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´╗┐Title: The Child's World - Third Reader
Author: Hetty Browne, Sarah Withers, W.K. Tate
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 "The Child's World - Third Reader" ***

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THE CHILD'S WORLD

THIRD READER

BY

HETTY S. BROWNE
Extension worker in rural school practice
Winthrop Normal and Industrial College
Rock Hill, S.C.

SARAH WITHERS
Principal Elementary Grades and Critic Teacher
Winthrop Normal and Industrial College

AND

W.K. TATE
Professor of Rural Education
George Peabody College for Teachers
Nashville, Tenn.

JOHNSON PUBLISHING COMPANY
Richmond, Virginia

TEACHERS' AIDS

Success with the Child's World Readers is in no wise dependent on the
use of the chart, manual, or cards.

Modern teachers of reading, however, recognize the saving of time and
effort to be accomplished for both their pupils and themselves by the
use of cards, chart, and manual, and look to the publisher to provide
these accessories in convenient form and at moderate cost.

The following aids are therefore offered in the belief that they will
make the work of the teacher, trained or untrained, more effective.

Child's World Reader Charts......................$6.00
  (10 beautiful charts in colors 27x37--20 lessons)

Child's World Manual.............................75c
  (Suggestions and outlines for first 5 grades)

Child's World Word Cards........................$1.00
  (129 cards--258 words in Primer vocabulary)

Child's World Phrase Cards........................75c
  (48 cards--96 phrases)

Child's World Phonic Cards...................80c
  (80 cards printed both sides)

JOHNSON PUBLISHING COMPANY

Richmond, Virginia.



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

For permission to use copyrighted material the authors and publishers
express their indebtedness to _The Independent_ for "Who Loves the Trees
Best?" by Alice M. Douglas; to Oliver Herford and the Century Company
for "The Elf and the Dormouse"; to the American Folklore Society for
"How Brother Rabbit Fooled the Whale and the Elephant," by Alcee
Fortier; to the _Outlook_ for "Making the Best of It," by Frances M.
Fox, and "Winter Nights," by Mary F. Butts; to Harper Brothers for "The
Animals and the Mirror," from _Told by the Sand Man_; to Rand McNally &
Company for "Little Hope's Doll," from _Stories of the Pilgrims_, by
Margaret Pumphrey; to Daughady & Company for "Squeaky and the Scare
Box," from _Christmas Stories_, by Georgene Faulkner; to D.C. Heath &
Company for "The Little Cook's Reward," from _Stories of the Old North
State_, by Mrs. L.A. McCorkle; to Charles Scribner's Sons for "A Good
Play" and "Block City," by Robert Louis Stevenson, "The Glad New Year,"
from _Rhymes and Jingles_, by Mary Mapes Dodge, "A Christmas Wish" and
"Rock-a-by-Lady," by Eugene Field; to Houghton Mifflin Company for
permission to adapt selections from _Hiawatha_; to Doubleday, Page &
Company for "The Sand Man," by Margaret Vandergrift, from _The Posy
Ring_--Wiggin and Smith; to James A. Honey for "The Monkey's Fiddle,"
from _South African Tales_; to Maud Barnard for "Donal and Conal"; to
Maud Barnard and Emilie Yonker for their versions of Epaminondas.


Supplementary Historical Reading

Life of General Robert E. Lee
_For Third and Fourth Grades_

Life of General Thomas J. Jackson
_For Third and Fourth Grades_

Life of Washington
_For Fourth and Fifth Grades_

Life of General N.B. Forrest
_For Fifth Grade_

Life of General J.E.B. Stuart
_For Fifth and Sixth Grades_

Soldier Life in the Army of Northern Virginia
_For Fifth Grade_

Tennessee History Stories
_For Third and Fourth Grades_

North Carolina History Stories
_For Fourth and Fifth Grades_

Texas History Stories
_For Fifth and Sixth Grades_

Half-Hours in Southern History
_For Sixth and Seventh Grades_

The Yemassee (_Complete Edition_)
_For Seventh and Eighth Grades_

(Ask for catalog containing list of other supplementary reading)

JOHNSON PUBLISHING COMPANY
RICHMOND, VA.



CONTENTS


PHILEMON AND BAUCIS, _Flora J. Cooke_, 9

THE POPLAR TREE, _Flora J. Cooke_, 15

WHO LOVES THE TREES BEST?, _Alice May Douglas_, 18

LEAVES IN AUTUMN, 19

A STORY OF BIRD LIFE, _Henry Ward Beecher_, 20

BOB WHITE, _George Cooper_, 25

HOW MARY GOT A NEW DRESS, 26

THE PLAID DRESS, 30

THE GODDESS OF THE SILKWORM, 34

THE FLAX, _Hans Christian Andersen_, 37

THE WONDERFUL WORLD, _William Brighty Rands_, 41

THE HILLMAN AND THE HOUSEWIFE, _Juliana H. Ewing_, 42

THE ELF AND THE DORMOUSE, _Oliver Herford_, 46

THE BELL OF ATRI, _Italian Tale_, 48

A DUMB WITNESS, _Arabian Tale_, 53

GIVING THANKS, 56

THE HARE AND THE HEDGEHOG, _Grimm_, 58

EPAMINONDAS, _Southern Tale_, 67

HOW BROTHER RABBIT FOOLED THE WHALE AND THE ELEPHANT, _Southern Folk
Tale_, 73

A CHRISTMAS WISH, _Eugene Field_, 79

THE CHRISTMAS BELLS, _Old Tale Retold_, 82

GOD BLESS THE MASTER OF THE HOUSE, _Old English Rime_, 89

SQUEAKY AND THE SCARE BOX, _Georgene Faulkner_, 90

THE GLAD NEW YEAR, _Mary Mapes Dodge_, 99

MAKING THE BEST OF IT, _Frances M. Fox_, 100

THE ANIMALS AND THE MIRROR, _F.A. Walker_, 106

THE BARBER OF BAGDAD, _Eastern Tale_, 115

WINTER NIGHTS, _Mary F. Butts_, 122

LITTLE HOPE'S DOLL, _Margaret Pumphrey_, 123

NAHUM PRINCE, 130

THE LITTLE COOK'S REWARD, _Mrs. L.A. McCorkle_, 134

ROCK-A-BY, HUSH-A-BY, LITTLE PAPOOSE, _Charles Myall_, 139

THE TAR WOLF, _The Indian Tar-Baby Story_, 140

THE RABBIT AND THE WOLF, _Southern Indian Tale_, 149

BLOCK CITY, _Robert Louis Stevenson_, 154

A GOOD PLAY, _Robert Louis Stevenson_, 155

THE MONKEY'S FIDDLE, _African Tale_, 156

THE THREE TASKS, _Grimm_, 163

THE WORLD'S MUSIC, _Gabriel Setoun_, 170

THE SLEEPING BEAUTY, _Grimm_, 172

THE UGLY DUCKLING, _Hans Christian Andersen_, 181

THE WHITE BLACKBIRD, _Adapted from Alfred de Musset_, 192

THE BROWN THRUSH, _Lucy Larcom_, 199

THE KING AND THE GOOSEHERD, _Old Tale_, 200

DONAL AND CONAL, _Irish Tale_, 206

WHO TOLD THE NEWS?, 212

THE BIRDS OF KILLINGWORTH, _Adapted from Longfellow_, 213

THE TRAILING ARBUTUS, _Indian Legend_, 218

HIDDEN TREASURE, _Grimm_, 223

THE LITTLE BROWN BROTHER, _Emily Nesbit_, 228

HOW THE FLOWERS GROW, _Gabriel Setoun_, 229

WISE MEN OF GOTHAM, _Old English Story_, 230

THE MILLER'S GUEST, _English Ballad (adapted)_, 233

SADDLE TO RAGS, _English Ballad (adapted)_, 239

THE ROCK-A-BY LADY, _Eugene Field_, 244

THE SAND MAN, _Margaret Vandergrift_, 246

A DICTIONARY, 249

SUGGESTIONS TO TEACHERS, 253



[Illustration: Girl reading a book]

  Oh, for a nook and a story-book,
    With tales both new and old;
  For a jolly good book whereon to look
    Is better to me than gold.

--OLD ENGLISH SONG.



[Illustration: Country house]

PHILEMON AND BAUCIS

I


Long ago, on a high hill in Greece, Philemon and Baucis lived.

They were poor, but they were never unhappy. They had many hives of bees
from which they got honey, and many vines from which they gathered
grapes. One old cow gave them all the milk that they could use, and they
had a little field in which grain was raised.

The old couple had as much as they needed, and were always ready to
share whatever they had with any one in want. No stranger was ever
turned from their door.

At the foot of the hill lay a beautiful village, with pleasant roads and
rich pasture lands all around. But it was full of wicked, selfish,
people, who had no love in their hearts and thought only of themselves.

At the time of this story, the people in the village were very busy.
Zeus, who they believed ruled the world, had sent word that he was about
to visit them. They were preparing a great feast and making everything
beautiful for his coming.

One evening, just at dark, two beggars came into the valley. They
stopped at every house and asked for food and a place to sleep; but the
people were too busy or too tired to attend to their needs. They were
thinking only of the coming of Zeus.

Footsore and weary, the two beggars at last climbed the hill to the hut
of Philemon and Baucis. These good people had eaten very little, for
they were saving their best food for Zeus.

When they saw the beggars, Philemon said, "Surely these men need food
more than Zeus. They look almost starved."

"Indeed, they do!" said Baucis, and she ran quickly to prepare supper
for the strangers.

She spread her best white cloth upon the table, and brought out bacon,
herbs, honey, grapes, bread, and milk. She set these upon the table in
all the best dishes she had and called the strangers in.

Then what do you suppose happened? The dishes that the strangers touched
turned to gold. The pitcher was never empty, although they drank glass
after glass of milk. The loaf of bread stayed always the same size,
although the strangers cut slice after slice.

"These are strange travelers," whispered the old couple to each other.
"They do wonderful things."


II


That night Philemon and Baucis slept upon the floor that the strangers
might have their one bed. In the morning they went with the travelers to
the foot of the hill to see them safely started on their way.

"Now, good people," said one of the strangers, "we thank you, and
whatever you wish shall be yours."

As he said this, his face became like that of the sun. Then Philemon and
Baucis knew that Zeus had spoken to them.

"Grant, O Zeus, that one of us may not outlive the other," they cried in
one voice.

"Your wish is granted," said Zeus; "yes, and more. Return to your home
and be happy."

[Illustration: Philemon and Baucis walking home]

Philemon and Baucis turned homeward, and, lo! their hut was changed to a
beautiful castle.

The old people turned around to thank their guests, but they had
disappeared.

In this castle Philemon and Baucis lived many years. They still did all
they could for others, and were always so happy that they never thought
of wishing anything for themselves.

As the years passed, the couple grew very old and feeble. One day Baucis
said to Philemon, "I wish we might never die, but could always live
together."

"Ah, that is my wish, too!" sighed old Philemon.

The next morning the marble palace was gone; Baucis and Philemon were
gone; but there on the hilltop stood two beautiful trees, an oak and a
linden.

No one knew what became of the good people. After many years, however, a
traveler lying under the trees heard them whispering to each other.

"Baucis," whispered the oak.

"Philemon," replied the linden.

There the trees stood through sun and rain, always ready to spread their
leafy shade over every tired stranger who passed that way.

--FLORA J. COOKE.



THE POPLAR TREE


Long ago the poplar used to hold out its branches like other trees. It
tried to see how far it could spread them.

Once at sunset an old man came through the forest where the poplar trees
lived. The trees were going to sleep, and it was growing dark.

The man held something under his cloak. It was a pot of gold--the very
pot of gold that lies at the foot of the rainbow. He had stolen it and
was looking for some place to hide it. A poplar tree stood by the path.

"This is the very place to hide my treasure," the man said. "The
branches spread out straight, and the leaves are large and thick. How
lucky that the trees are all asleep!"

He placed the pot of gold in the thick branches, and then ran quickly
away.

The gold belonged to Iris, the beautiful maiden who had a rainbow bridge
to the earth. The next morning she missed her precious pot. It always
lay at the foot of the rainbow, but it was not there now.

Iris hurried away to tell her father, the great Zeus, of her loss. He
said that he would find the pot of gold for her.

He called a messenger, the swift-footed Mercury, and said, "Go quickly,
and do not return until you have found the treasure."

Mercury went as fast as the wind down to the earth. He soon came to the
forest and awakened the trees.

"Iris has lost her precious pot of gold that lies at the foot of the
rainbow. Have any of you seen it?" he asked.

The trees were very sleepy, but all shook their heads.

"We have not seen it," they said.

"Hold up your branches," said Mercury. "I must see that the pot of gold
is not hidden among them."

All of the trees held up their branches. The poplar that stood by the
path was the first to hold up his. He was an honest tree and knew he had
nothing to hide.

[Illustration: Mercury among the trees]

Down fell the pot of gold. How surprised the poplar tree was! He dropped
his branches in shame. Then he held them high in the air.

"Forgive me," he said. "I do not know how it came to be there; but,
hereafter, I shall always hold my branches up. Then every one can see
that I have nothing hidden."

Since then the branches have always grown straight up; and every one
knows that the poplar is an honest and upright tree.

--FLORA J. COOKE.



WHO LOVES THE TREES BEST?


  Who loves the trees best?
  "I," said the Spring;
  "Their leaves so beautiful
  To them I bring."

  Who loves the trees best?
  "I," Summer said;
  "I give them blossoms,
  White, yellow, red."

  Who loves the trees best?
  "I," said the Fall;
  "I give luscious fruits,
  Bright tints to all."

  Who loves the trees best?
  "I love them best,"
  Harsh Winter answered;
  "I give them rest."

--ALICE MAY DOUGLAS.



LEAVES IN AUTUMN


  Red and gold, and gold and red,
  Autumn leaves burned overhead;
    Hues so splendid
    Softly blended,
  Oh, the glory that they shed!
  Red and gold, and gold and red.

  Gold and brown, and brown and gold,
  Of such fun the west wind told
    That they listened,
    And they glistened,
  As they wrestled in the cold;
  Gold and brown, and brown and gold.

  Brown and gold, and red and brown,
  How they hurried, scurried down
    For a frolic,
    For a rolic,
  Through the country and the town,
  Brown and gold, and red and brown.



[Illustration: A bird in a tree]

A STORY OF BIRD LIFE

I


Once there came to our fields a pair of birds. They had never built a
nest nor seen a winter.

Oh, how beautiful was everything! The fields were full of flowers, the
grass was growing tall, and the bees were humming everywhere.

One of the birds fell to singing, and the other bird said, "Who told you
to sing?"

He answered, "The flowers and the bees told me. The blue sky told me,
and you told me."

"When did I tell you to sing?" asked his mate.

"Every time you brought in tender grass for the nest," he replied.
"Every time your soft wings fluttered off again for hair and feathers to
line it."

Then his mate asked, "What are you singing about?"

"I am singing about everything," he answered. "I sing because I am
happy."

By and by five little speckled eggs were in the nest, and the mother
bird asked, "Is there anything in all the world as pretty as my eggs?"

A week or two afterward, the mother said, "Oh, what do you think has
happened? One of my eggs has been peeping and moving."

Soon another egg moved, then another, and another, till five eggs were
hatched.

The little birds were so hungry that it kept the parents busy feeding
them. Away they both flew. The moment the little birds heard them coming
back, five yellow mouths flew open wide.

"Can anybody be happier?" said the father bird to the mother bird. "We
will live in this tree always. It is a tree that bears joy."


II


The very next day one of the birds dropped out of the nest, and in a
moment a cat ate it up. Only four remained, and the parent birds were
very sad. There was no song all that day, nor the next.

Soon the little birds were big enough to fly. The first bird that tried
his wings flew from one branch to another. His parents praised him, and
the other baby birds wondered how he had done it.

The little one was so proud of it that he tried again. He flew and flew
and couldn't stop flying. At last he fell plump! down by the kitchen
door. A little boy caught him and carried him into the house.

Now only three birds were left. The sun no longer seemed bright to the
birds, and they did not sing so often.

In a little time the other birds learned to use their wings, and they
flew away and away. They found their own food and made their own nests.

Then the old birds sat silent and looked at each other a long while. At
last the mother bird asked, "Why don't you sing?"

"I can't sing," the father bird answered. "I only think and think!"

"What are you thinking of?"

"I am thinking how everything changes. The leaves are falling, and soon
there will be no roof over our heads. The flowers are all gone. Last
night there was a frost. Almost all the birds have flown away, and I am
restless. Something calls me, and I feel that I must fly away, too."

[Illustration: Two birds flying over a field]

"Let us fly away together!" the mother bird said.

Then they rose silently up in the air. They looked to the north; far
away they saw the snow coming. They looked to the south; there they saw
green leaves.

All day they flew. All night they flew and flew, till they found a land
where there was no winter. There it was summer all the time; flowers
always blossomed and birds always sang.

--HENRY WARD BEECHER



BOB WHITE


  There's a plump little chap in a speckled coat,
  And he sits on the zigzag rails remote,
  Where he whistles at breezy, bracing morn,
  When the buckwheat is ripe, and stacked is the corn:
  "Bob White! Bob White! Bob White!"

  Is he hailing some comrade as blithe as he?
  Now I wonder where Robert White can be!
  O'er the billows of gold and amber grain
  There is no one in sight--but, hark again:
  "Bob White! Bob White! Bob White!"

  Ah! I see why he calls; in the stubble there
  Hide his plump little wife and babies fair!
  So contented is he, and so proud of the same,
  That he wants all the world to know his name:
  "Bob White! Bob White! Bob White!"

--GEORGE COOPER.



HOW MARY GOT A NEW DRESS


Mary lived a long time ago. She was a little girl when your
great-great-grandmother was a little girl.

In those days all cloth had to be made at home. Aunt Dinah, Aunt Chloe,
and Aunt Dilsey were kept busy spinning and weaving to make clothes for
the whole plantation.

One day Mary's mother said, "Aunt Dilsey, Mary needs a new dress, and I
want you to weave some cloth at once. Can you weave some very fine
cloth?"

"Yes, ma'am," said Aunt Dilsey. "I have some cotton I've been saving to
make her a dress."

Aunt Dilsey got out the cards and carded the cotton smooth and fine.
Then she fastened a roll of this cotton to the spindle and sent the
wheel whirling around with a "Zum-m-m-m--Zum-m-m-m!"

Mary stood and watched the old woman.

[Illustration: Mary watching Aunt Dilsey at spinning wheel]

"Aunt Dilsey," she said, "the spinning wheel sings a song, and I know
what it says. Grandmother told me. It says,

  'A hum and a whirl,
  A twist and a twirl,
  This is for the girl
  With the golden curl!
  Zum-m-m-m-m-m!
  Zum-m-m-m-m-m!'"

"And that means you, honey," said Aunt Dilsey.

When the yarn was ready, Aunt Dilsey fastened it in the loom and began
to weave. The threads went over and under, over and under. As Aunt
Dilsey wove, she hummed. Mary stood by and sang this song,

  "Over and under and over we go,
  Weaving the cotton as white as the snow,
  Weaving the cloth for a dress, oh, ho!
  As over and under and over we go."

After the cloth had been woven, Aunt Dilsey took it out of the loom.
Then she bleached it until it was as white as snow. Now it was ready to
be made into a dress.

"Mother, do tell me how you are going to make the dress," said Mary.
"Will it have ruffles on it like Sue's? Will it have trimming on it? And
how many buttons will you put on it? Sue's dress has twelve; I know, for
I counted them."

Mother did not answer all these questions; she just smiled as the
scissors went snip, snip into the cloth. But she did cut out ruffles,
and Aunt Maria began to hem them.

[Illustration: Mary with her mother and grandmother]

By and by grandmother came into the room.

"Mary," she said, "here is some lace I got in England. Mother may put it
on your dress."

How happy Mary was! She danced for joy.

Mother put on the lace, and grandmother worked the buttonholes. How many
do you suppose she worked? Why, she worked twelve!

When the dress was finished, it was just like Sue's. Only it was a great
deal finer, for Mary's dress had three ruffles and Sue's had only two!
And, then, there was the lace from England!



THE PLAID DRESS


"I want a warm plaid dress," said a little girl. "The days are colder,
and the frost will soon be here. But how can I get it? Mother says that
she cannot buy one for me."

The old white sheep in the meadow heard her, and he bleated to the
shepherd, "The little girl wants a warm plaid dress. I will give my
wool. Who else will help?"

The kind shepherd said, "I will." Then he led the old white sheep to the
brook and washed its wool. When it was clean and white, he said, "The
little girl wants a warm plaid dress. The sheep has given his wool, and
I have washed it clean and white. Who else will help?"

"We will," said the shearers. "We will bring our shears and cut off the
wool."

The shearers cut the soft wool from the old sheep, and then they called,
"The little girl wants a new dress. The sheep has given his wool. The
shepherd has washed it; and we have sheared it. Who else will help?"

[Illustration: Shearer shearing the sheep]

"We will," cried the carders. "We will comb it out straight and smooth."

Soon they held up the wool, carded straight and smooth, and they cried,
"The little girl wants a new dress. The sheep has given his wool. The
shepherd has washed the wool. The shearers have cut it, and we have
carded it. Who else will help?"

