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"But dear little girl, she is fast in her house; No, no, she can't touch me, no, no. But if that respectable fowl should get out, Oho!" said the snail. "Oho!"



ONLY NOW AND THEN.

Think it no excuse, boys, Merging into men, That you do a wrong act "Only now and then." Better to be careful As you go along, If you would be manly, Capable and strong.

Many a wretched sot, boys, That one daily meets Drinking from the beer-kegs, Living in the streets, Or at best, in quarters Worse than any pen, Once was dressed in broadcloth Drinking now and then.

When you have a habit That is wrong, you know, Knock it off at once, lads, With a sudden blow. Think it no excuse, boys, Merging into men, That you do a wrong act "Only now and then."



A SERPENT AMONG THE BOOKS.

One day, a gentleman in India went into his library and took down a book from the shelves. As he did so, he felt a slight pain in his finger, like the prick of a pin. He thought that a pin had been stuck, by some careless person, in the cover of the book. But soon his finger began to swell, then his arm, and then his whole body, and in a few days he died. It was not a pin among the books, but a small and deadly serpent.

There are many serpents among the books now-a-days; they nestle in the foliage of some of our most fascinating literature; they coil around the flowers whose perfume intoxicates the senses. People read and are charmed by the plot of the story, and the skill with which the characters are sculptured or grouped, by the gorgeousness of the wood-painting, and hardly feel the pin-prick of the evil that is insinuated. But it stings and poisons.

Let us watch against the serpents and read only that which is healthy, instructive and profitable.



"LITTLE MOTHER."

BY JULIA HUNT MOREHOUSE.

It was Judge Bellow's big, fine house, that stood on the corner by the park. Every body knew that, but every body did not know that the one little girl who lived in that house was restless and unhappy and often cross.

"Why do you roam about so, Nell? Why don't you settle down to something?" her mother asked, one bright, spring day.

"Oh, I am sick of everything. I have read all my books, and I hate my piano. The croquet isn't up, and there is nobody to play with me, if it was."

"Why don't you find some kind of work to do?"

"That is just the trouble. There's nothing that needs to be done; servants for every thing; and what does crocheting amount to, and plastering some little daubs of paint on some plush! Why, I believe that little Dutch girl that sells things out of her big basket, on our corner, every morning, is a good deal happier than I am. I mean to ask her sometime what makes her so."

* * * * *

A few weeks more and the hot summer came on, and Nell missed the little Dutch girl on the corner. It really worried her that the bright, womanly face did not come any more, but she supposed she had moved to a better stand or perhaps left the city.

One morning Nell took a walk with her teacher; a long walk, for they found themselves outside the city, where there were open holds and every house had green grass and trees close around it.

"What a little, little house! That one with the woodbine all over it—and I do believe—yes, it really is my little Dutch girl scrubbing the steps," and away she bounded and was soon beside the little worker.

"Oh! I'm so glad to find you again! Why don't you come to our corner any more?"

"Baby's been sick a long, good time," explained Lena, wiping her hands on her apron. "Won't you ladies please to walk in, if you please, ma'am?"

It was a queer little figure that showed them into the cool, clean room; short and broad and dumpy. Her shoes were coarse, her dress of faded black, with a white kerchief at the neck, so like an old woman. Her face too, was short and broad; her nose was very short and her eyes very narrow. So you see she was not pretty, but her face was all love and sunshine. She sat down on a low stool and took up the baby in such a dear, motherly way, smoothing its hair and dress and kissing it softly.

"You don't mean that you live here all alone?" asked Nell.

"Oh, no; there is Hans and baby and me, and there is old Mrs. Price in the other part."

"But your father and mother?"

"Mother died a year ago. Oh, she was one such good mother, but baby came in her place. Baby looks like mother, and now I have to be her little mother, you see," and she set the little dumpling out upon her knee, with such pride and tenderness.

"And your father?"

The little Dutch girl dropped her head and answered very low, "Father has been gone a long time. They say he is shut up somewhere. He don't come home any more."

"Oh, how very dreadful! I don't see where you get money to buy things with."

"Hans is fifteen and works in a shop. He gets some money, and he will get a good deal, by-and-by. The rest I get from the flowers. You see I raise them myself, mostly."

"But do you get enough for clothes and playthings, and do you always have enough to eat?" persisted Nell.

"I don't have any clothes, I make over mother's. We have Kitty for playthings. Enough to eat? Baby always has enough, don't she, lovie?" cuddling her up close.

A new world was opening up to Nell.

"Excuse me, but don't you have any pleasure trips, or birthday parties, or Christmas?"

"No; I don't just know what those things are, but we have nice beef and apples for dinner on Christmas."

"And are you always happy as you seem—really happy?"

The "little mother" opened her eyes wide in wonder. "Why, of course. What else should we be? Mother always told us it was wicked to be cross, and that we must not fret much, even over her going away to heaven."

Nell did some hard thinking on her way home, and being a sensible little girl, she made up her mind that one way to be happy is to be busy, and not only busy, but useful, and she set about the new way in earnest.

She learned that it is possible to be unselfish and happy any where; she in her wealthy home, and the "little mother" in her one room, with her baby and her flowers.



LITTLE SCATTER.

MRS. JEANE A. WARD.

She was her mother's darling, and a very good little girl in most things. With her yellow hair, big blue eyes and rosy cheeks; in the pretty blue dress and red sash; nice little slippers on her plump feet, she made the whole house lively and bright, and sometimes she made plenty of work for every one in it, too, for she was a terrible Nelly to scatter playthings. The dolly would be on the chair, her torn picture-books over the floor, her ball kicking about everywhere, and her blocks any where.

What could mother do with such a girl? When she would talk to her, Nelly would promise not to do so any more, and would pick up the dolly and the pictures, and the ball and the blocks, and her other toys, and take them to her own corner play-house and fix them all in order, and be real good for a little while.

But the 'real good' would last only a little while and then out all would come again, and Little Scatter would have them around just as before.

That is the way she came to be given that name, and she was old enough to know she well deserved it, and to be ashamed of it; yet she could not break off the bad habit.

She had a kind, good mother, who saw that she would have to, in some way, cure her little daughter of such slovenly habits or else she would grow up to be a very careless, untidy woman, and the mother was wise enough to know that it is more easy to correct such matters when children are young than when they grow older.

She did not want to punish Nelly severely, and so, whenever Little Scatter had gotten all her toys over the floor, tables, sofa and chairs, mamma would call her and say:

"Now, Nelly, every thing you have is lying about, it is time for my Little Scatter to get gathered in close;" and then Miss Nelly would have to go close to the wall and be shut in by a chair and stand there until mamma's watch said half an hour had passed. This was very hard on a little girl that loved to run around so much as Nelly did, and though she knew she deserved all the punishment, yet she used to beg very hard and promise, but she always had to stay the full time; then she would come out, get her mamma's kiss and forgiveness, pick up her toys and be happy.

It did not take many such punishments before Nelly began to think before she acted so carelessly, and in a short time she was almost as neat about such matters as she was sweet and good in every thing else. If ever there were a few of her things lying about, mamma had only to call her 'Little Scatter,' to make her remember, and so hard did she try to correct herself of this bad habit that in a few months she and those about her almost forgot that she had ever been known by such an untidy name.



WHAT CHICKY THINKS.

Seems to me I must be growing big very fast. I don't believe I could get back into that little house if I should try. I don't want to go back, either. I had to work too hard to get out the first time. There was no door, so I had to break the house all in pieces with my little beak. I couldn't stand up, you know, when I was inside. I got very tired sitting on my little legs. I wonder how I knew enough to break open my little house? Nobody ever told me that it was prettier in the garden than in my house. 'Tis rather cold out here. I never was cold before; seems to me some little chick has carried off a part of my house. If I see him, with it, I'll tell him he's a thief. Oh, dear, dear! something is scratching my back. May be it's the little thief! I wish I could look and see who it is.



STOP-A-WHILE.

