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A Kindergarten Story Book
by Jane L. Hoxie
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A KINDERGARTEN STORY BOOK

By JANE L. HOXIE



TENTH EDITION



PUBLISHED BY

MILTON BRADLEY COMPANY

SPRINGFIELD, MASS.

NEW YORK BOSTON PHILADELPHIA

ATLANTA SAN FRANCISCO

1916



COPYRIGHT, 1966

BY MILTON BRADLEY COMPANY

SPRINGFIELD, MASS.



TO MY FATHER

whose evening story-hour is the happiest memory of my childhood this little volume is affectionately inscribed



INTRODUCTORY NOTE.

A number of the stories in this little book have been told to thousands of children in the kindergartens of Boston, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Washington, Baltimore, Pittsburg, and other cities. The delight with which they have everywhere been listened to is an assurance of their appeal to child thought and sympathy. I know no equally simple, varied, and interesting collection of stories for children between the ages of four and six; and I earnestly hope that A KINDERGARTEN STORY BOOK may rapidly win the popularity it merits.

SUSAN E. BLOW.



PREFACE.

It is the author's aim in this collection to furnish stories for the child that shall be short, simple in form and familiar in subject, that shall contain much repetition, rhythm, dramatic possibility, alliteration, and also onomatopoetical and imaginative qualities, all of which the young child craves in the literature which is presented to him. The writer has striven to avoid elaborate introductions, long and intricate descriptions, and all those characteristics from which the child instinctively turns.

The matter here presented naturally falls under three heads: first, original stories; secondly, favorite childhood stories rewritten; thirdly, adaptations of popular tales.

Nearly all of the purely original stories are based upon some of the more vital motifs to be found in the best of our fairy lore.

Of the favorite childhood stories, "Billy Bobtail" is evidently founded upon "The Bremen Town-Musicians"; and, as it is given here, it is an adaptation of a story heard frequently during the writer's childhood. It will readily be seen that "Kid Would Not Go" is only another form of "The Old Woman and Her Pig," and that "Fox Lox" is identical with the tale of "Chicken Little." "The Wee, Wee Woman" is supposedly an adaptation of the old English story of "Teeny Weeny." It is given here in the form in which it was told to the author by a friend. "The Little Long Tail" will be recognized by many as a prime favorite of their early childhood.

In the three stories from Grimm it has been the aim to simplify, to shorten, and to eliminate all objectionable qualities; as, for instance, the cruel step-mother element to be found in the original Cinderella.

The two stories from Mrs. Ewing and the adaptation of Saintine's "Picciola" have proved fascinating to the childish audiences to which they have been presented.

Simplicity of form and language makes it possible for the teacher not only to tell the stories contained in this collection, but also to read them to the children, with good effect. Some of the tales, notably the favorite childhood stories rewritten, may be placed in the hands of the children themselves, to be used in the primary grades as supplementary reading material.

This little volume is the result of several years of practical experience, and it is hoped that it will prove a valuable addition to the story repertoire of kindergartners and primary teachers.

J.L.H.



TABLE OF CONTENTS.

ORIGINAL STORIES.

DUNNY LUDWIG AND MARLEEN FROGGY'S ADVENTURE WHAT HAPPENED ON THE ROAD TO GRANDFATHER GOODFIELD'S THE LOST COMB THE TOPSY STORIES— I. The Coming of Topsy II. How Topsy Kept Warm III. How Topsy Mothered Her Neighbor's Kittens IV. Topsy's Hiding Place V. Topsy's Babies ETHEL'S FRIENDS



REWRITTEN STORIES

BILLY BOBTAIL KID WOULD NOT GO FOX LOX THE WEE, WEE WOMAN THE LITTLE LONG TAIL



ADAPTED STORIES

THE BROWNIES THE FAIRY SHOES PICCIOLA CINDERELLA THE HUT IN THE FOREST THE SLEEPING PRINCESS



DUNNY.

Once there were three children, three brothers, who played together in the sunshine about their father's door. Now the youngest of them all was not as large and strong as his brothers; and for that reason they often teased him, saying: "You are not as tall as we. You cannot run as fast. See! we can jump farther and swing higher than you." If ever they wrestled together, the youngest was the first to be thrown to the ground; and no matter what he tried to do, the others always laughed, and called out: "Oh! you are so stupid. That is not the way. Let me show you how, you dunny!" So after a while they called him nothing but Dunny.

One day a traveler, with a wonderful pony, stopped at the door of the cottage. His little animal not only could perform all manner of curious tricks, but he was the most gentle little beast in the whole world and, withal, as sleek and pretty a creature as one could wish to see.

The three brothers were wild with delight at the pony's antics, and gave their father no peace until at last he consented to buy the little animal. At first they were very happy with their new play-fellow, but soon they quarreled.

"He is my pony!" said the eldest.

"He is not!" said Dunny.

"Father bought him for me,", said the second brother, "and neither of you shall play with him at all!"

"It is not so! He is all mine!" said the first, as he caught the little beast by the rein and tried to drag him away.

But his brother snatched the bridle also. "You shall not have him!" he cried.

"Boys! boys! What does this mean?" said their father. "Why are you quarreling? The pony belongs to all three."

But the boys would not have it so; and, at last, the father said: "He shall be given to the one of you who will bring this basket to me filled full with the water of yonder pond." Now the basket was very old and full of holes, but the three brothers eagerly consented to the plan.

"You shall be the first to try your luck," said the father, placing the basket in the hands of his eldest son. As the boy walked quickly toward the pond, a little bird hopped along the path in front of him, and in a sweet voice sang:—

"Fill it with moss and fill it with clay,[*] And carry a basketful away."

[*]From an old folk tale.

The boy did not know what the bird was saying. "Out of my path, you stupid creature!" he cried, flinging a stone at it. But the little bird flew away into the forest, where he was quite safe. When at last the boy reached the pond, there sat a great green frog who croaked in a great hoarse voice:—

"Fill it with moss and fill it with clay, And carry a basketful away."

But the boy did not know what the frog was saying. "Out of my way, you ugly creature!" he cried, flinging a stone at it. The great frog jumped back into the water, where he was quite safe. The eldest boy covered the bottom of the basket with sand, thinking that that would keep the water from running out; then he filled it to the very brim. But, though he ran all the way home, not a single drop of water was left inside the basket when he reached his father.

Then it was the second son's turn. As he walked quickly toward the pond, the same little bird hopped along the path in front of him, and in the same sweet voice sang:—

"Fill it with moss and fill it with clay, And carry a basketful away."

The boy did not know what the bird was saying. "Out of my path, you stupid creature!" he cried, flinging a stone at it. But the little bird flew away into the forest, where he was quite safe. When at last the boy reached the pond, there sat the same great green frog who croaked in the same great hoarse voice:—

"Fill it with moss and fill it with clay, And carry a basketful away."

But the boy did not know what the frog was saying. "Out of my way, you ugly creature!" he cried, flinging a stone at it. The great frog jumped back into the water, where he was quite safe. The second boy covered the bottom of the basket with leaves, thinking that they would keep the water from running out; then he filled it to the very brim. But, though he too ran all the way home, not a single drop of water was left inside the basket when he reached his father.

Now, at last, it was Dunny's turn; but the two elder brothers teased him, saying, "Of what use is it for such a stupid as you to try, when we, who are so much more clever than you, have failed?"

As Dunny walked quickly toward the pond, the same little bird hopped along the path in front of him, and in the same sweet voice sang:—

"Fill it with moss and fill it with clay, And carry a basketful away."

Now Dunny was very fond of all the wild creatures of the woods and fields, and often spent long hours in their company; and he knew what the little bird was saying. And he was never happier than when playing with the frogs and fishes in the pond; so when the great green frog, in his great hoarse voice, croaked:—

"Fill it with moss and fill it with clay, And carry a basketful away."

Dunny knew what he was saying, and, gathering moss and clay from the bank of the pond, he carefully stopped all the holes and cracks in the basket. Then filling it with water to the very brim, he carried it safely home to his father and did not lose even a single drop. So the pony was given to him, and his brothers never called him Dunny again.



LUDWIG AND MARLEEN.

"Help me out! Help me out, little Ludwig!" cried a great red fox, caught fast in a trap in the woods. "Help me out, and it shall be well with you!" Now Ludwig loved the wild creatures of the forest; he was their friend and playmate, their sorrows were his own; so, stepping to the trap, he pressed the spring, and the fox was free. When, however, the poor beast tried to limp away, so great was the pain in his foot that he was forced to lie down instead. Seeing this, Ludwig ran to a spring near by and, dipping his handkerchief into the clear cool water, tenderly bound up the bruised and swollen foot.

"You have been very kind, my little friend," said the fox. "You have saved my life. If you have a wish, tell me what it is and it shall be granted."

"Oh, as to that," said Ludwig, "I wish my little pail here were full of berries, for my sister and I are very hungry." Hardly had he spoken when his pail, which before had been quite empty, became full to the very brim with great delicious strawberries. Ludwig ran swiftly home to the little brown hut where he and his sister lived quite alone on the edge of the forest.

