OUR YOUNG FOLKS AT HOME AND ABROAD.
W. B. CONKEY COMPANY LONDON—NEW YORK—CHICAGO.
OUR YOUNG FOLKS AT ... HOME AND ABROAD:
Illustrated Sketches and Poems for Young People.
ANNIE D. BELL, CLARA J. DENTON, AMANDA M. DOUGLAS, FRANK H. SELDEN, CHAS. T. JEROME, LAURA E. RICHARDS, MRS. L. A. CURTIS, OLIVER OPTIC, ETC.
BY F. S. CHURCH, E. H. GARRETT, A. S. COX, CULMER BARNES, PARKER HAYDEN, H. MOSER, H. PRUETT SHARE, MISS L. B. HUMPHREY, ETC., ETC.
EDITED BY DAPHNE DALE.
LONDON—NEW YORK—CHICAGO: W. B. CONKEY COMPANY, PUBLISHERS.
COPYRIGHT 1894, W. B. CONKEY COMPANY.
THE KITTENS' STEPMOTHER HOW SOME SEEDS ARE PLANTED OLD SCORES REPAID, OR TRAGEDY REVERSED TIPPY, THE FIREMEN'S DOG NINE LITTLE FOXES WHAT AILED THE BELL THE HOOK AND LADDER LITTLE JOE'S RIDE GYPSY AND HIS TRICKS A LITTLE GIRL'S WEDDING GIFT DO RIGHT DOG PRINCE WHERE THE PRETTY PATH LED A LETTER TO MOTHER NATURE OUR MAY-DAY AT THE SOUTH BERTIE'S STORY AND MINE THE PORCUPINE'S QUILLS LOVE YOUR ENEMIES THE MERCIFUL PRINCE THE OPOSSUM IN THE HEN-HOUSE HOW ROY WENT A FISHING A BEAR-STORY HEAR US SING, SEE US SWING, UP IN THE OLD OAK TREE SAILOR BABIES PRETTY POLLY PRIMROSE LOOK AT THE BABY AN UNLUCKY SAIL TO STRAWBERRY TOWN FLOSSIE AND HER SHOE-BOAT NELLIE'S LUNCH DIME AND THE BABY WIDE-AWAKE LAND LULU'S FIRST THANKSGIVING THE SUN-KISS THE COUNTRY WEEK THE ROAD TO SCHOOL WHAT SAMMY'S MONKEY DID BESSIE IN THE MOUNTAINS PAULINE'S STRANGE PETS "GO HALVES!" LITTLE GAMES WHAT WE FOUND IN OUR STOVE THE JOHN AND LINCOLN FLEET THE YACHT STARLIGHT THE NEW PARASOL THE MAN WHO WAS SHAKEN BY A LION THE LAUGHING JACKASS THE TRICK THEY PLAYED ON JOCKO SOME OTHER THINGS BOBBY SAW AT SEA THE MOSQUITO THE LAUGHING GIRL ANNIE'S DUCKS VICK IN TROUBLE IN GRANDMA'S ATTIC LITTLE GIRL GRACIE A MAGPIE AND HER NEST AT THE BEACH FARMER GRAY AND HIS APPLES AH KEE DICK AND GRAY THE RETURN OF THE BIRDS FIRST REWARD OF MERIT FOUR LITTLE MICE FINNETTE ABOUT THE DEER EVERYBODY'S DOG A BIRD'S NEST A RAINY DAY THE STORY OF A CANE MISS LOLLIPOP'S FANCIES TOMMY'S TEMPTATION A BEAR STORY ANNA'S BIRTHDAY GIFT RALPH AND THE BUTTERFLIES A POEM TOM'S LETTER JANEY'S PRESENT GOOD OLD ROSE AUNT PATTY'S PETS TOMMY AND THE GANDER A NIGHT VISITOR THE NIGHT MONKEY BABY'S NAP HURRAH! HURRAH! MOSES GOES TO A CANDY PARTY FAN'S CARDS:—A CHRISTMAS HINT KITTY'S TRAMP THREE ROYAL CHILDREN AN OSTRICH PLUME WHO KILLED THE GOOSE? A TEMPERANCE HORSE HOW THE WIND BLOWS DIME AND BETTY SAVED FROM FREEZING TO DEATH LILY'S GARDEN WHERE? A GOAT IN TROUBLE A NEGRO MELODIST TIME ENOUGH THE MOUSE WEDDING SHE HAD NEVER SEEN A TREE A FUNNY HORSE MRS. GIMSON'S SUMMER BOARDERS AS NIGHT CAME DARKLY DOWN GRANDMOTHER'S CLOCK A STUFFED JUMBO THE TREES IN SILVER LAND SMALL BEGINNINGS GARDEN OF THE GODS YOUNG ARTIST A CHANCE WORD A LITTLE DANCE LOOKING OUT FOR NUMBER ONE WOODCROFT IN THE WOODS AUTUMN LEAVES, AND WHAT KATIE DID THE SPINNING LESSON FOSTER PARENTS HAYMAKING WINDOW GARDENING "CHEER UP." WAIF'S ROMANCE "MAY I GO WITH YOU?" A SUMMER AT WILLOW-SPRING GREAT EXPECTATIONS "WHERE'S SOPHIE?" "IF I CAN, I WILL." WINDSOR CASTLE THE LITTLE PRINCES THE TOWER OF LONDON MARY AND HER LAMB JAMIE'S GARDEN CAMP TRIO THE SENTIMENTAL FOX EARTHEN VESSELS BIRDIE'S BREAKFAST A BATTLE GRACE DARLING, THE HEROINE ADAM AND EVE SWINGING SONG HOW THE DAYS WENT AT SEA-GULL BEACH MAX AND BEPPO PANSIES "COME, LITTLE BIRD!" SIRENA'S TROUBLE LADY VIOLET ON TRIAL TWO LITTLE GIRLS HELPFUL WORDS FALSE SHAME CLARA AND THE ANIMAL BOOK AN ANECDOTE THE UNSOCIABLE DUCKS PUTTING OUT THE CANDLE SULKY ARCHIE A WISH FOR WINGS CONSEQUENCES: A PARABLE COMFORTABLE MRS. CROOK AN EVENING SONG "BUT THEN." AN ANECDOTE WHAT THE SNAIL SAID ONLY NOW AND THEN A SERPENT AMONG THE BOOKS "LITTLE MOTHER." LITTLE SCATTER WHAT CHICKY THINKS STOP-A-WHILE THE BIRDS' CONCERT ONLY A BOY BIRD NEEDLEWORK HE WAS A GENTLEMAN TIME FOR BED THE VALUE OF A GOOD NAME DINGFORD'S BABY A BED-TIME STORY THE LESSON AFTER RECESS THE LION AT THE "ZOO" DISOBEYING MOTHER PLANTS THAT EAT THE CUCKOO CLOCK DAVY'S GIRL EARLY TEA BONEY CATCHING SNOW FLAKES A MISCHIEVOUS MONKEY THE AFRICAN SLAVE BOY CLIMBING LITTLE ELSIE KITTY STRIKER MAYING GRACIE'S TEMPER AN ANECDOTE THE SWEET-GRASS HOUSE JOHNNY'S GARDEN BOY BILLY AND THE RABBIT A FISH STORY
Our Young Folks at Home and Abroad.
THE KITTENS' STEPMOTHER.
There are two little girls living nearly a hundred rods apart, Mamie and Fannie. Each had a nice pet cat.
Mamie's cat had three little kittens. When they were about three weeks old their poor mother was killed by a useless dog. For two days Mamie fed her kittens with a spoon, and did all she could to comfort them; but they would cry for their mother.
Fannie's cat had only one kitten, and it died at once. Then Mamie took her three motherless kittens down to Fannie's cat to see if she would adopt them. She took them at once, and made a great fuss over them. Then she was allowed to raise them.
When Mamie thought her kittens were old enough she took all three of them home again. But their stepmother would neither eat nor drink. She cried and looked for the kittens. At last Fannie carried her cat up to Mamie's house to see the kittens. Then mother and kittens were all happy again, and played together as if they had never been separated.
When the girls saw how much the cat and kittens were attached to each other they concluded to take Fannie's cat home again with only two of the kittens; in a short time bring back one of them, and later the last one. In this way they thought they could separate them without any trouble.
Fannie's cat was not pleased with this plan. She began to look for and call the third kitten. The next morning, when Mamie went to feed her one kitten, she could not find it anywhere about the barn or woodshed. She went down to Fannie's house, and there she found her kitten. Sometime in the night Fannie's cat went to Mamie's house, found the kitten, and carried it home. Since that time the girls have not tried to part the cat and kittens, and they are a happy family.
MAMIE A. AND FANNIE H.
HOW SOME SEEDS ARE PLANTED.
Many noble oak-trees are planted by the little squirrel. Running up the branches, this little animal strips off the acorns, and buries them in the ground for food in the cold weather; and when he goes to hunt them up he does not find all of them. Those he leaves behind often grow up into great and beautiful trees.
The nuthatch, too, among the birds, is a great planter. After twisting off a cluster of beech-nuts this queer little bird carries them to some favorite tree, and pegs them into the crevices of the bark in a curious way. How, we cannot tell. After a while they fall to the ground, and there grow into large trees.
Some larger animals are good seed-planters, and have sometimes covered barren countries with trees. It is very singular that animals and birds can do so much farm-work, isn't it?
MRS. G. HALL.
OLD SCORES REPAID, OR TRAGEDY REVERSED.
I met a tearful little lass; She sobbed so hard I could not pass, I wondered so thereat; "Oh, dry your tears, my pretty child, Pray tell me why you grieve so wild." "A—mouse—ate—up—my—cat!"
"A mouse ate up your cat!" I cried, To think she'd fib quite horrified; "Why, how can you say that?" Her tears afresh began to run, She sobbed the words out, one by one: "It—was—a—candy—cat!"
S. ISADORE MINER.
TIPPY, THE FIREMEN'S DOG.
Tippy was a little, black dog, and he lived at the engine-house, where the great engines, which put out the fires, were kept.
He was a poor, miserable, little dog, without a home until the firemen took pity on him and gave him one.
Dick was one of the horses that helped to pull the engine. He was very large and black, with a white spot on his forehead. He and Tippy were fine friends.
When it was cold the little dog would curl close down by Dick's back, and sleep all night, as warm as could be.
One day, when it was Dick's dinner-time, and he was very hungry, Tippy kept running into his stall and barking and biting at his heels.
Dick did not like it, and he wanted his dinner so much that it made him cross. So he put down his head, took Tippy by the back of the neck, and lifted him over the side of the low stall, as much as to say:—
"If you won't go out I will put you out!"
Tippy soon grew to know what the engines were for, and when the fire-bells rang, and the great horses came from their stalls ready to be harnessed to the engine, he would bark and jump up and down, and beg to go too.
