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Title: World Stories Retold for Modern Boys and Girls

Author: William James Sly

Release date: October 21, 2017 [eBook #55786]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by MFR, David E. Brown, for Emmy and the Online
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With Practical Suggestions for Telling

Director of Sunday-School and Young People’s Work, and Teacher
of Sunday-School Pedagogy in Colorado Woman’s College


Copyright 1914 by
A. J. ROWLAND, Secretary

Published December, 1914






This book is intended chiefly for the home. It is an aid to parents in introducing their children to some of the best stories in the world. It will be of obvious value also to Sunday-school teachers, ministers who preach to children, public-school teachers, kindergartners, librarians, and to all who perceive that the story method is the golden method of teaching.

“Where can I find suitable stories to tell?” is a frequent question asked by lovers of children who take seriously their cry of soul-hunger, “Tell me a story!” Oral story-telling within recent years has had a remarkable revival, and a response to both the child’s and the parent’s plea has been made in a number of charming collections of children’s stories and manuals on the art of story-telling. But it is well known that books of stories with material in a form readily adapted for telling are very few. Fewer still have attempted to gather into one volume those old favorites which should be the heritage of each succeeding generation of children. True, there are collections in many volumes, such as “The Children’s Hour,” in ten volumes; the “Junior Classics,” in ten volumes; and the series, “What Every Child Should Know,” in twenty volumes; but these, admirable in many respects, are bulky, expensive, and forbidden to all except the favored children of the rich. Mothers frequently ask for something condensed, comprehensive, and simple. It is to meet such a need, often expressed to him, that the author has gathered, during a number of years of experience in moral and religious education, these World Stories for telling to modern boys and girls.

Almost all of the many stories in this book he has himself told at various times before differing audiences of children, young people, and adults—audiences varying from one or two open-eyed listeners in the home, or the little group in the country Sunday-school or wayside schoolhouse, to the large classes and assemblies in high schools, colleges, city libraries, Sunday-schools, churches, and conventions. In many cases children and young people have retold these stories in almost the exact language here given.

The principle on which these stories have been adapted and rewritten is largely that of condensation. There is undoubtedly a certain cultural atmosphere created in the very language and spirit of these fine old tales, but the descriptive adornments often lead to a length that is unattractive to the busy mother or teacher, as well as trying to the strength of mind and memory of the child. Given the real facts, illustrating the moral principle desired to be imparted, the story-teller may elaborate as much as imagination, interest, and time permit. After such an early introduction in childhood to these stories that for unnumbered generations have furnished food to mind, memory, heart, and will, the boy and girl will experience a keener joy in after years when the fuller versions are read in the original or in larger books.

In the preparation of these pages, the author has been favored with the generous counsel, aid, and encouragement of specialists in child psychology, pedagogy, and story-telling, among whom mention must be made especially of Dr. Richard Morse Hodge, of Columbia University, one of whose articles printed in “Religious Education” suggested this work; Dr. Henry F. Cope, Secretary of the Religious Education Association; John L. Alexander, Secondary Division Superintendent of the International Sunday School Association; and my friend, Dr. Irving E. Miller, of Rochester University, and author of “The Psychology of Thinking.” To these, as well as to a host of teachers and principals of public schools, pastors and superintendents in churches, and mothers and fathers in homes, who so graciously permitted experimentation with these stories, gratitude is sincerely expressed.

William J. Sly.

University Park, Denver, Colo.


I.Value of Stories3
II.The Periods of Interest in Stories16
III.Types of Stories To Tell23
IV.Practical Suggestions for Story-telling36
V.Games With Stories41
VI.Use of the Ethical Index44
I.Fairy and Wonder Tales47
V.Christmas Stories108
VI.Bible Stories From the Old Testament115
VII.Bible Stories From the New Testament150
VIII.General Historical Stories182
IX.American Historical Stories200
X.Heroes of Peace233
XI.Modern Boys and Girls Who Became Useful246


Glad comradeship with the gladness of a childFrontispiece
Good morning, little girl, where are you going?54
Those who play and dance all summer must expect to dance hungry to bed in winter71
Offero ... began to cross the flood109
Entreat me not to leave thee133
When Jesus was a boy153
Stone marking the line of the Minute Men at Lexington215
Grace, pulling at one oar, and her father at the other237
Helen Keller286

[Pg 1]

Part I

The Art of Story-Telling

[Pg 2]

[Pg 3]


Stories are the language of childhood. They are mirrors of nature in which the child beholds his natural face “as in a glass.” They appeal to every instinct of child nature. They feed every interest of the soul. They strike a responsive chord in every awakening faculty of the unfolding life. Boys and girls love stories as they love no other form of address. Stories afford amusement and entertainment as play does, for they are the mind’s play, as well as its natural soul-food.

Story-telling is as old as human speech. It was enjoyed by the primitive children of all races and lands, as it is enjoyed by the boys and girls of to-day. There is no better way to convey our ideas, to widen knowledge, experience, and sympathy, or to impress moral truth. Stories with plenty of life and action in them leave nothing to explain. Conduct pictured in them needs no application or obtrusive moral. Good stories, well adapted and well told, not only furnish amusement and hold attention as no other form of speech does, but possess positive value in many other directions. They feed, exercise, and cultivate the imagination; appeal to the emotions; arouse the will; strengthen the power of concentration; develop the sense of beauty; stimulate the idealizing instinct; help to shape thought and language; widen the child’s sympathies and fellowships; broaden his world interests; prepare for future understanding of literary classics, especially poetry; implant ideas of right and wrong; and,[Pg 4] in short, make the most lasting impressions of an ethical, esthetic, educational, and cultural nature.

The story method is the golden method of instruction. No method of teaching is so popular or powerful. The story-teller was the first teacher of primitive children in Egypt, Assyria, India, China, and Japan. The stories of the wandering bards, like Homer, in ancient Greece, were the first education of the Greeks. Stories of national heroes, such as we find in Plutarch’s Lives, delighted the Roman boy just as the stories of Joseph and Samuel and David and Daniel charmed and thrilled to patriotism the Jewish boy. During the Middle Ages the monks, troubadours, skalds, jongleurs, wandering bards, and minstrels never lacked an audience when they told or sang their tales of mystery, heroism, or love. Story-telling has been a valuable instrument for philosophers, poets, prophets, statesmen, and great leaders of men in all ages. It was the method of Jesus, the greatest of all teachers. “Without a parable spake he not unto them.” Plato regarded stories for children as so important that he would have none told that had not been approved by the public censor. Froebel, the father of the kindergarten, said: “Story-telling refreshes the mind as a bath refreshes the body; it gives exercise to the intellect and its powers, and tests the judgment and the feelings.” Charles Lamb, Sir Walter Scott, Robert Burns, Coleridge, Longfellow, Dickens, Emerson, Lowell, Milton, Hawthorne, Stanley, Hugh Miller, Ruskin, and Wagner tell of the influence of stories, and especially fairy stories, upon them before the age of sixteen, and many before they were twelve. When Henry Ward Beecher arose in Manchester, England, to make an address, during the Civil War, pleading the cause of the Union before a bitterly hostile assembly, he looked out upon a howling mob. He smiled, he waved his hand, he waited in vain.[Pg 5] At last he shouted, “Let me tell you a story!” and at once the tumult ceased. He told them a short, pithy story in half a dozen sentences, won their attention, and proceeded with his great plea for human rights. It has been said that Beecher, by this speech, stemmed the tide of popular feeling against the Union and so prevented recognition of the Confederacy by the British Government.

All the world loves a good story. But give the story a place in the heart and mind of childhood early enough, and you have laid the foundation-stone for an enduring character. And beyond all this, as Dr. G. Stanley Hall says, “To hear stories from the great story-books of the world is one of the inalienable rights of childhood.”


Elementary teachers, junior librarians, and competent Sunday-school teachers are now fully expected to meet the story-hunger of childhood by good stories. But educated mothers also are coming to realize that these workers for their children cannot be expected to do all the story-telling. Parents, and especially mothers, should talk with their children about the stories they have heard, and supplement these with the cultural classics, such world stories as are found in this collection, or with those from other sources.

“The mother’s heart is the child’s best schoolroom.” The home is the first and holiest school. The home is the institution which is more important and fundamental than all others. Teachers, ministers, and other educators can cooperate with, but can never be substitutes for, educated, cultured parents, who, by the great law of family life, necessarily exert the most direct influence upon the life of the child, and especially during its formative[Pg 6] and most impressionable years. An educator of wide reputation says: “If, at the end of the sixth year, the child has not acquired self-control and a fair ability to be an agreeable member of society, it is the fault of the home. A failure to arrive at such a happy state of affairs may be due to economic or social conditions back of the home, but normally this responsibility for the care and training of children lies with the parents.”

Because so few mothers feel competent to cooperate in this creative art of story-telling, such a course should manifestly become an integral part of the education of every young woman of culture. This is, in part, being provided, and soon must universally find a place in the curricula of high schools, normal colleges, State universities, and denominational institutions of learning. Many who are now mothers have had no such training. All the greater reason, therefore, that the mother who would be competent should avail herself of such books as “Stories and Story-Telling,” by E. P. St. John; “How to Tell Stories to Children,” by Sara Cone Bryant; “Stories and Story-Telling,” by Angela M. Keyes; “The Children’s Reading,” by Frances J. Olcott; “Some Great Stories and How to Tell Them,” by Richard T. Wyche; or “The Moral Instruction of Children,” by Felix Adler. Any one of these books, or the present volume alone, will assist any mother to improve her opportunity of telling stories to her own children or to develop her own natural gift into a conscious art, so that ability may fit opportunity more perfectly.

It is well for the mother to have a definite plan for children’s story-telling. Some mothers I know have set aside half an hour in the morning after breakfast, when the husband has gone to the office and her older children have gone to school, as the best time for what they call “the morning stories of the Bible” (early chapters[Pg 7] of Genesis) for those who are in the early morn of life. Less fortunate mothers have set aside Sunday afternoons. Others set aside a half-hour after supper on two or three evenings each week, or even one evening, if that is all that can be spared. Still others devote, faithfully, one-half hour to their children’s story-telling before the children go to bed, or even after they are in bed, and the children love that half-hour as “the best of all the day.”


The instinct of story-telling is, undoubtedly, more natural with the mother, the children more necessarily turning to her with their cry for soul-food, “Tell me a story!” But many a father would greatly enrich his own life and his boy’s childhood memory by less absorption in the evening paper, the monthly magazine, or the club in order to attend to this soul-hunger of his boy’s mind. Longfellow, the great lover of children, had the father as the story-teller in mind, when he pictured “The Children’s Hour”:

Between the dark and the daylight,
When the night is beginning to lower,
Comes a pause in the day’s occupation,
That is known as the Children’s Hour.

Do you think, O blue-eyed banditti,
Because you have scaled the wall,
Such an old mustache as I am
Is not a match for you all!
I hold you fast in my fortress,
And will not let you depart,
But put you down into the dungeon
In the round-tower of my heart.
And there will I keep you forever,[Pg 8]
Yes, forever and a day,
Till the walls shall crumble to ruin,
And moulder in dust away!

Not all fathers are so occupied with business cares that they may not, if they would, attract their children and strengthen and ennoble their life by stories. Not a few fathers I have known have left this priceless heritage and memory to grateful children.

When should parents begin to tell stories to their children? As early as possible. When should they cease? At no point. Walter T. Field, in “Finger Posts for Children’s Reading,” tells of a father who read a course in history with his sons when they were grown into young manhood. Not the least reason for the father, as well as the mother, being the story-teller to their own children, is the comradeship of it. A well-loved writer once said that in his long experience he had never seen any family of boys go wrong where their father was their “chum,” if the father was himself the man he ought to be. The father’s comradeship with his boy or girl begins very early in the child-life, and the earlier it begins, the deeper and stronger will the roots go down into the soul. Story-telling during the golden years of childhood in the home, or as the father walks abroad into the country with his boy, will weld bonds of friendship between father and son that no after years can sunder.

Many homes cannot afford a large library of many books, but no home is so poor that parents in joyous partnership may not gather the children together on a winter’s evening or summer’s day, and tell them some of the great stories of the world. To do so is to reenter in joyous comradeship into the child’s enjoyment, which is the highest prerogative of a parent. It is in this sense “to become again as a little child.” And besides all, it[Pg 9] is to be rewarded by discovering, as nearly as can be on this side of heaven, the fount of perennial youth.


Only recently has the value of teaching by stories been taken seriously in the Sunday-school. It is likely Robert Raikes, the founder of the modern Sunday-school movement, never thought of telling stories to “the terrible bad boys,” the waifs from the alleys of Gloucester, whom in 1780 he gathered into his first Sunday-school in that city. Nor did the four teachers whom he hired at one shilling each week seem to dream of the children’s thirst for stories. They were perfectly content to teach these “young savages” to repeat simple prayers, the Church of England catechism, Bible questions and answers, and to sing Doctor Watts’ hymns; and occasionally Robert Raikes gave them a crack on the head with his walking-stick in order to impress some knotty point of instruction. But the recent study of child-nature, and the influence of modern psychology and pedagogy on the church, have clearly marked out a better way. In the religious training of children, no less than in their general education, story-telling is seen to be the easiest, simplest, and most effective means of impressing upon a new generation the lessons that have been learned by those who have gone before.

Dr. H. E. Tralle, in “Teacher-Training Essentials,” says: “All in all, the story method is probably the most valuable of all methods of teaching in the Sunday-school.”

“Of all the things that a teacher should know how to do,” says President G. Stanley Hall, “the most important, without exception, is to be able to tell a good story.”

[Pg 10]Every Sunday-school teacher who would be successful in teaching modern boys and girls must give attention to this golden method of instruction, and should, as early as possible, learn this “the easiest of all the creative arts,” the delightful art of story-telling.

But oral story-telling has value in the Sunday-school outside the class instruction. The story form is the best expression of children’s worship, and should be employed in what is called “the opening and closing exercises.” A short story is soon told, but its influence abides long after “the address” is forgotten. Let the story-tellers and their stories be selected with care, and many a dull opening or closing exercise will be enlivened and enriched. Bible stories, Christmas and Thanksgiving stories, missionary stories, altruistic stories, stories of hymns, stories of noble acts of children recorded in our daily papers, all are serviceable. Many of the stories in this volume have been told again and again in the opening and closing exercises of Sunday-schools with good results.

Dr. Richard Morse Hodge well says: “If you do not tell stories at the services of a Sunday-school, please reflect that some one else may be telling stories to the same children at some other time and place; may be doing more to promote their worship of God than what you may be doing for them by a less intelligent method of conducting the Sunday-school services.”


“Stories are better than sermonettes. A five-minute story, well told, from the pulpit often outweighs an hour’s discourse. Children under twelve rarely learn through abstract terms. Such explanations bore them, since they are first incomprehensible, and after a story[Pg 11] are superfluous. Stories are better than object-lessons, since stories appeal both to the intellect and the emotions. Suppose a minister holds in his hands a watch and observes that if it goes wrong it has to be remedied from the inside, so also if a child goes wrong he has to be altered in the heart. This is clear so far as it goes, but it does not instruct a child how to adjust his heart any more than it teaches him how to be a watch-repairer. But suppose the minister tells a story of how ‘once upon a time’ a boy failed to be obedient until he fell in love with his mother. He then deals with the problem practically, directly, and naturally. The boy is full of interest, and the minister is religiously educating and inspiring. Story illustration is essentially the art of explaining the unknown by the familiar, an untried experience by an experience already gained, as Jesus used agricultural parables for peasants and fishing experiences to unenlightened fishermen.”

A number of ministers I know are telling five-minute stories from their pulpits each Sunday morning to the delight of both young and old; at the same time enriching their service of worship and solving, as far as it can be solved under present conditions, the vexed problem of how to get children to remain to the preaching service of the church. Others are successful in weaving into their shortened discourses choice stories which hold attention and illume and enforce the truth presented.


Froebel is the father of the kindergarten and the great modern inspirer of short story-telling for the young. His method was to create an atmosphere in which the child-nature could best bud and blossom in its unfolding life. For this reason he believed to have the children sit[Pg 12] in a circle is far more conducive to good results in story-telling than the plan of the school with its bench and book. As disciples of Froebel kindergarteners have been pioneers in story-telling, leaders and inspirers of others and, until recently, as a class did more story-telling than any other educators. The kindergarten age is from three to six years normally, but with immature children may continue a year or two longer. In this period the child is in a transition from nursery rhymes and Mother Goose jingles to fairy tales, folk-lore, and nature stories. If the mother is the teacher in the kindergarten of her own home, as must be the case most generally, let her be sure to give her children, in addition to Mother Goose jingles, the Fairy and Folk Tales in Chapters I and III, such as “The Runaway Pancake,” “Red Ridinghood,” and many of the Fables in Chapter II. In the kindergarten proper let the teacher add to these world stories for this period such others as these may suggest. And if she has a creative imagination let her invent new stories from familiar objects, and let the children have an opportunity to vote which stories they like best—the “made-up” ones or these old classics.


No longer are school-teachers content to have kindergarteners hold a monopoly of story-telling. Richard T. Wyche, in his excellent work, “Some Great Stories and How to Tell Them,” says: “In the grades the child is occupied largely with reading and writing, the mastering of form, the book, and the desk—things that for the moment deaden rather than inspire, but are means to things of primary interest to him. So much time is necessarily put on form and learning to read the story that the pleasure and inspiration of the story itself is given a secondary[Pg 13] place.” While this is recognized, the oral story, well told, is finding an ever-widening acceptance in the grades as the most popular and successful method in education. Good story-telling is being utilized in many subjects of the curriculum, for many purposes and in many departments, within and without the classes, because its artistic and educational possibilities are so great.

Richard T. Wyche gives his experience as a teacher in a little school in the South. The teacher who preceded him “heard lessons”—and the children “said lessons”—an easy way, he says, “for the questions were in the book, and the children could memorize and say the answers without interest or profit. They were bored by this mechanical process as was the teacher.” One day he told the class the story of “Hiawatha’s Fishing,” and every child listened with rapt attention, full of interest. Many of the children wrote out the story for their lessons the next day. One little fellow who did not write it told it in such a vivid and realistic way that the class applauded. Two stories a week followed until the whole story of Hiawatha was told. All the children were interested, and within two months, grammar, language, composition, spelling, drawing, had all been taught by the story-telling method.

The story is now seen to be so important a method in education that we may expect to see this art become a part of the equipment of all teachers, and the story literature of the world become more and more accessible and adaptable to the unfolding life of childhood and youth in our public schools.


It is a poor public library to-day where there is no provision for a story-teller and a “story-hour,” as a[Pg 14] means of introducing boys and girls to the best books. Books on the shelves are of no value. They are for reading, but they are not likely to be read unless they are known. A story, well told, from a book, will often prove the most successful way of leading the children to desire to read the book. A friend of mine, a teacher in the high school in a small town in Colorado, has influenced the whole community for good by introducing a “children’s story-hour” one afternoon a week into a library which, before her effort, was scarcely patronized at all, and which now is the center of interest and “the liveliest place in town.”

Of course the primary use of the story-hour in the library is different from that in other places. In the public school the purpose of the story is to teach language, literature, geography, history, and such subjects; in the Sunday-school, church services, and the home, the spiritual and ethical aim of the story is necessarily prominent. In the public library, the story is told for the purpose of bringing the best books to the attention of the public that they may thereby be benefited.

As each of these agencies in the educative process of the child life differs in its task, so it follows that there must be in each institution a different use of the story. But as elsewhere, so in the library there are many “by-products” of oral story-telling. Miss Frances J. Olcott, of the Carnegie Library, Pittsburgh, Pa., the prime mover and leader in this popular work, calls attention to the by-products of the story-hour. She says: “Besides guiding his reading, a carefully prepared, well-told story enriches a child’s imagination, stocks his mind with poetic images and literary allusions, develops his power of concentration, helps the unfolding of his ideas of right and wrong, and develops his sympathetic feelings, all of which ‘by-products’ have a powerful influence on character. Thus[Pg 15] the library hour becomes, if properly utilized, an educational force as well as a literary guide.”


Children in settlement districts in our large cities are not different from other children in their love of stories. The story-teller is the saint of the settlement. Few settlement workers to-day would venture on their mission without the necessary equipment of this art.


Stories told to boys around the camp-fire at night leave little to be desired in a boy’s imagination. They charm him as they did the weary hunters in the boyhood of the race when the story-tellers beguiled the silence of the desert or forest with the mirth and wonders of the same tales that delight to-day. One of the finest collections of stories for boy camps is “Around the Fire Stories of Beginnings,” by Hanford M. Burr.

[Pg 16]


It is a great mistake to suppose that any kind of story will do for any age of childhood. Nothing could be more erroneous. There are well-marked periods or epochs for different kinds of stories, as for any graded instruction, and care should be taken to give each kind of story “in its season” in the unfolding life. A study of the normal characteristics and interests of child life underlies the selection of suitable stories. A boy of twelve is a very different personality from what he was at three and seven, and will be at seventeen and twenty-one. Your boy or girl at twelve will reject, with scorn, a fairy tale that lights up the wondering eyes of the young child. It is necessary, therefore, for the parent or the child-lover to know at just what age a particular type of story is adaptable, or when the particular ethical truth intended to be impressed can best be assimilated.

There is perhaps less harm done by giving boys and girls what is beyond them than is done by talking down to them. They will be bored by the too mature. They may permanently scorn the babyish or sentimental. Moral nuts are not for babes; nor predigested food for young athletes. Studies of children’s characteristics and interests at different periods may be found in such excellent books as the following: “Aspects of Child Life and Education,” G. Stanley Hall; “A Study of Child-Nature,” Elizabeth Harrison; “The Pedagogical Bible School,” S. B. Haslett; “The Individual in the Making,” Kirkpatrick; “The Psychology of Thinking,” Irving E.[Pg 17] Miller; “The Unfolding of Personality,” H. T. Mark; “Childhood,” Mrs. Theodore Birney.

Such books are well worth consulting. They should lead to a first-hand study of the different epochs of child life by every parent, teacher, and minister who wishes to be “a workman who needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

Roughly sketched, the various periods of child life, with their story interests, are as follows:


This period is from birth to three years. The story interest begins with lullabies, rhymes, and jingles. Every thoughtful mother must notice that even before the little one can speak it responds to rhymes repeated over and over. Half of the baby’s pleasure is in the frequent hearing of a familiar strain. The baby enjoys also, largely for rhythm’s sake, the shortest and simplest stories with refrains and repetitions; also cumulative stories like the “Three Bears,” “This Little Pig Went to Market,” “The House that Jack Built,” and many others to be found in Mother Goose, Æsop, Grimms, and Jacobs. Mothers should begin singing and repeating rhymes, rhythms, and nursery ditties from the child’s very earliest days. The child’s delight in rhyme and rhythm will be satisfied, the ear will be trained to listen, the power of concentration will be cultivated, and, best of all, a preparation for a love of poetry, a most valuable asset in education and in life, will be begun. A keen interest and enjoyment in rhythm is found in almost every normal infant. It is the rudiment or germ of a sense of balance and harmony, and as such should be carefully nurtured. The Greeks laid great stress on this sense of harmony through music and poetry.

[Pg 18]


This period is from three to six years. It begins in an interest in live things, in domestic animals, and later in flowers, wind, rain, stars, and other expressions of nature. The child now finds delight in picture-books, short stories of animals, birds, and flowers. When a little older he enjoys fables, short fairy stories, and folk and wonder-tales, short moral stories and imaginative stories of home, play, and humor. Historic tales of the nation and Bible stories, well adapted and simplified in language, will prove of the greatest interest to children of this early period. No hard and fast lines can be drawn in ages. Allowance must always be made for temperament, disposition, heredity, and family environment. I have found little children, under three years of age, reproducing to me, without having previously seen me, or hearing them from me, several of the fairy stories and fables in this volume; and I have found boys and girls nine and ten years old still enjoying them. But with the average child such short fairy and folk-tales are keenly enjoyed between the ages of three and six years.


This period is from six to nine years. It differs from the preceding period only in the fact that its normal interests are wider, its vocabulary larger, and its whole outlook enlarged by reason of attendance upon the public school. Fairies and Santa Claus are naturally the favorite characters of children from three to six, but as they pass out of early childhood they discern that “the cow did not jump over the moon,” and that Santa Claus is, as one of my little friends expressed it, “only the spirit of love.” The child then wants true stories. He[Pg 19] is apt to inquire earnestly, “Is it true?” or his request may bluntly be, “Tell me a true story.” This is the period for repeating in larger and more descriptive form the grand old Bible stories that children of this age love so much. It is the time for the realistic and historic tales of the nation that kindle imagination and patriotism. It is the time for the lives of the pioneers, explorers, or missionaries like Columbus, Capt. John Smith, Washington, Lincoln, and Livingstone. This is the golden period of such stories from the Bible (especially the Old Testament), from general history and from national history, as are given in this volume.


This stage, from nine to twelve, is possibly the most impressionable period of life. It is not a time of marked internal changes, but one in which the external, social, and regulative influences are very prominent. Life is unique. The boy and girl are unlike the children that were, or the youth and maiden that will be. The transition from childhood to boyhood and girlhood comes very imperceptibly. But the average child enters it when he begins to read easily and naturally; and this ability may well mark the change. When a boy or girl has this new power to understand and enjoy books, life acquires a new range. The whole wide world of literature lies open. Life begins to be full of meaning. These plastic years are the habit-forming period. As the twig is bent the tree will be inclined. A pebble may turn the stream of life. It is the great memory period. It is the golden age to mold character after the Pattern in the Gospels, if the work is done naturally. Give the boy and girl realistic stories—those from the Old Testament, and the Gospels, and Acts; those from the history of all nations, and[Pg 20] from our own national life. Give the choicest idealistic stories—those legends, strong fables, romances, tales of chivalry, and poetic interpretations of ethical truth, such as “Favorites,” in Chapter IV of this volume; Ruskin’s “King of the Golden River”; Hawthorne’s “Great Stone Face”; and “The Story of Midas,” which so strongly appeal to this age. In this pre-adolescent, this habit-forming and golden-memory period, imagination, curiosity, action, impressionableness, trust, loyalty, and many other instincts of child-nature are all present ready to combine with every efficient element of environment, education, example, and experience to build up the foundation-stones of a wholesome character and useful life. Feed the minds of these growing boys and girls on the great Bible stories, the great classic, realistic, and idealistic stories of the world, such as are found in this volume, or suggested by them, and your young men and women will not care for trashy stories as they cross the bridge of the teens.


This period is from twelve or thirteen to seventeen or eighteen. This adolescent period is the time of marked changes no less in mind than in body. Like the former period, it is critical and determinative. Self-consciousness, memory, honor, heroism, idealism, moodiness, partisanship, are among the prominent characteristics. Fairy tales do not interest. Stories of romance, heroism, and adventure make the strongest appeal. Stories of egoism, triumph over difficulties, self-mastery, loyalty to friends, are most keenly enjoyed. Stories of altruism come later, in the next period. If they have not been given in the previous period, the great romances of the world should come early in this stage—Homer’s “Iliad”[Pg 21] and “Odyssey”; Virgil’s “Æneid”; the stories of King Arthur and the Round Table; the stories of “Beowulf” and “Siegfried”; the legends of the red Indian “Hiawatha,” and the great romances from the story-books of the world. The epics, hero tales, romances, and great purpose-stories of the Old Testament, as well as the scenes of the New Testament, find a ready response in every normal youth’s heart, and should be given at this period. In addition to these, stories from history, adventure, modern biography, missionary life, well written or well told, will interest and impress the character of all those older boys and girls who are so fortunate as to have the mirror of life held up to them in this way as an aid to them in the realization of those highest and best instincts and impulses which are so naturally and abundantly surging within their breasts during these critical early adolescent years.


This period is from seventeen to twenty-one or twenty-five. It is the period of altruism, love, and vocation. The period of early adolescence is egoistic; this period is ego-social, and strongly altruistic. This change in the unfolding nature of youth opens the interest to stories of self-sacrifice, heroic service and love even for enemies. These stories could not be appreciated in so keen a way before. This altruistic interest normally awakens several years earlier in girls than in boys. (See Altruistic Stories, page 33.) At the beginning of this period, and sometimes a little before, a natural interest in romantic love leads to the keen enjoyment of such stories. Love is so important and normal a factor in human life that such interest ought never to be suppressed, but it should always be directed by the most tactful and[Pg 22] sympathetic guidance in the selection of such love stories as are referred to on page 33 of this volume.

Another normal interest of this period is that of vocation, choosing one’s life-calling. If the young man or young woman has not already started to work to support himself, the question of his life-work begins to press hard for an answer. And the ideals that shall shape the choice or spirit of that life-work are already being formed. This is the great time of appeal of such vocational stories as are indicated on page 34.

[Pg 23]


Stories for telling may be found everywhere—in a thousand children’s books, magazines, periodicals, poems, novels, histories. They may be recalled from those heard in childhood. They may be “made up” from the memory of one’s own past history or the adventures of friends. Or they can readily be woven out of a vivid imagination. Such stories may afford children passing amusement and a degree of profit, but such stories rarely have the permanent, cultural value that comes from an acquaintance with the old classics. Emerson said, “We love the classics, not because they are ancient, but because they are true to life.” Every child has a right to his literary and esthetic inheritance, and these classics, these great world stories, should be given him for their cultural, moral, and religious values before his twelfth year.

An understanding of the normal interests of child-nature is the first step in the selection of suitable stories to tell. The second step is the actual selection. The selection, of course, will depend on these factors—the story-teller’s purpose, his available material, and his taste. The purpose of telling a story may be pure enjoyment, or the impression of an ethical principle, or some cultural or educational aim. The available material may be supplied by many books of short stories retold. Such is the purpose of the present volume. The taste of the story-teller must not be permitted to dominate the real life interests and needs of the child’s nature. Nor will this[Pg 24] be the case if we realize the child’s story interests, and permit the child to vote on the kinds of stories he likes. An understanding of the different types of stories to tell will be of value to all who desire to secure the best results. Some of the different types of stories may be classified as follows:


Bible stories are the best of all to tell to children. They have a cultural, esthetic, literary, educational, and ethical value, quite apart from their spiritual and religious use, that puts them in the very front rank as stories that interest, instruct, and inspire young life. These stories are the rich inheritance of the race. They are a treasure-house of ethical and spiritual wisdom. Bible stories are never sectarian. It is the teller’s fault if he so interprets them. They are pervaded by a perennial humanity and a direct simplicity that make the strongest appeal to the young of every century. The Bible reaches into the soul and impels the will to action as no other book does. For these reasons every child should be made familiar with the Bible from babyhood up. Simple parts should be read aloud to the child in its early years. The simplicity, dignity, and grandeur of the language, the objective spirit, and the dramatic action bring many parts of the Bible within the comprehension of even a very young child. In telling such adapted forms as are reproduced in this volume, care should be taken, as early as possible, to familiarize the child with the Bible version itself. Some of the best collections of Bible stories are: “Children’s Treasury of Bible Stories,” Mrs. Herman Gaskoin; “Tell Me a True Story,” Mary Stewart; “Stories About Jesus,” Dr. and Mrs. C. R. Blackall; “Story of the Bible,” J. L. Hulburt; “Story of the Bible,” C. Foster;[Pg 25] “Kindergarten Bible Stories,” Cragin; “Old Stories of the East,” James Baldwin.


Numerous short and simple stories of heroic lives have recently been written in a very attractive way for boys and girls. These hero stories are for telling, not reading, in home, Sunday-school classes and opening exercises, junior mission circles, or young people’s missionary meetings. A few of the best are: “Fifty Missionary Heroes Every Boy and Girl Should Know,” by Julia H. Johnson; “Love Stories of Great Missionaries,” by Belle M. Brain; “The White Man at Work,” and “The Splendid Quest,” by Matthews (suitable for children eight to fifteen).


Some parents and teachers find it hard to see any value in play stories like “The Runaway Pancake,” “The Little Red Hen,” and “The Golden Goose” (pages 47-51); or such nonsense stories as “The Fox Without a Tail,” “Why the Bear Has a Stumpy Tail” (pages 71, 77); or funny stories like “Lazy Jack” and “Epaminondas.” Such parents do not get the child’s point of view. The idle pleasure or extravagance provokes their displeasure and appears to them driveling nonsense. But why should not the mind have an innocent frolic? Why should the child be deprived of his birthright of “being a child” and “understanding as a child”? The child loves play and loves these play stories because they are play.


Sometimes a mother says: “I do not want to tell my child lies. I will give him only truth, history, biography,[Pg 26] or useful stories.” Such a mother fails to see that in excluding fairy and folk-tales from her child’s mind she is simply shutting the door of his imagination and hindering his power to do great things in after-life by closing for him the storehouse of creative imagination. Imagination is the most powerful factor in any life. Helen Keller, when asked what sense she considered the most important, replied, “Imagination!” By imagination the blind see the invisible. By this sense, Newton, Kepler, Davy, Faraday, Edison, and Burbank saw from afar their great discoveries and inventions and brought them near. Such an unpoetic mother would rob her child of his right to his inheritance of an age-long literature; a literature marking his kinship with the race-children of the past; a literature adapted to his needs as to theirs, and a literature which will serve as the basis of all true spiritual culture. “There are those who reduce life to the plane of that of Dickens’ Thomas Gradgrind, who cared not for feeling and sentiment, but must have cold, bare, hard facts, enjoying only the practical and the usable, and living in his rectangular house and having everything about him right-angled. But we know that in children there is a place for the sentimental and the free play of feeling, although these are not to be made prominent in training and instruction but provided for in the material used. Doctor Parker said: ‘The atheism, the materialism of the present day in our land, is largely due to the banishment of fiction and fairy tales by the Puritans. “Facts,” Gradgrind “facts,” drive beauty and holiness from the child’s heart.’”[2]

Fancy, imagination, power to see the unseen, need to be fed with suitable food. Imaginative stories exercise and cultivate the imagination, the creative faculty. If a child lacks imagination, fairy stories help to arouse it.[Pg 27] If he knows little about nature, tales of woods and fields will quicken and interest. Children who are brought up in cities especially need the counteracting influences breathed by these race-long tales which are so imaginative, objective, and childlike, and which have been the joy of childhood from the morning of the world. The best fairy tales also have great ethical value. They present moral truths in a way that appeals directly to children. “Cinderella” teaches the reward of modesty and humility; the “Golden Goose” shows the reward of charity and a kind heart; “Red Ridinghood” illustrates obedience to parents, the cardinal virtue of childhood; “Boots and His Brothers,” readiness; “Toads and Diamonds,” good and bad speech; and “The Frog King,” keeping a promise. Fairy tales that present perverted ideas of right and wrong or that picture success achieved by lying or theft, or that justify ingratitude, disloyalty, or irreverence, should find no place in collections for children. Yet, in the desire to impress a moral lesson, great care must be taken not to strip these age-long stories of all their native freshness and strength. The best moral effect will be gained by letting the child enjoy the story as a whole without too pronounced emphasis on the moral. Some good collections are: Grimm’s “Household Tales”; Andersen’s “Wonder Stories”; Grimm Brothers and Joseph Jacobs, “Fairy Tales”; Baldwin, “Fairy Stories and Fables.”


Fables are short stories in which animals or inanimate objects are represented as speaking or acting with human interests or passions. They were among the earliest stories told by all races. Many of the commonest fables, earliest told to children to-day, such as the “Dog in[Pg 28] the Manger” and “The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” originated in Asia. Æsop’s “Fables” was the first moral lesson book for children. They are now an integral part of our literature and language. For this reason, as well as others, children should become familiar with them. They please the child’s fancy, satisfy his craving for short, objective, ethical tales, and impress such virtues as prudence, honesty, contentment, generosity, and wisdom. Fables that teach revenge or success by lying and craft should be rejected.

Some good collections are: Æsop; La Fontaine; “Fables and Folk Stories,” H. E. Scudder; “Fairy Stories and Fables,” Baldwin.


Myths have their origin in primitive man’s personification of the forces and objects of nature, as gods, demons, giants, dwarfs, light-elves, spirits of darkness, trolls, and hideous monsters. Interpreting nature in poetic imagery and language, primitive races came to believe in these myths as their religion. The Greek myths, which are largely personifications of the beauty of nature, are especially pleasing to children who love stories of flowers, trees, fountains, and sudden transformations, as the natural response to their inherent love of nature. The Norse myths are personifications of the awe-inspiring natural phenomena of the cold and rugged northland. Such stories picture stalwart courage, manliness, and heroic virtue, qualities that appeal to later childhood and youth. The myths of the American Indian, such as Longfellow’s “Hiawatha,” treating of the spirit of the wild woods and free out-of-door life, are well adapted to the child’s love of nature.

“Myth is not a goal. It is a means by which the goal[Pg 29] is reached. The race grew out of the myth-making period of its development, and the child will grow out of the myth-loving stage in its religious development, unless hindered by parents or teachers who unwisely withhold this childhood religious material from him.”[3]

Some of the best collections of myths are Hawthorne’s “Wonder-Tales”; Kingsley’s “Greek Heroes”; “Norse Stories Retold,” Mabie; “Stories of the Red Children,” Dorothy Brooks.


Both myths and legends belong to folk-lore literature and to the idealistic type of story. The difference between them is that the myth is a personification of nature, while the legend is an idealization of a person or place. “The myth is a creation of fancy from ideas. The legend is the perception of an idea from a basis in fact. The myth is a creation of pure and absolute imagination. The legend is a story based on historical fact, but enlarged, abridged, or modified at pleasure. Both myths and legends express the imagination, emotion, and spirit of early man, and, for this reason, make a strong appeal to the same qualities in the soul of those who are in the early years of life to-day.” As all races have their legends, the list of them is long. Not one-thousandth part of them can be told. Among legends that age after age has loved and treasured, are those of India, brought together in the “Jataka Tales,” those of Greece and Rome, of the Middle Ages, of the Northmen, of King Arthur and the Round Table, and of the American Indian. Some of the best collections are: “Juventus Mundi,” Gladstone; “Famous Legends,” Crommelin (legends of all countries); “Legends of Greece and[Pg 30] Rome,” Kupper; “Book of Legends,” Scudder; “Child’s Book of Saints,” Canton.


Stories of animals, birds, pets, trees, plants, flowers, mountains, seas, and other expressions of nature are very popular with children from their earliest years. But these stories need adaptation and strengthening with the growing years. They may be used to teach the habits of animals or the laws of plant life, thus stimulating scientific interest in the animal and plant world. Their best use is simply to please and delight the child’s fancy. How children revel in a story that begins, “Once there was a bear,” or “There was once a little, furry rabbit.” Such stories are the first steps, in curiosity and imagination, into the feelings and fortunes of creatures different from themselves, preparing for a sympathetic interest in the lives of others, not only of animals, but of human beings. In the early years, fanciful animal stories may be given. But later, only true stories of animals have value. Some good nature stories are: “Nature Myths and Stories,” Cooke; “True Tales of Birds and Beasts,” Jordan; “Door-yard Stories,” Pierson; “True Bird Stories,” Miller.


The allegory is a double story, or two stories in one. While one story is being told, another, a deeper and often a still more interesting story, is caught by the imagination or reason. Fables and parables are short allegories with one definite moral. The allegory has been the favorite form of story among almost all nations, and is especially pleasing to children. The Bible contains a number of beautiful allegories, one being the comparison[Pg 31] of Israel to a vine, in the Eighteenth Psalm. Æsop’s fable of the stomach and its members is an allegory. Some of the most perfect allegories are found in “The Golden Windows,” and “The Silver Crown,” by Laura E. Richards. Ruskin’s “King of the Golden River”; Spenser’s “Faerie Queene”; Swift’s “Tale of a Tub”; Addison’s “Vision of Mirza”; Mrs. Gatty’s “Parables from Nature”; Miss Slossum’s “Story-Tell-Lib”; and, above all, Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress,” are allegories with which every modern boy and girl should become familiar.


Idealistic stories—fairy tales, folk-lore, myths, legends, fables, and allegories—have their place. They add to the poetry, imagery, enjoyment, spirituality, and enrichment of a life that would often be wholly prosaic without them. But after all, the growing boy and girl who pleads “Tell me a true story,” at approximately the age of six, reveals the truth that the mind cannot be satisfied without the solid, hard, real ground of historical and scientific fact. For this reason by far the larger number of stories that must be told, and that are demanded by advancing childhood and youth, are realistic stories. These are stories from national or world history, biography, personal reminiscences and adventures, true stories of animals, and all others that recount actual happenings. “These have a special value because, besides suggesting a principle, they also indicate how it may receive specific application in life. The deeds of the Christian martyrs and of the modest heroes of every-day life have a certain power which is beyond that of the most beautiful myth. The story of what Jesus did means more than all the visions of all the prophets.”[4]

[Pg 32]Stories of national history impress the mind of the young with patriotism. Historical world stories inspire the heart of the young with a broader human sympathy for all the nations of the earth. The hunger for the heroic, which is native to the imagination and emotion of every growing boy and girl, may be fed by these classic stories of heroic action, endurance, decision, courage, faith, and self-sacrifice.


“God writes his greatest thoughts in noble men and heroic women.” The Bible is a book of biographies. The Gospels are the four biographies of its preeminent character, Jesus. This is one reason for the great charm of the Bible stories and for the great value of the Bible as a never-failing source from whence to gather material for the unfolding mind of childhood and youth.

History too is largely the story of great lives in their setting. The stories of individuals, and of events in which they are concerned, furnish the best historical material for boys and girls from nine to twelve. Indeed, biography should be central in the study of history at least to the sixteenth year. Suitable stories of the lives of great men and women are interesting at all stages of life, but particularly during the years of later childhood and early adolescence, when environment is widening and social and world interests are expanding. Biography is full of religious nourishment, spiritual contagion, ethical uplift, and humanitarian values. That which makes the strongest appeal is found in the Old and New Testaments, the life of Christ, the Acts of the Apostles, the great lives in national and general history, lives of discoverers, pioneers, missionaries, adventurers, inventors, warriors, seamen, and characters full of deeds[Pg 33] of daring and difficulty, but at the same time manly and moral. Biography has too often, in the past, been limited to a record of the heroic deeds of generals and statesmen in war and political upheavals. We now see more clearly the value, in the earlier period of education, of biographies of leaders in other fields besides war and statesmanship, and we realize the necessity of inspiring youth with lofty ideals, by examples of both men and women in all possible forms of human service and moral and social heroism. This truer interpretation of the ethical and spiritual value of biography and history is illustrated by the biographical stories in Chapter X, “Heroes of Peace,” and Chapter XI, “Modern Boys and Girls Who Became Useful.”


Stories of unselfish heroism appeal to every age, but they find their strongest interest for the spirit of youth during the years of middle adolescence. Such stories of self-sacrifice may be selected from the Bible, history, fiction, or modern life. They not only show what is noble action, but touch the soul with the contagion of self-sacrificing deeds. From the Ethical Index, on page 291, under Altruism, Loyalty, Self-sacrifice, and such synonyms, a list of altruistic stories may be made.


Stories of real or romantic love between the sexes have their strong appeal in middle adolescence. There may be an interest in these before this period or it may appear later. Such stories are usually for reading, but some of the best for telling are: “Ruth, the Gleaner”; “John Alden and Priscilla”; “Evangeline”; “The Silver[Pg 34] Girl”; “Love Stories of Great Missionaries,” by Belle M. Brain; “The Three Weavers,” by Annie Fellows Johnson.


These are the stories that will aid in preparing young people in choosing their life-work, or that will inspire them with the highest ideals in their work. Such stories may be found among all types. For example, the fairy story, “Boots and His Brothers,” shows the value of being prepared; the Bible story, “When Jesus Was Lost,” shows when Jesus found his life-work; “The Legend of St. Christopher” reveals ideals of service, and such legendary or historical stories as “Horatius at the Bridge,” “King Bruce and the Spider,” and “Dick Whittington” illustrate the rewards of service. Biographies are almost all vocational. This vocational interest, either clearly revealed or simply implied, may transform a story, otherwise distasteful to young people, into one full of interest, inspiration, and profit.


These are stories that are invented simply for the purpose of imparting instruction in some branch of science or art. The story-form and story-interest is taken advantage of to produce interest in the desired trade, craft, occupation, or science. Such stories must be used with care. But if used moderately and with tact they may prove of educational and even vocational value.


Variety is of great importance in story-telling, as in all ethical instruction and educational training. Life[Pg 35] demands variety. Moral life is full of variety, vitality, and humor. Nor need we fear to bring these qualities into story-telling. Humor is leaven. Without it ethical teaching becomes flat. Laughter too is good for the world. It is a tonic to the emotions. “It does us all good to laugh if there is no smear or smirch in the laugh; fun sets the blood flowing more freely in the veins, and loosens the strained cords of feeling and thought; the delicious shock of surprise at every ‘funny spot’ is a kind of electric treatment for the nerves.” (Sara Cone Bryant.) Laughter is tone to the spirit and inspiration to fresh effort. It is a sign too, of broadening imagination and sympathies. As the nonsense and play-story are good for the child, so the wholesomely humorous story is good for the youth and the adult.

[Pg 36]


The true story-teller, like the true poet, is born, and not made. Talent in this creative art is a gift of nature, like a beautiful voice or skill in painting. But study, cultivation, and practice are necessary to advance the story-teller in his art, as in the case of the singer or the painter. Some practical suggestions may prove of value to beginners in story-telling:


There is comfort in knowing that a story need not be perfectly told to interest and delight little children in the home, kindergarten, or the lower grades of the Sunday-school and public school. The imagination of the little child is so keen, so abundant, and flows so freely that it triumphs over external defects of presentation and reaches the heart of things. Though this is true of one child or of a small group of children of about the same age and interests, it is not true, as practice soon teaches, of a large group, especially of children of different interests. Such an audience needs the magnetism of personality to hold it, and some real art in the presentation of the movement and details of the story.

Such professional story-telling is a rare gift, and is as valuable as it is rare. Not every parent, teacher, minister, or educator of youth, who may wish to be a story-teller may have the skill, time, patience, or perseverance[Pg 37] to become an artist. Such training would involve the study of the technique of the use of the voice and of gesture, a thorough knowledge of the sources for stories, skill in the selection and preparation of material, practice in actual story-telling, and the hearing of stories told by professionals, the character of whose work unconsciously becomes the ideal of the story-teller. Training for such professional story-telling is given in colleges, presented in a number of interesting books, and encouraged by story-tellers’ training classes and leagues in many places. The hints here offered have the more modest story-teller in mind, the busy parent in the home, and the Sunday-school or public-school teacher, who may not have access to the technical books on the art of story-telling.


Tell, do not read, the story. The teller is free. The reader is fettered. The oral story is more spontaneous, the connection with the audience is closer, the effect is more magnetic. It is the story plus personality and appreciation. The story-teller can give his message with his eyes as well as his lips without book or memory of the printed page to burden. The world stories contained in this volume are all designed for telling. After reading them through carefully once or twice, the mind will have the facts ready for telling. Stories adapted for telling must be written with more dramatic action and movement than those adapted for reading. But stories that are in a form suitable for telling are well adapted for enjoyable reading. Hence these stories have a double value, for telling or reading. But let it be kept well in mind that telling a story is incomparably better than reading it to any listener. The charm of a book cannot equal the magnetism of personality.

[Pg 38]


Select your story with some definite purpose in mind—pure enjoyment or some definite ethical principle, and let the aim be clearly in mind in the preparation for telling it. Select your story also with the child’s story-interests in mind, as presented in Chapter II. Make sure also that it is suitable in length and in style. Children who are accustomed to hearing stories can listen a longer time than those whose ears and brains are quite untrained. With very young children five minutes gives room for a really stirring tale.


This is not the task of the memory, but of the imagination and the feelings. Read and reread the story. Do not memorize it. Visualize it. Picture it mentally. Fall in love with it. See the images. Feel the emotions of the characters. Breathe the atmosphere. Absorb its spirit, scene, setting, plot, people, and parts. Make it your own creation, living anew in your own soul. Then lay the book aside, and at leisure reproduce it, part by part, in your own thought or words, making sure that you have well in mind the story’s four parts: (1) Beginning; (2) progress of events; (3) climax; (4) end.


(1) Your story must have a beginning, which should be brief, concrete, interesting, introducing the chief character, scene, atmosphere, or spirit of the story in the fewest possible words.

(2) Your story must have a progress of events, an orderly movement, giving the essential facts, step by[Pg 39] step, and full of action, leading up to the climax without revealing it in advance.

(3) Your story must have a climax that cannot be missed. This is the point and pith of your story. It is that for which it is mainly told and enjoyed. If a moral lesson is to be imparted, it is here that it is enforced. And failure here is total failure. Make sure of this climax, for to miss it is like trying to tell a joke, missing the point, and meeting humiliation and defeat.

(4) Your story must have an end. A successful ending is quite as important as the climax, and needs careful consideration. It must be brief and appropriate, and leave the mind at rest, without any questioning or dissatisfaction. It may be well for the beginner at first to analyze his stories in this way, into these four parts, either in his thoughts or on paper, for it will give excellent practice and make the retention of the story by the memory a simple matter. But with practice and drill these four parts of a good story will take their place in the mind and in the telling most naturally, easily, and pleasantly.


The consciousness of having a good story to tell, and a story adapted to the age and interests of one’s audience, is the first step to that ease, freedom, dignity, and repose which are necessary at the start. If the story-teller can select his time, as many parents and teachers can, so much the better. If he is met by an ill-prepared audience, or an audience in an uncomfortable place, or under adverse circumstances, his introduction must serve to put him in touch with his audience. If several stories are in mind, the order may be changed, and a “humorous” story or other introductory remarks may serve to pave the way for the necessary response. Then[Pg 40] he may proceed with the intended story or stories with his own eye and heart kindled, moving in a straightforward, spontaneous, self-forgetful way toward the desired lesson in the climax, and ending happily, leaving the audience delighted and impressed.


Practise your stories! “Repetition is the mother of stories well told.” Repeat them. Do not be afraid of retelling them. The younger the children are the better they like old friends. Every one loves a “twice-told tale.” (Hervey.) “Practise! It will go clumsily at first. Imagination will be dull, facts will escape your memory, parts will be confused. But persevere, persevere! Study results. Listen to others. Catch their points of effectiveness. Above all things practise! practise! practise!” (Wells.)


Children should be given an opportunity to tell and retell the stories heard. Children like to create, and whether it be with sand, wood, or words, the underlying processes are the same. For a child to retell a story means that he enters into the spirit of it, that he sees clearly the mental picture, that he feels the atmosphere and life of the story. In this way imagination, memory, language, and reason are enriched and, at the same time, the ethical principle of the story is more clearly impressed on the child’s mind, to be assimilated at pleasure.

[Pg 41]



Froebel was the first educator to discover the educational value of simple, instructive mother-plays. His “Mother Play Book” is one of the greatest books in the whole history of education. In it Froebel pictures home as it ought to be, and accompanies the mother in her daily round through the house, garden, field, worship, market, and church. Here is one of his charming set of finger games for the mother to teach her child while he is yet in her arms:

This is the mother, good and dear;
This is the father, with hearty cheer;
This is the brother, stout and tall;
This is the sister, who plays with her doll;
And this is the baby, the pet of all.
Behold the good family, great and small!