"See, sister dear," he called, "what a fine breakfast I have brought."

"I am glad, brother," said Marleen, "for I am very hungry; but where did you find so many berries in so short a time, and such delicious ones, too?"

Then Ludwig told his sister all about the fox, and how he had wished for the berries.

"Was I not wise, dear sister, to get such a good breakfast for us with so little trouble?"

But Marleen was not satisfied, and cried:

"Foolish boy! It was no ordinary fox whose foot you pulled out of the trap. If he could fill your pail with berries, just for the asking, he could do far greater things. You should have wished for something better. Go back into the forest, find the fox, and tell him that our cupboard must be always full of food whenever we are hungry."

"Be satisfied, dear sister," said Ludwig. "We are quite happy as we are. When we are again hungry I will go and find food in the forest as I have always done before."

"No, no, I will not be satisfied!" said Marleen. "You must do as I tell you;" and she gave her brother no peace until he went again into the forest.

"How now, little brother!" said the fox, when he saw Ludwig coming toward him through the trees; "is it not well with you?"

"Alas, my sister is not satisfied with the pail of berries," said Ludwig.

"What would she, little brother?"

"That our cupboard should be always full whenever we are hungry."

"Go, little brother, it shall be as she wishes," said the fox.

Now, after this, whenever brother or sister were hungry, they found plenty of food just to their liking in the cupboard; and, as Ludwig had no longer to seek for nuts and berries in the forest, he could play all day long with his sister, and they were very happy because they were never separated. But after a time Marleen refused to play, and sat moping on the doorstone. "Why are you so troubled, sister? Come, let us play in the sunshine," said the boy.

"Why should I be happy?" said Marleen. "Why should I play? We have no toys, only ugly sticks and stones for playthings. If you will go to the fox and get a beautiful doll, then I will play."

"Be satisfied, dear sister," said Ludwig. "We are quite happy as we are."

"No, no, I will not be satisfied!" said Marleen. "You must do as I tell you;" and she gave her brother no peace until he went again into the forest.

"How now, little brother!" said the fox, when he saw Ludwig coming toward him through the trees; "is it not well with you?"

"Alas, my sister is not satisfied with the food always in the cupboard."

"What would she, little brother?"

"She would have a beautiful doll all dressed in shining silk."

"Go, little brother, it shall be as she wishes," said the fox.

Now Marleen was quite happy for a few days; but soon she grew tired of the doll and again refused to play. "I, too, must have a fine silk dress to wear," said she. "Go to the fox, brother, and get it for me."

"Be satisfied, dear sister," said Ludwig. "We are quite happy as we are. Your dress is warm and fine enough."

"No, no, I will not be satisfied!" said Marleen. "You must do as I tell you;" and she gave her brother no peace until he went again into the forest.

"How now, little brother!" said the fox, when he saw Ludwig coming toward him through the trees; "is it not well with you?"

"Alas, my sister is not satisfied with the doll."

"What would she, little brother?"

"She would have for herself a dress of shining silk."

"Go, little brother, it shall be as she wishes," said the fox.

But only for a time was Marleen content with the beautiful dress. "I will stay no longer in this smoky old hut," said she. "Go, brother, and ask the fox for a fine house to live in. He can give us one if he will."

"Be satisfied, dear sister," said Ludwig. "We are quite happy as we are."

"No, no, I will not be satisfied!" said Marleen, "You must do as I tell you;" and she gave her brother no peace until he went again into the forest.

"How now, little brother!" said the fox, when he saw Ludwig coming toward him through the trees; "is it not well with you?"

"Alas, my sister is not satisfied with the dress," said Ludwig.

"What would she, little brother?"

"A fine house in place of our poor old hut."

"Go, little brother, it shall be as she wishes," said the fox.

Soon Marleen wearied also of the stately house in which they now lived. "I am tired to death of this old doll and this empty house and this poor dress," she said. "I must have something to amuse me. Go, brother, to the fox and tell him that I must have one of every kind of toy in the whole world, and quickly, too."

"Be satisfied, dear sister," said Ludwig. "We are quite happy as we are."

"No, no, I will not be satisfied!" said Marleen. "You must do as I tell you;" and she gave her brother no peace until he went again into the forest.

"How now, little brother!" said the fox when he saw Ludwig coming toward him through the trees; "is it not well with you?"

"Alas, my sister is not satisfied with the house."

"What would she, little brother?"

"One of every kind of toy in the whole world."

"Go, little brother, it shall be as she wishes," said the fox.

Now there were so many of the toys that they filled the whole house, and it took days and days just to look at them. At last, however, Marleen had seen and touched every one, and she cried:

"These things are dull and stupid. I must have something to amuse me. Go, brother, and tell the fox that these toys are all ugly and useless; but that there is one thing that I would like above all else, one thing that would make me quite happy. Tell him I must have the great silvery ball that hangs at night above us in the sky,"

"Be satisfied, dear sister," said Ludwig. "We are quite happy as we are."

"No, no, I will not be satisfied!" said Marleen. "You must do as I tell you;" and she gave her brother no peace until he went again into the forest.

"How now, little brother!" said the fox, when he saw Ludwig coming toward him through the trees; "is it not well with you?"

"Alas, my sister is not satisfied with the toys."

"What would she, little brother?"

"That the great silvery moon that hangs high in the heavens at night should be her plaything."

Very slowly the fox answered:—

"Go, little brother, it shall NOT be as she wishes."

Now when Ludwig reached home once more, in place of the stately house, there stood their little old hut again. Marleen sat weeping in the doorway, her fine silk dress was gone, her beautiful doll was nowhere to be seen, all the lovely toys had vanished.

"Do not cry, dear sister," said Ludwig. "We are quite happy as we are. Come, let us have supper, for I am very hungry." But alas, when they went to the cupboard it was quite empty; and ever afterwards, when they were hungry, Ludwig and Marleen were forced to seek for nuts and berries in the forest. The great silvery moon still looked down upon their little hut at night; but though Ludwig sought through the whole forest, far and wide, he never saw his friend the fox again.



FROGGY'S ADVENTURE.

"Knee-deep! Knee-deep! Knee-deep!" came a shrill cry from the middle of the pond.

"Better-go-round! Better-go-round! Better-go-round!" croaked a hoarse voice from the bank.

Now all the little frogs, when they heard their mother call, turned back, and, swimming far around the deep place, got safely to the shore.

Did I say all? No, one little frog failed to hear his mother's voice and, piping in his little shrill tone: "Who's afraid! Who's afraid! Who's afraid!" he swam straight on. Suddenly one of his hind legs got tangled among the weeds at the bottom of the pond; and, though he pulled and jerked with all his little might, he could not free himself. At last, after a long struggle, he gave it up and called loudly: "Help-me-out! Help-me-out! Help-me-out!"

The other frogs heard and came swimming all about,—little and big, young and old; but when they saw poor Froggy caught fast, instead of trying to free him, they began peeping and croaking and "kerchugging," until such a noise went up from the pond as was never heard before.

The little frogs all sat around in a little circle, crying in their little shrill voices: "Oh-he'll-die! Oh-he'll-die! Oh-he'll-die!"

And the great frogs all sat around in a great circle, croaking in their great hoarse voices: "Oh-he'll-drown! Oh-he'll-drown! Oh-he'll-drown!"

"Help! Help! Help!" shrieked the little frogs in their little shrill voices.

"Help! Help! Help!" croaked the great frogs in their great hoarse voices.

The little frogs sobbed and moaned, and wiped the tears from their little bulgy eyes with their little, flat, green hands; the great frogs sobbed and moaned, and wiped the tears from their great bulgy eyes with their great, flat, green hands. Altogether they raised such a noise and commotion that every creature in the pond poked his nose from his house and came out to see what could be the matter.

At last a great, friendly fish, who, with his wife and children, was summering in a quiet corner of the pond, swam up to find what all the noise was about. When he saw poor Froggy struggling to free himself (feebly now, for his strength was nearly gone) with all his friends and relations sitting by, sobbing and moaning and croaking, but not trying to help him out at all, the fish flew into a terrible rage, and, lashing the water all around into a white foam with his great tail, he cried:

"Pull him out! Pull him out!"

But the little frogs only wiped the tears from their little bulgy eyes with their little, flat, green hands and went on with their piping: "Oh-he'll-die! Oh-he'll-die! Oh-he'll-die!"

The great frogs only wiped the tears from their great bulgy eyes with their great, flat, green hands and went on with their croaking: "Oh-he'll-drown! Oh-he'll-drown! Oh-he'll-drown!"

"You stupids!" cried the great fish; and, pushing the little frogs and the big frogs all to the right and left with his huge body, he swam to little drowning Froggy, seized the poor little fellow in his big mouth and carried him safely to his home by the shore. There the great fish left Froggy, to be cuddled by his silly brothers and to be crooned over by his good but stupid mother.



