The Project Gutenberg eBook of Our Young Folks at Home and Abroad, by Various
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Title: Our Young Folks at Home and Abroad
Author: Various
Editor: Daphne Dale
Release Date: July 8, 2009 [eBook #29357]
Language: English
Character set encoding: UTF-8
Produced by: Alicia Williams, Chrome, the dedicated librarians who helped on this project, Sam W. and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team

Front cover - Our Young Folks at Home and Abroad, showing a boy and two girls


Illustrated Sketches and Poems
for Young People.








Copyright 1894,
W. B. Conkey Company.




Title - Our Young Folks at Home and Abroad
Three orphans, one mourner


There are two little girls living nearly a hundred rods apart, Mamie and Fannie. Each had a nice pet cat.

Mamie’s cat had three little kittens. When they were about three weeks old their poor mother was killed by a useless dog. For two days Mamie fed her kittens with a spoon, and did all she could to comfort them; but they would cry for their mother.

Fannie’s cat had only one kitten, and it died at once. Then Mamie took her three motherless kittens down to Fannie’s cat to see if she would adopt them. She took them at once, and made a great fuss over them. Then she was allowed to raise them.

When Mamie thought her kittens were old enough she took all three of them home again. But their stepmother would neither eat nor drink. She cried and looked for the kittens. At last Fannie carried her cat up to Mamie’s house to see the kittens. Then mother and kittens were all happy again, and played together as if they had never been separated.

When the girls saw how much the cat and kittens were attached to each other they concluded to take Fannie’s cat home again with only two of the kittens; in a short time bring back one of them, and later the last one. In this way they thought they could separate them without any trouble.

Fannie’s cat was not pleased with this plan. She began to look for and call the third kitten. The next morning, when Mamie went to feed her one kitten, she could not find it anywhere about the barn or woodshed. She went down to Fannie’s house, and there she found her kitten. Sometime in the night Fannie’s cat went to Mamie’s house, found the kitten, and carried it home. Since that time the girls have not tried to part the cat and kittens, and they are a happy family.


A kitten in a basket

A country scene, with a boy flying a kite


Many noble oak-trees are planted by the little squirrel. Running up the branches, this little animal strips off the acorns, and buries them in the ground for food in the cold weather; and when he goes to hunt them up he does not find all of them. Those he leaves behind often grow up into great and beautiful trees.

The nuthatch, too, among the birds, is a great planter. After twisting off a cluster of beech-nuts this queer little bird carries them to some favorite tree, and pegs them into the crevices of the bark in a curious way. How, we cannot tell. After a while they fall to the ground, and there grow into large trees.

Trees on the bank of a stream

Some larger animals are good seed-planters, and have sometimes covered barren countries with trees. It is very singular that animals and birds can do so much farm-work, isn’t it?


A cat catches a mouse


I met a tearful little lass;
She sobbed so hard I could not pass,
I wondered so thereat;
“Oh, dry your tears, my pretty child,
Pray tell me why you grieve so wild.”
A mouse looks at a candy cat

A mouse eating a candy cat
“A mouse ate up your cat!” I cried,
To think she’d fib quite horrified;
“Why, how can you say that?”
Her tears afresh began to run,
She sobbed the words out, one by one:


Three mice examining a mousetrap


TIPPY was a little, black dog, and he lived at the engine-house, where the great engines, which put out the fires, were kept.

Tippy barking

He was a poor, miserable, little dog, without a home until the firemen took pity on him and gave him one.

Dick was one of the horses that helped to pull the engine. He was very large and black, with a white spot on his forehead. He and Tippy were fine friends.

When it was cold the little dog would curl close down by Dick’s back, and sleep all night, as warm as could be.

One day, when it was Dick’s dinner-time, and he was very hungry, Tippy kept running into his stall and barking and biting at his heels.

Dick did not like it, and he wanted his dinner so much that it made him cross. So he put down his head, took Tippy by the back of the neck, and lifted him over the side of the low stall, as much as to say:—

“If you won’t go out I will put you out!”

Tippy carrying a bucket

Tippy soon grew to know what the engines were for, and when the fire-bells rang, and the great horses came from their stalls ready to be harnessed to the engine, he would bark and jump up and down, and beg to go too.

Dick lifts Tippy over the stable door


One day he hid under the driver’s seat, and the firemen did not see him, so he went to the fire.

After that, the instant an alarm sounded, Tippy would spring on the engine. As it dashed down the street, the bells ringing, the firemen shouting, he would bark to let the people along the way know he was going to help put out the fire.

Every day the firemen would give Tippy a basket, and a penny to buy a bone with. He would take the basket in his mouth, and trot across the street to the butcher’s for the bone. The butcher would take the penny out, and put a bone in its place, and Tippy would run home to eat his breakfast.

Once in a while Tippy would be very naughty, and would have to be punished. Then the firemen would make him sit on a chair for a long while, until he would promise, by a bark which meant, “Yes,” that he would be good.


Tippy sitting on a chair

A fox and some cubs


Tommy and Bessie, Bert, and even little Caddie, think there is no treat like a visit to Covill Farm.

They all jumped for joy when, one bright afternoon in early summer, their papa said:—

“I am going out past the Covill Farm, and if any little folks want to go along they may stop there while I do my errands.”

How soon they were all ready! How busy all the little tongues were, talking over what they would see and do!

“There’ll be lots of little chickens now; and ducklings, too!”

“Yes; and we’ll see the dear little lambs, and the little calfeys!”

“And maybe we can go down to the boat-house, and have a row on the lake!”

But they never dreamed of the funny sight they really saw that afternoon. Papa set them all down at the gate, and drove on, promising to come back for them in an hour.

When he came back he tied his horse, and set out to find the little folks. But in a few moments they saw him, and came rushing across the yard, all talking at once:—

“O papa, come! come and see!”

“Oh, so funny!”

Little two-year-old Caddie was as much excited as the rest; she cried:—

Nine fox cubs

“Take my hand, papa! Little piggies shall not bite you!”

“Little piggies,” indeed! Little foxes they were; and nine of the cunning creatures. Only think!

The manager of the farm said that something had been killing his lambs, and he had been on the watch to find out the rascal.

One day, when he was out with his gun, he saw something moving near an old woodchuck hole; at least, there had been woodchucks there the year before.

He went nearer, expecting to see a woodchuck again; but there were these little foxes playing around. The woodchucks must have burrowed out, and an old fox taken possession of their hole for a den.

Mr. Nash lay down on the ground to count the funny little things, and watch them tumbling over each other. Then he tried to stop up the entrance to their den with his coat, so that he could catch them. But a tree root lay across the hole in such a way that there was a place left big enough for the little foxes to get in; and in they went.

Then Mr. Nash went and called a man to help him. They took spades and dug into the hole until they found them.

They carried them up to the farm-yard, and put them into a pen. They were of a tawny color; and when the children saw them they were about as large as cats, and as full of play as any kittens.

Mr. Nash said he did not want to kill them, because they were so cunning. But it was a good thing that he caught them. Just think how many chickens, and ducks, and geese, and lambs those nine foxes might have killed, if they had grown up in their den!


A fox cub sitting on a table

Decorative title - What Ailed the Bell

It was the first day of school after a vacation. The children were playing in the yards. The teachers sat at their desks waiting for the bell to strike to call the children to the different rooms. The hands of the different clocks pointed to a quarter before nine.

The bell was a sort of gong, fastened to the outside of the building, and the master of the school could ring it by touching a knob in the wall near his desk. It was now time to call the children into school. The master pulled the bell and waited. Still the merry shouts could be heard in the school-yards. Very strange! The children were so engaged in play that they could not hear the bell, he thought. Then he pulled it more vigorously. Still the shouts and laughter continued.

The master raised his window, clapped his hands, and pointed to the bell.

The master looks out of the window

The children rushed into line like little soldiers, and waited for the second signal. The teacher pulled and pulled, but there was no sound. Then he sent a boy to tell each line to file in, and he sent another boy for a carpenter to find out if the bell-cord was broken.

A boy clears the empty nest away from the bell

What do you think the carpenter found? A little sparrow had built its nest inside the bell, and prevented the hammer striking against the bell. The teacher told the children what the trouble was, and asked if the nest should be taken out. There was a loud chorus of “No, sir.”

Every day the four hundred children would gather in the yard and look up at the nest. When the little birds were able to fly to the trees in the yard, and no longer needed a nest, one of the boys climbed on a ladder and cleared away the straw and hay so that the sound of the bell might call the children from play.


Boys at play


The frosts in the door-yard maple
Had lighted a fine red blaze,
And one of the golden twilights
That come September days:
The neighborhood lads had gathered
To play their usual plays.

Frankie was good at planning,
And seeing the glowing tree,
“Let’s have a fire department
And play ’tis a house!” said he.
“Oh, yes, a hook and ladder,”
Cried all; “what fun ’twill be!”
So they put the hose on the hydrant.
Searched everywhere about
Until they found a ladder,
And then, with yell and shout
Of “fire” and clang of “ding-dong,”
They rushed to put it out.
The hosemen pulled their jackets
Hastily from their backs;
One climbed the tree like a squirrel,
With a ball-bat for an axe
And he hewed at the beautiful branches
With frantic hacks and whacks.

Some one turned on the water,
And the boy in the foremost place
Got the full force from the nozzle
Square in his little face;
And he cried for half a minute
With the funniest grimace.
One boy is soaked by another boy with a hose
The stream flew this way, that way,
And up to the tree’s bright top,
And back came the water splashing
With reckless slosh and slop,
And with it showers of red leaves
And twigs began to drop.
This small boys’ Hook and Ladder
Was a very good company,
And they squirted till the sidewalk
Was like a mimic sea;
But they didn’t put out the fire
In the old red maple-tree.


Joe, his uncle and the horse


“Good Billy! nice Billy!” said little Joe, as he patted the nose of the old black horse. “Say, Uncle John, can’t I ride him to water?”

“I am afraid you cannot hang on to him,” replied his uncle. “Did you ever ride a horse?”

“No, uncle; but I am sure I can,” answered Joe. “Please let me try. I’ll take hold of his mane with both hands, and hang on as hard as ever I can.”

“Well, you may try it. There is the trough, against that fence, the other side of the barn. Look out that old Billy does not give you a ducking.”

“Never fear for me,” cried Joe, riding away in great glee.

He was a little city boy, and had come out to the farm to make his uncle a visit. He thought it great fun to take a ride on horseback.

It did not take him long to find the trough, for old Billy knew the way right well. Then, how it happened, Joe never could tell: Billy put his head down quite suddenly, and right over it slid the little boy with a great splash, head first into the water.

Of course he was not hurt. He caught hold of the fence and came out, dripping from head to foot.

Joe in the water trough

Old Billy looked on rather surprised, but got his drink. He let Joe lead him back to the barn, and how Uncle John did laugh at him. Joe laughed too, as he went off to get on some dry clothes. Though he took a good many rides after that, he never forgot his first one on old Billy’s back.


Gypsy pulling a small two-wheeled cart


When Harry was six years old his grandfather sent him a very nice present from the farm. You cannot guess what it was, so I will tell you.

Gypsy standing on his head

A goat, with a harness and cart, for Harry to drive him. Harry named him Gypsy, because he was so black.

Gypsy and Harry had a great many good times together. He would draw Harry to school and then wait very patiently under the shade of a tree until school was out. All the school-children were very fond of him and would bring him sweet apples and cake.

Gypsy bowing

The teacher was fond of Gypsy, too, and would often bring sugar to him; but she never let Gypsy have it until he had performed one of the tricks the boys had taught him. He must either stand on his head, bow, or dance. Gypsy could do all these.

One day Gypsy did something very funny. It was a very hot day, and Harry thought he would unharness him and let him roam around the school-yard.

What do you think Gypsy did? He walked into the school-house, straight up to the teacher, and stood on his head. He was begging for sugar.

Gypsy standing on his hind legs

The teacher laughed with the scholars, and said, “Gypsy, you have learned your lesson well; now I’ll excuse you, and let you go out to play.” And then she drove him out.

One of the boys begged leave to give Gypsy an apple, and the teacher said he might. Gypsy took the apple in his mouth and made a little bow.

The scholars laughed so long that the teacher had to close the door for fear Gypsy would do some other funny thing.


If I could choose a wedding gift,
I’d climb for you the rainbow stairs
And bring a star to bless
This day of happiness.
As I came down, a bird I’d lift
From off his nest, that his sweet airs
And songs might you delight
From rosy morn till night.
But rainbow stairs are hard to mount,
The birds hide in the trees’ green shade,
And so I bring, dear friend, to you
The flowers wet with dew.

Two little girls
Take them, and then take me; please count
My eyes your stars; the little maid
Who offers flowers, your bird,
Whose heart with love is stirred.

A little girl in a patch of flowers
May child love and the birds together
Make all your life like summer weather;
May flowers blossom in your sight,
And golden stars bring peace at night.



“Well met, my little man!
Now tell me, if you can,
The very nicest way
To spend this long, dull day.”
“Well, sir, my mother says,
Of all the pretty ways
To make a dark day bright
The best is just do right!”

M. J. T.


“Shake hands, Prince!”
Black as a coal, and curly, too.
Is the dog I introduce to you.
He gives at once his right-hand paw,
None a softer one ever saw.
Prince shaking hands with a little boy
“Beg, Prince!”
Up he rises on his hind legs,
Flies both little fore-feet, and begs,
Not for money, nor food, nor clothes,
But merely to show how much he knows.
“Speak, Prince!”
You’d think from that first growling note,
He’d a bumble-bee inside his throat;
’Tis not a bee, but only a bark;
For answer, shrill and eager, hark!

Prince begging
“Roll over, Prince!”
He’ll do all other things you ask;
But this is a task, a dreadful task.
He hates the dust on his silky hide
And in the fringe of his ears beside.
“Roll over, I say!”
Such a struggle as he goes through;
He wants to do it, and don’t want to!
He rubs one black ear on the floor,
Rubs a little, and nothing more.
“Ah, Prince! Ah, Prince!”
Do you call that minding? Yet, I find
Yours is a common way to mind:
Willing to do what you like to best,
And only half-way doing the rest.


The children by the lily pond


Little Fred went to spend his long vacation with his grandpa and grandma in the country. Fred’s grandpa had an old white horse named Betsy. He had owned her ever since mamma was a little girl, and Fred and Betsy soon became great friends.

Every day grandma would give Fred two biscuits, two apples and two lumps of sugar in a little basket and he would take them over to the pasture. Betsy soon learned to expect him, and waited for him at the bars. She knew that half of what was in the basket was meant for her.

A very pretty path came in at one end of the pasture. Fred often wondered where it went, but he never dared to go in very far alone. One day his two cousins, Alice and Frank, came to make grandma a little visit. Grandma told Fred he must show them all over the farm. The next morning, after he had taken them out to lunch with Betsy, he thought it would be a good chance to go down the little path. Alice and Frank said they would like to go very much. Fred was still a little afraid, and kept very near Alice. But he forgot everything else, when, at the end of the path, they came upon a lovely little pond. It was all covered with great white lilies and their green pads.

They wanted to get some lilies to take home. They tried to reach them from the bank, but lilies have a provoking way of growing just out of reach. Then they tried to hook them in with sticks, but got only three or four, without stems. Then they looked for a board to use as a raft.

At last Frank said they must wade for them. He and Fred took off their shoes and stockings, pulled up their trousers, and went in. Fred used a long stick to feel the way before him, so as not to get into water too deep.

This time they were successful, and got just as many lilies as their hands would hold.

Grandma was delighted with them; she said she had not had any lilies from that old pond since grandpa used to bring them to her years and years before.



YOU dear old Mother Nature, I am writing you a letter,
To let you know you ought to fix up things a little better.
The best of us will make mistakes—I thought perhaps if I
Should tell you how you might improve, you would be glad to try.
“I think you have forgotten, ma’am, that little girls and boys
Are fond of dolls, and tops, and sleds, and balls, and other toys;
Why didn’t you—I wonder, now!—just take it in your head
To have such things all growing in a lovely garden bed?
Drinking from a lemonade spring
“And then I should have planted (if it only had been me)
Some vines with little pickles, and a great big cooky tree;
And trees, besides, with gum-drops and caramels and things;
And lemonade should bubble up in all the little springs.
“I’d like to have the coasting and the skating in July,
When old Jack Frost would never get a single chance to try
To nip our cheeks and noses; and the Christmas trees should stand
By dozens, loaded!—in the woods!—now, wouldn’t that be grand?
Picking unusual plants
“Ah! what a world it would have been! How could you, madam, make
Such lots of bread and butter to so very little cake?
I’d have it just the other way, and every one would see
How very, very, very, very nice my way would be.
“But, as I cannot do it, will you think of what I say?
And please, ma’am, do begin and alter things this very day.
And one thing more—on Saturdays don’t send us any rain.
Good-by. If I should think of something else, I’ll write again.”


A boy playing a pipe to a dog

A boy and a girl


Out in the woods we went to-day:
Mamma and Nannie, Freddie and May,
Charlie and I, and good old Tray,
Out in the greenwood to romp and play.
To-day, you know, is the first of May;
And we meant to be so jolly and gay:
And celebrate in so merry a way
That we could never forget this holiday.
So first we chose the loveliest queen,
The dearest and sweetest that ever was seen;
For mamma herself was Her Highness Serene,
And we crowned her with rosebuds and evergreen.
Then we kneeled around and vowed to obey
All the laws she made, not only to-day,
But all the year through. Then she waved a spray
Of lilac bloom, and bade us all be gay.
Oh the games we played, and the races we run!
The bars we leaped, and the prizes we won!
Oh the shouting, the singing, the laughter and fun,—
It were hard to tell who was the happiest one!
Then, rosy and tired, we gathered around
Our beautiful queen on the mossy ground;
The hungriest group in the land, I’ll be bound.
As the sandwiches, cookies, and tarts went round.
Enjoying games and a picnic
When the sun was low and shadows were gray,
Down from her throne stepped our fair Queen of May,
And through the green fields led homeward our way,
While we gave her sweet thanks for this beautiful day.

L. A. B. C.

Ships near a light-house


“Tell me a story about a bear,
A great big bear who lived in a wood
And ate little children.” “O, my dear,
The bears I know of were playful and good,
And lived in houses or parks or a pen,
And never ate children, or boys, or men.
“There was one snow white, a mother bear,—
With two little babies cunning and queer;
Who rolled and climbed and stood on their heads,
And fell over, as boys often do, I fear.
They hugged their mother, and talked in their way,
And kept still when they’d nothing to do or say.”
“No, I mean a real bear out in the woods,
Who growls and chases you, makes you run,
Half scared to death,—and a little boy lost
Out in the woods and the night coming on;
And the terrible bear with his great fierce eyes,
And no one to hear the little child’s cries!
“He runs and runs,”—and then Bertie smiles,
His climax reached,—“I was only in fun;
The bear didn’t kill him, because, you see,
There was just behind a man with a gun,
And he shot! Bang! Down came the old bear;
’Twas his own little boy and he saved him—there!”
Bertie and the bear
“O, I am so glad!” and I give him a kiss;
Then silent we sit for a moment or two.
“That’s a boy’s story; yours, you know,
For nice little girls very well will do.
But boys, you remember, grow up to be men,
And can fight the bears to their very den.”



Every animal has an instrument of defence. Some have claws, some hoofs, some spurs and beaks, some powerful teeth and stings.

A porcupine fends off a dog

The porcupine has something queerer than all these. Its body is covered all over with two sets of quills. One set is long, slender, and curved; the other, short and straight, very stout, and with sharp points.

Whenever the porcupine is chased by any animal, and finds he cannot get out of the way, he just stops and bristles up all his quills. Then he backs quickly upon the animal, so that the short, sharp quills may stick into the body. If any happen to be a little loose, they stick so fast in the flesh, like an arrow, that they often make a very bad wound. Remember this whenever you come in the way of the porcupine.



I was watching Willie and Grouse at play on the lawn a few days since. I saw in the poor dumb brute a spirit that is too seldom found in man.

Willie pours water over Grouse

Grouse is an old bird-dog,—a setter. He was bought before Willie came to be his little master. He has soft, brown hair, and is a very clever, good-natured dog. Willie can do anything with him, and he never gets angry; but when Willie hurts him he only looks up and pleads with his large, misty eyes.

They had been playing a long while. Grouse got tired and lay down on the grass. Pretty soon I saw Willie get some water in a basin. I wondered what he was going to do with it. Then he walked close up to Grouse, who lay on the lawn, and threw the water all over him.

It was very unkind for Willie to do so, don’t you think it was? I called Willie to me, and told him it was too bad for him to plague such a good old dog. I told him he was a very naughty boy to do so.

Willie said he supposed it was wrong to plague Grouse, but he didn’t mean to hurt him much.

So Willie went back to where Grouse lay in the sun drying himself. He patted the poor dog on the head, and asked him if he would forgive him for his unkindness.

Then Grouse, as if he knew what was said, licked Willie’s hand. He looked up forgivingly into his face with his dewy eyes, as much as to say, “I am one who can love his enemies.”



More than two thousand years ago, in a far-off country, a prince was born. While he was yet a child every care was taken that he should be made happy, and sights of sorrow were carefully kept from him. He was of a very kind, loving, and tender disposition.

But the care even of a king for a prince could not keep away all sorrowful sights. His watchful eyes sometimes saw suffering that filled his heart with pity.

As he was playing with his cousin in the palace ground, a flock of wild swans flew over their heads. His cousin drew his bow and wounded one. It fell at his feet. The prince with pity drew the arrow from the wounded bird, nursed it, and saved its life.

While his child life was one of tenderness and mercy, the years passed by and he became a man. His heart was still filled with pity for every suffering creature. He went from the palace, from home and dear friends, to become poor and a wanderer, that he might help the suffering. It is beautifully told that in his wanderings he came upon a flock of sheep driven along the dusty highway. There was one poor wounded, bleeding lamb, which he took tenderly in his arms and carried. And so through life his pity and his help were given to the weak, whether men or beasts. From his tender and beautiful life, men came to worship him after his death.

The prince helps a wounded swan

The prince was Prince Gautama, of India, who is worshipped as Buddha. Is not his loving and merciful life, from a little child to an old man, a beautiful example to us?



“O George, the circus is coming! the handbills are all up, and such pictures of horses and lions and tigers, and everything!”

Ned jumped about for joy, until George said,—

“But how are you going, Ned? We have no money, and papa said he could not give us any more this month, if he gave us a gun.”

“The new gun,—so he did,” said Ned, sadly. “But the circus takes so little; they would let us in at half price.”

“I will tell you,” exclaimed George; “let us sell our white Leghorns to mamma. She wants them, I know, and the money we get for them will take us both to the circus.”

This was settled, and at dinner mamma was told of the plan.

“Put them up in the hen-house to-night,” she said, “and to-morrow I will look at them and we will fix the price.”

The boys went to bed early that night, but had hardly settled themselves to sleep when Melissa, the little servant-girl, rushed in with a light in her hand.

“O, git up, boys, git up! Sompen’s in de hen-house, killin’ all de fowls.”

They jumped up and huddled on their clothes as fast as they could, then ran after Melissa, who held the light while they armed themselves with sticks.

There was a great stir, sure enough, in the hen-house,—fowls were cackling and screaming with fright, and a curious snapping sound came from one corner. When the light fell here they saw a rough, hairy little animal, with small bright eyes like a pig, and a long smooth tail. But, worst of all, one of the beautiful white Leghorns lay before it, all mangled and bleeding. The horrid creature was tearing its soft body, and would hardly stop eating when the children attacked him.

At last Melissa caught up a stick, and killed the little beast with a quick blow. She held it up in triumph by its long tail. It looked very much like a little pig, and had five fingers, like toes, on each foot.

“’Tis a ’possum,” said Melissa, “and very good to eat. I’s right glad I kill it, cos now ’tis mine.”

Melissa and the boys with the dead opossum

“You are welcome to it,” said Ned, half crying. “What shall we do now our pretty Leghorn rooster is dead? We can’t go to the circus.”

Next morning they told their tale at the breakfast-table.

“Never mind,” said their father; “I think you may go, after all, as I owe you something for killing the opossum. He would have destroyed the rest of the fowls.”

“Yes; but, papa, Melissa killed it; we only struck at it.”

“Well, I think I must treat the whole party, as all did their best. We will set a trap to-day for the next opossum that may come to see us.”

The boys and Melissa went to the circus, and enjoyed all they saw, and Melissa had a fine opossum stew into the bargain.




Roy had fished in the ditch by the side of the road a great many times; but he had only a bent pin for a fish-hook, and a piece of twine for a line. He never caught any fish there.

When he was six years old his uncle James gave him a real fish-hook and a line, and after a good deal of coaxing his mother said that he might go down the cow-path to the brook and fish for trout.

Uncle James caught a great many trout in the brook.

Alice wanted to go with Roy; and Roy, who is very kind to his sister, asked his mother to let her go.

Alice carried the basket,—a pretty large one. Mary, the cook, told them to be sure and get it full of fish, so that she could fry them for dinner.

How proud and happy they were! Their mother could see them from the window all the time.

When they reached the brook Alice sat down on a rock. Roy put a worm on the hook, and dropped the end of the line into the stream. But it was a long time before he got a bite. At last he thought he felt a nibble.

“I’ve got one, Ally!” he shouted. “O, such a big fellow! You will have to come and help me pull him out!”

They tugged away on the line, and then they both fell over backwards.

Roy catches something unexpected and upsets Alice

“There he is!” cried Roy. But when they got up and looked, it was not a trout at all. It was only a piece of a black root that broke off and gave them a tumble.

Roy tried again, and after a good while he felt another nibble. He jerked the line out so quickly that the hook caught in the back of Alice’s dress. It pricked her shoulder so that she had half a mind to cry.

Roy could not get the hook out of her dress, and they went home for their mother to help them.

Mary laughed at Roy a good deal. She told his uncle James, at dinner-time, that Roy caught the biggest trout she ever saw, and he had to come home for his mother to get it off the hook.

L. A. B. C.

Portrait of a child, surrounded by flowers


“I know a new bear-story,”
I said to the little folks,
Who surely as the twilight falls,
Begin to tease and coax.
A bear at the zoo
“And did they live in the forest,
In a den all deep and dark?
And were there three?”—“Yes, three,” I said,
“But they lived in the park.
“Let’s see! Old Jack, the grizzly,
With great white claws, was there;
And a mother bear with thick brown coat,
And Betty, the little bear!
“And Silver-Locks went strolling
One day, in that pretty wood,
With Ninny, the nurse, and all at once
They came where the bears’ house stood.
“And without so much as knocking
To see who was at home,
She cried out in a happy voice,
‘Old Grizzly, here I come!’
“And thereupon old Grizzly
Began to gaze about;
And the mother bear sniffed at the bars,
And the baby bear peeped out.
“And they thought she must be a fairy,
Though, instead of a golden wand,
She carried a five-cent paper bag
Of peanuts in her hand.
“Old Grizzly his red mouth opened
As though they tasted good;
And the brown bear opened her red mouth
To catch one when she could;
“And Betty, the greedy baby,
Followed the big bears’ style,
And held her little fire-red mouth,
Wide open all the while.
“And Silver-Locks laughed delighted,
And thought it wondrous fun,
And fed them peanuts from the bag
Till she hadn’t another one.
“And is that all?” sighed Gold-Locks.
“Pshaw, is that all?” cried Ted.
“No—one thing more! ’Tis quite, quite time
That little folks were in bed!”


Decorative title - Hear Us Sing, See Us Swing, Up in the Old Oak Tree
O—oh! O—oh!
Here we go,
Now so high,
Now so low;
Soon, soon,
We’ll reach the moon;
Hear us sing,
See us swing,
Up in the old oak-tree.
O—oh! O—oh!
To and fro,
Like the birds,
High and low;
See us fly
To the sky;
Hear us sing,
On the wing,
Up in the old oak-tree.

L. A. B. C.

Two boats near the shore


A pair of birds

Birds, and birds, and birds! Have you any idea how many kinds of birds there are? I am very sorry you could not count them all. And such queer fellows many of them are! There are butcher-birds and tailor-birds, soldier-birds—the penguins, you know, who stand on the sea-shore like companies of soldiers, “heads up, eyes front, arms (meaning wings) at the sides”—and sailor-birds. It is about one of the sailor-birds and his babies that I am going to tell you now. She is called the Little Grebe, or sometimes, by her intimate friends, the Dabchick. She is a pretty little bird, about nine inches long, with brown head and back, and grayish-white breast. She and her husband are both extremely fond of the water. “We are first cousins to the Divers!” they sometimes say proudly. “The Divers are never happy away from the water, and neither are we. It is very vulgar to live on land all the time. One might almost as well have four legs, and be a creature at once!” (The Divers are a very proud family, and speak of all quadrupeds as “creatures.”) Mr. and Mrs. Grebe have very curiously webbed feet, looking more like a horse-chestnut leaf with three lobes than anything else. They are excellent swimmers and divers; indeed, in diving, the Great Northern Diver himself is not so quick and alert. If anything frightens them, pop! they are under the water in the shaking of a feather; and you may sometimes see them in a pond, popping up and down like little absurd Jacks-in-the-box. As they think the land so very vulgar, of course they do not want to bring up their children on it.

Birds on the river

Oh, dear, no! They find a pleasant, quiet stream, or pond, where there are plenty of reeds and rushes growing in the water, and where there is no danger of their being disturbed by “creatures.” Then they go to work and make a raft, a regular raft, of strong stems of water-plants, reeds, and arrow-heads, plaited and woven together with great care and skill. It is light enough to float, and yet strong enough to bear the weight of the mother-bird.

While she is building it she sits, or stands, on another and more roughly built raft, which is not meant to hold together long. Mr. Grebe helps her, pulling up the water-plants and cutting off the stems the right length; and so this little couple work away till the raft-nest is quite ready. Then Mrs. Grebe takes her place on it, and proceeds to lay and hatch her eggs. There are five or six eggs, and they are white when she lays them; but they do not keep their whiteness long, for the water-weeds and the leaves that cover the raft soon decay, and stain the pretty white eggs, so that they are muddy brown by the time they are hatched. Well, there little Madame Grebe sits, brooding contentedly over her eggs, and thinking how carefully she will bring up her children, so that they will be a credit to the family of the Divers. Mr. Grebe paddles, and dives and pops up and down about the nest, and brings her all sorts of good things to eat,—worms for dinner, minnows for supper, and for breakfast the most delicate and appetizing of flies and beetles. One day, when he brings his wife’s dinner (a fine stickle-back), he finds her in a state of great excitement.

“My dear,” she says, “I am going to move. I cannot endure this place another hour. I only waited to tell you about it.”

“Why, what is the matter, my love?” asks Mr. Grebe, in amazement.

“Some creatures have been here,” answers little madam, indignantly,—“huge, ugly monsters, with horns; cows, I believe they are called. They have torn up the reeds, and muddied the water; and, if you will believe it, Dabchick, one of them nearly walked right over me; then I flew in his face, and gave him a good fright, I can tell you. But the whole thing has upset me very much, and I am determined to leave the place.”

“Very well, my love,” says the dutiful Dabchick. “Whatever you say is always right!”

Accordingly, when she has finished her dinner, Mrs. Grebe puts one foot into the water, and paddles her raft away as skilfully as if she were an Indian in a birch canoe. She steers it round the corners, and paddles on and on, till she finds another quiet nook, where there is no sign of any “creatures.” Then she draws in her paddle-foot, and broods quietly again, while Mr. Grebe, who has followed her, goes to explore the new surroundings, and see what he can pick up for supper.

After a time the muddy brown eggs crack open one by one, and out come the young Dabchicks, pretty, little, fuzzy brown balls. They shake themselves, and look at each other, and say how-d’-ye-do to their mother and father; and then, without any more delay, pop! they go into the water. “Hurrah!” says one. “I can swim!”


Out here papa finds her,
Lifts her tenderly,
Carries her safe home again,—
Never once wakes she.
Polly asleep under a tree
When the breakfast all is o’er
Polly opes her eyes.
“Surely, mamma, I did dream,”
Says she in surprise,
“That I went out to the Park,
Where the birdies sing.”
Mamma smiles; how can she chide
The winsome little thing!


A pair of birds


This way and that way, one, two, three.
Come if you want a dance to see;
With his chubby hands on his dress so blue,
See what a baby boy can do.
One foot up and one foot down;
See him try to smile and frown;
He would look better, I do declare,
With some more teeth and a little more hair.
One, two, three, chick-a-dee-dee!
This I take the fact to be,
That there never was, on sea nor shore,
Such a queer little dance as this before!


When little Sam was six years old, he began to go to school. His teacher gave him a merit card whenever he was good all day. But sometimes he whispered, or made a noise in school, and then he did not get one.

“I will give you a penny whenever you bring home a card,” said Sam’s father.

After that Sam was very good, and brought home a card almost every day. He saved up his pennies, and when he was seven years old, he bought a pretty toy boat.

Sam’s sister Hattie went with him to the duck-pond to see him sail the boat. But soon she grew tired, and went back to the house.

“I wish I had something to put into my boat,” thought Sam.

He looked around and saw Hattie’s doll under a tree. Hattie had forgotten it when she went to the house. It was a pretty wax doll, with long flaxen hair, and blue eyes that would open and shut. It was dressed in pink silk, and had a little straw hat with a pink feather.

Sam and his sailing boat, and what happened to Miss Dolly

“I will give Miss Dolly a sail,” thought Sam.

He put the doll in the boat, and pushed it out on the water.

“Hattie, Hattie!” he cried, “come and see your doll taking a sail.”

Just as he spoke an old duck swam against the boat, and gave it such a push that Miss Dolly fell off into the water. Before Sam could reach her with a long stick she sank to the bottom of the pond.

Hattie cried until she had no tears left to shed, and Sam felt like crying, too. He knew he ought not to have taken his sister’s doll.

He went on saving his pennies just as he had done before he bought the boat. And when he opened his tin bank on his next birthday he found that he had nearly three dollars. What do you think he bought? I am afraid you would never guess, so I will tell you. He bought a new doll for Hattie, and it was even prettier than the one he had drowned in the duck-pond.


Hattie and Sam after the sinking


A dear little maid, with sun-bonnet red
Tied carefully over her little brown head,
With two little bare feet, so active and brown,
Has started to travel to Strawberry town.
“And pray where is that?” Oh dear! don’t you know?
It’s out in the field where the strawberries grow;
Where papa, and Henry, and Sue, in the sun,
Pick the sweet, big, red berries so fast, one by one.
The maid and her kittens
“It’s a very great ways,” says the dear little maid,
“To Strawberry town, and I’m so afraid.”
And so as companions, to keep her from harm,
She takes two fat kittens, one under each arm.
She trudges along with brown eyes opened wide,
The kittens hugged sociably up to each side;
With ears sticking up and tails hanging down,
She carries them bravely to Strawberry town.


Flossie and her shoe-boat


Flossie took to the sea very early. She did not like to be bathed, but she was very fond of playing in the water.

One day, when she was at her bath, her mother’s back was turned, and little Miss Flossie turned her slipper into a boat and set it afloat in her little bath-tub. Then she pushed it about and made believe it was sailing. By and by it got full of water and sank, crew and all. This made her cry, and that made her mother look round. Flossie’s shoe-boat was taken from her, and then she cried more. Her mother knew best, and was very firm. Miss Flossie had to give up being a sailor, and put on her pink dress and go downstairs.

R. W. L.


Little Nellie lived in California. Her papa was going on a visit to his old home in Maine, but Nellie was to stay at home with her mamma. Just before her father left, her mother took his great-coat, brushed it, and said, “I have put some handkerchiefs in this pocket, and in the other one is a nice lunch of cake and fruit.”

The father and mother were so busy that they took no notice of Nellie. But she had heard what mamma said. Her first thought was that she must put something in papa’s pocket, too.

Nellie makes lunch for her father

Her mother had been changing Nellie’s clothes, and a soiled little stocking lay on the floor. The child had a small cake of maple sugar in her hand that she was eating. She took up the stocking and crammed the sugar down into the toe. She then rolled it up tight and tucked it down in one corner of her papa’s pocket. No one saw her do it. The first that was known of what she had done was one day after her papa had reached his old home. He was searching his pocket for something when he felt the little stocking. He took it out, and when he saw what it was, what a good laugh he had! And how it made him think of his little Nellie, who was so far away!

Nellie’s papa showed me the little stocking and the cake of sugar. He said he would save them until Nellie was older, and she could then see what a nice lunch she had put up for her papa.


A portrait of Dime


Bow-wow! Here I am again! I told you before that my name is Dime; but the baby calls me “Bow-wow.” Do you know why? It is because I always say “Bow-wow.” It is all the word I know how to say.

Do you know our baby? She has big black eyes, and her mouth looks like a pink rosebud. She is a sweet little girl. I love her dearly. I did not like her when she first came. That was a long time ago. My master was very fond of her. That made me feel cross. I used to bark at baby and show all my teeth. After that they did not let me come near her. I did not see the baby for a long time. I did not care for that.

My master did not seem to like me then. When he saw me, he said, “Go away, Dime! Go away, bad dog! You are not good to the baby.” So I was not happy. I made up my mind to bite that baby.

It was a long time before I got a chance to bite her; but one day I found her alone. She was in her little crib. I put my paws on her crib.

But I did not bite her, after all. Shall I tell you why? She was too pretty to bite. So I kissed the baby, and I have loved her ever since.

Dime looks at the sleeping baby

Now, my master likes me again. He pats my head and says, “Good old dog! Good Dime! You love the baby, don’t you?”

I am glad I am not a cross dog now. I feel better when I am good. Don’t you?



“Come, Freddie, time you were in bed long ago,” said mamma.

“Don’t want to go!” cried Fred. “I wish I never had to go to bed!”

But in a few moments Fred was snugly tucked away. Everything grew dim, and Fred’s eyes began to close. Very soon he heard a little voice from somewhere, and started up.

Perched on his knee was the queerest little man he had ever seen. In one hand he held a long pin, and this he often thrust at Fred.

“What are you doing that for?” asked Fred. “To keep you awake,” said the little dwarf. “You are in Wide-Awake Land, and no one goes to sleep here.”

