they could do so!
        With a ring a ting tang,
        And a ring a ting tang,
          Poor old Robinson Crusoe!


        Pussy-cat, pussy-cat, where have you been?
        I've been to London to see the Queen.
        Pussy-cat, pussy-cat, what did you there?
        I frightened a little mouse under the chair.


        Pussy sits beside the fire;
          How can she be fair?
        In comes the little dog,
          "Pussy, are you there?
        So, so, dear Mistress Pussy,
          Pray tell me how do you do?"
        "Thank you, thank you, little dog,
          I'm very well just now."


        Ride a cock-horse to Banbury-cross,
        To see an old lady upon a white horse,
        Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes,
        And so she makes music wherever she goes.


          Ride, baby, ride!
          Pretty baby shall ride,
        And have a little puppy-dog tied to her side;
        And one little pussy-cat tied to the other,
        And away she shall ride to see her grandmother,
          To see her grandmother,
          To see her grandmother.


        Rock-a-bye, baby,
          On the tree top,
        When the wind blows
          The cradle will rock;
        When the bough breaks
          The cradle will fall,
        Down will come baby,
          Bough, cradle, and all.


        Rock-a-bye, baby, thy cradle is green;
        Father's a nobleman, mother's a queen;
        And Betty's a lady, and wears a gold ring;
        And Johnny's a drummer, and drums for the king.


        See a pin and pick it up,
        All the day you'll have good luck;
        See a pin and let it lay,
        Bad luck you'll have all the day!


        See, saw, sacradown,
        Which is the way to London town?
        One foot up, the other foot down,
        And that is the way to London town.


        Shoe the little horse,
          And shoe the little mare,
        And let the little colt
          Run bare, bare, bare.


        Sing a song of sixpence,
          A pocket full of rye;
        Four and twenty blackbirds
          Baked in a pie;
        When the pie was opened,
          The birds began to sing;
        Was not that a dainty dish
          To set before the king?

        The king was in his counting-house
          Counting out his money;
        The queen was in the parlor
          Eating bread and honey;

        The maid was in the garden
          Hanging out the clothes,
        When along came a blackbird,
          And pecked off her nose.

        Jenny was so mad,
          She didn't know what to do;
        She put her finger in her ear,
          And cracked it right in two.


        Star light, star bright,
        First star I see to-night;
        I wish I may, I wish I might,
        Have the wish I wish to-night.


        The King of France went up the hill,
          With twenty thousand men;
        The King of France came down the hill,
          And ne'er went up again.


        The lion and the unicorn
          Were fighting for the crown;
        The lion beat the unicorn
          All round about the town.
        Some gave them white bread,
          And some gave them brown,
        Some gave them plumcake,
          And sent them out of town.


          The man in the moon
          Came tumbling down,
        And asked the way to Norwich;
          He went by the south
          And burned his mouth
        With supping cold pease porridge.


        The north wind doth blow,
        And we shall have snow,
        And what will the robin do then?
                              Poor thing!

        He will sit in a barn,
        And to keep himself warm,
        Will hide his head under his wing,
                              Poor thing!


        The Queen of Hearts she made some tarts,
          All on a summer's day.
        The Knave of Hearts he stole those tarts,
          And hid them clean away.
        The King of Hearts he missed those tarts,
          And beat the Knave right sore,
        The Knave of Hearts brought back the tarts,
          And vowed he'd steal no more.


        There was a crooked man, and he went a crooked mile,
        And found a crooked sixpence against a crooked stile:
        He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse,
        And they all lived together in a little crooked house.


        There was a little boy went into a barn,
          And lay down on some hay;
        An owl came out and flew about,
          And the little boy ran away.


        There was a man and he had naught,
          And robbers came to rob him;
        He crept up to the chimney top,
          And then they thought they had him;
        But he got down on t'other side,
          And then they could not find him:
          He ran fourteen miles in fifteen days,
          And never looked behind him.


        There was a man in our town,
          And he was wondrous wise;
        He jumped into a briar bush,
          And scratched out both his eyes:
        And when he saw his eyes were out,
          With all his might and main
        He jumped into another bush,
          And scratched 'em in again.


        There was an old man,
        And he had a calf,
          And that's half;
        He took him out of the stall,
        And put him on the wall;
          And that's all.


        There was an old woman, and what do you think?
        She lived upon nothing but victuals and drink:
        Victuals and drink were the chief of her diet;
        Yet this little old woman could never keep quiet.

        She went to the baker, to buy her some bread,
        And when she came home, her old husband was dead;
        She went to the clerk to toll the bell,
        And when she came back her old husband was well.


        There was an old woman lived under a hill,
        And if she's not gone, she lives there still.
        She put a mouse in a bag and sent it to mill;
        The miller he swore by the point of his knife,
        He never took toll of a mouse in his life.


        There was an old woman of Leeds,
        Who spent all her time in good deeds;
          She worked for the poor,
          Till her fingers were sore,
        This pious old woman of Leeds!


        There was an old woman of Norwich,
        Who lived upon nothing but porridge!
          Parading the town,
          She turned cloak into gown!
        This thrifty old woman of Norwich.


        There was an old woman tossed up in a basket
          Nineteen times as high as the moon;
        Where she was going I couldn't but ask it,
          For in her hand she carried a broom.

        "Old woman, old woman, old woman," quoth I,
          "O whither, O whither, O whither, so high?"
        "To brush the cobwebs off the sky!"
          "Shall I go with thee?" "Aye, by and by."


        There was an old woman who lived in a shoe,
        She had so many children, she didn't know what to do.
        She gave them some broth without any bread,
        Then whipped them all soundly, and put them to bed.


        There was an owl lived in an oak,
          Wisky, wasky, weedle;
        And every word he ever spoke,
          Was fiddle, faddle, feedle.

        A gunner chanced to come that way,
          Wisky, wasky, weedle;
        Says he, "I'll shoot you, silly bird,"
          Fiddle, faddle, feedle.


        This is the way the ladies ride;
          Tri, tre, tre, tree, tri, tre, tre, tree!
        This is the way the ladies ride,
          Tri, tre, tre, tree, tri, tre, tre, tree!

        This is the way the gentlemen ride;
          Gallop-a-trot, gallop-a-trot!
        This is the way the gentlemen ride,

        This is the way the farmers ride;
          Hobbledy-hoy, hobbledy-hoy!
        This is the way the farmers ride,


        1. This little pig went to market;
        2. This little pig stayed at home;
        3. This little pig had roast beef;
        4. And this little pig had none;
        5. This little pig said, "Wee, wee, wee!
           I can't find my way home."


        Three blind mice! see, how they run!
        They all ran after the farmer's wife,
        Who cut off their tails with the carving knife!
        Did you ever see such a thing in your life?
                Three blind mice!


        Three wise men of Gotham
        Went to sea in a bowl;
        If the bowl had been stronger,
        My song would have been longer.


        To market, to market, to buy a fat pig,
        Home again, home again, dancing a jig;
        To market, to market, to buy a fat hog,
        Home again, home again, jiggety-jog;
        To market, to market, to buy a plum bun.
        Home again, home again, market is done.


        Tom, Tom, the piper's son,
        Stole a pig and away he run!
        The pig was eat, and Tom was beat,
        And Tom went roaring down the street!


        Two-legs sat upon three-legs,
        With one-leg in his lap;
        In comes four-legs
        And runs away with one-leg;
        Up jumps two-legs,
        Catches up three-legs,
        Throws it after four-legs,
        And makes him bring one-leg back.

                                (_One-leg is a leg of mutton;
                                two-legs, a man; three-legs,
                                a stool; four-legs, a dog._)


        The following is another good "tongue twister"
        (see No. 77). It is recommended for the little
        lisper, and in former days it was recommended
        as a sure cure for the hiccoughs.

        When a twister a-twisting would twist him a twist,
        For twisting a twist three twists he will twist;
        But if one of the twists untwists from the twist,
        The twist untwisting untwists the twist.


        "Willy boy, Willy boy, where are you going?
        I will go with you, if I may."

        "I am going to the meadow to see them a-mowing,
        I am going to see them make the hay."


        No. 116 and the two rhymes following are by
        Miss Wilhelmina Seegmiller. (By permission of
        the publishers, Rand McNally & Co., Chicago.)
        Their presence will allow teachers to compare
        some widely and successfully used modern
        efforts with the traditional jingles in the
        midst of which they are placed.


        As white as milk,
        As soft as silk,
        And hundreds close together:
        They sail away,
        On an autumn day,
        When windy is the weather.



        Pop! fizz! bang! whizz!
        Don't you know what day this is?

        Fizz! bang! whizz! pop!
        Hurrah for the Fourth! and hippity-hop!


        TWINK! TWINK!

        Twink, twink, twink, twink,
          Twinkety, twinkety, twink!
        The fireflies light their lanterns,
          Then put them out in a wink.

        Twink, twink, twink, twink,
          They light their light once more,
        Then twinkety, twinkety, twink, twink,
          They put them out as before.

        Nos. 119-146 are in the main the longer nursery
        favorites and may somewhat loosely be called
        the novels and epics of the nursery as the
        former group may be called the lyrics and short
        stories. All of them are marked by dramatic
        power, a necessary element in all true classics
        for children whether in verse or prose. Nos.
        119 and 120 are two of the favorite jingles
        used in teaching the alphabet. Each letter
        suggests a distinct image. In No. 119 the
        images are all of actions, and connected by the
        direction of these actions upon a single
        object. In No. 120 the images are each complete
        and independent. Here it may be noticed that
        some of the elements of the pictures are
        determined by the exigencies of rhyme, as, for
        instance, what the archer shot at, and what the
        lady had. The originator doubtless expected the
        child to see the relation of cause and
        consequence between Y and Z.



        A was an apple-pie;
        B bit it;
        C cut it;
        D dealt it;
        E eat it;
        F fought for it;
        G got it;
        H had it;
        J joined it:
        K kept it;
        L longed for it;
        M mourned for it;
        N nodded at it;
        O opened it;
        P peeped in it;
        Q quartered it;
        R ran for it;
        S stole it;
        T took it;
        V viewed it;
        W wanted it;
        X, Y, Z, and Ampersand (&)
        All wished for a piece in hand.



        A was an archer, and shot at a frog;
        B was a butcher, and kept a bull-dog.

        C was a captain, all covered with lace;
        D was a drunkard, and had a red face.

        E was an esquire, with insolent brow;
        F was a farmer, and followed the plough.

        G was a gamester, who had but ill luck;
        H was a hunter, and hunted a buck.

        I was an innkeeper, who loved to carouse;
        J was a joiner, and built up a house.

        K was a king, so mighty and grand;
        L was a lady, who had a white hand.

        M was a miser, and hoarded up gold;
        N was a nobleman, gallant and bold.

        O was an oyster girl, and went about town;
        P was a parson, and wore a black gown.

        Q was a queen, who sailed in a ship;
        R was a robber, and wanted a whip.

        S was a sailor, and spent all he got;
        T was a tinker, and mended a pot.

        U was an usurer, a miserable elf;
        V was a vintner, who drank all himself.

        W was a watchman, and guarded the door;
        X was expensive, and so became poor.

        Y was a youth, that did not love school;
        Z was a zany, a poor harmless fool.



        Where are you going, my pretty maid?
        "I'm going a-milking, sir," she said.
        May I go with you, my pretty maid?
        "You're kindly welcome, sir," she said.
        What is your father, my pretty maid?
        "My father's a farmer, sir," she said.
        What is your fortune, my pretty maid?
        "My face is my fortune, sir," she said.
        Then I can't marry you, my pretty maid.
        "Nobody asked you, sir," she said.



        Molly, my sister, and I fell out,
        And what do you think it was about?
        She loved coffee, and I loved tea,
        And that was the reason we couldn't agree.
        But Molly, my sister, and I made up,
        And now together we can sup,
        For Molly drinks coffee, and I drink tea,
        And we both are happy as happy can be.



        London bridge is broken down,
          Dance o'er my lady Lee;
        London bridge is broken down,
          With a gay lady.

        How shall we build it up again?
          Dance o'er my lady Lee;
        How shall we build it up again?
          With a gay lady.

        Build it up with silver and gold,
          Dance o'er my lady Lee;
        Build it up with silver and gold,
          With a gay lady.

        Silver and gold will be stole away,
          Dance o'er my lady Lee;
        Silver and gold will be stole away,
          With a gay lady.

        Build it again with iron and steel,
          Dance o'er my lady Lee;
        Build it up with iron and steel,
          With a gay lady.

        Iron and steel will bend and bow,
          Dance o'er my lady Lee;
        Iron and steel will bend and bow,
          With a gay lady.

        Build it up with wood and clay,
          Dance o'er my lady Lee;
        Build it up with wood and clay,
          With a gay lady.

        Wood and clay will wash away,
          Dance o'er my lady Lee;
        Wood and clay will wash away,
          With a gay lady.

        Build it up with stone so strong,
          Dance o'er my lady Lee;
        Huzza! 'twill last for ages long,
          With a gay lady.



        I saw a ship a-sailing,
          A-sailing on the sea;
        And oh, it was all laden
          With pretty things for thee!

        There were comfits in the cabin,
          And apples in the hold;
        The sails were made of silk,
          And the masts were made of gold!

        The four and twenty sailors,
          That stood between the decks,
        Were four and twenty white mice,
          With chains about their necks.

        The captain was a duck,
          With a packet on his back;
        And when the ship began to move,
          The captain said, "Quack! Quack!"



        There was an old woman, as I've heard tell,
        She went to market her eggs for to sell;
        She went to market all on a market-day,
        And she fell asleep on the king's highway.

        By came a pedlar whose name was Stout,
        He cut her petticoats all round about;
        He cut her petticoats up to her knees,
        Which made the old woman to shiver and freeze.

        When this little woman first did wake,
        She began to shiver and she began to shake,
        She began to wonder, and she began to cry,
        "Lauk a mercy on me, this is none of I!

        "But if it be I, as I do hope it be,
        I've a little dog at home, and he'll know me;
        If it be I, he'll wag his little tail,
        And if it be not I, he'll loudly bark and wail."

        Home went the little woman all in the dark,
        Up got the little dog, and he began to bark;
        He began to bark, so she began to cry,
        "Lauk a mercy on me, this is none of I!"



        Little Bo-peep has lost her sheep,
          And can't tell where to find them;
        Leave them alone, and they'll come home,
          And bring their tails behind them.

        Little Bo-peep fell fast asleep,
          And dreamt she heard them bleating;
        But when she awoke, she found it a joke,
          For they were still all fleeting.

        Then up she took her little crook,
          Determined for to find them;
        She found them indeed, but it made her heart bleed,
          For they'd left their tails behind them.

        It happened one day, as Bo-peep did stray,
          Unto a meadow hard by:
        There she espied their tails side by side,
          All hung on a tree to dry.



        Cock a doodle doo!
        My dame has lost her shoe;
        My master's lost his fiddling stick,
        And don't know what to do.

        Cock a doodle doo!
        What is my dame to do?
        Till master finds his fiddling stick,
        She'll dance without her shoe.

        Cock a doodle doo!
        My dame has found her shoe,
        And master's found his fiddling stick,
        Sing doodle doodle doo!

        Cock a doodle doo!
        My dame will dance with you,
        While master fiddles his fiddling stick,
        For dame and doodle doo.



        There were three jovial huntsmen,
          As I have heard them say,
        And they would go a-hunting
          All on a summer's day.

        All the day they hunted,
          And nothing could they find
        But a ship a-sailing,
          A-sailing with the wind.

        One said it was a ship,
          The other he said nay;
        The third said it was a house
          With the chimney blown away.

        And all the night they hunted,
          And nothing could they find,
        But the moon a-gliding,
          A-gliding with the wind.

        One said it was the moon,
          The other he said nay;
        The third said it was a cheese,
          And half o't cut away.



            There was a little man,
            And he had a little gun,
        And his bullets were made of lead, lead, lead;
            He went to a brook,
            And fired at a duck,
        And shot it through the head, head, head.
            He carried it home
            To his old wife Joan,
        And bade her a fire to make, make, make,
            To roast the little duck,
            He had shot in the brook,
        And he'd go and fetch her the drake, drake, drake.

            The drake was a-swimming,
            With his curly tail;
        The little man made it his mark, mark, mark!
            He let off his gun,
            But he fired too soon,
        And the drake flew away with a quack, quack, quack.



        Taffy was a Welshman;
        Taffy was a thief;
        Taffy came to my house,
        And stole a piece of beef.
        I went to Taffy's house;
        Taffy wasn't home;
        Taffy came to my house,
        And stole a marrow-bone.
        I went to Taffy's house;
        Taffy was in bed;
        I took up the marrow-bone
        And flung it at his head!



        Simple Simon met a pieman
          Going to the fair:
        Says Simple Simon to the pieman,
          "Let me taste your ware."

        Says the pieman to Simple Simon,
          "Show me first your penny."
        Says Simple Simon to the pieman,
          "Indeed I haven't any."

        Simple Simon went a fishing
          Just to catch a whale:
        All the water he had got
          Was in his mother's pail.

        Simple Simon went to look
          If plums grew on a thistle;
        He pricked his fingers very much,
          Which made poor Simon whistle.



        A farmer went trotting upon his gray mare,
             Bumpety, bumpety, bump!
        With his daughter behind him so rosy and fair,
             Lumpety, lumpety, lump!

        A raven cried "Croak!" and they all tumbled down,
             Bumpety, bumpety, bump!
        The mare broke her knees, and the farmer his crown,
             Lumpety, lumpety, lump!

        The mischievous raven flew laughing away,
             Bumpety, bumpety, bump!
        And vowed he would serve them the same the next day,
             Lumpety, lumpety, lump!



        Tom he was a piper's son,
        He learned to play when he was young,
        But all the tunes that he could play,
        Was "Over the hills and far away";
        _Over the hills, and a great way off,_
        _And the wind will blow my top-knot off._

        Now Tom with his pipe made such a noise,
        That he pleased both the girls and boys,
        And they stopped to hear him play,
        "Over the hills and far away."

        Tom with his pipe did play with such skill,
        That those who heard him could never keep still;
        Whenever they heard him they began to dance,
        Even pigs on their hind legs would after him prance.

        As Dolly was milking her cow one day,
        Tom took out his pipe and began to play;
        So Doll and the cow danced "the Cheshire round,"
        Till the pail was broke and the milk ran on the ground.

        He met old dame Trot with a basket of eggs,
        He used his pipes and she used her legs;
        She danced about till the eggs were all broke,
        She began for to fret, but he laughed at the joke.

        He saw a cross fellow was beating an ass,
        Heavy laden with pots, pans, dishes, and glass;
        He took out his pipe and played them a tune,
        And the jackass's load was lightened full soon.



        When I was a little boy,
          I lived by myself,
        And all the bread and cheese I got,
          I put upon my shelf.

        The rats and the mice,
          They made such a strife,
        I had to go to London
          To buy me a wife.

        The streets were so broad,
          And the lanes were so narrow,
        I had to bring my wife home
          On a wheelbarrow.

        The wheelbarrow broke,
          And my wife had a fall;
        Down tumbled wheelbarrow,
          Little wife and all.



        My dear, you must know that a long time ago,
        Two poor little children whose names I don't know,
        Were stolen away on a fine summer's day,
        And left in a wood, as I've heard people say.
          _Poor babes in the wood, poor babes in the wood!_
          _So hard was the fate of the babes in the wood._

        And when it was night, so sad was their plight,
        The sun it went down, and the stars gave no light.
        They sobbed and they sighed, and they bitterly cried,
        And the poor little things they lay down and died.

        And when they were dead, the robins so red,
        Brought strawberry leaves, and over them spread.
        And all the day long, the branches among,
        They sang to them softly, and this was their song:
          _Poor babes in the wood, poor babes in the wood!_
          _So hard was the fate of the babes in the wood._



        The fox and his wife they had a great strife,
        They never ate mustard in all their whole life;
        They ate their meat without fork or knife,
          And loved to be picking a bone, e-oh!

        The fox jumped up on a moonlight night;
        The stars they were shining, and all things bright;
        Oh, ho! said the fox, it's a very fine night
          For me to go through the town, e-oh!

        The fox when he came to yonder stile,
        He lifted his ears and he listened awhile!
        Oh, ho! said the fox, it's but a short mile
          From this unto yonder wee town, e-oh!

        The fox when he came to the farmer's gate,
        Who should he see but the farmer's drake;
        I love you well for your master's sake,
          And long to be picking your bone, e-oh!

        The gray goose she ran round the haystack,
        Oh, ho! said the fox, you are very fat;
        You'll grease my beard and ride on my back
          From this into yonder wee town, e-oh!

        The farmer's wife she jumped out of bed,
        And out of the window she popped her head:
        Oh, husband! oh, husband! the geese are all dead,
          For the fox has been through the town, e-oh!

        The farmer he loaded his pistol with lead,
        And shot the old rogue of a fox through the head;
        Ah, ha! said the farmer, I think you're quite dead;
          And no more you'll trouble the town, e-oh!



        For want of a nail, the shoe was lost;
        For want of the shoe, the horse was lost;
        For want of the horse, the rider was lost;
        For want of the rider, the battle was lost;
        For want of the battle, the kingdom was lost;
        And all for the want of a horseshoe nail!



        A man of words and not of deeds
        Is like a garden full of weeds;
        And when the weeds begin to grow,
        It's like a garden full of snow;
        And when the snow begins to fall,
        It's like a bird upon the wall;
        And when the bird away does fly,
        It's like an eagle in the sky;
        And when the sky begins to roar,
        It's like a lion at the door;
        And when the door begins to crack,
        It's like a stick across your back;
        And when your back begins to smart,
        It's like a penknife in your heart;
        And when your heart begins to bleed,
        You're dead, and dead, and dead, indeed.


        The first stanza of this jingle was long
        attributed to Longfellow as an impromptu made
        on one of his children. He took occasion to
        deny this, as well as the authorship of the
        almost equally famous "Mr. Finney had a
        turnip." The last two stanzas bear evidence of
        a more sophisticated origin than that of real
        nursery rhymes. Mr. Lucas, in his _Book of
        Verses for Children_, gives two different
        versions of these stanzas.


        There was a little girl, and she had a little curl,
          Right down the middle of her forehead,
        When she was good, she was very, very good,
          But when she was bad, she was horrid.

        One day she went upstairs, while her parents, unawares,
          In the kitchen down below were occupied with meals,
        And she stood upon her head, on her little truckle-bed,
          And she then began hurraying with her heels.

        Her mother heard the noise, and thought it was the boys,
          A playing at a combat in the attic,
        But when she climbed the stair and saw Jemima there,
          She took and she did whip her most emphatic!


        The following was one of the favorite
        "toy-book" texts of the eighteenth century.
        These little books generally had a crude
        woodcut and one stanza of text on a page. It
        can be seen how easily this story lends itself
        to illustration. Each stanza is a chapter, and
        the story-teller could continue as long as his
        inventiveness held out. In one edition there
        are these additional lines:

        "Old Mother Hubbard sat down in a chair,
        And danced her dog to a delicate air;
        She went to the garden to buy him a pippin,
        When she came back the dog was a-skipping."


        Old Mother Hubbard
        Went to the cupboard,
          To get her poor dog a bone;
        But when she came there,
        The cupboard was bare,
          And so the poor dog had none.

        She went to the baker's
          To buy him some bread;
        But when she came back,
          The poor dog was dead.

        She went to the joiner's
          To buy him a coffin;
        But when she came back,
          The poor dog was laughing.

        She took a clean dish,
          To get him some tripe;
        But when she came back
          He was smoking his pipe.

        She went to the fishmonger's
          To buy him some fish;
        And when she came back
          He was licking the dish.

        She went to the ale-house
          To get him some beer;
        But when she came back
          The dog sat in a chair.

        She went to the tavern
          For white wine and red;
        But when she came back
          The dog stood on his head.

        She went to the hatter's
          To buy him a hat;
        But when she came back
          He was feeding the cat.

        She went to the barber's
          To buy him a wig;
        But when she came back
          He was dancing a jig.

        She went to the fruiterer's
          To buy him some fruit;
        But when she came back,
          He was playing the flute.

        She went to the tailor's
          To buy him a coat;
        But when she came back,
          He was riding a goat.

        She went to the cobbler's
          To buy him some shoes;
        But when she came back,
          He was reading the news.

        She went to the seamstress
          To buy him some linen;
        But when she came back,
          The dog was spinning.

        She went to the hosier's
          To buy him some hose;
        But when she came back,
          He was dressed in his clothes.

        The dame made a curtsy,
          The dog made a bow;
        The dame said, "Your servant,"
          The dog said, "Bow, wow."


        This story of a bird courtship and marriage
        with its attendant feast and tragedy, all
        followed by the long dirge of No. 142,
        constitutes one of the longest nursery novels.
        Its opportunities for the illustrator are very
        marked, and a copy illustrated by the children
        themselves would be an addition to the joy of
        any schoolroom.




        It was a merry time
          When Jenny Wren was young,
        So neatly as she danced,
          And so sweetly as she sung,
        Robin Redbreast lost his heart:
          He was a gallant bird;
        He doft his hat to Jenny,
          And thus to her he said:--

        "My dearest Jenny Wren,
          If you will but be mine,
        You shall dine on cherry pie,
          And drink nice currant wine.
        I'll dress you like a Goldfinch,
          Or like a Peacock gay;
        So if you'll have me, Jenny,
          Let us appoint the day."

        Jenny blushed behind her fan,
          And thus declared her mind:
        "Then let it be to-morrow, Bob,
          I take your offer kind--
        Cherry pie is very good!
          So is currant wine!
        But I will wear my brown gown,
          And never dress too fine."

        Robin rose up early
          At the break of day;
        He flew to Jenny Wren's house,
          To sing a roundelay.
        He met the Cock and Hen,
          And bid the Cock declare,
        This was his wedding-day
          With Jenny Wren, the fair.

        The Cock then blew his horn,
          To let the neighbors know,
        This was Robin's wedding-day,
          And they might see the show.
        And first came parson Rook,
          With his spectacles and band,
        And one of _Mother Hubbard's_ books
          He held within his hand.

        Then followed him the Lark,
          For he could sweetly sing,
        And he was to be clerk
          At Cock Robin's wedding.
        He sang of Robin's love
          For little Jenny Wren;
        And when he came unto the end,
          Then he began again.

        Then came the bride and bridegroom;
          Quite plainly was she dressed,
        And blushed so much, her cheeks were
          As red as Robin's breast.
        But Robin cheered her up:
          "My pretty Jen," said he,
        "We're going to be married
          And happy we shall be."

        The Goldfinch came on next,
          To give away the bride;
        The Linnet, being bride's maid,
          Walked by Jenny's side;
        And, as she was a-walking,
          She said, "Upon my word,
        I think that your Cock Robin
          Is a very pretty bird."

        The Bullfinch walked by Robin,
          And thus to him did say,
        "Pray, mark, friend Robin Redbreast,
          That Goldfinch, dressed so gay;
        What though her gay apparel
          Becomes her very well,
        Yet Jenny's modest dress and look
          Must bear away the bell."

        The Blackbird and the Thrush,
          And charming Nightingale,
        Whose sweet jug sweetly echoes
          Through every grove and dale;
        The Sparrow and Tom Tit,
          And many more, were there:
        All came to see the wedding
          Of Jenny Wren, the fair.

        "O then," says parson Rook,
          "Who gives this maid away?"
        "I do," says the Goldfinch,
          "And her fortune I will pay:
        Here's a bag of grain of many sorts,
          And other things beside;
        Now happy be the bridegroom,
          And happy be the bride!"

        "And will you have her, Robin,
          To be your wedded wife?"
        "Yes, I will," says Robin,
          "And love her all my life."
        "And will you have him, Jenny,
          Your husband now to be?"
        "Yes, I will," says Jenny,
          "And love him heartily."

        Then on her finger fair
          Cock Robin put the ring;
        "You're married now," says parson Rook,
          While the Lark aloud did sing:
        "Happy be the bridegroom,
          And happy be the bride!
        And may not man, nor bird, nor beast,
          This happy pair divide."

        The birds were asked to dine;
          Not Jenny's friends alone,
        But every pretty songster
          That had Cock Robin known.
        They had a cherry pie,
          Besides some currant wine,
        And every guest brought something,
          That sumptuous they might dine.

        Now they all sat or stood
          To eat and to drink;
        And every one said what
          He happened to think;
        They each took a bumper,
          And drank to the pair:
        Cock Robin, the bridegroom,
          And Jenny Wren, the fair.

        The dinner-things removed,
          They all began to sing;
        And soon they made the place
          Near a mile round to ring.
        The concert it was fine;
          And every bird tried
        Who best could sing for Robin
          And Jenny Wren, the bride.

        Then in came the Cuckoo,
          And he made a great rout:
        He caught hold of Jenny,
          And pulled her about.
        Cock Robin was angry,
          And so was the Sparrow,
        Who fetched in a hurry
          His bow and his arrow.

        His aim then he took,
          But he took it not right;
        His skill was not good,
          Or he shot in a fright;
        For the Cuckoo he missed,
          But Cock Robin killed!--
        And all the birds mourned
          That his blood was so spilled.



        Who killed Cock Robin?
          "I," said the Sparrow,
          "With my bow and arrow;
        And I killed Cock Robin."

        Who saw him die?
          "I," said the Fly,
          "With my little eye;
        And I saw him die."

        Who caught his blood?
          "I," said the Fish,
          "With my little dish;
        And I caught his blood."

        Who made his shroud?
          "I," said the Beetle,
          "With my little needle;
        And I made his shroud."

        Who will be the parson?
          "I," said the Rook;
          "With my little book;
        And I will be the parson."

        Who will dig his grave?
          "I," said the Owl,
          "With my spade and shovel;
        And I'll dig his grave."

        Who will be the clerk?
          "I," said the Lark,
          "If 'tis not in the dark;
        And I will be the clerk."

        Who'll carry him to the grave?
          "I," said the Kite,
          "If 'tis not in the night;
        And I'll carry him to the grave."

        Who will be the chief mourner?
          "I," said the Dove,
          "Because of my love;
        And I will be chief mourner."

        Who will sing a psalm?
          "I," said the Thrush,
          As she sat in a bush;
        "And I will sing a psalm."

        Who will bear the pall?
          "We," said the Wren,
          Both the Cock and the Hen;
        "And we will bear the pall."

        Who will toll the bell?
          "I," said the Bull,
          "Because I can pull."
        And so, Cock Robin, farewell.

              All the birds of the air
                Fell to sighing and sobbing
              When they heard the bell toll
                For poor Cock Robin.


        The following tale was edited (1885) for
        children by John Ruskin from a version "written
        principally by a lady of ninety (Mrs. Sharp.)"
        Ruskin himself added the third, fourth, eighth,
        and ninth stanzas, because "in the old books no
        account is given of what the cats learned when
        they went to school, and I thought my younger
        readers might be glad of some notice of such
        particulars." But he thought his rhymes did not
        ring like the real ones, of which he said: "I
        aver these rhymes to possess the primary value
        of rhyme--that is, to be rhythmical in a
        pleasant and exemplary degree." The book was
        illustrated with quaint woodcuts for each
        stanza after the edition of 1823, with
        additional drawings for the four new stanzas by
        Kate Greenaway, one of the most famous
        illustrators of children's books. Ruskin
        commends the result "to the indulgence of the
        Christmas fireside, because it relates nothing
        that is sad, and portrays nothing that is


        Dame Wiggins of Lee
        Was a worthy old soul,
        As e'er threaded a nee-
        dle, or wash'd in a bowl;
        She held mice and rats
        In such antipa-thy,
        That seven fine cats
        Kept Dame Wiggins of Lee.

        The rats and mice scared
        By this fierce whisker'd crew,
        The poor seven cats
        Soon had nothing to do;
        So, as any one idle
        She ne'er loved to see,
        She sent them to school,
        Did Dame Wiggins of Lee.

        The Master soon wrote
        That they all of them knew
        How to read the word "milk"
        And to spell the word "mew."
        And they all washed their faces
        Before they took tea:
        "Were there ever such dears!"
        Said Dame Wiggins of Lee.

        He had also thought well
        To comply with their wish
        To spend all their play-time
        In learning to fish
        For stitlings; they sent her
        A present of three,
        Which, fried, were a feast
        For Dame Wiggins of Lee.

        But soon she grew tired
        Of living alone;
        So she sent for her cats
        From school to come home.
        Each rowing a wherry,
        Returning you see:
        The frolic made merry
        Dame Wiggins of Lee.

        The Dame was quite pleas'd
        And ran out to market;
        When she came back
        They were mending the carpet.
        The needle each handled
        As brisk as a bee;
        "Well done, my good cats,"
        Said Dame Wiggins of Lee.

        To give them a treat,
        She ran out for some rice;
        When she came back,
        They were skating on ice.
        "I shall soon see one down,
        Aye, perhaps, two or three,
        I'll bet half-a-crown,"
        Said Dame Wiggins of Lee.

        When spring-time came back
        They had breakfast of curds;
        And were greatly afraid
        Of disturbing the birds.
        "If you sit, like good cats,
        All the seven in a tree,
        They will teach you to sing!"
        Said Dame Wiggins of Lee.

        So they sat in a tree,
        And said "Beautiful! Hark!"
        And they listened and looked
        In the clouds for the lark.
        Then sang, by the fireside,
        A song without words
        To Dame Wiggins of Lee.

        They called the next day
        On the tomtit and sparrow,
        And wheeled a poor sick lamb
        Home in a barrow.
        "You shall all have some sprats
        For your humani-ty,
        My seven good cats,"
        Said Dame Wiggins of Lee.

        While she ran to the field,
        To look for its dam,
        They were warming the bed
        For the poor sick lamb:
        They turn'd up the clothes
        All as neat as could be;
        "I shall ne'er want a nurse,"
        Said Dame Wiggins of Lee.

        She wished them good night,
        And went up to bed:
        When, lo! in the morning,
        The cats were all fled.
        But soon--what a fuss!
        "Where can they all be?
        Here, pussy, puss, puss!"
        Cried Dame Wiggins of Lee.

        The Dame's heart was nigh broke,
        So she sat down to weep,
        When she saw them come back
        Each riding a sheep:
        She fondled and patted
        Each purring tom-my:
        "Ah! welcome, my dears,"
        Said Dame Wiggins of Lee.

        The Dame was unable
        Her pleasure to smother,
        To see the sick lamb
        Jump up to its mother.
        In spite of the gout,
        And a pain in her knee,
        She went dancing about:
        Did Dame Wiggins of Lee.

        The Farmer soon heard
        Where his sheep went astray,
        And arrived at Dame's door
        With his faithful dog Tray.
        He knocked with his crook,
        And the stranger to see,
        Out the window did look
        Dame Wiggins of Lee.

        For their kindness he had them
        All drawn by his team;
        And gave them some field-mice,
        And raspberry-cream.
        Said he, "All my stock
        You shall presently see;
        For I honor the cats
        Of Dame Wiggins of Lee."

        He sent his maid out
        For some muffins and crumpets;
        And when he turn'd round
        They were blowing of trumpets.
        Said he, "I suppose
        She's as deaf as can be,
        Or this ne'er could be borne
        By Dame Wiggins of Lee."

        To show them his poultry,
        He turn'd them all loose,
        When each nimbly leap'd
        On the back of a goose,
        Which frighten'd them so
        That they ran to the sea,
        And half-drown'd the poor cats
        Of Dame Wiggins of Lee.

        For the care of his lamb,
        And their comical pranks,
        He gave them a ham
        And abundance of thanks.
        "I wish you good-day,
        My fine fellows," said he;
        "My compliments, pray,
        To Dame Wiggins of Lee."

        You see them arrived
        At their Dame's welcome door;
        They show her their presents,
        And all their good store.
        "Now come in to supper,
        And sit down with me;
        All welcome once more,"
        Cried Dame Wiggins of Lee.


        This is the perfect pattern of all the
        accumulative stories, perhaps the best known
        and most loved of children among all nursery
        jingles. Halliwell thought it descended from
        the mystical Hebrew hymn, "A kid, a kid," found
        in the Talmud. Most commentators since have
        followed his example in calling attention to
        the parallel, though scholars have insisted
        that the hymn referred to is a late
        interpolation. The hymn opens:

        "A kid, a kid, my father bought,
        For two pieces of money:
                   A kid, a kid.

        "Then came the cat, and ate the kid,
        That my father bought," etc.

        Then came the dog and bit the cat, then the
        staff and beat the dog, then the fire and
        burned the staff, then water and quenched the
        fire, then the ox and drank the water, then the
        butcher and slew the ox, then the angel of
        death and killed the butcher, and the hymn

        "Then came the Holy One, blessed be He!
        And killed the angel of death,
        That killed the butcher,
        That slew the ox,
        That drank the water,
        That quenched the fire,
        That burned the staff,
        That beat the dog,
        That bit the cat,
        That ate the kid,
        That my father bought
        For two pieces of money:
                   A kid, a kid."

        There is an elaborate interpretation of the
        symbolism of this hymn, going back at least as
        far as 1731, in which the kid denotes the
        Hebrews, the father is Jehovah, the cat is the
        Assyrians, the dog is the Babylonians, the
        staff is the Persians, the fire is Greece under
        Alexander, the water is the Roman Empire, the
        ox is the Saracens, the butcher is the
        crusaders, the angel of death is the Turkish
        power, while the concluding accumulation shows
        that God will take vengeance on the enemies of
        the chosen people. This is the interpretation
        in barest outline only. Without the key no one
        would ever guess its hidden meaning.
        Fortunately, "The House That Jack Built" has no
        such hidden meaning. But the important point
        is that such accumulative stories are almost as
        old as human records, and, like so many other
        possessions of the race, seem to have come to
        us from the Far East.


        This is the house that Jack built.

        This is the malt
        That lay in the house that Jack built.

        This is the rat,
        That ate the malt
        That lay in the house that Jack built.

        This is the cat,
        That killed the rat,
        That ate the malt
        That lay in the house that Jack built.

        This is the dog,
        That worried the cat,
        That killed the rat,
        That ate the malt
        That lay in the house that Jack built.

        This is the cow with the crumpled horn,
        That tossed the dog,
        That worried the cat,
        That killed the rat,
        That ate the malt
        That lay in the house that Jack built.

        This is the maiden all forlorn,
        That milked the cow with the crumpled horn,
        That tossed the dog,
        That worried the cat,
        That killed the rat,
        That ate the malt
        That lay in the house that Jack built.

        This is the man all tattered and torn,
        That kissed the maiden all forlorn,
        That milked the cow with the crumpled horn,
        That tossed the dog,
        That worried the cat,
        That killed the rat,
        That ate the malt
        That lay in the house that Jack built.

        This is the priest all shaven and shorn,
        That married the man all tattered and torn,
        That kissed the maiden all forlorn,
        That milked the cow with the crumpled horn,
        That tossed the dog,
        That worried the cat,
        That killed the rat,
        That ate the malt
        That lay in the house that Jack built.

        This is the cock that crowed in the morn,
        That waked the priest all shaven and shorn,
        That married the man all tattered and torn,
        That kissed the maiden all forlorn,
        That milked the cow with the crumpled horn,
        That tossed the dog,
        That worried the cat,
        That killed the rat,
        That ate the malt
        That lay in the house that Jack built.

        This is the farmer sowing his corn,
        That kept the cock that crowed in the morn,
        That waked the priest all shaven and shorn,
        That married the man all tattered and torn,
        That kissed the maiden all forlorn,
        That milked the cow with the crumpled horn,
        That tossed the dog,
        That worried the cat,
        That killed the rat,
        That ate the malt
        That lay in the house that Jack built.



        There was a tree stood in the ground,
        The prettiest tree you ever did see;
        The tree in the wood, and the wood in the ground,
        And the green grass growing all around.

        And on this tree there was a limb,
        The prettiest limb you ever did see;
        The limb on the tree, and the tree in the wood,
        The tree in the wood, and the wood in the ground,
        And the green grass growing all around.

        And on this limb there was a bough,
        The prettiest bough you ever did see;
        The bough on the limb, and the limb on the tree,
        The limb on the tree, and the tree in the wood,
        The tree in the wood, and the wood in the ground,
        And the green grass growing all around.

        Now on this bough there was a nest,
        The prettiest nest you ever did see;
        The nest on the bough, and the bough on the limb,
        The limb on the tree, and the tree in the wood,
        The tree in the wood, and the wood in the ground,
        And the green grass growing all around.

        And in the nest there were some eggs,
        The prettiest eggs you ever did see;
        Eggs in the nest, and the nest on the bough,
        The bough on the limb, and the limb on the tree,
        The limb on the tree, and the tree in the wood,
        The tree in the wood, and the wood in the ground,
        And the green grass growing all around,
        _And the green grass growing all around_.


        The following story is the same as that of the
        Norwegian tale "The Husband Who Was to Mind the
        House" (No. 170). In the Halliwell version the
        final lines read,

        "If his wife didn't do a day's work in her life,
        She should ne'er be ruled by he."

        A later reading, now generally accepted, avoids
        the bad grammar by changing to direct


        There was an old man, who lived in a wood,
          As you may plainly see;
        He said he could do as much work in a day,
          As his wife could do in three.
        With all my heart, the old woman said,
          If that you will allow,
        To-morrow you'll stay at home in my stead,
          And I'll go drive the plough:

        But you must milk the Tidy cow,
          For fear that she go dry;
        And you must feed the little pigs
          That are within the sty;
        And you must mind the speckled hen,
          For fear she lay away;
        And you must reel the spool of yarn,
          That I spun yesterday.

        The old woman took a staff in her hand,
          And went to drive the plough:
        The old man took a pail in his hand,
          And went to milk the cow;
        But Tidy hinched, and Tidy flinched,
          And Tidy broke his nose,
        And Tidy gave him such a blow,
          That the blood ran down to his toes.

        High! Tidy! ho! Tidy! high!
          Tidy! do stand still;
        If ever I milk you, Tidy, again,
          'Twill be sore against my will!

        He went to feed the little pigs
          That were within the sty;
        He hit his head against the beam,
          And he made the blood to fly.
        He went to mind the speckled hen,
          For fear she'd lay astray,
        And he forgot the spool of yarn
          His wife spun yesterday.

        So he swore by the sun, the moon, and the stars,
          And the green leaves on the tree,
        "If my wife doesn't do a day's work in her life,
          She shall ne'er be ruled by me."





  Jacobs, Joseph, _English Fairy Tales_, _More English Fairy Tales_,
     _Celtic Fairy Tales_, _More Celtic Fairy Tales_, _Indian Fairy
     Tales_, _Europa's Fairy Tales_.

  Lang, Andrew, _The Blue Fairy Book_, _The Red Fairy Book_, _The
     Green Fairy Book_, _The Yellow Fairy Book_.

        The Perrault stories are included in the first.
        Many other volumes named by colors (_Violet_,
        _Orange_, etc.) were made under Mr. Lang's
        direction, but these four include the cream.


  ENGLISH: Campbell, J. F., _Popular Tales of the West Highlands_.
               4 vols.
           Halliwell, J. O., _Popular Rhymes and Nursery Tales_.
           Hartland, E. S., _English Fairy and Folk Tales_.

  GERMAN: Grimm, J. and W., _Kinder und Hausmärchen_ (_Household

        Translated by Edgar Taylor as _Grimm's Popular
        Stories_ (55 stories, 1823-1827), and
        illustrated by George Cruikshank. Best reprint
        is in one volume with introduction by John

        Translated complete by Margaret Hunt (2 vols.,
        1884), Introduction by Andrew Lang.

        Other excellent translations of selected
        stories by Mrs. Lucas and by Lucy Crane.

  INDIAN: Frere, Mary, _Old Deccan Days_.
          Knowles, J. H., _Folk Tales of Kashmir_.
          Steel, Flora Annie, _Tales of the Punjab_. (Notes by
              Captain R. C. Temple.)
          Stokes, Maive, _Indian Fairy Tales_.

  IRISH: Curtin, J., _Hero Tales of Ireland_.
          Graves, A. P., _The Irish Fairy Book_.
          Hyde, Douglas, _Beside the Fire_.
          Joyce, P. W., _Old Celtic Romances_.
          Wilde, Lady Constance, _Ancient Irish Legends_.
          Yeats, W. B., _Irish Fairy Tales_.

  ITALIAN: Crane, T. F., _Italian Popular Tales_.

  NORSE: Asbjörnsen, P. C., and Moe, J., _Norske Folke-eventyr_
            (_Norwegian Folk Tales_, 1842-1844, with subsequent

        Translated by Sir George Webbe Dasent in
        _Popular Tales from the Norse_ and _Tales of
        the Fjeld_; by H. L. Braekstad in _Round the
        Yule Log_ and _Fairy Tales from the North_.

  SLAVIC: Bain, R. Nesbit, _Cossack Fairy Tales_, _Russian Folk


  Cox, Roalfe, _Cinderella_. (Introduction by Lang.)
  Clouston, W. A., _Popular Tales and Fictions_. 2 vols.
  Gomme, G. L., _Folklore as an Historical Science_.
  Hartland, E. S., _The Science of Fairy Tales_.
  Keightly, Thomas, _Fairy Mythology_.
  Lang, Andrew, _Perrault's Popular Tales_. (Introduction.)
  MacCulloch, J. A., _The Childhood of Fiction_.


  Adler, Felix, _The Moral Instruction of Children_, pp. 63-79.
  Kready, Laura F., _The Study of Fairy Tales_. (Indispensable.)
  MacClintock, P. L., _Literature in the Elementary School_, pp.
  McMurry, Charles, _Special Method in Reading_, pp. 47-69.



The forty-three tales in this section have been chosen (1) in the light
of what experience shows children most enjoy, (2) to represent as fully
as possible the great variety of our traditional inheritance, (3) to
afford an opportunity of calling attention to additional riches in
various collections, and (4) to suggest a fair minimum of the amount of
such material to be used with children. As in all such questions of
judgment, there must inevitably be differences of opinion. Many will
doubtless find stories missing that seem necessary even to so small a
list, while others will find tales included that may seem questionable.
Such a selection can be, and is intended to be, only tentative, a
starting point from which there are many lines of departure.

_Folklore._ These tales are all from the traditional field. They are
mainly of anonymous and popular origin, handed down orally by peasants.
The investigation of their origin, distribution, and interrelations
belongs to the science of folklore. A good-sized library could be filled
entirely with the books concerned with the studies and disputations in
this interesting field. While the folklorists have very much of value to
tell the teacher, their questions may be largely ignored until the
latter is quite fully acquainted with a large body of the acknowledged
masterpieces among folk stories, especially those which the schools have
taken to themselves as useful in elementary work. Teachers interested in
pursuing the matter further--and it is to be hoped there are many
such--will find suggestions in the notes at the head of each tale and in
the preceding bibliography that may prove serviceable in directing them
some little way. Each book will point the student to many others; when
he is once started on the road of investigation, there will open up many
unexpected and fascinating vistas.

_Objections to fairy tales._ These objections seem to fall as a rule
under two main heads. First, there are those who object to any
stimulation of the fanciful in children, and who would have us confine
ourselves to what they call realities. They would eliminate as far as
possible all the imaginings of children. The make-believe world so dear
to infancy has no place in their creed. Second, there are those who
doubt the moral tendency of all fairy tales. They observe that many of
these tales come to us from a cruder and coarser social state than our
own, that they contain elements of a superstitious and animistic past,
that they often deal with cruelties and horrors, trickeries and
disloyalties, that they are full of romantic improbabilities and
impossibilities. It may as well be admitted at once that the folklore of
the world contains many stories to which these and other objections are

_Is there a proper line of defense for fairy tales?_ Dr. Felix Adler,
who certainly cannot be accused of being insensible to realities, puts
the case thus, as between defenders and objectors: "I venture to think
that, as in many other cases, the cause of the quarrel is what logicians
call an _undistributed middle_--in other words, that the parties to the
dispute have each a different kind of fairy tale in mind. This species
of literature can be divided broadly into two classes--one consisting of
tales which ought to be rejected because they are really harmful, and
children ought to be protected from their bad influence, the other of
tales which have a most beautiful and elevating effect, and which we
cannot possibly afford to leave unutilized." Dr. Adler proceeds to point
out that the chief pedagogic values of the latter class are (1) that
they exercise and cultivate the imagination, and (2) that they stimulate
the idealizing tendency.

John Ruskin, another teacher who constantly in his writings throws the
emphasis upon the necessity of a true ethical understanding, has this to
say about the mischievous habit of trying to remake the fairy story in
the service of morals: "And the effect of the endeavor to make stories
moral upon the literary merit of the work itself, is as harmful as the
motive of the effort is false. For every fairy tale worth recording at
all is the remnant of a tradition possessing true historical
value;--historical, at least in so far as it has naturally arisen out of
the mind of a people under special circumstances, and arisen not without
meaning, nor removed altogether from their sphere of religious faith. It
sustains afterwards natural changes from the sincere action of the fear
or fancy of successive generations; it takes new color from their manner
of life, and new form from their changing moral tempers. As long as
these changes are natural and effortless, accidental and inevitable, the
story remains essentially true, altering its form, indeed, like a flying
cloud, but remaining a sign of the sky; a shadowy image, as truly a part
of the great firmament of the human mind as the light of reason which it
seems to interrupt. But the fair deceit and innocent error of it cannot
be interpreted nor restrained by a wilful purpose, and all additions to
it by art do but defile, as the shepherd disturbs the flakes of morning
mist with smoke from his fire of dead leaves." Instead of retouching
stories "to suit particular tastes, or inculcate favorite doctrines,"
Ruskin would have the child "know his fairy tale accurately, and have
perfect joy or awe in the conception of it as if it were real; thus he
will always be exercising his power of grasping realities: but a
confused, careless, and discrediting tenure of the fiction will lead to
as confused and careless reading of fact." Still further, Ruskin defends
the vulgarity, or commonness of language, found in many of the tales as
"of a wholesome and harmless kind. It is not, for instance, graceful
English, to say that a thought 'popped into Catherine's head'; but it
nevertheless is far better, as an initiation into literary style, that a
child should be told this than that 'a subject attracted Catherine's

Finally, we cannot forbear adding one more quotation, from the most
delightful of attacks upon the attackers of fairy tales, by Miss
Repplier: "That which is vital in literature or tradition, which has
survived the obscurity and wreckage of the past, whether as legend, or
ballad, or mere nursery rhyme, has survived in right of some intrinsic
merit of its own, and will not be snuffed out of existence by any of our
precautionary or hygienic measures. . . . Puss in Boots is one long record
of triumphant effrontery and deception. An honest and self-respecting
lad would have explained to the king that he was not the Marquis of
Carabas at all; that he had no desire to profit by his cat's ingenious
falsehoods, and no weak ambition to connect himself with the
aristocracy. Such a hero would be a credit to our modern schoolrooms,
and lift a load of care from the shoulders of our modern critics. Only
the children would have none of him, but would turn wistfully back to
those brave old tales which are their inheritance from a splendid past,
and of which no hand shall rob them." And upon this ultimate fact that
in literature the final decision rests with the audience appealed to,
the discussion may end.

_How to use fairy stories._ Briefly, the whole matter may be summed up
thus: _Know your story perfectly. Don't read it (unless you can't do
better). Tell it--with all the graces of voice and action you can
command. Tell it naturally and simply, as the folk-tellers did, not with
studied and elaborate "elocutionary" effects. Tell it again and again.
If you do it well, the children will not soon tire of it--and they will
indicate what you should do next!_


        (Books referred to by authors' name are listed
        in bibliography.)

        The one important full-length discussion for
        teachers on the whole subject of the fairy tale
        is Kready's _A Study of Fairy Tales_. It is
        enthusiastic rather than severely critical, and
        that adds to its helpfulness. It has exhaustive
        bibliographies. The Ruskin quotations above are
        from his introduction to Taylor's _Grimm_; it
        may be found also in his collected works, in
        _On the Old Road_. Miss Repplier's "Battle of
        the Babies" in her _Essays in Miniature_ should
        be read entire. A thoroughly stimulating
        article is Brian Hooker's "Narrative and the
        Fairy Tale," _Bookman_, Vol. XXXIII, pp. 389,
        501; see also his "Types of Fairy Tales,"
        _Forum_, Vol. XL, p. 375. For the scientific
        phase start with Hartland's _Science of Fairy
        Tales_. For pedagogy see Adler, MacClintock,


        Many English folk tales have doubtless been
        lost because no one made a serious attempt to
        collect them until railroads, newspapers, and
        popular education had greatly changed the life
        of the English folk and destroyed many of the
        traditions. For the preservation of many folk
        tales that we have, English-speaking peoples
        are indebted to the scholarly antiquarian James
        Orchard Halliwell (afterwards
        Halliwell-Phillips, 1820-1889), who in the year
        1842 edited a collection of _The Nursery Rhymes
        of England_ for the Percy Society. He followed
        it a few years later with _Popular Rhymes and
        Nursery Tales_. They have long been regarded as
        the basic books in their field. These two
        collections were reprinted as _Nursery Rhymes
        and Tales_. This one-volume edition is the one
        referred to in the following pages. Halliwell
        should be remembered as the first person to
        collect in a scientific way the folk literature
        of England. He gathered these rhymes and tales
        from the mouths of the folk, from chapbooks,
        and from many other sources and endeavored to
        tell them as they had been told by the folk.

        "The Old Woman and Her Pig" is perhaps the most
        familiar of all nursery stories. It belongs to
        the type of story known as the "accumulative,"
        of which "The House That Jack Built" is the
        purest model. In such a story there is a
        constant repetition of the plot, with an
        addition or slight change at each repetition,
        until at the end there is a quick unwinding
        which carries us back to the initial situation
        and solves the difficulty with which the story
        started. Halliwell gives two versions of this
        particular story. It is so widespread that many
        slight variations would be expected in
        successful retellings of it. The traditional
        version which follows seems to be the favorite
        with primary teachers. It introduces at the
        sixth stage the attractive rhyme "I see by the
        moonlight, etc.," which originally formed part
        of another nursery tale.


Once upon a time, an old woman was sweeping her little house, when, to
her great joy, she found a silver sixpence.

"What," said she, "shall I do with this little sixpence? I think I will
go to market and buy a pig." So the next day, she went to market, and
bought a nice little white pig. She tied a string to one of the pig's
legs, and began to drive him home.

On the way, the old woman and her pig came to a stile, and she said,--

        "Please, pig, get over the stile."
          But the pig would not.

Just then a little dog came trotting up, and the old woman said to

        "Dog, dog, bite pig;
        Pig won't get over the stile,
        And I sha'n't get home to-night."
          But the dog would not.

So the old woman held up her stick, and said,--

        "Stick, stick, beat dog;
        Dog won't bite pig;
        Pig won't get over the stile,
        And I sha'n't get home to-night."
          But the stick would not.

So the old woman gathered some bits of wood together to make a fire, and
set them on fire, and then threw her stick into the fire, and said,--

        "Fire, fire, burn stick;
        Stick won't beat dog;
        Dog won't bite pig;
        Pig won't get over the stile,
        And I sha'n't get home to-night."
          But the fire would not.

So the old woman fetched a pail of water that was standing near, and

        "Water, water, quench fire;
        Fire won't burn stick;
        Stick won't beat dog;
        Dog won't bite pig;
        Pig won't get over the stile,
        And I sha'n't get home to-night."
          But the water would not.

Then the old woman saw an ox coming; so she said,--

        "Ox, ox, drink water;
        Water won't quench fire;
        Fire won't burn stick;
        Stick won't beat dog;
        Dog won't bite pig;
        Pig won't go.
        I see by the moonlight,
        It's long past midnight;
        Time pig and I were home an hour and a half ago."
          But the ox would not.

So the old woman turned round, and saw a butcher, and she said,--

        "Butcher, butcher, kill ox;
        Ox won't drink water;
        Water won't quench fire;
        Fire won't burn stick;
        Stick won't beat dog;
        Dog won't bite pig;
        Pig won't go.
        I see by the moonlight,
        It's long past midnight;
        Time pig and I were home an hour and a half ago."
          But the butcher would not.

So the old woman took a rope out of her pocket, and said,--

        "Rope, rope, hang butcher;
        Butcher won't kill ox;
        Ox won't drink water;
        Water won't quench fire;
        Fire won't burn stick;
        Stick won't beat dog;
        Dog won't bite pig;
        Pig won't go.
        I see by the moonlight,
        It's long past midnight;
        Time pig and I were home an hour and a half ago."
          But the rope would not.

Just then a large brown mouse ran across the meadow, and she said,--

        "Mouse, mouse, gnaw rope;
        Rope won't hang butcher;
        Butcher won't kill ox;
        Ox won't drink water;
        Water won't quench fire;
        Fire won't burn stick;
        Stick won't beat dog;
        Dog won't bite pig;
        Pig won't go.
        I see by the moonlight,
        It's long past midnight;
        Time pig and I were home an hour and a half ago."
        "Yes," said the mouse, "I will if you
          will give me some cheese."

So the old woman put her hand in her pocket, and found a nice piece of
cheese; and when the mouse had eaten it,

        The mouse began to gnaw the rope,
        The rope began to hang the butcher,
        The butcher began to kill the ox,
        The ox began to drink the water,
        The water began to quench the fire,
        The fire began to burn the stick,
        The stick began to beat the dog,
        The dog began to bite the pig,
        And the pig began to go.

But what time the old woman and her pig got home, you, nor I, nor nobody


        Teachers and parents owe a greater debt of
        gratitude to Joseph Jacobs than to any other
        modern student of folklore. He was born in
        Australia in 1854, spent most of his life in
        scholarly pursuits in England, and died in
        America in 1916. In his six volumes of English,
        Celtic, Indian, and European fairy tales he
        gave the world versions of its best known and
        most representative folk stories in a form
        suited to children while remaining true in all
        essentials to the original oral versions of the
        folk. This combination of scientific accuracy
        and literary workmanship is very rare. In the
        introductions and notes to these various
        volumes may be found a wealth of information
        which the general reader can understand without
        the necessity of special training in the
        science of folklore. And best of all, these
        volumes can be had at prices that are
        comparatively cheap.

        The following story of "Henny-Penny" is given
        in the fine version by Joseph Jacobs in his
        _English Fairy Tales_. He heard it as a child
        in Australia and he thinks "the fun consists in
        the avoidance of all pronouns, which results in
        jawbreaking sentences." This story is also very
        familiar in the Halliwell version called
        "Chicken-Licken," and there are numerous
        European parallels.


One day Henny-penny was picking up corn in the cornyard
when--whack!--something hit her upon the head. "Goodness gracious me!"
said Henny-penny; "the sky's a-going to fall; I must go and tell the

So she went along, and she went along, and she went along till she met
Cocky-locky. "Where are you going, Henny-penny?" says Cocky-locky. "Oh!
I'm going to tell the king the sky's a-falling," says Henny-penny. "May
I come with you?" says Cocky-locky. "Certainly," says Henny-penny. So
Henny-penny and Cocky-locky went to tell the king the sky was a-falling.

They went along, and they went along, and they went along, till they met
Ducky-daddles. "Where are you going to, Henny-penny and Cocky-locky?"
says Ducky-daddles. "Oh! we're going to tell the king the sky's
a-falling," said Henny-penny and Cocky-locky. "May I come with you?"
says Ducky-daddles. "Certainly," said Henny-penny and Cocky-locky. So
Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, and Ducky-daddles went to tell the king the
sky was a-falling.

So they went along, and they went along, and they went along, till they
met Goosey-poosey. "Where are you going to, Henny-penny, Cocky-locky,
and Ducky-daddles?" said Goosey-poosey. "Oh! we're going to tell the
king the sky's a-falling," said Henny-penny and Cocky-locky and
Ducky-daddles. "May I come with you?" said Goosey-poosey. "Certainly,"
said Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, and Ducky-daddles. So Henny-penny,
Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, and Goosey-poosey went to tell the king the
sky was a-falling.

So they went along, and they went along, and they went along, till they
met Turkey-lurkey. "Where are you going, Henny-penny, Cocky-locky,
Ducky-daddles, and Goosey-poosey?" says Turkey-lurkey. "Oh! we're going
to tell the king the sky's a-falling," said Henny-penny, Cocky-locky,
Ducky-daddles, and Goosey-poosey. "May I come with you, Henny-penny,
Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, and Goosey-poosey?" said Turkey-lurkey. "Oh,
certainly, Turkey-lurkey," said Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles,
and Goosey-poosey. So Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles,
Goosey-poosey, and Turkey-lurkey all went to tell the king the sky was

So they went along, and they went along, and they went along, till they
met Foxy-woxy, and Foxy-woxy said to Henny-penny, Cocky-locky,
Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey, and Turkey-lurkey: "Where are you going,
Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey, and
Turkey-lurkey?" And Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles,
Goosey-poosey, and Turkey-lurkey said to Foxy-woxy: "We're going to tell
the king the sky's a-falling." "Oh! but this is not the way to the king,
Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey, and
Turkey-lurkey," says Foxy-woxy; "I know the proper way; shall I show it
you?" "Oh, certainly, Foxy-woxy," said Henny-Penny, Cocky-locky,
Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey, and Turkey-lurkey. So Henny-penny,
Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey, Turkey-lurkey, and Foxy-woxy
all went to tell the king the sky was a-falling.

So they went along, and they went along, and they went along, till they
came to a narrow and dark hole. Now this was the door of Foxy-woxy's
cave. But Foxy-woxy said to Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles,
Goosey-poosey, and Turkey-lurkey: "This is the short way to the king's
palace; you'll soon get there if you follow me. I will go first and you
come after, Henny-Penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey, and
Turkey-lurkey." "Why of course, certainly, without doubt, why not?" said
Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey, and

So Foxy-woxy went into his cave, and he didn't go very far, but turned
round to wait for Henny-penny, Cocky-locky, Ducky-daddles,
Goosey-poosey, and Turkey-lurkey. So at last at first Turkey-lurkey went
through the dark hole into the cave. He hadn't got far when "Hrumph,"
Foxy-woxy snapped off Turkey-lurkey's head and threw his body over his
left shoulder. Then Goosey-poosey went in, and "Hrumph," off went her
head and Goosey-poosey was thrown beside Turkey-lurkey. Then
Ducky-daddles waddled down, and "Hrumph," snapped Foxy-woxy, and
Ducky-daddles' head was off and Ducky-daddles was thrown alongside
Turkey-lurkey and Goosey-poosey. Then Cocky-locky strutted down into the
cave, and he hadn't gone far when "Snap, Hrumph!" went Foxy-woxy and
Cocky-locky was thrown alongside of Turkey-lurkey, Goosey-poosey, and

But Foxy-woxy had made two bites at Cocky-locky, and when the first snap
only hurt Cocky-locky, but didn't kill him, he called out to
Henny-penny. But she turned tail and off she ran home, so she never told
the king the sky was a-falling.


        The favorite story of "Teeny-Tiny" is taken
        from Halliwell, who obtained it from oral
        tradition, and by whom it was, apparently,
        first put into print. "This simple tale," he
        says, "seldom fails to rivet the attention of
        children, especially if well told. The last two
        words should be said loudly with a start." Many
        modern story-tellers seem to prefer modified
        forms of this story, presumably owing to a
        feeling on their part that the bone and the
        churchyard have gruesome suggestions. Carolyn
        S. Bailey gives one of the best of these
        modified forms in her _Firelight Stories_,
        where the woman goes into a field instead of
        the churchyard, finds a hen at the foot of a
        tree, thinks this is a chance to have an egg
        for her breakfast, puts the hen in her
        reticule, goes home, puts the hen in her
        cupboard, and goes upstairs to take a nap. Of
        course the "teeny-tiny" goes in at every point.
        Substituting "hen" for "bone," the story
        continues substantially as given below.


Once upon a time there was a teeny-tiny woman lived in a teeny-tiny
house in a teeny-tiny village. Now, one day this teeny-tiny woman put on
her teeny-tiny bonnet, and went out of her teeny-tiny house to take a
teeny-tiny walk. And when this teeny-tiny woman had gone a teeny-tiny
way, she came to a teeny-tiny gate; so the teeny-tiny woman opened the
teeny-tiny gate, and went into a teeny-tiny churchyard. And when this
teeny-tiny woman had got into the teeny-tiny churchyard, she saw a
teeny-tiny bone on a teeny-tiny grave, and the teeny-tiny woman said to
her teeny-tiny self, "This teeny-tiny bone will make me some teeny-tiny
soup for my teeny-tiny supper." So the teeny-tiny woman put the
teeny-tiny bone into her teeny-tiny pocket, and went home to her
teeny-tiny house.

Now when the teeny-tiny woman got home to her teeny-tiny house, she was
a teeny-tiny tired; so she went up her teeny-tiny stairs to her
teeny-tiny bed, and put the teeny-tiny bone into a teeny-tiny cupboard.
And when this teeny-tiny woman had been to sleep a teeny-tiny time, she
was awakened by a teeny-tiny voice from the teeny-tiny cupboard, which

        "GIVE ME MY BONE!"

And this teeny-tiny woman was a teeny-tiny frightened, so she hid her
teeny-tiny head under the teeny-tiny clothes and went to sleep again.
And when she had been to sleep again a teeny-tiny time, the teeny-tiny
voice again cried out from the teeny-tiny cupboard a teeny-tiny louder,

        "GIVE ME MY BONE!"

This made the teeny-tiny woman a teeny-tiny more frightened, so she hid
her teeny-tiny head a teeny-tiny farther under the teeny-tiny clothes.
And when the teeny-tiny woman had been to sleep again a teeny-tiny time,
the teeny-tiny voice from the teeny-tiny cupboard said again a
teeny-tiny louder,

        "GIVE ME MY BONE!"

And this teeny-tiny woman was a teeny-tiny bit more frightened, but she
put her teeny-tiny head out of the teeny-tiny clothes, and said in her
loudest teeny-tiny voice,

        "TAKE IT!"


        The very old story that follows is taken from
        Halliwell, and is, according to Jacobs,
        scarcely more than a variant of "The Old Woman
        and Her Pig." Like that story, "The Cat and the
        Mouse" appeals to small people by its
        pronounced rhythmical structure, accentuated by
        the rhyme which marks the transition to each
        new section, and by the "run" at the close.


        The cat and the mouse
        Played in the malt-house:

The cat bit the mouse's tail off. "Pray, puss, give me my tail."

"No," said the cat, "I'll not give you your tail till you go to the cow
and fetch me some milk."

        First she leapt, and then she ran,
        Till she came to the cow, and thus began:

"Pray, cow, give me milk, that I may give cat milk, that cat may give me
my own tail again."

"No," said the cow, "I will give you no milk till you go to the farmer
and fetch me some hay."

        First she leapt, and then she ran,
        Till she came to the farmer, and thus began:

"Pray, farmer, give me hay, that I may give cow hay, that cow may give
me milk, that I may give cat milk, that cat may give me my own tail

"No," said the farmer, "I'll give you no hay till you go to the butcher
and fetch me some meat."

        First she leapt, and then she ran,
        Till she came to the butcher, and thus began:

"Pray, butcher, give me meat, that I may give farmer meat, that farmer
may give me hay, that I may give cow hay, that cow may give me milk,
that I may give cat milk, that cat may give me my own tail again."

"No," said the butcher, "I'll give you no meat till you go to the baker
and fetch me some bread."

        First she leapt, and then she ran,
        Till she came to the baker, and thus began:

"Pray, baker, give me bread, that I may give butcher bread, that butcher
may give me meat, that I may give farmer meat, that farmer may give me
hay, that I may give cow hay, that cow may give me milk, that I may give
cat milk, that cat may give me my own tail again."

        "Yes," said the baker, "I'll give you some bread,
        But if you eat my meal, I'll cut off your head."

Then the baker gave mouse bread, and mouse gave butcher bread, and
butcher gave mouse meat, and mouse gave farmer meat, and farmer gave
mouse hay, and mouse gave cow hay, and cow gave mouse milk, and mouse
gave cat milk, and cat gave mouse her own tail again.


        The following story is in the most familiar
        version of Halliwell's collection. Another
        much-used form of the story may be found in
        Lang's _Green Fairy Book_, in which the pigs
        are distinctly characterized and given the
        names of Browny, Whitey, and Blacky. Jacobs
        uses the Halliwell version in his _English
        Fairy Tales_, but prefixes to it an opening
        formula which seems to have been much in use by
        old story-tellers as a way of beginning almost
        any oral story for children:

        "Once upon a time when pigs spoke rhyme
        And monkeys chewed tobacco,
        And hens took snuff to make them tough,
        And ducks went quack, quack, quack, O!"


Once upon a time there was an old sow with three little pigs, and as she
had not enough to keep them, she sent them out to seek their fortune.
The first that went off met a man with a bundle of straw, and said to

"Please, man, give me that straw to build me a house."

Which the man did, and the little pig built a house with it. Presently
came along a wolf, and knocked at the door, and said:

"Little pig, little pig, let me come in."

To which the pig answered:

"No, no, by the hair of my chinny chin chin."

The wolf then answered to that:

"Then I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house in."

So he huffed, and he puffed, and he blew his house in, and ate up the
little pig.

The second little pig met a man with a bundle of furze and said:

"Please, man, give me that furze to build a house."

Which the man did, and the pig built his house. Then along came the
wolf, and said:

"Little pig, little pig, let me come in."

"No, no, by the hair of my chinny chin chin."

"Then I'll puff, and I'll huff, and I'll blow your house in."

So he huffed, and he puffed, and he puffed, and he huffed, and at last
he blew the house down, and he ate up the little pig.

The third little pig met a man with a load of bricks, and said:

"Please, man, give me those bricks to build a house with."

So the man gave him the bricks, and he built his house with them. So the
wolf came, as he did to the other little pigs, and said:

"Little pig, little pig, let me come in."

"No, no, by the hair on my chinny chin chin."

"Then I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house in."

Well, he huffed, and he puffed, and he huffed and he puffed, and he
puffed and huffed; but he could _not_ get the house down. When he found
that he could not, with all his huffing and puffing, blow the house
down, he said:

"Little pig, I know where there is a nice field of turnips."

"Where?" said the little pig.

"Oh, in Mr. Smith's Home-field, and if you will be ready to-morrow
morning I will call for you, and we will go together and get some for

"Very well," said the little pig, "I will be ready. What time do you
mean to go?"

"Oh, at six o'clock."

Well, the little pig got up at five and got the turnips before the wolf
came (which he did about six), who said:

"Little pig, are you ready?"

The little pig said: "Ready! I have been and come back again, and got a
nice potful for dinner."

The wolf felt very angry at this, but thought that he would be _up to_
the little pig somehow or other, so he said:

"Little pig, I know where there is a nice apple-tree."

"Where?" said the pig.

"Down at Merry-garden," replied the wolf, "and if you will not deceive
me I will come for you at five o'clock tomorrow and we will go together
and get some apples."

Well, the little pig bustled up the next morning at four o'clock, and
went off for the apples, hoping to get back before the wolf came; but he
had farther to go and had to climb the tree, so that just as he was
coming down from it, he saw the wolf coming, which, as you may suppose,
frightened him very much. When the wolf came up he said:

"Little pig, what! are you here before me? Are they nice apples?"

"Yes, very," said the little pig. "I will throw you down one."

And he threw it so far that, while the wolf was gone to pick it up, the
little pig jumped down and ran home. The next day the wolf came again
and said to the little pig:

"Little pig, there is a fair at Shanklin this afternoon. Will you go?"

"Oh, yes," said the pig, "I will go. What time shall you be ready?"

"At three," said the wolf. So the little pig went off before the time as
usual, and got to the fair and bought a butter-churn, which he was going
home with, when he saw the wolf coming. Then he could not tell what to
do. So he got into the churn to hide, and by so doing turned it round,
and it rolled down the hill with the pig in it, which frightened the
wolf so much that he ran home without going to the fair. He went to the
little pig's house and told him how frightened he had been by a great
round thing which came down the hill past him. Then the little pig said:

"Hah, I frightened you, then. I had been to the fair and bought a
butter-churn, and when I saw you, I got into it and rolled down the

Then the wolf was very angry indeed, and declared he _would_ eat up the
little pig and that he would get down the chimney after him. When the
little pig saw what he was about, he hung on the pot full of water and
made up a blazing fire, and, just as the wolf was coming down, took off
the cover, and in fell the wolf; so the little pig put on the cover
again in an instant, boiled him up, and ate him for supper, and lived
happy ever afterwards.


        How great calamities sometimes grow out of
        small causes is illustrated in an old
        proverbial saying of Poor Richard (see No.
        137). The favorite English folk-tale version of
        this theme, taken from Halliwell, is given
        below. It takes the form of an accumulative
        droll, or comic story. The overwhelming
        catastrophe at the end is so complete and so
        unexpected that it has a decidedly humorous


        Titty Mouse and Tatty Mouse both lived in a house,
          Titty Mouse went a leasing and Tatty Mouse went a leasing,
        So they both went a leasing.

          Titty Mouse leased an ear of corn, and
            Tatty Mouse leased an ear of corn,
        So they both leased an ear of corn.

          Titty Mouse made a pudding, and
            Tatty Mouse made a pudding,
        So they both made a pudding.

          And Tatty Mouse put her pudding into the pot to boil,
          But when Titty went to put hers in, the pot tumbled over, and
               scalded her to death.

Then Tatty sat down and wept; then a three-legged stool said: "Tatty,
why do you weep?" "Titty's dead," said Tatty, "and so I weep." "Then,"
said the stool, "I'll hop," so the stool hopped.

Then a broom in the corner of the room said: "Stool, why do you hop?"
"Oh!" said the stool, "Titty's dead, and Tatty weeps, and so I hop."
"Then," said the broom, "I'll sweep," so the broom began to sweep.

"Then," said the door, "Broom, why do you sweep?" "Oh!" said the broom,
"Titty's dead, and Tatty weeps, and the stool hops, and so I sweep."
"Then," said the door, "I'll jar," so the door jarred.

"Then," said the window, "Door, why do you jar?" "Oh," said the door,
"Titty's dead, and Tatty weeps, the stool hops, and the broom sweeps,
and so I jar."

"Then," said the window, "I'll creak," so the window creaked. Now there
was an old form outside the house, and when the window creaked, the form
said: "Window, why do you creak?" "Oh!" said the window, "Titty's dead,
and Tatty weeps, and the stool hops, and the broom sweeps, the door
jars, and so I creak."

"Then," said the old form, "I'll run round the house"; then the old form
ran round the house. Now there was a fine large walnut-tree growing by
the cottage, and the tree said to the form: "Form, why do you run round
the house?" "Oh!" said the form, "Titty's dead, and Tatty weeps, and the
stool hops, and the broom sweeps, the door jars, and the window creaks,
and so I run round the house."

"Then," said the walnut-tree, "I'll shed my leaves," so the walnut-tree
shed all its beautiful green leaves. Now there was a little bird perched
on one of the boughs of the tree, and when all the leaves fell, it said:
"Walnut-tree, why do you shed your leaves?" "Oh!" said the tree,
"Titty's dead, and Tatty weeps, the stool hops, and the broom sweeps,
the door jars, and the window creaks, the old form runs round the house,
and so I shed my leaves."

"Then," said the little bird, "I'll moult all my feathers," so he
moulted all his pretty feathers. Now there was a little girl walking
below, carrying a jug of milk for her brothers' and sisters' supper, and
when she saw the poor little bird moult all its feathers, she said:
"Little bird, why do you moult all your feathers?" "Oh!" said the little
bird, "Titty's dead, and Tatty weeps, the stool hops, and the broom
sweeps, the door jars, and the window creaks, the old form runs round
the house, the walnut-tree sheds its leaves, and so I moult all my

"Then," said the little girl, "I'll spill the milk," so she dropt the
pitcher and spilt the milk. Now there was an old man just by on the top
of a ladder thatching a rick, and when he saw the little girl spill the
milk, he said: "Little girl, what do you mean by spilling the
milk?--your little brothers and sisters must go without their supper."
Then said the little girl: "Titty's dead, and Tatty weeps, the stool
hops, and the broom sweeps, the door jars, and the window creaks, the
old form runs round the house, the walnut-tree sheds all its leaves, the
little bird moults all its feathers, and so I spill the milk."

"Oh!" said the old man, "then I'll tumble off the ladder and break my
neck," so he tumbled off the ladder and broke his neck; and when the old
man broke his neck, the great walnut-tree fell down with a crash and
upset the old form and house, and the house falling knocked the window
out, and the window knocked the door down, and the door upset the broom,
and the broom upset the stool, and poor little Tatty Mouse was buried
beneath the ruins.


        "The Story of the Three Bears" is perhaps the
        only instance in which a piece of literature by
        a known English author is found among accepted
        folk tales. It appeared in Robert Southey's
        rambling miscellany, _The Doctor_ (1837). He
        may have taken it from an old tale, but no
        amount of investigation has located any certain
        source. In the most familiar versions the
        naughty old woman gives place to a little girl
        whose name is Goldenhair, Goldilocks,
        Silverhair, or Silverlocks. The point to the
        story is lessened by the change, but the
        popularity of these modifications seems to
        suggest that children prefer to have the
        ill-mannered old woman turned into an
        attractive little girl. Southey apparently was
        delighted with efforts to bring his story into
        any form more pleasing to the folk, and we find
        his son-in-law saying that he was especially
        pleased with a versification "by G. N. and
        published especially for the amusement of
        'little people' lest in the volumes of _The
        Doctor_ it should 'escape their sight.'"
        However, it would appear that teachers at least
        should know this masterpiece in the only form
        in which its author put it. To that end this
        version of "The Three Bears" follows Southey
        with the change of a single word. At the head
        of the story he placed these lines from

        "A tale which may content the minds
         Of learned men and grave philosophers."



       [Transcriber's Note: For this story, different
       sized text was used to indicate the size of the
       different bears' voices. The largest text has
       been denote by use of the ~ symbol and the
       smallest text has been denoted by use of the +

Once upon a time there were Three Bears who lived together in a house of
their own in a wood. One of them was a Little, Small, Wee Bear; and one
was a Middle-sized Bear, and the other was a Great, Huge Bear. They had
each a pot for their porridge; a little pot for the Little, Small, Wee
Bear; and a middle-sized pot for the Middle Bear; and a great pot for
the Great, Huge Bear. And they had each a chair to sit in; a little
chair for the Little, Small, Wee Bear; and a middle-sized chair for the
Middle Bear; and a great chair for the Great, Huge Bear. And they had
each a bed to sleep in; a little bed for the Little, Small, Wee Bear;
and a middle-sized bed for the Middle Bear; and a great bed for the
Great, Huge Bear.

One day after they had made the porridge for their breakfast and poured
it into their porridge-pots, they walked out into the wood while the
porridge was cooling, that they might not burn their mouths by beginning
too soon to eat it. And while they were walking, a little old Woman came
to the house. She could not have been a good, honest old Woman; for
first she looked in at the window and then she peeped in at the keyhole;
and seeing nobody in the house, she lifted the latch. The door was not
fastened, because the Bears were good Bears, who did nobody any harm and
never suspected that anybody would harm them. So the little old Woman
opened the door and went in, and well pleased she was when she saw the
porridge on the table. If she had been a good little old Woman, she
would have waited till the Bears came home, and then perhaps they would
have asked her to breakfast, for they were good Bears--a little rough or
so, as the manner of Bears is, but for all that very good-natured and
hospitable. But she was an impudent, bad old Woman, and set about
helping herself.

So first she tasted the porridge of the Great, Huge Bear, and that was
too hot for her; and she said a bad word about that. And then she tasted
the porridge of the Middle Bear, and that was too cold for her; and she
said a bad word about that too. And then she went to the porridge of the
Little, Small, Wee Bear, and tasted that; and that was neither too hot
nor too cold, but just right; and she liked it so well that she ate it
all up. But the naughty old Woman said a bad word about the little
porridge-pot because it did not hold enough for her.

Then the little old Woman sat down in the chair of the Great, Huge Bear,
and that was too hard for her. And then she sat down in the chair of the
Middle Bear, and that was too soft for her. And then she sat down in the
chair of the Little, Small, Wee Bear, and that was neither too hard nor
too soft, but just right. So she seated herself in it, and there she sat
till the bottom of the chair came out, and down she came, plump upon the
ground. And the naughty old Woman said a wicked word about that too.

Then the little old Woman went upstairs into the bed-chamber in which
the three Bears slept. And first she lay down upon the bed of the Great,
Huge Bear; but that was too high at the head for her. And next she lay
down upon the bed of the Middle Bear, and that was too high at the foot
for her. And then she lay down upon the bed of the Little, Small, Wee
Bear, and that was neither too high at the head nor at the foot, but
just right. So she covered herself up comfortably and lay there till she
fell fast asleep.

By this time the Three Bears thought their porridge would be cool
enough, so they came home to breakfast. Now the little old Woman had
left the spoon of the Great, Huge Bear standing in his porridge.

"~SOMEBODY HAS BEEN AT MY PORRIDGE!~" said the Great, Huge Bear, in his
great, rough, gruff voice. And when the Middle Bear looked at his, he
saw that the spoon was standing in it too. They were wooden spoons; if
they had been silver ones, the naughty old Woman would have put them in
her pocket.

"SOMEBODY HAS BEEN AT MY PORRIDGE!" said the Middle Bear, in his middle

Then the Little, Small, Wee Bear looked at his, and there was the spoon
in the porridge-pot, but the porridge was all gone.

Little, Small, Wee Bear, in his little, small, wee voice.

Upon this the Three Bears, seeing that some one had entered their house
and eaten up the Little, Small, Wee Bear's breakfast, began to look
about them. Now the little old Woman had not put the hard cushion
straight when she rose from the chair of the Great, Huge Bear.

"~SOMEBODY HAS BEEN SITTING IN MY CHAIR!~" said the Great, Huge Bear, in
his great, rough, gruff voice.

And the little old Woman had squatted down the soft cushion of the
Middle Bear.

"SOMEBODY HAS BEEN SITTING IN MY CHAIR!" said the Middle Bear, in his
middle voice.

And you know what the little old Woman had done to the third chair.

IT!+" said the Little, Small, Wee Bear, in his little, small, wee voice.

Then the three Bears thought it necessary that they should make further
search; so they went upstairs into their bed-chamber. Now the little old
Woman had pulled the pillow of the Great, Huge Bear out of its place.

"~SOMEBODY HAS BEEN LYING IN MY BED!~" said the Great, Huge Bear, in his
great, rough, gruff voice.

And the little old Woman had pulled the bolster of the Middle Bear out
of its place.

"SOMEBODY HAS BEEN LYING IN MY BED!" said the Middle Bear, in his middle

And when the Little, Small, Wee Bear came to look at his bed, there was
the bolster in its right place, and the pillow in its place upon the
bolster; and upon the pillow was the little old Woman's ugly, dirty
head,--which was not in its place, for she had no business there.

Small, Wee Bear, in his little, small, wee voice.

The little old Woman had heard in her sleep the great, rough, gruff
voice of the Great, Huge Bear; but she was so fast asleep that it was no
more to her than the roaring of wind or the rumbling of thunder. And she
had heard the middle voice of the Middle Bear, but it was only as if she
had heard some one speaking in a dream. But when she heard the little,
small, wee voice of the Little, Small, Wee Bear, it was so sharp and so
shrill that it awakened her at once. Up she started; and when she saw
the Three Bears on one side of the bed, she tumbled herself out at the
other and ran to the window. Now the window was open, because the Bears,
like good, tidy Bears as they were, always opened their bed-chamber
window when they got up in the morning. Out the little old Woman jumped;
and whether she broke her neck in the fall, or ran into the wood and was
lost there, or found her way out of the wood and was taken up by the
constable and sent to the House of Correction for a vagrant, as she was,
I cannot tell. But the Three Bears never saw anything more of her.


        A noodle story is a droll, or comic story, that
        follows the fortunes of very simple or stupid
        characters. There are many noodle stories among
        the favorites of the folk, and the three
        immediately following are among the best known.
        This version of "The Three Sillies" was
        collected from oral tradition in Suffolk,
        England. In the original the dangerous tool was
        an ax, but the collector informed Mr. Hartland,
        in whose _English Fairy and Folk Tales_ it is
        reprinted, that she had found it was really "a
        great big wooden mallet, as some one had left
        sticking there when they'd been _making-up_ the
        beer." This change, following the example of
        Jacobs, is made in the text of the story. This
        particular droll is widespread. Grimms' "Clever
        Elsie" is the same story, and a French version,
        "The Six Sillies," is in Lang's _Red Fairy
        Book_. A very fine Italian version, called
        "Bastienelo," is given in Crane's _Italian
        Popular Tales_. The tendency of people to
        "borrow trouble" is so universal that stories
        illustrating its ludicrous consequences have
        always had wide appeal. Some details of these
        variants are due to local environments. For
        instance, in the Italian story wine takes the
        place of beer, and it has been pointed out that
        there are "borrowing trouble" stories found in
        New York and Ohio in which the thing feared is
        the heavy iron door closing the mouth of the
        oven which in pioneer days was built in by the
        side of the fireplace.


Once upon a time there was a farmer and his wife who had one daughter,
and she was courted by a gentleman. Every evening he used to come and
see her, and stop to supper at the farmhouse, and the daughter used to
be sent down into the cellar to draw the beer for supper. So one evening
she had gone down to draw the beer, and she happened to look up at the
ceiling while she was drawing, and she saw a mallet stuck in one of the
beams. It must have been there a long, long time, but somehow or other
she had never noticed it before, and she began a-thinking. And she
thought it was very dangerous to have that mallet there, for she said to
herself: "Suppose him and me was to be married, and we was to have a
son, and he was to grow up to be a man, and come down into the cellar to
draw the beer, like as I'm doing now, and the mallet was to fall on his
head and kill him, what a dreadful thing it would be!" And she put down
the candle and the jug, and sat herself down and began a-crying.

Well, they began to wonder upstairs how it was that she was so long
drawing the beer, and her mother went down to see after her, and she
found her sitting on the settle crying, and the beer running over the
floor. "Why, whatever is the matter?" said her mother.

"Oh, mother!" says she, "look at that horrid mallet! Suppose we was to
be married, and was to have a son, and he was to grow up, and was to
come down to the cellar to draw the beer, and the mallet was to fall on
his head and kill him, what a dreadful thing it would be!"

"Dear, dear! what a dreadful thing it would be!" said the mother, and
she sat her down aside of the daughter and started a-crying too.

Then after a bit the father began to wonder that they didn't come back,
and he went down into the cellar to look after them himself, and there
they two sat a-crying, and the beer running all over the floor.

"Whatever is the matter?" says he.

"Why," says the mother, "look at that horrid mallet. Just suppose, if
our daughter and her sweetheart was to be married, and was to have a
son, and he was to grow up, and was to come down into the cellar to draw
the beer, and the mallet was to fall on his head and kill him, what a
dreadful thing it would be!"

"Dear, dear, dear! so it would!" said the father, and he sat himself
down aside of the other two, and started a-crying.

Now the gentleman got tired of stopping up in the kitchen by himself,
and at last he went down into the cellar too, to see what they were
after; and there they three sat a-crying side by side, and the beer
running all over the floor. And he ran straight and turned the tap. Then
he said: "Whatever are you three doing, sitting there crying, and
letting the beer run all over the floor?"

"Oh!" says the father, "look at that horrid mallet! Suppose you and our
daughter was to be married, and was to have a son, and he was to grow
up, and was to come down into the cellar to draw the beer, and the
mallet was to fall on his head and kill him!" And then they all started
a-crying worse than before.

But the gentleman burst out a-laughing, and reached up and pulled out
the mallet, and then he said: "I've traveled many miles, and I never met
three such big sillies as you three before; and now I shall start out on
my travels again, and when I can find three bigger sillies than you
three, then I'll come back and marry your daughter." So he wished them
good-bye, and started off on his travels, and left them all crying
because the girl had lost her sweetheart.

Well, he set out, and he traveled a long way, and at last he came to a
woman's cottage that had some grass growing on the roof. And the woman
was trying to get her cow to go up a ladder to the grass, and the poor
thing durst not go. So the gentleman asked the woman what she was doing.
"Why, lookye," she said, "look at all that beautiful grass. I'm going to
get the cow on to the roof to eat it. She'll be quite safe, for I shall
tie a string round her neck, and pass it down the chimney, and tie it to
my wrist as I go about the house, so she can't fall off without my
knowing it."

