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´╗┐Title: The Adventures of A Brownie - As Told to My Child by Miss Mulock
Author: Craik, Dinah Maria Mulock, 1826-1887
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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          NEW YORK



          Brownie and the Cook               5

          Brownie and the Cherry-tree       17

          Brownie in the Farmyard           26

          Brownie's Ride                    41

          Brownie on the Ice                58

          Brownie and the Clothes           73

          The Blackbird and the Rooks       88
          The Shaking of the Pear-tree      91
          The Wonderful Apple-tree          95
          The Jealous Boy                   98
          The Story of the Birkenhead       99
          Birds in the Snow                105
          The Little Comforter             107
          Don't Be Afraid                  108
          Girl and Boy                     109
          Agnes at Prayer                  110
          Going to Work                    111
          Three Companions                 112
          The Motherless Child             113
          The Wren's Nest                  115
          A Child's Smile                  116
          Over the Hills and Far Away      118
          The Two Raindrops                119
          The Year's End                   120
          Running After the Rainbow        121
          Dick and I                       123
          Grandpapa                        124
          Monsieur et Mademoiselle         125
          Young Dandelion                  127
          A September Robin                128





THERE was once a little Brownie, who lived--where do you think he lived?
in a coal-cellar.

Now a coal-cellar may seem a most curious place to choose to live in;
but then a Brownie is a curious creature--a fairy, and yet not one of
that sort of fairies who fly about on gossamer wings, and dance in the
moonlight, and so on. He never dances; and as to wings, what use would
they be to him in a coal-cellar? He is a sober, stay-at-home, household
elf--nothing much to look at, even if you did see him, which you are not
likely to do--only a little old man, about a foot high, all dressed in
brown, with a brown face and hands, and a brown peaked cap, just the
color of a brown mouse. And, like a mouse, he hides in corners--especially
kitchen corners, and only comes out after dark when nobody is about, and
so sometimes people call him Mr. Nobody.

I said you were not likely to see him. I never did, certainly, and never
knew any body that did; but still, if you were to go into Devonshire,
you would hear many funny stories about Brownies in general, and so I
may as well tell you the adventures of this particular Brownie, who
belonged to a family there; which family he had followed from house to
house, most faithfully, for years and years.

A good many people had heard him--or supposed they had--when there were
extraordinary noises about the house; noises which must have come from a
mouse or a rat--or a Brownie. But nobody had ever seen him except the
children--the three little boys and three little girls--who declared he
often came to play with them when they were alone, and was the nicest
companion in the world, though he was such an old man--hundreds of years
old! He was full of fun and mischief, and up to all sorts of tricks, but
he never did any body any harm unless they deserved it.

Brownie was supposed to live under one particular coal, in the darkest
corner of the cellar, which was never allowed to be disturbed. Why he
had chosen it nobody knew, and how he lived there, nobody knew either,
nor what he lived upon. Except that, ever since the family could
remember, there had always been a bowl of milk put behind the
coal-cellar door for the Brownie's supper. Perhaps he drank it--perhaps
he didn't: anyhow, the bowl was always found empty next morning. The old
Cook, who had lived all her life in the family, had never forgotten to
give Brownie his supper; but at last she died, and a young cook came in
her stead, who was very apt to forget every thing. She was also both
careless and lazy, and disliked taking the trouble to put a bowl of milk
in the same place every night for Mr. Nobody. "She didn't believe in
Brownies," she said; "she had never seen one, and seeing's believing."
So she laughed at the other servants, who looked very grave, and put
the bowl of milk in its place as often as they could, without saying
much about it.

But once, when Brownie woke up, at his usual hour for rising--ten
o'clock at night, and looked round in search of his supper--which was,
in fact, his breakfast--he found nothing there. At first he could not
imagine such neglect, and went smelling and smelling about for his bowl
of milk--it was not always placed in the same corner now--but in vain.

"This will never do," said he; and being extremely hungry, began running
about the coal-cellar to see what he could find. His eyes were as useful
in the dark as in the light--like a pussy-cat's; but there was nothing
to be seen--not even a potato paring, or a dry crust, or a well-gnawed
bone, such as Tiny the terrier sometimes brought into the coal-cellar
and left on the floor--nothing, in short, but heaps of coals and
coal-dust; and even a Brownie cannot eat that, you know.

"Can't stand this; quite impossible!" said the Brownie, tightening his
belt to make his poor little inside feel less empty. He had been asleep
so long--about a week, I believe, as was his habit when there was
nothing to do--that he seemed ready to eat his own head, or his boots,
or any thing. 'What's to be done? Since nobody brings my supper, I must
go and fetch it.'

He spoke quickly, for he always thought quickly, and made up his mind in
a minute. To be sure it was a very little mind, like his little body;
but he did the best he could with it, and was not a bad sort of old
fellow, after all. In the house he had never done any harm, and often
some good, for he frightened away all the rats, mice, and black-beetles.
Not the crickets--he liked them, as the old Cook had done: she said
they were such cheerful creatures, and always brought luck to the house.
But the young Cook could not bear them, and used to pour boiling water
down their holes, and set basins of beer for them with little wooden
bridges up to the brim, that they might walk up, tumble in, and be

So there was not even a cricket singing in the silent house when Brownie
put his head out of his coal-cellar door, which, to his surprise, he
found open. Old Cook used to lock it every night, but the young Cook had
left that key, and the kitchen and pantry keys too, all dangling in the
lock, so that any thief might have got in, and wandered all over the
house without being found out.

"Hurrah, here's luck!" cried Brownie, tossing his cap up in the air, and
bounding right through the scullery into the kitchen. It was quite
empty, but there was a good fire burning itself out--just for its own
amusement, and the remains of a capital supper spread on the
table--enough for half a dozen people being left still.

Would you like to know what there was? Devonshire cream, of course; and
part of a large dish of junket, which is something like curds and whey.
Lots of bread-and-butter and cheese, and half an apple-pudding. Also a
great jug of cider and another of milk, and several half-full glasses,
and no end of dirty plates, knives, and forks. All were scattered about
the table in the most untidy fashion, just as the servants had risen
from their supper, without thinking to put any thing away.

Brownie screwed up his little old face and turned up his button of a
nose, and gave a long whistle. You might not believe it, seeing he lived
in a coal-cellar; but really he liked tidiness, and always played his
pranks upon disorderly or slovenly folk.

[Illustration: He wanted his supper, and oh! what a supper he did
eat!--Page 11]

"Whew!" said he; "here's a chance. What a supper I'll get now!"

And he jumped on to a chair and thence to the table, but so quietly that
the large black cat with four white paws, called Muff, because she was
so fat and soft and her fur so long, who sat dozing in front of the
fire, just opened one eye and went to sleep again. She had tried to get
her nose into the milk-jug, but it was too small; and the junket-dish
was too deep for her to reach, except with one paw. She didn't care much
for bread and cheese and apple-pudding, and was very well fed besides;
so, after just wandering round the table, she had jumped down from it
again, and settled herself to sleep on the hearth.

But Brownie had no notion of going to sleep. He wanted his supper, and
oh! what a supper he did eat! first one thing and then another, and then
trying every thing all over again. And oh! what a lot he drank--first
milk and then cider, and then mixed the two together in a way that would
have disagreed with any body except a Brownie. As it was, he was obliged
to slacken his belt several times, and at last took it off altogether.
But he must have had a most extraordinary capacity for eating and
drinking--since, after he had nearly cleared the table, he was just as
lively as if he had had no supper at all.

Now his jumping was a little awkward, for there happened to be a clean
white tablecloth: as this was only Monday, it had had no time to get
dirty--untidy as the Cook was. And you know Brownie lived in a
coal-cellar, and his feet were black with running about in coal dust. So
wherever he trod, he left the impression behind, until at last the whole
tablecloth was covered with black marks.

Not that he minded this; in fact, he took great pains to make the cloth
as dirty as possible; and then laughing loudly, "Ho, ho, ho!" leaped on
to the hearth, and began teasing the cat; squeaking like a mouse, or
chirping like a cricket, or buzzing like a fly; and altogether
disturbing poor Pussy's mind so much, that she went and hid herself in
the farthest corner, and left him the hearth all to himself, where he
lay at ease till daybreak.

Then, hearing a slight noise overhead, which might be the servants
getting up, he jumped on to the table again--gobbled up the few
remaining crumbs for his breakfast, and scampered off to his
coal-cellar; where he hid himself under his big coal, and fell asleep
for the day.

Well, the Cook came downstairs rather earlier than usual, for she
remembered she had to clear off the remains of supper; but lo and
behold, there was nothing left to clear. Every bit of food was eaten
up--the cheese looked as if a dozen mice had been nibbling at it, and
nibbled it down to the very rind; the milk and cider were all drunk--and
mice don't care for milk and cider, you know. As for the apple-pudding,
it had vanished altogether; and the dish was licked as clean as if
Boxer, the yard-dog, had been at it in his hungriest mood.

"And my white table-cloth--oh, my clean white table-cloth! What can have
been done to it?" cried she, in amazement. For it was all over little
black footmarks, just the size of a baby's foot--only babies don't wear
shoes with nails in them, and don't run about and climb on kitchen
tables after all the family have gone to bed.

Cook was a little frightened; but her fright changed to anger when she
saw the large black cat stretched comfortably on the hearth. Poor Muff
had crept there for a little snooze after Brownie went away.

"You nasty cat! I see it all now; it's you that have eaten up all the
supper; it's you that have been on my clean table-cloth with your dirty

[Illustration: Cook beat poor Pussy till the creature ran mewing away]

They were white paws, and as clean as possible; but the Cook never
thought of that, any more than she did of the fact that cats don't
usually drink cider or eat apple-pudding.

"I'll teach you to come stealing food in this way; take that--and
that--and that!"

Cook got hold of a broom and beat poor Pussy till the creature ran
mewing away. She couldn't speak, you know--unfortunate cat! and tell
people that it was Brownie who had done it all.

Next night Cook thought she would make all safe and sure; so, instead of
letting the cat sleep by the fire, she shut her up in the chilly
coal-cellar, locked the door, put the key in her pocket, and went off to
bed--leaving the supper as before.

When Brownie woke up and looked out of his hole, there was, as usual, no
supper for him, and the cellar was close shut. He peered about, to try
and find some cranny under the door to creep out at, but there was none.
And he felt so hungry that he could almost have eaten the cat, who kept
walking to and fro in a melancholy manner--only she was alive, and he
couldn't well eat her alive: besides, he knew she was old, and had an
idea she might be tough; so he merely said, politely, "How do you do,
Mrs. Pussy?" to which she answered nothing--of course.

Something must be done, and luckily Brownies can do things which nobody
else can do. So he thought he would change himself into a mouse, and
gnaw a hole through the door. But then he suddenly remembered the cat,
who, though he had decided not to eat her, might take this opportunity
of eating him. So he thought it advisable to wait till she was fast
asleep, which did not happen for a good while. At length, quite tired
with walking about, Pussy turned round on her tail six times, curled
down in a corner, and fell fast asleep.

Immediately Brownie changed himself into the smallest mouse possible;
and, taking care not to make the least noise, gnawed a hole in the door,
and squeezed himself through, immediately turning into his proper shape
again, for fear of accidents.

The kitchen fire was at its last glimmer; but it showed a better supper
than even last night, for the Cook had had friends with her--a brother
and two cousins--and they had been exceedingly merry. The food they had
left behind was enough for three Brownies at least, but this one managed
to eat it all up. Only once, in trying to cut a great slice of beef, he
let the carving-knife and fork fall with such a clatter, that Tiny the
terrier, who was tied up at the foot of the stairs, began to bark
furiously. However, he brought her her puppy, which had been left in a
basket in a corner of the kitchen, and so succeeded in quieting her.

After that he enjoyed himself amazingly, and made more marks than ever
on the white table-cloth; for he began jumping about like a pea on a
trencher, in order to make his particularly large supper agree with him.

Then, in the absence of the cat, he teased the puppy for an hour or two,
till hearing the clock strike five, he thought it as well to turn into a
mouse again, and creep back cautiously into his cellar. He was only just
in time, for Muff opened one eye, and was just going to pounce upon him,
when he changed himself back into a Brownie. She was so startled that
she bounded away, her tail growing into twice its natural size, and her
eyes gleaming like round green globes. But Brownie only said, "Ha, ha,
ho!" and walked deliberately into his hole.

When Cook came downstairs and saw that the same thing had happened
again--that the supper was all eaten, and the table-cloth blacker than
ever with the extraordinary footmarks, she was greatly puzzled. Who
could have done it all? Not the cat, who came mewing out of the
coal-cellar the minute she unlocked the door. Possibly a rat--but then
would a rat have come within reach of Tiny?

"It must have been Tiny herself, or her puppy," which just came rolling
out of its basket over Cook's feet. "You little wretch! You and your
mother are the greatest nuisance imaginable. I'll punish you!"

And, quite forgetting that Tiny had been safely tied up all night, and
that her poor little puppy was so fat and helpless it could scarcely
stand on its legs, to say nothing of jumping on chairs and tables, she
gave them both such a thrashing that they ran howling together out of
the kitchen door, where the kind little kitchen-maid took them up in her

"You ought to have beaten the Brownie, if you could catch him," said
she, in a whisper. "He will do it again and again, you'll see, for he
can't bear an untidy kitchen. You'd better do as poor old Cook did, and
clear the supper things away, and put the odds and ends safe in the
larder; also," she added, mysteriously, "if I were you, I'd put a bowl
of milk behind the coal-cellar door."

"Nonsense!" answered the young Cook, and flounced away. But afterward
she thought better of it, and did as she was advised, grumbling all the
time, but doing it.

Next morning the milk was gone! Perhaps Brownie had drunk it up, anyhow
nobody could say that he hadn't. As for the supper, Cook having safely
laid it on the shelves of the larder, nobody touched it. And the
table-cloth, which was wrapped up tidily and put in the dresser drawer,
came out as clean as ever, with not a single black footmark upon it. No
mischief being done, the cat and the dog both escaped beating, and
Brownie played no more tricks with any body--till the next time.





THE "next time" was quick in coming, which was not wonderful,
considering there was a Brownie in the house. Otherwise the house was
like most other houses, and the family like most other families. The
children also: they were sometimes good, sometimes naughty, like other
children; but, on the whole, they deserved to have the pleasure of a
Brownie to play with them, as they declared he did--many and many a

A favorite play-place was the orchard, where grew the biggest
cherry-tree you ever saw. They called it their "castle," because it rose
up ten feet from the ground in one thick stem, and then branched out
into a circle of boughs, with a flat place in the middle, where two or
three children could sit at once. There they often did sit, turn by
turn, or one at a time--sometimes with a book, reading; and the biggest
boy made a sort of rope-ladder by which they could climb up and
down--which they did all winter, and enjoyed their "castle" very much.

But one day in spring they found their ladder cut away! The Gardener
had done it, saying it injured the tree, which was just coming into
blossom. Now this Gardener was a rather gruff man, with a growling
voice. He did not mean to be unkind, but he disliked children; he said
they bothered him. But when they complained to their mother about the
ladder, she agreed with Gardener that the tree must not be injured, as
it bore the biggest cherries in all the neighborhood--so big that the
old saying of "taking two bites at a cherry," came really true.

"Wait till the cherries are ripe," said she; and so the little people
waited, and watched it through its leafing and blossoming--such sheets
of blossom, white as snow!--till the fruit began to show, and grew large
and red on every bough.

At last one morning the mother said, "Children, should you like to help
gather the cherries to-day?"

"Hurrah!" they cried, "and not a day too soon; for we saw a flock of
starlings in the next field--and if we don't clear the tree, they will."