"We will," said the spinners. "We will spin it into thread."

"Whirr, whirr!" How fast the spinning wheels turned, singing all the
time.

Soon the spinners said, "The little girl wants a new dress. The sheep
has given his wool. The shepherd has washed the wool. The shearers have
cut it. The carders have carded it, and we have spun it into thread. Who
else will help?"

"We will," said the dyers. "We will dye it with beautiful colors."

Then they dipped the woven threads into bright dye, red and blue and
green and brown.

As they spread the wool out to dry, the dyers called: "The little girl
wants a new dress. The sheep has given his wool. The shepherd has washed
the wool. The shearers have cut it. The carders have carded it. The
spinners have spun it, and we have dyed it with bright beautiful colors.
Who else will help?"

"We will," said the weavers. "We will make it into cloth."

[Illustration: Weaver at loom]

"Clickety-clack! clickety-clack!" went the loom, as the colored thread
was woven over and under over and under. Before long it was made into
beautiful plaid cloth.

Then the little girl's mother cut and made the dress. It was a beautiful
plaid dress, and the little girl loved to wear it. Every time she put it
on, she thought of her friends who had helped her,--the sheep, the
shearers, the carders, the spinners, the dyers, the weavers, and her own
dear mother.



THE GODDESS OF THE SILKWORM


Hoangti was the emperor of China. He had a beautiful wife whose name was
Si-ling. The emperor and his wife loved their people and always thought
of their happiness.

In those days the Chinese people wore clothes made of skins. By and by
animals grew scarce, and the people did not know what they should wear.
The emperor and empress tried in vain to find some other way of clothing
them.

One morning Hoangti and his wife were in the beautiful palace garden.
They walked up and down, up and down, talking of their people.

Suddenly the emperor said, "Look at those worms on the mulberry trees,
Si-ling. They seem to be spinning."

Si-ling looked, and sure enough, the worms were spinning. A long thread
was coming from the mouth of each, and each little worm was winding this
thread around its body.

Si-ling and the emperor stood still and watched the worms. "How
wonderful!" said Si-ling.

The next morning Hoangti and the empress walked under the trees again.
They found some worms still winding thread. Others had already spun
their cocoons and were fast asleep. In a few days all of the worms had
spun cocoons.

"This is indeed a wonderful, wonderful thing!" said Si-ling. "Why, each
worm has a thread on its body long enough to make a house for itself!"

Si-ling thought of this day after day. One morning as she and the
emperor walked under the trees, she said, "I believe I could find a way
to weave those long threads into cloth."

"But how could you unwind the threads?" asked the emperor.

[Illustration: Hoangti and Si-ling walking among the trees]

"I'll find a way," Si-ling said. And she did; but she had to try many,
many times.

She put the cocoons in a hot place, and the little sleepers soon died.
Then the cocoons were thrown into boiling water to make the threads
soft. After that the long threads could be easily unwound.

Now Si-ling had to think of something else; she had to find a way to
weave the threads into cloth. After many trials, she made a loom--the
first that was ever made. She taught others to weave, and soon hundreds
of people were making cloth from the threads of the silkworm.

The people ever afterward called Si-ling "The Goddess of the Silkworm."
And whenever the emperor walked with her in the garden, they liked to
watch the silkworms spinning threads for the good of their people.



THE FLAX

I


It was spring. The flax was in full bloom, and it had dainty little blue
flowers that nodded in the breeze.

"People say that I look very well," said the flax. "They say that I am
fine and long and that I shall make a beautiful piece of linen. How
happy I am! No one in the world can be happier."

"Oh, yes," said the fence post, "you may grow and be happy, and you may
sing, but you do not know the world as I do. Why, I have knots in me."
And it creaked;

  "Snip, snap, snurre,
  Basse, lurre,
  The song is ended."

"No, it is not ended," said the flax. "The sun will shine, and the rain
will fall, and I shall grow and grow. No, no, the song is not ended."

One day some men came with sharp reap hooks. They took the flax by the
head and cut it off at the roots. This was very painful, you may be
sure.

Then the flax was laid in water and was nearly drowned. After that it
was put on a fire and nearly roasted. All this was frightful. But the
flax only said, "One cannot be happy always. By having bad times as well
as good, we become wise."

After the flax had been cut and steeped and roasted, it was put on a
spinning wheel. "Whir-r-r, whir-rr-r," went the spinning wheel; it went
so fast that the flax could hardly think.

"I have been very happy in the sunshine and the rain," it said. "If I am
in pain now, I must be contented."

At last the flax was put in the loom. Soon it became a beautiful piece
of white linen.

"This is very wonderful," said the flax. "How foolish the fence post was
with its song of--

  'Snip, snap, snurre,
  Basse, lurre,
  The song is ended.'

The song is not ended, I am sure. It has only just begun.

"After all that I have suffered, I am at last made into beautiful linen.
How strong and fine I am, and how long and white! This is even better
than being a plant bearing flowers. I have never been happier than I am
now."

After some time the linen was cut into pieces and sewed with needles.
That was not pleasant; but at last there were twelve pretty white
aprons.

"See," said the flax, "I have been made into something. Now I shall be
of some use in the world. That is the only way to be happy."


II


Years passed by, and the linen was so worn that it could hardly hold
together.

"The end must come soon," said the flax.

At last the linen did fall into rags and tatters; it was torn into
shreds and boiled in water. The flax thought the end had come.

But no, the end was not yet. After being made into pulp and dried, the
flax became beautiful white paper.

"This is a surprise, a glorious surprise," it said. "I am finer than
ever, and I shall have fine things written on me. How happy I am!"

And sure enough, the most beautiful stories and verses were written upon
it. People read the stories and verses, and they were made wiser and
better. Their children and their children's children read them, too, and
so the song was not ended.

--HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN.

[Illustration: Girl reading a book]



THE WONDERFUL WORLD


  Great, wide, beautiful, wonderful World,
  With the wonderful water round you curled,
  And the wonderful grass upon your breast,
  World, you are beautifully drest.

  The wonderful air is over me,
  And the wonderful wind is shaking the tree--
  It walks on the water, and whirls the mills,
  And talks to itself on the top of the hills.

  You friendly Earth, how far do you go,
  With the wheat-fields that nod and the rivers that flow,
  With cities and gardens, and cliffs and isles,
  And people upon you for thousands of miles?

  Ah! you are so great, and I am so small,
  I hardly can think of you, World, at all;
  And yet, when I said my prayers to-day,
  A whisper within me seemed to say,
  "You are more than the Earth, though you are such a dot!
  You can love and think, and the Earth cannot!"

--William Brighty Rands.



[Illustration: The Hillman at the housewife's door]

THE HILLMAN AND THE HOUSEWIFE


As every one knows, fairies are always just. They are kind to others,
and in return they expect others to be kind to them. In some countries
across the sea there are fairies called Hillmen.

Now, there once lived a certain housewife who liked to make bargains.
She gave away only those things for which she had no use, and then
expected always to get something in return.

One day a Hillman knocked at her door.

"Can you lend us a saucepan?" he asked. "There's a wedding on the hill,
and all the pots are in use."

"Is he to have one?" whispered the servant who opened the door.

"Aye, to be sure," answered the housewife; "one must be neighborly. Get
the saucepan for him, lass."

The maid turned to take a good saucepan from the shelf, but the
housewife stopped her.

"Not that, not that," she whispered. "Get the old one out of the
cupboard. It leaks, but that doesn't matter. The Hillmen are so neat and
are such nimble workers that they are sure to mend it before they send
it home. I can oblige the fairies and save sixpence in tinkering, too."

The maid brought the old saucepan that had been laid by until the
tinker's next visit, and gave it to the Hillman. He thanked her and went
away.

When the saucepan was returned, it had been neatly mended, just as the
housewife thought it would be.

At night the maid filled the pan with milk and set it on the fire to
heat for the children's supper. In a few moments the milk was so smoked
and burnt that no one would touch it. Even the pigs refused to drink it.

"Ah, you good-for-nothing!" cried the housewife. "There's a quart of
milk wasted at once."

"And that's twopence," cried a queer little voice that seemed to come
from the chimney.

The housewife filled the saucepan again and set it over the fire. It had
not been there more than two minutes before it boiled over and was burnt
and smoked as before.

"The pan must be dirty," muttered the woman, who was very much vexed.
"Two full quarts of milk have been wasted."

"And that's fourpence!" added the queer little voice from the chimney.

The saucepan was scoured; then it was filled with milk the third time
and set over the fire. Again the milk boiled over and was spoiled.

Now the housewife was quite vexed. "I have never had anything like this
to happen since I first kept house," she exclaimed. "Three quarts of
milk wasted!"

"And that's sixpence," cried the queer little voice from the chimney.
"You didn't save the tinkering after all, mother!"

With that the Hillman himself came tumbling from the chimney and ran off
laughing. But from that time, the saucepan was as good as any other.

--JULIANA H. EWING.

[Illustration: The Hillman running off from the fire]



[Illustration: The Elf and the Dormouse under the toadstool]

THE ELF AND THE DORMOUSE


  Under a toad stool
    Crept a wee Elf,
  Out of the rain
    To shelter himself.

  Under the toad stool
    Sound asleep,
  Sat a big Dormouse
    All in a heap.

  Trembled the wee Elf
    Frightened, and yet
  Fearing to fly away
    Lest he get wet.

  To the next shelter--
    Maybe a mile!
  Sudden the wee Elf
    Smiled a wee smile;

  Tugged till the toad stool
    Toppled in two;
  Holding it over him,
    Gayly he flew.

  Soon he was safe home,
    Dry as could be.
  Soon woke the Dormouse--
    "Good gracious me!

  "Where is my toad stool?"
    Loud he lamented.
  And that's how umbrellas
    First were invented.

--OLIVER HERFORD.

[Illustration: The elf flying away with the toadstool as the Dormouse
watches]



THE BELL OF ATRI

I


Good King John of Atri loved his people very much and wished to see them
happy. He knew, however, that some were not; he knew that many suffered
wrongs which were not righted. This made him sad.

One day the king thought of a way to help his people. He had a great
bell hung in a tower in the market place. He had the rope made so long
that a child could reach it.

Then the king sent heralds through the streets to tell the people why he
had put the bell in the market place. The heralds blew their trumpets
long and loud, and the people came from their homes to hear the message.

"Know ye," cried a herald, "that whenever a wrong is done to any man, he
has but to ring the great bell in the square. A judge will go to the
tower to hear the complaint, and he will see that justice is done."

"Long live our good king!" shouted the people. "Now our wrongs shall be
righted."

And so it was. Whenever anyone was wronged, he rang the bell in the
tower. The judge put on his rich robes and went there. He listened to
the complaint, and the guilty were punished.

The people in Atri were now very happy, and the days went swiftly by.
The bell hung in its place year after year, and it was rung many times.
By and by the rope became so worn that one could scarcely reach it.

The king said, "Why, a child could not reach the rope now, and a wrong
might not be righted. I must put in a new one."

So he ordered a rope from a distant town. In those days it took a long
time to travel from one town to another. What should they do if somebody
wished to ring the bell before the new rope came?

"We must mend the rope in some way," said a man.

"Here," said another; "take this piece of grapevine and fasten it to the
rope. Then it will be long enough for any one to reach."

This was done, and for some time the bell was rung in that way.


II


One hot summer noon everything was very still. All the people were
indoors taking their noonday rest.

Suddenly they were awakened by the arousing bell:

  Some one--hath done--a wrong,
  Hath done--a wrong!
  Hath done--a wrong!

The judge started from a deep sleep, turned on his couch, and listened.
Could it be the bell of justice?

Again the sound came:

  Some one--hath done--a wrong!
  Hath done--a wrong!
  Hath done--a wrong!

It was the bell of justice. The judge put on his rich robes and,
panting, hurried to the market place.

There he saw a strange sight: a poor steed, starved and thin, tugging at
the vines which were fastened to the bell. A great crowd had gathered
around.

"Whose horse is this?" the judge asked.

"It is the horse of the rich soldier who lives in the castle," said a
man. "He has served his master long and well, and has saved his life
many times. Now that the horse is too old to work, the master turns him
out. He wanders through the lanes and fields, picking up such food as
can be found."

"His call for justice shall be heard," said the judge. "Bring the
soldier to me."

The soldier tried to treat the matter as a jest. Then he grew angry and
said in an undertone, "One can surely do what he pleases with his own."

[Illustration: The judge sees the horse in the market place]

"For shame!" cried the judge. "Has the horse not served you for many
years? And has he not saved your life? You must build a good shelter for
him, and give him the best grain and the best pasture. Take the horse
home and be as true to him as he has been to you."

The soldier hung his head in shame and led the horse away. The people
shouted and applauded.

"Great is King John," they cried, "and great the bell of Atri!"

--ITALIAN TALE.



A DUMB WITNESS


One day at noontime a poor man was riding along a road. He was tired and
hungry, and wished to stop and rest. Finding a tree with low branches,
he tied his horse to one of them. Then he sat down to eat his dinner.

Soon a rich man came along and started to tie his horse to the same
tree.

"Do not fasten your horse to that tree," cried the poor man. "My horse
is savage and he may kill yours. Fasten him to another tree."

"I shall tie my horse where I wish," the rich man replied; and he tied
his horse to the same tree. Then he, too, sat down to eat.

Very soon the men heard a great noise. They looked up and saw that their
horses were kicking and fighting. Both men rushed to stop them, but it
was too late; the rich man's horse was dead.

"See what your horse has done!" cried the rich man in an angry voice.
"But you shall pay for it! You shall pay for it!"

Then he dragged the man before a judge.

"Oh, wise judge," he cried, "I have come to you for justice. I had a
beautiful, kind, gentle horse which has been killed by this man's savage
horse. Make the man pay for the horse or send him to prison."

"Not so fast, my friend," the judge said. "There are two sides to every
case."

He turned to the poor man. "Did your horse kill this man's horse?" he
asked.

The poor man made no reply.

The judge asked in surprise, "Are you dumb? Can you not talk?"

But no word came from the poor man's lips.

Then the judge turned to the rich man.

"What more can I do?" he asked. "You see for yourself this poor man
cannot speak."

"Oh, but he can," cried the rich man. "He spoke to me."

"Indeed!" said the judge. "When?"

"He spoke to me when I tied my horse to the tree."

"What did he say?" asked the judge.

"He said, 'Do not fasten your horse to that tree. My horse is savage and
may kill yours.'"

"0 ho!" said the judge. "This poor man warned you that his horse was
savage, and you tied your horse near his after the warning. This puts a
new light on the matter. You are to blame, not he."

The judge turned to the poor man and said, "My man, why did you not
answer my questions?"

"Oh, wise judge," said the poor man, "if I had told you that I warned
him not to tie his horse near mine, he would have denied it. Then how
could you have told which one of us to believe? I let him tell his own
story, and you have learned the truth."

This speech pleased the judge. He praised the poor man for his wisdom,
and sent the rich man away without a penny.

--ARABIAN TALE.



[Illustration: Workers leaving a reaped field]

GIVING THANKS


  For the hay and the corn and the wheat that is reaped,
  For the labor well done, and the barns that are heaped,
  For the sun and the dew and the sweet honeycomb,
  For the rose and the song, and the harvest brought home--
    Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving!

[Illustration: A house]

  For the trade and the skill and the wealth in our land,
  For the cunning and strength of the working-man's hand,
  For the good that our artists and poets have taught,
  For the friendship that hope and affection have brought--
    Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving!

  For the homes that with purest affection are blest,
  For the season of plenty and well-deserved rest,
  For our country extending from sea to sea,
  The land that is known as "The Land of the Free"--
    Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving!



THE HARE AND THE HEDGEHOG

I


PLACE: A farmer's cabbage field.

TIME: A fine morning in spring.

(The hedgehog is standing by his door looking at the cabbage field which
he thinks is his own.)

HEDGEHOG: Wife, have you dressed the children yet?

WIFE: Just through, my dear.

HEDGEHOG: Well, come out here and let us look at our cabbage patch.

(Wife comes out.)

HEDGEHOG: Fine crop, isn't it? We should be happy.

WIFE: The cabbage is fine enough, but I can't see why we should be so
happy.

[Illustration: The hare and the hedgehog with a cabbage]

HEDGEHOG: Why, my dear, there are tears in your voice. What is the
matter?

WIFE: I suppose I ought not to mind it, but those dreadful hares nearly
worry the life out of me.

HEDGEHOG: What are they doing now?

WIFE: Doing? What are they not doing? Why, yesterday I brought my pretty
babies out here to get some cabbage leaves. We were eating as
well-behaved hedgehogs always eat, and those horrid hares almost made us
cry.

HEDGEHOG: What did they do?

WIFE: They came to our cabbage patch and they giggled and said, "Oh, see
the little duck-legged things! Aren't they funny?" Then one jumped over
a cabbage just to hurt our feelings.

HEDGEHOG: Well, they are mean, I know, but we won't notice them. I'll
get even with them one of these days. Ah, there comes one of them now.

WIFE: Yes, and he laughed at me yesterday. He said, "Good-morning, Madam
Shortlegs." I won't speak to him. I'll hide till he goes by.

(Wife hides behind a cabbage.)

HEDGEHOG: Good-morning, sir.

HARE: Are you speaking to me?

HEDGEHOG: Certainly; do you see any one else around?

HARE: How dare you speak to me?

HEDGEHOG: Oh, just to be neighborly.

HARE: I shall ask you not to speak to me hereafter. I think myself too
good to notice hedgehogs.

HEDGEHOG: Now, that is strange.

HARE: What is strange?

HEDGEHOG: Why, I have just said to my wife that we wouldn't notice you.

HARE: Wouldn't notice me, indeed, you silly, short-legged, duck-legged
thing!

HEDGEHOG: Well, my legs are quite as good as yours, sir.

HARE: As good as mine! Who ever heard of such a thing? Why, you can do
little more than crawl.

HEDGEHOG: That may be as you say, but I'll run a race with you any day.

HARE: Ha, ha, ha! Ho, ho, ho! A race with a hedgehog! Well, well, well!

HEDGEHOG: Are you afraid to run with me?

HARE: Of course not. It will be no race at all, but I'll run just to
show you how silly you are.

HEDGEHOG: Good! You run in that furrow; I will run in this. We shall see
who gets to the fence first. Let's start from the far end of the furrow.

HARE: I will run to the brook and back while you are getting there. Go
ahead.

HEDGEHOG: I wouldn't stay too long if I were you.

HARE: Oh, I'll be back before you reach the end of the furrow.

(The hare runs off to the brook.)


II


HEDGEHOG: Wife, wife, did you hear what I said to the hare?

WIFE: Did I hear? I should say I did. What are you thinking of? Have you
lost your senses?

HEDGEHOG: You shouldn't speak that way to me. What do you know about a
man's business? Come here and let me whisper something to you.

(He whispers and then walks to far end of the furrow. His wife laughs.)

WIFE: Ha, ha! I see. I see. Nothing wrong with your brains.

  "Short legs, long wit,
  Long legs, not a bit,"

as my grandmother used to say. The hare will find that out today.

(She stoops down in the near end of the furrow. The hare returns and
takes his place.)

HARE: Well, are you ready?

HEDGEHOG: Of course I am,--ready and waiting.

  HARE: One for the money,
  Two for the show,
  Three to make ready,
  And here we go!

(The hare runs as swiftly as the wind. The hedgehog starts with him, but
stops and stoops low in the furrow. When the hare reaches the other end,
the hedgehog's wife puts up her head.)

WIFE: Well, here I am.

HARE: What does this mean?

WIFE: It means what it means.

HARE: We'll try again. Are you ready?

WIFE: Of course I am.

  HARE: One for the money,
  Two for the show,
  Three to make ready,
  And here we go!

(The hare runs swiftly back again. Wife starts, but stops and stoops
low. The hare reaches the other end. The hedgehog puts up his head.)

HEDGEHOG: Here I am.

HARE: I can't understand this.

HEDGEHOG: It is very clear to me.

HARE: Well, we'll try again. Are you ready?

HEDGEHOG: I'm always ready.

  HARE: One for the money,
  Two for the show,
  Three to make ready,
  And here we go!

(Again the wife puts up her head and the hare is bewildered.)

[Illustration: The hare racing as the hedhog looks on]

WIFE: You see I am here.

HARE: I just can't believe it.

WIFE: A perfectly simple thing.

HARE: We'll try once more. You can't beat me another time.

WIFE: Don't boast. You had better save your breath for the race; you
will need it.

  HARE: One for the money,
  Two for the show,
  Three to make ready,
  And here we go!

(When the hare reaches the other end of the field, the hedgehog puts up
his head.)

HARE: This is very strange.

HEDGEHOG: Shall we run again? You seem a little tired, but I am
perfectly fresh.

HARE (_panting_): No, no! The race is yours.

HEDGEHOG: Will you call my wife and children names any more?

HARE: No, no! I'll never do that again.

HEDGEHOG: Very well. And if you wish a race at any time, friend hare,
just call by for me.

HARE (_walking off shaking his head_): It's very strange. I hope none of
the other hares will hear of this race.

WIFE (_as she meets the hedgehog_): I thought I should hurt myself
laughing. As my grandmother used to say,

  "Short legs, long wit,
  Long legs, not a bit."