One day he hid under the driver's seat, and the firemen did not see him, so he went to the fire.
After that, the instant an alarm sounded, Tippy would spring on the engine. As it dashed down the street, the bells ringing, the firemen shouting, he would bark to let the people along the way know he was going to help put out the fire.
Every day the firemen would give Tippy a basket, and a penny to buy a bone with. He would take the basket in his mouth, and trot across the street to the butcher's for the bone. The butcher would take the penny out, and put a bone in its place, and Tippy would run home to eat his breakfast.
Once in a while Tippy would be very naughty, and would have to be punished. Then the firemen would make him sit on a chair for a long while, until he would promise, by a bark which meant, "Yes," that he would be good.
LOUISE THRUSH BROOKS.
NINE LITTLE FOXES.
Tommy and Bessie, Bert, and even little Caddie, think there is no treat like a visit to Covill Farm.
They all jumped for joy when, one bright afternoon in early summer, their papa said:—
"I am going out past the Covill Farm, and if any little folks want to go along they may stop there while I do my errands."
How soon they were all ready! How busy all the little tongues were, talking over what they would see and do!
"There'll be lots of little chickens now; and ducklings, too!"
"Yes; and we'll see the dear little lambs, and the little calfeys!"
"And maybe we can go down to the boat-house, and have a row on the lake!"
But they never dreamed of the funny sight they really saw that afternoon. Papa set them all down at the gate, and drove on, promising to come back for them in an hour.
When he came back he tied his horse, and set out to find the little folks. But in a few moments they saw him, and came rushing across the yard, all talking at once:—
"O papa, come! come and see!"
"Oh, so funny!"
Little two-year-old Caddie was as much excited as the rest; she cried:—
"Take my hand, papa! Little piggies shall not bite you!"
"Little piggies," indeed! Little foxes they were; and nine of the cunning creatures. Only think!
The manager of the farm said that something had been killing his lambs, and he had been on the watch to find out the rascal.
One day, when he was out with his gun, he saw something moving near an old woodchuck hole; at least, there had been woodchucks there the year before.
He went nearer, expecting to see a woodchuck again; but there were these little foxes playing around. The woodchucks must have burrowed out, and an old fox taken possession of their hole for a den.
Mr. Nash lay down on the ground to count the funny little things, and watch them tumbling over each other. Then he tried to stop up the entrance to their den with his coat, so that he could catch them. But a tree root lay across the hole in such a way that there was a place left big enough for the little foxes to get in; and in they went.
Then Mr. Nash went and called a man to help him. They took spades and dug into the hole until they found them.
They carried them up to the farm-yard, and put them into a pen. They were of a tawny color; and when the children saw them they were about as large as cats, and as full of play as any kittens.
Mr. Nash said he did not want to kill them, because they were so cunning. But it was a good thing that he caught them. Just think how many chickens, and ducks, and geese, and lambs those nine foxes might have killed, if they had grown up in their den!
MRS. D. P. SANFORD.
WHAT AILED THE BELL.
It was the first day of school after a vacation. The children were playing in the yards. The teachers sat at their desks waiting for the bell to strike to call the children to the different rooms. The hands of the different clocks pointed to a quarter before nine.
The bell was a sort of gong, fastened to the outside of the building, and the master of the school could ring it by touching a knob in the wall near his desk. It was now time to call the children into school. The master pulled the bell and waited. Still the merry shouts could be heard in the school-yards. Very strange! The children were so engaged in play that they could not hear the bell, he thought. Then he pulled it more vigorously. Still the shouts and laughter continued.
The master raised his window, clapped his hands, and pointed to the bell.
The children rushed into line like little soldiers, and waited for the second signal. The teacher pulled and pulled, but there was no sound. Then he sent a boy to tell each line to file in, and he sent another boy for a carpenter to find out if the bell-cord was broken.
What do you think the carpenter found? A little sparrow had built its nest inside the bell, and prevented the hammer striking against the bell. The teacher told the children what the trouble was, and asked if the nest should be taken out. There was a loud chorus of "No, sir."
Every day the four hundred children would gather in the yard and look up at the nest. When the little birds were able to fly to the trees in the yard, and no longer needed a nest, one of the boys climbed on a ladder and cleared away the straw and hay so that the sound of the bell might call the children from play.
M. A. HALEY.
THE HOOK AND LADDER.
The frosts in the door-yard maple Had lighted a fine red blaze, And one of the golden twilights That come September days: The neighborhood lads had gathered To play their usual plays.
Frankie was good at planning, And seeing the glowing tree, "Let's have a fire department And play 'tis a house!" said he. "Oh, yes, a hook and ladder," Cried all; "what fun 'twill be!"
So they put the hose on the hydrant. Searched everywhere about Until they found a ladder, And then, with yell and shout Of "fire" and clang of "ding-dong," They rushed to put it out.
The hosemen pulled their jackets Hastily from their backs; One climbed the tree like a squirrel, With a ball-bat for an axe And he hewed at the beautiful branches With frantic hacks and whacks.
Some one turned on the water, And the boy in the foremost place Got the full force from the nozzle Square in his little face; And he cried for half a minute With the funniest grimace.
The stream flew this way, that way, And up to the tree's bright top, And back came the water splashing With reckless slosh and slop, And with it showers of red leaves And twigs began to drop.
This small boys' Hook and Ladder Was a very good company, And they squirted till the sidewalk Was like a mimic sea; But they didn't put out the fire In the old red maple-tree.
MRS. CLARA DOTY BATES.
LITTLE JOE'S RIDE.
"Good Billy! nice Billy!" said little Joe, as he patted the nose of the old black horse. "Say, Uncle John, can't I ride him to water?"
"I am afraid you cannot hang on to him," replied his uncle. "Did you ever ride a horse?"
"No, uncle; but I am sure I can," answered Joe. "Please let me try. I'll take hold of his mane with both hands, and hang on as hard as ever I can."
"Well, you may try it. There is the trough, against that fence, the other side of the barn. Look out that old Billy does not give you a ducking."
"Never fear for me," cried Joe, riding away in great glee.
He was a little city boy, and had come out to the farm to make his uncle a visit. He thought it great fun to take a ride on horseback.
It did not take him long to find the trough, for old Billy knew the way right well. Then, how it happened, Joe never could tell: Billy put his head down quite suddenly, and right over it slid the little boy with a great splash, head first into the water.
Of course he was not hurt. He caught hold of the fence and came out, dripping from head to foot.
Old Billy looked on rather surprised, but got his drink. He let Joe lead him back to the barn, and how Uncle John did laugh at him. Joe laughed too, as he went off to get on some dry clothes. Though he took a good many rides after that, he never forgot his first one on old Billy's back.
MRS. M. E. SANDFORD.
GYPSY AND HIS TRICKS.
When Harry was six years old his grandfather sent him a very nice present from the farm. You cannot guess what it was, so I will tell you.
A goat, with a harness and cart, for Harry to drive him. Harry named him Gypsy, because he was so black.
Gypsy and Harry had a great many good times together. He would draw Harry to school and then wait very patiently under the shade of a tree until school was out. All the school-children were very fond of him and would bring him sweet apples and cake.
The teacher was fond of Gypsy, too, and would often bring sugar to him; but she never let Gypsy have it until he had performed one of the tricks the boys had taught him. He must either stand on his head, bow, or dance. Gypsy could do all these.
One day Gypsy did something very funny. It was a very hot day, and Harry thought he would unharness him and let him roam around the school-yard.
What do you think Gypsy did? He walked into the school-house, straight up to the teacher, and stood on his head. He was begging for sugar.
The teacher laughed with the scholars, and said, "Gypsy, you have learned your lesson well; now I'll excuse you, and let you go out to play." And then she drove him out.
One of the boys begged leave to give Gypsy an apple, and the teacher said he might. Gypsy took the apple in his mouth and made a little bow.
The scholars laughed so long that the teacher had to close the door for fear Gypsy would do some other funny thing.
A LITTLE GIRL'S WEDDING GIFT.
If I could choose a wedding gift, I'd climb for you the rainbow stairs And bring a star to bless This day of happiness.
As I came down, a bird I'd lift From off his nest, that his sweet airs And songs might you delight From rosy morn till night.
But rainbow stairs are hard to mount, The birds hide in the trees' green shade, And so I bring, dear friend, to you The flowers wet with dew.
Take them, and then take me; please count My eyes your stars; the little maid Who offers flowers, your bird, Whose heart with love is stirred.
May child love and the birds together Make all your life like summer weather; May flowers blossom in your sight, And golden stars bring peace at night.
MRS. E. ANNETTE HILLS.
"Well met, my little man! Now tell me, if you can, The very nicest way To spend this long, dull day."
"Well, sir, my mother says, Of all the pretty ways To make a dark day bright The best is just do right!"
M. J. T.
"Shake hands, Prince!" Black as a coal, and curly, too. Is the dog I introduce to you. He gives at once his right-hand paw, None a softer one ever saw.
"Beg, Prince!" Up he rises on his hind legs, Flies both little fore-feet, and begs, Not for money, nor food, nor clothes, But merely to show how much he knows.
"Speak, Prince!" You'd think from that first growling note, He'd a bumble-bee inside his throat; 'Tis not a bee, but only a bark; For answer, shrill and eager, hark!
"Roll over, Prince!" He'll do all other things you ask; But this is a task, a dreadful task. He hates the dust on his silky hide And in the fringe of his ears beside.
"Roll over, I say!" Such a struggle as he goes through; He wants to do it, and don't want to! He rubs one black ear on the floor, Rubs a little, and nothing more.
"Ah, Prince! Ah, Prince!" Do you call that minding? Yet, I find Yours is a common way to mind: Willing to do what you like to best, And only half-way doing the rest.
MRS. CLARA DOTY BATES.
WHERE THE PRETTY PATH LED.
Little Fred went to spend his long vacation with his grandpa and grandma in the country. Fred's grandpa had an old white horse named Betsy. He had owned her ever since mamma was a little girl, and Fred and Betsy soon became great friends.
Every day grandma would give Fred two biscuits, two apples and two lumps of sugar in a little basket and he would take them over to the pasture. Betsy soon learned to expect him, and waited for him at the bars. She knew that half of what was in the basket was meant for her.
A very pretty path came in at one end of the pasture. Fred often wondered where it went, but he never dared to go in very far alone. One day his two cousins, Alice and Frank, came to make grandma a little visit. Grandma told Fred he must show them all over the farm. The next morning, after he had taken them out to lunch with Betsy, he thought it would be a good chance to go down the little path. Alice and Frank said they would like to go very much. Fred was still a little afraid, and kept very near Alice. But he forgot everything else, when, at the end of the path, they came upon a lovely little pond. It was all covered with great white lilies and their green pads.