There is growing in Africa a thorn called "Stop-a-while." If a person once gets caught in it, it is with difficulty he escapes with his clothes on his back, and without being greatly torn, for every attempt to loosen one part of his dress only hooks more firmly another part. The man who gets caught by this thorn is in a pitiable plight ere he gets loose. You would not like—would you, boys? to be caught in this thorn. And yet many, I fear, are being caught in a worse thorn than "Stop-a-while." Where do you spend your evenings? At home, I do hope, studying your lessons, and attending to mother's words; for if you have formed a habit of spending them on the streets with bad boys, you are caught in a thorn far worse.



THE BIRDS' CONCERT.

MRS. L. L. SLOANAKER.

There's going to be a concert Out in the apple trees; When the air is warm and balmy, And the floating summer breeze Waft down the pale pink blossoms Upon the soft green grass:— A lovely place to sit and dream, For each little lad and lass!

The concert will open early When the sun lights up the skies:— You'll miss the opening anthem If you let those sleepy eyes Stay closed, and do not hasten Out 'neath the orchard trees, Where the pink and snowy shower Is caught in the morning breeze.

The robins will swing in the branches, And carol, and whistle and sing. The thrush, who is coming to-morrow, Will a charming solo bring. The wrens will warble in chorus, Rare music, so touching and sweet; The orioles sent for their tickets, And will surely give us a treat.

The concert will open at sun-rise, All the June-time sweet and fair; There'll be a grand full chorus, For all the birds will be there. The concert is free to the children, And is held in the apple trees, And the birds will sing in a chorus, "O come to our concert—please!"



ONLY A BOY.

Only a boy with his noise and fun, The veriest mystery under the sun; As brimful of mischief and wit and glee, As ever a human frame can be, And as hard to manage as—what! ah me! 'Tis hard to tell, Yet we love him well.

Only a boy with his fearful tread, Who cannot be driven, must be led! Who troubles the neighbors' dogs and cats, And tears more clothes and spoils more hats, Loses more kites and tops and bats Than would stock a store For a week or more.

Only a boy with his wild, strange ways, With his idle hours or his busy days, With his queer remarks and his odd replies, Sometimes foolish and sometimes wise, Often brilliant for one of his size, As a meteor hurled From the planet world.

Only a boy, who may be a man If nature goes on with her first great plan— If intemperance or some fatal snare, Conspires not to rob us of this our heir, Our blessing, our trouble, our rest, our care, Our torment, our joy! "Only a boy!"



BIRD NEEDLEWORK.

MAY R. BALDWIN.

There is a class of workers in India who have always held to needlework, useful and ornamental, through the changes of the long years, and have never had the help of machines.

These workers are "Tailor Birds." Specimens of their handiwork have excited the admiration of many travelers in the country where they are found.

Their needlework is seen in the construction of their nests, which vary in size and appearance.

The beak of the bird answers for a needle; and for thread—and this is the wonderful thing about sewing—they use the silken spiders' webs. These threads are made secure by fastening them with silken buttons, made by twisting the ends. Think of that! spiders' webs for thread! How marvelous would the work of the fair ladies all over the land seem, if the door screens and the window hangings and the dresses and the laces were decorated with designs worked with spider's web thread!

Sometimes, it is true, these birds use the silk from cocoons for their work; and even such common material as bits of thread and wool are used. One traveler states that he has seen a bird watch a native tailor as he sewed under a covered veranda; and, when he had left his work for a while, the watchful bird flew to the place, gathered some of the threads quickly, and then flew away with his unlawful prize to use it in sewing together leaves for his nest.

Imagine one of these bird homes. Could any thing be more fairy-like? The leaves are joined, of course, to the tree by their own natural fastenings. But who taught the first bird home-maker how to bring the leaves together? And who gave the first lessons in sewing? And how did it come to choose its delicate spider web thread and twist it into strength, and fasten it with silken buttons?

The great art leader, John Ruskin, who has written so many books to teach people that all beautiful things have their use, and that things that are not truthful can never be beautiful, would say, I think, that the workmanship upon the tailor bird's nest exactly fitted his idea of the "true and the beautiful," because there is no ornament which has not its use. The silk buttons are not placed there for show; they fasten the silken lacing.

We could not say as much for many a fine lady's dress, where dozens of buttons that fasten nothing are seen.



HE WAS A GENTLEMAN.

Some amusing stories are told of the wit and wisdom of London school children. A class of boys in a Board School was being examined orally in Scripture. The history of Moses had been for some time a special study, and one of the examiners asked,—"What would you say of the general character of Moses?"

"He was meek," said one boy.

"Brave," said another.

"Learned," added a third boy.

"Please, sir," piped forth a pale-faced, neatly dressed lad; "he was a gentleman!"

"A gentleman!" asked the examiner. "How do you make that out?"

The boy promptly replied, in the same thin, nervous voice,—"Please, sir, when the daughters of Jethro went to the well to draw water, the shepherds came and drove them away; and Moses helped the daughters of Jethro, and said to the shepherds,—'Ladies first, please, gentlemen.'"



TIME FOR BED.

Ding-dong! ding-dong! The bells are ringing for bed, Johnnie— The bells are ringing for bed. I see them swing, I hear them ring, And I see you nod your head.

The bells are ringing for bed, Johnnie— They are ringing soft and slow; And while they ring, And while they swing, It's off to bed we'll go.



THE VALUE OF A GOOD NAME.

Samuel Appleton, a distinguished Boston merchant, was once sued for a note, found among the papers of a deceased merchant tailor, and signed with his name. The handwriting was exactly like his own, but he declared it to be a forgery, albeit his own brother said he could not positively say it was not Mr. Appleton's writing, though he believed it could not be genuine. The Judge was against Mr. Appleton, but the jury found a verdict in his favor, because they were confident that nothing could induce him to dispute the payment of a note unless certain that he did not owe it. Some years later Mr. Appleton discovered proof that the actual signer of the note was a ship-master of the same name, who had been dead many years. Thus, the finding of the jury was justified. It was based on his good reputation and it illustrates the truth of the proverb, which says: "A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches." The root of Mr. Appleton's good name was his good conduct. He was honest and honorable in all things.



DINGFORD'S BABY.

That little brother of Hetty Dingford was the funniest baby on the coast; and there were a good many of them, right around the river mouth.

Flora thought so too, or rather she looked upon him in the light of a puppy, as she had just raised a small family herself, and the baby had associated so much with the little dogs, that she thought she owned him too. She seemed to regard him as her especial charge, and used to rush between him and cattle on the roads, and bark away strollers from the door-yard; but she seemed to love it most on the beach.

Whenever she thought of it, she would leave the other children, in whose charge the baby had been placed, and rush up to the little one, and lick its face all over, and bark with a very funny sound. The baby would pick up a handful of gravel and throw it at the dog, but it never hit him, and then they would both laugh together.

One afternoon, Tony Dingford said he was going a crabbing, and then Hetty and Polly and Janey and the baby all wanted to go and see him off. Janey took a lovely little boat, that had been made for her by her uncle, and Polly took her spade and pail to dig for shells. Hetty took the baby, and she had to carry him every step of the way, and she was only eight years old; he was a year and a half old and couldn't walk very steady, but he could creep. Oh, how he could get over the ground! He could go sidewise and backwards, like a crab, Tony said. He thought he could talk, too, and such a lot of curious sounds as he used to make. He looked very odd, winking his eyes and sticking his tongue between his four little teeth, and he was up to all sorts of tricks.

After awhile they came to the beach, right opposite the light-house—a most delightful spot, and Hetty proceeded to deposit the baby on the ground, when he came to the conclusion that he didn't want to be put there, and he caught hold of her curly locks and held on for dear life, and screamed like a sea-gull.

This made Hetty cry out, but nothing could induce that baby to let go, until a pail with some shells changed the current of his thoughts. Hetty jumped away, and ran with the children, a few steps, to see Tony's boat.

He threw in his basket and crabbing net and then, getting in himself, he pulled out into the bay. The children wandered along, watching Tony as he grew a lessening speck out in the sunshine. It was such fun to jump on the stones, over the water; the shells looked more beautiful here, because they were wet.

They staid longer than they thought, and on going back, they found the pail and the shells, but no baby! They called, they looked about, but the baby was gone! Every one of them cried bitter tears; they searched behind rocks and under bushes; his little pink, spotted cap could not be seen, but the marks of his hands and feet showed plainly in the sand, and they led down to the water!

"Oh, baby," said Hetty in her agony, "you may pull out all my hair if you like—where are you?"

