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Title: Little Dramas for Primary Grades
Author: Lawrence, Lillian Nixon, Skinner, Ada M. (Ada Maria)
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Little Dramas for Primary Grades" ***

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                           ADA MARIA SKINNER
                    ST. AGATHA SCHOOL, NEW YORK CITY
                         LILLIAN NIXON LAWRENCE


                         AMERICAN BOOK COMPANY

 NEW YORK                      CINCINNATI                        CHICAGO


                          Copyright, 1913, BY

                   COPYRIGHT, 1913, IN GREAT BRITAIN.

                                W. P. I

                             PREFATORY NOTE

The use of dramatic readers has passed beyond the experimental stage.
Their value in arousing interest, in stirring the imagination, in
quickening literary appreciation and power of interpretation, has been
so clearly demonstrated as to make them permanent textbooks in the
elementary schools, and more particularly in the primary grades. The
present difficulty consists, therefore, not in uncertainty of the value
of dramatic literature, but in the inadequacy of the supply. The need of
suitable literary material in good dramatic form for the primary grades
is still very great. This little book has been compiled as one step
toward meeting this need at least in one particular school, but it is
hoped that it may prove of service in many other schools. It is intended
for use at the end of the first, and at the beginning of the second,

                                                        EMMA G. SEBRING.


For permission to use copyright material in this volume, acknowledgments
and thanks are proffered to authors and publishers, as follows:

To Laura E. Richards, for the adaptation from her story, “The New Year”;
to Dodd, Mead & Co. for “Mabel and the Green Lizard,” adapted from “The
Adventures of Mabel,” by H. T. Peck; to G. P. Putnam’s Sons, of New York
and London, for the selection by Judge Parry from “The Golden
Staircase”; to Longmans, Green, & Co. for “The Odd Man and the Dog
True”; and to John Lane Company for “Return of Spring,” by Dion Clayton



 BUNNY RABBIT                                                          7

 THE ODD MAN AND THE DOG TRUE                                         14

 THE OWL AND GRASSHOPPER GREEN                                        19

 SOMEWHERE TOWN                                    _Kate Greenaway_   21

 THE TIMID HARE                                                       22

 MABEL AND THE GREEN LIZARD                               _Adapted_   26

 THE MAIDEN AND THE BIRD                        _Lydia Maria Child_   32

 THE LITTLE FISH                                    _African Fable_   35

 BELLING THE CAT                                                      37

 THE FOX AND THE CROW                                                 40

 HANS AND GRETCHEN                                                    41

 LADY MOON                                          _Lord Houghton_   50

 PRECOCIOUS PIGGY                                     _Thomas Hood_   52

 STRANGE LANDS                               _Laurence Alma-Tadema_   56

 HOW TO GET A BREAKFAST                                               58

 THE LITTLE CHRISTMAS TREE              _Adapted from an Old Story_   60

 CHRISTMAS EVE IN AN ATTIC                                            65

 THE NEW YEAR                                _Adapted from Laura E.   73

 A FRIENDSHIP DECLINED                                                77

 THE SELFISH MAN                                                      79

 THE MAGPIE’S NEST                                                    83

 ADVENTURES OF THE FIRST SPRING                                       86

 THE BIRD’S NEST                                _Lydia Maria Child_   93

 THE BOASTFUL BAMBOO TREE                          _Japanese Fable_  100

 RETURN OF SPRING                                                    105

 WHO HOLDS UP THE SKY?                                    _Adapted_  110

 THE FOX’S PLAN                                                      114

 TOM AND THE LOBSTER                                      _Adapted_  117

 WHY THE JELLYFISH HAS NO SHELL                    _Oriental Fable_  119

 I WOULD LIKE YOU FOR A COMRADE                       _Judge Parry_  132

 SOUTHWEST WIND’S VISIT TO GLUCK         _Adapted from John Ruskin_  134

 THE CHILD AND THE SPARROW                        _Thomas Westwood_  143

 THE RABBIT’S MESSAGE                                 _German Tale_  145

 LAUGHING SANJA                               _Japanese Folk Story_  150

 THE TIGER AND THE BRAHMAN                                           159

 THE LION AND THE STORY-TELLER                                       169

 OVER THE HILL                                   _George MacDonald_  174


                       BUNNY RABBIT AND THE LION

    CHARACTERS—_Lion_, _Rabbit_, _Mother Deer_, _Elephant_, _Camel_,
                       _Jackal_, _other animals_

                          SCENE I—_The Forest_

_Mother Deer._       Brave Lion, give me back my little deer.

_Lion._              I will not. The deer is mine.

_Mother Deer._       O Lion, it is the only one I have. I beg of you,
give it back to me.

_Lion._              A lion does not give back what he has taken. Be
off, or I will eat _you_.

                 SCENE II—_Another Part of the Forest_

_Mother Deer._       Can you not help me, animals? The lion has taken my
little deer, the only one I had.

_Elephant._          I am sorry for you. But the lion is the king of the
forest. He takes what he will and keeps what he likes. I cannot help

_Mother Deer._       [_Goes on._] Can you not help me, Camel? You are
always kind and gentle.

_Camel._             The lion did wrong to take your deer. He did a
great wrong, but I cannot help you.

_Mother Deer._       [_Goes on._] Surely, little jackal, _you_ will help

_Jackal._            Sh! Sh! I’m afraid of the lion, myself. We’ve never
been very good friends. I wish I could help you. Let me see. I have it!
Go to Bunny Rabbit. He’s a little creature, but he’s wise and brave.

_Mother Deer._       You say he’s wise?

_Jackal._            He is.

_Mother Deer._       And brave?

_Jackal._            He is.

_Mother Deer._       Then I will go at once.

             SCENE III—_In Front of Bunny Rabbit’s Burrow_

_Bunny Rabbit._      Good morning, Mother Deer. What is the matter?

_Mother Deer._       Bunny Rabbit, that wicked lion stole my little deer
and will not give it to me. I asked the forest animals to help me, but
none was brave enough to do so.

_Bunny Rabbit._      Not even the elephant, or the camel, or the jackal?

_Mother Deer._       Not one. I asked them all. They all said they were
sorry. But I believe they are all afraid of the lion.

_Bunny Rabbit._      Why did you come to me? I’m such a little creature.

_Mother Deer._       The jackal told me you are wise and brave, and he
said that you would help me.

_Bunny Rabbit._      Tell them all to meet in front of my burrow. We
will talk it over and see what can be done. [_Mother Deer goes away, and
Bunny Rabbit digs a long passage under the ground and then comes out
behind a bush._]

                   SCENE IV—_In Front of the Burrow_

 [_Bunny Rabbit and all the animals. Lion watching in the distance. Only
                      Elephant and Camel see him._]

_Bunny Rabbit._      Elephant, do you think the lion should keep the
little deer?

_Elephant._          The lion is king of the forest, and he _should_
keep the little deer.

_Bunny Rabbit._      Camel, what do you say?

_Camel._             Dear me. What can I say? It is all wrong. But I’m
sure he

_should_             keep what he stole.

_Bunny Rabbit._      How you tremble, little jackal! What do you say?


_Jackal._            [_Seeing the lion._] Oh! Do I tremble? No, yes, no,
yes, yes. I think he _should_ keep the deer.

_Bunny Rabbit._      [_In a loud voice._] The lion should _not_ keep the
deer! The lion is a wicked _thief_! [_Lion springs at him. Bunny Rabbit
darts down into the burrow._]

_Lion._              [_Looking into the burrow._] Gone down there, has
he? Well, I’ll fix him. I’ll stay right here until he comes out. I’ll
stay, and stay, and stay, until I starve him out.

                  SCENE V—_Another Part of the Forest_

_Bunny Rabbit._      Run, Mother Deer, and get your little one.

_Mother Deer._       Won’t that wicked lion come again?

_Bunny Rabbit._      No, no! He’s going to stay in front of my burrow
until I come out. Ha! ha! He’ll starve to death _himself_ if he waits
for that! Ha! ha! [_Mother Deer runs to the little deer, and both escape
into the forest._]


                      THE ODD MAN AND THE DOG TRUE

             CHARACTERS—_Odd Man_, _True_, _Big Black Dog_

_Odd Man._           [_To the dog._] Who are you, and why do you come
into my cave?

_True._              I am a poor dog, sir, who has lost his way. Will
you be so kind as to tell me how I may get out?

_Odd Man._           No, I will not. But I will tell you what you may do
if you like. You may stay here in my cave and work for me.

_True._              I will do that if you will not let me out. But what
work do you wish me to do?

_Odd Man._           Well, well, you see I have here a great bag full of
gold. I have to sit on it all the time.

_True._              Why must you sit on it?

_Odd Man._           I will tell you. Near my cave lives an ogre. This
ogre wants to kill me so that he can get my gold.

_True._              Dear me!

_Odd Man._           If I go to sleep or move away he will try to get at
me. I am just worn out for want of rest.

_True._              Dear me! How can I help you?

_Odd Man._           Well, if you would stay by me and watch for the
ogre, I might take a short nap.

_True._              I will do that! And you, sir, go to sleep. [_Odd
Man goes to sleep. Big Black Dog enters._]

_Big Black Dog._     Good day, little dog. How do you do?

_True._              I am very well, I thank you; but who are you?

_Big Black Dog._     My name is Nip, and I have come to show you the way
out of this cave. Let us run now!

_True._              No; I said I would take care of this cave for the
Odd Man, and I will do it.

_Big Black Dog._     But the Odd Man is asleep. He will not see you.
Come, now, come along with me!

_True._              No, I will not go.

_Big Black Dog._     Then give me a bone, will you?

_True._              I cannot, for they are not mine; the Odd Man may
give you one, by and by. [_Big Black Dog goes to get a bone._]

_True._              Bow-wow-wow!

_Odd Man._           [_Opening his eyes._] What was that? You woke me
out of my nap.

_True._              Oh, sir, it was a big black dog. It came into the
cave and was stealing a bone.

_Odd Man._           Oh! That was the ogre in the dress of a black dog.
Here, you may have a bone. You were a good dog to bark and wake me up.
What more can I do to show you how glad I am?

_True._              Oh, sir, may I go out of the cave now? I want to
see a nice, nice cat that is waiting outside.

_Odd Man._           Very well, good dog. The ogre will not come back
again, and I can take a good nap. Here is a door in the side of the
cave. I will open it, and you can go.—Good-by.

