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Title: Worth While Stories for Every Day
Author: Various, - To be updated
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Worth While Stories for Every Day" ***

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                        WORTH WHILE STORIES
                           FOR EVERY DAY

                       LAWTON B. EVANS, A.M.

                      SCHOOLS OF AUGUSTA, GA.

                      MILTON BRADLEY COMPANY
                        SPRINGFIELD, MASS.

                         COPYRIGHT, 1917,
                    BY MILTON BRADLEY COMPANY,
                        SPRINGFIELD, MASS.

                      _Bradley Quality Books_



In order to make story-telling most effective, the story-teller
should bear in mind certain conditions that are imposed by those
who listen.

1. _Know the story._ Know it well enough to tell it in your own
language, and in the language of the children who hear it. Know it
well enough to amplify, vary, improve, make all kinds of excursions
and side incidents, and yet return easily to the main body of the

2. _Tell the story._ Do not read it. The speaker is free and
unbound by book or words; the reader is held by the formal page
before him. The stories in this book are condensed, too condensed
for reading and need the addition of words to make them of the
right consistency. Those words should be the narrator’s own; the
story then becomes the narrator’s story and not the author’s, and
that is as it should be.

3. _Act the story._ Do not be afraid of the dramatic side of
narration. Imitate all the sounds that belong to the story, such
as the winds blowing, the thunder rolling, a bear growling, a dog
barking, etc. Change your voice to meet the requirements of youth
and age. Throw yourself heart and soul into the spirit of the
narrative and do not be afraid to take all the parts, and to act
each one in turn.

4. _Impress the story._ Remember that the story is the main thing
and that the moral point is secondary. Do not make the story a
sermon, and do not dwell severely upon its ethical features. If the
story is amusing let it be without moral value. If it is historical
let it remain so. Generally speaking you can bring out the moral
features in a few words at the close. Children do not like too much

5. _Use the story._ If the story lends itself to dramatization, by
all means let the children act the parts; if it is a good language
exercise, let them tell it or write it in their own words; if it
can be illustrated let them draw pictures on the board or at their
seats; if it can be used for handwork in any way, let them make
what they can.

6. _Enjoy the story._ Make it worth while for pupils to be punctual
in order to hear the story; recur often to past stories when
occasion recalls them to mind; let the imagination play around all
the incidents so that the mind will be filled with those images
that have been the joy of childhood since the world began.

  Augusta. Ga.                                    LAWTON B. EVANS.



  ABRAHAM AND ISAAC                                    185
  ABRAHAM LINCOLN (FEB. 12TH)                          281
  ABSALOM                                              322
  ADVENTURES OF PERSEUS, THE, PART ONE                  43
  ADVENTURES OF PERSEUS, THE, PART TWO                  46
  ADVENTURES OF THESEUS, THE, PART ONE                  92
  ADVENTURES OF THESEUS, THE, PART TWO                  94
  ADVENTURES OF THOR, THE                              103
  ALL FOOLS’ DAY (APRIL 1ST)                           346
  AN ARMY OF TWO                                       130
  ANDROCLUS AND THE LION                                17
  ANTONIO CANOVA                                       196
  APPLE TREE’S CHILDREN, THE                            39

  BAD-TEMPERED SQUIRREL, THE                             8
  BAKER BOYS AND THE BEES, THE                         409
  BARMECIDE FEAST, THE                                 353
  BEAUTIFUL HAND, THE                                    1
  BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, PART ONE                       260
  BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, PART TWO                       262
  BELL OF ATRI, THE                                    344
  BENNY IN BEASTLAND                                   269
  BEOWULF SLAYS THE FIRE DRAGON                        192
  BEOWULF SLAYS THE WATER WITCH                        189
  BINDING OF FENRIR, THE                               110
  BIRTH OF JESUS, THE                                  156
  BLIND MAN AND THE ELEPHANT, THE                        5
  BLUE RIBBON, THE                                      41
  BOBBIE, THE POWDER BOY                                89
  BOY WHO CRIED WOLF, THE                              279
  BOY WHO WANTED TO PLAY ALWAYS, THE                    34
  BRUCE AND THE SPIDER                                  21

  CERES AND HER DAUGHTER                               218
  CINDERELLA                                           383
  COLUMBUS (DISCOVERY DAY, OCT. 12TH)                   48
  DAMON AND PYTHIAS                                    133
  DAVID AND GOLIATH                                     50
  DEATH OF BEOWULF, THE                                194
  DIRTY TOM                                             19
  DISCONTENTED MEMBERS, THE                              3
  DISCONTENTED TAILOR, THE                             180
  DISOBEDIENT DICKY BIRD, A                            237
  DOG’S GRATITUDE, A                                   412
  DOROTHY’S DREAM OF HAPPINESS                         255
  DRAGON SLAYER, THE                                   161
  DUMMLING’S GOOSE                                     381
  DUMMLING’S REQUEST                                   378

  ELEPHANT’S TRUNK, THE                                 82

  FAIRY FISH QUEEN, THE                                416
  FAITHFUL BRUNO                                       285
  FISHERMAN AND THE GENIE, THE                         297
  FOOLISH FRED                                         168
  FOUR-LEAF CLOVER                                     392
  FREYJA’S NECKLACE                                    108
  FRIEDRICH FROEBEL (APRIL 21ST)                       376

  GIFTS OF THE NORTH WIND, THE                         149
  GINGERBREAD MAN, THE                                 311
  GIRL WHO WANTED EVERYTHING, THE                      299
  GOLDEN TOUCH, THE                                    348
  GOLD GIRL AND THE TAR GIRL, THE                      364
  GOOSE BOY AND THE KING, THE                          283
  GOOSE GIRL, THE, PART ONE                            163
  GOOSE GIRL, THE, PART TWO                            166
  GRATEFUL INDIAN, THE                                  87

  HANS IN LUCK                                         175
  HESTER’S EASTER OFFERING                             388
  HOW A GIRL SAVED A FORT                              182
  HOW ARTHUR BECAME KING                                60
  HOW ARTHUR CAME BY HIS SWORD                          62
  HOW GEORGE SAVED THE TRAIN                           126
  HOW JACK CAME TO HAVE A WINDOW BOX                   253
  HOW ROBIN HOOD BECAME AN OUTLAW                      325
  HOW ROBIN HOOD MET FRIAR TUCK                        329
  HOW THE LITTLE BIRD REACHED HOME                     244
  HOW THE RABBIT GOT ITS COTTON TAIL                   233
  HOW WE CAME TO HAVE UMBRELLAS                        249

  JACK AND JILL                                         37
  JACK AND THE BEAN-STALK, PART ONE                     10
  JACK AND THE BEAN-STALK, PART TWO                     12
  JACK AND THE GIANT                                   290
  JOHNNY’S RABBIT                                      251
  JOSEPH AND HIS BRETHREN, PART ONE                    112
  JOSEPH AND HIS BRETHREN, PART TWO                    115
  JOSEPH AND HIS BRETHREN, PART THREE                  117
  JOSEPH AND HIS BRETHREN, PART FOUR                   119
  JOURNEY OF A DROP OF WATER, THE                      246
  JULIA’S PRESENCE OF MIND                             407

  KILLING THE BIRDS                                    226
  KIND-HEARTED POLICEMAN, THE                          399
  KING ALFRED AND THE CAKES                            147
  KING COPHETUA AND THE BEGGAR MAID                    396
  KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND TABLE, THE                       64
  KRIS AND THE BEAR                                     97

  LAME PRINCE, THE                                     267
  LATONA                                               216
  LEAK IN THE DIKE, THE                                198
  LEGEND OF THE MOUNTAIN ASH, THE                      121
  LEGEND OF THE SPIDER WEB, THE                         14
  LEGEND OF THE WOODPECKER, THE                        235
  LITTLE GRAY LAMB, THE                                 76
  LITTLE RED HEN, THE                                   30
  LITTLE RED RIDINGHOOD                                178
  LOOKING-GLASS WITCH, THE                             367
  LOUIS AND THE THREE WISHES                           145

  MAGIC POT, THE                                       423
  MIGHTY MEN, THE                                      414
  MIRROR, THE                                           23
  MOSES IN THE BULRUSHES                               137
  MOTHER EARTH’S CHILDREN                              212

  NÜRNBERG STOVE, THE, PART ONE                        339
  NÜRNBERG STOVE, THE, PART TWO                        341

  ODIN AND THE DWARFS                                  101

  PASSING OF SIR GALAHAD, THE                           69
  PIED PIPER OF HAMELIN, THE                           265
  PIG AND THE SHEEP, THE                                25
  PIPPA PASSES                                         142
  PLANTING AN ORCHARD (ARBOR DAY)                      288
  PRINCE AND THE DRAGON, THE                           128
  PRINCESS LOSES THE FOOT RACE, THE                    258
  PROUD KING, THE, PART ONE                            360
  PROUD KING, THE, PART TWO                            362
  PUSS IN BOOTS, PART ONE                              301
  PUSS IN BOOTS, PART TWO                              304

  RABBIT TRIES TO CATCH FISH, THE                       73
  RACE WITH A FLOOD, A                                  99
  RAGS                                                 421
  ROBERT E. LEE (JAN 19TH)                             240
  ROBERT’S RIDE                                         78
  ROBIN’S EGGS, THE                                    313
  ROBIN HOOD MEETS LITTLE JOHN                         327

  SAINT GEORGE AND THE DRAGON                          228
  SAM DAVIS                                            124
  SAMSON                                               276
  SEEDS OF GOLD                                        214
  SHOEMAKER AND THE ELVES, THE                          28
  SIEGFRIED SLAYS THE DRAGON                           135
  SIR GALAHAD FINDS THE HOLY GRAIL                      67
  SIX SWABIANS, THE                                    171
  SLEEPING BEAUTY, THE, PART ONE                       203
  SLEEPING BEAUTY, THE, PART TWO                       205
  SNOWFLAKE                                            419
  SODOM AND GOMORRAH                                   374
  STORY OF THE JACKBEAN                                390
  STRAW, THE COAL, AND THE BEAN, THE                   173
  SUNSHINE FAIRY, A                                    272
  SWISS WOOD CARVER, THE                                53

  THANKSGIVING                                          85
  THOR CONTENDS WITH THE GIANTS                        106
  THREE LITTLE GOLDFISH                                401
  THREE LUCKY SONS, THE                                385
  THRIFTY SQUIRRELS, THE                                32
  TINY TIM, PART ONE                                   152
  TINY TIM, PART TWO                                   154
  TOM THUMB, PART ONE                                  292
  TOM THUMB, PART TWO                                  295
  TRAVELING MUSICIANS, THE                             394
  TUBAL CAIN                                           201

  UGLY DUCKLING, THE, PART ONE                         221
  UGLY DUCKLING, THE, PART TWO                         223

  VISION OF SIR LAUNFAL, THE, PART ONE                  55
  VISION OF SIR LAUNFAL, THE, PART TWO                  57

  WAX WINGS                                            403
  WHAT THE STUPID SON LEARNED                          274
  WHITE CAT, THE, PART ONE                             306
  WHITE CAT, THE, PART TWO                             309
  WILLIAM TELL                                          80
  WIND AND THE SUN, THE                                210
  WISDOM OF SOLOMON, THE                               230
  WISE LITTLE PIG, THE                                 350
  WOODPECKER WHO WAS SELFISH, THE                       71




_The most beautiful thing in life is helping others, especially
those in need._

It is right to have clean hands and well kept nails. We should
remember that cleanliness of body is akin to purity of heart. I
shall tell you a story of some hands that were not only clean but
very beautiful.

Some young girls were talking by the brook, boasting of their
beautiful hands. One of them dipped her hands in the sparkling
water and the drops looked like diamonds falling from her palms.

“See what beautiful hands I have! The water runs from them like
precious jewels,” said she, and held up her hands for the others
to admire. They were very soft and white, for she had never done
anything but wash them in clear, cold water.

Another one of them ran to get some strawberries and crushed them
in her palms. The juice ran through her fingers like wine from a
wine press until her fingers were as pink as the sunrise in the
early morning.

“See what beautiful hands I have! The strawberry juice runs over
them like wine,” said she, and she held up her hands for the others
to admire. They were very pink and soft, for she had never done
anything but wash them in strawberry juice every morning.

Another one gathered some violets and crushed the flowers in her
hands until they smelled like perfume.

“See what beautiful hands I have! They smell like violets in the
deep woods in the spring time,” said she, and she held up her hands
for the others to admire. They were very soft and white, for she
had never done anything but wash them in violets every morning.

The fourth girl did not show her hands but held them in her lap. An
old woman came down the road and stopped before the girls. They all
showed her their hands and asked her which were the most beautiful.
She shook her head at each one and then asked to see the hands of
the last girl who held hers in her lap. The last girl raised her
hands timidly for the old woman to see.

“Oh, these hands are clean, indeed,” said the old woman, “but they
are hard with toil, helping her mother clean the house and nurse
the baby, and mend the clothes. They have carried food to the poor
and have nursed the sick babies in the neighborhood.”

Then the old woman fumbled in her pocket and brought out a ring set
with diamonds, with rubies redder than strawberries, and turquoise
bluer than violets.

“Here, wear this ring, my child; you deserve the prize for the most
beautiful hands, for they have been the most helpful.”

And the old woman vanished, leaving the four girls still sitting by
the brook.


_All the parts must work together for the good of the whole. In
union there is strength and safety._

Once upon a time all the parts of the body began to complain of how
little the stomach did, and of what each one did to support that
lazy member.

“Just look at that stupid old stomach,” said the mouth. “It won’t
say a word; never sings a song. Won’t even say ‘thank you,’ for
what I let go by me on the way down to fill it up. I am getting
tired of opening and shutting and swallowing and never a word of

“You are perfectly right,” said the hands. “Here we are working
hard all day, digging and pulling and pushing and doing our best to
make a little money. Our palms are hard and knotty, and sometimes
our fingers are sore and cold. Then to make it worse, when we come
home we have to lift food to go into that good-for-nothing stomach,
and never a word do we get for it.”

The head nodded violently: “Yes, indeed!” it said. “I have to
lie awake at night thinking of ways to make food. I sometimes
am positively worn out worrying about where I am going to find
provisions enough to satisfy that stomach. I should think it would
make some suggestions of its own, but not a sound do I ever hear.”

Then the legs began to beat on the floor in order to be heard.

“You have no idea how bad we feel,” said they. “We have to go
about all day carrying that old stomach from one place to another.
We have to stand up and sit down, and the loads that are put
on us are absolutely frightful. Sometimes we are so tired out
that we positively tremble with weakness. And as for getting any
consideration--not a bit of it!”

All the other members joined it. The eyes said they kept a sharp
look out; the ears said they listened for every sound, and even the
ribs said they stood guard to catch any blow that might fall on the

The members all agreed not to help the stomach any more. The head
would not think; the hand would not work; the mouth would not
swallow, and so no more food went into the stomach.

But see what happened! The legs grew too weak to walk; the hands
were too feeble to move; the head was dizzy from lack of strength,
and all the body shrunk until it looked like a shadow.

Then the stomach spoke up at last and said:

“You foolish members! Do you not know that in feeding me you are
feeding yourselves? You put food into me but I send it back to you
in blood and strength so that you can all work. Unless you feed me
I cannot help you.”

The head nodded wisely and said: “The stomach is right. Come, let
us all go to work again, so that the good old stomach may give us
back our strength.”


(Adapted from a poem by John G. Saxe)

_We should not be sure of our opinions until we have seen all sides
of the question._

There were six men of Hindoostan who were blind, but each man
thought he could see as well with his hands as any one else could
with his eyes. Whenever they touched anything they thought they
knew all about it, though they had felt only a small part.

Now, these six blind men had never seen an elephant. They did not
know what an elephant was like because nobody could describe an
elephant so that they could know what it was like. Besides that,
these blind men never believed what anybody told them.

One day an elephant came to their town and they decided to pay him
a visit. The first blind man approached the elephant and stumbled
against his big broad side. He felt along the rough hide up and
down and as far as he could reach.

“Why, bless me! the elephant is just like a wall or the side of my
house. I had no idea an elephant was like that!” said the first
blind man.

Then the second blind man approached the elephant and caught hold
of his hard tusks with the sharp points. He felt along the smooth
tusk as far as he could reach.

“Why, bless me! the elephant is very like a spear. I had no idea an
elephant looked like that!” said the second blind man.

Then the third blind man approached the elephant and caught hold of
his trunk. The old elephant moved his trunk from side to side, and
squirmed, while the third blind man felt of it as far as he could.

“I see the elephant is very like a snake. I had no idea an elephant
was like that!” said the third blind man.

The fourth blind man now came up and took hold of the elephant’s
leg. He felt how big and solid it was and he felt along the leg as
far as he could reach.

“It is very clear to me that an elephant is very like a tree. I had
no idea an elephant was like that!” said the fourth blind man.

The fifth blind man came and put his hand on the elephant’s ear. He
felt along the big ear as far as he could.

“Well, this elephant is very like a fan. I had no idea an elephant
looked like that!” said the fifth blind man.

The sixth blind man came up and caught the elephant by the tail. He
pulled and twisted as hard as he could.

“I see, the elephant is very like a rope. I had no idea an elephant
was like that!” said the sixth blind man.

And they quarreled all one day and late into the night, and they
never did know what the elephant was like.


_An ill-natured child does not deserve good companionship._

Once there was a family of squirrels that lived in a nice warm hole
in a tall tree. This would have been a happy family had it not
been for the ill-temper of one of the little squirrels. When they
gathered for supper he grabbed the biggest nuts and took more than
his share. He pushed the others away and bit and scratched them. At
night he took the best place to sleep and crowded the smaller ones
to the edge where it was cold.

Mother squirrel tried to correct him, but at last father squirrel
said he could stand his quarreling no longer. So one morning he
told the little squirrel to follow him. They ran down the tree
and over the dry leaves. On and on they went until they came to a
place in the wood which the squirrel had never seen. Soon they came
to a large oak tree and up the father went, the little squirrel
following. Near the top they found a large hole. The father said:

“Go into this hole and stay there until you can be a good little

The little squirrel crept in and heard his father run down the tree
and over the leaves. He felt very lonely. He began looking around
the hole and found a soft bed of leaves and a pile of nice nuts. He

“It will be fun to have this place all to myself, and do just as I
please.” So he tried to play, but it was no fun playing alone. Then
he went back into the hole and began to think that his brothers and
sisters were better off than he had thought them. It began to grow
dark, and there was no one to cuddle up to and keep warm, and no
mother to say “good-night,” to him. The night was very long, and
the next morning it was raining. He felt very far from home. He
sat thinking of all the jolly things his brothers and sisters were
doing, and he wanted to go home.

Late that night an old owl looked in the hole.

“You are a nice fat little squirrel,” he said. “I believe I’ll eat
you in the morning.” The little squirrel sat up and trembled with

“Oh, Mr. Owl, please don’t eat me. I will be very good,” cried
the little squirrel. The old owl blinked and blinked but made no
promises. That night was a very unhappy one for the poor little
squirrel. He dare not go out for fear of the owl and the owl could
not get in the small hole where the squirrel was.

Next morning his father came along and the owl flew away. His
father looked in the hole and said:

“Now, will you be good?” But there was no need for an answer, the
poor little squirrel was only too glad to go back home, and he was
never bad afterwards.



_A poor bargain can often be turned to good account, by one who
knows how._

A long time ago there lived a poor woman who had an only son named
Jack. The time came when they had no bread at all, and Jack’s
mother said:

“Take the cow, my son, and sell her, so that we can have bread to

Jack went off with the cow. On the way he met a butcher who said:

“What are you going to do with your cow?” Jack replied:

“I am going to sell her to buy some bread.” The butcher had a
handful of beans in his hat, and said:

“I will give you these beans for your cow.” Jack thought this was a
good trade and took the beans for the cow, and ran home as fast as
he could.

His mother burst into tears. She was so angry that she threw the
beans out of the window, and made Jack go to bed without any supper.

The next morning when Jack woke up he was amazed to find that the
beans had grown up into the clouds during the night, and were as
thick and heavy as trees. Jack wished to climb up the bean-stalk at
once, and so he began to climb and climb until he was tired out.
Up, up he went past the clouds and right into the sky, until he
reached the top.

It was a strange land he came to. Jack walked all day until he came
to a great house in which lived a giant and his wife. He knocked at
the door and asked the giant’s wife to give him something to eat
and a place to sleep.

“What!” she said. “You do not know my husband. He is a giant and
will eat you up if he sees you. But you can come in, for you are
a fine looking fellow,” and she let Jack come in and gave him
something to eat, and hid him in the oven.

Soon the giant came in roaring like thunder. He sat down and ate
and drank, and scolded his wife until Jack trembled with fear. At
last the giant said: “Bring me my hen.”

The wife brought a hen and placed her before the giant.

“Lay me an egg!” roared the giant, and the hen laid a golden egg.

“Lay me another!” and the hen laid another. Then the giant went to
sleep. Afterward Jack crept out and stole the hen and ran until he
came to the bean-stalk. He climbed down and down until he came to
his home and showed the hen to his mother.

“Lay me an egg!” said Jack, and the hen laid a golden egg for Jack
and his mother. The hen did what she was told every day, and they
sold the eggs for a bag of money, and ever after had plenty to eat.



Jack and his mother had plenty of money, but still he could not
help thinking about the giant, and wondering what he was doing,
and if there was any way to slay him. Every day he looked at the
bean-stalk and longed to climb again. At last he stained his face a
dark brown, put on some old clothes, and climbed the bean-stalk up
to the sky as he had done before.

He went straight to the giant’s door and knocked as he had done the
first time. The giant’s wife came and he asked for something to eat
and a place to sleep.

“Go away!” she said. “Once I let a boy in here and he stole my
husband’s hen!” But Jack looked so hungry that she let him in and
fed him and hid him in the closet.

The giant came along soon and made so much noise the house shook.
He sat down and sniffed the air. “I smell fresh meat,” he said, and
Jack trembled for his life.

“Oh, the crows left some fresh meat in the house,” his wife said,
and then she fed the giant until he was quite full and in a good
humor. Then he pulled out his money bags and began to count his
money. Jack’s eyes glistened when he saw so much gold and silver,
but he kept very still in the closet. By and by the giant came to
some gold eggs the hen had laid. He was so cross when he thought
about the hen that he was terrible and scolded his wife so hard
that she ran out of the house.

The giant got up and stamped about the room until he all but
knocked holes in the floor. Finally he came to his magic harp in
the corner. He took the harp and set it on the table.

“Now, play me a tune,” said he, and the harp began to play the most
beautiful music. It played and it played, one tune after another,
until the giant lay down on his couch and fell asleep.

Jack crept out of the closet and seized the harp and ran off with
it as fast as he could. But the harp was an enchanted harp and it
cried out:

“Master! Master! Come quick! Come quick!” Then the giant awoke and
saw Jack running down the road with the harp.

Away went Jack, the giant right after him. The harp kept on
calling, and Jack kept on running until he came to the bean-stalk.
Down he began to climb, and down the giant came after him!

But Jack was very nimble, and reached the ground before the giant
was half way.

“Run, mother! bring the axe!” he cried. His mother came running
with the axe, and Jack began cutting down the bean-stalk, and
crash! it fell to the ground bringing the giant with it. He fell
and he fell until he hit the ground so hard he went on through and
has never been seen or heard of since.


_Too much pride in one’s self brings a change in one’s nature._

In olden times people had to do all their own spinning and weaving.
They did not have good factories and mills as we now have, but
each family made its own cloth and its own clothes. Sometimes the
women of the family learned how to make the most beautiful cloth.
Wonderful patterns of fruits, flowers, birds and even pictures were
woven in the cloth.

In ancient times people had so much regard for the work of spinning
and embroidering that they had a goddess of needlework named
Minerva. She could do finer work than any mortal, of course,
because she was a goddess.

Now there was a young woman named Arachne, who did such dainty work
in spinning and weaving that people came from miles around to see
her work. Whenever they came she would show them her work, and they
would exclaim, “How wonderful! How beautiful!”

Arachne was herself becoming very proud of her skill, and began to
boast of what she could do. She said, “I can do better work than
any woman in the world. Minerva, herself, cannot do better than I!”
Thus she put herself above the gods, which was very foolish in her
as we shall see.

Minerva heard about Arachne’s boast and was very much displeased.
She decided that Arachne’s boast should be punished. So one day
Minerva, disguised as an old woman, went to Arachne’s house and
began to talk to her about her work. With great pride Arachne
showed the old woman some of the patterns she had made. The old
woman said finally:

“I hear you boast that you can do finer work than Minerva herself.”
Whereupon the foolish young woman spread out her embroidery and
weaving, and said: “Minerva can do no better.”

Then the old woman said: “I will challenge you to a contest myself.”

Arachne laughed aloud, but she agreed to the contest. Her pride was
aroused, and she and the old woman began to weave. Arachne did her
best, but the old woman did her work twice as fast and far more
beautiful. The birds she embroidered seemed ready to sing; the
trees seemed to bear golden fruit, and the pictures seemed real men
and women. It was very wonderful work and those who stood around
watching the contest were amazed.

Arachne was so ashamed of her own work and so angry that she said:
“Begone, you old witch! leave my house!”

But the old woman turned into the radiant goddess Minerva, and
Arachne fled from the house. Finding a rope Arachne tried to hang
herself, but Minerva turned her into a spider, and she is still
weaving webs to this very day.


_Even a wild beast will show gratitude for a kind act._

Androclus was a Roman slave. His master was very unkind and treated
him cruelly. At last Androclus succeeded in making his escape to
another country. He made his home in a forest for it was not safe
for him to live near other people, as a large reward was always
offered for the return of runaway slaves.

Androclus killed animals and birds for food and slept under trees.
Once when he was hunting for some game he came upon a cave in the
side of the mountain, and at once decided to make this his home.

Now, it happened that a fierce lion had also chosen this cave for
his home, and while Androclus was making a bed out of some dry
leaves, the lion entered. Androclus was much alarmed and felt sure
he would be killed.

To his surprise the great beast made no attempt to harm him, but
instead crept up close to him and held up a swollen paw in the
center of which was a long thorn. Androclus took hold of the thorn
and gently pulled it out. The grateful lion looked up at him as
if to say: “I thank you, kind friend.” For a long time these two
lived together as friends.

By and by some hunters came through the forest. They recognized
Androclus as a runaway slave, and carried him back to his master
who put him in prison. It was the custom of the Romans to assemble
at a great theater to be amused. This theater was not like ours.
They had no plays but instead had fights between men and beasts.
Runaway slaves were often punished by being made to fight these
wild animals.

Not long after Androclus was put in prison he was ordered to
fight a fierce lion. When the day for the fight came the cage was
opened, and the enraged lion started at him. The lion was growling
and showing his sharp teeth. The brave slave faced him without
flinching. Then the lion saw Androclus; instead of rushing at him
to kill him, he crept gently up to him and licked his feet.

Androclus fell down on his knees and threw his arms around the
neck of the lion. The surprised people asked for an explanation.
Androclus told them how he had helped the lion when he was hurt,
and how they had lived together in the cave. The people then
commanded that Androclus be set free and ordered that the lion be
given to him. After that Androclus was a freeman and was often seen
walking on the streets of Rome followed by his lion which looked
like a huge dog.


_In which a dirty little boy becomes a clean little boy and feels
much better for it._

Tom was a poor little orphan. He had no father to buy good clothes
for him and no kind mother to wash and bathe him. There was no one
to look after him, and kiss him good-night when he went to bed.
He lived with a very old woman who let him grow up, dirtier and
dirtier every day.

Poor little Tom! He had no toys; he had no ball nor marbles, nor
kites; he had no knife, no pets--not even a little dog--and nobody
came to play with him. Everybody called him “Dirty Tom,” but it was
not his fault.

One spring morning Tom sat on the doorsteps listening to the birds
singing in the trees, watching the flowers growing by the wayside,
and the little children going by on their way to school. Nobody
spoke to him. Every one just said: “That’s Dirty Tom.”

By and by a lady came along and spoke to Tom. She asked him his
name and Tom said: “They call me ‘Dirty Tom,’ but my name is
Thomas, for I heard a man say so.”

The lady said: “Very well, Thomas, would you like to go to Sunday
School if the Brownie brought you a suit of pretty clothes?”

Tom thought awhile, and then said: “The Brownies never bring me
anything. I am too dirty.” But the lady insisted that they might,
and Tom promised to go to Sunday School if the clothes came. He
really did want the clothes and then he wanted to see what Sunday
School was. You never can tell what even a dirty looking boy would
like to have and to do. Tom liked nice things as much as anybody.

All that week Tom wondered what would happen. Sunday morning came,
and Tom ran to the front porch and found a bundle of clothes just
as pretty and clean as could be. There was a note tied to it which
read: “Here are the new clothes, but you must scrub and scrub
before you put them on,” and the note was signed “Brownie.”

Tom got a tub and a cloth and scrubbed himself from head to foot.
He washed until all the dirt was gone. Then he put on his new
clothes and showed himself to the old woman.

“Why, Dirty Tom, you look like an angel,” she said.

Tom went to Sunday School and walked up the aisle. Nobody
recognized him. At last the lady came and took him by the hand and
said: “Why, here is Thomas come to our Sunday School. We shall all
have to call him ‘Clean Tommie’ hereafter.” And so they did, for he
was Dirty Tom no more.


_In which the King of Scotland learns a lesson in perseverance._

Once upon a time there was a king of Scotland named Robert Bruce.
He was a brave king, and had many brave soldiers, but he and
his men had suffered defeat from the English, who had come into
Scotland with a great army, and were driving Robert Bruce and his
men out of their cities and towns.

Six battles had been fought, and each time Bruce led his brave
little army into battle but each time he was defeated. At last
Bruce was so badly beaten, that his army was put to flight, and he
himself had to flee through the woods to escape capture.

Bruce went in hiding in the mountains, and lived as best he could
from hut to hut, while he was gathering a new army. One day he
found refuge in a shed that was very old, and lay down on some
straw to rest. He was very tired, and weary, and was glad to find
anything to lie down on for awhile.

As he lay there he began to think of the six battles he had lost,
and of his scattered army, and of Scotland and her enemies.
Overhead a spider had begun to weave a web. The spider was trying
to fasten a long thread to a beam to hold his web, and was having a
lot of trouble.

Bruce saw him swing for the beam the first time and miss it; then
the spider tried the second time and missed it; then the third
time and missed it again. The spider rested awhile, and swung out
bravely for the fourth time, but he was not far enough and back he
came. Then he made a strong effort for the fifth time and came a
little nearer, but still he fell back. Bruce began to hope that the
spider would succeed, and when he swung out the sixth time he rose
up to watch him. But the spider missed it by a little bit and down
he fell again. This was six failures.

“I wonder if he will give up,” said Bruce to himself. But the
spider had no idea of giving it up, for he gathered his thread
together, and swung to the beam and fastened his thread.

“If a spider fails six times and succeeds the seventh, then surely
the king of Scotland can,” said Bruce thinking of the battles he
had lost.

So Bruce went out and gathered his men and told them about the
spider and said, “Now, for one more brave effort; for Scotland, and
for freedom.” The men cheered as they went into battle and they
fought so bravely that the English were defeated and were glad to
get back to England with their lives.

And from that day to this, no Scotchman by the name of Bruce will
ever hurt a spider.


(Adapted from Hans Andersen)

_To show that it all depends upon how we look at things._

Once there was a wicked sprite; indeed, he was one of the worst
sprites you ever knew. He was always in mischief. One day he was
in a fine humor; he had just made a mirror that had the power of
changing every lovely thing that looked into it into something
hideous, and when anything ugly looked into it, it became ten times
worse than it really was.

A beautiful landscape looked like boiled spinach. It made a person
appear to stand on his head and sometimes appear as if he had no
body at all. The face of a girl looked for all the world like an
old potato, and if she had a mole or a freckle it seemed to spread
all over her nose and mouth.

This sprite kept a school--a school for sprites, of course--and he
showed all the other sprites the mirror and said to them:

“Now you can see what the world and the people really look like.”
The sprites took the mirror around and had everybody look in it,
and said:

“That is the very way you look! What do you think of yourself?”

At last there was not a land nor any people who had not seen the
mirror. And you may be sure that everybody who looked in the mirror
had a very poor opinion of himself.

And now the sprites thought of a good joke. They flew with the
mirror high up into the sky. The mirror grinned as it went up,
and kept on grinning until it became so slippery the sprites
could hardly hold it. Up they flew until they came near reaching
the stars. The joke they had in view was so good that the mirror
grinned until it wriggled out of their hands and fell and fell and
fell, until it struck the ground. It was broken into a million
pieces and the wind scattered them everywhere, until you would have
thought that was the end of the mirror.

But not so fast! Each tiny bit was now as bad as the whole mirror
itself. Some bits were like dust and flew into people’s eyes. Then
their eyes saw everything crooked, or looked evil at all the good
things. They would say of such a one: “He has a bad eye, do not
trust him.”

Some bits flew into people’s hearts and it made them shudder for
their hearts became hard and cold like lumps of ice. They did
not love anybody at all, not even their own children. Some bits
flew into people’s minds, and then they thought evil thoughts and
planned wicked things. They oppressed the poor and even had designs
on the mayor and councilmen.

At all this the sprites laughed as if it were a good joke. But I
tell you it was very wicked of them, for some bits of the mirror
are floating about yet and we must look out not to have them come
near us.


_Every one can do his part in making a home._

Listen now, and you shall hear a story about a pig and a sheep who
started out one morning to build a house so that they could live
together. After traveling a long way they met a rabbit. The rabbit
asked them where they were going.

“We are going to build a house to live in,” said the pig and the
sheep. “May I live with you?” asked the rabbit. “What can you do
to help build a house?” asked the pig and the sheep. The rabbit
scratched his ear with his hind foot and said: “I can gnaw with my
teeth and scratch with my feet.”

“Then you may come along,” said the pig and the sheep; so they all
started off down the road. Soon they met a goose sitting on the
roadside. The goose asked where they were going. “We are going
to build a house to live in,” said the pig and the sheep and the
rabbit. “May I live with you?” asked the goose.

“What can you do to help build a house?” asked the pig and the
sheep and the rabbit. The goose stood up on one leg for awhile and
then said: “I can pull moss and make mud for the cracks.”

“Then you may come along,” said the pig and the sheep and the
rabbit. So all four started down the road. Pretty soon they met an
old dog standing under a tree. The dog asked where they were going.
“We are going to build a house to live in,” said the pig and the
sheep and the rabbit and the goose. “May I live with you?” asked
the dog.

“What can you do to help build a house?” asked the pig and the
sheep and the rabbit and the goose. The old dog sat down on his
hind legs and looked at the sky. Then he said: “I can dig up rocks
with my fore paws, and I can crack bones with my teeth for the

“Then you may come along,” said the pig and the sheep and the
rabbit and the goose. And so all five started down the road. Before
long they came to a little boy with a gun on his shoulder. The
little boy asked them where they were going. “We are going to build
a house to live in,” said the pig and the sheep and the rabbit and
the goose and the dog. “May I live with you?” asked the little boy.

“What can you do to help build a house?” they all asked. “You beat
me with a stick one day,” said the pig. “You chased me down the
road last week,” said the sheep. “You ran me out of the cabbage
patch,” said the rabbit. “You once hit me with a rock,” said the
goose. “You tied a can to my tail a few days ago,” said the dog.

The little boy laid down his gun and crossed his heart with his
hand, and said: “If you will let me go with you I will never do any
of those things again.” “Then you may come along,” said the pig and
the sheep and the rabbit and the goose and the dog. And so all six
started off down the road. Whether they built their house or not I
do not know.


_A fairy story to show that help often comes from unexpected

Now this is a story about a poor shoemaker who worked very hard and
paid his debts and lived peaceably with his neighbors. He could
hardly make enough to live on, and at last had just enough leather
to make one pair of shoes. So he cut them out at night and laid
them down to be finished in the morning.

He slept well and rose early to begin his labor. He said his
prayers and ate his porridge and then went to his bench. Great was
his wonder when he saw the shoes already sewed and finished and
upon the table.

“Who has done this for me?” he asked. His wife came running up to
wonder also, but nobody knew who had finished the shoes. That very
day a man came in and bought the shoes because they were so well
made, and stitched so carefully. Then he had money enough to buy
leather for two pairs of shoes. So that night he cut out two pairs
and laid them on the floor and went to bed as before, expecting to
finish them in the morning.

But the same thing happened again. The shoes were finished
carefully and were set upon the table and ready for customers. The
shoemaker and his wife could not tell how it happened. That very
day two men customers came by and bought the shoes.

Now the shoemaker bought leather for four pairs of shoes, and again
they were finished for him in the morning and customers came by
and bought them. And so it went on. No matter how many shoes the
shoemaker cut out and laid on the floor, they were all ready for
the customer the next day.

The shoemaker now had plenty of money, but he was not proud. One
night he said to his wife:

“I think we will watch to see who stitches the shoes.” And so they
sat up and looked through a crack in the door. About midnight
there came two little elves and began to stitch and sew with magic
fingers. They worked with great glee and so fast that shoe after
shoe fell from their little hands, all finished, ready to sell the
next day. Putting them on the table the elves danced and punched
each other in the side and disappeared up the chimney.

The next day his wife said:

“We must make some clothes for the poor little elves. They seemed
quite ragged to me,” and she made two funny little suits and hung
them on the bench. That night the elves saw them and put them on,
but they were so funny that they both began to laugh until their
sides ached so that they could hardly work. But they finished the
shoes about daybreak and danced off up the chimney in their new
clothes--but they never came back! Perhaps they felt that it was
not necessary any longer now that the shoemaker was prosperous.


_The lazy do not deserve to be fed by the industrious. Every one
should contribute his share._

Once there lived a frog, a cat and a little red hen in a tiny
house. The frog was so lazy that he would not even jump to catch
a fly; the cat was too lazy to catch a mouse that ran across her
tail. The little red hen had to do all the work.

One morning the little red hen said: “Who will build the fire?”
“Not I,” said the frog. “Not I,” said the cat. “Then I will,” said
the little red hen, and she built the fire.

“Who will make the bread?” said the little red hen. “Not I,” said
the frog. “Not I,” said the cat. “Then I will,” said the little red
hen, and she made the bread.

“Who will lay the table?” said the little red hen. “Not I,” said
the frog. “Not I,” said the cat. “Then I will,” said the little
red hen, and she laid the table.

Then the frog and cat got up on their chairs, took up their knives
and forks, and made ready to eat breakfast. “Who will eat this
bread?” said the little red hen. “I will,” said the frog. “I will,”
said the cat. “No, you will not,” said the little red hen. “I will
eat it myself.” And the little red hen grabbed the bread and flew
down the road until she came to a pasture.

She sat down and began to eat. An old fox was hungry that morning
and had not provided for his family. He came down the road looking
for a rabbit. “I smell fresh bread,” said he, and began to sniff.
“I smell a little red hen,” and he sniffed once more.

The old fox crept up behind the little red hen and grabbed her by
the tail feathers, and before she could get loose he put her into
his bag, threw the bag over his shoulders and started home. “We
shall have little red hen for breakfast,” said he.

It was very close in the bag, which was a thick meal bag, and the
bits of meal made the little red hen sneeze. Then she felt for her
handkerchief to wipe her eyes and nose, and her scissors fell out
of her pocket.

“That’s good luck!” said the little red hen, and at once she slit a
hole in the bag with the scissors big enough for her to get out.
She jumped out as they were passing a stony place and quickly put a
rock in the bag to make the fox think that he still had the little
red hen. The old fox reached home and threw the bag on the floor.

“Now for a nice breakfast,” said he, and opened the bag. When he
saw the stone he was much astonished.

“I certainly thought it was the little red hen I had in the bag,”
said he, and scratched his ear with his hind foot, which is a way
the old fox did when he could not understand.


_It is a wise man that lays aside a portion of his earnings so as
to provide for the time when he cannot work._

Once upon a time a squirrel made his home in the hollow of a big
oak tree. He and his family were very bright looking squirrels.
They were so careful about little things. Not even a nut end or the
rind of an acorn was wasted in their homes. Mr. and Mrs. Squirrel
and the three little ones made up the family.

The first thing Mr. and Mrs. Squirrel taught their children was to
store away food to eat in the winter when they could not go out to
get it. All summer long they were gathering acorns, and in the
fall when the nuts were ripe they spent all their time storing the
old oak full of provisions for the winter. They knew the cold was
coming and that they should make some provisions against the snow
and the sleet.

One cold winter afternoon the squirrels were all in their snug
little home. It was almost night. A very little rap came on the
door. Mr. Squirrel went to see who it was, but at first he did not
see anybody, so he said: “Who is there?”

“It is I,” said a little voice. “I am very cold and hungry. May I
come in awhile and warm myself?”

“Of course you may,” said Mr. Squirrel.

A rabbit hopped in. His fur was dirty and he looked ragged. His
eyes were dull. His whiskers and ears hung down. He looked as ill
as a rabbit could look. Mr. Squirrel had him sit in a chair beside
the fire, and Brownie, his oldest child, gave him her own acorns to
eat. He ate them eagerly. When he was warm, Mrs. Squirrel sent the
little ones to bed and when they were gone she said: “My friend,
how did it happen that you had this bad luck?”

“I did not know that it was going to be so cold, and that the snow
was going to be so deep that I could not get some winter cabbage to
eat. You know I do not mind work, but I just did not know all this
was going to happen. It seems no use for me to try. I don’t know
how you manage,” said the rabbit.

“We all tried. We put away a part of everything we had. If we had
six acorns we put three away. There was plenty of nuts last fall,
so we have plenty for ourselves and for a friend, too; so eat all
you want,” said Mr. Squirrel.

It was pleasant in the Squirrel family, but the rabbit had been
such an idle fellow that he could not stay long contented. He would
not help to do the work in the Squirrel house, so in a few days he

Often when he felt the cold winter wind he wished he had stayed
with the Squirrels. And the Squirrels, who were very kind hearted,
often thought of the rabbit out in the cold.


_Everything in nature must work to live. Along with the pleasures
of childhood should come the lessons of toil._

George did not like to work. He did not like to bring in wood, nor
clean the yard, nor go on errands, nor take care of the baby, nor
even to put away his own clothes. He loved to play all the time.
His mother said to him one day:

“George, you must go over to your uncle’s house and bring me a
basket of wool. Now hurry along.”

George thought this was hard, for he wanted to play and not to
work. He wished he was a dog, a squirrel, a bee, a cow--just
anything that seemed to be having a good time.

He took the basket and started across the field. On the way he met
a dog.

“I wish I had nothing to do like you,” said George.

“Nothing to do!” exclaimed the dog. “I am a very hard worked
animal. I dare not sleep at night, for I am the watch dog against
burglars. Besides that, I have to protect the chickens against the
old fox. Then I have to catch rabbits for my master; chase the cat
away from the birds, keep the place clear of stray dogs, and even
look after the sheep in the field. Then every morning I take the
cow to pasture and bring her back in the afternoon. That is where
I am going now. No, sir! I am as busy as a bee--I am.” And the dog
hurried on after the cow.

Pretty soon George saw a bee on a flower.

“I wish I had nothing to do like you,” said George to the bee.

“Nothing to do!” said the bee. “You don’t know what you are
talking about. I am at work all day looking for honey. I have to
fill my hive so that you and your mother can have plenty for the
winter, and then I must fill it over again for myself. I do not
have a single minute. No, sir! I lead a dog’s life--I do.” And the
bee flew on to get another load of honey.

Pretty soon the boy came to a squirrel. “Why you are having a good
time,” said he. “I wish I had nothing to do like you.”

“Nothing to do!” said the squirrel. “I am far behind in my store
of nuts for the winter. They are very scarce, and I am very much
afraid I cannot find enough for my family. I must hurry from
sunrise to dark. No, sir! I work like a horse--I do.”

George found the horse busy pulling the plow; the cow giving milk,
the tree making acorns, the fields making corn, the flowers making
seed, the ants storing food--and they were all so happy about it
and nobody complaining at all.

When he reached his uncle’s house he got the wool and said:

“I must hurry on home now, for I am very busy; I have my work to
do.” And he whistled all the way home, and the tired little mother
kissed his happy face and said:

“Thank you, George, you can be a great help to me.”


_Kindness to animals begets a feeling of care and protection for
the helpless and dependent._

Henry was a little boy who lived on a big place near town. There
were plenty of trees in his yard and the birds were always flying
round, but there were no squirrels. One day Henry said to his
cousin Ed who lived in town:

“Cousin Ed, I wish you would get me two little squirrels.”

“All right, Henry, I will try to get them, but you will have to
take good care of them.” Henry promised, and in a few days cousin
Ed told him a man had promised to get the squirrels.

Henry was very busy now getting the squirrels’ home ready. He built
it out of an old box, fixed it so that no rain could get in, and
cut a hole in the side so that the squirrels could go in and out.
By the time the box was ready the squirrels came--two little baby
squirrels, just old enough to take care of themselves.

Henry was a very happy little boy. He put the squirrel house high
up in a tree in the yard, and plenty of nuts close by so that
the squirrels could get them. He took care not to frighten the
squirrels, and never tried to catch them until they were quite

In about a week’s time they knew his voice, and would climb down
the tree to take a nut from his hand and then scamper back up to
the squirrel home and hide it inside. Soon they were tame enough to
come inside the house and play around. They would climb on Henry’s
shoulders and down into his pockets to hunt for nuts.

One day Henry’s grandfather came to dinner and sat in a big chair
on the porch. There was a bowl of nuts on the table, and Henry
called “Jack” and “Jill”--for those were the squirrels’ names.
They came running and saw the nuts. They looked at grandfather.
They must have thought he was a tree, for they began to hide nuts
all over him. They ran behind him and into his pockets which they
almost filled with nuts. Then grandfather got up and the nuts
scattered in every direction, while every one laughed to see how
astonished Jack and Jill were to see their tree walk off that way.

The next year out came four little baby squirrels from the squirrel
house, and they went to live in the trees in the yard. And in a few
years there were squirrels everywhere, running over the trees and
about the yard, and people often came to see them and play with

Jack and Jill still live in the old home, but they certainly have a
yard full of children.


_Showing that a tree must surrender its beautiful flowers in order
to produce useful fruit._

In the land of “Long Ago” lived a beautiful apple tree, or rather
the tree had been beautiful, until a cruel wind and a cold rain
came one night and took her children from her, and the apple tree
wept and let her tears fall with the rain. And no wonder she wept,
for her children were the loveliest pink and white flowers--we call
them apple blossoms, but the old tree called them her children and
loved them dearly.

The sweet Spring fairy saw the grief of the Apple Tree and said:

“Why do you weep, dear Tree? Is there nothing I can do to help
you?” And the tree replied: “Alas, O Fairy! my children have been
taken from me and nothing can comfort me but to have them back. If
you can obtain this boon for me, you are indeed my friend.”

So the Spring fairy said:

“Have patience, dear Tree, and I will speak to my friend, the
Autumn fairy, about your children. Remember, though, that it may
take us all summer to find them, and when they return to you they
may be larger than they were and changed in appearance.”

“They will still be my children, and I shall love them all the
same,” answered the faithful Mother Tree.

Then the Spring fairy went away, and all summer long the poor Apple
Tree waited for the return of her children. Whenever she felt very
lonely or sad she comforted herself by remembering that the good
Spring fairy always told the truth.

At last after her long watch, the Tree was surprised one day to
see some small bright apples on her branches. She felt puzzled for
they looked so unlike the children that she had lost. From day to
day the apples grew larger and more beautiful, but still the poor
Tree wondered if they were really her children. Suddenly the Autumn
fairy stood before her and said:

“Dear Tree, I have been sent by our friend, the Spring fairy, to
restore your children to you. As you see, they have grown larger
and more beautiful since they left you.”

“Indeed, kind Fairy,” the Tree replied, “I was just wondering if
these were really mine. They look so unlike my children who went

“Wait,” said the Fairy, “and you shall see your children as you
knew them.” So saying the Fairy cut an apple through the middle,
between the blossom end and the stem. Then she held up the halves
and said to the Tree:

“Do you not see your children--the little blossoms--again?”

And sure enough, there in the center of each bright apple was a
dear little flower. And the old tree held all the apples closer as
she thanked the good Autumn fairy for the return of her children.


_In which a dog tells of worries and troubles at a dog show._

“Everybody says I am a very fine dog. They say I am a collie dog,
and that my mother and father were famous dogs in Scotland. I do
not care about that, however, because when Master Charles, who owns
me, tells people about me they want me to come in and be looked at
while I would rather be in the yard playing. One day Walter carried
me as a prize dog to a dog show. I did not know what it was until
I got there, and I never want to hear of one again. They washed me
with soap and rubbed me till I was dry. They put me in a box with
slats in front, and all round me I could hear other dogs barking.
It was an awful noise.

“I was among the collie dogs like myself, but we could not even
get a look at each other. All I could see was in the boxes in front
of me, a lot of miserable little black and tan terriers--the most
useless of all dogs, I think. They were pleased at being there and
kept growling at me all the time, but I wouldn’t even bark back at
the snappy little things.

“I didn’t see why I had to stay there for four long days, with only
two walks a day with Walter who came to feed me. My master Charles
came along sometimes with other gentlemen, and I begged to be taken
away, but he only said: ‘There, old boy, be a sport! It is all
right; you stay and get the Blue Ribbon.’ I wondered what he meant
until one day I got it.

“Walter and two others took me one day, with some other dogs like
me. They weighed us and punched us, and looked into our ears and
mouths till, if Walter had not been there, I’d have bitten them
hard. Then they put us all back in our boxes and hung a blue
ribbon, with a round shining thing on it on my box. Every one that
came along said: ‘See the Blue Ribbon!’ and then added, ‘Isn’t he a
beauty to get the first prize!’ I didn’t know what they meant, but
I was tired of their poking at me. No one came that I loved, so I
just crept back into the box and had a good cry. I was so homesick,
and it was no fun to win the Blue Ribbon.

“From the way people talked one would think I was that old Blue
Ribbon they spoke of, when it was only the blue ribbon with the
shining round thing on it.

