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Title: Rollo Learning to Read - The Rollo Series
Author: Abbott, Jacob
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 "Rollo Learning to Read - The Rollo Series" ***





  New York: T.Y. CROWELL & CO.]

[Illustration: YOU CAN SEE THE RAFT, &c.--Page 121.]




  Rollo Learning to Talk.
  Rollo Learning to Read.
  Rollo at Work.
  Rollo at Play.
  Rollo at School.
  Rollo’s Vacation.
  Rollo’s Experiments.
  Rollo’s Museum.
  Rollo’s Travels.
  Rollo’s Correspondence.
  Rollo’s Philosophy--Water.
  Rollo’s Philosophy--Air.
  Rollo’s Philosophy--Fire.
  Rollo’s Philosophy--Sky.




  Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1855, by
  In the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the District of


In those intervals of rest which the serious cares and labors of life
imperiously demand, a man may find the best amusement for himself
in efforts for the amusement of children. This little work and its
predecessor, “ROLLO LEARNING TO TALK,” have been written on this

Parents find it very difficult to _employ_ little children. “Mother,
what shall I do?” and sometimes even, “Mother, what shall I do after I
have done this?” are heard so often that they sometimes exhaust even
maternal patience. These little volumes will, we hope, in some cases,
provide an answer to the questions. The writer has endeavored to make
them such that children would take an interest in reading them to
themselves, and to their younger brothers and sisters, and in repeating
them to one another.

The difficulty with most books intended for children just learning to
read, is that the writers make so much effort to confine themselves to
_words of one syllable_, that the style is quaint and uninteresting,
and often far more unintelligible than the usual language would be. The
author’s design here has been, first to interest the little reader,
hoping, by this interest, to allure him on to the encounter of the
difficulties in the language, and to the conquest of them. Hence, the
more difficult words and phrases, in common use, are not _avoided_,
for the very object of such a reading book should be to teach the use
of them. They are freely introduced and rendered intelligible by being
placed in striking connections, and familiar, by being frequently
repeated. By a wonderful provision in the structure of the mind,
children thirst for repetition,--the very thing essential to give
security and permanence to the knowledge they acquire.

The subjects of the articles, accordingly, and the method of treating
them, are in the highest degree juvenile. But the language is mature.
For it is language which we wish to teach them, and consequently we
must keep, in language, a little above them, advancing continually
ourselves, as _they_ advance.

                                                                   J. A.



  How Rollo learned to Read                9

  The First Lessons in Looking            22

  Tick,--Tick,--Tick                      26

  Jonas                                   31

  A Little Letter                         41

  Rollo’s Dream                           44

  The Cold Morning                        59

  How to Read Right                       64

  Climbing up a Mountain                  77

  Rollo getting Ready for his Father      80

  The Way to Obey                         84

  Rollo’s Breakfast                       88

  Fictitious Stories                      95

  The Fly’s Morning Walk                  98

  Waking Up                              101

  Rollo’s Prayer                         109

  Bunny                                  111

  The Raft                               116

  Contrary Charles                       122

  Frost on the Windows                   132

  Shooting a Bear                        135

  Jack Hildigo                           145

  How to Treat a Kitten                  152

  Overboard                              166

  Old Things and New Things              171

  Selling a Boy                          174



Should you like to know how Rollo learned to read? I will tell you. It
is very hard work to learn to read, and it takes a great while to do
it. I will tell you how Rollo did it.

One evening Rollo was sitting on the floor by the side of the fire,
playing with his blocks. He was trying to build a meeting-house. He
could make the meeting-house very well, all except the steeple, but the
steeple _would_ tumble down.

Presently his father said,

“Rollo, you may put your blocks into the basket, and put the basket in
its place, in the closet, and then come to me.”

Rollo obeyed.

Then Rollo’s father took him up into his lap, and took a little book
out of his pocket. Rollo was glad. He thought he was going to look at
some pictures. But he was disappointed.

He was disappointed; that is, he found there were no pictures in the
book, and was sorry.

His father said,

“I suppose you thought there were pictures in this book.”

“Yes, sir,” said Rollo.

“There are none,” said his father; “I have not got this book to amuse
you. I am going to have you learn to read out of it, and learning to
read is hard work.”

Rollo was very glad when he heard this. He wanted to learn to read,
so that he could read story books himself alone, and he thought that
learning to read was very pleasant, easy work.

His father knew that he thought so, and therefore he said,

“I suppose you are glad that you are going to learn to read, but it is
harder work, and will take longer time than you think. You will get
tired very often, before you have learned, and you will want to stop.
But you must not stop.”

“What,” said Rollo, “must not I stop once--at all--all the time, till I
have learned to read?”

“Oh yes,” said his father; “I do not mean that you must be learning to
read all the time;--you will only read a little while every day. What I
mean is that you must read every day, when the time comes, although you
will very often think that you are tired of reading so much, and had
rather play. But no matter if you are tired of it. It is your duty to
learn to read, and you must do it, if it is hard.”

“I do not think I shall be tired,” said Rollo.

“Very well,--you can see. Only remember if you should be tired, you
must not say so, and ask not to read.”

Rollo’s father then opened the book and showed Rollo that it was full
of letters,--large letters, and small letters, and a great many little
words in columns. Do you know what a column is? There was also some
very easy reading in large print, but no pictures.

Then Rollo’s father explained the plan by which he was to learn to
read. His sister Mary was to teach him. Mary was to call him to her
every morning at nine o’clock, and teach him his letters for a quarter
of an hour. She was to do the same at eleven, and at three, and at
five. The rest of the time Rollo was to have for play. Mary was to
take three or four of the letters at a time, and tell Rollo the names
of them, and make them on the slate, and let him try to make them, and
let him try to find them in books, until he should know them perfectly.
She was to keep an account of every day, marking the days when, for any
reasons, she did not hear him, and putting down, each day, the letters
he learned that day, and as soon as he had learned all his letters she
was to tell his father.

If he should at any time refuse to come when she called him, or come
sullenly or in ill humor,--or if he disobeyed her, or made her any
trouble, wilfully, she was to put the book away at once, and not teach
him any more that day, but at night tell his father.

When Rollo’s father had thus explained the whole plan, he said,

“Now, Mary and Rollo, this is a hard task for both of you, I know. I
hope you will both be patient and persevering,--and be kind to one
another. Mary, you must remember that Rollo is a small boy, and cannot
learn as fast as you might expect or wish,--you must be kind to him and
patient. Be sure also to be punctual and regular in calling him at the
exact hour. And Rollo you must be patient too, and obedient, and you
must remember that though it is hard work to learn to read, you will
be very glad when you shall have learned. You will then enjoy a great
many happy hours in sitting down by the fire in your little chair, and
reading story books.”

Soon after this Rollo went to bed thinking a great deal of his first
lesson, which he was going to take the next day.

Do you not think now that it would have been better if Rollo’s father
had tried to make learning to read more amusing to his little boy?
He might have got a book with letters and pictures too,--or he might
have bought some blocks and cards with letters on them, and let Rollo
learn by playing with them. That would have been more amusing. Do you
think that would have been a better way? I think it would not. For if
Rollo had begun to learn to read, expecting to find it play, he would
have been disappointed and discouraged a great deal sooner. He might
have looked at the pictures in his book, or played with the cards or
the blocks, but that would not have taught him the letters on them. It
was better that he should understand distinctly at the beginning that
learning to read was hard work, and that he must attend to it _as a
duty_; thus he would be prepared for it as it was, and find it more and
more pleasant as he went along. But if he had expected that it would be
play, he would only have been disappointed, and that would have made it
harder, and made it take a great deal longer time.

Rollo liked reading very well for a day or two, but he soon became
tired. He thought the quarter of an hour was very long, and that Mary
always called him too soon. He was mistaken however in this, for Mary
was always very exact and punctual. He found too that he got along
very slowly. It was a good many days before he could say the first few
letters, and he thought it would take a great while before he should
have learned them all. One pleasant morning, when he was digging with
his little hoe, in the yard, Mary called him, and for a minute or two
he had a great mind not to come. But then he recollected that if he did
not, she would immediately put the book away and tell his father at
night, so he threw down the hoe and ran. But it was very hard for him
to do it.

In a few days one thing surprised both Mary and Rollo. It was that he
learned the second four or five letters a great deal sooner than he did
the first. They did not understand the reason of this. The third lesson
was learned sooner still, and so on, the farther they went down the
alphabet the faster Rollo learned.

One evening when Rollo had learned about half his letters, his father
took him up in his lap, and took a small round box out of his pocket,
with a pretty picture on the top. Besides the picture there were
three letters; they were these, A, B, C. Rollo looked a moment at the
picture, but he was more pleased with the letters than the picture. He
was very much pleased to see those letters,--the very letters which he
had learned, on the top of such a pretty box.

“Oh there is A,” said he, “and B, and C, on the top of this pretty box.
How funny!”

Then his father opened the box and poured out a great many beautiful
round cards into Rollo’s lap. There were beautiful, painted pictures on
one side and letters on the other. Rollo was most interested in looking
at the letters.

“Oh, father,” said he, “what beautiful cards! Why did you not buy them
at first, and let me learn my letters with them?”

“Because,” said his father, “if I had bought them at first, when you
did not know any of your letters, you would have not been pleased with
any thing but the pictures, and rolling the cards about the floor. Or
if I had given them to Mary to teach you your letters from them, then
you would not have liked them any better than your book. But by letting
you learn for a time from your book, till you know a good many letters,
you can understand the cards, and you _notice_ the letters on them; and
when you play with them you will remember a great many letters on them,
and thus you will become more familiar with them.”

“With what?” said Rollo.

“With the letters,” said his father.

“What is _familiar with them_?” asked Rollo.

“Why you will know them better, and remember them longer,--and you
will know them quicker when you see them again in books. That is being
familiar with them. Do you not think you will like this box of cards a
great deal better now, to play with, than before you knew any letters?”

“Yes, sir, I was very glad to see the A B C on it.”

After this Rollo played a great deal with his cards, and though he
did not learn any new letters from them, they helped him to become
_familiar_ with the letters as fast as he learned them from his book.

The last part of the alphabet Rollo learned very fast, and at length
one evening Mary and Rollo came together to their father, telling him
with smiling faces that he had learned them all.

Then Rollo’s father gave him a long lesson in reading little words--he
gave him a great many columns, so many, that it would take a good many
weeks to read them all. Mary was to hear him four times every day. Then
he read the easy sentences over in the end of his book, and a good many
others in another book, until at last he could read very well alone.
It took a long time, however, to do all this reading. When he finished
learning to read he was more than a year older than he was when he
began. The stories in this book are for him to read, so that he may
learn to read better. You can read them too. Farther on in this book I
shall tell you more about Rollo.

In reading these stories Rollo found a great many words which he could
not understand. He always asked some one what these words meant, for he
wanted to understand what he read perfectly. His father advised him to
read his story book aloud too, unless when it would disturb some one,
because by reading aloud he would learn faster.


When the baby was very little indeed, and first began to open his eyes,
his mother saw that the bright light of the windows dazzled them, and
gave him pain; so she shut the blinds and put down the curtains.

When the baby was so very little, he did not know how to look about
at the things which were around him. He had not learned to move his
eyes steadily from one thing to another. He could not take hold of any
thing, either, with his hands. He did not know that his hands were
made to take hold of things with. His mother held a handsome ivory ring
before him, and endeavored to make him see it and take it. She put it
in his hand, but he did not know how to hold it, and it dropped upon
the floor.

The baby was very weak too. He could not walk nor sit up, nor even hold
up his head. Unless his mother held his head for him, it would drop
down and hang upon his shoulder. Once she laid him down upon the bed,
and she went away a minute or two. While she was gone he rolled over on
his face, and was so weak that he could not get back again. I do not
think he knew how to try. His mother came back and lifted him up, or
perhaps he would have been stifled.

One day his mother said, “Oh, how many things I have got to teach my
little child. I must teach him to look, and to hold up his head, and to
take things in his hands, and I must do all these things while he is
quite a little baby.”

She thought she would first teach him _to look_. So she let in a little
light, and when he was quiet and still, she held him so that he could
see it. But he did not seem to notice it, and pretty soon he went to

The next day she tried it again; and again on the following day; and
soon she found that he would look very steadily at the white curtain,
or at the place where the sun shone upon the wall. She did not yet try
to make him look at _little things_, for she knew she could not hope
to make him see little things till he had learned to notice something
large and bright.

When Samuel was lying in his mother’s lap, looking steadily at
something; she was always careful not to move him, or to make any
noise, or to do any thing which would distract his attention. She knew
that children were always puzzled with having two things to think of at
a time, and she was afraid that if while he was thinking of the light
and trying to look at it, he should hear voices around him, he would
stop thinking of the light, and begin to wonder what that noise could

In about a week, Samuel had learned his lesson very well. He could look
pretty steadily at a large bright spot when it was still. Then his
mother thought she would try to teach him to look at something smaller.
She therefore asked his father to buy her a large bright orange, and
one day when he was lying quietly in her lap, she held it up before
him. But he would not notice it; he seemed to be looking at the window

Then his mother turned her chair gently round, and sat with her back
towards the window so that he could not see the window, and then he
looked at the orange. Presently she moved the orange slowly,--very
slowly,--backwards and forwards, to teach him to follow it with his
eyes. Thus the baby took his first lessons in looking.