WHAT HAPPENED ON THE ROAD TO GRANDFATHER GOODFIELD'S.

"Oh, I wonder, I wonder, I wonder," said Alice, as she trudged along the dusty road, a bright tin pail held tightly in her hand. "Why do you wonder, little maid?" said a deep, deep voice. On looking up, Alice saw close beside her a great tawny lion. At first she was afraid, but the great beast looking kindly upon her, placed his great paw softly on her arm and once more said, "why do you wonder, Alice?"

"Ah!" cried the girl crossly, "I wonder what is in this pail. Mamma has promised me a pretty red sash if I do but carry it safely to Grandfather Goodfield, who lives under the hill by the great dark forest yonder, but oh! it has grown so heavy, and my feet have grown so tired. I must go quickly and I must not even peep inside. Just listen! such a funny noise." Alice held the pail close to the great lion's ear,—"Buzz z z z z z z" came a muffled sound. "Oh, I wonder what can be inside!" she said.

"Do not wonder, little maid," said the great lion, "but hurry thy little feet as thy mother hath bidden thee, else the sun will be in his bed ere thy journey be ended, and thy little bed will be empty and thy mother's heart will be heavy with watching."

So Alice hastened on. Soon again her little feet were lagging; and once more her eyes turned curiously upon the pail she carried and again she said, "Oh, I wonder, I wonder, I wonder." "Why do you wonder, little maid?" said a deep, gruff voice. On looking up once more Alice saw close beside her, not her friend the tawny lion, but a shaggy black bear. At first she was afraid; but the great beast, looking kindly upon her, placed his great paw softly on her arm and once more said, "Why do you wonder, Alice?"

"Ah!" cried the girl crossly, "I wonder what is in this pail. Mamma has promised me a pretty red sash if I do but carry it safely to Grandfather Goodfield, who lives under the hill by the great dark forest yonder, but oh! it has grown so heavy, and my feet have grown so tired. I must go quickly, and I must not even peep inside. Just listen! such a funny noise." Alice held the pail close to the great bear's ear,—"Buzz z z z z z z z" came a muffled sound. "Oh, I wonder what can be inside!" she said.

"Do not wonder, little maid," said the great bear, "but hurry thy little feet as thy mother hath bidden thee, else the sun will be in his bed ere thy journey be ended, and thy little bed will be empty and thy mother's heart will be heavy with watching."

So Alice hastened on. Soon again her feet were lagging and once more her eyes turned curiously upon the pail she carried and again she said, "Oh, I wonder, I wonder, I wonder." "Why do you wonder, little maid?" said a harsh strong voice. On looking up, Alice saw close beside her, not her friend the shaggy bear, but a gaunt gray wolf. At first she was afraid, but the great beast, looking kindly upon her, placed his great paw softly on her arm and once more said, "Why do you wonder, Alice?"

"Ah!" cried the girl crossly, "I wonder what is in this pail. Mamma has promised me a pretty red sash if I do but carry it safely to Grandfather Goodfield, who lives under the hill by the great dark forest yonder, but oh! it has grown so heavy and my feet have grown so tired. I must go quickly and I must not even peep inside. Just listen! such a funny noise." Alice held the pail close to the great wolf's ear,—"Buzz z z z z z z z" came a muffled sound. "Oh, I wonder what can be inside!" she said.

"Do not wonder, little maid," said the great wolf, "but hurry thy little feet as thy mother hath bidden thee, else the sun will be in his bed ere thy journey be ended, and thy little bed will be empty and thy mother's heart will be heavy with watching."

So Alice hastened on. Soon again her feet were lagging and once more her eyes turned curiously upon the pail she carried and again she said, "Oh, I wonder, I wonder, I wonder." "Why do you wonder, little maid?" said a sweet soft voice. On looking up, Alice saw close beside her, not her friend the gaunt gray wolf, but a little child like herself. The boy placed his hand softly upon her arm; and with his great dark eyes looking straight into her own he said, "Why do you wonder, Alice?"

"Ah!" cried the girl crossly, "I wonder what is in this pail. Mamma has promised me a pretty red sash if I do but carry it safely to Grandfather Goodfield, who lives under the hill by the great dark forest yonder, but oh! it has grown so heavy and my feet have grown so tired. I must go quickly and I must not even peep inside. Just listen! such a funny noise." Alice held the pail close to the boy's ear,—"Buzz-z z z z z z z" came a muffled sound. "Oh, I wonder what can be inside!" she said.

"Do not wonder but let us look and see," said the boy. "No! no!" cried Alice. "My mother has forbidden it." "She will never know," said the boy. "Only one little peep. Surely it can do no harm. See, I will raise the cover for you." "No! no!" said Alice and, tightly clasping the pail, she started again upon her journey.

"You are so tired," called the boy running after, "do but stop and rest awhile. See, your feet are really bleeding from the sharp stones you have traveled over. Look, what a soft green bank yonder under the shade of that great tree. Do but sit down upon it for a moment. You will be able to go on all the faster after a quiet rest, then I will go with you."

Now Alice was really very tired indeed; and the bank with its cool shade looked so tempting that at last she seated herself upon it, letting her feet sink deep into its mossy side. She clasped the precious pail tightly in her hands, but the noise inside grew louder, and now it had an angry sound. "Oh, I wonder what it can be!" said Alice.

"Do let me take the pail for a moment," said the boy drawing it gently from her hand. "Now I will peep inside. What harm can it do? See, I will lift the cover ever so gently." He put his eye to the crack, when suddenly the cover slipped from his hand and rolled away upon the bank. A great swarm of angry, buzzing creatures flew into his face. He struck at them with his hands, but it was of no use. They stung and stung him. "Alice! Alice!" he cried, "oh, I am stung! I am stung!" The girl sprang quickly to help him but the angry bees flew at her also and stung her tender hands and face until she cried out with the pain. "Oh, what have we done! What have we done!" and, snatching the cover, Alice tried to place it upon the pail again—but too late, for not a single bee was left inside. For a little time the air was filled with angry buzzing, but soon the bees flew far away into the wood and Alice and her friend were left alone.

Smarting with pain the girl turned toward her home. Her little feet moved wearily, and the empty pail hung loosely on her arm. That night she cried herself to sleep in mother's arms, but the pretty red sash was never worn by Alice, except sometimes in her dreams.



THE LOST COMB.

One day while Lesa was picking flowers in the wood the beautiful golden comb that she always wore fell out of her hair and was lost. She searched and she searched, but she could not find it. At last she began to cry, and she cried and she cried.

Just then along came Rollicking Robin.

"Oh, do help me, Rollicking Robin!" sobbed Lesa. "I have lost my comb, my golden comb. What shall I do? My mother will fret, my father will scold, my little sister will cry, and some harm will surely come to me if I do not find it."

"Cheer up, cheer up, cheer up! I'll go seek it." sang Rollicking Robin, "I will find your golden comb, have no fear."

So he looked and he looked and he looked, but no comb could he find.

Just then along came Busy Bee.

"Oh, do help me, Busy Bee!" sobbed Lesa. "I have lost my comb, my golden comb. What shall I do? My mother will fret, my father will scold, my little sister will cry, and some harm will surely come to me if I do not find it."

"Buzz, buzz, buzz! I'll go seek it," hummed Busy Bee. "I will find your golden comb, have no fear."

So she looked and she looked and she looked, but no comb could she find.

Just then along came Fleet-footed Field Mouse.

"Oh, do help me, Fleet-footed Field Mouse!" sobbed Lesa. "I have lost my comb, my golden comb. What shall I do? My mother will fret, my father will scold, my little sister will cry, and some harm will surely come to me if I do not find it."

"Eep, eep, eep! I'll go seek it," squeaked Fleet-footed Field Mouse. "I will find your golden comb, have no fear."

So he looked and he looked and he looked, but no comb could he find.

Just then along came Chirping Cricket.

"Oh, do help me, Chirping Cricket!" sobbed Lesa. "I have lost my comb, my golden comb. What shall I do? My mother will fret, my father will scold, my little sister will cry, and some harm will surely come to me if I do not find it."

"Chirp, chirp, chirp! I'll go seek it," piped Chirping Cricket. "I will find your golden comb, have no fear."

So he looked and he looked and he looked, but no comb could he find.

Just then along came Gliding Brown Snake.

"Oh, do help me, Gliding Brown Snake!" sobbed Lesa. "I have lost my comb, my golden comb. What shall I do? My mother will fret, my father will scold, my little sister will cry, and some harm will surely come to me if I do not find it."

"Sssssssss! I'll go seek it," hissed Gliding Brown Snake. "I will find your golden comb, have no fear."

So he looked and he looked and he looked, but no comb could he find.

Just then along came Cunning Black Ant.

"Oh, do help me, Cunning Black Ant!" sobbed Lesa. "I have lost my comb, my golden comb. What shall I do? My mother will fret, my father will scold, my little sister will cry, and some harm will surely come to me if I do not find it."

