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´╗┐Title: American Fairy Tales
Author: Baum, L. Frank (Lyman Frank), 1856-1919
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "American Fairy Tales" ***

American Fairy Tales


Author of





No one intended to leave Martha alone that afternoon, but it
happened that everyone was called away, for one reason or another.
Mrs. McFarland was attending the weekly card party held by the
Women's Anti-Gambling League. Sister Nell's young man had called
quite unexpectedly to take her for a long drive. Papa was at the
office, as usual. It was Mary Ann's day out. As for Emeline, she
certainly should have stayed in the house and looked after the
little girl; but Emeline had a restless nature.

"Would you mind, miss, if I just crossed the alley to speak a word
to Mrs. Carleton's girl?" she asked Martha.

"'Course not," replied the child. "You'd better lock the back door,
though, and take the key, for I shall be upstairs."

"Oh, I'll do that, of course, miss," said the delighted maid, and
ran away to spend the afternoon with her friend, leaving Martha
quite alone in the big house, and locked in, into the bargain.

The little girl read a few pages in her new book, sewed a few
stitches in her embroidery and started to "play visiting" with her
four favorite dolls. Then she remembered that in the attic was a
doll's playhouse that hadn't been used for months, so she decided
she would dust it and put it in order.

Filled with this idea, the girl climbed the winding stairs to the
big room under the roof. It was well lighted by three dormer windows
and was warm and pleasant. Around the walls were rows of boxes and
trunks, piles of old carpeting, pieces of damaged furniture, bundles
of discarded clothing and other odds and ends of more or less value.
Every well-regulated house has an attic of this sort, so I need not
describe it.

The doll's house had been moved, but after a search Martha found it
away over in a corner near the big chimney.

She drew it out and noticed that behind it was a black wooden chest
which Uncle Walter had sent over from Italy years and years
ago--before Martha was born, in fact. Mamma had told her about it
one day; how there was no key to it, because Uncle Walter wished it
to remain unopened until he returned home; and how this wandering
uncle, who was a mighty hunter, had gone into Africa to hunt
elephants and had never been heard from afterwards.

The little girl looked at the chest curiously, now that it had by
accident attracted her attention.

It was quite big--bigger even than mamma's traveling trunk--and was
studded all over with tarnished brassheaded nails. It was heavy,
too, for when Martha tried to lift one end of it she found she could
not stir it a bit. But there was a place in the side of the cover
for a key. She stooped to examine the lock, and saw that it would
take a rather big key to open it.

Then, as you may suspect, the little girl longed to open Uncle
Walter's big box and see what was in it. For we are all curious, and
little girls are just as curious as the rest of us.

"I don't b'lieve Uncle Walter'll ever come back," she thought. "Papa
said once that some elephant must have killed him. If I only had a
key--" She stopped and clapped her little hands together gayly as
she remembered a big basket of keys on the shelf in the linen
closet. They were of all sorts and sizes; perhaps one of them would
unlock the mysterious chest!

She flew down the stairs, found the basket and returned with it to
the attic. Then she sat down before the brass-studded box and began
trying one key after another in the curious old lock. Some were too
large, but most were too small. One would go into the lock but would
not turn; another stuck so fast that she feared for a time that she
would never get it out again. But at last, when the basket was
almost empty, an oddly-shaped, ancient brass key slipped easily into
the lock. With a cry of joy Martha turned the key with both hands;
then she heard a sharp "click," and the next moment the heavy lid
flew up of its own accord!

The little girl leaned over the edge of the chest an instant, and
the sight that met her eyes caused her to start back in amazement.

Slowly and carefully a man unpacked himself from the chest, stepped
out upon the floor, stretched his limbs and then took off his hat
and bowed politely to the astonished child.

He was tall and thin and his face seemed badly tanned or sunburnt.

Then another man emerged from the chest, yawning and rubbing his
eyes like a sleepy schoolboy. He was of middle size and his skin
seemed as badly tanned as that of the first.

While Martha stared open-mouthed at the remarkable sight a third man
crawled from the chest. He had the same complexion as his fellows,
but was short and fat.

All three were dressed in a curious manner. They wore short jackets
of red velvet braided with gold, and knee breeches of sky-blue satin
with silver buttons. Over their stockings were laced wide ribbons of
red and yellow and blue, while their hats had broad brims with high,
peaked crowns, from which fluttered yards of bright-colored ribbons.

They had big gold rings in their ears and rows of knives and pistols
in their belts. Their eyes were black and glittering and they wore
long, fierce mustaches, curling at the ends like a pig's tail.

"My! but you were heavy," exclaimed the fat one, when he had pulled
down his velvet jacket and brushed the dust from his sky-blue
breeches. "And you squeezed me all out of shape."

"It was unavoidable, Luigi," responded the thin man, lightly; "the
lid of the chest pressed me down upon you. Yet I tender you my

"As for me," said the middle-sized man, carelessly rolling a
cigarette and lighting it, "you must acknowledge I have been your
nearest friend for years; so do not be disagreeable."

"You mustn't smoke in the attic," said Martha, recovering herself at
sight of the cigarette. "You might set the house on fire."

The middle-sized man, who had not noticed her before, at this speech
turned to the girl and bowed.

"Since a lady requests it," said he, "I shall abandon my cigarette,"
and he threw it on the floor and extinguished it with his foot.

"Who are you?" asked Martha, who until now had been too astonished
to be frightened.

"Permit us to introduce ourselves," said the thin man, flourishing
his hat gracefully. "This is Lugui," the fat man nodded; "and this
is Beni," the middle-sized man bowed; "and I am Victor. We are three
bandits--Italian bandits."

"Bandits!" cried Martha, with a look of horror.

"Exactly. Perhaps in all the world there are not three other bandits
so terrible and fierce as ourselves," said Victor, proudly.

"'Tis so," said the fat man, nodding gravely.

"But it's wicked!" exclaimed Martha.

"Yes, indeed," replied Victor. "We are extremely and tremendously
wicked. Perhaps in all the world you could not find three men more
wicked than those who now stand before you."

"'Tis so," said the fat man, approvingly.

"But you shouldn't be so wicked," said the girl;

Victor cast down his eyes and blushed.

"Naughty!" gasped Beni, with a horrified look.

"'Tis a hard word," said Luigi, sadly, and buried his face in his

"I little thought," murmured Victor, in a voice broken by emotion,
"ever to be so reviled--and by a lady! Yet, perhaps you spoke
thoughtlessly. You must consider, miss, that our wickedness has an
excuse. For how are we to be bandits, let me ask, unless we are

Martha was puzzled and shook her head, thoughtfully. Then she
remembered something.

"You can't remain bandits any longer," said she, "because you are
now in America."

"America!" cried the three, together.

"Certainly. You are on Prairie avenue, in Chicago. Uncle Walter sent
you here from Italy in this chest."

The bandits seemed greatly bewildered by this announcement. Lugui
sat down on an old chair with a broken rocker and wiped his forehead
with a yellow silk handkerchief. Beni and Victor fell back upon the
chest and looked at her with pale faces and staring eyes.

When he had somewhat recovered himself Victor spoke.

"Your Uncle Walter has greatly wronged us," he said, reproachfully.
"He has taken us from our beloved Italy, where bandits are highly
respected, and brought us to a strange country where we shall not
know whom to rob or how much to ask for a ransom."

"'Tis so!" said the fat man, slapping his leg sharply.

"And we had won such fine reputations in Italy!" said Beni,

"Perhaps Uncle Walter wanted to reform you," suggested Martha.

"Are there, then, no bandits in Chicago?" asked Victor.

"Well," replied the girl, blushing in her turn, "we do not call them

"Then what shall we do for a living?" inquired Beni, despairingly.

"A great deal can be done in a big American city," said the child.
"My father is a lawyer" (the bandits shuddered), "and my mother's
cousin is a police inspector."

"Ah," said Victor, "that is a good employment. The police need to be
inspected, especially in Italy."

"Everywhere!" added Beni.

"Then you could do other things," continued Martha, encouragingly.
"You could be motor men on trolley cars, or clerks in a department
store. Some people even become aldermen to earn a living."

The bandits shook their heads sadly.

"We are not fitted for such work," said Victor. "Our business is to

Martha tried to think.

"It is rather hard to get positions in the gas office," she said,
"but you might become politicians."

"No!" cried Beni, with sudden fierceness; "we must not abandon our
high calling. Bandits we have always been, and bandits we must

"'Tis so!" agreed the fat man.

"Even in Chicago there must be people to rob," remarked Victor, with

Martha was distressed.

"I think they have all been robbed," she objected.

"Then we can rob the robbers, for we have experience and talent
beyond the ordinary," said Beni.

"Oh, dear; oh, dear!" moaned the girl; "why did Uncle Walter ever
send you here in this chest?"

The bandits became interested.

"That is what we should like to know," declared Victor, eagerly.

"But no one will ever know, for Uncle Walter was lost while hunting
elephants in Africa," she continued, with conviction.

"Then we must accept our fate and rob to the best of our ability,"
said Victor. "So long as we are faithful to our beloved profession
we need not be ashamed."

"'Tis so!" cried the fat man.

"Brothers! we will begin now. Let us rob the house we are in."

"Good!" shouted the others and sprang to their feet.

Beni turned threateningly upon the child.

"Remain here!" he commanded. "If you stir one step your blood will
be on your own head!" Then he added, in a gentler voice: "Don't be
afraid; that's the way all bandits talk to their captives. But of
course we wouldn't hurt a young lady under any circumstances."

"Of course not," said Victor.

The fat man drew a big knife from his belt and flourished it about
his head.

"S'blood!" he ejaculated, fiercely.

"S'bananas!" cried Beni, in a terrible voice.

"Confusion to our foes!" hissed Victor.

And then the three bent themselves nearly double and crept
stealthily down the stairway with cocked pistols in their hands and
glittering knives between their teeth, leaving Martha trembling with
fear and too horrified to even cry for help.

How long she remained alone in the attic she never knew, but finally
she heard the catlike tread of the returning bandits and saw them
coming up the stairs in single file.

All bore heavy loads of plunder in their arms, and Lugui was
balancing a mince pie on the top of a pile of her mother's best
evening dresses. Victor came next with an armful of bric-a-brac, a
brass candelabra and the parlor clock. Beni had the family Bible,
the basket of silverware from the sideboard, a copper kettle and
papa's fur overcoat.

"Oh, joy!" said Victor, putting down his load; "it is pleasant to
rob once more."

"Oh, ecstacy!" said Beni; but he let the kettle drop on his toe and
immediately began dancing around in anguish, while he muttered queer
words in the Italian language.

"We have much wealth," continued Victor, holding the mince pie while
Lugui added his spoils to the heap; "and all from one house! This
America must be a rich place."

With a dagger he then cut himself a piece of the pie and handed the
remainder to his comrades. Whereupon all three sat upon the floor
and consumed the pie while Martha looked on sadly.

"We should have a cave," remarked Beni; "for we must store our
plunder in a safe place. Can you tell us of a secret cave?" he asked

"There's a Mammoth cave," she answered, "but it's in Kentucky. You
would be obliged to ride on the cars a long time to get there."

The three bandits looked thoughtful and munched their pie silently,
but the next moment they were startled by the ringing of the
electric doorbell, which was heard plainly even in the remote attic.

"What's that?" demanded Victor, in a hoarse voice, as the three
scrambled to their feet with drawn daggers.

Martha ran to the window and saw it was only the postman, who had
dropped a letter in the box and gone away again. But the incident
gave her an idea of how to get rid of her troublesome bandits, so
she began wringing her hands as if in great distress and cried out:

"It's the police!"

The robbers looked at one another with genuine alarm, and Lugui
asked, tremblingly:

"Are there many of them?"

"A hundred and twelve!" exclaimed Martha, after pretending to count

"Then we are lost!" declared Beni; "for we could never fight so many
and live."

"Are they armed?" inquired Victor, who was shivering as if cold.

"Oh, yes," said she. "They have guns and swords and pistols and axes

"And what?" demanded Lugui.

"And cannons!"

The three wicked ones groaned aloud and Beni said, in a hollow

"I hope they will kill us quickly and not put us to the torture. I
have been told these Americans are painted Indians, who are
bloodthirsty and terrible."

"'Tis so!" gasped the fat man, with a shudder.

Suddenly Martha turned from the window.

"You are my friends, are you not?" she asked.

"We are devoted!" answered Victor.

"We adore you!" cried Beni.

"We would die for you!" added Lugui, thinking he was about to die

"Then I will save you," said the girl.

"How?" asked the three, with one voice.

"Get back into the chest," she said. "I will then close the lid, so
they will be unable to find you."

They looked around the room in a dazed and irresolute way, but she

"You must be quick! They will soon be here to arrest you."

Then Lugui sprang into the chest and lay fat upon the bottom. Beni
tumbled in next and packed himself in the back side. Victor followed
after pausing to kiss her hand to the girl in a graceful manner.

Then Martha ran up to press down the lid, but could not make it

"You must squeeze down," she said to them.

Lugui groaned.

"I am doing my best, miss," said Victor, who was nearest the top;
"but although we fitted in very nicely before, the chest now seems
rather small for us."

"'Tis so!" came the muffled voice of the fat man from the bottom.

"I know what takes up the room," said Beni.

"What?" inquired Victor, anxiously.

"The pie," returned Beni.

"'Tis so!" came from the bottom, in faint accents.

Then Martha sat upon the lid and pressed it down with all her
weight. To her great delight the lock caught, and, springing down,
she exerted all her strength and turned the key.

* * * * *

This story should teach us not to interfere in matters that do not
concern us. For had Martha refrained from opening Uncle Walter's
mysterious chest she would not have been obliged to carry downstairs
all the plunder the robbers had brought into the attic.


An accomplished wizard once lived on the top floor of a tenement
house and passed his time in thoughtful study and studious thought.
What he didn't know about wizardry was hardly worth knowing, for he
possessed all the books and recipes of all the wizards who had lived
before him; and, moreover, he had invented several wizardments

This admirable person would have been completely happy but for the
numerous interruptions to his studies caused by folk who came to
consult him about their troubles (in which he was not interested),
and by the loud knocks of the iceman, the milkman, the baker's boy,
the laundryman and the peanut woman. He never dealt with any of
these people; but they rapped at his door every day to see him about
this or that or to try to sell him their wares. Just when he was
most deeply interested in his books or engaged in watching the
bubbling of a cauldron there would come a knock at his door. And
after sending the intruder away he always found he had lost his
train of thought or ruined his compound.

At length these interruptions aroused his anger, and he decided he
must have a dog to keep people away from his door. He didn't know
where to find a dog, but in the next room lived a poor glass-blower
with whom he had a slight acquaintance; so he went into the man's
apartment and asked:

"Where can I find a dog?"

"What sort of a dog?" inquired the glass-blower.

"A good dog. One that will bark at people and drive them away. One
that will be no trouble to keep and won't expect to be fed. One that
has no fleas and is neat in his habits. One that will obey me when I
speak to him. In short, a good dog," said the wizard.

"Such a dog is hard to find," returned the glass-blower, who was
busy making a blue glass flower pot with a pink glass rosebush in
it, having green glass leaves and yellow glass roses.

The wizard watched him thoughtfully.

"Why cannot you blow me a dog out of glass?" he asked, presently.

"I can," declared the glass-blower; "but it would not bark at
people, you know."

"Oh, I'll fix that easily enough," replied the other. "If I could
not make a glass dog bark I would be a mighty poor wizard."

"Very well; if you can use a glass dog I'll be pleased to blow one
for you. Only, you must pay for my work."

"Certainly," agreed the wizard. "But I have none of that horrid
stuff you call money. You must take some of my wares in exchange."

The glass-blower considered the matter for a moment.

"Could you give me something to cure my rheumatism?" he asked.

"Oh, yes; easily."

"Then it's a bargain. I'll start the dog at once. What color of
glass shall I use?"

"Pink is a pretty color," said the wizard, "and it's unusual for a
dog, isn't it?"

"Very," answered the glass-blower; "but it shall be pink."

So the wizard went back to his studies and the glass-blower began to
make the dog.

Next morning he entered the wizard's room with the glass dog under
his arm and set it carefully upon the table. It was a beautiful pink
in color, with a fine coat of spun glass, and about its neck was
twisted a blue glass ribbon. Its eyes were specks of black glass and
sparkled intelligently, as do many of the glass eyes worn by men.

The wizard expressed himself pleased with the glass-blower's skill
and at once handed him a small vial.

"This will cure your rheumatism," he said.

"But the vial is empty!" protested the glass-blower.

"Oh, no; there is one drop of liquid in it," was the wizard's reply.

"Will one drop cure my rheumatism?" inquired the glass-blower, in

"Most certainly. That is a marvelous remedy. The one drop contained
in the vial will cure instantly any kind of disease ever known to
humanity. Therefore it is especially good for rheumatism. But guard
it well, for it is the only drop of its kind in the world, and I've
forgotten the recipe."

"Thank you," said the glass-blower, and went back to his room.

Then the wizard cast a wizzy spell and mumbled several very learned
words in the wizardese language over the glass dog. Whereupon the
little animal first wagged its tail from side to side, then winked
his left eye knowingly, and at last began barking in a most
frightful manner--that is, when you stop to consider the noise came
from a pink glass dog. There is something almost astonishing in the
magic arts of wizards; unless, of course, you know how to do the
things yourself, when you are not expected to be surprised at them.

The wizard was as delighted as a school teacher at the success of
his spell, although he was not astonished. Immediately he placed the
dog outside his door, where it would bark at anyone who dared knock
and so disturb the studies of its master.

The glass-blower, on returning to his room, decided not to use the
one drop of wizard cure-all just then.

"My rheumatism is better to-day," he reflected, "and I will be wise
to save the medicine for a time when I am very ill, when it will be
of more service to me."

So he placed the vial in his cupboard and went to work blowing more
roses out of glass. Presently he happened to think the medicine
might not keep, so he started to ask the wizard about it. But when
he reached the door the glass dog barked so fiercely that he dared
not knock, and returned in great haste to his own room. Indeed, the
poor man was quite upset at so unfriendly a reception from the dog
he had himself so carefully and skillfully made.