"Very well; clear it, then. Only mind and fill my basket quite full, for
preserving. What is over you may eat, if you like."

"Thank you, thank you!" and the children were eager to be off; but the
mother stopped them till she could get the Gardener and his ladder.

"For it is he must climb the tree, not you; and you must do exactly as
he tells you; and he will stop with you all the time and see that you
don't come to harm."

This was no slight cloud on the children's happiness, and they begged
hard to go alone.

"Please, might we? We will be so good!"

[Illustration: When the Gardener was steadying his ladder against the
trunk of the cherry-tree]

The mother shook her head. All the goodness in the world would not help
them if they tumbled off the tree, or ate themselves sick with cherries.
"You would not be safe, and I should be so unhappy!"

To make mother "unhappy" was the worst rebuke possible to these
children; so they choked down their disappointment, and followed the
Gardener as he walked on ahead, carrying his ladder on his shoulder. He
looked very cross, and as if he did not like the children's company at

They were pretty good, on the whole, though they chattered a good deal;
but Gardener said not a word to them all the way to the orchard. When
they reached it, he just told them to "keep out of his way and not
worrit him," which they politely promised, saying among themselves that
they should not enjoy their cherry-gathering at all. But children who
make the best of things, and try to be as good as they can, sometimes
have fun unawares.

When the Gardener was steadying his ladder against the trunk of the
cherry-tree, there was suddenly heard the barking of a dog, and a very
fierce dog, too. First it seemed close beside them, then in the
flower-garden, then in the fowl-yard.

Gardener dropped the ladder out of his hands. "It's that Boxer! He has
got loose again! He will be running after my chickens, and dragging his
broken chain all over my borders. And he is so fierce, and so delighted
to get free. He'll bite any body who ties him up, except me."

"Hadn't you better you go and see after him?"

Gardener thought it was the eldest boy who spoke, and turned round
angrily; but the little fellow had never opened his lips.

Here there was heard a still louder bark, and from a quite different
part of the garden.

"There he is--I'm sure of it! jumping over my bedding-out plants, and
breaking my cucumber frames. Abominable beast!--just let me catch him!"
Off Gardener darted in a violent passion, throwing the ladder down upon
the grass, and forgetting all about the cherries and the children.

The instant he was gone, a shrill laugh, loud and merry, was heard close
by, and a little brown old man's face peeped from behind the

"How d'ye do?--Boxer was me. Didn't I bark well? Now I'm come to play
with you."

The children clapped their hands; for they knew they were going to have
some fun if Brownie was there--he was the best little playfellow in the
world. And then they had him all to themselves. Nobody ever saw him
except the children.

"Come on!" cried he, in his shrill voice, half like an old man's, half
like a baby's. "Who'll begin to gather the cherries?"

[Illustration: A little brown old man's face peeped from behind the
cherry-tree.--Page 20]

They all looked blank; for the tree was so high to where the branches
sprang, and besides, their mother had said they were not to climb. And
the ladder lay flat upon the grass--far too heavy for little hands to

"What! you big boys don't expect a poor little fellow like me to lift
the ladder all by myself? Try! I'll help you."

Whether he helped or not, no sooner had they taken hold of the ladder
than it rose up, almost of its own accord, and fixed itself quite safely
against the tree.

"But we must not climb--mother told us not," said the boys, ruefully.
"Mother said we were to stand at the bottom and pick up the cherries."

"Very well. Obey your mother. I'll just run up the tree myself."

Before the words were out of his mouth Brownie darted up the ladder like
a monkey, and disappeared among the fruit-laden branches.

The children looked dismayed for a minute, till they saw a merry brown
face peeping out from the green leaves at the very top of the tree.

"Biggest fruit always grows highest," cried the Brownie. "Stand in a
row, all you children. Little boys, hold out your caps: little girls,
make a bag of your pinafores. Open your mouths and shut your eyes, and
see what the queen will send you."

They laughed and did as they were told; whereupon they were drowned in a
shower of cherries--cherries falling like hailstones, hitting them on
their heads, their cheeks, their noses--filling their caps and
pinafores, and then rolling and tumbling on to the grass, till it was
strewn thick as leaves in autumn with the rosy fruit.

What a glorious scramble they had--these three little boys and three
little girls! How they laughed and jumped and knocked their heads
together in picking up the cherries, yet never quarreled--for there were
such heaps, it would have been ridiculous to squabble over them; and
besides, whenever they began to quarrel, Brownie always ran away. Now he
was the merriest of the lot; ran up and down the tree like a cat, helped
to pick up the cherries, and was first-rate at filling the large

"We were to eat as many as we liked, only we must first fill the
basket," conscientiously said the eldest girl; upon which they all set
to at once, and filled it to the brim.

"Now we'll have a dinner-party," cried the Brownie; and squatted down
like a Turk, crossed his queer little legs, and sticking his elbows upon
his knees, in a way that nobody but a Brownie could manage. "Sit in a
ring! sit in a ring! and we'll see who can eat fastest."

The children obeyed. How many cherries they devoured, and how fast they
did it, passes my capacity of telling. I only hope they were not ill
next day, and that all the cherry-stones they swallowed by mistake did
not disagree with them. But perhaps nothing does disagree with one when
one dines with a Brownie. They ate so much, laughing in equal
proportion, that they had quite forgotten the Gardener--when, all of a
sudden, they heard him clicking angrily the orchard gate, and talking to
himself as he walked through.

"That nasty dog! It wasn't Boxer, after all. A nice joke! to find him
quietly asleep in his kennel after having hunted him, as I thought, from
one end of the garden to the other! Now for the cherries and the
children--bless us, where are the children? And the cherries? Why, the
tree is as bare as a blackthorn in February! The starlings have been at
it, after all. Oh dear! oh dear!"

"Oh dear! oh dear!" echoed a voice from behind the tree, followed by
shouts of mocking laughter. Not from the children--they sat as demure as
possible, all in a ring, with their hands before them, and in the centre
the huge basket of cherries, piled as full as it could possibly hold.
But the Brownie had disappeared.

"You naughty brats, I'll have you punished!" cried the Gardener, furious
at the laughter, for he never laughed himself. But as there was nothing
wrong; the cherries being gathered--a very large crop--and the ladder
found safe in its place--it was difficult to say what had been the harm
done and who had done it.

So he went growling back to the house, carrying the cherries to the
mistress, who coaxed him into good temper again, as she sometimes did;
bidding also the children to behave well to him, since he was an old
man, and not really bad--only cross. As for the little folks, she had
not the slightest intention of punishing them; and, as for Brownie, it
was impossible to catch him. So nobody was punished at all.





WHICH was a place where he did not often go, for he preferred being warm
and snug in the house. But when he felt himself ill-used, he would
wander anywhere, in order to play tricks upon those whom he thought had
done him harm; for, being only a Brownie, and not a man, he did not
understand that the best way to revenge yourself upon your enemies is
either to let them alone or to pay them back good for evil--it
disappoints them so much, and makes them so exceedingly ashamed of

One day Brownie overheard the Gardener advising the Cook to put sour
milk into his bowl at night, instead of sweet.

"He'd never find out the difference, no more than the pigs do. Indeed,
it's my belief that a pig, or dog, or something, empties the bowl, and
not a Brownie, at all. It's just clean waste--that's what I say."

"Then you'd better hold your tongue, and mind your own business,"
returned the Cook, who was of a sharp temper, and would not stand being
meddled with. She began to abuse the Gardener soundly; but his wife, who
was standing by, took his part, as she always did when any third party
scolded him. So they all squabbled together, till Brownie, hid under his
coal, put his little hands over his little ears.

"Dear me, what a noise these mortals do make when they quarrel! They
quite deafen me. I must teach them better manners."

But when the Cook slammed the door to, and left Gardener and his wife
alone, they too began to dispute between themselves.

"You make such a fuss over your nasty pigs, and get all the scraps for
them," said the wife. "It's of much more importance that I should have
everything Cook can spare for my chickens. Never were such fine chickens
as my last brood!"

"I thought they were ducklings."

"How you catch me up, you rude old man! They are ducklings, and
beauties, too--even though they have never seen water. Where's the pond
you promised to make for me, I wonder?"

"Rubbish, woman! If my cows do without a pond, your ducklings may. And
why will you be so silly as to rear ducklings at all? Fine fat chickens
are a deal better. You'll find out your mistake some day."

"And so will you when that old Alderney runs dry. You'll wish you had
taken my advice, and fattened and sold her."

"Alderney cows won't sell for fattening, and women's advice is never
worth twopence. Yours isn't worth even a half-penny. What are you
laughing at?"

"I wasn't laughing," said the wife, angrily; and, in truth, it was not
she, but little Brownie, running under the barrow which the Gardener was
wheeling along, and very much amused that people should be so silly as
to squabble about nothing.

It was still early morning; for, whatever this old couple's faults might
be, laziness was not one of them. The wife rose with the dawn to feed
her poultry and collect her eggs; the husband also got through as much
work by breakfast-time as many an idle man does by noon. But Brownie had
been beforehand with them this day.

When all the fowls came running to be fed, the big Brahma hen who had
watched the ducklings was seen wandering forlornly about, and clucking
mournfully for her young brood--she could not find them anywhere. Had
she been able to speak, she might have told how a large white Aylesbury
duck had waddled into the farmyard, and waddled out again, coaxing them
after her, no doubt in search of a pond. But missing they were, most

"Cluck, cluck, cluck!" mourned the miserable hen-mother--and, "Oh, my
ducklings, my ducklings!" cried the Gardener's wife--"Who can have
carried off my beautiful ducklings?"

"Rats, maybe," said the Gardener, cruelly, as he walked away. And as he
went he heard the squeak of a rat below his wheelbarrow. But he could
not catch it, any more than his wife could catch the Aylesbury duck. Of
course not. Both were--the Brownie!

Just at this moment the six little people came running into the
farmyard. When they had been particularly good, they were sometimes
allowed to go with Gardener a-milking, each carrying his or her own mug
for a drink of milk, warm from the cow. They scampered after him--a
noisy tribe, begging to be taken down to the field, and holding out
their six mugs entreatingly.

"What! six cupfuls of milk, when I haven't a drop to spare, and Cook is
always wanting more? Ridiculous nonsense! Get along with you; you may
come to the field--I can't hinder that--but you'll get no milk to-day.
Take your mugs back again to the kitchen."

[Illustration: A noisy tribe, holding out their six mugs entreatingly.]

The poor little folks made the best of a bad business, and obeyed; then
followed Gardener down to the field, rather dolefully. But it was such a
beautiful morning that they soon recovered their spirits. The grass
shone with dew, like a sheet of diamonds, the clover smelled so sweet,
and two skylarks were singing at one another high up in the sky. Several
rabbits darted past, to their great amusement, especially one very large
rabbit--brown, not gray--which dodged them in and out, and once nearly
threw Gardener down, pail and all, by running across his feet; which set
them all laughing, till they came where Dolly, the cow, lay chewing the
cud under a large oak-tree.

It was great fun to stir her up, as usual, and lie down, one after the
other, in the place where she had lain all night long, making the grass
flat, and warm, and perfumy with her sweet breath. She let them do it,
and then stood meekly by; for Dolly was the gentlest cow in the world.

But this morning something strange seemed to possess her. She altogether
refused to be milked--kicked, plunged, tossed over the pail, which was
luckily empty.

"Bless the cow! what's wrong with her? It's surely you children's fault.
Stand off, the whole lot of you. Soh, Dolly! good Dolly!"

But Dolly was any thing but good. She stood switching her tail, and
looking as savage as so mild an animal possibly could look.

"It's all your doing, you naughty children! You have been playing her
some trick, I know," cried the Gardener, in great wrath.

They assured him they had done nothing, and indeed, they looked as quiet
as mice and as innocent as lambs. At length the biggest boy pointed out
a large wasp which had settled in Dolly's ear.

"That accounts for everything," said the Gardener.

But it did not mend everything; for when he tried to drive it away it
kept coming back and back again, and buzzing round his own head and the
cow's with a voice that the children thought was less like a buzz of a
wasp than the sound of a person laughing. At length it frightened Dolly
to such an extent that, with one wild bound she darted right away, and
galloped off to the farther end of the field.

"I'll get a rope and tie her legs together," cried the Gardener,
fiercely. "She shall repent giving me all this trouble--that she shall!"

"Ha, ha, ha!" laughed somebody. The Gardener thought it was the
children, and gave one of them an angry cuff as he walked away. But they
knew it was somebody else, and were not at all surprised when, the
minute his back was turned, Dolly came walking quietly back, led by a
little wee brown man who scarcely reached up to her knees. Yet she let
him guide her, which he did as gently as possible, though the string he
held her by was no thicker than a spider web, floating from one of her

"Soh, Dolly! good Dolly!" cried Brownie, mimicking the Gardener's voice.
"Now we'll see what we can do. I want my breakfast badly--don't you,
little folks?"

Of course they did, for the morning air made them very hungry.

"Very well--wait a bit, though. Old people should be served first, you
know. Besides, I want to go to bed."

"Go to bed in the daylight!" The children all laughed, and then looked
quite shy and sorry, lest they might have seemed rude to the little
Brownie. But he--he liked fun; and never took offence when none was

He placed himself on the milking-stool, which was so high that his
little legs were dangling half-way down, and milked and milked--Dolly
standing as still as possible--till he had filled the whole pail. Most
astonishing cow! she gave as much as two cows; and such delicious milk
as it was--all frothing and yellow--richer than even Dolly's milk had
ever been before. The children's mouths watered for it, but not a word
said they--even when, instead of giving it to them, Brownie put his own
mouth to the pail, and drank and drank, till it seemed as if he were
never going to stop. But it was decidedly a relief to them when he
popped his head up again, and lo! the pail was as full as ever!

"Now, little ones, now's your turn. Where are your mugs?"

All answered mournfully, "We've got none. Gardener made us take them
back again."

"Never mind--all right. Gather me half a dozen of the biggest buttercups
you can find."

"What nonsense!" thought the children; but they did it. Brownie laid the
flowers in a row upon the eldest girl's lap--blew upon them one by one,
and each turned into the most beautiful golden cup that ever was seen!

"Now, then, every one take his own mug, and I'll fill it."

He milked away--each child got a drink, and then the cups were filled
again. And all the while Dolly stood as quiet as possible--looking
benignly round, as if she would be happy to supply milk to the whole
parish, if the Brownie desired it.

"Soh, Dolly! Thank you, Dolly!" said he, again, mimicking the Gardener's
voice, half growling, half coaxing. And while he spoke, the real voice
was heard behind the hedge. There was a sound as of a great wasp flying
away, which made Dolly prick up her ears, and look as if the old
savageness was coming back upon her. The children snatched up their
mugs, but there was no need, they had all turned into buttercups again.

Gardener jumped over the stile, as cross as two sticks, with an old rope
in his hand.

"Oh, what a bother I've had! Breakfast ready, and no milk yet--and such
a row as they are making over those lost ducklings. Stand back, you
children, and don't hinder me a minute. No use begging--not a drop of
milk shall you get. Hillo, Dolly? Quiet old girl!"

Quiet enough she was this time--but you might as well have milked a
plaster cow in a London milking-shop. Not one ringing drop resounded
against the empty pail; for, when they peeped in, the children saw, to
their amazement, that it was empty.

[Illustration: Each child got a drink, and then the cups were filled
again.--Page 32]

"The creature's bewitched!" cried the Gardener, in a great fury. "Or
else somebody has milked her dry already. Have you done it? or you?" he
asked each of the children.

They might have said No--which was the literal truth--but then it would
not have been the whole truth, for they knew quite well that Dolly had
been milked, and also who had done it. And their mother had always
taught them that to make a person believe a lie is nearly as bad as
telling him one. Yet still they did not like to betray the kind little
Brownie. Greatly puzzled, they hung their heads and said nothing.