"Oh, you poor silly!" said the gentleman, "you should cut the grass and
throw it down to the cow!" But the woman thought it was easier to get
the cow up the ladder than to get the grass down, so she pushed her and
coaxed her and got her up, and tied a string round her neck, and passed
it down the chimney, and fastened it to her own wrist. And the gentleman
went on his way, but he hadn't gone far when the cow tumbled off the
roof, and hung by the string tied round her neck, and it strangled her.
And the weight of the cow tied to her wrist pulled the woman up the
chimney, and she stuck fast half-way and was smothered in the soot.

Well, that was one big silly.

And the gentleman went on and on, and he went to an inn to stop the
night, and they were so full at the inn that they had to put him in a
double-bedded room, and another traveller was to sleep in the other bed.
The other man was a very pleasant fellow, and they got very friendly
together; but in the morning, when they were both getting up, the
gentleman was surprised to see the other hang his trousers on the knobs
of the chest of drawers and run across the room and try to jump into
them, and he tried over and over again, and couldn't manage it; and the
gentleman wondered whatever he was doing it for. At last he stopped and
wiped his face with his handkerchief. "Oh, dear," he says, "I do think
trousers are the most awkwardest kind of clothes that ever were. I can't
think who could have invented such things. It takes me the best part of
an hour to get into mine every morning, and I get so hot! How do you
manage yours?" So the gentleman burst out a-laughing, and showed him how
to put them on; and he was very much obliged to him, and said he never
should have thought of doing it that way.

So that was another big silly.

Then the gentleman went on his travels again; and he came to a village,
and outside the village there was a pond, and round the pond was a crowd
of people. And they had got rakes, and brooms, and pitchforks, reaching
into the pond; and the gentleman asked what was the matter.

"Why," they said, "matter enough! Moon's tumbled into the pond, and we
can't rake her out anyhow!"

So the gentleman burst out a-laughing, and told them to look up into the
sky, and that it was only the shadow in the water. But they wouldn't
listen to him, and abused him shamefully, and he got away as quick as he

So there was a whole lot of sillies bigger than the three sillies at
home. So the gentleman turned back home again and married the farmer's
daughter, and if they didn't live happy for ever after, that's nothing
to do with you or me.


        There seemed to be a feeling common among the
        folk that simple-minded persons were in the
        special care of Providence. Hence, sometimes
        the achievement of success beyond the power of
        wiser and cleverer individuals. "Lazy Jack"
        comes from the Halliwell collection. "The
        humor lies in the contrast between what Jack
        did and what anybody 'with sense' knows he
        ought to have done." A parallel story is the
        Grimms' "Hans in Luck." A most striking and
        popular Americanization of it is Sara Cone
        Bryant's "The Story of Epaminondas and His
        Auntie" in her _Stories to Tell to Children_.


Once upon a time there was a boy whose name was Jack, and he lived with
his mother on a dreary common. They were very poor, and the old woman
got her living by spinning, but Jack was so lazy that he would do
nothing but bask in the sun in the hot weather and sit by the corner of
the hearth in the winter time. His mother could not persuade him to do
anything for her and was obliged at last to tell him that if he did not
begin to work for his porridge she would turn him out to get his living
as he could.

This threat at length roused Jack, and he went out and hired himself for
the day to a neighboring farmer for a penny; but as he was coming home,
never having had any money in his possession before, he lost it in
passing over a brook. "You stupid boy," said his mother, "you should
have put it in your pocket."

"I'll do so another time," replied Jack.

The next day Jack went out again and hired himself to a cowkeeper, who
gave him a jar of milk for his day's work. Jack took the jar and put it
into the large pocket of his jacket, spilling it all long before he got
home. "Dear me!" said the old woman; "you should have carried it on your

"I'll do so another time," said Jack.

The following day Jack hired himself again to a farmer, who agreed to
give him a cream cheese for his services. In the evening Jack took the
cheese and went home with it on his head. By the time he got home the
cheese was completely spoilt, part of it being lost and part matted with
his hair. "You stupid lout," said his mother, "you should have carried
it very carefully in your hands."

"I'll do so another time," replied Jack.

The day after this Jack again went out and hired himself to a baker, who
would give him nothing for his work but a large tomcat. Jack took the
cat and began carrying it very carefully in his hands, but in a short
time pussy scratched him so much that he was compelled to let it go.
When he got home, his mother said to him: "You silly fellow, you should
have tied it with a string and dragged it along after you."

"I'll do so another time," said Jack.

The next day Jack hired himself to a butcher, who rewarded his labors by
the handsome present of a shoulder of mutton. Jack took the mutton, tied
it to a string, and trailed it along after him in the dirt, so that by
the time he had got home the meat was completely spoilt. His mother was
this time quite out of patience with him, for the next day was Sunday,
and she was obliged to content herself with cabbage for her dinner. "You
ninney-hammer," said she to her son, "you should have carried it on your

"I'll do so another time," replied Jack.

On the Monday Jack went once more and hired himself to a cattle-keeper,
who gave him a donkey for his trouble. Although Jack was very strong, he
found some difficulty in hoisting the donkey on his shoulders, but at
last he accomplished it and began walking slowly home with his prize.
Now it happened that in the course of his journey there lived a rich man
with his only daughter, a beautiful girl, but unfortunately deaf and
dumb. She had never laughed in her life, and the doctors said she would
never recover till somebody made her laugh. This young lady happened to
be looking out of the window when Jack was passing with the donkey on
his shoulders, the legs sticking up in the air, and the sight was so
comical and strange that she burst out into a great fit of laughter, and
immediately recovered her speech and hearing. Her father was overjoyed,
and fulfilled his promise by marrying her to Jack, who was thus made a
rich gentleman. They lived in a large house, and Jack's mother lived
with them in great happiness until she died.


        The following noodle story is from Halliwell as
        obtained from oral tradition in the west of
        England. It is a variant of the "Lazy Jack"


Mr. and Mrs. Vinegar lived in a vinegar bottle. Now, one day when Mr.
Vinegar was from home and Mrs. Vinegar, who was a very good housewife,
was busily sweeping her house, an unlucky thump of the broom brought the
whole house clitter-clatter about her ears. In a paroxysm of grief she
rushed forth to meet her husband. On seeing him she exclaimed, "Oh, Mr.
Vinegar, Mr. Vinegar, we are ruined, we are ruined: I have knocked the
house down, and it is all to pieces!"

Mr. Vinegar then said: "My dear, let us see what can be done. Here is
the door; I will take it on my back, and we will go forth to seek our

They walked all that day and at nightfall entered a thick forest. They
were both excessively tired, and Mr. Vinegar said: "My love, I will
climb up into a tree, drag up the door, and you shall follow." He
accordingly did so, and they both stretched their weary limbs on the
door, and fell fast asleep.

In the middle of the night Mr. Vinegar was disturbed by the sound of
voices beneath, and to his inexpressible dismay perceived that a party
of thieves were met to divide their booty. "Here, Jack," said one,
"here's five pounds for you; here, Bill, here's ten pounds for you;
here, Bob, here's three pounds for you."

Mr. Vinegar could listen no longer; his terror was so intense that he
trembled most violently and shook down the door on their heads. Away
scampered the thieves, but Mr. Vinegar dared not quit his retreat till
broad daylight. He then scrambled out of the tree and went to lift up
the door. What did he behold but a number of golden guineas! "Come down,
Mrs. Vinegar," he cried; "come down, I say; our fortune's made! Come
down, I say."

Mrs. Vinegar got down as fast as she could and saw the money with equal
delight. "Now, my dear," said she, "I'll tell you what you shall do.
There is a fair at the neighboring town; you shall take these forty
guineas and buy a cow. I can make butter and cheese, which you shall
sell at market, and we shall then be able to live very comfortably."

Mr. Vinegar joyfully assents, takes the money, and goes off to the fair.
When he arrived, he walked up and down, and at length saw a beautiful
red cow. It was an excellent milker and perfect in every respect. "Oh,"
thought Mr. Vinegar, "if I had but that cow, I should be the happiest
man alive." So he offers the forty guineas for the cow, and the owner
declaring that, as he was a friend, he'd oblige him, the bargain was
made. Proud of his purchase, he drove the cow backwards and forwards to
show it. By-and-by he saw a man playing the bagpipes--_tweedle-dum,
tweedle-dee_. The children followed him about, and he appeared to be
pocketing money on all sides. "Well," thought Mr. Vinegar, "if I had but
that beautiful instrument, I should be the happiest man alive--my
fortune would be made." So he went up to the man. "Friend," says he,
"what a beautiful instrument that is, and what a deal of money you must

"Why, yes," said the man, "I make a great deal of money, to be sure, and
it is a wonderful instrument."

"Oh!" cried Mr. Vinegar, "how I should like to possess it!"

"Well," said the man, "as you are a friend, I don't much mind parting
with it; you shall have it for that red cow."

"Done!" said the delighted Mr. Vinegar. So the beautiful red cow was
given for the bagpipes. He walked up and down with his purchase; but in
vain he attempted to play a tune, and instead of pocketing pence, the
boys followed him hooting, laughing, and pelting.

Poor Mr. Vinegar, his fingers grew very cold, and heartily ashamed and
mortified, he was leaving the town, when he met a man with a fine thick
pair of gloves. "Oh, my fingers are so very cold," said Mr. Vinegar to
himself. "If I had but those beautiful gloves I should be the happiest
man alive." He went up to the man, and said to him: "Friend, you seem to
have a capital pair of gloves there."

"Yes, truly," cried the man; "and my hands are as warm as possible this
cold November day."

"Well," said Mr. Vinegar, "I should like to have them."

"What will you give?" said the man; "as you are a friend, I don't much
mind letting you have them for those bagpipes."

"Done!" cried Mr. Vinegar. He put on the gloves, and felt perfectly
happy as he trudged homewards.

At last he grew very tired, when he saw a man coming towards him with a
good stout stick in his hand. "Oh," said Mr. Vinegar, "that I but had
that stick! I should then be the happiest man alive." He accosted the
man: "Friend! what a rare good stick you have got."

"Yes," said the man; "I have used it for many a long mile, and a good
friend it has been; but if you have a fancy for it, as you are a friend,
I don't mind giving it to you for that pair of gloves." Mr. Vinegar's
hands were so warm, and his legs so tired, that he gladly exchanged.

As he drew near to the wood where he had left his wife, he heard a
parrot on a tree calling out his name: "Mr. Vinegar, you foolish man,
you blockhead, you simpleton; you went to the fair and laid out all your
money in buying a cow. Not content with that, you changed it for
bagpipes, on which you could not play and which were not worth one-tenth
of the money. You fool, you--you had no sooner got the bagpipes than you
changed them for the gloves, which were not worth one-quarter of the
money; and when you had got the gloves, you changed them for a poor
miserable stick; and now for your forty guineas, cow, bagpipes, and
gloves, you have nothing to show but that poor miserable stick, which
you might have cut in any hedge." On this the bird laughed immoderately,
and Mr. Vinegar, falling into a violent rage, threw the stick at its
head. The stick lodged in the tree, and he returned to his wife without
money, cow, bagpipes, gloves, or stick, and she instantly gave him such
a sound cudgelling that she almost broke every bone in his skin.


        One of the greatest favorites among nursery
        tales is the story of that Jack who showed "an
        inquiring mind, a great courage and
        enterprise," and who climbed the ladder of
        fortune when he mounted his bean-stalk. The
        traditional versions of this story are nearly
        all crude and unsatisfactory, as are those of
        many of the English tales. Joseph Jacobs made a
        remarkably fine literary version in his
        _English Fairy Tales_ from memories of his
        Australian childhood. He materially shortens
        the story by omitting the fairy lady, who, he
        suggests, was put in "to prevent the tale
        becoming an encouragement to theft." He also
        made Jack's character more consistent by making
        him more sympathetic and kind at the beginning
        and less of a "ne'er-do-well," though the
        noodle element in the selling of the cow could
        not be eliminated. Andrew Lang, in his _Green
        Fairy Book_, gives an excellent version of the
        story in its most extended form. Both the
        versions mentioned introduce, when the giant
        comes in, the formula generally associated with
        "Jack the Giant Killer":

        I smell the blood of an Englishman,
        Be he alive, or be he dead,
        I'll grind his bones to make my bread."

        The version chosen for use here contains the
        elements of the story most familiar to past
        generations and is probably as near the
        commoner oral traditions as it is possible to
        secure. It is taken from Miss Mulock's _The
        Fairy Book_, a very fine selection of tales,
        first published in 1863, and still widely used.
        Miss Muloch (Dinah Maria Craik, 1826-1887) is
        best known as the author of the popular novel
        _John Halifax, Gentleman_.


In the days of King Alfred there lived a poor woman, whose cottage was
in a remote country village, many miles from London. She had been a
widow some years, and had an only child named Jack, whom she indulged so
much that he never paid the least attention to anything she said, but
was indolent, careless, and extravagant. His follies were not owing to a
bad disposition, but to his mother's foolish partiality. By degrees he
spent all that she had--scarcely anything remained but a cow.

One day, for the first time in her life, she reproached him: "Cruel,
cruel boy! you have at last brought me to beggary. I have not money
enough to purchase even a bit of bread; nothing now remains to sell but
my poor cow! I am sorry to part with her; it grieves me sadly, but we
cannot starve."

For a few minutes Jack felt remorse, but it was soon over, and he began
asking his mother to let him sell the cow at the next village, teasing
her so much that she at last consented. As he was going along he met a
butcher, who inquired why he was driving the cow from home. Jack replied
that he was going to sell her. The butcher held some curious beans in
his hat; they were of various colors, and attracted Jack's attention.
This did not pass unnoticed by the man, who, knowing Jack's easy temper,
thought now was the time to take an advantage of it; and, determined not
to let slip so good an opportunity, asked what was the price of the cow,
offering at the same time all the beans in his hat for her. The silly
boy could not conceal the pleasure he felt at what he supposed so great
an offer. The bargain was struck instantly, and the cow exchanged for a
few paltry beans. Jack made the best of his way home, calling aloud to
his mother before he reached the door, thinking to surprise her.

When she saw the beans, and heard Jack's account, her patience quite
forsook her. She tossed the beans out of the window, where they fell on
the garden-bed below. Then she threw her apron over her head, and cried
bitterly. Jack attempted to console her, but in vain, and, not having
anything to eat, they both went supperless to bed.

Jack awoke early in the morning, and seeing something uncommon darkening
the window of his bed-chamber, ran down stairs into the garden, where he
found some of the beans had taken root and sprung up surprisingly. The
stalks were of an immense thickness, and had twined together until they
formed a ladder like a chain, and so high that the top appeared to be
lost in the clouds.

Jack was an adventurous lad; he determined to climb up to the top, and
ran to tell his mother, not doubting but that she would be equally
pleased with himself. She declared he should not go; said it would break
her heart if he did; entreated and threatened, but all in vain. Jack set
out, and after climbing for some hours reached the top of the
bean-stalk, quite exhausted. Looking around, he found himself in a
strange country. It appeared to be a barren desert; not a tree, shrub,
house, or living creature was to be seen; here and there were scattered
fragments of stone, and at unequal distances small heaps of earth were
loosely thrown together.

Jack seated himself pensively upon a block of stone and thought of his
mother. He reflected with sorrow upon his disobedience in climbing the
bean-stalk against her will, and concluded that he must die of hunger.
However, he walked on, hoping to see a house where he might beg
something to eat and drink. He did not find it; but he saw at a distance
a beautiful lady walking all alone. She was elegantly clad, and carried
a white wand, at the top of which sat a peacock of pure gold.

Jack, who was a gallant fellow, went straight up to her, when, with a
bewitching smile, she asked him how he came there. He told her all about
the bean-stalk. The lady answered him by a question, "Do you remember
your father, young man?"

"No, madam; but I am sure there is some mystery about him, for when I
name him to my mother she always begins to weep and will tell me

"She dare not," replied the lady, "but I can and will. For know, young
man, that I am a fairy, and was your father's guardian. But fairies are
bound by laws as well as mortals; and by an error of mine I lost my
power for a term of years, so that I was unable to succor your father
when he most needed it, and he died." Here the fairy looked so sorrowful
that Jack's heart warmed to her, and he begged her earnestly to tell him

"I will; only you must promise to obey me in everything, or you will
perish yourself."

Jack was brave, and, besides, his fortunes were so bad they could not
well be worse,--so he promised.

The fairy continued: "Your father, Jack, was a most excellent, amiable,
generous man. He had a good wife, faithful servants, plenty of money;
but he had one misfortune--a false friend. This was a giant, whom he had
succored in misfortune, and who returned his kindness by murdering him
and seizing on all his property; also making your mother take a solemn
oath that she would never tell you anything about your father, or he
would murder both her and you. Then he turned her off with you in her
arms, to wander about the wide world as she might. I could not help her,
as my power only returned on the day you went to sell your cow.

"It was I," added the fairy, "who impelled you to take the beans, who
made the bean-stalk grow, and inspired you with the desire to climb up
it to this strange country; for it is here the wicked giant lives who
was your father's destroyer. It is you who must avenge him, and rid the
world of a monster who never will do anything but evil. I will assist
you. You may lawfully take possession of his house and all his riches,
for everything he has belonged to your father, and is therefore yours.
Now, farewell! Do not let your mother know you are acquainted with your
father's history; this is my command, and if you disobey me you will
suffer for it. Now go."

Jack asked where he was to go.

"Along the direct road, till you see the house where the giant lives.
You must then act according to your own just judgment, and I will guide
you if any difficulty arises. Farewell!"

She bestowed on the youth a benignant smile, and vanished.

Jack pursued his journey. He walked on till after sunset, when, to his
great joy, he espied a large mansion. A plain-looking woman was at the
door. He accosted her, begging she would give him a morsel of bread and
a night's lodging. She expressed the greatest surprise, and said it was
quite uncommon to see a human being near their house; for it was well
known that her husband was a powerful giant, who would never eat
anything but human flesh, if he could possibly get it; that he would
walk fifty miles to procure it, usually being out the whole day for that

This account greatly terrified Jack, but still he hoped to elude the
giant, and therefore he again entreated the woman to take him in for one
night only, and hide him where she thought proper. She at last suffered
herself to be persuaded, for she was of a compassionate and generous
disposition, and took him into the house. First, they entered a fine
large hall, magnificently furnished; they then passed through several
spacious rooms, in the same style of grandeur; but all appeared forsaken
and desolate. A long gallery came next, it was very dark, just light
enough to show that instead of a wall on one side, there was a grating
of iron which parted off a dismal dungeon, from whence issued the groans
of those victims whom the cruel giant reserved in confinement for his
own voracious appetite.

Poor Jack was half dead with fear, and would have given the world to
have been with his mother again, for he now began to doubt if he should
ever see her more; he even mistrusted the good woman, and thought she
had let him into the house for no other purpose than to lock him up
among the unfortunate people in the dungeon. However, she bade Jack sit
down, and gave him plenty to eat and drink; and he, not seeing anything
to make him uncomfortable, soon forgot his fear, and was just beginning
to enjoy himself, when he was startled by a loud knocking at the outer
door, which made the whole house shake.

"Ah! that's the giant; and if he sees you he will kill you and me too,"
cried the poor woman, trembling all over. "What shall I do?"

"Hide me in the oven," cried Jack, now as bold as a lion at the thought
of being face to face with his father's cruel murderer. So he crept into
the oven--for there was no fire near it--and listened to the giant's
loud voice and heavy step as he went up and down the kitchen scolding
his wife. At last he seated himself at the table, and Jack, peeping
through a crevice in the oven, was amazed to see what a quantity of food
he devoured. It seemed as if he never would have done eating and
drinking; but he did at last, and, leaning back, called to his wife in a
voice like thunder:

"Bring me my hen!"

She obeyed, and placed upon the table a very beautiful live hen.

"Lay!" roared the giant, and the hen laid immediately an egg of solid

"Lay another!" and every time the giant said this the hen laid a larger
egg than before.

He amused himself a long time with his hen, and then sent his wife to
bed, while he fell asleep by the fireside, and snored like the roaring
of cannon.

As soon as he was asleep Jack crept out of the oven, seized the hen, and
ran off with her. He got safely out of the house, and finding his way
along the road he had come, reached the top of the bean-stalk, which he
descended in safety.

His mother was overjoyed to see him. She thought he had come to some ill

"Not a bit of it, mother. Look here!" and he showed her the hen. "Now
lay!" and the hen obeyed him as readily as the giant, and laid as many
golden eggs as he desired.

These eggs being sold, Jack and his mother got plenty of money, and for
some months lived very happily together; till Jack got another great
longing to climb the bean-stalk and carry away some more of the giant's
riches. He had told his mother of his adventure, but had been very
careful not to say a word about his father. He thought of his journey
again and again, but still he could not summon resolution enough to
break it to his mother, being well assured that she would endeavor to
prevent his going. However, one day he told her boldly that he must take
another journey up the bean-stalk. She begged and prayed him not to
think of it, and tried all in her power to dissuade him. She told him
that the giant's wife would certainly know him again, and that the giant
would desire nothing better than to get him into his power, that he
might put him to a cruel death in order to be revenged for the loss of
his hen. Jack, finding that all his arguments were useless, ceased
speaking, though resolved to go at all events. He had a dress prepared
which would disguise him, and something to color his skin. He thought
it impossible for any one to recollect him in this dress.

A few mornings after, he rose very early, and, unperceived by any one,
climbed the bean-stalk a second time. He was greatly fatigued when he
reached the top, and very hungry. Having rested some time on one of the
stones, he pursued his journey to the giant's mansion, which he reached
late in the evening. The woman was at the door as before. Jack addressed
her, at the same time telling her a pitiful tale, and requesting that
she would give him some victuals and drink, and also a night's lodging.

She told him (what he knew before very well) about her husband's being a
powerful and cruel giant, and also that she had one night admitted a
poor, hungry, friendless boy; that the little ungrateful fellow had
stolen one of the giant's treasures; and ever since that her husband had
been worse than before, using her very cruelly, and continually
upbraiding her with being the cause of his misfortune.

Jack felt sorry for her, but confessed nothing, and did his best to
persuade her to admit him, but found it a very hard task. At last she
consented, and as she led the way, Jack observed that everything was
just as he had found it before. She took him into the kitchen, and after
he had done eating and drinking, she hid him in an old lumber-closet.

The giant returned at the usual time, and walked in so heavily that the
house was shaken to its foundation. He seated himself by the fire, and
soon after exclaimed, "Wife, I smell fresh meat!"

The wife replied it was the crows, which had brought a piece of raw meat
and left it at the top of the house. While supper was preparing, the
giant was very ill-tempered and impatient, frequently lifting up his
hand to strike his wife for not being quick enough. He was also
continually upbraiding her with the loss of his wonderful hen.

At last, having ended his supper, he cried, "Give me something to amuse
me--my harp or my money-bags."

"Which will you have, my dear?" said the wife humbly.

"My money-bags, because they are the heaviest to carry," thundered he.

She brought them, staggering under the weight; two bags--one filled with
new guineas, and the other with new shillings. She emptied them out on
the table, and the giant began counting them in great glee. "Now you may
go to bed, you old fool." So the wife crept away.

Jack from his hiding-place watched the counting of the money, which he
knew was his poor father's, and wished it was his own; it would give him
much less trouble than going about selling the golden eggs. The giant,
little thinking he was so narrowly observed, reckoned it all up, and
then replaced it in the two bags, which he tied up very carefully and
put beside his chair, with his little dog to guard them. At last he fell
asleep as before, and snored so loud that Jack compared his noise to the
roaring of the sea in a high wind when the tide is coming in.

At last Jack, concluding all secure, stole out, in order to carry off
the two bags of money; but just as he laid his hands upon one of them,
the little dog, which he had not seen before, started from under the
giant's chair and barked most furiously. Instead of endeavoring to
escape, Jack stood still, though expecting his enemy to awake every
instant. Contrary, however, to his expectation, the giant continued in a
sound sleep, and Jack, seeing a piece of meat, threw it to the dog, who
at once ceased barking and began to devour it. So Jack carried off the
bags, one on each shoulder, but they were so heavy that it took him two
whole days to descend the bean-stalk and get back to his mother's door.

When he came he found the cottage deserted. He ran from one room to
another, without being able to find any one. He then hastened into the
village, hoping to see some of the neighbors who could inform him where
he could find his mother. An old woman at last directed him to a
neighboring house, where she was ill of a fever. He was greatly shocked
at finding her apparently dying, and blamed himself bitterly as the
cause of it all. However, at sight of her dear son, the poor woman
revived, and slowly recovered health. Jack gave her his two money-bags.
They had the cottage rebuilt and well furnished, and lived happier than
they had ever done before.

For three years Jack heard no more of the bean-stalk, but he could not
forget it, though he feared making his mother unhappy. It was in vain
endeavoring to amuse himself; he became thoughtful, and would arise at
the first dawn of day, and sit looking at the bean-stalk for hours

His mother saw that something preyed upon his mind, and endeavored to
discover the cause; but Jack knew too well what the consequence would be
should she succeed. He did his utmost, therefore, to conquer the great
desire he had for another journey up the bean-stalk. Finding, however,
that his inclination grew too powerful for him, he began to make secret
preparations for his journey. He got ready a new disguise, better and
more complete than the former; and when summer came, on the longest day
he woke as soon as it was light, and, without telling his mother,
ascended the bean-stalk. He found, the road, journey, etc., much as it
was on the two former times. He arrived at the giant's mansion in the
evening, and found the wife standing, as usual, at the door. Jack had
disguised himself so completely that she did not appear to have the
least recollection of him; however, when he pleaded hunger and poverty
in order to gain admittance, he found it very difficult indeed to
persuade her. At last he prevailed, and was concealed in the copper.

When the giant returned, he said furiously, "I smell fresh meat!" But
Jack felt quite composed, as he had said so before and had been soon
satisfied. However, the giant started up suddenly, and, notwithstanding
all his wife could say, he searched all round the room. Whilst this was
going forward, Jack was exceedingly terrified, wishing himself at home a
thousand times; but when the giant approached the copper, and put his
hand on the lid, Jack thought his death was certain. However, nothing
happened; for the giant did not take the trouble to lift up the lid, but
sat down shortly by the fireside and began to eat his enormous supper.
When he had finished, he commanded his wife to fetch down his harp.

Jack peeped under the copper lid and saw a most beautiful harp. The
giant placed it on the table, said, "Play!" and it played of its own
accord, without anybody touching it, the most exquisite music

Jack, who was a very good musician, was delighted, and more anxious to
get this than any other of his enemy's treasures. But the giant not
being particularly fond of music, the harp had only the effect of
lulling him to sleep earlier than usual. As for the wife, she had gone
to bed as soon as ever she could.

As soon as he thought all was safe, Jack got out of the copper, and,
seizing the harp, was eagerly running off with it. But the harp was
enchanted by a fairy, and as soon as it found itself in strange hands,
it called out loudly, just as if it had been alive, "Master! Master!"

The giant awoke, started up, and saw Jack scampering away as fast as his
legs could carry him.

"Oh, you villain! It is you who have robbed me of my hen and my
money-bags, and now you are stealing my harp also. Wait till I catch
you, and I'll eat you up alive!"

"Very well; try!" shouted Jack, who was not a bit afraid, for he saw the
giant was so tipsy he could hardly stand, much less run; and he himself
had young legs and a clear conscience, which carry a man a long way. So,
after leading the giant a considerable race, he contrived to be first at
the top of the bean-stalk, and then scrambled down it as fast as he
could, the harp playing all the while the most melancholy music, till he
said, "Stop"; and it stopped.

Arrived at the bottom, he found his mother sitting at her cottage door,
weeping silently.

"Here, mother, don't cry; just give me a hatchet; make haste." For he
knew there was not a moment to spare. He saw the giant beginning to
descend the bean-stalk.

However, it was too late--the monster's ill deeds had come to an end.
Jack with his hatchet cut the bean-stalk close off at the root; the
giant fell headlong into the garden, and was killed on the spot.

Instantly the fairy appeared and explained everything to Jack's mother,
begging her to forgive Jack, who was his father's own son for bravery
and generosity, and who would be sure to make her happy for the rest of
her days.

So all ended well, and nothing was ever more heard or seen of the
wonderful bean-stalk.


        Those wonder stories that concern themselves
        with giants or with very little people have
        always been favorites with children. Of the
        little heroes Tom Thumb has always held the
        center of the stage. His adventures in one form
        or another are in the folk tales of most
        European countries. He has the honor of being
        the subject of a monograph by the great French
        scholar Gaston Paris. Hans Christian Andersen
        turned him into a delightful little girl in his
        derivative story of "Thumbelina." The English
        version of "Tom Thumb" seems to have been
        printed first in ballad form in the seventeenth
        century, and later in many chapbook versions in
        prose. Its plot takes the form of a succession
        of marvelous accidents by land and sea, limited
        only by the inventive ingenuity of the
        story-teller. "According to popular tradition
        Tom Thumb died at Lincoln. . . . There was a
        little blue flagstone in the pavement of the
        Minster which was shown as Tom Thumb's
        monument, and the country folks never failed to
        marvel at it when they came to church on the
        Assize Sunday; but during some of the modern
        repairs which have been inflicted on that
        venerable building, the flagstone was displaced
        and lost, to the great discomfiture of the
        holiday visitants." Thus wrote an ancient and
        learned scholar in illustration of the tendency
        to give a local habitation and a name to our
        favorite fancies. The version of the story
        given by Miss Mulock in her _Fairy Book_ is the
        one used here. It follows closely the rambling
        events of the various chapbook and ballad


In the days of King Arthur, Merlin, the most learned enchanter of his
time, was on a journey; and being very weary, stopped one day at the
cottage of an honest ploughman to ask for refreshment. The ploughman's
wife with great civility immediately brought him some milk in a wooden
bowl and some brown bread on a wooden platter.

Merlin could not help observing that although everything within the
cottage was particularly neat and clean and in good order, the ploughman
and his wife had the most sorrowful air imaginable; so he questioned
them on the cause of their melancholy and learned that they were very
miserable because they had no children.

The poor woman declared with tears in her eyes that she should be the
happiest creature in the world if she had a son, although he were no
bigger than his father's thumb.

Merlin was much amused with the notion of a boy no bigger than a man's
thumb, and as soon as he returned home he sent for the queen of the
fairies (with whom he was very intimate) and related to her the desire
of the ploughman and his wife to have a son the size of his father's
thumb. She liked the plan exceedingly and declared their wish should be
speedily granted. Accordingly the ploughman's wife had a son, who in a
few minutes grew as tall as his father's thumb.

The queen of the fairies came in at the window as the mother was sitting
up in bed admiring the child. Her majesty kissed the infant and, giving
it the name of Tom Thumb, immediately summoned several fairies from
Fairyland to clothe her new little favorite.

        "An oak-leaf hat he had for his crown;
        His shirt it was by spiders spun;
        With doublet wove of thistledown,
        His trousers up with points were done;
        His stockings, of apple-rind, they tie
        With eye-lash plucked from his mother's eye,
        His shoes were made of a mouse's skin,
        Nicely tann'd with hair within."

Tom was never any bigger than his father's thumb, which was not a large
thumb either; but as he grew older he became very cunning, for which his
mother did not sufficiently correct him, and by this ill quality he was
often brought into difficulties. For instance, when he had learned to
play with other boys for cherry-stones and had lost all his own, he used
to creep into the boys' bags, fill his pockets, and come out again to
play. But one day as he was getting out of a bag of cherry-stones, the
boy to whom it belonged chanced to see him.

"Ah, ha, my little Tom Thumb!" said he, "have I caught you at your bad
tricks at last? Now I will reward you for thieving." Then he drew the
string tight around Tom's neck and shook the bag. The cherry-stones
bruised Tom Thumb's legs, thighs, and body sadly, which made him beg to
be let out and promise never to be guilty of such things any more.

Shortly afterwards Tom's mother was making a batter-pudding, and that
he might see how she mixed it, he climbed on the edge of the bowl; but
his foot happening to slip, he fell over head and ears into the batter.
His mother not observing him, stirred him into the pudding and popped
him into the pot to boil. The hot water made Tom kick and struggle; and
the mother, seeing the pudding jump up and down in such a furious
manner, thought it was bewitched; and a tinker coming by just at the
time, she quickly gave him the pudding. He put it into his budget and
walked on.

As soon as Tom could get the batter out of his mouth he began to cry
aloud, and so frightened the poor tinker that he flung the pudding over
the hedge and ran away from it as fast as he could. The pudding being
broken to pieces by the fall, Tom was released, and walked home to his
mother, who gave him a kiss and put him to bed.

Tom Thumb's mother once took him with her when she went to milk the cow;
and it being a very windy day, she tied him with a needleful of thread
to a thistle, that he might not be blown away. The cow, liking his
oak-leaf hat, took him and the thistle up at one mouthful. While the cow
chewed the thistle, Tom, terrified at her great teeth, which seemed
ready to crush him to pieces, roared, "Mother, mother!" as loud as he
could bawl.

"Where are you, Tommy, my dear Tommy?" said the mother.

"Here, mother, here in the red cow's mouth."

The mother began to cry and wring her hands; but the cow, surprised at
such odd noises in her throat, opened her mouth and let him drop out.
His mother clapped him into her apron and ran home with him.

Tom's father made him a whip of a barley straw to drive the cattle with,
and one day when he was in the field he slipped into a deep furrow. A
raven flying over picked him up with a grain of corn and flew with him
to the top of a giant's castle by the seaside, where he left him; and
old Grumbo, the giant, coming soon after to walk upon his terrace,
swallowed Tom like a pill, clothes and all.

Tom presently made the giant very uncomfortable, and he threw him up
into the sea. A great fish then swallowed him. The fish was soon after
caught, and sent as a present to King Arthur. When it was cut open,
everybody was delighted with little Tom Thumb. The king made him his
dwarf; he was the favorite of the whole court, and by his merry pranks
often amused the queen and the knights of the Round Table.

The king, when he rode on horse-back, frequently took Tom in his hand;
and if a shower of rain came on, he used to creep into the king's
waist-coat pocket and sleep till the rain was over. The king also
sometimes questioned Tom concerning his parents; and when Tom informed
his majesty they were very poor people, the king led him into his
treasury and told him he should pay his friends a visit and take with
him as much money as he could carry. Tom procured a little purse, and
putting a threepenny piece into it, with much labor and difficulty got
it upon his back; and, after travelling two days and nights, arrived at
his father's house.

When his mother met him at the door, he was almost tired to death,
having in forty-eight hours traveled almost half a mile with a huge
silver threepence upon his back. Both his parents were glad to see him,
especially when he had brought such an amazing sum of money with him.
They placed him in a walnut-shell by the fireside and feasted him for
three days upon a hazel-nut, which made him sick, for a whole nut
usually served him for a month.

Tom got well, but could not travel because it had rained; therefore his
mother took him in her hand, and with one puff blew him into King
Arthur's court, where Tom entertained the king, queen, and nobility at
tilts and tournaments, at which he exerted himself so much that he
brought on a fit of sickness, and his life was despaired of.

At this juncture the queen of the fairies came in a chariot, drawn by
flying mice, placed Tom by her side, and drove through the air without
stopping till they arrived at her palace. After restoring him to health
and permitting him to enjoy all the gay diversions of Fairyland, she
commanded a fair wind, and, placing Tom before it, blew him straight to
the court of King Arthur. But just as Tom should have alighted in the
courtyard of the palace, the cook happened to pass along with the king's
great bowl of furmenty (King Arthur loved furmenty), and poor Tom Thumb
fell plump into the middle of it and splashed the hot furmenty into the
cook's eyes. Down went the bowl.

"Oh, dear! Oh, dear!" cried Tom.

"Murder! murder!" bellowed the cook; and away poured the king's nice
furmenty into the kennel.

The cook was a red-faced, cross fellow, and swore to the king that Tom
had done it out of mere mischief; so he was taken up, tried, and
sentenced to be beheaded. Tom hearing this dreadful sentence and seeing
a miller stand by with his mouth wide open, he took a good spring and
jumped down the miller's throat, unperceived by all, even the miller

Tom being lost, the court broke up, and away went the miller to his
mill. But Tom did not leave him long at rest; he began to roll and
tumble about, so that the miller thought himself bewitched and sent for
a doctor. When the doctor came, Tom began to dance and sing. The doctor
was as much frightened as the miller and sent in great haste for five
more doctors and twenty learned men.

While all these were debating upon the affair, the miller (for they were
very tedious) happened to yawn, and Tom, taking the opportunity, made
another jump and alighted on his feet in the middle of the table. The
miller, provoked to be thus tormented by such a little creature, fell
into a great passion, caught hold of Tom, and threw him out of the
window into the river. A large salmon swimming by snapped him up in a
minute. The salmon was soon caught and sold in the market to a steward
of a lord. The lord, thinking it an uncommonly fine fish, made a present
of it to the king, who ordered it to be dressed immediately. When the
cook cut open the salmon he found poor Tom and ran with him directly to
the king; but the king, being busy with state affairs, desired that he
might be brought another day.

The cook, resolving to keep him safely this time, as he had so lately
given him the slip, clapped him into a mouse-trap and left him to amuse
himself by peeping through the wires for a whole week. When the king
sent for him, he forgave him for throwing down the furmenty, ordered
him new clothes, and knighted him.

        "His shirt was made of butterflies' wings;
        His boots were made of chicken skins,
        His coat and breeches were made with pride,
        A tailor's needle hung by his side;
        A mouse for a horse he used to ride."

Thus dressed and mounted, he rode a-hunting with the king and nobility,
who all laughed heartily at Tom and his prancing steed. As they rode by
a farm-house one day, a cat jumped from behind the door, seized the
mouse and little Tom, and began to devour the mouse; however, Tom boldly
drew his sword and attacked the cat, who then let him fall. The king and
his nobles, seeing Tom falling, went to his assistance, and one of the
lords caught him in his hat; but poor Tom was sadly scratched, and his
clothes were torn by the claws of the cat. In this condition he was
carried home, and a bed of down was made for him in a little ivory

The queen of the fairies came and took him again to Fairyland, where she
kept him for some years; and then, dressing him in bright green, sent
him flying once more through the air to the earth, in the days of King
Thunstone. The people flocked far and near to look at him; and the king,
before whom he was carried, asked him who he was, whence he came, and
where he lived? Tom answered:

        "My name is Tom Thumb;
        From the fairies I come;
        When King Arthur shone,
        This court was my home;
        In me he delighted;
        By him I was knighted.
          Did you ever hear of
          Sir Thomas Thumb?"

The king was so charmed with this address that he ordered a little chair
to be made, in order that Tom might sit on his table, and also a palace
of gold a span high with a door an inch wide, for little Tom to live in.
He also gave him a coach drawn by six small mice. This made the queen
angry, because she had not a new coach too; therefore, resolving to ruin
Tom, she complained to the king that he had behaved very insolently to
her. The king sent for him in a rage. Tom, to escape his fury, crept
into an empty snail-shell and there lay till he was almost starved;
then, peeping out of the hole, he saw a fine butterfly settle on the
ground. He then ventured out, and getting astride, the butterfly took
wing and mounted into the air with little Tom on his back. Away he flew
from field to field, from tree to tree, till at last he flew to the
king's court. The king, queen, and nobles all strove to catch the
butterfly, but could not. At length poor Tom, having neither bridle nor
saddle, slipped from his seat and fell into a watering-pot, where he was
found almost drowned.

The queen vowed he should be guillotined; but while the guillotine was
getting ready, he was secured once more in a mousetrap. The cat, seeing
something stir and supposing it to be a mouse, patted the trap about
till she broke it and set Tom at liberty.

Soon afterwards a spider, taking him for a fly, made at him. Tom drew
his sword and fought valiantly, but the spider's poisonous breath
overcame him:

        "He fell dead on the ground where late he had stood,
        And the spider suck'd up the last drop of his blood."

King Thunstone and his whole court went into mourning for little Tom
Thumb. They buried him under a rosebush and raised a nice white marble
monument over his grave, with the following epitaph:

        "Here lies Tom Thumb, King Arthur's knight,
        Who died by a spider's cruel bite.
        He was well known in Arthur's court,
        Where he afforded gallant sport;
        He rode at tilt and tournament,
        And on a mouse a-hunting went.
        Alive he fill'd the court with mirth,
        His death to sorrow soon gave birth.
        Wipe, wipe your eyes, and shake your head,
        And cry, 'Alas! Tom Thumb is dead.'"


        This chapbook form of the famous "Whittington
        and His Cat" is the one reprinted by Hartland
        in his _English Fairy and Folk Tales_. It goes
        back to the early eighteenth century. Sir
        Richard Whittington, at least, was a historical
        character and served his first term as Lord
        Mayor of London in 1397. Like most popular
        stories, this one of a fortune due to a cat is
        common to all Europe. Mr. Clouston, in the
        second volume of his _Popular Tales and
        Fictions_, outlines a number of these stories,
        and even points out a Persian parallel of an
        earlier date than the birth of Sir Richard.
        Just how this very prosperous business man of
        London, who was never in reality a poor boy,
        came to be adopted as the hero of the English
        version of this romantic tale has never been
        made clear. Probably it was due to the common
        tendency of the folk in all lands to attribute
        unusual success in any field to other than
        ordinary causes. However that may be, it is
        certainly true that no story more completely
        satisfies the ideal of complete success for
        children than this "History of Sir Richard
        Whittington." Mr. Jacobs calls attention to the
        interesting fact that the chapbook places the
        introduction of the potato into England rather
        far back!


In the reign of the famous King Edward III, there was a little boy
called Dick Whittington, whose father and mother died when he was very
young, so that he remembered nothing at all about them and was left a
ragged little fellow, running about a country village. As poor Dick was
not old enough to work, he was very badly off; he got but little for his
dinner and sometimes nothing at all for his breakfast, for the people
who lived in the village were very poor indeed and could not spare him
much more than the parings of potatoes and now and then a hard crust of

For all this, Dick Whittington was a very sharp boy and was always
listening to what everybody talked about. On Sunday he was sure to get
near the farmers as they sat talking on the tombstones in the churchyard
before the parson was come; and once a week you might see little Dick
leaning against the sign post of the village alehouse, where people
stopped to drink as they came from the next market town; and when the
barber's shop door was open, Dick listened to all the news that his
customers told one another.

In this manner Dick heard a great many very strange things about the
city called London; for the foolish country people at that time thought
that folks in London were all fine gentlemen and ladies, and that there
was singing and music there all day long, and that the streets were all
paved with gold.

One day a large wagon and eight horses, all with bells at their heads,
drove through the village while Dick was standing by the signpost. He
thought that this wagon must be going to the fine town of London; so he
took courage and asked the wagoner to let him walk with him by the side
of the wagon. As soon as the wagoner heard that poor Dick had no father
or mother and saw by his ragged clothes that he could not be worse off
than he was, he told him he might go if he would, so they set off

I could never find out how little Dick contrived to get meat and drink
on the road, nor how he could walk so far, for it was a long way, nor
what he did at night for a place to lie down to sleep in. Perhaps some
good-natured people in the towns that he passed through, when they saw
he was a poor little ragged boy, gave him something to eat; and perhaps
the wagoner let him get into the wagon at night and take a nap upon one
of the boxes or large parcels in the wagon.

Dick, however, got safe to London and was in such a hurry to see the
fine streets paved all over with gold that I am afraid he did not even
stay to thank the kind wagoner, but ran off as fast as his legs would
carry him through many of the streets, thinking every moment to come to
those that were paved with gold, for Dick had seen a guinea three times
in his own little village and remembered what a deal of money it brought
in change; so he thought he had nothing to do but to take up some little
bits of the pavement and should then have as much money as he could wish

Poor Dick ran till he was tired and had quite forgotten his friend the
wagoner; but at last, finding it grow dark and that every way he turned
he saw nothing but dirt instead of gold, he sat down in a dark corner
and cried himself to sleep.

Little Dick was all night in the streets; and next morning, being very
hungry, he got up and walked about and asked everybody he met to give
him a halfpenny to keep him from starving. But nobody stayed to answer
him, and only two or three gave him a halfpenny; so that the poor boy
was soon quite weak and faint for the want of victuals.

At last a good-natured looking gentleman saw how hungry he looked. "Why
don't you go to work, my lad?" said he to Dick.

"That I would, but I do not know how to get any," answered Dick.

"If you are willing, come along with me," said the gentleman, and took
him to a hay-field, where Dick worked briskly and lived merrily till the
hay was made.

After this he found himself as badly off as before; and being almost
starved again, he laid himself down at the door of Mr. Fitzwarren, a
rich merchant. Here he was soon seen by the cook-maid, who was an
ill-tempered creature and happened just then to be very busy dressing
dinner for her master and mistress; so she called out to poor Dick:
"What business have you there, you lazy rogue? There is nothing else but
beggars. If you do not take yourself away, we will see how you will like
a sousing of some dish water; I have some here hot enough to make you

Just at that time Mr. Fitzwarren himself came home to dinner; and when
he saw a dirty ragged boy lying at the door, he said to him: "Why do you
lie there, my boy? You seem old enough to work. I am afraid you are
inclined to be lazy."

"No, indeed, sir," said Dick to him, "that is not the case, for I would
work with all my heart, but I do not know anybody, and I believe I am
very sick for the want of food."

"Poor fellow, get up; let me see what ails you."

Dick then tried to rise, but was obliged to lie down again, being too
weak to stand, for he had not eaten any food for three days and was no
longer able to run about and beg a halfpenny of people in the street. So
the kind merchant ordered him to be taken into the house, and have a
good dinner given him, and be kept to do what dirty work he was able for
the cook.

Little Dick would have lived very happy in this good family if it had
not been for the ill-natured cook, who was finding fault and scolding
him from morning to night, and besides she was so fond of basting that
when she had no meat to baste she would baste poor Dick's head and
shoulders with a broom or anything else that happened to fall in her
way. At last her ill-usage of him was told to Alice, Mr. Fitzwarren's
daughter, who told the cook she should be turned away if she did not
treat him kinder.

The ill-humor of the cook was now a little amended; but besides this
Dick had another hardship to get over. His bed stood in a garret where
there were so many holes in the floor and the walls that every night he
was tormented with rats and mice. A gentleman having given Dick a penny
for cleaning his shoes, he thought he would buy a cat with it. The next
day he saw a girl with a cat and asked her if she would let him have it
for a penny. The girl said she would and at the same time told him the
cat was an excellent mouser.

Dick hid his cat in the garret and always took care to carry a part of
his dinner to her, and in a short time he had no more trouble with the
rats and mice, but slept quite sound every night.

Soon after this his master had a ship ready to sail; and as he thought
it right that all his servants should have some chance for good fortune
as well as himself, he called them all into the parlor and asked them
what they would send out.

They all had something that they were willing to venture except poor
Dick, who had neither money nor goods, and therefore could send nothing.

For this reason he did not come into the parlor with the rest; but Miss
Alice guessed what was the matter and ordered him to be called in. She
then said she would lay down some money for him from her own purse; but
the father told her this would not do, for it must be something of his

When poor Dick heard this, he said he had nothing but a cat which he
bought for a penny some time since of a little girl.

"Fetch your cat then, my good boy," said Mr. Fitzwarren, "and let her

Dick went up stairs and brought down poor puss, with tears in his eyes,
and gave her to the captain, for he said he should now be kept awake
again all night by the rats and mice.

All the company laughed at Dick's odd venture; and Miss Alice, who felt
pity for the poor boy, gave him some money to buy another cat.

This and many other marks of kindness shown him by Miss Alice made the
ill-tempered cook jealous of poor Dick, and she began to use him more
cruelly than ever and always made game of him for sending his cat to
sea. She asked him if he thought his cat would sell for as much money as
would buy a stick to beat him.

At last poor Dick could not bear this usage any longer, and he thought
he would run away from his place; so he packed up his few things and
started very early in the morning on All-hallows Day, which is the first
of November. He walked as far as Holloway, and there sat down on a
stone, which to this day is called Whittington's stone, and began to
think to himself which road he should take as he proceeded.

While he was thinking what he should do, the Bells of Bow Church, which
at that time had only six, began to ring, and he fancied their sound
seemed to say to him:

        "Turn again, Whittington,
        Lord Mayor of London."

"Lord Mayor of London!" said he to himself. "Why, to be sure, I would
put up with almost anything now to be Lord Mayor of London and ride in a
fine coach when I grow to be a man! Well, I will go back and think
nothing of the cuffing and scolding of the old cook if I am to be Lord
Mayor of London at last."

Dick went back and was lucky enough to get into the house and set about
his work before the old cook came downstairs.

The ship, with the cat on board, was a long time at sea, and was at last
driven by the winds on a part of the coast of Barbary where the only
people were the Moors, whom the English had never known before.

The people then came in great numbers to see the sailors, who were of
different color from themselves, and treated them very civilly, and when
they became better acquainted were very eager to buy the fine things
that the ship was loaded with.

When the captain saw this, he sent patterns of the best things he had to
the king of the country, who was so much pleased with them that he sent
for the captain to the palace. Here they were placed, as it is the
custom of the country, on rich carpets marked with gold and silver
flowers. The king and queen were seated at the upper end of the room,
and a number of dishes were brought in for dinner. When they had sat but
a short time, a vast number of rats and mice rushed in, helping
themselves from almost every dish. The captain wondered at this and
asked if these vermin were not very unpleasant.

"Oh, yes," said they, "very offensive; and the king would give half his
treasure to be freed of them, for they not only destroy his dinner, as
you see, but they assault him in his chamber and even in bed, so that he
is obliged to be watched while he is sleeping for fear of them."

The captain jumped for joy; he remembered poor Whittington and his cat
and told the king he had a creature on board the ship that would
dispatch all these vermin immediately. The king's heart heaved so high
at the joy which this news gave him that his turban dropped off his
head. "Bring this creature to me," says he; "vermin are dreadful in a
court, and if she will perform what you say, I will load your ship with
gold and jewels in exchange for her."

The captain, who knew his business, took this opportunity to set forth
the merits of Mrs. Puss. He told his majesty that it would be
inconvenient to part with her, as, when she was gone, the rats and mice
might destroy the goods in the ship--but to oblige his majesty he would
fetch her. "Run, run!" said the queen; "I am impatient to see the dear

Away went the captain to the ship, while another dinner was got ready.
He put puss under his arm and arrived at the palace soon enough to see
the table full of rats.

When the cat saw them, she did not wait for bidding, but jumped out of
the captain's arms and in a few minutes laid almost all the rats and
mice dead at her feet. The rest of them in their fright scampered away
to their holes.

The king and queen were quite charmed to get so easily rid of such
plagues and desired that the creature who had done them so great a
kindness might be brought to them for inspection. The captain called,
"Pussy, pussy, pussy!" and she came to him. He then presented her to the
queen, who started back and was afraid to touch a creature who had made
such a havoc among the rats and mice. However, when the captain stroked
the cat and called, "Pussy, pussy," the queen also touched her and
cried, "Putty, putty," for she had not learned English. He then put her
down on the queen's lap; where she, purring, played with her majesty's
hand and then sang herself to sleep.

The king, having seen the exploits of Mrs. Puss and being informed that
she was with young and would stock the whole country, bargained with the
captain for the whole ship's cargo and then gave him ten times as much
for the cat as all the rest amounted to.

The captain then took leave of the royal party and set sail with a fair
wind for England, and after a happy voyage arrived safe in London.

One morning when Mr. Fitzwarren had just come to his counting-house and
seated himself at the desk, somebody came tap, tap, at the door. "Who's
there?" says Mr. Fitzwarren.

"A friend," answered the other; "I come to bring you good news of your
ship _Unicorn_." The merchant, bustling up instantly, opened the door,
and who should be seen waiting but the captain with a cabinet of jewels
and a bill of lading, for which the merchant lifted up his eyes and
thanked heaven for sending him such a prosperous voyage.

They then told the story of the cat and showed the rich present that the
king and queen had sent for her to poor Dick. As soon as the merchant
heard this, he called out to his servants:

        "Go fetch him--we will tell him of the same;
        Pray call him Mr. Whittington by name."

Mr. Fitzwarren now showed himself to be a good man; for when some of his
servants said so great a treasure was too much for him, he answered,
"God forbid I should deprive him of the value of a single penny."

He then sent for Dick, who at that time was scouring pots for the cook
and was quite dirty.

Mr. Fitzwarren ordered a chair to be set for him, and so he began to
think they were making game of him, at the same time begging them not to
play tricks with a poor simple boy, but to let him go down again, if
they pleased, to his work.

"Indeed, Mr. Whittington," said the merchant, "we are all quite in
earnest with you, and I most heartily rejoice in the news these
gentlemen have brought you, for the captain has sold your cat to the
King of Barbary and brought you in return for her more riches than I
possess in the whole world; and I wish you may long enjoy them!"

Mr. Fitzwarren then told the men to open the great treasure they had
brought with them, and said, "Mr. Whittington has nothing to do but to
put it in some place of safety."

Poor Dick hardly knew how to behave himself for joy. He begged his
master to take what part of it he pleased, since he owed it all to his
kindness. "No, no," answered Mr. Fitzwarren, "this is all your own, and
I have no doubt but you will use it well."

Dick next asked his mistress, and then Miss Alice, to accept a part of
his good fortune; but they would not, and at the same time told him they
felt great joy at his good success. But this poor fellow was too
kind-hearted to keep it all to himself; so he made a present to the
captain, the mate, and the rest of Mr. Fitzwarren's servants, and even
to the ill-natured old cook.

After this Mr. Fitzwarren advised him to send for a proper tradesman and
get himself dressed like a gentleman, and told him he was welcome to
live in his house till he could provide himself with a better.

When Whittington's face was washed, his hair curled, and his hat cocked,
and he was dressed in a nice suit of clothes, he was as handsome and
genteel as any young man who visited at Mr. Fitzwarren's; so that Miss
Alice, who had once been so kind to him and thought of him with pity,
now looked upon him as fit to be her sweetheart; and the more so, no
doubt, because Whittington was now always thinking what he could do to
oblige her and making her the prettiest presents that could be.

Mr. Fitzwarren soon saw their love for each other and proposed to join
them in marriage, and to this they both readily agreed. A day for the
wedding was soon fixed; and they were attended to church by the Lord
Mayor, the court of aldermen, the sheriffs, and a great number of the
richest merchants in London, whom they afterwards treated with a very
rich feast.

History tells us that Mr. Whittington and his lady lived in great
splendor and were very happy. They had several children. He was Sheriff
of London, also Mayor, and received the honor of knighthood by Henry V.

The figure of Sir Richard Whittington with his cat in his arms, carved
in stone, was to be seen till the year 1780 over the archway of the old
prison of Newgate that stood across Newgate Street.


        The next story came from Suffolk, England, and
        the original is in the pronounced dialect of
        that county. Mr. Jacobs thinks it one of the
        best folk tales ever collected. The version
        given follows Jacobs in reducing the dialect.
        There is enough left, however, to raise the
        question of the use of dialect in stories for
        children. Some modern versions eliminate the
        dialect altogether. It is certain that the
        retention of some of the qualities of the
        folk-telling makes it more dramatically
        effective and appropriate. The original form of
        the story may be seen in Hartland's _English
        Fairy and Folk Tales_. Teachers should feel
        free to use their judgment as to the best form
        in which to tell a story to children.
        Name-guessing stories are very common, and may
        be "a 'survival' of the superstition that to
        know a man's name gives you power over him, for
        which reason savages object to tell their
        names." The Grimm story of "Rumpelstiltskin" is
        the best known of many variants (No. 178). "Tom
        Tit Tot" has a rude vigor and dramatic force
        not in the continental versions, and it will be
        interesting to compare it with the Grimm tale.
        Jacobs suggests that "it may be necessary to
        explain to the little ones that Tom Tit can be
        referred to only as 'that,' because his name is
        not known until the end."


Once upon a time there was a woman, and she baked five pies. And when
they came out of the oven, they were that over-baked the crusts were too
hard to eat. So she says to her daughter: "Darter," says she, "put you
them there pies on the shelf, and leave 'em there a little, and they'll
come again."--She meant, you know, the crust would get soft.

But the girl, she says to herself, "Well, if they'll come again, I'll
eat 'em now." And she set to work and ate 'em all, first and last.

Well, come supper-time the woman said, "Go you and get one o' them there
pies. I dare say they've come again now."

The girl went and she looked, and there was nothing but the dishes. So
back she came and says she, "Noo, they ain't come again."

"Not one of 'em?" says the mother.

"Not one of 'em," says she.

"Well, come again or not come again," said the woman, "I'll have one for

"But you can't if they ain't come," said the girl.

"But I can," says she. "Go you and bring the best of 'em."

"Best or worst," says the girl, "I've ate 'em all, and you can't have
one till that's come again."

Well, the woman she was done, and she took her spinning to the door to
spin, and as she span she sang:

        "My darter ha' ate five, five pies to-day.
        My darter ha' ate five, five pies to-day."

The king was coming down the street, and he heard her sing, but what she
sang he couldn't hear, so he stopped and said, "What was that you were
singing, my good woman?"

The woman was ashamed to let him hear what her daughter had been doing,
so she sang, instead of that:

        "My darter ha' spun five, five skeins to-day.
         My darter ha' spun five, five skeins to-day."

"Stars o' mine!" said the king, "I never heard tell of any one that
could do that."

Then he said, "Look you here, I want a wife, and I'll marry your
daughter. But look you here," says he, "eleven months out of the year
she shall have all she likes to eat, and all the gowns she likes to get,
and all the company she likes to keep; but the last month of the year
she'll have to spin five skeins every day, and if she don't I shall kill

"All right," says the woman; for she thought what a grand marriage that
was. And as for the five skeins, when the time came, there'd be plenty
of ways of getting out of it, and likeliest, he'd have forgotten all
about it.

Well, so they were married. And for eleven months the girl had all she
liked to eat and all the gowns she liked to get and all the company she
liked to keep.

But when the time was getting over, she began to think about the skeins
and to wonder if he had 'em in mind. But not one word did he say about
'em, and she thought he'd wholly forgotten 'em.

However, the first day of the last month he takes her to a room she'd
never set eyes on before. There was nothing in it but a spinning-wheel
and a stool. And says he, "Now, my dear, here you'll be shut in
to-morrow with some victuals and some flax, and if you haven't spun
five skeins by the night, your head'll go off." And away he went about
his business.

Well, she was that frightened, she'd always been such a gatless girl,
that she didn't so much as know how to spin, and what was she to do
to-morrow with no one to come nigh her to help her? She sat down on a
stool in the kitchen, and law! how she did cry!

However, all of a sudden she heard a sort of a knocking low down on the
door. She upped and oped it, and what should she see but a small little
black thing with a long tail. That looked up at her right curious, and
that said, "What are you a-crying for?"

"What's that to you?" says she.

"Never you mind," that said, "but tell me what you're a-crying for."

"That won't do me no good if I do," says she.

"You don't know that," that said, and twirled that's tail round.

"Well," says she, "that won't do no harm, if that don't do no good," and
she upped and told about the pies and the skeins and everything.

"This is what I'll do," says the little black thing, "I'll come to your
window every morning and take the flax and bring it spun at night."

"What's your pay?" says she.

That looked out of the corner of that's eyes, and that said, "I'll give
you three guesses every night to guess my name, and if you haven't
guessed it before the month's up you shalt be mine."

Well, she thought she'd be sure to guess that's name before the month
was up. "All right," says she, "I agree."

"All right," that says, and law! how that twirled that's tail.

Well, the next day her husband took her into the room, and there was the
flax and the day's food.

"Now, there's the flax," says he, "and if that ain't spun up this night,
off goes your head." And then he went out and locked the door.

He'd hardly gone when there was a knocking against the window. She upped
and she oped it, and there sure enough was the little old thing sitting
on the ledge.

"Where's the flax?" says he.

"Here it be," says she. And she gave it to him.

Well, come the evening a knocking came again to the window. She upped
and she oped it, and there was the little old thing with five skeins of
flax on his arm.

"Here it be," says he, and he gave it to her. "Now, what's my name?"
says he. "What, is that Bill?" says she. "Noo, that ain't," says he, and
he twirled his tail. "Is that Ned?" says she. "Noo, that ain't," says
he, and he twirled his tail. "Well, is that Mark?" says she. "Noo, that
ain't," says he, and he twirled his tail harder, and away he flew.

Well, when her husband came in, there were the five skeins ready for
him. "I see I shan't have to kill you to-night, my dear," says he;
"you'll have your food and your flax in the morning," says he, and away
he goes.

Well, every day the flax and the food were brought, and every day that
there little black impet used to come mornings and evenings. And all the
day the girl sat trying to think of names to say to it when it came at
night. But she never hit on the right one. And as it got towards the end
of the month, the impet began to look so maliceful, and that twirled
that's tail faster and faster each time she gave a guess.

At last it came to the last day but one. The impet came at night along
with the five skeins, and that said, "What, ain't you got my name yet?"
"Is that Nicodemus?" says she. "Noo, 't ain't," that says. "Is that
Sammle?" says she. "Noo, 't ain't," that says. "A-well, is that
Methusalem?" says she. "Noo, 't ain't that neither," that says.

Then that looks at her with that's eyes like a coal o' fire, and that
says, "Woman, there's only to-morrow night, and then you'll be mine!"
And away it flew.

Well, she felt that horrid. However she heard the king coming along the
passage. In he came, and when he sees the five skeins, says he, "Well,
my dear, I don't see but what you'll have your skeins ready to-morrow
night as well and as I reckon I shan't have to kill you, I'll have
supper in here to-night." So they brought supper and another stool for
him, and down the two sat.

Well, he hadn't eaten but a mouthful or so, when he stops and begins to

"What is it?" says she.

"A-why," says he, "I was out a-hunting to-day, and I got away to a place
in the wood I'd never seen before. And there was an old chalk-pit. And I
heard a kind of a sort of humming. So I got off my hobby, and I went
right quiet to the pit, and I looked down. Well, what should there be
but the funniest little black thing you ever set eyes on. And what was
that doing, but that had a little spinning-wheel, and that was spinning
wonderful fast, and twirling that's tail. And as that span that sang:

        "Nimmy nimmy not
        My name's Tom Tit Tot."

Well, when the girl heard this, she felt as if she could have jumped out
of her skin for joy, but she didn't say a word.

Next day that there little thing looked so maliceful when he came for
the flax. And when night came she heard that knocking against the window
panes. She oped the window, and that come right in on the ledge. That
was grinning from ear to ear, and Oo! that's tail was twirling round so

"What's my name?" that says, as that gave her the skeins. "Is that
Solomon?" she says, pretending to be afeard. "Noo, 't ain't," that says,
and that came further into the room. "Well, is that Zebedee?" says she
again. "Noo, 't ain't," says the impet. And then that laughed and
twirled that's tail till you couldn't hardly see it.

"Take time, woman," that says; "next guess, and you're mine." And that
stretched out that's black hands at her.

Well, she backed a step or two, and she looked at it, and then she
laughed out and says she, pointing her finger at it:

        "Nimmy nimmy not
        Your name's Tom Tit Tot."

Well, when that heard her, that gave an awful shriek and away that flew
into the dark, and she never saw it any more.


        In 1697 the French author Charles Perrault
        (1628-1703) published a little collection of
        eight tales in prose familiarly known as _The
        Tales of Mother Goose_ (_Contes de Ma Mère
        l'Oye_). These tales were "The Fairies" ("Toads
        and Diamonds"), "The Sleeping Beauty in the
        Wood," "Bluebeard," "Little Red Riding Hood,"
        "Puss-in-Boots," "Cinderella," "Rique with the
        Tuft," and "Little Thumb." Perrault was
        prominent as a scholar and may have felt it
        beneath his dignity to write nursery tales. At
        any rate he declared the stories were copied
        from tellings by his eleven-year-old son. But
        Perrault's fairies have not only saved him from
        oblivion: in countless editions and
        translations they have won him immortality. The
        charming literary form of his versions,
        "Englished by R. S., Gent," about 1730, soon
        established them in place of the more somber
        English popular versions. It is practically
        certain that the name Mother Goose, as that of
        the genial old lady who presides over the light
        literature of the nursery, was established by
        the work of Perrault.

        "Little Red Riding Hood," a likely candidate
        for first place in the affections of childish
        story-lovers, is here given in its "correct"
        form. Many versions are so constructed as to
        have happy endings, either by having the
        woodmen appear in the nick of time to kill the
        wolf before any damage is done, or by having
        the grandmother and Little Red Riding Hood
        restored to life after recovering them from the
        "innards" of the wolf. Andrew Lang thinks that
        the tale as it stands is merely meant to waken
        a child's terror and pity, after the fashion of
        the old Greek tragedies, and that the narrator
        properly ends it by making a pounce, in the
        character of wolf, at the little listener. That
        this was the correct "business" in Scotch
        nurseries is borne out by a sentence in
        Chambers' _Popular Rhymes of Scotland_: "The
        old nurse's imitation of the _gnash, gnash_,
        which she played off upon the youngest urchin
        lying in her lap, was electric."


Once upon a time there lived in a certain village a little country girl,
the prettiest creature that was ever seen. Her mother was excessively
fond of her; and her grandmother doted on her still more. This good
woman got made for her a little red riding-hood, which became the girl
so extremely well that everybody called her Little Red Riding-Hood.

One day her mother, having made some custards, said to her, "Go, my
dear, and see how thy grandmamma does, for I hear that she has been very
ill; carry her a custard and this little pot of butter."

Little Red Riding-Hood set out immediately to go to her grandmother, who
lived in another village.

As she was going through the wood, she met with Gaffer Wolf, who had a
very great mind to eat her up, but he durst not because of some
fagot-makers hard by in the forest. He asked her whither she was going.
The poor child, who did not know that it was dangerous to stay and hear
a wolf talk, said to him, "I am going to see my grandmamma and carry her
a custard and a little pot of butter from my mamma."

"Does she live far off?" said the wolf.

"Oh! aye," answered Little Red Riding-Hood, "it is beyond the mill you
see there at the first house in the village."

"Well," said the wolf, "and I'll go and see her too. I'll go this way
and you go that, and we shall see who will be there soonest."

The wolf began to run as fast as he could, taking the nearest way, and
the little girl went by that farthest about, diverting herself by
gathering nuts, running after butterflies, and making nosegays of such
little flowers as she met with. The wolf was not long before he got to
the old woman's house. He knocked at the door--tap, tap.

"Who's there?"

"Your grandchild, Little Red Riding-Hood," replied the wolf,
counterfeiting her voice, "who has brought you a custard and a pot of
butter sent you by mamma."

The good grandmother, who was in bed because she was somewhat ill, cried
out, "Pull the bobbin and the latch will go up."

The wolf pulled the bobbin and the door opened, and then presently he
fell upon the good woman and ate her up in a moment, for it was above
three days that he had not touched a bit. He then shut the door and went
into the grandmother's bed, expecting Little Red Riding-Hood, who came
some time afterward and knocked at the door--tap, tap.

"Who's there?"

Little Red Riding-Hood, hearing the big voice of the wolf, was at first
afraid, but believing her grandmother had got a cold and was hoarse,
answered, "'Tis your grandchild, Little Red Riding-Hood, who has brought
you a custard and a little pot of butter mamma sends you."

The wolf cried out to her, softening his voice as much as he could,
"Pull the bobbin and the latch will go up."

Little Red Riding-Hood pulled the bobbin and the door opened.

The wolf, seeing her come in, said to her, hiding himself under the
bedclothes, "Put the custard and the little pot of butter upon the stool
and come and lie down with me."

Little Red Riding-Hood undressed herself and went into bed, where, being
greatly amazed to see how her grandmother looked in her night-clothes,
she said to her, "Grandmamma, what great arms you have got!"

"That is the better to hug thee, my dear."

"Grandmamma, what great legs you have got!"

"That is to run the better, my child."

"Grandmamma, what great ears you have got!"

"That is to hear the better, my child."

"Grandmamma, what great eyes you have got!"

"It is to see the better, my child."

"Grandmamma, what great teeth you have got!"

"That is to eat thee up."

And saying these words, this wicked wolf fell upon Little Red
Riding-Hood and ate her all up.


        Because many modern teachers are distressed at
        the tragedy of the real story of "Little Red
        Riding Hood" as just given, they prefer some
        softened form of the tale. The Grimm version,
        "Little Red Cap," is generally used by those
        who insist on a happy ending. There Little Red
        Riding Hood and her grandmother are both
        recovered and the wicked wolf destroyed. The
        story that follows is from a modern French
        author, Charles Marelles, and is given in the
        translation found in Lang's _Red Fairy Book_.
        In it the events are dramatically imagined in
        detail, even if the writer does turn it all
        into a sunflower myth at the close.


You know the tale of poor Little Red Riding-Hood, that the wolf deceived
and devoured, with her cake, her little butter can, and her grandmother.
Well, the true story happened quite differently, as we know now. And
first of all, the little girl was called and is still called Little
Golden Hood; secondly, it was not she, nor the good granddame, but the
wicked wolf who was, in the end, caught and devoured.

Only listen.

The story begins something like the tale.

There was once a little peasant girl, pretty and nice as a star in its
season. Her real name was Blanchette, but she was more often called
Little Golden Hood, on account of a wonderful little cloak with a hood,
gold and fire colored, which she always had on. This little hood was
given her by her grandmother, who was so old that she did not know her
age; it ought to bring her good luck, for it was made of a ray of
sunshine, she said. And as the good old woman was considered something
of a witch, every one thought the little hood rather bewitched too.

And so it was, as you will see.

One day the mother said to the child: "Let us see, my little Golden
Hood, if you know now how to find your way by yourself. You shall take
this good piece of cake to your grandmother for a Sunday treat
to-morrow. You will ask her how she is, and come back at once, without
stopping to chatter on the way with people you don't know. Do you quite

"I quite understand," replied Blanchette gayly. And off she went with
the cake, quite proud of her errand.

But the grandmother lived in another village, and there was a big wood
to cross before getting there. At a turn of the road under the trees
suddenly, "Who goes there?"

"Friend Wolf."

He had seen the child start alone, and the villain was waiting to devour
her, when at the same moment he perceived some wood-cutters who might
observe him, and he changed his mind. Instead of falling upon Blanchette
he came frisking up to her like a good dog.

"'Tis you! my nice Little Golden Hood," said he. So the little girl
stops to talk with the wolf, whom, for all that, she did not know in the

"You know me, then!" said she. "What is your name?"

"My name is friend Wolf. And where are you going thus, my pretty one,
with your little basket on your arm?"

"I am going to my grandmother to take her a good piece of cake for her
Sunday treat to-morrow."

"And where does she live, your grandmother?"

"She lives at the other side of the wood in the first house in the
village, near the windmill, you know."

"Ah! yes! I know now," said the wolf. "Well, that's just where I'm
going. I shall get there before you, no doubt, with your little bits of
legs, and I'll tell her you're coming to see her; then she'll wait for

Thereupon the wolf cuts across the wood, and in five minutes arrives at
the grandmother's house.

He knocks at the door: toc, toc.

No answer.

He knocks louder.


Then he stands up on end, puts his two fore paws on the latch, and the
door opens.

Not a soul in the house.

The old woman had risen early to sell herbs in the town, and had gone
off in such haste that she had left her bed unmade, with her great
night-cap on the pillow.

"Good!" said the wolf to himself, "I know what I'll do."

He shuts the door, pulls on the grandmother's night-cap down to his
eyes; then he lies down all his length in the bed and draws the

In the meantime the good Blanchette went quietly on her way, as little
girls do, amusing herself here and there by picking Easter daisies,
watching the little birds making their nests, and running after the
butterflies which fluttered in the sunshine.

At last she arrives at the door.

Knock, knock.

"Who is there?" says the wolf, softening his rough voice as best he can.

"It's me, granny, your Little Golden Hood. I'm bringing you a big piece
of cake for your Sunday treat to-morrow."

"Press your finger on the latch; then push and the door opens."

"Why, you've got a cold, granny," said she, coming in.

"Ahem! a little, my dear, a little," replies the wolf, pretending to
cough. "Shut the door well, my little lamb. Put your basket on the
table, and then take off your frock and come and lie down by me; you
shall rest a little."

The good child undresses, but observe this:--she kept her little hood
upon her head. When she saw what a figure her granny cut in bed, the
poor little thing was much surprised.

"Oh!" cries she, "how like you are to friend Wolf, grandmother!"

"That's on account of my night-cap, child," replies the wolf.

"Oh! what hairy arms you've got, grandmother!"

"All the better to hug you, my child."

"Oh! what a big tongue you've got, grandmother!"

"All the better for answering, child."

"Oh! what a mouthful of great white teeth you have, grandmother!"

"That's for crunching little children with!" And the wolf opened his
jaws wide to swallow Blanchette.

But she put down her head, crying, "Mamma! mamma!" and the wolf only
caught her little hood.

Thereupon, oh, dear! oh, dear! he draws back, crying and shaking his jaw
as if he had swallowed red-hot coals.

It was the little fire-colored hood that had burnt his tongue right down
his throat.

The little hood, you see, was one of those magic caps that they used to
have in former times, in the stories, for making one's self invisible or

So there was the wolf with his throat burned, jumping off the bed and
trying to find the door, howling and howling as if all the dogs in the
country were at his heels.

Just at this moment the grandmother arrives, returning from the town
with her long sack empty on her shoulder.

"Ah, brigand!" she cries, "wait a bit!" Quickly she opens her sack wide
across the door, and the maddened wolf springs in head downward.

It is he now that is caught, swallowed like a letter in the post. For
the brave old dame shuts her sack, so; and she runs and empties it in
the well, where the vagabond, still howling, tumbles in and is drowned.

"Ah, scoundrel! you thought you would crunch my little grandchild! Well,
to-morrow we will make her a muff of your skin, and you yourself shall
be crunched, for we will give your carcass to the dogs."

Thereupon the grandmother hastened to dress poor Blanchette, who was
still trembling with fear in the bed.

"Well," she said to her, "without my little hood where would you be now,
darling?" And, to restore heart and legs to the child, she made her eat
a good piece of her cake, and drink a good draught of wine, after which
she took her by the hand and led her back to the house.

And then, who was it who scolded her when she knew all that had

It was the mother.

But Blanchette promised over and over again that she would never more
stop to listen to a wolf, so that at last the mother forgave her.

And Blanchette, the Little Golden Hood, kept her word. And in fine
weather she may still be seen in the fields with her pretty little hood,
the color of the sun.

But to see her you must rise early.


        The next Perrault story is given in the
        traditional English form made by "R. S., Gent."
        Perrault met the popular taste of his time for
        "morals" by adding more or less playful ones in
        verse to his stories. Here is a prose rendering
        of a portion of the _Moralité_ attached to
        "Puss-in-Boots": "However great may be the
        advantage of enjoying a rich inheritance coming
        down from father to son, industry and ingenuity
        are worth more to young people as a usual thing
        than goods acquired without personal effort."
        In relation to this moral, Ralston says, "the
        conclusion at which an ordinary reader would
        arrive, if he were not dazzled by fairy-land
        glamor, would probably be that far better than
        either tact and industry on a master's part is
        the loyalty of an unscrupulous retainer of an
        imaginative turn of mind. The impropriety of
        this teaching is not balanced by any other form
        of instruction. What the story openly
        inculcates is not edifying, and it does not
        secretly convey any improving doctrine." But on
        the other hand it may be argued that the
        "moral" passes over the child's head. Miss
        Kready, in her _Study of Fairy Tales_ (p. 275),
        makes a very elaborate and proper defense of
        "Puss-in-Boots" as a story for children. There
        is delight in its strong sense of adventure, it
        has a hero clever and quick, there is loyalty,
        love, and sacrifice in Puss's devotion to his
        master, the tricks are true to "cat-nature,"
        there are touches of nature beauty, a simple
        and pleasing plot, while we should not forget
        the delightful Ogre and his transformations
        into Lion and Mouse. The story is found in many
        forms among many different peoples. Perhaps the
        great stroke of genius which endears Perrault's
        version is in the splendid boots with which his
        tale provides the hero so that briers may not
        interfere with his doings. (Extended studies of
        this tale and its many parallels may be found
        in Lang's _Perrault's Popular Tales_; in
        McCulloch's _Childhood of Fiction_, chap. viii;
        in an article by Ralston in the _Nineteenth
        Century_, January, 1883, reprinted in _Living
        Age_, Vol. CLVI, p. 362.)


There was once a miller who left no more estate to the three sons he had
than his mill, his ass, and his cat. The partition was soon made.
Neither the clerk nor the attorney was sent for. They would soon have
eaten up all the poor patrimony. The eldest had the mill, the second the
ass, and the youngest nothing but the cat.

The poor young fellow was quite comfortless at having so poor a lot. "My
brothers," said he, "may get their living handsomely enough by joining
their stocks together; but for my part, when I have eaten up my cat and
made me a muff of his skin, I must die with hunger."

The cat, who heard all this, but made as if he did not, said to him with
a grave and serious air; "Do not thus afflict yourself, my good master;
you have nothing else to do but to give me a bag and get a pair of
boots made for me, that I may scamper through the dirt and the brambles,
and you shall see that you have not so bad a portion of me as you

Though the cat's master did not build very much upon what he said, he
had, however, often seen him play a great many cunning tricks to catch
rats and mice; as when he used to hang by the heels, or hide himself in
the meal and make as if he were dead; so he did not altogether despair
of his affording him some help in his miserable condition.

When the cat had what he asked for, he booted himself very gallantly;
and putting his bag about his neck, he held the strings of it in his two
fore paws and went into a warren where was a great abundance of rabbits.
He put bran and sow-thistles into his bag, and, stretching himself out
at length as if he had been dead, he waited for some young rabbits, not
yet acquainted with the deceits of the world, to come and rummage his
bag for what he had just put into it.

Scarce was he lain down but he had what he wanted. A rash and foolish
young rabbit jumped into his bag, and master Puss, immediately drawing
close the strings, took and killed him without pity. Proud of his prey,
he went with it to the palace and asked to speak with his majesty. He
was shown upstairs into the king's apartment, and, making a low
reverence, said to him: "I have brought you, sir, a rabbit of the warren
which my noble lord, the Marquis of Carabas" (for that was the title
which Puss was pleased to give his master), "has commanded me to present
to your majesty from him."

"Tell thy master," said the king, "that I thank him and that he gives me
a great deal of pleasure."

Another time he went and hid himself among some standing corn, holding
still his bag open; and when a brace of partridges ran into it, he drew
the strings and so caught them both. He went and made a present of these
to the king, as he had done before of the rabbit which he took in the
warren. The king in like manner received the partridges with great
pleasure and ordered him some money.

The cat continued for two or three months thus to carry his majesty,
from time to time, game of his master's taking. One day in particular,
when he knew for certain that he was to take the air along the riverside
with his daughter, the most beautiful princess in the world, he said to
his master: "If you will follow my advice, your fortune is made. You
have nothing else to do but go and wash yourself in the river, in that
part I shall show you, and leave the rest to me." The Marquis of Carabas
did what the cat advised him to, without knowing why or wherefore.

While he was washing, the king passed by, and the cat began to cry out
as loud as he could, "Help, help! my lord Marquis of Carabas is going to
be drowned." At this noise the king put his head out of his
coach-window, and, finding it was the cat who had so often brought him
such good game, he commanded his guards to run immediately to the
assistance of his lordship, the Marquis of Carabas.

While they were drawing the poor marquis out of the river, the cat came
up to the coach and told the king that while his master was washing
there came by some rogues, who went off with his clothes though he had
cried out, "Thieves, thieves," as loud as he could. This cunning cat had
hidden them under a great stone. The king immediately commanded the
officers of his wardrobe to run and fetch one of his best suits for the
lord Marquis of Carabas.

The king caressed him after a very extraordinary manner; and as the fine
clothes he had given him extremely set off his good mien (for he was
well made and very handsome in his person), the king's daughter took a
secret inclination to him, and the Marquis of Carabas had no sooner cast
two or three respectful and somewhat tender glances, but she fell in
love with him to distraction. The king would needs have him come into
his coach and take part of the airing. The cat, quite overjoyed to see
his project begin to succeed, marched on before, and meeting with some
countrymen who were mowing a meadow, he said to them, "Good people, you
who are mowing, if you do not tell the king, who will soon pass this
way, that the meadow you mow belongs to my lord Marquis of Carabas, you
shall be chopped as small as herbs for the pot."

The king did not fail asking of the mowers to whom the meadow they were
mowing belonged: "To my lord Marquis of Carabas," answered they, all
together, for the cat's threats had made them terribly afraid.

"You see, sir," said the marquis, "this is a meadow which never fails to
yield a plentiful harvest every year."

The master-cat, who went still on before, met with some reapers, and
said to them, "Good people, you who are reaping, if you do not tell the
king, who will presently go by, that all this corn belongs to the
Marquis of Carabas, you shall be chopped as small as herbs for the pot."

The king, who passed by a moment after, would needs know to whom all
that corn, which he then saw, did belong. "To my lord Marquis of
Carabas," replied the reapers; and the king was very well pleased with
it, as well as the marquis, whom he congratulated thereupon. The
master-cat, who went always before, said the same words to all he met;
and the king was astonished at the vast estates of my lord Marquis of

Master Puss came at last to a stately castle, the owner of which was an
ogre, the richest that had ever been known, for all the lands which the
king had then gone over belonged to this castle. The cat, who had taken
care to inform himself who the ogre was and what he could do, asked to
speak with him, saying he could not pass so near his castle without
having the honor of paying his respects to him.

The ogre received him as civilly as an ogre could do and made him sit
down. "I have been assured," said the cat, "that you have the gift of
being able to change yourself into all sorts of creatures you have a
mind to. You can, for example, transform yourself into a lion, or
elephant, and the like."

"This is true," answered the ogre very briskly, "and to convince you,
you shall see me now become a lion."

Puss was so sadly terrified at the sight of a lion so near him that he
immediately got into the gutter, not without abundance of trouble and
danger, because of his boots, which were of no use at all to him in
walking upon the tiles. A little while after, when Puss saw that the
ogre had resumed his natural form, he came down and owned he had been
very much frightened.

"I have been, moreover, informed," said the cat, "but I know not how to
believe it, that you have also the power to take on you the shape of the
smallest animals; for example, to change yourself into a rat or a mouse;
but I must own to you, I take this to be impossible."

"Impossible!" cried the ogre, "you shall see that presently," and at the
same time changed himself into a mouse, and began to run about the
floor. Puss no sooner perceived this but he fell upon him and ate him

Meanwhile, the king, who saw, as he passed, this fine castle of the
ogre's, had a mind to go into it. Puss, who heard the noise of his
majesty's coach running over the drawbridge, ran out and said to the
king, "Your Majesty is welcome to this castle of my lord Marquis of

"What! my lord Marquis!" cried the king, "and does this castle also
belong to you? There can be nothing finer than this court and all the
stately buildings which surround it; let us go into it, if you please."
They passed into a spacious hall, where they found a magnificent
collation which the ogre had prepared for his friends, who were that
very day to visit him, but dared not to enter, knowing the king was
there. His majesty was perfectly charmed with the good qualities of my
lord Marquis of Carabas, as was his daughter, who had fallen in love
with him; and seeing the vast estate he possessed, said to him while
they sat at the feast, "It will be owing to yourself only, my lord
Marquis, if you are not my son-in-law." The marquis, making several low
bows, accepted the honor which his majesty conferred upon him, and
forthwith, that very same day, married the princess.

Puss became a great lord, and never ran after mice any more, but only
for his diversion.


        Perrault attached to the next story this moral:
        "Diamonds and dollars influence minds, and yet
        gentle words have more effect and are more to
        be esteemed. . . . It is a lot of trouble to be
        upright and it requires some effort, but sooner
        or later it finds its reward, and generally
        when one is least expecting it." English
        versions are usually given the title "Toads and
        Diamonds," though Perrault's title was simply
        "The Fairies" ("Les Fées"). Lang calls
        attention to the fact that the origin of the
        story is "manifestly moral." He thinks "it is
        an obvious criticism that the elder girl should
        have met the fairy first; she was not likely to
        behave so rudely when she knew that politeness
        would be rewarded." It would be interesting for
        a story-teller to test the effect of relating
        the incidents in the order suggested by Lang.


There was once upon a time a widow who had two daughters. The oldest was
so much like her in face and humor that whoever looked upon the daughter
saw the mother. They were both so disagreeable and so proud that there
was no living with them. The youngest, who was the very picture of her
father for courtesy and sweetness of temper, was withal one of the most
beautiful girls that was ever seen. As people naturally love their own
likenesses, this mother ever doted on her eldest daughter and at the
same time had a sad aversion for the youngest. She made her eat in the
kitchen and work continually.

Among other things, this poor child was forced twice a day to draw water
above a mile and a half from the house, and bring home a pitcher full of
it. One day as she was at this fountain there came to her a poor woman,
who begged of her to let her drink. "Oh, yes, with all my heart,
Goody," said this pretty little girl; and rinsing the pitcher, she took
up some water from the clearest place of the fountain and gave it to
her, holding up the pitcher all the while that she might drink the

The good woman having drunk, said to her, "You are so very pretty, my
dear, so good and so mannerly, that I cannot help giving you a
gift"--for this was a fairy, who had taken the form of a poor country
woman to see how far the civility and good manners of this pretty girl
would go. "I will give you for gift," continued the fairy, "that at
every word you speak, there shall come out of your mouth either a flower
or a jewel."

When this pretty girl came home, her mother scolded at her for staying
so long at the fountain. "I beg your pardon, mamma," said the poor girl,
"for not making more haste"; and, in speaking these words, there came
out of her mouth two roses, two pearls, and two large diamonds.

"What is it I see there?" said her mother quite astonished. "I think I
see pearls and diamonds come out of the girl's mouth! How happens this,
my child?"--This was the first time she ever called her her child.

The poor creature told her frankly all the matter, not without dropping
out infinite numbers of diamonds. "In good faith," cried the mother, "I
must send my child thither. Come hither, Fanny. Look what comes out of
your sister's mouth when she speaks! Would you not be glad, my dear, to
have the same gift given to you? You have nothing else to do but go draw
water out of the fountain, and when a certain poor woman asks you to let
her drink, to give it her very civilly."

"It would be a very fine sight, indeed," said this ill-bred minx, "to
see me go draw water!"

"You shall go, hussy," said the mother, "and this minute." So away she
went, but grumbling all the way and taking with her the best silver
tankard in the house.

She was no sooner at the fountain than she saw coming out of the wood a
lady most gloriously dressed, who came up to her and asked to drink.
This was, you must know, the very fairy who appeared to her sister, but
who had now taken the air and dress of a princess to see how far this
girl's rudeness would go. "Am I come hither," said the proud, saucy
maid, "to serve you with water, pray? I suppose the silver tankard was
brought purely for your ladyship, was it? However, you may drink out of
it, if you have a fancy."

"You are not over and above mannerly," answered the fairy, without
putting herself in a passion. "Well, then, since you have so little
breeding and are so disobliging, I give you for gift, that at every word
you speak there shall come out of your mouth a snake or a toad."

So soon as her mother saw her coming, she cried out, "Well, daughter."

"Well, mother," answered the pert hussy, throwing out of her mouth two
vipers and two toads.

"Oh, mercy!" cried the mother, "what is it I see? Oh, it is that wretch,
her sister, who has occasioned all this; but she shall pay for it"; and
immediately she ran to beat her. The poor child fled away from her and
went to hide herself in the forest, not far from thence.

The king's son, then on his return from hunting, met her, and seeing her
so very pretty, asked her what she did there alone, and why she cried.
"Alas, sir! my mamma has turned me out of doors." The king's son, who
saw five or six pearls, and as many diamonds, come out of her mouth,
desired her to tell him how that happened. She thereupon told him the
whole story; and so the king's son fell in love with her; and,
considering with himself that such a gift was worth more than any
marriage-portion whatsoever in another, he conducted her to the palace
of the king his father and there married her.

As for her sister, she made herself so much hated that her own mother
turned her off; and the miserable girl, having wandered about a good
while without finding anybody to take her in, went to a corner in the
wood and there died.


        "Cinderella" is one of the world's greatest
        romantic stories. Its theme is a favorite in
        all folk literature. Young and old alike have
        never tired of hearing of the victories won by
        the deserving in the face of all sorts of
        obstacles. Perrault in his verse moral observes
        that "while beauty is a rare treasure for a
        woman, yet a winning manner, or personality, is
        worth even more." Still further, as if
        conscious of the part influence plays in the
        world, he says that "while it is doubtless a
        great advantage to have wit and courage,
        breeding and good sense, and other such natural
        endowments, still they will be of no earthly
        use for our advancement unless we have, to
        bring them into play, either godfathers or
        godmothers." One should not, however, take too
        seriously any moralizing over a fairy story
        whether by Perrault or another.