"I'll go seek it," said Cunning Black Ant. "I will find your golden comb, have no fear."

So she looked and she looked and she looked, but no comb could she find.

Just then along came Flitting Butterfly.

"Oh, do help me, Flitting Butterfly!" sobbed Lesa. "I have lost my comb, my golden comb. What shall I do? My mother will fret, my father will scold, my little sister will cry, and some harm will surely come to me if I do not find it."

"I'll go seek it," said Flitting Butterfly. "I will find your golden comb, have no fear."

So she looked and she looked and she looked, but no comb could she find.

Just then along came Wrinkled Brown Toad.

"Oo-o-o-o! You ugly thing! Out of my sight!" cried Lesa. "I have trouble enough without you! I have lost my comb, my golden comb! No one can find it! Oh, what shall I do?"

"I'll go seek it," croaked Wrinkled Brown Toad. "I will find your golden comb, have no fear."

"You find my comb!" cried Lesa. "If Rollicking Robin and Busy Bee and Fleet-footed Field Mouse and Chirping Cricket and Gliding Brown Snake and Cunning Black Ant and Flitting Butterfly cannot help me, how can such a stupid, ugly, hobbling thing as you find my golden comb? Be off! Get out of my sight!"

Poor Wrinkled Brown Toad hopped away and Lesa was left alone. "Oh, what shall I do? What shall I do?" she cried. "Oh, my comb, my golden comb! Some harm will surely come to me if I do not find it!" And, throwing herself upon the ground, Lesa sobbed as if her heart would break.

For a long time this forlorn little girl lay with her face buried in the moss and leaves. Suddenly she heard a strange noise behind her. She sprang to her feet and, turning, saw coming toward her with great flying leaps—whom do you suppose? Yes, it was Wrinkled Brown Toad again. And what do you suppose he held in his ugly jaws? Yes, it was Lesa's golden comb.

"Oh, there it is! There it is! Oh, I'm so glad, so glad!" cried Lesa. "Oh, thank you! Thank you! Where did you find it? I'm sorry I was cross! I'm sorry I called you stupid and ugly and hobbling! You have bright eyes. I did not notice them before. Yes, they are really beautiful, all golden like my comb."

And Lesa bent and stroked Wrinkled Brown Toad on his ugly head; and, ever after that, they were friends.



BILLY BOBTAIL.

Once upon a time a little boy named Billy Bobtail went to seek his fortune; and on the road he met a bull.

"Moo, moo, moo!" said the bull. "Where are you going, Billy Bobtail?"

"Oh, I'm going to seek my fortune!" said Billy Bobtail.

"May I go, too?" said the bull.

"No," said Billy Bobtail.

"Yes, I will," said the bull.

"Well, then, come along," said Billy Bobtail.

So the bull followed on after Billy Bobtail.

They went along a little way farther, and met a goat.

"Baa, baa, baa!" said the goat. "Where are you going, Billy Bobtail?"

"Oh, I'm going to seek my fortune!" said Billy Bobtail.

"May I go, too?" said the goat.

"No," said Billy Bobtail.

"Yes, I will," said the goat.

"Well, then, come along," said Billy Bobtail.

So the goat followed on after Billy Bobtail.

They went along a little way farther and met a sheep.

"Maa, maa, maa!" said the sheep. "Where are you going, Billy Bobtail?"

"Oh, I'm going to seek my fortune!" said Billy Bobtail.

"May I go, too?" said the sheep.

"No," said Billy Bobtail.

"Yes, I will," said the sheep.

"Well, then, come along," said Billy Bobtail.

So the sheep followed on after Billy Bobtail.

They went along a little way farther and met a pig.

"Wee, wee, wee!" said the pig. "Where are you going, Billy Bobtail?"

"Oh, I'm going to seek my fortune!" said Billy Bobtail.

"May I go, too?" said the pig.

"No," said Billy Bobtail.

"Yes, I will," said the pig.

"Well, then, come along," said Billy Bobtail.

So the pig followed on after Billy Bobtail.

They went along a little way farther and met a dog.

"Bow, wow, wow!" said the dog. "Where are you going, Billy Bobtail?"

"Oh, I'm going to seek my fortune!" said Billy Bobtail.

"May I go, too?" said the dog.

"No," said Billy Bobtail.

"Yes, I will," said the dog.

"Well, then, come along," said Billy Bobtail.

So the dog followed on after Billy Bobtail.

They went along a little way farther and met a cat.

"Meow, meow, meow!" said the cat. "Where are you going, Billy Bobtail?"

"Oh, I'm going to seek my fortune!" said Billy Bobtail.

"May I go, too?" said the cat.

"No," said Billy Bobtail.

"Yes, I will," said the cat.

"Well, then, come along," said Billy Bobtail.

So the cat followed on after Billy Bobtail.

They went along a little way farther and met a turkey.

"Gobble, gobble, gobble!" said the turkey. "Where are you going, Billy Bobtail?"

"Oh, I'm going to seek my fortune!" said Billy Bobtail.

"May I go, too?" said the turkey.

"No," said Billy Bobtail.

"Yes, I will," said the turkey.

"Well, then, come along," said Billy Bobtail.

So the turkey followed on after Billy Bobtail.

They went along a little way farther and met a rooster.

"Cock-a-doodle-doo!" said the rooster. "Where are you going, Billy Bobtail?"

"Oh, I'm going to seek my fortune!" said Billy Bobtail.

"May I go, too?" said the rooster.

"No," said Billy Bobtail.

"Yes, I will," said the rooster.

"Well, then, come along," said Billy Bobtail.

So the rooster followed on after Billy Bobtail.

They went along a little way farther and met a hen.

"Cut-cut-cut-cut-ka-dat-cut!" said the hen. "Where are you going, Billy Bobtail?"

"Oh, I'm going to seek my fortune!" said Billy Bobtail.

"May I go, too?" said the hen.

"No," said Billy Bobtail.

"Yes, I will," said the hen.

"Well, then, come along," said Billy Bobtail.

So the hen followed on after Billy Bobtail. And there they were,—first Billy Bobtail and then the bull and then the goat and then the sheep and then the pig and then the dog and then the cat and then the turkey and then the rooster and then the hen,—all following on after Billy Bobtail. On and on they walked. All day long they traveled; and, just as it began to grow dark, they came to a deep, deep wood. It looked so dark that Billy Bobtail almost felt afraid. "Never mind!" said he, "if anything tries to hurt us, I can whistle and throw stones."

"And I can bellow and hook," said the bull.

"And I can butt and bleat," said the goat.

"And I can butt and bleat," said the sheep.

"And I can squeal and bite," said the pig.

"And I can bark and bite," said the dog.

"And I can mew and scratch," said the cat.

"And I can gobble," said the turkey.

"And I can crow," said the rooster.

"And I can cackle," said the hen.

"Very well," said Billy Bobtail; "I think we shall be quite safe."

So on they went through the wood; but suddenly they heard a crashing and trampling in the underbrush and then a savage growl, as of some great wild creature about to rush upon them.

Billy Bobtail began to whistle and throw stones.

The bull began to bellow.

The goat began to bleat.

The sheep began to bleat.

The pig began to squeal.

The dog began to bark.

The cat began to mew.

The turkey began to gobble.

The rooster began to crow.

The hen began to cackle.

And they all made such a noise that the creature, whoever he was, was so frightened that he ran away as fast as his legs could carry him, never even once stopping to look back.

Soon Billy Bobtail and his friends came to a clearing—a place in the wood where the trees had all been cut away. Right in the middle of this clearing stood a little house.

"What a fine place for us to stay in all night," said Billy Bobtail, for it was now almost dark.

"But suppose the people are not friendly?" said the bull, thinking of the savage creature that they had just frightened away.

"I will go and peep in at the window and find out," said the cat. "I can walk softly on my four cushions, and with my green eyes I can see in the dark."

So the cat crept to the window of the little house, and peeped in. Soon she came back and said, "There is no one at home, and it does not look as if anyone had lived here for a long, long time."

When Billy Bobtail and his friends went inside the little house they found it very comfortable.

"Hurrah! I shall sleep in the bed," said Billy Bobtail.

"Bow, wow, wow! I shall sleep under the bed," said the dog, "and guard my master."

"Wee, wee!" said the pig, "I shall sleep in the oven where it is nice and warm."

"Gobble, gobble, gobble!" "Cock-a-doodle-doo!" "Cut-cut-cut-cut-ka-dat-cut!" cried the turkey, the rooster, and the hen all together, "we shall roost high up on the mantelshelf."

"Baa!" said the goat, "I shall sleep on the front doorstone and keep guard."

"Maa, maa! I shall sleep just inside the front door and help to keep guard," said the sheep.

"Moo, moo, moo!" called the bull, "the wood shed is the place for me."

"Meow, meow, meow!" cried the cat, "I do not care about sleeping in the night. I shall keep watch that no harm comes nigh."

They had a good night's rest. When morning came and Billy Bobtail saw what a cozy house it was and that there was a fine garden too, he said, "This is my fortune. I'm not going any farther to seek it!"