The next morning, as he read his newspaper, he noticed an article
stating that the beautiful Miss Mydas, the richest young lady in
town, was very ill, and the doctors had given up hope of her

The glass-blower, although miserably poor, hard-working and homely
of feature, was a man of ideas. He suddenly recollected his precious
medicine, and determined to use it to better advantage than
relieving his own ills. He dressed himself in his best clothes,
brushed his hair and combed his whiskers, washed his hands and tied
his necktie, blackened his hoes and sponged his vest, and then put
the vial of magic cure-all in his pocket. Next he locked his door,
went downstairs and walked through the streets to the grand mansion
where the wealthy Miss Mydas resided.

The butler opened the door and said:

"No soap, no chromos, no vegetables, no hair oil, no books, no
baking powder. My young lady is dying and we're well supplied for
the funeral."

The glass-blower was grieved at being taken for a peddler.

"My friend," he began, proudly; but the butler interrupted him,

"No tombstones, either; there's a family graveyard and the
monument's built."

"The graveyard won't be needed if you will permit me to speak," said
the glass-blower.

"No doctors, sir; they've given up my young lady, and she's given up
the doctors," continued the butler, calmly.

"I'm no doctor," returned the glass-blower.

"Nor are the others. But what is your errand?"

"I called to cure your young lady by means of a magical compound."

"Step in, please, and take a seat in the hall. I'll speak to the
housekeeper," said the butler, more politely.

So he spoke to the housekeeper and the housekeeper mentioned the
matter to the steward and the steward consulted the chef and the
chef kissed the lady's maid and sent her to see the stranger. Thus
are the very wealthy hedged around with ceremony, even when dying.

When the lady's maid heard from the glass-blower that he had a
medicine which would cure her mistress, she said:

"I'm glad you came."

"But," said he, "if I restore your mistress to health she must marry

"I'll make inquiries and see if she's willing," answered the maid,
and went at once to consult Miss Mydas.

The young lady did not hesitate an instant.

"I'd marry any old thing rather than die!" she cried. "Bring him
here at once!"

So the glass-blower came, poured the magic drop into a little water,
gave it to the patient, and the next minute Miss Mydas was as well
as she had ever been in her life.

"Dear me!" she exclaimed; "I've an engagement at the Fritters'
reception to-night. Bring my pearl-colored silk, Marie, and I will
begin my toilet at once. And don't forget to cancel the order for
the funeral flowers and your mourning gown."

"But, Miss Mydas," remonstrated the glass-blower, who stood by, "you
promised to marry me if I cured you."

"I know," said the young lady, "but we must have time to make proper
announcement in the society papers and have the wedding cards
engraved. Call to-morrow and we'll talk it over."

The glass-blower had not impressed her favorably as a husband, and
she was glad to find an excuse for getting rid of him for a time.
And she did not want to miss the Fritters' reception.

Yet the man went home filled with joy; for he thought his stratagem
had succeeded and he was about to marry a rich wife who would keep
him in luxury forever afterward.

The first thing he did on reaching his room was to smash his
glass-blowing tools and throw them out of the window.

He then sat down to figure out ways of spending his wife's money.

The following day he called upon Miss Mydas, who was reading a novel
and eating chocolate creams as happily as if she had never been ill
in her life.

"Where did you get the magic compound that cured me?" she asked.

"From a learned wizard," said he; and then, thinking it would
interest her, he told how he had made the glass dog for the wizard,
and how it barked and kept everybody from bothering him.

"How delightful!" she said. "I've always wanted a glass dog that
could bark."

"But there is only one in the world," he answered, "and it belongs
to the wizard."

"You must buy it for me," said the lady.

"The wizard cares nothing for money," replied the glass-blower.

"Then you must steal it for me," she retorted. "I can never live
happily another day unless I have a glass dog that can bark."

The glass-blower was much distressed at this, but said he would see
what he could do. For a man should always try to please his wife,
and Miss Mydas has promised to marry him within a week.

On his way home he purchased a heavy sack, and when he passed the
wizard's door and the pink glass dog ran out to bark at him he threw
the sack over the dog, tied the opening with a piece of twine, and
carried him away to his own room.

The next day he sent the sack by a messenger boy to Miss Mydas, with
his compliments, and later in the afternoon he called upon her in
person, feeling quite sure he would be received with gratitude for
stealing the dog she so greatly desired.

But when he came to the door and the butler opened it, what was his
amazement to see the glass dog rush out and begin barking at him

"Call off your dog," he shouted, in terror.

"I can't, sir," answered the butler. "My young lady has ordered the
glass dog to bark whenever you call here. You'd better look out,
sir," he added, "for if it bites you, you may have glassophobia!"

This so frightened the poor glass-blower that he went away
hurriedly. But he stopped at a drug store and put his last dime in
the telephone box so he could talk to Miss Mydas without being
bitten by the dog.

"Give me Pelf 6742!" he called.

"Hello! What is it?" said a voice.

"I want to speak with Miss Mydas," said the glass-blower.

Presently a sweet voice said: "This is Miss Mydas. What is it?"

"Why have you treated me so cruelly and set the glass dog on me?"
asked the poor fellow.

"Well, to tell the truth," said the lady, "I don't like your looks.
Your cheeks are pale and baggy, your hair is coarse and long, your
eyes are small and red, your hands are big and rough, and you are

"But I can't help my looks!" pleaded the glass-blower; "and you
really promised to marry me."

"If you were better looking I'd keep my promise," she returned. "But
under the circumstances you are no fit mate for me, and unless you
keep away from my mansion I shall set my glass dog on you!" Then she
dropped the 'phone and would have nothing more to say.

The miserable glass-blower went home with a heart bursting with
disappointment and began tying a rope to the bedpost by which to
hang himself.

Some one knocked at the door, and, upon opening it, he saw the

"I've lost my dog," he announced.

"Have you, indeed?" replied the glass-blower tying a knot in the

"Yes; some one has stolen him."

"That's too bad," declared the glass-blower, indifferently.

"You must make me another," said the wizard.

"But I cannot; I've thrown away my tools."

"Then what shall I do?" asked the wizard.

"I do not know, unless you offer a reward for the dog."

"But I have no money," said the wizard.

"Offer some of your compounds, then," suggested the glass-blower,
who was making a noose in the rope for his head to go through.

"The only thing I can spare," replied the wizard, thoughtfully, "is
a Beauty Powder."

"What!" cried the glass-blower, throwing down the rope, "have you
really such a thing?"

"Yes, indeed. Whoever takes the powder will become the most
beautiful person in the world."

"If you will offer that as a reward," said the glass-blower,
eagerly, "I'll try to find the dog for you, for above everything
else I long to be beautiful."

"But I warn you the beauty will only be skin deep," said the wizard.

"That's all right," replied the happy glass-blower; "when I lose my
skin I shan't care to remain beautiful."

"Then tell me where to find my dog and you shall have the powder,"
promised the wizard.

So the glass-blower went out and pretended to search, and by-and-by
he returned and said:

"I've discovered the dog. You will find him in the mansion of Miss

The wizard went at once to see if this were true, and, sure enough,
the glass dog ran out and began barking at him. Then the wizard
spread out his hands and chanted a magic spell which sent the dog
fast asleep, when he picked him up and carried him to his own room
on the top floor of the tenement house.

Afterward he carried the Beauty Powder to the glass-blower as a
reward, and the fellow immediately swallowed it and became the most
beautiful man in the world.

The next time he called upon Miss Mydas there was no dog to bark at
him, and when the young lady saw him she fell in love with his
beauty at once.

"If only you were a count or a prince," she sighed, "I'd willingly
marry you."

"But I am a prince," he answered; "the Prince of Dogblowers."

"Ah!" said she; "then if you are willing to accept an allowance of
four dollars a week I'll order the wedding cards engraved."

The man hesitated, but when he thought of the rope hanging from his
bedpost he consented to the terms.

So they were married, and the bride was very jealous of her
husband's beauty and led him a dog's life. So he managed to get into
debt and made her miserable in turn.

* * * * *

As for the glass dog, the wizard set him barking again by means of
his wizardness and put him outside his door. I suppose he is there
yet, and am rather sorry, for I should like to consult the wizard
about the moral to this story.


A king once died, as kings are apt to do, being as liable to
shortness of breath as other mortals.

It was high time this king abandoned his earth life, for he had
lived in a sadly extravagant manner, and his subjects could spare
him without the slightest inconvenience.

His father had left him a full treasury, both money and jewels being
in abundance. But the foolish king just deceased had squandered
every penny in riotous living. He had then taxed his subjects until
most of them became paupers, and this money vanished in more riotous
living. Next he sold all the grand old furniture in the palace; all
the silver and gold plate and bric-a-brac; all the rich carpets and
furnishings and even his own kingly wardrobe, reserving only a
soiled and moth-eaten ermine robe to fold over his threadbare
raiment. And he spent the money in further riotous living.

Don't ask me to explain what riotous living is. I only know, from
hearsay, that it is an excellent way to get rid of money. And so
this spendthrift king found it.

He now picked all the magnificent jewels from this kingly crown and
from the round ball on the top of his scepter, and sold them and
spent the money. Riotous living, of course. But at last he was at
the end of his resources. He couldn't sell the crown itself, because
no one but the king had the right to wear it. Neither could he sell
the royal palace, because only the king had the right to live there.

So, finally, he found himself reduced to a bare palace, containing
only a big mahogany bedstead that he slept in, a small stool on
which he sat to pull off his shoes and the moth-eaten ermine robe.

In this straight he was reduced to the necessity of borrowing an
occasional dime from his chief counselor, with which to buy a ham
sandwich. And the chief counselor hadn't many dimes. One who
counseled his king so foolishly was likely to ruin his own prospects
as well.

So the king, having nothing more to live for, died suddenly and left
a ten-year-old son to inherit the dismantled kingdom, the moth-eaten
robe and the jewel-stripped crown.

No one envied the child, who had scarcely been thought of until he
became king himself. Then he was recognized as a personage of some
importance, and the politicians and hangers-on, headed by the chief
counselor of the kingdom, held a meeting to determine what could be
done for him.

These folk had helped the old king to live riotously while his money
lasted, and now they were poor and too proud to work. So they tried
to think of a plan that would bring more money into the little
king's treasury, where it would be handy for them to help

After the meeting was over the chief counselor came to the young
king, who was playing peg-top in the courtyard, and said:

"Your majesty, we have thought of a way to restore your kingdom to
its former power and magnificence."

"All right," replied his majesty, carelessly. "How will you do it?"

"By marrying you to a lady of great wealth," replied the counselor.

"Marrying me!" cried the king. "Why, I am only ten years old!"

"I know; it is to be regretted. But your majesty will grow older,
and the affairs of the kingdom demand that you marry a wife."

"Can't I marry a mother, instead?" asked the poor little king, who
had lost his mother when a baby.

"Certainly not," declared the counselor. "To marry a mother would be
illegal; to marry a wife is right and proper."

"Can't you marry her yourself?" inquired his majesty, aiming his
peg-top at the chief counselor's toe, and laughing to see how he
jumped to escape it.

"Let me explain," said the other. "You haven't a penny in the world,
but you have a kingdom. There are many rich women who would be glad
to give their wealth in exchange for a queen's coronet--even if the
king is but a child. So we have decided to advertise that the one
who bids the highest shall become the queen of Quok."

"If I must marry at all," said the king, after a moment's thought,
"I prefer to marry Nyana, the armorer's daughter."

"She is too poor," replied the counselor.

"Her teeth are pearls, her eyes are amethysts, and her hair is
gold," declared the little king.

"True, your majesty. But consider that your wife's wealth must be
used. How would Nyana look after you have pulled her teeth of
pearls, plucked out her amethyst eyes and shaved her golden head?"

The boy shuddered.

"Have your own way," he said, despairingly. "Only let the lady be as
dainty as possible and a good playfellow."

"We shall do our best," returned the chief counselor, and went away
to advertise throughout the neighboring kingdoms for a wife for the
boy king of Quok.

There were so many applicants for the privilege of marrying the
little king that it was decided to put him up at auction, in order
that the largest possible sum of money should be brought into the
kingdom. So, on the day appointed, the ladies gathered at the palace
from all the surrounding kingdoms--from Bilkon, Mulgravia, Junkum
and even as far away as the republic of Macvelt.

The chief counselor came to the palace early in the morning and had
the king's face washed and his hair combed; and then he padded the
inside of the crown with old newspapers to make it small enough to
fit his majesty's head. It was a sorry looking crown, having many
big and little holes in it where the jewels had once been; and it
had been neglected and knocked around until it was quite battered
and tarnished. Yet, as the counselor said, it was the king's crown,
and it was quite proper he should wear it on the solemn occasion of
his auction.

Like all boys, be they kings or paupers, his majesty had torn and
soiled his one suit of clothes, so that they were hardly
presentable; and there was no money to buy new ones. Therefore the
counselor wound the old ermine robe around the king and sat him upon
the stool in the middle of the otherwise empty audience chamber.

And around him stood all the courtiers and politicians and
hangers-on of the kingdom, consisting of such people as were too
proud or lazy to work for a living. There was a great number of
them, you may be sure, and they made an imposing appearance.

Then the doors of the audience chamber were thrown open, and the
wealthy ladies who aspired to being queen of Quok came trooping in.
The king looked them over with much anxiety, and decided they were
each and all old enough to be his grandmother, and ugly enough to
scare away the crows from the royal cornfields. After which he lost
interest in them.

But the rich ladies never looked at the poor little king squatting
upon his stool. They gathered at once about the chief counselor, who
acted as auctioneer.

"How much am I offered for the coronet of the queen of Quok?" asked
the counselor, in a loud voice.

"Where is the coronet?" inquired a fussy old lady who had just
buried her ninth husband and was worth several millions.

"There isn't any coronet at present," explained the chief counselor,
"but whoever bids highest will have the right to wear one, and she
can then buy it."

"Oh," said the fussy old lady, "I see." Then she added: "I'll bid
fourteen dollars."

"Fourteen thousand dollars!" cried a sour-looking woman who was thin
and tall and had wrinkles all over her skin--"like a frosted apple,"
the king thought.

The bidding now became fast and furious, and the poverty-stricken
courtiers brightened up as the sum began to mount into the millions.

"He'll bring us a very pretty fortune, after all," whispered one to
his comrade, "and then we shall have the pleasure of helping him
spend it."

The king began to be anxious. All the women who looked at all
kind-hearted or pleasant had stopped bidding for lack of money, and
the slender old dame with the wrinkles seemed determined to get the
coronet at any price, and with it the boy husband. This ancient
creature finally became so excited that her wig got crosswise of her
head and her false teeth kept slipping out, which horrified the
little king greatly; but she would not give up.

At last the chief counselor ended the auction by crying out:

"Sold to Mary Ann Brodjinsky de la Porkus for three million, nine
hundred thousand, six hundred and twenty-four dollars and sixteen
cents!" And the sour-looking old woman paid the money in cash and on
the spot, which proves this is a fairy story.

The king was so disturbed at the thought that he must marry this
hideous creature that he began to wail and weep; whereupon the woman
boxed his ears soundly. But the counselor reproved her for punishing
her future husband in public, saying:

"You are not married yet. Wait until to-morrow, after the wedding
takes place. Then you can abuse him as much as you wish. But at
present we prefer to have people think this is a love match."

The poor king slept but little that night, so filled was he with
terror of his future wife. Nor could he get the idea out of his head
that he preferred to marry the armorer's daughter, who was about his
own age. He tossed and tumbled around upon his hard bed until the
moonlight came in at the window and lay like a great white sheet
upon the bare floor. Finally, in turning over for the hundredth
time, his hand struck against a secret spring in the headboard of
the big mahogany bedstead, and at once, with a sharp click, a panel
flew open.

The noise caused the king to look up, and, seeing the open panel, he
stood upon tiptoe, and, reaching within, drew out a folded paper. It
had several leaves fastened together like a book, and upon the first
page was written:

  "When the king is in trouble
  This leaf he must double
  And set it on fire
  To obtain his desire."

This was not very good poetry, but when the king had spelled it out
in the moonlight he was filled with joy.

"There's no doubt about my being in trouble," he exclaimed; "so I'll
burn it at once, and see what happens."

He tore off the leaf and put the rest of the book in its secret
hiding place. Then, folding the paper double, he placed it on the
top of his stool, lighted a match and set fire to it.

It made a horrid smudge for so small a paper, and the king sat on
the edge of the bed and watched it eagerly.

When the smoke cleared away he was surprised to see, sitting upon
the stool, a round little man, who, with folded arms and crossed
legs, sat calmly facing the king and smoking a black briarwood pipe.

"Well, here I am," said he.

"So I see," replied the little king. "But how did you get here?"

"Didn't you burn the paper?" demanded the round man, by way of

"Yes, I did," acknowledged the king.

"Then you are in trouble, and I've come to help you out of it. I'm
the Slave of the Royal Bedstead."

"Oh!" said the king. "I didn't know there was one."

"Neither did your father, or he would not have been so foolish as to
sell everything he had for money. By the way, it's lucky for you he
did not sell this bedstead. Now, then, what do you want?"

"I'm not sure what I want," replied the king; "but I know what I
don't want, and that is the old woman who is going to marry me."

"That's easy enough," said the Slave of the Royal Bedstead. "All you
need do is to return her the money she paid the chief counselor and
declare the match off. Don't be afraid. You are the king, and your
word is law."

"To be sure," said the majesty. "But I am in great need of money.
How am I going to live if the chief counselor returns to Mary Ann
Brodjinski her millions?"

"Phoo! that's easy enough," again answered the man, and, putting his
hand in his pocket, he drew out and tossed to the king an
old-fashioned leather purse. "Keep that with you," said he, "and you
will always be rich, for you can take out of the purse as many
twenty-five-cent silver pieces as you wish, one at a time. No matter
how often you take one out, another will instantly appear in its
place within the purse."

"Thank you," said the king, gratefully. "You have rendered me a rare
favor; for now I shall have money for all my needs and will not be
obliged to marry anyone. Thank you a thousand times!"