They wanted to get some lilies to take home. They tried to reach them from the bank, but lilies have a provoking way of growing just out of reach. Then they tried to hook them in with sticks, but got only three or four, without stems. Then they looked for a board to use as a raft.
At last Frank said they must wade for them. He and Fred took off their shoes and stockings, pulled up their trousers, and went in. Fred used a long stick to feel the way before him, so as not to get into water too deep.
This time they were successful, and got just as many lilies as their hands would hold.
Grandma was delighted with them; she said she had not had any lilies from that old pond since grandpa used to bring them to her years and years before.
MRS. F. T. MERRILL.
A LETTER TO MOTHER NATURE.
"You dear old Mother Nature, I am writing you a letter, To let you know you ought to fix up things a little better. The best of us will make mistakes—I thought perhaps if I Should tell you how you might improve, you would be glad to try.
"I think you have forgotten, ma'am, that little girls and boys Are fond of dolls, and tops, and sleds, and balls, and other toys; Why didn't you—I wonder, now!—just take it in your head To have such things all growing in a lovely garden bed?
"And then I should have planted (if it only had been me) Some vines with little pickles, and a great big cooky tree; And trees, besides, with gum-drops and caramels and things; And lemonade should bubble up in all the little springs.
"I'd like to have the coasting and the skating in July, When old Jack Frost would never get a single chance to try To nip our cheeks and noses; and the Christmas trees should stand By dozens, loaded!—in the woods!—now, wouldn't that be grand?
"Ah! what a world it would have been! How could you, madam, make Such lots of bread and butter to so very little cake? I'd have it just the other way, and every one would see How very, very, very, very nice my way would be.
"But, as I cannot do it, will you think of what I say? And please, ma'am, do begin and alter things this very day. And one thing more—on Saturdays don't send us any rain. Good-by. If I should think of something else, I'll write again."
OUR MAY-DAY AT THE SOUTH.
Out in the woods we went to-day: Mamma and Nannie, Freddie and May, Charlie and I, and good old Tray, Out in the greenwood to romp and play.
To-day, you know, is the first of May; And we meant to be so jolly and gay: And celebrate in so merry a way That we could never forget this holiday.
So first we chose the loveliest queen, The dearest and sweetest that ever was seen; For mamma herself was Her Highness Serene, And we crowned her with rosebuds and evergreen.
Then we kneeled around and vowed to obey All the laws she made, not only to-day, But all the year through. Then she waved a spray Of lilac bloom, and bade us all be gay.
Oh the games we played, and the races we run! The bars we leaped, and the prizes we won! Oh the shouting, the singing, the laughter and fun,— It were hard to tell who was the happiest one!
Then, rosy and tired, we gathered around Our beautiful queen on the mossy ground; The hungriest group in the land, I'll be bound. As the sandwiches, cookies, and tarts went round.
When the sun was low and shadows were gray, Down from her throne stepped our fair Queen of May, And through the green fields led homeward our way, While we gave her sweet thanks for this beautiful day.
L. A. B. C.
BERTIE'S STORY AND MINE.
"Tell me a story about a bear, A great big bear who lived in a wood And ate little children." "O, my dear, The bears I know of were playful and good, And lived in houses or parks or a pen, And never ate children, or boys, or men.
"There was one snow white, a mother bear,— With two little babies cunning and queer; Who rolled and climbed and stood on their heads, And fell over, as boys often do, I fear. They hugged their mother, and talked in their way, And kept still when they'd nothing to do or say."
"No, I mean a real bear out in the woods, Who growls and chases you, makes you run, Half scared to death,—and a little boy lost Out in the woods and the night coming on; And the terrible bear with his great fierce eyes, And no one to hear the little child's cries!
"He runs and runs,"—and then Bertie smiles, His climax reached,—"I was only in fun; The bear didn't kill him, because, you see, There was just behind a man with a gun, And he shot! Bang! Down came the old bear; 'Twas his own little boy and he saved him—there!"
"O, I am so glad!" and I give him a kiss; Then silent we sit for a moment or two. "That's a boy's story; yours, you know, For nice little girls very well will do. But boys, you remember, grow up to be men, And can fight the bears to their very den."
AMANDA M. DOUGLAS.
THE PORCUPINE'S QUILLS.
Every animal has an instrument of defence. Some have claws, some hoofs, some spurs and beaks, some powerful teeth and stings.
The porcupine has something queerer than all these. Its body is covered all over with two sets of quills. One set is long, slender, and curved; the other, short and straight, very stout, and with sharp points.
Whenever the porcupine is chased by any animal, and finds he cannot get out of the way, he just stops and bristles up all his quills. Then he backs quickly upon the animal, so that the short, sharp quills may stick into the body. If any happen to be a little loose, they stick so fast in the flesh, like an arrow, that they often make a very bad wound. Remember this whenever you come in the way of the porcupine.
MRS. G. HALL.
LOVE YOUR ENEMIES.
I was watching Willie and Grouse at play on the lawn a few days since. I saw in the poor dumb brute a spirit that is too seldom found in man.
Grouse is an old bird-dog,—a setter. He was bought before Willie came to be his little master. He has soft, brown hair, and is a very clever, good-natured dog. Willie can do anything with him, and he never gets angry; but when Willie hurts him he only looks up and pleads with his large, misty eyes.
They had been playing a long while. Grouse got tired and lay down on the grass. Pretty soon I saw Willie get some water in a basin. I wondered what he was going to do with it. Then he walked close up to Grouse, who lay on the lawn, and threw the water all over him.
It was very unkind for Willie to do so, don't you think it was? I called Willie to me, and told him it was too bad for him to plague such a good old dog. I told him he was a very naughty boy to do so.
Willie said he supposed it was wrong to plague Grouse, but he didn't mean to hurt him much.
So Willie went back to where Grouse lay in the sun drying himself. He patted the poor dog on the head, and asked him if he would forgive him for his unkindness.
Then Grouse, as if he knew what was said, licked Willie's hand. He looked up forgivingly into his face with his dewy eyes, as much as to say, "I am one who can love his enemies."
FRANK. H. SELDEN.
THE MERCIFUL PRINCE.
More than two thousand years ago, in a far-off country, a prince was born. While he was yet a child every care was taken that he should be made happy, and sights of sorrow were carefully kept from him. He was of a very kind, loving, and tender disposition.
But the care even of a king for a prince could not keep away all sorrowful sights. His watchful eyes sometimes saw suffering that filled his heart with pity.
As he was playing with his cousin in the palace ground, a flock of wild swans flew over their heads. His cousin drew his bow and wounded one. It fell at his feet. The prince with pity drew the arrow from the wounded bird, nursed it, and saved its life.
While his child life was one of tenderness and mercy, the years passed by and he became a man. His heart was still filled with pity for every suffering creature. He went from the palace, from home and dear friends, to become poor and a wanderer, that he might help the suffering. It is beautifully told that in his wanderings he came upon a flock of sheep driven along the dusty highway. There was one poor wounded, bleeding lamb, which he took tenderly in his arms and carried. And so through life his pity and his help were given to the weak, whether men or beasts. From his tender and beautiful life, men came to worship him after his death.
The prince was Prince Gautama, of India, who is worshipped as Buddha. Is not his loving and merciful life, from a little child to an old man, a beautiful example to us?
CHARLES T. JEROME
THE OPOSSUM IN THE HEN-HOUSE.
"O George, the circus is coming! the handbills are all up, and such pictures of horses and lions and tigers, and everything!"
Ned jumped about for joy, until George said,—
"But how are you going, Ned? We have no money, and papa said he could not give us any more this month, if he gave us a gun."
"The new gun,—so he did," said Ned, sadly. "But the circus takes so little; they would let us in at half price."
"I will tell you," exclaimed George; "let us sell our white Leghorns to mamma. She wants them, I know, and the money we get for them will take us both to the circus."
This was settled, and at dinner mamma was told of the plan.
"Put them up in the hen-house to-night," she said, "and to-morrow I will look at them and we will fix the price."
The boys went to bed early that night, but had hardly settled themselves to sleep when Melissa, the little servant-girl, rushed in with a light in her hand.
"O, git up, boys, git up! Sompen's in de hen-house, killin' all de fowls."
They jumped up and huddled on their clothes as fast as they could, then ran after Melissa, who held the light while they armed themselves with sticks.
There was a great stir, sure enough, in the hen-house,—fowls were cackling and screaming with fright, and a curious snapping sound came from one corner. When the light fell here they saw a rough, hairy little animal, with small bright eyes like a pig, and a long smooth tail. But, worst of all, one of the beautiful white Leghorns lay before it, all mangled and bleeding. The horrid creature was tearing its soft body, and would hardly stop eating when the children attacked him.
At last Melissa caught up a stick, and killed the little beast with a quick blow. She held it up in triumph by its long tail. It looked very much like a little pig, and had five fingers, like toes, on each foot.
"'Tis a 'possum," said Melissa, "and very good to eat. I's right glad I kill it, cos now 'tis mine."
"You are welcome to it," said Ned, half crying. "What shall we do now our pretty Leghorn rooster is dead? We can't go to the circus."
Next morning they told their tale at the breakfast-table.
"Never mind," said their father; "I think you may go, after all, as I owe you something for killing the opossum. He would have destroyed the rest of the fowls."
"Yes; but, papa, Melissa killed it; we only struck at it."
"Well, I think I must treat the whole party, as all did their best. We will set a trap to-day for the next opossum that may come to see us."
The boys and Melissa went to the circus, and enjoyed all they saw, and Melissa had a fine opossum stew into the bargain.
PINK HUNTER. VIRGINIA.
HOW ROY WENT A FISHING.
Roy had fished in the ditch by the side of the road a great many times; but he had only a bent pin for a fish-hook, and a piece of twine for a line. He never caught any fish there.
When he was six years old his uncle James gave him a real fish-hook and a line, and after a good deal of coaxing his mother said that he might go down the cow-path to the brook and fish for trout.
Uncle James caught a great many trout in the brook.
Alice wanted to go with Roy; and Roy, who is very kind to his sister, asked his mother to let her go.
Alice carried the basket,—a pretty large one. Mary, the cook, told them to be sure and get it full of fish, so that she could fry them for dinner.
How proud and happy they were! Their mother could see them from the window all the time.
When they reached the brook Alice sat down on a rock. Roy put a worm on the hook, and dropped the end of the line into the stream. But it was a long time before he got a bite. At last he thought he felt a nibble.
"I've got one, Ally!" he shouted. "O, such a big fellow! You will have to come and help me pull him out!"
They tugged away on the line, and then they both fell over backwards.
"There he is!" cried Roy. But when they got up and looked, it was not a trout at all. It was only a piece of a black root that broke off and gave them a tumble.
Roy tried again, and after a good while he felt another nibble. He jerked the line out so quickly that the hook caught in the back of Alice's dress. It pricked her shoulder so that she had half a mind to cry.