In such a song, the dawning consciousness of the child is turned to the family relations, and is surely an improvement on the old nursery method of playing “This little pig went to market.”

There are also little story finger-plays in which gestures may be employed as in the finger-play rhymes. A collection of these finger stories, the first play stories for infants, is given in “Descriptive Stories for All the Year,” by M. Burnham; and in “Finger Plays,” by Emilie Poulsson.

[Pg 42]


In early childhood, as soon as a story takes possession of the child, he shows a tendency to enter into its persons and its action; to mimic the voices, to ape the manners, to imitate the acts. This is the instinct of imitation and play. The child should be allowed to play out the story in this way, or better still, the parent or teacher may propose playing the story. Not every story may be played equally well, but the following familiar child’s stories may be used in play and heartily enjoyed without staging or any stage terms—just natural, spontaneous, hearty play: “Little Red Ridinghood,” “The Fox and the Grapes,” “The Lion and the Mouse,” “The Hare and the Tortoise,” “Dick Whittington and His Cat,” “Androcles and the Lion,” and others in this book.

“The Fox and the Grapes” (page 67) may be played by a single child. A wall is selected for holding the imaginary bunches of grapes. The child stands or crouches, looking up longingly at them, then jumps up for them, and, finally, after a fall, walks or crawls away, saying, “I know those grapes are sour and not worth eating.”

“The Lion and the Mouse” (page 74) may be played by two children. One child, choosing to be a lion, lies flat on the floor taking a nap. The child acting as a mouse crawls over him, awakening the lion, who roars and pins the mouse to the earth with his paw. “Let me go! I’ll help you some time,” cries the mouse, and, being freed, runs away. Later the lion is in an imaginary net, the meshes of which the mouse gnaws, and then runs away, saying, “I did help you after all, you see.”

In a similar way many of the stories of this book may be reproduced in play by two or more children to their great enjoyment and instruction.

[Pg 43]


As in the day-school kindergartens, little children play stories in response to a natural impulse to act out whatever they are thinking about, so in Sunday-school primary classes simple stories may sometimes be played with great pleasure and profit. In a school in Chicago the teacher had told the story of the “Lost Sheep.” Later the children played the story. They made the fold of chairs. One child was the shepherd, another child was the wandering sheep, and all the other children were the sheep who followed the shepherd safely back to the fold. When the shepherd realized that one sheep was missing, he started out to hunt for it. He looked behind great rocks (chairs) and in all dangerous places until he found the lost sheep. Certainly the child who took the part of the little lost sheep will not forget. In such a simple way the beginner in both the day-school and the Sunday-school, or in the home, may act out a story whose lesson will never be effaced from memory.

In later grades, historical and even Bible stories may be dramatized in short plays with excellent results. On special days, instead of presenting a ready-made cantata, let the children give a little play of their own composition, the result of several weeks of work upon a suitable Bible story.

Two good books of special interest on this whole subject are: “Historical Plays of Colonial Days,” by L. E. Tucker and Estelle L. Ryan; “Quaint Old Stories to Read and Act,” Marion F. Lansing.

[Pg 44]


Frequently a parent in the home, a teacher in the schoolroom, a minister, or other child-helper, in dealing with children, wishes to find a suitable story, at a moment’s notice, that may aptly and forcibly illustrate some ethical principle that he may wish to inculcate. Often a story, well selected and aptly told, will hold up “the mirror to nature” and, indirectly, by the law of suggestion, impress the mind and heart of the child far more successfully than a precept, command, or obtrusive moral. The Ethical Index, which will be found at the end of this book, on page 291, is for this purpose. By a moment’s reflection upon the moral principle desired to be impressed or suggested, a story illustrating it may be found. Of course, in many stories more than one ethical principle may be found, but no more than one, and that the strongest and most evident lesson, should be emphasized in one story. In this ethical use of a story great care must be taken not to overemphasize the moral lesson embedded in it, for that will be to lose it. In the use of this index the story-teller may well remember the prayer of Henry Van Dyke, “May I never tag a moral to a tale or tell a story without a meaning.”

[Pg 45]

Part II
Stories to Tell

[Pg 46]

[Pg 47]


(Adapted for Children, Three to Six Years.)


Once upon a time seven hungry children were standing around the fireside, watching their mother frying a pancake for supper. “Oh, give me a bit, mother dear, I’m so hungry,” each of the children said. “Yes,” said the mother, “only wait till it turns, and you shall have some.” Pancake trembled and tried to jump out of the pan, but its back was so weak that it fell flat again on the other side. When that side was cooked, and its back felt stronger, Pancake gave a spring, jumping right out of the pan upon the floor, and began rolling away like a wheel, out through the door and down the steep hill. “Stop! Stop! Pancake!” cried the mother, running after it with the frying-pan in one hand and the spoon in the other. “Stop! won’t you stop?” all the children screamed; but Pancake rolled on faster and faster down the hill. It was a funny sight to see a man, and a hen, and a rooster, and a duck, and a goose, and a gander, all joining in the chase, trying to catch Pancake, who slipped by them all and rolled on. At the bottom of the hill there was a deep river. Just as Pancake rolled near it a Pig came up and said, “Pancake, roll on my snout, and I’ll take you safely across.” “Thank you,” said Pancake, rolling right upon Piggy’s nose. He sat there till they reached the other side in safety. “Ouf! Ouf!” then grunted the Pig; “what will you pay me for carrying[Pg 48] you across?” When Pancake said, “I haven’t anything to pay you,” the Pig threw back his head, opened his mouth wide, and down went Pancake, saying, “I wish I had been eaten by those poor, hungry children, rather than by this nasty Pig!” And that was the end of Runaway Pancake.


Once there was a Little Red Hen that lived, so neat and tidy, all alone in her house in the wood. Over the hill and far away in a den in the rocks lived a bad young Fox. He wanted to eat the Little Red Hen, but every time he went to her home he could not get her. One morning he took a big bag and told his mother to have the pot boiling when he got home so they could cook the Hen for supper that night. Over the hill he crept, trot, trot, trot, and saw Little Red Hen picking up sticks in front of her house. The Fox quietly slipped in without being seen, and hid behind the door. The Little Red Hen came in with her apron full of sticks, but when she saw the Fox with his bushy tail spread out on the floor, she became so scared she flew with a great scream to a high beam under the roof. The tricky Fox began to whirl around and around after his tail so fast that the Hen got so dizzy she fell to the floor. Quickly the Fox picked her up, popped her into his bag, and trotted off for home. Coming to a hill he thought he would stop, to take a rest, and he put his bag on the ground. Quick as a wink the Hen pecked a hole in the bag, jumped out, rolled a stone into the bag in her place, flew away to her home, and locked the door. “The Little Red Hen is heavy,” said the Fox as he started off again. As soon as he saw his mother, he cried, “Here is the Hen for our supper. Lift the cover off the pot, while I pop[Pg 49] her in.” When the mother lifted the cover, the young Fox untied the bag and gave it a shake. Pop! Splash! Splash! Into the boiling water dropped the heavy stone. Out flew the boiling water, splashing and scalding the young Fox and his mother to death. So the Little Red Hen lived happily and tidily in her house after that.


Once a mother lived with her three sons in a house in the woods. One day the mother said to the oldest son, “Go, and cut wood in the forest, and here is a good dinner for you.” At dinnertime a queer, little old man came up and said, “I’m so hungry. Give me some of your dinner.” “Be off,” said the selfish boy, and he ate all his dinner by himself. Then he began to chop down a tree, but his axe slipped and cut his leg, and he went hobbling home without any wood. Next day the mother said to the next boy, “Go, and cut wood in the forest, and here is a good dinner for you.” At dinnertime the same queer little old man came and said, “I’m so hungry. Give me some of your dinner.” “No,” said the selfish boy, who ate all his dinner by himself. Then he began to chop a tree, but his axe slipped and cut his foot, and he went hobbling home without any wood. The next morning the youngest boy, Dummling, said, “Mother, I’ll get you some wood.” His mother gave him only some dry crusts, and he went into the woods. The same little old man came, saying, “I’m so hungry. Give me some of your dinner.” “Yes, gladly, I will,” said Dummling. In a moment the little old man changed the dry bread into a rich feast, and they both ate as much as they wanted. Then the little old man said: “You have been kind to me. Now I will do something for you. Cut down this tree, and at the roots you will[Pg 50] find a Golden Goose.” Dummling quickly chopped down the tree, and in a hollow at the roots found a Golden Goose. He picked it up and went to the nearest stopping-place for the night, where he found three sisters who wanted some of the golden feathers. So, when Dummling had gone to bed, the oldest girl went in where the goose was to pluck a feather, but she stuck fast. The second girl came in later to pluck a feather, and she stuck fast too. Then the third sister, greedy for a feather too, put in her hand to get one, and she stuck fast. So the three girls had to stay with the goose all night. The next morning Dummling came in, and, not noticing the girls were stuck fast to it, picked up the goose and started off with it under his arm. The three girls were obliged to follow as fast as their legs could carry them down the street. A minister seeing the strange sight called out, “Shame! following a man like that! Let go!” But as soon as he touched them he stuck fast and had to follow. Then a policeman ran up, saying to the minister, “For shame! following girls like that! Let go!” And as soon as he touched them he stuck fast and had to follow. It was a funny sight to see these five trudging behind one another. “Help! Help!” cried the policeman. Then two men going to work with picks and spades ran up, but as soon as they touched them they stuck fast and had to follow. So these seven, all in line, treading on one another’s heels, followed Dummling and his Golden Goose until they reached the gates of the city in which a King lived who had a daughter so very serious that no one could ever make her laugh. The King had promised that whoever could make her smile should have her for a wife, and should be the King’s son. When Dummling heard that he went at once near the palace window, and when the Princess looked out and saw such a comical sight she burst into a hearty laugh. So Dummling became the[Pg 51] King’s son, and lived with the Princess and his Golden Goose, happy ever afterward.


Once there was a mother who lived with her two daughters in a house in the woods. The elder daughter was very proud and disagreeable; the younger one was kind, sweet-tempered, and beautiful. The mother was very fond of the elder daughter because she was more like herself, and she disliked the younger one and made her work hard all the time in the kitchen and go twice a day to carry water in a pitcher from the spring in the woods two miles from home.

One day, when this younger daughter was at the spring, a poor old woman came to her and asked her for a drink. “Yes,” said the kind, obliging girl, and she gave her a cool, refreshing drink from her pitcher. The woman said: “As you have been kind to me, I will give you this gift. At every word you speak a jewel or a flower shall come from your mouth.” When she reached home her mother scolded her for being gone so long. “I beg your pardon, mother dear,” she said, “for not being quicker.” And as she spoke, out of her mouth dropped two diamonds, two pearls, and six roses. “What do I see?” exclaimed her mother. When the girl told her all, the mother said: “I must send my dearest daughter to receive this gift too. Come, Fanny, see what comes out of your sister’s mouth when she speaks. All you have to do to get the same gift is to go and give the poor old woman a drink from the pitcher.” “I won’t go,” said the ugly-tempered girl; “let sister give me some of her jewels. She does not need them all.” At last her mother persuaded her to go, and she went grumbling all the way. When she reached the spring she[Pg 52] saw, not the poor old woman her sister had met, but a beautiful lady, who asked her for a drink. It was the fairy changed from the old woman into a princess. “I did not come out to give you a drink,” said the selfish girl; “you can get water from the spring as well as I.” “You are not very polite,” said the fairy; “since you are so rude and unkind I give you this gift: At every word you speak, toads and snakes shall come out of your mouth.” The girl ran home, and as soon as she spoke to her mother two snakes and two frogs fell from her mouth. “What is this I see?” cried her mother. The girl tried to tell, but at every word toads and snakes dropped from her lips. And so it was forever after—jewels and flowers fell from the kind girl’s mouth, but only toads and snakes fell from the mouth of the girl who was rude and unkind.—Charles Perrault.


Once there was a king who had a little daughter so beautiful that the sun had never seen any one so beautiful. Close by the palace there was a dark wood, and underneath a large tree was a well. One day the little Princess sat by this well, tossing her golden ball into the air until at last it fell into the water. She began to cry bitterly. A Frog peeped out of the water and said, “What will you give me, King’s Little Daughter, if I get your ball for you?” “I will give you anything,” she said, “my pearls, my jewels, my golden crown.” “If you will let me be your playmate and sit by your side at table, and eat out of your golden plate, and sleep in your little snow-white bed, I will bring your ball to you again.” “I promise all,” she said, thinking that a Frog could not live with people. In a moment the Frog plunged into the water head foremost, caught the ball, and[Pg 53] swam back with it in his mouth and threw it on the grass to her. She picked up her pretty plaything and ran away with it, heedless of the Frog’s cry, “Wait! Wait!” She did not listen, but ran home as fast as she could and forgot all about her promise to the Frog.

The next day as the royal family was seated at dinner, something came creeping, splish, splash, splish, splash, up the marble staircase. Then a knock was heard at the door, and a voice said, “King’s Little Daughter, open the door for me.” When she opened the door she saw the Frog. She screamed with fright, and slammed the door in his face. When she told her father of her promise to let the Frog be her playmate, the King said, “What you have promised you must keep. Go, and let him in!” She opened the door and the Frog hopped in and followed her step by step to the chair. “Lift me up!” he cried. She did not like to do this, but the King said, “What you have promised you must keep.” When the Frog was on the chair, he wanted to be on the table and eat out of the golden plate, and when she started to go upstairs he asked her to let him rest on her snow-white bed. She was afraid of the cold, clammy Frog, and she began to cry again. But the King said, “What you have promised you must keep. Ugly though he is, did he not help you when you were in distress, and will you despise him now?” So the Princess took hold of him with her fingers, carried him upstairs, and put him in a corner. When he pleaded again to rest on her snow-white bed, she became angry and took hold of him and threw him with all her might against the wall. “Now will you be quiet, hateful Frog?” she said. But when he fell to the floor suddenly he changed from a frog into a beautiful Prince with kind and shining eyes looking at her. He told her how he had been changed into a Frog by a very wicked fairy, and how no one but she could get him out[Pg 54] of the well and change him into a King’s son again, and that when they grew older they would be married and live together in his kingdom. The next morning when the sun was up, a carriage appeared drawn by eight white horses, and when the King and Queen gave their consent for the Princess to go, she was glad to be the Queen and live in the Prince’s beautiful kingdom. But she never forgot what her father had told her, “What you have promised you must keep.”




Once a sweet little girl, named Red Ridinghood, lived with her mother in a house near a wood, and her loving Grandmother lived on the other side of the wood. One day her mother said, “Take Grandmother this basket of fresh eggs, butter, and cakes, for she is ill. Be sure and not leave the main path.” The little girl said, “Yes, mother, I will do just what you say.” Then she took the basket and went skipping and singing happily through the wood, until she saw some beautiful flowers a little distance from the path. “I will gather just a bunch of these lovely flowers for Grandmother,” she said to herself; but she had not gone far when she met a big, gray Wolf, who said, “Good morning, little girl, where are you going?” “To my Grandmother’s,” she said. Then the Wolf ran on before and knocked at Grandmother’s door with his paw, “Thump! Thump!” Grandmother was better and had gone out for a walk. So the Wolf walked in, put on Grandmother’s nightcap, and jumped into her bed. Soon Red Ridinghood came up and knocked at the door. “Who’s there?” said a voice, trying to speak like Grandmother. “It is your little girl,” she said. “Come in, dear,” said the voice. When she entered and looked in the bed, she cried out, “O[Pg 55] Grandmother, what big ears you have!” “The better to hear you, dear.” “What big eyes you have!” “The better to see you, dear.” “What big arms you have!” “The better to hug you, dear.” “What big teeth you have, Grandmother!” “The better to eat you!” cried the Wolf, springing up. He was just about to eat her when the door burst open and in rushed some wood-choppers who soon killed the big, gray Wolf. Red Ridinghood ran home to her mother as fast as she could, and said, “Oh, mother dear! it happened because I disobeyed you, and went in that horrid path where I met the Wolf. But I will never, never disobey again!”


Three bears lived in a home of their own in the woods—one, a great, big Bear, the Father, with a great, big voice; a middle-sized Bear, the Mother, with a middle-sized voice; and Little Baby Bear, with a little, wee voice. One morning, when the three bears were taking a walk while waiting for their breakfast of milk and honey to cool, a naughty, disobedient, runaway girl, named Goldilocks, came along and peeped into their window. Seeing no one, she walked into the kitchen and began to taste the breakfast. Father Bear’s was too hot; Mother Bear’s was too cold; Baby Bear’s was just right, so she ate it all up. Then she went into the parlor to rest, and saw three chairs. Father Bear’s was too hard; Mother Bear’s was too soft; Baby Bear’s was just right, so she sat on it and broke it down. Then Goldilocks went up the narrow stairs to the bears’ bedroom. She climbed on Father Bear’s bed, but that was too high for her; the Mother’s was too low; but the Baby Bear’s bed was just right, so she fell fast asleep. Soon the three hungry bears came home. Father Bear roared, “Some one has been[Pg 56] tasting my breakfast and sitting on my chair!” Mother Bear growled out: “Some one has been tasting my breakfast and sitting on my chair!” Baby Bear screamed, “Some one has been tasting my breakfast and eaten it all up, and sitting in my chair and broken it down!” The bears then rushed upstairs. “Some one has been on my bed!” roared Father Bear. “Some one has been on my bed too!” growled Mother Bear. “Some one has been in my bed, and here she is!” screamed Baby Bear. This awoke Goldilocks, who was so frightened she sprang out on the other side of the bed, jumped out of the window, and ran home as fast as she could.


Once a good King and Queen were so happy to have a little baby girl that they gave a great feast in the palace, to which they invited seven beautiful Fairies, each of whom brought her a rich present. But one ugly Fairy, named Jealousy, who was angry because she was not invited, said, “I’ll make the Princess cut her hand with a spindle, and she shall die!” Everybody began to cry, but one good Fairy said: “No, she shall not die, but she shall sleep for a hundred years, and can be awakened only by a good Prince.” The King ordered all spindles to be put away; but when the Princess was sixteen years of age an old woman, who had not heard of the King’s command to put away all spindles, let the young Princess spin. In a moment she had cut her hand and fell to the ground in a deep sleep. The good Fairy flew at once to her side and said: “She is not dead, but, as I said, she shall sleep a hundred years, and can be awakened only by a good Prince.” They carried the sleeping Princess home, but[Pg 57] when the Fairy thought how lonely she would be on awaking in a hundred years, she touched with her wand all the maids and servants, even Mopsy, her pet dog, and all fell asleep and were left in the great room in the palace with the Sleeping Princess, who lay there dressed in her most beautiful, royal garments. The King and Queen died of grief soon after, and great trees grew up around the palace, hiding it from the world, until a hundred years passed away. One day a Prince, rich, handsome, and good, was hunting in this thick forest, when suddenly he saw the palace towers, and asked an officer what the building was. When the officer told him how the good Fairy had said a Sleeping Princess in the palace could be awakened only by a good Prince, he determined to try and awaken her. Quickly entering the strange palace he found the beautiful Princess, fair as wax, sleeping on her couch, dressed in her royal garments, which were very beautiful though so strange and old in style. There too were the maids and servants in their queer clothes, and Mopsy, the pet dog, sleeping at the side of the Princess. The King’s son quickly touched one of the fair hands of the Sleeping Beauty and stooped to kiss it, and in an instant the Princess opened her eyes wide and smiled at him. At the same moment all the maids and servants, and even Mopsy, awoke and looked as fresh as though they had been asleep only a night. The servants at once, helped by the good Fairy, prepared a rich wedding-feast in the great dining-hall. Then the good Prince took the beautiful Princess to his own palace, where they were married in great joy. The palace in the woods disappeared. The ugly old Fairy, Jealousy, had died years before, but the good Fairy, whose name was Patience, came often to visit the good Prince and his Beautiful Princess, who had awaked from her sleep of one hundred years.

[Pg 58]


Once a poor widow lived alone with her boy, Jack, who was careless and paid no attention to what his mother said. One day Jack saw her in tears, for, she said, “We have nothing now in the world but a cow, which we must sell to get food.” So next morning, taking the cow to market, Jack met a butcher who showed him some wonderful beans, which he offered to give for the cow. Jack gave him the cow for the beans, and ran home very happy, thinking his mother would be happy too over his good fortune. But his mother was so grieved that she threw the beans out of the window, and both of them went supperless to bed that night. Next morning, lo! the beans had grown so tall that the stalks made a ladder reaching far up into the sky. Unseen by his mother, Jack began climbing up, up, up, until he reached the top, where he saw a strange country, and in the distance a great house. This was the castle of a great Giant who had gone on a journey. The Giant’s wife received Jack kindly, giving him something to eat, and when the Giant came home she hid him in the oven. Through a crack Jack peeped and saw the Giant eat his supper and then place a wonderful hen on the table, and every time he said “Lay,” she laid a golden egg. When the Giant fell asleep Jack jumped out of the oven, picked up the hen, ran off with it, and climbed down the bean-stalk. He found his mother crying, but when Jack put the wonderful hen on the table and said “Lay,” his mother’s eyes grew big with surprise, and her tears dried at once. Soon they had as many golden eggs as they wished to live on. But one day a fox ran off with the golden hen. Again, unseen by his mother, Jack climbed the bean-stalk. This time the wife hid him in the lumber closet when the Giant came roaring home. Through a[Pg 59] crack Jack peeped and saw the Giant eat his supper and then place on the table big bags of gold and silver, and play with them. When the Giant fell asleep, Jack jumped from the closet, picked up the bags of money, ran off with them, climbed down the bean-stalk like lightning, and ran home. He found his mother again in tears, but when Jack showed her the bags of gold her surprise made her smile again. Not long after that, again unseen by his mother, Jack climbed up the bean-stalk. This time the wife hid him in a large kettle when the Giant came roaring home. Lifting up the lid a little way, Jack peeped out and saw the Giant eat his supper and then take out a magic harp and began to play wonderful music. When he fell asleep Jack jumped out of the kettle, picked up the magic harp, and started off with it. But the magic harp called out “Master! Master!” so loudly that the Giant awoke and began running after Jack. But Jack reached the top of the bean-stalk first. He climbed down it like lightning, picked up his axe, and chopped down the bean-stalk at its roots, making it fall over just as the Giant began to climb down. In a moment the wicked old Giant fell down into the garden, with a loud noise like a falling tree. And that was the end of the Giant and the Bean-stalk. But Jack never again caused his mother any sorrow.


Once a poor farmer had a good son named Jack, who was wide-awake and always ready to help. Far up on the mountain in a great cave lived a wicked Giant named Carmoran, who was so fierce and frightful that everybody was afraid of him. Every time he wanted food he came down the mountain to the valley and carried off oxen on his back, and pigs and sheep tied around his waist. The people were in despair. One day Jack heard the town[Pg 60] officers say: “All the treasure the Giant has hidden in his cave shall be given to whoever rids the land of this evil Giant!” Jack laughed and said to them, “I will try!” So he took his horn and pick-axe and shovel and began digging a pit, deep and broad, covering it with sticks and straw. Then he sprinkled earth over it until the place looked like solid ground. Then he stood on the other side of the pit, and just at the peep of day he put his horn to his mouth and blew, “Tan-tivy! Tan-tivy!” The old Giant awoke, rubbed his eyes and rushed out of his cave, and seeing Jack running away, cried, “You villain, I’ll pay you for troubling my sleep! I’ll boil you for breakfast!” Just as he said that down he fell into the pit, and the very foundations of the mountains trembled at his fall. “O Giant,” laughed Jack, “will no other food suit you than sweet Jack?” Jack was not long in killing the wicked old Giant in the pit. Then he went to the cave and brought out all the treasure. When the town officers heard of this good deed Jack, the farmer’s son, had done, they called him

Jack, the Giant-killer.”

They gave him a sword and belt, and in the belt they wrote:

Here’s to the right valiant Cornishman
Who slew the Giant, Carmoran.


Once there was a Chinese boy named Aladdin, who was playing in the street, when a strange-looking man called to him, “My boy, I am your uncle! Come with me! I will give you great riches!” He took out of his pocket a beautiful gold ring, which he gave to the boy, who walked away with him. After a long time they[Pg 61] came to a great stone which had a ring to lift it up. The man lifted up the stone and showed Aladdin a deep cave, saying to him: “At the other end of this cave there is a door leading to a palace and a garden of fruit trees where you will find a lamp hanging. Bring me this lamp and I will give you great riches.” This man was not Aladdin’s uncle, but a wicked magician, who wanted to use the boy to get this lamp for him, for it had power to make whoever possessed it greater than any prince. Aladdin went down into the cave and found the lamp and everything just as the man had said. When he came back to the mouth of the cave he said, “Uncle, help me up!” “Give me the lamp first,” said the man. “No,” said Aladdin, “I won’t give it to you until you help me out.” That made the magician very angry. So, uttering some magic words, he slammed the stone down over the mouth of the cave, and poor Aladdin was shut up alone in darkness. The disappointed boy sat a long time thinking what to do. But suddenly when he happened to rub the ring that the magician had put on his finger and forgotten, in an instant the Slave of the Ring, a queer, little old man, stood before him saying he was ready to do for him whatever he asked. “Then take me out of this cave,” said Aladdin, and instantly he was out. He ran home and showed his mother the lamp. “I will polish it, mother,” he said, “and then we can sell it for much money.” No sooner had he rubbed it than the Slave of the Lamp, a great strong Giant, stood before him, saying that he was ready to do for him whatever he asked. “Then, bring us plenty to eat,” said Aladdin, and instantly richest food on golden plates stood before him. Every time he rubbed the lamp the Slave of the Lamp came and gave him everything he asked. One day, when he became older, he fell in love with a beautiful Princess, and he asked his mother to take several golden vases full of rich jewels as a present[Pg 62] to the King and beg him to let the Princess become his wife. The King laughed at such an idea, but said: “If your son will send me forty golden vases like these, full of the richest jewels, he shall have the Princess.” Aladdin quickly rubbed his lamp and asked the Slave of the Lamp to bring him forty golden vases filled with richer jewels than the former ones. The King was so delighted with them that he gave Aladdin the Princess to be his wife, and Aladdin asked the Slave of the Lamp for a grander palace to live in than the King’s. They lived very happily until one day, when Aladdin was away hunting, a strange-looking man came near the palace calling out, “Lamps! Lamps! Who will change old lamps for new ones?” A servant ran to her mistress and said, “Shall I exchange this ugly old lamp I found in the cupboard for a new one?” Without waiting for an answer she took it and sold it to the old pedler, who was really the wicked magician in disguise. So he got the lamp after all. Quickly he rubbed it, and when the Slave of the Lamp appeared, he said, “Transport Aladdin’s palace and all in it to Africa.” Instantly the palace was gone. When Aladdin returned from hunting, the King ordered the poor fellow’s head to be cut off at once, but Aladdin plead for forty days to find out where his palace and Princess had gone. Then he remembered his gold ring. This he quickly rubbed and asked the Slave of the Ring to transport him to his palace. Instantly Aladdin was transported to Africa, and stood in his palace before his Princess, who was in tears because of the wicked magician. Soon after that the Slave of the Ring helped him to get back his wonderful lamp by killing the wicked magician. Then the Slave of the Lamp transported him back to his home with his palace and the beautiful Princess. But Aladdin never again lost his wonderful lamp.

[Pg 63]


Once there were three brothers, Peter, Paul, and John. Their father was very poor. One day, being unable to keep them longer, he told them they must go out into the world to earn their own living. Not far from their home lived a King, in front of whose palace-windows a great oak grew, with branches and leaves so thick that the light was shut out of the palace. The King had promised a great fortune to any one who would cut the oak down. Many tried, but the strange thing was, for every chip cut off two new chips took its place, so that the tree grew larger, rather than smaller, and the palace grew darker. The King had promised also to give his daughter and half his kingdom to any one who would dig a well so that he could get pure water for his palace. Many had tried to do this, but the rocks only grew bigger for all their digging and shoveling. When the three brothers heard of this, each said, “I will help the King and get the fortune, the King’s daughter and half the kingdom.” They started off in great expectation, but they had not gone far into the fir woods on the side of a steep hill, until they heard some one hewing and hacking farther up the hill in the wood. “Now, I wonder what that is?” said Jack. “Why, it’s a woodchopper, of course,” the two brothers answered; “you are always wondering about something!” “Still, I’d like to see,” said Jack, and up the hill he went while his brothers sauntered on. Jack soon saw a strange sight—an axe hacking and hewing away all by itself at the root of a great fir tree. “Good morning,” said Jack. “So you stay here all alone and hew, do you?” “Yes,” said the axe, “and here I’ve hewed and hacked a long, long time waiting for you!” “Well, here I am at last,” said Jack, and he put the axe into his bag. When he climbed down the hill and joined[Pg 64] his brothers they laughed at him and said, “Well, what did you see?” “The axe that we heard,” Jack answered, but he said nothing more. Farther on they came to a great ridge of rock which ran up the mountainside, and far off they heard something digging and shoveling. “Now, I wonder what that is?” said Jack. “Why, it’s a woodpecker, of course,” answered the brothers; “you are so clever with your wonderings!” “Still, I’d like to see,” said Jack, and up the rock he climbed while his brothers sauntered slowly on. At the top of the rock he saw a strange sight—a spade digging and digging away all by itself. “Good morning,” said Jack. “So you stay here all by yourself and dig, do you?” “Yes,” said the spade, “and here I’ve been digging a long, long time waiting for you.” “Well, here I am at last,” said Jack, and he placed the spade in his bag, and returned to join his brothers, who laughed and said, “Well, what did you see?” “The spade that we heard,” said Jack. So they went along until they came to a brook at which each drank, and then Jack said, “I wonder now, where this water comes from?” “Why, water rises from a spring in the earth,” laughed the brothers. “I’ve a great mind to see where this brook starts from,” said Jack, starting to climb up. At the tiny source of the brook Jack found a walnut, out of which the water trickled. The walnut said, “I have trickled and trickled here many a long day, waiting for you.” “Well, here I am at last,” said Jack, as he filled the little hole in the walnut with moss and placed it carefully in the bottom of his bag and ran down to meet his brothers again. “Well, have you found out where the water comes from?” they said. “Yes,” said Jack, “out of a hole up there.” So they kept making fun of him, until at last they reached the King’s palace. They found the oak bigger and the rock harder than ever, because so many had tried in vain. The King, in[Pg 65] discouragement and despair, had said, “Whoever tries and fails now shall have both his ears cut off, and he shall be placed on a desert island.” The three brothers were not afraid. First Peter, and then Paul, tried to chop down the oak and fill the well with water, but instead of the fortune, they got both their ears cut off, and they were sent off to a desert island. Then Jack was ready to try. “If you want to look like a sheared sheep with your two ears cut off, we’re ready for you,” said the King’s servants, really feeling sorry for the young man. But Jack took out the axe and said, “Hew! Hew!” and soon the great oak fell with a crash and great light shone in the palace. Then he took out the spade and said, “Dig! Dig!” and soon the rock broke in two and the well was deeper. Then he pulled out the walnut, took away the moss from the hole, and put the walnut in the well, and the water trickled, trickled so fast that very soon pure water filled the well. So Jack had felled the oak which darkened the palace, removed the rock, and filled the well in the palace-garden with water. Then the King gave him the great fortune, his daughter’s hand in marriage and one-half his kingdom, as he had promised. And the axe, and the spade, and the walnut said: “Those who have ears and will not use them must not complain if they are removed; and are we to blame if we help only those who are ready to use us?”

[Pg 66]


(Adapted for Children, Three to Nine Years.)


One day a selfish Boy saw a jar of nuts. He put his hand into the jar and grasped as many as his hand could hold. As the mouth of the jar was small he could not pull his hand out, so he became frightened and began to cry. “I can’t get my hand out!” he whined. A boy standing near said, “Take only half as many, and you can easily get your hand out!”


Once there was a man who had a wonderful Goose that laid for him every day a fine golden egg. But the man wanted to get all the golden eggs at once. So he killed the Goose and cut her open, but found she was like all other geese. So he lost the Goose he had because he was so greedy and impatient.


Once a hungry Cow came to a manger full of hay. But a Dog was lying there, snarling and barking, and would not let the Cow come near the hay. “Mr. Dog,” mooed the Cow, “How selfish you are; you cannot eat the hay yourself, and you will let no one else have any of it.”

[Pg 67]


In a forest a Toadstool once sprang up in a night. Early the next morning, as soon as the first passer-by touched it with his foot, the Toadstool fell to the earth and its life was ended. A little Acorn grew and grew and grew during more than one hundred years, and it is still standing strong and tall in the forest.


One day some boys at play were throwing stones into a pond at some frogs. At last one old Frog peeped up out of the water and said, “Boys, why are you so cruel?” “We are only playing!” shouted the boys. The old Frog croaked back: “It may be fun for you, but remember it is death to us. Do to us as you would like us to do to you.”


Once a little Ant went down to the river to drink. He fell into the water and began to drown. Just then a Dove, perched on a tree, saw him and quickly dropped down a leaf, which served as a little boat on which the Ant sailed safely to the shore. “Thank you,” said the Ant as he shook his wet feet, “I shall not forget this.” Next day a Hunter was aiming his bow and arrow straight at the Dove when the Ant bit his foot, making the man jump, and the Dove flew away.


A Fox who was hungry saw some large, juicy grapes on a vine high up in a tree. “How good they will taste,” said he; “I am going to have some of them.” Then he gave a run and leaped as high as he could, but[Pg 68] the grapes were still far above his head. He could not reach them no matter how high he jumped. At last he trotted off in a rage, muttering, “I know those are sour grapes and not worth eating.”


Once a Crow who was very thirsty found a pitcher with a little water at the bottom which he was unable to reach. He tried to overturn the pitcher but it was too heavy. “Ah! Ah! I know what I’ll do,” he said. So he gathered up pebbles from the ground, and one after another dropped them into the pitcher until the water gradually reached the top. Then the wise Crow was able to drink all the water he wanted.


One morning the Wind said to the Sun, “I am stronger than you are.” The Sun said, “I know I am stronger than you are.” As they were quarreling over the question a traveler came in sight. So they agreed to decide the matter by seeing which first could make him take off his coat. Then the Wind began blowing, blowing as fiercely as he could. He nearly tore off the traveler’s coat, but the man buttoned his coat up more closely about him, and the Wind had to give up, beaten. Then the Sun, clearing away the clouds, shot his hottest beams down on the traveler’s back, and the man soon threw off his coat. Then the Sun said, “Wind, you make more noise, but, you see, I am stronger.”


Once there was a boy who took care of a flock of sheep near a town. One day, when some men were working in the town, they heard the boy call, “Wolf! Wolf![Pg 69] The wolves are among the lambs!” The men ran up to him in great haste, but found no wolf among the lambs at all. The boy had a good laugh, and said, “I only called you for a joke!” He did the same thing two or three times. At last the wolves really came and began carrying off the lambs. The boy cried, “Wolf! Wolf! The wolves are carrying away the lambs!” But the men said, “He can’t fool us again!” So they would not come, and the wolves carried off many of the lambs. The foolish boy lost his place and found out, when too late, that a boy who tells lies, even in fun, may not be believed when he tells the truth.


Once an old Lion was sitting at the door of his den when a Rabbit came near. “Good morning, Bunny,” said the Lion, “come in and see my nice den.” “Thank you,” said Bun, and went in, but he did not come out again. Soon a Dog came by. “Come in, friend Doggie,” said the Lion. “Thank you,” said the Dog, and he went in, but he did not come out again. By and by a Fox came along. “Good morning, Mr. Fox,” said the Lion, “come in and see me.” “No, thank you, sir,” said the Fox, “I see the footprints of a Rabbit and a Dog going in, but I see no footprints pointing out.”


One day a Hare stood laughing at the slow pace of the Tortoise, and boasting how swiftly he could run. The Tortoise laughed back cheerfully, “Let us race five miles, and let Mr. Fox be the judge, and decide who beats.” So they got ready, and when the Fox said “One, two, three, go!” off they started. The slow-going Tortoise, jogging along, was soon left far behind by the[Pg 70] swift-speeding Hare, who laughed at the fun and said, “I might as well take a nap!” When the Hare awoke he looked up and saw the Tortoise almost at the goal. Running like the wind he reached the goal a few minutes too late. “Oh, oh, my friend,” laughed Judge Fox, “slow and steady wins the race.”


Once a Cat and a Fox met in the wood. The Fox said: “I know a hundred different tricks for getting away from hunters’ dogs. How many do you know, Puss?” “I know only one,” said Puss, “and if that fails me I am a dead cat!” “Poor, poor Pussy,” sighed the Fox, “I am sorry for you!” Just then the cries of hunters and barking of dogs were heard. The Fox ran off as fast as he could, trying this trick and that, but the hunters’ dogs soon caught him. The Cat simply sprang up to the top of a tree. That was her one trick, and she was safe. “I see,” said Puss, as she saw the Fox carried off, “one good trick is better than a thousand poor ones.”


One day a very young Grasshopper and an old Rooster met out in a field. “I can jump higher than anybody,” chirped the Grasshopper. “All right; let me see you do it,” said the Rooster, at the same time opening his mouth wide as if he meant to yawn. “Here I go, then,” cried the Grasshopper. He jumped so high he landed right in the mouth of the Rooster, who gulped him down. That was the end of the boasting Grasshopper.


Six blind beggars sitting by a roadside as an Elephant passed were told that they might touch it so that they[Pg 71] would know what an Elephant was like. The first one touched only the Elephant’s side and said, “He is like a wall!” The second one felt only his tusk and said, “No, no, he is like a spear.” The third took hold of his trunk and said, “He is surely like a snake.” “No such thing,” cried the fourth, grasping one of his legs, “he is like a tree.” The fifth was a tall man and took hold of his ear, and said, “All of you are wrong, he is like a big fan.” The sixth man happened to catch hold of his tail, and cried, “O foolish fellows, he is not like a wall, nor a spear, nor a snake, nor a tree, nor a fan; he is exactly like a rope.” So the Elephant passed on while the six blind men stood there quarreling, each being sure he knew exactly how the Elephant looked, and each calling the others hard names because the rest did not agree with him.




One warm summer day an Ant was busy gathering food and laying it up for winter. A foolish little Grasshopper who saw him said: “Oh, you poor slave, why do you work so hard? See how I play and enjoy myself! Play and sing with me.” “No, no,” replied the Ant; “if I play now, what shall I have ready for winter?” “Oh, it isn’t winter yet,” said the idle long-legs, as he hopped off again to play. At last the cold, bitter winter came. Then the Grasshopper went to the Ant to beg for some food to keep from starving, but the Ant said, “Those who play and dance all summer must expect to dance hungry to bed in winter.”


Once a Fox went trot, trot, trot, toward a hen-roost to catch a hen. But the farmer had set a trap in which[Pg 72] Mr. Fox caught his long, bushy tail, and it came right off. As he trotted back home, ashamed to be seen without his tail, he said: “I know what I will do; I will tell the foxes tails are ugly and useless. Let us cut them off.” So he called all the foxes in council, but he took good care to hold his back against a tree, so they could not see that he did not have a tail. While he was making his speech, urging them to cut off their tails, one little fox peeped behind the tree and cried, “Oh! Oh! he has lost his tail!” Then another fox gave him a push, and as he ran off in shame, all the foxes laughed, “That is why he wanted us to cut off our tails.”


“Hurrah! Hurrah!” shouted a boy in the woods one day. “Hurrah! Hurrah!” some one shouted back. He thought it must be another boy in the woods, and started off to find him, but no other boy was to be seen anywhere. “Where are you?” he called out. “Where are you?” came back at once. “You are mocking me!” he cried. “You are mocking me,” came again the voice. “You are a goose,” the boy cried, becoming angry. “You are a goose,” came back the same voice. The boy began to cry, and ran home to tell his mother that a bad boy hiding in the woods called him bad names. “Did he speak first or you?” his mother asked. When he explained it all, his mother said: “There was only one boy there, and you were that boy, and what you heard was your echo. If you had spoken kind words, only kind words would have come back to you.”


One cold night an Arab sat in his tent, and his Camel asked if he might put his nose inside the tent to keep it[Pg 73] warm. “Yes,” said the kind-hearted man. Soon the Camel said, “Please let me put my neck inside,” which his master permitted. “It will take no more room if I put my two front feet inside too, will it?” pleaded the Camel. The man moved a little to allow that. “May I please put my hump in too?” begged the Camel. Then, as soon as his hump was in, the Camel walked in altogether. The Arab began to complain, but the Camel said, “If you do not like this small space, you can go outside yourself.” Then he gave the Arab a push that landed him right out of his tent and stayed inside all by himself. That was the Arab’s reward for allowing the Camel to put his nose inside the tent.


Two Cats who had stolen a large piece of cheese were quarreling over dividing it. At last they decided to refer the matter to a Monkey, who took a pair of scales and, breaking the cheese into two pieces, placed a piece in each scale. “Let me see,” he said, taking out the heavier piece, “this piece weighs more than the other.” Then he bit off quite a piece and put it back on the scale, and, of course, it was lighter than the other piece. So he took a mouthful from that side, and continued taking from first one side and then the other, until the Cats cried, “Hold! Hold! Give us the two pieces and we will be satisfied.” “Not so fast,” replied the Monkey, “justice must be given,” and he continued to nibble one piece after another. The Cats saw their cheese was almost gone and begged for what was left. “No, no, my friends,” said the Monkey, “what remains belongs to me for my pay!” So he crammed the rest into his mouth and munched it in hearty enjoyment as he solemnly dismissed the court.

[Pg 74]


One day a Lion was lying fast asleep in a thick wood, when a little Mouse, playing “hide-and-seek,” ran over the Lion’s nose and awakened him. As quick as a flash the Lion caught the Mouse under his paw. “O Lion, do not eat me, please,” begged the Mouse, “I am such a little thing. I could not make you a mouthful. Let me go and some day I will do something to help you.” This made the Lion laugh, but he let the Mouse scamper off. Later on this good Lion was caught in a net and roared in distress. The Mouse heard him and ran up and said, “Now, Mr. Lion, I will do something to help you.” “How can you?” roared the Lion. Quickly the Mouse began to gnaw the net with his sharp little teeth. It took a long time, but at last the Lion was free. The Mouse laughed as he scampered away again, saying, “Little friends may help as much as great friends. I did help you after all, you see!”


Once a Lark and her little ones lived together in a nest in a field of ripened wheat. The mother bird was afraid the reapers might come before the young larks could fly. So every morning when she went for food she told them to listen carefully to all they heard and tell her when she returned. On the first evening they said, “We heard the farmer tell his son to ask the neighbors to help reap the wheat.” “Oh, no danger yet,” said Mother Lark. The next evening they said, “We heard the farmer tell his son to ask his uncle and cousins to help reap the wheat.” “Oh, no danger yet!” said the mother. On the third evening they said, “To-day we heard the farmer say to his son, ‘To-morrow we will reap the wheat ourselves!’” “Then,” cried the mother, “we[Pg 75] must fly away at once, for the wheat is sure to be cut now. When a man makes up his mind to do a thing himself, it is more likely to be done.” She took her young ones away at once, and the next day the wheat was reaped by the farmer and his son.


Once an old Miller and his son were walking along a country road behind their Donkey, which they were driving to town to sell. On the way they met some girls who said, “Look! What stupid people to walk instead of riding.” Wishing to please them the old Miller put his son on the Donkey and walked along by their side. Soon they came to some men who shouted: “Look; what a lazy lout! Are you not ashamed to ride, while your poor old father walks?” Wishing to please them the Miller told his son to get down while he mounted and rode. Not long after they met some women who cried, “Look, what a shame for that selfish old father to ride while his son walks!” So the father, wishing again to please, took up his son behind him. They had not gone far when they met a man who said, “Look at that shameful sight! Why, those two strong fellows are better able to carry that poor beast than he is to carry them.” Wishing to please him the Miller and his son got down, tied the Donkey’s legs together between a long pole, shouldered the load, and began carrying the Donkey in this way along the road. When they came to the town bridge they met a crowd of people who shouted with such laughter and jeers at this funny sight of seeing them carrying a Donkey, that the frightened animal kicked himself loose, and fell over the bridge into the river and was drowned. The Miller said to his son, “By trying to please everybody we have pleased nobody and lost our Donkey.”

[Pg 76]


Once there was a Persian Ruler, who lived in a great palace with his three sons. The father had a beautiful pearl which he decided to give to the son which showed himself the noblest. He called the three boys before him and asked each to tell the noblest deed he had performed in the last month. The eldest said: “Father, as I was traveling in a foreign land, a merchant trusted me with many valuable jewels, and he did not count them. I might easily have kept one or two and they would not have been missed, but I carried those jewels and delivered them all as safely as though they had been my own.” “My son,” said the father, “you were honest, and did a noble deed!”

“Father,” said the second son, “as I was walking in the country the other day, I saw a child playing by a lake, and while I watched, the child fell in and I saved the child.” “You have done your duty,” said the father, “and you too have done a noble deed.”

“Father,” said the third boy, “as I crossed over the mountain the other day, I saw a man who had done me a great wrong, sleeping near the edge of a dangerous precipice. I would have walked by without a word, only something within me called me to go back and awake him lest he fall over the precipice and be killed. I did this, knowing all the time that the man would not understand, and that he would be angry with me, as, indeed, he was.”

“My son,” cried the father, “your deed was the noblest. To do good to an enemy without hope of reward is indeed the noblest of all. The pearl is yours!”

[Pg 77]


(Adapted for Children, Six to Twelve Years.)


One day a Bear met a Fox, who was slinking along with a string of fish he had stolen. “Where did you get those nice fish?” said the Bear. “That’s telling,” laughed the Fox; “but if you want to get some, go out on the ice, cut a hole in it, and stick your tail down in the hole and hold your tail there until you feel a bite. The longer you hold your tail in the hole the more fish you will get. Then all at once pull your tail out sidewise with a strong jerk.” The Bear went down to the ice and held his tail a long, long time in the hole until it was frozen fast in. Then he jerked it out with a side pull, and his tail snapped short off. And people used to think that is why the Bear has a stumpy tail.


Far, far away to the North, in the bitter winter, a hunter and his little son sat down beside their fire, watching it day and night. They knew well that unless it was kept burning the people would freeze and the Bear would have the Northland all to himself. But one night when the father was ill and the boy was so tired that he fell fast asleep, the Bear stole up quietly and poked the fire with his big, wet paws. Thinking the fire was out, he went quickly away to his cave. But as soon as the Bear[Pg 78] was gone, a little gray Robin flew down and fanned a tiny blue spark into a flame with her wings. As she did this, the little Robin’s breast was burned red. But wherever she flew after that, over all the woods, a fire began to burn, and the whole Northland became full of fires, and so the Bear did not have all the North country to himself. For a thousand years the people of the North have had a great love for the Robin. And they tell their children this story why the Robin’s breast became red.—Adapted from Coates’ “Nature Myths and Stories.”


“Go out into the forest and gather sticks for the fire,” said the wood-cutter’s wife to her husband. “To-morrow will be Sunday, and we have no wood to burn.” “Yes,” he said, “I will go.” He went to the forest, but instead of getting the fire-wood, he sat by the bank of a stream and fished all day, and late at night went home without any wood. His wife was already asleep and did not know what he had done. Early the next morning he crept out to the forest, intending to bring wood before she would be astir. He cut the wood, and began carrying the bundle of sticks on his back, when a voice behind him said, “Put the wood down.” “I can’t,” he said, “my wife cannot cook dinner without it.” “You will have no dinner to-day,” said the voice. “My wife will not know I did not bring wood last night,” he said. “Put the wood down! It is Sunday, the day when men should rest from their work.” “Sunday or Monday,” said the man, “it is all one to me.” “Then,” said the voice, “if you will not keep Sunday on earth, you shall keep Monday in the heavens, and you shall carry your wood until the Judgment Day.”

The man could not tell how it was, but he felt himself[Pg 79] being lifted up, up, up, sticks and all, till he was in the moon. “Here you shall stay,” said the voice. On any clear night, when you look up at the moon, you can still see a great shadow, like an old man with wood on his shoulder.


Long ago the Greek people believed that the world was ruled by many gods. They thought Jupiter was the father, with many powerful children. One of these was Prometheus, meaning “Forethought.” This god had a kind heart, and longed to help the poor and unhappy men of earth who lived in caves and holes in the rocks, hungry and cold. They ate their food raw, like the beasts. They had no tools, nor comforts. Prometheus said: “Poor man, how I pity him! If he only had fire, then he would be happy. Yes, man shall have fire, even if Jupiter kills me.” So one dark night he set out for Mount Olympus, the abode of the gods, stole a lighted brand, hid it in his bosom, and brought it down to man. “See the gift I bring you!” he cried. It was midwinter. Snows were deep on the ground. Ice covered the rivers. Men were shivering in the cold and little children were freezing. Prometheus laid wood together and touched it with his firebrand, and lo! the first fire on earth was started! Blue fingers were spread out to the wonderful warmth. Pinched faces smiled in the golden glow. “Summer is come again!” they shouted. They called Prometheus, the helper of man. But he became their teacher too. He showed them how to cook their food, make tools, and dig metals from the earth, and soon man was warm and happy and busy. One day Jupiter looked down from his high throne on the topmost peak of Mount Olympus and[Pg 80] saw the fire-theft. In fearful anger he ordered his son, Vulcan, the blacksmith of the gods, to seize Prometheus, carry him away to the Caucasian Mountains, chain him fast to a huge rock, where a great vulture tore out his liver. There Prometheus suffered for ages; but generation after generation of men lived on earth, and died, blessing him for the gift he had brought to them. After many centuries of woe, Hercules found Prometheus, killed the vulture, broke the chain, and set free the suffering god, who said, “I am glad man has the fire-gift!” And the sight of man warming himself beside it and using it comforted him.


The Greeks believed that Apollo was the god of music and of hunting, and also of the sun. Every day, they thought, he rode through the sky in his golden chariot, drawn by fiery horses. One day Phaethon, meaning “the Bright and Shining One,” his son, said, “Father, let me drive your chariot for one day.” “My son,” said Apollo, “I cannot grant your request! ’Tis a mischief, not a gift, you ask. The road is steep and the four fiery steeds untamed. You would grow dizzy and fall and set the world on fire.” But Phaethon pleaded and, because he had promised, at last Apollo ordered the Hours to harness the horses and fling wide open the palace-gates. Phaethon took the reins and the whip in his hands. “My son,” said Apollo, “be sure to watch the horses with the greatest care, and do not use the whip.” At first Phaethon remembered his father’s words and he enjoyed his ride; but soon he became reckless and drove faster and faster until he lost his way. In trying to find it again he drove so near the earth that immediately trees shriveled, harvests withered, fountains dried up, cities were burned to[Pg 81] ashes, and even the people of the land over which he was passing were burned black—which color the Negroes have to this day. This frightened Phaethon so much that he whipped up his horses, and drove them so far away that the earth turned to a sudden cold. The cries of the suffering people rose in chorus to Jupiter, who awoke from his deep sleep, and at once hurled his deadliest thunderbolt straight at the foolhardy Phaethon. In a moment the dead boy fell like a shooting star into the waters of a deep river. His intimate friend, Cycnus, continually plunged into the river in hope of finding all the scattered pieces of his body, until the gods changed him into a swan. And that is the reason, the Greeks thought, why the swan is ever mournfully sailing about, and often plunging his head into the water to continue his sad search for Phaethon.


