By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: For the Story Teller - Story Telling and Stories to Tell
Author: Bailey, Carolyn Sherwin
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 "For the Story Teller - Story Telling and Stories to Tell" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

generously made available by Internet Archive (https://archive.org)

Note: Images of the original pages are available through
      Internet Archive. See

Transcriber’s note:

      Italicized text is surrounded by underscores: _italics_.


      *      *      *      *      *      *




      *      *      *      *      *      *


Story Telling and Stories to Tell




Milton Bradley Company
Springfield, Mass.

New York     Boston     Philadelphia     Atlanta     San Francisco

Copyright, 1913,
By Milton Bradley Company,
Springfield, Mass.


The new-old art of story telling is being rediscovered. We are finding
that the children’s daily story hour in school, in the neighborhood
house, and at home is a real force for mental and moral good in their
lives. We are learning that it is possible to educate children by means
of stories.

Story telling to be a developing factor in a child’s life must be
studied by the story teller. There are good stories and there are poor
stories for children. The story that fits a child’s needs to-day may
not prove a wise choice for him to-morrow. Some stories teach, some
stories only give joy, some stories inspire, some stories just make a
child laugh. Each of these story phases is important. To discover these
special types of stories, to fit stories to the individual child or
child group, and to make over stories for perfect telling has been my
aim in writing this book.

Through telling stories to many thousands of children and lecturing to
students I have found that story telling is a matter of psychology. The
pages that follow give my new theory of story telling to the teacher or

                                                 CAROLYN SHERWIN BAILEY.


CHAPTER                                                             PAGE

    I. THE APPERCEPTIVE BASIS OF STORY TELLING                         1

   II. THE STORY WITH A SENSE APPEAL                                  23

  III. WHEN THE CURTAIN RISES                                         41


    V. STORY CLIMAX                                                   83


  VII. THE INSTINCT STORY                                            122

 VIII. THE DRAMATIC STORY                                            142



   XI. IMAGINATION AND THE FAIRY STORY                               212

  XII. MAKING OVER STORIES                                           231

 XIII. PLANNING STORY GROUPS                                         245


  THE CAP THAT MOTHER MADE, adapted from Swedish Fairy Tales           8

  GOODY TWO SHOES                                                     16

  THE THREE CAKES, from Monsieur Berquin’s L’Ami des Enfants          35

  THE PRINCE’S VISIT, Horace E. Scudder                               52

  THE TRAVELS OF A FOX, Clifton Johnson                               60

  LITTLE LORNA DOONE, adapted from Richard Blackmore                  68

  LITTLE IN-A-MINUTE                                                  76

  OLD MAN RABBIT’S THANKSGIVING DINNER                                92

  THE GREAT STONE FACE, adapted from Nathaniel Hawthorne              98

  LITTLE TUK, Hans Christian Andersen                                115

  THE SELFISH GIANT, Oscar Wilde                                     133

  THE GINGERBREAD BOY (dramatized), Carolyn Sherwin Bailey           153

    Carolyn Sherwin Bailey                                           163

  THE WOODPECKER WHO WAS SELFISH, adapted from an Indian Folk Tale   181

    Southern Folk Tale                                               185

  THE LITTLE LAME PRINCE, adapted from Miss Mulock                   201

  THE BLUE ROBIN, Mary Wilkins Freeman                               219

  THE GIRL WHO TROD ON THE LOAF, Hans Christian Andersen             238




Apperception is a formidable and sometimes confusing term for a very
simple and easy-to-understand mental process. I once told Seumus
MacManus’ deliciously humorous story of Billy Beg and his Bull to
a group of foreign boys and girls in one of New York’s East Side
Settlement Houses. The children listened with apparent appreciation,
but, halfway along in the story, it occurred to me to ask them if they
had ever seen a bull. No one answered me at first. Then Pietro, a
little dusky-eyed son of Italy, raised a grimy hand.

“I seen one last summer when we was on a _fresh-air_,” he said. “It’s a
bigger cow, a bull is, with the bicycle handle-bars on her head.”

Pietro’s description of a bull was an example of apperception, the
method by means of which a new idea is interpreted, classified, “let
into” the human mind. He knew the class, _cows_. He also knew the
class, _bicycles_. He did not know the class, _bulls_--at least vividly
enough to be able to put the idea into terms of a verbal explanation
and description. So he did the most natural thing in the world, the
only possible mental process in fact by means of which children or
adults classify the _new_. He interpreted it in terms of the old,
explaining the unfamiliar idea, bull, by means of the familiar ideas,
cow and a bicycle.

This, then, is apperception. _It is the involuntary mental process
by means of which the human mind makes its own the strange, the
new, the unfamiliar idea by a method of fitting it into the class
of familiar ideas already known._ Apperception is a means of quick
mental interpretation. It is the welcoming of strangers to the
mind-habitation, strangers who come every day in the guise of
unfamiliar names, terms, scenes, and phrases, and determining in which
corner of the brain house they will fit most comfortably. The most
natural process is finally to give these new ideas an old mind corner
to rest in, or an old brain path in which to travel.

A child’s mind at the age when he is able to concentrate upon listening
to a story, three or four years of age--kindergarten age--is not a very
crowded house. It is a mind-house tenanted by a few and very simple
concepts which he has made his own through his previous home, mother
and play experiences. He is familiar with his nursery, his pets, his
family, his toys, his food, his bed. If he is a country child he knows
certain flowers, birds and farm animals, not as classes--flower, bird
and animal--but as _buttercup_, _robin_ and _sheep_. If he is a city
child his mind has a very different tenantry, and he thinks in terms of
_street_, _subway_, _park_, _fire engine_, _ambulance_. These to the
city child are also individual ideas, not classes. He knows them as
compelling, noisy, moving ideas which he has seen and experienced, but
they do not at all appeal to him as classes.

The story of “The Three Bears” is an obviously interesting one to
children upon entering school. It has its basis of interest in its
apperceptive quality, and it illustrates better than almost any other
story for children those qualities which bring about quick mental
interpretation on the part of the listener. The unusual, strange,
hazardous characters in the story, the three bears, are introduced to
the child in old, comfortably familiar terms which catch his interest
from the first sentence of the story. It is extremely doubtful if the
story of three bears set in a polar or forest environment would ever
have been popular so long or made so many children happy as has the
story of the historical three bears who lived in a house, ate porridge
from bowls, sat in chairs and slept in beds. Nor are these the only
apperceptive links between the life of the bears and that of the child.
There is a tiny bear in the story, the size, one may presuppose, of the
child who is listening to the story. The to-be-classified idea, _bear_,
is presented to children in this old folk tale in terms of already
known ideas, _house_, _porridge_, _chair_, _bed_ and _tiny_. Very
few story tellers have appreciated the underlying psychologic appeal
of the story of “The Three Bears,” but it illustrates a quality in
stories that we must look for if we wish to make the story we select a
permanency in the child’s mental life.

_The apperceptive basis of story telling consists in study on the part
of the story teller to discover what is the store of ideas in the minds
of the children who will listen to the story._

Has the story too many new ideas for the child to be able to classify
them in terms of his old ideas? On the other hand, has it one or two
new thoughts so carefully presented through association with already
familiar concepts that the child will be able to make them his own and
give them a permanent place in his mind with the old ones?

A child’s mind is an eery place for an adult to try and enter.
Teachers, kindergartners and story tellers are a little prone to
think that a knowledge of one child’s mental content gives them the
power to know the mind of the child-at-large. Our psychologists have
given us studies of child mind, not child minds. This mind hypothesis
is, perhaps, sufficient for the general working out of systems of
teaching, but success in the delicate art of story telling means a
most critical study and observation of the minds of the special group
of children who will hear the story. The story teller must ask herself
these questions:

“What do these children _know_?”

“Have they any experience other than that of the home on which to bank?”

“Do they come from homes of leisure or homes of industry?”

“Have they had a country or a city experience?”

“Have they passed from the stage of development when toys formed their
play interest to the game stage in which chance and hazard interest
them more deeply?”

“Are they American children, familiar with American institutions, or
are they little aliens in our land, unfamiliar with and confused by our

When she has satisfactorily answered these questions, the story teller
will select her story having for its theme, atmosphere and _motif_ an
idea or group of ideas that will touch the child’s mental life as she
has discovered it and by means of which it will find a permanent place
in his mind through its comfortable friendliness and familiarity.

The child who has come directly from his home and the sheltering arms
of his mother or nurse should not, at first, be taken far afield
through the lands of fairies and giants. If he is told a fairy story,
it should have for its content the sweet, homely qualities that
characterize the home. I am using as a good example of the apperceptive
story, “The Cap that Mother Made.” The child listeners are carried,
it is true, to the palace of a King and are formally introduced to a
Princess, but this is brought about through the familiar symbols of the
home: _mother_, _brothers_, the _farmer_, and the queer little _cap_
with its red and green stripes and blue tassel. Although Anders, the
story hero, spends a happy hour at the Princess’ ball, he finally finds
his way home again, and the story has an apperceptive appeal which
is unusual. It is full of precious, familiar concepts that establish
an association in the child’s mind between fairyland and home. After
hearing the story, he will be very apt always to remember a palace as
a very charming place to visit, but not to stay in, when one may go
home to mother.


Once upon a time there was a little boy named Anders, who had a new
cap. And a prettier cap you never have seen, for mother herself had
knit it; and nobody could make anything quite so nice as mother did. It
was altogether red, except a small part in the middle which was green,
for the red yarn had given out; and the tassel was blue.

His brothers and sisters walked about squinting at him, and their faces
grew long with envy. But Anders cared nothing about that. He put his
hands in his pockets and went out for a walk, for he wished everybody
to see how fine he looked in his new cap.

The first person he met was a farmer walking along by the side of a
wagon load of wood. He made a bow so deep that his back came near
breaking. He was dumbfounded, I can tell you, when he saw it was nobody
but Anders.

“Dear me,” said he, “if I did not think it was the gracious little
count himself!” And then he invited Anders to ride in his wagon.

But when one has a pretty, red cap with a blue tassel, one is too fine
to ride in a wagon, and Anders walked proudly by.

At the turn of the road he met the tanner’s son, Lars. He was such a
big boy that he wore high boots, and carried a jack-knife. He gaped and
gazed at the cap, and could not keep from fingering the blue tassel.

“Let’s trade caps,” he said. “I will give you my jack-knife to boot.”

Now this knife was a very good one, though half the blade was gone and
the handle was a little cracked; and Anders knew that one is almost a
man as soon as one has a jack-knife. But still it did not come up to
the new cap which mother had made.

“Oh, no, I’m not so stupid as all that; no, I’m not!” Anders said.

And then he said good-by to Lars with a nod; but Lars only made faces
at him, for he had not been to school much, poor boy; and, besides, he
was very much put out because he could not cheat Anders out of his cap
which mother had made.

Anders went along, and he met a very old, old woman who courtesied till
her skirts looked like a balloon. She called him a little gentleman,
and said that he was fine enough to go to the royal court ball.

“Yes, why not?” thought Anders. “Seeing that I am so fine, I may as
well go and visit the King.”

And so he did. In the palace yard stood two soldiers with shining
helmets, and with muskets over their shoulders; and when Anders came to
the gate, both the muskets were leveled at him.

“Where may you be going?” asked one of the soldiers.

“I am going to the court ball,” answered Anders.

“No, you are not,” said the other soldier, stepping forward. “Nobody is
allowed there without a uniform.”

But just at this instant the princess came tripping across the yard.
She was dressed in white silk with bows of gold ribbon. When she saw
Anders and the soldiers, she walked over to them.

“Oh,” she said, “he has such a very fine cap on his head, and that will
do just as well as a uniform.”

And she took Anders’ hand and walked with him up the broad marble
stairs where soldiers were posted at every third step, and through
the beautiful halls where courtiers in silk and velvet stood bowing
wherever he went. For no doubt they thought him a prince when they saw
his fine cap.

At the farther end of the largest hall a table was set with golden cups
and golden plates in long rows. On huge silver dishes were piles of
tarts and cakes, and red wine sparkled in shining glasses.

The princess sat down at the head of this long table; and she let
Anders sit in a golden chair by her side.

“But you must not eat with your cap on your head,” she said, putting
out her hand to take it off.

“Oh, yes, I can eat just as well,” said Anders, holding on to his
cap; for if they should take it away from him nobody would any longer
believe that he was a prince; and, besides, he did not feel sure that
he would get it back again.

“Well, well, give it to me,” said the princess, “and I will give you a

The princess was certainly beautiful, and Anders would have dearly
liked to be kissed by her, but the cap which mother had made he would
not give up on any condition. He only shook his head.

“Well, but see,” said the princess; and she filled his pockets with
cakes, and put her own gold chain around his neck, and bent down and
kissed him.

But he only moved farther back in his chair and did not take his hands
away from his head.

Then the doors were thrown open, and the King entered with a large
number of gentlemen in glittering uniforms and plumed hats. The King
himself wore a purple mantle which trailed behind him, and he had a
large gold crown on his white curly hair.

He smiled when he saw Anders in the gilt chair.

“That is a very fine cap you have,” he said.

“So it is,” replied Anders. “Mother knit it of her very best yarn, and
everybody wishes to get it away from me.”

“But surely you would like to change caps with me,” said the King,
raising his large, heavy crown from his head.

Anders did not answer. He sat as before, and held on to his red cap
which everybody was so eager to get. But when the King came nearer to
him, with his gold crown between his hands, then Anders grew frightened
as never before. If he did not take good care, the King might cheat him
out of his cap; for a King can do whatever he likes.

With one jump Anders was out of his chair. He darted like an arrow
through all the beautiful halls, down all the marble stairs, and across
the yard.

He twisted himself like an eel between the outstretched arms of the
courtiers, and over the soldiers’ muskets he jumped like a little

He ran so fast that the princess’s necklace fell off his neck, and all
the cakes jumped out of his pockets. But his cap he still had. He was
holding on to it with both hands as he rushed into his mother’s cottage.

His mother took him up in her lap, and he told her all his adventures,
and how everybody wanted his cap. And all his brothers and sisters
stood around and listened with their mouths open.

But when his big brother heard that he had refused to give his cap for
the King’s golden crown, he said that Anders was stupid. Just think how
much money one might get for the King’s crown; and Anders could have
had a still finer cap.

That Anders had not thought of, and his face grew red. He put his arms
around his mother’s neck and asked:

“Mother, was I stupid?”

His mother hugged him close and kissed him.

“No, my little son,” said she. “If you were dressed in silver and gold
from top to toe, you could not look any nicer than in your little red

Then Anders felt brave again. He knew well enough that mother’s cap was
the best cap in all the world.

                                             _From Swedish Fairy Tales._

This story is only an example of many others that may be selected
and fitted to the mental status of the individual child or group of
children who make up the story circle. I had great difficulty one
season in gaining and holding the attention of a group of particularly
rough boys to whom I was telling stories in a neighborhood house. To
my surprise, they listened most attentively to an adaptation of “The
King of the Golden River,” and clamored to have it repeated. Looking
into the reason for their keen interest in the story, which really took
them quite far afield in its descriptions and plot, I discovered that
the incident of the holy water had gripped my audience. The boys were
Romanists and they found a point in the story which touched their own
lives, in the visits of the brothers and Gluck to the priest. I never
afterward found difficulty in holding the attention of this special
group of boys. I had been able to establish a bond of sympathy between
the boys and the story characters.

Touching a child’s life through the medium of a story is like a
friendly hand clasp. An Irish folk tale told to a group of little
sons and daughters of Erin, one of the Uncle Remus tales told to
a kindergarten circle of little negroes, the story of one of our
Italian operas adapted to the understanding of Sicilian and Neapolitan
children, one and all mean enriching those child lives. How could the
Gaelic tale fit the Italian group, though, or the story of the opera
make an appeal to the little negro boys and girls?

Successful story telling means, then, a careful consideration of the
apperceptive basis of the story, first of all. This, reduced to very
simple terms, means studying the mental life of a child and selecting
for his first stories those that have a well-defined association
through their word pictures, dialogue and plot with the child’s own
previous experience. When the story teller makes the question of
apperception the first consideration in selecting her stories, she will
find that her appeal to the children will be an active and successful



Of course Goody Two Shoes was not her real name. In fact, her father’s
name was Meanwell, and he had once been rich, and prosperous, and one
of the most well-to-do farmers in the parish, but he lost his money.
However it happened one could hardly tell, but his farm was seized, and
he was turned out with his wife, and Tommy, and little Marjery, with
none of the necessaries of life to support them.

Care and discontent shortened the days of Farmer Meanwell. He was
forced from his family and taken with a violent fever of which he died.
Marjery’s poor mother died soon, too, of a broken heart, and Marjery
and her little brother were left alone in the wide world; so they
started off together, hand in hand, to seek their fortunes.

They were both very ragged, and though Tommy had two shoes, Marjery
had but one. They neither had anything to support them save what they
picked from the hedges, or got from the poor people; and they slept
every night in a barn. Their relations, who were rich folk, took no
notice of them, because they were ashamed to own such a poor little
ragged girl as Marjery and such a dirty little curly-pated boy as Tommy.

But there was a very worthy clergyman named Mr. Smith who lived in the
parish where little Marjery and Tommy were born; and having a relation
come to see him who was a charitable man, he sent for these children.
The gentleman ordered little Marjery a new pair of shoes, gave Mr.
Smith some money to buy them clothes, and said he would take Tommy and
make of him a little sailor. He had a new jacket and trousers made for
Tommy, and he was soon ready to start for London.

It was hard indeed for Tommy and Marjery to part. Tommy cried, and
Marjery cried, and they kissed each other a hundred times. At last
Tommy wiped off Marjery’s tears with the end of his jacket and bid her
cry no more, for he would come to her again when he returned from sea,
and he began his journey with the kind gentleman while Marjery went
crying to bed. And the instant that Marjery awoke the next morning, the
shoemaker came in with the new shoes for which she had been measured.

Nothing could have helped little Marjery bear the loss of Tommy more
than the pleasure she took in her two shoes. You remember she had worn
only one shoe before, and a ragged one at that. She ran out to Mrs.
Smith as soon as they were put on, and stroking down her ragged apron
cried out, “Two shoes, Madam, see, two shoes!” And so she behaved to
all the people she met, and she obtained the name of Goody Two Shoes.

With Tommy gone there was not a great deal for Goody Two Shoes to
do, so she made up her mind that she would learn to read. Now in the
long ago days when this little girl lived, one had to pay quite a sum
of money to go to a dame’s school and be taught how to cross stitch,
and to bow politely, and to read. Only rich children could go, but
Goody Two Shoes would meet the little boys and girls as they came
from school, and learn from them and then sit down and read until
they returned. After a while she had taught herself more than they
had learned of the dame, and she resolved to go the rounds of all the
farms and teach the little children who were too poor to go to school.

And such a clever, pleasant way of teaching children to read as Goody
Two Shoes invented! With her knife she cut some wooden sets of letters
with which the children were to spell and make sentences by laying
them together. These wooden letters she put in a basket and with the
basket over her arm she became a little trotting tutoress who was known
through all the countryside for her kindness and patience.

Each morning she would start out at seven and run up to the door of a

Tap, tap, tap!

“Who is there?” the mother of the house would ask.

“Only little Goody Two Shoes,” Marjery would answer, “come to teach
Billy his A B C’s.”

“Oh, little Goody,” the mother would cry, opening the door wide. “I
am glad to see you. Billy wants you sadly, for he has learned all his

Little Billy would come out and have a new spelling lesson set him with
the basket of letters, and then Goody would go on to Farmer Simpson’s.

“Bow, wow, wow!” said the dog at the door.

“Sirrah,” Mistress Simpson would say, “why do you bark at Little Two
Shoes? Come in. Here’s Sally wants you sadly, for she has learned all
her lesson.”

Then out came the little one.

“Good morning, Goody,” she would say.

“Good morning, Sally,” Goody Two Shoes would answer; “have you learned
your lesson?”

“Yes, that’s what I have,” the little one would say, as she took the
letters and spelled _pear_, and _plum_, and _top_, and _ball_, and
_puss_, and _cow_, and _lamb_, and _sheep_, and _bull_, and _cock_, and

“Good,” said Marjery, and she hurried on to Gaffer Cook’s cottage.
Here a number of poor children were met to learn to read and they all
crowded around Marjery at once. So she pulled out her letters and asked
the little boy next to her what he had for dinner. He answered, _bread_.

“Well, then,” said she, “set the first letter.”

So he pulled out a big B, and soon the other letters, and there stood
the word as plain as possible.

“And what had you, Polly Comb, for your dinner?” asked Goody Two Shoes.

“Apple-pie,” answered Polly as she spelled her word.

The next child had potatoes, the next beef and turnips, which were
spelled with many other words until the lesson was done, and Goody set
them a new task, and went on.

The next place she came to was Farmer Thompson’s, where there were a
great many little ones waiting for her.

“Oh, little Miss Goody Two Shoes,” said one of them, “where have you

“I have been teaching,” said Goody, “longer than I intended, and am
afraid I am come too soon for you now.”

“No, but indeed you are not,” replied the other, “for I have got my
lesson, and so has Sally Dawson, and so have we all,” and they capered
about as if they were overjoyed to see her.

“Why, then,” said she, “you are all very good; so let us begin our

She was indeed a wise and painstaking little tutoress for a long, long
time. At last Dame Williams, who kept the village school for little
gentlemen and ladies, became very old and infirm, and wanted to give up
teaching. So the trustees sent for Little Two Shoes to examine her and
see if she were able to keep the school.

They found that little Marjery was the best scholar and had the best
heart of any one who wanted to be the teacher, and they gave her a most
favorable report.

So Goody Two Shoes’ troubles and travels were over. She taught the dame
school for the rest of her days, and never lacked for shoes or anything
else needful.
                                                 OLIVER GOLDSMITH, 1765.


    THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT                             _Mother Goose_
    THE THREE BEARS                                          _Folk Tale_
    THE THREE LITTLE PIGS                                       “   “
    LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD                                      “   “
    THE GOAT AND THE SEVEN LITTLE KIDS                          “   “
    THE LITTLE RED HEN                                          “   “
    THE TOWN MOUSE AND THE COUNTRY MOUSE                 _Æsop’s Fables_
    THE ELVES AND THE SHOEMAKER                     _The Brothers Grimm_
    THE TOP AND THE BALL                       _Hans Christian Andersen_
    HOW THE HOME WAS BUILT             _Maud Lindsay, in Mother Stories_
    THE LITTLE GRAY GRANDMOTHER      _Elizabeth Harrison, in Story Land_
    THE PIG BROTHER           _Laura E. Richards, in The Golden Windows_
    GRANDFATHER’S PENNY                     _In For the Children’s Hour_
    TINY TIM          _Adapted from Dickens, in For the Children’s Hour_



The senses are the only avenues to the brain by means of which the
outside world makes its way into a little child’s inner consciousness.
A baby’s brain is an almost unexplored, untracked place, empty save
for a few instinct paths--certain motor tracts tenanted by inherited
memories which lead him to cry, to nurse, and to perform some other
reflex movements. This condition of the mind does not last long,
however. The baby opens his eyes and sees the sunlight dancing in a
yellow patch of gold upon the wall above his bed. Instantly, like a
telegraphic message, there is delivered at the baby’s brain an idea,
unnamed at first but ineffaceable--_color_. When he sees a red ball
suspended by a string in front of his eager eyes, a second message
is delivered at his mind-house, differentiating and localizing the
first impression--_color_ versus _color_.The formal names, _red_ and
_yellow_, do not enter into the process at all and are indeed quite
unnecessary. The baby differentiates _red_ and _yellow_ months before
he knows the color names.

The baby hears his mother’s voice and he receives by means of another
telegraphic message the percept, _sound_. He touches a piece of ice, or
his warm bottle, and learns by means of this direct contact, _cold_ and
_warm_. His nostrils admit the pleasurable odors of his scented bath,
the dainty powder used for making his body comfortable or the bunch of
roses that stands on his mother’s table, and he receives a new set of
brain stimuli as he differentiates odors.

These are all such simple mental operations that we have rather taken
them for granted, forgetting that Nature’s method of forcing, letting
in impressions to the child’s mind, is the only way for us to give him
knowledge. _The surest way of educating a child is through an appeal to
his senses._ In a large degree this matter of sense training has been
exemplified in hand work by the disciples of Froebel and Montessori,
but the _sense story_ has been completely overlooked. _We have made
little effort to appeal to a child’s mind through the story that has
sense images of sight, touch, sound or taste to strengthen the mind
impression which it makes._

If we analyze the story that has interested us most in a current
magazine, we shall discover that, somehow, it made a direct appeal
to our senses. It may have had the setting of some old garden, the
description of which made us, in imagination, smell the clove pinks,
roses, French lilacs and mignonette that grew in some garden of our
childhood. Perhaps it was a _sound_ story, giving us such speaking word
pictures of bird songs, violin tones or even the human notes of voices
that we almost _heard_ the story instead of seeing it. On the other
hand, the sense appeal of the story may have been that of _color_, of
_food_--any sense stimulus that routed from their brain corners our
old sense impressions and set them to working again. And it is almost
impossible to gauge the effect upon cerebration of these stored-up
sensory images.

That whiff of odor from a city flower cart brings suddenly to my mind
an incident that I had not been cognizant of for years--the memory of
a certain long-ago day when I purloined my Grandmother’s scissors and
cut off two of my curls to make a wig for a hairless rag doll. What is
the connection between this day of badness of my childhood and a dingy
city flower wagon? Ah, I have it! There was a pot of Martha Washington
geraniums in the room where I sat when I cut my hair. My small, serge
sleeve brushed the leaves as I held the curls triumphantly to the light
and the pungent odor found a permanent place in my mind, side by side
with the other memory, ineffaceable, always ready to produce a recall.

Dr. Van Dyke once said that if he were able to paint a picture of
Memory, he would picture her asleep in a bed of mint. He illustrated
the value of sensory stimuli in fiction. One gauge of a perfectly
constructed piece of fiction is its sense content. Does it include such
writing as will make the reader _see_, _taste_, _smell_ and _hear?_ So,
in stories for children we must apply the same test.

_A child’s story, to interest, should have a strong sense appeal._

Many of the old, handed-down jingles and folk tales are full of
_eating_ and _drinking_, _smelling_ delectable odors, _hearing_ the
sounds of child life and _seeing_ over again child scenes. Therein
lies their world appeal and the reason for their ancient and obvious

    “The Queen of Hearts,
    She made some _tarts_.”

    “Little Tommy Tucker, _sings_ for his _supper_;
    What shall he _eat_? _White bread and butter_.”

    “_Ding, dong bell_, Pussy’s in the well.”

    “Hark, hark, the dogs do _bark_,
    The beggars are coming to town.”

    “Rockaby baby, your cradle is _green_.”

    “The rose is _red_,
    The violet _blue_,
    Sugar is _sweet_
    And so are you.”

One might go on indefinitely quoting lines of Mother Goose that tickle
a child’s fancy and are undying in their appeal for the sole reason
that they are sensual in the broader understanding of the term. They
include simple, direct references to the mental concepts that the
child has gained through his senses. Practically all that the normal,
natural child has accomplished, mentally, up to the age of three or
four years, has been to note bright colors, to handle everything he has
come in contact with,--not, as so many persons suppose, for purposes
of mischievous destruction, but rather to touch each object and make
its feeling an integral part of his ego,--to eat and drink and to use
his nostrils as a dog does. What more natural than that his beginnings
in English should have for their basis a sense content that will help
the child to _name_, put into words his previously acquired but unnamed
sense impressions?

Miss Emilie Poulsson’s finger plays for little children have for their
basic appeal the stimulating of a child’s ability to recall previously
acquired sense impressions. In addition, the finger movements with
which the child illustrates these rhymes give the added association of
the sense of touch to strengthen and vivify the child’s interest in and
memory of the rhyme stories. To illustrate:

    “Here’s a ball for baby,
    _Big_ and _soft_ and _round_.

    Here’s the baby’s hammer,
    Oh, how he can _pound_.

    Here’s the baby’s _music_,
    _Clapping_, _clapping_ so.

    Here are baby’s soldiers
    Standing in a row--”

As the child grows beyond the age when Mother Goose and Finger Plays
appeal to him, he still finds his greatest interest in those stories
which stimulate his acquired sensory images. The mental operation of
apperception described in the last chapter is so inclusive a process,
covering, as it must of necessity, memory and perception, that it
explains the appeal of the sense story to the mind of a child. Many
of the stories quoted at the end of the chapter as being of universal
interest to all children find their common points of interest in their
sense pictures, so quickly grasped and so warmly welcomed by the child
mind whose sense doors are always flung wide open.

It is to be questioned whether or not the story of “The Little Red
Hen” would have been awarded such immortality if its heroine had been
a plain _hen_ and not _red_. Having been dyed with the crimson pigment
of the imagination, however, by some old-world story teller, she has
taken her cheerful, cackling way through the streets of childhood,
an undying, classic fowl of fiction because she is colored. So it
is with Elizabeth Harrison’s wonderful allegory of “The Little Gray
Grandmother.” She might have been described in the story as a spirit,
a fairy, a mythical character who influenced for good the lives
of Wilhelm, Beata and the others. But instead of _describing_ her
invisibility--Miss Harrison _paints_ it, colors her story heroine with
the shades of intangible things. She is a little _gray_ grandmother and
her clothes are sea fog and her veil is of smoke. She is an animated
part of the seashore home and is made of gray mist. What could be more
artistic than the sense appeal of this story?

Why do children--all children--listen, gaping and ecstatic, to the
account of the many and hazardous adventures of the Gingerbread Boy?
Why do they beg to have the story told over again, even after they
have heard it so many times that they know it by heart. Its universal
popularity is not due to its folklore quality. Neither is it due to its
plot and treatment, although these undoubtedly strengthen it. Its big
appeal, however, is to the child’s sense of taste. The story arouses
tasting images in the child’s mind, that are pleasurable and strong.

... “A chocolate jacket and cinnamon seeds for buttons! His eyes were
made of fine, fat currants; his mouth was made of rose-colored sugar
and he had a gay little cap of orange-sugar candy”--Sara Cone Bryant
says in describing her Gingerbread Man. So, from this delectable,
luscious paragraph about his make-up, to the climax of the story when
the Gingerbread Man is devoured by the fox, the child hearers _eat_ in
imagination all the way.