“At last came the joyful day when Walter said: ‘Now, old Sport,
we’ll go home.’ How I jumped and barked at the word and how
delightful it was to get back. But to my surprise, while they all
petted me and were glad to see me, they all shouted: ‘Where’s the
Blue Ribbon, the first prize! Let’s see it!’

“Every one crowded about that shining round blue ribbon thing. It
angered me so that when Walter tied it on my collar I ran as hard
as I could, and then went dog fashion for that old blue ribbon
thing until there was nothing left but torn ribbon and a chewed-up
piece of silver. It was the cause of all my troubles, and I never
wanted to see it again.”



_In which a brave young man shows wit as well as courage._

Perseus was a brave young man who lived with the king of Greece.
The king decided to send him on some dangerous mission. So he
said to him one day: “Perseus, you must find the Gorgons. They are
three terrible demon sisters who live in Africa. Their bodies are
covered with scales, their hands are like claws, and the worst of
all is that they have snakes on their heads instead of hair. Be
careful for if you look at them you will be turned to stone. The
most dreadful is named Medusa.” Then the king told Perseus to go to
Africa and cut off the Medusa’s head.

Perseus lay down to sleep before starting on his journey. When he
awoke he found by his bedside a helmet, a shield of polished steel,
a scythe-shaped dagger, and a pair of winged sandals. He put the
helmet on his head, the shield on his arm, took the dagger in his
hand and stepped into the sandals.

At once the sandals took him high up in the air, for they were
winged sandals, and flew over land and sea with the one who wore
them. After a few hours he found himself descending into a strange
country. The sandals let him down on a hot, dusty desert.

Perseus walked all day long and at night came to a little cluster
of palm trees, in which he saw a wooden hut. He marched up to the
hut very boldly and knocked at the door with his sword. A cracked
voice said, “Come in.” Perseus went in and found three old women
warming their hands over a fire, though it was already so hot that
Perseus could hardly endure it. They were very old and wrinkled.

Perseus saw that one old woman had one eye, and no tooth; that
another one had one tooth and no eye; and that the third had
neither eye nor tooth. Perseus said, “I have lost my way and wish
to stay here for the night.” But the one with the eye looked at him
and said, “I hear a voice but see no one.” Then she took out her
eye and passed it to the other two sisters in turn, who put it in
their eye sockets, but they also said, “No, we see nothing.”

Then Perseus took off his helmet and said, “Perhaps you see me
now.” Then the old women looked at him one at a time and saw him.
His helmet had made him invisible. Then the old woman asked him to
wait while they ate. They passed the eye and the tooth from one to
another and each one ate until all had enough. Then they took the
eye and the tooth and locked them up in a box and asked Perseus to
go to bed.

But Perseus seized the box and said, “Now, you can never see, nor
eat again, unless you tell me where the Gorgons live, and where I
can find Medusa. I have come to cut off her head.”

The old women cried and stumbled around blind and toothless, but
they finally promised to tell Perseus the hiding place of the
demon sisters if he would return the eye and the tooth. To-morrow
we shall see what happened.



_Wherein the hero slays the Gorgon, and has other adventures._

Perseus gave back to the old women their only eye and tooth, on
condition that they would tell him where the Medusa lived.

The oldest woman said, “You must go on until you come to the
country of King Atlas, called Mauretania. Here you will find a
garden guarded by a dragon. If you get by the dragon you will find
trees with golden apples. After you have walked a great distance
you will come to a lake where the Gorgons live.”

Perseus set out on his journey and traveled many days. Finally
he came to the country of King Atlas, and found a vast garden
surrounded by a high wall. At the gate sat a terrible dragon.
Perseus put on his helmet so that the dragon could not see him, and
passed into the garden.

After a long while he came to the lake and took off his helmet
to get some water to drink. While he was drinking a mighty rush
of wind sounded in his ear, and looking into the water he saw the
reflection of the terrible Medusa, flying overhead. He just had
time to put his helmet on so that Medusa could not see him, when
she settled down on the ground near Perseus.

Perseus was careful not to look at her for he knew he would be
turned into stone if he did. So he put the shield on his arm and
looked at her reflection in the polished steel. She was a terrible
monster enough to frighten a much braver man than Perseus, but the
young hero drew his dagger and thrust at Medusa’s head without
fear. After a few strokes the head fell off. The snakes stopped
hissing, and the Medusa was dead.

Perseus using the polished shield as a mirror tied the head of
Medusa to a cord and swung it over his shoulders. Stepping into the
magic sandals he rose into the air and flew away. At last he came
down to earth in a strange country. He looked around and did not
know where he was, but was careful not to glance at the Medusa’s
head on his back.

Soon a giant came towards him roaring in great rage. “How did you
come into this country and who are you?” cried out the giant, who
was none other than King Atlas himself.

Perseus was not at all alarmed at the giant, and said, “I am
Perseus and have come to get some golden apples from your garden.”

This made the giant so angry that he raised his arm to crush
Perseus, but as he did so Perseus turned around and the giant
looked into the face of Medusa. As he did so, his arms stiffened,
his feet grew stony, and all his body turned into a vast mountain.
And people to this day call it Mount Atlas, but it is no other than
the giant who was turned into stone.


(Discovery Day, October 12th)

_Showing that one should follow his faith, and maintain his belief,
if he expects to discover any great thing, or do any great work._

Nearly five hundred years ago in Genoa, Italy, there lived a man
who made his living by carding wool. His oldest son was named
Christopher Columbus. The boy loved the sea, and often sat on
the docks and watched the ships come in and go out. When he was
fourteen years of age he became a sailor, and learned all about
ships and the great ocean.

Most people at that time thought the world was flat. Columbus
and a few other wise men believed it was round, and that a ship
could sail around the earth, but there was nobody brave enough to
undertake so dreadful an enterprise. What was to keep people from
falling off the earth, and how could they live with their heads
downward, and how could a ship ever sail up again, once it was on
the under side of the earth?

When Columbus became a grown man he said he wanted to sail around
the earth. He spent all his own money trying to persuade kings and
wise men to help him. Nobody would listen to him long. At length he
became very poor. Even the children in the streets made fun of him,
and called him “the crazy stranger.”

At last Columbus came to the Court of Spain and applied to
Ferdinand and Isabella, the king and queen of that country. They
examined his maps and charts and listened to his arguments proving
that the world was round. He asked them for ships and a crew, that
he might undertake the great voyage.

Ferdinand was opposed to the project. He had spent much money in
war and did not care to waste any more on so foolish an enterprise
as that proposed by Columbus. His wise men said the world might be
round, but they doubted it. Isabella, however, was much interested
in what Columbus had said. She begged the king to allow Columbus
to proceed and offered to sell her jewels to raise the money.

Thus it was that Columbus got his three ships and his men and
sailed away across the Atlantic Ocean one day in August to see if
the world was round. The weather was beautiful and the breezes blew
from behind, and the ships sailed on and on. The men grew afraid of
the big ocean and the great distance, but Columbus held his course.
They threatened to mutiny and turn back, but Columbus begged for
three days more.

At length land appeared and on October 12, 1492, Columbus landed on
the island of San Salvador. He bowed down and kissed the ground and
wept tears of joy. He did not know that he had landed on an unknown
shore, but we know now he had discovered our own America.


_The consciousness of a righteous cause gives strength and courage
to a valiant heart._

David was the son of Jesse. When he was a boy he had to watch
his father’s sheep, and often slept on the hillsides and in the
valleys, or lay awake to keep away the wild beasts.

One day the old Samuel came looking for a man to anoint king. The
Lord had told him that he must choose one of the sons of Jesse.
Jesse showed Samuel his seven sons, but Samuel said:

“The Lord hath not chosen these. Are these all thy children?” Jesse
told him: “There remaineth yet the youngest, and he keepeth the
sheep.” So they sent for David. Samuel saw he was ruddy, and of a
goodly countenance, and beautiful to look upon and said:

“Come, anoint him, for this is he.”

Now, Saul was king. He was troubled with an evil spirit and nothing
soothed him but music. One day he told his servants to find some
one to play on the harp for him. The servants told him that
David, the son of Jesse, who kept the sheep, could play the harp
wondrously well. So Saul sent for David and had him brought to the
king’s house. Whenever the evil spirit came upon Saul, David would
play upon the harp so that “Saul was refreshed and the evil spirit

About this time the Philistines gathered an army to give battle
to the Israelites. Saul and his men went out to meet them. The
Philistines stood on one hill and the Israelites on the other and
there was a valley between them. There went out a champion from the
Philistines, a giant named Goliath, very tall and strong, who wore
a helmet of brass and a coat of mail, and who defied any Israelite
to give him battle. Every morning for three mornings he did this,
and no Israelite dared go out to meet him.

David went to Saul and said: “Thy servant will go and fight this

But Saul told David that he was only a youth and the giant would
surely kill him. David insisted and prayed to go. So Saul gave
him his helmet and armor and sword to put on. David, however,
knew better how to fight the giant and did not take Saul’s armor.
Instead he took five stones from the brook and his leather sling
and went out and called on Goliath to come forth to battle.

Goliath scorned the young David, and said he would feed his flesh
to the birds and the beasts. Then he came on to where David stood.
David took out his sling and fitted a smooth stone in it. He waited
until Goliath was near enough for a good aim. Then he whirled his
sling around his head and let go. The stone flew straight and hit
Goliath in the forehead, and he fell down dead. David took his
great knife and cut off the giant’s head and held it up for the
Philistines to see. At this they were all so afraid that they all
fled in great confusion.


_In which we see that physical infirmity is no bar to success._

Once upon a time there lived in Meringen, Switzerland, a crippled
boy named Rubi. He had fallen down one of the small hills near
his home and had hurt his hip, so that all his life he had to use
crutches. But he was a brave boy, and did his best to help the
family in their work.

His father was a guide in the great mountains, and his mother was a
lace maker. Poor Rubi was too crippled to climb the mountains or to
work in the valleys, and his father said: “Poor little Rubi! what
will become of him and the mother if anything should happen to me?”

Rubi sat all day and watched the goats, and sometimes saw a chamois
on a far cliff of the mountains. One day his mother brought him a
toy goat carved out of wood that she had found in one of the shops
of Meringen. Rubi looked at it and said:

“I can make a better goat than that.” So his mother bought him some
tools and some wood and he began to carve animals. But his father
did not know anything about it, for Rubi kept it a secret from him.

One day Rubi’s father was hurt by falling from a mountain side, and
was laid up for a long time with a broken leg. The poor mother made
very little by her lace making, and the winter was coming on. Rubi,
by this time, had made a little money by selling his carved animals
in the village. Every one he had was eagerly bought by a dealer;
but the dealer did not pay the boy much. Rubi gave the money to his
mother to help pay expenses.

One day, while Rubi was working in his shed, a traveler came to the
door. In his hand was a beautifully carved chamois climbing a rock.
He said:

“I am looking for the man who carved this chamois; I was told that
he lived here.” But Rubi’s father looked at the carving and said:

“No, sir, none of us here can do such carving as that.”

Just then Rubi came in and seeing the chamois in the man’s hand,
said: “I did that myself a year ago, but I can do better now.”

Everybody was astonished, especially when Rubi showed them other
things he had made. There were goats, and bears, and dogs, and
little horses, and all kinds of toys that Rubi had carved and
stored away in the box his mother had given him.

The traveler was found to be one of the great dealers in carved
woods. “You must go with me and work in my shop,” said the dealer.

And it so happened that Rubi went with the dealer and became one
of the finest workmen he had ever known. So we see that even a
crippled boy can become famous if he only tries.



_Opportunity for service lies at our door, and we need not seek far
for great things to do._

This story begins in the summer time when everybody and everything
was bright and happy. The flowers were blooming, the birds were
singing, and every leaf and blade of grass made a home for some
little creature.

Amidst all the joy of summer time a great castle stretched its
towers toward the sky, gray and cold. It was not at all like the
beautiful summer. It looked like winter. It was a proud old castle
and its gates were opened only to admit rich lords and ladies. The
poor were always turned away.

A young knight named Sir Launfal lived in this castle. He was
strong and brave and very proud of his old home. He was a good
young man but he had not yet learned to be kind to the poor. He
decided to travel the world over seeking for something to do that
would please God. He had his beautiful armor brought out and
everything made ready for an early start one summer morning. Then
he threw himself down on his bed for a few hours’ sleep.

Around the castle was a ditch which was crossed by a drawbridge.
This was let down by chains, but when it was up no man could leave
the castle. As Sir Launfal rode across this bridge the next morning
the sun shone upon his armor turning it to gold, and he felt so
strong and happy that it was a joy just to be alive. The birds were
singing in the tall trees of the forest around his castle; the
cattle were peacefully grazing in the meadows, the flowers were
blooming. The knight looked up at the blue sky, and said: “I want
to do some great thing for my Lord.” He was thinking of some great
victory in battle over many enemies, and hardly looked down at the
road under his feet.

As he came out from the castle he came upon a leper, a poor man,
ragged and dirty, and sick with a dreadful disease. He was lying on
the side of the road and was very pitiful in his poverty. Now, it
was the custom for those who were lepers, or who were very poor, to
lie at the gates of the castle and beg for food or for money, or
for anything that would be given them. So this leper cried out to
the young man:

“Sir Knight, help me in the name of the Master!” Sir Launfal looked
down at the poor beggar, and the sunshine went out of his heart.
Instead of helping the man he scornfully tossed him a piece of
gold and turned away. The leper did not pick up the gold. He would
rather have had a kind word even from the poor, than unwilling gold
from the rich.

Sir Launfal rode on looking for a great adventure, while the gold
lay untouched on the ground and the leper turned sadly away.
To-morrow we shall see how Sir Launfal learned to serve the Lord in
the right way.



_Performing the simple service at our hands brings more real joy
than mighty conquests abroad_.

Years passed by while Sir Launfal wandered far and wide, but never
found the great thing he sought to do. He fought many battles and
he endured great hardships in the deserts, but somehow it did not
bring him the peace of mind that he sought. Try as he might to
do some great deed, he did not please God and he was downcast and
discouraged. He had spent all his money and had only his horse, his
armor, and a crust of bread.

At last he turned homeward, but found that the people, thinking
that he was dead, had taken his home from him. When he tried to
enter his castle they turned him away.

It was winter time. The wind blew loud and cold. Poor Sir Launfal
had no home. He drew his cloak around him and looked through the
windows into his castle. It was Christmas, and all the rooms were
trimmed with holly. He saw the great fire burning but could not get
warm. He tried to forget the bitter cold by remembering how the hot
sun shone down on the desert. As he was thinking he heard a voice

“For Jesus’ sake, help me!” He saw near him the same poor leper who
had begged for help when he rode away from his castle that summer
morning. He also remembered how he had treated him and felt very
sorry that he had not been more kind and loving. “You poor beggar,”
said he. “I am hardly more than a beggar myself now, and I have not
much to give, but I will divide what I have.”

So he divided his crust of bread, which was all he had, then broke
the ice on the brook and gave the leper a drink. It seemed to the
leper that he had never tasted anything so good. As he ate the
bread and drank the water it seemed to Sir Launfal that the peace
and joy he had been years trying to find had at last come into his

Suddenly a beautiful light shone upon Sir Launfal, and looking up
he saw--not a poor leper--but Jesus Christ Himself! Gently he spoke:

“Be not afraid, Sir Launfal; over all the world you have searched
in vain for one thing to do for me, while here, at your own gate,
are the sick and the poor whom you could love and help.”

Then Sir Launfal awoke, and found that all this had been a dream,
and that he had never ridden forth from his castle at all. But he
felt sure that the dream had been sent to teach him not to be proud
and selfish. He called to his servants and said:

“Hang up my armor, for I am not going to travel. Instead, I shall
hereafter be kind to all the poor who come to my gates.” Then he
found the great service he longed to do for the Master.


_Only the wise and God fearing should be chosen as rulers of the

A long time ago the king and queen of England had a little son.
When the boy was a baby a great enchanter came to the king and
said: “You must have some one to take care of your child.” So the
king gave the baby to Merlin who took it off with him and gave it
into the care of a good man named Sir Ector who christened the baby
with the name of Arthur. Arthur grew up strong and good and became
a man brave and powerful.

At last the old king died and all the lords of the kingdom tried
to take his place. They did not think of Arthur who was the king’s
son, and who now ought to be king in his father’s place. So Merlin
went to the Archbishop of Canterbury, and told him to summon all
the lords to London on Christmas, and that some miracle would be
performed to show who should be king.

So the archbishop did as Merlin advised, and on Christmas all the
lords came to London. They went into the church and said their
prayers, and then they beheld in the churchyard a great stone in
which a sword had been stuck hard and fast, and on the stone were
the words: “Whoso pulleth out the sword from the stone is king of
all England.” One by one they tried to pull out the sword, but not
one of them could move it.

On New Year’s Day Sir Ector came to London bringing Arthur with
him. He heard about the stone and the sword and saw all the lords
and knights in their games, and heard that none of them could move
the sword. Sir Ector’s son was with him also, but had no sword to
join in the games with the knights.

“I will get my brother a sword,” said Arthur, and straightway
drew the sword out of the stone with great ease. They were all
astonished. Arthur put the sword back into the stone, and still
none could pull it out but he. Time and time again he did this
until they all cried out: “Arthur shall be king of England!”

Then all the people knelt down and declared they would serve and
obey Arthur as king. Sir Ector told them that Arthur was the son
of the king who had died, and was king by right of birth anyway,
and that the miracle of the sword coming so easily out of the stone
into Arthur’s hand was the judgment of Heaven in his favor.

At this all the people shouted again, “Long live King Arthur.” Then
Arthur took the sword and placed it on the altar of the church,
meaning that he dedicated himself and the sword to the service of

After he became king he set about righting all the wrongs that had
been done since the death of his father. He gave back land and
money that had been taken from orphans and widows, and changed all
the bad laws into good ones. Thus at the very beginning he was
known as “Good King Arthur.”


_Wherein King Arthur miraculously procures a sword._

Soon after Arthur was crowned king he went on a journey with
Merlin, the wise magician. They met a knight in the wood, who
challenged Arthur to combat. The king fought the knight as they did
in those days, and though he overcame the knight, yet the king lost
so much blood that he was very weak.

As he and Merlin continued their journey, the king said, “I am
weak from loss of blood, and my sword is broken. When shall I get

“Fear not,” said Merlin, “you shall lose no more blood and you
shall get another sword as good as the one you broke.” And they
rode on in silence for a long while. At last they came to a large
lake, very quiet and beautiful, with trees around the edges, and of
color like turquoise.

While Arthur was gazing out into the lake he became aware of three
women standing by his side. “Who are you?” asked Arthur. To which
they replied, “We are queens who have come to help you. Look out
into the lake again.”

Arthur looked out upon the lake, and saw in the distance a cloud
upon the water like a mist. It moved toward him, and when it came
near he saw in the cloud the figure of a woman. Her robe seemed
made of the waves of the lake, and her hair was like the morning
mist. She was so wonderful that Arthur exclaimed, “Who is she?”

Then Merlin said, “She is The Lady of the Lake. She lives in the
rock in the midst of the water, and has come to help you.”

Arthur looked at the figure of the woman. She smiled at him, and
pointed at the lake. Then Arthur saw an arm rising out of the
water, clothed in pure white. The arm held a sword with a crosslike
hilt, and the sword shone so bright that Arthur’s eyes were dazzled.

Then Arthur spoke up and said, “Fair Lady, I would that yonder
sword were mine, for I have lost one in combat, and am now without

The lady smiled and said, “Step into yonder boat, and row to the
arm, and take the sword, together with the scabbard.” And so Arthur
untied the boat, took the oars, and rowed out into the lake. Coming
to the arm he took the sword and scabbard, and rowed back to the
shore. When he landed he found that the three queens and the Lady
of the Lake and the arm had vanished.

As Arthur was gazing at the sword, Merlin said to him: “My lord,
which pleases you more, the sword or the scabbard?”

To which Arthur replied, “The sword pleases me more.”

Then Merlin told him to guard the scabbard for so long as he held
it he would lose no blood. Then Merlin said, “You have a good sword
now; use it in making justice and right prevail in all the land.”
And they rode along on their journey.


_In which appears the teachings and practices of the true order of

Arthur was now king, and lived in a big palace. He had done many
things for his subjects, and they were devoted to his service. He
had no wife, however, and told Merlin, who was always with him,
that he would like to wed the Lady Guenevere, daughter of one of
the nobles, whom he loved dearly. Her father was willing, and so
the Lady Guenevere came to King Arthur’s palace to be his wife. Her
father sent as a present a huge round table at which one hundred
and fifty knights could sit at the same time.

King Arthur then gathered the full number of knights to sit at the
round table, and called them the Knights of the Round Table. He
charged them never to commit any outrage or murder and always to be
loyal to the king. They were never to be cruel, but always to be
merciful, and to give help to women and children and the helpless.
They were never to give battle for a wrongful quarrel, and were to
keep themselves good and holy. So the king and queen lived very
happily and the Knights of the Round Table served them valiantly.

Among all the knights there were none more brave and beautiful than
Sir Galahad. He had been reared in a convent by the nuns, and when
they brought him to be a knight Sir Lancelot said: “God make you a
good man, for beauty faileth you not.” So Sir Galahad took his seat
among the knights. It was said of him that “His strength was as
the strength of ten because his heart was pure.”

Now, there was a story in England that the cup which Christ had
used at the Last Supper had been brought to England, and had
vanished because those who kept it were not good men. It was called
the Holy Grail, and all good knights desired to find it.

One day as these knights sat at table a great tempest arose; the
building shook and the thunder made such a noise that everybody
thought that the palace would fall. In the midst of the storm a
sunbeam entered at the window, and the knights saw the Holy Grail,
covered with cloth borne by invisible hands through the hall.

For a great while no knight could speak a word, and they looked at
one another as though they were drunk. And then all the hall was
filled with sweet odors, and music. On the table appeared rich food
that the knights might eat, and each knight felt his heart grow
strong and valiant.

Then the Holy Grail vanished, and no knight could see where it
went. But they rose from their seats and vowed to follow it and
find it wherever it was. On the next day they went to church and
after service the king called them and counted a hundred and fifty
who were ready to start out to find the Holy Grail.


_Showing the reward that comes to those who lead a pure and
righteous life._

All the knights went in search of the Holy Grail, but we shall
follow the fortunes of Sir Galahad only. Sir Galahad had many
adventures in his wanderings for more than a year. He defended
all helpless women and children, fought no unjust fights, sought
no quarrels, and kept himself pure in heart. One day as he was
riding through a forest he met two other knights, and they rode on
together to a great castle, telling each other of their adventures.

A little before evening as they sat in the hall, it was very hot,
and four women came in bringing a bed on which was a sick man with
a crown of gold on his head. He said: “Welcome, Sir Galahad! I have
waited a long time for your coming, but now that you are here, I
shall be healed.”

And then there came in a man like a bishop holding a cross in his
hand, and four angels bore him up in a chair, and set him before a
table and on the table was the Holy Grail.

Then more angels came in bearing candles, and a towel and a spear
which bled all the time. Then the bishop took bread and gave it to
the three knights, and they ate it, then the bishop took the Holy
Grail and brought it to Sir Galahad, and he drank from it; and the
bishop said that he had to take the Holy Grail with him, but he
did not say where nor when. Then the bishop vanished with the Holy
Grail leaving the knights alone in the castle hall. But they had
seen the Holy Grail and the three knights had touched it to their
lips. So henceforth they were disciples of the Lord.

After the bishop had departed Sir Galahad touched the blood upon
the bleeding spear and anointed the sick man with it, and behold!
he was well again. The sick man started from his bed a whole man,
and knelt down to pray because he was healed, and desired to thank

Then he and the two other knights rode for three days and came to
a ship and when they went on board they found the Holy Grail was
there, covered with cloth. Then Sir Galahad knew he was led by the
holy spirit to do some useful service. The ship sailed to a distant
city and when they landed and came to the gate of the city they
looked and found a man crooked with age and disease. Sir Galahad
told him to rise up and walk and so it happened to the old man.

The king of the city who was a pagan and a tyrant, seized Sir
Galahad and the other knights and put them in prison, and there
they stayed for a whole year, but every day the Holy Grail came and
fed them, and they kept their strength.


_In which the brave knight passes away, and we see the last of the
Holy Grail._

We left Sir Galahad and his companions in prison where, for a whole
year they were fed by the Holy Grail. Every morning and night they
prayed and as they finished their prayer the Holy Grail would
appear and with it food and drink. So the knights ate and there was
no failing of their strength, at which the king wondered greatly.

At the end of the year, the king, who had put them in prison, fell
ill and was about to die. So he sent for the three knights and
begged their mercy and set them free. Then the king died, and all
seeing how well they were and hearing of the Holy Grail and its
comforts to the prisoners, the king knew they were holy men and the
people were glad, for he had been a bad and evil-minded ruler, and
his repentance came too late to do good to his subjects.

While they were wondering whom they should take as king, a voice
came saying: “Choose the youngest of the three knights to be your

So they made Galahad king of their city. Galahad had made a table
of silver and a chest of gold, and in it he put the holy vessel,
and every day he and his knights came and said their prayers before

At the end of a year Galahad and his knights came to the holy
vessel one day, and saw a man like a bishop before it, and a great
crowd of angels around him. The bishop called to Galahad to come to
him and partake of the holy sacrament. Galahad began to tremble,
but he came and did as the bishop bade him. Then the bishop said:

“Knowest thou who I am?” And Galahad answered “No.”

“I am Joseph of Arimathea who took our Lord down from the cross,
and He hath sent me hither to you because you have seen the Holy
Grail, and you are a clean, pure knight who hath never done wrong.”

Then Galahad kissed his two companions and they knelt down and
prayed, and while they were praying the soul of Sir Galahad
departed to Heaven, and the crowd of angels bore him out of sight.
At the same time a hand reached down from the sky and seized the
Holy Grail and bore that to Heaven, too.

And from that time no man has ever seen the Holy Grail, but all
the world remembers Sir Galahad, because he was pure and noble and
worthy to have seen the wonders of the sacred vessel with which our
Lord was served at the Last Supper.


(An Indian folk tale)

_Sometimes the selfish come to grief._

Once there was a little lady woodpecker who lived in a hole in a
big pine tree. Her house was cozy, lined with moss and wool and
protected by a little bark door, making it cool in summer and warm
in winter. She was a selfish little bird, and never asked any one
to come and see her. Next door lived a little fluffy sparrow. His
nest was loosely built, and rested in the forks of the tree. This
was not fluffy sparrow’s fault, it was because sparrows are not
good nest builders. One day there was a storm which blew the nest
down. He flew to the little bark door and said:

“Oh, little Lady Woodpecker, have pity on me and take me into your
house; the rain is falling and I am very, very cold.” But the Lady
Woodpecker answered: “I can’t let you in to-day, Fluffy Sparrow.
I am cooking juniper berries for a batch of pies. Come some other
time and perhaps I will let you in.” He hopped away, and the rain
made him very cold.

The next day he flew beside the bark door and said:

“Oh, little Lady Woodpecker, have pity on me and take me into your
house, for the cold and cruel winds blow and ruffles my feathers.”
But she answered:

“I can’t let you in to-day, Fluffy Sparrow. I’m washing the pot in
which I cooked some juniper berries to make a batch of pies. Come
again some other time, and perhaps I’ll let you in.”

The next day he came as before and said:

“Oh, little Lady Woodpecker, have pity on me and take me into your
house, for the biting frost nips my feet.” But she said:

“I can’t let you in to-day, Fluffy Sparrow. I’m making the crust
for my batch of juniper pies. Come again some other time, and
perhaps I will let you in.” So he hopped away and the frost nipped
his feet.

The fourth day Fluffy Sparrow came back and said:

“Oh, little Lady Woodpecker, have pity on me and take me into your
home, for the snow blinds me.” But she answered:

“I can’t let you in to-day, Fluffy Sparrow. I’m cleaning my floor
before I sit down all by myself to eat my juniper berry pie.” So
the snow blinded Fluffy Sparrow’s eyes.

The last day Fluffy Sparrow came and said:

“Oh, little Lady Woodpecker, please have pity on me and take me
into your house, for I do not like the rain, wind, frost and snow.”
But she did not answer.

He pushed open the door and saw no one there. She had gone to buy
a key to lock her door while she ate her juniper pies. He went
inside where he was sheltered from rain, wind, frost and snow. He
ate up all the juniper berry pies. When the little Lady Woodpecker
returned Fluffy Sparrow was living there and she had to find
another home.


_In which is shown the folly of close imitation to the methods of

The Rabbit lived with his grandmother, and sometimes found it a
hard matter to get enough food for both, especially in winter when
the snow was on the ground and ice was on the pond.

One day, as he was traveling through the forest, he came upon a
hut, near the bank of a river. Looking in he saw the Otter at
home, and very comfortable indeed, with a string of dried fish hung
out over the door, and some corn left over from last season.

“Come in,” said the Otter, “and sit by the fire. I am not cold
myself, but you look frozen.” So the Rabbit went in and sat down
and looked up at the fish and corn. He looked so hungry that the
Otter said, “Stay to dinner with me, and I will catch you a string
of eels.”

So the Rabbit agreed to stay to dinner. Then the Otter said he
would go out and catch the eels. The Rabbit said he would go along
and see how he did it. They went out to the river bank where the
Otter got on an ice-slide and coasted down into the water. He went
under and soon came up with two eels in his mouth.

“By my life, that is an easy way to fish,” said the Rabbit. “Those
fishermen certainly have a good time,” and then he and the Otter
went into the hut and cooked the eels in corn, and had dinner.
After sitting around for awhile and talking about the weather,
and how mischievous the hunters and the dogs had been the Rabbit
invited the Otter to take dinner with him on the next Sunday. Then
the Rabbit went home.

The rest of the week he was busy making an ice-slide into his pond.
He made it out of packed snow and ice and smoothed it down with a
stick until it was ready for use. On Sunday the Otter came looking
for a dinner of dried turnips and winter cabbages.

After talking for awhile the Rabbit said, “Now, friend Otter, I
will catch you some eels,” and he led the way to his ice-slide.
Getting on the slide he let go and went plump! into the cold water.
Down he went and came up wet and shivering, but with no eels.

“I missed them that time,” said the Rabbit, “but wait while I try
again,” and down he went on the slide and into the water. But again
he caught no eels. By this time the Otter was hungry but he stopped
to laugh at the Rabbit, who was a sad sight.

“Friend Rabbit,” said he, “I have eels enough at home, and I came
here for turnips and cabbages. Come in and cook me what you have
and I shall be content.” And so the Rabbit found out that he could
not catch fish and that he need not try. But they did have a good
dinner of dried turnips and cabbages.


_We should be content to endure things that cannot be helped._

Once there was a little lamb who was very unhappy. All the other
lambs frisked about in the sunshine, ran around the meadow and
played with one another; but this little lamb stayed beside his
mother and cried because he was so unhappy.

“What makes you so miserable?” said the old mother sheep.

“Oh, mother!” said the lamb, “see all the other lambs with white
wool, and mine is gray. I want white wool, too.” And the lamb began
to cry again and looked so miserable that the old ram actually
stopped eating grass and blinked at him.

“You are a cry-baby,” said the ram. “Look at my wool; it is gray as
an old blanket and full of burrs. I don’t mind it.” But the little
lamb went off by itself and felt as bad as ever.

Off in a corner the lamb saw some white flowers.

“Give me your white blooms to make me a coat. I want a white coat
like the other lambs,” said the lamb to the flowers. But the
flowers shook their heads and said:

“You are a foolish lamb not to like your gray coat. All flowers are
not white, anyhow, and we think the colored ones are as pretty as
we are. Besides that, you would look ridiculous covered with flower
petals.” So the lamb moved on and soon came to a white hen sitting
on a fence.

“Please, Mrs. Hen, give me your white feathers to make me a coat. I
am very unhappy because my wool is gray instead of white,” said the
lamb. The old hen ruffled up her feathers and looked down at the
lamb and said:

“My! how silly! I have seen plenty of gray chickens and red ones,
too, and they are just as good looking as the white ones. Besides
that, how would a lamb look covered with feathers?” And the old hen
laughed until she fell off the fence backwards.

The little lamb ran around the field to the old white horse.

“Please, Mr. Horse, give me some hair to make me a white coat. I am
very unhappy because my wool is gray,” said the little lamb. The
old horse cocked his ears and looked down at the lamb.

“Who ever heard of such a thing as a lamb with hairs on it? I had a
gray colt once and she was beautiful. Go away, my child; your gray
coat is beautiful enough,” said the horse.

The little lamb went back to where the other lambs were playing.
They gathered around and began to admire his gray coat.

“You have the honor of being the only gray lamb in the flock. We
shall call you the leader, because we can tell you from the others
easily. Come now, let us run to the fence!” Off they all went, the
gray lamb in the lead, the fastest and strongest of them all, glad,
at last, that he had a gray coat.


_We never lose by being kind._

It was to be a great day for little Robert. Though he was only ten
years old he was a fine runner, and that day there was to be a
foot race at his uncle’s farm. A knife with a pearl handle was the
prize, and Robert’s heart was set on winning it.

His father had hired a Shetland pony named Beauty to take him to
Mayfair, his uncle’s farm where the races were. When Robert saw the
pony he jumped for joy, and leaping on its back rode off. The races
were to begin at eleven o’clock, and it was already after ten when
he started, and he had about five miles to go.

Beauty and her rider were traveling fast when Robert heard a voice
calling him. He saw an old lady named Mrs. Smith. His father had
often told him of the little old couple living in the house at the
forks of the road.

Mrs. Smith was in great trouble; her husband was sick and she could
not leave him, and she had nobody to go for the doctor. She begged
Robert to turn back and ride as fast as he could for the doctor.

Robert hesitated at first, thinking of the races and the fine
prize he hoped to win, and all the fun he was going to have. Then
he looked down at poor Mrs. Smith and saw the tears in her eyes.
He remembered his own mother and father, and his mind was made up
quickly as to what he ought to do.

“What doctor do you want?” he asked. Mrs. Smith told him, and
turning the horse’s head he was off at a gallop. Mile after mile
the little pony traveled until he came to the doctor’s gate.

“Doctor,” he said, “Mrs. Smith’s husband is very sick; she says
please come quickly--she sent me for you.” The doctor was just
getting ready to leave for the day’s work. He drove as fast as he
could, Robert behind him on the faithful Beauty. They reached Mrs.
Smith’s home in time for the doctor to save Mr. Smith’s life. Then
Robert rode on to the races.

It was late when he reached the farm and he was tired. The foot
race had not yet been reached, and he was in good time after all.
“Come on, Robert, you are in plenty of time and you are a good
runner. Come get ready for the foot race,” they cried to him as he
rode into the gate.

Robert was ready in a minute and they were off. He ran for all his
life, just as hard as he could, all the time thinking how glad he
was that he had helped poor Mrs. Smith. That made him run faster
for his heart was light, and he won the knife by a good margin.

He felt very glad he had helped the old woman, and had lost nothing
by the good deed.


_In which a brave boy was not afraid to trust his life to the skill
of his father._

Gessler was a tyrant who ruled over Switzerland. He was cruel and
overbearing and made the people suffer in every way he could. They
despised him and feared him, for they could not tell what form of
tyranny he would use next.

To show his power Gessler set up a pole in the market place and on
the top of the pole he placed his hat, and ordered everybody who
passed by to bow to the hat in order to show respect to the tyrant.
The people were very much mortified at this, but they couldn’t help
themselves, and so they took off their hats and bowed very low
whenever they passed the pole with the hat on it.

One day a bold mountaineer came down into the village holding his
little son by the hand. His name was William Tell. He marched with
his head high up, and passed the pole without bowing to the hat of
Gessler. Everybody was astonished at his boldness; but he marched
up and down the square, and not once did he bow his head according
to the tyrant’s orders.

You may be sure that the spies of Gessler went straight to their
master with news of this conduct of the mountaineer. The tyrant
came into the square and ordered Tell brought before him. He saw
that he had a bow and arrow slung across his back.

“You can doubtless shoot very well,” said Gessler. “Instead of
putting you in prison, you shall shoot an apple from your son’s
head at a hundred paces.” Gessler did this thinking that Tell would
surely shoot his own little son.

The people turned pale with indignation, but Tell said not a word.
He kissed his son and told him to stand steady. He placed him at
a hundred steps and the apple was laid on his fair curly head.
Tell selected two arrows--straight and sharp--one he hid under his
jacket and the other he placed in his bow.

The boy stood with his face to his father and shut his eyes; he did
not cry nor move a muscle. The crowd was still as death as Tell
shot his arrow. Straight it flew, through the apple and lit softly
on the ground beyond the boy. A great shout went up and a clapping
of hands for joy. The boy was safe.

“But why that other arrow?” asked Gessler of Tell, pointing to his

“To slay thee, tyrant, had I killed my boy,” answered Tell. Gessler
ordered him to be seized, but in the confusion Tell took his son in
his arms and escaped to his mountain home. Some time after this as
Gessler was riding through the forest, Tell drew his bow and shot
an arrow straight through the heart of the tyrant. In this way was
Switzerland freed from tyranny.


_In which we find out what happened by asking questions._

At first elephants had short noses. Listen while I tell you how
they came to have long noses, which we call trunks.

Once there was a little elephant who lived in Africa. He asked ever
so many questions. He asked the ostrich why her feathers grew so
long. He asked the giraffe what made his skin spotty. He asked the
hippopotamus why her eyes were red. He asked about everything he

One morning he asked: “What does the crocodile have for dinner?”
Everybody said: “Hush! Don’t ask so many foolish questions!”

He came upon the Kolokolo bird sitting on a thorn bush and asked
what the crocodile has for dinner. She told him to go to the Limpo
river and find out. The next morning he went to the river.

He had never seen a crocodile, so when he saw one he did not know
it. He first saw a big snake on a rock and said:

“Excuse me, but have you seen a crocodile around here?”

“What will you ask next?” asked the snake.

“Excuse me, but what does he have for dinner?” asked the elephant.
The snake was angry and he shook his coils and thrust out his
tongue at the elephant.

“Good-bye, snake,” he said and left. He came across something he
thought was a log in the water, but it was a crocodile.

“Excuse me,” he said, “but have you seen a crocodile around here?
What does he have for dinner?”

“Come here,” said the crocodile, “I will whisper it to you.”

The crocodile said to himself: “I will eat the little elephant

He caught the elephant by the nose and began to pull hard.

“Let go!” said the elephant. “That hurts.”

The snake came from the rocks and said: “He will pull you into the
water if you don’t pull hard.” He pulled hard and the crocodile
pulled hard. The elephant’s nose began to stretch and stretched
nearly five feet. “This is too much for me,” he said.

Then the snake wound himself around the elephant’s legs and
helped him pull. They pulled harder than the crocodile, until the
elephant’s nose was all out of shape. Then the crocodile let go.
The elephant thanked the snake, wrapped his nose in banana leaves
and hung it in the river to cool. He sat there for three days
waiting for it to shrink, but it grew no shorter. His nose was a
real elephant’s trunk.

The elephant found he could use it many ways. He could kill flies,
pull grass and carry it to his mouth with it. When he was hot he
could get mud and put it on his head. He could pick up things and
get fruit from the trees. He could send a noise down his trunk that
could be heard far and near. And from that day to this, elephants
have long noses, and what is more, they seem to like them that way.


_In which we find that the blessings of liberty and prosperity are
the true causes of Thanksgiving._

Instead of a make-believe story I am going to tell you a true
story about some people who were called “Pilgrims.” Pilgrim means
wanderer, and before long you will see why they were given that

The Pilgrims lived in England and were ruled by a king who wanted
them to do just as he said in everything; he even wanted them to
worship God in the same way he did.

The Pilgrims objected to this; they did not think he had any right
to interfere with their religion. They thought that every man had a
right to worship God in his own way. So they left England and went
to Holland. It was a long voyage, and they endured many hardships
on the way. The Dutch people were very good to them, but after a
while the Pilgrims grew restless. Their children were growing up
with a knowledge of the Dutch language and customs only; so once
again they made ready for another voyage.

This time they sailed for America. The name of their ship was the
_Mayflower_. The trip was a rough one indeed. Many of the children
were sick and many of the fathers and mothers were sick also. But
at last they landed on Plymouth Rock in the New World.

It was a queer country that their eyes fell upon. There were no
houses, and the only people were the Indians. At first the Pilgrims
were very much afraid of these Indians, but they soon became good
friends. The Pilgrims were not idle. They went to work, cutting
down trees and building log cabins so that the women and children
would have some place to sleep.

Before many days had passed, they had plowed the fields, planted
corn and other grains and erected a little church. The following
year they had a splendid harvest. So they decided to have a feast
and to invite the Indians who had been kind to them, and to thank
God for His goodness to them throughout the year. They called it a
Thanksgiving Feast.

The white men and the Indians went hunting and killed wild turkeys
and deer for the feast. The women cooked the meat, broiled the
fish, baked the bread, and the young people waited on the tables.
Under the trees the tables were spread. Around them sat the
Pilgrims and their Indian friends. Jokes were passed, stories were
told, and the old times in England and Holland were talked over.
Then followed games and shooting matches, and by night the Indians
danced and sang war songs.

That was our first Thanksgiving Day, but ever since then we have
set apart the last Thursday in November to give thanks to God for
His goodness to us.


(A Thanksgiving Story)

_A kindness shown to others is never lost and sometimes brings an
unexpected reward._

One summer morning in a New England village Mrs. Grafton was
sitting on her porch shelling peas for dinner. John and Jean, her
children, were playing around the yard, when an Indian woman,
carrying a baby on her back, passed the house. John ran out of the
gate and after the woman. He saw something was the matter with the
baby, and asked what it was.

“Papoose sick,” said the Indian mother, “see doctor.”

John said: “Bring the baby in here and my mother will make it

The Indian woman followed John into the yard, and Mrs. Grafton took
the sick little papoose on her lap and gave it some medicine. After
a while the little baby stopped crying and went to sleep in Mrs.
Grafton’s lap. The Indian mother took her papoose home, saying that
Mrs. Grafton was “a good doctor.”

The next day the mother again appeared with the baby, and Mrs.
Grafton washed it, put on it some clean clothes and gave it some
more medicine. After a while the baby got well, and the Indian
woman came no more.

That winter was very hard and cold; snow everywhere and cold biting
winds. Thanksgiving came, and Mrs. Grafton started to make pies for
dinner. She cut up the pumpkin and then looked in the molasses jug.
Not a drop of molasses there!

“Oh, my! what shall we do? There is no molasses to make the pies,”
she exclaimed in dismay. John looked thoughtful.

“I will go and get some from the store,” he said, and was off in
a moment with the empty jug, right through the woods. The jug was
heavy and it was already late in the afternoon, but they must have
pies for the next day.

John reached the store. The jug was filled and he started home
again. It began to snow as John entered the woods. The path was
soon covered and poor John took the wrong turn, then tried to come
back, and soon was hopelessly lost. He ran on as fast as he could
and then stopped and began to cry. A tall man stood before him. It
was an Indian with a gun. John said:

“Please, I am lost. Take me back home.” But the Indian took him
on his shoulder and carried him to a camp fire near a tent. There
was an Indian woman with a papoose there. She looked at John and
said a few words to the tall man who had brought him in. The Indian
grunted and smiled, and then lifted John to his shoulders, and with
him and his jug tramped through the snow-drifts back to John’s
home. He set him down on the doorstep and said:

“My squaw and my papoose you helped last summer. Me have
thanksgiving here,” and he touched his breast and disappeared.


_In which a young boy shows great courage in the face of danger._

There was a time when our country needed many men to protect her
against her enemies--especially the British. She had to have
soldiers on land and on sea. Sometimes boys were accepted to help
in the camps and on the vessels.

On board the ship _United States_ was a boy only ten years of age.
His name was Bobbie. He was allowed to help but his name could not
be placed upon the roll of the ship until he had served a certain
length of time. He was very young to be aboard a war vessel, but
he was faithful to his duty and served as bravely as he could.
At times it was very hard on Bobbie, but even in places of great
danger he remained just as brave as ever. One time it looked as if
their ship would be lost. A great British vessel was coming towards
them. How could the little _United States_ stand against a much
larger British vessel?

“Well, Bob,” cried his older comrades, “are you afraid?”

“No, indeed,” cried Bobbie, and he hurried away to find the captain.

“What’s wanting, Bobbie?” said the captain.

“Please, Commodore, will you put my name on the roll before the
battle begins?”

“What for, my lad?” asked the Commodore kindly.

“So that I can take a position at the front of the ship when the
firing begins,” replied the boy bravely. “We must take that
British ship, and I believe we are going to do it.”

“All right,” said the captain. “You are on the roll.”

The battle began. Bobbie was stationed on the main deck in the
thickest of the fight. He was powder boy. He stood close to one of
the great guns, and it was his duty to keep powder ready for this
particular gun. Back and forth between the powder magazines and
the gun he went, the cartridges hidden beneath his jacket so that
no spark of fire might touch them. All about him on every side,
whizzed the deadly leaden balls, but Bob took no heed of them.

“Well, Bob,” said the captain, after the battle was over, “we did
capture the British after all.”

“Yes, sir; yes, sir,” answered Bobbie, his smoke-stained face
radiant with joy. “I knew we would.”

“And now,” said the captain, “if we get the old hulk into port,
there will be part of the reward for you. Would you mind telling me
what you are going to do with the money you get?”

“Half of it I shall send to my mother; with the other half I shall
get me a bit of schooling.”

The captain’s heart was touched, and the brave little boy ever
after had a warm friend in the captain.



_A Greek legend in which a brave youth overcomes a giant robber._

Theseus was the son of the king of Athens. One day his father was
called away to the wars, and said to his wife, “Take care of the
boy, and bring him up like a king’s son. When he is strong enough
to lift this stone he may set out on his adventures,” and he
pointed to a large stone.

The king never came back and the mother devoted herself to the
training of her son. He grew up to be the handsomest, bravest, and
strongest young man in all Greece. Every day he tried to lift the
great stone, and at last it gave way a little. The next time he
tried it moved a little more. One day he raised it and rolled it
down the hill. Then he found underneath a splendid sword.

Now he was ready to set forth on his adventures. Taking the sword
he journeyed overland until he reached a village where he asked for
food and a night’s lodging. The innkeeper said, “Alas, there is no
food left, for the robber Sciron has been here and taken away every
scrap of bread and meat in the place.”

“Who is this Sciron?” asked Theseus. The man told him that Sciron
was a robber who lived in the mountains, and plundered the villages
of food, and took off cattle and seized men and women and made them
wait on him, and then threw them into the sea from a high rock.

“Where does he live?” asked Theseus. The man showed him a castle on
the top of a mountain. “Thank you,” said Theseus. “I am going to
sup with Sciron this very night,” and he started off.

When Theseus reached the gate he knocked on it with his sword and
it was opened by a fierce robber. Theseus told him he had come
to get food and to spend the night. “You have come to the right
place,” said the robber greedily and opened the gate. Theseus
followed him into the hall where he saw a giant eating a whole ox,
and other giants sitting near him waiting to be fed.

The big giant was Sciron. Theseus said, “I have come for food and
shelter.” The big giant looked up and said, “Oh, ho! you want food,
do you? Very well, you may eat, but afterwards I shall throw you
from the cliff into the sea. Before you begin to eat you must wash
my feet.”

Then one of the other robbers brought a bowl of hot water and
Sciron thrust out his feet to be washed. But Theseus had no notion
of doing that service, so he took up the bowl of water and threw
it in Sciron’s face, saying, “That needs washing first.”

The giant was in a great rage, and rushed at Theseus to kill him.
But Theseus drew his sword and a terrible battle followed. At last
the big giant was down on the floor and Theseus said, “Now you
shall wait on me and wash my feet. Get up and obey me.”

The giant arose and did what Theseus told him to do, but that did
not save him, for Theseus hurled him from the rock into the sea.
And all the other robbers laughed and clapped their hands for joy.



_In which our hero proves himself a wrestler and a swordsman._

After Theseus had killed the giant robber, he traveled to another
village where he thought he would rest awhile. He had hardly
entered the place when a band of soldiers arrested him and said,
“You are a prisoner.”

“What have I done to be treated this way?” asked Theseus. The
soldiers told him that every stranger in the village had to wrestle
with the king before he could leave it. If he threw the king he
could go free, but if the king threw him he would be put to death.
No one had as yet escaped with his life.

“Very well,” said Theseus, “lead me to the king’s garden where I
may wrestle with him.” But when he saw the king he knew he had
found a mighty antagonist. The king was of great height with broad
shoulders and muscles that stood out like ropes around his body.

Then they began to wrestle. The king tried to crush Theseus with
his great arms, but the young man slipped through every time, and
was so agile that the king could not hold him at all. Finally the
king made a great leap at his enemy, but Theseus jumped aside
and threw the king with his foot. He fell so heavily that he lay
with back broken. After that all passengers could go through that
village in safety, for there was no king to stop them.

Theseus went on until he came to a wild country, and wandered
through the woods until he reached a castle, and being very tired
he asked the lord of the castle if he might have a bed for the

The lord was named Procrustes, and gladly invited Theseus in and
took him to the guest room where there were already two other
travelers waiting. “This is the guest bed,” said Procrustes. “I
hope it will fit you, for it is law of the castle that guests must
be made to fit the bed.”

Thereupon the lord made his servants seize one of the travelers and
stretch him over the bed. But the traveler was too long for the
bed, so they chopped off his feet to make him fit. Then they seized
the other traveler and stretched him over the bed, but he was too
short, so they brought ropes and pulleys and pulled him out until
he was the right length.

“Now for you,” said Procrustes to Theseus. “You may fit exactly,
but if not you must be made to fit. Come, get ready for bed.”

Theseus was in no humor for retiring at that moment, so he drew
his sword, and made at the king. “I have a mind that you are a
whole head too long for your own bed, so I am going to shorten you
by that much,” said he, and before the king could escape he cut
off his head and made the servants stretch him on the bed, and he
fitted exactly.

But after that travelers to that castle slept peacefully whether
they were long or short.


_One should be ready to help another--especially should a boy help
a girl._

Once there lived in Northern Germany a little boy named Kris. Kris
loved music very much, but his mother and father were too poor to
buy him an instrument on which to play. One day he went to walk in
the woods, and while there he cut a piece of wood and made a pipe
on which he could play.