One morning I was going to take a journey. I was going in the stage. I
expected that the sleigh bells would come jingling up to the door for
me at seven o’clock. So I thought that if I wished to be ready, I must
get up at _six_.

I went into my little room where I was to sleep. There was a clock on
the wall, by the side of my bed. It said tick,--tick,--tick. “I am
glad,” said I to myself, “for now I can see what o’clock it is.” So I
put my lamp down on the floor, and put my spectacles behind my pillow,
and then laid down and went to sleep.

By and by I woke and thought I heard a little noise. I listened. It was
the clock, saying tick,--tick,--tick; and I said to myself, “I wonder
what o’clock it is?” So I sat up, and took my spectacles from behind
my pillow, and put them on my nose, and looked up at the clock. The
lamp which was on the floor shone upon the clock so that I could see,
and I saw that it was only _three_ o’clock, and I said, “Oh, it is
only three o’clock. It is not time for me to get up yet.” So I took my
spectacles off of my nose, and put them behind my pillow, and laid me
down again. The clock kept saying, tick,--tick,--tick.

Pretty soon I went to sleep, and I slept an hour. Then I awoke and said
to myself, “I wonder what o’clock it is?” So I sat up, and took my
spectacles from behind my pillow, and put them on my nose, and looked
up at the clock. The lamp which was upon the floor shone upon the
clock, so that I could see, and I saw that it was only _four_ o’clock,
and I said, “Oh, it is only four o’clock; it is not time for me to get
up yet.” So I took my spectacles off of my nose, and put them behind my
pillow, and laid me down again. The clock kept saying all the while,

Pretty soon, I went to sleep, and slept some time. Then I woke, and
said to myself, “I wonder what o’clock it is?” So I sat up, and took
my spectacles from behind my pillow, and put them on my nose, and
looked up at the clock. The lamp which was upon the floor shone upon
the clock, so that I could see, and I saw that it was only _five_
o’clock, and I said, “Oh, it is only five o’clock. It is not time for
me to get up yet.” So I took my spectacles off of my nose, and put them
behind my pillow, and laid me down again. The clock kept saying all the
while, tick,--tick,--tick.

Pretty soon I went to sleep, and slept some time. When I woke, I said
to myself, “I wonder what o’clock it is?” So I sat up, and took my
spectacles from behind my pillow, and put them on my nose, and looked
up at the clock. The lamp which was upon the floor shone upon the
clock, so that I could see, and I saw that it was _six_ o’clock. Then
I said _now_ it is time for me to get up. So I jumped up and dressed
me, and looked out of the window, and there was a beautiful, bright
star shining in the sky. The star was up before me.

When I was ready I opened the door to go out; but the clock still kept
saying tick,--tick,--tick. I wondered what made the clock keep going so
all the night and all the day, and I went back and opened the door to
see. And what do you think I found? Why, I found a great heavy weight
hung to a string, and the string was fastened to some of the little
wheels up in the clock. The weight kept pulling down and pulling down
all the time, slowly, and it pulled the string down slowly, and the
string made the wheels go round, and the wheels made the hands go, and
some of the little wheels made that noise I heard,--tick,--tick,--tick.

What do you think happens when the weights which make the clock go get
down, down, to the very bottom of the clock? Why, then they have to
wind them up to the top again, and they begin anew.


One fine summer evening a gentleman came riding down a hill in a
country covered with pleasant farm houses, green fields, and little
groups of trees. He had a small boy in the wagon with him.

There was a brook at the bottom of the hill. A bridge was built over
the brook, and the road passed over the bridge. The horse and waggon,
with the gentleman and his boy in it, went swiftly over the bridge and
up the hill; but just as they began to ascend, one of the _traces_

One of the _traces_? What is a trace? Do you know my boy? The traces
are those long, stout straps of leather which pass along the sides of
the horse, and are fastened to the waggon. The horse draws a waggon,
or a chaise, by means of the traces. Therefore they are always made
very strong. You can see a picture of some traces in “Rollo learning
to Talk,” a book about as large as this, at the story of a Goat for
a Horse. The next time you take a ride, I advise you to look at the
traces on the horse, and see how strong they are. See too how they are
fastened to the horse, and how they are fastened to the chaise.

If one of the traces should give way, that is, should break, in going
up a hill, what do you think would be the consequence? Why, the waggon
would go back, partly held by the other trace. That was the way with
this waggon; it went back, the horse was frightened, the gentleman
jumped out, the boy called out, “whoa,--_whoa_,--WHOA.”

It did not do any good. Boys had better be still when there is any

The waggon backed until, just as it was going off the bank, a boy ran
up and put a stone behind the wheel. That stopped it.

This was not the boy who was in the waggon. It was another boy. The
gentleman had not seen him before. He had on light colored clothes, a
patched jacket, and an old straw hat; one side of the brim was almost
worn out with catching butterflies; the knees of his trousers were
stained with the grass. The gentleman looked at him a minute, and
said “thank you, my boy.” Then he began to look at the harness. When
the gentleman had examined the traces, he found that the leather was
not broken; it was only the tongue of a buckle by which the trace was
fastened that was gone; for the harness was new, and the waggon was a
handsome one.

“I wish I had a piece of twine to fasten it with, till we get home,”
said he to his son, as he felt in his pockets. He then looked around
to see where the little fellow was who had _trigged_ the wheel. Do you
know what I mean by trigging the wheel? The boy was sitting on the
trunk of a tree, by the side of the road, and as the gentleman turned
around to see him, he was just pulling out a long piece of twine from
his pocket.

“Here is a string, sir,” said he; and he got up and came to the
gentleman. He seemed tired however, for he went back and sat down
again immediately.

“I thank you,” said he, “but I am afraid it is not strong enough.”

“You can double and twist it,” said the boy.

They twisted the string, and then doubled it and twisted it again, and
so tied the harness. The gentleman and his son then got into the waggon
again, and were going to ride up the hill. The gentleman hesitated a
moment whether he ought to offer to pay the boy for his string or not.
Do you think he ought to?

“I _would_ pay him,” whispered his little son; “he looks like a poor

“Yes,” replied his father,“but perhaps he would make a bad use of the
money. Perhaps his father and mother would not like to have him have
any money.”

“Why cannot you ask him?”

The gentleman then turned to the boy who was still sitting on the log,
and said,

“What is your name, my little fellow?”


“Where do you live?”


“Where do you live?”

The boy hesitated a moment as if he did not understand him. Then he

“I don’t know sir.--I don’t live any where.”

The little boy in the waggon laughed.

“Don’t know where you live?” said the gentleman. “Well, what are you
doing out here?”

“I have been catching butterflies.”

“Where did you come from?”

“I don’t know sir.--I came from the city.”

“The city! What city?”

“I don’t know sir,--the city back there. I don’t know what the name of
it is.”

[Illustration: JONAS SITTING ON A LOG.--Page 86.]

“Do you live in the city?”

“No, sir, I am not going to live there any more?”

“Do your father and mother live there?”

“My father is dead; and I have not got any mother.”

“What has become of your mother?”

“I never had any, sir.”

The gentleman smiled a moment when he heard this answer, and then he
looked serious and concerned and paused a moment. He seemed not to know
what to do.

“But, Jonas,” said he again, “you say you do not live any where; where
do you get your food and sleep?”


“Where do you sleep at night?”

“I slept in Mr. Williams’ shed last night.”

“And where do you expect to sleep to-night?”

“I don’t know, sir.”

“Where did you get your breakfast this morning?”

“A man gave me some.”

“And where did you get your dinner?”

“I have not had any dinner, sir.”

“No dinner!--I should think you would be too tired and hungry to chase
butterflies, without any dinner.”

“I was too tired, and so I stopped.”

The gentleman, after talking with the boy a little longer, concluded to
take him into his waggon, and carry him home.

“Jump up behind into my waggon, Jonas,” said he, “and I will give you
some supper.”

So Jonas jumped up behind and rode home with them. You will hear
more about him hereafter, for who do you think this gentleman was?
Why it was Rollo’s father, and the boy who was riding with him was
Rollo himself. Jonas lived with Rollo a long time, and became a very
industrious, useful boy. He used to take care of Rollo, and play with


This is a letter written to a little boy about as large as you. James
is the name of the boy. James’ uncle wrote it.

The letter.

  “Dear James,

  Do you want me to write you a little letter about a robin? I think
  you do. Well; I will write it. Now I will begin. A robin is a bird.
  A robin has two wings and two legs; he flies in the air; it is his
  wings make him go. When he comes down to the ground, he hops along on
  his two legs. When he sees a worm he picks it up with his bill. Do
  you know what his _bill_ is? It is a mouth. Then he picks it up just
  as the hen does, and eats it. Now for the story.

  Near the house where I live, there is a field; and in the field there
  is a tree. I was walking in the field, and went near the tree; as I
  went near it, a bird darted out of the tree, and sung out very loud;
  it made me start. When I saw it was a bird, I looked among the leaves
  and branches of the tree, and found there a pretty robin’s nest, and
  three eggs. Only think, a beautiful nest, with three eggs. I looked
  at them for a minute, and then went away and left them there. The
  next day, I walked down to the tree again, to see the nest and the
  pretty eggs. I pulled away the leaves, but the nest was not there. I
  stooped down on the ground, looked into the grass, and there I saw
  the robin. The poor robin was dead, the nest was torn in pieces, and
  the eggs were broken. I would send you one of the eggs, but it is
  broken so much, that I think it will not do. When the little robin
  was alive, he sung pleasantly, he made him a nest, and handsome eggs;
  but now the robin is dead, the nest is torn in pieces, and the eggs
  are broken. Poor robin; poor robin.

  I have written this story of the robin for little James. I am very
  sorry that any boy should kill the poor robin and spoil its nest.

  This is from your affectionate,



One day Rollo’s mother wanted him to do some errands for her. He went
on one, reluctantly, but when she gave him another he murmured aloud.
“Oh,” said he, “I wish I did not have so many errands to do. What a
hard life I lead!”

This gave his mother pain, and he saw it. When he got back from this
errand she told him there was nothing more for him to do. Rollo went
and stood at the door a few minutes to see if there were any boys out
there. But there were none, so he took a story-book in his hand and
went down into the garden, and took his seat in the little arbor which
his father had made for him, and began to read.

[Illustration: ROLLO ASLEEP IN THE ARBOR.--Page 46.]

The arbor reminded him of his parents’ kindness, and this made him
feel unhappy to think of his unwillingness to help his mother.
These thoughts troubled him, and so he could not attend to his book.
Presently he got lost in a reverie,--his book dropped over upon his
lap. His head gradually sunk down,--and here you see Rollo fast asleep.

While he slept he dreamed. Rollo dreamed that he lived in a small
house, a great many miles away, and that his mother was there alone
with him. She asked him one day to go and get a pail of water. “Oh,”
said he, “I wish I did not have so much water to bring,--what a hard
life I lead!”

He dreamed that just then he saw a cat lying down in the sun by the
door. She seemed to have nothing to do. “Oh,” thought Rollo, “how I
wish I were a cat. It would be such a _fine thing_ to be a cat.”

No sooner had he said this than he felt some how or other a strong
desire to get down on his hands and knees,--he found himself growing
smaller and smaller,--his fingers became sharp claws, and in short
Rollo dreamed that he was turning into a cat.

He walked about, a minute or two, stretched himself, mewed and purred
to ascertain that he was really a cat, and then laid down again in the
sun to go to sleep. As he shut his eyes he said to himself, purring,
“How glad I am that I have no more water to bring! What a fine thing it
is to be a cat!”

Pretty soon he waked up and was hungry. His first thought was to go to
his mother as usual, for some bread and butter. He went in and looked
piteously up into his mother’s face and mewed. She did not mind him. He
mewed louder. She paid no attention. Then he went to making a louder
noise, as cats can, when necessary. His mother went and opened the
door, and took the brush and drove him out, saying as he went, “_scat_.”

Rollo then thought he must go and catch some mice or starve. So he went
down cellar, and posted himself before a little hole in the wall. He
waited here an hour, and at length a little mouse peeped out. Rollo
darted his paw out at him, but he missed him, and the mouse drew back
into his hole where he was safe. Rollo waited many hours longer, but no
mouse came. “This is worse than bringing water,” thought he. “I wish I
_could_ get something to eat. What a hard life I lead!”

Just then he heard, that is, he dreamed he heard, a loud noise,
moo-o-o, in the yard. He scampered up, hungry as he was, to see what
was the matter. It was the cow lowing to be milked. She looked full
and large, as if she had had as much as she could eat.

“In the green fields all day,” thought hungry Rollo, “with nothing to
do but eat and drink and then lie down under the trees. Oh, how I wish
I were a cow!”