"Don't mention it," answered the other, puffing his pipe slowly and
watching the smoke curl into the moonlight. "Such things are easy to
me. Is that all you want?"

"All I can think of just now," returned the king.

"Then, please close that secret panel in the bedstead," said the
man; "the other leaves of the book may be of use to you some time."

The boy stood upon the bed as before and, reaching up, closed the
opening so that no one else could discover it. Then he turned to
face his visitor, but the Slave of the Royal Bedstead had

"I expected that," said his majesty; "yet I am sorry he did not wait
to say good-by."

With a lightened heart and a sense of great relief the boy king
placed the leathern purse underneath his pillow, and climbing into
bed again slept soundly until morning.

When the sun rose his majesty rose also, refreshed and comforted,
and the first thing he did was to send for the chief counselor.

That mighty personage arrived looking glum and unhappy, but the boy
was too full of his own good fortune to notice it. Said he:

"I have decided not to marry anyone, for I have just come into a
fortune of my own. Therefore I command you return to that old woman
the money she has paid you for the right to wear the coronet of the
queen of Quok. And make public declaration that the wedding will not
take place."

Hearing this the counselor began to tremble, for he saw the young
king had decided to reign in earnest; and he looked so guilty that
his majesty inquired:

"Well! what is the matter now?"

"Sire," replied the wretch, in a shaking voice, "I cannot return the
woman her money, for I have lost it!"

"Lost it!" cried the king, in mingled astonishment and anger.

"Even so, your majesty. On my way home from the auction last night I
stopped at the drug store to get some potash lozenges for my throat,
which was dry and hoarse with so much loud talking; and your majesty
will admit it was through my efforts the woman was induced to pay so
great a price. Well, going into the drug store I carelessly left the
package of money lying on the seat of my carriage, and when I came
out again it was gone. Nor was the thief anywhere to be seen."

"Did you call the police?" asked the king.

"Yes, I called; but they were all on the next block, and although
they have promised to search for the robber I have little hope they
will ever find him."

The king sighed.

"What shall we do now?" he asked.

"I fear you must marry Mary Ann Brodjinski," answered the chief
counselor; "unless, indeed, you order the executioner to cut her
head off."

"That would be wrong," declared the king. "The woman must not be
harmed. And it is just that we return her money, for I will not
marry her under any circumstances."

"Is that private fortune you mentioned large enough to repay her?"
asked the counselor.

"Why, yes," said the king, thoughtfully, "but it will take some time
to do it, and that shall be your task. Call the woman here."

The counselor went in search of Mary Ann, who, when she heard she
was not to become a queen, but would receive her money back, flew
into a violent passion and boxed the chief counselor's ears so
viciously that they stung for nearly an hour. But she followed him
into the king's audience chamber, where she demanded her money in a
loud voice, claiming as well the interest due upon it over night.

"The counselor has lost your money," said the boy king, "but he
shall pay you every penny out of my own private purse. I fear,
however, you will be obliged to take it in small change."

"That will not matter," she said, scowling upon the counselor as if
she longed to reach his ears again; "I don't care how small the
change is so long as I get every penny that belongs to me, and the
interest. Where is it?"

"Here," answered the king, handing the counselor the leathern purse.
"It is all in silver quarters, and they must be taken from the purse
one at a time; but there will be plenty to pay your demands, and to

So, there being no chairs, the counselor sat down upon the floor in
one corner and began counting out silver twenty-five-cent pieces
from the purse, one by one. And the old woman sat upon the floor
opposite him and took each piece of money from his hand.

It was a large sum: three million, nine hundred thousand, six
hundred and twenty-four dollars and sixteen cents. And it takes four
times as many twenty-five-cent pieces as it would dollars to make up
the amount.

The king left them sitting there and went to school, and often
thereafter he came to the counselor and interrupted him long enough
to get from the purse what money he needed to reign in a proper and
dignified manner. This somewhat delayed the counting, but as it was
a long job, anyway, that did not matter much.

The king grew to manhood and married the pretty daughter of the
armorer, and they now have two lovely children of their own. Once in
awhile they go into the big audience chamber of the palace and let
the little ones watch the aged, hoary-headed counselor count out
silver twenty-five-cent pieces to a withered old woman, who watched
his every movement to see that he does not cheat her.

It is a big sum, three million, nine hundred thousand, six hundred
and twenty-four dollars and sixteen cents in twenty-five-cent

But this is how the counselor was punished for being so careless
with the woman's money. And this is how Mary Ann Brodjinski de la
Porkus was also punished for wishing to marry a ten-year-old king in
order that she might wear the coronet of the queen of Quok.


Mamma had gone down-town to shop. She had asked Nora to look after
Jane Gladys, and Nora promised she would. But it was her afternoon
for polishing the silver, so she stayed in the pantry and left Jane
Gladys to amuse herself alone in the big sitting-room upstairs.

The little girl did not mind being alone, for she was working on her
first piece of embroidery--a sofa pillow for papa's birthday
present. So she crept into the big bay window and curled herself up
on the broad sill while she bent her brown head over her work.

Soon the door opened and closed again, quietly. Jane Gladys thought
it was Nora, so she didn't look up until she had taken a couple more
stitches on a forget-me-not. Then she raised her eyes and was
astonished to find a strange man in the middle of the room, who
regarded her earnestly.

He was short and fat, and seemed to be breathing heavily from his
climb up the stairs. He held a work silk hat in one hand and
underneath his other elbow was tucked a good-sized book. He was
dressed in a black suit that looked old and rather shabby, and his
head was bald upon the top.

"Excuse me," he said, while the child gazed at him in solemn
surprise. "Are you Jane Gladys Brown?"

"Yes, sir," she answered.

"Very good; very good, indeed!" he remarked, with a queer sort of
smile. "I've had quite a hunt to find you, but I've succeeded at

"How did you get in?" inquired Jane Gladys, with a growing distrust
of her visitor.

"That is a secret," he said, mysteriously.

This was enough to put the girl on her guard. She looked at the man
and the man looked at her, and both looks were grave and somewhat

"What do you want?" she asked, straightening herself up with a
dignified air.

"Ah!--now we are coming to business," said the man, briskly. "I'm
going to be quite frank with you. To begin with, your father has
abused me in a most ungentlemanly manner."

Jane Gladys got off the window sill and pointed her small finger at
the door.

"Leave this room 'meejitly!" she cried, her voice trembling with
indignation. "My papa is the best man in the world. He never 'bused

"Allow me to explain, please," said the visitor, without paying any
attention to her request to go away. "Your father may be very kind
to you, for you are his little girl, you know. But when he's
down-town in his office he's inclined to be rather severe,
especially on book agents. Now, I called on him the other day and
asked him to buy the 'Complete Works of Peter Smith,' and what do
you suppose he did?"

She said nothing.

"Why," continued the man, with growing excitement, "he ordered me
from his office, and had me put out of the building by the janitor!
What do you think of such treatment as that from the 'best papa in
the world,' eh?"

"I think he was quite right," said Jane Gladys.

"Oh, you do? Well," said the man, "I resolved to be revenged for the
insult. So, as your father is big and strong and a dangerous man, I
have decided to be revenged upon his little girl."

Jane Gladys shivered.

"What are you going to do?" she asked.

"I'm going to present you with this book," he answered, taking it
from under his arm. Then he sat down on the edge of a chair, placed
his hat on the rug and drew a fountain pen from his vest pocket.

"I'll write your name in it," said he. "How do you spell Gladys?"

"G-l-a-d-y-s," she replied.

"Thank you. Now this," he continued, rising and handing her the book
with a bow, "is my revenge for your father's treatment of me.
Perhaps he'll be sorry he didn't buy the 'Complete Works of Peter
Smith.' Good-by, my dear."

He walked to the door, gave her another bow, and left the room, and
Jane Gladys could see that he was laughing to himself as if very
much amused.

When the door had closed behind the queer little man the child sat
down in the window again and glanced at the book. It had a red and
yellow cover and the word "Thingamajigs" was across the front in big

Then she opened it, curiously, and saw her name written in black
letters upon the first white leaf.

"He was a funny little man," she said to herself, thoughtfully.

She turned the next leaf, and saw a big picture of a clown, dressed
in green and red and yellow, and having a very white face with
three-cornered spots of red on each cheek and over the eyes. While
she looked at this the book trembled in her hands, the leaf crackled
and creaked and suddenly the clown jumped out of it and stood upon
the floor beside her, becoming instantly as big as any ordinary

After stretching his arms and legs and yawning in a rather impolite
manner, he gave a silly chuckle and said:

"This is better! You don't know how cramped one gets, standing so
long upon a page of flat paper."

Perhaps you can imagine how startled Jane Gladys was, and how she
stared at the clown who had just leaped out of the book.

"You didn't expect anything of this sort, did you?" he asked,
leering at her in clown fashion. Then he turned around to take a
look at the room and Jane Gladys laughed in spite of her

"What amuses you?" demanded the clown.

"Why, the back of you is all white!" cried the girl. "You're only a
clown in front of you."

"Quite likely," he returned, in an annoyed tone. "The artist made a
front view of me. He wasn't expected to make the back of me, for
that was against the page of the book."

"But it makes you look so funny!" said Jane Gladys, laughing until
her eyes were moist with tears.

The clown looked sulky and sat down upon a chair so she couldn't see
his back.

"I'm not the only thing in the book," he remarked, crossly.

This reminded her to turn another page, and she had scarcely noted
that it contained the picture of a monkey when the animal sprang
from the book with a great crumpling of paper and landed upon the
window seat beside her.

"He-he-he-he-he!" chattered the creature, springing to the girl's
shoulder and then to the center table. "This is great fun! Now I can
be a real monkey instead of a picture of one."

"Real monkeys can't talk," said Jane Gladys, reprovingly.

"How do you know? Have you ever been one yourself?" inquired the
animal; and then he laughed loudly, and the clown laughed, too, as
if he enjoyed the remark.

The girl was quite bewildered by this time. She thoughtlessly turned
another leaf, and before she had time to look twice a gray donkey
leaped from the book and stumbled from the window seat to the floor
with a great clatter.

"You're clumsy enough, I'm sure!" said the child, indignantly, for
the beast had nearly upset her.

"Clumsy! And why not?" demanded the donkey, with angry voice. "If
the fool artist had drawn you out of perspective, as he did me, I
guess you'd be clumsy yourself."

"What's wrong with you?" asked Jane Gladys.

"My front and rear legs on the left side are nearly six inches too
short, that's what's the matter! If that artist didn't know how to
draw properly why did he try to make a donkey at all?"

"I don't know," replied the child, seeing an answer was expected.

"I can hardly stand up," grumbled the donkey; "and the least little
thing will topple me over."

"Don't mind that," said the monkey, making a spring at the
chandelier and swinging from it by his tail until Jane Gladys feared
he would knock all the globes off; "the same artist has made my ears
as big as that clown's and everyone knows a monkey hasn't any ears
to speak of--much less to draw."

"He should be prosecuted," remarked the clown, gloomily. "I haven't
any back."

Jane Gladys looked from one to the other with a puzzled expression
upon her sweet face, and turned another page of the book.

Swift as a flash there sprang over her shoulder a tawney, spotted
leopard, which landed upon the back of a big leather armchair and
turned upon the others with a fierce movement.

The monkey climbed to the top of the chandelier and chattered with
fright. The donkey tried to run and straightway tipped over on his
left side. The clown grew paler than ever, but he sat still in his
chair and gave a low whistle of surprise.

The leopard crouched upon the back of the chair, lashed his tail
from side to side and glared at all of them, by turns, including
Jane Gladys.

"Which of us are you going to attack first?" asked the donkey,
trying hard to get upon his feet again.

"I can't attack any of you," snarled the leopard. "The artist made
my mouth shut, so I haven't any teeth; and he forgot to make my
claws. But I'm a frightful looking creature, nevertheless; am I

"Oh, yes;" said the clown, indifferently. "I suppose you're
frightful looking enough. But if you have no teeth nor claws we
don't mind your looks at all."

This so annoyed the leopard that he growled horribly, and the monkey
laughed at him.

Just then the book slipped from the girl's lap, and as she made a
movement to catch it one of the pages near the back opened wide. She
caught a glimpse of a fierce grizzly bear looking at her from the
page, and quickly threw the book from her. It fell with a crash in
the middle of the room, but beside it stood the great grizzly, who
had wrenched himself from the page before the book closed.

"Now," cried the leopard from his perch, "you'd better look out for
yourselves! You can't laugh at him as you did at me. The bear has
both claws and teeth."

"Indeed I have," said the bear, in a low, deep, growling voice. "And
I know how to use them, too. If you read in that book you'll find
I'm described as a horrible, cruel and remorseless grizzly, whose
only business in life is to eat up little girls--shoes, dresses,
ribbons and all! And then, the author says, I smack my lips and
glory in my wickedness."

"That's awful!" said the donkey, sitting upon his haunches and
shaking his head sadly. "What do you suppose possessed the author to
make you so hungry for girls? Do you eat animals, also?"

"The author does not mention my eating anything but little girls,"
replied the bear.

"Very good," remarked the clown, drawing a long breath of relief.
"you may begin eating Jane Gladys as soon as you wish. She laughed
because I had no back."

"And she laughed because my legs are out of perspective," brayed the

"But you also deserve to be eaten," screamed the leopard from the
back of the leather chair; "for you laughed and poked fun at me
because I had no claws nor teeth! Don't you suppose Mr. Grizzly, you
could manage to eat a clown, a donkey and a monkey after you finish
the girl?"

"Perhaps so, and a leopard into the bargain," growled the bear. "It
will depend on how hungry I am. But I must begin on the little girl
first, because the author says I prefer girls to anything."

Jane Gladys was much frightened on hearing this conversation, and
she began to realize what the man meant when he said he gave her the
book to be revenged. Surely papa would be sorry he hadn't bought the
"Complete Works of Peter Smith" when he came home and found his
little girl eaten up by a grizzly bear--shoes, dress, ribbons and

The bear stood up and balanced himself on his rear legs.

"This is the way I look in the book," he said. "Now watch me eat the
little girl."

He advanced slowly toward Jane Gladys, and the monkey, the leopard,
the donkey and the clown all stood around in a circle and watched
the bear with much interest.

But before the grizzly reached her the child had a sudden thought,
and cried out:

"Stop! You mustn't eat me. It would be wrong."

"Why?" asked the bear, in surprise.

"Because I own you. You're my private property," she answered.

"I don't see how you make that out," said the bear, in a
disappointed tone.

"Why, the book was given to me; my name's on the front leaf. And you
belong, by rights, in the book. So you mustn't dare to eat your

The Grizzly hesitated.

"Can any of you read?" he asked.

"I can," said the clown.

"Then see if she speaks the truth. Is her name really in the book?"

The clown picked it up and looked at the name.

"It is," said he. "'Jane Gladys Brown;' and written quite plainly in
big letters."

The bear sighed.

"Then, of course, I can't eat her," he decided. "That author is as
disappointing as most authors are."

"But he's not as bad as the artist," exclaimed the donkey, who was
still trying to stand up straight.

"The fault lies with yourselves," said Jane Gladys, severely. "Why
didn't you stay in the book, where you were put?"

The animals looked at each other in a foolish way, and the clown
blushed under his white paint.

"Really--" began the bear, and then he stopped short.

The door bell rang loudly.

"It's mamma!" cried Jane Gladys, springing to her feet. "She's come
home at last. Now, you stupid creatures--"

But she was interrupted by them all making a rush for the book.
There was a swish and a whirr and a rustling of leaves, and an
instant later the book lay upon the floor looking just like any
other book, while Jane Gladys' strange companions had all

* * * * *

This story should teach us to think quickly and clearly upon all
occasions; for had Jane Gladys not remembered that she owned the
bear he probably would have eaten her before the bell rang.


One time a knook became tired of his beautiful life and longed for
something new to do. The knooks have more wonderful powers than any
other immortal folk--except, perhaps, the fairies and ryls. So one
would suppose that a knook who might gain anything he desired by a
simple wish could not be otherwise than happy and contented. But
such was not the case with Popopo, the knook we are speaking of. He
had lived thousands of years, and had enjoyed all the wonders he
could think of. Yet life had become as tedious to him now as it
might be to one who was unable to gratify a single wish.

Finally, by chance, Popopo thought of the earth people who dwell in
cities, and so he resolved to visit them and see how they lived.
This would surely be fine amusement, and serve to pass away many
wearisome hours.

Therefore one morning, after a breakfast so dainty that you could
scarcely imagine it, Popopo set out for the earth and at once was in
the midst of a big city.

His own dwelling was so quiet and peaceful that the roaring noise of
the town startled him. His nerves were so shocked that before he had
looked around three minutes he decided to give up the adventure, and
instantly returned home.

This satisfied for a time his desire to visit the earth cities, but
soon the monotony of his existence again made him restless and gave
him another thought. At night the people slept and the cities would
be quiet. He would visit them at night.

So at the proper time Popopo transported himself in a jiffy to a
great city, where he began wandering about the streets. Everyone was
in bed. No wagons rattled along the pavements; no throngs of busy
men shouted and halloaed. Even the policemen slumbered slyly and
there happened to be no prowling thieves abroad.

His nerves being soothed by the stillness, Popopo began to enjoy
himself. He entered many of the houses and examined their rooms with
much curiosity. Locks and bolts made no difference to a knook, and
he saw as well in darkness as in daylight.

After a time he strolled into the business portion of the city.
Stores are unknown among the immortals, who have no need of money or
of barter and exchange; so Popopo was greatly interested by the
novel sight of so many collections of goods and merchandise.

During his wanderings he entered a millinery shop, and was surprised
to see within a large glass case a great number of women's hats,
each bearing in one position or another a stuffed bird. Indeed, some
of the most elaborate hats had two or three birds upon them.

Now knooks are the especial guardians of birds, and love them
dearly. To see so many of his little friends shut up in a glass case
annoyed and grieved Popopo, who had no idea they had purposely been
placed upon the hats by the milliner. So he slid back one of the
doors of the case, gave the little chirruping whistle of the knooks
that all birds know well, and called:

"Come, friends; the door is open--fly out!"