"Look in your pail again," cried a voice from the other side of Dolly.
And there at the bottom was just the usual quantity of milk--no more and
no less.

The Gardener was very much astonished. "It must be the Brownie!"
muttered he, in a frightened tone; and, taking off his hat, "Thank you,
sir," said he to Mr. Nobody--at which the children all burst out
laughing. But they kept their own counsel, and he was afraid to ask them
any more questions.

By-and-by his fright wore off a little. "I only hope the milk is good
milk, and will poison nobody," said he, sulkily. "However, that's not my
affair. You children had better tell your mother all about it. I left
her in the farmyard in a pretty state of mind about her ducklings."

Perhaps Brownie heard this, and was sorry, for he liked the children's
mother, who had always been kind to him. Besides, he never did any body
harm who did not deserve it; and though, being a Brownie, he could
hardly be said to have a conscience, he had something which stood in the
place of one--a liking to see people happy rather than miserable.

So, instead of going to bed under his big coal for the day, when, after
breakfast, the children and their mother came out to look at a new brood
of chickens, he crept after them and hid behind the hencoop where the
old mother-hen was put, with her young ones round her.

There had been great difficulty in getting her in there, for she was a
hen who hatched her brood on independent principles. Instead of sitting
upon the nice nest that the Gardener made for her, she had twice gone
into a little wood close by and made a nest for herself, which nobody
could ever find; and where she hatched in secret, coming every second
day to be fed, and then vanishing again, till at last she re-appeared in
triumph, with her chickens running after her. The first brood there had
been twelve, but of this there were fourteen--all from her own eggs, of
course, and she was uncommonly proud of them. So was the Gardener, so
was the mistress--who liked all young things. Such a picture as they
were! fourteen soft, yellow, fluffy things, running about after their
mother. It had been a most troublesome business to catch--first her, and
then them, to put them under the coop. The old hen resisted, and pecked
furiously at Gardener's legs, and the chickens ran about in frantic
terror, chirping wildly in answer to her clucking.

At last, however, the little family was safe in shelter, and the
chickens counted over, to see that none had been lost in the scuffle.
How funny they were! looking so innocent and yet so wise, as chickens
do--peering out at the world from under their mother's wing, or hopping
over her back, or snuggled all together under her breast, so that
nothing was seen of them but a mass of yellow legs, like a great

"How happy the old hen is," said the children's mother, looking on, and
then looking compassionately at that other forlorn old hen, who had
hatched the ducklings, and kept wandering about the farmyard, clucking
miserably, "Those poor ducklings, what can have become of them? If rats
had killed them, we should have found feathers or something; and weasels
would have sucked their brains and left them. They must have been
stolen, or wandered away, and died of cold and hunger--my poor

The mistress sighed, for she could not bear any living thing to suffer.
And the children nearly cried at the thought of what might be happening
to their pretty ducklings. That very minute a little wee brown face
peered through a hole in the hencoop, making the old mother-hen fly
furiously at it--as she did at the slightest shadow of an enemy to her
little ones. However, no harm happened--only a guinea-fowl suddenly ran
across the farmyard, screaming in its usual harsh voice. But it was not
the usual sort of guinea-fowl, being larger and handsomer than any of

"Oh, what a beauty of a creature! how did it ever come into our
farmyard," cried the delighted children; and started off after it, to
catch it if possible.

But they ran, and they ran--through the gate and out into the lane; and
the guinea-fowl still ran on before them, until, turning round a corner,
they lost sight of it, and immediately saw something else, equally
curious. Sitting on the top of a big thistle--so big that he must have
had to climb it just like a tree--was the Brownie. His legs were
crossed, and his arms too, his little brown cap was stuck knowingly on
one side, and he was laughing heartily.

"How do you do? Here I am again. I thought I wouldn't go to bed after
all. Shall I help you to find the ducklings? Very well! come along."

They crossed the field, Brownie running beside them, and as fast as they
could, though he looked such an old man; and sometimes turning over on
legs and arms like a Catherine wheel--which they tried to imitate, but
generally failed, and only bruised their fingers and noses.

He lured them on and on till they came to the wood, and to a green path
in it, which well as they knew the neighborhood, none of the children
had ever seen before. It led to a most beautiful pond, as clear as
crystal and as blue as the sky. Large trees grew round it, dipping their
branches in the water, as if they were looking at themselves in a glass.
And all about their roots were quantities of primroses--the biggest
primroses the little girls had ever seen. Down they dropped on their fat
knees, squashing more primroses than they gathered, though they tried to
gather them all; and the smallest child even began to cry because her
hands were so full that the flowers dropped through her fingers. But the
boys, older and more practical, rather despised primroses.

"I thought we had come to look for ducklings," said the eldest. "Mother
is fretting dreadfully about her ducklings. Where can they be?"

"Shut your eyes, and you'll see," said the Brownie, at which they all
laughed, but did it; and when they opened their eyes again, what should
they behold but a whole fleet of ducklings sailing out from the roots of
an old willow-tree, one after the other, looking as fat and content as
possible, and swimming as naturally as if they had lived on a pond--and
this particularly pond, all their days.

"Count them," said the Brownie, "the whole eight--quite correct. And
then try and catch them--if you can."

Easier said than done. The boys set to work with great
satisfaction--boys do so enjoy hunting something. They coaxed them--they
shouted at them--they threw little sticks at them; but as soon as they
wanted them to go one way the fleet of ducklings immediately turned
round and sailed another way, doing it so deliberately and majestically,
that the children could not help laughing. As for little Brownie, he sat
on a branch of the willow-tree, with his legs dangling down to the
surface of the pond, kicking at the water-spiders, and grinning with all
his might. At length, quite tired out, in spite of their fun, the
children begged for his help, and he took compassion on them.

"Turn round three times and see what you can find," shouted he.

Immediately each little boy found in his arms, and each little girl in
her pinafore, a fine fat duckling. And there being eight of them, the
two elder children had each a couple. They were rather cold and damp,
and slightly uncomfortable to cuddle, ducks not being used to cuddling.
Poor things! they struggled hard to get away. But the children hugged
them tight, and ran as fast as their legs could carry them through the
wood, forgetting, in their joy, even to say "Thank you" to the little

When they reached their mother she was as glad as they, for she never
thought to see her ducklings again; and to have them back alive and
uninjured, and watch them running to the old hen, who received them with
an ecstasy of delight, was so exciting, that nobody thought of asking a
single question as to where they had been found.

When the mother did ask, the children told her about Brownie's taking
them to the beautiful pond--and what a wonderful pond it was; how green
the trees were round it; and how large the primroses grew. They never
tired of talking about it and seeking for it. But the odd thing was
that, seek as they might, they never could find it again. Many a day did
the little people roam about one by one, or all together, round the
wood, often getting themselves sadly draggled with mud and torn with
brambles--but the beautiful pond they never found again.

Nor did the ducklings, I suppose; for they wandered no more from the
farmyard, to the old mother-hen's great content. They grew up into fat
and respectable ducks--five white ones and three gray ones--waddling
about, very content, though they never saw water, except the tank which
was placed for them to paddle in. They lived a lazy, peaceful, pleasant
life for a long time, and were at last killed and eaten with green peas,
one after the other, to the family's great satisfaction, if not to their





FOR the little Brownie, though not given to horsemanship, did once take
a ride, and a very remarkable one it was. Shall I tell you all about it?

The six little children got a present of something they had longed for
all their lives--a pony. Not a rocking-horse, but a real live pony--a
Shetland pony, too, which had traveled all the way from the Shetland
Isles to Devonshire--where every body wondered at it, for such a
creature had not been seen in the neighborhood for years and years. She
was no bigger than a donkey, and her coat, instead of being smooth like
a horse's, was shaggy like a young bear's. She had a long tail, which
had never been cut, and such a deal of hair in her mane and over her
eyes that it gave her quite a fierce countenance. In fact, among the
mild and tame Devonshire beasts, the little Shetland pony looked almost
like a wild animal. But in reality she was the gentlest creature in the
world. Before she had been many days with them, she began to know the
children quite well; followed them about, ate corn out of the bowl they
held out to her; nay, one day, when the eldest little girl offered her
bread-and-butter, she stooped her head and took it from the child's
hand, just like a young lady. Indeed, Jess--that was her name--was
altogether so lady-like in her behavior, that more than once Cook
allowed her to walk in at the back-door, when she stood politely warming
her nose at the kitchen-fire for a minute or two, then turned round and
as politely walked out again. But she never did any mischief; and was so
quiet and gentle a creature that she bade fair soon to become as great a
pet in the household as the dog, the cat, the kittens, the puppies, the
fowls, the ducks, the cow, the pig, and all the other members of the

The only one who disliked her, and grumbled at her, was the Gardener.
This was odd; because, though cross to children, the old man was kind to
dumb beasts. Even his pig knew his voice and grunted, and held out his
nose to be scratched; and he always gave each successive pig a name,
Jack or Dick, and called them by it, and was quite affectionate to them,
one after the other, until the very day that they were killed. But they
were English pigs--and the pony was Scotch--and the Devonshire Gardener
hated every thing Scotch, he said; besides, he was not used to groom's
work, and the pony required such a deal of grooming on account of her
long hair. More than once Gardener threatened to clip it short, and turn
her into a regular English pony, but the children were in such distress
and mother forbade any such spoiling of Jessie's personal appearance.

At length, to keep things smooth, and to avoid the rough words and even
blows which poor Jess sometimes got, they sought in the village for a
boy to look after her, and found a great rough, shock-headed lad named
Bill, who, for a few shillings a week, consented to come up every
morning and learn the beginning of a groom's business; hoping to end, as
his mother said he should, in sitting, like the squire's fat coachman,
as broad as he was long, on the top of the hammer-cloth of a grand
carriage, and do nothing all day but drive a pair of horses as stout as
himself a few miles along the road and back again.

Bill would have liked this very much, he thought, if he could have been
a coachman all at once, for if there was one thing he disliked, it was
work. He much preferred to lie in the sun all day and do nothing; and he
only agreed to come and take care of Jess because she was such a very
little pony, that looking after her seemed next door to doing nothing.
But when he tried it, he found his mistake. True, Jess was a very gentle
beast, so quiet that the old mother-hen with fourteen chicks used,
instead of roosting with the rest of the fowls, to come regularly into
the portion of the cow-shed which was partitioned off for a stable, and
settle under a corner of Jess's manger for the night; and in the morning
the chicks would be seen running about fearlessly among her feet and
under her very nose.

But, for all that, she required a little management, for she did not
like her long hair to be roughly handled; it took a long time to clean
her; and, though she did not scream out like some silly little children
when her hair was combed, I am afraid she sometimes kicked and bounced
about, giving Bill a deal of trouble--all the more trouble, the more
impatient Bill was.

And then he had to keep within call, for the children wanted their pony
at all hours. She was their own especial property, and they insisted
upon learning to ride--even before they got a saddle. Hard work it was
to stick on Jess's bare back, but by degrees the boys did it, turn and
turn about, and even gave their sisters a turn too--a very little
one--just once round the field and back again, which was quite enough,
they considered, for girls. But they were very kind to their little
sisters, held them on so that they could not fall, and led Jess
carefully and quietly: and altogether behaved as elder brothers should.

Nor did they squabble very much among themselves, though sometimes it
was rather difficult to keep their turns all fair, and remember
accurately which was which. But they did their best, being, on the
whole, extremely good children. And they were so happy to have their
pony, that they would have been ashamed to quarrel over her.

Also, one very curious thing kept them on their good behavior. Whenever
they did begin to misconduct themselves--to want to ride out of their
turns, or to domineer over one another, or the boys, joining together,
tried to domineer over the girls, as I grieve to say boys not seldom
do--they used to hear in the air, right over their heads, the crack of
an unseen whip. It was none of theirs, for they had not got a whip; that
was a felicity which their father had promised when they could all ride
like a young gentleman and ladies; but there was no mistaking the
sound--indeed, it always startled Jess so that she set off galloping,
and could not be caught again for many minutes.

This happened several times, until one of them said, "Perhaps it's the
Brownie." Whether it was or not, it made them behave better for a good
while; till one unfortunate day the two eldest began contending which
should ride foremost and which hindmost on Jess's back, when
"Crick--crack!" went the whip in the air, frightening the pony so much
that she kicked up her heels, tossed both the boys over her head, and
scampered off, followed by a loud "Ha, ha, ha!"

It certainly did not come from the two boys, who had fallen--quite
safely, but rather unpleasantly--into a large nettle-bed; whence they
crawled out, rubbing their arms and legs, and looking too much ashamed
to complain. But they were rather frightened and a little cross, for
Jess took a skittish fit, and refused to be caught and mounted again,
till the bell rang for school--when she grew as meek as possible. Too
late--for the children were obliged to run indoors, and got no more
rides for the whole day.

Jess was from this incident supposed to be on the same friendly terms
with Brownie as were the rest of the household. Indeed, when she came,
the children had taken care to lead her up to the coal-cellar door and
introduce her properly--for they knew Brownie was very jealous of
strangers, and often played them tricks. But after that piece of
civility he would be sure, they thought, to take her under his
protection. And sometimes, when the little Shetlander was restless and
pricked up her ears, looking preternaturally wise under those shaggy
brows of hers, the children used to say to one another, "Perhaps she
sees the Brownie."

Whether she did or not, Jess sometimes seemed to see a good deal that
others did not see, and was apparently a favorite with the Brownie, for
she grew and thrived so much that she soon became the pride and delight
of the children and of the whole family. You would hardly have known her
for the rough, shaggy, half-starved little beast that had arrived a few
weeks before. Her coat was so silky, her limbs so graceful, and her head
so full of intelligence, that every body admired her. Then even Gardener
began to admire her too.

"I think I'll get upon her back; it will save me walking down to the
village," said he, one day. And she actually carried him--though, as his
feet nearly touched the ground, it looked as if the man were carrying
the pony, and not the pony the man. And the children laughed so
immoderately, that he never tried it afterward.

Nor Bill neither, though he had once thought he should like a ride, and
got astride on Jess; but she quickly ducked her head down, and he
tumbled over it. Evidently she had her own tastes as to her riders, and
much preferred little people to big ones.

Pretty Jess! when cantering round the paddock with the young folk she
really was quite a picture. And when at last she got a saddle--a new,
beautiful saddle, with a pommel to take off and on, so as to suit both
boys and girls--how proud they all were, Jess included! That day they
were allowed to take her into the market-town--Gardener leading her, as
Bill could not be trusted--and every body, even the blacksmith, who
hoped by-and-by to have the pleasure of shoeing her, said, what a
beautiful pony she was!

After this, Gardener treated Jess a great deal better, and showed Bill
how to groom her, and kept him close at it too, which Bill did not like
at all. He was a very lazy lad, and whenever he could shirk work he did
it; and many a time when the children wanted Jess, either there was
nobody to saddle her, or she had not been properly groomed, or Bill was
away at his dinner, and they had to wait till he came back and could put
her in order to be taken out for a ride like a genteel animal--which I
am afraid neither pony nor children enjoyed half so much as the old ways
before Bill came.

Still, they were gradually becoming excellent little horsemen and
horsewomen--even the youngest, only four years old, whom all the rest
were very tender over, and who was often held on Jess's back and given a
ride out of her turn because she was a good little girl, and never cried
for it. And seldomer and seldomer was heard the mysterious sound of the
whip in the air, which warned them of quarreling--Brownie hated

[Illustration: Jess quickly ducked her head down and Bill tumbled over

In fact, their only trouble was Bill, who never came to his work in
time, and never did things when wanted, and was ill-natured, lazy, and
cross to the children, so that they disliked him very much.