Roy could not get the hook out of her dress, and they went home for their mother to help them.
Mary laughed at Roy a good deal. She told his uncle James, at dinner-time, that Roy caught the biggest trout she ever saw, and he had to come home for his mother to get it off the hook.
L. A. B. C.
"I know a new bear-story," I said to the little folks, Who surely as the twilight falls, Begin to tease and coax.
"And did they live in the forest, In a den all deep and dark? And were there three?"—"Yes, three," I said, "But they lived in the park.
"Let's see! Old Jack, the grizzly, With great white claws, was there; And a mother bear with thick brown coat, And Betty, the little bear!
"And Silver-Locks went strolling One day, in that pretty wood, With Ninny, the nurse, and all at once They came where the bears' house stood.
"And without so much as knocking To see who was at home, She cried out in a happy voice, 'Old Grizzly, here I come!'
"And thereupon old Grizzly Began to gaze about; And the mother bear sniffed at the bars, And the baby bear peeped out.
"And they thought she must be a fairy, Though, instead of a golden wand, She carried a five-cent paper bag Of peanuts in her hand.
"Old Grizzly his red mouth opened As though they tasted good; And the brown bear opened her red mouth To catch one when she could;
"And Betty, the greedy baby, Followed the big bears' style, And held her little fire-red mouth, Wide open all the while.
"And Silver-Locks laughed delighted, And thought it wondrous fun, And fed them peanuts from the bag Till she hadn't another one.
"And is that all?" sighed Gold-Locks. "Pshaw, is that all?" cried Ted. "No—one thing more! 'Tis quite, quite time That little folks were in bed!"
CLARA DOTY BATES.
HEAR US SING SEE US SWING UP IN THE OLD OAK TREE.
O—oh! O—oh! Here we go, Now so high, Now so low; Soon, soon, We'll reach the moon; Hear us sing, See us swing, Up in the old oak-tree.
O—oh! O—oh! To and fro, Like the birds, High and low; See us fly To the sky; Hear us sing, On the wing, Up in the old oak-tree.
L. A. B. C.
Birds, and birds, and birds! Have you any idea how many kinds of birds there are? I am very sorry you could not count them all. And such queer fellows many of them are! There are butcher-birds and tailor-birds, soldier-birds—the penguins, you know, who stand on the sea-shore like companies of soldiers, "heads up, eyes front, arms (meaning wings) at the sides"—and sailor-birds. It is about one of the sailor-birds and his babies that I am going to tell you now. She is called the Little Grebe, or sometimes, by her intimate friends, the Dabchick. She is a pretty little bird, about nine inches long, with brown head and back, and grayish-white breast. She and her husband are both extremely fond of the water. "We are first cousins to the Divers!" they sometimes say proudly. "The Divers are never happy away from the water, and neither are we. It is very vulgar to live on land all the time. One might almost as well have four legs, and be a creature at once!" (The Divers are a very proud family, and speak of all quadrupeds as "creatures.") Mr. and Mrs. Grebe have very curiously webbed feet, looking more like a horse-chestnut leaf with three lobes than anything else. They are excellent swimmers and divers; indeed, in diving, the Great Northern Diver himself is not so quick and alert. If anything frightens them, pop! they are under the water in the shaking of a feather; and you may sometimes see them in a pond, popping up and down like little absurd Jacks-in-the-box. As they think the land so very vulgar, of course they do not want to bring up their children on it.
Oh, dear, no! They find a pleasant, quiet stream, or pond, where there are plenty of reeds and rushes growing in the water, and where there is no danger of their being disturbed by "creatures." Then they go to work and make a raft, a regular raft, of strong stems of water-plants, reeds, and arrow-heads, plaited and woven together with great care and skill. It is light enough to float, and yet strong enough to bear the weight of the mother-bird.
While she is building it she sits, or stands, on another and more roughly built raft, which is not meant to hold together long. Mr. Grebe helps her, pulling up the water-plants and cutting off the stems the right length; and so this little couple work away till the raft-nest is quite ready. Then Mrs. Grebe takes her place on it, and proceeds to lay and hatch her eggs. There are five or six eggs, and they are white when she lays them; but they do not keep their whiteness long, for the water-weeds and the leaves that cover the raft soon decay, and stain the pretty white eggs, so that they are muddy brown by the time they are hatched. Well, there little Madame Grebe sits, brooding contentedly over her eggs, and thinking how carefully she will bring up her children, so that they will be a credit to the family of the Divers. Mr. Grebe paddles, and dives and pops up and down about the nest, and brings her all sorts of good things to eat,—worms for dinner, minnows for supper, and for breakfast the most delicate and appetizing of flies and beetles. One day, when he brings his wife's dinner (a fine stickle-back), he finds her in a state of great excitement.
"My dear," she says, "I am going to move. I cannot endure this place another hour. I only waited to tell you about it."
"Why, what is the matter, my love?" asks Mr. Grebe, in amazement.
"Some creatures have been here," answers little madam, indignantly,—"huge, ugly monsters, with horns; cows, I believe they are called. They have torn up the reeds, and muddied the water; and, if you will believe it, Dabchick, one of them nearly walked right over me; then I flew in his face, and gave him a good fright, I can tell you. But the whole thing has upset me very much, and I am determined to leave the place."
"Very well, my love," says the dutiful Dabchick. "Whatever you say is always right!"
Accordingly, when she has finished her dinner, Mrs. Grebe puts one foot into the water, and paddles her raft away as skilfully as if she were an Indian in a birch canoe. She steers it round the corners, and paddles on and on, till she finds another quiet nook, where there is no sign of any "creatures." Then she draws in her paddle-foot, and broods quietly again, while Mr. Grebe, who has followed her, goes to explore the new surroundings, and see what he can pick up for supper.
After a time the muddy brown eggs crack open one by one, and out come the young Dabchicks, pretty, little, fuzzy brown balls. They shake themselves, and look at each other, and say how-d'-ye-do to their mother and father; and then, without any more delay, pop! they go into the water. "Hurrah!" says one. "I can swim!"
PRETTY POLLY PRIMROSE.
Out here papa finds her, Lifts her tenderly, Carries her safe home again,— Never once wakes she.
When the breakfast all is o'er Polly opes her eyes. "Surely, mamma, I did dream," Says she in surprise, "That I went out to the Park, Where the birdies sing." Mamma smiles; how can she chide The winsome little thing!
AMANDA M. DOUGLAS.
LOOK AT THE BABY.
This way and that way, one, two, three. Come if you want a dance to see; With his chubby hands on his dress so blue, See what a baby boy can do.
One foot up and one foot down; See him try to smile and frown; He would look better, I do declare, With some more teeth and a little more hair.
One, two, three, chick-a-dee-dee! This I take the fact to be, That there never was, on sea nor shore, Such a queer little dance as this before!
AN UNLUCKY SAIL.
When little Sam was six years old, he began to go to school. His teacher gave him a merit card whenever he was good all day. But sometimes he whispered, or made a noise in school, and then he did not get one.
"I will give you a penny whenever you bring home a card," said Sam's father.
After that Sam was very good, and brought home a card almost every day. He saved up his pennies, and when he was seven years old, he bought a pretty toy boat.
Sam's sister Hattie went with him to the duck-pond to see him sail the boat. But soon she grew tired, and went back to the house.
"I wish I had something to put into my boat," thought Sam.
He looked around and saw Hattie's doll under a tree. Hattie had forgotten it when she went to the house. It was a pretty wax doll, with long flaxen hair, and blue eyes that would open and shut. It was dressed in pink silk, and had a little straw hat with a pink feather.
"I will give Miss Dolly a sail," thought Sam.
He put the doll in the boat, and pushed it out on the water.
"Hattie, Hattie!" he cried, "come and see your doll taking a sail."
Just as he spoke an old duck swam against the boat, and gave it such a push that Miss Dolly fell off into the water. Before Sam could reach her with a long stick she sank to the bottom of the pond.
Hattie cried until she had no tears left to shed, and Sam felt like crying, too. He knew he ought not to have taken his sister's doll.
He went on saving his pennies just as he had done before he bought the boat. And when he opened his tin bank on his next birthday he found that he had nearly three dollars. What do you think he bought? I am afraid you would never guess, so I will tell you. He bought a new doll for Hattie, and it was even prettier than the one he had drowned in the duck-pond.
FLORENCE B. HALLOWELL.
TO STRAWBERRY TOWN.
A dear little maid, with sun-bonnet red Tied carefully over her little brown head, With two little bare feet, so active and brown, Has started to travel to Strawberry town.
"And pray where is that?" Oh dear! don't you know? It's out in the field where the strawberries grow; Where papa, and Henry, and Sue, in the sun, Pick the sweet, big, red berries so fast, one by one.
"It's a very great ways," says the dear little maid, "To Strawberry town, and I'm so afraid." And so as companions, to keep her from harm, She takes two fat kittens, one under each arm.
She trudges along with brown eyes opened wide, The kittens hugged sociably up to each side; With ears sticking up and tails hanging down, She carries them bravely to Strawberry town.
MARY A. ALLEN, M.D.
FLOSSIE AND HER SHOE-BOAT.
Flossie took to the sea very early. She did not like to be bathed, but she was very fond of playing in the water.
One day, when she was at her bath, her mother's back was turned, and little Miss Flossie turned her slipper into a boat and set it afloat in her little bath-tub. Then she pushed it about and made believe it was sailing. By and by it got full of water and sank, crew and all. This made her cry, and that made her mother look round. Flossie's shoe-boat was taken from her, and then she cried more. Her mother knew best, and was very firm. Miss Flossie had to give up being a sailor, and put on her pink dress and go downstairs.
R. W. L.
Little Nellie lived in California. Her papa was going on a visit to his old home in Maine, but Nellie was to stay at home with her mamma. Just before her father left, her mother took his great-coat, brushed it, and said, "I have put some handkerchiefs in this pocket, and in the other one is a nice lunch of cake and fruit."
The father and mother were so busy that they took no notice of Nellie. But she had heard what mamma said. Her first thought was that she must put something in papa's pocket, too.
Her mother had been changing Nellie's clothes, and a soiled little stocking lay on the floor. The child had a small cake of maple sugar in her hand that she was eating. She took up the stocking and crammed the sugar down into the toe. She then rolled it up tight and tucked it down in one corner of her papa's pocket. No one saw her do it. The first that was known of what she had done was one day after her papa had reached his old home. He was searching his pocket for something when he felt the little stocking. He took it out, and when he saw what it was, what a good laugh he had! And how it made him think of his little Nellie, who was so far away!
Nellie's papa showed me the little stocking and the cake of sugar. He said he would save them until Nellie was older, and she could then see what a nice lunch she had put up for her papa.
DIME AND THE BABY.
Bow-wow! Here I am again! I told you before that my name is Dime; but the baby calls me "Bow-wow." Do you know why? It is because I always say "Bow-wow." It is all the word I know how to say.