Freddie is wide awake

Fred sat up in bed and looked about. Was it really Wide-Awake Land? Needn’t he ever go to bed again? “O, I am glad!” he said.

There were many other boys and girls in this queer land, and most of them looked very unhappy.

“What is the matter?” asked Fred of a little boy who was crying hard.

“I’m tired and sleepy,” sobbed the boy.

“Why don’t you go to sleep then?” asked Fred.

“Humph! I guess you haven’t been here long, or you’d know.”

“No, I’ve just come; I think it’s nice.”

“Wait till you get sleepy,” said the boy. “I used to think Wide-Awake Land would be nice. I believe Sleepy Land would be nicer now.”

Freddie and the other little boys

“Yes,” added Fred; “but why can’t you go to sleep?”

“Because the little men that you see everywhere carry pins. They prick us when we try to sleep. O, I wish I hadn’t come!” And the boy began to cry again. Fred thought he was very silly, and ran off to find some other new-comer.

Night came at last. Big lamps were hung on the trees and made the place as light as day. The little men were flying about to keep the sleepy ones awake.

Fred got sleepy at last, and began to nod. A little man thrust a big pin into him. “You must keep awake,” he said. Fred tried hard, but his eyes would shut, and then would come the wicked pin. At last he screamed aloud.

“Why, Fred! what is the trouble?” and he looked up. There was mamma.

“I don’t like Wide-Awake Land,” cried Fred. “I will go to sleep when you want me to after this.”

“I think you are dreaming, Fred,” replied mamma.

“I was, but I am awake now.”

“Well, dear, you are in Sleepy Land now. So good night, and pleasant dreams.”


A little girl wearing a hat


Lulu was six years old last spring. She came to make a visit at her grandfather’s, and stayed until after Thanksgiving.

Lulu had lived away down in Cuba ever since she was a year old. Her cousins had written to her what a good time they had on Thanksgiving Day; so she was very anxious to be at her grandfather’s at that time. They do not have a Thanksgiving Day down in Cuba. That is how Lulu did not have one until she was six years old.

The family at table waiting for the turkey to be carved

She could hardly wait for the day to come. Such a grand time as they did have! Lulu did not know she had so many cousins until they came to spend the day at her grandfather’s. It did not take them long to get acquainted. Before time for dinner they felt as if they had always known each other.

The dinner was the grand event of the day. Lulu had never seen so long a table except at a hotel, nor some of the vegetables and kinds of pie.

Playing blind-man's-buff

Lulu had never tasted turkey before. Her grandmother would not have one cooked until then, so she could say that she had eaten her first piece of turkey on Thanksgiving Day.

After dinner they played all kinds of games. All the uncles and aunts and grown-up cousins played blind-man’s-buff with them.


In a land where summer lingers,
Far from Northern rains and snows,
Where, like loving, clasping fingers,
Twines the jasmine with the rose,
A little girl with a bunch of flowers
There I found a little maiden:
Oh! her eyes were black as night,
And her tiny hands were laden
Down with blossoms pearly white.
Sought she all along the wayside,
’Mong the ferns and waving palms,
Where the tiniest flower might hide
From her sweet protecting arms.
“What fresh treasure are you seeking?”
Asked I of the little one,
For a myriad blooms were peeping
Through the mosses to the sun.
“Have you never heard, dear lady,
Of the sweetest flower that blooms,—
It is neither proud nor stately,
Like the lily and the rose;
“But it brightens every pathway,
Springing ’neath your careless tread.
Till the sun, with quickening ray,
Kisses soft its drooping head.
“Then its petals quick unclosing,
Freshly sweet with morning dew,—
It is left for our supposing
That the story must be true,—
“How it shyly waits the coming
Of the glorious King of Day,
And that hence the pretty naming
Of a Sun-Kiss, so they say?”


[1] Small purple flower; grows by the wayside in the South.

A dragonfly and leaves

Two calves


Mrs. Brown read a little article in the newspaper one evening, about “Country week for poor children.”

“Husband,” said she, “I have an idea. We have such a good farm, and so many nice things, suppose we take some boarders this summer, who can’t afford to pay anything.”

When she told him what she meant, Mr. Brown thought it a very good idea, indeed.

“The currants and raspberries are ripe. I’ll see if Mrs. Anderson knows of some nice children, who will have to stay in the hot streets of the city all summer. We will ask them to come here.”

Of course, Mrs. Anderson knew of some nice children. She belonged to a mission-school, and knew dozens of them. So, the next Wednesday, when Mr. Brown drove down to the station, there she was, and two little ones with her, Lina and Carl Schmidt. Carl was almost a baby, and went to sleep as soon as they were in the carriage; but Lina held her breath with delight as she rode to the farm. She was half afraid, too, and held on very tightly if old Billy went faster than a walk. As Mr. Brown watched the bright little face he began to think his wife’s idea was a splendid one.

“Well, little one,” said Mrs. Brown to Lina, when they reached the house, “what do you think of the country?”

“Oh, I do want to take such long breaths!” said Lina, “I wish my mamma could see it too.”

“The first thing for these small folks,” added Mrs. Brown, “is some of Brindle’s nice milk.”

The family watch the cow being milked

Carl waked up long enough to drink some, and say, “Dood, dood.” Then he grew sleepy again, and Mrs. Brown laid him on a shawl upon the grass, under the trees. The hens gathered around him, looked at each other and clucked, as much as to say, “What kind of a queer creature is this?” Young Mr. Bantie was about to peck him to find out, when they heard a little voice calling “Biddy, Biddy, Biddy!” from the barn. Off they went, half flying and half running.

Mrs. Brown had given Lina a tin pail, with corn in it to scatter to the hens. They came from all directions, and got around her so closely that she was afraid to stir. She had taken out one handful of the corn, but was afraid to throw it. Then the greedy hens began to peck her hand, and try to get it out of the pail. She began to cry so loud that every one ran out of the house to see what was the matter. It was funny enough to see her, standing in the middle of that greedy crowd of hens, with her eyes shut very tightly, and her mouth very wide open.

When Carl waked up, he wanted some more milk. Mrs. Brown said, “We’ll go down and see Brindle milked, and you shall have it nice and warm.” Lina had seen pictures of cows, but never a live one. She had no idea they were so big. Mrs. Brown asked her if she would like to milk; but she thought she would rather stand at a little distance. As for Carl, he shut up his eyes, and tried to get out of sight of the creature. However, he liked the warm milk very much.

Lina spent most of the next day in the garden. She helped pick the peas and beans, and stem the currants. She went with Mr. Brown to find the eggs, and held Billy’s halter while he drank at the trough. Every day was full of pleasure, and Mr. and Mrs. Brown had just as good a time as the children. At the end of the week they couldn’t bear to let them go; so it came about that the children’s week, for Lina and Carl, lasted all summer.

J. A. M.

A sprig of berries



In winter, when it freezes,
In winter, when it snows,
The road to school seems long and drear,
O’er which the school-boy goes.

But when the pleasant summer comes,
With birds and fruit and flowers,
The road to school, how short it is!
And short the sunny hours!
But to the boy who loves to learn,
And wisdom strives to gain,
The road to school is always short,
In sunshine, snow, or rain.

L. A. B. C.


Sammy Brown had a monkey. He bought him of an organ-player. He named him Billy.

Sammy and Billy

Sammy’s mother did not know what a naughty monkey he was. If she had, she would not have given Sammy the money to buy him.

Sammy thought he was very cunning. All the boys at school thought so too. They all wanted one just like him. Sammy had him out every Saturday afternoon. He was dressed in a gay little uniform. He would play on a drum. He was fond of mischief; and when no one was watching him he would do some very queer things. He would take the spools from Mrs. Brown’s work-basket. He would carry them away and hide them.

He would take her thimble and wax, and hide them too.

Sometimes he would bring them back again. Sometimes Mrs. Brown would have to find them herself. This gave her a good deal of trouble.

At last Billy acted so badly, that Mrs. Brown told Sammy that she could not have him in the house any longer. One morning Mrs. Brown went away to spend the day.

She thought the monkey was fastened out of the house. But he got in through a window. When Mrs. Brown came home she did think of Billy. She opened the door of her pantry. She saw a dreadful sight. She knew at once that Billy had been there. He had moved the dishes all about, from one shelf to another. He had poured milk and sugar over the floor. He had emptied bottles of medicine into clean dishes. He had broken up a whole loaf of cake and scattered it around. He had eaten out the middle of a pie, and turned it over in the plate. Mrs. Brown could not find her spoons and forks anywhere. But she found them afterwards in the cellar.

Now Mrs. Brown had to go right to work and clean her pantry. After she had put that in order, she made a fire in the stove. All this time Billy was not seen anywhere.

Billy pouring milk on the floor

The fire had been burning a few minutes, when Mrs. Brown heard a terrible scratching in the oven, and out jumped Billy as spry as ever.

He ran out of doors. He was not seen again until the next morning.

Then Mrs. Brown told Sammy that the monkey had made so much work for her, that she could not have him any longer.

Sammy saw that his mother was very much in earnest.

So he sold Billy to a pedler who came along the next day.

The pedler gave him fifty cents for Billy.

Sammy was sorry to let him go, but he wanted to please his mother.

M. M. H.

An owl

A cottage, birds and butterflies


Bessie Lee was six years old when she went to the mountains of North Carolina with her father.

What Bessie liked best of all were the nice donkey rides every morning. The poor donkeys didn’t get much rest, for the little folks kept them busy all day. Bessie was kind to them, but some of the children were not. Bessie liked a donkey named Kate best of all.

Kate is unhappy at being ridden

One day Bessie’s father put her in the saddle, and Kate kicked up. When Bessie was lifted off, and the saddle removed, a great bleeding sore was found on the poor donkey’s back.

Bessie felt very sorry for poor Kate, and said, “Papa, I don’t want to ride to-day, but please do not send Kate back to the stables.”

“Why not, Bessie?” said Mr. Lee.

“O, papa, the man will let her to some of the rough boys, and they will hurt her back.”

Mr. Lee was pleased to see his little daughter’s kindness to the poor dumb donkey; but he wished to know if Bessie would deny herself for Kate.

“Well, Bessie,” said her father, “if you have any money, give it to the man when he comes for the donkey. Tell him you wish to keep Kate all day.”

“I have the money you gave me for ice-cream,” said Bessie. “Will that pay the man?”

It was enough, and was given to the man. Bessie kept the donkey all day. She led Kate to the greenest places in the yard, and let her eat the grass. She divided her apples with Kate, and carried her a little pail of water.

Bessie feeds an apple to Kate

At night Bessie told her father she had been happy all day. He made her still happier by telling her she could keep Kate every day while she was in the mountains.

Bessie kissed her father and was soon fast asleep. She dreamed of riding in a little carriage drawn by six white donkeys.


A spray of flowers


Pauline had no little brothers or sisters, and no little playmates. Her father’s home was away out in the country, far away from any neighbors. Being so much alone, Pauline thought of all sorts of queer ways to amuse herself. One day she invited her papa and mamma to go down to see her “Nursery,” as she called it. It was a little, square piece of ground, enclosed by a neat low fence, made of narrow slats, placed close together. All kinds of flowers were planted around it. Besides, there were some little, flat buildings all along one side.

Pauline plays outdoors with her pets


What do you think they saw there? Toads of all sorts and sizes, from the wee baby toads to the great big grandfathers. Then such a strange array of garments!—for they were all dressed. Pauline had made for her pets all kinds of clothes. There they were, hopping around, some in bright calico dresses, and some in the funniest red flannel pants and coats you ever saw.

Toads in costume

Day after day Pauline went to her “Nursery” to feed and play with her strange little pets. But one morning she ran down as usual, after breakfast, to find all of the toad family had disappeared. The fence that enclosed her “Nursery” was completely broken down. Not a single toad was left of the funny creatures who had lived there.

Pauline felt very sorry to lose them. She told her mamma she was sure they would all die of shame when they found other toads did not wear any clothes at all.


Large mushrooms


Little Fred Mason’s father took him to an exhibition of wild animals.

After they had looked at the elephants, lions, tigers and bears, they went to see the monkeys. On the way, Mr. Mason bought two large oranges and gave them to Fred.

There were six cages of small animals. One of them was for the “happy family.” Fred thought the creatures in it must be called the “happy family” because the dogs, cats and monkeys were all the time teasing and plaguing one another. One monkey had a rat in his lap. He tended it as a mother does her baby. The monkey was happy, but Mr. Mason did not think the rat liked it very well.

Fred put one orange in his side pocket. He could not wait until he got home to eat the other. As he walked along among the cages he seemed to care more for the fruit than for the animals. He sucked the orange with all his might till he came to a cage with three monkeys in it.

One of them looked very sober and solemn. One opened his mouth and seemed to be laughing. All of them looked at Fred and held out their hands.

They could not talk; if they could they would have said, “Go halves!”

The orange was nice and sweet; Fred did not wish to “go halves.” He turned away, for he did not like to be asked for that which he was not willing to give. The monkeys put their hands out for some of the oranges, but Fred looked the other way.

Fred should have looked at the monkeys, for the one nearest to him put out his long arm and snatched the orange from his hand. Fred tried to get it again. While he was doing so, the solemn monkey reached down and took the orange from his pocket. Fred did not think how near he was to the cage.

Fred began to cry. The laughing monkey had no orange. He was afraid of the solemn monkey, but he chased the one that had stolen the orange Fred was eating all over the cage. He got it at last.

Fred’s father bought two more oranges for him, and he did not go near the cages again.


The monkeys in the cage, and Fred eating his orange


Children play ring-around-a-rosy


Cheeks just like a posy;
Eyes that twinkle with delight,—
Could there be a fairer sight?
Little feet that dance in glee;
Voices singing merrily.
Won’t you stop a little while?
At my question you will smile:
“Rosy I have never seen,—
Tell me, is she some fair queen?
Have your lily hands now crowned her,
While you formed a ring around her?
“Why ‘draw buckets of water
For my lady’s daughter’?
Has she spoiled her pretty dress?
Ah! to wash her face, I guess!
Very hard ’tis to unravel
What is meant, dears, by ‘green gravel.’
Then, you say, ‘How barley grows
You, nor I, nor nobody knows;’
Oats, peas, beans, too, you include:
If the question be not rude,
Darlings, tell why this is done.”
“Ha! ha!” laugh they; “it’s such fun!”



Something very strange happened at our house the other day. In our cold country we keep a stove in our sitting-room all summer. Sometimes we have to build a fire, even in July and August.

One afternoon I was surprised to hear a great scratching in the room. After looking about a little, I found it came from the stove. Scratch, scratch, scratch, as if some creature was trying hard to get out. I called my boy of eight years. For a few moments all was still, and we concluded the poor thing had got out as it had come in.

But we were mistaken; soon came that same clattering noise again. We removed the top of the stove and peeped in; nothing was to be seen in the darkness. We then made bold to open the door and poke about; but with no better result. After listening, we decided that the creature was between the lining and outside.

But how were we to get at it? Annie came in from the kitchen armed with a poker. We took out the damper and poked out all the soot and ashes. We brought to the front—what do you think? Why, a little bird, a chimney swallow, chirping and fluttering, poor thing, with fright.

One wing seemed to droop a little; so we took it up and put it in a box. If we supposed it was going to stay there we were much mistaken. Soon the bird began to recover, and with a little hop was upon the edge of the box cocking its head and looking with its big, bright eyes all about, as if on the alert for any new danger.

A tree was the best and safest place, and Hervin carried it out and set it gently down.

It rose, feebly at first, then soared away over the tops of the houses.

Wasn’t that a queer place to find a birdie? You are glad it got out, for that very night we had to have a fire.


Two cherubs


John and Lincoln have a fleet of ten boats. They made these boats themselves. They are made out of flat chips. They are whittled round at one end and pointed at the other. Each boat has a mast and a sail.

Sometimes they tie these boats together, and call them the John and Lincoln fleet; they call each other “Captain John” and “Captain Lincoln.” They have a big boat called the Mary; aunt Mary gave it to them. The Mary is their flagship.


One day the fleet were all out when a storm came. The wind blew, the rain fell, and the waves were big. Six of the little boats were wrecked on a rock. But the Mary only plunged a little. It was great fun. What, a storm at sea great fun! Yes, because John and Lincoln made the storm themselves. They made the wind with the bellows; they poured the big raindrops from the watering-pot; and they made the high waves by dragging shingles through the water.


The Starlight was in Gloucester harbor for three days, and Rob and Phyllis went on board with mamma one day, to lunch with Arthur and Helen and their mamma. They had never been on a yacht before. They were surprised to find it so pretty. It was finished in beautiful mahogany with a great deal of brass-work, the latter brightly shining, too, for the housekeeping on a yacht is always first-rate.

The ceiling of the cabin was of blue satin, and so were the curtains, which hung before the funny little windows, and at the doors. On each side of the cabin was a long seat covered with blue satin cushions.

These cushions lifted up, and underneath were kept books, dishes, clothes, in fact, all sorts of things. Every bit of room on a vessel is always precious, there can be so little of it, anyway. Helen showed Phyllis her sleeping room. It was a mite of a place, about half as big as the bed Phyllis slept in at home. The walls were lined with blue satin and the bed was covered with blue satin, and it was a real blue satin nest for a little girl, instead of for a bird.

Then they went on deck to watch the sailors, who were running up and down the rigging. Arthur has been on his father’s yacht so much, for his father owns the Starlight, that he can run up and down the ratlines almost as fast as the sailors can. The ratlines are the rope ladders you see in the picture. There was on board a big Newfoundland dog named Gil. Arthur’s aunt Lou told them a story about Gil.

Men climb the rigging



NOW Gil once belonged to an officer in our Navy and he sometimes went to sea with his master.

Once when he went on a voyage a little kitten went too. She was everybody’s pet and a very friendly kitty. She was afraid of Gil, though, and would never let him come near her, but would make such a loud spitting and growling at him, when he tried to play with her, that poor Gil had to go away and play by himself.

One day kitty fell overboard and Gil saw her and plunged into the sea to save her. Kitty thought it was bad enough to fall into the water, but to see Gil come jumping after her was too much, and she was ready to die with fright.

When he opened his great mouth to take her and hold her above water, she felt sure that her last moment had come, and she fought and scratched so, that Gil could not get hold of her.

The officers stood watching Gil and pussy. Poor little mistaken pussy was getting very tired and would soon sink if she did not let good old Gil save her.

Suddenly Gil dove down out of sight and then rose again just under kitty, so that she stood on his back. Puss was so glad to feel something solid under her little tired legs, that she clung to it with all her nails. Then Gil swam slowly to meet the boat which had been sent to pick him up.

A child drawing on a wall, another child helping



A little girl
I’ve got a brand-new parasol
(Of pink silk trimmed with lace),
But auntie says ’twill never keep
The shine out of my face.
Why not, I wonder: if it’s held
Just in the proper place,
Why won’t it keep the sunshine out
Of anybody’s face?
She says thick clouds would hardly do
(Much less pink silk and lace)
To keep the merry sunshine out
Of such a dimpled face.
But mamma says, “Go take your walk,
And never mind aunt Grace.”
I ’spect I’ll have to let the sun
Keep shining in my face!


He was David Livingstone. He was a missionary, and a great traveller too.

He lived almost all his life in Africa. In some parts of Africa there are lions. Once he was staying at a certain village. Every night the lions broke into the yards and carried off a cow or two. So a party of natives went out to hunt for them.


Livingstone was with them. They saw some lions, and tried to surround them in a circle. But the lions got away.

They were coming home when Livingstone saw a great lion. He was sitting on a rock not far away. He fired at him, but did not hit him. He stopped to load his gun again.

He heard the men shout. He turned and saw the lion all ready to spring.

(A lion crouches to spring, like a cat.)

The lion sprang upon Livingstone, and seized his shoulder with his great teeth. He shook him just as a cat shakes a mouse.

Was Livingstone frightened? He was frightened when the lion seized him. But after he shook him he wasn’t a bit afraid.

He said the lion shook the fear all out of him. He felt as if he was in a pleasant dream. He only wondered what the lion would do next.

He did not do anything next. He stood with his great paw on Livingstone’s head till another man fired at him. Then he sprang on that man and bit him.

Then he sprang on a third man and bit him. And then—he rolled over, dead! So Livingstone escaped.

Livingstone afterwards visited England. The little English children used to ask him to tell them the story of how the lion shook him.

The lion belongs to the cat family. Does not the lion in the picture look like a big handsome cat?


He always begins his queer cry about an hour before sunrise.

Then he is heard again just at noon, and again at sunset. So he has another name. He is called the “Bushman’s clock.”

In Australia there are great tracts of land where few white people live. These tracts of land are called “The Bush;” and the settlers on these lands are called Bushmen.


The laughing jackass is a very sociable bird. He likes to watch the Bushman at his work. He watches him as he pitches his tent, and builds his fire and cooks his supper. He is a kingfisher.

Kingfishers generally live near the water. But this great brown fisher lives in the woods. He eats crabs and insects. He relishes lizards very much, and there are plenty of lizards in Australia.

A man wearing a headcloth


He hates snakes. A great many snakes are found in Australia, and many of them are very poisonous.

The laughing jackass is not a bit afraid of them. He kills them with his long, sharp bill.

When he is angry he raises the crest on his head.

His color is a fine chestnut brown mixed with white. His wings are slightly blue.

The mother-bird lays her eggs in a hole in a gum-tree. She does not build a nest. She lays her eggs on the rotten wood at the bottom of the hole. Her eggs are a lovely pearl white.

Here is one of the black men who live in Australia. He is listening to the cry of the laughing jackass.


Jocko was homesick. Jocko was a forest creature. He was born to tread the ground, and climb trees, and eat sweet wild fruits.

Jocko liked to leap from tree to tree, and run about over miles of woodland. Now he found himself in a cage. He called and cried, but none of his little brown playmates answered.

He could see only blue waves, and the ropes and masts and sails of the ship. He was tossed up and down. His cage swung from side to side. The motion made him sick—seasick.

After many days, he saw the land again. But it was not forest land. It was brown land—city land. No moss, no vines, no dewy green grass, no flowers! All stone and brick! His cage was carried into a hotel dining-room where people came and sat down and talked in German, and ate things that Jocko knew were not good to eat—bread and pies and cheese and sauerkraut and meat. Oh, how Jocko wanted a fresh sweet cocoanut!

But by and by Jocko was not so homesick. The cook was kind to him, and gave him sweet bits to eat. The visitors took him up and petted him. The little girl who lived at the hotel made him a nice bed in the little crib she used to sleep in.

So at last Jocko had a good time, and forgot about the woods.

But one day little Gretchen played a trick on him to see what he would do. She knew he was fond of white lump sugar. So she filled a bottle with lumps of sugar. Then she gave it to Jocko.

Jocko was wild with delight when he saw the sugar. He jumped up in a chair and lifted the bottle to his mouth.

But Gretchen had put in a cork. The sugar would not pour out.

It was very funny then to see what trouble Jocko was in. He would tilt the bottle up and try to drink the sugar out of the neck. Then he would try to shake it out at the bottom. Then he would sit still and look at the lumps. Then he would try to bite through the glass. Then he would jump down and run away. Then he would come back and catch the bottle again and roll the lumps about, and chatter and scold as he heard them rattle.

This went on for several days. Everybody came in to see little Gretchen’s monkey and his sugar bottle.


But one day the cook let a jar of olives fall. It broke, and the olives rolled out on the floor. Jocko gave a little scream of joy. Like a flash, up he sprang to a high cupboard with his sugar bottle, and gave it a mighty fling. Down it came—crash!

Out the lumps rolled over the floor. Down sprang Jocko. He shouted with delight. He had a sweet feast.

Oh, how he munched and crunched and chattered! And now, what do you think happened?

He would seize every bottle and can and pitcher that was left within reach. Up he would run to the top of some high cupboard or shelf and dash it to the floor! Such mischief as he made!

Little Gretchen had to give him away at last because he broke everything he could lay his roguish paws upon.


He saw the stormy petrels. They flew about the ship almost every day. They liked to eat the scraps the cook threw overboard.

A petrel in flight over the sea THE STORMY PETREL.

The petrels are sooty black. Their feet are partly webbed.

They sit and float upon the water. They run about over the water. In stormy weather they fly through the dashing foam.

Bobby’s mamma told him many things about the stormy petrel. She told him how the stormy petrel flies far, far away from land. His home is on the sea. He can fly all day long and not be tired.

The stormy petrel hardly ever goes on land except to lay her eggs. Her nest is in a hole in some high cliff by the sea. She hatches one little bird. It looks like a ball of fluff. The nest smells very oily.

The stormy petrel is very oily, like all sea birds. He is so full of oil that the people of the Faroe Islands sometimes use him for a lamp. They take a dead petrel and run a wick through him. Then they set him on end and light the wick and he gives a very good light indeed!

The sailors call the stormy petrel “Mother Carey’s chickens.”

The name of Bobby’s ship was The Jefferson. Once when the Jefferson was in an English port, Bobby saw something very pretty. It was a bird’s nest. It was built in the rigging of a ship.

This ship had been lying in port a good while. The nest was built in a block where some of the cordage runs. It was built by a pair of chaffinches.

Now the chaffinch is not a sea bird; it is a land bird. It builds its nest in trees and hedges. It builds a cosey little nest out of moss and wool and hair. It is deep and round like a cup.

But this pretty pair of chaffinches found a new place in which to build their nest. It was even more airy than the top of a tree. See it in the picture! Day by day Bobby watched them as they flew busily to and fro. Many other people watched them too.


The chaffinch is a cheerful little bird. In the countries where he lives, he is heard merrily whistling in the spring time. There he sits singing to his mate who is keeping her eggs warm. Happy little fellow!


Little boys and girls believe that all mosquitoes sting and bite.

But they do not. The male mosquito never does. He wears a plume on his head, and does nothing but dance in the sunshine.

It is the female mosquito that sings around our heads at night and keeps us awake. It is she who bites us. Look at her head. This is the way it looks under a microscope. Do you wonder that her bite hurts?


She lays her eggs in a very queer way. First she finds a puddle or a pool of warmish water. Then she fastens herself to some stick, or sliver, or stem, or floating leaf, by her first two rows of legs. Then she lays about three hundred tiny eggs.

The eggs cling together in the shape of a boat or canoe, and float upon the water. In about three days they hatch. Then the warm water is full of “wigglers.”

By and by these wigglers have wings. The outside skin bursts open. They lift their heads and shoulders out of the water. Then off they fly—a whole swarm of singing, stinging mosquitoes.

We are all glad when the cold weather comes and the mosquito goes.

I suppose you think if you lived in a cold country, you would not be troubled by mosquitoes.

But in Lapland, a very cold country, the mosquitoes come in crowds and clouds. Sometimes they are so thick they hide people in the road like a fog. What do you think of that?


The bobolink laughs in the meadow;
The wild waves laugh on the sea;
They sparkle and glance, they dimple and dance,
And are merry as waves can be.
The green leaves laugh on the trees;
The fields laugh out with their flowers;
In the sunbeam’s glance, they glow and they dance.
And laugh to their falling showers.
The man laughs up in the moon;
The stars too laugh in the sky;
They sparkle and glance, they twinkle and dance.
Then why, then, pray, shouldn’t I?
Oh, I laugh at morn and at night,
I laugh through the livelong day.
I laugh and I prance, I skip and I dance.
So happy am I and so gay.


Annie and her ducks



There were seven ducklings. The very first thing they did was to go and tumble into a bucket of water.

“Cluck-cluck-cluck! quaw-aw-awk! cr-r-r!” said the hen-mother. She was so frightened she made just such a noise as she does when she sees a hawk.

She thought they would all drown. But they didn’t. They swam and dove and shook the water from their little wings.

One day when they were about a quarter grown, Annie found Fluffy-dumpty lying on the ground; she was quacking faintly. Her leg was broken! Annie ran to papa.

“O papa! mend her leg just as you did my arm!” she said.

Papa is a doctor; and when Annie was a very little girl she broke her arm and papa mended it. So he did up Fluffy-dumpty’s leg with a splinter, and then wound a bandage round it. Annie took care of her. Mary used to help Annie feed her with a spoon.

Fluffy-dumpty got well very fast. But when she was about three quarters grown, she met with another accident. She fell down a steep cellar way.

“Quack-quack! Take me out! Oh, take me out!” cried poor Fluffy-dumpty. The other six ducks crowded around and looked down at her.

“We can’t! we can’t!” they cried. “We haven’t got any hands. Call a boy, do!” So Annie called Sam, who took her out.

How thankful Fluffy-dumpty was! She smoothed down her ruffled feathers and said, “Quack-quack,” softly. The other ducks all talked at once.

“What a narrow ’scape you had, Fluffy-dumpty!” said one duck.

“How did you happen to fall into that horrid place?” asked another.

“What a fine boy Sam is!” said a third duck.

“He’s almost too good for a boy,” said a fourth.

But it all sounded as if they only said “quack-quack!”

Every day of their lives these ducks got into the garden, and ate the lettuce and strawberries and cabbage. So the gardener put a board over the hole under the gate.

“Never mind,” said big Broad-bill, “we know more ways than one.” Then the seven started off in a line, and marched round the garden till they came to another hole, and in they went. The gardener was very angry.


BERTIE had gone off and left Vick. He was so eager to see the soldiers parade that he forgot all about him. This had never happened before.

When Uncle Ned gave Vick to Bertie mamma said: “Now, Bertie, you must take the care of Vick. If a boy has a dog he must learn to care for him. You must see that Vick is fed. You must bathe and comb him every day; and you must give him plenty of exercise.”

But as I said, Bertie had forgotten Vick that day. Vick did not know what to make of it. His heart was almost broken.

“This is too bad!” he howled. “Here am I shut up with two saucepans and a dummy. No water to drink—no bone to gnaw—no little master to play with—wow-ow-ow-ow!”

What a dismal howl it was! Mamma heard him; she was in the kitchen making sponge cake. She could not leave it for a moment. But as soon as it was baked she let Vick out.

There was Bertie just coming round the corner! He looked quite ashamed. Yes, he had thought of Vick at last. He had come home for him.

Did Vick forgive him? Doggies always forgive. They have loving and generous hearts. He scrambled all over Bertie and licked his hands and his face and off they went to see the soldiers—a very happy pair.

Do you think Bertie ever forgot Vick again?

Do you ever forget to care for your pets?

Mother and children watch the dogs eating



Every summer grandma Cushing has two visitors. Their names are Blanche Cushing and Dorothy Cushing.

Blanche lives in Iowa. She has blue eyes and yellow hair and is seven years old. Dorothy lives in New York City. She has brown eyes and brown hair and is eight years old.

They love dearly to play in grandma’s attic. There are queer old bonnets and gowns and cocked hats hanging on the walls.

There are trunks full of caps and spectacles and old snuffers and no end of queer things.

I cannot begin to tell you everything the cousins play. But there is one thing they like to play ever so much.


They like to dress up in the queer old clothes and play Cinderella, and Mother Hubbard, and Red Riding Hood.

When Blanche gets on her great-great-grandma Cushing’s cap and spectacles and long mits, she makes a very charming little Mother Hubbard.


They sit in the big old chairs and tell stories. Dorothy likes to hear about the wolves. There are wolves where Blanche lives.

“Yes, one day when I was a very, very little girl,” said Blanche, “a horrid big wolf came up to the window and looked in. I was sitting in mamma’s lap, and he put his paws on the window and just looked at us horrid!

“And then another time, mamma, you know, was going out to meet papa, and she saw a big wolf on the ground, and she thought it was dead, and she was going right up, and it wasn’t dead a bit. It just got up and runned off to the woods, and mamma was awful scared and runned away too.”

When Blanche tells the wolf stories they play “scared.” It is fun to play “scared.” They shriek and run and hide.

One rainy day they had been playing Mother Hubbard.

“Now,” said Blanche, “I will tell a b-eautiful wolf story. It will make us awful scared. See if it doesn’t!”

So she climbed up into a big chair and began. But right in the middle of the story they heard something go scratch, scratch, very loudly.

“Oh, what is that, Dotty?” whispered Blanche, clutching Dorothy’s arm.

Scratch, scratch, it went again, and then there was a great rattling.

“Oh, it’s a wolf!” cried Dotty; and down the attic stairs they flew pell-mell; through the kitchen chamber and the great unfinished chamber, and down the back stairs; through the kitchen and the dining-room, and burst into grandma’s room all out of breath.

“What is the matter, children?” asked grandma.

“Oh, there’s a wolf in the attic,” they both cried out.

“Nonsense! we don’t have wolves in Massachusetts,” said grandma.

“Well,” said Dorothy, “something scratched dreadfully.”

So grandma went up to the attic to see about it. “Where was the noise?” she asked.


They pointed to the dark place behind the big chimneys. Grandma went up and opened a door and out walked—a wolf! no; Towser, the old cat! Blanche and Dorothy sometimes have another visitor in the attic. It is a big rat. He lives in the barn. He has a road underground to the house cellar. Then he comes up to the attic through the wall.

The cousins never know when to expect him. He comes in without knocking. The first thing they know there he is looking at them with bright eyes.

They have named him Bright-eyes. They feed him with cake and cheese. He is very tame. Grandma says she never heard of such a thing as feeding a rat. She says Bright-eyes eats her hens’ eggs. He steals them out of the nests.



So sleepy and demure is my wee Gracie,
So long and sober grows the little facie,
So silent are the red, red lips so sweet,
So quiet are the little hands and feet,
I know, yes, well I know
My Gracie wants to go
Into the soft, white nest where every night
My birdie folds her wings till morning light.
And now beside my knee the pretty lisper
Her evening prayer with folded hands must whisper,
While baby sister sleeps on mother’s breast,
Lulled with our voices low to dreamy rest.
Then in her nightie white,
My restless sunbeam bright
Is hidden from her shoulders to her feet,
And tucked away in slumber soft and sweet.


A merry, white-robed figure at my side,
A laughing face, with blue eyes opened wide.
Red lips that kiss me in the early dawn
And tell me fast enough that night is gone.
Ripe and ready for play,
In the early morning gray,
Restless again are the small hands and feet,
Silent no longer, little lips so sweet.
Where is the sunbeam like my Gracie’s eyes?
Blue as the blue of summer’s bluest skies!
What sweeter wakening could be mine than this
The soft “Good morning!” of my daughter’s kiss?
And thus each hour of day
Girl Gracie claims for play
Till comes the “Sand-man” with the twilight hour
And play has vanished ’neath his mystic power.


The magpie is a very handsome bird. He knows he is handsome, too. He has a fine broad tail. There is a band of purple near the end of each feather, and the end is green and purple.

He walks about with this handsome tail perked in the air. He does not drag it in the dirt, not he!

He is a bright bird, too. He can learn to talk, and he is full of pretty and naughty tricks. He is a—thief! He steals eggs from other birds’ nests. He strikes his bill through the egg and walks off with it. And he does a worse thing than that. He steals the young birds and eats them.


But the Magpie is very careful to build her nest so nobody shall steal her eggs. In the first place she always builds on a high tree. She chooses a tree that has a long smooth trunk, that the boys cannot climb easily. How do you suppose she knows about mischievous boys? She must make a study of boys.

She builds her nest of dry sticks and mud. She carpets it with wool and fine roots. (Birds can always find plenty of wool sticking on the bushes in sheep pastures. There is vegetable wool too, like the wool on the growing ferns.) Then she makes a roof of sticks; she leaves open a small round door at the side. So you see it is not easy for boys or birds to steal her eggs.

Magpies like bright glittering things like silver spoons and rings. They often steal them and hide them in their nests.

This Magpie is a European bird. There is a beautiful red Magpie that lives in China.

Go to story.



The Park children went to the beach last summer. It was a small beach; not at all like Nantasket Beach.

There were not many folks there. There was a young woman—a very queer young woman indeed, Sam thought. She used to go out on the beach and sit in a camp chair and read!

“Pshaw! who wants to read with a whole ocean to look at?” said Sam.

A young woman sitting in a deckchair


Such cunning little slippers as she wore! and her ruffles and hat! Oh, my! She used to draw pictures sometimes, but Sam didn’t know that.

“Halloo! there she is again!” shouted Sam one day. She was drawing a picture of them that moment, but they did not know it. They were all sliding down the sand cliff.

They had taken off their shoes and stockings, and were going in bathing.

“Whoo-oop! hurrah! here we come! clear the track!” What a noise they did make, to be sure!

But it did not disturb anybody. Nobody heard it but the young woman and some cows in the pasture near by.

How warm and soft the sand was! It was as good as coasting in winter. It was better!

Children sliding down a sand dune


Down they went into the water like so many ducks. They can all dive and swim almost as well as ducks. Papa and mamma were off shore, taking a sail together. They saw the slide down hill, and the plunge into the water. They saw the brown and yellow heads bobbing about.

“Do look at them!” said mamma. “Perfect little Arabs!”

“Do ’em good,” said papa. “Little Molly never had such rosy cheeks in all her life.”

“But think of their clothes!” said mamma.


Farmer Gray had a load of apples to sell one day. But nobody wanted them. People offered him such a small sum of money for them, he said he would rather give them away.

So he started for home with his load of apples. He drove down Summer street, past the schoolhouse. The boys were having their recess.

Now Farmer Gray loved children. So when he saw these boys he thought, “Here’s just the market for my apples.”

He stopped his horse and called out, “Do any of you boys know what to do with apples?”

Then there was a shout! “O yes, sir, we guess we do!” said all the boys.

“Come on, then!” said Farmer Gray.

A boy eating an apple


The boys crowded around the wagon, and the farmer tossed the apples to them.

“It is well for you, boys, that I found no market for my apples this morning,” he said.

“That’s so!” said the boys. Then they thanked him heartily.

Charlie Read said, “You are the funniest man I ever saw to stop and give us the apples.”

“You would like to see another just like me to-morrow, wouldn’t you?” said Farmer Gray.

“Yes, I would,” said Charley, “and I should like to live with you too.”

Just then the school bell rang. The boys all shouted, “Good-by! good-by!” as Farmer Gray drove off.

“I’m glad enough I didn’t sell those apples this morning,” thought Farmer Gray.


Ah Kee is the funniest little fellow alive.

He can stand as straight as any boy I ever saw.