So Billy Bobtail and his friends lived safely in the little house in the clearing for many years, and were very, very happy.



KID WOULD NOT GO.

One day as I was going across London Bridge I found a penny and bought a kid. Kid would not go.

"See, by the moonlight, it is almost midnight. Time kid and I were home an hour and a half ago."

I went along a little farther and met a staff.

"Staff, staff, beat kid! Kid will not go. See, by the moonlight, it is almost midnight. Time kid and I were home an hour and a half ago."

But the staff would not.

I went along a little way farther and met a hatchet.

"Hatchet, hatchet, hack staff! Staff will not beat kid. Kid will not go. See, by the moonlight, it is almost midnight. Time kid and I were home an hour and a half ago."

But the hatchet would not.

I went along a little way farther and met some fire.

"Fire, fire, burn hatchet! Hatchet will not hack staff. Staff will not beat kid. Kid will not go. See, by the moonlight, it is almost midnight. Time kid and I were home an hour and a half ago."

But the fire would not.

I went along a little way farther and met some water.

"Water, water, quench fire! Fire will not burn hatchet. Hatchet will not hack staff. Staff will not beat kid. Kid will not go. See, by the moonlight, it is almost midnight. Time kid and I were home an hour and a half ago."

But the water would not.

I went along a little way farther and met an ox.

"Ox, ox, drink water! Water will not quench fire. Fire will not burn hatchet. Hatchet will not hack staff. Staff will not beat kid. Kid will not go. See, by the moonlight, it is almost midnight. Time kid and I were home an hour and a half ago."

But the ox would not.

I went along a little way farther and met a rope.

"Rope, rope, hang ox! Ox will not drink water. Water will not quench fire. Fire will not burn hatchet. Hatchet will not hack staff. Staff will not beat kid. Kid will not go. See, by the moonlight, it is almost midnight. Time kid and I were home an hour and a half ago."

But the rope would not.

I went along a little way farther and met some grease.

"Grease, grease, grease rope! Rope will not hang ox. Ox will not drink water. Water will not quench fire. Fire will not burn hatchet. Hatchet will not hack staff. Staff will not beat kid. Kid will not go. See, by the moonlight, it is almost midnight, Time kid and I were home an hour and a half ago."

But the grease would not.

I went along a little way farther and met a rat.

"Rat, rat, gnaw grease! Grease will not grease rope. Rope will not hang ox. Ox will not drink water. Water will not quench fire. Fire will not burn hatchet. Hatchet will not hack staff. Staff will not beat kid. Kid will not go. See, by the moonlight, it is almost midnight. Time kid and I were home an hour and a half ago."

But the rat would not.

I went along a little way farther and met a cat.

"Cat, cat, catch rat! Rat will not gnaw grease. Grease will not grease rope. Rope will not hang ox. Ox will not drink water. Water will not quench fire. Fire will not burn hatchet. Hatchet will not hack staff. Staff will not beat kid. Kid will not go. See, by the moonlight, it is almost midnight. Time kid and I were home an hour and a half ago."

But the cat would not.

I went along a little way farther and met a dog.

"Dog, dog, bite cat! Cat will not catch rat. Rat will not gnaw grease. Grease will not grease rope. Rope will not hang ox. Ox will not drink water. Water will not quench fire. Fire will not burn hatchet. Hatchet will not hack staff. Staff will not beat kid. Kid will not go. See, by the moonlight, it is almost midnight. Time kid and I were home an hour and a half ago."

The dog began to bite the cat. The cat began to catch the rat. The rat began to gnaw the grease. The grease began to grease the rope. The rope began to hang the ox. The ox began to drink the water. The water began to quench the fire. The fire began to burn the hatchet. The hatchet began to hack the staff. The staff began to beat the kid. The kid began to go. "See, by the moonlight, it is almost midnight. Kid and I got home an hour and a half ago."



FOX LOX.

Once upon a time hungry Fox Lox was prowling about under a great tree on the hillside, when a chestnut burr fell thump upon his head. "Ah!" said cunning Fox Lox, "by this I will get a fine dinner." Just then along came Chicker Ricker.

"Oh, run down hill with me where you will be quite safe, Chicker Ricker," cried Fox Lox, "for the sky is surely tumbling down!"

"Who told you, Fox Lox?"

"Oh, I heard it and I felt it and it came thump upon my crown!"

"Then I will run down hill with you," cried Chicker Ricker.

So they ran and they ran and they ran. Soon they met Hen Ren.

"The sky is tumbling down, Hen Ren!" cried Chicker Ricker.

"Who told you, Chicker Ricker?"

"Oh, Fox Lox!"

"Who told you, Fox Lox?"

"Oh, I heard it and I felt it and it came thump upon my crown! Run down hill with me where you will be quite safe," said Fox Lox.

"That I will!" cried Hen Ren.

So they ran and they ran and they ran. Soon they met Cock Lock.

"The sky is tumbling down, Cock Lock!" cried Hen Ren.

"Who told you, Hen Ren?"

"Oh, Chicker Ricker!"

"Who told you, Chicker Ricker?"

"Oh, Fox Lox!"

"Who told you, Fox Lox?"

"Oh, I heard it and I felt it and it came thump upon my crown! Run down hill with me where you will be quite safe," said Fox Lox.

"That I will!" cried Cock Lock.

So they ran and they ran and they ran. Soon they met Duck Luck.

"The sky is tumbling down, Duck Luck!" cried Cock Lock.

"Who told you, Cock Lock?"

"Oh, Hen Ren!"

"Who told you, Hen Ren?"

"Oh, Chicker Ricker!"

"Who told you, Chicker Ricker?"

"Oh, Fox Lox!"

"Who told you, Fox Lox?"

"Oh, I heard it and I felt it and it came thump upon my crown! Run down hill with me where you will be quite safe," said Fox Lox.

"That I will!" cried Duck Luck.

So they ran and they ran and they ran. Soon they met Drake Lake.

"The sky is tumbling down, Drake Lake!" cried Duck Luck.

"Who told you, Duck Luck?"

"Oh, Cock Lock!"

"Who told you, Cock Lock?"

"Oh, Hen Ren!"

"Who told you, Hen Ren?"

"Oh, Chicker Ricker!"

"Who told you, Chicker Ricker?"

"Oh, Fox Lox!"

"Who told you, Fox Lox?"

"Oh, I heard it and I felt it and it came thump upon my crown! Run down hill with me where you will be quite safe," said Fox Lox.

"That I will!" cried Drake Lake.

So they ran and they ran and they ran. Soon they met Goose Loose.

"The sky is tumbling down, Goose Loose!" cried Drake Lake.

"Who told you, Drake Lake?"

"Oh, Duck Luck!"

"Who told you, Duck Luck?"

"Oh, Cock Lock!"

"Who told you, Cock Lock?"

"Oh, Hen Ren!"

"Who told you, Hen Ren?"

"Oh, Chicker Ricker!"

"Who told you, Chicker Ricker?"

"Oh, Fox Lox!"

"Who told you, Fox Lox?"

"Oh, I heard it and I felt it and it came thump upon my crown! Run down hill with me where you will be quite safe," said Fox Lox.

"That I will!" cried Goose Loose.

So they ran and they ran and they ran. Soon they met Gander Lander.

"The sky is tumbling down, Gander Lander!" cried Goose Loose.

"Who told you, Goose Loose?"

"Oh, Drake Lake!"

"Who told you, Drake Lake?"

"Oh, Duck Luck!"

"Who told you, Duck Luck?"

"Oh, Cock Lock!"

"Who told you, Cock Lock?"

"Oh, Hen Ren!"

"Who told you, Hen Ren?"

"Oh, Chicker Ricker!"

"Who told you, Chicker Ricker?"

"Oh, Fox Lox!"

"Who told you, Fox Lox?"

"Oh, I heard it and I felt it and it came thump upon my crown! Run down hill with me where you will be quite safe," said Fox Lox.

"That I will!" cried Gander Lander.

So they ran and they ran and they ran. Soon they met Turk Lurk.

"The sky is tumbling down, Turk Lurk!" cried Gander Lander.

"Who told you, Gander Lander?"

"Oh, Goose Loose!"

"Who told you, Goose Loose?"

"Oh, Drake Lake!"

"Who told you, Drake Lake?"

"Oh, Duck Luck!"

"Who told you, Duck Luck?"

"Oh, Cock Lock!"

"Who told you, Cock Lock?"

"Oh, Hen Ren!"

"Who told you, Hen Ren?"

"Oh, Chicker Ricker!"

"Who told you, Chicker Ricker?"

"Oh, Fox Lox!"

"Who told you, Fox Lox?"

"Oh, I heard it and I felt it and it came thump upon my crown! Run down hill with me where you will be quite safe," said Fox Lox.

"That I will!" cried Turk Lurk.

So they ran and they ran and they ran. Soon they met Dove Love.

"The sky is tumbling down, Dove Love!" cried Turk Lurk.