He had no sooner said these words than he found himself growing very
large. He felt something coming out of his forehead,--he put his paw
up, though with difficulty, for his paw was growing into a large, stiff
leg, and he found that horns were coming. By the time his leg was down
again, it was changed entirely, and had a hoof at the end. He was
becoming a cow. He lashed his sides with his tail, and walked about
eating the grass in the yard, till he had satisfied his hunger, and
then he said to himself, “How much better this is than watching for
mice all day in a dark cellar. Oh, it is a fine thing to be a cow.”

After milking, they led Rollo into the barn, put a halter round his
neck, and tied him in a dark, unpleasant stall. “Have I got to stay
tied up here till morning?” thought Rollo. It was even so.

The next morning they drove him off to pasture. The boy beat him with a
stick on the way, but he was so great and clumsy that he could neither
escape nor defend himself. In the field, the flies bit and stung him,
and though he could brush off some of them with his tail, yet the
largest and worst of them always seemed to get upon places he could not
reach. At night when he was coming home, some boys set a dog upon him
and worried him till he was weary of his life. “Ah,” said he, “it is a
terrible thing to be a cow,--what a hard life I lead!”

Just then the dog became tired of barking at him, and trotted away.
“Oh,” said Rollo, “if I was only a dog. A dog can defend himself.
Then a dog has plenty to eat and nothing to do. What a fine thing it
would be to be a dog!” No sooner said than done. Rollo began to grow
slender and small, his horns dropped off,--his hoofs turned back into
claws again, his back became sleek and shining, and he found himself
a beautiful, black dog, with hanging ears and a curled tail, and an
elegant brass collar about his neck.

Rollo ran about the streets very happily for half an hour, and then
went home. The dream seemed to change its scene here, and Rollo found
himself in a beautiful yard belonging to the house where his master
lived. He went home hungry, and they gave him a bone to eat. “What,”
said Rollo to himself, “nothing but a bone!” He gnawed it for a
while, thinking, however, that it was rather hard fare, and then began
to think of going to bed. There was no bed for him, however; for his
master came and took hold of his collar, and led him along towards a
post in the yard, where he chained him, and throwing his bone down by
his side, left him to watch for the thieves.

Rollo had a bad night. ’Tis true no thieves came, but he was all the
time afraid they would come, and at every little noise he woke up and
growled. Thus disturbed, and chilled by the cool air of the night, he
passed his hours restlessly and miserably. “Ah!” said he, “dogs do not
have so pleasant a life as I supposed. What a hard way this is to get a

At this moment he heard a great many persons coming along; he started
up and barked, for it was very early, though beginning to be light.
A number of men were leading a huge animal along. It was an elephant.
They were taking him into town for a show, and they came in early, so
that nobody should see him without paying.

“That’s the life for me,” said Rollo. “What a gentleman of an animal
the elephant is; he has a dozen men to wait upon him. Ha! Old Longnose,
what a happy fellow you must be. Oh, if I was only an elephant!”

As soon as he had said this, he could feel his nose lengthening into a
slender trunk,--his body swelled out to a great size,--his feet grew
large, and his black, shining skin turned into a coarse, rough, grey
hide,--and he found himself walking along the road, with a man on his

He arrived at the great stable where he was to be exhibited, thinking
that it was an admirable thing to be an elephant. They gave him
something to eat, and soon the men and boys came in to see him. For
half an hour he had a fine time, walking around, carrying boys about
on his tusks,--taking his keeper’s head into his mouth,--picking up
nuts and pieces of gingerbread with the finger and thumb at the end of
his proboscis,--laying down and rising again at the keeper’s command.
Pretty soon, however, he got tired, and when the keeper ordered him
to lay down, he concluded that he would not get up again. But the
keeper taught him by blows that he was not his own master, if he was a
gentleman. New troops of starers kept coming in, and Rollo got tired
out completely with going over and over again the same evolutions. He
could hardly stand at last, and when they left him for the night,
and he lay down to try to rest, and he reflected that it must be just
so to-morrow, and the next day, and so on as long as he lived, he was
almost in despair. “Oh!” said he, how foolish I was to wish to be an
elephant! I had rather be any thing else. What a hard life I lead!

“And then such a window as this to look out of, after my hard day’s
work,” said he, as he turned his eye upward towards a little square
hole in the stable wall. “What a window for an elephant’s residence!”

As he looked out this hole, his eye rested upon a green tree growing in
a garden behind the wall. A bird was perched upon a branch, singing an
evening song.

“Ah, you little bird, what a happy time you must have there,--free as
air, and full of happiness. You find plenty to eat, you have your own
pleasant home upon a lofty tree, out of the reach of any danger. You go
where you please with your swift wings. Oh, if I only had wings, how
easily I could escape from all my troubles.”

As he said this, his long proboscis which was lying over his leg
as he was reclining upon the stable floor, began to straighten out
and stiffen,--turning into a huge bill,--feathers began to come out
all over him--his immense body dwindled down to the size of an ox,
then to that of a sheep, and finally he became smaller than a dove.
Beautiful wings covered his sides. He hopped along upon the floor, and
finding that he was really a bird, he leaped up and flew out of the
window,--away from the ugly stable forever.

He spent a pleasant night among the trees, and early the next morning
was singing blithely upon a branch. A man came into the field with
something in his hand. Rollo looked at him, happy to think that no man
could catch him or hurt him, now that he had such a pair of wings. In
a minute the man held up the thing he had in his hands and pointed at
him. Rollo had just time to see that it was a gun, and to stretch his
wings in terrible fear, when,--_flash_,--BANG,--went the gun, and down
came the poor bird to the ground, with his wing and leg torn away, and
a dozen leaden shot lodged in his red breast,--for he was a robin.
The terror and pain waked him up, and he found himself sitting in his
arbor, with his book on the ground, where it had fallen from his hand.
He got up, and went to the house, thinking that a discontented mind
would find trouble enough in any situation, and that a boy with kind
parents, a pleasant home, and plenty of food and clothing, ought not
to complain of his lot, even if he was called upon sometimes to help
his mother.


One pleasant morning in the fall of the year, little Charles, who had
been sleeping on the trundle-bed in his mother’s chamber, waked up and
opened his eyes. He looked around him, and saw that his father was
dressing himself.

“Father,” said he, “may I get up too?”

“It is pretty cold this morning; can you bear the cold long enough to
dress yourself?”

“But, father, I need not stay here; I can take up my clothes and run
down into the parlor, and dress me there by the fire.”

“No, it is not proper for any body to go to the parlor till they are
dressed. Besides, perhaps the fire is not built yet.”

By this time, Charles’ nose had become pretty cold; so he said, “Well,
I believe I will wait;” and he drew his head under the bedclothes again.

In a few minutes he became warm again, and thought that it would not be
very cold if he should get up, and that if it was, he should not mind
it. He looked out a second time, and said,

“Father, do you think I should have time to dress me before you get
ready to go down stairs?”

“I think you will, if you are quick.”

“Do you think I could help you any in building the fire?”

“Yes, you might hand me the wood and carry out the ashes, and after the
fire is built, you might sweep up the hearth.”

“Then I will get up,” said Charles; and he sprang out of bed, and began
to dress himself.

In a few minutes, however, he began to be cold, and to shiver, and his
fingers grew numb, and he began to wish he had waited a little longer.
At last he stopped dressing himself.

“Father,” said he, “it is colder than I thought it was. I have a great
mind to get into bed again.”

“Well,” said his father, “you can do as you please; but how far have
you got, in dressing yourself?”

“I am about half dressed.”

“Then it will take you about as long to undress again as it would to
finish dressing, and be ready to go down.”

Charles stood a moment shivering and thinking.

“So it will,” said he; “I wish I had not put on my jacket.”

After a moment’s pause, he concluded to finish dressing, and he went on
resolutely through it; and just as his father opened the door, he took
hold of his hand, saying that he was ready.

“Father,” said he, as they were going down stairs, “I think that
when any body means to do any thing, he ought to think of all the
difficulties before he begins, and then go through it quickly without

“Why?” said his father.

“Because I grew colder while I was standing still, not knowing what to
do, than all the time while I was dressing me. And now I shall be very
cold before we get the fire built. Father, I don’t see what makes it
cold. I wish it was always warm as it is in summer.”

“While we are building the fire, I will explain it to you,” said his
father. So they went down stairs.

       *       *       *       *       *

When Rollo read this story he said he was sorry it left off without
telling why it is colder in the winter than in the summer, because he
thought he should like to know. So at breakfast that morning, he asked
his father to explain it to him.

“Yes,” said his father, “I will explain it to you. It is because in the
winter the sun moves through such a part of the sky that he does not
shine so well upon the part of the world which we live in, as he does
in the summer.”

Rollo listened attentively to what his father said, but he thought he
did not understand it very well. So he said he meant always to dress
himself quick in the cold morning, and not keep beginning and leaving
off as Charles did.


I wish all the boys and girls who may read this book to learn by it
to read right, and now I shall tell you how to read right. But first
I must explain some things to you about the way in which books are
printed. What I am going to tell you now, is what Rollo’s father
explained to him, after he had learned to read in easy reading,
and had learned all the stops,--the comma, and the period, and the
interrogation mark, and all the stops. I shall explain them to you by
the help of a story, which I am going to put in here. I shall stop
telling the story every few minutes to explain some things about the
way of printing it. Here is the beginning of the story:--

  Once there was a man who thought he would go up upon a mountain.

That is the beginning of the story; but I wish to stop a moment to ask
you to look at the letters which it is printed with, and see whether
they are as large as the reading before it. Is it printed in just as
large letters, or larger, or smaller? Yes, it is smaller. I am going to
have all the story printed in smaller print. The reason is because the
principal thing I wish to do now, is to explain to you how to read, and
I only wish for the story to help me,--so I put it in smaller print, or
as they generally call it smaller _type_. It is very often so in books.
One part is printed in larger, and the other part in smaller type. The
most important is in large type. The least important is in small type.
If you will ask your father or mother, or your brother or sister, if
you have one old enough, they will show you books with large and small
print in them. Whenever you see any thing printed in smaller print than
the rest of the book, you ought not to read right on without thinking
any thing of it; but you ought to pause a minute, and observe it, and
think what the reason is. Now I will begin my story again in small

  Once there was a man who thought he would go up upon a mountain; so
  he rode along on his horse till he came as near to the mountain as
  he could, in the road,--and then he turned off into the woods and
  rode on until he came to the foot of the mountain. He could ride no
  farther; so he tied his horse to a tree.

  Then he began to walk up the mountain.

Do you see that when we come to the word _tree_, just above there,
that we leave off printing in that line. There is a period, and then
the rest of the line has nothing in it. It is blank, as they call it,
that is white, all white paper. The next part of the story begins in
the next line. The next part of the story is, these words, “Then he
began,” and that is printed in the next line. And if you look at it,
you will see that it is not exactly at the beginning of the line. The
word “Then” is not printed as near the side of the page as the other
lines above it are. There is a little space left blank. Do you see the
little space left blank before the “Then”? Now what do you suppose is
the reason why we left off in the middle of the line and began again in
the next line, leaving a little blank space? Why, it is because I had
finished telling you all about the man’s _coming to_ the mountain, and
was now going to tell you about his _going up_ the mountain, and so I
thought it would be best to leave off for that line, and begin again
in the next. Should you like to know what such a place is called? It
is called a new paragraph. A new paragraph is made whenever we come to
any new part of the story. If you look back over the leaves of this
book you will find a great many new paragraphs on all the pages. If any
person says any thing in the story, we put what he says in a paragraph
by itself. See if you can find some new paragraphs.

Now, when you come to any new paragraph in your reading, you ought
not to read right forward without stopping or noticing it at all. You
should pause a little when one paragraph ends, and then begin again
when the new paragraph begins, so that those who hear you read, and who
are not looking over, may know by the sound of your voice, that you
have come to a new paragraph.

Now I will go on with the story, again, beginning at the new paragraph.

  Then he began to walk up. He scrambled through the bushes for some
  time, and at last came out into a smooth, but muddy path. Here,
  however, he was in no little difficulty, for the path was so slippery
  that notwithstanding all he could do, he seemed rather to be sliding
  _down_, than climbing up.

Here we come to the end of another paragraph. And I wish you to look at
the word “_down_” in the last line. Do you see any thing strange about
it? Is it printed like the other words?

Once I asked some children to look at a word printed so, and to tell
me what the difference was between it and other words. One said it
looked fainter. Another said it looked smaller. A third said it was not
printed with good ink. But the true explanation is, the letters of the
word are slanting. That is all. It makes the word look a little fainter.

You will see that the letters are different by looking first at the
d in “sliding,” which comes before “_down_,” and then looking at the
_d_ in “_down_.” The d in “sliding” is straight. The _d_ in “_down_”
is slanting; all the other letters in _down_ are slanting. Do you know
what this kind of printing is called? It is called Italic.