--GRIMM.



EPAMINONDAS


Epaminondas had a good kind granny, who cooked at "the big house."
Epaminondas liked to go to see her, for she always gave him something to
take home with him.

One day when Epaminondas went to see granny, she was baking a cake, and
she gave Epaminondas a piece to eat. As he was leaving, granny said,
"Epaminondas, you may take a slice home to your mammy."

Epaminondas took it in his little hands and squeezing it just as tight
as he could, ran all the way home. When his mammy saw him, she said,
"What's that, Epaminondas?"

"Cake, mammy. Granny sent it to you."

"Cake!" cried his mammy. "Epaminondas, don't you know that's no way to
carry cake? When your granny gives you cake, put it in your hat; then
put your hat on your head and come home. You hear me, Epaminondas?"

"Yes, mammy."

The next time Epaminondas went to see his granny, she was churning, and
she gave him a pat of fresh butter to carry to his mammy.

Epaminondas said to himself, "What was it mammy said? Oh, yes! I know.
She said, 'Put it in your hat and put the hat on your head and come
home.' I'll do just what she told me."

Epaminondas put the pat of butter in his hat, put his hat on his head,
and went home.

It was a hot day, and soon the butter began to melt. Drip, drip, drip,
it went into his ears. Drip, drip, drip, it went into his eyes. Drip,
drip, drip, it went down his back. When Epaminondas reached home, he had
no butter in his hat. It was all on him.

Looking at him hard, his mammy said, "Epaminondas, what in the world is
that dripping from your hat?"

"Butter, mammy. Granny sent it to you."

"Butter!" cried his mammy. "Oh, Epaminondas! Don't you know how to carry
butter? You must wrap it in a cabbage leaf, and take it to the spring.
Then you must cool it in the water, and cool it in the water, and cool
it in the water. When you have done this, take the butter in your hands
and come home. You hear me, Epaminondas?"

"Yes, mammy."

The next time Epaminondas went to see his granny, she wasn't baking cake
and she wasn't churning. She was sitting in a chair knitting.

She said, "Epaminondas, look in the woodshed, and you'll see something
you like."

Epaminondas looked in the woodshed, and there he found four little
puppies. He played with them all the afternoon, and when he started
home, his granny gave him one.

Epaminondas remembered what his mammy had told him. He wrapped the puppy
in a big cabbage leaf, and took it to the spring. He cooled it in the
water, and cooled it in the water, and cooled it in the water. Then he
took it in his hands, and went home.

When his mammy saw him, she said, "Epaminondas, what is that in your
hands?"

"A puppy dog, mammy."

"A puppy dog!" cried his mammy. "Oh, Epaminondas! What makes you act so
foolish? That's no way to carry a puppy. The way to carry a puppy is to
tie a string around his neck and put him on the ground. Then you take
the other end of the string in your hand and come along home. You hear
me, Epaminondas?"

"Yes, mammy."

Epaminondas was going to be right the next time; he got a piece of
string and put it in his pocket to have it ready.

The next day company came to see Epaminondas's mammy, and she had no
bread for dinner. She called Epaminondas and said, "Run to 'the big
house' and ask your granny to send me a loaf of bread for dinner."

"Yes, mammy," said Epaminondas. And off he ran.

Granny gave him a loaf just from the oven--a nice, brown, crusty loaf.
This time Epaminondas was certainly going to do what mammy had told him.

He proudly got out his string and tied it to the loaf. Then he put the
loaf on the ground, and taking the other end of the string in his hand,
he went along home.

When he reached home, his mammy gave one look at the thing tied to the
end of the string.

"What have you brought, Epaminondas?" she cried.

"Bread, mammy. Granny sent it to you."

"Oh, Epaminondas! Epaminondas! How could you be so foolish?" cried his
mammy. "Now I have no bread for dinner. I'll have to go and get some
myself."

She went into the house and got her bonnet. When she came out, she said,
"Epaminondas, do you see those three mince pies I've put on the doorstep
to cool. Well, now, you hear me, Epaminondas. You be careful how you
step on those pies!"

"Yes, mammy."

His mammy went off down the road; Epaminondas went to the door and
looked out. "Mammy told me to be careful how I step on those mince
pies," he said, "so I must be careful how I do it. I'll step right in
the middle of every one."

And he did!

When his mammy came home, there were no pies for dinner.

Now she was angry all over, and something happened. I don't know, and
you don't know, but we can guess.

Poor Epaminondas!--SOUTHERN TALE.

[Illustration: Epaminondas stepping in the pies]



HOW BROTHER RABBIT FOOLED THE WHALE AND THE ELEPHANT

I


One day Brother Rabbit was running along on the sand, lippety, lippety,
lippety. He was going to a fine cabbage field. On the way he saw the
whale and the elephant talking together.

Brother Rabbit said, "I'd like to know what they are talking about." So
he crouched down behind some bushes and listened.

This is what Brother Rabbit heard the whale say:

"You are the biggest thing on the land, Brother Elephant, and I am the
biggest thing in the sea. If we work together, we can rule all the
animals in the world. We can have our own way about everything."

"Very good, very good," trumpeted the elephant. "That suits me. You keep
the sea, and I will keep the land."

[Illustration: Brother Rabbit listening]

"That's a bargain," said the whale, as he swam away.

Brother Rabbit laughed to himself. "They won't rule me," he said, as he
ran off.

Brother Rabbit soon came back with a very long and a very strong rope
and his big drum. He hid the drum in some bushes. Then taking one end of
the rope, he walked up to the elephant.

"Oh, dear Mr. Elephant," he said, "you are big and strong; will you have
the kindness to do me a favor?"

The elephant was pleased, and he trumpeted, "Certainly, certainly. What
is it?"

"My cow is stuck in the mud on the shore, and I can't pull her out,"
said Brother Rabbit. "If you will help me, you will do me a great
service. You are so strong, I am sure you can get her out."

"Certainly, certainly," trumpeted the elephant.

"Thank you," said the rabbit. "Take this rope in your trunk, and I will
tie the other end to my cow. Then I will beat my drum to let you know
when to pull. You must pull as hard as you can, for the cow is very
heavy."

"Huh!" trumpeted the elephant, "I'll pull her out, or break the rope."

Brother Rabbit tied the rope to the elephant's trunk and ran off,
lippety, lippety.


II


He ran till he came to the shore where the whale was. Making a bow,
Brother Rabbit said, "0, mighty and wonderful Whale, will you do me a
favor?"

"What is it?" asked the whale.

"My cow is stuck in the mud on the shore," said Brother Rabbit, "and I
cannot pull her out. Of course you can do it. If you will be so kind as
to help me, I shall be very much obliged."

"Certainly," said the whale, "certainly."

"Thank you," said Brother Rabbit, "take hold of this rope, and I will
tie the other end to my cow. Then I will beat my big drum to let you
know when to pull. You must pull as hard as you can, for my cow is very
heavy."

"Never fear," said the whale, "I could pull a dozen cows out of the
mud."

"I am sure you could," said the rabbit politely. "Only be sure to begin
gently. Then pull harder and harder till you get her out."

The rabbit ran away into the bushes where he had hidden the drum and
began to beat it. Then the whale began to pull and the elephant began to
pull. In a minute the rope tightened till it was stretched as hard as a
bar of iron.

"This is a very heavy cow," said the elephant, "but I'll pull her out."
Bracing his fore feet in the earth, he gave a tremendous pull.

But the whale had no way to brace himself.

"Dear me," he said. "That cow must surely be stuck tight." Lashing his
tail in the water, he gave a marvelous pull.

He pulled harder; the elephant pulled harder. Soon the whale found
himself sliding toward the land. He was so provoked with the cow that he
went head first, down to the bottom of the sea.

That was a pull! The elephant was jerked off his feet, and came slipping
and sliding toward the sea. He was very angry.

"That cow must be very strong to drag me in this way," he said. "I will
brace myself."

Kneeling down on the ground, he twisted the rope around his trunk. Then
he began to pull his very best, and soon the whale came up out of the
water.

Then each saw that the other had hold of the rope.

"How is this?" cried the whale. "I thought I was pulling Brother
Rabbit's cow."

"That is what I thought," said the elephant. "Brother Rabbit is making
fun of us. He must pay for this. I forbid him to eat a blade of grass on
land, because he played a trick on us."

"And I will not allow him to drink a drop of water in the sea," said the
whale.

But Little Rabbit sat in the bushes and laughed, and laughed, and
laughed.

"Much do I care," he said. "I can get all the green things I want, and I
don't like salt water."

--SOUTHERN FOLK TALE.



[Illustration: A mother with children in winter]

A CHRISTMAS WISH


  I'd like a stocking made for a giant,
    And a meeting house full of toys;
  Then I'd go out on a happy hunt
    For the poor little girls and boys;
  Up the street and down the street,
    And across and over the town,
  I'd search and find them every one,
    Before the sun went down.

  One would want a new jack-knife
    Sharp enough to cut;
  One would long for a doll with hair,
    And eyes that open and shut;
  One would ask for a china set
    With dishes all to her mind;
  One would wish a Noah's ark
    With beasts of every kind.

  Some would like a doll cook-stove
    And a little toy wash tub;
  Some would prefer a little drum,
    For a noisy rub-a-dub;
  Some would wish for a story book,
    And some for a set of blocks;
  Some would be wild with happiness
    Over a new tool-box.

  And some would rather have little shoes,
    And other things warm to wear,
  For many children are very poor,
    And the winter is hard to bear;
  I'd buy soft flannels for little frocks,
    And a thousand stockings or so,
  And the jolliest little coats and cloaks,
    To keep out the frost and snow.

[Illustration: Christmas toys]

  I'd load a wagon with caramels
    And candy of every kind,
  And buy all the almond and pecan nuts
    And taffy that I could find;
  And barrels and barrels of oranges
    I'd scatter right in the way,
  So the children would find them the very first thing,
    When they wake on Christmas day.

--EUGENE FIELD.



[Illustration: The church tower]

THE CHRISTMAS BELLS

I


Long, long ago, in a far away city, there was a large church. The tower
of this church was so high that it seamed to touch the clouds, and in
the high tower there were three wonderful bells. When they rang, they
made sweet music.

There was something strange about these bells. They were never heard to
ring except on Christmas eve, and no one knew who rang them. Some people
thought it was the wind blowing through the tower. Others thought the
angels rang them when a gift pleased the Christ Child.

Although the people did not know what rang the bells, they loved to hear
them. They would come from miles around to listen to the wonderful
music. When they had heard the bells, they would go out of the church,
silent but happy. Then all would go back to their homes feeling that
Christmas had come, indeed.

One Christmas eve the people in the church waited and waited, but the
bells did not ring. Silently and sadly they went home. Christmas after
Christmas came and went. Nearly one hundred years passed by, and in all
that time the bells did not ring.

People sometimes asked one another, "Do you suppose the bells ever did
ring?"

"Yes," said one very old man. "I have often heard my father tell how
beautifully they rang on Christmas eve. There was more love in the world
then."

Every Christmas eve the church was filled with people who waited and
listened. They hoped that the bells would ring again as they had rung
long ago. Though many gifts were laid on the altar, still the bells did
not ring.


II


Christmas was near at hand again, and every one was happy.

Not far from the city two little brothers lived on a farm--Pedro and
Little Brother.

Their father was poor and had no gift to lay on the altar. But Pedro had
saved all his earnings, and he had one shining silver piece. His father
had promised the little boys that they might go to the church on
Christmas eve and take the gift.

It was quite dark when the lads started on their way to the city. The
snow was falling fast, but they buttoned their little jackets close
about them and walked along briskly. They were not far from the church
when they heard a low whine of distress. Little Brother, clinging to
Pedro in fear, cried, "What is it, Pedro, what is it?"

Pedro ran across the street, and there under a small heap of snow, what
do you think he found? A little black and white dog, shivering with
cold, and nearly starved. Pedro opened his jacket, and put the dog
inside to keep it warm.

"You will have to go to the church alone, Little Brother," Pedro said.
"I must take this little dog back to the farm, and give it food, else it
will die."

"But I don't want to go alone, Pedro," said Little Brother.

"Won't you please go and put my gift on the altar, Little Brother? I
wish so much to have it there to-night."

"Yes, Pedro, I will," said Little Brother.

He took the gift and started toward the church. Pedro turned and went
home.

When Little Brother came to the great stone church and looked up at the
high tower, he felt that he could not go in alone. He stood outside a
long time watching the people as they passed in. At last he entered
quietly and took a seat in a corner.


III


When Little Brother went into the church, all the people were seated.
They sat quietly hoping that at last the bells would ring again as in
the days of old.

The organ pealed out a Christmas hymn. The choir and the people arose,
and all sang the grand old anthem. Then a solemn voice said, "Bring now
your gifts to the altar."

The king arose and went forward with stately tread. Bowing before the
altar, he laid upon it his golden crown. Then he walked proudly back to
his seat. All the people listened, but the bells did not ring.

Then the queen arose and with haughty step walked to the front. She took
from her neck and wrists her beautiful jewels and laid them upon the
altar. All the people listened, but the bells did not ring.

Then the soldiers came marching proudly forward. They took their jeweled
swords from their belts and laid them upon the altar. All the people
listened, but the bells did not ring.

Then the rich men came hurrying forward. They counted great sums of gold
and laid them in a businesslike way upon the altar. All the people
listened, but the bells did not ring.

"Can I go all alone to the front of the church and lay this small gift
on the altar?" said Little Brother. "Oh, how can I? how can I?"

Then he said, "But I told Pedro I would, and I must."

So he slipped slowly around by the outer aisle. He crept quietly up to
the altar and softly laid the silver piece upon the very edge.

And listen! What do you think was heard? The bells, the bells!

Oh, how happy the people were! And how happy Little Brother was! He ran
out of the church and down the road toward the farm.

Pedro had warmed the dog and fed it, and was now on the way to the city.
He hoped that he might see the people come out of the church.

Down the road Little Brother came running. Throwing himself into Pedro's
arms, he cried, "Oh, Pedro, Pedro! The bells, the bells! I wish you
could have heard them; and they rang when I laid your gift on the
altar."

"I did hear them, Little Brother," said Pedro. "Their sound came to me
over the snow,--the sweetest music I ever heard."

Long years after, when Pedro grew to be a man, he was a great musician.
Many, many people came to hear him play.

Some one said to him one day, "How can you play so sweetly? I never
heard such music before."

"Ah," said Pedro, "but you never heard the Christmas bells as I heard
them that Christmas night years and years ago."

--OLD TALE RETOLD.



[Illustration: Family at prayer at the table]

GOD BLESS THE MASTER OF THIS HOUSE


  God bless the master of this house,
    The mistress, also,
  And all the little children
    That round the table go:
  And all your kin and kinsfolk,
    That dwell both far and near;
  I wish you a merry Christmas
    And a happy new year.

--OLD ENGLISH RIME.



SQUEAKY AND THE SCARE BOX

I


Once upon a time a family of mice lived in the pantry wall. There was a
father mouse, there was a mother mouse, and there were three little baby
mice.

One little mouse had sharp bright eyes and could see everything, even in
the darkest holes. He was called Sharpeyes. His brother could sniff and
smell anything, wherever it might be hidden, and he was called Sniffy.
The baby mouse had such a squeaky little voice that he was called
Squeaky. He was always singing, "Ee-ee-ee!"

Mother mouse was very wise, and she had taught her babies to run and
hide when they saw the old cat coming. She had also taught them not to
go near a trap. The little mice obeyed their mother, and they were happy
in their home in the pantry wall.

They had many good times together. I could not tell you about all of
these, but I am going to tell you about their Christmas party and what
happened to Squeaky.

It was the night before Christmas. The stockings hung by the chimney,
and the tall tree was standing in the parlor. The children were asleep,
and the father and mother had gone upstairs to bed.

In the pantry wall, the little mice were all wide-awake.

"Ee-ee-ee!" squeaked Squeaky; "why can't we creep into the big room and
see the tall Christmas tree? The children have talked about it for days,
and we have never seen one. Mother, please let us go and see it."

"Yes," said Sniffy, "do let us go. Everything smells so good. The
children and the cook made long strings of pop corn to-day. I found a
little on the pantry floor, and I want some more."

"I peeped out of our hole," said Sharpeyes, "and I saw cake and candy
all ready for the children. Oh, I do want a bite of those good things!
Please let us have a Christmas party."

"Well," said mother mouse, "I will ask your father. If he says it is
safe, we will go."

When mother mouse asked father mouse, he said, "I will go out first and
look all about. If it is safe, I will come back for you."

So father mouse crept softly through the pantry, down the long hall, and
into the parlor. The cat was nowhere to be seen. Father mouse ran back
to the pantry and cried, "The cat is not near; come and see the tree."


II


Then all the mice came scampering from the hole in the wall. They crept
through the pantry, down the long hall, and into the parlor. When they
saw the tall Christmas tree, they squeaked again and again in their joy.
Then they ran around and around the tree to see what was on it.

[Illustration: The mice look at the Christmas tree]

On the floor they saw a wonderful doll's house. "How fine it would be to
live there!" they squeaked.

They ran up and down the stairs, sat on the chairs, and lay down in the
beds. Oh, they had a merry time!

Then Sniffy said, "I smell that good pop corn again. Let's climb up into
the Christmas tree and get some."

They climbed up into the tree. They nibbled the pop corn; they nibbled
the candy; they nibbled the nuts; and they nibbled the cakes.

Soon Sharpeyes cried out, "Come here, I see a mouse! I see a mouse! But
he doesn't look like our family at all."

"I should say not," sniffed Sniffy; "and how good he smells!"

"Why, he is good to eat!" squeaked Squeaky; and they all began to eat
the chocolate mouse.

Then they found another candy mouse--a pretty pink one. They were so
busy eating it that they forgot to watch and listen; then--bang! The
door was opened, and the lights were turned on.

With a squeak, the mice scampered down from the tree; then they ran
along the hall, through the pantry, and back to their home. There was
the father mouse, and the mother mouse, and Sharpeyes, and Sniffy. But
where was Squeaky?


III


Now, as Squeaky tried to run down the tree, he fell heels over head.
Down, down, down, he fell until he was caught in a funny box. An ugly
man with black hair and black whiskers seemed to be hopping out of the
box.

When Squeaky saw the lights turned on, he hid under the dress of this
queer man. He lay very, very still, for he had been taught to be still
when danger was near. He heard voices. The father and mother had come
back.

"Yes," the father was saying; "it would have been a shame to forget this
train. I would like it to come right out from under the tree. Help me
put the track down, mother."

When the train was just where it should be, the mother turned to the
beautiful tree.

"Why, look at that Jack-in-the-box," she said. "The man is hanging out.
That will never do. I will shut the box. Teddy must see the man jump
out."

The mother pushed the man with the black hair down, down, into the box
and shut the lid. Poor Squeaky felt the springs close down on him and
squeaked, "Ee-ee-"

"That was a fine squeak," said the father. "The toys are wonderful these
days."

"Yes," said the mother, as she turned off the light. "When I was a
child, we did not have such toys."

"I am in a trap," said poor Squeaky, "but there isn't even a bit of
cheese in it. I wonder what kind of trap it is; nothing seems to hurt
me. Well, I am safe for a while, and I hope I shall soon get out."

Squeaky lay in the box all night, and wondered what Sniffy and Sharpeyes
were doing. The next morning, he heard children calling, "Merry
Christmas! Merry Christmas!" And soon the toys were taken down, one by
one. Then such a noise was heard--drums beating, horns tooting, children
shouting. You should have heard it.

[Illustration: The mother is surprised as Squeaky escapes]

"See our new doll's house!" cried one child.

"See my new train! How fast it goes!" cried another.

"And see my beautiful dolly!" cried another. "She can open and shut her
eyes."

By and by the mother took the box from the tree. "Come here, Teddy," she
said. "Here is a scare box. We will have some fun. Watch me open the
lid."

Teddy stood by his mother and watched closely.

"Are you ready?" asked his mother. "Well, let us count. One, two,
three!"

The lid flew open, and out jumped the man with the black hair and black
whiskers. And with a squeak of joy, out jumped the mouse.

"Ee-ee-ee!" he cried, as he ran away.

"Ee!" said the Jack-in-the-box.

"Whee-ee-ee!" cried the boy with delight.

"Oh,--a mouse! a mouse!" cried the mother. Then she threw the box on the
floor and jumped up on her chair.

"Where? where?" cried all the children.

But they saw only the tip of Squeaky's tail as he ran across the hall to
the pantry. Another moment and he was safe in the hole in the pantry
wall.

The children's father laughed as he helped their mother climb down from
the chair.

"Well," he said, "how did _you_ enjoy Teddy's scare box?"

--GEORGENE FAULKNER.



THE GLAD NEW YEAR


  It's coming, boys,
    It's almost here.
  It's coming, girls,
    The grand New Year.

  A year to be glad in,
    Not to be sad in;
  A year to live in,
    To gain and give in.

  A year for trying,
    And not for sighing;
  A year for striving
    And healthy thriving.

  It's coming, boys,
    It's almost here.
  It's coming, girls,
    The grand New Year.

--MARY MAPES DODGE.