"I wish the Brownie would punish you," said one of the boys; "you'd
behave better then."

"The Brownie!" cried Bill, contemptuously; "if I caught him, I'd kick
him up in the air like this!"

And he kicked up his cap--his only cap, it was--which, strange to
relate, flew right up, ever so high, and lodged at the very top of a
tree which overhung the stable, where it dangled for weeks and weeks,
during which time poor Bill had to go bareheaded.

He was very much vexed, and revenged himself by vexing the children in
all sorts of ways. They would have told their mother, and asked her to
send Bill away, only she had a great many anxieties just then, for their
old grandmother was very ill, and they did not like to make a fuss about
any thing that would trouble her.

So Bill staid on, and nobody found out what a bad, ill-natured, lazy boy
he was.

But one day the mother was sent for suddenly, not knowing when she
should be able to come home again. She was very sad, and so were the
children, for they loved their grandmother--and as the carriage drove
off they all stood crying round the front-door for ever so long.

The servants even cried too--all but Bill.

"It's an ill wind that blows nobody good," said he. "What a jolly time I
shall have! I'll do nothing all day long. Those troublesome children
sha'n't have Jess to ride; I'll keep her in the stable, and then she
won't get dirty, and I shall have no trouble in cleaning her. Hurrah!
what fun!"

He put his hands in his pockets, and sat whistling the best part of the

The children had been so unhappy, that for that day they quite forgot
Jess; but next morning, after lessons were over, they came begging for a

"You can't get one. The stable-door's locked and I've lost the key." (He
had it in his pocket all the time.)

"How is poor Jess to get her dinner?" cried a thoughtful little girl.
"Oh, how hungry she will be!"

And the child was quite in distress, as were the two other girls. But
the boys were more angry than sorry.

"It was very stupid of you, Bill, to lose the key. Look about and find
it, or else break open the door."

"I won't," said Bill; "I dare say the key will turn up before night, and
if it doesn't, who cares? You get riding enough and too much. I'll not
bother myself about it, or Jess either."

And Bill sauntered away. He was a big fellow, and the little lads were
rather afraid of him. But as he walked, he could not keep his hand out
of his trowsers-pocket, where the key felt growing heavier and heavier,
till he expected it every minute to tumble through and come out at his
boots--convicting him before all the children of having told a lie.

Nobody was in the habit of telling lies to them, so they never suspected
him, but went innocently searching about for the key--Bill all the while
clutching it fast. But every time he touched it, he felt his fingers
pinched, as if there was a cockroach in his pocket--or little
lobster--or something, anyhow, that had claws. At last, fairly
frightened, he made an excuse to go into the cow-shed, took the key out
of his pocket and looked at it, and finally hid it in a corner of the
manger, among the hay.

As he did so, he heard a most extraordinary laugh, which was certainly
not from Dolly the cow, and, as he went out of the shed, he felt the
same sort of pinch at his ankles, which made him so angry that he kept
striking with his whip in all directions, but hit nobody for nobody was

But Jess--who, as soon as she heard the children's voices, set up a most
melancholy whinnying behind the locked stable-door--began to neigh
energetically. And Boxer barked, and the hens cackled, and the
guinea-fowls cried "Come back, come back!" in their usual insane
fashion--indeed, the whole farmyard seemed in such an excited state,
that the children got frightened lest Gardener should scold them, and
ran away, leaving Bill master of the field.

What an idle day he had! How he sat on the wall with his hands in his
pockets, and lounged upon the fence, and sauntered around the garden! At
length, absolutely tired of doing nothing, he went and talked with the
Gardener's wife while she was hanging out her clothes. Gardener had gone
down to the lower field, with all the little folks after him, so that he
knew nothing of Bill's idling, or it might have come to an end.

By-and-by Bill thought it was time to go home to his supper. "But first
I'll give Jess her corn," said he, "double quantity, and then I need not
come back to give her her breakfast so early in the morning. Soh! you
greedy beast! I'll be at you presently, if you don't stop that noise."

For Jess, at sound of his footsteps, was heard to whinny in the most
imploring manner, enough to have melted a heart of stone.

"The key--where on earth did I put the key?" cried Bill, whose constant
habit it was to lay things out of his hand and then forget where he had
put them, causing himself endless loss of time in searching for them--as
now. At last he suddenly remembered the corner of the cow's manger,
where he felt sure he had left it. But the key was not there.

"You can't have eaten it, you silly old cow," said he, striking Dolly on
the nose as she rubbed herself against him--she was an affectionate
beast. "Nor you, you stupid old hen!" kicking the mother of the brood,
who, with her fourteen chicks, being shut out of their usual
roosting-place--Jess's stable--kept pecking about under Dolly's legs.
"It can't have gone without hands--of course it can't." But most
certainly the key was gone.

What in the world should Bill do? Jess kept on making a pitiful
complaining. No wonder, as she had not tasted food since morning. It
would have made any kind-hearted person quite sad to hear her, thinking
how exceedingly hungry the poor pony must be.

Little did Bill care for that, or for anything, except that he should be
sure to get into trouble as soon as he was found out. When he heard
Gardener coming into the farmyard, with the children after him, Bill
bolted over the wall like a flash of lightning, and ran away home,
leaving poor Jess to her fate.

All the way he seemed to hear at his heels a little dog yelping, and
then a swarm of gnats buzzing round his head, and altogether was so
perplexed and bewildered, that when he got into his mother's cottage he
escaped into bed, and pulled the blanket over his ears to shut out the
noise of the dog and the gnats, which at last turned into a sound like
somebody laughing. It was not his mother, she didn't often laugh, poor
soul!--Bill bothered her quite too much for that, and he knew it.
Dreadfully frightened, he hid his head under the bedclothes, determined
to go to sleep and think about nothing till next day.

Meantime Gardener returned, with all the little people trooping after
him. He had been rather kinder to them than usual this day, because he
knew their mother had gone away in trouble, and now he let them help him
to roll the gravel, and fetch up Dolly to be milked, and watch him milk
her in the cow-shed--where, it being nearly winter, she always spent the
night now. They were so well amused that they forgot all about their
disappointment as to the ride, and Jess did not remind them of it by
her whinnying. For as soon as Bill was gone she grew silent.

At last one little girl, the one who had cried over Jess's being left
hungry, remembered the poor pony, and, peeping through a crevice in the
cow-shed, saw her stand contentedly munching at a large bowlful of corn.

"So Bill did find the key. I'm very glad," thought the kind little
maiden, and to make sure looked again, when--what do you think she
beheld squatting on the manger? Something brown--either a large brown
rat, or a small brown man. But she held her tongue, since, being a very
little girl, people sometimes laughed at her for the strange things she
saw. She was quite certain she did see them, for all that.

So she and the rest of the children went indoors and to bed. When they
were fast asleep, something happened. Something so curious, that the
youngest boy, who, thinking he heard Jess neighing, got up to look out,
was afraid to tell, lest he too should be laughed at, and went back to
bed immediately.

In the middle of the night, a little old brown man carrying a lantern,
or at least having a light in his hand that looked like a lantern--went
and unlocked Jess's stable, and patted her pretty head. At first she
started, but soon she grew quiet and pleased, and let him do what he
chose with her. He began rubbing her down, making the same funny hissing
with his mouth that Bill did, and all grooms do--I never could find out
why. But Jess evidently liked it, and stood as good as possible.

[Illustration: Up the bank she scrambled, her long hair dripping.--Page

"Isn't it nice to be clean?" said the wee man, talking to her as if she
were a human being, or a Brownie. "And I dare say your poor little
legs ache with standing so long. Shall we have a run together? the moon
shines bright in the clear, cold night. Dear me! I'm talking poetry."

But Brownies are not poetical fairies, quite commonplace, and up to all
sorts of work. So, while he talked, he was saddling and bridling Jess,
she not objecting in the least. Finally, he jumped on her back.

"'Off, said the stranger--off, off, and away!'" sang Brownie mimicking a
song of the Cook's. People in that house often heard their songs
repeated in the oddest way, from room to room, everybody fancying it was
somebody else that did it. But it was only the Brownie. "Now, 'A
southerly wind and a cloudy sky proclaim a hunting morning!'"

Or night--for it was the middle of the night, though bright as day--and
Jess galloped and the Brownie sat on her back as merrily as if they had
gone hunting together all their days.

Such a steeple-chase it was! They cleared the farmyard at a single
bound, and went flying down the road, and across the ploughed field, and
into the wood. Then out into the open country, and by-and-by into a
dark, muddy lane--and oh! how muddy Devonshire lanes can be sometimes!

"Let's go into the water to wash ourselves," said Brownie, and coaxed
Jess into a deep stream, which she swam as bravely as possible--she had
not had such a frolic since she left her native Shetland Isles. Up the
bank she scrambled, her long hair dripping as if she had been a
water-dog instead of a pony. Brownie, too, shook himself like a rat or a
beaver, throwing a shower round him in all directions.

"Never mind; at it again, my lass!" and he urged Jess into the water
once more. Out she came, wetter and brisker than ever, and went back
home again through the lane, and the wood, and the ploughed field,
galloping like the wind, and tossing back her ears and mane and tail,
perfectly frantic with enjoyment.

But when she reached her stable, the plight she was in would have driven
any respectable groom frantic too. Her sides were white with foam, and
the mud was sticking all over her like a plaster. As for her beautiful
long hair, it was all caked together in a tangle, as if all the combs in
the world would never make it smooth again. Her mane especially was
plaited into knots, which people in Devonshire call elf-locks, and say,
when they find them on their horses, that it is because the fairies have
been riding them.

Certainly, poor Jess had been pretty well ridden that night. When just
as the dawn began to break, Gardener got up and looked into the
farmyard, his sharp eye caught sight of the stable-door wide open.

"Well done, Bill," shouted he, "up early at last. One hour before
breakfast is worth three after."

But no Bill was there; only Jess, trembling and shaking, all in a foam,
and muddy from head to foot, but looking perfectly cheerful in her mind.
And out from under her fore legs ran a small creature which Gardener
mistook for Tiny, only Tiny was gray, and this dog was brown, of course!

I should not like to tell you all that was said to Bill when, an hour
after breakfast-time, he came skulking up to the farm. In fact, words
failing, Gardener took a good stick and laid it about Bill's shoulders,
saying he would either do this, or tell the mistress of him, and how he
had left the stable-door open all night, and some bad fellow had stolen
Jess, and galloped her all across the country, till, if she hadn't been
the cleverest pony in the world, she never could have got back again.

Bill durst not contradict this explanation of the story, especially as
the key was found hanging up in its proper place by the kitchen door.
And when he went to fetch it, he heard the most extraordinary sound in
the coal-cellar close by--like somebody snoring or laughing. Bill took
to his heels, and did not come back for a whole hour.

But when he did come back, he made himself as busy as possible. He
cleaned Jess, which was half a day's work at least. Then he took the
little people a ride, and afterward put his stable in the most beautiful
order, and altogether was such a changed Bill, that Gardener told him he
must have left himself at home and brought back somebody else: whether
or not, the boy certainly improved, so that there was less occasion to
find fault with him afterward.

Jess lived to be quite an old pony, and carried a great many
people--little people always, for she herself never grew any bigger. But
I don't think she ever carried a Brownie again.





WINTER was a grand time with the six little children especially when
they had frost and snow. This happened seldom enough for it to be the
greatest possible treat when it did happen; and it never lasted very
long, for the winters are warm in Devonshire.

There was a little lake three fields off, which made the most splendid
sliding-place imaginable. No skaters went near it--it was not large
enough; and besides, there was nobody to skate, the neighborhood being
lonely. The lake itself looked the loneliest place imaginable. It was
not very deep--not deep enough to drown a man--but it had a gravelly
bottom, and was always very clear. Also, the trees round it grew so
thick that they sheltered it completely from the wind, so, when it did
freeze, it generally froze as smooth as a sheet of glass.

"The lake bears!" was such a grand event, and so rare, that when it did
occur, the news came at once to the farm, and the children carried it as
quickly to their mother. For she had promised them that, if such a
thing did happen this year--it did not happen every year--lessons should
be stopped entirely, and they should all go down to the lake and slide,
if they liked, all day long.

So one morning, just before Christmas, the eldest boy ran in with a
countenance of great delight.

"Mother, mother, the lake bears!" (It was rather a compliment to call it
a lake, it being only about twenty yards across and forty long.) "The
lake really bears!"

"Who says so?"

"Bill. Bill has been on it for an hour this morning, and has made us two
such beautiful slides, he says--an upslide and a down-slide. May we go

The mother hesitated.

"You promised, you know," pleaded the children.

"Very well, then; only be careful."

"And may we slide all day long, and never come home for dinner or any

"Yes, if you like. Only Gardener must go with you, and stay all day."

This they did not like at all; nor, when Gardener was spoken to, did he.

"You bothering children! I wish you may all get a good ducking in the
lake! Serve you right for making me lose a day's work, just to look
after you little monkeys. I've a great mind to tell your mother I won't
do it."

But he did not, being fond of his mistress. He was also fond of his
work, but he had no notion of play. I think the saying of, "All work and
no play makes Jack a dull boy," must have been applied to him, for
Gardener, whatever he had been as a boy, was certainly a dull and
melancholy man. The children used to say that if he and idle Bill could
have been kneaded into one, and baked in the oven--a very warm
oven--they would have come out rather a pleasant person.

As it was, Gardener was any thing but a pleasant person; above all, to
spend a long day with, and on the ice, where one needs all one's
cheerfulness and good-humor to bear pinched fingers and numbed toes, and
trips and tumbles, and various uncomfortablenesses.

"He'll growl at us all day long--he'll be a regular spoil-sport!"
lamented the children. "Oh! mother, mightn't we go alone?"

"No!" said the mother; and her "No" meant no, though she was always very
kind. They argued the point no more, but started off, rather
downhearted. But soon they regained their spirits, for it was a bright,
clear, frosty day--the sun shining, though not enough to melt the ice,
and just sufficient to lie like a thin sprinkling over the grass, and
turn the brown branches into white ones. The little people danced along
to keep themselves warm, carrying between them a basket which held their
lunch. A very harmless lunch it was--just a large brown loaf and a lump
of cheese, and a knife to cut it with. Tossing the basket about in their
fun, they managed to tumble the knife out, and were having a search for
it in the long grass, when Gardener came up, grumpily enough.

"To think of trusting you children with one of the table-knives and a
basket! what a fool Cook must be! I'll tell her so; and if they're lost
she'll blame me: give me the things."

He put the knife angrily in one pocket. "Perhaps it will cut a hole in
it," said one of the children, in rather a pleased tone than otherwise;
then he turned the lunch all out on the grass and crammed it in the
other pocket, hiding the basket behind a hedge.

"I'm sure I'll not be at the trouble of carrying it," said he, when the
children cried out at this; "and you shan't carry it either, for you'll
knock it about and spoil it. And as for your lunch getting warm in my
pocket, why, so much the better this cold day."

It was not a lively joke, and they knew the pocket was very dirty;
indeed, the little girls had seen him stuff a dead rat into it only the
day before. They looked ready to cry; but there was no help for them,
except going back and complaining to their mother, and they did not like
to do that. Besides, they knew that, though Gardener was cross, he was
trustworthy, and she would never let them go down to the lake without

So they followed him, trying to be as good as they could--though it was
difficult work. One of them proposed pelting him with snowballs, as they
pelted each other. But at the first--which fell in his neck--he turned
round so furiously, that they never sent a second, but walked behind him
as meek as mice.

As they went, they heard little steps pattering after them.

"Perhaps it is the Brownie to play with us--I wish he would," whispered
the youngest girl to the eldest boy, whose hand she generally held; and
then the little pattering steps sounded again, traveling through the
snow, but they saw nobody--so they said nothing.