"Oo may whack my boat all to pieces, baby—come back to Janey!" said her sister. No sound answered, and the gulls sailed over them, and the blue waters lapped the stones. The tide was rising, as it was past the middle of the afternoon. Nothing was to be done, but to carry the dreadful news to mother.

As the children approached the cottage, they saw their father returning with the dog, Flora, and as the father caught sight of them he saw that something had happened. Hetty approached, and, with heart-broken sobs, told her story. The mother cried and wrung her hands.

"Husband, he's drowned! he's drowned!" she cried. The father brushed his hand roughly across his eyes, for the tears would come; and the dog staring from one to the other, looked painfully alert and interested.

"I'll go to the beach and search all night; maybe he'll be washed up at the bend," he said.

"Father," said the weeping wife, "maybe he has not been drowned; oh, let us hope he has not! Let us take Flora; perhaps she will find the baby."

The father looked at the dog, which seemed to understand every word, and went into the house and picked up a little Indian moccasin that the child had worn, and calling Flora, gave it to her. She looked at it, smelled of it, and throwing her nose into the air, rushed toward the beach.

The short, sharp barks of the dog guided them to the different spots to which the child had crept. But he was not found. The dog bounded away again, this time in the direction of some holes that had been worn in the face of the rocks by the tides. The water was fast coming up to them, and they would be entirely filled before the tide turned. The despairing mother was about returning with her children when the father caught a distant sound, a joyful barking that Flora always made when she had been successful in a hunt. He bounded over the rocks that were bathed in the red light of the setting sun. He found Flora barking and wagging her tail, at the mouth of the first little cavern; he stooped and looked in, and there on the white sand lay the baby, asleep. Its little cap was gone, and it dress torn and soiled with seaweed.

The father reached for his little treasure, and hugged him to his heart. The baby laughed, and made most frantic efforts to talk, and immediately twisted both hands tight in his father's hair. This was the baby's way, you know, when he wanted to be carried. You would have cried for joy, to have seen the baby's mother when she snatched him from his father and covered him with kisses, and the little girls clinging to their mother, trying to get a look at him.

They went home very happy, to find Tony with his basket full of crabs, and when he heard the story, he said,—"Flora shall have a new brass collar, if I have to earn it for her." There was one little girl that learned a serious lesson. Hetty says,—"I never will neglect my duty again."



A BED-TIME STORY.

Mamma dear, tell us a pretty story; tell us of what you and papa saw when you were traveling; and my sturdy Harold, and his wee baby sister, tired with their play, sank at my feet at the close of the long summer day. Kissing the hot up-turned faces, and lifting the little one to my lap, I began an oft repeated simple tale of how papa and I, while in Switzerland, drove, one evening, from the village where we were stopping, way out in the country, over green wooden bridges and sparkling streams, past dazzling white villas, through shady lanes bordered by high, thorny hedges; where it was so lifeless and still, the sound of our shaggy pony's hoofs could hardly be heard.



Coming to a low, brown, thatched cottage, the door stood open, and we drove slowly; inside could be seen the table, spread with its frugal repast of oaten cakes and milk; a high, old-fashioned dresser, with its curious jugs of blue delf; a distaff, with the flax still attached, and on the broad door-step sat the prettiest little blue-eyed maiden, wearing a quaint white cap over her yellow locks, a striped kirtle and black waist over a snowy blouse. Like a picture she sat, eating her oat-cake, while tame gray and white doves circled about her or lit on the stones, hoping to get a crumb. Farther on, we stopped at a more pretentious house, called a Swiss chalet, to buy a drink of goat's milk. Here they were quite well-to-do gardeners; and while the peasant wife was gone for the milk, the little daughter, who was rather sweetly dressed, and was very bright and talkative, showed us, with much pride, the heap of garden produce her father was to take to market, early the next morning. A pretty sight it was too—the great wooden table, loaded with the fresh greens and reds of the vegetables, and at one end, guarded by a tall pewter flagon, polished till it glowed like silver; an old oaken cabinet on the wall, bearing glittering decanters and brass candle sticks; the chattering little maiden, and over all, the golden rays of fading sun-light stealing through the deep tiny-paned windows. We—ah, my darlings are asleep.



THE LESSON AFTER RECESS.

A bright little urchin out west, Thought going to school was a pest. He said, "I don't care, I just won't stay there, I'll have a good time like the rest."

He said, "I'll run off at recess, They'll never once miss me, I guess; A fellow can't stop When he's got a new top. There'll just be one good scholar less."

Now the "rest" was a crowd of rough boys, Who with rudeness and mischief and noise, Made one afraid To go where they played, But their riotous play he enjoys.

So away from his lessons he ran, This promising western young man. They pushed him down flat, Tore the rim off his hat, Said, "There's nothing so healthy as tan."

And they did what was very much worse; They stole his new knife and his purse. They gave him a shake, And they called him a "cake;" Said, "Next time, bub, come with your nurse."

Near sundown this urchin was found Fast asleep on some very hard ground; He looked tired and grieved; He'd been so deceived, And quite ready for home, I'll be bound.

The primary teacher, Miss Small, When she heard his sad fate, forgave all, "My teacher's a daisy! I'm through being lazy." He said, "School's not bad after all."



THE LION AT THE "ZOO."

In the jungles, where the sun is so fierce at noonday that the black natives, themselves, cannot endure it, but hide in huts and caverns and in the shadows of rocks, dwelt this lion.

He did not mind heat, or storm, or the tireless hunters. He was braver and stronger than any other creature in that tropical wilderness, and his very appearance and the sound of his terrible roar had sent many a band of hunters flying back to their safe retreats.

He prowled about the fountains at night, and woe to any belated native or domestic animal that happened to be near; he would leap upon them, and kill them with one blow of his huge paw.

One day a bushman sighted a fine deer, and incautiously separated himself from his companions; the ardor of the pursuit led him into the pathless wilderness, and farther and farther from help, if he should need any.

Pausing a moment, he looked about him; he could not believe his eyes! He saw, not forty rods from him, this creature, regarding him! intense excitement flashing from his eyes, his tail swaying from side to side, and striking the ground with a heavy thud.

The bushman fled in wild terror, and with a bound the lion began the chase. No match, indeed, could any one man hope to be for such an enemy—no outrunning this fleet patrol of the forest; roaring and foaming he came up with the doomed hunter and struck him down and killed him.

The roaring over his success was something too terrible to hear. The other creatures of the forest fled to their dens and coverts, and the party of hunters, dimly locating the lion's whereabouts, betook themselves to other grounds, not caring to encounter so formidable a foe. Little did they suspect the fate of their comrade, and they never knew of it until, a long time afterward, they found the remains of his hunting gear. The beast had torn him to pieces and devoured him.

The devastations of this scourge of the wilderness became so great in time, that he depopulated whole villages, and the superstitious natives, believing him to be a demon, became so stricken with fear that they would not attempt to hunt him, and thus rid the forest of him.

Some agents of a business firm in Holland, who negotiate for the purchase of these ferocious wild animals for menageries, secured, by promises of great help and large reward, a band of intrepid native hunters, to procure, if it were within the range of possibility, this famed lion, alive.



White men joined in the hunt. Brave Englishmen and fearless Americans attached themselves to the party, and many were the hair-breadth escapes and critical situations that crowded upon their path.

On reaching the lion's neighborhood, they took counsel as to the best way of coming upon him, not knowing just where his lair might be; but soon they were guided to him by a distant roaring. The advance hunters caught their first glimpse of him before he was aware of their presence. He had slain his prey—the pretty creature lay near the jungle lake, the sword grass and the poisonous marsh flowers flaunting their lush growth all about. The animal's smooth coat was brown and glossy, and its black hoofs shone bright in the sunshine. The lion repeated the same expressions of gratified savagery he had indulged in when he had devoured the native. He strode about, lashing his tail and roaring.



The fearful encounter began! Many of the natives were killed. One young English nobleman was thought to have received his death wound, when they came to close quarters. The creature was overcome by numbers and heroic bravery at last. He was maimed, disabled and secured, in the deft and expeditious way they have learned in dealing with these animals. He was finally caged, and the rejoicings of the natives knew no bounds; the exploit was celebrated with feasting, dancing and wild observances, the women and the children joining in the uncouth festivities.