It was a poor kind of an instrument, but what beautiful music he
played on it! When his father and mother heard him they shouted for
joy. Kris decided to go to town and play for the people there, in
order to make a little money.

As he was going along the road to the forest, he heard some one
cry, “Help! Help!” He listened and heard the cry again. He started
in the direction of the cry, and when he had gone a little distance
he saw a little girl named Christina, with whom he often played,
standing on a high rock with a huge bear growling fiercely at the

Kris was terrified, but he did not run away. When Christina saw
him, she exclaimed: “Kris, save me! Save me!”

Kris was a brave boy, but his courage almost failed him when he
saw the huge bear. He wondered how he could save Christina. At
last he thought of his pipe and began to play so as to attract the
notice of the bear. The bear turned round to see where the music
came from, and for the first time saw Kris. He started towards him,
growling fiercely as he came.

When Kris saw the bear coming toward him he shouted to Christina:
“Run home as fast as you can and get father to come and kill him.
Maybe I can keep him off until father can get here. Hurry!”

Kris played on bravely in spite of the fact that the bear was
coming towards him. He would not run while Christina was in danger.
The bear stopped and listened to the music. He seemed delighted and
ceased growling. Kris played his best, and the bear lay down and
stretched out his paws as if he liked it. He got up afterwards and
began to sway with the time of the music as if he would like to

Christina climbed down from the rock and ran home and brought her
father with his gun. They expected to find Kris eaten up by the
bear, but when they came near they heard him still playing, and as
they crept down and peered through the bushes, they saw the old
bear get up from the ground, shake himself, and slowly disappear
in the forest. The music had charmed him, and Kris had saved
Christina’s life and his own by his sweet music.


_A real hero must have presence of mind as well as courage in times
of danger._

To-day we are going to learn how a man saved a whole village from
destruction. The little village was built on the banks of a river,
and a few miles above it was a great dam holding back the water
until it looked like a large lake. It was very beautiful on bright
sunny days to see the great sheet of water, and to watch the falls
of the dam.

It had been raining for many days and the lake was becoming larger
and larger. The water rose until it came to the very level of the
dam; but everybody thought it was safe, for the great rocks looked
as strong as the hills themselves. So one night after the rain had
stopped all the people of the village went to sleep as usual. Late
in the night the water ran over the dam and tore a rock loose. Then
a larger rock followed, and then another and another. By daybreak a
great hole was in the dam and the sides were tottering.

Collins Graves, a young farmer, rose early and went on his way to
the mill.

“I believe I will go by and take a look at the dam,” he said to his
wife, as he started off. It was well he did so. When he came to the
lake he noticed how the water was going down. Then he went over to
the dam and saw the great hole in it, and saw it was growing bigger
and bigger every minute. As he stood watching it the whole dam gave
way and the lake was emptied into the river.

“The village! the village!” he cried. “I must save the people!”
and with that he leaped upon his horse and began a race with the
flood. Five miles down the river lay the village asleep. Onward
went the waters in a wave big enough to wash down the mill and all
the houses of the people. On swept the brave horse as fast as he
could race. Graves threw away his bags, his coat, even his hat to
lighten the load, and called to his horse to run for the lives of
the people.

He passed the big wave--gained on it--then rode a mile ahead of it
and dashed into the village as the people were getting up.

“Run for your lives! The dam has broken and the waters are coming!
Save the children and the stock--nothing else, for the wave will be
here in a minute!” he cried out at the top of his voice. “Be quick!”

The people rushed from their houses, carrying the babes in their
arms and calling for the children. The barns were opened and the
stock ran, scenting the danger. Up to the hills they flew--all of
them--not a soul was left in the village; and the great wave rolled
over their houses, barns, bridges and fences.

“Thank God for Collins Graves!” shouted the people, “one minute
more and we should all have been drowned in the flood!”


_A legend of the Norsemen in which the dwarfs are made to work for
the good of mankind._

Odin was the head of all the gods. He sat upon the Air Throne and
looked down on the earth and the sea. One morning he said:

“The earth is very beautiful, but the men on it are very idle and
stupid. I see dwarfs who play tricks with the farmers. I see a
farmer sowing wheat, and a dwarf comes after him and changes the
wheat into stones. I see two ugly dwarfs who are holding the head
of a wise man under water until he is dead. They are mixing his
blood with honey and putting it into stone jars. I will attend to
them this very day.” And so he called Flying Word and sent him down
to earth to make all the dwarfs come before him.

The dwarfs were very frightened when they came before Odin. He was
powerful and big, and they were tiny and weak. But they were not
scared long, and began to scamper and dance and laugh right in his
face. Odin frowned and looked very fiercely at them. There were,
however, a few good little dwarfs who looked very serious. Odin
spoke to the dwarfs who were drowning the wise man.

“Whose blood was that you were mixing with honey and putting into
jars?” The dwarfs clapped their hands.

“Oh, that was Kvasir, who was so wise. We found him lying in a
meadow, drowned in his own wisdom!”

But Odin knew that they had killed the wise man, and so he sent all
those bad dwarfs away down into the earth. He made some of them put
fuel on the earth’s fires, and he made the others dig in the gold
and diamond mines. They might come up at night, but by daybreak
they had to go back to their underground work. And so the dwarfs
scampered off and burrowed in the ground.

The good little dwarfs hung around, weeping and wailing by turns
like “a morning shower.”

“We have never done anybody any harm; let us stay on the earth; we
will be very good,” they begged and promised. And Odin said: “You
must help then with the flowers and insects and wild bees, and help
the farmers, or down you go, too.”

“If we only had some one to teach us,” said they. “We are such tiny
foolish little people!” Odin looked at them a while, and then sent
Niord out to find them a teacher. Niord left the great hall and
went out and sat on the side of a mountain. He whistled for a long
time a low sweet note, and then out of the sky came two forms--a
brother and sister--one named Frey and the other Freyja. Summer and
Beauty were their other names. Niord brought Frey to Odin and said:

“Here is my son, the genius of sunshine and flowers, and forests
and harvests. He will teach the dwarfs to work.”

Odin liked the gentle Frey and said: “It is well. Take your little
people away and put them to work.” And so began the work of all the
dwarfs and they are working to this very day.


_A legend showing what the Norsemen thought about thunder and

Thor was the son of Odin, and was one of the strongest men that
ever lived. He had a hammer that always returned to him no
matter how far or how hard he threw it. Every time he threw the
hammer it glowed brighter than the sun. Once upon a time he and
Loki, a mischievous friend, set out to fight the giants that
lived in Jotunheim. They traveled all day and at night came to a
countryman’s home. There was nothing to eat, so Thor killed two
goats that drew his chariot, and cooked them for supper.

He said to the countryman’s family:

“Do not, on any account, eat or crack any of the bones of these
goats.” But the countryman broke one of the bones and ate the
marrow. The next morning Thor took his hammer and held it over the
skins of the two goats. He spoke some words, and struck the skins
lightly, when lo! the skins jumped up, two live goats, just as if
they had not been eaten the night before.

But one of the goats limped because there was no bone in his hind
leg. Thor was very angry, and the countryman confessed to having
cracked a bone and eaten the marrow. To punish him, Thor made him
join the party on the way to the land of the giants.

One evening they came to a big hall with a wide open door. They
all went in and found it empty, but they lay down and slept very
comfortably. Late in the night they heard noises and groanings like
thunder near by. They wondered what these fearful sounds could be.
The next morning Thor found in the forest an enormous giant fast
asleep and snoring like thunder and earthquakes. The giant woke up
and Thor said:

“You make too much noise. You disturbed my sleep.” The giant said:
“You are Thor, and what have you done with my glove?” And then Thor
found that he and his friends had been sleeping in the thumb of the
giant’s glove. Thor said:

“I have come to kill such giants as you,” and threw his hammer at
his head. “Oh, did a leaf touch my head?” said the giant. Again
Thor threw his hammer at the giant’s chest.

“Oh, my! an acorn must have fallen on me,” said the giant. Thor
then threw the hammer with all his might and hit the giant between
the eyes.

“Why, some bird has dropped a feather in my face,” said the giant.

Thor was so enraged at his failure to hurt the giant that he turned
to go. The giant called after him: “I am a little giant compared to
others whom you will see!” But Thor and his friends went on to find
other adventures.


_A Norway legend showing the folly of contending against the forces
of nature._

The next day Thor and his friends came to a large city, very gloomy
and silent. They walked up to a high building where the gates stood
wide open. They crossed the threshold and found themselves in an
immense hall where there was a long table with many giants seated
about it on stone thrones. They looked very cold and solemn, but
Thor’s men were not at all afraid. The head giant said:

“You are Thor, and very welcome, but what can you and your friends
do to entitle you to enter here?” Loki spoke up and said:

“I am famous for eating; I can beat any one at that.” The head
giant ordered the table filled with food, and told a long, lean,
hungry man to begin at one end, and Loki to begin at the other.
Loki ate to the middle of the table and met the other man half way;
but Loki had only eaten the food, while the other man had devoured
bones, plates, table cloth and all.

“What else can you do?” said the head giant. This time the
countryman who had cracked the goat’s bone spoke up and said:

“I can run faster than any one here.” Then the head giant took them
all out to a great field, and selected a slender lad and started
him and the countryman on a race. The countryman ran like the wind
in a gale; but the slender lad ran past him on around the field and
past him again and again.

“You must do better than that,” said the head giant, “or we shall
think you are mere braggarts. What can you do, Thor?”

“I can drink more than anybody here,” said Thor.

Then the giant had a huge horn brought on and told Thor to drink
three times. Thor drank and drank and drank, but the more he drank
the more the horn would fill, until at last he had to give it up
with great mortification.

“You cannot even lift my old cat off the ground,” said the giant.
Then Thor seized the cat and pulled and pulled, but the cat’s feet
never left the earth. Thor was very much mortified at the failure
of his friends and himself. But the head giant said:

“Thor, you have some lessons to learn yet. Loki is indeed a great
eater, but he was contending with fire that consumed all things;
the countryman was running against thought that is swifter than the
wind; you were drinking from a horn the other end of which is in
the ocean, and my old cat’s legs engirdle the earth.”

When Thor heard these things he went back home and told his father,
Odin, that there were some things he could not do after all.


_A Norse legend to show that sorrow follows in the footsteps of
pride and vanity._

You will remember that Freyja was the sister of Frey, and that her
other name was Beauty. Everybody loved Freyja and liked to look
at her beautiful face and listen to her sweet voice. She had a
wonderful husband named Odur whom she loved very dearly and of whom
she was very proud.

Now, it happened that all the gods and their wives were to dine at
Valhalla one day, and Freyja was greatly distressed because she had
no jewels to wear.

“You are more beautiful without jewels,” said her husband; but
Freyja thought of the other women and shook her head.

She went out to ask Frey to get her some flowers at least, but her
steps took her down into the heart of the earth where the dwarfs
were digging gold and diamonds. Four little dwarfs were tugging at
something heavy and very beautiful. Freyja saw it was a diamond
necklace of wonderful charm.

“Oh, give it to me!” she cried, shielding her eyes from its
dazzling light.

“All right,” said the dwarfs, “but you had better let it alone.”
Freyja did not heed them but seized the necklace and hastened back
home. She put the brilliant ornament around her neck, looked at
her lovely face in a pool of water and went to find her husband.
But Odur was not in his room. Odur had gone to the home of the
immortals for he and the dwarf’s necklace could not live in the
same house. But Freyja did not know this.

Nobody spoke to her nor admired the necklace. They all went to the
feast while Freyja sat at the door of the palace and mourned. The
necklace sparkled in the sun and her tears dropped down and looked
like jewels themselves. She arose and went to Odin and said:

“Let me go find my husband.” And Odin answered:

“Go, Freyja, and good fortune attend you.”

Freyja sprang into her chariot and began her search for her
husband. She went to the houses in the big cities, and to the
homes of the poor and destitute. “Is my husband here?” she asked
everywhere. But all looked at the necklace and shook their heads.

“The necklace is very fair, but it is so heavy, and it makes my
heart like lead,” she said.

She went to the Iron Wood and asked the old witch, but the old
witch was cross and drove her away. She drove up to the Vedar on
the mountain side, but he was like a tree and merely shook his
branches. And so she went on and on always with her necklace, but
she never found her husband. And sometimes she stops to weep, and
then people say: “The summer rain is falling on the flowers.”


_A Norse legend to show that little things are often stronger than
large ones._

Loki, who was always doing what he should not do, had a fierce
son named Fenrir. He looked like a wolf, and was so strong that
nothing could bind him. Fenrir prowled around and was fed by Tyr
who was the only god that Fenrir had the least fear of. Fenrir grew
stronger and fiercer every day until Odin said he must be chained.
The question was how to get a chain strong enough.

Thor said he would make one with his hammer. So he took his mighty
hammer and went to the forge and worked all night making a chain.
When the chain was ready he brought it to Odin, but Odin shook his
head in doubt. Soon Fenrir came in and, strangely enough, he did
not mind the chain being put around him and fastened to a stone.
When he had finished eating he snapped the chain apart and walked
away laughing.

Thor went to work to make another chain. For three days he hammered
and forged until the chain was so big and strong and long that Thor
himself could hardly carry it. All the gods said:

“It is a marvelous chain. Surely Fenrir cannot break this!” Fenrir
again allowed himself to be bound as before, and when he had
finished eating he broke that chain as easily as he had the other,
and went away laughing again.

Frey now spoke up and said:

“I will go into the earth and get the dwarfs to forge me a chain.”
So he departed and was gone for a long time. The dwarfs made the
chain for him as he asked them, but they made it so light that it
could hang on a dwarf’s little finger.

They made it out of the noise of a cat’s foot, the beard of a
woman, the roots of stones, the breath of a fish and a few other
things like that, but when Frey tried to break it he found that he
was powerless even to stretch a tiny bit. What made it so strong,
and in what manner the dwarfs made it no man ever knew.

Frey carried it back to Odin, and again Fenrir came in to be fed.
He seemed afraid of the chain and would not let them put it on him
unless he could hold Tyr’s hand in his mouth. Tyr agreed to this,
and they tied Fenrir and bound him to a great tree. Fenrir roared
and struggled and bit Tyr’s hand off in his efforts to get away.
All in vain! The little chain held him. He was bound at last and
could not get away.

All the gods set up a shout of joy, and Thor thrust his sword into
the wolf man’s mouth. A mighty red river gushed forth and poured
over the valley. It is a dark and turbid torrent that roars down
the mountain like a great wolf in distress and pain; and it is
running to this very day.



_Brothers should not be envious of one another. Especially should
older brothers be glad of special favor shown to their younger
brothers and sisters._

Father Jacob had a big family--twelve boys! What a happy time they
could have had together! Let us see why they did not. Ten of the
brothers were grown men but Joseph was seventeen. There was only
one younger than he. This one’s name was Benjamin. The old father
loved Joseph very much, and gave him a beautiful coat of many
colors. The older brothers did not love and obey their father as
did Joseph, and when their father gave him the beautiful coat,
they began to hate Joseph. Soon they hated him so much that they
would not even speak kindly to him. The brothers were not having
happy times together. Besides this, Joseph had dreamed that they
were binding sheaves in a field, and that his sheaf arose and stood
upright, and that the sheaves of all the others bowed down before
his sheaf.

Joseph dreamed again that the sun, and the moon, and eleven stars
had bowed down before him.

When he told those dreams to his brothers, they hated him still
more, and said: “Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou
have dominion over us?”

Now, Jacob had a great many sheep. The older sons took care of
these sheep, and led them where they could find green grass.
Sometimes they went far from home to find grass enough for all the
sheep. Once when the sheep had eaten all the grass near home, the
brothers took them a great way to Shechem. After a while Jacob
began to wonder how his sons were, and if the sheep and lambs were
doing well. So he called Joseph and said to him:

“Go now, see whether it is well with your brothers, and well with
the sheep, and bring me word again.”

Joseph knew it was a long way to Shechem. He knew a bear might
spring upon him by the way. He knew his brothers would not be glad
to see him, and would not even speak kindly to him. But he did what
his father told him to do. He started off to Shechem.

Joseph went on until he came to the fields of Shechem. But there
were no sheep in the fields and his brothers were not there. As
Joseph was still looking for them a man said to him:

“They have departed hence! for I heard them say, ‘Let us go to

So Joseph went to Dothan, and there he saw sheep feeding in the
fields and men moving about. They were his brothers. He had found
them at last. To-morrow we shall find out how the brothers treated



_Showing that quarreling and envy can bring unhappiness into a
home, and oftentimes a tragedy._

Joseph’s brothers were feeding the sheep at Dothan. They had not
seen their father nor Benjamin nor Joseph for a long time. The
brothers saw Joseph coming across the field. They saw the colors in
his beautiful coat. They remembered how their father loved Joseph
best, and still remembered Joseph’s dreams. Their hearts were full
of hatred towards their young brother. They said to each other:

“Here comes the dreamer, let us kill him.”

There was a deep hole or pit in the field. It had been a well, but
there was no water in it now. When the brothers said: “Let us kill
Joseph,” Reuben, the oldest brother said: “No, let us put him in
this pit,” for Reuben wanted to save Joseph’s life and take him
back to his father.

When Joseph came near, his brothers spoke roughly to him. They
pulled off his beautiful coat, and threw him into the pit. Joseph
cried out to them but they would not answer. They sat down to eat
and left Joseph alone.

By and by the brothers saw a long line of camels coming along the
road near them. There were men with the camels, and each animal was
loaded with spices and perfumes. The men were going to sell these
things down in Egypt. Judah, one of the brothers, said:

“Let us sell Joseph to these men, that will be much better than to
kill him.” Reuben was not there, and the others agreed to do as
Judah said. They drew Joseph up out of the pit and called to the
men: “Here is a boy we will sell you.”

The merchants halted and looked at Joseph. Then they said, “We will
give you twenty pieces of silver for him.” The brothers took the
money and gave Joseph to the men. When Reuben came back and looked
into the pit, he cried:

“The boy is not there! What shall I do?”

In order to deceive Jacob, the brothers killed a kid, dipped
Joseph’s coat in the blood and carried it home to their father.
They said to Jacob: “We found this coat of many colors; is it your
son Joseph’s coat?”

“It is my son’s coat,” the poor father cried. “Some wild animal has
torn Joseph to pieces and devoured him!” How unhappy poor old Jacob
felt! None of his children could comfort him. He mourned for Joseph
for many days, saying:

“I will go down to my grave mourning for my son.”

But we shall see that Joseph fared better in Egypt than his
brothers expected.



_One should not cherish ill will for the sake of revenge, but
should always return good for evil._

Joseph was carried away by the merchants. When, at last, they came
to Egypt they sold the boy to Potiphar, the Captain of the guard.
There in Egypt Joseph grew to be a man, wise, and good, and great.

One day Pharaoh, the king, sent for Joseph to explain one of the
king’s dreams. Joseph told the king that his dream meant that there
would be seven years of plenty, when corn would grow in all the
land. Then that there would be seven years when no corn would grow.
Joseph told the king to gather up the grain while there was plenty;
then it could be sold to the people when they needed it.

Pharaoh chose Joseph to do this work, and made him a great ruler in
Egypt. He made his servants build storehouses. They brought much
grain and put it away. Then by and by when no grain grew the people
became hungry. Then Joseph opened the storehouses and sold food to
the hungry people.

At Jacob’s home also, food was scarce. So Jacob said to his sons:
“Go down to Egypt and buy food for us.” All the sons went to Egypt
except Benjamin.

One day ten men came to Joseph to buy grain. They bowed low before
Joseph as others did. Joseph looked closely at them, and knew them
to be his brothers. But they did not once think that this great
ruler was Joseph whom they had sold.

Joseph wanted to know whether his brothers were kinder now than
they had been, and whether they loved their father and Benjamin. So
he pretended to be very cross to them. He said harshly:

“Where did you come from?” “We have come to buy food. Our father
and our youngest brother are at home. One brother is dead,” they
replied. “You must bring the youngest brother, then I will believe
you,” said Joseph. Simeon, one of the brothers, was kept in Egypt
while the others went home to carry food.

When that food was eaten up, Jacob said to his sons: “Go down again
to Egypt and buy grain.” But they answered: “We cannot go unless
Benjamin goes with us. The great man will not see us nor sell us
any grain.”

The old father replied: “Me have ye bereaved of my children;
Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take away Benjamin.
All those things are against me.” Then said Judah to the old man:
“Father, let him go with me, and if I do not bring him back, I will
bear the blame.” Then Jacob sent Benjamin with them. The brothers
went again into Egypt and bowed low before Joseph as before. “Is
your father well?” asked Joseph. “Our father is well,” they said.
When Joseph saw Benjamin he had to go to another place to conceal
his emotions.

To-morrow we shall find out how Joseph treated his brethren.



_One should never forget his duty to his parents, and brothers,
especially in times of prosperity._

Then Joseph commanded his servants to fill the men’s sacks with
food, and to put every man’s money in the sack’s mouth. He also
told them to put his own silver cup in the sack of Benjamin, and to
let them depart.

Early next morning the brothers saddled their mules and started
home with the sacks of corn. Hardly had they gotten on their way,
before Joseph sent his men after them to search them and to charge
them with taking the money and also his silver cup.

The brothers were greatly afraid when their sacks were opened and
they saw the money and the silver cup. When they were brought
before Joseph they fell down and protested their innocence. Joseph
pretended to be very stern with them and accused them of stealing,
and said he would keep Benjamin with him since it was in Benjamin’s
sack that the cup was found, and the others might go on back to
their father.

Then Judah spoke up and said, “My lord, the lad is beloved of his
father, who is old, and if we go not back with him, our father will
surely die. His life is bound up in the lad’s life, for one son is
dead and he mourned for him. Surely, if the lad stay here and we go
back without him the gray hairs of the father will be brought down
with sorrow to the grave. I pray thee, therefore, my lord, let the
lad go, and let me be bound in his place.”

Then Joseph could not deceive his brothers any longer. He made all
others leave the room and when he was alone with his brothers, he
said to them, “I am Joseph, your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt.”
He then kissed Benjamin, and all his brethren, and talked with
them, and soon quieted their fears.

They told Joseph all about their father, and the people in Canaan.
Then Joseph told them to hasten back and bring Jacob to Egypt. They
hurried home to their father and told:

“Joseph is yet alive and is governor over all the land of Egypt.”
But Jacob could not believe it, until he saw the rich presents
which Joseph had sent and heard more from his sons. Then he said:
“It is enough; Joseph my son is yet alive; I will go and see him
before I die.”

So the old Jacob, and his sons, and their wives, with all their
cattle and household goods, journeyed to Egypt in the wagons
which Joseph had sent. Joseph met his father and gave him and his
brothers a rich part of Egypt to live in. And thus it was that the
people of Israel came to live in Egypt.


_In the legend of the trees, one finds not only an interesting
story, but also a greater love and respect for Nature._

In a pine grove down in a dark glen lived some tiny fairies. They
had a magic cap which fitted any one who wore it. If one fairy put
it on, all the fairies became invisible.

On the top of a mountain lived some giants who wanted the cap. A
giant went out for a walk one day and came into the glen when the
fairies were not at home. He felt sleepy and decided to take a nap.

The music of the birds lulled him to sleep. He snored and the
fairies returning home heard the loud noise and thought a storm was
approaching. They decided to stop where they were and spend the
night. They spied the giant’s ear, and the queen said:

“Here is a fine cave; we will put the cap in here.”

A fairy put the cap in the giant’s ear and thought it was a very
safe place. Just then the giant awoke and sat up.

The elf in the giant’s ear tried to jump out and run away with the
cap, but the giant caught him and held him. The giant saw the cap
in the elf’s hand and seized it. He placed it on his head and found
that it fitted exactly. The fairies could no longer see him and
began to cry so bitterly that be evening every plant in the glen
was wet with tears.

An eagle who was passing by saw them and felt very sorry:

“I am called the king of the birds,” said he, “and I should be
unworthy of the name if I would not help.” So he flew to the top of
the mountain where the giants lived.

Now, the giants like to fight better than anything else, so the
eagle watched his chance and saw them preparing for war. He knew
that they were proud of their size and always liked to be seen.

“Now,” said the eagle, “this is my chance; they will not wear the
magic cap in battle, and I will watch and see where they hide it.”

One of the giants placed it under a stone. The eagle went at once
to the spot, and lifting the stone, flew away with the cap. The
giants seeing this began to shoot arrows at him. Drops of blood and
some feathers fell on the mountain side, but the eagle did not stop
until the cap was safe in the hands of the queen of the fairies.

On the mountain side wherever the blood and feathers of the eagle
fell, there sprang up trees with feathers like leaves and blood-red
berries. All the giants, fairies, plants, and animals knew why they
grew. The unselfish love in the eagle’s blood could not die, but
lived again in the beautiful trees. But people to whom the fairies
have not told the story call them Mountain Ash trees.


_Sometimes it is one’s duty to sacrifice his life rather than
abandon his promised word._

You must know that in war it is necessary to have scouts who go
into the enemy’s territory and get valuable information which they
bring back to their own commanders. These scouts are called “spies”
by the enemy, and if they are caught they are put to death. This
penalty makes a scout’s life full of danger and adventure.

Sam Davis was a young Southern soldier, and was detailed as a
scout. He was only seventeen years of age when he was sent by
General Bragg to find out the strength of the Federal forts in
Middle Tennessee.

General Bragg said: “Davis, be very careful, for if you are caught
you will be hanged as a spy.”

Davis replied: “I know my duty, General, and its dangers. I am not

Davis went into the enemy’s lines and procured the information and
was returning with important papers in his possession. But as he
was riding along the road he was seized by some Federal soldiers,
and the papers were found upon him. Poor Davis was carried before
the Northern General, was tried as a spy and, according to the
rules of war, was condemned to be hanged.

The Northern General said:

“My boy, you are very young, and I hate to take a life like yours.
Tell me who gave you those papers and I will let you go free.”
Davis replied:

“I received these papers from a friend, and I shall never tell his
name.” The General said:

“My boy, if you will not tell me the name of your friend, I shall
be obliged to order you to be hanged to-morrow morning,” and there
were tears in the eyes of the General as he looked into the face of
the young lad. Davis answered:

“Sir, do you suppose I would betray a friend to save my life? No, I
will die a thousand times first.”

To the very last he was firm in his refusal to give any information
as to when and where he received the papers. To the entreaties
of those who were willing to spare his life if he would tell,
he answered, “No, I shall not betray my friend. I have given my
word.” The next morning he was made to mount a scaffold and was
hanged until he was dead. He died with a serene smile on his lips,
conscious of his devotion to duty as a man and as a soldier.

On the grounds of the Capitol building in Nashville, there is a
beautiful monument erected to the memory of Sam Davis by the State
of Tennessee.


_Showing that one must act promptly in emergencies if he would save
the lives of others._

George was a little boy who lived in a small town. His father was
an engineer on a locomotive, and their house was near the railroad
track. George liked to sit and watch the trains pass. Whenever
his father’s train would go by he would look out for his father’s
hand waved to him from the window of the locomotive. Sometimes his
father blew the whistle to let his mother know that everything was
all right.

A short distance from his house there was a very dangerous trestle.
One day after a hard rain George ran out to wade in the water.
He came to the trestle and saw that a part had been washed away.
He knew at once that if any train tried to pass over the broken
trestle that the engine and all the cars would fall through and the
lives of many passengers would be lost.

George was a brave little boy and knew that he must do something
and do it quickly. “I must hurry to the station and tell the
master to send some one to flag the next train,” said he to
himself. At once he started to the station to tell what he had seen.

Listen! What was that he heard? He listened again and remembered
that it must be time for the train, and it was his father’s train,
too. If the train went on his father would be killed. The train did
not stop at this station, and George knew he would not have time to
get anybody now.

So he ran to the middle of the track and waved his hat up and down,
trying to stop the train. On, on it came, but George did not move.
It was near enough now for his father to see him. The whistle blew
long and loud, still George did not move.

The whistle blew again and again, but George stood still in the
middle of the track. His father was frantic with fear that the
train would run over his little son, and he pulled down hard on the
screaming whistle, while he plied the brakes to the wheels. The
great engine slowed down with much groaning of wheels just before
it came to the place where George was standing.

“What is the matter, George?” cried his father as he leaped from
the engine and caught the boy in his arms. “Is your mother ill?”

“No, father,” said George, “but the trestle is washed away, and if
you had gone on you would have been killed--and I didn’t want you
to be killed.”

“You have done more than that, my son,” said his father; “you have
saved the lives of my passengers, and all the train property.”

The passengers crowded around him, and called him a brave little
boy and patted him on the shoulder.


_Wherein a brave young prince rescues his mother from a dangerous

Once upon a time a king and queen were giving a grand festival.
The queen disappeared and no one could find her. The king told his
three sons to go out and not to return until they had found their
mother. Each one had a large trumpet; the one that found the queen
was to blow a loud blast and the other two brothers would come to
him. The oldest brother went into the cities; the second brother
went into towns and villages, but the youngest brother went into
the woods.

One day as the youngest brother was climbing a mountain he put his
hand on a stone to climb over, and it moved aside. There was a
deep hole, and he believed his mother was down there, because he
could hear voices. So he blew a loud blast and his brothers came
to him. They made a basket and a long rope. The youngest brother
climbed into the basket and they let him down.

When he reached the bottom he found three houses. In the first
house he found a terrible dragon asleep before a big fire and
snoring so loudly that he shook the earth. In the second house was
an enormous dog, with eyes as big as saucers, but he was chained to
the wall. In the third house he found a beautiful young princess,
and his mother.

His mother told him the dragon had seized her in the king’s garden
and had run away with her to this place. She was glad to see her
son at first but when she thought of the terrible dragon that had
brought her there, she begged him to go away.

The prince said that he was not afraid of the dragon, and would
take them both home while the dragon was asleep. He put his mother
in the basket, jerked the rope and his brothers pulled her up. They
let the basket down again and he put the princess in, but before
they could pull her up, the dragon awoke and rushed out of the

He was so angry that his scales rattled like rain on a tin roof,
and he blew fire from his nostrils. The princess cried out with
fear, and called for the prince to jump in the basket. He leaped in
just as his brothers pulled them out of reach of the dragon’s tail.

Up they went, the dragon right after them. The brothers pulled fast
and hard but the dragon gained on them. The prince, seeing that
something had to be done, seized a handful of sand in the bottom of
the basket and threw it right into the dragon’s eyes. The dragon
roared with pain, but he stopped long enough to let the basket go
out of his reach.

As soon as the prince and the princess were out of the hole the
three brothers stopped it up with a big rock; but every now and
then the dragon roars, and people say: “Another earthquake is
coming,” but really it is only the dragon trying to get out.


_Nobody knows what he can do until he tries._

Many years ago when our country was at war with England, there
lived in a little seaport town of Massachusetts a child named
Rebecca. Rebecca’s father was the light-house keeper. A mile back
inland was a little village of people.

One day Rebecca and her little friend, Alice, were playing on the
shore, when they happened to look across the water and saw a ship
headed for their harbor. There was something about this great ship
which struck terror to these girls’ hearts, for those were trying
days when British warships would unload their soldiers and march in
upon the villagers.

Rebecca and Alice ran to the light-house tower and watched for an
hour or two, until they saw that the soldiers were going to land.

“If I were only a man!” cried Rebecca.

“What could you do?” asked Alice.

“I’d fight ’em!” cried Rebecca. “I’d use father’s old gun.”

“I wonder if there’ll be a fight?” broke in Alice.

“I don’t know. Our men will do what they can.”

“But see how quiet it is! Not a man on shore.”

“Maybe they are hiding until the soldiers come, and then we shall
hear shot and the drum. Oh, but the drum! It’s here; father brought
it yesterday to mend it,” said Alice.

“Oh, dear! what shall we do?” cried Rebecca.

“See! they have reached the shore!”

“Where’s the drum? I shall go down and beat it.”

“What good will that do?”

“Maybe it will frighten them.”

“But they will see that it is only two little girls.”

“No, we will hide behind the sand hills. Come, let’s go.”

“All right,” said Alice. “There’s the fife, I’ll get that, too.”

Away the little girls ran, scrambling behind bushes, rocks and
hills, out to the end of the point.

Drum! Drum! Drum! Squeak! Squeak! Squeak!

The soldiers stopped to listen. Again the drum sounded and the fife

“What does that mean?” asked a British soldier.

“Troops! They are coming down to hem us in. We’d better leave.”

Up over the sides of the ship they scrambled like frightened rats.
By the time the American army of two had reached the point the
great ship was speeding away out to sea. Meanwhile the villagers
had been much surprised, thinking that troops had come down from
Boston to help them and just in time, too! Imagine their surprise
to see sitting comfortably on the rocks, their drum and fife by
their sides, these two little girls, Rebecca and Alice!


_How one man was willing to sacrifice his life for his friend._

Once upon a time there were two very great friends who lived in
Syracuse. One was called Damon and the other Pythias. They were
always together. They ate together, they walked together, and often
could be seen with their arms around each other on the streets of
Syracuse. On one occasion Damon, in anger, had called the ruler of
Syracuse a tyrant, for which he was condemned to die. He asked to
go and bid his wife and child farewell. Pythias promised to stay
in prison for him and let his life be the forfeit if Damon failed
to return. Dionysius, the ruler, was only too glad, as he thought
Damon would not return, and thus he would be rid of the two friends.

Damon, after a long weary journey, had only a short while to stay
with his family. When he called for his horse to start on his
return trip, his slave, who loved him and did not want him to die,

“Master, your horse is dead.”

“Murderer!” cried Damon. “You have not only killed my horse, you
have killed my friend!”

Damon started back to Syracuse on foot, and when he came to a
raging river he threw himself into the water and swam across
although his strength was nearly spent. After struggling along,
weary and worn, he met a man riding a fine horse. He offered to buy
the horse, but the man said: “No, I need my horse.” Whereupon Damon
pulled him off, and throwing him a purse well filled with gold,
rode off at high speed to Syracuse.

The time for the return of Damon came and he had not yet appeared.
Pythias was ready to give his life for his friend--well knowing
that nothing but sickness or death would have kept him.

Pythias was led up to be executed when suddenly a shout arose from
the people who were watching the road; the thunder of a horse’s
heels was heard, and Damon rode into the crowd. He leaped from his
foam-covered horse, crying:

“Forgive me, Pythias! I could not get here sooner--but I am in

“Oh, why did you return, my friend? I had hoped that some accident
had detained you and that my life might be given for yours,” said

When the people saw how devoted were the two friends, each willing
to give up his life for the other, they cried with a thousand
voices: “Pardon for Damon! Pardon for Damon.”

Dionysius ordered the prisoner released, for he, himself, was moved
by this spectacle of devotion.

“Accept, Damon and Pythias, my life to link with yours in
friendship’s chain,” said the tyrant.

And thus Damon, Pythias, and Dionysius became the closest of


_He who is without fear can do marvelous things. The faint heart is
defeated before the battle begins._

Many years ago there lived in the Netherlands a king named
Siegmund. When he died he gave his broken sword to his queen
telling her to give it to his little son when he became a man. Now,
this was a magic sword which had come from Odin, and which no one
but Odin could break. Odin had appeared in battle and had shattered
the sword in Siegmund’s hand, and had wounded him to death. The
name of the sword was “Gram,” which means Wrath.

The young prince was named Siegfried. He grew up to be a man of
great strength and was without fear. No other could handle a sword
so well as he. When he was old enough his mother gave him his
father’s broken sword and took him to a cunning smith who could
make swords so sharp that they would cut iron and never turn an
edge. The smith was named Mimer.

Mimer told Siegfried strange stories of the dwarfs under the earth,
and of the golden treasures of the Nibelings guarded by a dragon,
and of a helmet which made the wearer invisible, and of a ring that
gave the owner power over all the earth. The dragon’s name was
Fafnir, and he was very dreadful. His eyes shot fire, and smoke
came out of his nostrils, and his tail could cut down a forest tree
at one blow. His tongue was like a sword, and his claws were sharp
as steel.

“I have no fear of the dragon,” said Siegfried. “What is fear?”
At this Mimer started up, for there was an old legend that said
the dragon should be slain by a youth who had no fear. Mimer and
Siegfried began to make a sword. They mended the broken sword of
Siegfried’s father so well that when Siegfried struck the anvil he
split it half in two, but the edge was not dulled. Then it cut a
lock of wool that lay upon it, by its own weight. It was indeed a
sword fit to slay the terrible Fafnir.

They went to a great hollow in the mountain side and waited for
Fafnir to come down. Siegfried blew his horn so loudly that the
echoes rang far into the valley. The dragon heard him and came
crashing down his path. He was on his way to the river. He saw
Siegfried: “Ah!” said he, “I was looking for drink, but I also find
food!” At that he made a lunge at Siegfried.

But Siegfried was not to be caught. As the dragon leaped across
the chasm, the young prince jumped into it, and thrust his sword
up from below into the body of the monster. The sword pierced the
heart of the dragon and he lay dead across the chasm. The dragon’s
blood touched Siegfried’s lips and suddenly he felt a wonderful
change. He heard the voice of a bird telling him where the treasure
was. He followed the voice, found the treasure, the helmet, and the
ring of which Mimer had told him, and was now ready for the many
adventures which befell him.


_The great lawgiver of Israel saved from destruction by the
protection of the king’s daughter._

The people of Israel had been living in Egypt for a long time, and
Pharaoh, the king, made them labor very hard. Indeed, they were
enslaved and were made to do the hardest kind of work. Joseph
was no longer there to help them, for he had been dead many years
before Pharaoh became king.

Pharaoh made the people of Israel build treasure houses to hold
grain. He made them work with brick and mortar, and in the fields,
and do all manner of services. He set task masters over them to
beat them if they refused to work or did not labor fast enough.

Finally he gave an order that all boy children should be killed
as soon as they were born, but that the girl children should be
allowed to live. He did that because he was afraid to have too
many Hebrew men in the kingdom since they might rise up and rebel
against his cruelty.

But there was a Hebrew woman who had a beautiful little boy, and
she hid him until she made a little ark or cradle of bulrushes, and
daubed it with mud and pitch.

She then took the little boy and wrapped him warmly and put him
in the cradle and hid him in the reeds and flags along the banks
of the river. She hoped to keep him there in case the officers of
Pharaoh came to her house to see if there were any male children
whom they could destroy.

The boy’s sister was set to watch the cradle to see that nothing
happened to the little boy. One day the daughter of Pharaoh came
down to the river to bathe. She and her maidens walked along the
side of the river until they came to the place where the cradle was

Seeing the cradle, the daughter of Pharaoh sent one of her maidens
to bring it to her. When she opened the cradle the little boy
cried, and Pharaoh’s daughter felt very sorry for him. She said:
“This is one of the Hebrew children.”

The boy’s sister came up and said:

“Shall I go and call a nurse of the Hebrew women; that she may
nurse the child for thee?” And Pharaoh’s daughter said: “Go,”
and the little maid went and called the boy’s mother. Pharaoh’s
daughter said:

“Take this child away and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy
wages.” And the woman took the child and nursed it.

And the child grew, and after a while the mother brought him to
Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son, and she called his name
Moses, because she said: “I drew him out of the water.”

Moses grew to be a great and wise man. He learned all the laws of
Egypt, and when he was old became the leader of the Hebrews when
they left Egypt to go back to their home in Canaan.


_The tyrant and the oppressor will always come to destruction, and
the righteous will be protected._

Moses became a great and wise man in Egypt. The Hebrews, his
people, were held in bondage by the wicked Pharaoh. The Lord told
Moses to go to Pharaoh and tell him to let the people go into the
wilderness to serve Him, but Pharaoh hardened his heart and would
not let the Hebrews go.

Then the Lord told Moses to punish the Egyptians.

The first thing that Moses did was to stretch his staff over the
rivers of Egypt, and the waters turned to blood, and all the fish
died and the people had no water to drink. But Pharaoh would not
let the Hebrews go.

Then Moses smote the land and a great plague of frogs came. They
jumped into the houses, into the beds, the ovens, and the troughs
of the people. Everywhere were the frogs. But Pharaoh would not let
the people go.

Then Moses smote the dust of the land and all the ground turned
to lice. They crawled over and beast everywhere and infested the
houses of the people. But Pharaoh would not let the Hebrews go.

Then Moses brought on a plague of flies; then a disease of all the
cattle so that they died; then a plague of hail that beat down all
the crops; then a plague of locusts that ate up every green thing
in the land; then a plague of darkness that covered the land so
thick that it could almost be felt. Still Pharaoh’s heart was hard.

At last the Lord told Moses that He would have all the first-born
of the Egyptians slain if Pharaoh still refused to let the people
go. To protect the Hebrew children he told the Hebrews to sprinkle
the blood of a lamb on their door posts. When the destroying angel
came he passed over the houses of the Hebrews where the blood was
and slew all the first-born of man and beast in Egypt. There was
not a house of the Egyptians where there was not one dead.

Pharaoh now begged Moses and the Egyptians to be gone for fear that
the plagues would utterly destroy the Egyptians and all their land.
So the hosts of Hebrews were gathered into camp and started into
the wilderness, and they were near the Red Sea.

Now, Pharaoh, as soon as the Hebrews were gone, repented of letting
them go and followed them with his horses and chariots. When Moses
saw the Egyptians coming he stretched forth his hand over the Red
Sea and the Red Sea opened and the Hebrews passed over on dry land
to the other side.

As soon as Pharaoh saw the Hebrews safe on the other side and the
waters of the Red Sea piled up so as to make dry land, he drove in
with all his men and chariots to do as the Hebrews had done. But
when all the Egyptians were well in, Moses stretched forth his hand
again, and the waters closed over Pharaoh and his hosts, and they
were drowned, every man and beast.


_Even a little child can bring courage and consolation to those who
toil in the world’s affairs._

There was a little girl named Pippa who worked in a great mill
where they made silk. All day she worked in the mill, winding silk
on the spools. Sometimes she looked out of the windows and saw
the woods and sky, and then she would sigh for the birds and the
flowers. Sometimes she would see a lovely lady go by in a silk
dress, and then she would say: “We helped make that dress,” and
then she would feel very proud of the great mill.

There was one day in the year that Pippa had for her very own. She
could go out in the woods and gather flowers and hear the brook
ripple along, and she could sing just as the birds did in the
trees. When this day came Pippa was a very happy little girl.

The time was coming for Pippa’s holiday. The night before she
prayed that the day might be gentle and sunny. The next morning she
woke early and saw that the sun was bright and the sky was blue.
She clapped her hands with joy and began to sing. She sang to the
sunshine; she sang to the sky and to the flowers. She sang as she
put on her clothes and even hummed her song as she ate her morning
meal. Her heart was singing all the time, and she could not keep
from letting the song flow out of her mouth.

The song was a wonderful one. It was low and sweet and no one had
ever heard it before. It sounded like birds singing, only her song
had words to it. Pippa sang her song as she went down the street of
her little village. Everybody stood still to listen and then they
would smile and say:

“Pippa passes! Bless her heart for her cheerful song!”

A poet was writing a song, and when he heard Pippa pass he played
the strain so sweetly that he set the whole air singing. The
children heard her and began to dance. A sick man heard her and
felt better. A lame man heard her and tried to throw away his
crutches. A blind man at the corner tried to forget he was blind,
and wanted to run after the wonderful song.

Out beyond the village men were building a castle. A young man was
making the staircase and was discouraged because it was only the
steps for people to tread on. Pippa passed and sang her song. The
young builder listened and then went back to do his work gladly and
properly. In the next house lived a man who was called on to make
a great sacrifice. He hesitated until he heard Pippa pass singing.
Then he leaped on his horse and was gone to do a great deed.

Pippa sang all that glorious day. She did not know what her song
had done for others. When she lay down to sleep she said:

“I should have done something to-day besides sing,” but those who
heard her thought that Pippa had done a wonderful thing.


_In which a little boy has some adventures with his gun and his

Louis had worked for his master for three years and had only
cast-off clothes to wear. One day he went to him and said:

“I will have to go out into the world and earn my living--if you
think I have earned anything here, pay me.”

“Upon my soul,” said the man, “I will give you only three pennies.”

Louis felt quite rich for he had never had a penny in all his life.
He started off, but while seated upon a rock up came the ugliest
man he had ever seen, and asked for something because he was hungry.

“I have only three pennies, but I will give you one,” said Louis.
Stopping to rest again, another man larger and uglier than the
first asked for help, and Louis gave him a penny. Again a man
larger and uglier than the others asked aid, and Louis gave him his
last penny. Then the man changed into a brownie and told Louis that
for his unselfishness he would grant him three wishes.

“I wish for a gun that will hit everything I shoot at.” In a moment
the gun came through the air.

“I wish for a fiddle that when I play everybody will dance.” Down
came the fiddle.

“I wish that whenever I ask for anything it will be given me.”

“You may have it,” said the brownie, and disappeared.

Louis went into a store and the proprietors gave him clothes and a
fur overcoat. At a livery stable they were delighted to give him
a pair of horses and a carriage. Driving up the street he met the

“I have a gun with which I can shoot the bird off the church
steeple,” said Louis.

“If you shoot it I will go into the briars and pick it up,” said
the policeman. Bang! down fell the bird, the policeman went for
it and Louis began to play his fiddle. The policeman danced, and
danced, and Louis played on until the policeman was quite worn out.
Then Louis lay down and went to sleep.

While Louis slept, the policeman put handcuffs on him and put him
in prison. Next morning he was brought up before the judge, who
sentenced him to jail. He asked to be allowed to play his violin.
The people insisted that his request be granted, but the policeman
begged to be tied to a post so that he should not dance any more.
Louis began to play. The people danced; the judge danced off the
bench; the policeman bumped his head and knocked his feet so hard
against the post that the judge was obliged to set Louis free so
that he would stop playing, and the people could stop dancing.


_Wherein it appears that an absent minded king forgot the duty in
hand while he was thinking of something else._

A long time ago there lived in England a good king who was named
Alfred. He was very wise and brave, and did so much for his people
that he is known as Alfred the Great.

In those days kings had many wars with their enemies. The king
always led his own men in battle, and was up in the very front
ranks where the fighting was the worst.

At the time we are telling of, the Danes had come over to England,
and had fought a fierce battle with King Alfred, and had scattered
his army far and wide, so that the king had to flee through woods
and swamps in order to save his life.

Alfred escaped from his pursuers, and late in the day came to the
hut of a poor wood-cutter, deep in the forest. He was very hungry
and was weary, and muddy and did not look much like a king. In fact
he looked more like a beggar than anything else. He asked the old
woman in the hut to give him something to eat, not letting her know
who he was.

“Very well,” she said, “I am going out to milk the cow, and if you
watch those cakes on the hearth while I am gone, I will let you
have one. Watch so that they do not burn.” And she went on out to
milk the cow.

Alfred sat down in front of the fire, and the cakes were cooking on
the hearth. He watched them for awhile, and then he began to think
about his army, and his people, and the Danes, and to wonder if he
would ever get his soldiers together again. He forgot all about his
hunger, and all about the cakes on the hearth. He even forgot he
was in the wood-cutter’s hut, for his mind was on his own affairs,
and they were very bad indeed.

The one cake began to burn, then another cake began to burn and
then all the cakes began to burn. Still Alfred paid no attention
to them, but kept on looking into the fire and thinking about the
enemies of England.

After awhile the old woman smelt the burning cakes. “Mercy on me,”
she said, “that man has let the cakes burn,” and she set down the
milk pail, and ran into the house where the king sat before the
fire paying no attention whatever.

“You lazy fellow!” she cried, “see what has happened! The cakes are
not fit to eat. You are very trifling indeed, and are too lazy to
be trusted.” The king laughed and went to bed without any supper.

“Perhaps I deserved that scolding,” he said. “Even a king should
pay attention to the little things of life.” At any rate it was not
long before he had gathered his soldiers and had driven the Danes
out of his kingdom.


_Wherein gifts come to a boy by obedience to his mother; also
showing that he was a careless boy to allow his gifts to be stolen._

Rudolph’s mother sent him with the last money she had to purchase
flour to make a little bread. The North Wind blew the flour away.
The mother sent him to the North Wind’s cave.

“Mr. Boreas,” said Rudolph, “please give us back our flour or we
shall surely die.”

“I have it not,” the North Wind growled, “but I will give you this
table-cloth which has a magic charm; you have but to spread it out
and every dish which you command will appear upon it.”

Rudolph thanked the North Wind, and on his return home stopped to
spend the night at an inn. There he showed his magic table-cloth.
While Rudolph slept the inn-keeper crept to his room and stole the
table-cloth, putting another in its place.

Reaching home, his mother doubted that the table-cloth possessed a
magic charm, and upon spreading it out, Rudolph discovered that it
was nothing but a common table-cloth.

His old mother sent Rudolph back to the North Wind’s cave,
insisting that he should return the flour.

“I have it not,” growled the North Wind, “but I will give you this
little goat instead. You have but to tell it this: ‘Make money,
master Bill,’ and he will give you golden coin as many as you will.”

When Rudolph reached the inn he foolishly showed the magic goat,
and commanded that golden coins fall from its mouth. The inn-keeper
crept to the shed and stole the goat, slyly placing another there.
Reaching home and finding that it was an ordinary goat, his mother
insisted that he go again to the cave of the North Wind and for the
third time demand the return of the flour.

“I have it not,” growled the North Wind, “nor can I give you
anything except this cudgel which hath a magic charm. You have only
to say: ‘Good cudgel, hit away,’ and it will obey you until you bid
it stop.”

He showed the magic staff at the inn and placing it upon a table
pretended to sleep. The host crept into the room to steal the
stick, but Rudolph exclaimed: “Stay! I see what you would be at!
Good cudgel, hit away!”

The cudgel thumped about the inn-keeper’s ears until he cried for
mercy, but Rudolph would not command it to stop beating him until
he had brought back the magic table-cloth and the magic goat.

Returning home his mother thought it was indeed well the North Wind
stole the flour. Spreading the table-cloth every dish appeared as
they called for it, and they invited their neighbors to enjoy the
feast. Each time the magic goat said “Baa!” golden coins would fall
from his mouth, and Rudolph became very rich. He built a beautiful
home and placed the cudgel behind the front door. Whenever any one
comes to steal from him the magic club drives the rogue away.