The children would have liked to go straight to the ice; but Gardener
insisted on taking them a mile round, to look at an extraordinary animal
which a farmer there had just got--sent by his brother in Australia. The
two old men stood gossiping so long that the children wearied
extremely. Every minute seemed an hour till they got on the ice.

At last one of them pulled Gardener's coat-tails, and whispered that
they were quite ready to go.

"Then I'm not," and he waited ever so much longer, and got a drink of
hot cider, which made him quite lively for a little while.

But by the time they reached the lake, he was as cross as ever. He
struck the ice with his stick, but made no attempt to see if it really
did bear--though he would not allow the children to go one step upon it
till he had tried.

"I know it doesn't bear, and you'll just have to go home again--a good
thing too--saves me from losing a day's work."

"Try, only try; Bill said it bore," implored the boys, and looked
wistfully at the two beautiful slides--just as Bill said, one up and one
down--stretching all across the lake; "of course it bears, or Bill could
not have made these slides."

"Bill's an ass!" said the Gardener, and put his heavy foot cautiously on
the ice. Just then there was seen jumping across it a creature which
certainly had never been seen on ice before. It made the most
extraordinary bounds on its long hind legs, with its little fore legs
tucked up in front of it as if it wanted to carry a muff; and its long,
stiff tail sticking out straight behind, to balance it itself with
apparently. The children at first started with surprise, and then burst
out laughing, for it was the funniest creature, and had the funniest way
of getting along, that they had ever seen in their lives.

"It's the kangaroo!" said Gardener, in great excitement. "It has got
loose--and it's sure to be lost--and what a way Mr. Giles will be in! I
must go and tell him. Or stop, I'll try and catch it."

But in vain--it darted once or twice across the ice, dodging him, as it
were; and once coming so close that he nearly caught it by the tail--to
the children's great delight--then it vanished entirely.

"I must go and tell Mr. Giles directly," said Gardener, and then
stopped. For he had promised not to leave the children; and it was such
a wild-goose chase, after an escaped kangaroo. But he might get half a
crown as a reward, and he was sure of another glass of cider.

"You just stop quiet here, and I'll be back in five minutes," said he to
the children. "You may go a little way on the ice--I think it's sound
enough; only mind you don't tumble in, for there'll be nobody to pull
you out."

"Oh no," said the children, clapping their hands. They did not care for
tumbling in, and were quite glad there was nobody there to pull them
out. They hoped Gardener would stop a very long time away--only, as some
one suggested when he was seen hurrying across the snowy field, he had
taken away their lunch in his pocket, too.

Off they darted, the three elder boys, with a good run; the biggest of
the girls followed after them; and soon the whole four were skimming one
after the other, as fast as a railway train, across the slippery ice.
And, like a railway train, they had a collision, and all came tumbling
one over the other, with great screaming and laughing, to the high bank
on the other side. The two younger ones stood mournfully watching the
others from the opposite bank--when there stood beside them a small
brown man.

"Ho-ho! little people," said he, coming between them and taking hold of
a hand of each. His was so warm and theirs so cold, that it was quite
comfortable. And then, somehow, they found in their mouths a nice
lozenge--I think it was peppermint, but am not sure; which comforted
them still more.

"Did you want me to play with you?" cried the Brownie; "then here I am.
What shall we do? Have a turn on the ice together?"

No sooner said than done. The two children felt themselves floating
along--it was more like floating than running--with Brownie between
them; up the lake, and down the lake, and across the lake, not at all
interfering with the sliders--indeed, it was a great deal better than
sliding. Rosy and breathless, their toes so nice and warm, and their
hands feeling like mince-pies just taken out of the oven--the little
ones came to a standstill.

The elder ones stopped their sliding, and looked toward Brownie with
entreating eyes. He swung himself up to a willow bough, and then turned
head over heels on to the ice.

"Halloo! you don't mean to say you big ones want a race too! Well, come
along--if the two eldest will give a slide to the little ones."

He watched them take a tiny sister between them, and slide her up one
slide and down another, screaming with delight. Then he took the two
middle children in either hand.

"One, two, three, and away!" Off they started--scudding along as light
as feathers and as fast as steam-engines, over the smooth, black ice, so
clear that they could see the bits of stick and water-grasses frozen in
it, and even the little fishes swimming far down below--if they had only
looked long enough.

When all had had their fair turns, they began to be frightfully hungry.

[Illustration: The two little children felt themselves floating
along--with Brownie between them--Page 64]

"Catch a fish for dinner, and I'll lend you a hook," said Brownie. At
which they all laughed, and then looked rather grave. Pulling a cold,
raw live fish from under the ice and eating it was not a pleasant idea
of dinner. "Well, what would you like to have? Let the little one

She said, after thinking a minute, that she should like a currant-cake.

"And I'd give all you a bit of it--a very large bit--I would indeed!"
added she, almost with the tears in her eyes--she was so very hungry.

"Do it, then!" said the Brownie, in his little squeaking voice.

Immediately the stone that the little girl was sitting on--a round, hard
stone, and so cold!--turned into a nice hot cake--so hot that she jumped
up directly. As soon as she saw what it was, she clapped her hands for

"Oh, what a beautiful, beautiful cake! only we haven't got a knife to
cut it."

The boys felt in all their pockets, but somehow their knives never were
there when they were wanted.

"Look! you've got one in your hand!" said Brownie to the little one; and
that minute a bit of stick she held turned into a bread-knife--silver,
with an ivory handle--big enough and sharp enough, without being too
sharp. For the youngest girl was not allowed to use sharp knives, though
she liked cutting things excessively, especially cakes.

"That will do. Sit you down and carve the dinner. Fair shares and don't
let any body eat too much. Now begin, ma'am," said the Brownie, quite
politely, as if she had been ever so old.

Oh, how proud the little girl was. How bravely she set to work, and cut
five of the biggest slices you ever saw, and gave them to her brothers
and sisters, and was just going to take the sixth slice for herself,
when she remembered the Brownie.

"I beg your pardon," said she, as politely as he, though she was such a
very little girl, and turned round to the wee brown man. But he was
nowhere to be seen. The slices of cake in the children's hands remained
cake, and uncommonly good it was, and such substantial eating that it
did nearly the same as dinner; but the cake itself turned suddenly to a
stone again, and the knife into a bit of stick.

For there was the Gardener coming clumping along by the bank of the
lake, and growling as he went.

"Have you got the kangaroo?" shouted the children, determined to be
civil, if possible.

"This place is bewitched, I think," said he, "The kangaroo was fast
asleep in the cow-shed. What! how dare you laugh at me?"

But they hadn't laughed at all. And they found it no laughing matter,
poor children, when Gardener came on the ice, and began to scold them
and order them about. He was perfectly savage with crossness; for the
people at Giles's Farm had laughed at him very much, and he did not like
to be laughed at--and at the top of the field he had by chance met his
mistress, and she asked him severely how he could think of leaving the
children alone.

Altogether, his conscience pricked him a good deal, and when people's
consciences prick them, sometimes they get angry with other people,
which is very silly, and only makes matters worse.

"What have you been doing all this time?" said he.

"All this five minutes?" said the oldest boy, mischievously; for
Gardener was only to be away five minutes, and he had staid a full
hour. Also, when he fumbled in his pocket for the children's lunch--to
stop their tongues, perhaps--he found it was not there.

They set up a great outcry; for, in spite of the cake, they could have
eaten a little more. Indeed, the frost had such an effect upon all their
appetites, that they felt not unlike that celebrated gentleman of whom
it is told that

          "He ate a cow, and ate a calf,
          He ate an ox, and ate a half;
          He ate a church, he ate the steeple,
          He ate the priest, and all the people,
          And said he hadn't had enough then."

"We're so hungry, so very hungry! Couldn't you go back again and fetch
us some dinner?" cried they, entreatingly.

"Not I, indeed. You may go back to dinner yourselves. You shall, indeed,
for I want my dinner too. Two hours is plenty long enough to stop on the

"It isn't two hours--it's only one."

"Well, one will do better than more. You're all right now--and you might
soon tumble in, or break your legs on the slide. So come away home."

It wasn't kind of Gardener, and I don't wonder the children felt it
hard; indeed, the eldest boy resisted stoutly.

"Mother said we might stop all day, and we will stop all day. You may go
home if you like."

"I won't, and you shall!" said Gardener, smacking a whip that he carried
in his hand. "Stop till I catch you, and I'll give you this about your
back, my fine gentleman."

And he tried to follow, but the little fellow darted across the ice,
objecting to be either caught or whipped. It may have been rather
naughty, but I am afraid it was great fun dodging the Gardener up and
down; he being too timid to go on the slippery ice, and sometimes
getting so close that the whip nearly touched the lad.

"Bless us! there's the kangaroo again!" said he, starting. Just as he
had caught the boy, and lifted the whip, the creature was seen
hop-hopping from bank to bank. "I can't surely be mistaken this time; I
must catch it."

Which seemed quite easy, for it limped as if it was lame, or as if the
frost had bitten its toes, poor beast! Gardener went after it, walking
cautiously on the slippery, crackling ice, and never minding whether or
not he walked on the slides, though they called out to him that his
nailed boots would spoil them.

But whether it was that ice which bears a boy will not bear a man, or
whether at each lame step of the kangaroo there came a great crack, is
more than I can tell. However, just as Gardener reached the middle of
the lake, the ice suddenly broke, and in he popped.--The kangaroo too,
apparently, for it was not seen afterward.

What a hullaballoo the poor man made! Not that he was drowning--the lake
was too shallow to drown any body, but he got terribly wet, and the
water was very cold. He soon scrambled out, the boys helping him; and
then he hobbled home as fast as he could, not even saying thank you, or
taking the least notice of them.

Indeed, nobody took notice of them--nobody came to fetch them, and they
might have staid sliding the whole afternoon. Only somehow they did not
feel quite easy in their minds. And though the hole in the ice closed up
immediately, and it seemed as firm as ever, still they did not like to
slide upon it again.

"I think we had better go home and tell mother every thing," said one of
them. "Besides, we ought to see what has become of poor Gardener. He was
very wet."

"Yes, but oh, how funny he looked!" And they all burst out laughing at
the recollection of the figure he cut, scrambling out through the ice
with his trowsers dripping up to the knees, and the water running out of
his boots, making a little pool, wherever he stepped.

"And it freezes so hard, that by the time he gets home his clothes will
be as stiff as a board. His wife will have to put him to the fire to
thaw before he can get out of them."

[Illustration: The ice suddenly broke, and in he popped.]

Again the little people burst into shouts of laughter. Although they
laughed, they were a little sorry for the poor old Gardener, and hoped
no great harm had come to him, but that he had got safe home and been
dried by his own warm fire.

The frosty mist was beginning already to rise, and the sun, though still
high up in the sky, looked like a ball of red-hot iron as the six
children went homeward across the fields--merry enough still, but not
quite so merry as they had been a few hours before.

"Let's hope mother won't be vexed with us," said they, "but will let us
come back again to-morrow. It wasn't our fault that Gardener tumbled

As somebody said this, they all heard quite distinctly, "Ha, ha, ha!"
and "Ho, ho, ho!" and a sound of little steps pattering behind.

But whatever they thought, nobody ventured to say that it was the fault
of the Brownie.





TILL the next time; but when there is a Brownie in the house, no one can
say that any of his tricks will be the last. For there's no stopping a
Brownie, and no getting rid of him either. This one had followed the
family from house to house, generation after generation--never any
older, and sometimes seeming even to grow younger by the tricks he
played. In fact, though he looked like an old man, he was a perpetual

To the children he never did any harm, quite the contrary. And his chief
misdoings were against those who vexed the children. But he gradually
made friends with several of his grown up enemies. Cook, for instance,
who had ceased to be lazy at night and late in the morning, found no
more black footmarks on her white table cloth. And Brownie found his
basin of milk waiting for him, night after night, behind the coal-cellar

Bill, too, got on well enough with his pony, and Jess was taken no more
night-rides. No ducks were lost; and Dolly gave her milk quite
comfortably to whoever milked her. Alas! this was either Bill or the
Gardener's wife now. After that adventure on the ice, poor Gardener very
seldom appeared; when he did, it was on two crutches, for he had had
rheumatism in his feet, and could not stir outside his cottage door.
Bill, therefore, had double work; which was probably all the better for

The garden had to take care of itself; but this being winter-time, it
did not much signify. Besides, Brownie seldom went into the garden,
except in summer; during the hard weather he preferred to stop in his
coal-cellar. It might not have been a lively place, but it was warm, and
he liked it.

He had company there, too; for when the cat had more kittens--the kitten
he used to tease being grown up now--they were all put in a hamper in
the coal-cellar; and of cold nights Brownie used to jump in beside them,
and be as warm and as cozy as a kitten himself. The little things never
were heard to mew; so it may be supposed they liked his society. And the
old mother-cat evidently bore him no malice for the whipping she had got
by mistake; so Brownie must have found means of coaxing her over. One
thing you may be sure of--all the while she and her kittens were in his
coal-cellar, he took care never to turn himself into a mouse.

He was spending the winter, on the whole, very comfortably, without much
trouble either to himself or his neighbors, when one day, the
coal-cellar being nearly empty, two men, and a great wagon-load of coals
behind them, came to the door, Gardener's wife following.

"My man says you're to give the cellar a good cleaning out before you
put any more in," said she, in her sharp voice; "and don't be lazy about
it. It'll not take you ten minutes, for it's nearly all coal-dust,
except that one big lump in the corner--you might clear that out too."

"Stop, it's the Brownie's lump! better not meddle with it," whispered
the little scullery-maid.

"Don't you meddle with matters that can't concern you," said the
Gardener's wife, who had been thinking what a nice help it would be to
her fire. To be sure, it was not her lump of coal, but she thought she
might take it; the mistress would never miss it, or the Brownie either.
He must be a very silly old Brownie to live under a lump of coal.

So she argued with herself, and made the men lift it. "You must lift it,
you see, if you are to sweep the coal-cellar out clean. And you may as
well put it on the barrow, and I'll wheel it out of your way."

This she said in quite a civil voice, lest they should tell of her, and
stood by while it was being done. It was done without any thing
happening, except that a large rat ran out of the coal-cellar door,
bouncing against her feet, and frightening her so much that she nearly
tumbled down.

"See what nonsense it is to talk of Brownies living in a coal-cellar.
Nothing lives there but rats, and I'll have them poisoned pretty soon,
and get rid of them."

But she was rather frightened all the same, for the rat had been such a
very big rat, and had looked at her, as it darted past, with such wild,
bright, mischievous eyes--brown eyes, of course--that she all but jumped
with surprise.

However, she had got her lump of coal, and was wheeling it quietly away,
nobody seeing, to her cottage at the bottom of the garden. She was a
hard-worked woman, and her husband's illness made things harder for her.
Still, she was not quite easy at taking what did not belong to her.

"I don't suppose any body will miss the coal," she repeated. "I dare say
the mistress would have given it to me if I had asked her; and as for
its being the Brownie's lump--fudge! Bless us! what's that?"

For the barrow began to creak dreadfully, and every creak sounded like
the cry of a child, just as if the wheel were going over its leg and
crushing its poor little bones.

"What a horrid noise! I must grease the barrow. If only I knew where
they keep the grease-box. All goes wrong, now my old man's laid up. Oh,
dear! oh dear!"

For suddenly the barrow had tilted over, though there was not a single
stone near, and the big coal was tumbled on to the ground, where it
broke into a thousand pieces. Gathering it up again was hopeless, and it
made such a mess on the gravel-walk, that the old woman was thankful her
misfortune happened behind the privet hedge, where nobody was likely to

"I'll take a broom and sweep it up to-morrow. Nobody goes near the
orchard now, except me when I hang out the clothes; so I need say
nothing about it to the old man or any body. But ah! deary me, what a
beautiful lot of coal I've lost!"