[Illustration: The goose and the hen]

MAKING THE BEST OF IT


"What a dreary day it is!" grumbled the old gray goose to the brown hen.
They were standing at the henhouse window watching the falling snow
which covered every nook and corner of the farmyard.

"Yes, indeed," said the brown hen. "I should almost be willing to be
made into a chicken pie on such a day."

She had scarcely stopped talking when Pekin duck said fretfully, "I am
so hungry that I am almost starved."

A little flock of chickens all huddled together wailed in sad tones,
"And we are so thirsty!"

In fact, all the feathered folk in the henhouse seemed cross and
fretful. It is no wonder they felt that way, for they had had nothing to
eat or drink since early in the morning. The cold wind howled around
their house. Hour after hour went by, but no one came near the henhouse.

The handsome white rooster, however, seemed as happy as usual. That is
saying a great deal, for a jollier old fellow than he never lived in a
farmyard. Sunshine, rain, or snow were all the same to him, and he
crowed quite as merrily in stormy weather as in fair.

"Well," he said, laughing, as he looked about the henhouse, "you all
seem to be having a fit of dumps."

Nobody answered the white rooster, but a faint cluck or two came from
some of the hens. They immediately put their heads back under their
wings, however, as if ashamed of having spoken at all.

This was too much for the white rooster. He stood first on one yellow
foot and then on the other. Turning his head from side to side, he said,
"What's the use of looking so sad? Any one would think that you expected
to be eaten by a band of hungry foxes."

Just then a brave little white bantam rooster hopped down from his
perch. He strutted over to the big rooster and caused quite a flutter in
the henhouse by saying:

"We're lively enough when our crops are full, but when we are starving,
it is a wonder that we can hold our heads up at all. If I ever see that
farmer's boy again, I'll--I'll--I'll peck his foot!"

"You won't see him until he feeds us," said the white rooster, "and then
I guess you will peck his corn."

"Oh, oh!" moaned the brown hen. "Don't speak of a peck of corn."

"Madam," said the white rooster, bowing very low, "your trouble is my
own,--that is, I'm hungry, too. But we might be worse off. We might be
in a box on our way to market. It is true that we haven't had anything
to eat to-day, but we at least have room enough to stretch our wings."

"Why, that is a fact," clucked the brown hen. And all the feathered
family--even the smallest chickens--stretched their wings, and looked a
little more cheerful.

"Now, then," went on the rooster, "suppose we have a little music to
cheer us and help pass the hours until roosting time. Let us all crow.
There, I beg your pardon, ladies; I am sorry you can't crow. Let us sing
a happy song. Will you be kind enough to start a merry tune, Mrs. Brown
Hen?"

The brown hen shook herself proudly, tossed her head back and
began,--"Ca-ca-ca-ca-ca-ca!" In less than two minutes every one in the
henhouse had joined her. The white rooster was the loudest of all, and
the little bantam rooster stretched his neck and did the best he could.

Now, the horses, cows, and sheep were not far away. They heard the happy
voices, and they, too, joined in the grand chorus. The pigs did their
best to sing louder than all the rest.

Higher and higher, stronger and stronger, rose the chorus. Louder and
louder quacked the ducks. Shriller and shriller squealed the pigs.

They were all so happy that they quite forgot their hunger until the
door of the henhouse burst open, and in came three chubby children. Each
was carrying a dish of hot chicken food.

"Don't stop your music, Mr. Rooster," said the little girl, who was
bundled up until you could scarcely see her dear little face.

[Illustration: The children arrive with food]

"You see, we were so lonesome that we didn't know what to do. We heard
you folk singing out here, and we laughed and laughed until we almost
cried. Then we went to tell Jack about you. He was lonesome, too, for
he's sick with a sore throat, you know. He said, 'Why, those poor hens!
They haven't been fed since morning! Go and feed them.' And so we came."

"Cock-a-doodle-doo!" said the white rooster. "This comes of making the
best of things. Cock-a-doodle-doo!" And nobody asked him to stop
crowing.

--FRANCES M. FOX.



THE ANIMALS AND THE MIRROR

I


Aunt Susan sent an old-fashioned looking-glass to the barn to be stored
in the loft, with other old furniture. The farm boy stood it on the
floor of the barn until he should have time to put it away. The mirror
was broad and long, and it was set in a dark wooden frame.

An old duck wandered into the barn and caught sight of herself in the
mirror. "There is another duck," she said. "I wonder who she is."

And she walked toward the reflection. "She is rather friendly," the duck
went on. "She is walking toward me. What large feet she has, but her
feathers are very handsome."

Just then she bumped into the mirror. "Goodness!" she cried; "if that
duck isn't in a glass case! Why are you in there?"

"Well, you needn't answer if you don't want to," she said, walking away.
"A glass case is a good place for you."

Just then a pig came along, and nosing around, he came in front of the
mirror.

"What are you doing here?" he asked, thinking he saw another pig. His
nose hit the glass, and he stepped back.

"So you are in a glass pen," he said. "You are not very handsome, and
your nose is not so long as mine; I cannot see why you should have a
glass pen."

And away he trotted to tell the other pigs about the very plain-looking
pig.

Kitty came along next and walked in front of the mirror, turning her
head and swinging her tail. She had seen a mirror before and knew what
it was. The cat wished to look in the mirror, but she saw the dog coming
in the door, and she did not want him to think her vain.

The dog walked over to the mirror and gazed in it. Then he looked
foolish, although he had seen a mirror before, too, but not so often as
puss.

"Thought it was another dog, didn't you?" she laughed. "Here comes the
donkey. Let us hide behind those barrels and see what he does."


II


The donkey went up to the mirror.

"If they haven't another donkey!" he said. "I suppose I should speak
first, as I have lived here so long. Why, he is coming to meet me. That
is friendly, indeed."

Bump! his nose hit the glass.

"Well, I had better give up!" he said. "You are in a glass case, but I
don't know why you should be. You are a homely creature, and your ears
are not so long as mine." And he walked off with a disgusted air.

The cat rolled over and over, and the dog buried his head in his paws.
"Did you ever see anything so funny?" he said to puss.

"Hush!" she replied, "Here is the rooster."

[Illustration: The rooster and the mirror]

The rooster stopped quite still when he saw himself in the mirror.

"Well, where did you come from?" he asked, ruffling up his feathers. He
walked straight to the mirror and flew at the other rooster. Bang! He
went against the glass.

"In a glass case, are you?" he said. He stretched out his neck and
looked very fierce. "You should be; you are a sight--your feathers are
ruffled, and you are not half so handsome as I am."

And off he walked, satisfied that he was handsomer than the other
rooster.

"Oh, dear!" laughed the cat. "I certainly shall scream. They all think
they are handsomer than their reflections. Here comes the turkey
gobbler. Let us see what he does."

The gobbler walked slowly over to the mirror and looked at his
reflection.

"Now," he asked, "where in the world did they get you? You are an old,
bald-headed creature, and your feathers need oiling. You look like a
last year's turkey." And off he strutted.

The cat and the dog leaned against the barrels and laughed until the
tears ran down their faces.

"Keep still," said the dog. "Here comes speckled hen and her chickens."

Speckled hen walked around, picking up bits of corn. Suddenly she looked
up and saw the mirror.

"There is a hen with a brood of chicks, but they are not so handsome as
mine," she said, walking toward the looking-glass. "Where do you live? I
know you do not belong here." And she looked closer at the other hen.

Click! Her bill hit the glass.

"Well, if she isn't in a glass coop!" the hen said, stepping back. "If
master has bought her and those chicks, there will be trouble. Mercy!
One of the chicks is bow-legged, and they are a skinny looking lot."

Then she clucked to her chicks and walked out of the barn.

"Oh, dear! Oh, dear!" laughed the dog; "they all think the same. They
certainly are a conceited lot. Here comes the goose."


III


The goose waddled over to the mirror.

"Well, well! If there isn't a new goose!" she said, "and she is walking
toward me. I must be friendly."

Snap! Her bill struck the mirror.

"Oh, you are in a glass box!" she said. "Have you come to stay?" And she
stretched out her neck.

"My, but you have a long neck!" she went on, "and your feathers are nice
and smooth. I suppose you cannot hear in that box."

Then she walked away, nodding good-by. The other goose, of course,
nodded also, and goosey went away satisfied.

"She is not so much of a goose as the others," the cat remarked.

"The peacock is coming," said the dog. "Keep quiet."

In walked the peacock. Seeing another bird, as he supposed, he spread
his beautiful tail to its full width. He walked about, but never a word
did he say.

"Now, what do you make out of that?" asked the dog. "Did he know that he
was looking in a looking-glass, or wouldn't he speak to another bird?"

"I do not know," said the cat, "but here comes the goat. Hide, quick!"

Billy was clattering over the boards, when suddenly he saw the other
goat. He looked at him a minute. "I'll show him," he said, running at
the mirror with head down.

[Illustration: The goat crashes into the mirror]

Bang! Smash! Crash! and Billy jumped back, a very much astonished goat.

"Now you have done it," said the horse, who had been watching all the
time from his stall. "All the animals will get out and run away."

"What are you talking about?" said the dog, who was laughing so hard he
could scarcely talk. "There are no animals in there. That is a
looking-glass; you see yourself when you are in front of it."

"Do you mean to tell me that those animals have all been looking at
themselves and finding fault with their own looks?" asked the horse,
with his eyes nearly popping out of his head.

"Of course," said the cat. "Can't you see that Billy has smashed the
looking-glass?"

"Well, that is the best I ever heard," said the horse, laughing, "but I
wish I had known that was a looking-glass before Billy broke it. I
should very much like to know how I look."

"You might not have recognized yourself; the others didn't," said the
dog.

--F.A. WALKER.



THE BARBER OF BAGDAD

ACT I


PLACE: Ali's barber shop.

TIME: Morning.

WOODCUTTER: I have a load of wood which I have just brought in on my
donkey. Would you like to buy it, good barber?

ALI: Well, let me see. Is it good wood?

WOODCUTTER: The best in the country.

ALI: I'll give you five shekels for all the wood upon the donkey.

WOODCUTTER: Agreed. I'll put the wood here by your door.

(Lays wood at door.)

Now, good sir, give me the silver.

ALI: Not so fast, my good friend. I must have your wooden pack saddle,
too. That was the bargain. I said, "All the wood upon your donkey."
Truly, the saddle is wood.

[Illustration: Ali and the woodcutter with the donkey]

WOODCUTTER: Who ever heard of such a bargain? Surely you cannot mean
what you say? You would not treat a poor woodcutter so. It is
impossible.

ALI: Give me the saddle, or I'll have you put in prison. And take
that--and that--and that!

(Ali strikes the woodcutter.)

WOODCUTTER: Ah, me, what shall I do? What shall I do? I know. I'll go to
the caliph himself.


ACT II


PLACE: Caliph's Palace.

TIME: Hour later.

COURTIER: My lord, a good woodcutter is at the door and begs leave to
come into your presence.

CALIPH: Bid him enter. There is none too poor to be received by me.

(Courtier goes out and returns with woodcutter, who kneels and kisses
the ground. Then he stands with arms folded.)

CALIPH: Tell me, good man, what brought you here? Has any one done you a
wrong?

WOODCUTTER: Great wrong, my lord. The rich barber Ali did buy a load of
wood from me. He offered me five shekels for all the wood on my donkey.
When I had put down the load, I asked for my money, but he refused to
pay me until I had given him my pack saddle. He said the bargain was
"all the wood on the donkey," and that the saddle is wood. He said he
would put me in prison if I did not give up the saddle. Then he took it
and drove me away with blows.

CALIPH: A strange story, truly. The barber has law on his side, and yet
you have right on yours. The law must be obeyed, but--come here and let
me whisper something to you.

(The woodcutter listens smilingly and bowing low, leaves the room.)


ACT III


PLACE: The barber's shop.

TIME: A few days later.

ALI: Ah! here comes my stupid friend the woodcutter. I suppose he has
come to quarrel about the wood. No, he is smiling.

WOODCUTTER: Good day to you, friend Ali. I have come to ask if you will
be so kind as to shave me and a companion from the country.

ALI: Oh, yes, I suppose so.

WOODCUTTER: How much will you charge?

ALI: A shekel for the two.

(To himself.)

The poor fool cannot pay that sum.

WOODCUTTER. Very good. Shave me first.

(Ali shaves him.)

ALI: Now you are shaved. Where is your companion?

WOODCUTTER: He is standing outside. He will come in at once.

(He goes out and returns leading his donkey.)

This is my companion. Shave him.

ALI (_in a rage_): Shave him! Shave a donkey, indeed! Is it not enough
that I should lower myself by touching you? And then you insult me by
asking me to shave your donkey! Away with you!


ACT IV


PLACE: Caliph's Palace.

TIME: Half-hour later.

CALIPH: Well, my friend, did you do as I told you?

WOODCUTTER: Yes, and Ali refused to shave my donkey.

CALIPH (_to Courtier_): Bid Ali come to me at once and bring his razors
with him.

(Courtier leaves and returns with Ali.)

CALIPH: Why did you refuse to shave this man's companion? Was not that
your agreement?

ALI (_kissing the ground_): It is true, O caliph, such was the
agreement, but who ever made a companion of a donkey before?

CALIPH: True enough, but who ever thought of saying that a pack saddle
is a part of a load of wood? No, no, it is the woodcutter's turn now.
Shave his donkey instantly.

(Ali lathers the beast and shaves him in the presence of the whole
court, and then slips away amid the laughter of the bystanders.)

CALIPH: Now, my honest woodcutter, here is a purse of gold for you.
Always remember that the caliph gladly listens to the complaints of his
people, poor and rich, and will right their wrongs if he can.

WOODCUTTER: Long live the Caliph!

COURTIERS: Long live the Caliph!

--EASTERN TALE.



WINTER NIGHT


    Blow, wind, blow!
    Drift the flying snow!
  Send it twirling, twirling overhead.
    There's a bedroom in a tree
    Where snug as snug can be,
  The squirrel nests in his cozy bed.

    Shriek, wind, shriek!
    Make the branches creak!
  Battle with the boughs till break of day!
    In a snow cave warm and tight
    Through the icy winter night
  The rabbit sleeps the peaceful hour away.

    Scold, wind, scold!
    So bitter and so bold!
  Shake the windows with your tap, tap, tap!
    With half-shut, dreamy eyes
    The drowsy baby lies
  Cuddled closely in his mother's lap.

--MARY F. BUTTS.



HOPE'S DOLL


It was Saturday morning. Elizabeth Brown sat by a window in the big
kitchen making a pink dress for little Hope's doll.

On the chair beside her lay the doll, though you might not have thought
of calling it one. It did not have curly hair--nor eyes that open and
shut. In those days no child had toys like ours. Hope's doll was made of
a corncob; the face was painted on a piece of linen stretched over a
ball of wool on the end of the cob.

Little Hope was taking her morning nap. When Elizabeth had sewed the
last neat stitches, she dressed the doll and laid it on the bed by the
little girl. How happy Hope was when she awoke and saw it! She thought
it the most beautiful doll in the world.

"What will you call your doll, Hope?" asked Elizabeth.

"I will name her for mother," said Hope. "I will call her Mary Ellen."

[Illustration: Hope and her doll]

Hope played all the afternoon with her doll and was very happy. When the
sunset gun sounded, she had to stop playing. With the Puritans, the
Sabbath began at sunset, and no child could play after the gun was
heard.

The little maid kissed her baby and went into the bedroom to find a warm
place for it to stay until the next evening. There lay father's Sunday
coat; what warmer nest could she find for Mary Ellen than its big
pocket?

After breakfast the next day, every one got ready to go to meeting.
Master Brown filled the little tin foot stove with hot coals from the
hearth; then he took his gun from its hook. In those days no man went
anywhere without his gun--not even to church, for the Indians were
likely to come at any time.

Sometimes the firing of a gun was the call to worship. More often a big
drum, beaten on the steps of the meeting house, told the people it was
time to come together.

At the sound of the drum, Master Brown and his wife, with Elizabeth and
Hope, started to church. From every house in the village came men,
women, and children. They were always ready when the drum began to beat,
for no one was ever late to meeting in those days.

Master Brown led his family to their pew and opened a little door to let
them in. The pew was very much like a large box with seats around the
sides.

The church was cold, for there was no fire. The children warmed their
fingers and toes by the queer little foot stove their father had brought
from home.

When every one was seated, the minister climbed the steps to his high
pulpit. The sermon was always very long--three hours at least. The
children could not understand what it was all about, and it was very
hard for them to sit still and listen quietly.

Elizabeth was four years older than Hope, so she felt quite like a
little woman. She sat up beside her mother and looked at the minister
almost all the time; but sometimes she had to wink hard to keep awake.
When she thought she could not let her feet hang down another minute,
she would slip down to the footstool to rest.

Elizabeth was often ashamed of Hope, who could not sit still ten
minutes. She tried to listen to the sermon, but could not. When she
began to stir about a little, her mother shook her head at her. She sat
still for a few minutes, but was soon restless again.

Presently she began to be sleepy and laid her head upon her father's arm
for a nap. Just then she felt something in his pocket. A happy smile
came over Hope's face; she was wide-awake now. Slipping her hand into
the wide pocket, she drew out Mary Ellen and smoothed her wrinkled gown.

Master Brown's thoughts were all on the sermon, and even Mistress Brown
did not notice Hope for a little time. When she did, what do you suppose
she saw? Hope was standing on the seat showing her doll to the little
girl in the pew behind her.

Oh, how ashamed her mother was! She pulled her little daughter down
quickly and whispered, "Do you want the tithingman to come? Well, sit
down and listen." Taking Mary Ellen, she slipped the doll into her muff.

Little Hope did sit down and listen. She did not even turn around when
the kind lady behind them dropped a peppermint over the high-backed pew
for her. She was very much afraid of the tithingman, who sat on a high
seat. He had a long rod with a hard knob on one end and a squirrel's
tail on the other.

[Illustration: The tithingman tickling the nodding lady]

When he saw a lady nodding during the sermon, he stepped around to her
pew and tickled her face with the fur end of the rod. She would waken
with a start and be, oh! so ashamed. She would be very glad the pew had
such high sides to hide her blushing face.

Perhaps you think the boys who sat on the other side of the church had a
good time. But there was the tithingman again. When he saw a boy
whispering or playing, he rapped him on the head with the knob end of
the rod. The whispering would stop at once, for the rod often brought
tears and left a headache.

Besides keeping the boys from playing and the grown people from going to
sleep, the tithingman must turn the hourglass. In those days very few
people could afford clocks, but every one had an hourglass. It took the
fine sand just one hour to pour from the upper part of the glass into
the lower part.

When the sand had all run through, the tithingman turned the glass over
and the sand began to tell another hour. The glass was always turned
three times before the minister closed the service. Then the men picked
up their muskets and foot stoves, the women wrapped their long capes
closely about them, and all went home.

At sunset the Puritan Sabbath ended. The women brought out their
knitting and spinning, or prepared for Monday's washing, and the
children were free to play until bedtime.

--MARGARET PUMPHREY.



NAHUM PRINCE


More than a hundred years ago, our country was at war with England.
George Washington was at the head of our army. As you know, he and his
men were fighting for our country's freedom.

The English army was larger than our army, and General Washington needed
all the men he could get. The regular troops were with him.

In one little town in Vermont all the strong, able-bodied men had gone
to the front. News came that the English and the Americans were about to
meet in battle. The Americans needed more men and called for volunteers.
Old men with white hair and long beards volunteered. Young boys with
smooth cheeks and unshaven lips volunteered. There wasn't a boy in the
village over thirteen years of age who didn't volunteer.

Even lame Nahum Prince offered himself. He brought out his grandfather's
old gun and got in line with the others. He stood as straight and tall
as he could--as a soldier should stand.

Soon the captain came along the line to inspect the volunteers. When he
saw Nahum, he said, "No, no, Nahum, you cannot go; you know you cannot.
Why, you could not walk a mile. Go home, my lad."

Just then the good old minister came by. "Yes, Nahum," he said, "you
must stay at home. Who knows but that you will find a greater work to do
for your country right here?"

And lame Nahum dropped out of the line.

Then the volunteers marched off, every man and boy in the village except
Nahum Prince. Poor Nahum! His heart was heavy.

"What can I do for my country in this small village?" he said to
himself. "Oh, I wish I could be a soldier!"

He walked toward his home slowly and sadly. Just as he passed the
blacksmith shop, three horseman galloped up to the door.

[Illustration: The horseman speaks to Nahum]

"Where is the blacksmith?" asked one.

"He and all the men and boys have gone to join the army," said Nahum.
"There isn't a man or a boy in town except me. I wouldn't be here if I
were not lame."

"We cannot have this horse shod," said the rider to the others. "We
shall not reach there in time."

"Why, I can set a shoe," said Nahum.

"Then it is lucky you are left behind," said the man. "Light up the
forge and set the shoe."

Nahum lighted the fire, blew the coals with the bellows, and soon put on
the shoe.

"You have done a great deed to-day, my boy," said the rider as he
thanked Nahum and rode away.

The next week the boys came home and told of a great battle. They told
how the Americans were about to lose the fight when Colonel Seth Warner,
leading a band of soldiers, rode up just in time to save the day.

Nahum said nothing, but he knew that Colonel Warner would not have
arrived in time if he had not set that shoe. And it was really Nahum
Prince and Colonel Seth Warner who won the victory of Bennington.