"Who told you, Turk Lurk?"

"Oh, Gander Lander!"

"Who told you, Gander Lander?"

"Oh, Goose Loose!"

"Who told you, Goose Loose?"

"Oh, Drake Lake!"

"Who told you, Drake Lake?"

"Oh, Duck Luck!"

"Who told you, Duck Luck?"

"Oh, Cock Lock!"

"Who told you, Cock Lock?"

"Oh, Hen Ren!"

"Who told you, Hen Ren?"

"Oh, Chicker Ricker!"

"Who told you, Chicker Ricker?"

"Oh, Fox Lox!"

"Who told you, Fox Lox?"

"Oh, I heard it and I felt it and it came thump upon my crown! Run down hill with me where you will be quite safe," said Fox Lox.

"That I will!" cried Dove Love.

So they ran and they ran and they ran; and when Chicker Ricker and Hen Ren and Cock Lock and Duck Luck and Drake Lake and Goose Loose and Gander Lander and Turk Lurk and Dove Love reached the bottom of the hill, they were going so fast that they could not stop and they ran straight into Fox Lox's hole.

"Now I have you! Now I have you!" cried Fox Lox. And he gobbled them all up.



THE WEE, WEE WOMAN.

Once upon a time there was a wee, wee woman who lived all alone in a wee, wee house.

One night this wee, wee woman lighted her wee, wee candle, crept softly up her wee, wee stairs, got into her wee, wee bed, and fell fast asleep. Soon this wee, wee woman was awakened by a noise. She jumped out of her wee, wee bed, lighted her wee, wee candle and looked behind her wee, wee door, but there was nothing there. Then she looked under her wee, wee bed, but there was nothing there.

So this wee, wee woman took her wee, wee candle in her wee, wee hand, crept softly down her wee, wee stairs and, when she reached the room below, she looked under her wee, wee chair, but there was nothing there. Then she looked into her wee, wee cupboard, but there was nothing there. Then she looked behind her wee, wee stove, but there was nothing there. Then she looked under her wee, wee table, but there was nothing there.

So this wee, wee woman took her wee, wee candle in her wee, wee hand, crept softly up her wee, wee stairs, got into her wee, wee bed and fell fast asleep. Soon this wee, wee woman was awakened by a noise. She jumped out of her wee, wee bed, lighted her wee, wee candle and looked behind, her wee, wee door, but there was nothing there. Then she looked under her wee, wee bed, but there was nothing there.

So this wee, wee woman took her wee, wee candle in her wee, wee hand, crept softly down her wee, wee stairs, and, when she reached the room below, she looked under her wee, wee chair, but there was nothing there. Then she looked into her wee, wee cupboard, but there was nothing there. Then she looked behind her wee, wee stove, but there was nothing there. Then she looked under her wee, wee table, but there was nothing there.

So this wee, wee woman took her wee, wee candle in her wee, wee hand, crept softly up her wee, wee stairs, got into her wee, wee bed and fell fast asleep. Soon this wee, wee woman was awakened by a noise. She jumped out of her wee, wee bed, lighted her wee, wee candle and looked behind her wee, wee door, but there was nothing there. Then she looked under her wee, wee bed, but there was nothing there.

So this wee, wee woman took her wee, wee candle in her wee, wee hand, crept softly down her wee, wee stairs, and, when she reached the room below, she looked under her wee, wee chair, but there was nothing there. Then she looked into her wee, wee cupboard, but there was nothing there. Then she looked behind her wee, wee stove, but there was nothing there. Then she looked under her wee, wee table and out jumped—BOO!!!



THE LITTLE LONG TAIL.

As a cat and a mouse ran over a rail The cat bit off the mouse's tail.

The little mouse cried, "Cat, Cat, give back my little long tail again!"

"That I will if you'll give me milk!" said Cat.

The little mouse ran to Cow and cried, "Cow, Cow, give me milk, that I may give Cat milk, that Cat may give back my little long tail again!"

"That I will if you'll give me hay!" said Cow.

The little mouse ran to Barn and cried, "Barn, Barn, give me hay, that I may give Cow hay, that Cow may give me milk, that I may give Cat milk, that Cat may give back my little long tail again!"

"That I will if you'll give me key!" said Barn.

The little mouse ran to Smith and cried, "Smith, Smith, give me key, that I may give Barn key, that Barn may give me hay, that I may give Cow hay, that Cow may give me milk, that I may give Cat milk, that Cat may give back my little long tail again!"

"That I will if you'll give me coal!" said Smith.

The little mouse ran to Miner and cried, "Miner, Miner, give me coal, that I may give Smith coal, that Smith may give me key, that I may give Barn key, that Barn may give me hay, that I may give Cow hay, that Cow may give me milk, that I may give Cat milk, that Cat may give back my little long tail again!"

"That I will!" cried Miner, and he gave the mouse coal. The mouse gave Smith coal and Smith gave him key. The mouse gave Barn key and Barn gave him hay. The mouse gave Cow hay and Cow gave him milk. The mouse gave Cat milk and Cat gave back his little long tail again.



THE BROWNIES.

ADAPTED FROM MRS. EWING.

Such wonderful stories as grandmother told Johnnie and Tommy! Stories of ghosts and hob-goblins, of dwarfs and fairies; and once she told them about a brownie that was said to have lived in their own family, long ago,—a brownie who did all manner of wonderful and useful things. He was a little fellow no larger than Tommy, she said, but very active and very shy. He slept by the kitchen fire, and no one ever saw him; but, early in the morning, when all the family were in their beds, this brownie would get up, sweep the room, build the fire, spread the table, milk the cow, churn the cream, bring the water, scrub and dust, until there was not a speck of dirt anywhere to be seen.

The children liked this story very much, and oh! how they did wish such a brownie would come to live in their house now! Over and over again they said: "Was there really and truly a brownie, grandmother, and did he really help all the people as you say? How we wish he would come back again! Why, he could mind the baby and tidy the room and bring in the wood and wait on you, grandmother! Can't we do something to get him back again?"

"I don't know, my dears," said the grandmother; "but they used to say, in my young days, that if one set a bowl of bread and milk or even a pan of clear water for him over night he would be sure to come, and would do all the work just for that."

"Oh! let us try it!" said both the boys; and one ran to get a pan, and the other to fetch fresh water from the well, for they knew, poor hungry lads, that there was no bread or milk in the house. Their father, who was a poor tailor, could scarcely earn money enough to buy food for them all. His wife had died when the baby was born and he could not make as many coats as before, for he must now do all the work of the house. Johnnie and Tommy were idle and lazy and too thoughtless to help their father, although they were fine grown lads of five and seven.

One night Tommy had a wonderful dream. He thought he went down in the meadow by the old mill pond, and there he saw an owl who shook her feathers, rolled her great eyes, and called: "Tuwhit, tuwhoo! Tuwhoo, whoo-o-o-o! Tommy, what are you doing way down here this time of night?"

"Please, I came to find the brownies," said Tommy; "can you tell me where they live, ma'am?"

"Tuwhoo, tuwhoo!" screamed the old owl; "so it's the brownies you are after, is it? Tuwhoo, tuwhoo! Go look in the mill pond. Tuwhoo, tuwhoo! Go look in the water at midnight, and you'll see one. By the light of the moon a brownie you'll see, to be sure, but such a lazy one! Tuwhoo, tuwhoo!" screamed the old owl; and, flapping her wings, she went sailing away in the moonlight.

"The mill pond, at midnight, by moonlight," thought Tommy. What could the old owl mean? It was midnight then, and moonlight, too; and there he was right down by the water. "Silly old thing," said Tommy, "brownies don't live in the water." But for all that Tommy went to the bank and peeped in. The moon was shining as bright as day; and what do you suppose he saw? Why, just a picture of himself in the water, and that was all. "Humph! I'm no brownie," said he to himself; but the longer he looked the harder he thought. At last he said:

"Am I a brownie? Perhaps I am one, after all. Grandmother said they are about as large as I, and the old owl said that I would see a very lazy one if I looked in the water. Am I lazy? That must be what she meant. I am the brownie myself." The longer he thought about it the surer he was that he must be a brownie. "Why," he said, "if I am one, Johnnie must be another; then there are two of us. I'll go home and tell Johnnie all about it."

Off he ran as fast as his legs could carry him, and just as he was calling, "Johnnie, Johnnie! We are brownies! The old owl told me!" he found himself wide awake, sitting up in bed, rubbing his eyes, while Johnnie lay fast asleep by his side. The first faint rays of morning light were just creeping in at their chamber window. "Johnnie, Johnnie, wake up! I have something to tell you!"

After telling his brother all about his strange dream, Tommy said: "Let us play we really are brownies, John, even if we are not; it will be such fun for once to surprise father and grandmother. We will keep out of sight and tell about it afterwards. Oh, do come! It will be such fun!"