But the straighter he stands, the more you laugh.

He thinks he is very tall. He is about three feet tall.

He thinks he is a little gentleman, because he can drink out of a coffee-cup and not spill a drop.

But Ah Kee oftener behaves like a rogue than like a gentleman.

There is always a look of mischief in his bright black eyes.

His mistress never allows him to go into the parlor by himself.

She knows he would sit on the brackets with the little statues.

She knows he would like to swing to and fro on the curtain tassels.

She knows he would like to jerk the bell-pull, and bring Rose up from the kitchen.

She knows he would like to take the Sevres vases and walk up and down the room with them in his arms.

No, Ah Kee, with his roguish tastes, is not to be trusted in the parlor by himself.

But he sometimes comes in when she is there. Sometimes when she is reading she hears a soft sound like this, “lsp-s-s-s!

She jumps up, looks all around. Under the table, or in a corner she sees a soft, round, feathery ball of fur—and one little paw raised, all claws and motion.

Ah Kee about to drink out of a coffee cup


Ah, that is Ah Kee, and Ah Kee means mischief. Perhaps he will spring into his mistress’ lap. Perhaps he will leap up on the piano. You cannot be sure what he will decide to do.

Yes, Ah Kee is a monkey, a gay little spider monkey, with a long tail that he likes to carry over his head in the shape of the letter S.

Ah Kee’s mistress has made up her mind to do one thing. She will buy Ah Kee a silver collar with a ring. She will buy Ah Kee a broad blue ribbon.

Then, when she wants a quiet hour, she will slip the blue ribbon through the collar ring, and tie Ah Kee to the door knob.

Dick and Gray,
My bird and cat,
Good friends are they:
Just think of that!
Dick pecks Gray’s paw;
Gray winks and blinks.
“I’ll not harm Dick,”
Is what he thinks.
So on the wall,
This sunny weather,
Chirping, purring,
They play together.


DOWN in the South Land, one morning in March, there was a great stir among the birds. “Spring has come in the far North,” they said. “Jack Frost is going, the ice is melting, and now we’ll go home-home!”

Bluebirds, and robins, and bobolinks, how glad they were! They got up very early that morning, even for birds. They bathed in a tiny pond, and preened their feathers. They ate their breakfast and then they started, straight through the air, for the North.

Do you wonder how they knew the way? How does a bird know which way is north and which way is south? There is a “Careful Gardener” who tells the flowers when to bloom, and he tells the birds which way to fly.

They flew that day on and on; over the green fields bright with flowers; over the trees covered with green leaves. By and by, they came where the grass was not yet green; where there was snow in the hollows; where there was ice in the brooks. But they didn’t mind the cold, for they wore their very thickest feather coats.

A small flock of swallows ON THROUGH THE AIR.

That night they nestled down together, and slept in a big pine-tree. They found some dried berries on the bushes, for breakfast and supper. It was very dark in the morning; it rained. But they did not mind that; they liked it. They knew the rain would melt the snow, and make the grass and flowers grow.

“But we must put on our waterproofs,” they said.

Do birds wear waterproofs? Oh, yes! But they do not carry them in trunks. When a bird wants to take a journey, he just flies off. He does not have to pack a trunk. He has a tiny bag of oil under the tip of his wings. This is his waterproof.

With his bill he takes out the oil and spreads it over his feathers.

The raindrops cannot go through this oil waterproof, but they roll quickly off to the ground. After they had all put on their waterproofs, they flew on and on again, through the rain.


They did not stay together that day. Part of them flew to the northeast. By and by these came in sight of a big gilded dome.

“I know where we are,” said one old robin. “That is Boston State House, and right down there is our old nest!” and down they flew into the Public Gardens. The Boston little men and women can see them there any day, busy about their nests, and merry as birds can be.

Part of the birds flew to the northwest, to the hills and woods and fields. They built their nests in the trees and on the ground. They built them in barns and in chimneys. They hid them in the grass and in the reeds by the brooks; and the little country children know where to find them.



With bounding step and merry laugh
My little girl—five and a half—
Held in her hand a picture-card:
“See! mamma, see! I’ve tried so hard;
Look and see what the letters spell;
’Tis a reward for doing well.
I have been good a whole long week;
Not once, mamma, did teacher speak,
Or say from recess I must stay,
Because in school I’d tried to play.
Last week, you know, my card I lost
For giving Charlie’s book a ‘tost,’
And speaking out aloud in school;
I did not know ’twas ’gainst the rule.
Then teacher said, ‘Edith come here.’
I went right to her, mamma dear,
And ’cause I hop-skipped down the aisle,
The scholars all began to smile.
That week I was so very good,
’Most got a card, and think I should
If I’d not hop-skipped down the aisle,
And made the other scholars smile.
But if I get one once in four,
School keeps so long, I’ll get lots more.”


Jocko evades capture by climbing up to a high cupboard Go to story.



Four little mice lived all alone
Where cats had been so long unknown;
They ate and slept without a fear
That any danger could be near.
One sunny day with brush and broom
They cleaned their pantry, swept their room,
Then made themselves as neat and fine
As if invited out to dine.
And then not knowing what to do,
They looked their cedar closet through
And found their gray coats growing thin:
So sat them down some yarn to spin,
Soon, through a chink to their surprise,
A cat looked in with hungry eyes—
“Shall I come in and cut your thread?”
“Oh, thank you, no!” they trembling said.
A cat looks into the mouse house


“Bow-wow-wow!” was the first thing Winny heard that morning. She opened her eyes and there stood Finnette. Aunt Bertha had brought her as a birthday gift for Winny from Paris.

Finnette was full of pretty tricks. She could stand on her hind legs and dance. She could sing.

“Now, Finnette,” Winny’s mamma would say, “I will play and you shall sing.”


So Finnette would stand on her hind legs and sing such a droll little tune. It sounded like “I love—I love—I love—do you?” Finnette always helped Winny to put her dolls to bed. It was wonderful to see her.

“Bring me Grandma Snowhair’s cap, Finnette,” Winny would say. And Finnette would trot off and fetch it. She knew the doll’s clothes just as well as Winny did.

“Now, Finnette, I will have Glorianna’s nightgown,” said Winny again, and Finnette would bring it.

When Winny got her dolls in bed, she always sang them to sleep, and then Finnette would sing too. “I love—I love—I love—do you?”

Mamma used to like to peep in and see them. Winny always put her dolls to bed at five o’clock. Finnette always knew when the clock struck five, and off she would run to find Winny.

But one day she couldn’t find her. She searched through the house and garden, but Winny was not to be found. So Finnette lay down in the library, and waited. Once she got up and trotted in and looked at the dolls. She barked softly, as though she would say, “Be patient; your mamma will be here soon.”

But the little mamma did not come; so Finnette concluded to put the dolls to bed herself. She laid Grandma Snowhair on the floor and then with her teeth and paws she gently drew off her cap and gray silk dress. She put on her nightgown, but she could not button it.

She undressed Glorianna, but she got her nightgown on upside down. She put her legs into the sleeves. She did not try to put on aunt Sukey’s nightgown. She just wrapped her up in a blanket.

She tumbled the four small dolls into their beds anyhow. How surprised and pleased and amused Winny was when she came home! There were the dolls fast asleep, and their clothes all piled on a chair; and there sat Finnette watching them. She gave the happiest little “bow-wow,” when she saw Winny. She had not been able to eat or to sleep with the care of all those dolls on her mind. Winny hugged and kissed her.


“You dear old darling Finnette,” she said. “How sweet you have been to my children. You shall have a silver collar, for you are my best friend.” Then Bridget brought Finnette her supper of bread and milk.


LOOK! look!” said Ernest, “see the deer! It has got out of the deer park. I did not know deer could run like that!”

The frightened creature was running down Washington street. He darted in and out among the horses and carriages, and people. He leaped over the heads of the children.

Ernest and his mother stopped to look; everybody stopped to look. On and on he ran till he came to the river, then he leaped into the deep water and was drowned. Was it not a pity? The pretty deer that Ernest had fed so often on Boston Common! He almost cried when he thought of it.

How many of you have ever seen deer? In many of the United States they are still found in the woods. They are kept in almost all public parks.

Deer are gentle creatures, and are easily tamed. But I think they are happiest when they are free to roam the woods where they like.

They eat the tender grass in the spring, and sometimes, if they live near farms, they break into the corn and wheat fields.

In the winter they eat the seed vessels of the wild rose, the hawthorn buds, the brambles and leaves. They like acorns, and, in the South, they eat the persimmons. The persimmon is a yellow plum. They feed in the night.

In hot summer days they like to wade into the ponds and rivers, and stand under water, all but their noses.

The young deer are called fawns; they are pretty spotted creatures. The mother keeps them in a quiet place where she thinks the hunters and dogs cannot get them; for men often hunt the wild deer. It is a great pity to kill them for sport, is it not?

Deer bound across the landscape


The deer hears quickly, and his scent is very keen too. When the hunters are after him, how fleet he is! Sometimes he leaps into the water and swims. Then the dogs lose the scent and cannot follow him. The male deer sheds his horns every year.

When the horns are growing they look as if they were covered with velvet.

A deer and two fawns in woodland


A dog lying down


Seen me? Of course you have seen me before.
I can’t count the times I have been at your door.
Where do I live? Why, everywhere, here!
My name? Well, I own it is rather queer;
Some call me “good fellow,” or “Fido,” or “Tray,”
But I come just the same, whatever they say.
Am I ever lonesome? How can I be
When acquaintances everywhere whistle to me?
Hungry? That’s something I’ve never yet known,
For friendly hands toss me sweet bits or a bone.
Cold? Oh, never! for doors everywhere
Are opened to shelter my silky brown hair,
For I am everybody’s dog!
And what do I give for this treatment so kind?
I drive home the lost cattle and sheep that I find;
With the children and babies I tenderly play,
And faithfully keep them from going astray.
And many an ill-natured tramp I have sent
Away from the game on which he was bent.
I can carry a basket or pail just the same
As a boy, and better than some I could name.
I bark in the night when danger is near,
And if I’m in the house no sleeper need fear.
What! be your own dog? Do you think ’twould be fair
To stay here with you when they all need my care?
No; I’ll come every day for a minute or two
But now I must go for I’ve so much to do;
For I am everybody’s dog!


What a wonderful thing a bird’s nest is! Even the simplest nests are very wonderful. Some boys and girls collect birds’ nests, and that is very well, if you wait till the eggs are hatched, and the birds have flown.

The ground sparrow builds a lovely little nest; and what a curious nest is that of the barn swallow.


How many of you have seen the nest of the Baltimore oriole? She hangs it upon the end of an elm branch, where it swings and dances in the wind.

I have for you this time, the nest of an African bird. This little bird belongs to the class called weavers. If you look at the nest, you will understand why this bird is called a weaver bird.

See how skilfully the nest is woven out of twigs, and grasses, and fibrous roots. There are many kinds of weaver birds, and each kind builds a different nest. Sometime I shall show you another weaver bird’s nest.


It was the day set for the picnic by the lake. Two little white gowns, and the boys’ best coats, and the ribbons and the neck-ties, had been joyfully laid out the night before.

But next morning it was not picnic weather. The sky was low and heavy. By nine o’clock there were thick, dense, black clouds.

“I think we might go,” said Flossie, “even if it does rain. We go to school, lots o’ days, when it rains.”

Just then the big black raindrops fell upon the window-panes—“A great pailful in every drop,” said Tom.

“I want a picnic,” wailed Susie, “and I can’t have it.”

“You shall have it,” said papa; “we will have an indoors picnic, such as my papa used to give me on a rainy day.”

He led the way to the library. He took down a huge set of maps, a great portfolio of engravings, and two or three heavy picture books. “We will visit India,” said he.

“Hurrah,” said Tom. “Tiger hunts, elephant rides, jungles, snake charmers, jolly old idols, and the Parsee merchants.”

Tom knew very well what it meant when papa gave his mind up to turning over picture books and talking as he turned.

They did have a good time; and before three o’clock it cleared away, and though it was too late for the picnic they had planned, it was the most perfect picnic weather, and as papa wanted to trim up cedars on the knoll by the lake, they all went down. Papa and mamma played with them for a while like an older brother and sister. They harnessed the children in a “four-horse team,” and drove up and down until the “little colts” had had enough of fun and were glad to sit in the arbor and watch papa trim trees.

The family walking along together



Was it a shiny black cane with a gold head? No. I think you never saw a cane like this one. It was made out of a small balm-of-Gilead-tree. It belonged to John Reed. He taught school. He was eighteen years old.

When vacation came, John walked home. It was forty miles, and a pretty long walk. But there were no railroads in those days, and John did not like to ride in a stage-coach.

He thought he could walk more easily with a cane to help him. So he made this cane I am going to tell you about.

When he got home he stuck this cane into the ground in the lane, and then forgot all about it. But the cane was alive! When John stuck it into the ground it began to drink up the water from the soil.

Tiny green leaves sprouted out all over it. John saw it one day. How surprised he was! It grew all summer long. The next year the branches began to grow; and year by year it grew larger and larger till it was fifty years old.

Then John Reed was sixty-eight years old; the little children called him “Grandpa Reed.”

The old man sits by an open window


They called the great balm-of-Gilead-tree in the lane “Grandpa’s cane.” They used to like to put their arms about it and look up into the branches. They thought it wonderful that a cane should grow into such a big tree.

Then came the great Civil War. Your mamma or auntie can tell you about it. There were a great many wounded soldiers, and the people used to send bandages and lint for their wounds. Do you know what lint is? It is made of linen cloth. It is soft, like wool.

Grandpa Reed had a little granddaughter Clara. Clara saw the women and girls making lint, and she wanted to make lint too. But aunt Mary said she was not big enough to make lint.


“But I will tell you,” said aunt Mary, “where you can find some nice lint;” and she took her out to the great balm-of-Gilead-tree in the lane.

Now you have all seen the soft, white pussy-willows. Well, the pussies are the willow flowers; and the balm-of-Gilead-tree has pussies too. But they are not soft and white; they are brown. They look like brown caterpillars.

After the blossoms wither the seeds come. These seeds are covered with wool like that on the dandelion’s ball.

The wind blows this wool from off the trees, and there it was that morning. The ground was white with it.

“There is the lint,” said aunt Mary, and she gave Clara a bag to put it in.

It took a great many bits of wool to fill the bag. But Clara was patient, and worked diligently, and when the bag was full, she went with aunt Mary to carry it to the soldiers’ camp.

Clara gave it to the surgeon. He said the balm-of-Gilead lint was much better than the linen lint. So “Grandpa’s cane” and little Clara helped the sick soldiers to get well again.


Down by the seashore Miss Lollipop sat,
Dropping the little white shells in her hat;
“See!” cried the darling, and shouted with glee,
“These pretty things were all waiting for me;
Waiting for me!”
Creeping and curving across the gray sand,
The wavelets came dancing to kiss the fair land,
Wooing with murmurs the flower-gemmed lea;
“Ah,” cried Miss Pops, “they are whispering to me,
Whispering to me!”
Darting and flashing the gay sunbeams flew
Down from a heaven of midsummer blue,
Smiling and dimpling all over the sea;
“There,” cried Miss Pops, “they are laughing at me,
Laughing at me!”
In the green meadows the tall grass stood fair,
Waving and tossing in sweet summer air,
Dipping and bending around her white knee;
“Look,” cried Miss Pops, “it is bowing to me,
Bowing to me!”
Miss Lillipop dropping shells into her hat


Over the hills the sweet flower bells rang,
High in the tree tops the little birds sang.
—Tipsy-top bobolinks bent on a spree;
“Hark!” cried Miss Pops. “They are singing to me,
Singing to me!”
Deep in the roses the bumblebees flew,
Sipping their rations of honey and dew,
With jewel-necked humming-birds gorgeous to see;
“Now,” cried Miss Pops, “they are shining for me,
Shining for me!”
Sweet little Happy Heart! Pure little soul!
Earth would be robbed of its darkness and dole
If with the faith of thy heart I could see
How much of God’s world is fashioned for me!


Mr. Allen’s early apples were almost ripe. They were uncommonly pretty apples—yellow, streaked with red. How tempting they looked! Ripe apples in August are always tempting.

Mr. Allen knew that, so he had put up a sign to warn the boys off. For boys were very apt to help themselves to ripe apples. Somehow they think that taking a few apples is not stealing.

So, as I said, Mr. Allen put up a board with these words on it—“Trespassers prosecuted.” That meant, if he caught any boy near his apple-tree, he would carry him off to a justice of the peace, for stealing.

Early one morning Tommy Tilden was walking through the lane. He had just driven the cows to pasture and was coming home. He stopped and looked at the apples. How good they did look, to be sure!

He searched on the ground to see if any had dropped into the lane. But he could not find one. Then he looked at the tree again. “I wish I had one,” he thought.

Ah, Tommy, Tommy, the best thing for you to do is to run away as fast as you can!

But Tommy didn’t do any such thing. He kept looking at the apples and wishing he had one. Then he thought, “I’ll just climb up and look at them.”

And now, of course, you can guess what happened. Tommy climbed up, and tried the apples with his thumb to see if they were ripe. Then he reached out to get a fine big one, and the branch broke, and over he went, with the branch, and the sign, and a shower of apples, into Mr. Allen’s garden.

The dog ran out barking furiously, and Mr. Allen, who was just eating his breakfast, came out too, and little May Allen, to see what was the matter.

How ashamed Tommy felt! “Trying to steal some of my apples, were you, eh?” said Mr. Allen, and Tommy could not answer a word.

Little May Allen felt very sorry for him. “Can’t you give him some apples, papa?” she said.

“No,” said Mr. Allen; “if he had come and asked me I would have given him some gladly. But he ought to be ashamed to try to get them in this way. But he can go. I sha’n’t punish him.”

So Tommy picked up his hat and went home. He told his mother all about it.

“Tommy,” she said, “you shouldn’t have stood and looked at those apples, and wished for them, when they were not yours. It is always best to run away from temptation.”


When mother was a young girl, she taught school in Illinois. Very few people lived there at that time. The settlements were far apart. The schoolhouse was built of rough logs, and the chinks were filled with clay and straw. Instead of glass windows, they had oiled paper to let in the light.

One night mother staid late at the schoolhouse, to help the girls trim it with evergreens. It was almost dark when she started for home. She walked very fast, as she felt lonely. Her way lay through a thick, tall woods, and the path was narrow.

All at once she saw a big animal in front of her. What was it? A calf? No; it was a big black bear.

Was she afraid? Of course she was afraid. Shouldn’t you be afraid if you met a big bear in the woods? She had an umbrella in her hand, and she held the point close to the bear’s nose, and opened and shut it as fast as she could. She called him all the bad names she could think of, and he walked off, growling.

He was a brave bear, wasn’t he, to be afraid of an umbrella? Mother hurried on, and just as she got to the edge of the woods, out he came again. Then she opened the umbrella at him again, and shouted as loud as she could, and away he went.

Mother was so tired and frightened she almost fainted when she got home. “I don’t believe it was a bear; it must have been neighbor Clapp’s big heifer,” grandma said.

But just as she said it, they heard a loud squeal. They ran to the door, and there was the bear carrying off a pig. He had jumped into the pen and got it.

Two adult bears and two cubs next to a tree


Aunt Stella seized the dinner horn and blew a loud blast. That was the way they used to call the settlers together when anything was the matter. There was a great rush for grandfather’s house, and when the men heard about the bear they said. “We must kill him as soon as possible.”

So they had a great hunt for him. They hunted all that night and the next day. They found him, at last, sitting upon the stump of a hollow tree, and they killed him.

What do you think they found in the hollow stump? Three little cubs. The hunters brought the cubs to grandfather’s farm, and uncle Stephen kept one of them for a pet.

My little daughter Anna often asks to hear the story of how the “Bear wanted to eat grandma.” Last summer I took Anna to the Zoölogical Garden. There we saw a family of bears.

One old bear was sitting in a tree, with his arms folded.

“Why, how pleasant he looks,” said Anna. “I don’t believe he would eat anybody.”

“No, I don’t think he would,” I said. “He is tame, and he would rather have a sweet bun to eat than anything else.”

A lizard on a grassy bank

Four ponies playing together



“Anna, Anna!” shouted Harry. “Come quick, do! O such a!”—But mamma clapped her hand right over his mouth, and he couldn’t say another word.

“Pat, pat, pat!” Anna heard a queer sound of feet on the veranda, and in at the open windows trotted just the dearest little Shetland pony all saddled and bridled. Harry was leading it. A card hung from the saddle, and on it was printed, “A birthday gift for my little Anna, from Grandpa.”

“There! what do you think of that?” asked Harry.

“I think,” said Anna, as soon as she could speak, “that no little girl ever had such a splendid, splendid grandpa as mine!”

“Isn’t he, though!” said Harry. “And now I’ll get out Boy Blue and we’ll ride over and thank him.” Boy Blue is Harry’s pony.

Do you know where these lovely little Shetland ponies live when they are at home? They live in the northern islands of Great Britain.


A butterfly

RALPH was walking with papa in the fields, when he saw a red and black butterfly. It was on a thistle.

“I will catch him,” said Ralph. So he walked slowly up to the thistle and put out his hand to catch the butterfly. But the butterfly spread his wings and flew up in the air. In a moment he came back and lighted on the thistle again.

Ralph wanted to try to catch him again, but papa said, “The butterfly is eating his dinner.”

“Does he eat the thistle?” asked Ralph.

“He eats the honey in the thistle,” said papa. “We will sit down and I will show you the honey. Each thistle head has a great many tiny flowers. See, like these!” and papa pulled some of them out. Then he took one of the blossoms between his thumb and finger. He pressed the slender tube till Ralph saw a wee drop of honey at the end. Then Ralph wanted to do the same. So he pressed one after the other of the purple tubes and found a drop of honey in each.

“Does the butterfly squeeze them that way?” asked Ralph.

“No; he has no thumb and finger,” said papa.

“How can he get the honey, then?” Ralph asked.

“He finds it with his long sucker, which reaches to the bottom of these slender tubes.”

“I wish he would eat this honey, papa, now I have got it all ready for him,” said Ralph. “I’ll ask him.”

So he walked slowly towards the butterfly, holding out the little purple blossoms.

“Here’s some honey all squeezed,” he said softly; “don’t you want it, Butterfly?”

But the butterfly opened and shut his pretty spotted wings and then flew away.


Ralph looked sorry. “Never mind,” said papa, “he isn’t used to having little boys wait upon him. He likes to get his dinner himself.”

Two butterflies

Bright the sun! gay the flowers!
Gently falls the rain!
O the jolly, the blithesome hours,
Summer is come again!
Eggs in my nest, snails to eat,
A whole round world for my home,
I sing, I sing, so sweet, so sweet!
Summer again is come!



This is the letter a little English boy wrote to his American cousin whom he never had seen. He wrote it on his slate in “print letters,” and his sister Bess copied it on paper in “writing letters.”

The words were spelled wrong on the slate. He worked four evenings to write it all.


Dear cousin Dick:

“You thought I would like to write letters because I am old like you—ten years. But I am not a school-boy, like you. I am a home-boy. I think home-boys don’t study regular, and learn truly like school-boys. Mother says she will tell your mother in her letter about how I have been sick always.

“I think I would like to be a school-boy, but I wouldn’t either. School-boys are mean. If the new boy is lame and shy, they think that is big fun. I do not see how the tricks can be any fun then.

“If I was a school-boy I would not think it was fun to trip a lame boy up. I would not think it fun to see him splash down backward into a pool, and when he soused under and wet his lame back ice-cold, I would not call, ‘Cry-baby!’

“But that is what the school-boys did that day I went.

“So I can’t write handsome letters. Do you trick new boys the first day they come to your school in America? I have had twelve sore throats since, and I wear a scarf in the house.

“I can knit, and I can mend, and I color pictures. But that is not learning as school-boys learn. Girls are good to me, and there is a school where they are all girls, but I think I would not like to go to it—would you? Write again.

“Your cousin Tom.”

A little girl helps Tom away from the bullies

LADY FLORENCE.—From the painting by G. A. Storey, A. R. A.

Janey lying on the lounge, looking out the window



Janey had been very sick. She had not left her room for a month. But she was much better. Why, she was really hungry this morning! And here comes mamma with a nice breakfast! She looked at the pleasant room while she ate her toast and drank her milk.

“It isn’t such an old, headachy place now,” she said. “But please open the windows and let all the sickness out.” Then mamma put on the soft red wrapper and knitted slippers that auntie had made for her to wear on this very day. How pleasant it was to lie on the lounge with her own dearest doll Belinda Button, tucked away under the afghan! She could see the children at play through the open window and hear their merry laughter.

“Mamma,” she said, “I am so glad to be well. I want to make a present. May I give some things to Bobby’s lame sister? Not Belinda: she knows how sick I have been, and would not leave me. But I want to give her my red leather ball, and white rabbit and the picture book cousin George sent me. And mamma, will you buy a new dolly who has no mother, for Nellie?”

Was not that a kind thought of Janey’s? and you may be sure Nellie had them.


Rose is our old dog. Her hair is as curly as dandelion stems. Her tail waves like a great feather duster.

When we say “Good dog,” it thumps like grandpa’s cane when he walks up-stairs. Now I will tell you why we call her “Good old Rose.”

One day papa sent Lily to the store. Lily is six years old. The store is just beyond the railroad track.

“Rose, take care of Lily!” said papa. Rose wagged her tail for “yes, sir!” and off they went. She trotted along by Lily’s side. Lily felt very grand to go to the store all alone. She didn’t know that Rose was taking care of her.

All at once Rose caught Lily’s dress in her teeth. They were just going to cross the track.

“Let me go!” said Lily. But Rose pulled her back hard. Lily looked up and down the track. There was no train in sight. But Rose heard it shake the ground. “You shall let me go!” cried Lily. “Bad Rose!” and she jerked the dress, and tore it out of Rose’s teeth, and ran. Then Rose jumped right at Lily and threw her down on the ground, and dragged her back again.

Just that instant the train thundered round the curve. But Lily was safe. How the men in the train cheered! how the ladies waved their handkerchiefs! Rose hadn’t any handkerchief, but she waved her tail, and that is all a dog can do.

Wouldn’t you pat her big head too, and call her “good old Rose?”

Rose lying down



Aunt Patty lives in a little bit of a house. It has only two rooms. In summer it is covered with vines—grapevines, morning glories and flowering beans. It is cosey as a bird’s nest and it is brimful of pets.

The kittens look up at the birds


If you should call on aunt Patty, just as soon as you stepped into the yard, out would fly Gypsy, barking furiously. But he would not bite you. O, no! He only barks to let aunt Patty know you are coming.

Then, when you opened the door, a sharp little voice would say “Good-morning! walk in.” That is the gray parrot, Nick. As you walked into the kitchen, Pansy and Pickwick would come up to you and purr, and put up their heads to be rubbed.

In one window you would see two canaries in a cage. In the other would be a cage full of gay little African birds.

If it were winter there would be a cage of big birds. But in summer aunt Patty keeps these big birds in the garden near the woodhouse.


Where did aunt Patty get so many pets? They were given to her. Everybody knows that she likes pets. A sailor cousin once brought her a turtle. It is quite big enough for you to ride on. This turtle lives in the cellar in the winter, and in the garden in the summer.

Somebody sent her a small alligator once, but she did not keep it. She likes pretty pets.

“Do your pets ever quarrel?” I asked aunt Patty once.

“Never,” said aunt Patty. “Pansy and Pickwick, and the birds and Gypsy, and Methusaleh are all good friends.”

Methusaleh is the turtle.


TOMMY sometimes visits his old nurse. Nurse lives in a tiny house and keeps geese. Tommy is afraid of the geese. The gander hisses at him and Tommy does not like that.

One day Nurse went into the goose-house and brought out ten little goslings. Tommy took one of them in his hands. How pretty they were with their pink feet and fluffy white feathers!

“To-morrow, they will go out and eat the tender grass,” said Nurse.

“Then I shall catch them,” said Tommy.

“The old gander won’t let you,” said Nurse.

“Pooh! who’s afraid?” said Tommy very bravely.

So the next day Tommy tried to catch a gosling. Nurse had gone down cellar and the gander was in the goose-house. But the mother-goose hissed and the gander heard her and flew out of the goose-house after Tommy.

Tommy ran, but the gander caught hold of his clothes and began to beat Tommy’s legs with his wings. The old goose screamed, and Tommy ran and screamed, and the gander ran and screamed and whipped. What a noise they made! and Nurse ran up from the cellar to see what the matter was.

Just as Tommy went up the steps the gander bit both his red stockings. Nurse picked Tommy up and shut the door so the gander could not get in. Then she kissed Tommy, and cuddled him, and laughed, and said, “Who’s afraid?”

“I am,” sobbed Tommy. “And I want that old gander shut up in the barn. He isn’t good for anything.”

“Oh, yes, he is,” said Nurse, “he takes care of the goslings.”

The next day Tommy saw something very pretty. He was looking over the gate. He did not dare to go out for fear the gander would bite him again. He heard a gosling cry “peep, peep.” The goose and gander heard it too, and ran and looked down into a deep hole.

Tommy used to play this hole was his “well.” Tommy saw the gander stretch his long neck down into the hole and lift out a little gosling, and put it carefully on the grass. Then the mother goose was so pleased that she screamed outright.


And Tommy screamed too. “O Nurse, Nurse, that gander is good for something. He lifted a gosling right out of my well. I saw him!”

Tommy peeps over the gate at the geese




We were all sitting in the parlor one evening last summer when in flew a creature through the open window. Bump—bump, he went against the wall and ceiling.

“A bat! a bat!” shrieked aunt Mary, and ran behind the door. Mamma jumped up into a chair and gathered her skirts about her, just as though it were a mouse. Grace and Mabel ran out of the Room, while papa and Frank and Kate chased the bat.

The poor little bat fluttered about, and almost fell into the kerosene lamp chimney. Then he got entangled in the window draperies. You know a bat cannot see by a light any more than an owl can. He finally tumbled behind the sofa where papa caught him.

Mamma then got down from the chair, aunt Mary came out from behind the door, Grace and Mabel ventured in, and we all gathered about and looked at the bat. How he panted!

“Think of being afraid of such a little creature as that,” said Kate scornfully.

“But he bites,” said Grace. “Doesn’t he, papa?”

“I don’t think he would bite,” said papa. “He’s a good deal more frightened than you were.”

“What made him fly into the window then?” asked Grace.

“He is out after insects,” replied papa. “He was dazzled by the light from the window, and flew towards it, as all half-blind creatures will.”

Our little bats, the bats that live in cool countries, do not harm any one. But there is a big bat, called the Vampire bat, that will do a good deal of mischief, if he can get a chance.

The Vampire bat lives in the tropics. It is very comfortable, sleeping out of doors, in the tropics.

A traveller will oftentimes swing his hammock on a tree, and sleep in it all night. But he must be careful, and not sleep too soundly.

For a Vampire bat may find him; and if he does, he will bite the traveller’s toe and suck his blood; and when the traveller wakes in the morning, he will feel weak and faint from loss of blood.

A bat does not perch, and tuck his head under his wing, and sleep like a bird. He has some hooks on his wings, and he just hangs himself up by those, and that’s the way he sleeps!


Isn’t this the very queerest creature you ever saw? He looks as though he had a candle in each eye; and just look at his feet! His eyes are round, like the eyes of owls. Like the owl, this monkey can see well only in the night.

These monkeys are called night monkeys. Most other monkeys have long forelegs, but this monkey’s forelegs are short.

He is very small; his body is six inches long, his tail is over nine inches.

These little creatures sleep in the daytime, and go out in search of food, and to play in the night. They eat insects, lizards and crabs.


They are greedy creatures. They leap at one bound on their prey. They live in warm countries. They make very nice pets.

Baby waking up


Now Baby’s asleep, mamma can sew—
“Rock-a-by-baby—by-lo, by-lo!”
Baby’s asleep and Tommy can tell
Of the cat that was drown’d in the great big well.
“She had the weest, teentiest toes,
And the leastest speck of a blackish nose,
With great, great eyes”—“Coo, coo! coo, coo!”
Baby’s awake—and listening too!


Hurrah for old winter, he’s coming at last!
The snow flakes are falling so thick and so fast!
Hurrah! Hurrah!
My skates I have mended, and painted my sled;
Now, boys, you will soon see this chap go ahead!
Hurrah! Hurrah!
I’ve jolly thick mittens, a brand-new fur cap;
Now, what does it matter if I get a rap?
Hurrah! Hurrah!
I’ve got such a secret! We’ve built us a fort!
But you must tell no one, ’twould spoil all our sport.
Hurrah! Hurrah!
Jack, Clement, and Robbie, are garrison men,
And we can defend it against any ten.
Hurrah! Hurrah!
We’ve made heaps of snowballs, each one round and hard,
They’re hid away safe in the old schoolhouse yard.
Hurrah! Hurrah!
Pell-mell through the snow rush the merry boy crowd;
While the bare woodlands echo the hearty and loud
Hurrah! Hurrah!

Three deer in woodland



“No, I won’t!” said Moses. He felt pretty cross, for he did hate to have his hair cut.

“Well, then,” said his grandma, “you can’t go to the candy party.”

Moses thought a few moments, and then he jumped up and said, “Well, grandma, cut it, then.”

Now grandma wasn’t much of a barber. She was apt to cut his hair so it hung in scallops. But this time she wanted to cut it very even, as Moses was going to a party. So she brought out an old wooden bowl that just fitted his head.


Then she cut his hair straight to the edge of the bowl, and when she took the bowl off, there it was beautifully even, and banged right down over his forehead!

Then he put on the trousers and jacket grandma herself had made, and his new shoes, and a blue bow where his collar met, and went off to the party. It was Sally Poole’s party and Sally was one of Moses’ playmates.

They boiled molasses in a kettle over a fire in the big kitchen fireplace; then they poured it into buttered pans and set them out in the snow for the candy to cool. It was great fun pulling it, and when Moses went home, Sally gave him two sticks and a big braided piece.

“And I think, Moses,” she said, “your hair is banged beautiful.”


What do you think I did with all my beautiful Christmas cards?

I had saved ever and ever so many, and Easter and New Year’s, and Birthday cards, and a lot of Valentines. I knew I would get more this Christmas, so I thought I would give these away.

Then I thought I would paste them in a scrapbook, or tack them up on the wall instead. Then, I thought I would just keep them in a box forever, and show them to my grandchildren; but, when aunt Nora told me about the sick children at the hospital, then I thought I’d give my cards to them. I just made up my mind I would, and so I did.

Aunt Nora took me to the hospital, and I wore my new red cloak and hat. I think I looked sweet, too. The hospital is pretty big, and we had to go down a long hall and a long pair of stairs. I began to be frightened, ’cause suppose one of the doctors made a mistake and thought I was sick!

So I held aunt Nora’s hand tight until we came to a big room where there were lots of beds and poor little sick boys and girls in them. Some more children were playing around, and they were sick too. One of them, a wee little mite, was eating bread and molasses, and her face was all sticky. She wanted to kiss me.

A pretty nurse in a white cap came up and spoke to us, and aunt Nora told her about my cards. She said I might give them round myself.

So I went up to the first cot, and, oh dear! there was such a sick little girl in it. I asked her if she would like a card, and she seemed so delighted that I gave her a beauty, with red and white fringe. Then all the children said, “Gi’me one too, lady! Oh, lady! gi’me one!”

Fan and her cards


Nobody ever called me “lady” before, but then I am most grown up now. One child there was just as old as I am; only he was a boy, and he had a big iron thing on his leg. When I gave him a card, he said, “Thank you marm, and merry Christmas!”

Then they all waved their cards and cried “Merry Christmas! merry Christmas!” as I went out of the door.

I hope I’ll get ever so many cards this Christmas, so I can give them to the hospital children. It’s such fun!


ONE cold day in January Kitty Blake had dined with grandma and was on her way home through the fields. Perhaps you wonder why Kitty should walk in the fields when the snow was so deep. But there was a hard crust on the snow and she could skip along over it without breaking through. It was great fun.

Suddenly she stopped, for there in a slight hollow in the snow lay a tiny bird.

“Poor little birdie, it must have frozen to death,” said Kitty softly, and a tear stood in her eye, for she has a tender heart for all little creatures. Then she said “Oh!” and gave a start that sent the tears tumbling over her muff for just that instant, one of the bird’s legs twitched and the tears would not stay back.

“P’r’aps it’s still alive, after all;” she thought, and she picked it up and tucked it into her muff. Her muff was lined with fur.

She reached home quite breathless, and when she took out the bird and laid it on mamma’s lap, it gave one little “Peep!” stood on its legs, and then flew up into the ivy that ran all about the south bay window.

“What made it make b’lieve dead?” asked Kitty.

“It didn’t make believe,” said mamma. “I think it was dizzy. Birds sometimes are dizzy. But if you had not found it, it would soon have frozen to death.”

Kitty named him “The Tramp,” and he lived in the bay window with mamma’s plants. This bay window was shut off from the rest of the room by glass doors. It was a sunny and fragrant home for the little chickadee, and a lucky bird he was to have it just then.

For on the first day of February it began to snow and snowed three days, and when it cleared there were piles and piles of snow.

Great flocks of birds then came about the house searching for food.

“We must feed them or they will die,” said mamma. “The snow is so deep they cannot find food.”

So Kitty scattered meal and hemp seed on the snow and tied meaty bones on the lilac and rose bushes, and there wasn’t a moment of the day when some blue jay, or snow bird, or chickadee, or robin, was not picking up grain, or pecking at the bones.

“That is the way to have birds in winter!” said Kitty.

The Tramp did not seem to care a fig about his relations till one day in March when a flock of chickadees flew past, and he fluttered against the windows and begged to be let out.


Mamma opened the window and off he flew! Kitty sighed and said, “That is the last of him, I suppose.” But it wasn’t.

One sunny May day Charley was sitting up in bed. Charley is Kitty’s brother. He had been sick and the window was open so he could breathe the soft spring air. Suddenly a bird dropped upon the window sill and began to whistle “Chick-a-dee-dee-dee!” so blithely and cock his head at Charley.