THE LITTLE COOK'S REWARD


Betty lived a long, long time ago on a farm in North Carolina. She knew
how to clean up the house, to wash the dishes, to sew, and to cook. She
knew how to knit, and to spin and weave, too.

One day Betty's father said, "Let us go to town to-morrow. President
Washington is passing through the South, and a man told me to-day that
he will be in Salisbury to-morrow."

"Yes," said Betty's brother Robert, "and our company has been asked to
march in the parade. One of the boys is going to make a speech of
welcome."

"I should like to go," said their mother, "but I can't leave home."

"Oh, yes, you can, mother," said Betty. "I have stayed here by myself
many times, and I can stay to-morrow. You go with father, and I will
take care of things."

The next morning every one on the place was up before the sun. Robert
was so impatient to start to town that he could scarcely eat any
breakfast. Mother was so excited that she forgot to put coffee in the
coffee pot.

At last every one had left, and Betty was alone. "I wish I could see the
President," she said, "and I do wish I could see his great coach. Father
says that it is finer than the Governor's. Four men ride in front of it,
and four behind it. The servants are dressed in white and gold. How I
wish I could see it all!"

While Betty was talking to herself, she was not idle. She washed the
dishes and she cleaned the house. Then, as it was not time to get
dinner, she sat down on the shady porch.

"I wonder whether General Washington looks like his picture," she said.
"Oh, if I could only see him!"

But what sound was that? Betty stood up, and shading her eyes with her
hands, looked down the road. Four horsemen came along at a gallop. Then
there followed a great white coach, trimmed with gold and drawn by four
white horses. There were four horsemen behind the coach, and last of all
came several black servants.

[Illustration: Betty looking up at the great coach]

All stopped at the gate. A tall handsome man stepped from the coach and
came up the walk. Betty felt as if she could neither move nor speak. She
remembered, however, all that her mother had taught her, and she made a
low curtsy as the gentleman reached the steps.

"Good morning, my little maid," he said. "I know it is late, but would
you give an old man some breakfast?"

Betty's cheeks grew as pink as the rose by the porch. She made another
curtsy and said, "Indeed, I will. I am the only one at home, for father,
mother, and Robert have gone to Salisbury to see the great Washington.
But I am sure I can give you some breakfast. Father says that I am a
good cook."

"I know you are, and that you are as brisk as you are pretty. Just give
me a breakfast, and I promise you that you shall see Washington before
your father, mother, or brother Robert does."

"I will do the best I can, sir," Betty said.

The other men came in, and all sat on the porch and talked while Betty
worked. Getting her mother's whitest cloth and the silver that came from
England, she quickly set the table. She brought out a loaf of new bread
and a jar of fresh honey. Then she ran to the spring house and got
yellow butter and rich milk. She had some fresh eggs that had been laid
by her own hens. These she dropped into boiling water. Last of all she
cut thin slices of delicious ham.

When everything was ready, Betty went to the porch and invited the
strangers in. Her cheeks were now the color of the red rose by the gate.

The visitors ate heartily of all the good things Betty had prepared. As
the tall, handsome gentleman rose to go, he leaned over and kissed her.
"My pretty little cook," he said, "you may tell your brother Robert that
you saw Washington before he did, and that he kissed you, too."

You may believe that Betty did tell it. She told it to her children, and
they told it to their children, and I am telling it to you to-day.

--MRS. L.A. McCORKLE.



ROCK-A-BY, HUSH-A-BY, LITTLE PAPOOSE


  Rock-a-by, hush-a-by, little papoose,
    The stars come into the sky,
  The whip-poor-will's crying, the daylight is dying,
    The river runs murmuring by.

  The pine trees are slumbering, little papoose,
    The squirrel has gone to his nest,
  The robins are sleeping, the mother bird's keeping
    The little ones warm with her breast.

  The roebuck is dreaming, my little papoose,
    His mate lies asleep at his side,
  The breezes are pining, the moonbeams are shining
    All over the prairie wide.

  Then hush-a-by, rock-a-by, little papoose,
    You sail on the river of dreams;
  Dear Manitou loves you and watches above you
    Till time when the morning light gleams.

--CHARLES MYALL.



THE TAR WOLF

I


Many hundreds of moons ago, there was a great drought. The streams and
lakes were drying up. Water was so scarce that the animals held a
council to decide what they should do.

"I hope it will rain soon and fill the streams and lakes," Great Bear
said. "If it does not, all the animals will have to go to a land where
there is more water."

"I know where there is plenty of water," said Wild Goose.

"I do, too," said Wild Duck.

Most of the animals did not wish to go away. "It is well enough for the
ducks and geese to go," said Wild Cat; "they like to move about. It is
well enough for Great Bear to go; he can sleep through the winter in one
hollow tree as soundly as in another. But we do not wish to leave our
hunting grounds."

"If we go to a new country," said Gray Wolf, "we shall have to make new
trails."

"And we shall have to clear new land," said Big Beaver, who had to cut
down the trees when land was cleared.

All this time the Rabbit said nothing. "Brother Rabbit," Great Bear
asked, "what do you think about this matter?"

Brother Rabbit did not answer. His eyes were shut, and he seemed too
sleepy to think about anything.

Great Bear asked again, "What do you think about it, Brother Rabbit?
Shall we go to the place the ducks and geese have found, where there is
plenty of water?"

"Oh," answered Brother Rabbit, "I do not mind the drought. I drink the
dew on the grass in the early morning; I do not need to go where there
is more water."

And he shut his eyes again.

"Well," said Red Deer, "if there is dew enough for Brother Rabbit every
morning, there is dew enough for us. We need not go to another country."

"Those are wise words, my brother," said Brown Terrapin.

All the others said, "Those are wise words, my brother," and the council
was over. The animals were happy because they thought they need not go
away from their homes.

Days passed, and still it did not rain. The animals found that the dew
did not keep them from suffering from thirst. They were afraid that,
after all, they would have to go to another country.

Still the Rabbit looked sleek and fat. He declared that he got all the
water he needed from the dew on the grass in the early morning.

"You sleep too late," he said. "By the time you get up, the sun has
dried the dew."


II


After that, the animals came out earlier than before, but they could not
get water enough from the morning dew. They did not understand why the
Rabbit looked so well.

One day Gray Wolf said to Wild Cat, "Let us watch the Rabbit and see
where he gets so much dew that he is never thirsty."

That night they stayed in the woods near Rabbit's wigwam, so as to
follow him on the trail. They kept awake all night for fear that they
might sleep too late.

Very early in the morning, Brother Rabbit came out of his wigwam and ran
swiftly down the hill. Wild Cat and Gray Wolf followed as fast and as
quietly as they could.

The dew was on the grass and leaves, but Brother Rabbit did not stop to
get it. Instead, he ran down the hill and pushed away a heap of brush.
Wild Cat and Gray Wolf hid behind some bushes and watched him.

Brother Rabbit drank from a little spring. Then he filled a jar with
clear, fresh water, piled the brush over the spring again, and went up
the hill to his wigwam.

Ah! now Gray Wolf and Wild Cat knew why Brother Rabbit did not mind the
drought; and they made a plan to punish him for being so selfish.

They got tar and resin from the pine trees, and out of these they made a
great wolf. After placing it close to the spring, they hid again in the
bushes, to see what would happen.

Early the next morning, Brother Rabbit came running down the hill for
more water. He stopped when he saw the tar wolf by his spring.

"What are you doing here, Gray Wolf?" he asked. Of course there was no
answer.

"Has my brother no ears?" asked Brother Rabbit.

As the wolf was still silent, Brother Rabbit became angry. "Answer me,
Gray Wolf," he cried. But there was no answer.

Then Brother Rabbit slapped the tar wolf with his right front paw. It
stuck fast, and Brother Rabbit could not pull it away.

[Illustration: Brother Rabbit and the wolf]

"Let me go," he cried, "or I will slap you with the other paw."

He slapped the tar wolf with the left front paw. That too, stuck fast.

Now Brother Rabbit was very angry. "Let me go, Gray Wolf," he cried.
"Let me go, I say!"

As Grey Wolf did not let him go, Brother Rabbit kicked the tar wolf,
first with one of his hind paws and then with the other. Both stuck
fast, and so he was held by all four paws.

Just then Gray Wolf and Wild Cat came from their hiding place.

"We have caught you, Brother Rabbit," they said. "Now we are going to
take you to the council and tell how you tried to keep all the water for
yourself."


III


They took Brother Rabbit to the council house, and sent for Great Bear
and all the other animals. Soon all came, and the council began. Gray
Wolf told that he had seen Brother Rabbit go to the spring, uncover it,
get water, and cover the spring up again.

The animals said that Brother Rabbit must be punished, but how they
could not decide.

"Burn him alive," said Gray Wolf.

"I am quite willing," Brother Rabbit said, smiling. "Fire is my friend
and will not hurt me."

"We might cut off his head," said Brown Terrapin.

"Very well," said the Rabbit, quietly. "Try that. It will not hurt me,
for a better head will grow back."

He said he was not afraid of each thing that was mentioned.

"Is there nothing of which you are afraid?" asked Great Bear, at last.
"Is there nothing that can hurt you?"

"Of only one thing am I afraid," answered Brother Rabbit, in a low
voice. "I am afraid you will turn me loose in the brier patch. Please do
not throw me in the brier patch."

"Turn him loose in the brier patch!" cried all the animals.

How frightened Brother Rabbit looked now!

"Oh, Gray Wolf," he begged, "burn me; cut off my head. Do anything else
with me, but please don't throw me in the brier patch."

The more he begged, the faster Gray Wolf hurried to the brier patch. The
other animals followed close behind. They were all talking about the
tricks Brother Rabbit had played on them and how they had never before
been able to get even with him.

When they came to the edge of the brier patch, Brother Rabbit begged
harder than ever.

"Good Wolf," he cried, "do anything else with me, but don't throw me in
the brier patch!"

Gray Wolf laughed and threw Brother Rabbit far into the patch.

Brother Rabbit landed on his feet, and off he ran through the briers. He
called back, "Thank you, good Wolf! You threw me right on my trail! I
was born and bred in the brier patch. I was born and bred in the brier
patch!"

He was running so fast that by the time he said this, he was out of
sight.

--THE INDIAN TAR-BABY STORY.



THE RABBIT AND THE WOLF


The rabbit liked to play tricks on the other animals. Best of all, he
liked to play tricks on the wolf. At last the wolf grew angry and said
that he was going to get even with the rabbit.

One day he caught the rabbit coming through a field.

"Now," said the wolf, "I am going to pay you for all the tricks you have
played on me. I will cut off your ears and use them for spoons to stir
my hominy pot. As soon as I sharpen this stone, off your ears go!"

While the wolf sharpened the stone, he sang in his harsh voice a song
somewhat like this:

  "Watch me sharpen,
  Watch me sharpen;
  Soon I am going to cut off your ears.
  Sicum, sicum, sicum, sicum,
  Sicum, se mi su!"

When he sang,

  "Sicum, sicum, sicum, sicum,
  Sicum, se mi su!"

the rabbit could almost feel the sharp stone cutting his ears. But he
was a brave little rabbit and said nothing.

At last the wolf stopped singing for a moment.

Then the rabbit said, "Brother Wolf, I know a new dance. Don't you wish
me to teach it to you?"

"Yes, when I have cut off your ears," said the wolf.

Then he went on singing,

  "Sicum, sicum, sicum, sicum,
  Sicum, se mi su!"

"After my ears are cut off," said the rabbit, "I can never dance any
more."

Now the wolf knew that the rabbit could sing and dance better than any
other animal, and he wished very much to learn the new dance. He went on
sharpening the stone, but he did not sing while he worked.

After a while he asked, "Is the new dance as pretty as the Snake Dance?"

"Oh, a great deal prettier," answered the rabbit.

"Is it as pretty as the Turkey Dance?"

"Oh, a great deal prettier than the Turkey Dance."

"Is it as pretty as the Eagle Dance?"

"Oh, a great deal prettier than the Eagle Dance."

The wolf asked if the new dance was as pretty as other dances he had
seen, and the rabbit said that it was much prettier.

This pleased the wolf, as he wished to have a new dance for the green
corn festival.

"You may teach me the dance now," he said. "I can cut off your ears
afterward."

"Very well," said the rabbit; "pat your foot to keep time, and watch me
while I dance."

[Illustration: The rabbit danced as the wolf shook the rattle]

So the wolf stood in the middle of the field, patting his foot and
shaking a rattle while the rabbit danced around him and sang,

  "Watch me dance around the field,
  Watch me dance around the field,
      Hi, la, hi, la, hi!"

Then the rabbit made a ring in the middle of the field. He said to the
wolf, "Now, you dance around this ring, and sing just as I do."

He made a larger ring for himself and danced around just beyond the
wolf. The wolf thought that this was the finest dance he had ever seen.
He and the rabbit danced faster and faster, and sang louder and louder.

As the rabbit danced, he moved nearer and nearer to the edge of the
field. The wolf was dancing so fast and singing so loud that he did not
notice this.

The rabbit kept on singing,

  "Now I dance on the edge of the field,
  Now I dance on the edge of the field,
  Hi, la, hi, la, hi!"

At last, Brother Rabbit reached the edge of the field; then he jumped
into the blackberry bushes and ran away. The wolf tried to give chase,
but he was so dizzy that he could not run. And the rabbit got away
without having his ears cut off.

--SOUTHERN INDIAN TALE.



BLOCK CITY


  What are you able to build with your blocks?
  Castles and palaces, temples and docks.
  Rain may keep raining, and others go roam,
  But I can be happy and building at home.

  Let the sofa be mountains, the carpet be sea,
  There I'll establish a city for me:
  A kirk and a mill and a palace beside,
  And a harbor as well where my vessels may ride.

  Great is the palace with pillar and wall,
  A sort of a tower on the top of it all,
  And steps coming down in an orderly way
  To where my toy vessels lie safe in the bay.

  This one is sailing and that one is moored:
  Hark to the song of the sailors on board!
  And see on the steps of my palace, the kings
  Coming and going with presents and things!

  Now I have done with it, down let it go.
  All in a moment the town is laid low,
  Block upon block lying scattered and free,
  What is there left of my town by the sea?

--ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON.



A GOOD PLAY


  We built a ship upon the stairs
  All made of the back-bedroom chairs,
  And filled it full of sofa pillows
  To go a-sailing on the billows.

  We took a saw and several nails,
  And water in the nursery pails;
  And Tom said, "Let us also take
  An apple and a slice of cake;"--
  Which was enough for Tom and me
  To go a-sailing on, till tea.

  We sailed along for days and days,
  And had the very best of plays;
  But Tom fell out and hurt his knee,
  So there was no one left but me.

--ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON.



THE MONKEY'S FIDDLE

I


Once upon a time there was a great famine in the land, and Monkey could
find no food. There were no bulbs, no beans, no insects, nor anything
else to eat.

At last Monkey said to himself, "Why should I perish here with hunger?
My uncle Orang-outang has enough and to spare; I shall go to him, and he
will give me food and shelter."

So he set out and soon came to the place where Orang-outang lived. For a
long time Monkey was happy in his new home, but by and by he heard that
there was no longer a famine in his own land. Then he decided to go
back.

Before he started, Orang-outang made him a present of a fiddle and of a
bow and arrow,

"With this bow and arrow you can kill any animal," he said. "With this
fiddle you can make anything dance until you bid it stop."

Thanking his uncle for the presents, Monkey set out on his homeward
journey. On the way he met Brother Wolf.

"What news, Brother Wolf?" asked Monkey.

When Wolf had told him the news, Monkey asked, "What have you been doing
to-day?"

"Oh," said Wolf, "I have been following a deer all the morning, but I
have been unable to get near enough to kill him. Now I am faint with
hunger."

"I can help you," said Monkey. "I have a magic bow and arrow. Show me
the deer, and I will bring him down."

When Wolf showed him the deer, Monkey fitted an arrow to the bow and
took aim. Hardly had the arrow left the bow when the deer fell dead.

Monkey and Wolf sat down and had a good feast. As Wolf ate, he thought
of the magic bow and arrow, and he planned to get them away from Monkey.

"First I will ask for them," he said to himself. "If Monkey will not
give them to me, I will use force."

[Illustration: Wolf demands the bow and arrow]

When Wolf had finished eating, he said to Monkey, "Please give me the
bow and arrow."

"I will not," said Monkey. "They were a present from my dear uncle; why
should I give them to you?"

"Very well," said Wolf. "I am stronger than you, and I will take them by
force."


II


Wolf was just about to snatch the bow and arrow from Monkey when Jackal
came along. Then Wolf thought of a new plan.

He called out to Jackal, "Help! help! Monkey has stolen my magic bow and
arrow."

Jackal came running to them. Wolf told his side of the story, and Monkey
told his.

"I cannot believe either of you," said Jackal. "Let us lay the question
before the court. There Lion, Tiger, and the other animals will hear you
both; perhaps they will be able to decide to whom the magic bow and
arrow belong. But to keep you two from quarreling, I had better take
care of the bow and arrow."

Monkey gave them to Jackal, and all three started off to court. When
they arrived, there sat Lion on the throne. Seated around were the other
animals of the jungle.

Monkey told his story first. Standing in front of the throne, he made a
low bow and said, "The great famine, my lord, drove me out of my
country, and I had to take refuge with my uncle. When I started back
home, he gave me this bow and arrow. Finding Wolf almost starving, I
shot a deer for him. Instead of being grateful for the food, he tried to
rob me of the bow and arrow. I am here to ask that you restore them to
me."

"He does not tell the truth," cried Wolf.

Then Jackal said, "I believe that the bow and arrow belong to Wolf; he
and Monkey were quarreling about them when I came along. They agreed to
leave the question to you, King Lion. I know you will see that justice
is done."

Wolf looked very innocent and said nothing.

King Lion rose and asked, "What say you? To whom do the bow and arrow
belong?"

"To Wolf," they all cried.

"Stealing is a crime that must be punished," said King Lion. "What shall
be done?"

"Let Monkey be hanged," they all cried.

Monkey still had his magic fiddle. Holding it in his hand, he made a
deep bow and said: "Give me leave to play a tune on my fiddle before I
hang, O King."

Now, the beasts all loved a merry tune, and knowing that Monkey was a
master player they called out, "Let him play."


III


Monkey placed the fiddle under his chin, drew the bow across the
strings, and struck up "Cockcrow." This was a favorite tune with the
court. At the first notes all nodded their heads in time to the music.
As Monkey played on, the entire court began to dance.

Round and round they went like a whirlwind. Over and over, quicker and
quicker sounded the tune of "Cockcrow." Faster and faster flew the
dancers, until one after another fell to the ground worn out.

Monkey saw nothing of all this. With eyes closed and his head placed
lovingly against the fiddle, he played on and on, keeping time with his
foot.

Wolf was the first one to cry out, "Please stop, Cousin Monkey. For
pity's sake, stop."

But Monkey did not seem to hear him. Again and again sounded the magic
notes of "Cockcrow."

King Lion had gone round and round with his young wife so many times
that both were ready to drop. At last, as he passed Monkey, he roared,
"Stop, ape! My whole kingdom is yours if you will only stop playing."

"I do not want it," said Monkey. "Make Wolf confess that he tried to
steal my bow and arrow. Then I will stop playing."

"I confess! I confess!" panted Wolf, who was ready to fall to the
ground.

"Good," cried King Lion, as the music stopped. "Monkey is innocent. Let
him have his bow and arrow."

"Punish Wolf!" cried the animals.

So Wolf was soundly beaten and driven from the court. Then Monkey went
off rejoicing, carrying with him his magic gifts.

--AFRICAN TALE.



THE THREE TASKS

I


There were once two brothers who set out to seek their fortune. They
wasted their time and their money in all sorts of foolish ways, and
before long they were nearly penniless.

After the two brothers had been gone some time, their younger brother,
who had always been thought the simpleton of the family, set out to seek
his fortune.

One day as he was passing through a village far away from home, he found
his two brothers.

"Where are you going?" they asked.

"I am going to seek my fortune," he replied.

"Ha, ha! how foolish you are!" they cried. "With all our wit and wisdom
we have been unable to make our fortune. It is silly of you even to
try." And they laughed and made fun of him.

Nevertheless, the three brothers decided to travel on together. As they
journeyed on, they saw a large ant hill by the side of the road. The two
elder brothers were about to destroy it, when the simpleton said, "Leave
the poor ants alone. I will not let you disturb them."

They went on their way until they came to a pond upon which two ducks
were swimming. The two older brothers were about to kill them, when the
simpleton said, "Leave them alone. I will not let you kill them."

Soon the three came to a tree, in the trunk of which was a wild bee's
nest. The two older brothers wished to steal the honey. They started to
make a fire under the tree and smoke out the bees. The simpleton said,
"Leave the poor bees alone. I will not let you rob them."


II


At last the three brothers came to a castle where everything looked as
if it had been turned to stone. There was not a single human being to be
seen. They walked along the great wide hall, but still they saw no one.

"The castle must be enchanted," the brothers said to one another.

After passing through many rooms, they came to a door in which there
were three locks. In the middle of the door was a little grating through
which they could look into the room beyond.