                     THE OWL AND GRASSHOPPER GREEN

                         SCENE—_In the Meadow_

_Grasshopper Green._ Creak, creak, creak, c-r-e-a-k!

_Owl._               Won’t you keep quiet? I can’t sleep with your
“creak, creak.”

_Grasshopper Green._ No, I will not keep quiet. Creak, creak, creak!

_Owl._               Then go away from here. Go into the grass field
over there, if you must sing.

_Grasshopper Green._ I shall do nothing of the sort. I have as much
right to sing as you have to sleep. Creak, creak! Besides, you have
never done anything for me. Creak, creak, creak, c-r-e-a-k!

_Owl._               [_To himself._] Such a saucy grasshopper green!

_Grasshopper Green._ Creak, c-r-e-a-k!

_Owl._               [_Later._] Well, Grasshopper Green, you have a
wonderful voice!

_Grasshopper Green._ I have indeed. Creak, creak, creak, c-r-e-a-k!

_Owl._               Now that I am awake, I love to hear you sing.

_Grasshopper Green._ C-R-E-A-K!

_Owl._               Let me give you some of the sweet honey I have here
in my tree. Honey is good for the voice.

                  [_The grasshopper goes to the owl._]

_Owl._               SNAP!

                             SOMEWHERE TOWN

_First Child._       Which is the way to Somewhere Town?

_Second Child._      Oh, up in the morning early.
                     Over the tiles and the chimney pots,
                     That is the way quite clearly.

_First Child._       And which is the door to Somewhere Town?

_Second Child._      Oh, up in the morning early.
                     The round red sun is the door to go through;
                     That is the way quite clearly.

                                                        —KATE GREENAWAY.

                             THE TIMID HARE



                             _Timid Hare_
                             _Brother Hare_

_Timid Hare._        Oh dear! Oh dear! If the sky were to fall, what
would happen to me? Oh, what would happen to me! What is that noise? Oh
dear! Oh dear! Oh, I am sure the sky is falling! It is! It is! It is!
[_Timid Hare runs._]

_Brother Hare._      Why are you running away, little hare?

_Timid Hare._        Oh, I have no time to talk. The sky is falling!

_Brother Hare._      [_Frightened._] Oh dear! Oh dear! The sky is

_Deer._              Why, what is the matter, little hare?

_Timid Hare._        Oh, I have no time to talk. The sky is falling.

_Deer._              [_Frightened._] What shall I do?

_Sheep._             Where are you going, little hare? Why do you run so

_Timid Hare._        Oh, the sky is falling!

_Sheep._             [_Frightened._] Dear me, dear me!

_Camel._             Stop a minute, little hare! What’s the matter?

_Timid Hare._        Oh, I have no time to talk. The sky is falling.

_Camel._             [_Frightened._] No, no, it can’t be.

_Elephant._          Why do you run so fast, little hare? What has

_Timid Hare._        I have no time to talk. The sky is falling.

_Elephant._          Can that be true?

_Lion._              What is this you say?

_Timid Hare._        I have no time to talk. The sky is falling.

_Lion._              How do you know this?

_Timid Hare._        I saw it.

_Lion._              Where did you see it?

_Timid Hare._        There, by that tree.

_Lion._              Oh, what nonsense! There are no signs that the sky
is falling. Come with me and I’ll show you.

_Timid Hare._        No, no, I must hurry along. I am afraid to go back.

_Lion._              Yes, you shall come with me to that tree. I will
take you there myself. [_Lion and hare go to the tree._]

_Lion._              There, do you see? The sky is not falling. A little
acorn fell upon a leaf. It made the noise that frightened you. Let us go
back now, and tell the other animals.

                       MABEL AND THE GREEN LIZARD

            CHARACTERS—_Grandma_, _Mabel_, _Lizard_, _Wolf_

                         SCENE I—_Mabel’s Home_

_Mabel._             Grandma, may I go to the woods to pick some berries
for supper?

_Grandma._           Yes, but be sure to come home before dark. There
are animals in the woods, Mabel. They prowl around after dark.

_Mabel._             Oh, I’m not afraid. I’ll come home before night.

                        SCENE II—_In the Woods_

_Mabel._             Dear me! How dark it is getting. I must hurry home.
[_Hears a little squeaking sound._] What’s that? [_Sees a little green
lizard with a stone on its tail._] Oh, you poor little lizard! Let me
lift that stone from your tail. [_Takes stone off._]

_Lizard._            Thank you. You are a very kind child.

_Mabel._             Oh! I didn’t know that lizards could talk!

_Lizard._            Some lizards can’t. But I am the king of all the
lizards. I am going to do something for you because you lifted the stone
from my tail.

_Mabel._             I was very glad to do it.

_Lizard._            I am going to do something for you that I wouldn’t
do for any other little girl. It’s this: I’m going to teach you the
animal call. Then you will understand everything the animals say to you,
and they will know what you say to them.

_Mabel._             What fun!

_Lizard._            Just listen. [_Gives a low whistle._] Now you do it
after me. [_Mabel tries._] Try again, Mabel. [_She tries again and
again._] Good, that’s it! Now if you wish any animal to be your friend,
just whistle that way to him. That’s the call of all the animals.
Good-by. [_Lizard goes away._]

_Mabel._             Well, that’s the funniest thing I ever heard of.
But, dear me, how dark it is getting. I must run home. [_Starts
homeward. Hears howl._]

_Wolf._              [_Howls._] O-ooo-w.

_Mabel._             What’s that? Oh! it’s a wolf. I’m so frightened!
What shall I do? I’ll give the call.


_Wolf._              [_Answers._] O-ooo-w! O-ooo-w!

                        [_Wolf comes to Mabel._]

_Mabel._             Wolf, I want you to be my friend.

_Wolf._              To be sure, I will be.

_Mabel._             I’ve lost my way. Please show me the way home. I
live at grandma’s.

_Wolf._              I know where you live. I’ve seen you playing there
many times. Put your hand on my neck, and I’ll show you the way. [_Mabel
does so._]


                      SCENE III—_Edge of the Wood_

_Wolf._              There is your home; and your grandma is waiting for

_Mabel._             Thank you very much. I knew you were a good wolf.
You wouldn’t hurt a little girl, would you?

_Wolf._              I wouldn’t hurt you.

_Mabel._             Good night, Wolf.

_Wolf._              Good night.

                        SCENE IV—_Mabel’s Home_

_Grandma._           Mabel! Mabel! Mabel!

_Mabel._             Yes, Grandma.

_Grandma._           Where have you been so long?

_Mabel._             I’ve been in the woods. Oh, Grandma. I left my
basket of strawberries there.

_Grandma._           Never mind. We can go to-morrow and get them. I was
so frightened! Your uncle told me only yesterday he saw a wolf in the
woods. Just think if you had met him to-day! He would have eaten you up,
every bit of you.

_Mabel._             Oh, Grandma! I’m sure all wolves don’t eat little

                        THE MAIDEN AND THE BIRD


_Maiden._            Little bird, little bird, come to me,
                     I have a green cage ready for thee,
                     Beauty-bright flowers I’ll bring anew
                     And fresh ripe cherries all wet with dew.

_Bird._              Thanks, little maiden, for all thy care,
                     But I love dearly the clear cool air
                     And my snug little nest in the old oak tree.

_Maiden._            Little bird, little bird, stay with me!

_Bird._              Nay, little damsel,—away I’ll fly
                     To greener fields and warmer sky;
                     When spring returns with pattering rain,
                     You’ll hear my merry song again.

_Maiden._            Little bird, little bird, who’ll guide thee,
                     Over the hills and over the sea?
                     Foolish one, come in the house to stay,
                     For I’m very sure you’ll lose your way.

_Bird._              Ah, no, little maiden, God guides me,
                     Over the hills and over the sea.
                     I will be free as the rushing air,
                     And sing of sunshine everywhere.

                                                     —LYDIA MARIA CHILD.


                            THE LITTLE FISH

_Fisherman._         Aha! I have you at last, little fish.

_Little Fish._       O Mr. Fisherman, please put me back into the water.

_Fisherman._         Put you back? No, I will not!

_Little Fish._       I beg you, put me back. I am so little.

_Fisherman._         It has taken me a long time to catch you. Put you
back, indeed! I think not.

_Little Fish._       But I am so little. Put me back and wait until I
have grown to be a large fish. Then I will make you a very good meal.

_Fisherman._         [_Thoughtfully._] True, my little fish, true. But
where shall I find you when you have grown larger?

                                                         —African Fable.

                            BELLING THE CAT

               CHARACTERS—_Old Mouse_, _Three Young Mice_

_Old Mouse._         Oh dear, dear, dear! That old cat ate Squeak Nibble
to-day. What can we do?

_Second Mouse._      Well, we must do something! She’ll eat us all, one
by one!

_Third Mouse._       How can we keep her from catching all the rest of

_Fourth Mouse._      Yes, how can we? If we could only know when she is
coming. Her paws are so soft that we cannot hear her.

_Second Mouse._      I have it! One of us will watch her all the time.
When the cat is coming he must squeak as loud as he can.

_Old Mouse._         Watch her, indeed! She’d soon catch that little

_Fourth Mouse._      No, that will never do.

_Third Mouse._       Let’s stay in our holes. Then she’ll starve to

_All the Mice._      Ha-ha-ha! A fine plan.

_Old Mouse._         A fine plan, indeed! Do you think the cat eats
nothing but mice? And how should we get anything to eat if we stayed in
our holes?

_Fourth Mouse._      My friends, listen to me. Let us hang a bell round
her neck. That will tell us when she is coming. Then we can run and

_Second Mouse._      Good, good!

_Third Mouse._       The very thing!

_Fourth Mouse._      Nothing could be better.

_Old Mouse._         [_Thoughtfully._] But who will hang the bell on the
cat’s neck?


_Second Mouse._      I will not.

_Third Mouse._       Not _this_ little mouse.

_Old Mouse._         But some one must do it. Who will?

_All._               Sure enough, who?


                          THE FOX AND THE CROW

                     CHARACTERS—_Fox_ _and_ _Crow_

_Crow._              Ah! Some one has left a bit of cheese for me. I’ll
fly up into that tree and eat it.

_Fox._               [_To himself._] That cheese is for me, as sure as I
am a fox.