“Why the Chimes Rang” makes a different and more ethical sense appeal
to the child’s mind. The story stimulates in the listeners a deep
interest in the old chime of bells that has hung silent for so long a
time in the tower. One longs to hear them and waits anxiously for the
miracle that will start their pealing. At the story climax, when an
unselfish offering laid upon the altar works the wonder, it is possible
to listen, in imagination, to the bells’ sweet music.

But why make this sense appeal to the child mind through the medium of
a story, the story teller asks?

There are two very real and definite uses to which the sense story may
be put.

Such sense stories as “The Little Red Hen,” “The Gingerbread Boy” and
many others of similar character may be told not only to give pleasure
to the child of kindergarten age who finds delight in their sensual
content, but they have a very real value in _resurrecting the dormant
brain of a mentally deficient child_. More and more attention is being
given every year to the education of the feeble-minded child, both at
home and in the public schools. We are discovering that it is possible
to rouse to action a child’s sleeping brain by means of intensive sense
training. We are teaching him to smell, taste, see color, discriminate
forms and textiles, to open the telegraphic circuit of his senses. We
are putting the world of realities into the arms of the feeble-minded
child to touch, feel, taste, smell, see. So we educate him, but we
must carry out the same system of sense training in his stories,
selecting for his hearing those stories that make verbal and recall his
previously acquired sense impressions.

There is one other use to which we may put the sense story. _It is
a means of strengthening any child’s imagination._ The same mental
operation by means of which a baby associates the idea _cold_ with a
block of ice, helps the child to feel the cold of Andersen’s “Little
Match Girl.” In the first instance the association of _cold_ and ice
means self-preservation for the baby. He wishes to avoid an unpleasant
sensation, so he does not touch the ice, but his former experience of
touching it has left an ineffaceable image in his mind. In the second
instance, the image _cold_ is recalled in the mind of the child by the
story and the result is a very different mental process. The child is
able through the sensory stimulus of the story to feel with the little
match girl, to put himself in her place, to understand her condition,
because it is brought to him in a familiar term--_cold_.

The story teller who makes the wisest use of the sense story sees to it
that the color, sound, taste or odor described in the story is used as
a _means to an end_. One does not wish to stimulate sense images in a
child’s mind for the simple operation of “making his thinking machine
work” in old paths. What we must do is to utilize his sense impressions
to strengthen new brain paths. Fortunately nearly all of the stories
for children that have a sensory content utilize this mode of writing
to strengthen the climax of the story. It only remains for the story
teller to select her _color_, _sound_, _taste_, _odor_ or _touch_
story to meet the special needs of her children. The following story is
an excellent illustration of utilizing the sense of taste to point a


Once upon a time there was a little boy named Henry, who was away from
his home at a boarding school.

He was a very special kind of boy, forever at his book, and he happened
once to get to the very tip top of his class. His mother was told of
it, and when it came morning, she got up early and went to speak with
the cook as follows:

“Cook, you are to make a cake for Henry, who has been very good at

“With all my heart,” said the cook, and she made a cake. It was as
big as--let me see--as big as the moon. It was stuffed with nuts, and
raisins, and figs, and candied fruit peel, and over it all was an icing
of sugar, thick, and smooth, and very white. And no sooner was the cake
home from the baking than the cook put on her bonnet and carried it to
the school.

When Henry first saw it, he jumped up and down. He was not patient
enough to wait for a knife, but he fell upon the cake tooth and nail.
He ate and ate until school began, and after school was over he ate
again with his might and main. At night he ate until bedtime, and he
put the cake under his bolster when he went to bed and he waked and
waked a dozen times that he might take a bite.

But the next day when the dinner bell rang, Henry was not hungry, and
was vexed to see how heartily the other children ate. His friends asked
him if he would not play at cricket, tan, or kits. Ah! Henry could not;
so they played without him, and Henry could scarcely stand upon his
legs. He went and sat down in a corner, and the head master sent for
the apothecary to come with all his phials of physic. After some days
Henry was well again, but his mother said that she would never let him
have another cake.

Now there was another scholar in the same school, whose name was
Francis. He had written his mother a very pretty letter without one
misspelled word or blot, and so his mother, like the mother of Henry,
sent him a great cake.

Francis decided that he would not be so unwise as to follow the example
of Henry, so he took the cake, which was so heavy that he could hardly
lift it, and he watched to see that no one was looking, and he slipped
up to his chamber and put the cake in his box under lock and key. Every
day at play time he used to slip away from his companions, go upstairs
on tiptoe, and cut off a tolerable slice of his cake which he would eat
by himself. For a whole week did he keep this up, but alas--the cake
was so exceedingly large! At last the cake grew dry, and quickly after
it became moldy. Finally the maggots got into it, and Francis, with
great reluctance, was obliged to throw it away.

There was a third little gentleman who went to the same school as
Henry and Francis, and his name was Gratian. One day his mother, whom
he loved very dearly, sent him a cake because she also loved him. No
sooner had it arrived than Gratian called his friends all about him,
and said:

“Come! Look at what my mother has sent me. You must, each one, have a
piece.” So the children all got around the cake as bees resort to a
flower, just blown, and Gratian divided the cake with a knife into as
many pieces as he had invited boys, with one piece over, for himself.
His own piece he said he would eat the next day, and he began playing
games with the boys.

But a very short time had passed, as they were playing, when a poor man
who was carrying a fiddle came into the school yard. He had a very
long, gray beard, and he was guided by a little dog who went before
him, for the old man was blind.

The children noticed how dexterous was the little dog in leading, and
how he shook a bell which hung underneath his collar, as if to say:

“Do not throw down or run against my master!”

When the two had come into the yard, the old man sat down upon a stone,
and said:

“My dear little gentlemen, I will play you all the pretty tunes that I
know, if you will give me leave.”

The children wished for nothing half so much as to hear the music, so
the old man put his violin in tune and then played over jigs and tunes
that had been new in former times.

But Gratian, who was standing close to him, noticed that while he
played his jolliest airs, a tear would often roll down his cheeks. And
Gratian asked him why he wept.

“Because,” said the old man, “I am hungry. I have not any one in the
world to feed me, or my faithful dog.”

Then Gratian felt like crying, too, and he ran to fetch the cake which
he had saved to eat himself. He brought it out with joy, and as he ran
along he said:

“Here, good man, here is some cake for you.”

Then Gratian put the cake into the old man’s hands and he, laying down
his fiddle, wiped his eyes and began to eat. At every piece he put into
his mouth he gave a bit to his faithful little dog, who ate from his
hand; and Gratian, standing by, had as much pleasure as if he had eaten
the cake himself.

    _From the French of Monsieur Berquin’s L’Ami des Enfants--1784_


    THE GINGERBREAD BOY       _Sara Cone Bryant, in How to Tell Stories
                                                            to Children_
    JOHNNY CAKE                                   _In Firelight Stories_
    THE TWO LITTLE COOKS     _Laura E. Richards, in Five Minute Stories_
    WHAT WAS HER NAME?       _Laura E. Richards, in Five Minute Stories_
    THE COOKY                 _Laura E. Richards, in The Golden Windows_
    THE MOUSE PIE                                            _Folk Tale_
    THE MOUSE AND THE SAUSAGE _Frances Hodgson Burnett, in St. Nicholas_
    TINY HARE AND THE ECHO      _Anne Schutze, in Little Animal Stories_
    WHY THE SEA IS SALT       _Sara Cone Bryant, in How to Tell Stories
                                                            to Children_
    THE PROUD LITTLE GRAIN OF WHEAT           _Frances Hodgson Burnett,
                                                      in Saint Nicholas_
    THE STORY THE MILK TOLD                   _Gertrude Hayes Noyce, in
                                                   In the Child’s World_
    THE PIED PIPER OF HAMELIN _Sara Cone Bryant, in How to Tell Stories
                                                            to Children_
    OLD PIPES AND THE DRYAD          _Frank Stockton, in Fanciful Tales_
    THE BIG RED APPLE   _Kate Whiting Patch, in For the Children’s Hour_
    THE CHRISTMAS CAKE            _Maud Lindsay, in More Mother Stories_



A tired-out, unenthusiastic school teacher in one of our large public
schools was recently endeavoring to secure the attention of her class
for a story. This story hour was, for her, just one lap in the march of
the day’s routine, a period to be finished as soon as possible, and she
began it in a stereotyped way.

“I am going to tell you a story, children,” she said, “and I want every
child in the room to sit up straight, put his feet _flat_ on the floor
and fold his hands. When everybody is ready, I will begin.”

In contrast one is reminded of another teacher, who opened her story
hour in a different way. In point of fact, she did not really _open_
it at all in the formal understanding of the word. Nor did she have
any specified period of the day for telling stories. When her class
was fatigued and needed a note of relaxation, when they were restless
and needed calming, when they seemed to need inspiration, she gave
the signal for books and pencils to be put away and with no further
introduction she took the children with her to Story Land for a
space, _opening her story in so interesting a way_ that she compelled
attention without asking for it.

The instance of the first story teller is an example of securing a
child’s _voluntary attention_.

The second story teller illustrated a method of securing a child’s
_involuntary_, almost unconscious _attention_.

Especially in the case of the little child who is beginning his school
work, and even up to the more mature years of childhood, voluntary
attention, _that mental operation in which the will is called upon
to open the doors of the senses and let in knowledge_, is almost
too much for us to ask of a child. The wonderful machinery of the
mind has provided another and much more economic means of knowledge
acquisition. _Certain mind stimuli will set the whole wireless system
of perception, association and memory going_ without any effort on
the part of the story teller save that of discovering the stimuli.
In other words, we must secure _involuntary attention in children
through studying their interests_. The story that opens with _headlines
of child interest_ as compelling as those of one of our yellow news
sheets will hold a child’s attention without his being in the least
conscious of his attitude of mind toward it. Voluntary attention, the
mind attitude toward a story that is brought about by folded hands and
straight backs, is very likely to lapse, to develop a will-o’-the-wisp
character and finally lose itself. _Concentrated attention can be
secured in children only through the medium of appealing to child

The successful story teller will bear in mind the fact, in selecting
stories to tell, that the good story for children of any age, and
adults too, for that matter, should have one of the qualities that
characterize a successful drama. _It must catch the attention of
the audience the moment the curtain rises._ There must be no long
explanation, no descriptive scenes and painful dragging in of the plot.
Children do not care a rap for the creating of atmosphere. They do not
care how long ago the story events happened, or why they happened. What
they are eager for is a quick story appeal made the second that the
story curtain rolls up.

_Each story told to children ought to be selected having in mind its
beginning._ The story teller must ask herself another set of questions:

“_Does the story interest begin with my first paragraph, my first
sentence, my first word?_”

“_Will the opening of my story find an apperceptive basis for attention
in the minds of my children?_”

“_Has my story a sense appeal in the first sentence?_”

Any one of these qualities of story opening will help to win the
sympathy of the child audience and will find a ready response in
involuntary attention.

A class of little street boys waged continued warfare upon one of
the New York Settlement Houses. They broke the windows, mobbed the
Settlement children and carefully evaded the police. The Settlement
story teller decided, one night, to open the doors of the house to the
gang of boys and see if it would not be possible to win them over to
an interest in the work of the Settlement and lead them to obey the
laws of society through stories. The boys entered the building like a
besieging army. They shouted, stamped, stampeded into the room that had
been assigned them and throwing down chairs and overturning tables they
proceeded to produce a scene of Bedlam. The story teller made no effort
to control the boys. She secured for herself a place of vantage in the
center of the room. When there was an instant’s lull in the uproar that
the boys were making, as they took breath for more rowdyism, she said
in a low, even tone of voice:

“There was once a little Indian boy who rode fifty miles on the
cow-catcher of an engine.”

Then she waited and the boys waited, too, breathlessly eager for her
next words. When she saw that she had caught the interest of her
audience, she proceeded with the story in the same even, low voice,
not so much telling the boys a story, apparently, but just _telling a
story_, every sentence of which painted a word picture and the whole
being a graphic series of moving pictures unrolled on a story film
before her audience. She gave the story facts about the Indian lad who
had never seen a locomotive and stole a daring ride on one because he
thought it was a fire-horse. One by one the boys seated themselves
quietly on the chairs or on the floor to listen. Several lay flat upon
the floor, crawling stealthily nearer to the story teller as their
interest in the story deepened. Throughout the entire telling of the
story the room was absolutely still, and when the climax came the boys
asked for another story. From that evening they were the Settlement’s
stanch allies.

It would have been impossible to secure the voluntary attention of
these boys. The fact that some one wanted to tell them a story would
have probably inspired them to more lawlessness. If the story teller
had begun the story after this fashion:--

“Fifty years ago there were few railways in the western part of
our country. The prairies were peopled by Comanche tribes who were
unfamiliar with the inventions of civilization, and the first train
that ran through an Indian settlement inspired an Indian lad to a
strange deed”--

Not a boy would have listened. This form of story beginning is
_bad_ and phenomenally common in many stories for children. It is
an example of _words_, not _interest stimuli_. It explains a story
situation instead of _presenting_ it. A story to secure the involuntary
attention of children should have the quality of a crashing orchestral
overture, a thunder clap, a pistol shot--so unexpected, compelling, and
penetrating will it be.

“_There was once a little Indian boy who rode fifty miles on the
cow-catcher of an engine!_”

Could there be a more stimulating story beginning for a group of boys
than this? There is an apperceptive appeal in the Indian lad. He was
not a man, not a chieftain, but just a little lad like themselves.
There is an immediate sense appeal in the steam-engine image that the
story beginning brings to their minds. Smoke, smell, bell ringing,
whistle blowing, steam escaping, and the rattle of iron wheels on
iron tracks are all recalled to a boy’s mind in one glorious bit of
imagination whose only stimulus is the word _engine_. Then, to clinch
the apperceptive and sensory appeal of the sentence, is the quick
introduction of a new story interest--the Indian boy did a deed that
they, in their wildest dreams, had never considered--he rode an engine.

If a story, otherwise good, opens poorly--is too wordy, too
descriptive, too pedantic--study the story carefully for its main
interest and, selecting just the right words to convey this overture
of interest, begin _there_. It will be discovered that certain of the
classic, favorite tales of childhood fulfill this story test. They open
compellingly and carry the interest that was stimulated in the first
paragraph clear through to the end.

“There were once five and twenty tin soldiers who were all brothers,
for they had been made out of the same old tin spoon.”

Hans Christian Andersen used the child’s instinctive love of counting
his toys, and a bit of humor that tickles a child’s fancy, when he
wrote this opening paragraph of his wonderful old allegory, “The
Faithful Tin Soldier.”

“Once upon a time there lived a cat and a parrot and they thought they
would ask each other to dinner, turn and turn about.”

This folk tale of “The Greedy Cat” opens with a strong sense appeal.
The children’s interest aroused in the first sentence by means of the
progressive dinner arrangement of the famous cat is sustained to the
last word of the story.

“He was a wee little duck with a very long tail, so he was called
Drakestail. Now Drakestail had some money of his very, very own and the
King asked if he might take it. So Drakestail loaned all his money to
the King--”

In this old folk tale, the gist of which is the merry adventures of a
duck, the story interest begins with the first sentence. The children
are introduced, with no unnecessary preliminaries of description or
explanation to the hero, Drakestail, and then they are plunged into
the story itself, interesting and direct in its appeal.

“Some children were at play in their playground one day, when a herald
rode through the town, blowing a trumpet and crying aloud: ‘The King!
The King is coming!’”

In this story, Laura E. Richards’ “Coming of the King,” to be found in
her collection of short stories, “The Golden Windows,” a strong sense
appeal commands the child’s involuntary attention at the beginning of
the story. The familiar figures, children at play in their playground,
are introduced to the sound of a trumpet’s call, instantly attracting
the attention of the child listeners.

Once the story teller has learned story selection, having in mind a
beginning that will hold the attention of her audience from her first
word, her success will be secured. It is also possible to carry this
interest which has been secured for the child the instant that the
curtain rolls up, straight through to the end of the story, because of
its compelling beginning. The opening paragraph of a child’s story
should be the theme, tuned to the key and melody of child interest
about which and on which the rest of the story plays. The noteworthy
dinner of the cat and the mouse forms the keynote for the rest of the
classic adventures of the Greedy Cat. The “wee little duck” and the
avaricious old King whom we meet in the first paragraph are the main
actors in the story drama of Drakestail. The playground of the children
that we see in the first sentence of Mrs. Richards’ “The Coming of the
King,” is the scene of a story miracle almost unparalleled in short
story writing for children.

_Cutting out unnecessary description, avoiding any explanation as to
why you are telling the story, introducing your thunder clap, your
trumpet, your story hero in the first sentence_--this is the way to
begin a story.

“The Prince’s Visit,” by Horace Scudder, is an excellent example of
sustained story interest brought about by means of a compelling story


It was a holiday in the city, for the Prince was to arrive. As soon
as the cannon should sound, the people might know that the Prince had
landed from the steamer, and when they should hear the bells ring
that was as much as being told that the Prince, dressed splendidly,
and wearing a feather in his cap, was actually on his way up the main
street of the city, seated in a carriage drawn by four coal-black
horses, and with the soldiers and music going on before.

It was holiday in the workshops, too, and little Job was listening for
the cannon and the bells. He was only a poor, foolish little lad, and
he did nothing all day long but turn the crank that worked a great
washing machine; but when he heard the boom of the guns, he shuffled
out and made his way home.

Ever since he had heard of the Prince’s coming, Job had dreamed of
nothing else. He bought a picture of the Prince and pinned it up on the
wall over his bed; and when he came home at night, tired and hungry, he
would sit down by his mother, who mended holes in the laundry clothes,
and talk about the Prince until he could keep his eyes open no longer;
and then his mother would kiss him and send him to bed.

To-day he hurried so fast that he was quite out of breath when he
reached the old house where he lived.

“The cannon went off, mother!” he cried. “The Prince is come!”

“Everything is ready, Job,” said his mother. “You will find all your
things in a row on the bed.” And Job tumbled into his room to dress for
the holiday. Everything was there as his mother had said; all the old
things renewed, and all the new things pieced together that she had
worked on so long, and every stitch of which Job had overlooked and
almost directed.

“Isn’t it splendid?” he said as he looked at himself in a mirror. Round
his throat was a white satin scarf that shone in contrast to his dingy
coat, and it was pinned with an old brooch which Job treasured as the
apple of his eye.

“If you’d only let me wear the feather, mother,” he said.

“You look splendidly, Job, and don’t need it,” said she cheerfully;
“and, besides, the Prince wears one, and what would he think if he saw
you with one, too?”

“Sure enough,” said Job, and then he kissed her and started off.

“I don’t believe,” he said as he went up the court, “that the Prince
would mind my wearing a feather; but mother didn’t want me to. Hark,
there are the bells! He must have started!”

It was a long way from Job’s house to the main street, and he would
have to hurry if he were going to see the grand procession. On he
shambled, knocking against the flag-stones, and nearly falling down at
every step. He was now in a cross street, which would bring him before
long to the main street, and he even thought he heard the distant music
and the cheers of the crowd.

But just then he stumbled upon something which tripped him. He would
have hurried on, but he heard a cry, and a groan of pain. He looked
back, and he saw what he had stumbled over. It was a poor beggar boy,
without home or friends, dirty and unsightly enough, and clad in ragged
clothing, and he was lying on the sidewalk, too ill to move. As Job
turned, the boy looked up at him and stretched out his hands, but he
was too weak to speak.

“He is sick!” said Job. “Hilloa!” but every one was intent upon the
procession, and no one heard him.

“The Prince is coming,” he said; and he turned as if to run. But the
beggar would not away from his eyes.

“He is sick,” said Job again, bending down, “I will take him home to

“Hurrah! Hurrah! There he is! The Prince! The Prince!”

In the carriage drawn by four coal-black horses rode the Prince; and he
was dressed in splendid clothes and he wore a feather in his cap.

Job wiped the tears from his eyes as he heard the music and the
cheering so far away, but he lifted the little beggar boy in his
arms--and started for home.

And as he passed along the street with his burden, he heard a sound
of beautiful music as if all the angels were singing together, and he
looked up into the blue sky above the chimneys and roofs of the city,
and he saw the angels with the Prince in the midst of them moving by,
and they were all smiling on him, poor, simple Job.

So Job saw the Prince pass, too.

                                                      HORACE E. SCUDDER.

    _From “Dream Children.” Used by special permission of Houghton,
      Mifflin Company._


    THE FAITHFUL TIN SOLDIER                   _Hans Christian Andersen_
    THE GREEDY CAT            _Sara Cone Bryant, in How to Tell Stories
                                                            to Children_
    HOW DRAKESTAIL WENT TO THE KING               _In Firelight Stories_
    THE COMING OF THE KING    _Laura E. Richards, in The Golden Windows_
    WHY THE MORNING GLORY CLIMBS      _Sara Cone Bryant, in How to Tell
                                                    Stories to Children_
    PETER RABBIT                                        _Beatrix Potter_
    THE LITTLE JACKALS AND THE LION       _Sara Cone Bryant, in Stories
                                                    to Tell to Children_
    LITTLE HALF CHICK                     _Sara Cone Bryant, in Stories
                                                    to Tell to Children_
    THE SNOW MAN                               _Hans Christian Andersen_
    THE BABY QUEEN  _Annie Hamilton Donnell, in For the Children’s Hour_
    MR. FROG AND MR. ELEPHANT                     _In Firelight Stories_
    THE THREE BILLY GOATS GRUFF                   _In Firelight Stories_
    BRE’R RABBIT AND THE LITTLE TAR BABY      _Joel Chandler Harris, in
                                                Nights with Uncle Remus_



Because we have discovered that a story is able to do much for a
child; make him feel comfortable and at home in a new environment
because it brings to his mind so compellingly the well-known and loved
surroundings of some former environment, stimulate his senses to added
activity, and secure his involuntary attention, we are going one step
farther. We will make a fresh discovery. We will find a story quality
that will develop sustained attention in children; will give them the
power to concentrate. Not only will our story open with such a clarion
note of interest that it will compel involuntary attention but after
this overture, this _crash_ of interest, the perfect child’s story
will swing into a different sort of construction that will hold the
attention secured by its previous yellow headlines of interest.

One story quality more than any other develops this sustained interest
on the part of the children who are listening to it--the _quality of

What is suspense?

It is so necessary a story quality that it seems to explain itself.
Suspense means, _making the children wait for the rest of the story_.
It means that _the different scenes, the events that go to make up the
story, are told in the order of their relative interest appeal to the
child mind_. The child listens, attends involuntarily as the story
proceeds because _he wants to know what is coming next_. Each scene
of the story is unfinished for him; he must wait for a fulfillment of
what he expects, looks for, longs for in the story. One sentence, one
paragraph makes him _curious_ to hear the following one. The story
structure is like a child’s stringing of beads. Upon a white thread of
interest the colored glass balls which go to make up the whole circlet
of the story plot are strung, as a child would pick them out, each
inadequate and incomplete without its component--one bead slipped down
to make a place for the next one.

_Suspense is the story quality that stimulates curiosity and in this
way develops concentrated thinking on the part of the child._

Certain old folk stories have the quality of suspense developed to a
high degree and through their accumulative, _building on_ character of
construction compel every child’s attention. It is wise to look for
this quality in selecting stories to tell to the very young child whose
ability to attend for any length of time is undeveloped. Through the
involuntary, sustained interest he develops, through listening to the
story he becomes able to fix his attention upon other human affairs.
An old nursery tale of New England, reported by Clifton Johnson,
illustrates with unusual vividness the use of suspense in sustaining
a story interest that holds the attention of any child up to the last
word of the story.


A fox was digging behind a stump, and he found a bumble-bee. The fox
put the bumble-bee in a bag and he traveled.

The first house he came to he went in, and he said to the mistress of
the house:

“May I leave my bag here while I go to Squintum’s?”

“Yes,” said the woman.

“Then be careful not to open the bag,” said the fox.

But as soon as the fox was out of sight, the woman just took a little
peep into the bag and out flew the bumble-bee, and the rooster caught
him and ate him up.

After a while the fox came back. He took up his bag and he saw that the
bumble-bee was gone, and he said to the woman:

“Where is my bumble-bee?”

And the woman said:

“I just untied the bag, and the bumble-bee flew out, and the rooster
ate him up.”

“Very well,” said the fox, “I must have the rooster, then.”

So he caught the rooster and put him in his bag, and traveled.

And the next house he came to he went in, and said to the mistress of
the house:

“May I leave my bag here while I go to Squintum’s?”

“Yes,” said the woman.

“Then be careful not to open the bag,” said the fox.

But as soon as the fox was out of sight, the woman just took a little
peep into the bag, and the rooster flew out, and the pig caught him and
ate him up.

After a while the fox came back, and he took up his bag and he saw
that the rooster was not in it, and he said to the woman: “Where is my

And the woman said:

“I just untied the bag, and the rooster flew out, and the pig ate him.”

“Very well,” said the fox, “I must have the pig, then.”

So he caught the pig and put him in his bag, and traveled.

And the next house he came to he went in, and he said to the mistress
of the house:

“May I leave my bag here while I go to Squintum’s?”

“Yes,” said the woman.

“Then be careful not to open the bag,” said the fox.

But as soon as the fox was out of sight, the woman just took a little
peep into the bag, and the pig jumped out, and the ox ate him.

After a while the fox came back. He took up his bag and he saw that the
pig was gone, and he said to the woman:

“Where is my pig?”

And the woman said:

“I just untied the bag, and the pig jumped out, and the ox ate him.”

“Very well,” said the fox, “I must have the ox, then.”

So he caught the ox and put him in his bag, and traveled.

And the next house he came to he went in, and he said to the mistress
of the house:

“May I leave my bag here while I go to Squintum’s?”

“Yes,” said the woman.

“Then be careful not to open the bag,” said the fox.

But as soon as the fox was out of sight, the woman just took a little
peep into the bag, and the ox got out, and the woman’s little boy
chased him away off over the fields.

After a while the fox came back. He took up his bag, and he saw that
the ox was gone, and he said to the woman:

“Where is my ox?”

And the woman said:

“I just untied the string, and the ox got out, and my little boy chased
him away off over the fields.”

“Very well,” said the fox, “I must have the little boy, then.”

So he caught the little boy and he put him in his bag, and he traveled.

And the next house he came to he went in, and he said to the mistress
of the house:

“May I leave my bag here while I go to Squintum’s?”

“Yes,” said the woman.

“Then be careful not to open the bag,” said the fox.

The woman was making cake, and her children were around her asking for

“Oh, mother, give me a piece,” said one; and, “Oh, mother, give me a
piece,” said the others.

And the smell of the cake came to the little boy who was weeping and
crying in the bag, and he heard the children asking for cake and he
said: “Oh, mammy, give me a piece.”

Then the woman opened the bag and took the little boy out, and she put
the house-dog in the bag in the little boy’s place. And the little boy
stopped crying and had some cake with the others.

After a while the fox came back. He took up his bag and he saw that it
was tied fast, and he put it over his back and traveled far into the
deep woods. Then he sat down and untied the bag, and if the little boy
had been there in the bag things would have gone badly with him.

But the little boy was safe in the woman’s house, and when the fox
untied the bag the house-dog jumped out and ate him all up.

    _An old nursery tale of New England. Reprinted by permission of
      Clifton Johnson._

The point of interest for children in this story lies in their wonder
as to what is going to happen next. It begins with a note of the

“How strange for a fox to put a bumble bee in a bag,” the children say.
“Will the next sentence tell us why he did it?”

Then a number of questions present themselves to the child mind.

“Will the woman untie the bag?”

“Will the person at _this_ house do the same thing?”

“Is it possible that _every_ woman will open the bag?”

Another series of questions confronts the child.

“What manner of beast will the fox take at _this_ house and put in his

And so the suspense is sustained until the children’s curiosity is
satisfied at the end of the story. Not alone has the story been a bit
of mental gymnastics for the child, it has given him added mental power
in the listening. Above and behind the mental process of waiting to see
what unusual and unexpected scene of the story drama will be presented
to him next, _he has been exercising his will in concentrating upon
the process of waiting_. His power of sustained attention has been
strengthened materially and ineffaceably.

For the very young child, the suspensive element in story telling must
be very simple. It will consist often in _repetition_, the pleasureable
recurrence in the story of certain _sounds_ that the child likes and
is willing to wait for--sort of half way houses on the story road they
are, where his mind wheels may stop and rest awhile--sign posts that
lead the way to the end of the road. Sometimes this story suspense for
the little folks is brought about through a jingle introduced into
the story and repeated with certain changes as in the old folk tale
of “The Cat and the Mouse.” Again suspense is brought about by means
of a change of intonation on the part of the story teller. She adapts
her voice to the needs of the story as in “The Three Bears” to the
inexpressible delight of the children. This is a primitive sort of
suspense quality to be found in the most elemental stories for children
but it has its important place in the discipline of the child mind.
The little child’s first attempts to attend have a butterfly quality.
His mind flies from one stimulus to another with no very long stop
anywhere. This is as it should be, for the world of sensations in which
the child is plunged as an _ego_ is a varied, crowded world and there
is temptation offered him to sip each flower, smell each new odor,
touch everything and see everything with which he comes in contact. But
a suspensive story holds him to one related set of images for a brief
space and through this concentration, however simple it may be, he is
developing the power of willed attention.

As children grow older, the suspense quality for which we must look in
their stories will not consist in _repetition of sounds, jingles and
phrases_, but in their _sequence of events leading toward some unknown
climax_. This is a more difficult and subtle form of suspense to
secure. Here, the beads are strung upon their thread, not in groups of
white interspersed with occasional red ones, but rather in the order of
the rainbow in bands of color that complement and complete each other.
Any description of this more highly developed suspensive story would be
absolutely inadequate, for the quality has to be _felt_ by the story
teller first and then _felt for_ by her.

An adapted version of the story of the first meeting of John Ridd and
Lorna Doone taken from the novel, “Lorna Doone,” gives an illuminating
exemplification of the kind of suspense that holds a child breathless,
_waiting for the unknown something that is to follow_. The story
teller should endeavor to discover and introduce some suspense, either
elemental, as in the case of the folk tale, or of the more elusive
quality, illustrated in this story, into all her stories.