He was removed by his foreign purchasers, and eventually secured by a City Park Commission, and was liberated to walk about a spacious cage, to delight the thousands who visit the menagerie, that affords so much instructive amusement. He usually lies down in one corner, and although he has lost much of his magnificent appearance, he is still worthy to be called the "Forest King."

If you happen to be in his section when he gets hungry and calls for his dinner, you will be greatly astonished, if not frightened, at the sound of his voice. It is like nothing else in nature. It vibrates to the roof of the vast structure, and the windows rattle in their frames. He tramps about and lashes his tail against the bars and stamps his feet, and his keeper hurries to throw him his ration of raw meat. When he is satisfied, he lies down and purrs as good-naturedly as a pussy cat, and looks you in the eyes with an unwinking stare.

You and I most earnestly hope that he may never contrive to escape.



DISOBEYING MOTHER.

"I think, little goslings, you'd better not go. You're young, and the water is chilly, you know; But when you get strong, You can sail right along— Go back in the sunshine, or walk in a row."

"No, no! we will go," said those bold little things, Except one little dear, close to mother's warm wings. Out went all the rest, On the water with zest; They said, "We will venture, whatever it brings."

Their mother looked out, so kind and so true, Adown where the rushes and lily-pads grew; They looked very gay, As they paddled away, With their bright, yellow backs, on the water so blue.

"Come back!" cried their mother, "come back to the land! I fear for my dear ones some evil is planned." But they ventured beyond The shore of the pond, And laughed at her warnings, and spurned her command.

Farewell, to the goslings! their troubles are o'er; They were pelted with stones, by boys on the shore. Afar from the bank, They struggled and sank, Down deep in the water, to come up no more.

Oh, see what it cost them, to have their own way; Their punishment came without stint or delay; But the sweet one that stayed, And its mother obeyed, Lived long, and was happy for many a day.



PLANTS THAT EAT.

These plants are so constructed as to attract insects, capture them in various ways, and feed upon them. Perhaps the best known of the group is Venus' Fly-Trap. The leaves vary from one to six inches long, and at the extremities are placed two blades, or claspers. On the inner walls of these claspers are placed six irritable hairs; the slightest touch from an insect on any one of which is sufficient to bring the two blades together with such rapidity as to preclude any possibility of the fly escaping.



This plant readily discriminates between animal and other matter; thus, if a small stone or piece of wood be dropped into the trap, it will instantly close, but as soon as it has found out its mistake—and it only takes a few minutes—it begins to unfold its trap, and the piece of wood or stone falls out. On the other hand, should a piece of beef or a bluebottle fly be placed in it, it will remain firmly closed until all the matter is absorbed through the leaf. It will then unfold itself, and is ready for another meal.



Another species is called the Vegetable Whiskey Shop, as it captures its victims by intoxication. The entire shop is shaped after the manner of a house, with the entrance projecting a little over the rim. Half-way round the brim of the cavity there are an immense number of honey glands, which the influence of the sun brings into active operation. This sweet acts as a lure to passing insects, and they are sure to alight on the outside edge and tap the nectar.

They, however, remain there but a brief period, as there is something more substantial inside the cavity in the shape of an intoxicating liquid, which is distilled by the plant. The way down to this beverage is straight, as the entrance is paved with innumerable fine hairs, all pointing to the bottom, and should the fly walk crooked its feet become entangled in them.



When the fly has had its first sip, it does not stop and fly right out, as it could do, but it indulges until it comes staggering up and reaches that portion where the hairs begin; here its progress outward is stopped, owing to the points of the hairs being placed against it. The fly is now in a pitiable plight; it attempts to use its wings, but in doing so only hasten its destruction. It inevitably gets immersed in the liquid, and dies drunk.

Australian Pitcher Plant is a beautiful little object. Its pitchers are at the bottom of the principal stem of the plant.

One species distils an intoxicant of its own; but owing to its small orifice, it excludes the majority of insects, and admits but a select few. The individual pitchers somewhat resemble an inverted parrot's bill, with a narrow leaf-like expansion running along the top. The color is light green, beautifully shaded with crimson. The inside of the pitcher is divided into three parts: The first, nearest the entrance, is studded with minute honey glands, and is called the attractive surface; a little farther down the inside, very minute hairs are situated with their extremities all pointing to the other chamber. This is the conducting surface.



Lastly, the small hairs give place to the longer ones, amid which are placed secreting pores, which give forth the intoxicating nectar. This is termed the detentive surface. When the pitcher has caught a sufficient number of insects, the nectar gives place to a substance which enables the plant more readily to digest its food.

Another variety is the Mosquito Catcher. It grows about one foot high, and the leaves, after reaching a certain height, divide into long, narrow spathes, covered with hairs, each coated with a bright gummy substance. This, during sunshine, gives to the plant a most magnificent appearance. If a plant be placed in a room where mosquitoes abound, all the troublesome pests will in a brief period be in its steady embrace.

It is most interesting to watch the method by which it secures its prey. Immediately the fly alights on the leaf, it may be that only one of its six legs stick to the sweet, viscid substance at the extremity of the hairs; but in struggling to free itself, it invariably touches with its legs or wings the contiguous hairs, and is immediately fixed.

These little hairs meantime are not idle; they slowly but surely curl round and draw their victim into the very center of the leaf, thus bringing it into contact with the very short hairs, which are placed there in order to facilitate the process of sucking the life-blood from the body.



THE CUCKOO CLOCK.

The clock is Swiss, And a curious thing it is, Set like a flower against the wall, With a face of walnut brown Twelve white eyes always staring out, And long weights hanging down.

But there is more At the top is a little close-shut door. And when 'tis time for the hour-stroke, And at the half-stroke too, It opens wide of its own accord, And, hark,—"Cuckoo, cuckoo!"

What do you see? Why, with a trip and a courtesy, As if to say,—"Good day, good day," Out steps a tiny bird! And though no soul were near to hear He'd pipe that same blithe word.

Through all the night, Through dawn's pale flush, and noon's full light, And even at twilight, when the dusk Hides all the room from view, Out of his little cabinet He calls,—"Cuckoo, cuckoo!"

Though but a toy, Yet might the giddiest girl or boy Learn three most pleasant truths from it: How patiently to wait, How to give greeting graciously, And never to be too late.

'Tis sweet to hear, Though oft repeated, a word of cheer; So this little comrade on the wall, This bird that never flew, Is an hourly comfort, with his call, "Cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo!"

MRS. CLARA DOTY BATES.



DAVY'S GIRL.

ALEX. DUKE BAILIE.

She was only five years old, hardly that, but a stout, healthy little creature, full of love and fun, but often hard to manage.

Maggie was her name, but she would call herself nothing but "Davy's girl."

Davy, her brother, a brave, good boy, about fifteen years of age, was all she had to cling to, and she was his only treasure. They were orphans; their father had been drowned, with many other poor fishermen, when Maggie was a wee baby, and the mother, soon after, died, from worry and hard work.

So these two were all alone in the world, but they did not feel lonely, for each one was all the world to the other.

They lived with an old fisherman and his wife, on the shores of the ocean, in New Jersey; and in the inlets and about outside, Davy used to go with the men, in the boats, and help them fish; sometimes he would work in-shore, for the truck farmers; sometimes help to gather the salt hay from the marshes. He would work hard at any thing so as to make money to keep his little sister comfortable and to give her all it was well for her to have.

In winter he would tramp through cold and snow and storms, several miles, to the little town where the school was, and so, every year, he gained a few weeks of instruction.

The people among whom these orphans lived were rough, but kind-hearted, and Davy always had enough work to enable him to earn money sufficient to keep Maggie and himself in the simple way in which every body about them lived.

Whenever he had an idle half-day, or even a few hours, he would take the little girl and his books, and go down to the shore, and getting into one of the boats always to be found drawn up on the sand, he would study hard to learn, for he was anxious to get on in the world, not only for his own, but his sister's sake, and Maggie would take one of the books, and open it, and run her little fat finger over the page, and move her lips, and make believe that she, too, was studying her lessons and she would keep still as a little mouse, until, after a few minutes of nodding, her eyes would close, then her head would drop on Davy's knee, and she would be off—sound asleep, until it was time for him to go.