                         [_Goes to the tree._]

                     Good day, Mistress Crow.
                     How well you are looking.
                     What bright eyes you have.
                     I am sure your voice must be sweet.
                     Just let me hear you sing one song.

                        [_Crow lifts her head._]

_Crow._              Caw—caw—caw.

_Fox._               [_Snaps up cheese._] That bit of cheese was all I


                           HANS AND GRETCHEN

                CHARACTERS—_Hans_, _Gretchen_, _Red Fox_

                         SCENE I—_In the Woods_

_Red Fox._           Help me out! Help me out, little Hans. I am caught
in this trap. Help me out, and it shall be well with you.

_Hans._              To be sure. I’ll let you out. There!

_Red Fox._           You are very kind. If you have a wish, tell me what
it is and it shall be granted.

_Hans._              Oh, as to that, I wish my pail here were full of
berries. My sister and I are very hungry.

_Red Fox._           Your wish is granted. Look into your pail! [_Hans
runs home._]

                           SCENE II—_At Home_

_Hans._              See, Gretchen dear, what fine berries I have

_Gretchen._          Oh, what big ones! Where did you get them in so
short a time?

_Hans._              It was the fox, Gretchen. He was caught in a trap.
I let him out. He said I might have whatever I wished for, and I wished
for berries. Aren’t you glad?

_Gretchen._          Foolish boy! Why didn’t you ask for something
better? If he could fill your pail with berries just for the asking, he
could do far greater things.

_Hans._              But don’t you like the berries, Gretchen?

_Gretchen._          When we eat them there will be nothing left. Go
back and tell the fox that you wish to have the cupboard always full of

_Hans._              Be satisfied, dear sister. We are quite happy as we

_Gretchen._          No, I will not be satisfied. You must do as I tell

                        SCENE III—_In the Woods_

_Red Fox._           How now, little Hans? Is it not well with you?

_Hans._              Alas! My sister is not satisfied. She asked me to
come to you again.

_Red Fox._           What does she wish?

_Hans._              She wishes that our cupboard may be always full.

_Red Fox._           Go home, little Hans. It shall be as she wishes.

                  SCENE IV—_At Home_ (_the Next Day_)

_Hans._              Why are you unhappy again, Gretchen? Come, let us

_Gretchen._          Why should I be happy? We have no toys, only sticks
and stones for playthings. Go to the fox and tell him I wish for some
beautiful toys to play with.

_Hans._              Be satisfied, little Gretchen. We are quite happy
as we are.

_Gretchen._          No, I will not be satisfied.

                         SCENE V—_In the Woods_

_Red Fox._           How now, little Hans? Is it not well with you?

_Hans._              Alas! My sister is not satisfied. She asked me to
come to you again.

_Red Fox._           What does she wish?

_Hans._              She wishes she had some beautiful toys to play

_Red Fox._           Go home, little Hans. It shall be as she wishes.


                   SCENE VI—_At Home_ (_Another Day_)

_Hans._              Why are you not happy, little Gretchen? Come, let
us play.

_Gretchen._          Why should I be happy? I am tired of these old
toys. I want a beautiful palace to live in. Go to the fox and tell him

_Hans._              Be satisfied, little sister. We are quite happy as
we are.

_Gretchen._          No, I will not be satisfied. You must do as I tell

                        SCENE VII—_In the Woods_

_Red Fox._           How now, little Hans? Is it not well with you?

_Hans._              Alas! My sister is not satisfied. She asked me to
come to you again.

_Red Fox._           What does she wish now?

_Hans._              She wishes to live in a beautiful palace.

_Red Fox._           Go home, little Hans. It shall be as she wishes.

                          SCENE VIII—_At Home_

_Hans._              Why are you unhappy again, little sister?

_Gretchen._          Why should I be happy? I am tired of this palace.
There is only one thing that would make me happy. Go to the Red Fox.
Tell him I must have the great silver ball that hangs over us in the

_Hans._              Be satisfied, dear sister. We are quite happy as we

_Gretchen._          No, no. I will not be satisfied. You must do as I
tell you.

                        SCENE IX—_In the Woods_

_Red Fox._           How now, brother Hans? Is it not well with you?

_Hans._              Alas! My sister is not satisfied with the palace.

_Red Fox._           What does she wish?

_Hans._              She wishes the great silvery moon for her

_Fox._               [_Very slowly._]

                     The great silvery moon!
                     The great silvery moon!
                     The great silvery moon!

                     Go, little Hans. It shall _not_ be as she wishes.
You will find the cupboard empty, the toys gone, and your home again a
little cottage.