“It’s the Tramp!” said Charley; and sure enough it was! After that he came almost every day. If the window was shut they opened it for him. Charley used to hide hemp seed and sugar under the edge of the pillows for the Tramp to find. He always found it. Sometimes he would tie sugar up in a paper and the Tramp would peck at it until he got it out.


He would perch on Charley’s shoulder and eat seeds from his mouth.

He wanted to build a nest in an old letter box nailed up against a wall. Ever so many birds, blue birds, wrens and sparrows wanted to build in that box too.

The Tramp was a brave little fellow and a good fighter; but he never would have driven the birds off, if Kitty hadn’t helped him.

“I love all the birds,” said Kitty, “but the Tramp is my very own bird.”

So he and his mate built a nest and raised a family of birds in peace, and now Kitty and Charley call the old letter-box “The Tramp’s Home.”

A PAIR OF HORSES.—From Rosa Bonheur’s painting, “The Horse Fair.”

CHILDREN OF CHARLES I.—From the sketch by Verspronck, in the Louvre.


Here is a picture of a little prince and two little princesses who lived about two hundred years ago. They were the children of Charles the First, king of England. I suppose they were very much like the boys and girls of nowadays. They played and studied and had their pets, just as children play and study now.

A boy watches over a flock of turkeys



Matty Ellis had a new hat. It was a pretty white hat with a long, curly white plume, and it was very becoming to her.

“Yes, I like it,” she said to aunt Sarah. “But Nanny Rich has a hat with two plumes.”

“And I can tell you somebody who wears half a dozen or more,” replied aunt Sarah, “and that somebody is the ostrich himself.”


Aunt Sarah tells Matty a great many interesting things, and she told her about ostriches. She told how they live in hot sandy countries like Africa.

They are so tall and have such long legs they can run as fast as, or faster than, a horse.


They have their nests in a hollow on the ground. The Hottentot likes ostrich eggs to eat. One ostrich egg is as big as sixteen hen’s eggs. So it makes a breakfast for a number of people. The Hottentot breaks a hole in the small end of the egg, stirs up the contents with a stick, and then sets it over the fire to cook. The shell is very thick and hard, and the heat of the fire will not break it.

There is somebody else who likes ostrich eggs too, and that somebody is a kind of fox. He comes when the ostrich is away and helps himself. Sometimes the ostrich comes home and finds him at it.

Many other people like to wear ostrich plumes as well as Matty. So there is a large trade in them. The wild ostrich does not supply feathers enough for the market, so ostriches are now raised like turkeys and hens. This business is called “ostrich farming.” The ostriches are kept in large yards, and the plumes are taken out every year.

Aunt Sarah told all this to Matty. “And so,” said Matty, stroking the long white plume, “this feather has ridden on the back of an ostrich in Africa; I wish it could tell me what it has seen.”

Two foxes try to take an ostrich egg



A dog wrapped in a quilt

It was the very nicest, whitest goose of the whole flock, and there it was—dead! Who had killed it? was the question. Everybody said it must have been Bose; and why? Because Bose liked to tease the geese. Sometimes he jumped from behind a bush and frightened them. Sometimes when they were standing at their trough eating, he ran at them, just for the fun of seeing them run.

A dog in a basket

“I don’t think he meant to kill it,” said the grandpa.

“Very likely not,” said the father, “but I must teach him not to run at the geese. Come here, sir,” he said to Bose.

A dog with a blanket wrapped around him

Bose felt very badly. He crawled slowly along. He couldn’t say, “I didn’t do it; please don’t whip me,” as a little boy or girl can. He could only look up to his master with soft, begging eyes. But little Patsy was looking in at the door. Little Patsy loves Bose dearly; and of all the family Bose best loves Patsy. They are always playing together.

A dog sitting

“Oh, please don’t whip Bose,” cried Patsy. “I don’t believe he did it. Nobody saw him do it,” and she begged so hard her father said he would only tie Bose up. He would not whip him till he was sure he had killed the goose. That night Patsy cried herself to sleep. It almost broke her heart to think that on the morrow Bose might have to be whipped. Suddenly in the night she heard a queer, soft voice say, “I don’t believe he did it. I wouldn’t kill a goose.” Patsy opened her eyes and found herself in a room full of dogs. The voice came from a wee doggie wrapped in an eider down quilt.

“Very good reason why; you couldn’t,” barked another little fellow. He had a head that looked as if it were bald, and large soft ears, and he was peeping out of a basket.

Bose crawls towards Father


A fluffy dog

“Raw goose, faugh!” said a dainty doggie, who had a blanket pinned carefully around him. “I like my poultry well picked and cooked.”

“That’s so. So do I,” rejoined a fierce scrap of a dog. He wore a collar and little silver locket, and cocked his ears.

“People are always saying dogs do things,” said a tousled terrier, whose hair had tumbled over his eyes, so he couldn’t see a thing. “The cat ate the cream the other day and cook said I did it. I hate cooks.”

A dog lying down

A grave-looking dog opened his mouth and spoke. He must have been a lawyer among dogs. Patsy thought he looked like Judge Drake. He spoke slowly. “If Bose had never chased the geese even in play, his master would never have suspected him. A great deal depends on a dog’s character. But I don’t think he killed the goose.”

“I know he didn’t,” spoke up a big splendid dog. “Bose is a good fellow!” Then all the dogs barked out, “Hear! hear!” so loudly that Patsy awoke. The dogs had vanished; the morning sun was shining. She heard her father call, “Patsy, come and see the fox! We’ve trapped the rogue. It was he that killed the goose!”

A dog lying down

The baker and friends offer beer to the horse


He belongs to a baker. His master went into a restaurant to deliver some pies. I was sitting at a window opposite. He stayed so long in the place that I thought he had forgotten his faithful beast.

After a while he came out carrying a great mug full of foaming beer. There were two other men with him. All their faces were red, and they walked unsteadily, and they were laughing loud, and shouting. Then the baker went up to his beautiful horse, and offered him the beer to drink.

Do you suppose he took it? No, indeed! He gave it one sniff from his smooth, brown nostrils. Then he turned his head away with a jerk so sudden that he knocked the glass, beer and all, upon the pavement. He looked at his master as if to say, “Don’t insult me again in that way, sir!”

So his bad master had to pay for both the beer and the glass.

Wise old horse, he was not afraid to give his opinion of beer.


Decorative title - How The Wind Blows - with two children flying kites
High and low
The spring winds blow!
They take the kites that the boys have made,
And carry them off high into the air;
They snatch the little girls’ hats away,
And toss and tangle their flowing hair.
High and low
The summer winds blow!
They dance and play with the garden flowers,
And bend the grasses and yellow grain;
They rock the bird in her hanging nest,
And dash the rain on the window-pane.
A garden with beehives

Haystacks in a field
High and low
The autumn winds blow!
They frighten the bees and blossoms away,
And whirl the dry leaves over the ground;
They shake the branches of all the trees,
And scatter ripe nuts and apples around.
High and low
The winter winds blow!
They fill the hollows with drifts of snow,
And sweep on the hills a pathway clear;
They hurry the children along to school,
And whistle a song for the happy New Year.

M. E. N. H.

Children in a snowy field


Bow-wow! Who are you? I am only a little dog. My name is Dime. I am not a cross dog. I have been a pet dog all my life. Shall I tell you what I can do? I can sit up and beg. I can shake hands. I can jump over a stick, O yes; and I can run very fast. I can run as fast as Pomp, the baker’s dog; and Pomp is a big dog.

Dime and Pomp racing each other

I like to run races with Pomp. He never bites a little dog. We like to run after birds. But we never catch any birds. They fly away when we come near. I wonder how the birds fly. Pomp and I cannot fly.

My master has a cow. Her name is Betty. She is a good cow. She gives nice, white milk. I do not care much for milk. I like a bone better. But old Tab, the cat, likes milk. I like to see Tab drink milk. She laps it up very fast.

I drive Betty to pasture every day. John goes with me to shut the gate. John is the boy who milks the cow. I wish I could open and shut that gate. Then John would not go to the pasture. I should like to go all alone. I think it would be fine.

Driving Betty to pasture

I take good care of Betty. When any one comes near her, I say, “Bow-wow” very sharply.


Bobby and the ram


When Bobby Smart was six years old, he was left to the care of his Uncle James, who lived in the country. His aunt took him to his future home, and at the depot he saw his uncle for the first time.

Bobby was lonely and sad; his uncle often treated him with harshness and even cruelty. The cold winter had come on early. Bobby was the only boy about the farm, and he had to work very hard. His clothing was unfit for the winter weather, and he often suffered from the cold.

Among the duties which this poor boy had to perform was that of tending a flock of sheep. One afternoon, when there were signs of a snow-storm, he was sent to drive the flock to the barn. He started for the field, but his clothes were so thin that he was benumbed by the intense cold. He sat down on a large rock to rest himself. He felt strangely tired and cold. In a little while he began to feel drowsy. Then he thought it was so nice and comfortable that he would stay there awhile. In a very few moments he was asleep, and perhaps dreaming.

Suddenly he was aroused by a tremendous blow which sent him spinning from his perch on the rock to the ground. Looking about him, he saw an old ram near by. The creature looked as though he had been doing mischief, and Bobby was no longer at a loss to know where the blow came from; but he thought the attack was an accident, and in a short time he was again in the land of Nod.

Again the ram very rudely tumbled him over into the snow. He was now wide awake, and provoked at the attack of the beast. He began to search for a stick to chastise his enemy. The ram understood his intention, for he turned upon Bobby as if to finish the poor boy. Bobby was forced to take to his heels, and ran towards home.

The ram chased him, while the rest of the flock followed after their leader. The inmates of the farm-house were surprised to see Bobby rushing towards the house as fast as his little legs would allow him. His hair was streaming in the wind, and he was very much terrified. Close upon him was the old ram, kicking up his heels in his anger. Behind him could be seen a straggling line of sheep doing their best to keep up.

The ram chases Bobby

Bobby won the race, however. His uncle came out in time to turn the flock into the barn. It was a long time before Bobby would venture near the ram again.

Bobby knows now that but for the efforts of that old ram in knocking him from his seat on that bitterly cold day he would have been among the angels in a very short time. The sleepy feeling which overcame him would have ended in death.

Bobby declares that the ram knew all the time what ailed him, and that he butted him from the rock on purpose. I cannot explain it, but do know that “God moves in a mysterious way his wonders to perform.”


Decorative title - Lily's Garden - showing Lily and a vase of dandelions

There was only a little piece of garden belonging to Lily’s home in the city. In the bright spring days she went out there, and watched to see if any flowers came up. She felt happy when she found the first blades of grass.

The poet sings that “his heart dances with the daffodils.” Lily’s heart danced, one morning, when she found a dandelion among the grasses in her yard,—a real yellow dandelion, with all its golden petals spread out.

Just then, one of her playmates looked over the fence, and put out her hand.

“Do give it to me,” she said. “I sha’n’t like you a bit, if you don’t: I shall think you are just as stingy—”

“But it’s all I have,” said Lily; “I can’t give it away. I can’t. Wait till to-morrow, and there’ll be some more out. They’re growing. There’ll be some all round to-morrow or next week.”

“To-morrow! I want it now, to-day,” said her friend, “to-day’s better than to-morrow.”

Lily looked at the child and then at the dandelion. “I suppose it would be mean to keep it,” she said, “but it is so lovely—can’t you wait?”

“Oh, well, keep it, you stingy girl!”

The little girl asks for the dandelion

“Come and pick it yourself, then,” said Lily, with tears in her eyes.

The next day, when Lily went into the yard, there were a dozen golden dandelions, like stars in the grass, and a little blue violet was blooming all alone by itself.



Where is the honey-bee?
Where has the swallow flown?
Only the chickadee
Chirrups his song alone.
Where is the bobolink,
Bubbling with merriment?
What was the road, think,
The gadding fire-fly went?
Whither flew the little wings
Grown in green forest aisles?
Where are the pretty things
That blossomed miles on miles?


The goat on the railroad track


A few weeks ago, as I was crossing a railroad track just outside of the city, a little goat stepped before me. With a sad cry, she seemed to ask me to stop. I turned aside to pass on, but she kept brushing against me, until I finally decided to find out what she wanted.

The goat had wandered from her usual browsing place. In crossing the railroad track she had caught her chain on a rail, and could not get away. I stooped down and let her loose. Then she pressed against me as if to thank me, and bounded off quickly to her old pasture.

If we would always listen to the cries of animals in distress, we might do a great deal of good. Just after I had released the goat, a train of cars came rushing along, and she would certainly have been killed if I had not attended to her.

L. B. P.

The bird singing


It has often been remarked that in the bird world the rule is for the males to have the brilliant plumage, with all the beautiful colors and for the females to be the dowdy ones—a rule which would entail a revolution in fashions, startling and ludicrous, if it were to be introduced for variety among our own kind. Again, gaily-dressed birds have the least pleasing song—the screaming jay bearing an unfavorable comparison with the thrush—and the modestly-attired nightingale having furnished, in all ages, a brilliant example of virtue unadorned. The nightingale, however, leaving before the climate has become objectionable, we must praise its musical accomplishments rather as being those of a distinguished guest, or foreign prima donna, than of an indigenous artist. But we have another bird who is always here, facing winter’s blasts in addition to summer’s bloom, who in voice stands unrivaled; no competitor approaching any where near him for fluency, richness, and liquid melody of song—to wit, the blackbird.

This negro melodist seldom spares his lungs at all until winter is far advanced into its New Year months; and even amid the bitter mornings of January, his rich, unfaltering notes can sometimes be heard. His coat is a glossy black, always cleanly brushed, and in the case of one family, sometimes called the “Red-wing,” with a gorgeous scarlet lapel on either side.


Two little rabbits out in the sun;
One gathered food, the other had none.
“Time enough yet,” his constant refrain;
“Summer is still just on the wane.”
Listen, my child, while I tell you his fate:
He roused him at last, but he roused him too late.
Down fell the snow from a pitiless cloud,
And gave little rabbit a spotless white shroud.
Two little boys in a school-room were placed;
One always perfect, the other disgraced.
“Time enough yet for my learning,” he said;
“I will climb by-and-by, from the foot to the head.”
Listen, my darling—their locks are turned gray;
One, as a governor, sitteth to-day.
The other, a pauper, looks out at the door
Of the alms-house, and idles his days as of yore.
Two kinds of people we meet every day;
One is at work, the other at play,
Living uncared for, dying unknown.—
The busiest hive hath ever a drone.
Tell me, my child, if the rabbits have taught,
The lesson I longed to impart in your thought.
Answer me this, and my story is done,
Which of the two will you be, little one?


Dick Sly was the smartest mouse in Mousetown. He knew any kind of a new trap that was set to catch him, and he always warned the rest. The houses in Mousetown are called “holes,” you know. Next to the hole where Dick lived with his parents was the hole where pretty Nan Spry lived. She could run faster than any mouse in Mousetown; even Dick could not catch her, if she tried to run away from him. At last it was told in Mousetown that Dick and Nan were to be married, and every body said, “What a grand pair they’ll make.” Judge Mouse, who married them, put on his best gold spectacles, and they were married on a big wedding cake, which some folks called a “cheese.” Every one in Mousetown had a bit of it, and declared it to be the best wedding cake they had ever eaten.

She had never seen a Tree.

They took the little London girl, from out the city street,
To where the grass was growing green, the birds were singing sweet;
And every thing along the road, so filled her with surprise,
The look of wonder fixed itself, within her violet eyes.
The breezes ran to welcome her; they kissed her on each cheek,
And tried in every way they could, their ecstacy to speak,
Inviting her to romp with them, and tumbling up her curls,
Expecting she would laugh or scold, like other little girls.
But she didn’t—no she didn’t; for this crippled little child
Had lived within a dingy court, where sunshine never smiled;
And for weary, weary days and months, the little one had lain
Confined within a narrow room, and on a couch of pain.
The out-door world was strange to her—the broad expanse of sky,
The soft, green grass, the pretty flowers, the stream that trickled by;
But all at once she saw a sight, that made her hold her breath,
And shake and tremble as if she were frightened near to death.
Oh, like some horrid monster, of which the child had dreamed,
With nodding head, and waving arms, the angry creature seemed;
It threatened her, it mocked at her, with gestures and grimace
That made her shrink with terror, from its serpent-like embrace.
They kissed the trembling little one; they held her in their arms,
And tried in every way they could to quiet her alarms,
And said, “Oh, what a foolish little girl you are, to be
So nervous and so terrified, at nothing but a tree!”
They made her go up close to it, and put her arms around
The trunk, and see how firmly it was fastened in the ground;
They told her all about the roots, that clung down deeper yet,
And spoke of other curious things, she never would forget.
Oh, I have heard of many, very many girls and boys
Who have to do without the sight, of pretty books and toys—
Who have never seen the ocean; but the saddest thought to me
Is that any where there lives a child, who never saw a tree.


Knock! Knock! Knock! I’ve been before this block
More than half an hour, I should say;
I am standing in the sun, while Miss Lucy lingers on,
Talking of the fashions of the day.
It is a trick you know, she taught me long ago,
But now I am in earnest, not in play;
And the world is very wide, to a horse that isn’t tied,
I’ve a mind to go and ask the price of hay.
There’s a nail in my shoe that needs fixing too,
And I want a drink more than I can say;
How I could run, with my dandy harness on!
But it’s such a mean thing to run away.
Rap! Tap! Tap! That’s enough to break a nap—
There she comes, and is laughing at the way
I brought her to the door, when she wouldn’t come before,
That’s a trick worth playing any day.


It was recess at the school-house at the cross roads, and three country girls gathered round a companion, whose unhappy face showed that something had gone wrong.

“Is this your last day at school, Lucindy?” asked Carrie Hess, a girl of fifteen, and the eldest of the three sisters.

“Yes, this is my last day, thanks to the summer boarders. I can’t bear to think of them. I hate them!”

“Will you have to work harder than you do now?” asked Freda, who was next younger to Carrie.

“I don’t mind the work so much as I do their impudent airs, and their stuck-up ways. I wont be ordered around, and if Auntie thinks I’m going to be a black slave, she’ll find she’s mistaken.”

Lucindy’s face flushed, and she appeared to be greatly in earnest.

“I’d be glad to have them come to our house, they have such nice clothes,” said Lena, the youngest and most mischievous.

“Yes, it’s very nice, I must say, to go around in old duds, and have a girl that’s not a whit better in any way than you, only she’s been to a city school and has a rich father, turn up her nose at you, and perhaps make fun of you, with her white dresses and her silk dresses, and her gaiter boots.”

“Can’t we come to your house any more? Can’t we come to play?” asked Carrie.

“Oh, can’t we come?” said the other two, almost in a breath.

“No, Auntie told me this morning, that I must tell you and the rest of the girls, that it wouldn’t be convenient to have you come, as you have done; you are not stylish enough for Miss Hattie Randolph to associate with, I suppose.”

The girls looked really disappointed. Lucindy was a great favorite, and a leader, fearless and successful in all escapades that required originality and coolness, and her company would be sorely missed. Her aunt had indulged her in all the dress and amusement she could afford, and her companions had always been welcome to visit at the house, but now there was a necessity for her services, and play could not be indulged in so often for the rest of the summer, as the household needed the avails, if not the presence of summer boarders.

“Is she older than we?” asked Carrie.

“No, but she’s lived all her life in the city, and feels above everybody. She and her brother and her mother will just take possession of our piazza and door-yard, and our swing; and I can wash dishes, and sit on the back door-step, and never see a girl from one month’s end to another.” Here Lucindy burst out crying.

“It’s too bad,” said Carrie.

The little Lena, ever fertile in invention, crept near, and putting her arms around Lucindy’s neck, whispered:

“We’ll come to see you on the sly, and we can go down in the fields and have fun, when your Auntie goes out for an afternoon.”

“I wish you would,” said Lucindy. “And I’ll bring down some cake and pickles, and some honey, and we’ll have a pic-nic in spite of Mrs. Randolph!”

This was a solution of the unhappy problem, and it seemed to throw a ray of sunlight slantwise into the gloomy picture of the coming summer.

The progress of the afternoon at the school-house was not marked by any unusual occurrence, and at the close, the little company of schoolmates proceeded together, until they came to the road leading to Lucindy’s home. Here they parted, with many professions of everlasting friendship; Lucindy, walking backwards, watched her companions until the turn in the road hid them from view.

Then she sat down upon a bank by the roadside under an old tree. Throwing her slate and books down on the grass, she snatched a few daisies that grew near, and thought of many things of a disquieting nature, pulling the flowers to pieces.

“I feel mad enough to run away!” she thought. “I could earn my living easy enough in the city, and not have to work so hard either. Miss Hunter can’t teach me any thing more. I’ve learned all she knows. It’s just too bad not to be able to get more education. I’ll just take my own way, if Auntie crowds me too much. I don’t care if she don’t like it. If my father and mother were alive, she wouldn’t be my boss. I can get on in another place with what I know about a good many things.

“But oh, that girl that’s coming has so much better times than I. Those lovely city schools! no one can help learning there, they take such pains with you.”

She looked down the road upon which the slanting red light of the declining sun was shining, and there she saw a cloud of dust. This road was not a great thoroughfare, and she knew that was the stage, and it probably would bring the undesired summer guests.

She shrank visibly back into the shadow of the tree as it came on, and smoothed out her faded calico dress and pulled her sun-bonnet farther over her face.

The coach came rolling past, and a girl in the back seat directed the attention of a fashionably-dressed lady to herself, she thought, and laughed as though immensely pleased, at the same time pointing at her. A little boy, who sat in the front seat with the driver, and who was playing upon a harmonica, stopped, and looking in her direction, laughed too.

“It’s my outlandish sun-bonnet they’re making fun of,” she thought. “I suppose this is the beginning of it.”


Now this ungentle girl was mistaken in her surmise, as she was about many things that caused her unhappiness. What the people in the stage were really interested and amused with were a couple of lambs in the field back of Lucindy, and their playful gyrations were a novel sight to them, and they had come for the very purpose of being pleased with country sights and experiences. Lucindy felt sure these were the summer boarders, and, taking a short cut across the fields, arrived at her aunt’s just as the guests were alighting.

Lucindy stood at the back corner of the house, and heard the sprightly talk of Mrs. Randolph and the merry laugh of the daughter, as her aunt bade them welcome, and she knew they were being conducted to the upper rooms that had been prepared with such thoughtful reference to their comfort.

Her aunt came down very soon, and seeing Lucindy, bade her wash her hands and smooth her hair, and put on a white apron, and prepare to get ready the tea. This duty Lucindy had always done, and a little curiosity, mingled with her other feelings, came to her, as to how the boarders would like her aunt’s puffy biscuit, and if the cold custard and raspberry jam wouldn’t be to their taste. If coffee and fricasseed chicken would not be just the thing after an all-day ride, and remarked to herself: “If they don’t like such fare, let them go where they’ll get better.”

The tea passed off with great good feeling; the new people making a most favorable impression upon her aunt, and impressing Lucindy with the discovery that polite manners were a recommend to strangers, for her aunt made gratified remarks from time to time as she came into the kitchen. Lucindy would not wait upon the table the first evening, a convenient head-ache being the excuse.

Mrs. Gimson was a most kindly disposed person, and endeavored, in every way, to make the time pass pleasantly to her guests; but all she could say in their favor did nothing toward disposing the mind of her niece to regard them with any toleration. She performed the household duties that fell to her with a stolid indifference, or with an openly expressed reluctance, and her aunt bore all kindly, explaining and smoothing away what she could, promising Lucindy that she should have a nice present of money when the guests departed.

Hattie Randolph had not taken any notice of her, never really having seen her, for Lucindy had positively refused to wait upon the table; and had kept herself in the back-ground, thus making her life at home more of a discipline than was necessary. She envied Hattie’s graceful ways and refined conversation; and her apparel was a revelation, not of beauty, but of another source of jealous envy to the country girl, for in putting the guests’ rooms in order, she examined, critically, the pretty things in the wardrobe.

The city people found so much to interest them in the beauties of the surrounding neighborhood, that they were out nearly all the time, and when the evening came, Mrs. Randolph, with her son and daughter, made a pleasant addition to Mrs. Gimson’s parlors, with their graceful talk, and numberless resources of entertainment.

Lucindy, observant and sullen, kept herself informed of all their movements, and was continually having the blush brought to her cheek and the bitterness of comparison to her heart, as she noted the wide difference there was between herself and them. It never once occurred to this foolish girl, that this difference was growing more and more every day, by the fostering of pride and an ignorant stubbornness, which prevented her, utterly, from ever cultivating their envied characteristics.

It was a long time since she had seen any of her playmates from the school, but by an ingenious contrivance, that had been thought out by Lucindy, a tin box had been inserted into an old tree in a fence corner, about midway between her home and the school-house, and in this they deposited their notes to each other.


This was a solace to Lucindy, as all the happenings at the school could be reported, and many a mis-spelled, soiled missive found its way to the eager hands of the absent one. Not less interesting was the news as to the doings of the boarders. Nothing, however trivial, that happened not to accord with Lucindy’s notions was overlooked in her setting forth of grievances, and she found ready sympathizers in the Hess girls. Carrie Hess stood under the old tree, one lovely morning, overstaying her time in doing so, as the warning bell had rung at the school-house, reading a note she had taken from the tree post-office. Among other things, it communicated the welcome news, that herself and sisters might come to the pretty knoll behind the house that afternoon, and that Lucindy would take the occasion to make a holiday for herself, as her aunt was going, after dinner, to look up fresh butter and eggs, and would be gone until near tea time.

Mrs. Randolph had hired a team, and with her family would be gone the same length of time, for a ride.

Carrie took a race to school, very much elated at the prospect of enjoying Lucindy’s company once more. Recess came, and after eating their very generous lunch, they prepared to quietly put a considerable distance between themselves and the precincts over which Miss Hunter’s authority extended. They were “skipping,” as they termed it, and as their parents would not know of it, they reveled in the forbidden freedom. They proceeded over fences and across stubble fields, and soon reached the coveted meeting-place. A wide-spreading tree, with a wreath of apples upon it, just turning to a ruddy hue, was almost completely surrounded at its trunk with hazel bushes, but on one side they did not grow; this was away from the house, and toward the wheat field. It was a natural bower, and into this they crept to await the coming of Lucindy.

They were not kept long in suspense, and when she appeared what a hugging and kissing were gone through with!

“Have your boarders gone for their ride?” asked Carrie.

“Yes, and I thought they’d never get off. Old Mrs. Randolph fusses so, you’d think she was going to a party every time she goes to ride. I wonder who she expects to see on a country road?”

“Sure enough. How was the girl dressed, Lu?”

“Oh, she had on a light check silk, and a lovely brown jockey, trimmed with pink satin ribbon rosettes and long ends at the back, and a lovely, wide collar.”

“Don’t you like her better than her mother?” asked Lena.

“Well, she doesn’t put on as many airs as her mother, and she’s acted, two or three times, as if she were going to speak to me, but I managed not to let her. I don’t want her acquaintance. I don’t want any of her coming down to me!”

“I suppose they have nice things, that they’ve brought with them, in their rooms,” said Carrie.

“Yes, Mrs. Randolph has an elegant blue satin pin-cushion, with morning-glories and apple-blossoms painted on it, and a dressing-case with white ivory combs and brushes, and they do your hair up lovely, for I fixed mine in her room yesterday with them.” This caused much merriment.

Lucindy proceeded to take from her pocket a pack of children’s cards, illuminated with gaily-dressed ladies and gentlemen, and queer-looking figures of all kinds. These caused a sensation; they looked incredulously at Lucindy, as she said:

“These are the things that make them laugh evenings. If we knew how to play them, we could have some of their kind of fun.”

They passed them to one another and examined them. They threw them aside presently, and returned to the subject of never-failing interest—the wardrobe of the boarders.

Carrie and Lena intimated more than once, that if they could only see something that city people really considered elegant, they would be satisfied, and forever indebted to Lucindy for the sight.


“Oh, dear, if that will please you so much,” said Lucindy, entirely willing to gratify them, “I’ll go and get one of Mrs. Randolph’s prettiest dresses and show you. It wont take me a minute.”

“Oh, do, Lucindy! we’re just crazy to see it! She’ll never know it,” said Carrie, with eagerness.

Lucindy had no scruples whatever in procuring so coveted a pleasure for her dear friends. She ran back to the house and up into Mrs. Randolph’s room. She fumbled over the dresses, and thinking it was as well to take out two or three, that they might feast their eyes upon a variety, she piled two silk dresses and an India mull upon her arm, and hurried out.

They dragged considerably upon the dusty path, but this was not noticed, and the wild delight of the girls, when they really had them in their hands, amply repaid Lucindy for any risk, she thought.

They fingered them over, the bead embroideries and lace trimmings, and examined the fashion of each with untiring interest.

“Let’s put them on!” said Carrie, “and see how we would look in them.”

“We’ll look sweetly stylish,” said Freda.

“Oh, do let us, Lucindy! Mrs. Randolph wont be back until evening. It’ll be such fun!” insisted Carrie.

“All right, let us; I don’t care how much fun we have with them, the more the better,” returned Lucindy. No sooner said than done; over their clothing they stretched the dresses, and jerked and settled them into the proper set. Shouts of laughter greeted every ridiculous pose and awkward stumble, and certainly nothing could be more provocative of merriment than their appearance. They trailed the dresses over the stubble in mock dignity; they improvised a dance, and went through all the grotesque changes they could invent. Their comments and jokes were most spicy and personal, and in all Lucindy led.

After a good time enjoyed in this way, the fun lost its point and novelty, and they threw the dresses in a heap on the grass, and sat and chatted over the gossip connected with the school at the cross roads. The afternoon was wearing on, and Lucindy thought it time to produce her good things, and taking up the dresses, ran along to the house.

In getting through the bars she dropped the mull overskirt and did not perceive her loss. Gretchen saw it, and running after, brought it back. Lucindy hung the dresses up in their places, certainly not improved by the airing they had had; but chancing to look out of an upper window, she was horrified to see down the road the identical team that Mrs. Randolph had hired, and as true as the world, they were coming home!

She rushed down, and abandoning the lunch, ran as fast as she could to the field, and as she approached, this was the sight that met her gaze:

Gretchen was strutting about with a dock leaf held over her head for a parasol, and trailing the beautiful mull overskirt on the ground, endeavoring to realize the feelings of a fine lady in a trailed dress.

“Gretchen! Gretchen!” screamed Lucindy, as loudly as she dared. “Hide it! hide it! Mrs. Randolph has come home!”

Carrie jumped, and lifting Gretchen from it, secured the skirt, and Lucindy grasped it and rolled it in a small ball and hid it in the hazel bushes. Then they held a hurried consultation, and decided it was best for Lucindy to go back immediately; but, as it was now impossible to restore the skirt to its place in the wardrobe, they urged her to put it in some unfrequented spot, until a favorable opportunity came to get it back. Lucindy now feared her aunt would arrive without warning, and, although loth to part without the long anticipated treat, they walked quickly down the path by the fence toward the road.

“What on the face of the earth will I ever do with this thing?” whispered Lucindy, for the first time betraying fear. “I can’t get it back to-night, that’s as plain as the nose on your face. Oh, grief! she may inquire after it as soon as I go in! It’ll be just like my luck for her to want to wear it to-night. Maybe she expects some one to spend the evening with them, and that’s what brought them back so early. Let me see—Auntie will find it if I put it anywhere about the house or barn; I must not be found out in this, because if I am, Auntie wont give me the present she promised. I’ll tell you, Carrie, you take it and put it down the hole in the tree, under the tin box. No one has ever found out that place; it will be safe there until I go for it to-morrow.”

This was immediately decided upon, and the girls went sulkily home. The skirt was forced down into the tree, and the tin box placed on top, and they trudged slowly homeward.

As Lucindy approached the house, she began to see more and more the serious dilemma in which she was placed, and her face hardened visibly as she thought.

“I’ll deny the whole thing if I’m cornered; perhaps Mrs. Randolph will live through the disappointment of not wearing her dress for once. I have to live all the time without such dresses.”

Just then she heard her aunt calling her, and she knew that some unlooked-for occasion had brought them home before evening.

“Lucindy, we must hurry up the tea; the folks are going to spend the evening at Judge Brander’s. The team is waiting to take them there. Mrs. Randolph saw me in the village, and told me.”

Lucindy did not answer, but went in and about her duties as usual. Presently Mrs. Randolph called for Mrs. Gimson to come up stairs, as she wished to speak to her. Lucindy felt that now the discovery had been made, and strengthening her purpose, to deny all, worked on, quietly waiting for developments.

In a few moments, her aunt came down in great excitement, and told her that someone had been in the house, while they were away, and had stolen Mrs. Randolph’s elegant India mull overskirt, and had almost ruined her other dresses, as the trimmings were broken and destroyed, and some of them were gone entirely.

“It must have been when I went for water; I noticed that there were two tramps going down the road, a man and woman.”

“Oh, Lucindy, you should have locked the door!”

“Why, aunt, I never lock the doors when I go after water. I suppose you’ll put the blame of it on me!” Here Lucindy began to cry. “I think you are a very strange woman to leave no one but a girl alone in a house, with such valuable things; it’s a wonder the robbers didn’t kill me; my coming in frightened them away. I’ve no doubt they thought it was the hired man,” Lucindy continued to cry.

Mrs. Gimson never suspected her niece of such systematic deception. The well was a short distance from the house, and that accounted for the fact that nothing else was missing, as they had not had time, and also that the other dresses had been rudely dragged to get them down.

She believed Lucindy’s story. Mrs. Randolph could not account for the plight in which she found her clothing, and bewailed her loss, as being particularly annoying at this juncture.

Nothing more was said, and, after taking tea, they started for the Judge’s, leaving Mrs. Gimson in a greatly perturbed state of mind. She knew that this unfortunate thing would get abroad and discourage patrons. Desirable boarders would avoid her house in future.

Lucindy, never uttering a comforting word to her aunt, went up to her room with an air of injured innocence that hurt her aunt quite as much as any thing she had undergone. During the early part of the evening a violent thunder storm came up, and Mrs. Randolph did not return. The next morning it still rained, and there was no excuse for Lucindy’s going out, and the dress could not be secured. Mrs. Randolph returned at noon, and informed Mrs. Gimson that she had been invited to visit, for the rest of the summer, at Judge Brander’s, and would leave Mrs. Gimson’s the next day.

Just as soon as Lucindy could be spared, she ran down to the tree post-office, put a note into the tin box, and returned. This, Carrie Hess got as soon as recess came, and the scheme worked out successfully, as the event proved.

Barry, Hattie’s brother, was standing by the shrubbery gate, when a little barefoot boy sidled up, and attracted his attention by his curious behavior—he finally spoke:

“I say, them Hitalyans stuffed yer mother’s clothes inter a tree down here; I found it this mornin’.”

“What do you mean?” asked Barry, not fully understanding the boy.

“That ere tree, don’t yer see?” and the boy pointed to the girls’ post-office, that stood out dimly down the road.

“Is it there now?” asked Barry.

“I do’no, I seed it there this mornin’.”


“Wait till I go and tell my mother,” said Barry, and he ran into the house.

In a moment Mrs. Randolph and Mrs. Gimson were at the gate, but the boy had disappeared. “Go down, Barry, and see if what he says is true,” said his mother. He ran off, and returning after a little time, brought the overskirt, rolled up in a soiled bundle, as the rain had soaked it and the decayed wood had stained it.

“Yes, I think it must have been those tramps,” said Mrs. Randolph. “They hid it there, expecting to come for the rest of it the next day. They’ll be disappointed. I’ll be gone.”

The boy was Carrie Hess’s brother, and the ruse had worked; entirely turning off all suspicion from Lucindy.

Mrs. Gimson lost her summer boarders and Lucindy returned to school. This unprincipled girl, however, learned the hard lesson, in her after life, that ingratitude to benefactors, and unfaithfulness to trust, meet a sure retribution, even if they appear to succeed.

A bird tries to protect her eggs from a predator


As Night Came Darkly Down - birds; a woman and child; trees

Decoration - a cherub and birds


The night came darkly down;
The birdies’ mother said,
“Peep! peep!
You ought to be asleep!
’Tis time my little ones were safe in bed!”
So, sheltered by her wings in downy nest,
The weary little birdlings took their rest.
The night came darkly down;
The baby’s mother said,
You musn’t frolic so!
You should have been asleep an hour ago!”
And, nestling closer to its mother’s breast,
The merry prattler sank to quiet rest.
Then in the cradle soft
’Twas laid with tenderest care.
Sleep till the morning light!”
Whispered the mother as she breathed a prayer.
Night settled down; the gates of day were barred
And only loving angels were on guard.

Josephine Pollard.


It stands in the corner of Grandma’s room;
From the ceiling it reaches the floor;
“Tick-tock,” it keeps saying the whole day long,
“Tick-tock,” and nothing more.
Grandma says the clock is old, like herself;
But dear Grandma is wrinkled and gray,
While the face of the clock is smooth as my hand,
And painted with flowers so gay!
Backwards and forwards, this way and that,
You can see the big pendulum rock:
“Tick-tock,” it keeps saying the whole day long,
“Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock!”
The clock never sleeps, and its hands never rest
As they slowly go moving around;
And it strikes the hours with a ding, ding, ding,
Ding, ding, and a whirring sound.
I wonder if this is the same old clock
That the mousie ran up in the night,
And played hide-and-seek till the clock struck one,
And then ran down in a fright.
Backwards and forwards, this way and that,
You can see the big pendulum rock;
“Tick-tock,” it keeps saying the whole day long,
“Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock!”

Nellie M. Garabrant.

Decoration - a spray of leaves and flowers

A little girl and a woman by a grandfather clock


Yesterday, Alice met the stuffed Jumbo, her former mate. She walked slowly up to him, and then stood for a few moments, evidently surveying him with wonder. Then she swung her trunk so as to reach Jumbo’s mouth. She also touched his trunk in a cautious manner, and then turning her back upon him, gave vent to a groan that made the roof of the garden tremble. William Newman, the elephant trainer, Frank Hyatt, the superintendent, and “Toddy” Hamilton, talked to her in their usual winning way, and she again faced Jumbo. She fondled his trunk, looked straight into his eyes, and again she groaned, and then walked away as though disgusted with the old partner of her joys and sorrows. She went back to her quarters and continued to mourn. Her keeper, Scott, was appealed to by the spectators. He was asked whether he believed that she recognized Jumbo, and he replied in all seriousness, “Of course she did. She told me so.” At another time he said, “I can understand elephant talk, and Alice told me she recognized Jumbo.” Scott seemed very much affected by the meeting. He was Jumbo’s old keeper.—Humane Journal.