Clytie was a water-nymph who lived in a cave at the bottom of the sea. She had never seen the earth or sky or stars or sun or light of day, in her dark home, deep in the sea. One morning she floated up so far that she reached the surface and swam to the beautiful green shore. Shaking the water out of her waving yellow hair, she sat and watched a golden ball which was arising out of the east. It was the sun. With wonder and delight her eyes followed him as he mounted higher and higher. It became noon, but Clytie never stirred. She scarcely seemed to breathe. Soon the sun sank lower and lower toward the west, and Clytie’s eyes still followed him with love. Then the sun sank from sight. Clytie fell upon her face in sorrow, crying, “Oh, the miracle! shall I ever see it again? I will not leave this spot. I will wait to see if the wonder may not return.” So[Pg 82] through the long night she watched, and in the white light of dawn the great sun burst again in beauty upon the waiting eyes of Clytie, who followed him in his course, turning her sweet, sad face, east, south, and west as the day advanced. This she did day after day, until at last the gods, in pity, changed her into the sunflower. But the sunflower still follows, with upturned face, the daily journey of the sun.

So the heart that has truly loved never forgets,
But as truly loves on to the close;
As the sunflower turns to her god when he sets
The same look which she turned when he rose.


Once there was a King, named Midas, who loved gold better than anything else in the world. Every day he went down into a dark room in his castle to play with his piles of gold, and to see them shine. One morning, before he arose from his bed, he sighed: “I wish I had the whole world for my treasure-room, and that it was full of gold all my own, then I would be very happy!” Just then a voice said, “Midas, you are a very rich man. You ought to be the happiest man in the world.” “I am not,” said the King; “but I would be if everything I touched would turn to gold.” “Are you sure you would not be sorry you made such a choice?” said the voice. “How could I be sorry? I would be the happiest man in the world!” “Very well, then,” said the voice, “you shall have the Golden Touch.” Just then a little sunbeam came through the window shining on his bed. He put out his hand and touched the coverlet, and it was turned to gold. He sprang from his bed and ran about the room, turning everything to gold. Then he dressed himself and was delighted to find his clothes became[Pg 83] golden garments, and his spectacles turned to gold. Going down-stairs he went out into the garden, and kept plucking roses which changed into beautiful, shining gold. Even the dewdrops became little nuggets of gold. Then he went back into the house to breakfast, and had great fun changing his daughter’s bread and milk bowl into gold. Just then his daughter, Marygold, came into the room crying, “Oh, my beautiful roses are all ugly and yellow and without any fragrance.” “Don’t cry,” said her father; “let us eat.” But as soon as he touched his breakfast, the baked potatoes, fish, and cakes all became gold. He raised the cup of coffee to his lips. That too turned to gold, and of course he could not drink it. He looked at Marygold who was quietly eating her bread and milk. How he longed to have just one taste. Seeing her father’s sad face, Marygold ran to him, but as soon as he took her in his arms and kissed her she too became hard, shining gold, and even her tears were little nuggets of gold. Poor, unhappy King! His heart was sad. He threw himself on the floor and tried to pray, but the words would not come. All at once the room grew bright, and a voice said, “How do you like the Golden Touch?” “I hate the very name of gold!” cried the King. “I would give all I have just to see my daughter smile again.” “Then,” said the voice, “take a pitcher, go to the river, jump in head first and fill the pitcher with water; then sprinkle a few drops of it on everything you have changed to gold. Everything will become as before.” The King quickly did all the voice said. The first thing he did with the water was to sprinkle Marygold, who at once opened her eyes in life again. Then he went into the garden and changed the roses back to their natural beauty and fragrance. Nor did he stop until he had sprinkled water on everything he had changed to gold. Then he ate his breakfast with great joy. Only two things were[Pg 84] left to remind him of the Golden Touch—the sand in the river and Marygold’s hair. As this made her more beautiful, Midas said that was the only gold he cared for after that.—Adapted from Hawthorne’s “Tanglewood Tales.”


Once upon a time in the early days of the Christians, in the reign of the Emperor Diocletian, there was born in the province of Cappadocia, in Asia Minor, a beautiful baby boy, named George, who grew up to be a brave soldier and knight. Once when he was on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land he came to a town in the country of Libya where the people were living in great terror because a great dragon, with poisonous breath, had his home in a marsh outside the city walls. The monster had devoured their sheep and oxen, and the people were forced to shut themselves close inside their city and send out each day a sheep to satisfy the hunger of this dreadful dragon. At last not one sheep was left. Then the King ordered that each day two children, chosen by lot, should be sent out to the dragon. The people obeyed the King’s order and from day to day arose the bitter cries of parents upon whose children the cruel lot had fallen. But one morning the lot fell upon Cleodolinda, the beautiful fifteen-year-old daughter of the King. He was in despair, for he loved his little daughter most tenderly. He offered all the gold in the treasury and half his kingdom if she should be spared. But the parents who had been obliged to sacrifice their children insisted that the King’s daughter should be given to the dragon, and threatened to burn the King in his palace if he did not send her forth at once. The King pleaded for eight days longer to bid farewell to her. Then he sent her forth weeping, and arrayed in her royal robes, to die for her[Pg 85] people. Walking timidly toward the terrible monster’s den, along the path strewn thick with the bleaching bones of her former playmates, she suddenly heard the sound of hurrying horse’s hoofs. She looked up, and there was a beautiful young knight in armor, on a milk-white horse, coming toward her with a gleaming spear, ready to do battle with any enemy that might cross his path. She cried, “Fly! fly for your life, Sir Knight!” But when he had heard her sad story, he said: “God forbid that I should fly! I will destroy this monster, your enemy, and deliver you through the power that lives in all true followers of Christ.” Just then the dragon came forth, half flying and half crawling toward them, clashing his bronze scales with horrid noise. Cleodolinda again begged the knight to fly and leave her to her fate. But Saint George made the sign of the cross and rushed upon the monster. The struggle was fierce and long, for it was hard to strike through the dragon’s bronze scales. But at last, with a blow like that of three strong men, Saint George pinned the dragon to the earth with his lance. Cleodolinda did not run away but, “with folded hands and knees full truly bent,” the brave girl stood near her champion, who said: “Touch him and see how tame he is. See, even his poisonous breath is gone. It is the power of good over evil.” Then he took the girl’s rich girdle, bound it round the great dragon, and gave one end to her, telling her to lead the dragon into the city. So the girl who had obediently gone out to the dragon expecting him to devour her, obediently led the powerless creature over the fields he had laid waste and over the bleaching bones of the children he had devoured, and the meek monster followed her like a lamb toward the walls of the city where the people were gathered in terror. Saint George called out: “Fear not, only believe in the Christ through whose might I have overpowered your[Pg 86] enemy, and I will destroy the dragon before your eyes.” Then he took his sword and smote off the dragon’s head, and all the people hailed him as their deliverer. But Saint George bade them give God the praise. He preached to them so earnestly that the King and princess and all the people became Christians. He would not take the gold the King offered him, but ordered that it be distributed among the poor. Then he bade them all adieu and rode away to do in other lands like noble deeds of loving service. So this champion of the weak became the patron saint of merry England, and only the bravest knight or soldier may wear the cross and be called a Knight of Saint George.


If you should ever sail across the ocean to Ireland, and travel on that Emerald Isle, you would be sure to hear many interesting stories about the good missionary, Saint Patrick. One story which was told many years ago by an old monk named Jocelin, is this:

Long, long ago, when Ireland was called Erin, and before Saint Patrick came to the island, the people were troubled with a plague of demons and reptiles. Patrick was the son of a Christian magistrate who lived in England. In the year A. D. 411, when Patrick was fifteen, some wild Irish raiders stole him and sold him as a slave in Ireland, where he remained in slavery for six years tending pigs upon the mountains. When this Christian boy, Patrick, made his escape to France, he resolved to return to Ireland and devote himself as a missionary to the conversion of the people. When he returned to Ireland to enter upon his mission, he found the country stricken because of the demons and reptiles. By means of a wondrous staff which he stretched toward heaven, and[Pg 87] a holy bell, Fuin Foya, which when he rang was heard throughout Erin, he drove away the demons with howls of rage. Then, as he went about the land preaching and doing good to all the people, he found them still suffering with the plague of snakes and toads, which ugly reptiles he drove westward until they reached a high rock, when, with a hissing sound, they turned upon Saint Patrick and tried to poison him. But the saint was armed with his melodious bell, which had been given by the angels, and of all sounds in the world the ringing of a heavenly bell is most terrible to a reptile, and the silvery tones of this bell frightened the snakes and toads more than all the bells of the land ringing together. When Saint Patrick saw these wicked serpents making ready to sting him, and saw they all no longer obeyed his commands and his threats, he uncovered the bell and the moment they heard the first tinkle they rushed forward in a body to scramble up the side of the hill and away from the sound they hated. As soon as they reached the top they began to sway to and fro in their fright, for there, far beneath the dark rocks, lay the blue waters of the ocean. But they could not wait there long, for as soon as Saint Patrick came to the summit, he made a sign for them to come near him, and, creeping and crawling, they cowered at his feet, waiting to hear their doom. The good Saint Patrick stood over them and, lifting his staff in his hand, he pointed out far over the sea. “Forward, every one into the sea!” he commanded, “and henceforth this blessed Isle of Erin shall be free forever from your power of evil!” They lay at his feet hissing and writhing in agony, but Saint Patrick began to uncover his bell, Fuin Foya. As soon as they saw that, the reptiles rushed and tumbled down, down over the steep rocks. So, hissing and howling, they plunged into the sea and disappeared under the waves.

[Pg 88]


One cold winter’s day, long, long ago, when the Coyote was the friend and the counselor of the Indian, a Boy of one of the tribes was ranging through a mountain forest with a big, gray Coyote. The poor Indians ran naked in the snow or huddled in caves in the rocks, and were suffering terribly in the cold. The Boy said, “I am sorry for the misery of my people.” “I do not feel the cold,” said the Coyote. “You have a coat of fur,” said the Boy, “and my people have not. I will hunt with you no more until I have found a way to make my people warm in the winter’s cold. Help me, O counselor.” The Coyote ran away, and when he came back, after a long time, he said, “I have a way, but it’s a hard way.” “No way is too hard,” said the Boy. So the Coyote told him they must go to the Burning Mountain to bring fire to the people. “What is fire?” asked the Boy. “Fire is red like a flower, yet not a flower; swift to run in the grass and destroy, like a beast, yet not a beast; fierce and beautiful, yet a good servant to keep one warm, if kept among stones and fed with sticks.”

“We will get the fire,” said the Boy. So the Boy and the Coyote started off with one hundred swift runners for the far-away Burning Mountain. At the end of the first day’s trail they left the weakest of the runners to wait; at the end of the second day the next stronger, and so for each of the hundred days; and the Boy was the strongest runner and went to the last trail with the Coyote. At last the two stood at the foot of the Burning Mountain, from which smoke rolled out. Then the Coyote said to the Boy, “Stay here till I bring you a brand from the burning. Be ready for running, for I shall be faint when I reach you, and the Fire-spirits will pursue me.” Up the mountainside he went. He looked[Pg 89] so slinking and so small and so mean, the Fire-spirits laughed at him. But in the night, as the Fire-spirits were dancing about the mountain, the Coyote stole the fire and ran with it fast away from the Fire-spirits who, red and angry, gave chase after him, but could not overtake him. The Boy saw him coming, like a falling star against the mountain, with the fire in his mouth, the sparks of which streamed out along his sides. As soon as the Coyote got near, the Boy took the brand from his jaws and was off, like an arrow from a bent bow, till he reached the next runner, who stood with his head bent for running. To him he passed it, and he was off and away, and the spiteful Fire-spirits were hot in chase. So the brand passed from hand to hand and the Fire-spirits tore after each runner through the country, but they came to the mountains of the snows ahead and could not pass. Then the swift runners, one after the other bore it forward, shining starlight in the night, glowing red in the sultry noons, pale in the twilight, until they came safely to their own land. There they kept the fire among the stones and fed it with sticks, as the Coyote had said, and it kept the people warm.

Ever after, the Boy was called the Fire-bringer, and the Indians said the Coyote still bears the mark of fire, because his flanks are singed and yellow from the flames that streamed backward from the firebrand that night in the long ago.—Adapted from “The Basket Woman,” by Mary Antrim.

[Pg 90]


(Adapted for Children, Six to Twelve Years.)


Once upon a time a Duck was sitting all alone on her nest watching for her young ducklings to hatch. All at once the eggs seemed alive. “Peep! Peep!” and one little fluffy yellow head after another looked out. “Quack! Quack!” said the Duck, and all the ducklings quacked too, as well as they could. But one egg still remained unhatched, and it was the largest egg of all. “I must sit on it a little longer,” said Mother Duck very tenderly. This she did until at last the large egg cracked and out tumbled a large, ugly, gray Duckling. He seemed so different from the others that the mother thought sure that he must be a turkey, until she saw him swim in the water, just as well as her other children. But he was not so pretty as the others, and the poor, ugly Duckling was bitten and pecked and chased and kicked about and made fun of by all, and even his own brothers and sisters were unkind to him. At last he could bear it no longer, and he ran away, going on and on until he came to a swamp where the wild geese lived. “Bang! Bang!” went a gun in the morning, and two of the geese fell dead. In a moment more a large, terrible dog ran up. He put his nose close to the Duckling, showing his sharp teeth, and then “Splash! Splash!” he went out of the water without touching him. “I am so ugly a dog will not bite me,” the poor bird said, lying still until the[Pg 91] gun stopped shooting. In the evening he flew away from the swamp and came to a hut where an old woman lived with a cat and a hen. These made so much fun of him because he was so ugly that he flew away from them and was very lonely and sad among the rushes all the long, cold winter until the spring came. Then one morning he flew on and on until he came to a large, beautiful garden where he saw three white swans moving on the smooth water. “I will fly to them,” he said. As soon as they saw him they swam toward him and began to stroke his neck with their beaks. Just then he looked down into the clear water, and was surprised at his own image. He saw himself no longer a dark, gray, ugly duckling, but a beautiful snow-white swan like the others. Little children running about the garden came up to throw bread and cake into the water. “Oh, see!” cried one of the children. “There is a new one! The new one is the prettiest!” The Swan was so happy he did not know what to do. He was not at all proud, but he shook his beautiful feathers, stretched his graceful, slender neck, and said: “Now, when people see me they will be glad! I never dreamed of such happiness when I was an ugly duckling!”—Adapted from Hans Christian Andersen.


Once there were three brothers, Hans, Swartz, and Gluck, the youngest. These three brothers owned a rich farm in a valley far up on the mountainside. The apples that grew there were so red, the corn so yellow, the grapes so blue, and everything was so fertile that it was called “Treasure Valley.” On the very top of the mountain a river shone so bright and golden when lighted by the rays of the setting sun that people called it the “Golden River,” but its waters flowed down on the other[Pg 92] side of the mountain. The two older brothers were so selfish and cruel that they were called the “Black Brothers.” They beat their brother Gluck so cruelly one day for being kind to some one that the West Wind punished them by blowing, blowing, blowing so hard that everything became dry and the valley became a desert. Then the three brothers went to live in the town, and the two oldest went from bad to worse, until one day they said, “We have nothing left in the world but Gluck’s Golden Pitcher.” This pitcher was a gift from his uncle, which Gluck highly prized, but the cruel brothers ordered him, while they were away, to put it into the melting-pot and make it into gold spoons that they might secure money to support them. While the melting-pot with the gold pitcher in it was warming over the hot fire, Gluck looked out of the window and saw the sun reflecting its yellow glow in the Golden River, far up on the mountain crest. He sighed, “How fine it would be if only that river were really gold. We wouldn’t be poor then!” “It wouldn’t be fine at all,” said a thin little voice from the melting-pot. “Pour me out! Pour me out! I’m too hot,” continued the thin little voice. It was the King of the Golden River, a queer little dwarf, who peeped out of the melting-pot and said: “Whoever climbs to the top of the mountain where the Golden River begins, and pours in three drops of holy water, shall find the river turned into gold. But whoever fails at the first trial can have no other, and will be changed into a big black boulder.” With these words the King of the Golden River vanished up the chimney. Just then the two brothers knocked at the door and came in, and when they saw the golden pitcher all melted away and vanished in smoke up the chimney, they beat poor Gluck black and blue for his carelessness. When Gluck told them what the King of the Golden River had said, at first they would[Pg 93] not believe him, and then they quarreled so terribly over which should be the first to go, that a policeman came and Swartz was thrown into prison. Then Hans said, “I will be the first to get the gold.” He took a bottle of water and climbed up, up, up the mountainside until he met a dog so thirsty that his tongue hung from his mouth. Hans gave the dog a kick and passed on until he met a little child, who said, “I’m so thirsty.” But Hans gave the child a slap and passed on until he met a queer little old man, who cried, “Water! Water! I’m dying for water!” Hans spoke bad words and passed on, drinking up all the water himself. So when he came to the source of the Golden River he found that all his water was gone, and he did not have even three drops to put into the river. Then, in a rage, he threw the empty bottle into the stream, and immediately there was great thunder and lightning, and Hans was changed into a big black boulder.

When Hans did not return, Gluck went to work in a goldsmith’s shop to earn money enough to get Swartz out of prison. As soon as he was released he said, “Now I will try to get the gold.” So Swartz took a bottle of water and climbed up, up, up the mountainside, passing the poor, thirsty dog, the little child, and the queer little old man dying of thirst, without so much as sharing one drop of water with them. When he came to the source of the Golden River he found that all his water was gone and he did not have even three drops to pour into the river. Then, in a rage, he threw the empty bottle into the stream, and immediately there was great thunder and lightning, and Swartz was changed into a big black boulder beside his brother.

Gluck waited long for his brothers to return, but when they did not come he took a bottle of water and started to climb up, up, up the mountainside until he came[Pg 94] to the poor thirsty dog, and the little child, and then the queer little old man, with each of whom Gluck kindly shared the water from his bottle, and when he reached the top of the mountain he found he had plenty of water still in his bottle. So he poured in three drops of his holy water into the heart of the river, but, to his surprise, he found that the river did not change into gold. The water began to flow down the other side of the mountain toward Treasure Valley. He was disappointed and sad. Then the King of the Golden River appeared again and said, “Follow the stream!” Then he noticed, as he went down the mountainside, that everywhere the river flowed flowers and vines and fruit trees blossomed, and soon all Treasure Valley was one rich, beautiful garden again. Then he saw that the river was indeed, as the King had said, a River of Gold. After that Gluck lived in a beautiful home in Treasure Valley. His apples were red, his corn was yellow, his grapes were blue, and everything became prosperous again. But the hungry and thirsty were never once sent empty away.—Adapted from John Ruskin.


One hot summer morning a little Cloud rose out of the sea and floated happily across the blue sky. Far below lay the earth, brown and dry and desolate from drought. The little Cloud could see the poor earth-people working and suffering in the heat, while she floated here and there in the sky without a care. “Oh, if I could only help those people,” said the Cloud. “If I could make their work easier and give the hungry ones food and the thirsty ones drink! Yes, I will help, I will!” And she began to sink softly down to the earth. As she sank lower she remembered when she was a tiny cloud-child in the lap of Mother Ocean she was told that if the[Pg 95] clouds went too near the earth they would die. Thinking of that she held herself from sinking and swayed herself here and there in the breeze. Then she said, “Men of earth, come what may, I will help. I will.” All at once she became so large and wide-spread that the men of earth were afraid; the trees and the grasses bowed themselves; a wonderful light glowed from her heart; the sound of thunder rolled through the sky, and a love greater than words can tell filled the Cloud. Down, down, close to earth she swept, and gave up her life in a heavy shower of rain. That rain was the Cloud’s generous deed, but it was her death, and it was her glory too. Over the whole country round, as far as the rain fell, a lovely rainbow spread its arch, and all the brightest rays of heaven made its colors. It was the last greeting of a love so great as to sacrifice itself. Soon the rainbow was gone, but long, long after, the men and women, saved by the Cloud, kept her blessing in their hearts.—Adapted from “How to Tell Stories to Children,” Sara Cone Bryant.


Far up in the mountains of New England there was a great rock in such a position as to resemble the features of a human face. There were the broad arch of the forehead, the eyes, the nose, and the lips. So real was it, the Great Stone Face seemed to be alive. Happy were the children who grew up to manhood or womanhood with this Great Stone Face before their eyes, for the features were all so noble and their expression like the glow of a great, warm heart, it was an education to look at it. There was a belief among the people who lived in the valley, that one day a boy would be born who would become the greatest and noblest man of his times, and whose face would exactly resemble the Great Stone Face.[Pg 96] After a long time a boy grew up in the valley who learned to love the sight of this image. After his day’s work was done he would gaze up at it until he thought it seemed to notice him and give him a smile of kindness and encouragement in response to his look of love. Very often during those years a rumor arose that the great man foretold for ages had at last appeared. A boy who had grown up in the valley, had gone away and become a millionaire, returned, and people said, “This is he!” But it proved untrue. Then a soldier, and a statesman, and a poet arose, and people said, “This is he!” But it was not so. Meanwhile, the boy who quietly day by day lived, and labored, and looked up, and loved the Great Stone Face grew to manhood, becoming more and more like it, until one day everybody saw the resemblance, and cried, “This is he!” And it was. This good boy and young man had gradually grown in gentleness and goodness and love until his face became as magnetic and his influence as helpful in the valley as the Great Stone Face.—Adapted from Hawthorne.


(Written by Canon Kingsley for his own little boy.)

Once there was a chimney-sweep, and his name was Tom. He lived in a great city, where there were plenty of chimneys to sweep. He never washed himself, he never had been taught to say his prayers, he could not read or write. One morning Tom and his master, Mr. Grimes, started off to sweep some chimneys in the country. Mr. Grimes rode the donkey, and Tom, with his brushes, walked behind. They overtook a poor old Irish woman, trudging along with a bundle on her back. She had a shawl on her head and a red dress. She spoke kindly to Tom, and they walked along together until[Pg 97] they came to a spring. The master jumped from the donkey and dipped his head into the water, shaking his ears to dry them. Tom said, “Master, I never saw you wash before.” “Nor will you see me wash again, most likely. I did it for coolness, not for cleanliness. I’d be ashamed to want washing every week or so like any smutty collier-lad.” “I wish I might wash,” said poor little Tom. “Come along,” said Grimes. “What do you want with washing yourself?” and he began beating the poor boy. “Shame on you!” cried the old woman. “They that wish to be clean, clean they will be; they that wish to be dirty, dirty they will be. Remember!”

That day Tom swept so many chimneys that he got lost, and came down the wrong chimney in one house, and found himself standing in a room the like of which he had never seen before. There was a wash-stand with a basin and soap and brushes and towels. Looking toward the bed he held his breath, for there, under the snow-white coverlet, was the most beautiful little girl Tom had ever seen. “Are all the people like that when they are washed?” he thought. Then he looked at his wrists and tried to rub off the soot, and wondered if it ever would come off. Looking round he saw standing close to him a little, ugly, black, ragged boy with red eyes and grinning white teeth. “Who are you?” he said. “What does such a little black monkey want here?” But it was himself reflected in the great mirror, the like of which also Tom had never seen before. Tom found out then, for the first time, that he was dirty. He burst into tears and turned to sneak up the chimney again to hide himself, but he upset the fender and threw the fire-irons down with a great noise. Under the window there was a great tree, and Tom went down the tree like a cat and across the garden toward the woods. The gardener, who was busily engaged in watering the rose-bushes,[Pg 98] saw him and gave chase; the milkmaid heard the noise and followed too; and so did the groom and the plowman, and the old Irish woman and Mr. Grimes. But Tom ran faster than all, and in the woods he was lost from view, and all went back again. On the bank of a river Tom sat down to rest, and was soon fast asleep and dreaming of the little clean girl and the Irish woman who said, “They that wish to be clean, clean they will be.” All at once he cried out, “I must be clean! I must be clean!” He awoke and went into the water, where he washed his feet, and suddenly he was changed into a Water-baby. Hundreds of other Water-babies were there, laughing and singing and shouting and romping in the clear, cool water, and all dressed in their little bathing-suits, so clean and white. The one that had been poor little Tom, the chimney-sweep, was the happiest and whitest among them all. And he never forgot the old Irish woman (who was really Queen of the Water-babies) or what she had said: “They that wish to be clean, clean they will be; they that wish to be dirty, dirty they will be.”—Adapted from “The Water-babies.”


Once in a little town in Russia there was a lonely old cobbler who lived in a cellar. There was always plenty of work for him, for he was prompt and honest and industrious. But the cobbler was not happy, for it seemed to him God had been unkind to him in taking away his wife and children by death. But at last a good priest came and taught this unhappy cobbler to read the New Testament, and then he grew happy and contented, and changed in every way. One day as he was reading how the Lord was treated when he was on earth, he said to himself, “And suppose he came to me,[Pg 99] would I treat him differently?” “Martin!”—and a Voice seemed close to his ear. “Who’s there?” the cobbler said; but no reply came. “Martin, Martin,” said the Voice again, “look to-morrow on the street; I am coming!” Next morning Martin waited and waited, but saw no stranger come near. An old soldier, whom he knew, came into his shop out of the snow, to whom the cobbler gave a cup of tea and whom he treated with kindness as he told him he was expecting his little Father, Christ. Later in the day a poor widow with a little child came into his shop out of the cold, to whom the cobbler gave warm food and a coat and some money, as he told her how he was expecting the Lord to come to him that day. In the late afternoon the cobbler saw from his cellar window a poor apple-woman fighting a boy who had stolen some of her apples. The cobbler rushed into the street and told the woman she ought to forgive the boy as the Lord forgave us. He purchased an apple which he gave to the boy, who, touched by the kindness, begged the apple-woman’s pardon and kindly helped her by carrying her heavy basket for her.

By the evening lamp-light the cobbler opened his New Testament and was disappointed because the Christ-guest had not come. Then a Voice whispered, “Martin! Dost thou not know me?” “Who art thou?” cried the cobbler. “’Tis I,” cried the Voice. “Lo, ’tis I!” And forth from the dark corner of the shop stepped the soldier, and then the widow with the little child, and then the old apple-woman and the lad with the apple. All smiled and vanished. But the heart of the cobbler was glad, and he saw at the top of the Gospel page these words: “I was an hungered and thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in.” And at the bottom of the page he read: “Inasmuch as ye have done it to one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done[Pg 100] it unto me.” Then the cobbler saw that the Lord had really come to him and he had really received Him that day.—Adapted from Count Tolstoy.


(Written by Robert Browning, the poet, for the amusement of a friend’s son who was ill, and to give him subjects for drawings.)

Long ago in a country far away there was a town that was troubled with rats. These rats fought the dogs and killed the cats and bit the babies in their cradles. They ate up all the cheese. Yes, and often a man would find a rat’s nest in his Sunday hat. The people began to think they would have to move out and let the rats have the town. At last the Mayor and Council met to see if they could think of a way to get rid of them. They had almost given up when they heard a rap at the door. “Come in,” they said; and there stood a strange, tall, thin man, with a queer long coat, half yellow and half red, that came down to his heels, and a pipe upon which he played. “My friends,” said he, “I see you have a great many rats in your town. If I can rid you of them, will you give me a thousand guilders?” “Yes, fifty,” they cried; “only take away the rats!” Then Pied Piper stepped out into the street and began to blow on his pipe. Before he had played three notes, out of the houses the rats came tumbling—great rats, small rats, lean rats, fat rats, black rats, gray rats, brown rats, all following the Piper as if for their very lives. Straight to the river he walked, drawing the rats after him. In they plunged head first, and were all drowned. How the bells rang for joy! How the people shouted! The Mayor gave orders to poke out all the nests and fill up the holes. “First, if you please, my thousand guilders,” said the[Pg 101] Piper. The Mayor and Council laughed: “Now the rats are dead, they won’t come back to life, you know. It was only a joke we spoke. We won’t give you more than fifty guilders.” Pied Piper threatened, but the Mayor said, “Do your worst. Blow your pipe till you burst.” Then the Piper stepped into the street again and played three notes, and at once all the children of the town came running, tripping, skipping, shouting merrily after the Piper and his wonderful music. When they reached the mountainside a great door suddenly opened and all the children went in with the Piper—all except one poor little lame boy who could not keep up, and came too late. And the door was shut. No one ever heard of the Piper or the children again. But the Mayor and Council agreed that when they owed any one anything after that they would pay it. And these words were kept in the town where all could see them: “Always keep your promise!”


Once there was a little boy named Dick Whittington, whose father and mother died and the people who took care of him were very poor. Often he had no breakfast or dinner. In the town where he lived Dick often heard about London, the great city, where people said nobody was ever hungry, nobody had to work, and the streets were paved with gold. Dick longed to go there. So one day when a big wagon, drawn by eight horses, all with bells on their heads, was going to London, Dick went along. But he was disappointed to find the streets covered with dirt instead of gold, and none would give the hungry boy even a crust of dry bread. At night he was so cold and tired he sat down on the stone steps of a great house and longed to be back in the town where he[Pg 102] was born. Next day Dick found some work to do in the kitchen of this great house. He would have been happy there, but the cook beat him, and the rats and mice in the garret where he slept kept him awake at night, often running over his face. One day a gentleman gave him a penny. Dick bought a cat, which soon drove away all the rats and mice, and then the poor boy slept soundly every night.

Dick’s master was a rich merchant with great ships that he used to fill with all kinds of things to send to foreign lands. Whenever a ship was ready to sail it was his custom to call together all his servants and ask them to send something in the ship to trade for profit. So one day when the ship was ready, all the servants had something to send, except Dick, who said he had nothing in the world but a cat. “Send your cat, my lad,” said the master; “perhaps you will get something of profit for her.” Dick, with tears in his eyes, carried poor puss down to the ship and gave her to the captain. After the cat was gone the rats and mice came back and the cook treated Dick so cruelly that early one morning he ran away. He had not gone very far when he sat down on a stone to rest, and listened to the ringing of a merry chime of bells, which seemed to him to say:

Turn again, Whittington!
Turn again, Whittington!
Thrice Lord Mayor of London!

“If I am to be Lord Mayor of London,” said Dick, “I will go back and let the cook scold me as much as she pleases.” Then Dick turned back and reached the kitchen before any one missed him. Some time after that the ship came back, and the captain said Dick’s cat had won him a great fortune, for an African chief had bought the cat at a great price to drive away the rats and mice[Pg 103] from the dining-table of his palace. Dick was cleaning pots in the kitchen when his master called him into his office. “Mr. Whittington,” he said, “your cat has brought you more money than I have in the whole world.” Dick was too kind to keep all for himself. He gave presents to his master’s daughter Alice, and to the captain, and to the sailors, and even to the cross old cook. When he was dressed in a nice suit of clothes he looked as handsome as any young man in London. So Dick Whittington, through his cat, became a rich merchant, married his master’s daughter, and became three times Lord Mayor of London.


One night Dick was told by his father to rise early the next morning and help set out some new trees. “I hate trees,” said Dick, “I want to go fishing. I wish I lived in a land where there were no trees!” Then Dick fell asleep, and in his dream he heard the queerest rustling noise, and then a voice called out, “Here is a boy who hates trees!” A procession of trees came toward him. The willow was weeping; the poplar was trembling; the aspen was quaking; the pine and elm and maple and oak were followed by the fruit trees, like the apple and pear and cherry, while the walnut and birch and palm slowly brought up the rear. When all was quiet the Pine began: “Here is a boy that hates trees, and says we are of no use!” “Yes,” said the Maple, “and this morning he ate some of my sugar.” “Yes,” said the Willow, “and he made a whistle out of me.” “Yes,” said the Palm, “and he fanned himself with one of my leaves.” “And he got his bicycle tire out of me, and his rubber boots too,” said another tree. The Elm said: “I have a plan. The wind will help us. The wind is our friend.”[Pg 104] So the wind took Dick and hurled him off to a great desert and dropped him down in a land where there were no trees. Dick felt very lonely and was full of fright when he saw a bear coming toward him in the distance, and there was no tree to climb. How glad he was that he was mistaken and that it was not a bear coming, but camels, with men on them. The men beckoned him to get up and ride, which he was glad to do. Soon he saw the men bowing down and thanking God and then waving their hands. Dick looked and saw a spot of green grass, a spring of cool water, and one of the things he hated—a tree. He thought he had never seen anything so beautiful in all his life. He tumbled off the camel, ran toward the tree, and threw his arms about it, saying, “Dear tree, dear tree!”

The next morning Dick was glad to help his father plant the trees, and the school-teacher on Arbor Day said, “I think if good care will help the trees, they will get it from Dick.”


A young Prince in a rage once said, “I wish all the spiders and flies were driven out of the world!” Not long after that he had to hide at the close of a great battle in a wood, where he fell asleep under a tree. A soldier found him there, and was about to kill him, when a fly tickled the Prince’s face, which awoke him, and made the soldier run away. That same night the Prince hid himself in a cave across the mouth of which a spider wove a web. Next morning two soldiers seeking him were about to enter the cave when they saw the spider’s web. “He can’t be in there,” they said, and passed on. So a hated fly and a spider, after all, saved the Prince’s life!

[Pg 105]


“Oh, dear me,” sighed a little girl one fine morning, “I wish I could be something else!” “What would you like to be?” said a little voice. “I would like to be a rosebud,” she said. In a moment she felt her skirts twisting about her body, and when she touched her pink dress it was not calico but rose-leaves. She looked at her feet and they had turned green. So she knew she was a rosebud, growing on a bush in a garden. The wind swung her back and forth. It was so nice to be a rosebud. Suddenly a beautiful Fairy bent over and said, “I will drink the dew and eat the tender leaves of the rosebud for dinner.” “Don’t, don’t,” cried the little girl, “if you do you will eat my head.” The Fairy began to laugh. “Please, make me something else, quick,” cried the little girl; “make me into a bird.” In a minute she was a real, live bird hopping around among the daisies. “This is great fun,” she cried, “but I begin to feel hungry.” “Do you?” said a little voice; “then I’ll feed you.” In front of her stood the ugliest little man, holding in his hand a slimy worm, which he wanted to put into her mouth. She screamed out, “I won’t eat that worm! I’m not a real bird! I’m a—I’m a——” Just then she awoke and found she had been dreaming under the apple tree. Then she ran as fast as she could into the house, and cried, “O mamma, I’d rather be a little girl than anything else.”


One day a tailor was sitting with his feet crossed by an open window, making some fine clothes, when an elephant, passing down to the river, playfully put his trunk in at the window. The tailor, out of meanness, pricked the elephant’s trunk with his sharp needle. The[Pg 106] elephant in pain quickly drew it back and jogged on his way to the riverside, where, after quenching his thirst, he filled his trunk and mouth with the muddiest water he could find, and went back to the tailor’s window and squirted it all over him and his fine clothes, making him a laughing-stock to all his neighbors.


A wise man of the East once met a company of merchants who had lost their camel in the desert. “Was the camel blind in his right eye, and lame in his left foot?” asked the man. “Yes,” they said. “Had he lost a front tooth?” “He had.” “And was he loaded with wheat on one side and with honey on the other?” “Yes, yes.” “Then,” said the man, “I haven’t seen your camel.” The merchants were angry and said: “You must have seen him, because you know all about him. You have taken our jewels and money from his load.” They seized the man and brought him to the judge, who heard the story. The judge, as well as the merchants, thought the man knew more about the camel than he wished to tell. “How did you know the camel was blind in one eye?” asked the judge. “I knew the camel was blind in one eye because it had eaten the grass on only one side of the path.” “How did you know it was lame in its left leg?” “Because I saw that the print of that foot was fainter.” “How did you know he had lost a tooth?” “Because wherever it had grazed a small tuft of grass was left untouched in the center of the bunch.” “But how could you tell what its load was?” cried the merchants; “tell us that.” “The busy ants on one side and the flies on the other showed me the camel was loaded with wheat and honey, and I knew it had strayed because there were no footprints before or behind.” “Go,”[Pg 107] said the judge, “look for your camel.” The merchants did so, and found the beast not far away.


Once a King who never tired of hearing stories said: “If any one can tell me a story that will last forever, I will give him my daughter and half my kingdom, but if he fails he shall have his head cut off.” The King’s daughter was very pretty, so many young men tried; but a week, a month, two or three months was all they could spin out their story, and off came their heads. At last a young man came who said, “I can tell a story that will last forever.” The King and his daughter begged him not to try, for they did not want to see another fine fellow lose his head. But he insisted that he would not fail, and so began his story: “Once upon a time a king built a high granary, and filled it with wheat to the very top. But in building it the workmen had left a very little hole near the ground, just large enough to let one little ant through. So a little ant went in and carried off a grain of wheat, then another little ant went in and carried off another grain of wheat, then another little ant went in and carried off another grain of wheat.” Day after day, week after week, the story-teller kept saying, “Then another little ant went in and carried off another grain of wheat.” “Tell us what happened after that?” pleaded the King. “O King, I must first tell you this,” he said; and so he continued several weeks longer. At last the King cried; “Man! Man! you will drive me wild with your ants. Take my daughter; be my heir; rule my kingdom; but let me hear no more of your abominable ants.” So the man married the King’s daughter, and they lived happily. But the King never cared to hear any more stories.

[Pg 108]


(Adapted for Children, Six to Twelve Years.)


Once there was a very strong man who could carry such heavy loads that he was called “Offero,” meaning “The Bearer.” He was very proud of his strength and said, “I will serve only the greatest king on earth.” He found a rich and powerful king and served him, until one day he saw his master tremble. “Why do you tremble, O king?” he asked. “Because I fear Satan, who is too strong for me.” “Then I will serve him,” said Offero. He went at once and served Satan, until one day he noticed his new master tremble before a cross, the cross on which Christ hung to overcome the strength of Satan. Then Offero went everywhere in search of the stronger master, Christ. He found a boy who said: “Yes, Christ is the strongest King on earth or in heaven. But to find him you must cross a broad river whose current is so swift that men are drowned in trying to cross. If you serve Christ by carrying over on your strong shoulders the weak and the little ones, you shall find the Christ of your search on the other side.” Offero built a hut beside the swift-flowing river, and whenever he saw a poor traveler trying to cross the stream, he bore him on his strong shoulders. Well was he named “The Bearer,” for he carried many across, and not one was lost. His staff was a great palm tree which he had plucked up by the roots.[Pg 109] One night as he was resting in his hut he heard the cry of a little child, calling, “Offero, will you carry me over this night?” A weak little child stood near the river. Offero helped him on his strong shoulders and, staff in hand, began to cross the flood. But the wind blew furiously, the waves rose high, and there was a roaring in his ears as if a great ocean were let loose. The weight upon his shoulders bore him down until he feared he would sink. But he held firmly to his strong staff and at last reached the other bank and placed the child safely on the ground. “What have I borne?” cried Offero; “it could not have been simply a young child, for the weight was too great!” Just then the child suddenly changed into the form of the strong Christ-King, who said: “Offero, as thou didst wish to serve me, I accepted thee as my servant. Thou hast borne, not the weight of a child, but the weight of a world. Thou shalt be called ‘Christ-Offer—the Christ-Bearer,’ and shalt serve me always. Plant thy staff in the ground, and it shall put forth leaves and fruit.” Christopher did so, and the dry staff flourished as the palm tree, and was covered with clusters of fruit; but the Christ-Child had vanished from his sight.




Far away in the forest grew a little Fir Tree. Around him stood tall pines and firs so large that the little Fir felt very discontented, wishing so much to be like the other trees. “If I were tall like them,” sighed the Fir, “I would spread my branches so far the birds would build their nests in my boughs, and when the wind blew, I should bow grandly like them.” So unhappy was the little tree that he took no pleasure in the warm sunshine, the birds, or the bright clouds. One day in winter when the snow was on the ground, a little rabbit jumped right over the[Pg 110] little tree’s head. Oh, that made him so angry! Two years after, the wood-cutters came and cut down several of the largest trees and carried them away. “Where do they take these trees?” the Fir Tree said; and a stork replied: “As I was flying here from Egypt I saw great masts on the ships. That is what large trees become.” “Oh, how I wish I were tall enough to be a mast and sail on the sea!” sighed the Fir Tree.

Christmastime came, and many young trees were cut down, some that were even smaller than the Fir Tree, and men carried them away in wagons. “Where do they take those trees?” the Fir Tree asked; and the sparrows chirped: “We know! we know! We peeped in at the windows in the town and saw little trees like those planted in the middle of a warm room, and made beautiful with gilded apples, gingerbread, toys, and a hundred lights.” “I wonder if anything like that will ever happen to me?” cried the discontented Fir Tree; “that would be better than crossing the sea. Oh, when will Christmas come?” The wind and air and sun and birds tried to make the Fir Tree happy, but he only grew more discontented with his lot. One day, just before Christmas, the wood-cutter came again, and this time the Fir Tree was the first to be cut down and carried off. But he could not think of happiness now, for he was sad at leaving his home in the forest. He knew that he would never again see his dear old friends, the trees, the bushes, the birds, and the flowers. That morning the Fir Tree was stuck upright in a tub that stood on a rich carpet in a splendid parlor. Some ladies came in and began to dress his boughs with very pretty things—sugar-plums, apples, oranges, walnuts, dolls; red, blue, and white candles; and to the top was fastened a glittering golden star that shone as brightly as any star in the sky. The tree looked very beautiful. “Oh,” sighed the[Pg 111] tree, “I wish all the candles were lighted! Will the trees of the forest come to see me? Will the sparrows peep in at the windows? I wonder if I shall stay pretty like this always?” At last the candles were lighted; the folding doors opened; happy children trooped into the room shouting and dancing with joy at the sight of the wonderful Christmas tree. Older people came too, to look at the sight and enjoy the presents which were taken one after the other from the tree, until all the candles were burned low and put out and only the glittering star remained. The happy children danced about the room with their pretty toys, and no one cared for the tree or looked at him except the nurse, who peeped among his branches to see if an apple or a fig had been forgotten. All night the tree stood in darkness. In the morning the servants dragged the tree from the tub and placed him upstairs in the dark attic, where he stayed all winter, hidden away from sight and forgotten by every one. In the spring the tree was carried down-stairs and taken out into the yard. “Now I shall live again,” said the Fir Tree, and he spread out his branches. But alas! his leaves were all withered and yellow, yet the star of gold still hung in the top, glittering in the sunshine. A boy seeing the star ran up and pulled it off the tree. “Look what was sticking to this ugly old Christmas tree,” he cried, trampling on the branches until they cracked under his feet. A few minutes later the gardeners boy came up with an axe and chopped the tree into small pieces and threw them into the fire. And just as he was dying, the Fir Tree saw the little boy wearing the star on his breast and sighed, “The night I was crowned with that beautiful golden star was the happiest night of my life.” And he knew that night of happiness was the longed-for Christmas Eve.—Adapted from Hans Christian Andersen.

[Pg 112]


Once in the sunny land of France there was a little girl named Piccola, who lived all alone with her mother. They were very poor, and little Piccola had no dolls or toys, and she was often hungry and cold. One day when her mother was ill, Piccola worked hard all day trying to sell the stockings which she knit, while her own little bare feet were blue with cold. As Christmas drew near she said to her mother: “I wonder what Saint Nicholas will bring me this year? I have no stocking to hang in the fireplace, but I shall put my wooden shoe on the hearth for him. He will not forget me, I am sure.” “Do not think of it this year, my dear child,” replied her mother; “we should be glad if we have bread enough to eat.” But Piccola could not believe she would be forgotten. On Christmas Eve she put her little wooden shoe on the hearth before the fire and went to sleep to dream of good Saint Nicholas. The poor mother looked at the shoe and thought how disappointed the little girl would be to find it empty in the morning, and sighed to think she had nothing to put in it. When the morning dawned Piccola awoke and ran to her shoe, and there in it lay something with bright eyes looking up at her. A little swallow, cold and hungry, had flown into the chimney and down to the room and had crept into the shoe for warmth. Piccola danced for joy, and clasped the shivering swallow to her breast. “Look! Look!” she said to her mother. “A Christmas gift, a gift from the good Saint Nicholas!” and she danced again in her little bare feet. Then she fed and warmed the little bird, and cared for it tenderly all winter long. In the spring she opened the window for it to fly away, but it lived in the woods near-by, and sang often at her door.—Adapted from “Child Life in Many Lands,” Blaisdell.

[Pg 113]


(A story to be told by the Christmas tree)

The night before Christmas the tree was all trimmed with pop-corn, and silver nuts, and golden apples, and oranges, and walnuts, and dolls, and bonbons, and a hundred colored candles. It was placed safely out of sight in a locked room where the children could not see it until the proper time. But ever so many other little house-folks had seen it. Pussy saw it with her great gray eyes. The house-dog saw it with his steady brown eyes. The yellow canary saw it with his wise bright eyes. Even the little mice had a good peek at it. But there was some one who had not seen the Christmas tree. It was the little gray spider! The housemother had swept and dusted and scrubbed to make everything clean for the Christ-Child’s birthday and every spider had scampered away. At last the little gray spider went to the Christ-Child, and said: “All the others see the Christmas tree, dear Christ-Child, but we are cleaned up! We like to see beautiful things too!” The Christ-Child was sorry for the little spider, and he said, “You shall see it.” So on Christmas morning before any of the children were awake, the spiders came creeping, creeping, creeping down the attic stairs, along the hall, under the door, and into the room where the Christmas tree was standing. Oh! it was beautiful to their little eyes as they looked upon it as much as they liked. Then father spider, mother spider, and all the spider family went creeping, creeping, creeping up the tree and all over its branches, and in great joy hurried back to their home in the attic. The Christ-Child looked down to see if the tree was all ready for the children, and oh!—it was all covered over with cobwebs! “How badly the housewife will feel at seeing those cobwebs!” said the Christ-Child. “I will[Pg 114] change them into golden cobwebs for the beauty of the Christmas tree.” So that is how the Christmas tree came to have golden cobwebs.—Adapted from “How to Tell Stories to Children,” by Sara Cone Bryant.


One cold, wintry night, two little children were sitting by the fire when suddenly they heard a timid knock at the door. One of the children ran quickly and opened it. Outside in the cold and darkness, they saw a poor little boy, shivering, without shoes on his feet, and dressed in thin, ragged clothing. “Please, may I come in and warm myself?” he said. “Yes, indeed,” cried the children, “you shall have our place by the fire. Come in!” The little stranger boy came in and the kind children shared their supper with him and gave him their bed, while they slept on the hard bench. In the night they were awakened by strains of sweetest music, and, looking out of the window, they saw a band of children in shining garments coming near the house. They were playing on golden harps, and the air was full of Christmas music. Then lo! the Stranger-child, no longer in rags, but clad in silvery light, stood before them, and in his soft voice said: “I was cold and you let me in. I was hungry and you fed me. I was very tired and you gave me your nice soft bed. I am the Christ-Child who comes to bring peace and happiness to all kind children. As you have been good to me, may this tree every year bring rich gifts to you.” He broke a branch from the fir tree that grew near the door and planted it in the ground, and disappeared. But the branch grew into the Tree of Love, and every year it bore golden fruit for the kind children.—Adapted from Lucy Wheelock in Bailey-Lewis, “For the Children’s Hour.”

[Pg 115]


(Adapted for Children, Six to Twelve Years.)


(Genesis 1, 2)

In the beginning, long, long ago, God created this wonderful world and all things in it. At first there was no earth, no sun, no moon or stars, no grass or trees, no seas or sky. This great round ball, on which we live, was nothing but a great cloud of mist without shape or size. Everywhere there was great darkness. God was living in his home in heaven, and he said, “Let there be light.” So light was the first wonderful thing God made. Then God separated the sky mists from the earth mists. He made the waters roll back into seas; and the mountains, with great lakes between, appeared. When the sun and moon and stars shone out more brightly, driving the mists and water away from the dry land, God made grass and trees and flowers to spring up in great beauty and abundance; and each tree and flower had little, tiny seeds to send up little shoots to make others. Then great swarms of living things appeared—strange fishes and sea-monsters to swim in the waters, reptiles and creeping things to creep on the land, birds to fly through the air, and all kinds of four-footed beasts to roam through the forests. Still, there was no man nor woman, nor any little child anywhere to enjoy what God had made. So God created a man and called his name Adam. God[Pg 116] placed him in a large garden called Eden, filled with beautiful and useful things—rivers of water to water it, gold and precious stones, trees good for food, animals, birds, and fishes. Adam gave names to all the animals. But among them all there was not one to talk with him. So God made a beautiful companion for Adam and called her name Eve. This first man and woman lived together very happily in this beautiful Garden of Eden, caring for the flowers and fruit, watching the animals, loving each other, and talking with God, their Creator and Friend.


(Genesis 3)

Adam and Eve were very happy in their beautiful garden-home in Eden. In the cool of the day, when the sun went down, and the garden was quiet, they knew that God was very, very near them, walking and talking with them. All the animals and plants, all the beautiful trees were for their use. But there was one tree with fruit that God, to teach them to obey, told them not to eat. For a long time they thought of nothing else but doing exactly what God told them. But one day Eve stopped in front of the tree and looked at the fruit. How good it looked! She wondered how it tasted. Then she turned to go away, for she knew that God had said that whoever tasted it would die. Just then she heard a voice. She looked, and the voice came from a bright, shining snake, coiled close in front of the tree. The snake said, “Did God say you shall not eat of any tree of this garden?” Eve said, “God said we shall not eat of this tree, nor touch it, lest we die.” “You will be like God if you eat it; you will know good and evil.” She listened to this voice tempting her to do what was wrong. Then[Pg 117] she looked at the tree again. It looked so good to eat and so pretty, and as if it would make one know a great deal, that she picked some of the fruit and ate it. Then she ran and gave some to Adam, and he ate it too. That evening, when the sun was going down, making long shadows upon the grass, and a cool breeze was rustling the leaves, and the garden was all lonely and still, Adam heard the sound of God in the garden. Instead of gladly running to meet their heavenly Father and Friend, as they had always done before when he came to talk with them, they were afraid, and ran and hid themselves among the trees. God called to Adam, “Where art thou?” Guilty and ashamed, Adam said, “I heard thy voice, and I was afraid.” God said, “Hast thou eaten of the tree of which I commanded thee not to eat?” Adam said, “Eve gave it to me and I ate.” Eve said, “The snake tempted me, and I ate.” God told the snake he must crawl always flat on the ground, and every animal and man would hate him more than any other creature. He told Adam and Eve, because they had disobeyed him, they must be driven out of the beautiful garden and must dig and work hard in getting their food in desert lands among thistles and thorns, stones and timber, and at last, he said, they must die. But God still loved them, and gave them a beautiful promise of a loving Saviour who would be so obedient and pure and strong that he would prepare for them a beautiful city in the place of their garden-home, which they had lost through disobedience.