Popopo did not know the birds were stuffed; but, stuffed or not,
every bird is bound to obey a knook's whistle and a knook's call. So
they left the hats, flew out of the case and began fluttering about
the room.

"Poor dears!" said the kind-hearted knook, "you long to be in the
fields and forests again."

Then he opened the outer door for them and cried: "Off with you! Fly
away, my beauties, and be happy again."

The astonished birds at once obeyed, and when they had soared away
into the night air the knook closed the door and continued his
wandering through the streets.

By dawn he saw many interesting sights, but day broke before he had
finished the city, and he resolved to come the next evening a few
hours earlier.

As soon as it was dark the following day he came again to the city
and on passing the millinery shop noticed a light within. Entering
he found two women, one of whom leaned her head upon the table and
sobbed bitterly, while the other strove to comfort her.

Of course Popopo was invisible to mortal eyes, so he stood by and
listened to their conversation.

"Cheer up, sister," said one. "Even though your pretty birds have
all been stolen the hats themselves remain."

"Alas!" cried the other, who was the milliner, "no one will buy my
hats partly trimmed, for the fashion is to wear birds upon them. And
if I cannot sell my goods I shall be utterly ruined."

Then she renewed her sobbing and the knook stole away, feeling a
little ashamed to realized that in his love for the birds he had
unconsciously wronged one of the earth people and made her unhappy.

This thought brought him back to the millinery shop later in the
night, when the two women had gone home. He wanted, in some way, to
replace the birds upon the hats, that the poor woman might be happy
again. So he searched until he came upon a nearby cellar full of
little gray mice, who lived quite undisturbed and gained a
livelihood by gnawing through the walls into neighboring houses and
stealing food from the pantries.

"Here are just the creatures," thought Popopo, "to place upon the
woman's hats. Their fur is almost as soft as the plumage of the
birds, and it strikes me the mice are remarkably pretty and graceful
animals. Moreover, they now pass their lives in stealing, and were
they obliged to remain always upon women's hats their morals would
be much improved."

So he exercised a charm that drew all the mice from the cellar and
placed them upon the hats in the glass case, where they occupied the
places the birds had vacated and looked very becoming--at least, in
the eyes of the unworldly knook. To prevent their running about and
leaving the hats Popopo rendered them motionless, and then he was so
pleased with his work that he decided to remain in the shop and
witness the delight of the milliner when she saw how daintily her
hats were now trimmed.

She came in the early morning, accompanied by her sister, and her
face wore a sad and resigned expression. After sweeping and dusting
the shop and drawing the blinds she opened the glass case and took
out a hat.

But when she saw a tiny gray mouse nestling among the ribbons and
laces she gave a loud shriek, and, dropping the hat, sprang with one
bound to the top of the table. The sister, knowing the shriek to be
one of fear, leaped upon a chair and exclaimed:

"What is it? Oh! what is it?"

"A mouse!" gasped the milliner, trembling with terror.

Popopo, seeing this commotion, now realized that mice are especially
disagreeable to human beings, and that he had made a grave mistake
in placing them upon the hats; so he gave a low whistle of command
that was heard only by the mice.

Instantly they all jumped from the hats, dashed out the open door
of the glass case and scampered away to their cellar. But this
action so frightened the milliner and her sister that after giving
several loud screams they fell upon their backs on the floor and
fainted away.

Popopo was a kind-hearted knook, but on witnessing all this misery,
caused by his own ignorance of the ways of humans, he straightway
wished himself at home, and so left the poor women to recover as
best they could.

Yet he could not escape a sad feeling of responsibility, and after
thinking upon the matter he decided that since he had caused the
milliner's unhappiness by freeing the birds, he could set the matter
right by restoring them to the glass case. He loved the birds, and
disliked to condemn them to slavery again; but that seemed the only
way to end the trouble.

So he set off to find the birds. They had flown a long distance, but
it was nothing to Popopo to reach them in a second, and he
discovered them sitting upon the branches of a big chestnut tree and
singing gayly.

When they saw the knook the birds cried:

"Thank you, Popopo. Thank you for setting us free."

"Do not thank me," returned the knook, "for I have come to send you
back to the millinery shop."

"Why?" demanded a blue jay, angrily, while the others stopped their

"Because I find the woman considers you her property, and your loss
has caused her much unhappiness," answered Popopo.

"But remember how unhappy we were in her glass case," said a robin
redbreast, gravely. "And as for being her property, you are a knook,
and the natural guardian of all birds; so you know that Nature
created us free. To be sure, wicked men shot and stuffed us, and
sold us to the milliner; but the idea of our being her property is

Popopo was puzzled.

"If I leave you free," he said, "wicked men will shoot you again,
and you will be no better off than before."

"Pooh!" exclaimed the blue jay, "we cannot be shot now, for we are
stuffed. Indeed, two men fired several shots at us this morning, but
the bullets only ruffled our feathers and buried themselves in our
stuffing. We do not fear men now."

"Listen!" said Popopo, sternly, for he felt the birds were getting
the best of the argument; "the poor milliner's business will be
ruined if I do not return you to her shop. It seems you are
necessary to trim the hats properly. It is the fashion for women to
wear birds upon their headgear. So the poor milliner's wares,
although beautified by lace and ribbons, are worthless unless you
are perched upon them."

"Fashions," said a black bird, solemnly, "are made by men. What law
is there, among birds or knooks, that requires us to be the slaves
of fashion?"

"What have we to do with fashions, anyway?" screamed a linnet. "If
it were the fashion to wear knooks perched upon women's hats would
you be contented to stay there? Answer me, Popopo!"

But Popopo was in despair. He could not wrong the birds by sending
them back to the milliner, nor did he wish the milliner to suffer by
their loss. So he went home to think what could be done.

After much meditation he decided to consult the king of the knooks,
and going at once to his majesty he told him the whole story.

The king frowned.

"This should teach you the folly of interfering with earth people,"
he said. "But since you have caused all this trouble, it is your
duty to remedy it. Our birds cannot be enslaved, that is certain;
therefore you must have the fashions changed, so it will no longer
be stylish for women to wear birds upon their hats."

"How shall I do that?" asked Popopo.

"Easily enough. Fashions often change among the earth people, who
tire quickly of any one thing. When they read in their newspapers
and magazines that the style is so-and-so, they never question the
matter, but at once obey the mandate of fashion. So you must visit
the newspapers and magazines and enchant the types."

"Enchant the types!" echoed Popopo, in wonder.

"Just so. Make them read that it is no longer the fashion to wear
birds upon hats. That will afford relief to your poor milliner and
at the same time set free thousands of our darling birds who have
been so cruelly used."

Popopo thanked the wise king and followed his advice.

The office of every newspaper and magazine in the city was visited by
the knook, and then he went to other cities, until there was not a
publication in the land that had not a "new fashion note" in its
pages. Sometimes Popopo enchanted the types, so that whoever read
the print would see only what the knook wished them to. Sometimes he
called upon the busy editors and befuddled their brains until they
wrote exactly what he wanted them to. Mortals seldom know how
greatly they are influenced by fairies, knooks and ryls, who often
put thoughts into their heads that only the wise little immortals
could have conceived.

The following morning when the poor milliner looked over her
newspaper she was overjoyed to read that "no woman could now wear a
bird upon her hat and be in style, for the newest fashion required
only ribbons and laces."

Popopo after this found much enjoyment in visiting every millinery
shop he could find and giving new life to the stuffed birds which
were carelessly tossed aside as useless. And they flew to the fields
and forests with songs of thanks to the good knook who had rescued

Sometimes a hunter fires his gun at a bird and then wonders why he
did not hit it. But, having read this story, you will understand
that the bird must have been a stuffed one from some millinery shop,
which cannot, of course, be killed by a gun.


On one of the upper branches of the Congo river lived an ancient and
aristocratic family of hippopotamuses, which boasted a pedigree
dating back beyond the days of Noah--beyond the existence of
mankind--far into the dim ages when the world was new.

They had always lived upon the banks of this same river, so that
every curve and sweep of its waters, every pit and shallow of its
bed, every rock and stump and wallow upon its bank was as familiar
to them as their own mothers. And they are living there yet, I

Not long ago the queen of this tribe of hippopotamuses had a child
which she named Keo, because it was so fat and round. Still, that
you may not be misled, I will say that in the hippopotamus language
"Keo," properly translated, means "fat and lazy" instead of fat and
round. However, no one called the queen's attention to this error,
because her tusks were monstrous long and sharp, and she thought Keo
the sweetest baby in the world.

He was, indeed, all right for a hippopotamus. He rolled and played
in the soft mud of the river bank, and waddled inland to nibble the
leaves of the wild cabbage that grew there, and was happy and
contented from morning till night. And he was the jolliest
hippopotamus that ancient family had ever known. His little red eyes
were forever twinkling with fun, and he laughed his merry laugh on
all occasions, whether there was anything to laugh at or not.

Therefore the black people who dwelt in that region called him
"Ippi"--the jolly one, although they dared not come anigh him on
account of his fierce mother, and his equally fierce uncles and
aunts and cousins, who lived in a vast colony upon the river bank.

And while these black people, who lived in little villages scattered
among the trees, dared not openly attack the royal family of
hippopotamuses, they were amazingly fond of eating hippopotamus meat
whenever they could get it. This was no secret to the hippopotamuses.
And, again, when the blacks managed to catch these animals alive,
they had a trick of riding them through the jungles as if they were
horses, thus reducing them to a condition of slavery.

Therefore, having these things in mind, whenever the tribe of
hippopotamuses smelled the oily odor of black people they were
accustomed to charge upon them furiously, and if by chance they
overtook one of the enemy they would rip him with their sharp tusks
or stamp him into the earth with their huge feet.

It was continual warfare between the hippopotamuses and the black

Gouie lived in one of the little villages of the blacks. He was the
son of the chief's brother and grandson of the village sorcerer, the
latter being an aged man known as the "the boneless wonder," because
he could twist himself into as many coils as a serpent and had no
bones to hinder his bending his flesh into any position. This made
him walk in a wabbly fashion, but the black people had great respect
for him.

Gouie's hut was made of branches of trees stuck together with mud,
and his clothing consisted of a grass mat tied around his middle.
But his relationship to the chief and the sorcerer gave him a
certain dignity, and he was much addicted to solitary thought.
Perhaps it was natural that these thoughts frequently turned upon
his enemies, the hippopotamuses, and that he should consider many
ways of capturing them.

Finally he completed his plans, and set about digging a great pit in
the ground, midway between two sharp curves of the river. When the
pit was finished he covered it over with small branches of trees,
and strewed earth upon them, smoothing the surface so artfully that
no one would suspect there was a big hole underneath. Then Gouie
laughed softly to himself and went home to supper.

That evening the queen said to Keo, who was growing to be a fine
child for his age:

"I wish you'd run across the bend and ask your Uncle Nikki to come
here. I have found a strange plant, and want him to tell me if it is
good to eat."

The jolly one laughed heartily as he started upon his errand, for he
felt as important as a boy does when he is sent for the first time
to the corner grocery to buy a yeast cake.

"Guk-uk-uk-uk! guk-uk-uk-uk!" was the way he laughed; and if you
think a hippopotamus does not laugh this way you have but to listen
to one and you will find I am right.

He crawled out of the mud where he was wallowing and tramped away
through the bushes, and the last his mother heard as she lay half in
and half out of the water was his musical "guk-uk-uk-uk!" dying away
in the distance.

Keo was in such a happy mood that he scarcely noticed where he
stepped, so he was much surprised when, in the middle of a laugh,
the ground gave way beneath him, and he fell to the bottom of
Gouie's deep pit. He was not badly hurt, but had bumped his nose
severely as he went down; so he stopped laughing and began to think
how he should get out again. Then he found the walls were higher
than his head, and that he was a prisoner.

So he laughed a little at his own misfortune, and the laughter
soothed him to sleep, so that he snored all through the night until
daylight came.

When Gouie peered over the edge of the pit next morning he

"Why, 'tis Ippi--the Jolly One!"

Keo recognized the scent of a black man and tried to raise his head
high enough to bite him. Seeing which Gouie spoke in the
hippopotamus language, which he had learned from his grandfather,
the sorcerer.

"Have peace, little one; you are my captive."

"Yes; I will have a piece of your leg, if I can reach it," retorted
Keo; and then he laughed at his own joke: "Guk-uk-uk-uk!"

But Gouie, being a thoughtful black man, went away without further
talk, and did not return until the following morning. When he again
leaned over the pit Keo was so weak from hunger that he could hardly
laugh at all.

"Do you give up?" asked Gouie, "or do you still wish to fight?"

"What will happen if I give up?" inquired Keo.

The black man scratched his woolly head in perplexity.

"It is hard to say, Ippi. You are too young to work, and if I kill
you for food I shall lose your tusks, which are not yet grown. Why,
O Jolly One, did you fall into my hole? I wanted to catch your
mother or one of your uncles."

"Guk-uk-uk-uk!" laughed Keo. "You must let me go, after all, black
man; for I am of no use to you!"

"That I will not do," declared Gouie; "unless," he added, as an
afterthought, "you will make a bargain with me."

"Let me hear about the bargain, black one, for I am hungry," said

"I will let your go if you swear by the tusks of your grandfather
that you will return to me in a year and a day and become my
prisoner again."

The youthful hippopotamus paused to think, for he knew it was a
solemn thing to swear by the tusks of his grandfather; but he was
exceedingly hungry, and a year and a day seemed a long time off; so
he said, with another careless laugh:

"Very well; if you will now let me go I swear by the tusks of my
grandfather to return to you in a year and a day and become your

Gouie was much pleased, for he knew that in a year and a day Keo
would be almost full grown. So he began digging away one end of the
pit and filling it up with the earth until he had made an incline
which would allow the hippopotamus to climb out.

Keo was so pleased when he found himself upon the surface of the
earth again that he indulged in a merry fit of laughter, after which
he said:

"Good-by, Gouie; in a year and a day you will see me again."

Then he waddled away toward the river to see his mother and get his
breakfast, and Gouie returned to his village.

During the months that followed, as the black man lay in his hut or
hunted in the forest, he heard at times the faraway "Guk-uk-uk-uk!"
of the laughing hippopotamus. But he only smiled to himself and
thought: "A year and a day will soon pass away!"

Now when Keo returned to his mother safe and well every member of
his tribe was filled with joy, for the Jolly One was a general
favorite. But when he told them that in a year and a day he must
again become the slave of the black man, they began to wail and
weep, and so many were their tears that the river rose several

Of course Keo only laughed at their sorrow; but a great meeting of
the tribe was called and the matter discussed seriously.

"Having sworn by the tusks of his grandfather," said Uncle Nikki,
"he must keep his promise. But it is our duty to try in some way to
rescue him from death or a life of slavery."

To this all agreed, but no one could think of any method of saving
Keo from his fate. So months passed away, during which all the royal
hippopotamuses were sad and gloomy except the Jolly One himself.

Finally but a week of freedom remained to Keo, and his mother, the
queen, became so nervous and worried that another meeting of the
tribe was called. By this time the laughing hippopotamus had grown
to enormous size, and measured nearly fifteen feet long and six feet
high, while his sharp tusks were whiter and harder than those of an

"Unless something is done to save my child," said the mother, "I
shall die of grief."

Then some of her relations began to make foolish suggestions; but
presently Uncle Nep, a wise and very big hippopotamus, said:

"We must go to Glinkomok and implore his aid."

Then all were silent, for it was a bold thing to face the mighty
Glinkomok. But the mother's love was equal to any heroism.

"I will myself go to him, if Uncle Nep will accompany me," she said,

Uncle Nep thoughtfully patted the soft mud with his fore foot and
wagged his short tail leisurely from side to side.

"We have always been obedient to Glinkomok, and shown him great
respect," said he. "Therefore I fear no danger in facing him. I will
go with you."

All the others snorted approval, being very glad they were not
called upon to go themselves.

So the queen and Uncle Nep, with Keo swimming between them, set out
upon their journey. They swam up the river all that day and all the
next, until they came at sundown to a high, rocky wall, beneath
which was the cave where the might Glinkomok dwelt.

This fearful creature was part beast, part man, part fowl and part
fish. It had lived since the world began. Through years of wisdom it
had become part sorcerer, part wizard, part magician and part fairy.
Mankind knew it not, but the ancient beasts knew and feared it.

The three hippopotamuses paused before the cave, with their front
feet upon the bank and their bodies in the water, and called in
chorus a greeting to Glinkomok. Instantly thereafter the mouth of
the cave darkened and the creature glided silently toward them.

The hippopotamuses were afraid to look upon it, and bowed their
heads between their legs.

"We come, O Glinkomok, to implore your mercy and friendly
assistance!" began Uncle Nep; and then he told the story of Keo's
capture, and how he had promised to return to the black man.

"He must keep his promise," said the creature, in a voice that
sounded like a sigh.

The mother hippopotamus groaned aloud.

"But I will prepare him to overcome the black man, and to regain his
liberty," continued Glinkomok.

Keo laughed.

"Lift your right paw," commanded Glinkomok. Keo obeyed, and the
creature touched it with its long, hairy tongue. Then it held four
skinny hands over Keo's bowed head and mumbled some words in a
language unknown to man or beast or fowl or fish. After this it
spoke again in hippopotamese:

"Your skin has now become so tough that no man can hurt you. Your
strength is greater than that of ten elephants. Your foot is so
swift that you can distance the wind. Your wit is sharper than the
bulthorn. Let the man fear, but drive fear from your own breast
forever; for of all your race you are the mightiest!"

Then the terrible Glinkomok leaned over, and Keo felt its fiery
breath scorch him as it whispered some further instructions in his
ear. The next moment it glided back into its cave, followed by the
loud thanks of the three hippopotamuses, who slid into the water and
immediately began their journey home.

The mother's heart was full of joy; Uncle Nep shivered once or twice
as he remembered a glimpse he had caught of Glinkomok; but Keo was
as jolly as possible, and, not content to swim with his dignified
elders, he dived under their bodies, raced all around them and
laughed merrily every inch of the way home.