They saw a little man, dressed in gray, seated at a table. Twice they
called to him, but he did not answer. They called a third time. Then he
rose, opened the three locks, and came out.

He said not a word, but led them to a table on which a feast was spread.
When they had eaten and drunk as much as they wished, the old man showed
each of them to a bedroom. There they rested well all night.

The next morning the little gray man came to the eldest brother and
beckoned him to follow. He led him to a room in which there was a stone
table, and on the table there lay three stone tablets.

[Illustration: The little gray man and the tablets]

On the table near the tablets was written:

"This castle is enchanted. Before the enchantment can be broken, there
are three tasks to be performed. The one who performs these three tasks
shall marry the youngest and dearest of the three princesses who now lie
asleep in the castle."

When the eldest brother had read this, the old man gave him the first
tablet. On it was written:

"In the forest, hidden beneath the thick moss, are the pearls which
belonged to the princesses. They are a thousand in number. These must be
collected by sunset. If one single pearl is missing, then he who has
sought them shall be turned to stone."

The eldest brother searched the whole day long, but by sunset he had
found only a hundred pearls. So he was turned to stone.

The following day the second brother tried his luck, but by sunset he
had found but two hundred pearls. So he, too, was turned to stone.

Then it came the simpleton's turn. He searched all day amidst the moss,
but he fared little better than his brothers. At last he sat down upon a
stone and burst into tears.

As he sat there, the king of the ants, whose life he had once saved,
came with five thousand ants. Before long the little creatures had found
every one of the pearls and piled them up in a heap.

The little gray man then gave the simpleton the second tablet. Upon it
was written the second task:

"The key that opens the chamber in which the princesses are sleeping
lies in the bottom of the lake. He who has performed the first task must
find the key."

When the simpleton came to the lake, the ducks which he had saved were
swimming upon it. At once they dived down into the depths below and
brought up the key.

The simpleton showed the key to the little gray man, who then gave him
the third tablet. On it was written the third task:

"The one who has gathered the pearls and found the key to the chamber
may now marry the youngest and dearest princess. He must, however, first
tell which is she. The princesses are exactly alike, but there is one
difference. Before they went to sleep, the eldest ate sugar, the second
ate syrup, and the youngest ate honey."

The simpleton laid down the tablet with a sigh. "How can I find out
which princess ate the honey?" he asked himself.

However, he put the key he had found in the lock and opened the door. In
the chamber the three princesses were lying. Ah, which was the youngest?

Just then the queen of the bees flew in through the window and tasted
the lips of all three. When she came to the lips that had sipped the
honey, she remained there. Then the young man knew that this was the
youngest and dearest princess.

So the enchantment came to an end. The sleepers awoke, and those who had
been turned to stone became alive again. The simpleton married the
youngest and dearest princess, and was made king after her father's
death. His two brothers, who were now sorry for what they had done,
married the other two princesses, and lived happily ever after.

--GRIMM.



[Illustration: A child dancing]

THE WORLD'S MUSIC


  The world's a very happy place,
    Where every child should dance and sing,
  And always have a smiling face,
    And never sulk for anything.

  I waken when the morning's come,
    And feel the air and light alive
  With strange sweet music like the hum
    Of bees about their busy hive.

  The linnets play among the leaves
    At hide-and-seek, and chirp and sing;
  While, flashing to and from the eaves,
    The swallows twitter on the wing.

  From dawn to dark the old mill-wheel
    Makes music, going round and round;
  And dusty-white with flour and meal,
    The miller whistles to its sound.

  The brook that flows beside the mill,
    As happy as a brook can be,
  Goes singing its old song until
    It learns the singing of the sea.

  For every wave upon the sands
    Sings songs you never tire to hear,
  Of laden ships from sunny lands
    Where it is summer all the year.

  The world is such a happy place
    That children, whether big or small,
  Should always have a smiling face
    And never, never sulk at all.

--GABRIEL SETOUN.



THE SLEEPING BEAUTY

I


Once upon a time there lived a king and queen who were very unhappy
because they had no children. But at last a little daughter was born,
and their sorrow was turned to joy. All the bells in the land were rung
to tell the glad tidings.

The king gave a christening feast so grand that the like of it had never
been known. He invited all the fairies he could find in the
kingdom--there were seven of them--to come to the christening as
godmothers. He hoped that each would give the princess a good gift.

When the christening was over, the feast came. Before each of the
fairies was placed a plate with a spoon, a knife, and a fork--all pure
gold. But alas! as the fairies were about to seat themselves at the
table, there came into the hall a very old fairy who had not been
invited. She had left the kingdom fifty years before and had not been
seen or heard of until this day.

The king at once ordered that a plate should be brought for her, but he
could not furnish a gold one such as the others had. This made the old
fairy angry, and she sat there muttering to herself.

Her angry threats were overheard by a young fairy who sat near. This
good godmother, fearing the old fairy might give the child an unlucky
gift, hid herself behind a curtain. She did this because she wished to
speak last and perhaps be able to change the old fairy's gift.

At the end of the feast, the youngest fairy stepped forward and said,
"The princess shall be the most beautiful woman in the world."

The second said,

"She shall have a temper as sweet as an angel."

The third said,

"She shall have a wonderful grace in all she does or says."

[Illustration: The old fairy looks at the princess in her cradle]

The fourth said,

"She shall sing like a nightingale."

The fifth said,

"She shall dance like a flower in the wind."

The sixth said,

"She shall play such music as was never heard on earth."

Then the old fairy's turn came. Shaking her head spitefully, she said,

"When the princess is seventeen years old, she shall prick her finger
with a spindle, and--she--shall--die!"

At this all the guests trembled, and many of them began to weep. The
king and queen wept loudest of all.

Just then the wise young fairy came from behind the curtain and said:
"Do not grieve, O King and Queen. Your daughter shall not die. I cannot
undo what my elder sister has done; the princess shall indeed prick her
finger with the spindle, but she shall not die. She shall fall into
sleep that will last a hundred years. At the end of that time, a king's
son will find her and awaken her."

Immediately all the fairies vanished.


II


The king, hoping to save his child even from this misfortune, commanded
that all spindles should be burned. This was done, but it was all in
vain.

One day when the princess was seventeen years of age, the king and queen
left her alone in the castle. She wandered about the palace and at last
came to a little room in the top of a tower. There an old woman--so old
and deaf that she had never heard of the king's command--sat spinning.

"What are you doing, good old woman?" asked the princess.

"I am spinning, my pretty child."

"Ah," said the princess. "How do you do it? Let me see if I can spin
also."

She had just taken the spindle in her hand when, in some way, it pricked
her finger. The princess dropped down on the floor. The old woman called
for help, and people came from all sides, but nothing could be done.

When the good young fairy heard the news, she came quickly to the
castle. She knew that the princess must sleep a hundred years and would
be frightened if she found herself alone when she awoke. So the fairy
touched with her magic wand all in the palace except the king and the
queen. Ladies, gentlemen, pages, waiting maids, footmen, grooms in the
stable, and even the horses--she touched them all. They all went to
sleep just where they were when the wand touched them. Some of the
gentlemen were bowing to the ladies, the ladies were embroidering, the
grooms stood currying their horses, and the cook was slapping the
kitchen boy.

The king and queen departed from the castle, giving orders that no one
was to go near it. This command, however, was not needed. In a little
while there sprang around the castle a wood so thick that neither man
nor beast could pass through.


III


A great many changes take place in a hundred years. The king had no
other child, and when he died, his throne passed to another royal
family. Even the story of the sleeping princess was almost forgotten.

One day the son of the king who was then reigning was out hunting, and
he saw towers rising above a thick wood. He asked what they were, but no
one could answer him.

At last an old peasant was found who said, "Your highness, fifty years
ago my father told me that there is a castle in the woods where a
princess sleeps--the most beautiful princess that ever lived. It was
said that she must sleep there a hundred years, when she would be
awakened by a king's son."

At this the young prince determined to find out the truth for himself.
He leaped from his horse and began to force his way through the wood. To
his astonishment, the stiff branches gave way, then closed again,
allowing none of his companions to follow.

A beautiful palace rose before him. In the courtyard the prince saw
horses and men who looked as if they were dead. But he was not afraid
and boldly entered the palace. There were guards motionless as stone,
gentlemen and ladies, pages and footmen, some standing, some sitting,
but all like statues.

[Illustration: The prince finds the princess]

At last the prince came to a chamber of gold, where he saw upon a bed
the fairest sight one ever beheld--a princess of about seventeen years
who looked as if she had just fallen asleep. Trembling, the prince knelt
beside her, and awakened her with a kiss. And now the enchantment was
broken.

The princess looked at him with wondering eyes and said: "Is it you, my
prince? I have waited for you long."

So happy were the two that they talked hour after hour. In the meantime
all in the palace awaked and each began to do what he was doing when he
fell asleep. The gentlemen went on bowing to the ladies, the ladies went
on with their embroidery. The grooms went on currying their horses, the
cook went on slapping the kitchen boy, and the servants began to serve
the supper. Then the chief lady in waiting, who was ready to die of
hunger, told the princess aloud that supper was ready.

The prince gave the princess his hand, and they all went into the great
hall for supper. That very evening the prince and princess were married.
The next day the prince took his bride to his father's palace, and there
they lived happily ever afterward.

--GRIMM.



THE UGLY DUCKLING

I


It was summer. The country was lovely just then. The cornfields were
waving yellow, the wheat was golden, the oats were still green, and the
hay was stacked in the meadows. Beyond the fields great forests and
ponds of water might be seen.

In the sunniest spot of all stood an old farmhouse, with deep canals
around it. At the water's edge grew great burdocks. It was just as wild
there as in the deepest wood, and in this snug place sat a duck upon her
nest. She was waiting for her brood to hatch.

At last one eggshell after another began to crack. From each little egg
came "Cheep! cheep!" and then a little duckling's head.

"Quack! quack!" said the duck; and all the babies quacked too. Then they
looked all around. The mother let them look as much as they liked, for
green is good for the eyes.

"How big the world is!" said all the little ducklings.

"Do you think this is all the world?" asked the mother. "It stretches a
long way on the other side of the garden and on to the parson's field,
but I have never been so far as that. I hope you are all out. No, not
all; that large egg is still unbroken. I am really tired of sitting so
long." Then the duck sat down again.

"Well, how goes it?" asked an old duck who had come to pay her a visit.

"There is one large egg that is taking a long time to hatch," replied
the mother. "But you must look at the ducklings. They are the finest I
have ever seen; they are all just like their father."

"Let me look at the egg which will not hatch," said the old duck. "You
may be sure that it is a turkey's egg. I was once cheated in that way.
Oh, you will have a great deal of trouble, for a turkey will not go into
the water. Yes, that's a turkey's egg. Leave it alone and teach the
other children to swim."

"No, I will sit on it a little longer," said the mother duck.

"Just as you please," said the old duck, and she went away.

At last the large egg cracked. "Cheep! cheep!" said the young one, and
tumbled out. How large it was! How ugly it was!

"I wonder if it can be a turkey chick," said the mother. "Well, we shall
see when we go to the pond. It must go into the water, even if I have to
push it in myself."

Next day the mother duck and all her little ones went down to the water.
Splash! she jumped in, and all the ducklings went in, too. They swam
about very easily, and the ugly duckling swam with them.

"No, it is not a turkey," said the mother duck. "See how well he can use
his legs. He is my own child! And he is not so very ugly either."


II


Then she took her family into the duck yard. As they went along, she
told the ducklings how to act.

"Keep close to me, so that no one can step on you," she said. "Come;
now, don't turn your toes in. A well-brought-up duck turns its toes out,
just like father and mother. Bow your heads before that old duck yonder.
She is the grandest duck here. One can tell that by the red rag around
her leg. That's a great honor, the greatest honor a duck can have. It
shows that the mistress doesn't want to lose her. Now bend your necks
and say 'Quack!'"

They did so, but the other ducks did not seem glad to see them.

"Look!" they cried. "Here comes another brood, as if there were not
enough of us already. And oh, dear, how ugly that large one is! We won't
stand him."

Then one of the ducks flew at the ugly duckling and bit him in the neck.

[Illustration: The ugly duckling and the other ducks]

"Let him alone," said the mother; "he is doing no harm."

"Perhaps not," said the duck who had bitten the poor duckling, "but he
is too ugly to stay here. He must be driven out."

"Those are pretty children that the mother has," said the old duck with
the rag around her leg. "They are all pretty but that one. What a pity!"

"Yes," replied the mother duck, "he is not handsome, but he is
good-tempered, and he swims as well as any of the others. I think he
will grow to be pretty. Perhaps he stayed too long in the egg."

"Well, make yourselves at home," said the old duck. "If you find an
eel's head, you may bring it to me."

And they did make themselves at home--all but the poor ugly duckling.
His life was made quite miserable. The ducks bit him, and the hens
pecked him. So it went on the first day, and each day it grew worse.

The poor duckling was very unhappy. At last he could stand it no longer,
and he ran away. As he flew over the fence, he frightened the little
birds on the bushes.

"That is because I am so ugly," thought the duckling.

He flew on until he came to a moor where some wild ducks lived. They
laughed at him and swam away from him.

Some wild geese came by, and they laughed at the duckling, too. Just
then some guns went bang! bang! The hunters were all around. The hunting
dogs came splash! into the swamp, and one dashed close to the duckling.
The dog looked at him and went on.

"Well, I can be thankful for that," sighed he. "I am so ugly that even
the dog will not bite me."

When all was quiet, the duckling started out again. A storm was raging,
and he found shelter in a poor hut. Here lived an old woman with her cat
and her hen. The old woman could not see well, and she thought he was a
fat duck. She kept him three weeks, hoping that she would get some duck
eggs, but the duckling did not lay.

After a while the fresh air and sunshine streamed in at the open door,
and the duckling longed to be out on the water. The cat and the hen
laughed when he told them of his wish.

"You must be crazy," said the hen. "I do not wish to swim. The cat does
not; and I am sure our mistress does not."

"You do not understand me," said the duckling. "I will go out into the
wide world."

"Yes, do go," said the hen.

And the duckling went away. He swam on the water and dived, but still
all the animals passed him by because he was so ugly; and the poor
duckling was lonesome.


III


Now the winter came, and soon it was very cold. Snow and sleet fell, and
the ugly duckling had a very unhappy time.

One evening a whole flock of handsome white birds rose out of the
bushes. They were swans. They gave a strange cry, and spreading their
great wings, flew away to warmer lands and open lakes.

The ugly duckling felt quite strange, and he gave such a loud cry that
he frightened himself. He could not forget those beautiful happy birds.
He knew not where they had gone, but he wished he could have gone with
them.

The winter grew cold--very cold. The duckling swam about in the water to
keep from freezing, but every night the hole in which he swam became
smaller and smaller. At last he was frozen fast in the ice.

Early the next morning a farmer found the duckling and took him to the
farmhouse. There in a warm room the duckling came to himself again. The
children wished to play with him, but he was afraid of them.

In his terror he fluttered into the milk pan and splashed the milk about
the room. The woman clapped her hands at him, and that frightened him
still more. He flew into the butter tub and then into the meal barrel.

How he did look then! The children laughed and screamed. The woman
chased him with the fire tongs. The door stood open, and the duckling
slipped out into the snow.

It was a cruel, hard winter, and he nearly froze. At last the warm sun
began to shine, and the larks to sing. The duckling flapped his wings
and found that they were strong. Away he flew over the meadows and
fields.

Soon he found himself in a beautiful garden where the apple trees were
in full bloom, and the long branches of the willow trees hung over the
shores of the lake. Just in front of him he saw three beautiful white
swans swimming lightly over the water.

"I will fly to those beautiful birds," he said. "They will kill me
because I am so ugly; but it is all the same. It is better to be killed
by them than to be bitten by the ducks and pecked by the hens."

So he flew into the water and swam towards the beautiful birds. They saw
the duckling and came sailing down toward him. He bowed his head saying,
"Kill me, oh, kill me."

But what was this he saw in the clear water? It was his own image, and
lo! he was no longer a clumsy dark-gray bird, but a--swan, a beautiful
white swan. It matters not if one was born in a duck yard, if one has
only lain in a swan's egg. The other swans swam around him to welcome
him.

[Illustration: The little children see the new swan]

Some little children came into the garden with corn and other grains
which they threw into the water. The smallest one cried, "Oh, see! there
is a new swan, and it is more beautiful than any of the others."

The ugly duckling was shy and at first hid his head under his wing. Then
he felt so happy that he raised his neck and said, "I never dreamed of
so much happiness when I was an ugly duckling."

--HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN.



THE WHITE BLACKBIRD

I


I was born a blackbird in a bushy thicket near a meadow. My father took
good care of his family and would peck about all day for insects. These
he brought home to my mother, holding them by the tail so as not to mash
them. He had a sweet voice, too, and every evening sang beautiful songs.

I should have been happy, but I was not. I ate little and was weak; and
from the first, I was different from my brothers and sisters. They had
glossy, black feathers, while mine were dirty gray. These made my father
angry whenever he looked at them.

When I moulted for the first time, he watched me closely. While the
feathers were falling out and while I was naked, he was kind; but my new
feathers drove him wild with anger. I did not wonder. I was no longer
even gray; I had become snow white. I was a white blackbird! Did such a
thing ever happen in a blackbird family before?

It made me very sad to see my father so vexed over me. But it is hard to
stay sad forever, and one sunshiny spring day I opened my bill and began
to sing. At the first note my father flew up into the air like a
sky-rocket.

"What do I hear?" he cried. "Is that the way a blackbird whistles? Do I
whistle that way?"

"I whistle the best I can," I replied.

"That is not the way we whistle in my family," my father said. "We have
whistled for many, many years and know how to do it. It is not enough
for you to be white; you must make that horrible noise. The truth is you
are not a blackbird."

"I will leave home," I answered with a sob. "I will go far away where I
can pick up a living on earthworms and spiders."

"Do as you please," my father said. "You are not a blackbird."


II


I flew away early the next morning, and was lucky enough to find shelter
under an old gutter. It rained hard that night. I was just about to go
to bed, when a very wet bird came in and sat down beside me. His
feathers were grayish like mine, but he was much larger than myself.

"Who are you?" he asked.

"I don't know," I replied. "I pass for a blackbird but I am white."

"I am the finest bird in the world," he said. "I am a carrier pigeon and
carry messages."

Then I saw that a traveling bag hung from his neck.

"Maybe I am a pigeon," I said, "since I am not a blackbird."

"No," he answered, "a runt like you could not be a pigeon."

The next morning the pigeon sprang from the gutter and flew away as fast
as the wind. As I was lonely, I followed him. He flew faster and faster,
but I kept up for a good while. At last my strength gave out and I fell
down into a meadow.

I was stunned by the fall. When I came to my senses, two birds stood
near by looking at me. One was a dainty little magpie; the other a
soft-eyed turtle dove. The magpie kindly offered me some berries she had
gathered.

"Who are you?" she asked.

[Illustration: The three birds meet]

"A blackbird or a pigeon," I said sadly. "I don't know which."

"Are you joking?" she cried. "You are a magpie."

"But magpies are not white," I said.

"Russian magpies are," she answered; "perhaps you belong to that
family."

My joy was great for a moment at finding out what I was. Still I was not
sure that I was a magpie and thought I might settle the matter by
singing. I burst into song and warbled and whistled, and whistled and
warbled.

The magpie looked at me in surprise. Then her face grew sad and she
backed off from me. At last she flew away without another word. Whatever
I might be, I was not a magpie--not even a Russian magpie.

I made up my mind not to rest until I found out what bird I was. So I
flew off to a place where birds of all kinds met to talk and enjoy
themselves. There were robins and sparrows and crows and wrens and
martins and every sort of bird. But I was not like any of them and
whenever I began to sing, they all laughed.

"You are not one of us," they said; "you are a white blackbird. That is
what you are."


III


I had now seen all the birds, but none of them were as fine as the
blackbirds. I did not want to be like any of these birds; I longed to be
a blackbird, a real blackbird. That was not possible. So I made up my
mind to be content with my lot, as I had the heart of a blackbird even
if I were not black.

A great flock of blackbirds lived on the edge of a cornfield. I went to
them and asked them to let me be their helper.

"I am only a white blackbird," I said, "but I have the heart of a true
blackbird."

They let me stay. I waited on them early and late, bringing straw to
make nests and tender little worms for the baby blackbirds. The old
birds were kind to me, and I began to be happy.

Hard work did me good. I soon grew strong, and when the crows tried to
drive us away, I led the blackbirds to victory. My sight was keen, and I
was the first to find out that the scarecrow was not a man. I caught
more worms, too, than any of the blackbirds.

By and by a strange thing happened. I saw one day that my white feathers
were speckled with brown dots. They grew larger and larger until the
dots covered me all over; I was no longer white but brown. And now,
little by little, my brown coat turned darker and darker until one
morning it was black--a rich, glossy black! I was a blackbird at last.

Then the other blackbirds hopped around me with joy, crying, "He is the
largest and bravest of the blackbirds. Let him be king! Long live the
king of the blackbirds!"

--ALFRED DE MUSSET (_Adapted_).