(Genesis 4)

The first two brothers in the world were Cain and Abel. They were born after their parents were driven out of their beautiful garden-home in Eden. When these boys[Pg 118] grew up, Cain, the elder, became a farmer, and Abel became a shepherd. Their parents brought them up always to ask God to forgive them when they did wrong, and to bring offerings to him of what they had. One day when they came with their gifts, Abel, with a loving heart, carried a lamb, the best of his flock, but Cain brought some fruit in a careless way. God was well pleased with Abel’s gift, because of the love that came with it; but not with Cain’s, because Cain kept hatred to his brother in his heart. Cain was angry and his face became dark and scowling. God said: “Why are you angry and scowling? If you do well, will you not be happy? If you do not well, hatred in your heart will crouch, like a lion, ready to spring at you.”

But Cain paid no attention to God’s loving word. One day he said to Abel, “Come into the field with me.” When they were there alone, the crouching lion of hatred in Cain’s heart sprang up, and Cain lifted up his hand and slew his brother. Then Cain heard God’s voice saying, “Where is thy brother?” He answered untruthfully, “I know not; am I my brother’s keeper?” Then as Cain had done this wicked deed, God sent him from his home and parents to become a wanderer on the earth, working even harder than his father and his mother did. Cain’s suffering was just what he had brought upon himself, yet he said, “My punishment is greater than I can bear.” He was afraid wherever he went men would seek to kill him, for he knew he deserved to be killed. But God gave him a mark by which he could know that God was still watching over him and would not let any one kill him. So Cain went away and built a city and lived unhappily the rest of his life, away from his father and mother, because he had allowed hatred instead of love to live in his heart, and because he had not tried to please his loving Father in heaven.

[Pg 119]


(Genesis 6-8)

Once when God looked down on the people of the earth, he saw that there was only one good man to be found anywhere. All the rest were disobedient and very wicked. So God planned to save all who would be obedient to him, but to destroy all the disobedient, in order that such great wickedness should not increase over all the earth. God told Noah, the one just and good man, his plan. He told him to build a large ark, half boat and half house. It was to be five hundred feet long, fifty feet high, and eighty-three feet wide—about the size of a big ocean steamer to-day. There were to be three stories, many rooms, and a window on the top. The one door was to be on the side. This great houseboat was not to be for travel, but only to float on the water. In the ark Noah, his wife and sons, and his sons’ wives, and all others who would obey God, were to be saved. For one hundred long years Noah and his sons worked away building this strange ship—hammering, sawing, planing, and laying great beams hundreds of feet long. The people laughed at Noah and mocked him. It was very hard for Noah to be mocked, but he kept right on with his work, telling them of God and his holiness and how their wickedness was grieving God. But they would not listen, nor change their ways, nor believe any flood would come. At last the great ark was finished. Then Noah gathered together two of every kind of birds and animals, and they marched or flew into the ark, and behind them Noah and his family went in, with food for all to last for many months. And God shut the door. So they were safe because they had obeyed God.

Then the rain began to fall. Thunder crashed and echoed from the mountains and the wind dashed the rain[Pg 120] against the ark. Torrents of rain came down, until soon the ark began to float. Higher and higher it rose, rocking and tossing, up above the treetops, above the hills, above the mountains. The flood had come, and the wicked people were all drowned. But Noah and his family were safe inside the ark. After forty days the rain stopped, but the water flooded in from the sea. For one hundred and fifty days the waters rose, and then began to go down. But the ark rested on one of the high mountains. Noah opened the window and sent forth a raven, and then a dove. The raven flew away, resting on things floating in the water. The dove came back several times, once bearing an olive-branch in her beak. At last she did not return, by which Noah knew the dove had found land on which to rest, and that the water was gone. Then Noah and all in the ark went out, after being in it more than a year. The first thing Noah did was to thank God for saving him and his family. Then Noah looked up in the clear, blue sky and there was a wonderful rainbow, with every color in it, arching the heavens. This was God’s sign and promise that he would never again destroy the world with water. So every time they saw a rainbow after that, they remembered that God was looking at it too, remembering this promise of his: “During all the days of the earth, sowing and reaping, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night, shall not cease.”

My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky;
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!
The child is father to the man;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.

[Pg 121]


(Genesis 12-19)

Long, long after the flood, there lived a good man whose name was Abram, “the friend of God.” He was the first Hebrew. At first he lived in a large city on the river Euphrates. It was a beautiful city with fine buildings, gardens, fountains, statuary, and other things for comfort and pleasure. Abram and his people were rich. They had everything to make them happy, excepting one thing. Abram saw that in all that great city, in all that country, none worshiped God but himself. There were many temples where the people worshiped the sun, moon, stars, and many false gods. There were beautiful temples built, and beautiful music sung to the Sun-god, but no thanks were given to the great Creator of the sun and moon and man. A good deal of their worship was very wicked and cruel, and often boys and girls were burned to please the idols. Abram saw all this was false and wicked. One day God told him to leave that land and take a long journey to another land that God would show him. At last Abram reached a land so rich in vines, fruit trees, and pastures for flocks and herds, that it was called “the land flowing with milk and honey.” Here Abram and Lot, his brother’s son, lived in tents. Both were very rich in cattle, goats, sheep, servants, and silver and gold. But when the servants of Lot and Abram kept quarreling over which should have the best pasture for feeding their flocks, Abram said to Lot: “Let there be no quarrel between thee and me, and between our servants, for we are brethren. Choose the land you wish, and I will take what is left.” Abram was older than Lot, and had always been kind and generous, like a father, to him. Lot should have given his uncle the first choice. Instead of that, Lot greedily chose the well-watered[Pg 122] plain-lands near the river Jordan, leaving to his uncle the hilly land. Abram generously let him keep them. Lot moved close to the wicked city of Sodom. Soon after, in a battle, Lot and his family and his servants were taken prisoners. Lot had not treated his uncle well, but that made no difference to Abram. He was a true friend, loving Lot even when he did not do right. So he rescued Lot and saved all the property the kings had stolen. Lot went back to Sodom, making his home this time inside the city, among its wicked people, and he grew more forgetful of God.

One day, in Sodom and Gomorrah, the cities of the plain, a great fire broke out which destroyed everything Lot had. Only for Abram’s prayer to God, Lot would have been burned up too. But for Abram’s sake, two angels came and led Lot and his wife and two daughters out of the city, telling them not to look back nor stay in all the plain, but flee to the mountains. Lot’s wife looked longingly back at the wicked cities, and was changed into a pillar of salt in the very plain upon which she, with Lot, had so much set her heart. Lot and his two daughters were saved only by fleeing to the mountain land that Lot had despised and Abram had taken. So, after all, the selfish nephew did not choose so well as the unselfish uncle, “the friend of God.”

Yes, Faith, Life, Song, most meetly named him “Friend”;
All men’s he was and is, till time shall end.
And in the Christ-path he so closely trod
That all men saw he was “the Friend of God.”


(Genesis 24)

“Laughter” is a queer name for a boy. But “Laughter” is the name Abraham gave his son. That[Pg 123] is what Isaac means. When Isaac grew up Abraham did not like the idea of his son marrying any of the young women of that land because they all worshiped idols; so he called his head servant and told him to go far away to the country where Abraham’s own people lived, and there find a young woman who would be the right sort of wife for Isaac. It was a long, long journey across the desert. Abraham gave the servant ten camels, and servants, and tents, with gold and silver, and precious stones and rich robes, to give as presents to the young woman and her family. After many days of travel the servant came to a city where some of Abraham’s people were still living. Outside the city was a well with a trough for the camels to drink from. He knew every evening young girls and women came with their pitchers for drinking water to this well. He decided when they came he would ask for a drink, and whoever gave him a drink and also offered to give the camels a drink by filling the watering-trough, would prove the wife for Isaac. He also prayed God to guide him. While he was praying there came to the well a beautiful young girl carrying a pitcher on her shoulder. When she had filled her pitcher the servant said, “Let me drink, please.” She said, “Drink, my lord,” and quickly let down her pitcher upon her hand and gave him a drink. Then seeing how tired the camels looked, her kind heart made her say, “I will get water for your camels too.” Camels drink a great deal of water, and there were ten of them, but this obliging girl did not stop filling the large watering-trough until every thirsty beast had drunk enough. Quietly the servant watched her, and when he saw how friendly she was he gave her a splendid gold earring and two beautiful bracelets of gold and asked her name and whether there was room in her father’s house for him to stay over night. She told him her name was Rebecca—a[Pg 124] relative of Abraham’s family—and said there was plenty of room for them to spend the night. Then the servant thanked God, for he knew this kind, obliging girl was just the one whom God wanted to become Isaac’s wife. When they came to the house, the servant told his story to all, and gave still more beautiful presents to Rebecca and to her sister and brothers. Early the next morning the old servant wanted to start back at once, because God had prospered his journey. They called Rebecca and said to her, “Wilt thou go with this man?” And she said, “I will go.” So Rebecca’s queer bridal party, herself and her old nurse, Deborah, and several maids, mounted on camels and escorted by Abraham’s servants, began the long march to Isaac’s home in Canaan where she and Isaac were married. They loved each other dearly. And Abraham was glad that “Laughter” had found so good and true a wife in the friendly girl at the well.


(Genesis 28)

Isaac and Rebecca had two boys, Esau and Jacob. Esau became a hunter, and Jacob a shepherd. One day Esau came home from hunting very hungry. He asked Jacob to give him some of the red broth that he had just cooked. Jacob knew that Esau cared nothing for his birthright (that is, all that he would receive as the eldest son). But Jacob wanted that more than anything else in the world. So Jacob said, “Will you give me your birthright if I do?” Esau said, “Yes, I am starving; give me the broth for the blessing.” Jacob could not believe Esau meant it; but he did mean it, and so sold his birthright for something to eat. Not long after, Jacob received the birthright blessing from his father, Isaac. Then Esau was sorry and angry, and hated his[Pg 125] brother, and planned to kill him. Rebecca told Jacob what Esau was planning to do, and sent him to her brother’s home to save Jacob’s life.

So Jacob had to leave his father and mother and home and start alone on a long journey with nothing but a long cloak to wrap about him at night. When the sun went down, as he was thinking of the great wrong he had done his brother, tired and sad at heart, he lay down to sleep on a stony hillside, placing one of the stones under his head for a pillow. At last he fell asleep, and in his dream he saw a ladder reaching from earth to heaven. He saw beautiful shining angels coming down the ladder and going back. At the top he saw God looking down on him, saying, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham and thy father Isaac.” God promised if he would do what was right, that he would forgive all his wrong—be with him in all his journey and give him the wonderful promises made to Abraham and Isaac.

Early in the morning, when Jacob awoke, he knelt beside that stone, promising God that he would be a better man. He lived to be an aged man—one hundred and forty-seven years old—but he never forgot that place which he called “The House of God,” from which he saw the ladder that reached to heaven, showing him that God was near him.

From this story the beautiful lines of the hymn, which have been such a comfort to many upon battlefields and in the hour of death, were written:

Though like a wanderer,
The sun gone down,
Darkness be over me,
My rest a stone,
Yet, in my dreams I’d be,
Nearer, my God, to thee,
Nearer to thee.

[Pg 126]


(Genesis 37 to 47)

Jacob had twelve sons, and Joseph was next to the youngest. He was the best loved of all, and his father showed how much he loved him by giving him a coat of many colors. This made his older brothers jealous and angry. When Joseph was sixteen years old he dreamed that he was binding sheaves of grain in a field with his eleven brothers and his father and mother, and all the other sheaves bowed down to his sheaf. Another dream he had was that the sun and moon and eleven stars bowed down to him. When Joseph awoke he told these queer dreams to his brothers. No wonder they called him “the dreamer” and teasingly said, “Shall we all, indeed, come to bow down to you?” Soon after this his nine big brothers caught this boy out in a field and put him down into a deep pit, and then sold him to camel-drivers as a slave for twenty pieces of silver (about one hundred and twenty dollars). Then they killed one of their own goats, dipped Joseph’s coat of many colors, which they had taken off him, into the blood, and taking it home, wickedly made their father think a wild beast had eaten Joseph. Jacob mourned for him as dead, and the brothers thought the dreamer would never tell any more of his dreams.

The camel-drivers sold Joseph as a slave in Egypt to a rich man who promoted him to be the chief ruler of his great house. It was a fine place for him. But one day some one told a very wicked lie about him, and he was cast into prison. But Joseph was so cheerful and kind and useful, even in prison, that he was soon placed over all the prisoners. When the king heard that Joseph had power to tell people the meaning of their dreams, he sent for him to tell the meaning of two dreams that troubled[Pg 127] him. Joseph told the king his dreams. So Joseph was removed from prison to the king’s palace, and was dressed in fine clothes, with a gold chain around his neck and a gold ring on his finger, and made ruler over all the land, next to the king. Soon a great famine arose (just as Joseph had told the king) in all lands except Egypt, because Joseph had filled big barns with corn. Joseph’s ten brothers came from Canaan to Egypt to buy food to keep their families from starving. They were taken into the presence of the great ruler who sold the corn, and they bowed down to the earth before him. So the dreamer’s dream came true, though they did not know it then. Joseph knew them, and treated them kindly without letting them know he was their brother. He longed to see his youngest brother, Benjamin, and told the older brothers to bring him down with them when they came again, or they could have no more corn. When they brought him, and when Joseph looked upon Benjamin’s face, this great Prince of Egypt burst into tears and said, “I am Joseph, your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt, but whom God sent before you to preserve life.” Then they were afraid, but Joseph lovingly put his arms about their necks and kissed them and cried with them until they knew that he freely forgave them. So they went home quickly and brought their old father, Jacob, the good news, “Joseph is yet alive, and he is ruler over all the land of Egypt!” Jacob could scarcely believe them. But when they told him how he had forgiven their wickedness, he said, “I will go and see him before I die.” So all together they went to Egypt and lived in a beautiful house which Joseph gave them. Then he took good care of them all, and lived near his dear old father until the old man died, happily and peacefully, because he was with his beloved Joseph, whom he had lost as a slave and had found again as a prince.

[Pg 128]


(Exodus 2)

Long, long ago, a little boy was born in a Hebrew home, at a time when a cruel king of Egypt ordered all Hebrew boys that were born, to be thrown to the crocodiles in the great river Nile. But this little babe was so beautiful that his mother hid him in the house and prayed God to keep him safe. She hid him carefully for three months. Then, being afraid some one might hear him, she went to the river and gathered some long, strong grasses that grew there and braided them together, making a small basket and shaping it like a boat. To make it warm and dry inside, and to keep it from sinking when placed in the water, she painted it with black paint inside and out. Early one morning, when all was ready, the mother took her baby boy quietly sleeping in the basket-boat, and went down to the river Nile, the little baby’s sister, Miriam, following closely behind her. The mother hid the basket among the tall grasses near the shore, and again prayed God to keep her baby safe. Miriam was left hiding in the tall grass near-by to see what would happen to her little brother in his new bed. Very soon the princess, the daughter of the cruel king of Egypt, with her maids, came down to the river to bathe. Quickly she spied the basket-boat and cried, “What is that floating on the water among the tall grasses? Bring it to me.” One of her maids ran and picked up the basket and brought it to the princess. When she opened it, there was the most beautiful baby boy she had ever seen! The child was wide awake, and seeing the strange face, began to cry. “It is one of the Hebrew babies that my father ordered drowned!” she said. “But I have found him, and I will keep him as my own little baby boy. I will call his name ‘Moses.’”

[Pg 129]Miriam was watching from her hiding-place in the tall grasses. She ran out and said, “Shall I bring a nurse for the baby?” “Yes,” said the princess. Miriam ran home as fast as she could, and whom do you suppose she brought? The baby’s own mother! And the princess told her to take him home and nurse him and care for him for her, for she loved him as her very own, and the king would not harm him.

So the prayer that Moses’ mother made to God to take care of her little baby boy in the basket-boat was answered. And Moses grew up to be a great and good man.


(Exodus 3)

When the boy Moses was old enough to leave his mother he went to live with his new mother in the king’s palace.

Moses was a good boy. He studied his lessons so well in school that he grew up to be one of the wisest and best young men in all the land. But Moses never forgot his own Hebrew people. He was not careless of the cruel way they were treated as slaves by the king’s officers. He tried to improve their sad condition in his own hasty way, but he soon saw that neither his own people nor their masters wanted a princess’s son to interfere. They were both ready to kill him for trying to help. So Moses had to flee for his life into the mountains where he became a shepherd. One day as he was leading his sheep up the mountainside, he saw a thorn-bush all aflame; and it kept on burning, but was not burned up. Moses wondered to see so strange a sight. Leaving his sheep he went near. Suddenly a Voice called out of the midst of the fire-bush, “Moses! Moses!” Moses answered,[Pg 130] “Here am I.” The Voice said, “Take off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground,” It was God, in the form of an angel, speaking to him. Moses at once took off his shoes and bowed reverently in the presence of God. Then God told him a better way by which he could help his downtrodden people and set them free from their cruel masters who were beating them and making their life so hard. He told Moses he wanted him to lead his people out of their bondage. At first Moses was afraid he was not able to do what God wanted him to do, but God said, “Certainly, Moses, I will be with thee.” Moses obeyed the Voice that spoke that day to him out of the fire-bush, and he became one of the greatest of leaders and lawgivers that this world ever saw. Men and boys take off their hats in church to-day for the same reason that Moses removed his shoes before the fire-bush—to show reverence in the presence of God and respect for his wonderful way of speaking to men.


(1 Samuel 2, 3)

Once there was a little boy, about seven years old, who was taken by his mother to a beautiful church and left there to be educated by the minister, who lived in a room at the side of the church. The little boy’s mother had promised God that if he would give her a little boy she would give him back to him, and that all the days of his life her boy should serve him. So as soon as he was old enough to leave her she remembered her promise. A little room was fitted up for the little fellow next to the minister’s room. Little Samuel learned to trim the lamps, to open and close the church doors, and to be useful in many little ways in helping the minister. Once a[Pg 131] year his mother came to see him, bringing for him a beautiful little, new, white coat, which she had made for him. It was the same kind of white coat the minister wore. One night as the little boy was lying asleep in his room, suddenly a beautiful Voice rang through the chamber, calling, “Samuel! Samuel!” Samuel thought it was the minister calling him. He ran to the minister’s room, saying, “Here am I!” “I called not,” said the minister; “lie down again.” So the boy went back to bed. Then again the Voice called, “Samuel!” Again he ran to the minister who said, “I called not; lie down again.” When all was quiet, the third time the Voice called, “Samuel!” and again the boy sprang up and ran quickly to the minister’s room. Then the minister knew God was calling him. “Go lie down,” he said, “and if you hear the Voice again, it is God calling you; say, ‘Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth.’” As soon as Samuel lay down again, God called, “Samuel! Samuel!” and little Samuel kneeling beside his bed said, “Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth.” Then God told him what he wished him to do for him when he grew older. So the little boy who was obedient to God’s voice grew up to be a great and good man, living always for the good of his people.


(Book of Ruth)

Far away in the strange land of Moab a poor widow started to return to her own home in the land of Israel. Ruth and Orpah, her two daughters-in-law, the wives of her sons who had just died, wished to go with her, for they could not think of the poor, old, sad mother returning all by herself on that long journey. But after they had gone a little way, the old mother kissed them and said, “Go back to your home and native land!” So[Pg 132] Orpah kissed her good-bye and returned, but Ruth clung to her mother-in-law and said: “Entreat me not to leave thee and return from following after thee; for whither thou goest I will go; and where thou lodgest I will lodge; thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God; where thou diest will I die, and there will I be buried. Nothing but death shall part thee and me.” Ruth knew that where Naomi was going she would be poor, and that they would have to work hard, but she loved this old mother too much to leave her. Soon they saw the hills and then the houses of Bethlehem, Naomi’s home. They settled down in that little town, but were so poor they did not know how to get even food enough to eat. The time of year had come when the farmers were beginning to cut the barley—the harvest-time. It was the custom in that land to allow poor people to go into the fields and gather up the loose ears of barley that were left by the reapers; and Ruth went to glean a little food for herself and her mother. She happened to go into the field of a rich man named Boaz. By and by when Boaz came to see how the reapers were getting on, he saw Ruth gleaning, and asked his reapers who she was. They told him that she was Naomi’s daughter-in-law, just come from Moab. Then Boaz called her to him and told her that she was welcome to glean in his fields all through the harvest. He said: “I have heard all about your goodness to Naomi. May you be fully rewarded by Jehovah, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.” At dinnertime Boaz told her to sit down with the reapers, who gave her food and drink. She ate all she wished, and still she had some left, which in the evening she took home with her, with the barley she had gleaned, to Naomi. At the end of the barley harvest, this great and good rich man, Boaz, fell in love with Ruth, and she became his wife. The old mother, Naomi,[Pg 133] went to live with them in their large and beautiful house, and she never was in want again. When a little son came to them, Ruth called his name Obed, and when he grew to be an old man, he was the grandfather of King David. So Ruth, the gleaner, who was kind and loyal to her mother-in-law, became the great-grandmother of the greatest King of Israel.




Far away on a hillside, one starry night, a shepherd-boy was watching his father’s sheep. The little lambs were cuddled up close to their mothers and all was quiet and peaceful in the moonlight when out of the woods near-by came a dark animal. It was a big brown bear that had come to steal a lamb. Nearer and nearer it came when the shepherd-boy, who loved his sheep, quickly placed a large sharp stone in his sling and slung it at the bear’s forehead. With a great cry of pain the bear rolled over dead. So the lambs were saved from the bear. Another time, a lion sprang out from behind a rock and, seizing a little baby lamb in his mouth, started to run away with it. On the minute the shepherd-boy was after him, slinging one of his sharp stones at the lion’s head. It struck the lion without killing him, but, letting the baby lamb go, he turned roaring and sprang at the boy. He caught him by the beard, and with his shepherd’s staff struck at him until the great animal fell back dead. So the lambs loved the shepherd still more, for he had saved them from the lion too. Some time after, this same shepherd-boy went out to the battlefield to take some corn and loaves of bread to his soldier brothers. While he was talking to his brothers a great giant came out and stood upon a high cliff and cried across the valley, “I dare any man to come and fight me!” This giant was[Pg 134] ten and a half feet in height—so tall that a boy would not come as high as his knees. Upon his head was a helmet of brass; his whole body was covered with armor of brass; even on his legs were heavy plates of brass. In his hand he held a long staff with a sharp spear-point at the end; by his side hung a sword, and a man went before him carrying a shield. This was the famous Philistine giant, “Goliath,” before whom all the Hebrew soldiers trembled and ran away to their tents in fear. This young shepherd-boy was surprised that none dared go out and fight him, especially when he heard that King Saul had said whoever would kill this terrible giant should receive great riches and have the king’s daughter for his wife. This boy said, “I will go and fight him!” Some one told the king what he said, and Saul sent for him and said: “Surely you are not able to go and fight him; you are only a boy, and he has been a fighter from the time he was a boy.” This shepherd-boy bravely replied: “When I was smaller than I am now, I was watching my father’s sheep, and a bear and a lion came to take a lamb out of the flock, and I smote both the lion and the bear, and this giant shall be as one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. My God, who delivered me out of the paw of the lion and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this boastful giant.” The king said, “My boy, go; and may God be with you.” Then he offered the shepherd-boy his armor of brass, his helmet, and sword. But the shepherd-boy said, “Please, may I go without these? My shepherd’s sling and staff, with God, are all I need.” Then he ran to the brook and selected five smooth stones and put them in his shepherd’s bag and went forth to meet the giant who came to meet him. When Goliath saw only a boy he said: “Am I a dog that you come to me with a stick! Come to me, boy, and I’ll give your[Pg 135] flesh to the birds and beasts!” And he cursed him by his gods. The brave shepherd-boy did not flinch, but replied: “You come to me with a sword, and a spear, and a javelin. I come to you in the name of the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day God will deliver you into my hands, and I will take your head from you and give it to the birds and wild beasts, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that they may know that God saves not with sword or spear; for this battle is God’s, and he will give you into our hands.” The proud giant, clad in his brass armor, began walking toward the boy, who quickly put his hand into his bag, took out a stone, slung it with all his might at the giant’s forehead, and Goliath fell on his face to the ground—dead. Quickly he ran, stood on the giant, took the great sword of Goliath out of its sheath, and with one blow cut off the giant’s head in the sight of the soldiers of both armies. When the army of the giant saw that their champion was dead, they turned and ran away over the mountains and, with a shout of victory, Saul’s soldiers ran after them and took them prisoners. So the shepherd-boy, with a sling and a stone, and the help of God, won a great battle that day. He became the king’s son-in-law, and when Saul died he became king, one of the greatest and best kings Israel ever had—King David.


(1 Samuel 18 to 20)

The shepherd-boy who slew the giant was invited to live at the king’s palace, and he became a great friend of the king’s son, Jonathan. David and Jonathan soon loved each other greatly. All the people too came to love David more than they did King Saul. This made the[Pg 136] king very jealous, and he resolved to kill this popular young soldier, whom everybody praised so much; even the women and girls singing of him in the streets:

Saul hath slain his thousands,
And David his ten thousands.

When Jonathan suspected his father’s evil intentions, he told David to go away from the palace for three days. “After three days,” he said, “I will come to your hiding-place and bring an arrow-boy with me, and I will shoot three arrows. If I say to the boy, ‘Run and find the arrows on this side of you, come back,’ you can come back to the palace in safety; but if I say, ‘Haste, stay not,’ then there is danger, and you must flee.” After two days Saul missed David at the dining-table, and told Jonathan that if he found David he would surely kill him. And he threw a javelin at Jonathan to kill him too, because he was the friend of David. Quickly Jonathan went with the boy to the place appointed and shot an arrow far beyond the mark and cried to the boy, “Haste, stay not.” The boy ran and brought him the arrow and returned to the palace. David came out from his hiding-place. The two friends kissed each other and made promises of eternal friendship. And they saw each other only once after that day. So the arrow-boy helped the two friends.


(2 Samuel 4: 4; 9: 1-13)

One afternoon, long ago, a little boy prince five years old, was playing with his toys in his father’s palace, and his nurse was watching him. Suddenly a messenger ran up to the house and rushed in, bearing the sad news that a terrible battle had been fought between the Hebrews and the Philistines in which King Saul and the little prince’s[Pg 137] father, Jonathan, David’s friend, had been slain. “Yes,” he said, “Saul and Jonathan are dead! Flee for your lives!” The nurse picked up the little boy in her arms to carry him away quickly, when, in her haste and fright, she stumbled and fell. In the fall the little boy’s ankles were broken, and ever after he was a helpless cripple. The little lame prince was hidden away in a friend’s house so safely that almost everybody supposed the Philistine soldiers must have slain him too. A few years afterward, David said: “Is there yet any left of the family of Saul that I may show the kindness of God to him for Jonathan’s sake?” One of the servants said, “Jonathan hath yet a son who is lame in both his feet.” “Bring him to me,” said David; and when he was before the king, David said: “Fear not; for I will surely show kindness to you for Jonathan, your father’s sake. I will give you his farm lands; and you shall eat at my table as one of my own sons.” So David’s friendship for Jonathan was shown to this lame prince who was crippled in both his feet, and whose name was Mephibosheth.


(1 Kings 3)

One night a King was sleeping, and in his sleep he dreamed that God came to him and said, “Ask what I shall give thee.” He said, “Give me a wise heart to judge the people justly in all things.” God said to him: “Because you have not asked for riches, or long life, or the death of your enemies, but have asked for a heart of wisdom, I will give you a wise heart, and riches, and long life if you will obey me.”

The young King awoke; and it was a dream. But he became one of the richest and wisest of the kings of the earth to rule and to judge his people. One day two[Pg 138] mothers came to him, each bringing a baby boy, but one was dead and one was alive. One mother said: “O king, judge my case! We two mothers live in one house. One night this woman’s baby boy died, and she came into my room and stole my little baby boy away, and put her dead baby boy in its place while I was sleeping. In the morning, there beside me in my bed was her dead baby.” The other woman said, “No, no, the living is my son, and the dead is your son.” The King said to his servants, “Go quickly, and bring me a sword!” They brought a sword. The King said, “Divide the living baby in two, and give half to one and half to the other.” The mother whose the living child was cried out to the King, “O my lord, give her the living child; do not slay it!” But the other said, “Yes, divide it.” Then the King knew which was the real mother and said, “Give her the living child; she is his mother.” All the people heard of this, and they said, “King Solomon is the wisest man that ever lived to rule wisely and to judge justly.”


(2 Kings 11)

There were troublous times in a king’s palace when a little prince was born. He was only two months old when his father, the king, was killed in battle and this little baby boy had to be hidden away by his aunt in a storeroom in the sacred temple to save his life. For seven years he was hidden there and very few knew that the little boy, who should be the king, was alive. His grandmother, a very wicked and cruel woman, Athaliah, became queen. She first ordered all the royal children she could find to be put to death and then she did many such cruel and evil things so that her people became worse and worse. After seven long years, one day a[Pg 139] good man in the temple told five brave captains his secret, and showed them the young king and asked their help to crown him king in the place of the wicked, cruel grandmother. They promised. Soon many other soldiers came to know the secret, and on a day they decided upon, these men armed themselves with swords and spears and shields, and gathered in the temple to crown the little boy king. His granduncle, the high priest, brought him out from his hiding-place, set him upon a high platform, put a little crown of gold upon his head, while all the men clapped their hands and cried, “Long live the king!” When the queen-grandmother heard the shouts she came to the temple and looked in, and behold, there was the little boy king standing on the platform with the crown upon his head and all the captains and guards and trumpeters and people rejoicing and blowing trumpets. The queen tore her clothes in anger and cried out, “Treason! Treason!” But all her soldiers and people were sick and tired of her cruel reign. So the captains seized her, led her out of the temple, and slew her near the horse-gate of her palace. So this little boy only seven years old was crowned king because he was of the family of King David and because God took care of him in his hiding-place during all those seven long years. He reigned as King of Judah many, many years, doing great good for God and for his people. His name was Joash.


(1 Kings 17)

In a land where no rain had fallen for long months the grass and flowers were withered, the fruit trees were dead, the grain-fields and gardens were hardened and parched, and the streams were almost dried up. In the[Pg 140] time of this fearful famine a poor woman looked into her jar of flour and cruse of oil, and saw that they were almost empty. She said: “There is just enough flour to make one more little cake, and just enough oil to mix it. I will go and gather a few sticks and bake this little cake for my boy and myself, and we will eat it and die.” She went out to gather the sticks, when she heard some one speak. She looked up and saw a strange man standing near. He was tired and worn and dusty, as though he had been walking many miles in the hot sun. He said to her, “Fetch me, I pray you, a little water, that I may drink.” She forgot for a moment how hungry and sad she was, and started at once toward her house to get the water for him, when he called to her, “Bring me, I pray you, a morsel of bread in your hand.” She turned back with a sigh and said: “O sir, truly I have not a cake; I have only a handful of meal in the jar, and a little oil in the cruse; and now I am gathering two sticks that I may go in and prepare for me and my boy that we may eat it and die.” The man said: “Fear not; go and do as you have said, but make me a little cake first, and bring it out here to me, and afterward make a cake for yourself and your boy. For Jehovah, the God of Israel says, ‘The jar of meal shall not be empty, neither shall the little bottle of oil be empty, until it rains upon the earth.’”

She stood and looked at this strange man with his strange request—to share her very last piece of bread. She did not know who he was, nor who the God was he spoke of; she only knew that this man with the tired face was hungry too, and he had not even one piece of bread, and she said to herself, “I will share what we have with him.” She went back into her kitchen, kindled the fire with the sticks, scraped the last bit of flour from the jar, and poured in the last drop of oil from the cruse; but,[Pg 141] when she had taken out enough for the little cake and looked into the jar and cruse, there was just as much flour and oil as before. She made the cake, took it to Elijah, God’s wonderful prophet, and she, and he, and her son had plenty to eat from the jar of meal that did not empty and the cruse of oil that did not fail all the days of that famine. And it all came about because that good woman, though hungry herself, was willing to share the little she had with another who was in need.

Is thy cruse of comfort failing? Rise and share it with another,
And through all the years of famine it shall serve thee and thy brother.
Love divine will fill thy storehouse, or thy handful will renew;
Scanty fare for one will often make a royal feast for two.
For the heart grows rich in giving; all its wealth is living grain;
Seeds, which mildew in the garner, scattered, fill with gold the plain.
Is thy heart a living power? Self-entwined its strength sinks low;
It can only live by loving, and by serving love must grow.
Elizabeth Rundle Charles.


(2 Kings 5)

One day a sweet-faced little girl was playing in her home as happy as any little girl could be, all unconscious that a cruel battle was being fought. Suddenly some soldiers came and seized this little girl and carried her away with other prisoners to a far-off land where she was sold and became a slave-girl in the house of a great captain. She had to do errands for his wife and wait upon her, and do anything she asked. Often when this little girl was in her mistress’s room she saw big tears run down her cheeks, and a sad look come upon her face. One day she found out what made the tears. Captain Naaman was a leper. That was a terrible disease in his flesh which no[Pg 142] doctor could cure. The little girl had often seen Captain Naaman. She thought he looked so fine in his rich uniform as he rode away in a chariot with prancing horses. She knew that the king of that land had made him captain over all his soldiers because he was so brave. “But he is a leper, he has leprosy—how sad!” she kept saying to herself; “how I wish I could help him!”

One day a thought flashed into her mind that made her eyes sparkle with joy. She knew in her own land there was a great and good man named Elisha who had done many wonderful things in helping people. She said, “I am sure he could make Captain Naaman well.” She could hardly wait to be sent for to do another errand, she was so eager to tell her mistress about Elisha. At last the call came, and as soon as she went into her mistress’s room, she said, “There is a good man in my land, Elisha, who could heal my master.” The mistress looked at her and said, “Tell me, daughter, tell me what you mean! Who is Elisha?” And the little girl told her all about the wonderful things the prophet had done. When Captain Naaman came home his wife told him what the little girl had said. The captain went to the palace and told the king, who said, “I will send a letter to the King of Israel; get ready to go.” So Captain Naaman started, riding in a beautiful chariot, drawn by prancing horses, the king’s servants riding beside him, carrying gifts of gold and silver and beautiful clothes which the king was sending as presents to the King of Israel. Every one looked as they rode away. The little girl was the most excited of all. At last Captain Naaman and his soldiers and chariot stopped at the door of the little house of Elisha, but the prophet did not even come out to see Naaman’s fine things, but simply sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the river Jordan seven times and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou[Pg 143] shalt be clean.” Naaman was angry and started to go back home as much a leper as he had come. But when his servants reasoned with him and persuaded him to do what the prophet said, he went down to the river Jordan, and dipped himself—once, twice, thrice, four times, five times, six times, seven times—when lo! his rough, red skin became soft and smooth as the skin of a little baby. Naaman was so pleased that he hurried back to the little house of the prophet to reward him, but not a thing would Elisha take from him. Then the captain hastened back to his own land and home. His wife and the little girl saw him coming. Up the street he rode and stopped in front of the beautiful house. “He is well! He is well!” cried the little girl. Then she knew a little girl can indeed be a great helper.


(Daniel 1)

Four boys, who were great friends, were taken from their homes and carried far away into a great city in a foreign land to live among strangers. One day the King ordered his officers to select from among the Jewish captive boys four of the brightest, and these four boys were chosen and brought into the King’s palace to be educated for three years in the King’s college for royal service. Thinking it a great honor to them, and that it would make them strong, the King ordered that these boys should be given a daily supply of the rich food and wine, such as he and all his military cadets received. But the very first time the silver tray, with all of these dainties, was brought to these four college boys, one of them, whose name was Daniel, said to the officer who took charge of them, “Please let us not have this rich food and wine, but have plainer food.” The officer laughed and[Pg 144] said: “I am afraid that if you do not eat this rich food your faces will become thinner than those of the other college students, and then the King will cut off my head!” But Daniel said: “Try us ten days. Give us only vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then look at our faces and the faces of the other boys that eat the King’s rich food and drink his wine, and see.” The officer said he would try them for ten days. He did so, and at the end of that time their faces were fatter and rosier, their bodies plumper, and their minds clearer, stronger, and brighter than all the other boys. At the end of the three college years, the King sat upon a golden throne, and all the students were brought before him, and he saw that these four were stronger than all the rest, and that they knew ten times as much as the magicians and astrologers in all his kingdom. So Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, these four friends who were true to their principle, showed after all that they kept their health and were stronger and better by going without the rich food and the royal wine.


(Daniel 3)

It was a wonderful sight to see the King’s golden image which he had set up in the great plain. The King was a worshiper of images of wood and stone, and he sent forth his herald with a loud trumpet to cry aloud “To you it is commanded, O people, nations and languages, that when ye hear the sound of the instruments of music, ye shall fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar, the King, hath set up; and whoso falleth not down and worshippeth, shall the same hour be cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.” From all the country and provinces around people came[Pg 145] to see this great image and to worship, and at the sound of the instruments of music all fell down and prayed to it, except three young men who stood upright looking before them, without bowing their heads or knees to the golden image. These were the three Hebrews, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, the friends of Daniel, who must have been away on a journey at that time. When this was told to the King he was very angry and ordered them at once to worship his image or be cast into the furnace, which they saw in front of them glowing with a terrible fire. They said to the King: “Our God is able to save us from your fiery furnace, and he will save us. But if he does not, be it known unto you, O King, we will not worship the golden image you have set up, or serve your gods of gold.” The King was more angry, and ordered his strong men to make the fiery furnace seven times hotter and cast these three friends into the midst of it. But they were not afraid though they were tied with ropes and cast into the fire, which was so hot the flames leaped out and burned up the men who threw them into it. The King was sitting where he could look right into the furnace. A few moments after, he sprang up greatly astonished and cried: “Look, look; did we not cast three friends into the furnace? Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God!” The King ran to the mouth of the furnace, crying, “Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, ye servants of the Most High God, come out!” And they came out of the fire, and not a hair of their heads was singed, nor were their coats scorched, nor was there even the smell of burning on them. And it all came about because these three friends were loyal to the one true God, who had sent the other Friend, “the form of the fourth,” to deliver them out of the burning fiery furnace.

[Pg 146]


(Daniel 6)

Daniel was the man who dared to stand alone in work, in worship, and in play. He could be trusted in everything. Because he was so industrious, faithful, and thoughtful, the new King promoted him to be next to him in rule over all the land. The other officers were jealous and set plans for his downfall. They persuaded the King, Darius, to sign this law: “Whosoever shall pray to any god or to man for thirty days, save to thee, O King, he shall be cast into the den of lions.” The King was delighted to think of every one in the city praying to him just as if he were a great god, so he signed this wicked law. Daniel knew what these evil men would do, but when the time came at noonday for him to pray, he went straight to his home, opened wide his windows toward his old home in Jerusalem, as he was accustomed to do, and knelt down and prayed and gave thanks to his God. That night he did the same thing. He could have waited until he was in bed where none could see him say his prayers. Or he could have left his window closed. But he was not afraid of the King or his officers. They were watching down the street, like detectives peeking from behind the corners perhaps, and when they saw Daniel pray they hurried to the King and told him. Darius loved Daniel and was sorry he had signed the law, but as the laws of that land could not be changed, he said that Daniel must die. So Daniel was brought to the great cave of the hungry, roaring lions. The cage was opened at the top and Daniel was thrown right down into the midst of the wild animals. The King was sad and said, “Daniel, your God will deliver you!” Then the King went back to his palace, but he was so sad he could not eat nor hear music. All night long he thought[Pg 147] of Daniel, how good and useful he had been, and how cruelly treated. Early in the morning he arose, hurried to the cave, looked in, and there was Daniel—alive and well. The King cried out, “O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God delivered you from the lions?” “Yes,” answered Daniel, “my God has sent his angel to shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not hurt me.” The King was glad. He called his servants to come and take Daniel out of the den. When he was drawn out there was found not even a scratch upon him. The King said, “Bring those mean and jealous men, who tried to kill Daniel, and cast them into the den.” So they were caught and cast into the den, and so hungry were the lions that before the men reached the floor of the den the beasts had seized them and were crunching their bones to pieces. Then the King made a new law that all in his kingdom should pray to Daniel’s God, who had delivered him out of the lions’ den, and who had given him the power to dare to stand and to pray alone.


(Book of Esther)

Once a King gave a great feast in his Palace of the Lily to all his people. They drank wine from cups of gold in the garden court of the palace which was paved with red marble and mother of pearl. On the seventh day of the feast, being drunk with wine, the King ordered his officers to bring out Queen Vashti in her royal robes that the princes and people might look at her, for she was very beautiful. She refused. So the King said she should be cast out of the Palace of the Lily, and another Queen chosen in her place—the most beautiful woman they could find. One was chosen whose name was Esther, a captive in Persia. Her father and mother were dead,[Pg 148] and her cousin, Mordecai, had brought her up as his own daughter. He was a proud old man who always did what was right, and so he displeased many persons, among whom was Haman, the ruler next to the King. Because Mordecai would not bow down to him, Haman planned to kill the stern old man and with him all the Jews in the land. He persuaded the King to give a command that on a certain day all Jews, young and old, women and little children, should be slain. There was great distress among the Jews, but Haman was happy with the King, drinking wine and talking over his great decree. Esther did not know what had happened until she saw her cousin weeping, and then he told her that her life was in danger too, unless she went to the King and pleaded for her people. She said: “Every one knows that whoever goes before the King into the inner court, who is not called, is put to death, unless the King holds out his golden scepter, and for the last thirty days the King has not called me.”

Mordecai replied: “Do not think you will escape! No, if you fail us now, safety will come by others, but you will perish; and who knows whether you are not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

Then Esther said: “Go, gather together all the Jews and pray three days and three nights for me, and I will go before the King, and if I perish, I perish!” At the end of three days she put on her royal robes, went into the inner court, and stood opposite the King as he sat on his throne. When he saw her he held out his golden scepter, and said, “What is your wish, Queen Esther? Speak and you shall have it to the half of my kingdom!” She said, “May it please the King to come to-day with Haman to a banquet that I have prepared.” At the banquet the King again asked her wish, and she said, “If it please the King, come again to-morrow to a banquet[Pg 149] with Haman.” Haman was delighted as he went home and told his wife and friends about his good fortune; but he said, “I am unhappy as long as Mordecai refuses to bow down to me!” They said, “Build a gallows, and ask the King to let Mordecai be hanged on it.” He did so. But that same night the King read in the book of golden deeds how true Mordecai had been to a former King, and he knew that this service had never been rewarded. When Haman came in the King said, “What shall be done to the man whom the King delights to honor?” Thinking it must be himself the King meant, he said: “Let royal apparel be given him and a royal horse, and a royal crown, and bid him ride through the city for the people to honor.” The King said, “Then make haste and do all this for Mordecai.” This he had to do. And when he went to the Queen’s banquet he was not happy. The King said: “What is your wish, Queen Esther? Speak and I will give it, to the half of my kingdom.” She said: “O King, let my life and my people’s life be given me; for we are sold, I and my people, to be slain and to perish.” The King said, “Who is he? where is he that dares to do so?” Esther pointed to Haman, and said, “There he is, this wicked Haman!” Haman was afraid, and pleaded with the Queen to ask the King to spare his life, but the King said, “Hang him on the gallows that he built for Mordecai.” This was done at once, and when Haman was dead Mordecai was put into his place next to the king, and all the people rejoiced. So Queen Esther, to whom the King extended the golden scepter in the Palace of the Lily, saved all her people, the Jews, that day and they lived in peace and prosperity.

[Pg 150]


(Adapted for Children, Six to Twelve Years.)


(Luke 2)

One starry night, in a grassy field outside a little village, a company of shepherds were watching their sheep that were fast asleep. The men were talking together of the wonderful Saviour-King who had been so long promised to the world. Suddenly a bright light shone around them and, in a moment a beautiful angel appeared and stood near them. The shepherds were afraid and fell on their knees, while the angel said: “Fear not; for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day, in the City of David, a Saviour, who is Christ, the Lord.” As they listened the angel continued, “This shall be your sign; ye shall find a Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, and lying in a manger.” Just then the light changed to a soft rose-color, and angels of white—a great multitude—filled all the sky singing the glad song, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and good will to men.” It was the sweetest song ears ever heard. Soon it ceased, the angels of white went back to heaven, and the light faded away. “Let us go at once and see this new-born child!” the shepherds said one to another. So they left their sheep in care of one shepherd and hastened to the town. There they found the little[Pg 151] Babe in a stable, wrapped in coarse clothes and lying in a manger. By his side was Mary, his mother, and Joseph. They knelt down beside the manger, looked into the wide-open eyes of the Christ-Child, and told Mary and Joseph of the wonderful light, and of the song and sign of the angels. It was morning when the shepherds went back to their sheep, but they never tired of telling that the Christ-Child was born, and that the angels had said he should bring “peace on earth and good will to men.” That was the first Christmas Day.


(Matthew 2)

In other lands besides the one in which the Christ-Child was born, good men often talked together of the promise of his coming to the world. One night, in a far-away land, a wise man who liked to study the stars, was looking up into the sky, and saw a star he had never seen before. “There is the star of the Christ-Child!” he cried; “I will go and find him and take him a gift of gold!” So he mounted his camel and started. Soon he met another man riding a camel. This man said, “Where are you going?” “I have seen the star of the Christ-Child,” he said, “and I am going to find him.” “I saw the star too, and I will go with you,” said the man; “I shall give him a gift of my sweetest incense.” Soon they met a third man riding on a camel. “I too,” he said, “saw this wonderful star, and am seeking the Child-King. I have for him a gift of myrrh, my most precious perfume!” So they journeyed together—on and on—ever following the star until they came at last to the little town of Bethlehem, and the star stood shining over the little house.

“Ike! Ike!” each traveler shouted to his camel. This[Pg 152] meant “Kneel; kneel!” The camels slowly knelt down; each man put his foot on his camel’s neck, stepped upon the ground, and went into the house, where they saw the young child and fell down and worshiped him. Then they opened their bags and gave for the Star-Child their best gifts, of gold, and frankincense, and myrrh, such as were given only to kings. Some time after they returned home to their study of the stars again, but they never forgot the star that led them to the Child-King who was born to bring to the world “peace and good will, good will and peace.”


(An Imaginary Sketch.)

(Luke 2: 40, 52.)

When Jesus was a boy he lived in a little country town, called Nazareth. It was a beautiful place, with little white stone houses, and little narrow streets; high green hills rising above it; many gardens full of bright flowers—roses, tulips, lilies, orchids, and wild geraniums; orchards of fig trees, olive trees, and orange trees; cooing doves and other birds flitting here and there on the housetops and among the trees; and in the center of the town there was a fountain from which water was carried by the people to their homes in large stone jars borne on the shoulder.

The house in which Jesus lived had only one room with a dirt floor. It had no window except a hole in the wall; no bedstead, no chair, no pictures, no looking-glass. The people in these poor houses ate their meals from a low bench or shelf as they sat or reclined upon the floor or upon cushions. They slept upon quilts spread on the floor at night and neatly folded up by day. The only furniture was a chest or cupboard on one side of the[Pg 153] room, where they kept their best clothes. Near the door stood the jar of water for drinking, cooking, and cleansing.



When Jesus was a boy he wore a bright, red coat with long sleeves and tied around his waist with a sash of different colors. When he was very little he wore no shoes or stockings. Later he wore little sandals. Sandals were taken off when people entered a house. Perhaps it was easier for a boy then to take off his sandals than to wipe his shoes on the door-mat as boys should do now. But these boys had to wash their feet as they came indoors, and perhaps that would be harder for a boy who doesn’t like to wash even his hands when he comes into the house now.

When Jesus was five years old he began to attend the village school with other boys. After school was over he loved to play games with the other boys around the village fountain or upon the level place on the hillside. He played “funeral” and “wedding” and many games such as boys play now. He used to climb to the top of the green hills gathering wildflowers, watching the birds, and perhaps sometimes he would chase the butterflies, but if he caught them he would never hurt them. He helped his mother feed the doves and the chickens, often laughing heartily as he saw the chicks run to hide under the mother’s wings.

Every Sabbath he went to the village synagogue, which was the same place as the day-school. He listened attentively to the minister reading and explaining the Bible. After the synagogue service all the children stayed to the Bible school. All the children sat on the dirt floor and listened to the Old Testament read and explained. Boys, like Jesus, were glad to learn a great deal of the Bible by heart and then to repeat it from memory.

Jesus’ father, Joseph, was the village carpenter. He[Pg 154] made and repaired stools, mangers, plows, yokes, and such things for the home and farm. Jesus doubtless loved to be in the carpenter shop, helping Joseph by bringing saw and hammer, holding a board, and learning all he could. Jesus and Joseph were chums and partners, always trying to help each other. We may imagine that one day Jesus saw an Arab in the village making a tent. When Jesus got home he said, “I would like to have a tent.” So Joseph helped him, and he soon learned to smooth and sharpen the pegs, sew cloth together, and when at last the tent was finished and put out in the garden, no boy was ever happier lying under his own tent that his own hands had made, than Jesus was. One day, perhaps, Joseph took Jesus over to the lake, where they went fishing. What fun that was to Jesus, as well as the rowing and sailing and swimming in the lake! When he got home he said, “Let us make a little boat for little brother.” So they made a nice boat and gave it as a plaything to amuse his little brother.

Often his mother called, “Jesus, please get some water in the jars.” Jesus started on the minute. He never said, “Oh pshaw! ask brother!” or “I don’t want to!” or “Wait a minute!” No, Jesus went at once, and more often saw what was wanted to be done and did it without waiting to be told.

Jesus was the kind of boy that helps everybody. So everybody liked Jesus. He studied his lessons well. He always played fair with the boys. He was kind and loving and good to all. He loved everybody, and everything he did he did with his whole heart and tried to do well.

In the evening his father and mother often gathered the children together and told them the beautiful stories from the Bible—and Jesus loved especially those about Abraham and Joseph and Samuel and David and Daniel.

So when Jesus was a boy he was a real boy—a perfect[Pg 155] boy, the best thinking, feeling, speaking, acting boy the world ever saw, just the kind of boy that God wants every boy to be, “growing in body, in mind, in soul, and in favor with God and man.”