_In which a loving family has a happy Christmas upon small means._

It will surprise you very much to hear that there was once a man
who did not like Christmas. His name was Scrooge. Mr. Scrooge had
no wife and children and Christmas meant nothing to him. He hated
the noise, and the merriment, and thought the time was wasted. He
was a very unhappy man because he had nobody to love and loved

Well, it was Christmas Eve, a very cold and foggy one, and Mr.
Scrooge, having given his poor clerk permission to spend Christmas
Day at home, locked up his office and went home himself in a very
bad temper. He got into bed and had some wonderful and disagreeable
dreams, to which we will leave him while we see how Tiny Tim, the
son of the poor clerk, spent Christmas Day.

The name of the clerk was Bob Cratchit. He had a wife and six
children. Tiny Tim, the youngest, was a weak and delicate little
cripple, and for this reason was dearly loved by his family.
Whenever he could spare the time Bob Cratchit delighted to take
his little boy on his shoulder to see the shops and the people, and
to-day he had taken him to church for the first time.

“Whatever has made your precious father and your brother, Tiny Tim,
so late for dinner!” exclaimed Mrs. Cratchit. “The dinner is ready
to be dished up.”

“Here they are now!” cried Belinda. In came Bob Cratchit with Tiny
Tim on his shoulders. Then out ran two of the boys and hustled Tiny
Tim out to the wash-house, that he might hear the pudding singing
on the copper.

“And how did Tiny Tim behave?” asked Mrs. Cratchit.

“As good as gold, and better,” replied his father. Just then his
little crutch was heard on the floor, and back came Tiny Tim to sit
before the fire, and wait while his brothers and sisters brought
in the dinner. Such a bustle ensued, and such a dinner! Bob took
Tiny Tim by him at the table; then the plates were put on and grace
said. There was a breathless pause as Mrs. Cratchit plunged the
carving knife into the breast of the goose. Never was there such a
goose, and the potatoes and apple sauce made your mouth water.

When the plates were cleared off the pudding was brought in,
steaming hot, looking like a speckled cannon ball, with Christmas
holly. Oh, such a wonderful pudding!

Bob Cratchit said it was the greatest success ever achieved by his
wife. The dinner finished and all cleared off, apples and oranges
were put upon the table, and a shovel of chestnuts placed on the
fire, sputtering and cracking noisily.

Then Bob Cratchit proposed: “A Merry Christmas to us all, my dears,
God bless us!” which all the family re-echoed. “God bless us every
one!” said Tiny Tim the last of all.



_In which a miser has a change of heart and has a happy Christmas
after all._

While the Cratchits were having their merry Christmas dinner,
old Mr. Scrooge had gone home and gone to bed. “All this is
foolishness,” he said, “and a waste of time and money. I wish there
was no such thing as Christmas,” and with that he went to sleep.

Mr. Scrooge had some disagreeable dreams on Christmas Eve. In one
of them he dreamed that a Christmas spirit showed him his clerk’s
home. He saw them all gathered around the fire, and heard them
drink his health, and Tiny Tim sing a song. Not a word of abuse for
Mr. Scrooge who had been so hard on Bob Cratchit.

How Mr. Scrooge spent Christmas Day we do not know, but on
Christmas night he had more dreams and again he saw his poor
clerk’s home. In his dream he saw the mother was busy, and as she
sewed tears dropped on her sewing now and then. The children were
sad, and up stairs was the father with his face hidden in his hands
as he sat beside a little bed on which lay the figure of Tiny Tim,
white and still.

“My little child--my precious child!” sobbed the poor father. Then
into the ear of Mr. Scrooge whispered the dream spirit:

“Tiny Tim died because his father was too poor to give him the
necessary things to make him well. YOU kept him poor.”

The father kissed the cold little face, then went down stairs, took
his hat and went out with a wistful glance at the little crutch in
the corner.

Mr. Scrooge saw all of this and many more strange and sad things;
but wonderful to relate, he awoke the next morning feeling like a
different man--feeling as he had never felt before.

“I hope everybody had a Merry Christmas, and here’s a Happy New
Year to all the world!”

Poor Bob Cratchit was late the next morning and expected to be
roundly abused. But no such thing. His master shook hands with
him and told him he was going to raise his salary, and asked
affectionately after Tiny Tim. Bob could scarcely believe his eyes
or ears, but it was all true. Mr. Scrooge had had a change of heart
and mind. His dreams had shown him that he was wrong, and that
Christmas was a good time after all.

Such doings as the Cratchits had on New Year’s day had never been
before in their home. Mr. Scrooge had sent such a turkey for
dinner! Tiny Tim had his share, too; for Tiny Tim did not die.

Mr. Scrooge became a second father to him from that day; he wanted
for nothing, and grew up strong and healthy. Mr. Scrooge loved him,
and well he might, for was it not Tiny Tim who had unconsciously
touched his hard heart through his Christmas dream, causing him to
become a good and happy man?


_In which is told the story of the Christ child, the annunciation
to the shepherds, and the adoration of the wise men._

In the distant country of Judea lies the little town of Bethlehem.
It is five miles south of Jerusalem. There were such queer little
homes; such narrow streets; and only one large inn. Down these
narrow streets all day crowds of people had passed. People who had
once lived in this little town of Bethlehem and had moved away were
coming back to pay taxes. It was late in the evening. The little
streets were almost deserted. The inn was full, and the tired
travelers were making ready for the night.

No one noticed a man and a woman that came very slowly. The man
had a heavy beard and wore long white robes, and led a donkey
with a woman sitting on it. How tired the woman looked! But there
seemed to be a light shining from her eyes, and one marveled at
her beauty. The man’s name was Joseph, the woman’s name was Mary.
Arriving at the inn Joseph knocked and was told that there was no
room. So creeping wearily to a little stable behind the inn, they,
too, made ready for the night.

In the early hours of the morning a son was born to Mary and
Joseph, a baby whom they called Jesus.

On this very night that Joseph and Mary journeyed to Bethlehem,
shepherds were watching their sheep on the hills. Drowsy and sleepy
were they when suddenly the angel of the Lord appeared, and a
bright light shone upon them. They were much frightened.

An angel said to them: “Fear not, for, behold, I bring you good
tidings of great joy which shall be to all people. In Bethlehem is
born this day a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. You will find the
babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger.” Then the sky
was filled with voices saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on
earth peace, good will to men.”

When the song ended, the angel disappeared. Then the shepherds
hurried to Bethlehem to find the Christ Child. It was still dark.
The people and animals were sleeping. The inn was closed. The
shepherds went to the stable beyond, and there they found the
Christ Child wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger.

Then a strange procession entered the town. People looking from
their windows were curious to know whence came those men. Wise men
of the East riding on camels were they, following what seemed to be
a brilliant light in the shape of a star. And now the light ceased
to move and they stood looking in a crude stable door. The camels
kneeled, the wise men got off, and went into the stable to see the
little babe.

The wise men bowed low before the baby. Then they went out and
returned with costly presents for the little Jesus. There were gold
and sweet perfumes. These were gifts that people gave to kings. The
wise men had taken a long journey across the hot sands to bring
these gifts to the little Jesus, for they knew he was the Messiah.


_It is very foolish to wish to be different from the way we were
made. The wise course is to improve the gifts we have, and to be

A little pine tree grew in the forest. It was not happy because it
did not have leaves like the maple, oaks, and other trees that grew

“Why must I have only green needles on my branches?” it sighed.
“How I wish that I might have leaves of shining gold and be
different from all the other trees in the forest.”

Now, the angel of the forest heard the little pine tree, and that
night while it slept, its wish came true. The next morning the
little pine tree had leaves of shining gold, and was very happy.

“How beautiful I am!” it thought. “What must the other trees think
of me now!”

How foolish was the little pine tree! In the night a man came to
the woods. He picked every one of the gold leaves and put them in a

“What shall I do?” cried the little tree. “I see now that it will
not do to have leaves of gold. If I could only have leaves of
glass, I should be happy again.”

The angel of the forest, who was listening, again granted the
little tree’s wish, and the next morning when it awoke its branches
were covered with leaves of clear, shining glass. Again the little
tree was happy, but not for long. After a while the sunbeams hid
and clouds gathered in the sky. Lower and lower they hung, and
by and by the rain came. How the wind did blow! The glass leaves
shook in the wind, and struck against the branches and against one
another. Soon the leaves were shattered, and little bits of glass
covered the ground. Not a leaf was left on the branches!

“Ah, me!” sighed the little tree again. “Perhaps I should not wish
to be better than the other trees. If I could only have green
leaves like theirs, I should be happy.”

A third time the angel of the forest granted the little tree’s
wish. When morning came it was covered with big shiny green leaves.
By and by a goat came along and ate every one of the nice juicy
leaves for his dinner.

“Dear me!” said the little tree. “Perhaps it is best after all
that I have only my green needles! If I could only have them back!”

While it slept that night the angel of the forest touched it and
the next morning it awoke to find long green needles covering its
branches. “I like the needles better than the gold or the glass,
or the green leaves,” said the pine tree. The little pine never
complained again. The birds were happy, too, for in the winter it
was the little pine tree that kept them safe and warm.


_In which we see that it is harder to conquer one’s own ambitions
than it is to slay a dragon._

The Knights of St. John were both priests and knights. Their badge
was a white cross which they wore upon their mantles, over their
shining arms. The head knight was called the Grand Master.

In a marsh lived a terrible dragon. Its head was larger than a
horse’s head. It had a huge mouth, very sharp teeth and enormous
eyes. It ate the sheep and cattle when they came for water.
Sometimes shepherd boys were missing and even men were devoured by
the dragon.

Many of the knights had gone out against this monster, but its body
was covered with such thick scales that swords and arrows could not
hurt it, and not one of the men came back alive. At last the Grand
Master ordered that no one else should go.

There was one young knight who wanted very much to try to kill the
dragon. He had once hunted for the monster, but when he saw it, had
come back without striking a blow. Although the dragon had lashed
its tail so fiercely that he could not get near it, he had noticed
that the scales did not cover the under part of the body.

Now he had a plan. He did not tell it to the Grand Master. He only
asked that he might go to his father’s home. There he made a dragon
which looked exactly like the real dragon. He made the under part
hollow, and filled it with food. He trained two fierce dogs to fly
at this part of the dragon to get the food. When the animals were
sufficiently trained, he went back to fight the dragon.

He knew he ought not to disobey the Grand Master, and that he
had no right to fight the dragon, but he could not resist the
temptation to have the people say: “Behold the Dragon Slayer,” and
so he took the two dogs and went forth to battle.

There was a terrific struggle, the horse became frightened and the
knight had to jump off. The dragon knocked him down with his fierce
tail. Then the dogs fastened themselves upon the dragon. The
knight got on his feet again, and while the dogs were fighting the
dragon, the knight stuck his sword into the dragon’s body. It gave
a great groan and fell on its side dead.

The people shouted with joy as they went to tell the Grand Master.
When the Grand Master saw the young knight, he looked grave and
said: “Thou art brave, but a knight who wears the cross should
learn a greater thing. He should not love his own way, but should
be humble and obedient. Be gone from my sight!”

The crowd was surprised at this and cried out against the unjust
sentence. The knight bowed his head in shame, for he knew that
he had not obeyed the Grand Master. Sadly he took off his mantle
and walked away. Then the Grand Master called him back and said:
“Now, thou art worthy, thou hast overcome a worse enemy than the



_One should always be helpful and respectful to the aged and
infirm, regardless of any return or reward._

Once upon a time there was an old woman who lived with her flock
of geese, in a small cottage in the woods. Every day she went to
the meadows and gathered a big bundle of grass to carry home to the
geese. She was very polite to everybody and said “Good morning,”
but nobody ever helped her carry her bundle.

One morning a lively young fellow saw the old woman.

“Ah, my good woman,” said the young man, “let me help you with the
bundle; my father is a rich count, but I am strong and willing to
help the poor.” The old woman thanked him and the young man lifted
the bundle to his shoulders and started home.

The bundle was very heavy and grew heavier every step he took. He
could hardly carry it, and tried to set it down, but to his dismay
he found that it had grown to his back and he could not get rid of
it. The old woman laughed and danced around as lively as a young
girl. When they reached the foot of the hill the old woman jumped
on the bundle and told the young man to hurry up for she wanted to
get home to feed the geese.

The young man staggered up the hill carrying the bundle and the old
woman. At last they came to the cottage. The old woman jumped down
and took the bundle off his shoulders and made the young man lie
down on a bench in front of the cottage. It was cool and refreshing
on the bench and the young man was tired.

Pretty soon the geese came home making all sorts of noise, for they
wanted the grass. A girl was driving them who was very ugly and
brown. The old woman said:

“Go inside, my daughter, for this young man might fall in love with
you.” But the young man laughed and said:

“Not very likely, for she is too old and is not at all pretty.” The
girl said nothing but went into the house.

By and by the old woman came out and said to the young man:

“You may go now, but you can have this box. It will bring you good
luck,” and she gave him a small box cut out of a single emerald. He
put it in his pocket and went on down the path, glad to get rid of
the old woman, her geese, and goose girl.

After three days the young man came to a large city and asked to
see the king and queen. They led him into the palace and he fell
down on his knees before the queen. “I am the son of a count and
have lost my way home. I pray you to believe me and to accept this
present,” said he, and gave her the box.

The queen was delighted with the young man and the beautiful box.
She took the box in her own hands and opened it. She saw it was
full of beautiful pearls. Then she began to cry as if her heart
would break, and the king was so angry he ordered the young man
away. We shall find out to-morrow what she was crying about.



_No matter what misfortune overtakes us we should never forget the
teachings of our good parents._

The queen stopped crying after a while and made the king send for
the young man. She then sent everybody from the room and made the
young count tell the story of how he came in possession of the
emerald box. When he had finished the queen cried again.

“Why do you cry?” asked the young count.

The queen told him that she had a beautiful daughter years ago who
had been lost in the forest, and that they had never been able to
find her. She wore a large emerald around her neck and pearls on
her arms. Perhaps wild beasts had devoured her, or an old witch
had stolen her and changed her into some hideous form. The queen
said the emerald and the pearls belonged to her lost child and
begged the young count to lead her to the place where the old woman
lived, for there, perhaps, she might find her daughter.

The next day they all started out. The young count went on ahead
to show them the way. He went fast because he was strong, and soon
came near the old woman’s cottage. It was now dark and he climbed
a tree to keep wild beasts from reaching him. Late in the night
the moon came out and it was so bright that he could see anything.
Before long he could see the goose girl coming down to the well to
get water.

“Ah, here comes one witch! we shall soon have the other,” said the
young count to himself. But the young girl stopped by the brook and
took off her mask and let her hair fall down over her shoulders. He
then saw how beautiful she was, with skin white as milk, and hair
as golden as ripe wheat.

The young girl bathed her face and hands and put on her mask again,
and tied up her hair and looked old and brown and ugly. She then
went back toward the cottage and the young count climbed down from
the tree and followed her. When he reached the cottage, he saw the
old woman cleaning the floors and windows, and brushing down the
cobwebs. The geese were picking the grass from the walks, and he
could hear the goose girl in her room putting on her clothes, for
it was daylight again and soon the king and queen would come.

After the sun rose the king and queen came to the cottage. The old
woman asked them in and the young count with them. She called the
goose girl, and when she came in she no longer wore the mask and
the old dress, but was a beautiful young woman in a dress as fine
as the queen wore. The queen knew her to be her daughter, and threw
her arms around her and kissed her. The king kissed her, and the
young count kissed her, too. Then the old woman stamped her foot
and the cottage became a palace, and the geese became serving men,
and the goose girl and the young count were married at once, and
are living there to this day.


_One must think for himself after all, for no instructions can be
completely definite._

Fred was a little boy who always did what his mother told him to
do, but because he did not “put on his thinking cap” he was called
“Foolish Fred.” His mother said: “My son, go to the store and buy
me a dozen eggs.”

“Yes, mother,” said Fred, and away he went. He put the eggs in the
pockets of his trousers and sat down upon a stone. Of course we
know what happened. His mother said:

“My son, you should not have done so; you should have put the eggs
in a basket and covered them with cool green leaves.”

Next day his mother sent him to buy some needles. He put them in a
basket, and of course we know they did not stay there.

“Mother,” said Fred, “I did just as you told me, but the silly
things fell through the basket.”

“Oh, my son!” said his mother, “you should not have done so, you
should have stuck the needles in the lapels of your coat.”

Next day Fred went to the store to buy a pound of butter. He stuck
the butter carefully in the lapels of his coat; being tired he sat
on a stone to rest and fell asleep. His mother threw up her hands
when she saw melted butter all over him.

“Mother,” said Fred, “I did just as you told me, but the silly sun
shone so hot that the butter melted.”

“My son,” said his mother, “you should have put it in a bucket and
put the lid on securely.”

The following day she sent Fred to market to buy a pig. He
purchased a nice, fat pig, put it in a little bucket and started
home. The pig objected to such close quarters, kicked the lid off
the bucket and ran away. He told his mother he did just as she told
him, but the silly pig ran away.

“My son,” said his mother, “you should have tied one foot with a
strong rope and led him home.”

She sent Fred to the Intelligence Office to hire a servant girl.
Seeing a strong Irish girl, he stepped up behind her, took a rope
from his pocket and tied it around her ankle, thus trying to lead
her home with him. The girl indignantly jerked the rope away, boxed
his ears soundly, and went away.

“Mother,” said Fred, “I did just as you told me.”

“My son,” said his mother, “you should not have done so. You should
have raised your cap, spoken to her kindly, placed some money in
her hand, and she would have come with you gladly.”

The following day she sent Fred to buy a cow. He selected a cow,
raised his hat, spoke to her kindly, and stooping down tried to
place some money in her right hoof. The angry cow lowered her head,
and lifting Fred upon her horns tossed him so high that he only
stopped when he reached the moon.


_To accomplish great deeds one must have knowledge as well as

There were once six Swabians who went traveling in search of
adventures. They thought themselves very valiant and knew they were
going to create a great stir in the world. They carried a long pole
to protect themselves with, which they all grasped, with Schultz,
the boldest, in front. As they passed along the road a hornet flew
out from behind a bush and hummed in a most warlike manner. Buzz!
Buzz! Buzz!

Schultz let go of the pole and trembled with terror. “Listen!”
cried he. “I hear a trumpet somewhere.” Hans also let go and cried:
“I smell fire and brimstone!” Then the hornet stung Jacky on the
end of his nose, and he ran across the fields crying: “Fire!
Murder!” until he ran all the way home.

The others took up the pole and marched along. A cat ran out from a
hedge and frightened Hans so he jumped over the hedge and lit on a
rake. The rake flew up and hit him on the head. He cried out: “The
enemy has attacked us! Run! run!” Then he ran home.

The others lifted the pole and went on as before. As they turned
the road an old woodpecker began to drum on a tree. “Tap! Tap!
Tap!” “What is that?” cried Schultz. “Surely some one is loading a
gun.” They all stopped and listened. The old woodpecker went “Tap!
tap! tap!” Then Schultz dropped his hold on the pole and said:
“They are getting ready to fire! I must get out of this.” And so he
took to his heels.

Then the others took up the pole and started down the road. Before
long they heard an old owl away off in the woods cry “Whoo! Whoo!”
They stopped and Michael dropped his end of the pole. His hair
stood up on end. “Do you hear that?” he cried. “They are saying
‘Whom shall we eat first?’ I tell you they are giants!” Then he ran
home so fast that he fell over the doorstep.

The others took up the pole and went along looking for adventures.
Soon they came to a tall tree where they decided to rest. They
set down the pole and began to talk about how brave they were.
Just then a big acorn fell on Marli’s head. “Mercy on me! they are
shooting at me from the top of that tree. I must hurry home!” And
before the others could stop him he began to run home so fast that
he fell headlong through the window.

There was nobody left now but Jorgli. So he took the pole and
began to fish. By and by he caught a frog and took him home. “Ah
ha,” he cried, “I am the only one who has had an adventure. See
this monster! It took me an hour to overcome him!” The others were
much ashamed that Jorgli was the only one who had conquered a real


_A nonsense story for amusement showing the strange adventures of
three homely articles._

A dish of beans was cooking on the stove. The old woman had made a
fire and it was burning brightly, and the beans were getting hotter
and hotter. The pot was full to the top, and soon one bean jumped
out and fell on the floor near a straw. The fire crackled and
sputtered and a live coal popped out and fell down near the bean
and the straw.

“Where did you come from?” they asked the live coal.

“I came out of the fire,” said the coal; “if I had not popped out
just when I did I should have been burned to ashes by this time.”

“You see,” said the straw, “the old woman put a lot of us under
the fire, and the rest are gone by this time. I am glad I fell on
the floor. Come, let us travel in the world and see what we can

So the bean, the coal, and the straw started out into the world.
The straw was slender and could take long steps, but the coal and
the bean were short and were soon out of breath.

“Let us stop by this brook and rest awhile,” said the coal. “I am
really hotter than I should be--see how I am glowing!” They all
agreed and sat down by the brook for the coal to cool off a little.

They decided to cross the brook to see what was on the other side.
There was no bridge, and they could not find any log which they
could use. They thought for a long time. At last the bean said:

“I must be moving, for if I stay here much longer I shall sprout
and take root, and then I can never get away.” So the bean got up
and rolled over a few times just to harden its skin.

The coal was almost asleep, but the straw blew in its face which
started out a red color in its cheeks, so that it woke up at once.
Then the straw said:

“I will lay myself across the stream, and then you cross over me;
but be very careful.” So the straw made a bridge of itself across
the stream.

The coal started over, but being hot it was very much frightened
at the water and stopped in the middle of the straw. When the coal
stopped the straw began to burn and soon was half in two. Plump!
went the coal into the water and was drowned. The straw floated on
down the stream in two pieces.

The bean saw all this and laughed so that it split wide open. A
tailor came along and sewed the bean up with black thread. The bean
thanked the kind tailor for this; but to this very day all beans
have black seams down their backs.


_One had better hold on to what he has, than be forever seeking to
exchange it hoping to better his condition._

Hans had worked for seven long years and had not been paid a cent.
So one day he said to his master, “Give me all you owe me, for my
time is up, and I wish to see my mother.”

So his master paid him all in silver. It was a big bag, as large
as a cabbage, and very heavy for Hans to carry; but he tied up the
bag and slung it over his shoulder and then started off home. As he
trudged along a man came by riding a fine horse.

“What a fine horse,” said Hans. “It must be good sport to ride
instead of having to walk. I am quite sore in my feet, and my back
aches.” He then told the man he had silver in his bag, and proposed
to swap the silver for the horse. The man agreed, after seeing the
silver, and Hans rode off quite gaily on the horse. About a mile
down the road the horse began to rear and pitch and Hans fell off
into the briars. As he sat there rubbing his head, a cowherd came
along with a fine cow.

“Say, will you swap your cow for this horse?” called out Hans. “I
cannot ride him, and besides I should like some milk.”

The cowherd took the horse and gave Hans the cow. Hans was now
happy again and drove the cow along until milking time. Then he
stopped to milk her, but she was as dry as a dusty road.

“Oh, me!” said Hans. “What can I do with this cow?”

Just then a man came along with a pig in a wheelbarrow. “What is
that you said?” asked he of Hans. Hans told him he was tired of the
cow and offered to swap it for the pig.

“Good!” said the man. “You take the pig and I will rid you of the
cow.” So Hans took the pig, tied a rope to his leg and went on down
the road. But the pig was hard to drive and Hans had all he could
do to keep him in the road at all.

A peasant came along with a load of geese. Hans saw the big white
birds and his eyes glistened. “Here, take this pig and give me a
goose!” cried he. The man stopped and looked the pig over. Then he
handed Hans a goose and took the pig in the wagon.

By and by, Hans grew tired of the goose, it fluttered and made
so much noise, and beat him in the face with its wings so that
Hans was almost ready to let it go. But just then he met a man
sharpening a scythe with a whetstone.

“What a fine business--and so easy,” cried Hans. “My friend, take
my goose and give me your whetstone.” Again an exchange was made
and Hans took the whetstone and went towards home. It was somewhat
late and Hans was tired and thirsty. He stopped by the side of a
well to get some water. As he looked in, the whetstone slipped out
of his pocket and fell to the very bottom.

“Well, I am in luck, sure enough,” said Hans. “Now, I have nothing
to bother me.” And he went whistling down the road.


_Learn not to place faith in fair speeches._

Once upon a time there lived a little girl with her mother on the
edge of a village. Her grandmother lived beyond the woods, and was
a poor old woman, who loved the little girl dearly. She had made
a red cloak for her that looked so pretty every one called her
“Little Red Ridinghood.” One day her mother said:

“I hear your grandmother is ill. You must take her this cake and
a little butter.” Little Red Ridinghood set out at once for her
grandmother’s. On her way she met a big wolf who asked her:

“Where are you going, my little girl?”

“I am going to see my grandmother, and take her this cake and a
little butter,” said Little Red Ridinghood.

“Does she live near here?” asked the wolf.

“Not very far; just on the other side of the wood, in a little
white cottage,” replied Little Red Ridinghood.

The wolf told the little girl good-by and ran off as if he were
going home. But, no, indeed;

“Who is that?” asked a feeble voice.

“This is Little Red Ridinghood come to bring you some cake and a
little butter,” said the wolf.

“Pull the string and the latch will open,” said the grandmother.
The wolf pulled the string and opened the door. Then he jumped on
the old grandmother and ate her up in a minute. He got into bed and
pulled the old woman’s cap over his head.

By and by Little Red Ridinghood knocked at the door. The old wolf
made his voice very feeble and said: “Who is that?”

“I am Little Red Ridinghood, grandmother, and I have brought you
some cake and a little butter.”

“Pull the string and the latch will open,” said the wolf.

Little Red Ridinghood pulled the string and went in and put the
cake and butter on the table. Then she went up to the bed where the
wolf was and when she saw how changed her grandmother was, she said:

“Grandmother, what long arms you have.”

“To hug you the better, my dear,” said the wolf.

“Grandmother, what long ears you have.”

“To hear you the better, my dear,” said the wolf.

“Grandmother, what big eyes you have.”

“To see you the better, my dear,” said the wolf.

“Grandmother, what big teeth you have.”

“The better to eat you, my dear!” With that the wolf fell upon Red
Ridinghood and ate her too.


_It is a wise man who knows when he has enough. The effort to get
more may result in misfortune and misery._

A tailor and a goldsmith were walking one evening through the woods
and wondering if they should ever be rich men with gold to spare.
They heard the sound of distant music and went to see what caused

The moon had risen, and on a little hillock they saw a band of tiny
men dancing in a ring with hands joined, while an old man, with
hair down to his waist, played on a pipe. This made the music which
the tailor and goldsmith had heard.

They stopped and watched the dancers for a while. At last the old
man beckoned them to join the circle and dance with the tiny men.
Seeing how many they were, the tailor and the goldsmith agreed and
soon were dancing as merrily as the best of them.

Then the old man took a pair of shears and cut off all the hair and
beard of the tailor and the goldsmith until they were quite bald.
This made the tiny men laugh, and they were merrier than ever.

Then all at once every one began to gather rocks and fill his
pockets full. The goldsmith and the tailor did likewise, and then
when the moon went down they all lay down and went fast to sleep.

What do you think? In the morning when the tailor and the goldsmith
woke their hair and their beard had grown again, and the rocks had
turned to gold in their pockets.

“Oh, this is plenty for me,” cried the goldsmith. “I shall now live
in ease the rest of my life. I shall build me a house, and get
me a wife and buy a horse and carriage. Oh, I have enough for my

The tailor looked at his gold, and though he had never lived in
anything but a room back of his shop, yet he said:

“This is not enough for me. I want a palace and many servants, and
a whole troop of horses. I shall go back to the tiny men to-night.”
So he hid his gold in a tree and waited for the night to come.

The goldsmith went on home, but the tailor waited until the moon
had risen and then joined the tiny men in their dance. He could
hardly wait for the old man to cut off his hair and beard. He took
the shears and cut it himself. Then when the time came to gather
rocks he eagerly filled his pockets, his shoes, his hat and held
some in his hands.

“I may as well get a plenty,” said he.

Then they all lay down and went to sleep. Early the tailor woke up
and felt for his rocks. They were still hard rocks. When he hunted
for his gold of the night before, it also had turned back to rocks.
Besides that, his hair and beard had not grown out, and he was
quite bald. The poor tailor had lost what he had because he was not
satisfied with enough.


_Wherein we see how a brave girl risked her own life to save that
of others._

Betty Zane moved with her parents to the Ohio country. The new home
was in a western wilderness, but all the settlers were full of hope
and courage. They lived in a big square fort with a high fence of
logs on every side, and at each corner a strong-house with loop
holes for guns.

Betty liked the place and soon began to do her share of the work,
for everybody was busy at Fort Henry, as the place was called. All
around were thick woods where the Indians lived, and Betty could
hear the wolves howling in the depths of the forest. Soon other
settlers came to live with the first comers, for in those days the
strength of the white men depended on their numbers.

The Revolutionary War began just about this time. The Indians were
treacherous and savage. The English wanted their help, and offered
a good price for the scalp of every settler. One day a message came
in great haste to Fort Henry. It was that the Indians were on the
war path and traveling rapidly toward Fort Henry. The alarm was
given and all the settlers hurried into the fort to make ready for
the attack.

Betty peeped through a crack in the wall and saw the Indians
sneaking through the woods. Soon they were everywhere, dodging and
hiding in the underbrush. The leader of the band held a flag of
truce. He was a white man. All the settlers knew Simon Girty. He
hated the white people and willingly led the Indians against them.

He told the people in the fort that if they would surrender no
harm would befall them, but that if they resisted the fort would
be destroyed and every man, woman and child would be put to death.
Colonel Sheppard answered that as long as there was one person
alive in the fort it would be defended.

Then the fighting began. The yells of the Indians filled the air,
and the bullets whistled through the trees. Colonel Sheppard was
dismayed to find his powder nearly all gone. A keg of it had been
left outside in one of the cabins, and they must have it if they
were to win. He called for a volunteer to go after the powder. The
cabin was so far away that it was almost certain death to try to
reach it.

Then Betty Zane came forward. She was a brave girl, and told them
that she would go for the powder. The gate was opened before any
one could stop her. The men cried, “Come back and we will go,” but
she ran all the faster. She seized a bag of powder and started
back. The Indians fired upon her, but not a bullet touched her.
Into the gate she ran and gave the powder to the men, while they
cheered her for her bravery. With the powder that Betty had brought
the men kept the savages at bay. Soon some hunters came to aid the
settlers, and together they drove the Indians into the woods and
away from the fort. Colonel Sheppard told the newcomers how “brave
Betty Zane” had saved Fort Henry and the settlers from the savage


_We should obey the call of duty even to any sacrifice, knowing
that the result is in higher hands than ours._

Abraham and Sarah, his wife, were very old and were sad because
they had no child. They prayed earnestly for a son, and at last,
when Abraham was one hundred years old, a son was born and they
named him Isaac. They were very happy then, and the child grew and
became strong.

To see whether Abraham was still faithful to the Lord, it came to
pass that God called him one day and Abraham said:

“Behold, here I am.” Then the Lord said:

“Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and
get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt
offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.”

Abraham was sorely grieved that God had told him to burn his only
son, whom he had given. But he rose up early in the morning,
saddled his ass, cut the wood, and took Isaac and some young men,
and went up into the mountain, just as God had told him.

On the third day he came to the place; then Abraham said to the
young men:

“Ye abide here, with the ass, and I and the lad will go yonder and
worship and come again to you.”

Abraham took the wood and laid it upon Isaac. He took the fire and
a knife and carried them to the place that God had showed Abraham.

Then Isaac said: “My father?” And Abraham replied: “Here am I, my
son.” Isaac said:

“Behold the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt
offering?” Abraham replied:

“My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering.” And
they went on together.

They came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built
an altar and laid the wood in order. Then he bound his son Isaac
and laid him upon the wood on the altar. Abraham stretched forth
his hand and took the knife to slay his son.

Just then he heard the voice of an angel calling him, “Abraham!”
He answered: “Here am I.” The angel said:

“Lay not thy hand upon the lad; neither do thou anything with him;
for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld
thy son, thine only son from me.”

And Abraham looked and behold, there was behind him a ram caught
in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and
offered him for a burnt offering instead of his son.


_An old legend in which a brave warrior overcomes a terrible menace
by strength and skill._

Beowulf was the nephew of a king who ruled over a part of Sweden.
He was a young man of great strength. No one could stand against
him. At that time there was a monster named Grendel, half man and
half beast that came out of the swamp every night and snatched away
the warriors as they slept in the hall of the king, and carried
them off to his lair and devoured them. No matter how the warriors
tried to protect themselves, the terrible Grendel would break in
the place where they were sleeping, seize one of them in his
mighty arms and bear him away.

Beowulf heard of all this and set out with a band of trained
warriors to help the king get rid of the monster.

The warriors entered the castle and prepared to lie down to sleep.
Beowulf took off his armor, laid aside his helmet and handed his
sword and shield to his servant. He wore only a silken coat. The
warriors said to him, “Put on thy armor, and thy helmet, and take
thy sword and shield, for Grendel is an enemy that will demand all
thy strength.”

But Beowulf said to them: “I shall fight Grendel and conquer him
with my own good hands and head, and with my strong heart.” He then
lay down like the others, but not to sleep. He kept a lookout for
the approach of the dreaded monster.

Out of the mists of the marsh, as dark came on, strode the monster,
Grendel. With one blow of his mighty arms, he broke the bolts and
bars of the doors and entered the hall where the warriors lay
sleeping. With a loud laugh, he seized one of them and tore him
asunder. Beowulf watched him as he sprang on his prey and saw his
method of attack.

The monster came the next night, and when he entered the hall
hungry for a feast, he looked over the warriors who were asleep
and started to seize one in his terrible arms. But Beowulf was as
quick as Grendel and caught the monster’s arm in his own mighty
grasp and twisted it round and round.

The fight that ensued was terrible. The tables were overturned,
the castle shook with the noise and the people in the town were
awakened with the sounds of the battle. The roar of the monster
could be heard a mile, but Beowulf uttered not a sound.

The sleeping warriors rose up and joined in the fight; but
Grendel’s hide was thicker than armor and their swords were
useless. The blows they rained upon him made no impression.

At last Grendel tore loose, leaving his arm in Beowulf’s grasp.
Bleeding and exhausted he crawled back to the marsh where they
found his dead body the next day.


_An old legend in which the hero overcomes the terrors of the sea._

After Beowulf had slain the terrible Grendel, there was great
rejoicing. The furniture in the hall was all restored; the
tapestries and carpets were made new; embroideries were hung on
the gold benches and a great feast was prepared. Never before was
so splendid a banquet. After the feast the king gave Beowulf and
his warriors many presents, coats of arms, horses and gold-handled
swords. When the feast was over, the minstrels sang songs and
everybody lay down to sleep.

But away down in the sea, the Water Witch, the mother of the dead
Grendel, nursed her wrath, and at night came up to the land, and
went straight to the Hall to avenge her son. While they slept she
crept in through the cracks in the door and seized a warrior and
bore him off to the sea to drown him. She was almost as horrible as
Grendel himself. The warriors arose in great fear and called for

“The Water Witch! The Water Witch!” they cried. “The mother of
Grendel has come upon us! What shall we do?”

Beowulf begged them to be calm. He said he would fight the Water
Witch as he had her son. All the warriors went with him to the
shores of the sea where the Witch lived. On the dark waters swam
many dragons and serpents and slimy water-worms. Beowulf took his
sword in his hand, put on his helmet and his coat of armor, through
which no steel might ever pierce; then bidding the king farewell he
leaped into the sea and went down and down until he touched the
very bottom.

Here the Water Witch lived, and as soon as she saw Beowulf she
reached out her long skinny hand to crush him. But his armor was so
strong that she could not hurt him in any wise. She then dragged
him into her cave. She held him so fast he could not unsheathe his
sword. Terrible sea monsters attacked him on all sides. But he was

Finally he drew his sword and attacked the Water Witch; but she was
no more to be hurt by a sword than was Beowulf. Seizing her by the
shoulders he dragged her down and there made a fearful fight on
the floor of the sea. The water boiled and great waves rose to the
top. Beowulf saw a shining dagger hanging to a rock. It glittered
like diamonds and gold; as they swayed over to it, he seized it and
thrust it into the heart of the Water Witch.

She sank to the floor and her blood dyed all the water red, and the
people on the shore thought the setting sun had done it. Beowulf
rose and saw that she was quite dead. On the floor of the cave lay
the body of Grendel also. So he cut off the head of the monster and
rose to the surface and swam to shore where he laid the bloody head
before the king and told him the Water Witch could do him no more
harm. And that was the end of Grendel and his dreadful mother.


_In which the brave hero stops the ravages of a fire-breathing

After Beowulf had slain Grendel and the Water Witch he returned to
his own country. When its ruler died, the people made Beowulf king,
and he ruled over the land for fifty years.

Beowulf was growing old and all the land was in peace. One day,
however, he punished a slave for disobedience, and the slave fled
into the mountains. Hiding in a cave, he found it full of wonderful
treasures which were guarded by a terrible Fire Dragon. The Dragon
was asleep, so the slave crept in very quietly and stole a gold cup
and ran back to Beowulf.

“Here is a gold cup I found for thee, my lord, now will you pardon
me?” Beowulf forgave him, for the cup was wondrously beautiful.

When the Fire Dragon awoke and missed the cup, his wrath was
terrible. He crawled out of the cave, and over the mountains and
through the forests looking for the thief. As he went the trees
and grass were consumed around him. Then he flew to the cities
breathing flames, and all the houses burst forth in fire. The crops
in the field, the barns full of grain, the homes of the farmers
all were devoured by his breath. The people fled and hid in the
water ditches to save their lives.

Beowulf was very old, but he was still a great warrior. His heart
boiled with rage when he saw what the fire dragon had brought to
his people.

“Bring me my iron shield, my steel coat of armor and my great
sword! and tell my warriors to follow me,” he ordered. Then the
old king, whose arms were still the strongest in all his kingdom,
went forth to fight the terrible dragon who was still raging in his
wrath and burning everything he flew over.

Beowulf found the Fire Dragon in his cave, where a fiery breath
came out like flames from a furnace door. The dragon came forth and
Beowulf raised his shield to ward off the heat. It was a dreadful
battle. Up went Beowulf’s great sword, but it melted as it touched
the Dragon’s red hot-sides. The warriors all turned away, afraid of
the consuming breath of the terrible monster.

One alone, Wiglaf, helped the old king in his combat. Wiglaf had
a wooden shield but it caught fire and was burned from his arm.
Together they fought as the Dragon’s breath enfolded them. But, at
last, the dagger of Beowulf found a vital spot in the Dragon’s
throat, and pierced it until the hot blood flowed out over the
land. Slowly the flames died down and the monster ceased to move.
After a while nothing was left but its dead body on the side of
the mountain where it had been slain by the mighty king and his
faithful follower.


_In which an old king sacrificed his life for the good of his

We told you that Beowulf slew the Fire Dragon, but we did not
mention that during the conflict the hot and fierce beast seized
Beowulf’s neck in his teeth, and bit him so terribly that his blood
covered Beowulf’s bright and shining armor.

While the Dragon was biting at the neck of the great king, his
brave and faithful Wiglaf struck his sword into the monster’s body.
The Dragon relaxed his hold of Beowulf long enough for the old king
to escape death at the time, and to plunge his own dagger into the
throat of the fiery creature.

After the fight was over, poor Beowulf, old and exhausted, fell on
the ground, and the wound in his neck began to swell and to burn
with the Dragon’s poison. It sank into his heart and he grew cold
and knew he was going to die.

“My faithful Wiglaf,” said the dying king, “in the Dragon’s cave
are many treasures, gold, silver, jewels, armor and precious gems.
I would give them to thee before I die. Get them for me.” So Wiglaf
left Beowulf and ran many miles until he came to the Dragon’s cave
in the mountain. Here he found many sacks of treasure, but he could
carry only one at a time. With this he hastened to Beowulf who was
fast growing weaker and weaker. When he reached the old king, he
poured the treasure at his feet.

Beowulf took the gold collar from around his neck, and his helmet
and his ring and his coat of mail and gave them to Wiglaf as his
last gift, and bade the young warrior to use them well.

“Thou art the last of the race. My kinsmen have all gone before me,
and I follow them soon.” These were his last words, and Beowulf lay
very still and cold before his weeping friend.

Now that the fight was over and the Fire Dragon lay dead all the
servants who had deserted the king in battle, came back. Wiglaf met
them with scorn and drove them away, so that they wandered homeless
and beggared over the land. Everywhere they went they heard the
words: “Death is better than a life of shame.”

Then all the people came to see their dead king as he lay on the
ground. Wiglaf told them of the conflict and also of the treasures
in the cave. Sorrowfully, they went and gathered every bit of the
cave’s treasures and brought them forth. To the top of a high hill
they carried the body of Beowulf and piled the treasures around
it. Then for days and days they heaped stones over the king’s body
until the pile was so high that it could be seen from out at sea.
And to this day people call it Beowulf’s Mound.


_The story of a great artist who when a child showed his genius._

Many years ago in Italy there lived a boy whose name was Antonio
Canova. His father was dead, and he lived with his poor old
grandfather who was a stone-cutter.

Antonio was not very strong, and could not play at the rough games
of the other boys, so he liked best to be with his grandfather
and play around the stone-yard watching the cutters at work. He
was fond of making little statues out of clay, and sometimes with
hammer and chisel he would try to make a statue from a piece of
stone. One day his grandfather said, “You will be a great sculptor
some day, my boy.”

In the same town there lived a rich man who was a count, and who
was accustomed to give great feasts to his friends. They often came
from far and near to his dinners. The Count left no effort untried
to give the most expensive dinners he could, and to please his
guests by new decorations for the table and the rooms.

Now it happened that Antonio’s grandfather was a cook as well as
stone-cutter. He often went to help in the kitchen to prepare the
dishes for the Count’s table, and upon some occasions Antonio went
with him to wash the dishes and do errands. In this way he made a
little extra money.

One day the Count was giving a great feast, and had planned to
place a beautiful marble statue in the center of the table. The
servants were busy running about, when suddenly one of them
overturned the statue and it fell to the floor and broke into a
hundred pieces.

“What shall I do?” cried he. “The table is ruined without the
center statue. What will my master say?” And the servant wrung his
hands in great dismay.

Antonio listened and decided he would try to help the servant out
of his trouble. “May I make a statue for the center? I will make
it out of the butter,” said he. They were quite astonished at this
request, but all agreed for him to try.

The great tub of butter was brought in, and Antonio began work.
In an hour he had made a most wonderful lion, all out of the hard
butter. They placed it on the table just as the guests were coming

“How beautiful! How beautiful!” they exclaimed. “Who has done this
carving? He is a genius. Bring him here and let us see him.”

Little Antonio was brought in and they crowded around him as he
told them about his work and himself. “The lad must be taught,”
they said. “If he can work so well in butter, what could he do in
marble when he is a man?”

And so Antonio went to school, and became one of the great artists
of the world. But his first piece of work was the lion made out of
a tub of butter.


_In which it appears that a leak should be stopped at once, and
that a little boy can do a great service._

Holland is a country far across the sea. The boys and girls there
wear wooden shoes. They like to skip and dance along the streets
clicking these shoes together, or making them ring as they strike
the hard pavement.

Peter was a little boy who liked to skip and dance with the
others. He was a poor boy and had to wear wooden shoes like the
others. He did not mind that, however. He liked best of all to play
on the top of the sea-wall, for where Peter lived, the people had
to build sea-walls, or dikes, to keep the water from rushing over
the land.

Every day Peter would play on the top of the dikes, and was careful
not to fall into the water. He could see the great ocean on one
side of the dike, with ships and fishing boats far out at sea, and
on the other side, below the level of the water, he could see his
own little home, and the houses of his neighbors and friends.

One day, while he was playing he heard a little trickle of water.
He stopped to listen. He found a tiny stream running through a
small hole in the dike.

Peter knew this was a dreadful thing, for he had often heard his
father say that a small leak would grow into a great leak, and
would break down the great sea-wall, and destroy the village. He
knew then that in a little while the small hole would be a large
one, and the sea would be rushing in, and it would be too late to
stop it.

He said to himself “What can I do? Before long my mother, my
father, and all my brothers and sisters will be drowned, and the
sea will wash away the whole village.” He was almost ready to cry,
but he was too brave a boy for that.

He called aloud, but no one heard. It was growing dark. He put his
hand over the hole to see if he could stop the water. But the water
was coming in so fast that he had to push his arm in to stop it. He
found that, by pulling some grass from the sides of the dike and
wrapping it around his hand and arm, he could hold the water back.

It was now quite dark. He lay down on the side of the dike and
held his arm in the hole. The water stopped running, and little
Peter lay very still. After awhile he called out for help, but
still nobody heard him. He could see the lights in the houses, and
he knew the people were having supper. This made him hungry and
he began to be cold. All night long he lay there holding back the

At last morning came, and a man passing by saw Peter lying there,
with his arm still in the dike. He called men to help him, and the
brave little boy was lifted up, and the leak in the dike was soon

When the people of the town heard what Peter had done, they cheered
him, and soon the mayor came to his home and called him a brave boy
who had saved the town from destruction.


_Men are happier and better when engaged in useful occupation._

To-day we will learn about Tubal Cain who was the first smith of
which we have any knowledge. We do not know very much about his
life, for the Bible merely says he was a worker “in brass and
iron.” We may suppose, however, that he had a forge somewhere, and
that he labored day by day making things that were needed by the
people in those rude days.

Men came to him at his forge and said: “Tubal Cain, we are engaged
in hunting and we need sharp points for our spear heads, and arrows
so that we can kill the game we need.” So Tubal Cain would set
his forge to flaming and his anvil would ring while he made spear
points and arrow heads for the hunters.

Other men came to him and said: “Tubal Cain, we are about to go to
war, and we need sharp arrows to kill our enemies.” At that, Tubal
Cain would swing his mighty hammers and the anvils would ring and
the fires glow while he fashioned swords that were sharp enough to
cut off a man’s head at a blow.

More men came to him and said: “Tubal Cain, we need helmets of
brass, and shields of iron to protect our head and bodies when we
go to war. Also we want iron chains to bind our enemies, so that
they may not escape.” Then Tubal Cain would start the forge again,
and the anvil would sing loud and long as the hammer beat out all
the things the men asked for. The swords and helmets and shields
and chains brought Tubal Cain much money, but he saw what bloody
work they did. The more swords he made the more men fought. At last
he said: “I will make no more swords for men to slay each other
with.” And so the forge was cold, the fires were out, the anvil was
silent and Tubal Cain sat at his door and shook his head at all who
begged for swords.

One day he said: “Why should I be idle? I will make plows and
scythes instead of swords.” After that the forge glowed again, the
anvil rang, and Tubal Cain was busy. When men came to him he said,
“Here, take this plow and break the soil and plant grain. It is
better than the sword. Take this scythe and reap the grain. It is
better than helmets or shields or chains.”

Thus Tubal Cain made plows and taught men to use them in raising
crops instead of making swords to slay one another. Wars stopped
for a while, and the fields were full of growing crops, for men
could now plow the soil and cut the grain with scythes.

So Tubal Cain sang his song all day long for he was happy because
he was making something useful for his fellow men.



_A folklore story current in many lands, that shows the power
of love to awaken all things to life. The first part shows the
deadening effect of malice._

Once upon a time a king and queen grieved sorely because they had
no child. When a daughter was born there was great rejoicing and
all the fairies in the kingdom were invited to a feast.

All the fairies that the king knew of came, each bringing the young
princess a gift. One gave her beauty; another gave her wit; one
said she should draw perfectly, and another said she should sing.
At the end of the feast an old fairy who had not been invited
because the king did not know of her, came into the hall and began
to abuse the company for neglecting her. She turned to the princess
and said:

“You shall have all the gifts the others have given you, but I tell
you that some day you shall pierce your hand with a needle while
you are spinning, and you shall die of the wound.”

The king and queen began to weep at this, and so did all the
fairies. One of them, however, said to the princess:

“You will pierce your hand, but it shall not be death that will
come to you, but sleep.” And then the feast was over and the
fairies had vanished.

The king made a law that nobody should spin or have needles in his
home, for fear that the princess might pierce her hand.

All went well until the princess was nearly grown. She was indeed
very beautiful and very lovable. One day the princess was visiting
one of the king’s castles. She saw an old woman spinning. The
old woman was so deaf she had not heard of the king’s command.
The princess ran up to her and seized the needle. It pierced her
finger, and she fainted away.

The old woman screamed and the king and queen and all the courtiers
came running. Alas! they could not waken the princess at all. She
breathed but could not be aroused. They laid her on a couch and put
flowers all around her. Just then a fairy came in and said:

“I told you it should be sleep instead of death. It shall be a
long, long sleep for her and for you all.”

With that she touched with her wand the king and queen and all the
courtiers, and they all fell fast asleep. All the servants in
the castle and in the kitchens; all the grooms and all the horses
stopped still. They slept on and on. A thick wood grew up around
the castle door, and all the world forgot there was ever such a
queen and king and princess; and they were afraid to go into the
castle for the rumor went round that it was a haunted place. Here
we will leave them until to-morrow.



_All things awaken into life when warmth and love exert their

We left the princess and all her attendants asleep in the castle.
Years passed. Kings and queens ruled over the land and died. The
old castle was covered with ivy and hidden deep in the forest.
Nobody went near it, for everybody was afraid of it. At last the
tangle of the thorns grew so thick that only the towers of the
castle could be seen above it.

One hundred years passed by. The son of the king at that time was
one day hunting in the forest, and asked what the castle was.
Those who were with him told him it was a fairy castle; some said
a monster lived in it; others said that it was filled with dead
bodies. One of his attendants cried:

“I heard a story from my grandfather when I was a boy, that there
was a princess in that castle who was asleep. The story said that
she was put to sleep by a fairy, and that the fairy said that she
was to sleep for a hundred years, and was to be awakened by a young
prince who would break through all barriers and awaken her by a

When the young prince heard this story he felt that he was the
one to awaken the young princess. It was a beautiful day in early
spring, but the snow was still on the ground. The prince said to
those around him:

“I am he of whom the fairy spoke. I shall break through all
barriers and awaken the princess.”