She stood and looked at it mournfully, and then went into her cottage,
where she found two or three of the little children keeping Gardener
company. They did not dislike to do this now; but he was so much kinder
than he used to be--so quiet and patient, though he suffered very much.
And he had never once reproached them for what they always
remembered--how it was ever since he was on the ice with them that he
had got the rheumatism.

[Illustration: Suddenly the barrow had tilted over.]

So, one or other of them made a point of going to see him every day, and
telling him all the funny things they could think of--indeed, it was a
contest among them who should first make Gardener laugh. They did not
succeed in doing that exactly; but they managed to make him smile; and
he was always gentle and grateful to them; so that they sometimes
thought it was rather nice his being ill.

But his wife was not pleasant; she grumbled all day long, and snapped at
him and his visitors; being especially snappish this day, because she
had lost her big coal.

"I can't have you children come bothering here," said she, crossly. "I
want to wring out my clothes, and hang them to dry. Be off with you!"

"Let us stop a little--just to tell Gardener this one curious thing
about Dolly and the pig--and then we'll help you to take your clothes to
the orchard; we can carry your basket between us--we can, indeed."

That was the last thing the woman wished; for she knew the that the
children would be sure to see the mess on the gravel-walk--and they
were such inquisitive children--they noticed every thing. They would
want to know all about it, and how the bits of coal came there. It was
very a awkward position. But people who take other people's property
often do find themselves in awkward positions.

"Thank you, young gentlemen," said she, quite politely; "but indeed the
basket is too heavy for you. However, you may stop and gossip a little
longer with my old man. He likes it."

And, while they were shut up with Gardener in his bedroom, off she went,
carrying the basket on her head, and hung her clothes carefully out--the
big things on lines between the fruit trees, and the little things, such
as stockings and pocket handkerchiefs, stuck on the gooseberry-bushes,
or spread upon the clean green grass.

"Such a fine day as it is! they'll dry directly," said she, cheerfully,
to herself. "Plenty of sun, and not a breath of wind to blow them about.
I'll leave them for an hour or two, and come and fetch them in before it
grows dark. Then I shall get all my folding done by bedtime, and have a
clear day for ironing to-morrow."

But when she did fetch them in, having bundled them all together in the
dusk of the evening, never was such a sight as those clothes! They were
all twisted in the oddest way--the stockings turned inside out, with the
heels and toes tucked into the legs; the sleeves of the shirts tied
together in double knots, the pocket-handkerchiefs made into round
balls, so tight that if you had pelted a person with them they would
have given very hard blows indeed. And the whole looked as if, instead
of lying quietly on the grass and bushes, they had been dragged through
heaps of mud and then stamped upon, so that there was not a clean inch
upon them from end to end.

"What a horrid mess!" cried the Gardener's wife, who had been at first
very angry, and then very frightened. "But I know what it is; that nasty
Boxer has got loose again. It's he that has done it."

"Boxer wouldn't tie shirt-sleeves in double knots, or make balls of
pocket-handkerchiefs," Gardener was heard to answer, solemnly.

"Then it's those horrid children; they are always up to some mischief or
other--just let me catch them!"

"You'd better not," said somebody in a voice exactly like Gardener's,
though he himself declared he had not spoken a word. Indeed, he was fast

"Well, it's the most extraordinary thing I ever heard of," the
Gardener's wife said, supposing she was talking to her husband all the
time; but soon she held her tongue, for she found here and there among
the clothes all sorts of queer marks--marks of fingers, and toes, and
heels, not in mud at all, but in coal-dust, as black as black could be.

Now, as the place where the big coal had tumbled out of the barrow was
fully fifty yards from the orchard, and, as the coal could not come to
the clothes, and the clothes could not go without hands, the only
conclusion she could arrive at was--well, no particular conclusion at

It was too late that night to begin washing again; besides, she was
extremely tired, and her husband woke up rather worse than usual, so she
just bundled the clothes up anyhow in a corner, put the kitchen to
rights, and went mournfully to bed.

Next morning she got up long before it was light, washed her clothes
through all over again, and, it being impossible to dry them by the
fire, went out with them once more, and began spreading them out in
their usual corner, in a hopeless and melancholy manner. While she was
at it, the little folks came trooping around her. She didn't scold them
this time, she was too low-spirited.

"No! my old man isn't any better, and I don't fancy he ever will be,"
said she, in answer to their questions. "And every thing's going wrong
with us--just listen!" And she told the trick which had been played her
about the clothes.

The little people tried not to laugh, but it was so funny; and even now,
the minute she had done hanging them out, there was something so droll
in the way the clothes blew about, without any wind; the shirts hanging
with their necks downward, as if there was a man inside them; and the
drawers standing stiffly astride on the gooseberry-bushes, for all the
world as if they held a pair of legs still. As for Gardener's
night-caps--long, white cotton, with a tassel at the top--they were
alarming to look at; just like a head stuck on the top of a pole.

The whole thing was so peculiar, and the old woman so comical in her
despair, that the children, after trying hard to keep it in, at last
broke into shouts of laughter. She turned furiously upon them.

"It was you who did it!"

"No, indeed it wasn't!" said they, jumping farther to escape her blows.
For she had got one of her clothes-props, and was laying about her in
the most reckless manner. However, she hurt nobody, and then she
suddenly burst out, not laughing, but crying.

"It's a cruel thing, whoever has done it, to play such tricks on a poor
old body like me, with a sick husband that she works hard for, and not a
child to help her. But I don't care. I'll wash my clothes again, if it's
twenty times over, and I'll hang them out again in the very place, just
to make you all ashamed of yourselves."

Perhaps the little people were ashamed of themselves, though they really
had not done the mischief. But they knew quite well who had done it, and
more than once they were about to tell; only they were afraid, if they
did so, they should vex the Brownie so much that he would never come and
play with them any more.

So they looked at one another without speaking, and when the Gardener's
wife had emptied her basket and dried her eyes, they said to her, very

"Perhaps no harm may come to your clothes this time. We'll sit and watch
them till they are dry."

"Just as you like; I don't care. Them that hides can find, and them that
plays tricks knows how to stop 'em."

It was not a civil speech, but then things were hard for the poor old
woman. She had been awake nearly all night, and up washing at daybreak;
her eyes were red with crying, and her steps weary and slow. The little
children felt quite sorry for her, and, instead of going to play, sat
watching the clothes as patiently as possible.

Nothing came near them. Sometimes, as before, the things seemed to dance
about without hands, and turn into odd shapes, as if there were people
inside them; but not a creature was seen and not a sound was heard. And
though there was neither wind nor sun, very soon all the linen was
perfectly dry.

"Fetch one of mother's baskets, and we'll fold it up as tidily as
possible--that is, the girls can do it, it's their business--and we boys
will carry it safe to Gardener's cottage."

So said they, not liking to say that they could not trust it out of
their sight for fear of Brownie, whom, indeed, they were expecting to
see peer round from every bush. They began to have a secret fear that
he was rather a naughty Brownie; but then, as the eldest little girl
whispered, "He was only a Brownie, and knew no better." Now they were
growing quite big children, who would be men and women some time; when
they hoped they would never do any thing wrong. (Their parents hoped the
same, but doubted it.)

In a serious and careful manner they folded up the clothes, and laid
them one by one in the basket without any mischief, until, just as the
two biggest boys were lifting their burden to carry it away, they felt
something tugging at it from underneath.

"Halloo! Where are you taking all this rubbish? Better give it to me."

"No, if you please," said they, very civilly, not to offend the little
brown man. "We'll not trouble you, thanks! We'd rather do it ourselves;
for poor Gardener is very ill, and his wife is very miserable, and we
are extremely sorry for them both."

"Extremely sorry!" cried Brownie, throwing up his cap in the air, and
tumbling head over heels in an excited manner. "What in the world does
extremely sorry mean?"

The children could not explain, especially to a Brownie; but they
thought they understood--anyhow, they felt it. And they looked so
sorrowful that the Brownie could not tell what to make of it.

He could not be said to be sorry, since, being a Brownie, and not a
human being, knowing right from wrong, he never tried particularly to do
right, and had no idea that he was doing wrong. But he seemed to have an
idea that he was troubling the children, and he never liked to see them
look unhappy.

So he turned head over heels six times running, and then came back

"The silly old woman! I washed her clothes for her last night in a way
she didn't expect. I hadn't any soap, so I used a little mud and
coal-dust, and very pretty they looked. Ha, ha, ha! Shall I wash them
over again to-night?"

"Oh, no, please don't!" implored the children.

"Shall I starch and iron them? I'll do it beautifully. One--two--three,
five--six--seven, Abracadabra, tum--tum--ti!" shouted he, jabbering all
sorts of nonsense, as it seemed to the children, and playing such antics
that they stood and stared in the utmost amazement, and quite forgot the
clothes. When they looked round again, the basket was gone.

      "Seek till you find, seek till you find,
       Under the biggest gooseberry-bush, exactly to your mind."

They heard him singing this remarkable rhyme, long after they had lost
sight of him. And then they all set about searching; but it was a long
while before they found, and still longer before they could decide,
which was the biggest gooseberry-bush, each child having his or her
opinion--sometimes a very strong one--on the matter. At last they agreed
to settle it by pulling half-a-dozen little sticks, to see which stick
was the longest, and the child that held it was to decide the

This done, underneath the branches what should they find but the
identical basket of clothes! only, instead of being roughly dried, they
were all starched and ironed in the most beautiful manner. As for the
shirts, they really were a picture to behold, and the stockings were all
folded up, and even darned in one or two places, as neatly as possible.
And strange to tell, there was not a single black mark of feet or
fingers on any one of them.

"Kind little Brownie! clever little Brownie!" cried the children in
chorus, and thought this was the most astonishing trick he had ever

What the Gardener's wife said about it, whether they told her any thing,
or allowed her to suppose that the clothes had been done in their own
laundry instead of the Brownie's (wherever that establishment might be),
is more than I can tell. Of one thing only I am certain--that the little
people said nothing but what was true. Also, that the very minute they
got home they told their mother every thing.

But for a long time after that they were a good deal troubled. Gardener
got better, and went hobbling about the place again, to his own and
every body's great content, and his wife was less sharp-tongued and
complaining than usual--indeed, she had nothing to complain of. All the
family were very flourishing, except the little Brownie.

Often there was heard a curious sound all over the house; it might have
been rats squeaking behind the wainscot--the elders said it was--but the
children were sure it was a sort of weeping and wailing.

          "They've stolen my coal,
           And I haven't a hole
             To hide in;
           Not even a house
           One could ask a mouse
             To bide in."

A most forlorn tune it was, ending in a dreary minor key, and it lasted
for months and months--at least the children said it did. And they were
growing quite dull for want of a playfellow, when, by the greatest good
luck in the world, there came to the house not only a new lot of
kittens, but a new baby. And the new baby was everybody's pet, including
the Brownie's.

[Illustration: The new baby was everybody's pet.--Page 87]

From that time, though he was not often seen, he was continually heard
up and down the staircase, where he was frequently mistaken for Tiny or
the cat, and sent sharply down again, which was wasting a great deal of
wholesome anger upon Mr. Nobody. Or he lurked in odd corners of the
nursery, whither the baby was seen crawling eagerly after nothing in
particular, or sitting laughing with all her might at something--probably
her own toes.

But, as Brownie was never seen, he was never suspected. And since he did
no mischief--neither pinched the baby nor broke the toys, left no soap
in the bath and no footmarks about the room--but was always a
well-conducted Brownie in every way, he was allowed to inhabit the
nursery (or supposed to do so, since, as nobody saw him, nobody could
prevent him), until the children were grown up into men and women.

After that he retired into his coal-cellar, and, for all I know, he may
live there still, and have gone through hundreds of adventures since;
but as I never heard them, I can't tell them. Only I think, if I could
be a little child again, I should exceedingly like a Brownie to play
with me. Should not you?


[Illustration: Some Poems For Children

By Miss Mulock]


    A SLENDER young Blackbird built in a thorn-tree
    A spruce little fellow as ever could be;
    His bill was so yellow, his feathers so black,
    So long was his tail, and so glossy his back,
    That good Mrs. B., who sat hatching her eggs,
    And only just left them to stretch her poor legs,
    And pick for a minute the worm she preferred,
    Thought there never was seen such a beautiful bird.

    And such a kind husband! how early and late
    He would sit at the top of the old garden gate,
    And sing, just as merry as if it were June,
    Being ne'er out of patience, or temper, or tune.
    "So unlike those Rooks, dear; from morning till night
    They seem to do nothing but quarrel and fight,
    And wrangle and jangle, and plunder--while we
    Sit, honest and safe, in our pretty thorn-tree."

    Just while she was speaking, a lively young Rook
    Alit with a flap that the thorn-bush quite shook,
    And seizing a stick from the nest--"Come, I say,
    That will just suit me, neighbor"--flew with it away
    The lady loud twittered--her husband soon heard:
    Though peaceful, he was not a cowardly bird;
    And with arguments angry enough to o'erwhelm
    A whole Rookery--flew to the top of the elm.

    "How dare you, you--" (thief he was going to say;
    But a civiller sentiment came in the way:
    For he knew 'tis no good, and it anyhow shames
    A gentleman, calling strange gentlemen names:)
    "Pray what is your motive, Sir Rook, for such tricks,
    As building your mansion with other folks' sticks?
    I request you'll restore them, in justice and law."
    At which the whole colony set up a--caw!

    But Blackbird, not silenced, then spoke out again;
    "I've built my small nest with much labor and pain.
    I'm a poor singing gentleman, Sirs, it is true,
    Though cockneys do often mistake me for you;
    But I keep Mrs. Blackbird, and four little eggs,
    And neither e'er pilfers, or borrows, or begs.
    Now have I not right on my side, do you see?"
    But they flew at and pecked him all down the elm-tree.

    Ah! wickedness prospers sometimes, I much fear;
    And virtue's not always victorious, that's clear:
    At least, not at first: for it must be confessed
    Poor Blackbird lost many a stick from his nest;
    And his unkind grand neighbors with scoffing caw-caws,
    In his voice and his character found many flaws,
    And jeered him and mocked him; but when they'd all done,
    He flew to his tree and sang cheerily on.

    At length May arrived with her garlands of leaves;
    The swallows were building beneath the farm-eaves,
    Wrens, linnets, and sparrows, on every hedge-side,
    Were bringing their families out with great pride;
    While far above all, on the tallest tree-top,
    With a flutter and clamor that never did stop,
    The haughty old Rooks held their heads up so high,
    And dreamed not of trouble--until it drew nigh!

    One morning at seven, as he came with delight
    To his wife's pretty parlor of may-blossoms white,
    Having fed all his family ere rise of sun,--
    Mr. Blackbird perceived--a big man with a gun;
    Who also perceived him: "See, Charlie, among
    That may, sits the Blackbird we've heard for so long:
    Most likely his nest's there--how frightened he looks!
    Nay, Blackie, we're not come for you, but the Rooks."

    I don't say 'twas cruel--I can't say 'twas kind--
    On the subject I haven't quite made up my mind:
    But those guns went pop-popping all morning, alas!
    And young Rooks kept dropping among the long grass,
    Till good Mr. Blackbird, who watched the whole thing,
    For pity could scarcely a single note sing,
    And in the May sunset he hardly could bear
    To hear the returning Rooks' caw of despair.