        In one of the most thorough studies of a single
        folk tale, Miss Roalfe Cox's _Cinderella_, with
        an introduction by Andrew Lang, some three
        hundred and fifty variants of the story have
        been analyzed. The thing that marks a
        Cinderella story is the presence in it of the
        "slipper test." The finest versions are those
        by Perrault and the Grimms, and they are almost
        equally favorites with children. The Perrault
        form as found in the old English translation is
        given here for reasons stated by Ralston in his
        study of the Cinderella type: "But Perrault's
        rendering of the tale naturalised it in the
        polite world, gave it for cultured circles an
        attraction which it is never likely to lose. . . .
        It is with human more than with mythological
        interest that the story is replete, and
        therefore it appeals to human hearts with a
        force which no lapse of time can diminish. Such
        supernatural machinery as is introduced,
        moreover, has a charm for children which older
        versions of the tale do not possess. The
        pumpkin carriage, the rat coachman, the lizard
        lacqueys, and all the other properties of the
        transformation scene, appeal at once to the
        imagination and the sense of humor of every
        beholder." (_Nineteenth Century_, November,


Once there was a gentleman who married, for his second wife, the
proudest and most haughty woman that was ever seen. She had, by a former
husband, two daughters of her own humor, who were indeed exactly like
her in all things. He had likewise, by another wife, a young daughter,
but of unparalleled goodness and sweetness of temper, which she took
from her mother, who was the best creature in the world.

No sooner were the ceremonies of the wedding over but the step-mother
began to show herself in her colors. She could not bear the good
qualities of this pretty girl; and the less because they made her own
daughters appear the more odious. She employed her in the meanest work
of the house; she scoured the dishes and tables, and cleaned madam's
room and the rooms of misses, her daughters; she lay up in a sorry
garret, upon a wretched straw-bed, while her sisters lay in fine rooms,
with floors all inlaid, upon beds of the very newest fashion, and where
they had looking-glasses so large that they might see themselves at
their full length, from head to foot.

The poor girl bore all patiently, and dared not tell her father, who
would have rattled her off, for his wife governed him entirely. When she
had done her work, she used to go into the chimney corner and sit down
among cinders and ashes, which made her commonly called Cinder-wench;
but the youngest, who was not so rude and uncivil as the eldest, called
her Cinderella. However, Cinderella, notwithstanding her mean apparel,
was a hundred times handsomer than her sisters, though they were always
dressed very richly.

It happened that the king's son gave a ball, and invited all persons of
fashion to it. Our young misses were also invited, for they cut a very
grand figure among the quality. They were mightily delighted at this
invitation, and wonderfully busy in choosing out such gowns, petticoats,
and head-clothes as might best become them. This was a new trouble to
Cinderella, for it was she who ironed her sisters' linen and plaited
their ruffles. They talked all day long of nothing but how they should
be dressed. "For my part," said the eldest, "I will wear my red velvet
suit with French trimmings."

"And I," said the youngest, "shall only have my usual petticoat; but
then, to make amends for that, I will put on my gold flowered manteau
and my diamond stomacher, which is far from being the most ordinary one
in the world." They sent for the best tire-woman they could get to make
up their head-dresses, and they had their patches from the very best

Cinderella was likewise called up to them to be consulted in all these
matters, for she had excellent notions and advised them always for the
best; nay, and offered her service to dress their heads, which they were
very willing she should do. As she was doing this, they said to her,
"Cinderella, would you not be glad to go to the ball?"

"Ah!" said she, "you only jeer at me; it is not for such as I am to go

"Thou art in the right of it," replied they; "it would make the people
laugh to see a cinder-wench at a ball."

Any one but Cinderella would have dressed their heads awry, but she was
very good, and dressed them perfectly well. They were almost two days
without eating, so much they were transported with joy. They broke above
a dozen of laces in trying to be laced up close, that they might have a
fine slender shape, and they were continually at their looking-glass. At
last the happy day came. They went to court, and Cinderella followed
them with her eyes as long as she could, and when she had lost sight of
them, she fell a-crying.

Her godmother, who saw her all in tears, asked her what was the matter.
"I wish I could--I wish I could--"; she was not able to speak the rest,
being interrupted by her tears and sobbing.

This godmother of hers, who was a fairy, said to her, "Thou wishest thou
couldest go to the ball. Is it not so?"

"Y--es," cried Cinderella with a great sigh.

"Well," said her godmother, "be but a good girl, and I will contrive
that thou shalt go."

Then she took her into her chamber and said to her, "Run into the garden
and bring me a pumpkin." Cinderella went immediately to gather the
finest she could get, and brought it to her godmother, not being able to
imagine how this pumpkin could make her go to the ball. Her godmother
scooped out all the inside of it, having left nothing but the rind;
which done, she struck it with her wand, and the pumpkin was instantly
turned into a fine coach, gilded all over with gold.

She then went to look into her mouse-trap, where she found six mice, all
alive, and ordered Cinderella to lift up a little the trap-door. Then
she gave each mouse, as it went out, a little tap with her wand, and the
mouse was that moment turned into a fair horse. All together the mice
made a very fine set of six horses of a beautiful mouse-colored
dapple-gray. Being at a loss for a coachman, "I will go and see," said
Cinderella, "if there be never a rat in the rat-trap, that we may make a
coachman of him."

"Thou art in the right," replied her godmother; "go and look."

Cinderella brought the trap to her, and in it there were three huge
rats. The fairy made choice of one of the three, which had the largest
beard, and, having touched him with her wand, he was turned into a fat,
jolly coachman, who had the smartest whiskers that eyes ever beheld.

After that her godmother said to her, "Go again into the garden and you
will find six lizards behind the watering pot; bring them to me." She
had no sooner done so, than the fairy turned them into six footmen, who
skipped up immediately behind the coach, with their liveries all
bedecked with gold and silver, and clung as close behind each other as
if they had done nothing else their whole lives. The fairy then said to
Cinderella, "Well, you see here an equipage fit to go to the ball with.
Are you not pleased with it?"

"Oh, yes," cried she, "but must I go thither as I am, in these filthy
rags?" Her godmother only just touched her with her wand, and at the
same instant her clothes were turned into cloth of gold and silver, all
beset with jewels. This done, she gave her a pair of glass slippers, the
prettiest in the whole world.

Being thus decked out, she got up into her coach; but her godmother,
above all things, commanded her not to stay till after midnight, telling
her that if she stayed at the ball one moment longer, her coach would be
a pumpkin again, her horses mice, her coachman a rat, her footmen
lizards, and her clothes just as they were before.

She promised her godmother she would not fail of leaving the ball before
midnight; and then away she drives, scarce able to contain herself for
joy. The king's son, who was told that a great princess, whom nobody
knew, was come, ran out to receive her. He gave her his hand as she
alighted from the coach, and led her into the hall among all the
company. There was immediately a profound silence. They left off
dancing, and the violins ceased to play, so attentive was every one to
contemplate the singular beauties of this unknown new-comer. Nothing was
then heard but a confused noise of, "Ha! how handsome she is! Ha! how
handsome she is!" The king himself, old as he was, could not help ogling
her and telling the queen softly that it was a long time since he had
seen so beautiful and lovely a creature. All the ladies were busied in
considering her clothes and head-dress, that they might have some made
next day after the same pattern, provided they could meet with such fine
materials and as able hands to make them.

The king's son conducted her to the most honorable seat and afterwards
took her out to dance with him. She danced so very gracefully that they
all more and more admired her. A fine collation was served up, whereof
the young prince ate not a morsel, so intently was he busied in gazing
on her. She went and sat down by her sisters, showing them a thousand
civilities, giving them part of the oranges and citrons which the prince
had presented her with; which very much surprised them, for they did not
know her. While Cinderella was thus amusing her sisters, she heard the
clock strike eleven and three quarters, whereupon she immediately made a
courtesy to the company and hasted away as fast as she could.

Being got home, she ran to seek out her godmother; and having thanked
her, she said she could not but heartily wish she might go next day to
the ball, because the king's son had desired her. As she was eagerly
telling her godmother whatever had passed at the ball, her two sisters
knocked at the door, which Cinderella ran and opened. "How long you have
stayed!" cried she, gaping, rubbing her eyes, and stretching herself as
if she had been just awakened out of her sleep; she had not, however,
any manner of inclination to sleep since they went from home.

"If thou hadst been at the ball," said one of her sisters, "thou
wouldest not have been tired with it. There came thither the finest
princess, the most beautiful ever seen with mortal eyes. She showed us a
thousand civilities and gave us oranges and citrons." Cinderella seemed
very indifferent in the matter; indeed, she asked them the name of the
princess, but they told her they did not know it and that the king's son
was very uneasy on her account and would give all the world to know who
she was.

At this Cinderella, smiling, replied, "She must then be very beautiful
indeed! How happy have you been! Could not I see her? Ah! dear Miss
Charlotte, do lend me your yellow suit of clothes, which you wear every

"Ay, to be sure," cried Miss Charlotte, "lend my clothes to such a dirty
cinder-wench as thou art! Who's the fool then?" Cinderella indeed
expected some such answer and was very glad of the refusal, for she
would have been sadly put to it if her sister had lent her what she
asked for jestingly.

The next day the two sisters were at the ball, and so was Cinderella,
but dressed more magnificently than before. The king's son was always by
her side and never ceased his compliments and amorous speeches to her;
to whom all this was so far from being tiresome that she quite forgot
what her godmother had recommended to her, so that she at last counted
the clock striking twelve when she took it to be no more than eleven.
She then rose up and fled as nimble as a deer. The prince followed, but
could not overtake her. She left behind one of her glass slippers, which
the prince took up most carefully. She got home, but quite out of
breath, without coach or footmen, and in her old cinder clothes, having
nothing left of all her finery but one of the little slippers, fellow to
that she dropped. The guards at the palace gate were asked if they had
not seen a princess go out. They said they had seen nobody go out but a
young girl very meanly dressed, who had more the air of a poor country
wench than a gentlewoman.

When the two sisters returned from the ball, Cinderella asked them if
they had been well diverted and if the fine lady had been there. They
told her yes, but that she hurried away immediately when it struck
twelve and with so much haste that she dropped one of her little glass
slippers, the prettiest in the world, which the king's son had taken up;
that he had done nothing but look at her all the time of the ball, and
that most certainly he was very much in love with the beautiful person
who owned the little glass slipper.

What they said was very true, for a few days after, the king's son
caused to be proclaimed by sound of trumpets that he would marry her
whose foot this slipper would just fit. They whom he employed began to
try it on upon the princesses, then the duchesses, and all the court,
but in vain. It was brought to the two sisters, who did all they
possibly could to thrust their foot into the slipper, but they could not
effect it. Cinderella, who saw all this and knew her slipper, said to
them, laughing, "Let me see if it will not fit me!"

Her sisters burst out laughing and began to banter her. The gentleman
who was sent to try the slipper looked earnestly at Cinderella, and
finding her very handsome, said it was but just that she should try, and
that he had orders to let every one make trial. He obliged Cinderella to
sit down, and putting the slipper to her foot, he found it went in very
easily and fitted her as if it had been made of wax. The astonishment
her two sisters were in was excessively great, but still abundantly
greater when Cinderella pulled out of her pocket the other slipper and
put it on her foot. Thereupon in came her godmother, who having touched,
with her wand, Cinderella's clothes, made them richer and more
magnificent than any of those she had before.

And now her two sisters found her to be that fine beautiful lady whom
they had seen at the ball. They threw themselves at her feet to beg
pardon for all the ill treatment they had made her undergo. Cinderella
took them up, and as she embraced them, cried that she forgave them with
all her heart and desired them always to love her. She was conducted to
the young prince, dressed as she was. He thought her more charming than
ever, and a few days after, married her. Cinderella, who was no less
good than beautiful, gave her two sisters lodgings in the palace, and
that very same day matched them with two great lords of the court.


        The hero of the next story is often known as
        Drakesbill, which easily becomes Bill Drake.
        The version that follows is a translation from
        the French of Charles Marelles as given by Lang
        in his _Red Fairy Book_. It has a raciness not
        in those softened versions in which one friend
        gets into a pocket, another under a wing, and
        so on. The persistent energy of the little
        hero, his resourcefulness in difficulty, his
        loyal friends, the unexpected honor that comes
        as recognition of his success, the humor that
        pervades every character and incident, make
        this one of the most delightful of children's


Drakestail was very little, that is why he was called Drakestail; but
tiny as he was he had brains, and he knew what he was about, for having
begun with nothing he ended by amassing a hundred crowns. Now the king
of the country, who was very extravagant and never kept any money,
having heard that Drakestail had some, went one day in his own person to
borrow his hoard, and, my word, in those days Drakestail was not a
little proud of having lent money to the king. But after the first and
second year, seeing that he never even dreamed of paying the interest,
he became uneasy, so much so that at last he resolved to go and see his
majesty himself, and get repaid. So one fine morning Drakestail, very
spruce and fresh, takes the road, singing: "Quack, quack, quack, when
shall I get my money back?"

He had not gone far when he met friend Fox, on his rounds that way.

"Good-morning, neighbor," says the friend; "where are you off to so

"I am going to the king for what he owes me."

"Oh! take me with thee!"

Drakestail said to himself: "One can't have too many friends." Aloud
says he, "I will, but going on all fours you will soon be tired. Make
yourself quite small, get into my throat--go into my gizzard, and I will
carry you."

"Happy thought!" says friend Fox.

He takes bag and baggage, and, presto! is gone like a letter into the

And Drakestail is off again, all spruce and fresh, still singing:
"Quack, quack, quack, when shall I have my money back?"

He had not gone far when he met his lady friend, Ladder, leaning on her

"Good-morning, my duckling," says the lady friend, "whither away so

"I am going to the king for what he owes me."

"Oh! take me with thee!"

Drakestail said to himself: "One can't have too many friends." Aloud
says he: "I will, but then with your wooden legs you will soon be tired.
Make yourself quite small, get into my throat--go into my gizzard, and I
will carry you."

"Happy thought!" says my friend Ladder, and nimble, bag and baggage,
goes to keep company with friend Fox.

And "Quack, quack, quack," Drakestail is off again, singing and spruce
as before. A little further he meets his sweetheart, my friend River,
wandering quietly in the sunshine.

"Thou, my cherub," says she, "whither so lonesome, with arching tail, on
this muddy road?"

"I am going to the king, you know, for what he owes me."

"Oh! take me with thee!"

Drakestail said to himself: "One can't have too many friends." Aloud
says he: "I will, but you who sleep while you walk will soon get tired.
Make yourself quite small, get into my throat--go into my gizzard, and I
will carry you."

"Ah! happy thought!" says my friend River.

She takes bag and baggage, and glou, glou, glou she takes her place
between friend Fox and my friend Ladder.

And "Quack, quack, quack," Drakestail is off again singing.

A little further on he meets comrade Wasp's-nest, maneuvering his wasps.

"Well, good-morning, friend Drakestail," said comrade Wasp's-nest,
"where are we bound for, so spruce and fresh?"

"I am going to the king for what he owes me."

"Oh! take me with thee!"

Drakestail said to himself, "One can't have too many friends." Aloud
says he: "I will, but then with your battalion to drag along, you will
soon be tired. Make yourself quite small, go into my throat--get into my
gizzard, and I will carry you."

"By Jove! that's a good idea!" says comrade Wasp's-nest.

And left file! he takes the same road to join the others with all his
party. There was not much room, but by closing up a bit they managed.
And Drakestail is off again singing.

He arrived thus at the capital, and threaded his way straight up the
High Street, still running and singing, "Quack, quack, quack, when shall
I get my money back?" to the great astonishment of the good folks, till
he came to the king's palace.

He strikes with the knocker: "Toc! toc!"

"Who is there?" asks the porter, putting his head out of the wicket.

"'Tis I, Drakestail. I wish to speak to the king."

"Speak to the king! That's easily said. The king is dining, and will not
be disturbed."

"Tell him that it is I, and I have come he well knows why."

The porter shuts his wicket and goes up to say it to the king, who was
just sitting down to dinner with a napkin round his neck, and all his

"Good, good!" said the king, laughing. "I know what it is! Make him come
in, and put him with the turkeys and chickens."

The porter descends.

"Have the goodness to enter."

"Good!" says Drakestail to himself, "I shall now see how they eat at

"This way, this way," says the porter. "One step further. There, there
you are."

"How? what? in the poultry-yard?"

Fancy how vexed Drakestail was!

"Ah! so that's it," says he. "Wait! I will compel you to receive me.
Quack, quack, quack, when shall I get my money back?" But turkeys and
chickens are creatures who don't like people that are not as themselves.
When they saw the new-comer and how he was made, and when they heard him
crying too, they began to look black at him.

"What is it? What does he want?"

Finally they rushed at him all together, to overwhelm him with pecks.

"I am lost!" said Drakestail to himself, when by good luck he remembers
his comrade friend Fox, and he cries:

        "Reynard, Reynard, come out of your earth,
         Or Drakestail's life is of little worth."

Then friend Fox, who was only waiting for these words, hastens out,
throws himself on the wicked fowls, and quick! quack! he tears them to
pieces; so much so that at the end of five minutes there was not one
left alive. And Drakestail, quite content, began to sing again, "Quack,
quack, quack, when shall I get my money back?"

When the king, who was still at table, heard this refrain, and the
poultry-woman came to tell him what had been going on in the yard, he
was terribly annoyed.

He ordered them to throw this tail of a drake into the well, to make an
end of him.

And it was done as he commanded. Drakestail was in despair of getting
himself out of such a deep hole, when he remembered his lady friend

        "Ladder, Ladder, come out of thy hold,
         Or Drakestail's days will soon be told."

My friend Ladder, who was only waiting for these words, hastens out,
leans her two arms on the edge of the well; then Drakestail climbs
nimbly on her back, and hop! he is in the yard, where he begins to sing
louder than ever.

When the king, who was still at table and laughing at the good trick he
had played his creditor, heard him again reclaiming his money, he became
livid with rage.

He commanded that the furnace should be heated, and this tail of a drake
thrown into it, because he must be a sorcerer.

The furnace was soon hot, but this time Drakestail was not so afraid; he
counted on his sweetheart, my friend River.

        "River, River, outward flow,
         Or to death Drakestail must go."

My friend River hastens out, and errouf! throws herself into the
furnace, which she floods, with all the people who had lighted it; after
which she flowed growling into the hall of the palace to the height of
more than four feet.

And Drakestail, quite content, begins to swim, singing deafeningly,
"Quack, quack, quack, when shall I get my money back?"

The king was still at table, and thought himself quite sure of his game;
but when he heard Drakestail singing again, and when they told him all
that had passed, he became furious and got up from the table brandishing
his fists.

"Bring him here, and I'll cut his throat! Bring him here quick!" cried

And quickly two footmen ran to fetch Drakestail.

"At last," said the poor chap, going up the great stairs, "they have
decided to receive me."

Imagine his terror when on entering he sees the king as red as a turkey
cock, and all his ministers attending him standing sword in hand. He
thought this time it was all up with him. Happily he remembered that
there was still one remaining friend, and he cried with dying accents:

        "Wasp's nest, Wasp's nest, make a sally,
         Or Drakestail nevermore may rally."

Hereupon the scene changes.

"Bs, bs, bayonet them!" The brave Wasp's-nest rushes out with all his
wasps. They threw themselves on the infuriated king and his ministers,
and stung them so fiercely in the face that they lost their heads, and
not knowing where to hide themselves they all jumped pell-mell from the
window and broke their necks on the pavement.

Behold Drakestail much astonished, all alone in the big saloon and
master of the field. He could not get over it.

Nevertheless, he remembered shortly what he had come for to the palace,
and improving the occasion, he set to work to hunt for his dear money.
But in vain he rummaged in all the drawers; he found nothing; all had
been spent.

And ferreting thus from room to room he came at last to the one with the
throne in it, and feeling fatigued, he sat himself down on it to think
over his adventure. In the meanwhile the people had found their king and
his ministers with their feet in the air on the pavement, and they had
gone into the palace to know how it had occurred. On entering the
throne-room, when the crowd saw that there was already someone on the
royal seat, they broke out in cries of surprise and joy:

        "The King is dead, long live the King!
         Heaven has sent us down this thing."

Drakestail, who was no longer surprised at anything, received the
acclamations of the people as if he had never done anything else all his

A few of them certainly murmured that a Drakestail would make a fine
king; those who knew him replied that a knowing Drakestail was a more
worthy king than a spendthrift like him who was lying on the pavement.
In short, they ran and took the crown off the head of the deceased, and
placed it on that of Drakestail, whom it fitted like wax.

Thus he became king.

"And now," said he after the ceremony, "ladies and gentlemen, let's go
to supper. I am so hungry!"


        The story of "Beauty and the Beast," while very
        old in its ruder forms, is known to us in a
        fine version which comes from the middle of the
        eighteenth century. Madame de Villeneuve, a
        French writer of some note and a follower of
        Perrault in the field of the fairy tale,
        published in 1740 a collection of stories
        (_Contes Marins_) supposed to be told by an old
        woman during a voyage to St. Domingo. Among
        these was "Beauty and the Beast" in a
        long-winded style extending to more than 250
        pages. In 1757, a greatly abridged form of this
        version was published by Madame de Beaumont,
        who was then living in England and who wrote
        many spirited tales designed for children. Her
        stories are full of the didactic element, and
        "Beauty and the Beast" is no exception to the
        rule. These "edifying commonplaces," however,
        are so sound and fit into the story so
        naturally that the reader does not suffer from
        their presence. The artificial character of the
        story is easily felt in contrast to the natural
        qualities of a folk version. The plot has all
        the perfection of a finished piece of literary
        art, and for this quality especially Madame de
        Beaumont's abridgement has always been heartily
        and rightly admired.


Once upon a time, in a far-off country, there lived a merchant who had
been so fortunate in all his undertakings that he was enormously rich.
As he had, however, six sons and six daughters, he found that his money
was not too much to let them have everything they fancied, as they were
accustomed to do.

But one day a most unexpected misfortune befell them. Their house caught
fire and was speedily burned to the ground, with all the splendid
furniture, the books, pictures, gold, silver, and precious goods it
contained; and this was only the beginning of their troubles. Their
father, who had until this moment prospered in all ways, suddenly lost
every ship he had upon the sea, either by dint of pirates, shipwreck, or
fire. Then he heard that his clerks in distant countries, whom he had
trusted entirely, had proved unfaithful, and at last from great wealth
he fell into direst poverty.

All that he had left was a little house in a desolate place at least a
hundred leagues from the town in which he had lived, and to this he was
forced to retreat with his children, who were in despair at the idea of
leading such a different life. Indeed, the daughters at first hoped that
their friends, who had been so numerous while they were rich, would
insist on their staying in their houses now they no longer possessed
one. But they soon found that they were left alone, and that their
former friends even attributed their misfortunes to their own
extravagance, and showed no intention of offering them any help. So
nothing was left for them but to take their departure to the cottage,
which stood in the midst of a dark forest, and seemed to be the most
dismal place upon the face of the earth.

As they were too poor to have any servants, the girls had to work hard,
like peasants, and the sons, for their part, cultivated the fields to
earn their living. Roughly clothed, and living in the simplest way, the
girls regretted unceasingly the luxuries and amusements of their former
life; only the youngest tried to be brave and cheerful. She had been as
sad as anyone when the misfortune first overtook her father, but, soon
recovering her natural gayety, she set to work to make the best of
things, to amuse her father and brothers as well as she could, and to
try to persuade her sisters to join her in dancing and singing. But they
would do nothing of the sort, and because she was not as doleful as
themselves they declared that this miserable life was all she was fit
for. But she was really far prettier and cleverer than they were;
indeed, she was so lovely that she was always called Beauty. After two
years, when they were all beginning to get used to their new life,
something happened to disturb their tranquillity. Their father received
the news that one of his ships, which he had believed to be lost, had
come safely into port with a rich cargo.

All the sons and daughters at once thought that their poverty was at an
end and wanted to set out directly for the town, but their father, who
was more prudent, begged them to wait a little, and though it was
harvest-time and he could ill be spared, determined to go himself first
to make inquiries. Only the youngest daughter had any doubt but that
they would soon be as rich as they were before, or at least rich enough
to live comfortably in some town where they would find amusement and gay
companions once more. So they all loaded their father with commissions
for jewels and dresses which it would have taken a fortune to buy; only
Beauty, feeling sure that it was of no use, did not ask for anything.
Her father, noticing her silence, said: "And what shall I bring for you,

"The only thing I wish for is to see you come home safely," she

But this reply vexed her sisters, who fancied she was blaming them for
having asked for such costly things. Her father was pleased, but as he
thought that at her age she certainly ought to like pretty presents, he
told her to choose something.

"Well, dear father," said she, "as you insist upon it, I beg that you
will bring me a rose. I have not seen one since we came here, and I love
them so much."

So the merchant set out and reached the town as quickly as possible, but
only to find that his former companions, believing him to be dead, had
divided between them the goods which the ship had brought; and after six
months of trouble and expense he found himself as poor as when he
started, having been able to recover only just enough to pay the cost
of the journey. To make matters worse, he was obliged to leave the town
in terrible weather, so that by the time he was within a few leagues of
his home he was almost exhausted with cold and fatigue. Though he knew
it would take some hours to get through the forest, he was so anxious to
be at his journey's end that he resolved to go on; but night overtook
him, and the deep snow and bitter frost made it impossible for his horse
to carry him any further. Not a house was to be seen. The only shelter
he could get was the hollow trunk of a great tree, and there he crouched
all the night, which seemed to him the longest he had ever known. In
spite of his weariness the howling of the wolves kept him awake, and
even when at last the day broke he was not much better off, for the
falling snow had covered up every path and he did not know which way to

At length he made out some sort of track, and though at the beginning it
was so rough and slippery that he fell down more than once, it presently
became easier and led him into an avenue of trees which ended in a
splendid castle. It seemed to the merchant very strange that no snow had
fallen in the avenue, which was entirely composed of orange-trees,
covered with flowers and fruit. When he reached the first court of the
castle he saw before him a flight of agate steps, and went up them and
passed through several splendidly furnished rooms. The pleasant warmth
of the air revived him and he felt very hungry; but there seemed to be
nobody in all this vast and splendid palace whom he could ask to give
him something to eat. Deep silence reigned everywhere, and at last,
tired of roaming through empty rooms and galleries, he stopped in a room
smaller than the rest, where a clear fire was burning and a couch was
drawn up cozily, close to it. Thinking that this must be prepared for
some one who was expected, he sat down to wait till he should come and
very soon fell into a sweet sleep.

When his extreme hunger wakened him after several hours he was still
alone, but a little table, upon which was a good dinner, had been drawn
up close to him, and as he had eaten nothing for twenty-four hours he
lost no time in beginning his meal, hoping that he might soon have an
opportunity of thanking his considerate entertainer, whoever it might
be. But no one appeared, and even after another long sleep, from which
he awoke completely refreshed, there was no sign of anybody, though a
fresh meal of dainty cakes and fruit was prepared upon a little table at
his elbow. Being naturally timid, the silence began to terrify him, and
he resolved to search once more through all the rooms; but it was of no
use. Not even a servant was to be seen; there was no sign of life in the
palace! He began to wonder what he should do, and to amuse himself by
pretending that all the treasures he saw were his own, and considering
how he would divide them among his children. Then he went down into the
garden, and though it was winter everywhere else, here the sun shone,
and the birds sang, and the flowers bloomed, and the air was soft and
sweet. The merchant, in ecstasies with all he saw and heard, said to

"All this must be meant for me. I will go this minute and bring my
children to share all these delights."

In spite of being so cold and weary when he reached the castle, he had
taken his horse to the stable and fed it. Now he thought he would saddle
it for his homeward journey, and he turned down the path which led to
the stable. This path had a hedge of roses on each side of it, and the
merchant thought he had never seen or smelled such exquisite flowers.
They reminded him of his promise to Beauty, and he stopped and had just
gathered one to take to her when he was startled by a strange noise
behind him. Turning round he saw a frightful beast, which seemed to be
very angry and said in a terrible voice: "Who told you that you might
gather my roses? Was it not enough that I allowed you to be in my palace
and was kind to you? This is the way you show your gratitude, by
stealing my flowers! But your insolence shall not go unpunished."

The merchant, terrified by these furious words, dropped the fatal rose,
and throwing himself on his knees cried: "Pardon me, noble sir. I am
truly grateful to you for your hospitality, which was so magnificent
that I could not imagine that you would be offended by my taking such a
little thing as a rose." But the beast's anger was not lessened by this

"You are very ready with excuses and flattery," he cried; "but that will
not save you from the death you deserve."

"Alas!" thought the merchant, "if my daughter Beauty could only know
what danger her rose has brought me into!"

And in despair be began to tell the beast all his misfortunes and the
reason of his journey, not forgetting to mention Beauty's request.

"A king's ransom would hardly have procured all that my other daughters
asked," he said, "but I thought that I might at least take Beauty her
rose. I beg you to forgive me, for you see I meant no harm."

The beast considered for a moment, and then he said in a less furious

"I will forgive you on one condition--that is, that you will give me one
of your daughters."

"Ah!" cried the merchant, "if I were cruel enough to buy my own life at
the expense of one of my children's, what excuse could I invent to bring
her here?"

"No excuse would be necessary," answered the beast. "If she comes at all
she must come willingly. On no other condition will I have her. See if
any one of them is courageous enough and loves you well enough to come
and save your life. You seem to be an honest man, so I will trust you to
go home. I give you a month to see if either of your daughters will come
back with you and stay here, to let you go free. If neither of them is
willing you must come alone, after bidding them good-by forever, for
then you will belong to me. And do not imagine that you can hide from
me, for if you fail to keep your word I will come and fetch you!" added
the beast grimly.

The merchant accepted this proposal, though he did not really think any
of his daughters would be persuaded to come. He promised to return at
the time appointed, and then, anxious to escape from the presence of the
beast, he asked permission to set off at once. But the beast answered
that he could not go until the next day.

"Then you will find a horse ready for you," he said. "Now go and eat
your supper and await my orders."

The poor merchant, more dead than alive, went back to his room, where
the most delicious supper was already served on the little table which
was drawn up before a blazing fire. But he was too terrified to eat, and
only tasted a few of the dishes, for fear the beast should be angry if
he did not obey his orders. When he had finished he heard a great noise
in the next room, which he knew meant that the beast was coming. As he
could do nothing to escape his visit, the only thing that remained was
to seem as little afraid as possible; so when the beast appeared and
asked roughly if he had supped well, the merchant answered humbly that
he had, thanks to his host's kindness. Then the beast warned him to
remember their agreement and to prepare his daughter exactly for what
she had to expect.

"Do not get up to-morrow," he added, "until you see the sun and hear a
golden bell ring. Then you will find your breakfast waiting for you
here, and the horse you are to ride will be ready in the court-yard. He
will also bring you back again when you come with your daughter a month
hence. Farewell. Take a rose to Beauty, and remember your promise."

The merchant was only too glad when the beast went away, and though he
could not sleep for sadness, he lay down until the sun rose. Then, after
a hasty breakfast, he went to gather Beauty's rose and mounted his
horse, which carried him off so swiftly that in an instant he had lost
sight of the palace, and he was still wrapped in gloomy thoughts when it
stopped before the door of the cottage.

His sons and daughters, who had been very uneasy at his long absence,
rushed to meet him, eager to know the result of his journey, which,
seeing him mounted upon a splendid horse and wrapped in a rich mantle,
they supposed to be favorable. But he hid the truth from them at first,
only saying sadly to Beauty as he gave her the rose:

"Here is what you asked me to bring you. You little know what it has

But this excited their curiosity so greatly that presently he told them
his adventures from beginning to end, and then they were all very
unhappy. The girls lamented loudly over their lost hopes, and the sons
declared that their father should not return to this terrible castle,
and began to make plans for killing the beast if it should come to fetch
him. But he reminded them that he had promised to go back. Then the
girls were very angry with Beauty and said it was all her fault, and
that if she had asked for something sensible this would never have
happened, and complained bitterly that they should have to suffer for
her folly.

Poor Beauty, much distressed, said to them:

"I have indeed caused this misfortune, but I assure you I did it
innocently. Who could have guessed that to ask for a rose in the middle
of summer would cause so much misery? But as I did the mischief it is
only just that I should suffer for it. I will therefore go back with my
father to keep his promise."

At first nobody would hear of this arrangement, and her father and
brothers, who loved her dearly, declared that nothing should make them
let her go; but Beauty was firm. As the time drew near she divided all
her little possessions between her sisters and said good-by to
everything she loved, and when the fatal day came she encouraged and
cheered her father as they mounted together the horse which had brought
him back. It seemed to fly rather than gallop, but so smoothly that
Beauty was not frightened; indeed, she would have enjoyed the journey if
she had not feared what might happen to her at the end of it. Her father
still tried to persuade her to go back, but in vain. While they were
talking the night fell, and then, to their surprise, wonderful colored
lights began to shine in all directions, and splendid fireworks blazed
out before them. All the forest was illuminated by them, and even felt
pleasantly warm, though it had been bitterly cold before. This lasted
until they reached the avenue of orange-trees, where were statues
holding flaming torches, and when they got nearer to the palace they saw
that it was illuminated from the roof to the ground, and music sounded
softly from the court-yard. "The beast must be very hungry," said
Beauty, trying to laugh, "if he makes all this rejoicing over the
arrival of his prey."

But in spite of her anxiety she could not help admiring all the
wonderful things she saw.

The horse stopped at the foot of the flight of steps leading to the
terrace, and when they had dismounted her father led her to the little
room he had been in before, where they found a splendid fire burning and
the table daintily spread with a delicious supper.

The merchant knew that this was meant for them, and Beauty, who was
rather less frightened now that she had passed through so many rooms and
seen nothing of the beast, was quite willing to begin, for her long ride
had made her very hungry. But they had hardly finished their meal when
the noise of the beast's footsteps was heard approaching, and Beauty
clung to her father in terror, which became all the greater when she saw
how frightened he was. But when the beast really appeared, though she
trembled at the sight of him, she made a great effort to hide her horror
and saluted him respectfully.

This evidently pleased the beast. After looking at her he said, in a
tone that might have struck terror into the boldest heart, though he did
not seem to be angry:

"Good-evening, old man. Good-evening, Beauty."

The merchant was too terrified to reply, but Beauty answered sweetly:

"Good-evening, beast."

"Have you come willingly?" asked the beast. "Will you be content to stay
here when your father goes away?"

Beauty answered bravely that she was quite prepared to stay.

"I am pleased with you," said the beast. "As you have come of your own
accord, you may stay. As for you, old man," he added, turning to the
merchant, "at sunrise to-morrow you will take your departure. When the
bell rings get up quickly and eat your breakfast, and you will find the
same horse waiting to take you home; but remember that you must never
expect to see my palace again."

Then turning to Beauty he said:

"Take your father into the next room and help him to choose everything
you think your brothers and sisters would like to have. You will find
two traveling-trunks there; fill them as full as you can. It is only
just that you should send them something very precious as a remembrance
of yourself."

Then he went away after saying, "Good-by, Beauty; good-by, old man"; and
though Beauty was beginning to think with great dismay of her father's
departure, she was afraid to disobey the beast's orders, and they went
into the next room, which had shelves and cupboards all round it. They
were greatly surprised at the riches it contained. There were splendid
dresses fit for a queen, with all the ornaments that were to be worn
with them; and when Beauty opened the cupboards she was quite dazzled by
the gorgeous jewels that lay in heaps upon every shelf. After choosing a
vast quantity, which she divided between her sisters--for she made a
heap of the wonderful dresses for each of them--she opened the last
chest, which was full of gold.

"I think, father," she said, "that as the gold will be more useful to
you we had better take out the other things again and fill the trunks
with it." So they did this; but the more they put in the more room there
seemed to be, and at last they put back all the jewels and dresses they
had taken out, and Beauty even added as many more of the jewels as she
could carry at once; and then the trunks were not too full, but they
were so heavy that an elephant could not have carried them!

"The beast was mocking us," cried the merchant. "He must have pretended
to give us all these things, knowing that I could not carry them away."

"Let us wait and see," answered Beauty. "I cannot believe that he meant
to deceive us. All we can do is to fasten them up and leave them ready."

So they did this and returned to the little room, where, to their
astonishment, they found breakfast ready. The merchant ate his with a
good appetite, as the beast's generosity made him believe that he might
perhaps venture to come back soon and see Beauty. But she felt sure that
her father was leaving her forever, so she was very sad when the bell
rang sharply for the second time and warned them that the time had come
for them to part. They went down into the court-yard, where two horses
were waiting, one loaded with the two trunks, the other for him to ride.
They were pawing the ground in their impatience to start, and, the
merchant was forced to bid Beauty a hasty farewell; and as soon as he
was mounted he went off at such a pace that she lost sight of him in an

Then Beauty began to cry and wandered back to her own room. But she soon
found that she was very sleepy, and as she had nothing better to do she
lay down and instantly fell asleep. And then she dreamed that she was
walking by a brook bordered with trees and lamenting her sad fate, when
a young prince, handsomer than anyone she had ever seen, and with a
voice that went straight to her heart, came and said to her: "Ah,
Beauty! you are not so unfortunate as you suppose. Here you will be
rewarded for all you have suffered elsewhere. Your every wish shall be
gratified. Only try to find me out, no matter how I may be disguised, as
I love you dearly, and in making me happy you will find your own
happiness. Be as true-hearted as you are beautiful, and we shall have
nothing left to wish for."

"What can I do, prince, to make you happy?" said Beauty.

"Only be grateful," he answered, "and do not trust too much to your
eyes. And above all, do not desert me until you have saved me from my
cruel misery."

After this she thought she found herself in a room with a stately and
beautiful lady, who said to her:

"Dear Beauty, try not to regret all you have left behind you, for you
are destined to a better fate. Only do not let yourself be deceived by

Beauty found her dreams so interesting that she was in no hurry to
awake, but presently the clock roused her by calling her name softly
twelve times, and then she got up and found her dressing-table set out
with everything she could possibly want; and when her toilet was
finished she found dinner was waiting in the room next to hers. But
dinner does not take very long when you are all by yourself, and very
soon she sat down cozily in the corner of a sofa and began to think
about the charming prince she had seen in her dream.

"He said I could make him happy," said Beauty to herself. "It seems,
then, that this horrible beast keeps him a prisoner. How can I set him
free? I wonder why they both told me not to trust to appearances. I
don't understand it. But after all it is only a dream, so why should I
trouble myself about it? I had better go and find something to do to
amuse myself."

So she got up and began to explore some of the many rooms of the palace.

The first she entered was lined with mirrors, and Beauty saw herself
reflected on every side, and thought she had never seen such a charming
room. Then a bracelet which was hanging from a chandelier caught her
eye, and on taking it down she was greatly surprised to find that it
held a portrait of her unknown admirer, just as she had seen him in her
dream. With great delight she slipped the bracelet on her arm and went
on into a gallery of pictures, where she soon found a portrait of the
same handsome prince, as large as life and so well painted that as she
studied it he seemed to smile kindly at her.

Tearing herself away from the portrait at last, she passed through into
a room which contained every musical instrument under the sun, and here
she amused herself for a long while in trying some of them and singing
until she was tired. The next room was a library, and she saw everything
she had ever wanted to read, as well as everything she had read, and it
seemed to her that a whole lifetime would not be enough even to read the
names of the books, there were so many. By this time it was growing
dusk, and wax candles in diamond and ruby candlesticks were beginning to
light themselves in every room.

Beauty found her supper served just at the time she preferred to have
it, but she did not see anyone or hear a sound, and though her father
had warned her that she would be alone, she began to find it rather

But presently she heard the beast coming, and wondered tremblingly if he
meant to eat her up now.

However, as he did not seem at all ferocious, and only said gruffly,
"Good-evening, Beauty," she answered cheerfully and managed to conceal
her terror. Then the beast asked her how she had been amusing herself,
and she told him all the rooms she had seen.

Then he asked if she thought she could be happy in his palace, and
Beauty answered that everything was so beautiful that she would be very
hard to please if she could not be happy. And after about an hour's talk
Beauty began to think that the beast was not nearly so terrible as she
had supposed at first. Then he got up to leave her and said in his gruff

"Do you love me, Beauty? Will you marry me?"

"Oh! what shall I say?" cried Beauty, for she was afraid to make the
beast angry by refusing.

"Say 'yes' or 'no' without fear," he replied.

"Oh! no, beast," said Beauty hastily.

"Since you will not, good-night, Beauty," he said. And she answered,
"Good-night, beast," very glad to find that her refusal had not provoked
him. And after he was gone she was very soon in bed and asleep and
dreaming of her unknown prince. She thought he came and said to her:

"Ah, Beauty! why are you so unkind to me? I fear I am fated to be
unhappy for many a long day still."

And then her dreams changed, but the charming prince figured in them
all; and when morning came her first thought was to look at the portrait
and see if it was really like him, and she found that it certainly was.

This morning she decided to amuse herself in the garden, for the sun
shone and all the fountains were playing; but she was astonished to find
that every place was familiar to her, and presently she came to the
brook where the myrtle trees were growing where she had first met the
prince in her dream, and that made her think more than ever that he must
be kept a prisoner by the beast. When she was tired she went back to the
palace, and found a new room full of materials for every kind of
work--ribbons to make into bows and silks to work into flowers. Then
there was an aviary full of rare birds, which were so tame that they
flew to Beauty as soon as they saw her and perched upon her shoulders
and her head.

"Pretty little creatures," she said, "how I wish that your cage was
nearer to my room, that I might often hear you sing!"

So saying she opened a door and found to her delight that it led into
her own room, though she had thought it was quite the other side of the

There were more birds in a room further on, parrots and cockatoos that
could talk, and they greeted Beauty by name. Indeed, she found them so
entertaining that she took one or two back to her room, and they talked
to her while she was at supper; after which the beast paid her his usual
visit and asked the same questions as before, and then with a gruff
"good-night" he took his departure, and Beauty went to bed to dream of
her mysterious prince. The days passed swiftly in different amusements,
and after a while Beauty found out another strange thing in the palace,
which often pleased her when she was tired of being alone. There was one
room which she had not noticed particularly. It was empty, except that
under each of the windows stood a very comfortable chair, and the first
time she had looked out of the window it had seemed to her that a black
curtain prevented her from seeing anything outside. But the second time
she went into the room, happening to be tired, she sat down in one of
the chairs, and instantly the curtain was rolled aside and a most
amusing pantomime was acted before her. There were dances, and colored
lights, and music, and pretty dresses, and it was all so gay that Beauty
was in ecstasies. After that she tried the other seven windows in turn,
and there was some new and surprising entertainment to be seen from each
of them, so that Beauty never could feel lonely any more. Every evening
after supper the beast came to see her, and always before saying
good-night asked her in his terrible voice:

"Beauty, will you marry me?"

And it seemed to Beauty, now she understood him better, that when she
said, "No, beast," he went away quite sad. But her happy dreams of the
handsome young prince soon made her forget the poor beast, and the only
thing that at all disturbed her was to be constantly told to distrust
appearances, to let her heart guide her, and not her eyes, and many
other equally perplexing things, which, consider as she would, she could
not understand.

So everything went on for a long time, until at last, happy as she was,
Beauty began to long for the sight of her father and her brothers and
sisters; and one night, seeing her look very sad, the beast asked her
what was the matter. Beauty had quite ceased to be afraid of him now she
knew that he was really gentle in spite of his ferocious looks and his
dreadful voice. So she answered that she was longing to see her home
once more. Upon hearing this the beast seemed sadly distressed and cried

"Ah! Beauty, have you the heart to desert an unhappy beast like this?
What more do you want to make you happy? Is it because you hate me that
you want to escape?"

"No, dear beast," answered Beauty softly, "I do not hate you, and I
should be very sorry never to see you any more, but I long to see my
father again. Only let me go for two months, and I promise to come back
to you and stay for the rest of my life."

The beast, who had been sighing dolefully while she spoke, now replied:

"I cannot refuse you anything you ask, even though it should cost me my
life. Take the four boxes you will find in the room next to your own and
fill them with everything you wish to take with you. But remember your
promise and come back when the two months are over, or you may have
cause to repent it, for if you do not come in good time you will find
your faithful beast dead. You will not need any chariot to bring you
back. Only say good-by to all your brothers and sisters the night before
you come away, and when you have gone to bed turn this ring round upon
your finger and say firmly: 'I wish to go back to my palace and see my
beast again.' Good-night, Beauty. Fear nothing, sleep peacefully, and
before long you shall see your father once more."

As soon as Beauty was alone she hastened to fill the boxes with all the
rare and precious things she saw about her, and only when she was tired
of heaping things into them did they seem to be full.

Then she went to bed, but could hardly sleep for joy. And when at last
she did begin to dream of her beloved prince she was grieved to see him
stretched upon a grassy bank, sad and weary and hardly like himself.

"What is the matter?" she cried.

But he looked at her reproachfully and said:

"How can you ask me, cruel one? Are you not leaving me to my death

"Ah, don't be so sorrowful!" cried Beauty. "I am only going to assure my
father that I am safe and happy. I have promised the beast faithfully
that I will come back, and he would die of grief if I did not keep my

"What would that matter to you?" said the prince. "Surely you would not

"Indeed I should be ungrateful if I did not care for such a kind beast,"
cried Beauty indignantly. "I would die to save him from pain. I assure
you it is not his fault that he is so ugly."

Just then a strange sound woke her--someone was speaking not very far
away; and opening her eyes she found herself in a room she had never
seen before, which was certainly not nearly so splendid as those she was
used to in the beast's palace. Where could she be? She got up and
dressed hastily, and then saw that the boxes she had packed the night
before were all in the room. While she was wondering by what magic the
beast had transported them and herself to this strange place she
suddenly heard her father's voice, and rushed out and greeted him
joyfully. Her brothers and sisters were all astonished at her
appearance, as they had never expected to see her again, and there was
no end to the questions they asked her. She had also much to hear about
what had happened to them while she was away and of her father's journey
home. But when they heard that she had only come to be with them for a
short time, and then must go back to the beast's palace forever, they
lamented loudly. Then Beauty asked her father what he thought could be
the meaning of her strange dreams, and why the prince constantly begged
her not to trust to appearances. After much consideration he answered:

"You tell me yourself that the beast, frightful as he is, loves you
dearly and deserves your love and gratitude for his gentleness and
kindness. I think the prince must mean you to understand that you ought
to reward him by doing as he wishes you to, in spite of his ugliness."

Beauty could not help seeing that this seemed very probable. Still, when
she thought of her dear prince who was so handsome, she did not feel at
all inclined to marry the beast. At any rate, for two months she need
not decide, but could enjoy herself with her sisters. But though they
were rich now and lived in a town again and had plenty of acquaintances,
Beauty found that nothing amused her very much; and she often thought of
the palace where she was so happy, especially as at home she never once
dreamed of her dear prince, and she felt quite sad without him.

Then her sisters seemed to have got used to being without her, and even
found her rather in the way, so she would not have been sorry when the
two months were over but for her father and brothers, who begged her to
stay and seemed so grieved at the thought of her departure that she had
not the courage to say good-by to them. Every day when she got up she
meant to say it at night, and when night came she put it off again,
until at last she had a dismal dream which helped her to make up her
mind. She thought she was wandering in a lonely path in the palace
gardens, when she heard groans which seemed to come from some bushes
hiding the entrance of a cave, and running quickly to see what could be
the matter, she found the beast stretched out upon his side, apparently
dying. He reproached her faintly with being the cause of his distress,
and at the same moment a stately lady appeared and said very gravely:

"Ah, Beauty! you are only just in time to save his life. See what
happens when people do not keep their promises! If you had delayed one
day more you would have found him dead."

Beauty was so terrified by this dream that the next morning she
announced her intention of going back at once, and that very night she
said good-by to her father and all her brothers and sisters, and as soon
as she was in bed she turned her ring round upon her finger and said
firmly, "I wish to go back to my palace and see my beast again," as she
had been told to do.

Then she fell asleep instantly, and only woke up to hear the clock
saying "Beauty, Beauty," twelve times in its musical voice, which told
her at once that she was really in the palace once more. Everything was
just as before, and her birds were so glad to see her; but Beauty
thought she had never known such a long day, for she was so anxious to
see the beast again that she felt as if supper time would never come.

But when it did come and no beast appeared she was really frightened; so
after listening and waiting for a long time she ran down into the garden
to search for him. Up and down the paths and avenues ran poor Beauty,
calling him in vain, for no one answered and not a trace of him could
she find, until at last, quite tired, she stopped for a minute's rest
and saw that she was standing opposite the shady path she had seen in
her dream. She rushed down it, and, sure enough, there was the cave, and
in it lay the beast--asleep, as Beauty thought. Quite glad to have found
him, she ran up and stroked his head, but, to her horror, he did not
move or open his eyes.

"Oh! he is dead, and it is all my fault," said Beauty, crying bitterly.

But then, looking at him again, she fancied he still breathed, and
hastily fetching some water from the nearest fountain, she sprinkled it
over his face, and to her great delight he began to revive.

"Oh, beast! how you frightened me!" she cried. "I never knew how much I
loved you until just now, when I feared I was too late to save your

"Can you really love such an ugly creature as I am?" said the beast
faintly. "Ah, Beauty! you only came just in time. I was dying because I
thought you had forgotten your promise. But go back now and rest. I
shall see you again by and by."

Beauty, who had half expected that he would be angry with her, was
reassured by his gentle voice and went back to the palace, where supper
was awaiting her; and afterward the beast came in as usual and talked
about the time she had spent with her father, asking if she had enjoyed
herself and if they had all been very glad to see her.

Beauty answered politely, and quite enjoyed telling him all that had
happened to her. And when at last the time came for him to go, and he
asked, as he had so often asked before, "Beauty, will you marry me?" she
answered softly: "Yes, dear beast."

As she spoke a blaze of light sprang up before the windows of the
palace; fireworks crackled and guns banged, and across the avenue of
orange trees, in letters all made of fireflies, was written: "Long live
the prince and his bride."

Turning to ask the beast what it could all mean, Beauty found that he
had disappeared, and in his place stood her long-loved prince! At the
same moment the wheels of a chariot were heard upon the terrace and two
ladies entered the room. One of them Beauty recognized as the stately
lady she had seen in her dreams; the other was also so grand and queenly
that Beauty hardly knew which to greet first.

But the one she already knew said to her companion:

"Well, queen, this is Beauty, who has had the courage to rescue your son
from the terrible enchantment. They love one another, and only your
consent to their marriage is wanting to make them perfectly happy."

"I consent with all my heart," cried the queen. "How can I ever thank
you enough, charming girl, for having restored my dear son to his
natural form?"

And then she tenderly embraced Beauty and the prince, who had meanwhile
been greeting the fairy and receiving her congratulations.

"Now," said the fairy to Beauty, "I suppose you would like me to send
for all your brothers and sisters to dance at your wedding?"

And so she did, and the marriage was celebrated the very next day with
the utmost splendor, and Beauty and the prince lived happily ever after.


        Peter Asbjörnsen (1812-1885) and Jorgen Moe
        (1813-1882) were the first scientific
        collectors of the folk tales of Norway. Their
        joint interest in folk tales began when they
        were schoolboys wandering on foot through the
        country and listening to peasant stories. This
        interest continued after Moe had become a
        theologian and Asbjörnsen a noted scientist.
        The latter served the government as an expert
        connected with the survey and development of
        his country's natural resources. This resulted
        in taking him to all parts of the land, and he
        never lost an opportunity to hear and copy down
        any folk tale that he found surviving in the
        more isolated districts. In 1842-1844 appeared
        _Norwegian Folk Tales_ by Moe and Asbjörnsen;
        in 1845, _Norwegian Fairy Tales and Folk
        Legends_; and there were subsequent additions.
        The five tales following are from these Norse
        collections. They were first made accessible in
        English in Dasent's _Popular Tales from the
        Norse_ (1858). This book with its long
        introductory essay on the origin and diffusion
        of popular tales constitutes a landmark in the
        study of folklore. It and Dasent's later
        volume, _Tales from the Fjeld_, are still,
        perhaps, the best sources for versions of the
        Norse popular tales. "Why the Bear Is
        Stumpy-tailed" belongs to the class of stories
        which explain how things happened to be as they
        are. It is of great antiquity and is found over
        most of the world. The greatest of all modern
        nature fairy tales, Kipling's _Just So
        Stories_, are of a similar type, though told at
        greater length and, of course, with infinitely
        greater art.


One day the Bear met the Fox, who came slinking along with a string of
fish he had stolen.

"Whence did you get those?" asked the Bear.

"Oh! my Lord Bruin, I've been out fishing and caught them," said the

So the Bear had a mind to learn to fish too, and bade the Fox tell him
how he was to set about it.

"Oh! it's an easy craft for you," answered the Fox, "and soon learnt.
You've only got to go upon the ice, and cut a hole and stick your tail
down into it; and so you must go on holding it there as long as you can.
You're not to mind if your tail smarts a little; that's when the fish
bite. The longer you hold it there the more fish you'll get; and then
all at once out with it, with a cross pull sideways, and with a strong
pull too."

Yes; the Bear did as the Fox had said, and held his tail a long, long
time down in the hole, till it was fast frozen in. Then he pulled it out
with a cross pull, and it snapped short off. That's why Bruin goes about
with a stumpy tail this very day.


        The following is from Dasent's _Popular Tales
        from the Norse_ and has long been a favorite
        with the younger children by reason of its
        remarkable compactness and its strong
        accumulative force. The Troll of northern
        stories is the Ogre of those farther south. The
        story has a closing formula which may often
        have been used for other stories as well. (For
        an opening verse formula see the note on "The
        Story of the Three Little Pigs," No. 151.)


Once on a time there were three Billy-goats who were to go up to the
hillside to make themselves fat, and the name of all the three was

On the way up was a bridge over a burn they had to cross; and under the
bridge lived a great ugly Troll, with eyes as big as saucers and a nose
as long as a poker.

So first of all came the youngest billy-goat Gruff to cross the bridge.

"Trip, trap; trip, trap!" went the bridge.

"WHO'S THAT tripping over my bridge?" roared the Troll.

"Oh! it is only I, the tiniest billy-goat Gruff; and I'm going up to the
hill-side to make myself fat," said the billy-goat, with such a small

"Now, I'm coming to gobble you up," said the Troll.

"Oh, no! pray don't take me. I'm too little, that I am," said the
billy-goat. "Wait a bit till the second billy-goat Gruff comes; he's
much bigger."

"Well! be off with you," said the Troll.

A little while after came the second billy-goat Gruff to cross the

"TRIP, TRAP! TRIP, TRAP! TRIP, TRAP!" went the bridge.

"WHO'S THAT tripping over my bridge?" roared the Troll.

"Oh! it's the second billy-goat Gruff, and I'm going up to the hill-side
to make myself fat," said the billy-goat, who hadn't such a small voice.

"Now, I'm coming to gobble you up," said the Troll.

"Oh, no! don't take me. Wait a little till the big billy-goat Gruff
comes; he's much bigger."

"Very well! be off with you," said the Troll.

But just then up came the big billy-goat Gruff.

"TRIP, TRAP! TRIP, TRAP! TRIP, TRAP!" went the bridge, for the
billy-goat was so heavy that the bridge creaked and groaned under him.

"WHO'S THAT tramping over my bridge?" roared the Troll.

"It's I! THE BIG BILLY-GOAT GRUFF," said the billy-goat, who had an ugly
hoarse voice of his own.

"Now, I'm coming to gobble you up," roared the Troll.

        "Well, come along! I've got two spears,
        And I'll poke your eyeballs out at your ears;
        I've got besides two curling-stones,
        And I'll crush you to bits, body and bones."

That was what the big billy-goat said; and so he flew at the Troll and
poked his eyes out with his horns, and crushed him to bits, body and
bones, and tossed him out into the burn, and after that he went up to
the hill-side. There the billy-goats got so fat they were scarce able to
walk home again; and if the fat hasn't fallen off them, why they're
still fat; and so,--

        "Snip, snap, snout,
        This tale's told out."


        The following droll seems to indicate that the
        folk had a strain of satirical humor which they
        could use with fine effect. The translation is
        that of Dasent's _Popular Tales from the
        Norse_. (An old English verse form of the same
        story will be found in No. 146.) The old
        proverb about the shoemaker sticking to his
        last is sure to come to mind as one reads, but
        it seems to lose force when we notice that the
        "goody" has no trouble with the mowing, while
        the good "man" has much with the housework!


Once on a time there was a man so surly and cross he never thought his
wife did anything right in the house. So one evening in hay-making time
he came home scolding and swearing and showing his teeth and making a

"Dear love, don't be so angry; there's a good man," said his goody;
"to-morrow let's change our work. I'll go out with the mowers and mow,
and you shall mind the house at home."

Yes! the husband thought that would do very well. He was quite willing,
he said.

So, early next morning, his goody took a scythe over her neck and went
out into the hay-field with the mowers and began to mow; but the man was
to mind the house, and do the work at home.

First of all, he wanted to churn the butter; but when he had churned a
while, he got thirsty, and went down to the cellar to tap a barrel of
ale. So, just when he had knocked in the bung, and was putting the tap
into the cask, he heard overhead the pig come into the kitchen. Then off
he ran up the cellar steps, with the tap in his hand, as fast as he
could, to look after the pig lest it should upset the churn; but when he
got up, and saw the pig had already knocked the churn over, and stood
there, rooting and grunting amongst the cream which was running all over
the floor, he got so wild with rage that he quite forgot the ale-barrel,
and ran at the pig as hard as he could. He caught it, too, just as it
ran out of doors, and gave it such a kick that piggy lay for dead on the
spot. Then all at once he remembered he had the tap in his hand; but
when he got down to the cellar, every drop of ale had run out of the

Then he went into the dairy and found enough cream left to fill the
churn again, and so he began to churn, for butter they must have at
dinner. When he had churned a bit, he remembered that their milking cow
was still shut up in the byre, and hadn't had a bit to eat or a drop to
drink all the morning, though the sun was high. Then all at once he
thought 'twas too far to take her down to the meadow, so he'd just get
her up on the house-top--for the house, you must know, was thatched with
sods, and a fine crop of grass was growing there. Now their house lay
close up against a steep down, and he thought if he laid a plank across
to the thatch at the back he'd easily get the cow up.

But still he couldn't leave the churn, for there was his little babe
crawling about on the floor, and "if I leave it," he thought, "the
child is safe to upset it." So he took the churn on his back, and went
out with it; but then he thought he'd better first water the cow before
he turned her out on the thatch; so he took up a bucket to draw water
out of the well; but, as he stooped down at the well's brink, all the
cream ran out of the churn over his shoulders, and so down into the

Now it was near dinner-time, and he hadn't even got the butter yet; so
he thought he'd best boil the porridge, and filled the pot with water
and hung it over the fire. When he had done that, he thought the cow
might perhaps fall off the thatch and break her legs or her neck. So he
got up on the house to tie her up. One end of the rope he made fast to
the cow's neck, and the other he slipped down the chimney and tied round
his own thigh; and he had to make haste, for the water now began to boil
in the pot, and he had still to grind the oatmeal.

So he began to grind away; but while he was hard at it, down fell the
cow off the house-top after all, and as she fell, she dragged the man up
the chimney by the rope. There he stuck fast; and as for the cow, she
hung half way down the wall, swinging between heaven and earth, for she
could neither get down nor up.

And now the goody had waited seven lengths and seven breadths for her
husband to come and call them home to dinner; but never a call they had.
At last she thought she'd waited long enough, and went home. But when
she got there and saw the cow hanging in such an ugly place, she ran up
and cut the rope in two with her scythe. But as she did this, down came
her husband out of the chimney; and so when his old dame came inside the
kitchen, there she found him standing on his head in the porridge pot.


        The artistic qualities of "Boots and His
        Brothers," from Dasent's _Popular Tales from
        the Norse_, will impress every reader or
        listener. It belongs to that very numerous
        group of stories dealing with the success of
        the youngest child in the face of opposition,
        mistreatment, or lack of sympathy from others
        of his family. "John was Boots, of course,
        because he was the youngest"; which means that
        it was the rule to give the most menial tasks
        about the house to the youngest. But John had
        the saving trait of always "wondering" about
        things, which led him to find out what would
        always be hidden from his more stupid and less
        imaginative brothers.


Once on a time there was a man who had three sons, Peter, Paul, and
John. John was Boots, of course, because he was the youngest. I can't
say the man had anything more than these three sons, for he hadn't one
penny to rub against another; and so he told his sons over and over
again they must go out into the world and try to earn their bread, for
there at home there was nothing to be looked for but starving to death.

Now, a bit off the man's cottage was the King's palace, and you must
know, just against the King's windows a great oak had sprung up, which
was so stout and big that it took away all the light from the King's
palace. The King had said he would give many, many dollars to the man
who could fell the oak, but no one was man enough for that, for as soon
as ever one chip of the oak's trunk flew off, two grew in its stead. A
well, too, the King would have dug, which was to hold water for the
whole year; for all his neighbors had wells, but he hadn't any, and that
he thought a shame. So the King said he would give any one who could dig
him such a well as would hold water for a whole year round, both money
and goods; but no one could do it, for the King's palace lay high, high
up on a hill, and they hadn't dug a few inches before they came upon the
living rock.

But as the King had set his heart on having these two things done, he
had it given out far and wide, in all the churches of his kingdom, that
he who could fell the big oak in the king's court-yard, and get him a
well that would hold water the whole year round, should have the
Princess and half the kingdom. Well! you may easily know there was many
a man who came to try his luck; but for all their hacking and hewing,
and all their digging and delving, it was no good. The oak got bigger
and stouter at every stroke, and the rock didn't get softer either. So
one day those three brothers thought they'd set off and try too, and
their father hadn't a word against it; for even if they didn't get the
Princess and half the kingdom, it might happen they might get a place
somewhere with a good master; and that was all he wanted. So when the
brothers said they thought of going to the palace, their father said
"yes" at once. So Peter, Paul, and Jack went off from their home.

Well! they hadn't gone far before they came to a fir wood, and up along
one side of it rose a steep hillside, and as they went, they heard
something hewing and hacking away up on the hill among the trees.

"I wonder now what it is that is hewing away up yonder?" said Jack.

"You're always so clever with your wonderings," said Peter and Paul both
at once. "What wonder is it, pray, that a woodcutter should stand and
hack up on a hillside?"

"Still, I'd like to see what it is, after all," said Jack; and up he

"Oh, if you're such a child, 'twill do you good to go and take a
lesson," bawled out his brothers after him.

But Jack didn't care for what they said; he climbed the steep hillside
towards where the noise came, and when he reached the place, what do you
think he saw? Why, an axe that stood there hacking and hewing, all of
itself, at the trunk of a fir.

"Good day!" said Jack. "So you stand here all alone and hew, do you?"

"Yes; here I've stood and hewed and hacked a long, long time, waiting
for you," said the Axe.

"Well, here I am at last," said Jack, as he took the axe, pulled it off
its haft, and stuffed both head and haft into his wallet.

So when he got down again to his brothers, they began to jeer and laugh
at him.

"And now, what funny thing was it you saw up yonder on the hillside?"
they said.

"Oh, it was only an axe we heard," said Jack.

So when they had gone a bit farther, they came under a steep spur of
rock, and up there they heard something digging and shoveling.

"I wonder now," said Jack, "what it is digging and shoveling up yonder
at the top of the rock!"

"Ah, you're always so clever with your wonderings," said Peter and Paul
again, "as if you'd never heard a woodpecker hacking and pecking at a
hollow tree."

"Well, well," said Jack, "I think it would be a piece of fun just to see
what it really is."

And so off he set to climb the rock, while the others laughed and made
game of him. But he didn't care a bit for that; up he climbed, and when
he got near the top, what do you think he saw? Why, a spade that stood
there digging and delving.

"Good day!" said Jack. "So you stand here all alone, and dig and delve!"

"Yes, that's what I do," said the Spade, "and that's what I've done this
many a long day, waiting for you."

"Well, here I am," said Jack again, as he took the spade and knocked it
off its handle, and put it into his wallet, and then down again to his

"Well, what was it, so rare and strange," said Peter and Paul, "that you
saw up there at the top of the rock?"

"Oh," said Jack, "nothing more than a spade; that was what we heard."

So they went on again a good bit, till they came to a brook. They were
thirsty, all three, after their long walk, and so they lay down beside
the brook to have a drink.

"I wonder now," said Jack, "where all this water comes from!"

"I wonder if you're right in your head," said Peter and Paul, in one
breath. "If you're not mad already, you'll go mad very soon, with your
wonderings. Where the brook comes from, indeed! Have you never heard how
water rises from a spring in the earth?"

"Yes! but still I've a great fancy to see where this brook comes from,"
said Jack.

So up alongside the brook he went, in spite of all that his brothers
bawled after him. Nothing could stop him. On he went. So, as he went up
and up, the brook got smaller and smaller, and at last, a little way
farther on, what do you think he saw? Why, a great walnut, and out of
that the water trickled.

"Good day!" said Jack again. "So you lie here, and trickle and run down
all alone?"

"Yes, I do," said the Walnut, "and here have I trickled and run this
many a long day, waiting for you."

"Well, here I am," said Jack, as he took up a lump of moss, and plugged
up the hole, that the water mightn't run out. Then he put the walnut
into his wallet, and ran down to his brothers.

"Well, now," said Peter and Paul, "have you found out where the water
comes from? A rare sight it must have been!"

"Oh, after all, it was only a hole it ran out of," said Jack; and so the
others laughed and made game of him again, but Jack didn't mind that a

"After all, I had the fun of seeing it," said he.

So when they had gone a bit farther, they came to the King's palace; but
as every one in the kingdom had heard how they might win the Princess
and half the realm, if they could only fell the big oak and dig the
King's well, so many had come to try their luck that the oak was now
twice as stout and big as it had been at first, for two chips grew for
every one they hewed out with their axes, as I dare say you all bear in
mind. So the King had now laid it down as a punishment, that if any one
tried and couldn't fell the oak, he should be put on a barren island,
and both his ears were to be clipped off. But the two brothers didn't
let themselves be scared by that; they were quite sure they could fell
the oak, and Peter, as he was eldest, was to try his hand first; but it
went with him as with all the rest who had hewn at the oak; for every
chip he cut out, two grew in its place. So the King's men seized him,
and clipped off both his ears, and put him out on the island.

Now Paul, he was to try his luck, but he fared just the same; when he
had hewn two or three strokes, they began to see the oak grow, and so
the King's men seized him too, and clipped his ears, and put him out on
the island; and his ears they clipped closer, because they said he ought
to have taken a lesson from his brother.

So now Jack was to try.

"If you _will_ look like a marked sheep, we're quite ready to clip your
ears at once, and then you'll save yourself some bother," said the King,
for he was angry with him for his brothers' sake.

"Well, I'd like just to try first," said Jack, and so he got leave. Then
he took his axe out of his wallet and fitted it to its haft.

"Hew away!" said he to his axe; and away it hewed, making the chips fly
again, so that it wasn't long before down came the oak.

When that was done, Jack pulled out his spade, and fitted it to its

"Dig away!" said he to the spade; and so the spade began to dig and
delve till the earth and rock flew out in splinters, and so he had the
well soon dug out, you may think.

And when he had got it as big and deep as he chose, Jack took out his
walnut and laid it in one corner of the well, and pulled the plug of
moss out.

"Trickle and run," said Jack; and so the nut trickled and ran, till the
water gushed out of the hole in a stream, and in a short time the well
was brimful.

Then Jack had felled the oak which shaded the King's palace, and dug a
well in the palace-yard, and so he got the Princess and half the
kingdom, as the King had said; but it was lucky for Peter and Paul that
they had lost their ears, else they had heard each hour and day how
every one said, "Well, after all, Jack wasn't so much out of his mind
when he took to wondering."


        For the next story from the Norse group the
        translation by H. L. Braekstad is used. It is
        better known under the more familiar title of
        the Dasent version, "Why the Sea Is Salt."
        Braekstad's translation of the Asbjörnsen and
        Moe stories, illustrated by Norwegian artists,
        appeared in two volumes called _Round the Yule
        Log_ and _Fairy Tales from the North_. The
        story of the magic hand-mill is the story of
        how an evil brother violated the Christmas
        spirit and how his curse was turned into good
        fortune for his better-disposed relative. The
        naïve idea of the common folk as to the devil's
        home is especially interesting, as is the
        acceptance of the fact that a Christmas
        celebration includes a fine open fire of wood,
        even in a place of unusual warmth. But perhaps
        we should remember that in Norse mythology the
        evil place would be associated with intense
        cold. Of more importance, however, is the fact
        that the magic quern brings not good but
        disaster to those who try to use it in the
        service of greed.


Once upon a time in the old, old days there were two brothers, one of
whom was rich and the other poor. When Christmas Eve came the poor
brother had not a morsel in the house, neither of meat nor bread; and so
he went to his rich brother and asked for a trifle for Christmas, in
heaven's name. It was not the first time the brother had helped him, but
he was always very close-fisted, and was not particularly glad to see
him this time.

"If you'll do what I tell you, you shall have a whole ham," he said. The
poor brother promised he would, and was very grateful into the bargain.

"There it is, and now go to the devil!" said the rich brother, and threw
the ham across to him.

"Well, what I have promised I must keep," said the other one. He took
the ham, and set out. He walked and walked the whole day, and as it was
getting dark he came to a place where the lights were shining brightly.
"This is most likely the place," thought the man with the ham.

In the woodshed stood an old man with a long white beard, cutting
fire-wood for Christmas.

"Good evening," said he with the ham.

"Good evening to you," said the man. "Where are you going so late?"

"I am going to the devil--that is to say, if I am on the right way,"
answered the poor man.

"Yes, you are quite right; this is his place," said the old man. "When
you get in, they will all want to buy your ham, for ham is scarce food
here; but you must not sell it unless you get the hand-quern, which
stands just behind the door. When you come out again, I'll teach you how
to use it. You will find it useful in many ways."

The man with the ham thanked him for all the information, and knocked at
the door.

When he got in, it happened just as the old man had said. All the imps,
both big and small, flocked around him like ants in a field, and the one
outbid the other for the ham.

"Well," said the man, "my good woman and I were to have it for Christmas
Eve, but since you want it so badly I will let you have it. But if I am
going to part with it, I want that hand-quern which stands behind the

The devil did not like to part with it, and higgled and haggled with the
man, but he stuck to what he had said, and in the end the devil had to
part with the quern.

When the man came out, he asked the old wood-cutter how he was to use
the quern, and when he had learned this, he thanked the old man and set
out homewards as quickly as he could; but after all he did not get home
till the clock struck twelve on Christmas Eve.

"Where in all the world have you been?" said his wife. "Here have I been
sitting, hour after hour, waiting and watching for you, and have not had
as much as two chips to lay under the porridge pot."

"Well, I couldn't get back before," said the man. "I have had a good
many things to look after, and I've had a long way to walk as well; but
now I'll show you something," said he, and put the quern on the table.
He asked it first to grind candles, then a cloth, and then food and
beer, and everything else that was good for Christmas cheer; and as he
spoke the quern brought them forth. The woman crossed herself time after
time and wanted to know where her husband had got the quern from; but
this he would not tell her.

"It does not matter where I got it from; you see the quern is good and
the mill stream is not likely to freeze," said the man. So he ground
food and drink and all good things during Christmas; and the third day
he invited his friends, as he wanted to give them a feast. When the rich
brother saw all that was in the house, he became both angry and furious,
for he begrudged his brother everything.

"On Christmas Eve he was so needy that he came to me and asked for a
trifle in heaven's name; and now he gives a feast, as if he were both a
count and a king," said the brother. "Where did you get all your riches
from?" he said to his brother.

"From just behind the door," he answered, for he did not care to tell
his brother much about it. But later in the evening, when he had drunk a
little freely, he could no longer resist, but brought out the quern.

"There you see that which has brought me all my riches," he said, and so
he let the quern grind first one thing and then another.

When the brother saw this, he was determined to have the quern at all
cost, and at last it was settled he should have it, but three hundred
dollars was to be the price of it. The brother was, however, to keep it
till the harvest began; "for if I keep it so long, I can grind out food
for many years to come," he thought.

During that time you may be sure the quern did not rust, and when the
harvest began the rich brother got it; but the other had taken great
care not to show him how to use it.

It was evening when the rich brother got the quern home, and in the
morning he asked his wife to go out and help the haymakers; he would get
the breakfast ready himself to-day, he said.

When it was near breakfast time he put the quern on the breakfast table.

"Grind herrings and broth, and do it quickly and well," said the man,
and the quern began to bring forth herrings and broth, and filled first
all the dishes and tubs, and afterwards began flooding the whole

The man fiddled and fumbled and tried to stop the quern, but however
much he twisted and fingered it, the quern went on grinding, and in a
little while the broth reached so high that the man was very near
drowning. He then pulled open the parlor door, but it was not long
before the quern had filled the parlor also, and it was just in the very
nick of time that the man put his hand down into the broth and got hold
of the latch, and when he had got the door open, he was soon out of the
parlor, you may be sure. He rushed out, and the herrings and the broth
came pouring out after him, like a stream, down the fields and meadows.

The wife, who was out haymaking, now thought it took too long a time to
get the breakfast ready.

"If my husband doesn't call us soon, we must go home whether or no: I
don't suppose he knows much about making broth, so I must go and help
him," said the wife to the haymakers.

They began walking homewards, but when they had got a bit up the hill
they met the stream of broth with the herrings tossing about in it and
the man himself running in front of it all.

"I wish all of you had a hundred stomachs each!" shouted the man; "but
take care you don't get drowned." And he rushed past them as if the Evil
One was at his heels, down to where his brother lived. He asked him for
heaven's sake to take back the quern, and that at once. "If it goes on
grinding another hour the whole parish will perish in broth and
herrings," he said. But the brother would not take it back on any
account before his brother had paid him three hundred dollars more, and
this he had to do. The poor brother now had plenty of money, and before
long he bought a farm much grander than the one on which his rich
brother lived, and with the quern he ground so much gold that he covered
the farmstead with gold plates and, as it lay close to the shore, it
glittered and shone far out at sea. All those who sailed past wanted to
call and visit the rich man in the golden house, and everybody wanted to
see the wonderful quern, for its fame had spread both far and wide, and
there was no one who had not heard it spoken of.

After a long while there came a skipper who wanted to see the quern; he
asked if it could grind salt. Yes, that it could, said he who owned it;
and when the skipper heard this he wanted the quern by hook or by crook,
cost what it might, for if he had it he thought he need not sail far
away across dangerous seas for cargoes of salt.

At first the man did not want to part with it, but the skipper both
begged and prayed, and at last he sold it and got many, many thousand
dollars for it.

As soon as the skipper had got the quern on his back he did not stop
long, for he was afraid the man would change his mind, and as for asking
how to use it, he had no time to do that; he made for his ship as
quickly as he could, and when he had got out to sea a bit he had the
quern brought up on deck.

"Grind salt, and that both quickly and well," said the skipper, and the
quern began to grind out salt so that it spurted to all sides.

When the skipper had got the ship filled he wanted to stop the quern,
but however much he tried and whatever he did the quern went on
grinding, and the mound of salt grew higher and higher, and at last the
ship sank.

There at the bottom of the sea stands the quern grinding till this very
day, and that is the reason why the sea is salt.


        The next seven stories are from the best known
        of all collections of folk tales, the _Kinder
        und Hausmärchen_ (1812-1815) of the brothers
        Jacob Grimm (1785-1863) and Wilhelm Grimm
        (1786-1859). They worked together as scholarly
        investigators in the field of philology. The
        world is indebted to them for the creation of
        the science of folklore. Other writers, such as
        Perrault, had published collections of
        folklore, but these two brothers were the first
        to collect, classify, and publish folk tales in
        a scientific way. With the trained judgment of
        scholars they excluded from the stories all
        details that seemed new or foreign, and put
        them as nearly as possible into the form in
        which they had been told by the folk. These
        _Household Tales_ were first made accessible in
        English in the translation of Edgar Taylor,
        published in two volumes in 1823 and 1826, and
        revised in 1837. There have been later
        translations, notably the complete one by
        Margaret Hunt in 1884, but the Taylor version
        has been the main source of the popular
        retellings for nearly a hundred years. It
        included only about fifty of the two hundred
        tales, and was illustrated by the famous artist
        George Cruikshank. An edition including all the
        Taylor translations and the original etchings
        was issued in 1868 with an introduction by John
        Ruskin. It is still reprinted under the title,
        _Grimm's Popular Stories_.

        "The Traveling Musicians" is from the Taylor
        translation. It is sometimes called "The Bremen
        Town Musicians," or simply "The Town
        Musicians." The story is widespread, showing
        its great popularity. Jacobs finds "the fullest
        and most dramatic form" in the Irish "Jack and
        His Comrades," which he includes in his _Celtic
        Fairy Tales_. Jacobs also gives an English
        version by way of America, "How Jack Sought His
        Fortune," in his _English Fairy Tales_. The
        successful outcome for these distressed and
        deserving poor adventurers appeals as a fine
        stroke of poetic justice.


An honest farmer had once an ass that had been a faithful servant to him
a great many years, but was now growing old and every day more and more
unfit for work. His master therefore was tired of keeping him and began
to think of putting an end to him; but the ass, who saw that some
mischief was in the wind, took himself slyly off and began his journey
towards the great city, "for there," thought he, "I may turn musician."

After he had traveled a little way, he spied a dog lying by the
road-side and panting as if he were very tired. "What makes you pant so,
my friend?" said the ass.

"Alas!" said the dog, "my master was going to knock me on the head
because I am old and weak and can no longer make myself useful to him in
hunting; so I ran away: but what can I do to earn my livelihood?"

"Hark ye!" said the ass, "I am going to the great city to turn musician:
suppose you go with me and try what you can do in the same way?" The dog
said he was willing, and they jogged on together.

Before they had gone far, they saw a cat sitting in the middle of the
road and making a most rueful face. "Pray, my good lady," said the ass,
"what's the matter with you? You look quite out of spirits!"

"Ah, me!" said the cat, "how can one be in good spirits when one's life
is in danger? Because I am beginning to grow old and had rather lie at
my ease by the fire than run about the house after the mice, my mistress
laid hold of me and was going to drown me; and though I have been lucky
enough to get away from her, I do not know what I am to live upon."

"Oh!" said the ass, "by all means go with us to the great city. You are
a good night-singer and may make your fortune as a musician." The cat
was pleased with the thought and joined the party.

Soon afterwards, as they were passing by a farmyard, they saw a cock
perched upon a gate, screaming out with all his might and main. "Bravo!"
said the ass; "upon my word you make a famous noise; pray what is all
this about?"

"Why," said the cock, "I was just now saying that we should have fine
weather for our washing-day, and yet my mistress and the cook don't
thank me for my pains, but threaten to cut off my head tomorrow and make
broth of me for the guests that are coming on Sunday."

"Heaven forbid!" said the ass; "come with us, Master Chanticleer; it
will be better, at any rate, than staying here to have your head cut
off! Besides, who knows? If we take care to sing in tune, we may get up
some kind of a concert: so come along with us."

"With all my heart," said the cock: so they all four went on jollily

They could not, however, reach the great city the first day: so when
night came on they went into a wood to sleep. The ass and the dog laid
themselves down under a great tree, and the cat climbed up into the
branches; while the cock, thinking that the higher he sat the safer he
should be, flew up to the very top of the tree, and then, according to
his custom, before he went to sleep, looked out on all sides of him to
see that everything was well. In doing this, he saw afar off something
bright and shining; and calling to his companions said, "There must be a
house no great way off, for I see a light."

"If that be the case," said the ass, "we had better change our quarters,
for our lodging is not the best in the world!"

"Besides," added the dog, "I should not be the worse for a bone or two,
or a bit of meat." So they walked off together towards the spot where
Chanticleer had seen the light; and as they drew near, it became larger
and brighter, till they at last came close to a house in which a gang of
robbers lived.

The ass, being the tallest of the company, marched up to the window and
peeped in. "Well, Donkey," said Chanticleer, "what do you see?"

"What do I see?" replied the ass, "why I see a table spread with all
kinds of good things, and robbers sitting round it making merry."

"That would be a noble lodging for us," said the cock.

"Yes," said the ass, "if we could only get in": so they consulted
together how they should contrive to get the robbers out; and at last
they hit upon a plan. The ass placed himself upright on his hind-legs,
with his fore-feet resting against the window; the dog got upon his
back; the cat scrambled up to the dog's shoulders, and the cock flew up
and sat upon the cat's head. When all was ready, a signal was given, and
they began their music. The ass brayed, the dog barked, the cat mewed,
and the cock screamed; and then they all broke through the window at
once and came tumbling into the room, amongst the broken glass, with a
most hideous clatter! The robbers, who had been not a little frightened
by the opening concert, had now no doubt that some frightful hobgoblin
had broken in upon them, and scampered away as fast as they could.

The coast once clear, our travelers soon sat down and dispatched what
the robbers had left, with as much eagerness as if they had not expected
to eat again for a month. As soon as they had satisfied themselves, they
put out the lights and each once more sought out a resting-place to his
own liking. The donkey laid himself down upon a heap of straw in the
yard; the dog stretched himself upon a mat behind the door; the cat
rolled herself up on the hearth before the warm ashes; and the cock
perched upon a beam on the top of the house; and, as they were all
rather tired with their journey, they soon fell asleep.

But about midnight, when the robbers saw from afar that the lights were
out and that all seemed quiet, they began to think that they had been in
too great a hurry to run away; and one of them, who was bolder than the
rest, went to see what was going on. Finding everything still, he
marched into the kitchen and groped about till he found a match in order
to light a candle; and then, espying the glittering fiery eyes of the
cat, he mistook them for live coals and held the match to them to light
it. But the cat, not understanding this joke, sprung at his face, and
spit, and scratched at him. This frightened him dreadfully, and away he
ran to the back door; but there the dog jumped up and bit him in the
leg; and as he was crossing over the yard the ass kicked him; and the
cock, who had been awakened by the noise, crowed with all his might. At
this the robber ran back as fast as he could to his comrades and told
the captain "how a horrid witch had got into the house, and had spit at
him and scratched his face with her long bony fingers; how a man with a
knife in his hand had hidden himself behind the door and stabbed him in
the leg; how a black monster stood in the yard and struck him with a
club, and how the devil sat upon the top of the house and cried out,
'Throw the rascal up here!'"

After this the robbers never dared to go back to the house; but the
musicians were so pleased with their quarters that they took up their
abode there; and there they are, I dare say, at this very day.


        The Taylor translation of Grimm is used for
        "The Blue Light." This tale contains several of
        the elements most popular in children's
        stories. There is merit in distress, an old
        witch, the magic blue light, the little black
        dwarf, and the exceeding great reward at the
        end. From this very story or some variant of it
        Hans Christian Andersen must have drawn the
        inspiration for "The Tinder Box" (No. 196).


A soldier had served a king his master many years, till at last he was
turned off without pay or reward. How he should get his living he did
not know; so he set out and journeyed homeward all day in a very
downcast mood, until in the evening he came to the edge of a deep wood.
The road leading that way, he pushed forward; but before he had gone
far, he saw a light glimmering through the trees, towards which he bent
his weary steps; and soon he came to a hut where no one lived but an old
witch. The poor fellow begged for a night's lodging and something to eat
and drink; but she would listen to nothing. However, he was not easily
got rid of; and at last she said, "I think I will take pity on you this
once; but if I do, you must dig over all my garden for me in the
morning." The soldier agreed very willingly to anything she asked, and
he became her guest.

The next day he kept his word and dug the garden very neatly. The job
lasted all day; and in the evening, when his mistress would have sent
him away, he said, "I am so tired with my work that I must beg you to
let me stay over the night."

The old lady vowed at first she would not do any such thing; but after a
great deal of talk he carried his point, agreeing to chop up a whole
cart-load of wood for her the next day.

This task too was duly ended; but not till towards night, and then he
found himself so tired that he begged a third night's rest; and this too
was given, but only on his pledging his word that he next day would
fetch the witch the blue light that burnt at the bottom of the well.

When morning came she led him to the well's mouth, tied him to a long
rope, and let him down. At the bottom sure enough he found the blue
light as the witch had said, and at once made the signal for her to draw
him up again. But when she had pulled him up so near to the top that she
could reach him with her hands, she said, "Give me the light: I will
take care of it,"--meaning to play him a trick by taking it for herself
and letting him fall again to the bottom of the well.

But the soldier saw through her wicked thoughts, and said, "No, I shall
not give you the light till I find myself safe and sound out of the

At this she became very angry and dashed him, with the light she had
longed for many a year, down to the bottom. And there lay the poor
soldier for a while in despair, on the damp mud below, and feared that
his end was nigh. But his pipe happened to be in his pocket still half
full, and he thought to himself, "I may as well make an end of smoking
you out; it is the last pleasure I shall have in this world." So he lit
it at the blue light and began to smoke.

Up rose a cloud of smoke, and on a sudden a little black dwarf was seen
making his way through the midst of it. "What do you want with me,
soldier?" said he.

"I have no business with you," answered he.

But the dwarf said, "I am bound to serve you in every thing, as lord and
master of the blue light."

"Then first of all, be so good as to help me out of this well." No
sooner said than done: the dwarf took him by the hand and drew him up,
and the blue light of course with him. "Now do me another piece of
kindness," said the soldier: "pray let that old lady take my place in
the well."

When the dwarf had done this, and lodged the witch safely at the bottom,
they began to ransack her treasures; and the soldier made bold to carry
off as much of her gold and silver as he well could. Then the dwarf
said, "If you should chance at any time to want me, you have nothing to
do but to light your pipe at the blue light, and I will soon be with

The soldier was not a little pleased at his good luck, and went to the
best inn in the first town he came to and ordered some fine clothes to
be made and a handsome room to be got ready for him. When all was ready,
he called his little man to him and said, "The king sent me away
penniless and left me to hunger and want. I have a mind to show him that
it is my turn to be master now; so bring me his daughter here this
evening, that she may wait upon me and do what I bid her."

"That is rather a dangerous task," said the dwarf. But away he went,
took the princess out of her bed, fast asleep as she was, and brought
her to the soldier.

Very early in the morning he carried her back; and as soon as she saw
her father, she said, "I had a strange dream last night. I thought I was
carried away through the air to a soldier's house, and there I waited
upon him as his servant." Then the king wondered greatly at such a
story; but told her to make a hole in her pocket and fill it with peas,
so that if it were really as she said, and the whole was not a dream,
the peas might fall out in the streets as she passed through, and leave
a clue to tell whither she had been taken. She did so; but the dwarf had
heard the king's plot; and when evening came, and the soldier said he
must bring him the princess again, he strewed peas over several of the
streets, so that the few that fell from her pocket were not known from
the others; and the people amused themselves all the next day picking up
peas and wondering where so many came from.

When the princess told her father what had happened to her the second
time, he said, "Take one of your shoes with you and hide it in the room
you are taken to."

The dwarf heard this also; and when the soldier told him to bring the
king's daughter again, he said, "I cannot save you this time; it will be
an unlucky thing for you if you are found out--as I think you will." But
the soldier would have his own way. "Then you must take care and make
the best of your way out of the city gate very early in the morning,"
said the dwarf.

The princess kept one shoe on as her father bid her, and hid it in the
soldier's room; and when she got back to her father, he ordered it to be
sought for all over the town; and at last it was found where she had hid
it. The soldier had run away, it is true; but he had been too slow and
was soon caught and thrown into a strong prison and loaded with chains.
What was worse, in the hurry of his flight, he had left behind him his
great treasure, the blue light, and all his gold, and had nothing left
in his pocket but one poor ducat.

As he was standing very sorrowful at the prison grating, he saw one of
his comrades, and calling out to him said, "If you will bring me a
little bundle I left in the inn, I will give you a ducat."

His comrade thought this very good pay for such a job; so he went away
and soon came back bringing the blue light and the gold. Then the
prisoner soon lit his pipe. Up rose the smoke, and with it came his old
friend, the little dwarf. "Do not fear, master," said he: "keep up your
heart at your trial and leave everything to take its course;--only mind
to take the blue light with you."