He drew his sword and started toward the tangle of thorns. As
he began to cut his way the thorns fell aside easily and a path
appeared before his feet. He followed the path into the castle
gate. The woods closed behind him and left him alone.

At the castle gates he saw the porter asleep. As he went on he saw
horses and dogs and grooms all asleep. He entered the kitchen and
saw all the cooks and maids asleep. Then he went into the hall and
found all the courtiers fast asleep. The king and queen were also
asleep. On the couch he saw the beautiful princess as rosy and
fresh as she was a hundred years ago, but deep in slumber.

The prince walked up to the couch and kissed her. Then she woke up
and smiled. The king and queen rubbed their eyes, the courtiers
leaped up from their chairs; the cooks and servants began to move
about; the horses neighed and the dogs barked. Outside the thorns
vanished and the roses bloomed in their stead. All was life and
motion where before all had been so silent.

“Have you come at last?” said the princess. And then they all left
the castle, and as they looked behind, it vanished and there was
nothing left but the beautiful woods.


_Showing how one should act in an emergency demanding thought and

There are many lighthouses along our coasts, and the keepers
live in them. They have great responsibilities. They suffer many
hardships, and sometimes even lose their lives in discharge of
their duties.

In one of the large lighthouses along the coast of Maine there
lived an old gray-haired man with his little granddaughter, Jane.
The keeper was very old and at times very feeble. Jane was the
orphan child of his own daughter, and he loved her very much. They
often thought and talked of the brave sailors out on the open sea,
whom they protected by sending out the bright rays from the great
light which shone high up in the tower. The sailors looked for this
light and depended on it to help them reach shore.

Jane’s grandfather was a faithful old keeper of the light, and
had never failed to have the welcome beams shine out far into the
darkness of the ocean. Night after night he would climb to the top
of the tower with his lantern and light the great light. Sometimes
Jane carried the lantern to help her grandfather.

Many happy years were passed in the old lighthouse, and the old man
was growing more and more feeble. He climbed the steps more slowly
each day; his hand trembled sometimes as he reached for the light,
but still he was faithful to his duty.

There came a night when he could go no more; he was broken down and
ill. He could only lie still and think of the dark tower and the
unlighted lantern. Outside a storm was raging. He thought of the
sailors on the wild waters fighting against the furious storm, but
he could not give them the light that they needed so much.

Little Jane saw her grandfather’s distress. She, too, had learned
to love the men of the sea, and knew that the brave sailors would
be lost if the light was not there. She went to the foot of the
stairs and looked up the dark passageway. She could hear the wind
howling and the rain beating against the tower. Terror was in her
little heart. Could she go up alone? Could she light the great
lantern without her grandfather’s help? Then she caught a vision of
the helpless ones outside.

Up and up she climbed. It was cold and dark, yet she went on.
Finally the top was reached, but how was she to lift the great
wick? She pushed hard, and something seemed to give her strength.
Slowly the wick swung back. Quickly she touched the match, then the
great light shone forth over the sea giving help to the souls who
would have otherwise perished in the waves.

When she came down and told her grandfather she had lighted the
lamp, he patted her on the head and said: “You are a brave girl,
and have perhaps saved many lives this night.”


_In which the silent forces of nature show themselves to be more
powerful than the noisy ones._

The Wind and the Sun quarreled one day as to which of the two was
the stronger. Each contended that he was mightier than the other,
and stood ready to prove it in any way. They got so angry that
people thought a storm was coming on and ran inside their houses.
The Sun said:

“I am able to bring the summer, to ripen the grain and the fruit,
and cover the earth with flowers. I can melt icebergs and clear
whole fields of snow. I can drive away darkness and night and make
day to come.”

“And I,” said the Wind, “can break down trees and move ships across
the ocean, and bring the cold winter. I make icebergs when I am
cold. I turn wind-mills, and move clouds across the sky. I can be
a breeze or a hurricane. I can raise great clouds of dust so that
people will hide from me.”

So they ended where they had begun; each thinking that he had the
greater power. Quarrels never do go very far in settling anything.
The wind still boasted of what he could do, and the sun still
insisted he was the stronger.

Just then they saw a traveler coming and they agreed whichever
should make the traveler take off his coat should be counted the

The Wind was the first to try, so the Sun went behind the clouds.
The Wind blew with all his might; he blew so strong that he almost
blew the traveler away. He blew ice into the traveler’s face, and
snow down his back. But the harder the Wind blew and the more noise
he made the more closely the traveler wrapped his coat about him.
At last the Wind gave up in despair, for the traveler had buttoned
his coat firmly and strapped it around his waist.

Then the Sun came and sent his warmest rays right down upon the
traveler’s head. It grew hotter and hotter. There was no noise and
no storm, just sunshine. The traveler threw open his coat, turned
it back, and at last took it off altogether. He said:

“I am glad that the blustering wind has gone and the sunshine has
come. It is so hot I must take off my coat.” And so it was that the
Sun who had made so little noise in the world, yet proved himself
to be very powerful.


_In which is shown the power of gentleness and mercy over physical

Long, long ago the Snow King looked down from his home on a great
mountain in the North, and said:

“I shall show my power and strength by covering all the earth with
a great mantle of snow; I shall lock in ice every stream and river;
when I blow my breath the poor shall shiver in their homes, the
leaves shall fall from the trees, the birds hide for fear of me,
and all the little animals in the forest shall hide in the ground,
and all shall say: ‘Oh, how strong, how terrible is the great Snow

Mother Earth heard the boasting of her son and was sorry, for she
knew what suffering he could bring upon her children, so she said:

“Snow King, I pray you remember the poor, and be not cruel to my
children of the woods and trees.”

The Snow King laughed aloud and shook his hoary head. Every tree
and housetop was soon covered with the soft snow flakes that fell
from his hair and beard. He waved his arms until he had stilled the
music of all the brooklets and they were frozen hard and fast. Then
he blew his icy breath and the old women shivered with cold. The
little leaves fell from the trees; the birds sought shelter in the
swamps, and the rabbits and squirrels dug deep holes in the ground.

“This is a terrible winter,” said every one. “How awful is this

However, a gentle daughter of Mother Earth named Spring, had
overheard the proud words of the Snow King and seen the suffering
he had caused. She said to herself:

“I, too, have power, and I shall use it to undo the work of my
brother, the Snow King.”

So after a while the maiden clothed herself in soft garments, and
on her feet she put sandals of flowers, and as she walked sweet
perfumes were wafted about her. She breathed upon the air and the
snow melted away, the streams resumed their laughter, the trees put
forth their leaves, the birds came again to nest in the branches,
and the little animals came out of their burrows and began to play
about the forest.

“This is beautiful weather,” said every one. “I am glad spring has
come, and the awful winter has passed.” And the whole earth smiled
because it felt so happy and full of promise.

Then the spring maiden turned to the Snow King and said:

“You see, O King, that I, too, am mighty on the earth--that I have
strength equal to yours and can undo all that you have done. My
power is even greater than yours, for mine is the power of love.”


_Real wealth comes from the soil._

Many years ago there lived a little girl named Merline. Her mother
had to go out and sew, while Merline stayed home and cared for
the house. One day Merline’s mother came home sick, and the next
day she could not go to work. This was very bad, but Merline was
a brave little girl and worked and cared for her sick mother. The
doctor came in one day and told Merline she must go out for a walk,
and that a walk would put the roses in her cheeks. “And, besides,”
said the doctor, “you might find some gold somewhere.”

Merline walked slowly down the road and into the woods, looking for
roses, thinking about gold, and listening to the birds. Now and
then she stopped to pick some flowers to take to her mother.

By and by she came to an oak tree that had a big hollow place in
it. She climbed in, leaned her head back and closed her eyes. No
sooner had she done this than she felt herself gradually sinking.
She was afraid to open her eyes for awhile, but when she did, she
was in the dearest little room, just the kind of room that she had
often wished to have for her doll.

Merline was looking about in wonder, when she heard a soft voice
behind her. Turning around, she saw a tiny little fairy that looked
for all the world just like the fairies in her storybook. Merline
told the fairy all about her sick mother, and how she had cared
for her, and how the doctor had sent her out to look for roses and
perhaps to find some gold.

“You poor child,” said the fairy, “I will help you all I can.”
As she said this she took off her pointed cap and shook it over
Merline’s lap. As she did this, a great many gold pieces fell from

Merline clapped her hands for joy when the fairy told her that all
the gold was hers. “Now I shall have enough to buy medicine, and
food, and my mother need not work any more,” said she.

She closed her eyes to try to think whether this was all true or
not, and when she opened them she was in the old hollow tree again.
She looked in her lap for the gold, but there was nothing there
except some small seeds. “These may be gold seeds,” said Merline,
as she jumped from the tree and ran home.

In a few days her mother was much better, and together they went
into the orchard and planted the seeds. Merline watched them as
they sprouted and sent tiny shoots above the ground. She and the
plants grew up together.

Several years passed and the seeds had grown into trees, and
Merline had grown into a fine young woman. The trees were covered
with beautiful white blossoms, and when the fruit ripened it looked
like big round lumps of gold. “They were seeds of gold after all,”
said Merline one day. But everybody else thought they were orange


_In which some selfish people meet their just fate._

Once, long years ago, there lived a goddess called Latona. Juno,
the queen of the gods, became jealous of her, and drove her and her
two little children away from their home. So Latona wandered around
and around with her two little children, who were called Apollo and

One day she came to a beautiful valley and nearby saw a pond of
clear water where some people were gathering willows and osiers.
Latona was very tired and thirsty, for she had traveled a long
way, and she knelt down to get a drink of water. But the people
stopped her and would not let her drink. Latona asked them why they
would not let her get a drink of water.

“Water is free to all,” she said. “Mother Nature does not let any
one claim as property the sunshine, the air, or the water. I do
not want to bathe in this water; I only want a drink to quench my
thirst. I ask it of you as a favor. My mouth is so dry I can hardly
talk. Please let me have a drink of water. See these children
holding out their little hands--surely you cannot refuse them!”

And the children stretched out their little hands to the people.
But the people laughed and told her they would hurt her if she did
not go away; and they waded into the pond and stirred up the mud
with their feet so that the water was not fit to drink.

At this the people laughed as if it were a good joke. The little
children cried when they saw how muddy the water was, for they were
thirsty. The people did not know they were dealing with a goddess,
but they were soon to find out.

Latona became very angry, and lifting up her hands to heaven,
said: “May they never leave that pond, but live there all their
lives!” And all at once those selfish people began to change. They
shriveled up to small size, but their eyes became big and their
mouths wide stretched, their feet became webbed and they dived into
the pond.

And those people still live there. Sometimes they sit under the
water; sometimes raising their heads above the water or swimming
about on the pond. Sometimes they come out on the bank, but soon
jump back, for the water calls them.

Whenever you pass a pond or lake you hear their hoarse voices.
Their throats are bloated, their voices are harsh, their mouths
have become stretched from so much croaking; their necks have
shrunk up and disappeared altogether, and their heads are joined
close to their bodies. Their backs are green, their stomachs white,
and when we hear them now croaking and quarreling among themselves
we say: “Listen to the frogs! they are certainly talking to-night!”


_In which we find out how it happened that we must have winter time
and summer time._

Ceres, the goddess of the harvests, was very fond of her daughter,
Proserpina, and seldom let her go into the fields alone. One time
when she was very busy looking after the crops all over the earth,
she gave Proserpina permission to go down to the shore and play
with the sea nymphs.

She had not been playing long before she besought the sea nymphs
to go with her into the fields to gather flowers. The nymphs dared
not to go upon the dry land because they had to keep themselves wet
all the time, so Proserpina ran off alone. Never had she seen such
lovely flowers, and the farther she went the more beautiful they
became. She was just on the point of turning back when she saw a
shrub covered with blossoms. The shrub was so full of them that she
decided to pull it up by the roots.

Proserpina pulled and pulled. Finally it came up leaving a hole
that deepened and widened before her. All the while there came a
rumbling noise out of its depths, like the tramp of horses’ hoofs
and the rattling of wheels. She soon saw a team of four horses
snorting smoke out of their nostrils, and tearing their way out of
the earth drawing a splendid chariot of gold.

In the chariot was a man with a crown on his head. He kept rubbing
his eyes and shading them with his hand because he was not fond
of the sunlight. This man was Pluto, god of the lower regions. He
seized Proserpina, placed her in the chariot, shook the reins, and
away galloped the horses. Proserpina screamed for her mother, but
Ceres was thousands of miles away.

Down to his palace they went where Pluto did everything to make
Proserpina happy. Proserpina made a vow not to taste food while
within King Pluto’s dominion, because those who eat there can never

When Ceres heard what Pluto had done she was so miserable she cared
neither for seed time nor harvest. She came to the resolution
that not a stalk of grain, nor blade of grass should grow until
her daughter was restored. All vegetation was parched brown when
Mercury was sent to Pluto in hopes of persuading him to release

At last he consented to do so. Proserpina had not eaten food for
months and had just bitten a pomegranate, which a servant had
brought her, when in walked King Pluto and Mercury. Proserpina
quickly withdrew the pomegranate from her mouth, but she swallowed
six of the seeds.

Pluto did not know this, however, and let her accompany Mercury
back to the earth. But for each of the six pomegranate seeds she
has to spend one month in King Pluto’s palace, and only six months
with her mother, Ceres.


(Adapted from Hans Andersen)


_Wherein it is shown that one may not be discouraged by a bad

An old duck sat on her nest in the high grass just outside of the
barn yard. It was summer time; the corn fields were yellow, and the
hay had already been put up in stacks. Everybody was busy, but the
old duck was busiest of all, for she had hatching to do and it kept
her closely confined to her house.

She was very lonesome, for none of the other ducks came to see
her, and she was stiff and worn out sitting so long. But she kept
her mind on her business until one day the egg shells began to
crack. “Peep! Peep!” the baby ducks cried, and then “Quack! Quack!”
answered the mother--which we all know is duck talk.

At last they all were hatched, and came out stretching their wings.

“How big the world is!” they said. “We certainly are glad to get
out of those shells; it was so close and stuffy in them we could
hardly breathe.” After that they all went into the barn yard to be
introduced to the friends of their mother.

They were beautiful little ducks--all but one--and he was big and
ugly and almost fell over when he walked.

“I am afraid he is a turkey,” said the old duck; but when they got
to the duck pond he jumped in and swam off. The ugly duckling swam
as well as any, and even dived under the water.

“No, he is not a turkey,” said the old duck, “for he swims very
well. He must be a goose anyway,” and the old duck let it go at

When they came to the barn yard all the ducks came around to see
the new family. Even the old Spanish duck, with a red rag around
his foot, came up to say he was glad to see the old duck back again.

“But what an ugly duck that one is!” they all cried, and before the
mother could prevent it, one duck bit him on the neck until the
blood came.

“Let him alone!” cried his mother. “He is not doing you any harm.
He may be ugly, but he is my duck, and you keep away!” So the ugly
duck kept close to his mother, who, after all was quite ashamed of

Poor little ugly duckling! When his mother was not looking he was
pushed and bitten by the other ducks until he was sore all over.
The turkey gobbler swelled up and gobbled at him, and grew red in
the face. The old rooster picked at him if he came anywhere near.
His sisters and brothers kept out of his way because he was so big
and awkward and ugly. Even the yard man kicked at him with his foot.

So one day he slipped through a crack in the fence and was gone.
But he had many adventures that we shall learn to-morrow.


(Adapted from Hans Andersen)


_Early appearances are often deceptive, and one cannot tell how an
unpromising beginning may end._

The ugly duckling found himself in the tall grass, and up flew a
flock of little birds, making much noise. “That is because I am
here. Even the little birds fly from me,” thought the poor duck.

Next morning he came to a marsh where the wild ducks lived. They
looked at him and said: “You are really very ugly, but that does
not matter so long as you do not marry into our family.” The little
duck had no such idea, and so he stayed a while in the marsh.

Then came the wild geese, but they were young and foolish. They
came flying down to where the little duck was and wished him to
join them. But just then bang! bang! went the guns and two wild
geese fell dead. A great dog jumped into the grass and bore one of
the wild geese off in his mouth.

“I am glad I am too ugly to be shot, and too ugly for a dog to
bite,” thought the duck, and hid himself under a tuft of grass,
where he stayed all night, in great terror.

Then he went to a peasant’s hut and crept in the door, for a great
storm was raging, and he was wet and tired. In the hut lived an old
woman, a hen and a cat. The hen looked at the duck and said: “Can
you lay eggs?” “No,” said the duck, “I have never tried.” The cat
said: “Can you arch your back and purr?” “Oh, no, indeed, I know I
cannot!” said the poor duck.

“Then get out of here, for you are of no use,” and the poor duck
had to run for his life. The cat spit at him as he ran, and the hen
scratched dirt in his face, and even the old woman, who was blind,
threw her shoe at him thinking he was a weasel.

And now the winter was coming on. The duck had to find some place
to live and something to eat. He felt stronger every day and
learned to dive into the marshes for eels and frogs; but still he
was far from strong. It began to grow cold and the wind blew.

The duck had to swim around to keep the water from freezing, but
the hole grew smaller and smaller until at last it froze quite
fast, and the poor duck was caught on the ice. Early in the morning
a peasant came along and took him home and thawed him out by the
fire. But he flew over the fence and went again into the marshes.
Here he passed the winter.

Now it was spring. The duck rose in the air and began to fly. “How
wonderful it is to fly!” he cried joyously and flew on and on until
he saw a lake in the park. Here he flew down and looked at himself
in the water. He was no longer a duck, for he saw a beautiful white
bird with a long graceful neck. The children on the bank called out:

“Oh, come and see! Another swan! and he is the loveliest of them
all!” Then he looked again in the water and hid his beautiful head
under his wing to hide his joy. “I never dreamed I could look like
this when I was the ugly duckling,” he said to himself.


_The needless destruction of birds is not only a wanton and cruel
sport, but costs the farmers of the country a vast sum of money by
allowing injurious insects to flourish._

It was spring. The skies were blue, the grass was green and the
trees were covered with leaves. All nature seemed glad. The farmers
alone were dissatisfied and angry. And why? Because the birds had
eaten so many of their cherries and so much of their grain. They
called a meeting at the town hall to consider what could be done to
prevent this devastation.

At the meeting, the farmers spoke. Each told of his loss through
the greediness of the birds. One farmer said, “The birds come into
my oat field and light on the stalks and actually pick oats out of
the stalks.”

Another one said, “They peck holes in the peaches, and apples, and
eat up the cherries and figs, so that I lose a lot of fruit every

Still another said, “I wish you could hear the noise they make
around my house. They fly down and eat the chicken feed, then they
fly off to the corn field and eat corn. Heaven only knows how much
it takes to feed them.” And so it was that every farmer complained
of the poor little birds.

Finally they decided that all the birds should be killed. Poor
birds! They had but one friend at the meeting--the school master.
In vain he begged for his friends, the birds; in vain he spoke of
their use to the farmers--of their sweet music. The farmers would
not listen, and the decree went forth that all the birds must go.
By summer all had been killed by the farmers, or by traps set by
the farmers’ boys. The little ones were left to die in the nest.
Not a bird was to be seen.

And now hundreds of worms ate everything that grew. The branches of
the trees were brown and dry, for the worms had eaten the leaves.
There were worms everywhere--but no birds to eat the worms and stop
their ruining the crops. The farmers now realized what a terrible
mistake they had made in killing the birds. Their crops were
ruined. Starvation stared them in the face. What could they do?

They went to the school master to ask his advice. “My friends,”
said he, “you must get birds from somewhere; without birds your
farms are worthless. You see you need the birds to destroy the
worms, or else the worms will destroy your crops.”

At great expense and trouble the farmers went to a distant country
to buy birds. They were brought in cages and turned out to make
their homes in the trees. But it took many years to undo the harm
that had been done by the foolish act of the farmers in destroying
their bird friends.


_A true knight is one who fearlessly offers himself in defence of
the helpless, particularly women and children._

There was a rich king who had a daughter that he loved better than
anything else in the world. She was very beautiful and everybody in
the kingdom loved her dearly. Though she was the king’s daughter,
yet she always thought of and helped the poorest of his subjects.

One day there came from the mountains a dragon with his mouth wide
open to devour everything. The dragon’s breath was like fire, and
his scales rattled as if they were made of tin. He was dreadful
to behold. The king’s soldiers and knights were sent for to kill
or drive away the dragon, but nothing could be done. Every time a
knight went out to fight the dragon, the terrible monster knocked
him down with a blow of his tail, and devoured him, armor and all.

The dragon demanded that every morning a young girl should be tied
to a tree by the river where he could find her and eat her. There
was great grief in the kingdom over this, but everybody knew it had
to be done, or the dragon would come into the town and eat every

When the king’s daughter heard of the demand of the dragon and
the grief of the people, she said, “Let me go. If the dragon must
devour a young woman every day, he shall take me the very first

All the people begged her not to go, but she insisted. The high
priest decided to take a pigeon into the court yard and set it
free. If it flew to the East the king’s daughter was to go to the

When the pigeon was set free it flew to the East for a great
distance. Finally it came to a knight on his horse. The pigeon lit
on the knight’s shoulder and cooing tried to tell the knight of the
trouble. Then it flew in the direction it wanted the knight to go.
The knight understood and followed the pigeon.

He found the princess tied to a tree and the dragon close by. He
told the princess not to be afraid for he was going to kill the
dragon. She kept very still and the dragon lashed his tail in a
fury as the knight came near to where he was.

Now, this knight knew that no ordinary methods would conquer the
dragon. All the other knights who had attacked the dragon had been
slain by its poisonous fangs. He quickly called for some pitch. The
people ran to their houses and brought him a bucket full of pitch.
He made a large ball of it, and put it on the end of his spear.

When the dragon came near with its mouth open he thrust the ball of
pitch down its throat so that it was not able to open its mouth or
use its poisonous fangs. The dragon was choked by the ball of pitch.

While the dragon was choking and trying to get the pitch out of his
mouth the knight thrust his sword into him and killed him.

The princess was then untied and taken to the palace where there
was great rejoicing. The king rewarded the knight by calling him
St. George and giving him a gold cross.


_To show how a very wise man found out the truth of a cause brought
before him for decision._

Solomon was king of Israel after his father, David, died. Solomon
was a very wise king. He wrote a great many proverbs which we read
in the Bible. He probably said these proverbs to his people in
order to make them lead correct lives and to prosper in all their
work. He was also a prosperous king and gathered much money for
himself and his people. Upon one occasion the Queen of Sheba came
to see him. He showed her his vast treasures of gold and silver,
his houses and cattle, and he answered all the questions she asked
him. The queen was greatly astonished at all this wealth, and said:

“Behold! the half was not told me. Thy wisdom and prosperity exceed
the fame which I heard.”

We know that Solomon and his men built the great temple for the
people of Israel, known as Solomon’s Temple. He had the stone cut
in the mountain and shaped, so that when it was brought it fitted
exactly into place. There was neither hammer nor ax nor any tool of
iron heard in the house while it was building. So wonderful were
the gold and precious jewels and rare woods and fine cloths of the
temple that when it was finished there was no temple in the world
finer than Solomon’s temple.

To show how wise a king was Solomon, let us see how he decided one
case that was brought before him for judgment.

Two women came before the king. One of them said:

“Oh, my lord, this woman and I dwell in one house. We both had a
little baby of nearly the same age. There was no one else in the
house with us. This woman’s child died in the night, and while I
slept she took my child from its bed and gave me her dead child. I
pray you make her return to me my own child, for her child is dead
and it is mine that is yet alive.”

Then the other woman said:

“Nay, it is my child that is alive, and it was her child that died;
and now she seeks to rob me of my living child. I pray you, my
lord, to judge between us.”

The king thought a little while and then said:

“Bring me a sword,” and they brought him a sword. Then he said:

“Divide the living child in two and give half to the one and half
to the other.”

One of the women readily agreed to this, but the mother cried out:

“No! my lord! give her the living child, but in no wise slay it. I
would she keep it altogether than to have it dead before my eyes.”

Then Solomon said: “Give this woman the child, for it is hers. Only
a mother’s heart can feel such sacrifice.” And he ordered the child
given to its true mother.


_If we desire to avoid trouble we should always do as we are told._

Once upon a time there lived a mother rabbit with her baby rabbit
in the midst of a deep forest. Her love was very great for Bunny.
She thought that no other rabbit in all the woods had such a
straight pretty little tail.

All rabbits had short straight tails then and I suppose they would
have been that way until this day had it not been for this foolish
little Bunny that I am telling you about.

For a long time he was content to play around the door of his
little house, but by and by when he began to feel like a grown-up
rabbit, he wanted to go away to Farmer Green’s turnip patch. When
his mother shook her head and said “No,” he wrinkled his nose and
became a very cross little rabbit.

When night came and his mother had fallen asleep in her bed of
warm dried leaves, Bunny crept silently out of the house on his
cushioned feet up to the dark world and ran as fast as he could.

Finally he came to a great field and right in the midst he could
see the farmer’s house, and on one side the garden. Straight
toward this garden he ran at such a pace it did not take him long
to reach the fence and find a hole to crawl through. Such a sight
he saw! Rows and rows of juicy turnips, and fresh crisp lettuce,
and round green cabbages. There was so much that he did not know
what to taste first.

All at once in a corner he saw a tiny, house-looking thing with an
open door inviting him to come in. Bunny went in and found there a
sweet red apple. But he couldn’t come out again! Try as he might,
the door would not open. He was in a rabbit trap!

The next morning Farmer Green came and carried poor Bunny to the
barn and left him shut up in a large room. By and by the hired man
came in and left the door open. Quick as a flash Bunny was out and
running through the door. Then down he fell into a tar bucket,
sticky and black. There he twisted and turned over and over until
he was all covered with tar.

It seemed as if he would never reach the side of the bucket, but
finally one black little foot stretched up and he pulled with all
his might, till over he went and started to run again. This time
he ran straight into a cotton basket full of white cotton. He was
certainly a sight now, for the cotton stuck to the tar. For a long
time he lay there and rested.

When night came he crept out of the basket and ran home where his
poor little frightened mother was crying. You may be sure she
hardly knew her son, and she began at once to wash and scrub and
scrape him to get off the tar and the cotton. At last he was the
same little rabbit again, except for a fluffy little piece of
cotton which clung to his tail and still clings there yet. And that
is why we call him cotton tail.


_In which we see how a well-known bird got its color and habits._

Once there lived an old woman on the edge of a wood far away from
anybody. She lived in a little cabin and did all her own work.
Nobody ever came to see her because she was cross and mean and
selfish, and nobody ever cares to visit a person like that.

She always wore a black dress, a white apron with bows, and a queer
little red bonnet on her head. How selfish she was! She could not
keep a dog, nor a cat, nor even a bird because she would not feed
them. She raised no flowers because she would not spare the water
to keep them alive.

One day she was baking some cakes and a poor hungry man came to the
door and begged for one. “Please give me one of those cakes you
are baking,” said he. “I am very poor and hungry and am weak from
tramping so far.” And then the man sat down on the door step while
the old woman thought it over.

The old woman broke off a piece of dough and put it into the oven
to bake. After it was baked she decided it looked so nice and brown
that it was too large to give away. She then broke off a very small
piece of dough and put it in the oven to bake. After it was baked
it was as nice and large as the other one. At last she broke off a
piece as small as a pinhead. After it was baked it was as large and
nice as the others.

She looked at the old man and said: “These cakes are too nice to
give away,” and then she put the cakes away in the cupboard.

Then she offered the man a piece of bread. The poor man took the
crust of bread and disappeared. The woman then felt sorry she had
given away even so small a piece of bread and wanted it back again.
She said: “I wish I were a bird so I could fly to this man and get
my crust of bread back.”

All at once she felt herself growing smaller and smaller. Then she
shrank to the size of a bird. She still had on the black dress and
the red bonnet. She flew after the man and cried out, “Crust!
Crust! My Crust!” But the man could not be found. She looked in the
woods, she looked in the chimneys, and she decided he had hidden in
a tree. So she began to Tap! Tap! Tap! at every tree she lit on.

She was now no longer a woman but a bird. Her black dress became
the body of the bird, her white apron became the white wings, and
the red bonnet became the red head of the bird. She is called the
red-headed woodpecker.

All day long she knocks at trees. Her head is so hard that it never
hurts, no matter how hard she knocks. She is still trying to find
her crust of bread. All we know is that when she finds a worm she
eats it on the spot and never leaves even a bite for the other


_Our mothers know what is best for us, and a wise child always

Three little birds, Fluffy, Chirpie and Dicky, lived in a beautiful
nest hung high among the branches of an old oak tree. The father
and mother birds were kept very busy every day gathering food for
the hungry little mouths that always flew wide open whenever the
parent birds came near.

Day by day they grew until they were large enough to take their
first trip out of the nest. First they hopped to the edge of the
nest, then to the nearest branch, and as they grew stronger they
hopped from twig to twig. At last the mother said:

“Now, birdies, it is time for you to fly down and eat sand.” Fluffy
and Chirpie flew down and began eating sand, but Dicky said:

“I can’t fly; and I don’t like sand anyway.”

“Oh, but you must eat sand,” said his mother. “Birds have no teeth
with which to grind their food, so we must eat sand that it may
grind up the food that we eat, such as bugs, worms and seeds. Come,
you must eat sand if you would become strong.” But Dicky only cried
the louder: “I can’t fly, and I don’t like sand!”

Then the mother went to him and pushed him out of the nest, and he
spread his wings and flew to the ground.

“Eat sand and grow strong,” said Chirpie. “How do you know you
don’t like it if you won’t taste it?” But foolish Dicky only said:
“I won’t eat sand!”

Now, the mother bird had promised that when they had grown strong
they should go to the meadow. So one spring morning she told them
they might go, though she feared Dicky was not strong enough to go
so far. They flew over the fence and through the orchard, and by
this time Chirpie and Fluffy were far ahead. Dicky was being left
behind. He called loudly: “Wait! wait!” but they were already too
far away to hear.

Soon all but Dicky reached the meadow.

“Why, where is Dicky?” exclaimed the mother.

“We left him sitting on the orchard wall,” said Fluffy; “he was too
tired to fly. He will not eat sand and the bugs make him sick. He
is weak.”

What a fine time they had! Mother showed them how to get the best
bugs, worms and seeds; and they bathed in the brook to their
hearts’ content. When they had eaten all they could and frolicked
all they wished, they looked and saw the great round sun going down
in the west, and they knew that night was near. Then they flew back
to the dear home tree, and what do you think was the first thing
they saw when they reached home? Yes--there was Dicky under the
tree eating sand! He wanted to be strong and had found out that he
had to do what his mother told him.


(January 19th)

_In which it appears that a good boy can become a great man._

Robert E. Lee was born on a beautiful plantation in Virginia. He
was a very handsome boy. His father was rich and had many servants,
but Robert was not spoiled by all these things. His father and many
members of his family had been soldiers. Robert loved to listen to
their stories about the battles they had fought for love of their
country. He said to himself: “When I am a man I, too, will be a
soldier and fight for my country.”

As he listened he learned that a soldier must always do his duty;
that means he must do the right thing in the right way at the right
time. He learned that a soldier’s duty is always to obey orders, to
be brave, to be faithful, and to be tender-hearted.

Day by day this little boy tried to do these things. Was it easy?
Oh, no! but soldiers do not hunt for easy things to do. Perhaps
sometimes when he had a hard lesson he would rather have gone
hunting or drilled with his boy company or played ball, but he did
his duty first, and then he played as hard as the other boys. Soon
his family, his teachers and boy friends found that Robert could be
trusted, in work or play, to do his very best.

When Robert was eleven years old his brave soldier-father died. It
was a sad time for him. His brothers were away from home, and his
mother was sick. Then Robert showed his faithfulness and tenderness.

Young as he was, he carried the keys to the big store-house and
gave out the rations to all the servants on that big plantation. He
helped his mother in many other ways. On pleasant mornings he would
order out the carriage and leaving his playmates, would take his
mother to drive, and tell her all about his work and play to cheer
her up.

How his mother loved him! She would often say: “Robert is both son
and daughter to me.”

I wonder if the boys teased him sometimes and if he felt like
giving up? I think he did, but he knew that soldiers must keep on

With work and study and play the years went by until Robert was
eighteen years old, and it was time for him to go to West Point
and learn to be a soldier. During the Civil War he became a great
general, and was in command of all the soldiers of the Confederate
States. He always felt kindly toward his enemies. After the war he
said to a lady, “You must train your sons to love all the country,
and to be good Americans.” He was one of the greatest soldiers a
country has ever had, and a pure hearted, Christian man. That is
why we celebrate his birthday.


_Service is the source of happiness._

Once there was a little fairy whose name was Good Luck. She was
known and loved all over the world because she carried Happiness
to every one. This Happiness she carried in an ugly black box, and
though it could only hold a tiny bit, it was always full. Now Good
Luck had to be very careful of her gift, for if she lost Happiness
the world would be very sad.

One night she was very tired. It was very dark and not a star could
be seen. So Good Luck had to hunt a place to hide her treasure.
She thought perhaps the trees would help her, so she asked a pine
tree to hold it while she slept. But he answered: “What, that ugly
little box! No, indeed! I have too many pretty cones to hold.”

The tired little fairy hurried on until she came to a fir whom she
asked to hold her precious gift. But the fir was too busy and
would not bother with it.

Thus each tree gave some excuse. Poor Good Luck was about to cry
when she spied a tree whose branches drooped down to the ground.
“Will you hold my box, little tree?” she cried.

“My branches bend low,” sighed the little tree sadly, “and I am too
ugly to be of much use. I will watch it. Lay it near my trunk.”

Early the next morning Good Luck awoke, and opening her box she
sprinkled a tiny bit on the tree. Then she thanked the kind tree
and flew away. Later the sun was surprised to find the bent tree
straight and its branches reaching up to the skies.

Now, that night a little brown bird came to the branches of that
tree. She told him of Good Luck and her box; but she made a mistake
and told him it was golden when it was black. This little bird was
ugly and the other birds made fun of him. Usually he was too busy
helping others to think of himself, but this night he determined to
find Good Luck and ask her to give him beautiful plumage like the
other birds.

So he started out. One day when he was flying over a brook he saw a
fairy caught in a spider’s web. Quickly cutting the threads he put
her on his back and carried her away. After putting her down he saw
she carried a small black box. The fairy asked him would he carry
it for her. “Yes,” said he. Before flying away he asked her if she
could tell him where he could find Good Luck and her box.

“I am Good Luck,” answered she, “and you have the box of Happiness
on your back--Happiness isn’t always in golden boxes.”

The little bird flew to the brook to see the box, but instead he
saw a beautiful bluebird. And that is how the bluebird got his
color, and why it is such a happy little bird.


_The protection of helpless birds is a virtue that should be

Surrounded by brick tenement houses where lived the families who
worked in the great cotton mill is a little park where the children
from the Kindergarten love to go. There in the springtime they
watch the butterflies, the rainbow as the sun shines upon the spray
of the fountain, the little fishes and frogs in the fountain, and
the birds in the trees.

By the fountain stood an old oak tree where two little birds had
built a wonderful house. In the body of the tree was the home of a
red-headed woodpecker, and at the foot of the tree some dear little
squirrels lived, and were very happy.

After a while there were three little baby birds in the nest, and
the Kindergarten children were as much excited as the mother and
father birds. One day the mother and father bird had flown away to
find food for the baby birds, and one little baby bird wished to
watch the children playing so happily beneath the tree.

He leaned so far over the edge of the nest that he fell to the
ground. Now the little brother and sister birdies in the nest
begged him to come back, but he just said: “Twee, twee! I can’t get
back to my nest for mother has not taught me to fly, you know.”

The little frogs and fishes in the pond were sorry for him; the
woodpecker, and the squirrels and the butterflies were sorry, but
the children were more sorry than all the others. The frightened
birdie nestled against the trunk of the oak tree. A little boy
named Leland, caught the bird and put him in his cap, but the tree
was too high for a five-year-old boy to climb. A great gray cat
came up waving his tail and thinking what a nice bird dinner he
would have. A lame boy offered to watch all the afternoon to keep
the cat from catching the bird, but he could not climb a tree, for
he had only one leg and had to walk with crutches.

A man in a furniture wagon came to the rescue. He stood upon the
high seat and threw the birdie up on the branches, but the bird
fell again. A man with a string of fish and a pole on his shoulder
was stopped by the children. He took the birdie and put him on
the top of his tall fishing pole. The bird held on tight with his
little feet. Slowly he raised the fishing rod until the bird was
at the edge of the nest, then he hopped in where his brother and
sister were waiting for him.

How happy the mother and father birds were when they came home
and heard all that had happened! How happy the woodpecker, the
frogs, the fish, the squirrels and butterflies were! But the little
children were happier than all the rest.


_Showing how each single drop plays its part in making the earth

In a tiny spring at the foot of a green mossy hill, a merry drop
of water once decided to take a journey. “Good-by!” it called to
the others, and away it ran, faster and faster until it came to a

Here it had the merriest time running over the shining pebbles,
and joining its song to the brook’s as it wound in and out through
the forest. It saw the tiny fishes darting here and there, and the
dragon flies above. Sometimes the cows came for a long cool drink,
and once it passed some children playing on the bank.

It helped to carry the paper sail boats far down the stream, and
just as it was thinking how much it would like to turn back to play
with the children, the little brook emptied into the river.

Now, it was not so pleasant here for the little drop of water. The
river ran too fast and there was not much room to turn about. You
see the river had much work to do.

Big boats had to be carried from place to place, and the wheels
of the factories had to be turned, and there were many logs to be
carried from the timber forests to the saw mills, where there were
still other wheels to turn. The river was a very busy place indeed,
and every drop had to work.

“Oh, river!” the little drop cried, “please wait for me!” But on
the river ran, and by and by the little drop of water was carried
into the sea. Here the big waves rolled and tumbled over each
other. Farther and farther out it was carried with never a moment
to rest. The little drop of water thought the waves were very rough
indeed, and wondered if they were never still.

After a while it saw a sunbeam. “Now is my chance,” it thought;
“what fun it will be to climb up to the land where the Sun King
lives. Good-by, old Ocean; you may roll on without me,” and up
and up it climbed until it was too tired to go any higher. Then
suddenly it fell off into a cloud and floated through the sky.

After a while the cloud melted and down, down fell the little drop.
It was not alone, for hundreds of little raindrops were falling
with it. It fell right into the tender leaves of a stalk of corn
that was growing in the field. The corn was so grateful that he
drank the little drop of water, and let it go down on to its very

But there were others there, too, and so they began to travel under
ground until one day they came out from the side of a hill, and
splash! the little drop of water was back in the very spring from
which it started!

“Why, what a journey I have had!” exclaimed the drop. “I should
like to do that again,” and straightway started on its way down
the brook. And to this day the little drops of water go down the
brooks, and out to sea, and up in the clouds, and down like rain,
and they do that over and over again.


_It is a wise man that makes provisions against a rainy day._

One morning in April a wee brownie started out for a walk. It was
a beautiful day and there was not a cloud in the sky. He put on a
brown jerkin and brown breeches, and brown pointed shoes, and a
little brown pointed cap, as all brownies should. His clothing was
all new and fresh. He carried his basket over his arm, for he had a
bit of marketing to do by the way. He skipped along as merry as any
brownie could be on a bright, sunny morning in April.

He bought a jar of honey from a wandering bee, and a jar of butter
at the buttercup shop. He drank some milk that he got from a milk
weed, and then lay down to rest a bit. By and by a squirrel came
along and said, “You had better hurry home. It is going to rain.”
But the brownie looked at the sky and laughed at the squirrel. By
and by a butterfly flew by and said, “You had better hurry home.
It is going to rain.” But the brownie laughed again and paid no
attention to the butterfly.

When it was time to go home, the brownie started across the fields
when he felt a drop on his face. “Bless me! what’s that?” said the
brownie. The sunny April day had changed to a showery April day,
and it was raining. It is quite bad enough to be a little child out
of doors when it is raining, but think of a tiny little brownie
with fresh new clothes, and every raindrop as full as a bucket!

He crept under the tallest blades of grass and tried to cover
himself, but it was no use. The raindrops fell thicker and faster,
and he became more drenched every minute.

At last he saw, just a little way ahead, a fine broad toadstool.
That would make a good roof! So he ran as fast as his little legs
would carry him to get under the stool.

But some one else needed shelter from the weather, too. The brownie
ran straight into a huge doormouse who lay safe and dry under the

Poor little brownie! He was frightened. The doormouse looked as
large as a bear. But it was warm and dry under the toadstool, and
very wet outside. The doormouse did not see him, and kept on the
other side of the stalk, just peeping out now and then. The brownie
began to tug at the toadstool. It was very heavy. But never mind!
Tug--tug--tug--up it came, and off scampered the brownie with the
toadstool over his head, and the doormouse was left out in the

By and by a grown-up person with very sharp eyes, saw the brownie,
and the grown-up person went off at once and made himself a large
toadstool from iron and wood and cloth to hold over his head when
it rained. So that is how we came to have umbrellas.


_The wild animals have feelings that should be regarded and rights
that should be respected._

Johnny had caught a rabbit in his trap. He had intended eating all
the rabbits he caught, but this one was so beautiful he just could
not eat him, so he built a pen for him and intended keeping him.

Then he went for a stroll in the woods. After walking a long
distance he sat down under a tree to rest. Suddenly a black bear
and a gray fox appeared in the clearing. They looked very fine and
gay as they stood there watching Johnny.

“What shall we do with that bad boy?” asked Mr. Fox of Mr. Bear.
“You know so much about everybody’s business, and where every one
is, you can go and call all the animals together. Then we’ll decide
what is best.”

The fox disappeared and in a short time Johnny began hearing
rustling sounds in the bushes about him. Suddenly the clearing was
crowded with animals. A big old rabbit with ragged whiskers and
long fur frightened him more than the bear or the fox, because he
remembered all the rabbits he had caught.

Mr. Bear sat down beside Johnny and cleared his throat.

“This little boy,” he began, “has caught a rabbit, and has put him
in a pen. He may kill it and eat it. Now, we don’t know when he may
take a gun and come out to shoot us.”

All the animals looked solemnly at Johnny. Mr. Bear went on: “This
is his first trip so far into the woods alone. Shall we send him
home to his mother?”

Mr. Fox looked at Johnny through his narrow eyes, then said: “Let’s
chase him through the woods and see how he likes it; guess that
will teach him a lesson.”

Johnny was frightened almost to death and his lips trembled. He
looked straight at Mr. Fox, but he didn’t cry. Mr. Bear laid his
big paw on Johnny’s shoulder. Then old Mr. Rabbit spoke:

“I don’t think he meant to do us harm. You know he has been a good
boy up to this time. Suppose we give him one more chance.”

Most of the animals did not like this idea, but Mr. Bear, the
judge, thought it would do. So he dismissed court, and with Mr.
Rabbit escorted Johnny to the edge of the woods where they let him

Johnny went home and gave the little rabbit some carrots, then
filled a basket with cabbages and turnips, and took the basket and
the rabbit to the edge of the woods. Off scampered the rabbit and
told the other animals about the basket. That night there was a
great feast in the woods, and Johnny was much happier than he would
have been had he kept the poor little rabbit.


_A spirit of love and thoughtfulness for others is a means of our
own growth in character._

Jack was a little boy who had been sick nearly all his life. He was
never able to go into the parks and gardens to see the squirrels
and flowers, and play in the sunshine as all other little boys did.
All day long he would lie in his little white bed and watch the
wind frolic in the tree tops and the sunbeams dance on the floor.
And, oh, how he longed to be outside! But he would never let any
one know that he was so unhappy because he could not go out and
play with the children.

He said to himself, “I know it hurts my mother as much as it does
me to see me here in bed all the time. So I must try to be cheerful
for her sake. Besides, it will do no good to complain.”

So he was a merry, bright little fellow. All the children loved to
come and sit with him. “Hello, Jack,” they would say as they came
into his room. “Hello, Bob,” he would answer. “So glad to see you!
tell me about the ball game.” And they talked about their sports.

Each day one of his friends would come and bring him a bouquet of
flowers, so that his room was always bright and cheerful. He loved
the white roses because they were so pure and sweet, but best of
all he loved the big yellow daffodils, and always wanted a vase of
them right by his bed.

One day when it was almost time for Jack to have a birthday one of
Jack’s friends said to all the other little boys:

“Let’s make something nice for Jack’s birthday; something that will
make him happy for a long time.”

So the boys thought and thought and talked about it for a long time
before they could decide what to give him. But one morning Jack’s
best friend called all the boys and said:

“Let’s make a big box to fit right in Jack’s window, and keep
flowers planted in it all the year round.”

So the boys got their fathers to help make the box, and they took
it to Jack’s room and put it in his window and filled it with rich
soft earth. They got some daffodils and planted them about an inch
apart. Every day Jack watched for the daffodils to shoot up above
the earth. By and by they began to come up, then they grew and grew
until at last they began to bloom. The box was a glory of yellow
flowers, and Jack was a very happy little boy.

His friends came every day to see them and to talk with Jack.

“I have a beautiful garden,” said Jack; “all filled with
golden balls.” And so when he went to bed he told his garden
“Good-night!” And when he awoke he smiled at his flowers and said,
“Good-morning!” And they smiled back and seemed to know him.


_Wherein a little girl learns a great lesson in her dreams._

“Mother dear,” said Dorothy, “may I go pick some flowers?”

“Yes, but you must not go far as it is getting late.”

“Very well, mother,” said Dorothy, “I’ll do everything you say,”
and off she scampered to pick flowers.

It was a beautiful day in May and all the flowers were in bloom.

“Oh, how I wish I were a flower!” thought Dorothy. “They are such
beautiful things and they make so many people happy.”

She walked along as happy as happy could be picking flowers and
humming to herself. Presently she sat down to rest, and leaned her
head against the trunk of a big tree.

Soon it grew so dark she could not see. She had forgotten that her
mother had told her not to go far. She looked all around, but could
not see a thing. It was black dark everywhere. Dorothy wondered why
it was so dark.

“Oh, dear, what shall I do! there’s no place to go, and I can’t
stay here.” She walked on feeling her way among the trees until
she saw a light away up on the top of a steep hill. She climbed
the hill in the direction of the light until she came to a little
house. Out at the gate stood an old, old woman gazing up at the

“Oh, please,” said Dorothy to the old woman, “help me out. I am
lost from home and I do wish I could make somebody happy. Do you
know how I can do it?”

The old woman thought for a minute before she said:

“Yes, I can turn you into a beautiful daisy, and you can grow here
on the hillside, and you will afford somebody happiness.”

“Very well,” said little Dorothy, “that suits me exactly, for I
have been wishing I were a flower.”

The next morning when the old woman awoke she went to her window
and looked among her flowers, and there was the most beautiful
daisy growing among the others.

In a short while an old man passed by and noticed this beautiful

“Look what a beautiful flower,” said he to himself, “with its
golden heart and its silver dress. I will take it to Louise, how
happy she will be to see this lovely flower.”

Louise was sick, and when the old man gave her the flower how happy
she was! The little flower afforded Louise pleasure until she grew
well and strong again.

Just then a call came: “Dorothy, Dorothy, where are you, dear?”
Dorothy opened her eyes and answered:

“Here I am, mother, under the big oak tree.” She had only been
dreaming. But as she went into the house she said to herself, “I
wonder if I need to be turned into a flower to give happiness to


_If we desire to run in a race we should keep our minds free from
all diverting influences._

There was once a king who had a daughter so beautiful that
everybody loved her, and all the princes far and near were anxious
to marry her. The young princess was not so eager to get married,
and so she gave out that she would not marry any man unless he
could beat her in a foot race.

She was a very swift runner; nobody had ever beaten her in a race,
though many had tried. She could run almost as fast as the wind and
could easily outstrip the wild animals in her father’s forests. She
announced that anybody might run against her for her hand, but that
any one who failed must have his head cut off.

And now the young men came to run with her. There was a race every
day and sometimes two, but the young girl always won, and the
headsman was ready with his ax to chop off the head of the young
man who failed to beat the princess in the race. It looked as if
the pile of heads would be as big as a house if it kept on at that

There was a poor young man who heard about the princess and wanted
to try his fortune in the race. He was very good looking and a fine
runner himself, besides which he had some sense which is of much
importance in a race as we shall see.

He gathered a bunch of roses, and had a silken girdle made, and
took a bag with a gold ball in it, and knocked at the door of the

“I have come to race with the princess,” he said. “And I am ready
now to try my fortune.”

“You will lose your head,” said the princess, “though I hope not,”
she added as she looked at the young man.

Well, the race began, and the princess flew on ahead of the young
man. He was just behind her and threw the bunch of roses in front
of her flying feet. She stopped to pick them up and fasten them in
her belt. Then she ran on, overtook the young man and was again
ahead of him. This time he threw the girdle in front of her. She
stopped to pick that up, too, and to fasten the rose in it. Then
she ran on again and overtook the young man and was about to pass
him in the race.

He dropped the bag with the gold ball inside. The girl stopped and
picked up the bag; she took out the ball and began to play with it.
She sat down on the grass and tossed it up and caught it in her
fingers, while the young man ran on to the goal.

When he came back to get her she was still playing with the ball,
and it seemed to everybody that she did not mind losing the race at



_Loveliness of character is often developed by adversity.
Misfortune need not make us unhappy, nor rob us of sweetness of

There was a merchant who had three daughters. The two older were
very proud and haughty and ugly. The youngest was so gentle
and pretty that everybody called her Beauty. The merchant lost
everything he had and was obliged to move into the country and do
his own work. The two older daughters behaved very badly, were
very cross, and refused to do anything at all. But Beauty rose by
daybreak, cooked all the meals, cleaned up the house, and grew more
beautiful every day. This also made the other sisters crosser than
ever, but Beauty paid no attention to them but went on singing and

One day their father had to go to town on business. As he was
coming home he lost his way in the woods and wandered far from the
right direction. At last he found himself before a great palace,
the windows all lighted and the doors wide open. The stables were
open too, and his horse rushed in and began to eat the hay and oats.