Do you know our baby? She has big black eyes, and her mouth looks like a pink rosebud. She is a sweet little girl. I love her dearly. I did not like her when she first came. That was a long time ago. My master was very fond of her. That made me feel cross. I used to bark at baby and show all my teeth. After that they did not let me come near her. I did not see the baby for a long time. I did not care for that.
My master did not seem to like me then. When he saw me, he said, "Go away, Dime! Go away, bad dog! You are not good to the baby." So I was not happy. I made up my mind to bite that baby.
It was a long time before I got a chance to bite her; but one day I found her alone. She was in her little crib. I put my paws on her crib.
But I did not bite her, after all. Shall I tell you why? She was too pretty to bite. So I kissed the baby, and I have loved her ever since.
Now, my master likes me again. He pats my head and says, "Good old dog! Good Dime! You love the baby, don't you?"
I am glad I am not a cross dog now. I feel better when I am good. Don't you?
S. E. SPRAGUE.
"Come, Freddie, time you were in bed long ago," said mamma.
"Don't want to go!" cried Fred. "I wish I never had to go to bed!"
But in a few moments Fred was snugly tucked away. Everything grew dim, and Fred's eyes began to close. Very soon he heard a little voice from somewhere, and started up.
Perched on his knee was the queerest little man he had ever seen. In one hand he held a long pin, and this he often thrust at Fred.
"What are you doing that for?" asked Fred. "To keep you awake," said the little dwarf. "You are in Wide-Awake Land, and no one goes to sleep here."
Fred sat up in bed and looked about. Was it really Wide-Awake Land? Needn't he ever go to bed again? "O, I am glad!" he said.
There were many other boys and girls in this queer land, and most of them looked very unhappy.
"What is the matter?" asked Fred of a little boy who was crying hard.
"I'm tired and sleepy," sobbed the boy.
"Why don't you go to sleep then?" asked Fred.
"Humph! I guess you haven't been here long, or you'd know."
"No, I've just come; I think it's nice."
"Wait till you get sleepy," said the boy. "I used to think Wide-Awake Land would be nice. I believe Sleepy Land would be nicer now."
"Yes," added Fred; "but why can't you go to sleep?"
"Because the little men that you see everywhere carry pins. They prick us when we try to sleep. O, I wish I hadn't come!" And the boy began to cry again. Fred thought he was very silly, and ran off to find some other new-comer.
Night came at last. Big lamps were hung on the trees and made the place as light as day. The little men were flying about to keep the sleepy ones awake.
Fred got sleepy at last, and began to nod. A little man thrust a big pin into him. "You must keep awake," he said. Fred tried hard, but his eyes would shut, and then would come the wicked pin. At last he screamed aloud.
"Why, Fred! what is the trouble?" and he looked up. There was mamma.
"I don't like Wide-Awake Land," cried Fred. "I will go to sleep when you want me to after this."
"I think you are dreaming, Fred," replied mamma.
"I was, but I am awake now."
"Well, dear, you are in Sleepy Land now. So good night, and pleasant dreams."
ELIZA M. SHERMAN.
LULU'S FIRST THANKSGIVING.
Lulu was six years old last spring. She came to make a visit at her grandfather's, and stayed until after Thanksgiving.
Lulu had lived away down in Cuba ever since she was a year old. Her cousins had written to her what a good time they had on Thanksgiving Day; so she was very anxious to be at her grandfather's at that time. They do not have a Thanksgiving Day down in Cuba. That is how Lulu did not have one until she was six years old.
She could hardly wait for the day to come. Such a grand time as they did have! Lulu did not know she had so many cousins until they came to spend the day at her grandfather's. It did not take them long to get acquainted. Before time for dinner they felt as if they had always known each other.
The dinner was the grand event of the day. Lulu had never seen so long a table except at a hotel, nor some of the vegetables and kinds of pie.
Lulu had never tasted turkey before. Her grandmother would not have one cooked until then, so she could say that she had eaten her first piece of turkey on Thanksgiving Day.
After dinner they played all kinds of games. All the uncles and aunts and grown-up cousins played blind-man's-buff with them.
 Small purple flower; grows by the wayside in the South.
In a land where summer lingers, Far from Northern rains and snows, Where, like loving, clasping fingers, Twines the jasmine with the rose,
There I found a little maiden: Oh! her eyes were black as night, And her tiny hands were laden Down with blossoms pearly white.
Sought she all along the wayside, 'Mong the ferns and waving palms, Where the tiniest flower might hide From her sweet protecting arms.
"What fresh treasure are you seeking?" Asked I of the little one, For a myriad blooms were peeping Through the mosses to the sun.
"Have you never heard, dear lady, Of the sweetest flower that blooms,— It is neither proud nor stately, Like the lily and the rose;
"But it brightens every pathway, Springing 'neath your careless tread. Till the sun, with quickening ray, Kisses soft its drooping head.
"Then its petals quick unclosing, Freshly sweet with morning dew,— It is left for our supposing That the story must be true,—
"How it shyly waits the coming Of the glorious King of Day, And that hence the pretty naming Of a Sun-Kiss, so they say?"
ELIZABETH A. DAVIS.
THE COUNTRY WEEK.
Mrs. Brown read a little article in the newspaper one evening, about "Country week for poor children."
"Husband," said she, "I have an idea. We have such a good farm, and so many nice things, suppose we take some boarders this summer, who can't afford to pay anything."
When she told him what she meant, Mr. Brown thought it a very good idea, indeed.
"The currants and raspberries are ripe. I'll see if Mrs. Anderson knows of some nice children, who will have to stay in the hot streets of the city all summer. We will ask them to come here."
Of course, Mrs. Anderson knew of some nice children. She belonged to a mission-school, and knew dozens of them. So, the next Wednesday, when Mr. Brown drove down to the station, there she was, and two little ones with her, Lina and Carl Schmidt. Carl was almost a baby, and went to sleep as soon as they were in the carriage; but Lina held her breath with delight as she rode to the farm. She was half afraid, too, and held on very tightly if old Billy went faster than a walk. As Mr. Brown watched the bright little face he began to think his wife's idea was a splendid one.
"Well, little one," said Mrs. Brown to Lina, when they reached the house, "what do you think of the country?"
"Oh, I do want to take such long breaths!" said Lina, "I wish my mamma could see it too."
"The first thing for these small folks," added Mrs. Brown, "is some of Brindle's nice milk."
Carl waked up long enough to drink some, and say, "Dood, dood." Then he grew sleepy again, and Mrs. Brown laid him on a shawl upon the grass, under the trees. The hens gathered around him, looked at each other and clucked, as much as to say, "What kind of a queer creature is this?" Young Mr. Bantie was about to peck him to find out, when they heard a little voice calling "Biddy, Biddy, Biddy!" from the barn. Off they went, half flying and half running.
Mrs. Brown had given Lina a tin pail, with corn in it to scatter to the hens. They came from all directions, and got around her so closely that she was afraid to stir. She had taken out one handful of the corn, but was afraid to throw it. Then the greedy hens began to peck her hand, and try to get it out of the pail. She began to cry so loud that every one ran out of the house to see what was the matter. It was funny enough to see her, standing in the middle of that greedy crowd of hens, with her eyes shut very tightly, and her mouth very wide open.
When Carl waked up, he wanted some more milk. Mrs. Brown said, "We'll go down and see Brindle milked, and you shall have it nice and warm." Lina had seen pictures of cows, but never a live one. She had no idea they were so big. Mrs. Brown asked her if she would like to milk; but she thought she would rather stand at a little distance. As for Carl, he shut up his eyes, and tried to get out of sight of the creature. However, he liked the warm milk very much.
Lina spent most of the next day in the garden. She helped pick the peas and beans, and stem the currants. She went with Mr. Brown to find the eggs, and held Billy's halter while he drank at the trough. Every day was full of pleasure, and Mr. and Mrs. Brown had just as good a time as the children. At the end of the week they couldn't bear to let them go; so it came about that the children's week, for Lina and Carl, lasted all summer.
J. A. M.
THE ROAD TO SCHOOL.
[FROM THE GERMAN.]
In winter, when it freezes, In winter, when it snows, The road to school seems long and drear, O'er which the school-boy goes.
But when the pleasant summer comes, With birds and fruit and flowers, The road to school, how short it is! And short the sunny hours!
But to the boy who loves to learn, And wisdom strives to gain, The road to school is always short, In sunshine, snow, or rain.
L. A. B. C.
WHAT SAMMY'S MONKEY DID.
Sammy Brown had a monkey. He bought him of an organ-player. He named him Billy.
Sammy's mother did not know what a naughty monkey he was. If she had, she would not have given Sammy the money to buy him.
Sammy thought he was very cunning. All the boys at school thought so too. They all wanted one just like him. Sammy had him out every Saturday afternoon. He was dressed in a gay little uniform. He would play on a drum. He was fond of mischief; and when no one was watching him he would do some very queer things. He would take the spools from Mrs. Brown's work-basket. He would carry them away and hide them.
He would take her thimble and wax, and hide them too.
Sometimes he would bring them back again. Sometimes Mrs. Brown would have to find them herself. This gave her a good deal of trouble.
At last Billy acted so badly, that Mrs. Brown told Sammy that she could not have him in the house any longer. One morning Mrs. Brown went away to spend the day.
She thought the monkey was fastened out of the house. But he got in through a window. When Mrs. Brown came home she did think of Billy. She opened the door of her pantry. She saw a dreadful sight. She knew at once that Billy had been there. He had moved the dishes all about, from one shelf to another. He had poured milk and sugar over the floor. He had emptied bottles of medicine into clean dishes. He had broken up a whole loaf of cake and scattered it around. He had eaten out the middle of a pie, and turned it over in the plate. Mrs. Brown could not find her spoons and forks anywhere. But she found them afterwards in the cellar.
Now Mrs. Brown had to go right to work and clean her pantry. After she had put that in order, she made a fire in the stove. All this time Billy was not seen anywhere.
The fire had been burning a few minutes, when Mrs. Brown heard a terrible scratching in the oven, and out jumped Billy as spry as ever.
He ran out of doors. He was not seen again until the next morning.
Then Mrs. Brown told Sammy that the monkey had made so much work for her, that she could not have him any longer.
Sammy saw that his mother was very much in earnest.
So he sold Billy to a pedler who came along the next day.
The pedler gave him fifty cents for Billy.
Sammy was sorry to let him go, but he wanted to please his mother.
M. M. H.
BESSIE IN THE MOUNTAINS.
Bessie Lee was six years old when she went to the mountains of North Carolina with her father.
What Bessie liked best of all were the nice donkey rides every morning. The poor donkeys didn't get much rest, for the little folks kept them busy all day. Bessie was kind to them, but some of the children were not. Bessie liked a donkey named Kate best of all.