So these two brownies put on their clothes in a great hurry and crept softly down to the kitchen, where at first there seemed enough work for a dozen brownies to do. Tommy built up a blazing fire, and, while the kettle was boiling, swept the untidy floor, while Johnnie dusted, placed his grandmother's chair, got the cradle ready for the baby and spread the table. Just as everything was in order they heard their father's footstep on the stairs. "Run!" whispered Tommy, "or he will see us." So the boys scampered away to their bed in the loft and pretended to be fast asleep when their father called them to breakfast.

The poor tailor was fairly beside himself with delight and astonishment, and believed that the brownie he had heard so much about in his childhood had really come back again. The old grandmother was delighted, too, and said: "What did I tell you, son Thomas? I always knew there were real brownies."

Although being brownies was fun for the boys, it was hard work, too, and they sometimes thought they would leave off; but then they would think of their hard-working father and would grow quite ashamed. Things were so much better at home than they used to be. The tailor never scolded now, the grandmother was more cheerful than of old, the baby was less fretful, the house was always tidy; and because the tailor had more time for his work, now that the brownies helped, he could make more coats and could get more money, and the boys did not go hungry to bed as they used to do; but there was always bread and milk enough, and a great bowlful to spare that they set each night for the brownie.

At last the tailor said, "I am going to do something for that brownie. He has done so much for us all." So he cut and stitched the neatest little coat you ever saw; for he said: "I have always heard that a brownie's clothes are ragged, so our brownie will need this, I know." When the coat was done it just fitted Tommy and was very fine to see, all stitched with gold thread and covered with brave brass buttons.

That night the little coat was placed by the bowl of milk set for the brownie and, when the early morning came, the tailor was awakened by the sound of laughter and scuffling in the kitchen. "It's the brownie," thought he; and getting out of bed he crept softly down the stairs.

But when he reached the kitchen, instead of the brownie, he saw Johnnie and Tommy sweeping and making the fire and dusting and setting the table. Tommy had put on the coat that the tailor had made for the brownie, and was skipping about in it laughing and calling to Johnnie to see how fine he looked, but saying: "I wish he had made it to fit you, John."

"Boys, what does all this mean?" cried the tailor. "Tommy, why have you put on that coat?"

When the boys saw their father they ran to him and tried to tell him all about it. "There is no brownie, father," they cried, "but we have done the work. And O father! we are sorry that we were lazy and idle so long; but we mean to be brownies now, real brownies, and help you till we grow to be big men." The poor tailor was so happy that he knew not what to say, and there were tears in his eyes as he kissed each little son.

Tommy and Johnnie kept their promise and continued being brownies until they went away to homes of their own. But their little sister grew to be the best brownie of all; and she kept her father's house so bright and clean with mop and brush and broom and dustpan that not a speck of dirt was anywhere to be seen.



THE FAIRY SHOES.

ADAPTED FROM MRS. EWING.

Once upon a time a baby boy was born in a little brown house, far away in a country village, and everybody was invited to his christening and everybody was glad to come.

Now the baby's mother had a fairy godmother of whom she was very fond. This fairy was rich and all the people said, "Surely she will bring a present to the baby on his christening-day, that is worth a great deal of money." But, at last when the time came, what do you suppose she really brought?—a pair of stout little leather shoes with copper toes.

In spite of the disappointment at the fairy's present the festivities went merrily on and, when the party was over and the fairy bade her god-daughter good-bye, she said: "My little present is not quite as shabby as it looks. Those shoes will never wear out and, besides, the little feet that have them on can never go wrong. When your baby has grown large enough to wear those shoes, if you send him on an errand, and tell him to come back quickly, and he forgets and stops to play, those little shoes will help him to remember by pinching his feet and pulling and twitching at his ankles until he will be glad to go on again. They will remind him to go straight to school and to come straight home again as you have bidden him. Indeed, wherever he is sent he will be quite sure to go, and he will come back again at just the right moment and, by the time his feet have grown too large to wear the little shoes, he will no longer need their help."

Days passed by, months passed by. The boy was no longer a baby, but had grown large enough to wear the fairy's shoes and, just as she had said, they always helped him to go the right way.

Months sped and years sped and another baby boy came to stay in the little brown house, and then another and another and another, until the mother had nine boys. Each one in turn wore the little shoes and, just as the fairy had said, they never wore out. At last they descended to the ninth and youngest boy and became Timothy's shoes.

Now the eighth little boy had rather small feet and had worn the shoes longer than the others, besides Timothy was the baby and, for one reason and another like these, his mother hated to put the rough little shoes upon him. For a long time Timothy had gone his own way, which was rarely the right way. At last he played truant from school so often and was late to dinner so many times, that his mother said she could bear it no longer, he must wear the fairy shoes. So she had them freshly blackened and the copper tips newly polished and, one morning, she brought them out and told Timothy to put them on.

"Now, Tim dear," she said, "go straight to school this morning. If you don't these little shoes will pinch your feet terribly."

But Timothy did not mind. It was a bright, sunny morning in May and, if he had loitered on the way when the cold March winds blew up his jacket sleeves and made him shiver, and when the snow lay in great drifts by the roadside, how could he help wishing to linger now when every bush held a bird and every bank a flower?

Once or twice Timothy stopped to pick spring flowers, but the shoes pinched his feet and he ran on again. At last he reached the bank overlooking the swamp and, gazing down, he saw great clumps of cowslips, with their dark green leaves and crowns of beautiful yellow flowers.

Then Timothy forgot all about school, forgot what his mother had said, forgot the shoes and their pinches and thought only of the cowslips. Oh, he must have some!

In a moment away went his satchel on the grass and away went the flowers he had picked and he began scrambling down the bank toward the swamp as fast as he could go. But the little shoes, they meant to go another way. They meant to go to school and they pinched Timothy's feet and pulled and twitched at his ankles, trying to make him turn about and go in the right way, until he thought his feet would be wrenched off. Timothy was very determined, the harder the little shoes pinched the more he was bound to have the bright yellow flowers; so, in spite of the pain, he kept on going down toward the swamp.

When at last this little boy reached the foot of the bank and came to the edge of the swamp he found that the cowslips were all out of reach. Still he would have them. Round and round the swamp he went, the shoes pinching and pulling harder at every step, till at last he grew quite desperate and, giving a big jump, he landed right out in the swamp in the very middle of a large clump of the flowers. Then something strange happened, his feet sank down, down into the mud and water until the little shoes were soaked right off. Poor, wayward Timothy's best friends were gone, but he did not know that. He just waded around in the swamp and picked cowslips to his heart's content.

At last, however, Timothy grew very tired. He hurt his foot on a sharp stick. A great green frog jumped into his face and startled him. He had more flowers than he could carry. Suddenly he remembered school and his lost shoes and thought of what his mother had told him. Oh! how he did wish now that he had done just as she asked him to do.

"What shall I say to the teacher?" he thought. "Oh, what shall I do? How I wish I had gone straight to school as the little shoes tried to have me go!"

Weary and sad Timothy climbed the bank. Wiping the mud from his clothes with his handkerchief and taking his satchel, he started slowly for school again, all the time wondering what he should say to the teacher about being late. At last he reached the door and prepared to tiptoe quietly in, but he had no sooner put his head inside and commenced to make an excuse than all the children began to laugh. Timothy was very much ashamed. He looked to find, what they were laughing at and saw—What do you suppose he saw? Standing in the middle of the floor, in the place in the class where he himself should have stood, were his little shoes, very muddy indeed and with a cowslip in each one of them.

"You have been in the swamp, Timothy," said the teacher. "Put on your shoes."

When his lessons and his punishment were over, Timothy was very glad to let the little shoes take him quickly home. And always after that he tried to do what his mother and the little shoes wished him to do.



PICCIOLA.

ADAPTED FROM "SAINTINE."

Long, long ago a good man was thrown into prison by a great king. The prison was dark and cold and still; for the gray stone walls and the stone roof and floor shut out the sunlight and all the beautiful sights and sounds of the world. There was no one for the man to talk to, and there was no work for him to do. There was one little window to let in the air, but it was so high up beyond his reach that he could not even get a glimpse of the blue sky. Here he was kept for weeks and months and years, and was not allowed to know anything about his family, friends or home. At last a door was opened into another part of the prison. The walls of this part were high and strong, and the floor was paved with the same great, gray stones, but there was no roof overhead. Here the wind could come in and the rain and the sunlight. He was allowed to walk here just for one short hour each day, and then he had to go back to his dark cell and the door was shut upon him.

Once while walking here the prisoner saw a little mound of earth rising between two of the great stones of the floor. At first he thought that some tiny worm or insect was trying to build a house for itself. Looking closer he saw that it was only the home of a little plant. The stray seed had been brought by the wind, and it was now sending its roots down into the crevice between the stones. "Poor little plant!" said the prisoner, "what a sad home you have found! Shall I not crush you? No! Perhaps you have come to comfort me in this terrible place." Hurrying to his cell, he brought his cup of precious water. "Drink! little one," he cried, as he poured the water out around it. "Drink! and lift up your head."