The merchant was too tired and cold to ask questions. So he walked
into the palace and looked around. Not a soul in sight. There was a
table spread with food, a bright fire burning.

“I may as well get warm,” said he, and stood close to the fire. “I
may as well eat,” said he, and ate a good supper from the table
spread before him. “I may as well sit down and rest,” said he, and
sat down before the fire until he was very sleepy.

Nobody came near him and he heard no voice. “I may as well go to
bed and sleep,” said he. So he wandered through the palace until he
came to a bedroom. Then he undressed and lay down on a beautiful
bed and went to sleep. When he woke in the morning he found his old
clothes gone and in their place he found a new suit of beautiful
material. He put it on and went into the dining room and ate
breakfast. Nobody came near him. He thought this very strange.

After breakfast he wandered into the garden. There were many
beautiful trees and flowers in bloom, and birds singing. He
gathered some of the flowers, and came to a special rose-bush on
which was a large rose red like blood. He broke it off with his
hand. Then he heard a roaring like some one in anger and distress.
He turned, and a terrible Beast came down the path.

“You have plucked my rose and now you shall die or some one in your
place,” cried he in a great rage. “That was my magic rose.”

The merchant begged to be allowed first to go home to see his

“Very well,” said the Beast, “but be sure to return or send some
one, or I shall come after you.”

And the poor merchant found his way home the next day and told his
sad story to his three daughters. To-morrow we shall see how it
turned out.



_Self-sacrifice is a noble trait of character and sometimes brings
an unexpected reward._

You can imagine how the older sisters acted when they heard their
father’s sad story. When the time came for the merchant to go,
Beauty declared that she would go with him and die in his stead.
So Beauty and her father set out for the palace of the Beast.

They entered the palace gate, and the horse found his way to the
stable and began to eat as before. In the house they found the fire
burning and the table spread for two persons. After supper there
was a great roaring, and the Beast entered and said to Beauty: “Did
you come of your own accord?” Beauty replied, “I did.”

Then the beast made the merchant leave the palace and go back to
his own home, but Beauty had to stay in the palace until the beast
had made up his mind what to do.

Beauty bade her father good-by, and then began to walk through the
palace. She came to a room marked “Beauty’s Room.” It was full of
books, fine furniture, and many beautiful things. Among the rest
was a looking-glass in which she could see her father on his way
home--and all that he was doing. That very night she saw him reach
home. He looked very sad, but Beauty thought her sisters looked
glad that he was alone.

The next day Beauty found everything ready for her everywhere. Her
meals were ready and sweet music sounded when she ate. At night the
Beast came and took supper with her. He said nothing and Beauty was
frightened for fear he would be angry. At last he said:

“Beauty, do you think I am ugly?” Beauty could not deceive him, so
she said: “Yes, but you are very good.” Then the Beast smiled and
left her.

Every night he came and took supper with Beauty and asked her the
same question. Every time he smiled at her answer, and somehow,
every time he smiled he looked less and less terrible than before.

Time passed and Beauty saw the Beast every day. One day she looked
in her mirror and saw her father lying ill at home. She begged the
Beast to let her go to him.

“Be back in ten days, or I shall have to die,” said the Beast, and
at once she was at home and her father was holding her hand. But
in ten days he was well, and Beauty thought of the Beast. “I wish
I were with him,” said Beauty, and so it was, for at once she was
in the palace again. Beauty wished for the Beast and when he came
in to supper she went up and kissed him on the cheek and said: “You
are not ugly and I love you!”

And then what do you think? He was the Beast no longer for the
charm was broken and he became a prince and turned to Beauty and
said: “You have freed me from the charm of a wicked fairy. You said
I was not ugly and that you loved me. That has set me free,” and
he took her by the hand and kissed her. Thus it was that Beauty
became the wife of a prince and lived happy ever after.


(Adapted from Browning’s poem)

_One should stick to his bargain or abide the consequences._

Over in Germany is the town of Hamelin. A long time ago that town
was troubled with rats until it was unendurable. The rats were
in the houses, in the stores, in the churches; they ran over the
streets, and the people were eaten out of house and home. The rats
fought the dogs and killed the cats. They ate all the cheese, they
made nests inside men’s Sunday hats. Oh, it was an awful time the
people had with the rats of the town of Hamelin.

At last the people said: “We will not stand it any longer. What
is our Mayor for if he can’t rid us of rats?” So they went to the
Mayor and said they would send him packing if he did not find some
way to run the rats out of town. The poor Mayor was in a quandary.
He did not know what to do.

Just then came a knock on the door. “Come in,” said the Mayor. In
walked a strange man, tall and thin, with a funny hat on his head,
and with clothes half red and half yellow. His eyes were sharp and
bright. He had a little pipe in his hands upon which he could play

“I am the Pied Piper, Mr. Mayor,” said the strange man, “and I can
rid your town of rats for a thousand coins.”

“Good!” said the Mayor. “Go on! it’s a bargain. Be in a hurry about
it, for the people are already angry with me.”

The Piper went to the door and began to play on his pipe. It was
a strange high tune. All at once the rats began to run out from
everywhere. All kinds of rats, big and little, old and young,
they came running and tumbling and falling over each other. Then
the Piper led them down to the river where every last one of them
jumped in and was drowned. Not a rat was left in all the town of

“Now for my thousand coins,” said the Piper to the Mayor.

“Oh, come!” said the Mayor. “I did not really mean to pay you all
that money. Here--take ten and be satisfied.”

But the Piper said he wanted his thousand coins and would take no
less. So the Mayor puffed up, and grew red in the face and told the
Piper to be gone.

The Piper then went into the streets and began to play another
very strange tune. All the children pricked up their ears to
listen. The Piper played on. The children began to run out of the
houses and the stores and down the street, shouting and laughing
and dancing after the Piper.

“Stop him! Stop him!” cried the people. But the Piper did not stop
but marched on towards the mountains where a great door opened and
all the children marched in after the Piper. The door then closed
and the people never saw the Piper nor their children any more.

That is what happened because the Mayor would not do as he promised.


_In which we see how a wicked uncle is punished and the little lame
prince comes into his own._

Many years ago the king and queen of a certain country were very
sad because they had no little son who would become king after
they were dead. But at last one day a little prince was born which
rejoiced the hearts of his parents greatly.

During a great feast the people wanted to see the little prince,
and they crowded around him so close that the nurse dropped him and
hurt his leg. They thought nothing of this for a while, but as he
grew up to be a large boy and wanted to play like other boys it was
found that he was lame and had to go around on crutches. The people
loved him very much, and called him “Our lame prince.”

After a while the king and queen died, and the prince’s uncle, who
was a bad man, came in with his followers, and in spite of the
tears of the people, sent the little prince away and confined him
in a tall tower in a desert region.

One night as he was sleeping with his windows open he was awakened
by a tap on his shoulder. He sat up in bed and saw standing by him
a queer little old woman in a gray cloak. She said to him,

“Little prince, I am your fairy godmother, and I want you to come
with me and ride over your kingdom on my cloak.”

She spread the gray cloak out on the floor and she and the prince
sat down on it. The fairy waved her wand and the cloak flew out of
the window, taking them both along. Over the desert and forest and
into the town they went. She and the prince were invisible so long
as they stood on the cloak. They flew into the palace yard and into
the great room where a ball was going on and everybody was dancing
and feasting. Nobody could see them of course.

The old uncle had told the people that the lame prince was dead,
and had ordered them to come to this feast and dance whether they
liked it or not. As the cloak carried the prince and the old fairy
godmother into the room the prince heard his uncle say: “I tell you
he is dead! He fell off the tower and broke his neck.”

The prince stepped off the cloak and said loudly: “No, I am not
dead! I am here, alive and well.”

The people saw him standing in their midst and set up so great a
shout that the old uncle was seized with fear and trembling.

“Our prince is alive! long live our lame prince!” shouted all the

The old uncle heard them cry and ran out of the palace and into the
yard, and into the street, and on into the forest, and so far as we
know he may be running yet.

The prince became king, but he never heard anything more of his
fairy godmother and her gray cloak.


_How a visit to Beastland cured a little boy of cruelty to animals._

This is a story of a little boy who made a visit to Beastland where
all the animals go when they die. The boy’s name was Benjamin, but
everybody called him Benny. He was a cruel little boy, and threw
stones at all the dogs, and cats and birds that he saw. Sometimes
he hurt the poor animals, and often he killed the little birds.

After a while the animals all ran, and the birds flew away when
he came in sight. The dogs would not play with him, but ran under
the house when they saw him coming; the cats climbed up the trees
or over the fence, and the birds flew over into the next yard. “We
will not stay near such a cruel little boy,” they all said.

One day a poor dog passed in front of Benny’s house. The dog was
very tired and hungry, and not knowing Benny he stopped as if he
would ask for a bone or a piece of bread. But Benny picked up a big
rock and threw it at him and broke the poor dog’s leg. Then he ran
away and hid to keep from hearing the poor dog howl with pain.

That night Benny could not sleep. He covered his head up in the
bed clothes, and shut his eyes tight, and put his fingers in his
ears, but he still saw the poor dog and heard his pitiful cries.
After a while, as he lay very still trying to go to sleep, he heard
a scratching at the window sill, and looking up he saw a big dog
climbing in the window.

“What do you want?” he asked.

The dog stood up on his hind legs and said: “I have come to take
you to Beastland.”

Then he took a rope out of a bag he carried, and tied poor Benny
hand and foot. Throwing him across his back he went out of the
window, out of the yard and way off up the side of a mountain. At
last they came to a land where there was nothing but animals and
they were all talking about boys and girls.

The big dog who carried Benny took him to the Court House and
brought him before Judge Lion and a jury of cats and dogs. He was
to be tried for cruelty. There were ever so many witnesses against
poor Benny. All the dogs he had stoned; all the cats he had chased;
all the birds he had killed rose up against him. Finally Judge Lion
said: “Tie a tin can to him and chase him through town.” Then the
big dog tied an old tin can to Benny’s foot, and all the dogs and
animals ran him and ran him, and barked and snapped until he was
chased out of Beastland and right into his little bed. He woke up
with a start and exclaimed:

“My! But that was an awful feeling!” But he was kind to all animals
ever afterwards.


_He who takes sunshine into the lives of others also lets it into
his own life._

Alice was in the garden gathering roses for her mother. The day was
warm and the sun very bright, so she sat down under a tree to rest,
exclaiming: “Oh, if there were only such things as fairies! I wish
I were one, for I would like to do nothing but play. I’m so tired
of working and going to school!”

Just then something touched her on the shoulder, and turning
round she saw a tiny fairy with a smiling face and shining wings,
standing in the heart of a sleeping poppy.

“Little girl,” said the fairy, “we don’t play--we have to work, and
very hard sometimes.”

Alice laughed at the idea of a fairy working, but the wee voice
continued: “I am a sunshine fairy, and I have to make people smile
and be happy. Would you like trying to be a fairy?”

“Oh, yes, indeed I would,” replied Alice. So they started off
together. As they walked along the road the fairy stopped and
kissed all the flowers to wake them up. Then she smiled and waved
her hand to the birds and butterflies as they flew by; and on every
one she passed she threw a ray of sunshine from her magic wand.

She stopped at a little hut in the woods and helped an old lady
cook dinner for her son. From there she went to a big hospital
where many sick people were, and she cheered them up and soothed
their pain. Then she went to a poor man’s house, and finding his
little children eating dry bread for supper, she touched it with
her wand and turned it into cake.

As the big round sun began to go down, the fairy turned homewards,
and after walking a long way they came to a large forest. In it was
a mossy throne where the fairy queen sat, surrounded by hundreds
of Sunshine fairies. As Alice and the fairy came in they went and
knelt before the queen, who smiled and asked them if they had had a
pleasant day.

“Oh, yes,” said Alice, “but I am so tired; I’ll never say again
that the fairies don’t work!”

The queen stooped and kissed her, and just then Alice woke up and
found her mother bending over her. Her mother asked how she had
enjoyed her nap--and would she like to go and see a sick friend.

“Mother dear, I’ve been to sure-enough fairy land where the
Sunshine fairies live, and I’m going to try to make people happy
just as they do!” exclaimed Alice.

“I am so glad, dearie; as soon as you are ready, we will go, and
you may carry these beautiful roses that you have picked, for I
know that flowers always cheer the sick and make them feel brighter
and happier.”

“Yes, I will, and then I’ll be a sure-enough Sunshine fairy, and
not a dream one!” laughed Alice.


_The stupid are not always really so, but only appear so. There is
always something they can learn._

In Bavaria there lived an Earl who had one son who seemed never to
learn anything. He could not remember even the simplest thing he
was told by his teacher. Everybody said:

“He is too stupid to bother with. The Earl should send him away,”
and that is exactly what the Earl did. He sent him to Switzerland
to a great school.

At the end of a year he came back home. “What have you learned in
Switzerland, my son?” asked the Earl.

“I have learned why the dogs bark,” the son replied.

“Did you learn anything else?” asked the Earl.

“Oh, yes! I have learned what the frogs say when they croak.”

The Earl was in a great rage and declared that he had wasted his
money on a teacher who taught such foolish things.

The stupid son was left all to himself now, and so he wandered
into the forest and came to a great castle and asked for a night’s
lodging. The lord said: “You may sleep in the tower, but the wild
dogs howl all night so that no one can sleep.”

Then the stupid son said: “I will find out what they are howling
about.” Accordingly he went into the tower to sleep, but soon the
dogs began to howl.

“What are you howling about?” he asked the leading dog. They were
much surprised to hear a man talking dog language; but they said:
“We are guarding a treasure of gold under the tower for the lord of
this castle.”

The next morning the stupid son told the lord what the dogs said.
The lord dug up the treasure, gave part of it to the stupid son,
and heard no more of the dogs.

The stupid son then went along and came to a place where the frogs
were croaking. He stopped and listened to what they said. They were
talking about some robbers who had planned to carry off the king’s

The stupid son hurried to the King’s house and said: “The frogs
have told me that robbers will seize the princess to-night. Be on
your guard!”

The king thought this was a strange message, but he called his
guard and put them behind a big tree in the yard. Late that night
the robbers came creeping up to the window of the princess, but the
guards seized them and bore them before the king, who promptly put
them in jail. The king then loaded the stupid son with jewels and
sent him on his way. Soon he came home and showed the Earl all the
gold and jewels he had won.

“How did you get all this wealth, my son?” cried the Earl.

“By listening to what the dogs said when they barked, and to what
the frogs said when they croaked,” replied the stupid son.


_Even the strongest can yield to temptation and be betrayed._

We read in the Bible of the strong man named Samson. One day he
met a lion in his path. Samson had no weapon, but he caught the
lion with his hands and tore it to pieces as if it were a kid. At
another time he caught three hundred foxes and tied fire brands to
the tail of each one of them. He then drove the foxes into the corn
fields of the Philistines who were his enemies, and destroyed all
their crops.

The Israelites were not pleased with Samson, and resolved to
betray him to the Philistines. Three thousand of them bound Samson
and took him to the camp of the Philistines. But as soon as the
Israelites had left, Samson snapped the great cords as if they were
flax burnt with fire, and finding the jaw bone of an ass he seized
it and slew a thousand Philistines.

Samson once went to a city named Gaza where he spent the night. The
people there laid in wait to catch him next morning, and closed the
gates in the big walls of the city. But next morning Samson rose
and came to the gates of the city and lifted them up--posts and
all--and walked off with them.

After a while Samson met a woman named Delilah. He loved her and
often went to visit her. The Philistines knew this and said to

“Entice him and see wherein his great strength lieth that we may
overcome him.” They agreed to give Delilah a great quantity of
silver for betraying Samson into their hands. Delilah agreed to do
this and asked Samson what made him so strong, and how could he be
bound so that he could not be taken.

Samson did not know her purpose and at first would not tell her
what made him so strong. His strength lay in his long hair which
fell down over his shoulders, but nobody knew it but Samson.
Finally Delilah teased him so much that he told her he had not
cut his hair nor shaved his beard all his life, and that all his
strength lay in his hair. One day she caught Samson asleep and cut
off all his beautiful hair, and when he awoke he was as weak as any
other man. Then the Philistines came and took him away and Delilah
was paid her money for betraying poor Samson.

The Philistines then put out his eyes, and took him over to Gaza
and made him grind in the mill. There he worked for a long time and
the Philistines made sport of him. One day they were having a great
offering in the temple. So they took the blind Samson up to the
temple and set him between its pillars. But by this time his hair
had grown out again and his strength had returned to him.

So while the temple was full of people Samson wrapped his mighty
arms around the pillars and pulled them down and the temple fell
in, and he and all his enemies were buried together.


_No one believes a story teller even when he tells the truth._

There was once a shepherd boy named Peter. He was a good shepherd
boy. Early every morning he carried his sheep to the cool green
pastures and watched over them all day. His faithful shepherd dog,
Watch, was always along with him and helped him in every way. If
any of the little lambs got lost or hurt, Watch would find them and
bring them to Peter. Peter was very fond of his sheep and was very
kind to them. He enjoyed going to the fields every day and caring
for them, to see that none of them were lost or eaten by the wild
beasts. But sometimes Peter was lonesome, and being a boy wanted to
play as well as work.

One day when Peter was feeling rather cross he said to himself: “I
am tired of doing nothing but care for these sheep. I wonder what I
can do to have some fun?”

He thought a few minutes and then he said: “I know the very thing.
I’ll play a joke on the village people. I’ll go down to the village
and cry ‘Wolf! wolf!’ Then all the people will come running to help
me. When they get there they will find out I was just fooling and
it will make them ever so angry.”

So Peter did just as he had planned. He left Watch to look after
his flock and ran into the village crying “Wolf! wolf!” Of course
all the people ran to help him drive away the wolf.

What was their surprise when the men reached the field to find that
Peter was only playing a joke on them. They did not like it at all,
but went back to the village without scolding him that time.

Peter thought it was a great joke, and in a few days decided to
play the same joke again. So he ran to the village and cried “Wolf!
wolf!” just as he had done before. The men decided to trust him
once more and went to help him. When they came to the field they
saw that Peter had fooled them again. This made them very angry and
they said: “We’ll never come to help Peter again if he calls.”

Not long after that two wolves did come after the sheep and
frightened Peter very much. He ran as fast as he could to the
village and cried: “Wolf! wolf!” but the men said: “No, we are not
going to see about wolves any more.”

Peter begged them to come but they would not. So he had to go back
to the pasture by himself, and found nearly all of his sheep killed
by the wolves. Even Watch had not been able to protect them. You
see Peter had fooled the people when he did not need help, and now
when he did need them they would not come; therefore he lost his


(February 12th)

_In which it appears that the character of the boy foreshadows the
character of the man._

Many years ago in the State of Kentucky there stood a little log
house, and in it was born a little boy whose name was Abraham
Lincoln. Lincoln had a kind father and mother. His mother was his
first teacher. He afterwards went to school but only for one year.
He had no pencils or paper. Sometimes he did his number work on a
shovel with a piece of burnt wood for a pencil.

Once Lincoln rowed two men across a river. The two silver dollars
that they paid him was the first money he had ever earned. He felt
as rich as a king. In the evenings when his work was done, Lincoln
would study. They had no lamps so he had to study by the light of
the fire. There were only three books in the house, and these he
read over and over.

Once a man loaned Lincoln a book about Washington. He read it
in every spare moment during the day and took it to bed with him
at night. One night, during a hard snow storm, the snow came in
between the logs and spoiled the book. Poor little Abraham almost
cried. He showed the owner his book and told him what had happened.
He asked what he could do to pay for it. “Will you work to pay for
it?” asked the man.

“Yes, I will do anything,” answered Abraham.

“Well, you may hoe corn for me for three days,” the man said, “then
you may have the book.” This was the first book Abraham Lincoln
ever bought.

When Lincoln was twenty-one years of age he moved with his family
to Illinois. There he set out to earn his own living. Sometimes
he worked on a farm; sometimes he visited large cities carrying
produce to sell. Sometimes he went surveying in the great forests.
He was so poor that his first surveyor’s chain was said to be a
wild grape-vine. For a short time Lincoln kept a little country
store. Once a poor woman came in to buy something. He made a
mistake and asked her six cents too much. That evening Lincoln
walked three miles in the rain to tell the woman of his mistake and
return the six cents.

Lincoln was for many years a lawyer. He was very just and fair
and when people got into trouble they would go to him for help.
“Honest Abe” they called him. Poor as he was and hard as he worked
he spent every spare moment in reading. Finally the time came when
our country needed a wise and brave man for president--a man with a
clear head and a fearless heart. The people looked about for such
a leader. There in Illinois they found him, and from all sides was
heard the cry: “Abraham Lincoln is the man!” As Lincoln had always
been a good and honest man so he was a good and wise president.


_In which we see that there are some things that kings cannot do._

King Maximilian of Bavaria was one day walking in the open fields.
As the weather was warm he sat down under a tree to rest. The king
took a book out of his pocket and began to read. Soon he began to
nod, and before long he was fast asleep.

When he woke up it was past noon, so he arose hastily and started
for town. After he had gone about a mile he felt for his book and
found that he had left it under the tree where he had been asleep.

As he started back to get the book he saw a little barefooted boy
in a field nearby watching a flock of geese. The king went to the
boy and holding out a piece of money, said, “My boy, if you will
run back to the big tree a mile down the road and get my book, I
will give you this gold piece.”

The boy wanted the gold piece very much, but he shook his head. “I
should like to go for the book, but the geese will run away and
then I shall be punished by my master,” said he.

“Oh, I will look after the geese while you are gone,” said the
king. At this the boy laughed, for the man was fat and looked as if
he could not manage even one goose, to say nothing of a flock of

“Give me the whip, and let me try,” said the king, “while you run
along and get my book. Here, take the gold piece first, and be
quick.” Then the king took the whip and tossed the boy the money,
who ran off down the road, while the king settled down to watch the

All went well for a while until one old gander looked up and saw
a strange face near. At this he gave a loud cackle and flew over
the ditch. The others looked up and began to cackle and complain
as if they missed the little boy. Then some flew one way and some
flew another. Across the meadow they ran, the king after them. He
cracked his whip and tried to head them off, but it was of no use.
Then he sat down to wipe his face.

Soon the boy came back and seeing the scattered geese, he cried
out, “Just as I thought. You know nothing about geese, and now we
have got to get them together.”

So the king went around the field helping the boy, and with a great
deal of shouting and scolding the geese were all gathered together
again. Then Maximilian said, “You see, my boy, I am a king and I am
not used to such work as this. The geese got away from me before I
knew it.”

“King indeed!” said the boy. “It’s a pretty sort of king you are
that cannot manage a flock of geese for a half hour.” And then the
king went on home thinking that perhaps the boy was right after all.


_Wherein we learn a lesson of a dog’s faithfulness and a man’s

Bruno was a dog who belonged to a kind man. He was a large handsome
dog who had been devoted to his master for many years, and always
went with him to town.

Bruno had been raised with his master’s children and had played
with them when he was a puppy. Now that he was a big dog he took
especial care to see that nothing happened to them.

One day his master sold some land and received for it a large bag
of gold money. He knew he must take it to the city immediately
in order to put it in the bank. The journey to the city was long
and tiresome, and had to be made on horseback. The master put the
gold in his saddle-bags and slung them across his horse. Calling
Bruno to go with him he set out on his long journey. On the way he
told Bruno that he wished him to take care of the bags, so as they
started along the dog kept his eyes on the saddle-bags to see that
they did not fall off or get lost.

The day was hot and the way was dusty; so when they came to a cool
spot in the woods the master got down to take a nap, using his
saddle-bags for a pillow. He soon fell asleep with Bruno keeping
watch by his side.

Presently the master was awakened by the dog’s bark. He saw that
the sun was low and the shadows long. He knew that he had been
asleep a long time, and that if he did not hurry the bank would
be closed before he got there. He jumped to his horse and set off
at a gallop. Then he saw that Bruno was acting very strangely. He
jumped and barked at the horse’s feet, and once he jumped up so
high it seemed as if he was trying to bite his master on the leg.
The master was puzzled and thought perhaps his dog had gone mad.
Presently he saw a little brook in the distance. He said to himself
that if Bruno refused to go into the brook he must have gone mad,
because a mad dog will never go in or near water.

The horse splashed through the water but Bruno remained on the
other side and barked and barked. The master called, and for the
first time, Bruno did not obey. The man was convinced that he was
mad, and so he took out his pistol and shot his faithful dog.

Poor Bruno’s leg was broken, but he turned and crawled back the way
he had come. The master rode on for awhile and then he missed his
saddle-bags that held his money. He turned his horse’s head and
galloped back as fast as he could to the place he had laid down to
rest. And what do you think he found there? Bruno had crawled back
to die with his head on the bag of forgotten gold. He was faithful
to the last.


(Arbor Day)

_The life of a tree depends largely on the way it starts._

Once there was a man who wanted to plant an orchard of apple trees.
He sent to a nursery for some young plants, and when they came all
wrapped up in a good bundle, he thought of what fine trees he was
going to have, and the beautiful apples they would bear.

The bundle came just about the time the man was starting to town
on some business. So he sent off at once for a man who knew how to
plant trees, and said to him, “Here are my young apple trees, and
I want you to plant them for me. I shall be gone all day,” and he
showed the man where to plant them.

When he came back later in the afternoon the man had planted only
six trees. The owner was surprised, and said, “You have planted but
six trees. It seems to me you work very slowly.”

The man replied, “Yes, but I do my work thoroughly. You see I
dug great holes so that the roots of the young trees might not be
broken or cramped; then I hauled rich earth from the woods, and
mixed it well with the top soil; then I packed the earth carefully
around the roots so that it would be firm; and then I watered each
plant until it was thoroughly soaked. All that takes time, and one
must not be in a hurry about planting a tree if he expects it to
live and flourish.”

“That sounds very fine,” said the owner, “but it is too slow a way
for me. I could have planted five times as many in a day. You take
too much trouble.” So he dismissed the man and the next day he
planted his orchard in his own way.

He dug the holes just large enough to hold the roots by twisting
them together, and many of the rootlets were broken or injured as
they were forced into place; he did not get the soft, rich earth
from the woods, nor was he careful in packing the dirt around the
roots, and then he did not fill the holes with water.

“Now, see there,” he said to himself, “I have planted a whole
orchard in one day.”

But see what happened! The trees the owner planted so carelessly
lived for awhile, and put out a few leaves. They bore some little
apples, and then the owner cut them down. But the six trees the
other man planted grew up strong and healthy. In a few years they
were well shaped and tall and began to bear quantities of the most
beautiful apples. When the owner was an old man they still were
standing, and everybody would say, “What wonderful apple trees!
What splendid fruit!”

But the old man knew he could have had a whole orchard like that if
he had planted them all as the six were planted.


_One should always be willing to help the aged and infirm whether
he is paid for it or not._

Once there was a little boy named Jack who lived near a great wood.
One day while he was picking up sticks in the wood he saw an old
woman bending under a huge bundle of fagots.

“My poor woman,” said Jack, “I will take your bundle for you.”

“Thank you, kind little boy,” answered the old woman, and gave her
bundle to Jack. When they reached the road the old woman gave Jack
her walking stick of thick wood, saying he must use it carefully
for it had the strength of a giant. Then the old woman disappeared.

Jack took the stick and looked at it in wonder. He struck it on the
ground, and lo! it dug a big hole; he struck it on an old stump,
and see! there was nothing there but kindling wood.

“I must be careful what I hit,” said Jack, and went on home with
his bundle of twigs, and the magic stick under his arm.

Now, there was a giant who lived in a cave deep in the woods, of
whom everybody was afraid. He would capture travelers, and it was
said that he would eat them, though nobody had ever seen him. Still
everybody was afraid to go far into the woods for fear of the giant.

Jack was also afraid of the giant, and was ready to run if he
should hear a loud voice. After the old woman gave him the magic
stick he always took it with him, for he could break off twigs and
even branches with a single blow.

One day his little sister went into the woods with him to help
gather wood. They had wandered farther than usual. Suddenly he
heard her scream, and then a great tramping in the bushes. “The
giant has caught my little sister!” said Jack in great alarm, and
seizing his magic stick he ran in the direction of the cry.

He followed the big footsteps through the woods, across streams and
up the mountain side until he came to the door of a cave. The giant
had rolled a big rock in front to close it, but Jack crushed it
with a blow and ran in.

The giant had braced the inside with beams of wood, but Jack broke
them to pieces with one stroke. Far inside the cave he saw the
dreadful giant about to devour his little sister. As the giant
raised his arm Jack’s stick broke it in two. The giant leaped to
his feet and raised his sword with his other arm, but Jack’s stick
broke arm and sword into pieces. The giant roared and rushed at
Jack. Jack hurled the stick at the giant and struck him full in the

So great was the blow that the giant’s head rolled off his
shoulders--rolled out of the cave and down the mountain side, and
may be rolling yet for all we know. At any rate Jack did not wait
to see, for he grabbed his stick, seized his little sister and ran
home as fast as he could.

“I am glad I helped that old woman,” said Jack, “for her stick made
the last of that giant!”



_It matters not how small one is if only he has wits and is not

A poor woodman and his wife had no children and were very sad and
lonely. One day his wife said:

“I should be very happy if I had a child even if he were no bigger
than my thumb.”

It came to pass as she wished. One day a little boy was born and he
was no bigger than her thumb. No matter how much she fed him he
never grew any larger, so she called him Tom Thumb.

One day the woodman started into the wood to cut fuel. Tom said:

“Let me drive the horse after you to bring home the fuel. I will
climb into his ear and tell him which way to go.”

The father thought this would be a fine plan and agreed. So Tom
climbed up into the horse’s ear, and said: “Go on,” and the horse
started. Then, “Go this path,” or “Go that path,” and the horse
went along just as Tom told him, and finally came to the place
where the woodman was cutting fuel.

A man came by and saw Tom sitting on a little stick watching his
father. “What a funny little man,” he said. “If I could buy him
he would make my fortune.” And so he bargained for Tom and gave
his father a big lump of gold. Tom crept up his father’s coat and
whispered in his ear:

“Never mind, father! I will be back before long.” Then they were
off, Tom sitting on the rim of the man’s hat to see the country as
they passed along.

After a while it grew dark, and the man sat down and laid his hat
on the ground. Tom cried out: “Good-by, my master! I’m gone!” And
with that he ran over a furrow in the field and slipped into a
mouse hole. The man ran after him and poked about with his stick,
but Tom was away down in the ground by this time.

By and by he heard two men passing. One of them said:

“How can we manage to get the farmer’s money?” The other said: “If
we only had some little boy to help us!” Tom followed them down the
road listening to this talk and finally called out:

“I will help you get the farmer’s money.” They were greatly
surprised to see such a little man, but finally agreed to take him

They came to the farmer’s house and Tom slipped through a crack in
the boards, and called out very loud: “Here is the money! Hold your
hand while I hand it out to you!” This, of course, woke up the cook
who struck a light, and the robbers ran away leaving Tom in the
house. The cook could not find anybody, for Tom had slipped into
the barn and gone to sleep on the hay.

Next morning the farmer came out to feed the cow, and taking a fork
full of hay pitched it over in the rack. Tom was in the hay fast
asleep, and when he woke up he was in the cow’s stomach, and more
hay kept on coming down until Tom could hardly find room to turn
round. And there we will leave him until to-morrow.



_No matter how much trouble we may be in, there is always a good
way out._

We left Tom Thumb inside the cow. More hay kept on coming down
until Tom cried out: “Don’t send any more hay! Don’t send any more
hay!” The cook was milking just at that time, and hearing the noise
inside the cow she was so astonished that she fell off the stool
and spilled all the milk.

She ran to the farmer and exclaimed:

“The cow is bewitched! She is talking aloud and says she doesn’t
want any more hay!” The farmer ran to the barn and listened to the
voice inside the cow.

“Mercy on me!” he cried. “Surely the cow is bewitched. We must kill
her at once!” So he took an ax and cut her all to pieces, and threw
the stomach with Tom inside out into the road.

Before Tom could get out a wolf came along and swallowed the
stomach without chewing it a bit, he was so hungry, and so Tom was
now inside a wolf, and not much better off than before. But he was
not at all discouraged and began to talk to the wolf.

“I can tell you where you can get some fine things to eat--fresh
meat, ham and some chickens,” said he to the wolf. The wolf was
eager to hear about the place, and Tom described the place and how
to get into the kitchen where all those things were. The wolf did
not know that Tom was describing his own home and planning to get
the wolf into trouble.

“That suits me exactly,” said the wolf, and that very night he ran
to the farmer’s house and squeezed into the kitchen through a drain
pipe. He could do this easily for he was very thin from eating so
little for a long time. Once in, he ate and ate until his sides
stuck out like a balloon that had been blown up.

When the wolf had eaten all there was, Tom set up a great shout and
woke up the cook. The cook came in, and seeing the wolf ran to wake
up the farmer and his wife.

The farmer ran with his ax, his wife brought the scythe, and the
cook seized the big meat knife. The wolf ran to the drain pipe and
started to get through, but he had eaten so much he stuck half way.
Then they fell upon him and began to hack him to pieces.

“Look out! I am inside here!” shouted Tom.

“Heaven be praised!” said his father. “That’s Tom’s voice!” and he
soon had the wolf cut half in two and Tom jumped out, and into his
mother’s arms. They were glad to see their little son home again.
Tom told them all his adventures, after which he had plenty to eat
and a clean suit of clothes, for those he had on were hardly fit to
be worn any more.


_In which a fisherman seeing his mistake corrects it as quickly as

A poor fisherman was toiling on the shore of a great lake to catch
fish. He had had poor luck all day. Towards night he threw his net
into the sea. It was so heavy when he drew it out that he thought
he had caught a great many fish. To his disappointment he found the
net filled with stones and mud. He threw it again but each time it
came up filled as before.

“I will throw it just one more time,” said he. Then he cast the net
for the last time into the sea. This time he was sure it had caught
a large quantity of fish, for he drew it in with great difficulty.

On examining it he found he had caught no fish, but inside the net
was an old copper jar. The mouth of the jar was closed with lead on
which there was the impression of a seal. The fisherman examined
the jar on all sides. The seal on the cover made him think there
must be something of value inside. He shook it but could hear
nothing. With his knife he opened it, and turned it upside down,
but to his surprise nothing came out.

The fisherman set it down before him and stood off a little
distance. While he was looking and wondering a thick smoke came
out of the jar. The smoke ascended almost to the clouds and
settled over the water and the shore. When it had all come out, it
collected, became solid, and took the shape of a genie of gigantic

The fisherman trembled with fear to see the great giant before
him. Then the genie began to scold and grew angry. He said he was
going to kill the poor fisherman. When he threatened to kill the
fisherman, the fisherman reminded him that he had let him out
of the jar. This did not seem to appease the genie’s wrath. He
told the fisherman to get ready to die. The fisherman was greatly
alarmed, but he said to the genie:

“Before you kill me I want to know one thing truly. Did you really
come out of that jar or not? I would like to be sure about it, and
then you can kill me.”

The genie told the fisherman he did, but the fisherman would not
believe it. The genie said he would show him. So he changed back
into smoke, went up to the clouds and then down to the stream and
slowly entered the jar. The fisherman then quickly clapped on the
top and the genie could not get out.

The giant begged the fisherman to let him out. He promised to make
him rich if he would open the jar again. But the fisherman would
not listen. He threw the jar back into the sea, and warned all
fishermen not to open the jar if by any chance they caught it in
their nets, and it may be there to this very day.


_When one begins wishing, it is hard to know when he has enough._

In a little house near a great forest lived Ludwig and his sister,
Marleen. They were very poor. Ludwig had to go into his forest
every day to gather berries.

One day he heard a voice calling: “Help me out, little brother!
Help me out!” Looking around he saw a red fox whose foot was caught
in a trap. He opened the trap and found the fox’s foot badly hurt.
He wet his handkerchief in the spring and bound up the fox’s foot.
The grateful fox told him to make a wish and it would be granted.
So he wished that his pail might always be filled with berries,
and straightway his pail became full.

Running home he told Marleen of his good fortune. “You were a
foolish boy,” said Marleen. “That was no ordinary fox. I would that
our cupboard were always filled with food. Go tell the fox.”

“Be satisfied,” said Ludwig, “we are very happy as we are.” But she
gave him no peace until he went again to the forest. When the fox
saw him, he said:

“How now, little brother, is it not well with thee?”

“No,” said Ludwig, and he told the fox his sister’s wish. “Go! it
shall be as she wishes,” said the fox.

On Ludwig’s return home he found the wish come true. A few days
later Marleen said:

“I’m tired of just things to eat. I want a doll dressed in shining
silk. Go tell the red fox so.”

“Be satisfied,” said Ludwig, “we are happy as we are.” But she gave
him no peace until he went again to the fox, and again her wish
was granted. This satisfied Marleen only for a few days; then she
wanted a dress just like her doll’s, and again Ludwig had to go to
the fox. As before, her wish was granted and she was happy.

Then she wished that she might live in a fine house of many rooms.
Again Ludwig was persuaded to go to the fox. Again the fox granted
her wish. Upon returning home Ludwig found the little house gone
and in its place was a palace. After spending days roaming through
the house, Marleen wished to have one of every toy in the world to
play with, and insisted upon Ludwig going again to the fox. Again
the red fox said: “Go! it shall be as she wishes,” and it was so.
It took the children days to play a minute with each toy. Then
Marleen said:

“I’m tired of these toys. I want that ball that shines in the sky
at night to be my plaything. Go tell the fox so.” Ludwig went once
more to the fox who, when he heard her wish, said:

“Go! it shall NOT be as she wishes!” Ludwig frightened, ran from
the forest, and found Marleen sobbing upon the porch of their
little old home. They searched far and wide for their friend the
fox, but never saw him again.



_Though one have nothing but a cat, yet his fortune can easily be

Once upon a time there was a miller who died leaving his three sons
nothing but a mill, a cow, and a cat. The oldest son took the
mill, the next one took the cow, and the youngest had nothing left
but the cat. But his cat was a wise animal.

The young man did not know what to do, so he said:

“I think I shall skin my cat and eat it, then I shall sell his
skin; after that, I shall die of hunger.”

“Not so fast, master,” said Puss. “Get me a bag and a pair of boots
and we shall make our fortune yet.” So his master got him a bag and
a pair of boots, and Puss ran off to the field to hunt. He lay in
the grass until a rabbit ran into the bag, then Puss tied the bag
up and took it to the king.

“My master has sent you a fine rabbit,” said Puss to the king.

“Who is your master?” asked the king, delighted with the present.

“My master is the Marquis of Carabas,” replied Puss, thinking that
was as good a name as any.

The next day Puss caught two partridges in his bag and took them
to the king, and said the same thing as before. Every day he took
his bag into the field and caught some game and took it to the king
telling him it was sent by the Marquis of Carabas. The king by this
time began to think the Marquis must be a great man and a fine

Now the king had a beautiful daughter who had not as yet fallen in
love with anybody, though many fine young men came to see her every
day. One afternoon she and the king were about to take a ride along
the river bank. When Puss heard of this he ran to his master and

“Master, master, come and bathe in the river and your fortune shall
be made.” The master readily obeyed, and was deep in the water when
the king and his daughter rode by. Puss ran out in front of the
carriage and cried:

“Help! Help! the Marquis of Carabas is drowning. Some robber has
stolen his clothes while he was in the river and he cannot get
out!” Then the king stopped his carriage, told his men to hurry
back to the castle to get some fine clothes, and they all waited
until the Marquis could leave the river and put on the fine clothes.

After this had been done, the master came out from the bushes where
he had dressed, bowed very low to the king and kissed the hand of
the princess. She blushed very red and asked him to ride in the
carriage by her side. She thought he was a very handsome young man,
and he thought he had never seen so lovely a young lady in his
life. To-morrow we shall see what happened.



_From the humblest beginnings one may rise to the highest position
by enterprise and good fortune._

Things were going very well with Puss and his master. The king was
delighted, the princess was blushing, and the young master was
looking very handsome, while Puss ran on ahead of the carriage.
Puss came to a field where laborers were mowing grass.

“Some men are coming and you must tell them this field belongs to
the Marquis of Carabas, or you will be ground into mince meat,”
said Puss and ran on down the road. Soon the king came by and asked:

“Who owns this fine land?” The men were so terrified that they
spoke right off:

“The Marquis of Carabas, sir,” and went on with their work.

Puss soon came to some reapers and said: “You must tell everybody
that this grain belongs to the Marquis of Carabas, or you will
be ground into mince meat.” So when the king came by and asked:
“Whose grain is this?” they answered very promptly: “The Marquis of
Carabas, sir,” and went on with their work.

“The Marquis must be a rich man to own all this land,” said the
king; but the young master said nothing, for he was looking at the
princess and wondering if she would ever marry him.

Puss ran on ahead and came to the castle of the real owner of the
land. He was a monster of whom every one was afraid, but Puss went
on in to see him and spoke up boldly:

“I have heard that you can change yourself into any animal, and
that you can be a lion or a tiger if you wish to.”

“Certainly I can,” said the monster, and at once became a lion,
and roared so loud that Puss jumped on to the back of a chair and
arched his back in spite of himself.

The monster came back to his own shape and laughed very loud. “Now
watch me become a tiger,” said he; and at once he became a tiger,
that showed his teeth and growled deep down in his throat.

When he came back to his own shape again, Puss said:

“I see you can become large beasts, but I doubt if you can become a
little one, such as a mouse, for instance.”

“I can do that, too,” replied the monster, and at once became a
mouse running around the floor. Puss leaped down from the chair,
jumped on the mouse, and ate it up in a twinkling!

Just at that time the king’s carriage drove up.

“Welcome to the castle of the Marquis of Carabas,” cried Puss. They
all came in, and the young master, seeing how things were, led the
princess to the best seat in the house and kissed her right before
the king himself. She seemed well pleased, and it was not long
before she was living in the castle with the Marquis, and I think
they are there to this very day.



_Revival of an old nursery tale in which the fortunes of a young
prince are secured by the services of a white cat._

An old king who wanted to give his kingdom to one of his three
sons, said:

“My sons, I wish to give my crown to one of you. The one who brings
me the smallest dog shall be king in my place.” The three sons were
very much astonished at this, for each one wanted to be king. So
they all set out on a search for a dog.

The youngest son went from town to town looking for a dog. Search
as he might he could not find one to his fancy. At last he came to
a wood and lost his way. He saw a bright light in the distance
and went towards it. He saw it was a fine palace and went in. It
was full of gold and precious stones. The walls were of china, the
floors of silver, and the furniture was pearl.

The prince looked around and saw hands beckoning him. They led him
to a chair by the fire, and he sat down; they led him to a room and
put beautiful clothes on him; they led him to a dining-room and
served him with rich and dainty food. As he sat at the table he saw
a little figure coming towards him. On each side of the figure were
all sorts of cats; some carrying mouse traps with mice in them, and
some carrying catnip ready for tea.

When the little figure came near the prince saw that she was a
cat--a beautiful white cat. He bowed very low and said:

“Madam, I thank you for all your kindness to me. I am a prince in
search of a dog to take home. I pray you to help me.”

The White Cat sat on a chair and began to dip one of the mice her
attendants brought her into a jar of honey. While she was eating
her supper she said:

“Sir Prince, that is very easy. Take this acorn and open it and you
shall find your dog.”

The prince hurried home the next day, and was just in time, for
the two brothers had already arrived with their dogs.

The Prince, however, broke open the acorn, and out jumped the
tiniest dog the king had ever seen. He frisked about and rolled
over on the carpet, and jumped upon the chairs until the king could
not make up his mind. So he sent the brothers out again to bring
him the finest piece of cambric in the world. The young Prince went
again to the White Cat and told her his trouble.

“That is easy,” said the White Cat. “Take this millet seed and open
it and you shall have the cambric.” The young Prince hurried home
with the millet seed, and when he opened it he could hardly believe
his eyes for there were four hundred yards of cambric so fine it
all went through the eye of a needle in a second.

The old king still shook his head and said:

“I will have to send you out again--and for the last time.” But
what he sent them for we will have to learn to-morrow.



_In which it appears that the white cat was a princess after all,
and became the greatest fortune of the youngest son._

The old king did not really wish to give up his kingdom at all, and
so he sent his three sons out for a third time, and said to them:

“Go, find the most beautiful woman in the world. I cannot give my
kingdom to any son without a queen to help him. Come back at the
end of a year.”

The sons set out on their travels again. The youngest went at
once to the home of the White Cat and told her what the King
demanded. The White Cat said nothing but made the prince very happy
and comfortable in her palace for a whole year. Every wish was
gratified and he almost forgot the passing of time. At the end of
the year the White Cat said:

“Prince, you must now go back to your father; but I wish you would
take me with you. I shall be your beautiful princess. All you will
have to do will be to cut off my head and tail and throw them into
the fire.”

The prince was greatly astonished to hear this, for he did not like
to hurt the White Cat, but she begged him again and again. Finally
he drew out his sword and with one stroke cut off the cat’s head
and tail and threw them into the fire.

What a commotion was created! The White Cat had disappeared and in
her place stood a young and beautiful princess. All the other cats
were gone and in their places were lords and ladies. The Prince was
surrounded by a court and everybody was talking and laughing as
though nothing had happened.

The Princess took the Prince by the hand and said:

“You have rid us of the enchantment of a wicked fairy who turned me
into a white cat, and all my friends into cats. Now, let us go to
your father.”

They traveled all the next day and came to the palace of the old
king. The other brothers were there, but their wives looked like
chambermaids compared to the beautiful princess.

The old king had to acknowledge that the youngest son had the most
beautiful wife, but he said, “I do not wish to give up my kingdom,
I want to keep it myself for awhile.”

Then the young princess said: “Your majesty need not give up his
kingdom at all. I have seven kingdoms; each one very large and
rich; I shall give one to each of your older sons, one to you, and
have four left for my husband and myself. So let us all be married
and be happy.”

Everybody shouted and clapped hands. Three weddings took place at
once, and nobody had a better time than the old king himself.


_In which a gingerbread man has some adventures, but finally comes
to grief._

A little old woman had no man of her own and so she decided to make
one of gingerbread. So one day she made a gingerbread man. She put
on a chocolate coat, with cinnamon buttons. She made his eyes out
of caraway seed, and a cap out of a lump of sugar.

“Now, my little man, I shall bake you until you are done,” said the
old woman, and put the gingerbread man into the oven.

After a while it smelled so good the old woman opened the stove
door to see how her little man was getting on. But he was quite
done by this time, and while the old woman was pulling out the pan,
the gingerbread man jumped out and ran down the road.

The little old woman ran after him, but the gingerbread man laughed
and called out: “Run! run! as fast as you can! You can’t catch me!
I’m the gingerbread man.”

And sure enough, she could not catch him.

The gingerbread man ran past a pasture where there was a horse.

“Stop!” said the horse. “You look good to eat.” But the gingerbread
man laughed and said: “Run! run! as fast as you can. The old woman
can’t catch me, and you can’t catch me, for I am the gingerbread
man.” And sure enough, the horse could not catch him.

He ran on down the road and soon he met a cow.

“Stop!” said the cow. “I want to eat you.” But the gingerbread man
laughed again and said:

“Run run! as fast as you can! The old woman, and the horse and you
can’t catch me, for I am the gingerbread man.” And sure enough, the
cow could not catch him.

By and by the gingerbread man ran past a field where the men were
cutting hay. They smelled the gingerbread and tried to lay hold of
the little man. But he laughed and said:

“Run! run! as fast as you can! The old woman and the horse and the
cow and you can’t catch me, for I am the gingerbread man.” And sure
enough, the men could not catch him.

Then he met a fox just as he came to a river. “Run! run! as fast as
you can,” said the gingerbread man. “Why?” said the fox. “Because
they will catch you,” said the gingerbread man.

“Jump on my back and I will take you across the river,” said the
fox, and the little man jumped on his shoulders.

“Jump on my head,” said the fox, and the little man jumped on his

“Jump on my nose,” said the fox, and the gingerbread man jumped on
the fox’s nose. Just then they reached the shore and the fox opened
his mouth, and snap! went the gingerbread man into the fox’s mouth.
The old fox chewed a while and then said:

“That was a very nice little gingerbread man!”


_In which a little boy robs a bird of her eggs and learns a lesson
that he did not forget._

Robert was a little boy who loved to have his own way, and
sometimes his way was not a good way. One day he went into the
woods near his home, and saw a lot of birds all busy building nests
and flying around looking for bugs and worms.

Up in a tree he saw a nest and wondered what was in it. He
climbed up on a limb, and looking into the nest saw four little
bluish-green eggs. He put his hand in the nest, took out the eggs
and put them in his pocket. All the time the poor mother bird was
scolding and complaining, and in her bird way was calling for help.

As Robert climbed down from the tree he broke one of the eggs. As
he took the rest out of his pocket he broke another. Then he put
the other two in his hat. By this time he was tired and sat down
under the tree to rest. While he was sitting there he heard a great
commotion in the forest. All the birds were crying “Robber! Thief!
Some boy has broken into Mrs. Robin’s house and stolen her eggs!”

Robert sat very still and tried to hide. The father robin flew
around asking everybody if he had stolen his wife’s eggs. He asked
the cow, but the cow said: “No, indeed! I gave you some of my hay
to build your nest.” He asked the sheep, but the sheep said: “I
would not do such a thing. I gave you some of my wool to line your
nest to make it soft for your little ones.” He even asked an old
owl on top of a pine tree, but the old owl said: “By no means! Why
should I? I killed a rat the other day that I saw prowling round
looking for young birds.”

None of the animals knew who was the robber, but the jay bird who
was always on the look out, saw Robert under the tree and cried:
“Here he is! he has got two eggs in his cap and has broken two on
the ground! Here he is!” All the birds came flying and set up such
a scolding and abusing that Robert was alarmed.

“Let us all fly to his house and take his little brothers and
sisters,” said the birds. But Robert began to cry and beg and
promise, until finally the birds agreed not to rob his house if he
would let their nests alone.

Robert sat up with a start and rubbed his eyes. He had been asleep
but he learned a good lesson. The mother robin was still crying in
the tree where her nest was. Robert climbed back up the tree and
put the good eggs back and said, “There you are, Mrs. Robin. I am
sorry I broke two, but I will not rob your nest again.”