One day Bessie's father put her in the saddle, and Kate kicked up. When Bessie was lifted off, and the saddle removed, a great bleeding sore was found on the poor donkey's back.
Bessie felt very sorry for poor Kate, and said, "Papa, I don't want to ride to-day, but please do not send Kate back to the stables."
"Why not, Bessie?" said Mr. Lee.
"O, papa, the man will let her to some of the rough boys, and they will hurt her back."
Mr. Lee was pleased to see his little daughter's kindness to the poor dumb donkey; but he wished to know if Bessie would deny herself for Kate.
"Well, Bessie," said her father, "if you have any money, give it to the man when he comes for the donkey. Tell him you wish to keep Kate all day."
"I have the money you gave me for ice-cream," said Bessie. "Will that pay the man?"
It was enough, and was given to the man. Bessie kept the donkey all day. She led Kate to the greenest places in the yard, and let her eat the grass. She divided her apples with Kate, and carried her a little pail of water.
At night Bessie told her father she had been happy all day. He made her still happier by telling her she could keep Kate every day while she was in the mountains.
Bessie kissed her father and was soon fast asleep. She dreamed of riding in a little carriage drawn by six white donkeys.
PAULINE'S STRANGE PETS.
Pauline had no little brothers or sisters, and no little playmates. Her father's home was away out in the country, far away from any neighbors. Being so much alone, Pauline thought of all sorts of queer ways to amuse herself. One day she invited her papa and mamma to go down to see her "Nursery," as she called it. It was a little, square piece of ground, enclosed by a neat low fence, made of narrow slats, placed close together. All kinds of flowers were planted around it. Besides, there were some little, flat buildings all along one side.
What do you think they saw there? Toads of all sorts and sizes, from the wee baby toads to the great big grandfathers. Then such a strange array of garments!—for they were all dressed. Pauline had made for her pets all kinds of clothes. There they were, hopping around, some in bright calico dresses, and some in the funniest red flannel pants and coats you ever saw.
Day after day Pauline went to her "Nursery" to feed and play with her strange little pets. But one morning she ran down as usual, after breakfast, to find all of the toad family had disappeared. The fence that enclosed her "Nursery" was completely broken down. Not a single toad was left of the funny creatures who had lived there.
Pauline felt very sorry to lose them. She told her mamma she was sure they would all die of shame when they found other toads did not wear any clothes at all.
H. C. LARNED.
Little Fred Mason's father took him to an exhibition of wild animals.
After they had looked at the elephants, lions, tigers and bears, they went to see the monkeys. On the way, Mr. Mason bought two large oranges and gave them to Fred.
There were six cages of small animals. One of them was for the "happy family." Fred thought the creatures in it must be called the "happy family" because the dogs, cats and monkeys were all the time teasing and plaguing one another. One monkey had a rat in his lap. He tended it as a mother does her baby. The monkey was happy, but Mr. Mason did not think the rat liked it very well.
Fred put one orange in his side pocket. He could not wait until he got home to eat the other. As he walked along among the cages he seemed to care more for the fruit than for the animals. He sucked the orange with all his might till he came to a cage with three monkeys in it.
One of them looked very sober and solemn. One opened his mouth and seemed to be laughing. All of them looked at Fred and held out their hands.
They could not talk; if they could they would have said, "Go halves!"
The orange was nice and sweet; Fred did not wish to "go halves." He turned away, for he did not like to be asked for that which he was not willing to give. The monkeys put their hands out for some of the oranges, but Fred looked the other way.
Fred should have looked at the monkeys, for the one nearest to him put out his long arm and snatched the orange from his hand. Fred tried to get it again. While he was doing so, the solemn monkey reached down and took the orange from his pocket. Fred did not think how near he was to the cage.
Fred began to cry. The laughing monkey had no orange. He was afraid of the solemn monkey, but he chased the one that had stolen the orange Fred was eating all over the cage. He got it at last.
Fred's father bought two more oranges for him, and he did not go near the cages again.
"Ring—a—round—a—rosy!" Cheeks just like a posy; Eyes that twinkle with delight,— Could there be a fairer sight? Little feet that dance in glee; Voices singing merrily. Won't you stop a little while? At my question you will smile: "Rosy I have never seen,— Tell me, is she some fair queen? Have your lily hands now crowned her, While you formed a ring around her?
"Why 'draw buckets of water For my lady's daughter'? Has she spoiled her pretty dress? Ah! to wash her face, I guess! Very hard 'tis to unravel What is meant, dears, by 'green gravel.' Then, you say, 'How barley grows You, nor I, nor nobody knows;' Oats, peas, beans, too, you include: If the question be not rude, Darlings, tell why this is done." "Ha! ha!" laugh they; "it's such fun!"
WHAT WE FOUND IN OUR STOVE.
Something very strange happened at our house the other day. In our cold country we keep a stove in our sitting-room all summer. Sometimes we have to build a fire, even in July and August.
One afternoon I was surprised to hear a great scratching in the room. After looking about a little, I found it came from the stove. Scratch, scratch, scratch, as if some creature was trying hard to get out. I called my boy of eight years. For a few moments all was still, and we concluded the poor thing had got out as it had come in.
But we were mistaken; soon came that same clattering noise again. We removed the top of the stove and peeped in; nothing was to be seen in the darkness. We then made bold to open the door and poke about; but with no better result. After listening, we decided that the creature was between the lining and outside.
But how were we to get at it? Annie came in from the kitchen armed with a poker. We took out the damper and poked out all the soot and ashes. We brought to the front—what do you think? Why, a little bird, a chimney swallow, chirping and fluttering, poor thing, with fright.
One wing seemed to droop a little; so we took it up and put it in a box. If we supposed it was going to stay there we were much mistaken. Soon the bird began to recover, and with a little hop was upon the edge of the box cocking its head and looking with its big, bright eyes all about, as if on the alert for any new danger.
A tree was the best and safest place, and Hervin carried it out and set it gently down.
It rose, feebly at first, then soared away over the tops of the houses.
Wasn't that a queer place to find a birdie? You are glad it got out, for that very night we had to have a fire.
MRS. W. S. AMSDEN.
THE JOHN AND LINCOLN FLEET.
John and Lincoln have a fleet of ten boats. They made these boats themselves. They are made out of flat chips. They are whittled round at one end and pointed at the other. Each boat has a mast and a sail.
Sometimes they tie these boats together, and call them the John and Lincoln fleet; they call each other "Captain John" and "Captain Lincoln." They have a big boat called the Mary; aunt Mary gave it to them. The Mary is their flagship.
One day the fleet were all out when a storm came. The wind blew, the rain fell, and the waves were big. Six of the little boats were wrecked on a rock. But the Mary only plunged a little. It was great fun. What, a storm at sea great fun! Yes, because John and Lincoln made the storm themselves. They made the wind with the bellows; they poured the big raindrops from the watering-pot; and they made the high waves by dragging shingles through the water.
THE YACHT STARLIGHT.
The Starlight was in Gloucester harbor for three days, and Rob and Phyllis went on board with mamma one day, to lunch with Arthur and Helen and their mamma. They had never been on a yacht before. They were surprised to find it so pretty. It was finished in beautiful mahogany with a great deal of brass-work, the latter brightly shining, too, for the housekeeping on a yacht is always first-rate.
The ceiling of the cabin was of blue satin, and so were the curtains, which hung before the funny little windows, and at the doors. On each side of the cabin was a long seat covered with blue satin cushions.
These cushions lifted up, and underneath were kept books, dishes, clothes, in fact, all sorts of things. Every bit of room on a vessel is always precious, there can be so little of it, anyway. Helen showed Phyllis her sleeping room. It was a mite of a place, about half as big as the bed Phyllis slept in at home. The walls were lined with blue satin and the bed was covered with blue satin, and it was a real blue satin nest for a little girl, instead of for a bird.
Then they went on deck to watch the sailors, who were running up and down the rigging. Arthur has been on his father's yacht so much, for his father owns the Starlight, that he can run up and down the ratlines almost as fast as the sailors can. The ratlines are the rope ladders you see in the picture. There was on board a big Newfoundland dog named Gil. Arthur's aunt Lou told them a story about Gil.
THE STORY OF THE DOG ON THE YACHT STARLIGHT.
Now Gil once belonged to an officer in our Navy and he sometimes went to sea with his master.
Once when he went on a voyage a little kitten went too. She was everybody's pet and a very friendly kitty. She was afraid of Gil, though, and would never let him come near her, but would make such a loud spitting and growling at him, when he tried to play with her, that poor Gil had to go away and play by himself.
One day kitty fell overboard and Gil saw her and plunged into the sea to save her. Kitty thought it was bad enough to fall into the water, but to see Gil come jumping after her was too much, and she was ready to die with fright.
When he opened his great mouth to take her and hold her above water, she felt sure that her last moment had come, and she fought and scratched so, that Gil could not get hold of her.
The officers stood watching Gil and pussy. Poor little mistaken pussy was getting very tired and would soon sink if she did not let good old Gil save her.
Suddenly Gil dove down out of sight and then rose again just under kitty, so that she stood on his back. Puss was so glad to feel something solid under her little tired legs, that she clung to it with all her nails. Then Gil swam slowly to meet the boat which had been sent to pick him up.
THE NEW PARASOL.
I've got a brand-new parasol (Of pink silk trimmed with lace), But auntie says 'twill never keep The shine out of my face.
Why not, I wonder: if it's held Just in the proper place, Why won't it keep the sunshine out Of anybody's face?
She says thick clouds would hardly do (Much less pink silk and lace) To keep the merry sunshine out Of such a dimpled face.
But mamma says, "Go take your walk, And never mind aunt Grace." I 'spect I'll have to let the sun Keep shining in my face!
THE MAN WHO WAS SHAKEN BY A LION.
He was David Livingstone. He was a missionary, and a great traveller too.
He lived almost all his life in Africa. In some parts of Africa there are lions. Once he was staying at a certain village. Every night the lions broke into the yards and carried off a cow or two. So a party of natives went out to hunt for them.
Livingstone was with them. They saw some lions, and tried to surround them in a circle. But the lions got away.
They were coming home when Livingstone saw a great lion. He was sitting on a rock not far away. He fired at him, but did not hit him. He stopped to load his gun again.
He heard the men shout. He turned and saw the lion all ready to spring.
(A lion crouches to spring, like a cat.)
The lion sprang upon Livingstone, and seized his shoulder with his great teeth. He shook him just as a cat shakes a mouse.
Was Livingstone frightened? He was frightened when the lion seized him. But after he shook him he wasn't a bit afraid.
He said the lion shook the fear all out of him. He felt as if he was in a pleasant dream. He only wondered what the lion would do next.
He did not do anything next. He stood with his great paw on Livingstone's head till another man fired at him. Then he sprang on that man and bit him.