(Luke 2: 41-52)

One morning when Jesus lived in the little white stone house in Nazareth, his father, Joseph, said: “Jesus, you are now twelve years old. You are to go to the feast in Jerusalem with us this year.” This made Jesus very happy. He had been looking forward a long time to the day when he could go to the great city of Jerusalem that was to him the most sacred and most wonderful city in the world. So, when the morning to start came, Jesus was ready. When they started there were great throngs of people from different towns and lands going up to the feast, traveling together and crowding the roads. The women and aged men rode on donkeys, or mules, or horses, or camels. The men walked by their side, staff in hand. The boys ran on before or played by the side of the road. These great caravans of people slowly traveled together as far as they could by day and rested at night in tents or booths. The boys had tents in which they could sleep together, and Jesus was with the boys. On the fourth day, suddenly in the distance, on a hill, Jesus caught the first glimpse of the high towers and great walls of the city, and the shining roof of the temple and palaces. The people cried out, “Jerusalem! Jerusalem!” singing psalms of joy together, accompanied by music of various instruments, as they journeyed onward. Soon they reached the city. It was a new and wonderful world to Jesus, this wondrous boy of twelve years old, who had lived in the country and had never seen a large[Pg 156] city before. He opened his eyes wide to see the crowded streets, the marble palaces, the strong towers, and then the temple courts and buildings. He saw the bright robes of the priests. He saw the smoking altars and their bleeding sacrifices of oxen and lambs and doves. He stood in front of the great blue veil of the holy of holies and wondered what was within. He knew this was his heavenly Father’s house, and he liked to be there better than anywhere else. He watched the daily sacrifice and all parts of the feast. During the seven days of the feast, Jesus walked about the streets looking at the stores, the wonderful articles for sale, the animals for sacrifice, the forts, the great gates, and other interesting things in the city, but he always liked to go back to the wonderful temple.

When the feast was over, Joseph and Mary started toward home. But as the roads were so crowded, especially toward Nazareth, with the thousands of returning pilgrims, his parents, supposing he was in the company, did not discover that he was missing until they pitched their tents at the close of their first short day’s travel. Jesus was lost. They searched everywhere and asked everybody they met, and when they could not find him they were greatly worried, fearing that King Herod might have caught him and put him to death. They hurried back to the city very early the next morning and searched everywhere for the missing boy but could learn nothing of him. At last, on the third day, they went into one of the side rooms of the temple, a room where the teachers and wise men met, and there was Jesus in the center of a group of white-bearded teachers, listening earnestly to what they said, and asking them harder questions than they had ever heard before. Mary said: “Jesus, my son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? Behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.”[Pg 157] Jesus replied: “Mother, how is it that you sought me? Did you not think that I would be here, in my Father’s house?” While Jesus had been at the feast during those seven days he had found out what every boy and girl sooner or later must find out, what he is to do and to be in the world. But though Jesus now knew what he was to be and do, yet at once he said to the great teachers, “Good-bye,” and went back with his parents to Nazareth, a cheerful, obedient Jewish boy.

And in all that land no son was ever so thoughtful, so kind, so loving, and so helpful to his parents and to his brothers and sisters, as was this noble boy and young man, whom his neighbors knew as Jesus, the young carpenter of Nazareth.


(Mark 1: 1-11)

When Jesus was the young carpenter in Nazareth he was the best carpenter of all the land. The children, passing by, liked to peep in at the open door of his shop and see him at work with his saw or hammer, making or repairing a stool, or a chest, a manger, a plow, or a yoke. He smiled sweetly at the children and spoke kind words to them, so that the children of Nazareth loved him in return. But one day as Jesus was standing beside his bench, with the shavings at his feet and his carpenter’s tools about him, he knew that very soon he must leave that shop and go into the towns and cities where there were other things for him to mend than stools and chests and mangers and plows and yokes. At last, one evening, when the shadows lengthened, he went into his carpenter’s shop and hung up his hammer, his saw, his adz, and each of his carpenter’s tools, shut the door of his shop, said “Good-bye” to his mother and his brothers and sisters[Pg 158] and friends in Nazareth, and early next morning started on a long walk over the hills and valleys toward the river Jordan.

A strange preacher named John, the Baptizer, had come out of the wilderness to the banks of the river Jordan, preaching that everybody should repent of his sins and prepare for the coming of God’s Son by being baptized in the river, confessing his sins. John was dressed in a rough coat made of camel’s hair, and had lived in the desert eating nothing but honey and an insect, something like a grasshopper, called a locust. But thousands of people came to listen to this strange preacher of the desert and to be baptized.

One afternoon, as a great crowd was around him, John suddenly stopped in his preaching, and looking at a man coming near, he cried, “Look, there is God’s Son!” All eyes were turned toward the quiet and gentle form of Jesus, who walked forward and said to John, “I would like to be baptized.” John drew back, and said, “Oh, no, no! You should baptize me, rather than that I should baptize you.” But when Jesus said, “It is God’s will,” John took hold of his hand and together John and Jesus slowly stepped out on the pebbly shore, and walked into the river, with every eye upon them. Standing out in the water, Jesus prayed. Then John baptized Jesus. And as Jesus came up out of the water, suddenly the sky seemed to open, and a beautiful snow-white dove flew down and rested upon the head of Jesus. Then a Voice from heaven was heard that said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

This was the announcement that Jesus was the Son of God and the Saviour of the world. It meant that Jesus would return to the carpenter shop no more. No more would the farmer bring his plow for Jesus to repair. No more would the housemother bring her stool to Jesus[Pg 159] to mend. In vain would the children passing by his shop look in at the open door to see his pleasant smile or hear his kind voice. The saw and the hammer and the adz were for other hands now. Jesus had entered upon his great task of mending and healing human hearts and lives, of bringing “Peace on earth, good will to men,” a task in which every one who loves him and is like him may still share a part.


(Matthew 4: 1-11)

When Jesus was a boy and a young man in Nazareth, he was sometimes tempted to do wrong things or to do right things in a wrong way. But he had decided always to do what pleased God, his heavenly Father, and so he met every temptation to do wrong with a firm “No!” which each time won him a new victory, as it will with any one.

Immediately after his baptism in the river Jordan Jesus was tempted more than ever before because his baptism was the beginning of his public life as the Son of God and Saviour of men. Satan, the tempter, said, “I will make him do something that will not please God!” So, far off in the desert, where Jesus withdrew to plan the best way to begin his life-work, and when he had fasted for forty days and was very hungry, Satan came to Jesus in some strange form and said, “If thou art the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” He pointed to some round, smooth stones lying near that looked very much like loaves. Jesus knew that he could command them to become bread, but he said: “No, God does not want me to use my power for myself, but for others. It is better to obey God and do right than even to get bread when one is hungry. God says in his word,[Pg 160] ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God,’” So Jesus refused to do what Satan said to satisfy his hunger, and won the first inning of his great victory.

The tempter tried another plan. He seemed to take Jesus suddenly to one of the highest towers of the temple in Jerusalem where he said: “If thou art the Son of God, cast yourself down and surprise the people, for God’s word says, ‘He will give his angels charge over thee, and they shall bear thee up in their hands lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.’” Jesus knew that he could easily do this, but he said: “No, the angels of God only take care of God’s children when they do right in a right way to please him. It is written in God’s word, ‘Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.’” So he refused the tempter, and won the second inning of his great victory.

The tempter tried a third time. He seemed to carry Jesus up into a very high mountain, from which he could see the whole world and all the glory of it. Satan said: “All these things will I give thee if thou wilt fall down and worship me. The Jews want a Sword-King. Become a Sword-King and lead them out to fight their enemies, and you will win, for I will help you.”

“Get thee hence, Satan,” cried Jesus immediately, “for it is written in God’s word, ‘Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou worship.’” Jesus refused to be Satan’s Sword-King, and chose to be God’s kind of king, a Peace-King. So Jesus won the third inning of his great victory.

Then Satan left Jesus. God’s angels brought him food to sustain him and encouragement to revive him. And Jesus was stronger still to do always those things that pleased his heavenly Father, who would give him help to win other victories through life, as he had helped him to win this first great victory.

[Pg 161]


(Matthew 19:13-15)

One day a great crowd of men gathered about Jesus, the great Teacher. All sorts of men were there—rich men and poor men; soldiers with their swords and spears and sandals; rough fishermen, barefooted, fresh come from their boats and nets; and priests dressed in their long, white robes with colored fringes.

Suddenly, as the great Teacher was speaking, at the farther edge of the crowd a noise was heard. Some women and children were trying to get near to Jesus. These women wore red and blue dresses with handkerchiefs tied over their heads, which showed they were poor women from the little white stone houses. Some were carrying their babies, some were holding their little ones by the hand, and others were followed by large boys and girls clinging to their mothers’ skirts. All were trying to press nearer to Jesus who was talking earnestly to the people. Soon some of the close friends of Jesus noticed these women with their children, and said: “Women, do you not see how busy Jesus is? He has grown-up people to talk to, and has no time for you and your children. Take them away; carry them home where they belong!”

Jesus heard what his friends said, and cried out: “Do not send the children away. Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” There were so many of them—mothers and their children, little babies, small children, young boys, and girls! Jesus received them all. He let them all come near him. He took the babies in his arms. He laid his hands on the heads of the little children. He put his loving arms around the larger boys and girls. And he blessed them all. It may be he told them some[Pg 162] beautiful stories, for we may be sure that the boys and girls then loved to hear stories as well as the children do to-day.

So Jesus was the friend of the children! No wonder children like to sing:

I think when I read that sweet story of old
When Jesus was here among men,
How he called little children as lambs to the fold,
I should like to have been with them then.
I wish that his hands had been placed on my head,
That his arms had been thrown around me,
And that I might have seen his kind look when he said,
“Let the little ones come unto me.”


(Matthew 9:18-26)

Once there was a girl twelve years of age who lived in a beautiful country house with her father and mother, who loved her dearly. Her father was one of the chief men of that place, a ruler, the president of Synagogue College, and very rich.

One day this little girl became ill, and day by day she grew weaker and weaker, until everybody feared she would never be well again. One morning she lay very white and still with her eyes closed and scarcely breathing. Her father had left his business that day to sit by her bedside and watch her. Tears filled his eyes as he thought he must lose his darling daughter. All at once the little girl opened her eyes and seeing her father’s tears said: “Father, there’s a good man who loves children. I saw him one day in town, and he looked at me and spoke to me so kindly, I just loved him. His name is Jesus. He heals the sick. I think he would make me well.”

[Pg 163]The father had thought of him several times, but as some of his friends didn’t want to have anything to do with him, he did not go to him. But when his daughter whispered, “Please, father, tell him I’m sick,” the father determined at once to go and get him. He hastened to the town where he was dining in a friend’s house. He fell at the feet of the great Teacher, crying out: “My little daughter is dying! Please come quickly and lay your hand on the child, and she shall live!” At once the Teacher arose and followed the father, a great crowd of people following, each person trying to get near him and to look up into his face or to hear his wonderful words. As they were on their way a poor old woman that had been ill as many years as the little girl had been on the earth, with a disease that no doctor could cure, came up quietly behind Jesus in the crowd. She thought, “If I can only touch his garment, I shall be healed.” And as soon as she put out her finger and touched the hem of his garment, she felt new life, and she was healed. “Who touched me?” said the great Teacher, turning around and looking straight at her. Then he spoke kind and comforting words to her. All this took so much time the father was worried and said, “O Sir, please hasten, or my little daughter will be dead before we get there!” But this great man was never in a hurry, having time to help everybody. They were not much farther on the way when they saw a man running toward them. It was the rich man’s servant, who said, “Thy daughter is dead. Don’t trouble the Teacher any further!” You should have seen the sorrow written on that poor father’s face. Jesus saw it and said, “Do not be afraid. Only believe in me!” When they reached the house the doors were wide open and they heard the sound of pitiful wailing and weeping, accompanied by the flutes and other instruments of mourning-minstrels, who did not feel sad, but merely[Pg 164] did this because they were paid for it. “Why make ye this ado and weep?” said Jesus. “The maid is not dead, but she is asleep!” After Jesus had passed, these weepers laughed and mocked him, saying, “We know she is dead.”

“Come with me,” said the Teacher with the gentle voice. Then he took the father and mother of the maid and three of his friends into the room where the maid was lying so white and still and breathless. Very tenderly he bent over her body, took her small white hand in his own warm hand, and softly said, “Little maid, arise!” In a moment the rose-color came back to her pale cheeks, and she sat up in the bed, and threw her arms about her father and mother, who could scarce believe their eyes for joy. Then she sprang from the bed and walked, perfectly well. “Give the maid something to eat,” said the Teacher. Her mother quickly gave her something to eat. Soon the servants prepared a feast for the great Teacher, and the little maid sat next to him at the table, as happy and as well as she could be. And she never forgot the name of that great Friend who awakened her from her sleep of death!


(John 6: 1-14)

Once there was a good boy who had a very kind-hearted mother. Early one morning he said, “Mother, I’d like to go fishing to-day.” “Yes,” said the mother, “you’ve been a good boy; take your fishing-tackle, and here’s a nice lunch for you.” She put him up five little cakes, such as he liked, in a basket. He went down to the lake and fished all the morning and way into the afternoon, and caught only two little fish, which he held over a fire that he made, until the fish were cooked brown[Pg 165] and looked so good to eat. He was just about to eat them with his cakes, when he looked up and saw a great crowd of people a little distance away whom he had not noticed before. He wondered who they could be. So quickly putting his five little cakes and two fishes into the basket, he took it up, ran as fast as he could, and pressed his way to the front, where he saw a great and good man talking to the people so earnestly that they did not notice the boy. Soon he was listening as earnestly as any of them. When the great and good man had talked a long time and no one seemed tired, one of the men said: “I think you had better send the people home to get something to eat. If they stay much longer they will get so hungry they will faint by the way.” The good man said, “You give them something to eat!” The man laughed and said: “Why, if we bought two hundred dollars’ worth of bread and gave each person a little, there would not be enough to go around.” When the boy heard that, he said to a man he knew, “He can have my lunch if he wants.” The man said: “There’s a little lad here with five little cakes and two little fishes, and he says you can have his lunch, if you want!” “Yes,” said the good man, “let him bring it to me.” So that good boy came right up in front of the great and good man and gave him his lunch. The good man asked God to bless it. Then he asked his friends to seat the boys and girls on the green grass in rows of fifty, and the women in rows of fifty, and the men in rows of a hundred. When they were all seated, the good man took up one of the little cakes and broke off a piece, and another and another and another; but the cake did not become smaller. He kept breaking it until there was a great deal of bread. Then he took up one of the little fishes and broke off a piece, then another and another and another; but the fish did not become smaller. He kept breaking the fish until[Pg 166] there was plenty. Then his friends passed the cakes and fish around to the boys and girls. It was the sweetest bread and fish they had ever tasted. The boy who gave up his lunch had all he could eat, so did all the women and all the men. When they had eaten all they wished, there were twelve baskets full left over. And it all came about because that good boy was willing to share his lunch with the great and good man.


(Luke 19: 1-10)

Once there was a very little man who was no bigger than a young boy. He was so short that some people called him a dwarf. He lived in a very large house, was very rich, and had a money-making office. But no one in the town liked Zaccheus, the dwarf, because he was not good, or kind-hearted, or honest. People said that he had cheated them out of money and done other bad things. One afternoon, as he was walking along the street, suddenly he saw in the distance a great crowd of people coming along the main road leading into the town. The people were shouting excitedly, “Jesus is coming! Jesus is coming!” “How I would like to see Jesus,” said the dwarf to himself as he ran toward the crowd and tip-toed, trying to catch a glimpse of the great Teacher’s face. But he wasn’t tall enough. He could see nothing but heads towering above him. “I know what I’ll do,” he said to himself. “I’ll climb up into that mulberry tree near my house. Then I can see him easily.” So he ran quickly and climbed up into the branches of the great tree, and waited until the crowd came close. “There he is” he said to himself; “well, if I am a dwarf, no one can see better than I this time.”

He sat there quietly while the great procession passed[Pg 167] by—men, women, children, and Jesus in the midst. Soon Jesus stopped near the tree, looked up into its branches and cried, “Zaccheus, make haste and come down, for I want to stop at your house to-night!” Zaccheus could scarcely believe his ears. Was it possible that the good Teacher would visit him, a man so wicked, hated, and despised? How did Jesus know his name? How did he see his hiding-place in the tree? The dwarf didn’t know, but he hastened down at once and welcomed Jesus to his house. In surprise some of the people cried: “Look! Jesus is going to stay with a sinner. Does he know what a bad man this is?” Zaccheus gave Jesus the best room in his large house, and did all he could to make his visit comfortable. “Prepare the best feast for Jesus,” he said to his servants. And while they were seated at the table, Zaccheus stood before all and said to Jesus: “Master, if I have taken anything from any one wrongfully, I will give him back four times over, and one-half of what is left I will give to the poor.”

Then Jesus said to all the people: “Zaccheus, whom you have despised and hated, is one of the children of my kingdom. I came into his house to help him to be good and kind-hearted and just. I came to seek and to save the lost!”

Zaccheus, the dwarf, never forgot that afternoon when Jesus found him seated up in the mulberry tree and spent the night at his house and loved him when everybody else hated and despised him.


(Luke 10: 25-37)

One day as Jesus, the great Teacher, was speaking, a lawyer, who really wanted to know, said, “Who is my neighbor?” and Jesus told him this beautiful story:

[Pg 168]Once a man was journeying over a rough and lonely road. A band of robbers sprang upon him, struck him down, stole his money and clothes and left him bleeding and half dead on the road. A temple-priest happened to pass that way, and when he saw the wounded man lying there he said to himself, “No one can see what I do on this lonely road.” So he crossed over to the other side, looked at the beautiful scenery, and passed on to the temple to prayer and sacrifice, leaving the poor man uncared for, dying in the road.

A temple-singer also passed that way. When he saw the wounded man lying there he went up to him, looked carefully at his sad condition, and said to himself, “Poor man, I would help him if I were not so busy.” So he passed on to his singing in the temple, leaving the poor man uncared for, dying in the road.

Shortly afterward a Samaritan, a man who was not a Jew, came along the road. He saw the wounded man bleeding and dying, uncared for in the road, and felt sorry for him. He saw that he was a Jew and not one of his own people, but that made no difference. He went up to him, raised the suffering man, and gently poured soothing oil into his wounds, and gave him strengthening wine. Then he helped him upon his mule and walked by its side, while the man rode until they came to a small hotel, where he spent the night taking good care of him. The next morning he said to the hotel-keeper: “Take care of him until he is well. Here is some money, and if you spend more I will repay you when I come this way again.”

Jesus said to the lawyer, “Which of these three was a neighbor to the wounded man?” The lawyer said, “The man that showed mercy on him!” Jesus said: “Go, and do you be as good a neighbor to all whom you have the power to aid and to help.”

[Pg 169]


(Mark 4: 35-41)

Just at sunset one beautiful evening, a little fishing-boat was sailing across a large lake. At the end of the boat Jesus, the great Teacher, was sitting watching the gold and red and purple of the sky reflected in the rippling waves. Soon the moon came up and its soft, silvery beams shone on the waves all around the boat. Then, as Jesus was very, very tired with his hard day’s work, he lay down on the seat and one of his fisher-friends brought him a leathern cushion for a pillow that he might rest easier. No sooner was Jesus fast asleep than the lake, which had looked so lovely before with its rippling waves, changed quickly and became rough and choppy, and the wind began to blow very hard. The moon went under a cloud. The wind blew fiercer and fiercer. The waves rose higher and higher. Several of the friends of Jesus had been fishermen and sailors on that lake all their lives, but they never knew such a terrible storm. The wind blew a hurricane, the waves dashed up so high that they came over the boat, and it began to fill with water. Hurrying to Jesus, who was sleeping soundly through all the wind and storm and darkness, they awoke him, crying, “Master! Master! awake, we are drowning! Save us!” Jesus awoke and heard the wild roaring of the wind and the torrents of rain and the dashing of the sea. Then he arose and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” and the wild wind heard his voice, and ceased as a dog stops barking when he hears his master’s command, “Be still,” or as a crying child stops his sobs when his mother speaks. So the noisy sea trembled; the waves sank to rest; the moon came out again; and the lake lay still and silent. There was a great calm. Then his friends knew that Jesus was the Storm-King, and they said, “What a King is this—for[Pg 170] he commandeth even the winds and the sea and they obey him.”


(John 13: 1-17)

One evening Jesus and his friends were gathered together at a supper in an upper room in a house which belonged to a friend of Jesus, and which had been loaned for this special supper. Jesus and his friends had walked a long distance that day over a rough and dusty road and their feet, in the loose sandals, were sore and dusty. Near the door stood a stone pitcher filled with cool, fresh water, and also a basin and a towel, but there was no servant at the door to wash their feet when they removed their sandals and passed to their places about the table. Each of the twelve friends of Jesus was thinking which would occupy the highest seat in Jesus’ kingdom, and each wanted to have the highest place of honor at the table. No one had offered to take the basin and the towel, but rather they were even quarreling over which should recline next to Jesus at the head of the table. Jesus spoke not a word. He arose from the table, went quietly over to the water-jar, laid aside his outer cloak, tied a towel around his waist, like a servant, took up the basin, filled it with water, and began to wash his friends’ feet, one after the other, and to wipe them with the towel. Jesus was the King of heaven and earth! Jesus was Lord and Master, as well as Friend. One of them should have offered to do this. But no one thought of serving others in any such slave’s way but Jesus. So, when he had finished washing the feet of all, he put on his outer cloak again, took his place at the table, and said, “He that would be greatest of all must become the servant of all.”

[Pg 171]


(Matthew 27: 27-66)

For three long years Jesus went about doing good, living for others—feeding the hungry, healing the sick, opening the eyes of the blind, unstopping the ears of the deaf, causing the lame to walk, raising the dead, comforting the weary-hearted, and teaching messages of love to all. At last untrue men, who did not love goodness and truth, jealous because the multitudes followed Jesus, said, “Away with him—crucify him!” And Pilate, the Roman governor, gave the sentence, “Let him be crucified!” That meant death on the cross, the cruel cross on which only the worst criminals, and those mostly slaves, were put to death for the basest crimes. So one Friday morning about nine o’clock, Jesus, carrying the heavy beam upon his shoulder, was led up the steep road to a green hill outside the city wall. There they nailed him cruelly to the cross. Jesus quietly prayed to his Father to forgive his enemies. He also prayed for one of the two thieves dying near him on another cross, that God would forgive him and bring him to heaven. He saw his mother, Mary, weeping bitterly near his cross, and said to his friend John, “Take care of my mother, and be a son to her.” Just at midday a sudden and strange darkness came over all the land. There was thunder and lightning and a great earthquake! The people around the cross listened and heard through the storm and out of the darkness this piercing cry from Jesus, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” It seemed to Jesus that not only had all his disciples and nation forsaken him, but that God, his heavenly Father, whom he had always tried to please in everything all his life long, had hidden away his face from him and had forgotten and forsaken him. After three hours the light[Pg 172] broke out again and Jesus said, “It is finished!” Then, “Father, into thy hands I yield my spirit.” And Jesus was dead. To make the more sure that he was dead, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a sharp spear, and from the wound water and blood came forth. And the water mingled with the blood showed that Jesus died of a broken heart for the sins of men!

That evening some friends came and tenderly took his body down from the cross and buried him in a new tomb in a garden, and rolled a great stone across the door of the tomb.

And when the stars shone out that night it was the close of the world’s blackest day, because the King of Love, who came to bring to men “peace and good will, good will and peace,” had been rejected and was dead and buried.


(John 20)

Very, early on Sunday morning, the third day after Jesus had died, some Roman soldiers were guarding the tomb where the body of Jesus lay. Just as the first faint streaks of dawn appeared, suddenly there was a noise and a shaking of the ground, as a beautiful angel came down from heaven and rolled away the great stone from the mouth of the tomb. The face of the angel was like lightning, and his garments were like snow. At the sight of the angel and the opened tomb, the Roman soldiers shook with fear and ran away as for their life. Just as they were running out of one gate of the garden, three women, friends of Jesus, were coming into the garden by another gate. They were walking slowly and sorrowfully and saying one to another, “Who will roll away the stone from the tomb?” They were bringing fresh cloths and spices to put around his body. It was still[Pg 173] dark in the garden, with only a small streak of light in the east; but what was that bright, shining light in front of the tomb? They hurried forward and looked—the great rock had been rolled away and a strange and beautiful angel was sitting upon the stone in front of the tomb. The tomb they could see was empty. The women were trembling with fear and surprise. But the angel said: “Be not afraid, I know ye seek Jesus. He is not here. He is risen. Go, and tell his disciples that he goes before you into Galilee, and ye shall see him as he said unto you!” Full of joy the women hurried back and told the friends of Jesus that he was alive.

Another friend of Jesus came to the garden just as soon as the women had gone. Her name was Mary. She came to the tomb all alone, and when she looked into the empty tomb she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the foot, where the body of Jesus had lain. These angels were strong and beautiful, with garments dazzling white like the sun, but she was so sad that she hardly noticed them until one of them said, “Woman, why weepest thou?” She said, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.” Then she stepped back a little distance into the garden and saw a man she thought must be the gardener. He said, “Woman, why weepest thou?” She said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him.” In a low, sweet voice the man said, “Mary.” Then she knew Jesus spoke to her, and brushing her tears away quickly, she said, “Teacher!”

So Jesus came to all his disciples, one by one, or two or three together; until at last all knew he was risen from the dead—that he was alive again.

This is the story of the first Easter Day. And this is the reason that in Russia on Easter morning, the peasant[Pg 174] people say, “The Lord is risen!” and their friends reply, “The Lord is risen indeed!”


(Acts 3, 4)

One afternoon two friends were walking along a street in Jerusalem on their way to the evening sacrifice in the temple. At one of the entrances—the Beautiful Gate (so named because of its snow-white marble steps leading up to its great door of costly brass)—sat a poor lame man, begging. His feet and ankles were so crippled that he had never been able to walk or even to stand. His friends carried this helpless cripple and laid him every morning at this temple entrance to beg charity from those who went to pray. As soon as the man saw these two friends, Peter and John, he cried piteously, “Give charity!” Standing still and looking him quietly in the eye, the two friends said, “Look on us!” He looked up at once most expectantly. Peter said, “Silver and gold have I none, but what I have, I give thee. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!” Taking him by the hand Peter lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle-bones became strong. The man leaped up and went into the temple with Peter and John, walking and leaping and praising God. All the people were amazed, seeing him leaping and hearing his shouts of joy as he held fast to his two friends. A great throng gathered about them in the large open court, called Solomon’s porch. Peter, seeing the throng, began to tell them about the wonderful Prince of Life, Jesus, whom they had put to death. Such preaching within the temple courts aroused the people and offended the priests, and the chief officer seized Peter and John and cast them into prison. This caused hundreds of the people to declare[Pg 175] themselves Christians. The next morning when Peter and John were brought before the council and questioned, the officers said, “We will let you go if you will promise not to speak or teach in this name again.” They answered: “Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you, rather than unto God, judge ye; for we cannot but speak the things we have seen and heard.” So, failing to frighten them, the officers were compelled to let them go. And being let go, they returned at once to the Christian company, and told what the Jewish officers had said to them. And the cripple who had been healed at the Beautiful Gate was a happy Christian in that company, and was one of the loudest in giving true praise to God that day.


(Acts 12)

Once there was a girl, possibly about sixteen years of age, who lived with her father and mother in the dreadful days of the persecution against the early Christians. One evening her mother said: “Rose, your father and I are going to a friend’s house to-night to pray. Herod, the wicked king, who killed the apostle James, John’s brother, has shut up Peter in prison for several days—and to-morrow he is going to put Peter to death. The Christians are to pray to-night for Peter’s release from prison.” “Mother,” said Rose, “I am a Christian too; let me go and pray with you.” Her mother consented. For some hours the Christians earnestly prayed; and after midnight they were still on their knees praying, when suddenly Rose, being nearer the door, heard a knock on the outside gate. She quickly arose from her knees, ran to the door and said, “Who’s there?” “It is I—I—Peter,” came a voice. Again she said, “Who is it?”[Pg 176] “I—Peter,” came again the voice. She knew at once it was Peter’s voice, but in her joy and excitement she forgot to open the door, running back into the prayer-meeting room and crying out, “Peter is out of prison! Peter is at the door.” All arose from their knees and said, “Rose, you must be crazy to talk like that.” “No, I am not,” she said; “it is Peter!”

“Isn’t it too bad?” said one, “Herod has already killed Peter, not waiting until to-morrow; and God has sent Peter’s angel to comfort us.” “No,” cried Rose; “no, it is not Peter’s angel; it is Peter himself! I know I am right! Listen, there he is knocking again!”

All heard the knocking and went toward the gate, and there stood Peter, alive and well. “How did you get out of prison?” they exclaimed. “Hush!” said Peter, beckoning them to be quiet; “let me in, and I will tell you!” He stood just inside the gate, and this is what he said: “Last night I was in prison, knowing well that Herod intended to kill me this morning. I was guarded by sixteen soldiers, and each of my wrists was chained to a soldier, one on each side. I knew you were praying for me, and I believed that Jesus would answer your prayers. So I had no worry, but fell peacefully asleep, and in my dream I thought I saw an angel come into my cell; my chains fell off; the angel said, ‘Rise and put on your sandals and cloak and follow me,’ I followed the angel past the first and second cells and the sleeping soldiers, and when we came to the outer gate it opened of its own accord. When we were in the street the angel vanished. I thought it all a dream until I found myself really out of prison with no chains on my wrists, no soldiers guarding me, no prison-cell enclosing me. I saw then that your prayers for me were answered, and that Jesus had sent his angel and delivered me out of prison. I came here as soon as I could to tell you, but[Pg 177] now I must go quickly to another place. Good-bye, God bless you all!”

In a few moments the gray streaks of the morning came, and it was light. The soldiers awoke and cried, “Where is Peter?” One after another echoed the cry, “What has become of Peter?” No soldier and no officer could tell, for none knew. But Rose, the Christian girl, knew that in answer to prayer Jesus had sent his angel and delivered Peter out of prison and she knew that her prayer had been answered as much as the prayers of any of the Christians, and she was glad she had been in that prayer-meeting that night!


(Acts 27)

“All aboard!” cried the captain of a sailing-vessel which was just loosing from the wharf to sail out to sea. There, on the deck, was a number of prisoners, guarded by soldiers. One of these prisoners was Paul, who had been seized in the temple at Jerusalem and nearly killed by a riotous mob. Forty men had secretly vowed not to eat or drink until they had killed him. The captain of the temple, being Paul’s friend, told him about the plot, and sent him in the night with a guard of soldiers to the governor’s house in a distant city. Paul said to the governor: “I want to have my case tried in Rome before the emperor, for I am a Roman citizen!” So Paul was sent as a prisoner to Rome on this sailing-vessel. Some of his friends were with him. One was “the beloved physician,” Doctor Luke, who had often traveled with him on his missionary journeys and who is the man that tells this story. Out upon the great sea the ship sailed until it came to a wharf where there was a large wheat-ship sailing to Rome. Paul and the soldiers[Pg 178] were put on board this wheat-ship. Counting the soldiers and passengers there were two hundred and seventy-six people in all. Soon their troubles began. The wind was blowing the wrong way, so that they had to go very slowly. But at last they came to Fair Havens, where they stayed much too long, Paul thought, for the stormy season of the year had come. Paul said, “You ought to stay here for the winter.” But the captain of the soldiers only made fun of him. The weather just then seemed good, so they pulled up the anchors, hoisted the sails, and put out from Fair Havens. Hardly had they started when a terrible storm broke upon them, driving the ship far out of its course. The ship was in danger of breaking in two so that they had to throw great ropes around the ship to hold it together. Then they lowered the sails and let the vessel drift. For two weeks they were tossed and driven by the storm, not seeing the sun or stars. One night God sent to Paul an angel who said to him, “Fear not, Paul, you shall reach Rome in safety, and God will save all in the ship with you.” Early in the morning Paul said to the sailors and soldiers, “Be of good cheer, God will save you all.” They made fun of him, and the ship drifted on until in the darkness of the night they found they were near some island. They quickly threw out four anchors to save them from being dashed on the rocks, and longed for the morning! As soon as daylight came and they saw the land, some selfish sailors at the front of the boat pretending to put out some more anchors, lowered the rowboat, and were just getting ready to row away to the land, thinking only of saving themselves, when Paul saw their trick and cried out to the soldiers, “Look! except these men abide in the ship you yourselves cannot be saved!” No one made fun of Paul then, but the soldiers ran and cut away the rope of the boat and let the boat fall into the sea and[Pg 179] drift away. After they had eaten food they threw all their wheat overboard to lighten the ship. As that did not help, they decided to run the ship upon the shore, but the bow struck the beach and the stern was broken to pieces by the fury of the waves. Some of the soldiers said, “Kill all the prisoners, lest they swim to the shore and escape.” But the captain of the soldiers, who had grown to think much of Paul, said: “No, but let each man who can swim jump overboard and swim for the shore first.” This they did, and the others, including Paul and Doctor Luke, followed on planks and other floating things from the ship. And all escaped safe to the land. So Paul, the prisoner, was right; the ship was lost, but God had saved all the two hundred and seventy-six men in the ship with him!


(Epistle of Paul to Philemon)

In the city of Colosse the Christians met in the large house of a kind-hearted man named Philemon. He, and his wife Apphia, and his son Archippus were so kind to the poor Christians that the people in other cities knew about the kindness of this fine Christian family in Colosse.

In those days even Christian people did not think it wrong to keep slaves to work for them. So in the home of Philemon there was a slave named Onesimus. Philemon and his wife and family were kind to Onesimus, but he was often ugly and did not like to be a slave. One day he made up his mind that he would be a slave no longer. He stole from his master some money which he put into his own pocket and ran far away to the great city of Rome. He thought he would be safe there and could do as he pleased without any one knowing who he was. He soon spent all the money he had stolen and[Pg 180] became a tramp without money, food, work, or home. Every moment he feared lest some one should find him and take him back to his master, for he knew that a master had the right to put any slave to death for stealing money and running away. One day he was walking along a street in great sorrow wondering what to do, when suddenly he heard singing, which sounded like that which he used to hear at his master’s house. This made him more homesick than ever. He listened to the singing, wondering what it could be. Some one came out and said pleasantly, “You are welcome to come in.” He went in and saw a strange-looking little old man chained to a soldier and talking to a large group of people, who were listening eagerly as the speaker said: “I was a great sinner once. I did many things that were wrong. But Jesus saved me and made a new man of me. He can save you too.” Onesimus said to himself, “He means me. He says Jesus will save any one who is poor and lonely and miserable. That means me.”

He looked again at the preacher and heard some one call his name. Then he knew that this was Paul, the missionary, who was the friend of his master, and whose name he had so often heard Philemon mention. As soon as the sermon was ended and many of the people had gone home, Onesimus went to Paul and, full of sorrow for what he had done, told him how he had stolen money from his master and had run away. He asked Paul to pray that the runaway slave might become a Christian. Paul did so, and Onesimus became a new man too—a Christian like Paul and Philemon. Then he was very happy and said he would stay with Paul always and help him. But Paul said, “No, my son, you must go back to your master.” “Oh, no,” said Onesimus; “if I do he has a right to kill me for stealing and running away.” “Yes,” said Paul, “I know that, but you must go back.”[Pg 181] “But what shall I say?” asked the slave. “You need not say anything. I will write a letter to Philemon and tell him to forgive you and receive you back as a Christian brother.”

Paul asked one of his friends for pen and ink and paper, and this is what he wrote:

Dear Philemon, Apphia, and Archippus: I often think of you and remember you in my prayers here in my prison in Rome. I want to ask a favor of you for my son Onesimus, who ran away from you as a slave, but now returns to you as a Christian brother. He has told me his story and is sorry. If you think of me as a friend, receive him back as you would receive me. If he has stolen anything, I will pay it for him. Love to all.

Your friend,


The letter is a little longer than this, but you can read all of it in your own New Testament. This letter Onesimus took with him as he returned to the home of his master. Philemon treated him kindly, no longer as a slave but as a dear son. And many people say that Onesimus, the unprofitable slave, became one of the most profitable Christians in all that land, ever true to Jesus and to Paul, and to his master-friend, Philemon.

[Pg 182]


(Adapted for Children, Six to Twelve Years.)


Once a great army came marching toward a bridge which led into the city of Rome across the river Tiber. “If they cross the bridge, Rome is lost!” cried the white-haired Fathers who made the laws, for the Roman soldiers were too few to meet so great an army. But brave Horatius, one of the men who guarded the bridge, stood forth and shouted, “Tear down the bridge quickly while I and the two men with me keep the enemy back!” Then with their shields before them and their long spears in their hands the three brave men stood in the road and kept back the horsemen who had been sent to take the bridge. The Romans hewed away the beams and posts and soon the bridge trembled and was ready to fall. Horatius sent back his two friends, who had no sooner reached the other side in safety than crash went the bridge, falling into the river with a great splash. Then Horatius knew that Rome was safe. With his face still toward the foe, he moved slowly backward till he stood on the river’s brink. A dart thrown by one of the soldiers struck his left eye and put it out. But, not with a curse, but a prayer on his lips, he leaped into the deep, swift stream. He had his heavy armor on, and when he sank beneath the water no one thought he would ever be seen again. But he was strong, and the best swimmer in Rome. The next minute he arose and swam to the[Pg 183] other side amid the shower of darts and javelins from the enemy. At last when his friends pulled him up on the bank, shout after shout went up, not only from the Romans, but also from the enemy on the other bank, for they had never seen a soldier so strong and brave before.

The Romans, in gratitude, gave him as much land as he could plow around in a day, raised a statue in his honor in the public market-place, and ever after to the Roman children,

With weeping and with laughter
Still was the story told,
How well Horatius kept the bridge
In the brave days of yore.


Once a young man who had done something that displeased the King, was dragged to prison, and the day set for his death. His home was far away. “Let me go and bid good-bye to my father and mother and friends,” he said to the King, “and I will return and die.” The King laughed and said, “Ah! ah! he wishes to save himself! He would never return!” A young man stepped forward from the crowd, and said: “O King, put me in prison until he returns. I know he will do as he has promised, for he is a man who has never broken his word. If he does not return, I will die for him.”

The King, surprised at such an offer of friendship, agreed. So Pythias went to bid his friends good-bye, and Damon was put in prison. Many days passed. By and by the day arrived for the death of Pythias, and he had not returned. Damon said, “I know something has prevented, or he would be here to keep his word. I am ready to die for him!” The jailer led him out, and was just about to put him to death, when suddenly, far away[Pg 184] on the distant road, a cloud of dust was seen growing larger and larger. It was Pythias running, swift as the wind, to keep his promise. He told them how he had been hindered by storm and shipwreck. He thanked his friend again and again for his faith in him. And then giving himself for death into the hands of the jailer, he was led out for execution. “Stop! Stop!” cried the King, “such friends must not suffer unjustly. Pythias shall be free! And I could give all that I possess to have one such true friend!”


Once a poor slave who was treated cruelly by his master ran away into a forest and hid in a cave. Soon he heard a dreadful roar and saw a lion limping as though his foot hurt. Androcles went close to the lion and saw a sharp thorn was piercing the lion’s paw. He quickly drew the thorn out, and the lion began jumping about him like a kitten, licking the slave’s hands and feet. Androcles and the lion became warm friends and lived like brothers, sharing each other’s food until one day the slave was caught and taken back to his master; and the lion was caught and put into a large cage. In those days any slave who ran away from his master, when caught, must fight a lion kept several days without food. So when the next holiday came, Androcles was put in the great arena with thousands of people crowding its seats to see him die. When all was ready a door in the cage was opened, and out bounded the lion ready to spring upon the poor slave. With a tremendous roar the lion dashed toward him, but to the surprise of all the people, instead of hurting him, the lion crouched down at his feet like a pet dog and began to lick the slave’s hands and feet. The people cried, “O Androcles, what meaneth this?”[Pg 185] Then Androcles put his arms around the lion’s neck and said, “O people, in the forest I pulled a thorn out of this lion’s foot, and that is why he does not hurt me now.” The people were delighted and shouted, “Androcles shall be free! Androcles shall be free!”

So Androcles and the lion were set free and lived together like brothers long afterward.


One bright morning in a beautiful Roman garden two brothers were playing among the flowers and trees. Cornelia, their mother, a Roman lady, called the boys into the house, saying, “A friend is to dine with us to-day, and she will show us her jewels.” After the simple meal was over a servant brought into the room a large and beautiful casket of jewels, which the rich lady showed to her friends. How eagerly the boys gazed at those sparkling jewels—pearls, rubies, sapphires, and diamonds! The younger boy whispered to his brother, “I wish our mother had beautiful jewels too!” Later, when the boys had gone out into the garden to play, the friend said, “Is it true, Cornelia, that you are so poor that you have no jewels?” “Oh, no,” answered Cornelia, “I have jewels that are far more precious than yours.” “Oh, let me see them,” said the lady; “where are they?” “If you care to see them I will bring them to you,” said Cornelia. Then, calling her boys to her side, she presented them to the lady, saying, “These are my jewels! Are they not far more precious than your gems?”

In the long after-times when Cornelia’s sons became the greatest and best men of Rome, they never forgot that day when they knew that they were their mother’s pride and joy and love, dearer far to her than the most precious jewels of the rich.

[Pg 186]


Long ago in England there lived a good king, whose name was Alfred. One day after a fierce battle with the Danes the English soldiers were scattered and every man had to save himself in the best way he could. King Alfred fled alone, in great haste, through the woods and swamps, coming late at night to a wood-cutter’s cottage. He was very tired and hungry, and begged the wood-cutter’s wife to give him something to eat and a place to sleep. The good woman, not knowing who he was, invited him into her hut. She was cooking some cakes and so she said: “My poor, ragged fellow, you shall have some supper if you will watch these cakes. I want to go out and milk the cow, and you must see that the cakes do not burn while I am gone.” King Alfred sat down to watch them, but as his thoughts were on his people and his plans for the next day, he forgot all about the cakes until the woman came in and saw that they were burned to a crisp. “You lazy fellow!” she cried. “How dare you let the cakes burn? See what you have done!” Some people think she even struck the king with a stick. But the king was good-natured, not caring for her angry words half so much as for the loss of the cakes. No doubt he had to go hungry to bed that night. Early the next morning soldiers loudly knocked at the door, and said, “We seek King Alfred!” Then she knew she had treated her king shamefully. Alfred was great and good enough to ask her forgiveness for burning the cakes.

Soon after that the king gathered his men together again, won a great battle, drove the Danes back to their own country, and all the rest of his days ruled his people wisely and well. But this story of King Alfred and the Cakes has never been forgotten in all the after years.

[Pg 187]


King Robert Bruce, of Scotland, longed to see his people free from England. He had fought six fierce battles, and six times he had been defeated, and his soldiers were so scattered that each soldier was forced to flee for safety into the thick woods. King Bruce himself was hiding in a shed. He was tired and sick at heart, feeling that it was useless to try to do anything more. Just as he was thinking that he would give up, he looked up and saw a spider weaving its web from one beam to another. Six times the spider climbed up almost to the top, and each time it fell down again. As the king watched it fall the sixth time he said, “It will give up.” But no; up it climbed again the seventh time, slowly, slowly, but surely—and succeeded!

Bruce arose full of courage, saying, “I will try again!” He tried again and won! That is why brave boys and girls say to-day, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again!”


More than a hundred years ago there was a great and dangerous rock called the Inchcape Rock in the North Sea. Its top was hidden just below the surface of the waves so that many vessels struck upon it and sank. A kind-hearted priest called an abbot said: “I will chain a bell to the rock, and the bell will float to and fro in the shallow water and warn the sailors of their danger.” Loud and clear this bell rang out, and the sailors blessed the abbot for his kindness. But one calm, summer day a ship with a black flag sailed that way. It belonged to Ralph the Rover, a sea-robber, and he and his ship were the terror of the sea. Ralph saw the bell and said to his boatmen, “Row me to the Inchcape Rock, and we will[Pg 188] play a trick on the old abbot.” Being rowed to the rock he cut the warning bell from the float, and the bell sank with a gurgling sound. “The next who comes to this rock will not bless the abbot,” laughed the robber as he sailed away. Many days he sailed the seas and grew rich with the ships he plundered. At last he sailed back home, and in the storm and fog he longed for the sound of the Inchcape Bell to tell him where he was. Then his vessel struck with a fearful crash on the Inchcape Rock, and as the waves rushed in on every side the abbot’s bell, ringing far down on the bottom of the sea, seemed to say, “The next who comes to this rock will not bless the abbot.”—Adapted from Robert Southey.


One morning, Elizabeth, Queen of England, was taking her daily walk with her maids after a rain-storm that had made the streets of London very muddy. A young man named Walter Raleigh, who was dressed in a new, rich scarlet plush cloak thrown over his shoulders, saw the Queen and her maids stop at a muddy place, wondering how they could cross. Quickly this young man, Walter, forgot all about himself and thought only of the Queen, and how he could help her. He took off his coat, spread it across the muddy place, and with a graceful bow, politely begged the Queen to do him the honor of walking on it as upon a carpet. She crossed without soiling her shoes, and then turned to thank the generous and polite young man. As she walked on, she said to her maids, “Who is he?” “His name is Walter Raleigh,” they replied. Not long after the Queen invited this polite young man to her palace, where she said to him: “Walter Raleigh, I wish to reward you for your generous gallantry. You are Sir Walter Raleigh.” That made him a[Pg 189] knight. He became the Queen’s favorite at the court, and a great man in the nation. He tried to get English people to settle in America, and he introduced two things into England, from the Indians, which the people then knew very little about—potatoes and tobacco. There is a story that one day a servant, seeing the smoke curling over his master’s head and thinking he was on fire, ran for a pail of water, which he threw into Sir Walter’s face. This put the fire out quickly, but it did not stop people smoking tobacco. Would it not have been better if Sir Walter Raleigh had left the tobacco with the Indians?


Once there was a fierce battle in which a brave and courteous knight and soldier, named Sir Philip Sidney, was wounded while charging to the front on horseback. He reached the camp bleeding and faint with great pain and thirst. A soldier brought him some water, saying, “Here, Sir Philip, I have brought you some clear, cool water from the brook. I will raise your head so that you can drink it.” He stooped low to raise his head, and was just placing the water to his lips when Sir Philip saw a foot-soldier, who was being carried past, looking with longing eyes at the water.

The generous knight instantly pushed the cup toward the dying soldier, saying, “Give it to him. His need is greater than mine.”

Sir Philip Sidney died of this wound, when he was only thirty-two years of age. On the day of his funeral in Saint Paul’s Cathedral the rich and poor, high and low, all felt they had lost a friend, and mourned for him as the kindest, gentlest man that they had ever known. His kindness to the dying soldier has caused his name to be remembered ever since with admiration and affection,[Pg 190] and as long as stories of noble deeds are told to future boys and girls, this story will never be forgotten.

It is thought that Shakespeare, who settled in London while all the world was talking of Sidney’s life and its heroic ending, had him in mind when he made Ophelia speak of Hamlet as

The courtier’s, scholar’s, soldier’s, eye, tongue, and sword;
The expectancy and rose of the fair state,
The glass of fashion and the mould of form,
The observed of all observers.


Long ago in Italy a king ordered a bell hung from a tower in the market-place and called it “The Bell of Justice.” He said even if a little child suffered any wrong, he could ring the bell by pulling on the rope that was fastened to it, and the little child should receive justice. As the years passed many wrongs of the people were righted for the people who rang the bell. But at last the lower part of the rope rotted away, and a wild grape-vine was tied to lengthen it. On the hillside above the village lived a man who owned a horse that he allowed to roam on the roadside, and that he left to starve and to die in his old age, because the owner was too miserly to feed him. One day the horse wandered into the market-place, and seeing the green grape-vine, the poor creature in the keen pangs of hunger began to eat it, and in doing so rang the bell. All the people heard the ringing. It seemed to say,


[Pg 191]The judges came quickly, and when they saw the miser’s horse nibbling at the vine, they said, “The dumb beast has rung the Bell of Justice, and justice he shall have.” They sent for the owner, and when he came they said: “This horse has served you well for many years. He saved your life several times. He helped you to make your wealth. So we order that one-half your money shall be set aside to provide good food, a warm stall, and good pasture for your horse the rest of his days.”

The miser hung his head, grieving to lose his gold. But the people shouted for joy at the just sentence, and the king laughed aloud:

Right well this pleaseth me,
And this shall make in every Christian clime,
The Bell of Justice famous for all time.
Longfellow’s “The Sicilian’s Tale,” in “Tales of a Wayside Inn.”


One day the great general, Napoleon Bonaparte, was in the camp reviewing his troops, when he saw a small boy who was less than twelve years of age.

“My boy, what are you doing here?” said Napoleon. “I belong to the army, Sire,” replied the boy. “What do you do in the army?” “I am a drummer, Sire.” “Bring your drum, then,” said the general. The boy went on the minute and brought the drum. “Now,” said the general, “sound the general.” This is the signal given in the army an hour before marching to strike tents, load wagons, and get everything ready. Immediately the boy sounded the general. Napoleon exclaimed, “Good; now beat the march.” That is the signal for[Pg 192] infantry to take their place in the column. The boy beat the march promptly. “Now sound the advance,” said Bonaparte, and with sparkling eyes the little drummer sounded the advance, the signal for the cavalry to take its place in the column. “Good!” exclaimed the emperor again; “now for the charge!” And with eyes flashing fire the little soldier beat the charge till the very rafters of the house trembled with the vibrations of the wild, fierce notes. “Bravo!” cried Napoleon; “now beat the retreat.” Down went the sticks. The little fellow straightened up, and with manly pride said: “You must excuse me, Sire, I never learned that. Our regiment never retreated!”

“You are excused,” said the general laughing, and to the end of his life Napoleon Bonaparte spoke of the little drummer-boy who could not beat a retreat.


One spring day an Italian prisoner, shut up wrongfully by Napoleon in one of the dreadful dungeons of France, was permitted to walk in the prison-yard. Looking down he saw a little mound of earth between two of the stones in the pavement, and a tiny green leaf was pushing its way up out of the ground. He was just about to crush it with his foot when he noticed a soft coating over the leaf. “This coating is to keep it safe,” he said; “I must not hurt it!” So he went on with his walk. The next day he saw that instead of one little green leaf, there were two leaves, and the plant was stronger. Every morning after that he looked to see how the little plant had grown. He called it “Picciola,” which means “the little one”; and it grew larger and more beautiful. He made some ink from soot and water in order to write down the story of this little flower, which soon had thirty[Pg 193] beautiful blossoms on its stem. But one morning he was in great grief, for he saw his flower beginning to droop. He gave it water, but the stones of the prison-yard prevented its growing. He begged the jailer to let him remove one of the stones to save the life of his little flower; but the prison rules were strict, and no stone could be removed. A new thought came to the prisoner. He would send his little story of the flower to Napoleon, the emperor, and ask him to save his plant. A little girl carried the message to him, and at last the good news came that the stones of the prison-yard could be removed so that Picciola might live. Hearing the story, Josephine, the kind-hearted wife of the emperor, said, “No good can come in keeping such a good man in prison.” So he was set free, but he never forgot that he owed his liberty not only to Josephine, but also to his little friend, Picciola.


“Look!” said a soldier; “look! a swallow has built her nest in the emperor’s tent.” The soldiers looked and saw a swallow’s nest built of clay and horse’s hair, and the swallow sitting on her eggs.

“Sure, the swallow thinks the emperor’s tent is a shed,” laughed the soldiers. The emperor, hearing his name spoken, came out from his tent. When he saw the nest, he said, “Let no hand molest the nest or hurt the bird.”

So the little swallow sat there quietly, amid all the noise of cannon, hatching out her little ones, until at last the great guns had made a breach through the walls and the army had poured in to take the city. Then when the terrible fighting was ended, the soldiers began taking down their tents to go away; but when they came to the emperor’s tent, he said, “No, no! do not take down my tent, leave it standing!”