(February 22nd)

_In which we find out that truthfulness is a great virtue._

To-day we are going to talk about a little boy named George
Washington. His mother and father lived on a large farm, and
George’s life was just like that of other boys. He played games
and learned to read just as boys do to-day. George was very fond
of pretending to be an Indian warrior. One day while playing that
he was a chief of the tribe he picked up his father’s hatchet to
use as a tomahawk. After pretending that he had killed many wild
animals, he walked through the orchard where the young fruit trees
had been planted. He thought he would like to be a woodsman and cut
down trees. So he began to use his little hatchet, and presently
down fell a tree.

Shortly afterwards his father was walking in the orchard and found
his favorite cherry tree cut down to the ground. He immediately
asked George who had cut down his beautiful tree. George answered,
“Father, I cannot tell a lie. I cut it down.” His father was so
pleased that George had told him the truth that he said, “My boy,
you should not have cut down this tree, but I would rather you had
cut down every tree in the orchard than tell a lie,” and so his
father did not punish him.

George was such a strong, sturdy boy that he nearly always won
the games and races the boys would have. He liked to hear stories
of soldiers and wars. He would play soldier, and have parades and
make-believe battles. His playmates were fond of him because he was
always fair in his play. At school his work was good and his copy
book was so neat that it has been saved and can be seen to-day.

George’s father died when George was ten years old, but he had a
wise mother whom he loved very dearly. There were many things that
he could do on the farm to help his mother. He was very proud of
his mother’s horses and one day was showing them to his friends.
One horse--his mother’s favorite--was a splendid young animal that
had never been trained. George’s friends asked if he could ride
this horse. George answered that he could. He mounted the horse,
but the animal kicked and reared and fell over backward breaking
its neck. His friends were alarmed because they knew how much Mrs.
Washington thought of this horse, and they begged him not to tell
her. But George went straight to her and told her all about it,
adding that he was sorry that the beautiful animal was dead. His
mother forgave him, but warned him to be more careful in the future.

To-morrow we shall learn more about George Washington.


_Showing Washington’s love for and gentleness towards his mother;
also his bravery in time of danger, and his strength to endure

Yesterday we learned that Washington was a very truthful boy.
To-day we will learn how he loved his mother, and grew up to be
strong and brave.

He felt that he must take his father’s place and help her with
the large farm. Every night he would lead in family prayer just
as his father had done, and when visitors came in he was host and
entertained them. Once he thought he would like to become a sailor.
He lived near the James River and could watch the boats go up and
down, and the life of the men on the boats seemed to fascinate him.

Mrs. Washington consented for George to go to sea, and he was to be
ready for the boat on its next trip. The day came and George’s box
was packed and sent down to the landing while he went in to tell
his mother good-by. Noticing tears in her eyes he called to the boy
to bring back his box. His mother’s tears had shown him that she
was distressed at his leaving and he decided, then and there, to
remain with her.

When he was sixteen years old he became a surveyor and was sent
out to survey wild lands. He had to take long trips on foot and on
horseback in the wilderness. He had three years of hardships in the
forest and returned a strong, healthy man of six feet two inches.
He learned much of the Indians and their manner of warfare which
was of much assistance to him. On his return he became a soldier.
Just then brave soldiers were needed, for the French and Indians
were at war with the English, and George Washington, with his
knowledge of the Indians, was a most valuable soldier.

Governor Dinwiddie of Virginia sent him with a message to the
French post, a distance of six hundred miles. He had to go through
dense forests, across rivers, and even climb unexplored mountains.
Once his Indian guide tried to kill him, and once he narrowly
escaped drowning while crossing a swollen stream, but undaunted,
he continued the journey and returned with the answer to Governor

Washington’s mission as a messenger being accomplished, he now
took active part in the war under General Braddock. Braddock was
an Englishman, and knowing nothing of Indian warfare, marched his
troops through the wilderness with flags flying and drums beating.
Washington told him that this was a mistake, but Braddock would
not take advice from a young Virginia colonel, and in a short while
they were entirely surrounded by Indians. Braddock was killed and
Washington had two horses killed under him, and four bullets went
through his coat. The Indians thought that Washington had a charmed
life. Perhaps his life was spared in order that he might do great
things for his country.


_In which we learn something of Washington’s home life, and his
success in later years._

Soon after the French and Indian war, George Washington met Mrs.
Martha Custis, a beautiful young woman, and married her. The
bride and her lady friends returned from the church in a handsome
coach drawn by six white horses, as in our fairy tales, while the
groom and his friends rode beside the coach on prancing chargers.
Washington and his wife went to live at Mount Vernon, a beautiful
place that had been his brother’s. Washington liked the life of
a farmer and each day would ride over the plantation to see if
all the work was done properly. He lived quietly thus for several
years, when he was needed again as a soldier.

Many years before this the Puritans had left England because they
would not obey the king in some things--particularly in church
affairs. Now, there were other people in America beside Pilgrims,
but the English king still wished the people to obey him. He made
the Americans pay taxes on things made in England and brought to
America. He made them pay a special tax on paper, glass, and even
tea. The Americans did not wish to pay these taxes and refused to
do so.

The English King then sent ships loaded with soldiers to make
them pay. The Americans decided not to do as the king wished, and
went to war for their rights. They determined to have a nation of
their own and call it the United States of America. They wrote a
statement that told about this and sent copies of it all over the
world. This was called the Declaration of Independence.

The Americans selected Washington as their leader, and now again
his bravery was shown. He led the soldiers to victory, though many
times during the hard winter the men were hungry and cold, having
scarcely any food and very little clothing. Many of the men were
barefooted in the snow and ice, but faith in Washington kept them
brave and loyal.

While the Americans were fighting to be free they needed a flag
for the soldiers, so Washington drew a picture of one he liked and
Mrs. Betsy Ross, a friend of his, made the first flag that the new
nation had.

When the time came to elect a ruler for the new nation, everybody
said make Washington president, and they did. He became president
and for eight years ruled wisely and justly as a great man should,
and then returned to Mount Vernon where he and his wife lived
happily for many years.

George Washington’s mother was not surprised that he became a
famous man. Once when La Fayette was talking to her, she said to

“I am not surprised that George is a great man, for he was always a
good boy.”


_Rebellion against our parents will surely bring misfortune._

King David was old. His hand was feeble, his eye was dim, and his
voice was weak as of one who had been ill. Absalom was his beloved
son, but he was a very wayward and rebellious boy, whom his father
could not control. He was a beautiful boy. From the sole of his
foot to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him, and
David loved him.

Absalom did many things to distress the old king. He stayed away
from his father’s presence for two years, and began to think of
ways to take the kingdom into his own hands. He would go out and
stand by the gate of the city, and when any one came to the king
for judgment, he would say:

“Oh, that I were made judge of the land, for I would do you
justice.” Thus Absalom stole the hearts of the people of Israel.

Finally David fled from Jerusalem for fear of Absalom and his
followers, and Absalom came to Jerusalem and took charge of the
kingdom. David gathered an army around him of those who were still
faithful to him, and prepared to give battle to the men of Absalom
if they should come out to slay him.

Absalom started out to capture and even kill his old father, so he
might keep the kingdom for himself. David himself did not go, but
sat by the gates of the little town where he was to wait for news.
He told Joab, the captain of his men: “Deal gently for my sake
with the young man, even with Absalom.” And David’s men went into
the field to fight with Absalom and his men and there was a great

The battle was in the woods of Ephraim, and the people of Absalom
were slain before the people of David, twenty thousand, and Absalom
fled upon a mule. The mule went under the thick boughs of a great
oak, and Absalom was caught in the tree and hung there while the
mule went away.

Some one told Joab that Absalom was hanging in the tree. Joab
quickly went, and taking three darts he threw them at Absalom, and
slew him while he was yet in the midst of the oak.

Now the old David sat by the gate and waited for news of the
battle. He had a watchman in the tower who told him he saw a man
running. “He bringeth tidings,” said David. Soon the runner reached
David and fell at his feet, saying: “The Lord hath delivered thine
enemies into thy hands.”

“Is the young man Absalom safe?” asked the king. Then the runner
told David that Absalom was dead. The old king was overcome with
grief, and cried out: “O, my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom.
Would God I had died for thee, O, Absalom, my son, my son!”


_In which a good man unwittingly commits an offence and becomes an

A long time ago in England in Sherwood Forest, there lived a famous
outlaw named Robin Hood. There was no one who could shoot an arrow
straighter or farther than Robin Hood. He was known far and near as
strong, brave, and generous.

He never robbed the poor nor did any mean thing. He and his “merry
men” lived in the depths of the forest, in a place where the king’s
men could not find them, and they passed their time in hunting the
king’s deer, in archery and other sports.

Though they were outlaws, Robin Hood and his men were much beloved
by the country people; for though he robbed the rich and the
oppressor, he always gave abundantly to the poor and needy.

Now, this is the way Robin Hood became an outlaw: He may have been
the son of a nobleman, but that nobody knows. However, when he was
eighteen years of age he knew that the Sheriff of Nottingham was
having a great shooting match for forty pieces of silver.

“Now, I will go and draw my bow and shoot a shaft for the bright
eyes of my lass. Besides that, I need the silver,” said Robin Hood,
and started off to Nottingham Town.

As he walked along whistling, and thinking of the sport before him,
he saw some foresters seated under a great tree. They were the
keepers of the king’s game. One of them called out:

“Here, my merry man! where are you going so fast with your penny
bow and your farthing arrows?”

Now, Robin Hood was very proud of his bow and arrows, so he
answered sharply:

“Where I go is my business--but I can shoot better than any one of

They all laughed aloud for they were famous shots. Robin became
angrier as they laughed.

“See that deer yonder--more than sixty rods away are they; but I
can bring one down from here,” cried he. They gave him permission.
Twang! went his shaft straight into the heart of the big stag.
It was a long and splendid shot, but, after all, he had killed a
king’s deer!

“Get thee gone from here, knave!” they cried, “or we will have thy
ears shaven close to thy head!” and they began to berate Robin and
beat him for they were afraid themselves. Robin ran, and as he ran
the foresters shot at him and narrowly missed him.

He was now in danger of his own life, so he stepped behind a tree
and fitted another arrow to his bow, and while his pursuers were
still far off, he sent a shaft into the breast of the foremost. He
fell dead and the others turned back.

Robin was now an outlaw. He had killed the king’s deer and had
slain one of the king’s foresters, and now Robin Hood had to hide
in Sherwood Forest.


_More of Robin Hood, and something of the way in which he chose his
merry men._

Robin Hood lay hidden in Sherwood Forest, and there was a reward
of two hundred pounds for any one who would bring him to justice.
Two hundred good men joined him and chose him to be the leader.
They swore they would rob only those who had oppressed the poor
by unjust taxes, or fines, or heavy rents. To the poor themselves
they gave no harm, nor hurt any woman or child. Their name became a
terror to the oppressor, but to the poor they were often a blessing.

Robin Hood picked his men very carefully. To-day we will learn how
he chose Little John to be one of his company. One bright morning
Robin Hood rose up and said:

“I have had no adventure for two weeks; I go forth to find one
to-day. Follow me at a distance, my merry men.” And so Robin set
out down the path and through the forest, clad in his suit of green
which he and his men always wore.

He came to a stream on the edge of the forest across which was a
bridge made of logs. A man on the other side was about to cross.
Robin quickened his steps. So did the stranger.

“Stand back and let me pass first,” called Robin Hood.

“Nay, stand back yourself and let me over,” said the man. “I am a
better man than thou.” With that he shook a big stick he carried in
his hand and advanced towards the bridge.

“We shall see about that presently,” said Robin Hood sharply, for
he acknowledged no man better than himself. With that he cut a huge
stick from a nearby tree with one stroke of his knife and walked
on to the log. The strange man was already half way over. Then
followed a mighty battle while these two knights belabored each
other with their sticks each trying not to fall off the log. The
stranger was very tall and broad shouldered while Robin Hood was of
average size only. Robin Hood hit the stranger a hard blow on the
shoulder. The stranger returned with a blow on Robin’s head that
tumbled him into the water.

The water was deep and Robin had much trouble in getting to the
bank. Here he sat down and began to laugh.

“Give me thy hand, worthy stranger, for thou hast a mighty arm,”
said he. “This day thou hast worsted Robin Hood in a combat with
staves. What is thy name?”

“My name is John Little,” said the stranger, astonished to hear
that his opponent was Robin Hood.

“Well, I shall call thee Little John in merry jest, tho’ thou art
seven feet tall. Come and be one of my men,” said Robin.

Little John finally agreed to go with Robin Hood, and he became one
of his strongest and trustiest followers.


_In which it appears that others had wits besides Robin Hood._

One morning Robin Hood started for an adventure. He put on his
steel coat of mail, and over it his jacket of Lincoln green.

About noontime he came to the banks of a wide stream and walked
warily along until he heard a voice through the thick bushes.
Peering through he saw a stout brawny fellow sitting on the bank of
the stream eating brown bread and onions. He looked very jolly and
good-natured. Robin Hood saw by his shaven crown and a string of
beads that he must be a friar.

“Hey, my good father, will you tell me how I may cross this
stream?” said Robin Hood. The friar looked up and said:

“Yonder is the ford. The water is free to all; wade in.”

“Yes, but my clothes are new and fine. I do not care to get them
wet. I think your broad shoulders would make a good seat. Can you
find a heart to take me across?” replied Robin. The friar wiped the
bread and onions from his beard and getting up, said to Robin Hood:

“Well, and why not, friend? Come, and I will do thy bidding.” So
saying he led the way to a pebbly place laughing as if it were a
joke. Robin Hood seated himself upon the ample shoulders of the
friar and gripped him about his round head.

“Let me take thy sword under my arm, so that thou canst hold on
better,” said the friar. So Robin Hood unbuckled his sword and gave
it to the friar. Then the friar walked across the stream and Robin
Hood was landed on the other side. When he got down on the ground
he asked for his sword and prepared to depart.

“Nay, my son,” said the friar, “a sword is not good for thee, for
it is a deadly weapon, and thou must leave it with me.”

“Give me my sword, holy father, or I shall take it back. Thou hast
one of thine own; give me mine and let it be a fair battle between
us, even if thou art a friar, or else set me back on yonder bank
where I came,” said Robin Hood in anger.

The friar finally agreed to take him back across the stream, but in
so doing Robin Hood managed to slip his sword out of the possession
of the friar. In the midst of the stream the friar decided to rid
himself of the load so he tumbled Robin Hood off into the water.
When Robin reached the bank he was very angry with the friar.
Drawing his sword he rushed on him and they had a hard battle. The
friar would laugh at Robin’s plight but warded off all his blows.
Never a stroke touched him. At last the friar said:

“I think thou art Robin Hood. I know I am Friar Tuck. Come, let’s
be friends.” And so they shook hands and put up their swords.

And that is the way Robin Hood met Friar Tuck, and that was the way
that Friar Tuck joined the merry band in Sherwood Forest.


_Showing how Robin Hood depended on his wits to carry him through
an adventure._

The Sheriff of Nottingham wanted to capture Robin Hood to get the
two hundred pounds reward, and besides that the forester he had
killed was kin to the sheriff. So the sheriff said:

“If I could only persuade Robin Hood to come to Nottingham I might
seize him. I think I shall give a shooting match, and offer a good
prize.” Thus saying, he let it be known that a great shooting match
would be held in the square, the prize to be a gold arrow. Indeed,
he had notices tacked up on the trees to attract Robin Hood’s
attention. Robin Hood heard of the notices and calling his men
around him, said:

“Now, I am going to shoot for the prize to-morrow in Nottingham
Town. Some of you dress as beggars, or tinkers, or friars, but all
of you carry your good bows and arrows. As for me, I shall wear
scarlet and a patch over my eye.” They all agreed and the next day
early, were all in Nottingham Town.

The target was set up and the shooting began. The arrows sped
across the square, some in the target, some on the ground, and a
few in the bull’s eye.

“Take the best ten and let them shoot again,” cried the Sheriff.
The shooting went on as before, and after a while the Sheriff
cried: “Take the best six!” Then after they had shot he cried:
“Take the best three,” and each time a stranger in tattered
scarlet, and a patch over his eye was taken among the best.

And now the best three came up for a final test. Gill of the Red
Cap shot, and lo! his arrow was only a finger breadth from the
center. Then the tattered stranger shot and his arrow was only a
barleycorn’s length from the center. Then Adam of the Dell shot,
and his arrow stood beside the stranger’s. All three looked like
one arrow from a distance. “Shoot again!” cried the Sheriff. Adam
shot and his arrow was close to the center; Gill shot and his arrow
struck near by the middle and a great shout arose.

“Now, old Patch-on-the-Eye, shoot and see what you can do!” shouted
the bystanders, for the other arrows were so near the center that
there was hardly room for one more. The stranger took his stand,
drew his bow, sighted his shaft with his one eye. Twang! went the
bow. Whiz! went the arrow, and cut the feather of Gill’s shaft as
it passed, and stood quivering in the very center!

“Here, take thy prize and begone, thou dirty knave, thou art as
deadly as Robin Hood himself!”

The stranger took the prize and retired to the edge of the crowd
where there were a lot of beggars and tinkers and friars.

“Nay, I am Robin Hood, his very own self!” he called aloud. But
before anybody could seize him he and his men had disappeared down
the road.


_Showing that from an outlaw can be made a good and worthy citizen_.

Many years went by and Richard was now King of England. In
Nottingham Town all was noise and uproar because the great king
was to come to that town and visit the Sheriff. Crowds packed the
public square to welcome him as he passed by.

Robin Hood and all his men were there, but some were in disguise.
Friar Tuck and Little John stood boldly in the crowd and when the
Sheriff saw them he turned quite pale.

That night at the great banquet the king said:

“I have heard much of Robin Hood and his men hereabouts. I should
like to see him. They tell me he can shoot a bow wondrous well.”

“Very easily arranged,” said one of the heralds, “if you and a few
others will dress as Black Friars and go into Sherwood Forest.”

This pleased the king, and on the morrow he and several others
dressed as Black Friars, with hoods over their faces, and went into
the forest as though they were travelers. By and by the king said:

“Here we have come and brought nothing to drink. I am as thirsty as
though we were in a desert.” As he said that out stepped a man from
the roadside, and taking hold of the bridle of the horse on which
rode the supposed friar, said:

“Come with me, holy brother, and I shall lighten your purse and
give you a merry feast.”

The man was Robin Hood. Leading the king’s horse and guiding the
others, he led them all to his hiding place and gave them a feast,
though he was careful to take all the money that the supposed
friars carried.

They showed their guests their wonderful archery. Robin Hood
ordered that every man who missed his mark should have a buffet
on the ear. Some of them missed and were soundly cuffed for their
errors. Finally Robin Hood had to shoot, and by a strange chance he
missed his mark on account of a bad arrow.

“I will cuff thee myself,” said the king laughing, and baring his
mighty arm he gave Robin such a knock that the bold outlaw lay
stretched upon the grass rubbing the side of his head.

But the king had showed his face in doing this.

“Our king! King Richard!” they cried in dismay, and knelt at his
feet. But the king told them to rise, that he liked bold outlaws.
In fact, he pardoned them for all their misdeeds.

“Robin Hood and Little John and Will Scarlet and Allan-a-Dale must
come with me to the wars. The others may live here and be my loyal
foresters,” ordered the king.

And it was so. Robin Hood went away with the king that he loved so
much and became head of all the archers in the kingdom. The merry
men lived loyal and law-abiding in Sherwood Forest. And that was
the end of the outlaws.


_In the hands of the industrious the simplest things can be made
the means of good fortune._

Once upon a time there was a little girl whose father had died and
left her with an old grandmother who lived in a cottage on the
edge of the town. They were very poor and earned their living by
spinning, and weaving and sewing. By and by the grandmother died,
too, and then the girl, who was sixteen years of age, had nothing
but the spindle, the shuttle and the needle. But with these she
made beautiful things to sell. Everybody saw how lovely she was and
praised beautiful things she made.

Now, the prince of the country had said he wanted to marry a poor
girl, but she had to be beautiful and industrious. One day he came
to the village where the girl lived, and asked if there were any
poor girls there fit to be his bride. At once all the poor girls
dressed up in their best clothes, and brought out all the things
they had made and sat on the front steps. But the prince passed
them all by for they were ugly and dowdy.

At last he came to the cottage where the poor girl lived. She was
busy at her work inside and did not look up when the prince passed
by. As he went on the spindle leaped out of her hand and danced
down the road after the prince, spinning a beautiful golden thread.
The prince was astonished and said:

“What is this? A golden thread! It must lead somewhere,” and he
turned back to follow the spindle that kept on spinning golden

After a while the shuttle jumped out of the hand of the girl and
danced out of the house and began weaving a beautiful carpet. On
it were flowers and fruits, and animals, and birds and trees. It
was a wonderful carpet and grew so fast that you could see it as it
spread along the path and down the road.

By and by the prince came to the carpet.

“What is this? A wonderful carpet! It must lead somewhere,” and he
got off his horse and began to walk on the carpet that grew bigger
and more beautiful every minute.

And now the needle leaped out of the hands of the poor girl and
began to sew all by itself. It began to make the most beautiful
dresses in the world, with gold thread and lace and fine velvet.
They fitted the young girl exactly, and when the prince came into
the cottage she sat in a chair covered with embroidery, wearing a
dress fit for a bride of a king.

The prince took her by the hand and said:

“You are the poor girl of my dreams. You shall be my princess,
for you are more beautiful than the things you wear.” And at the
wedding, the spindle, the shuttle, and the needle danced until they
were quite tired out.


(Adapted from Ouida)


_An heirloom is as precious as a member of a family, and should not
be disposed of lightly._

August lived in a small town in Germany. He was a little fellow
only nine years old. He had rosy cheeks, big brown eyes and lots of
curls the color of ripe nuts. His mother was dead, his father was
very poor, and there were many mouths to feed.

The winters were long and cold where August lived, and snow covered
the roads and fields everywhere. One evening he had to go out for a
mug of beer for his father. It was so cold that his fingers almost
froze, but he hurried along thinking about the big porcelain stove
that stood in the big barren room of his home and that gave out so
much heat that it made the room feel like summer.

August burst in the room and put the beer on the table.

“You dear old Hirschvogel!” he cried. “How warm you are!” and he
ran up to the great stove and touched it tenderly. Now, Hirschvogel
was the name of the man who had made this stove many years before.
All the children loved it dearly, for their mother sat by it when
she was alive, and they had all played around it when they were
babies. It was a wonderful stove, fit for the house of a king, and
when it glowed on a cold night it looked like a palace lighted up
for the queen’s birthday.

August warmed himself by the stove, and then his sister gave him
his supper. The children were playing games and telling stories
when the door opened and in walked Karl, their father. He seemed
out of sorts that night, and ashamed of himself. Finally he said,
“I have sold Hirschvogel.”

The children were aghast with dismay. “What? Sold our old stove,
father? Mother’s stove! Why it has been in our family for so many
years--you surely do not mean it,” they all cried.

“I have sold the stove! I need the money--now off to bed--all of
you. To-morrow the men come to take it away,” said Karl.

The children went to bed. August could not sleep for grief. Late
in the night he came down and lay beside the stove until daybreak,
crying to himself because the stove was sold.

Early in the morning the men came and packed the stove in a big
crate full of hay and took it away. When August saw them hauling
it away he resolved to follow the stove as far as he could. He
went to the railroad station and saw the men put the crate on the
platform. Then they put it in a big box car and were making ready
to start when August slipped into the car and hid himself just as
the train started.

He soon found a way to get into the great stove when he curled up
into a little bundle and went fast to sleep. Hirschvogel was on its
way to its new master, but August was inside going along, too. What
happened to him we shall see in the next story.


(Adapted from Ouida)


_Adherence to worthy family traditions is an admirable virtue._

We left August fast asleep inside the precious stove. The journey
was long and cold, and the train stopped and started and August was
jolted about until he woke up stiff and cold and sore. He ate some
cheese and bread he had in his pocket and turned over the best he
could, but still he was very cramped and hungry.

At last the train stopped and August felt himself lifted out of
the box car and set down on the platform. He was afraid the men
would find him inside, so he kept very still, although he was so
cold and hungry that he almost cried. Then a cart came along and
the stove and August were lifted up and carried for miles and miles
and set down in a warehouse where they stayed all night. August
managed to creep out in the middle of the night and get some snow
and ice to quench his thirst. Then he ate the last of his bread and
cheese, went to sleep on some hay, and woke up just in time to get
back into the stove and pull the wrapping in place as the men came

The men came in early and carried the stove in another cart
somewhere, then lifted it up and took it up stairs over soft
carpets, and then set it down on the floor. August kept very still
for he was sure this was a very grand house, and besides that, he
was very weak with cold and hunger.

“What a beautiful stove!” he heard some one say as the wrappings
were taken off. Then the door of the stove was opened.

“Why, here is a little child inside the stove! What does this
mean?” said the same voice.

August crept out of the stove and knelt down before the grand man
he saw surrounded by others in uniform.

“Oh, sir!” he exclaimed, “please let me stay with my Hirschvogel.
It belonged to my mother, and we love it dearly. Please let me stay
with it!”

The man was the king and he looked very kindly at August and made
him tell all the story of the great stove, and about his father and
his brothers and sisters and the journey he had made inside the
stove. There were tears in the king’s eyes when August had finished
his story.

“You must have loved the stove very much,” said he.

“Oh, yes, sir,” answered the boy; “and it would break my heart to
have to give it up.”

“You need not do that, my child,” said the king, “you may live here
in the palace and look after your stove if you wish.”

August was overjoyed at this. He lived in the palace and took
care of the great stove for the king. In after years he became a
painter on porcelain and painted many fine stoves for the great
lords of the kingdom, but he never could make one as beautiful as


_Even the dumb animals deserve justice from those whom they have

There once lived a king in Atri, Italy, who wanted all his people
to be happy. In order to be happy he knew that every one should be
kind to those dependent upon him and above all things, be just.

In order that justice be done to every one, he had a large bell
hung in the market place. It was to be known as the bell of
Justice. Many people came to see it hung. When the men finished
their work, the king came before the people and said:

“I have placed this bell in the center of my city so that every
one will be near it. I have put a long rope on it. Even a child
can reach it. If any one of you feels that you have been unjustly
treated, I want you to ring the bell. Whether you be old or young,
rich or poor, your story shall be heard, and justice shall be done

The bell hung many years and was rung many times. Every time the
bell rang the king came and heard what the person had to say and
then did justice to his cause. At last the rope wore off and became

“If a child should need to ring, it could not reach the bell. We
must get another rope,” said the king. He had to send across the
mountains to get one for there was none in Atri.

“Some one may need to ring the bell before the rope comes,” said a
man. So he went into his garden and got a grapevine and hung it on
the bell. It trailed the ground, but it was a very good substitute
for a rope.

An old soldier lived near Atri. He had a horse which had carried
him in many battles, but now that he was old and lame and was of no
service to his master, he was turned out to shift for himself. He
ate the grass along the roadside and nibbled at the hay through the
fences. He was very thin and hungry for he could not find enough to

At last he wandered into the market-place and saw that the leaves
and tendrils on the vine were still fresh. He reached to get a
leaf, and as he pulled at the vine the bell began to ring, “Clang!
Clang!” He kept on pulling at the vine and the bell kept on ringing
“Clang! Clang!”

The people rushed to see who was ringing the bell and saw the
horse. Then the king came and the people told him whose horse it
was. The king was in a great rage at the injustice done the old
horse. His master was sent for and ordered to build a barn for
him and to give him the best hay and grain as long as he lived,
or else he would be turned out himself and so the old horse had
justice at last.


(April 1st)

_In which is shown the origin of April Fools, and the fact that the
best joke is the one which rebounds on the joker himself._

April the first is celebrated as All Fools’ Day. Everybody must be
on the lookout for some joke to be played at his expense. He might
pick up a brick neatly wrapped in paper and tied with a string, or
get a letter with nothing but “April fool” written on the paper.
He must be on the watch so as not to be caught, for if he is and
anybody calls out “April fool!” he will feel very cheap indeed.

This custom is nearly five hundred years old. It was started at the
court of Burgundy in France, when Philip was Duke. There was always
in those days a sort of jester, or fool, whose business was to make
fun and keep the court in a good humor. Even knights had jesters or
fools, and while these jesters were always funny, sometimes they
were very smart.

Duke Philip said to his jester one day:

“I challenge you to a trial of wits. If you get the better of me I
will give you a thousand ducats. If I get the better of you, you
will lose your place.” So they agreed to have the trial on the
first day of April.

When the day came the Duke had a great feast and plenty of wine to
drink. The jester drank and drank until he appeared to be quite

“Now, we will try him for drunkenness,” cried the Duke, “and
condemn him to be executed.”

So they tried the poor jester for being drunk, though he was not so
drunk as they thought he was. They decided he was to be executed.
They tied a band around his eyes, and the executioner struck him a
light blow on the neck, and they poured hot water on him to make
him think he was bleeding to death. It was all a joke, but the
jester took it in great earnestness.

Finally the jester fell down as though he were dead. They called to
him and said:

“It is a joke! Now get up!” But the jester lay on the floor and
they all thought he was really dead.

“He is dead of fright. He thinks we have bled him to death!” and
they were all much alarmed at this end of their joke. They sent for
a doctor, but the jester could not be aroused.

“Alas, me!” said the Duke, “I have lost my jester!”

“No, you have not!” cried the jester. “You have lost your thousand
ducats. I am not dead; and you are this April’s Fool!”

The jester leaped up from the floor as good as ever. He had turned
the joke on the Duke, and called for his thousand ducats. From this
time on people began to play jokes on each other the first day of
April in each year.


_In which a foolish king became miserable from too great desire for

King Midas was a very foolish king who wanted more money than
anybody else in the world had. One day after he had done a kindness
to the god Dionysius, the god said to him:

“Choose what you would like best. I will grant it to you.”

Midas at once said: “Grant that everything I touch may turn to

Dionysius said: “It shall be as you desire, but I tell you that you
have made a very foolish request.”

Midas went away very proud and happy. He broke off the branch from
an oak tree, and it turned into a solid rod of gold. He took up
a stone out of the road, and it became a solid lump of gold. He
plucked a rose from his garden, and it became a golden flower in
his hand. He reached up and gathered an apple from a tree, and it
changed to shining gold.

“Now, I shall be rich indeed,” he said. “Richer than anybody,” and
he began to sing and dance, thinking of his wonderful powers.

When he entered his palace he ordered his servants to bring him
all the cups and dishes in his house. Then he touched them and
they became gold cups and dishes. He ordered them to bring him the
table at which he ate. He touched it and it became a gold table. He
touched his chair and it became a gold chair. Then he put his hands
on his coat, his hat, and his trousers, and they became gold, so
stiff and heavy that he could hardly walk.

“Now, indeed, I shall feast like the noblest men,” said the king.
“Bring me in the finest food and wine you can get.”

The servants put before him the best food and wine that could be
procured, but as soon as Midas touched it it all became hard gold.
He could not eat the bread, nor the meat, nor the fruit. They were
all gold as soon as he touched them. The wine was like molten gold
in the glass and he could not drink it.

“I shall starve to death with all this gold!” cried the poor
foolish old king. Just then his daughter came in and kissed him.
At once she was turned into a statue of gold. Seeing this, the
servants fled and left him alone in his misery.

He ran back to Dionysius and cried: “Take away this golden touch,
for I am very unhappy and about to starve!”

The god told him to bathe in the river Pactolus, and he bathed
himself and his daughter in the river. Then he was where he began.
She became flesh and blood again, and Midas could eat his food like
other people.

But the sand of the river sparkled like gold ever afterwards, and
his daughter had beautiful golden hair the rest of her life.


_In which we see that it is a wise pig that obeys his mother and
provides against danger._

One time there was an old pig about to die, and she called her
three little pigs to her and said:

“My children, I am going to die soon and leave you. You must each
of you build a house so strong that the old wolf cannot tear it
down and eat you.” Each of the little pigs promised to do as his
mother said, and then the old pig died.

The first little pig gathered straw from the farmer’s field near by
and built him a straw house, and daubed it with mud.

The second little pig gathered some wood from the farmer’s wood
pile, and built him a wood house and daubed it with wet moss.

The third little pig found some bricks under the barn and built him
a brick house, and laid it in mortar and lime, just like the house
of the pig keeper. Then all three little pigs went to housekeeping.

Pretty soon the old wolf began to spy around to see what had become
of the little pigs after their mother’s death. He came to the straw
house of the first little pig and said:

“Little pig, little pig, please let me in, or I’ll huff and I’ll
puff until I blow your house in.”

But the little pig looked up out of his peep hole and said:

“No, no, no; not by the hairs on your chinny, chin, chin!”

Then the old wolf huffed and he puffed until he blew the house in,
and then he ate up the first little pig.

Then the old wolf went to the house of the second little pig and

“Little pig, little pig, let me in, or I’ll huff and I’ll puff till
I blow your house in.”

But the little pig looked up out of his peep hole and said:

“No, no, no; not by the hairs on your chinny, chin, chin.”

Then the old wolf huffed and he puffed until he blew the wooden
house in and ate up the second little pig.

Then the old wolf went to the house of the third little pig which
was built of brick and said:

“Little pig, little pig, let me come in, or I’ll huff and I’ll puff
till I blow your house in.”

But the little pig looked out of his peep hole and said:

“No, no, no; not by the hairs on your chinny, chin, chin.”

Then the old wolf huffed and he puffed, but he could not blow the
house down.

Then the old wolf started down the chimney to get the little pig,
anyway. But the little pig built a fire and put on the big pot and
filled it with water. So the old wolf fell into the boiling water
and was scalded to death. Then the little pig ate the old wolf
until there was nothing left but the bones.


_One must play the game according to rules given him._

Once there was a rich old man who lived in a beautiful palace,
surrounded by flower gardens. He was called the Barmecide. In the
same town there was a very poor man who often went hungry because
he had no money to buy food. His name was Shacabac.

One day Shacabac was hungrier than usual and decided to ask the
Barmecide to help him. So he went up to the palace door and knocked
and the servant said, “Come in, my master will be glad to see you.”

Shacabac went in the palace, through rooms with beautiful
furniture, and over soft carpets, and into a large hall when he saw
an old man with a long beard. He knew this was the Barmecide, and
so he bowed very low, and said, “I am very hungry, sir, and I have
come to ask you to give me some food. I have not eaten for three

The Barmecide said, “My poor man, you must eat with me at once.”
Then he rang a bell and told the servant to bring water. The
servant brought an empty bowl, and the Barmecide rubbed his hands
as though there was plenty of water, and made Shacabac do likewise.

“Come now, we will have supper,” said the Barmecide. So they sat
down to a table on which there were no dishes and no food. The
Barmecide pretended to carve a roast, and help poor Shacabac, who
saw no food, and who was surprised to see the Barmecide eating
heartily when nothing appeared to go into his mouth. But Shacabac
was not to be outdone, so he pretended to eat also and praised the
roast as the finest he had ever tasted.

“Now for some roast goose, and apple sauce,” said the Barmecide.
And that was eaten in the same way as the roast meat. Then the
servant pretended to hand around green peas and honey and figs and
other things that made Shacabac almost faint when he heard their
names. But he chewed just as the Barmecide did, and swallowed
and praised each thing as though he was enjoying the feast. This
invisible feast was not very satisfying, but he smiled and ate on.

At last the Barmecide said, “Now we have finished our meal. Have
you liked it?” To which Shacabac said, “It was very wonderful. I
never ate so much in all my life.” Then the Barmecide laughed and
said, “You are a true sport, my friend, and the first man I have
ever entertained who did not call me a madman.”

Then he called for real food and all the things that he had
pretended to eat came on in reality, and he and Shacabac ate
and laughed until late in the night. And Shacabac lived with the
Barmecide ever afterwards, because he knew how to make the best of



_If one possesses no unusual trait or talent, he deserves all the
more consideration from his parents and companions._

Once upon a time there was a mother who had three daughters. One
was called One-Eye, because she had only one eye. Another was
called Three-Eyes because she had three eyes. The third daughter
was like other people and had two eyes, so she was called Two-Eyes.

The mother was very fond of One-Eye and Three-Eyes, but she did not
like Two-Eyes because she was just like other people. So Two-Eyes
was made miserable and had all the hard work to do, and besides
that she had only the scraps to eat.

Every day she had to take the goat to pasture. One day little
Two-Eyes was in the meadow crying because she was very tired and
hungry. A strange old woman appeared and comforted her. The old
woman was really a fairy, but Two-Eyes did not know that. The
strange woman told Two-Eyes what to say when she was hungry.

The next day Two-Eyes was in the meadow again looking after the
goat. She was very hungry, for there had been no scraps that day.
She thought she would try the old woman’s directions, so she said:

“Little kid, bleat; I wish to eat!”

Sure enough there stood before her a table, full of good things to
eat. When she had eaten all she cared for, she said:

“Little kid, bleat; clear away the meat.”

When she said this, the table disappeared.

After this Two-Eyes did not touch the scraps left for her. Every
day she said the little rhymes and got all the food she needed. Her
mother noticed that she did not eat the scraps and thought some one
must be feeding Two-Eyes in the meadow. So to find out the truth
she sent One-Eye with Two-Eyes.

One-Eye was not used to such a long walk, so she sat down to rest
and soon fell asleep. So she knew nothing of what happened.

The next day the mother sent Three-Eyes with Two-Eyes to the
meadow. When she rested only two of her eyes were asleep, although
she pretended that the third was asleep, too. As soon as Two-Eyes
thought she was asleep, she said:

“Little kid bleat; I wish to eat.”

Then the table appeared, and Two-Eyes ate all she wished. When she
had finished eating, she said:

“Little kid bleat; take away the meat.”

Then the table disappeared as before. But Three-Eyes had been
watching with one eye, and had heard and seen everything.

When they reached home Three-Eyes reported everything to her
mother. The mother was so angry that she killed the goat, and poor
little Two-Eyes had to go back to eating scraps after all.



_Injustice and neglect frequently react upon those guilty of it,
and the things we despise at first often prove most valuable._

When Two-Eyes saw her mother kill the goat, she went out into the
meadow crying. The old woman stood before her again. She told
Two-Eyes to go home, take the goat’s head, bury it before the door,
and she would have good luck.

Two-Eyes went home, and that night after the others were asleep
she took the goat’s head and buried it as she was told. The next
morning there stood before the door a wonderful tree with leaves
of silver and fruit of gold. Everybody was very much amazed to see
such a tree grow up in one night.

One-Eye tried to gather some of the fruit, but she could not break
off a single branch. Then Three-Eyes tried, but she was not any
more successful. The mother herself climbed the tree, but could do
no better. Then, Two-Eyes climbed the tree and gathered a whole
apronful of the fruit. The others were astonished that so ordinary
a creature as Two-Eyes could gather the fruit when they could not
even break a branch from the tree.

While they were all standing under the tree a prince rode by.
The sisters were ashamed of Two-Eyes and quickly hid her under a
basket. When the prince came by he admired this beautiful tree. He
promised to grant any wish to the one who would give him a branch
of this wonderful tree.

One-Eye and Three-Eyes each tried to get a branch of the tree,
but in vain. Just then Two-Eyes rolled some apples from under the
basket. The prince was astonished, and asked who was under the
basket. Two-Eyes crept from under the basket. The prince asked her
to break off a branch for him. Two-Eyes reached up and with little
trouble broke off a branch and gave it to him. Then Two-Eyes told
the prince how she had been treated by her mother and her sisters,
and said she wished to be taken away, so that she might be happy.

The prince lifted her upon his horse and rode home with her to
his father’s castle. The two sisters could hardly conceal their
anger and mortification. They thought, however, that they would
still have the wonderful tree, but the next morning the tree had

As Two-Eyes looked out of her window in the castle, she saw that
the tree had followed her to her new home. Every day she gathered
silver leaves and golden fruit. Nobody could gather them but
herself, but she gave them all to the prince.

By and by, the prince fell in love with Two-Eyes and married her.
They lived long and were very happy. One day there came to her
castle two women begging. She knew at once by their eyes that they
were her sisters. As soon as she saw them and noticed how poor they
were, she made them come in and fed them and sent them back after
her mother. After that they all lived together very happily, for
Two-Eyes forgave them their unkind treatment.



_Even kings should have other motives than merely to wear fine

There was once a king who was so proud of himself that he thought
all the earth was just made for him to live on. He called himself
the emperor, and lay awake at night thinking how great he was. Of
course everybody agreed to this and that made him worse than ever.

One day while the proud king was bathing in a great lake, a man who
looked exactly like him came along and took the king’s clothes,
and left his own poor clothing in its place. When the king came to
the shore he found his own clothes gone, and all his attendants
ridden away. He was in a great rage, but he had to put on the poor
clothing he found on the banks of the lake, and walked like any
ordinary man up to a knight’s castle.

He beat on the gate and called aloud. The porter opened the gate
and said:

“What do you mean by all this noise? Get away from here, you dirty
fellow!” This put the king in a great rage, and he called out:

“You rascal! I am the emperor himself, and I shall have you put in
prison for your insolence. Go! summon your master at once.”

The porter laughed in the king’s face and flung the gate shut and
went off to the servants’ quarters to tell them the story of the
old man in rage who claimed to be the emperor. At this they all
laughed and thought it was a good joke.

The king then went away and came to the house of a duke. He knocked
at the duke’s gate three times. The porter opened it and said:

“What do you wish here? Why do you not go to the servant’s gate?”
The king said:

“Tell your master the emperor awaits without and would speak with
him.” The porter was amazed at this, but being a duke’s servant he
went at once and called his master to the gate to hear what the man

The duke came to the gate. The king cried out:

“Duke, do you not know me? I am the emperor. This morning I was
bathing in the lake and some one stole my clothes, and left these I
have on. Open the door that I may come in!”

But the duke shook his head: “You are a madman to say that; the
emperor is now in my castle and is at dinner. He was in bathing,
but he came out and joined us afterwards. Now you must be gone or I
shall lock you up in my prison.”

The king was so angry that he jumped at the duke to choke him, but
the attendants seized him and soon had him locked up in prison to
think over the change that had come over his fortune by a mere
change of clothes.



_A real king is greater than his crown, and a real man is more than
his clothes._

The king had now time to think it all over. Here he was no king at
all, just because some one had stolen his clothes.

“Is that the only difference between a king and a beggar?” said he.
And he sat all night with his head between his knees thinking how
proud he had been.

Early in the morning he stood up and saw that the prison door was
open. He walked out and down the road and came to his own palace.
The porter did not know him and would not let him pass.

“But,” said the king, “I am your emperor; I am your master. Let me
pass!” The porter was a strong man and held the gate tight shut.

“The emperor indeed!” he replied. “Come here and I will show you
the emperor.” Then taking the king by the arm he led him to the
door of a great hall where there were many people together. He saw
an emperor seated on the throne and by his side was the queen.

“Let me go to see her!” cried the unhappy king. “She will know me!”
and he tried to break away. The noise was heard in the hall and
the lord and ladies came out to see what was the matter. Now the
emperor and the queen came out also and looked at the strange man
who said he was the emperor. When the poor king saw his wife he
called out:

“Do you not know me? I am your husband--I am the real emperor!
These clothes are not mine, nor are those clothes his!” and the
real king fell down on the ground in great distress, and began to
tear the rags from his body.

“Out with him! Beat him! Put his eyes out!” they began to cry, and
soon the poor king was thrust out of his own grounds and wandered
on down the road. He came to the very spot on the banks of the lake
where he had bathed. He was cold and hungry and very miserable. He
knelt on the ground and beat his breast.

“I am no emperor--no real emperor--I am just a sinful proud man and
do not deserve to be king. God forgive me for my pride!”

Then he looked round and behold! there were his real king’s clothes
again. There was his own horse and the duke and all his attendants
waiting for him. He put on his clothes and rode up to the palace
where the queen met him and kissed him.

“Welcome home, my lord and husband!” said she.

There stood the man the king had seen in his place, but he was now
dressed in white. Nobody saw him but the king. He said:

“I am the good angel of thy kingdom. Only the humble are fit to
rule. I give thee thy place again,” and the man vanished. The king
bowed very low, and afterwards was a just and humble ruler of his


_In which a kind hearted and obedient girl found reward._

Once a woman had two daughters. One was her own daughter and the
other was her step-daughter. She was good to her own daughter, but
she made her step-daughter sit by the roadside and spin all day.

One day while she was spinning she picked the blood out of her
finger with the spindle. She told her step-mother, and her
step-mother said: “You go to the well and wash the blood off, and
go back to work. You pick your finger to keep from working.”

While the little girl was washing her finger she dropped the
spindle down in the well. Her step-mother was very angry and told
her to go down in the well and get it.

The child was afraid, but she was compelled to go. So she closed
her eyes and jumped in. She went down and down. Finally she opened
her eyes and found that she was in a beautiful meadow.

She began walking and came to an apple tree. The tree said to her:
“Little girl, shake me, I am so full of apples.” So the little girl
shook the tree and walked on.

She came to some bread in an oven. The bread said: “Little girl,
take me out; I am about to burn up.” So she took the bread out of
the oven and walked on.

Finally she came to an ugly old woman whose name was Mother Frost.
She said: “Little girl, come and live with me; you will not have
anything to do but make my bed. It will have to be made well every
morning.” The little girl said she would be glad to live with her.

She stayed with Mother Frost a long time, but after a while she
decided to go home. Mother Frost led her to a gate. On one post was
a bucket of gold, on the other a bucket of tar. When the little
girl passed through the gate, the bucket of gold fell and covered
her all over with gold.

When she reached her own yard an old rooster on the fence said:
“Cock-a-doodle-doo, our golden girl has come home.”

The woman’s own daughter decided she wanted some gold, too. So
she went out and began spinning. She picked her finger with the
spindle, threw it in the well and jumped in after it.

She came to the apple tree and refused to shake it; she came to the
oven and refused to take the bread out; she met Mother Frost and
lived with her a little while, but would not make her bed.

When she decided to go home, Mother Frost led her to the same gate.
When she passed through the bucket of tar fell and covered her all
over with tar.

When she reached her own yard, the old rooster on the fence said:
“Cock-a-doodle-doo, our tar girl has come home.”


_We should make every effort to overcome in childhood any habit,
which if allowed to grow, will exert a bad influence on our later

There was once a little girl, named Gretchen, who was a very nice
little girl most of the time. When she smiled everybody thought she
was pretty. But she often lost her temper, and when she was angry
her face was so ugly that it scared people to look at her.

She was no longer pretty little Gretchen, but her face was all
covered with wrinkles and frowns, and her eyes turned green. All
the children were afraid of her, and even the animals ran away when
she came near. “You can never tell when Gretchen is going to be
angry,” they would say. Her mother grieved over her, but it did no
good. She wondered what she could do to cure this bad habit of her
little daughter.

One day as her mother was slowly walking along wondering how to
help her little daughter she heard a soft voice say: “I will help

Looking down on the side of the path she saw a tiny old woman
following her as she walked along. She wondered what the old woman
was going to do, but she could get no answers to her questions
except: “Wait and see.”

“What kind of an old woman are you?” asked Gretchen’s mother.

“I am called the looking-glass witch,” answered the old woman. “I
make people see themselves as others see them. Sometimes they look
very pretty, and sometimes they look very ugly.”

Gretchen met her mother at the gate. She was dressed ready for a
party, and with a basket of roses in her hand. She looked very
pretty indeed. The mother stooped to kiss her little girl. The
basket fell and all the roses spilled out on the ground. Quicker
than thought Gretchen’s face began to change. She became very
angry. She no longer smiled, but began to frown and wrinkle her
face with rage. Her eyes turned green instead of blue, and her face
was red and spotted. Then the old woman stepped out from behind
Gretchen’s mother and faced the angry child.

“Oh, Gretchen, Gretchen, look!” cried the mother.

There upon the lawn stood the ugliest old woman that Gretchen had
ever seen. Her eyes were large mirrors, and in each one Gretchen
saw herself, only she was very ugly. Her hair was stiff and black,
and on each strand danced a horrid imp. They each held a mirror in
which seemed to be an ugly Gretchen mocking her.

“Oh, mother!” cried the little girl, as she hid behind her mother’s
skirt, “I am not so ugly as that, am I?”

“Yes, you are,” cried the old woman, “and you will grow uglier and
uglier if you do not stop losing your temper.” With this the old
woman vanished.

But the lesson was learned, and ever after when Gretchen began to
be angry she thought of the looking-glass witch and changed her



_Some of the greatest men in the world have started from humble

Dick Whittington had been brought up in a poorhouse. He did not
even know who his parents were. He was so cruelly treated that he
ran away, and started for London. On the way he met a man driving a
cart and begged for a ride. The man told him that if he would rub
down his horse at night he might ride and besides would earn his
supper. And so they came into the great town of London.

Dick trudged for two whole days looking for work. At last he came
to the house of a merchant in Leadenhall Street. The cook called
out to him to “Go away, or I’ll kick you away.” And then poor Dick
crept away and lay down on the ground, for he was weak from hunger.
The merchant himself came home and saw Dick lying on the ground and
told him to get up and move away. Dick got up and fell down again
from weakness. Mr. Fitzwarren, the merchant, saw that Dick was sick
and weak and took pity on him. He brought him into the house and
bade the servant look after him. Dick had a room in the garret and
was made to help the cook.

“Look sharp! Wash all the pans, make the fires, and do all the work
around the kitchen, or I shall beat you with my ladle,” said the
cook. The only comfort Dick had was the kindness of his master’s
daughter. Her father had told her about him, and she sent for him
and heard all his story.

“You poor little boy!” said she. “I am sure you can be very useful.”

Dick lived in the garret and the rats ran all over him at night. If
only he had a cat to catch the rats, he thought he might be better
off. One day a friend of the merchant’s gave Dick a penny for
blacking his shoes. That day he met an old woman on the street with
a cat under her arm.

“I will give you a penny for your cat,” said Dick, and the old
woman sold him the cat. Before long the cat had caught all the
rats in the garret and Dick could sleep in peace.