The elephant carrying buckets


Several elephants stand patiently while people look on


Decoration - floral pattern


O softly falling flakes of snow
That fill the wintry air,—
A thickening cloud on every side,
Each flake a wonder rare.
A woman and child look out of a window
“Are they from trees in Silver Land?”
My child is asking me.
He claps his hands, he laughs, he begs,
“One leaf from silver tree.”
Such questions as he asks in vain
About the leaf-like snow!
He might as well talk of the tides
That strangely come and go.
“Who plants those fairy trees?” he asks,
“With tops that reach so high?”
Oh, answer, Garden of Delight,
All in the cloudy sky!
“Who shakes those trees and sends their leaves
On field and wood and town?
Is it the Gardener living there,
Or winds that blow them down?”
O child, look up and see yourself,
The clouds are Silver Land.
Who made those flakes, He scatters them;
They fall at His command.
They fall, they melt, they come again.
And His the gardener’s hand
That gently shakes the silver trees
Which grow in Silver Land.

Rev. Edward A. Rand.



Did you ever think of how lowly was the start in life of many of our great men? Read the pages of history and you will find that fully seven out of ten of the great men were really poor. Bonaparte used to be a book agent, Gould was a surveyor, Franklin was a printer, Garfield worked on the tow path, Lincoln was a rail splitter, Grant was a tanner, Poe was always in financial distress; Crome, the great artist, used to pull hair from his cat’s tail to make his brushes; Astor came to New York with nothing as the foundation of his fortunes. The list is almost endless.

To us, there is much encouragement in these facts. By looking into the lives of such men we find the secret of success. Lincoln was a poor Illinois farmer, with no visionary dreams of his great future. He was poor and unlearned. Of the poverty he was not ashamed; of his lack of learning he was by no means satisfied. He resolved to gain knowledge. He studied, studied hard, and at a time in his life when other men felt they had passed the age of schooling. Of his work, we find he always tried to give an honest day’s labor; his motto was to do well everything he put his hands to. It was this trait of character that attracted the attention of his neighbors, and this it was that first started him on the road to great success.


Look at the early days of Grant. There was no indication of unusual brightness in him. At West Point, where he was sent to military school, he did not stand at the head of his classes. He only seemed an earnest worker, with plenty of determination. Later, when he lived on his little Illinois farm, there was nothing about him that pointed him out as the future great general. It was only when the great civil war broke out that he had an opportunity to show the kind of a man he was. His only thought was to accomplish the task assigned him, be it ever so difficult. This naturally found him in the line of promotion, and step by step he climbed higher, earning by hard work every step he gained, until he reached the highest office in the land.

Take Edison, the inventor. He was only a tramp telegrapher, but he was not satisfied with being anything but the best, and many are the stories of speed he attained in sending or receiving messages. He was inquisitive—wanted to know more of the mysteries of the electricity that carried his messages. He began experimenting, and by close application to his studies, has astonished the world with his telephone, phonograph and other inventions.

Now, these great men are not merely the products of chance. Not at all. Study each of them and you will find they were workers, gaining by just such struggles as you and I can make. We may not reach such distinction as these have reached, but rest assured there is just as great a demand now as ever for good, earnest men, and earnest, successful men grow from painstaking boys. The boy who, as clerk in the counting-house, watches after the interests of his employers, will be the coming merchant; the young man on the farm who slights not the work assigned him, will own a farm of his own.

Let this lesson make an impression. The road to success may be rugged, but it is not so steep but that enough steps, if in the right direction, be they ever so short, will in time carry you a long way toward the top.

A mountainous landscape


This, one of the grandest of American natural sceneries, is located along the Colorado River. The river, in its years and years of flowing, has washed out the soil, and owing to the peculiar composition of the ground has washed it away unevenly, and these standing peaks are so numerous and so fantastic in form, that this location has been called the Garden of the Gods. It is most impressive and inspiring grandeur. A trip will well repay a journey from the most remote parts of our country to see this view, only a little of which is in the engraving.

The artist using a friend's shadow to draw a silhouette



Albert, the blacksmith’s son, will be an artist some day. While other boys are playing ball or skating, or other amusements, Albert is using his time making pictures. He seems to delight in it, and even when quite a small boy, many were the scoldings he received from his parents for a too free use of his chalk and pencil, leaving his rude drawings on wall and fences; and in school his troubles were only increased, for his books always contained pictures, sometimes of horses, or dogs, or of his friends. This habit did not correspond with his teachers’ ideas of tidiness, and punishment followed punishment. It did not help matters, though, and his drawing continued. In time he became quite apt and could make pictures that very closely resembled the objects he drew. His companions called him the “artist,” and they would have him make pictures of them. Some of his methods were odd enough. To make an outline of a boy’s face he would tack a piece of paper on the side of a door in his father’s shop, and by placing the boy between the paper and a lighted lamp, would trace with pencil the outline of the shadow as it fell on the paper. Soon he tried painting with paint and brush. At first his efforts were crude, and to anyone less determined and enthusiastic, discouraging. Not so to Albert. He worked along day after day, and in time could paint well enough to attract some notice in his little village.

About this time a great artist from the city, spending the summer in this part of the country, heard of Albert, and by accident met him. Quick to perceive the natural talent of the boy, and being generously inclined, he offered to take him to his city home and give him training in his studio. The parents, though loth to be separated from their son, saw here an opportunity to educate him in his favorite study, and so accepted the offer.

You can well imagine Albert’s surprise and delight when he first entered the studio and saw the work of the master. How the great paintings filled him with wonder. He proved an apt student, a true artist, and year after year worked with patience and determination, and became a noted painter.

He often thinks of his early days—of the pictures he made in the old blacksmith shop. He thinks, too, of the years spent since then in attaining prominence in his calling, but no regrets come to him.

The true story of how one boy succeeded can be of use to others. It only takes this same perseverance and pluck to succeed in any other calling. Had he complained because he could not paint like the master, and not been contented to study on during these years, he could not now lay claim to his present success and eminence as an artist. Let others, in reading this, see in it an object, and may it bring to them new resolve to succeed in the life work they have started on.

Life is what we make it, and not a matter of chance. By marking out a future success we expect to accomplish,—by sticking closely to this one idea, and bending every energy to attain it, we can come approximately near accomplishing our undertaking.

Ornamental pattern


Ralph and Lily had one game of which they never tired, and that was “horses.” It was really a convenient game, for it could be played on wet or fine days, in the nursery or on the road. Perhaps it was best fun on the road, “like real horses;” but I am not sure, for it was very delightful to sit on the nursery table, with the box of bricks for a coachman’s seat, and from that elevated position to drive the spirited four horses represented by the four chairs, to which the reins would be fastened.

One day—a fine day—the two children were playing at their usual game on the turnpike road, and waiting for nurse, who had gone into a cottage near by to speak to the washerwoman. Nurse was a long time, and Ralph, who was horse, was quite out of breath with his long trot on the hard road. Lily touched him up with the whip, but all to no avail—he could run no more.

“I’ve no breath left,” said the poor horse, sinking down exhausted on a heap of stones.

Lily put down the whip and patted his head to encourage him. “Soh! soh!” she said, in as good an imitation as she could manage of the way the groom spoke to their father’s horse; “you are quite done, I see. You must rest, and have a handful of oats,” and she dived into her pocket and produced a bit of biscuit, which the horse ate with great satisfaction, and soon professed himself ready to go on again. “Ah!” said Lily, sagely, “I knew you’d be all right soon; there’s nothing like food and kindness for horses when they’re tired.”

A tinker, with a cart and a poor, ill-fed beast harnessed to it, happened to be passing, and heard the little girl’s words. He stared after her, for she seemed very small to speak so wisely, and the tinker did not, of course, know that she was only repeating what she had heard her father say.

“Well, I’m dazed!” exclaimed the tinker, looking after the children; “wherever did little Missy learn that?”

He said no more then; but Lily’s words stuck to him, and his poor horse had reason to bless Lily for them, for from that day forward he got, not only more food, but more kindness and fewer blows and so he became a better horse, and the tinker the better man in consequence.


Oh, it is fun! Oh, it is fun!
To dress ourselves up, as Grandma has done.
See how we go! See how we go!
Forward and back, heel and toe.
Lighter than down, our feet come down
Mind all your steps, and hold out your gown;
Faster than that, whatever may hap,
Cherry red waist and blue speckled cap.
Hi! Master John! Ho! Master John!
Don’t go to sleep, while the music goes on;
Faster than that! Faster than that!
Hold up your head, and flourish your hat!
How she trips it along, that bright little maid,
With her dainty blue skirt and spotted brocade;
And that one in yellow, who wears the red rose
How she keeps her mouth shut and turns out her toes.
How they do spin! when they truly begin;
Each dancer as airy and bright as a doll;
While the music complete, keeps time to their feet,
With its fiddle-dee-diddle and tol-de-rol-ol!
Oh, it is fun! Oh, it is fun!
To dance, when every duty is done;
Forward and back, or all in a ring,
A quick little dance is a very gay thing.


Joey was a country boy,
Father’s help and mother’s joy;
In the morning he rose early,—
That’s what made his hair so curly;
Early went to bed at night,—
That’s what made his eyes so bright;
Ruddy as a red-cheeked apple;
Playful as his pony, Dapple;
Even the nature of the rose
Wasn’t quite as sweet as Joe’s.
Charley was a city boy,
Father’s pet and mother’s joy;
Always lay in bed till late;
That’s what made his hair so straight,
Late he sat up every night,—
That’s what made his cheeks so white;
Always had whate’er he wanted,
He but asked, and mother granted;
Cakes and comfits made him snarly,
Sweets but soured this poor Charley.
Charley, dressed quite like a beau,
Went, one day, to visit Joe.
“Come,” said Joey, “let’s go walking;
As we wander, we’ll be talking;
And, besides, there’s something growing
In the garden, worth your knowing.”
“Ha!” said Charley, “I’m your guest;
Therefore I must have the best.
All the inner part I choose,
And the outer you can use.”

Joey gave a little laugh;
“Let’s,” said he, “go half and half.”
“No, you don’t!” was Charley’s answer,
“I look out for number one, sir.”
But when they arrived, behold,
On the tree a peach of gold,
All without, fair, ripe and yellow,
Fragrant, juicy, tempting, mellow,
And, within, a gnarly stone.
“There,” said Joey, “that’s your own;
As you choose, by right of guest,
Keep your choice—I’ll eat the rest.”
Charley looked as black as thunder,
Scarce could keep his temper under.
“’Twas too bad, I think,” said Joe;
“Through the cornfield let us go,
Something there, perhaps we’ll see
That will suit you to a T.”
“Yes,” said Charles, with accent nipping,
“Twice you will not catch me tripping;
Since I lost the fruit before,
You now owe me ten times more.
Now the outer part I choose,
And the inner you can use.”

Joey gave another laugh;
“Better call it half and half.”
“No, indeed!” was Charley’s answer,
“I look out for number one, sir!
Well I know what I’m about,—
For you, what’s in; for me what’s out!”
On they went, and on a slope
Lay a luscious cantaloupe,
Rich and rare, with all the rays
From the August suns that blaze;
Quite within its sweets you find,
And without the rugged rind.
Charley gazed in blank despair,
Deeply vexed and shamed his air.
“Well,” said Joey, “since you would
Choose the bad and leave the good;
Since you claimed the outer part,
And disdained the juicy heart,—
Yours the rind, and mine the rest;
But as you’re my friend and guest,
Charley, man, cheer up and laugh,
And we’ll share it half and half;
Looking out for number one
Doesn’t always bring the fun.”

At work in the studio


Woodcroft to be sold!—like a knell of doom the words fell on our ears—it could not be! Our dear old home, the only one we children had ever known, to be taken from us. We sat in the bright little sitting-room, blankly looking at one another, in dumb astonishment. Louise, who was always the thoughtful one, soon roused herself from the stupor which seemed to have come upon us all, and going over to the lounge, began comforting—as best she could, poor child—our gentle little mother, upon whom this blow had fallen most heavily. Presently she sat up, and in trembling tones told us, as we clustered at her knee, the particulars of our misfortune.

There were three of us—Louise, Cal and I, who rejoiced in the quaint cognomen of Pen, named for a rich, eccentric, old aunt, who had never left me any money because she never died.

“Now, Marmo, out with all the trouble and let us share it,” said matter-of-fact Cal. And then she told how, after papa’s sudden death a year before, she had discovered a mortgage to be on the place, small, but now due and no money to meet it; the creditor was pressing, and the home to be sold. We felt sad, but cheered her up, and talked over ways and means as never before.

“Even though he consents to renew it, where would the yearly interest money come from,” she wailed.

We urged her to lie down and rest, and, following Cal’s beckoning finger, tip-toed out of the room.

“Now, girls,” said she, “something’s got to be done, and we’ve got to do it.”

Two birds perch on a sketchpad, looking at a sketch of themselves


One thing after another was proposed and rejected; we knew, if the home were sold, after the demands were met, there would be but a mere pittance left for four females to live on. Finally I broke in:

“Girls, my brain is not usually fertile, but a thought has been growing—we are all well educated, but teaching is out of the question, the supply is greater than the demand, but Lou, here, is skilled with pencil and brush, and Cal has a genius for contrivance; now why could you not paint and decorate some of the dainty trifles you often make as gifts, and sell them. I always did have a notion for cookery, which I shall proceed to put in practice, dismissing the servants.” Having delivered this little speech, I paused, breathless.

Cal clapped her hands, and Lou’s brown eyes glowed. “Pen, you little duck,” and Cal pounced on me in an excess of joy.

“But,” faltered Lou, “the mortgage.”

“I thought of that too—our lady-like Louise shall go to that crusty old creditor, and beg him to renew it, and with what you girls earn and what we save from the rent of the farm land (for we must live economically) we will pay him the interest promptly.” I will add, that she did that very thing, and completely won over the hard-hearted fellow with her sweet, earnest manner.

So to work we went, and the sitting-room was converted into a studio, littered with papers, books, gay ribbons and glue-pots. But some exquisite creations came out of that chaos. I had visited the aforesaid Aunt Pen the previous winter, in New York city, and at the American Specialty House had been enchanted with the many novel and beautiful pieces of decorated work. All would be entirely new in this part of the world, and our idea was, to take orders from the near towns for their Holiday trade. It was now only May and we would have plenty of time. Cal, who, with her brusque, honest ways, determined face, and curly, short hair, was our man of business, took samples of our work in to the various towns, receiving large orders in almost every instance.

Happy and busy as bees we worked, and began to feel quite important, as the pile grew high, of white boxes, filled with delicate satin souvenirs for wedding and birthdays, Christmas tokens of lovely design, little poems with dainty painted covers, blotters and thought books, beautifully decorated, all of which found ready sale. The little mother’s sad eyes began to brighten, and Cal would say:

“Marmo, we can take care of you almost as good as sons, can’t we?”

“God bless my daughters,” would be the reply.

Louise had established her studio under the old apple-tree one warm June day, and, running out to call her to lunch, I found she had gone down in the garden, but I saw the cutest, prettiest sight! I beckoned her to come softly. There, on her sketch-book, opened against the tree, and on which was a half-finished painting of birds, hopped around two brown sparrows, peeping and twittering as contentedly as possible. It was too cunning! as though they had recognized their portraits and felt at home.

“A tribute to your genius, Lou,” said I. “Like the famous artist of old, who painted cherries so naturally, the birds flew down and pecked at the canvas.”

“I fear I shall have to dispel the illusion, dear. I guess they were more eager to pick up some cake crumbs I left than to admire my work.”

Readers, you will be glad to know that the girls’ work continued successful, and that the “crusty old creditor” turned out a good friend, from sheer admiration of their pluck and courage.

Two little birds

Climbing roses


Merryvale was not a very lively place for any one except a couple of young colts, and as many calves, jumping around after their mothers.

The bees seemed to be making a good deal of fun for themselves, if stinging us children amused them, and buzzing into every pretty, bright flower, so that no one could pick it with safety.

The crows, too, collected in great gossiping parties, in the pines, over on the shore of the pond, and they always seemed to be congratulating themselves over something immensely satisfactory.

But we children, especially the girls, found it very dull after we had seen the few sights of the farm. The boys were trying to hunt and fish; but Lib and I talked that over, and we came to the conclusion, after much laughing and many caustic remarks, that the only amusement we had was, laughing at their failures.

We communicated that fact to them, but it didn’t seem to make any difference; off they went on the same fruitless hunt, and left us to do what we might, to make ourselves happy.

The next day, Lib and Dora and I told them we would go into the woods with them and see what the charm was. Lib was the eldest of us three, and had read a great deal, and she said:

“May be we shall find the robbers’ cave, and if we say, ‘Open Sesame,’ the great stone doors will slowly swing open, and we can go in where the chains of flashing gems and the heaps of golden coin are.”

“I think you’ll get into places where you can’t get out; ‘open sesame’ will never lift you out of a marsh hole,” said William Pitt Gaylord, our eldest brother.

“Mollie, you can find somebody to have a talking match with, for there are lots of chipmunks over in the grove,” remarked Hugh.

“I’ve seen snakes in that very woods, too, and if you’d holler, Lib, at that end of the pond, as you do at this end of the tea-table, you wouldn’t catch any fish,” said William. This caused an uproarious laugh on the part of the boys.

We listened quietly to their sarcastic remarks, knowing they were prompted by an unreasonable desire to monopolize the delights of the woods to themselves.

William Pitt remarked that “Girls had no business to meddle with boys’ sports, and they’d come to grief if they did; you’d see!”

Next morning the August haze lay soft on the landscape, but in a short time it went off, and Father, learning that we girls were going to spend a part of the day in the woods, quietly told the boys that they must escort us to the pleasantest place, and not wander very far off. They pouted considerably, and had a talk at the corner of the barn; they then came back, smiling, and apparently good-natured.

Walking through the fields

Our brothers did not intend to be unkind, but they had the common failing of humanity—selfishness. But Lib matched them in a dozen ways with her good-humored retaliations; and many a tilt she had with William Pitt since we had arrived at the farm. In the city she was abreast of him in all his studies; and I noticed that Lib could get out her Latin, and write a composition much faster than he, and often he had been obliged to come to her for aid. It nettled Lib not to be able to hunt and fish. We two younger ones modeled after her; she was the leader, and when she said we would go with the boys, we went.

“Hello Fred,” said Hugh, as a neighboring boy, a city boarder, came through the gate, attired in base-ball cap and knickerbockers, “we can’t go to Duck Inlet to-day. Father says the girls must have a good time, too, and that we must devote one day to them, at least.”

“All right,” said Fred, “can I go with you? I’ll go and get my butterfly net, and we can go over to Fern Hollow mill, the winter-greens and berries are as thick there! Gracious! you can get a quart pail full in no time. The mill-wheel is a beautiful sight,” said Fred, turning to Lib, “and you can sketch it, Miss Gaylord.”

Lib looked upon Fred with a little more toleration, after he had said “Miss Gaylord,” and went and ordered an additional ration to be put into the lunch basket. We were glad to have Fred along with us, for he was very funny, and made jokes on every thing.

Lib would allow no one to carry the lunch basket but herself, as she remarked, “It is safer with me.”

We started, and were tempted to loiter at all the little nooks on the leaf-shadowed road, and investigate the haunts of the curious dwellers in the rocks and bushes, and especially were we interested in the ducks on Fern Hollow creek. Dora insisted upon feeding them a piece of bread. “Calamity,” the dog, was along, of course, and as he belonged to William Pitt, who called him “Clam,” he was always in that boy’s company. It was, “Love me, love my dog,” with William; and as he was a professional of some kind, he was greatly prized by the boys.

We reached the woods and the old mill early; I think I never was in a more delightful place. Every thing seemed to grow here. Winter-greens, with their crimson berries, shining in the moss, and blueberries, where the sun came; tall, white flowers that grew in clusters in the shade, sent their perfume all about. Back of the mill, on some sandy ledges, grew pennyroyal and spearmint; raspberries and blackberries grew everywhere.

A stream running through fields

The boys went off to gather a quantity for lunch, and Lib and Dora and I hunted for a pleasant place to set out our dainties. We found it. A natural bower, between four trees; one being a giant of a pine, right at the doorway. The wild grape-vine and the woodbine had inclosed the space so completely, that Lib, who had thoughtfully brought along a scissors to cut off stubborn plants, could make two windows in the green wall; one looking into the woods, the other off at the distant pond. The grass was fine in here, and the sunbeams dropped down in little round spots, on the pine needles that covered the floor.

“This is certainly the fairies’ dining hall,” said Lib.

“I’ll tell you what,” said I, “this is not far from home, and we can bring things, and have a little parlor here. I can make a couple of curtains out of that figured scrim, for windows, and that old square rug in the carriage-house will do for the floor. You can bring your rocking-chair, Lib, and Dora can bring her tea-set.”

“I’ll bring our Christmas and Easter cards, and we can fasten them all about, on the walls,” said Lib, who had fallen in immediately with the plan.

“I’ll bring Mrs. Snobley, and all her children, and the dining table,” said Dora.

She had reference to her large doll, and a whole dozen of little ones, that were always brought forward in any play that Dora had taken a fancy to.

We were in such haste to put our scheme into operation, that we dispatched the lunch in short order, and told the boys of our plan. They thought it was capital. Any thing that would release them, after they had eaten all that was to be had, would, of course, be received with acclamation. They acknowledged the same, in a very neat speech, which Lib said, “did very good for Hugh.”

She fell in immediately with our fun, and helped us to a number of nice things, to furnish our greenwood bower. We worked tremendously that afternoon, and after Betty had washed the dinner dishes, she helped us. Before sun-down every thing was complete. The boys, who had taken themselves a mile away, to hunt, came round to visit us on their way home. They agreed that it was just perfect, and inquired if we hadn’t put in an elevator, to reach the second story, with numerous other inquiries, intended to be funny; and then asked where we kept our cranberry tarts.

“We’re not going to allow any boys in this play-house after to-day,” said I; “your feet are muddy, and you’re so big, you fill it all up.”

Our visitor, Fred, looked at his feet, and blushed. “Not after to-day? How are you going to keep any one out?” inquired William Pitt.

“We will draw this portiere across the doorway, and no gentleman would think of entering,” said Lib.

“No, they wouldn’t, sure enough,” said Hugh. “How are you going to prevent our looking in the windows?”

“Only rude boys would look in windows,” said Fred, “and I don’t know of any hereabouts.”

They laughed at this, and Lib laughed too, and made the sly remark, that “Hunting on the duck-pond transformed some people mighty soon.”

Fred said he’d try to be on his good behavior if we’d let him make a formal call on us the next afternoon. We consented to this; then they all said they’d call.

The next day we busied ourselves in preparing a spread of good things for our reception, and Betty took it over, and on returning, said every thing was just as we had left it. We dressed ourselves up in our best, to receive the gentlemen, a little time after dinner. The woods were never so lovely, we thought, and to add to our personal charms, we made wreaths and garlands of ferns and wild-flowers to adorn our persons and hats.

I had sauntered along considerably in advance, and as I approached the bower I was not a little surprised to see from a distance that the door-curtain was drawn half open. I stopped to listen, but there was no sound, only a wild bird piping its three little notes, down by the mill. I cautiously went up, and peeped into the little window, and there stood a man on the rug! He seemed to be looking about. I think I never was so frightened. I ran back, and whispered to the rest the dreadful state of things. They looked horror-stricken. Lib changed color, but just stood still. Then she said,—“There’s plenty of help over at the mill.”

“Oh, let us go no nearer, but get home as fast as we can,” I said.

Lib raised her hand in warning for us to keep still, and we crept along, softly, behind the bower; and when we had gotten so far, we all turned around and ran for dear life into the woods again.

“This is nonsense,” said Lib. “You were mistaken, Mollie, I’m sure.”

I said I’d go back with her, and she could see for herself. We crept to the back of the bower, and Lib leaned over and looked in. Lib turned pale, caught hold of my hand and Dora’s, and ran quite a distance toward the mill. Then she stopped, and said, as true as she was alive, there was a man in there; he stood with a large stick resting on his shoulder, upon which was slung a bundle, tied up in a red handkerchief, his clothing was ragged, and his hat was very dilapidated.

“Oh, Lib, I’m going to run for it,” said I.

“Wait a minute,” said she. “I don’t hear any noise. Let’s think; if we didn’t have to go right in front of the door, we could get to the mill.”

All this time we were edging ourselves as far away from the dangerous precincts as we conveniently could. She stood again, perfectly still. “I won’t go another step,” she said. That moment’s reflect had re-instated her courage. “He don’t come out; I should say that was making an informal call when the ladies were out. He’s a beautiful-looking specimen anyway,” said Lib, with fine irony; and as she said this, she frowned, and put her head back.

No sound was heard, and no demonstrations from the interloper were made. The sight of the mill-wagon, going slowly down the road, gave us heart, and Lib said:

“I’ll go and order him out, be the consequences what they may. Mollie, you’re good at screaming, you can bring the miller here if we have to get help.”

“Don’t! Don’t! I would rather he stole all our things; let him have the tarts and the cocoanut cake, and the jam, and the pickles, and the cheese, and the sandwiches! Let him have them in welcome! I’m going to fly home!”

“I want Mrs. Snobley!” sobbed Dora.

Lib never said another word. She walked up to the entrance, and pulled aside the curtain, and there stood the semblance of a man. In his extended hand was a card, on which was very badly printed:

I’m a poor b’y,—I want a home.

References exchanged.

I’ll scrape the mud off me boots, if ye’ll let me in.

Lib called, “Come here, Mollie, it’s a trick of those boys.”

We went in, and there we found the interloper to be a scarecrow from a neighboring field, ingeniously arranged so as to appear very human.

At that moment, a loud laugh above our heads betrayed the presence of the boys in the trees, who clambered down with hilarious expedition, and fairly rolled themselves upon the ground with delight. They had seen all our perturbation; had heard my cowardly cries and expressions; Lib’s looking in the window, and her fearful hesitation and scamper behind the fairy bower! The best thing to do was to laugh, and that we did right heartily; we girls, were internally thankful that the intruder was only a scarecrow after all.

We ordered the boys take their silly joke out, and to come in like gentlemen, and make a formal call, and probably they would be invited to take some refreshments.

This news caused them to work with great alacrity. They were dressed up too; Fred having chosen to wear his school uniform, with a gorgeous crimson sash and his sword.

We were never so delighted with any thing as with that afternoon’s adventure. For hours we chatted and laughed, and ate our refreshments, until the western light began to take on a ruddy hue, and we closed our little bower and proceeded homeward.

What was our surprise, when we reached there, to find that three young friends from the city with their servant had come to visit us. Merryvale was not dull after that, I can assure you.




“Oh, Bessie! I’ve such an idea, such a good one, and so sure, you can’t think how it came either, if you guessed and tried for a week!”

“Child, you are always having ideas, but they amount to nothing; you have enough to do at home, without continually fretting your head about what you cannot carry out.”

“But, Bessie, this is just splendid, and it came to me all of a sudden, and I’m sure as sure can be that it is a real good idea. Now wont you listen!”

“I suppose I must, if I want any peace; but I’m very tired, so if it is like your latest—to catch fish and sell them in the town, or to have your curls cut off and let some city hair-dresser pay you for them—there will be no use to tell it to me.”

“Tain’t neither, Bessie dear, it’s a real clever idea, and I know you wont say ‘no’ to it. I was looking over some of the old picture papers this morning, and I found a funny picture of a gentleman that had gone fishing with, oh! the greatest lot of lines, and a fine rod, and a basket swung at his back, and he looked ever so nice; but he hadn’t caught any thing and he was ashamed to go back to the city with an empty basket; and then there was another picture where he was buying a great string of fish from a bare-footed little country boy, that had caught them all, and had only a rough old pole and an old line on it.”

“So it is the fishing idea, again,” said Bessie, “but the present variation does not improve on the last.”

“No, it just ain’t the fishing idea any more; it’s this: you know all the excursion parties that come up here, are coming all the time now; well, the ladies all gather autumn leaves, lots and lots, handsful and handsful of them. But they get tired of carrying so many after a while, and by the time they get ready to go back to the cars, their leaves are thrown away, and they are empty-handed. Now just listen! If I go to work and pick out the very prettiest leaves and do them up in the very sweetest bunches, and tie them so they are easy to carry, and meet them when they are starting to go home, I’m sure they will buy them, just like the gentleman did the fish from that boy. Now, ain’t that a real good idea?”

“I believe there is something in it, Katie,” answered the eldest sister.

“I knew you would,” cried Katie, joyously, “and may I try it?”

“If you will be very careful and not talk too much to the people you know nothing of, I have no objections; it can do no harm, at all events,” and poor, tired Bessie sighed as she looked at her bright young sister and thought of the time when she too was young and full of hope and gay spirits.

There was quite a family of these Wilsons in the little house at the foot of the mountains, in Pennsylvania. The widowed mother, sickly and almost blind; Bessie, a young lady, the eldest daughter, aged twenty-three, who taught a very large school for very small pay; then Katie not quite twelve, and Robbie, the baby, the pet, the boy, who was only five.

Three years before, their father had been living, and they had enjoyed all that wealth could bring them. Suddenly he sickened and died, and then came the dreadful knowledge that he left nothing for his family; he was deeply in debt to his partner, with whom he had worked a large coal-mine, and this Mr. Moore was what all people called a “hard man,” he was old and crabbed, and always wanted and would have every cent coming to him. Bessie was to have been married to his son, Philip, but when poverty came to her, the old man refused to let Philip see her more, and the girl was too proud to go into a family where she was not wanted, and, beside, she had her poor mother, who had given up and failed fast after her misfortunes, she had her to look after. So Bessie taught school; Katie attended to the little home into which they had moved from the great house on the hill, a noble little housekeeper she was; Robbie did about as he pleased and was well content with life, except when neat Katie would seize him and wash his face with plenty of soap in his eyes, and comb his tangled curls with a comb that “allus pulled,” as he cried.

It was hard for them to pay the rent, to get food and the many delicacies Mrs. Wilson had always been used to, and now needed more than ever. Bessie’s small wages from her school were taken, every cent, for these, and Katie was continually bothering her young head with “ideas” as to how she could make money to help them all. The autumn leaves were the latest, and it really did seem as though there were something in it.

The next day was Saturday, Bessie was free from school duties, and so her little sister had more time at her disposal. Friday evening she and Robbie gathered a great quantity of bright-colored leaves; the next morning, bright and early, they were out again; the little back porch was filled with them.

With her own natural good taste, aided by Bessie’s more cultivated judgment, they made up many neat, beautiful bunches of those bright-colored droppings from the forest trees. These she placed in a large but pretty basket that once had been sent, filled with rare fruit, to Bessie, from Philip, and the older girl sighed when she gave it to her sister.

Then Katie started, leaving Robbie behind crying; and with a trembling heart and a big lump in her throat, but bravely as a little soldier, she made her way to the path by which the excursion parties would have to return to the cars. Soon they began to come along, all tired, trying to be merry ladies and gentlemen.

Katie stood with her basket on her arm. She did not know how pretty she looked, with her brown curls floating out from beneath her big sun-bonnet, her pure white apron, her dark dress which Bessie had made from one of her own, with delicate bits of lace at the wrists, a bright bit of ribbon about her throat and a plain little breast-pin clasping it. Her big black eyes looked longingly at the passers-by, her red lips tried, many times, to utter some words that would help her sell her wares, but she could not speak, she could only up her hand and look her wants.

“What lovely leaves!” cried a young lady, “these of mine seem all faded by the carrying, and I’m tired of the great load anyhow,” and she threw away a great lot tied round with her handkerchief, and hastened toward the little merchant.

“What a pretty girl,” said the young man with her.

“How much are these?” inquired the lady.

Bessie had not thought of what she would ask for her bunches, and now, between pleasure and fright, she could not think of any price to put upon them.

“Whatever you please, Miss,” she faintly murmured.

“How lovely they are,” said the lady, and taking three bunches, she gave two to the young man with her, telling him: “Harry, you must carry these, and pay the child,” the third one she kept in her own hand.

The gentleman put his hand in his pocket, drew it out, and dropped into Katie’s basket a silver dollar.

The tears almost blinded the little girl—tears of joy over her first success—she could hardly see what the coin was, but when she picked it up she managed to stammer that she “had no change.”

“Don’t want any, little one,” said the young man pleasantly, “the sight of you is worth all the money and more.” Then the couple hurried away.

But their stopping had attracted many more, and a dozen bought of Katie, and, though few were as generous as her first customers, she soon disposed of most of her stock at ten cents a bunch, having gained courage to fix and state her price. Quite a number gave her more than that sum, and she began to feel a very rich little girl, indeed.

More than half her stock was sold, when an old gentleman and a young lady came along. The lady, as usual, was the first to admire the bright bunches, she took two, the old gentleman giving Katie fifty cents and telling her that “was right.” He seemed a cross old man, but still spoke pleasantly.

“What’s your name, child?” he asked.

“Katie Wilson, sir,” replied the little girl, faintly.

“Um! um! Come along Helen,” said he, hastily, and hurried away.

These were the last of the excursion parties, except an elderly lady having in charge a dozen children, all dressed alike; little ones from a soldiers’ orphan school, for whom some kind person had provided a day’s pleasure. They were tired and worn out with romping, and dragged along slowly; they looked at Katie’s bright face and longingly at the pretty leaves in her basket. The girl’s heart was touched; timidly she held out a bunch to a little boy who half stopped in front of her, he took it eagerly; in a moment the others were about her. By good fortune, she had enough to give on to each and an extra bunch to the lady.

With the thanks of these poor children in her heart, an empty basket and a happy jingle in her pocket she ran nearly all the way home, burst in on Bessie, put her arms about her neck and sobbed for happiness.

When the elder sister at last succeeded in calming her, she told the whole story of her afternoon’s work.

Together they counted the money—three dollars and eighty-five cents—just think of it!

If ever there was a happy, excited little girl, it was Katie that night. She could not sleep or eat. When she had to go to bed, she lay awake long, long hours, thinking how she would buy back the big house, how mother should have doctors and every thing she needed, how Bessie should stop teaching and have a horse and little carriage, and pretty dresses, and a piano, like she used to, and how Robbie should go to school and college and grow up to be a great man and finally be President. She never thought of herself, except that she was to do all this, and when she fell asleep she dreamed the whole thing over again, and that it had turned out just as she planned.

All through the excursion season Katie sold her leaves, and though she never made as much as on the first day, yet when people stopped coming she had over one hundred dollars in Bessie’s hands, all made by herself, all made by being up early and attending to her household duties and working hard so as to have her bunches ready by the time that visitors were returning to the train.

She was brave, and true, and unselfish, and her reward was great.

It was one chill November evening, toward Thanksgiving day, that she and Robbie had wandered out among the mountain paths; the little fellow was wild as a colt and ran here and there until it was all Katie could do to keep track of him. Finally she caught him; both were tired out, and when she looked around, to her great terror, she could not make out just where they were. They wandered along and at last came to a road, but she did not know which way to go. Robbie was cross and sleepy; she could not carry the heavy boy, and he would lay down; at last she let him rest. He dropped by a fallen log and in a moment was asleep. She covered him with a little cloth cape she wore, and sat down beside him; her eyes were heavy, she nodded, and very soon was as sound as he.

Along the road came a thin, old, but active man; he stepped out firmly and aided his steps with a stout cane. It was after dusk of the evening. He spied something in the gloom, on the other side of the road, something unusual; he crossed over; it was a little girl leaning against a big, fallen tree and a small boy stretched on the ground beside it; both were fast asleep. He touched the girl’s shoulder; she sprang up. “Oh!” she gasped, “don’t hurt Robbie! We weren’t doing any harm, indeed we weren’t.”

“What are you doing here any how?” he inquired.

“It was Robbie, no, it was me, he was so sleepy and so was I, and we were just resting until we could start and try to find home again.”

“Um! so you’re lost, are you?”

“No, sir, I guess not only—only we don’t know the way.”

“Well, I should say that’s pretty near being lost. Where do you live? What’s your name?”

“We live in the old Mill cottage, and my name’s Katie Wilson, and Robbie’s is Robert T. Wilson.”

“Um! um! Yes; well, I know where you live; come along, I’ll put you right. Come! wake up here, young man!” and he gently poked Robbie with his cane. But Robbie was sleepy and cross, and cried and kicked, and it was all Katie could do to get him on his feet and moving. Then as they went slowly on, she holding her brother’s hand, her own in that of the stranger, he asked her: “Weren’t you frightened to be out all alone?”

“Why, no, sir,” she answered. “I was frightened for mother and Bessie being worried, but not for us; I just said my prayers and covered Robbie, and then I fell asleep and didn’t know any thing until you woke me up.”

“Um! said your prayers, did you!” and the old man stopped and looked at her.

“See here, Katie!” he said, in a very gentle voice, “say your prayers for me, I’d like to hear them.”

The child looked at him in astonishment and trouble. Could it be that the gentleman could not say his prayers for himself, that he did not pray himself! “Oh, sir!” she said, with choking voice and tears in her eyes, “I can’t say them to you, only to Bessie or mother: It’s just God bless mother, and Bessie and Robbie and me, and take care of us in the night and day, and—and that’s all, sir.”

“Well, never mind now, little Katie, come along, we must get Robbie home to the mother and Bessie soon, or they’ll think the bears have eaten you both,” and the old man’s voice was still more gentle, and he hurried as fast as the little ones could go. He knew the roads well, and in half an hour they were on a path that the children were well acquainted with, and near home.

There was a cry of joy, and Bessie sprang upon the little ones at a bend in the road and gathered them in her arms, and kissed and scolded and petted them, all at the same time.