The trial soon came on; the matter was sifted to the bottom; the
prisoner found guilty, and his doom passed:--he was ordered to be hanged
forthwith on the gallows-tree.

But as he was led out, he said he had one favor to beg of the king.
"What is it?" said his majesty.

"That you will deign to let me smoke one pipe on the road."

"Two, if you like," said the king.

Then he lit his pipe at the blue light, and the black dwarf was before
him in a moment. "Be so good as to kill, slay, or put to flight all
these people," said the soldier: "and as for the king, you may cut him
into three pieces."

Then the dwarf began to lay about him, and soon got rid of the crowd
around: but the king begged hard for mercy; and, to save his life,
agreed to let the soldier have the princess for his wife and to leave
the kingdom to him when he died.


        The following tale is from Taylor's translation
        of Grimm. The cheerful industry and the kindly
        gratitude of the shoemaker and his wife,
        together with the gayety of the little elves,
        make the story altogether charming. No doubt
        its popularity was helped by Cruikshank's
        famous accompanying etching, showing the scene
        at the close, in which the two elves "are drawn
        with a point at once so precise and vivacious,
        so full of keen fun and inimitably happy
        invention, that I have not found their equal in
        comic etching anywhere. . . . The picturesque
        details of the room are etched with the same
        felicitous intelligence; but the marvel of the
        work is in the expression of the strange little
        faces, and the energy of the comical wee
        limbs." (Hamerton, _Etching and Etchers_.)


There was once a shoemaker who worked very hard and was very honest; but
still he could not earn enough to live upon, and at last all he had in
the world was gone, except just leather enough to make one pair of
shoes. Then he cut them all ready to make up the next day, meaning to
get up early in the morning to work. His conscience was clear and his
heart light amidst all his troubles; so he went peaceably to bed, left
all his cares to heaven, and fell asleep. In the morning, after he had
said his prayers, he set himself down to his work, but to his great
wonder, there stood the shoes, all ready made, upon the table. The good
man knew not what to say or think of this strange event. He looked at
the workmanship: there was not one false stitch in the whole job, and
all was so neat and true that it was a complete masterpiece.

That same day a customer came in, and the shoes pleased him so well that
he willingly paid a price higher than usual for them; and the poor
shoemaker with the money bought leather enough to make two pairs more.
In the evening he cut out the work and went to bed early that he might
get up and begin betimes next day: but he was saved all the trouble, for
when he got up in the morning the work was finished ready to his hand.
Presently in came buyers, who paid him handsomely for his goods, so that
he bought leather enough for four pairs more. He cut out the work again
over night, and found it finished in the morning as before; and so it
went on for some time: what was got ready in the evening was always done
by daybreak, and the good man soon became thriving and prosperous again.

One evening about Christmas time, as he and his wife were sitting over
the fire chatting together, he said to her, "I should like to sit up and
watch to-night, that we may see who it is that comes and does my work
for me." The wife liked the thought; so they left a light burning and
hid themselves in the corner of the room behind a curtain that was hung
up there, and watched what should happen.

As soon as it was midnight, there came two little naked dwarfs; and they
sat themselves upon the shoemaker's bench, took up all the work that was
cut out, and began to ply with their little fingers, stitching and
rapping and tapping away at such a rate that the shoemaker was all
amazement and could not take his eyes off for a moment. And on they went
till the job was quite finished, and the shoes stood ready for use upon
the table. This was long before daybreak; and then they bustled away as
quick as lightning.

The next day the wife said to the shoemaker, "These little wights have
made us rich, and we ought to be thankful to them and do them a good
office in return. I am quite vexed to see them run about as they do;
they have nothing upon their backs to keep off the cold. I'll tell you
what, I will make each of them a shirt, and a coat and waistcoat, and a
pair of pantaloons into the bargain; do you make each of them a little
pair of shoes."

The thought pleased the good shoemaker very much; and one evening, when
all the things were ready, they laid them on the table instead of the
work that they used to cut out, and then went and hid themselves to
watch what the little elves would do. About midnight they came in and
were going to sit down to their work as usual; but when they saw the
clothes lying for them, they laughed and were greatly delighted. Then
they dressed themselves in the twinkling of an eye, and danced and
capered and sprang about as merry as could be, till at last they danced
out at the door and over the green; and the shoemaker saw them no more;
but everything went well with him from that time forward, as long as he


        In a note regarding "The Fisherman and His
        Wife," Taylor calls attention to the
        interesting fact that this tale became a great
        favorite after the battle of Waterloo "during
        the fervor of popular feeling on the downfall
        of the late Emperor of France." The catastrophe
        attendant upon Napoleon's ambitious efforts
        seemed to the popular mind to be paralleled by
        the penalty following the final wish of the
        wife "to be like unto God." But observe that
        Taylor, unlike more recent translators, felt
        under the necessity of softening "the boldness
        of the lady's ambition." The versions of the
        verse charm used in summoning the fish differ
        strikingly in the various translations. That of
        Taylor's first edition, used here, seems to fit
        the story better than any other, though tellers
        of the story may, properly enough, not agree.
        Taylor's revised version of 1837 reads:

        "O man of the sea!
        Hearken to me!
        My wife Ilsabill
        Will have her own will,
        And hath sent me to beg a boon of thee!"

        Mrs. Hunt's version runs:

        "Flounder, flounder in the sea,
        Come, I pray thee, come to me;
        For my wife, good Ilsabil,
        Wills not as I'd have her will."

        The moral of the story is plain for those who
        need it: Greed overreaches itself. Who grasps
        too much loses all. Don't ride a free horse to


There was once a fisherman who lived with his wife in a ditch, close by
the sea-side. The fisherman used to go out all day long a-fishing; and
one day, as he sat on the shore with his rod, looking at the shining
water and watching his line, all on a sudden his float was dragged away
deep under the sea: and in drawing it up he pulled a great fish out of
the water. The fish said to him, "Pray let me live: I am not a real
fish; I am an enchanted prince. Put me in the water again, and let me

"Oh!" said the man, "you need not make so many words about the matter. I
wish to have nothing to do with a fish that can talk; so swim away as
soon as you please." Then he put him back into the water, and the fish
darted straight down to the bottom and left a long streak of blood
behind him.

When the fisherman went home to his wife in the ditch, he told her how
he had caught a great fish, and how it had told him it was an enchanted
prince, and that on hearing it speak he had let it go again.

"Did you not ask it for anything?" said the wife.

"No," said the man, "what should I ask for?"

"Ah!" said the wife, "we live very wretchedly here in this nasty
stinking ditch. Do go back, and tell the fish we want a little cottage."

The fisherman did not much like the business; however he went to the
sea, and when he came there the water looked all yellow and green. And
he stood at the water's edge, and said,

          "O man of the sea!
          Come listen to me,
          For Alice my wife,
          The plague of my life,
        Hath sent me to beg a boon of thee!"

Then the fish came swimming to him, and said, "Well, what does she

"Ah!" answered the fisherman, "my wife says that when I had caught you,
I ought to have asked you for something before I let you go again. She
does not like living any longer in the ditch, and wants a little

"Go home, then," said the fish. "She is in the cottage already."

So the man went home and saw his wife standing at the door of a cottage.
"Come in, come in," said she; "is not this much better than the ditch?"
And there was a parlor, and a bed-chamber, and a kitchen; and behind the
cottage there was a little garden with all sorts of flowers and fruits,
and a court-yard full of ducks and chickens.

"Ah!" said the fisherman, "how happily we shall live!"

"We will try to do so at least," said his wife.

Everything went right for a week or two, and then Dame Alice said,
"Husband, there is not room enough in this cottage; the court-yard and
garden are a great deal too small. I should like to have a large stone
castle to live in; so go to the fish again, and tell him to give us a

"Wife," said the fisherman, "I don't like to go to him again, for
perhaps he will be angry. We ought to be content with the cottage."

"Nonsense!" said the wife; "he will do it very willingly. Go along, and

The fisherman went; but his heart was very heavy: and when he came to
the sea, it looked blue and gloomy, though it was quite calm, and he
went close to it and said,

          "O man of the sea!
          Come listen to me,
          For Alice my wife,
          The plague of my life,
        Hath sent me to beg a boon of thee!"

"Well, what does she want now?" said the fish.

"Ah!" said the man very sorrowfully, "my wife wants to live in a stone

"Go home then," said the fish. "She is standing at the door of it
already." So away went the fisherman and found his wife standing before
a great castle.

"See," said she, "is not this grand?" With that they went into the
castle together and found a great many servants there and the rooms all
richly furnished and full of golden chairs and tables; and behind the
castle was a garden, and a wood half a mile long, full of sheep, and
goats, and hares, and deer; and in the court-yard were stables and

"Well," said the man, "now will we live contented and happy in this
beautiful castle for the rest of our lives."

"Perhaps we may," said the wife; "but let us consider and sleep upon it
before we make up our minds": so they went to bed.

The next morning when Dame Alice awoke, it was broad daylight, and she
jogged the fisherman with her elbow and said, "Get up, husband, and
bestir yourself, for we must be king of all the land."

"Wife, wife," said the man, "why should we wish to be king? I will not
be king."

"Then I will," said Alice.

"But, wife," answered the fisherman, "how can you be king? The fish
cannot make you a king."

"Husband," said she, "say no more about it, but go and try. I will be

So the man went away, quite sorrowful to think that his wife should want
to be king. The sea looked a dark grey color, and was covered with foam
as he cried out,

          "O man of the sea!
          Come listen to me,
          For Alice my wife,
          The plague of my life,
        Hath sent me to beg a boon of thee!"

"Well, what would she have now?" said the fish.

"Alas!" said the man, "my wife wants to be king."

"Go home," said the fish. "She is king already."

Then the fisherman went home; and as he came close to the palace, he saw
a troop of soldiers and heard the sound of drums and trumpets; and when
he entered in, he saw his wife sitting on a high throne of gold and
diamonds, with a golden crown upon her head; and on each side of her
stood six beautiful maidens, each a head taller than the other. "Well,
wife," said the fisherman, "are you king?"

"Yes," said she, "I am king."

And when he had looked at her for a long time, he said, "Ah, wife! what
a fine thing it is to be king! Now we shall never have anything more to
wish for."

"I don't know how that may be," said she; "never is a long time. I am
king, 'tis true, but I begin to be tired of it, and I think I should
like to be emperor."

"Alas, wife! why should you wish to be emperor?" said the fisherman.

"Husband," said she, "go to the fish; I say I will be emperor."

"Ah, wife!" replied the fisherman, "the fish cannot make an emperor, and
I should not like to ask for such a thing."

"I am king," said Alice, "and you are my slave, so go directly!"

So the fisherman was obliged to go; and he muttered as he went along,
"This will come to no good. It is too much to ask. The fish will be
tired at last, and then we shall repent of what we have done." He soon
arrived at the sea, and the water was quite black and muddy, and a
mighty whirlwind blew over it; but he went to the shore, and said,

          "O man of the sea!
          Come listen to me,
          For Alice my wife,
          The plague of my life,
        Hath sent me to beg a boon of thee!"

"What would she have now!" said the fish.

"Ah!" said the fisherman, "she wants to be emperor."

"Go home," said the fish. "She is emperor already."

So he went home again; and as he came near he saw his wife sitting on a
very lofty throne made of solid gold, with a great crown on her head
full two yards high, and on each side of her stood her guards and
attendants in a row, each one smaller than the other, from the tallest
giant down to a little dwarf no bigger than my finger. And before her
stood princes, and dukes, and earls: and the fisherman went up to her
and said, "Wife, are you emperor?"

"Yes," said she, "I am emperor."

"Ah!" said the man as he gazed upon her, "what a fine thing it is to be

"Husband," said she, "why should we stay at being emperor; I will be
pope next."

"O wife, wife!" said he, "how can you be pope? There is but one pope at
a time in Christendom."

"Husband," said she, "I will be pope this very day."

"But," replied the husband, "the fish cannot make you pope."

"What nonsense!" said she, "if he can make an emperor, he can make a
pope. Go and try him."

So the fisherman went. But when he came to the shore the wind was
raging, and the sea was tossed up and down like boiling water, and the
ships were in the greatest distress and danced upon the waves most
fearfully. In the middle of the sky there was a little blue, but toward
the south it was all red as if a dreadful storm were rising. At this the
fisherman was terribly frightened, and trembled, so that his knees
knocked together: but he went to the shore and said,

          "O man of the sea!
          Come listen to me,
          For Alice my wife,
          The plague of my life,
        Hath sent me to beg a boon of thee!"

"What does she want now?" said the fish.

"Ah!" said the fisherman, "my wife wants to be pope."

"Go home," said the fish. "She is pope already."

Then the fisherman went home and found his wife sitting on a throne that
was two miles high; and she had three great crowns on her head, and
around stood all the pomp and power of the Church; and on each side were
two rows of burning lights of all sizes, the greatest as large as the
highest and biggest tower in the world, and the least no larger than a
small rushlight. "Wife," said the fisherman as he looked at all this
grandeur, "are you pope?"

"Yes," said she, "I am pope."

"Well, wife," replied he, "it is a grand thing to be pope; and now you
must be content, for you can be nothing greater."

"I will consider of that," said the wife. Then they went to bed: but
Dame Alice could not sleep all night for thinking what she should be
next. At last morning came, and the sun rose. "Ha!" thought she as she
looked at it through the window, "cannot I prevent the sun rising?" At
this she was very angry, and she wakened her husband and said, "Husband,
go to the fish and tell him I want to be lord of the sun and moon." The
fisherman was half asleep, but the thought frightened him so much that
he started and fell out of bed. "Alas, wife!" said he, "cannot you be
content to be pope?"

"No," said she, "I am very uneasy, and cannot bear to see the sun and
moon rise without my leave. Go to the fish directly."

Then the man went trembling for fear; and as he was going down to the
shore a dreadful storm arose, so that the trees and the rocks shook; and
the heavens became black, and the lightning played, and the thunder
rolled; and you might have seen in the sea great black waves like
mountains with a white crown of foam upon them; and the fisherman said,

          "O man of the sea!
          Come listen to me,
          For Alice my wife,
          The plague of my life,
        Hath sent me to beg a boon of thee!"

"What does she want now?" said the fish.

"Ah!" said he, "she wants to be lord of the sun and moon." "Go home,"
said the fish, "to your ditch again!" And there they live to this very


        The Grimm version of "The Sleeping Beauty" is,
        by all odds, the finest one. Its perfect
        economy in the use of story materials has
        always been admired. Perrault's version drags
        in an unnecessary ogre and spoils a good story
        by not knowing when to stop. The Grimm title is
        "Dornröschen," and the more literal
        translation, "Brier Rose," is the one generally
        used as the English title, rather than the one
        given by Taylor, whose translation follows.
        Tennyson has a very beautiful poetic rendering
        of this story in his "Day-Dream."


Once upon a time there lived a king and queen who had no children; and
this they lamented very much. But one day as the queen was walking by
the side of the river, a little fish lifted its head out of the water
and said, "Your wish shall be fulfilled, and you shall soon have a

What the little fish had foretold soon came to pass; and the queen had a
little girl that was so very beautiful that the king could not cease
looking on it for joy, and determined to hold a great feast. So he
invited not only his relations, friends, and neighbors, but also all the
fairies, that they might be kind and good to his little daughter.

Now there were thirteen fairies in his kingdom, and he had only twelve
golden dishes for them to eat out of, so he was obliged to leave one of
the fairies without an invitation. The rest came, and after the feast
was over they gave all their best gifts to the little princess: one gave
her virtue, another beauty, another riches, and so on till she had all
that was excellent in the world. When eleven had done blessing her, the
thirteenth, who had not been invited and was very angry on that account,
came in and determined to take her revenge. So she cried out, "The
king's daughter shall in her fifteenth year be wounded by a spindle, and
fall down dead."

Then the twelfth, who had not yet given her gift, came forward and said
that the bad wish must be fulfilled, but that she could soften it, and
that the king's daughter should not die, but fall asleep for a hundred

But the king hoped to save his dear child from the threatened evil and
ordered that all the spindles in the kingdom should be bought up and
destroyed. All the fairies' gifts were in the meantime fulfilled, for
the princess was so beautiful, and well-behaved, and amiable, and wise
that every one who knew her loved her. Now it happened that on the very
day she was fifteen years old the king and queen were not at home, and
she was left alone in the palace. So she roved about by herself and
looked at all the rooms and chambers till at last she came to an old
tower, to which there was a narrow staircase ending with a little door.
In the door there was a golden key, and when she turned it the door
sprang open, and there sat an old lady spinning away very busily. "Why,
how now, good mother," said the princess, "what are you doing there?"

"Spinning," said the old lady, and nodded her head.

"How prettily that little thing turns round!" said the princess, and
took the spindle and began to spin. But scarcely had she touched it
before the prophecy was fulfilled, and she fell down lifeless on the

However, she was not dead, but had only fallen into a deep sleep; and
the king and the queen, who just then came home, and all their court,
fell asleep too; and the horses slept in the stables, and the dogs in
the court, the pigeons on the house-top and the flies on the walls. Even
the fire on the hearth left off blazing and went to sleep; and the meat
that was roasting stood still; and the cook, who was at that moment
pulling the kitchen-boy by the hair to give him a box on the ear for
something he had done amiss, let him go, and both fell asleep; and so
everything stood still, and slept soundly.

A large hedge of thorns soon grew round the palace, and every year it
became higher and thicker till at last the whole palace was surrounded
and hid, so that not even the roof or the chimneys could be seen. But
there went a report through all the land of the beautiful sleeping
Rose-Bud (for so was the king's daughter called); so that from time to
time several kings' sons came and tried to break through the thicket
into the palace. This they could never do, for the thorns and bushes
laid hold of them as it were with hands, and there they stuck fast and
died miserably.

After many many years there came a king's son into that land, and an old
man told him the story of the thicket of thorns, and how a beautiful
palace stood behind it, in which was a wondrous princess, called
Rose-Bud, asleep with all her court. He told, too, how he had heard from
his grandfather that many many princes had come, and had tried to break
through the thicket, but had stuck fast and died. Then the young prince
said, "All this shall not frighten me. I will go and see Rose-Bud." The
old man tried to dissuade him, but he persisted in going.

Now that very day were the hundred years completed; and as the prince
came to the thicket, he saw nothing but beautiful flowering shrubs,
through which he passed with ease, and they closed after him as firm as
ever. Then he came at last to the palace, and there in the court lay the
dogs asleep, and the horses in the stables, and on the roof sat the
pigeons fast asleep with their heads under their wings; and when he came
into the palace, the flies slept on the walls, and the cook in the
kitchen was still holding up her hand as if she would beat the boy, and
the maid sat with a black fowl in her hand ready to be plucked.

Then he went on still further, and all was so still that he could hear
every breath he drew; till at last he came to the old tower and opened
the door of the little room in which Rose-Bud was, and there she lay
fast asleep, and looked so beautiful that he could not take his eyes
off, and he stooped down and gave her a kiss. But the moment he kissed
her she opened her eyes and awoke and smiled upon him. Then they went
out together, and presently the king and queen also awoke, and all the
court, and they gazed on one another with great wonder. And the horses
got up and shook themselves, and the dogs jumped about and barked; the
pigeons took their heads from under their wings and looked about and
flew into the fields; the flies on the walls buzzed away; the fire in
the kitchen blazed up and cooked the dinner, and the roast meat turned
round again; the cook gave the boy the box on his ear so that he cried
out, and the maid went on plucking the fowl. And then was the wedding of
the prince and Rose-Bud celebrated, and they lived happily together all
their lives long.


        The story of "Rumpelstiltskin" is taken from
        Margaret Hunt's translation of Grimm. It is the
        same story as "Tom Tit Tot" (No. 160), and is
        given in order that the teacher may compare the
        two. Grimm's is the most familiar of the many
        versions of this tale and is probably the best
        for use with children, although the "little
        man" lacks some of the fascinating power of
        "that" with its twirling tail.


Once there was a miller who was poor, but who had a beautiful daughter.
Now it happened that he had to go and speak to the King, and in order to
make himself appear important he said to him, "I have a daughter who can
spin straw into gold."

The King said to the miller, "That is an art which pleases me well. If
your daughter is as clever as you say, bring her tomorrow to my palace,
and I will try what she can do."

And when the girl was brought to him he took her into a room which was
quite full of straw, gave her a spinning-wheel and a reel, and said,
"Now set to work, and if by tomorrow morning early you have not spun
this straw into gold during the night, you must die." Thereupon he
himself locked up the room, and left her in it alone. So there sat the
poor miller's daughter, and for her life could not tell what to do. She
had no idea how straw could be spun into gold, and she grew more and
more miserable, until at last she began to weep.

But all at once the door opened, and in came a little man, and said,
"Good evening, Mistress Miller; why are you crying so?"

"Alas!" answered the girl, "I have to spin straw into gold, and I do not
know how to do it."

"What will you give me," said the manikin, "if I do it for you?"

"My necklace," said the girl. The little man took the necklace, seated
himself in front of the wheel, and "whir, whir, whir," three turns, and
the reel was full; then he put another on, and "whir, whir, whir," three
times round, and the second was full, too. And so it went on until the
morning, when all the straw was spun, and all the reels were full of
gold. By daybreak the King was already there, and when he saw the gold
he was astonished and delighted, but his heart became only more greedy.
He had the miller's daughter taken into another room full of straw,
which was much larger, and commanded her to spin that also in one night
if she valued her life. The girl knew not how to help herself, and was
crying, when the door again opened, and the little man appeared, and
said, "What will you give me if I spin the straw into gold for you?"

"The ring on my finger," answered the girl.

The little man took the ring, again began to turn the wheel, and by
morning had spun all the straw into glittering gold.

The King rejoiced beyond measure at the sight, but still he had not
gold enough; and he had the miller's daughter taken into a still larger
room full of straw, and said, "You must spin this, too, in the course of
this night; but if you succeed, you shall be my wife." "Even if she be a
miller's daughter," thought he, "I could not find a richer wife in the
whole world."

When the girl was alone the manikin came again for the third time, and
said, "What will you give me if I spin the straw for you this time

"I have nothing left that I could give," answered the girl.

"Then promise me, if you should become Queen, your first child."

"Who knows whether that will ever happen?" thought the miller's
daughter; and, not knowing how else to help herself in this strait, she
promised the manikin what he wanted, and for that he once more spun the
straw into gold.

And when the King came in the morning, and found all as he had wished,
he took her in marriage, and the pretty miller's daughter became a

A year after, she had a beautiful child, and she never gave a thought to
the manikin. But suddenly he came into her room, and said, "Now give me
what you promised."

The Queen was horror-struck, and offered the manikin all the riches of
the kingdom if he would leave her the child. But the manikin said, "No,
something that is living is dearer to me than all the treasures in the

Then the Queen began to weep and cry, so that the manikin pitied her. "I
will give you three days' time," said he; "if by that time you find out
my name, then shall you keep your child."

So the Queen thought the whole night of all the names that she had ever
heard, and she sent a messenger over the country to inquire, far and
wide, for any other names that there might be. When the manikin came the
next day, she began with Caspar, Melchior, Balthazar, and said all the
names she knew, one after another; but to every one the little man said,
"That is not my name." On the second day she had inquiries made in the
neighborhood as to the names of the people there, and she repeated to
the manikin the most uncommon and curious. "Perhaps your name is
Shortribs, or Sheepshanks, or Laceleg?" but he always answered, "That is
not my name."

On the third day the messenger came back again, and said, "I have not
been able to find a single new name, but as I came to a high mountain at
the end of the forest, where the fox and the hare bid each other
good-night, there I saw a little house, and before the house a fire was
burning, and round about the fire quite a ridiculous little man was
jumping; he hopped upon one leg, and shouted:

          "To-day I bake, to-morrow brew,
          The next I'll have the young Queen's child.
        Ha! glad am I that no one knew
          That Rumpelstiltskin I am styled.'"

You may think how glad the Queen was when she heard the name! And when
soon afterwards the little man came in, and asked, "Now, Mistress Queen,
what is my name?"

At first she said, "Is your name Conrad?"


"Is your name Harry?"


"Perhaps your name is Rumpelstiltskin?"

"The devil has told you that! the devil has told you that!" cried the
little man, and in his anger he plunged his right foot so deep into the
earth that his whole leg went in; and then in rage he pulled at his left
leg so hard with both hands that he tore himself in two.


        Margaret Hunt's translation of Grimm's
        "Snow-White and Rose-Red" follows. It has long
        been recognized as one of the most beautiful
        and appealing of folk tales. The scenic
        effects, the domestic life with its maternal
        and filial affection, the kindness to animals
        and helpfulness to each other and to those in
        distress, the adventures with dwarf and bear,
        the magic enchantment of goodness through the
        power of evil, and the happy conclusion
        following the removal of this enchantment--all
        these are blended into a perfect union that
        never fails to delight the listener of any age.


There was once a poor widow who lived in a lonely cottage. In front of
the cottage was a garden wherein stood two rose-trees, one of which bore
white and the other red roses. She had two children who were like the
two rose-trees, and one was called Snow-white, and the other Rose-red.
They were as good and happy, as busy and cheerful as ever two children
in the world were, only Snow-white was more quiet and gentle than
Rose-red. Rose-red liked better to run about in the meadows and fields
seeking flowers and catching butterflies; but Snow-white sat at home
with her mother, and helped her with her housework, or read to her when
there was nothing to do.

The two children were so fond of each other that they always held each
other by the hand when they went out together, and when Snow-white said,
"We will not leave each other," Rose-red answered, "Never so long as we
live," and their mother would add, "What one has she must share with the

They often ran about the forest alone and gathered red berries, and no
beasts did them any harm, but came close to them trustfully. The little
hare would eat a cabbage-leaf out of their hands, the roe grazed by
their side, the stag leaped merrily by them, and the birds sat still
upon the boughs and sang whatever they knew.

No mishap overtook them; if they had stayed too late in the forest, and
night came on, they laid themselves down near each other upon the moss
and slept until morning came, and their mother knew this and had no
distress on their account.

Once when they had spent the night in the wood and the dawn had roused
them, they saw a beautiful child in a shining white dress sitting near
their bed. He got up and looked quite kindly at them, but said nothing
and went away into the forest. And when they looked round they found
that they had been sleeping quite close to a precipice, and would
certainly have fallen into it in the darkness if they had gone only a
few paces farther. And their mother told them that it must have been the
angel who watches over good children.

Snow-white and Rose-red kept their mother's little cottage so neat that
it was a pleasure to look inside it. In the summer Rose-red took care of
the house, and every morning laid a wreath of flowers by her mother's
bed before she awoke, in which was a rose from each tree. In the winter
Snow-white lit the fire and hung the kettle on the crane. The kettle was
of copper and shone like gold, so brightly was it polished. In the
evening, when the snowflakes fell, the mother said, "Go, Snow-white, and
bolt the door," and then they sat round the hearth, and the mother took
her spectacles and read aloud out of a large book, and the two girls
listened as they sat and spun. And close by them lay a lamb upon the
floor, and behind them upon a perch sat a white dove with its head
hidden beneath its wings.

One evening, as they were thus sitting comfortably together, some one
knocked at the door as if he wished to be let in. The mother said,
"Quick, Rose-red, open the door, it must be a traveler who is seeking
shelter." Rose-red went and pushed back the bolt, thinking that it was a
poor man, but it was not; it was a bear that stretched his broad, black
head within the door.

Rose-red screamed and sprang back, the lamb bleated, the dove fluttered,
and Snow-white hid herself behind her mother's bed. But the bear began
to speak and said, "Do not be afraid, I will do you no harm! I am
half-frozen, and only want to warm myself a little beside you."

"Poor bear," said the mother, "lie down by the fire, only take care that
you do not burn your coat." Then she cried, "Snow-white, Rose-red, come
out; the bear will do you no harm; he means well." So they both came
out, and by-and-by the lamb and dove came nearer, and were not afraid of

The bear said, "Here, children, knock the snow out of my coat a little";
so they brought the broom and swept the bear's hide clean; and he
stretched himself by the fire and growled contentedly and comfortably.
It was not long before they grew quite at home and played tricks with
their clumsy guest. They tugged his hair with their hands, put their
feet upon his back and rolled him about, or they took a hazel-switch and
beat him, and when he growled they laughed. But the bear took it all in
good part, only when they were too rough he called out, "Leave me alive,

        "Snowy-white, Rosy-red,
        Will you beat your lover dead?"

When it was bed-time, and the others went to bed, the mother said to the
bear, "You can lie there by the hearth, and then you will be safe from
the cold and the bad weather." As soon as day dawned the two children
let him out, and he trotted across the snow into the forest.

Henceforth the bear came every evening at the same time, laid himself
down by the hearth, and let the children amuse themselves with him as
much as they liked; and they got so used to him that the doors were
never fastened until their black friend had arrived.

When spring had come and all outside was green, the bear said one
morning to Snow-white, "Now I must go away, and cannot come back for the
whole summer."

"Where are you going, then, dear bear?" asked Snow-white.

"I must go into the forest and guard my treasures from the wicked
dwarfs. In the winter, when the earth is frozen hard, they are obliged
to stay below and cannot work their way through; but now, when the sun
has thawed and warmed the earth, they break through it, and come out to
pry and steal; and what once gets into their hands, and in their caves,
does not easily see daylight again."

Snow-white was quite sorry for his going away, and as she unbolted the
door for him, and the bear was hurrying out, he caught against the bolt
and a piece of his hairy coat was torn off, and it seemed to Snow-white
as if she had seen gold shining through it, but she was not sure about
it. The bear ran away quickly, and was soon out of sight behind the

A short time afterwards the mother sent her children into the forest to
get fire-wood. There they found a big tree which lay felled on the
ground, and close by the trunk something was jumping backwards and
forwards in the grass, but they could not make out what it was. When
they came nearer they saw a dwarf with an old withered face and a
snow-white beard a yard long. The end of the beard was caught in a
crevice of the tree, and the little fellow was jumping backwards and
forwards like a dog tied to a rope, and did not know what to do.

He glared at the girls with his fiery red eyes and cried, "Why do you
stand there? Can you not come here and help me?"

"What are you about there, little man?" asked Rose-red.

"You stupid, prying goose!" answered the dwarf; "I was going to split
the tree to get a little wood for cooking. The little bit of food that
one of us wants gets burnt up directly with thick logs; we do not
swallow so much as you coarse, greedy folk. I had just driven the wedge
safely in, and everything was going as I wished; but the wretched wood
was too smooth and suddenly sprang asunder, and the tree closed so
quickly that I could not pull out my beautiful white beard; so now it is
tight in and I cannot get away, and you silly, sleek, milk-faced things
laugh! Ugh! how odious you are!"

The children tried very hard, but they could not pull the beard out, it
was caught too fast. "I will run and fetch some one," said Rose-red.

"You senseless goose!" snarled the dwarf; "why should you fetch some
one? You are already two too many for me; can you not think of something

"Don't be impatient," said Snow-white, "I will help you," and she pulled
her scissors out of her pocket, and cut off the end of the beard.

As soon as the dwarf felt himself free he laid hold of a bag which lay
amongst the roots of the tree, and which was full of gold, and lifted it
up, grumbling to himself, "Uncouth people, to cut off a piece of my fine
beard. Bad luck to you!" and then he swung the bag upon his back, and
went off without even once looking at the children.

Some time after that Snow-white and Rose-red went to catch a dish of
fish. As they came near the brook they saw something like a large
grasshopper jumping towards the water, as if it were going to leap in.
They ran to it and found it was the dwarf. "Where are you going?" said
Rose-red; "you surely don't want to go into the water?"

"I am not such a fool!" cried the dwarf; "don't you see that the
accursed fish wants to pull me in?"

The little man had been sitting there fishing, and unluckily the wind
had twisted his beard with the fishing line; just then a big fish bit,
and the feeble creature had not strength to pull it out; the fish kept
the upper hand and pulled the dwarf towards him. He held on to all the
reeds and rushes, but it was of little good, he was forced to follow the
movements of the fish, and was in urgent danger of being dragged into
the water.

The girls came just in time; they held him fast and tried to free his
beard from the line, but all in vain, beard and line were entangled fast
together. Nothing was left but to bring out the scissors and cut the
beard, whereby a small part of it was lost. When the dwarf saw that he
screamed out, "Is that civil, you toadstool, to disfigure one's face?
Was it not enough to clip off the end of my beard? Now you have cut off
the best part of it. I cannot let myself be seen by my people. I wish
you had been made to run the soles off your shoes!" Then he took out a
sack of pearls which lay in the rushes, and without saying a word more
he dragged it away and disappeared behind a stone.

It happened that soon afterwards the mother sent the two children to the
town to buy needles and thread, and laces and ribbons. The road led them
across a heath upon which huge pieces of rock lay strewn here and there.
Now they noticed a large bird hovering in the air, flying slowly round
and round above them; it sank lower and lower, and at last settled near
a rock not far off. Directly afterwards they heard a loud, piteous cry.
They ran up and saw with horror that the eagle had seized their old
acquaintance the dwarf, and was going to carry him off.

The children, full of pity, at once took tight hold of the little man,
and pulled against the eagle so long that at last he let his booty go.
As soon as the dwarf had recovered from his first fright he cried with
his shrill voice, "Could you not have done it more carefully? You
dragged at my brown coat so that it is all torn and full of holes, you
helpless, clumsy creatures!" Then he took up a sack full of precious
stones, and slipped away again under the rock into his hole. The girls,
who by this time were used to his thanklessness, went on their way and
did their business in the town.

As they crossed the heath again on their way home they surprised the
dwarf, who had emptied out his bag of precious stones in a clean spot,
and had not thought that any one would come there so late. The evening
sun shone upon the brilliant stones; they glittered and sparkled with
all colors so beautifully that the children stood still and looked at
them. "Why do you stand gaping there?" cried the dwarf, and his
ashen-gray face became copper-red with rage. He was going on with his
bad words when a loud growling was heard, and a black bear came trotting
towards them out of the forest. The dwarf sprang up in a fright, but he
could not get to his cave, for the bear was already close. Then in the
dread of his heart he cried, "Dear Mr. Bear, spare me, I will give you
all my treasures; look, the beautiful jewels lying there! Grant me my
life; what do you want with such a slender little fellow as I? You would
not feel me between your teeth. Come, take these two wicked girls, they
are tender morsels for you, fat as young quails; for mercy's sake eat
them!" The bear took no heed of his words, but gave the wicked creature
a single blow with his paw, and he did not move again.

The girls had run away, but the bear called to them, "Snow-white and
Rose-red, do not be afraid; wait, I will come with you." Then they knew
his voice and waited, and when he came up to them suddenly his bearskin
fell off, and he stood there a handsome man, clothed all in gold. "I am
a King's son," he said, "and I was bewitched by that wicked dwarf, who
had stolen my treasures. I have had to run about the forest as a savage
bear until I was freed by his death. Now he has got his well-deserved

Snow-white was married to him, and Rose-red to his brother, and they
divided between them the great treasures which the dwarf had gathered
together in his cave. The old mother lived peacefully and happily with
her children for many years. She took the two rose-trees with her, and
they stood before her window, and every year bore the most beautiful
roses, white and red.


        Whether it is possible to trace all folk tales
        to India, as some scholars have contended, is a
        matter yet open to debate. But there can be no
        doubt that some of the most instructing and
        valuable of folk tales for use with children
        are found in the various collections of Indian
        stories made since the pioneer work of Mary
        Frere in her _Old Deccan Days_ (1868). A
        voluminous literature of collections and
        comment has grown up and is constantly
        increasing. Four stories that have won great
        favor with children are given immediately
        following as the ones probably best fitted for
        an introductory course. "The Lambikin" is one
        of the most popular of all. It is an
        accumulative droll in character and should be
        told early along with, say, "The Story of the
        Three Little Pigs." The children will be sure
        to notice that Lambikin trundling along in his
        drumikin has some similarity to the wise pig
        who traveled so fast down hill in his new
        churn. The story is taken from _Tales from the
        Punjab_, collected by Flora Annie Steel, with
        very valuable notes and analyses by Captain R.
        C. Temple.


Once upon a time there was a wee wee Lambikin, who frolicked about on
his little tottery legs, and enjoyed himself amazingly. Now one day he
set off to visit his Granny, and was jumping with joy to think of all
the good things he should get from her, when whom should he meet but a
Jackal, who looked at the tender young morsel and said: "Lambikin!
Lambikin! I'll EAT YOU!"

But Lambikin only gave a little frisk and said:

        "To Granny's house I go,
        Where I shall fatter grow,
        Then you can eat me so."

The Jackal thought this reasonable, and let Lambikin pass.

By and by he met a Vulture, and the Vulture, looking hungrily at the
tender morsel before him, said: "Lambikin! Lambikin! I'll EAT YOU!"

But Lambikin only gave a little frisk, and said:

        "To Granny's house I go,
        Where I shall fatter grow,
        Then you can eat me so."

The Vulture thought this reasonable, and let Lambikin pass.

And by and by he met a Tiger, and then a Wolf, and a Dog, and an Eagle,
and all these, when they saw the tender little morsel, said: "Lambikin!
Lambikin! I'll EAT YOU!"

But to all of them Lambikin replied, with a little frisk:

        "To Granny's house I go,
        Where I shall fatter grow,
        Then you can eat me so."

At last he reached his Granny's house, and said, all in a great hurry,
"Granny, dear, I've promised to get very fat; so, as people ought to
keep their promises, please put me into the corn-bin _at once_."

So his Granny said he was a good boy, and put him into the corn-bin, and
there the greedy little Lambikin stayed for seven days, and ate, and
ate, and ate, until he could scarcely waddle, and his Granny said he was
fat enough for anything, and must go home. But cunning little Lambikin
said that would never do, for some animal would be sure to eat him on
the way back, he was so plump and tender.

"I'll tell you what you must do," said Master Lambikin, "you must make a
little drumikin out of the skin of my little brother who died, and then
I can sit inside and trundle along nicely, for I'm as tight as a drum

So his Granny made a nice little drumikin out of his brother's skin,
with the wool inside, and Lambikin curled himself up snug and warm in
the middle, and trundled away gayly. Soon he met with the Eagle, who
called out:

        "Drumikin! Drumikin!
        Have you seen Lambikin?"

And Mr. Lambikin, curled up in his soft warm nest, replied:

        "Lost in the forest, and so are you,
        On, little Drumikin! Tum-pa, tum-too!"

"How very annoying!" sighed the Eagle, thinking regretfully of the
tender morsel he had let slip.

Meanwhile Lambikin trundled along, laughing to himself, and singing:

        "Tum-pa, tum-too;
        Tum-pa, tum-too!"

Every animal and bird he met asked him the same question:

        "Drumikin! Drumikin!
        Have you seen Lambikin?"

And to each of them the little sly-boots replied:

        "Lost in the forest, and so are you,
        On, little Drumikin! Tum-pa, tum-too;
        Tum-pa, tum-too; tum-pa, tum-too!"

Then they all sighed to think of the tender little morsel they had let

At last the Jackal came limping along, for all his sorry looks as sharp
as a needle, and he too called out:

        "Drumikin! Drumikin!
        Have you seen Lambikin?"

And Lambikin, curled up in his snug little nest, replied gayly:

        "Lost in the forest, and so are you,
        On, little Drumikin! Tum-pa--"

But he never got any further, for the Jackal recognized his voice at
once, and cried: "Hullo! you've turned yourself inside out, have you?
Just you come out of that!"

Whereupon he tore open Drumikin and gobbled up Lambikin.


        The next story, dealing with the idea of
        "measure for measure," is from Mary Frere's
        _Old Deccan Days_. Miss Frere spent many years
        in India, where her father was a government
        official. She took down the tales as told by
        her _ayah_, or lady's maid, who in turn had
        heard them from her hundred-year-old
        grandmother. It may be said of this story that
        while retaliation is certainly not the highest
        law of conduct, yet the ungracious,
        inconsiderate action of the jackal makes it
        impossible to feel the least sympathy for him.


There once lived a Camel and a Jackal who were great friends. One day
the Jackal said to the Camel, "I know that there is a fine field of
sugar cane on the other side of the river. If you will take me across,
I'll show you the place. This plan will suit me as well as you. You will
enjoy eating the sugar cane, and I am sure to find many crabs, bones,
and bits of fish by the river side, on which to make a good dinner."

The Camel consented, and swam across the river, taking the Jackal, who
could not swim, on his back. When they reached the other side, the Camel
went to eat the sugar cane, and the Jackal ran up and down the river
bank, devouring all the crabs, bits of fish, and bones he could find.

But being so much smaller an animal, he had made an excellent meal
before the Camel had eaten more than two or three mouthfuls; and no
sooner had he finished his dinner than he ran round and round the
sugar-cane field, yelping and howling with all his might.

The villagers heard him, and thought, "There is a Jackal among the sugar
canes; he will be scratching holes in the ground and spoiling the roots
of the plants." And they went down to the place to drive him away. But
when they got there they found to their surprise not only a Jackal, but
a Camel who was eating the sugar canes! This made them very angry, and
they caught the poor Camel and drove him from the field and beat him
until he was nearly dead.

When the villagers had gone, the Jackal said to the Camel, "We had
better go home." And the Camel, said, "Very well; then jump upon my
back, as you did before."

So the Jackal jumped upon the Camel's back, and the Camel began to
recross the river. When they had got well into the water, the Camel
said, "This is a pretty way in which you have treated me, friend Jackal.
No sooner had you finished your own dinner than you must go yelping
about the place loud enough to arouse the whole village, and bring all
the villagers down to beat me black and blue, and turn me out of the
field before I had eaten two mouthfuls! What in the world did you make
such a noise for?"

"I don't know," said the Jackal. "It is a custom I have. I always like
to sing a little after dinner."

The Camel waded on through the river. The water reached up to his
knees--then above them--up, up, up, higher and higher, until at last he
was obliged to swim.

Then turning to the Jackal, he said, "I feel very anxious to roll."

"Oh, pray don't; why do you wish to do so?" asked the Jackal.

"I don't know," answered the Camel. "It is a custom I have. I always
like to have a little roll after dinner."

So saying, he rolled over in the water, shaking the Jackal off as he did
so. And the Jackal was drowned, but the Camel swam safely ashore.


        The fine story following is from Steel's _Tales
        of the Punjab_. Scholars have pointed out a
        hundred or more variants. Such trickery as
        that used by the jackal in trapping the tiger
        is the common thing to find in folk tales where
        oppressed weakness is matched against ruthless
        and tyrannic power. The tiger's ingratitude
        precludes any desire to "take his part." The
        attitude of the three judges is determined in
        each case by the fact that the experience of
        each has hardened him and rendered him
        completely hopeless and unsympathetic. "The
        work of the buffalo in the oil-press," says
        Captain Temple, "is the synonym all India
        over--and with good reason--for hard and
        thankless toil for another's benefit."


Once upon a time a tiger was caught in a trap. He tried in vain to get
out through the bars, and rolled and bit with rage and grief when he

By chance a poor Brahman came by. "Let me out of this cage, O pious
one!" cried the tiger.

"Nay, my friend," replied the Brahman mildly; "you would probably eat me
if I did."

"Not at all!" swore the tiger with many oaths; "on the contrary, I
should be forever grateful, and serve you as a slave."

Now, when the tiger sobbed and sighed and wept and swore, the pious
Brahman's heart softened, and at last he consented to open the door of
the cage. Out popped the tiger, and, seizing the poor man, cried, "What
a fool you are! What is to prevent my eating you now, for after being
cooped up so long I am just terribly hungry?"

In vain the Brahman pleaded for his life; the most he could gain was a
promise to abide by the decision of the first three things he chose to
question as to the justice of the tiger's action.

So the Brahman first asked a _pipal_ tree what it thought of the matter,
but the _pipal_ tree replied coldly, "What have you to complain about?
Don't I give shade and shelter to every one who passes by, and don't
they in return tear down my branches to feed their cattle? Don't
whimper--be a man!"

Then the Brahman, sad at heart, went further afield till he saw a
buffalo turning a well-wheel; but he fared no better from it, for it
answered: "You are a fool to expect gratitude! Look at me! While I gave
milk they fed me on cotton-seed and oil-cake, but now I am dry they yoke
me here, and give me refuse as fodder!"

The Brahman, still more sad, asked the road to give him its opinion.

"My dear sir," said the road, "how foolish you are to expect anything
else! Here am I, useful to everybody, yet all, rich and poor, great and
small, trample on me as they go past, giving me nothing but the ashes of
their pipes and the husks of their grain!"

On this the Brahman turned back sorrowfully, and on the way he met a
jackal, who called out, "Why, what's the matter, Mr. Brahman? You look
as miserable as a fish out of water!"

The Brahman told him all that had occurred. "How very confusing!" said
the jackal, when the recital was ended; "would you mind telling me over
again, for everything seems so mixed up?"

The Brahman told it all over again, but the jackal shook his head in a
distracted sort of way, and still could not understand.

"It's very odd," said he sadly, "but it all seems to go in at one ear
and out at the other! I will go to the place where it all happened, and
then, perhaps, I shall be able to give a judgment."

So they returned to the cage, by which the tiger was waiting for the
Brahman, and sharpening his teeth and claws.

"You've been away a long time!" growled the savage beast, "but now let
us begin our dinner."

"_Our_ dinner!" thought the wretched Brahman, as his knees knocked
together with fright; "what a remarkably delicate way of putting it!"

"Give me five minutes, my lord!" he pleaded, "in order that I may
explain matters to the jackal here, who is somewhat slow in his wits."

The tiger consented, and the Brahman began the whole story over again,
not missing a single detail, and spinning as long a yarn as possible.

"Oh, my poor brain! oh, my poor brain!" cried the jackal, wringing its
paws. "Let me see! how did it all begin? You were in the cage, and the
tiger came walking by--"

"Pooh!" interrupted the tiger, "what a fool you are! _I_ was in the

"Of course!" cried the jackal, pretending to tremble with fright; "yes!
I was in the cage--no, I wasn't--dear! dear! where are my wits? Let me
see--the tiger was in the Brahman, and the cage came walking by--no,
that's not it, either! Well, don't mind me, but begin your dinner, for I
shall never understand!"

"Yes, you shall!" returned the tiger, in a rage at the jackal's
stupidity; "I'll _make_ you understand! Look here--I am the tiger--"

"Yes, my lord!"

"And that is the Brahman--"

"Yes, my lord!"

"And that is the cage--"

"Yes, my lord!"

"And I was in the cage--do you understand?"

"Yes--no----Please, my lord--"

"Well?" cried the tiger impatiently.

"Please, my lord! How did you get in?"

"How? Why in the usual way, of course!"

"Oh, dear me! my head is beginning to whirl again! Please don't be
angry, my lord, but what is the usual way?"

At this the tiger lost patience, and jumping into the cage, cried, "This
way! Now do you understand how it was?"

"Perfectly!" grinned the jackal, as he dexterously shut the door, "and
if you will permit me to say so, I think matters will remain as they


        The story that follows is from Mrs. Kingscote's
        _Tales of the Sun_, as reprinted in Joseph
        Jacobs' _Indian Fairy Tales_. Mr. Jacobs
        explains that he "changed the Indian mercantile
        numerals into those of English 'back-slang,'
        which make a very good parallel." As in other
        cases, the value of Jacobs' collection must be
        emphasized. If the teacher is limited to a
        single book for story material from the
        Hindoos, that book must be the one made by
        Joseph Jacobs. With well-chosen tales, with the
        slight changes here and there necessary for use
        with children, with just enough scholarship
        packed out of the way in the introduction and
        notes, the book has no rival.


In a certain village there lived ten cloth merchants, who always went
about together. Once upon a time they had traveled far afield, and were
returning home with a great deal of money which they had obtained by
selling their wares. Now there happened to be a dense forest near their
village, and this they reached early one morning. In it there lived
three notorious robbers, of whose existence the traders had never heard,
and while they were still in the middle of it the robbers stood before
them, with swords and cudgels in their hands, and ordered them to lay
down all they had. The traders had no weapons with them, and so, though
they were many more in number, they had to submit themselves to the
robbers, who took away everything from them, even the very clothes they
wore, and gave to each only a small loin-cloth a span in breadth and a
cubit in length.

The idea that they had conquered ten men and plundered all their
property now took possession of the robbers' minds. They seated
themselves like three monarchs before the men they had plundered, and
ordered them to dance to them before returning home. The merchants now
mourned their fate. They had lost all they had, except their loin-cloth,
and still the robbers were not satisfied, but ordered them to dance.

There was among the ten merchants one who was very clever. He pondered
over the calamity that had come upon him and his friends, the dance they
would have to perform, and the magnificent manner in which the three
robbers had seated themselves on the grass. At the same time he observed
that these last had placed their weapons on the ground, in the assurance
of having thoroughly cowed the traders, who were now commencing to
dance; and, as a song is always sung by the leader on such occasions, to
which the rest keep time with hands and feet, he thus began to sing:

        "We are enty men,
        They are erith men:
        If each erith man,
        Surround eno men
        Eno man remains.

        _Tâ, tai tôm, tadingana._"

The robbers were all uneducated, and thought that the leader was merely
singing a song as usual. So it was in one sense; for the leader
commenced from a distance, and had sung the song over twice before he
and his companions commenced to approach the robbers. They had
understood his meaning, because they had been trained in trade.

When two traders discuss the price of an article in the presence of a
purchaser, they use a riddling sort of language.

"What is the price of this cloth?" one trader will ask.

"Enty rupees," another will reply, meaning "ten rupees."

Thus there is no possibility of the purchaser knowing what is meant
unless he be acquainted with trade language. By the rules of this secret
language erith means "three," enty means "ten," and eno means "one." So
the leader by his song meant to hint to his fellow-traders that they
were ten men, the robbers only three, that if three pounced upon each of
the robbers, nine of them could hold them down, while the remaining one
bound the robbers' hands and feet.

The three thieves, glorying in their victory, and little understanding
the meaning of the song and the intentions of the dancers, were proudly
seated chewing betel and tobacco. Meanwhile the song was sung a third
time. _Tâ tai tôm_ had left the lips of the singer; and, before
_tadingana_ was out of them, the traders separated into parties of
three, and each party pounced upon a thief. The remaining one--the
leader himself--tore up into long narrow strips a large piece of cloth,
six cubits long, and tied the hands and feet of the robbers. These were
entirely humbled now, and rolled on the ground like three bags of rice!

The ten traders now took back all their property, and armed themselves
with the swords and cudgels of their enemies; and when they reached
their village they often amused their friends and relatives by relating
their adventure.


        In recent years several Japanese stories have
        made their way into the list of those
        frequently used in the lower grades. Some of
        these are of unusual beauty and suggestiveness.
        The oriental point of view is so different from
        that of western children that these stories
        often cannot be used in their fully original
        form, although it would be a distinct loss if
        the available elements were therefore
        discarded. So, in this instance departing from
        the plan of giving only authentic copies of the
        tales here reprinted, the excellent retold
        versions of two Japanese stories are given as
        made by Teresa Peirce Williston in her
        _Japanese Fairy Tales_. (Copyrighted. Used by
        permission of the publishers, Rand McNally &
        Co.) In these simple versions the point to the
        story is made clear in natural fashion without
        undue moralizing.



In Matsuyama there lived a man, his wife, and their little daughter.
They loved each other very much, and were very happy together. One day
the man came home very sad. He had received a message from the Emperor,
which said that he must take a journey to far-off Tokio.

They had no horses and in those days there were no railroads in Japan.
The man knew that he must walk the whole distance. It was not the long
walk that he minded, however. It was because it would take him many days
from home.

Still he must obey his Emperor, so he made ready to start. His wife was
very sorry that he must go, and yet a little proud, too, for no one else
in the village had ever taken so long a journey.

She and the baby walked with him down to the turn in the road. There
they stood and watched him through their tears, as he followed the path
up through the pines on the mountain side. At last, no larger than a
speck, he disappeared behind the hills. Then they went home to await his

For three long weeks they waited. Each day they spoke of him, and
counted the days until they should see his dear face again. At last the
time came. They walked down to the turn in the road to wait for his
coming. Up on the mountain side some one was walking toward them. As he
came nearer they could see that it was the one for whom they waited.

The good wife could scarcely believe that her husband was indeed safe
home again. The baby girl laughed and clapped her hands to see the toys
he brought her.

There was a tiny image of Uzume, the laughter-loving goddess. Next came
a little red monkey of cotton, with a blue head. When she pressed the
spring he ran to the top of the rod. Oh, how wonderful was the third
gift! It was a _tombo_, or dragon fly. When she first looked at it she
saw only a piece of wood shaped like a T. The cross piece was painted
with different bright colors. But the queer thing, when her father
twirled it between his fingers, would rise in the air, dipping and
hovering like a real dragon fly.

Last, of course, there was a _ninghio_, or doll, with a sweet face,
slanting eyes, and such wonderful hair. Her name was O-Hina-San.

He told of the Feast of the Dead which he had seen in Tokio. He told of
the beautiful lanterns, the Lanterns of the Dead; and the pine torches
burning before each house. He told of the tiny boats made of barley
straw and filled with food that are set floating away on the river,
bearing two tiny lanterns to guide them to the Land of the Dead.

At last her husband handed the wife a small white box. "Tell me what you
see inside," he said. She opened it and took out something round and

On one side were buds and flowers of frosted silver. The other side at
first looked as clear and bright as a pool of water. When she moved it a
little she saw in it a most beautiful woman.

"Oh, what a beautiful picture!" she cried. "It is of a woman and she
seems to be smiling and talking just as I am. She has on a blue dress
just like mine, too! How strange!"

Then her husband laughed and said: "That is a mirror. It is yourself you
see reflected in it. All the women in Tokio have them."

The wife was delighted with her present, and looked at it very often.
She liked to see the smiling red lips, the laughing eyes, and beautiful
dark hair.

After a while she said to herself: "How foolish this is of me to sit and
gaze at myself in this mirror! I am not more beautiful than other women.
How much better for me to enjoy others' beauty, and forget my own face.
I shall only remember that it must always be happy and smiling or it
will make no one else happy. I do not wish any cross or angry look of
mine to make any one sad."

She put the mirror carefully away in its box. Only twice in a year she
looked at it. Then it was to see if her face was still such as would
make others happy.

The years passed by in their sweet and simple life until the baby had
grown to be a big girl. Her _ninghio_, her _tombo_, the image of Uzume,
even the cotton monkey, were put carefully away for her own children.

This girl was the very image of her mother. She was just as sweet and
loving, just as kind and helpful.

One day her mother became very ill. Although the girl and her father did
all they could for her, she grew worse and worse.

At last she knew that she must die, so she called her daughter to her
and said: "My child, I know that I must soon leave you, but I wish to
leave something with you in my place. Open this box and see what you
find in it."

The girl opened the box and looked for the first time in a mirror. "Oh,
mother dear!" she cried. "I see you here. Not thin and pale as you are
now, but happy and smiling, as you have always been."

Then her mother said: "When I am gone, will you look in this every
morning and every night? If anything troubles you, tell me about it.
Always try to do right, so that you will see only happiness here."

Every morning when the sun rose and the birds began to twitter and sing,
the girl rose and looked in her mirror. There she saw the bright, happy
face that she remembered as her mother's.

Every evening when the shadows fell and the birds were asleep, she
looked again. She told it all that had happened during the day. When it
had been a happy day the face smiled back at her. When she was sad the
face looked sad, too. She was very careful not to do anything unkind,
for she knew how sad the face would be then.

So each day she grew more kind and loving, and more like the mother
whose face she saw each day and loved.


        This favorite story of "The Tongue-Cut Sparrow"
        is from Mrs. Williston's _Japanese Fairy
        Tales_. (Copyrighted. Used by permission.)



In a little old house in a little old village in Japan lived a little
old man and his little old wife.

One morning when the old woman slid open the screens which form the
sides of all Japanese houses, she saw, on the doorstep, a poor little
sparrow. She took him up gently and fed him. Then she held him in the
bright morning sunshine until the cold dew was dried from his wings.
Afterward she let him go, so that he might fly home to his nest, but he
stayed to thank her with his songs.

Each morning, when the pink on the mountain tops told that the sun was
near, the sparrow perched on the roof of the house and sang out his joy.

The old man and woman thanked the sparrow for this, for they liked to be
up early and at work. But near them there lived a cross old woman who
did not like to be awakened so early. At last she became so angry that
she caught the sparrow and cut his tongue. Then the poor little sparrow
flew away to his home, but he could never sing again.

When the kind woman knew what had happened to her pet she was very sad.
She said to her husband, "Let us go and find our poor little sparrow."
So they started together, and asked of each bird by the wayside: "Do you
know where the Tongue-Cut Sparrow lives? Do you know where the
Tongue-Cut Sparrow went?"

In this way they followed until they came to a bridge. They did not know
which way to turn, and at first could see no one to ask.

At last they saw a Bat hanging head downward, taking his daytime nap.
"Oh, friend Bat, do you know where the Tongue-Cut Sparrow went?" they

"Yes. Over the bridge and up the mountain," said the Bat. Then he
blinked his sleepy eyes and was fast asleep again.

They went over the bridge and up the mountain, but again they found two
roads and did not know which one to take. A little Field Mouse peeped
through the leaves and grass, so they asked him, "Do you know where the
Tongue-Cut Sparrow went?"

"Yes. Down the mountain and through the woods," said the Field Mouse.

Down the mountain and through the woods they went, and at last came to
the home of their little friend.

When he saw them coming the poor little sparrow was very happy indeed.
He and his wife and children all came and bowed their heads down to the
ground to show their respect. Then the Sparrow rose and led the old man
and the old woman into his house, while his wife and children hastened
to bring them boiled rice, fish, cress, and saké.

After they had feasted, the Sparrow wished to please them still more, so
he danced for them what is called the "sparrow-dance."

When the sun began to sink, the old man and woman started for home. The
Sparrow brought out two baskets. "I would like to give you one of
these," he said. "Which will you take?" One basket was large and looked
very full, while the other one seemed very small and light. The old
people thought they would not take the large basket, for that might have
all the Sparrow's treasure in it, so they said, "The way is long and we
are very old, so please let us take the smaller one."

They took it and walked home over the mountain and across the bridge,
happy and contented.

When they reached their own home they decided to open the basket and see
what the Sparrow had given them. Within the basket they found many rolls
of silk and piles of gold, enough to make them rich, so they were more
grateful than ever to the Sparrow.

The cross old woman who had cut the Sparrow's tongue was peering in
through the screen when they opened their basket. She saw the rolls of
silk and the piles of gold, and planned how she might get some for

The next morning she went to the kind woman and said: "I am so sorry
that I cut the tongue of your Sparrow. Please tell me the way to his
home so that I may go to him and tell him I am sorry."

The kind woman told her the way and she set out. She went across the
bridge, over the mountain, and through the woods. At last she came to
the home of the little Sparrow.

He was not so glad to see this old woman, yet he was very kind to her
and did everything to make her feel welcome. They made a feast for her,
and when she started home the Sparrow brought out two baskets as before.
Of course the woman chose the large basket, for she thought that would
have even more wealth than the other one.

It was very heavy, and caught on the trees as she was going through the
wood. She could hardly pull it up the mountain with her, and she was all
out of breath when she reached the top. She did not get to the bridge
until it was dark. Then she was so afraid of dropping the basket into
the river that she scarcely dared to step.

When at last she reached home she was so tired that she was half dead,
but she pulled the screens close shut, so that no one could look in, and
opened her treasure.

Treasure indeed! A whole swarm of horrible creatures burst from the
basket the moment she opened it. They stung her and bit her, they pushed
her and pulled her, they scratched her and laughed at her screams.

At last she crawled to the edge of the room and slid aside the screen to
get away from the pests. The moment the door was opened they swooped
down upon her, picked her up, and flew away with her. Since then nothing
has ever been heard of the old woman.


        The tale of "The Straw Ox" as given in _Cossack
        Fairy Tales_, by R. Nesbit Bain, is one of the
        masterpieces among folk stories. It is of the
        accumulative type, winding up rapidly to the
        point where the old couple have secured,
        through the straw ox, all the raw material
        needed for comfortable clothing. Then comes the
        surprising release of the captured animals
        under promise to make contributions, each in
        his own way, to the welfare of the
        poverty-stricken couple. And then, the greatest
        surprise of all, the quick unwinding of the
        plot with the return of the grateful animals
        according to promise. "And the old man was
        glad, and the old woman was glad," and we are
        glad for their sake, and also for the sake of
        the bear and the wolf and the fox and the hare.


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

"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 cried: "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 your straw and tar, that I may patch up my ragged fur

"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 drooped down and she dozed. And lo! from
behind the dark wood, from the back of the huge pines, a gray 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 paling 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 Swiftfoot likewise.

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
him: "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, and tell me
why you are sharpening your knife!"

"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

"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. 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 "Durrrrrr!"

"Daddy!" cried the old woman, "there's some one 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
court-yard. Close on his heels came the fox, driving before him the
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 pieces.


        "The Adventures of Connla the Comely" is one of
        the romances in _The Book of the Dun Cow_, the
        oldest manuscript of miscellaneous Gaelic
        literature in existence. It was made about 1100
        A.D. and is now preserved in the Royal Irish
        Academy at Dublin. The contents were
        transcribed from older books, some of the
        stories being older by many centuries. The
        story of Connla is "one of the many tales that
        illustrate the ancient and widespread
        superstition that fairies sometimes take away
        mortals to their palaces in the fairy forts and
        pleasant green hills." This conception is often
        referred to as the Earthly Paradise or the Isle
        of Youth. It is represented in the King Arthur
        stories by the Vale of Avalon to which the
        weeping queens carried the king after his
        mortal wound in "that last weird battle in the
        west." Conn the Hundred-fighter reigned in the
        second century of the Christian era (123-157
        A.D.), and this story of his son must have
        sprung up soon after. According to Jacobs, it
        is the oldest fairy tale of modern Europe.

        The following version of the tale is from
        Joseph Jacobs' _Celtic Fairy Tales_, which with
        its companion volume, _More Celtic Fairy
        Tales_, forms a standard source book for the
        usable stories in that field. Mr. Jacobs, as
        always, keeps to the authoritative versions
        while reducing them to forms at once available
        for educational purposes.


Connla of the Fiery Hair was son of Conn of the Hundred Fights. One day
as he stood by the side of his father on the height of Usna, he saw a
maiden clad in strange attire towards him coming.

"Whence comest thou, maiden?" said Connla.

"I come from the Plains of the Ever Living," she said, "there where is
neither death nor sin. There we keep holiday alway, nor need we help
from any in our joy. And in all our pleasure we have no strife. And
because we have our homes in the round green hills, men call us the Hill

The king and all with him wondered much to hear a voice when they saw no
one. For save Connla alone, none saw the Fairy Maiden.

"To whom art thou talking, my son?" said Conn the king.

Then the maiden answered, "Connla speaks to a young, fair maid, whom
neither death nor old age awaits. I love Connla, and now I call him away
to the Plain of Pleasure, Moy Mell, where Boadag is king for aye, nor
has there been sorrow or complaint in that land since he held the
kingship. Oh, come with me, Connla of the Fiery Hair, ruddy as the dawn,
with thy tawny skin. A fairy crown awaits thee to grace thy comely face
and royal form. Come, and never shall thy comeliness fade, nor thy
youth, till the last awful day of judgment."

The king in fear at what the maiden said, which he heard though he could
not see her, called aloud to his Druid, Coran by name. "O Coran of the
many spells," he said, "and of the cunning magic, I call upon thy aid. A
task is upon me too great for all my skill and wit, greater than any
laid upon me since I seized the kingship. A maiden unseen has met us,
and by her power would take from me my dear, my comely son. If thou help
not, he will be taken from thy king by woman's wiles and witchery."

Then Coran the Druid stood forth and chanted his spells towards the spot
where the maiden's voice had been heard. And none heard her voice again,
nor could Connla see her longer. Only as she vanished before the Druid's
mighty spell, she threw an apple to Connla.

For a whole month from that day Connla would take nothing, either to eat
or to drink, save only from that apple.

But as he ate, it grew again and always kept whole. And all the while
there grew within him a mighty yearning and longing after the maiden he
had seen.

But when the last day of the month of waiting came, Connla stood by the
side of the king his father on the Plain of Arcomin, and again he saw
the maiden come towards him, and again she spoke to him. "'Tis a
glorious place, forsooth, that Connla holds among shortlived mortals
awaiting the day of death. But now the folk of life, the ever-living
ones, beg and bid thee come to Moy Mell, the Plain of Pleasure, for they
have learnt to know thee, seeing thee in thy home among thy dear ones."

When Conn the king heard the maiden's voice he called to his men aloud
and said: "Summon swift my Druid Coran, for I see she has again this day
the power of speech."

Then the maiden said: "O mighty Conn, Fighter of a Hundred Fights, the
Druid's power is little loved; it has little honor in the mighty land,
peopled with so many of the upright. When the Law comes, it will do away
with the Druid's magic spells that issue from the lips of the false
black demon."

Then Conn the king observed that since the coming of the maiden Connla
his son spoke to none that spake to him. So Conn of the Hundred Fights
said to him, "Is it to thy mind what the woman says, my son?"

"'Tis hard upon me," said Connla; "I love my own folk above all things;
but yet a longing seizes me for the maiden."

When the maiden heard this, she answered and said: "The ocean is not so
strong as the waves of thy longing. Come with me in my curragh, the
gleaming, straight-gliding crystal canoe. Soon can we reach Boadag's
realm. I see the bright sun sink, yet far as it is, we can reach it
before dark. There is, too, another land worthy of thy journey, a land
joyous to all that seek it. Only wives and maidens dwell there. If thou
wilt, we can seek it and live there alone together in joy."

When the maiden ceased to speak, Connla of the Fiery Hair rushed away
from his kinsmen and sprang into the curragh, the gleaming,
straight-gliding crystal canoe. And then they all, king and court, saw
it glide away over the bright sea towards the setting sun, away and
away, till eye could see it no longer. So Connla and the Fairy Maiden
went forth on the sea, and were no more seen, nor did any know whither
they went.


        One of the best of the volumes of Irish tales
        is Lady Wilde's _Ancient Legends of Ireland_,
        and one of the best stories in that volume is
        her version of the witch story of "The Horned
        Women." The story is compact and restrained in
        the telling, and carries effectively to the
        listener the "creepy" spell of the witches. The
        way in which the house was prepared against the
        enchantments of the returning witches furnishes
        a good illustration of some of the deep-seated
        superstitions of the folk.


A rich woman sat up late one night carding and preparing wool, while all
the family and servants were asleep. Suddenly a knock was given at the
door, and a voice called, "Open! Open!"

"Who is there?" said the woman of the house.

"I am the Witch of the one Horn," was answered.

The mistress, supposing that one of her neighbors had called and
required assistance, opened the door, and a woman entered, having in her
hand a pair of wool carders, and bearing a horn on her forehead, as if
growing there. She sat down by the fire in silence, and began to card
the wool with violent haste. Suddenly she paused, and said aloud: "Where
are the women; they delay too long."

Then a second knock came to the door, and a voice called as before,
"Open! Open!"

The mistress felt herself constrained to rise and open to the call, and
immediately a second witch entered, having two horns on her forehead,
and in her hand a wheel for spinning wool.

"Give me place," she said, "I am the Witch of the two Horns"; and she
began to spin as quick as lightning.

And so the knocks went on, and the call was heard, and the witches
entered, until at last, twelve women sat round the fire--the first with
one horn, the last with twelve horns.

And they carded the thread, and turned their spinning wheels, and wound
and wove.

All were singing together an ancient rhyme, but no word did they speak
to the mistress of the house. Strange to hear and frightful to look upon
were these twelve women, with their horns and their wheels; and the
mistress felt near to death, and she tried to rise that she might call
for help, but she could not move, nor could she utter a word or a cry,
for the spell of the witches was upon her.

Then one of them called to her in Irish, and said, "Rise, woman, and
make us a cake." Then the mistress searched for a vessel to bring water
from the well that she might mix the meal and make the cake, but she
could find none.

And they said to her, "Take a sieve, and bring water in it." And she
took the sieve and went to the well; but the water poured from it, and
she could fetch none for the cake, and she sat down by the well and

Then came a voice by her, and said, "Take yellow clay and moss and bind
them together, and plaster the sieve so that it will hold."

This she did, and the sieve held the water for the cake; and the voice
said again: "Return, and when thou comest to the north angle of the
house cry aloud three times, and say, 'The mountain of the Fenian women
and the sky over it is all on fire.'"

And she did so.

When the witches inside heard the call, a great and terrible cry broke
from their lips, and they rushed forth with wild lamentations and
shrieks, and fled away to Slievenamon, where was their chief abode. But
the Spirit of the Well bade the mistress of the house to enter and
prepare her home against the enchantments of the witches, if they
returned again.

And first, to break their spells, she sprinkled the water in which she
had washed her child's feet (the feet-water) outside the door on the
threshold; secondly, she took the cake which the witches had made in her
absence, of meal mixed with the blood drawn from the sleeping family,
and she broke the cake in bits, and placed a bit in the mouth of each
sleeper, and they were restored; and she took the cloth they had woven,
and placed it half in and half out of the chest with the padlock; and,
lastly, she secured the door with a great crossbeam fastened in the
jambs, so that they could not enter, and having done these things she

Not long were the witches in coming, and they raged and called for

"Open! Open!" they screamed. "Open, feet-water!"

"I cannot," said the feet-water; "I am scattered on the ground, and my
path is down to the Lough."

"Open, open, wood and trees and beam!" they cried to the door.

"I cannot," said the door, "for the beam is fixed in the jambs, and I
have no power to move."

"Open, open, cake that we have made and mingled with blood!" they cried

"I cannot," said the cake, "for I am broken and bruised, and my blood is
on the lips of the sleeping children."

Then the witches rushed through the air with great cries, and fled back
to Slievenamon, uttering strange curses on the Spirit of the Well, who
had wished their ruin. But the woman and the house were left in peace,
and a mantle dropped by one of the witches was kept hung up by the
mistress as a sign of the night's awful contest; and this mantle was in
possession of the same family from generation to generation for five
hundred years after.


        The story of "King O'Toole and His Goose" is
        from Samuel Lover's _Stories and Legends of the
        Irish Peasantry_, as reprinted in slightly
        abridged form in William Butler Yeats's _Irish
        Fairy Tales_. The extreme form of the dialect
        is kept as in the original, since the humor is
        largely dependent on the language of the
        peasant who tells the story. It will serve as a
        good illustration for practice work for the
        amateur story-teller. Probably most teachers
        would find it necessary to "reduce" this
        dialect or to eliminate it altogether. Mr.
        Jacobs, who includes this story in his _Celtic
        Fairy Tales_, reduces the dialect very
        materially, keeping just enough to remind one
        that it is Irish. He also says the final word
        as to the moral of the story: "This is a moral
        apologue on the benefits of keeping your word.
        Yet it is told with such humor and vigor, that
        the moral glides insensibly into the heart."


"By Gor, I thought all the world, far and near, heerd o' King
O'Toole--well, well, but the darkness of mankind is ontellible! Well,
sir, you must know, as you didn't hear it afore, that there was a king,
called King O'Toole, who was a fine ould king in the ould ancient times,
long ago; and it was him that owned the churches in the early days. The
king, you see, was the right sort; he was the rale boy, and loved sport
as he loved his life, and huntin' in partic'lar; and from the risin' o'
the sun, up he got, and away he wint over the mountains beyant afther
the deer; and the fine times them wor.

"Well, it was all mighty good, as long as the king had his health; but,
you see, in coorse of time the king grew ould, by raison he was stiff in
his limbs, and when he got sthriken in years, his heart failed him, and
he was lost intirely for want o' divarshin, bekase he couldn't go a
huntin' no longer; and, by dad, the poor king was obleeged at last for
to get a goose to divart him. Oh, you may laugh, if you like, but it's
truth I'm tellin' you; and the way the goose divarted him was
this-a-way: You see, the goose used for to swim across the lake, and go
divin' for throut, and cotch fish on a Friday for the king, and flew
every other day round about the lake, divartin' the poor king. All went
on mighty well, antil, by dad, the goose got sthriken in years like her
master, and couldn't divart him no longer, and then it was that the poor
king was lost complate. The king was walkin' one mornin' by the edge of
the lake, lamentin' his cruel fate, and thinkin' o' drownin' himself,
that could get no divarshun in life, when all of a suddint, turnin'
round the corner beyant, who should he meet but a mighty dacent young
man comin' up to him.

"'God save you,' says the king to the young man.

"'God save you kindly, King O'Toole,' says the young man. 'Thrue for
you,' says the king. 'I am King O'Toole,' says he, 'prince and
plennypennytinchery o' these parts,' says he; 'but how kem ye to know
that?' says he. 'Oh, never mind,' says Saint Kavin.

"You see it was Saint Kavin, sure enough--the saint himself in disguise,
and nobody else. 'Oh, never mind,' says he, 'I know more than that. May
I make bowld to ax how is your goose, King O'Toole?' says he.
'Bluran-agers, how kem ye to know about my goose?' says the king. 'Oh,
no matther; I was given to understand it,' says Saint Kavin. After some
more talk the king says, 'What are you?' 'I'm an honest man,' says Saint
Kavin. 'Well, honest man,' says the king, 'and how is it you make your
money so aisy?' 'By makin' ould things as good as new,' says Saint
Kavin. 'Is it a tinker you are?' says the king. 'No,' says the saint;
'I'm no tinker by thrade, King O'Toole; I've a betther thrade than a
tinker,' says he--'what would you say,' says he, 'if I made your ould
goose as good as new?'

"My dear, at the word o' makin' his goose as good as new, you'd think
the poor ould king's eyes was ready to jump out iv his head. With that
the king whistled, and down kem the poor goose, all as one as a hound,
waddlin' up to the poor cripple, her masther, and as like him as two
pays. The minute the saint clapt his eyes on the goose, 'I'll do the job
for you,' says he, 'King O'Toole.' 'By _Jaminee_!' says King O'Toole,
'if you do, but I'll say you're the cleverest fellow in the sivin
parishes.' 'Oh, by dad,' says Saint Kavin, 'you must say more nor
that--my horn's not so soft all out,' says he, 'as to repair your ould
goose for nothin'; what'll you gi' me if I do the job for you?--that's
the chat,' says Saint Kavin. 'I'll give you whatever you ax,' says the
king; 'isn't that fair?' 'Divil a fairer,' says the saint; 'that's the
way to do business. Now,' says he, 'this is the bargain I'll make with
you, King O'Toole: will you gi' me all the ground the goose flies over,
the first offer, afther I make her as good as new?' 'I will,' says the
king, 'You won't go back o' your word?' says Saint Kavin. 'Honor
bright!' says King O'Toole, howldin' out his fist. 'Honor bright!' says
Saint Kavin, back agin, 'it's a bargain. Come here!' says he to the poor
ould goose--'come here, you unfort'nate ould cripple, and it's I that'll
make you the sportin' bird.' With that, my dear, he took up the goose by
the two wings--'Criss o' my crass and you,' says he, markin' her to
grace with the blessed sign at the same minute--and throwin' her up in
the air, 'whew,' says he, jist givin' her a blast to help her; and with
that, my jewel, she tuk to her heels, flyin' like one o' the aigles
themselves and cuttin' as many capers as a swallow before a shower of

"Well, my dear, it was a beautiful sight to see the king standin' with
his mouth open, lookin' at his poor ould goose flyin' as light as a
lark, and betther nor ever she was: and when she lit at his fut, patter
her an the head, and, '_Ma vourneen_,' says he, 'but you are the
_darlint_ o' the world.' 'And what do you say to me,' says Saint Kavin,
'for makin' her the like?' 'By gor,' says the king, 'I say nothin' bates
the art o' man, barrin' the bees.' 'And do you say no more nor that?'
says Saint Kavin. 'And that I'm behoulden to you,' says the king. 'But
will you give me all the ground the goose flew over?' says Saint Kavin.
'I will,' says King O'Toole, 'and you're welkim to it,' says he, 'though
it's the last acre I have to give.' 'But you'll keep your word thrue?'
says the saint. 'As thrue as the sun,' says the king. 'It's well for
you, King O'Toole, that you said that word,' says he; 'for if you didn't
say that word, _the devil receave the bit o' your goose id ever fly

"Whin the king was as good as his word, Saint Kavin was _plazed_ with
him, and thin it was that he made himself known to the king. 'And,' says
he, 'King O'Toole, you're a dacent man, for I only kem here to _thry
you_. You don't know me,' says he, 'bekase I'm disguised.' 'Musha!
thin,' says the king, 'who are you?' 'I'm Saint Kavin,' said the Saint,
blessin' himself. 'Oh, queen iv heaven!' says the king makin' the sign
o' the crass betune his eyes, and fallin' down on his knees before the
saint; 'is it the great Saint Kavin,' says he, 'that I've been
discoorsin' all this time without knowin' it,' says he, 'all as one as
if he was a lump iv a _gosson_?--and so you're a saint?' says the king.
'I am,' says Saint Kavin. 'By gor, I thought I was only talking to a
dacent boy,' says the king. 'Well, you know the differ now,' says the
saint. 'I'm Saint Kavin,' says he, 'the greatest of all the saints.'

"And so the king had his goose as good as new, to divart him as long as
he lived: and the saint supported him afther he kem into his property,
as I tould you, until the day iv his death--and that was soon afther;
for the poor goose thought he was ketchin' a throut one Friday; but, my
jewel, it was a mistake he made--and instead of a throut, it was a
thievin' horse-eel; and by gor, instead iv the goose killin' a throut
for the king's supper,--by dad, the eel killed the king's goose--and
small blame to him; but he didn't ate her, bekase he darn't ate what
Saint Kavin had laid his blessed hands on."




  Alden, Raymond Macdonald, _Why the Chimes Rang, and Other

  Andersen, Hans Christian, _Fairy Tales_.

  Barrie, Sir James Matthew, _The Little White Bird_. [Peter Pan.]

  Baum, L. Frank, _The Wizard of Oz_.

  Benson, A. C., _David Blaize and the Blue Door_.

  Beston, H. B., _The Firelight Fairy Book_.

  Brown, Abbie Farwell, _The Lonesomest Doll_.

  Browne, Frances, _Granny's Wonderful Chair_.

  Carryl, Charles E., _Davy and the Goblin_.

  "Carroll, Lewis," _Alice's Adventures in Wonderland_.

  "Carroll, Lewis," _Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice
      Found There_.

  Chamisso, Adelbert von, _The Wonderful History of Peter

  "Collodi, C.," _The Adventures of Pinocchio_.

  Cox, Palmer, _The Brownies: Their Book_.

  Craik, Dinah Mulock, _Adventures of a Brownie_.

  Craik, Dinah Mulock, _The Little Lame Prince and His

  Crothers, Samuel McChord, _Miss Muffet's Christmas Party_.

  Dickens, Charles, _A Christmas Carol_.

  Ewald, Carl, _Two-Legs, and Other Stories_.

  Grahame, Kenneth, _The Wind in the Willows_.

  Harris, Joel Chandler, _Nights with Uncle Remus_.

  Hawthorne, Nathaniel, "The Snow Image," "Little Daffydowndilly,"
      "A Rill from the Town Pump."

  Ingelow, Jean, _Mopsa the Fairy_.

  Ingelow, Jean, _Stories Told to a Child_. 2 vols.

  Jordan, David Starr, _The Book of Knight and Barbara_.

  Lagerlof, Selma, _The Wonderful Adventures of Nils_.

  La Motte-Fouqué, F. de, _Undine_.

  Lang, Andrew, _Prince Prigio_.

  Kingsley, Charles, _The Water Babies_.

  Maeterlinck, Maurice, _The Blue Bird_.

  Macdonald, George, _The Princess and the Goblin_.

  Macdonald, George, _At the Back of the North Wind_.

  Pyle, Katherine, _In the Green Forest_.

  Raspe, Rudolph Erich, _Baron Munchausen's Narrative_.

  Richards, Laura E., _The Story of Toto_.

  Richards, Laura E., _The Pig Brother_.

  Ruskin, John, _The King of the Golden River_.

  Stockton, Frank R., _Fanciful Tales_.

  Swift, Jonathan, _Gulliver's Travels_.

  Thackeray, William Makepeace, _The Rose and the Ring_.

  Wilde, Oscar, _The Happy Prince, and Other Stories_.

  Wilkins, Mary E., _The Pot of Gold_.



The difficulties of classification are very apparent here, and once more
it must be noted that illustrative and practical purposes rather than
logical ones are served by the arrangement adopted. The modern fanciful
story is here placed next to the real folk story instead of after all
the groups of folk products. The Hebrew stories at the beginning belong
quite as well, perhaps even better, in Section V, while the stories at
the end of Section VI shade off into the more modern types of short
tales. Then the fact that other groups of modern stories are to follow
later, illustrating more realistic studies of life and the very recent
and remarkably numerous writings centering around animal life, limits
the list here. Many of the animal stories might, with equal propriety,
be placed under the head of the fantastic.

_The child's natural literature._ The world has lost certain secrets as
the price of an advancing civilization. It is a commonplace of
observation that no one can duplicate the success of Mother Goose,
whether she be thought of as the maker of jingles or the teller of
tales. The conditions of modern life preclude the generally naïve
attitude that produced the folk rhymes, ballads, tales, proverbs,
fables, and myths. The folk saw things simply and directly. The complex,
analytic, questioning mind is not yet, either in or out of stories. The
motives from which people act are to them plain and not mixed.
Characters are good or bad. They feel no need of elaborately explaining
their joys and sorrows. Such experiences come with the day's work.
"To-morrow to fresh woods, and pastures new." The zest of life with them
is emphatic. Their humor is fresh, unbounded, sincere; there is no trace
of cynicism. In folk literature we do not feel the presence of a
"writer" who is mightily concerned about maintaining his reputation for
wisdom, originality, or style. Hence the freedom from any note of
straining after effect, of artificiality. In the midst of a life limited
to fundamental needs, their literature deals with fundamentals. On the
whole, it was a literature for entertainment. A more learned upper class
may have concerned itself then about "problems" and "purposes," as the
whole world does now, but the literature of the folk had no such

Without discussing the limits of the culture-epoch theory of human
development as a complete guide in education, it is clear that the young
child passes through a period when his mind looks out upon the world in
a manner analogous to that of the folk as expressed in their literature.
Quarrel with the fact as we may, it still remains a fact that his nature
craves these old stories and will not be satisfied with something "just
as good."

_The modern fairy story._ The advance of civilization has been
accompanied by a wistful longing for the simplicities left by the way.
In some periods this interest in the past has been more marked than in
others. When the machinery of life has weighed too heavily on the human
spirit, men have turned for relief to a contemplation of the "good old
times" and have preached crusades of a "return to nature." Many modern
writers have tried to recapture some of the power of the folk tale by
imitating its method. In many cases they have had a fair degree of
success: in one case, that of Hans Christian Andersen, the success is
admittedly very complete. As a rule, however, the sharpness of the sense
of wonder has been blunted, and many imitators of the old fairy tale
succeed in keeping only the shell. Another class of modern fantastic
tale is that of the _pourquoi_ story, which has the explanation of
something as its object. Such tales grow out of the attempt to use the
charm of old stories as a means of conveying instruction, somewhat after
the method of those parents who covered up our bitter medicine with some
of our favorite jam. Even "Little Red Riding Hood," as we saw, has been
turned into a flower myth. So compelling is this pedagogical motive that
so-called nature myths have been invented or made from existing stories
in great numbers. The practical results please many teachers, but it may
be questioned whether the gain is sufficient to compensate children for
the distorting results upon masterpieces.

_Wide range of the modern fairy tale._ The bibliography will suggest
something of the treasures in the field of the modern fanciful story.
From the delightful nonsense of _Alice in Wonderland_ and the
"travelers' tales" of _Baron Munchausen_ to the profound seriousness of
_The King of the Golden River_ and _Why the Chimes Rang_ is a far cry.
There are the rich fancies of Barrie and Maeterlinck, at the same time
delicate as the promises of spring and brilliant as the fruitions of
summer. One may be blown away to the land of Oz, he may lose his shadow
with Peter Schlemihl, he may outdo the magic carpet with his
Traveling-Cloak, he may visit the courts of kings with his Wonderful
Chair; Miss Muffet will invite us to her Christmas party, Lemuel
Gulliver will lead us to lands not marked in the school atlas; on every
side is a world of wonder.

_Some qualities of these modern tales._ Every age produces after its own
fashion, and we must expect to find the modern user of the fairy-story
method expressing through it the qualities of his own outlook upon the
world. Interest in the picturesque aspects of landscape will be
emphasized, as in the early portions of "The Story of Fairyfoot" and,
with especial magnificence of style, throughout _The King of the Golden
River_. There will appear the saddened mood of the modern in the face of
the human miseries that make happiness a mockery, as in "The Happy
Prince." The destructive effects of the possessive instinct upon all
that is finest in human nature is reflected in "The Prince's Dream."
That the most valuable efforts are often those performed with least
spectacular settings may be discerned in "The Knights of the Silver
Shield," while the lesson of kindly helpfulness is the burden of "Old
Pipes and the Dryad." In many modern stories the reader is too much
aware of the conscious efforts of style and structure. The thoughtful
child will sometimes be too much distressed by the more somber modern
story, and should not hear too many of the gloomy type.

_Andersen the consummate master._ Hans Christian Andersen is the
acknowledged master of the modern story for children. What are the
sources of his success? Genius is always unexplainable except in terms
of itself, but some things are clear. To begin, he makes a mark--drives
down a peg: "There came a soldier marching along the high road--_one,
two! one, two!_" and you are off. No backing and filling, no jockeying
for position, no elaborate setting of the stage. The story's the thing!
Next, the language is the language of common oral speech, free and
unrestrained. The rigid forms of the grammar are eschewed. There is no
beating around the bush. Seeing through the eyes of the child, he uses
the language that is natural to such sight: "Aha! there sat the dog with
eyes as big as mill-wheels." In quick dramatic fashion the story unrolls
before your vision: "So the soldier cut the witch's head off. There she
lay!" No agonizing over the cruelty of it, the lack of sympathy. It is a
joke after the child's own heart, and with a hearty laugh at this end to
an impostor, the listener is on with the story. The logic is the logic
of childhood: "And everyone could see she was a real princess, for she
was so lovely." When Andersen deals with some of the deeper truths of
existence, as in "The Nightingale" or "The Ugly Duckling," he still
manages to throw it all into the form that is natural and convincing and
simple to the child. He never mounts a pedestal and becomes a grown-up
philosopher. Perhaps Andersen's secret lay in the fact that some fairy
godmother invested him at birth with a power to see things so completely
as a child sees them that he never questioned the dignity of the method.
In few of his stories is there any evidence of a constraint due to a
conscious attempt to write down to the understandings of children.


        The most valuable discussion of the
        difficulties to be mastered in writing the
        literary fairy tale, and the story of the only
        very complete mastery yet made, will be found
        in the account of Hans Christian Andersen in
        _Eminent Authors of the Nineteenth Century_, by
        Georg Brandes. Now and then hints of importance
        on such stories and their value for children
        may be found in biographies of the more
        prominent writers represented in the section
        and mentioned in the bibliography, and in
        magazine articles and reviews. These latter may
        be located by use of the periodical indexes
        found in most libraries. For the proper
        attitude which the schools should have toward
        fiction and fanciful writing in general,
        nothing could be better than two lectures on
        "Children's Reading," in _On the Art of
        Reading_, by Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch.


        The rabbis of old were good story-tellers. They
        were essentially teachers and they understood
        that the best sermon is a story. "They were
        fond of the parable, the anecdote, the apt
        illustration, and their legends that have been
        transmitted to us, all aglow with the light and
        life of the Orient, possess perennial charm."
        It is possible to find in rabbinical sources a
        large number of brief stories that have the
        power of entertaining as well as of emphasizing
        some qualities of character that are important
        in all ages. The plan of this book does not
        include the wonderful stories of the Old
        Testament, which are easy of access to any
        teacher and may be used as experience directs.
        The Hebrew stories following correspond very
        nearly to the folk anecdote and are placed in
        this section because of their literary form.