THE BROWN THRUSH


  There's a merry brown thrush sitting up in
      the tree,
  He's singing to me! He's singing to me!
  And what does he say, little girl, little boy?
  "Oh, the world's running over with joy!
    Don't you hear? don't you see?
    Hush! look! in my tree,
  I'm as happy as happy can be!"

  And the brown thrush keeps singing, "A nest
     do you see,
  And five eggs hid by me in the juniper tree?
  Don't meddle! don't touch! little girl, little boy,
  Or the world will lose some of its joy!
    Now I'm glad! now I'm free!
    And I always shall be,
  If you never bring sorrow to me."

  So the merry brown thrush sings away in the tree,
  To you and to me, to you and to me.

--LUCY LARCOM.



THE KING AND THE GOOSEHERD

ACT I


(King in plain clothes had gone out for a walk in the park. He sat under
a tree to read a book and fell asleep. When he waked up he walked on,
forgetting his book. He sees a lad looking after a flock of geese and
calls him.)

KING: Boy, I left a book lying under a tree in the park. Will you please
get it for me? If you do, I will give you a gold piece.

BOY: Give me a gold piece to go to the park, indeed! You must have a
pocketful of gold pieces. Or you must think me more stupid than I am.

KING: Stupid! Who thinks you stupid?

BOY: Why, who would be so foolish as to give me a gold piece just for
running half a mile for a book? No, no, you are joking. You couldn't
make me believe that.

KING: Well, you know "seeing is believing." Look! here is the gold piece
for you.

BOY: But it is in _your_ hand. If I saw it in my own hand, that would be
a different matter.

KING (_laughing_): You are certainly not stupid, my boy; but you may
have it in your own hand. Here it is.

(Boy stands still, looking worried,)

KING: Well, why don't you go?

BOY: I only wish I could. But what would become of the geese while I am
away? If they strayed into the meadow over yonder, I should have to pay
trespass-money--more than the gold piece--and lose my place besides.

KING: I'll tell you what we'll do. You go for the book, and I'll herd
the geese.

BOY (_laughing_): You herd the geese--a pretty gooseherd you would make!
You are too fat and too old.

KING (_to himself, shaking with laughter_): Well, Well, "fat and old."
What next, I wonder!

BOY: Why, you couldn't mind the geese. Just look at the "court gander"
there--the one with the black head and wings. He is the ringleader
whenever there is any mischief. He would lead you a pretty dance.

KING: Never mind the geese. I'll answer for them, and I promise to pay
all damages if they get away.

BOY (_handing the king his whip_): Well, then, be careful. Watch the
"court gander."

(Boy walks on a few feet, then hurries back.)

KING: What's the matter now?

BOY: Crack the whip!

(King tries but fails.)

BOY: Just as I thought. Here, this way! Can't you see? You are stupid!

KING: Just let me try once more.

(King tries.)

BOY: Well, that did pretty well.

(Moves off muttering.)

He is as big a goose as any in the flock.


ACT II


KING (_lying on the ground and laughing so that the tears run down his
cheeks_): Oh, but this is fine! First I was fat and old. Now I am as big
a goose as any in the flock. What would my courtiers say?

(Springing up suddenly.)

Look at that "court gander"! There he goes with the whole flock.

(He dashes wildly after the geese and tries to crack the whip, but
cannot.)

Now they are in the meadow; what will the boy say?

(Boy returns and sees the geese in the meadow; the king looks ashamed.)

BOY: Just as I expected. I have found the book, but you have lost the
geese. What a time I shall have trying to find them!

KING: Never mind; I will help you get them together again.

[Illustration: The king and the boy look for the geese]

BOY: Humph! Much help you'll be. But go there by that stump and don't
let the geese pass you. Wave your arms at them and shout at them. Surely
you can do that!

KING: I'll try.


ACT III


Boy: Well, they are back again! Thanks to goodness, but none to you.
What can you do?

KING: Pray excuse me for not doing any better, but you see, I am not
used to work. I am the king.

BOY: I was a simpleton to trust you with the geese; but I am not such a
simpleton as to believe that you are the king.

KING: Just as you will. You are a good lad. Here is another gold coin as
a peace offering. Good-day.

BOY (_as king walks away_): He is a kind gentleman, whoever he may be;
but take my word for it, he will never make a gooseherd.

--OLD TALE.



DONAL AND CONAL

I


There was once in old Ireland a very fine lad by the name of Donal. He
was not only a very fine lad, but a very gay lad. He would go for miles
to a party or a wedding; and he was always welcome, for Donal knew where
to wear his smile. He wore it on his face instead of keeping it in his
pocket.

The dearest wish of Donal's heart no one knew but himself. His soul was
full of music, and he longed to have a violin.

One night Donal was going home through a dark forest when a storm came
up. He found an old hollow tree and got inside of it to keep dry. Soon
he fell asleep.

After a while Donal was awakened by a strange noise. He peeped out, and
he saw a queer sight. The storm had passed, and the moon was shining.
Many elves were dancing to strange music played by an old, old elf.

[Illustration: Donal sees the fairies dancing]

Such queer dancing it was! Donal crept out of the tree and drew nearer
and nearer. Suddenly he laughed out loud and said, "Well, that's the
worst dancing I have ever seen!"

The fairies were astonished and angry, and they all began to talk at the
same time.

"We have a man among us!" cried one.

"Let us hang him!" cried another.

"Cut his head off!" cried a third.

But the queen stepped out among them and said, "Leave him to me."

Then she called Donal to her. Now Donal was a wee bit frightened, but he
knew where to wear his smile, you remember. So he went up to the queen,
smiling and bowing.

"You say our dancing is the worst you have ever seen," she said. "Now,
show us that you can do better."

Donal smiled again and bowed low. Then he began to dance. Such dancing
the elves had never seen! They clapped their hands and made him dance
again and again. Finally, Donal was exhausted, and after making a low
bow to the queen, sat down on the ground.

The fairies crowded around him.

"Give him our silver!" cried one.

"Make it gold!" cried another.

"Diamonds!" cried a third.

But the queen said, "Leave it to me."

She went up to the old, old elf who had been playing for the dance.
Taking his violin from him, she gave it to Donal. You see, the queen
knew the dearest wish of his heart.

Then Donal was a happy lad, indeed! He thanked the queen and went home
playing on his new violin.


II


There lived near Donal's home a lad named Conal. He was not such a fine
lad as Donal, nor such a gay one. He was a greedy lad, and the dearest
wish of his heart was to be rich. And he did not know where to wear his
smile. If he had one, he kept it in his pocket.

When Conal heard what had happened to Donal, he wished to know all about
it. So he went to him and said, "Donal, man, how did you get that
beautiful violin?"

Donal told the story backward and forward, and forward and backward,
from beginning to end, until Conal knew it by heart.

Then Conal said to himself, "I will go to the hollow tree and dance for
the elves; but I shall not be so foolish as Donal. I will take their
gold and silver, and their diamonds, too."

That night Conal went to the hollow tree and waited until the elves
appeared. Then he crept out and watched them dance. And he said, just as
Donal had, "Well, that's the worst dancing I have ever seen!"

The fairies were astonished and angry again, and again they all began to
talk at once.

"Another man among us!" cried one.

"Let us hang him!" cried another.

"Cut off his head!" cried a third.

But the queen said, "Leave it to me."

Then she called Conal to her. Now Conal did not know where to wear his
smile, you remember; he always kept it in his pocket. So he went up to
the queen with a very sour face.

The queen said to him, as she had to Donal, "You say our dancing is the
worst you have ever seen. Now, show us that you can do better."

Conal began to dance, and he could dance well. The elves were delighted.
They clapped their hands and asked him to dance again, but he said
roughly, "No, that is enough. Do you expect me to dance all night?"

The elves were silent then, and the queen's face was stern. But she was
a just queen, and she said, "You have danced well. Will you have some of
our silver?"

"Yes," said Conal, without a word of thanks; and he filled his coat
pockets.

"Will you have gold?" asked the queen.

"Yes," said Conal greedily, as he filled the pockets in his trousers.

"Will you have some of our diamonds?" the queen asked, and her face was
dark with anger.

"Yes, yes," cried Conal.

"You shall not have them, you greedy lad!" cried the queen; "you shall
have nothing."

Just then a cloud passed across the moon, and the elves vanished.

"Oh, well," said Conal, "I have the gold and silver."

He plunged his hands into his pockets and lo! the gold and silver had
turned to stones. Then Conal went home a sadder and a wiser lad.

--IRISH TALE.



[Illustration: A bird singing]

WHO TOLD THE NEWS?


  Oh, the sunshine told the bluebird,
    And the bluebird told the brook,
  That the dandelions were peeping
    From the woodland's sheltered nook.

  Then the brook was blithe and happy,
    And it babbled all the way,
  As it ran to tell the river
    Of the coming of the May.

  Soon the river told the meadow,
    And the meadow told the bee,
  That the tender buds were swelling
    On the old horse-chestnut tree.

  And the bee shook off its torpor,
    And it spread each gauzy wing,
  As it flew to tell the flowers
    Of the coming of the spring.



THE BIRDS OF KILLINGWORTH

I


It was spring. The apple trees and the cherry trees were pink and white
with blossoms. They filled the air with fragrance. The maples were red,
and on the oak and poplar the buds were swelling. The brooklets were
rushing and leaping on toward the sea.

It was spring everywhere. The robin and the bluebird were piping sweetly
in the blossoming orchard. The sparrows were chirping, and hungry crows
were calling loudly for food. The farmers of Killingworth were plowing
the fields, and the broken clods, too, told of spring.

A farmer heard the cawing of the crows and the song of the birds.

He said, "Did one ever see so many birds? Why, when we plant our seeds,
these birds will take them all. When the fruit ripens, they will destroy
it. I, for one, wish there were no birds, and I say kill them all."

Another farmer said, "Yes, let us call a meeting of the people of the
village and decide what is to be done with the pests."

The meeting was called, and all came: the squire, the preacher, the
teacher, and the farmers from the country round about.

Up rose the farmer who had said he wished there were no birds.

"Friends," he said, "the crows are about to take my field of corn. I put
up scarecrows, but the birds fly by them and seem to laugh at them. The
robins are as saucy as they can be. Soon they will eat all the cherries
we have. I say kill all birds; they are a pest."

"So say I," said another farmer.

"And I," said another.

"And I," "And I," came from voices in every part of the hall.

The teacher arose and timidly said:

"My friends, you know not what you do. You would put to death the birds
that make sweet music for us in our dark hours: the thrush, the oriole,
the noisy jay, the bluebird, the meadow lark.

"You slay them all, and why? Because they scratch up a little handful of
wheat or corn, while searching for worms or weevils.

"Do you never think who made them and who taught them their songs of
love? Think of your woods and orchards without birds!

"And, friends, would you rather have insects in the hay? You call the
birds thieves, but they guard your farms. They drive the enemy from your
cornfields and from your harvests.

"Even the blackest of them, the crow, does good. He crushes the beetle
and wages war on the slug and the snail.

"And, what is more, how can I teach your children gentleness and mercy
when you contradict the very thing I teach?"

But the farmers only shook their heads and laughed. "What does the
teacher know of such things?" they asked. And they passed a law to have
the birds killed.

So the dreadful war on birds began. They fell down dead, with
bloodstains on their breasts. Some fluttered, wounded, away from the
sight of man, while the young died of starvation in the nests.


II


The summer came, and all the birds were dead. The days were like hot
coals. In the orchards hundreds of caterpillars fed. In the fields and
gardens hundreds of insects of every kind crawled, finding no foe to
check them. At last the whole land was like a desert.

From the trees caterpillars dropped down upon the women's bonnets, and
they screamed and ran. At every door, the women gathered and talked.

"What will become of us?" asked one. "The men were wrong,--something
must be done."

"The teacher was right," said another.

At last, the farmers grew ashamed of having killed the birds. They met
and did away with the wicked law, but it was too late.

[Illustration: The wagon filled with branches and cages]

Harvest time came, but there was no harvest. In many a home there was
want and sorrow.

The next spring a strange sight was seen--a sight never seen before or
since. Through the streets there went a wagon filled with great branches
of trees. Upon them were hung cages of birds that were making sweet
music.

From all the country round these birds had been brought by order of the
farmers. The cages were opened, and once more the woods and fields were
filled with the beautiful birds, who flew about singing their songs of
joy. And again the harvests grew in the fields and filled to overflowing
the farmers' barns.

--_Adapted from_ LONGFELLOW.



THE TRAILING ARBUTUS

I


Many, many moons ago, in a lodge in a forest, there lived an old man.
His hair was white as the snowdrift. All the world was winter; snow and
ice were everywhere, and the old man wore heavy furs.

The winds went wildly through the forest searching every bush and tree
for birds to chill. The old man looked in vain in the deep snow for
pieces of wood to keep up the fire in his lodge. Then he sat down by his
dull and low fire.

Shaking and trembling he sat there, hearing nothing but the tempest as
it roared through the forest, seeing nothing but the snowstorm as it
whirled and hissed and drifted.

All the coals became white with ashes, and the fire was slowly dying.
Suddenly the wind blew aside the door of the lodge, and there came in a
most beautiful maiden.

Her cheeks were like the wild rose, her eyes were soft and glowed like
the stars in springtime; and her hair was as brown as October's nuts.

Her dress was of ferns and sweet grasses, her moccasins were of white
lilies, on her head was a wreath of wild flowers, and in her hands were
beautiful blossoms. When she breathed, the air became warm and fragrant.

"Ah, my daughter," exclaimed the old man. "Happy are my eyes to see you.
Sit here on the mat beside me; sit here by the dying embers. Tell me of
your strange adventures, and I will tell you of my deeds of wonder."

From his pouch he drew his peace pipe, very old and strangely fashioned.
He filled the pipe with bark of willow, and placed a burning coal upon
it.

Then he said, "I am Manito, the Mighty. When I blow my breath about me,
the rivers become motionless and the waters hard as stone."

The maiden smiling said, "When I blow my breath about me, flowers spring
up over all the meadows. And all the rivers rush onward, singing songs
of joy."

"When I shake my hoary tresses," said the old man, darkly frowning, "all
the ground is covered with snow. All the leaves fade and wither."

"When I shake my flowing ringlets," said the maiden, "the warm rains
fall over all the land."

Then proudly the old man replied, "When I walk through the forest,
everything flees before me. The animals hide in their holes. The birds
rise from the lakes and the marshes, and fly to distant regions."

Softly the maiden answered, "When I walk through the forest, all is
bright and joyous. The animals come from their holes. The birds return
to the lakes and marshes. The leaves come back to the trees. The plants
lift up their heads to kiss the breezes. And where-ever my footsteps
wander, all the meadows wave their blossoms, all the woodlands ring with
music."


II


While they talked, the night departed. From his shining lodge of silver
came the sun. The air was warm and pleasant; the streams began to
murmur; the birds began to sing. And a scent of growing grasses was
wafted through the lodge.

The old man's face dropped upon his breast, and he slept. Then the
maiden saw more clearly the icy face before her--saw the icy face of
winter.

Slowly she passed her hands above his head. Streams of water ran from
his eyes, and his body shrunk and dwindled till it faded into the
air--vanished into the earth--and his clothing turned to green leaves.

The maiden took from her bosom the most precious flowers. Kneeling upon
the ground, she hid them all about among the leaves.

[Illustration: The maiden hides the flowers among the leaves]

"I give you my most precious flowers and my sweetest breath," she said,
"but all who would pluck you must do so upon bended knee."

Then the maiden moved away--through the forest and over the waking
fields; and wherever she stepped, and nowhere else in all the land,
grows the trailing arbutus.

--INDIAN LEGEND.



HIDDEN TREASURE

I


Once upon a time there was an old farmer named John Jacobs. He had heard
that treasures were found in odd places. He thought and thought about
such treasures until he could think of nothing else; and he spent all
his time hunting for them. How he wished he could find a pot of gold!

One morning he arose with a bright face and said to his wife, "At last,
Mary, I've found the treasure."

"No, I cannot believe it," she said.

"Yes," he answered; "at least it is as good as found. I am only waiting
until I have my breakfast. Then I will go out and bring it in."

"Oh, how did you find it?" asked the wife.

"I was told about it in a dream," said he.

"Where is it?"

"Under a tree in our orchard," said John.

"Oh, John, let us hurry and get it."

So they went out together into the orchard.

"Which tree is it under?" asked the wife.

John scratched his head and looked silly.

"I really do not know," he said.

"Oh, you foolish man," said the wife. "Why didn't you take the trouble
to notice?"

"I did notice," said he. "I saw the exact tree in my dream, but there
are so many trees, here that I am confused. There is only one thing to
do now. I must begin with the first tree and keep on digging until I
come to the one with the treasure under it."

This made the wife lose all hope. There were eighty apple trees and a
score of peach trees.

She sighed and said, "I suppose if you must, you must, but be careful
not to cut any of the roots."

By this time John was in a very bad humor. He went to work saying, "What
difference does it make if I cut all the roots? The whole orchard will
not bear one bushel of good apples or peaches. I don't know why, for in
father's time it bore wagonloads of choice fruit."

"Well, John," said his wife, "you know father used to give the trees a
great deal of attention."

But John grumbled to himself as he went on with his digging. He dug
three feet deep around the first tree, but no treasure was there. He
went to the next tree, but found nothing; then to the next and the next,
until he had dug around every tree in the orchard. He dug and dug, but
no pot of gold did he find.


II


The neighbors thought that John was acting queerly. They told other
people, who came to see what he was doing.

They would sit on the fence and make sly jokes about digging for hidden
treasure. They called the orchard "Jacobs' folly."

Soon John did not like to be seen in the orchard. He did not like to
meet his neighbors. They would laugh and say, "Well, John, how much
money did you get from the holes?"

This made John angry. At last he said, "I will sell the place and move
away."

"Oh, no," said the wife, "this has always been our home, and I cannot
think of leaving it. Go and fill the holes; then the neighbors will stop
laughing. Perhaps we shall have a little fruit this year, too. The heaps
of earth have stood in wind and frost for months, and that will help the
trees."

John did as his wife told him. He filled the holes with earth and
smoothed it over as level as before. By and by everybody forgot "Jacobs'
folly."

Soon the spring came. April was warm, and the trees burst into bloom.

"Mary," said John one bright spring day, "don't you think the blossoms
are finer than usual this year?"

"Yes, they look as they did when your father was alive," said his wife.

[Illustration: John's trees full of fruit]

By and by, the blooms fell, leaving a million little green apples and
peaches. Summer passed and autumn followed. The branches of the old
trees could hardly hold up all the fine fruit on them.

Now the neighbors came, not to make fun, but to praise. "How did you do
it?" they asked.

"The trees were old and needed attention," said John. "By turning the
soil and letting in the air, I gave them strength to bear fruit. I have
found the treasure after all, and I have learned a lesson. Tilling the
soil well is the way to get treasure from it."

--GRIMM.



THE LITTLE BROWN BROTHER


  Little brown brother, oh! little brown brother,
    Are you awake in the dark?
  Here we lie cozily, close to each other;
    Hark to the song of the lark--

  "Waken!" the lark says, "waken and dress you;
    Put on your green coats and gay,
  Blue sky will shine on you, sunshine caress you--
    Waken! 'tis morning--'tis May!"

  Little brown brother, oh! little brown brother,
    What kind of flower will you be?
  I'll be a poppy--all white, like my mother;
    Do be a poppy like me.

  What! you're a sunflower? How I shall miss you
    When you're grown golden and high!
  But I shall send all the bees up to kiss you;
    Little brown brother, good-by!

--EMILY NESBIT.



HOW THE FLOWERS GROW


  This is how the flowers grow;
  I have watched them and I know:

  First, above the ground is seen
  A tiny blade of purest green,
  Reaching up and peeping forth
  East and west, and south and north.

  Then the sunbeams find their way
  To the sleeping bud and say,
  "We are children of the sun
  Sent to wake thee, little one."

  And the leaflet opening wide
  Shows the tiny bud inside,
  Peeping with half-opened eye
  On the bright and sunny sky.

  Breezes from the west and south
  Lay their kisses on its mouth;
  Till the petals all are grown,
  And the bud's a flower blown.

--GABRIEL SETOUN.



WISE MEN OF GOTHAM


Once upon a time there were some wise men who lived in Gotham. Listen
and you will hear how wise they were.

Twelve of these wise men went fishing one day. Some went into the stream
and some stayed on dry ground. They caught many fish and had a good
time.

As they came home, one of the men said, "We have risked much wading in
that stream. I pray God no one of us is drowned."

"Why, one of us might be! Who knows?" cried another. "Let's see about
it. Twelve of us went fishing this morning. We must count and see if
twelve are returning."

So one man counted, "One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight,
nine, ten, eleven." And he did not count himself!

"Alas! One of us is drowned!" he cried.

"Woe be unto us! Let me count," said another. And he did not count
himself.

"Alas! alas!" he wailed; "truly one of us is drowned!"

Then every man counted, and each one failed to count himself.

"Alas! alas!" they all cried; "one of us is drowned! Which one is it?"

They went back to the shore, and they looked up and down for him that
was drowned. All the time they were lamenting loudly.

A courtier came riding by. "What are you seeking?" he asked, "and why
are you so sorrowful?"

"Oh," said they, "this day we came to fish in the stream. There were
twelve of us, but one is drowned."

"Why," said the courtier, "count yourselves and see how many there be."