Almost everybody knows how pleasant and soft the fall of land is round
about Plover’s Barrows Farm. There are trees and bright green grass
and orchards full of contentment, and you can scarce espy the brook,
although you hear it everywhere. But it is there, where the valley
bends and the stream goes along with it, and pretty meadows slope their
breast, and the sun spreads on the water. And nearly all the land until
you come to Nicholas Snow’s belonged to the Ridd farm--to little John
Ridd’s father.

John’s mother had long been ailing and not well able to eat much. Now
John chanced to remember that once at the time of the holidays he had
brought his dear mother from Tiverton a jar of pickled loaches; and she
had said that in all her life she had never tasted anything fit to be
compared with them.

So, one St. Valentine’s Day, in the forenoon, without saying a word to
any one, John started away to get some loaches for his mother just to
make her eat a bit.

It was a bitter cold day, but John doffed his shoes and hose and put
them in a bag about his neck, and left his little coat at home that
he might walk better. When he had traveled two miles or so he found
a good stream flowing softly into the body of the brook. The water
was freezing, and John’s toes were aching, and he drew up on the bank
and rubbed them well with a sprout of young sting-nettle, and having
skipped about a little was inclined to eat a bit. As he ate, his
spirits rose, so he put the bag round his neck again and buckled his
breeches far up from the knee, and crossing the brook, went stoutly up
under the branches which hung so dark on the Bagworthy River.

The day was falling fast behind the brown of the hilltops, and the
trees seemed giants ready to beat the boy. And every moment as the sky
was clearing up for a white frost, the cold of the water underfoot on
the fells got worse and worse, until John was fit to cry with it. And
so, in a sorry plight, he came to an opening in the bushes where a
great black pool lay in front, whitened at the sides with foam froth.

The boy shuddered, and drew back, not at the pool itself, but at the
whirling manner and wisping of white threads upon it in circles, round
and round; and the center, black as jet. He did not stop to look much
for fear, though, but crawled along over the fork of rocks where the
water had scooped the stone out, and shunning the ledge from whence it
rose like the mane of a white horse into the broad black pool, softly
he let his feet slip into the dip and rush of the torrent.

But John had reckoned without his host, for the green waves came down
like great bottles upon him, and his legs were gone from under him in
a minute. He was borne up upon a rock, and he won a footing, but there
was no choice left except to climb somehow up that hill of water or
else be washed down into the pool and whirl around until it drowned
him, for there was no chance of going back by the way he had come down.
So John started carefully, step by step, stopping to hold on by the
cliff when he found a resting place, and pant a while. But the greatest
danger came when he saw no jeopardy, but ran up a patch of black ooze
weed which stuck out in a boastful manner not far from the summit.
Here he fell, and was like to have broken his knee cap, but his elbow
caught in a hole in the rock and so he managed to start again.

But the little boy was in a most dreadful fright now, and at last the
rush of water drove him back again into the middle. Then he made up his
mind to die at last; only it did seem such a pity after fighting so
long, to give in. The light was coming upon him, and again he fought
toward it, when suddenly he felt fresh air, and fell into it headlong.

When John came to himself, his hands were full of young grass and mold,
and a little girl was kneeling at his side and rubbing his forehead

“I am so glad,” she whispered softly, as John opened his eyes and
looked at her. “Now you will try to be better, won’t you?”

The little boy had never heard so sweet a sound as came from between
her red lips while she knelt and gazed at him; nor had he ever seen
anything so beautiful as the large dark eyes, full of pity and wonder.
His eyes wandered down the black shower of her hair; and where it fell
on the turf, among it, like an early star, was the first primrose of
the season.

“What is your name?” she said, “and how did you come here? Oh, how
your feet are bleeding! I must tie them up for you. And no shoes or
stockings! Is your mother very poor, boy?”

“No,” said John, a little vexed. “We are rich enough to buy all this
great meadow if we choose. Here are my shoes and stockings.”

“Why, they are quite as wet as your feet. Oh, please let me manage
them. I will do it very softly.”

“Oh, I don’t mind that,” said John, “but how you are looking at me. I
never saw any one like you before. My name is John Ridd. What is your

“Lorna Doone,” she answered in a low voice as if afraid of it, and
hanging her head so he could see only her forehead and eyelashes; “if
you please, my name is Lorna Doone, and I thought you must have known
it,” and her blushes turned to tears and her tears to long, low sobs.

“Don’t cry,” said John, “whatever you do. I will give you all my fish,
Lorna, and catch some more for my mother; only don’t be angry with me.”

Young and harmless as she was, her name alone made guilt of her; yet
there was John, a yeoman’s son, and there was she, a little lady born.
Though her hair had fallen down, and some of her frock was touched
with wet, behold, her dress was pretty enough for the queen of all the
angels. All from her waist to her neck was white, plaited in close like
a curtain, and the dark soft tresses of her hair, and the shadowy light
of her eyes made it seem yet whiter.

“John,” she said, “why did you ever come here? Do you know what the
robbers would do to us if they found you here with me?”

“Beat us, I dare say,” said John, “or me at least. They could never
beat you.”

“No, they would kill us both, and bury us here by the water because you
have found your way up here. Now please go; oh, please go!”

“I never saw any one like you, Lorna, and I must come back again
to-morrow, and so must you. I will bring you such lots of things--there
are apples still--and I caught a thrush--and I will bring you the
loveliest dog--”


A shout came down the valley, and Lorna’s face was full of terror.

“Do you see that hole?” she cried.

It was a niche in the rock which skirted the meadow. In the fading
twilight John could just see it.

“Look! Look!” She could hardly speak from terror. “There is a way out
from the top of it; they would kill me if I told of it. Oh, here they
come; I can see them!”

The little maid turned white as the snow which hung on the rocks above
her, and she looked at the water and then at John. She began to sob
aloud, but John drew her behind the bushes and close down to the water.
Crouching in that hollow nest they saw a dozen fierce men come down on
the other side of the water.

“Queen! Queen!” they were shouting here and there, and now and then.
“Where is our little queen gone?”

“They always call me ‘queen,’ and I shall have to be their queen by and
by,” Lorna whispered. “Oh, they are crossing, and they are sure to see

“I must get down into the water,” said John, “and you must go to sleep.”

She saw in a moment how to do it, and there was no time to lose.

“Now mind you, never come again,” she whispered over her shoulder as
she crept away, “only I shall come sometimes.”

John crept into the water and lay down with his head between two blocks
of stone, and all this time the robbers were shouting so that all the
rocks round the valley rang. The boy was desperate between fear and
wretchedness till he caught sight of the little maid, but he knew that
for her sake he must be brave and hide himself.

Lorna was lying beneath a rock not far away, feigning to be fast
asleep. Presently one of the robbers came upon her, and he stopped and
gazed awhile at her fairness and innocence. Then he caught her up in
his arms and kissed her.

“Here our queen is! Here’s the captain’s daughter,” he shouted, “fast

He set her dainty little form upon his great square shoulder, and her
narrow feet in one broad hand; and so he marched away with the purple
velvet of her skirt ruffling his long black beard, and the silken
length of her hair fetched out, like a cloud of the wind behind her.

John crept into a bush for warmth, and then, as daylight sank beneath
the forget-me-not of stars, he knew that it was time to get away,
and he managed to crawl from the bank to the niche in the cliff that
Lorna had shown him. How he climbed up, and crossed the clearing, and
found his way home across the Bagworthy forest was more than he could
remember afterward, because of his weariness.

All the supper was in, and the men sitting at the white table with
Annie and Lizzie near by--and all were eager to begin, save only the
mother. John was of a mind to stay out in the dark by the woodstack,
being so late, but the way his mother was looking out of the doorway
got the better of him, so he went inside and ate his supper, and held
his tongue as to where he had been all day and evening. But if he had
been of a mind he could have told them many things.

                                                   RICHARD D. BLACKMORE.



The big, yellow Sun smiled down upon them and the Singing Brook hummed
pretty little tunes for them to listen to. They were two little boys at
play with a whole, long beautiful day ahead.

They looked almost exactly alike, did these two little boys. Bobby
wore a wide-brimmed sun hat with a blue band around it, and Dicky wore
a wide-brimmed sun hat with a red band around it. Bobby wore a brown
linen sailor suit with blue anchors on the collar and Dicky wore a
brown linen sailor suit with red anchors on the collar. Bobby had a
beautiful toy ship to play with, and Dicky had a beautiful ship, too.
As for the ships, _they_ looked _just_ exactly alike. Each beautiful
toy ship was painted white and green, and each had a big white sail as
wide and pretty as a dove’s wing, and each had a strong little rudder
painted red.

Bobby and Dicky had made a make-believe wharf in the Singing Brook of
sticks and stones and nice black mud. There, anchored at the wharf, lay
the two beautiful toy boats, their white sails flapping and fat with
wind. When their strings were loosed from the wharf, the Whispering
Wind would carry the two little boats way, way down the Singing Brook
to another little make-believe wharf made of sticks and stones and nice
black mud that Bobby and Dicky had made farther on.

So the Sun smiled down more happily and the Singing Brook sang a
merrier tune than the last one and Bobby and Dicky began to play.

“I am going to load my boat with little green apples, Dicky,” said
Bobby. “Perhaps the Old Chipmunk who lives at the foot of the Pine Tree
will go aboard and unload them.”

Bobby began gathering small green apples as fast as he could and
putting them on the deck of his little ship, but Dicky sat on the bank
of the Singing Brook, doing nothing and only watching.

“When are you going to load your ship, Dicky?” Bobby asked as he put in
the last apples.

“In a minute,” Dicky answered, but before the minute had gone, Bobby’s
ship, its white sail flying, had started down the Singing Brook to the
other wharf. Dicky jumped up and loosed his boat from its moorings,
but it was very far behind Bobby’s all the way. The two little boys
hurried softly between the willow trees that stood along the edge of
the Singing Brook. As they came to the other make-believe wharf they
saw the Old Chipmunk creep out of his house at the foot of the Pine
Tree and go out on the wharf to wait for the little ship to come in.
When it came, he unloaded all the cargo of apples and carried them over
to his cellar. But when Dicky’s ship came in, so late and so empty, the
Old Chipmunk did nothing but smell of it. Then he sat on the end of the
make-believe wharf in the sunshine and basked and did not even look at
Dicky’s ship again.

“I have thought of something very nice to do, now,” said Bobby as the
two little boys carried their ships back again. “We will play that the
flowers are children and we will give them a ride in our ships.”

“Yes, we will!” agreed Dicky.

So Bobby picked many little flower children; clovers in pink bonnets
and buttercups in wide yellow hats and daisies in gold bonnets with
white strings, and he put them all carefully aboard his ship. But Dicky
only stood by in the grass and watched.

“When are you going to fill your boat with flowers, Dicky?” Bobby asked
as he helped the last flower child aboard.

“In a minute,” Dicky answered, but just then down the Singing Brook
came the Whispering Wind. It filled the little white sails and away
sailed the two little ships, the flower children aboard Bobby’s
fluttering and dancing with the joy of having a boat ride.

The two little boys raced along the bank to watch and they saw a
wonderful thing happen. All the way down the Singing Brook, pretty
passengers joined the flower children on board Bobby’s ship. A gold
butterfly fluttered down to the deck with his yellow and black wings,
kissing the clovers beneath their pink bonnets. A shiny black bumble
bee tumbled down to the deck with his gold, gossamer wings and began to
drone summer stories to the buttercups. A silver dragon fly darted down
to the ship with his rainbow tinted wings to mend the white strings
of the daisies’ caps which had been torn by the frolicsome Whispering
Wind. When Bobby’s ship reached the other wharf it looked like an
excursion boat, but, ah, Dicky’s ship was quite empty. There had been
no flower children on board to call the butterflies, the bumble bees
and the dragon flies.

“I know the nicest play of all, now,” said Bobby after he had helped
the flower children from his ship and put their feet in the Singing
Brook that they might wade there all the rest of the day and keep cool
and fresh and sweet.

“We will take our ships back, Dicky, and have a race.”

“Oh, that will be nice!” Dicky answered, so the two little boys carried
the two ships back and launched them, side by side, in the Singing

“_One_--_two_--” began Bobby, but before he said _three_ he heard their
mother’s voice floating over the fields and as far as their playground.

“Bobby, Dicky, come home,” their mother called. “Come home, boys,
dinner is ready.”

“I’m coming, mother,” Bobby called back, putting his hand to his mouth
to make a horn. Then he turned to Dicky who still bent low over the
bank of the Singing Brook and still held in his hand the string that
was tied to the rudder of his ship.

“In a minute,” Dicky answered. Bobby ran off over the fields, and soon
he was out of sight. He knew that there were fat white potatoes and
yellow chicken meat and red cherry dumplings for dinner. Now they were
hot, but they would be cold if he did not hurry.

Down by the Singing Brook Dicky waited to launch his ship once more.
The Whispering Wind filled the sail a third time, and away sailed the
beautiful little toy ship, so pretty with its green and white paint,
and its rudder that was painted red. Dicky ran along beside it, to see
how fast it sailed. Faster and faster sailed Dicky’s ship. It did not
stop when it came to the Pine Tree where the Old Chipmunk was busy in
his cellar sorting out his apples. It did not stop when it came to the
Wading Pool where all the flower children stood, keeping cool and fresh
and sweet. On and on sailed the little ship, for the Whispering Wind
was taking it a long, long way off to the place where the Singing Brook
loses itself in the River and the River goes on down to the Sea.

“Come back. Oh, do come back!” called Dicky to the little ship, but the
ship only sailed the faster.

“_Please_ come back!” cried Dicky as his beautiful ship sailed out of

_In a minute_, the Whispering Wind called back.

But the little ship never came back.

So Dicky went slowly across the field and home to dinner, but when he
reached home what do you think had happened?

The fat, white potatoes, the yellow chicken meat and the red cherry
dumplings were _cold_.

                                                 CAROLYN SHERWIN BAILEY.


    THE TEENY TINY LADY                           _In Firelight Stories_
    THE HOBYAHS                                   _In Firelight Stories_
    CHICKEN LITTLE                                _In Firelight Stories_
    THE LITTLE BOY WHO FOUND HIS FORTUNE          _In Firelight Stories_
    THE LITTLE PINK ROSE     _Sara Cone Bryant, in Best Stories to Tell
                                                            to Children_
    LITTLE JACK ROLLAROUND   _Sara Cone Bryant, in Best Stories to Tell
                                                            to Children_
    LITTLE BLACK SAMBO                                 _Helen Bannerman_
    THE HARE AND THE HEDGEHOG                            _Æsop’s Fables_
    THE GRADUAL FAIRY             _Alice Brown, in The One-Footed Fairy_
                                       Burgess, in Old Mother West Wind_



We have found it helpful to liken the effect that a well-written,
well-told story has upon a child’s mind to the appeal that a successful
drama makes to an audience. We have discovered that the opening
paragraph, the first sentence of a child’s story should have the
quality that characterizes the scene disclosed on the stage when the
curtain rolls up--_compelling interest_. Following this curtain raising
of the story, there should be a series of pictorial scenes that carry
the events that go to make up the story plot, strung upon a slender
thread of curiosity, and giving the element of suspense to the story.

Following out this story structure we come, eventually, to the end. The
curtain must fall at last before the eyes of the child audience and the
closing of the story drama should be as mind stimulating as was its
beginning. This is brought about by studying carefully the story climax.

_The climax of a story should be a complete surprise to the listener
and to the characters in the story, as well._

This quick note of the unexpected coming with compelling suddenness at
the end of our story clinches the interest of the plot and makes the
story indelible on the child’s mind sheet.

Certain well-known instances of climax as exemplified in child stories
will clarify for us its _surprise_ quality.

In one of the older plantation folk tales, Mr. Elephant and Mr. Frog
are pictured as being good friends until Mr. Hare taunts them with
their dissimilarity in size and says that Mr. Frog has boasted of the
fact that Mr. Elephant is his “riding horse.” Then the story continues:

    “Mr. Fox and Mr. Tiger and Mr. Lion all followed after Mr. Hare,
    crying: ‘Oho, oho, Mr. Elephant is little Mr. Frog’s riding horse.’

    “Then Mr. Elephant turned around and he said in a very gruff voice
    to Mr. Frog:

    “‘Did you tell them, grandson, that I was your horse?’

    “And Mr. Frog said in a high, squeaky voice:--

    “‘No, no, grandfather.’

    “But all the time Mr. Frog was thinking of a trick to play on Mr.

    “The next day, Mr. Elephant and Mr. Frog started off for a long
    walk. Mr. Frog had heard of a place where the swamps were deep and
    muddy. Mr. Elephant knew a place where the bananas grew ripe and
    thick. And they spent a pleasant day. On the way home Mr. Frog
    hopped up close to Mr. Elephant, and he said in his high, squeaky

    “‘Grandfather, I have no strength to walk. Let me get up on your

    “‘Climb up, my grandson,’ said Mr. Elephant.

    “He put his trunk down for a ladder, and Mr. Frog climbed up.
    They had not gone very far when Mr. Frog hopped up close to Mr.
    Elephant’s ear, and he said:--

    “‘I am going to fall, grandfather. Give me some small cords from
    the roadside that I may bind your mouth, and hold myself upon your

    “‘I will, grandson,’ said Mr. Elephant.

    “So Mr. Elephant stripped some small cords from a birch tree by
    the roadside, and handed them to Mr. Frog. Then Mr. Frog bound Mr.
    Elephant’s mouth, and they went on a little farther. It was not
    long, though, before Mr. Frog spoke again to Mr. Elephant.

    “‘Grandfather,’ he said, ‘find me a small green twig that I may fan
    the mosquitoes from your ears.’

    “‘I will, grandson,’ said Mr. Elephant, so he broke a small, green
    twig from the birch tree, and reached it up to Mr. Frog; and just
    then they came toward home.

    “‘See Mr. Elephant,’ cried Mr. Hare.

    “‘See Mr. Elephant,’ cried Mr. Tiger.

    “‘See Mr. Elephant,’ cried Mr. Lion, and all the others, ‘Mr.
    Elephant is Mr. Frog’s horse.’

    “Mr. Elephant turned himself about, and he saw Mr. Frog on his
    back, holding the reins and the whip.

    “‘Why, so I am, grandson,’ said Mr. Elephant.

    “Then Mr. Frog jumped down to the ground, and he laughed and he
    laughed until he nearly split his coat, because he had played a
    trick on Mr. Elephant.”

This quotation serves very well to illustrate perfect story climax.
In the beginning of the story, an apparently impossible situation
was suggested. To the child listener it seems incredible that an
elephant could so far forget his dignity as to serve as the steed of
a frog. To the elephant himself, as well, this situation appears to
be incompatible with his social status in the jungle. As the story
advances, each scene prepares a way for the unexpected _dénouement_ and
the climax is found in the surprise to the hearers and to Mr. Elephant
as well when the curtain falls upon him unwittingly playing the part of
“riding horse” to little Mr. Frog.

Hans Christian Andersen’s inimitable allegory of “The Ugly Duckling”
owes a measure, at least, of its popularity to its perfect climax. In
the beautiful word pictures of the story we follow its hero, the Ugly
Duckling, through his series of perilous and sorrowful adventures,
sympathizing with but not anticipating the outcome of them. In no
single one of the scenes of the story do we have a hint of the
glorious ending of the hero’s journeying. Finally comes a quick,
artistic curtain falling:

    --“Then he flew toward the beautiful swans. As soon as they saw him
    they rushed to meet him with outstretched wings.

    “‘Kill me!’ said the Ugly Duckling; but as he bent his head, what
    did he see reflected in the water? It was his own image--not a
    dark, gray bird, ugly to see--but a graceful swan.

    “Then the great swans swam around him and stroked his neck with
    their beaks for a welcome. Some little children came into the

    “‘See,’ they cried, clapping their hands.

    “‘A new swan has come and he is more beautiful than the others!’”--

This story climax is perfect, also, because it carries the element of
surprise to the story hearers and the story hero, the Ugly Duckling, as

It seems to be almost impossible to find many instances of well
constructed climax in the short story for children. The story teller
must look for climax and in the event of not being able to find it in
the story that she selects for telling, it will be necessary for her
to make over her story ending that it may be a complete surprise to her
listeners, in this way strengthening the plot greatly. Many stories
just _stop_, giving one a feeling of dissatisfaction. There has been
no climax to make of the whole a finished picture, complete in its
minutest detail of light and shade and forming an unerasable vignette,
on the child’s mind.

_Climax knots the thread of the narrative._

Certain child stories, however, stand out as illuminating instances
of what climax means in deepening the mental appeal for the child,
_etching_ the story picture, so to speak. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Great
Stone Face,” forms one instance. A careful reading of the story will
disclose Hawthorne’s subtle use of suspense, the art of “making his
audience wait” for his _dénouement_. He makes us see the fertile valley
beneath the great mountain upon whose side there had been sculptured
by Nature, the wonderful stone face. We are carried, breathlessly,
along upon the tide of the narrative through the boy Ernest’s longing
to bear the image of these beautiful features, the futile attempts of
old Gathergold, old Blood-and-Thunder and the others to prove their
likeness to the Great Stone Face until we reach our climax in Ernest’s
own transformation into the great likeness unsuspected by himself or by

It seems to be the great short story writers, only, who have given us
really illuminating instances of climax--surprise ending--in stories
that will appeal to children in a stimulating way. In Hawthorne’s “Snow
Image” the curtain falls upon a _surprise_ situation. Oscar Wilde
leaves us unconsolable at his apparent ending of “The Happy Prince.”
The little swallow is dead and the Prince has given away his gold and

    “So they pulled down the statue of the Happy Prince who was no
    longer beautiful and so no longer useful and they melted the statue
    in the furnace.

    “‘What a strange thing!’ said the overseer of the workmen at the
    foundry. ‘This broken lead heart will not melt in the furnace. We
    must throw it away!’

    “So they threw it on a dust-heap where the dead swallow was also

But as we hold our breath, the climax is flung gloriously out.

    “‘Bring me the two most precious things in the City,’ said God to
    one of His Angels and the Angel brought him the leaden heart and
    the dead bird.

    “‘You have rightly chosen,’ said God, ‘for in my garden of Paradise
    this little bird shall sing for evermore, and in my city of gold
    the Happy Prince shall praise me.’”

In the story of Cosette and her doll in “Les Misérables,” Victor Hugo
has given us a complete story vignette with a perfectly developed
climax of surprise as Jean Valjean gives to Cosette, the “toad” of
Madame Thenardier’s Kitchen, the doll about which she had dreamed.
Laura Richard’s short stories for children abound in instances of
illuminating climax--no hint of the story ending being given until the
curtain falls. Her story of “The Golden Windows” in which a little
boy sets out upon a journey to find the windows of gold that he sees
beyond the village from his own poor little home and discovers at the
end of the day that his own home windows, viewed from a distance are
gold and those he has found are gray and dull, is an example of Mrs.
Richards’ skilled use of climax to force her story point into the
child’s mind.

The mental appeal of climax is a very real and vital one for the
consideration of the story teller. Once we fix in our minds the two
characteristics of artistic story ending, _surprise to the story
characters and to the children, and an ending that ties the knot of
the narrative_, our story curtain will fall, leaving the children a
lap farther along in their mental development than they were when the
curtain rose.



Old Man Rabbit sat at the door of his little house eating a nice, ripe,
juicy turnip. It was a cold, frosty day, but Old Man Rabbit was all
wrapped up, round and round and round, with yards and yards and yards
of his best red wool muffler so he didn’t care if the wind whistled
through his whiskers and blew his ears up straight. Old Man Rabbit had
been exercising, too, and that was another reason why he was so nice
and warm.

Early in the morning he had started off, lippity, clippity down the
little brown path that lay in front of his house and led to Farmer
Dwyer’s corn patch. The path was all covered with shiny red leaves. Old
Man Rabbit scuffled through them and he carried a great big bag over
his back. In the corn patch he found two or three fat, red ears of corn
that Farmer Dwyer had missed so he dropped them into his bag. A little
farther along he found some purple turnips and some yellow carrots and
quite a few russet apples that Farmer Dwyer had arranged in little
piles in the orchard. Old Man Rabbit went in the barn, squeezing under
the big front door by making himself very flat, and he filled all the
chinks in his bag with potatoes and he took a couple of eggs in his
paws, for he thought that he might want to stir up a little pudding for
himself before the day was over.

Then Old Man Rabbit started off home again down the little brown path,
his mouth watering every time his bag bumped against his back and not
meeting any one on the way because it was so very, very early in the
morning. When he came to his little house he emptied his bag and
arranged all his harvest in piles in his front room; the corn in one
pile, and the carrots in one pile, the turnips in another pile, and the
apples and potatoes in the last pile. He beat up his eggs and stirred
some flour with them and filled it full of currants to make a pudding.
And when he had put his pudding in a bag and set it boiling on the
stove, he went outside to sit awhile and eat a turnip, thinking all the
time what a mighty fine old rabbit he was and so clever, too.

Well, while Old Man Rabbit was sitting there in front of his little
house, wrapped up in his red muffler and munching the turnip, he heard
a little noise in the leaves. It was Billy Chipmunk traveling home to
the stone wall where he lived. He was hurrying and blowing on his paws
to keep them warm.

“Good morning, Billy Chipmunk,” said Old Man Rabbit. “Why are you
running so fast?”

“Because I am cold, and I am hungry,” answered Billy Chipmunk. “It’s
going to be a hard winter, a very hard winter--no apples left. I’ve
been looking all the morning for an apple and I couldn’t find one.”

And with that, Billy Chipmunk went chattering by, his fur standing out
straight in the wind.

No sooner had he passed than Old Man Rabbit saw Molly Mouse creeping
along through the little brown path, her long gray tail rustling the
red leaves as she went.

“Good morning, Molly Mouse,” said Old Man Rabbit.

“Good morning,” answered Molly Mouse in a wee little voice.

“You look a little unhappy,” said Old Man Rabbit, taking another bite
of his turnip.

“I have been looking and looking for an ear of corn,” said Molly Mouse
in a sad little chirping voice. “But the corn has all been harvested.
It’s going to be a very hard winter, a very hard winter.”

And Molly Mouse trotted by out of sight.

Pretty soon, Old Man Rabbit heard somebody else coming along by his
house. This time it was Tommy Chickadee hopping by and making a great
to-do, chattering and scolding as he came.

“Good morning, Tommy Chickadee,” said Old Man Rabbit.

But Tommy Chickadee was too much put out about something to remember
his manners. He just chirped and scolded, because he was cold and he
couldn’t find a single crumb or a berry or anything at all to eat. Then
he flew away, his feathers puffed out with the cold until he looked
like a little round ball, and all the way he chattered and scolded more
and more.

Old Man Rabbit finished his turnip, eating every single bit of it, even
to the leaves. Then he went in his house to poke the fire in his stove
and to see how the pudding was cooking. It was doing very well indeed,
bumping against the pot as it bubbled and boiled, and smelling very
fine indeed. Old Man Rabbit looked around his house at the corn and the
carrots and the turnips and the apples and the potatoes and then he had
an idea. It was a very funny idea indeed, different from any other idea
Old Man Rabbit had ever had before in all his life. It made him scratch
his head with his left hind foot, and think and wonder, but it pleased
him, too; it was such a very funny idea.

First he took off his muffler and then he put on his gingham apron. He
took his best red table-cloth from the drawer and put it on his table
and then he set the table with his gold banded china dinner set. By the
time he had done all this, the pudding was boiled, so he lifted it,
all sweet and steaming, from the kettle and set it in the middle of
the table. Around the pudding, Old Man Rabbit piled heaps and heaps of
corn and carrots and turnips and apples and potatoes, and then he took
down his dinner bell that was all rusty because Old Man Rabbit had very
seldom rung it before, and he stood in his front door and he rang it
very hard, calling in a loud voice.

“Dinner’s ready! Come to dinner, Billy Chipmunk, and Molly Mouse, and
Tommy Chickadee!”

They all came, and they brought their friends with them. Tommy
Chickadee brought Rusty Robin who had a broken wing and had not been
able to fly South for the winter. Billy Chipmunk brought Chatter-Chee,
a lame squirrel, whom he had invited to share his hole for a few
months, and Molly Mouse brought a young gentleman Field Mouse, who was
very distinguished looking because of his long whiskers. When they all
tumbled into Old Man Rabbit’s house and saw the table with the pudding
in the center they forgot their manners and began eating as fast as
they could, every one of them.

It kept Old Man Rabbit very busy waiting on them. He gave all the
currants from the pudding to Tommy Chickadee and Rusty Robin. He
selected juicy turnips for Molly Mouse and her friend, and the largest
apples for Billy Chipmunk. Old Man Rabbit was so busy that he didn’t
have any time to eat a bite of dinner himself, but he didn’t mind
that, not one single bit. It made him feel so warm and full inside just
to see the others eating.

When the dinner was over and not one single crumb was left on the
table, Tommy Chickadee hopped up on the back of his chair and chirped.

“Three cheers for Old Man Rabbit’s Thanksgiving dinner!”

“Hurrah, Hurrah,” they all twittered and chirped and chattered. And Old
Man Rabbit was so surprised that he didn’t get over it for a week. You
see he had really given a Thanksgiving dinner without knowing that it
really and truly was Thanksgiving Day.

                                                 CAROLYN SHERWIN BAILEY.


You had only to lift your eyes, and there it was plainly to be seen,
though miles away, with the sunshine brightening all its features.

What was the Great Stone Face?

It seemed as if an enormous giant had sculptured his own likeness on a
mountain side. There was the broad arch of the forehead, a hundred feet
in height; the nose, with its long bridge; and the vast lips, which,
if they could have spoken would have rolled in thunder from one end
of the valley to the other. True it was that if you came too near, you
lost the outline of the Face and could see only a heap of ponderous
rocks, but when you retraced your steps, the wondrous features could
be seen again, and the people who lived below it believed that their
valley was so fertile because the Great Stone Face looked down upon it
lighting up the clouds, and giving tenderness to the sunshine.

Now there was a little boy named Ernest who lived in the valley, and
his mother had told him a story that her mother had told to her; a
story so very old that even the Indians did not know who had first told
it, unless it had been murmured by the mountain streams, and whispered
by the wind among the tree tops. This was the story--that, sometime, a
child should be born who would become the greatest and noblest person
of his time, and his face, in manhood, should be the exact likeness
of the Great Stone Face. But though the people had watched and waited
until they were weary, no man greater and nobler than his neighbors had
they yet beheld.