It happened, one afternoon, as Davy, with Maggie, was going to the boat, which was his favorite place of study, a farmer drove along and asked him if he could not go and help with some work.

They were very near home yet, and when Davy said, "Maggie, will you run right home?" she answered, "'Es;" so the brother saw her start off towards the house, which was in sight, then jumped in beside the farmer, and they drove off.

It was several hours before the boy returned. He went directly home, and as soon as he entered, called, "Maggie!"

"Maggie aint here," said Mrs. Baker, who was busy cleaning up the floor, "she hasn't been here since you took her out with you."

If ever there was a frightened boy, it was Davy, then. He knew how careless his little sister was, and how she loved to go down and splash in the water, and play around the deep pools. He could look, from the door, all along the beach and out on the sea, and there was no sign of his little girl. Mrs. Baker was frightened, too, when he told her all. They ran to the few houses about, and while some of the children had seen Maggie, it was hours before; since then she had disappeared entirely.

It was a terrible blow to the poor boy, and he blamed himself as he thought that perhaps his dear little sister was dead under the great waves, or her body was being washed away far beyond his reach. He ran up and down, everywhere calling her name as loudly as he could, but no answer came.

Almost blind, with the tears in his eyes, he stood still for a moment to think, when he caught sight of a little paper book. He knew it at once; he had made it for Maggie so that she would not soil or tear his own. In a moment he was running as fast as his feet would carry him to the boat on the sand, a considerable distance off; quickly he reached it, and climbed up the side. No Maggie yet.

The great sail lay in a heap before him; he walked around it, and there, all curled up, fast asleep, was his runaway girl.

How his heart did jump for joy as he picked her up, and kissed and petted her.

But Maggie cried, and said he hurt her.

Then he found that in climbing into the boat to "study her lessons," she had sprained her ankle, and she had been very miserable all by herself, and cried and called for him until she fell asleep.

The books, all but one, were lying on the other side of the boat, on the sand. Davy never minded them, precious as they were to him, but taking his little sister on his strong back, he carried her home, her arms about his neck and her cheek close to his; and Maggie had to stay in the house, with her foot bandaged, for a week. But Davy never forgot that fright nor left her to herself again until she was much older; and the little girl never thought of disobeying his orders after that. They had both learned a hard lesson.



EARLY TEA.



Five little pussies Sitting down to tea; Pretty little pussies, Happy as can be!

Three little pussies, All in a row, Ranged on the table, Two down below.

Five little pussies, Dressed all in silk, Waiting for the sugar, Waiting for the milk.

Dear little pussies, If you would thrive, Breakfast at nine o'clock, Take tea at five.



BONEY.

Boney was not a thin cat by any means, as his name would suggest. He was very stout for his age; this could be explained by the fact that he had always looked out for number one, and had managed to secure a great many nice things to eat in the course of his short life.

His coat, which was striped, gray and black, had an infinite number of shades in it and was so beautiful, that more than one lady wanted to buy him.

Boney was not his whole name. A lovely romance could be written, I've no doubt, out of the adventures of this cat, before Fannie found him, one cold morning, in the summer-house. He was covered with dust and leaves, and moaning piteously. Fannie said,—"Pussy, pussy," to him; and he tried to get up and come to her, but he couldn't make any progress, and John Henry came up at that moment, and taking up the cat by the back of the neck, looked at it critically, and said,—"That cat ain't a-going to die—he'll come out all right in a few days; he's been pelted with stones by those children that live at the cross-roads, I think."

Fannie followed her brother into the house with the cat, and he gave it some warm milk, and Fannie covered it up, snug, by the kitchen stove.

It was surprising how soon that pussy got well; and John Henry chose to call him Boneset. The name took in the household, and though Fannie called him "Boney," Boneset was his real name. John Henry bought him a collar, and Fannie would tie a beautiful scarlet ribbon on this, and away they'd go together, down the road to the village post-office. He'd look very sharply at the meadow-birds flitting over the stone fences, and the yellow butterflies on the tall mullen stalks, as if he would say,—"I'll get you any of those you'd like to have, my dear mistress."

But Fannie would say, "Don't think of it, Boney; I would like to have them, but it would be wicked to catch them you know." Pussy did not want to give up the sport of hunting them, however, and Fannie would have to take him right up, and carry him until they had passed them.

He had such lovely coaxing ways; he knew to a minute when it was lunch time, and he had his in the kitchen, but he would steal up into the dining-room, and pass round softly to Fannie's place, and pop up into her lap—or, if she were standing up, he'd get upon the table and rub his furry cheek against her shoulder, and shut one eye.

Then Fannie would turn round, and his comical appearance, sitting there with his little pink tongue sticking out between his lips, would make Fannie just jump up and down with laughing.

Of course, he wanted some of Fannie's lunch, and he always got it, and this was the way he managed to get so fat and sleek.

One unfortunate time, Fannie was very sick; the room was darkened, and the doctor came. All the pets were not allowed to come near the room.

It was, oh, so lonesome for Boney. No one petted him like his little mistress, and they didn't put up with his tricks, or laugh at his funny pranks.

The time went by heavily enough, he had not had on any of his ribbons, and he would go and stay away from home for days together, and when he came home just before dark, he had a wild look, as if he had been in rough company.

On a lovely morning in June, Fannie was carried down stairs, to sit in the bay window, in the sunshine, and the ivy hung down its fresh, green leaves.

Boney saw her the first thing. His delight knew no bounds; he rubbed his back against her chair, turned his head around in her robe as it lay on the carpet, and jumped into her lap! And Fannie smoothed his back with her little thin hand.

After a time he went away, and nobody thought any thing about him, till dinner-time, when, what should they see coming up the piazza steps, but Boney, with a bobolink in his mouth! He walked right up to Fannie, and laid it down at her feet, and looked up at his little mistress, with such a satisfied, happy expression on his face, as if he would say,—"There, that's the best I could do, and you are welcome to it."

Fannie understood his good intentions, and laughed heartily, and that was the beginning of her recovery.

Pretty soon, she was able to go out again, and she and Boney had the best of times that summer.



CATCHING SNOW FLAKES.

BY MRS. S. J. BRIGHAM.

Down from the sky, one winter day, The snow-flakes tumbled and whirled in play. White as a lily, Light as a feather, Some so chilly Were clinging together. Falling so softly on things below, Covering all with beautiful snow.

Drifting about with the winds at play, Hiding in hollows along the way, White as a lily, Light as a feather, Coming so stilly In cold winter weather. Touching so lightly the snow-bird's wing, Silently covering every thing.

Every flake is a falling star, Gently falling, who knows how far? White as a lily, Light as a feather, Hosts so stilly Are falling together. Every star that comes fluttering down, Falls, I know, from the Frost King's crown.



A MISCHIEVOUS MONKEY.

Jocko was hardly more than a baby monkey, but he was so full of mischief that he often made his mother very sad. Jocko's father used to get angry with him; sometimes he used to give Jocko a good spanking; only he hadn't a slipper as the father of little boys have! Jocko's father and mother used to try to teach him that it was very bad manners to snatch any thing from the visitors who came up to the cage. That was a very hard lesson for Jocko to learn. One day he snatched a pair of spectacles from an old lady, who was looking into the cage and laughing; the old lady screamed with fright. Jocko tried to put the spectacles on himself; but the keeper made him give them up. When the old lady got her glasses again, she didn't care to look at the monkeys any more.

Another day Jocko was taken very sick; he laid down in one corner of the cage, and could not be made to move. His mother thought he was going to die, and she was quite sure that some of his monkey cousins had hurt him. "Not so," chattered Jocko's father, "I found some pieces of gloves among the hay; I think the bad fellow has snatched them from somebody, and partly eaten them."

"Dear, dear," chattered mother monkey, "I think you are right." When she turned Jocko over, he was so afraid of being punished, that he pretended to be fast asleep; but he heard all that his father and mother had said, and knew that they guessed right.

"They're just like boys," said George Bliss one day, as he stood looking at the monkeys in Central park. George is a boy, and he ought to know. But there is a great difference after all. Boys can learn, better than monkeys, not to get into mischief, and bother their parents, and other people who come where they are. Some boys do not behave better than monkeys.