The old gentleman hurried away as soon as he saw they were safe; but he did not go far; he stepped back in the dark and heard Katie tell the tale of adventure and take all the blame herself, and excuse Robbie, and talk about the kind gentleman who had found them and brought them home, and wonder where he had gone so quickly before she had time to thank him. He followed them at a distance; he saw them enter their home, and he watched outside until the lamp was lighted in the little sitting-room; then he came near the window and looked in; he watched while the sick, half-blind mother cried over her children; he saw pale, sweet-faced Bessie comforting all; he stood there an hour without noticing the cold and wind that grew about him. He saw brave, hard-working Bessie, and true Katie, and the little boy, and the mother of all, kneel at their chairs, and he thought he could hear the prayers of thanks that came from the hearts of all and the lips of the older sister, and he felt drops upon his cheek, not rain, but tears—tears. It had been many years since his eyes had been wet with tears, but they were there and they softened the heart of “hard old man” Moore, and he turned away at last with a strange resolution in his mind.

Three days after he was in the sitting-room of that cottage; with him was his son Philip, by Philip’s side was Bessie, looking ever so much younger and prettier, and so, so happy, and standing by the side of “hard old man” Moore was little Katie, wondering to see such an old man wipe the tears from his eyes, wondering at the way in which he held one arm close around her, and wondering still more why he should keep saying, all the time, “You did it, little Katie, you did it all.”

The Wilsons are comfortable and happy now. Bessie is Mrs. Philip Moore; the mother has doctors and luxuries; Robbie is at school and learning fast; Katie, our Katie, is learning fast also, but she is still the same Katie as of old; she did not have to sell bunches of leaves another season; but there are always great bouquets of the beauties in the house, and old Mr. Moore, “hard” no longer, calls her nothing but his little “Autumn leaf.”

Birds on a twig



You will not mind, if I sit me down
And watch you spin, in your velvet gown?
You need not fear,
You can trust me here.
I think I can learn to spin, if I
Could watch you work. Will you let me try?
You spin and weave, but I cannot see
Just how ’tis done, and it puzzles me.
For you have no loom
In your little room.
No silken skein, no spinning-wheel,
No bobbin and no winding reel.
Please tell me what you use instead?
And where do you hide your shining thread,
As soft as silk
And as white as milk?
I think, Mrs. Spider, it must be
A secret, or you would answer me.

Three kittens in a hammock look down at a puppy


The boys look after the baby bird



Strolling down back of the barn, and seeing a fluttering of wings near the ground, Fred and John discovered, upon coming closer, that a poor little bird had fallen from its nest in the bough of a tree that stood near them. The bird was young, too young to fly, and seemed more dead than alive from the fall. The boys took the bird, fondly caressed it, stroked its feathers, and were glad to see that it showed signs of life and that it was only stunned by the fall it had received. The boys were kind-hearted, they were boys full of life, the first-most in a race, in climbing a hill they among the first who stood on its top. Yet in all their sports they were never cruel. So with the bird, they only thought of how to care for it. The tree was too tall to climb with safety, and then they were forbidden to climb this tree because John had once ventured to the first of its branches and by some accident, such as will happen to boys, he lost his hold and tumbled to the ground and he still remembered the days of pain it caused.

Said Fred, “Why can we not take the bird home and care for it?”

So, with this suggestion, they brought it to the house and placed it in a small basket. The basket was one they used to carry their dinners to school in, and, of course, this could not be used to keep it in all the time. John said, “It will be best to make a cage for it. We can, with our knives, soon whittle out sticks for bars and with the saw and some boards make a cage.” They labored on this for two days, and then, with Uncle Ben’s help, for he could drive nails better than they, the cage was completed. Some cotton was shaped into a nest and the bird was placed in it and the cage was its home.

They fed it on berries and crumbs and it grew rapidly. It soon learned to perch on one of the boy’s fingers and pick its food from his hand. When it had eaten enough it would fly to his shoulder and seem quite contented. In due time it became full grown, and though it seemed to know and appreciate the attention given it by the boys, yet it seemed to long for more freedom than the little cage afforded. The boys noticed this, and with sad hearts concluded it would be cruel to keep it confined and so gave it its freedom. For some time it lingered around the house, in branches of the trees, but finally it flew away to the woods.


Many a long hard-working day
Life brings us! And many an hour of play;
But they never come now together,
Playing at work, and working in play,
As they came to us children among the hay,
In the breath of the warm June weather.
Oft, with our little rakes at play,
Making believe at making hay.
With grave and steadfast endeavor;
Caught by an arm, and out of sight
Hurled and hidden, and buried light
In laughter and hay forever.
Now pass the hours of work and play
With a step more slow, and the summer’s day
Grows short, and more cold the weather.
Calm is our work now, quiet our play,
We take them apart as best we may,
For they come no more together!

Dora Greenwell.

A collection of leafy plants

Window Gardening.

Many a home, now dark and cheerless, might be made bright and cheery by a few plants in the window, or bunches of ferns and bright autumn leaves, fastened on the wall, or on the pictures.

Homes cannot be made too bright and home-like for the husband and the children; and these little things cost little or nothing, and add much to the general appearance.

A novel and pretty window ornament can be made in this way: Take a white sponge of large size, and sow it full of rice, oats and wheat. Then place it, for a week or ten days, in a shallow dish, in which a little water is constantly kept, and as the sponge will absorb the moisture, the seeds will begin to sprout before many days. When this has fairly taken place, the sponge may be suspended by means of cords from a hook in the top of the window where a little sun will enter. It will thus become a mass of green, and can be kept wet by merely immersing it in a bowl of water.



“Oh, it is too bad; too bad! that mother should be so troubled for the want of a little money,” said Mabel.

“Cheer up! Cheer up!” rang out a voice close at hand, “pretty Poll; cheer up!” and a bright green parrot with a yellow breast began to beat against the bars of his cage as if he would like to get out.

“That is a good omen, Polly,” said Mabel, as she rose and opened the door of the cage, “but it is not Poll who ought to ‘cheer up’ but I, you pretty bird.” Poll hopped out and perched upon her finger and looked so knowingly at her, that it almost broke down the resolution she had formed. Mabel was accustomed to take Poll out and talk to her, and brother Ben, who was an amateur photographer, had taken a picture of the pretty pair, so Polly was already immortalized.

“Poor Ben! Poor Ben!” said Polly. “‘On Linden when the sun was low’—ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! Poor Ben! Poor Ben!” laughed and shouted Polly.

“Poor Ben, indeed!” said Mabel, “though the Ben you first heard about was another Ben, and used to break down with his recitation and be laughed at. I wonder where he is now, and whether he is dead, my brave soldier uncle! If he were alive, and should come back, what would he think to find another Polly just like the one he left behind, who had learned some of the things his Polly used to say. Mamma says your predecessor died of old age, Polly; I wonder if that will be your destiny. I shall never know; for I am going to sell you to the lady up at the hotel, who saw you hanging outside, and wanted you for her little girl. She said she would give me five dollars, and when I refused she offered me ten. I could not let you go, Polly, but now I must. I must say ‘good-bye’ to you now, Polly, for I shall never take you out of the cage again.”

“Cheer up! cheer up!” sang Polly, as Mabel put her back, and closing the cage, left the room.

The boys were leaving the sitting-room when she went down stairs, and as Ben passed her, she said, “Do not go to bed till I come up again. I want to speak to you. Wait in my room.”

Mrs. Ross was getting ready to go up to her room when Mabel entered.

“Are you going up, mamma?” said she, “I will not keep you long; but I want to tell you, that I think I know a way for you to get some money. I wish to keep it a secret for the present; but I think I can safely promise you some. The last thing before I came down, Polly called, ‘cheer up, cheer up,’ and it is a good omen; so I say the same to you, mamma.”

“You are a good girl, Mabel, but I am afraid you are too sanguine. How can you hope to succeed where I have failed?”

“You will believe me when you see the money, shall you not, mamma?”

“There would not be much merit in that, dear, but I will trust you, and whatever happens I will believe you did what you thought was right, and that God does every thing for the best.”

“Thank you, mamma. Good night, and pleasant dreams.”

“Good night, dear.”

Mabel went softly up stairs. “Ben,” said she, when she reached her room, but Ben had fallen asleep, and she had to shake him up.

“What kept you?” said Ben, in a sleepy tone.

“Why, I was not long, Ben. Do you now the name of that little girl who took such a fancy to Polly?”

“Yes,” said Ben. “It is Eva Granby. What do you want to know for?”

“I shall tell you sometime, you are too sleepy to talk to-night, so I shall let you go. Good night, Ben.”

“Good night,” said Ben, not sorry to be dismissed.

Mabel lay awake some time. She was sorry to part with her parrot, but after all it was only a bird. Mamma and Ben and Walt and dear little Joe should not suffer that she might keep it.

She could hear the music, from the great hotel on the hill, borne on the breeze, and that, with the happy frame of mind produced by the approval of her conscience, soon had the effect of sending her into a sound sleep, from which she awoke in the morning, refreshed and quite happy. She went about her accustomed duties with a light heart and singing like a lark. Mrs. Ross wondered, to hear her; what could be the source of her high spirits.

She was on the alert for a chance to put her plan into execution, and when she found her mother occupied over the details of the breakfast table, she went up to her room, and covering the parrot’s cage and herself with a light water-proof cloak, which the chill of of the May morning seemed to warrant; she went out of the house and through the back gate, and took the road to the hotel.

Mrs. Granby had just risen, and was delighted that Mabel had come to terms after all, as her little daughter had been longing for the parrot continually. Mabel told her story and Mrs. Granby was deeply affected. She promptly agreed to Mabel’s condition, to sell her the bird back again, if she could get together ten dollars of her own to redeem it, and gave Mabel her address in New York.

Mabel was at home again just as the boys were getting their breakfast, and wondering what had become of her. She said she had been taking a walk for her health and refused to gratify them further.

Soon they were through and went out, and when she saw little Joe in the swing, and Ben and Walt sitting on the bench of Walt’s making, under the apple-tree, and knew by their gestures they were discussing Perry’s colt—she drew from her pocket the crisp, bright, ten-dollar bill, and laid it beside her mother’s plate. Her mother’s fervent “Thank God,” amply rewarded her for the loss of the parrot.

“But, Mabel,” began Mrs. Ross—

“Now, mamma,” interrupted Mabel, “you know you promised to trust me. You will soon know all about it.”

Mabel went to school that day with a happy heart.

That evening a portly, middle-aged gentleman stood at the gate, and as she looked up, he said:

“Can you tell me if this is Mrs. Ross’s?”

“Yes, sir,” said Mabel, wondering who he could be. As she turned and faced him, he caught his breath quickly, and exclaimed:


Mabel’s heart gave a great bound.

“That is mamma’s name, mine is Mabel.”

“Lead me to her,” he said, hoarsely.

Mabel quickly ran before him into the house exclaiming:

“Oh, mamma! I think it is Uncle Ben.”

Mrs. Ross would have fallen had she not been caught by the strong arms of the stalwart brother whom she had not seen for twenty years. And then it all came out. Mabel’s secret was a secret no longer.

Captain Ben Grayson, old soldier, and retired ranch owner, had come back after twenty years of life in the west to hunt for his sister, his only known relative, whom he had last seen when she was a girl like Mabel. He had been told a Miss Grayson had died from the ravages of an epidemic that swept through the school she had been placed at; and so, when the war ended, he went out west instead of returning to New York as he should have done but for that false report. But he had lately heard, from an old school-friend, he had come across, that she was living, had married, and become a widow, and that was all the information he could get.

By the simplest chance he had stopped at Fairmount. Shortly after rising that morning, he was startled by a parrot hung outside the window of the room next to his, calling out,—“Cheer up! cheer up!” and shortly after,—“‘On Linden when the sun was low,’ ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! Poor Ben!”

“Well,” said Uncle Ben, “you can imagine the effect. I knew my parrot could not be living yet; but I thought to myself, that parrot must have learned from my old one or from you, Alice, and I hastened to make the acquaintance of my next-door neighbor, and so I have found you.”

And Mabel bought her parrot back again, which was now doubly dear, as it had been the means of finding Uncle Ben. And quiet brother Ben was made happy by an artist’s outfit, and had the satisfaction of doing Mabel and the parrot in colors, as he had long ago done them with the camera.

When the last gift had been given, the boys, with one accord, threw up their hats and cried,—“Hurrah, for Uncle Ben!”

As for Mrs. Ross, her measure of happiness was full; she had her long lost brother Ben.


Several years ago the beautiful Shenandoah valley in West Virginia was the scene of a great freshet. The river overflowed its banks, and the usually placid stream became a mighty torrent, rushing along with frightful velocity, carrying away houses, barns and cattle. Buildings were washed from their foundations by the resistless current, and sent whirling down the stream with the terrified occupants clinging to the roofs. They had not had timely warning, and many perished, while whole flocks of sheep, and hundreds of cows, horses and oxen were drowned. The writer visited the valley several years afterward, and could see articles of clothing and even furniture still lodged in the branches of trees, they had been caught and lodged by the receding waters, twenty feet from the ground.

During this visit a most interesting story was told of a poor little kitten who lost home and friends, and was carried by the surging flood far away to find a new home and a genuine lover. It is a true romance of the flood, and it has never been told in print so far. For all gentle lovers of animals, this beautiful romance of Woggy and Waif is given to the world.

In this beautiful valley there lived a lovely family, consisting of father, mother and two children. Edwin was a tall and manly lad of sixteen, and Florence was one year younger. They were children of refined and cultivated parents, and the members of this little home circle displayed such charming affection and thoughtfulness in their intercourse with each other, that it was beautiful to behold. Edwin was passionately fond of out-of-door sports, and Florence had deep love for all that was beautiful and interesting in nature. She loved animals, birds and flowers, and it was her delight to ramble with her brother through the woods, gathering the modest wild flowers, or the delicate maiden hair ferns. She took great delight in pets of all kinds, and had numerous rabbits, birds and squirrels that her brother had trapped; she made them all love her; even the tiniest bird or animal can appreciate tenderness and kindness; and Florence’s pure little heart was overflowing with love and kindness toward all God’s dumb creatures.

The constant companion of the brother and sister in their rambles was a very frolicsome and handsome dog, which was so remarkable for sagacity and intelligence, that he was known through all the countryside; he was devoted to his young mistress, and, though he was not a very large animal; he had enough of the Shepherd’s breed in him to make him very fierce and courageous in her defense whenever she seemed to need it.

At the time of the great freshet, a homeless family, whose house had been swept away by the flood, had been harbored at Florence’s home. Her time and mind was fully occupied by her additional home duties, which to her gentle nature, were labors of love, even if the overflowed valley had prevented her accustomed excursions; but not so with Woggy, he had no duties to keep him, and no wet ground or body of water could keep him from taking his usual runs about the country. For several days after the great flood, he was noticed to leave the house regularly in the morning and not return until evening. This was something unusual; generally his runs were finished in one or two hours; but when he was observed one day to take in his mouth the best part of his breakfast and trot off with it, Edwin’s curiosity was excited, and he resolved to unravel the mystery of Woggy’s regular absences; he followed his tracks over the wet ground for nearly two miles, until he came to a good sized pond left by the receding waters in a hollow near the river. The first thing that attracted his attention was a partially submerged fir tree near the center of the ford, and lodged against it was a chicken coop. Were there chickens in it, do you ask? No; if there had been when the angry waves picked it up there were none now, but instead, the sweetest little kitten you ever saw; and crouched down on the trunk of the tree, with his aristocratic paws resting on the end of the coop, was the mysterious Woggy, gravely contemplating the kitten, as it minced at the food the generous dog had brought it. How proud Edwin felt of Woggy as he looked and understood the scene. How Woggy, in his solitary rambles, must have discovered the forlorn kitten, who had been suddenly torn from her home, far up the valley perhaps, and borne, half drowned and thoroughly frightened, on the rushing torrent, until her box, in which the rising waters had found her taking her afternoon nap, had lodged against the tree. Edwin wanted to rescue her, and take her home. This was his first impulse, but how? The pond was wide and deep, and he had no boat, nor any other means of reaching her; so he decided to wait until the water got lower, until he could devise some plan. He returned home in great amazement, and told the story of Woggy’s wonderful doings. Florence was all excitement and sympathy in a moment, and wanted to go at once but could not. But what a delicious hugging and petting Woggy got when he returned home that night. When Edwin found them, the kitten was snuggled up as close to her brute protector as the slats would allow; she would put her tongue through and lick his paws, which process seemed to give him the liveliest satisfaction. Edwin whistled to him to come home with him, but he only wagged his bushy tail and looked at his frail charge as much as to say, “I can’t go just now.” Just think of the idea of protection entering the head of a dog! but it did. Some animals seem almost to reason. We all know a perfect horror of water all cats have, they will not go into water voluntarily. This poor little thing, surrounded by water, must have died of starvation had not kind-hearted Woggy found and cared for her.

The next day, Edwin, provided with a long board and other means of rescuing the distressed stranger, started for the pond. Just as he left the house, with Florence calling out from the porch some parting injunctions of carefulness, what was their astonishment to see Woggy coming along the road with the kitten in his mouth; the sagacious dog had evidently thought that his keepless little charge needed more care than he could give her, and brought her unharmed to his mistress. When he had deposited the kitten at her feet, he looked up in her eyes as though he wanted to tell her something, and he really looked as if he could almost talk. When Florence took up the pretty thing she exclaimed, “You poor little waif! Where did you come from?” The little waif could not tell, but looked as if she wanted to. She was pure white in color, with a water-stained ribbon and tiny silver bell around her neck. Edwin said she should be called Waif, and Waif she was ever after called in that house.


“May I go with you, Auntie?”

“No, Jo, I do not wish for any company this morning; here’s a kiss, and you may feed my poodle if you like.” So saying, Aunt Millie, who was spending her vacation at the farm, tied on her garden hat, and sallied forth for a walk, leaving behind her a very disappointed little swain, for Jo generally accompanied her in her rambles, and he and Aunt Millie were sworn allies. Lately she had run off several times without him, and he certainly felt quite disconsolate to-day. But he could not doubt her love and goodness, so he whistled away his blues.

Portrait of a child

Jo was only five years old, and it is no wonder he soon forgot his grievances. About lunch-time he thought he would go down in the meadow, to see if the first strawberries were ripening, as he intended them for mamma’s birthday.

Threading his way carefully through the tall grass and nodding daisies, he suddenly came upon the queerest looking “machine”—as he called it—in front of which sat Auntie.

“Why, Jo!”

“Aunt Millie, what are you doing?” as he caught sight of a photograph of himself, and a large copy on the easel.

“I am crayoning—and” (this last a trifle averse) “I had intended it as a surprise for mamma, to-morrow.”

The big blue eyes raised to hers had a suspicion of tears in them—she bent down quickly and gathered the little fellow in her arms.

“Never mind, pet! I was a bit vexed, that you had discovered my secret.”

“Is it a secret?” in an awed tone; “well, I’ll keep it.”

“Do you think you really can, Jo?”

“Yes,” he said; “and you can keep my strawberries,” forgetting he had told her a dozen times before.

“Well, I’ll trust you.”

Would you believe it, the child did keep his word, although burning many times to tell; and he succeeded in surprising Aunt Millie, as much as he did mamma.


The trunks were strapped on the back of the carriage; we children, with Nurse, were bundled inside; the door shut—the driver snapped his whip—and without any time for last good-byes, we were whirled away to the station. How excited and glad we were, for Papa and Mamma were to follow us next day, and we left the city far behind to spend the whole beautiful summer at Willow-spring. The very first day after our arrival, we were out—Willie, my brother, Elsie, our little four-year-old sister, and myself—scouring the premises, and I guess there were not a nook or corner we had not visited by night. It was a lovely place, with broad shady walks through which we raced, or Willie drove us as two spirited young colts, for like most boys he was rather masterful.

I wish I could tell you of the grand time we had that summer. We formed the acquaintance of several little neighbor children, who proved pleasant playmates, and together we would wander through the cool leafy woods, or roam the sunny meadows gathering sweet wild strawberries and armsful of golden-eyed daisies, and taking our treasures home, would have a little treat on the shady veranda, and garland ourselves with long daisy chains, making believe we were woodland fairies. Once in a while the rabbits from the near wood ran across the garden path, timid and shy little creatures at first—they grew quite tame from our feeding—and Elsie dearly loved her bunnies, as she called them.

Rapidly the days flew by, and the time for our departure was at hand. We felt sorry to leave, but Mamma, to console us in part, planned a little out-door feast for the day before our going, to which our little friends were all invited, and a happy, merry band of children played out under the trees, and ate the goodies so generously provided. Just before breaking up, we all joined in playing our favorite game of “snap the whip,” and with screams and laughter, one after another of the weakest ones rolled over in the soft grass. The last night at Willow-spring wound up with a grand frolic, in which all took part.


Every little grape, dear, that clings unto the vine,
Expects some day to ripen its little drops of wine.
Every little girl, I think, expects in time to be
Exactly like her own mamma—as sweet and good as she.
Every little boy who has a pocket of his own,
Expects to be the biggest man the world has ever known.
Every little lambkin, too, that frisks upon the green,
Expects to be the finest sheep that ever yet was seen.
Every little baby colt expects to be a horse;
Every little puppy hopes to be a dog, of course.
Every little kitten pet, so tender and so nice,
Expects to be a grown-up cat and live on rats and mice.
Every little fluffy chick, in downy yellow dressed,
Expects some day to crow and strut or cackle at his best.
Every little baby bird that peeps from out its nest,
Expects some day to cross the sky from glowing east to west.
Now every hope I’ve mentioned here will bring its sure event,
Provided nothing happens, dear, to hinder or prevent.


Sophie climbed the garden trellis,
Plucked the finest grapes in view;
How they shone with red and amber,
As the sun came glinting through.
She was taking painting lessons,
And she paused and gazed at them;
“Oh,” she said, “a pretty picture,
Grapes and green leaves on a stem.
“I will leave them here, unbroken,
Close beside the garden walk;
Look!” she said, to Cousin Mary,
“Just anear this broken stalk.”
Off they went through pleasant pathways;
Staying longer than they knew,
By a russet, leaf-strewn border,
With its asters, pink and blue.
Then their friendly gossip over,
Homeward as they turned to go;
“Oh, the grapes!” said Sophie, quickly,
“We must go for those, you know.”
When they reached the precious cluster,
Five bold sparrows pertly stood,
Pecking at the grapes beside them,
Chattering in a wanton mood.
“Look! Oh, look!” said cousin Mary,
“Sparrows at your luscious store!”
“Shoo!” said Sophie, “was there ever
Such a piece of work before?”
Pilfering sparrows, you have taught me,
By this loss, a lesson true;
When a bunch of grapes I gather,
Just to keep them safe from you.


I knew a boy who was preparing to enter the junior class of the New York University. He was studying trigonometry, and I gave him three examples for his next lesson. The following day he came into my room to demonstrate his problems. Two of them he understood; but the third—a very difficult one—he had not performed. I said to him,—“Shall I help you?”

“No, sir! I can and will do it, if you give me time.”

I said: “I will give you all the time you wish.”

The next day he came into my room to recite another lesson in the same study.

“Well, Simon, have you worked that example?”

“No, sir,” he answered; “but I can and will do it, if you will give me a little more time.”

“Certainly, you shall have all the time you desire.”

I always like those boys who are determined to do their own work, for they make our best scholars, and men too. The third morning you should have seen Simon enter my room. I knew he had it, for his whole face told the story of his success. Yes, he had it, notwithstanding it had cost him many hours of severest mental labor. Not only had he solved the problem, but, what was of infinitely greater importance to him, he had begun to develop mathematical powers which, under the inspiration of “I can and I will,” he has continued to cultivate, until to-day he is professor of mathematics in one of our largest colleges, and one of the ablest mathematicians of his years in our country.

My young friends, let your motto ever be,—“If I can, I will.”


This ancient and splendid pile is a fitting residence for the sovereigns of England. It impresses one with the idea of supreme grandeur and formidable strength, but it has reached its present magnificence by constant embellishments and additions by successive sovereigns.

It owes its origin to William the Conqueror, that bold and progressive Norman, who created here a fortified hunting seat, where he and his brave barons could enjoy themselves after the “hunting of the deer” in the wild glades of Windsor forest.

The castle stands upon a hill on the bank of the river Thames, twenty-three miles from London, with which it is connected by railway. It is surrounded on all sides, except to the east, by a noble terrace above two thousand five hundred feet in extent, faced by a strong rampart of hewn stone, and having, at intervals, easy slopes leading down to the park.

The terrace is a most delightful walk, commanding charming views of the extensive domain and the surrounding country. Everywhere are evidences of royal expenditure, of watchful care and tasteful ornamentation.

The park abounds in woodland scenery of exquisite beauty, and it does seem as if the “English sunshine” was nowhere more satisfying or refreshing than in these delightful avenues. The deer roam at will, and streamlets trickle and English violets and other wild flowers blossom, the praises of whose delicate perfumes and beauties have been sung by Wordsworth and Keats.

There is a stately walk, three miles long, bordered by double rows of trees, which leads from the lodge to these delightful precincts, and at the entrance stretch away in gorgeous array, the Queen’s gardens, in which very beautiful and rare productions of floral culture find a congenial home.

The castle consists of two courts, having a large, round tower between them, and covers more than twelve acres of land, being defended by batteries and towers. The upper court is a spacious quadrangle, having a round tower on the west, the private apartments of the sovereigns on the south and east, the State apartments and St. George’s Hall and the chapel royal on the north.

The royal apartments are reached by an imposing vestibule. The first room, the Queen’s guard chamber, contains a grand array of warlike implements, and glittering weapons, and its walls are rich in paintings.

The Queen’s presence chamber contains the rarest furniture and hangings, with an array of artistic works by the most celebrated masters.

The ball-room is hung with tapestry, representing the twelve months of the year, and upon its ceiling is pictured Charles II, giving freedom to England. There is here an immense table of solid silver.

In the Queen’s bed-chamber is the State bed, said to have cost $70,000, designed for Queen Charlotte. The Queen’s dressing-room, hung with British tapestry, contains the closet in which is deposited the banner of France. The same closet contains the tea-equipage of Queen Anne.

An elegant saloon is called the “Room of Beauties,” and contains fourteen portraits of ladies who were “most fair” in the court of Charles II. Their lovely faces and rich apparel, quaint and oddly fashioned, make the most delightful and instructive study.

The audience chamber contains the throne and is enriched with historical paintings of events in the reign of Henry III. Another guard chamber contains an immense collection of warlike instruments, fancifully arranged, and also the flag sent by the Duke of Wellington in commemoration of the battle of Waterloo.

St. George’s Hall, which is one hundred and eight feet long, is set apart for the illustrious “Order of the Garter.” It is superbly decorated with allegorical paintings. The chapel is a fine specimen of the florid Gothic. The roof is elliptical and is composed of stone; the whole ceiling is ornamented with emblazoned arms of many sovereigns and knights of the Garter. The stalls of the sovereigns and knights exhibit a profusion of rare carving. The chapel is the burial place of many royal and illustrious persons; Edward IV, Henry IV, Henry VIII and Charles I having been interred here.


Among the sad episodes in the illustrated history of English sovereigns, not one is more pathetic or impressive than the story of the two little Princes, sons of Edward IV. This King had an ambitious and unscrupulous brother, called Richard, Duke of Gloucester.

At the time of the King’s death, this man was at the head of an army in Scotland, which was entirely devoted to him, and he felt strong and equal to undertaking any bold and unlawful measure to obtain the crown, which rightfully belonged to Edward’s son, the young Prince of Wales.

Upon receiving the news of his brother’s death, Richard clothed himself and his large retinue in deep mourning and proceeded in great haste to London, taking the oath of loyalty on the way, and making many protestations of interest and affection for the fatherless boys.

The young Prince of Wales received him with many expressions of regard and respectful consideration, as befitted a paternal uncle, and placed undoubted faith in his suggestions; the Duke thus found it an easy matter to direct his movements, and the selection of his counselors and servants. Two of these, who were favorite and loyal friends, he caused to be seized on a frivolous accusation, and they were taken to a distant castle as prisoners. Other measures were taken to isolate him, and in a few days the young King was completely in the hands of the terrible Duke of Gloucester.

From one high-handed act of usurpation to another, assisted by unprincipled, ambitious men, he proceeded, evidently aiming to secure the crown for his own head.

Under pretense of placing the Prince in greater safety, and removing him from persons who might influence him, to the detriment of the peace and welfare of the kingdom, he was conducted, in great state, to the Tower; his uncle assuming the office of Lord Protector of the King.

Upon gaining the entire custody of the royal lad, he sent a large number of dignitaries to the royal mother, to persuade her to allow the other little boy to be taken to the Tower to keep his brother company. The Prince was allowed to proceed thither, and Richard, now having them both at his mercy, determined upon their death.

The Governor of the Tower was, it seems, a man of at least human feelings, and when he was ordered by Richard, “In some wise to put the children to death,” utterly refused to perform so dangerous and horrible an act.

Richard then sent for the keys of the Tower, to keep in his possession twenty-four hours, and gave them, and the command of the Tower for that time, to Sir James Tyrrel, his master of horse.

This man procured two assassins, who proceeded, at dead of night, to the chamber of the sleeping Princes. They lay in each other’s arms, as though they had fallen asleep comforting one another; and the assassins, falling upon them with their ruffian strength, smothered them with the bed-clothes, “Keeping the feather pillows hard upon their mouths.”

When the deed was done, Tyrrel stepped into the chamber, to take a hasty view of the dead bodies, which were then, by his orders, buried at the stair-foot, under a heap of stones.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester, had no further obstacle in assuming the purple, and was crowned King of England with all pomp and ceremony, and known to unenviable fame as Richard III.

This account has come down to us with all the authority of historical verity, and subsequent evidences of its accuracy have been discovered. The age was characterized by inhumanity of the most barbarous kind, and this crime was in keeping with it.

The English people in this nineteenth century rejoice in a sovereign who is noble in the highest sense; beloved by her subjects, achieving for herself the universal plaudit of a “most humane and gracious lady.”


This ancient edifice is situated on the north bank of the Thames, at the extremity of the city of London.

The antiquity of the building has been a subject of much inquiry, but the present fortress is believed to have been built by William the Conqueror, and garrisoned with Normans to secure the allegiance of his subjects; although it appears that the Romans had a fort on this spot, if a dim tradition can be credited. The building is governed by the “Constable of the Tower,” who, at coronations and other State ceremonies, has the custody of the regalia.

The principal entrance is on the west, and consists of two gates, at which are stationed guards. The keys are kept, during the day, at the warder’s hall, but deposited every night at the Governor’s house. Cannon are placed at intervals around the great wall, and command every avenue leading to Tower Hill.

On the south side is an arch, called “Traitors’ Gate,” through which State prisoners were formerly brought from the river. Near the Traitors’ Gate is the “Bloody Tower,” in which it is supposed the two young Princes, Edward V and his brother, were smothered by order of Richard III.

In the south-west angle of the inclosure were the royal apartments, for the Tower was a palace for nearly five hundred years, and only ceased to be so on the accession of Elizabeth.

The principal buildings within the walls are the church, the white tower, the ordnance office, the jewel office, the horse armory. The church is called “St. Peter in Vincules,” and is remarkable as the depository of the headless bodies of numerous illustrious personages who suffered either in the Tower or on the hill. Among these were Anna Boleyn, Thomas Cromwell, Catharine Howard, the Duke of Somerset and the Duke of Monmouth.

The jewel office is a strong, stone room, in which are kept the crown jewels, regalia, such as the golden orb, the golden sceptre with the dove, St. Edward’s staff, State salt-cellar, sword of mercy, golden spurs, the golden eagle and golden spoons, also the silver font used at the baptism of the royal family, the State crown worn by her Majesty in Parliament. A large collection of ancient plate is also kept here.

The horse armory is a brick building east of the white tower, adorned with suits of armor of almost every description; but the most striking are the effigies of the English kings on horseback, armed cap-a-pie. The line of mounted celebrities commences with William the Conqueror and ends with George II. Several of the cuirasses and helmets taken at Waterloo are kept here. In the armory are also shown a representation of Queen Elizabeth in armor; the axe which severed the head of Anna Boleyn, as well as that of the Earl of Essex; the invincible banner taken from the Spanish Armada, and the wooden cannon used by Henry VIII at the siege of Boulogne.

The Beauchamp Tower is noted for the illustrious personages formerly confined within its walls.


This is the title of one of the most familiar poems in the English language, but few people know its history.

Most of our young readers will be surprised to hear that the well-known nursery song of “Mary had a Little Lamb” is a true story, and that “Mary” is still living, says an exchange.

About seventy years ago she was a little girl, the daughter of a farmer in Worcester county, Mass. She was very fond of going with her father to the fields to see the sheep, and one day they found a baby lamb, which was thought to be dead.

Kind-hearted little Mary, however, lifted it up in her arms, and as it seemed to breathe she carried it home, made it a warm bed near the stove, and nursed it tenderly. Great was her delight when, after weeks of careful feeding and watching, her little patient began to grow well and strong, and soon after it was able to run about. It knew its young mistress perfectly, always came at her call, and was happy only when at her side.

One day it followed her to the village school, and not knowing what else to do with it, she put it under her desk and covered it with her shawl.

There it stayed until Mary was called up to the teacher’s desk to say her lesson, and then the lamb walked quietly after her, and the other children burst out laughing. So the teacher had to shut the little girl’s pet in the woodshed until school was out. Soon after this, a young student, named John Rollstone, wrote a little poem about Mary and her lamb and presented it to her. The lamb grew to be a sheep and lived for many years, and when at last it died Mary grieved so much for it that her mother took some of its wool, which was as “white as snow,” and knitted a pair of stockings for her, to wear in remembrance of her darling.

Some years after the lamb’s death, Mrs. Sarah Hall, a celebrated woman who wrote books, composed some verses about Mary’s lamb and added them to those written by John Rollstone, making the complete poem as we know it. Mary took such good care of the stockings made of her lamb’s fleece that when she was a grown-up woman she gave one of them to a church fair in Boston.

As soon as it became known that the stocking was made from the fleece of “Mary’s little lamb,” every one wanted a piece of it; so the stocking was raveled out, and the yarn cut into small pieces. Each piece was tied to a card on which “Mary” wrote her full name, and these cards sold so well that they brought the large sum of $140 in the Old South Church.—Our Sunday Afternoon.


“I shall have the nicest kind of a garden,” said Jamie, one morning. “I’m going to make it in that pretty little spot just over the bank. I mean to have some flowers in pots and some in beds just like the gardener; and then you can have fresh ones every day, mamma. I’m going right over there now.”

Jamie started off bravely with his spade on his shoulder; but when, after an hour, mamma went to see how he was getting on, she found him lying on the grass, with the ground untouched.

“Why, Jamie, where is your garden?”

“I was just lying here, and thinking how nice it will look when it is all done,” said Jamie.

Mamma shook her head. “But that will not dig ground, nor make the flowers grow, little boy. No good deed was ever done by only lying still and thinking about it.”


A. DE G. H.

Hurrah! Hurrah! only two days more to vacation, and then!——

If the crowning whistle, and energetic bang with which the strapped books came down, were any indication of what was coming after the “then!” it must be something unusual. And so it was—for Ned, Tom and Con, who were the greatest of chums, as well as the noisiest, merriest boys in Curryville Academy—were to go into camp for the next two weeks, by way of spending part of their vacation. They could hardly wait for school to close, and over the pages of Greenleaf danced, those last two days, unknown quantities of fishing tackle, tents, and the regular regalia of a camping out-fit. They talked of it by day and dreamed of it by night.

At last the great day dawned—dawned upon three of the most grotesque-looking specimens of boyhood, arrayed in the oldest and worst fitting clothes they could find; for, as they said, in the most expressive boy language—“We are in for a rattlin’ good time, and don’t want to be togged out.” They and their effects were taken by wagon over to the Lake Shore, about four miles distant, to establish their camp under the shadow of old Rumble Sides, a lofty crag or boulder.

Boys, I wish you could have seen them that night, in their little woodland home; really, it was quite attractive. They worked like beavers all day—cutting away the brush, driving stakes to tie down the little white tent, digging a trench all around in case of rain, and building a fire-place of stone, with a tall, forked stick on which to hang the kettle. A long board, under the shady trees, served as table.

Too tired to make a fire that night, they ate a cold lunch, and threw themselves on their bed—which was a blanket thrown over pine boughs—untied the tent flaps to let in air, and slept a happy, dreamless sleep.

The next morning, early, they were up, and, after taking a cold plunge in the lake, built a brisk fire, boiled coffee, and roasted potatoes for breakfast. They then bailed out the punt, which was their only sailing craft, and put off for an all-day’s fishing excursion. Several days, with fine weather, passed, and the boys declared they were having a royal time, and that camping was the only life to lead.

They had much difficulty to settle upon a name, but finally decided that “Camp Trio” was most appropriate.

One night they were suddenly awakened by a deep, roaring sound; the wind blew fiercely, it rained hard, but the noise was not of thunder, it seemed almost human; nearer and nearer it came! The three lads sat up in the semi-darkness, and peered at each other with scared faces.

“It’s Old Rumble broke loose and coming down on us,” said Con, in a ghostly whisper. “Hush!” and the trio clutched in a cold shiver, as a crackling of twigs was heard outside, a heavy tread, a long, low moan, a horrible silence.

“It was the Leviathan, I guess,” said Tom, with a ghastly attempt at smiling, as the early morning light stole through the flaps. At length they moved their stiffened limbs and peeped out. Oh, how it did pour! No fire, no fishing, no any thing to-day. Pretty soon a shout from Ned, who had been cautiously prowling around to find the cause of their late fright.

“Oh, boys, it’s too rich! Why, it was Potter’s old cow, down here last night, bawling for her calf that was after our towels, as usual—look here!” and he held up three or four dingy, chewed-looking articles, which had hung on a tree to dry, and might have been towels once. The boys broke into a hearty laugh at their own expense. The day was very long and dull, and the next, stories and jokes fell flat, cold victuals didn’t relish, they began to feel quite blue. The third day Farmer Potter appeared upon the scene.

“What on airth ye doin’ here; trespassin’ on other folks’ grounds? Mebby ye don’t know it’s agin the law!”

The boys felt a trifle uneasy, but answered him politely.