The word “_down_” in the story is printed in Italics. The reason
why it is printed in Italics is because I wanted you to notice it
particularly. It is remarkable that while the man was trying to get
_up_, he should, instead of that, slide _down_. So I had the word
printed differently, that you might notice it particularly. Whenever
you are reading and come to any word printed in Italics, you must
notice it, and speak it very distinctly, for it is an important word.

Look back in this book and see if you can find some words printed in
Italics. When you find one, read the sentence it is in aloud, and speak
the word which is in Italics very plain and distinct, and see if you do
not understand the sentence better.

You must always read such words very distinctly in all books except
the Bible. In the Bible, the words are put in Italics for a different
reason, which I cannot explain to you now. Now I will go on with the

  He at last got over this slippery part of the path, and then came to
  a place where it was very rocky. Trees and bushes hung over his head,
  and grew thick all around him, and he began to be afraid that he
  might meet some wild beast. Presently he looked through the bushes,
  and saw at a distance among the rocks, some large black thing, and
  he thought it was a bear. He was very much frightened, and began to
  scream out as loud as he could, HELP, HELP, HELP.

Do you notice any thing remarkable in those three last words? Are they
printed like the other words? Are they printed in Italics? How do they
differ from common printing? Can you tell? Do you often see words
printed so?

They are printed in Capitals. Capitals are letters shaped differently
from other letters. They are generally larger than other letters, but
not always. These words are printed in capitals, because they are
very important indeed. The man cried, Help, Help, Help, very loud. So
we print them in Capitals. If a word is very important, we generally
print it in Italics, but if it is _very_ important _indeed_ we print
it in Capitals. When you come to a word printed in Capitals, you must
generally read it very plain and distinctly indeed. I should like to
have you look back to the story of Jonas, and see how the words are
printed where the boy said “Whoa.” Can you tell the reason why they
are printed so? and can you read them right? But let us go on with the

  At the same time that he shouted for help so loud, he grasped hold
  of a tree close by, and began to climb it, by the branches, to get
  out of the bear’s way. When he got up a little way, he could see over
  the bushes to the very place where the bear was; he looked there, and
  saw--what do you think it was?

You see a straight mark printed after “saw.” Do you see it? What do
you suppose it is? It is what they call a _dash_. The reason why I put
the dash there, is that I was going to tell you what the man saw, but
I suddenly stopped, and asked you what you thought it was. When we
suddenly stop in saying any thing, and begin to say something else, we
put in a _dash_. So we use a dash in some other ways. You ought to stop
a little when you come to a dash, thus; “He looked there and saw--what
do you think it was?” Dashes are generally put in, when we want you to
stop a little in your reading. Now for the story again.

  He looked, and saw--what do you think it was? Why, it was nothing but
  an old, black log!!

Do you see two characters at the end of that sentence? They are notes
of exclamation. When two of them are put together they mean that what
comes before them is very extraordinary and surprising. Should you
not think it was very extraordinary and surprising for a man to think
he saw a bear, and be frightened and shout help, and climb up into a
tree, and find, after all, that it was nothing but a great, black log?
It is surprising, and when you read it, you must read it as if you
thought it was very surprising, so; “What do you think it was? Why it
was nothing but an old, black log!!” You can get your father or mother
to show you how to read it, if you do not know.

  It was nothing but an old, black log, lying against the rocks. The
  man felt ashamed. He clambered down, and went to look at the log
  which had frightened him so. It was as black as a coal.* The man
  laughed to think that he should have supposed _that_ to be a bear.

Do you see after the word _coal_, in the last line but one, a little
star? Do you know what that star is for? It is to make you look down to
the bottom of the page, and there you will find something more about
the black wood. When you come to any little star then, when you are
reading, you must look down to the bottom of the page, and there you
will find another little star, with something printed after it. That
which is printed thus at the bottom of a page is called a _note_.

Other characters besides stars are made for notes. These are some of
the characters, § ¶ † ‡. There are not many notes in this book. Perhaps
you will find some by and by.

This is all that I have to tell you now about reading. But now I will
put in the whole story about the man going up the mountain, and you may
see if you can read it all right, and see too, if you remember all that
I have explained.

* It was burnt black by a fire, which somebody had built there a great
while before.


Once there was a man who thought he would go up upon a mountain; so
he rode along upon his horse till he came as near the mountain as he
could, and then he turned off into the woods and rode on until he came
to the foot of the mountain. He could ride no farther; so he tied his
horse to a tree.

Then he began to walk up. He scrambled through the bushes for some
time, and at last came out into a smooth but muddy path. Here, however,
he was in no little difficulty, for the path was so slippery that,
notwithstanding all he could do, he seemed rather to be sliding _down_,
than climbing _up_.

He at last got over this slippery part of the path, and then came to a
place where it was very rocky. Trees and bushes hung over his head,
and grew thick, all around him, and he began to be afraid that he might
meet with some wild beast. Presently he looked through the bushes, and
saw at a distance among the rocks, some large, black thing, and he
thought it was a bear. He was very much frightened, and began to scream
out as loud as he could, HELP, HELP, HELP.

At the same time that he shouted for help so loud, he grasped hold
of a tree close by, and began to climb it, by the branches, to get
out of the bear’s way. When he got up a little way he could see over
the bushes to the very place where the bear was; he looked there and
saw,--what do you think it was? Why it was nothing but _an old, black
log_! An old, black log, lying against the rocks. The man felt ashamed.
He clambered down and went to look at the log which had frightened
him so. It was as black as a coal.* The man laughed to think that he
should have supposed _that_ to be a bear.

He determined not to be so foolish another time, and then he went
along climbing up the mountain. It was steep and rocky, and there were
bushes and trees each side of the path. He had to stop often to take
breath and rest himself. At last he reached the top, and could see a
great many miles all around. He could see woods and farms and towns and
rivers away down, down, very far below him.

After a while he came down the mountain. He walked very carefully, so
as not to fall. When he came to where the old black log was, he looked
at it and laughed.

* It was burnt black by a fire, which somebody had built there a great
while before.


One day little Rollo was sitting by the fire on his green cricket. His
mother was sewing at her work-table.

“Mother,” said Rollo, “when do you think father will come home?”

His mother said, “I think he will come home pretty soon.”

“Then,” said Rollo, “I think I had better get a chair for him.”

So he went and took hold of the great rocking-chair, to pull it to the
fire for his father; but it was so heavy that it would not come. So
Rollo began to cry.

His mother looked up and said, “Rollo, what is the matter?”

Rollo said, “This rocking-chair will not come.”

“Where do you want to carry it?”

“I want it to be by the fire, so that my father can sit in it when he
comes home,” said Rollo.

“Why do you want your father to have it?”

“Because;” said he. He did not know exactly how to tell the reason, and
so he only said “Because.”

“It is because you wish to please him and to save him trouble, is it

“Yes, mother,” said Rollo.

“Well, do you not think it displeases me and gives me trouble to have
you cry, and make me get up and come and move the chair for you?”

Rollo knew it did, but he did not answer.

Then his mother said, “What good does it do to displease _me_ and
make _me_ trouble, for the sake of pleasing _father_ and saving _him_

Rollo could not answer this question; so he kept swinging and rocking,
back and forth, on the chair. His mother went on with her work.

By and by he said, “Well, I can get my father’s slippers for him.”

So he went to the little closet by the side of the fire, and took out
the slippers, and put them down in the corner, and then when his father
came in, he ran to the door to meet him, and he said,

“Father, father, I could not move up your chair, but there are your
slippers all ready.”


When Rollo was about five years old, his mother one evening took him up
in her lap, and said,

“Well, Rollo, it is about time for you to go to bed.”

“Oh, mamma,” said Rollo, “_must_ I go now?”

“Did you know,” said his mother, “that it is wrong for you to say that?”

“Why, mother,” said Rollo, surprised.

“When I think it is time for you to go to bed, it is wrong for you to
say or do any thing which shows that you are not willing to go.”

“Why, mother?”

“Because that makes it more unpleasant for you to go, and more
unpleasant for me to send you. Now whenever I think that it is time for
you to go, it is my duty to send you, and it is your duty to go, and we
never ought to do any thing to make our duty unpleasant.”

Rollo then said nothing. He sat still a few minutes thinking.

“Do you understand it?” said his mother.

“Yes, mother,” said Rollo.

“Suppose now any mother should say to her boy, ‘Come, my boy, it is
time for you to go to bed;’ and the boy should say, ‘I won’t go.’ Would
that be right or wrong?”

“Oh, very wrong,” said Rollo.

“Suppose he should begin to cry, and say he did not want to go?”

“That would be very wrong too,” said Rollo.

“Suppose he should begin to beg a little, and say, ‘I don’t want to go
_now_, I should think you might let me sit up a little longer.’ What
should you think of that?”

“It would be wrong.”

“Suppose he should look up into his mother’s face sorrowfully, and say,
‘_Must_ I go now, mother?’”

“Wrong,”--said Rollo, faintly.

“Suppose he should not say a word, but look cross and ill-humored, and
throw away his playthings in a pet, and walk by the side of his mother,
reluctantly and slowly. What should you think of that?”

“I think it would be wrong.”

“Suppose he should look pleasantly, and say, ‘Well mother,’ and come
pleasantly to take her hand, and bid the persons in the room good
night, and walk off cheerfully.”

“That would be right,” said Rollo.

“Yes,” said his mother, “and always when a child is told to do any
thing, whether it is pleasant to do or not, he ought to obey at once,
and cheerfully.”


Rollo was sitting one morning by the fire-side, before breakfast,
reading in a little blue covered hymn-book. Presently Mary brought in
the breakfast; and Rollo was glad, and jumped up from his little _low_
chair at the fire, and went and brought his _high_ chair, and put it at
his place at the table.

When they were all ready, they stood still, while Rollo’s father said
in a slow and serious manner, “Almighty God, we thank thee that thou
hast again spread this table for us, and prepared this food. Help us
now to receive it thankfully, and may it strengthen us to obey thy
commands this day; we ask it for Christ’s sake.” Then they sat down.

Rollo knew that this was called asking a blessing, and he had always
been taught to be very still, and very attentive, while it was done. He
did not know however, exactly what it was for, and he thought he would
now ask his father.

His father told him it was to thank God for their breakfast.

Rollo asked his father whether God gave them their breakfast.

“Yes,” said his father, “God causes our breakfast to be brought to us
from many distant places.”

“Where do the knives and forks come from?” said Rollo.

“They come from England. The men dig up the iron out of the ground to
make the blades, and take horn and make the handles, and then roll them
up in a paper and put them in a ship. The ship brings them across the
ocean, more than a thousand miles, to Boston. Then the waggoner puts
them in his waggon, and brings them over the hills and valleys away to
this town where we live,--all that little Rollo may have a knife and
fork to eat his breakfast.”

“Where do the plates come from?”

“They come from England. The men find a bank of white clay, and they
mix up some of it with water, until it is like dough. Then they make it
into the shape of plates, and cups, and saucers, and paint them blue;
and put them into a large, hot oven, and bake them hard. When they are
cooled, they pack them up in a sort of a basket, large and square; and
put straw and hay between them, so that they need not break. And so
they bring them over the waves, and over the hills, away to the town
we live in, so that little Rollo may have a plate when he eats his

“Where does the coffee come from?”

“It comes from Cuba. The negroes plant a tree and take good care of it
while it grows, until there are a great many kernels of coffee upon it.
They gather them when they are ripe, and sew them up in a bag, and send
them all the way over the sea, and over the land, across the rivers and
mountains and rocks. When they come here, Mary burns them brown, and
grinds them in the mill, and heats the water, all that little Rollo may
have some coffee to drink for breakfast.”

“Where does the bread come from?”

“When the summer begins, the little green blades of wheat grow up out
of the ground, in the farmer’s fields. God waters it with showers,
and warms it with the sun, so that it grows and grows and grows, till
it is higher than Rollo’s head. Then the little grains of wheat grow
in the top of it, and when they are ripe, the farmer cuts them down,
and pounds them out with a great heavy flail, and puts them in a bag,
and sends them to mill. At the mill they are ground between two great
stones, into fine, white flour, and the baker mixes the flour and
water; and makes the dough, and bakes it in his great hot oven, all
that little Rollo may have some bread for breakfast.”

“Well, but father,” said Rollo, “how does God give us our breakfast

His father said, “Why, it is God who made the iron in the ground for
the knives, and the clay for the plates and cups. He brings the summer
and the sun. He makes the wheat sprout up and grow, and brings the
showers of rain. He takes care too, of all the men who shape the cups,
and make the knives, and gather the coffee, and grind the wheat. He
does all this kindly for us,--so that Rollo and all the other boys in
the world may have some breakfast. I think we ought to thank him.”

Rollo did not say any thing, but he thought so too.


“Father, will you tell me a story?” said Rollo one day.

Rollo’s father was sitting on the platform, leading out to the
garden-yard.* It was a pleasant summer evening, just before sunset.

“Shall it be a true story, or a _fictitious_ one?” said his father.