[Pg 194]

So it stood there all alone,
Loosely flapping, torn and tattered,
Till the brood was fledged and flown,
Singing o’er those walls of stone
Which the cannon-shot had shattered.
—Adapted from Longfellow’s “The Emperor’s Bird’s Nest.”


Many years ago when an Austrian army was marching into Switzerland, Swiss peasants came down from the mountains with bows and arrows, scythes and pitchforks, sticks and clubs, to save their country. The Austrian soldiers were all armed with spears and shields and shining armor, and as they moved together in solid ranks, what could the poor peasants do against such foes? “We must break their ranks if we win!” cried the Swiss leader. So bowmen shot their arrows, but they glanced from the soldiers’ shields like raindrops from a roof. Others tried their scythes and pitchforks and sticks and clubs, but the lines were still unbroken. The Austrians moved steadily forward, their shields lapping over one another and their thousand spears shining in the sunlight like so many bristles. They were unafraid before the Swiss sticks and stones and scythes and arrows. “We must break their ranks or we are lost!” cried the leader again; and in a moment a poor peasant, named Arnold Winkleried, stepped out and cried: “My friends, on the side of yonder mountain I have a happy home. There my wife and my little children await my return. But they will never see me again, for this day I give my life for my country. I commit my wife and children to your care. I will break the lines, follow me.” He had nothing in his hands, neither stone nor club nor other weapon. Rushing forward toward the soldiers he gathered a number[Pg 195] of their spears together against his breast and fell pierced through and through. But he had broken the ranks of the enemy and made way for his countrymen to win the battle and to gain their liberty. Switzerland was saved, and the Swiss patriot did not gather the spears into his own breast in vain.


One hot summer day King Maximilian, of Bavaria, was walking in the country. Stopping under a tree to rest, he took a little book from his pocket to read, but he soon fell asleep. When he awoke he started for home, and had walked a mile when he thought of the book he had left under the tree. “My boy,” he said to a barefooted lad who was tending a large flock of geese near-by, “if you will run to that oak tree at the second turning of the road and bring me the book that I left there, I will give you this gold-piece.” The boy said, “I would gladly go, but I cannot leave the geese.” “Oh, I will mind them while you are gone,” said the King. The boy laughed. “I should like to see you minding them,” he said; “why, they would run away from you in a minute.” “Only let me try,” said the King. At last the boy gave the King his whip and showed him how to crack it, and started off. The King sat on a stone and laughed at the thought of his being a goose-herd. But the geese missed the boy at once, and with a great cackling and hissing they went off, half-flying and half-running, across the field. The King ran after them, trying to crack his whip and bring them back. But they got into a garden and were feeding on the tender vegetables when the boy got back with the book. “Just as I thought,” said the boy, “I have found your book, and you have lost my geese.” The King did the best he could to help the boy[Pg 196] drive back the geese into the field. Then he gave the boy another gold-piece. The boy thanked him and said: “You are a very good man, and a very good king; but you will have to try a long time before you are a very good goose-herd.”


Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, was walking one June morning out into the country for a little rest and recreation. He came to a country schoolhouse, and asked the teacher if he might speak to the children and ask them some questions. Taking an orange from his pocket he said, “Who can tell me to what kingdom this belongs?” A brave, bright boy spoke up quickly and said, “It belongs to the vegetable kingdom, sir.” “Why?” asked the King. “It is the fruit of a plant, and all plants belong to the vegetable kingdom,” said the boy. The King was pleased. “You are right, and you shall have the orange for your answer. Catch it,” he said, tossing it to the boy. Then taking a gold coin from his pocket and holding it up, he said, “To what kingdom does this belong?” Another bright boy answered quickly, “To the mineral kingdom, sir! All metals belong to the mineral kingdom.” “That is a good answer,” said the King. “Here is the gold-piece for your answer.” The children were delighted.

“I will ask you one more question,” he said. “To what kingdom do I belong?” The bright boys were puzzled now. Some thought of saying “To the kingdom of Prussia.” Some wanted to say “To the animal kingdom.” But they were a little afraid, and all kept still. At last a tiny, blue-eyed little girl looked up into the King’s smiling face and said in her simple way, “I think you belong to the kingdom of heaven, sir.”

[Pg 197]King Frederick’s eyes filled with tears, and he stooped down and kissed the sweet little girl, and said, “I hope I may always belong to that kingdom, my child.”


One day Count Tolstoy’s little daughter, ten years old, was in front of the house playing with some peasant children of the village. In a quarrel that arose one of the boys struck the little girl with a stick on her arm, making it black and blue. She ran in the house crying, and said to her father: “That naughty boy has bruised my arm. I want you to go out and whip him.” The father took the little girl on his knee and said: “My daughter, tell me, what good would it do if I went out and beat him? Would not your arm really hurt just as much? He struck you because he was angry with you. For a few minutes he hated you. If I whip him he will hate you more than ever and hate me too, and all of us. Would it not be better to make him love us? Perhaps that would change his character for the rest of his life. I tell you what I would do if I were you. I would go to the pantry and get some of that nice raspberry jam and take it out to him, and I think he will be made to love us all, instead of hating us.”

The little girl did what her father told her. Such a spirit of love Tolstoy believed in and taught in all his writings. Were such a spirit of love shown everywhere in the world, evil would oftener be overcome by good.


Once the English were at war with some fierce tribes of India, called the Hillsmen. The English knew they were very brave, and noticed after every battle the bravest[Pg 198] chiefs who were killed were found with a red thread bound around their wrists, as a mark of greatest honor. One day some English soldiers, following the enemy, were marching along a narrow valley, far in the hill-country, when suddenly they came to a place where the valley was divided by a great pointed boulder. The main regiment kept to the right. A sergeant and eleven men took the left, thinking they could easily pass around the boulder and meet their companions beyond it. But in a moment the sergeant found that the boulder was an arm of the left cañon of the valley, and that they had marched into a deep gorge with no outlet except the way they came. As they looked up at the great walls they spied a number of Hillsmen who, from their hiding-places, began showering spears upon them. Just at that moment the officer in command of the other soldiers saw the danger of these men and gave the order for them to retreat. In some strange way they mistook the signal for a command to charge. At once they charged on a run up the slope, cheering as they ran. But as they were eleven against seventy, some of them were killed by spears, others were hurled backward over the precipice, and three only got to the top and fought hand to hand with the foe. When the fighting was finished two Hillsmen lay dead for every Englishman. Later in the day the English relief party arrived and gathered up their dead comrades, and they found, bound around both wrists of every one, the red thread! The Hillsmen had given to their foes the honor reserved for their own heroes.—Adapted from “How to Tell Stories to Children,” by Sara Cone Bryant.


When the English were at war with the Zulus in South Africa, a French prince, named Louis Napoleon, enlisted,[Pg 199] and one morning was riding outside the camp with a small company of soldiers. All about them in the open country they saw the Zulus. One of his friends said: “Louis, we had better go back to camp. We are in great danger here. The Zulus may come upon us any minute and kill us.” “Oh, no danger,” said the Prince, “let us stay here just ten minutes more, and drink our coffee.” During that ten minutes the Zulus came upon them, and in the skirmish the Prince lost his life. When the news of his death was telegraphed to his widowed mother in London, England, she said: “That was always Louis’ way. When he was a little boy he was never ready on time. He was always saying, ‘Just ten minutes more.’ Sometimes when I called him in the morning and he was too sleepy to speak he would lift his hands and spread out his ten fingers to show that he wanted ten minutes more. I used to call him ‘Little Ten Minutes.’ Those ten minutes have lost me my boy, and my boy his life. His fault has become his fate!”

[Pg 200]


(Adapted for Children, Six to Twelve Years.)


Christopher Columbus was a poor sailor, who believed that the earth was round like an orange. Very few people would believe him because almost everybody living then thought that the earth was flat. Some men supposed that this big, flat earth was carried upon the back of a great elephant or on the shoulders of a large giant. As the ships of those days were small, and the sailors were superstitious and afraid of the unknown sea, few mariners had ever sailed far out upon the ocean. Should one try, they thought he would sail off the edge of the earth.

Columbus said: “Give me money to buy ships, and I will prove the earth is round by sailing around it, just as a fly can walk around an orange.” This seemed too funny for any one to believe. Even the little children pointed the finger at this sailor and called him crazy. No one would help him get ships. At last Isabella, Queen of Spain, said, “Here are my jewels! Sell them and sail your ships.” So Columbus set sail with these ships on Friday, August 3, 1492, from Spain, with one hundred and twenty persons on board. They sailed westward for many days, and the sailors became frightened at the thought of their distance from home. At last they said they would throw Columbus overboard if he did not take them back. He promised if they did not see land[Pg 201] in three days he would return. During those three days they could plainly see signs of land. Birds came and rested on the masts; fresh-water weeds, berry-bushes, and large branches of trees floated by; and the sailors had great fun in netting crabs and other shell-fish in the seaweed. But on the last night, as Columbus with longing eyes was peering through the darkness, suddenly his heart gave a quick jump, for he saw a light in the distance that appeared too bright and low to be a star. It danced up and down as if a person carried it in his hand while running. Just at daybreak some one cried, “Land! Land!” Then a cannon from the first ship boomed across the sea, which was the signal that land was found. The sailors saw a beautiful green island. There were hundreds of men running to the shore and throwing up their arms in fear. They had never seen a ship before. Some thought they were great birds with white wings. Others thought the Great Spirit had come. Columbus put on his rich, scarlet robes, and taking the royal banner of Spain in his hands, ordered the sailors to row him in a little boat to the shore. As soon as they reached land, Columbus and his men fell on their knees, kissed the ground, and sang praise to God. Columbus thought he had reached India, so he called the copper-colored men, with their straight black hair, Indians. This is the name still given to the natives of North America.


Does it not seem strange that this island should be called “America,” instead of “Columbia,” when Columbus discovered it? After all he had done it would have seemed only fair to have had his name remembered in the name of the country. But many men were jealous of him, and a few years later, when he returned to the[Pg 202] island, he was seized, bound in chains, carried to the ship, and returned at once to Spain. Isabella was dead, and King Ferdinand did nothing to help him. So Columbus, already an aged man, lived the rest of his days in poverty, and died broken-hearted. Meanwhile another sailor and traveler, named Americus Vespucius, made a voyage across the ocean. When he returned he talked much of what he had seen, and wrote several books of his travels. These books were read by some students of geography in the monastery of St. Die. When one of these scholars wrote another book describing these travels, he said the New World should be called “America” in honor of Americus Vespucius, honestly believing him to have been the first discoverer. It does not seem that Americus was guilty of making a false claim, or that he wanted to deprive Columbus of his honor. Had he not written his books of travel his memory would have faded away, as has happened to many who were mightier in deed than they were with the pen. Columbus died before the book from St. Die was published. Vespucius died six years after. Both believed that the new country was a part of the Indies. Very likely Americus never heard of Waldseemüller, the obscure geographer in the monastery of St. Die, who had, unintentionally, robbed Columbus of part of the glory of his discovery and had given the new world the name of “America” instead of “Columbia.”


Columbus said, “Give me money to buy ships, and I will prove that the earth is round by sailing around it.” But he never did sail around the earth, after all. Nor did Americus Vespucius. This was left for another sailor, named Fernando Magellan. In 1519, twelve years after[Pg 203] the death of Columbus, he started from Spain with a large fleet of ships, hoping to find, through this new land, a way by which he might sail around the world. He sailed directly across the Atlantic Ocean to America, looking up and down the coast for an opening to the other ocean which a sailor one day had seen. Finding no opening, he sailed down to the most southern point of South America, and after sailing around Cape Horn, he came out into the great ocean. When he saw it first it looked smiling and peaceful. So on account of its calm, sunny appearance, he named it the “Pacific,” which means “peaceful.” Sailing over the Pacific Ocean he came at last to the Indies, to India, and to Spain. Then he knew that he had sailed around the world. So what Columbus had said and believed so earnestly, Fernando Magellan proved at last to be true—the earth is round!


After Columbus discovered America many ships from Spain, France, and England sailed across the sea, bringing settlers to plant new homes here. Spain took possession of Florida; France of Canada; and England claimed all the land lying between Canada and Florida, and called it “Virginia.” The English sent over a shipload of one hundred and fifty settlers, who landed on the beautiful island of Roanoke. When their rough houses were built and the people had planted their fields and the colony seemed prosperous, Governor John White resolved to return home to report their success and to bring new provisions for them. He did not like to leave because unfriendly Indians roamed about, and besides, there was a little baby girl, his granddaughter, named Virginia (who was the first English child ever born in America), whom he did not like to leave. But the people needed provisions,[Pg 204] and so the brave man sailed back to England. It was three years before his ship returned and he again drew near the island. Eagerly he looked up and down the shore for signs of a welcome from his people. But only the washing of the waves on the beach and the stillness and gloom of the dense forest greeted him. Not a person was to be found. His little granddaughter, her parents, and all the colonists had disappeared. The huts were deserted. Not a sound was to be heard but the cry of the birds and the moaning of the trees. On a tree were cut a few letters. Was it the name of some place to which the people had moved? Poor John White! He never found out. Heart-broken, he turned his ship back to England. Not a trace of this lost colony, not a trace of the little babe, Virginia Dare, has ever been found.


Captain John Smith was a brave and wise man who came from England and settled in Virginia. One day some of his men disobeyed orders and got into a quarrel with the Indians. John Smith was taken prisoner and led into their camp. He showed them his compass, and told them how the needle always turned to the north, which so amused the Indians that, instead of killing him, they took him to their chief, Powhatan, who said, “The white man must die.” He was bound hand and foot, and an Indian was just raising his war-club to kill him, when up rushed Pocahontas, a bright Indian girl, the chief’s daughter, who threw her arms around John Smith’s neck and begged her father to spare him. Powhatan loved Pocahontas, so the prisoner was released, and even allowed to return to his own people. Pocahontas became a good friend of the white men. She was beautiful, and John Rolfe fell in love with her. After their marriage[Pg 205] they went to England, where Pocahontas was everywhere received with great honor. The king and queen invited her to their palace, and all loved the gentle Indian princess. They intended to return to America, but Pocahontas died in England. Her little son, Thomas Rolfe, was well educated in England. When he grew up he settled in Virginia.


At first the Indians were very kind to the white men; but after the white men began to be cruel and hard to them, they too grew hard and cruel, and nothing was too terrible for the Indians to do in revenge. They had very strange ways of carrying on their battles. They never came out and met their enemy face to face, but would skulk around behind trees in swamps or in the high grass. When the white men used guns and gunpowder, the Indians were terribly frightened, but it was not long before they themselves learned to use them. One day an old Indian chief begged some gunpowder from a white man, and ran away to his wigwam with it. The white man watched to see what he would do with it. When he reached his wigwam he called some of his friends about him, and, after a long council together, they began to plant the powder. They thought it would grow like corn and beans. Later a French trader persuaded some Indians living near the Missouri River to give him skins and furs in exchange for gunpowder, telling them it was a seed, which would grow if sown in the ground. The innocent Indians sowed all they bought, and placed a guard to protect the fields from wild beasts, going out to the field from time to time to see if the powder was growing. When they found out the trick that had been played on them they waited until the trader’s partner came to exchange more goods. Then the Indians who had been[Pg 206] tricked into sowing gunpowder gathered, went into his tent, and each helped himself to what goods he wanted. Soon the whole stock disappeared. The Frenchman, in anger, went to the chief, who said, “Yes, you shall have justice as soon as the gunpowder harvest is gathered.” The Frenchman said, “Gunpowder grows in France, but your Missouri land is not good to produce it.”

All his arguments were in vain. The Indians said, “When the gunpowder harvest is reaped then the Frenchman shall have back his goods.”

So the French trader returned with less goods and less money than he went, finding out, when too late, that Indians, like some other men, can be deceived but once.


Over one hundred years after Columbus discovered America a little ship, the Mayflower, sailed away from England. About one hundred people came with it, who were called “Pilgrims.” They went first from England to Holland, and then left their homes across the sea to find a new home where they would be free to worship God, and rule themselves in the way they wished. The tiny Mayflower was tossed like an egg-shell on the rough waves. It took more than two months for it to cross the ocean. The storms drove it from its course, so that instead of landing farther south, as they intended, the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth. There in the little cabin on the Mayflower forty-four men signed an agreement to make good laws and obey them. A little girl was the first Pilgrim to step off the Mayflower upon the rock which is now called “Plymouth Rock.” As soon as all had landed, they gathered about that huge boulder, and kneeling down thanked God for their deliverance from the perils of the sea. Indians from behind the hilltop[Pg 207] peeped out at the strange visitors, and then ran away, disappearing so completely that they were not seen again for a long time. Two little baby boys were born on the Mayflower. What funny names they had! One was called “Peregrine,” which means “wandering,” and the other was called “Oceanus,” because he was born on the ocean. Should you ever go to the town of Plymouth you will find, in Pilgrim Hall, the very cradle in which little Peregrine White was rocked so many years ago. And you will see “Plymouth Rock,” now carefully sheltered, near the place where the Pilgrims landed in 1620, on December 22, which day, each year, is celebrated in New England as “Forefathers’ Day.”

The breaking waves dash’d high
On a stern and rock-bound coast,
And the woods, against a stormy sky,
Their giant branches toss’d;
And the heavy night hung dark
The hills and waters o’er—
When a band of exiles moor’d their bark
On the wild New England shore.
Aye, call it holy ground,
The soil where first they trod!
They have left unstained what there they found—
Freedom to worship God!
Felicia Hemans.


The Pilgrims lived on the Mayflower until a log house, large enough for all, was built. This was surrounded by a high, wooden barricade to keep off the Indians and wild animals. Afterward the men built a house for each of the nineteen families. How their axes rang in the winter[Pg 208] air, as they felled the trees for lumber to build these rude houses! How nobly the wives and mothers worked in the bitter cold of their uncomfortable homes, washing, ironing, baking, brewing, pounding the corn, spinning the cloth, and making everything, singing cheerfully all the while! How bravely the boys and girls tried to bear the cold and hunger without complaining, and in all their little ways helping their parents to build up a village out of the wild woods! What a hard time they had during that long and bitter winter! Often they did not have food enough. Many Pilgrims were taken ill, and one-half of them died before spring came. One day a kind Indian, who had learned English from some fishermen on the coast, suddenly walked out of the woods, saying, “Welcome, Englishmen! Welcome, Englishmen!” The Indians showed them how to plant corn with a fish or two in each hill to fertilize it; how to build a birch-bark canoe, snow-shoes, and moccasins. The Mayflower went to England and returned with plenty of food. In the summer fine crops were gathered. So in the fall, about a year after they had arrived, the Pilgrims had food enough to last all the next winter. They were happy then and said, “Let us thank God.” So a Thanksgiving meeting was held. The Pilgrims enjoyed their good dinner of wild turkey, and invited the friendly Indians to feast with them.

This winter no famine will haunt them,
No terror their thoughts will employ.
In the bleak little church in the village
Are gathered stern men and fair maids,
Their praises are joyfully ringing
And echo o’er high hills and glades.
Thus passed the first day of Thanksgiving,
With thanks that e’er came from the heart,
And no matter how humble his station,
Each person in them took his part.

[Pg 209]


All of this country at first was covered with great forests, except the plains and river-beds. The name “Pennsylvania” means Penn’s Wood. William Penn wanted to name the land on which he settled his colony “Sylvania,” from the Latin word “sylva,” meaning wood, because it was covered with woods. But King Charles II, of England, said, “No, it shall be called ‘Penn’s Wood’—Pennsylvania.” In this great forest William Penn laid out the city of Philadelphia, or “Brotherly Love,” which he wished to make “a fair and green country town, where men might dwell together like brothers.”

Among the very first settlers sent over from England by William Penn was a little girl named Rebecca, who lived in a house that was simply a cave dug in the bank of the river. One day, as she sat at the door of the cave, eating her bowl of milk-porridge, a snake glided up to her, attracted by the odor of the warm porridge, for snakes are very fond of milk. The kind-hearted girl pitied the snake, looking up at her out of its bright eyes, as much as to say, “I’m so hungry.” “I will give thee half of my supper,” she said, and she began to divide her porridge with the snake. But the greedy creature wanted all of it. This Rebecca would not allow. “Nay, nay,” she said, “thou canst have only thy share; keep to thy part.” And although the snake poked its little head again and again into her dish, she made him withdraw it, and justly divided the porridge—a spoonful for the snake and a spoonful for herself—until every drop was gone. Then the snake glided away as silently as he had appeared. The little Quaker girl never saw him again. But she never forgot her strange visitor, and as long as she lived she had pleasure in thinking of the day when she shared her milk-porridge with a hungry snake.

[Pg 210]


The first coins used in the American Colonies were made in England and Spain, but there were so very few of them that the colonists were compelled to exchange their goods instead of receiving money. As trade increased all felt the need of some sort of money. So a money-law was passed and the kind of coin decided upon. Captain John Hull was made mint-master. The largest of these new coins had stamped upon them a picture of a pine tree, and they were called “pine-tree shillings.” Captain Hull, for his pay, received one shilling out of every twenty shillings he made, and soon he had a strong, new chest filled with pine-tree shillings. This mint-master had a daughter who was a hearty girl, healthy and plump. A young man fell in love with her, and asked the captain if she might become his wife. As he was an industrious, honest, and good young man, her father consented, saying in his good-natured way, “You will find her a rather heavy burden, I am thinking!” When the wedding-day came the mint-master was at the ceremony, dressed in a plum-colored coat, with bright silver buttons made of pine-tree shillings; and his daughter, the fair bride, looked as plump and rosy as a big red apple. After the ceremony was over, Captain Hull told his servants to bring a great pair of scales. He said, “Daughter, get into one side of the scales,” which she did. Then, pointing to a big iron chest, he said to his servants, “Draw it near the scales.” He unlocked it, raised the cover, and everybody was breathless when they saw the chest was full of bright, shining pine-tree shillings. “Lively, now, boys, pour these shillings into the other side of the scale,” he said to his servants, laughing as he saw the look of surprise on the faces of the people. Jingle, jingle went the shillings as handful after handful was thrown in[Pg 211] until, big and plump as she was, the fair young bride was lifted from the floor.

“There, my son,” said the mint-master to the bridegroom, “take these shillings for my daughter’s sake. Treat her kindly and thank God for her. It isn’t every bride that is worth her weight in silver.”


America grew until thirteen colonies, like those in Virginia and at Plymouth, were settled by the English, along the coast from Maine to Florida. Because they said Sebastian Cabot had discovered America, England claimed all the new country westward to the Pacific Ocean. That included almost all the country there is to-day. The claims of England led to a bitter war with France, which was carried on between the French, aided by the Indians, and the English aided by the colonists. One of the attacks of this war was made on the French settlement in Acadia, or Nova Scotia, in the north. The people of the little village of Grand Pré were peaceful, home-loving families, who refused to take part in the war on either side, and would not take the oath of allegiance to England. Because of this, the English resolved to break up this settlement and scatter its people—a heartless plan! One bright morning the English soldiers in their red coats, came to the village and, with pretended friendliness, requested the people to gather into their church to hear a message of good news. The unsuspecting villagers left their work and gathered pleasantly into the church. As soon as they were all gathered, these redcoated British soldiers seized them, and at the point of the bayonet drove them like sheep down to the shore, crowded them on board several British boats, and sailed away. Families were torn apart; wives lost their husbands; mothers lost their little[Pg 212] children; brothers and sisters, lovers and maidens were doomed never to see each other again. The poor people uttered piteous cries, but the hard-hearted redcoats only sneered and laughed at their torture. As the ship sailed out from the harbor, the Acadians saw the soft September sky all one terrible glare of fire. Then they knew that their homes were gone, burned in the flames. This the cruel soldiers had done so that these Acadians might not try to wander back to their old homes. Seven thousand of these unhappy people were dropped here and there from the British vessels, being distributed among the Colonies that there might be no possibility of their reuniting. Longfellow tells of how Evangeline was separated from Gabriel, her lover, on their wedding-day, and how Gabriel was carried far away to the southland. Beautiful Evangeline set out on a long search for him—wandering on, and on, all her life, and at last, when she had grown old in her search, found her lover in a hospital on his dying bed, which proved so great a shock to her that she too died. The story of Evangeline’s womanly devotion is the one ray of light in all that dark and terrible tragedy of the burning of Acadia by which an entire people was blotted out, never to be restored again.


The people in the thirteen English Colonies soon began to call themselves Americans, one and all. Those in New England especially valued education. It was considered ridiculous to educate a girl, but there were soon nine colleges for boys. There was a printing-press in Cambridge, a public library in New York, a little manufacturing in Massachusetts, and quite a little commerce all along the coast. Most of the traveling was done on horseback, though there were some stage routes. Steam-cars and[Pg 213] automobiles were unheard of. Next to their churches the people of New England loved their schools. The city of Boston had been settled only six years when one day the governor of Massachusetts received a letter from his sister in England, who refused to come to America because there was no college where her son could be educated. In her letter she said: “If only there were some place of learning for youths, it would make me go far nimbler to New England, if God should call me to it, than I otherwise should; and I believe a college would put no small life into the plantation.” This letter set the governor thinking and planning, and very soon he convinced those in control that a college should be established. The money was raised, and Harvard College was built. This little red, square building, that has stood in Cambridge for over two hundred years, was the first college in America.


The thirteen colonies along the coast obeyed the laws of England, and were proud of the “Mother Land,” as they called England, until the new king, George III, made the colonists pay taxes on the goods they received from England. They felt this was wrong so long as they had no part in deciding what taxes they should pay, and had no representation in the law-making. “We are no slaves, or children! We have rights, and our rights should be respected,” they said. The king replied, “The Americans shall pay a tax only on tea.” In anger the colonists said: “We will never drink tea, if we have to pay a tax upon it. We will drink tea made of sage and raspberry leaves first.”

In Charleston the tea was taken off the ships and left in damp cellars to spoil because no one would buy it. New York and Philadelphia did not even allow the tea-ships[Pg 214] to land; and when they sailed into Boston Harbor, the people held a great meeting in Faneuil Hall and in South Church. Samuel Adams and John Hancock, their leaders, made grand speeches. Some one cried out, “I wonder how the tea would taste with salt water?” This made everybody laugh. But that night fifty men, dressed up and painted like Indians, went out to the harbor, rowed out to the tea-ships and threw overboard three hundred and forty-two chests of tea into the sea. The next morning the tea was seen washed up on the shore. When the colonists heard of this Tea Party all were happy—but King George said, “The leaders shall die for this!” And that was the beginning of the war of the Revolution.


One of the leaders in the Boston Tea Party, on December 16, 1773, was Paul Revere. He was a copper-plate engraver in Boston, greatly interested in the rights of the colonists. When the King of England heard how the people of Boston had treated his tea, he ordered Boston Harbor to be closed, not allowing ships to go in or out. He also forbade their holding town meetings lest they should talk and plan mischief against him, and he determined to hang the leaders of the tea-party, if he could catch them. He appointed a new governor, who at once asked the king for more soldiers, which were sent. The Boston people watched these soldiers closely, and had spies to find out all their plans. One of these spies was Paul Revere. Secretly the Americans stored guns and powder and bullets at Concord, about twenty miles from Boston. They were afraid the British would march from Boston and take these stores which were for their use in case of trouble. Samuel Adams and John Hancock had gone to Lexington because they were not safe in[Pg 215] Boston. So the new general secretly ordered eight hundred soldiers to go and arrest these two leaders at Lexington and take the supplies from Concord. When Paul Revere learned of this plan he told a friend to watch their movements. If they started to go by land, his friend was to hang one lantern in the tower of Old North Church. If they went by boat he was to hang up two lanterns. Then Paul Revere silently rowed across the river and saddled his horse ready to start. He saw that every strap and buckle was in place, and quietly waited for the light. At last he thought he saw a spark, so he sprang into the saddle. Then he waited a little. Yes, there were two lights in the old bell-tower. They were going by sea. Off he dashed, faster and faster, over bridges and through towns, stopping at every house to cry out, “Awake, the British are coming!” A bell rang out at Lexington to help arouse the people. The “Minute Men” from all the country round came with their guns. When the British got there they found their secret was out. Just at sunrise the redcoats met the “Minute Men.” The English major cried, “Disperse!” They did not move. He then commanded his soldiers to fire. Eight were killed. Men with muskets sprang up on all sides. This was the first battle of the great Revolutionary war that made America free from England. Through all our history to the last, the American people will never forget

The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,
And the midnight message of Paul Revere.




Nathan Hale, a young man of twenty, had just graduated from Yale College, and was a school-teacher in Connecticut when the war of Independence began. At once he enlisted in the American army, saying, “Let us not[Pg 216] lay down our arms till we have gained independence.” When General Washington moved his army from Boston to Brooklyn, Nathan Hale, early one morning, when it was darkest, rowed out with a few friends to an English supply ship and sailed it away from the man-of-war that was guarding it and brought it in safety to the American camp. For this brave deed he was promoted to become “Captain” Hale. Soon after this a call was made for a volunteer for a most dangerous service. The British held possession of the lower part of New York City, and were planning a further advance, and Washington greatly needed to know their plans. It was agreed to send a spy to get these. But who would volunteer? “I will undertake it,” said Captain Hale. He walked fifty miles up Long Island Sound, along the Connecticut shore and then rowed over to Long Island. Disguised as a traveling school-teacher, he visited all the English camps, making drawings and notes which he hid in his shoes. On his way back he was betrayed by a man who knew him, a traitor to the American cause. He was taken on board the English ship, carried back to New York and led before General Howe. The English general said: “You shall be pardoned and receive money and a fine position in the English army if you will give up the American cause.” He said, “I cannot turn against my country!” “Then you can die for her,” said the general, and sentenced him to die at daybreak. He listened to his sentence without a word, erect and fearless. At break of day the young spy, brave as a lion, faced his death without a tremor.

In City Hall Park, New York City, not far from the jail in which he was kept that last night, and as near as possible to the spot where he died, is the statue of this noble, young patriot-martyr, who in such heroic unselfishness laid down all he possessed for his country.[Pg 217] Upon the statue you will read his last words: “I regret that I have but one life to give for my country.”


General Joseph Reed was a prominent American officer in the Revolutionary war. He was a man of great influence and loyal to the interests of his country. The English officers were anxious to secure some one who would be a traitor to the American cause of liberty and who would serve them. One day Governor Johnson, one of the three Commissioners of King George III, came to Joseph Reed and whispered secretly: “I will give you fifty thousand dollars and a public office besides, under the British Government, if you will agree to promote the British interests.” General Reed replied quickly: “I am not worth purchasing; but such as I am, the King of Great Britain is not rich enough to buy me!”

No wonder that such a patriot, loyal to honor and to his country, was admired even among those who offered the bribe, while that other general, Benedict Arnold, who actually received the bribe to betray his country, has ever since been despised by Englishmen as well as by Americans.


After the Battle of Lexington swift messengers rode in all directions over the land telling the tidings that the struggle for American independence was begun. The news set the people aflame with excitement. Men dropped whatever they had in hand to join the little army under George Washington, who was elected general of the American soldiers. The colonists now believed that nothing but liberty would save them. Men like Patrick Henry of Virginia said, “Give me liberty or give me[Pg 218] death!” So, on July 4, 1776, at the State House in Philadelphia, the Declaration of Independence, prepared by Thomas Jefferson, was discussed. Above the State House where they met hung a great bell. The old bell-ringer sat there ready to ring the bell the moment the declaration was signed. His little grandson was at the foot of the stairs to tell him when to ring. The old man waited and waited. At last he heard the little boy running up the stairs, shouting, “Ring, grandpa! Ring, grandpa! Ring for liberty!” The old man took hold of the bell-rope, and the glad news of liberty rang out over the city. The bell was kept ringing for two hours. The crowds in the street shouted, “We are free!” “We are free!” Flags were waved, bonfires were lighted; parades were formed; speeches were made; and, as the news spread, the joy increased everywhere! That was the first Fourth of July.


It was the winter of the year in which the Declaration of Independence was signed, 1776, when Washington, with his little army of three thousand patriots, beaten, and driven out of Brooklyn, out of New York, out of New Jersey, finally crossed the Delaware River, at the same hour that General Cornwallis, the most skilful of all the British leaders, with a much larger army, reached Trenton. The cold was intense. The patriots were in rags; many were barefooted, and the route was marked by their footprints of blood. Congress was fleeing in panic from Philadelphia to Baltimore. Terror spread everywhere, and many Americans hastened to put themselves under British protection. But amid all, Washington never lost his courage. Having seized all the boats along the Delaware, for many miles up and down the river, he intended[Pg 219] to surprise the Hessian soldiers (whom the English had hired) at Trenton on Christmas night when he knew they would be sure to be spending their time in feasting and merriment. Amid a storm of sleet and snow, bitterly cold, on Christmas evening, Washington and twenty-five hundred picked men pushed their flatboats through the grinding blocks of ice, and during the night the entire force landed on the other side of the Delaware, and before the bleak, wintry morning dawned, they had surrounded Trenton. The garrison of one thousand Hessian soldiers was surprised and captured, with the loss of but four Americans. Colonel Rall, the Hessian commander, being wounded and suffering greatly, limped slowly up to where Washington was seated on his horse and handed him his sword, begging him to be merciful to the captured men. Washington gave the promise, expressing his sympathy with the wounded officer, upon whom he called after he was carried to a house and laid upon a bed, and spent some time in trying to cheer his last moments. This Battle of Trenton did what Washington intended—electrified the despairing patriots, increased enlistments, and inspired hope throughout the land. It was the turning-point of the Revolution. It was Washington’s Christmas gift to the American people.


One summer day when the wild red roses of North Carolina were in bloom around her door-step, Mistress Ashe stood at her opened door, and shading her eyes, saw a cloud of dust that grew larger until an English army was seen coming nearer and nearer. “Look,” cried her sister, “at the head of the column rides that braggart. Colonel Tarleton! Have you heard of the threefold oath that he registered recently on the banks of the Roanoke in[Pg 220] Virginia?” “No, tell me in all haste,” answered Mrs. Ashe, “for they are now almost within ear-shot.” “He swore,” said the sister, “that he will plant the flag of old England on every housetop in our land; if not on the turret, then on the ashes of every building. He swore that he will carry our noble leader, General Washington, in chains to England. He swore that he will quaff a stirrup-cup (a lucky drink) to these horrid accomplishments from the Ashe punch-bowl.”

The sound of tramping deadened her voice. As the army came up General Leslie graciously asked the defenseless women for food and drink, which were brought at once and placed on the mahogany table. While they were eating and drinking, Colonel Tarleton, without hint of his oath, led the talk to the famous Ashe punch-bowl. He told General Leslie how it was old in England before the Pilgrims came; how in America it had grown thrice precious to its owner, because almost every American leader of the Revolution had quaffed delightful draughts from its crystal depths; how five officers of the Revolutionary army, all of the one name and blood of Ashe, had gathered around that bowl. And then, turning to Mrs. Ashe he said: “Mistress Ashe, since you have so amply entertained your foes, can you not add to your hospitality, I pray you, a draught from the Ashe punch-bowl?”

Mrs. Ashe ordered the punch-bowl to be filled, and rich red roses to be brought to crown it, but she trembled to think if this cunning colonel succeeded in quaffing a lucky-drink to his declared designs from that bowl, destruction indeed might await her country and its leaders. She arose from her seat at the head of the table. General Leslie and his officers arose with her. Then she said: “General Leslie, from this bowl the brave and the bravest have sipped, and to such, whether friend or foe, I give[Pg 221] a draught from this bowl.” She then handed the General a glass of the brew, and, while he held his glass in his hand, waiting the filling of the other glasses, she took the roses from the bowl and put them in her hair, and then she turned to Colonel Tarleton: “Sir, I have heard of your threefold oath—that you have sworn to plant the flag of England on the roof of every American house or on its ruins; that you have sworn to carry our leader, Washington, in chains to the foot of your English throne; and that you have sworn to drink your stirrup-cup, before you ride forth on the accomplishment of these intents, from the Ashe punch-bowl.”

There was a moment’s silence, then she continued: “Heaven grant that our leaders in war may become our rulers in peace!” While saying this she put her slender hands about the heavy bowl, lifted it high above her head, and then dashed the punch-bowl to the floor. “Never, Colonel Tarleton,” she cried, “never from the Ashe punch-bowl shall cup be offered to the cruel foeman of my people!” The bowl was broken into a hundred pieces and the floor was sprinkled as with crimson blood. Outside the door the red roses blossomed in the sunlight, but nevermore would any of them crown rich libations in the once priceless, now shattered, punch-bowl of the Ashes of North Carolina.


In a little village in Ohio, on the banks of the Ohio River, there was a large fort called Fort Henry, which belonged to the colonists. When the Indians, who were fighting on the side of the English, attacked the village, all the men, women, and children fled to the fort. The Indians then attacked the fort, and all the men who went out to fight them were killed or taken prisoners. At last[Pg 222] only twelve men were left in the fort to protect the women and children. When the colonists began to prepare for the second attack, they found their supply of powder almost exhausted, and without powder they knew death was near. Captain Zane called the twelve men together and said: “In my house there is a keg of powder. I do not wish to order any man to go for it, as it is a very dangerous thing to do, but I would like to have some one offer to go.” Several young men at once volunteered. “It means almost certain death,” said the captain. “I know that,” replied one young man, “but we must have the powder. To stay means death to all.” Just then the captain’s sister, Elizabeth, a girl of fourteen, stepped forward. “I will go for the powder,” she said; “you cannot spare one of the men, they are all wanted to protect the fort. If we are captured by the Indians, I shall surely be killed. So please let me go.”

At that Captain Zane said, “No! No!” But he soon saw she was right; not a man could be spared. The gate of the fort opened and the girl ran quickly out. The Indians saw her and cried in surprise, “A squaw! a squaw!” but no Indian tried to shoot her. She entered the house and found the keg of powder, but it was too heavy for her to carry, so, girllike, she emptied the powder into her apron, and started back amid the firing of the Indians, but although their arrows whistled over her head, she ran swiftly on and reached the gate in safety.

With the help of the powder the colonists were able to keep the Indians away that night. The next morning more men came and the Indians were driven away, and so the colonists of Ohio won a great victory.

The story of this fight at Fort Henry is often told, and the name of Elizabeth Zane, the brave girl who carried the apronful of powder to the men in the fort, will be remembered as long as brave deeds shall be told.

[Pg 223]


Israel Putnam, as a boy, lived with his father on a farm in Connecticut when wolves were still there. Every winter an old mother wolf would come with a family of young wolves with her. The hunters always killed the young wolves, but could not catch the mother. One winter this old wolf killed seventy sheep and goats in one night. All the farmers started out to find her. They saw her track in the snow and after a long hunt their dogs drove her into a cave. They sent the dogs into the cave, but the wolf bit them and drove them out again. Then they put straw in the cave and set fire to it to smoke her out. It made the wolf sneeze, but she would not come out. Then Israel Putnam said, “I will go down into the cave and bring her out.” So they tied a rope to his legs and let him down into the cave. He held in his hand a burning piece of birch-bark, for he knew wild animals are afraid to face fire. He crawled along on his hands and knees in the narrow cave, holding the blazing bark, until he could see the wolf’s eyes. The wolf gave a sudden growl. Putnam jerked the rope and the men pulled him out quickly. He was badly scratched by the rocks and his clothes torn, but he got his gun and went in again. This time the wolf growled and snapped angrily, but he shot the wolf and brought her out dead. The sheep had peace after that.


Daniel Boone was an early settler in Kentucky. He knew all about the woods and the ways of the animals and the Indians. Almost all the men that went with him into Kentucky were killed by the wild wolves or the savage Indians. One day when Daniel Boone was left[Pg 224] alone in his cabin, four Indians came to kill him. He made his escape over a hill, but the Indians ran after him. He ran as fast as he could till he reached a wild grape-vine, which he saw reached to the top of a high tree, and was long enough to swing over a steep ravine. When he was a boy he had often made a swing of a wild grave-vine like this. So he quickly cut the vine off near the roots, took hold of it and swung out into the air with all his might. He was carried far out as he swung over the ravine. Then he let go, and as soon as he fell to the ground he ran away in a direction in which he knew the Indians could not find him. When the Indians came up to the place they could not find his tracks anywhere. So Daniel Boone was saved by a swing.


Kit Carson knew all about wild animals. He was a great hunter and a good guide to soldiers and settlers. On a march one day, as he was dragging an elk he had just shot for supper, he saw two bears running toward him. His gun was empty. He threw it down, ran as fast as he could, and reached a tree just as the bears reached him. He caught hold of a branch and swung himself up in the tree just in time. Bears know how to climb trees, and soon they were climbing up in the lower branches. Kit Carson broke off a limb, and from the highest branch, where he hung, he began clubbing the bears over the nose, their tender spot. “Whack! Whack!” The stick hurt, and the bears whined and growled with pain. First one bear and then the other tried to get at him, but each got his nose hurt. When their noses felt better they tried again. But Kit Carson pounded faster and harder than ever. One of the bears cried like a baby. Then both bears got down and went[Pg 225] away and never came back again. They were too busy rubbing their noses.


One morning in the awful days of the Civil War the boys in blue and the boys in gray met together for their decisive battle near the little town of Gettysburg, Pa. Hearing that this town was to be the center of the battle, a neighbor ran into a little red-brick cottage and cried, “Jennie, you must remove your folks at once.” “Hush, hush!” she whispered, “there’s a little new-born baby and its mother in the next room, and they cannot be moved whatever happens.” “Why girl, the shells will crash through these brick walls as through paper!” said the man. “No matter, my sister and her babe cannot be moved, and I must stay here with mother to care for them,” replied Jennie, and the neighbor hastened sadly away.

Tramp, tramp, tramp, marched regiment after regiment in turn belonging to both sides, as they passed the little cottage, and Jennie noticed that every soldier’s eye rested eagerly on the windlass of the well in front of the little red-brick cottage, for the July sun shone hot in the sky. “They are thirsty,” said Jennie, as she filled the old oaken bucket from the well, and brought out every dipper and ladle and cup she could find for the soldiers to fill their canteens or to drink as they hurriedly tramped by. “I’m glad I did not go away,” she said; “there is something I can do here to help others.” And so she helped all she could until the troops had passed by for the battle. Later in the day the tide of the battle turned. The boys in gray reached the ridge and captured the town of Gettysburg. Then the boys in blue, on the run, retreated, moaning and groaning as they rushed past the little red-brick house,[Pg 226] which now became the very center of the battle. Cannon, like thunder, shook the ground. Bullets, like hailstones, fell around them. Balls crashed through windows and walls as through paper, as the neighbor had said. The space around the well was strewn with the dead and dying. Hungry men begged for bread and the brave girl gave everything she had until she had not a crumb left. Then she said, “I’ll make some bread.” But scarcely were the loaves in the oven before a loud knock was heard at the door, and a soldier-boy stood there pleading, “I’m so hungry. Give me a bit of bread.” It would be three hours before the bread was baked, but biscuit would soon be ready, she thought. She quickly took up the dough and was remixing it to make biscuits, when whizz! a rifle-ball crashed through the open door, striking the girl in the breast, and she fell to the floor dead!

That night they buried Jennie Wade, with the dough still in her hands—buried her as thousands were buried, on the field of Gettysburg, without ceremony. Should you visit her grave in the little cemetery there, on her tombstone you would see these words: “Jennie Wade, died aged nineteen. She hath done what she could!”


When the United States was at war with Spain in 1898, a Spanish fleet crossed the Atlantic and sailed into Santiago Bay. Commodore Schley at once sailed his squadron of ships there to prevent the escape of the Spanish fleet, and he was soon joined by Rear-admiral Sampson, who took charge of the whole American fleet. The entrance to Santiago Bay is so long and narrow, that, knowing it was full of mines and protected by forts on either side, the American Government would not allow Sampson’s fleet to try to force an entrance. So all the[Pg 227] ships could do was to shell the forts along the coast and keep watch day and night. The Americans knew that if a storm arose and their ships should be obliged to run out to sea, the Spanish admiral would take advantage of it and run out of the harbor and possibly attack some of the ill-defended coast towns. The navy was very anxious to find a way of blocking the harbor so that the Spanish fleet could not get out. Admiral Sampson decided to run the Merrimac into the channel at night, swing it across the narrow point and sink it there, thus making a barrier which could not easily be removed. “Who will undertake this service of sinking the Merrimac?” was the question, and immediately there were far more men than could be used. Naval Constructor Hobson, with some brave volunteers, was assigned the task, which seemed in all probability to mean certain death. At three o’clock in the morning the Merrimac entered the narrow channel and steamed in under the guns of the great Morro Castle. The stillness of the night was broken by the wash of a small patrol boat approaching from the shore. The boat ran close up under the stern of the Merrimac and fired several shots, one of which carried away the rudder. In a moment the guns from the Spanish ships and forts were turned upon the Merrimac; and although torpedoes exploded all around them, and mines went off under them, Hobson coolly gave his orders. The torpedoes were touched off, and as the Merrimac sank, he and his men were swept overboard into the chilling waters. There, escaping death as by a miracle, they clung to an old raft. When the Merrimac sank the Spaniards cheered wildly, thinking they had sunk an American ship trying to steal into the harbor unseen. Many boats pushed out from the shore to examine the wreck. A Spanish launch came toward the raft. Hobson and his men agreed to capture this boat and run away. But just as she came close the[Pg 228] heads of half a dozen Spanish soldiers peeped up and each man pointed his rifle at the heads of the Americans. “Is there any officer in that boat to receive a surrender of prisoners of war?” Hobson shouted. An old man leaned out under the awning and waved his hand. It was Admiral Cervera. The soldiers lowered their rifles, and the prisoners were helped into the launch. Hobson and his brave companions spent more than a month in Spanish prisons, but at length an exchange of prisoners made it possible for them to be returned in safety, and ever since the story of Hobson and the sinking of the Merrimac has been told as one of the most heroic deeds in the history of modern times.


Americans who have lived some time in other countries say that when they see the American flag floating from the mast of a ship in a foreign land a lump rises in the throat and “the Stars and Stripes,” with its bright red, white, and blue, seems to be the most beautiful emblem in all the world. Do you know how it was first made, and why? When George Washington was leading his soldiers in the war for liberty, he felt that the new nation needed a flag. He said: “We must have a flag, one flag for all the Colonies.” Every country needs a flag to float over the homes of its people, to carry in parades, to wave on the masts of the ships at sea and in foreign harbors, and to inspire its citizens and soldiers to patriotism. At first there had been flags of all kinds among the colonists, the commonest having a rattlesnake upon it, with the motto, “Don’t tread on me,” and another, called the Union flag (with stripes as at present, and the double cross of the British flag instead of stars), was unfurled for the first time on New Year’s Day, 1776, at Cambridge.[Pg 229] The matter of a new flag for the new people was talked over, and on June 14, 1777, by a resolution of Congress, it was decided upon. Washington, assisted by a committee, drew a picture of the flag he wanted—one with thirteen stripes to represent the thirteen States that had fought for freedom. These stripes were to be one red and one white. On a field of blue in the corner, near the staff, there were to be thirteen stars. Then, of course, those men knew they must find a woman to make the flag. The men could plan for it, but a woman must make it.

In Philadelphia there lived a young woman named Betsy Ross, who, with her husband, kept a small furniture and upholstering shop, and who did a great deal of sewing. She sewed beautifully, and had often been hired to make flags for the river-boats and other kinds of boats. One day, as she sat sewing in her shop, she heard a knock at her door. She opened it, and there stood George Washington and another gentleman. The general showed her a picture of the flag he wanted with its stripes and six-pointed stars. “No,” she said, “that will not do. The stars must be prettier than those. A correct star has only five points.” She quickly folded up a piece of paper just right and with one snip of her scissors clipped the paper, and there was a beautiful five-pointed star. Washington was greatly pleased with the star and also with the skilful fingers of Betsy Ross, and so she was given the order for the first American flag. This first flag was made the next day in the little shop, still standing at 239 Arch Street, Philadelphia, where she continued to carry on the flag business many years after the death of her husband, who was wounded during the war while guarding some military stores. Her children succeeded her in the business at her death. Since the first flag with its thirteen stripes and thirteen stars, there has been added a new star for every State admitted to the Union.

[Pg 230]One of the first American war vessels, named the Reprisal, is said to have been the first vessel that, in 1777, carried “Old Glory” on the ocean. Ever since, whenever this American flag has floated in the air, its message has been, “America, the land of the free.” Its red sings, “Be brave”; its blue says, “Be true”; its white means, “Be pure.”


The beautiful hymn, “America,” our national anthem, which is loved and sung all over our land, and all over the world wherever the Stars and Stripes is honored, was composed by Dr. Samuel Francis Smith. He was born in Boston, Mass., October 21, 1808. In childhood he lived not far from the Old North Church. When he looked up at the tower in which Paul Revere hung the lantern, perhaps there came into his heart that love for his country which years afterward he put into his song. One holiday when his grandmother was coming on a visit to his home, he stood at the window, expecting she would bring him a present. When she came without a present the little fellow said solemnly, “All days are alike!” He was so obedient that when he went out to play he would ask, “How many slides may I take, mother?” And when he had taken just the number his mother told him, he would come in.

When Samuel was eight years old a pet cat belonging to one of the neighbors died, and was buried in the garden. The next morning the owners of the cat found on its grave a stick with a piece of paper fastened to it, and on the paper some verses. This was his first poem. At twelve he wrote another, and after that, many more. He went to what is now the Eliot School in North Bennett Street, Boston, where he won the gold medal. From[Pg 231] there he went to the Boston Latin School, and there, also, he won the medal. Then to Harvard, and to the Andover Theological Seminary. He graduated from Harvard in 1829, in the class with Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, who sang of him in his poem, “The Boys”:

And there’s a nice youngster of excellent pith,
Fate tried to conceal him by calling him Smith,
But he shouted a song for the Brave and the Free,
Just read on his medal, “My Country, of Thee.”

Doctor Holmes wrote further: “The name of Dr. Samuel F. Smith will be honored by every school child in the land when I have been forgotten one hundred years. He wrote ‘My Country.’ If he had said ‘Our Country,’ the hymn would not have been remembered, but that ‘My’ was a master-stroke. Every one who sings it at once feels a personal ownership in his native land.”