        Dr. Abram S. Isaacs (1851--) is a professor in
        New York University and is also a rabbi. The
        selection that follows is from his _Stories
        from the Rabbis_. (Copyrighted. Used by special
        permission of The Bloch Publishing Company, New
        York.) Taking advantage of the popular
        superstition that a four-leaved clover is a
        sign of good luck, Dr. Isaacs has grouped
        together four parable-like stories, each of
        which deals with wealth as a subject. The
        editors are responsible for the special titles
        given. The messages of these stories might be
        summarized as follows: If you would be lucky,
        (1) be honest because it is right to be honest,
        (2) value good friends more highly than gold,
        (3) let love accompany each gift of charity,
        and (4) use common sense in your business




Great was the alarm in the palace of Rome, which soon spread throughout
the entire city. The Empress had lost her costly diadem, and it could
not be found. They searched in every direction, but it was all in vain.
Half distracted, for the mishap boded no good to her or her house, the
Empress redoubled her exertions to regain her precious possession, but
without result. As a last resource it was proclaimed in the public

"The Empress has lost a priceless diadem. Whoever restores it within
thirty days shall receive a princely reward. But he who delays, and
brings it after thirty days, shall lose his head."

In those times all nationalities flocked toward Rome; all classes and
creeds could be met in its stately halls and crowded thoroughfares.
Among the rest was a rabbi, a learnèd sage from the East, who loved
goodness and lived a righteous life, in the stir and turmoil of the
Western world. It chanced one night as he was strolling up and down, in
busy meditation, beneath the clear, moonlit sky, he saw the diadem
sparkling at his feet. He seized it quickly, brought it to his dwelling,
where he guarded it carefully until the thirty days had expired, when he
resolved to return it to the owner.

He proceeded to the palace, and, undismayed at sight of long lines of
soldiery and officials, asked for an audience with the Empress.

"What dost thou mean by this?" she inquired, when he told her his story
and gave her the diadem. "Why didst thou delay until this hour? Dost
thou know the penalty? Thy head must be forfeited."

"I delayed until now," the rabbi answered calmly, "so that thou mightst
know that I return thy diadem, not for the sake of the reward, still
less out of fear of punishment; but solely to comply with the Divine
command not to withhold from another the property which belongs to him."

"Blessed be thy God!" the Empress answered, and dismissed the rabbi
without further reproof; for had he not done right for right's sake?


A certain father was doubly blessed--he had reached a good old age, and
had ten sons. One day he called them to his side, and after repeated
expressions of affection, told them that he had acquired a fortune by
industry and economy, and would give them one hundred gold pieces each
before his death, so that they might begin business for themselves, and
not be obliged to wait until he had passed away. It happened, however,
that, soon after, he lost a portion of his property, much to his regret,
and had only nine hundred and fifty gold pieces left. So he gave one
hundred to each of his nine sons. When his youngest son, whom he loved
most of all, asked naturally what was to be his share, the father

"My son, I promised to give each of thy brothers one hundred gold
pieces. I shall keep my word to them. I have fifty left. Thirty I shall
reserve for my funeral expenses, and twenty will be thy portion. But
understand this--I possess, in addition, ten friends, whom I give over
to thee as compensation for the loss of the eighty gold pieces. Believe
me, they are worth more than all the gold and silver."

The youth tenderly embraced his parent, and assured him that he was
content, such was his confidence and affection. In a few days the father
died, and the nine sons took their money, and without a thought of their
youngest brother and the small amount he had received, followed each his
own fancy. But the youngest son, although his portion was the least,
resolved to heed his father's words, and hold fast to the ten friends.
When a short time had elapsed he prepared a simple feast, went to the
ten friends of his father, and said to them: "My father, almost in his
last words, asked me to keep you, his friends, in honor. Before I leave
this place to seek my fortune elsewhere, will you not share with me a
farewell meal, and aid me thus to comply with his dying request?"

The ten friends, stirred by his earnestness and cordiality, accepted his
invitation with pleasure, and enjoyed the repast, although they were
used to richer fare. When the moment for parting arrived, however, one
of them rose and spoke: "My friends, it seems to me that of all the sons
of our dear friend that has gone, the youngest alone is mindful of his
father's friendship for us, and reverences his memory. Let us, then, be
true friends to him, for his own sake as well, and provide for him a
generous sum, that he may begin business here, and not be forced to live
among strangers."

The proposal, so unexpected and yet so merited, was received with
applause. The youth, proud of their friendship, soon became a prosperous
merchant, who never forgot that faithful friends were more valuable than
gold or silver, and left an honored name to his descendants.


There lived once a very wealthy man, who cared little for money, except
as a means for helping others. He used to adopt a peculiar plan in his
method of charitable relief. He had three boxes made for the three
different classes of people whom he desired to assist. In one box he put
gold pieces, which he distributed among artists and scholars, for he
honored knowledge and learning as the highest possession. In the second
box he placed silver pieces for widows and orphans, for whom his
sympathies were readily awakened. In the third were copper coins for the
general poor and beggars--no one was turned away from his dwelling
without some gift, however small.

That the man was beloved by all, need hardly be said. He rejoiced that
he was enabled to do so much good, retained his modest bearing, and
continued to regard his wealth as only an incentive to promote the
happiness of mankind, without distinction of creed or nationality.
Unhappily, his wife was just the opposite. She rarely gave food or
raiment to the poor, and felt angry at her husband's liberality, which
she considered shameless extravagance.

The day came when in the pressure of various duties he had to leave his
house, and could not return until the morrow. Unaware of his sudden
departure, the poor knocked at the door as usual for his kind gifts; but
when they found him absent, they were about to go away or remain in the
street, being terrified at the thought of asking his wife for alms.
Vexed at their conduct, she exclaimed impetuously: "I will give to the
poor according to my husband's method."

She seized the keys of the boxes, and first opened the box of gold. But
how great was her terror when she gazed at its contents--frogs jumping
here and there. Then she went to the silver box, and it was full of
ants. With troubled heart, she opened the copper box, and it was crowded
with creeping bugs. Loud then were her complaints, and bitter her tears,
at the deception, and she kept her room until her husband returned.

No sooner did the man enter the room, annoyed that so many poor people
were kept waiting outside, than she asked him: "Why did you give me keys
to boxes of frogs, ants, and bugs, instead of gold, silver, and copper?
Was it right thus to deceive your wife, and disappoint the poor?"

"Not so," rejoined her husband. "The mistake must be yours, not mine. I
have given you the right keys. I do not know what you have done with
them. Come, let me have them. I am guiltless of any deception." He took
the keys, quickly opened the boxes, and found the coins as he had left
them. "Ah, dear wife," said he, when she had regained her composure,
"your heart, I fear, was not in the gift, when you wished to give to the
poor. It is the feeling that prompts us to aid, not the mere money,
which is the chief thing after all."

And ever after, her heart was changed. Her gifts blessed the poor of the
land, and aroused their love and reverence.


In an Eastern city a lovely garden flourished, whose beauty and
luxuriance awakened much admiration. It was the owner's greatest
pleasure to watch its growth, as leaf, flower, and tree seemed daily to
unfold to brighter bloom. One morning, while taking his usual stroll
through the well-kept paths, he was surprised to find that some
blossoms were picked to pieces. The next day he noticed more signs of
mischief, and rendered thus more observant he gave himself no rest until
he had discovered the culprit. It was a little trembling bird, whom he
managed to capture, and was about to kill in his anger, when it
exclaimed: "Do not kill me, I beg you, kind sir. I am only a wee, tiny
bird. My flesh is too little to satisfy you. I would not furnish
one-hundredth of a meal to a man of your size. Let me free without any
hesitation, and I shall teach you something that will be of much use to
you and your friends."

"I would dearly like to put an end to you," replied the man, "for you
were rapidly putting an end to my garden. It is a good thing to rid the
world of such annoyances. But as I am not revengeful, and am always glad
to learn something useful, I shall set you free this time." And he
opened his hand to give the bird more air.

"Attention!" cried the bird. "Here are three rules which should guide
you through life, and if you observe them you will find your path made
easier: Do not cry over spilt milk; do not desire what is unattainable,
and do not believe what is impossible."

The man was satisfied with the advice, and let the bird escape; but it
had scarcely regained its liberty, when, from a high tree opposite, it

"What a silly man! The idea of letting me escape! If you only knew what
you have lost! But it is too late now."

"What have I lost?" the man asked, angrily.

"Why, if you had killed me, as you intended, you would have found inside
of me a huge pearl, as large as a goose's egg, and you would have been a
wealthy man forever."

"Dear little bird," the man said in his blandest tones; "sweet little
bird, I will not harm you. Only come down to me, and I will treat you as
if you were my own child, and give you fruit and flowers all day. I
assure you of this most sacredly."

But the bird shook its head sagely, and replied: "What a silly man, to
forget so soon the advice which was given him in all seriousness. I told
you not to cry over spilt milk, and here you are, worrying over what has
happened. I urged you not to desire the unattainable, and now you wish
to capture me again. And, finally, I asked you not to believe what is
impossible, and you are rashly imagining that I have a huge pearl inside
of me, when a goose's egg is larger than my whole body. You ought to
learn your lessons better in the future, if you would become wise,"
added the bird, as with another twist of its head it flew away, and was
lost in the distance.


        A classic collection of short stories from the
        ancient Hebrew sages is the little book,
        _Hebrew Tales_, published in London in 1826 by
        the noted Jewish scholar Hyman Hurwitz
        (1770-1844). A modern handy edition of this
        book (about sixty tales) is published as Vol.
        II of the Library of Jewish Classics. Of
        special interest is the fact that it contained
        three stories by the poet Samuel Taylor
        Coleridge, who had published them first in his
        periodical, _The Friend_. Coleridge was much
        interested in Hebrew literature, and especially
        fond of speaking in parables, as those who know
        "The Ancient Mariner" will readily recall. The
        following is one of the three stories referred
        to, and it had prefixed to it the significant
        text, "The Lord helpeth man and beast." (Psalm
        XXXVI, 6.)



During his march to conquer the world, Alexander, the Macedonian, came
to a people in Africa who dwelt in a remote and secluded corner, in
peaceful huts, and knew neither war nor conqueror. They led him to the
hut of their chief, who received him hospitably, and placed before him
golden dates, golden figs, and bread of gold.

"Do you eat gold in this country?" said Alexander.

"I take it for granted," replied the chief, "that thou wert able to find
eatable food in thine own country. For what reason, then, art thou come
amongst us?"

"Your gold has not tempted me hither," said Alexander, "but I would
become acquainted with your manners and customs."

"So be it," rejoined the other: "sojourn among us as long as it pleaseth

At the close of this conversation, two citizens entered, as into their
court of justice. The plaintiff said, "I bought of this man a piece of
land, and as I was making a deep drain through it, I found a treasure.
This is not mine, for I only bargained for the land, and not for any
treasure that might be concealed beneath it; and yet the former owner of
the land will not receive it." The defendant answered, "I hope I have a
conscience, as well as my fellow citizen. I sold him the land with all
its contingent, as well as existing advantages, and consequently, the
treasure inclusively."

The chief, who was at the same time their supreme judge, recapitulated
their words, in order that the parties might see whether or not he
understood them aright. Then, after some reflection, said: "Thou hast a
son, friend, I believe?"


"And thou," addressing the other, "a daughter?"


"Well, then, let thy son marry _thy_ daughter, and bestow the treasure
on the young couple for a marriage portion." Alexander seemed surprised
and perplexed. "Think you my sentence unjust?" the chief asked him.

"Oh, no!" replied Alexander; "but it astonishes me."

"And how, then," rejoined the chief, "would the case have been decided
in your country?"

"To confess the truth," said Alexander, "we should have taken both
parties into custody, and have seized the treasure for the king's use."

"For the king's use!" exclaimed the chief; "does the sun shine on that

"Oh, yes!"

"Does it rain there?"


"Wonderful! But are there tame animals in the country, that live on the
grass and green herbs?"

"Very many, and of many kinds."

"Ay, that must, then, be the cause," said the chief: "for the sake of
those innocent animals the All-gracious Being continues to let the sun
shine, and the rain drop down on your country; since its inhabitants are
unworthy of such blessings."


        By almost common consent Hans Christian
        Andersen (1805-1875), the Danish author, is the
        acknowledged master of all modern writers of
        fairy tales. He was born in poverty, the son of
        a poor shoemaker. With a naturally keen
        dramatic sense, his imagination was stirred by
        stories from the _Arabian Nights_ and La
        Fontaine's _Fables_, by French and Spanish
        soldiers marching through his native city, and
        by listening to the wonderful folk tales of his
        country. On a toy stage and with toy actors,
        these vivid impressions took actual form. The
        world continued a dramatic spectacle to him
        throughout his existence. His consuming
        ambition was for the stage, but he had none of
        the personal graces so necessary for success.
        He was ungainly and awkward, like his "ugly
        duckling." But when at last he began to write,
        he had the power to transfer to the page the
        vivid dramas in his mind, and this power
        culminated in the creation of fairy stories for
        children which he began to publish in 1835. It
        is usual to say that Andersen, like Peter Pan,
        "never grew up," and it is certain that he
        never lost the power of seeing things as
        children see them. Like many great writers
        whose fame now rests on the suffrages of child
        readers, Andersen seems at first to have felt
        that the _Tales_ were slight and beneath his
        dignity. They are not all of the same high
        quality. Occasionally one of them becomes "too
        sentimental and sickly sweet," but the best of
        them have a sturdiness that is thoroughly

        The most acute analysis of the elements of
        Andersen's greatness as the ideal writer for
        children is that made by his fellow-countryman
        Georg Brandes in _Eminent Authors of the
        Nineteenth Century_. A briefer account on
        similar lines will be found in H. J. Boyesen's
        _Scandinavian Literature_. A still briefer
        account, eminently satisfactory for an
        introduction to Andersen, by Benjamin W. Wells,
        is in Warner's _Library of the World's Best
        Literature_. The interested student cannot, of
        course, afford to neglect Andersen's own _The
        Story of My Life_. Among the more elaborate
        biographies the _Life of Hans Christian
        Andersen_ by R. Nisbet Bain is probably the
        best. The first translation of the _Tales_ into
        English was made by Mary Howitt in 1846 and, as
        far as it goes, is still regarded as one of the
        finest. However, Andersen has been very
        fortunate in his many translators. The version
        by H. W. Dulcken has been published in many
        cheap forms and perhaps more widely read than
        any other. In addition to the stories in the
        following pages, some of those most suitable
        for use are "The Little Match Girl," "The
        Silver Shilling," "Five Peas in the Pod," "Hans
        Clodhopper," and "The Snow Queen." The latter
        is one of the longest and an undoubted

        The first two stories following are taken from
        Mrs. Henderson's _Andersen's Best Fairy Tales_.
        (Copyright. Rand McNally & Co.) This little
        book contains thirteen stories in a very simple
        translation and also an excellent story of
        Andersen's life in a form most attractive to
        children. "The Princess and the Pea" is a story
        for the story's sake. The humor, perhaps
        slightly satirical, is based upon the notion so
        common in the old folk tales that royal
        personages are decidedly more delicate than the
        person of low degree. However, the tendency to
        think oneself of more consequence than another
        is not confined to any one class.



(Version by Alice Corbin Henderson)

There was once a Prince who wanted to marry a Princess. But it was only
a _real_ Princess that he wanted to marry.

He traveled all over the world to find a real one. But, although there
were plenty of princesses, whether they were _real_ princesses he could
never discover. There was always something that did not seem quite right
about them.

At last he had to come home again. But he was very sad, because he
wanted to marry a _real_ Princess.

One night there was a terrible storm. It thundered and lightened and the
rain poured down in torrents. In the middle of the storm there came a
knocking, knocking, knocking at the castle gate. The kind old King
himself went down to open the castle gate.

It was a young Princess that stood outside the gate. The wind and the
rain had almost blown her to pieces. Water streamed out of her hair and
out of her clothes. Water ran in at the points of her shoes and out
again at the heels. Yet she said that she was a _real_ Princess.

"Well, we will soon find out about that!" thought the Queen.

She said nothing, but went into the bedroom, took off all the bedding,
and put a small dried pea on the bottom of the bedstead. Then she piled
twenty mattresses on top of the pea, and on top of these she put twenty
feather beds. This was where the Princess had to sleep that night.

In the morning they asked her how she had slept through the night.

"Oh, miserably!" said the Princess. "I hardly closed my eyes the whole
night long! Goodness only knows what was in my bed! I slept upon
something so hard that I am black and blue all over. It was dreadful!"

So then they knew that she was a _real_ Princess. For, through the
twenty mattresses and the twenty feather beds, she had still felt the
pea. No one but a _real_ Princess could have had such a tender skin.

So the Prince took her for his wife. He knew now that he had a _real_

As for the pea, it was put in a museum where it may still be seen if no
one has carried it away.

Now this is a true story!


        With some dozen exceptions, all of Andersen's
        _Tales_ are based upon older stories, either
        upon some old folk tale or upon something that
        he ran across in his reading. Dr. Brandes, in
        his _Eminent Authors_, shows in detail how "The
        Emperor's New Clothes" came into being. "One
        day in turning over the leaves of Don Manuel's
        _Count Lucanor_, Andersen became charmed by the
        homely wisdom of the old Spanish story, with
        the delicate flavor of the Middle Ages
        pervading it, and he lingered over chapter vii,
        which treats of how a king was served by three
        rogues." But Andersen's story is a very
        different one in many ways from his Spanish
        original. For one thing, the meaning is so
        universal that no one can miss it. Most of us
        have, in all likelihood, at some time pretended
        to know what we do not know or to be what we
        are not in order to save our face, to avoid the
        censure or ridicule of others. "There is much
        concerning which people dare not speak the
        truth, through cowardice, through fear of
        acting otherwise than 'all the world,' through
        anxiety lest they should appear stupid. And the
        story is eternally new and it never ends. It
        has its grave side, but just because of its
        endlessness it has also its humorous side."
        When the absurd bubble of the grand procession
        is punctured by the child, whose mental honesty
        has not yet been spoiled by the pressure of
        convention, the Emperor "held himself stiffer
        than ever, and the chamberlains carried the
        invisible train." For it would never do to hold
        up the procession!



(Version by Alice Corbin Henderson)

Many years ago there lived an Emperor who thought so much of new clothes
that he spent all his money on them. He did not care for his soldiers;
he did not care to go to the theater. He liked to drive out in the park
only that he might show off his new clothes. He had a coat for every
hour of the day. They usually say of a king, "He is in the council
chamber." But of the Emperor they said, "He is in the clothes closet!"

It was a gay city in which the Emperor lived. And many strangers came to
visit it every day. Among these, one day, there came two rogues who set
themselves up as weavers. They said they knew how to weave the most
beautiful cloths imaginable. And not only were the colors and patterns
used remarkably beautiful, but clothes made from this cloth could not be
seen by any one who was unfit for the office he held or was too stupid
for any use.

"Those would be fine clothes!" thought the Emperor. "If I wore those I
could find out what men in my empire were not fit for the places they
held. I could tell the clever men from the dunces! I must have some
clothes woven for me at once!"

So he gave the two rogues a great deal of money that they might begin
their work at once.

The rogues immediately put up two looms and pretended to be working. But
there was nothing at all on their looms. They called for the finest
silks and the brightest gold, but this they put into their pockets. At
the empty looms they worked steadily until late into the night.

"I should like to know how the weavers are getting on with my clothes,"
thought the Emperor.

But he felt a little uneasy when he thought that any one who was stupid
or was not fit for his office would be unable to see the cloth. Of
course he had no fears for himself; but still he thought he would send
some one else first, just to see how matters stood.

"I will send my faithful old Minister to the weavers," thought the
Emperor. "He can see how the stuff looks, for he is a clever man, and no
one is so careful in fulfilling duties as he is!"

So the good old Minister went into the room where the two rogues sat
working at the empty looms.

"Mercy on us!" thought the old Minister, opening his eyes wide, "I can't
see a thing!" But he didn't care to say so.

Both the rascals begged him to be good enough to step a little nearer.
They pointed to the empty looms and asked him if he did not think the
pattern and the coloring wonderful. The poor old Minister stared and
stared as hard as he could, but he could not see anything, for, of
course, there was nothing to see!

"Mercy!" he said to himself. "Is it possible that I am a dunce? I never
thought so! Certainly no one must know it. Am I unfit for office? It
will never do to say that I cannot see the stuff!"

"Well, sir, why do you say nothing of it?" asked the rogue who was
pretending to weave.

"Oh, it is beautiful--charming!" said the old Minister, peering through
his spectacles. "What a fine pattern, and what wonderful colors! I shall
tell the Emperor that I am very much pleased with it."

"Well, we are glad to hear you say so," answered the two swindlers.

Then they named all the colors of the invisible cloth upon the looms,
and described the peculiar pattern. The old Minister listened intently,
so that he could repeat all that was said of it to the Emperor.

The rogues now began to demand more money, more silk, and more gold
thread in order to proceed with the weaving. All of this, of course,
went into their pockets. Not a single strand was ever put on the empty
looms at which they went on working.

The Emperor soon sent another faithful friend to see how soon the new
clothes would be ready. But he fared no better than the Minister. He
looked and looked and looked, but still saw nothing but the empty looms.

"Isn't that a pretty piece of stuff?" asked both rogues, showing and
explaining the handsome pattern which was not there at all.

"I am not stupid!" thought the man. "It must be that I am not worthy of
my good position. That is, indeed, strange. But I must not let it be

So he praised the cloth he did not see, and expressed his approval of
the color and the design that were not there. To the Emperor he said,
"It is charming!"

Soon everybody in town was talking about the wonderful cloth that the
two rogues were weaving.

The Emperor began to think now that he himself would like to see the
wonderful cloth while it was still on the looms. Accompanied by a number
of his friends, among whom were the two faithful officers who had
already beheld the imaginary stuff, he went to visit the two men who
were weaving, might and main, without any fiber and without any thread.

"Isn't it splendid!" cried the two statesmen who had already been there,
and who thought the others would see something upon the empty looms.
"Look, your Majesty! What colors! And what a design!"

"What's this?" thought the Emperor. "I see nothing at all! Am I a dunce?
Am I not fit to be Emperor? That would be the worst thing that could
happen to me, if it were true."

"Oh, it is very pretty!" said the Emperor aloud. "It has my highest

He nodded his head happily, and stared at the empty looms. Never would
he say that he could see nothing!

His friends, too, gazed and gazed, but saw no more than had the others.
Yet they all cried out, "It is beautiful!" and advised the Emperor to
wear a suit made of this cloth in a great procession that was soon to
take place.

"It is magnificent, gorgeous!" was the cry that went from mouth to
mouth. The Emperor gave each of the rogues a royal ribbon to wear in his
buttonhole, and called them the Imperial Court Weavers.

The rogues were up the whole night before the morning of the procession.
They kept more than sixteen candles burning. The people could see them
hard at work, completing the new clothes of the Emperor. They took yards
of stuff down from the empty looms; they made cuts in the air with big
scissors; they sewed with needles without thread; and, at last, they
said, "The clothes are ready!"

The Emperor himself, with his grandest courtiers, went to put on his new

"See!" said the rogues, lifting their arms as if holding something.
"Here are the trousers! Here is the coat! Here is the cape!" and so on.
"It is as light as a spider's web. One might think one had nothing on.
But that is just the beauty of it!"

"Very nice," said the courtiers. But they could see nothing; for there
_was_ nothing!

"Will your Imperial Majesty be graciously pleased to take off your
clothes," asked the rogues, "so that we may put on the new ones before
this long mirror?"

The Emperor took off all his own clothes, and the two rogues pretended
to put on each new garment as it was ready. They wrapped him about, and
they tied and they buttoned. The Emperor turned round and round before
the mirror.

"How well his Majesty looks in his new clothes!" said the people. "How
becoming they are! What a pattern! What colors! It is a beautiful

"They are waiting outside with the canopy which is to be carried over
your Majesty in the procession," said the master of ceremonies.

"I am ready," said the Emperor. "Don't the clothes fit well?" he asked,
giving a last glance into the mirror as though he were looking at all
his new finery.

The men who were to carry the train of the Emperor's cloak stooped down
to the floor as if picking up the train, and then held it high in the
air. They did not dare let it be known that they could see nothing.

So the Emperor marched along under the bright canopy. Everybody in the
streets and at the windows cried out: "How beautiful the Emperor's new
clothes are! What a fine train! And they fit to perfection!"

No one would let it be known that he could see nothing, for that would
have proved that he was unfit for office or that he was very, very
stupid. None of the Emperor's clothes had ever been as successful as

"But he has nothing on!" said a little child.

"Just listen to the innocent!" said its father.

But one person whispered to another what the child had said. "He has
nothing on! A child says he has nothing on!"

"But he has nothing on!" at last cried all the people.

The Emperor writhed, for he knew that this was true. But he realized
that it would never do to stop the procession. So he held himself
stiffer than ever, and the chamberlains carried the invisible train.


        In his story "The Nightingale," Andersen
        suggests that the so-called upper class of
        society may become so conventionalized as to be
        unable to appreciate true beauty. Poor
        fishermen and the little kitchen girl in the
        story recognize the beauty of the exquisite
        song of the nightingale, and Andersen shows his
        regard for royalty by having the emperor
        appreciate it twice. The last part of the story
        is especially impressive. When Death approached
        the emperor and took from him the symbols that
        had made him rank above his fellows, the
        emperor saw the realities of life and again
        perceived the beauty of the nightingale's song.
        This contact with real life made Death shrink
        away. Then the emperor learned Andersen's
        message to artificial society: If you would
        behold true beauty, you must have it in your
        own heart.



In China, you must know, the Emperor is a Chinaman, and all whom he has
about him are Chinamen too. It happened a good many years ago, but
that's just why it's worth while to hear the story before it is
forgotten. The Emperor's palace was the most splendid in the world; it
was made entirely of porcelain, very costly, but so delicate and brittle
that one had to take care how one touched it. In the garden were to be
seen the most wonderful flowers, and to the costliest of them silver
bells were tied, which sounded, so that nobody should pass by without
noticing the flowers. Yes, everything in the Emperor's garden was
admirably arranged. And it extended so far that the gardener himself did
not know where the end was. If a man went on and on, he came into a
glorious forest with high trees and deep lakes. The wood extended
straight down to the sea, which was blue and deep; great ships could
sail, too, beneath the branches of the trees; and in the trees lived a
Nightingale, which sang so splendidly that even the poor fisherman, who
had many other things to do, stopped still and listened, when he had
gone out at night to throw out his nets, and heard the Nightingale.

"How beautiful that is!" he said; but he was obliged to attend to his
property, and thus forgot the bird. But when the next night the bird
sang again, and the fisherman heard it, he exclaimed again, "How
beautiful that is!"

From all the countries of the world travelers came to the city of the
Emperor, and admired it, and the palace and the garden, but when they
heard the Nightingale, they said, "That is the best of all!"

And the travelers told of it when they came home; and the learnèd men
wrote many books about the town, the palace, and the garden. But they
did not forget the Nightingale; that was placed highest of all; and
those who were poets wrote most magnificent poems about the Nightingale
in the wood by the deep lake.

The books went through all the world, and a few of them once came to the
Emperor. He sat in his golden chair, and read, and read: every moment he
nodded his head, for it pleased him to peruse the masterly descriptions
of the city, the palace, and the garden. "But the Nightingale is the
best of all," it stood written there.

"What's that?" exclaimed the Emperor. "I don't know the Nightingale at
all! Is there such a bird in my empire, and even in my garden? I've
never heard of that. To think that I should have to learn such a thing
for the first time from books!"

And hereupon he called his cavalier. This cavalier was so grand that if
anyone lower in rank than himself dared to speak to him, or to ask him
any question, he answered nothing but "P!"--and that meant nothing.

"There is said to be a wonderful bird here called a Nightingale," said
the Emperor. "They say it is the best thing in all my great empire. Why
have I never heard anything about it?"

"I have never heard him named," replied the cavalier. "He has never been
introduced at Court."

"I command that he shall appear this evening, and sing before me," said
the Emperor. "All the world knows what I possess, and I do not know it

"I have never heard him mentioned," said the cavalier. "I will seek for
him. I will find him."

But where was he to be found? The cavalier ran up and down all the
staircases, through halls and passages, but no one among all those whom
he met had heard talk of the Nightingale. And the cavalier ran back to
the Emperor, and said that it must be a fable invented by the writers of

"Your Imperial Majesty cannot believe how much is written that is
fiction, besides something that they call the black art."

"But the book in which I read this," said the Emperor, "was sent to me
by the high and mighty Emperor of Japan and therefore it cannot be a
falsehood. I _will_ hear the Nightingale! It must be here this evening!
It has my imperial favor; and if it does not come, all the Court shall
be trampled upon after the Court has supped!"

"Tsing-pe!" said the cavalier; and again he ran up and down all the
staircases, and through all the halls and corridors; and half the Court
ran with him, for the courtiers did not like being trampled upon.

Then there was a great inquiry after the wonderful Nightingale, which
all the world knew excepting the people at Court.

At last they met with a poor little girl in the kitchen, who said:

"The Nightingale? I know it well; yes, it can sing gloriously. Every
evening I get leave to carry my poor sick mother the scraps from the
table. She lives down by the strand; and when I get back and am tired,
and rest in the wood, then I hear the Nightingale sing. And then the
water comes into my eyes, and it is just as if my mother kissed me."

"Little kitchen girl," said the cavalier, "I will get you a place in the
Court kitchen, with permission to see the Emperor dine, if you will but
lead us to the Nightingale, for it is announced for this evening."

So they all went out into the wood where the Nightingale was accustomed
to sing; half the Court went forth. When they were in the midst of their
journey a cow began to low.

"Oh!" cried the Court pages, "now we have it! That shows a wonderful
power in so small a creature! I have certainly heard it before."

"No, those are cows lowing," said the little kitchen girl. "We are a
long way from the place yet."

Now the frogs began to croak in the marsh.

"Glorious!" said the Chinese Court preacher. "Now I hear it--it sounds
just like little church bells."

"No, those are frogs," said the little kitchen maid. "But now I think we
shall soon hear it."

And then the Nightingale began to sing.

"That is it!" exclaimed the little girl. "Listen, listen! and yonder it

And she pointed to a little gray bird up in the boughs.

"Is it possible?" cried the cavalier. "I should never have thought it
looked like that! How simple it looks! It must certainly have lost its
color at seeing such grand people around."

"Little Nightingale!" called the little kitchen maid, quite loudly, "our
gracious Emperor wishes you to sing before him."

"With the greatest pleasure!" replied the Nightingale, and began to sing
most delightfully.

"It sounds just like glass bells!" said the cavalier. "And look at its
little throat, how it's working! It's wonderful that we should never
have heard it before. That bird will be a great success at Court."

"Shall I sing once more before the Emperor?" inquired the Nightingale,
for it thought the Emperor was present.

"My excellent little Nightingale," said the cavalier, "I have great
pleasure in inviting you to a Court festival this evening, when you
shall charm his Imperial Majesty with your beautiful singing."

"My song sounds best in the green wood," replied the Nightingale; still
it came willingly when it heard what the Emperor wished.

The palace was festively adorned. The walls and the flooring, which were
of porcelain, gleamed in the rays of thousands of golden lamps. The most
glorious flowers, which could ring clearly, had been placed in the
passages. There was a running to and fro, and a thorough draught, and
all the bells rang so loudly that one could not hear one's self speak.

In the midst of the great hall, where the Emperor sat, a golden perch
had been placed, on which the Nightingale was to sit. The whole Court
was there, and the little cook-maid had got leave to stand behind the
door, as she had now received the title of a real Court cook. All were
in full dress, and all looked at the little gray bird, to which the
Emperor nodded.

And the Nightingale sang so gloriously that the tears came into the
Emperor's eyes, and the tears ran down over his cheeks; then the
Nightingale sang still more sweetly, that went straight to the heart.
The Emperor was so much pleased that he said the Nightingale should have
his golden slipper to wear round its neck. But the Nightingale declined
this with thanks, saying it had already received a sufficient reward.

"I have seen tears in the Emperor's eyes--that is the real treasure to
me. An Emperor's tears have a peculiar power. I am rewarded enough!" And
then it sang again with a sweet, glorious voice.

"That's the most amiable coquetry I ever saw!" said the ladies who stood
round about, and then they took water in their mouths to gurgle when
anyone spoke to them. They thought they should be nightingales too. And
the lackeys and chambermaids reported that they were satisfied also; and
that was saying a good deal, for they are the most difficult to please.
In short, the Nightingale achieved a real success.

It was now to remain at Court, to have its own cage, with liberty to go
out twice every day and once at night. Twelve servants were appointed
when the Nightingale went out, each of whom had a silken string fastened
to the bird's legs, which they held very tight. There was really no
pleasure in an excursion of that kind.

The whole city spoke of the wonderful bird, and whenever two people met,
one said nothing but "Nightin," and the other said "gale"; and then they
both sighed, and understood one another. Eleven pedlars' children were
named after the bird, but not one of them could sing a note.

One day the Emperor received a large parcel, on which was written, "The

"There we have a new book about this celebrated bird," said the

But it was not a book, but a little work of art, contained in a box--an
artificial nightingale, which was to sing like a natural one, and was
brilliantly ornamented with diamonds, sapphires, and rubies. So soon as
the artificial bird was wound up, he could sing one of the pieces that
he really sang, and then his tail moved up and down, and shone with
silver and gold. Round his neck hung a little ribbon, and on that was
written, "The Emperor of China's nightingale is poor compared to that of
the Emperor of Japan."

"That is capital!" said they all, and he who had brought the artificial
bird immediately received the title, Imperial Head-Nightingale-Bringer.

"Now they must sing together; what a duet that will be!" cried the

And so they had to sing together; but it did not sound very well, for
the real Nightingale sang its own way, and the artificial bird sang

"That's not his fault," said the playmaster; "he's quite perfect, and
very much in my style."

Now the artificial bird was to sing alone. It had just as much success
as the real one, and then it was much handsomer to look at--it shone
like bracelets and breastpins.

Three and thirty times over did it sing the same piece, and yet was not
tired. The people would gladly have heard it again, but the Emperor said
that the living Nightingale ought to sing something now. But where was
it? No one had noticed that it had flown away out of the open window,
back to the green wood.

"But what has become of that?" asked the Emperor.

And all the courtiers abused the Nightingale, and declared that it was a
very ungrateful creature.

"We have the best bird after all," said they.

And so the artificial bird had to sing again, and that was the
thirty-fourth time that they listened to the same piece. For all that
they did not know it quite by heart, for it was so very difficult. And
the playmaster praised the bird particularly; yes, he declared that it
was better than a nightingale, not only with regard to its plumage and
the many beautiful diamonds, but inside as well.

"For you see, ladies and gentlemen, and above all, your Imperial
Majesty, with a real nightingale one can never calculate what is coming,
but in this artificial bird, everything is settled. One can explain it;
one can open it and make people understand where the waltzes come from,
how they go, and how one follows up another."

"Those are quite our own ideas," they all said.

And the speaker received permission to show the bird to the people on
the next Sunday. The people were to hear it sing too, the Emperor
commanded: and they did hear it, and were as much pleased as if they had
all got tipsy upon tea, for that's quite the Chinese fashion, and they
all said, "Oh!" and held up their forefingers and nodded. But the poor
fisherman, who had heard the real Nightingale, said:

"It sounds pretty enough, and the melodies resemble each other, but
there's something wanting, though I know not what!"

The real Nightingale was banished from the country and empire. The
artificial bird had its place on a silken cushion close to the
Emperor's bed; all the presents it had received, gold and precious
stones, were ranged about it; in title it had advanced to be the High
Imperial After-Dinner-Singer, and in rank to Number One on the left
hand; for the Emperor considered that side the most important on which
the heart is placed, and even in an Emperor the heart is on the left
side; and the playmaster wrote a work of five and twenty volumes about
the artificial bird; it was very learnèd and very long, full of the most
difficult Chinese words; but yet all the people declared that they had
read it and understood it, for fear of being considered stupid, and
having their bodies trampled on.

So a whole year went by. The Emperor, the Court, and all the other
Chinese knew every little twitter in the artificial bird's song by
heart. But just for that reason it pleased them best--they could sing
with it themselves, and they did so. The street boys sang,
"Tsi-tsi-tsi-glug-glug!" and the Emperor himself sang it too. Yes, that
was certainly famous.

But one evening, when the artificial bird was singing its best, and the
Emperor lay in bed listening to it, something inside the bird said,
"Whizz!" Something cracked. "Whir-r-r!" All the wheels ran round, and
then the music stopped.

The Emperor immediately sprang out of bed, and caused his body physician
to be called; but what could _he_ do? Then they sent for a watchmaker,
and after a good deal of talking and investigation, the bird was put
into something like order, but the watchmaker said that the bird must be
carefully treated, for the barrels were worn, and it would be impossible
to put new ones in in such a manner that the music would go. There was a
great lamentation; only once in the year was it permitted to let the
bird sing, and that was almost too much. But then the playmaster made a
little speech full of heavy words, and said this was just as good as
before--and so of course it was as good as before.

Now five years had gone by, and a real grief came upon the whole nation.
The Chinese were really fond of their Emperor, and now he was ill, and
could not, it was said, live much longer. Already a new Emperor had been
chosen, and the people stood out in the street and asked the cavalier
how the Emperor did.

"P!" said he, and shook his head.

Cold and pale lay the Emperor in his great, gorgeous bed; the whole
Court thought him dead, and each one ran to pay homage to the new ruler.
The chamberlains ran out to talk it over, and the ladies' maids had a
great coffee party. All about, in all the halls and passages, cloth had
been laid down so that no footstep could be heard, and therefore it was
quiet there, quite quiet. But the Emperor was not dead yet; stiff and
pale he lay on the gorgeous bed, with the long velvet curtains and the
heavy gold tassels; high up, a window stood open, and the moon shone in
upon the Emperor and the artificial bird.

The poor Emperor could scarcely breathe; it was just as if something lay
upon his chest; he opened his eyes, and then he saw that it was Death
who sat upon his chest, and had put on his golden crown, and held in one
hand the Emperor's sword, in the other his beautiful banner. And all
around, from among the folds of the splendid velvet curtains, strange
heads peered forth; a few very ugly, the rest quite lovely and mild.
These were all the Emperor's bad and good deeds, that stood before him
now that Death sat upon his heart.

"Do you remember this?" whispered one to the other. "Do you remember
that?" and then they told him so much that the perspiration ran from his

"I did not know that!" said the Emperor. "Music! music! the great
Chinese drum!" he cried, "so that I need not hear all they say!"

And they continued speaking, and Death nodded like a Chinaman to all
they said.

"Music! music!" cried the Emperor. "You little precious golden bird,
sing, sing! I have given you gold and costly presents; I have even hung
my golden slipper around your neck--sing now, sing!"

But the bird stood still; no one was there to wind him up, and he could
not sing without that; but Death continued to stare at the Emperor with
his great, hollow eyes, and it was quiet, fearfully quiet.

Then there sounded from the window, suddenly, the most lovely song. It
was the little live Nightingale, that sat outside on a spray. It had
heard of the Emperor's sad plight, and had come to sing to him of
comfort and hope. As it sang the specters grew paler and paler; the
blood ran quicker and more quickly through the Emperor's weak limbs; and
even Death listened, and said:

"Go on, little Nightingale, go on!"

"But will you give me that splendid golden sword? Will you give me that
rich banner? Will you give me the Emperor's crown?"

And Death gave up each of these treasures for a song. And the
Nightingale sang on and on; and it sang of the quiet churchyard where
the white roses grow, where the elder blossoms smell sweet, and where
the fresh grass is moistened by the tears of survivors. Then Death felt
a longing to see his garden, and floated out at the window in the form
of a cold white mist.

"Thanks! thanks!" said the Emperor. "You heavenly little bird; I know
you well. I banished you from my country and empire, and yet you have
charmed away the evil faces from my couch, and banished Death from my
heart! How can I reward you?"

"You have rewarded me!" replied the Nightingale. "I have drawn tears
from your eyes, when I sang the first time--I shall never forget that.
Those are the jewels that rejoice a singer's heart. But now sleep, and
grow fresh and strong again. I will sing you something."

And it sang, and the Emperor fell into a sweet slumber. Ah! how mild and
refreshing that sleep was! The sun shone upon him through the windows
when he awoke refreshed and restored: not one of his servants had yet
returned, for they all thought he was dead; only the Nightingale still
sat beside him and sang.

"You must always stay with me," said the Emperor. "You shall sing as you
please; and I'll break the artificial bird into a thousand pieces."

"Not so," replied the Nightingale. "It did well as long as it could;
keep it as you have done till now. I cannot build my nest in the palace
to dwell in it, but let me come when I feel the wish; then I will sit in
the evening on the spray yonder by the window, and sing you something,
so that you may be glad and thoughtful at once. I will sing of those who
are happy and of those who suffer. I will sing of good and of evil that
remains hidden round about you. The little singing bird flies far
around, to the poor fisherman, to the peasant's roof, to everyone who
dwells far away from you and from your Court. I love your heart more
than your crown, and yet the crown has an air of sanctity about it. I
will come and sing to you--but one thing you must promise me."

"Every thing!" said the Emperor; and he stood there in his imperial
robes, which he had put on himself, and pressed the sword which was
heavy with gold to his heart.

"One thing I beg of you: tell no one that you have a little bird who
tells you everything. Then it will go all the better."

And the Nightingale flew away.

The servants came in to look at their dead Emperor, and--yes, there he
stood, and the Emperor said, "Good-morning!"


        This story is a favorite for the Christmas
        season. It is loosely constructed, and rambles
        along for some time after it might have been
        expected to finish. Such rambling is often very
        attractive to childish listeners, as it allows
        the introduction of unexpected incidents. Miss
        Kready has some interesting suggestions about
        dramatizing this story in her _Study of Fairy
        Tales_, pp. 151-153. The translation is



Out in the forest stood a pretty little Fir Tree. It had a good place;
it could have sunlight, air there was in plenty, and all around grew
many larger comrades--pines as well as firs. But the little Fir Tree
wished ardently to become greater. It did not care for the warm sun and
the fresh air; it took no notice of the peasant children, who went about
talking together, when they had come out to look for strawberries and
raspberries. Often they came with a whole pot-full, or had strung
berries on a straw; then they would sit down by the little Fir Tree and
say, "How pretty and small that one is!" and the Fir Tree did not like
to hear that at all.

Next year he had grown a great joint, and the following year he was
longer still, for in fir trees one can always tell by the number of
rings they have how many years they have been growing.

"Oh, if I were only as great a tree as the other!" sighed the little
Fir, "then I would spread my branches far around, and look out from my
crown into the wide world. The birds would then build nests in my
boughs, and when the wind blew I could nod just as grandly as the others

It took no pleasure in the sunshine, in the birds, and in the red clouds
that went sailing over him morning and evening.

When it was winter, and the snow lay all around, white and sparkling, a
hare would often come jumping along, and spring right over the little
Fir Tree. Oh! this made him so angry. But two winters went by, and when
the third came the little Tree had grown so tall that the hare was
obliged to run round it.

"Oh! to grow, to grow, and become old; that's the only fine thing in the
world," thought the Tree.

In the autumn woodcutters always came and felled a few of the largest
trees; that was done this year too, and the little Fir Tree, that was
now quite well grown, shuddered with fear, for the great stately trees
fell to the ground with a crash, and their branches were cut off, so
that the trees looked quite naked, long, and slender--they could hardly
be recognized. But then they were laid upon wagons, and horses dragged
them away out of the wood. Where were they going? What destiny awaited

In the spring, when the Swallows and the Stork came, the Tree asked
them, "Do you know where they were taken? Did you not meet them?"

The Swallows knew nothing about it, but the Stork looked thoughtful,
nodded his head, and said:

"Yes, I think so. I met many new ships when I flew out of Egypt; on the
ships were stately masts; I fancy these were the trees. They smelt like
fir. I can assure you they're stately--very stately."

"Oh that I were only big enough to go over the sea! What kind of thing
is this sea, and how does it look?"

"It would take too long to explain all that," said the Stork, and he
went away.

"Rejoice in thy youth," said the Sunbeams; "rejoice in thy fresh growth,
and in the young life that is within thee."

And the wind kissed the Tree, and the dew wept tears upon it; but the
Fir Tree did not understand that.

When Christmas-time approached, quite young trees were felled, sometimes
trees which were neither so old nor so large as this Fir Tree, that
never rested, but always wanted to go away. These young trees, which
were always the most beautiful, kept all their branches; they were put
upon wagons, and horses dragged them away out of the wood.

"Where are they all going?" asked the Fir Tree. "They are not greater
than I--indeed, one of them was much smaller. Why do they keep all their
branches? Whither are they taken?"

"We know that! We know that!" chirped the Sparrows. "Yonder in the town
we looked in at the windows. We know where they go. Oh! they are dressed
up in the greatest pomp and splendor that can be imagined. We have
looked in at the windows, and have perceived that they are planted in
the middle of a warm room, and adorned with the most beautiful
things--gilt apples, honey-cakes, playthings, and many hundred candles."

"And then?" asked the Fir Tree, and trembled through all its branches.
"And then? What happens then?"

"Why, we have not seen anything more. But it was incomparable."

"Perhaps I may be destined to tread this glorious path one day!" cried
the Fir Tree, rejoicingly. "That is even better than traveling across
the sea. How painfully I long for it! If it were only Christmas now! Now
I am great and grown up, like the rest who were led away last year. Oh,
if I were only on the carriage! If I were only in the warm room, among
all the pomp and splendor! And then? Yes, then something even better
will come, something far more charming, or else why should they adorn me
so? There must be something grander, something greater still to come;
but what? Oh! I'm suffering, I'm longing! I don't know myself what is
the matter with me!"

"Rejoice in us," said Air and Sunshine. "Rejoice in thy fresh youth here
in the woodland."

But the Fir Tree did not rejoice at all, but it grew and grew; winter
and summer it stood there, green, dark green. The people who saw it
said, "That's a handsome tree!" and at Christmas time it was felled
before any one of the others. The ax cut deep into its marrow, and the
tree fell to the ground with a sigh; it felt a pain, a sensation of
faintness, and could not think at all of happiness, for it was sad at
parting from its home, from the place where it had grown up; it knew
that it should never again see the dear old companions, the little
bushes and flowers all around--perhaps not even the birds. The parting
was not at all agreeable.

The Tree only came to itself when it was unloaded in a yard, with other
trees, and heard a man say:

"This one is famous; we want only this one!"

Now two servants came in gay liveries, and carried the Fir Tree into a
large, beautiful saloon. All around the walls hung pictures, and by the
great stove stood large Chinese vases with lions on the covers; there
were rocking-chairs, silken sofas, great tables covered with picture
books, and toys worth a hundred times a hundred dollars, at least the
children said so. And the Fir Tree was put into a great tub filled with
sand; but no one could see that it was a tub, for it was hung round with
green cloth, and stood on a large, many-colored carpet. Oh, how the Tree
trembled! What was to happen now? The servants, and the young ladies
also, decked it out. On one branch they hung little nets, cut out of
colored paper; every net was filled with sweetmeats; golden apples and
walnuts hung down, as if they grew there, and more than a hundred little
candles, red, white, and blue, were fastened to the different boughs.
Dolls that looked exactly like real people--the tree had never seen such
before--swung among the foliage, and high on the summit of the Tree was
fixed a tinsel star. It was splendid, particularly splendid.

"This evening," said all, "this evening it will shine."

"Oh," thought the Tree, "that it were evening already! Oh, that the
lights may be soon lit up! When may that be done? I wonder if trees will
come out of the forest to look at me? Will the sparrows fly against the
panes? Shall I grow fast here, and stand adorned in summer and winter?"

Yes, he did not guess badly. But he had a complete backache from mere
longing, and the backache is just as bad for a Tree as the headache for
a person.

At last the candles were lighted. What a brilliance, what splendor! The
Tree trembled so in all its branches that one of the candles set fire to
a green twig, and it was scorched.

"Heaven preserve us!" cried the young ladies; and they hastily put the
fire out.

Now the Tree might not even tremble. Oh, that was terrible! It was so
afraid of setting fire to some of its ornaments, and it was quite
bewildered with all the brilliance. And now the folding doors were
thrown open, and a number of children rushed in as if they would have
overturned the whole Tree; the older people followed more deliberately.
The little ones stood quite silent, but only for a minute; then they
shouted till the room rang: they danced gleefully round the Tree, and
one present after another was plucked from it.

"What are they about?" thought the Tree. "What's going to be done?"

And the candles burned down to the twigs, and as they burned down they
were extinguished, and then the children received permission to plunder
the Tree. Oh! they rushed in upon it, so that every branch cracked
again: if it had not been fastened by the top and by the golden star to
the ceiling, it would have fallen down.

The children danced about with their pretty toys. No one looked at the
Tree except one old man, who came up and peeped among the branches, but
only to see if a fig or an apple had not been forgotten.

"A story! A story!" shouted the children; and they drew a little fat man
toward the tree; and he sat down just beneath it--"for then we shall be
in the green wood," said he, "and the tree may have the advantage of
listening to my tale. But I can only tell one. Will you hear the story
of Ivede-Avede, or of Klumpey-Dumpey, who fell downstairs, and still was
raised up to honor and married the Princess?"

"Ivede-Avede!" cried some, "Klumpey-Dumpey!" cried others, and there was
a great crying and shouting. Only the Fir Tree was quite silent, and
thought, "Shall I not be in it? Shall I have nothing to do in it?" But
he had been in the evening's amusement, and had done what was required
of him.

And the fat man told about Klumpey-Dumpey who fell downstairs, and yet
was raised to honor and married the Princess. And the children clapped
their hands, and cried, "Tell another! tell another!" for they wanted to
hear about Ivede-Avede; but they only got the story of Klumpey-Dumpey.
The Fir Tree stood quite silent and thoughtful; never had the birds in
the wood told such a story as that. Klumpey-Dumpey fell downstairs, and
yet came to honor and married the Princess!

"Yes, so it happens in the world!" thought the Fir Tree, and believed it
must be true, because that was such a nice man who told it. "Well, who
can know? Perhaps I shall fall downstairs, too, and marry a Princess!"
And it looked forward with pleasure to being adorned again, the next
evening, with candles and toys, gold and fruit. "To-morrow I shall not
tremble," it thought.

"I will rejoice in all my splendor. To-morrow I shall hear the story of
Klumpey-Dumpey again, and perhaps that of Ivede-Avede, too."

And the Tree stood all night quiet and thoughtful.

In the morning the servants and the chambermaid came in.

"Now my splendor will begin afresh," thought the Tree. But they dragged
him out of the room, and upstairs to the garret, and here they put him
in a dark corner where no daylight shone.

"What's the meaning of this?" thought the Tree. "What am I to do here?
What is to happen?"

And he leaned against the wall, and thought, and thought. And he had
time enough, for days and nights went by, and nobody came up; and when
at length someone came, it was only to put some great boxes in a corner.
Now the Tree stood quite hidden away, and the supposition is that it was
quite forgotten.

"Now it's winter outside," thought the Tree. "The earth is hard and
covered with snow, and people cannot plant me; therefore I suppose I'm
to be sheltered here until spring comes. How considerate that is! How
good people are! If it were only not so dark here, and so terribly
solitary!--not even a little hare? That was pretty out there in the
wood, when the snow lay thick and the hare sprang past; yes, even when
he jumped over me; but then I did not like it. It is terribly lonely up

"Piep! piep!" said a little Mouse, and crept forward, and then came
another little one. They smelt at the Fir Tree, and then slipped among
the branches.

"It's horribly cold," said the two little Mice, "or else it would be
comfortable here. Don't you think so, you old Fir Tree?"

"I'm not old at all," said the Fir Tree. "There are many much older than

"Where do you come from?" asked the Mice. "And what do you know?" They
were dreadfully inquisitive. "Tell us about the most beautiful spot on
earth. Have you been there? Have you been in the store room, where
cheeses lie on the shelves, and hams hang from the ceiling, where one
dances on tallow candles, and goes in thin and comes out fat?"

"I don't know that," replied the Tree; "but I know the wood, where the
sun shines and the birds sing."

And then it told all about its youth.

And the little Mice had never heard anything of the kind; and they
listened and said:

"What a number of things you have seen! How happy you must have been!"

"I?" replied the Fir Tree; and it thought about what it had told. "Yes,
those were really quite happy times." But then he told of the Christmas
Eve, when he had been hung with sweetmeats and candles.

"Oh!" said the little Mice, "how happy you have been, you old Fir Tree!"

"I'm not old at all," said the Tree. "I only came out of the wood this
winter. I'm only rather backward in my growth."

"What splendid stories you can tell!" said the little Mice.

And next night they came with four other little Mice, to hear what the
Tree had to relate; and the more it said, the more clearly did it
remember everything, and thought, "Those were quite merry days! But they
may come again. Klumpey-Dumpey fell downstairs, and yet he married the
Princess. Perhaps I may marry a Princess too!" And the Fir Tree thought
of a pretty little Birch Tree that grew out in the forest; for the Fir
Tree, that Birch was a real Princess.

"Who's Klumpey-Dumpey?" asked the little Mice.

And then the Fir Tree told the whole story. It could remember every
single word; and the little Mice were ready to leap to the very top of
the tree with pleasure. Next night a great many more Mice came, and on
Sunday two Rats even appeared; but these thought the story was not
pretty, and the little Mice were sorry for that, for now they also did
not like it so much as before.

"Do you only know one story?" asked the Rats.

"Only that one," replied the Tree. "I heard that on the happiest evening
of my life; I did not think then how happy I was."

"That's a very miserable story. Don't you know any about bacon and
tallow candles--a store-room story?"

"No," said the Tree.

"Then we'd rather not hear you," said the Rats.

And they went back to their own people. The little Mice at last stayed
away also; and then the Tree sighed and said:

"It was very nice when they sat round me, the merry little Mice, and
listened when I spoke to them. Now that's past too. But I shall remember
to be pleased when they take me out."

But when did that happen? Why, it was one morning that people came and
rummaged in the garret: the boxes were put away, and the Tree brought
out; they certainly threw him rather roughly on the floor, but a servant
dragged him away at once to the stairs, where the daylight shone.

"Now life is beginning again!" thought the Tree.

It felt the fresh air and the first sunbeams, and now it was out in the
courtyard. Everything passed so quickly that the Tree quite forgot to
look at itself, there was so much to look at all round. The courtyard
was close to a garden, and here everything was blooming; the roses hung
fresh and fragrant over the little paling, the linden trees were in
blossom, and the swallows cried, "Quinze-wit! quinze-wit! my husband's
come!" But it was not the Fir Tree that they meant.

"Now I shall live!" said the Tree, rejoicingly, and spread its branches
far out; but, alas! they were all withered and yellow; and it lay in the
corner among nettles and weeds. The tinsel star was still upon it, and
shone in the bright sunshine.

In the courtyard a couple of the merry children were playing who had
danced round the tree at Christmas time, and had rejoiced over it. One
of the youngest ran up and tore off the golden star.

"Look what is sticking to the ugly old fir tree!" said the child, and he
trod upon the branches till they cracked again under his boots.

And the Tree looked at all the blooming flowers and the splendor of the
garden, and then looked at itself, and wished it had remained in the
dark corner of the garret; it thought of its fresh youth in the wood, of
the merry Christmas Eve, and of the little Mice which had listened so
pleasantly to the story of Klumpey-Dumpey.

"Past! past!" said the old Tree. "Had I but rejoiced when I could have
done so! Past! past!"

And the servant came and chopped the Tree into little pieces; a whole
bundle lay there; it blazed brightly under the great brewing copper, and
it sighed deeply, and each sigh was like a little shot; and the children
who were at play there ran up and seated themselves at the fire, looked
into it, and cried "Puff! puff!" But at each explosion, which was a deep
sigh, the Tree thought of a summer day in the woods, or of a winter
night there, when the stars beamed; he thought of Christmas Eve and of
Klumpey-Dumpey, the only story he had ever heard or knew how to tell;
and then the Tree was burned.

The boys played in the garden, and the youngest had on his breast a
golden star, which the Tree had worn on its happiest evening. Now that
was past, and the Tree's life was past, and the story is past too: past!
past!--and that's the way with all stories.


        The tale that follows was one of the author's
        earliest stories, published in 1835. It is
        clearly based upon an old folk tale, one
        variant of which is "The Blue Light" from the
        Grimm collection (No. 174). "It was a lucky
        stroke," says Brandes, "that made Andersen the
        poet of children. After long fumbling, after
        unsuccessful efforts, which must necessarily
        throw a false and ironic light on the
        self-consciousness of a poet whose pride based
        its justification mainly on the expectancy of a
        future which he felt slumbering within his
        soul, after wandering about for long years,
        Andersen . . . one evening found himself in front
        of a little insignificant yet mysterious door,
        the door of the nursery story. He touched it,
        it yielded, and he saw, burning in the
        obscurity within, the little 'Tinder-Box' that
        became his Aladdin's lamp. He struck fire with
        it, and the spirits of the lamp--the dogs with
        eyes as large as tea-cups, as mill-wheels, as
        the round tower in Copenhagen--stood before him
        and brought him the three giant chests,
        containing all the copper, silver, and gold
        treasure stories of the nursery story. The
        first story had sprung into existence, and the
        'Tinder-Box' drew all the others onward in its
        train. Happy is he who has found his
        'tinder-box.'" The translation is by H. W.



There came a soldier marching along the high road--_one, two! one, two!_
He had his knapsack on his back and a saber by his side, for he had been
in the wars, and now he wanted to go home. And on the way he met with an
old witch; she was very hideous, and her under lip hung down upon her
breast. She said, "Good evening, soldier. What a fine sword you have,
and what a big knapsack! You're a proper soldier! Now you shall have as
much money as you like to have."

"I thank you, you old witch!" said the soldier.

"Do you see that great tree?" quoth the witch; and she pointed to a tree
which stood beside them. "It's quite hollow inside. You must climb to
the top, and then you'll see a hole, through which you can let yourself
down and get deep into the tree. I'll tie a rope round your body, so
that I can pull you up again when you call me."

"What am I to do down in the tree?" asked the soldier.

"Get money," replied the witch. "Listen to me. When you come down to the
earth under the tree, you will find yourself in a great hall: it is
quite light, for above three hundred lamps are burning there. Then you
will see three doors; those you can open, for the keys are hanging
there. If you go into the first chamber, you'll see a great chest in the
middle of the floor; on this chest sits a dog, and he's got a pair of
eyes as big as two tea-cups. But you need not care for that. I'll give
you my blue-checked apron, and you can spread it out upon the floor;
then go up quickly and take the dog, and set him on my apron; then open
the chest, and take as many shillings as you like. They are of copper:
if you prefer silver, you must go into the second chamber. But there
sits a dog with a pair of eyes as big as mill-wheels. But do not you
care for that. Set him upon my apron, and take some of the money. And if
you want gold, you can have that too--in fact, as much as you can
carry--if you go into the third chamber. But the dog that sits on the
money-chest there has two eyes as big as round towers. He is a fierce
dog, you may be sure; but you needn't be afraid, for all that. Only set
him on my apron, and he won't hurt you; and take out of the chest as
much gold as you like."

"That's not so bad," said the soldier. "But what am I to give you, old
witch? for you will not do it for nothing, I fancy."

"No," replied the witch, "not a single shilling will I have. You shall
only bring me an old tinder-box which my grandmother forgot when she was
down there last."

"Then tie the rope round my body," cried the soldier.

"Here it is," said the witch, "and here's my blue-checked apron."

Then the soldier climbed up into the tree, let himself slip down into
the hole, and stood, as the witch had said, in the great hall where the
three hundred lamps were burning.

Now he opened the first door. Ugh! there sat the dog with eyes as big as
tea-cups, staring at him. "You're a nice fellow!" exclaimed the soldier;
and he set him on the witch's apron, and took as many copper shillings
as his pockets would hold, and then locked the chest, set the dog on it
again, and went into the second chamber. Aha! there sat the dog with
eyes as big as mill-wheels.

"You should not stare so hard at me," said the soldier; "you might
strain your eyes." And he set the dog upon the witch's apron. And when
he saw the silver money in the chest, he threw away all the copper money
he had, and filled his pocket and his knapsack with silver only. Then he
went into the third chamber. Oh, but that was horrid! The dog there
really had eyes as big as towers, and they turned round and round in his
head like wheels.

"Good evening!" said the soldier; and he touched his cap, for he had
never seen such a dog as that before. When he had looked at him a little
more closely, he thought, "That will do," and lifted him down to the
floor, and opened the chest. Mercy! what a quantity of gold was there!
He could buy with it the whole town, and the sugar sucking-pigs of the
cake woman, and all the tin soldiers, whips, and rocking-horses in the
whole world. Yes, that was a quantity of money! Now the soldier threw
away all the silver coin with which he had filled his pockets and his
knapsack, and took gold instead: yes, all his pockets, his knapsack, his
boots, and his cap were filled, so that he could scarcely walk. Now
indeed he had plenty of money. He put the dog on the chest, shut the
door, and then called up through the tree, "Now pull me up, you old

"Have you the tinder-box?" asked the witch.

"Plague on it!" exclaimed the soldier, "I had clean forgotten that." And
he went and brought it.

The witch drew him up, and he stood on the high road again, with
pockets, boots, knapsack, and cap full of gold.

"What are you going to do with the tinder-box?" asked the soldier.

"That's nothing to you," retorted the witch. "You've had your
money--just give me the tinder-box."

"Nonsense!" said the soldier. "Tell me directly what you're going to do
with it, or I'll draw my sword and cut off your head."

"No!" cried the witch.

So the soldier cut off her head. There she lay! But he tied up all his
money in her apron, took it on his back like a bundle, put the
tinder-box in his pocket, and went straight off toward the town.

That was a splendid town! And he put up at the very best inn and asked
for the finest rooms, and ordered his favorite dishes, for now he was
rich, as he had so much money. The servant who had to clean his boots
certainly thought them a remarkably old pair for such a rich gentleman;
but he had not bought any new ones yet. The next day he procured proper
boots and handsome clothes. Now our soldier had become a fine gentleman;
and the people told him of all the splendid things which were in their
city, and about the King, and what a pretty Princess the King's daughter

"Where can one get to see her?" asked the soldier.

"She is not to be seen at all," said they, all together; "she lives in a
great copper castle, with a great many walls and towers round about it;
no one but the King may go in and out there, for it has been prophesied
that she shall marry a common soldier, and the King can't bear that."

"I should like to see her," thought the soldier; but he could not get
leave to do so. Now he lived merrily, went to the theater, drove in the
King's garden, and gave much money to the poor; and this was very kind
of him, for he knew from old times how hard it is when one has not a
shilling. Now he was rich, had fine clothes, and gained many friends,
who all said he was a rare one, a true cavalier; and that pleased the
soldier well. But as he spent money every day and never earned any, he
had at last only two shillings left; and he was obliged to turn out of
the fine rooms in which he had dwelt, and had to live in a little garret
under the roof, and clean his boots for himself, and mend them with a
darning-needle. None of his friends came to see him, for there were too
many stairs to climb.

It was quite dark one evening, and he could not even buy himself a
candle, when it occurred to him that there was a candle-end in the
tinder-box which he had taken out of the hollow tree into which the
witch had helped him. He brought out the tinder-box and the candle-end;
but as soon as he struck fire and the sparks rose up from the flint, the
door flew open, and the dog who had eyes as big as a couple of tea-cups,
and whom he had seen in the tree, stood before him, and said:

"What are my lord's commands?"

"What is this?" said the soldier. "That's a famous tinder-box, if I can
get everything with it that I want! Bring me some money," said he to the
dog: and _whisk!_ the dog was gone, and _whisk!_ he was back again, with
a great bag full of shillings in his mouth.

Now the soldier knew what a capital tinder-box this was. If he struck it
once, the dog came who sat upon the chest of copper money; if he struck
it twice, the dog came who had the silver; and if he struck it three
times, then appeared the dog who had the gold. Now the soldier moved
back into the fine rooms, and appeared again in handsome clothes; and
all his friends knew him again, and cared very much for him indeed.

Once he thought to himself, "It is a very strange thing that one cannot
get to see the Princess. They all say she is very beautiful; but what is
the use of that, if she has always to sit in the great copper castle
with the many towers? Can I not get to see her at all? Where is my
tinder-box?" And so he struck a light, and _whisk!_ came the dog with
eyes as big as tea-cups.

"It is midnight, certainly," said the soldier, "but I should very much
like to see the Princess, only for one little moment."

And the dog was outside the door directly, and, before the soldier
thought it, came back with the Princess. She sat upon the dog's back and
slept; and everyone could see she was a real Princess, for she was so
lovely. The soldier could not refrain from kissing her, for he was a
thorough soldier. Then the dog ran back again with the Princess. But
when morning came, and the King and Queen were drinking tea, the
Princess said she had had a strange dream, the night before, about a dog
and a soldier--that she had ridden upon the dog, and the soldier had
kissed her.

"That would be a fine history!" said the Queen.

So one of the old Court ladies had to watch the next night by the
Princess's bed, to see if this was really a dream, or what it might be.

The soldier had a great longing to see the lovely Princess again; so the
dog came in the night, took her away, and ran as fast as he could. But
the old lady put on water-boots, and ran just as fast after him. When
she saw that they both entered a great house, she thought, "Now I know
where it is"; and with a bit of chalk she drew a great cross on the
door. Then she went home and lay down, and the dog came up with the
Princess; but when he saw that there was a cross drawn on the door where
the soldier lived, he took a piece of chalk too, and drew crosses on all
the doors in the town. And that was cleverly done, for now the lady
could not find the right door, because all the doors had crosses upon

In the morning early came the King and the Queen, the old Court lady and
all the officers, to see where it was the Princess had been. "Here it
is!" said the King, when he saw the first door with a cross upon it.
"No, my dear husband, it is there!" said the Queen, who descried another
door which also showed a cross. "But there is one, and there is one!"
said all, for wherever they looked there were crosses on the doors. So
they saw that it would avail them nothing if they searched on.

But the Queen was an exceedingly clever woman, who could do more than
ride in a coach. She took her great gold scissors, cut a piece of silk
into pieces, and made a neat little bag: this bag she filled with fine
wheat flour, and tied it on the Princess's back; and when that was done,
she cut a little hole in the bag, so that the flour would be scattered
along all the way which the Princess should take.

In the night the dog came again, took the Princess on his back, and ran
with her to the soldier, who loved her very much, and would gladly have
been a prince, so that he might have her for his wife. The dog did not
notice at all how the flour ran out in a stream from the castle to the
windows of the soldier's house, where he ran up the wall with the
Princess. In the morning the King and Queen saw well enough where their
daughter had been, and they took the soldier and put him in prison.

There he sat. Oh, but it was dark and disagreeable there! And they said
to him, "To-morrow you shall be hanged." That was not amusing to hear,
and he had left his tinder-box at the inn. In the morning he could see,
through the iron grating of the little window, how the people were
hurrying out of the town to see him hanged. He heard the drums beat and
saw the soldiers marching. All the people were running out, and among
them was a shoemaker's boy with leather apron and slippers, and he
galloped so fast that one of his slippers flew off, and came right
against the wall where the soldier sat looking through the iron grating.

"Halloo, you shoemaker's boy! you needn't be in such a hurry," cried the
soldier to him: "it will not begin till I come. But if you will run to
where I lived, and bring me my tinder-box, you shall have four
shillings; but you must put your best leg foremost."

The shoemaker's boy wanted to get the four shillings, so he went and
brought the tinder-box, and--well, we shall hear now what happened.

Outside the town a great gallows had been built, and around it stood the
soldiers and many hundred thousand people. The King and Queen sat on a
splendid throne, opposite to the Judges and the whole Council. The
soldier already stood upon the ladder; but as they were about to put the
rope round his neck, he said that before a poor criminal suffered his
punishment an innocent request was always granted to him. He wanted very
much to smoke a pipe of tobacco, as it would be the last pipe he should
smoke in this world. The King would not say "No" to this; so the soldier
took his tinder-box and struck fire. One--two--three--! and there
suddenly stood all the dogs--the one with eyes as big as tea-cups, the
one with eyes as large as mill-wheels, and the one whose eyes were as
big as round towers.

"Help me now, so that I may not be hanged," said the soldier. And the
dogs fell upon the Judge and all the Council, seized one by the leg and
another by the nose, and tossed them all many feet into the air, so that
they fell down and were all broken to pieces.

"I won't!" cried the King; but the biggest dog took him and the Queen
and threw them after the others. Then the soldiers were afraid, and the
people cried, "Little soldier, you shall be our King, and marry the
beautiful Princess!"

So they put the soldier into the King's coach, and all the three dogs
darted on in front and cried "Hurrah!" and the boys whistled through
their fingers, and the soldiers presented arms. The Princess came out of
the copper castle, and became Queen, and she liked that well enough. The
wedding lasted a week, and the three dogs sat at the table too, and
opened their eyes wider than ever at all they saw.


        The following is one of Andersen's early
        stories, published in 1838. It has always been
        a great favorite. Whimsically odd couples, in
        this case so constant in their devotion to each
        other, seemed to appeal to Andersen. The
        romance of the Whip Top and the Ball in the
        little story "The Lovers" deals with another
        odd couple. "Constant" or "steadfast" are terms
        sometimes used in the different versions
        instead of "hardy," and, if they seem better to
        carry the meaning intended, teachers should
        feel free to substitute one of them in telling
        or reading the story. The translation is by H.
        W. Dulcken.



There were once five-and-twenty tin soldiers; they were all brothers,
for they had all been born of one old tin spoon. They shouldered their
muskets, and looked straight before them; their uniform was red and
blue, and very splendid. The first thing they had heard in the world,
when the lid was taken off their box, had been the words, "Tin
soldiers!" These words were uttered by a little boy, clapping his hands:
the soldiers had been given to him, for it was his birthday; and now he
put them upon the table. Each soldier was exactly like the rest; but one
of them had been cast last of all, and there had not been enough tin to
finish him; but he stood as firmly upon his one leg as the others on
their two; and it was just this Soldier who became remarkable.

On the table on which they had been placed stood many other playthings,
but the toy that attracted most attention was a neat castle of
cardboard. Through the little windows one could see straight into the
hall. Before the castle some little trees were placed round a little
looking-glass, which was to represent a clear lake. Waxen swans swam on
this lake, and were mirrored in it. This was all very pretty; but the
prettiest of all was a little lady, who stood at the open door of the
castle; she was also cut out in paper, but she had a dress of the
clearest gauze, and a little narrow blue ribbon over her shoulders, that
looked like a scarf; and in the middle of this ribbon was a shining
tinsel rose as big as her whole face. The little lady stretched out both
her arms, for she was a dancer; and then she lifted one leg so high that
the Tin Soldier could not see it at all, and thought that, like himself,
she had but one leg.

"That would be the wife for me," thought he; "but she is very grand. She
lives in a castle, and I have only a box, and there are five-and-twenty
of us in that. It is no place for her. But I must try to make
acquaintance with her."

And then he lay down at full length behind a snuff-box which was on the
table; there he could easily watch the little dainty lady, who continued
to stand upon one leg without losing her balance.

When the evening came all the other tin soldiers were put into their
box, and the people in the house went to bed. Now the toys began to play
at "visiting," and at "war," and "giving balls." The tin soldiers
rattled in their box, for they wanted to join, but could not lift the
lid. The nutcracker threw somersaults, and the pencil amused itself on
the table; there was so much noise that the canary woke up, and began to
speak too, and even in verse. The only two who did not stir from their
places were the Tin Soldier and the Dancing Lady: she stood straight up
on the point of one of her toes, and stretched out both her arms; and he
was just as enduring on his one leg; and he never turned his eyes away
from her.

Now the clock struck twelve--and, bounce! the lid flew off the
snuff-box; but there was no snuff in it, but a little black Goblin: you
see, it was a trick.

"Tin Soldier!" said the Goblin, "don't stare at things that don't
concern you."

But the Tin Soldier pretended not to hear him.

"Just you wait till to-morrow!" said the Goblin.

But when the morning came, and the children got up, the Tin Soldier was
placed in the window; and whether it was the Goblin or the draught that
did it, all at once the window flew open, and the Soldier fell head
over heels out of the third story. That was a terrible passage! He put
his leg straight up, and stuck with helmet downward and his bayonet
between the paving-stones.

The servant-maid and the little boy came down directly to look for him,
but though they almost trod upon him, they could not see him. If the
Soldier had cried out "Here I am!" they would have found him; but he did
not think it fitting to call out loudly, because he was in uniform.

Now it began to rain; the drops soon fell thicker, and at last it came
down into a complete stream. When the rain was past, two street boys
came by.

"Just look!" said one of them, "there lies a Tin Soldier. He must come
out and ride in the boat."

And they made a boat out of a newspaper, and put the Tin Soldier in the
middle of it, and so he sailed down the gutter, and the two boys ran
beside him and clapped their hands. Goodness preserve us! how the waves
rose in that gutter, and how fast the stream ran! But then it had been a
heavy rain. The paper boat rocked up and down, and sometimes turned
round so rapidly that the Tin Soldier trembled; but he remained firm,
and never changed countenance, and looked straight before him, and
shouldered his musket.

All at once the boat went into a long drain, and it became as dark as if
he had been in his box.

"Where am I going now?" he thought. "Yes, yes, that's the Goblin's
fault. Ah! if the little lady only sat here with me in the boat, it
might be twice as dark for what I should care."

Suddenly there came a great Water Rat, which lived under the drain.

"Have you a passport?" said the Rat. "Give me your passport."

But the Tin Soldier kept silence, and held his musket tighter than ever.

The boat went on, but the Rat came after it. Hu! how he gnashed his
teeth, and called out to the bits of straw and wood:

"Hold him! hold him! He hasn't paid toll--he hasn't shown his passport!"

But the stream became stronger and stronger. The Tin Soldier could see
the bright daylight where the arch ended; but he heard a roaring noise
which might well frighten a bolder man. Only think--just where the
tunnel ended, the drain ran into a great canal; and for him that would
have been as dangerous as for us to be carried down a great waterfall.

Now he was already so near it that he could not stop. The boat was
carried out, the poor Tin Soldier stiffening himself as much as he
could, and no one could say that he moved an eyelid. The boat whirled
round three or four times, and was full of water to the very edge--it
must sink. The Tin Soldier stood up to his neck in water, and the boat
sank deeper and deeper, and the paper was loosened more and more; and
now the water closed over the soldier's head. Then he thought of the
pretty little Dancer, and how he should never see her again; and it
sounded in the soldier's ears:

        Farewell, farewell, thou warrior brave,
          For this day thou must die!

And now the paper parted, and the Tin Soldier fell out; but at that
moment he was snapped up by a great fish.

Oh, how dark it was in that fish's body! It was darker yet than in the
drain tunnel; and then it was very narrow too. But the Tin Soldier
remained unmoved, and lay at full length shouldering his musket.

The fish swam to and fro; he made the most wonderful movements, and then
became quite still. At last something flashed through him like
lightning. The daylight shone quite clear, and a voice said aloud, "The
Tin Soldier!" The fish had been caught, carried to market, bought, and
taken into the kitchen, where the cook cut him open with a large knife.
She seized the Soldier round the body with both her hands and carried
him into the room, where all were anxious to see the remarkable man who
had traveled about in the inside of a fish; but the Tin Soldier was not
at all proud. They placed him on the table, and there--no! What curious
things may happen in the world. The Tin Soldier was in the very room in
which he had been before! He saw the same children, and the same toys
stood on the table; and there was the pretty castle with the graceful
little Dancer. She was still balancing herself on one leg, and held the
other extended in the air. She was hardy too. That moved the Tin
Soldier; he was very nearly weeping tin tears, but that would not have
been proper. He looked at her, but they said nothing to each other.

Then one of the little boys took the Tin Soldier and flung him into the
stove. He gave no reason for doing this. It must have been the fault of
the Goblin in the snuff-box.

The Tin Soldier stood there quite illuminated, and felt a heat that was
terrible; but whether this heat proceeded from the real fire or from
love he did not know. The colors had quite gone off from him; but
whether that had happened on the journey, or had been caused by grief,
no one could say. He looked at the little lady, she looked at him, and
he felt that he was melting; but he still stood firm, shouldering his
musket. Then suddenly the door flew open, and the draught of air caught
the Dancer, and she flew like a sylph just into the stove to the Tin
Soldier, and flashed up in a flame, and she was gone. Then the Tin
Soldier melted down into a lump; and when the servant-maid took the
ashes out next day, she found him in the shape of a little tin heart.
But of the Dancer nothing remained but the tinsel rose, and that was
burned as black as a coal.


        "The Ugly Duckling" has always been regarded as
        one of Andersen's most exquisite stories. No
        one can fail to notice the parallel that
        suggests itself between the successive stages
        in the duckling's history and those in
        Andersen's own life. In this story, remarks Dr.
        Brandes, "there is the quintessence of the
        author's entire life (melancholy, humor,
        martyrdom, triumph) and of his whole nature:
        the gift of observation and the sparkling
        intellect which he used to avenge himself upon
        folly and wickedness, the varied faculties
        which constitute his genius." The standards of
        judgment used by the ducks, the turkey, the
        hen, and the cat are all delightfully and
        humorously satirical of human stupidity and
        shortsightedness. The translation used is by H.
        W. Dulcken.



It was glorious out in the country. It was summer, and the cornfields
were yellow, and the oats were green; the hay had been put up in stacks
in the green meadows, and the stork went about on his long red legs, and
chattered Egyptian, for this was the language he had learned from his
good mother. All around the fields and meadows were great forests, and
in the midst of these forests lay deep lakes. Yes, it was really
glorious out in the country. In the midst of the sunshine there lay an
old farm, surrounded by deep canals, and from the wall down to the water
grew great burdocks, so high that little children could stand upright
under the loftiest of them. It was just as wild there as in the deepest
wood. Here sat a Duck upon her nest, for she had to hatch her young
ones; but she was almost tired out before the little ones came; and then
she so seldom had visitors. The other ducks liked better to swim about
in the canals than to run up to sit down under a burdock and cackle with

At last one eggshell after another burst open. "Piep! piep!" it cried,
and in all the eggs there were little creatures that stuck out their

"Rap! rap!" they said; and they all came rapping out as fast as they
could, looking all round them under the green leaves; and the mother let
them look as much as they chose, for green is good for the eyes.

"How wide the world is!" said the young ones, for they certainly had
much more room now than when they were in the eggs.

"Do you think this is all the world!" asked the mother. "That extends
far across the other side of the garden, quite into the parson's field,
but I have never been there yet. I hope you are all together," she
continued, and stood up. "No, I have not all. The largest egg still lies
there. How long is that to last? I am really tired of it." And she sat
down again.

"Well, how goes it?" asked an old Duck who had come to pay her a visit.

"It lasts a long time with that one egg," said the Duck who sat there.
"It will not burst. Now, only look at the others; are they not the
prettiest ducks one could possibly see? They are all like their father;
the bad fellow never comes to see me."

"Let me see the egg which will not burst," said the old visitor.
"Believe me, it is a turkey's egg. I was once cheated in that way, and
had much anxiety and trouble with the young ones, for they are afraid of
the water. I could not get them to venture in. I quacked and clucked,
but it was of no use. Let me see the egg. Yes, that's a turkey's egg!
Let it lie there, and you teach the other children to swim."

"I think I will sit on it a little longer," said the Duck. "I've sat so
long now that I can sit a few days more."

"Just as you please," said the old Duck; and she went away.

At last the great egg burst. "Piep! piep!" said the little one, and
crept forth. It was very large and very ugly. The Duck looked at it.

"It's a very large duckling," said she; "none of the others look like
that; can it really be a turkey chick? Now we shall soon find out. It
must go into the water, even if I have to thrust it in myself."

The next day the weather was splendidly bright, and the sun shone on all
the green trees. The Mother-Duck went down to the water with all her
little ones. Splash! she jumped into the water. "Quack! quack!" she
said, and then one duckling after another plunged in. The water closed
over their heads, but they came up in an instant, and swam capitally;
their legs went of themselves, and there they were, all in the water.
The ugly gray Duckling swam with them.

"No, it's not a turkey," said she; "look how well it can use its legs,
and how upright it holds itself. It is my own child! On the whole it's
quite pretty, if one looks at it rightly. Quack! quack! come with me,
and I'll lead you out into the great world, and present you in the
poultry-yard; but keep close to me, so that no one may tread on you; and
take care of the cats!"

And so they came into the poultry-yard. There was a terrible riot going
on in there, for two families were quarreling about an eel's head, and
the cat got it after all.

"See, that's how it goes in the world!" said the Mother-Duck; and she
whetted her beak, for she, too, wanted the eel's head. "Only use your
legs," she said. "See that you bustle about, and bow your heads before
the old Duck yonder. She's the grandest of all here; she's of Spanish
blood--that's why she's so fat; and do you see, she has a red rag round
her leg; that's something particularly fine, and the greatest
distinction a duck can enjoy; it signifies that one does not want to
lose her, and that she's to be recognized by man and beast. Shake
yourselves--don't turn in your toes; a well-brought-up Duck turns its
toes quite out, just like father and mother, so! Now bend your necks and
say 'Rap!'"

And they did so; but the other Ducks round about looked at them, and
said quite boldly:

"Look there! now we're to have these hanging on, as if there were not
enough of us already! And--fie--! how that Duckling yonder looks; we
won't stand that!" And one duck flew up immediately, and bit it in the

"Let it alone," said the mother; "it does no harm to anyone."

"Yes, but it's too large and peculiar," said the Duck who had bitten it;
"and therefore it must be buffeted."

"Those are pretty children that the mother has there," said the old Duck
with the rag round her leg. "They're all pretty but that one; that was a
failure. I wish she could alter it."

"That cannot be done, my lady," replied the Mother-Duck. "It is not
pretty, but it has a really good disposition, and swims as well as any
other; I may even say it swims better. I think it will grow up pretty,
and become smaller in time; it has lain too long in the egg, and
therefore is not properly shaped." And then she pinched it in the neck,
and smoothed its feathers. "Moreover, it is a drake," she said, "and
therefore it is not of so much consequence. I think he will be very
strong; he makes his way already."

"The other ducklings are graceful enough," said the old Duck. "Make
yourself at home; and if you find an eel's head, you may bring it me."

And now they were at home. But the poor Duckling which had crept last
out of the egg, and looked so ugly, was bitten and pushed and jeered, as
much by the ducks as by the chickens.

"It is too big!" they all said. And the turkey-cock, who had been born
with spurs, and therefore thought himself an Emperor, blew himself up
like a ship in full sail, and bore straight down upon it; then he
gobbled, and grew quite red in the face. The poor Duckling did not know
where it should stand or walk; it was quite melancholy, because it
looked ugly and was scoffed at by the whole yard.

So it went on the first day; and afterward it became worse and worse.
The poor Duckling was hunted about by every one; even its brothers and
sisters were quite angry with it, and said, "If the cat would only catch
you, you ugly creature!" And the mother said, "If you were only far
away!" And the ducks bit it, and the chickens beat it, and the girl who
had to feed the poultry kicked at it with her foot.

Then it ran and flew over the fence, and the little birds in the bushes
flew up in fear.

"That is because I am so ugly!" thought the Duckling; and it shut its
eyes, but flew no farther; thus it came out into the great moor, where
the Wild Ducks lived. Here it lay the whole night long; and it was weary
and downcast.

Toward morning the Wild Ducks flew up, and looked at their new

"What sort of a one are you?" they asked; and the Duckling turned in
every direction, and bowed as well as it could. "You are remarkably
ugly!" said the Wild Ducks. "But that is very indifferent to us, so long
as you do not marry into our family."

Poor thing! It certainly did not think of marrying, and only hoped to
obtain leave to lie among the reeds and drink some of the swamp-water.

Thus it lay two whole days; then came thither two Wild Geese, or,
properly speaking, two wild ganders. It was not long since each had
crept out of an egg, and that's why they were so saucy.

"Listen, comrade," said one of them. "You're so ugly that I like you.
Will you go with us, and become a bird of passage? Near here, in another
moor, there are a few sweet lovely wild geese, all unmarried, and all
able to say, 'Rap!' You've a chance of making your fortune, ugly as you

"Piff! paff!" resounded through the air; and the two ganders fell down
dead in the swamp, and the water became blood-red. "Piff! paff!" it
sounded again, and whole flocks of wild geese rose up from the reeds.
And then there was another report. A great hunt was going on. The
hunters were lying in wait all round the moor, and some were even
sitting up in the branches of the trees, which spread far over the
reeds. The blue smoke rose up like clouds among the dark trees, and was
wafted far away across the water; and the hunting dogs came--splash,
splash!--into the swamp, and the rushes and the reeds bent down on every
side. That was a fright for the poor Duckling! It turned its head, and
put it under its wing; but at that moment a frightful great dog stood
close by the Duckling. His tongue hung far out of his mouth and his eyes
gleamed horrible and ugly; he thrust out his nose close against the
Duckling, showed his sharp teeth, and--splash, splash!--on he went
without seizing it.

"Oh, Heaven be thanked!" sighed the Duckling. "I am so ugly that even
the dog does not like to bite me!"

And so it lay quite quiet, while the shots rattled through the reeds and
gun after gun was fired. At last, late in the day, silence was restored;
but the poor Duckling did not dare to rise up; it waited several hours
before it looked round, and then hastened away out of the moor as fast
as it could. It ran on over field and meadow; there was such a storm
raging that it was difficult to get from one place to another.

Toward evening the Duck came to a little miserable peasant's hut. This
hut was so dilapidated that it did not know on which side it should
fall; and that's why it remained standing. The storm whistled round the
Duckling in such a way that the poor creature was obliged to sit down,
to stand against it; and the tempest grew worse and worse. Then the
Duckling noticed that one of the hinges of the door had given way, and
the door hung so slanting that the Duckling could slip through the crack
into the room; and it did so.

Here lived a woman with her Tom Cat and her Hen. And the Tom Cat, whom
she called Sonnie, could arch his back and purr. He could even give out
sparks; but for that one had to stroke his fur the wrong way. The Hen
had quite little short legs, and therefore she was called
Chickabiddy-shortshanks; she laid good eggs, and the woman loved her as
her own child.

In the morning the strange Duckling was at once noticed, and the Tom Cat
began to purr, and the Hen to cluck.

"What's this?" said the woman, and looked all round; but she could not
see well, and therefore she thought the Duckling was a fat duck that had
strayed. "This is a rare prize," she said. "Now I shall have duck's
eggs. I hope it is not a drake. We must try that."

And so the Duckling was admitted on trial for three weeks; but no eggs
came. And the Tom Cat was master of the house, and the Hen was the lady,
and they always said, "We and the world!" for they thought they were
half the world, and by far the better half. The Duckling thought one
might have a different opinion, but the Hen would not allow it.

"Can you lay eggs?" she asked.


"Then you'll have the goodness to hold your tongue."

And the Tom Cat said, "Can you curve your back, and purr, and give out


"Then you cannot have any opinion of your own when sensible people are

And the Duckling sat in a corner and was melancholy; then the fresh air
and the sunshine streamed in; and it was seized with such a strange
longing to swim on the water that it could not help telling the Hen of

"What are you thinking of?" cried the Hen. "You have nothing to do;
that's why you have these fancies. Purr or lay eggs, and they will pass

"But it is so charming to swim on the water!" said the Duckling, "so
refreshing to let it close above one's head, and to dive down to the

"Yes, that must be a mighty pleasure, truly," quoth the Hen. "I fancy
you must have gone crazy. Ask the Cat about it--he's the cleverest
animal I know--ask him if he likes to swim on the water, or to dive
down: I won't speak about myself. Ask our mistress, the old woman; no
one in the world is cleverer than she. Do you think she has any desire
to swim, and to let the water close above her head?"

"You don't understand me," said the Duckling.

"We don't understand you? Then pray who is to understand you? You surely
don't pretend to be cleverer than the Tom Cat and the old woman--I won't
say anything of myself. Don't be conceited, child, and be grateful for
all the kindness you have received. Did you not get into a warm room,
and have you not fallen into company from which you may learn something?
But you are a chatterer, and it is not pleasant to associate with you.
You may believe me, I speak for your good. I tell you disagreeable
things, and by that one may always know one's true friends. Only take
care that you learn to lay eggs, or to purr and give out sparks!"

"I think I will go out into the wide world," said the Duckling.

"Yes, do go," replied the Hen.

And the Duckling went away. It swam on the water, and dived, but it was
slighted by every creature because of its ugliness.