    "O, dear Mrs. Blackbird," at last warbled he,
    "How happy we are in our humble thorn-tree;
    How gaily we live, living honest and poor,
    How sweet are the may-blossoms over our door."
    "And then our dear children," the mother replied,
    And she nested them close to her warm feathered side,
    And with a soft twitter of drowsy content,
    In the quiet May moonlight to sleep they all went.


          OF all days I remember,
            In summers passed away,
          Was "the shaking of the pear-tree,"
            In grandma's orchard gay.

          A large old-fashioned orchard,
            With long grass under foot,
          And blackberry-brambles crawling
            In many a tangled shoot.

          From cherry time, till damsons
            Dropped from the branches sere,
          That wonderful old orchard
            Was full of fruit all year;

          We pick'd it up in baskets,
            Or pluck'd it from the wall;
          But the shaking of the pear-tree
            Was the grandest treat of all.

                Long, long the days we counted
                  Until that day drew nigh;
                Then, how we watched the sun set,
                  And criticised the sky!

                    If rain--"'Twill clear at midnight;"
                      If dawn broke chill and gray,
                    "O many a cloudy morning
                      Turns out a lovely day."

          So off we started gaily,
            Heedless of jolt or jar;
          Through town and lane, and hamlet,
            In old Llewellyn's car.

                He's dead and gone--Llewellyn,
                  These twenty years, I doubt:
                If I put him in this poem,
                  He'll never find it out,

                    The patient, kind Llewellyn--
                      Whose broad face smiled all o'er,
                    As he lifted out us children
                      At grandma's very door.

          And there stood Grandma's Betty,
            With cheeks like apples red;
          And Dash, the spaniel, waddled
            Out of his cosy bed.

                With silky ears down dropping,
                  And coat of chestnut pale;
                He was so fat and lazy
                  He scarce could wag his tail.

                    Poor Dash is dead, and buried
                      Under the lilac-tree;
                    And Betty's old,--as, children,
                      We all may one day be.

          I hope no child will vex us,
            As we vexed Betty then,
          With winding up the draw-well,
            Or hunting the old hen.

                And teasing, teasing, teasing,
                  Till afternoon wore round,
                And shaken pears came tumbling
                  In showers upon the ground.

                    O how we jumped and shouted!
                      O how we plunged amid
                    The long grass, where the treasures,
                      Dropped down and deftly hid;

          Long, slender-shaped, red-russet,
            Or yellow just like gold;
          Ah! never pears have tasted
            Like those sweet pears of old!

                We ate--I'd best not mention
                  How many: paused to fill
                Big basket after basket;
                  Working with right good-will;

                    Then hunted round the orchard
                      For half-ripe plums--in vain;
                    So, back unto the pear-tree,
                      To eat, and eat again.

          I'm not on my confession,
            And therefore need not say
          How tired, and cross, and sleepy,
            Some were ere close of day;

                For pleasure has its ending,
                  And eke its troubles too;
                Which you'll find out, my children,
                  As well as we could do.

                    But yet this very minute,
                      I seem to see it all--
                    The pear-tree's empty branches
                      The gray of evening-fall;

          The children's homeward silence,
            The furnace fires that glowed,
          Each mile or so, out streaming
            Across the lonely road;

          And high, high set in heaven,
            One large bright, beauteous star,
          That shone between the curtains
            Of old Llewellyn's car.


    COME here, my dear boys, and I'll tell you a fable,
    Which you may believe as much as you're able;
    It isn't all true, nor all false, I'll be bound--
    Of the tree that bears apples all the year round.

    There was a Dean Tucker of Gloster city,
    Who may have been wise, or worthy, or witty;
    But I know nothing of him, the more's the pity,
    Save that he was Dean Tucker of Gloster city.

    And walking one day with a musing air
    In his Deanery garden, close by where
    The great cathedral's west window's seen,--
    "I'll plant an apple," said Tucker the Dean.

    The apple was planted, the apple grew,
    A stout young tree, full of leaves not few;
    The apple was grafted, the apple bore
    Of goodly apples, one, two, three, four.

    The old Dean walked in his garden fair,
    "I'm glad I planted that young tree there,
    Though it was but a shoot, or some old tree's sucker;
    I'll taste it to-morrow," said good Dean Tucker.

    But lo, in the night when (they say) trees talk,
    And some of the liveliest get up and walk,
    With fairies abroad for watch and warden--
    There was such a commotion in the Dean's garden!

    "I will not be gathered," the apple-tree said,
    "Was it for this I blossomed so red?
    Hung out my fruit all the summer days,
    Got so much sunshine, and pleasure and praise?"

    "Ah!" interrupted a solemn red plum,
    "This is the end to which all of us come;
    Last month I was laden with hundreds--but now"--
    And he sighed the last little plum off from his bough.

    "Nay, friend, take it easy," the pear-tree replied
    (A lady-like person against the wall-side).
    "Man guards, nurtures, trains us from top down to root:
    I think 'tis but fair we should give him our fruit."

    "No, I'll not be gathered," the apple resumed,
    And shook his young branches, and fluttered and fumed;
    "And I'll not drop neither, as some of you drop,
    Over-ripe: I'm determined to keep my whole crop.

    "And I with"--O'er his branches just then _something_ flew;
    It seemed like moth, large and grayish of hue.
    But it was a Fairy. Her voice soft did sound,
    "Be the tree that bears apples all the year round."

       *       *       *       *       *

    The Dean to his apple-tree, came, full of hope,
    But tough was the fruit-stalk as double-twist rope,
    And when he had cut it with patience and pain,
    He bit just one mouthful--and never again.

    "An apple so tasteless, so juiceless, so hard,
    Is, sure, good for nought but to bowl in the yard;
    The choir-boys may have it." But choir-boys soon found
    It was worthless--the tree that bore all the year round.

    And Gloster lads climbing the Deanery wall
    Were punished, as well might all young thieves appal,
    For, clutching the booty for which they did sin,
    They bit at the apples--and left their teeth in!

    And thus all the year from October till May,
    From May till October, the apples shone gay;
    But 'twas just outside glitter, for no hand was found
    To pluck at the fruit which hung all the year round.

    And so till they rotted, those queer apples hung,
    The bare boughs and blossoms and ripe fruit among
    And in Gloster city it still may be found--
    The tree that bears apples all the year round.


[A] This tree, known among gardeners by the name of "Winter-hanger" or
"Forbidden Fruit," was planted by Dean Tucker in 1760. It, or an off
shoot from it, still exists in the city of Gloucester.


          WHAT, my little foolish Ned,
            Think you mother's eyes are blind,
            That her heart has grown unkind,
          And she will not turn her head,
            Cannot see, for all her joy,
            Her poor jealous little boy?

          What though sister be the pet--
            Laughs, and leaps, and clings, and loves,
            With her eyes as soft as dove's--
          Why should yours with tears be wet?
            Why such angry tears let fall?
            Mother's heart has room for all.

          Mother's heart is very wide,
            And its doors all open stand:
            Lightest touch of tiniest hand
          She will never put aside.
            Why her happiness destroy,
            Foolish, naughty, jealous boy?

          Come within the circle bright,
            Where we laugh, and dance, and sing,
            Full of love to everything;
          As God loves us, day and night,
            And _forgives_ us. Come--with joy
            Mother too forgives her boy.



          AND so you want a fairy tale,
            My little maidens twain?
          Well, sit beside the waterfall,
            Noisy with last night's rain;

          On couch of moss, with elfin spears
            Bristling, all fierce to see,
          When from the yet brown moor down drops
            The lonely April bee.

          All the wide valley blushes green,
            While, in far depths below,
          Wharfe flashes out a great bright eye,
            Then hides his shining flow;--

          Wharfe, busy, restless, rapid Wharfe,
            The glory of our dale;
          O I could of the River Wharfe
            Tell such a fairy tale!

          "The Boy of Egremond," you cry,--
            "And all the 'bootless bene:'
          We know that poem, every word,
            And we the Strid have seen."

          No, clever damsels: though the tale
            Seems still to bear a part,
          In every lave of Wharfe's bright wave,
            The broken mother's heart--

          Little you know of broken hearts,
            My Kitty, blithe and wise,
          Grave Mary, with the woman soul
            Dawning through childish eyes.

          And long, long distant may God keep
            The day when each shall know
          The entrance to His kingdom through
            His baptism of woe!

          But yet 'tis good to hear of grief
            Which He permits to be;
          Even as in our green inland home
            We talk of wrecks at sea.

          So on this lovely day, when spring
            Wakes soft o'er moor and dale,
          I'll tell--not quite your wish--but yet
            A noble "fairy" tale.

       *       *       *       *       *

          'Twas six o'clock in the morning,
            The sea like crystal lay,
          When the good troop-ship Birkenhead
            Set sail from Simon's Bay.

          The Cape of Good Hope on her right
            Gloomed at her through the noon:
          Brief tropic twilight fled, and night
            Fell suddenly and soon.

          At eight o'clock in the evening
            Dim grew the pleasant land;
          O'er smoothest seas the southern heaven
            Its starry arch out-spanned.

          The soldiers on the bulwarks leaned,
            Smoked, chatted; and below
          The soldiers' wives sang babes to sleep,
            While on the ship sailed slow.

          Six hundred and thirty souls held she,
            Good, bad, old, young, rich, poor;
          Six hundred and thirty living souls--
            God knew them all.--Secure

          He counted them in His right hand,
            That held the hungering seas;
          And to four hundred came a voice--
            "The Master hath need of these."

       *       *       *       *       *

          On, onward, still the vessel went
            Till, with a sudden shock,
          Like one that's clutched by unseen Death,
            She struck upon a rock.

          She filled. Not hours, not minutes left;
            Each second a life's gone:
          Drowned in their berths, washed overboard,
            Lost, swimming, one by one;

          Till, o'er this chaos of despair
            Rose, like celestial breath,
          The law of order, discipline,
            Obedience unto death.

          The soldiers mustered upon deck,
            As mute as on parade;
          "Women and children to the boats!"
            And not a man gainsayed.

          Without a murmur or a moan
            They stood, formed rank and file,
          Between the dreadful crystal seas
            And the sky's dreadful smile.

          In face of death they did their work
            As they in life would do,
          Embarking at a quiet quay--
            A quiet, silent crew.

          "Now each man for himself. To the boats!"
            Arose a passing cry.
          The soldier-captain answered, "Swamp
            The women and babes?--No, die!"

          And so they died. Each in his place,
            Obedient to command,
          They went down with the sinking ship,
            Went down in sight of land.

          The great sea oped her mouth, and closed
            O'er them. Awhile they trod
          The valley of the shadow of death,
            And then were safe with God.

       *       *       *       *       *

          My little girlies--What! your tears
            Are dropping on the grass,
          Over my more than "fairy" tale,
            A tale that "really was!"

          Nay, dry them. If we could but see
            The joy in angels' eyes
          O'er good lives, or heroic deaths
            Of pure self-sacrifice,--

          We should not weep o'er these that sleep--
            Their short, sharp struggle o'er--
          Under the rolling waves that break
            Upon the Afric shore.

          God works not as man works, nor sees
            As man sees: though we mark
          Ofttimes the moving of His hands
            Beneath the eternal Dark.

          But yet we know that all is well
            That He, who loved all these,
          Loves children laughing on the moor,
            Birds singing in the trees;

          That He who made both life and death,
            He knoweth which is best:
          We live to Him, we die to Him,
            And leave Him all the rest.



    I WISH I were a little bird
      When the sun shines
    And the wind whispers low,
      Through the tall pines,
    I'd rock in the elm tops,
      Rifle the pear-tree,
    Hide in the cherry boughs,
      O such a rare tree!

          I wish I were a little bird;
            All summer long
          I'd fly so merrily
            Sing such a song!
          Song that should never cease
            While daylight lasted,
          Wings that should never tire
            Howe'er they hasted.


                 But if you were a little bird--
                   My baby-blossom.
                 Nestling so cosily
                   In mother's bosom,--
                 A bird, as we see them now,
                   When the snows harden,
                 And the wind's blighting breath
                   Howls round the garden:

    What would you do, poor bird,
      In winter drear?
    No nest to creep into,
      No mother near:
    Hungry and desolate,
      Weary and woeful,
    All the earth bound with frost,
      All the sky snow-full?

CHILD (_thoughtfully_).

              That would be sad, and yet
                Hear what I'd do--
              Mother, in winter time
                I'd come to you!
              If you can like the birds
                Spite of their thieving,
              Give them your trees to build,
                Garden to live in,

                        I think if I were a bird
                          When winter comes
                        I'd trust you, mother dear,
                          For a few crumbs,
                        Whether I sang or not,
                          Were lark, thrush, or starling.--

MOTHER (_aside_).

                          Then--Father--I trust _Thee_
                            With this my darling.


    "WHAT is wrong with my big brother?"
        Says the child;
    For they two had got no mother
    And she loved him like no other:
                            If he smiled,
                    All the world seemed bright and gay
                    To this happy little May.

    If to her he sharply spoke,
          This big brother--
    Then her tender heart nigh broke;
    But the cruel pain that woke,
                            She would smother--
                    As a little woman can;--
                    Was he not almost a man?

    But when trouble or disgrace
          Smote the boy,
    She would lift her gentle face--
    Surely 'twas her own right place.
                            To bring joy?
                      For she loved him--loved him so!
                      Whether he was good or no

            May be he will never feel
                Half her love;
            Wound her, and forget to heal:
                Idle words are sharp as steel:
                      But above,
                I know what the angels say
                Of this silent little May.


    DON'T be afraid of the dark,
      My daughter, dear as my soul!
    You see but a part of the gloomy world,
      But I--I have seen the whole,
    And I know each step of the fearsome way,
    Till the shadows brighten to open day.

    Don't be afraid of pain,
    My tender little child:
      When its smart is worst there comes strength to bear,
    And it seems as if angels smiled,--
    As I smile, dear, when I hurt you now.
    In binding up that wound on your brow.

    Don't be afraid of grief,
      'Twill come--as night follows day,
    But the bleakest sky has tiny rifts
    When the stars shine through--as to say
    Wait, wait a little--till night is o'er
    And beautiful day come back once more.

    O child, be afraid of sin,
      But have no other fear,
    For God's in the dark, as well as the light;
      And while we can feel Him near,
    His hand that He gives, His love that He gave,
      Lead safely, even to the dark of the grave.


          ALFRED is gentle as a girl,
            But Judith longs to be a boy!
          Would cut off every pretty curl
            With eager joy!

          Hates to be called "my dear"--or kissed:
            For dollies does not care one fig:
          Goes, sticking hands up to the wrist
            In jackets big.

          Would like to do whate'er boy can;
            Play cricket--even to go school:
          It is so grand to be a man!
            A girl's a fool!

          But Alfred smiles superior love
            On all these innocent vagaries.
          He'd hate a goose! but yet a dove
            Ah, much more rare is!

          She's anything but dove, good sooth!
            But she's his dear and only sister:
          And, had she been a boy, in truth
            How he'd have missed her.

          So, gradually her folly dies,
            And she'll consent to be just human,
          When there shines out of girlish eyes
            The real Woman.


          "OUR Father which art in heaven,"
              Little Agnes prays,
          Though her kneeling is but show,
          Though she is too young to know
              All, or half she says.
          God will hear her, Agnes mild,
          God will love the innocent child.

          "Our Father which art in heaven."
              She has a father here,
          Does she think of his kind eyes,
          Tones that ne'er in anger rise--
              "Yes, dear," or "No, dear."
          They will haunt her whole life long
          Like a sweet pathetic song.

          "Our Father which art in heaven,"
          Through thy peaceful prayer,
          Think of the known father's face,
          Of his bosom, happy place;
                Safely sheltered there;
          And so blessed--long may He bless!
          Think too of the fatherless.


    COME along for the work is ready--
      Rough it may be, rough, tough and hard--
    But--fourteen years old--stout, strong and steady,
      Life's game's beginning, lad!--play your card--
            Come along.