                               LADY MOON

                    CHARACTERS—_Lady Moon_, _Child_

_Child._             Lady Moon, Lady Moon,
Where are you roving? _Lady Moon._ Over the sea. _Child._ Lady Moon, Lady Moon,
Whom are you loving? _Lady Moon._ All that love me. _Child._ Are you not tired with rolling and never Resting to sleep? Why look so pale and so sad, as Forever wishing to sleep? _Lady Moon._ Ask me not this, little child, if you love me. You are too bold. I must obey my dear Father above me And do as I’m told. _Child._ Lady Moon, Lady Moon,
Where are you roving? _Lady Moon._ Over the sea. _Child._ Lady Moon, Lady Moon,
Whom are you loving? _Lady Moon._ All that love me. —LORD HOUGHTON. PRECOCIOUS PIGGY [Illustration] _Child._ Where are you going to, you little pig? _First Pig._ I’m leaving mother,
I’ve grown so big. _Child._ So big, young pig! So young, so big! What! leaving your mother, you foolish young pig? _Child._ Where are you going to, you little pig? _Second Pig._ I’ve got a new spade, and I’m going to dig. _Child._ To dig, little pig! A little pig dig! Well, I never saw a pig with a spade that could dig. _Child._ Where are you going to, you little pig? _Third Pig._ Why, I am going to have a nice ride in a gig. _Child._ In a gig, little pig! What, a pig in a gig! Well, I never saw a pig ride in a gig. _Child._ Where are you going to, you little pig? _Fourth Pig._ I’m going to the barber’s, to buy me a wig. _Child._ A wig, little pig! A pig in a wig! Why, who ever before saw a pig in a wig? _Child._ Where are you going to, you little pig? _Fifth Pig._ Why, I’m going to the ball, to dance a fine jig! _Child._ A jig, little pig! A pig dance a jig! Well, I never before saw a pig dance a jig! _Child._ Where are you going to, you little pig? _Sixth Pig._ I’m going to the fair, to run a fine rig. _Child._ A rig, little pig! A pig run a rig! Well, I never before saw a pig run a rig. —THOMAS HOOD. STRANGE LANDS [Illustration] _Child._ Where do you come from, Mr. Jay? _Mr. Jay._ From the land of play, from the land of play. _Child._ And where can that be, Mr. Jay? _Mr. Jay._ Far away—far away. _Child._ Where do you come from, Mrs. Dove? _Mrs. Dove._ From the land of love, from the land of love. _Child._ And how do you get there, Mrs. Dove? _Mrs. Dove._ Look above—look above. _Child._ Where do you come from, Baby Miss? _Baby Miss._ From the land of bliss, from the land of bliss. _Child._ And what is the way there, Baby Miss? _Baby Miss._ Mother’s kiss—mother’s kiss. —LAURENCE ALMA-TADEMA. HOW TO GET A BREAKFAST _First Chick._ It is so hard to scratch; I’m as hungry as can be, I wish a little worm Would come close up to me. [Illustration] _Second Chick._ It is so hard to scratch; I’m as hungry as can be, I wish a bowl of meal Were standing here by me. [Illustration] _Third Chick._ It is so hard to scratch; I’m as hungry as can be, I wish a nice green leaf Would drop right down to me. [Illustration] _Mother Hen._ See here, you lazy chicks, Here’s the green garden patch, If you’re hungry as can be, You should come here and scratch! [Illustration] THE LITTLE CHRISTMAS TREE CHARACTERS _Big Fir Tree_ _Little Fir Tree_ _Littlest Fir Tree_ _A Little Bird_ _Little Bird._ [_Going to Big Tree._] Oh, please, Big Fir Tree, may I rest here in your branches? I have hurt my wing, and I cannot fly. _Big Fir Tree._ No, I cannot have any little birds in my branches. I must grow straight and tall, for I mean to be a Christmas tree some day. _Little Bird._ [_Goes to Little Tree._] Oh, please, dear tree, may I not find shelter from the cold in your branches? My wing is broken, and I cannot fly. I have come a long way over the ice and snow. _Little Fir Tree._ No, I cannot give shelter to any birds in my branches. _Little Bird._ But I’m very tired, and I shall do your branches no harm. _Little Fir Tree._ It cannot be. I must hold my head up high and my branches out straight, for I mean to be a Christmas tree. _Little Bird._ I’m afraid I shall freeze out here in the snow. [_Little Bird goes on._] _Little Bird._ [_Softly._] Please, Littlest Fir Tree, may I rest in your branches? I am so cold and hungry. I do not think I can go any farther. _Littlest Fir Tree._ Yes, yes, Little Bird. Creep up close to my trunk. I will cover you as best I can with my little branches. Come close. I’m glad to have you here. _Little Bird._ Thank you, kind tree. * * * * * _Big Fir Tree._ I hear sleigh bells. The bells come nearer and nearer. Some one is coming this way. Some one is coming through the woods. _Little Fir Tree._ Who is it, Big Fir Tree? I cannot see so far as you can. Tell me what you see. _Big Fir Tree._ I see a sleigh and reindeer. Some one all wrapped in fur is in the sleigh. _Little Fir Tree._ Oh, I feel that some one is coming for me. Now I am going to be a Christmas tree. The bells sound nearer and nearer. I see the sleigh. _Santa Claus._ [_Alights from his sleigh and looks at Big Tree._] A fine tree—tall and straight! But it is too tall for my Christmas tree. I must look farther. [_Goes on to next tree._] Ah! Here’s another; but there’s a little one I see just at the foot of the hill. I believe it is the most beautiful tree in all the wood. [_Goes to Littlest Tree._] Little tree, you hold your head up straight, and your branches spread out in all directions. I must have you for my Christmas tree. [_Seeing Little Bird._] Who is this that has found shelter in your branches? A little bird. I will take it, too, and it shall be some little child’s Christmas present. —Adapted. [Illustration] CHRISTMAS EVE IN AN ATTIC CHARACTERS _First Mouse_ _Second Mouse_ _French Doll_ _Tin Soldier_ _Lion_ _Elephant_ _Tiger_ _Jack-in-the-box_ _Woolly Dog_ _Mrs. Santa Claus_ _First Mouse._ Christmas is here again. The air is full of the smell of good things to eat! _Second Mouse._ It’s a gay time for us. I know there’ll be plenty of crumbs around now. _First Mouse._ I wish Christmas came every night. But look at those old toys in the corner. I wonder why they look so sad. _French Doll._ Look sad, do we? No wonder. It’s Christmas Eve and we don’t like to be here in the dark and cold. It isn’t fair! [Illustration: CHRISTMAS EVE IN AN ATTIC] _Tin Soldier._ We once hung on a Christmas tree. _First Mouse._ It must have been a long time ago. _Tin Soldier._ It was, indeed! But the children do not care to play with us now that we are so old. _French Doll._ Old, sir? How can you say that? Just look at me! If my hair were combed and I had a new dress on, I’d still be a very nice doll! Old, indeed! _Second Mouse._ Yes, I’m quite sure you would be very pretty. _Tin Soldier._ And I’d be as good as any other tin soldier, if I had a new leg, a little paint, and a fresh gun. _First Mouse._ Oh, I believe that, sir. _Lion._ [_Proudly._] Only my mane’s gone. [_To Elephant._] But I see you have lost your trunk! _Elephant._ Yes, some one broke it off. Now if I had a new trunk, I’d be all right. But look at the tiger! He has cracked his paint, and his stripes are all gone. It would be hard to make him look new again. _Tiger._ Do you mean me? Oh, a few stripes of new paint, and I’d be as fine a tiger as you ever saw. Listen! Woolly Dog is trying to speak. _Woolly Dog._ [_In a whisper._] My voice is almost gone. Some one punched me too hard once and broke the spring. If I had a new spring, I’d bark louder than ever. We’d never even hear your squeak then, little mice. _Jack-in-the-box._ I never could get back after my lid came off. A hinge and a few screws, and I’d be as good as new. It’s a shame to leave me like this. _Mice._ Hush! Some one is coming up the stairs. [_Mrs. Santa Claus enters._] _French Doll._ Who are you? _Mrs. Santa Claus._ I am Mrs. Santa Claus. Every Christmas Eve I find all the old toys I can. I change them into new ones. Then I send them to the little children who have no other Christmas toys. I knew I’d find some old toys in this attic! Come here, all of you. Let me see what each one needs. Please, only one at a time! [_Toys come about Mrs. Santa Claus._] Now, French Doll, I’ll begin with you. There! I’ve washed your face and combed your hair. You’re as good as new. _First Mouse._ She does look fine! _Mrs. Santa Claus._ Now, Tin Soldier, what can I do for you? _Tin Soldier._ Give me a new red coat, and mend my leg. Oh, yes, and I’d like a new gun, too. _Mrs. Santa Claus._ Here you are, sir. Now, Jack, down in your box while I mend the lid. There, now you can bob up as well as ever. _Lion._ If you please, I want a new mane. A little boy pulled mine off. I haven’t had one for a long time. _Woolly Dog._ Please don’t forget me. I can’t bark till I get a new spring. _Mrs. Santa Claus._ Come, Elephant and Tiger. I’ll do you next. There, I’ve seen you all. You are now as good as toys can be. _French Doll._ Are we to stay in this old attic? _Tin Soldier._ Can’t we be put on a Christmas tree again? _Mrs. Santa Claus._ No. Listen to me. You are all to go out into the world to-night. Each one of you must make one little child happy. Go the way you wish, but be sure to find the child that needs you most. I must hurry to another old attic over the way. Good night, toys. [_Toys go away._] _First Mouse._ Will each toy try to make some child glad on Christmas morning? _Second Mouse._ I hope so. How happy they all looked as they went out! THE NEW YEAR _New Year._ Here I am! _Old Year._ Oh, there you are, are you? Come in and let us have a look at you, and shut the door, please, after you. _New Year._ Frosty night! Fine and clear. I’ve had a pleasant journey. _Old Year._ Humph! I don’t expect to find _mine_ pleasant. A long cold drive, I call it. But to be sure, I thought it pleasant when I was your age, youngster! Is the sleigh waiting? _New Year._ Yes, but there is no hurry. Wait a bit and tell me how matters are in these parts. _Old Year._ [_Shaking his head._] So, so! They might be better and yet they might be worse, too. They were worse before I came, much worse. I have done a great deal. Now I expect you, my boy, to do just as I did. Be a good year all the way through. _New Year._ I shall do my best, you may be sure. And now tell me a little what there is to do. _Old Year._ In the first place, you have the weather to attend to. You see the seasons have a way of running into each other and getting mixed, if you don’t keep a sharp lookout on them. The months, too, are a troublesome set. Then you must be careful how you turn on wet and dry weather. And one thing I want you to do very carefully—watch the leaves that are turned. _New Year._ I thought Autumn attended to that sort of thing! _Old Year._ Oh, I don’t mean leaves of trees. You know that at the beginning of a year half the people in the world say, “I am going to turn over a new leaf!” They mean that they are going to be better than they have ever been before. But leaves do not stay turned over. I know a great many little boys who said they were going to turn over new leaves. They were not going to tear their clothes, nor lose their jackknives, nor bring mud into the house on their boots. And the little girls were going to keep their rooms tidy and their buttons sewed on. But I haven’t seen much change in most of them. _New Year._ I’ll attend to that. Anything else? _Old Year._ Above all, take care of the children. Give