Now came the autumn. The leaves in the forest turned yellow and brown;
the wind caught them so that they danced about, and up in the air it was
very cold. The clouds hung low, heavy with hail and snow-flakes, and on
the fence stood the raven, crying, "Croak! croak!" for mere cold; yes,
it was enough to make one feel cold to think of this. The poor little
Duckling certainly had not a good time. One evening--the sun was just
setting in his beauty--there came a whole flock of great handsome birds
out of the bushes; they were dazzlingly white, with long flexible necks;
they were swans. They uttered a very peculiar cry, spread forth their
glorious great wings, and flew away from that cold region to warmer
lands, to fair open lakes. They mounted so high, so high! and the ugly
little Duckling felt quite strange as it watched them. It turned round
and round in the water like a wheel, stretched out its neck toward them,
and uttered such a strange loud cry as frightened itself. Oh! it could
not forget those beautiful, happy birds; and so soon as it could see
them no longer, it dived down to the very bottom, and when it came up
again, it was quite beside itself. It knew not the name of those birds,
and knew not whither they were flying; but it loved them more than it
had ever loved anyone. It was not at all envious of them. How could it
think of wishing to possess such loveliness as they had? It would have
been glad if only the ducks would have endured its company--the poor
ugly creature!

And the winter grew cold, very cold! The Duckling was forced to swim
about in the water, to prevent the surface from freezing entirely; but
every night the hole in which it swam about became smaller and smaller.
It froze so hard that the icy covering crackled again; and the Duckling
was obliged to use its legs continually to prevent the hole from
freezing up. At last it became exhausted, and lay quite still, and thus
froze fast into the ice.

Early in the morning a peasant came by, and when he saw what had
happened, he took his wooden shoe, broke the ice-crust to pieces, and
carried the Duckling home to his wife. Then it came to itself again. The
children wanted to play with it; but the Duckling thought they would do
it an injury, and in its terror fluttered up into the milk-pan, so that
the milk spurted down into the room. The woman clapped her hands, at
which the Duckling flew down into the butter-tub, and then into the
meal-barrel and out again. How it looked then! The woman screamed, and
struck at it with the fire-tongs; the children tumbled over one another
in their efforts to catch the Duckling; and they laughed and screamed
finely. Happily the door stood open, and the poor creature was able to
slip out between the shrubs into the newly-fallen snow; and there it
lay quite exhausted.

But it would be too melancholy if I were to tell all the misery and care
which the Duckling had to endure in the hard winter. It lay out on the
moor among the reeds when the sun began to shine again and the larks to
sing; it was a beautiful spring.

Then all at once the Duckling could flap its wings; they beat the air
more strongly than before, and bore it strongly away; and before it well
knew how all this had happened, it found itself in a great garden, where
the elder trees smelt sweet, and bent their long green branches down to
the canal that wound through the region. Oh, here it was so beautiful,
such a gladness of spring! and from the thicket came three glorious
white swans; they rustled their wings, and swam lightly on the water.
The Duckling knew the splendid creatures, and felt oppressed by a
peculiar sadness.

"I will fly away to them, to the royal birds! and they will kill me,
because I, that am so ugly, dare to approach them. But it is of no
consequence! Better to be killed by _them_ than to be pursued by ducks,
and beaten by fowls, and pushed about by the girl who takes care of the
poultry-yard, and to suffer hunger in winter!" And it flew out into the
water, and swam toward the beautiful swans: these looked at it, and came
sailing down upon it with outspread wings. "Kill me!" said the poor
creature, and bent its head down upon the water, expecting nothing but
death. But what was this that it saw in the clear water? It beheld its
own image--and, lo! it was no longer a clumsy dark-gray bird, ugly and
hateful to look at, but--a swan.

It matters nothing if one was born in a duck-yard, if one has only lain
in a swan's egg.

It felt quite glad at all the need and misfortune it had suffered, now
it realized its happiness in all the splendor that surrounded it. And
the great swans swam round it, and stroked it with their beaks.

Into the garden came little children, who threw bread and corn into the
water; the youngest cried, "There is a new one!" and the other children
shouted joyously, "Yes, a new one has arrived!" And they clapped their
hands and danced about, and ran to their father and mother; and bread
and cake were thrown into the water; and they all said, "The new one is
the most beautiful of all! so young and handsome!" and the old swans
bowed their heads before him.

Then he felt quite ashamed, and hid his head under his wing, for he did
not know what to do; he was so happy, and yet not at all proud. He
thought how he had been persecuted and despised; and now he heard them
saying that he was the most beautiful of all the birds. Even the elder
tree bent its branches straight down into the water before him, and the
sun shone warm and mild. Then his wings rustled, he lifted his slender
neck, and cried rejoicingly from the depths of his heart:

"I never dreamed of so much happiness when I was still the Ugly


        One of the really successful modern attempts at
        telling new fairy stories was _Granny's
        Wonderful Chair_ (1857) by the blind poet
        Frances Browne (1816-1887). In spite of the
        obstacles due to blindness, poverty, and
        ill-health, she succeeded in educating herself,
        and after achieving some fame as a poet left
        her mountain village in county Donegal,
        Ireland, to make a literary career in Edinburgh
        and London. She published many volumes of
        poems, novels, and children's books. Only one
        of these is now much read or remembered, but it
        has taken a firm place in the affections of
        children. In _Granny's Wonderful Chair_ there
        are seven stories, set in an interesting
        framework which tells of the adventures of the
        little girl Snowflower and her chair at the
        court of King Winwealth. This chair had magic
        power to transport Snowflower wherever she
        wished to go, like the magic carpet in the
        _Arabian Nights_. When she laid down her head
        and said, "Chair of my grandmother, tell me a
        story," a clear voice from under the cushion
        would at once begin to speak. Besides the story
        that follows, two of the most satisfactory in
        the collection are "The Greedy Shepherd" and
        "The Story of Merrymind." Perhaps one of the
        secrets of their charm is in the power of
        visualization which the author possessed. The
        pictures are all clear and definite, yet
        touched with the glamor of fairyland.



Once upon a time there stood far away in the west country a town called
Stumpinghame. It contained seven windmills, a royal palace, a market
place, and a prison, with every other convenience befitting the capital
of a kingdom. A capital city was Stumpinghame, and its inhabitants
thought it the only one in the world. It stood in the midst of a great
plain, which for three leagues round its walls was covered with corn,
flax, and orchards. Beyond that lay a great circle of pasture land,
seven leagues in breadth, and it was bounded on all sides by a forest so
thick and old that no man in Stumpinghame knew its extent; and the
opinion of the learned was that it reached to the end of the world.

There were strong reasons for this opinion. First, that forest was known
to be inhabited time out of mind by the fairies, and no hunter cared to
go beyond its border--so all the west country believed it to be solidly
full of old trees to the heart. Secondly, the people of Stumpinghame
were no travelers--man, woman, and child had feet so large and heavy
that it was by no means convenient to carry them far. Whether it was the
nature of the place or the people, I cannot tell, but great feet had
been the fashion there time immemorial, and the higher the family the
larger were they. It was, therefore, the aim of everybody above the
degree of shepherds, and such-like rustics, to swell out and enlarge
their feet by way of gentility; and so successful were they in these
undertakings that, on a pinch, respectable people's slippers would have
served for panniers.

Stumpinghame had a king of its own, and his name was Stiffstep; his
family was very ancient and large-footed. His subjects called him Lord
of the World, and he made a speech to them every year concerning the
grandeur of his mighty empire. His queen, Hammerheel, was the greatest
beauty in Stumpinghame. Her majesty's shoe was not much less than a
fishing-boat; their six children promised to be quite as handsome, and
all went well with them till the birth of their seventh son.

For a long time nobody about the palace could understand what was the
matter--the ladies-in-waiting looked so astonished, and the king so
vexed; but at last it was whispered through the city that the queen's
seventh child had been born with such miserably small feet that they
resembled nothing ever seen or heard of in Stumpinghame, except the feet
of the fairies.

The chronicles furnished no example of such an affliction ever before
happening in the royal family. The common people thought it portended
some great calamity to the city; the learnèd men began to write books
about it; and all the relations of the king and queen assembled at the
palace to mourn with them over their singular misfortune. The whole
court and most of the citizens helped in this mourning, but when it had
lasted seven days they all found out it was of no use. So the relations
went to their homes, and the people took to their work. If the learnèd
men's books were written, nobody ever read them; and to cheer up the
queen's spirits, the young prince was sent privately out to the pasture
lands, to be nursed among the shepherds.

The chief man there was called Fleecefold, and his wife's name was Rough
Ruddy. They lived in a snug cottage with their son Blackthorn and their
daughter Brownberry, and were thought great people, because they kept
the king's sheep. Moreover, Fleecefold's family were known to be
ancient; and Rough Ruddy boasted that she had the largest feet in all
the pastures. The shepherds held them in high respect, and it grew still
higher when the news spread that the king's seventh son had been sent to
their cottage. People came from all quarters to see the young prince,
and great were the lamentations over his misfortune in having such small

The king and queen had given him fourteen names, beginning with
Augustus--such being the fashion in that royal family; but the honest
country people could not remember so many; besides, his feet were the
most remarkable thing about the child, so with one accord they called
him Fairyfoot. At first it was feared this might be high treason, but
when no notice was taken by the king or his ministers, the shepherds
concluded it was no harm, and the boy never had another name throughout
the pastures. At court it was not thought polite to speak of him at all.
They did not keep his birthday, and he was never sent for at Christmas,
because the queen and her ladies could not bear the sight. Once a year
the undermost scullion was sent to see how he did, with a bundle of his
next brother's cast-off clothes; and, as the king grew old and cross, it
was said he had thoughts of disowning him.

So Fairyfoot grew in Fleecefold's cottage. Perhaps the country air made
him fair and rosy--for all agreed that he would have been a handsome boy
but for his small feet, with which nevertheless he learned to walk, and
in time to run and to jump, thereby amazing everybody, for such doings
were not known among the children of Stumpinghame. The news of court,
however, traveled to the shepherds, and Fairyfoot was despised among
them. The old people thought him unlucky; the children refused to play
with him. Fleecefold was ashamed to have him in his cottage, but he
durst not disobey the king's orders. Moreover, Blackthorn wore most of
the clothes brought by the scullion. At last, Rough Ruddy found out that
the sight of such horrid jumping would make her children vulgar; and, as
soon as he was old enough, she sent Fairyfoot every day to watch some
sickly sheep that grazed on a wild, weedy pasture, hard by the forest.

Poor Fairyfoot was often lonely and sorrowful; many a time he wished his
feet would grow larger, or that people wouldn't notice them so much; and
all the comfort he had was running and jumping by himself in the wild
pasture, and thinking that none of the shepherds' children could do the
like, for all their pride of their great feet.

Tired of this sport, he was lying in the shadow of a mossy rock one warm
summer's noon, with the sheep feeding around, when a robin, pursued by a
great hawk, flew into the old velvet cap which lay on the ground beside
him. Fairyfoot covered it up, and the hawk, frightened by his shout,
flew away.

"Now you may go, poor robin!" he said, opening the cap: but instead of
the bird, out sprang a little man dressed in russet-brown, and looking
as if he were an hundred years old. Fairyfoot could not speak for
astonishment, but the little man said--

"Thank you for your shelter, and be sure I will do as much for you. Call
on me if you are ever in trouble; my name is Robin Goodfellow"; and
darting off, he was out of sight in an instant. For days the boy
wondered who that little man could be, but he told nobody, for the
little man's feet were as small as his own, and it was clear he would be
no favorite in Stumpinghame. Fairyfoot kept the story to himself, and at
last midsummer came. That evening was a feast among the shepherds. There
were bonfires on the hills, and fun in the villages. But Fairyfoot sat
alone beside his sheepfold, for the children of his village had refused
to let him dance with them about the bonfire, and he had gone there to
bewail the size of his feet, which came between him and so many good
things. Fairyfoot had never felt so lonely in all his life, and
remembering the little man, he plucked up spirit, and cried--

"Ho! Robin Goodfellow!"

"Here I am," said a shrill voice at his elbow; and there stood the
little man himself.

"I am very lonely, and no one will play with me, because my feet are not
large enough," said Fairyfoot.

"Come then and play with us," said the little man. "We lead the merriest
lives in the world, and care for nobody's feet; but all companies have
their own manners, and there are two things you must mind among us:
first, do as you see the rest doing; and secondly, never speak of
anything you may hear or see, for we and the people of this country have
had no friendship ever since large feet came in fashion."

"I will do that, and anything more you like," said Fairyfoot; and the
little man, taking his hand, led him over the pasture into the forest
and along a mossy path among old trees wreathed with ivy (he never knew
how far), till they heard the sound of music and came upon a meadow
where the moon shone as bright as day, and all the flowers of the
year--snowdrops, violets, primroses, and cowslips--bloomed together in
the thick grass. There were a crowd of little men and women, some clad
in russet color, but far more in green, dancing round a little well as
clear as crystal. And under great rose-trees which grew here and there
in the meadow, companies were sitting round low tables covered with cups
of milk, dishes of honey, and carved wooden flagons filled with clear
red wine. The little man led Fairyfoot up to the nearest table, handed
him one of the flagons, and said--

"Drink to the good company."

Wine was not very common among the shepherds of Stumpinghame, and the
boy had never tasted such drink as that before; for scarcely had it gone
down when he forgot all his troubles--how Blackthorn and Brownberry wore
his clothes, how Rough Ruddy sent him to keep the sickly sheep, and the
children would not dance with him: in short, he forgot the whole
misfortune of his feet, and it seemed to his mind that he was a king's
son, and all was well with him. All the little people about the well
cried--"Welcome! welcome!" and every one said--"Come and dance with me!"
So Fairyfoot was as happy as a prince, and drank milk and ate honey till
the moon was low in the sky, and then the little man took him by the
hand, and never stopped nor stayed till he was at his own bed of straw
in the cottage corner.

Next morning Fairyfoot was not tired for all his dancing. Nobody in the
cottage had missed him, and he went out with the sheep as usual; but
every night all that summer, when the shepherds were safe in bed, the
little man came and took him away to dance in the forest. Now he did not
care to play with the shepherds' children, nor grieve that his father
and mother had forgotten him, but watched the sheep all day, singing to
himself or plaiting rushes; and when the sun went down, Fairyfoot's
heart rejoiced at the thought of meeting that merry company.

The wonder was that he was never tired nor sleepy, as people are apt to
be who dance all night; but before the summer was ended Fairyfoot found
out the reason. One night, when the moon was full, and the last of the
ripe corn rustling in the fields, Robin Goodfellow came for him as
usual, and away they went to the flowery green. The fun there was high,
and Robin was in haste. So he only pointed to the carved cup from which
Fairyfoot every night drank the clear red wine.

"I am not thirsty, and there is no use losing time," thought the boy to
himself, and he joined the dance; but never in all his life did
Fairyfoot find such hard work as to keep pace with the company. Their
feet seemed to move like lightning, the swallows did not fly so fast or
turn so quickly. Fairyfoot did his best, for he never gave in easily,
but at length, his breath and strength being spent, the boy was glad to
steal away and sit down behind a mossy oak, where his eyes closed for
very weariness. When he awoke the dance was nearly over, but two little
ladies clad in green talked close beside him.

"What a beautiful boy!" said one of them. "He is worthy to be a king's
son. Only see what handsome feet he has!"

"Yes," said the other, with a laugh, that sounded spiteful; "they are
just like the feet Princess Maybloom had before she washed them in the
Growing Well. Her father has sent far and wide throughout the whole
country searching for a doctor to make them small again, but nothing in
this world can do it except the water of the Fair Fountain, and none but
I and the nightingales know where it is."

"One would not care to let the like be known," said the first little
lady: "there would come such crowds of these great coarse creatures of
mankind, nobody would have peace for leagues round. But you will surely
send word to the sweet princess!--she was so kind to our birds and
butterflies, and danced so like one of ourselves!"

"Not I, indeed!" said the spiteful fairy. "Her old skinflint of a father
cut down the cedar which I loved best in the whole forest, and made a
chest of it to hold his money in; besides, I never liked the
princess--everybody praised her so. But come, we shall be too late for
the last dance."

When they were gone, Fairyfoot could sleep no more with astonishment. He
did not wonder at the fairies admiring his feet, because their own were
much the same; but it amazed him that Princess Maybloom's father should
be troubled at hers growing large. Moreover, he wished to see that same
princess and her country, since there were really other places in the
world than Stumpinghame.

When Robin Goodfellow came to take him home as usual he durst not let
him know that he had overheard anything; but never was the boy so
unwilling to get up as on that morning, and all day he was so weary that
in the afternoon Fairyfoot fell asleep, with his head on a clump of
rushes. It was seldom that any one thought of looking after him and the
sickly sheep; but it so happened that towards evening the old shepherd,
Fleecefold, thought he would see how things went on in the pastures. The
shepherd had a bad temper and a thick staff, and no sooner did he catch
sight of Fairyfoot sleeping, and his flock straying away, than shouting
all the ill names he could remember, in a voice which woke up the boy,
he ran after him as fast as his great feet would allow; while Fairyfoot,
seeing no other shelter from his fury, fled into the forest, and never
stopped nor stayed till he reached the banks of a little stream.

Thinking it might lead him to the fairies' dancing-ground, he followed
that stream for many an hour, but it wound away into the heart of the
forest, flowing through dells, falling over mossy rocks, and at last
leading Fairyfoot, when he was tired and the night had fallen, to a
grove of great rose-trees, with the moon shining on it as bright as day,
and thousands of nightingales singing in the branches. In the midst of
that grove was a clear spring, bordered with banks of lilies, and
Fairyfoot sat down by it to rest himself and listen. The singing was so
sweet he could have listened for ever, but as he sat the nightingales
left off their songs, and began to talk together in the silence of the

"What boy is that," said one on a branch above him, "who sits so lonely
by the Fair Fountain? He cannot have come from Stumpinghame with such
small and handsome feet."

"No, I'll warrant you," said another, "he has come from the west
country. How in the world did he find the way?"

"How simple you are!" said a third nightingale. "What had he to do but
follow the ground-ivy which grows over height and hollow, bank and bush,
from the lowest gate of the king's kitchen garden to the root of this
rose-tree? He looks a wise boy, and I hope he will keep the secret, or
we shall have all the west country here, dabbling in our fountain, and
leaving us no rest to either talk or sing."

Fairyfoot sat in great astonishment at this discourse, but by and by,
when the talk ceased and the songs began, he thought it might be as well
for him to follow the ground-ivy, and see the Princess Maybloom, not to
speak of getting rid of Rough Ruddy, the sickly sheep, and the crusty
old shepherd. It was a long journey; but he went on, eating wild
berries by day, sleeping in the hollows of old trees by night, and never
losing sight of the ground-ivy, which led him over height and hollow,
bank and bush, out of the forest, and along a noble high road, with
fields and villages on every side, to a great city, and a low
old-fashioned gate of the king's kitchen-garden, which was thought too
mean for the scullions, and had not been opened for seven years.

There was no use knocking--the gate was overgrown with tall weeds and
moss; so, being an active boy, he climbed over, and walked through the
garden, till a white fawn came frisking by, and he heard a soft voice
saying sorrowfully--

"Come back, come back, my fawn! I cannot run and play with you now, my
feet have grown so heavy"; and looking round he saw the loveliest young
princess in the world, dressed in snow-white, and wearing a wreath of
roses on her golden hair; but walking slowly, as the great people did in
Stumpinghame, for her feet were as large as the best of them.

After her came six young ladies, dressed in white and walking slowly,
for they could not go before the princess; but Fairyfoot was amazed to
see that their feet were as small as his own. At once he guessed that
this must be the Princess Maybloom, and made her an humble bow, saying--

"Royal princess, I have heard of your trouble because your feet have
grown large; in my country that's all the fashion. For seven years past
I have been wondering what would make mine grow, to no purpose; but I
know of a certain fountain that will make yours smaller and finer than
ever they were, if the king, your father, gives you leave to come with
me, accompanied by two of your maids that are the least given to
talking, and the most prudent officer in all his household; for it would
grievously offend the fairies and the nightingales to make that fountain

When the princess heard that, she danced for joy in spite of her large
feet, and she and her six maids brought Fairyfoot before the king and
queen, where they sat in their palace hall, with all the courtiers
paying their morning compliments. The lords were very much astonished to
see a ragged, bare-footed boy brought in among them, and the ladies
thought Princess Maybloom must have gone mad; but Fairyfoot, making an
humble reverence, told his message to the king and queen, and offered to
set out with the princess that very day. At first the king would not
believe that there could be any use in his offer, because so many great
physicians had failed to give any relief. The courtiers laughed
Fairyfoot to scorn, the pages wanted to turn him out for an impudent
impostor, and the prime minister said he ought to be put to death for
high treason.

Fairyfoot wished himself safe in the forest again, or even keeping the
sickly sheep; but the queen, being a prudent woman, said--

"I pray your majesty to notice what fine feet this boy has. There may be
some truth in his story. For the sake of our only daughter, I will
choose two maids who talk the least of all our train, and my
chamberlain, who is the most discreet officer in our household. Let them
go with the princess; who knows but our sorrow may be lessened?"

After some persuasion the king consented, though all his councillors
advised the contrary. So the two silent maids, the discreet
chamberlain, and her fawn, which would not stay behind, were sent with
Princess Maybloom, and they all set out after dinner. Fairyfoot had hard
work guiding them along the track of the ground-ivy. The maids and the
chamberlain did not like the brambles and rough roots of the
forest--they thought it hard to eat berries and sleep in hollow trees;
but the princess went on with good courage, and at last they reached the
grove of rose-trees, and the spring bordered with lilies.

The chamberlain washed--and though his hair had been grey, and his face
wrinkled, the young courtiers envied his beauty for years after. The
maids washed--and from that day they were esteemed the fairest in all
the palace. Lastly, the princess washed also--it could make her no
fairer, but the moment her feet touched the water they grew less, and
when she had washed and dried them three times, they were as small and
finely-shaped as Fairyfoot's own. There was great joy among them, but
the boy said sorrowfully--

"Oh! if there had been a well in the world to make my feet large, my
father and mother would not have cast me off, nor sent me to live among
the shepherds."

"Cheer up your heart," said the Princess Maybloom; "if you want large
feet, there is a well in this forest that will do it. Last summer time I
came with my father and his foresters to see a great cedar cut down, of
which he meant to make a money chest. While they were busy with the
cedar, I saw a bramble branch covered with berries. Some were ripe and
some were green, but it was the longest bramble that ever grew; for the
sake of the berries, I went on and on to its root, which grew hard by a
muddy-looking well, with banks of dark green moss, in the deepest part
of the forest. The day was warm and dry and my feet were sore with the
rough ground, so I took off my scarlet shoes and washed my feet in the
well; but as I washed they grew larger every minute, and nothing could
ever make them less again. I have seen the bramble this day; it is not
far off, and as you have shown me the Fair Fountain, I will show you the
Growing Well."

Up rose Fairyfoot and Princess Maybloom, and went together till they
found the bramble, and came to where its root grew, hard by the
muddy-looking well, with banks of dark green moss in the deepest dell of
the forest. Fairyfoot sat down to wash, but at that minute he heard a
sound of music, and knew it was the fairies going to their dancing

"If my feet grow large," said the boy to himself, "how shall I dance
with them?" So, rising quickly, he took the Princess Maybloom by the
hand. The fawn followed them; the maids and the chamberlain followed it,
and all followed the music through the forest. At last they came to the
flowery green. Robin Goodfellow welcomed the company for Fairyfoot's
sake, and gave every one a drink of the fairies' wine. So they danced
there from sunset till the grey morning, and nobody was tired; but
before the lark sang, Robin Goodfellow took them all safe home, as he
used to take Fairyfoot.

There was great joy that day in the palace because Princess Maybloom's
feet were made small again. The king gave Fairyfoot all manner of fine
clothes and rich jewels; and when they heard his wonderful story, he and
the queen asked him to live with them and be their son. In process of
time Fairyfoot and Princess Maybloom were married, and still live
happily. When they go to visit at Stumpinghame, they always wash their
feet in the Growing Well, lest the royal family might think them a
disgrace, but when they come back, they make haste to the Fair Fountain;
and the fairies and the nightingales are great friends to them, as well
as the maids and the chamberlain, because they have told nobody about
it, and there is peace and quiet yet in the grove of rose-trees.


        The ill-fated Oscar Wilde (1856-1900) was born
        in Ireland, was educated at Oxford, came into
        great notoriety as the reputed leader of the
        "aesthetic movement," was prominent in the
        London literary world from 1885 to 1895, fell
        under the obloquy of most of his countrymen,
        and died in distressing circumstances in Paris.
        In addition to some remarkable plays, poems,
        and prose books, he wrote a number of unusual
        stories especially fascinating to children,
        which were collected under the title _The Happy
        Prince, and Other Tales_. These stories were at
        once recognized as classic in quality. While
        they contain much implied criticism of certain
        features of modern civilization, the whole tone
        is so idealistic and the workmanship so fine
        that they convey no strong note of bitterness
        to the child. "The Happy Prince" suggests that
        Wilde saw on the one hand "the white faces of
        starving children looking out listlessly at the
        black streets"; while on the other hand he saw
        the Pyramids, marble angels sculptured on the
        cathedral tower, and the gold-covered statue of
        the Prince of the Palace of the Care-Free.
        Wilde also suggests a remedy for the starvation
        and wretchedness that exist, especially among
        children, in most cities where great wealth is
        displayed. The important thing in presenting
        this story to children is to get the full
        sympathetic response due to the sacrifice made
        by the Happy Prince and the little swallow. So
        much of the effect depends upon the wonderful
        beauty of the language that teachers will, as a
        rule, get better results from reading or
        reciting than from any kind of oral paraphrase.
        Another story in this same volume widely and
        successfully used by teachers is the one called
        "The Selfish Giant."



High above the city, on a tall column, stood the statue of the Happy
Prince. He was gilded all over with thin leaves of fine gold, for eyes
he had two bright sapphires, and a large red ruby glowed on his

He was very much admired indeed. "He is as beautiful as a weathercock,"
remarked one of the Town Councillors who wished to gain a reputation for
having artistic tastes; "only not quite so useful," he added, fearing
lest people should think him unpractical, which he really was not.

"Why can't you be like the Happy Prince?" asked a sensible mother of her
little boy who was crying for the moon. "The Happy Prince never dreams
of crying for anything."

"I am glad there is some one in the world who is quite happy," muttered
a disappointed man as he gazed at the wonderful statue.

"He looks just like an angel," said the Charity Children as they came
out of the cathedral in their bright scarlet cloaks and their clean
white pinafores.

"How do you know?" said the Mathematical Master; "you have never seen

"Ah! but we have, in our dreams," answered the children; and the
Mathematical Master frowned and looked very severe, for he did not
approve of children dreaming.

One night there flew over the city a Little Swallow. His friends had
gone away to Egypt six weeks before, but he had stayed behind, for he
was in love with the most beautiful Reed. He had met her early in the
spring as he was flying down the river after a big yellow moth, and had
been so attracted by her slender waist that he had stopped to talk to

"Shall I love you?" said the Swallow, who liked to come to the point at
once, and the Reed made him a low bow. So he flew round and round her,
touching the water with his wings, and making silver ripples. This was
his courtship, and it lasted all through the summer.

"It is a ridiculous attachment," twittered the other Swallows; "she has
no money, and far too many relations"; and indeed the river was quite
full of Reeds. Then when the autumn came they all flew away.

After they had gone he felt lonely, and began to tire of his lady-love.
"She has no conversation," he said, "and I am afraid that she is a
coquette, for she is always flirting with the wind." And certainly,
whenever the wind blew, the Reed made the most graceful curtseys. "I
admit that she is domestic," he continued, "but I love traveling, and my
wife, consequently, should love traveling also."

"Will you come away with me?" he said finally to her; but the Reed shook
her head, she was so attached to her home.

"You have been trifling with me," he cried. "I am off to the Pyramids.
Good-bye!" and he flew away.

All day long he flew, and at night-time he arrived at the city. "Where
shall I put up?" he said; "I hope the town has made preparations."

Then he saw the statue on the tall column.

"I will put up there," he cried; "it is a fine position, with plenty of
fresh air." So he alighted just between the feet of the Happy Prince.

"I have a golden bedroom," he said softly to himself as he looked round,
and he prepared to go to sleep; but just as he was putting his head
under his wing a large drop of water fell on him. "What a curious
thing!" he cried; "there is not a single cloud in the sky, the stars are
quite clear and bright, and yet it is raining. The climate in the north
of Europe is really dreadful. The Reed used to like the rain, but that
was merely her selfishness."

Then another drop fell.

"What is the use of a statue if it cannot keep the rain off?" he said;
"I must look for a good chimney-pot," and he determined to fly away.

But before he had opened his wings, a third drop fell, and he looked up,
and saw--Ah! what did he see?

The eyes of the Happy Prince were filled with tears, and tears were
running down his golden cheeks. His face was so beautiful in the
moonlight that the little Swallow was filled with pity.

"Who are you?" he said.

"I am the Happy Prince."

"Why are you weeping then?" asked the Swallow; "you have quite drenched

"When I was alive and had a human heart," answered the statue, "I did
not know what tears were, for I lived in the Palace of Sans-Souci, where
sorrow is not allowed to enter. In the daytime I played with my
companions in the garden, and in the evening I led the dance in the
Great Hall. Round the garden ran a very lofty wall, but I never cared to
ask what lay beyond it, everything about me was so beautiful. My
courtiers called me the Happy Prince, and happy indeed I was, if
pleasure be happiness. So I lived, and so I died. And now that I am dead
they have set me up here so high that I can see all the ugliness and all
the misery of my city, and though my heart is made of lead yet I cannot
choose but weep."

"What! is he not solid gold?" said the Swallow to himself. He was too
polite to make any personal remarks out loud.

"Far away," continued the statue in a low musical voice, "far away in a
little street there is a poor house. One of the windows is open, and
through it I can see a woman seated at a table. Her face is thin and
worn, and she has coarse, red hands, all pricked by the needle, for she
is a seamstress. She is embroidering passion-flowers on a satin gown for
the loveliest of the Queen's maids-of-honor to wear at the next
Court-ball. In a bed in the corner of the room her little boy is lying
ill. He has a fever, and is asking for oranges. His mother has nothing
to give him but river water, so he is crying. Swallow, Swallow, little
Swallow, will you not take her the ruby out of my sword-hilt? My feet
are fastened to this pedestal and I cannot move."

"I am waited for in Egypt," said the Swallow. "My friends are flying up
and down the Nile, and talking to the large lotus-flowers. Soon they
will go to sleep in the tomb of the great King. The King is there
himself in his painted coffin. He is wrapped in yellow linen, and
embalmed with spices. Round his neck is a chain of pale green jade, and
his hands are like withered leaves."

"Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow," said the Prince, "will you not stay
with me for one night, and be my messenger? The boy is so thirsty, and
the mother so sad."

"I don't think I like boys," answered the Swallow. "Last summer, when I
was staying on the river, there were two rude boys, the miller's sons,
who were always throwing stones at me. They never hit me, of course; we
swallows fly far too well for that, and besides, I come of a family
famous for its agility; but still, it was a mark of disrespect."

But the Happy Prince looked so sad that the little Swallow was sorry.
"It is very cold here," he said; "but I will stay with you for one
night, and be your messenger."

"Thank you, little Swallow," said the Prince.

So the Swallow picked out the great ruby from the Prince's sword, and
flew away with it in his beak over the roofs of the town.

He passed by the cathedral tower, where the white marble angels were
sculptured. He passed by the palace and heard the sound of dancing. A
beautiful girl came out on the balcony with her lover. "How wonderful
the stars are," he said to her, "and how wonderful is the power of

"I hope my dress will be ready in time for the State-ball," she
answered; "I have ordered passion-flowers to be embroidered on it; but
the seamstresses are so lazy."

He passed over the river, and saw the lanterns hanging to the masts of
the ships. He passed over the Ghetto, and saw the old Jews bargaining
with each other, and weighing out money in copper scales. At last he
came to the poor house and looked in. The boy was tossing feverishly on
his bed, and the mother had fallen asleep, she was so tired. In he
hopped, and laid the great ruby on the table beside the woman's thimble.
Then he flew gently round the bed, fanning the boy's forehead with his
wings. "How cool I feel," said the boy. "I must be getting better"; and
he sank into a delicious slumber.

Then the Swallow flew back to the Happy Prince, and told him what he had
done. "It is curious," he remarked, "but I feel quite warm now, although
it is so cold."

"That is because you have done a good action," said the Prince. And the
little Swallow began to think, and then he fell asleep. Thinking always
made him sleepy.

When day broke he flew down to the river and had a bath. "What a
remarkable phenomenon," said the Professor of Ornithology as he was
passing over the bridge. "A swallow in winter!" And he wrote a long
letter about it to the local newspaper. Every one quoted it, it was full
of so many words that they could not understand.

"To-night I go to Egypt," said the Swallow, and he was in high spirits
at the prospect. He visited all the public monuments, and sat a long
time on top of the church steeple. Wherever he went the Sparrows
chirruped, and said to each other, "What a distinguished stranger!" so
he enjoyed himself very much.

When the moon rose he flew back to the Happy Prince. "Have you any
commissions for Egypt?" he cried; "I am just starting."

"Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow," said the Prince, "will you not stay
with me one night longer?"

"I am waited for in Egypt," answered the Swallow. "To-morrow my friends
will fly up to the Second Cataract. The river-horse couches there among
the bulrushes, and on a great granite throne sits the God Memnon. All
night long he watches the stars, and when the morning star shines he
utters one cry of joy, and then he is silent. At noon the yellow lions
come down to the water's edge to drink. They have eyes like green
beryls, and their roar is louder than the roar of the cataract."

"Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow," said the Prince, "far away across
the city I see a young man in a garret. He is leaning over a desk
covered with papers, and in a tumbler by his side there is a bunch of
withered violets. His hair is brown and crisp, and his lips are red as a
pomegranate, and he has large and dreamy eyes. He is trying to finish a
play for the Director of the Theatre, but he is too cold to write any
more. There is no fire in the grate, and hunger has made him faint."

"I will wait with you one night longer," said the Swallow, who really
had a good heart. "Shall I take him another ruby?"

"Alas! I have no ruby now," said the Prince; "my eyes are all that I
have left. They are made of rare sapphires, which were brought out of
India a thousand years ago. Pluck out one of them and take it to him. He
will sell it to the jeweller, and buy food and firewood, and finish his

"Dear Prince," said the Swallow, "I cannot do that"; and he began to

"Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow," said the Prince, "do as I command

So the Swallow plucked out the Prince's eye, and flew away to the
student's garret. It was easy enough to get in, as there was a hole in
the roof. Through this he darted, and came into the room. The young man
had his head buried in his hands, so he did not hear the flutter of the
bird's wings, and when he looked up he found the beautiful sapphire
lying on the withered violets.

"I am beginning to be appreciated," he cried; "this is from some great
admirer. Now I can finish my play," and he looked quite happy.

The next day the Swallow flew down to the harbor. He sat on the mast of
a large vessel and watched the sailors hauling big chests out of the
hold with ropes. "Heave a-hoy!" they shouted as each chest came up. "I
am going to Egypt!" cried the Swallow, but nobody minded, and when the
moon rose he flew back to the Happy Prince.

"I am come to bid you good-bye," he cried.

"Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow," said the Prince, "will you not stay
with me one night longer?"

"It is winter," answered the Swallow, "and the chill snow will soon be
here. In Egypt the sun is warm on the green palm-trees, and the
crocodiles lie in the mud and look lazily about them. My companions are
building a nest in the Temple of Baalbec, and the pink and white doves
are watching them, and cooing to each other. Dear Prince, I must leave
you, but I will never forget you, and next spring I will bring you back
two beautiful jewels in place of those you have given away. The ruby
shall be redder than a red rose, and the sapphire shall be as blue as
the great sea."

"In the square below," said the Happy Prince, "there stands a little
match-girl. She has let her matches fall in the gutter, and they are all
spoiled. Her father will beat her if she does not bring home some money,
and she is crying. She has no shoes or stockings, and her little head is
bare. Pluck out my other eye, and give it to her, and her father will
not beat her."

"I will stay with you one night longer," said the Swallow, "but I cannot
pluck out your eye. You would be quite blind then."

"Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow," said the Prince, "do as I command

So he plucked out the Prince's other eye, and darted down with it. He
swooped past the match-girl, and slipped the jewel into the palm of her
hand. "What a lovely bit of glass," cried the little girl; and she ran
home, laughing.

Then the Swallow came back to the Prince. "You are blind now," he said,
"so I will stay with you always."

"No, little Swallow," said the poor Prince, "you must go away to Egypt."

"I will stay with you always," said the Swallow, and he slept at the
Prince's feet.

All the next day he sat on the Prince's shoulder, and told him stories
of what he had seen in strange lands. He told him of the red ibises, who
stand in long rows on the banks of the Nile, and catch goldfish in their
beaks; of the Sphinx, who is as old as the world itself, and lives in
the desert, and knows everything; of the merchants, who walk slowly by
the side of their camels, and carry amber beads in their hands; of the
King of the Mountains of the Moon, who is as black as ebony, and
worships a large crystal; of the great green snake that sleeps in a
palm-tree, and has twenty priests to feed it with honey-cakes; and of
the pygmies who sail over a big lake on large flat leaves, and are
always at war with the butterflies.

"Dear little Swallow," said the Prince, "you tell me of marvelous
things, but more marvelous than anything is the suffering of men and of
women. There is no Mystery so great as Misery. Fly over my city, little
Swallow, and tell me what you see there."

So the Swallow flew over the great city, and saw the rich making merry
in their beautiful houses, while the beggars were sitting at the gates.
He flew into dark lanes, and saw the white faces of starving children
looking out listlessly at the black streets. Under the archway of a
bridge two little boys were lying in one another's arms to try to keep
themselves warm. "How hungry we are!" they said. "You must not lie
here," shouted the Watchman, and they wandered out into the rain.

Then he flew back and told the Prince what he had seen.

"I am covered with fine gold," said the Prince; "you must take it off,
leaf by leaf, and give it to my poor; the living always think that gold
can make them happy."

Leaf after leaf of the fine gold the Swallow picked off, till the Happy
Prince looked quite dull and grey. Leaf after leaf of the fine gold he
brought to the poor, and the children's faces grew rosier, and they
laughed and played games in the street. "We have bread now!" they cried.

Then the snow came, and after the snow came the frost. The streets
looked as if they were made of silver, they were so bright and
glistening; long icicles like crystal daggers hung down from the eaves
of the houses, everybody went about in furs, and the little boys wore
scarlet caps and skated on the ice.

The poor little Swallow grew colder and colder, but he would not leave
the Prince; he loved him too well. He picked up crumbs outside the
baker's door when the baker was not looking, and tried to keep himself
warm by flapping his wings.

But at last he knew that he was going to die. He had just strength to
fly up to the Prince's shoulder once more. "Good-bye, dear Prince!" he
murmured, "will you let me kiss your hand?"

"I am glad that you are going to Egypt at last, little Swallow," said
the Prince. "You have stayed too long here; but you must kiss me on the
lips, for I love you."

"It is not to Egypt that I am going," said the Swallow. "I am going to
the House of Death. Death is the brother of Sleep, is he not?"

And he kissed the Happy Prince on the lips, and fell down dead at his

At that moment a curious crack sounded inside the statue, as if
something had suddenly broken. The fact is that the leaden heart had
snapped right in two. It certainly was a dreadfully hard frost.

Early the next morning the Mayor was walking in the square below in
company with the Town Councillors. As they passed the column he looked
up at the statue: "Dear me! how shabby the Happy Prince looks!" he said.

"How shabby indeed!" cried the Town Councillors, who always agreed with
the Mayor; and they went up to look at it.

"The ruby has fallen out of his sword, his eyes are gone, and he is
golden no longer," said the Mayor; "in fact, he is little better than a

"Little better than a beggar," said the Town Councillors.

"And here is actually a dead bird at his feet!" continued the Mayor.
"We must really issue a proclamation that birds are not to be allowed
to die here." And the Town Clerk made a note of the suggestion.

So they pulled down the statue of the Happy Prince. "As he is no longer
beautiful he is no longer useful," said the Art Professor at the

Then they melted the statue in a furnace, and the Mayor held a meeting
of the Corporation to decide what was to be done with the metal. "We
must have another statue, of course," he said, "and it shall be a statue
of myself."

"Of myself," said each of the Town Councillors, and they quarrelled.
When I last heard of them they were quarreling still.

"What a strange thing!" said the overseer of the workmen at the foundry.
"This broken lead heart will not melt in the furnace. We must throw it
away." So they threw it on a dustheap where the dead Swallow was also

"Bring me the two most precious things in the city," said God to one of
His Angels; and the Angel brought Him the leaden heart and the dead

"You have rightly chosen," said God, "for in my garden of Paradise this
little bird shall sing for evermore, and in my city of gold the Happy
Prince shall praise me."


        Two stories of unusual interest and charm for
        children are found in the collection of eleven
        by Raymond M. Alden (1873--), _Why the Chimes
        Rang_. One is the title story of the volume;
        the other is "The Knights of the Silver
        Shield." The latter follows by permission of
        the publishers, The Bobbs-Merrill Co.,
        Indianapolis. (Copyright, 1906, 1908.) It is of
        striking dramatic interest and emphasizes a
        much-needed quality of character, the
        importance of a loyal performance of the
        lowlier duties of life. The salvation of a
        nation may depend upon the humble guardian of
        the gate quite as much as upon those who are
        engaged in the more spectacular struggle with
        giants. Mr. Alden is a scholarly professor of
        literature in Leland Stanford Jr. University,
        and it may interest the reader to know that he
        is the son of the author of the _Pansy Books_,
        a type of religious or Sunday-school fiction
        widely read throughout the country by a
        generation or two of young people.



There was once a splendid castle in a forest, with great stone walls and
a high gateway, and turrets that rose away above the tallest trees. The
forest was dark and dangerous, and many cruel giants lived in it; but in
the castle was a company of knights, who were kept there by the king of
the country, to help travelers who might be in the forest and to fight
with the giants whenever they could.

Each of these knights wore a beautiful suit of armor and carried a long
spear, while over his helmet there floated a great red plume that could
be seen a long way off by any one in distress. But the most wonderful
thing about the knights' armor was their shields. They were not like
those of other knights, but had been made by a great magician who had
lived in the castle many years before. They were made of silver, and
sometimes shone in the sunlight with dazzling brightness; but at other
times the surface of the shields would be clouded as though by a mist,
and one could not see his face reflected there as he could when they
shone brightly.

Now, when each young knight received his spurs and his armor, a new
shield was also given him from among those that the magician had made;
and when the shield was new its surface was always cloudy and dull. But
as the knight began to do service against the giants, or went on
expeditions to help poor travelers in the forest, his shield grew
brighter and brighter, so that he could see his face clearly reflected
in it. But if he proved to be a lazy or cowardly knight, and let the
giants get the better of him, or did not care what became of the
travelers, then the shield grew more and more cloudy, until the knight
became ashamed to carry it.

But this was not all. When any one of the knights fought a particularly
hard battle, and won the victory, or when he went on some hard errand
for the lord of the castle, and was successful, not only did his silver
shield grow brighter, but when one looked into the center of it he could
see something like a golden star shining in its very heart. This was the
greatest honor that a knight could achieve, and the other knights always
spoke of such a one as having "won his star." It was usually not till he
was pretty old and tried as a soldier that he could win it. At the time
when this story begins, the lord of the castle himself was the only one
of the knights whose shield bore the golden star.

There came a time when the worst of the giants in the forest gathered
themselves together to have a battle against the knights. They made a
camp in a dark hollow not far from the castle, and gathered all their
best warriors together, and all the knights made ready to fight them.
The windows of the castle were closed and barred; the air was full of
the noise of armor being made ready for use; and the knights were so
excited that they could scarcely rest or eat.

Now there was a young knight in the castle, named Sir Roland, who was
among those most eager for the battle. He was a splendid warrior, with
eyes that shone like stars whenever there was anything to do in the way
of knightly deeds. And although he was still quite young, his shield had
begun to shine enough to show plainly that he had done bravely in some
of his errands through the forest. This battle, he thought, would be the
great opportunity of his life. And on the morning of the day when they
were to go forth to it, and all the knights assembled in the great hall
of the castle to receive the commands of their leaders, Sir Roland hoped
that he would be put in the most dangerous place of all, so that he
could show what knightly stuff he was made of.

But when the lord of the castle came to him, as he went about in full
armor giving his commands, he said: "One brave knight must stay behind
and guard the gateway of the castle, and it is you, Sir Roland, being
one of the youngest, whom I have chosen for this."

At these words Sir Roland was so disappointed that he bit his lip and
closed his helmet over his face so that the other knights might not see
it. For a moment he felt as if he must reply angrily to the commander
and tell him that it was not right to leave so sturdy a knight behind
when he was eager to fight. But he struggled against this feeling and
went quietly to look after his duties at the gate. The gateway was high
and narrow, and was reached from outside by a high, narrow bridge that
crossed the moat, which surrounded the castle on every side. When an
enemy approached, the knight on guard rang a great bell just inside the
gate, and the bridge was drawn up against the castle wall, so that no
one could come across the moat. So the giants had long ago given up
trying to attack the castle itself.

To-day the battle was to be in the dark hollow in the forest, and it was
not likely that there would be anything to do at the castle gate, except
to watch it like a common doorkeeper. It was not strange that Sir Roland
thought some one else might have done this.

Presently all the other knights marched out in their flashing armor,
their red plumes waving over their heads, and their spears in their
hands. The lord of the castle stopped only to tell Sir Roland to keep
guard over the gate until they had all returned and to let no one enter.
Then they went into the shadows of the forest and were soon lost to

Sir Roland stood looking after them long after they had gone, thinking
how happy he would be if he were on the way to battle like them. But
after a little he put this out of his mind and tried to think of
pleasanter things. It was a long time before anything happened, or any
word came from the battle.

At last Sir Roland saw one of the knights come limping down the path to
the castle, and he went out on the bridge to meet him. Now this knight
was not a brave one, and he had been frightened away as soon as he was

"I have been hurt," he said, "so that I can not fight any more. But I
could watch the gate for you, if you would like to go back in my place."

At first Sir Roland's heart leaped with joy at this, but then he
remembered what the commander had told him on going away, and he said:

"I should like to go, but a knight belongs where his commander has put
him. My place is here at the gate, and I can not open it even for you.
Your place is at the battle."

The knight was ashamed when he heard this, and he presently turned about
and went into the forest again.

So Sir Roland kept guard silently for another hour. Then there came an
old beggar woman down the path to the castle and asked Sir Roland if she
might come in and have some food. He told her that no one could enter
the castle that day, but that he would send a servant out to her with
food, and that she might sit and rest as long as she would.

"I have been past the hollow in the forest where the battle is going
on," said the old woman, while she was waiting for her food.

"And how do you think it is going?" asked Sir Roland.

"Badly for the knights, I am afraid," said the old woman. "The giants
are fighting as they have never fought before. I should think you had
better go and help your friends."

"I should like to, indeed," said Sir Roland. "But I am set to guard the
gateway of the castle and can not leave."

"One fresh knight would make a great difference when they are all weary
with fighting," said the old woman. "I should think that, while there
are no enemies about, you would be much more useful there."

"You may well think so," said Sir Roland, "and so may I; but it is
neither you nor I that is commander here."

"I suppose," said the old woman then, "that you are one of the kind of
knights who like to keep out of fighting. You are lucky to have so good
an excuse for staying at home." And she laughed a thin and taunting

Then Sir Roland was very angry, and thought that if it were only a man
instead of a woman, he would show him whether he liked fighting or no.
But as it was a woman, he shut his lips and set his teeth hard together,
and as the servant came just then with the food he had sent for, he gave
it to the old woman quickly and shut the gate that she might not talk to
him any more.

It was not very long before he heard some one calling outside. Sir
Roland opened the gate and saw standing at the other end of the
drawbridge a little old man in a long black cloak. "Why are you knocking
here?" he said. "The castle is closed to-day."

"Are you Sir Roland?" said the little old man.

"Yes," said Sir Roland.

"Then you ought not to be staying here when your commander and his
knights are having so hard a struggle with the giants, and when you have
the chance to make of yourself the greatest knight in this kingdom.
Listen to me! I have brought you a magic sword."

As he said this, the old man drew from under his coat a wonderful sword
that flashed in the sunlight as if it were covered with diamonds. "This
is the sword of all swords," he said, "and it is for you, if you will
leave your idling here by the castle gate and carry it to the battle.
Nothing can stand before it. When you lift it the giants will fall back,
your master will be saved, and you will be crowned the victorious
knight--the one who will soon take his commander's place as lord of the

Now Sir Roland believed that it was a magician who was speaking to him,
for it certainly appeared to be a magic sword. It seemed so wonderful
that the sword should be brought to him, that he reached out his hand as
though he would take it, and the little old man came forward, as though
he would cross the drawbridge into the castle. But as he did so, it came
to Sir Roland's mind again that that bridge and the gateway had been
intrusted to him, and he called out "No!" to the old man, so that he
stopped where he was standing. But he waved the shining sword in the air
again, and said: "It is for you! Take it, and win the victory!"

Sir Roland was really afraid that if he looked any longer at the sword
or listened to any more words of the old man, he would not be able to
hold himself within the castle. For this reason he struck the great bell
at the gateway, which was the signal for the servants inside to pull in
the chains of the drawbridge, and instantly they began to pull, and the
drawbridge came up, so that the old man could not cross it to enter the
castle, nor Sir Roland to go out.

Then, as he looked across the moat, Sir Roland saw a wonderful thing.
The little old man threw off his black cloak, and as he did so he began
to grow bigger and bigger, until in a minute more he was a giant as tall
as any in the forest. At first Sir Roland could scarcely believe his
eyes. Then he realized that this must be one of their giant enemies, who
had changed himself to a little old man through some magic power, that
he might make his way into the castle while all the knights were away.
Sir Roland shuddered to think what might have happened if he had taken
the sword and left the gate unguarded. The giant shook his fist across
the moat that lay between them, and then, knowing that he could do
nothing more, he went angrily back into the forest.

Sir Roland now resolved not to open the gate again, and to pay no
attention to any other visitor. But it was not long before he heard a
sound that made him spring forward in joy. It was the bugle of the lord
of the castle, and there came sounding after it the bugles of many of
the knights that were with him, pealing so joyfully that Sir Roland was
sure they were safe and happy. As they came nearer, he could hear their
shouts of victory. So he gave the signal to let down the drawbridge
again, and went out to meet them. They were dusty and bloodstained and
weary, but they had won the battle with the giants; and it had been such
a great victory that there had never been a happier home-coming.

Sir Roland greeted them all as they passed in over the bridge, and then,
when he had closed the gate and fastened it, he followed them into the
great hall of the castle. The lord of the castle took his place on the
highest seat, with the other knights about him, and Sir Roland came
forward with the key of the gate, to give his account of what he had
done in the place to which the commander had appointed him. The lord of
the castle bowed to him as a sign for him to begin, but just as he
opened his mouth to speak, one of the knights cried out:

"The shield! the shield! Sir Roland's shield!"

Every one turned and looked at the shield which Sir Roland carried on
his left arm. He himself could see only the top of it and did not know
what they could mean. But what they saw was the golden star of
knighthood, shining brightly from the center of Sir Roland's shield.
There had never been such amazement in the castle before.

Sir Roland knelt before the lord of the castle to receive his commands.
He still did not know why every one was looking at him so excitedly, and
wondered if he had in some way done wrong.

"Speak, Sir Knight," said the commander, as soon as he could find his
voice after his surprise, "and tell us all that has happened to-day at
the castle. Have you been attacked? Have any giants come hither? Did you
fight them alone?"

"No, my Lord," said Sir Roland. "Only one giant has been here, and he
went away silently when he found he could not enter."

Then he told all that had happened through the day.

When he had finished, the knights all looked at one another, but no one
spoke a word. Then they looked again at Sir Roland's shield, to make
sure that their eyes had not deceived them, and there the golden star
was still shining.

After a little silence the lord of the castle spoke.

"Men make mistakes," he said, "but our silver shields are never
mistaken. Sir Roland has fought and won the hardest battle of all

Then the others all rose and saluted Sir Roland, who was the youngest
knight that ever carried the golden star.


        Jean Ingelow (1820-1897) was an English poet,
        novelist, and writer of stories for children,
        who lived in the fen district of Lincolnshire.
        Her most noted poem deals with a terrible
        catastrophe that happened there more than three
        centuries ago. It is called "The High Tide on
        the Coast of Lincolnshire." Many reading books
        for the third or fourth grade contain her
        dainty and melodious "Seven Times One," in
        which a little girl expresses the joy and sense
        of power felt on reaching a seventh birthday.
        Of her children's books, the favorite is _Mopsa
        the Fairy_, which some one has called a
        "delightful succession of breezy
        impossibilities." Her shorter stories for
        children are collected under the title _Stories
        Told to a Child_ (two series), from which "The
        Prince's Dream" is taken. It is somewhat old
        fashioned in method and style, reminding one of
        the stories of the days of Addison and Steele.
        Its seriousness is in striking contrast with
        the more flippant note in much modern writing
        for children, and it is sure to suggest some
        questions on the dangers and advantages of
        great possessions in their effects on labor,
        liberty, and human happiness in general.
        However, the moral will take care of itself,
        and the attention should rest on the means used
        by the old man to teach the young prince the
        things he is shut out from learning by
        experience. The children will easily see that
        it is an anticipation of the moving-picture
        method. Some other good stories in the
        collection mentioned are "I Have a Right," "The
        Fairy Who Judged Her Neighbors," and "Anselmo."



If we may credit the fable, there is a tower in the midst of a great
Asiatic plain, wherein is confined a prince who was placed there in his
earliest infancy, with many slaves and attendants, and all the luxuries
that are compatible with imprisonment.

Whether he was brought there from some motive of state, whether to
conceal him from enemies, or to deprive him of rights, has not
transpired; but it is certain that up to the date of this little history
he had never set his foot outside the walls of that high tower, and that
of the vast world without he knew only the green plains which surrounded
it; the flocks and the birds of that region were all his experience of
living creatures, and all the men he saw outside were shepherds.

And yet he was not utterly deprived of change, for sometimes one of his
attendants would be ordered away, and his place would be supplied by a
new one. This fresh companion the prince would never weary of
questioning, and letting him talk of cities, of ships, of forests, of
merchandise, of kings; but though in turns they all tried to satisfy his
curiosity, they could not succeed in conveying very distinct notions to
his mind; partly because there was nothing in the tower to which they
could compare the external world, partly because, having chiefly lived
lives of seclusion and indolence in Eastern palaces, they knew it only
by hearsay themselves.

At length, one day, a venerable man of a noble presence was brought to
the tower, with soldiers to guard him and slaves to attend him. The
prince was glad of his presence, though at first he seldom opened his
lips, and it was manifest that confinement made him miserable. With
restless feet he would wander from window to window of the stone tower,
and mount from story to story; but mount as high as he would there was
still nothing to be seen but the vast unvarying plain, clothed with
scanty grass, and flooded with the glaring sunshine; flocks and herds,
and shepherds, moved across it sometimes, but nothing else, not even a
shadow, for there was no cloud in the sky to cast one.

The old man, however, always treated the prince with respect, and
answered his questions with a great deal of patience, till at length he
found a pleasure in satisfying his curiosity, which so much pleased the
young prisoner, that, as a great condescension, he invited him to come
out on the roof of the tower and drink sherbet with him in the cool of
the evening, and tell him of the country beyond the desert, and what
seas are like, and mountains, and towns.

"I have learnt much from my attendants, and know this world pretty well
by hearsay," said the prince, as they reclined on the rich carpet which
was spread on the roof.

The old man smiled, but did not answer; perhaps because he did not care
to undeceive his young companion, perhaps because so many slaves were
present, some of whom were serving them with fruit, and others burning
rich odors on a little chafing-dish that stood between them.

"But there are some words to which I never could attach any particular
meaning," proceeded the prince, as the slaves began to retire, "and
three in particular that my attendants cannot satisfy me upon, or are
reluctant to do so."

"What words are those, my prince?" asked the old man. The prince turned
on his elbow to be sure that the last slave had descended the tower
stairs, then replied--

"O man of much knowledge, the words are these--Labor, and Liberty, and

"Prince," said the old man, "I do not wonder that it has been hard to
make thee understand the first, the nature of it, and the cause why most
men are born to it; as for the second, it would be treason for thee and
me to do more than whisper it here, and sigh for it when none are
listening; but the third need hardly puzzle thee, thy hookah is bright
with it; all thy jewels are set in it; gold is inlaid in the ivory of
thy bath; thy cup and thy dish are of gold, and golden threads are
wrought into thy raiment."

"That is true," replied the prince, "and if I had not seen and handled
this gold, perhaps I might not find its merits so hard to understand;
but I possess it in abundance, and it does not feed me, nor make music
for me, nor fan me when the sun is hot, nor cause me to sleep when I am
weary; therefore when my slaves have told me how merchants go out and
brave the perilous wind and sea, and live in the unstable ships, and run
risks from shipwreck and pirates, and when, having asked them why they
have done this, they have answered, 'For gold,' I have found it hard to
believe them; and when they have told me how men have lied, and robbed,
and deceived; how they have murdered one another, and leagued together
to depose kings, to oppress provinces, and all for gold; then I have
said to myself, either my slaves have combined to make me believe that
which is not, or this gold must be very different from the yellow stuff
that this coin is made of, this coin which is of no use but to have a
hole pierced through it and hang to my girdle, that it may tinkle when I

"Notwithstanding," said the old man, "nothing can be done without gold;
for look you, prince, it is better than bread, and fruit, and music, for
it can buy them all, since men love it, and have agreed to exchange it
for whatever they may need."

"How so?" asked the prince.

"If a man has many loaves he cannot eat them all," answered the old man;
"therefore he goes to his neighbor and says, 'I have bread and thou
hast a coin of gold--let us change'; so he receives the gold and goes to
another man, saying, 'Thou hast two houses and I have none; lend me one
of thy houses to live in, and I will give thee my gold'; thus again they
change, and he that has the gold says, 'I have food enough and goods
enough, but I want a wife, I will go to the merchant and get a marriage
gift for her father, and for it I will give him this gold.'"

"It is well," said the prince; "but in time of drought, if there is no
bread in a city, can they make it of gold?"

"Not so," answered the old man, "but they must send their gold to a city
where there is food, and bring that back instead of it."

"But if there was a famine all over the world," asked the prince, "what
would they do then?"

"Why then, and only then," said the old man, "they must starve, and the
gold would be nought, for it can only be changed for that which _is_; it
cannot make that which is not."

"And where do they get gold?" asked the prince; "is it the precious
fruit of some rare tree, or have they whereby they can draw it down from
the sky at sunset?"

"Some of it," said the old man, "they dig out of the ground."

Then he told the prince of ancient rivers running through terrible
deserts, whose sands glitter, with golden grains and are yellow in the
fierce heat of the sun, and of dreary mines where the Indian slaves work
in gangs tied together, never seeing the light of day; and lastly (for
he was a man of much knowledge, and had traveled far), he told him of
the valley of the Sacramento in the New World, and of those mountains
where the people of Europe send their criminals, and where now their
free men pour forth to gather gold, and dig for it as hard as if for
life; sitting up by it at night lest any should take it from them,
giving up houses and country, and wife and children, for the sake of a
few feet of mud, whence they dig clay that glitters as they wash it; and
how they sift it and rock it as patiently as if it were their own
children in the cradle, and afterwards carry it in their bosoms, and
forego on account of it safety and rest.

"But, prince," he proceeded, observing that the young man was absorbed
in his narrative, "if you would pass your word to me never to betray me,
I would procure for you a sight of the external world, and in a trance
you should see those places where gold is dug, and traverse those
regions forbidden to your mortal footsteps."

Upon this, the prince threw himself at the old man's feet, and promised
heartily to observe the secrecy required, and entreated that, for
however short time, he might be suffered to see this wonderful world.

Then, if we may credit the story, the old man drew nearer to the
chafing-dish which stood between them, and having fanned the dying
embers in it, cast upon them a certain powder and some herbs, from
whence as they burnt a peculiar smoke arose. As their vapors spread, he
desired the prince to draw near and inhale them, and then (says the
fable) when he should sleep he should find himself, in his dream, at
whatever place he might desire, with this strange advantage, that he
should see things in their truth and reality as well as in their outward

So the prince, not without some fear, prepared to obey; but first he
drank his sherbet, and handed over the golden cup to the old man by way
of recompense; then he reclined beside the chafing-dish and inhaled the
heavy perfume till he became overpowered with sleep, and sank down upon
the carpet in a dream.

The prince knew not where he was, but a green country was floating
before him, and he found himself standing in a marshy valley, where a
few wretched cottages were scattered here and there with no means of
communication. There was a river, but it had overflowed its banks and
made the central land impassable, the fences had been broken down by it,
and the fields of corn laid low; a few wretched peasants were wandering
about there; they looked half clad and half starved. "A miserable valley
indeed!" exclaimed the prince; but as he said it a man came down from
the hills with a great bag of gold in his hand.

"This valley is mine," said he to the people; "I have bought it for
gold. Now make banks that the river may not overflow, and I will give
you gold; also make fences and plant fields, and cover in the roofs of
your houses, and buy yourselves richer clothing." So the people did so,
and as the gold got lower in the bag the valley grew fairer and greener,
till the prince exclaimed, "O gold, I see your value now! O wonderful,
beneficent gold!"

But presently the valley melted away like a mist, and the prince saw an
army besieging a city; he heard a general haranguing his soldiers to
urge them on, and the soldiers shouting and battering the walls; but
shortly, when the city was well-nigh taken, he saw some men secretly
throwing gold among the soldiers, so much of it that they threw down
their arms to pick it up, and said that the walls were so strong that
they could not throw them down. "O powerful gold!" thought the prince;
"thou art stronger than the city walls!"

After that it seemed to himself that he was walking about in a desert
country, and in his dream he thought, "Now I know what labor is, for I
have seen it, and its benefits; and I know what liberty is, for I have
tasted it; I can wander where I will, and no man questions me; but gold
is more strange to me than ever, for I have seen it buy both liberty and
labor." Shortly after this he saw a great crowd digging upon a barren
hill, and when he drew near he understood that he had reached the summit
of his wishes, and that he was to see the place where the gold came

He came up and stood a long time watching the people as they toiled
ready to faint in the sun, so great was the labor of digging the gold.

He saw who had much and could not trust any one to help them to carry
it, binding it in bundles over their shoulders, and bending and groaning
under its weight; he saw others hide it in the ground, and watch the
place clothed in rags, that none might suspect that they were rich; but
some, on the contrary, who had dug up an unusual quantity, he saw
dancing and singing, and vaunting their success, till robbers waylaid
them when they slept, and rifled their bundles and carried their golden
sand away.

"All these men are mad," thought the prince, "and this pernicious gold
has made them so."

After this, as he wandered here and there, he saw groups of people
smelting the gold under the shadow of the trees, and he observed that a
dancing, quivering vapor rose up from it, which dazzled their eyes, and
distorted everything that they looked at; arraying it also in different
colors from the true one. He observed that this vapor from the gold
caused all things to rock and reel before the eyes of those who looked
through it, and also, by some strange affinity, it drew their hearts
towards those that carried much gold on their persons, so that they
called them good and beautiful; it also caused them to see darkness and
dullness in the faces of those who carried none. "This," thought the
prince, "is very strange"; but not being able to explain it, he went
still further, and there he saw more people. Each of these had adorned
himself with a broad golden girdle, and was sitting in the shade, while
other men waited on them.

"What ails these people?" he inquired of one who was looking on, for he
observed a peculiar air of weariness and dullness in their faces. He was
answered that the girdles were very tight and heavy, and being bound
over the regions of the heart, were supposed to impede its action, and
prevent it from beating high, and also to chill the wearer, as being of
opaque material, the warm sunshine of the earth could not get through to
warm him.

"Why, then, do they not break them asunder," exclaimed the prince, "and
fling them away?"

"Break them asunder!" cried the man; "why what a madman you must be;
they are made of the purest gold!"

"Forgive my ignorance," replied the prince; "I am a stranger."

So he walked on, for feelings of delicacy prevented him from gazing any
longer at the men with the golden girdles; but as he went he pondered on
the misery he had seen, and thought to himself that this golden sand did
more mischief than all the poisons of the apothecary; for it dazzled the
eyes of some, it strained the hearts of others, it bowed down the heads
of many to the earth with its weight; it was a sore labor to gather it,
and when it was gathered, the robber might carry it away; it would be a
good thing, he thought, if there were none of it.

After this he came to a place where were sitting some aged widows and
some orphan children of the gold-diggers, who were helpless and
destitute; they were weeping and bemoaning themselves, but stopped at
the approach of a man, whose appearance attracted the prince, for he had
a very great bundle of gold on his back, and yet it did not bow him down
at all; his apparel was rich but he had no girdle on, and his face was
anything but sad.

"Sir," said the prince to him, "you have a great burden; you are
fortunate to be able to stand under it."

"I could not do so," he replied, "only that as I go on I keep lightening
it"; and as he passed each of the widows, he threw gold to her, and
stooping down, hid pieces of it in the bosoms of the children.

"You have no girdle," said the prince.

"I once had one," answered the gold gatherer; "but it was so tight over
my breast that my very heart grew cold under it, and almost ceased to
beat. Having a great quantity of gold on my back, I felt almost at the
last gasp; so I threw off my girdle and being on the bank of a river,
which I knew not how to cross, I was about to fling it in, I was so
vexed! 'But no,' thought I, 'there are many people waiting here to cross
besides myself. I will make my girdle into a bridge, and we will cross
over on it.'"

"Turn your girdle into a bridge!" exclaimed the prince doubtfully, for
he did not quite understand.

The man explained himself.

"And then, sir, after that," he continued, "I turned one half of my
burden into bread, and gave it to these poor people. Since then I have
not been oppressed by its weight, however heavy it may have been; for
few men have a heavier one. In fact, I gather more from day to day."

As the man kept speaking, he scattered his gold right and left with a
cheerful countenance, and the prince was about to reply, when suddenly a
great trembling under his feet made him fall to the ground. The refining
fires of the gold gatherers sprang up into flames, and then went out;
night fell over everything on the earth, and nothing was visible in the
sky but the stars of the southern cross, which were glittering above

"It is past midnight," thought the prince, "for the stars of the cross
begin to bend."

He raised himself upon his elbow, and tried to pierce the darkness, but
could not. At length a slender blue flame darted out, as from ashes in a
chafing-dish, and by the light of it he saw the strange pattern of his
carpet and the cushions lying about. He did not recognise them at first,
but presently he knew that he was lying in his usual place, at the top
of his tower.

"Wake up, prince," said the old man.

The prince sat up and sighed, and the old man inquired what he had seen.

"O man of much learning!" answered the prince, "I have seen that this is
a wonderful world; I have seen the value of labor, and I know the uses
of it; I have tasted the sweetness of liberty, and am grateful, though
it was but in a dream; but as for that other word that was so great a
mystery to me, I only know this, that it must remain a mystery forever,
since I am fain to believe that all men are bent on getting it; though,
once gotten, it causeth them endless disquietude, only second to their
discomfort that are without it. I am fain to believe that they can
procure with it whatever they most desire, and yet that it cankers their
hearts and dazzles their eyes; that it is their nature and their duty to
gather it; and yet that, when once gathered, the best thing they can do
is to scatter it!"

Alas! the prince visited this wonderful world no more; for the next
morning, when he awoke, the old man was gone. He had taken with him the
golden cup which the prince had given him. And the sentinel was also
gone, none knew whither. Perhaps the old man had turned his golden cup
into a golden key.


        Few modern writers have given their readers
        more genuine delight than Frank R. Stockton
        (1834-1902). The most absurd and illogical
        situations and characters are presented with an
        air of such quiet sincerity that one refuses to
        question the reality of it all. _Rudder Grange_
        established his reputation in 1879, and was
        followed by a long list of stories of
        delightfully impossible events. For several
        years Stockton was one of the editors of _St.
        Nicholas_, and some of his stories for
        children, of first quality in both form and
        content, deserve to be better known than they
        are. Five of the best of them for school use
        have been brought together in a little volume
        called _Fanciful Tales_. One of these, "Old
        Pipes and the Dryad," is given here by
        permission of the publishers, Charles
        Scribner's Sons, New York. (Copyright, 1894.)
        This story is based upon the old mythical
        belief that the trees are inhabited by guardian
        deities known as dryads, or hamadryads. To
        injure a tree meant to injure its guardian
        spirit and was almost certain to insure
        disaster for the guilty person. On the other
        hand, to protect a tree would bring some token
        of appreciation from the dryad. A good
        introduction to the story would be the telling
        of one or two of these tree myths as found in
        Gayley's _Classic Myths_ or Bulfinch's _Age of
        Fable_. A fine literary version of one of them
        is in Lowell's "Rhoecus." But the beautiful and
        kindly helpfulness of Old Pipes will carry its
        own message whether one knows any mythology or



A Mountain brook ran through a little village. Over the brook there was
a narrow bridge, and from the bridge a foot-path led out from the
village and up the hill-side, to the cottage of Old Pipes and his

For many, many years Old Pipes had been employed by the villagers to
pipe the cattle down from the hills. Every afternoon, an hour before
sunset, he would sit on a rock in front of his cottage and play on his
pipes. Then all the flocks and herds that were grazing on the mountains
would hear him, wherever they might happen to be, and would come down to
the village--the cows by the easiest paths, the sheep by those not quite
so easy, and the goats by the steep and rocky ways that were hardest of

But now, for a year or more, Old Pipes had not piped the cattle home. It
is true that every afternoon he sat upon the rock and played upon his
pipes; but the cattle did not hear him. He had grown old, and his breath
was feeble. The echoes of his cheerful notes, which used to come from
the rocky hill on the other side of the valley, were heard no more; and
twenty yards from Old Pipes one could scarcely tell what tune he was
playing. He had become somewhat deaf, and did not know that the sound of
his pipes was so thin and weak, and that the cattle did not hear him.
The cows, the sheep, and the goats came down every afternoon as before;
but this was because two boys and a girl were sent up after them. The
villagers did not wish the good old man to know that his piping was no
longer of any use; so they paid him his little salary every month, and
said nothing about the two boys and the girl.

Old Pipes's mother was, of course, a great deal older than he was, and
was as deaf as a gate--post, latch, hinges, and all--and she never knew
that the sound of her son's pipe did not spread over all the
mountain-side and echo back strong and clear from the opposite hills.
She was very fond of Old Pipes, and proud of his piping; and as he was
so much younger than she was, she never thought of him as being very
old. She cooked for him, and made his bed, and mended his clothes; and
they lived very comfortably on his little salary.

One afternoon, at the end of the month, when Old Pipes had finished his
piping, he took his stout staff and went down the hill to the village to
receive the money for his month's work. The path seemed a great deal
steeper and more difficult than it used to be; and Old Pipes thought
that it must have been washed by the rains and greatly damaged. He
remembered it as a path that was quite easy to traverse either up or
down. But Old Pipes had been a very active man, and as his mother was so
much older than he was, he never thought of himself as aged and infirm.

When the Chief Villager had paid him, and he had talked a little with
some of his friends, Old Pipes started to go home. But when he had
crossed the bridge over the brook, and gone a short distance up the
hill-side, he became very tired, and sat down upon a stone. He had not
been sitting there half a minute, when along came two boys and a girl.

"Children," said Old Pipes, "I'm very tired to-night, and I don't
believe I can climb up this steep path to my home. I think I shall have
to ask you to help me."

"We will do that," said the boys and the girl, quite cheerfully; and one
boy took him by the right hand and the other by the left, while the girl
pushed him in the back. In this way he went up the hill quite easily,
and soon reached his cottage door. Old Pipes gave each of the three
children a copper coin, and then they sat down for a few minutes' rest
before starting back to the village.

"I'm sorry that I tired you so much," said Old Pipes.

"Oh, that would not have tired us," said one of the boys, "if we had not
been so far to-day after the cows, the sheep, and the goats. They
rambled high up on the mountain, and we never before had such a time in
finding them."

"Had to go after the cows, the sheep, and the goats!" exclaimed Old
Pipes. "What do you mean by that?"

The girl, who stood behind the old man, shook her head, put her hand on
her mouth, and made all sorts of signs to the boy to stop talking on
this subject; but he did not notice her, and promptly answered Old

"Why, you see, good sir," said he, "that as the cattle can't hear your
pipes now, somebody has to go after them every evening to drive them
down from the mountain, and the Chief Villager has hired us three to do
it. Generally it is not very hard work, but to-night the cattle had
wandered far."

"How long have you been doing this?" asked the old man.

The girl shook her head and clapped her hand on her mouth as before, but
the boy went on.

"I think it is about a year now," he said, "since the people first felt
sure that the cattle could not hear your pipes; and from that time we've
been driving them down. But we are rested now, and will go home.
Good-night, sir."

The three children then went down the hill, the girl scolding the boy
all the way home. Old Pipes stood silent a few moments, and then he went
into his cottage.

"Mother," he shouted, "did you hear what those children said?"

"Children!" exclaimed the old woman; "I did not hear them. I did not
know there were any children here."

Then Old Pipes told his mother--shouting very loudly to make her
hear--how the two boys and the girl had helped him up the hill, and what
he had heard about his piping and the cattle.

"They can't hear you?" cried his mother. "Why, what's the matter with
the cattle?"

"Ah, me!" said Old Pipes; "I don't believe there's anything the matter
with the cattle. It must be with me and my pipes that there is something
the matter. But one thing is certain: if I do not earn the wages the
Chief Villager pays me, I shall not take them. I shall go straight down
to the village and give back the money I received to-day."

"Nonsense!" cried his mother. "I'm sure you've piped as well as you
could, and no more can be expected. And what are we to do without the

"I don't know," said Old Pipes; "but I'm going down to the village to
pay it back."

The sun had now set; but the moon was shining very brightly on the
hill-side, and Old Pipes could see his way very well. He did not take
the same path by which he had gone before, but followed another, which
led among the trees upon the hill-side, and, though longer, was not so

When he had gone about half-way, the old man sat down to rest, leaning
his back against a great oak tree. As he did so, he heard a sound like
knocking inside the tree, and then a voice said:

"Let me out! let me out!"

Old Pipes instantly forgot that he was tired, and sprang to his feet.
"This must be a Dryad tree!" he exclaimed. "If it is, I'll let her out."

Old Pipes had never, to his knowledge, seen a Dryad tree, but he knew
there were such trees on the hill-sides and the mountains, and that
Dryads lived in them. He knew, too, that in the summer time, on those
days when the moon rose before the sun went down, a Dryad could come out
of her tree if any one could find the key which locked her in, and turn
it. Old Pipes closely examined the trunk of the tree, which stood in the
full moonlight. "If I see that key," he said, "I shall surely turn it."
Before long he found a piece of bark standing out from the tree, which
looked to him very much like the handle of a key. He took hold of it,
and found he could turn it quite around. As he did so, a large part of
the side of the tree was pushed open, and a beautiful Dryad stepped
quickly out.

For a moment she stood motionless, gazing on the scene before her--the
tranquil valley, the hills, the forest, and the mountain-side, all lying
in the soft clear light of the moon. "Oh, lovely! lovely!" she
exclaimed. "How long it is since I have seen anything like this!" And
then, turning to Old Pipes, she said: "How good of you to let me out! I
am so happy, and so thankful, that I must kiss you, you dear old man!"
And she threw her arms around the neck of Old Pipes, and kissed him on
both cheeks.

"You don't know," she then went on to say, "how doleful it is to be shut
up so long in a tree. I don't mind it in the winter, for then I am glad
to be sheltered, but in summer it is a rueful thing not to be able to
see all the beauties of the world. And it's ever so long since I've been
let out. People so seldom come this way; and when they do come at the
right time, they either don't hear me or they are frightened and run
away. But you, you dear old man, you were not frightened, and you looked
and looked for the key, and you let me out; and now I shall not have to
go back till winter has come, and the air grows cold. Oh, it is
glorious! What can I do for you, to show you how grateful I am?"

"I am very glad," said Old Pipes, "that I let you out, since I see that
it makes you so happy; but I must admit that I tried to find the key
because I had a great desire to see a Dryad. But, if you wish to do
something for me, you can, if you happen to be going down toward the

"To the village!" exclaimed the Dryad. "I will go anywhere for you, my
kind old benefactor."

"Well, then," said Old Pipes, "I wish you would take this little bag of
money to the Chief Villager and tell him that Old Pipes cannot receive
pay for the services which he does not perform. It is now more than a
year that I have not been able to make the cattle hear me, when I piped
to call them home. I did not know this until to-night; but now that I
know it, I cannot keep the money, and so I send it back." And, handing
the little bag to the Dryad, he bade her good-night, and turned toward
his cottage.

"Good-night," said the Dryad. "And I thank you over, and over, and over
again, you good old man!"

Old Pipes walked toward his home, very glad to be saved the fatigue of
going all the way down to the village and back again. "To be sure," he
said to himself, "this path does not seem at all steep, and I can walk
along it very easily; but it would have tired me dreadfully to come up
all the way from the village, especially as I could not have expected
those children to help me again." When he reached home his mother was
surprised to see him returning so soon.

"What!" she exclaimed; "have you already come back? What did the Chief
Villager say? Did he take the money?"

Old Pipes was just about to tell her that he had sent the money to the
village by a Dryad, when he suddenly reflected that his mother would be
sure to disapprove such a proceeding, and so he merely said he had sent
it by a person whom he had met.

"And how do you know that the person will ever take it to the Chief
Villager?" cried his mother. "You will lose it, and the villagers will
never get it. Oh, Pipes! Pipes! when will you be old enough to have
ordinary common-sense?"

Old Pipes considered that, as he was already seventy years of age, he
could scarcely expect to grow any wiser; but he made no remark on this
subject, and, saying that he doubted not that the money would go safely
to its destination, he sat down to his supper. His mother scolded him
roundly, but he did not mind it; and after supper he went out and sat on
a rustic chair in front of the cottage to look at the moonlit village,
and to wonder whether or not the Chief Villager really received the
money. While he was doing these two things, he went fast asleep.

When Old Pipes left the Dryad, she did not go down to the village with
the little bag of money. She held it in her hand, and thought about what
she had heard. "This is a good and honest old man," she said; "and it is
a shame that he should lose this money. He looked as if he needed it,
and I don't believe the people in the village will take it from one who
has served them so long. Often, when in my tree, have I heard the sweet
notes of his pipes. I am going to take the money back to him." She did
not start immediately, because there were so many beautiful things to
look at; but after awhile she went up to the cottage, and, finding Old
Pipes asleep in his chair, she slipped the little bag into his
coat-pocket, and silently sped away.

The next day Old Pipes told his mother that he would go up the mountain
and cut some wood. He had a right to get wood from the mountain, but for
a long time he had been content to pick up the dead branches which lay
about his cottage. To-day, however, he felt so strong and vigorous that
he thought he would go and cut some fuel that would be better than
this. He worked all the morning, and when he came back he did not feel
at all tired, and he had a very good appetite for his dinner.

Now, Old Pipes knew a good deal about Dryads; but there was one thing
which, although he had heard, he had forgotten. This was, that a kiss
from a Dryad made a person ten years younger.

The people of the village knew this, and they were very careful not to
let any child of ten years or younger go into the woods where the Dryads
were supposed to be; for, if they should chance to be kissed by one of
these tree-nymphs, they would be set back so far that they would cease
to exist.

A story was told in the village that a very bad boy of eleven once ran
away into the woods, and had an adventure of this kind; and when his
mother found him he was a little baby of one year old. Taking advantage
of her opportunity, she brought him up more carefully than she had done
before, and he grew to be a very good boy indeed.

Now Old Pipes had been kissed twice by the Dryad, once on each cheek,
and he therefore felt as vigorous and active as when he was a hale man
of fifty. His mother noticed how much work he was doing, and told him
that he need not try in that way to make up for the loss of his piping
wages; for he would only tire himself out, and get sick. But her son
answered that he had not felt so well for years, and that he was quite
able to work.

In the course of the afternoon, Old Pipes, for the first time that day,
put his hand in his coat-pocket, and there, to his amazement, he found
the little bag of money. "Well, well!" he exclaimed, "I am stupid,
indeed! I really thought that I had seen a Dryad; but when I sat down by
that big oak tree I must have gone to sleep and dreamed it all; and then
I came home, thinking I had given the money to a Dryad, when it was in
my pocket all the time. But the Chief Villager shall have the money. I
shall not take it to him to-day, but to-morrow I wish to go to the
village to see some of my old friends; and then I shall give up the

Toward the close of the afternoon, Old Pipes, as had been his custom for
so many years, took his pipes from the shelf on which they lay, and went
out to the rock in front of the cottage.

"What are you going to do?" cried his mother. "If you will not consent
to be paid, why do you pipe?"

"I am going to pipe for my own pleasure," said her son. "I am used to
it, and I do not wish to give it up. It does not matter now whether the
cattle hear me or not, and I am sure that my piping will injure no one."

When the good man began to play upon his favorite instrument he was
astonished at the sound that came from it. The beautiful notes of the
pipes sounded clear and strong down into the valley, and spread over the
hills, and up the sides of the mountain beyond, while, after a little
interval, an echo came back from the rocky hill on the other side of the

"Ha! ha!" he cried, "what has happened to my pipes? They must have been
stopped up of late, but now they are as clear and good as ever."

Again the merry notes went sounding far and wide. The cattle on the
mountain heard them, and those that were old enough remembered how these
notes had called them from their pastures every evening, and so they
started down the mountain-side, the others following.

The merry notes were heard in the village below, and the people were
much astonished thereby. "Why, who can be blowing the pipes of Old
Pipes?" they said. But, as they were all very busy, no one went up to
see. One thing, however, was plain enough: the cattle were coming down
the mountain. And so the two boys and the girl did not have to go after
them, and had an hour for play, for which they were very glad.

The next morning Old Pipes started down to the village with his money,
and on the way he met the Dryad. "Oh, ho!" he cried, "is that you? Why,
I thought my letting you out of the tree was nothing but a dream."

"A dream!" cried the Dryad; "if you only knew how happy you have made
me, you would not think it merely a dream. And has it not benefited you?
Do you not feel happier? Yesterday I heard you playing beautifully on
your pipes."

"Yes, yes," cried he. "I did not understand it before, but I see it all
now. I have really grown younger. I thank you, I thank you, good Dryad,
from the bottom of my heart. It was the finding of the money in my
pocket that made me think it was a dream."

"Oh, I put it in when you were asleep," she said, laughing, "because I
thought you ought to keep it. Good-by, kind, honest man. May you live
long, and be as happy as I am now."

Old Pipes was greatly delighted when he understood that he was really a
younger man; but that made no difference about the money, and he kept on
his way to the village. As soon as he reached it, he was eagerly
questioned as to who had been playing his pipes the evening before, and
when the people heard that it was himself they were very much surprised.
Thereupon Old Pipes told what had happened to him, and then there was
greater wonder, with hearty congratulations and hand-shakes; for Old
Pipes was liked by everyone. The Chief Villager refused to take his
money; and although Old Pipes said that he had not earned it, everyone
present insisted that, as he would now play on his pipes as before, he
should lose nothing because, for a time, he was unable to perform his

So Old Pipes was obliged to keep his money, and after an hour or two
spent in conversation with his friends he returned to his cottage.

There was one person, however, who was not pleased with what had
happened to Old Pipes. This was an Echo-dwarf who lived on the hills
across the valley. It was his work to echo back the notes of the pipes
whenever they could be heard.

A great many other Echo-dwarfs lived on these hills. They all worked,
but in different ways. Some echoed back the songs of maidens, some the
shouts of children, and others the music that was often heard in the
village. But there was only one who could send back the strong notes of
the pipes of Old Pipes, and this had been his sole duty for many years.
But when the old man grew feeble, and the notes of his pipes could not
be heard on the opposite hills, this Echo-dwarf had nothing to do, and
he spent his time in delightful idleness; and he slept so much and grew
so fat that it made his companions laugh to see him walk.

On the afternoon on which, after so long an interval, the sound of the
pipes was heard on the echo hills, this dwarf was fast asleep behind a
rock. As soon as the first notes reached them, some of his companions
ran to wake him up. Rolling to his feet, he echoed back the merry tune
of Old Pipes.

Naturally, he was very angry at being thus obliged to give up his life
of comfort, and he hoped very much that this pipe-playing would not
occur again. The next afternoon he was awake and listening, and, sure
enough, at the usual hour, along came the notes of the pipes as clear
and strong as they ever had been; and he was obliged to work as long as
Old Pipes played. The Echo-dwarf was very angry. He had supposed, of
course, that the pipe-playing had ceased forever, and he felt that he
had a right to be indignant at being thus deceived. He was so much
disturbed that he made up his mind to go and try to find out how long
this was to last. He had plenty of time, as the pipes were played but
once a day, and he set off early in the morning for the hill on which
Old Pipes lived. It was hard work for the fat little fellow, and when he
had crossed the valley and had gone some distance into the woods on the
hill-side, he stopped to rest, and in a few minutes the Dryad came
tripping along.

"Ho, ho!" exclaimed the dwarf; "what are you doing here? and how did you
get out of your tree?"

"Doing!" cried the Dryad; "I am being happy; that's what I am doing. And
I was let out of my tree by the good old man who plays the pipes to call
the cattle down from the mountain. And it makes me happier to think that
I have been of service to him. I gave him two kisses of gratitude, and
now he is young enough to play his pipes as well as ever."

The Echo-dwarf stepped forward, his face pale with passion. "Am I to
believe," he said, "that you are the cause of this great evil that has
come upon me? and that you are the wicked creature who has again started
this old man upon his career of pipe-playing? What have I ever done to
you that you should have condemned me for years and years to echo back
the notes of those wretched pipes?"

At this the Dryad laughed loudly.

"What a funny little fellow you are!" she said. "Anyone would think you
had been condemned to toil from morning till night; while what you
really have to do is merely to imitate for half an hour every day the
merry notes of Old Pipes's piping. Fie upon you, Echo-dwarf! You are
lazy and selfish; and that is what is the matter with you. Instead of
grumbling at being obliged to do a little wholesome work, which is less,
I am sure, than that of any other echo-dwarf upon the rocky hill-side,
you should rejoice at the good fortune of the old man who has regained
so much of his strength and vigor. Go home and learn to be just and
generous; and then, perhaps, you may be happy. Good-by."

"Insolent creature!" shouted the dwarf, as he shook his fat little fist
at her. "I'll make you suffer for this. You shall find out what it is to
heap injury and insult upon one like me, and to snatch from him the
repose that he has earned by long years of toil." And, shaking his head
savagely, he hurried back to the rocky hill-side.

Every afternoon the merry notes of the pipes of Old Pipes sounded down
into the valley and over the hills and up the mountain-side; and every
afternoon when he had echoed them back, the little dwarf grew more and
more angry with the Dryad. Each day, from early morning till it was time
for him to go back to his duties upon the rocky hill-side, he searched
the woods for her. He intended, if he met her, to pretend to be very
sorry for what he had said, and he thought he might be able to play a
trick upon her which would avenge him well.

One day, while thus wandering among the trees, he met Old Pipes. The
Echo-dwarf did not generally care to see or speak to ordinary people;
but now he was so anxious to find the object of his search, that he
stopped and asked Old Pipes if he had seen the Dryad. The piper had not
noticed the little fellow, and he looked down on him with some surprise.

"No," he said; "I have not seen her, and I have been looking everywhere
for her."

"You!" cried the dwarf, "what do you wish with her?"

Old Pipes then sat down on a stone, so that he should be nearer the ear
of his small companion, and he told what the Dryad had done for him.

When the Echo-dwarf heard that this was the man whose pipes he was
obliged to echo back every day, he would have slain him on the spot, had
he been able; but, as he was not able, he merely ground his teeth and
listened to the rest of the story.

"I am looking for the Dryad now," Old Pipes continued, "on account of my
aged mother. When I was old myself, I did not notice how very old my
mother was; but now it shocks me to see how feeble her years have caused
her to become; and I am looking for the Dryad to ask her to make my
mother younger, as she made me."

The eyes of the Echo-dwarf glistened. Here was a man who might help him
in his plans.