During the senior year at Andover Seminary, in 1832, W. C. Woodridge, a friend of young Smith, brought from Germany a book of patriotic songs and said, “Please make me a poetical translation.” As this young senior and poet was turning over the leaves of the song-book he came across the air of an easy patriotic tune which pleased him. As he was translating “God Save the King,” taken with the words, he thought how fine it would be to have an American patriotic anthem. Under the impulse of the moment he picked up a scrap of waste paper and his quill pen and began to write, and in half an hour the four verses of the poem, “America,” were written as they stand to-day. Later his friend Lowell Mason saw the poem, liked it, and put it into his music-book, and it has floated around the world. Doctor Smith said he heard it sung above the earth, on Pike’s Peak, and under the earth, in the Cave of the Winds, and on the earth in a great many lands. It was first sung publicly at a Sunday-school[Pg 232] celebration, in the Park Street Church, Boston, and since, in days of peace and prosperity, through the crisis of the Civil War, and on almost all public occasions, it has gradually won recognition as our national anthem, without the ceremonial of adoption in any historic sense. Public-school teachers find it most helpful in awakening a love for the new country among the mixed races of child immigrants who must be molded into patriotic American citizens. In association with Lowell Mason, Doctor Smith wrote the first song-book for boys and girls ever published in the United States. It is remarkable that the national anthems of America, of England, and of Prussia should have the same tune. Henry Carey is often credited with this tune. The English, however, did not invent it. The Germans got it from the Norsemen, who had heard it sung by Finns, who got it from Huns, who brought it from Asia. Something like it was sung by the Jews in the first temple, and it may have come from the Egyptians. It is a solemn and majestic strain, suitable to some of the Psalms of David:

Our fathers’ God! to thee,
Author of liberty!
To thee we sing:
Long may our land be bright
With freedom’s holy light,
Protect us by thy might,
Great God, our King!

[Pg 233]


(Adapted for Children, Nine to Fourteen Years.)


Once there was a good boy who had a kind-hearted mother. One afternoon she said: “Here, Peter, are some cakes I want you to take to the poor old blind man who is very ill, and who lives a mile and a half away from town. If you go quickly and do not stop to play, you will be home before it is dark.” Peter took the cakes to the poor old blind man, who said, “You are a kind-hearted boy; thank your mother for me.” Light-hearted because he had made the blind man happy, Peter was walking home when suddenly he noticed a little stream of water trickling through the great bank on the side of the road. This was in Holland, where much of the land is below the level of the sea, and where dikes are built by the people to keep back the sea. Every boy in Holland knows the danger of even a small leak in the dike. Peter understood at once that this tiny stream would soon make a large hole and the whole city would be flooded. In a moment he saw what he must do. He climbed down the side of the dike and thrust his chubby little hand and finger into the tiny hole and stopped the flowing of the water. Then he cried out for help, but no one heard him; no one came to help. It grew dark, and cold; he was hungry; his arm ached and it began to grow stiff and numb. He shouted again: “O mother! mother!” But his mother thought Peter must be spending[Pg 234] the night with the blind man, and did not know of his danger. Peter thought how warm and cozy all at home were sleeping in their beds, and he said to himself, “I will not let them be drowned!” So that good boy stayed there all night long, holding back the water. Early next morning, a minister on his way to visit the sick, heard a groan, saw the boy, and called out to him, “What is the matter, my boy? Are you hurt? Why are you sitting there?” When Peter told him what he had done, the minister said, “I will hold my hand there while you run quickly to the town and get help.” Very soon men came and repaired the leak in the dike, but all knew that Peter, by his courage and faithfulness, had saved the town of Haarlem that night.


Once there was a terrible battle in Germany, and thousands of soldiers were scattered over the country. A captain who had many men and horses to feed was told by his colonel to get food from the farmers near-by. The captain walked for some time through the broad valley, and at last knocked at the door of a small cottage. A man, old and lame and leaning on a stick, opened the door. “Good morning,” said the captain. “Will you please show me a field where my soldiers can cut grain for our army? We cannot pay for it.” The old man led the soldiers through the valley for about a mile, when they saw a field of rich barley waving in the breeze.

“That is just what we want,” said the captain. “No, not yet,” said the old man; “follow me a little farther.” After some time they came to a second field of barley. The soldiers got off their horses, cut the grain, tied the sheaves, and rode away with them. Then the captain said to the old man, “Why did you make us come so far?[Pg 235] The first field of barley was better than this one.” “That is true, sir,” answered the old man, “but it was not mine!”—Adapted from “Ethics for Children” by E. L. Cabot.


Once in far-away Japan there lived a rich man who owned a large ranch—not of alfalfa, or wheat, or other grain—but of rice. One afternoon he stood looking over his large fields of rice, saying, “What a rich man this great harvest makes me!” Suddenly he felt an earthquake and saw that the waves of the sea were running away from the land and rolling far out. He knew that it would only be a little while before the waves would return in a great flood, which would overflow the little strip of land along the seashore, in the valley below the high plain on which his ranch was situated, and all the people in the little village would be drowned. It was a holiday and the people in their merrymaking and fun and laughter had not noticed the earthquake. The rich man cried to his servants, “Bring torches! make haste! set fire to the rice!” Then he and his servants set on fire stack after stack of the rice. In a moment the flames and smoke rose high, the big bell from the village pealed the fire-signal, and all the boys and girls and men and women ran up the hill as fast as they could to see the fire, and to try to save the rice-crop of the rich man. When they saw him setting fire to his rice, they shouted, “Look, he is mad; he is setting fire to his rice.” “Look!” shouted the old man. They looked and saw the raging and surging waves of the sea come rolling in. They looked again a few moments later and saw nothing but the straw which had been the thatched roofs of their homes tossing on the waters and their whole village blotted out by the sea. “That is why I set fire to my rice,” said the old Japanese.[Pg 236] “If I had not done that you would have all been drowned in those waves!” He stood among them almost as poor as any of them, but he had the consciousness that by the sacrifice of his fortune he had saved four hundred lives that day.—Adapted from “Gleanings in Buddha-fields,” by L. Hearn.


One cold winter day long ago a Russian nobleman and his wife were traveling across the plains of Russia in a sleigh drawn by six horses, and their two servants on horseback were riding beside them. Suddenly they heard the howling of a great pack of wolves that had been driven by cold and hunger from the mountains. The nobleman at once ordered one of the servants to ride on faster to the town and bring them other horses while he drove those he had more swiftly. The wolves came nearer and nearer. The other servant begged his master to allow him to loose his horse for the wolves to devour, hoping in this way to save time. But as soon as the servant sprang into the sleigh the frightened horse was torn into a thousand pieces by the fierce wolves, and they were back again more bloodthirsty than before. While the servant fought them off from the back of the sleigh the nobleman cut loose one after another of the horses, until he had but two left. Then the servant said, “I will spring among them and that will give you time to escape!” “No! no!” cried the nobleman. “See the lights of the city in the distance. We are almost safe!” But the wolves were again upon them and there seemed no other way, so the servant sprang from the sleigh, fought and drove back the wolves as far as he could to save all the time possible, but at last he was overcome by their great numbers and was devoured. A few moments later the Russian nobleman and his wife, with the two[Pg 237] horses and the sleigh, passed in through the gate of the city in safety, conscious that they had been saved only by the great self-sacrifice of their faithful servant. For a long time after travelers on that road saw a cross, which the nobleman had erected on the spot where his servant had given up his life, and on the cross were these words: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”




Once there was a terrible storm at sea, and a steamship was dashed upon the rocks and split in two. One-half of the ship was washed away, and those of the passengers who were still alive, were clinging to the other half upon the low rocks, lashed by the angry waves. About a mile away in a lighthouse a brave girl, named Grace Darling, the daughter of the lighthouse-keeper, heard, above the noise of the winds and waves, the screams and cries of the drowning men, and when daylight dawned she could see the wreck and the men clinging to the masts. “Let us go out in the lifeboat and save them?” she cried. But her father, who knew the danger in such a storm, replied, “It is of no use. We can never reach them!” “We can never stay here and see them die, father,” Grace said; “let us try to save them.” So the heavy lighthouse boat was launched, and with Grace pulling at one oar, and her father at the other, they reached the wreck and rescued, one by one, the worn-out men, whom they rowed safely to the lighthouse. Then Grace became as tender a nurse as she had been brave as a sailor, for she cared most kindly for the shipwrecked men until the storm ceased and they were strong enough to go to their own homes. The heroism of this young woman became known everywhere. Thousands sang her praises. Artists visited[Pg 238] the lighthouse to take her portrait. Three thousand dollars were subscribed and presented to her. Distinguished people sent her letters of gratitude. But through all such praise Grace Darling remained as modest as she was brave, saying, “I did not suppose I had done anything worthy of so much notice.” When a few years afterward she died, over her grave, in a little churchyard by the sea, not far from the lighthouse, a monument was raised in her honor, where it stands to-day. It is a marble statue of a woman lying at rest with a boat’s oar held fast in her right hand.


One spring day, a young surveyor, eighteen years of age, was eating his dinner with some companions in a forest in Virginia. Suddenly the sylvan stillness was startled by the piercing shrieks of a woman. The young surveyor sprang to his feet and leaped to the woman’s side. “My boy! My boy! Oh, my darling boy is drowning and they will not let me rescue him,” screamed the frantic mother as she tried to escape from the men who held her from springing into the rapids. “No, we will not let her go,” cried the men, “for she would be instantly killed on the sharp rocks and could not rescue her boy!” “Why does not one of you rescue him then?” said the manly fellow of eighteen. “We are not ready to die yet,” the men replied. “O sir, won’t you do something?” cried the mother to the young surveyor. For an instant he stood measuring the rocks and the whirling rapids with his eye, and then, throwing off his coat, he plunged into the roaring torrent where he had caught sight of the drowning boy. With stout heart and steady hand he struggled against the seething waters which each moment threatened to engulf him or dash him to pieces[Pg 239] against the sharp-pointed rocks. Just as they thought both would go over the falls the young engineer clutched the little fellow and swam with him to the shore. Then, amid the praises of those who had witnessed his heroism, mingled with the gratitude of the overjoyed mother, he placed the unconscious but saved little boy in her arms. “God will reward you, young man,” said the mother; “God will reward you some day for your heroism, and many will praise you for what you have done this day!” And so it was; for this young surveyor who saved the little boy was George Washington.


One day as Abraham Lincoln was riding along a country road on horseback, in company with some friends, he saw a pig stuck fast in a deep place filled with mud, struggling to keep from going in deeper. The poor pig was squealing in terror, and the comical sight filled the friends with laughter and delight. After Lincoln had ridden on a little distance, he turned back his horse, saying, “Gentlemen, excuse me a few moments,” and rode back as fast as he could to the place where the poor creature was, got down from his horse, and drew the pig out of the mud. When he rejoined his companions they asked, “Why did you go back?” He told them what he had done, adding, “I couldn’t sleep well to-night, if I hadn’t done that thing.”


The minister of a church in London was called one day to see a street-sweeper in his parish who was ill. Asking him if any one had been to see him, to the surprise of the minister, the sweeper replied, “Yes, Mr. Gladstone came to see me.”

[Pg 240]“Which Mr. Gladstone?” asked the minister.

“Mr. Gladstone, he told me his name was,” replied the poor sick boy.

“But how came he to see you?” said the minister.

“Well,” answered the boy, “he always had a nice word for me when he passed my crossing, and when I was not there he missed me. He asked my mate, who had taken my place, where I was, and when he heard I was ill he asked for my address, and he put it down on paper. So he called to see me.”

“And what did he do?” asked the minister.

“He brought me some nice oranges,” answered the boy, “and then he read to me some Bible and prayed, and it was so good!”

To a man like Gladstone, living humbly, simply, and sincerely, it is as important and as interesting a deed to do a kindness to a poor street-sweeper, and to comfort his heart with sympathy and love, as to form a cabinet to govern the English Empire. In such service the words of George Herbert have their full realization:

A servant with this clause
Makes drudgery divine;
Who sweeps a room as for Thy laws,
Makes that and th’ action fine.


One evening, in the year 1861, as General Joseph Garibaldi, the Italian patriot, fighting to make his beloved Italy free, united, and happy, was going to his headquarters, he met a Sardinian shepherd lamenting the loss of a lamb out of his flock. The great-hearted general at once returned to camp and announced to his officers his intention of scouring the mountains in search of the missing sheep. His soldiers, inspired by his tenderness[Pg 241] on the field of peace as they had been by his valor on the field of battle, at once organized a grand expedition. Lanterns were brought and old officers of many a campaign started off full of enthusiasm to hunt for the lost lamb. But no lamb was found, and the soldiers returned to their beds in the camp. The next morning the servant of General Garibaldi found him in bed fast asleep. When he was awakened the general rubbed his eyes. And so did the servant, when he saw the old warrior bring the lost lamb from under the covering where it had been kept warm, and request him to carry it back in safety to the shepherd.

The man who had endured hardship and persecution, cold and hunger, nakedness and exile to make his native land free, had thought it a worthy task to keep up his search throughout the long night for the lost sheep until he had found it.


Thomas Hovenden, the artist, who painted “Breaking the Home Ties,” “Jerusalem, the Golden,” and “John Brown” which were exhibited at the World’s Fair in Chicago, was one day standing in a railway depot just as an engine was dashing into the station. He saw just in front of the iron-horse some mother’s darling little boy, and instantly, without a moment’s hesitation, he dropped his satchel and sprang in front of the engine. He snatched the little boy in his arms, only to be crushed and ground beneath the wheels of the conscienceless monster.

Great as are the exhibitions of his artistic genius in the paintings he has left us to admire, Thomas Hovenden never made a more wonderful picture in his life. Such a picture of unselfishness, heroism, and Christlike abandon[Pg 242] to save a child, is a picture to be admired in heaven—a picture worthy to hang in the palace of God.


Kenneth Oliver, a boy of eleven years of age, who lived in Tampico, Ill., returning home from school one afternoon, saw a little girl only seven years old playing on the railroad track. Suddenly he noticed a heavy freight-train coming on, at full speed, drawn by two great engines. The little girl did not see or hear the train, and was playing on, entirely unconscious of her danger. The boy quickly ran to the track, took hold of the child, and dragged her to one side of the rails, but he missed his footing, and the boy and girl rolled down the embankment together just as the train dashed past. It was not an instant too soon, for the edge of the pilot-beam struck the girl, bruising her, and missed killing the boy by an inch. The boy thought nothing of his danger. The tumble down the bank into the ditch seemed like a joke to the two children, although they felt the effects of their somersaults for some time afterward. The little girl’s mother, full of gratitude, told what this boy hero had done; all the country round soon sang his praises; and not long after he received a medal and two thousand dollars from the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission. It had always been his wish to go to college. This enabled him to get his wish, for the money was enough to pay for his education.


One day in the town of Weser, in Germany, a boy was playing with his little sister, four years old. Suddenly the boy saw rushing down the hill a mad dog followed[Pg 243] by men, trying to stop it. In a moment the boy saw that the dog was running directly toward his little sister. Not thinking for a moment of his own danger, or escape, this brave boy in a flash threw off his coat, wrapped it around his arm, and boldly faced the fierce dog. Holding out his arm, shielded by the coat, the boy turned the dog’s attention to himself, so that the wild beast jumped at him and worried him until the men came up and killed the dog. The men said, “Why did you not run away from the dog? You could easily have done it.” “Yes,” answered the boy, “but if I had he would have attacked my sister. I thought I would let the dog tear my coat instead of her!”


Jennie Clark, a little girl only eleven years old, who lived in Ohio, was walking along a railroad track one hot summer afternoon when she noticed that a wooden bridge over a deep ravine was on fire, evidently caught from a spark from an engine. She knew that in a few moments an excursion train to the World’s Fair was due to pass over the bridge. As quick as a flash the little heroine snatched off her red petticoat, and ran swiftly up the track toward the approaching train, waving her red petticoat as a danger-signal. The engineer saw the warning and stopped the train in time to save the lives of the passengers. Among the hundreds of passengers who were saved were a number of Frenchmen who, on their return to France, told this story of the brave little American girl who had saved the train. The story reached the ears of President Carnot, who, after communicating with President McKinley, bestowed upon her the Cross of the Legion of Honor. This young girl of Ohio, who so courageously gave herself in such heroic service, was[Pg 244] the youngest person in the world to wear the Cross of the Legion of Honor, France’s highest award for heroic service in time of war and peace!


Billy Rough was a crippled newsboy who owned a news-stand on a busy street corner in Gary, Ind. But, though a cripple, Billy was such a cheerful soul that he did far more than sell newspapers. He gave away sunshine. He knew his customers and was interested in all their affairs. As he handed them their papers he asked, with neighborly cheerfulness, about their welfare. If the crippled boy had troubles himself, no one ever knew of them. He was far more anxious to help others bear their burdens than to add to them by any tales of his own woes. One day he read in the newspaper of a young girl who had been terribly burned as the result of a motorcycle accident. The doctors said her life could only be saved by grafting some one else’s skin upon the burned flesh. Billy Rough said to himself: “I’m only a poor cripple. My life is not of much account. I will offer my skin.” He was told that amputation would be necessary and very dangerous. He said: “If it will save the girl, take it off. I’ll save money. I’ll only have to buy one shoe. The leg is of no use to me. Maybe it’ll help her. I’d like to be of some use to some one.” He saved her life, but lost his own, for soon after the grafting, he died, saying: “I’m glad I done it. Yes, I’m going, but I was some good in the world after all.” The Mayor of Gary, impressed with this heroic self-sacrifice, issued a proclamation announcing that contributions for a memorial would be received. Nine hundred dollars, which had been sent in for his use before he died, were turned over to the memorial committee. A statue in Jefferson[Pg 245] Park, a bronze tablet in the building where his news-stand stood, and an endowed room in the Gary Hospital where he lay before his death, all testify that the name of Billy Rough, the crippled newsboy and hero of Gary, will have an enduring place in the annals of American heroes.

[Pg 246]


(Adapted for Young People, Nine to Eighteen Years.)


The poet, Longfellow, once wrote in his diary, “We have but one life to live on earth; we must make that beautiful.” The story of this beautiful life began at his birth in Portland, Me., February 27, 1807. He was the second of eight children. His father was an honored lawyer and his mother was a woman of refinement, a descendant of John Alden of the Mayflower. Henry was a noble, tender-hearted boy. One day when he went shooting, he killed a robin. The piteous look of the little fearless thing so pained him that he never went shooting again. The first book he loved was Irving’s “Sketch-Book.” Its strange stories of “Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle,” pleased his fancy. During each summer he used to visit his Grandfather Wadsworth’s estate of seven thousand acres, just outside Portland, where they told him tales of ’76. The story of the fight with the Indians impressed him so deeply that at the age of thirteen he wrote his first poem, “The Battle of Lovell’s Pond,” which he slipped into an envelope and mailed to a newspaper, telling no one but his sister. He walked up and down in front of the printing-office, shivering in the cold, and wondering if his poem was being put in print. Next morning there was the[Pg 247] poem, signed “Henry.” He read it again and again, and thought it a fine poem. In the evening he and his father were visiting at a neighbor’s house, when the neighbor said to Mr. Longfellow, “Did you see the little poem in to-day’s paper?” “No,” said Mr. Longfellow, “is it good for anything?” “No,” said the neighbor, “it’s stiff, and it’s all borrowed, every word; why, your boy there could write much better than that!” Poor Henry’s heart sank. He hurried home and sobbed himself to sleep that night. Yet criticism did not discourage this brave boy. He kept trying, saying, “I will succeed,” and he became the best-loved poet of the world. At fourteen he graduated from Portland Academy, and at eighteen from Bowdoin College. After three years’ travel in Europe, he became professor of modern languages in his alma mater for five years, and then for eighteen years professor of literature in Harvard, being succeeded by James Russell Lowell. The school children of Cambridge celebrated his seventy-second birthday by presenting him with a chair carved from the wood of the chestnut tree under which stood the village smithy that he made famous in his poem, “The Village Blacksmith.” The poet greatly appreciated this gift, and wrote one of his best poems about it. Each boy and girl who came was allowed to sit in the chair and each received a copy of a poem that Longfellow wrote. The same year fifteen hundred children of Cincinnati celebrated his birthday with recitations from his poems and singing his songs. His marble statue stands in the “Poet’s Corner,” in Westminster Abbey in London, England. His grave is in Mount Auburn Cemetery, in Cambridge. On his tombstone is the simple inscription: “Longfellow.” That is enough. There are few schoolboys in America or England who do not know the story of his beautiful life, or who have not recited his words in “A Psalm of Life”:

[Pg 248]

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time—
Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, may take heart again.
Let us then be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, one of the greatest musicians and composers that ever lived, was born in Salzburg, Germany, January 27, 1756. His father was a famous violinist. At the age of three little Wolfgang loved to hear the playing of his sister Maria, who was just five years older. At four he was able to play minuets and compose little pieces. At five he played in public, and at six composed a difficult concerto for a full orchestra. One day before he was seven, his father was walking in the country with him when they came to a great church which contained the largest organ Wolfgang had ever seen. “Father, let me play it,” he said. Well pleased, his father began to blow the bellows. Wolfgang pushed aside the high stool, stood upon the pedals, and began playing. Softly at first the deep tones rose, awakening the stillness of the old church, and then the strains swelled louder and louder until all who heard marveled that a young child could play such wonderful music. No wonder the father was proud of his two children. No wonder the palaces of Europe were opened to them and that they were petted, admired, and loaded with caresses[Pg 249] and presents. The little boy’s charming appearance and cheerful disposition endeared him to all. So innocent and natural was his manner that at Vienna he sprang up into the Empress’s lap and kissed her heartily. In another place when he slipped upon the polished floor, Marie Antoinette lifted him up, and he said, “You are very kind. When I grow up I will marry you.” He always loved his father, and was always gentle and obedient, saying, “Next after God is my father.” Though so modest, he played without fear before kings.

Many musicians were jealous of his genius and said, “A trick is being played on the people.” So one day he was invited to the house of a famous musician to play before a number of great performers. The old musician gave him the most difficult piece he had ever written, knowing Mozart had never seen it, and to the wonder of all, he played it so splendidly they were convinced of his great genius. But as the envy of his enemies did not decrease, he was obliged to seek Italy to earn his living. At Rome he went to the Sistine Chapel to hear the celebrated “Miserere,” which, on returning home, he wrote down note by note—a feat which created a great sensation, for the singers were forbidden to transcribe the music on penalty of dismissal. So delighted was the pope with him that he presented Mozart with the Order of the Golden Spur. He played the harp, the organ, the violin, and every instrument in the orchestra. He composed many operas as well as church music and concert music. Perhaps the happiest part of his life was when he traveled with his sister and his beloved father, revealing the wonders of his musical genius to the great of the earth, not for money or fame, but for the great pleasure he gave and received from his art.

One day a stranger called on him, requesting him to compose a requiem, and offering to pay him for this in[Pg 250] advance. Mozart worked hard at it, but when the stranger returned it was not ready, and he paid the musician some more money in advance for it. When the stranger called the third time, Mozart was dead; and the requiem still unfinished. When he died he was very poor, and the few friends he had, because it rained on the day of his funeral, left him unattended, to be carried to his grave in a potter’s field. Thus he, who had in his lifetime produced so much wonderful music, was buried unhonored and unsung, without funeral ceremony or acclaim. But to-day, not only in Germany but over all the earth, the music of his immortal name is heard, and his praise is sung.


In the quaint little town of Bergen, in Norway, February 5, 1810, was born a boy, the eldest of ten children. His father was a chemist, and his mother a noble, intelligent woman, and they both loved music. Little Ole Bull would often crawl under the settee or sofa to listen to the music when his relatives came to his home to sing and practise, and he was often whipped, when discovered, for being so naughty. He loved music, and when he was in the field, where he often played alone, he thought he heard the music of the little bluebells swinging in the wind, as he lay among the flowers. When he was four years old his uncle gave him a yellow violin. He kissed it in his delight, and began to learn the notes at the same time that he did his letters, and although forbidden to play until after study hours, he often forgot and was punished both at home and in school. When he was eight years old a music-teacher was provided, and his father bought him a new, red violin. That night Ole could not sleep. In his night-dress he stole to the room where the violin lay, and because it was so red and so[Pg 251] pretty, and the pearl screws smiled at him, he just pinched the strings, and when it smiled more and more, he had to try the bow, and then he forgot that it was night and everybody asleep, so he played, very softly at first, and then he kept on forgetting until suddenly—crack went his father’s whip across Ole’s back, and the little red violin fell to the floor and was broken. He said, “I wept much for it, but it did no good, for the doctor never could make it well.” But he kept on with his study, and in two years he began to compose his own music, making his violin sing with the birds and brook, the roar of the waterfall, the dripping of the rain, and the whispering of the wind. When Ole was eighteen he went to the University at Christiania, where he attracted the attention of one of the professors, who encouraged him to give concerts and later aided him with money to go to Paris. In that great city no one cared for this unknown violinist, and he could not get a chance to play. One day when he had but little money left, an old man who lived in the same house with him advised the violinist to draw all his money out of the bank, pretending that it was not safe there. Ole drew his money out, and that night the old man stole all Ole’s money and clothes, leaving him penniless in the strange city. In his distress he sought a new home in a house with a card in the window, “Furnished Rooms to Let.” He went up the steps and when the woman saw how ill and poor he looked, she said there was no room. But her little granddaughter said, “Look at him, grandmamma.” The old lady put on her glasses and saw he looked like her son who had died, and so she took Ole in and nursed him tenderly through brain fever. Later little Felice, the granddaughter, became Ole’s wife. A nobleman asked him to play at a grand concert, where he earned three hundred dollars. Then he took lessons of some great teachers and made a tour[Pg 252] of the world on which he received great sums for his playing. In America his audiences went wild with delight. He used to visit the asylums and hospitals and play for the inmates. All through his life he tried to help others, not only with his music, but with his money. His sweet wife and his beautiful children died, and he was left alone, but he was never too sorrowful or too busy to help the most humble who came to him. He died at his beautiful home near Bergen, Norway. At his funeral the rich and great gathered to honor him, and after his body was lowered into its flower-hung grave, the poor peasants came by hundreds with their green boughs or sprigs of fern or wildflowers and filled his grave with them—because they loved him!


Louisa May Alcott was born in Germantown, Pa., November 29, 1832. Her father was a cultured school-teacher and her mother of an old aristocratic family. Louisa was the eldest of four daughters, whose happy life she pictures in “Little Women,” herself being “Jo.” She was a wild, happy-hearted, enthusiastic girl, preferring whistling and romping and boys’ games rather than girls’. Their home was frequently visited by such literary people as Emerson, Thoreau, and Hawthorne, who were her father’s friends. At eight years of age she wrote this poem of eight lines:

Welcome, welcome, little stranger,
Fear no harm and fear no danger;
We are glad to see you here,
For you sing, “Sweet spring is near.”
Now the white snow melts away;
Now the flowers blossom gay.
Come, dear bird, and build your nest
For we love our robin best.

[Pg 253]Her mother preserved this poem, and told her if she kept on she might one day be a second Shakespeare. She was fond of telling fairy stories to amuse her sisters and friends, and often turned the old tales into little plays which the children acted in a barn. One of these plays was “Jack and the Bean Stalk.” A squash vine, placed in the barn, was the bean-stalk, and when it was cut down the boy who played Giant, would come tumbling down from the hay-loft. At thirteen she wrote the beautiful poem, “My Kingdom.” After she became a school-teacher she was always helping somebody, taking care of an invalid or the poor, or sewing to help her mother. She continued to write stories. Some of the stories were rejected and the publisher advised her to stick to her school-teaching. Returning from the Civil War, where she had been a valued nurse to the wounded soldiers, she presented, through her father, several short stories to a publisher, who rejected them, with the advice that she write a story for girls. She thought she could not do that, and wrote “Little Women” to prove that she could not, but it is perhaps the best-loved girls’ story ever written. Then she wrote “Little Men,” of which fifty thousand copies were ordered before it was printed. She received one hundred thousand dollars for her books. Her life-desire was now realized in having money enough to make her family comfortable. Her father died in 1888, and she followed him only three days after. Miss Louisa May Alcott, besides being a writer, was also an earnest advocate of woman suffrage and temperance.


Rosa was born in poverty. Her father, an artist too, was compelled to give drawing lessons, and her mother had to go from house to house teaching music to assist in[Pg 254] supporting their four children. Her mother dying when Rosa was twelve years old, and her father marrying again, the gifted girl was sent away to school where she spent most of her time in drawing funny pictures of her teachers. Later her father taught her to copy the old masters in the Louvre. When she was seventeen she determined her life-work—animal painting; but being too poor to buy models, she would take long walks into the country to study and draw living animals, and later on kept a sheep on her roof-garden for a model. At nineteen she sent two pictures to the Fine Arts Exposition, “Goat and Sheep” and “Two Rabbits,” and others soon followed. When her father died she took his place as Director of the School of Design for Girls, and her sister, Juliette, became a teacher in the same school. She studied eighteen months before painting “The Horse Fair,” which famous picture was purchased in England for eight thousand dollars, and later by A. T. Stewart, of New York, and is now in his collection in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Landseer, the great English artist, said of her “Horse Fair,” “It surpasses me, although it’s a little hard to be beaten by a woman.” When at her work Rosa Bonheur often dressed in male attire with a large, white collar. She was always busy, cheerful, and generous. Her pictures brought her large sums, which she spent not only in providing for her family and old servants, but in generously assisting poor students. She had one of the most beautiful studios in Paris. When Prussia conquered France the Prussian soldiers were ordered not to disturb Rosa Bonheur or her servants. The poor idolized this wonderful woman, for she always loved them. She died at her home May 25, 1899. But through her wonderful works she still helps us to see the beauty of common things and to feel the poetry in what might seem the drudgery of life.

[Pg 255]


Jenny Lind, the “Swedish nightingale,” fills a place all her own among the world’s great artists of song. Gifted in voice, beautiful in face, lovely in character, a princess among givers, the guardian angel of the poor and unfortunate, she was for many years the idol of all classes of people, adored not simply for her talent, but also as one of the most perfect of women. She was born in Stockholm, Sweden, October 6, 1820. Her father was a good-natured man, who enjoyed song, but he was unable to provide for his family. Her mother was a woman of determination, who helped care for the family by teaching school. When very small Jenny showed a love for the singing of birds, and often when she sang to her pet cat, as it sat with a blue ribbon around its neck in the window, people in the street used to listen and wonder. One day a lady heard the child’s voice, and said, “She is a genius; she must be trained.” At nine she sang before the music-master of the Royal Theater, and he was moved to tears and at once accepted her, and for ten years she was educated in singing and elocution at the expense of the government of Sweden. Jenny began to act and sing in the Royal Theater at ten, and sang and played continuously until she was twenty. From twelve to fifteen she sang in concerts, and the Swedish people became very proud of her. At twenty she was made a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music, and was appointed court singer. The progress in her art led her to devote four hours or more daily for almost a year in practising the scales and exercises under a great teacher in Paris. Then she began to travel through Europe, singing before kings, nobles, and distinguished people, and to crowded audiences who hailed her as “the first singer of the world,” and paid enormous prices to[Pg 256] hear her. At last she consented to sing in the United States. When she arrived at New York thousands were on the dock eager to catch a glimpse of her. Triumphal arches surmounted by eagles bore the inscription, “Welcome, Jenny Lind. Welcome to America!” At the first concert, where thousands listened enchanted to her in Castle Garden in New York, some persons paid as high as six hundred and fifty dollars for a single ticket. Jenny Lind’s share for this one concert was nearly ten thousand dollars. She immediately sent for the mayor of the city and distributed the whole amount among charitable institutions. Throughout her life she felt that the money she earned was only hers in trust, as well as her voice. She said: “It is a great joy and a gift from God to be allowed to earn so much money and afterward to help one’s fellow men with it. This is the highest joy I wish for in life.” Everywhere she gave benefit concerts for charitable institutions or for individuals in need. In New York alone she gave away forty thousand dollars in charities. When warned against so much liberality, as some unworthy persons would seek aid, she always replied, “Never mind, if I assist ten and one is worthy, I am satisfied.” At thirty-one she married Mr. Otto Goldschmidt, of Hamburg, an accomplished musician, and they secured a beautiful residence in England, where they lived most happily for many years, until her death, November 2, 1887, at the age of sixty-seven. Queen Victoria, who had often heard her sing and who greatly honored her, sent a wreath of beautiful white flowers.

Mendelssohn said of her, “I never met so noble, so true, and real an art nature as Jenny Lind.” N. P. Willis said: “To give away more money in charity than any other mortal; to be humble, simple, genial, unassuming, and still be the first of prima donnas; to have begun as a beggar girl and risen to receive more honor than a[Pg 257] queen, this is the combination that makes the wonder of a dozen heroines in one single girl.”


When the Hall of Fame was opened in New York City, George Washington was found to have the votes of one hundred per cent of the electors, and Abraham Lincoln came next with ninety-nine per cent. Lincoln, the great emancipator of four million slaves, and the preserver of the nation’s unity, came next to Washington, the Father and first President of his country. In Harden, now Larue County, Ky., February 12, 1809, he was born and grew up in such poverty as few boys have ever known. His mother died when the little fellow was very young, so that not until little Abe was seven years old, and his stepmother, a woman of energy and intelligence, took charge of the desolate household, did the shaggy-headed, ragged, barefoot, forlorn lad begin “to feel like a human being.” From the time he could hold an axe in his little hand he was expected to work. His father was a lazy, shiftless, “poor Southern white,” which is the last word in unthrift. He hired out Abe to the neighbors to plow, dig ditches, chop wood, drive oxen, and “tend the baby” when a farmer’s wife was busy, keeping all the scanty wages Abe earned and growling because the lad loved to read when he had finished his work. Often he came home at night all aching with cold and wet, not to lounge at leisure as other boys, but while his parents slept, he rolled another log on the fire to give him light, or by the aid of a pine-knot stuck in the wall to light the dingy cabin, he read such books as he could borrow. When sixteen years old, besides being a rail-splitter and teamster, he was earning six dollars a month by managing a ferryboat across the Ohio River. Perhaps[Pg 258] the turning-point in his life came when he found two old law-books that had been thrown away with some rubbish he was hauling. He read these books and stored up the information they gave. His wide reading enabled him later to speak eloquently, especially against the slave-trade which he hated. One day, passing through the great slave-market of New Orleans, and seeing a girl being auctioned from the slave-block, his soul was so kindled that he decided then and there, “I’ll knock that thing hard, if I ever get a chance.” And he did. He was tender-hearted, and nothing aroused him more than to see a helpless animal or person mistreated.

He was six feet four inches tall, awkward and homely in countenance, very powerful, a famous wrestler, but he was never known to use his strength for his own benefit, and while he whipped the bullies that made him fight, he never picked a quarrel in his life. He served as captain in the Black Hawk war, and at the age of twenty-two ran for the legislature and was defeated. He ran a country store in Springfield, Ill., and failed, but he paid up the last dollar, although this took him fourteen years to do. He studied law and became a leading lawyer, admired for his honesty as well as industry. He stood always for peace if possible, and often persuaded his clients to make up their quarrel in his office instead of going to law. While he was an attorney, feeling that his lack of education put him at a disadvantage with Eastern men who, educated and trained in great colleges, were coming West, he determined “to be ready for them,” and so undertook a home course of study in mathematics, logic, and literature. It was hard work, but he won. He was elected to the Legislature of Illinois, sent to Congress at Washington, became the leader of the Republican party, and in 1860 was elected President of the nation. During the terrible years of the Civil War his hand[Pg 259] guided the torn and distracted country out of the cyclone of hatred and bloodshed into peace and prosperity. Few souls in history have had fiercer trials than those through which he passed. His friends grew impatient and found fault, his enemies jeered, his closest followers doubted, but he could neither be hurried, delayed, nor swerved from the cause of right he had laid out for himself. His patience, self-possession, resources, tact, large-heartedness, and faith in God never failed him.

On January 1, 1863, President Lincoln signed the Proclamation of Emancipation, and by his stroke of the pen set four million human beings free. No wonder that in many churches in the United States, as well as in England, Christian people sang “The year of jubilee is come!”

In spite of his lack of early education, his speeches and documents are among the finest in our history. His Gettysburg address every boy should know. In his second inaugural address this sentence occurs: “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphans, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and a lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

Just as he was about to enjoy the hard-won victory of peace, an insane assassin laid low the great emancipator, “a sacrifice upon the altar of Freedom.” He died April 15, 1865, sincerely mourned by “the boys in blue” and “the boys in gray” and the States of the nation that he had saved in union.

Abraham Lincoln will always rank as one of the greatest presidents, and, as the years roll on, his place in the affection and reverence of his countrymen becomes more[Pg 260] secure. James Russell Lowell wrote this fitting tribute to him:

Our children shall behold his fame,
The kindly, earnest, brave, far-seeing man,
Sagacious, patient, dreading praise, not blame,
New birth of our new soil, the first American.


Horace Greeley was born February 11, 1811, on a small stony farm in New Hampshire, in a lonely, unpainted house. His parents were very poor, being unable to feed and clothe and educate their family of seven children, of whom Horace was the third. His mother, a bright, cheerful, laughing woman, loved to tell her children stories. When Horace was two years old he would lie on the floor and look at the words in the Bible and ask about the letters. At three he went to school, and very soon learned to read and to spell wonderfully. Before he was six he had read the Bible, “Pilgrim’s Progress,” and every book he could borrow. He would lie before the fireplace after a hard day’s work on the farm and read by the light of a pine-knot. When he went to bed, he would tell his brother what he had been reading or studying, but his brother would fall asleep while Horace was talking.

When he was thirteen the school-teacher said to Horace’s father, “Mr. Greeley, your boy knows more than I do. It is no use to send him to school any more.” He had always wanted to be a printer. One day he walked twelve miles and was given a trial in a printer’s office. He learned more in a day than most boys do in a month. The other boys joked him. They threw ink and type at him. Because Horace’s hair was light, they got the ink-ball and stained it black. Everybody looked for a fight, but he good-naturedly washed the ink from his[Pg 261] hair, and became the favorite of all. During the four years he spent learning his trade he visited his home twice, walking most of the six hundred miles each way. Later he trudged all the way on foot to New York, walking along the canal-path, and arrived there with all his clothes in a bundle carried over his back with a stick, and with but ten dollars in his pocket. Soon he started the printing of several cheap newspapers, but he lost money on each of these until, on borrowed money, he started the New York Tribune, which has been increasingly successful to the present time. His income from the Tribune was long above fifteen thousand dollars a year, frequently as much as thirty-five thousand dollars or more. Subscriptions for his paper were found in all the North from Maine to Oregon, large packages going to remote rural districts, and everywhere a personal affection for the editor was felt. In his editorials he advocated from time to time such doctrines as protective tariff, national cooperation for the elevation of labor, total abstinence from intoxicating liquors, and above all, antislavery. He was elected to Congress, and while there introduced the first bill for giving small tracts of government land free to actual settlers. He wrote books, visited Europe, and traveled through America to California. On his return he wrote, “Go West, young man!” He helped to nominate Lincoln for president, and later was himself nominated for president, being defeated by Grant by more than one-half million majority. One month after this great defeat his wife died, and soon after he was attacked with brain fever and died November 29, 1872, aged sixty-one years. Through life his personal peculiarities, careless dress, and independent manners, had brought upon him endless ridicule, but his death revealed his high position as a leader of opinion and, as Whittier called him, “our later Franklin.”

[Pg 262]


Every boy who loves out-of-door life should know the story of John James Audubon. He was born on a farm in Louisiana, May 4, 1780. His parents were French and when very young he was taken to France where he attended school. His favorite study was of animals and birds. He often roamed the woods, bringing home birds’ nests and eggs, curious rocks, and bits of moss. His father bought him a picture-book of birds. The delighted boy painted these copies, but saw they were not like real birds. Later he took lessons of the great French painter, David, who taught him to draw and paint things as they are. Returning to America, his father gave him a large farm in Pennsylvania where his studies of birds led him to decide to write a book on bird life, and illustrate it by his own drawings. This was a great task, but when this young man decided to do anything he never allowed difficulties to stand in his way. So he began his work and studied and painted year after year. He had to live much of the time in the woods, studying how the birds lived and built their nests. Sometimes he went by boat down the river; sometimes he went on horseback. Often he tramped alone through the trackless woods. Many nights he slept out-of-doors. He lost all his money and was obliged to stop his work and paint portraits and sell his choice drawings for a living. His heroic wife took up school-teaching to help him out with his work. One day while traveling he left his paintings of nearly a thousand birds in a wooden box in the home of a friend. Two months later, when he returned and opened the box, he found two large rats had got into the box and cut up all the paintings with their sharp teeth, making a nest for their young among the gnawed pieces. He said, “I will make better paintings!” It took him four long[Pg 263] years to complete his pictures, but at last the great book was completed and published and praised throughout France, England, and the United States.

The Society for the Protection of Our Feathered Friends was organized by this great naturalist, who spent the rest of his life for this great object. At present there are few places where boys and girls have not heard of Audubon. He died at his beautiful home on the Hudson River, greatly honored and beloved in France, England, and the United States.


Thomas Alva Edison, the “Wizard of Electricity,” was born in Milan, Ohio, February 11, 1847. His birthplace was located on the canal. As there were no railways, it was a very busy little place. Edison used to spend all his playtime at the shops where the canal-boats were built, learning all about the tools being used. Thus before he was seven he began to show his love of machinery. When he was seven years old his parents removed to Michigan. Edison was already well advanced in education for a boy of his age, for his mother had been his careful teacher and companion. They had read and discussed many books together, especially history, of which he was very fond. Two or three books on electricity had come into his hands and these he read with great interest. As his father was poor, it became necessary, when Thomas was eleven years of age, for him to earn his own living. He applied for a position as newsboy on the Grand Trunk Railroad, and he was soon making from four to five dollars a day. When the Civil War broke out his earnings so greatly increased that he hired another boy, and had a place fixed up in an express car, in which he placed a small printing-press and began[Pg 264] to publish a paper of his own. He gathered his news on the train and from agents on the route, often securing the latest news being telegraphed to the great papers. His papers had a good sale. Stevenson, the great English engineer, was so pleased with a copy he bought on the train, and with its editor, that he took one thousand copies, and thus the Weekly and its editor became known and quoted in England. He was reading, studying, and experimenting every moment he could get from his work. But he experimented once too often when a bottle of phosphorus was jerked out of his hand by the jolting of the train and instantly the car was in flames. The conductor helped put out the fire and then deposited the youthful inventor, with his printing-press, on the platform of the next station. This ended his laboratory on the train, but he still continued his work, and coaxed his father to let him fit up a workshop at home, where he experimented with telegraph instruments, stringing wires on trees, insulating them with old bottles, and teaching his boy friends the mystery of their use. He was anxious to learn telegraphy, which he succeeded in doing, being taught by a telegraph-operator whose little child Thomas had saved from being killed by a freight-train at the risk of his own life. He soon secured a night operator’s position, but instead of sleeping in the daytime, young Edison spent his days experimenting, and so was too sleepy at night to do his work well. He lost several night positions, but soon got day-work and continued his experiments. He went from city to city, but he cared more for the wonders of electricity than the routine of office work, though his work was always accurate. In Boston he chanced to buy Faraday’s book on electricity, and at once decided that life was short, and he had so much to do that he must hustle—and he has been hustling ever since.

[Pg 265]His first invention was an automatic repeater by which messages could be transmitted without the presence of the operator. Since then his inventions have been many and important, among them the quadruplex telegraph, the printing telegraph, the megaphone, the aerophone, the phonograph, the moving-picture machine, the storage battery, the incandescent lamp and light system, and the kinetoscope. He has received patents for more than seven hundred inventions by which daily life has been made more attractive. Thomas Alva Edison is the foremost genius of his day, and the modern magician who has made “the fairy tales of science” as fascinating as “Aladdin’s Wonderful Lamp,” or “Boots and His Brothers.”


This is the story of a boy with a magic wand who has made everything he touched more beautiful and more useful. Even when a little baby, he would hold flowers in his hands for hours, never harming them. He loved flowers best of all—better than pets or animals or playthings; better than anything else in the world except his dear mother with her loving, smiling eyes. He and his mother were chums. His father loved books, but his mother loved flowers. While Luther Burbank loved beautiful thoughts from books, like his father, the flowers, trees, and plants that his mother loved, attracted him to the fields and orchards. All the time he longed to help nature. He wondered if he could make weeds useful and make more and better potatoes grow in each hill. He planted the potato-seed ball, watched it, picked it up when the dog knocked it down and, after a great deal of work he had the delicious Burbank potato.

Then, taking the little field-daisy that he found growing[Pg 266] by the roadside, he sent to Japan for daisies from that land, and planted the two together. The bees carried the pollen from one flower to another, and after a long time there was the beautiful Shasta Daisy, which is named for Mount Shasta that is within sight of Mr. Burbank’s home.

He is the fairy godfather of the orchards, for he waves his magic wand, and year after year his trees bear finer fruit—sweeter oranges, better plums, larger apricots; and the world is richer for his work.

He teaches the men who help him his magic. They grow tender-eyed, and their fingers are quick and gentle as they plant the tiny seeds, set the tender grafts, and nurse the little frail flower-stalks. He is now a rich man, but he was not always so. When he first left his home in Massachusetts to go to California, he could get no work, and he was often hungry. At last he got a place in a hothouse doing the work he loved—tending flowers and plants. But the poor boy had no money for a room, and had to sleep in the plant-house. But this place was so damp he grew ill, and a poor woman, seeing that he was ill because he did not have the right kind of food, made him drink a pint of milk from her one cow every day. Luther was afraid he might never be able to pay her back, but when he got better and was able to work he paid the good woman for the milk.

When people saw what a wonderful boy Luther Burbank really was, he had more than he could do. He saved his money, bought a little farm, and began to invent wonderful ways of doing things. Later he bought a great nursery, where he loved to experiment with plants and berries and vegetables. He took the prickly, ugly cactus growing in the desert, scratching the hands and tearing the clothes, and caused it to shed its thorns and to put forth flowers and fruit that is good for man and[Pg 267] beast. No wonder he is called the “Fairy Godfather of the Orchards,” this man with the smiling blue eyes, loving boys and girls next after the flowers, and loving his mother best of all. What is the magic wand of the “Flower Magician”? It is “Patient Toil”!


Girls who appreciate the possibility of the higher education of women in America will hold the name of Mary Lyon in high esteem. She was born on a stony Massachusetts farm, February 28, 1797. She was not pretty, but her face was bright and intelligent, and her spirit was proud, energetic, and helpful. She loved to devise ways by which she could do the largest amount of work in the shortest time. One day she said, “Mother, I have found a way to make time.” At school she showed a wonderfully retentive memory. When Mary was still young, her father died, leaving the family quite poor. But Mary’s mother with energy, prudence, and cheerfulness, managed the little farm so as to keep her children together. Her flowers were the sweetest anywhere. She always found time to do many kind deeds for her neighbors. Struggling against poverty, Mary taught school for almost nothing; spun and wove her own clothes; and studied hard. Her friends thought her foolish to try and learn so much, saying she could never use it. But deep down in her heart she felt she was to lift the world toward the higher education of woman. So she toiled on for years amid hardship, disappointment, and opposition, for neither the men nor the women of that day approved of women being educated or speaking in public. When she solicited funds for her college her friends thought she was unwomanly and a disgrace to her sex. But her earnest, unselfish, persistent spirit won[Pg 268] friends for her cause, and on October 3, 1836, Mount Holyoke Seminary, the first school in America for the higher education of women, was founded. She was at the head of it until her death. Her influence over the young ladies was wonderful. She was firm but kind, always expecting them to do right without rules. She was greatly beloved. When she died she was buried in the seminary grounds and a beautiful marble tablet stands over her honored grave, on one side of which are the words:

Mary Lyon, the Founder of Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, and for twelve years its Principal; a Teacher for more than thirty-five years and of more than three thousand pupils. Born Feb. 28, 1797; Died March 5, 1849.

After her death a paper was found containing seven ways of wasting time, against which she guarded, as follows:

1. Indefinite musings.
2. Anticipating needlessly.
3. Needless speculations.
4. Reluctance to begin a duty.
5. Not deciding at once in doubtful cases.
6. Musing needlessly on what has been said or done, or what may be.
7. Spending time in reveries which should be spent in prayer.


Florence Nightingale was born in Florence, Italy, in 1820. She was the daughter of an English landowner, who lived on a picturesque estate in Derbyshire, and who gave her the best education she could secure from books, school, and travel. As a little girl she showed great interest in the poor and sick, and was kind to animals.[Pg 269] Even the squirrels on the lawn made friends with her. Often as she sat at her father’s table with all the good things to eat and the beautiful silver, glass, and china before her, she would think of the poor and sick who were without even an orange to quench the thirst of fever. Frequently she drove with her father’s physician into the country, taking baskets filled with dainties, often denying herself something that she might share with others. Everybody loved to have her enter the sickroom, for her unselfish and helpful nature made her a tender nurse. Until then, nurses were taken from the same class of women as ordinary domestic servants. Few realized that nursing was an art to be learned, requiring intelligence, knowledge, and skill, as well as sympathy and love. But the devotion of Florence Nightingale changed all this. She was an accomplished young lady, possessing abundant wealth. She was happy at home, a general favorite, and the center of an admiring circle. She was favored with everything that might have made her social and domestic life full of attractiveness to most young women. But she turned her back on the gay world that opened to her to tread a path that led to suffering and sorrow. She went to Germany to take training as a nurse, beginning at the very start. She learned the use of the washing-cloth, the scrubbing-brush, and the duster. For three months she was in daily and nightly attendance on the sick in the German hospital. Returning to England she gave her time, strength, and means to nursing her sisters in the Hospital for Sick Governesses in London. Here her health began to fail, and she returned home to seek the needed rest in her father’s home of wealth. But a new cry arose for help. The Crimean war was raging. There was a great want of skilled nurses to relieve the dreadful sufferings of the wounded soldiers who were lying in the hospitals. She at once offered[Pg 270] her services to her country, and was sent, with thirty-four other women nurses, reaching Russia on the day of the fearful battle of Inkerman, November 5, 1854. The hospitals were filled with sick and wounded soldiers—four thousand suffering from cholera and other horrors that war brings. Miss Nightingale met the wounded and dying with smiles and words of cheer. Many of the sick wept for joy at the first touch of a woman’s hand they had felt for years. She seemed to be everywhere, superintending the washing of their clothing, and beds, cooking their food, assisting the chaplain with his school, furnishing books for the soldiers to read, writing their letters, saving their money, or sending it to their relatives at home. How the soldiers loved her! Many of them whom she could not personally tend kissed her very shadow as it fell on their pillows, as she passed at night. They called her the “Lady of the Lamp.”

He sleeps! Who o’er his placid slumber bends?
His foes are gone; and here he hath no friends.
Is it some seraph sent to grant him grace?
No! ’Tis an earthly form with human face!

Returning to England at the close of the war she was invited to Balmoral Castle by Queen Victoria, who gave her a beautiful jewel, an emblem of her work, with the inscription, “Blessed are the Merciful,” engraved on one side, surmounted by a crown of diamonds. The English Government gave her two hundred and fifty thousand dollars, which she used in founding “The Nightingale School of Nurses” in London. The English soldiers wanted to erect a statue of her in London, and each promised to give one penny for it, thinking she could not object to a gift so small from each grateful giver; but she refused to let them do it, telling them that it would please her more if they would give the money to the hospitals.[Pg 271] She left a record of unselfish devotion to duty which has enriched the world. She died in 1910, full of years and honors.