them all the good weather you can. And now the horses are ready to go. My time is nearly up, so I start on my long drive. You will find everything in pretty good shape. Well, well, my boy, good-by, good luck to you. —Adapted. [Illustration] A FRIENDSHIP DECLINED CHARACTERS—_Mary_ _and_ _a Kitten_ (_Mary wears a gray fur bonnet_) _Mary._ Pussy, aren’t you cold? _Pussy._ Me-ow! _Mary._ Pussy, aren’t you cold? Don’t look so sad. Come here to me, At home, I’ve kittens two— And I should like—indeed I should To make a friend of you. _Pussy._ Me-ow! _Mary._ To make a friend of you. _Pussy._ I thank you, Miss, for your kind words, And know they’re gently said; But truth to speak, I do not like That thing upon your head. For much it looks to me as though Your very furry hat, So soft and fine, might once have been A very furry cat. Me-ow! A very furry cat. THE SELFISH MAN CHARACTERS—_Man_, _Camel_, _Wise Man_, _Tiger_ _Camel._ Pray, sir, where are you going? _Man._ I am going to the Wise Man to seek my fortune. _Camel._ Seek mine, too. I have had these sacks of gold on my back for a long time. I cannot lie down. Seek mine, too. _Man._ I will. _Tiger._ Pray, sir, where are you going? _Man._ I am going to the Wise Man to seek my fortune. _Tiger._ Seek mine, too. For a long time I have had this thorn in my foot. I cannot rest. Seek mine, too. _Man._ I will. [_Man comes to Wise Man._] _Wise Man._ I pray you, sir, why are you here? _Man._ I seek my fortune. I am a very poor man. _Wise Man._ Then, I fear you have been living only for yourself. Think of making others rich and you will become rich. _Man._ In the jungle I met a camel. He carried two sacks of gold on his back. They were so heavy that he could not lie down. He asked me to seek his fortune, too. _Wise Man._ Take the sacks off his back. Then he will be free, and you will have the gold. Why did you not do it before? _Man._ I was thinking only of myself. After that I met a tiger. For many days he has had a thorn in his foot. He cannot rest. He asked me to seek his fortune, too. _Wise Man._ Take the thorn out of his foot, and both of you will gain by it. Why did you not think of this before? _Man._ I was thinking only of myself. [_Man goes homeward. He meets the tiger._] _Tiger._ Have you found my fortune? _Man._ The Wise Man told me to take the thorn out of your foot. [_Pulls thorn out and starts to go on._] _Tiger._ Thank you. Here, take my treasure. I did not think of giving it to you before. [_Man goes on._] _Camel._ Have you found my fortune? _Man._ The Wise Man told me to take the sacks off your back. [_Man takes off sacks._] _Camel._ Thank you. But stop! These sacks are full of gold. Take them, and both of us will be happy. Why did we not think of this before? _Man._ We were thinking only of ourselves. [Illustration] THE MAGPIE’S NEST [Illustration] CHARACTERS _Magpie_ _Thrush_ _Blackbird_ _Wise Owl_ _Starling_ _Sparrow_ _Turtledove_ _Thrush._ Oh, Mrs. Magpie, I wish you would teach us how you build your nest. Every one says your nest is made better than any other. _Magpie._ Is that true? Indeed! Come nearer then, and I will show you how I do it. [_Birds draw near._] You see I take some mud and make a round cake with it. _Thrush._ Oh, that’s how it’s done! I can make one now. [_Flies away._] _Magpie._ Oh! the thrush went too soon. It is not yet done. Now I lay some twigs in the mud this way and that way, this way and that way. _Blackbird._ I see! I see! [_Flies away._] _Magpie._ What! Has the blackbird gone, too? Next another layer of mud—twigs and mud, twigs and mud. _Wise Owl._ Oh, that’s very easy! [_Flies off._] _Magpie._ Does the wise owl think that’s all? Now more twigs round the outside. Up and down; in and out; round and round. _Sparrow._ The very thing. [_Flies off._] _Magpie._ Oh! but the nest is not lined yet. I make it soft and warm inside with feathers. _Starling._ That suits me. [_Flies off._] _Magpie._ Has the starling gone, too? It will take just one minute more. _Turtledove._ Take two, Tousey, take two-o-o. _Magpie._ One is enough. _Turtledove._ Take two, Tousey, take two-o-o. _Magpie._ One is enough, I tell you. Oh! are they all gone but you, silly turtledove? And I have just finished my nest. None of them will make a nest like mine. ADVENTURES OF THE FIRST SPRING [Illustration] CHARACTERS _Mr. Sparrow_ _Mrs. Sparrow_ _Crocus_ _Mary_ _Pussy Willow_ _Fern_ _Violet_ _Children_ _Mr. Sparrow._ There! I’m glad enough to see the last of that snow. Chirp, chirp! Did you notice, my dear Mrs. Sparrow, how quickly it melted at the last? _Mrs. Sparrow._ Yes, it seemed in a great hurry to go. It did the same thing last year when the warm days came. _Mr. Sparrow._ Yes, yes, it always does—and don’t you know why? How could the little worms and green things come up out of the ground if the snow stayed all summer long? And then what should we do for good things to eat? _Mrs. Sparrow._ Oh, yes, of course! _Mr. Sparrow._ I see a worm now. You stay right here and I’ll get him for you. [_He flies down and carries away the worm._] _Violet._ That’s good. Worms are such dreadful creatures; always wriggling about one’s feet. I wonder what they are good for. Dear me, there’s Miss Crocus. Good morning! Did you have a good sleep? _Crocus._ Yes, indeed. But I can’t unroll my petals far enough, I just want to stretch and stretch. _Violet._ But it’s good to be back in the sunshine again. [_Two children enter the woods._] _First child._ Oh, just see what I’ve found, a violet—a real one—and it’s a white one, too. Won’t Mary be glad. _Second Child._ Oh, oh, can’t you find another? _First Child._ No, there is just this one. I am going to take it up by the roots. Then it won’t wither. [_Child digs up violet and puts it in her basket with the other flowers._] _Pussy Willow._ [_In basket._] Dear me! What does this mean? Why, Violet, you’ve got some dirt in my eye and on my nice new fur. _Fern._ [_In basket._] It Serves you right for being so proud. You think yourself better and prettier than others. Something always happens to any one who does that. _Pussy Willow._ I wasn’t speaking to you. _Violet._ Oh, please don’t quarrel. I am sure I am sorry if I have hurt any one. It was not my fault. I didn’t want to come here a bit. How I wish I could get out. _Fern._ Humph! Little good it will do to get out. I think these are the very people that Mr. Oak Tree was telling me about. They come every year looking for ferns and flowers. He says some of my ancestors for many generations have gone the same way. They always choose the finest, at any rate. [_At Home._] _First Child._ Oh, Mary, I found the sweetest little violet for you—a white one. I dug it up with all its roots, so it will not wither. _Mary._ How lovely! You are very kind to bring me such beautiful flowers. [Illustration] _Second Child._ It’s the first one that came up. _Mary._ How I’d love to hunt for the violets! But it’s hard for any one who is lame to go to the woods. I don’t suppose I shall ever go there myself. _First Child._ Yes, you shall. Some day we’ll all go together. _Mary._ Poor little flower! I wonder if it was sorry to leave its place in the woods to stay with me in this room. Please give it some water to drink. Then it will go on living. _Violet._ How thankful I am that I came. Just a few days later and I might have withered there in the meadow. I would have been of no use to any one. Now I can make this little girl happy. I am so glad I grew. The best of all is to make some one happy. —Adapted. THE BIRD’S NEST [Illustration] CHARACTERS—_Yellow-breast_, _Bobolink_, _Cuckoo_, _Crow_, _Cow_, _Dog_, _Sheep_, _Hen_, _Little Boy_ _Yellow-breast._ To-whit, to-whit, to-whee! Will you listen to me? Who stole four eggs I laid And the nice nest I made? [Illustration] _Cow._ Not I. Moo-oo! Moo-oo! Such a thing I’d never do! I gave you a wisp of hay But didn’t take your nest away. Not I! Moo-oo! Moo-oo! Such a thing I’d never do. [Illustration] _Yellow-breast._ To-whit, to-whit, to-whee! Will you listen to me? Who stole four eggs I laid And the nice nest I made? _Bobolink._ Bob-o-link! Bob-o-link! Now what do you think? Who stole a nest away From the plum tree to-day? [Illustration] _Dog._ Not I! Bow-wow! Bow-wow! I wouldn’t be so mean, I vow! I gave hairs the nest to make, But the nest I did not take! Not I! Bow-wow! Bow-wow! I wouldn’t be so mean, I vow. [Illustration] _Yellow-breast._ To-whit, to-whit, to-whee! Will you listen to me? Who stole four eggs I laid And the nice nest I made? _Bobolink._ Bob-o-link! Bob-o-link! Now what do you think? Who stole a nest away From the plum tree, to-day? _Cuckoo._ Coo-coo! Coo-coo! Coo-coo! Let me speak a word, too! Who stole that pretty nest From little Yellow-breast? [Illustration] _Sheep._ Not I! Oh, no! Oh, no! I wouldn’t treat a poor bird so. I gave wool the nest to line; But the nest was none of mine! Oh, no! Oh, no! I wouldn’t treat a poor bird so. [Illustration] _Yellow-breast._ To-whit, to-whit, to-whee! Will you listen to me? Who stole four eggs I laid And the nice nest I made? _Bobolink._ Bob-o-link! Bob-o-link! Now what do you think? Who stole a nest away From the plum tree, to-day? _Cuckoo._ Coo-coo! Coo-coo! Coo-coo! Let me speak a word, too. Who stole that pretty nest From little Yellow-breast? _Crow._ Caw, caw! Hear the crow! I should like to know What thief took away A bird’s nest, to-day? [Illustration] _Hen._ Cluck! Cluck! Hear me then! Don’t ask me again! Why, I haven’t a chick Would do such a trick! We all gave her a feather And she wove them together. I’d scorn to intrude On her and her brood. Cluck, cluck! hear me then, Don’t ask me again. [Illustration] _Bobolink_,