"Your idea is a good one," he said to Old Pipes, "and it does you honor.
But you should know that a Dryad can make no person younger but one who
lets her out of her tree. However, you can manage the affair very
easily. All you need do is to find the Dryad, tell her what you want,
and request her to step into her tree and be shut up for a short time.
Then you will go and bring your mother to the tree; she will open it,
and everything will be as you wish. Is not this a good plan?"

"Excellent!" cried Old Pipes; "and I will go instantly and search more
diligently for the Dryad."

"Take me with you," said the Echo-dwarf. "You can easily carry me on
your strong shoulders; and I shall be glad to help you in any way that I

"Now then," said the little fellow to himself, as Old Pipes carried him
rapidly along, "if he persuades the Dryad to get into a tree,--and she
is quite foolish enough to do it,--and then goes away to bring his
mother, I shall take a stone or a club and I will break off the key of
that tree, so that nobody can ever turn it again. Then Mistress Dryad
will see what she has brought upon herself by her behavior to me."

Before long they came to the great oak tree in which the Dryad had
lived, and at a distance they saw that beautiful creature herself coming
toward them.

"How excellently well everything happens!" said the dwarf. "Put me
down, and I will go. Your business with the Dryad is more important
than mine; and you need not say anything about my having suggested your
plan to you. I am willing that you should have all the credit of it

Old Pipes put the Echo-dwarf upon the ground, but the little rogue did
not go away. He hid himself between some low, mossy rocks, and he was so
much like them in color that you would not have noticed him if you had
been looking straight at him.

When the Dryad came up, Old Pipes lost no time in telling her about his
mother, and what he wished her to do. At first, the Dryad answered
nothing, but stood looking very sadly at Old Pipes.

"Do you really wish me to go into my tree again?" she said. "I should
dreadfully dislike to do it, for I don't know what might happen. It is
not at all necessary, for I could make your mother younger at any time
if she would give me the opportunity. I had already thought of making
you still happier in this way, and several times I have waited about
your cottage, hoping to meet your aged mother, but she never comes
outside, and you know a Dryad cannot enter a house. I cannot imagine
what put this idea into your head. Did you think of it yourself?"

"No, I cannot say that I did," answered Old Pipes. "A little dwarf whom
I met in the woods proposed it to me."

"Oh!" cried the Dryad; "now I see through it all. It is the scheme of
that vile Echo-dwarf--your enemy and mine. Where is he? I should like to
see him."

"I think he has gone away," said Old Pipes.

"No, he has not," said the Dryad, whose quick eyes perceived the
Echo-dwarf among the rocks, "there he is. Seize him and drag him out, I
beg of you."

Old Pipes saw the dwarf as soon as he was pointed out to him; and
running to the rocks, he caught the little fellow by the arm and pulled
him out.

"Now, then," cried the Dryad, who had opened the door of the great oak,
"just stick him in there, and we will shut him up. Then I shall be safe
from his mischief for the rest of the time I am free."

Old Pipes thrust the Echo-dwarf into the tree; the Dryad pushed the door
shut; there was a clicking sound of bark and wood, and no one would have
noticed that the big oak had ever had an opening in it.

"There," said the Dryad; "now we need not be afraid of him. And I assure
you, my good piper, that I shall be very glad to make your mother
younger as soon as I can. Will you not ask her to come out and meet me?"

"Of course I will," cried Old Pipes; "and I will do it without delay."

And then, the Dryad by his side, he hurried to his cottage. But when he
mentioned the matter to his mother, the old woman became very angry
indeed. She did not believe in Dryads; and, if they really did exist,
she knew they must be witches and sorceresses, and she would have
nothing to do with them. If her son had ever allowed himself to be
kissed by one of them, he ought to be ashamed of himself. As to its
doing him the least bit of good, she did not believe a word of it. He
felt better than he used to feel, but that was very common. She had
sometimes felt that way herself, and she forbade him ever to mention a
Dryad to her again.

That afternoon, Old Pipes, feeling very sad that his plan in regard to
his mother had failed, sat down upon the rock and played upon his pipes.
The pleasant sounds went down the valley and up the hills and mountain,
but, to the great surprise of some persons who happened to notice the
fact, the notes were not echoed back from the rocky hill-side, but from
the woods on the side of the valley on which Old Pipes lived. The next
day many of the villagers stopped in their work to listen to the echo of
the pipes coming from the woods. The sound was not as clear and strong
as it used to be when it was sent back from the rocky hill-side, but it
certainly came from among the trees. Such a thing as an echo changing
its place in this way had never been heard of before, and nobody was
able to explain how it could have happened. Old Pipes, however, knew
very well that the sound came from the Echo-dwarf shut up in the great
oak tree. The sides of the tree were thin, and the sound of the pipes
could be heard through them, and the dwarf was obliged by the laws of
his being to echo back those notes whenever they came to him. But Old
Pipes thought he might get the Dryad in trouble if he let anyone know
that the Echo-dwarf was shut up in the tree, and so he wisely said
nothing about it.

One day the two boys and the girl who had helped Old Pipes up the hill
were playing in the woods. Stopping near the great oak tree, they heard
a sound of knocking within it, and then a voice plainly said:

"Let me out! let me out!"

For a moment the children stood still in astonishment, and then one of
the boys exclaimed:

"Oh, it is a Dryad, like the one Old Pipes found! Let's let her out!"

"What are you thinking of?" cried the girl. "I am the oldest of all, and
I am only thirteen. Do you wish to be turned into crawling babies? Run!
run! run!"

And the two boys and the girl dashed down into the valley as fast as
their legs could carry them. There was no desire in their youthful
hearts to be made younger than they were, and for fear that their
parents might think it well that they should commence their careers
anew, they never said a word about finding the Dryad tree.

As the summer days went on, Old Pipes's mother grew feebler and feebler.
One day when her son was away, for he now frequently went into the woods
to hunt or fish, or down into the valley to work, she arose from her
knitting to prepare the simple dinner. But she felt so weak and tired
that she was not able to do the work to which she had been so long
accustomed. "Alas! alas!" she said, "the time has come when I am too old
to work. My son will have to hire some one to come here and cook his
meals, make his bed, and mend his clothes. Alas! alas! I had hoped that
as long as I lived I should be able to do these things. But it is not
so. I have grown utterly worthless, and some one else must prepare the
dinner for my son. I wonder where he is." And tottering to the door, she
went outside to look for him. She did not feel able to stand, and
reaching the rustic chair, she sank into it, quite exhausted, and soon
fell asleep.

The Dryad, who had often come to the cottage to see if she could find an
opportunity of carrying out Old Pipes's affectionate design, now
happened by; and seeing that the much-desired occasion had come, she
stepped up quietly behind the old woman and gently kissed her on each
cheek, and then as quietly disappeared.

In a few minutes the mother of Old Pipes awoke, and looking up at the
sun, she exclaimed: "Why, it is almost dinner-time! My son will be here
directly, and I am not ready for him." And rising to her feet, she
hurried into the house, made the fire, set the meat and vegetables to
cook, laid the cloth, and by the time her son arrived the meal was on
the table.

"How a little sleep does refresh one," she said to herself, as she was
bustling about. She was a woman of very vigorous constitution, and at
seventy had been a great deal stronger and more active than her son was
at that age. The moment Old Pipes saw his mother, he knew that the Dryad
had been there; but, while he felt as happy as a king, he was too wise
to say anything about her.

"It is astonishing how well I feel to-day," said his mother; "and either
my hearing has improved or you speak much more plainly than you have
done of late."

The summer days went on and passed away, the leaves were falling from
the trees, and the air was becoming cold.

"Nature has ceased to be lovely," said the Dryad, "and the night winds
chill me. It is time for me to go back into my comfortable quarters in
the great oak. But first I must pay another visit to the cottage of Old

She found the piper and his mother sitting side by side on the rock in
front of the door. The cattle were not to go to the mountain any more
that season, and he was piping them down for the last time. Loud and
merrily sounded the pipes of Old Pipes, and down the mountain-side came
the cattle, the cows by the easiest paths, the sheep by those not quite
so easy, and the goats by the most difficult ones among the rocks; while
from the great oak tree were heard the echoes of the cheerful music.

"How happy they look, sitting there together," said the Dryad; "and I
don't believe it will do them a bit of harm to be still younger." And
moving quietly up behind them, she first kissed Old Pipes on his cheek
and then kissed his mother.

Old Pipes, who had stopped playing, knew what it was, but he did not
move, and said nothing. His mother, thinking that her son had kissed
her, turned to him with a smile and kissed him in return. And then she
arose and went into the cottage, a vigorous woman of sixty, followed by
her son, erect and happy, and twenty years younger than herself.

The Dryad sped away to the woods, shrugging her shoulders as she felt
the cool evening wind.

When she reached the great oak, she turned the key and opened the door.
"Come out," said she to the Echo-dwarf, who sat blinking within. "Winter
is coming on, and I want the comfortable shelter of my tree for myself.
The cattle have come down from the mountain for the last time this year,
the pipes will no longer sound, and you can go to your rocks and have a
holiday until next spring."

Upon hearing these words the dwarf skipped quickly out, and the Dryad
entered the tree and pulled the door shut after her. "Now, then," she
said to herself, "he can break off the key if he likes. It does not
matter to me. Another will grow out next spring. And although the good
piper made me no promise, I know that when the warm days arrive next
year, he will come and let me out again."

The Echo-dwarf did not stop to break the key of the tree. He was too
happy to be released to think of anything else, and he hastened as fast
as he could to his home on the rocky hill-side.

The Dryad was not mistaken when she trusted in the piper. When the warm
days came again he went to the oak tree to let her out. But, to his
sorrow and surprise, he found the great tree lying upon the ground. A
winter storm had blown it down, and it lay with its trunk shattered and
split. And what became of the Dryad no one ever knew.


        John Ruskin (1819-1900), the most eloquent of
        English prose writers, was much interested in
        the question of literature for both grown-ups
        and children. He edited a reissue of Taylor's
        translation of Grimms' _Popular Stories_,
        issued "Dame Wiggins of Lee and Her Seven
        Wonderful Cats" (see No. 143), and wrote that
        masterpiece among modern stories for children,
        _The King of the Golden River_. Its fine
        idealism, splendidly imagined structure,
        wonderful word-paintings, and perfect English
        all combine to justify the high place assigned
        to it. Ruskin wrote the story in 1841, at a
        "couple of sittings," though it was not
        published until ten years later. Speaking of it
        later in life, he said that it "was written to
        amuse a little girl; and being a fairly good
        imitation of Grimm and Dickens, mixed with a
        little true Alpine feeling of my own, it has
        been rightly pleasing to nice children, and
        good for them. But it is totally valueless, for
        all that. I can no more write a story than
        compose a picture." The final statement may be
        taken for what it is worth, written as it was
        at a time of disillusionment. The first part of
        Ruskin's analysis is certainly true and has
        been thus expanded by his biographer, Sir E. T.
        Cook: "The grotesque and the German setting of
        the tale were taken from Grimm; from Dickens it
        took its tone of pervading kindliness and
        geniality. The Alpine ecstasy and the eager
        pressing of the moral were Ruskin's own; and so
        also is the style, delicately poised between
        poetry and comedy."





In a secluded and mountainous part of Stiria there was, in old time, a
valley of the most surprising and luxuriant fertility. It was
surrounded, on all sides, by steep and rocky mountains, rising into
peaks, which were always covered with snow, and from which a number of
torrents descended in constant cataracts. One of these fell westward,
over the face of a crag so high, that, when the sun had set to
everything else, and all below was darkness, his beams still shone full
upon this waterfall, so that it looked like a shower of gold. It was,
therefore, called by the people of the neighborhood, the Golden River.
It was strange that none of these streams fell into the valley itself.
They all descended on the other side of the mountains, and wound away
through broad plains and by populous cities. But the clouds were drawn
so constantly to the snowy hills, and rested so softly in the circular
hollow, that in time of drought and heat, when all the country round was
burnt up, there was still rain in the little valley; and its crops were
so heavy, and its hay so high, and its apples so red, and its grapes so
blue, and its wine so rich, and its honey so sweet, that it was a marvel
to every one who beheld it, and was commonly called the Treasure Valley.

The whole of this little valley belonged to three brothers, called
Schwartz, Hans, and Gluck. Schwartz and Hans, the two elder brothers,
were very ugly men, with overhanging eyebrows and small dull eyes, which
were always half shut, so that you couldn't see into _them_, and always
fancied they saw very far into _you_. They lived by farming the Treasure
Valley, and very good farmers they were. They killed everything that did
not pay for its eating. They shot the blackbirds because they pecked the
fruit; and killed the hedgehogs, lest they should suck the cows; they
poisoned the crickets for eating the crumbs in the kitchen; and
smothered the cicadas, which used to sing all summer in the lime trees.
They worked their servants without any wages, till they would not work
any more, and then quarreled with them, and turned them out of doors
without paying them. It would have been very odd if, with such a farm,
and such a system of farming, they hadn't got very rich; and very rich
they _did_ get. They generally contrived to keep their corn by them till
it was very dear, and then sell it for twice its value; they had heaps
of gold lying about on their floors, yet it was never known that they
had given so much as a penny or a crust in charity; they never went to
mass; grumbled perpetually at paying tithes; and were, in a word, of so
cruel and grinding a temper as to receive from all those with whom they
had any dealings the nickname of the "Black Brothers."

The youngest brother, Gluck, was as completely opposed, in both
appearance and character, to his seniors as could possibly be imagined
or desired. He was not above twelve years old, fair, blue-eyed, and kind
in temper to every living thing. He did not, of course, agree
particularly well with his brothers, or rather, they did not agree with
_him_. He was usually appointed to the honorable office of turnspit,
when there was anything to roast, which was not often; for, to do the
brothers justice, they were hardly less sparing upon themselves than
upon other people. At other times he used to clean the shoes, floors,
and sometimes the plates, occasionally getting what was left on them, by
way of encouragement, and a wholesome quantity of dry blows, by way of

Things went on in this manner for a long time. At last came a very wet
summer, and everything went wrong in the country around. The hay had
hardly been got in, when the haystacks were floated bodily down to the
sea by an inundation; the vines were cut to pieces with the hail; the
corn was all killed by a black blight; only in the Treasure Valley, as
usual, all was safe. As it had rain when there was rain nowhere else, so
it had sun when there was sun nowhere else. Everybody came to buy corn
at the farm, and went away pouring maledictions on the Black Brothers.
They asked what they liked, and got it, except from the poor people, who
could only beg, and several of whom were starved at their very door,
without the slightest regard or notice.

It was drawing towards winter, and very cold weather, when one day the
two elder brothers had gone out, with their usual warning to little
Gluck, who was left to mind the roast, that he was to let nobody in, and
give nothing out. Gluck sat down quite close to the fire, for it was
raining very hard, and the kitchen walls were by no means dry or
comfortable looking. He turned and turned, and the roast got nice and
brown. "What a pity," thought Gluck, "my brothers never ask anybody to
dinner. I'm sure, when they've got such a nice piece of mutton as this,
and nobody else has got so much as a piece of dry bread, it would do
their hearts good to have somebody to eat it with them."

Just as he spoke, there came a double knock at the house door, yet heavy
and dull, as though the knocker had been tied up--more like a puff than
a knock.

"It must be the wind," said Gluck; "nobody else would venture to knock
double knocks at our door."

No; it wasn't the wind; there it came again very hard, and what was
particularly astounding, the knocker seemed to be in a hurry, and not to
be in the least afraid of the consequences. Gluck went to the window,
opened it, and put his head out to see who it was.

It was the most extraordinary looking little gentleman he had ever seen
in his life. He had a very large nose, slightly brass-colored; his
cheeks were very round, and very red, and might have warranted a
supposition that he had been blowing a refractory fire for the last
eight-and-forty hours; his eyes twinkled merrily through long silky
eyelashes, his mustaches curled twice round like a corkscrew on each
side of his mouth, and his hair, of a curious mixed pepper-and-salt
color, descended far over his shoulders. He was about four-feet-six in
height, and wore a conical pointed cap of nearly the same altitude,
decorated with a black feather some three feet long. His doublet was
prolonged behind into something resembling a violent exaggeration of
what is now termed a "swallowtail," but was much obscured by the
swelling folds of an enormous black, glossy-looking cloak, which must
have been very much too long in calm weather, as the wind, whistling
round the old house, carried it clear out from the wearer's shoulders to
about four times his own length.

Gluck was so perfectly paralyzed by the singular appearance of his
visitor, that he remained fixed without uttering a word, until the old
gentleman, having performed another, and a more energetic concerto on
the knocker, turned round to look after his fly-away cloak. In so doing
he caught sight of Gluck's little yellow head jammed in the window, with
its mouth and eyes very wide open indeed.

"Hollo!" said the little gentleman, "that's not the way to answer the
door: I'm wet; let me in!"

To do the little gentleman justice, he _was_ wet. His feather hung down
between his legs like a beaten puppy's tail, dripping like an umbrella;
and from the ends of his mustaches the water was running into his
waistcoat pockets, and out again like a mill stream.

"I beg pardon, sir," said Gluck, "I'm very sorry, but I really can't."

"Can't what?" said the old gentleman.

"I can't let you in, sir,--I can't indeed; my brothers would beat me to
death, sir, if I thought of such a thing. What do you want, sir?"

"Want?" said the old gentleman, petulantly. "I want fire, and shelter;
and there's your great fire there blazing, crackling, and dancing on the
walls, with nobody to feel it. Let me in, I say; I only want to warm

Gluck had had his head, by this time, so long out of the window, that he
began to feel it was really unpleasantly cold, and when he turned, and
saw the beautiful fire rustling and roaring, and throwing long bright
tongues up the chimney, as if it were licking its chops at the savory
smell of the leg of mutton, his heart melted within him that it should
be burning away for nothing. "He does look _very_ wet," said little
Gluck; "I'll just let him in for a quarter of an hour." Round he went to
the door, and opened it; and as the little gentleman walked in, there
came a gust of wind through the house that made the old chimneys totter.

"That's a good boy," said the little gentleman. "Never mind your
brothers. I'll talk to them."

"Pray, sir, don't do any such thing," said Gluck. "I can't let you stay
till they come; they'd be the death of me."

"Dear me," said the old gentleman, "I'm very sorry to hear that. How
long may I stay?"

"Only till the mutton's done, sir," replied Gluck, "and it's very

Then the old gentleman walked into the kitchen, and sat himself down on
the hob, with the top of his cap accommodated up the chimney, for it was
a great deal too high for the roof.

"You'll soon dry there, sir," said Gluck, and sat down again to turn the
mutton. But the old gentleman did _not_ dry there, but went on drip,
drip, dripping among the cinders, and the fire fizzed and sputtered, and
began to look very black and uncomfortable; never was such a cloak;
every fold in it ran like a gutter.

"I beg pardon, sir," said Gluck at length, after watching the water
spreading in long, quicksilver-like streams over the floor for a quarter
of an hour; "mayn't I take your cloak?"

"No thank you," said the old gentleman.

"Your cap, sir?"

"I am all right, thank you," said the old gentleman rather gruffly.

"But--sir--I'm very sorry," said Gluck hesitatingly; "but--really,
sir--you're--putting the fire out."

"It'll take longer to do the mutton, then," replied his visitor dryly.

Gluck was very much puzzled by the behavior of his guest; it was such a
strange mixture of coolness and humility. He turned away at the string
meditatively for another five minutes.

"That mutton looks very nice," said the old gentleman at length. "Can't
you give me a little bit?"

"Impossible, sir," said Gluck.

"I'm very hungry," continued the old gentleman; "I've had nothing to eat
yesterday nor to-day. They surely couldn't miss a bit from the knuckle!"

He spoke in so very melancholy a tone that it quite melted Gluck's
heart. "They promised me one slice to-day, sir," said he; "I can give
you that, but not a bit more."

"That's a good boy," said the old gentleman again.

Then Gluck warmed a plate, and sharpened a knife. "I don't care if I do
get beaten for it," thought he. Just as he had cut a large slice out of
the mutton, there came a tremendous rap at the door. The old gentleman
jumped off the hob, as if it had suddenly become inconveniently warm.
Gluck fitted the slice into the mutton again, with desperate efforts at
exactitude, and ran to open the door.

"What did you keep us waiting in the rain for?" said Schwartz, as he
walked in, throwing his umbrella in Gluck's face. "Ay! what for, indeed,
you little vagabond?" said Hans, administering an educational box on the
ear, as he followed his brother into the kitchen.

"Bless my soul!" said Schwartz when he opened the door.

"Amen," said the little gentleman, who had taken his cap off and was
standing in the middle of the kitchen, bowing with the utmost possible

"Who's that?" said Schwartz, catching up a rolling-pin, and turning to
Gluck with a fierce frown.

"I don't know, indeed, brother," said Gluck in great terror.

"How did he get in?" roared Schwartz.

"My dear brother," said Gluck, deprecatingly, "he was so _very_ wet!"

The rolling-pin was descending on Gluck's head; but, at the instant, the
old gentleman interposed his conical cap, on which it crashed with a
shock that shook the water out of it all over the room. What was very
odd, the rolling pin no sooner touched the cap, than it flew out of
Schwartz's hand, spinning like a straw in a high wind, and fell into the
corner at the farther end of the room.

"Who are you, sir?" demanded Schwartz, turning upon him.

"What's your business?" snarled Hans.

"I'm a poor old man, sir," the little gentleman began very modestly,
"and I saw your fire through the window, and begged shelter for a
quarter of an hour."

"Have the goodness to walk out again, then," said Schwartz. "We've quite
enough water in our kitchen, without making it a drying house."

"It is a cold day to turn an old man out in, sir; look at my gray
hairs." They hung down to his shoulders, as I told you before.

"Ay!" said Hans, "there are enough of them to keep you warm. Walk!"

"I'm very, very hungry, sir; couldn't you spare me a bit of bread before
I go?"

"Bread, indeed!" said Schwartz; "do you suppose we've nothing to do with
our bread but to give it to such red-nosed fellows as you?"

"Why don't you sell your feather?" said Hans, sneeringly. "Out with

"A little bit," said the old gentleman.

"Be off!" said Schwartz.

"Pray, gentlemen--"

"Off, and be hanged!" cried Hans, seizing him by the collar. But he had
no sooner touched the old gentleman's collar, than away he went after
the rolling-pin, spinning round and round, till he fell into the corner
on the top of it. Then Schwartz was very angry, and ran at the old
gentleman to turn him out; but he also had hardly touched him, when away
he went after Hans and the rolling-pin, and hit his head against the
wall as he tumbled into the corner. And so there they lay, all three.

Then the old gentleman spun himself round with velocity in the opposite
direction; continued to spin until his long cloak was all wound neatly
about him, clapped his cap on his head, very much on one side (for it
could not stand upright without going through the ceiling), gave an
additional twist to his corkscrew mustaches, and replied with perfect
coolness: "Gentlemen, I wish you a very good morning. At twelve o'clock
to-night I'll call again; after such a refusal of hospitality as I have
just experienced, you will not be surprised if that visit is the last I
ever pay you."

"If ever I catch you here again," muttered Schwartz, coming, half
frightened, out of the corner--but, before he could finish his sentence,
the old gentleman had shut the house door behind him with a great bang:
and there drove past the window, at the same instant, a wreath of ragged
cloud that whirled and rolled away down the valley in all manner of
shapes; turning over and over in the air, and melting away at last in a
gush of rain.

"A very pretty business, indeed, Mr. Gluck!" said Schwartz. "Dish the
mutton, sir. If ever I catch you at such a trick again--bless me, why
the mutton's been cut!"

"You promised me one slice, brother, you know," said Gluck.

"Oh! and you were cutting it hot, I suppose, and going to catch all the
gravy. It'll be long before I promise you such a thing again. Leave the
room, sir; and have the kindness to wait in the coal-cellar till I call

Gluck left the room melancholy enough. The brothers ate as much mutton
as they could, locked the rest in the cupboard, and proceeded to get
very drunk after dinner.

Such a night as it was! Howling wind and rushing rain, without
intermission! The brothers had just sense enough left to put up all the
shutters, and double bar the door, before they went to bed. They usually
slept in the same room. As the clock struck twelve, they were both
awakened by a tremendous crash. Their door burst open with a violence
that shook the house from top to bottom.

"What's that?" cried Schwartz, starting up in his bed.

"Only I," said the little gentleman.

The two brothers sat up on their bolster and stared into the darkness.
The room was full of water, and by a misty moonbeam, which found its way
through a hole in the shutter, they could see in the midst of it an
enormous foam globe, spinning round, and bobbing up and down like a
cork, on which, as on a most luxurious cushion, reclined the little old
gentleman, cap and all. There was plenty of room for it now, for the
roof was off.

"Sorry to incommode you," said their visitor, ironically. "I'm afraid
your beds are dampish; perhaps you had better go to your brother's room;
I've left the ceiling on, there."

They required no second admonition, but rushed into Gluck's room, wet
through, and in an agony of terror.

"You'll find my card on the kitchen table," the old gentleman called
after them. "Remember, the _last_ visit."

"Pray Heaven it may!" said Schwartz, shuddering. And the foam globe

Dawn came at last, and the two brothers looked out of Gluck's little
window in the morning. The Treasure Valley was one mass of ruin and
desolation. The inundation had swept away trees, crops, and cattle, and
left in their stead a waste of red sand and gray mud. The two brothers
crept shivering and horror-struck into the kitchen. The water had gutted
the whole first floor; corn, money, almost every movable thing had been
swept away, and there was left only a small white card on the kitchen
table. On it, in large, breezy long-legged letters, were engraved the




South-West Wind, Esquire, was as good as his word. After the momentous
visit above related, he entered the Treasure Valley no more; and, what
was worse, he had so much influence with his relations, the West Winds
in general, and used it so effectually, that they all adopted a similar
line of conduct. So no rain fell in the valley from one year's end to
another. Though everything remained green and flourishing in the plains
below, the inheritance of the Three Brothers was a desert. What had once
been the richest soil in the kingdom, became a shifting heap of red
sand; and the brothers, unable longer to contend with the adverse skies,
abandoned their valueless patrimony in despair, to seek some means of
gaining a livelihood among the cities and people of the plains. All
their money was gone, and they had nothing left but some curious,
old-fashioned pieces of gold plates, the last remnants of their
ill-gotten wealth.

"Suppose we turn goldsmiths?" said Schwartz to Hans, as they entered the
large city. "It is a good knave's trade; we can put a great deal of
copper into the gold, without any one's finding it out."

The thought was agreed to be a very good one; they hired a furnace, and
turned goldsmiths. But two slight circumstances affected their trade;
the first, that people did not approve of the coppered gold; the second,
that the two elder brothers, whenever they had sold anything, used to
leave little Gluck to mind the furnace, and go and drink out the money
in the ale-house next door. So they melted all their gold, without
making money enough to buy more, and were at last reduced to one large
drinking mug, which an uncle of his had given to little Gluck, and which
he was very fond of, and would not have parted with for the world;
though he never drank anything out of it but milk and water. The mug was
a very odd mug to look at. The handle was formed of two wreaths of
flowing golden hair, so finely spun that it looked more like silk than
metal, and these wreaths descended into, and mixed with, a beard and
whiskers of the same exquisite workmanship, which surrounded and
decorated a very fierce little face, of the reddest gold imaginable,
right in the front of the mug, with a pair of eyes in it which seemed to
command its whole circumference. It was impossible to drink out of the
mug without being subjected to an intense gaze out of the side of these
eyes; and Schwartz positively averred that once, after emptying it, full
of Rhenish, seventeen times, he had seen them wink! When it came to the
mug's turn to be made into spoons, it half broke poor little Gluck's
heart; but the brothers only laughed at him, tossed the mug into the
melting-pot, and staggered out to the ale-house; leaving him, as usual,
to pour the gold into bars, when it was all ready.

When they were gone, Gluck took a farewell look at his old friend in the
melting-pot. The flowing hair was all gone; nothing remained but the red
nose, and the sparkling eyes, which looked more malicious than ever.
"And no wonder," thought Gluck, "after being treated in that way." He
sauntered disconsolately to the window, and sat himself down to catch
the fresh evening air, and escape the hot breath of the furnace. Now
this window commanded a direct view of the range of mountains, which, as
I told you before, overhung the Treasure Valley, and more especially of
the peak from which fell the Golden River. It was just at the close of
the day, and when Gluck sat down at the window, he saw the rocks of the
mountain tops, all crimson and purple with the sunset; and there were
bright tongues of fiery cloud burning and quivering about them; and the
river, brighter than all, fell, in a waving column of pure gold, from
precipice to precipice, with the double arch of a broad purple rainbow
stretched across it, flushing and fading alternately in the wreaths of

"Ah!" said Gluck aloud, after he had looked at it for a while, "if that
river were really all gold, what a nice thing it would be."

"No, it wouldn't, Gluck," said a clear metallic voice, close at his ear.

"Bless me! what's that?" exclaimed Gluck, jumping up. There was nobody
there. He looked round the room, and under the table, and a great many
times behind him, but there was certainly nobody there, and he sat down
again at the window. This time he didn't speak, but he couldn't help
thinking again that it would be very convenient if the river were really
all gold.

"Not at all, my boy," said the same voice, louder than before.

"Bless me!" said Gluck again; "what _is_ that?" He looked again into all
the corners, and cupboards, and then began turning round, and round, as
fast as he could in the middle of the room, thinking there was somebody
behind him, when the same voice struck again on his ear. It was singing
now very merrily, "Lala-lira-la"; no words, only a soft running
effervescent melody, something like that of a kettle on the boil. Gluck
looked out of the window. No, it was certainly in the house. Upstairs,
and downstairs. No, it was certainly in that very room, coming in
quicker time, and clearer notes, every moment. "Lala-lira-la." All at
once it struck Gluck that it sounded louder near the furnace. He ran to
the opening, and looked in; yes, he saw right, it seemed to be coming,
not only out of the furnace, but out of the pot. He uncovered it, and
ran back in a great fright, for the pot was certainly singing! He stood
in the farthest corner of the room, with his hands up, and his mouth
open, for a minute or two, when the singing stopped, and the voice
became clear, and pronunciative.

"Hollo!" said the voice.

Gluck made no answer.

"Hollo! Gluck, my boy," said the pot again.

Gluck summoned all his energies, walked straight up to the crucible,
drew it out of the furnace, and looked in. The gold was all melted, and
its surface as smooth and polished as a river; but instead of reflecting
little Gluck's head, as he looked in, he saw, meeting his glance from
beneath the gold, the red nose and sharp eyes of his old friend of the
mug, a thousand times redder and sharper than ever he had seen them in
his life.

"Come, Gluck, my boy," said the voice out of the pot again, "I'm all
right; pour me out."

But Gluck was too much astonished to do anything of the kind.

"Pour me out, I say," said the voice rather gruffly.

Still Gluck couldn't move.

"_Will_ you pour me out?" said the voice passionately. "I'm too hot."

By a violent effort, Gluck recovered the use of his limbs, took hold of
the crucible, and sloped it so as to pour out the gold. But instead of a
liquid stream, there came out, first, a pair of pretty little yellow
legs, then some coat tails, then a pair of arms stuck a-kimbo, and,
finally, the well-known head of his friend the mug; all which articles,
uniting as they rolled out, stood up energetically on the floor, in the
shape of a little golden dwarf, about a foot and a half high.

"That's right!" said the dwarf, stretching out first his legs and then
his arms, and then shaking his head up and down, and as far round as it
would go, for five minutes, without stopping; apparently with the view
of ascertaining if he were quite correctly put together, while Gluck
stood contemplating him in speechless amazement. He was dressed in a
slashed doublet of spun gold, so fine in its texture that the prismatic
colors gleamed over it, as if on a surface of mother of pearl; and, over
this brilliant doublet, his hair and beard fell full halfway to the
ground in waving curls so exquisitely delicate that Gluck could hardly
tell where they ended; they seemed to melt into air. The features of the
face, however, were by no means finished with the same delicacy; they
were rather coarse, slightly inclining to coppery in complexion, and
indicative, in expression, of a very pertinacious and intractable
disposition in their small proprietor. When the dwarf had finished his
self-examination, he turned his small sharp eyes full on Gluck and
stared at him deliberately for a minute or two. "No, it wouldn't, Gluck,
my boy," said the little man.

This was certainly rather an abrupt and unconnected mode of commencing
conversation. It might indeed be supposed to refer to the course of
Gluck's thoughts, which had first produced the dwarf's observations out
of the pot; but whatever it referred to, Gluck had no inclination to
dispute the dictum.

"Wouldn't it, sir?" said Gluck, very mildly and submissively indeed.

"No," said the dwarf, conclusively. "No, it wouldn't." And with that,
the dwarf pulled his cap hard over his brows, and took two turns, of
three feet long, up and down the room, lifting his legs up very high,
and setting them down very hard. This pause gave time for Gluck to
collect his thoughts a little, and, seeing no great reason to view his
diminutive visitor with dread, and feeling his curiosity overcome his
amazement, he ventured on a question of peculiar delicacy.

"Pray, sir," said Gluck rather hesitatingly, "were you my mug?"

On which the little man turned sharp round, walked straight up to Gluck,
and drew himself up to his full height. "I," said the little man, "am
the King of the Golden River." Whereupon he turned about again, and took
two more turns, some six feet long, in order to allow time for the
consternation which this announcement produced in his auditor to
evaporate. After which, he again walked up to Gluck and stood still, as
if expecting some comment on his communication.

Gluck determined to say something at all events. "I hope your Majesty is
very well," said Gluck.

"Listen!" said the little man, deigning no reply to this polite inquiry.
"I am the King of what you mortals call the Golden River. The shape you
saw me in, was owing to the malice of a stronger king, from whose
enchantments you have this instant freed me. What I have seen of you,
and your conduct to your wicked brothers, renders me willing to serve
you; therefore, attend to what I tell you. Whoever shall climb to the
top of that mountain from which you see the Golden River issue, and
shall cast into the stream at its source three drops of holy water, for
him, and for him only, the river shall turn to gold. But no one failing
in his first, can succeed in a second attempt; and if any one shall cast
unholy water into the river, it will overwhelm him, and he will become a
black stone." So saying, the King of the Golden River turned away and
deliberately walked into the center of the hottest flame of the furnace.
His figure became red, white, transparent, dazzling--a blaze of intense
light--rose, trembled, and disappeared. The King of the Golden River had

"Oh!" cried poor Gluck, running to look up the chimney after him; "Oh,
dear, dear, dear me! My mug! my mug! my mug!"



The King of the Golden River had hardly made the extraordinary exit,
related in the last chapter, before Hans and Schwartz came roaring into
the house, very savagely drunk. The discovery of the total loss of their
last piece of plate had the effect of sobering them just enough to
enable them to stand over Gluck, beating him very steadily for a quarter
of an hour; at the expiration of which period they dropped into a couple
of chairs, and requested to know what he had got to say for himself.
Gluck told them his story, of which, of course, they did not believe a
word. They beat him again, till their arms were tired, and staggered to
bed. In the morning, however, the steadiness with which he adhered to
his story obtained him some degree of credence; the immediate
consequence of which was, that the two brothers, after wrangling a long
time on the knotty question, which of them should try his fortune first,
drew their swords and began fighting. The noise of the fray alarmed the
neighbors, who, finding they could not pacify the combatants, sent for
the constable.

Hans, on hearing this, contrived to escape, and hid himself; but
Schwartz was taken before the magistrate, fined for breaking the peace,
and, having drunk out his last penny the evening before, was thrown into
prison till he should pay.

When Hans heard this, he was much delighted, and determined to set out
immediately for the Golden River. How to get the holy water was the
question. He went to the priest, but the priest could not give any holy
water to so abandoned a character. So Hans went to vespers in the
evening for the first time in his life, and, under pretense of crossing
himself, stole a cupful, and returned home in triumph.

Next morning he got up before the sun rose, put the holy water into a
strong flask, and two bottles of wine and some meat in a basket, slung
them over his back, took his alpine staff in his hand, and set off for
the mountains.

On his way out of the town he had to pass the prison, and as he looked
in at the windows, whom should he see but Schwartz himself peeping out
of the bars, and looking very disconsolate.

"Good morning, brother," said Hans; "have you any message for the King
of the Golden River?"

Schwartz gnashed his teeth with rage, and shook the bars with all his
strength; but Hans only laughed at him, and advising him to make himself
comfortable till he came back again, shouldered his basket, shook the
bottle of holy water in Schwartz's face till it frothed again, and
marched off in the highest spirits in the world.

It was, indeed, a morning that might have made any one happy, even with
no Golden River to seek for. Level lines of dewy mist lay stretched
along the valley, out of which rose the massy mountains--their lower
cliffs in pale gray shadow, hardly distinguishable from the floating
vapor, but gradually ascending till they caught the sunlight, which ran
in sharp touches of ruddy color along the angular crags, and pierced, in
long level rays, through their fringes of spear-like pine. Far above,
shot up red splintered masses of castellated rock, jagged and shivered
into myriads of fantastic forms, with here and there a streak of sunlit
snow, traced down their chasms like a line of forked lightning; and, far
beyond, and far above all these, fainter than the morning cloud, but
purer and changeless, slept, in the blue sky, the utmost peaks of the
eternal snow.

The Golden River, which sprang from one of the lower and snowless
elevations, was now nearly in shadow; all but the uppermost jets of
spray, which rose like slow smoke above the undulating line of the
cataract, and floated away in feeble wreaths upon the morning wind.

On this object, and on this alone, Hans's eyes and thoughts were fixed;
forgetting the distance he had to traverse, he set off at an imprudent
rate of walking, which greatly exhausted him before he had scaled the
first range of the green and low hills. He was, moreover, surprised, on
surmounting them, to find that a large glacier, of whose existence,
notwithstanding his previous knowledge of the mountains, he had been
absolutely ignorant, lay between him and the source of the Golden River.
He entered on it with the boldness of a practised mountaineer; yet he
thought he had never traversed so strange or so dangerous a glacier in
his life. The ice was excessively slippery, and out of all its chasms
came wild sounds of gushing water; not monotonous or low, but changeful
and loud, rising occasionally into drifting passages of wild melody;
then breaking off into short melancholy tones, or sudden shrieks,
resembling those of human voices in distress or pain. The ice was broken
into thousands of confused shapes, but none, Hans thought, like the
ordinary forms of splintered ice. There seemed a curious _expression_
about all their outlines--a perpetual resemblance to living features,
distorted and scornful. Myriads of deceitful shadows, and lurid lights,
played and floated about and through the pale blue pinnacles, dazzling
and confusing the sight of the traveler; while his ears grew dull and
his head giddy with the constant gush and roar of the concealed waters.
These painful circumstances increased upon him as he advanced; the ice
crashed and yawned into fresh chasms at his feet, tottering spires
nodded around him, and fell thundering across his path; and though he
had repeatedly faced these dangers on the most terrific glaciers, and in
the wildest weather, it was with a new and oppressive feeling of panic
terror that he leaped the last chasm, and flung himself, exhausted and
shuddering, on the firm turf of the mountain.

He had been compelled to abandon his basket of food, which became a
perilous encumbrance on the glacier, and had now no means of refreshing
himself but by breaking off and eating some of the pieces of ice. This,
however, relieved his thirst; an hour's repose recruited his hardy
frame, and with the indomitable spirit of avarice, he resumed his
laborious journey.

His way now lay straight up a ridge of bare red rocks, without a blade
of grass to ease the foot, or a projecting angle to afford an inch of
shade from the south sun. It was past noon, and the rays beat intensely
upon the steep path, while the whole atmosphere was motionless and
penetrated with heat. Intense thirst was soon added to the bodily
fatigue with which Hans was now afflicted; glance after glance he cast
on the flask of water which hung at his belt. "Three drops are enough,"
at last thought he; "I may, at least, cool my lips with it."

He opened the flask, and was raising it to his lips, when his eye fell
on an object lying on the rock beside him; he thought it moved. It was a
small dog, apparently in the last agony of death from thirst. Its tongue
was out, its jaws dry, its limbs extended lifelessly, and a swarm of
black ants were crawling about its lips and throat. Its eye moved to the
bottle which Hans held in his hand. He raised it, drank, spurned the
animal with his foot, and passed on. And he did not know how it was, but
he thought that a strange shadow had suddenly come across the blue sky.

The path became steeper and more rugged every moment; and the high hill
air, instead of refreshing him, seemed to throw his blood into a fever.
The noise of the hill cataracts sounded like mockery in his ears; they
were all distant, and his thirst increased every moment. Another hour
passed, and he again looked down to the flask at his side; it was half
empty, but there was much more than three drops in it. He stopped to
open it; and again, as he did so, something moved in the path above him.
It was a fair child, stretched nearly lifeless on the rock, its breast
heaving with thirst, its eyes closed, and its lips parched and burning.
Hans eyed it deliberately, drank, and passed on. And a dark gray cloud
came over the sun, and long, snake-like shadows crept up along the
mountain sides. Hans struggled on. The sun was sinking, but its descent
seemed to bring no coolness; the leaden weight of the dead air pressed
upon his brow and heart, but the goal was near. He saw the cataract of
the Golden River springing from the hillside, scarcely five hundred feet
above him. He paused for a moment to breathe, and sprang on to complete
his task.

At this instant a faint cry fell on his ear. He turned, and saw a
gray-haired old man extended on the rocks. His eyes were sunk, his
features deadly pale, and gathered into an expression of despair.
"Water!" he stretched his arms to Hans, and cried feebly, "Water! I am

"I have none," replied Hans; "thou hast had thy share of life." He
strode over the prostrate body, and darted on. And a flash of blue
lightning rose out of the East, shaped like a sword; it shook thrice
over the whole heaven, and left it dark with one heavy, impenetrable
shade. The sun was setting; it plunged toward the horizon like a red-hot

The roar of the Golden River rose on Hans's ear. He stood at the brink
of the chasm through which it ran. Its waves were filled with the red
glory of the sunset; they shook their crests like tongues of fire, and
flashes of bloody light gleamed along their foam. Their sound came
mightier and mightier on his senses; his brain grew giddy with the
prolonged thunder. Shuddering he drew the flask from his girdle, and
hurled it into the center of the torrent. As he did so, an icy chill
shot through his limbs; he staggered, shrieked, and fell. The waters
closed over his cry. And the moaning of the river rose wildly into the
night, as it gushed over




Poor little Gluck waited very anxiously alone in the house for Hans's
return. Finding he did not come back, he was terribly frightened and
went and told Schwartz in the prison, all that had happened. Then
Schwartz was very much pleased, and said that Hans must certainly have
been turned into a black stone, and he should have all the gold to
himself. But Gluck was very sorry, and cried all night. When he got up
in the morning there was no bread in the house, nor any money; so Gluck
went and hired himself to another goldsmith, and he worked so hard, and
so neatly, and so long every day, that he soon got money enough together
to pay his brother's fine, and he went and gave it all to Schwartz, and
Schwartz got out of prison. Then Schwartz was quite pleased, and said he
should have some of the gold of the river. But Gluck only begged he
would go and see what had become of Hans.

Now when Schwartz had heard that Hans had stolen the holy water, he
thought to himself that such a proceeding might not be considered
altogether correct by the King of the Golden River, and determined to
manage matters better. So he took some more of Gluck's money, and went
to a bad priest, who gave him some holy water very readily for it. Then
Schwartz was sure it was all quite right. So Schwartz got up early in
the morning before the sun rose, and took some bread and wine, in a
basket, and put his holy water in a flask, and set off for the
mountains. Like his brother, he was much surprised at the sight of the
glacier, and had great difficulty in crossing it, even after leaving his
basket behind him. The day was cloudless, but not bright; there was a
heavy purple haze hanging over the sky, and the hills looked lowering
and gloomy. And as Schwartz climbed the steep rock path, the thirst came
upon him, as it had upon his brother, until he lifted his flask to his
lips to drink. Then he saw the fair child lying near him on the rocks,
and it cried to him, and moaned for water.

"Water, indeed," said Schwartz; "I haven't half enough for myself," and
passed on. And as he went he thought the sunbeams grew more dim, and he
saw a low bank of black cloud rising out of the West; and, when he had
climbed for another hour the thirst overcame him again, and he would
have drunk. Then he saw the old man lying before him on the path, and
heard him cry out for water. "Water, indeed," said Schwartz, "I haven't
enough for myself," and on he went.

Then again the light seemed to fade before his eyes, and he looked up,
and, behold, a mist, of the color of blood, had come over the sun; and
the bank of black cloud had risen very high, and its edges were tossing
and tumbling like the waves of the angry sea. And they cast long
shadows, which flickered over Schwartz's path.

Then Schwartz climbed for another hour, and again his thirst returned;
and as he lifted his flask to his lips, he thought he saw his brother
Hans lying exhausted on the path before him, and, as he gazed, the
figure stretched its arms to him, and cried for water. "Ha, ha," laughed
Schwartz, "are you there? Remember the prison bars, my boy. Water,
indeed! do you suppose I carried it all the way up here for _you_?" And
he strode over the figure; yet, as he passed, he thought he saw a
strange expression of mockery about its lips. And, when he had gone a
few yards farther, he looked back; but the figure was not there.

And a sudden horror came over Schwartz, he knew not why; but the thirst
for gold prevailed over his fear, and he rushed on. And the bank of
black cloud rose to the zenith, and out of it came bursts of spiry
lightning, and waves of darkness seemed to heave and float between their
flashes over the whole heavens. And the sky where the sun was setting
was all level, and like a lake of blood; and a strong wind came out of
that sky, tearing its crimson cloud into fragments, and scattering them
far into the darkness. And when Schwartz stood by the brink of the
Golden River, its waves were black, like thunder clouds, but their foam
was like fire; and the roar of the waters below, and the thunder above,
met, as he cast the flask into the stream. And, as he did so, the
lightning glared into his eyes, and the earth gave way beneath him, and
the waters closed over his cry. And the moaning of the river rose wildly
into the night, as it gushed over the




When Gluck found that Schwartz did not come back he was very sorry, and
did not know what to do. He had no money, and was obliged to go and hire
himself again to the goldsmith, who worked him very hard, and gave him
very little money. So, after a month or two, Gluck grew tired, and made
up his mind to go and try his fortune with the Golden River. "The little
King looked very kind," thought he. "I don't think he will turn me into
a black stone." So he went to the priest, and the priest gave him some
holy water as soon as he asked for it. Then Gluck took some bread in his
basket, and the bottle of water, and set off very early for the

If the glacier had occasioned a great deal of fatigue to his brothers,
it was twenty times worse for him, who was neither so strong nor so
practised on the mountains. He had several bad falls, lost his basket
and bread, and was very much frightened at the strange noises under the
ice. He lay a long time to rest on the grass, after he had got over,
and began to climb the hill just in the hottest part of the day. When he
had climbed for an hour, he got dreadfully thirsty, and was going to
drink like his brothers, when he saw an old man coming down the path
above him, looking very feeble, and leaning on a staff. "My son," said
the old man, "I am faint with thirst. Give me some of that water." Then
Gluck looked at him, and when he saw that he was pale and weary, he gave
him the water; "Only pray don't drink it all," said Gluck. But the old
man drank a great deal, and gave him back the bottle two-thirds empty.
Then he bade him good speed, and Gluck went on again merrily. And the
path became easier to his feet, and two or three blades of grass
appeared upon it, and some grasshoppers began singing on the bank beside
it; and Gluck thought he had never heard such merry singing.

Then he went on for another hour, and the thirst increased on him so
that he thought he should be forced to drink. But, as he raised the
flask, he saw a little child lying panting by the road-side, and it
cried out piteously for water. Then Gluck struggled with himself, and
determined to bear the thirst a little longer; and he put the bottle to
the child's lips, and it drank it all but a few drops. Then it smiled on
him, and got up and ran down the hill; and Gluck looked after it, till
it became as small as a little star, and then turned and began climbing
again. And then there were all kinds of sweet flowers growing on the
rocks, bright green moss with pale pink starry flowers, and soft belled
gentians, more blue than the sky at its deepest, and pure white
transparent lilies. And crimson and purple butterflies darted hither and
thither, and the sky sent down such pure light that Gluck had never felt
so happy in his life.

Yet, when he had climbed for another hour, his thirst became intolerable
again; and, when he looked at his bottle, he saw that there were only
five or six drops left in it, and he could not venture to drink. And, as
he was hanging the flask to his belt again, he saw a little dog lying on
the rocks, gasping for breath--just as Hans had seen it on the day of
his ascent. And Gluck stopped and looked at it, and then at the Golden
River, not five hundred yards above him; and he thought of the dwarf's
words, "that no one could succeed, except in his first attempt"; and he
tried to pass the dog, but it whined piteously, and Gluck stopped again.
"Poor beastie," said Gluck, "it'll be dead when I come down again, if I
don't help it." Then he looked closer and closer at it, and its eye
turned on him so mournfully that he could not stand it. "Confound the
King and his gold, too," said Gluck; and he opened the flask, and poured
all the water into the dog's mouth.

The dog sprang up and stood on its hind legs. Its tail disappeared, its
ears became long, longer, silky, golden; its nose became very red, its
eyes became very twinkling; in three seconds the dog was gone, and
before Gluck stood his old acquaintance, the King of the Golden River.

"Thank you," said the monarch; "but don't be frightened, it's all
right"; for Gluck showed manifest symptoms of consternation at this
unlooked-for reply to his last observation. "Why didn't you come
before," continued the dwarf, "instead of sending me those rascally
brothers of yours, for me to have the trouble of turning into stones?
Very hard stones they make, too."

"Oh, dear me!" said Gluck, "have you really been so cruel?"

"Cruel!" said the dwarf: "they poured unholy water into my stream; do
you suppose I'm going to allow that?"

"Why," said Gluck, "I am sure, sir--your Majesty, I mean,--they got the
water out of the church font."

"Very probably," replied the dwarf; "but," and his countenance grew
stern as he spoke, "the water which has been refused to the cry of the
weary and dying is unholy, though it had been blessed by every saint in
heaven; and the water which is found in the vessel of mercy is holy,
though it had been defiled with corpses."

So saying, the dwarf stooped and plucked a lily that grew at his feet.
On its white leaves there hung three drops of clear dew. And the dwarf
shook them into the flask which Gluck held in his hand. "Cast these into
the river," he said, "and descend on the other side of the mountains
into the Treasure Valley, and so good speed."

As he spoke, the figure of the dwarf became indistinct. The playing
colors of his robe formed themselves into a prismatic mist of dewy
light: he stood for an instant veiled with them as with the belt of a
broad rainbow. The colors grew faint, the mist rose into the air; the
monarch had evaporated.

And Gluck climbed to the brink of the Golden River and its waves were as
clear as crystal, and as brilliant as the sun. And, when he cast the
three drops of dew into the stream, there opened where they fell, a
small circular whirlpool, into which the waters descended with a musical

Gluck stood watching it for some time, very much disappointed, because
not only the river was not turned into gold but its waters seemed much
diminished in quantity. Yet he obeyed his friend the dwarf, and
descended the other side of the mountains, towards the Treasure Valley;
and, as he went, he thought he heard the noise of water working its way
under the ground. And when he came in sight of the Treasure Valley,
behold, a river, like the Golden River, was springing from a new cleft
of the rocks above it, and was flowing in innumerable streams among the
dry heaps of red sand.

And, as Gluck gazed, fresh grass sprang beside the new streams, and
creeping plants grew, and climbed among the moistening soil. Young
flowers opened suddenly along the river sides, as stars leap out when
twilight is deepening, and thickets of myrtle, and tendrils of vine,
cast lengthening shadows over the valley as they grew. And thus the
Treasure Valley became a garden again, and the inheritance, which had
been lost by cruelty, was regained by love.

And Gluck went and dwelt in the valley, and the poor were never driven
from his door; so that his barns became full of corn, and his house of
treasure. And for him, the river had, according to the dwarf's promise,
become a River of Gold.

And, to this day, the inhabitants of the valley point out the place
where the three drops of holy dew were cast into the stream, and trace
the course of the Golden River under the ground, until it emerges in the
Treasure Valley. And at the top of the cataract of the Golden River are
still to be seen TWO BLACK STONES, round which the waters howl
mournfully every day at sunset; and these stones are still called by the
people of the valley





  Jacobs, Joseph, _History of the Aesopic Fable_.

        The only elaborate and scholarly study in
        English. Vol. I of a reprint of _Caxton's
        Aesop_. [Bibliothèque de Carabas Series.]
        Published in 1889 in a limited edition and not
        easily accessible.

  Jacobs, Joseph, _The Fables of Aesop_. [Illustrated by Richard

        Eighty-two selected fables. The Introduction is
        a summary of all the essential conclusions
        reached in the study above.

  Wiggin, Kate D., and Smith, Nora A., _The Talking Beasts_.

        The best general collection from all fields,
        including both the folk fable and the modern
        literary fable.

  Babbitt, Ellen C., _Jataka Tales Retold_.

  Dutton, Maude Barrows, _The Tortoise and the Geese, and Other
      Fables of Bidpai_.

  Ramaswami Raju, P. V., _Indian Folk Stories and Fables_.

        These three books are excellent for simplified
        versions of the eastern group. Those desiring
        to get closer to the sources may refer to
        Cowell [ed.], _The Jataka, or Stories of the
        Buddha's Former Births_; Rhys-Davids, _Buddhist
        Birth Stories_; Keith-Falconer, _Bidpai's


It is possible to piece out a very satisfactory account of the nature
and history of the traditional fable by looking up in any good
encyclopedia the brief articles under the following heads: Folklore,
Fable, Parable, Apologue, Æsop, Demetrius of Phalerum, Babrias,
Phaedrus, Avian, Romulus, Maximus Planudes, Jataka, Bidpai,
Panchatantra, Hitopadesa.

For a popular account of the whole philosophy of the apologue consult
Newbigging, _Fables and Fabulists: Ancient and Modern_.

For distinctions between various kinds of symbolic tales see Canby, _The
Short Story in English_ (pp. 23 ff.); Trench, _Notes on the Parables_
(Introduction); Smith, "The Fable and Kindred Forms," _Journal of
English and Germanic Philology_, Vol. XIV, p. 519.

For origins and parallels read Müller, "On the Migration of Fables,"
_Selected Essays_, Vol. I (reprinted in large part in Warner, _Library
of the World's Best Literature_, Vol. XVIII); Clouston, _Popular Tales
and Fictions_, Vol. I, p. 266, and Vol. II, p. 432. The more general
treatises on folklore all touch on these problems.

For suggestions on the use of fables with children see MacClintock,
_Literature in the Elementary School_ (chap. xi); Adler, _Moral
Instruction of Children_ (chaps. vii and viii); McMurry, _Special Method
in Reading in the Grades_ (p. 70).

For a clear and helpful account of the French writers of fables, the
most important modern group, read Collins, _La Fontaine and Other French
Fabulists_. Representative examples are given in most excellent
translation. The best complete translation of La Fontaine is by Elizur
Wright; of Krylov, in verse by I. H. Harrison, in prose by W. R. S.
Ralston; of Yriarte, by R. Rockliffe. Gay's complete collection may be
found in any edition of his poems.

Satisfactory collections of proverbial sayings useful in finding
expressions for the wisdom found in fables are Christy, _Proverbs,
Maxims, and Phrases of All Ages_; Hazlitt, _English Proverbs and
Proverbial Phrases_; Trench, _Proverbs and Their Lessons_.

A book of great suggestive value covering the whole field of the prose
story is Fansler, _Types of Prose Narratives_. It contains elaborate
classifications, discussions and examples of each type, and an extended
bibliography. Pp. 83-127 deal with fables, parables, and allegories.



_The character and value of fables._ Some one has pointed out that there
are two kinds of ideals by which we are guided in life and that these
ideals may be compared to lighthouses and lanterns. By means of the
lighthouse, remote and lofty, we are able to lay a course and to know at
any time whether we are headed in the right direction. But while we are
moving along a difficult road we need more immediate illumination to
avoid the mudholes and stumbling-places close at hand. We need the
humble lantern to show us where we may safely step.

Fables are lanterns by which our feet are guided. They embody the
practical rules for everyday uses, rules of prudence that have been
tested and approved by untold generations of travelers along the arduous
road of life. They chart only minor dangers and difficult places as a
rule, but these are the ones with which we are always in direct contact.
Being honest because it is the "best policy" is not the highest reason
for honesty, but it is what a practical world has found to be best in
practice. Fables simply give us the "rules of the road," and these rules
contribute greatly to our convenience and safety. Such rules are the
result of the common sense of man working upon his everyday problems. To
violate one of these practical rules is to be a blunderer, and
blundering is a subject for jest rather than bitter denouncement. Hence
the humorous and satirical note in fables.

The practical, self-made men of the world, who have done things and
inspired others to do them, have always placed great emphasis upon
common-sense ideals. Benjamin Franklin, by his _Poor Richard's Almanac_,
kept the incentives to industry and thrift before a people who needed to
practice these everyday rules if they were to conquer an unwilling
wilderness. So well did he do his work that after nearly two hundred
years we are still quoting his pithy sayings. It may be that his
proverbs were all borrowed, but the rules of the road are not matters
for constant experiment. Again, no account of Abraham Lincoln can omit
his use of Æsop or of Æsop-like stories to enforce his ideas. His homely
stories were so "pat" that there was nothing left for the opposition to
say. Only one who grasps the heart of a problem can use concrete
illustrations with such effect.

No one really questions the truths enforced by the more familiar fables.
But since these teachings are so commonplace and obvious, they cannot be
impressed upon us by mere repetition of the teachings as such. To secure
the emphasis needed the world gradually evolved a body of striking
stories and proverbs by which the standing rules of everyday life are
displayed in terms that cling like burrs. "The peculiar value of the
fable," says Dr. Adler, "is that they are instantaneous photographs,
which reproduce, as it were, in a single flash of light, some one aspect
of human nature, and which, excluding everything else, permit the entire
attention to be fixed on that one."

_Æsop and Bidpai._ The type of fable in mind in the above account is
that known as the Æsopic, a brief beast-story in which the characters
are, as a rule, conventionalized animals, and which points out some
practical moral. The fox may represent crafty people, the ass may
represent stupid people, the wind may represent boisterous people, the
tortoise may represent plodding people who "keep everlastingly at it."
When human beings are introduced, such as the Shepherd Boy, or
Androcles, or the Travelers, or the Milkmaid, they are as wholly
conventionalized as the animals and there is never any doubt as to their
motives. Æsop, if he ever existed at all, is said to have been a Greek
slave of the sixth century B.C., very ugly and clever, who used fables
orally for political purposes and succeeded in gaining his freedom and a
high position. Later writers, among them Demetrius of Phalerum about 300
B.C. and Phaedrus about 30 A.D., made versions of fables ascribed to
Æsop. Many writers in the Middle Ages brought together increasing
numbers of fables under Æsop's name and enlarged upon the few
traditional facts in Herodotus about Æsop himself until several hundred
fables and an elaborate biography of the supposed author were in
existence. Joseph Jacobs said he had counted as many as 700 different
fables going under Æsop's name. The number included in a present-day
book of Æsop usually varies from 200 to 350. Another name associated
with the making of fables is that of Bidpai (or Pilpay), said to have
been a philosopher attached to the court of some oriental king. Bidpai,
a name which means "head scholar," is a more shadowy figure even than
Æsop. What we can be sure of is that there were two centers, Greece and
India, from which fables were diffused. Whether they all came originally
from a single source, and, if so, what that source was, are questions
still debated by scholars.

_Modern fabulists._ Modern fables are no more possible than a new Mother
Goose or a new fairy story. For modern times the method of the fable is
"at once too simple and too roundabout. Too roundabout; for the truths
we have to tell we prefer to speak out directly and not by way of
allegory. And the truths the fable has to teach are too simple to
correspond to the facts in our complex civilization." No modern fabulist
has duplicated in his field the success of Hans Christian Andersen in
the field of the nursery story. A few fables from La Fontaine, a few
from Krylov, one or two each from Gay, Cowper, Yriarte, and Lessing may
be used to good advantage with children. The general broadening of
literary variety has, of course, given us in recent times many valuable
stories of the symbolistic kind. Suggestive parable-like or allegorical
stories, such as a few of Hawthorne's in _Twice Told Tales_ and _Mosses
from an Old Manse_, or a few of Tolstoy's short tales, are simple enough
for children.

_The use of fables in school._ Not all fables are good for educational
purposes. There is, however, plenty of room for choice, and those that
present points of view no longer accepted by the modern world should be
eliminated from the list. Objections based on the unreality of the
fables, their "unnatural natural history," are hardly valid. Rousseau's
elimination of fables from his scheme of education in _Emile_ is based
on this objection and on the further point that the child will often
sympathize with the wrong character in the story, thus going astray in
the moral lesson. Other objectors down to the present day simply echo
Rousseau. Such a view does little justice to the child's natural sense
of values. He is certain to see that the Frog is foolish in competing
with the Ox in size, and certain to recognize the common sense of the
Country Mouse. He will no more be deceived by a fable than he will by
the painted clown in a circus.

The oral method of presentation is the ideal one. Tell the story in as
vivid a form as possible. In the earlier grades the interest in the
story may be a sufficient end, but almost from the beginning children
will see the lesson intended. They will catch the phrases that have come
from fables into our everyday speech. Thus, "sour grapes," "dog in the
manger," "to blow hot and cold," "to kill the goose that lays the golden
eggs," "to cry 'Wolf!'" will take on more significant meanings. If some
familiar proverb goes hand in hand with the story, it will help the
point to take fast hold in the mind. Applications of the fable to real
events should be encouraged. That is what fables were made for and that
is where their chief value for us is still manifest. Only a short time
need be spent on any one fable, but every opportunity should be taken to
call up and apply the fables already learned. For they are not merely
for passing amusement, nor is their value confined to childhood. Listen
to John Locke, one of the "hardest-headed" of philosophers: "As soon as
a child has learned to read, it is desirable to place in his hands
pleasant books, suited to his capacity, wherein the entertainment that
he finds might draw him on, and reward his pains in reading; and yet not
such as should fill his head with perfectly useless trumpery, or lay the
principles of vice and folly. To this purpose I think _Æsop's Fables_
the best, which being stories apt to delight and entertain a child, may
yet afford useful reflections to a grown man, and if his memory retain
them all his life after, he will not repent to find them there, amongst
his manly thoughts and serious business."

        The best Æsop collection for teachers and
        pupils alike is _The Fables of Æsop_, edited by
        Joseph Jacobs. It contains eighty-two selected
        fables, including those that are most familiar
        and most valuable for children. The versions
        are standards of what such retellings should
        be, and may well serve as models for teachers
        in their presentation of other short symbolic
        stories. The introduction, "A Short History of
        the Æsopic Fable," and the notes at the end of
        the book contain, in concise form, all the
        practical information needed. The text of the
        Jacobs versions was the one selected for
        reproduction in Dr. Eliot's _Harvard Classics_.
        Nos. 205, 206, 207, 208, 209, 213, and 233 in
        the following group are by Mr. Jacobs. The
        other Æsopic fables given are from various
        collections of the traditional versions. Almost
        any of the many reprints called Æsop are
        satisfactory for fables not found in Jacobs.
        Perhaps the one most common in recent times is
        that made by Thomas James in 1848, which had
        the good fortune to be illustrated by Tenniel.
        The versions are brief and not overloaded with
        editorial "filling."



There was once a young Shepherd Boy who tended his sheep at the foot of
a mountain near a dark forest. It was rather lonely for him all day, so
he thought upon a plan by which he could get a little company and some
excitement. He rushed down towards the village calling out "Wolf! Wolf!"
and the villagers came out to meet him, and some of them stopped with
him for a considerable time. This pleased the boy so much that a few
days afterwards he tried the same trick, and again the villagers came to
his help. But shortly after this a Wolf actually did come out from the
forest, and began to worry the sheep, and the boy of course cried out
"Wolf! Wolf!" still louder than before. But this time the villagers, who
had been fooled twice before, thought the boy was again deceiving them,
and nobody stirred to come to his help. So the Wolf made a good meal off
the boy's flock, and when the boy complained, the wise man of the
village said:

"_A liar will not be believed, even when he speaks the truth._"



Once when a Lion was asleep a little Mouse began running up and down
upon him; this soon wakened the Lion, who placed his huge paw upon him
and opened his big jaws to swallow him. "Pardon, O King," cried the
little Mouse; "forgive me this time; I shall never forget it. Who knows
but what I may be able to do you a good turn some of these days?" The
Lion was so tickled at the idea of the Mouse being able to help him,
that he lifted up his paw and let him go. Some time after the Lion was
caught in a trap, and the hunters, who desired to carry him alive to the
King, tied him to a tree while they went in search of a wagon to carry
him on. Just then the little Mouse happened to pass by, and seeing the
sad plight in which the Lion was, went up to him and soon gnawed away
the ropes that bound the King of the Beasts. "Was I not right?" said the
little Mouse.

_Little friends may prove great friends._



A Crow, half-dead with thirst, came upon a Pitcher which had once been
full of water; but when the Crow put its beak into the mouth of the
Pitcher he found that only very little water was left in it, and that he
could not reach far enough down to get at it. He tried and he tried, but
at last had to give up in despair. Then a thought came to him, and he
took a pebble and dropped it into the Pitcher. Then he took another
pebble and dropped it into the Pitcher. Then he took another pebble and
dropped that into the Pitcher. Then he took another pebble and dropped
that into the Pitcher. Then he took another pebble and dropped that into
the Pitcher. Then he took another pebble and dropped that into the
Pitcher. At last, at last, he saw the water mount up near him; and after
casting in a few more pebbles he was able to quench his thirst and save
his life.

_Little by little does the trick._



"Oh, Father," said a little Frog to the big one sitting by the side of a
pool, "I have seen such a terrible monster! It was as big as a mountain,
with horns on its head, and a long tail, and it had hoofs divided in

"Tush, child, tush," said the old Frog, "that was only Farmer White's
Ox. It isn't so big either; he may be a little bit taller than I, but I
could easily make myself quite as broad; just you see." So he blew
himself out, and blew himself out, and blew himself out. "Was he as big
as that?" asked he.

"Oh, much bigger than that," said the young Frog.

Again the old one blew himself out, and asked the young one if the Ox
was as big as that.

"Bigger, Father, bigger," was the reply.

So the Frog took a deep breath, and blew and blew and blew, and swelled
and swelled and swelled. And then he said: "I'm sure the Ox is not as
big as--" But at this moment he burst.

_Self-conceit may lead to self-destruction._



Frogs were living as happy as could be in a marshy swamp that just
suited them; they went splashing about, caring for nobody and nobody
troubling with them. But some of them thought that this was not right,
that they should have a king and a proper constitution, so they
determined to send up a petition to Jove to give them what they wanted.
"Mighty Jove," they cried, "send unto us a king that will rule over us
and keep us in order." Jove laughed at their croaking, and threw down
into the swamp a huge Log, which came down--kersplash--into the water.
The Frogs were frightened out of their lives by the commotion made in
their midst, and all rushed to the bank to look at the horrible monster;
but after a time, seeing that it did not move, one or two of the boldest
of them ventured out towards the Log, and even dared to touch it; still
it did not move. Then the greatest hero of the Frogs jumped upon the Log
and commenced dancing up and down upon it; thereupon all the Frogs came
and did the same; and for some time the Frogs went about their business
every day without taking the slightest notice of their new King Log
lying in their midst. But this did not suit them, so they sent another
petition to Jove, and said to him: "We want a real king; one that will
really rule over us." Now this made Jove angry, so he sent among them a
big Stork that soon set to work gobbling them all up. Then the Frogs
repented when too late.

_Better no rule than cruel rule._


        The following fable is found in the folklore of
        many countries. Its lesson of consolation for
        those who are not blessed with abundance of
        worldly goods may account for its widespread
        popularity. Independence and freedom from fear
        have advantages that make up for poorer fare.


A Field Mouse had a friend who lived in a house in town. Now the Town
Mouse was asked by the Field Mouse to dine with him, and out he went and
sat down to a meal of corn and wheat.

"Do you know, my friend," said he, "that you live a mere ant's life out
here? Why, I have all kinds of things at home. Come, and enjoy them."

So the two set off for town, and there the Town Mouse showed his beans
and meal, his dates, too, and his cheese and fruit and honey. And as the
Field Mouse ate, drank, and was merry, he thought how rich his friend
was, and how poor he was.

But as they ate, a man all at once opened the door, and the Mice were in
such a fear that they ran into a crack.

Then, when they would eat some nice figs, in came a maid to get a pot of
honey or a bit of cheese; and when they saw her, they hid in a hole.

Then the Field Mouse would eat no more, but said to the Town Mouse, "Do
as you like, my good friend; eat all you want and have your fill of good
things, but you will be always in fear of your life. As for me, poor
Mouse, who have only corn and wheat, I will live on at home in no fear
of any one."


        This simple poem is based upon the old fable
        preceding. It does not follow out the idea of
        the fable, but limits itself to awakening our
        sympathy for the garden mouse.



        The city mouse lives in a house;--
          The garden mouse lives in a bower;
        He's friendly with the frogs and toads,
          And sees the pretty plants in flower.

        The city mouse eats bread and cheese;--
          The garden mouse eats what he can;
        We will not grudge him seeds and stocks,
          Poor little timid furry man.


        The most famous use of this fable in literature
        is found in the _Satires_ of the great Roman
        poet, Horace (B.C. 65-8). He is regarded as one
        of the most polished of writers, and the
        ancient world's most truthful painter of social
        life and manners. Horace had a country seat
        among the Sabine hills to which he could retire
        from the worries and distractions of the world.
        His delight in his Sabine farm is shown clearly
        in his handling of the story. The passage is a
        part of Book II, Satire 6, and is in
        Conington's translation. Some well-known
        appearances of this same fable in English
        poetry may be found in Prior and Montagu's
        _City Mouse and Country Mouse_ and in Pope's
        _Imitations of Horace_.



        One day a country mouse in his poor home
        Received an ancient friend, a mouse from Rome.
        The host, though close and careful, to a guest
        Could open still; so now he did his best.
        He spares not oats or vetches; in his chaps
        Raisins he brings, and nibbled bacon-scraps,
        Hoping by varied dainties to entice
        His town-bred guest, so delicate and nice.
        Who condescended graciously to touch
        Thing after thing, but never would take much,
        While he, the owner of the mansion, sate
        On threshed-out straw, and spelt and darnels ate.
        At length the town mouse cries, "I wonder how
        You can live here, friend, on this hill's rough brow!
        Take my advice, and leave these ups and downs,
        This hill and dale, for humankind and towns.
        Come, now, go home with me; remember, all
        Who live on earth are mortal, great and small.
        Then take, good sir, your pleasure while you may;
        With life so short, 'twere wrong to lose a day."
        This reasoning made the rustic's head turn round;
        Forth from his hole he issues with a bound,
        And they two make together for their mark,
        In hopes to reach the city during dark.
        The midnight sky was bending over all,
        When they set foot within a stately hall,
        Where couches of wrought ivory had been spread
        With gorgeous coverlets of Tyrian red,
        And viands piled up high in baskets lay,
        The relics of a feast of yesterday.
        The town mouse does the honors, lays his guest
        At ease upon a couch with crimson dressed,
        Then nimbly moves in character of host,
        And offers in succession boiled and roast;
        Nay, like a well-trained slave, each wish prevents,
        And tastes before the titbits he presents.
        The guest, rejoicing in his altered fare,
        Assumes in turn a genial diner's air,
        When, hark, a sudden banging of the door!
        Each from his couch is tumbled on the floor.
        Half dead, they scurry round the room, poor things,
        While the whole house with barking mastiffs rings.
        Then says the rustic, "It may do for you,
        This life, but I don't like it; so, adieu.
        Give me my hole, secure from all alarms;
        I'll prove that tares and vetches still have charms."


        The following is the Androcles story as retold
        by Jacobs. Scholars think this fable is clearly
        oriental in its origin, constituting as it does
        a sort of appeal to tyrannical rulers for
        leniency toward their subjects.


A Slave named Androcles once escaped from his master and fled to the
forest. As he was wandering about there he came upon a Lion lying down
moaning and groaning. At first he turned to flee, but finding that the
Lion did not pursue him, he turned back and went up to him. As he came
near, the Lion put out his paw, which was all swollen and bleeding, and
Androcles found that a huge thorn had got into it, and was causing all
the pain. He pulled out the thorn and bound up the paw of the Lion, who
was soon able to rise and lick the hand of Androcles like a dog. Then
the Lion took Androcles to his cave, and every day used to bring him
meat from which to live. But shortly afterwards both Androcles and the
Lion were captured, and the slave was sentenced to be thrown to the
Lion, after the latter had been kept without food for several days. The
Emperor and all his Court came to see the spectacle, and Androcles was
led out into the middle of the arena. Soon the Lion was let loose from
his den, and rushed bounding and roaring towards his victim. But as soon
as he came near to Androcles he recognized his friend, and fawned upon
him, and licked his hands like a friendly dog. The Emperor, surprised at
this, summoned Androcles to him, who told him the whole story. Whereupon
the slave was pardoned and freed, and the Lion let loose to his native

_Gratitude is the sign of noble souls._


        The preceding fable is here given in the form
        used in Thomas Day's very famous, but probably
        little read, _History of Sandford and Merton_.
        (See No. 380.) Day's use of the story is
        probably responsible for its modern popularity.
        Jacobs points out that it dropped out of Æsop,
        although it was in some of the medieval fable
        books. A very similar tale, "Of the Remembrance
        of Benefits," is in the _Gesta Romanorum_ (Tale
        104). The most striking use of the fable in
        modern literature is in George Bernard Shaw's
        play _Androcles_. It will be instructive to
        compare the force of Day's rather heavy and
        slow telling of the story with that of the
        concise, unelaborated version by Jacobs.



There was a certain slave named Androcles, who was so ill-treated by his
master that his life became insupportable. Finding no remedy for what he
suffered, he at length said to himself, "It is better to die than to
continue to live in such hardships and misery as I am obliged to suffer.
I am determined therefore to run away from my master. If I am taken
again, I know that I shall be punished with a cruel death; but it is
better to die at once than to live in misery. If I escape, I must betake
myself to deserts and woods, inhabited only by wild beasts; but they
cannot use me more cruelly than I have been used by my fellow-creatures.
Therefore I will rather trust myself with them than continue to be a
miserable slave."

Having formed this resolution, he took an opportunity of leaving his
master's house, and hid himself in a thick forest, which was at some
miles' distance from the city. But here the unhappy man found that he
had only escaped from one kind of misery to experience another. He
wandered about all day through a vast and trackless wood, where his
flesh was continually torn by thorns and brambles. He grew hungry, but
could find no food in this dreary solitude. At length he was ready to
die with fatigue, and lay down in despair in a large cavern which he
found by accident.

This unfortunate man had not lain long quiet in the cavern, before he
heard a dreadful noise, which seemed to be the roar of some wild beast,
and terrified him very much. He started up with a design to escape and
had already reached the mouth of the cave when he saw coming towards him
a lion of prodigious size, who prevented any possibility of retreat. The
unfortunate man then believed his destruction to be inevitable; but, to
his great astonishment, the beast advanced towards him with a gentle
pace, without any mark of enmity or rage, and uttered a kind of mournful
voice, as if he demanded the assistance of the man.

Androcles, who was naturally of a resolute disposition, acquired courage
from this circumstance, to examine his monstrous guest, who gave him
sufficient leisure for that purpose. He saw, as the lion approached him,
that he seemed to limp upon one of his legs and that the foot was
extremely swelled as if it had been wounded. Acquiring still more
fortitude from the gentle demeanor of the beast, he advanced up to him
and took hold of the wounded paw, as a surgeon would examine a patient.
He then perceived that a thorn of uncommon size had penetrated the ball
of the foot and was the occasion of the swelling and lameness he had
observed. Androcles found that the beast, far from resenting this
familiarity, received it with the greatest gentleness and seemed to
invite him by his blandishments to proceed. He therefore extracted the
thorn, and, pressing the swelling, discharged a considerable quantity of
matter, which had been the cause of so much pain and uneasiness.

As soon as the beast felt himself thus relieved, he began to testify his
joy and gratitude by every expression within his power. He jumped about
like a wanton spaniel, wagged his enormous tail, and licked the feet and
hands of his physician. Nor was he contented with these demonstrations
of kindness; from this moment Androcles became his guest; nor did the
lion ever sally forth in quest of prey without bringing home the produce
of his chase and sharing it with his friend. In this savage state of
hospitality did the man continue to live during the space of several
months. At length, wandering unguardedly through the woods, he met with
a company of soldiers sent out to apprehend him, and was by them taken
prisoner and conducted back to his master. The laws of that country
being very severe against slaves, he was tried and found guilty of
having fled from his master, and, as a punishment for his pretended
crime, he was sentenced to be torn in pieces by a furious lion, kept
many days without food to inspire him with additional rage.

When the destined moment arrived, the unhappy man was exposed, unarmed,
in the midst of a spacious area, enclosed on every side, round which
many thousand people were assembled to view the mournful spectacle.

Presently a dreadful yell was heard, which struck the spectators with
horror; and a monstrous lion rushed out of a den, which was purposely
set open, and darted forward with erected mane, and flaming eyes, and
jaws that gaped like an open sepulchre.--A mournful silence instantly
prevailed! All eyes were turned upon the destined victim, whose
destruction now appeared inevitable. But the pity of the multitude was
soon converted into astonishment, when they beheld the lion, instead of
destroying his defenceless prey, crouch submissively at his feet; fawn
upon him as a faithful dog would do upon his master, and rejoice over
him as a mother that unexpectedly recovers her offspring. The governor
of the town, who was present, then called out with a loud voice and
ordered Androcles to explain to them this unintelligible mystery, and
how a savage beast of the fiercest and most unpitying nature should thus
in a moment have forgotten his innate disposition, and be converted into
a harmless and inoffensive animal.

Androcles then related to the assembly every circumstance of his
adventures in the woods, and concluded by saying that the very lion
which now stood before them had been his friend and entertainer in the
woods. All the persons present were astonished and delighted with the
story, to find that even the fiercest beasts are capable of being
softened by gratitude and moved by humanity; and they unanimously joined
to entreat for the pardon of the unhappy man from the governor of the
place. This was immediately granted to him, and he was also presented
with the lion, who had in this manner twice saved the life of Androcles.



A dispute once arose between the North Wind and the Sun as to which was
the stronger of the two. Seeing a Traveler on his way, they agreed to
try which could the sooner get his cloak off him. The North Wind began,
and sent a furious blast, which, at the onset, nearly tore the cloak
from its fastenings; but the Traveler, seizing the garment with a firm
grip, held it round his body so tightly that Boreas spent his remaining
force in vain.

The Sun, dispelling the clouds that had gathered, then darted his genial
beams on the Traveler's head. Growing faint with the heat, the Man flung
off his coat and ran for protection to the nearest shade.

_Mildness governs more than anger._


        The following brief fable has given us one of
        the best known expressions in common speech,
        "killing the goose that lays the golden eggs."
        People who never heard of Æsop know what that
        expression means. It is easy to connect the
        fable with our "get rich quick" craze. (Compare
        with No. 254.)


A certain Man had a Goose that laid him a golden egg every day. Being of
a covetous turn, he thought if he killed his Goose he should come at
once to the source of his treasure. So he killed her and cut her open,
but great was his dismay to find that her inside was in no way different
from that of any other goose.

_Greediness overreaches itself._


        The most successful of modern literary
        fabulists was the French poet Jean de la
        Fontaine (1621-1695). A famous critic has said
        that his fables delight the child with their
        freshness and vividness, the student of
        literature with their consummate art, and the
        experienced man with their subtle reflections
        on life and character. He drew most of his
        stories from Æsop and other sources. While he
        dressed the old fables in the brilliant style
        of his own day, he still succeeded in being
        essentially simple and direct. A few of his 240
        fables may be used to good effect with
        children, though they have their main charm for
        the more sophisticated older reader. (See Nos.
        234, 241, and 242.) The best complete
        translation is that made in 1841 by Elizur
        Wright, an American scholar. The following
        version is from his translation. Notice that La
        Fontaine has changed the goose to a hen.



        How avarice loseth all,
          By striving all to gain,
        I need no witness call
          But him whose thrifty hen,
        As by the fable we are told,
        Laid every day an egg of gold.
        "She hath a treasure in her body,"
        Bethinks the avaricious noddy.
        He kills and opens--vexed to find
          All things like hens of common kind.
        Thus spoil'd the source of all his riches,
        To misers he a lesson teaches.
          In these last changes of the moon,
            How often doth one see
            Men made as poor as he
          By force of getting rich too soon!



A Wolf wrapped himself in the skin of a Sheep and by that means got
admission into a sheep-fold, where he devoured several of the young
Lambs. The Shepherd, however, soon found him out and hung him up to a
tree, still in his disguise.

Some other Shepherds, passing that way, thought it was a Sheep hanging,
and cried to their friend, "What, brother! is that the way you serve
Sheep in this part of the country?"

"No, friends," cried he, turning the hanging body around so that they
might see what it was; "but it is the way to serve Wolves, even though
they be dressed in Sheep's clothing."

_The credit got by a lie lasts only till the truth comes out._



The Hare one day laughed at the Tortoise for his short feet, slowness,
and awkwardness.

"Though you may be swift as the wind," replied the Tortoise
good-naturedly, "I can beat you in a race."

The Hare looked on the challenge as a great joke, but consented to a
trial of speed, and the Fox was selected to act as umpire and hold the

The rivals started, and the Hare, of course, soon left the Tortoise far
behind. Having reached midway to the goal, she began to play about,
nibble the young herbage, and amuse herself in many ways. The day being
warm, she even thought she would take a little nap in a shady spot, for
she thought that if the Tortoise should pass her while she slept, she
could easily overtake him again before he reached the end.

The Tortoise meanwhile plodded on, unwavering and unresting, straight
towards the goal.

The Hare, having overslept herself, started up from her nap and was
surprised to find that the Tortoise was nowhere in sight. Off she went
at full speed, but on reaching the winning-post, found that the Tortoise
was already there, waiting for her arrival.

_Slow and steady wins the race._



A Miller and his Son were driving their Ass to a neighboring fair to
sell him. They had not gone far when they met with a troop of women
collected round a well, talking and laughing.

"Look there," cried one of them, "did you ever see such fellows, to be
trudging along the road on foot when they might ride?"

The Miller, hearing this, quickly made his Son mount the Ass, and
continued to walk along merrily by his side. Presently they came up to a
group of old men in earnest debate.

"There," said one of them, "it proves what I was saying. What respect is
shown to old age in these days? Do you see that idle lad riding while
his old father has to walk? Get down, you young scapegrace, and let the
old man rest his weary limbs."

Upon this, the Miller made his Son dismount, and got up himself. In this
manner they had not proceeded far when they met a company of women and

"Why, you lazy old fellow," cried several tongues at once, "how can you
ride upon the beast while that poor little lad there can hardly keep
pace by the side of you?"

The good-natured Miller immediately took up his Son behind him. They had
now almost reached the town.

"Pray, honest friend," said a citizen, "is that Ass your own?"

"Yes," replied the old man.

"Oh, one would not have thought so," said the other, "by the way you
load him. Why, you two fellows are better able to carry the poor beast
than he you."

"Anything to please you," said the Miller; "we can but try."

So, alighting with his Son, they tied the legs of the Ass together, and
by the help of a pole endeavored to carry him on their shoulders over a
bridge near the entrance of the town. This entertaining sight brought
the people in crowds to laugh at it, till the Ass, not liking the noise
nor the strange handling that he was subject to, broke the cords that
bound him and, tumbling off the pole, fell into the river. Upon this,
the old man, vexed and ashamed, made the best of his way home again,
convinced that by trying to please everybody he had pleased nobody, and
lost his Ass into the bargain.

_He who tries to please everybody pleases nobody._



Two Men, about to journey through a forest, agreed to stand by each
other in any dangers that might befall. They had not gone far before a
savage Bear rushed out from a thicket and stood in their path. One of
the Travelers, a light, nimble fellow, got up into a tree. The other,
seeing that there was no chance to defend himself single-handed, fell
flat on his face and held his breath. The Bear came up and smelled at
him, and taking him for dead, went off again into the wood. The Man in
the tree came down and, rejoining his companion, asked him, with a sly
smile, what was the wonderful secret which he had seen the Bear whisper
into his ear.

"Why," replied the other, "he told me to take care for the future and
not to put any confidence in such cowardly rascals as you are."

_Trust not fine promises._



A Lark, who had Young Ones in a field of grain which was almost ripe,
was afraid that the reapers would come before her young brood were
fledged. So every day when she flew off to look for food, she charged
them to take note of what they heard in her absence and to tell her of
it when she came home.

One day when she was gone, they heard the owner of the field say to his
son that the grain seemed ripe enough to be cut, and tell him to go
early the next day and ask their friends and neighbors to come and help
reap it.

When the old Lark came home, the Little Ones quivered and chirped round
her and told her what had happened, begging her to take them away as
fast as she could. The mother bade them be easy; "for," said she, "if he
depends on his friends and his neighbors, I am sure the grain will not
be reaped tomorrow."

Next day she went out again and left the same orders as before. The
owner came, and waited. The sun grew hot, but nothing was done, for not
a soul came. "You see," said the owner to his son, "these friends of
ours are not to be depended upon; so run off at once to your uncles and
cousins, and say I wish them to come early to-morrow morning and help us

This the Young Ones, in a great fright, told also to their mother. "Do
not fear, children," said she. "Kindred and relations are not always
very forward in helping one another; but keep your ears open and let me
know what you hear to-morrow."

The owner came the next day, and, finding his relations as backward as
his neighbors, said to his son, "Now listen to me. Get two good sickles
ready for to-morrow morning, for it seems we must reap the grain by

The Young Ones told this to their mother.

"Then, my dears," said she, "it is time for us to go; for when a man
undertakes to do his work himself, it is not so likely that he will be
disappointed." She took away her Young Ones at once, and the grain was
reaped the next day by the old man and his son.

_Depend upon yourself alone._



An Old Man had several Sons, who were always falling out with one
another. He had often, but to no purpose, exhorted them to live together
in harmony. One day he called them around him and, producing a bundle of
sticks, bade them try each in turn to break it across. Each put forth
all his strength, but the bundle resisted their efforts. Then, cutting
the cord which bound the sticks together, he told his Sons to break them
separately. This was done with the greatest ease.

"See, my Sons," exclaimed he, "the power of unity! Bound together by
brotherly love, you may defy almost every mortal ill; divided, you will
fall a prey to your enemies."

_A house divided against itself cannot stand._



A Fox, just at the time of the vintage, stole into a vineyard where the
ripe sunny Grapes were trellised up on high in most tempting show. He
made many a spring and a jump after the luscious prize; but, failing in
all his attempts, he muttered as he retreated, "Well! what does it
matter! The Grapes are sour!"



A Widow woman kept a Hen that laid an egg every morning. Thought the
woman to herself, "If I double my Hen's allowance of barley, she will
lay twice a day." So she tried her plan, and the Hen became so fat and
sleek that she left off laying at all.

_Figures are not always facts._



A Kid being mounted on the roof of a lofty house and seeing a Wolf pass
below, began to revile him. The Wolf merely stopped to reply, "Coward!
It is not you who revile me, but the place on which you are standing."



A Man and a Satyr having struck up an acquaintance, sat down together to
eat. The day being wintry and cold, the Man put his fingers to his mouth
and blew upon them.

"What's that for, my friend?" asked the Satyr.

"My hands are so cold," said the Man, "I do it to warm them."

In a little while some hot food was placed before them, and the Man,
raising the dish to his mouth, again blew upon it. "And what's the
meaning of that, now?" said the Satyr.

"Oh," replied the Man, "my porridge is so hot I do it to cool it."

"Nay, then," said the Satyr, "from this moment I renounce your
friendship, for I will have nothing to do with one who blows hot and
cold with the same mouth."



A Dog had stolen a piece of meat out of a butcher's shop, and was
crossing a river on his way home, when he saw his own shadow reflected
in the stream below. Thinking that it was another dog with another piece
of meat, he resolved to make himself master of that also; but in
snapping at the supposed treasure, he dropped the bit he was carrying,
and so lost all.

_Grasp at the shadow and lose the substance--the common fate of those
who hazard a real blessing for some visionary good._



The Swallow and the Raven contended which was the finer bird. The Raven
ended by saying, "Your beauty is but for the summer, but mine will stand
many winters."