Then all the tribe held high jinks and praised the mighty Glinkomok
for befriending their queen's son. And when the day came for the
Jolly One to give himself up to the black man they all kissed him
good-by without a single fear for his safety.

Keo went away in good spirits, and they could hear his laughing
"guk-uk-uk-uk!" long after he was lost in sight in the jungle.

Gouie had counted the days and knew when to expect Keo; but he was
astonished at the monstrous size to which his captive had grown, and
congratulated himself on the wise bargain he had made. And Keo was
so fat that Gouie determined to eat him--that is, all of him he
possibly could, and the remainder of the carcass he would trade off
to his fellow villagers.

So he took a knife and tried to stick it into the hippopotamus, but
the skin was so tough the knife was blunted against it. Then he
tried other means; but Keo remained unhurt.

And now indeed the Jolly One laughed his most gleeful laugh, till
all the forest echoed the "guk-uk-uk-uk-uk!" And Gouie decided not
to kill him, since that was impossible, but to use him for a beast
of burden. He mounted upon Keo's back and commanded him to march. So
Keo trotted briskly through the village, his little eyes twinkling
with merriment.

The other blacks were delighted with Gouie's captive, and begged
permission to ride upon the Jolly One's back. So Gouie bargained
with them for bracelets and shell necklaces and little gold
ornaments, until he had acquired quite a heap of trinkets. Then a
dozen black men climbed upon Keo's back to enjoy a ride, and the one
nearest his nose cried out:

"Run, Mud-dog--run!"

And Keo ran. Swift as the wind he strode, away from the village,
through the forest and straight up the river bank. The black men
howled with fear; the Jolly One roared with laughter; and on, on, on
they rushed!

Then before them, on the opposite side of the river, appeared the
black mouth of Glinkomok's cave. Keo dashed into the water, dived to
the bottom and left the black people struggling to swim out. But
Glinkomok had heard the laughter of Keo and knew what to do. When
the Jolly One rose to the surface and blew the water from his throat
there was no black man to be seen.

Keo returned alone to the village, and Gouie asked, with surprise:

"Where are my brothers:"

"I do not know," answered Keo. "I took them far away, and they
remained where I left them."

Gouie would have asked more questions then, but another crowd of
black men impatiently waited to ride on the back of the laughing
hippopotamus. So they paid the price and climbed to their seats,
after which the foremost said:

"Run, mud-wallower--run!"

And Keo ran as before and carried them to the mouth of Glinkomok's
cave, and returned alone.

But now Gouie became anxious to know the fate of his fellows, for he
was the only black man left in his village. So he mounted the
hippopotamus and cried:

"Run, river-hog--run!"

Keo laughed his jolly "guk-uk-uk-uk!" and ran with the speed of the
wind. But this time he made straight for the river bank where his
own tribe lived, and when he reached it he waded into the river,
dived to the bottom and left Gouie floating in the middle of the

The black man began swimming toward the right bank, but there he saw
Uncle Nep and half the royal tribe waiting to stamp him into the
soft mud. So he turned toward the left bank, and there stood the
queen mother and Uncle Nikki, red-eyed and angry, waiting to tear
him with their tusks.

Then Gouie uttered loud screams of terror, and, spying the Jolly
One, who swam near him, he cried:

"Save me, Keo! Save me, and I will release you from slavery!"

"That is not enough," laughed Keo.

"I will serve you all my life!" screamed Gouie; "I will do
everything you bid me!"

"Will you return to me in a year and a day and become my captive, if
I allow you to escape?" asked Keo.

"I will! I will! I will!" cried Gouie.

"Swear it by the bones of your grandfather!" commanded Keo,
remembering that black men have no tusks to swear by.

And Gouie swore it by the bones of his grandfather.

Then Keo swam to the black one, who clambered upon his back again.
In this fashion they came to the bank, where Keo told his mother and
all the tribe of the bargain he had made with Gouie, who was to
return in a year and a day and become his slave.

Therefore the black man was permitted to depart in peace, and once
more the Jolly One lived with his own people and was happy.

When a year and a day had passed Keo began watching for the return
of Gouie; but he did not come, then or ever afterwards.

For the black man had made a bundle of his bracelets and shell
necklaces and little gold ornaments and had traveled many miles into
another country, where the ancient and royal tribe of hippopotamuses
was unknown. And he set up for a great chief, because of his riches,
and people bowed down before him.

By day he was proud and swaggering. But at night he tumbled and
tossed upon his bed and could not sleep. His conscience troubled

For he had sworn by the bones of his grandfather; and his
grandfather had no bones.


There lived in Boston a wise and ancient chemist by the name of Dr.
Daws, who dabbled somewhat in magic. There also lived in Boston a
young lady by the name of Claribel Sudds, who was possessed of much
money, little wit and an intense desire to go upon the stage.

So Claribel went to Dr. Daws and said:

"I can neither sing nor dance; I cannot recite verse nor play upon
the piano; I am no acrobat nor leaper nor high kicker; yet I wish to
go upon the stage. What shall I do?"

"Are you willing to pay for such accomplishments?" asked the wise

"Certainly," answered Claribel, jingling her purse.

"Then come to me to-morrow at two o'clock," said he.

All that night he practiced what is known as chemical sorcery; so
that when Claribel Sudds came next day at two o'clock he showed her
a small box filled with compounds that closely resembled French

"This is a progressive age," said the old man, "and I flatter myself
your Uncle Daws keeps right along with the procession. Now, one of
your old-fashioned sorcerers would have made you some nasty, bitter
pills to swallow; but I have consulted your taste and convenience.
Here are some magic bonbons. If you eat this one with the lavender
color you can dance thereafter as lightly and gracefully as if you
had been trained a lifetime. After you consume the pink confection
you will sing like a nightingale. Eating the white one will enable
you to become the finest elocutionist in the land. The chocolate
piece will charm you into playing the piano better than Rubenstein,
while after eating you lemon-yellow bonbon you can easily kick six
feet above your head."

"How delightful!" exclaimed Claribel, who was truly enraptured. "You
are certainly a most clever sorcerer as well as a considerate
compounder," and she held out her hand for the box.

"Ahem!" said the wise one; "a check, please."

"Oh, yes; to be sure! How stupid of me to forget it," she returned.

He considerately retained the box in his own hand while she signed a
check for a large amount of money, after which he allowed her to
hold the box herself.

"Are you sure you have made them strong enough?" she inquired,
anxiously; "it usually takes a great deal to affect me."

"My only fear," replied Dr. Daws, "is that I have made them too
strong. For this is the first time I have ever been called upon to
prepare these wonderful confections."

"Don't worry," said Claribel; "the stronger they act the better I
shall act myself."

She went away, after saying this, but stopping in at a dry goods
store to shop, she forgot the precious box in her new interest and
left it lying on the ribbon counter.

Then little Bessie Bostwick came to the counter to buy a hair ribbon
and laid her parcels beside the box. When she went away she gathered
up the box with her other bundles and trotted off home with it.

Bessie never knew, until after she had hung her coat in the hall
closet and counted up her parcels, that she had one too many. Then
she opened it and exclaimed:

"Why, it's a box of candy! Someone must have mislaid it. But it is
too small a matter to worry about; there are only a few pieces." So
she dumped the contents of the box into a bonbon dish that stood
upon the hall table and picking out the chocolate piece--she was
fond of chocolates--ate it daintily while she examined her purchases.

These were not many, for Bessie was only twelve years old and was
not yet trusted by her parents to expend much money at the stores.
But while she tried on the hair ribbon she suddenly felt a great
desire to play upon the piano, and the desire at last became so
overpowering that she went into the parlor and opened the

The little girl had, with infinite pains, contrived to learn two
"pieces" which she usually executed with a jerky movement of her
right hand and a left hand that forgot to keep up and so made
dreadful discords. But under the influence of the chocolate bonbon
she sat down and ran her fingers lightly over the keys producing
such exquisite harmony that she was filled with amazement at her own

That was the prelude, however. The next moment she dashed into
Beethoven's seventh sonata and played it magnificently.

Her mother, hearing the unusual burst of melody, came downstairs to
see what musical guest had arrived; but when she discovered it was
her own little daughter who was playing so divinely she had an
attack of palpitation of the heart (to which she was subject) and
sat down upon a sofa until it should pass away.

Meanwhile Bessie played one piece after another with untiring
energy. She loved music, and now found that all she need do was to
sit at the piano and listen and watch her hands twinkle over the

Twilight deepened in the room and Bessie's father came home and hung
up his hat and overcoat and placed his umbrella in the rack. Then he
peeped into the parlor to see who was playing.

"Great Caesar!" he exclaimed. But the mother came to him softly with
her finger on her lips and whispered: "Don't interrupt her, John.
Our child seems to be in a trance. Did you ever hear such superb

"Why, she's an infant prodigy!" gasped the astounded father. "Beats
Blind Tom all hollow! It's--it's wonderful!"

As they stood listening the senator arrived, having been invited to
dine with them that evening. And before he had taken off his coat
the Yale professor--a man of deep learning and scholarly
attainments--joined the party.

Bessie played on; and the four elders stood in a huddled but silent
and amazed group, listening to the music and waiting for the sound
of the dinner gong.

Mr. Bostwick, who was hungry, picked up the bonbon dish that lay on
the table beside him and ate the pink confection. The professor was
watching him, so Mr. Bostwick courteously held the dish toward him.
The professor ate the lemon-yellow piece and the senator reached out
his hand and took the lavender piece. He did not eat it, however,
for, chancing to remember that it might spoil his dinner, he put it
in his vest pocket. Mrs. Bostwick, still intently listening to her
precocious daughter, without thinking what she did, took the
remaining piece, which was the white one, and slowly devoured it.

The dish was now empty, and Claribel Sudds' precious bonbons had
passed from her possession forever!

Suddenly Mr. Bostwick, who was a big man, began to sing in a shrill,
tremolo soprano voice. It was not the same song Bessie was playing,
and the discord was shocking that the professor smiled, the senator
put his hands to his ears and Mrs. Bostwick cried in a horrified


Her husband continued to sing as if endeavoring to emulate the
famous Christine Nillson, and paid no attention whatever to his wife
or his guests.

Fortunately the dinner gong now sounded, and Mrs. Bostwick dragged
Bessie from the piano and ushered her guests into the dining-room.
Mr. Bostwick followed, singing "The Last Rose of Summer" as if it
had been an encore demanded by a thousand delighted hearers.

The poor woman was in despair at witnessing her husband's
undignified actions and wondered what she might do to control him.
The professor seemed more grave than usual; the senator's face wore
an offended expression, and Bessie kept moving her fingers as if she
still wanted to play the piano.

Mrs. Bostwick managed to get them all seated, although her husband
had broken into another aria; and then the maid brought in the soup.

When she carried a plate to the professor, he cried, in an excited

"Hold it higher! Higher--I say!" And springing up he gave it a
sudden kick that sent it nearly to the ceiling, from whence the dish
descended to scatter soup over Bessie and the maid and to smash in
pieces upon the crown of the professor's bald head.

At this atrocious act the senator rose from his seat with an
exclamation of horror and glanced at his hostess.

For some time Mrs. Bostwick had been staring straight ahead, with a
dazed expression; but now, catching the senator's eye, she bowed
gracefully and began reciting "The Charge of the Light Brigade" in
forceful tones.

The senator shuddered. Such disgraceful rioting he had never seen
nor heard before in a decent private family. He felt that his
reputation was at stake, and, being the only sane person,
apparently, in the room, there was no one to whom he might appeal.

The maid had run away to cry hysterically in the kitchen; Mr.
Bostwick was singing "O Promise Me;" the professor was trying to
kick the globes off the chandelier; Mrs. Bostwick had switched her
recitation to "The Boy Stood on the Burning Deck," and Bessie had
stolen into the parlor and was pounding out the overture from the
"Flying Dutchman."

The senator was not at all sure he would not go crazy himself,
presently; so he slipped away from the turmoil, and, catching up his
had and coat in the hall, hurried from the house.

That night he sat up late writing a political speech he was to
deliver the next afternoon at Faneuil hall, but his experiences at
the Bostwicks' had so unnerved him that he could scarcely collect
his thoughts, and often he would pause and shake his head pityingly
as he remembered the strange things he had seen in that usually
respectable home.

The next day he met Mr. Bostwick in the street, but passed him by
with a stony glare of oblivion. He felt he really could not afford
to know this gentleman in the future. Mr. Bostwick was naturally
indignant at the direct snub; yet in his mind lingered a faint
memory of some quite unusual occurrences at his dinner party the
evening before, and he hardly knew whether he dared resent the
senator's treatment or not.

The political meeting was the feature of the day, for the senator's
eloquence was well known in Boston. So the big hall was crowded with
people, and in one of the front rows sat the Bostwick family, with
the learned Yale professor beside them. They all looked tired and
pale, as if they had passed a rather dissipated evening, and the
senator was rendered so nervous by seeing them that he refused to
look in their direction a second time.

While the mayor was introducing him the great man sat fidgeting in
his chair; and, happening to put his thumb and finger into his vest
pocket, he found the lavender-colored bonbon he had placed there the
evening before.

"This may clear my throat," thought the senator, and slipped the
bonbon into his mouth.

A few minutes afterwards he arose before the vast audience, which
greeted him with enthusiastic plaudits.

"My friends," began the senator, in a grave voice, "this is a most
impressive and important occasion."

Then he paused, balanced himself upon his left foot, and kicked his
right leg into the air in the way favored by ballet-dancers!

There was a hum of amazement and horror from the spectators, but the
senator appeared not to notice it. He whirled around upon the tips
of his toes, kicked right and left in a graceful manner, and
startled a bald-headed man in the front row by casting a languishing
glance in his direction.

Suddenly Claribel Sudds, who happened to be present, uttered a scream
and sprang to her feet. Pointing an accusing finger at the dancing
senator, she cried in a loud voice:

"That's the man who stole my bonbons! Seize him! Arrest him! Don't
let him escape!"

But the ushers rushed her out of the hall, thinking she had gone
suddenly insane; and the senator's friends seized him firmly and
carried him out the stage entrance to the street, where they put him
into an open carriage and instructed the driver to take him home.

The effect of the magic bonbon was still powerful enough to control
the poor senator, who stood upon the rear seat of the carriage and
danced energetically all the way home, to the delight of the crowd
of small boys who followed the carriage and the grief of the
sober-minded citizens, who shook their heads sadly and whispered
that "another good man had gone wrong."

It took the senator several months to recover from the shame and
humiliation of this escapade; and, curiously enough, he never had
the slightest idea what had induced him to act in so extraordinary a
manner. Perhaps it was fortunate the last bonbon had now been eaten,
for they might easily have caused considerably more trouble than
they did.

Of course Claribel went again to the wise chemist and signed a check
for another box of magic bonbons; but she must have taken better
care of these, for she is now a famous vaudeville actress.

* * * * *

This story should teach us the folly of condemning others for
actions that we do not understand, for we never know what may happen
to ourselves. It may also serve as a hint to be careful about
leaving parcels in public places, and, incidentally, to let other
people's packages severely alone.


Jim was the son of a cowboy, and lived on the broad plains of
Arizona. His father had trained him to lasso a bronco or a young
bull with perfect accuracy, and had Jim possessed the strength to
back up his skill he would have been as good a cowboy as any in all

When he was twelve years old he made his first visit to the east,
where Uncle Charles, his father's brother, lived. Of course Jim took
his lasso with him, for he was proud of his skill in casting it, and
wanted to show his cousins what a cowboy could do.

At first the city boys and girls were much interested in watching
Jim lasso posts and fence pickets, but they soon tired of it, and
even Jim decided it was not the right sort of sport for cities.

But one day the butcher asked Jim to ride one of his horses into the
country, to a pasture that had been engaged, and Jim eagerly
consented. He had been longing for a horseback ride, and to make it
seem like old times he took his lasso with him.

He rode through the streets demurely enough, but on reaching the
open country roads his spirits broke forth into wild jubilation,
and, urging the butcher's horse to full gallop, he dashed away in
true cowboy fashion.

Then he wanted still more liberty, and letting down the bars that
led into a big field he began riding over the meadow and throwing
his lasso at imaginary cattle, while he yelled and whooped to his
heart's content.

Suddenly, on making a long cast with his lasso, the loop caught upon
something and rested about three feet from the ground, while the
rope drew taut and nearly pulled Jim from his horse.

This was unexpected. More than that, it was wonderful; for the field
seemed bare of even a stump. Jim's eyes grew big with amazement, but
he knew he had caught something when a voice cried out:

"Here, let go! Let go, I say! Can't you see what you've done?"

No, Jim couldn't see, nor did he intend to let go until he found out
what was holding the loop of the lasso. So he resorted to an old
trick his father had taught him and, putting the butcher's horse to
a run, began riding in a circle around the spot where his lasso had

As he thus drew nearer and nearer his quarry he saw the rope coil
up, yet it looked to be coiling over nothing but air. One end of the
lasso was made fast to a ring in the saddle, and when the rope was
almost wound up and the horse began to pull away and snort with
fear, Jim dismounted. Holding the reins of the bridle in one hand,
he followed the rope, and an instant later saw an old man caught
fast in the coils of the lasso.

His head was bald and uncovered, but long white whiskers grew down
to his waist. About his body was thrown a loose robe of fine white
linen. In one hand he bore a great scythe, and beneath the other arm
he carried an hourglass.

While Jim gazed wonderingly upon him, this venerable old man spoke
in an angry voice:

"Now, then--get that rope off as fast as you can! You've brought
everything on earth to a standstill by your foolishness! Well--what
are you staring at? Don't you know who I am?"

"No," said Jim, stupidly.

"Well, I'm Time--Father Time! Now, make haste and set me free--if
you want the world to run properly."

"How did I happen to catch you?" asked Jim, without making a move to
release his captive.

"I don't know. I've never been caught before," growled Father Time.
"But I suppose it was because you were foolishly throwing your lasso
at nothing."

"I didn't see you," said Jim.