_Crow._ Chirr-a-whirr! Chirr-a-whirr! All the birds make a stir, Let us find out his name And all cry “For shame!” _Little Boy._ I stole that pretty nest From poor little Yellow-breast. And I feel so full of shame I do not like to tell my name! —Adapted from LYDIA MARIA CHILD. THE BOASTFUL BAMBOO TREE CHARACTERS _Boastful Bamboo_ _Little Tree_ _Boy_ _Girl_ _Woodcutter_ SCENE I—_In the Forest_ _Boastful Bamboo._ Little bamboo tree, you bow and bend to every wind that blows. A bamboo tree should never show fear. Look at me! I stand straight and strong and bow to no one. _Little Tree._ I know you are strong. You are much stronger than I am. I am only fit to trim the houses for the New Year’s feast. But you will be used in making some great house or maybe in making a palace. _Boastful Bamboo._ Only that! I shall be chosen for the mast of a big ship. Every one will look at me and say, “See what a beautiful mast that ship has!” As for you, timid little tree, you will never be brave enough even to deck the New Year’s feast. _Little Tree._ Who knows? If I grow straight and strong. I may be chosen to do some good in the world! SCENE II—_In the Forest (later)_ _Boy._ [_Looking at the Boastful Bamboo._] What a big, strong, bamboo tree! _Girl._ But this dear little one beside it is prettier than any of the others. _Boy._ Yes; let us bind her with our garland of flowers. [Illustration] _Girl._ We’ll call her the Lady Silver Mist. _Woodcutter._ [_Looking at the big bamboo tree._] Here is a tall, straight tree. It will do for a mast. I will cut it first. _Boastful Bamboo._ [_To Little Tree._] Good-by,—I am sorry for you. I shall see the world now and do great things. Good-by, Little Tree! _Little Tree._ Good-by! Good fortune go with you! [_Big tree falls._] _Boy._ I’m glad he didn’t take our little tree. _Girl._ [_To Woodcutter._] Please don’t cut down our little tree. In all the forest we love it best. _Woodcutter._ Ah, I see the little tree has friends. _Girl._ Yes, we call her the Lady Silver Mist, and she is our playmate. _Woodcutter._ But I’ve been sent to cut down all the trees in the forest. You must dig it up and carry it away, if you wish to keep it. _Boy._ I’ll dig it up. We’ll take it home and plant it in our garden by the sea. [_Children carry off the tree._] SCENE III—_In the Garden (after storm)_ _Little Tree._ All night the waves of the sea tossed the white foam and dashed the ships about. All around me lie pieces of wood washed up by the sea. What is this at my feet? A piece of a great bamboo tree! Can it be my friend of the forest? _Boastful Bamboo._ Alas! I am your poor friend. _Little Tree._ I wish I could help you. _Boastful Bamboo._ No one can help me. I wish that I had lived in a garden as you have. Then I might have been useful for many years. Farewell, Little Tree. RETURN OF SPRING TIME—_Morning—Breakfast_ PLACE—_A Garden on Mt. Olympus_ CHARACTERS—_Spring_, _Columbine_, _Pantaloon_, _Clown_ _Columbine._ Spring, Spring! Oh, you naughty boy. Why are you here? _Spring._ They didn’t want me, and neither do you. _Columbine._ Oh, you poor dear boy. Come along at once to the fire and have some breakfast. _Spring._ I didn’t come in before, because I thought you wouldn’t want me. [_All sit down to breakfast._] _Clown._ Sausages? I’m tired of sausages; such ages since we had anything else. _Pantaloon._ Ho! ho! ho! [_Waves his wand._] We’ll have rabbit pie, then. [_Dish of sausages turns to rabbit pie._] _Clown._ Do you know how they get the rabbits into the pie? _Spring._ [_Shakes his head._] No. _Clown._ Would you like to know? _Spring._ Please, sir. _Clown._ Well, first of all, you make a nice rich brown crust, and you put it over a large dish. Then you cut a round hole from the pie crust. Fill the dish with lettuce and put it out on the lawn. _Spring._ On the lawn? _Clown._ Yes. Then the rabbits come. They pop down the hole in the crust to eat the lettuce. When the pie is full of rabbits, you run from behind a tree, cover the hole in the crust, and then with the dish in your arms, you dash into the kitchen,—pie in the oven, oven hot, fire bright—and, here we are! [Illustration] _Columbine._ Don’t you believe him. _Pantaloon._ [_To Spring._] Why did you come back? _Spring._ The farmers said I made the buds come out too soon. I only stroked the trees and the little sticky buds peeped out to kiss my hand. The gardeners were angry because, where I stepped, the flowers came out too soon, they said, and then— _Columbine._ Never mind, dear. We are all glad to see you. _Pantaloon._ And then? _Spring._ Then East Wind came and Snow and Jack Frost, and they nipped my flowers, and hurt my trees, and made my lambs shiver behind the hedges. The goblins who sing in the fire hobs sang and sang till the people turned their backs on me and crouched up to the fire again and began to tell ghost stories. _Columbine._ But you must go back now, and fight Jack Frost and scare Winter away. You have had your breakfast, dear, and now like all the world, you must do your work. Yes, dear, you must keep on working till summer wakes up. _Spring._ Good-by. WHO HOLDS UP THE SKY? [Illustration] TIME—_Spring_ PLACE—_A Wood_ CHARACTERS—_Daisy_, _Rose_, _Fir Tree_, _Elm_, _Bird_, _Mountain_ _Daisy._ Oh dear, Miss Rose, do tell me please, Is it you holds up the sky? _Rose._ Dear Daisy, no, no, indeed, I cannot reach so high. And _very_ far above me Is the blue and lovely sky. But if you wish to know. To find out I will try. Perhaps that tall fir tree Is holding up the sky. [_To the fir tree._] You lift your head so high, Do you hold up the sky? _Fir Tree._ [_Shaking his head._] Oh no, indeed, sweet Rose It surely is not I! It may be this lofty elm, Who stands to me so nigh. _Elm._ No, no, it is not I. But a mountain very tall In the distance I can spy, And on his shoulders rests, I think, the wondrous sky. [_Calling to the mountain._] You lift your head so high, Do you hold up the sky? _Mountain._ And who is it who would For these secrets pry? I’ve stood here many an age, But I never touched the sky. _Rose._ Sweet Daisy, dearest friend, I fear before we die We never shall find out Who is holding up the sky. [_A bird alights on the fir tree._] _Daisy and Rose._ [_Together._] O Bird, you fly up so high, Will you not please tell us Who is holding up the sky? _Bird._ ’Tis He who made the daisy And He who made the rose; ’Tis He who made the fir tree, The elm, and all that grows. ’Tis He who made the mountain And made the bird to fly— The good and Heavenly Father, Who holdeth up the sky. —Adapted. [Illustration] THE FOX’S PLAN CHARACTERS—_Tiger_, _Hunter_, _Fox_ _Tiger._ [_To fox in a net._] So you are here. Caught! _Fox._ Only to help you, Tiger. _Tiger._ To help me? How is that? _Fox._ Why, the other day you said you could not get enough men to eat. So I got into this net. When the men come to take me you may get the men. _Tiger._ A fine plan! Can I believe you? _Fox._ Believe me. Hide in the bushes close by. I’ll show you the men when they come. _Tiger._ Can I believe you? _Fox._ Believe me, Tiger. Here comes one now. Quick! Behind the bushes! [_Tiger hides._] _Hunter._ [_To fox._] So here you are. Caught! _Fox._ Only to help you, Hunter. _Hunter._ To help me? How is that? _Fox._ Why, the other day you said you could not get the tiger who has been killing and eating your cattle. So I got into this net to-day that you may have him. _Hunter._ A fine plan. Can I believe you? But how will I get him? _Fox._ Believe me, Hunter. [_Quietly._] He came here to eat me up, but he saw you coming. He is now behind the bushes. Let me out of this net, and I will take you right to him. _Hunter._ Can I believe you? _Fox._ Believe me, Hunter. Only let me out, and you’ll see. [_Hunter lets fox out._] Come! [_Calling out loud._] Now, Sir Tiger, here is the hunter; and, Mr. Hunter, there is your tiger. I have kept my word to both; you must settle the matter between yourselves. [_Fox runs off._] _Hunter._ Alas! Alas! TOM AND THE LOBSTER PLACE—_Among the rocks_ CHARACTERS—_Tom_, _Lobster_ _Tom._ [_To lobster caught in a lobster pot._] What, have you been naughty, and have they put you in the lockup? _Lobster._ I can’t get out. _Tom._ Why did you get in? _Lobster._ I came in for that ugly piece of fish. _Tom._ Where did you get in? _Lobster._ Through that round hole at the top. _Tom._ Then why don’t you get out through it? _Lobster._ Because I can’t. I have jumped upwards, downwards, backwards, and sideways, at least four thousand times, and I can’t get out. I always get up underneath then and can’t find the hole. _Tom._ Stop a bit. Turn your tail up to me, and I’ll pull you through hindforemost, and then you won’t stick in the spikes. [_Tom pulls lobster._] Hello, here is a pretty business. Now take your great claws and break the point off those spikes, and then we shall both get out easily. _Lobster._ Dear me, I never thought of that! [Illustration] WHY THE JELLYFISH HAS NO SHELL CHARACTERS—_Fishes_, _Turtle_, _three Monkeys_, _Jellyfish_, _Queen Osa_ SCENE I—_Under the Sea_ _First Fish._ What is the matter, little fish? _Little Fish._ Have you not heard? Our sea queen is very ill. _First Fish._ Osa, our queen, very ill, did you say? _Little Fish._ Yes, yes, we have done everything; but she grows worse. _Second Fish._ We fear she must die. _First Fish._ This cannot be. Come, tell me what you have done. _Little Fish._ Oh, we fed her seaweed and laid her upon a bank of sponges. Every little fish helped. But she is no better. _First Fish._ Our queen Osa! This is sad indeed. Is there no wise creature in the sea who can help us? _Third Fish._ There must be. Let us think hard. _Little Fish._ I know. Let’s ask the turtle. He’s wise. He goes out of the sea upon the land. Surely he must learn many things there. Perhaps he is just the one to tell us what to do to save our queen. _Second Fish._ Go at once and bring him back with you. [_Little Fish goes out._] _First Fish._ He won’t be gone long. No one swims faster than our little fish. _Third Fish._ Here he comes back already, and the turtle is with him. _All the Fish._ Good, good. [_Turtle and Little Fish enter._] _First Fish._ O Turtle, have you heard that our sea queen is about to die? _Turtle._ I know that she is very ill. _Second Fish._ Can you not help us to save her? You are wise, Turtle. It’s because you don’t stay down in the sea, but go upon the land, that you learn about so many things. What will cure our queen? _Turtle._ [_Slowly._] Yes, I do learn a great many things on the land. Let me think—I am thinking—yes—I believe—yes—I know, I’m sure I know just what will save her life. I have it—a monkey’s heart—the very thing! I heard about it one day as I was resting upon the shore. A monkey’s heart can cure anything! _All the Fish._ Wonderful! _Little Fish._ Will you go and get one? O Turtle, you know we would go if we could leave our homes as you can. You will go, won’t you? _Turtle._ I will go—at once. SCENE II—_On the Seashore_ _Turtle._ Dear me—not a monkey to be seen anywhere! Well, I’ve waited and waited. It’s very hot here on the sand. I’m sleepy. I’ll just take a nap. [_Sleeps. Monkeys (three) come._] [Illustration] _First Monkey._ [_Seeing turtle._] What’s this? _Second Monkey._ I don’t know. I never saw anything like that before. Now, I see, it’s a big stone. _First Monkey._ So it is. _Third Monkey._ I don’t believe it. _Second Monkey._ Well, you just put your paw on it and see. There, it’s as hard as it can be. _Third Monkey._ _I_ know. It’s a great shell. [_Touches the turtle._] A big hard one, hard all over. [_Turtle wakes and catches monkey._] Oh, oh, oh! Let me go. _Turtle._ No, I will not let you go. Be quiet and do what I tell you, and I will not hurt you. Your brothers have run away. You must come down under the sea with me. [_They go out together._] SCENE III—_Under the Sea_ _Monkey._ Why do they keep me here? No one to talk to, no one to play with, no trees to climb. Only one friend, the jellyfish with his hard shell. I’d like him better if he hadn’t one. It makes me think of that bad turtle that brought me down here on his hard back. Here comes the old jellyfish now. _Jellyfish._ Hello, Monkey, you look sad. _Monkey._ So would you if you wanted trees instead of seaweed, and land instead of water, and warm sunshine, and other little monkeys to play with. _Jellyfish._ Poor Monkey! I am sorry for you. But of course you must stay here until they come to get you. _Monkey._ Until who comes to get me? _Jellyfish._ The fish, of course. Don’t you know? _Monkey._ Indeed, I don’t, Jellyfish. What do you mean? _Jellyfish._ They want your heart for the queen. In a few days they’ll come and kill you and give her your heart to eat. _Monkey._ Oh, dear me! Give my heart to the queen to eat? Why, Jellyfish, do you know what you are talking about? What wrong have I done that I should be killed? _Jellyfish._ Oh, you’ve done