“Oh, mother, dear mother!” cried Ernest. “I do hope I shall live to see

“Perhaps you may,” said his mother doubtfully.

And Ernest never forgot the story. It was always in his mind whenever
he looked upon the Great Stone Face. He grew up in the log cottage,
and was dutiful to his mother, and helped her with his little hands
and more with his loving heart. From a lad he became a quiet youth,
sunbrowned from work in the fields, and well learned, though he never
had any teacher except that Great Stone Face which smiled down upon him
at night when his work was done.

About this time there went a rumor through the valley that the great
man who was to bear a resemblance to the Great Stone Face, had appeared
at last. His name was Gathergold, and he was a very rich merchant and
owned a whole fleet of ships. All the countries of the world had added
to his wealth. The cold regions of the North had sent him furs; hot
Africa had gathered the ivory tusks of her great elephants out of the
forests; the East had brought him spices and teas and diamonds and
pearls. Mr. Gathergold had become so very rich that it would have taken
him a hundred years to count his money so he decided to go back and end
his days in the valley where he was born.

He ordered a wonderful palace of marble so dazzlingly white that it
seemed as if it would melt in the sunshine. When the mansion was done,
the upholsterers came with magnificent furniture, and then a whole
troop of black and white servants who said that Mr. Gathergold would
arrive at sunset.

“Here he comes,” cried the people who were waiting to see him. “Here
comes the great Mr. Gathergold!”

A carriage, drawn by four horses, dashed round the turn of the road.
Within it sat a little old man with a skin as yellow as his own gold.

“The very image of the Great Stone Face!” shouted the people, but
Ernest, who had been watching, too, turned sadly and looked up the
valley, where, in the gathering mist, he could see the wonderful Face,
and the lips seemed to say:

“He will come! Fear not, Ernest; the man will come.”

The years went on, and Ernest was a young man, still good, and true,
and kind. Poor Mr. Gathergold died and was buried, and the oddest part
of the matter was that his wealth all disappeared before he died,
leaving nothing of him but a skeleton covered with a wrinkled yellow
skin; and every one decided that he had never borne the slightest
resemblance to the Great Stone Face.

Then a warworn veteran, who had won great honors on the battlefield
and was named Old Blood-and-Thunder decided to come back to the valley
where he had been born. His neighbors resolved to welcome him with a
salute of cannon and a public dinner, for they were all quite sure Old
Blood-and-Thunder would bear the likeness of the Great Stone Face.

On the day of his arrival Ernest and all the others left their work and
went out to meet Old-Blood-and-Thunder.

“’Tis the same face, to a hair!” cried one man.

“Wonderfully like,” cried another.

Then Ernest saw him. There he was, over the shoulders of the crowd with
glittering epaulets and an embroidered collar and there, too, through
the vista of the forest appeared the Great Stone Face.

“This is not he,” thought Ernest.

More years passed. Ernest was now an older man. He still laboured for
his bread, but he had done so much for his neighbors that it seemed
as if he had been talking with the angels and had gotten a portion of
their wisdom unawares.

The people of the Valley had found out--after a while--that Old
Blood-and-Thunder’s face had not the gentleness of the Great Stone Face
and now they said, again, that its likeness was to appear upon the
broad shoulders of a great statesman.

Old Stony Phiz, he was called, and while his friends were doing their
best to make him President, he set out on a visit to the valley where
he had been born.

Ernest and all the others went out to meet him. A cavalcade came
prancing along the road, with a clattering of hoofs. There was a
band of music, and while the people were throwing up their hats and
shouting, an open barouche came by, drawn by four black horses. Inside
with his massive head uncovered sat the great statesman, Old Stony
Phiz, himself.

“Confess it,” cried some one to Ernest. “The Great Stone Face has met
its equal.”

But Ernest turned away disappointed. The eyes and brow of the great man
had none of the nobleness of the Face on the mountain side.

And Ernest grew to be an old man, but a strange thing happened. He was
no longer an obscure husbandman. Men from the cities began coming to
see him to learn from him the things that he had learned from the Great
Stone Face, things not put down in books, and he was suddenly become

One day a great Poet came to the Valley and stopped at Ernest’s cottage
to ask shelter for the night.

It was Ernest’s custom each evening to talk to the assemblage of
neighbors in a small nook among the hills near his cottage. To this
spot he and the Poet went at sunset. All about was the pleasant
foliage of many creeping plants, while Ernest’s friends sat in the
grove at his feet and in another direction could be seen the Great
Stone Face with heavy mists about it, like the white leaves around the
brow of Ernest.

At that moment Ernest’s face, as he began to speak, grew wonderfully
grand, and the Poet threw his arms aloft and shouted,

“Behold! Behold! Ernest is himself the likeness of the Great Stone

Then all the people looked and saw that what the poet said was true.
The prophecy was fulfilled.

_Through the courtesy of Messrs. Houghton, Mifflin Company, authorized
publishers of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s works._


    MR. FROG AND MR. ELEPHANT                     _In Firelight Stories_
    THE UGLY DUCKLING                          _Hans Christian Andersen_
    THE PRINCESS AND THE PEA                   _Hans Christian Andersen_
    THE HAPPY PRINCE                                       _Oscar Wilde_
    LITTLE COSETTE                      _Victor Hugo, in Les Misérables_
    THE GOLDEN WINDOWS        _Laura E. Richards, in The Golden Windows_
    THE SHUT-UP-POSY         _Annie Trumbull Slosson, in Story Tell Lib_
    THE BOY THAT WAS SCARED OF DYING        _Annie Trumbull Slosson, in
                                                         Story Tell Lib_
    NAHUM PRINCE                                   _Edward Everett Hale_
    THE ANXIOUS LEAF                    _Henry Ward Beecher, in Norwood_
    THE STONE IN THE ROAD                   _In For the Children’s Hour_



In the first place, what is the mental process by means of which we
recall something stored in the cedar and lavender of our mind chests?

As you pass along a crowded city thoroughfare you are suddenly and
unexpectedly confronted by an old friend. She steps out of a crowd
of strangers and faces you. You recognize her at once as a bit of
long-ago, changed with the years a bit but still, in a measure,
familiar. You are unable though, for an instant’s space, to recall your
friend’s name. In that instant’s pause, however, a mental miracle takes
place illuminating for us the process by means of which the human mind
brings about a recall of an idea.

You clasp your friend’s hand. You look deep into her eyes. You note a
similar perfume permeating her clothing that you knew in former years.
She speaks to you, and you recognize the old, familiar quality of tone
in her voice. Then the miracle happens, and your friend’s name finds
its way to your lips. It is Mrs. B----. You had not really forgotten
Mrs. B’s name. It had been stored away in a cobweb-hung corner of your
mind together with its mental associates; the _touch_ memories of her
hand clasp, the _odor_ memory of her perfume, the _sound_ memory of her
voice. As you again experience these touch, odor and sound stimuli,
Mrs. B’s name rises in their wake like a phoenix long buried in the
ashes of forgetfulness.

_Memory is a process of association of ideas. Not repetition of an
idea, but surrounding it with a host of witnesses gives it permanency
in the mind._

To a greater extent than can possibly be estimated does this
associative quality of memory hold in the case of children. We wish to
teach a kindergarten child that a certain type of flower is known as
a _rose_. We do not repeat to him over and over again, or ask him to
repeat to us, in order to fix this fact in his mind--“_This is a rose.
This is a rose._” Instead, we ask him to smell of the flower, note its
color, the shape of its petals, its peculiar, thorny stem, its leaves.
We help the child to draw a picture of a rose. We ask him to show us
all the roses he can find as we take him to walk in the garden. Then,
when the child has the flower’s color, odor, feeling, form and garden
environment as a crowd of mind witnesses to prove its individuality,
we say “_This is a rose_,” and the child is very apt to remember the

A well-constructed child’s story has the associative quality that
characterizes the mental process of memorizing. It has one central
theme; an act of heroism, a nature fact, a bit of natural history, a
note of the fantastic or the humorous and around this central theme
are grouped the story associates; the dialogue, the description,
the sensory elements, the surprise of the climax, all of which fix
indelibly in the mind this central theme around which the story is

_Every well told story means an added possibility of a recall in the
child’s mind and strengthens the general process of memory._

Laura Richards’ story of “The Pig Brother” illustrates the type of
story for which the story teller should search in order to train a
child’s memory. The theme of the story, the idea that is to be made a
fixture in the child’s mind, is that of the value of _cleanliness_, and
_order_ in life. The treatment of the theme is constructive, a process
of building up scenes and blocking out unessentials to strengthen and
make permanent the theme in the child’s mind.

“There was once a child who was untidy,” the story begins.

With no wasting of time over details the child who hears the story is
introduced to the theme. There follows a bit of description explaining
the _kind_ of untidiness of the little story hero, how he left his toys
and boots scattered about his play-room, spilled ink and covered his
pinafore with jam. Then the child is confronted by the Tidy Angel who
tells him to go out in the garden and play with his brother while she
puts his nursery back into its former state of orderliness. The child
goes out to the garden but he is in a condition of wonder in regard
to this brother whom he is to seek. He meets a squirrel in the garden
path, and he asks it if it is his brother, but the squirrel denies
all relationship to the child because of his untidiness. Then the
child meets a wren, and asks it the same question, which the bird also
indignantly denies because of the child’s untidy appearance. The child
then interrogates the Tommy Cat who scorns all thought of relationship
to him, telling him to go and look at himself in a mirror. The climax
of the story is found when the child meets a pig who promptly claims
relationship with him and causes the child to go back to his play-room
resolved to be tidy and orderly in the future.

The story has a memory value for children because it presents one idea
with a number of related associates. The story theme of the unpleasant
results of being untidy is never lost sight of, but is presented
over and over again in a series of related scenes so differentiated,
however, by their contrast as to make them permanent in the child’s
mind. We may take these different scenes in the order in which the
author presents them, discovering that each forms a stone in the whole
structure, differing in their value but all taking form and color from
one theme.

    Scene 1. The child hero is banished from his play-room and his toys
    as a result of his own acts.

    Scene 2. The child finds that he has no part in the outside world
    of little wild creatures, also because of his untidy habits.

    Scene 3. For the same self-inflicted reason, he is disowned by his
    friends, the birds.

    Scene 4. His house friend, the cat, disowns him because his habits
    of personal cleanliness do not accord with her standards.

    Scene 5. The child finds the natural consequence of his untidiness
    in his welcome by the despised pig which brings about his resolve
    to be clean and orderly, hereafter.

Each story scene, as shown in this analysis is carefully planned,
having in mind a grouping of associated ideas that will strengthen
and vivify the image made on the child’s mind by the story theme. As
a result the child who has heard the story of “The Pig Brother” has
gained a store of associated ideas that will be recalled when some one
asks him to pick up his toys or use care in eating. He will remember
that squirrels and birds are orderly in their nest making, that his cat
uses care in regard to her person, that there is a big, unseen force
at work in the world that makes for order--whether one calls it an
Angel, or not, it really exists--and he remembers that a disregard of
this law of order means disaster to the law breaker. The child of the
story escaped from the Pig. He may not be so fortunate if he breaks the
law. So our real child turns over and examines and sorts and weighs
his mental associates of the concept _untidiness_, and makes his own
decision in the negative in a way that would not have been possible
without the carefully associated scenes of the story.

This may seem an over fine analysis of one story but it will help us in
judging other child stories having a regard to their memory value for
the child.

Almost, if not more important a consideration than the writing of
a drama, is the matter of the stage “business” in its successful
production. The manager must decide which movements of his actors,
which exits and entrances, which stage arrangement, lighting and what
scheme of costuming will strengthen the salient idea underlying the
plot of the drama and make it a _memory_ in the minds of the audience.
Stage “business” is a matter of psychology. It means that the stage
manager, the playwright or whoever knows the audience best is going
to plan a mechanical background, a hedge, a wall, of associates that
will make the audience remember the play. A good story should have
“business,” the necessary costuming and lighting.

How shall the story teller apply this memory test in her selection of
stories? How shall she be able to say with authority:

“My children will not forget this story!”

In the first place we should assure ourselves to our complete
satisfaction in selecting a story that it _has a theme_, a _motif_ upon
which we can build the chords of a complete melody. It is doubtful
if the story of “The Greedy Cat” has a sufficient theme to make it
of value as a memory story, although it has a very real place in the
child’s life as a relaxing bit of nonsense. “The Little Pine Tree That
Wished New Leaves” has a well defined theme--that of _contentment_.

The second question that we will ask ourselves will be, _is this story
theme a worth while one for us to give the children as a permanent part
of their mental lives?_ We would hardly wish a child to remember always
about the greed of the gormandizing cat. We would be glad to have him
hang up in his mind house a picture of content as illustrated by the
little green tree that discovered his own leaves to be better than any

Last, we will ask, _is the story theme so compellingly associated with
other ideas that it will become a memory for the child?_ In the case of
the story of the Little Pine Tree, this treatment is carefully adhered
to. Never is the _leaf_ idea lost. Instead, the idea is presented in
the form of gold leaves, leaves of glass, in fact all the strange and
different leaves for which the discontented tree wished. But the gold
leaves are stolen by a miser; the glass leaves are broken in a storm,
and its juicy large leaves are all eaten by a goat. The climax is
reached when the little tree is glad to have back its slender green
needles; and the story is fixed in a child’s mind because of its
associative treatment.

This memory training by means of story telling is a legitimate “short
cut” in teaching. The nature fact, that difficult bit of geography,
that fine point of ethics may all be given a permanent place in the
child’s mind if we can find just the right story to help in fixing
them. The list of stories that follows at the end of this chapter was
selected having in mind in the case of each story, its associative
treatment of one theme worth while as a memory for the child. Hans
Andersen’s story of Little Tuk is a brilliant example of using
associated ideas to set the memory gem of the plot.


Now there was little Tuk. As a matter of fact his name was not Tuk at
all, but before he could speak properly he called himself Tuk. He meant
it for Carl, so it is just as well we should know that. He had to look
after his sister Gustave who was much smaller than he was, and then he
had his lessons to do, but these two things were rather difficult to
manage at the same time.

The poor little boy sat with his little sister in his lap, at the same
time looking at his open geography book which he held in front of him.
Before school time the next morning he had to know the names of all the
towns by heart and everything there was to know about them.

At last his mother came home, for she had been out, and she took little
Gustave. Tuk ran to the window and read as hard as he could, for it
was growing dark fast, and his mother could not afford to buy candles.

“There’s the old washerwoman from the lane,” his mother said as she
looked out of the window. “She can hardly carry herself, and yet she
has to carry the pail from the pump. Run down, little Tuk, and be a
dear boy. Help the old woman!”

Tuk jumped up at once and ran to help her, but when he got home again
it was quite dark and it was useless to talk about candles. He had to
go to bed. He had an old turn-up bed, and he lay in it, thinking about
his geography lesson, the Island of Zealand, and all his teacher had
told him about it. He ought to have been learning the lesson, but of
course, he could not do that now. He put the geography book under his
pillow and he lay there thinking, and thinking--and then all at once
it seemed just as if some one had kissed him on his eyes and nose and
mouth, and he fell asleep.

Yet he was not quite asleep either. It seemed to him as if the old
washerwoman were looking at him with her kind eyes and saying,

“It would be a great shame if you were not to know your lesson. You
helped me, and now I will help you.”

And all at once the book under his head went “cribble, crabble.”

“Cluck, cluck, cluck!” There stood a hen from the town of Kiöge.

“I am a Kiöge hen,” it said, and then it went on to tell him how many
inhabitants there were, and about the battle which had taken place

“Cribble, crabble, bang!” something plumped down; it was a wooden bird,
the popinjay from Præstö. It told him that there were just as many
inhabitants in Præstö as it had nails in its body, and it was very
proud of this.

Now little Tuk no longer lay in bed. Gallop-a-gallop he went. He was
sitting in front of a splendidly dressed knight with a shining helmet
and a waving plume. They rode through the woods to the old town of
Vordingborg, a very large and prosperous town. The castle towered
above the royal city, and lights shone through the windows. There were
songs and dancing within and the king was leading out the stately
young court ladies to the dance. Morning came, and as the sun rose,
the town sank away and the king’s palace, one tower after the other.
At last only a single tower remained on the hill where the castle had
stood, and the town had become tiny and very poor. The schoolboys came
along with their books under their arms, and they said, “two thousand
inhabitants,” but that was not true. There were not so many.

Little Tuk was still lying in his bed. First he thought he was
dreaming, and then he thought he was not dreaming, but there was
somebody close to him.

It was a sailor, a tiny little fellow, who might have been a cadet, and
he said, “Little Tuk! Little Tuk! I greet you warmly from Korsöer which
is a rising town. It is a flourishing town with steamers and coaches.
It lies close to the sea and it has good high roads and pleasure
gardens. It wanted to send a ship round the world but it did not do it,
although it might have. And there is the most delicious scent about the
town because there are beautiful rose gardens close by the gates.”

Little Tuk saw them, the green and red flowering branches, and then
they vanished before his eyes and changed into wooded heights sloping
down to the clear waters of the fjord. A stately old church towered
over the fjord with its twin spires. Springs of water rushed down in
bubbling streams, close by them sat an old king with a golden crown
round his flowing locks. It was King Kroar of the Springs, and little
Tuk was in Roeskilde. Down over the slopes and past the springs
walked hand in hand all Denmark’s kings and queens wearing their
crowns. On and on they went into the old church in time to the pealing
of the bells and the rippling of the springs.

All at once everything vanished--where were they? Now an old peasant
woman stood before little Tuk. She was a weeding woman and came from
Sorö where the grass grows in the market place. She had put her gray
linen apron over her head and shoulders. It was soaking wet; there must
have been rain.

“Yes, indeed, it has been raining,” she said. Then she suddenly shrank
up and wagged her head. It looked as if she were about to take a leap.

“Koax,” she said, “it is wet; it is wet; it is dull as ditch water--in
good old Sorö.” She had become a frog.

“Koax” and then once more she was the old woman.

“One must dress according to the weather,” said she. “It is wet, it is
wet. My town is like a bottle; you get in by the neck and you have to
come out the same way again.”

The old woman’s voice sounded just like the croaking of frogs, or the
creaking of fishing boots when you walk in the swamp. It was always the
same sound, so tiresome, so tiresome that little Tuk fell into a deep
sleep, which was the best thing for him.

But even in this sound sleep he had a dream, or something of the sort.
His little sister, Gustave, with the blue eyes and golden, curly hair,
had all at once become a lovely grown up girl and, without having
wings, she could fly. So Gustave and Tuk flew together right across
Zealand, over the green woods and deep blue waters.

“Do you hear the cock crowing, little Tuk? The hens come flying up from
Kiöge town. You shall have such a big, big chicken yard. You will be a
rich and happy man! Your house shall hold up its head like the king’s
towers, and be richly built up with marble statues like those in Præstö.

“Your name will spread round the world with praise like the ship
which was to have sailed from Korsöer; and it will be known as far as
Roeskilde town.”

Little Tuk seemed to hear all this in his dreams, but he suddenly woke
up. It was bright daylight, and he sprang out of bed and read his book.
He found that he knew all the towns in his geography book almost at

The old washerwoman put her head in at the door, nodded to him and

“Many thanks for your help of yesterday, you dear child. May you have
the wish of your heart!”

But little Tuk hurried off to school with his book under his arm. He
knew that he had already the wish of his heart--he had learned his
geography lesson.


                                                        Children’s Hour_
    THE STORY OF THE MORNING GLORY SEED     _Emilie Poulsson, in In the
                                                          Child’s World_
    THE SEED BABIES’ BLANKET  _Mary Gaylord, in For the Children’s Hour_
    ABOUT ANGELS                 _Laura Richards, in The Golden Windows_
    THE CRY FAIRY                 _Alice Brown, in The One-Footed Fairy_
    THE DISAPPOINTED BUSH      _Thornton Burgess, in Mother West Wind’s
    HOW THE CAMEL GOT HIS HUMP     _Rudyard Kipling, in Just So Stories_



A newly hatched chicken begins its daily work of living and providing
for itself by scratching the earth in a phenomenally short space of
time after it has chipped its shell. A baby notices a kitten and
stretches out its hands to grasp in them a colored flower at almost
the same period of its development as when it smiles at its mother.
The chicken and the baby are alike in being creatures of _instinct_.
The chicken scratches because its mother scratched for a living in the
days of her chicken-hood and so did her mother and as many other hens
and chickens as many previous years as one can count. The baby feels
himself akin with the cat and loves the flower because his ancestors
lived in close comradeship with animals and nature. From these and from
an analysis of many other phases of instinct we may come at a working
definition of the phenomenon.

_Instinct may be defined as inherited memory._

It may be said that a child starts out on his life journey with a
certain amount of brain capital which is his gift at birth. He has
no knowledge of the outside world at birth. Color, sound, heat,
cold and like concepts are unknown to him and he must make them his
through the medium of his senses. The will to use his senses in
the acquiring of useful information constitutes his brain capital,
however. Instinctively he claims brotherhood with the animal world,
and instinctively also he claims kinship with trees and flowers and
winter and summer and birds and the gleaming earth. Pebbles and shells
and sand and seeds interest him with a compellingness beyond our
understanding until we remember that a child is the epitome of all the
ages of the race which have combined to make us and our civilization.
The age when man bartered with pebbles, decorated his person with
shells, lived in a cave and found his food in seeds and berries is
exemplified in the little chap at play on the beach with these same
nature materials.

This mind capital of instinct with which the child comes into the
world may be divided into the instinct to _express ideas in bodily
movements, instinctive interest in animals and nature_, the _instinct_
in _rhythm_, and the _instinct for self-preservation_ (less highly
developed in children than in animals.) There are other and finer
divisions into which the different phases and manifestations of
instinct fall but for purposes of our discussion these more elastic
divisions will serve. The first division, the motor instinct, involves
so much in the matter of a child’s dramatizing of stories that it needs
a chapter devoted wholly to a study of a child’s bodily expression as
stimulated by the images which he has in his mind. The instinct in
rhythm, instinctive love of animals and nature, the self-preservation
and curiosity instincts may be briefly considered in order of their
appearance in the child’s development, having in mind their influence
upon the stories we select for a child’s hearing. A financier makes
it his special study to discover the best uses to which he can put his
capital in order to make it produce for him appreciable dividends. The
story teller, using the child mind capital, _instinct_, as a basis for
her selection of stories will find that there are certain _instinct_
stories that she may select for her use, each one of which gives back
good returns to her along the measure of child interest.

Instinctive interest in rhythmic movements and rhythmic sounds is
found in the very young child. He likes to be _trotted_, sung to in a
monotonous, sing-song fashion; he enjoys clapping his hands in time
to some nursery jingle or ditty. Long after this rhythmic period of
babyhood is past children like to hear stories that have the rhythmic,
repetitional quality, or some jingle introduced that stimulates rhythm.
Predominantly is this rhythmic quality found in Mother Goose and folk
lore. Children, even of kindergarten age, take the greatest delight in
repeating and singing over and over again such rhythmic ditties as:

    “Pitty, patty polt; shoe the wild colt.
    Here a nail, there a nail, pitty, patty polt.”

    “Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker’s man
    Bake me a cake as fast as you can,
    Pat it and prick it, and mark it with T,
    And put it in the oven for Tommy and me.”

    “Intry, mintry, cutry corn,
    Apple seed and apple thorn,
    Wire, brier, limber, lock.
    Three geese in a flock.
    One flew East and one flew West,
    And one flew over the black-bird’s nest.”

The appeal for the child in the case of all such jingles is a _bodily_,
_instinctive_ one. _This instinctive interest in rhythm is the
beginning of bodily expression. The repetition of sounds, even though
they are meaningless, makes the child feel the story._ It gets into
his muscles, so to speak, if we may put a psychological fact into
physiological terms.

Nearly all of the old folk tales are characterized by this rhythmic
swinging-along mode of construction. We all know how children wait
breathlessly, and then fairly bubble over with ecstatic mirth as they
listen to “The Teeny Tiny Lady,” “The House that Jack Built,” and “The
Kid Who Would Not Go.” They literally wait spellbound for such phrases

    “I’ll huff, and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house in.”

                     _The Three Little Pigs._

    “First she leaped and then she ran,
    Till she came to the cow and thus began.”

                     _The Cat and The Mouse._

    “Fallen into the fire, and so will you,
    On, little Drummikin, tum, tum, too.”

                     _The Story of Lambikin._

Sheer nonsense, we say? Possibly, for the ears of adults, but for a
child it means instinct food. This doggerel verse belongs to a certain
stage of his development just as folk songs and war songs of quite as
strange content have come down to us from primitive races; and a very
sure way of securing a child’s involuntary attention to a story is to
select it having in mind its rhythmic content.

Instinctive interest in animals and nature follows the rhythm instinct.
This should not be construed into a statement that science and biology
should be given children in the story form at an early age. Rather
should the world about the child be presented to him on the plane of
kinship, his one-ness with it. He is the little Hiawatha, friend of
the trees, the deer, the birds, and the stars. Through this friendly
introduction to the world of Nature, a child will come to know it,
appreciate it, and eventually understand it.

The animal and nature stories that make the strongest appeal to the
child’s primitive nature instinct are those which, without mis-stating
scientific facts, still make nature of a size with, friendly to,
companionable with the child.

King of animal story tellers was Joel Chandler Harris. His “Nights With
Uncle Remus” is a book of _instinct_, _race_ stories. Bre’r Rabbit
is an immortal _human_ who walks side by side with a child, holding
familiar intercourse with him and telling him the secrets of field
and wood and stream. Rudyard Kipling, in the “Jungle Books” and the
“Just So Stories” has met the _instinct_ story needs of children by
making the wild creatures of the jungle and desert vivid, human and
companionable. The fables of the Chinese, of Bidpai and of Æsop have an
instinctive interest for all children because they are human documents,
an attempted explanation of the moral code, put quaintly by primitive
races into the mouths of animals.

Nature stories that meet the _instinctive_ interests of children are
less easy for the story teller to find than are good animal stories.
The modern nature story that is written about some dry scientific
fact is only a bare husk when a child is crying for real food. It
would be better to tell a child as a plain statement of a universal
fact that the cold mercifully kills the plant that has served its use
of reproduction of species that it may make way for another season’s
cycle of buds and blooms, than to tell a story about Jack Frost who,
airily attired in white, skips about the garden and puts the flowers to
sleep. Better, however, than this former bald statement of the year’s
autumnal death that presages the awakening to new life in the spring
is it to tell children the story of “Ceres and Persephone.” Always,
afterward, will the bleak winter suggest to their minds Persephone’s
sojourn with Pluto and spring will herald her return to her mother, the
flowers springing up for gladness wherever she steps.

_The myth meets every child’s instinctive interest._

It is a type of story that has been left us by every race and people
as the explanation that primitive minds made of natural phenomenon.
Suppose a myth isn’t true. Was the Jack Frost story true; and isn’t
there more real literature and imagery and inspiration in the story of
Persephone than in any modern “Nature-faked” story? As a child stands
on Mount Olympus in company with the gods he gets a vision of the
universe that he would gain in no other way. As he rides in Phaëton’s
chariot searching for the Apples of Hesperides and helps old Atlas hold
the world upon his shoulders he is learning Nature as no text-book can
teach her. As he listens to the murmuring of the trees he hears the
pipes of Pan and the loving whispers of old Baucis and Philemon among
their branches.

We will feed the child’s instincts with the old myths if we wish to
secure his lasting interest in nature.

A trifle more difficult for the story teller to meet is the child’s
instinct for self preservation. In the case of the lower animals this
instinct manifests itself in a perpetual warfare waged tooth and nail
against its life enemies, with a result epitomized, always, in the
survival of the stronger animal. Primitive man waged a similar warfare.
With a peaceful civilization this condition of individual warfare has
been done away with, but the instinct to fight for his rights, to
preserve his _ego_, to keep selfishly for his own certain _things_ is
a part of the child’s mental heritage from his forbears. The rhythm
instinct, the _Nature_ instinct are the gold mine in child development.
The _self_ instinct, while in a measure necessary in fitting a child
for the life struggle, should be, to a certain extent, inhibited. This
inhibition may be brought about through the medium of stories.

Selecting just the right ethical stories to tell a child having in mind
making him unselfish is a delicate matter. Each story should present
some problem in ethics that is likely to come up in the child’s life.
Moreover, the moral of the story should be veiled but made so obvious
by the suspensive treatment and climax of the story, that the child
unconsciously makes it his own and applies the lesson to his own life.
The moral of unselfishness is rather the _result_ of the story than a
part of it as the children make its obvious application to their own

The well-known folk tale of “The Little Red Hen” teaches a lesson of
unselfishness. The selfish pig, cat and frog are deprived of their
portion of the freshly baked loaf of bread because they had no share
in its making. Kipling’s story, “How the Camel Got his Hump” in the
“Just So Stories” has the same moral of forgetfulness of self. Laura E.
Richards’ story, “The Coming of the King,” beautifully illustrates the
type of story that inhibits the selfish instinct. It draws a wonderful
word picture of the children’s garden made ready for the King and
finally welcoming a beggar in ministering to whose needs, however, the
children find joy.

The most classic of _unselfish_ stories in the English language is
Oscar Wilde’s “Selfish Giant.” It needs no word of introduction or
explanation. It illuminates our dull subject of endeavoring to make
children self forgetful through the stimulus of the ethical story.


Every afternoon, as they were coming from school, the children used to
go and play in the Giant’s garden.

It was a large, lovely garden, with soft green grass. Here and there
over the grass stood beautiful flowers like stars, and there were
twelve peach trees that in the springtime broke out into delicate
blossoms of pink and pearl, and in the autumn bore rich fruit. The
birds sat on the trees and sang so sweetly that the children used to
stop their games in order to listen to them. “How happy we are here!”
they cried to each other.

One day the Giant came back. He had been to visit his friend, the
Cornish ogre, and had stayed with him for seven years. After the
seven years were over he had said all that he had to say, for his
conversation was limited, and he determined to return to his own
castle. When he arrived he saw the children playing in the garden.

“What are you doing there?” he cried in a very gruff voice, and the
children ran away.

“My own garden is my own garden,” said the Giant; “any one can
understand that, and I will allow nobody to play in it but myself.” So
he built a high wall all round it, and put up a notice-board.


He was a very selfish giant.