"Of course you didn't. I'm invisible to the eyes of human beings
unless they get within three feet of me, and I take care to keep
more than that distance away from them. That's why I was crossing
this field, where I supposed no one would be. And I should have been
perfectly safe had it not been for your beastly lasso. Now, then,"
he added, crossly, "are you going to get that rope off?"

"Why should I?" asked Jim.

"Because everything in the world stopped moving the moment you
caught me. I don't suppose you want to make an end of all business
and pleasure, and war and love, and misery and ambition and
everything else, do you? Not a watch has ticked since you tied me up
here like a mummy!"

Jim laughed. It really was funny to see the old man wound round and
round with coils of rope from his knees up to his chin.

"It'll do you good to rest," said the boy. "From all I've heard you
lead a rather busy life."

"Indeed I do," replied Father Time, with a sigh. "I'm due in
Kamchatka this very minute. And to think one small boy is upsetting
all my regular habits!"

"Too bad!" said Jim, with a grin. "But since the world has stopped
anyhow, it won't matter if it takes a little longer recess. As soon
as I let you go Time will fly again. Where are your wings?"

"I haven't any," answered the old man. "That is a story cooked up by
some one who never saw me. As a matter of fact, I move rather

"I see, you take your time," remarked the boy. "What do you use that
scythe for?"

"To mow down the people," said the ancient one. "Every time I swing
my scythe some one dies."

"Then I ought to win a life-saving medal by keeping you tied up,"
said Jim. "Some folks will live this much longer."

"But they won't know it," said Father Time, with a sad smile; "so it
will do them no good. You may as well untie me at once."

"No," said Jim, with a determined air. "I may never capture you
again; so I'll hold you for awhile and see how the world wags
without you."

Then he swung the old man, bound as he was, upon the back of the
butcher's horse, and, getting into the saddle himself, started back
toward town, one hand holding his prisoner and the other guiding the

When he reached the road his eye fell on a strange tableau. A horse
and buggy stood in the middle of the road, the horse in the act of
trotting, with his head held high and two legs in the air, but
perfectly motionless. In the buggy a man and a woman were seated;
but had they been turned into stone they could not have been more
still and stiff.

"There's no Time for them!" sighed the old man. "Won't you let me go

"Not yet," replied the boy.

He rode on until he reached the city, where all the people stood in
exactly the same positions they were in when Jim lassoed Father
Time. Stopping in front of a big dry goods store, the boy hitched
his horse and went in. The clerks were measuring out goods and
showing patterns to the rows of customers in front of them, but
everyone seemed suddenly to have become a statue.

There was something very unpleasant in this scene, and a cold shiver
began to run up and down Jim's back; so he hurried out again.

On the edge of the sidewalk sat a poor, crippled beggar, holding out
his hat, and beside him stood a prosperous-looking gentleman who was
about to drop a penny into the beggar's hat. Jim knew this gentleman
to be very rich but rather stingy, so he ventured to run his hand
into the man's pocket and take out his purse, in which was a $20
gold piece. This glittering coin he put in the gentleman's fingers
instead of the penny and then restored the purse to the rich man's

"That donation will surprise him when he comes to life," thought the

He mounted the horse again and rode up the street. As he passed the
shop of his friend, the butcher, he noticed several pieces of meat
hanging outside.

"I'm afraid that meat'll spoil," he remarked.

"It takes Time to spoil meat," answered the old man.

This struck Jim as being queer, but true.

"It seems Time meddles with everything," said he.

"Yes; you've made a prisoner of the most important personage in the
world," groaned the old man; "and you haven't enough sense to let
him go again."

Jim did not reply, and soon they came to his uncle's house, where he
again dismounted. The street was filled with teams and people, but
all were motionless. His two little cousins were just coming out the
gate on their way to school, with their books and slates underneath
their arms; so Jim had to jump over the fence to avoid knocking them

In the front room sat his aunt, reading her Bible. She was just
turning a page when Time stopped. In the dining-room was his uncle,
finishing his luncheon. His mouth was open and his fork poised just
before it, while his eyes were fixed upon the newspaper folded
beside him. Jim helped himself to his uncle's pie, and while he ate
it he walked out to his prisoner.

"There's one thing I don't understand," said he.

"What's that?" asked Father Time.

"Why is it that I'm able to move around while everyone else
is--is--froze up?"

"That is because I'm your prisoner," answered the other. "You can do
anything you wish with Time now. But unless you are careful you'll
do something you will be sorry for."

Jim threw the crust of his pie at a bird that was suspended in the
air, where it had been flying when Time stopped.

"Anyway," he laughed, "I'm living longer than anyone else. No one
will ever be able to catch up with me again."

"Each life has its allotted span," said the old man. "When you have
lived your proper time my scythe will mow you down."

"I forgot your scythe," said Jim, thoughtfully.

Then a spirit of mischief came into the boy's head, for he happened
to think that the present opportunity to have fun would never occur
again. He tied Father Time to his uncle's hitching post, that he
might not escape, and then crossed the road to the corner grocery.

The grocer had scolded Jim that very morning for stepping into a
basket of turnips by accident. So the boy went to the back end of
the grocery and turned on the faucet of the molasses barrel.

"That'll make a nice mess when Time starts the molasses running all
over the floor," said Jim, with a laugh.

A little further down the street was a barber shop, and sitting in
the barber's chair Jim saw the man that all the boys declared was
the "meanest man in town." He certainly did not like the boys and
the boys knew it. The barber was in the act of shampooing this
person when Time was captured. Jim ran to the drug store, and,
getting a bottle of mucilage, he returned and poured it over the
ruffled hair of the unpopular citizen.

"That'll probably surprise him when he wakes up," thought Jim.

Near by was the schoolhouse. Jim entered it and found that only a
few of the pupils were assembled. But the teacher sat at his desk,
stern and frowning as usual.

Taking a piece of chalk, Jim marked upon the blackboard in big
letters the following words:

"Every scholar is requested to yell the minute he enters the room.
He will also please throw his books at the teacher's head. Signed,
Prof. Sharpe."

"That ought to raise a nice rumpus," murmured the mischiefmaker, as
he walked away.

On the corner stood Policeman Mulligan, talking with old Miss
Scrapple, the worst gossip in town, who always delighted in saying
something disagreeable about her neighbors. Jim thought this
opportunity was too good to lose. So he took off the policeman's cap
and brass-buttoned coat and put them on Miss Scrapple, while the
lady's feathered and ribboned hat he placed jauntily upon the
policeman's head.

The effect was so comical that the boy laughed aloud, and as a good
many people were standing near the corner Jim decided that Miss
Scrapple and Officer Mulligan would create a sensation when Time
started upon his travels.

Then the young cowboy remembered his prisoner, and, walking back to
the hitching post, he came within three feet of it and saw Father
Time still standing patiently within the toils of the lasso. He
looked angry and annoyed, however, and growled out:

"Well, when do you intend to release me?"

"I've been thinking about that ugly scythe of yours," said Jim.

"What about it?" asked Father Time.

"Perhaps if I let you go you'll swing it at me the first thing, to
be revenged," replied the boy.

Father Time gave him a severe look, but said:

"I've known boys for thousands of years, and of course I know
they're mischievous and reckless. But I like boys, because they grow
up to be men and people my world. Now, if a man had caught me by
accident, as you did, I could have scared him into letting me go
instantly; but boys are harder to scare. I don't know as I blame
you. I was a boy myself, long ago, when the world was new. But
surely you've had enough fun with me by this time, and now I hope
you'll show the respect that is due to old age. Let me go, and in
return I will promise to forget all about my capture. The incident
won't do much harm, anyway, for no one will ever know that Time has
halted the last three hours or so."

"All right," said Jim, cheerfully, "since you've promised not to mow
me down, I'll let you go." But he had a notion some people in the
town would suspect Time had stopped when they returned to life.

He carefully unwound the rope from the old man, who, when he was
free, at once shouldered his scythe, rearranged his white robe and
nodded farewell.

The next moment he had disappeared, and with a rustle and rumble and
roar of activity the world came to life again and jogged along as it
always had before.

Jim wound up his lasso, mounted the butcher's horse and rode slowly
down the street.

Loud screams came from the corner, where a great crowd of people
quickly assembled. From his seat on the horse Jim saw Miss Scrapple,
attired in the policeman's uniform, angrily shaking her fists in
Mulligan's face, while the officer was furiously stamping upon the
lady's hat, which he had torn from his own head amidst the jeers of
the crowd.

As he rode past the schoolhouse he heard a tremendous chorus of
yells, and knew Prof. Sharpe was having a hard time to quell the
riot caused by the sign on the blackboard.

Through the window of the barber shop he saw the "mean man"
frantically belaboring the barber with a hair brush, while his hair
stood up stiff as bayonets in all directions. And the grocer ran out
of his door and yelled "Fire!" while his shoes left a track of
molasses wherever he stepped.

Jim's heart was filled with joy. He was fairly reveling in the
excitement he had caused when some one caught his leg and pulled him
from the horse.

"What're ye doin' hear, ye rascal?" cried the butcher, angrily;
"didn't ye promise to put that beast inter Plympton's pasture? An'
now I find ye ridin' the poor nag around like a gentleman o'

"That's a fact," said Jim, with surprise; "I clean forgot about the

* * * * *

This story should teach us the supreme importance of Time and the
folly of trying to stop it. For should you succeed, as Jim did, in
bringing Time to a standstill, the world would soon become a dreary
place and life decidedly unpleasant.


Not many years ago there lived on a stony, barren New England farm a
man and his wife. They were sober, honest people, working hard from
early morning until dark to enable them to secure a scanty living
from their poor land.

Their house, a small, one-storied building, stood upon the side of a
steep hill, and the stones lay so thickly about it that scarce
anything green could grow from the ground. At the foot of the hill,
a quarter of a mile from the house by the winding path, was a small
brook, and the woman was obliged to go there for water and to carry
it up the hill to the house. This was a tedious task, and with the
other hard work that fell to her share had made her gaunt and bent
and lean.

Yet she never complained, but meekly and faithfully performed her
duties, doing the housework, carrying the water and helping her
husband hoe the scanty crop that grew upon the best part of their

One day, as she walked down the path to the brook, her big shoes
scattering the pebbles right and left, she noticed a large beetle
lying upon its back and struggling hard with its little legs to turn
over, that its feet might again touch the ground. But this it could
not accomplish; so the woman, who had a kind heart, reached down and
gently turned the beetle with her finger. At once it scampered from
the path and she went on to the brook.

The next day, as she came for water, she was surprised to see the
beetle again lying upon its back and struggling helplessly to turn.
Once more the woman stopped and set him upon his feet; and then, as
she stooped over the tiny creature, she heard a small voice say:

"Oh, thank you! Thank you so much for saving me!"

Half frightened at hearing a beetle speak in her own language, the
woman started back and exclaimed:

"La sakes! Surely you can't talk like humans!" Then, recovering from
her alarm, she again bent over the beetle, who answered her:

"Why shouldn't I talk, if I have anything to say?

"'Cause you're a bug," replied the woman.

"That is true; and you saved my life--saved me from my enemies, the
sparrows. And this is the second time you have come to my
assistance, so I owe you a debt of gratitude. Bugs value their lives
as much as human beings, and I am a more important creature than
you, in your ignorance, may suppose. But, tell me, why do you come
each day to the brook?"

"For water," she answered, staring stupidly down at the talking

"Isn't it hard work?" the creature inquired.

"Yes; but there's no water on the hill," said she.

"Then dig a well and put a pump in it," replied the beetle.

She shook her head.

"My man tried it once; but there was no water," she said, sadly.

"Try it again," commanded the beetle; "and in return for your
kindness to me I will make this promise: if you do not get water
from the well you will get that which is more precious to you. I
must go now. Do not forget. Dig a well."

And then, without pausing to say good-by, it ran swiftly away and
was lost among the stones.

The woman returned to the house much perplexed by what the beetle
had said, and when her husband came in from his work she told him
the whole story.

The poor man thought deeply for a time, and then declared:

"Wife, there may be truth in what the bug told you. There must be
magic in the world yet, if a beetle can speak; and if there is such
a thing as magic we may get water from the well. The pump I bought
to use in the well which proved to be dry is now lying in the barn,
and the only expense in following the talking bug's advice will be
the labor of digging the hole. Labor I am used to; so I will dig the

Next day he set about it, and dug so far down in the ground that he
could hardly reach the top to climb out again; but not a drop of
water was found.

"Perhaps you did not dig deep enough," his wife said, when he told
her of his failure.

So the following day he made a long ladder, which he put into the
hole; and then he dug, and dug, and dug, until the top of the ladder
barely reached the top of the hole. But still there was no water.

When the woman next went to the brook with her pail she saw the
beetle sitting upon a stone beside her path. So she stopped and

"My husband has dug the well; but there is no water."

"Did he put the pump in the well?" asked the beetle.

"No," she answered.

"Then do as I commanded; put in the pump, and if you do not get
water I promise you something still more precious."

Saying which, the beetle swiftly slid from the stone and
disappeared. The woman went back to the house and told her husband
what the bug had said.

"Well," replied the simple fellow, "there can be no harm in trying."

So he got the pump from the barn and placed it in the well, and then
he took hold of the handle and began to pump, while his wife stood
by to watch what would happen.

No water came, but after a few moments a gold piece dropped from the
spout of the pump, and then another, and another, until several
handfuls of gold lay in a little heap upon the ground.

The man stopped pumping then and ran to help his wife gather the
gold pieces into her apron; but their hands trembled so greatly
through excitement and joy that they could scarcely pick up the
sparkling coins.

At last she gathered them close to her bosom and together they ran
to the house, where they emptied the precious gold upon the table
and counted the pieces.

All were stamped with the design of the United States mint and were
worth five dollars each. Some were worn and somewhat discolored from
use, while others seemed bright and new, as if they had not been
much handled. When the value of the pieces was added together they
were found to be worth three hundred dollars.

Suddenly the woman spoke.

"Husband, the beetle said truly when he declared we should get
something more precious than water from the well. But run at once
and take away the handle from the pump, lest anyone should pass this
way and discover our secret."

So the man ran to the pump and removed the handle, which he carried
to the house and hid underneath the bed.

They hardly slept a wink that night, lying awake to think of their
good fortune and what they should do with their store of yellow
gold. In all their former lives they had never possessed more than a
few dollars at a time, and now the cracked teapot was nearly full of
gold coins.

The following day was Sunday, and they arose early and ran to see if
their treasure was safe. There it lay, heaped snugly within the
teapot, and they were so willing to feast their eyes upon it that it
was long before the man could leave it to build the fire or the
woman to cook the breakfast.

While they ate their simple meal the woman said:

"We will go to church to-day and return thanks for the riches that
have come to us so suddenly. And I will give the pastor one of the
gold pieces."

"It is well enough to go to church," replied her husband, "and also
to return thanks. But in the night I decided how we will spend all
our money; so there will be none left for the pastor."

"We can pump more," said the woman.

"Perhaps; and perhaps not," he answered, cautiously. "What we have
we can depend upon, but whether or not there be more in the well I
cannot say."

"Then go and find out," she returned, "for I am anxious to give
something to the pastor, who is a poor man and deserving."

So the man got the pump handle from beneath the bed, and, going to
the pump, fitted it in place. Then he set a large wooden bucket
under the spout and began to pump. To their joy the gold pieces soon
began flowing into the pail, and, seeing it about to run over the
brim, the woman brought another pail. But now the stream suddenly
stopped, and the man said, cheerfully:

"That is enough for to-day, good wife! We have added greatly to our
treasure, and the parson shall have his gold piece. Indeed, I think
I shall also put a coin into the contribution box."

Then, because the teapot would hold no more gold, the farmer emptied
the pail into the wood-box, covering the money with dried leaves and
twigs, that no one might suspect what lay underneath.

Afterward they dressed themselves in their best clothing and started
for the church, each taking a bright gold piece from the teapot as a
gift to the pastor.

Over the hill and down into the valley beyond they walked, feeling
so gay and light-hearted that they did not mind the distance at all.
At last they came to the little country church and entered just as
the services began.

Being proud of their wealth and of the gifts they had brought for
the pastor, they could scarcely wait for the moment when the deacon
passed the contribution box. But at last the time came, and the
farmer held his hand high over the box and dropped the gold piece so
that all the congregation could see what he had given. The woman did
likewise, feeling important and happy at being able to give the good
parson so much.

The parson, watching from the pulpit, saw the gold drop into the
box, and could hardly believe that his eyes did not deceive him.
However, when the box was laid upon his desk there were the two gold
pieces, and he was so surprised that he nearly forgot his sermon.

When the people were leaving the church at the close of the services
the good man stopped the farmer and his wife and asked:

"Where did you get so much gold?"

The woman gladly told him how she had rescued the beetle, and how,
in return, they had been rewarded with the wonderful pump. The
pastor listened to it all gravely, and when the story was finished
he said:

"According to tradition strange things happened in this world ages
ago, and now I find that strange things may also happen to-day. For
by your tale you have found a beetle that can speak and also has
power to bestow upon you great wealth." Then he looked carefully at
the gold pieces and continued: "Either this money is fairy gold or
it is genuine metal, stamped at the mint of the United States
government. If it is fairy gold it will disappear within 24 hours,
and will therefore do no one any good. If it is real money, then
your beetle must have robbed some one of the gold and placed it in
your well. For all money belongs to some one, and if you have not
earned it honestly, but have come by it in the mysterious way you
mention, it was surely taken from the persons who owned it, without
their consent. Where else could real money come from?"

The farmer and his wife were confused by this statement and looked
guiltily at each other, for they were honest people and wished to
wrong no one.

"Then you think the beetle stole the money?" asked the woman.

"By his magic powers he probably took it from its rightful owners.
Even bugs which can speak have no consciences and cannot tell the
difference between right and wrong. With a desire to reward you for
your kindness the beetle took from its lawful possessors the money
you pumped from the well."

"Perhaps it really is fairy gold," suggested the man. "If so, we
must go to the town and spend the money before it disappears."

"That would be wrong," answered the pastor; "for then the merchants
would have neither money nor goods. To give them fairy gold would be
to rob them."