“Hevin’ fun, be ye! Wall, I’ll vow, settin’ in the wet, eatin’ cold rations, haint my idee of fun.” And away he stalked.

The boys looked at each other.

“I say, fellers,” said Con, “a piece of pie and a hunk of fresh bread wouldn’t go bad—eh?”

The two answered with a hungry look.

“But let’s tough it out over Sunday, or they’ll all laugh at us.” And so they did; but it was the longest, dreariest Sabbath they ever spent.

“I’d rather learn ten chapters in Chronicles,” Tom affirmed, “than put in another such a Sunday.”

They had, in the main, a jolly time, but the ending was not as brilliant as they had looked for. They never regretted going, but the next year took a larger party, and went for a shorter time.


“Oh, beautiful wild duck, it pains me to see,
You flying aloft in that gone sort of way,
Sweet one, fare you well. I could shed many tears,
But my deepest emotions I never betray.
“I’ve always admired you, wonderful bird,
By the light of the sun and the rays of the moon;
I tell you ’tis more than a fox can endure,
To know that you take your departure so soon.
“I snatched a few feathers, in memory of you;
I desired a whole wing, but you baffled my plan;
Oh, what a memento to hang in my den!
And in very hot weather to use as a fan.
“Descend, O, thou beautiful creature, to earth!
There’s nothing I would not perform for your sake;
If once in awhile I could see you down here,
I’d never get tired of the shores of this lake!”
“Cheer up, Mr. Fox,” said the duck, flying higher,
“The parting of such friends is sometimes a boon;
When they get far away, and have time to reflect,
They see that it came not a moment too soon.
“You wanted a wild wing to fan yourself with;
You see if I granted that favor to you,
’Twould have left me but one, which is hardly enough,
As I find it convenient, just now, to have two.”
Then she faded away, a dark speck on the sky.
“That’s a very shrewd bird,” said the fox in dismay!
“I shall have to look round for my dinner, again,
And I fancy it will not be wild duck to-day.”


Spring time had come, with its blossoms and birds; and Mrs. Rossiter threw up the sash of the east window, and pushed open the blinds, and drew a long deep breath of morning air, and morning sunshine.

“I think, Bridget,” she said, “that we might venture to bring the house-plants out-doors to-day. There can hardly be another frost, this year.”

“Oh! may I help?” asked little Charley, “I’ll be very careful.”

“On that condition, that you be very careful, you may bring the little ones,” answered his mother.

The work progressed safely and rapidly for awhile. Geraniums, roses, fuchsias, heliotropes, and so following, came forth in profusion, many in bloom, and were placed in rows along the garden borders, ready to be transferred to the beds, for the summer. At last the little ones were all brought by Charley, and only larger ones remained.

“I’ll carry just this one big one,” he said to himself: “I’m stronger than mother thinks I am.” But the pot full of earth, was heavier than Charley had thought it, and before he reached the place to set it down it had grown very heavy indeed; and, glad to get it out of his aching arms as quickly as possible, he placed it on the curb so suddenly, that with a loud crash it parted in the middle and lay in pieces at his feet. Glancing quickly at his mother and seeing in her face impending reproach, he forestalled it by exclaiming:

“Well, that pot broke itself very easily. What’s it made of, any how?”

The mother couldn’t help but smile at this attempted shifting of the blame to the pot, but she answered, in a moment, gravely:

“The pot, Charley, was made of clay; the same weak material from which little boys are made; who, when they forget to obey their mothers, are as likely to meet disaster as the earthen pot.”

Charley didn’t care just then to discuss disobedient boys, so he turned at once to the subject of the pot.

“Made of clay,” he exclaimed, “well, I’d like to see a man make a thing like that of clay.”

“And so would I,” said sister Mary, who, from an upper window, had listened to the conversation.

“And so you shall, if I have no further reminders of this sort, that my children are made of the same unreliable material.”

That afternoon, the three, started for the pottery works. Mr. Sands, the proprietor, kindly received them, and fully explained all his processes. First he pointed out what seemed to Charley a heap of dry hard common dirt; taking a little piece of this he dipped it into a basin of water and then squeezing and pressing it in his hand it soon became soft, and plastic, so that it could be wrought to any shape. He then led the party to another room where a young man was engaged in thus softening large masses. He would first crumble the hard earth into fine pieces; then wet and pack it together into a “loaf,” so Charley called it, and then raising it over his head throw it again with all his might upon the table before him until it became soft and smooth through all its bulk. This, Mr. Sands said, was called “wedging the clay,” and that it was now ready for “throwing” into shape.

“Will it come into shape if you just throw it?” said Charley.

Mr. Sands laughed heartily at this, and answered, “come and see;” and taking up one of the softened “loaves,” to use Charley’s word for them, he led the way to the next room. The young man who had been “wedging” now followed and placed himself at a large wheel which was connected by a strap or belt with a table at which Mr. Sands seated himself.

Different stages in the process of making pots


Upon the table was another little table, round and low, and upon this Mr. Sands placed his “loaf.” Then the young man began to turn the wheel and the loaf began to spin round very rapidly. Mr. Sands next pressed his finger right through the middle of the clay, so farming the hole which we always see at the bottom of flower-pots. Then, as it spun round, he worked the clay gradually upwards and sloped it outwards, using both hands, and holding the edges with his fingers and thumbs.

Before Charley could express his surprise, the little roll of clay was changed into a flower-pot. With a square iron tool called a rib it was smoothed outside, and then the pot was lifted on a board. One after another followed till a long row was ready and they were carried off to be dried.

“How do you know when to leave off stretching it?” asked Mary of the potter.

He laughed, and pointed to a small iron gauge on the table. As soon as the pot reached this he knew he must leave off stretching it out. This iron is of course put higher or lower according to the size required.

“Now I’ll make you a pitcher, missie,” said the good-natured man, and with the same kind of clay, just rounding it a bit and giving a cunning little pinch to form the spout, he made quite a pretty jug.

“Where’s the handle?” asked Charley.

“Oh, that can’t go on yet, sir! We must wait till the jug is dry, for we could not press it tight enough to make it stick.”

Bread-pans and washing-pans are made in exactly the same way as flower-pots, being moulded by the hand into different forms. When the pots and pans leave the potter’s wheel they are taken, as we saw, to dry, and great care is required to keep them at a certain heat, for if the frost gets to them now they crack and are useless.

“Here’s a comical little pot!” exclaimed Charley, holding up a wee one.

“We call them long Toms,” said Mr. Sands. “They are mostly used by nursery-gardeners, because they take so little room.”

“How long do they take to dry?” asked Mary, looking longingly at her little jug.

“About a day; so we will leave your jug with the others, and go to the kiln to see how they will be burnt to-morrow.”

The kiln was round, with a big doorway, called a wicket.

The pots and pans are put inside, great care being taken that they should not touch each other, or they would stick like loaves of bread. Pans are first glazed with a mixture of blue or red lead. The fire is burning below, and there are holes to allow the flames to pass upwards amongst the pottery. When the kiln is full the wicket is bricked up and daubed over with road-mud.

“Fancy using such dirty stuff!” said Mary.

“The manure in it makes it stick, just as hair does in mortar. Clay would crack with the heat. So you see, dear, there’s nothing so dirty or so common that it may not be of some use in the world.”

“How do you know when they are cooked enough?” asked Charley.

“I’ll show you,” said Mr. Sands, and he immediately led us to a small door, which opened some way up the kiln.

“This is called the crown,” said Mr. Sands.

It was a flat surface, with four holes which showed the red heat below, and looked like little volcanoes in a good temper.

“Do you see those iron rods hanging like walking-sticks in the furnace?” asked our guide. “Well, those are called trials, and at the end of each is a lump of clay and glaze. If the glaze is burnt enough we suppose that the whole batch is done, but we sometimes make a mistake and spoil a lot.”

“What is done next?” asked Charley.

“If they are properly burnt, they are allowed to cool gradually, and are then ready for sale.”

By this time all were pretty well tired, and so they said good morning to Mr. Sands and went home.

“Mother,” said Charley, as they sat down to dinner, “I shall ask how it’s done oftener than ever, now, for I like going over factories. What’s to be the next one, I wonder.”

“Bread,” exclaimed Mary, as she cut a big slice for herself. “Shall it be bread, mother?”

“Yes, if you like, but I propose we go to see the flour made first. So the next place we explore will be a flour-mill.”

E. M. W.



Take your breakfast, little birdie,—
Cracker-crumbs, and seeds so yellow,
Bits of sponge-cake, sweet and mellow;
Come quite near me;
Do not fear me.
I can hear your happy twitter,
Although winter winds are bitter;
Take your breakfast, little birdie.
Come! Oh, come and tell me birdie!
All night long the snow was falling;
Long ago, I heard you calling;
Tell me, dearie,
Are you weary?
Can you sleep, when winds are blowing?
Frosts are biting, clouds are snowing?
Come! Oh, come and tell me, birdie!
Take your food, and trust me, birdie;
Daily food the Father giveth;
Bread to every thing that liveth.
Come quite near me;
Do not fear me.
Come each day, and bring your fellow,
For your bread, so sweet and mellow;
Take your food, and trust me, birdie.


Do you like accounts of battles? Here is one for you. I shall have to tell of a well-disciplined army, and some hard fighting, as well as of a victory.

The scene is a quiet country district, with fields and hedge-rows, not looking a bit like war and bloodshed, and the time is a summer afternoon, hot, for it is July, and a haze is over the mountains, which rise a little way behind, as silent witnesses of the fray. The sun begins to decline, and as the air grows cooler the army has orders to start. There is a short delay of preparations, and then the warriors pour forth; not in confusion, but in a compact, unbroken column, each keeping to the ranks in perfect order, and never diverging from them. At first the army follows the high road, but ere long it passes through an opening in the hedge, and crosses the field on the other side. Still the soldiers march on, never hindered, never straggling out of place. It must have been a clever commander-in-chief to have trained them into such admirable obedience.

Presently a fortress rises before them—that is the object of their expedition; rather, it is something within the citadel that they are sent to get, and have it they will. Not without a struggle, though, for the enemy is on guard, and when he sees the hostile army approaching, he sallies out to battle. He has no idea of surrendering without a fight for it.

The invaders gather up their forces and charge bravely up the hill, and in an instant, hand to hand, or something very like it, the foes are locked together in desperate conflict. Neither have they any guns, but they carry sharp weapons with them, and soon the field is strewn with the dead and dying.

The fight thickens—the issue is doubtful, but not long—the defenders are routed, and the assailants press forward to the citadel. Most skillful are they, for with neither cannon nor battering-rams they speedily make a breach in the walls, and in they rush, pouring through the street and lanes of the devoted city. Yet they do not destroy it—they do not kill the inhabitants—they do not even stay within the walls so hardly won. In a very short space of time they return as they came, save that each bears a portion of the spoil for which they came. They form in order once again, they march in line, they regain their own quarters, but each one carrying—would you believe it?—a young slave.

Ants heading out on an expedition

Yes, the army did not care to conquer the strange city; the expedition was organized solely and entirely that they might steal the young and bring them up in their own colony as slaves. For, through the long influence of evil habits, the race to which these warriors belong have lost their natural powers, and so have now to be waited on, fed, and altogether taken care of by its slaves. With food before them they would starve unless the slaves put it into their mouths.

If they want to change their abode, the slaves must make the new habitation ready, and then carry their masters on their backs to reach it. If the children have to be taken care of, the slaves must be the nurses. In fact, fighting is the one single thing they can do, and that, as we have seen, they do well. As the supply of slaves is necessary to their existence, every now and then they have to go and help themselves in the way we have just seen them do; and though the idea of slavery is abhorrent to every mind, we must allow that they are brave soldiers, and under excellent discipline.

Now, can you tell me who the soldiers are? Go back to your history stories and think. Some old Roman race, perhaps, or the early inhabitants of Britain, when people knew no better? Or some tribe of savages in America, or the South Sea islands at the present time? Nay, you must guess again, or shall I tell you? Yes, you give it up. Well, then, it is a people “not strong;” small and insignificant, yet wise, for this is what the Bible says, “Go to the ANT, consider her ways and be wise.”—Prov. vi:10.

This race of warriors is none other than the slave-keeping ant, (Polyergus rufescens). I do not think you would meet with it in our woods, but in Switzerland and other countries it is common. Huber, who wrote so much about bees and ants, first witnessed an attack near Geneva. I should tell you that the young which they carry off are the larva or young grubs, which, transferred to the nests of the conquerors, soon become ants, and live the rest of their lives in serving them, and waiting on them, as slaves or servants would their masters.

How extraordinary! Do they pine for their own kind? Are they happy in their bondage? We do not know, but as far as we can judge they render a willing and cheerful service, forgetting themselves in what they do for others. Then, of course, they are happy; we need not repeat the question; we are only lost in wonder at this strange and interesting page in Nature’s book.

M. K. M.


I presume most of you have heard of Grace Darling, the brave girl who lived with her father and mother at Longstone light-house. On the 6th of September, 1838, there was a terrible storm, and W. Darling, knowing well that there would be many wrecks, and much sorrow on the sea that dark, tempestuous night, waited for daybreak; and when at last it came, he went to look out. About a mile away he saw a ship in great distress, but the storm was so awful he had hardly courage to venture through it for their relief. His daughter Grace, who was watching the wreck through a glass, could no longer bear to see the poor fellows clinging to the piece of wreck which remained on the rocks where it had been broken, and make no effort to help them. She knew they must be lost. So she implored her father to launch the life-boat and let her go with him to the rescue. He consented, and father and daughter, she taking the oars while he steered, went pulling away for the wreck; and I can fancy how the poor fellows watched the life-boat like a speck on the waters, counting each minute as it neared them, then fearing, as it seemed to be almost lost amid the mountains of hissing and boiling waves, lest it should never come to them at all. But at last they are alongside; the sufferers hesitate not a moment, but jump for the life-boat, and so nine precious lives were saved from a watery grave.

Every one sang the praises of brave Grace Darling. A sum of $3,500 was presented to her as a testimonial, and she was invited to dine with the Duke of Northumberland. She died at the early age of twenty-seven, of consumption.

Now, my readers cannot all be Grace Darling, but they can come to the help of the perishing; those that are weary and ready to die. They can all do something, by working, by little efforts of self-denial, and by praying for those who are in danger of being lost; and then one day they will hear those wonderful words, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these, ye have done it unto me.” A testimonial worth having indeed!


Adam and Eve are my two pet doves,
They live in a cot in the maple tree,
They coo and coo as other doves do,
And I know they are fond of me.
Eve is a dear little milk-white dove,
Her eyes and feet are of coral red.
She wears a quill of gray in her wing,
And a small white cap on her head.
Adam is bold, and he struts about,
In coat and vest of chocolate brown;
Eve is as sweet as a dove can be,
And Adam will sometimes frown.
Adam and Eve are my two fond doves,
Their cottage stands in the maple tree,
They coo and coo, as other doves do,
And often take lunch with me.

Mrs. S. J. Brigham.


Swinging! Swinging!
Up where the bees and the butterflies are,
Winging! Winging!
Their flights ’mong the blossoms that shine near and far.
Ringing, Ringing,
Song of the blue-bird and bobolink’s call,
Singing, Singing,
Up in this beautiful world are they all!
Clinging, clinging,
In this green shadow, the clematis swings.
Bringing, bringing,
Hints of strange odors, and dim woodland things.
Flinging, flinging,
The snow-ball, its white, pretty blossoms on me,
Springing, springing,
The damask rose climbs to the lattice to see!
Backward my hair is floating and swaying,
Here o’er the garden-walk softly I sing;
Far more delightful, than wearily straying,
Is it to dream here, while gently I swing.

Children at the beach

How the Days Went at Sea-Gull Beach.

No school! And the beautiful summer days coming so early in the morning, that none of us children ever could get awake to see the sun rise, and staying so long that we grew quite tired of being happy; and some of us, Gracie and Jimmie in particular, were so little, that they couldn’t stay awake through the whole of it, and went off into a nap every day after dinner.

But this was in the city, and when we arrived at the beach we didn’t get tired or cross the whole day long. There were many children at the hotel, and when we came, with our dolls and toy boats, our fishing-tackle and spades, and pails, we made a host of friends immediately.

Reginald and Willie, our older brothers, did not always go with Gracie and Jimmie and me, but made the acquaintance of the men that went out to sea to fish for the great hotels; and they went oftentimes with them, and we used to enjoy seeing the little boats launched; they almost stood on end when they went over the breakers, making us scream with excitement and delight. And as the little fleet grew less and less, and at last disappeared, we girls thought it was a grand thing to have such brave brothers.

I was the elder girl, being ten, and Gracie seven. Our Gracie was a lovely little sister; she had large blue eyes, and wavy brown hair, and was very gentle and obedient, and people called her “Pet,” almost as soon as they became acquainted with her.

Mother had blue flannel suits made for us, and dressed in these, with sailor hats that had little tapping ribbons at the sides, we scurried along the beach, climbed the rocks, or waded out into the salt water.

But we had on our very prettiest dresses in the evening, for the children were allowed to have the grand parlor, and dance to the music of the band until nine o’clock. This was a privilege we older ones talked of continually, and looked forward to all day. We were so dainty, genteel, and good-mannered for an hour, that it impressed even ourselves; and boys and girls became models of gentleness and polite behavior, and the effect of those delightful evenings has given growth and direction to many graces in our character.

Two children dancing together


But the little ones, like Gracie and her friends, really couldn’t stand the excitement, and rolled around in odd corners on the floor, or sought the grateful obscurity behind the sofas, to indulge in naps, long before nine o’clock. I found Gracie, in her pink silk dress and violet slippers, lying curled up under the table, with her head on the back of Bosin, the great Newfoundland dog that had stolen into the parlor against rules.

Nelson Faber was a little boy, not much older than Gracie, and they seemed to enjoy each other’s society very much. He too oftentimes succumbed to sleepiness when we wanted him to do his sailor dance; but when the morning came, they were as rosy-cheeked and bright-eyed as ever, and trotted along the pleasant walks with their hoops and pails, inseparable friends. It was fortunate for Gracie, too, that he preferred to play with her, rather than to go off with the boys, for one day after a boisterous night, the sea came up higher on the beach than we had ever before seen it; and unsuspecting Gracie was caught by a wave and thrown down, and as it retired it seemed to drag her along with it; we older ones lost our presence of mind entirely, and screamed and cried, and did nothing, but that heroic little fellow ran into the boiling surf and caught her dress, and with the dog’s assistance, dragged her to a safe place. She said he was, “Very nice and dood.”

One day, some of my girl companions proposed to visit the rocks that lay at the mouth of Green river, just where it gently met the ocean. Right there, no end of sea-weed and shells, and things thrown up by the ocean, could be found; and there were such curious rocks, with nooks and basins, where the water stayed in tiny pools, and there we went fishing, and brought lunch, setting it out on the most convenient flat rock we could find. I tell you, cold chicken, pickles, cheese, and sponge cake, with milk, tasted as they never did before or since, to our party of hungry children. We climbed and fell, and laughed, and chatted, with the salt breeze lifting our hair, and fanning our brown faces, and going out far on the point, we came upon a little shining lake, surrounded by rocks, upon which we could sit, and dabble our feet in the water. It was no place more than a foot deep, and we decided to wade round in it. It was a comical sight to see us navigating ourselves in procession through that water, but it was a very questionable joke, when Milly Sayre jumped and screamed, and ran like a frantic creature from the pool, and up the rocks.

“What’s the matter, Milly,” we cried. “Are you hurt? What did you see?” we breathlessly shouted.

“Oh! oh!” was all she could gasp, pointing to a place she had just left. We all scrambled out instantly, and peered over the rocks into the water.

Nelson and Gracie walking together


What should we see but a little creature, grotesque and hideous, that made its way round in the water, with astounding celerity, throwing out legs or claws, or whatever they were, from every point of its circumference. Its body was flat and was a green color above and pink under, and to add to its alarming appearance, it looked at us with two black eyes, in a very sinister and uncanny manner. We looked at each other with blanched faces and speechless horror, and then kept a sharp lookout, lest it might take it into its head (we couldn’t tell if it had any head, for the place where the eyes were, did not seem different from any other part of its body,) take it into its “internal consciousness,” to crawl out on to the rocks and chase us. It got through the water in a distracting manner, which was really quite amusing after a few moments, and from being horribly frightened, we became interested when we found it did not attempt the offensive. We gave it some lunch and called it “Jack Deadeye,” and for the whole afternoon he was the center of attraction.

“Let us take him back with us,” I proposed. “We can get him into a pail, and then we can have him in some pool nearer home, and see what he’ll turn into. I don’t believe but what he’ll be something else in a few days.”

My knowledge of natural history had always been lamentably meager, and more than once I had brought the laugh upon myself by my ignorance. So I forbore to predict what would be his ultimate form of beauty.

“A whale!” said Susie Champney.

“Oh, dear, no; whales don’t have legs and claws,” said Estella Bascom. “It’s a tadpole.”

“You’re mistaken there,” said Mamie Fitz Hugh; “tadpoles are just the little jokers that do have tails. I’ve seen hundreds of them, and this creature has no tail.”

We all rushed again to the edge of the rocks to look at him, with added wonder.

“Well, we’ll take that tad home on a pole, any way,” said Nannie White, who was the cutest girl to say things in the whole crowd. She immediately ran off to secure a piece of drift that was tumbling about on the wet sand. But how to get him into a pail was the next problem. A committee of the whole was called. I thought we could obstruct his path by putting the mouth of the pail in front of him, and then when he sailed into it, we could instantly pull him out. This was decided upon; but how to get it down to him without falling in? A bright idea struck me. I whipped off my flannel sash, and running it through the handle, dashed it into the water; but that proceeding only frightened him—we must move more cautiously. We worked for an hour and had him in twice, but were so excited both times that he escaped.

First time, Totty Rainsford shouted, “We’ve got him!” and immediately rolled off the rocks, head first, into the water. We were all so scared, with the water splashing, and she screaming at the top of her voice, “Save me! Save me!” that Jack got away. She scrambled out pretty lively, and when we got him in again, we were all seized with another fit of laughing at Totty, who, in her moist predicament, was jumping round to dry herself, because she didn’t want to go home, that he crawled out as leisurely as possible. But we secured him at last, safe in the pail; and to prevent his crawling out, I clapped my sailor hat over the top of it, and the elastic kept it down tight. We put the pole through the handle and Estella and myself took hold of the ends, and we came near losing him every few minutes, owing to the inequalities of the ground. The pail would slide down to either end, as the pole inclined, and Estella would drop it and scream when she saw the pail traveling noiselessly toward her, and if it hadn’t been for my happy thought of putting the hat over him, he’d have got away to his “happy hunting grounds,” or rather, waters, in short order.

We arrived at the hotel at last, with Jack all safe, and the rest of the girls went to dress for dinner, and left me to find the boys, to help me deposit him in a secure place, for we were sure we should very greatly astonish the boarders and achieve renown as having discovered a new species of marine beast.

The boys were in a perfect ecstacy of curiosity to see what the girls had caught. When I carefully took off the hat, I found the water had all leaked out, and his monstership lay kicking and crawling at the bottom.

“Ho! ho! ho!” shouted Willie, “is that what-cher call a curiosity?”

“Oh, Flossie! you have been dreadfully taken in,” said Regy.

“Oh, no,” I said, “it’s this wonderful animal that’s been ‘taken in,’ and he’s going to be kept in, too.”

I began to feel, though, that there was a great laugh somewhere in the future, and that it was coming at our expense.

“Why, Flossie! it’s nothing but a baby crab,” said Regy. “I can get a peck of them in an hour, over in the river.”

I felt greatly chagrined, and blushed with mortification. The boys kept bursting out laughing every few minutes, asking such questions as:

The children look at the crab


“How many girls did it take to land him?” “Was he gamey, Flossie?” “Did ye bait him with a clam-shell, or an old boot? they’ll snap at any thing.”

“Oh! I’d given away my dinner to have been there!” and then Regy would stir him up with a stick, and turn him on his back, all of which caused me to scream every time, and sent tremors all over me.

“What-cher goin’ to do with him?” inquired Willie.

“I shall study his habitudes, and improve my knowledge of the crustacea,” said I, giving him a sentence directly out of my text-book. “I shall look at him every day.”

“Yes, and he’ll look at you every night. I have read a book that told about a traveler that offended a crab once, and he informed the other crabs, and they all made for him at night, and twenty thousand of them came that night and crept under his tent, and sat there and looked at him. And there he was in the middle of them, and you know their eyes are fastened in their heads by a string, and they can throw them out of their heads and draw them back again; and, at a signal, they all threw their eyes at him. He was so horrified that night, that he got insane and had to be sent to a lunatic asylum.”

“I’ve heard your stories before, Regy, and I simply don’t credit them. We girls are going to hunt up a pond to put him in, where we can pet him, and educate him.”

“You’d best hunt up a frying pan to put him in; he’s capital eating for breakfast, well browned, with hard-boiled eggs and parsley round him,” said Reginald.

I told him if he couldn’t do any better than to lie there and make an exhibition of his bad taste and ignorance, he’d better get up and work off the fit. I insisted upon his helping me to fill the pail with salt water, and hang him upon the rocks until we could make a future, permanent disposal of him.

A little boy with the crab, and sailing boats


That evening our parlor manners were somewhat less decorous and elegant, owing to the fact that Reginald and Willie had been industriously circulating the episode of the morning, with such additions as they thought would add point and piquancy, among the rest of the boys, and there was no end of innuendo and witticism indulged in, that caused the young gentlemen to retire in groups and laugh; and we could hear such remarks as, “Dick, there was a whale hooked on this coast this afternoon, did you know it?” Or, “I think Jack Deadeye is the most comical character in Pinafore, he’s so crabbed.”

The girls of our party stood it as they best could; and in the morning we stole out to look at our prize, after the boys had gone off, but the tide had swept Jack and the pail out to sea.

It was a long time before we heard the last of it, however.

A small sailing boat


Down by the lake they trotted,
All the summer day;
Max and Beppo never plotted
Yet, to run away.
Two little donkey pets, Oh, I loved them so!
When I was in Switzerland, just a year ago.
How they liked bananas!
And our apples sweet;
They had lovely manners,
Every thing they’d eat.
Then, I’d rub their furry ears, and they’d shake their bells,
While old driver Raspar, funny stories tells.
Max turns round and winks so pretty,
Little, sharp round eyes;
Beppo sings a jolly ditty,
Quite to our surprise.
Then we mount, and off we go, up and down the mall,
Never do they careless trip, never make a fall.
Once, a princess royal
Wanted little Max;
How to part those friends so loyal,
Her little brain she racks.
She would give her gold and silver, in a little purse,
Then throw in for measure good, her scolding English nurse!
Then she cried, and chattered
All her pretty French,
And her little feet she pattered,
On the rustic bench.
“My papa is king,” she said, “and I’d have you know,
I shall have the donkey, and to prison shall you go.”
How their tiny feet would scamper,
Up the valley blue,
Carrying each his generous hamper,
And his rider, too.
Sure of foot, they’d clamber round the mountain spur
Where the foot-sore tourist scarcely dared to stir.
In this bright, sunshiny weather,
I remember with a sigh,
We no more can play together,
Beppo, Max and I.
Never dearer friends exist, in this world below,
Than I made in Switzerland, just a year ago.


As I walked in my garden to-day,
I saw a family sweet.
Many wee faces looked up,
From their cool and shady retreat.
Some had blue eyes and golden curls,
Some dark eyes and raven locks,
Some were dressed in velvets so rare,
And some wore quaint, gay frocks.
I asked these babies so dear,
To come and live ever with me!
Then laughing so gaily they said;
“We are Pansies, don’t you see?”



“Come, little bird, I have waited some time,
Light on my hand, and I’ll give you a dime.
I have a cage that will keep you warm,
Free from danger, and safe from storm.”
“No, little lady, we cannot do that,
Not for a dime, nor a brand new hat.
We are so happy, and wild, and free,
Chee-dee-dee! Chee-dee-dee!”
“Fly, pretty bird, fly down, and take
Just a crumb of my Christmas cake;
Santa Claus brought it to me, you know,
Over the snow. Over the snow.”
“Yes, we know of your home, so rare,
And stockings hung in the fire-light there;
We peeped through the window-blinds to see.
Chee-dee-dee! Chee-dee-dee!
“We were on the button-ball tree,
Closer than we were thought to be;
Soon you may have us in to tea,
Chee-dee-dee! Chee-dee-dee!”


Adalina Patti was a doll of most trying disposition. You wouldn’t tell, when she woke up, what distracting thing she’d do first. I’ve known her, when seated at the breakfast table, in her high chair, next to Sirena, her little mamma, I have known her to jerk suddenly forward, and plunge her face right into a plate of buttered cakes and syrup.

This necessitated the removing of her from the table and a good deal of cleansing and re-dressing on the part of Bidelia, the hired girl.

She had movable eyes; they were very lovely, but, if you’ll believe it, she’d screw them round, just to be contrary, so that she’d look cross-eyed for hours together. No sweet persuasion or threat of punishment could induce her to look like a doll in her right mind.

This was not quite so bad though, as the outlandish noises she made when she didn’t want to say “mamma,” which she could do very distinctly when she first arrived, at Christmas.

But a crisis in her petulant obstinacy came, when she wouldn’t sit still to have her hair combed, and it looked like a “hurrah’s nest,” her brother Bob said. All her naughtiness came right out then. She rolled one eye entirely up in her head, and left it there, and stared so wild with the other, that Sirena gave her a pretty lively shake, but she only dropped that eye and rolled up the other.

This made her little mamma pause and meditate. She got provoked as she looked at her, and then she gave her a double shake; then that bad doll rolled up both her eyes, and nothing could induce her to get them down again.

Oh, dear! How many dreadful things she looked like. There was a vicious parrot in the park that made its eyes look just like Adalina’s did, just before it stuck its head through the bars of its cage to bite people. And there was a stone lady, that was named “Ceres,” on one of the paths in the same park, and she kept her eyes rolled up all the time, greatly to the terror of Sirena and Bidelia, who had to pass her in coming home in the twilight. And down street there was a tobacconist’s sign that represented a fairy queen, with butterfly wings, taking a pinch of snuff, and the weather had taken all the paint off her eyes and she looked simply hideous; and Sirena grasped Bidelia very tight, till they got round the corner. Now here was her lovely French doll looking like them and cutting up worse. She’d go to mamma with this trouble as she did with all others.

She put her doll down with her face against the carpet, and taking hold of her pink kid arm, dragged her, not very gently, over the carpet to her mother.

At that moment in bounced Rob, who, immediately taking in the situation of affairs, exclaimed,—“Oh, don’t be so cruel to Adalina! Is she just horrid? You know, Rena, that’s what you are, sometimes, yourself. What’s the matter any way? What makes you look so glum?”

“This doll is acting dreadful; just look at her eyes!” said Sirena.

“You can’t tell any thing by any one’s eyes, yours look like the 4th of July, now, and you’re a delightful little girl, everybody says; you don’t whack things round, and scream, when the flowers bloom in the spring.”

He was to be repressed immediately. Sirena looked at her mother.

“He wants to be funny, Sirena,” said her mother, soothingly.

“Then he isn’t funny; he’s never funny,” said Sirena, drawing herself up with dignity.

“Totty Belmont says you’re the teasenest, hatefulest boy she knows! So there,” remarked Sirena.

“Oh, ho! I don’t wonder the doll is scared. Why don’t you treat that pretty creature with some consideration? Dragging her over the carpet, and spoiling her pretty dress! Now you’ll see, just as soon as she comes to me, because I’m good-looking and nice, she’ll put her eyes down and smile at me as lovely as ever.”

He took the doll and jumped it up and down in the air, dancing about and singing, “Tra-la.”

As sure as the world! Down came the eyes, and Adalina was her charming self again.

“Now you see,” said Rob, “if you want people to be good to you and love you, you must not be rude and ill-natured yourself. This doll is French, and particular, and she just won’t look at cross little girls; so there!”

“I think,” said her mamma, “that Sirena will not get so angry with her doll again. She looks as if she were ashamed of it now. However disagreeable we may think people are, it’s best to watch ourselves, lest in finding fault with them, we fall into the same errors.”

Sirena slouched in an armchair with her doll



My little love, with soft, brown eyes,
Looks shyly back at me,
Beneath the drooping apple bough,
She thinks I do not see.
I cannot choose, I laugh with her,
I catch her merry glee;
Or stay you near, or go you far,
Oh, little love, how sweet you are!
A hue, like light within a rose,
Is dimpling on her cheek,
It wins a grace, it deepens now
With every airy freak;
A love-light in the rose like this,
Ah, you may vainly seek;
It shines for me, no shadows mar,
Oh, little love, how fair you are!
My heart clings to her pretty words,
They will not be forgot;
My happy brain will not discern,
If they be wise or not.
To ever be so charmed, so blessed,
Ah, this were happy lot.
My own, shine ever like a star
Upon my life, so true you are.

Papa and his two daughters



Little Hal Keys was pretty sure to throw a stone at every pussy cat he saw, and so all the cats around used to have a great deal to say about him as they sat together on the back fences, or when they had a party in the big barn. At last the cats determined to do something about it, and so they said: “We will have him up for trial before Judge Thomas White.” He was the wisest and oldest of all the cats in town, and wore spectacles that made him look even wiser than he was. Eleven of the most learned cats said they would be lawyers, and get other cats to be witnesses, to tell what Hal had done, and try to get him punished. One of the eleven said: “For the sake of Hal’s mother, who has always been kind to me from the time I was a little kitten, I will be his lawyer, and try to get his punishment made as light as I can.”

The courtroom


Twelve cats had to be found who could say that they were not quite sure that Hal was such a bad boy as he seemed to be. They were stay-at-home cats, who did not know what was going on outside of the comfortable houses where they lived. These twelve cats were to be the jury, and it was their duty to hear all that the lawyers and the witnesses had to say about Hal’s doings, and then to tell whether or not they thought he ought to be punished.

At last the day of the trial came; Judge Thomas White sat down in his big chair and took his pen; the lawyers took their places; the twelve jury cats were brought in, and put in a high box, so they could not jump out and run away. Hal was brought in and put in the prisoner’s box, as they call it; and Christopher Gray, his mother’s old cat, took his place beside Hal. Three cats, called “reporters,” came in with pockets full of paper and pencils, to write down all that is said; to print in the newspapers, for all cats in the world to read.

The first witness to tell all the bad she knew about Hal was his sister Alice’s little Dolly Varden. How saucy she looked, with the blue ribbon tied around her neck, as she sat on the witness stand telling how Hal chased her from cellar to garret; and stepped on her tail; and gave her saucer of milk to the dog Jack whenever he got a chance. “Cruel, cruel boy,” said Dolly Varden, “he teases his sister almost as much as he teases me.”

Hal trembled from head to foot when he heard what Dolly Varden said, for he knew it all was true, and he was much afraid that a very hard punishment would be given to him. Then the old black cat, on whom Hal had thrown a dipper of hot water, was called to the witness stand. Poor old thing! the hot water had taken the fur off his back. Then came another cat, limping up to the witness stand, whose leg had been broken by a stone which Hal had thrown. There were so many witnesses that it would make my story too long to tell about them all. All that Christopher Gray could say in Hal’s favor was: “He has a good mother.”

“The more shame for him,” said one of the lawyers.

When the jury had heard all that was to be said, they went out of the room together; in five minutes they came back; all agreed that Hal should be punished. Then Judge Thomas White, in his most solemn tone, said: “Albert Keys, you are found guilty of great cruelty to good cats everywhere. I must, therefore, pronounce sentence upon you. You must go with us to Cat town for two days and one night.”

There were tears in Hal’s eyes, but the Judge had no pity on him, and he called in some of the strongest cats to take him. Oh! what a long, hard way it was; over fences, under houses, and through the barns. It was hard work for Hal to keep up with them, but they made him. What a time he had after he got to Cat town. All of the cats gathered around him, and howled at him, and scratched his face and hands, and made him wish he was any place but there. At last when he was set free, he never could have found his way home, if pretty little Dolly Varden had not forgiven him, and shown him the way back.

Hal was never known after that to throw a stone at a cat, or to treat one badly in any way.


They don’t know much, these little girls,
I’ll tell you why ’tis so,
They played away their time at school,
And let their lessons go.
One took a slate to cipher,
And all went very well,
Until she came to four times eight,
And that she could not tell.
The other would make pictures
In her copy book at school,
Of boys and girls and donkeys
Which was against the rule.
But nothing good could come of it,
And this is what befell;
She tried to write to papa,
And found she could not spell.
The teacher said, “Of all sad things,
I would not be a dunce,
But would learn to write and cipher,
And begin the work at once.”


A great astronomer was, once in his early days, working hard at mathematics, and the difficulties he met with, made him ready to give up the study in despair. After listlessly looking out of the window, he turned over the leaves of his book, when the lining at the back attracted his attention. Looking at it closely, he found it was part of a letter written to a young man, apparently, like himself, disheartened with his difficulties. “Go on, sir, go on,” was the counsel; “the difficulties you meet will disappear as you advance.”

This short sentence seemed to give the student fresh courage. Following out these simple words he applied himself with renewed energy to his studies, and ultimately became one of the most learned men of his day.



Do not be ashamed, my lad, if you have a patch on your elbow. It is no mark of disgrace. It speaks well for your industrious mother. For our part, we would rather see a dozen patches on your clothes than to have you do a bad or mean action, or to hear a profane or vulgar word proceed from your lips. No good boy will shun you or think less of you because you do not dress as well as he does, and if any one laugh at your appearance, never mind it. Go right on doing your duty.

Five deer


Clara was a little western girl. She had lived in San Francisco until she was nine years old, when her dear mamma and papa brought her east to live with Aunt Mary and Cousin Charlie, and they were growing very fond of her indeed, for she was so sweet and kind and always obedient.

One day she was sitting out under the blossoming trees on the old Worden seat, her book lying, unread, in her lap, and her eyes having a dreamy, far-away look in them, when, from the balcony overhead, sounded a piping little voice:

“Clara, Tousin Clara! has oo dot my Animal book?” and a small, rosy-cheeked boy came running to her, rubbing his sleepy, dark eyes.