no wrong. But our dear queen is very ill, and your heart is the only thing that will cure her. We cannot get your heart unless we kill you; so try and be brave about it. [_Jellyfish swims off._] _Monkey._ [_To himself._] I shall not give my heart to the queen. I must get away from here somehow. But how? I do not know the way. Only the turtle could take me back, and he won’t. What can I do? Here comes the turtle now. _Turtle._ You look sad, Monkey. What is the matter? _Monkey._ Dear me, Turtle, I was just thinking of something I have left at home that I need very much. _Turtle._ Indeed! What is it, dear Monkey? _Monkey._ It’s my heart, Turtle. Just before I left home I hung it out on a bush to dry. If the rain comes, it will be spoiled. _Turtle._ What is this you tell me? _Monkey._ It’s about my heart. Some one must carry me back to the land so that I can get it. _Turtle._ Well, well, is there no other way? Then I must take you back to get your heart. That is the best plan, and we must start at once. Come. [_They go out together._] [Illustration] SCENE IV—_Home of the Sea Queen_ [_Turtle comes in looking very sad._] _Queen Osa._ My dear Turtle, where have you been so long, and oh, what has happened to you? _Turtle._ Dear Queen, I am very sad, and very cold, and very ill. My poor body is without its covering, for see, I have lost my shell. _Queen Osa._ Poor Turtle! Come tell me all about it. _Turtle._ The monkey told me he had left his heart at home and he asked me to take him back so he could get it. I believed him. You know I wanted the heart for you. _Queen Osa._ You are very kind, Turtle. _Turtle._ I took him on my back. When we got to the land he sprang off my back and up the nearest tree. He told his brothers what had happened to him. Then they all rushed at me. They tore off my shell and threw my body back into the sea without it. _Queen Osa._ Poor Turtle! Never mind. I’ll give you another shell, for you did your best. Some one must have been telling the monkey tales. Jellyfish, you were his friend. Do you know anything about this? _Jellyfish._ I told the monkey that we were going to kill him so that we could get his heart for you. I told him to try and be brave about it. _Queen Osa._ You are to blame, then, Jellyfish, for all this trouble. To punish you for meddling, I will take away your shell. And you must go without it forever. —ORIENTAL FABLE. I WOULD LIKE YOU FOR A COMRADE _Little Girl._ I would like you for a comrade, for I love you, that I do, I never met a little calf as amiable as you; I would teach you how to dance and sing and how to talk and laugh, If I were not a little girl and you were not a calf. _Little Calf._ I would like you for a comrade; you should share my barley meal And butt me with your little horns just hard enough to feel; We would lie beneath the chestnut trees and watch the leaves uncurl, If I were not a clumsy calf and you a little girl. —JUDGE PARRY. [Illustration] SOUTHWEST WIND’S VISIT TO GLUCK CHARACTERS _Gluck_ _Hans_ _Schwartz_ _Little Old Gentleman_ _Gluck._ What a pity my brothers never ask anybody to dinner. I’m sure when they’ve got such a nice piece of mutton as this it would do their hearts good to have somebody to eat it with them. [_Knock sounds at the door._] It must be the wind. Nobody else would dare to knock double knocks at our door. [_Gluck goes to the window._] _Little Old Gentleman._ Hello! That’s not the way to answer the door. I am wet. Let me in. _Gluck._ I beg your pardon, sir. I am very sorry, but I really can’t. _Little Old Gentleman._ Can’t what? _Gluck._ I can’t let you in. I can’t, indeed. My brother will beat me, sir, if I thought of such a thing. What do you want, sir? _Little Old Gentleman._ Want? I want fire and shelter. There’s your great fire there blazing, cracking, and dancing on the walls with nobody to feel it. I only want to warm myself. _Gluck._ He does look very wet. I’ll just let him in for a little while. [_Opens the door._] _Little Old Gentleman._ That’s a good boy. Never mind your brothers. I’ll talk to them. [Illustration] _Gluck._ Pray, sir, don’t do any such thing. I can’t let you stay till they come. _Little Old Gentleman._ Dear me. I’m very sorry to hear that. How long may I stay? _Gluck._ Only till the mutton’s done, sir, and it’s very brown. [_Little Old Gentleman seats himself before the fire._] You’ll soon dry there, sir. Mayn’t I take your cloak? _Little Old Gentleman._ No, thank you. _Gluck._ Your cap, sir? _Little Old Gentleman._ I am all right, thank you. _Gluck._ But, sir! I’m very sorry, but really, sir, you’re putting the fire out. _Little Old Gentleman._ It’ll take longer to do the mutton then. That mutton looks very nice. Can’t you give me a little bit? _Gluck._ Impossible, sir. _Little Old Gentleman._ I’m very hungry. I’ve had nothing to eat yesterday nor to-day. They surely couldn’t miss a bit from the knuckle. _Gluck._ They promised me one slice to-day, sir. I can give you that. _Little Old Gentleman._ That’s a good boy. _Gluck._ [_To himself._] I don’t care if I do get beaten for it. [_Loud rap at the door. Schwartz and Hans enter._] _Schwartz._ What did you keep us waiting in the rain for? _Hans._ Ay, what for, indeed! _Schwartz._ Bless my soul, who’s that? _Gluck._ I don’t know, indeed, brother. _Schwartz._ How did he get in? _Gluck._ My dear brother, he was so very wet. _Schwartz._ Who are you, sir? _Hans._ What’s your business? _Little Old Gentleman._ I am a poor old man, sir, and I saw your fire through the window and begged shelter for a little while. _Schwartz._ Have the goodness to walk out again, then. _Little Old Gentleman._ It’s a cold day to turn an old man out, sir. Look at my gray hairs. _Hans._ Ay, there are enough of them to keep you warm. Walk! _Little old Gentleman._ I’m very, very hungry, sir. Couldn’t you spare me a bit of bread before I go? _Schwartz._ Bread, indeed! Do you suppose we’ve nothing to do with our bread but to give it to such fellows as you? _Hans._ Out with you. _Little Old Gentleman._ A little bit? _Schwartz._ Be off! _Little Old Gentleman._ Pray, gentlemen. _Hans._ Off! _Little Old Gentleman._ Gentlemen, I wish you a very good morning. At twelve o’clock to-night I’ll call again. But you will not be surprised if that visit is the last I ever make you. _Schwartz._ If I ever catch you here again—[_To Gluck._] A very pretty business, indeed, Mr. Gluck. Dish the mutton, sir. If ever I catch you at such a trick again—bless me, why the mutton’s been cut. _Gluck._ You promised me one slice, brother, you know. _Schwartz._ Oh, you were cutting it hot, I suppose, and going to catch all the gravy. It will be long before I promise you such a thing again. Leave the room, sir, and have the kindness to wait in the coal cellar till I call you. _Midnight_ _Schwartz._ [_Starting up._] What’s that? _Little Old Gentleman._ Only I, Southwest Wind. _Hans._ The room is full of water, and the roof is off. _Little Old Gentleman._ Sorry, gentlemen. I am afraid your beds are dampish. Perhaps you had better go to your brother’s room. I’ve left the ceiling on there. You’ll find my card on the kitchen table. Remember, this is the last visit from Southwest Wind. [Illustration] THE CHILD AND THE SPARROW _Child._ Sparrow in the cherry tree, Won’t you drop one down for me? _Sparrow._ Presently, presently. _Child._ Sparrow, sparrow, Greedy-pate! There’s a fine one! Drop it straight! _Sparrow._ Little boys should learn to wait! _Child._ Sparrow, without more ado, Come, be kind and drop me two. _Sparrow._ They’re not ripe enough for you. _Child._ Saucy sparrow, cease your fun! What, you’re off—and give me none! _Sparrow._ All are gone, all are gone. —THOMAS WESTWOOD. THE RABBIT’S MESSAGE [Illustration] CHARACTERS—_Three Children_, _Spring_, _Rabbit_ _and_ _creatures of the woods_ PART I—_The Children_ _First Child._ Oh, how bare the woods look. Not a flower or bud anywhere! _Second Child._ Spring is late. _Third Child._ Ow-o-o. Let’s run home. _Second Child._ Spring has forgotten us. I shan’t come here again. PART II—_Lady Spring_ _Spring._ At last! Be off, Jack Frost and North Wind. You have kept me waiting too long. Now to work. I must waken the flowers. [_Waves her wand._] _Flowers._ [_Awaken._] Welcome, Lady Spring. We have looked for you long. _Spring._ Break into buds, trees. _Trees._ [_Awaken._] Welcome, Lady Spring. We have looked for you long. _Spring._ Waken, animals. _Animals._ [_Awaken._] Welcome, Lady Spring. We have waited for you long. _Spring._ But where are the children? Perhaps they do not know we are here. I must find some way to send them a message. Robin, will you take it? _Robin._ I am too busy building a nest for my little ones. Send the fox. _Spring._ Fox, will you take it? _Fox._ I dare not go. The people will think I have come to steal their chickens. Send Black Bear. _Spring._ Black Bear, will you take the message to the children? _Black Bear._ Don’t send me. I am so big I would frighten them. All children love the rabbit. Send him. _Spring._ Rabbit, will you go? _Rabbit._ Yes, yes. I’ll go. But, dear me! The dogs! They might catch me. _Spring._ Go when they are asleep. _Rabbit._ Good. I will go to-night. But what message shall I take? _Spring._ I’ll weave a basket of twigs and leaves and green grass, and line it with soft moss. Each one of us will put a message into it. PART III—_The Journey_ _Spring._ Here is the basket, Rabbit. _Robin._ Here is an egg. _Thrush._ Here is another. _Squirrel._ Here are some acorns that have just sprouted. _Spring._ My prettiest flowers go to the children. There! Stop at every house where there is a child. _Rabbit._ I shall not forget. I’m off. [_To himself._] I’ll just make a nest of grass for each child, and leave it on the doorstep. An egg and a spring flower in each—and the children will know! PART IV—_The Message_ _First Child._ What a pretty nest! I found it on my doorstep—flowers and twigs and an egg. _Second Child._ I found one, too—with everything in it from the woods. _Third child._ Oh! Spring must be here. _First child._ See, here are the tracks of the rabbit’s feet! He came to tell us. _Second Child._ Then spring _is_ here. Let’s run to the woods—now! _Children._ [_Running._] Spring is here! Bunny has brought us the message. [Illustration] LAUGHING SANJA CHARACTERS _Sanja_ _First Jizu_ _Second Jizu_ _Third Jizu_ _Ogre_ NOTE: _Jizu is a roadside image or statue._ SCENE I—_Along the Road_ _Sanja._ Dear, dear, there goes one of my finest dumplings rolling down the hill. That will never do. I cannot lose that one. I must run and catch it. [_Runs after it. As she goes she meets Lord Jizu._] Good morning, my Lord Jizu! Have you seen a rice dumpling fall this way? _Lord Jizu._ Good morning! Yes, I saw a dumpling. It went past here. It went down the hill skipping as if it had legs. _Sanja._ Oh, thank you. Then I must skip after it. _Lord Jizu._ No, no. Do not go on. An ogre lives down there. He may do you harm. _Sanja._ But I must have my dumpling. [_Laughing._] Tee-hee-hee! Tee-hee-hee! [_Goes on._] [_To Second Lord Jizu._] My good Lord Jizu, have you seen a dumpling pass this way? _Second Lord Jizu._ As if it had wings! It flew past me. _Sanja._ Then I must hurry to catch it. _Second Lord Jizu._ You must not think of that. There is a wicked ogre