On England’s annals, through the long
Hereafter of her speech and song,
That light its rays shall cast
From portals of the past.
A Lady with a Lamp shall stand
In the great history of the land,
A noble type of good,
Heroic womanhood.
Longfellow, “Santa Filomena”


Frances E. Willard was born in Churchville, near Rochester, N. Y. When she was two years old her family moved to Oberlin, Ohio, and when she was five, to the beautiful farm in Wisconsin, “Forest Home.” Here she spent her girlhood, working and playing in the fields with her only brother and sister Mary. Her father promised each of the children a library if they would not use coffee or tea until they were twenty-one. They gladly complied with this condition, because each of them had a great thirst for knowledge. Frances wrote stories, plays, poems, and essays at an early age, and at sixteen she won a prize for an essay on “Country Houses.” At eighteen she entered Milwaukee College, but with the removal of the family to Evanston, Ill., she entered Northwestern University, graduating with honors. She first taught a country school, then became teacher in her alma mater, then a teacher in Pittsburg Female Seminary, and later preceptress in the Genesee Wesleyan Seminary, at Lima, N. Y. After a short time of travel in Europe studying widely and writing for American magazines, she made so deep an impression in[Pg 272] an address delivered at a woman’s missionary meeting, that she was urged to become a lecturer, which she did with great success. In 1871 she was elected president of the woman’s college of her alma mater, and two years later she became dean of the college and professor of esthetics in the Northwestern University. In 1873 she gave up her college work to organize the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union of America, and to begin her twelve years’ campaign with lectures before four thousand audiences. She was largely instrumental in securing the enactment of laws in many States of the Union to introduce physiological temperance and the scientific study of stimulants and narcotics into the curriculum of the public schools. For years she was misunderstood; often bitterly criticized, despised, and scorned. But at last she triumphed! Distinguished philanthropists, reformers, and citizens of England assembled in the City Temple of London to give her a reception, and heaped upon her the highest honors, which she modestly received in the name of the women of America. Beginning with nothing, in twenty years, single-handed, this noble woman organized the women of her country into a vast army that extends to village and city, and State and nation, and to foreign lands, with vast equipment of more than sixty departments and methods of activity for public agitation, a system of temperance journals for children and youth for securing instruction in the public schools upon the nature of stimulants. It is said Frances Willard was a woman without a fault. Not only in temperance, but in every good work, did she work for the redemption of humanity. In an article to girls, she wrote: “Keep to your specialty, whether it is raising turnips, or painting screens or battle scenes, studying political economy or domestic receipts. Have a resolute aim. If I were asked the mission of the[Pg 273] ideal woman, I would reply, ‘It is to make the whole world homelike!’”


David Livingstone was born in Blantyre, Scotland, March 19, 1813. His father was a traveling tea-merchant who often acted as a colporter, distributing tracts, and showing a true missionary spirit. His mother was an active, sunny, loving woman. His home, enriched by little beyond the bare necessities of life, was happy and brightened by industry, cheerfulness, love for one another, and faith in God. He was a good boy to his mother, often helping her sweep and even scrub, “if she would bolt the door so none of the boys would see him,” because in Scotland it was thought beneath a man’s dignity to “help the women-folk.” It was the proud boast of his mother that in his sweeping, “he even swept under the door-mat.” He loved to climb the hills of beautiful Scotland, gathering wildflowers, curious stones, and mineral specimens. One day he climbed the highest tower in the ruins of Bothwell Castle and carved his name above those of the other boys. When he was ten he was sent to work as a piecer in a cotton-factory. With a part of his first week’s wages he purchased a Latin grammar. Although working from six in the morning until eight at night, he attended night-school from eight to ten, learning Latin and the sciences. At the age of sixteen he was familiar with Virgil and Horace and other classical authors. In his thirst for knowledge he placed his book on the spinning-jenny where he could read it as he walked back and forth at his work. When he was nineteen he gave up his work in the winter months to attend Glasgow University, where he studied Greek, medicine, and theology. He became deeply interested in[Pg 274] missionary work and desired to go to China, but Dr. Robert Moffat persuaded him to go to Africa by telling him that “on a clear morning could be seen the smoke of a thousand villages where no missionary had ever been.” So, in December, 1840, he began the long, five-months’ trip to the far-off African coast, studying the stars and taking observations by them, which experience was of great value to him later when in Africa he was deserted by his guides and had to blaze his own trail. He traveled inland, first learning the language and then preaching, healing, and teaching. In the forest one day he shot at a lion which sprang upon him, caught him by the shoulder, shook him as a terrier dog does a rat, crushed his arm, and would have ended his life at once if one of the natives had not appeared and quickly shot the lion dead. In 1844 David Livingstone married the daughter of Doctor Moffat. He went back to Scotland several times, where he wrote many books, one of which made him rich; but he used his wealth in further work of discovery and the suppression of the slave-trade. In 1863 he set out on his long search for the source of the Nile, and for seven long years amid sufferings, massacres, atrocities, disappointments, he traveled through the jungles of the black continent, until one day, in 1871, Henry M. Stanley, sent out by the New York Herald, appeared, “almost as an angel from heaven.” Stanley, who lived with him in the same house, boat, and tent for four months, said, “I never found a fault in him.” Stanley urged him to return, but Livingstone felt his task was unfinished, and so plunged again into the work, writing to the New York Herald: “All I can add in my loneliness is, may heaven’s rich blessing come down on every one, American, English, or Turk, who will help to heal the open sore of the world”—meaning the awful slave-traffic. Not long after, an attack of pneumonia made[Pg 275] him so weak that he had to be carried to a hut, where his servants left him for the night. About four o’clock in the morning the boy who lay at the door keeping watch called in alarm. By the light of the candle still burning they saw him upon his knees by his bedside, as if in prayer. Then they knew that he had gone on his last journey, and without a single attendant. Lovingly his devoted servants embalmed his body and sent it to England to be buried in Westminster Abbey with the great of the earth. But his heart they buried by Lake Banguilo, in the land for whose people he had toiled so long, and for whom he gave up his life. On April 18, 1874, the great missionary-explorer was laid in his grave in Westminster Abbey, with sorrow and yet with rejoicing, for they knew well that his life had not been lived in vain.

Open the abbey doors and bear him in
To sleep with king and statesman, chief and sage—
The missionary, come of weaver kin,
But great by work that brooks no lower wage.
He needs no epitaph to guard a name
Which men shall prize while worthy work is known;
He lived and died for good—be that his fame;
Let marble crumble—this is Living-stone!


The life-story of Charles Haddon Spurgeon is an epic of accomplishment. The eldest of a family of seventeen children—a true Rooseveltian family—he was born June 19, 1834, to Rev. John Spurgeon, minister of the Congregational Church at Kilvedon, Essex County, England, and his wife, formerly Miss Jarvis. Both parents were earnest, devout, intellectual people who gave their children[Pg 276] all that was possible to provide on a very small salary. At an early age he went to live in the home of his grandfather, also a Congregational minister. One day a visiting minister, struck with the boy’s ability and character, said, “This lad will preach the gospel to thousands.” Having received a good education at a private academy at Colchester, at fifteen he became an assistant school-teacher. One Sunday, when he was sixteen, he visited a little Methodist church and heard a sermon on the text, “Look unto me and be ye saved.” This sermon led to his conversion. He said, “I had been waiting to do fifty things, but when I heard the word ‘Look!’ what a charming word it seemed to me.” At seventeen he became a teacher in a classical school in Cambridge, and was often in demand for addresses to Sunday-school children. At eighteen he was known as the “boy preacher,” and became minister of the Baptist Church at Waterbeach, five miles from Cambridge, on an annual salary of two hundred dollars. This young school-teacher also preached at thirteen village stations maintained by his little church. An address at a Sunday-school anniversary was heard by a stranger, who was so much impressed by it that he recommended this young man as the pastor of a famous Baptist church in London, to which he was called at the age of nineteen. He was so eloquent, persuasive, straightforward, that he won the hearts of his hearers, and soon all London and England was talking of the youthful Whitefield. Within a year the church building had to be enlarged and overflowing congregations came to hear him in the great Exeter Hall. Then the enlarged church proved much too small to accommodate the crowds who flocked to hear him. The Music Hall of Surrey Gardens, an immense building, was rented, and it was a common thing for him to preach to ten thousand people at one service. He was[Pg 277] ridiculed and caricatured in merciless ways by newspapers, ministers, and others, but his motto was, “Drive On! Drive On!” And in his simple and earnest preaching he drove on. In 1861 the great, classic Metropolitan Tabernacle was opened for services. It cost one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, and seats five thousand five hundred persons, with standing room for almost one thousand more. For thirty years, or until his death, he preached in the great building with every seat and all the available standing-room occupied. His congregation included all classes—professional men, tradesmen, dock-hands, soldiers in their bright-red uniforms, men and women of title, the poor outcast with the shawl over her head, the blear-eyed drunkard, Chinamen and bronzed Indiamen, and visitors from America and other lands—all hanging on the words of this most popular preacher of the world. In appearance he was not a prepossessing man. He was below the medium height, stout, his short hair brushed back from a low forehead, small eyes, heavy lips, fat cheeks hanging over a heavy jaw fringed with a short beard. He looked like a plain, every-day business man. Instead of a white cravat he wore a little black tie. His voice was remarkable for its sweetness and purity, as well as its penetrating power. His language was simple, but a massive grandeur accompanied his simplicity of speech, which captivated every listener. There was also a peculiar directness of address that made every hearer feel that he was the person spoken to as a member of a family entering into confidence with the father of the household. Besides being “England’s greatest preacher,” as an archdeacon of Saint Paul’s Cathedral called him, he was a great philanthropist, commentator, administrator, lecturer, and writer. An orphanage for boys was begun in 1867, and one for girls in 1880, at Stockwell, London. In these orphanages five or six hundred father-less[Pg 278] children, from six to ten years, find a comfortable home and training until they are fourteen. People of wealth entrusted to him large gifts of money for this philanthropic work, because they had perfect confidence in whatever he undertook. He built a Pastor’s College, where poor young men could receive proper training for their work as ministers or missionaries. He also edited a monthly magazine, “The Sword and Trowel”; wrote commentaries; organized a colportage association; and encouraged his wife’s “Book Fund” to provide free gifts of books for poor pastors. He wrote and published thirty-seven volumes of sermons and numberless tracts. He loved to give away Bibles. He was beloved by all denominations, and his sermons and other works, read and admired by all classes, have been translated into many foreign tongues. He was very happy in his home life with his charming wife and twin sons, who became preachers. “That word ‘home,’” he used to say, “rings like a peal of wedding bells, only more sweet and low, and it chimes deeper into the ear of the heart.” After a short illness, this great preacher and philanthropist died, at the age of only fifty-eight. That wonderful voice, which for more than forty years had swayed great multitudes with its fervid eloquence, was heard by a few listeners to say, faint and low, and almost inarticulate, “I have finished my course. I have kept the faith.” These words were inscribed on his coffin of olive-wood, the wood itself symbolic of peace.


Where the bitter winds of the north Atlantic sweep over the coast of Labrador, and the giant icebergs slowly sail in their opalescent majesty through the waters of the ocean, like phantom ships or dream palaces, lies a country[Pg 279] inhabited by very poor fisherfolk, who depend upon the scanty harvests gathered from the waters for their living. When the “catch” is poor there is much suffering, and the children are clothed and fed more poorly than usual. The warm, bright days are few, and there are no swimming holes or long, delightful summer vacations and picnics for boys and girls.

Far away in merry England under its soft and sunny skies, a boy was born in 1865—Wilfred T. Grenfell. When he became a young medical student he heard Dwight L. Moody, the great American evangelist, so interpret the old, old story of Jesus in terms of loving service for others, that he resolved to devote his life to the poor and desolate. With such a vision of love the young physician left his home and friends, and sailed away up into the North Sea among the poor fishermen, where there were no doctors to cure them when they were ill or set their broken bones when the cruel sea dashed them upon the rocks. Later, when others came to help, Doctor Grenfell decided to go where no one else cared to go. He again sailed away, this time to Labrador and the coast of Newfoundland. How cheerless and desolate that country appears, how far away from England and America! Think of the coldest day and bitterest storm you ever knew, and that is what Doctor Grenfell found when he arrived, all alone, and where he has worked so long and hard to make life happier and to help the poor Eskimos understand something of the unselfish love of the Christ-life, which is his ideal. He found them ignorant, poor, and miserable. When they were ill there was no one to help. When they fell over the mountain spurs and broke their bones, they must die or be crippled for life, for no one knew how to put the bones in place. Along three thousand miles of coast this good man goes in summer in his little steamboat,[Pg 280] fighting the cruel waves, dodging the icebergs, always in peril, but never caring as long as he can reach the sick and ease their pain and suffering. In winter the water is frozen, and he must take his long, perilous journey by sledge. With his teams of dogs hitched to his stout sledge “Lend-a-hand,” he drives over those snow-covered fields where there are only tall poles set up to mark a trail, often being lost in the storms or breaking through the ice into the waters of half-frozen streams, or being dashed over the side of the steep path, or being buried under an avalanche of snow from which he must dig himself and his dogs out. But he is never discouraged. With a keen sense of humor he sees the funny side of things and in those cheerless, miserable homes he laughs and tells his experiences, plays with the little ones, and makes every one around him happy. He is Santa Claus to the children, and “Good Samaritan” to the man by the wayside. Often “Lend-a-hand” is his only bed, for although the dogs are trained to watch for the poles set to mark the path, they sometimes miss them in the storm, and stray from the trail, and then Doctor Grenfell turns his sledge up on the side, digs a hole in the snow, lights a fire, and crawls into his sleeping-bag and spends the night out-of-doors, while the dogs dig a place in the snow for themselves, to wait for the morning light to help them to find the lost trail. Through Doctor Grenfell a hospital has been erected on the coast, where trained physicians and nurses care for the poor people who are shipwrecked or who can be taken away from their wretched homes to be cared for. Do you wonder that the people love this bright, cheerful Englishman, with the endurance of a man and the tenderness of a woman, who is translating his life into love, and trying to follow John Wesley’s golden advice in the simple familiar lines?

[Pg 281]

Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.


Rarely in the history of the world have two great brothers been linked as closely together as Wilbur and Orville Wright, the pioneers in aviation. Four years different in age, they grew up together, studied, experimented, invented, and dared together. Each has an equal claim to be called the creator of the aeroplane, the Edison of the air, the dean of birdmen, and even “the first man to fly.” Wilbur may have been the first actually to rise from the earth in an engine-driven, “heavier-than-air” aeroplane, but neither of the brothers would ever make a positive statement about it. They always spoke of themselves as “Wright Brothers,” or “We.” Wilbur was born near Millville, Ind., April 16, 1867; Orville, in Dayton, Ohio, August 19, 1871. Their father was a cultured bishop of the United Brethren Church, and their mother was a college graduate. Both boys graduated from the Dayton public school and high school, after which they became printers and bicycle dealers in a dingy, common-place little brick shop. Here fame found them. They had no idea of flying until 1896, when they read the newspaper report of the death of Otto Lillienthal, who, after he had made over two thousand gliding flights in the air, met his death by a fall. In 1900 they became intensely interested in the experiments with air-gliders then carried on by Professor Langley, Octave Chanute, and others. On a country road outside of Dayton they began to fly[Pg 282] kites and gliders equipped with an ingenious motive-power method of control. After this they went to Kitty Hawk, N. C., where a number of sand-dunes made a suitable place to glide from against the strong, steady winds that they found necessary for their gliding tests. They studied birds in flight and found that, in reality, a bird is an aeroplane. The part of the wings nearest to the body support it in the air, leaving the more flexible portion at the extremities to flap up and down and act as propellers. By gliding experiments they also found that the air along the surface of the earth is continually undergoing a churning movement, every building, hill, and tree sending up its air wave. In 1903 they made their first real flight of twelve seconds with their twelve horsepower aeroplane; in 1904 they increased their flight from one to five minutes; and in 1905 they made a hundred and fifty flights, making twenty-four miles through the air in thirty-eight minutes. Desiring some government to purchase their invention, they offered it to France, only to be refused. But two years later Wilbur sailed for France, where he was so successful in flights that the French Government paid him one hundred thousand dollars; and in Italy and Germany many private sales were made. Meanwhile Orville was flying his aeroplane at Fort Meyer in the United States, where he succeeded in selling a machine to the United States Government for thirty thousand dollars. In one of his flights Orville received a fall, which broke his thigh and caused the death of Lieutenant Selfridge, the first victim of power-driven aeroplanes. How both brothers ever lived through their early flights is a matter of wonder. A part of the explanation is to be found in their character. They proved their scientific theories to the last point. They were always courageous, never reckless. Unstinted praise should be given them because they have been a conservative[Pg 283] influence in the field of aviation. By precept, example, and command, when they could command, they fought against the recklessness of performers who have dared death in unnecessary feats to thrill spectators at a show. Neither in America nor in Europe did either of them make one curve or flight for sensational effect. It seems strange that Wilbur should have died in his bed of typhoid fever, and not have met his death from a fall. He died in the height of his inventive genius and glory, leaving his brother Orville to continue the work alone. He left a large estate as the result of their joint invention. But best of all, he left an unsullied name. Simple, honest, unaffected, devoted to his art, he lived, worked, and died as becomes a true man. He was always gentle and modest, as is his brother. The things he had done never seemed much to him on account of the things he intended to do. In the record of American inventions there is no more brilliant chapter than the story of their marvelous conquest of the air, and no matter what the future may hold in store, the name and fame of the Wright Brothers will live with those of Watts, Stephenson, Howe, Arkwright, Fulton, and Edison.

There is no chance, no destiny, no fate,
Can circumvent, or hinder, or control
The firm resolve of a determined soul,
Gifts count for nothing; will alone is great;
All things give way before it soon or late.
What obstacle can stay the mighty force
Of the sea-seeking river in its course,
Or cause the ascending orb of day to wait?
Each well-born soul must win what it deserves.
Let the fool prate of luck. The fortunate
Is he whose earnest purpose never swerves,
Whose slightest action or inaction serves
The one great aim.
Why, even death stands still
And waits an hour, sometimes, for such a will.

[Pg 284]


Among the “girls who became useful,” none can take a higher rank than Jane Addams, the founder of “Hull House,” a center which radiates love and good will into the great city of Chicago. This “Palace of a Thousand Joys” is a little city of refuge for the homeless and hopeless, for the man without work, for the overworked mother whose fretful children can be left to the gentle care of the sweet-voiced helpers of Miss Addams, for the discouraged mill-girl and factory-hand, for the old and young of that bustling city.

Miss Addams was born in a home of plenty in Cedarville, Ill., where her happy childhood was passed without knowing poverty, as she played with her brother in the free out-of-doors that should be the heritage of every boy and girl in America. She was not strong, as her spine was weak, and she had to carry her head on one side. This was a great sorrow to her, for she was afraid her father, a large, handsome man, would be ashamed of his plain, crooked girl. But she found her father was all the more tender to his frail child. He talked lovingly to her of the equality of all, of the rich and poor, and taught her that the duty of the rich was to help make life happier for the poor. In this teaching of her wise, loving father, was laid the foundation of the life-work of this “Little Sister of the Poor.” She was so sensitive that once when she had told an untruth she could not sleep until she had confessed her fault to her father, who said: “I am glad if I have a little daughter who must tell lies, that she cannot sleep afterward.”

She attended the village school until she went to Rockford to a seminary, from which she graduated. Afterward she went to Europe several times, visiting all the great art-galleries. While in London she went to the[Pg 285] East Side, where the poorest of England’s poor live. She was greatly grieved by the sight of tiny children, half-starved, with old, wizened faces, toiling from morning until night in the mills and factories, with never a day to play in the green fields, chasing the butterflies and gathering wildflowers. In America she saw things that made her sad—poverty, vice, and sorrow; little children and weak women with tasks too heavy for them, and with no time for pleasure or improvement. So when she was traveling in Spain for pleasure, she suddenly resolved to devote the rest of her life to helping the poor of her own land. Returning to Chicago, she and her friend, Miss Starr, took an old house that had once been a handsome home, but was now in the midst of the poorest part of the city. They fitted it up with comfortable furniture, hung beautiful pictures brought from Europe on the walls, and began the work among Chicago’s poor that has resulted in the celebrated settlement of Hull House. They provided a day-nursery where little children could be cared for while their mothers were at work; reading clubs for boys and girls; sewing clubs; a gymnasium; an art school and kindergarten; entertainments for the children and their fathers and mothers. Every one is welcome to this bright, cheerful home, full of love and good will for each and all. The Polish, Italian, and Jewish children mingle freely together. No creed is thought of save the creed of Jesus, “A new commandment I give unto you, Love one another.” The children are told stories, given care when ill, and help at all times, so that, in the eyes of the world, “Hull House” and “Jane Addams” now stand together for all that is best and most helpful in philanthropy and settlement work.

Miss Addams’ service does not cease at the door of Hull House. She goes about the country talking to thousands of people in the interests of better laws for[Pg 286] children and better wages for women and girls. Do you wonder that this useful woman is known by the gentle title of “Kind Heart”?


No fairy tale can be more marvelous than the story of Helen Keller, the wonderful heroine who overcame insurmountable obstacles before she could find her way to mingle with her fellow men and attain her place in the world’s work.



Until she was almost a year old Helen was like other babies—only brighter. She talked when she was six months old, walked as early as one year, and seemed interested in everything her baby eyes saw, and her ears heard. But a serious illness fell upon this bright little baby girl, and she was not expected to live. When at last she was out of danger the light had gone from her beautiful eyes, her tiny ears could not hear the tender crooning of her mother’s voice, and her little tongue was still. In darkness and silence she must pass her days, as if some wicked fairy, had suddenly stolen the greatest treasures of her life. At first she would lie in her mother’s lap, as she had done while she was ill, but as she grew older she learned to play with her little colored girl, Martha Washington, who went everywhere with her. She was also fond of her little dog Belle. She hunted eggs with Martha and Belle, through the tall grass, where the nests of the guinea-hens were, and she always wanted to carry the eggs herself for fear Martha might fall and break them. When she wished to go on an egg-hunt she would double up her hands and stoop down, as if she were feeling for something. She nodded her head for “yes,” shook it for “no,” and shivered for cold, but she would often become angry because she could not make[Pg 287] herself understood by any one, and had to live in her dungeon of darkness with all the beautiful things of life shut out. She grew so unhappy in her loneliness that her parents took her to a great specialist to learn if anything could be done to restore her sight, speech, or hearing, but all was hopeless. Dr. Graham Bell, of Washington, told them what was being done for the blind, deaf, and dumb children in Boston, in the school for the blind under Doctor Anagnos. He secured a special teacher, Miss Anne Sullivan, who went to live with the little “shut-in” girl in her home in Tuscumbia, Ala. With infinite patience the teacher taught Helen the sign-language, first spelling the words for things in the little hand. Helen thought this was a new kind of game, but one day when at the pump the teacher held Helen’s hand under the spout and spelled w-a-t-e-r as the water poured over her hand, then Helen knew she was being taught the meaning of words. From that moment she learned very fast. Then she learned to touch the lips of the speaker, with her sensitive finger-tips, and she understood what was said. So Helen Keller came out of her house of bondage into the wonderful world of knowledge and delight. She could “feel” things. She could express herself. Others could understand her. She could tell the color of a flower she held. She learned the blind alphabet, she went to Perkins Institute for the Blind where she learned to read many books in the blind language. At last she learned to speak. Then she resolved to go to college. At length she entered Radcliffe College in Cambridge, Mass., where she studied and listened to the lectures by having some one who could hear spell the lecture out into her hand. She learned, to use the typewriter and make out her lessons. At nineteen, when she entered college, she had accomplished what many girls of that age, in possession of all their senses, have not accomplished.[Pg 288] She wrote a book of her life which was published and brought her a great deal of money. She was a general favorite among her schoolmates. She enjoyed her life, and was bright, happy, and gay; having no consciousness of being in any way handicapped. She was fond of fun, and laughed heartily at the funny side of things. She went to the seashore, having pleasant times in bathing. Although still shut away in blindness and in deafness, she lives a courageous life of usefulness in a wonderful degree, and often entertains audiences by the story of her life. Miss Sullivan is married, but still lives with her and loves her as when she was a little girl who depended on her for everything worth having in life.

Helen Keller, this ambitious, brilliant girl who can neither see nor hear, has been likened to Napoleon Bonaparte in her ability to overcome insurmountable obstacles and attain the pinnacle of success through the exercise of an indomitable will-power and the cooperation of those who loved and admired the spirit and ambition of her, whom Mark Twain called the “Marvel of the Twentieth Century,” and of whom Edmund Clarence Stedman sang:

Mute, sightless visitant,
From what uncharted world
Hast voyaged into life’s wide sea
With guidance scant?
As if some bark mysteriously
Should hither glide with spars aslant
And sails all furled.

[Pg 289]


Addams, Jane, Settlement Worker284
Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp60
Alcott, Louisa May, Author252
America, How, Was Found200
America, How, Was Named201
Androcles and the Lion184
Ant, The, and the Grasshopper71
Arrow-boy, The, and the Two Friends135
Audubon, Naturalist262
Babies, The, and the Wise Judge137
Baby Brother, The, in a Basket-boat128
Bear, Why the, Has a Stumpy Tail77
Bell, The, of Justice190
Blind Men, The, and the Elephant70
Bonheur, Rosa, Painter253
Boone and His Swing223
Boots and His Brothers63
Boston Tea Party, The213
Boy, The, and the Echo72
Boy, The, and the Mad Dog242
Boy, The, and the Nuts66
Boy, The, and the Train242
Boy, The, Who Hated Trees103
Boy, The, Who Lived in a Church130
Boy, The, With His Lunch164
Boy Hero, The, of Holland233
Boys, The, and the Frogs67
Boys, Why, Take off Their Hats in Church129
Bride, The, Worth Her Weight in Silver210
Brothers, The First Two117
Bruce and the Spider187
Burbank, Fairy Godfather of the Orchards265
Camel, The Lost106
Camel, The, in the Tent72
Christmas Day, The First150
Christmas Gift, The112
Christmas Tree, The Legend of114
Cloud, The94
Cobwebs, The Golden113
College Boys, Four, Who Kept Strong143
College, The First, in America212
Cornelia and Her Jewels185
Coyote, The, and the Indian Fire-bringer88
Cripple, The, at the Beautiful Gate174
Crow, The, and the Pitcher68
Damon and Pythias183
Darling, Grace237
Daughter, The, Who Honored Her Mother131
Diamonds and Toads51
Dick Whittington and His Cat101
Dog, The, in the Manger66
Dove, The, and the Ant67
Duckling, The Ugly90
Dwarf, The, in the Mulberry Tree166
Earthquake, The Japanese and the235
Easter Day, The First172
Edison, Wizard of Electricity263
Elephant, The, and the Tailor105
Emperor, The, and the Bird’s Nest193
Emperor, The, and the Goose-boy195
Emperor, The, and the School Children196
Evangeline and the Burning of Acadia211
Face, The Great Stone95
Fir Tree, The109
Flood, The, and the Rainbow119
Fourth of July, The First217
Fox, The, and the Grapes67
Fox, The, Without a Tail71
Friend, The Children’s161
Friends, Four, in the Fiery Furnace144
Frog King, The52
Garibaldi and the Lost Lamb240
Girl, The, and Her Red Petticoat243
Girl, The Obliging, at the Well122
Girl, The, Who Knew She Was Right175
Girl, Tired of Being a Little105
Gladstone and the Street-sweeper239
Golden Goose, The49
Goldilocks and the Three Bears55
Goose With the Golden Eggs66
Grasshopper, The Conceited70
Greeley, Horace, Editor260
Grenfell, Medical Missionary278
Hale, Nathan215
Hare, The, and the Tortoise69
Hen, The Little Red48
Heroine, The, of Gettysburg225
Heroine, The, of North Carolina219
Heroine, The, of Ohio221
Hobson and the Merrimac226
[Pg 290]Home, How a Happy, Was Lost116
Horatius at the Bridge182
Hovenden and the Little Boy241
Inchcape Bell, The187
Indians’ Gunpowder Harvest205
Jack and the Bean-stalk58
Jack the Giant-killer59
Jesus, When, Left His Carpenter Shop157
Jesus, When, Was a Boy152
Jesus, When, Was Forsaken171
Jesus, When, Was Lost155
Jesus, When, Won His Great Victory159
Keller, Helen, Marvel286
King Alfred and the Cakes186
King, The Little Boy138
King, The, of the Golden River91
King, The, With the Basin and the Towel170
Kit Carson and the Bears224
Ladder, The, that Reached to Heaven124
Larks, The, in the Wheat-field74
Lincoln, Abraham, and the Pig239
Lincoln, Emancipation President257
Lind, Jenny, Singer255
Lion, The, and the Fox69
Lion, The, and the Mouse74
“Little Ten Minutes”198
Livingstone, Missionary-Explorer273
Longfellow, Poet246
Lost Colony, The203
Love, Where, Is, God Is98
Lyon, Mary, Educator267
Maid, The, Awakened162
Man, The, in the Moon78
Man, The, Who First Sailed Around the World202
Man, The, Who Was Not Afraid to Pray146
Man, The, Who Wrote “America”230
Mayflower, The, and the Pilgrims206
Miller, The, and His Donkey75
Monkey, The, and the Cats73
Mozart, Musician248
Napoleon and the Drummer-boy191
Neighbor, The Good167
Newsboy, The, of Gary244
Nightingale, Florence, Nurse268
Ole Bull, Violinist250
Patriot, The German, and the Barley-fields234
Patriot, The Swiss, and the Spears194
Paul Revere’s Ride214
Persian, The, and His Sons76
Phaethon’s Wonderful Ride80
Piper, The Pied100
Prince, The Little Lame136
Prince, The, Who Hated Spiders and Flies104
Prisoner, The, and the Shipwreck177
Prometheus, The Greek Fire-giver79
Putnam and the Wolf223
Raleigh, Sir Walter188
Rebecca and the Snake209
Red Ridinghood54
Reed, General, and the Bribe217
Robin’s Breast, Why the, is Red77
Ross, Betsy, and the Flag228
Runaway Pancake, The47
Saint Christopher108
Saint George and the Dragon84
Saint Patrick and the Snakes86
Scepter, The Golden, in the Palace of the Lily147
Servant, The Russian236
Shepherd Boy, The, and the Wolf68
Shepherd Boy, The, Who Slew a Giant133
Sidney, Sir Philip189
Slave-boy, The, Who Became a Prince126
Slave-girl, The, Who Helped a Great Captain141
Slave, The, Who Ran Away from His Master179
Sleeping Beauty, The56
Spurgeon, Preacher275
Storm-king, The169
Story, The, Without an End107
Sunflower, The Story of the81
Surveyor, The, and the Little Boy238
Thanksgiving Day, The First207
Toadstool, The, and the Acorn67
Tolstoy’s Daughter and the Peasant Boy197
Tom, the Chimney-sweep96
Touch, The Golden82
Trick, One Good70
Uncle, The Generous, and the Selfish Nephew121
Washington’s Christmas Victory218
Willard, Frances E., Reformer271
Wind, The, and the Sun68
Wise Men, The, and the Star151
Woman, The, Who Shared Her Last Loaf139
World, How the, Was Made115
Wright Brothers, Aviators281
Wrists, The, Bound With the Red Thread197

[Pg 291]


Roman numerals refer to chapters of stories, and Arabic numerals refer to the number of story in the chapter. By this reference a story illustrating any ethical principle desired may be readily found. The pages on which the chapters of stories occur may readily be found by turning to the Table of Contents in front of book.

Accuracy: II. 11, 13, 15; IV. 13; VIII. 15; IX. 2; XI. 18.

Achievement: I. 11; II. 13; III. 8, 9, 10; IV. 8; VI. 8, 13, 23; VIII. 6, 15; IX. 1, 12, 14, 15, 17; X. 1-14; XI. 1-20.

Adversity, action in: III. 8, 9, 10; IV. 1; VI. 12, 23; VII. 11, 12, 13; IX. 1, 4-8, 11, 13-16, 18, 19, 20, 24; X. 1-14; XI. 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20.

Agreeableness: II. 18, 23; IV. 2; V. 3, 5; VI. 5, 6, 12, 18; VII. 3, 7; VIII. 15, 16, 17; IX. 9, 10; X. 2, 7, 8, 14; XI. 1, 3.

Aim: II. 22; III. 8, 9, 10; VIII. 6, 11; IX. 1, 3; XI. 1-20.

Altruism: I. 1, 3, 4, 8, 10; II. 6, 21, 24; III. 2, 4, 8, 9, 10; IV. 2, 3, 6; V. 1; VI. 12, 18, 23; VII. 5, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16; VIII. 1-3, 8, 9, 14, 17; IX. 1, 5, 9, 14-21, 24, 25; X. 1-14; XI. 1-20.

Ambition: I. 10-12; II. 4, 9, 12; III. 8-10; IV. 2, 4, 8; V. 1; VI. 5, 8, 12, 13, 21, 23; VII. 3, 5, 13, 16; VIII. 11, 16; IX. 1, 15, 16; X. 3, 10, 14; XI. 1-20.

Anger: III. 9; IV. 2, 6, 7; VI. 3, 5; VIII. 5, 17; IX. 19.

Art, love of: IV. 4; V. 2, 4; VIII. 4; IX. 19, 26; X. 10; XI. 5.

Artfulness: II. 17, 19; IV. 14; VI. 16; IX. 6.

Attention: I. 12; II. 11, 19, 22; IV. 13; VII. 2, 18; IX. 1.

Beauty of character: II. 24; III. 8; IV. 1, 4; V. 5; VI. 5, 6, 11, 12, 15, 18-20, 22; VII. 3-19; VIII. 4, 9; IX. 5, 15, 16, 24, 27; X. 3-14; XI. 1-20.

Boasting: II. 12-14; VIII. 4, 7; IX. 19.

Brotherliness: II. 24; IV. 2, 5; VI. 5, 7, 12; VII. 3, 11, 13; VIII. 9, 17; IX. 5; X. 12; XI. 18.

Carefulness: I. 11; III. 10, 15; VI. 20; VIII. 13.

Carelessness: I. 8; III. 1; IV. 2, 6; V. 5; VI. 3, 5; VII. 9, 11, 16; VIII. 5, 7, 9, 19; X. 2, 3, 8, 14; XI. 3, 5, 6, 16, 19.

Chivalry: II. 24; III. 8; VIII. 8, 17.

Cleanliness: IV. 5; V. 4; VII. 3.

Complaining: II. 18; IV. 9, 11; V. 2.

Conceit: II. 14; VIII. 7.

Constancy: II. 12; III. 6; VI. 12, 14; VII. 3, 17; VIII. 2: IX. 24.

Contentment: IV. 1, 11; V. 3; VIII. 4, 9.

Courage: I. 10; III. 8-10; VI. 6, 13, 20, 21, 23; VIII. 11, 14, 18; IX. 1, 5, 7, 13-25; X. 1, 4.

Courtesy: II. 18; V. 5; VI. 5, 6, 12, 20; VII. 15; VIII. 8, 9, 16, 17; IX. 5, 18, 19; X. 14.

Cruelty to animals: II. 5; IV. 10, 12; VII. 10.

Cruelty to others: II. 3, 10, 18; III. 2; IV. 1, 2, 5, 8; VI. 3, 16, 17, 22, 23; VII. 10, 11, 14.

Curiosity: IV. 2, 13; VI. 2; IX. 1.

Day-dreaming: I. 12; III. 10; IV. 2, 4-6, 8; VI. 8; VII. 3-5; IX. 1.

Deceit: III. 1; IV. 7; VI. 7.

Decision: VI. 12, 20, 23; VII. 6; VIII. 6; IX. 1, 3, 14.

Determination: III. 8, 9; VIII. 11; IX. 15, 20.

Discontent: I. 1; IV. 1, 9; V. 2; VI. 2.

Dishonor: IV. 2; VIII. 7; IX. 6, 19.

Disobedience: I. 6, 7; III. 3, 5; VI. 2-4.

Earnestness: III. 8, 9; IV. 4; IX. 1, 14.

Education, desire for: I. 12; II. 15; VI. 20; VII. 3, 4; VIII. 15, 16; IX. 12, 27; X. 11; XI. 4, 7, 8, 10, 12, 14, 15, 20.

Energy: see Aim, Ambition, Achievement, Determination.

Exaggeration, folly of: II. 13; IV. 9, 10.

Fairness: IV. 1; VI. 5; VIII. 17; IX. 6. See also Justice.

Faith: see Loyalty to faith.

Fear, good and bad: I. 2, 5-7, 9; II. 11, 20; III. 8, 9; IV. 1; VI. 3, 9.[Pg 292]

Fidelity: II. 24; VI. 21; VIII. 11. See also Loyalty, Constancy.

Forethought: II. 11, 16; III. 4, 10; IV. 10; VIII. 8, 13; IX. 10, 20. See Thoughtfulness, Watchfulness.

Forgetfulness: see Neglect, Thoughtlessness.

Forgiveness: II. 24; IV. 6; VI. 5, 8; VII. 14, 19; VIII. 5, 17; IX. 5.

Friendship: III. 6, 10; VI. 5, 12, 14, 15; VII. 19; VIII. 2; XI. 20.

Fun, good and bad: I. 3; II. 5, 10-12, 14, 17; III. 5, 7; IV. 5, 11, 14; VII. 3, 9; VIII. 11, 15-17; IX. 6, 9, 10.

Generosity: II. 24; IV. 6; V. 5; VI. 5, 12; VII. 11; VIII. 8.

Gentleness: II. 9; III. 8, 9; IV. 4; VI. 12; VII. 11, 12; VIII. 5, 12, 13, 16.

Giving: see Altruism, Kindness, Generosity, Self-sacrifice.

Golden Rule, regard for: II. 5, 6; IV. 2, 6; V. 5; VI. 5; VII. 11.

Good humor: see Agreeableness.

Good manners: IV. 1, 12; VI. 5, 6, 20; VII. 3, 13; VIII. 5, 8, 16, 17.

Gratitude: I. 10, 12; II. 6; III. 8; VI. 15, 19; VII. 2, 8, 10; VIII. 2, 3; IX. 8.

Greediness: II. 1, 2; III. 7; IV. 2; VI. 5; VIII. 10; IX. 6. See Selfishness.

Habits, power of good and bad: I. 6, 7, 9, 12; II. 10, 17, 18; VI. 20, 22; VII. 3; VIII. 17; IX. 16; XI. 1.

Happiness: III. 7; IV. 1, 2, 11; V. 2; VI. 1; VIII. 4.

Hatred, bad results of: IV. 2, 9; VI. 3, 22, 23; VIII. 7, 17.

Healthfulness, how gained: IV. 5; VI. 20; VII. 3; IX. 8.

Helpfulness: II. 21; III. 2, 4, 8-10; IV. 2, 3, 9, 10; VI. 12, 14, 18; VII. 9, 12; VIII. 15, 17; IX. 5; XI. 1-20. See also Altruism.

Home, love for: III. 7; V. 5; VI. 2, 6; VII. 3, 8, 10; VIII. 4, 14, 17; IX. 19; X. 13; XI. 4, 16, 19.

Honesty: II. 24; IX. 6. See Loyalty to honor, Truthfulness.

Honor: see Loyalty to honor.

Hopefulness: VII. 15; IX. 1. See also Patience.

Humility: see Modesty.

Humor: see Fun.

Idleness: II. 16; IV. 2, 16.

Imagination, cultivation of: I. 10-12; II. 8, 11, 15; III. 7; IV. 1-14; V. 1-5; VI. 16, 19, 20; VII. 3, 4; VIII. 4, 16; IX. 1; X. 13; XI. 1-20.

Impatience: I. 1, 3, 5; II. 2, 4; IV. 2. See Rashness, Self-will.

Industry: II. 12, 16; IV. 8; VI. 8, 20.

Influence, good and bad: I. 16, 17, 22, 23; III. 10; IV. 4, 5; VI. 11; VII. 13, 17, 18; VIII. 2; IX. 8, 9, 11.

Jealousy: I. 8; VI. 5, 14; VIII. 4; XI. 2.

Joyfulness: IV. 1; IX. 17.

Justice: II. 20; IV. 1; VI. 16, 23; VIII. 10, 12, 17; IX. 6. See Fairness.

Kindness: III. 3, 4, 8-10; IV. 2, 3; VI. 23. To animals: V. 3, 4; VIII. 3, 10, 13; IX. 9; X. 7; XI. 1. To little children: IV. 6; V. 1, 5; VI. 11, 16, 17; VII. 2, 5, 7, 8, 16, 17; XI. 16. To parents: VI. 8, 12; VII. 3; XI. 4. To sick and old: I. 3, 4; IV. 6; VI. 15, 18, 19; VII. 11, 16; VIII. 9; IX. 24; X. 8, 10, 14; XI. 17, 19.

Knowledge: II. 13, 15; VII. 18; VIII. 15; IX. 6, 26. See Wisdom.

Laziness: see Idleness.

Leadership, qualities of: III. 8, 9; VI. 5, 13, 20; VII. 12, 13, 18; VIII. 4-6; 15-17; IX. 1, 14, 19, 20.

Liberty, how gained: III. 8, 9; VI. 23; IX. 13-20.

Literature, love of: VI. 10, 20; VII. 3; IX. 12, 27; XI. 1, 4, 7, 8, 10, 12, 20.

Love: III. 6; IV. 4; V. 5; VI. 12; VII. 7; VIII. 2, 17; IX. 4, 5, 11; X. 10. Of nature: III. 7; IV. 4, 9, 10; VI. 1; VIII. 12. To children: I. 1, 9; II. 24; III. 8; VI. 9, 11; VII. 4, 8; VIII. 4, 17, 19. To friends: see Friendship. To parents: III. 10; VI. 8, 12; VII. 3, 4; IX. 24; X. 1; XI. 2, 4, 11, 15.

Loyalty: To comrades: VI. 5, 6, 8, 12, 23; VII. 13; VIII. 1, 6, 14; IX. 4, 15, 20; X. 3. To country: III. 8-10; VI. 13, 15, 17, 23; VII. 6; VIII. 1, 4, 5, 8, 11, 14; IX. 12-27; X. 2; XI. 7, 8. To duty: I. 12; III. 8, 9; IV. 8; V. 1; VI. 5; VII. 3-6; VIII. 1, 14; IX. 15, 16; X. 5. To faith: III. 8; IV. 6; V. 3; VI. 5, 6, 9; VII. 18. To honor: IV. 1, 8; VI. 23; VIII. 4, 16, 17; IX. 6, 19. To promises: see Promises. To truth: II. 10; IV. 7, 13; VII. 3; VIII. 2; IX. 6. Unto death: III. 4; IV. 3; VII. 14; VIII. 14, 18; IX. 11, 15, 24; X. 4, 10, 14; XI. 7.

Lying: see Deceit, Dishonor.

Modesty: II. 12, 13; III. 8; IV. 1, 4; VI. 5, 12; VII. 13; VIII. 4, 5, 16; X. 8.[Pg 293]

Music, love of: III. 9; IV. 7; VII. 1; IX. 27; XI. 2, 3, 6.

Nature, beauty of: III. 7; IV. 9, 10; VIII. 12.

Neatness: I. 2; V. 4; VII. 13. See Cleanliness.

Neglect: III. 3; VII. 13; VIII. 10.

Obedience: III. 8; IV. 9; VI. 10, 11, 18, 19; VII. 3, 4, 6; VIII. 11; X. 1.

Observation: see Forethought.

Opportunity: III. 8-10; VII. 13; VIII. 8.

Orderliness: IV. 13; VII. 9, 12, 13; VIII. 13.

Patience: I. 8; II. 4, 12; IV. 1; VII. 14; VIII. 6, 12, 17; XI. 7, 9, 10, 11.

Patriotism: see Loyalty to country.

Peace and good will: IV. 6; V. 5; VI. 5, 12; VII. 1-3; VIII. 17; IX. 8.

Perseverance: II. 12; VII. 10; VIII. 6, 11; XI. 20.

Play, love of: II. 5, 10, 14, 17; VI. 15; VII. 3, 4; IX. 9, 22; X. 11, 12; XI. 4, 9, 10, 13, 14, 20.

Pluck: see Courage.

Politeness: see Good manners.

Prayerfulness: VI. 6, 7, 9, 13, 22; VII. 5, 13, 17; XI. 15.

Pretense: II. 7, 17; IV. 7; VI. 16; VIII. 4; IX. 6.

Promises, keeping: I. 5; IV. 7; VI. 15; IX. 6, 11, 19.

Promptness: I. 9; VI. 11, 12, 16; VII. 2, 3, 6, 10, 12; VIII. 8, 11, 19; IX. 14, 20; XI. 12.

Prudence: see Forethought.

Punctuality: VI. 11; VIII. 19; XI. 12.

Quarrelsomeness: II. 15, 20; IV. 12; VI. 5, 16; VII. 13; VIII. 17.

Quick-wittedness: IV. 12, 14; VI. 5, 12, 16, 20, 23; VII. 10, 13; VIII. 4, 8, 11; IX. 5, 22, 26; X. 1-13.

Rashness: III. 5; VIII. 7. See Impatience, Self-will.

Readiness: I. 12; II. 13; VI. 9, 13; VII. 13; VIII. 4, 8, 11; IX. 14, 20, 22.

Reading, love of: VII. 3; IX. 27; XI. 1, 4, 7, 8, 10, 11, 14, 15, 20.

Resourcefulness: III. 10; IV. 8, 13, 14; VI. 9, 16, 23; VIII. 4, 8, 12; IX. 5, 6, 14, 19, 20, 22.

Repentance: IV. 9; VI. 7, 19; VIII. 7.

Reverence: VI. 4, 10, 11, 13, 21, 22; VII. 1-3, 6, 10, 14; VIII. 5, 16; IX. 7, 8.

Rewards of service: III. 8; IV. 1, 2, 4, 8; VI. 5, 6, 9, 12, 13, 23; VII. 6; VIII. 6, 8; IX. 1, 2; X. 6-14; XI. 1-20.

Ridicule: II. 17; IV. 12; VII. 10; IX. 6.

Rudeness: IV. 1; VIII. 5, 15, 17.

Self-control: IV. 1; VI. 5, 21; VII. 6, 13; VIII. 5, 17.

Self-deception: I. 1; II. 1, 2, 7, 10, 12; III. 1, 5, 7; IV. 11, 14; VI. 2, 5; VIII. 7, 10, 19; IX. 6, 19.

Self-education, duty of: I. 12; VI. 8, 20; VIII. 17; IX. 12; X. 11; XI. 4, 7, 8, 20.

Self-injury, by wrong-doing: I. 2, 4, 6, 7; II. 1, 10, 13, 14, 17; III. 1, 5; IV. 2, 12; VI. 2-5, 7, 22, 23; VIII. 7, 10.

Selfishness: II. 1, 3; VI. 5; VIII. 7.

Self-preservation: I. 1, 2, 11; II. 6, 11, 14, 18; VI. 18, 20; VII. 18; VIII. 12; IX. 19-23.

Self-reliance: II. 23; IV. 8, 9; VI. 22; IX. 20.

Self-respect: IV. 1; VI. 5. 21, 22; VII. 6, 13; VIII. 4, 17; IX. 19.

Self-sacrifice: III. 1, 10; IV. 3; VI. 23; VII. 13, 14; IX. 1, 5-15; X. 1-6, 10-12, 14; XI. 7, 13, 15, 17, 19. See Altruism.

Self-will: III. 5; IV. 7; VI. 3, 5; VIII. 7, 19.

Skilfulness: II. 8; IV. 13, 14; VI. 13; VIII. 4, 8, 11, 12, 15; IX. 22, 26; X. 14.

Speech, good and bad: I. 4; VIII. 4, 5, 7, 13, 17; IX. 20.

Sport: Cruel: II. 5, 10, 11, 17; III. 5, 7; VIII. 7. Good: I. 10; III. 10; VI. 13, 14; VII. 3, 9; IX. 6, 9, 10; X. 9, 13; XI. 9-11, 18.

Steadiness: II. 12; VIII. 6; IX. 1.

Stories, love of: IV. 14; VII. 3, 7; XI. 1, 4, 14.

Strength of character: II. 9; III. 8, 9; IV. 1; V. 1; VI. 20, 21; VII. 6, 12-14; VIII. 4, 5, 17; IX. 14-20.

Sympathy: II. 24; III. 3, 4, 8, 9, 10; IV. 2, 3, 6; V. 5; VI. 18, 19; VII. 8, 11, 16; VIII. 9, 17; X. 10, 14; XI. 6, 13, 17, 19.

Team-work: II. 15; III. 10; VI. 5, 20, 21; VII. 9; VIII. 1, 20; X. 20; XI. 11, 18.

Temperance: IV. 2; VI. 20; VIII. 8, 9, 17; XI. 4, 14.

Temptation, resisting: II. 11, 24; VI. 20-22; VII. 6; VIII. 9, 17; IX. 15, 16, 24; XI. 13.

Tenderness: III. 8; VI. 15; VII. 11; VIII. 12, 13, 17. See Gentleness.

Thoroughness: I. 12; II. 12-14; III. 8, 9; IV. 13, 14; VI. 15; VII. 3, 17; VIII. 6; IX. 1; X. 9; XI. 18.

Thoughtfulness: III. 10; IV. 3, 6, 13; VI. 9; VII. 4, 11, 13, 14; VIII. 8, 12, 13, 17, 20; X. 12.[Pg 294]

Thoughtlessness: III. 7; IV. 1; VIII. 7.

Thrift: I. 3, 9, 12; II. 16; IV. 2, 8; VI. 8, 18, 20; VII. 9, 11; IX. 10; XI. 7, 8, 10.

Tidiness: see Neatness.

Truthfulness: II. 10; IV. 7, 13; VII. 3; VIII. 2; IX. 6.

Unselfishness: see Altruism.

Usefulness: see Helpfulness.

Use of time: I. 12; II. 4, 12, 16, 22; III. 3, 6, 10; VII. 5, 11, 16; VIII. 6, 19; IX. 8; X. 7-9; XI. 7, 8, 10, 12.

Vocational stories: I. 12; III. 8, 9; IV. 3-13; V. 1; VI. 13, 23; VII. 3, 5, 7, 13, 15; IX. 1, 14, 15, 19, 20, 26; X. 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 14; XI. 1-20.

Watchfulness: see Attention, Carefulness, Thoughtfulness.

Wisdom: II. 8; III. 8-10; IV. 13; VI. 9, 16; VII. 3; VIII. 4, 17; IX. 1, 6. See Knowledge, Resourcefulness.

Working together: see Team-work.


[1] Dr. Richard Morse Hodge, in “Journal of Religious Education.”

[2] “The Pedagogical Bible School,” Samuel B. Haslett, p. 267.

[3] “The Pedagogical Bible School,” Haslett, p. 250.

[4] Dr. E. P. St. John, “Stories and Story-Telling,” p. 24.

[5] This tale has been told in varying forms by nearly every race to typify the sleep of nature during the winter, and its awakening to life and bloom at the touch of Spring, the beautiful and good Prince.

[6] This and the following two myths are adapted from “The First Book of Stories for the Story Teller,” by Fanny E. Coe, pp. 170-180.


Obvious typographical errors have been corrected.

Inconsistencies in hypenation, punctuation, and spelling have been standardized.

Archaic spelling of words that may have been in use at the time of publication have been preserved.

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