“Why, Charlie, have you finished your nap so soon? yes here is your Animal book, and what shall I read about?”

“Oh, about the deers, wiz their dreat big horns, and—and—every sin,” and he nestled close, satisfied he would hear all he wished. So she read a short sketch of the deer, its haunts and habits, when he interrupted:

“Has oo ever seen a deer—a real live one?” and his black eyes opened wide.

“Oh, yes; and when we were coming east, across the plains, whenever the train drew near a wooded stream, often the screaming whistle would startle a herd of deer from their covert, and they would rush up through the trees, antlers erect, and sleek brown bodies quivering with alarm, and followed by the soft-eyed, gentle fawn. It was quite a pretty picture.”

“Tell me more; what tind of a city did oo live in?”


“A very beautiful city, Charlie. You should see our noble bay, with the great ships riding at anchor; our fine parks and stately buildings. Then if you should go down in Market street, where most of the business is done, you would see some funny sights. All kinds of people are there—Ranchmen, Indians, Spaniards, English, Americans and lots of queer little Chinamen, and they have small, dark shops full of curious things, and besides spread their wares on the walk.”

After telling about the orange groves and vineyards, the lovely flowers, especially the fuchsia, which winds its branches like a vine over the porches, often reaching the upper story of a house, Charlie thought it must be a wonderful country, and expressed his intention of living in California when he became a man.

In a Chinese village during a time of drought a missionary saw a row of idols put in the hottest and dustiest part of the road. He inquired the reason and the natives answered: “We prayed our gods to send us rain, and they wont, so we’ve put them out to see how they like the heat and dryness.”


Three meadow birds went out in great glee,
All in the sunshiny weather;
Down by the pond, with the reeds waving free,
Where the ducks were all standing together.
“Good day Mrs. Duck,” said the three meadow birds,
“From all the news we can gather,
You’re a very good friend, of very few words.”
Then one flew away with a feather.
“Quack!” said the duck, “That feather is mine,
I see through your ways altogether;
You want our feathers, your own nests to line,
All in the bright summer weather.”
“What shall we use?” said the three meadow birds,
“There’s no good in moss or in heather.”
“We don’t care a straw,” said the old blue drake,
“If you line all your nests with sole leather.”
“Quack! Quack! Quack! You must think we are slack!
You talk too polite altogether;
We’ve had quite enough of your high-flown stuff,
And we know, you are birds of a feather.”

Dickens and his cat

Putting out the Candle.

Charles Dickens, for that is the name of the gentleman you see sitting by the table, wrote many books and stories. Some of his stories are about little children for grown folks to read, and others are for the children themselves. Mr. Dickens had a pet cat, that was always in his library. Strange to say, it had no name. That was no matter, because the cat could not hear. He was deaf. But he liked very much to be petted, and plainly showed sometimes that he was not pleased to have his master do any thing else. One evening, when Mr. Dickens was sitting at the table reading, his candle suddenly went out. He did not know why it should have done so, but he got up and lighted it. In a few moments it began to get dark again, and he looked up quickly at the candle, and saw puss just raising his paw to put it out. “What did he do?” He gave the cat a loving little pat and went on with his reading. What a sly cat was that to find a way to make his master notice him.



“It must be nice to be a sailor, and I wish I was one. Every thing goes wrong and mother is always scolding me, and father is never done growling; I am getting tired of it.”

The speaker was a little, round-cheeked lad, of about nine years of age. He was standing, with a tall, fair-haired girl, evidently his sister, on the edge of the river Wyncombe. He was not a lively boy. He was one of those thoughtful, gloomy little boys who are always dreaming; always thinking and imagining some fancied injury from either father or mother.

Archie sitting on a wall


Archie Phillips was the little boy’s name, and he and his sister had got a holiday and were watching a party of older children from the Wynne High School, who had come down to the river to spend the afternoon. There was Algernon Wright with a large model yacht, and Willie Schofield, the Mayor’s son, with a new silver-mounted fishing rod. They were all as happy and full of frolic as all boys in the spring-time of life ought to be. Little Archie was, however, of a morose temperament, and did not share in any of the amusements.

The village of Wynne is a fishing village, and is approached from the sea by a beautiful cove on the Cornish coast. The town is built on the slopes of the hills reaching down to the water’s edge, and the river Wynne empties itself into the sea near by.

It is, indeed, a pleasant place. At the time of this story all the boys of Wynne, young and old, were crazy after maritime pursuits and sports. They spent the bulk of their holiday time either in sailing about the bay, or in fishing, bathing, or holding model yacht races in the cove.

“Why don’t I have a yacht in the place of a silly ball? Why don’t I have boys to play with instead of Lucy and Gyp? What do girls or dogs know about a top or a cat hunt? I’m disgusted! I’ll go for a sailor! I’ll run away; there!”

The girl took no notice of this discourse. It was no new thing for her to hear grumbling from her brother, and she was accustomed to bear it without murmur or dissent. Presently she ran away, along the river bank, with her doll, to a shady place, where she knew the sun was not strong, and where some rushes overhung the path. There she could put her doll to sleep. It was no use asking Archie to join her. He was too old and too much of a man to enter into any such stupidity.

Presently Archie sat down in the shade, on the balustrades of the churchyard and watched the glee of the High-Schoolboys with a sulky envy.

It was a glorious summer afternoon. The sky overhead was one vast, inverted field of blue, without a single speck of cloud. The hot sun was beating down almost perpendicularly, and the rays penetrated the leaves, shedding a lattice-work pattern on the ground.

“I know Ben Huntly, the boat-builder, will tell me how to go to sea. He has been a sailor himself, and I know he will tell me all about it. Nobody cares; well, mother might, perhaps, a bit, but then, I don’t know.”

Then he paused in his musings and thought of all the injustice done to him by his mother. He thought, like all gloomy, wretched little boys, of all that was ill. He didn’t for one moment remember, how, that very morning, the self-same, unjust mother, after packing up his little lunch-basket, had put her arms round his neck, and a little red-cheeked apple in his pocket, and told him to keep away from the river. Oh, no, he seemed to have quite forgotten all that.

Then the sun went behind a cloud and Archie felt the cool wind, which blew from the cove, on his cheek, so he jumped down from his musing place and sped away as fast as his legs would carry him toward the house of the boat-builder. He ran across the green, down the grassy slopes and across a stretch of shingly beach, to the cottage of his friend.

Ben Huntly, the boat-builder, was a good-hearted fellow, and was extremely fond of all the children of the village. He had that method possessed by few people of searching into the heart of a child and arguing with him in a manner suitable for a child’s understanding.

Archie had often sought Ben’s counsel when things seemed to go wrong, and it was seldom that the boat-builder had failed to convince the boy, even to his satisfaction, that he was wrong.

It was an off day for the boat-builder. He was sitting, smoking his pipe, in the cottage porch, and reading a well-thumbed copy of “Gray’s Master Mariner.” He welcomed Archie with a secret delight, for he knew, by his little friend’s face, that he was brooding over some fancied injury, and it gave the boat-builder pleasure to talk his little friend out of his troubles.

“Well, Archie, what’s new in the wind,” said Ben, as he greeted the boy with a grasp of the hand. “It seems almost an age since I saw you, my boy.”

Little Archie sat down on a large stone bench in the porch, and told Ben his story. His mother had been vexed with him that morning. She had asked him to call at the rectory with a message for Doctor Hart, and he wanted to cut grass at the time, and objected. His mother did not scold him, oh, no, Ben, she sent Carrie, who willingly took the message, and his father had called him a name. Then, again, he had no toys like other boys. Some had a pony; he couldn’t have one. His father always answered his request for a pony with the reply that he couldn’t afford one just then and he would see about it some day. If Ben would only tell him how to go to sea he would certainly run away the next day.

Ben and Archie


Now, Ben knew the character of little Archie better, perhaps, than his own mother did; so, when he had given the little boy a draught of cool milk from the cottage kitchen, Ben lit his pipe afresh, and took down an old telescope, a relic of his sea-faring days, from the wall. The young man and the boy then strolled across a low, level tract of sand, to a grassy hillock, formed by the current of the Wyncombe. Here they sat down in the fast waning twilight, and discussed little Archie’s purposed flight.

“Yes, Archie,” said Ben, “a sailor’s life is well enough, if you don’t mind hard beds and harder words. If you can eat salty meat and mouldy bread it’s a fine life, Archie. There is no life I’d like better if they’d give you fresher water and not quite so many cruel blows. But, if you’ve made up your mind, Archie, and think you can go to bed nights in a rolling, tossing sea, with the wind howling and the rain pouring, and your mother thousands of miles away, looking at your little empty bed, I should think very seriously about it.” Archie looked thoughtful, as the gloom deepened on his face, and silence fell on the pair for a time.

Archie as an adult


Suddenly Ben spied a French frigate looming against the darkening sky and showed it to Archie through the telescope. He explained all the parts of the ship and dwelt long in his answers to the lad’s questions. He told little Archie how, early one stormy morning, he had been awakened from his bed in the cottage by the sound of guns away at sea, how he had descended to the beach with a lot of the villagers, to find the waves beating mercilessly over a great broken ship. He told how they had all stood, in the leaden morning, stricken with dread at the sight of the disaster they were all powerless to prevent; leaning hard against the wind, their breath and vision often failing as the sleet and spray rushed at them from the great mountain of foaming sea which kept breaking on the rocks in the cove. He told farther, how, before all their eyes, the vessel had given one great heave backwards and sank beneath the waves forever; how they could faintly hear the heart-rending screams of women and children above the storm as the great waste of waters covered the struggling vessel. He told Archie that, on the following evening, while he was mending a boat down the bay, he came across something lying amongst a mass of sea-weed, and on turning it over had found it to be the dead body of a sailor—a fair, curly-headed youth.

“He was clad,” said Ben, “in a pair of linen trowsers and a sea shirt, and the weeds and sand were all tangled in his hair. I raised him up from the beach and a small bundle fell out of his bosom. I laid him in my boat and went for Doctor Hart. It was the talk of the village for days. Dr. Hart found the bundle to contain a packet of letters written in a feeble hand and signed by the dead sailor’s mother. They were loving letters of expected joy at her boy’s return.”

Ben would have gone on with the story, but he was attracted by the appearance of Archie. The little lad was sitting, with his pale face turned up to Ben, and with two great tears, as large as horse beans, in the corners of his eyes. On meeting Ben’s gaze he broke down thoroughly and burst into a flood of tears, throwing his arms round the honest boat-builder’s neck, sobbing on his breast.

“Oh, Ben, I don’t want to leave mother; I am a wicked boy. If she were to die, Ben, what should I do? Do you think she is alive now, Ben? I don’t want to go away, Ben.”

The boat-builder soothed the little lad and smiled at the success of his purpose to divert the boy’s mind.

It was now nearly night, and time for Archie to go home, so Ben took him on his shoulders and carried him to Mr. Archer’s house, where the family were all waiting supper for the little boy.

Archie ran to his mother as soon as he got in and kissed her over and over again. He told her his little story, making the good woman’s heart overflow with love for her little son.

Ben stayed to supper with the family that night, and all was bright and happy as the merry party sat round the board laughing and joking to their heart’s content.

Archie is a young man now, and has outgrown his gloomy, brooding disposition. He is a clerk in the office of a rich corn merchant in Oxbridge, the nearest market to Wynne, and shows every tendency to become a successful and respected business man.

Occasionally, when things do not happen to his satisfaction, and he feels the old spirit of discontent rising, he checks it by reflecting on his early unhappiness. If his mother or father are harsh or angry with him, or if Mr. Gayton, his employer, speaks quickly or loudly to him, he stifles any tendency to sulk and become angry by thinking of Ben Huntly and the story of the wreck.


O dear little birdie, how nice it must be
To be able to fly
Far away to the sky,
Or to sit on the toss-away top of a tree.
I wish you would lend me your wings for a day.
I have two little feet
That can run on the street,
One step at a time, but I can’t fly away.
I would fly to the woods if I only had wings;
Over house-top and tree,
Like a bird or a bee,
And sit by the side of the thrush while she sings.
I would count the blue eggs in her snug little nest;
I would stay all day long,
To hear her sweet song,
And bring home a feather of gold from her breast.

Mrs. S. J. Brigham.


The baby held it in his hand,
An acorn green and small,
He toyed with it, he tossed it high,
And then he let it fall!
He sought for it, and sorely wept,
Or did his mother know
(Though sweet she kissed and clasped her boy)
What loss had grieved him so.
Then he was borne to other lands,
And there he grew to man,
And wrought his best, and did his most,
And lived as heroes can.
But in old age it came to pass
He trod his native shore,
Yet did not know the pleasant fields
Where he had played before.
Beneath a spreading oak he sat,
A wearied man and old,
And said,—“I feel a strange content
My inmost heart enfold.
“As if some sweet old secret wish
Was secretly fulfilled,
As if I traced the plan of life
Which God Himself has willed!
“Oh, bonnie tree which shelters me,
Where summer sunbeams glow,
I’ve surely seen thee in my dreams!—
Why do I love thee so?”

Isabella Fyvie Mayo.

A little girl selling matches




If Mrs. Jemima Crook happened to be in a very good temper, when taking a cup of tea with some old acquaintance, she would sometimes allude to her private affairs in these words: “I don’t deny it; Crook has left me comfortable.” This was not much to tell, for Mrs. Crook was not given to confidences, and a frequent remark of hers was: “I know my own business, and that is enough for me. I don’t see that I have any call to fill other people’s minds and mouths with what does not concern them.”

Seeing, however, that Mrs. Crook’s own mind and heart were entirely filled by Mrs. Crook herself, it was, perhaps, as well that she should not occupy too much of the attention and affection of her neighbors.

It is a poor, narrow heart, and a small mind, that find self enough to fill them; but these sorts are not unknown, and Mrs. Crook was a sample of such.

When she spoke of having been left “comfortable” by her deceased partner, there was a look of triumph and satisfaction on her face, and a “No-thanks-to-any-of-you” kind of tone in her voice, that must have jarred on the ear of a listener.

No one ever saw a tear in Mrs. Crook’s eye, or heard an expression of regret for the loss of “Crook” himself. He had been dead and out of sight and mind almost these ten years past. He was merely remembered as having done his duty in leaving his widow “comfortable.” People were left to speculate as they chose about the amount represented by the expression. It would not have been good for the man or woman who had ventured to ask a direct question on the subject, but everybody agreed that Mrs. Crook must have something handsome. Surely “comfortable” means free from care, both as regards to-day and to-morrow: not only enough, but a little more, or else anxiety might step in and spoil comfort. If Mrs. Crook had more than enough, she took care not to give of her abundance. Neither man, woman nor child was ever the better for the surplus, if such there were. One of her favorite expressions was, “I don’t care for much neighboring; I prefer keeping myself to myself.”

“And you keep every thing else to yourself,” muttered one who had vainly tried to enlist her sympathy for another who was in sickness and trouble.

Mrs. Crook had a pretty garden, well-stocked with flowers, according to the season. She was fond of working in it, and might be seen there daily, with her sun-bonnet on, snipping, tying and tending her plants.

Children do so love flowers, and, thank God, those who live in country places have grand gardens to roam in, free to all, and planted by His own loving hand. But in town it is different, and Mrs. Crook lived just outside one; far enough away from its smoke to allow of successful gardening, not too far to prevent little feet from wandering thither from narrow courts and alleys, to breathe a purer air, and gaze, with longing eyes, at the fair blossoms. It always irritated Mrs. Crook to see these dirty, unkempt little creatures clustering around her gate, or peeping through her hedge.

“What do you want here?” she would ask, sharply. “Get away with you, or I will send for a policeman. You are peeping about to see if you can pick up something; I know you are. Be off, without any more telling!”

The light of pleasure called into the young eyes by the sight of the flowers would fade away, and the hopeful look leave the dirty faces, as Mrs. Crook’s harsh words fell on the children’s ears. But as they turned away with unwilling, lingering steps, heads would be stretched, and a wistful, longing gaze cast upon the coveted flowers, until they were quite lost to sight.

There was a tradition amongst the youngsters that a very small child had once called, through the bars of the gate: “P’ease, Missis, do give me a f’ower.” Also that something in the baby voice had so far moved Mrs. Jemima Crook, that she had stooped to select one or two of the least faded roses among all those just snipped from the bushes, and given them to the daring little blue eyes outside, with this injunction, however:

“Mind you never come here asking for flowers any more.”

This report was long current among the inhabitants of a city court, but it needs confirmation.

Mrs. Crook objected to borrowers also, and perhaps she was not so much to be blamed for that. Most of us who possess bookshelves, and once delighted in seeing them well filled, look sorrowfully at gaps made by borrowers who have failed to return our treasures. But domestic emergencies occur even in the best regulated families, and neighborly help may be imperatively required. It may be a matter of Christian duty and privilege too, to lend both our goods and our personal aid. Mrs. Crook did not think so. Lending formed no part of her creed. If other people believed in it, and liked their household goods to travel up and down the neighborhood, that was their look-out, not hers.

“I never borrow, so why should I lend?” asked Mrs. Crook. “Besides, I am particular about my things. My pans are kept as bright and clean as new ones, and if my servant put them on the shelves, as some people’s servants replace theirs after using, she would not be here long. No, thank you. When I begin to borrow, I will begin to lend, but not until then.”

Mrs. Crook’s sentiments were so well known that, even in a case of sickness, when a few spoonfuls of mustard were needed for immediate use in poultices, the messenger on the way to borrow it, passed her door rather than risk a refusal, whereby more time might be lost than by going farther in the first instance.

Many were the invitations Mrs. Crook received to take part in the work of different societies. One lady asked her to join the Dorcas meeting.

“You can sew so beautifully,” she said. “You would be a great acquisition to our little gathering.”

The compliment touched a tender point. Mrs. Crook was proud of her needlework, but to dedicate such skill in sewing to making under-clothing for the poorest of the poor: The idea was monstrous!

Mrs. Crook answered civilly, that she could not undertake to go backwards and forwards to a room half a mile off. It would be a waste of time. Besides, though it was probably not the case in that particular meeting, she had heard that there was often a great deal of gossip going on at such places. The visitor was determined not to be offended, and she replied, gently, that there was no chance of gossip, for, after a certain time had been given to the actual business of the meeting, such as planning, cutting out, and apportioning work, one of the ladies read, whilst the rest sewed. “But,” she added, “if you are willing to help us a little, and object to joining the meeting at the room, perhaps you would let me bring you something to be made at home. There is always work for every willing hand.”

Then Mrs. Crook drew herself up and said she did not feel inclined to take in sewing. She had her own to do, and did it without requiring assistance, and she thought it was better to teach the lower classes to depend upon themselves than to go about pampering poor people and encouraging idleness, as many persons were so fond of doing now-a-days. No doubt they thought they were doing good, but, for her part, she believed that in many cases they did harm.

The visitor could have told tales of worn-out toilers, laboring almost night and day to win bread for their children, but unable to find either material for a garment or time to make it. She could have pleaded for the widow and the orphan, if there had seemed any feelings to touch, any heart to stir. But Mrs. Crook’s hard words and looks repelled her, and she went her way, after a mere “Good-morning. I am sorry you cannot see your way to help us.”

No chance of widows weeping for the loss of Mrs. Crook, or telling of her almsdeeds and good works, or showing the coats and garments made for them by her active fingers!

It was the same when some adventurous collector called upon Mrs. Crook to solicit a subscription. She had always something to say against the object for which money was asked. If it were for the sufferers by an accident in a coal mine or for the unemployed at a time of trade depression:

“Why don’t they insure their lives like their betters? Why don’t they save something, when they are getting good wages? I am not going to encourage the thriftless, or help those who might help themselves, if they would think beforehand.”

At length every one gave up trying to enlist her services, or to obtain contributions from her, for the support of any good cause. And Mrs. Crook bestowed all her thoughts, her affections, her time and her means, on the only person she thought worthy of them all—namely Mrs. Crook herself.



Twilight dews are gath’ring,
The bright day’s done;
Upon thy downy couch
Rest, little one.
Each tiny bird’s hieing
Home to its nest;
Each flower-head’s nodding
Upon its breast.
Be still now, little heart,
Until the morrow
Brings again its share
Of joy and sorrow.
May angels round thy couch
Be ever nigh,
And over thy slumbers chant
Their lullaby.

A little girl in thoughtful pose

“But Then.”

It was a queer name for a little girl, and it was not her real name—that was Lizzie—but everybody called her “But Then.”

“My real name is prettier, but then, I like the other pretty well,” she said, nodding her short, brown curls merrily. And that sentence shows just how she came by her name.

If Willie complained that it was a miserable, rainy day, and they couldn’t play out of doors, Lizzie assented brightly,—

“Yes; but then, it is a real nice day to fix our scrapbooks.”

When Kate fretted because they had so far to walk to school, her little sister reminded her,—

But then, it’s all the way through the woods, you know, and that’s ever so much nicer than walking on pavements in a town.”

When even patient Aunt Barbara pined a little because the rooms in the new house were so few and small compared with their old home, a rosy face was quietly lifted to hers with the suggestion,—

But then, little rooms are the best to cuddle all up together in, don’t you think, Auntie?”

“Better call her ‘Little But Then,’ and have done with it,” declared Bob, half-vexed, half-laughing. “No matter how bad any thing is, she is always ready with her ‘but then,’ and some kind of consolation on the end of it.”

And so, though no one really intended it, the new name began. There were a good many things that the children missed in their new home. Money could have bought them even there; but if the money had not gone first, their father would scarcely have thought it necessary to leave his old home. They had done what was best under the circumstances; still the boys felt rather inclined to grumble about it one winter morning when they were starting off to the village on an errand.

“Just look at all the snow going to waste, without our having a chance to enjoy it,” said Will; “and the ice too—all because we couldn’t bring our sleds with us when we moved.”

But then, you might make one yourself, you know. It wouldn’t be quite so pretty, but it would be just as good,” suggested Little But Then.

“Exactly what I mean to do as soon as I get money enough to buy two or three boards; but I haven’t even that yet, and the winter is nearly half gone.”

“If we only had a sled to-day, Sis could ride, and we could go on the river,” said Bob. “It’s just as near that way, and we could go faster.”

“It is a pity,” admitted the little girl. “But then, I’ve thought of something—that old chair in the shed! If we turned it down, its back would be almost like runners, and so—”

“Hurrah! that’s the very thing!” interrupted the boys; and the old chair was dragged out in a twinkling, and carried down to the river. Then away went the merry party, laughing and shouting, on the smooth road between the snowy hills, while Gyp followed, frisking and barking, and seeming to enjoy the fun as much as any of them.

“Now we’ll draw our sled up here, close under the bank, where nobody will see it, and leave it while we go up to the store,” said Bob, when they had reached the village.

Their errand was soon done, and the children ready to return; but as they set forth Will pointed to a dark spot a little way out on the ice.

“What is that? It looks like a great bundle of clothes.”

It was a bundle that moved and moaned as they drew near, and proved to be a girl, a little bigger than Lizzie. She looked up when they questioned her, though her face was pale with pain.

“I slipped and fell on the ice,” she explained, “and I’m afraid I’ve broken my leg, for it is all twisted under me, and I can’t move it or get up. I live in the village. That’s my father’s carpenter shop where you see the sign. I could see it all the time, and yet I was afraid I’d freeze here before any one saw me. Oh dear! it doesn’t seem as if I could lie here while you go for my father.”

“Why, you needn’t,” began Bob; but the girl shook her head.

“I can’t walk a step, and you two are not strong enough to carry me all the way. You’d let me fall, or you’d have to keep stopping to rest; and putting me down and taking me up again would almost kill me.”

“Oh, but we’ll only lift you into the chair, just as carefully as we can, then we can carry you easy enough,” said Will.

And in that way the poor girl was borne safely home; and the children lingered long enough to bring the surgeon and hear his verdict that “Young bones don’t mind much being broken, and she will soon be about again, as well as ever.”

Two girls sitting and talking


“But I don’t see how you happened to have a chair so handy,” said her father to the boys. And when they explained that they were using it for a sled, he said, with a significant nod of his head,—“Your sled, was it? Well, I shall be surprised if my shop does not turn you out a better sled than that, just by way of thanks for your kindness.”

But then, wasn’t it good that it was only the old chair that we had to-day?” asked Little But Then, as she told the story to Aunt Barbara at home. “Oh Auntie, I had the nicest kind of a time!”

“I believe you had,” answered Aunt Barbara, smiling; “for a brave, sunny spirit, that never frets over what it has not, but always makes the best of what it has where it is, is sure to have a good time. It does not need to wait for it to come—it has a factory for making it.”

A little girl and boy

—The following is an Arabic proverb taken from the mouth of an Oriental: “Men are four. 1. He who knows not, and knows not he knows not. He is a fool; shun him. 2. He who knows not, and knows he knows not. He is simple; teach him. 3. He who knows, and knows not he knows. He is asleep; wake him. 4. He who knows, and knows he knows. He is wise; follow him.”


“You little chicks, tho’ you peck at my dress,
I will not get angry at that;
I know you would gobble me up if you could,
As quick as a worm or a gnat.”
“Say, little snail, you had better go on,
They may try the same trick upon you.”
“No, no,” said the snail, with his hard coat of mail,
“I don’t care a rush if they do.
“Little girl, there’s no harm to cause me alarm,
I’ll sit here and watch them a spell,
But as soon as they pounce, I’ll cheat them at once,
By getting right into my shell.”
“But listen, wise snail, the old hen in the coop
Has her eye very closely on you;
And if she gets out, it may put you about,
Now mind, what I tell you is true.”
“But dear little girl, she is fast in her house;
No, no, she can’t touch me, no, no.
But if that respectable fowl should get out,
Oho!” said the snail. “Oho!”


Think it no excuse, boys,
Merging into men,
That you do a wrong act
“Only now and then.”
Better to be careful
As you go along,
If you would be manly,
Capable and strong.
Many a wretched sot, boys,
That one daily meets
Drinking from the beer-kegs,
Living in the streets,
Or at best, in quarters
Worse than any pen,
Once was dressed in broadcloth
Drinking now and then.
When you have a habit
That is wrong, you know,
Knock it off at once, lads,
With a sudden blow.
Think it no excuse, boys,
Merging into men,
That you do a wrong act
“Only now and then.”


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

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

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

Two little girls going upstairs to bed




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

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

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

“Why don’t you find some kind of work to do?”

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

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

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

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

“Oh! I’m so glad to find you again! Why don’t you come to our corner any more?”

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

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

“You don’t mean that you live here all alone?” asked Nell.

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

“But your father and mother?”

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

“And your father?”

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

“Oh, how very dreadful! I don’t see where you get money to buy things with.”

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

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

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

A new world was opening up to Nell.

“Excuse me, but don’t you have any pleasure trips, or birthday parties, or Christmas?”

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

“And are you always happy as you seem—really happy?”

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Chicky Thinks.

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

A just-hatched chick


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

Birds perching on plants



There’s going to be a concert
Out in the apple trees;
When the air is warm and balmy,
And the floating summer breeze
Waft down the pale pink blossoms
Upon the soft green grass:—
A lovely place to sit and dream,
For each little lad and lass!
The concert will open early
When the sun lights up the skies:—
You’ll miss the opening anthem
If you let those sleepy eyes
Stay closed, and do not hasten
Out ’neath the orchard trees,
Where the pink and snowy shower
Is caught in the morning breeze.
The robins will swing in the branches,
And carol, and whistle and sing.
The thrush, who is coming to-morrow,
Will a charming solo bring.
The wrens will warble in chorus,
Rare music, so touching and sweet;
The orioles sent for their tickets,
And will surely give us a treat.
The concert will open at sun-rise,
All the June-time sweet and fair;
There’ll be a grand full chorus,
For all the birds will be there.
The concert is free to the children,
And is held in the apple trees,
And the birds will sing in a chorus,
“O come to our concert—please!”


Only a boy with his noise and fun,
The veriest mystery under the sun;
As brimful of mischief and wit and glee,
As ever a human frame can be,
And as hard to manage as—what! ah me!
’Tis hard to tell,
Yet we love him well.
Only a boy with his fearful tread,
Who cannot be driven, must be led!
Who troubles the neighbors’ dogs and cats,
And tears more clothes and spoils more hats,
Loses more kites and tops and bats
Than would stock a store
For a week or more.
Only a boy with his wild, strange ways,
With his idle hours or his busy days,
With his queer remarks and his odd replies,
Sometimes foolish and sometimes wise,
Often brilliant for one of his size,
As a meteor hurled
From the planet world.
Only a boy, who may be a man
If nature goes on with her first great plan—
If intemperance or some fatal snare,
Conspires not to rob us of this our heir,
Our blessing, our trouble, our rest, our care,
Our torment, our joy!
“Only a boy!”



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

“He was meek,” said one boy.

“Brave,” said another.

“Learned,” added a third boy.

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

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

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


Ding-dong! ding-dong!
The bells are ringing for bed, Johnnie—
The bells are ringing for bed.
I see them swing,
I hear them ring,
And I see you nod your head.
The bells are ringing for bed, Johnnie—
They are ringing soft and slow;
And while they ring,
And while they swing,
It’s off to bed we’ll go.


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

A little girl sitting on the doorstep

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

A little girl showing off garden produce

A little boy asleep on the ground


A bright little urchin out west,
Thought going to school was a pest.
He said, “I don’t care,
I just won’t stay there,
I’ll have a good time like the rest.”
He said, “I’ll run off at recess,
They’ll never once miss me, I guess;
A fellow can’t stop
When he’s got a new top.
There’ll just be one good scholar less.”
Now the “rest” was a crowd of rough boys,
Who with rudeness and mischief and noise,
Made one afraid
To go where they played,
But their riotous play he enjoys.
So away from his lessons he ran,
This promising western young man.
They pushed him down flat,
Tore the rim off his hat,
Said, “There’s nothing so healthy as tan.”
And they did what was very much worse;
They stole his new knife and his purse.
They gave him a shake,
And they called him a “cake;”
Said, “Next time, bub, come with your nurse.”
Near sundown this urchin was found
Fast asleep on some very hard ground;
He looked tired and grieved;
He’d been so deceived,
And quite ready for home, I’ll be bound.
The primary teacher, Miss Small,
When she heard his sad fate, forgave all,
“My teacher’s a daisy!
I’m through being lazy.”
He said, “School’s not bad after all.”


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

A huge lion


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

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

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

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

A kitten asleep in a slipper


“I think, little goslings, you’d better not go.
You’re young, and the water is chilly, you know;
But when you get strong,
You can sail right along—
Go back in the sunshine, or walk in a row.”
“No, no! we will go,” said those bold little things,
Except one little dear, close to mother’s warm wings.
Out went all the rest,
On the water with zest;
They said, “We will venture, whatever it brings.”
Their mother looked out, so kind and so true,
Adown where the rushes and lily-pads grew;
They looked very gay,
As they paddled away,
With their bright, yellow backs, on the water so blue.
“Come back!” cried their mother, “come back to the land!
I fear for my dear ones some evil is planned.”
But they ventured beyond
The shore of the pond,
And laughed at her warnings, and spurned her command.
Farewell, to the goslings! their troubles are o’er;
They were pelted with stones, by boys on the shore.
Afar from the bank,
They struggled and sank,
Down deep in the water, to come up no more.
Oh, see what it cost them, to have their own way;
Their punishment came without stint or delay;
But the sweet one that stayed,
And its mother obeyed,
Lived long, and was happy for many a day.

Two boys and a dog playing a game



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


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


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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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


The clock is Swiss,
And a curious thing it is,
Set like a flower against the wall,
With a face of walnut brown
Twelve white eyes always staring out,
And long weights hanging down.
But there is more
At the top is a little close-shut door.
And when ’tis time for the hour-stroke,
And at the half-stroke too,
It opens wide of its own accord,
And, hark,—“Cuckoo, cuckoo!”
What do you see?
Why, with a trip and a courtesy,
As if to say,—“Good day, good day,”
Out steps a tiny bird!
And though no soul were near to hear
He’d pipe that same blithe word.
Through all the night,
Through dawn’s pale flush, and noon’s full light,
And even at twilight, when the dusk
Hides all the room from view,
Out of his little cabinet
He calls,—“Cuckoo, cuckoo!”
Though but a toy,
Yet might the giddiest girl or boy
Learn three most pleasant truths from it:
How patiently to wait,
How to give greeting graciously,
And never to be too late.
’Tis sweet to hear,
Though oft repeated, a word of cheer;
So this little comrade on the wall,
This bird that never flew,
Is an hourly comfort, with his call,
“Cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo!”

Mrs. Clara Doty Bates.



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

Maggie was her name, but she would call herself nothing but “Davy’s girl.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But Maggie cried, and said he hurt her.

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

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

Early Tea.

A cat pushes a pram containing another cat
Five little pussies
Sitting down to tea;
Pretty little pussies,
Happy as can be!
Three little pussies,
All in a row,
Ranged on the table,
Two down below.
Five little pussies,
Dressed all in silk,
Waiting for the sugar,
Waiting for the milk.
Dear little pussies,
If you would thrive,
Breakfast at nine o’clock,
Take tea at five.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Down from the sky, one winter day,
The snow-flakes tumbled and whirled in play.
White as a lily,
Light as a feather,
Some so chilly
Were clinging together.
Falling so softly on things below,
Covering all with beautiful snow.
Drifting about with the winds at play,
Hiding in hollows along the way,
White as a lily,
Light as a feather,
Coming so stilly
In cold winter weather.
Touching so lightly the snow-bird’s wing,
Silently covering every thing.
Every flake is a falling star,
Gently falling, who knows how far?
White as a lily,
Light as a feather,
Hosts so stilly
Are falling together.
Every star that comes fluttering down,
Falls, I know, from the Frost King’s crown.


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

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

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

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

A group of three monkeys, with others in the background



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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

The ivy, climbing upward on the tower,
In vigorous life its shapely tendrils weaves,
But, resting on the summit, forms a bower,
And sleeps, a tangled mass of shapeless leaves.
So we, while striving, climb the upward way,
And shape by enterprise our inner lives;
But when, on some low rest we idly stay,
Our purpose, losing point no longer strives.

Elliot Stock.

A woman teaches a little girl


Birds of prey squabble over a duck




“I don’t thee ath a Chineth baby lookth any differenth from any other folkth baby, do you, Perthy?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I. T.


“Once a gentle, snow-white birdie,
Came and built its nest,
In a spot you’d never dream of,—
In a baby’s breast.
Then how happy, gentle, loving,
Grew the baby, Grace;
All the smiles and all the dimples
Brightened in her face.
But a black and ugly raven
Came one morn that way;
Came and drove the gentle birdie.
From its nest away.
Ah! how frowning and unlovely
Was our Gracie then.
Until evening brought the white dove
To its nest again.
Children, this was Gracie’s raven,
This her gentle dove,—
In heart a naughty temper
Drove away the love.”

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

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

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

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

The nurse caught his hand, and said, coaxingly:

“Harry mustn’t touch. It will bite Harry.”

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

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

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

“But, ma’am, it’s a—”

“Let him have it, I say.”

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

The mother awoke again.

“Mary!” she cried, “let him have it.”

Mary turned in her seat, and said, confusedly:—“He’s got it, ma’am.”



Two little mice went out one day
Among the scented clover;
They wandered up and down the lane,
They roamed the meadow over.
“Oh, deary me!” said Mrs. Mouse,
“I wish I had a little house!”
Said Mr. Mouse,—“I know a place
Where nice sweet grass is growing;
Where corn-flowers blue, and buttercups
And poppies red, are blowing.”
“Oh, deary me!” said Mrs. Mouse,
“We’ll build us there a house.”
So, of some sweet and tender grass
They built their house together;
And had a happy time, through all
The pleasant summer weather.
“Oh, deary me!” said Mrs. Mouse,
“Who ever had so nice a house?”


Johnny had a garden plot,
And set it all in order,
But let it run to grass and weeds,
Which covered bed and border.
Two stalking sun-flowers reared their heads,
So firmly were they rooted,
And Johnny, as he looked at them,
Was any thing but suited.
Two children small, looked up and said,
Oh, Mister, beg your pardon!
Or, if you will not answer that,
Say, sonny, where’s your garden?
“What d’ye call those two large flowers?
An’ what’ll ye take, an’ sell em?
You’d better put a ladder up,
So folks our size can smell ’em.
“We heard old Mrs. Grubber say,
‘That spot ye needn’t covet;
He’d better turn it into hay,
Or make a grass-plot of it.’”
But Johnny never answered back,
But went and dug it over,
And soon again, his sprouting seeds,
He plainly could discover.
He said, “I’ll have a garden yet.
And make a little money;
I never liked those Podger twins,—
They try to be so funny.”


Billy, boy! Billy, boy!
He was his mother’s joy,
But he couldn’t shoot an arrow worth a cent;
And a rabbit almost laughed
As she watched the flying shaft,
And the place upon the target where it went.
The rabbit passing by,
So very soft and sly,
Took Billy for a hunter gaily dressed;
But when she came anear,
She said, “’Tis very clear
It’s safe enough to stay and take a rest.”
Said the rabbit, “Billy, boy,
You never will annoy
Anybody, by your shooting at a mark;
With an arrow and a bow,
I just would like to show,
I can reach the bull’s-eye nearer in the dark.”
Just then an arrow flew,
That pierced it thro’ and thro’
Which made Miss Bunny start, and jump, sky high!
She cried, “Oh, dear! Oh, dear!
It’s safer in the rear;”
And scampered off and never said,—“Good-bye.”
You see the reason why,
’Tis always best to try,
Tho’ others laugh and slander all the same;
For be it late or soon,
They’ll always change their tune,
When they see your arrow doesn’t miss its aim.



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

He’s had a good catch,” says Al.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I suppose his cooking, like Jeanie’s fishing, was just an accident.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“No, ma’am. Only it’s fried they mostly has ’em.”

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

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

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

“The cat stole it, Annie,” I said.

“Indade and she didn’t. The innocent cratur was lyin’ on my bed and the door shut.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Back cover - a boy and girl ice skating

Transcriber's Note

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The following amendments have also been made:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The gold ornamentation on the front cover was badly damaged, and has been reconstructed as accurately as possible.

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

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

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