Now Mr. Fitzwarren sent out a ship to trade along the coast of
Africa, and all the servants were allowed to send something in
the ship to be sold. Poor Dick had nothing to send, and all the
servants laughed at him. But Mistress Alice, the merchant’s
daughter, spoke kindly and said: “Dick, why not send your cat?”

Dick hated to give up his cat, but he finally sent her along in the
ship. The servants made his life very miserable by laughing at him
all the time because he had only a cat to send. Dick could stand it
no longer, so he decided to leave the house and seek his fortune
elsewhere. The cat started out on her voyage in the merchant’s
ship, and Dick was very lonesome. We shall see to-morrow what
happened to the cat and what happened to Dick too.



_He is a wise boy that obeys the bells calling him back to his work
and his destiny._

Dick packed his bundle and set out to seek his fortune. He left
early in the morning and wandered into the fields and sat down to
rest. Just then the Bow Bells, that is the bells in the church in
Bow Street, began to ring. Dick fancied they said to him:

“Turn again, Whittington, Lord Mayor of London!”

Indeed he was so sure of it that he rose from his seat on the
ground and went straight back to the merchant’s house, and took up
work again. But all day he thought he could hear the bell calling

The ship which carried Dick’s cat had sailed long ago, and was
driven by storms to the Barbary coast. This was a new place for a
ship to come to, and the people gladly bought all the wares that
the ship had to sell. Then the king invited the captain to dine
with him. The dinner was spread on the ground, and everybody sat
around cross-legged to eat. But the rats came in crowds and ran
over the table and carried away the food.

“I would give the value of all your cargo to get rid of these
rats,” said the king to the captain.

Now the captain thought of Dick’s cat, and told the king he had a
rat-catching animal on board the ship that he would lend him.

“I will load your ship with gold if you will give me such a beast,”
answered the king eagerly. So the captain brought out Dick’s cat
and he began to chase the rats and catch them by the neck and
shake them to death until he had a pile of them as big as a barrel.
It was great fun for the king to see the cat killing the rats so
fast. He then gave the captain a great store of gold and precious
stones in exchange for the cat.

The ship sailed home and the captain brought the money for the
cargo, and for the things that the servants had sent, and last of
all told about Dick’s cat and showed the great box of gold and
precious stones.

Dick was now a well grown and strong young man. Mr. Fitzwarren was
surprised how well he appeared before him, and said:

“This is all for you, Dick, every penny of it. You are now a young
man and a very fine looking one, too,” and he handed him the key to
the box of gold and jewels. “And,” added Mr. Fitzwarren, “I see in
you a great merchant some day.” Dick bowed low to the merchant and
then turned to his daughter and said:

“Mistress Alice, you have been very kind to me, and some day I
should like to make you my wife.”

And so it all happened. Dick became the Lord Mayor of London, just
as the Bow Bells said he would be, and he married Mistress Alice
and they lived very happy in the palace for many years. The best
part of it all is that the most of this story is true.


_Showing how the Lord destroyed two wicked cities and punished a
disobedient woman._

Sodom and Gomorrah were two very wicked cities in Palestine. The
people worshipped idols and did many other evil things in the sight
of the Lord. Therefore, the Lord said He would destroy these cities
off the face of the earth.

Abraham said: “Wilt thou destroy the righteous with the wicked? If
there be fifty righteous in the city wilt thou spare the place?”
And the Lord said He would spare the place for the sake of fifty
righteous men.

Then Abraham said: “If there be forty and five righteous within the
city, wilt thou spare the place?” And the Lord said He would spare
the place for the sake of forty-five righteous.

Then Abraham said: “If there be forty righteous within the city
wilt thou spare the place?” And the Lord said He would spare the
place for the sake of forty righteous.

Then Abraham said: “If there be thirty righteous within the city,
wilt thou spare the place?” And the Lord promised to spare the
place for the sake of thirty righteous.

And then Abraham asked for the sake of twenty, and then for the
sake of ten, and the Lord promised that even for the sake of ten
righteous people He would not destroy Sodom and Gomorrah.

But the ten could not be found in all the two cities.

Now Lot and his wife and his two daughters lived in Sodom. Lot was
a good man and sat one day at the gate and saw two men approaching.
Not knowing that they were angels, Lot made them come into his
house and put food before them and pressed them to lie down and
rest. The people of Sodom seeing Lot do this, came to his home and
called for the two men to do them harm, but Lot shut the door and
ordered them to go away. Instead of doing this they beat upon the
door and came near breaking it down; and then the men, who were
angels in disguise, put forth their hands and smote the people with
blindness, both large and small, so that they could not find their
way from Lot’s home.

Then the angels told Lot to gather all his family, his wife and
daughters and sons-in-law and to escape from Sodom, but his
sons-in-law laughed at him and refused to move from the wicked
city. Then Lot took his wife and his two daughters and prepared to
flee. The angels brought them forth from the city and said:

“Escape for your lives; look not behind you; neither stay on the
plain, but escape to the mountains, lest ye be consumed.”

Then the Lord rained fire and brimstone upon Sodom and
Gomorrah--both cities with all the people in them, and they were
utterly destroyed. But Lot’s wife, eager to see what was going on
behind her, turned and looked back, and behold! she was changed
into a pillar of salt. So Lot and his two daughters fled to the
mountains alone, and the two cities were nothing but smoking ruins.


(April 21st)

_The founder of the kindergarten and the lover of little children._

To-day we will learn about Friedrich Froebel who loved little
children so much that more than a hundred years ago he started a

Froebel was a very poor little boy and when he was very small he
had no playmates but the flowers in the old garden of his home. He
loved these flowers very dearly and called them his children. He
would tell them “Good morning,” and then “Good Night.” It seemed
that the flowers were playing with each other, and sometimes
talking to one another.

The little pink and white border flowers would say:

“I wonder where little Friedrich is this morning?” Then the old red
rose would say: “Never mind! he never forgets us. He will be here

The doves in the garden would flutter round his head and light on
his shoulders. Even the mother-bird would let him hold her little
birds in his hand. When Friedrich came into the garden he always
brought something for the birds to eat. They would cry out:

“Here comes Friedrich with our breakfast!” and fly over to meet him.

Friedrich had no mother to teach him, but he had a big strong
brother who was very good to him. This big brother would take
little Friedrich out in the meadows, and tell him stories about the
bugs and the bees and the flowers. Then about the fairies and the
giants and the underground people. Friedrich loved these stories
very much and never forgot them.

When he grew bigger and went to school it was very hard to sit on
a bench all day and look at a book--especially where there were no
pictures in it at all, and the school master was very stern.

“Dear me!” thought Froebel. “This is a very stupid way to learn.
I wish I could see some pictures, and hear some stories and do
something with my hands, and sometimes play a little--I am so tired
of this old bench!”

Froebel never forgot how tired he was and how stupid the book was.
When he became a man he thought about his garden and he thought
about his school, and he said:

“I will make me a child garden, and the children shall grow in it
like the flowers and the doves at home.”

So he made a school like that and called it Kindergarten, which
is the German way of saying “Child Garden,” just as we say flower
garden, or vegetable garden. Then the little children in Germany
were just as happy as we are to-day, for now they could see
pictures and play games, and hear stories and make things with
their hands. They could grow as the flowers and the birds grow.


_Sometimes one is not so simple as he seems, and behind a foolish
face may lie a very clever head._

Everybody thought Dummling was a simpleton. His older brothers were
very clever, but Dummling’s father thought he was too foolish to
bother with. So everybody let him alone except his mother.

When Dummling was fifteen years old his father grew tired of
supporting him, and gave him twenty shillings and told him to go
out in the world and seek his fortune. Dummling kissed his mother,
took the twenty shillings and went on down the road jingling the
money in his pocket.

It made a merry sound, and Dummling jingled it louder and louder,
for he liked to hear the noise of money in his pocket. By and by he
met a man carrying a basket of fish.

“What have you there?” asked Dummling.

“Nothing that you can buy,” said the man; but when Dummling jingled
his money the man stopped to listen. Then Dummling proposed to buy
the fish for the twenty shillings. The man was so glad to get the
money that he seized it and ran off leaving Dummling in the road
with the fish and the basket, too.

“I shall take these fish and give them to the king,” said Dummling;
and taking up the basket he went on to town and came to the king’s
palace. He knocked at the gate and the porter came to open it.

“I have a present for the king,” said Dummling, “let me pass at
once.” The porter was so impressed with Dummling’s manner that he
let him by. As he went by the porter whispered to him:

“The king will give you something for your present, but you must
give me half for letting you in.”

“That I will, and very gladly,” said Dummling, and went by.

Then he came to the chamberlain who also let him pass, saying: “You
must give me half what the king gives you.”

“That I will gladly,” said Dummling, and went on in.

The king was seated on his throne, and the queen was sitting by
him. When he saw Dummling he beckoned to him to bring his present.
Dummling opened the basket and showed him the fine fish.

“Ah, very fine fish,” said the king. “I am very fond of fish. What
shall I give you for them, my young friend?”

“You may give me a hundred lashes for them,” said Dummling. This
was a very strange request, but the king ordered Dummling to be
given the hundred lashes. Then Dummling told the king he had
promised half his present to the porter, and the other half to the
chamberlain. So the porter was brought in and given fifty lashes,
and the chamberlain was brought in and given the other fifty
lashes, to the great merriment of Dummling and all the court.

The king and queen thought Dummling was not so foolish after all,
and made him live in the palace ever afterwards.


_In which we find the strange adventure of the simple son._

Dummling was so simple that nobody thought he had much sense. His
mother thought otherwise, however, and we shall see that she was
right and everybody was wrong.

One day Dummling said to his father, “Let me go into the forest
and cut some wood.” His father agreed to this and gave him an ax.
Dummling went into the forest and sat down to eat his lunch. He had
just spread his basket when a little old man appeared and said,
“Give me something to eat, I am very hungry.”

Dummling divided his bread and sour beer with the little old man
and they talked very merrily for a long time. Then the old man
said, “Cut down the tree we are under and you will find something
to your advantage.” So Dummling cut down the tree and when it fell
to the ground he saw a goose with gold feathers lying at the roots.
He quickly picked up the goose and went to the inn to spend the

The next morning one of the landlord’s daughters saw Dummling
with the goose under his arm and tried to steal one of the gold
feathers. But as soon as she touched the goose she stuck hard and
fast. No matter how hard she tried she could not get loose.

Pretty soon another daughter came in and seeing her sister stuck to
the goose she tried to pull her away by the shoulder. But as soon
as she touched her sister she also stuck hard and fast. Then the
third sister came in and seeing the two stuck to the goose she ran
up and tried to pull her sister away by the dress, but she also
stuck hard and fast. There they were, one right behind the other,
and Dummling, paying no attention, marched out of the inn with the
goose under his arm and the three girls behind him.

In the fields a parson met them. “You silly girls to follow that
man! Come here at once,” he cried and caught hold of the last
sister, but he stuck, and the four moved on. Presently, came the
clerk of the town and called out, “Parson, Parson, you are needed
here to marry a couple,” and tried to pull the parson by the
sleeve, and then the clerk stuck fast, and all five moved on behind

Before long two laborers saw the strange procession and said, “We
must find out about this,” and caught hold of the clerk, and then
they stuck tight and all of them moved into the next town where
the king lived with his daughter.

The daughter was sick and sad and had not smiled or laughed for a
year, but when she saw Dummling and the crowd following him she
began to laugh. She laughed so loud that the goose cackled and a
feather came out. Then everybody pulled loose from one another and
they ran down the road as fast as they could.

But Dummling went to live with the king and whenever the king
needed money, the goose cackled and dropped a gold feather, but
another one soon grew in its place.


_In which the poor little sister whom no one thought beautiful,
becomes the wife of the prince._

Cinderella was a good girl who lived with her step-mother and her
two sisters, who were unkind to her. The ugly sisters went to many
parties and wore beautiful dresses; but Cinderella had nothing but
rags and lived in a dark room. One night the sisters were going to
the prince’s ball, and Cinderella had to dress them. Her heart was
almost broken because she wished to wear a beautiful dress.

Away went the sisters looking very grand and never thinking of
their sister crying at home. While Cinderella was weeping all alone
in her dark room, some one came in--a lovely fairy who wore dainty
slippers and a pointed cap, and who carried a wand. “I will see
that you go to the prince’s ball,” said the fairy god-mother, and
began waving her wand.

In a few minutes the pumpkin from the garden had been changed
into a carriage. Two mice and two large rats from the pantry were
changed into horses and coachmen. The little maid was changed from
a cinder maid into a beautiful young girl in a lovely white dress,
with silver stars in her hair, and a shining crown on her head.
From the pocket of the god-mother came a dainty pair of glass
slippers for her feet. She could go to the ball now. The only thing
for her to remember was to be back before the clock struck twelve.
At that hour she would be changed again to the cinder maid.

Cinderella went away to the ball promising her god-mother to be
back on time. Many lovely maidens were found there dancing, but
none so beautiful as Cinderella. The prince saw her and could think
of no other. He danced with her many times and begged for her name,
but this she would not tell.

The minutes flew by. Finally the big clock in the hall struck
twelve. Down the steps she flew, but it was too late. In her haste
she lost a slipper on the steps which was picked up by the prince.
As she ran her lovely clothes were again rags.

She walked home but was very tired when she reached there and sat
in the cinders and cried. When her sisters came home they could
talk of nothing but the beautiful maiden who came to the ball and
danced with the prince.

The prince was very unhappy because he could not find the beautiful
maiden. He kept the glass slipper and traveled the land over trying
to find whose foot it fitted. The ugly sisters tried it on but it
was entirely too small.

At last Cinderella spoke up and said, “Let me try on the slipper.”
The sisters laughed at her, but the prince insisted that she be
allowed to try. When the slipper was put on her foot it fitted
exactly. The prince then said, “You are the princess for whom I am
looking.” And so they were married and lived together in the great


_It matters little what we have to start with, the great thing to
consider is what we shall do with it._

Once upon a time a man called his three sons to him and said: “My
sons, I am getting old and cannot long be with you; I have no gold,
nor lands, nor houses to give you, but you shall have what I have
left.” So he gave one a cock, one a scythe, and one a cat. The
oldest son took the cock and started out on his travels. Soon he
came to a place where nobody had ever seen a cock.

“What can he do?” they all asked. The oldest son told them the
cock would crow at certain hours, and was as good as a clock. He
would call everybody an hour before sunrise, and if he crew in the
daytime the weather would change.

All the people admired the cock and lay awake at night to hear him
crow. The next day they asked what the cock was worth.

“Oh, as much gold as an ass can carry on his back,” said the oldest
son. “That is not much for so wonderful a creature,” said they,
and gave him the gold, and he went back home and showed his two
brothers his fortune.

The second son went out with his scythe, and soon came to a place
where the people had never seen a scythe. When the grain was ripe
they would shoot down the stalks with a cannon, but sometimes they
shot too high, and then again they often hit the ears and that made
them lose a great deal of it.

“What can you do with that blade?” they asked him. Then the second
son showed them how he could cut down the grain with his scythe
evenly and quickly and not lose even a stalk or an ear. “How
wonderful!” they all exclaimed; and then they asked what the scythe
was worth. “Oh, as much gold as a horse can carry on its back,”
said the second son. “That is not much for such a wonderful blade,”
said the people, and gave him the gold. He then went back to his
brothers and showed them his fortune.

Now, the third son went out with his cat, and soon came to a place
where the people had never seen a cat. But the mice danced over the
tables and ate everything in the storehouses. They even bit the
king’s nose and ears while he was taking a nap.

“What can he do?” the people asked the third son. Then the third
son told the cat to catch rats. Such a rat killing you have never
seen. The cat killed a pile so big that it took a wagon to carry
the rats away, and he did this in a few hours.

“What a wonderful creature! How much do you ask for him?” they
asked. “Oh, as much gold as a mule can carry,” said the third son.
The people gave him the gold and he went back to his brothers and
showed them his fortune. And so they left the cock crowing, the
scythe cutting grain, and the cat catching rats, but the three sons
kept the gold.


_We often find our greatest joys in the sacrifice we make for
others; especially when that other is a tired and care-worn mother._

Easter Eve was fast approaching. Hester could scarcely wait for
the day to come, for she was in the class that had been asked to
decorate the church for the Easter services. And then, Marian had
invited the little helpers to tea with her afterwards.

Saturday, the anxiously expected day, arrived at last. Hester was
up bright and early. There were many things to do before going to
the church, for her mother gave her certain duties to perform each

On entering her mother’s room she was distressed to see a very
tired, care-worn expression on the sweet face.

“Why, mother, what is the trouble?” asked the little girl.

“Trouble enough, child,” answered her mother. “Here are all those
guests invited, telephone and door bell to answer, and Elsie with
a sick baby wants to go home directly after dinner to be with her.
But I just don’t see how I can spare her. If only Agatha would help
me, but she has her practicing. Oh, dear! I just don’t know what to

Hester did not answer. She walked across the room and looked out
of the window. From across the hall came the sweet sound of her
sister’s voice as she practiced her Easter anthems. Agatha’s voice
was beautiful. Hester stood listening with a very thoughtful
expression on her young face. Suddenly she turned and came up to
where her mother was standing and said:

“Couldn’t I stay, mother, and answer the door bell and do other
things? I feel sure I could, and then Elsie could go home to her

“Why, child, of course you could; but I thought you were to help
decorate, and then Marian has invited you to her house this
afternoon, hasn’t she?”

“Yes, mother, but I can give that up, and think how happy Elsie
will be. May I run and tell her, mother?”

“You are a dear little girl,” answered her mother. “I thought your
heart was set on that Easter decorating. Yes--run along; I am sure
Elsie will be grateful.”

Elsie was very grateful indeed, and went away to her sick baby with
a heart full of joy.

The next day at the Easter service all the girls were anxious to
know how Hester could have stayed away and missed the party.

“I stayed because mother needed me,” was all the child answered.
But when the service was over the minister called her to him. In
his hand he held a lily. He handed it to her, saying: “This flower,
little girl, is for you--a token from the Master. You are like Him
in giving up your own desires for the sake of others.”


_The love of flowers and of growing things is an instinct that
should be encouraged._

There were four beans growing in one pod. The sun shone and the
rain fell. The pod grew and the beans grew. As they grew larger
they thought more of what they must do.

“Shall we stay here always?” said one. “I feel that there is
something outside of this pod.”

Weeks passed. The pod became white and the beans brown. Then they
felt a pull at the pod. Crack! the pod opened and the four beans
rolled out into the sunshine. They lay in a little boy’s hand.

“Now we are in the world sure enough and we shall see what will
happen,” said the beans. The little boy put one bean into his pea
shooter and away it went into the gutter to be washed away by the
rain. Another bean went up into the air and fell into a chicken
yard, where the old hen promptly ate it. Still another bean fell
into the street and a wagon rolled over it. And that is what
happened to three beans.

But let us see about the fourth bean. The little boy was passing a
house where a poor woman lived with her sick daughter. The woman
went to work every day, but the girl had to stay in bed all the
time. It was very lonesome all day in bed with mother away at
work. The little boy shot his pea shooter with the bean in it, and
the bean fell into a bed of soft moss right under the sick girl’s

One morning when the sun peeped into the window of her room the
little sick child cried: “Look out of the window, mother! What can
that green thing be?” The mother went to the window.

“Oh,” said she, “that is a little bean, it has taken root and is
putting out its green leaves.” Then she moved the little girl’s
bed to the window and went off to work. The child was happy every
day watching the vine climb higher and higher until it reached the
window sill and she could touch it with her hand.

A week later the sick child sat up in the sunshine a whole hour.
The window was open and just outside was the little vine covered
with white blossoms.

The mother felt that her daughter would get well. The child kissed
the beautiful flowers. “I wonder from where the little bean came,”
said the little girl.

“Our heavenly father planted that bean,” said the mother. “He has
made it grow to be a joy to you and me.” The child folded her hands
over the blossoms and said: “Oh, I will not mind being sick if I
can have a little flower like this to watch every day.”


_We carry our own good luck with us in the way we do our work._

There once lived a most discontented old man. He never had any
luck, or at least that is what he said. He was the laziest man
you ever knew. His barn burned down because he dropped a match on
the hay, and was too lazy to pick it up. A fox stole his chickens
because he was too lazy to fix the chicken house. His horse went
lame because he was too lazy to get a new shoe. Things grew worse
instead of better. The old man could stand it no longer, so he said
to his friends:

“I must go into the world to seek my fortune. There is no luck here
for me.”

So he tied up a few things, put them on his back and walked to the
nearest town. He soon found work, but he was so lazy that he lost
his job. He wandered from town to town in search of his fortune,
but all in vain. Things grew worse; his clothes were ragged and his
shoes worn out.

“Oh, well,” he said to himself, “this is no better than at home,
and there I have a house in which to sleep.” So back he tramped
until he reached his old home.

He hardly knew his old place, he had been gone so long. When he
reached the doorsteps of the house he sat down to rest. “I don’t
believe there is any luck in all the world,” he said.

“Oh, yes, there is,” said a voice. He thought he was all alone, but
when he looked up there stood a fairy. “I am the good luck fairy,”
she said, “I have been watching you for a long time. Now I have
come to give you one more chance to have good luck.”

“Give it to me,” said the man, “I will do as you say.”

“Very well, then. There are three things you must do if you would
have good luck come and stay with you.

“See this clover,” said she, pointing down to some clover that
grew by the door step; “it has three leaves. Each leaf tells you
something. The first says, ‘Be Careful’; the second says, ‘Be
Honest’; and the third says, ‘Be Busy.’”

The fairy touched the clover with her wand and another leaf grew
out. “Look,” she said, “there is a fourth leaf now. It is for luck.”

Then the fairy disappeared. He looked down at the clover, and there
was a four-leaf clover among the others. He stooped and picked it
and touching each leaf he said to himself: “Be careful; be honest;
be busy; good luck.” This was his good luck and he intended to obey
it. He went about his work, doing his very best, and from that he
always had good luck.


_One is never too old to take care of himself, provided he keeps
his wits ready and active._

An old mule had been turned out of the farmer’s yard because he was
too old to work. He said: “I think I shall go to the city and earn
my living as a musician; people like to hear me bray.” And so off
he set for town. On the way he met an old dog.

“Come, join me, my friend,” said the mule. “I am going to the city
to be a musician. You can bark, and so we can earn a living.”

The dog joined him gladly and they went on until they saw an old
cat on the fence.

“You had better come with us,” said the mule. “We are going to the
city to be musicians. You can sing very well at night.” The cat
agreed and they all three went along the road until they came to an
old rooster up in a tree. The rooster had been told that he was to
be killed the next day for dinner.

“Bless me!” said the dog and the cat. “Why be killed when you can
go to the city with us and earn your living as a musician? Come
along! And that will make four of us--quite a band!”

And so they all went along. The mule, the dog, the cat and the
rooster, until it grew dark, and they came to a big house in the
woods, all lighted up and shining through the windows. The dog got
on the mule’s back, the cat on the dog’s back, and the rooster on
the cat’s back. Then the rooster looked through the window and said:

“I see a lot of robbers having a great feast. We are all very
hungry, and now, let the band play.” With that the mule brayed, the
dog barked, the cat mewed, and the rooster crowed. The robbers were
so frightened that they ran out of the house and into the woods,
thinking the soldiers had come to arrest them.

Then the travelers went in and ate the feast until they were quite
full. They were tired by this time and very sleepy, so they put
the lights out and the mule lay down on some straw in the yard; the
dog went to sleep behind the door; the cat curled up on the hearth;
and the rooster flew up in a tree. Before long one of the robbers
came back to see what happened. He went up to the hearth to light
his torch when the cat jumped at him and scratched his face. As he
ran the dog bit him on the foot; the mule kicked him on the leg;
the rooster crowed at him as loud as it could.

When he reached his companions he said that a witch had scratched
his face, that a man had cut him on the foot with a knife, and
another had hit him on the leg with a club, and that the judge on
top of the house had cried: “Throw the rascal up to me.”

The robbers were so alarmed that they never went back, and so far
as we know the musicians are still living in that house.


_In choosing our companions it is well to consider their character
and not their clothes._

Once upon a time there was a rich king named King Cophetua. He had
a wonderful palace, ate from gold and silver dishes and slept on a
bed of solid ivory. He was a young king and very fair to look upon,
but he was not spoiled by his riches or by his power. He was kind
to his subjects and was just in all his dealings.

The only thing he lacked to make him happy was a wife. With all his
wealth he was lonely. The people wished him to get a wife, so they
were searching everywhere for a princess suitable for the young
king. But none could be found. Some were very ugly, and some were
cross and high-tempered. Some were very vain and so silly that they
giggled aloud every time the king’s name was mentioned.

King Cophetua did not seem to care. He had seen so much of foolish
princesses that he came to dislike their vain ways. He said to the
wise men of his court:

“I shall never marry until I find a young woman very beautiful and
very good. If she is a princess all the better--but I would marry
her were she as poor as a beggar.”

One day as the king and his nobles were riding through the country
on a hunt, there stood by the roadside an old man who was blind. By
his side was his daughter. Very poor they were and dressed in the
cheapest clothes. They were beggars, for the man was blind and his
daughter could not leave him to work.

King Cophetua tossed the old man a gold coin. The girl looked up
to thank him and he caught sight of her face. It was a beautiful
face, and the king was much astonished. He stopped his horse and

“What is your name?” he asked the young girl.

“My name is Penelophon,” she replied, not knowing she was speaking
to the king, and smiled very sweetly.

The king took her hand and looked into her face again. Then he
asked her many questions about herself and her father, and she gave
such truthful and beautiful answers, that the king was more and
more attracted by her manners and her lovely face.

“I am looking for a wife, and I want you to marry me,” said the
young king at last.

She looked up at him for a long time and then slowly said: “Yes, I
will marry you. But you must take my father, too,” and still she
did not know he was the young king.

The king then cried: “I will care for you both,” and then he called
to his followers:

“Back to the palace and prepare for my marriage. She is no beggar
maid from this on, but a princess who is to be my wife.”

The people were all surprised at first, but when they saw
Penelophon, they shouted with joy. There was a great marriage and
King Cophetua and his wife lived many years very happily.


_A policeman is the friend of those in need of protection._

Mary and Ellen were two little sisters who lived in a town in
sunny England. They loved to wander outside of town in the meadows
and gather buttercups and daisies. One day they wandered farther
than they had ever been before. They had found such a beautiful
land where the wild roses and the hawthorn bushes were white and
fragrant, and full of the songs of birds. Just out of reach could
be seen a tiny nest, and the children wondered if there were any
eggs in it. On and on they wandered, their arms full of bright

All at once Mary happened to think of something she had heard some
boys say, that “the gypsies were about.” This thought sent a thrill
of fear over her, for had she not heard that the gypsies would
steal little children?

“Oh, sister, let us go back,” cried Mary. “I’m afraid of the
gypsies.” So the children took hands and ran back towards the
city. They no longer cared to gather flowers they passed, and the
fluttering of a bird among the bushes almost made their hearts
stand still, so afraid were they that it might be the gypsies
trying to catch them.

At last they reached the town and after walking past many houses
they saw that they must have taken the wrong street for everything
looked so strange. They were very lonely, and tired, so they sat
on the curbing to rest. The day was warm and little Ellen was soon
fast asleep against her sister’s shoulder. Mary sat still thinking,
wondering how they could find their way home, when who should come
round a corner but a policeman.

Now, a policeman, Mary thought, was as bad if not worse than a
gypsy, for policemen always locked people up. Suppose he should
lock them up. Poor Mary was afraid to look up until she heard a
cheery voice say: “Hello, little tots! better run home!” Then she
looked into the smiling face and kind eyes of the policeman, and
her fears all vanished. She told him they were lost, and to please
not to lock them up this time, for they would never go so far from
home again.

Well, the big man laughed and laughed and said: “All right! come
on, let’s find mother.” He took the poor little sleepy Ellen up
in his arms, and taking Mary by the hand started off. Mary told
him they lived on Durby Street and that their father’s name was
Benton. Soon things began to look familiar, and soon they reached
the dear home. Mother was very anxious about them and had just sent
word to the police for help in finding the children. They were all
very grateful to the kind policeman for bringing them safely home,
for they had learned that he is a very good friend indeed.


_The only safety lies in doing as one is told by those who know
what is best._

Once upon a time there were three little goldfish who lived in a
cool pond. This little pond was divided from the lake by a lattice
work. Every day the master came to feed the goldfish and caution
them not to swim too near the bank and never go near the lattice
work, but to stay at the bottom of the pond until he came.

Now, when the master was gone the little goldfish at the bottom of
the pond talked together. They did not want to play down under the
water so long.

The first little goldfish said, “I like the sunshine, and I like
to hear the birds sing and I like to hear the winds blow. It looks
lovely to me to swim near the shore and see the pebbles and the
sand. I see no harm in it, and I am not going to stay down deep in
the water. The master does not know.”

The second little goldfish said, “I want to go to the other side of
the lattice. I see some fish over there. I wish to visit and talk,
too. They can tell me things I need to know. I do not like this
deep pond anyway. The master does not know.”

The third little goldfish said, “You should do as the master says,
and I advise you to stay here. I am not going to swim near the
bank, nor go beyond that lattice. The master knows.”

So the first little goldfish rose to the top and swam near the
bank, and then he jumped right out of the water on to the sand
where he lay until the sun parched him.

The second little goldfish floated down to the lattice work where
the current was so swift it carried him through into the lake where
a big fish swallowed him.

The third little goldfish remained under the water, and the next
morning when the master came there was only one little goldfish to
be fed.

“Where are the others?” asked the master.

“I do not know,” said the little goldfish. “One of them said he
was going to swim in the sunshine, and the other said he was going
to dart through the lattice.”

The master looked along the bank and found the body of the poor
little goldfish where he had dried up in the hot sun. He then
looked in the big lake and saw an old fish who looked as if he had
just eaten breakfast.

“I think I have lost two little goldfish because they would not do
as I told them to do,” said the master.

The other little goldfish ate his fish bread and went back to the
bottom of the pond to think over the results of the disobedience of
his companions.


_One should be careful not to fly too high._

A long time ago there lived a man named Daedalus who was such a
genius that he could make anything. The king of the country became
angry and jealous because Daedalus could do so many wonderful
things, and so he shut him up in a tower and kept him prisoner on
an island out in the ocean. He imprisoned the little son, Icarus,
along with his father.

This was a foolish thing to do for it should be the part of all
wise kings to encourage their subjects to invent things, and to use
them for the good of the others. But this was a foolish king, and
so he put the inventor in prison.

Daedalus easily escaped from the prison, but he did not know how
he could escape from the island because the king allowed no ships
to take on passengers there. Daedalus decided to fly away like the
birds he saw skimming along the waters and then high up in the air.

He made a frame of wood and fastened feathers on it with wax. He
then fitted it on his back and made it to work like birds’ wings.
He made another small one for Icarus and fitted it on his back.
They practiced flying on the island and would fly from one hill to
another until they had learned how to manage their wings. They were
then ready to fly away over the sea.

Daedalus and Icarus went to the top of a hill, and putting the
wings on their shoulders they jumped off and began to fly. Daedalus
called to Icarus to fly low and keep close, and away they went over
the water and up into the air.

It was very wonderful to fly like the birds. The blue water
underneath sparkled; the fishermen looked up astonished; rowers
stopped their boats to see the strange sight. Soon they came to the
land, but they kept on flying. Farmers stopped plowing, and cattle
ran round in the field. Hunters shot arrows as Daedalus and Icarus
flew along over their heads. Then they flew over a great lake.

Icarus forgot the directions of his father and flew higher and
higher. “Do not fly so high, Icarus,” called out his father, “it is
dangerous. You are too young to trust yourself to such high places.”

But Icarus called back, “I can take care of myself,” and flew on
higher and higher. At last he came close to the sun, and all the
wax melted off his feathers and they began to drop off. One by one
they fell until only the frame was left. Then Icarus began to fall,
and he fell and fell until he dropped down into the water--and that
was the end of Icarus!

But Daedalus who had kept away from the sun flew on and landed in
his own country.


_In which we see that comfort in safety is better than luxury in

Brownie was a little mouse who lived in the country. His home was
an old hollow log, but it seemed a mansion to Brownie who was happy
all day long playing in the woods and green fields.

Now Brownie had a cousin named Ringtail who lived in the city and
one day he came out to see Brownie. They went for a long walk
through the woods and came home just in time for dinner. Brownie
was afraid there would not be enough for two, so he only nibbled on
an acorn while Ringtail had green peas, an ear of corn, and a big
red apple. But much to Brownie’s surprise he did not seem to enjoy
his dinner, and when he had finished the city mouse said:

“My cousin, how can you live in this stupid place, with nothing to
eat, and nothing to see but woods and bare fields? Come with me to
my home in the city and I will show you what real life is. When
once you see my beautiful home you will never be content to live in
this place again.”

So Brownie went with his cousin. It was night when they reached the
huge house in whose garret Ringtail made his home. The city mouse
then showed his country cousin what a nice bed he had out of some
old clothes that had been put in a chest. He then led him to the
pantry and showed him the cold meats, and cheese, and the bread
that were on the shelves. “Now, this is what I call real life,”
said Ringtail. “Come, let us go into the dining-room where we will

They then slipped through a crack in the door and found themselves
in the dining-room. On the table they found cake and fruit and were
preparing to make a feast when suddenly the door opened and in
walked the cook. The mice jumped off the table and ran into a hole
in the floor. Poor little Brownie was so frightened that he could
almost hear his heart beat.

But finally their hunger conquered fear, and when everything grew
quiet again they slipped into the kitchen. There they found a bowl
of fresh cheese and were helping themselves to it when they saw two
great bright eyes near them.

“Run, cousin! Run!” cried Ringtail. “It is the cat!”

Brownie needed no second warning, and they ran as fast as their
little legs could carry them. When they reached a safe distance
Brownie found his voice and said:

“Good-by, cousin! I’m going back home. If living in fear is what
you call real life I do not care to know it. I prefer my quiet
home where the birds sing while I eat my corn and apples to your
beautiful home with its cake and dangers.”


_It is well to know what to do in case of fire._

Julia lived with her mother in an old-fashioned house on the edge
of the town. Her mother was a widow and worked at the village
store, while Julia stayed at home and took care of her little
sister. Her mother trusted her and felt that her little one was
safe so long as Julia had her in charge.

Julia would read to her little sister out of her story books, then
she would tell her fairy tales, and talk to her about obeying her
mother, and growing up to be a good girl. She never told her ghost
stories or any stories to frighten her, and never let her be afraid
of the dark, and she never threatened to “tell mother on her when
she came home.”

The little sister, who was only six years old, loved Julia very
much, and did everything she was told. They often played together
in the yard, and walked to the big park where they saw flowers and
animals, and people enjoying themselves.

One Saturday evening Julia and her sister were waiting for their
mother to come home. It was cold, and Julia had started the fire
and lighted the lamp, and was getting her little sister ready for
bed. The fire was burning brightly and Julia had gone into the next
room to get something, when she heard her little sister scream. She
ran back into the room, and saw that a spark from the grate had set
the little one’s night dress on fire.

Julia did not lose her presence of mind, as many other young girls
would have done, but ran quickly to the bed and pulled off the
blanket, calling to her sister to lie down and roll over. The
little girl obeyed promptly, and Julia ran with the blanket and
covered her up, and soon smothered the fire entirely.

The little sister was burned on the arms and back, but when the
doctor came in later and put some soothing ointment on the burned
places he told the mother that if Julia had run screaming into
the hall and cried “fire!” her little sister would have burned to
death. The doctor said to the mother, “You see when the clothes
catch fire you are in danger of burning the skin, and also in
danger of breathing the flames. The best thing to do is to lie down
and wrap up in a blanket, or rug, or carpet, and roll over to put
out the flames. Then send for a doctor. Julia did exactly right
and is a very trustworthy girl. And the little sister did right,
too, in doing what Julia told her. I am glad you have two such fine


_One should take advantage of every circumstance in an emergency._

Andernach was a city enclosed with an immense wall which had only
one gate. This was a heavy iron gate and was very hard to open.
The watchman lived near the gate and as it was not opened very
often had much spare time. He was very fond of honey, so one day he
bought a great many hives of bees which were placed on top of the
wall for safety.

Not far away was another walled city called Linto. The people of
this city were enemies of the people of Andernach, and were always
waiting for an opportunity to attack them. They were constantly
watching to see if the gate was ever left open. One night they met
and planned to capture Andernach before sunrise. They plotted to
kill all the people, rob their houses and take possession of the
town. When all was ready they crept softly toward the dark, quiet
city. Not a sound could be heard and the watchman was fast asleep,
not dreaming of any danger.

Only the bakers here rose early. They made their bread, put it in
the ovens and returned to their beds, leaving small boys to watch
the bread. The boys had to watch carefully to keep the bread from
burning. Two of the baker boys, Hans and Fritz, were great friends
and were often together. While the bread was baking they played
around the ovens, but they dared not go to sleep.

One morning they decided to creep upon the wall over the watchman’s
house. They stole softly up the steps and were soon on top of the
wall. All of a sudden they heard a noise like men walking.

“Do you hear that?” said Fritz.

“Why, it must be the watchman,” answered Hans.

The noise was heard again. This time it was louder and nearer. The
boys crept to the edge of the wall and looked down. There stood
the army of Linto placing ladders against the wall. Hans and Fritz
were frightened and at first started to run, but they saw that it
was too late. In an instant Fritz thought of the hives. He knew
the little bees were not asleep if the people were. Each boy took
a hive, carried it to the edge of the wall and let it fall on the
heads of the enemy. Out flew the bees, mad as they could be, and
began to sting right and left.

The bees won the battle. They buzzed and stung the enemy so badly
that their loud cries of pain awoke the sleeping city. Hans and
Fritz were delighted to see the bees so busy and called loudly
for help. The watchman woke up and began to ring the bell. The
men rushed to the city gates. It was too late for the soldiers
had already fled. The bees had stung them so painfully they could
scarcely see where to run. And so the bees and the boys saved


_Kindness to helpless animals, especially those in distress, is the
mark of a generous nature._

A Newfoundland dog was once hurt by a wagon that crushed his foot.
The driver of the wagon did not stop to help the poor dog, but went
on leaving him in the road.

The poor dog was limping painfully along when a blacksmith saw him.
He felt sorry for the dog and said:

“Poor dog! what is the matter? Let me see your foot.”

The dog at once seemed to know what was said to him and held up his
foot for the blacksmith to see. The blacksmith led him to his shop
near by, where he carefully washed and bound the foot. The next
day the dog returned to the shop to have his foot dressed by the
blacksmith, and kept coming every day. Even after he was cured he
kept up his visits to his friend and came every day to play around
the shop. He seemed to know who his friends were, and when the
blacksmith would tell how he had helped him the dog would wag his
tail in a very knowing way.

On one of the dog’s visits he saw the blacksmith’s little boy,
Ned. Ned was only six years old, but he was a fine little fellow,
and loved to play. The dog and the boy became fast friends and
had many romps together. The blacksmith named the dog Rover, and
told Rover to be careful to look after Ned. After that, Rover was
careful that nothing should happen to his little friend.

One day the dog was walking near the river bank when he spied
little Ned who had run away from his older brother. Ned was running
near the bank and every now and then turned to look back to see if
his brother was in sight. Once, just as Ned turned to look, his
foot slipped as he struck against a rock and at once he was in the

It took Rover only a second to spring in after his little friend.
He seized Ned by his jacket and swam to the bank.

By this time a crowd had collected. Willing hands took Ned from the
dog, and he was none the worse for his ducking. Rover shook the
water from his shaggy hair, and looked for all the world as if he
had done nothing to be proud of.

You can imagine how Ned’s father felt when he heard of Rover’s
brave deed. He put his arm around the dog’s neck and said:

“How glad I am that I helped to cure your foot!”

After that nothing was too good for Rover. He slept in the room
with Ned, and went with him everywhere.


_He who would succeed in great things must bring all forces and
influences to his aid._

Once there was a soldier who resolved to marry the king’s daughter.
He started out for the king’s palace. As he was going through the
forest he saw a man pulling up trees by the roots. “Come along with
me, I need you,” said the soldier. So the man took one of the trees
and wrapped it around the others and then shouldered the bundle.
The two then went on together.

Before long they came to a hunter aiming a gun. “What are you
aiming at?” asked the soldier. The hunter said: “Two miles off
there is a fly sitting on a fence. I am going to shoot out his left
eye.” The soldier told the hunter: “Come along with me; I need
you.” The hunter took up his gun and all three went along together.

After a while they came to a man sitting on a fence whistling. “My
good fellow, what are you doing there?” asked the soldier. The man
answered: “Do you not see those seven wind-mills over yonder with
their sails going around? I am furnishing the wind to turn them.”
The soldier said: “Come along with me. I need you.” So the man
climbed down from the fence and all four went along together.

Shortly they came to a man who was unbuckling his leg and taking it
off. “Why do you take your leg off, my friend?” asked the soldier.
“Oh,” replied the man, “if I use two legs I go so fast that nobody
can see me. One leg takes me as fast as the wind.” “Come along with
me, I need you,” said the soldier. So the man took up his leg and
all five went along together.

About dark they saw a funny fellow with his hat down on the side
of his head. “Why do you wear your hat so crooked, young fellow?”
asked the soldier. The fellow replied: “If I wear it straight a
frost will come and freeze everything stiff and still.” The soldier
said: “Come along with me; I need your help, too.” And so all six
went along together and came to the king’s palace.

“I must marry your daughter,” said the soldier to the king. “Oh,
no, you cannot,” said the king, and sent fifty men to drive the
soldier away. But see what happened! The first man caught all
fifty and tied them together with their own buckles and hung them
up on the church steeple. The second man took his gun and shot
the whiskers off the king’s chin. The third man began to whistle
and blew down the tall tower of the palace. The fourth man put on
both legs and ran to get the princess and take her away. The funny
fellow put his hat on straight and it blew so cold that the queen
sneezed herself into a fit. It was an awful situation, so the king
cried out:

“You can have the princess if you want her, but give me back my men
and my whiskers, and turn on the heat for I am about to freeze to
death.” The soldier set everything straight and went off with the
princess, who gladly married so wonderful a man.


_Wherein a little girl has some strange adventures under the sea._

Eriline lived on an island. Her father made his living by fishing.
One morning she asked her mother to let her go in her row boat to
fish. Her mother told her that she might go but she must not go
out of sight. Eriline carried her fishing tackle to the boat and
started off very happily. After a while she dropped anchor and
commenced fishing.

Soon she heard a splash and saw a huge fish rise above the water.
Eriline had never before seen such a big fish! She tried her best
to haul in the line, but the fish got tangled and began to pull
and fight to get away. All of a sudden it gave a terrific jerk and
Eriline fell into the water!

She was very much frightened. Just then she heard a soft voice say:
“Don’t cry, little girl; nothing shall hurt you. I am queen of the
fish fairies, and I’ll take care of you.”

Eriline was so surprised to hear a fish talk that she looked up
quickly and saw a beautiful golden fish, with diamond eyes and a
ruby mouth, swimming beside her.

The queen led her into a pearl palace built by the oysters. The
floors were of tiny coral, while the furniture was of all kinds of
shells. The queen swam until she reached her golden throne.

After a while they swam into the dining-room where supper was
spread upon a shell table. When they finished eating they went into
a bedroom. The queen put Eriline into a golden bed and covered her
with sea-weed.

When she woke up she had on a scaly dress, too, that the queen had
put on her so that she could play with all the fish fairies.

“Am I to stay a fish all my life?” she asked the fish queen.

“Yes, but if you ever get out of the water to dry land you will
turn back into a little girl,” said the queen.

Eriline grew to be a beautiful fish. One day she was out swimming
when she heard her father’s voice and looking out she saw him
in his boat with his fish net spread in the water. Then Eriline
began to want her mother. She remembered what the queen had said
about dry land. So she went near the boat and swam right into her
father’s net. He pulled it up quickly and put Eriline into his
fishbasket. “What a fine fish,” he said.

When dark came her father went home, and threw his nets out of the
fish basket on to the shore. He took the fish out and laid them
on the sand. Eriline turned again into his beautiful daughter and
threw her arms around his neck.

“Oh, father, here I am, your little Eriline!” she cried. The mother
came running to greet her child again, and they were all happy and
thankful to be together again.


_One must be on the lookout for deception, and not be misled by the
words of pretended friends._

Once there was a little goat with white hair all over him like his
mother. That was why he was called Snowflake. His mother stayed at
home when he was a baby and taught him many things a little goat
should know. But one night his mother had to go off on a visit. She
barred all the doors and windows, and said:

“Now, Snowflake, if any one comes to the door and knocks be sure
not to open it unless he says, ‘Little bird, little bird, up in a
tree; little goat, little goat, open to me.’”

The mother then went away.

All this time Mr. Wolf was hiding just outside, and when the mother
was well out of sight he thought he would like a nice supper of fat
young goat. So he went to the door and knocked.

“Who’s there?” said Snowflake. The old wolf said:

“Little bird, little bird, up in a tree; little goat, little goat,
open to me.” But the wolf’s voice was not like his mother’s voice,
and so Snowflake, to be sure, said:

“Let me see your foot.” Then the wolf put his foot through a crack
in the door. But Snowflake said:

“Go away! my mother’s foot is white and yours is black.” So the
wolf went away growling. Then the wolf got some flour and put it on
his foot and came back and knocked at the door.

“Who’s there?” asked Snowflake. The old wolf said:

“Little bird, little bird, up in a tree; little goat, little goat,
open to me.” But Snowflake did not like the voice and again said:

“Let me see your foot,” and the wolf put his flour covered foot
through the crack in the door.

Snowflake looked at it and said:

“My mother’s foot is hard and yours is soft like paws. Go away from
here!” The old wolf went away growling. He was getting very hungry
by this time. At last he went back to the door and knocked. Again
Snowflake asked: “Who’s there?” And the wolf said the same words.

“Let me see your foot,” said Snowflake. This time the wolf stuck
his soft tail through the crack. Snowflake saw it was not his
mother’s foot, so he grabbed the wolf’s tail and tied a knot in it.
Now the old wolf was caught and could not pull his tail out nor get

When the mother came back she butted the old wolf so hard that she
split the door so that his tail untied, and he was glad to go away
from that goat’s house, and never come back.


_In which we find out that a dog refuses to be separated from its
little mistress._

Rags was a dear little snow-white poodle with such soft curly wool
that he looked more like a lamb than a dog. The man who gave him
to Mary called him “Rags,” but no one could understand why such a
beautiful woolly dog should be called “Rags.”

Mary was a little lame girl and could not run about and play like
other little girls, for she had to hop about on a crutch. Rags was
her very best friend, and they were always together. Mary’s father
was dead, and her mother worked out all day leaving Mary alone with
Rags. They were never lonesome, however, for they were always happy
when they were together.

One morning Mary and Rags were sitting on the doorstep watching the
people when a black-eyed man came by.

“That’s a very fine poodle,” said he.

“Indeed, he is,” cried Mary. “He’s my very own and I love him more
than anything else.”

“Can he do any tricks?” asked the man.

“I should say so,” said Mary, for she had taught the dog all he
knew. “Just watch him.”

Rags stood on his head and danced, and even tried to speak by
little barks. The man asked Mary if she would sell him.

“No, indeed, I won’t,” answered Mary, “he is my own Rags and I
cannot let you have him.”

The man seemed to be very angry, and went away.

The next morning the black-eyed man came back and again asked
Mary to sell him the dog. Mary again refused. Suddenly he glanced
hastily up and down the street, and seeing no one, grabbed Rags
from Mary’s arms and fled. Mary screamed and tried to follow, but
her poor little crutch would not let her. She sobbed and cried
until she grew white and cold, and her mother found her in a little
heap on the floor with her little crutch beside her.

All night long she tossed to and fro calling for Rags, and when
morning came she had a high fever.

One afternoon when everything was so still in the room that you
could hear Mary’s faint breathing, there was a pattering of feet
and a little white poodle dashed into the room and jumped on the
bed. It was Rags! But you would never have known him for he was
thin and dirty, and his little feet were bleeding as if he had
traveled a long way. He licked Mary’s face and tried to tell her
how he got away from the man, but Mary could not understand dog
language, and so she never knew.

From that day Mary grew better, and though she never could
understand how Rags came back to her, she just smiled and said he
found his way because he loved her so much.


_In which a little girl gets into trouble by meddling._

There was once a little girl who lived alone with her mother. They
were so poor that often they had nothing to eat. One day they had
eaten the very last thing they had in the house, and were very
hungry. So the mother went out to try to find some food for her
little girl.

As she went along the road she met a very old woman. The old woman
seemed very cold and so the mother said, “Take my cloak, for you
need it more than I do.” The old woman took the cloak and then gave
her a little iron pot, which she had been carrying under her apron.

“You must say to it, ‘Little pot, boil,’” said the old woman, “and
it will boil for you, and when you say to it, ‘Little pot, stop,’
then it will stop boiling.” So the mother took the pot home with
her and put it on the table.

Then she said to it, “Little pot, boil.” It began boiling at once,
and they had all the beans they needed for many days.

But one day when the mother had gone out, the little girl thought
she would say, “Little pot, boil,” just to see how it would act.
And so she said, “Little pot, boil.”

Well, the little pot boiled and bubbled away until it was full of
beans, and then the little girl wished it to stop boiling, but she
had forgotten what to say. So the pot boiled and boiled and kept
bubbling and spilling over until the kitchen table was covered,
until the kitchen was full, and next the whole house was full.

The little girl had to run out of the house, and the beans poured
out of the door and down the road, and into other people’s houses,
until there were enough to feed the whole town. And still no one
was able to stop it.

The mother saw a stream of beans pouring down the road and ran home
as fast as she could. She had to wade through boiled beans to get
into her yard. She called out loudly: “Little pot, stop!” And of
course, the little pot stopped boiling at once; but all the people
had to eat their way back to their houses again.

Transcriber’s Notes:

“Thesus” changed to “Theseus” on page 94. (After Theseus had killed
the giant robber)

“dragon’s” changed to “Dragon’s” page 195. (Dragon’s poison)

“aud” changed to “and” on page 304. (by enterprise and good fortune)

Inconsistent hyphenation retained as printed. Obvious mis-printed
punctuation repaired.

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