THE AFRICAN SLAVE BOY.

There are few who have not heard or read of the great traveler, Sir Samuel Baker, who found his way into the heart of Africa, and whose brave wife accompanied him in all his perilous journeys. The natives, when they found how kind he was, and how interested in trying to help them, called him the Great White Man.

One day, after traveling a long distance, Sir Samuel and Lady Baker were sitting, in the cool of the evening, in front of their tent, enjoying a cup of tea in their English fashion, when a little black boy suddenly ran into the courtyard, and throwing himself at Lady Baker's feet raised his hands toward her, and gazed imploringly into her face.

The English lady thought that the little lad was hungry, and hastened to offer him food; but he refused to eat, and began, with sobs and tears, to tell his tale. He was not hungry, but he wanted to stay with the white lady and be her slave.

In broken accents he related how cruelly he had been treated by the master, who stole him from his parents when he was quite a little boy; how he made him earn money for him, and beat him because he was too small to undertake the tasks which were set him. He told how he and some other boys had crept out of the slave-hut at night and found their way to English Mission House, because they had heard of the white people, who were kind to the blacks.

Then little Saat, for that was his name, made Lady Baker understand how much he loved the white people, and how he wished to be her little slave. She told him kindly that she needed no slave-boy, and that he must go back to his rightful master. But little Saat said, "No, he had no master;" and explained that the Missionaries had taught him a great deal, and then sent him, with some other lads, to Egypt, to help in the Mission work.

Unfortunately, his companions had soon forgotten the good things they had been taught, and behaved so badly that the Missionaries in Egypt refused to keep them, and turned them out, to find their way back as best they might to their own people; but Saat had no people of his own, and he never rested until he succeeded in finding the Great White Man of whom he had heard so much.

Lady Baker's kind heart was touched. She determined to keep the little black boy and train him to be her own attendant. He accompanied the travelers upon their wonderful journey to the Source of the Nile, and his attachment to his mistress was very touching.



CLIMBING.

The ivy, while climbing, preserves its pointed leaf, but when it has reached the top of its support it spreads out into a bushy head and produces only rounded and unshapely leaves.

The ivy, climbing upward on the tower, In vigorous life its shapely tendrils weaves, But, resting on the summit, forms a bower, And sleeps, a tangled mass of shapeless leaves.

So we, while striving, climb the upward way, And shape by enterprise our inner lives; But when, on some low rest we idly stay, Our purpose, losing point no longer strives.

ELLIOT STOCK.



LITTLE ELSIE.

FAITH LATIMER.

"I don't thee ath a Chineth baby lookth any differenth from any other folkth baby, do you, Perthy?"

"That's what I am trying to find out," said Percy, whom his little sister May called her "big brother;" for only that morning she had said to her mother,—"I will athk Perthy, he ith tho big, he muth know every thing."

Percy was as full of wonder as little May over the baby sleeper. He wanted to see the back of her head, but it was resting on the soft pillow, and the eyes were tightly closed. May stood at the foot of the bed longing, and yet afraid, to pull up the cover, and look at the little feet. "Do you thpect she wearth pink thatin thlipperth like thothe in the glath cathe?" she said.

The voices did not waken the baby even when Percy made May give a little scream as he pulled her braided hair, and carried off the ribbon, saying,—"You've got a Chinese pig-tail anyway." Did you ever see a big brother do any thing like that? Then Percy went out and slammed the door, and left little May thinking very hard, and the baby asleep, after all that noise. What was May thinking about? She had heard mamma talk a great deal about China, and had seen queer pictures of people with bald heads and a long braid of hair hanging down behind, and in the cabinet in the sitting-room was a pair of tiny pink satin slippers, so small that her little hand could just go into one of them. Then she had a Chinese doll with almost a bald head, and the queerest shaped eyes; and that was why she and Percy wanted this baby to wake up that they might see what she looked like. That very morning while the children were visiting their grandmother, a carriage came to their house, bringing a little baby and its mother; and by the time they got home, the child was in May's crib, fast asleep, and the two mothers were talking together as they had not done for years before. Baby Elsie was not easily wakened, for she never had a very quiet place to sleep in. She was quite used to strange noises on shipboard, creaking ropes and escaping steam, loud voices giving orders to sailors, sometimes roaring waters and stormy winds. She had been many nights in a railroad sleeping-car, and she was not disturbed by the rush of wheels, or the whistling of the locomotive. Before that, she lived part of her little life on a boat in a narrow river, and a few months in a crowded, noisy house. Does it seem as if she had been quite a traveler? She had just come all the way from China—a land on the other side of the round world—and that was the reason that May called her a Chinese baby. Percy and May had never seen Elsie's mother, although she was their own aunt, for she and her husband had been more than ten years missionaries in China, and had come on a visit to America. Don't you think the two mothers, dear sisters, who had been so long and so far apart, had a great deal to say to each other? Do you expect they wanted Elsie to sleep quite as much as her cousins wanted her to wake? She was a good child, but she knew how to cry, and after a few days Percy said,—"She's not so much after all, she can't talk and tell us anything, and when she cries, she boo-hoo's just as you do, May."

In a week, two more Chinese travelers came; the baby's father, and another cousin, Knox, a boy nine years old. Did you ever fire off a whole pack of Chinese fire-crackers at a time? That was almost the way that questions were asked by the two boys, back and forth, so quick and fast that there was hardly time to answer each one. The boy from Shanghai found as many things strange to him as the New York boy would have seen in China. Percy, and May, although she could not understand half she heard, were full of wonder as Knox told of living on a boat in the river, of so many boats around them, where people lived crowded together as closely as houses could be on land. He told of the cities, of narrow, crooked streets, all the way under awnings, to be shielded from the hot sun; of riding many miles in a wheel-barrow, with a Chinaman to push it along the road. They all laughed when Percy said they called their cousin Elsie "a Chinese baby;" and the grown folks helped to tell about the black-eyed babies over there, wrapped up in wadded comforts and placed standing, a great, round roll, in a tall basket, instead of a cradle. Percy thought the best thing he heard was of a boy in a royal family. He had to be well taught, for he must be a wise scholar in Chinese learning, but no one dared to touch or hurt him; so a poor boy of low rank was hired and kept in the house to take all the whippings for him; and whenever the young prince deserved correction, the bamboo rod was well laid on the poor boy's back. What would you think of such a plan? Elsie's father and mother were going back to China, but they were not willing that Knox should grow up there; he must go to some good school and stay in this country. Even little Elsie they dared not trust out of their sight among the Chinese.

And so for the love of the dear Master, who said,—"Go and teach all nations," they were willing to leave father and mother, and home, loving sister and friends, even their own young children, for His sake.

Don't you believe our heavenly Father will watch over Knox and Elsie, and make them grow up wise and true; ready to go back to the land where they were born, to carry on the good work their father and mother are doing in that strange, far-off country?

Do you know of any ways in which children at home can help such work in China, or in other far-off foreign lands?



KITTY STRIKER.

Little Kitty Striker saw A handsome, fat, old goose Out a-walking with her gosling. And she said,—"Now what's the use, Of letting that old waddler have Such a pretty thing as that? I'll run right out and get it; I'll go without my hat." Out she ran upon the dusty path, On the grass, all wet with dew, And the old goose turned round quickly, She wished an interview. And Kitty said,—"Oh, open your mouth As much as ever you please; I'm going to take your gosling, Because I love to tease Such a cranky, impudent squawker as you." And she laughed right out, and stooped To take the toddling little thing, When down upon her swooped, The angry goose with hisses fierce, And wildly flapping wing, And gave her a nip that was no joke! On the heel of her red stocking! Miss Kitty screamed, but tightly held The little yellow ball, And you know she'd not the shadow of right To that goose's gosling at all. Then its mother made a terrible snap At Kitty's pretty blue dress! And that thoughtless, mischievous little girl, Was pretty well frightened I guess. For she jumped and screamed, danced round like a top, And the goose's eyes flashed red; And she struck her wings in Kitty's eyes, And on her little brown head! She dropped the gosling, and ran for home, Screaming, and crying,—"Boo! hoo!" And learned a lesson she never forgot, And it's as wholesome for me and for you, That it's best to be kind to our barnyard friends, And let them have their fun too.