Then he sprang on a third man and bit him. And then—he rolled over, dead! So Livingstone escaped.
Livingstone afterwards visited England. The little English children used to ask him to tell them the story of how the lion shook him.
The lion belongs to the cat family. Does not the lion in the picture look like a big handsome cat?
THE LAUGHING JACKASS.
He always begins his queer cry about an hour before sunrise.
Then he is heard again just at noon, and again at sunset. So he has another name. He is called the "Bushman's clock."
In Australia there are great tracts of land where few white people live. These tracts of land are called "The Bush;" and the settlers on these lands are called Bushmen.
The laughing jackass is a very sociable bird. He likes to watch the Bushman at his work. He watches him as he pitches his tent, and builds his fire and cooks his supper. He is a kingfisher.
Kingfishers generally live near the water. But this great brown fisher lives in the woods. He eats crabs and insects. He relishes lizards very much, and there are plenty of lizards in Australia.
He hates snakes. A great many snakes are found in Australia, and many of them are very poisonous.
The laughing jackass is not a bit afraid of them. He kills them with his long, sharp bill.
When he is angry he raises the crest on his head.
His color is a fine chestnut brown mixed with white. His wings are slightly blue.
The mother-bird lays her eggs in a hole in a gum-tree. She does not build a nest. She lays her eggs on the rotten wood at the bottom of the hole. Her eggs are a lovely pearl white.
Here is one of the black men who live in Australia. He is listening to the cry of the laughing jackass.
THE TRICK THEY PLAYED ON JOCKO.
Jocko was homesick. Jocko was a forest creature. He was born to tread the ground, and climb trees, and eat sweet wild fruits.
Jocko liked to leap from tree to tree, and run about over miles of woodland. Now he found himself in a cage. He called and cried, but none of his little brown playmates answered.
He could see only blue waves, and the ropes and masts and sails of the ship. He was tossed up and down. His cage swung from side to side. The motion made him sick—seasick.
After many days, he saw the land again. But it was not forest land. It was brown land—city land. No moss, no vines, no dewy green grass, no flowers! All stone and brick! His cage was carried into a hotel dining-room where people came and sat down and talked in German, and ate things that Jocko knew were not good to eat—bread and pies and cheese and sauerkraut and meat. Oh, how Jocko wanted a fresh sweet cocoanut!
But by and by Jocko was not so homesick. The cook was kind to him, and gave him sweet bits to eat. The visitors took him up and petted him. The little girl who lived at the hotel made him a nice bed in the little crib she used to sleep in.
So at last Jocko had a good time, and forgot about the woods.
But one day little Gretchen played a trick on him to see what he would do. She knew he was fond of white lump sugar. So she filled a bottle with lumps of sugar. Then she gave it to Jocko.
Jocko was wild with delight when he saw the sugar. He jumped up in a chair and lifted the bottle to his mouth.
But Gretchen had put in a cork. The sugar would not pour out.
It was very funny then to see what trouble Jocko was in. He would tilt the bottle up and try to drink the sugar out of the neck. Then he would try to shake it out at the bottom. Then he would sit still and look at the lumps. Then he would try to bite through the glass. Then he would jump down and run away. Then he would come back and catch the bottle again and roll the lumps about, and chatter and scold as he heard them rattle.
This went on for several days. Everybody came in to see little Gretchen's monkey and his sugar bottle.
But one day the cook let a jar of olives fall. It broke, and the olives rolled out on the floor. Jocko gave a little scream of joy. Like a flash, up he sprang to a high cupboard with his sugar bottle, and gave it a mighty fling. Down it came—crash!
Out the lumps rolled over the floor. Down sprang Jocko. He shouted with delight. He had a sweet feast.
Oh, how he munched and crunched and chattered! And now, what do you think happened?
He would seize every bottle and can and pitcher that was left within reach. Up he would run to the top of some high cupboard or shelf and dash it to the floor! Such mischief as he made!
Little Gretchen had to give him away at last because he broke everything he could lay his roguish paws upon.
SOME OTHER THINGS BOBBY SAW AT SEA.
He saw the stormy petrels. They flew about the ship almost every day. They liked to eat the scraps the cook threw overboard.
The petrels are sooty black. Their feet are partly webbed.
They sit and float upon the water. They run about over the water. In stormy weather they fly through the dashing foam.
Bobby's mamma told him many things about the stormy petrel. She told him how the stormy petrel flies far, far away from land. His home is on the sea. He can fly all day long and not be tired.
The stormy petrel hardly ever goes on land except to lay her eggs. Her nest is in a hole in some high cliff by the sea. She hatches one little bird. It looks like a ball of fluff. The nest smells very oily.
The stormy petrel is very oily, like all sea birds. He is so full of oil that the people of the Faroe Islands sometimes use him for a lamp. They take a dead petrel and run a wick through him. Then they set him on end and light the wick and he gives a very good light indeed!
The sailors call the stormy petrel "Mother Carey's chickens."
The name of Bobby's ship was The Jefferson. Once when the Jefferson was in an English port, Bobby saw something very pretty. It was a bird's nest. It was built in the rigging of a ship.
This ship had been lying in port a good while. The nest was built in a block where some of the cordage runs. It was built by a pair of chaffinches.
Now the chaffinch is not a sea bird; it is a land bird. It builds its nest in trees and hedges. It builds a cosey little nest out of moss and wool and hair. It is deep and round like a cup.
But this pretty pair of chaffinches found a new place in which to build their nest. It was even more airy than the top of a tree. See it in the picture! Day by day Bobby watched them as they flew busily to and fro. Many other people watched them too.
The chaffinch is a cheerful little bird. In the countries where he lives, he is heard merrily whistling in the spring time. There he sits singing to his mate who is keeping her eggs warm. Happy little fellow!
Little boys and girls believe that all mosquitoes sting and bite.
But they do not. The male mosquito never does. He wears a plume on his head, and does nothing but dance in the sunshine.
It is the female mosquito that sings around our heads at night and keeps us awake. It is she who bites us. Look at her head. This is the way it looks under a microscope. Do you wonder that her bite hurts?
She lays her eggs in a very queer way. First she finds a puddle or a pool of warmish water. Then she fastens herself to some stick, or sliver, or stem, or floating leaf, by her first two rows of legs. Then she lays about three hundred tiny eggs.
The eggs cling together in the shape of a boat or canoe, and float upon the water. In about three days they hatch. Then the warm water is full of "wigglers."
By and by these wigglers have wings. The outside skin bursts open. They lift their heads and shoulders out of the water. Then off they fly—a whole swarm of singing, stinging mosquitoes.
We are all glad when the cold weather comes and the mosquito goes.
I suppose you think if you lived in a cold country, you would not be troubled by mosquitoes.
But in Lapland, a very cold country, the mosquitoes come in crowds and clouds. Sometimes they are so thick they hide people in the road like a fog. What do you think of that?
THE LAUGHING GIRL.
The bobolink laughs in the meadow; The wild waves laugh on the sea; They sparkle and glance, they dimple and dance, And are merry as waves can be.
The green leaves laugh on the trees; The fields laugh out with their flowers; In the sunbeam's glance, they glow and they dance. And laugh to their falling showers.
The man laughs up in the moon; The stars too laugh in the sky; They sparkle and glance, they twinkle and dance. Then why, then, pray, shouldn't I?
Oh, I laugh at morn and at night, I laugh through the livelong day. I laugh and I prance, I skip and I dance. So happy am I and so gay.
There were seven ducklings. The very first thing they did was to go and tumble into a bucket of water.
"Cluck-cluck-cluck! quaw-aw-awk! cr-r-r!" said the hen-mother. She was so frightened she made just such a noise as she does when she sees a hawk.
She thought they would all drown. But they didn't. They swam and dove and shook the water from their little wings.
One day when they were about a quarter grown, Annie found Fluffy-dumpty lying on the ground; she was quacking faintly. Her leg was broken! Annie ran to papa.
"O papa! mend her leg just as you did my arm!" she said.
Papa is a doctor; and when Annie was a very little girl she broke her arm and papa mended it. So he did up Fluffy-dumpty's leg with a splinter, and then wound a bandage round it. Annie took care of her. Mary used to help Annie feed her with a spoon.
Fluffy-dumpty got well very fast. But when she was about three quarters grown, she met with another accident. She fell down a steep cellar way.
"Quack-quack! Take me out! Oh, take me out!" cried poor Fluffy-dumpty. The other six ducks crowded around and looked down at her.
"We can't! we can't!" they cried. "We haven't got any hands. Call a boy, do!" So Annie called Sam, who took her out.
How thankful Fluffy-dumpty was! She smoothed down her ruffled feathers and said, "Quack-quack," softly. The other ducks all talked at once.
"What a narrow 'scape you had, Fluffy-dumpty!" said one duck.
"How did you happen to fall into that horrid place?" asked another.
"What a fine boy Sam is!" said a third duck.
"He's almost too good for a boy," said a fourth.
But it all sounded as if they only said "quack-quack!"
Every day of their lives these ducks got into the garden, and ate the lettuce and strawberries and cabbage. So the gardener put a board over the hole under the gate.
"Never mind," said big Broad-bill, "we know more ways than one." Then the seven started off in a line, and marched round the garden till they came to another hole, and in they went. The gardener was very angry.
VICK IN TROUBLE.
Bertie had gone off and left Vick. He was so eager to see the soldiers parade that he forgot all about him. This had never happened before.
When Uncle Ned gave Vick to Bertie mamma said: "Now, Bertie, you must take the care of Vick. If a boy has a dog he must learn to care for him. You must see that Vick is fed. You must bathe and comb him every day; and you must give him plenty of exercise."
But as I said, Bertie had forgotten Vick that day. Vick did not know what to make of it. His heart was almost broken.
"This is too bad!" he howled. "Here am I shut up with two saucepans and a dummy. No water to drink—no bone to gnaw—no little master to play with—wow-ow-ow-ow!"
What a dismal howl it was! Mamma heard him; she was in the kitchen making sponge cake. She could not leave it for a moment. But as soon as it was baked she let Vick out.
There was Bertie just coming round the corner! He looked quite ashamed. Yes, he had thought of Vick at last. He had come home for him.
Did Vick forgive him? Doggies always forgive. They have loving and generous hearts. He scrambled all over Bertie and licked his hands and his face and off they went to see the soldiers—a very happy pair.
Do you think Bertie ever forgot Vick again?
Do you ever forget to care for your pets?
IN GRANDMA'S ATTIC.
Every summer grandma Cushing has two visitors. Their names are Blanche Cushing and Dorothy Cushing.
Blanche lives in Iowa. She has blue eyes and yellow hair and is seven years old. Dorothy lives in New York City. She has brown eyes and brown hair and is eight years old.
They love dearly to play in grandma's attic. There are queer old bonnets and gowns and cocked hats hanging on the walls.