“What is fictitious?” asked Rollo.

“A story that is not true.”

“But it would be wrong for you to tell me any thing that was not true,
would it not?” said Rollo.

“Do you think it would be certainly wrong?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Suppose you were coming along the yard, and were riding on my cane,
and should come up to me and say, ‘Papa, this is my horse. See what a
noble horse I have got.’ Would that be wrong?”

“No, sir.”

“Would it be true?”

“No, sir,--It would not be a real horse.”

“Now do you know why it would be right in this case for you to say it
was a horse, when it was not?”

Rollo could not tell.

“I will tell you,” said his father. “Because you would not be trying to
_deceive_ me. I could see your horse, as you call him, and could see
that it was nothing but a cane. You would not be trying to deceive me,
to make me think it was a real horse when it was not.”

“No, sir,” said Rollo.

“If you should say any thing which is not strictly true, and want to
make me think it is true, that would be very wrong. That would be
telling a lie. So it would be very wrong for me to tell you any thing
which is not true, and try to make you think it is true. But it is not
wrong for me to make up a little story to amuse you, if I do not try to
deceive you by it.”

“Would that be a fictitious story?”


“Well, father, I should like to have you tell me a fictitious story.”

“Well, I will tell you one. The name of it is, The Fly’s Morning Walk.”
So Rollo’s father took his little boy up in his lap, and told him the
following fictitious story.

* They called it the garden-yard, because it led out to the garden.
You can see Jonas in the picture, wheeling out a load of weeds, along
the path from the garden to the barn-yard.


Once there was a little fly with broad, thin wings and round body
and two great eyes. When he waked up in the morning, he found he was
standing on the wall, and he thought he would go and find something for

He flew down upon the table, and then crept along. First he found a
little grain of sand, and said he, “I wonder if this is good to eat.”
So he reached out his long _proboscis_ to it, and tried to taste of it,
but he found it was dry and rough and hard. “Oh, _no, no, no_,” said
he, “this is not good to eat.”

Then he walked along a little farther, and came to some dust. And he
said, “I wonder whether this is good to eat.” So he reached out his
long proboscis to it, and tried to taste of it; but he found it was dry
and insipid, and it stuck all over the end of his proboscis, and he
said, “Oh, _no, no, no_, this is not good to eat.”

Then he went along until he came to a pin, and he said, “I wonder
whether this is good to eat.” So he reached out his long proboscis,
and tried to taste of it, but it was smooth and hard and round, and he
could not taste of it at all. And he said, “Oh, _no, no, no_, this is
not good to eat.”

Then he went round to the point of the pin, and he said, “I wonder
whether this is good to eat”; but as soon as he touched his long
proboscis to it, it pricked the end of it, and he started back and
said, “Oh, _no, no, no_, this is not good to eat.”

Then he went along a little further, and came to a crack in the table,
and he said, “I wonder whether there is any thing here good to eat.” So
he reached down his long proboscis into it, and got it pinched in, so
he cried out, “Oh, oh, oh, this is not good to eat.”

Then he went along a little further, and by this time he began to be
very hungry, and presently, he saw a very small thing lying on the
table, and he walked up to it, and began to feel of it with his long
proboscis, and found it tasted very sweet and good. It was a little
piece of a sugar-dog, which a boy had dropped there, and he said, “Oh,
_yes, yes, yes_, this is very good to eat.” Thus at last the little fly
found some breakfast.


Rollo’s father was a very kind father. He took very good care of his
little boy. He had a little trundle-bed made for him to sleep in, and
good warm clothes for him to wear, and besides he would very often talk
to him very kindly and pleasantly.

Once Rollo’s mother took cold and became sick. Her sickness increased
for several days, until at last it became necessary for her to have a
nurse come and take care of her.

That night Rollo was put to bed in another chamber, and his father came
to hear him say his prayers, and to bid him good night. He put his
cheek down to Rollo’s, and they both prayed, first one and then the
other, that God would take care of them both, and forgive their sins
and give them good and holy hearts, and prepare them for heaven.

Just before his father went away, he said,

“Rollo, I am going to sleep here with you to-night.”

“Are you?” said Rollo.

“Yes; the nurse is going to take care of mother, and in an hour or two,
I shall come here and go to bed. Now when the morning comes, if you
will pull me, and wake me up, I will tell you a little story.”

“Well,” said Rollo, “I will.”

Then his father took up the light to go away.

Rollo did not want to have the light taken away, and he said, “Father,
are you going to carry away the light?”

“Yes,--wouldn’t you?” said his father.

“No, sir, I think I wouldn’t.”

“Oh, yes, I think I must take the light away, and you must shut up your
eyes and go to sleep.”

So Rollo laid his cheek upon the pillow, and shut up his eyes, though
they quivered a little, because he was not sleepy, and pretty soon his
father went away.

The next morning, little Rollo was awakened by some one rubbing him,
and when he opened his eyes he found that it was his father, whose face
was close to his upon the pillow.

“Rollo,” said he, “I told you, last night, that if you would pull me
and wake me up, this morning, I would tell you a little story: but you
kept asleep all this time, so I had to pull you and rub you and wake
_you_ up; was not that funny?”

Rollo smiled faintly, for he was not yet quite awake.

Pretty soon he opened his eyes wide, and looked around the room. He saw
that the window-curtains were very light, and he perceived that it was
morning. His father then put his face to his, and said these words. He
was praying to Almighty God.

“Oh, God, thou hast been in this room all night, watching and taking
care of little Rollo and me while we have been asleep. We thank thee
that thou hast kept us safely. Wilt thou take care of us all the day,
and make us kind to all in the house. Do not let Rollo be disobedient
or obstinate or ungrateful or unkind to little Lucy; and make us all
good and happy, for Christ’s sake, Amen.”

Rollo was still and attentive while his father said these words. He
wanted God to hear and do what his father asked.

“Rollo,” said his father, a few minutes afterwards, “what are you
going to do all day to-day?”

“Oh,” said Rollo, “I am going to play.”

“Where are you going to get your breakfast?”

“Oh, I am going to get it down stairs, in the parlor.”

“But whose breakfast is that down in the parlor? Is it yours?”

“No, sir.”

“Did you buy it with your money?”

“No, sir.”

“Shall you get it ready?”

“No, sir, I do not know how to get the breakfast ready.”

“Then it is not your breakfast; it is all my breakfast; but as you have
not got any breakfast of your own, I believe I will let you have some
of my breakfast. But what are you going to do for a house to live in
all day?”

“Oh,” said Rollo, “I am going to live in this house.”

“But is this your house?”

“No, sir.”

“Isn’t it yours? Did not you build it?”

“No, sir.”

“Did not you buy it?”

“No, sir.”

“And haven’t you got any house to live in?”

“No, sir, not unless you let me live in yours.”

“Well, if you have not any house to live in, I will let you live in
mine to-day.”

Just then Rollo pointed up to the wall, and said,

“See, there is a tiger on the wall;--it looks like a tiger.”

His father looked up at the irregular lines on the wall, which had
attracted his little boy’s attention, but he could not see any thing
that resembled a tiger.

“I don’t see,” said his father; “where is his _head_?”

“He has not got any head; it is not a tiger, it only looks like a
tiger. It has got a tail.”

“Well, where is his tail?”

“I--don’t--know. I see a stag, too, and camel.”

In a minute or two his father turned Rollo’s face over gently towards
himself, so that his attention should not be attracted by what he saw
there. He wanted him to listen to what he was saying to him.

“Well, Rollo,” said he, “whose clothes are you going to wear to-day?”

“Oh, I am going to wear _my_ clothes,” said Rollo; “yours would be a
great deal too big.”

“Have you got any clothes?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Where did you get them?”

“I--don’t--know,” said Rollo, hesitating.

“The clothes which you wore yesterday belong to _me_,” said his father.
“Have you got any others?”

“Yes, sir,” said Rollo; “I have got some up stairs in the drawer.”

“Well, those belong to me. I paid for them with my money, and I might
sell them or give them away at any time, if I chose. Have you not got
any others?”

“No, sir,” said Rollo.

“Well,” said his father, “I shall let you wear those clothes of mine
then. I am very glad I have got a house, and some breakfast, and some
clothes for my little Rollo boy since you have not got any of your own.
But I think if I get a house for you to live in, and breakfast for you
to eat, and clothes for you to wear, you ought to be a very careful,
faithful, obedient little boy.”


Every night, when Rollo went to bed, he said a prayer which his father
had taught him. It is an excellent plan for a boy or girl to say their
prayers every night. For you have probably done something wrong during
the day, and you ought not to go to sleep until you are forgiven.
Besides, God has taken care of you through the day, and you ought not
to go to sleep till you have sincerely thanked him, and asked him to
take care of you through the night, while you sleep. I will tell you
what Rollo’s prayer was, and I think you had better learn it, and say
it every night before you go to sleep, unless you have already learned
some other one.

The Prayer.

Now that another day is gone, and I lay down my head upon my pillow to
rest, I come to thee, Almighty God, my Heavenly Father, to ask thee to
forgive my sins, and to take care of me this night.

I have done wrong a great many times,--and destroyed my own peace of
mind, and made my father and mother unhappy, and displeased thee. I
pray thee, O God, to forgive me for Jesus Christ my Saviour’s sake; and
wilt thou keep my heart that I may do wrong no more. Help me, every
day, to try to please thee more and more, so that I may be thy dutiful
and obedient child while I live, and my soul be saved when I die.

And now wilt thou come and be near my bed-side while I sleep, keep me
safe until the morning; and always, whether I wake or sleep, whether I
live or die, wilt thou be with me, and love me, and take care of me,
forever, for Jesus’ sake.


       *       *       *       *       *

It will do no good to say this or any other prayer, unless you say it
seriously and sincerely, and are really sorry for having done wrong,
and resolved to do so no more.



Once there was a beautiful wood, and in it many large trees. In one of
these trees was a large hole; the bottom of the hole was covered with
dry leaves and moss. Here lived Mr. and Mrs. Squirrel, with their five
children, named Creep, Peep, Bushy, Grey and Bunny. They were good
little squirrels, and might have been a very happy family, had not
Bunny been discontented. She tried to make the others so too. She would
very often crowd her brothers and sisters, and fret because she had not

One day their father and mother were away, running about in the woods,
trying to find something for them to eat. The little squirrels were
playing together very pleasantly, till Bunny pushed Creep against Peep,
and then shoved Bushy, telling them to move, for she had not room. In
truth, Bunny was often a very naughty squirrel, and made her father and
mother very unhappy. Very often they would lie awake at night thinking
how they should make her a better child, and kind and pleasant to her
brothers and sisters.

When they came home, the day I have mentioned, from their ramble in
search of something to eat, they saw that their children looked very
sober and unhappy, and Creep, who was the oldest, told them how Bunny
had behaved. Creep was a very good squirrel, and her parents could
always believe her. She never tried to make her brothers and sisters
seem more naughty than they were.

That night, Mr. and Mrs. Squirrel talked about Bunny before they went
to sleep, and concluded they _must_ put a stop to her naughty behavior.

The next morning, Bunny’s father got up and asked her to go and walk
with him. She went, and they walked in the beautiful wood. There were
nuts, and acorns, and berries, and Bunny longed to eat as many as she

Presently her father told her how very wrong she had behaved, and that
he must punish her. So he took her up with his fore paw, and ran up a
tree. The tree was very tall, and it was a good while before they got
far up. Poor little Bunny was very much frightened. At last they came
to a small, dark hole, just large enough for her to turn round in. Here
her father put her in, and told her she must stay there. Then he went
away, and left her here alone, and she could hear her father’s feet pat
along the tree as he went down, and then the dry leaves on the ground
rustle as he ran over them.

Dinner time came, and Bunny hoped her father would come with some
dinner. But no,--he did not come. She began to cry, for she was hungry.
She felt with her paw all round, and could only find one little acorn
and some dried leaves. She looked out of the hole, but was afraid to go
out, it was so high up.

She now began to feel very sorry. She knew how unkind she had been to
her brothers and sisters. She cried, and thought if her father would
come and take her home, she would not crowd and push and fret any more.

Supper time came, but she could not hear any one coming.

The sun set,--it began to grow dark, and the winds blew and whistled
through the trees. At last, down poured the rain, and it came into the
hole, and poor little Bunny was completely wet.

Presently she thought she heard a scratching and a patting on the
leaves, and then upon the tree; and very soon up came her father. He
saw that little Bunny looked sorry. She told her father she would try
and be a good, pleasant squirrel if he would take her home, and give
her some supper. So he took her up with his paw, and down the tree
they went, and soon got home to their very warm nest. Here was a fine
supper of sweet acorns--and the family were all glad to see little
Bunny again, and whenever she began to be naughty, she thought of the
dark hole where she had been left alone and without supper, and she
became a very good little squirrel, and was ever afterwards a great
comfort to her parents.