below. He does not like old women. He will be cruel to you, and he might eat you up. _Sanja._ But I must have my dumpling. He’ll not eat an old woman like me. [_Laughing._] Tee-hee-hee! Tee-hee-hee! [_Goes on._] [_To herself._] If I ever catch that dumpling, I’ll eat every bit of it myself. Tee-hee-hee! [_To Third Lord Jizu._] My good Lord Jizu, have you seen my dumpling pass this way? _Third Lord Jizu._ Yes, it passed but a moment ago. Do not think of searching for it. The ogre who lives beyond is cruel, and he’ll surely eat you. _Sanja._ He’ll not eat an old woman like me. Tee-hee-hee! [_They hear a terrible noise. Ogre comes._] _Third Lord Jizu._ Here comes the ogre. Get behind me. Be quick! _Ogre._ [_Deep voice._] Good morning, Lord Jizu! I smell meat. _Third Lord Jizu._ Good morning, Ogre. Is it not dumpling that you smell? I saw one pass along this road a little while ago. _Ogre._ No, indeed. It is not dumpling. What I smell is meat. _Third Lord Jizu._ I do not smell it. Are you sure it is not rice dumpling? It seems to me that I smell a little of it about you. _Ogre._ That is not strange. I saw the dumpling rolling my way. I caught it and ate it. It was good. I wish I had the one who made it. What I smell now is meat, meat, meat; juicy, young, tender. [_Sanja bursts out laughing._] _Sanja._ Tee-hee-hee! Tee-hee-hee! _Ogre._ [_Seeing Sanja._] Who are you? _Sanja._ I am the one who made the dumpling. Tee-hee-hee! Why did you eat it? _Ogre._ Because it was good. _Sanja._ You couldn’t eat me for that reason. Tee-hee-hee! _Ogre._ No, I shall not eat you. You shall come home with me and be my cook. As long as you cook your dumplings for me I will not harm you. [_Sanja goes with the ogre._] SCENE II—_Ogre’s Kitchen_ _Ogre._ You are a good cook; but you use more rice than you need. You should put but one grain into the pot. _Sanja._ One grain? Tee-hee-hee. How could any one live on one grain of rice? _Ogre._ I will show you. Put one grain of rice into the pot. Then take this paddle in your hand. If you want rice for ten persons, stir ten times, in this way. [_Stirs paddle about in the water._] See the grain of rice burst into ten pieces. If you want rice for one hundred persons, stir one hundred times. The grain of rice will burst into one hundred pieces. _Sanja._ Tee-hee-hee! Tee-hee-hee! _Ogre._ This is a magic paddle. _Sanja._ Tee-hee-hee! Tee-hee-hee! _Ogre._ [_To himself._] How strange that she laughs at everything. SCENE III—_The River Bank_ _Sanja._ I won’t stay here another day. The ogre is off hunting. Tee-hee-hee. He’ll never know how I got out of the castle and over the river. Tee-hee-hee. Tee-hee-hee. [_Hears call._] Who calls? The ogre. Oh, he sees me! I am afraid to go back. _Ogre._ [_From other side of the river._] What are you doing there, you Laughing Dumpling? Go back to my kitchen, I say. Go back! _Sanja._ Tee-hee-hee! _Ogre._ How strange that she laughs at everything. She shall not laugh at me. [_Starts to go across river._] [Illustration] _Sanja._ What shall I do to get away. The magic paddle! The magic paddle! I have it tucked in my belt. I’ll stir the water in the river with it. There! Tee-hee-hee! Tee-hee-hee! See the water flows and flows, higher and higher. The ogre must swim for his life. Tee-hee-hee! Tee-hee-hee! THE TIGER AND THE BRAHMAN CHARACTERS _Tiger_ _Jackal_ _Brahman_ _Tree_ _Road_ _Buffalo_ _Tiger._ Let me out of the cage, Brahman! _Brahman._ No, I will not. If I let you out of the cage, you will eat me. _Tiger._ O Brahman, indeed I will not. I could not be so unkind as that. Only let me out to get a drink of water. Then I will come back. [_Brahman opens the cage._] [Illustration] _Tiger._ [_Jumping out._] Now, I will eat you first and then I’ll drink the water. _Brahman._ Alas! How foolish I was to let you out. Only do not kill me hastily. Let me ask the first three things I meet to tell me whether it is just and fair that you should put me to death. If all of them say it is just and fair for you to kill me I shall be willing to die. _Tiger._ It shall be as you say. You may ask the opinion of three. [_Brahman goes off._] _Brahman._ O Tree, hear my story and tell me who is right. The tiger begged me to let him out of his cage, to drink a little water. He promised not to hurt me if I did so. But now that I have let him out he wishes to kill and eat me. Is this right? _Tree._ I give shade to all who pass by, but when they are rested they cut my branches and break off my leaves. Why do you complain? _Brahman._ Alas! Alas! [_Goes on._] O Buffalo, hear my story and tell me who is right. The tiger begged me to let him out of his cage to drink a little water. But now that I have let him out he wishes to kill and eat me. Is this right, O Buffalo? _Buffalo._ Look at me! See how hard I work. When I was young I had the best of food. But now that I am old I am kept here in the field. I have only the coarsest food to eat. Why do you complain? _Brahman._ Alas! Alas! [_Goes to Road._] O Road, hear my story and tell me who is right. The tiger begged me to let him out of his cage to drink a little water. But now that I have let him out he wishes to kill and eat me. Is this right, O Road? _Road._ Poor Brahman! How can you hope for anything else? Think of me. Here I am useful to every one. Yet all, rich and poor, great and small, trample on me as they go past. Why do you complain? _Brahman._ Alas! Alas! Alas! There is no help for me. [_Turns homeward._] _Jackal._ What’s the matter, Mr. Brahman? You look very sad. _Brahman._ I am sad. As I was walking along the road I came to the tiger in his cage. He begged me to let him out to drink a little water. He said he would not harm me if I did so. _Jackal._ Did you let him out? _Brahman._ I did. As soon as he was out he tried to eat me. I asked him to wait till I could get the opinion of the first three things I came to whether it was right for him to kill me. I asked the tree, the buffalo, and the road. Alas! _Jackal._ What did they say? _Brahman._ They all said it was right. _Jackal._ Who said it was right? _Brahman._ Why, the tree, and the road, and the buffalo. _Jackal._ Oh, it’s very confusing. Let me see! Perhaps matters are not so bad as you think. But it’s very confusing. You say the tiger said the tree and the road and the buffalo were right? _Brahman._ No, no, no. The road and the tree and the buffalo said the tiger should kill and eat me! _Jackal._ It all goes in one ear and out the other. It’s very confusing. Take me to the place where it happened. Then I shall be able to understand. [_Brahman and Jackal go to Tiger._] _Tiger._ You have been away a long time. I want my dinner. _Brahman._ Just wait until I make the jackal understand how it all happened. He is so slow in his wits! I must explain things to him. _Jackal._ Show me where you stood. _Brahman._ Here, by the cage. _Jackal._ Right there? _Brahman._ Right here. _Jackal._ Where was the tiger then? _Tiger._ I was in the cage! _Jackal._ Yes, yes. Let me see, how did it all begin? _Brahman._ Tiger was in the cage and I came walking by— _Jackal._ Yes, yes, I see. You were in the cage and the tiger came walking by— _Tiger._ [_Angrily._] Not at all! _I_ was in the cage. _Jackal._ Yes, my lord. Dear, dear, it’s very confusing. It has all got mixed up in my mind. Let me see, the tiger was in the Brahman and the cage came walking by! No, no, that was not it, either! Well, don’t wait for me. I shall never understand. _Tiger._ Yes, you _shall_ understand. Look here, I am the tiger. _Jackal._ Yes, my lord. _Tiger._ And that is the Brahman. _Jackal._ Yes, my lord. _Tiger._ And that is the cage. _Jackal._ Yes, my lord. _Tiger._ And _I_ was in the cage. Do you understand? _Jackal._ Yes, my lord. But please, my lord, how did you get in? _Tiger._ How did I get in? Why, the usual way, of course! _Jackal._ Oh dear me! My head is beginning to whirl again. Please don’t get angry, my lord, but what _is_ the usual way? _Tiger._ This way. Now do you understand? [_Tiger jumps into cage._] _Jackal._ Yes, I understand now. And I think we had better leave you just where you are. [_Locks cage door._] THE LION AND THE STORY-TELLER CHARACTERS—_Lion_, _Fox_, _Elephant_, _Tiger_, _and_ _Other Animals_ _Elephant._ Dear me—we must find one. _Tiger._ One what? _Elephant._ A story-teller for the lion. He wants one who will tell him stories one after another without stopping. It’s a task indeed. _Camel._ Yes, yes, and he will put us to death if we fail to find some one who can do so. _Tiger._ He’s king, and they say the king kills when he will. I do not know what we shall do. _Fox._ Let me think. I have it—Tell the king you have found the story-teller that he wished for. _At Court_ _Lion._ So, Mr Fox, you are to tell me stories without ceasing. _Fox._ Yes, O King Lion. _Lion._ Very well—begin. _Fox._ There was once a fisherman who went to sea. He had a large net. He spread it out far and wide. One day a great many fish got into the net. Just as the fisherman was about to draw it up, the cords broke, and a small hole was made in the side of the net. Now, this hole was just large enough for one fish to slip through at a time. So, one fish got out—[_Fox stops._] [Illustration] _Lion._ Yes? _Fox._ Then two fishes got out. [_Fox stops._] _Lion._ What then? _Fox._ Then three escaped. [_Fox stops._] _Lion._ [_Impatiently._] Yes, yes! but the story? I tell you, go on with the story. What then? _Fox._ Then four fishes got out. _Lion._ Come, come, sir, you are not telling me anything new. _Fox._ O King! Each lot of fishes was different from the rest.—Then the hole grew a little larger and— _Lion._ But, wherein is the wonder? _Fox._ Why, your majesty, what can be more wonderful than for fish to escape in lots, each lot greater than the other by one? _Lion._ [_Impatiently._] How long will it take all those fishes to get out? _Fox._ O King Lion, it was a large net—there were thousands and thousands of fishes in it.—Then the hole grew a little larger and— _Lion._ Stop, stop! I can not stand this. Leave my court at once—anything to stop those fishes. [_Fox goes out._] _Fox._ [_To animals._] Fear not, I have saved you all. The tyrant won’t try that plan again. [Illustration] OVER THE HILL _Child._ Traveler, what lies over the hill? Traveler, tell to me. I am only a child from the window sill, Over I can not see. _Traveler._ Child, there’s a valley over there, Pretty and wooded and shy, And a little brook that says, “Take care, Or I’ll drown you by and by.” _Child._ And what comes next? _Traveler._ A little town And a towering hill again; More hills and valleys up and down And a river now and then. _Child._ And what comes next? _Traveler._ A lonely moor Without a beaten way; And gray clouds sailing slow before A wind that will not stay. _Child._ And then? _Traveler._ Dark rocks and yellow sand, And a moaning sea beside. _Child._ And then? _Traveler._ More sea, more sea, more land, And rivers deep and wide. _Child._ And then? _Traveler._ Oh, rock and mountain and vale, Rivers and fields and men, And over and over repeat the tale, And round to your home again. —GEORGE MACDONALD. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ TRANSCRIBER'S NOTES 1. Silently corrected typographical errors. 2. 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