There are trunks full of caps and spectacles and old snuffers and no end of queer things.
I cannot begin to tell you everything the cousins play. But there is one thing they like to play ever so much.
They like to dress up in the queer old clothes and play Cinderella, and Mother Hubbard, and Red Riding Hood.
When Blanche gets on her great-great-grandma Cushing's cap and spectacles and long mits, she makes a very charming little Mother Hubbard.
They sit in the big old chairs and tell stories. Dorothy likes to hear about the wolves. There are wolves where Blanche lives.
"Yes, one day when I was a very, very little girl," said Blanche, "a horrid big wolf came up to the window and looked in. I was sitting in mamma's lap, and he put his paws on the window and just looked at us horrid!
"And then another time, mamma, you know, was going out to meet papa, and she saw a big wolf on the ground, and she thought it was dead, and she was going right up, and it wasn't dead a bit. It just got up and runned off to the woods, and mamma was awful scared and runned away too."
When Blanche tells the wolf stories they play "scared." It is fun to play "scared." They shriek and run and hide.
One rainy day they had been playing Mother Hubbard.
"Now," said Blanche, "I will tell a b-eautiful wolf story. It will make us awful scared. See if it doesn't!"
So she climbed up into a big chair and began. But right in the middle of the story they heard something go scratch, scratch, very loudly.
"Oh, what is that, Dotty?" whispered Blanche, clutching Dorothy's arm.
Scratch, scratch, it went again, and then there was a great rattling.
"Oh, it's a wolf!" cried Dotty; and down the attic stairs they flew pell-mell; through the kitchen chamber and the great unfinished chamber, and down the back stairs; through the kitchen and the dining-room, and burst into grandma's room all out of breath.
"What is the matter, children?" asked grandma.
"Oh, there's a wolf in the attic," they both cried out.
"Nonsense! we don't have wolves in Massachusetts," said grandma.
"Well," said Dorothy, "something scratched dreadfully."
So grandma went up to the attic to see about it. "Where was the noise?" she asked.
They pointed to the dark place behind the big chimneys. Grandma went up and opened a door and out walked—a wolf! no; Towser, the old cat! Blanche and Dorothy sometimes have another visitor in the attic. It is a big rat. He lives in the barn. He has a road underground to the house cellar. Then he comes up to the attic through the wall.
The cousins never know when to expect him. He comes in without knocking. The first thing they know there he is looking at them with bright eyes.
They have named him Bright-eyes. They feed him with cake and cheese. He is very tame. Grandma says she never heard of such a thing as feeding a rat. She says Bright-eyes eats her hens' eggs. He steals them out of the nests.
LITTLE GIRL GRACIE.
So sleepy and demure is my wee Gracie, So long and sober grows the little facie, So silent are the red, red lips so sweet, So quiet are the little hands and feet, I know, yes, well I know My Gracie wants to go Into the soft, white nest where every night My birdie folds her wings till morning light.
And now beside my knee the pretty lisper Her evening prayer with folded hands must whisper, While baby sister sleeps on mother's breast, Lulled with our voices low to dreamy rest. Then in her nightie white, My restless sunbeam bright Is hidden from her shoulders to her feet, And tucked away in slumber soft and sweet.
A merry, white-robed figure at my side, A laughing face, with blue eyes opened wide. Red lips that kiss me in the early dawn And tell me fast enough that night is gone. Ripe and ready for play, In the early morning gray, Restless again are the small hands and feet, Silent no longer, little lips so sweet.
Where is the sunbeam like my Gracie's eyes? Blue as the blue of summer's bluest skies! What sweeter wakening could be mine than this The soft "Good morning!" of my daughter's kiss? And thus each hour of day Girl Gracie claims for play Till comes the "Sand-man" with the twilight hour And play has vanished 'neath his mystic power.
A MAGPIE AND HER NEST.
The magpie is a very handsome bird. He knows he is handsome, too. He has a fine broad tail. There is a band of purple near the end of each feather, and the end is green and purple.
He walks about with this handsome tail perked in the air. He does not drag it in the dirt, not he!
He is a bright bird, too. He can learn to talk, and he is full of pretty and naughty tricks. He is a—thief! He steals eggs from other birds' nests. He strikes his bill through the egg and walks off with it. And he does a worse thing than that. He steals the young birds and eats them.
But the Magpie is very careful to build her nest so nobody shall steal her eggs. In the first place she always builds on a high tree. She chooses a tree that has a long smooth trunk, that the boys cannot climb easily. How do you suppose she knows about mischievous boys? She must make a study of boys.
She builds her nest of dry sticks and mud. She carpets it with wool and fine roots. (Birds can always find plenty of wool sticking on the bushes in sheep pastures. There is vegetable wool too, like the wool on the growing ferns.) Then she makes a roof of sticks; she leaves open a small round door at the side. So you see it is not easy for boys or birds to steal her eggs.
Magpies like bright glittering things like silver spoons and rings. They often steal them and hide them in their nests.
This Magpie is a European bird. There is a beautiful red Magpie that lives in China.
AT THE BEACH.
The Park children went to the beach last summer. It was a small beach; not at all like Nantasket Beach.
There were not many folks there. There was a young woman—a very queer young woman indeed, Sam thought. She used to go out on the beach and sit in a camp chair and read!
"Pshaw! who wants to read with a whole ocean to look at?" said Sam.
Such cunning little slippers as she wore! and her ruffles and hat! Oh, my! She used to draw pictures sometimes, but Sam didn't know that.
"Halloo! there she is again!" shouted Sam one day. She was drawing a picture of them that moment, but they did not know it. They were all sliding down the sand cliff.
They had taken off their shoes and stockings, and were going in bathing.
"Whoo-oop! hurrah! here we come! clear the track!" What a noise they did make, to be sure!
But it did not disturb anybody. Nobody heard it but the young woman and some cows in the pasture near by.
How warm and soft the sand was! It was as good as coasting in winter. It was better!
Down they went into the water like so many ducks. They can all dive and swim almost as well as ducks. Papa and mamma were off shore, taking a sail together. They saw the slide down hill, and the plunge into the water. They saw the brown and yellow heads bobbing about.
"Do look at them!" said mamma. "Perfect little Arabs!"
"Do 'em good," said papa. "Little Molly never had such rosy cheeks in all her life."
"But think of their clothes!" said mamma.
FARMER GRAY AND HIS APPLES.
Farmer Gray had a load of apples to sell one day. But nobody wanted them. People offered him such a small sum of money for them, he said he would rather give them away.
So he started for home with his load of apples. He drove down Summer street, past the schoolhouse. The boys were having their recess.
Now Farmer Gray loved children. So when he saw these boys he thought, "Here's just the market for my apples."
He stopped his horse and called out, "Do any of you boys know what to do with apples?"
Then there was a shout! "O yes, sir, we guess we do!" said all the boys.
"Come on, then!" said Farmer Gray.
The boys crowded around the wagon, and the farmer tossed the apples to them.
"It is well for you, boys, that I found no market for my apples this morning," he said.
"That's so!" said the boys. Then they thanked him heartily.
Charlie Read said, "You are the funniest man I ever saw to stop and give us the apples."
"You would like to see another just like me to-morrow, wouldn't you?" said Farmer Gray.
"Yes, I would," said Charley, "and I should like to live with you too."
Just then the school bell rang. The boys all shouted, "Good-by! good-by!" as Farmer Gray drove off.
"I'm glad enough I didn't sell those apples this morning," thought Farmer Gray.
Ah Kee is the funniest little fellow alive.
He can stand as straight as any boy I ever saw.
But the straighter he stands, the more you laugh.
He thinks he is very tall. He is about three feet tall.
He thinks he is a little gentleman, because he can drink out of a coffee-cup and not spill a drop.
But Ah Kee oftener behaves like a rogue than like a gentleman.
There is always a look of mischief in his bright black eyes.
His mistress never allows him to go into the parlor by himself.
She knows he would sit on the brackets with the little statues.
She knows he would like to swing to and fro on the curtain tassels.
She knows he would like to jerk the bell-pull, and bring Rose up from the kitchen.
She knows he would like to take the Sevres vases and walk up and down the room with them in his arms.
No, Ah Kee, with his roguish tastes, is not to be trusted in the parlor by himself.
But he sometimes comes in when she is there. Sometimes when she is reading she hears a soft sound like this, "lsp-s-s-s!"
She jumps up, looks all around. Under the table, or in a corner she sees a soft, round, feathery ball of fur—and one little paw raised, all claws and motion.
Ah, that is Ah Kee, and Ah Kee means mischief. Perhaps he will spring into his mistress' lap. Perhaps he will leap up on the piano. You cannot be sure what he will decide to do.
Yes, Ah Kee is a monkey, a gay little spider monkey, with a long tail that he likes to carry over his head in the shape of the letter S.
Ah Kee's mistress has made up her mind to do one thing. She will buy Ah Kee a silver collar with a ring. She will buy Ah Kee a broad blue ribbon.
Then, when she wants a quiet hour, she will slip the blue ribbon through the collar ring, and tie Ah Kee to the door knob.
Dick and Gray, My bird and cat, Good friends are they: Just think of that! Dick pecks Gray's paw; Gray winks and blinks. "I'll not harm Dick," Is what he thinks. So on the wall, This sunny weather, Chirping, purring, They play together.
THE RETURN OF THE BIRDS.
Down in the South Land, one morning in March, there was a great stir among the birds. "Spring has come in the far North," they said. "Jack Frost is going, the ice is melting, and now we'll go home-home!"
Bluebirds, and robins, and bobolinks, how glad they were! They got up very early that morning, even for birds. They bathed in a tiny pond, and preened their feathers. They ate their breakfast and then they started, straight through the air, for the North.
Do you wonder how they knew the way? How does a bird know which way is north and which way is south? There is a "Careful Gardener" who tells the flowers when to bloom, and he tells the birds which way to fly.
They flew that day on and on; over the green fields bright with flowers; over the trees covered with green leaves. By and by, they came where the grass was not yet green; where there was snow in the hollows; where there was ice in the brooks. But they didn't mind the cold, for they wore their very thickest feather coats.
That night they nestled down together, and slept in a big pine-tree. They found some dried berries on the bushes, for breakfast and supper. It was very dark in the morning; it rained. But they did not mind that; they liked it. They knew the rain would melt the snow, and make the grass and flowers grow.
"But we must put on our waterproofs," they said.
Do birds wear waterproofs? Oh, yes! But they do not carry them in trunks. When a bird wants to take a journey, he just flies off. He does not have to pack a trunk. He has a tiny bag of oil under the tip of his wings. This is his waterproof.
With his bill he takes out the oil and spreads it over his feathers.
The raindrops cannot go through this oil waterproof, but they roll quickly off to the ground. After they had all put on their waterproofs, they flew on and on again, through the rain.