Do you remember any thing about Jonas;--how they found him by the side
of the road and brought him home? When Rollo’s father found him, he
meant to have sent him to the poor-house, where all poor boys are taken
care of, but he kept him in his house a few days first, and he found
that he was a very good boy. He had a great many faults, but he was a
good-natured, pleasant boy, and he was willing to learn, and so Rollo’s
father thought he would let him stay and live with him, and work for

Jonas was very industrious and faithful. Do you know what industrious
means? Do you know what faithful means? He was kind too. He was very
kind to Rollo. He used to help Rollo a great deal, and play with him,
and tell him stories.

There was a beautiful brook very near the house which Rollo lived in. I
have made you a picture of the elm yard, behind the house. By and by,
I shall make you a picture of all the house, and the trees, and fields
around it, and the brook, and then you will understand it all exactly.
Now I can only tell you there was a brook, and Jonas used to take Rollo
down to the brook sometimes to play. The brook was wide, and the water
flowed slowly and smoothly, but it was not very deep. Jonas liked to be
near the water. He had sailed over the seas, and he liked the water.

One day Jonas found two great logs on the shore of the brook. He rolled
them into the water. Then he went up to the house and got some pieces
of board, and a hammer and some nails. He gave Rollo the hammer and
nails to carry, and he carried the boards. He walked back then to the
pond. He floated the logs side by side, and nailed the boards across,
and then he stood upon it, and it bore him up on the water. Jonas
called it his raft. Then he took a pole and pushed himself off from the
shore and shouted, “HURRAH, HURRAH.”

Rollo stood upon the shore looking at him, and Rollo too shouted,

Then Rollo said, “Let me get on and sail too.”

“No,” said Jonas, “not till I ask your mother if she is willing.”

That day when they went home, Rollo asked his father and mother if
they were willing that he should sail on Jonas’s raft. His father said
he would go down and look at it. When he came to the brook, he was
surprised to see such a good strong raft, and he said that Rollo might
sail on it, if they would both be careful. Then Jonas got on before,
and pushed with his pole, and Rollo sat behind and held on, and they
sailed away up towards the bridge. You can see them in the picture. You
can see the raft, and Jonas pushing with a pole, and Rollo holding on,
and the brook, and the bridge. Rollo and Jonas had a great many good
sails on this raft.


Do you know what a contrary boy is? I will tell you. He is one who is
never satisfied with what he has, but always wants something different.
If I were to say to you, “Come, James, and see what a pretty _picture_
I have got here;” and you should say, “No, I don’t want a picture,
you said you would bring me a pretty book,”--that would be being
_contrary_. If your father should bring you home a little cart to draw
about the room, and you should say, “I don’t want a cart, I don’t like
carts, I want a horse and whip, like William’s;” that would be being
very contrary.

Now I knew a little boy once, who was unhappy a great deal of the time,
because he would not be pleased with the playthings he had, but always
wanted another kind, or something else. This little boy had a very kind
father and mother, who loved him very much, and who tried to make him
happy. They bought him good clothes to wear: they gave him good things
to eat whenever he was hungry, and they bought him a great many pretty
playthings. But though they were so kind, this boy was sometimes so
naughty as to cry when they gave him a new plaything, because he had
wanted a bunch of jack-straws, perhaps, instead of a pretty box of
wooden blocks. If they had bought him some jack-straws, he would have
wanted the blocks or something else. Nobody liked to give Charles any
playthings or sugar-plums or any thing, because they did not make him
happy: and they did not make him happy because he would not be pleased,
but always thought of something else which he fancied he would rather

One day, Charles’ mother came into the room where he was playing, and
said, “Charles, little brother William is going to walk with Susan.
Should you like to go too?”

“Yes,” said he, “but I shall want to wear my new cap.”

“But I told you the other day,” said his mother, “that you could not
wear it for a whole week again, because you threw it upon the floor
when you came in yesterday, instead of hanging it on the nail.”

“Then I don’t want to go,” said Charles.

“Very well,” said his mother, and calling to Susan, she told her she
need not wait any longer.

“But I _shall_ want to go,” said Charles, beginning to cry.

“You must not go now,” said his mother, “for you said you did not want
to go, just because you felt contrary, and out of humor.”

His mother then sat down to work. Charles, finding it was useless to
cry, dried his tears, and began throwing his playthings about the room.

“Don’t you do so,” said his mother, “you will break that pretty box,
and your white cards, with the pretty colored letters, will get soiled,
and not fit to be used.”

“I don’t care if they do,” said Charles, “it is not a pretty box, and I
don’t like the cards.”

His mother rose, took away all his playthings, and left him sitting
upon the floor, with nothing to do. As she took no notice of his cross
looks, he presently went to the window, and stood on a little cricket,
looking to see the horses and carriages passing, and soon he began to
feel pleasantly again.

“Oh! mother,” said he, “there are two beautiful little dogs in the
street, and a little boy running after them. Oh! how I should like a
little dog. Mother, will you buy me one?” and he ran to his mother and
looked up in her face.

His mother laid down her work, and took him in her lap. “What would you
do with a dog,” said she, “if you had one?”

“Oh! I should play with him; I would put some things in my cart, and
tie the dog to it, and let him draw it to market; just like the dog in
William’s picture.”

“But I am afraid,” said his mother, “that if your father should buy
you a dog you would sometimes get out of humor with him, and then you
would say it was an ugly dog, and you did not want it any more.”

“No, I would not,” said Charles; “I should always love my little dog.”

“So you said, if I would buy you a new cap, you would be a good boy,
and never give me any trouble about it; but yesterday you forgot your
promise, and did not put it where it belongs; and to-day you have made
me very unhappy by your bad temper. And you have displeased God too,
for he was looking directly into your heart when you said you did not
want to go with Susan, and saw that you were saying what was not true.”

“But I will remember next time, if you will only get me a little dog.”

Just then William came into the room with a large piece of cake in
his hand, which a lady had given him. He went up to his brother, and
breaking it in two pieces offered him one of them.

“No, I want the other piece,” said Charles.

“But I can’t give it to you,” said William; “I want it myself.”

“Then I won’t have any,” said Charles, impatiently.

“Keep all the cake yourself, William,” said his mother; “Charles must
not have any, because he is not a good boy.”

“But I do want some,” said Charles, beginning to cry very loud. Then
his mother went to the door, and calling Susan, told her to take
Charles into the other room, and keep him there until he was perfectly
pleasant and good-humored. So you see Charles lost a pleasant walk, and
a nice piece of cake; and, after all, had to be sent away from his kind
mother just because he would be a contrary boy. Do you think he was

The next afternoon, as these two little boys were playing in the yard,
they looked up, and saw a carriage, drawn by two large, white horses,
stop at the door. It was their aunt’s. She had brought her little son
and daughter, named James and Mary, to spend the afternoon with their
cousins. As soon as they were out of the carriage, they ran to their
cousins, and all looked as happy as if they were expecting to have a
noble, good time; and so they were.

Their aunt went into the house, and the children played together out
in the yard. When they were tired of that, they went into the mowing
field, where the hay was spread to dry, and began to throw it upon
each other. This they enjoyed very much till Charles began to cry, and
say they should not throw the hay upon him. He wanted to _pelt_ the
others, but was not willing to have them pelt him. So this contrary boy
spoilt the whole play, and he cried so loud that his mother had to call
him into the house. When he was gone, James lay down in the hay, and
told his sister and cousin to cover him up in it. When he was hidden
entirely, so that they could not see him, he jumped up suddenly, and
ran to catch them with an arm full of hay, to _pay_ them for treating
him so. They laughed very loud, and were very happy, now they had no
one to disturb them with crying. They were soon called in to tea.

Charles had not been very well in the morning, and his mother was
afraid to give him as many strawberries in his milk as she did the
rest. So Charles began to cry, and said he would not have any. His
mother then sent him out of the room, and did not allow him to return
until his cousins had gone.

You see how many pleasant things he lost by being so contrary. His
mother said she could not buy him a dog until he had learned to be a
good, pleasant boy. His cousins said they did not want to go and see
him again, for he spoiled their play; and when his mother went to see
his aunt, she took William, but left Charles at home. She said she
could not take him with her until he was willing to do as others wished
to have him, and not always cry to have his own way. By and by, Charles
learned that it was better to be pleasant all the time, and not get
out of humor when things did not exactly suit him; and then every body
loved him, for he was a good little boy in every other respect.


Charles was a little boy. One cold winter’s morning his mother brought
him down stairs. It was very early. She put him down on the carpet,
before a bright, warm fire. Then she opened the shutters to see if it
was light. Charles saw something white and shining upon the windows,
and called to her, and said, “Oh, mother, mother, how beautiful! See
how the windows are painted all white. _There_ is a mountain, and
another,--and--and I see another on the top of it; and there are some
trees, and flowers--and--”

“Yes, they are very beautiful,” said Charles’ mamma, as she stood
dressing her little boy.

“What makes it look so? It isn’t light like day,--and oh! mother, see,
there is a bright star in the sky!”

“It is not quite daylight yet; pretty soon it will grow lighter, and
the little star will not look so bright, and then the sky will grow
brighter, and it will be daylight.”

“What is it now; is it night?”

“No, it is day-dawn.”

“Day-dawn;--well, it’s very pretty, I think, mother. O, see, there’s a
cow! I think those are pictures painted on the window, aren’t they?”

“No, they are not pictures. Don’t you know what they are?”

“I see something that looks like a horse that hasn’t got any head,
and some trees that haven’t got any branches, and a great many more
mountains and rocks. I think they are pictures, but they look white,
just like snow.”

“Well, Charles, the cold made those pictures. We call it frost on the
windows, and it came last night while we were all asleep. It was very
cold indeed last night, and a great many things froze very hard. Now
hark, what do you hear?”

“Hark! I hear something that ticks just like a watch. What is it?”

“It is the cold frost which has frozen some water in the tumbler. Last
night it was water, and I drank some of it. Now look here; it is ice,
and it looks very beautiful. See all those little marks and spots.
Those are little bubbles. Now it goes _click, click_, again. See how
hard it is; I cannot break it with my finger.”

“Mother, will the frost stay all day on the windows, or go away when it
is daylight?”

“Not when it is daylight, but when the room is warm. There is a good,
bright fire in the grate, and it will make the room warm, and by and by
the sun will rise out of doors and shine on the glass, and warm it, and
the frost will melt. Then it will be water and run down in drops.”

“Well, I think it is very pretty frost, and I don’t think I could make
such horses, and trees, and cows.”


Once there was a foolish man, who was always afraid of bears. He was
always afraid there were bears in the woods around him, and that they
would come and eat him up.

One day he thought he would take his gun and go out and shoot a bear.
So he took down his gun, and put in some powder to load it, and then he
put in some paper to keep the powder in, and then he put in a bullet
over that. The bullet was a round, heavy thing, like a round stone. He
put another piece of paper in next, to keep the bullet down. How do you
suppose he got the paper down to the bottom of his gun? Why, he had a
long, slender iron, which he called his ramrod, and he pushed the paper
down with his long, slender ramrod. Then he pulled the ramrod out, and
slid it into its proper place by the side of his gun.

Did you ever see any gunpowder? When you set it on fire, it flashes up
very quick. There is a picture of some boys burning gunpowder in Rollo
Learning to Talk. If the gunpowder is in a close place when it is set
on fire, it bursts out violently, and makes a noise. This man’s gun was
a close place, and he expected that when he should see the bear, he
should point his gun at the bear, and then set fire to the powder down
in the bottom of his gun, and that the powder would flash and burst
out, and drive out the round, heavy bullet, and make it _whiz_ through
the air very swiftly, and go into the bear and kill him.

But how do you think he was going to set fire to the powder which was
away down in the bottom of his gun, under the paper and the bullet? I
will tell you how. There was a little hole, a very little one, in the
side of his gun, opposite where the powder was, and he put a little
powder into that hole. The name of the hole is the touch-hole. Close by
that hole there were some things fixed which would strike together and
make sparks. They would strike together when he pulled a little thing.
The little thing he pulled was the trigger. So that when he should
be all ready, and should have the gun pointing at the bear, he would
only pull the trigger, and that would make the flint and steel strike
together, and that would make sparks which would fall upon the powder
in the little touch-hole, and it would burn in, quick, with a flash,
and set the powder in the gun on fire, and that would drive the bullet
out, and make it whiz through the air and kill the bear. That is the
way the man expected to shoot. That is the way they always shoot.

Just before he was ready to shoot, he always had to pull back the
flint, so as to get the flint and the trigger in the right place, and
when he did this it would say _click_. This would be _cocking_ his gun.
Then it would be ready to fire.

When the gun was all ready excepting being cocked, the man put it on
his shoulder, and went off into the woods. He looked all about him, but
for a long time he could not see any bear. At last he saw a strange
looking thing up in a tree, among the leaves.

“I wonder,” said he, “if that is not a bear.”