The poor children had now nowhere to play. They tried to play on the
road, but the road was very dusty and full of hard stones, and they did
not like it. They used to wander round the high wall when their lessons
were over, and talk about the beautiful garden inside. “How happy we
were there,” they said to each other.

Then the spring came, and all over the country there were little
blossoms and little birds. Only in the garden of the Selfish Giant it
was still winter. The birds did not care to sing in it as there were no
children, and the trees forgot to blossom. Once a beautiful flower put
its head out from the grass, but when it saw the notice-board it was
so sorry for the children that it slipped back into the ground again,
and went off to sleep. The only people who were pleased were the Snow
and the Frost. “Spring has forgotten this garden,” they cried, “so we
will live here all the year round.” The Snow covered up the grass with
her great white cloak, and the Frost painted all the trees silver. Then
they invited the North Wind to stay with them, and he came. He was
wrapped in furs, and he roared all day about the garden, and blew the
chimney-pots down. “This is a delightful spot,” he said, “we must ask
the Hail on a visit.” So the Hail came. Every day for three hours he
rattled on the roof of the castle till he broke most of the slates, and
then he ran round and round the garden as fast as he could go. He was
dressed in gray, and his breath was like ice.

“I cannot understand why the spring is so late in coming,” said the
Selfish Giant, as he sat at the window and looked out at his cold
white garden; “I hope there will be a change in the weather.”

But the spring never came, nor the summer. The autumn gave golden fruit
to every garden, but to the Giant’s garden none. “He is too selfish,”
she said. So it was always winter there, and the North Wind, and the
Hail, and the Frost, and the Snow danced about through the trees.

One morning the Giant was lying awake in bed when he heard some lovely
music. It sounded so sweet to his ears that he thought it must be the
King’s musicians passing by. It was really only a little linnet singing
outside his window but it was so long since he had heard a bird sing in
his garden that it seemed to him to be the most beautiful music in the
world. Then the Hail stopped dancing over his head, and the North Wind
ceased roaring, and a delicious perfume came to him through the open
casement. “I believe the spring has come at last,” said the Giant; and
he jumped out of bed and looked out.

What did he see?

He saw a most wonderful sight. Through a little hole in the wall the
children had crept in, and they were sitting in the branches of the
trees. In every tree that he could see there was a little child. And
the trees were so glad to have the children back again that they had
covered themselves with blossoms, and were waving their arms gently
above the children’s heads. The birds were flying about and twittering
with delight, and the flowers were looking up through the green grass
and laughing. It was a lovely scene, only in one corner it was still
winter. It was the farthest corner of the garden, and in it was
standing a little boy. He was so small that he could not reach up to
the branches of the tree, and he was wandering all round it, crying
bitterly. The poor tree was still quite covered with frost and snow,
and the North Wind was blowing and roaring above it. “Climb up! little
boy,” said the Tree, and it bent its branches down as low as it could;
but the boy was too tiny.

And the Giant’s heart melted as he looked out. “How selfish I have
been!” he said; “now I know why the spring would not come here. I will
put that poor little boy on the top of the tree, and then I will knock
down the wall, and my garden shall be the children’s playground for
ever and ever.” He was really very sorry for what he had done.

So he crept downstairs and opened the front door quite softly, and
went out into the garden. But when the children saw him they were so
frightened that they all ran away, and the garden became winter again.
Only the little boy did not run, for his eyes were so full of tears
that he did not see the Giant coming. And the Giant strode up behind
him and took him gently in his hand, and put him up into the tree. And
the tree broke at once into blossom, and the birds came and sang on it,
and the little boy stretched out his two arms and flung them around the
Giant’s neck, and kissed him. And the other children, when they saw
that the Giant was not wicked any longer, came running back, and with
them came the spring. “It is your garden now, little children,” said
the Giant, and he took a great axe and knocked down the wall. And when
the people were going to market at twelve o’clock they found the Giant
playing with the children in the most beautiful garden they had ever

All day long they played, and in the evening they came to the Giant to
bid him good-by.

“But where is your little companion?” he said: “the boy I put into the
tree.” The Giant loved him the best because he had kissed him.

“We don’t know,” answered the children; “he has gone away.”

“You must tell him to be sure and come here to-morrow,” said the Giant.
But the children said that they did not know where he lived, and had
never seen him before; and the Giant felt very sad.

Every afternoon, when school was over, the children came and played
with the Giant. But the little boy whom the Giant loved was never seen
again. The giant was very kind to all the children, yet he longed for
his first little friend, and often spoke of him. “How I would like to
see him!” he used to say.

Years went over, and the Giant grew very old and feeble. He could not
play about any more, so he sat in a huge armchair, and watched the
children at their games, and admired his garden. “I have many beautiful
flowers,” he said, “but the children are the most beautiful flowers of

One winter morning he looked out of his window as he was dressing. He
did not hate the winter now, for he knew that it was merely the spring
asleep, and that the flowers were resting.

Suddenly he rubbed his eyes in wonder, and looked and looked. It
certainly was a marvellous sight. In the farthest corner of the garden
was a tree quite covered with lovely white blossoms. Its branches were
all golden, and silver fruit hung down from them, and underneath it
stood the little boy he had loved.

Downstairs ran the Giant in great joy, and out into the garden. He
hastened across the grass, and came near to the child. And when he came
quite close his face grew red with anger, and he said, “Who hath dared
to wound thee?” For on the palms of the child’s hands were the prints
of two nails, and the prints of two nails were on the little feet.

“Who hath dared to wound thee?” cried the Giant; “tell me, that I may
take my big sword and slay him.”

“Nay!” answered the child; “but these are the wounds of Love.”

“Who art thou?” said the Giant, and a strange awe fell on him, and he
knelt before the little child.

And the child smiled on the Giant, and said to him, “You let me play
once in your garden, to-day you shall come with me to my garden, which
is Paradise.”

And when the children ran in that afternoon, they found the Giant lying
dead under the tree, all covered with white blossoms.

                                                            OSCAR WILDE.



    THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT                             _Mother Goose_
    THE KID THAT WOULD NOT GO                                _Folk Tale_
    THE STORY OF LAMBIKIN                         _In Firelight Stories_
    THE TEENY TINY LADY                           _In Firelight Stories_
                                            Stories to Tell to Children_


    NIGHTS WITH UNCLE REMUS                       _Joel Chandler Harris_
    THE JUNGLE BOOKS                                   _Rudyard Kipling_
    THE JUST-SO-STORIES                                _Rudyard Kipling_
    THE TALKING BEASTS    _Kate Douglas Wiggin and Nora Archibald Smith_
    THE LITTLE RED HEN                      _In For the Children’s Hour_
    MYTHS EVERY CHILD SHOULD KNOW                       _Hamilton Mabie_


    THE LITTLE RED HEN                      _In For the Children’s Hour_
    THE COMING OF THE KING    _Laura E. Richards, in The Golden Windows_
    THE COOKY                 _Laura E. Richards, in The Golden Windows_
    THE STORY OF BABOUSCKA                  _In For the Children’s Hour_
    THE LEGEND OF THE WOODPECKER            _In For the Children’s Hour_
    PICCIOLA          _Celia Thaxter, in Stories and Poems for Children_



In the previous chapter we analyzed certain primitive phases of
mental life as manifested in the instinctive acts of children. These
manifestations of instinct form a basis for our story selection,
guiding us toward a final and certain goal of child interest.

One phase of instinct was left out of our discussion except as it
was touched upon primarily in the analysis of a child’s instinctive
interest in rhythm. This is the instinct to express through bodily
movements the ideas that have found a permanent place for themselves in
the mind.

Little E, three years old, was told by her nurse the folk tale of “The
Old Woman and Her Pig.” She had heard very few stories, and this one
seemed to delight her beyond words. She laughed and clapped her hands
over it, and begged to have it repeated and retold even a third time.
She made no comment upon the text of the story, however. A week later,
she was left alone in her nursery for a short period during the morning
and her mother, busy with household duties upon the floor below,
thought that she heard E’s voice. Going, quietly, to the door of the
nursery she saw E standing, dramatically, in the center of the room,
holding a toy broom under her arm, and shaking her finger at a small
china pig that stood on the floor in front of her. As she did this, she
said in the exact words of the story that had been told her:

“Piggy won’t get over the stile, and I shall not get home to-night.”

“What are you doing, E?” her mother asked in some surprise.

E looked up in wonder as if she, herself, knew a reason for her actions
but one that needed no explanation. Finally she spoke:

“I’m _doing_ a story, mother,” she replied.

This incident of E’s instinctive and almost unconscious dramatization
of a story which she had heard and whose images had become fixed in
her mind illustrates a very common characteristic of a child’s mental
life, the instinctive impulse to vitalize the mental life by putting
it into terms of _expression_. It is true that instinctive expression
as commonly defined includes in its first manifestations only certain
_unlearned_ motor responses, those forms of expression that are ours
without previous training or experience. A child cries at a pain,
laughs when he is tickled, starts in fear at a sudden and loud noise.
These are the primitive forms of instinctive expression, but beyond
these and through the use of certain child stories that are full of
action, compelling dialogue, and quick movement comes a development of
the dramatic instinct in childhood of wonderful value to the teacher.

Why do we want to make use of the dramatic instinct in childhood?

First, because this instinct to _do_, to _act_, to _express_ is so
common a part of each child’s mental content upon entering school that
it forms part of our previously discussed child brain capital. The
instinct to _do_ a story, to give it expression in terms of bodily
movement would not be given a child unless it had some value for the

Second, we want to utilize the dramatic instinct of childhood,
because it is a very sure way of helping a child to gain _poise_,
_self-control_, and a complete _mastery of his environment_. The
ability to give adequate expression through speech or action to the
mental life characterizes the well-developed individual as opposed to
the victim of self-consciousness. It means grace of body and freedom of
verbal expression.

What qualities differentiate the dramatic child story from that story
which is not as well adaptable for child acting?

Primarily, the story that we select for purposes of dramatization
should have the quality of being _visual_--that is, it should be
so full of simple, pictorial scenes, episodes and events that it
will bring to the minds of the children a definite sequence of word
pictures, stimulative to action. This “moving picture” quality is found
in the old folk tales, the fables of Æsop and La Fontaine. Here the
stage setting of the stories is simple and easily pictured by the
child listeners. The story events find an immediate and permanent place
in the child’s mind and a possible outlet in action because of their
apperceptive quality.

The story of “The Little Red Hen” is an interesting type of the story
that lends itself to child dramatizing because of its _visual_ quality.
There is a series of home scenes; the little Red Hen’s garden, her
house, her kitchen, all familiar and easily seen by children but
illuminated with the interest of mystery because of the Hen, herself,
and her friends, the Cat and the Frog. “The Elves and the Shoemaker”
is also a good story for child acting, while among the most dramatic
visual fables are “The Town Mouse and The Country Mouse,” “The Lion
and the Mouse,” “The Lark and Her Young Ones” and “The Hare and the

The second quality that the story teller should have in mind in
selecting stories for child dramatizing is _simplicity_ of dialogue.
The story actors should converse, if not in childlike manner, at
least in a simple, easy-to-understand vocabulary that will add to a
child’s store of words but will not tax him too much in reproduction.
Here, again, we must turn to folk tales and fables for simple,
straightforward, rich dialogue. Quite naturally and without apparent
effort children verbalize the dialogue of “The Little Red Hen” after
hearing the story once or twice.

    “Who will build my fire?” she said.
    “Not I!” said the Frog.
    “Not I!” said the Cat.
    “Then I will,” said the Little Red Hen.

These and the other bits of simple dialogue that go to make up the
plot of this story; the conversation between the Wolf and the Pig in
the story of “The Three Little Pigs,” the Lark and her little ones,
Jack and the different characters in the Beanstalk story, the “Lion
and the Mouse”--these are all examples of easily reproduced dialogue,
stimulating spontaneous dialogue on the part of the children.

One further consideration in connection with the dramatic

Because of the popularity of so-called story dramatization among
kindergartners and primary teachers, a school of child acting in
kindergartens and the grades has sprung into life. Stories are
dramatized _for_ children rather than _by_ the children themselves,
and the results obtained through unnecessary costuming, certain stage
properties and memorized dialogue are of no appreciable value in the
mental development of the child. A child impersonates a pig gifted
with human attributes, spontaneously, but he plays the part of a
dressed-up fairy in a wooden, unspontaneous fashion. The difference
between the two is just the difference between instinctive expression
and prescribed action. In his “Principles of Psychology,” Professor
Thorndyke says:

“Given any mental state, that movement will be made which the inborn
constitution of the nervous system has connected with the mental state
or part of it. The baby reaches for a bright object because, by inner
organization, that sense presentation is connected with that act. For
the same reason he puts an object into his mouth when he feels it
within his grasp. The boy puts up his arm and wards off a blow because
his brain is so organized as to connect those responses with those

“Given any mental state, that movement will be made which has been
connected with it or part of it most frequently, most recently, in the
most vivid experience and with the most satisfying results.”

This careful and concrete statement of the law governing instinctive
movement gives us our cue for selecting stories for child dramatizing
and our method in presenting them, having in view--not child _acting_,
but spontaneous child _action_. We will provide no costumes for our
children, set no stage, but only give them that story which will
suggest to them a recent, frequently repeated, vivid experience with
its accompanying satisfying results in certain spontaneous movements.

Suppose we illustrate with a possible, voluntary dramatizing of the
old and well loved folk tale of “The Gingerbread Boy.” The experiences
suggested to children by this story and suggesting action to them are
_the chase_ and the sense stimulus of _food_. After hearing the story
a number of times until they are quite familiar with its dialogue and
its characters and its sequence of episodes, the teacher may suggest
to the children that they _play_ it. A disastrous way to begin the
play would be to assign the different characters in the story to
different children, showing them where to stand or asking them to try
and use the exact words that the story characters did. Rather should
the dramatizing of the story be a developing process on the part of
the teacher. If she has made the story permanent in the minds of the
children, their rendering of it in action will be free and their
dialogue spontaneous.

“Who wants to be the Gingerbread Boy?

“Who would like to be the Gingerbread Boy’s mother?

“I see a child with very bright, sharp eyes. Is he not the Fox?

“We will need many Mowers and some Threshers.

“Who is the Pig, and who the Cow?”

These or similar hints on the part of the teacher are cues for the
opening of the play--all that is needed, usually, to start the
spontaneous dramatization. As naturally as if she were the story
character herself, the little old woman mother rolls and pats the
Gingerbread Boy into shape, puts him in an imaginary oven and then
falls asleep. He makes his escape, is interviewed in turn by the
Threshers, the Mowers, the Pig and the Cow, makes his escape from them
also, only to be eventually captured and eaten by the Fox. As the
story play goes on, it will be discovered that the child actors are
rendering with perfect diction the dialogue of the story, enriching
their vocabulary and gaining power of verbal expression. It will be
discovered also that their movements are illustrative of the story, and
absolutely lacking in self consciousness, typical of an added quota of
poise and self-control gained through the play. Certain _responses_
are always made to certain mind _situations_. What need is there of
stage setting since a child actor sees in his mind’s eye the barn
full of Mowers whose mouths are watering to eat him up? Why should
the tired-out teacher spend long after-school hours sewing together
costumes when, at an instant’s notice, a child is able to clothe
himself in the sleek red coat and valiant brush of a fox?

It is to be questioned if the books of so-called dramatic stories for
children which may be obtained now are really educational or have for
their place upon the teacher’s desk a firm psychologic background. Most
of them seem to have for their scheme of compiling child _acting_, not
_action_. The child on the stage is not developing mentally. Rather is
he a mentally starved puppet, moved about by the wires of the stage
and repeating lines in parrot-like fashion. The little girl, E, quoted
at the beginning is an example of mental growth through spontaneous
action. So the books of dramatic stories seem to have been prepared
having in mind what the child should _say_ or _do_, rather than
presenting such interesting story material in such interesting form
that a child will _speak_ and _do_ without any further stimulus than
that of the story itself.

In selecting our stories for child dramatizing we will go to original
sources and choose only such stories as are so rich in homely,
apperceptive incidents, and so marked by possibilities for simple,
interpretive dialogue as to lend themselves to instinctive action on
the part of the children.



_The Actors_:

    A Little Old Woman.
    A Little Old Man.
    Some Mowers.
    Some Threshers.
    A Pig.
    A Fox.
    The Gingerbread Boy.


_Place:_ A Kitchen.

_Time:_ Saturday Morning.

The Little Old Man Sits in a corner.

The Little Old Woman is seen, too, stirring cake dough and singing as
she stirs:

    “Sugar, and spice, and everything nice--
    That’s what a little girl’s made of;
    Snaps, and snails, and puppy dogs’ tails;
    That’s what a little boy’s made of!

“Ah, well-a-day, but I wish I had a little boy for all that! Some one
to run to the store, and bring in the kindlings, and drive the cows
to pasture, and feed the pig, and get into mischief, and be rocked to
sleep in the evening.”

She calls to the Little Old Man:

“Father! Oh, I say, Father! Fetch me the jug of molasses from the
pantry. I am making a gingerbread cake for your supper!”

The Little Old Man does not move, or stir.

The Little Old Woman calls louder: “Fetch me the molasses jug, Father!”

The Little Old Woman crosses to the chimney corner, and shakes the
Little Old Man, but he is asleep and does not wake.

The Little Old Woman holds up her hands in despair.

“Dearie me! I might as well have a broom for a Goodman as he. There is
nothing done in the house unless I attend to it myself,” she says.

She leaves the kitchen for a moment, returning with the jug of
molasses. She pours some molasses into the bowl, stirs again, and
finally empties the dough out upon the board, rolling it flat with her
rolling pin. Suddenly she stops, rolling pin in air.

The Little Old Woman: “I have it! I will make me a Gingerbread Boy!”

She works very fast, talking as she shapes the Gingerbread Boy with her

The Little Old Woman: “Here is his dear little head, with currants for
eyes, and one raisin for his nose, and three raisins for his mouth.
Here is his fine little jacket with a row of currants for buttons; and
here are his two fine, fat little legs. Here are his arms, and here are
his shoes!”

She lays the completed Gingerbread Boy in the baking pan and dances
about the kitchen with it in her hands, singing as she dances, the Song
of the Gingerbread Man:

    “Hickory, dickory, dickory, dan;
    Heigho, I sing for a Gingerbread Man!
    Currants for eyes, and a round raisin nose,
    Gingerbread shoes on his gingerbread toes,
    Gingerbread jacket, so tight and neat,
    Gingerbread smiles on his face so sweet,
    Hickory, dickory, dickory, dan;
    Heigho, I sing for a Gingerbread Man!”

As she finishes her song, she opens the imaginary oven door, and,
kneeling down, puts in the tin which holds the Gingerbread Boy. Then
she shakes the Little Old Man again.

The Little Old Woman: “Wake up, I say, Father! _Wake up!_ _Wake up!_
The garden’s to be weeded, and the butter’s to be churned! Wake up, I
say, and mind the oven. There’s a fine little Gingerbread Boy baking

The Little Old Man wakes very slowly, and looking all about the kitchen
says in a dazed sort of way: “What’s that you say, Mother? I don’t see
any little Gingerbread Boy.”

The Little Old Woman goes to the stove and points to the oven. “He’s
in here baking. Do you mind him while I’m away. In twenty minutes by
the clock, do you open the oven door, and the Gingerbread Boy will be

The Little Old Man: “Yes, yes, Mother. Do you go and weed the garden
and churn. I’ll sit here, and mind the oven.”

The Little Old Woman leaves the kitchen. After she has gone, the Little
Old Man re-lights his pipe. Then he gets up from his chair and peeps in
the oven door.

The Little Old Man: “A fine, fat Boy! A very fine, fat Gingerbread
Boy! How his buttons shine, and he is swelling so much that his jacket
is splitting. I shall eat him for my supper!”

He goes back to his chair, and begins smoking, but soon his head nods.
He looks up at the clock.

The Little Old Man: “In twenty minutes I will take him out. I think I
shall have a short nap in the meantime.”

The Little Old Man falls fast asleep again, his pipe falling to the
floor. As he sleeps, the oven door opens a little as if some one had
pushed it from the inside. The real Gingerbread Boy peeps out through
the crack. When he sees that the Little Old Man is asleep, he steps
out. He begins blowing on his fingers and he puts them in his mouth
as if they were burned. He fans himself with the baking tin which he
brings with him out of the oven, and he hops about the kitchen on the
tips of his toes.

The Gingerbread Boy: “My, but that oven was warm! I might have been
burned to a crisp before any one remembered to take me out. So this is
my new home!”

He looks about in all the corners of the kitchen.

“And _this_ is my new father!”

He goes over to the Little Old Man, and pulls his wig. Then he sits
down, cross-legged on the hearth, and goes on talking to himself.

The Gingerbread Boy: “I don’t know whether I want to live in this house
or not. I know what little boys have to do.”

He counts on his fingers:

“They have to run to the store, and bring in kindlings, and drive the
cows and feed the pigs. I’d rather have a good time. I think I will run

He jumps up, and looks around the room, cautiously.

“There’s nobody here to see me go. Hurrah! Hurrah! Here I go, off by
myself to see the world!”

He runs lightly out of the kitchen.


_Place_: A country road. The Gingerbread Boy is discovered, sitting on
top of the wall, talking to himself.

The Gingerbread Boy: “Here I am, out by myself, seeing the world.
The world’s a very pleasant place, only I do wish I were not made of
gingerbread, and I do wish that everybody wasn’t so hungry. Wherever I
travel some one wants to eat me. Bless my buttons, there comes some one

The Mowers come slowly along with their scythes over their shoulders.
They sing as they walk:

    “On Chopnose Day the Mowers rise,
    As every one supposes,
    And march upon the grass and flowers,
    And cut off all their noses.”

Suddenly the Mowers discover the Gingerbread Boy.

First Mower: “Who sits there on top of the wall?”

Second Mower: “It is a little boy made of gingerbread.”

First Mower: “Let us eat him!”

Second Mower, going up to the Gingerbread Boy: “Good morning, my lad,
where do you come from, and where are you going this fine morning?”

The Gingerbread Boy hops down from the wall, and dances away on the
tips of his toes:

    “I’ve run away from a Little Old Woman,
    And a Little Old Man.
    I can run away from you, I can!
    Run, run, as fast as you can,
    You can’t catch me,
    I’m the Gingerbread Man!”

He disappears, followed by the Mowers, but reappears at the other end
of the road, looking frightened and out of breath.

The Gingerbread Boy: “They didn’t catch me that time, but you never can
tell what’s going to happen next. There comes somebody else.”

The Threshers are seen passing with their flails over their backs.

One of the Threshers: “Who is that by the side of the road?”

A Second Thresher: “That is a Gingerbread Boy!”

Both of the Threshers, going up to the Gingerbread Boy very fiercely:
“Come with us and be eaten, my lad!”

The Gingerbread Boy dances a little way ahead of the Threshers as he
calls back to them:

    “I’ve run away from a Little Old Woman,
    And a Little Old Man,
    Some Mowers--and--
    I can run away from you, I can.
    Run, run, as fast as you can,
    You can’t catch me,
    I’m the Gingerbread Man.”

He runs away a second time, followed by the Threshers, but he is seen
in a moment at the end of the road. He climbs up on the wall again.

The Gingerbread Boy: “I wonder who will try and eat me next!”

He puts his hand up to his eyes. “There comes some one now!”

The Pig enters, grunting.

The Pig:

    “One of us went to market; and one of us stayed at home.
    One of us had roast beef, but I’m the Pig who had _none_!”

“I’m hungry enough to eat green apples. Ahe! What do I see? A
Gingerbread Boy!” He walks up to the wall, and stands on his back feet,
but he cannot reach to the top. The Gingerbread Boy dances on top of
the wall.

    “I’ve run away from a Little Old Woman,
    And a Little Old Man,
    Some Mowers, some Threshers--and--
    I can get away from you, I can.
    Jump, jump, as high as you can,
    You can’t catch me,
    I’m the Gingerbread Man!”

The Pig tries to get the Gingerbread Boy, but he is not able to, and he
walks away, still grunting.

The Gingerbread Boy: “Well, he didn’t get me. I believe I am able to
take care of myself after all. Why, who is that great creature, coming
down the road?”

The Fox enters. He sees the Gingerbread Boy, but he pretends that he
does not. He sits down and waits. The Gingerbread Boy watches the Fox.
Then he speaks to him.

    “I’ve run away from a Little Old Woman,
    A Little Old Man,
    _Some Mowers, some Threshers, a Pig--and--_
    I can run away from you, I can!”

the Gingerbread Boy says.

The Fox speaks in a deep, gruff voice, without moving.

The Fox: “Step a little closer, Sonny. I’m very hard of hearing.”

The Gingerbread Boy jumps down from the wall, and goes quite close to
the Fox, speaking very loudly:

    “_I’ve run away from a Little Old Woman,
    A Little Old Man.
    Some Mowers, some Threshers, a Pig--and--
    I can run away from you, I can!_”

The Fox speaks again, without moving.

The Fox: “You will have to step closer yet, Sonny, I’m very, very hard
of hearing.”

The Gingerbread Boy goes up to the Fox, shouting in his ear. As he does
so, the Fox eats him up.


_Characters in the Play_:

    A Mouse Who Lives in Town.
    A Mouse Who Lives in the Country.
    Some other Mice, as many as one wishes, who live in the same hole
      as the country mouse.
    They include his Father, his Mother, and a number of Brothers and
      Sisters; a Cat.


_Place_: A mouse hole in a barn.

_Time_: The early evening of a day in the fall.

The Father, Mother, and younger mice are seen, sitting about, and
nibbling bits of candles, turnips, carrots, and other dainties.

_The Father_, taking a large bite of turnip, and speaking between

“I have been a mile to the south and a mile back to-day without meeting
an enemy. I found a field of corn, and a garden of turnips, and a patch
of large, juicy cabbages. For a comfortable, fat old age, there is no
place like the country.”

_The Mother_, running about very nimbly, and gathering up all the
candle ends:

“You are right, Father. The farmer’s wife cleaned the candlesticks
to-day, and she threw away all these ends. This evening I shall make a
large tallow pudding!”

_One of the younger Mice_, who jumps up, and begins dancing very
gracefully about the mouse hole on the tips of her toes:

“Everybody goes to bed so very, very early in the country. A mouse may
dance until morning without being caught.”

As she dances, the other Mice drop whatever they were eating, and they
sing in funny, squeaking voices, a tune to which her feet keep time.

This is their song:

    “Squeak, squeak, skip, skip!
    Gather your tail up, and trip, trip!
    Crickets and grasshoppers dance by day,
    But night is the time for a mouse to play,
    When the moon shines round, like a great big cheese--
    When only the sleepy Sand Man sees--
    Then--Squeak, squeak, skip, skip!
    Gather your tails up, and trip, trip!”

When the Mice finish their song, the Father looks all about the hole.
Then he speaks.

_The Father_: “I do not see your brother. Where is your brother?”

_The Mother_, peering about in all the dark corners of the mouse hole:
“Where is my son? Oh, where is my son?”

_All the younger Mice_, speaking together: “Oh, where is our brother?”

As the younger Mice speak, the Country Mouse enters at the back of the
mouse hole. He wears a large red necktie which has green spots, and is
tied in a bow in front. He seems to be very much excited. All the Mice
crowd about him.

_The Father_, taking the Country Mouse by his paw and leading him to
the front of the mouse hole:

“Where have you been all day, my son?”

_The Mother_, re-tying the Country Mouse’s necktie: “You seem out of
breath, my dear!”

_All the younger Mice_, excitedly: “Where have you been? Oh, do tell us
where you have been?”

_The Country Mouse_: “I have had an adventure. I started out early this
morning for the dairy, because I heard some one say that there were
cheeses being made. On the way to the dairy I met a very fine Mouse,
passing by on his way to town. He lives in the town, and he told me all
about his home.”

_All the younger Mice_, crowding closer that they may hear what the
Country Mouse is saying:

“What did the Town Mouse tell you about his home?”

_The Country Mouse_: “He said that he lived in a pantry!”

_The Father_: “A pantry?”

_The Mother_: “A pantry?”

_All the younger Mice_: “A pantry?”

_The Country Mouse_: “Yes, a pantry! There are pies there, and cakes.
There are fat hams, and juicy spare ribs. There are puddings, and there
are cheese rinds lying about on the shelves. The servants are careless,
and at night they leave the food uncovered. Then the Town Mouse comes
out of the wall and sits on the pantry table, and eats his fill.

“No cold gardens to be searched for food. No frozen fields to be dug
over for roots and corn stalks.”

The Country Mouse looks disdainfully about the hole. Then he goes on

_The Country Mouse_: “The Town Mouse invited me to come and visit him
this evening!”

_The Younger Mice_: “Oh!”

_The Father_, shaking his head, doubtfully: “Don’t go, my boy. There
is a wild animal who lives in town houses. She has eyes as large as
saucers. She wears cushions on her feet that no one may hear her when
she walks. She has sharp claws and sharper teeth. She can see in the

_The Mother_: “It is the Cat! Don’t go to town, my son. The Cat eats

_The Country Mouse_: “I am not afraid of the Cat. I am tired of this
dull life in the country. I want to see sights, and taste the good
things that are to be found in pantries. I am going, to-night, to visit
the Town Mouse!”

_The Father, Mother, and all the younger Mice_ try to hold the Country
Mouse, but he gets away from them. He runs away through the back of the
mouse hole.


_Place_: A pantry.

The Town Mouse sits on the edge of the table, eating, but nervously,
and looking all about him as he nibbles.

Under one of the shelves, and behind the Town Mouse, so that he is not
able to see her, sits the Cat.

_Time_: Midnight of the same evening.

The Cat plays that she is asleep, but she is really watching the Town
Mouse. Suddenly she sneezes.

_The Town Mouse_, dropping a large piece of cheese, which he has been
eating, and looking around in a frightened way:

“Oh, my ears and whiskers! Is that a sneeze which I hear?”

He trembles and shakes violently. He sees no one, though, so he picks
up the cheese in one paw and a slice of bread in the other. As he
nibbles, he talks to himself.

_The Town Mouse_: “I am tired of this life in town. Late suppers, and
rich food to disturb one’s digestion; traps, traps everywhere--wooden
traps, and wire traps, round traps, and square traps; traps with doors,
and traps with windows--and always a Cat hiding in a corner. She may be
in the room now for all I know.