MAYING.

Phil says he thinks it is a great pity when the May isn't out till June, because you can't go Maying if there isn't any May, and it's so stupid to go Maying in June. Phil is eleven months and fourteen days younger than I am, and his birthday is on the fourteenth of February and mine is on the first of March; so for fourteen days we are the same age, and when it's Leap Year we are the same age for fifteen days.

I don't understand why it should be a day more some years and not others, but mother says we shall learn about it by-and-by. Phil says he will like learning all that, but I don't think I shall, because I like playing better.

Phil and I have a little dog of our own, and he belongs between us. His name is Dash. He came from the Home for Lost Dogs, and we didn't know his name, so Phil and I sat on the grass, and we called him by every name we could think of, until Phil thought of Dash, and when Dash heard that name he jumped up, and ran to Phil, and licked his face. We don't know what kind of dog he is, and father called him a 'terrier spaniel;' but he laughed as he said it, and so we're not quite sure that he wasn't in fun. But it doesn't matter what kind of dog Dash is, because we are all fond of him, and if you're fond of any one if doesn't matter what they're like, or if they have a pretty name.

Dash goes out with us when we take a walk, and I'm sure he knew yesterday when we went out without leave, because we wanted to go Maying. There's a beautiful hedge full of May blossoms down the lane and across the meadow, and we did want some May very badly. So Phil and I went without asking mother, and Dash went with us.

We found the place quite easily, and had pulled down several boughs of it, when we heard a gruff voice calling to us, and the farmer came up, asking what we were doing to his hedge.

I said, "Please, we didn't know it was yours, and we want some May very much, because to-morrow's the first of June, you know, and Phil says we can't go Maying then."

The farmer didn't say any thing until he caught sight of Dash, and then he called out, angrily,—"If that dog gets among my chickens, I shall have him shot!"

We were so frightened at that, that we ran away; and Dash ran too, as if he understood what the farmer said. We didn't stop for any May blossoms though we had picked them, and we did want them so, because of its being the thirty-first of May.

Phil said the farmer was calling after us, but we only ran the faster, for fear he should shoot Dash. When we got home, mother met us in the porch, and asked where we had been; then we told her all about the farmer, and how we wanted to go Maying while we could.

She laughed a little, but presently she looked quite grave, and said,—"I'm very glad to find you have told me the whole truth, because if you had not I should still have known it. Farmer Grey has been here, and he told me about your having gone across his meadow that he is keeping for hay. He has brought you all the May you left behind, and he says you may have some more if you want it, only you must not walk through the long grass, but go round the meadow by the little side-path. He said he was afraid he had frightened you, and he was sorry."

Phil and I had a splendid Maying after that. We made wreaths for ourselves, and one for Dash, only we couldn't get him to wear his, which was a pity.

But the best of all is that mother says she can always trust us, because we told the truth at once; and Phil and I think we would rather never go Maying any more (though we like it so much) than not tell her every thing. I'm sure it's a very good plan, and we mean to do it always, even when we're quite grown up. Mother laughs at that, and says,—"You will have your secrets then;" but Phil and I don't think we shall, because it couldn't be a really nice secret if we mightn't tell mother.

I. T.



GRACIE'S TEMPER.

"Once a gentle, snow-white birdie, Came and built its nest, In a spot you'd never dream of,— In a baby's breast.

Then how happy, gentle, loving, Grew the baby, Grace; All the smiles and all the dimples Brightened in her face.

But a black and ugly raven Came one morn that way; Came and drove the gentle birdie. From its nest away.

Ah! how frowning and unlovely Was our Gracie then. Until evening brought the white dove To its nest again.

Children, this was Gracie's raven, This her gentle dove,— In heart a naughty temper Drove away the love."



Among the passengers on board a river-steamer recently was a woman, accompanied by a bright-looking nurse-girl, and a self-willed boy, about three years old.

The boy aroused the indignation of the passengers by his continued shrieks and kicks and screams, and his viciousness toward the patient nurse. He tore her bonnet, scratched her hands, without a word of remonstrance from the mother.

Whenever the nurse showed any firmness, the mother would chide her sharply, and say,—"Let him have it, Mary. Let him alone."

Finally the mother composed herself for a nap; and about the time the boy had slapped the nurse for the fiftieth time, a bee came sailing in and flew on the window of the nurse's seat. The boy at once tried to catch it.

The nurse caught his hand, and said, coaxingly:

"Harry mustn't touch. It will bite Harry."

Harry screamed savagely, and began to kick and pound the nurse.

The mother, without opening her eyes or lifting her head, cried out, sharply:

"Why will you tease that child so, Mary? Let him have what he wants at once."

"But, ma'am, it's a—"

"Let him have it, I say."

Thus encouraged, Harry clutched at the bee and caught it. The yell that followed brought tears of joy to the passengers.

The mother awoke again.

"Mary!" she cried, "let him have it."

Mary turned in her seat, and said, confusedly:—"He's got it, ma'am."



THE SWEET-GRASS HOUSE.

MRS. S. J. BRIGHAM.

Two little mice went out one day Among the scented clover; They wandered up and down the lane, They roamed the meadow over. "Oh, deary me!" said Mrs. Mouse, "I wish I had a little house!"

Said Mr. Mouse,—"I know a place Where nice sweet grass is growing; Where corn-flowers blue, and buttercups And poppies red, are blowing." "Oh, deary me!" said Mrs. Mouse, "We'll build us there a house."

So, of some sweet and tender grass They built their house together; And had a happy time, through all The pleasant summer weather. "Oh, deary me!" said Mrs. Mouse, "Who ever had so nice a house?"



JOHNNY'S GARDEN.

Johnny had a garden plot, And set it all in order, But let it run to grass and weeds, Which covered bed and border.

Two stalking sun-flowers reared their heads, So firmly were they rooted, And Johnny, as he looked at them, Was any thing but suited.

Two children small, looked up and said, Oh, Mister, beg your pardon! Or, if you will not answer that, Say, sonny, where's your garden?

"What d'ye call those two large flowers? An' what'll ye take, an' sell em? You'd better put a ladder up, So folks our size can smell 'em.

"We heard old Mrs. Grubber say, 'That spot ye needn't covet; He'd better turn it into hay, Or make a grass-plot of it.'"

But Johnny never answered back, But went and dug it over, And soon again, his sprouting seeds, He plainly could discover.

He said, "I'll have a garden yet. And make a little money; I never liked those Podger twins,— They try to be so funny."



BOY BILLY AND THE RABBIT.

Billy, boy! Billy, boy! He was his mother's joy, But he couldn't shoot an arrow worth a cent; And a rabbit almost laughed As she watched the flying shaft, And the place upon the target where it went.

The rabbit passing by, So very soft and sly, Took Billy for a hunter gaily dressed; But when she came anear, She said, "'Tis very clear It's safe enough to stay and take a rest."

Said the rabbit, "Billy, boy, You never will annoy Anybody, by your shooting at a mark; With an arrow and a bow, I just would like to show, I can reach the bull's-eye nearer in the dark."

Just then an arrow flew, That pierced it thro' and thro' Which made Miss Bunny start, and jump, sky high! She cried, "Oh, dear! Oh, dear! It's safer in the rear;" And scampered off and never said,—"Good-bye."

You see the reason why, 'Tis always best to try, Tho' others laugh and slander all the same; For be it late or soon, They'll always change their tune, When they see your arrow doesn't miss its aim.



A FISH STORY.

HOPE LEDYARD.

Six eager faces, all crowding around to "see the picture!" Four of the faces belong to girls—Edith and Mamie, Birdie and Jeanie, while Al and Dick, who are pretty big boys, "over ten," lean over the back of the chair.

"He's had a good catch," says Al.

"He's not caught those," says Dick, while the girls look first at the picture and then at the boys. "I guess that fellow standing up in the boat is his father. The men have caught the fish and the boy takes them to sell. Why, a fish as big as one of those fellows could pull a boy right into the water, easy!"

"My brother Dick knows," whispers Jeanie, proudly. "He took me fishing once and I caught two fish."

The little girls look as if they could hardly believe this, so Jeanie pulls mamma's arm and asks, "Didn't I catch two fish last summer?"