It looked rather strangely, and he could not tell what it was if it was
_not_ a bear. So he thought he might as well shoot it. He accordingly
took down his gun from his shoulder, and pulled back the flint, and
heard it say _click_. Then he pointed the gun up towards the strange
looking thing in the tree, and he pulled the trigger. _Crackle_ went
the sparks, _flash_ went the powder in the touch-hole, _pop_ went
the gun, _whiz_ went the bullet through the air, and the man looked,
expecting to see the bear fall down dead from the tree.

Instead of that he could see, when the smoke cleared away a little,
that the strange looking thing appeared exactly as it did before. He
went round a little to see it better, and what do you think it was?
Why, it was only a crooked branch of the tree.

“Ah,” said he, “I made a mistake. I ought to have waited until I saw
whether it moved. Bears move. Next time I will not fire at any thing
unless it moves.”

So he went along a little farther, looking around on all the trees. At
last he saw something upon a tree, moving; he thought that must be a
bear. So he took his gun down quick off of his shoulder, and he pulled
back the flint, and it said _click_, and he pointed the gun up into
the tree, and then he pulled the trigger. _Crackle_ went the sparks,
_flash_ went the powder in the little touch-hole, _pop_ went the gun,
_whiz_ went the bullet through the air, _puff_ went the smoke, and the
man looked, expecting to see the bear fall down dead from the tree.

Instead of that, what do you think he saw? Why, it was nothing but a
little squirrel, with a long, bushy tail, running away on a limb of
the tree, as fast as he could go. What the man saw moving was only the
tip of his tail; the rest of him was round behind the tree, and he
thought it was a bear round there.

“Ah,” said the man, “I made another little mistake. Bears are black.
This squirrel’s tail is gray. I must not fire at any thing again unless
it is _black_.”

So he walked along, looking about him carefully, and up into all the
trees. By and by he saw something moving. He looked up and saw that it
was black. It was the little tip of a black thing; he could only see a
little of it. The rest was round behind the tree.

“Now,” says the man, “I _know_ I have found a bear; for it is black,
and bears are black.”

So he loaded his gun, and got it all ready. _Click_, said the lock when
he cocked it. He pointed up towards the tree. In a minute he pulled
the trigger,--_flash_ went the powder in the touch-hole, _pop_ went
the gun, _whiz_ went the bullet through the air, and the man looked,
expecting to see the bear fall down dead from the tree.

Instead of that, what do you think he saw? Why, it was only a little
blackbird, flying off through the branches as fast as he could go. The
black thing which the man saw moving was only the blackbird’s tail,
_projecting_ out from behind the tree, and he thought it was a black
bear round there.

“Ah,” said the man, “I made a mistake again. Bears are _large_, as well
as black. This was very _little_. I must not fire at any thing again
unless it is large as well as black.”

So he walked along, looking about him carefully, and up into all the
trees. By and by he saw something very strange. It was a little way up
a tree, clinging to a branch. It was partly hid by the leaves, so that
he could not see it very well, but he knew that it was black, and it
was large, and it was moving.

“Now,” says the man, “I am certain I have found a bear, for it is large
and black, and bears are large and black. Besides, it moves.”

So he loaded his gun, and rammed down the bullet with his ramrod, and
pulled back the flint. It said _click_. Then he knew that all was
ready. He was sure of his bear this time, and he determined to drag him
home by the ears.

He pointed his gun up at the large, black thing, and pulled the
trigger. _Flash_, went the powder in the touch-hole, _pop_ went the
gun, _whiz_ went the bullet through the air, and the man looked,
expecting to see the bear fall down dead from the tree.

Instead of that, a man came rushing out of the bushes, calling out,

“Halloa there,--what are you shooting my coat for?”

The man was at first so astonished that he could hardly speak.
Presently he said,

“Who are you, sir?”

“I am a wood-cutter. I came out here to cut wood, and I hung my coat on
the tree; now you have shot a hole through it!!”

“Is that your coat?”


“I thought it was a bear.”

“A bear!!” said the wood-cutter with astonishment.

“Yes, I thought there were bears in the woods, and that they would come
out and eat me up; so I came to shoot one.”

[Illustration: WHAT ARE YOU SHOOTING MY COAT FOR?--Page 144.]

“You silly man,” said the wood-cutter. “There are no bears in the woods
near such towns as we live in. Besides, if there were, they never would
come out of the woods and eat people up. Nobody is afraid of bears but
silly little children.”


Jonas used to sit down with Rollo very often and amuse him by telling
him stories. The story which Rollo liked the best was the story of Jack
Hildigo. The story of Jack Hildigo was a very curious one. The reason
why I put it in this book is because it is very hard to read right, and
you must read it aloud and distinctly, till you learn to read it well.

When Jonas told this story, they called it _playing_ Jack Hildigo. It
took several children to play it well. Sometimes when John and Samuel,
who lived in another house, came over to play with Rollo, they would
all sit down together, on the platform, in the garden-yard, and have a
fine time playing Jack Hildigo.

Jonas would begin telling the story thus, the other children sitting
all around him:--

“Once there was a boy, and his name was Jack Hildigo. One day he went
round behind his father’s house, and found there a great hole leading
under the house. So he thought he would go into that hole, and see what
was there. He went in under the house, but he found nothing. So he
stood there, and began to growl like a bear, so,--

“U-r-r, u-r-r, u-r-r.”

Here Jonas, who was telling the story, said, U-r-r, u-r-r, u-r-r,
growling as much as he could like a bear.

  “Presently there came along a large turkey, saying,
  Gobble-gobble-gobble. And the turkey said, ‘I wonder what there is in
  that great, black hole.’ And the turkey said, ‘Hark! I hear a strange
  noise in that great, black hole, something growling like a bear. I
  wonder what that is that is growling like a bear.’

  “So the turkey walked along and looked in, and he said, ‘Oh, it is
  nothing but Jack Hildigo. I am not afraid of Jack Hildigo. I will go
  in and gobble, while he growls like a bear.’

  “So the turkey went in and stood by the side of Jack Hildigo; and the
  turkey said, Gobble-gobble-gobble, and Jack Hildigo growled like a
  bear, so.”

Jonas would say, U-r-r, u-r-r, u-r-r, growling like a bear, and
Rollo would say, Gobble-gobble-gobble, gobble-gobble-gobble,
gobble-gobble-gobble, three times, and no more. This would make Rollo
laugh. Then Jonas went on with the story.

  “By and by there came along a duck, a waddling, quacking duck. And the
  duck said, ‘I wonder what there is in that great, black hole.’ And the
  duck said, ‘Hark! I hear a strange noise in that great, black hole,
  something growling like a bear. I wonder what that is that is growling
  like a bear.’

  “So the duck walked along and looked in, and he said, ‘Oh, it is
  nothing but Jack Hildigo and a turkey. I am not afraid of Jack
  Hildigo.’ So the duck went in and stood by the turkey, and said,
  Quack-quack-quack, and the turkey said, Gobble-gobble-gobble, and Jack
  Hildigo growled like a bear, so.”

Here Jonas would say, U-r-r, u-r-r, u-r-r, and Rollo would say,
Gobble-gobble-gobble, gobble-gobble-gobble, gobble-gobble-gobble,
and John would say, Quack-quack-quack, quack-quack-quack,
quack-quack-quack, all together, three times, and no more. Here Jonas
would go on with the story.

  “By and by there came along a dog, a large dog, a large, black dog,
  with a bone in his mouth. And the dog said, ‘I wonder what there is
  in that great, black hole.’ And when he came nearer he heard a noise.
  And he said, ‘Hark! what noise is that? It is something growling like
  a bear.’ So he walked along carefully, but when he got near the hole,
  he said, ‘Oh, it is only Jack Hildigo and a turkey and a duck! I am
  not afraid of Jack Hildigo, or the turkey, or the duck. I will go in
  and bow-wow-wow.’ So he went in and stood by the side of the duck. And
  the dog said, Bow-wow-wow, and the duck said, Quack-quack-quack, and
  the turkey said, Gobble-gobble-gobble, and Jack Hildigo growled like a
  bear, so.”

Here Jonas would say, U-r-r, u-r-r, u-r-r, growling like a bear,
and Rollo would say, Gobble-gobble-gobble, gobble-gobble-gobble,
gobble-gobble-gobble, and John would say, Quack-quack-quack, and Samuel
would say, Bow-wow-wow, bow-wow-wow, bow-wow-wow, three times, and no
more. This would make them all laugh, and then Jonas would go on with
the story.

  “In the yard of that house was a pig. He was lying down with his nose
  in the mud. And after lying there some time, he thought he would get
  up and take a walk.

  “So he walked along till he came round behind the house, and he saw a
  great hole in the wall. And he said, ‘I wonder what there is in that
  great, black hole.’ And when he came nearer, he heard a noise, and he
  said, ‘Hark! what noise is that? It is something growling like a
  bear.’ So he walked along carefully, but when he got near the hole, he
  said, ‘Oh, it is only Jack Hildigo. I am not afraid of Jack Hildigo. I
  will go in and grunt, while he growls like a bear.’”

When Jonas got as far as this, in telling the story one day, he
stopped, and said he could not go any farther, for there was nobody to
play pig. But he said if he could only get four or five more boys some
time, he could tell a good deal further, and they should have a great
deal more fun.

This is the end of the story about Jack Hildigo.


There was once a boy named James, and one day his father came home and
said, “James, I have got something for you.”

“What is it, father?” said James.

“Oh, I will show it to you presently,” said his father.

“Where is it?” said James.

“It is in a little basket, which I left out in the other room.”

So when James’ father had put away his hat and whip, he went out into
the other room, and presently came in bringing a basket in his hands,
which he was holding carefully by the handle.

“Oh, let me see, let me see,” said James; and he came up to his father,
and began to pull down the basket.

This was wrong, for children ought never to attempt to pull any thing
away from their father. It was foolish too, as well as wrong, for James
could not succeed in pulling it away. The more he pulled, the higher
his father held up the basket, until at last his father told him to let
go. He obeyed.

Then his father held the basket down low. He put it in a chair, and
James stood by the side of it. He saw that there was a cloth spread
over the top of it, and tied round the basket. James’ father untied the
string, and unwound it, and then carefully lifted up the cloth, and
James looked in and saw there a beautiful gray kitten.

The kitten appeared afraid; she curled down into a corner of the
basket, and looked up as if she was frightened.

“Oh, father,” said James, “let me take her out.”

“Well,” said his father, “but do it carefully.”

So James put his hands in to take up the kitten; but when she saw them
coming, it frightened her more, and she jumped up to the top of the
basket, and then leaped out upon the chair, and from the chair to the
floor. She ran along the floor. At the same instant, James ran after
her, holding out his hands, saying, “Oh, catch her, catch her.” His
father only turned round quietly, and shut the door. He was much wiser
than James, for James’ bustle and noise only made the kitten more
frightened, while his father quietly did what would effectually keep
the kitten from running away.

“Now, James,” said his father, “let the kitten stay there under
the table a minute or two, while I tell you something. You see how
frightened she looks. She is afraid you will hurt her. Now, if you
treat her very gently and kindly for a few days, and do not try to
catch her at first, she will soon find out that you are her friend, and
she will not be afraid of you. She will let you take her, and play with
her as much as you please. But if you handle her roughly, or tease her
in any way, she will be always wild.”

Then James’ father went away.

James stood a minute or two looking at his kitten, and then he thought
he would go and catch her. So he walked along towards the table, and
then stooped down to take up the kitten, but she suddenly turned round,
and ran under the chairs, and hid behind a basket, in one corner of the

James ran after her. He pulled away the basket, and saw the kitten
for an instant crouching in a corner of the room, staring wildly at
him, and evidently very much terrified. The moment she found that the
basket was taken away, and that she was exposed again, she started off,
ran directly across the room, towards a large clock which was in the
opposite corner, and squeezed under it.

James now did not know what to do. He could not move the great, heavy
clock. He put his face close down to the floor, and looked under, and
he could just see the kitten’s two shining eyes there, but he could not
reach in, to take her.

“Ah,” said he at last, “I know what I can do. I can go and get father’s
cane, and then I can _poke_ her out.” So he went out into the entry
and got the cane, and came back, and began to thrust it under, and
behind the clock. The poor kitten was much more frightened to hear this
thumping around her, and to feel the great stick punching her sides; so
presently she darted out, ran across the room, and out through the door
which James had left open.

James followed her, brandishing* his cane. When he got to the entry,
he found that the kitten was half way up stairs. He immediately began
to go up as fast as he could, but she could go faster. She leaped up
from step to step, then ran along the passage way at the top until
she reached the door leading to the garret, which James saw, to his
chagrin, was open a very little.

Do you know what chagrin means? It means the feeling James had when he
saw that the garret door was open. What sort of a feeling do you think
that was?

The kitten squeezed through the opening of the garret door, and
disappeared. James opened the door wide, and went up nearly to the top
of the garret stairs, and looked into the garret. It was rather dark
there, and the boards looked loose on the floor, and there were a great
many boxes and barrels there, and James was afraid to go in. So he
stood there and called “Kitty, kitty, kitty.” But the kitty knew him by
this time too well to come.