“To-day I took a walk in the country and I met a little farmer mouse in
a red necktie. He thought he would like to live in town.

“Ough!” the Town Mouse shivers, “I wish I were safe in the country,

There is a little noise at the back of the pantry, and the Country
Mouse enters in great glee, looking about at all the food. The Cat sees
the Country Mouse, and she creeps, softly, a little farther under the
shelf, keeping watch of him all the time.

_The Town Mouse_, jumping down from the table, and motioning with one
paw for the Country Mouse to make less noise:

“Oh, why did you come? It isn’t safe here. You should have stayed in
the country.”

_The Country Mouse_, paying no attention to the Town Mouse, but running
nimbly around the table and tasting all the different things.

_The Country Mouse_: “Cheese, and bread, and cake, and pie--and jam!”

He puts his paw down in a jam pot, and eats a little jam. Then he
crosses to the Town Mouse and pats him on his back.

_The Country Mouse_: “A thousand thanks, my fine fellow. This pantry of
yours is a palace, and you are the prince. No quiet, country life for
me. Here will we live and eat our fill--”

He stops suddenly, as the Cat once more sneezes.

_The Town Mouse_, wringing his paws, and whispering in great fright: “I
heard it a moment or so ago. I’ll wager I heard it; and now I hear it
again. Some one sneezed.”

_The Country Mouse_, glancing about, but seeing no one: “Who sneezed?”

_The Town Mouse_: “The Cat.”

_The Country Mouse_: “Where is the Cat?”

_The Town Mouse_: “The Cat is everywhere. She isn’t in the room, now,
but she may be on her way. Hours and hours she sits at the door of my
hole so I can’t come out in the evening. Then she chases me when I try
to snatch a bite of supper, and she follows me--follows, wherever I go.”

_The Country Mouse_, in a frightened voice: “Are her eyes as large as
saucers? Does she wear cushions on her feet that no one may hear her
when she walks? Has she sharp claws, and sharper teeth? Can she see in
the dark? Does she eat--mice?”

The Cat suddenly springs from her corner. There is a great scamper, in
which the mice make their escape, but the Country Mouse leaves his long
tail in the Cat’s paws.

    _Dramatic form arranged by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey._


    JACK AND THE BEANSTALK                              _Old Fairy Tale_
    LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD                              _Old Fairy Tale_
    BRE’R RABBIT AND THE LITTLE TAR BABY      _Joel Chandler Harris, in
                                                Nights with Uncle Remus_
    THE LARK AND HER YOUNG ONES                          _Æsop’s Fables_
    THE LION AND THE MOUSE                               _Æsop’s Fables_
    HANSEL AND GRETEL                                   _Old Fairy Tale_
    THE PROUD CHICKEN             _Chinese Fable, in The Talking Beasts_



Nearly all children find fluent speech as readily as birds find song
and flowers find perfume. Occasionally, there is a “different” child,
though, who through shyness, slow motor reaction or a retarded brain
development has difficulty in using words as a medium of expressing

There is always the problem, too, of the foreign-born child. We find
him a patient, tongue-tied little scrap of humanity clad in the garb
of Italy or Russia or Germany clinging to his mother’s skirts when the
big vessel docks and as dazed as she is at the babel of strange speech
that deafens, stuns him. Then we see him in school and his linguistic
problem becomes more complicated. He is put into a class where the
ordinarily complex matters of reading, writing, and ciphering are
made increasingly more complex because they are presented to him in a
foreign language. The school curriculum leaves small space in the day
for teaching a child to talk. Tony, discouraged, baffled, puzzled,
drifts farther and farther into his great silence and is dubbed a
dunce, because he doesn’t know what his teacher is talking about.

What shall we do with Tony who forms a big unit in our ever increasing
foreign population? How shall we quickest help him and every child to
that ready expression through speech that means power, efficiency,
self-control in later years?

There was my own, special Tony--a quaint little man of five in yellow
breeches, a green shirt and a fur cap, which latter he persisted in
wearing during his entire school day for fear that some one might
steal it. Tony was, “out of Naples.” His melting brown eyes danced
with delight at a bit of crimson paper, a gold orange produced as a
model for the painting lesson, a red rose that meant a sense game. But
Tony’s warm, red lips remained persistently closed. Days melted into
weeks and then were months and still Tony was dumb. Ideas he had.
Words he had not, although I had tried daily to teach him to say, _good
morning_, _good-by_, _ball_, _clay_, _blocks_ and like words.

One day Tony electrified me, though. He was always an attentive, close
listener during my story hour that ended the morning. Because the
children were, in the majority, foreign, I selected short, repetitional
stories for telling. The children were fascinated with the quaint old
folk tale of “The Teeny Tiny Lady.” As I told it, they had formed a
habit of joining me when I reached a familiar phrase.

“Tell the Teeny Tiny Lady,” they begged again and as I finished the
story, Tony’s eyes danced, his lips parted--

“Once upon a time there was a lady, who lived in a house in a village,”
he began in clear, pure English. With a little help he almost retold
the story. It was amazing, but through the inspiration of the other
children’s enthusiastic story interest, the many repetitions of the
story and its simple, cumulative structure Tony had learned nearly a
hundred words. He talked after that, and he told us stories. The story
had unloosed his tongue.

_Stories help children to verbal expression._

In the case of a foreign child who must be taught English, or the
American-born child who is shy and so lacking in the power of
expressing himself through words, we will use the old folk tale that
repeats its words and phrasing with happy familiarity and so teaches

_It will not be necessary to make the child or group of children feel
that the story is being used as a lesson in English._

Just select the _right story_.

Tell it _over and over again_, as long as the children are interested
in it--and you will find that their interest will exhaust yours.

And encourage the children to _tell the story with you_.

This method spells success in using the story to increase a child’s

Certain stories stimulate the child to repeat certain jingles or
phrases _with_ the story teller. This explains their popularity and
adds to their value. The good old cumulative story of the “Cat and the
Mouse” is built around a nonsense ditty:

    “First she leaped, and then she ran,
    ’Till she came to the cow and thus began.”

After a child learns and repeats this verse he begins to add to it the
sentences of the story that precede and follow it. When the foreign
child is able to tell the last paragraph of the story:--

    “So the good baker gave the mouse some bread; the mouse gave the
    bread to the butcher who gave him some meat; the mouse gave the
    meat to the farmer who gave him an armful of hay; the mouse gave
    the hay to the cow and the cow gave the mouse a saucer of milk for
    the cat. Then the cat drank the milk and gave the mouse his little
    long tail. And they went on playing in the malt house.”

--he has acquired a good working vocabulary of English.

So there are a score of similar repetitional stories that help a child
to learn ready speech. The Greedy Cat repeats the tale of his prowess:

    “I have eaten my friend the mouse. I have eaten an old woman, and
    a man and a donkey, and the King and all his elephants. What is to
    hinder my eating you, too?”

Chicken Little bewails to every one she meets:

    “The sky is falling.”

And in answer to the query “How do you know?” she assures her

    “I saw it with my eyes, I heard it with my ears, and a bit of it
    fell upon my tail.”

In Maud Lindsay’s story of “The Little Gray Pony” there is a
delightfully interpolated jingle that repeats itself and adds to itself
in such fascinating fashion that children cannot resist saying with the
story teller:

    “Storekeeper! Storekeeper! I’ve come to you;
    My little gray pony has lost his shoe!
    And I want some coal the iron to heat,
    That the blacksmith may shoe my pony’s feet.”

and its answer:

    “Now, I have apples and candy to sell,
    And more nice things than I can tell;
    But I’ve no coal the iron to heat,
    That the blacksmith may shoe your pony’s feet.”

Ever popular Little Half Chick with his happy-go-lucky, daring
journey to Madrid compels children to tell his story as he “_hoppity
kicks_” through his adventures. The Three Pigs with their three ever
interesting fates help a child to do his own story telling. There is
an exhaustless fund of folk lore to draw upon that has few words in
its story construction, frequent and happy repetitions of those words,
and inspiration for a child to make those words a part of his own

These bits of repeated phrasing in a story, scraps of incorporated
lyrics and jingles and built-up cumulative paragraphs are like the
beads that help to make the child’s necklace. On them he strings the
thread of the story narrative, making it so thoroughly a part of his
mental life that he is able to give it out again in the remembered
words of the story. Long after the loved, “huffing and puffing” of the
wolf in the story of the “Three Little Pigs” has become only a memory,
a child uses the words, _furze_, _blazing_, _scramble_, _fortune_--and
a hundred other words that came to him in this happy story connection
and so into his every-day conversation.

The older child who has passed the nursery tale and folk lore turnstile
in his story road finds help to a greater power in verbal expression
by means of the beautifully written story, told in its original pure
phrasing by the story teller and enriching him because of its wonderful
English. A truly well-wrought story suffers often at the hands of the
story teller. It isn’t necessary in telling such a story to bring it
down to the plane of the children’s intelligence; rather we will bring
the children up to its heights of beautiful imagery and mellow phrasing.

In telling Henry Ward Beecher’s story of “The Anxious Leaf,” in
“Norwood,” the story should be memorized by the story teller. No word
of its vivid picturing should be lost. It is a short story so this
method of preparing it for telling will not be irksome. A little
girl six years old who had been told this story several times was out
walking one fall with her mother. She picked up a dead leaf, from the
ground, and holding it tenderly in her hand, she repeated softly:

“Then the little leaf began to _want_ to go and it grew very beautiful
in thinking about it.

“And a little puff of wind came and tossed it like a spark of fire
in the air and it fell gently down under the edge of the fence among
hundreds of other leaves; and it fell into a dream and never waked up
to tell what it dreamed about--”

This child’s vocabulary had been deeply enriched by a story.

In Laura Richards’ stories we find pure English that will help
children. In Rudyard Kipling’s “Jungle Stories” and the “Just So
Stories” there is virile wording that every child needs. Dean Hodges’
“Bible Stories” preserve for children the line phrasing of the Hebrews
as almost no other Bible story teller has succeeded in doing. Hans
Christian Andersen’s best translators have kept for us his matchless
word painting. Such stories as these teach a child purer use of
English. Eugene Field’s few child stories; “The Legend of Claus,” “The
Mouse and the Moonbeam,” “The Maple Leaf and the Violet” sing in their
classic wording. No child can hear them without having his vocabulary

It is quite possible to accomplish a great deal through story telling,
not only in teaching English to the child who is foreign born or
dormant mentally, but in giving the average child new and more colorful
examples of word painting than he has heard before.

The steps in story telling for verbal expression in children are:

_Selection._ The story must be worth while telling from the point of
view of its phrasing. In the case of the child who really needs to be
taught to talk, short, rhymed or cumulative tales are useful. With
older children we will select those beautiful examples of classic story
telling that should form part of a child’s mental life and so help him
to express himself in pure diction.

_Presentation._ These stories that are selected by the story teller as
being particularly adapted to English teaching should be most carefully
prepared and presented happily, compellingly, and in their exact,
original form with almost no variation in subsequent telling so that
they may present good models to the children.

_Repetition._ A story selected for its English value should have
frequent repetitions that the children may become very familiar with it
and gain the power to repeat it themselves, or at least learn certain
parts of it, not as a task but naturally, inspirationally.



There was once a little Lady Woodpecker--such a trim, tidy little Lady
Woodpecker--who wore always a natty red bonnet, and a white apron
and who lived in a hole in a big Pine Tree. Her house was cozy and
comfortable, all lined with moss and wool, and protected by a little
brown bark door so that it was cool in the summer time and warm when
the winter winds blew.

But the little Lady Woodpecker was a selfish bird and she never,
_never_ asked any other birds to come and visit with her in her house
in the Pine Tree.

In the next tree to the little Lady Woodpecker lived a Fluffy Sparrow.
His nest was loosely built and untidy and it rested insecurely in a
fork of a tree so that the wind blew it this way and that way. This was
because all sparrows are poor nest builders and it was not the Fluffy
Sparrow’s fault at all. One day there was an unusually heavy storm and
down from the tree blew the nest. So the Sparrow had now no home.

Then the Fluffy Sparrow flew and hopped and twittered beside the little
brown bark door above the little Lady Woodpecker and said:

“Oh, little Lady Woodpecker with the red bonnet, have pity on me and
take me into your house, for the rain falls and I am very, very cold.”

But the little Lady Woodpecker tapped with her bill on the wall of her
house and answered:

“I can’t let you in to-day, Fluffy Sparrow. I am cooking juniper
berries for a batch of pies. Come again some other time and perhaps I
will let you in.”

So the Fluffy Sparrow hopped away and the rain made him very, very

The next day the Fluffy Sparrow flew and hopped and twittered again
beside the little brown bark door of the little Lady Woodpecker and

“Oh, little Lady Woodpecker with the red bonnet, have pity on me and
take me into your house, for the cold and cruel wind blows and it
ruffles my feathers.”

But the little Lady Woodpecker tapped again with her bill on the wall
of her house and answered:

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

So the Fluffy Sparrow hopped away and the cold and cruel wind ruffled
his feathers.

The day after that the Fluffy Sparrow flew and hopped and twittered
again beside the little brown bark door of the little Lady Woodpecker
and said:

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

But the little Lady Woodpecker tapped again with her bill on the wall
of her house and answered:

“I can’t let you in to-day, Fluffy Sparrow. I am making the crust for
my batch of juniper berry pies. Come again some other time and perhaps
I will let you in.”

So the Fluffy Sparrow hopped away and the biting frost nipped his feet.

But the fourth day the Fluffy Sparrow flew and hopped and twittered
once again beside the little brown bark door of the little Lady
Woodpecker and said:

“Oh, little Lady Woodpecker with the little red bonnet, have pity on me
and take me into your house, for the snow blinds me.”

But the little Lady Woodpecker tapped _very_ hard with her bill on the
wall of her house and answered:

“I can’t let you in to-day, Fluffy Sparrow. I am cleaning my floor
before I sit down, all by myself, to _eat_ my juniper berry pies.”

So the blinding frost blinded the Fluffy Sparrow’s eyes.

Then the last day of all the Fluffy Sparrow flew and hopped and
twittered beside the little brown bark door of the little Lady
Woodpecker and he said:

“Oh, little Lady Woodpecker with the little red bonnet, _please_ have
pity on me and take me into your house, for I do not like the rain and
the wind and the frost and the snow.”

But the little Lady Woodpecker did not answer the Fluffy Sparrow. And
the Fluffy Sparrow lifted one claw and poked open the little bark door
and he saw that _no one was inside_. The little Lady Woodpecker was
away buying a key with which to lock her door while she ate her batch
of juniper berry pies.

So the Fluffy Sparrow went inside the house in the tree that was so
cozy and comfortable because it was lined with moss and wool. There he
was sheltered from the rain and the wind and the frost and the snow. He
ate up all the batch of juniper berry pies.

When the little Lady Woodpecker came home the Fluffy Sparrow was living
in _her_ house and she had to find herself a new one because she had
been such a selfish bird.

                                                  _An Indian Folk Tale._


Once upon a time there was a little White Rabbit with two beautiful
long pink ears and two bright red eyes and four soft little
feet--_such_ a pretty little White Rabbit, but he wasn’t happy.

Just think, this little White Rabbit wanted to be somebody else
instead of the nice little rabbit that he was.

When Mr. Bushy Tail, the gray squirrel, went by, the little White
Rabbit would say to his Mammy:

“Oh, Mammy, I _wish_ I had a long gray tail like Mr. Bushy Tail’s.”

And when Mr. Porcupine went by, the little White Rabbit would say to
his Mammy:

“Oh, Mammy, I _wish_ I had a back full of bristles like Mr.

And when Miss Puddle-Duck went by in her two little red rubbers, the
little White Rabbit would say:

“Oh, Mammy, I _wish_ I had a pair of red rubbers like Miss

So he went on and on wishing until his Mammy was clean tired out with
his wishing and Old Mr. Ground Hog heard him one day.

Old Mr. Ground Hog is very wise indeed, so he said to the little White

“Why don’t you-all go down to Wishing Pond, and if you look in the
water at yourself and turn around three times in a circle, you-all will
get your wish.”

So the little White Rabbit trotted off, all alone by himself through
the woods until he came to a little pool of green water lying in a low
tree stump, and that was the Wishing Pond. There was a little, _little_
bird, all red, sitting on the edge of the Wishing Pond to get a drink,
and as soon as the little White Rabbit saw him he began to wish again:

“Oh, I wish I had a pair of little red wings!” he said. Just then he
looked in the Wishing Pond and he saw his little white face. Then he
turned around three times and something happened. He began to have a
queer feeling in his shoulders, like he felt in his mouth when he was
cutting his teeth. It was his wings coming through. So he sat all day
in the woods by the Wishing Pond waiting for them to grow, and, by and
by, when it was almost sundown, he started home to see his Mammy and
show her, because he had a beautiful pair of long, trailing red wings.

But by the time he reached home it was getting dark, and when he went
in the hole at the foot of a big tree where he lived, his Mammy didn’t
know him. No, she really and truly did not know him, because, you see,
she had never seen a rabbit with red wings in all her life. And so the
little White Rabbit had to go out again, because his Mammy wouldn’t
let him get into his own bed. He had to go out and look for some place
to sleep all night.

He went and went until he came to Mr. Bushy Tail’s house, and he rapped
on the door and said:

“Please, kind Mr. Bushy Tail, may I sleep in your house all night?”

But Mr. Bushy Tail opened his door a crack and then he slammed it tight
shut again. You see he had never seen a rabbit with red wings in all
his life.

So the little White Rabbit went and went until he came to Miss
Puddle-Duck’s nest down by the marsh and he said:

“Please, kind Miss Puddle-Duck, may I sleep in your nest all night?”

But Miss Puddle-Duck poked her head up out of her nest just a little
way and then she shut her eyes and stretched her wings out so far that
she covered her whole nest.

You see she had never seen a rabbit with red wings in all her life.

So the little White Rabbit went and went until he came to Old Mr.
Ground Hog’s hole and Old Mr. Ground Hog let him sleep with him all
night, but the hole had beech nuts spread all over it. Old Mr. Ground
Hog liked to sleep on them, but they hurt the little White Rabbit’s
feet and made him very uncomfortable before morning.

When it came morning, the little White Rabbit decided to try his wings
and fly a little, so he climbed up on a hill and spread his wings and
sailed off, but he landed in a low bush all full of prickles, and his
four feet got mixed up with the twigs so he couldn’t get down.

“Mammy, Mammy, Mammy, come and help me!” he called.

His Mammy didn’t hear him, but Old Mr. Ground Hog did, and he came and
helped the little White Rabbit out of the prickly bush.

“Don’t you-all want your red wings?” Mr. Ground Hog asked.

“No, _no_!” said the little White Rabbit.

“Well,” said the Old Ground Hog, “why don’t you-all go down to the
Wishing Pond and wish them _off_ again?”

So the little White Rabbit went down to the Wishing Pond and he saw
his face in it. Then he turned around three times, and, sure enough,
his red wings were gone. Then he went home to his Mammy, who knew him
right away and was so glad to see him and he never, _never_ wished to
be something different from what he really was again.

                                                   _Southern Folk Tale._


    THE CAT AND THE MOUSE                         _In Firelight Stories_
    THE LITTLE GRAY PONY               _Maud Lindsay, in Mother Stories_
    THE LITTLE BOY WHO FOUND HIS FORTUNE          _In Firelight Stories_
    THE STORY OF IBBITY                           _In Firelight Stories_
    THE CAT, THE COCK AND THE FOX        _Kate Douglas Wiggin, in Tales
                                                            of Laughter_
    TOM TIT TOT              _Kate Douglas Wiggin, in Tales of Laughter_
    THE LITTLE PINK ROSE     _Sara Cone Bryant, in Best Stories to Tell
                                                            to Children_
    THE LITTLE TRAVELER                _Maud Lindsay, in Mother Stories_
    TOM, THE WATER BABY           _Charles Kingsley, adapted in For the
                                                        Children’s Hour_



A group of school children recently started quarreling in the school
yard during the morning recess time. The storm center was two small
boys who had fallen out over a game of marbles. The entire class took
sides; _for_ Edgar and _against_ Edgar, _for_ Lawrence and _against_
Lawrence and proceeded to wage individual warfare like a miniature
army. Even the ringing of the school bell failed to stop the quarrel.
The children took their seats unwillingly and with sour faces carrying
the feud with them into the classroom.

The teacher was a wise young person who believed in attacking the
matter of discipline along the lines of least resistance. She saw
immediately that a general feeling of anger possessed the children;
no one child could be blamed. So she set about creating an opposite,
general feeling as quickly as possible. Setting aside other work for
ten minutes she announced a story. Instantly, the tension was loosened.
By the time she had finished Grimm’s story of “The Pot and the Kettle,”
in which, as a climax, neither is able to taunt the other with being
black, the children’s anger was gone, peace was restored, and the
children were smiling. An emotional crisis had been successfully met by
means of a story.

Our emotions, that is, our feelings of anger, joy, sorrow, hatred,
jealousy, and love are older than we are. They may almost be classed
as instinctive, for they manifest themselves so early. The baby gives
examples of emotional explosions in his first month. These feelings
have their rise in mental conditions over which we have no control;
they are not dependent upon sensory stimuli; they are isolated,
incoherent. They take hold of the personality of the subject in a
hypnotic fashion, for the period of the feeling’s mastery we _are_
anger, love, sorrow, or whatever emotion enthralls us.

The psychologists classify and subdivide the emotions into many
divisions but the story teller is most concerned with making one
elastic, wide classification of a child’s emotions; those that are
concerned with _bodily expression_. A child is happy, he laughs; he is
sad and he cries; he is angry, he fights; he is afraid, and he gives
active evidence of cowardice. Because, during the time of his obsession
by one of these emotions, a child is so completely mastered by his
feelings, we discover that we can create for him by story suggestion a
similar mental state.

_The story which a child feels is going to be a force in his emotional

I came across one of my own, old Mother Goose books not long ago with
the leaves that held the story of the “Babes in the Wood” _pinned_
securely together. It told me as nothing else could have done the
emotion caused in a child’s mind by this gruesome tale. I was afraid
when I read the story. I felt all the terror experienced by the Babes
in the Wood. My fear emotion was so unpleasant that I had pinned the
story out of my sight. I wanted to feel some other emotion. Other
children have similar emotions.

We will study stories, then, asking ourselves:

_What emotion does this story stimulate?_

By its unpleasant situations and images, does it inspire fear in a
child? Does it make a child happy because of its bubbling good humor?
Does it create child sympathy, courage, grief, anger, malice, charity,
temperance? Each one of these states of feeling is characterized by
bodily expression and we can almost mold character, and influence a
child’s future life activity by means of the stories which we tell him.

Sometimes our sole object in this story emotion work will be to create
an atmosphere of good humor and happiness in our children. Not by any
means to be despised is the ability to make a child laugh. The power to
feel humor in childhood means the power to take life not too seriously
in adult life and the story that simply amuses and entertains has an
important place in the story hour. In this class of happiness-making
stories are: “Bre’r Rabbit and the Little Tar Baby,” “Johnny Cake,”
“Epaminondos and His Aunty,” “The Mouse and the Sausage,” “The Greedy
Cat,” “Lambikin,” “Chicken Little,” “The Cat and the Mouse” and a
score more of sheer nonsense stories whose very improbability makes
them tickle a child’s sense of humor and gives him the opportunity to
express his feelings in laughter.

So many more stories than we realize put children into a state of fear.
Oldest of all our emotions, since we share it alike with animals, fear
peculiarly takes hold of a child during the early years when he is most
interested in stories. The story situation that seems quite plausible
to us and not in the least terrorizing, haunts a child at night,
peers from shadowy corners at him in the daytime and makes of him,
unwittingly, a little coward. The troll with only one eye, the giant
who cracks human bones, the witch who exercises horrible spells should
all be buried in some tomb of forgetfulness. Stories having such themes
do nothing toward creating worthwhile emotions in the child’s mind.
While their very improbability makes them plausible for us, they are,
on the other hand, very real to children and should be avoided.

But we can make children self reliant and brave by giving them feelings
of courage through listening to courage stories. The child who hears
the stories of “Cedric, the Little Hero of Harlem,” “The Story of a
Short Life,” “David and Goliath,” “Jean D’Arc,” “Tiny Tim,” “Jenny
Wren,” is made one with each child hero, feels with them, dares with
them, acts with them.

_Each emotion that will prevail over and influence human action in
adult life may be appealed to in childhood through stories._

The child who is greedy and selfish is led into a better state of
feeling when he hears the story of “The King of the Golden River.”
Always greed and avarice will be associated in his mind with the tragic
end of the brothers, and the Happy Valley, full of plenty, and enjoyed
by Gluck, will symbolize for him the reward of unselfishness. The child
who is proud will feel the opposite emotion, humbleness, when he hears
Oscar Wilde’s wonderful parable of “The Star-Child.” As children
follow the wanderings of the Star-Child, his beauty gone, his mother
lost to him because of his pride and, with him, find the successful end
of the journey, they lose their own pride of heart with their story

    “And the gate of the palace opened, and the priests and the high
    officers of the city ran forth to meet him, and they abased
    themselves before him, and said, ‘Thou art our lord for whom we
    have been waiting, and the son of our King.’

    “And the Star-Child answered them and said, ‘I am no king’s son,
    but the child of a poor beggar-woman. And how say ye that I am
    beautiful, for I know that I am evil to look at.’

    “Then he, whose armour was inlaid with gilt flowers, and on whose
    helmet couched a lion that had wings, held up a shield, and cried,
    ‘How saith my lord that he is not beautiful?’

    “And the Star-Child looked, and lo! his face was even as it had
    been, and his comeliness had come back to him, and he saw that in
    his eyes which he had not seen there before.

    “And the priests and the high officers knelt down and said to him,
    ‘It was prophesied of old that on this day should come he who was
    to rule over us. Therefore, let our lord take this crown and this
    sceptre, and be in his justice and mercy our King over us.’

    “But he said to them, ‘I am not worthy, for I have denied the
    mother who bare me, nor may I rest till I have found her, and known
    her forgiveness. Therefore, let me go, for I must wander again over
    the world, and may not tarry here, though ye bring me the crown and
    the sceptre.’ And as he spake he turned his face from them towards
    the street that led to the gate of the city, and lo! amongst the
    crowd that pressed round the soldiers, he saw the beggar-woman who
    was his mother, and at her side stood the leper, who had sat by the

    “And a cry of joy broke from his lips, and he ran over, and
    kneeling down he kissed the wounds on his mother’s feet, and wet
    them with his tears. He bowed his head in the dust, and sobbing,
    as one whose heart might break, he said to her: ‘Mother, I
    denied thee in the hour of my pride. Accept me in the hour of my
    humility. Mother, I gave thee hatred. Do thou give me love. Mother,
    I rejected thee. Receive thy child now.’ But the beggar-woman
    answered him not a word.

    “And he reached out his hands, and clasped the white feet of the
    leper, and said to him: ‘Thrice did I give thee of my mercy. Bid my
    mother speak to me once.’ But the leper answered him not a word.

    “And he sobbed again, and said: ‘Mother, my suffering is greater
    than I can bear. Give me thy forgiveness, and let me go back to the
    forest.’ And the beggar-woman put her hand on his head, and said to
    him: ‘Rise,’ and the leper put his hand on his head, and said to
    him ‘Rise,’ also.

    “And he rose up from his feet, and looked at them, and lo! they
    were a King and a Queen.

    “And the Queen said to him, ‘This is thy father whom thou hast

    “And the King said, ‘This is thy mother whose feet thou hast washed
    with thy tears.’

    “And they fell on his neck and kissed him, and brought him into
    the palace, and clothed him in fair raiment, and set the crown
    upon his head, and the sceptre in his hand, and over the city that
    stood by the river he ruled, and was its lord. Much justice and
    mercy did he show to all, and the evil Magician he banished, and to
    the Woodcutter and his wife he sent many rich gifts, and to their
    children he gave high honour. Nor would he suffer any to be cruel
    to bird or beast, but taught love and loving-kindness and charity,
    and to the poor he gave bread, and to the naked he gave raiment,
    and there was peace and plenty in the land.”

What more effective emotional stimulus could be found than this?

The children whom we wish to feel pity should hear Andersen’s “Ugly
Duckling”; Oscar Wilde’s, “The Birthday of the Infanta”; Daudet’s,
“The Last Lesson”; “The House in the Wood” and “The Star Dollars” by
Grimm and many other _sympathy_ stories that only wait for our timely

In telling a story, having in mind its emotional effect upon a
child’s mental life, we will need to use the greatest delicacy of
discrimination in order to create just the story effect which we wish.
We will not tell such stories so often as to cause them to lose their
magic spell. We will appeal to but one emotion at a time through the
story medium. We will make an appeal most strongly to those emotions
that have bodily expression in a child’s daily speech and acts. We will
remember that a child is so quick to smiles, so quick to tears that
the pleasanter feelings should be the aim of our telling of emotion
stories rather than the unpleasant ones.

Some of us may class Miss Mulock’s story of “The Little Lame Prince”
as just a purely imaginative one; others of us are appealed to by its
dramatic qualities. But, after all, the story has survived the test
of years because of its big emotional appeal. It stands for pity,
sympathy, courage, nearly all the emotions which we wish to strengthen
in children.


Yes, he was the most beautiful Prince that ever was born. Everybody was
exceedingly proud of him, especially his father and mother, the King
and Queen of Nomansland. The only person who did not love the Prince
was the King’s brother, who would have been king one day if the royal
baby had not come.

Of course a little Prince must be christened. The day came at last, as
lovely as the Prince himself, and they carried the baby, magnificent
in his christening robe, to the bedside of the Queen, his mother. She
admired him very much. She kissed and blessed him, and then she gave
him up with a gentle smile, and turned peacefully over in her bed,
saying nothing more to anybody.

It was a wonderful christening procession: dukes and duchesses, princes
and princesses, heralds, and ladies in waiting were in line. Every one
was so busy shouting out the little Prince’s four and twenty names that
they never noticed the accident. It was the Prince’s state nurse maid,
an elegant young lady of rank, who let him fall just at the foot of the
marble staircase. She had been so busy arranging her train--that was
the reason she dropped him--but she contrived to pick him up again the
next minute before any one saw. The baby had turned very pale under the
heap of lace and muslin, and he had moaned a little, but that was all.