Again they counted, and again each man failed to count himself.

"Well, this is sad," said the courtier, who saw how the mistake had been
made. "What will you give me if I find the twelfth man?"

"Sir," cried all together, "you may have all the money we own."

"Give me the money," said the courtier.

Then he began to count. He gave the first man a whack over the shoulders
and said, "There is one."

He gave the next a whack and said, "There is two." And so he counted
until he came to the last man. He gave this one a sounding blow, saying,
"And here is the twelfth."

"God bless you!" cried all the company. "You have found our neighbor."

--OLD ENGLISH STORY.



THE MILLER'S GUEST

I


A hunter who had ridden ahead in the chase was lost. The sun went down,
and darkness fell upon the forest. The hunter blew his horn, but no
answer came. What should he do?

At last he heard the sound of horse's hoofs. Some one was coming. Was it
friend or foe? The hunter stood still, and soon a miller rode out into
the moonlight.

"Pray, good fellow, be so kind as to tell me the way to Nottingham,"
said the hunter.

"Nottingham? Why should you be going to Nottingham? The king and his
court are there. It is not a place for the like of you," replied the
miller.

"Well, well, perhaps you are right, good miller," said the hunter. "And
yet who knows? I'll wager that the king is no better man than I am.
However, it is getting late, and lodging I must have. Will you give me
shelter for the night?"

"Nay, nay, not so fast," said the miller. "Stand forth and let me see if
you are a true man. Many thieves wear fine clothes these days."

The hunter stepped forward. "Well, and what do you think of me?" he
asked gayly. "Will you not give a stranger lodging?"

"How do I know that you have one penny in your purse?" asked the miller.
"You may carry your all on your back, for aught I know. I've heard of
lords who are like that."

"True, good miller, but I have gold. If it be forty pence, I will pay
it," said the hunter.

"If you are a true man, and have the pence, then lodging you may have.
My good wife may not like it, but we'll see," said the miller.

"Good!" cried the hunter. "And here's my hand on it."

"Nay, nay, not so fast," replied the miller. "I must know you better
before I shake hands. None but an honest man's hand will I take."

"Some day, my good miller," replied the hunter, "I hope to have you take
my hand in yours. Proud will I be when the day comes."


II


And so to the miller's house they went. The miller again looked at the
stranger and said, "I like his face well. He may stay with us, may he
not, good wife?"

"Yes, he is a handsome youth, but it's best not to go too fast," said
the good wife. "He may be a runaway servant. Let him show his passport,
and all shall be well."

The hunter bowed low, and said, "I have no passport, good dame, and I
never was any man's servant. I am but a poor courtier who has lost his
way. Pray give me lodging for the night. Your kindness I will surely
repay."

Then the wife whispered to the miller, "The youth is of good manners and
to turn him out would be sin."

"Yea, a well-mannered youth--and one who knows his betters when he sees
them," the miller replied. "Let the lad stay."

"Well, young man," said the wife, "you are welcome here; and well lodged
you shall be, though I do say it myself. You shall have a fresh bed with
good brown sheets."

"Aye," said the miller, "and you shall sleep with our own son Richard."

Then they all sat down to supper--such a supper: pudding, apple pie, and
good things of all kinds. Then at a wink from the miller, the wife
brought out a venison pasty.

"Eat!" said the miller. "This is dainty food."

"Faith!" cried the hunter, "I never before ate such meat."

"Pshaw!" said Richard. "We eat this every day."

"Every day? Where do you buy it?"

"Oh, never a penny pay we. In merry Sherwood Forest we find it. Now and
then, you see, we make bold with the king's deer."

"Then I think that it is venison," said the hunter.

"To be sure. Any fool would know that," replied Richard; "but say
nothing about it. We would not have the king hear of it."

"I'll keep your secret," said the hunter. "Don't fear. The king shall
never know more than he knows now."

And so the evening passed merrily. It was late when the guest sought his
bed, but right soundly did he sleep.

The next morning the miller, the good wife, and Richard came out to see
the hunter on his way. Just then a party of nobles rode up.

"There's the king!" cried one.

"Pardon, your majesty!" cried another, and all fell upon their knees
before the hunter.

The miller stood shaking and quaking, and for once his wife could not
speak. The king, with a grave face, drew his sword, but not a word did
he say.

The terrified miller threw himself at his ruler's feet, crying out for
mercy. Again the sword was raised, and down it fell, but lightly, upon
the miller's shoulder, and the king said:

[Illustration: The king knights the miller]

"Your kind courtesy I will repay; so I here dub thee Knight. Rise, Sir
John of Mansfield."

For many a day the miller and his wife told of the night the king spent
with them. And for many a day the king told of the time he was taken for
a thief and ate of his own deer in the miller's house.

--ENGLISH BALLAD (Adapted).



SADDLE TO RAGS

I


  This story I'm going to sing,
    I hope it will give you content,
  Concerning a silly old man
    That was going to pay his rent,
  With a till-a-dill, till-a-dill-dill,
    Till-a-dill, dill-a-dill, dee,
  Sing fol-de-dill, dill-de-dill, dill,
    Fol-de-dill, dill-de-dill, dee.

A silly old man said to his wife one day, "Well, 'tis time I paid my
rent. The landlord has been away for a year and a day, but now he is
back, and I must pay for twelve months."

"Yes, it's twice forty pounds that is due, and it should be paid," said
the good wife. "So much money in the house keeps me from sleeping at
night."

"Well, I'll bridle old Tib, and away we shall go," said the old man.
"Right glad I'll be, too, to be rid of the gold."

The silly old man bridled old Tib and saddled her too. And away they
started. As he was jogging along, a stranger came riding up on a fine
horse with fine saddle bags.

"Good morning, old man," said the stranger.

"Good morning," said the old man.

"How far are you going?"

"To tell the truth, kind sir, I am going just two miles," said the old
man.

"And where are you going?" asked the stranger.

"I am going to pay my rent, kind sir," said the old man. "I am but a
silly old man who farms a piece of ground. My rent for a half year is
forty pounds; but my landlord has been away for a year, and now I owe
him eighty pounds. Right glad I am to pay it."

"Eighty pounds! That is indeed a large sum," cried the stranger, "and
you ought not to tell anybody you carry so much. There are many thieves
about, and you might be robbed."

"Oh, never mind!" said the old man. "I do not fear thieves. My money is
safe in my saddle bags, on which I ride."

So they rode along most pleasantly.

When they came to a thick wood, the stranger pulled out a pistol and
said, "Stand still, and give me your money."

"Nay," said the old man. "The money is for my landlord. I will not give
it to you."

"Your money or your life!"

"Well, if you will have it, you can go for it," cried the old man, as he
threw his old saddle bags over a hedge.

The thief dismounted and said, "Stand here and hold my horse while I go
over the hedge. You are silly, but surely you can do that."

The thief climbed through the hedge. When he was on the other side, the
old man got on the thief's horse, and away he galloped.

"Stop, stop!" cried the thief. "And half of my share you shall have."

"Nay," cried the man. "I think I'll go on. I'd rather have what's in
your bag."

[Illustration: The old man gallops away]

And away he galloped, riding as he never rode before.


II


The thief thought there must be something in the old man's bags; so with
his big rusty knife he chopped them into rags. But no money did he find,
for the silly old man was not so silly as he seemed. His money was in
his pocket.

The old man rode on to his landlord's home and paid his rent. Then he
opened the thief's bag, which was glorious to behold. There were five
hundred pounds in gold and silver.

"Where did you get the silver?" asked the landlord. "And where did you
get the gold?"

"I met a proud fool on the way," said the old man with a laugh. "I
swapped horses with him, and he gave me this to boot."

"Well, well! But you're too old to go about with so much money," said
the landlord.

"Oh, I think no one would harm a silly old man like me," said the
farmer, as he rode away.

The old man went home by a narrow lane, and there he spied Tib tied to a
tree.

"The stranger did not like his trade, I fear," said he. "So I think I'll
take Tib home."

The old man went home much richer than when he left. When she heard the
story, the wife danced and sang for glee. "'Tis hard to fool my old
man," said she.

--ENGLISH BALLAD (_Adapted_).



[Illustration: The Rock-a-By Lady walking by]

THE ROCK-A-BY LADY


  The Rock-a-By Lady from Hushaby street
    Comes stealing; comes creeping;
  The poppies they hang from her head to her
      feet,
  And each hath a dream that is tiny and fleet--
  She bringeth her poppies to you, my sweet,
    When she findeth you sleeping!

  There is one little dream of a beautiful drum--
    "Rub-a-dub!" it goeth;
  There is one little dream of a big sugar-plum,
  And lo! thick and fast the other dreams come
  Of pop-guns that bang, and tin tops that hum,
    And a trumpet that bloweth!

  And dollies peep out of those wee little dreams
    With laughter and singing;
  And boats go a-floating on silvery streams,
  And the stars peek-a-boo with their own misty gleams,
  And up, up, and up, where the Mother Moon beams,
    The fairies go winging!

  Would you dream all these dreams that are tiny and fleet?
    They'll come to you sleeping;
  So shut the two eyes that are weary, my sweet,
  For the Rock-a-By Lady from Hushaby street
  With poppies that hang from her head to her feet,
    Comes stealing; comes creeping.

--EUGENE FIELD.



THE SANDMAN


  The rosy clouds float overhead,
    The sun is going down;
  And now the sandman's gentle tread
    Comes stealing through the town.
  "White sand, white sand," he softly cries,
    And as he shakes his hand,
  Straightway there lies on babies' eyes
    His gift of shining sand.
  Blue eyes, gray eyes, black eyes, and brown,
  As shuts the rose, they softly close,
    When he goes through the town.

  From sunny beaches far away--
    Yes, in another land--
  He gathers up at break of day
    His store of shining sand.
  No tempests beat that shore remote,
    No ships may sail that way;
  His little boat alone may float
    Within that lovely bay.
  Blue eyes, gray eyes, black eyes, and brown,
  As shuts the rose, they softly close,
    When he goes through the town.

[Illustration: The sandman]

  He smiles to see the eyelids close
    Above the happy eyes;
  And every child right well he knows,
    Oh, he is very wise!
  But, if as he goes through the land,
    A naughty baby cries,
  His other hand takes dull gray sand
    To close the wakeful eyes.
  Blue eyes, gray eyes, black eyes, and brown,
  As shuts the rose, they softly close,
    When he goes through the town.

  So when you hear the sandman's song
    Sound through the twilight sweet,
  Be sure you do not keep him long
    A-waiting on the street.
  Lie softly down, dear little head,
    Rest quiet, busy hands,
  Till, by your bed his good-night said,
    He strews the shining sands.
  Blue eyes, gray eyes, black eyes, and brown,
  As shuts the rose, they softly close,
    When he goes through the town.

--MARGARET VANDERGRIFT.



A DICTIONARY


To the Children: Below you will find the words in the Third Reader that
you may not know the meaning of, or how to pronounce. Some words have
more than one meaning. In looking for the meaning of a word, choose the
meaning that best fits the sentence in which the word occurs.

ad ven ture: a bold undertaking.
af fec tion: love.
a gree ment: a bargain.
al mond: a nut.
am ber: of the color of amber-yellow.
ap plaud ed: praised.
ar bu tus: a trailing plant with small pinkish-white blossoms.
A tri (Ah tree): a town in Italy.
aught: anything.

Bau cis (Bor sis): a Greek woman.
bel lows (lus): an instrument for blowing a fire, used by blacksmiths.
bil low: a great wave.
blithe (bl=ithe): joyous, glad.
bred: brought up.
bur dock: a coarse plant with bur-like heads.
card: an instrument for combing cotton, wool, or flax.
chase: hunt; pursuit.
chris ten ing: naming a child at baptism.
cliff: a high, steep face of rock.
com rade (kom rad): a mate, a companion.
Con al (C~on' al): an Irish lad.
con ceit ed: proud, vain.
con fess: to own; to admit.
coun cil: a small body called together for a trial, or to decide a matter.
court ier (court' yer): an attendant at the court of a prince.
crime: a wicked act punishable by law.
crouch: to stoop low.

dan ger: risk.
de li cious: pleasing to the taste.
de nied: disowned.
depths: deep part of sea.
de stroy: break up; kill.
dis tress: suffering of mind.
dock: a place between piers where vessels may anchor.
Don al (D~on' al): an Irish lad.
dor mouse (dor mous'): a small animal that looks like a squirrel.
drought (drout): want of water.
dub: call.
dumps: low spirits.

eaves: overhanging lower edges of a roof.
em bers: smouldering ashes.
em per or: ruler of an empire.
em press: wife of an emperor; a female ruler.
en chant ed: bewitched.
en e my: foe.
es tab lish: to found.
ex act ly: completely.
ex haust ed: tired, worn out.
ex tend ing: reaching.

fam ine: scarcity of food.
fes ti val: a time of feasting.
flax: a slender plant with blue flowers, used to make thread and cloth.
fol ly: foolishness.
foot man: a man servant.
forge: a place with its furnace where metal is heated and hammered into
    different shapes.
fra grance: sweetness.
free dom: independence, liberty.

gauz y: like gauze, thin.
Got ham (Got am): a village in Old England, commonly called G=o tham.
grate ful: thankful.
groom: a servant in charge of horses.
guard: one that guards; a watch.

hail ing: calling.
har bor: a protected body of water where vessels may anchor safely.
haught y: proud.
her ald: a messenger.
Ho ang ti (H=o ~ang tee): an emperor of China.
hoar y: white.
horse-chest nut: a tree.
hu man: like men.
hu mor: mood, disposition.

in no cent: guiltless.
in spect: examine.
in stant ly: at once.
in vent ed: made.

jest: joke.
ju ni per: an evergreen, tree.
jus tice: right treatment.

king dom: country belonging
to king or queen.
kirk: church.
knight: a mounted man-at-arms.

lad en: loaded.
la ment ed: wailed, wept.
lin en: thread or cloth made of flax.
lodge: dwelling place; wigwam.
loom: a machine for weaving threads into cloth.
lus cious: delicious.

Man i tou (too): a name given by the Indians to the "Great Spirit," or God.
marsh es: swamps.
mer cy: pity, kindness.
min is ter: a pastor, a clergyman.
mis for tune: bad fortune.
moc ca sin: Indian shoes.
moor: to secure in place, as a vessel: a great tract of waste land.
moult ed: shed feathers.

no bles: lords.
nurs er y: play room for children.

o blige: do a favor.
o rang ou tang: a kind of ape.
or der ly: regular; in order.

page: a youth training for knighthood.
pas try (p=as): article of food made with crust of paste (or dough) as a
    pie.
peas ant (p~es): a tiller of the soil.
pe can: a kind of nut.
Pe kin duck: a large, creamy white duck.
pest: a nuisance.
Phi le mon (F=i l=e' mon): a Greek peasant.
pil lar: a support.
pin ing: drooping; longing.
pound: a piece of English money, equal to about $5.00 in United States
    money.
prai rie: an extensive tract of level or rolling land.

rag ing: furious, violent.
rec og nized: known.
re flec tion: image.
ref uge: shelter.
re fused: declined to do.
reign ing (rain): ruling.
re mote: distant.
rest less: eager for change, discontented; unquiet.
re store: to return, to give back.
roe buck: male deer.
runt: an animal unusually small of its kind.

sad dle bags: a pair of pouches attached to a saddle, used to carry
    small articles.
Salis bur y (Sauls): a town in North Carolina.
sav age: wild, untamed.
scare crow: an object set up to scare crows and other birds away from
    crops.
score: the number twenty.
serv ice: benefit, favor.
shek el: ancient coin.
shreds: strips, fragments.
Si ling (Se): a Chinese empress.
sim ple ton: a foolish person.
six pence: six pennies--about twelve cents in United States money.
squire: a justice of the peace.
state ly: dignified, majestic.
stat ues: likeness of a human being cut out of stone.
steeped: soaked.
striv ing: laboring, endeavoring.
stub ble: stumps of grain left in ground, as after reaping.

tab lets: a flat piece on which to write.
tasks: work, undertaking.
tem pest: storm.
tem ple: a kind of church.
thriv ing: prospering, succeeding.
tid ings: news.
till ing: cultivating.
tim id ly: shyly.
tink er ing: mending.
tithing man (t=ith): officer who enforced good behavior.
tor por: numbness, dullness.
tread: step.
tri als: efforts, attempts.
troop: an armed force.


u su al: ordinary, common.

vain: proud, conceited; to no purpose.
van ished: disappeared.
ven i son (ven' z'n): flesh of deer.
vic to ry: triumph.
vol un teer: one who offers himself for a service.

wa ger (wa jer): bet.
wages: carries on.
wand: a small stick.
width: breadth.
wig wam: Indian tent.
wis dom: learning, knowledge.

yarn: thread.

Zeus (Z=us): a Greek god.



WORD LIST


This list contains the words in the Child's World Third Reader, except
those already used in the earlier books of this series, and a few that
present no difficulty in spelling, pronunciation or meaning.

9
Greece
Philemon
Baucis
unhappy
hives

10
gathered
couple
Zeus
beggars

11
attend
footsore
herbs
although
pitcher

13
disappeared
homeward

14
feeble
linden

15
treasure
lucky
Iris
precious

16
messenger
swift-footed
Mercury
awakened

17
hereafter
honest
upright

18
blossoms
luscious
harsh

19
hues
frolic
glistened
wrestled
scurried

21
fluttered
speckled
tender

22
parents
moment
remained
praised

25
zigzag
remote
comrade
blithe
amber
billows
stubble
bracing

26
plantation
spindle

28
woven
loom
ruffles

29
England
buttonholes

30
shepherd
shearers

32
dyers

33
colored
plaid

34
Hoangti
emperor
China
Si-ling
empress
suddenly

35
cocoons

37
dainty
linen

38
frightful
steeped

39
suffered
aprons

40
shreds
pulp
glorious
surprise
verses

41
isles
thousands
prayers

42
Hillmen
housewife
bargains

43
saucepan
aye
sixpence
tinkering

44
refused
muttered
vexed
chimney

45
scoured
spoiled
exclaimed

46
shelter
Dormouse
lest

47
gracious
lamented
invented

48
Atri
heralds
ye
complaint
message

49
guilty

50
arousing
justice

51
steed
undertone
jest

52
applauded

53
savage

54
dragged
judge
prison

55
denied
wisdom

56
labor
honeycomb

57
artists
extending
poets
affection
well-deserved

59
dreadful
worry
horrid
notice

62
business

65
perfectly
breath

67
Epaminondas
granny

75
service

76
obliged
gently

77
tremendous
marvelous

78
forbid
allow

81
caramels
almond
pecan
taffy

82
except
Christ

84
Pedro
altar
distress

86
stately
haughty

88
musician

90
family
scare
pantry

94
chocolate

95
whiskers
danger

101
huddled
wailed
usual
faint

102
cheerful
pardon

104
chorus
shriller
chubby
bundled

106
furniture
mirror
reflection

108
disgusted

110
satisfied
oiling

111
bow-legged
conceited

112
remarked
width

113
clattering
astonished

114
fault
recognized

115
shekels

116
impossible
caliph

117
courtier
presence
refused

119
companion

120
razors
agreement

121
instantly

122
cozy
drowsy

124
Puritans
Sabbath

125
Indians
worship

126
sermon
minister

127
tithingman
peppermint

130
freedom
regular
Vermont
able-bodied
Americans
volunteers

131
inspect

133
victory

134
president
Salisbury

135
impatient
governor

138
delicious
heartily

139
murmuring
papoose
prairie
Manitou

140
drought
council

142
declared
sleek

144
resin
selfish

147
mentioned
loose

149
hominy
sharpened

154
establish
harbor
moored
orderly

155
nursery
scattered

156
famine
Orang-outang

157
journey
magic

160
refuge
grateful
restore
innocent

161
favorite
whirlwind

162
kingdom
confess
rejoicing

163
penniless
simpleton
nevertheless

164
destroy
human

165
enchanted
tablets

166
performs
princesses

167
collected
pearls

168
depths
exactly
syrup

172
christening
godmothers

174
nightingale
spitefully

175
grieve
vanished
misfortune

177
embroidering
departed
royal

178
reigning
peasant
determined
guards
motionless

179
statues

181
canals
burdocks

182
parson
cheated

186
miserable
moor

189
terror
cruel

190
clumsy
matters

192
glossy
moulted
naked

193
horrible
sky-rocket

195
strength
turtle dove

196
Russian

199
juniper

201
trespass-money

202
mischief
damages
ringleader

205
gooseherd
excuse

206
Ireland

208
exhausted
diamonds

211
trousers
greedily

212
torpor
gauzy

213
fragrance
Killing-worth

214
squire
timidly

215
oriole
weevils
enemy
contradict

216
starvation
caterpillars
foe

218
arbutus
tempest

219
moccasins
embers
adventures

220
hoary
joyous
marshes
ringlets

221
shrunk
bosom
scent

223
treasures

224
confused
humor
score

225
attention
folly

227
million
tilling

228
caress

229
leaflet
petals

230
Gotham
woe

223
Nottingham
wager

234
aught
lodging

235
passport
youth
servant

236
venison
pasty
Sherwood

237
majesty
terrified

246
straightway
beaches

248
twilight
strews





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operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



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