_Durability is better than show._



A Woodman was felling a tree on the bank of a river, and by chance let
slip his axe into the water, when it immediately sank to the bottom.
Being thereupon in great distress, he sat down by the side of the stream
and lamented his loss bitterly. But Mercury, whose river it was, taking
compassion on him, appeared at the instant before him; and hearing from
him the cause of his sorrow, dived to the bottom of the river, and
bringing up a golden axe, asked the Woodman if that were his. Upon the
Man's denying it, Mercury dived a second time, and brought up one of
silver. Again the Man denied that it was his. So diving a third time, he
produced the identical axe which the Man had lost. "That is mine!" said
the Woodman, delighted to have recovered his own; and so pleased was
Mercury with the fellow's truth and honesty that he at once made him a
present of the other two.

The Man goes to his companions, and giving them an account of what had
happened to him, one of them determined to try whether he might not have
the like good fortune. So repairing to the same place, as if for the
purpose of cutting wood, he let slip his axe on purpose into the river
and then sat down on the bank and made a great show of weeping. Mercury
appeared as before, and hearing from him that his tears were caused by
the loss of his axe, dived once more into the stream; and bringing up a
golden axe, asked him if that was the axe he had lost.

"Aye, surely," said the Man, eagerly; and he was about to grasp the
treasure, when Mercury, to punish his impudence and lying, not only
refused to give him that, but would not so much as restore him his own
axe again.

_Honesty is the best policy._



Once upon a time the Mice being sadly distressed by the persecution of
the Cat, resolved to call a meeting to decide upon the best means of
getting rid of this continual annoyance. Many plans were discussed and

At last a young Mouse got up and proposed that a Bell should be hung
round the Cat's neck, that they might for the future always have notice
of her coming and so be able to escape. This proposition was hailed with
the greatest applause, and was agreed to at once unanimously. Upon this,
an old Mouse, who had sat silent all the while, got up and said that he
considered the contrivance most ingenious, and that it would, no doubt,
be quite successful; but he had only one short question to put; namely,
which of them it was who would Bell the Cat?

_It is one thing to propose, another to execute._



A certain wealthy patrician, intending to treat the Roman people with
some theatrical entertainment, publicly offered a reward to any one who
would produce a novel spectacle. Incited by emulation, artists arrived
from all parts to contest the prize, among whom a well-known witty
Mountebank gave out that he had a new kind of entertainment that had
never yet been produced on any stage. This report, being spread abroad,
brought the whole city together. The theater could hardly contain the
number of spectators. And when the artist appeared alone upon the stage,
without any apparatus or any assistants, curiosity and suspense kept
the spectators in profound silence. On a sudden he thrust down his head
into his bosom, and mimicked the squeaking of a young pig so naturally
that the audience insisted upon it that he had one under his cloak and
ordered him to be searched, which, being done and nothing appearing,
they loaded him with the most extravagant applause.

A Countryman among the audience observed what passed. "Oh!" says he, "I
can do better than this"; and immediately gave out that he would perform
the next day. Accordingly on the morrow a yet greater crowd was
collected. Prepossessed, however, in favor of the Mountebank, they came
rather to laugh at the Countryman than to pass a fair judgment on him.
They both came out upon the stage. The Mountebank grunts away at first,
and calls forth the greatest clapping and applause. Then the Countryman,
pretending that he concealed a little pig under his garments (and he
had, in fact, really got one) pinched its ear till he made it squeak.
The people cried out that the Mountebank had imitated the pig much more
naturally, and hooted to the Countryman to quit the stage; but he, to
convict them to their face, produced the real pig from his bosom. "And
now, gentlemen, you may see," said he, "what a pretty sort of judges you

_It is easier to convict a man against his senses than against his


        Stories dealing with the disastrous effects of
        "day-dreaming" are very common in the world's
        literature. The three selections that follow
        are given as very familiar samples for
        comparison. The first is a simple version by


Patty, the Milkmaid, was going to market, carrying her milk in a Pail on
her head. As she went along she began calculating what she could do with
the money she would get for the milk. "I'll buy some fowls from Farmer
Brown," said she, "and they will lay eggs each morning, which I will
sell to the parson's wife. With the money that I get from the sale of
these eggs I'll buy myself a new dimity frock and a chip hat; and when I
go to market, won't all the young men come up and speak to me! Polly
Shaw will be that jealous; but I don't care. I shall just look at her
and toss my head like this." As she spoke, she tossed her head back, the
Pail fell off it and all the milk was spilt. So she had to go home and
tell her mother what had occurred.

"Ah, my child," said her mother,

"_Do not count your chickens before they are hatched._"


        The next is Wright's translation of La
        Fontaine's famous fable on the day-dreaming
        theme. Notice how much more complicated its
        application becomes in contrast with the
        obvious truth of the proverb in the preceding
        version. La Fontaine is responsible for the
        story's popularity in modern times. The most
        fascinating study on the way fables have come
        down to us is Max Müller's "On the Migration of
        Fables," in which he follows this story from
        India through all its many changes until it
        reaches us in La Fontaine.



        A pot of milk upon her cushioned crown,
        Good Peggy hastened to the market town,
        Short clad and light, with speed she went,
        Not fearing any accident;
          Indeed, to be the nimble tripper,
            Her dress that day,
            The truth to say,
          Was simple petticoat and slipper.
            And thus bedight,
            Good Peggy, light,--
          Her gains already counted,--
            Laid out the cash
            At single dash,
          Which to a hundred eggs amounted.
            Three nests she made,
            Which, by the aid
          Of diligence and care, were hatched.
            "To raise the chicks,
            I'll easy fix,"
          Said she, "beside our cottage thatched.
            The fox must get
            More cunning yet,
          Or leave enough to buy a pig.
            With little care
            And any fare,
          He'll grow quite fat and big;
            And then the price
            Will be so nice,
          For which the pork will sell!
            Twill go quite hard
            But in our yard
        I'll bring a cow and calf to dwell--
          A calf to frisk among the flock!"
        The thought made Peggy do the same;
        And down at once the milk-pot came,
          And perished with the shock.
        Calf, cow, and pig, and chicks, adieu!
        Your mistress' face is sad to view;
        She gives a tear to fortune spilt;
        Then with the downcast look of guilt
        Home to her husband empty goes,
        Somewhat in danger of his blows.
        Who buildeth not, sometimes, in air
        His cots, or seats, or castles fair?
        From kings to dairywomen,--all,--
        The wise, the foolish, great and small,--
        Each thinks his waking dream the best.
        Some flattering error fills the breast:
        The world with all its wealth is ours,
        Its honors, dames, and loveliest bowers.
        Instinct with valor, when alone,
        I hurl the monarch from his throne;
        The people, glad to see him dead,
        Elect me monarch in his stead,
        And diadems rain on my head.
        Some accident then calls me back,
        And I'm no more than simple Jack.


        The day-dreaming idea is next presented in the
        form found in the story of the barber's fifth
        brother in the _Arabian Nights_. Would this
        story be any more effective if it had a
        paragraph at the end stating and emphasizing
        the moral?


Alnaschar, my fifth brother, was very lazy, and of course wretchedly
poor. On the death of our father we divided his property, and each of us
received a hundred drachms of silver for his share. Alnaschar, who hated
labor, laid out his money in fine glasses, and having displayed his
stock to the best advantage in a large basket, he took his stand in the
market-place, with his back against the wall, waiting for customers. In
this posture he indulged in a reverie, talking aloud to himself as

"This glass cost me a hundred drachms of silver, which is all I have in
the world. I shall make two hundred by retailing it, and of these very
shortly four hundred. It will not be long before these produce four
thousand. Money, they say, begets money. I shall soon therefore be
possessed of eight thousand, and when these become ten thousand I will
no longer be a glass-seller. I will trade in pearls and diamonds; and
as I shall become rich apace, I will have a splendid palace, a great
estate, slaves, and horses; I will not, however, leave traffic till I
have acquired a hundred thousand drachms. Then I shall be as great as a
prince, and will assume manners accordingly.

"I will demand the daughter of the grand vizier in marriage, who, no
doubt, will be glad of an alliance with a man of my consequence. The
marriage ceremony shall be performed with the utmost splendor and
magnificence. I will have my horse clothed with the richest housings,
ornamented with diamonds and pearls, and will be attended by a number of
slaves, all richly dressed, when I go to the vizier's palace to conduct
my wife thence to my own. The vizier shall receive me with great pomp,
and shall give me the right hand and place me above himself, to do me
the more honor. On my return I will appoint two of my handsomest slaves
to throw money among the populace, that every one may speak well of my

"When we arrive at my own palace, I will take great state upon me, and
hardly speak to my wife. She shall dress herself in all her ornaments,
and stand before me as beautiful as the full moon, but I will not look
at her. Her slaves shall draw near and entreat me to cast my eyes upon
her; which, after much supplication, I will deign to do, though with
great indifference. I will not suffer her to come out of her apartment
without my leave; and when I have a mind to visit her there, it shall be
in a manner that will make her respect me. Thus will I begin early to
teach her what she is to expect the rest of her life.

"When her mother comes to visit her she will intercede with me for her.
'Sir,' she will say (for she will not dare to call me son, for fear of
offending me by so much familiarity), 'do not, I beseech, treat my
daughter with scorn; she is as beautiful as an Houri, and entirely
devoted to you.' But my mother-in-law may as well hold her peace, for I
will take no notice of what she says. She will then pour out some wine
into a goblet, and give it to my wife, saying, 'Present it to your lord
and husband; he will not surely be so cruel as to refuse it from so fair
a hand.' My wife will then come with the glass, and stand trembling
before me; and when she finds that I do not look on her, but continue to
disdain her, she will kneel and entreat me to accept it; but I will
continue inflexible. At last, redoubling her tears, she will rise and
put the goblet to my lips, when, tired with her importunities, I will
dart a terrible look at her and give her such a push with my foot as
will spurn her from me." Alnaschar was so interested in this imaginary
grandeur that he thrust forth his foot to kick the lady, and by that
means overturned his glasses and broke them into a thousand pieces.


        "The Camel and the Pig" is from P. V. Ramaswami
        Raju's _Indian Folk Stories and Fables_, an
        excellent book of adaptations for young
        readers. The idea that every situation in life
        has its advantages as well as its disadvantages
        is one of those common but often overlooked
        truths which serve so well as the themes of
        fable. Emerson's "Fable," the story of the
        quarrel between the mountain and the squirrel,
        is a most excellent presentation of the same
        idea (see No. 363). "The Little Elf," by John
        Kendrick Bangs, makes the same point for
        smaller folks.



A camel said, "Nothing like being tall! See how tall I am!"

A Pig who heard these words said, "Nothing like being short; see how
short I am!"

The Camel said, "Well, if I fail to prove the truth of what I said, I
will give up my hump."

The Pig said, "If I fail to prove the truth of what I have said, I will
give up my snout."

"Agreed!" said the Camel.

"Just so!" said the Pig.

They came to a garden inclosed by a low wall without any opening. The
Camel stood on this side the wall, and, reaching the plants within by
means of his long neck, made a breakfast on them. Then he turned
jeeringly to the Pig, who had been standing at the bottom of the wall,
without even having a look at the good things in the garden, and said,
"Now, would you be tall or short?"

Next they came to a garden inclosed by a high wall, with a wicket gate
at one end. The Pig entered by the gate and, after having eaten his fill
of the vegetables within, came out, laughing at the poor Camel, who had
to stay outside, because he was too tall to enter the garden by the
gate, and said, "Now, would you be tall or short?"

Then they thought the matter over, and came to the conclusion that the
Camel should keep his hump and the Pig his snout, observing,--

        "Tall is good, where tall would do;
        Of short, again, 'tis also true!"


        Many scholars have believed that all fables
        originated in India. The great Indian
        collection of symbolic stories known as Jataka
        Tales, or Buddhist Birth Stories, has been
        called "the oldest, most complete, and most
        important collection of folklore extant." They
        are called Birth Stories because each one gives
        an account of something that happened in
        connection with the teaching of Buddha in some
        previous "birth" or incarnation. There are
        about 550 of these Jatakas, including some 2000
        stories. They have now been made accessible in
        a translation by a group of English scholars
        and published in six volumes under the general
        editorship of Professor Cowell. Many of them
        have long been familiar in eastern collections
        and have been adapted in recent times for use
        in schools. Each Jataka is made up of three
        parts. There is a "story of the present" giving
        an account of an incident in Buddha's life
        which calls to his mind a "story of the past"
        in which he had played a part during a former
        incarnation. Then, there is a conclusion
        marking the results. Nos. 237 and 238 are
        literal translations of Jatakas by T. W.
        Rhys-Davids in his _Buddhist Birth Stories_. In
        adapting for children, the stories of the
        present may be omitted. In fact, everything
        except the direct story should be eliminated.
        The "gathas," or verses, were very important in
        connection with the original purpose of
        religious teaching, but are only incumbrances
        in telling the story either for its own sake or
        for its moral.


At the same time when Brahma-datta was reigning in Benares, the future
Buddha was born one of a peasant family; and when he grew up he gained
his living by tilling the ground.

At that time a hawker used to go from place to place, trafficking in
goods carried by an ass. Now at each place he came to, when he took the
pack down from the ass's back, he used to clothe him in a lion's skin
and turn him loose in the rice and barley fields. And when the watchmen
in the fields saw the ass they dared not go near him, taking him for a

So one day the hawker stopped in a village; and while he was getting his
own breakfast cooked, he dressed the ass in a lion's skin and turned him
loose in a barley field. The watchmen in the field dared not go up to
him; but going home, they published the news. Then all the villagers
came out with weapons in their hands; and blowing chanks, and beating
drums, they went near the field and shouted. Terrified with the fear of
death, the ass uttered a cry--the bray of an ass!

And when he knew him then to be an ass, the future Buddha pronounced the
first verse:

        "This is not a lion's roaring,
        Nor a tiger's nor a panther's;
        Dressed in a lion's skin,
        'Tis a wretched ass that roars!"

But when the villagers knew the creature to be an ass, they beat him
till his bones broke; and, carrying off the lion's skin, went away. Then
the hawker came; and seeing the ass fallen into so bad a plight,
pronounced the second verse:

        "Long might the ass,
        Clad in a lion's skin,
        Have fed on the barley green;
        But he brayed
          And that moment he came to ruin."

And even while he was yet speaking the ass died on the spot.



The future Buddha was once born in a minister's family, when
Brahma-datta was reigning in Benares; and when he grew up he became the
king's adviser in things temporal and spiritual.

Now this king was very talkative; while he was speaking others had no
opportunity for a word. And the future Buddha, wanting to cure this
talkativeness of his, was constantly seeking for some means of doing so.

At that time there was living, in a pond in the Himalaya mountains, a
tortoise. Two young hamsas, or wild ducks, who came to feed there, made
friends with him, and one day, when they had become very intimate with
him, they said to the tortoise:

"Friend tortoise! the place where we live, at the Golden Cave on Mount
Beautiful in the Himalaya country, is a delightful spot. Will you come
there with us?"

"But how can I get there?"

"We can take you if you can only hold your tongue, and will say nothing
to anybody."

"Oh! that I can do. Take me with you."

"That's right," said they. And making the tortoise bite hold of a stick,
they themselves took the two ends in their teeth, and flew up into the

Seeing him thus carried by the hamsas, some villagers called out, "Two
wild ducks are carrying a tortoise along on a stick!" Whereupon the
tortoise wanted to say, "If my friends choose to carry me, what is that
to you, you wretched slaves!" So just as the swift flight of the wild
ducks had brought him over the king's palace in the city of Benares, he
let go of the stick he was biting, and falling in the open courtyard,
split in two! And there arose a universal cry, "A tortoise has fallen in
the open courtyard, and has split in two!"

The king, taking the future Buddha, went to the place, surrounded by his
courtiers; and looking at the tortoise, he asked the Bodisat, "Teacher!
how comes he to be fallen here?"

The future Buddha thought to himself, "Long expecting, wishing to
admonish the king, have I sought for some means of doing so. This
tortoise must have made friends with the wild ducks; and they must have
made him bite hold of the stick, and have flown up into the air to take
him to the hills. But he, being unable to hold his tongue when he hears
any one else talk, must have wanted to say something, and let go the
stick; and so must have fallen down from the sky, and thus lost his
life." And saying, "Truly, O king! those who are called
chatter-boxes--people whose words have no end--come to grief like this,"
he uttered these verses:

        "Verily the tortoise killed himself
         While uttering his voice;
         Though he was holding tight the stick,
         By a word himself he slew.

        "Behold him then, O excellent by strength!
         And speak wise words, not out of season.
         You see how, by his talking overmuch,
         The tortoise fell into this wretched plight!"

The king saw that he was himself referred to, and said, "O Teacher! are
you speaking of us?"

And the Bodisat spake openly, and said, "O great king! be it thou, or be
it any other, whoever talks beyond measure meets with some mishap like

And the king henceforth refrained himself, and became a man of few


        The following is, also, an oriental story. It
        is taken from the _Hitopadesa_ (Book of Good
        Counsel), a collection of Sanskrit fables. This
        collection was compiled from older sources,
        probably in the main from the _Panchatantra_
        (Five Books), which belonged to about the fifth
        century. Observe the emphasis placed upon the
        teaching of the fable by putting the statement
        of it at the beginning and recurring to it at
        the close.


_He who hath sense hath strength. Where hath he strength who wanteth
judgment? See how a lion, when intoxicated with anger, was overcome by a

Upon the mountain Mandara there lived a lion, whose name was Durganta
(hard to go near), who was very exact in complying with the ordinance
for animal sacrifices. So at length all the different species assembled,
and in a body represented that, as by his present mode of proceeding the
forest would be cleared all at once, if it pleased his Highness, they
would each of them in his turn provide him an animal for his daily food.
And the lion gave his consent accordingly. Thus every beast delivered
his stipulated provision, till at length, it coming to the rabbit's
turn, he began to meditate in this manner: "Policy should be practiced
by him who would save his life; and I myself shall lose mine if I do not
take care. Suppose I lead him after another lion? Who knows how that may
turn out for me? I will approach him slowly, as if fatigued."

The lion by this time began to be very hungry; so, seeing the rabbit
coming toward him, he called out in a great passion, "What is the reason
thou comest so late?"

"Please your Highness," said the rabbit, "as I was coming along I was
forcibly detained by another of your species; but having given him my
word that I would return immediately, I came here to represent it to
your Highness."

"Go quickly," said the lion in a rage, "and show me where this vile
wretch may be found!"

Accordingly, the rabbit conducted the lion to the brink of a deep well,
where being arrived, "There," said the rabbit, "look down and behold
him." At the same time he pointed to the reflected image of the lion in
the water, who, swelling with pride and resentment, leaped into the
well, as he thought, upon his adversary; and thus put an end to his

I repeat, therefore:

_He who hath sense hath strength. Where hath he strength who wanteth


        Marie de France lived probably in the latter
        part of the twelfth century and was one of the
        most striking figures in Middle English
        literature. She seems to have been born in
        France, lived much in England, translated from
        the Anglo-Norman dialect into French, and is
        spoken of as the first French poet. One of her
        three works, and the most extensive, is a
        collection of 103 fables, which she says she
        translated from the English of King Alfred. Her
        original, whatever it may have been, is lost.
        One of her fables, in a translation by
        Professor W. W. Skeat, is given below. It
        contains the germ of Chaucer's "Nun's Priest's
        Tale," in _The Canterbury Tales_.



        A Cock our story tells of, who
        High on a trash hill stood and crew.
        A Fox, attracted, straight drew nigh,
        And spake soft words of flattery.
          "Dear Sir!" said he, "your look's divine;
        I never saw a bird so fine!
        I never heard a voice so clear
        Except your father's--ah! poor dear!
        His voice rang clearly, loudly--but
        Most clearly when his eyes were shut!"
        "The same with me!" the Cock replies,
        And flaps his wings, and shuts his eyes.
        Each note rings clearer than the last--
        The Fox starts up and holds him fast;
        Toward the wood he hies apace.
          But as he crossed an open space,
        The shepherds spy him; off they fly;
        The dogs give chase with hue and cry.
        The Fox still holds the Cock, though fear
        Suggests his case is growing queer.
        "Tush!" cries the Cock, "cry out, to grieve 'em,
        'The cock is mine! I'll never leave him!'"
        The Fox attempts, in scorn, to shout,
        And opes his mouth; the Cock slips out,
        And in a trice has gained a tree.
          Too late the Fox begins to see
        How well the Cock his game has played;
        For once his tricks have been repaid.
        In angry language, uncontrolled,
        He 'gins to curse the mouth that's bold
        To speak, when it should silent be.
        "Well," says the Cock, "the same with me;
        I curse the eyes that go to sleep
        Just when they ought sharp watch to keep
        Lest evil to their lord befall."
          Thus fools contrariously do all;
        They chatter when they should be dumb,
        And, when they _ought_ to speak, are mum.


        The following is Wright's translation of the
        first fable in La Fontaine's collection.
        Rousseau, objecting to fables in general,
        singled out this particular one as an example
        of their bad effects on children, and echoes of
        his voice are still in evidence. It would, he
        said, give children a lesson in inhumanity.
        "You believe you are making an example of the
        grasshopper, but they will choose the ant . . .
        they will take the more pleasant part, which is
        a very natural thing." Another observer said:
        "As for me, I love neither grasshopper nor ant,
        neither avarice nor prodigality, neither the
        miserly people who lend nor the spendthrifts
        who borrow." These statements represent
        complex, analytic points of view which are
        probably outside the range of most children.
        They will see the grasshopper simply as a type
        of thorough shiftlessness and the ant as a type
        of forethought, although La Fontaine does
        suggest that the ant might on general
        principles be a little less "tight-fisted." The
        lesson that idleness is the mother of want, the
        necessity of looking ahead, of providing for
        the future, of laying up for a rainy day--these
        are certainly common-sense conclusions and the
        only ones the story itself will suggest to the



        A grasshopper gay
        Sang the summer away,
        And found herself poor
        By the winter's first roar.
        Of meat or of bread,
        Not a morsel she had!
        So a begging she went,
        To her neighbor the ant,
          For the loan of some wheat,
          Which would serve her to eat,
        Till the season came round.
          "I will pay you," she saith,
          "On an animal's faith,
        Double weight in the pound
        Ere the harvest be bound."
          The ant is a friend
          (And here she might mend)
          Little given to lend.
        "How spent you the summer?"
          Quoth she, looking shame
          At the borrowing dame.
        "Night and day to each comer
          I sang, if you please."
          "You sang! I'm at ease;
        For 'tis plain at a glance,
        Now, ma'am, you must dance."


        The translation of the following fable is that
        of W. Lucas Collins, in his _La Fontaine and
        Other French Fabulists_. This fable has always
        been a great favorite among the French, and the
        translator has caught much of the sprightly
        tone of his original.



        A pert young Mouse, to whom the world was new,
        Had once a near escape, if all be true.
        He told his mother, as I now tell you:
        "I crossed the mountains that beyond us rise,
          And, journeying onwards, bore me
        As one who had a great career before me,
        When lo! two creatures met my wondering eyes,--
        The one of gracious mien, benign and mild;
          The other fierce and wild,
        With high-pitched voice that filled me with alarm;
        A lump of sanguine flesh grew on his head,
          And with a kind of arm
          He raised himself in air,
          As if to hover there;
        His tail was like a horseman's plume outspread."
        (It was a farmyard Cock, you understand,
        That our young friend described in terms so grand,
        As 'twere some marvel come from foreign land.)
          "With arms raised high
        He beat his sides, and made such hideous cry,
          That even I,
        Brave as I am, thank heaven! had well-nigh fainted:
          Straightway I took to flight,
          And cursed him left and right.
        Ah! but for him, I might have got acquainted
          With that sweet creature,
        Who bore attractiveness in every feature:
        A velvet skin he had, like yours and mine,
          A tail so long and fine,
        A sweet, meek countenance, a modest air--
          Yet, what an eye was there!
        I feel that, on the whole,
        He must have strong affinities of soul
        With our great race--our ears are shaped the same.
        I should have made my bow, and asked his name,
          But at the fearful cry
        Raised by that monster, I was forced to fly."
        "My child," replied his mother, "you have seen
        That demure hypocrite we call a Cat:
        Under that sleek and inoffensive mien
          He bears a deadly hate of Mouse and Rat.
        The other, whom you feared, is harmless--quite;
        Nay, perhaps may serve us for a meal some night.
        As for your friend, for all his innocent air,
        We form the staple of his bill of fare."

        _Take, while you live, this warning as your guide--_
            _Don't judge by the outside._


        John Gay (1685-1732) was an English poet and
        dramatist. His work as a whole has been pretty
        well forgotten, but he has been recently
        brought back to the mind of the public by the
        revival of his satirical _Beggar's Opera_, the
        ancestor of the modern comic opera. Gay
        published a collection of fables in verse in
        1727, "prepared for the edification of the
        young Duke of Cumberland." A second group,
        making sixty-six in all, was published after
        his death. Since these fables are probably the
        best of their kind in English, a few of them
        are frequently met with in collections. "The
        Hare with Many Friends" has been the favorite,
        and rightly so, as it has something of the
        humor and point that belong to the real fable.
        Perhaps the fact that it has a personal
        application enabled Gay to write with more
        vigor and sincerity than elsewhere.



        Friendship, like love, is but a name,
        Unless to one you stint the flame.
        The child whom many fathers share,
        Hath seldom known a father's care.
        'Tis thus in friendship; who depend
        On many rarely find a friend.
        A Hare, who, in a civil way,
        Complied with everything, like Gay,
        Was known by all the bestial train
        Who haunt the wood, or graze the plain.
        Her care was, never to offend,
        And every creature was her friend.
        As forth she went at early dawn,
        To taste the dew-besprinkled lawn,
        Behind she hears the hunter's cries,
        And from the deep-mouthed thunder flies.
        She starts, she stops, she pants for breath;
        She hears the near advance of death;
        She doubles, to mislead the hound,
        And measures back her mazy round:
        Till, fainting in the public way,
        Half dead with fear she gasping lay.
        What transport in her bosom grew,
        When first the Horse appeared in view!
        "Let me," says she, "your back ascend,
        And owe my safety to a friend.
        You know my feet betray my flight;
        To friendship every burden's light."
        The Horse replied: "Poor honest Puss,
        It grieves my heart to see thee thus;
        Be comforted; relief is near,
        For all your friends are in the rear."
          She next the stately Bull implored;
        And thus replied the mighty lord,
        "Since every beast alive can tell
        That I sincerely wish you well,
        I may, without offence, pretend,
        To take the freedom of a friend;
        Love calls me hence; a favorite cow
        Expects me near yon barley-mow;
        And when a lady's in the case,
        You know, all other things give place.
        To leave you thus might seem unkind;
        But see, the Goat is just behind."
          The Goat remarked her pulse was high,
        Her languid head, her heavy eye;
        "My back," says he, "may do you harm;
        The Sheep's at hand, and wool is warm."
          The Sheep was feeble, and complained
        His sides a load of wool sustained:
        Said he was slow, confessed his fears,
        For hounds eat sheep as well as hares.
          She now the trotting Calf addressed,
        To save from death a friend distressed.
        "Shall I," says he, "of tender age,
        In this important care, engage?
        Older and abler passed you by;
        How strong are those, how weak am I!
        Should I presume to bear you hence,
        Those friends of mine may take offence.
        Excuse me, then. You know my heart.
        But dearest friends, alas, must part!
        How shall we all lament! Adieu!
        For see, the hounds are just in view."


        Tomas de Yriarte (1750-1791) was a Spanish poet
        of some note, remembered now mainly as the
        author of _Literary Fables_, the first attempt
        at literary fable-writing in Spanish. As the
        name is meant to imply, they concern themselves
        with the follies and weaknesses of authors.
        There are about eighty fables in the complete
        collection, and they are full of ingenuity and
        cleverness. One of the simplest and best of
        these is given here in the translation by R.
        Rockliffe, which first appeared in _Blackwood's
        Magazine_ in 1839. It laughs at the lucky
        chance by which even stupidity sometimes "makes
        a hit" and then stupidly proceeds to pat itself
        on the back.



        The fable which I now present
        Occurred to me by accident;
        And whether bad or excellent,
        Is merely so by accident.
        A stupid ass one morning went
        Into a field by accident
        And cropp'd his food and was content,
        Until he spied by accident
        A flute, which some oblivious gent
        Had left behind by accident;
        When, sniffing it with eager scent,
        He breathed on it by accident,
        And made the hollow instrument
        Emit a sound by accident.
        "Hurrah! hurrah!" exclaimed the brute,
        "How cleverly I play the flute!"

        _A fool, in spite of nature's bent._
        _May shine for once--by accident._


        Ivan Andreevitch Krylov (1768-1844) was a
        Russian author whose fame rests almost entirely
        upon his popular verse fables (200 in number)
        which have been used extensively as textbooks
        in Russian schools. They have "joyousness,
        simplicity, wit, and good humor." The following
        specimen is from I. H. Harrison's translation
        of Krylov's _Original Fables_. It gives a good
        illustration of the necessity of "teamwork."



  When partners with each other don't agree,
  Each project must a failure be,
  And out of it no profit come, but sheer vexation.

  A Swan, a Pike, and Crab once took their station
    In harness, and would drag a loaded cart;
    But, when the moment came for them to start,

  They sweat, they strain, and yet the cart stands still; what's lacking?
    The load must, as it seemed, have been but light;
    The Swan, though, to the clouds takes flight,
  The Pike into the water pulls, the Crab keeps backing.

  Now which of them was right, which wrong, concerns us not;
  The cart is still upon the selfsame spot.


        This fable from the Old Testament is one of the
        very oldest on record in which a story is
        practically applied to a human problem. The
        causes of political corruption apparently have
        not changed much in three thousand years.
        American citizens gather together at certain
        times to choose mayors and other officers to
        rule over them, and when they say to the
        fruitful olive tree, or fig tree, or vine,
        "Come thou and reign over us," he replies,
        "Should I forsake my productive factory, or
        mine, or profession, to be mayor?" But when
        they say to the bramble, "Come thou and reign
        over us," he replies, "Put your trust in me,
        and let those suffer who object to my
        management of public affairs." Jotham's lesson
        of political duty is one greatly needed in the
        present-day attempt to raise our standard of


_Judges ix: 6-16_

And all the men of Shechem gathered together, and all the house of
Millo, and went, and made Abimelech king, by the plain of the pillar
that was in Shechem. And when they told it to Jotham, he went and stood
in the top of Mount Gerizim, and lifted up his voice, and cried, and
said unto them:--

"Hearken unto me, ye men of Shechem, that God may hearken unto you. The
trees went forth on a time to anoint a king over them; and they said
unto the olive tree, 'Reign thou over us.' But the olive tree said unto
them, 'Should I leave my fatness, wherewith by me they honor God and
man, and go to be promoted over the trees?'

"And the trees said to the fig tree, 'Come thou and reign over us.' But
the fig tree said unto them, 'Should I forsake my sweetness and my good
fruit, and go to be promoted over the trees?'

"Then said the trees unto the vine, 'Come thou and reign over us.' And
the vine said unto them, 'Should I leave my wine, which cheereth God and
man, and go to be promoted over the trees?'

"Then said all the trees unto the bramble, 'Come thou and reign over
us.' And the bramble said unto the trees, 'If in truth ye anoint me
king over you, then come and put your trust in my shadow: and if not,
let fire come out of the bramble and devour the cedars of Lebanon.'"


        The concrete illustrations by means of which
        Jesus constantly taught are called parables.
        "Without a parable spake he not unto them." The
        parable differs from the fable proper in
        dealing with more fundamental or ideal truth.
        The fable moves on the plane of the prudential
        virtues, the parable on the plane of the higher
        self-forgetting virtues. Because of that
        difference there is in the parable "no jesting
        nor raillery at the weakness, the follies, or
        the crimes of men." All is deeply earnest,
        befitting its high spiritual point of view. As
        a rule the parables use for illustration
        stories of what might actually happen. Two of
        the most familiar of the parables follow. What
        true neighborliness means is the message of
        "The Good Samaritan."


_Luke x:25-37_

And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tempted him, saying, "Master,
what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" He said unto him, "What is
written in the law? how readest thou?" And he answering said, "Thou
shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul,
and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as
thyself." And He said unto him, "Thou hast answered right; this do, and
thou shalt live." But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus,
"And who is my neighbor?"

And Jesus answering said, "A certain man went down from Jerusalem to
Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and
wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there
came down a certain priest that way; and when he saw him, he passed by
on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came
and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain
Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was; and when he saw him, he
had compassion on him, and went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring
in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an
inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow, when he departed, he took
out two pence and gave them to the host and said unto him, 'Take care of
him: and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again I will repay

"Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbor unto him that
fell among the thieves?"

And he said, "He that showed mercy on him."

Then said Jesus unto him, "Go and do thou likewise."



_Luke xv:10-32_

"Likewise I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of
God over one sinner that repenteth."

And he said, "A certain man had two sons; and the younger of them said
to his father, 'Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to
me.' And he divided unto them his living.

"And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, and
took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with
riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine
in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined
himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to
feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that
the swine did eat; and no man gave unto him.

"And when he came to himself, he said, 'How many hired servants of my
father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I
will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, "Father, I have
sinned against heaven and before thee, and am no more worthy to be
called thy son; make me as one of thy hired servants."'

"And he arose and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way
off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his
neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, 'Father, I have sinned
against heaven and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy
son.' But the father said to his servants, 'Bring forth the best robe
and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet;
and bring hither the fatted calf and kill it; and let us eat and be
merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is
found.' And they began to be merry.

"Now his elder son was in the field; and as he came and drew nigh to the
house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants and
asked what these things meant. And he said unto him, 'Thy brother is
come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath
received him safe and sound.' And he was angry and would not go in;
therefore came his father out and entreated him. And he answering, said
to his father, 'Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither
transgressed I at any time thy commandment; and yet thou never gavest me
a kid that I might make merry with my friends. But as soon as this thy
son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast
killed for him the fatted calf.' And he said unto him, 'Son, thou art
ever with me; and all that I have is thine. It was meet that we should
make merry, and be glad; for this thy brother was dead, and is alive
again; and was lost, and is found.'"


        This little apologue is taken from _Norwood_
        (1867), a novel written by Henry Ward Beecher
        for the New York _Ledger_ in the days when that
        periodical, under the direction of Robert
        Bonner, was the great family weekly of America.
        In the course of the fiction Mr. Beecher
        emphasizes the value of stories for children.
        "Story-hunger in children," he says, "is even
        more urgent than bread-hunger." And after the
        story has been told: "How charming it is to
        narrate fables for children. . . . Children are
        unconscious philosophers. They refuse to pull
        to pieces their enjoyments to see what they are
        made of. Rose knew as well as her father that
        leaves never talked. Yet, Rose never saw a leaf
        without feeling that there was life and meaning
        in it."



Once upon a time a little leaf was heard to sigh and cry, as leaves
often do when a gentle wind is about.

And the twig said, "What is the matter, little leaf?"

And the leaf said, "The wind just told me that one day it would pull me
off and throw me down to die on the ground!"

The twig told it to the branch on which it grew, and the branch told it
to the tree. And when the tree heard it, it rustled all over, and sent
back word to the leaf, "Do not be afraid; hold on tightly, and you shall
not go till you want to." And so the leaf stopped sighing, but went on
nestling and singing.

Every time the tree shook itself and stirred up all its leaves, the
branches shook themselves, and the little twig shook itself, and the
little leaf danced up and down merrily, as if nothing could ever pull it

And so it grew all summer long till October. And when the bright days of
autumn came, the little leaf saw all the leaves around becoming very
beautiful. Some were yellow, and some scarlet, and some striped with
both colors.

Then it asked the tree what it meant. And the tree said, "All these
leaves are getting ready to fly away, and they have put on these
beautiful colors, because of joy."

Then the little leaf began to want to go, and grew very beautiful in
thinking of it, and when it was very gay in color, it saw that the
branches of the tree had no color in them, and so the leaf said, "Oh,
branches! why are you lead color and we golden?"

"We must keep on our work clothes, for our life is not done; but your
clothes are for holiday, because your tasks are over."

Just then, a little puff of wind came, and the leaf let go without
thinking of it, and the wind took it up, and turned it over and over,
and whirled it like a spark of fire in the air and then it fell gently
down under the edge of the fence among hundreds of leaves, and fell into
a dream and never waked up to tell what it dreamed about!


        Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), more than any
        other American, has emphasized for us the value
        of proverbial sayings and the significance of
        the symbolic story. This account of how one may
        pay too much for a whistle was written in 1779
        while Franklin was representing the colonies at
        Paris, and addressed to his friend Madame
        Brillon. The making of apologues seemed to be a
        favorite sort of game in the circle in which
        Franklin moved, and his plain common sense is
        always uppermost in whatever he produces. The
        lesson of the whistle is always needed; we are
        prone to put aside the essential thing for the
        temporary and showy. More than a century ago
        Noah Webster put this story in his
        school-reader, and most school-readers since
        have contained it. The selection is here
        reprinted complete. Teachers usually omit some
        of the opening and closing paragraphs.



I am charmed with your description of Paradise, and with your plan of
living there; and I approve much of your conclusion, that, in the mean
time, we should draw all the good we can from this world. In my opinion,
we might all draw more good than we do, and suffer less evil, if we
would take care not to give too much for _whistles_. For to me it seems
that most of the unhappy people we meet with are become so by neglect of
that caution.

You ask what I mean? You love stories, and will excuse my telling one of

When I was a child of seven years old, my friends, on a holiday, filled
my pockets with coppers. I went directly to a shop where they sold toys
for children; and being charmed with the sound of a _whistle_, that I
met by the way in the hands of another boy, I voluntarily offered and
gave all my money for one. I then came home, and went whistling all over
the house, much pleased with my _whistle_, but disturbing all the
family. My brothers, and sisters, and cousins, understanding the bargain
I had made, told me I had given four times as much for it as it was
worth; put me in mind what good things I might have bought with the rest
of the money; and laughed at me so much for my folly, that I cried with
vexation; and the reflection gave me more chagrin than the _whistle_
gave me pleasure.

This, however, was afterward of use to me, the impression continuing on
my mind; so that often, when I was tempted to buy some unnecessary
thing, I said to myself, _Don't give too much for the whistle_; and I
saved my money.

As I grew up I thought I met with many, very many, who _gave too much
for the whistle_.

When I saw one too ambitious of court favor, sacrificing his time, his
repose, his liberty, his virtue, and perhaps his friends, to attain it,
I have said to myself, _This man gives too much for his whistle._

When I saw another fond of popularity, constantly employing himself in
political bustles, neglecting his own affairs, and ruining them by that
neglect, _He pays, indeed_, said I, _too much for his whistle._

If I knew a miser, who gave up every kind of comfortable living, all the
pleasure of doing good to others, all the esteem of his fellow-citizens,
and the joys of benevolent friendship, for the sake of accumulating
wealth, _Poor man_, said I, _you pay too much for your whistle._

When I met with a man of pleasure, sacrificing every laudable
improvement of the mind, or of his fortune, to mere corporal sensations,
and ruining his health in their pursuit, _Mistaken man_, said I, _you
are providing pain for yourself, instead of pleasure; you give too much
for your whistle._

If I see one fond of appearance, or fine clothes, fine houses, fine
furniture, fine equipages, all above his fortune, for which he contracts
debts, and ends his career in a prison, _Alas!_ say I, _he has paid
dear, very dear, for his whistle._

When I see a beautiful, sweet-tempered girl married to an ill-natured
brute of a husband, _What a pity_, say I, _that she should pay so much
for a whistle!_

In short, I conceive that great part of the miseries of mankind are
brought upon them by the false estimates they have made of the value of
things, and by their _giving too much for their whistles_.

Yet I ought to have charity for these unhappy people, when I consider
that, with all this wisdom of which I am boasting, there are certain
things in the world so tempting, for example, the apples of King John,
which happily are not to be bought; for if they were put to sale by
auction, I might very easily be led to ruin myself in the purchase, and
find that I had once more given too much for the _whistle_.


        "The Ephemera" was also addressed to Madame
        Brillon, the "amiable Brillante" of the final
        sentence. It is an allegorical story
        emphasizing the relative shortness of human
        life. Franklin's "Alas! art is long and life is
        short!" anticipates Longfellow's "Art is long
        and time is fleeting." But hundreds of writers
        had preceded both of them in calling attention
        to this at the same time commonplace and
        significant fact. At the end, Franklin's quiet
        acceptance of the rather gloomy outlook
        suggested by the ephemeral nature of life is
        noteworthy, and is characteristic of his
        general temper.


_An Emblem of Human Life_


You may remember, my dear friend, that when we lately spent that happy
day in the delightful garden and sweet society of the Moulin Joly, I
stopped a little in one of our walks, and stayed some time behind the
company. We had been shown numberless skeletons of a kind of little fly,
called an ephemera, whose successive generations, we were told, were
bred and expired within the day. I happened to see a living company of
them on a leaf, who appeared to be engaged in conversation. You know I
understand all the inferior animal tongues. My too great application to
the study of them is the best excuse I can give for the little progress
I have made in your charming language. I listened through curiosity to
the discourse of these little creatures; but as they, in their national
vivacity, spoke three or four together, I could make but little of their
conversation. I found, however, by some broken expressions that I heard
now and then, they were disputing warmly on the merit of two foreign
musicians, one a _cousin_, the other a _moscheto_; in which dispute they
spent their time, seemingly as regardless of the shortness of life as if
they had been sure of living a month. Happy people! thought I; you live
certainly under a wise, just, and mild government, since you have no
public grievances to complain of, nor any subject of contention but the
perfections and imperfections of foreign music. I turned my head from
them to an old grey-headed one, who was single on another leaf, and
talking to himself. Being amused with his soliloquy, I put it down in
writing, in hopes it will likewise amuse her to whom I am so much
indebted for the most pleasing of all amusements, her delicious company
and heavenly harmony.

"It was," said he, "the opinion of learnèd philosophers of our race, who
lived and flourished long before my time, that this vast world, the
Moulin Joly, could not itself subsist more than eighteen hours; and I
think there was some foundation for that opinion, since, by the apparent
motion of the great luminary that gives life to all nature, and which in
my time has evidently declined considerably towards the ocean at the end
of our earth, it must then finish its course, be extinguished in the
waters that surround us, and leave the world in cold and darkness,
necessarily producing universal death and destruction. I have lived
seven of those hours, a great age, being no less than four hundred and
twenty minutes of time. How very few of us continue so long! I have seen
generations born, flourish, and expire. My present friends are the
children and grandchildren of the friends of my youth, who are now,
also, no more! And I must soon follow them; for, by the course of
nature, though still in health, I cannot expect to live above seven or
eight minutes longer. What now avails all my toil and labor in amassing
honey-dew on this leaf, which I cannot live to enjoy! What the political
struggles I have been engaged in, for the good of my compatriot
inhabitants of this bush, or my philosophical studies for the benefit of
our race in general! for, in politics, what can laws do without morals?
Our present race of ephemerae will in a course of minutes become
corrupt, like those of other and older bushes, and consequently as
wretched. And in philosophy how small is our progress! Alas! art is
long, and life is short! My friends would comfort me with the idea of a
name, they say, I shall leave behind me; and they tell me I have lived
long enough to nature and to glory. But what will fame be to an ephemera
who no longer exists? And what will become of all history in the
eighteenth hour, when the world itself, even the whole Moulin Joly,
shall come to its end, and be buried in universal ruin?"

To me, after all my eager pursuits, no solid pleasures now remain, but
the reflection of a long life spent in meaning well, the sensible
conversation of a few good lady ephemerae, and now and then a kind smile
and a tune from the ever amiable _Brillante_.


        The brief allegory that follows is very
        generally regarded as the finest and noblest
        specimen of its type. It is here reprinted
        approximately in the form of its first
        appearance, now more than two hundred years
        ago, as more in keeping with its spirit than a
        modern dress would be. The world of recent
        times is not so much given to this kind of
        writing as the eighteenth century was. Like
        Franklin's "Ephemera," Addison's vision grows
        out of "profound contemplation on the vanity of
        human life." The key to the symbolism is found
        in the "threescore and ten arches" of the
        bridge, representing the scriptural limit of
        physical existence, with some broken arches for
        any excess of that limit. The fact that "the
        bridge consisted at first of a thousand arches"
        is a reference to the great number of years
        assigned to some of the patriarchs. The
        splendid concluding vision in which Mirzah sees
        the compensations for the ills of this life
        suggests a very different type of mind from
        that of the "this-worldly" closing paragraph in
        Franklin's apologue. "The Vision of Mirzah" is
        No. 159 of the _Spectator_ (September 1, 1711).



When I was at Grand Cairo I picked up several oriental manuscripts,
which I have still by me. Among others I met with one entitled The
Visions of Mirzah, which I have read over with great pleasure. I intend
to give it to the public when I have no other entertainment for them;
and I shall begin with the first vision, which I have translated word
for word as follows:

On the fifth day of the moon, which according to the custom of my
forefathers I always kept holy, after having washed myself, and offered
up my morning devotions, I ascended the high hills of Bagdat, in order
to pass the rest of the day in meditation and prayer. As I was here
airing myself on the tops of the mountains, I fell into profound
contemplation on the vanity of human life; and passing from one thought
to another, surely, said I, man is but a shadow and life a dream. Whilst
I was thus musing, I cast my eyes towards the summit of a rock that was
not far from me, where I discovered one in the habit of a shepherd, with
a musical instrument in his hand. As I looked upon him he applied it to
his lips, and began to play upon it. The sound of it was exceeding
sweet, and wrought into a variety of tunes that were inexpressibly
melodious, and altogether different from anything I had ever heard. They
put me in mind of those heavenly airs that are played to the departed
souls of good men upon their first arrival in paradise to wear out the
impressions of their last agonies, and qualify them for the pleasures of
that happy place. My heart melted away in secret raptures.

I had been often told that the rock before me was the haunt of a genius;
and that several had been entertained with music who had passed by it,
but never heard that the musician had before made himself visible. When
he had raised my thoughts by those transporting airs which he played, to
taste the pleasure of his conversation, as I looked upon him like one
astonished, he beckoned to me, and by the waving of his hand directed me
to approach the place where he sat. I drew near with that reverence
which is due to a superior nature: and as my heart was entirely subdued
by the captivating strains I had heard, I fell down at his feet and
wept. The genius smiled upon me with a look of compassion and affability
that familiarized him to my imagination, and at once dispelled all the
fears and apprehensions with which I approached him. He lifted me from
the ground, and taking me by the hand, Mirzah, said he, I have heard
thee in thy soliloquies: follow me.

He then led me to the highest pinnacle of the rock, and placed me on the
top of it. Cast thy eyes eastward, said he, and tell me what thou seest.
I see, said I, a huge valley and a prodigious tide of water rolling
through it. The valley that thou seest, said he, is the vale of misery,
and the tide of water that thou seest is part of the great tide of
eternity. What is the reason, said I, that the tide I see rises out of a
thick mist at one end, and again loses itself in a thick mist at the
other? What thou seest, says he, is that portion of eternity which is
called time, measured out by the sun, and reaching from the beginning of
the world to its consummation. Examine now, said he, this sea that is
thus bounded with darkness at both ends, and tell me what thou
discoverest in it. I see a bridge, said I, standing in the midst of the
tide. The bridge thou seest, said he, is human life; consider it
attentively. Upon a more leisurely survey of it, I found that it
consisted of threescore and ten entire arches, with several broken
arches, which added to those that were entire, made up the number about
an hundred. As I was counting the arches the genius told me that the
bridge consisted at first of a thousand arches; but that a great flood
swept away the rest, and left the bridge in the ruinous condition I now
beheld it. But tell me further, said he, what thou discoverest on it. I
see multitudes of people passing over it, said I, and a black cloud
hanging on each end of it. As I looked more attentively, I saw several
of the passengers dropping through the bridge, into the great tide that
flowed underneath it; and upon further examination, perceived there were
innumerable trap-doors that lay concealed in the bridge which the
passengers no sooner trod upon, but they fell through them into the tide
and immediately disappeared. These hidden pit-falls were set very thick
at the entrance of the bridge, so that the throngs of people no sooner
broke through the cloud, but many of them fell into them. They grew
thinner towards the middle, but multiplied and lay closer together
towards the end of the arches that were entire.

There were indeed some persons, but their number was very small, that
continued a kind of hobbling march on the broken arches, but fell
through one after another, being quite tired and spent with so long a

I passed some time in the contemplation of this wonderful structure, and
the great variety of objects which it presented. My heart was filled
with a deep melancholy to see several dropping unexpectedly in the midst
of mirth and jollity, and catching at everything that stood by them to
save themselves. Some were looking up towards the heavens in a
thoughtful posture, and in the midst of a speculation stumbled and fell
out of sight. Multitudes were very busy in the pursuit of baubles that
glittered in their eyes and danced before them, but often when they
thought themselves within the reach of them, their footing failed and
down they sank. In this confusion of objects, I observed some with
scimetars in their hands, who ran to and fro upon the bridge, thrusting
several persons upon trap-doors which did not seem to lie in their way,
and which they might have escaped, had they not been thus forced upon

The genius seeing me indulge myself in this melancholy prospect, told me
I had dwelt long enough upon it: take thine eyes off the bridge, said
he, and tell me if thou seest anything thou dost not comprehend. Upon
looking up, what mean, said I, those great flights of birds that are
perpetually hovering about the bridge, and settling upon it from time to
time? I see vultures, harpies, ravens, cormorants, and among many other
feathered creatures several little wingèd boys, that perch in great
numbers upon the middle arches. These, said the genius, are envy,
avarice, superstition, despair, love, with the like cares and passions
that infect human life.

I here fetched a deep sigh; alas, said I, man was made in vain! How is
he given away to misery and mortality! tortured in life, and swallowed
up in death! The genius, being moved with compassion towards me, bid me
quit so uncomfortable a prospect. Look no more, said he, on a man in the
first stage of his existence, in his setting out for eternity; but cast
thine eye on that thick mist into which the tide bears the several
generations of mortals that fall into it. I directed my sight as was
ordered, and (whether or no the good genius strengthened it with any
supernatural force, or dissipated part of the mist that was before too
thick for the eye to penetrate) I saw the valley opening at the farther
end, and spreading forth into an immense ocean that had a huge rock of
adamant running through the midst of it, and dividing it into two equal
parts. The clouds still rested on one-half of it, insomuch that I could
discover nothing in it; but the other appeared to me a vast ocean
planted with innumerable islands, that were covered with fruits and
flowers, and interwoven with a thousand little shining seas that ran
among them. I could see persons dressed in glorious habits with garlands
upon their heads, passing among the trees, lying down by the sides of
the fountains, or resting on beds of flowers; and could hear a confused
harmony of singing birds, falling waters, human voices, and musical
instruments. Gladness grew in me upon the discovery of so delightful a
scene. I wished for the wings of an eagle, that I might fly away to
those happy seats; but the genius told me there was no passage to them
except through the gates of death that I saw opening every moment upon
the bridge. The islands, said he, that lie so fresh and green before
thee, and with which the whole face of the ocean appears spotted as far
as thou canst see, are more in number than the sands of the sea-shore;
there are myriads of islands behind those which thou here discoverest,
reaching farther than thy eyes, or even than thine imagination, can
extend itself. These are the mansions of good men after death, who,
according to the degree and kinds of virtue in which they excelled, are
distributed among these several islands, which abound with pleasures of
different kinds and degrees, suitable to the relishes and perfections of
those who are settled in them; every island is a paradise, accommodated
to its respective inhabitants. Are not these, O Mirzah, habitations
worth contending for? Does life appear miserable that gives the
opportunities of earning such a reward? Is death to be feared that will
convey thee to so happy an existence? Think not a man was made in vain
who has such an eternity reserved for him. I gazed with inexpressible
pleasure on these happy islands. At length, said I, Show me now, I
beseech thee, the secrets that lie hid under those dark clouds which
cover the ocean on the other side of the rock of adamant. The genius
making me no answer, I turned about to address myself to him a second
time, but I found that he had left me. I then turned again to the vision
which I had been so long contemplating, but, instead of the rolling
tide, the arched bridge, and the happy islands, I saw nothing but the
long hollow valley of Bagdat, with oxen, sheep, and camels grazing upon
the sides of it.


        "The Discontented Pendulum" was one of
        seventy-nine brief prose selections by Jane
        Taylor (1783-1824) which appeared first in a
        paper for young people and were, after the
        author's death, gathered together and published
        as _Contributions of Q. Q._ (1826). This one
        selection only from that volume still lives, is
        reprinted often in school-readers, and by
        virtue of its cleverness and point deserves its
        happy fate. The author attached to it a "Moral"
        almost as long as the story itself, and that
        has long since fallen by the wayside. Perhaps
        that is because the story is too clear to need
        the "Moral." Here are a few sentences from it:
        "The _present_ is all we have to manage: the
        past is irrecoverable; the future is uncertain;
        nor is it fair to burden one moment with the
        weight of the next. Sufficient unto the
        _moment_ is the trouble thereof. . . . One moment
        comes laden with its own _little_ burden, then
        flies, and is succeeded by another no heavier
        than the last; if _one_ could be sustained, so
        can another, and another. . . . Let any one
        resolve to do right _now_, leaving _then_ to do
        as it can, and if he were to live to the age of
        Methuselah, he would never err. . . . Let us then,
        'whatever our hands find to do, do it with all
        our might, recollecting that _now_ is the
        proper and the accepted time.'"



An old clock that had stood for fifty years in a farmer's kitchen
without giving its owner any cause of complaint, early one summer's
morning, before the family was stirring, suddenly stopped.

Upon this, the dial-plate (if we may credit the fable) changed
countenance with alarm: the hands made an ineffectual effort to continue
their course; the wheels remained motionless with surprise; the weights
hung speechless; each member felt disposed to lay the blame on the
others. At length the dial instituted a formal inquiry as to the cause
of the stagnation; when hands, wheels, weights, with one voice,
protested their innocence. But now a faint tick was heard below, from
the pendulum, who thus spoke:

"I confess myself to be the sole cause of the present stoppage; and am
willing, for the general satisfaction, to assign my reasons. The truth
is that I am tired of ticking." Upon hearing this, the old clock became
so enraged that it was on the point of _striking_.

"Lazy wire!" exclaimed the dial-plate, holding up its hands.

"Very good!" replied the pendulum, "it is vastly easy for you, Mistress
Dial, who have always, as everybody knows, set yourself up above me--it
is vastly easy for you, I say, to accuse other people of laziness! You,
who have had nothing to do all the days of your life but to stare people
in the face, and to amuse yourself with watching all that goes on in the
kitchen! Think, I beseech you, how you would like to be shut up for life
in this dark closet, and wag backwards and forwards, year after year, as
I do."

"As to that," said the dial, "is there not a window in your house on
purpose for you to look through?"

"For all that," resumed the pendulum, "it is very dark here; and
although there is a window, I dare not stop, even for an instant, to
look out. Besides, I am really weary of my way of life; and if you
please, I'll tell you how I took this disgust at my employment. This
morning I happened to be calculating how many times I should have to
tick in the course only of the next twenty-four hours: perhaps some of
you, above there, can give me the exact sum."

The minute hand, being _quick at figures_, instantly replied,
"Eighty-six thousand four hundred times."

"Exactly so," replied the pendulum: "well, I appeal to you all, if the
thought of this was not enough to fatigue one? And when I began to
multiply the stroke of one day by those of months and years, really it
is no wonder if I felt discouraged at the prospect; so after a great
deal of reasoning and hesitation, thinks I to myself--I'll stop."

The dial could scarcely keep its countenance during this harangue; but,
resuming its gravity, thus replied:

"Dear Mr. Pendulum, I am really astonished that such a useful,
industrious person as yourself should have been overcome by this sudden
suggestion. It is true you have done a great deal of work in your time.
So we have all, and are likely to do; and although this may fatigue us
to _think_ of, the question is, whether it it will fatigue us to _do_:
would you now do me the favor to give about half a dozen strokes to
illustrate my argument?"

The pendulum complied, and ticked six times at its usual pace. "Now,"
resumed the dial, "may I be allowed to inquire if that exertion was at
all fatiguing or disagreeable to you?"

"Not in the least," replied the pendulum;--"It is not of six strokes
that I complain, nor of sixty, but of _millions_."

"Very good," replied the dial, "but recollect that although you may
_think_ of a million strokes in an instant, you are required to
_execute_ but one; and that however often you may hereafter have to
swing, a moment will always be given you to swing in."

"That consideration staggers me, I confess," said the pendulum.

"Then I hope," resumed the dial-plate, "we shall all immediately return
to our duty; for the maids will lie in bed till noon if we stand idling

Upon this, the weights, who had never been accused of _light_ conduct,
used all their influence in urging him to proceed; when, as with one
consent, the wheels began to turn, the hands began to move, the pendulum
began to wag, and, to its credit, ticked as loud as ever; while a beam
of the rising sun that streamed through a hole in the kitchen shutter,
shining full upon the dial-plate, it brightened up as if nothing had
been the matter.

When the farmer came down to breakfast that morning, upon looking at the
clock he declared that his watch had gained half an hour in the night.


        Count Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) was a Russian
        novelist, poet, and social reformer; author,
        among other important works, of _War and Peace_
        and _Anna Karenina_. He wrote many short
        stories and sketches, a number of which are
        markedly symbolic in character. The one that
        follows is a good illustration of a type of
        such tales pleasing to modern minds. We no
        longer produce the formal fable or allegory. In
        Tolstoy's story are two historical characters
        of so pronounced individuality that their names
        always suggest definite ideas--Croesus, riches
        and worldly greatness; Solon, wisdom and
        worldly poverty and lowliness. These ideas are
        brought into conflict, and the outcome allows
        us to see which is the basic one in Tolstoy's
        theory of life. Who is the happy warrior? One
        would merely have to quote some words from the
        story to have an answer. And if the reader
        feels the force of the answer, as Tolstoy
        evidently hoped he would, it means a new or at
        least a more distinctly held ideal of living.



In olden times--long, long before the coming of Christ--there reigned
over a certain country a great king called Croesus. He had much gold and
silver, and many precious stones, as well as numberless soldiers and
slaves. Indeed, he thought that in all the world there could be no
happier man than himself.

But one day there chanced to visit the country which Croesus ruled a
Greek philosopher named Solon. Far and wide was Solon famed as a wise
man and a just; and, inasmuch as his fame had reached Croesus also, the
king commanded that he should be conducted to his presence.

Seated upon his throne, and robed in his most gorgeous apparel, Croesus
asked of Solon: "Have you ever seen aught more splendid than this?"

"Of a surety have I," replied Solon. "Peacocks, cocks, and pheasants
glitter with colors so diverse and so brilliant that no art can compare
with them."

Croesus was silent as he thought to himself: "Since this is not enough,
I must show him something more, to surprise him."

So he exhibited the whole of his riches before Solon's eyes, as well as
boasted of the number of foes he had slain, and the number of
territories he had conquered. Then he said to the philosopher:

"You have lived long in the world, and have visited many countries. Tell
me whom you consider to be the happiest man living?"

"The happiest man living I consider to be a certain poor man who lives
in Athens," replied Solon.

The king was surprised at this answer, for he had made certain that
Solon would name him himself; yet, for all that, the philosopher had
named a perfectly obscure individual!

"Why do you say that?" asked Croesus.

"Because," replied Solon, "the man of whom I speak has worked hard all
his life, has been content with little, has reared fine children, has
served his city honorably, and has achieved a noble reputation."

When Croesus heard this he exclaimed:

"And do you reckon my happiness as nothing, and consider that I am not
fit to be compared with the man of whom you speak?"

To this Solon replied:

"Often it befalls that a poor man is happier than a rich man. Call no
man happy until he is dead."

The king dismissed Solon, for he was not pleased at his words, and had
no belief in him.

"A fig for melancholy!" he thought. "While a man lives he should live
for pleasure."

So he forgot about Solon entirely.

Not long afterwards the king's son went hunting, but wounded himself by
a mischance, and died of the wound. Next, it was told to Croesus that
the powerful Emperor Cyrus was coming to make war upon him.

So Croesus went out against Cyrus with a great army, but the enemy
proved the stronger, and, having won the battle and shattered Croesus'
forces, penetrated to the capital.

Then the foreign soldiers began to pillage all King Croesus' riches, and
to slay the inhabitants, and to sack and fire the city. One soldier
seized Croesus himself, and was just about to stab him, when the king's
son darted forward to defend his father, and cried aloud:

"Do not touch him! That is Croesus, the king!"

So the soldiers bound Croesus, and carried him away to the Emperor; but
Cyrus was celebrating his victory at a banquet, and could not speak with
the captive, so orders were sent out for Croesus to be executed.

In the middle of the city square the soldiers built a great
burning-pile, and upon the top of it they placed King Croesus, bound him
to a stake, and set fire to the pile.

Croesus gazed around him, upon his city and upon his palace. Then he
remembered the words of the Greek philosopher, and, bursting into tears,
could only say:

"Ah, Solon, Solon!"

The soldiers were closing in about the pile when the Emperor Cyrus
arrived in person to view the execution. As he did so he caught these
words uttered by Croesus, but could not understand them.

So he commanded Croesus to be taken from the pile, and inquired of him
what he had just said. Croesus answered:

"I was but naming the name of a wise man--of one who told me a great
truth--a truth that is of greater worth than all earthly riches, than
all our kingly glory."

And Croesus related to Cyrus his conversation with Solon. The story
touched the heart of the Emperor, for he bethought him that he too was
but a man, that he too knew not what Fate might have in store for him.
So in the end he had mercy upon Croesus, and became his friend.





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      in Art_.


  Baker, Emilie Kip, _Stories of Old Greece and Rome_.

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  Hawthorne, Nathaniel, _A Wonder-Book for Boys and Girls_.

  Hawthorne, Nathaniel, _Tanglewood Tales: A Second Wonder-Book_.

  Kingsley, Charles, _Greek Heroes_.

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  Boult, Katherine F., _Heroes of the Northland_.

  Brown, Abbie Farwell, _In the Days of the Giants_.

  Colum, Padraic, _The Children of Odin_.

  Guerber, H. A., _Myths of Northern Lands_.

  Keary, Anna and Eliza, _The Heroes of Asgard_.

  Mabie, Hamilton Wright, _Norse Stories_.

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  Cook, Flora J., _Nature Myths_.

  Holbrook, Florence, _The Book of Nature Myths_.


  Cox, Sir G. W., _Mythology of the Aryan Nations_. 2 vols.

  Fiske, John, _Myths and Myth-Makers_.

  Frazer, J. G., _The Golden Bough_. 12 vols.

  Hartland, E. S., _The Legend of Perseus_. 3 vols.

  Lang, Andrew, _Myth, Ritual, and Religion_. 2 vols.

  Müller, Max, _Contributions to the Science of Mythology_.

  Ruskin, John, _Athena, Queen of the Air_.

  Spencer, Herbert, _Principles of Sociology_.

  Tylor, E. B., _Primitive Culture_. 2 vols.



_What myths are._ It seems that every race of people in the period of
barbarism and early civilization has created fanciful, childlike stories
to explain such things as the origin of earth, sun, stars, clouds, life,
death, fire, man, lower animals, and plants, and the characteristics of
particular plants and animals. In most cases, if not all, they have
accounted for the origin of such things by the theory that they were
created by gods and super-human heroes. Among such peoples as the Greek
and Norse folk, many stories also grew up regarding the gods and
super-human heroes and their relations with one another and with men.
All of these old stories about the creation of things and about the gods
and super-human heroes are called myths. As time went on and the peoples
became civilized, the original myths were regarded merely as fanciful
tales, and were used to furnish characters and plots for many stories
told chiefly for entertainment. Often, as in the story of Ulysses,
legends of national heroes were combined with them. Even in our time
such writers as Hawthorne and Kingsley and Lowell have used these old
characters and plots as the basis of stories, many of which differ
greatly from the original myths.

_Myths and other folk stories._ Myths were pretty largely matters of
faith to begin with. They were the basis of old-time religious beliefs,
explaining to the mind of primitive man how things came to be as they
are. This tendency to adopt what are to educated minds fanciful
explanations of all that is beyond their understanding is easily
observable in the way children explain the unknown. It seems fairly
clear, on the other hand, that fairy stories were told by the folk as
matter of entertainment. They did not believe that pigs actually talked,
that a princess could sleep a hundred years, that a bean-stalk could
grow as fast and as far as Jack's did, or that toads and diamonds could
actually come out of one's mouth. It may be, as some theorists insist,
that remains of myth survive in some of these fairy stories. On the
whole, however, the folk believed these tales only in the sense in which
we believe in a fine story such as "The Vision of Sir Launfal" or "Enoch
Arden." They express the pleasing imaginings and longings of the human
spirit, its ideals of character and conduct, its sense of the wonder and
mystery of the universe. The fairy tale, in general, is nearer the
surface of life; the myth was concerned with the most fundamental
problems of the _whence_ and the _why_ of things.

Such distinctions, however, belong to the realm of scientific
scholarship. The teacher is concerned with myths simply as splendid
stories that have come down to us from a time when human beings seemed
to feel themselves bound into a unity with nature and all mysterious
powers around them; stories that through constant repetition were
rounded and perfected, and finally, through use by the poets, have
reached us in a fairly systematic form. The so-called "poetic mythology"
is the one of special value for our purposes. It comes to us through
Ovid in the South, and does not distinguish between the gods of Greece
and Rome. It comes through the Eddas of the North. It is this poetic
mythology that furnishes the basis of allusion in literature and in art,
and which is retold for us in the various versions for modern readers.
If we hold fast to this correct idea that as teachers in elementary
schools our interest in myths is exactly like our interest in other folk
products, an interest in them as stories tested by the ages, an interest
in them as presenting familiar and suggestive types of character and
conduct, an interest in them as stimulating our sense of wonder and
mystery, we shall not be disturbed by the violent discussions that
sometimes rage over the advisability of using myths with children.

_Values of myth._ To make the above proposition as clear as possible,
let us first tabulate briefly the values of myth, borrowing a suggestion
from Jeremiah Curtin:

        1. A wonderful story told in most effective
        fashion. To realize this value, one needs to
        recall only the efforts of Prometheus in
        bringing down fire for man and his heroic
        endurance of vengeful tyranny as a result. The
        work of Hercules in slaying the many-headed
        serpent or in cleansing the Augean stables, the
        adventures of Theseus culminating in the
        labyrinth of the horrible Minotaur, the
        beautiful hospitality of Baucis and Philemon,
        the equally beautiful sadness of the death of
        Balder--all these simply hint the riches of the
        myth as story. This story interest is the one
        that appeals to all human beings as human
        beings and is therefore fundamental.

        2. Myth preserves much material of social and
        antiquarian interest. It helps us understand
        the institutions and customs of primitive
        stages in human development, and as such has
        great value for scientific students of human

        3. Myth preserves evidences of how the mind of
        man looked out upon his surroundings and what
        it did in the way of interpreting them. It
        makes most valuable contributions, therefore,
        to the history of the human mind, and must be
        taken into account in the science of

It must be evident that the second and third values are only in the
slightest degree within the range of the child in his early years of
school work.

_Objections to myth._ The objections to the use of myths in school may
also be brought under three heads:

        1. They come from a plane of ethics much lower
        than our own. This is the one strong argument
        against all folk material, and it has a
        validity that must be frankly recognized. There
        are the miscellaneous love affairs of Jupiter,
        and certain stories that have elements of
        horror and brutality. Such stories we cannot
        use, "though an error on that side is better
        than effeminancy." Occasional defects cannot
        outweigh the great positive ethical worth of
        myth. We must simply make intelligent choice.
        The situation is not different from what it is
        in choosing from modern poetry and story. It
        would be poor evidence of our sanity if we
        ruled out all poetry because some of it is not
        fit. Let us, however, omit entirely those myths
        that are not suitable rather than attempt
        making them over to suit modern conceptions. We
        may properly allow liberties to a literary
        artist like Hawthorne that a mere artisan
        should not take.

        2. Myth deals with the worn-out and obsolete
        ideas of the past, and will give children false
        religious and scientific notions. But one does
        not rule out _Paradise Lost_ because Milton's
        cosmogony is so purely fanciful, nor Dante
        because of his equally fantastic structure of
        the Inferno. Neither children nor older readers
        are ever led astray by these purely incidental
        backgrounds against which and by means of which
        the human interest is powerfully projected.

        3. Myth is too deeply symbolical. But readers
        of different ages and abilities find results up
        to their stature. We do not demand that the
        children shall be able to understand all that
        is back of _Gulliver's Travels_, or _Pilgrim's
        Progress_, before we give them those books.
        What is worth while in literature has an
        increasing message as the powers of the reader

_How to use myths._ We may sum up the conclusions thus: Select those
myths that tell stories of dramatic force and that have sound ethical
worth. So far as possible let these be the ones most familiar in
literary allusion and in common speech. Present the myth as you would
any other folk story. Since myth naturally comes along a little later
than fairy stories, probably beginning not earlier than the third grade,
the discussion of its meanings may take a wider range. Keep the poetic
elements of the story prominent, as in most of the examples following.


        For the soundest and most illuminating
        discussion of the values and proper use of
        myths in education see Edward Howard Griggs,
        _Moral Education_, chap, xxi, "The Ethical
        Value of Mythology and Folk-Lore." For some
        good suggestions and lists consult Ezra Allen,
        "The Pedagogy of Myth in the Grades,"
        _Pedagogical Seminary_, Vol. VIII, p. 258. A
        very interesting plan for the use of myths may
        be found in two articles by O. O. Norris,
        "Myths and the Teaching of Myths," _The
        American Schoolmaster_, Vol. IX, p. 96 and p.
        145. Consult also MacClintock, _Literature in
        the Elementary School_, chap, vii, and McMurry,
        _Special Method in Reading_, pp. 92-105.

        The first nine myths in this section came
        originally from Greek mythology. The Romans
        adopted the mythology of the Greeks, but
        changed the names of the gods. English-speaking
        peoples have usually used these Latin versions.
        Hence in the following Greek myths the Roman
        names of the gods are used. In this note the
        Greek name is usually given in parenthesis
        after the Roman.

        According to mythology, Saturn once ruled the
        universe. After a great war he was overthrown
        and the universe was divided into three
        kingdoms, each governed by one of his sons.
        Jupiter (Zeus) ruled the heavens and the earth;
        Neptune (Poseidon) ruled the sea; and Pluto
        (Dis) ruled Hades, or Tartarus, the gloomy
        region of the dead in a cavern far under the
        surface of the earth. The home of Jupiter and
        the many other gods of heaven was represented
        as being the top of Mount Olympus, in Thessaly.
        Here each of the gods of heaven had a separate
        dwelling, but all assembled at times in the
        palace of Jupiter. Sometimes these gods went to
        earth, through a gate of clouds kept by
        goddesses called the Seasons.

        The relations between these divinities were
        much like those between people on earth. Some
        had greater power than others, and rivalries
        and quarrels frequently arose. Jupiter, the
        supreme ruler, governed by wisdom as well as by
        the power of his thunderbolt. He had three
        sisters: Juno, Vesta, and Ceres. Juno (Hera)
        was the wife of Jupiter and the noblest of the
        goddesses. Vesta (Hestia), the goddess of
        health, was not married. Ceres (Demeter), the
        goddess of agriculture, was the mother of
        Proserpine, who became wife of Pluto and queen
        of Hades. Minerva (Athena), goddess of wisdom
        and Jupiter's favorite daughter, had no mother,
        as she sprang fully armed from Jupiter's head.
        Venus (Aphrodite) was goddess of beauty and
        mother of Cupid, god of love. Two other
        goddesses were Diana (Artemis), modest virgin
        goddess of the moon, who protects brute
        creation, and Hebe, cup-bearer to the gods.
        Among the greatest of the gods were three sons
        of Jupiter: Apollo, Mars, and Vulcan. Apollo,
        or Phoebus, was god of the sun and patron of
        music, archery, and prophecy. Mars (Ares) was
        god of war, and Vulcan (Hephaestus), the lame
        god of fire, was the blacksmith of the gods.


        This version of the myth of Ceres and
        Proserpine is taken by permission of the author
        and the publishers from _Stories of Long Ago_,
        by Grace H. Kupfer. (Copyright. D. C. Heath &
        Co., Boston.) "Of all the beautiful fictions of
        Greek mythology," said Aubrey DeVere, "there
        are few more exquisite than the story of
        Proserpine, and none deeper in symbolical
        meaning." That portion of its meaning fitted to
        the understanding of children is indicated in
        the final paragraphs of Miss Kupfer's version.
        Teachers should realize that "the fable has,
        however, its moral significance also, being
        connected with that great mystery of Joy and
        Grief, of Life and of Death, which pressed so
        heavily on the mind of Pagan Greece, and
        imparts to the whole of her mythology a
        profound interest, spiritual as well as
        philosophical. It was the restoration of Man,
        not of flowers, the victory over Death, not
        over Winter, with which that high Intelligence
        felt itself to be really concerned."
        Hawthorne's version of this story appears in
        _Tanglewood Tales_ as "The Pomegranate Seeds."




In the blue Mediterranean Sea, which washes the southern shore of
Europe, lies the beautiful island of Sicily. Long, long ago, there lived
on this island a goddess named Ceres. She had power to make the earth
yield plentiful crops of grain, or to leave it barren; and on her
depended the food, and therefore the life of all the people on the
great, wide earth.

Ceres had one fair young daughter, whom she loved very dearly. And no
wonder, for Proserpine was the sunniest, happiest girl you could

Her face was all white and pink, like apple blossoms in spring, and
there was just enough blue in her eyes to give you a glimpse of an April
morning sky. Her long, golden curls reminded you of the bright sunlight.
In fact there was something so young and fair and tender about the
maiden that if you could imagine anything so strange as the whole
springtime, with all its loveliness, changed into a human being, you
would have looked but an instant at Proserpine and said, "She is the

Proserpine spent the long, happy days in the fields, helping her mother,
or dancing and singing among the flowers, with her young companions.

Way down under the earth, in the land of the dead, lived dark King
Pluto; and the days were very lonely for him with only shadows to talk
to. Often and often, he had tried to urge some goddess to come and share
his gloomy throne; but not the richest jewels or wealth could tempt any
one of them to leave the bright sunlight above and dwell in the land of

One day Pluto came up to earth and was driving along in his swift
chariot, when, behind some bushes, he heard such merry voices and
musical laughter that he drew rein, and stepping down, parted the bushes
to see who was on the other side. There he saw Proserpine standing in
the center of a ring of laughing young girls who were pelting her with

The stern old king felt his heart beat quicker at sight of all these
lovely maidens, and he singled out Proserpine, and said to himself, "She
shall be my queen. That fair face can make even dark Hades light and
beautiful." But he knew it would be useless to ask the girl for her
consent; so, with a bold stride, he stepped into the midst of the happy

The young girls, frightened at his dark, stern face, fled to right and
left. But Pluto grasped Proserpine by the arm and carried her to his
chariot, and then the horses flew along the ground, leaving Proserpine's
startled companions far behind.

King Pluto knew that he must hasten away with his prize, lest Ceres
should discover her loss; and to keep out of her path, he drove his
chariot a roundabout way. He came to a river; but as he neared its
banks, it suddenly began to bubble and swell and rage, so that Pluto did
not dare to drive through its waters. To go back another way would mean
great loss of time; so with his scepter he struck the ground thrice. It
opened, and, in an instant, horses, chariot, and all, plunged into the
darkness below.

But Proserpine knew that the nymph of the stream had recognized her, and
had tried to save her by making the waters of the stream rise. So, just
as the ground was closing over her, the girl seized her girdle and threw
it far out into the river. She hoped that in some way the girdle might
reach Ceres and help her to find her lost daughter.


In the evening Ceres returned to her home; but her daughter, who usually
came running to meet her, was nowhere to be seen. Ceres searched for her
in all the rooms, but they were empty. Then she lighted a great torch
from the fires of a volcano, and went wandering among the fields,
looking for her child. When morning broke, and she had found no trace of
Proserpine, her grief was terrible to see.

On that sad day, Ceres began a long, long wandering. Over land and sea
she journeyed, bearing in her right hand the torch which had been
kindled in the fiery volcano.

All her duties were neglected, and everywhere the crops failed, and the
ground was barren and dry. Want and famine took the place of wealth and
plenty throughout the world. It seemed as though the great earth grieved
with the mother for the loss of beautiful Proserpine.

When the starving people came to Ceres and begged her to resume her
duties and to be their friend again, Ceres lifted her great eyes,
wearied with endless seeking, and answered that until Proserpine was
found, she could think only of her child, and could not care for the
neglected earth. So all the people cried aloud to Jupiter that he should
bring Proserpine back to her mother, for they were sadly in need of
great Ceres' help.

At last, after wandering over all the earth in her fruitless search,
Ceres returned to Sicily. One day, as she was passing a river, suddenly
a little swell of water carried something to her feet. Stooping to see
what it was, she picked up the girdle which Proserpine had long ago
thrown to the water nymph.

While she was looking at it, with tears in her eyes, she heard a
fountain near her bubbling louder and louder, until at last it seemed to
speak. And this is what it said:

"I am the nymph of the fountain, and I come from the inmost parts of the
earth, O Ceres, great mother! There I saw your daughter seated on a
throne at the dark king's side. But in spite of her splendor, her cheeks
were pale and her eyes were heavy with weeping. I can stay no longer
now, O Ceres, for I must leap into the sunshine. The bright sky calls
me, and I must hasten away."

Then Ceres arose and went to Jupiter and said, "I have found the place
where my daughter is hidden. Give her back to me, and the earth shall
once more be fruitful, and the people shall have food."

Jupiter was moved, both by the mother's sorrow and by the prayers of the
people on earth; and he said that Proserpine might return to her home if
she had tasted no food while in Pluto's kingdom.

So the happy mother hastened down into Hades. But alas! that very day
Proserpine had eaten six pomegranate seeds; and for every one of those
seeds she was doomed each year to spend a month underground.

For six months of the year Ceres is happy with her daughter. At
Proserpine's coming, flowers bloom and birds sing and the earth
everywhere smiles its welcome to its young queen.

Some people say that Proserpine really is the springtime, and that while
she is with us all the earth seems fair and beautiful. But when the time
comes for Proserpine to rejoin King Pluto in his dark home underground,
Ceres hides herself and grieves through all the weary months until her
daughter's return.

Then the earth, too, is somber and sad. The leaves fall to the ground,
as though the trees were weeping for the loss of the fair, young queen;
and the flowers hide underground, until the eager step of the maiden,
returning to earth, awakens all nature from its winter sleep.


        Because of his beautiful idealism and the
        artistic nature of his work, Hawthorne
        (1804-1864) is one of America's most loved
        story-tellers. His stories are never idle
        tales, for each one reveals secret motives and
        impulses that determine human action. This
        characteristic makes his works wholesome and
        inspiring for both children and adults. Four
        volumes of his short stories, intended
        primarily for children, are classics for the
        upper grades. _Grandfather's Chair_ is a group
        of stories about life in New England in early
        times. _True Stories from History and
        Biography_ makes the child acquainted with such
        historical characters as Franklin and Newton.
        _A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys_ and
        _Tanglewood Tales_ are Hawthorne's versions of
        old Greek myths.

        In his two volumes of Greek myths, Hawthorne
        does not hold to the plot or style of the
        original stories; but here, as in all his work,
        he shows how incidents in life determine human
        character. The following quotation from the
        Preface to _A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys_
        explains in Hawthorne's own words the nature of
        his version of the myths: "He [the author] does
        not plead guilty to a sacrilege in having
        sometimes shaped anew, as his fancy dictated,
        the forms that have been hallowed by an
        antiquity of two or three thousand years. No
        epoch of time can claim a copyright in these
        immortal fables. They seem never to have been
        made; and certainly, so long as man exists,
        they can never perish; but, by their
        indestructibility itself, they are legitimate
        subjects for every age to clothe with its own
        garniture of manners and sentiment, and to
        imbue with its own morality."

        The story "The Paradise of Children," taken
        from _A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys_, is
        Hawthorne's version of the Greek myth of
        Pandora's Box, which is an attempt to explain
        how pain and suffering came to humanity.
        According to the Greek myth, Jupiter was angry
        when he learned that Prometheus, one of the
        Titans, had given men fire stolen from heaven.
        That men might not have this blessing without
        an affliction to compensate, the gods filled a
        box with ills, but put Hope also in the box.
        Then, fearing that neither Prometheus nor his
        brother Epimetheus would open the box, they
        created Pandora. Mercury, the messenger of
        Jupiter, carried Pandora and the box as a gift
        to Epimetheus, and the curiosity of Pandora led
        her to open the box.



Long, long ago, when this old world was in its tender infancy, there was
a child named Epimetheus, who never had either father or mother; and,
that he might not be lonely, another child, fatherless and motherless
like himself, was sent from a far country to live with him and be his
playfellow and helpmate. Her name was Pandora.

The first thing that Pandora saw, when she entered the cottage where
Epimetheus dwelt, was a great box. And almost the first question which
she put to him, after crossing the threshold, was this,--

"Epimetheus, what have you in that box?"

"My dear little Pandora," answered Epimetheus, "that is a secret, and
you must be kind enough not to ask any questions about it. The box was
left here to be kept safely, and I do not myself know what it

"But who gave it to you?" asked Pandora. "And where did it come from?"

"That is a secret, too," replied Epimetheus.

"How provoking!" exclaimed Pandora, pouting her lip. "I wish the great,
ugly box were out of the way!"

"Oh, come, don't think of it any more," cried Epimetheus. "Let us run
out of doors, and have some nice play with the other children."

It is thousands of years since Epimetheus and Pandora were alive; and
the world, nowadays, is a very different sort of thing from what it was
in their time. Then, everybody was a child. There needed no fathers and
mothers to take care of the children; because there was no danger, nor
trouble of any kind, and no clothes to be mended, and there was always
plenty to eat and drink. Whenever a child wanted his dinner, he found it
growing on a tree; and, if he looked at the tree in the morning, he
could see the expanding blossom of that night's supper; or, at eventide,
he saw the tender bud of to-morrow's breakfast. It was a very pleasant
life, indeed. No labor to be done, no tasks to be studied; nothing but
sports and dances, and sweet voices of children talking, or caroling
like birds, or gushing out in merry laughter, throughout the livelong

What was most wonderful of all, the children never quarreled among
themselves; neither had they any crying fits; nor, since time first
began, had a single one of these little mortals ever gone apart into a
corner, and sulked. Oh, what a good time was that to be alive in! The
truth is, those ugly little winged monsters, called Troubles, which are
now almost as numerous as mosquitoes, had never yet been seen on the
earth. It is probable that the very greatest disquietude which a child
had ever experienced was Pandora's vexation at not being able to
discover the secret of the mysterious box.

This was at first only the faint shadow of a Trouble; but, every day, it
grew more and more substantial, until, before a great while, the cottage
of Epimetheus and Pandora was less sunshiny than those of the other

"Whence can the box have come?" Pandora continually kept saying to
herself and to Epimetheus. "And what in the world can be inside of it!"

"Always talking about this box!" said Epimetheus, at last; for he had
grown extremely tired of the subject. "I wish, dear Pandora, you would
try to talk of something else. Come, let us go and gather some ripe
figs, and eat them under the trees, for our supper. And I know a vine
that has the sweetest and juiciest grapes you ever tasted."

"Always talking about grapes and figs!" cried Pandora, pettishly.

"Well, then," said Epimetheus, who was a very good-tempered child, like
a multitude of children in those days, "let us run out and have a merry
time with our playmates."

"I am tired of merry times, and don't care if I never have any more!"
answered our pettish little Pandora. "And, besides, I never do have any.
This ugly box! I am so taken up with thinking about it all the time. I
insist upon your telling me what is inside of it."

"As I have already said, fifty times over, I do not know!" replied
Epimetheus, getting a little vexed. "How, then, can I tell you what is

"You might open it," said Pandora, looking sideways at Epimetheus, "and
then we could see for ourselves."

"Pandora, what are you thinking of?" exclaimed Epimetheus.

And his face expressed so much horror at the idea of looking into a box
which had been confided to him on the condition of his never opening it,
that Pandora thought it best not to suggest it any more. Still, however,
she could not help thinking and talking about the box.

"At least," said she, "you can tell me how it came here."

"It was left at the door," replied Epimetheus, "just before you came, by
a person who looked very smiling and intelligent, and who could hardly
forbear laughing as he put it down. He was dressed in an odd kind of a
cloak, and had on a cap that seemed to be made partly of feathers, so
that it looked almost as if it had wings."

"What sort of a staff had he?" asked Pandora.

"Oh, the most curious staff you ever saw!" cried Epimetheus. "It was
like two serpents twisting around a stick, and was carved so naturally
that I, at first, thought the serpents were alive."

"I know him," said Pandora, thoughtfully. "Nobody else has such a staff.
It was Quicksilver; and he brought me hither, as well as the box. No
doubt he intended it for me; and, most probably, it contains pretty
dresses for me to wear, or toys for you and me to play with, or
something very nice for us both to eat!"

"Perhaps so," answered Epimetheus, turning away. "But until Quicksilver
comes back and tells us so, we have neither of us any right to lift the
lid of the box."

"What a dull boy he is!" muttered Pandora, as Epimetheus left the
cottage. "I do wish he had a little more enterprise!"

For the first time since her arrival, Epimetheus had gone out without
asking Pandora to accompany him. He went to gather figs and grapes by
himself, or to seek whatever amusement he could find, in other society
than his little playfellow's. He was tired to death of hearing about the
box, and heartily wished that Quicksilver, or whatever was the
messenger's name, had left it at some other child's door, where Pandora
would never have set eyes on it. So perseveringly as she did babble
about this one thing! The box, the box, and nothing but the box! It
seemed as if the box were bewitched, and as if the cottage were not big
enough to hold it, without Pandora's continually stumbling over it, and
making Epimetheus stumble over it likewise, and bruising all four of
their shins.

Well, it was really hard that poor Epimetheus should have a box in his
ears from morning till night; especially as the little people of the
earth were so unaccustomed to vexations, in those happy days, that they
knew not how to deal with them. Thus, a small vexation made as much
disturbance, then, as a far bigger one would in our own times.

After Epimetheus was gone, Pandora stood gazing at the box. She had
called it ugly, above a hundred times; but, in spite of all that she had
said against it, it was positively a very handsome article of furniture,
and would have been quite an ornament to any room in which it should be
placed. It was made of a beautiful kind of wood, with dark and rich
veins spreading over its surface, which was so highly polished that
little Pandora could see her face in it. As the child had no other
looking-glass, it is odd that she did not value the box, merely on this

The edges and corners of the box were carved with most wonderful skill.
Around the margin there were figures of graceful men and women, and the
prettiest children ever seen, reclining or sporting amid a profusion of
flowers and foliage; and these various objects were so exquisitely
represented, and were wrought together in such harmony, that flowers,
foliage, and human beings seemed to combine into a wreath of mingled
beauty. But here and there, peeping forth from behind the carved
foliage, Pandora once or twice fancied that she saw a face not so
lovely, or something or other that was disagreeable, and which stole the
beauty out of all the rest. Nevertheless, on looking more closely, and
touching the spot with her finger, she could discover nothing of the
kind. Some face, that was really beautiful, had been made to look ugly
by her catching a sideway glimpse at it.

The most beautiful face of all was done in what is called high relief,
in the center of the lid. There was nothing else, save the dark, smooth
richness of the polished wood, and this one face in the center, with a
garland of flowers about its brow. Pandora had looked at this face a
great many times, and imagined that the mouth could smile if it liked,
or be grave when it chose, the same as any living mouth. The features,
indeed, all wore a very lively and rather mischievous expression, which
looked almost as if it needs must burst out of the carved lips, and
utter itself in words.

Had the mouth spoken, it would probably have been something like this:

"Do not be afraid, Pandora! What harm can there be in opening the box?
Never mind that poor, simple Epimetheus! You are wiser than he, and have
ten times as much spirit. Open the box, and see if you do not find
something very pretty!"

The box, I had almost forgotten to say, was fastened; not by a lock, nor
by any other such contrivance, but by a very intricate knot of gold
cord. There appeared to be no end to this knot, and no beginning. Never
was a knot so cunningly twisted, nor with so many ins and outs, which
roguishly defied the skilfullest fingers to disentangle them. And yet,
by the very difficulty that there was in it, Pandora was the more
tempted to examine the knot, and just see how it was made. Two or three
times, already, she had stooped over the box, and taken the knot between
her thumb and forefinger,