There were pages in crimson and gold, troops of little girls in
dazzling white with baskets of flowers, the King and his train on one
side--as pretty a sight as ever was seen out of fairyland.

“The only thing the baby wants is a fairy godmother,” said one of the

“Does he?” said a shrill, but soft voice behind.

She was no bigger than a child, and certainly had not been invited
to the christening. She was a little old woman dressed all in gray;
gray gown, gray hooded cloak of a material tinted like the gray of an
evening sky, gray hair, and her eyes were gray also. Even her face had
a soft gray shadow over it, but she was not unpleasantly old, and her
smile was as sweet and childlike as the Prince’s own.

“Take care,” she said. “Don’t let the baby fall again!”

The grand lady nurse started.

“Who spoke? His Royal Highness is just going to sleep,” she said.

“Nevertheless I must kiss him,” said the little old woman. “I am his

And she stretched herself up on tiptoe, and gave the little Prince
three kisses.

“An insult to His Royal Highness,” said the nurse.

“His Majesty shall hear of this,” said a lord-in-waiting. But just then
the little gray woman faded away like air, and the great bell of the
palace--the bell which was only heard on the death of some member of
the Royal family--began to toll--one--two--three--nine and twenty--just
the Queen’s age!

So when the little Prince was carried back to his mother’s room, there
was no mother to kiss him. She had turned her face to the window whence
one could just see the Beautiful Mountains where she was born. So
gazing, she had quietly died.

Everybody was very kind to the poor little Prince, but, somehow, after
his mother died, things seemed to go wrong with him. From a beautiful
baby he became sickly and pale, and his legs, which had been so fat and
strong, withered and shrank. When he tried to stand he only tumbled

A prince, and not able to walk! People began to say what a misfortune
it was to the country. Rather a misfortune to him, also, poor little
lad, but he still had the old sweet look in his little face, and his
body grew if his legs did not. His Majesty, the King, took very little
notice of his son, and one day he died, too, and they made the Crown
Prince, Regent, in his stead, and then things went much worse with the
little Prince.

Perhaps the Prince Regent did not mean to do wrong. He told the country
that the little Prince would be better if he were sent for a while to
the Beautiful Mountains. So the poor little Prince started, with two
whole regiments to guard him, and then there came back word that he had
gone on a much longer journey. They said that he had died on the road,
so the country went into mourning, and then forgot all about their
little lame Prince. And the Regent was proclaimed King.

What really became of the Prince? Beyond the Mountains there lay a
barren tract of country, with not a bush--not a tree. In summer the
sunshine fell upon it hour after hour, and in winter the snow covered
it steadily and noiselessly in one great sheet. Not a pleasant place to
live--and no one did live there, evidently. The only human habitation
for miles and miles was one large, round stone tower, circular, with
neither doors nor windows, save some slits in the wall near the top.
And the top was a hundred feet from the plain.

One winter night, when all the plain was white with moonlight, there
was seen crossing it a great black horse, ridden by a man equally
black, and carrying before him on the saddle a woman and a child. The
woman had a sad, fierce look, and no wonder, for she was a criminal
under sentence of death, but her sentence had been changed. She was to
live in the lonely tower with a child--only as long as he lived. He
was a little gentle boy, with a sweet, sleepy smile. He had been tired
with his long journey. And he was very helpless, with his poor, small,
shrivelled legs, which could neither stand nor run away--for the little
boy was the Prince.

When they reached the foot of the tower there was light enough to see a
huge chain dangling from the top, half way. The man fitted together a
ladder and mounted, drawing up the Prince and his nurse. Then he came
down again and left them alone.

And there they stayed for years.

It was not an unhappy life for the little boy. He had all sorts and
kinds of beautiful toys, and more picture books than he could look at.
He learned to crawl like a fly, and to jump like a frog. He played
about from room to room--there were four; parlor, kitchen, his nurse’s
room, and his own--and as he grew older he would sit at the slits of
windows and watch the sky, and wonder about things--for his nurse never
talked much.

“I wish I had somebody to tell me all about the world,” he said to
himself once, “a real, live person. Oh, I want somebody dreadfully!”

As he spoke, there sounded behind him, the tap-tap-tap of a cane,
and--what do you think he saw?

A little woman, no larger than he, with gray hair, and a dress of gray,
and there was a gray shadow over her wherever she moved. But she had
the sweetest smile, and the prettiest hands, which she laid on his
shoulders, as she said:

“My own little boy, I couldn’t come until you said you wanted me, but
here I am!”

“Are you my mother?” asked the little Prince. He had always wondered
what had become of his mother.

“No, only your godmother,” said the little woman, “but I love you as
much as your mother did, and I want to help you all I can, my poor
little boy. I am going to give you a present--a traveling cloak,” but
just then in came the Prince’s nurse, and his lovely old godmother
melted away, as a rainbow melts out of the sky. He knew, for he had
watched one many a time.

And what of the traveling cloak? I will tell you all about it.

It was the commonest-looking bundle imaginable--shabby and small. It
seemed no treasure at all; only a circular, green piece of cloth, and
quite worn and shabby. It had a slit cut to the center, forming a round
hole for the neck, and that was all its shape.

“Of what use will it be to me?” thought the little Prince sadly.
“I never go out. She must be a rather funny person, this dear old
godmother of mine.”

But he spread it out on the floor, and sat down in the center for all
the world like a frog on a water lily leaf. The edges of the cloak
began turning up--and--the cloak rose, slowly and steadily, and higher
and higher until the little Prince was obliged to open the skylight to
let himself through. There they were outside. Oh, it was wonderful,
nothing but earth and sky for a while. Then came the patches of flowers
that grew on the plain, white saxifrage, and yellow lotus, and ground
thistles. Next, he saw a farm where cows and horses, lambs and sheep
fed in the meadows. Presently he heard a murmur in the distance, like
a gigantic hive of bees. It was a great city which he was sailing over
and the cloak stopped directly over a palace.

Such a magnificent palace! It had terraces and gardens, battlements and
towers. Its windows looked in all directions, but mostly toward the
Beautiful Mountains.

“I wonder if there is a king in this palace,” thought the little Prince.

Just then the cloak settled down to the palace roof between some great
stacks of chimneys as comfortably as if it were on the ground. There
were some broken tiles in the roof, and the Prince peered in.

It was the largest room he had ever seen, and very grand. There was the
loveliest carpet ever woven on the floor, a bed of flowers; but the
room was perfectly empty and silent. In the center of a magnificent
bed, large enough to hold six people, lay a small figure, something
like wax work, fast asleep--very fast asleep. There were some
sparkling rings on the fingers and the nose was sharp and thin, and a
long gray beard lay over the breast. Two little flies buzzed about the
curtains of the bed, and made the only sound--for the King was dead.

Then there came a great shouting from the city.

“Long live the King! The King is dead--down with the King! Hurrah for
the Republic! Hurrah for no government at all!”

“Oh, dear godmother,” cried the little Prince. “Let me go back to
the tower.” And he suddenly found himself in his own room alone and
quiet--for the traveling cloak had taken him there; after which it
folded itself into the tiniest bundle, and tied its own knots, and
rolled itself into the farthest and darkest corner.

The clock was striking ten, and no nurse was to be seen. The little
lame Prince crawled about from room to room on his weak little knees,
but all the four chambers were deserted.

“Nurse--dear nurse--please come back!” he cried. “Come back and I will
be the best boy in the land!”

But she did not answer, nor come.

In truth the poor woman had not been such a wicked woman after all.
As soon as she heard of the death of the King, she determined to go
to Nomansland, and set upon the throne its rightful heir. She had
persuaded the old black messenger to take her down from the tower, and
together they galloped like the wind from city to city spreading the
news that the little lame Prince was alive and well, and the noblest
young Prince that ever was born.

It was a bold stroke, but it succeeded.

“Hurrah for the Prince! Let the little Prince be our King,” came from
end to end of the Kingdom.

Everybody tried to remember what a dear baby he once was, and nobody at
all spoke of his lameness. They went with great rejoicing; lords and
gentlemen, and soldiers traveling night and day to fetch the little
lame Prince.

They found him sitting on the floor--quite pale, for he expected a far
different end from this, although he had decided to die, if die he
must, courageously, like a Prince.

“Yes,” he said, “I am only a little boy, but I will try to be your
King. I will do my best to make the people happy.”

Then there arose from inside and outside the tower, such a shout as
never yet was heard across the lonely plain.

So the little lame Prince came to his own after all, and every one
says he was the best King that ever ruled Nomansland. His reign lasted
for years and years, and then he went away.

Whither he went, or who went with him, it is impossible to say. But I
myself believe that his godmother took him on his traveling cloak to
the Beautiful Mountains. What he did there, or where he is now, who can
tell? I cannot. But one thing I am quite sure of, that, wherever he is,
he is perfectly happy.

And so, when I think of him, am I.

    _Adapted, from Miss Mulock._


    BRE’R RABBIT AND THE LITTLE TAR BABY (_Merriment_)   _Joel Chandler
                                     Harris, in Nights with Uncle Remus_
    THE STORY OF CEDRIC (_Courage_)             _Elizabeth Harrison, in
                                                           In Storyland_
    THE KING OF THE GOLDEN RIVER (_Unselfishness_)        _John Ruskin,
                                        adapted by Sara Cone Bryant, in
                                        How to Tell Stories to Children_
    THE STAR CHILD (_Humility_)       _Oscar Wilde, in The Happy Prince_
    THE UGLY DUCKLING (_Pity_)                 _Hans Christian Andersen_
    LITTLE COSETTE (_Sympathy_)         _Victor Hugo, in Les Misérables_
    EPAMINONDAS AND HIS AUNTY (_Glee_)       _Sara Cone Bryant, in Best
                                            Stories to Tell to Children_
    THE ELVES AND THE SHOEMAKER (_Industry_)             _Grimm’s Tales_
    TINY TIM (_Love_)         _Adapted from Charles Dickens, in For the
                                                        Children’s Hour_



What is child imagination?

The Puritans thought the imaginative person was a liar. Old Salem said
that such a vision as is conjured into reality by the imagination
constituted witchcraft. Even to-day there are parents and teachers
who believe that the child who has the power to pierce the veil of
reality and see into a beyond is a dreamer who lacks stability of mind
and practicality of purpose. But the unexplainable power by means of
which a human mind grasps a bundle of bare, dry facts, sorts them over
speculatively and then pieces them together into a new, luminous bit
of mind stuff, different from anything seen, or heard or handled by
that personality before--this is the miracle working of what we know as
constructive imagination. Edison chaining electricity and perpetuating
the human voice imaged these wonders before he realized them. Moissant
saw air craft through the telescope of his mind before he built bird
machines. Jane Addams saw, felt, imaged herself alone, poor and an
outcast before she could successfully help her fellows. In adult
life, the power to image the unreal, the power to feel with another
personality spells genius, as well as imagination.

_Child imagination is a kaleidoscopic mind method of seeing, and
piecing, and patching together ideas gathered by the senses, and making
of them a new concept._

No child ever saw a live fairy, but any child will explain a fairy to
you, quite plausibly, because he has formed his own fairy concept. A
being with hair like his favorite small girl friend, and the stature of
his little sister’s doll, having wings like the dragon fly he saw last
summer and dressed in something colored and soft and rustling like his
mother’s dresses, a person capable of doing all that the story books
say she can do--this is a child’s mind picture of a fairy.

No one of us ever saw Heaven but all of us can describe it. A place
of this world’s grass and flowers and music and familiar, beloved
personalities transplanted, renewed, translated--this is our manner of
describing, of seeing Heaven.

The child’s method of imaging a fairy and our method of imaging Heaven
are identical. From known, experienced, familiar perceptions we make a
new, as yet unexperienced concept. If we want a child to see Heaven,
we must help him to see fairies. Success, happiness, efficiency,
belief--all these in adult life are dependent upon the proper
stimulating of the child’s constructive imagination.

_A good fairy story is the best stimulus to child imagination._

Not any fairy story, selected with slight discrimination and told to
a child just because it is a story of fancy, however. “Blue Beard,”
“Ali Baba,” “The Cruel Stepmother” do little but cause child nightmares
and give children ideas of cruelty, vengeance and crime. These
concepts will present themselves to the child soon enough in the daily
newspapers. Let us shut them out of the story hour. In selecting
a fairy story to tell to children, we will first analyze it with
exceeding care, asking ourselves these questions in regard to it:

_What constitutes the imaginative element of this story?_

_Is its point of unreality an idea which we want to give permanence in
the child’s mind?_

_Is the story told in a series of such familiar, known images that
there is material in it for stimulating the child’s constructive

If a fanciful story survives these three tests, we may be sure that it
is perfect.

There is Hans Andersen’s story of “The Faithful Tin Soldier.” Its
climax is told in a lesson of heroism and faithfulness, qualities that
we wish to make permanent in the child’s mind through the medium of the
imagination. And how are these qualities presented? We find that they
are made real to children by means of familiar settings; a little boy
is playing with new toys upon his birthday, we see the child going to
bed, there is the coming-alive of the toys in the play-room, the tin
soldier’s experiences in the street, his return to the kitchen. Every
child knows toys, a birthday, a play-room, a city street in the rain, a
kitchen; but out of these patches of gray, every-day pigment Andersen
paints for children a new, colored picture of fancy. Presented in terms
of the real we have the unreal; a live tin soldier who is as heroic and
faithful as we wish our children to be. This is a perfect imaginative
story, a bit of unreality which we wish to make real for children and
told in terms of child experience.

Alice Brown’s wonderful allegory, “The Gradual Fairy,” is also perfect
in its theme and construction. Its hero, the Green Goblin, wishes to
become a fairy. The story of his changing his ugly colors for those
of the flowers when he promises never to hurt them again, losing his
harsh, shrill voice by being kind to the brook, and so gradually
finding beauty, is a marvellously compelling bit of imagery to leave
with a child and it is told in familiar, right-at-hand word pictures.
In the several chapters of Jean Ingelow’s, “Mopsa, the Fairy,” child
hearers are transported to familiar places, but places where the
unusual, the beautiful happens. The story tells of the Winding Up
Places where tired-out horses are put in green pastures and are allowed
to grow back to colt-hood, and where weary working folks are wound up,
like clocks, and given such vigor that they never run down again.

Charles Kingsley, from the reality of a dirty chimney sweep and a sooty
chimney, takes children voyaging into his paradise of fancy under the
sea. Eugene Field gives children a permanent picture of Santa Claus
in his legend of “Claus.” There is the little lad, Claus, up in the
Northland, finding his greatest happiness in carving wooden dolls and
animals for the children. When his parents disappear, Claus lights
his father’s forge fire and in the wonder light of the Northern star
pledges himself to create child happiness. The elves bringing him gifts
of metal and precious stones for his work, the forest giving him its
trees and greens, the reindeer drawing his sleigh full of toys, the
snow and frost speeding him on his way--these give children the true
meaning of Claus’ world saint-ship in terms of the imagination.

Apply this threefold test to every imaginative story and your selection
will be infallible.

_What does the story image?_

_Do I want to vivify this image for my children?_

_How does it stimulate the imagination?_

The old, loved fairy stories that have lived for centuries stand this
test. The story of Cinderella leaves a child with a mental picture of
a cinder maid full blown into a princess but with this image is the
lesson of rewarded faithfulness to duty, and the story plot is built up
of familiar concepts; the kitchen, a pumpkin, a party, a chiming clock,
a tiny slipper. “The House in the Wood,” “Little Daylight,” “The Many
Furred Creature,” “Snow White and Rose Red,” “The Goose Girl,” “Briar
Rose,” “Spindle, Needle and Shuttle,” “The Elves and the Shoemaker,”
“The Story of Midas,” “The Star Dollars,” “Why the Sea is Salt,” “Tom
Thumb,” all these world-old fanciful tales take children far afield but
they leave them better off, ethically, than before they heard them and
each story is a healthy stimulus to the imagination.

What is the place of the fairy story in the story hour?

A good fairy story is like the touch of spice that gives the needed
zest to a dish, it is the sweet at the end of the meal, it should not
be spoiled by over use, by voraciousness. We will select our fairy
stories with the utmost care, measuring each by our threefold rule. We
will tell these perfect fairy tales occasionally only, realizing that
they will bear frequent retelling and are to be the classics of the
child’s story literature.

One of the most beautiful of all fairy stories, Mary Wilkins Freeman
wrote. “The Blue Robin” is perfect in treatment and theme.


The country over which King Chrysanthemum reigned was very far inland,
so there was very little talk about the sea-serpent, but everybody was
agitated over the question whether there was, or was not, a Blue Robin.

The whole kingdom was divided about it. The members of parliament
were “F. B. R.,” for Blue Robin or “A. B. R.,” against Blue Robin. The
ladies formed clubs to discuss the question, and sometimes talked whole
afternoons about it, and the children even laid down their dolls, and
their tops to search for the Blue Robin. Indeed, many children had to
be kept tied to their mother’s apron-strings all the time to prevent
them from running away to a Blue Robin hunt. It was a very common
thing to see ladies going to a Blue Robin club, with a child at each
apron-string, pulling back and crying, “I want to go hunting the Blue
Robin! I want to go hunting the Blue Robin!”

The country was agitated over this question for many years, then
finally there were riots about it.

People had to lock themselves in their houses, and when the Blue Robin
party was uppermost, paint blue robins on their front doors, and when
it was not, wash them off. After the riots commenced, it was really
almost all that people could do to paint blue robins on and wash them
off, their front doors.

At last King Chrysanthemum had to take extreme measures. He decided to
consult the Wise Man. A committee was chosen of eight F. B. R.’s, and
eight A. B. R.’s, and a chairman, and they set out at once, marching
four abreast, the chairman with his chair leading the way, to consult
the Wise Man. He had to be found before he could be consulted, however,
and that was a very difficult matter. The Wise Man considered it the
height of folly to live like other people in a house immovably fixed
upon one spot of ground, and therefore he always carried his house
about with him, as a turtle carries his shell.

He had fashioned a little dwelling of cloth and steel ribs, something
like an umbrella, which he strapped to himself, and lived in, traveling
all over the country in pursuit of wisdom.

The committee marched a whole week, before they came upon the Wise Man
one afternoon in a pasture where huckleberries grew. He was standing
quite still when they approached and made their obeisances. The
Chairman of the committee placed his chair, a rocking-chair with a red
plush cushion, before the Wise Man, seated himself, and spoke. “All
Hail, Wise Man!” said he in a loud voice.

The Wise Man’s house had a little door in front like a coach door, and
two tiny windows. One of the windows had the curtains drawn, but out of
the other looked the Wise Man’s calm blue right eye. There was so much
wisdom in his two eyes that he knew people could not comprehend it, so
he always curtained one window. The house was about one foot higher
than his head, and reached to his ankles. They could see his feet in
their leather sandals below it.

The Wise Man said not one word in response to the Chairman’s
salutation, only looked at him with his blue right eye. Then the
Chairman laid the matter before the Wise Man and besought his aid in
the terrible situation of the country. After the Chairman had ceased
speaking there was a silence for half an hour. Not a sound was to be
heard except the creaking of the Chairman’s rocking-chair. Then the
Wise Man cleared his throat. The committee leaned forward expectantly,
but they had to wait another half hour before he spoke, and then it was
not very satisfactory. “Ideas are not as thick as huckleberries in this
pasture,” was all he said.

The committee looked at one another, and nodded ruefully. It was quite
true, but it did not help them in their dilemma. They waited another
half hour; then the Wise Man began moving off across the pasture in his

“Oh, stop, stop!” cried the Chairman. “Stop, stop!” cried the
committee. They all ran after him, and begged him not to go away until
he had given them some useful advice.

“Offer a reward!” called out the Wise Man, as he scudded away.

“For what, for what!” cried the committee.

“For finding the Blue Robin,” called out the Wise Man, and then a puff
of wind caught his umbrella-like house, and he was lifted quite off his
feet, and bobbed away out of sight over the huckleberry-bushes.

The committee hastened back to the city, and reported. Another special
parliament was called, and the reward for finding the Blue Robin was
offered. That was really a difficult matter, because the Princess
Honey was only five years old, and the customary reward--her hand in
marriage--could hardly be offered. However, it was stated that if the
finder of the Blue Robin was of suitable age when the Princess was
grown, she should be his bride; and furthermore that he and all his
relatives should be pensioned for life and that he should be appointed
Poet Laureate, and given a regiment, a steam yacht, a special train,
and a pound of candy every day from the national candy mills. The offer
was painted in blue letters on yellow paper, and pasted up all over the
country, and then the search began in good earnest. Business all over
the kingdom was at a standstill. Nobody did anything but hunt the Blue

People ate nothing in those days but cornmeal pudding, hastily mixed
and boiled. There was no bread baked, because all the bakers and all
the housewives were out hunting the Blue Robin. The mothers untied the
children from their apron-strings, and the schools were all closed,
because it was agreed that finding the Blue Robin and establishing
peace in the kingdom, was of more importance than books, and all
the children who were old enough were out hunting--that is, all the
children except Poppy.

It should be stated here that everybody in this country, with the
exception of the Princess, had a flower-name. The Princess was so much
sweeter, that only the inmost sweetness of all flowers was good enough
for her name, and she was called Honey.

Poppy was about ten years old, and his father was an editor of a
newspaper, and very poor. He could scarcely support his five children.
His wife had died the year before, and he could not afford to hire a

So Poppy had to stay at home, and keep the house, and take care of his
four young brothers and sisters, while his father was away editing,
and he could not hunt the Blue Robin. It was a great cross to him, but
he loved his little brothers and sisters, and he made the best of it.

After the search for the Blue Robin began, his father was much busier,
and had often to be away all night, so Poppy had to rock and trot the
twin babies, Pink and Phlox, and go without sleep, after working hard
cooking and washing dishes and sewing all day. Poppy had to mend the
children’s clothes, and he was even trying to make some little frocks
for Petunia and Portulacca. They were twins also, five years old.

As Poppy sat in the window and sewed, with his right foot rocking
Pink’s cradle, and his left foot rocking Phlox’s, with Petunia and
Portulacca sitting beside him on their little stools, he told them all
he had ever heard about the wonderful Blue Robin.

“Nobody is even quite certain he has seen it, himself,” said Poppy,
“but he knows somebody else, who knows somebody else, who has; and if
you ever could find the first somebody, why he could tell where the
Blue Robin was.”

“Can’t they find the first somebody?” asked Portulacca.

“I guess he died before people were born,” said Poppy. Then he went on
and told Petunia and Portulacca how there was a wonderful blue stone
in the King’s crown, which was unlike all other precious stones, and
said to be the Blue Robin’s egg; and how there was a little Blue Book
in the King’s library which had a strange verse in it about the Blue

Then Poppy repeated the verse. He had learned it at school. It ran in
this way:

    “He who loveth me alone,
    Can tell me not from stick or stone;
    He who loveth more than me,
    Shall me in fullest glory see.”

“What does that mean?” asked Petunia and Portulacca.

“I don’t know,” replied Poppy. Then he mended faster than ever. Many
children ran past the window, hunting the Blue Robin, but he did not
complain, even to himself.

That night his father did not come home, and Pink and Phlox cried as
usual, and he had to rock them, and trot them. About midnight, however,
they both fell asleep in their cradles, and Poppy began to think he
might get a little rest himself. He could scarcely keep his eyes open.
Petunia and Portulacca had been sound asleep in their cribs ever since
seven o’clock.

Everything was very still, and he was just dozing, when he heard a
sound which made him start up wide awake at once, although the children
never stirred. He heard a single sweet bird-pipe, sweeter than anything
he had ever heard in his life, and it seemed to be right in the room at
his elbow. When the babies fell asleep Poppy had blown out the candle,
the hearth-fire had gone out, and the room had been very dark, but
now something was shining on the table like a lamp, which gave out a
wonderful blue light. The sweet pipe came again. Poppy stared at the
blue light on the table, which grew brighter and brighter, until he saw
what it was. The Blue Robin shone on his table like a living sapphire,
its blue wings seeming to fan the blue light into flames, its blue
breast brighter than anything he had ever seen.

While all the world was out searching for the Blue Robin, it had come
of its own accord to the poor little faithful boy in his poor little

The children all slept soundly, and did not stir. Poppy stood up
trembling, and went over to the table, and immediately the Blue Robin
flew to his hand, and clung there.

Then Poppy went out of the house, and down the road to the King’s
palace with the Blue Robin on his hand. Although it was so late,
scarcely anybody had gone to bed. They were all out with lanterns,
hunting for the Blue Robin.

When Poppy with the Blue Robin on his hand came in sight, all the
lanterns went out.

“What is that?” the people cried, “what is that wonderful blue light?”

They crowded around Poppy.

Then all of a sudden they shouted, “Poppy has found the Blue Robin!
Poppy has found the Blue Robin!” and followed him to the King’s Palace.

The shouts were heard in the newspaper office where Poppy’s father was
hard at work, and he ran to the window. When he saw his son with the
Blue Robin, he was overwhelmed with joy. He stuck his pen behind his
ear and came down on the fire-escape, and also went to the palace. The
King had not gone to bed, though it was so late, neither had the Queen.
They were talking about the Blue Robin and the perilous state of the
country with the Prime Minister, on the front door-step.

When they saw Poppy and the Blue Robin, and all the people, and heard
the shouts of joy, the King tossed his crown in the air, the Prime
Minister swung his hat, and the Queen ran in and wrapped up the
Princess Honey in a little yellow silk gown, and brought her to see
the wonderful sight.

It was wonderful--the Blue Robin on Poppy’s hand seemed to light the
whole city. Poppy, by the King’s order, stood on the top door-step, and
everybody could see the bird on his hand. Then the Blue Robin began to
sing, and sang an hour without ceasing, so loud that everybody could

When the bird stopped singing, the King advanced. “You shall now
receive your reward,” he said to Poppy, “and I will take the Blue
Robin, and put him in a golden cage, and have him guarded by a regiment
of picked soldiers.”

The King extended his hand and Poppy his, but just as the King touched
the Blue Robin, he disappeared. There came a faint song from far above
the city roofs, and people tipped back their heads, and strained their
eyes, but they could not see the Blue Robin; they never saw him again,
as long as they lived.

However, he had been seen by many witnesses, and the object of the
search was attained. There were no longer two parties in parliament,
and the country was in a state of perfect peace. Indeed, parliament
only met afterward to agree, and eat cake and ice cream, and shake

Poppy had his reward at once--that is, everything but the hand of the
Princess Honey--and he and his father and his little brothers and
sisters, were very rich and happy, until he grew to be a man. Then the
Princess Honey had grown to be a beautiful maiden, and he married her
with great pomp, and the King gave them the Blue Robin’s egg for a

                                                   MARY WILKINS FREEMAN.

    _By the Courtesy of the Author._


    THE HAPPY PRINCE                  _Oscar Wilde, in The Happy Prince_
    THE GRADUAL FAIRY             _Alice Brown, in The One-Footed Fairy_
    THE STORY OF CLAUS               _Eugene Field, in A Little Book of
                                                       Profitable Tales_
    THE FAITHFUL TIN SOLDIER                   _Hans Christian Andersen_
    OLD PIPES AND THE DRYAD       _Frank R. Stockton, in Fanciful Tales_
    LITTLE DAYLIGHT           _Sara Cone Bryant, in How to Tell Stories
                                                            to Children_
    BRIAR ROSE        _Kate Douglas Wiggin and Nora Archibald Smith, in
                                                         The Fairy Ring_
    THE ELF-HILL                               _Hans Christian Andersen_
    OLE LUK-OIE                                _Hans Christian Andersen_
    THE LITTLE LAME PRINCE                                 _Miss Mulock_



The average story must be cut and fitted to meet the needs of the
story teller who wants to make a direct and vivid appeal to her
children. Writing a story for the printed page and preparing a story
for children’s ears are two very different matters. In the former case,
there is no time limit set upon the story; the reader may lay his story
book down at will when he tires of the printed words, ready to take
it up again when he has the inclination. In the latter case, we have
to meet the mental and emotional needs of a group of children whose
attention must be held by the compelling power of an orally delivered
story. To meet these story needs as applied to oral delivery, a story
has, ordinarily, to be made over before it is told. It must be made
into a perfectly fitting garment for wrapping the child about with a
clinging cloak of imagination, full of colorful words and truth. The
story teller must do this story adapting herself. How can she bring it
about in the quickest, most effectual way?

A large percentage of the stories printed for children are _too long_.
The story that is too short and needs to be “padded” for telling
is very rarely to be found. In the case of the Fables of Æsop and
Bidpai the skeleton only of each story is given and here the problem
of adapting for the story teller is to find a way of filling in each
picture in order to make the story of the desired length.

But how shall we shorten the too-long story that we want children to
hear because of its compelling theme and _motif_, but which is, very
likely, two thousand or twenty-five hundred words long? This is the
average difficulty that the story teller meets in connection with
the average story. There is also the _time_ problem to be taken into
consideration, as well. While the story teller wants to spend as much
time as necessary in the preparation of a story, this time ought to be
reduced to a minimum. Is there a short cut to story adaptation and how
may the story teller find it?

One may almost reduce a recipe for making over stories. It is possible
to outline a pattern by means of which a printed story may be cut to
fit the needs of a group of eager, restless, wriggling children. Having
this recipe, this pattern, thoroughly in mind, a little practice in
applying it to particular stories that need adapting will give the
story teller power to apply it, quickly and effectually to any story
with little loss of time. Its use will give the story teller an added
power in her work. Knowing how to put stories in shape for telling will
help her to hold the attention of any group of children.

The first step in our rule for adapting a story that is too long is to
carefully _read the story_.

This seems too obvious a suggestion, almost, to put upon a printed
page, but reading a story having in mind making it over means reading
it to find out _what happens_ in the story, _what is its important
action, who are its necessary characters_, and _what is the climax_.
This first reading of a story for adaptation means an analysis of the
story plot. This kind of story reading may be developed so as to become
the story teller’s habit in reading any story, but it is the necessary,
preliminary step in all story adapting.

Our next step is to _find the pictures in the story_.

Suppose you were a stage manager with the problem of dramatizing this
special story to meet the interests of an audience, how would you
develop the different scenes in the story so as to make it into a
play that holds interest? Suppose you are a film maker. What are the
moving pictures in the story to be presented in their order of interest
through the medium of your film? We have much to learn from the stage
manager and the moving picture man. Their problems are identical with
those of the story teller in that they must strip a story plot bare
of details, unnecessary description and the opinions of the author.
They must give an audience the _naked story_. This is all the audience
wants. So it is with children. They demand story _scenes_, story
_pictures_ and nothing else.