"What, then, shall we do?" asked the poor woman, wringing her hands
with grief and disappointment.

"Go home and wait until to-morrow. If the gold is then in your
possession it is real money and not fairy gold. But if it is real
money you must try to restore it to its rightful owners. Take, also,
these pieces which you have given me, for I cannot accept gold that
is not honestly come by."

Sadly the poor people returned to their home, being greatly
disturbed by what they had heard. Another sleepless night was
passed, and on Monday morning they arose at daylight and ran to see
if the gold was still visible.

"It is real money, after all!" cried the man; "for not a single
piece has disappeared."

When the woman went to the brook that day she looked for the beetle,
and, sure enough, there he sat upon the flat stone.

"Are you happy now?" asked the beetle, as the woman paused before

"We are very unhappy," she answered; "for, although you have given
us much gold, our good parson says it surely belongs to some one
else, and was stolen by you to reward us."

"Your parson may be a good man," returned the beetle, with some
indignation, "but he certainly is not overwise. Nevertheless, if you
do not want the gold I can take it from you as easily as I gave it."

"But we do want it!" cried the woman, fearfully. "That is," she
added, "if it is honestly come by."

"It is not stolen," replied the beetle, sulkily, "and now belongs to
no one but yourselves. When you saved my life I thought how I might
reward you; and, knowing you to be poor, I decided gold would make
you happier than anything else.

"You must know," he continued, "that although I appear so small and
insignificant, I am really king of all the insects, and my people
obey my slightest wish. Living, as they do, close to the ground, the
insects often come across gold and other pieces of money which have
been lost by men and have fallen into cracks or crevasses or become
covered with earth or hidden by grass or weeds. Whenever my people
find money in this way they report the fact to me; but I have always
let it lie, because it could be of no possible use to an insect.

"However, when I decided to give you gold I knew just where to
obtain it without robbing any of your fellow creatures. Thousands of
insects were at once sent by me in every direction to bring the
pieces of lost gold to his hill. It cost my people several days of
hard labor, as you may suppose; but by the time your husband had
finished the well the gold began to arrive from all parts of the
country, and during the night my subjects dumped it all into the
well. So you may use it with a clear conscience, knowing that you
wrong no one."

This explanation delighted the woman, and when she returned to the
house and reported to her husband what the beetle had said he also
was overjoyed.

So they at once took a number of the gold pieces and went to the
town to purchase provisions and clothing and many things of which
they had long stood in need; but so proud were they of their newly
acquired wealth that they took no pains to conceal it. They wanted
everyone to know they had money, and so it was no wonder that when
some of the wicked men in the village saw the gold they longed to
possess it themselves.

"If they spend this money so freely," whispered one to another,
"there must be a great store of gold at their home."

"That is true," was the answer. "Let us hasten there before they
return and ransack the house."

So they left the village and hurried away to the farm on the hill,
where they broke down the door and turned everything topsy turvy
until they had discovered the gold in the wood-box and the teapot.
It did not take them long to make this into bundles, which they
slung upon their backs and carried off, and it was probably because
they were in a great hurry that they did not stop to put the house
in order again.

Presently the good woman and her husband came up the hill from the
village with their arms full of bundles and followed by a crowd of
small boys who had been hired to help carry the purchases. Then
followed others, youngsters and country louts, attracted by the
wealth and prodigality of the pair, who, from simple curiosity,
trailed along behind like the tail of a comet and helped swell the
concourse into a triumphal procession. Last of all came Guggins, the
shopkeeper, carrying with much tenderness a new silk dress which was
to be paid for when they reached the house, all the money they had
taken to the village having been lavishly expended.

The farmer, who had formerly been a modest man, was now so swelled
with pride that he tipped the rim of his hat over his left ear and
smoked a big cigar that was fast making him ill. His wife strutted
along beside him like a peacock, enjoying to the full the homage and
respect her wealth had won from those who formerly deigned not to
notice her, and glancing from time to time at the admiring
procession in the rear.

But, alas for their new-born pride! when they reached the farmhouse
they found the door broken in, the furniture strewn in all
directions and their treasure stolen to the very last gold piece.

The crowd grinned and made slighting remarks of a personal nature,
and Guggins, the shopkeeper, demanded in a loud voice the money for
the silk dress he had brought.

Then the woman whispered to her husband to run and pump some more
gold while she kept the crowd quiet, and he obeyed quickly. But
after a few moments he returned with a white face to tell her the
pump was dry, and not a gold piece could now be coaxed from the

The procession marched back to the village laughing and jeering at
the farmer and his wife, who had pretended to be so rich; and some
of the boys were naughty enough to throw stones at the house from
the top of the hill. Mr. Guggins carried away his dress after
severely scolding the woman for deceiving him, and when the couple
at last found themselves alone their pride had turned to humiliation
and their joy to bitter grief.

Just before sundown the woman dried her eyes and, having resumed her
ordinary attire, went to the brook for water. When she came to the
flat stone she saw the King Beetle sitting upon it.

"The well is dry!" she cried out, angrily.

"Yes," answered the beetle, calmly, "you have pumped from it all the
gold my people could find."

"But we are now ruined," said the woman, sitting down in the path
beginning to weep; "for robbers have stolen from us every penny we

"I'm sorry," returned the beetle; "but it is your own fault. Had you
not made so great a show of your wealth no one would have suspected
you possessed a treasure, or thought to rob you. As it is, you have
merely lost the gold which others have lost before you. It will
probably be lost many times more before the world comes to an end."

"But what are we to do now?" she asked.

"What did you do before I gave you the money?"

"We worked from morning 'til night," said she.

"Then work still remains for you," remarked the beetle, composedly;
"no one will ever try to rob you of that, you may be sure!" And he
slid from the stone and disappeared for the last time.

* * * * *

This story should teach us to accept good fortune with humble hearts
and to use it with moderation. For, had the farmer and his wife
resisted the temptation to display their wealth ostentatiously, they
might have retained it to this very day.


In all Fairyland there is no more mischievous a person than
Tanko-Mankie the Yellow Ryl. He flew through the city one
afternoon--quite invisible to moral eyes, but seeing everything
himself--and noticed a figure of a wax lady standing behind the big
plate glass window of Mr. Floman's department store.

The wax lady was beautifully dressed, and extended in her stiff left
hand was a card bearing the words:

    This Stylish Costume
    (Imported from Paris)
    Former Price, $20,
    REDUCED TO ONLY $19.98."

This impressive announcement had drawn before the window a crowd of
women shoppers, who stood looking at the wax lady with critical

Tanko-Mankie laughed to himself the low, gurgling little laugh that
always means mischief. Then he flew close to the wax figure and
breathed twice upon its forehead.

From that instant the dummy began to live, but so dazed and
astonished was she at the unexpected sensation that she continued to
stand stupidly staring at the women outside and holding out the
placard as before.

The ryl laughed again and flew away. Anyone but Tanko-Mankie would
have remained to help the wax lady out of the troubles that were
sure to overtake her; but this naughty elf thought it rare fun to
turn the inexperienced lady loose in a cold and heartless world and
leave her to shift for herself.

Fortunately it was almost six o'clock when the dummy first realized
that she was alive, and before she had collected her new thoughts
and decided what to do a man came around and drew down all the
window shades, shutting off the view from the curious shoppers.

Then the clerks and cashiers and floorwalkers and cash girls went
home and the store was closed for the night, although the sweepers
and scrubbers remained to clean the floors for the following day.

The window inhabited by the wax lady was boxed in, like a little
room, one small door being left at the side for the window-trimmer
to creep in and out of. So the scrubbers never noticed that the
dummy, when left to herself, dropped the placard to the floor and
sat down upon a pile of silks to wonder who she was, where she was,
and how she happened to be alive.

For you must consider, dear reader, that in spite of her size and
her rich costume, in spite of her pink cheeks and fluffy yellow
hair, this lady was very young--no older, in reality, than a baby
born but half an hour. All she knew of the world was contained in
the glimpse she had secured of the busy street facing her window;
all she knew of people lay in the actions of the group of women
which had stood before her on the other side of the window pane and
criticised the fit of her dress or remarked upon its stylish

So she had little enough to think about, and her thoughts moved
somewhat slowly; yet one thing she really decided upon, and that was
not to remain in the window and be insolently stared at by a lot of
women who were not nearly so handsome or well dressed as herself.

By the time she reached this important conclusion, it was after
midnight; but dim lights were burning in the big, deserted store, so
she crept through the door of her window and walked down the long
aisles, pausing now and then to look with much curiosity at the
wealth of finery confronting her on every side.

When she came to the glass cases filled with trimmed hats she
remembered having seen upon the heads of the women in the street
similar creations. So she selected one that suited her fancy and
placed it carefully upon her yellow locks. I won't attempt to
explain what instinct it was that made her glance into a near-by
mirror to see if the hat was straight, but this she certainly did.
It didn't correspond with her dress very well, but the poor thing
was too young to have much taste in matching colors.

When she reached the glove counter she remembered that gloves were
also worn by the women she had seen. She took a pair from the case
and tried to fit them upon her stiff, wax-coated fingers; but the
gloves were too small and ripped in the seams. Then she tried
another pair, and several others, as well; but hours passed before
she finally succeeded in getting her hands covered with a pair of
pea-green kids.

Next she selected a parasol from a large and varied assortment in
the rear of the store. Not that she had any idea what it was used
for; but other ladies carried such things, so she also would have

When she again examined herself critically in the mirror she decided
her outfit was now complete, and to her inexperienced eyes there was
no perceptible difference between her and the women who had stood
outside the window. Whereupon she tried to leave the store, but
found every door fast locked.

The wax lady was in no hurry. She inherited patience from her
previous existence. Just to be alive and to wear beautiful clothes
was sufficient enjoyment for her at present. So she sat down upon a
stool and waited quietly until daylight.

When the janitor unlocked the door in the morning the wax lady swept
past him and walked with stiff but stately strides down the street.
The poor fellow was so completely whuckered at seeing the well-known
wax lady leave her window and march away from the store that he fell
over in a heap and only saved himself from fainting by striking his
funny bone against the doorstep. When he recovered his wits she had
turned the corner and disappeared.

The wax lady's immature mind had reasoned that, since she had come
to life, her evident duty was to mix with the world and do whatever
other folks did. She could not realize how different she was from
people of flesh and blood; nor did she know she was the first dummy
that had ever lived, or that she owed her unique experience to
Tanko-Mankie's love of mischief. So ignorance gave her a confidence
in herself that she was not justly entitled to.

It was yet early in the day, and the few people she met were
hurrying along the streets. Many of them turned into restaurants and
eating houses, and following their example the wax lady also entered
one and sat upon a stool before a lunch counter.

"Coffee 'n' rolls!" said a shop girl on the next stool.

"Coffee 'n' rolls!" repeated the dummy, and soon the waiter placed
them before her. Of course she had no appetite, as her constitution,
being mostly wood, did not require food; but she watched the shop
girl, and saw her put the coffee to her mouth and drink it.
Therefore the wax lady did the same, and the next instant was
surprised to feel the hot liquid trickling out between her wooden
ribs. The coffee also blistered her wax lips, and so disagreeable
was the experience that she arose and left the restaurant, paying no
attention to the demands of the waiter for "20 cents, mum." Not that
she intended to defraud him, but the poor creature had no idea what
he meant by "20 cents, mum."

As she came out she met the window trimmer at Floman's store. The
man was rather near-sighted, but seeing something familiar in the
lady's features he politely raised his hat. The wax lady also raised
her hat, thinking it the proper thing to do, and the man hurried
away with a horrified face.

Then a woman touched her arm and said:

"Beg pardon, ma'am; but there's a price-mark hanging on your dress

"Yes, I know," replied the wax lady, stiffly; "it was originally
$20, but it's been reduced to $19.98."

The woman looked surprised at such indifference and walked on. Some
carriages were standing at the edge of the sidewalk, and seeing the
dummy hesitate a driver approached her and touched his cap.

"Cab, ma'am?" he asked.

"No," said she, misunderstanding him; "I'm wax."

"Oh!" he exclaimed, and looked after her wonderingly.

"Here's yer mornin' paper!" yelled a newsboy.

"Mine, did you say?" she asked.

"Sure! Chronicle, 'Quirer, R'public 'n' 'Spatch! Wot'll ye 'ave?"

"What are they for?" inquired the wax lady, simply.

"W'y, ter read, o' course. All the news, you know."

She shook her head and glanced at a paper.

"It looks all speckled and mixed up," she said. "I'm afraid I can't

"Ever ben to school?" asked the boy, becoming interested.

"No; what's school?" she inquired.

The boy gave her an indignant look.

"Say!" he cried, "ye'r just a dummy, that's wot ye are!" and ran
away to seek a more promising customer.

"I wonder that he means," thought the poor lady. "Am I really
different in some way from all the others? I look like them,
certainly; and I try to act like them; yet that boy called me a
dummy and seemed to think I acted queerly."

This idea worried her a little, but she walked on to the corner,
where she noticed a street car stop to let some people on. The wax
lady, still determined to do as others did, also boarded the car and
sat down quietly in a corner.

After riding a few blocks the conductor approached her and said:

"Fare, please!"

"What's that?" she inquired, innocently.

"Your fare!" said the man, impatiently.

She stared at him stupidly, trying to think what he meant.

"Come, come!" growled the conductor, "either pay up or get off!"

Still she did not understand, and he grabbed her rudely by the arm
and lifted her to her feet. But when his hand came in contact with
the hard wood of which her arm was made the fellow was filled with
surprise. He stooped down and peered into her face, and, seeing it
was wax instead of flesh, he gave a yell of fear and jumped from the
car, running as if he had seen a ghost.

At this the other passengers also yelled and sprang from the car,
fearing a collision; and the motorman, knowing something was wrong,
followed suit. The wax lady, seeing the others run, jumped from the
car last of all, and stepped in front of another car coming at full
speed from the opposite direction.

She heard cries of fear and of warning on all sides, but before she
understood her danger she was knocked down and dragged for half a

When the car was brought to a stop a policeman reached down and
pulled her from under the wheels. Her dress was badly torn and
soiled. Her left ear was entirely gone, and the left side of her
head was caved in; but she quickly scrambled to her feet and asked
for her hat. This a gentleman had already picked up, and when the
policeman handed it to her and noticed the great hole in her head
and the hollow place it disclosed, the poor fellow trembled so
frightfully that his knees actually knocked together.

"Why--why, ma'am, you're killed!" he gasped.

"What does it mean to be killed?" asked the wax lady.

The policeman shuddered and wiped the perspiration from his

"You're it!" he answered, with a groan.

The crowd that had collected were looking upon the lady wonderingly,
and a middle-aged gentleman now exclaimed:

"Why, she's wax!"

"Wax!" echoed the policeman.

"Certainly. She's one of those dummies they put in the windows,"
declared the middle-aged man.

The people who had collected shouted: "You're right!" "That's what
she is!" "She's a dummy!"

"Are you?" inquired the policeman, sternly.

The wax lady did not reply. She began to fear she was getting into
trouble, and the staring crowd seemed to embarrass her.

Suddenly a bootblack attempted to solve the problem by saying: "You
guys is all wrong! Can a dummy talk? Can a dummy walk? Can a dummy

"Hush!" murmured the policeman. "Look here!" and he pointed to the
hold in the lady's head. The newsboy looked, turned pale and
whistled to keep himself from shivering.

A second policeman now arrived, and after a brief conference it was
decided to take the strange creature to headquarters. So they called
a hurry-up wagon, and the damaged wax lady was helped inside and
driven to the police station. There the policeman locked her in a
cell and hastened to tell Inspector Mugg their wonderful story.

Inspector Mugg had just eaten a poor breakfast, and was not in a
pleasant mood; so he roared and stormed at the unlucky policemen,
saying they were themselves dummies to bring such a fairy tale to a
man of sense. He also hinted that they had been guilty of

The policemen tried to explain, but Inspector Mugg would not listen;
and while they were still disputing in rushed Mr. Floman, the owner
of the department store.

"I want a dozen detectives, at once, inspector!" he cried.

"What for?" demanded Mugg.

"One of the wax ladies has escaped from my store and eloped with a
$19.98 costume, a $4.23 hat, a $2.19 parasol and a 76-cent pair of
gloves, and I want her arrested!"

While he paused for breath the inspector glared at him in amazement.

"Is everybody going crazy at the same time?" he inquired,
sarcastically. "How could a wax dummy run away?"

"I don't know; but she did. When my janitor opened the door this
morning he saw her run out."

"Why didn't he stop her?" asked Mugg.

"He was too frightened. But she's stolen my property, your honor,
and I want her arrested!" declared the storekeeper.

The inspector thought for a moment.

"You wouldn't be able to prosecute her," he said, "for there's no
law against dummies stealing."

Mr. Floman sighed bitterly.

"Am I to lose that $19.98 costume and the $4.25 hat and--"

"By no means," interrupted Inspector Mugg. "The police of this city
are ever prompt to act in defense of our worthy citizens. We have
already arrested the wax lady, and she is locked up in cell No. 16.
You may go there and recover your property, if you wish, but before
you prosecute her for stealing you'd better hunt up a law that
applies to dummies."

"All I want," said Mr. Floman, "is that $19.98 costume and--"

"Come along!" interrupted the policeman. "I'll take you to the

But when they entered No. 16 they found only a lifeless dummy lying
prone upon the floor. Its wax was cracked and blistered, its head
was badly damaged, and the bargain costume was dusty, soiled and
much bedraggled. For the mischief-loving Tanko-Mankie had flown by
and breathed once more upon the poor wax lady, and in that instant
her brief life ended.

"It's just as I thought," said Inspector Mugg, leaning back in his
chair contentedly. "I knew all the time the thing was a fake. It
seems sometimes as though the whole world would go crazy if there
wasn't some level-headed man around to bring 'em to their senses.
Dummies are wood an' wax, an' that's all there is of 'em."

"That may be the rule," whispered the policeman to himself, "but
this one were a dummy as lived!"