Now James began to be sorry that he had not taken his father’s advice,
and treated his kitten more gently and kindly. He was afraid she was
lost, and that he could never get her again.

That night, at tea time, when his father had heard all about it, he
reproved James for his harsh and cruel treatment of his kitten, and
told him that he thought he deserved to lose her entirely.

“Do you think I _shall_ lose her entirely?”

“No,” said his father, “not this time. I think I can get her out of the

“How?” said James.

“Why, by kindness and gentleness. I shall draw her out by doing exactly
the opposite to what you did to drive her in. But I do not believe it
will do any good. I do not think you will ever treat her kindly enough
to make her trust you.”

James promised that he would; but his father knew that he did not
always keep his promises.

That evening, James’ father poured a little milk into a saucer, and he
and James carried it up garret, and put it upon the floor, and then
came directly down again. The next morning they went up to look at it,
and found that the milk was gone. They then brought down the saucer,
filled it again, and carried it back. They stopped a minute to look
round for the kitten, and presently they saw her behind a barrel. James
wanted to go and catch her, but his father would not let him. His
father said, “Poor pussy, poor pussy,” in a gentle, soothing tone, and
put the saucer down where she could see it, and then led James away
down stairs. When he went out that morning, he forbid James going to
the garret till he came home.

At noon they carried some more milk up, and the kitten came out a
little way towards them.

“There,” said James’ father, “do you not see the effect of kindness?”

He then put the saucer down, and went back with James a few steps, and
stood still. The kitten came up to the saucer and began to drink the

“_Now_ let us go and catch her,” said James.

“No,” said his father.

After the kitten had drunk all the milk, she ran back behind the
barrel, and James and his father came down stairs.

The next time they went up, they stood close by the saucer, and the
kitten came up slowly and cautiously. James’ father gently stroked her
back while she was feeding, and James thought he was certainly going to
catch her then. But he did not; he let her drink the milk and then go
back behind the barrels.

“Why, father, are you not _ever_ going to catch her?” said James.

“Yes,” said his father, “when the proper time comes”; and they went
down stairs.

The next time they came, the kitten came running out to meet them, and
they held the saucer down. When she came near, James’ father reached
out his hand, and took her up gently and said, “Now we will carry her
down stairs.”

“Let _me_ carry her,” said James.

“Well, you may,” said his father; “but you must hold her very
carefully.” So James took the kitten, and his father took the saucer,
and they went down stairs. They put the kitten and the saucer under the
table, and pretty soon, though she seemed rather frightened at first,
she began to drink. James’ father forbid his touching her, or doing any
thing to her, all day.

Thus, in a few days, the kitten became considerably tame, and would let
James play with her, but he soon began to handle her roughly again. He
would pull her by the tail, and carry her around under his arm, and
try to make her stand up on her hind legs, and do a great many other
things, which he thought was very good fun for him, but which were
very terrifying or painful to her. The kitten became very much afraid
of him. She would never let him play with her, or catch her, if she
could possibly get away, and often in struggling to get away she would
scratch his hands. Thus the kitten hated James, and James soon began to
hate the kitten.

“She is a cross, ugly, good for nothing old puss,” said he one day.

“Very well,” said his father, “then I will take her out of your way.”

So his father got the basket, and put her gently in it, and he
spread the cloth over it, and tied it down; James stood by, looking

“What are you going to do with her, father?” said he.

“I am going to take her out of your way. She shall never trouble you
any more.”

Then James’ father put on his hat, and took the basket and walked away.

       *       *       *       *       *

Some months afterwards James went to see Rollo. He found Rollo out
on the platform, in the garden-yard. You remember the picture of the
garden-yard. You can see the platform in the picture if you look back.

When James arrived at the house, and went through to the yard to see
Rollo, he found him playing horses. He had a little wooden cart,
very small, with a string tied to it, and was trotting about on the
platform. And who do you think he had in the cart for a driver? Why,
it was a little _gray kitten_! She was lying down in the cart with her
fore paws resting on the front of it, and her chin resting on her fore
paws, and she seemed to enjoy her ride very much. She looked so funny
that James could not help laughing.

“Oh, what a beautiful kitten!” said he. “I wish I had such a kitten. I
had one once, but she was not such a tame, good kitten as that,--she
was an old, cross, ugly, good for nothing puss. She did nothing but
scratch me.”

       *       *       *       *       *

Now it happened that this was the very kitten which James had, though
James did not know it. His father had come and given it to Rollo. Rollo
called her Ooty, and he made her gentle and tame by treating her

* Brandishing it means holding it up as if he were going to strike


Do you recollect what you read about Jonas’ raft in another part of
this book? One day, when Jonas was going down to the brook with Rollo,
there was the following _dialogue_ between Rollo’s father and mother.

_Mother._ I am afraid to have Rollo sail with Jonas on that raft, as he
calls it. I am very much afraid he will get in, some day.

_Father._ I presume he _will_ get in.

Rollo’s mother looked surprised. She thought it was strange that his
father should let him go on the water, when he thought he probably
would fall in.

_Father._ Perhaps I ought rather to say I think it not improbable that
he will get in.

_Mother._ Why then do you allow him to go?

_Father._ Because the water is not deep, and with Jonas with him, who
is a strong and a faithful boy, I think he cannot be hurt; and if he
should grow careless and inattentive, and fall off of the raft, it
would do him a great deal of good.

_Mother._ What good would it do him?

_Father._ It would make him more careful in future; and besides, an
actual plunge into the water where it is deep enough to frighten a
boy, will teach him more of the nature of water, than an hour’s talk
to him about its properties. A fall off of Jonas’ raft may, not very
improbably, be the means of saving his life, by making him careful,
when he shall be exposed to real danger.

Rollo’s father was right; Rollo did fall off. One day, when he and
Jonas were sailing up towards the bridge, Jonas was standing behind
pushing, and Rollo was sitting on before. Rollo took up a long stick
which was on the raft, and thought he would stand up, and push too.
Jonas stood with his back to him, and did not see him. Rollo pushed
his stick down into the water, but the bottom was farther off than it
seemed to be, and leaning over, he lost his balance, and away he went
all over into the water. In an instant Jonas plunged in after him, and
dragged him out upon the bank. The raft, left to itself, floated down
the stream.

Rollo’s mother put on dry clothes, and when Rollo was warm again, she

“Perhaps now you think I shall forbid your going down to the brook
again, but I shall not. You may go and sail again whenever you please.”

She knew that his experience would make him careful in future, without
any censure from her.


Which is the prettiest, an _old_ thing or a _new_ thing? Oh, a _new_
thing to be sure, you say. A beautiful, new book, fresh from the
bookstore, is a great deal prettier than an old, worn out, tattered
book, that you have had a great while.

Now there is one great mistake that small boys very often make. They
think that books and other things become old and worn out, only because
they have had them a long time; but that is not the reason. I have seen
a great many books, beautiful books too, full of pictures, and they
had been kept a great many years, and yet they were not old and worn
out. They looked just as well as when they were first bought. Now I am
going to explain to you here how you may keep your things so that they
shall not become old and worn out.

Suppose your father should bring you home a beautiful book with a
red morocco cover, and full of pictures. It looks new and beautiful.
Now look at the cover a moment. Do you suppose the cover is red all
through? Suppose any body should cut the corner off of the cover,
should you expect that it would be red _all through_ where they cut
it? It would not. It is only red outside. The red is very thin, very
thin indeed, spread all over the outside of the cover. You might take a
knife and scrape it off in a little spot, and see that it is very thin,
and that it is some other color underneath. Perhaps somebody will take
some old book which is not good for much, and show you what I mean. You
must not try it upon any good books.

Now suppose you should lay your red morocco book down upon the floor,
and push it along, the floor would rub off a little of the red morocco.
And then suppose that the next day you should lay it down on the
stone steps, the rough stone would wear off more of the red morocco.
And then suppose that you should lay it down open upon the table, or
floor; a little dust from the table or floor would stick to the leaves,
and spoil their whiteness. And then suppose you should let your book
fall from a chair; it would bruise one of the corners, and bend it up
a little. So if you go on a great many days rubbing your book upon
the floor, and throwing it about, and tumbling the leaves, after a
short time the beautiful red color of the cover would be worn off in
spots, and the white paper would get soiled, and the corners very much
bruised, and the book would begin to look old and tattered and torn.
It would become an old, worn out book, not because you had kept it so
long, but because you had used it roughly.


Once there was a man who was very poor. He had to work very hard to
get money; but he found it very hard to get money enough to buy bread
for himself, and his wife, and his little boy. So he thought he would
go and see if he could not sell his little boy. He took him up in his
arms, and went out into the street, and walked along until he came to a
shoemaker’s shop. He thought that perhaps the shoemaker would like to
buy him.

So he stopped and looked in at the window, and said,

“Shoemaker,--Mr. Shoemaker,--do you want to buy a little boy?”

And the shoemaker said, “Is it a good little boy?”

And the man said, “Yes, he is an excellent little boy. He always obeys
me exactly, and he is kind and gentle, and not troublesome, and he
tries to do right; if you buy him, by and by when he grows up, he can
work with you, and help you make shoes.”

“Well,” said the shoemaker, “I will give you a dollar for him.”

“A dollar,” said the man, thinking, “shall I take a dollar for my
little boy? Then I should go home alone, and have nobody to play with
me, and get up in my lap, and hear me tell stories. No, no, no, I will
not sell my little boy for a dollar.” So he walked on.

Presently he came to a carpenter’s shop. He stopped at the window, and

“Carpenter,--Mr. Carpenter,--should you like to buy a little boy?”

“A little boy!” said the carpenter; “what sort of a boy is he?”

“Oh,” said the man, “he is an excellent little boy. I love him very
much, but I have to sell him because I want some money to buy me some
bread. But he is a good boy. He is obedient and faithful, and when he
grows up he can help you saw boards and drive nails. The shoemaker
offered me a dollar, but I could not sell him for a dollar.”

“Well,” said the carpenter, “I will give you _ten_ dollars for him,
for he looks like a pretty good boy.”

“Ten dollars,” said the man, thinking, “ten dollars. Shall I sell my
little boy for ten dollars? That would buy me a good deal of bread, but
then I should not have any little boy. I should have nobody to come and
meet me when I get home, or to sit still by my side when I am tired.
No, no, no, I cannot sell my little boy for ten dollars.” So he left
the carpenter’s and walked on.

The next place he came to was a mill. There was a great wheel spinning
round and round in the water, and some carts filled with bags of wheat
at the door. They were going to grind the wheat into flour. The miller
came out to the door. His clothes looked white. The man said to him,

“Miller,--Mr. Miller,--I have got a boy to sell. Do you want to buy
him?” As he said this he showed the miller the little boy who was in
his arms.

“Is he a good boy, or a naughty boy?” asked the miller; “for I am sure
I do not want to buy any naughty boys.”

“Oh, he is a very good boy,” said the man. “He does not cry, only when
he hurts himself, and then he stops crying as soon as he can. He is not
cross, or fretful, or disobedient, or troublesome. I know you will like
him, and he will help you a good deal in your mill.”

“Well,” said the miller, “I think he is a good boy, and I should like a
good boy in my mill very much. He could tie up the bags, and hold the
horses at the door. I will give you a hundred dollars for him.”

“A hundred dollars!” said the man, “that’s a good deal of money. I
could buy a _great many_ loaves of bread with a hundred dollars. I
could buy bread enough to last me a year, and as long as the money
should last I could have a fine time resting from all my hard work. But
then I should never see my poor little boy any more. And then perhaps,
he would not be happy with the miller. He may have to work too hard,
and perhaps some of the horses which he would have to hold might kick
him. No, I will not sell him to the miller for a hundred dollars, after
all. I had rather carry him home, and work the harder.”

So he left the miller and walked on. He thought that perhaps somebody
would give him more money for his boy. He walked on a little way and
came to a large, beautiful white house by the side of the road. It
belonged to a rich gentleman, who was standing at the door.

He thought he would go and offer him to this rich gentleman. While he
was hesitating, he looked into his little boy’s face, and he was so
pleasant, and looked so gentle and kind, that the man could not bear to
sell him.

“No, no, no,” said he, “I will not sell my little boy at all. I have
kept him a good while, and taken care of him, and I love him very much.
No, I will not sell him. I will carry him home, and work very hard
to get bread for him to eat. And he will be kind, and dutiful, and
obedient, and when I grow old perhaps he will take care of me. No, no,
I would not sell him for a thousand dollars.”

       *       *       *       *       *

This is a fictitious story. It is written to teach children that if
they are good, and kind, and obedient, their fathers will love them,
and work hard, if necessary, to get them bread, and will not sell them,
even if any body should offer them a thousand dollars.


  Italicized text is surrounded by underscores: _italics_.

  Obvious typographical errors have been corrected.

  Pages 81-82, 93-94, 119-120, and 169-170 are missing from this
    edition. In other editions, these are illustration pages or blank
    pages. Due to this, some of the page numbers in the Table of
    Contents in the original were incorrect. Page numbers have been
    corrected in this eBook.

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