The third and last step in story adaptation, is to _prepare our story
pictures for presentation to the children_.

This step depends a good deal upon the children for whom you are
preparing the story. If the children are foreign-born, you will need to
put each story picture into a frame of very simple language. If yours
are country children, you will need to put country images into the
picture canvas. If they are city children, the canvas may need a few
fire engines, parks and policemen to catch the children’s attention.
These will be, of course, quite subsidiary to the real story interest
which must be preserved at all events.

It depends, also, upon the person who wrote the story. If we are
adapting Hans Christian Andersen, Charles Dickens, Eugene Field or any
other master story teller for the special needs of our story group,
we must use the utmost care in keeping the _form_ of the author and
preserving his marvellous English. Too often the story teller ruins a
story in attempting to “tell it down” to children. It is possible to
shorten a good story and still keep it the author’s own. It depends,
most of all, upon determining the elements of _action_, _dialogue_ and
_description_ necessary to make the story picture a fixture in the
child’s mind. Children want to know “what happens” in each scene of the
story. This constitutes all their interest.

These, to sum up, are our steps in story adaptation:

_Read the story, analytically._

_Select its necessary scenes._

_Reduce these scenes to elements of action._

We shall find it helpful to apply these separate steps to some one
special story which we wish to present to children and which is too
long for our use.

There is no more beautiful story in all literature than Hans Christian
Andersen’s “The Girl Who Trod on the Loaf.” It is full of the sensory
appeal, the colorful word picturing, the imagery, the ethics which we
look for in a perfect story, but as it stands in the best translation,
it is almost three thousand words long and so hedged about with
Andersen’s beautiful, but adult philosophy that it is quite beyond the
comprehension of children. As a result, it is seldom told to children
and is one of the least well-known of the author’s fairy tales. Let us
see if we can put it in shape for telling without, in the slightest
degree, hurting Andersen’s style.

We read the story analytically and find that it divides itself into
four scenes, all of which are necessary to preserve the story interest.
These are:

1. Inge’s sinning.

2. Inge’s descent to the abode of the Moor Woman.

3. Inge’s repentance and transformation into the bird.

4. The bird’s Christmas work and journey.

This analysis strips the story bare of detail. Each of these scenes,
in the original story, is elaborated, split up into minor scenes, and
they cover a very long period of time, which makes the story difficult
for a child to understand. But if we keep carefully in mind these four
separate pictures into which the story resolves itself and fill each
picture with as little description as possible and only the essential
action for carrying children by the quickest possible route to the
climax, we find ourselves equipped with a new, shorter story, told in
Andersen’s words and ready for retelling to our children.

It will be well to compare this adapted version of the story as it
appears here with the original story to be found in any translation of
Hans Christian Andersen’s stories to determine the omitted description,
action and detail. The method of adapting this story is a model for
other story adapting.


The girl’s name was Inge; she was a poor child, but proud and

With years she grew worse rather than better.

She was sent into the country, in service, in the house of a
rich people who kept her as their own child, and dressed her in
corresponding style. She looked well, and her presumption increased.

When she had been there about a year, her mistress said to her, “You
ought once to visit your parents, Inge.

“I’ll make you a present of a great wheaten loaf that you may give to
them; they will certainly be glad to see you again.”

And Inge put on her best clothes, and her new shoes, and drew her
skirts around her, and set out, stepping very carefully that she might
be clean and neat about the feet; and there was no harm in that. But
when she came to the place where the footway led across the moor, and
where there were mud and puddles, she threw the loaf into the mud, and
trod upon it to pass over without wetting her feet.

But as she stood there with one foot upon the loaf and the other
uplifted to step farther, the loaf sank with her, deeper and deeper,
till she disappeared altogether, and only a great puddle, from which
the bubbles rose, remained where she had been.

Whither did Inge go? She sank into the moor ground, and went down to
the Moor Woman, who is always brewing there. The Moor Woman is cousin
to the Elf Maidens, who are well enough known, of whom songs are sung,
and whose pictures are painted; but concerning the Moor Woman it is
only known that when the meadows steam in summer-time, it is because
she is brewing. Into the Moor Woman’s place did Inge sink down; and no
one can endure that place long. A box of mud is a palace compared with
the Moor Woman’s brewery. Every barrel there has an odor that almost
takes away one’s senses; and the barrels stand close to each other;
and wherever there is a little opening among them, through which one
might push one’s way, the passage becomes impracticable from the number
of damp toads and fat snakes who sit out their time there. Among this
company did Inge fall! and she shuddered and became stark and stiff.

She continued fastened to the loaf and the loaf drew her down as an
amber button draws a fragment of straw.

That was a never ending antechamber where Inge found herself. There was
a whole crowd of sinful people there, too. Great, fat, waddling spiders
spun webs of a thousand years over the people’s feet, webs that cut
like wire and bound them like bronze fetters. Inge felt a terrible pain
while she had to stand there as a statue, for she was tied fast to the
loaf. Her clothes had been soiled with mud in coming down to the Moor
Woman’s place; a snake was fastened in her hair and out of each fold in
her muddy frock a great toad looked forth, croaking.

The worst of all was the terrible hunger that tormented her. But could
she not stoop and break off a piece of the loaf on which she stood? No,
her back was too stiff, her hands and arms were benumbed, and her whole
body was like a pillar of stone; only she was able to turn her eyes in
her head, to turn them quite round, so that she could see backwards.

“If this lasts much longer,” she said, “I shall not be able to bear it.”

But she had to bear it, and it lasted on and on.

Her mother and all on earth knew of the sin she had committed; knew
that she had trodden upon the loaf, and had sunk and disappeared; for
the cowherd had seen it from the hill beside the moor.

And then she heard how her story was told to the little children, and
the little ones said that she was so naughty and ugly that she must be
well punished.

But one day when Inge was very hungry, she heard her name mentioned and
her story was told to an innocent child. The little girl burst into
tears at the tale of the haughty, vain Inge.

“But will Inge never come up here again?” asked the little girl.

And the reply was, “She will never come up again.”

“But if she were to say she was sorry, and to beg pardon, and say she
would never do so again?”

“Yes, then she might come,” was the reply, and the words penetrated to
Inge’s heart and did her good, and a tear of penitence dropped down on
the loaf.

Again time went on--a long, bitter time, but at last Inge heard some
one call her name and she saw two bright stars that seemed gleaming
above her. The little girl who had been sorry for Inge was now an old
woman and had gone to Heaven. She was calling to Inge. She was still
sorry for her.

And a wonderful thing happened. A beam of light shot radiantly down
into the depths of the Moor Woman’s place with all the force of the
sunbeam which melts the snow man the boys have built. More quickly than
the snowflake turns to water, the stony form of Inge was changed to
mist, and a little bird soared with the speed of lightning upward into
the world of men. But the bird was timid and shy towards all things
around; he was ashamed of himself, ashamed to encounter any living
thing, and hurriedly sought to conceal himself in a dark hole in an
old crumbling wall; there he sat cowering, trembling through his whole

Then, presently, it was the blessed Christmas time. The peasant who
dwelt near set up a pole by the old wall with some ears of corn bound
to the top, that the birds of heaven might have a good meal, and
rejoice in the happy, blessed time.

And on Christmas morning the sun arose and shone upon the ears of corn,
which were surrounded by a number of twittering birds. Then out of the
hole in the wall streamed forth the voice of another bird, and the bird
soared forth from his hiding-place; and in heaven it was well known
what bird this was.

It was a hard winter. The ponds were covered with ice, and the beasts
of the field and the birds of the air were stinted for food. Our little
bird soared away over the high road, and in the ruts of the sledges he
found here and there a grain of corn, and at the halting-places some
crumbs. Of these he ate only a few, but he called all the other hungry
sparrows around him, that they, too, might have some food. He flew into
the towns, and looked round about; and wherever a kind hand had strewn
bread on the window-sill for the birds, he only ate a single crumb
himself, and gave all the rest to the other birds.

In the course of the winter, the bird had collected so many
bread-crumbs, and given them to the other birds, that they equalled
the weight of the loaf on which Inge had trod to keep her shoes clean;
and when the last bread-crumb had been found and given, the gray wings
of the bird became white, and spread far out.

“Yonder is a sea-swallow, flying away across the water,” said the
children, when they saw the white bird. Now it dived into the sea, and
now it rose again into the clear sunlight. It gleamed white; but no one
could tell whither it went, though some asserted that it flew straight
into the sun.

    _Adapted from Hans Christian Andersen._



The children who hear one story well told eagerly demand,

“Tell us another!”

It is the natural, to-be-desired longing of the child mind to be
satiated with good stories. We endeavor to meet the children’s wish for
a number of stories in each story hour but we often hurt the mental
and moral effect of one story by telling in close connection another
story that has no interest connection with the last one told. We lead
the child from one story interest to another with slight attention to
the influence which the _story group_ will have upon the minds of the
children. We tell, perhaps, a home story, then a nature story, and
last of all a holiday story in one story hour, and in doing this we so
quickly transfer the child’s attention from one theme to a distinctly
different one that there is no cohesion in our story building. We
break down instead of building up the powers of concentration of our

Planning a group of stories for one story hour is quite as much a
matter to be studied as is the selection of each individual story in
the group and preparing this story for telling. The story combination
selected by the story teller must have the qualities of cohesion, unity
of theme, and related interests to make the story hour valuable in the
child’s life. On the other hand, the unity of theme in the separate
stories chosen must be emphasized by contrasting story treatment of
this central theme. A group of stories in which each story is just
like its predecessor and similar to the story that follows will tire
the child listeners. We must bring about cohesion in the story hour by
means of contrast in the treatment of each story.

Our first thought in planning story groups will be:

_Select the story theme for the story hour._

This story theme will be some idea which we want to bring forcefully to
the minds of our children. The story hour _motif_ may be: animals, the
home, trades, birds, flowers, heroes, a holiday or some ethical theme
as: honesty, truth or charity, but each of the stories selected for
the story group will have an animal, home, trade, bird, flower, hero,
holiday, honesty, truth or charity theme.

Our second thought in planning story groups will be:

_Select stories which present the selected theme in contrasting

Three stories form an excellent number for one story hour. Each of
these stories will illustrate one central idea that a _continuing
thread of interest_ may be carried through the story group and knotted
at the end of the story hour. But each story will make a _different
mental appeal in presenting the theme_ that the children may have the
benefit of _contrast_ in helping them to concentrate upon listening to
all the stories that make up the group.

The first of these three stories should be selected having in mind the
securing of the _involuntary attention_ of the children. It should be
an _apperceptive_ story that finds quick interpretation in the minds
of the children because its ideas are _their_ ideas, its scenes are
familiar to theirs and its characters are people like the people whom
they meet and know in their every-day environment. Having caught the
children’s attention involuntarily by a story that finds a place by
its familiarity of treatment in their own lives, the second story in
the group may make a different mental appeal. It may make the children
_reason_; it may take them far afield in their thinking, it may be the
longest story in the group and so call for greater concentration on the
part of the story teller.

The last story in the story group will be selected for _mental
relaxation_ after the tense attention demanded for the second story. It
may be a humorous story, a very short story, or one so contrasted in
treatment to the other stories in the group that it gives rest because
of its difference.

To illustrate with one typical story group will be helpful.

We wish to make the thought of _industry_ the central thought for a
story hour. The first story in the story group might be “The Sailor
Man” by Laura E. Richards. This story catches and holds the children’s
attention at once because its characters are familiar to them; its
setting is one that they can quickly see in their imagination.
They have much in common with the two children who go to visit the
sailor man; they know sailors; they have been to the seashore; they
have enjoyed boat rides. And the climax of the story is a lesson in
industry. The child who most industriously ties knots in the sailor’s
fish nets wins the reward.

The second story in the group, “The Stone in the Road,” makes the
children think more forcefully than did the first one. It takes them
farther afield and makes them see in imagination, wealth, a castle,
gold, poverty. They are obliged to reason in interpreting the rich
man’s motive in hiding his gold. The story makes the children use their
dawning power of judging.

The last story selected for this special story group is, “Drakesbill,”
a humorous folk tale. The hero, an industrious duck who has worked
hard all his life to accumulate a competence upon which he may live in
his old age, loans a large sum of money to the king. The king being
slow in paying back the money, Drakesbill goes to the palace to collect
his debt. His adventures on the way and the successful end of his
journey form the interest of the story. This story makes a fine climax
to the story group. While it still emphasizes the central thought of
the story program, industry, it treats it in a different way from that
in which the previous stories illuminate the theme. Its fantasy, its
humor make it a relaxation for the children.

If story groups are arranged having in mind these two considerations:
_a central theme_ and _contrast in the treatment of this theme_ the
story hour will be a vital force for good in the development of the
children’s mental and moral life.

For the benefit of the story teller who has slight time for the
consulting of many books of stories which such a planning of story
groups entails, some illustrative story programs follow, each of which
has been arranged with reference to one child-interest theme carried
through three different types of stories.



_The Home_:

    HOW THE HOME WAS BUILT             _Maud Lindsay, in Mother Stories_
    THE LITTLE GRAY GRANDMOTHER         _Elizabeth Harrison, in For the
                                                        Children’s Hour_
    THE SHEEP AND THE PIG                       _Scandinavian Folk Tale_

_The Kitchen_:

    THE LITTLE RED HEN                                       _Folk Tale_
    THE TWO LITTLE COOKS     _Laura E. Richards, in Five Minute Stories_
    THE WONDERFUL TEA KETTLE                      _In Tales of Laughter_


    THE CHINA RABBIT FAMILY                    _In In the Child’s World_
    THE TOP AND THE BALL                       _Hans Christian Andersen_
    THE DOLL IN THE GRASS                            _In The Fairy Ring_

_Being Neat_:

    THE CHILD WHO FORGOT TO WASH HIS FACE      _Carolyn Sherwin Bailey,
                                                  in Story Telling Time_
    DUST UNDER THE RUG                 _Maud Lindsay, in Mother Stories_
    THE PIG BROTHER           _Laura E. Richards, in The Golden Windows_


    THE CHRISTMAS CAKE            _Maud Lindsay, in More Mother Stories_
    KING ALFRED AND THE CAKES _In Baldwin’s Fifty Famous Stories Retold_
    THE PANCAKE                                   _In Tales of Laughter_


    THE CAP THAT MOTHER MADE,                               _see page 8_
    ABOUT ANGELS              _Laura E. Richards, in The Golden Windows_
                                       Best Stories to Tell to Children_

_The Children_:

    WISHING WISHES                _Maud Lindsay, in More Mother Stories_
    LITTLE JACK ROLLAROUND _Adapted in Best Stories to Tell to Children_


    THE GINGERBREAD BOY                     _In For the Children’s Hour_
    THE PROUD LITTLE GRAIN OF WHEAT    _Frances Hodgson Burnett, in St.
                                                         Nicholas Files_
    THE PANCAKE                                   _In Tales of Laughter_


    THE CRANE EXPRESS                          _In In the Child’s World_
                                                    Christmas Every Day_
                                     _Edward Lear, in Tales of Laughter_


_The Cat_:

    MRS. TABBY GRAY                    _Maud Lindsay, in Mother Stories_
    DICK WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT                         _Old Folk Tale_
    THE GREEDY CAT           _Sara Cone Bryant, in Best Stories to Tell
                                                            to Children_

_The Dog_:

    THE STORY OF WYLIE     _Adapted by Sara Cone Bryant, in How to Tell
                                                    Stories to Children_
    A DOG OF FLANDERS                                            _Ouida_
    THE DOG IN THE MANGER                             _In Æsop’s Fables_

_The Horse_:

    THE LITTLE GRAY PONY               _Maud Lindsay, in Mother Stories_
    THE HORSE THAT BELIEVED HE’D GET THERE     _Annie Trumbull Slosson,
                                                      in Story Tell Lib_
    A WISE OLD HORSE                           _In In the Child’s World_

_The Cow_:

    THE FRIENDLY COW       _Robert Louis Stevenson, in A Child’s Garden
                                                               of Verse_
    IRMGARD’S COW                 _Maud Lindsay, in More Mother Stories_
    THE STORY THE MILK TOLD ME    _Gertrude H. Noyes, in In the Child’s

_The Rabbit_:

    RAGGYLUG       _Ernest Thompson Seton, adapted by Sara Cone Bryant,
                                    in Best Stories to Tell to Children_
    PETER RABBIT                                        _Beatrix Potter_
    BRE’R RABBIT AND THE LITTLE TAR BABY      _Joel Chandler Harris, in
                                                Nights With Uncle Remus_

_The Squirrel_:

    THE THRIFTY SQUIRRELS          _Mary Dendy, in In the Child’s World_
    SQUIRREL NUTKIN                                     _Beatrix Potter_
    BOBBY SQUIRREL’S BUSY DAY         _Carolyn Sherwin Bailey, in Story
                                                           Telling Time_


    GRANDFATHER’S LITTLE LAMB        _In Stories and Rhymes for a Child_
    THE GOOD SHEPHERD                                        _The Bible_
    THE SHEPHERD BOY AND THE WOLF                     _In Æsop’s Fables_

_The Pig_:

    THE STORY OF THE THREE LITTLE PIGS      _In For the Children’s Hour_
    THE LITTLE PIG                _Maud Lindsay, in More Mother Stories_
    HOW THE PIGS CAN SEE THE WIND                 _In Firelight Stories_

_The Bear_:

    THE THREE BEARS                         _In For the Children’s Hour_
    THE BEAR AND THE FOWLS                               _Æsop’s Fables_
    WHY THE BEAR HAS A STUMPY TAIL                _In Firelight Stories_

_The Lion_:

    THE MAN AND THE LION                                 _Æsop’s Fables_
    DANIEL AND THE LIONS                                     _The Bible_
    THE LION AND THE MOUSE                  _In For the Children’s Hour_

_Children and Animals_:

    MOUFFLOU                                                     _Ouida_
    BENJY IN BEASTLAND         _Nora Archibald Smith, in The Story Hour_
    THE BOY AND THE WOLVES                               _Æsop’s Fables_


_Spring Flowers_:

    THE SNOWDROP                               _Hans Christian Andersen_
    THE SHET-UP POSY         _Annie Trumbull Slosson, in Story Tell Lib_
    THE STORY OF THE MORNING GLORY SEED    _Margaret Eytinge, in In the
                                                          Child’s World_

_Summer Flowers_:

    THE PINK ROSE         _Sara Cone Bryant, in Best Stories to Tell to
    ROSE BLOOM AND THORN BLOOM    _Alice Brown, in The One-Footed Fairy_
    A LEGEND OF THE GOLDENROD    _Frances Deland, in Story Telling Time_


    THE LEGEND OF THE WOODPECKER            _In For the Children’s Hour_
    THE BLUE ROBIN                  _Mary Wilkins Freeman, see page 219_
    KING WREN                                     _In Tales of Laughter_

_The Sky_:

    THE STAR DOLLARS                               _Grimm’s Fairy Tales_
    THE STARS                 _Laura E. Richards, in The Golden Windows_
                                                            of Laughter_


    THE SLEEPING APPLE                         _In In the Child’s World_
    THE BIG RED APPLE   _Kate Whiting Patch, in For the Children’s Hour_
    APPLE SEED JOHN                            _In Saint Nicholas Files_

_The Barnyard_:

    THE GOOSE THAT LAID GOLDEN EGGS                      _Old Folk Tale_
    THE UGLY DUCKLING                          _Hans Christian Andersen_
    A BARNYARD TALK           _Emilie Poulsson, in In the Child’s World_


    THE OLD STREET LAMP                        _Hans Christian Andersen_
    THE GOLDEN WINDOWS        _Laura E. Richards, in The Golden Windows_
    THE MOON CAKE                                 _In Tales of Laughter_


    THE SNOW MAN                               _Hans Christian Andersen_
    GRANDFATHER’S PENNY                     _In For the Children’s Hour_
    HOW PETER RABBIT GOT HIS WHITE PATCH   _Thornton Burgess, in Mother
                                                   West Wind’s Children_


    THE LITTLE HERO OF HARLEM     _Adapted by Sara Cone Bryant, in Best
                                            Stories to Tell to Children_
    TOM, THE WATER BABY           _Charles Kingsley, adapted in For the
                                                        Children’s Hour_
    WHY THE SEA IS SALT                           _In Tales of Laughter_


    THE ANXIOUS LEAF    _Henry Ward Beecher, in For the Children’s Hour_
    THE MAPLE LEAF AND THE VIOLET    _Eugene Field, in A Little Book of
                                                       Profitable Tales_
    THE SNOWFLAKE AND THE LEAF     _Helen Preble, in For the Children’s

_The Bee_:

    LITTLE BEE TRUNKHOSIE                         _In Firelight Stories_
    THE BEE MAN OF ORNE           _Frank R. Stockton, in Fanciful Tales_
    BATTLE OF THE MONKEY AND THE CRAB    _Japanese Fairy Tale, in Tales
                                                            of Laughter_


                                                        Children’s Hour_
    OLD PIPES AND THE DRYAD       _Frank R. Stockton, in Fanciful Tales_
                                   McDowell, in The Story Teller’s Book_


_The Farmer_:

    THE LARKS IN THE CORN FIELD                       _In Æsop’s Fables_
    DO WHAT YOU CAN                         _In For the Children’s Hour_
    THE FARMER AND THE TROLL                      _In Tales of Laughter_

_The Baker_:

    NERO AT THE BAKERY        _Emilie Poulsson, in In the Child’s World_
    THE QUEER LITTLE BAKER MAN        _Phila Butler Bowman, in Mother’s
                                               Magazine, November, 1912_
    THE OLD WOMAN WHO LOST HER DUMPLINGS          _In Tales of Laughter_

_The Shoemaker_:

    GOODY TWO SHOES                       _Emilie Poulsson, see page 16_
    THE ELVES AND THE SHOEMAKER                                  _Grimm_
    THE HOP-ABOUT MAN                       _In The Story Teller’s Book_

_The Blacksmith_:

    THE LITTLE GRAY PONY               _Maud Lindsay, in Mother Stories_
    VULCAN                                     _In In the Child’s World_
    THE VILLAGE BLACKSMITH                                  _Longfellow_



    HOW PATTY GAVE THANKS                      _In In the Child’s World_
    THE STORY OF THE FIRST THANKSGIVING       _Nora Archibald Smith, in
                                                         The Story Hour_
    THE PUMPKIN GLORY     _William Dean Howells, in Christmas Every Day_


    THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS                           _Clement Moore_
    THE LEGEND OF CLAUS   _Eugene Field, in A Little Book of Profitable
    THE GOLDEN COBWEBS             _In Best Stories to Tell to Children_


    AN EASTER SURPRISE.       _Louise M. Oglevee, in Story Telling Time_
    A LESSON IN FAITH          _Margaret Gatty, in In the Child’s World_
    HERR OSTER HAASE                        _In For the Children’s Hour_

_Stories of Patriotism_:

    HOW CEDRIC BECAME A KNIGHT          _Elizabeth Harrison, in For the
                                                        Children’s Hour_
    LITTLE GEORGE WASHINGTON   _Nora Archibald Smith, in The Story Hour_
    THE LAST LESSON        _Adapted by Sara Cone Bryant, in How to Tell
                                                    Stories to Children_

_For a Birthday_:

    THE BIRTHDAY PRESENT          _Maud Lindsay, in More Mother Stories_
    DICKY SMILEY’S BIRTHDAY    _Nora Archibald Smith, in The Story Hour_
    THE BIRTHDAY PARTY      _Gertrude Smith, in The Story Teller’s Book_


_Being Brave_:

    THE EYES OF THE KING      _Carolyn Sherwin Bailey, in Story Telling
    THE LITTLE HERO OF HARLEM     _Sara Cone Bryant, in Best Stories to
                                                       Tell to Children_
    THE BRAVE TIN SOLDIER                      _Hans Christian Andersen_

_Being Industrious_:

    THE SAILOR MAN               _Laura Richards, in The Golden Windows_
    THE STONE IN THE ROAD                   _In For the Children’s Hour_
    DRAKESBILL                              _In The Story Teller’s Book_

_Being Kind_:

    THE LITTLE BROWN LADY   _Phila Butler Bowman, in Story Telling Time_
    THE WHEAT FIELD           _Laura E. Richards, in The Golden Windows_
    LITTLE HALF CHICK                       _In For the Children’s Hour_

_Being Generous_:

    THE LITTLE BOY WHO HAD A PICNIC         _Carolyn Sherwin Bailey, in
                                         Stories and Rhymes for a Child_
    THE HAPPY PRINCE                                       _Oscar Wilde_
    THE LITTLE OLD MAN AND HIS GOLD      _Phila Butler Bowman, in Story
                                                           Telling Time_

_Being Hospitable_:

    THE SELFISH GIANT       _Oscar Wilde, in The Happy Prince and Other
                                                            Fairy Tales_
    BAUCIS AND PHILEMON             _Adapted in For the Children’s Hour_
    THE WOODPECKER WHO WAS SELFISH,                       _see page 181_

_Being Honest_:

    THE LITTLE COWHERD BROTHER     _In Story Telling in School and Home_
    THE HONEST WOODMAN                         _In In the Child’s World_
    THE STREET MUSICIANS                    _In The Story Teller’s Book_


_Good Little Folk_:

    THE ADVENTURES OF A BROWNIE (_to be adapted_)          _Miss Mulock_
    THE ONE-FOOTED FAIRY                                   _Alice Brown_
    THE GRADUAL FAIRY             _Alice Brown, in The One-Footed Fairy_

_Funny Stories_:

    THE STORY OF LAMBIKIN                         _In Firelight Stories_
    THE HAPPY FAMILY                           _Hans Christian Andersen_
    THE STORY OF LITTLE BLACK MINGO       _Helen Bannerman, in Tales of


    THE PARADISE OF CHILDREN          _In Myths Every Child Should Know_
    THE STORY OF PERSEPHONE                 _In For the Children’s Hour_
    THE GOLDEN TOUCH         _Adapted, in Myths Every Child Should Know_

_Fairy Animals_:

    THE WINDING UP PLACE (_to be adapted_)          _In Mopsa The Fairy_
    THE CHIMÆRA (_to be adapted_)     _In Myths Every Child Should Know_
    THE LITTLE JACKAL AND THE ALLIGATOR     _In Best Stories to Tell to


    THE CROWN            _Carolyn Sherwin Bailey, in Story Telling Time_
    THE PRINCESS AND THE PEA                   _Hans Christian Andersen_
    THE PRINCESS WHOM NOBODY COULD SILENCE        _In Tales of Laughter_


    HOW TO TELL STORIES TO CHILDREN                   _Sara Cone Bryant_
    STORIES TO TELL TO CHILDREN                       _Sara Cone Bryant_
    THE CHILDREN’S READING                      _Frances Jenkins Olcott_


    INDEX TO SHORT STORIES                      _Salisbury and Beckwith_
    THE STORY IN EARLY EDUCATION                           _Sara Wiltse_
    STORY TELLING IN SCHOOL AND HOME                         _Partridge_
    THE STORY TELLER’S BOOK           _Alice O’Grady and Frances Throop_
    STORY TELLING TIME                          _Frances Weld Danielson_
    IN THE CHILD’S WORLD                               _Emilie Poulsson_
    FOR THE CHILDREN’S HOUR                           _Bailey and Lewis_
    MOTHER STORIES                                        _Maud Lindsay_
    MORE MOTHER STORIES                                   _Maud Lindsay_
    TALES OF LAUGHTER     _Kate Douglas Wiggin and Nora Archibald Smith_
    THE TALKING BEASTS    _Kate Douglas Wiggin and Nora Archibald Smith_
    STORY-TELL LIB                              _Annie Trumbull Slosson_
    THE GOLDEN WINDOWS                               _Laura E. Richards_
    THE STORY HOUR        _Kate Douglas Wiggin and Nora Archibald Smith_
    STORIES AND RHYMES FOR A CHILD              _Carolyn Sherwin Bailey_
    FIRELIGHT STORIES                           _Carolyn Sherwin Bailey_
    THE WONDER BOOK                                _Nathaniel Hawthorne_
    TANGLEWOOD TALES                               _Nathaniel Hawthorne_
    FAIRY TALES                                     _The Brothers Grimm_
      “     “                                  _Hans Christian Andersen_
      “     “                                            _Joseph Jacobs_
    THE ONE-FOOTED FAIRY                                   _Alice Brown_
    THE CHILDREN’S HOUR                               _Eva March Tappan_
    THE JUNGLE BOOKS                                   _Rudyard Kipling_
    THE JUST SO STORIES                                _Rudyard Kipling_
    NATURE MYTHS                                     _Florence Holbrook_
    THE HAPPY PRINCE AND OTHER FAIRY TALES                 _Oscar Wilde_
    WHY THE CHIMES RANG                                    _R. M. Alden_
    NIGHTS WITH UNCLE REMUS                       _Joel Chandler Harris_
    JOHNNY CROW’S GARDEN                                 _Leslie Brooke_
    GRANNY’S WONDERFUL CHAIR                            _Francis Browne_
    PARABLES FROM NATURE                                _Margaret Gatty_
    FORGOTTEN TALES OF LONG AGO                            _E. V. Lucas_
    THE BOOK OF CHRISTMAS HAMILTON                            _W. Mabie_
    MYTHS EVERY CHILD SHOULD KNOW HAMILTON                    _W. Mabie_
    HEROES EVERY CHILD SHOULD KNOW HAMILTON                   _W. Mabie_
    MOPSA THE FAIRY                                       _Jean Ingelow_
    THE DOG OF FLANDERS AND OTHER STORIES                _Ouida (Raméé)_
    THE CHILDREN’S BOOK                              _Horace E. Scudder_
    THE BEE-MAN OF ORNE                              _Frank R. Stockton_
    HALF A HUNDRED HERO TALES                            _Francis Storr_
    STORIES AND POEMS FOR CHILDREN                       _Celia Thaxter_

      *      *      *      *      *      *

Transcriber’s note:

  Obvious typographical errors have been corrected.

  Inconsistencies in hyphenation have been standardized.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "For the Story Teller - Story Telling and Stories to Tell" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.