The King of the Polar Bears lived among the icebergs in the far
north country. He was old and monstrous big; he was wise and
friendly to all who knew him. His body was thickly covered with
long, white hair that glistened like silver under the rays of the
midnight sun. His claws were strong and sharp, that he might walk
safely over the smooth ice or grasp and tear the fishes and seals
upon which he fed.

The seals were afraid when he drew near, and tried to avoid him; but
the gulls, both white and gray, loved him because he left the
remnants of his feasts for them to devour.

Often his subjects, the polar bears, came to him for advice when ill
or in trouble; but they wisely kept away from his hunting grounds,
lest they might interfere with his sport and arouse his anger.

The wolves, who sometimes came as far north as the icebergs,
whispered among themselves that the King of the Polar Bears was
either a magician or under the protection of a powerful fairy. For
no earthly thing seemed able to harm him; he never failed to secure
plenty of food, and he grew bigger and stronger day by day and year
by year.

Yet the time came when this monarch of the north met man, and his
wisdom failed him.

He came out of his cave among the icebergs one day and saw a boat
moving through the strip of water which had been uncovered by the
shifting of the summer ice. In the boat were men.

The great bear had never seen such creatures before, and therefore
advanced toward the boat, sniffing the strange scent with aroused
curiosity and wondering whether he might take them for friends or
foes, food or carrion.

When the king came near the water's edge a man stood up in the boat
and with a queer instrument made a loud "bang!" The polar bear felt
a shock; his brain became numb; his thoughts deserted him; his great
limbs shook and gave way beneath him and his body fell heavily upon
the hard ice.

That was all he remembered for a time.

When he awoke he was smarting with pain on every inch of his huge
bulk, for the men had cut away his hide with its glorious white hair
and carried it with them to a distant ship.

Above him circled thousands of his friends the gulls, wondering if
their benefactor were really dead and it was proper to eat him. But
when they saw him raise his head and groan and tremble they knew he
still lived, and one of them said to his comrades:

"The wolves were right. The king is a great magician, for even men
cannot kill him. But he suffers for lack of covering. Let us repay
his kindness to us by each giving him as many feathers as we can

This idea pleased the gulls. One after another they plucked with
their beaks the softest feathers from under their wings, and, flying
down, dropped then gently upon the body of the King of the Polar

Then they called to him in a chorus:

"Courage, friend! Our feathers are as soft and beautiful as your own
shaggy hair. They will guard you from the cold winds and warm you
while you sleep. Have courage, then, and live!"

And the King of the Polar Bears had courage to bear his pain and
lived and was strong again.

The feathers grew as they had grown upon the bodies of the birds and
covered him as his own hair had done. Mostly they were pure white in
color, but some from the gray gulls gave his majesty a slight
mottled appearance.

The rest of that summer and all through the six months of night the
king left his icy cavern only to fish or catch seals for food. He
felt no shame at his feathery covering, but it was still strange to
him, and he avoided meeting any of his brother bears.

During this period of retirement he thought much of the men who had
harmed him, and remembered the way they had made the great "bang!"
And he decided it was best to keep away from such fierce creatures.
Thus he added to his store of wisdom.

When the moon fell away from the sky and the sun came to make the
icebergs glitter with the gorgeous tintings of the rainbow, two of
the polar bears arrived at the king's cavern to ask his advice about
the hunting season. But when they saw his great body covered with
feathers instead of hair they began to laugh, and one said:

"Our mighty king has become a bird! Who ever before heard of a
feathered polar bear?"

Then the king gave way to wrath. He advanced upon them with deep
growls and stately tread and with one blow of his monstrous paw
stretched the mocker lifeless at his feet.

The other ran away to his fellows and carried the news of the king's
strange appearance. The result was a meeting of all the polar bears
upon a broad field of ice, where they talked gravely of the
remarkable change that had come upon their monarch.

"He is, in reality, no longer a bear," said one; "nor can he justly
be called a bird. But he is half bird and half bear, and so unfitted
to remain our king."

"Then who shall take his place?" asked another.

"He who can fight the bird-bear and overcome him," answered an aged
member of the group. "Only the strongest is fit to rule our race."

There was silence for a time, but at length a great bear moved to
the front and said:

"I will fight him; I--Woof--the strongest of our race! And I will be
King of the Polar Bears."

The others nodded assent, and dispatched a messenger to the king to
say he must fight the great Woof and master him or resign his

"For a bear with feathers," added the messenger, "is no bear at all,
and the king we obey must resemble the rest of us."

"I wear feathers because it pleases me," growled the king. "Am I not
a great magician? But I will fight, nevertheless, and if Woof
masters me he shall be king in my stead."

Then he visited his friends, the gulls, who were even then feasting
upon the dead bear, and told them of the coming battle.

"I shall conquer," he said, proudly. "Yet my people are in the
right, for only a hairy one like themselves can hope to command
their obedience."

The queen gull said:

"I met an eagle yesterday, which had made its escape from a big city
of men. And the eagle told me he had seen a monstrous polar bear
skin thrown over the back of a carriage that rolled along the
street. That skin must have been yours, oh king, and if you wish I
will sent an hundred of my gulls to the city to bring it back to

"Let them go!" said the king, gruffly. And the hundred gulls were
soon flying rapidly southward.

For three days they flew straight as an arrow, until they came to
scattered houses, to villages, and to cities. Then their search

The gulls were brave, and cunning, and wise. Upon the fourth day
they reached the great metropolis, and hovered over the streets
until a carriage rolled along with a great white bear robe thrown
over the back seat. Then the birds swooped down--the whole hundred
of them--and seizing the skin in their beaks flew quickly away.

They were late. The king's great battle was upon the seventh day,
and they must fly swiftly to reach the Polar regions by that time.

Meanwhile the bird-bear was preparing for his fight. He sharpened
his claws in the small crevasses of the ice. He caught a seal and
tested his big yellow teeth by crunching its bones between them. And
the queen gull set her band to pluming the king bear's feathers
until they lay smoothly upon his body.

But every day they cast anxious glances into the southern sky,
watching for the hundred gulls to bring back the king's own skin.

The seventh day came, and all the Polar bears in that region
gathered around the king's cavern. Among them was Woof, strong and
confident of his success.

"The bird-bear's feathers will fly fast enough when I get my claws
upon him!" he boasted; and the others laughed and encouraged him.

The king was disappointed at not having recovered his skin, but he
resolved to fight bravely without it. He advanced from the opening
of his cavern with a proud and kingly bearing, and when he faced his
enemy he gave so terrible a growl that Woof's heart stopped beating
for a moment, and he began to realize that a fight with the wise and
mighty king of his race was no laughing matter.

After exchanging one or two heavy blows with his foe Woof's courage
returned, and he determined to dishearten his adversary by bluster.

"Come nearer, bird-bear!" he cried. "Come nearer, that I may pluck
your plumage!"

The defiance filled the king with rage. He ruffled his feathers as a
bird does, till he appeared to be twice his actual size, and then he
strode forward and struck Woof so powerful a blow that his skull
crackled like an egg-shell and he fell prone upon the ground.

While the assembled bears stood looking with fear and wonder at
their fallen champion the sky became darkened.

An hundred gulls flew down from above and dripped upon the king's
body a skin covered with pure white hair that glittered in the sun
like silver.

And behold! the bears saw before them the well-known form of their
wise and respected master, and with one accord they bowed their
shaggy heads in homage to the mighty King of the Polar Bears.

* * * * *

This story teaches us that true dignity and courage depend not upon
outward appearance, but come rather from within; also that brag and
bluster are poor weapons to carry into battle.


A mandarin once lived in Kiang-ho who was so exceedingly cross and
disagreeable that everyone hated him. He snarled and stormed at
every person he met and was never known to laugh or be merry under
any circumstances. Especially he hated boys and girls; for the boys
jeered at him, which aroused his wrath, and the girls made fun of
him, which hurt his pride.

When he had become so unpopular that no one would speak to him, the
emperor heard about it and commanded him to emigrate to America.
This suited the mandarin very well; but before he left China he
stole the Great Book of Magic that belonged to the wise magician
Haot-sai. Then, gathering up his little store of money, he took ship
for America.

He settled in a city of the middle west and of course started a
laundry, since that seems to be the natural vocation of every
Chinaman, be he coolie or mandarin.

He made no acquaintances with the other Chinamen of the town, who,
when they met him and saw the red button in his hat, knew him for a
real mandarin and bowed low before him. He put up a red and white
sign and people brought their laundry to him and got paper checks,
with Chinese characters upon them, in exchange, this being the only
sort of character the mandarin had left.

One day as the ugly one was ironing in his shop in the basement of
263 1/2 Main street, he looked up and saw a crowd of childish faces
pressed against the window. Most Chinamen make friends with
children; this one hated them and tried to drive them away. But as
soon as he returned to his work they were back at the window again,
mischievously smiling down upon him.

The naughty mandarin uttered horrid words in the Manchu language and
made fierce gestures; but this did no good at all. The children
stayed as long as they pleased, and they came again the very next
day as soon as school was over, and likewise the next day, and the
next. For they saw their presence at the window bothered the
Chinaman and were delighted accordingly.

The following day being Sunday the children did not appear, but as
the mandarin, being a heathen, worked in his little shop a big
butterfly flew in at the open door and fluttered about the room.

The mandarin closed the door and chased the butterfly until he
caught it, when he pinned it against the wall by sticking two pins
through its beautiful wings. This did not hurt the butterfly, there
being no feeling in its wings; but it made him a safe prisoner.

This butterfly was of large size and its wings were exquisitely
marked by gorgeous colors laid out in regular designs like the
stained glass windows of a cathedral.

The mandarin now opened his wooden chest and drew forth the Great
Book of Magic he had stolen from Haot-sai. Turning the pages slowly
he came to a passage describing "How to understand the language of
butterflies." This he read carefully and then mixed a magic formula
in a tin cup and drank it down with a wry face. Immediately
thereafter he spoke to the butterfly in its own language, saying:

"Why did you enter this room?"

"I smelled bees-wax," answered the butterfly; "therefore I thought
I might find honey here."

"But you are my prisoner," said the mandarin. "If I please I can kill
you, or leave you on the wall to starve to death."

"I expect that," replied the butterfly, with a sigh. "But my race is
shortlived, anyway; it doesn't matter whether death comes sooner or

"Yet you like to live, do you not?" asked the mandarin.

"Yet; life is pleasant and the world is beautiful. I do not seek

"Then," said the mandarin, "I will give you life--a long and
pleasant life--if you will promise to obey me for a time and carry
out my instructions."

"How can a butterfly serve a man?" asked the creature, in surprise.

"Usually they cannot," was the reply. "But I have a book of magic
which teaches me strange things. Do you promise?"

"Oh, yes; I promise," answered the butterfly; "for even as your
slave I will get some enjoyment out of life, while should you kill
me--that is the end of everything!"

"Truly," said the mandarin, "butterflies have no souls, and
therefore cannot live again."

"But I have enjoyed three lives already," returned the butterfly,
with some pride. "I have been a caterpillar and a chrysalis before I
became a butterfly. You were never anything but a Chinaman, although
I admit your life is longer than mine."

"I will extend your life for many days, if you will obey me,"
declared the Chinaman. "I can easily do so by means of my magic."

"Of course I will obey you," said the butterfly, carelessly.

"Then, listen! You know children, do you not?--boys and girls?"

"Yes, I know them. They chase me, and try to catch me, as you have
done," replied the butterfly.

"And they mock me, and jeer at me through the window," continued the
mandarin, bitterly. "Therefore, they are your enemies and mine! But
with your aid and the help of the magic book we shall have a fine
revenge for their insults."

"I don't care much for revenge," said the butterfly. "They are but
children, and 'tis natural they should wish to catch such a
beautiful creature as I am."

"Nevertheless, I care! and you must obey me," retorted the mandarin,
harshly. "I, at least, will have my revenge."

Then he stuck a drop of molasses upon the wall beside the
butterfly's head and said:

"Eat that, while I read my book and prepare my magic formula."

So the butterfly feasted upon the molasses and the mandarin studied
his book, after which he began to mix a magic compound in the tin

When the mixture was ready he released the butterfly from the wall
and said to it:

"I command you to dip your two front feet into this magic compound
and then fly away until you meet a child. Fly close, whether it be a
boy or a girl, and touch the child upon its forehead with your feet.
Whosoever is thus touched, the book declares, will at once become a
pig, and will remain such forever after. Then return to me and dip
you legs afresh in the contents of this cup. So shall all my
enemies, the children, become miserable swine, while no one will
think of accusing me of the sorcery."

"Very well; since such is your command, I obey," said the butterfly.
Then it dipped its front legs, which were the shortest of the six,
into the contents of the tin cup, and flew out of the door and away
over the houses to the edge of the town. There it alighted in a
flower garden and soon forgot all about its mission to turn children
into swine.

In going from flower to flower it soon brushed the magic compound
from its legs, so that when the sun began to set and the butterfly
finally remembered its master, the mandarin, it could not have
injured a child had it tried.

But it did not intend to try.

"That horrid old Chinaman," it thought, "hates children and wishes
to destroy them. But I rather like children myself and shall not
harm them. Of course I must return to my master, for he is a
magician, and would seek me out and kill me; but I can deceive him
about this matter easily enough."

When the butterfly flew in at the door of the mandarin's laundry he
asked, eagerly:

"Well, did you meet a child?"

"I did," replied the butterfly, calmly. "It was a pretty,
golden-haired girl--but now 'tis a grunting pig!"

"Good! Good! Good!" cried the mandarin, dancing joyfully about the
room. "You shall have molasses for your supper, and to-morrow you
must change two children into pigs."

The butterfly did not reply, but ate the molasses in silence. Having
no soul it had no conscience, and having no conscience it was able
to lie to the mandarin with great readiness and a certain amount of

Next morning, by the mandarin's command, the butterfly dipped its
legs in the mixture and flew away in search of children.

When it came to the edge of the town it noticed a pig in a sty, and
alighting upon the rail of the sty it looked down at the creature
and thought.

"If I could change a child into a pig by touching it with the magic
compound, what could I change a pig into, I wonder?"

Being curious to determine this fine point in sorcery the butterfly
fluttered down and touched its front feet to the pig's nose.
Instantly the animal disappeared, and in its place was a
shock-headed, dirty looking boy, which sprang from the sty and ran
down the road uttering load whoops.

"That's funny," said the butterfly to itself. "The mandarin would be
very angry with me if he knew of this, for I have liberated one more
of the creatures that bother him."

It fluttered along after the boy, who had paused to throw stones at
a cat. But pussy escaped by running up a tree, where thick branches
protected her from the stones. Then the boy discovered a
newly-planted garden, and trampled upon the beds until the seeds
were scattered far and wide, and the garden was ruined. Next he
caught up a switch and struck with it a young calf that stood
quietly grazing in a field. The poor creature ran away with piteous
bleats, and the boy laughed and followed after it, striking the
frightened animal again and again.

"Really," thought the butterfly, "I do not wonder the mandarin hates
children, if they are all so cruel and wicked as this one."

The calf having escaped him the boy came back to the road, where he
met two little girls on their way to school. One of them had a red
apple in her hand, and the boy snatched it away and began eating it.
The little girl commenced to cry, but her companion, more brave and
sturdy, cried out:

"You ought to be ashamed of yourself, you nasty boy!"

At this the boy reached out and slapped her pretty face, whereupon
she also began to sob.

Although possessed of neither soul nor conscience, the butterfly had
a very tender heart, and now decided it could endure this boy no

"If I permitted him to exist," it reflected, "I should never forgive
myself, for the monster would do nothing but evil from morning 'til

So it flew directly into his face and touched his forehead with its
sticky front feet.

The next instant the boy had disappeared, but a grunting pig ran
swiftly up the road in the direction of its sty.

The butterfly gave a sigh of relief.

"This time I have indeed used the mandarin's magic upon a child," it
whispered, as it floated lazily upon the light breeze; "but since
the child was originally a pig I do not think I have any cause to
reproach myself. The little girls were sweet and gentle, and I would
not injure them to save my life, but were all boys like this
transformed pig, I should not hesitate to carry out the mandarin's

Then it flew into a rose bush, where it remained comfortably until
evening. At sundown it returned to its master.

"Have you changed two of them into pigs?" he asked, at once.

"I have," replied the butterfly. "One was a pretty, black-eyed baby,
and the other a freckle-faced, red-haired, barefooted newboy."

"Good! Good! Good!" screamed the mandarin, in an ecstasy of delight.
"Those are the ones who torment me the most! Change every newboy you
meet into a pig!"

"Very well," answered the butterfly, quietly, and ate its supper of

Several days were passed by the butterfly in the same manner. It
fluttered aimlessly about the flower gardens while the sun shone,
and returned at night to the mandarin with false tales of turning
children into swine. Sometimes it would be one child which was
transformed, sometimes two, and occasionally three; but the mandarin
always greeted the butterfly's report with intense delight and gave
him molasses for supper.

One evening, however, the butterfly thought it might be well to vary
the report, so that the mandarin might not grow suspicious; and when
its master asked what child had been had been changed into a pig
that day the lying creature answered:

"It was a Chinese boy, and when I touched him he became a black

This angered the mandarin, who was in an especially cross mood. He
spitefully snapped the butterfly with his finger, and nearly broke
its beautiful wing; for he forgot that Chinese boys had once mocked
him and only remembered his hatred for American boys.

The butterfly became very indignant at this abuse from the mandarin.
It refused to eat its molasses and sulked all the evening, for it
had grown to hate the mandarin almost as much as the mandarin hated

When morning came it was still trembling with indignation; but the
mandarin cried out:

"Make haste, miserable slave; for to-day you must change four
children into pigs, to make up for yesterday."

The butterfly did not reply. His little black eyes were sparkling
wickedly, and no sooner had he dipped his feet into the magic
compound than he flew full in the mandarin's face, and touched him
upon his ugly, flat forehead.

Soon after a gentleman came into the room for his laundry. The
mandarin was not there, but running around the place was a
repulsive, scrawny pig, which squealed most miserably.

The butterfly flew away to a brook and washed from its feet all
traces of the magic compound. When night came it slept in a rose

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "American Fairy Tales" ***

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