    Mother stands at the door-step crying
      Well but she has a brave heart too:
    She'll try to be glad--there's nought like trying,
      She's proud of having a son like you.
            Come along.

    Young as she is, her hair is whitening,
      She has ploughed thro' years of sorrow deep,
    She looks at her boy, and her eyes are brightening,
      Shame if ever you make them weep!
          Come along.

    Bravo! See how the brown cheek flushes!
      Ready to work as hard as you can?
    I have always faith in a boy that blushes,
      None will blush for him, when he's a man.
          Come along.


          WE go on our way together,
            Baby, and dog, and I;
          Three merry companions,
            'Neath any sort of sky;
          Blue as her pretty eyes are,
            Or gray, like his dear old tail;
          Be it windy, or cloudy, or stormy,
            Our courage does never fail.

          Sometimes the snow lies thickly,
            Under the hedge-row bleak;
          Then baby cries "Pretty, pretty,"
            The only word she can speak.
          Sometimes two rivers of water
            Run down the muddy lane;
          Then dog leaps backwards and forwards
            Barking with might and main.

          Baby's a little lady,
            Dog is a gentleman brave:
          If he had two legs as you have
            He'd kneel to her like a slave;
          As it is he loves and protects her,
            As dog and gentleman can;
          I'd rather be a kind doggie
            I think, than a brute of a man.


    SHE was going home down the lonely street,
    A widow-woman with weary feet
    And weary eyes that seldom smiled:
    She had neither mother, sister, nor child.
    She earned her bread with a patient heart,
    And ate it quietly and apart,
    In her silent home from day to day,
    No one to say her "ay," or "nay."

    She was going home without care to haste;
    What should she haste for? On she paced
    Through the snowy night so bleak and wild,
    When she thought she heard the cry of a child,
    A feeble cry, not of hunger or pain,
    But just of sorrow. It came again.
    She stopped--she listened--she almost smiled--
    "That sounds like a wail of a motherless child."

    A house stood open--no soul was there--
    Her dull, tired feet grew light on the stair;
    She mounted--entered. One bed on the floor,
    And Something in it: and close by the door,
    Watching the stark form, stretched out still,
    Ignorant knowing not good nor ill,
    But only a want and a misery wild,
    Crouched the dead mother's motherless child.

    What next? Come say what would you have done
    Dear children playing about in the sun,
    Or sitting by pleasant fireside warm,
    Hearing outside the howling storm?
    The widow went in and she shut the door,
    She stayed by the dead an hour or more--
    And when she went home through the night so wild,
    She had in her arms a sleeping child.

    Now she is old and feeble and dull,
    But her empty heart is happy and full
    If her crust be hard and her cottage poor
    There's a young foot tripping across the floor,
    Young hands to help her that never tire,
    And a young voice singing beside the fire;
    And her tired eyes look as if they smiled,--
    Childless mother and motherless child.


              I TOOK the wren's nest;--
              Heaven forgive me!
          Its merry architects so small
          Had scarcely finished their wee hall,
          That empty still and neat and fair
          Hung idly in the summer air.
          The mossy walls, the dainty door,
          Where Love should enter and explore,
          And Love sit caroling outside,
          And Love within chirp multiplied;--
              I took the wren's nest;--
              Heaven forgive me!

          How many hours of happy pains
          Through early frosts and April rains,
          How many songs at eve and morn
          O'er springing grass and greening corn,
          Before the pretty house was made!
          One little minute, only one,
          And she'll fly back, and find it--gone!
              I took the wren's nest;--
              Bird, forgive me!

          Thou and thy mate, sans let, sans fear,
          Ye have before you all the year,
          And every wood holds nooks for you,
          In which to sing and build and woo
          One piteous cry of birdish pain--
          And ye'll begin your life again,
          Forgetting quite the lost, lost home
          In many a busy home to come--
          But I?--Your wee house keep I must
          Until it crumble into dust.
              I took the wren's nest:
              God forgive me!


    A CHILD'S smile--nothing more;
    Quiet and soft and grave, and seldom seen,
    Like summer lightning o'er,
    Leaving the little face again serene.

    I think, boy well-beloved,
    Thine angel, who did grieve to see how far
    Thy childhood is removed
    From sports that dear to other children are,

    On this pale cheek has thrown
    The brightness of his countenance, and made
    A beauty like his own--
    That, while we see it, we are half afraid,

    And marvel, will it stay?
    Or, long ere manhood, will that angel fair,
    Departing some sad day,
    Steal the child-smile and leave the shadow care?

    Nay, fear not. As is given
    Unto this child the father watching o'er,
    His angel up in heaven
    Beholds Our Father's face for evermore.

    And he will help him bear
    His burthen, as his father helps him now;
    So he may come to wear
    That happy child-smile on an old man's brow.


          A LITTLE bird flew my window by,
          'Twixt the level street and the level sky,
          The level rows of houses tall,
          The long low sun on the level wall
          And all that the little bird did say
          Was, "Over the hills and far away."

          A little bird sang behind my chair,
          From the level line of corn-fields fair,
          The smooth green hedgerow's level bound
          Not a furlong off--the horizon's bound,
          And the level lawn where the sun all day
          Burns:--"Over the hills and far away."

          A little bird sings above my bed,
          And I know if I could but lift my head
          I would see the sun set, round and grand,
          Upon level sea and level sand,
          While beyond the misty distance gray
          Is "Over the hills and far away."

          I think that a little bird will sing
          Over a grassy mound, next spring,
          Where something that once was _me_, ye'll leave
          In the level sunshine, morn and eve:
          But I shall be gone, past night, past day,
          Over the hills and far away.


    SAID a drop to a drop, "Just look at me!
    I'm the finest rain-drop you ever did see:
    I have lived ten seconds at least on my pane;
    Swelling and filling and swelling again.

    "All the little rain-drops unto me run,
    I watch them and catch them and suck them up each one:
    All the pretty children stand and at me stare;
    Pointing with their fingers--'That's the biggest drop there.'"

    "Yet you are but a drop," the small drop replied;
    "I don't myself see much cause for pride:
    The bigger you swell up,--we know well, my friend,--
    The faster you run down the sooner you'll end.

    "For me, I'm contented outside on my ledge,
    Hearing the patter of rain in the hedge;
    Looking at the firelight and the children fair,--
    Whether they look at me, I'm sure I don't care."

    "Sir," cried the first drop, "your talk is but dull;
    I can't wait to listen, for I'm almost full;
    You'll run a race with me?--No?--Then 'tis plain
    I am the largest drop in the whole pane."

    Off ran the big drop, at first rather slow:
    Then faster and faster, as drops will, you know:
    Raced down the window-pane, like hundreds before,
    Just reached the window-sill--one splash--and was o'er.


    SO grows the rising year, and so declines
      By months, weeks, days, unto its peaceful end
    Even as by slow and ever-varying signs
      Through childhood, youth, our solemn steps we bend
      Up to the crown of life, and thence descend.

    Great Father, who of every one takest care,
      From him on whom full ninety years are piled
    To the young babe, just taught to lisp a prayer
      About the "Gentle Jesus, meek and mild,"
      Who children loves, being once himself a child,--

    O make us day by day like Him to grow;
      More pure and good, more dutiful and meek;
    Because He loves those who obey Him so;
      Because His love is the best thing to seek,
      Because without His love, all loves are weak,--

    All earthly joys are miserable and poor,
      All earthly goodness quickly droops and dies,
    Like rootless flowers you plant in gardens--sure
      That they will flourish--till in mid-day skies
      The sun burns, and they fade before your eyes.

    O God, who art alone the life and light
      Of this strange world to which as babes we come,
    Keep Thou us always children in Thy sight:
      Guide us from year to year, thro' shine and gloom
      And at our year's end, Father, take us home.


          "WHY thus aside your playthings throw,
          Over the wet lawn hurrying so?
          Where are you going, I want to know?"
            "I'm running after the rainbow."

          "Little boy, with your bright brown eyes
          Full of an innocent surprise,
          Stop a minute, my Arthur wise,
            What do you want with the rainbow?"

          Arthur paused in his headlong race,
          Turned to his mother his hot, young face,
          "Mother, I want to reach the place
            At either end of the rainbow.

          "Nurse says, wherever it meets the ground.
          Such beautiful things may oft be found
          Buried below, or scattered round,
            If one can but catch the rainbow.

          "O please don't hinder me, mother dear,
          It will all be gone while I stay here;"
          So with many a hope and not one fear,
            The child ran after the rainbow.

          Over the damp grass, ankle deep,
          Clambering up the hilly steep,
          And the wood where the birds were going to sleep,
            But he couldn't catch the rainbow.

          And when he came out at the wood's far side,
          The sun was setting in golden pride,
          There were plenty of clouds all rainbow dyed,
            But not a sign of the rainbow.

          Said Arthur, sobbing, as home he went,
          "I wish I had thought what mother meant;
          I wish I had only been content,
            And not ran after the rainbow."

          And as he came sadly down the hill,
          Stood mother scolding--but smiling still,
          And hugged him up close, as mothers will:
            So he quite forgot the rainbow.


    WE'RE going to a party, my brother Dick and I:
    The best, grandest party we ever did try:
    And I'm very happy--but Dick is so shy!

    I've got a white ball-dress, and flowers in my hair,
    And a scarf, with a brooch too, mamma let me wear:
    Silk stockings, and shoes with high heels, I declare!

    There is to be music--a real soldier's band:
    And _I_ mean to waltz, and eat ice, and be fanned,
    Like a grown-up young lady, the first in the land.

    But Dick is so stupid, so silent and shy:
    Has never learnt dancing, so says he won't try--
    Yet Dick is both older and wiser than I.

    And I'm fond of my brother--this darling old Dick:
    I'll hunt him in corners wherever he stick,
    He's bad at a party--but at school he's a brick!

    So good at his Latin, at cricket, football,
    Whatever he tries at. And then he's so tall!
    Yet at play with the children he's best of us all.

    And his going to the party is just to please _me_,
    Poor Dick! so good-natured. How dull he will be!
    But he says I shall dance "like a wave o' the sea."

    That's Shakespeare, his Shakespeare, he worships him so.
    Our Dick he writes poems, though none will he show;
    I found out his secret, but I won't tell: no, no.

    And when he's a great man, a poet you see,
    O dear! what a proud little sister I'll be;
    Hark! there comes the carriage. We're off, Dick and me.


    GRANDPAPA lives at the end of the lane,
    His cottage is small and its furniture plain;
    No pony to ride on, no equipage grand,--
    A garden, and just half an acre of land;
    No dainties to dine off, and very few toys,--
    Yet is grandpapa's house the delight of the boys.

    Grandpapa once lived in one little room,
    Grandpapa worked all day long at his loom:
    He speaks with queer accent, does dear grandpapa,
    And not half so well as papa and mamma.
    The girls think his clothes are a little rough,
    But the boys all declare they can't love him enough.

    A man of the people in manners and mind,
    Yet so honest, so tender, so clever, so kind:
    Makes the best of his lot still, where'er it be cast.
    A sturdy old Englishman, game to the last.
    Though simple and humble and unknown to fame,
    It's good luck to the boys to bear grandpapa's name!


          DEUX petits enfants Francais,
            Monsieur et Mademoiselle.
          Of what can they be talking, child?
            Indeed I cannot tell.
          But of this I am very certain,
            You would find naught to blame
          In that sweet French politeness--
            I wish we had the same.

          Monsieur has got a melon,
            And scoops it with his knife,
          While Mademoiselle sits watching him:
            No rudeness here--no strife:
          Though could you listen only,
            They're chattering like two pies--
          French magpies, understand me--
            So merry and so wise.

          Their floor is bare of carpet,
            Their curtains are so thin,
          They dine on meagre _potage_, and
            Put many an onion in!
          Her snow-white caps she irons:
            He blacks his shoes, he can;
          Yet she's a little lady
            And he's a gentleman.

          O busy, happy children!
            That light French heart of yours,
          Would it might sometimes enter at
            Our solemn English doors!
          Would that we worked as gaily,
            And played, yes, played as well,
          And lived our lives as simply
            As Monsieur et Mademoiselle.



          YOUNG Dandelion
            On a hedge-side,
          Said young Dandelion,
            "Who'll be my bride?

          "I'm a bold fellow
            As ever was seen,
          With my shield of yellow,
            In the grass green.

          "You may uproot me,
            From field and from lane,
          Trample me, cut me,--
            I spring up again.

          "I never flinch, Sir,
            Wherever I dwell;
          Give me an inch, Sir.
            I'll soon take an ell.

          "Drive me from garden
            In anger and pride,
          I'll thrive and harden
            By the road-side.

          "Not a bit fearful,
            Showing my face,
          Always so cheerful
            In every place."

          Said young Dandelion,
            With a sweet air,
          "I have my eye on
            Miss Daisy fair.

          "Though we may tarry
            Till past the cold,
          Her I will marry
            Ere I grow old.

          "I will protect her
            From all kinds of harm,
          Feed her with nectar,
            Shelter her warm.

          "Whate'er the weather,
            Let it go by;
          We'll hold together,
            Daisy and I.

          "I'll ne'er give in,--no!
            Nothing I fear:
          All that I win, O!
            I'll keep for my dear."

          Said young Dandelion
            On his hedge-side,
          "Who'll me rely on?
            Who'll be my bride?"


    MY eyes are full, my silent heart is stirred,
          Amid these days so bright
          Of ceaseless warmth and light;
          Summer that will not die,
          Autumn, without one sigh
          O'er sweet hours passing by--
          Cometh that tender note
          Out of thy tiny throat,
    Like grief, or love, insisting to be heard,
    O little plaintive bird!

    No need of word
    Well know I all your tale--forgotten bird!
          Soon you and I together
          Must face the winter weather,
          Remembering how we sung
          Our primrose fields among,
          In days when life was young;
          Now, all is growing old,
          And the warm earth's a-cold,
    Still, with brave heart we'll sing on, little bird,
    Sing only. Not one word.

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Notes:

Obvious punctuation errors repaired.

Text uses both tablecloth and table-cloth.

Page 8, "tidiness,and" changed to "tidiness, and" (liked tidiness, and)

Page 12, "agan" changed to "again" (to the table again)

Page 25, "Gradener" changed to "Gardener" (cried the Gardener)

Page 29, "shown" changed to "shone" (shone with dew)

Page 32, "it" changed to "if" (as if the old)

Page 36, "like" changed to "liked" (liked all young things)

Page 35, "sate" changed to "state" (a pretty state of)

Page 49, "it" changed to "if" (as if there was)

Page 50, "f" changed to "if" (presently, if you)

Page 57, "altogetherwas" changed to "altogether was" (altogether was

Page 60, word "a" added to text (it was a bright)

Page 68, "plaee" changed to "place" (place is bewitched)

Page 71, illustration, "suddenl" changed to "suddenly" (ice suddenly

Page 78, "bakset" changed to "basket" (basket is too heavy)

Page 78, "bolws" changed to "blows" (very hard blows)

Page 79, "it" changed to "is" (is; that nasty)

Page 80, "donwward" changed to "downward" (their necks downward)

Page 97, "theives" changed to "thieves" (all young thieves)

Page 99, "fairy a tale" changed to "a fairy tale" (you want a fairy

Page 113, "ma n" changed to "main" (with might and main)

Page 116, "al" changed to "all" (you all the year)

Page 116, "bui d" changed to "build" (build and woo)

Page 116, "du t" changed to "dust" (crumble into dust)

Page 116, "SMIL" changed to "SMILE" (A CHILD'S SMILE)

Page 120, "hedgegrow's" changed to "hedgerow's" (hedgerow's level bound)

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