"Indeed she did," says Dick, before mamma has time to answer. "She caught two sun-fish. I never saw any one do it better. Mother fried 'em for her dinner, too."

"My sister goes to a cooking school and learns to bake fish," says Edith, "and she is teaching me at home. I know the verse about cooking fish."

We all begged Edith to say the verse, so, after a little coaxing, she repeated:

"Our lesson is fish, and in every dish We would like to meet our teacher's wish. But many men have many minds, There are many fishes of many kinds; So we only learn to boil and bake, To broil and fry, and make a fish-cake. And trust this knowledge will carry us through When other fishes we have to 'do.'"

Edith is a little orphan girl who lives with her grandmother and sister Minnie. We are all so interested about the cooking class, that she tells us about how they learn to bake bread.

"I mixed the bread last Friday night and made some biscuit in the morning, and if I hadn't forgotten the salt they would have been splendid. I don't remember all the verses about bread, but one verse is:

"'Now you place it in the bread bowl, A smooth and nice dough ball, Last, a towel and a cover, And at night that's all. But when morning calls the sleeper From her little bed, She can make our breakfast biscuit From that batch of bread.'"

"Well, it's girls' work to cook and boys' work to catch," said Al, who was getting tired of hearing verses.

"Jeanie did some catching before she was five years old, and you forget how nicely papa cooked the breakfast when you were camping out last summer."

"I suppose his cooking, like Jeanie's fishing, was just an accident."

"No, indeed! Good cooking has to be learned," I said, "and this picture makes me think of the first fish I had to cook, and what a foolish girl I had."

"Oh, mamma's going to tell us a story about when she was a girl," Jeanie exclaims. So all take seats—Jeanie on my lap, the boys on the two arms of my chair, and the three little sisters on chairs or footstools.

Not about when I was a girl, but about when I was a very young wife.

You boys know that I had always lived in a big house in the city, where the servants did all the cooking and such work, while I practiced music or studied or visited my Sunday-school scholars. I was just as fond of them in those days as I am now. Well! Your papa took me to a dear little house, far, far away, near Lake George. I had a very young girl to help me about the house, who did not know any thing about cooking. I thought I knew a good deal, for I had learned to bake bread, and roast meat and make a cup of tea or coffee. I had just as much fun keeping house in that little cottage as Jeanie has playing house up stairs. But one day papa went off in a hurry and forgot to ask me what I wanted for dinner. He was to bring a gentleman home that day and I hoped he would send me a good dinner.

About ten o'clock Annie, my little servant, came to me and said, "Oh, ma'am, the butcher's here with a beautiful fish the master has sent for the meat."

"A fish! Annie, do you know how to cook fish?" I said.

"No, ma'am. Only it's fried they mostly has 'em."

I went into the kitchen and there lay a beautiful trout—too pretty to eat, it seemed to me. Certainly too pretty to be spoiled by careless cooking. So I took my receipt book and after reading carefully, I stuffed the pretty fish and laid him in a pan all ready for the oven, and told Annie to put it in at eleven o'clock.

I was pretty tired, so I lay down for a little nap, and had just dropped asleep when Annie came into the room, wringing her hands and saying, "Oh, ma'am! Oh, ma'am! What'll I do in the world?"

It seems that she had taken the fish out of the safe and put it, pan and all, on the table, and then, remembering I had told her to sprinkle a little pepper on it, she went to the closet for her pepper-box, and when she came back, the pan was empty!

"The cat stole it, Annie," I said.

"Indade and she didn't. The innocent cratur was lyin' on my bed and the door shut."

I tried to quiet the girl; but I told her at last she could go home that night, only she must dry her eyes and run to the butcher's for a steak, for the master would be home with a strange gentleman in half an hour. We managed to get the steak cooked, and papa tried to laugh Annie out of the notion of a ghost stealing our beautiful fish, but the girl would not smile and was afraid to be left alone in the kitchen. So after tea she packed up her things and was to take the stage to the depot; for Annie lived a long way off.

Just before the stage came as I was standing at the gate, my eyes full of tears at losing my nice little servant all on account of a fish, I saw the lady who lived across the way open her gate and come toward our house. I saw the stage stop a few doors off as she came to our gate and bowing to me said:

"Excuse me, we are strangers, but did you lose a fine trout to-day?"

She must have thought me mad, for I rushed into the house, and called: "Annie, Annie, I've found the fish! Now put your things back in the bureau, you silly girl."

Then I went back and invited my neighbor in, telling her about Annie's fright.

"Why, it was our Nero—our great dog! I was away at my mother's or I would have brought it back, for I was sure it belonged to you. Nero must have slipped in, nabbed the fish, and brought it to our house. He laid it on the kitchen floor, as if he had done a very good deed, my girl tells me, and she, foolish thing, thought he had brought it from my mother's, and cooked it."

We had a hearty laugh at our stupid servants, and were great friends from that day, and I never see a picture of fish for sale, but I think of my first trout, which I prepared for dinner with such care, but never tasted. Annie never dared say "ghosts" after that, and lived with us till Dick was three years old. But there is papa, and these little girls must have a piece of cake and run home.



Transcriber's Note

The story SAILOR BABIES seems to end rather abruptly, and the poem following, PRETTY POLLY PRIMROSE, seems to start in the middle. Another copy of the book was checked and found to be the same, with no sign of a missing page, so this is probably a printing error.

The poem starting "Dick and Gray" was originally in the middle of the story THE RETURN OF THE BIRDS; the poem has been moved before that story for readability.

The second page of the story DIME AND BETTY, starting "I drive Betty to pasture every day," was obtained from a different copy of the book, which was identical in all aspects except the layout of the copyright page.

The story THE TOWER OF LONDON consistently refers to Anne Boleyn as Anna Boleyn. This has been preserved as printed.

Punctuation errors have been repaired. Inconsistent spelling and hyphenation has been preserved as printed across different pieces, but made consistent within individual pieces, as follows:

IN THE WOODS—Molly amended to Mollie—""You were mistaken, Mollie, I'm sure.""

HOW THE DAYS WENT AT SEA-GULL BEACH—Estelle amended to Estella—"We put the pole through the handle and Estella and myself took hold ..."

DINGFORD'S BABY—Hettie amended to Hetty—"That little brother of Hetty Dingford was the funniest baby on the coast; ..."

The following amendments have also been made:

THE LAUGHING JACKASS—rellishes amended to relishes—"He relishes lizards very much, and there are plenty ..."

THE LAUGHING JACKASS—rotton amended to rotten—"She lays here egss on the rotten wood at the bottom of the hole."

TOMMY AND THE GANDER—then amended to them—"Tommy took one of them in his hands."

FAN'S CARDS—Chrisrmas amended to Christmas—"Then they all waved their cards and cried "Merry Christmas! ...""

WHO KILLED THE GOOSE?—alway amended to always—""People are always saying dogs do things," ..."

MRS. GIMSON'S SUMMER BOARDERS—fricaseed amended to fricasseed—"If coffee and fricasseed chicken would not be just the thing ..."

MRS. GIMSON'S SUMMER BOARDERS—heir amended to their—"... with their graceful talk, and numberless resources of entertainment."

SMALL BEGINNINGS—close by amended to by close—"... and by close application to his studies, ..."

AUTUMN LEAVES, AND WHAT KATIE DID—thown amended to thrown—"... their leaves are thrown away, and they are empty-handed."

WAIF'S ROMANCE—presented amended to prevented—"... even if the overflowed valley had prevented her accustomed excursions; ..."

WAIF'S ROMANCE—receeding amended to receding—"... until he came to a good sized pond left by the receding waters ..."

WAIF'S ROMANCE—smuggled amended to snuggled—"... the kitten was snuggled up as close to her brute protector ..."

TWO LITTLE GIRLS—befel amended to befell—"And this is what befell;"

THE LION AT THE "ZOO"—purs amended to purrs—"... he lies down and purrs as good-naturedly as a pussy cat, ..."

A table of contents has been added for the convenience of the reader.

Illustration captions in {curly brackets} have been added by the transcriber for the convenience of the reader.

The frontispiece illustration has been moved to follow the title page. Illustrations have been moved where necessary so that they are not in the middle of a paragraph.

THE END

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