The next day he watched it again and watered it, and the next day, and the next. How bravely it seemed to struggle to push its head up and its roots down, to open its leaves and to catch, the dull light. At last the little plant became a dear friend and companion to the man. He would bend over it the whole hour each day and talk softly to it. He called it Picciola,—his Picciola,—his little one, and as the plant grew and put on new beauty he forgot his wrongs and his heart was filled with love and gentleness.

Once there was a storm, and great hailstones beat down upon Picciola. "Ah, my poor little one will be killed!" cried the prisoner. And he bent over her and sheltered her and the cruel hail fell upon his own head until the storm was past. Fearing that other storms might come when he was shut away from her, he built a little house around her with the wood that was given him to keep him warm, and made a roof over her with a mat which he wove from the straw of his own bed. This made him happy; for, though he could be with his Picciola for but one short hour each day, he felt that she was safe. So the little plant grew and grew, and opened her flowers and sent out her perfume to make glad the heart of her lonely friend.

But, alas! the day came when Picciola began to droop and wither. She seemed about to die. The poor prisoner was frantic with grief and cried, "Is my little one, my joy, my hope, the only thing for which I live, to be taken from me?" Searching, he found that as Picciola had grown taller her stem had had grown larger, and now there was not room enough for it in the crevice between the stones. Her sap,—her life blood,—was running away, as the rough edges of the stones cut into her delicate stem. Nothing could save her but to lift those cruel stones. The prisoner tore at them with his weak hands. Weeping, he begged the jailer to raise them, but the jailer could do nothing. No one but the king could cause them to be lifted. But how could the prisoner ask the king? The king was far away. The prisoner must send a letter to him, but he had no pen, ink or paper; so he wrote on his handkerchief with a bit of charred wood and begged, not for his own life, but for the life of Picciola,—that the king would cause the stones that were killing her to be raised.

When the king read the prisoner's letter he said, "No man who is really wicked could care so much for a little, simple flower. I will not only have the stones raised that are killing his Picciola, but I will pardon him. He shall be free because of the love he bears his plant."

So the prisoner left his lonely cell carrying with him his Picciola,—his little one whom he had saved and who in turn had set him free.



CINDERELLA.

The room was dark, the fire was out and a little girl sat crying all alone in the ashes. "I want to go to the party too!" she sobbed. "I want to dance and wear a pretty dress, but my dress is ragged. My sisters have gone and left me. Nobody wants me. It's so dark here I'm afraid. Oh! I'm so cold." The tears ran down the face of this forlorn little girl and fell in the ashes at her feet. Poor child! Poor little maid! She had to wash and scrub and dust, while her sisters did nothing but wear pretty clothes and go to all the parties. They never thought of taking her with them. She was only fit to blacken their boots and to mend their dresses. Because her hands and her hair were sometimes gray and dusty from tending the fire and sweeping the hearth, they called her Cinderella. She had helped her sisters to dress that very night, smiling all the time, but now that they were gone, Cinderella could keep back the tears no longer. She was sobbing as if her heart would break, when suddenly she heard a noise, the room was filled with light and, right in front of her stood a curious little old woman, with a long stick in her hand. She had pointed shoes on her feet and a tassel in her cap.

"You shall go to the party!" said the queer little creature, stamping her foot on the floor. "You have always been a good child. You have as much right to go as your sisters. You shall go! and you shall wear a pretty dress and ride in a fine carriage too, so dry your eyes, my dear, and bring me the biggest yellow pumpkin you can find in the garden," said the fairy; for this little old woman was really a fairy.

The pumpkin was so large that Cinderella could hardly lift it. With a nod of her pointed cap, the old woman touched it with her curious stick and a carriage, a wonderful carriage, stood in its place. The cushion's were soft velvet ones, the windows were hung with curtains of silk and there were silver handles on both the doors.

"Now quickly," said the fairy, "bring me the traps from the cellar!" There were six little shivering mice in one trap and two plump gray rats in the other. "Open the doors!" said the old woman. As the six mice crept slowly out she touched them, one at a time, with her long stick, which was really a fairy wand, and in a minute each little mouse was turned into a prancing gray horse that sprang to his place in front of the carriage. Tap! Tap! went the wand, and the rats were nowhere to be seen. In their place stood two big, tall men with shiny boots on their feet and high hats on their heads. They jumped upon the box and one of them caught the reins in his hands.

"Now one thing more, my dear," said the fairy to Cinderella; "run into the garden again and bring the six lizards you will find under a big stone by the wall." When the lizards were brought, the fairy touched them too and, in a twinkling, they jumped up from the ground and stood beside the carriage doors, three on one side and three on the other,—six little footmen, with six little green coats on their backs and six little red hats in their hands, all ready to help Cinderella into her wonderful carriage.

Another touch of the old woman's wand and Cinderella herself stood dressed in a gown as blue as the blue sky above and all covered from top to toe with shining silver stars. She was just going to step into the carriage and drive away when, looking down, she saw that her feet were quite bare, she had no shoes on. The fairy saw too. She smiled and took a pair of little slippers from her pocket. They were all made of glass and they were such tiny, tiny slippers that, when Cinderella had put them on, she looked the most beautiful maiden in the whole wide world. "Take good care of them, my dear," said the old woman. "If you want to be happy be careful how you use those little shoes. Now go, child, but there is one thing you must remember,—when the clock strikes twelve you must be at home again in this very room. If you are not, all your beautiful things will vanish and you will be left alone just a poor little, ragged cinder-maid."

Cinderella promised to remember. She thanked the fairy and drove quickly away. At last she reached the big house where the Prince was giving the party. There was music and dancing in the great hall, but when Cinderella walked in, everybody stopped dancing and looked at her. They said, "What a pretty girl! Who is she? Where did she come from? She must be a princess to wear such wonderful clothes! She has on such a fine dress, she must surely be a princess!" When the Prince saw her, he asked her to dance with him and, after that, he would dance with no one else. But Cinderella remembered what the fairy had told her and, just before midnight, she slipped away and was safe in the kitchen at home when the clock struck twelve. No one had seen her leave the great hall. No one had seen her drive away, but the Prince missed her the moment she was gone and had the great house searched from top to bottom, but not a trace of the pretty maiden could be found.

On the second night of the great party all happened as on the first. Cinderella was made ready by the fairy and, when she reached the big house on the hill, the Prince ran to welcome her. He would dance with no one else as before and, when Cinderella vanished just before the clock struck twelve, he was so unhappy that no one could comfort him.

Now the third and last night of the party had come. The Prince could think of nothing but the pretty maid. "I must know who she is and where she comes from, or I shall never be happy again. I will keep fast hold of her hand to-night. She shall not slip away this time as she has always done before," said the Prince.

Never had Cinderella been as happy as on that evening, never had she danced as well, never had the lights shone brighter or the music sounded sweeter, never had the Prince been half as gay. Cinderella danced on and on. She forgot the fairy, she forgot her promise, she forgot the hour. The great clock in the hall ticked off the minutes. It was nearly twelve, still Cinderella danced on without a thought. The six gray horses pawed restlessly at the door. Louder and louder grew the music, faster and faster flew the dancers, and the gayest of them all was Cinderella as she whirled by on the arm of the happy Prince. But, hark! What's that? Above the noise of the dancing, above the music and laughter, a sound is heard. It is the great clock striking the hour of midnight.

Cinderella heard at last, at last she remembered. She snatched her hand from the hand of the Prince. She rushed to the doorway, but she tripped upon the mat and one of her little glass slippers fell off. The Prince ran after her, but he stopped to pick up her slipper, and when he reached the gateway the beautiful lady was nowhere to be seen. All was dark and still, only a ragged beggar-maid, sobbing as if her heart would break, went quickly away into the night. Poor, poor Cinderella! Her wonderful carriage had vanished, her beautiful dress was gone, nothing was left her but one tiny glass slipper. She stooped and taking it from her foot she put it carefully into the pocket of her ragged dress, and walked barefoot all the way home alone in the darkness.

Time passed, the poor Prince could not sleep by night and could not rest by day for he had lost his beautiful lady. He had her little slipper and that was his only comfort. At last he said, "Whoever can wear this slipper shall be my queen and queen of all my people."

He took the precious slipper and he traveled far and near through all the land. He stopped at every cottage and he stopped at every castle and he begged every maiden whom he met to try it on. But, alas! he found no one with foot small enough to wear it. At last, one day, he stopped before the only house that, in all his kingdom, he had not visited. Cinderella's sisters hurried to meet him for it was at their door he stood. They tried and tried to crowd their great feet into the tiny slipper, but it was of no use. The Prince was turning sadly away thinking, "I shall never see my beautiful lady again," when he caught sight of a face at the kitchen window. "Who is that?" he cried. "Oh, it is only Cinderella! a poor kitchen maid," said the sisters. "Let her be brought! She too shall try the slipper!" said the Prince. "No! no! She is too ragged and dirty to be seen. Do you think that a cinder-maid can wear your shoe when we cannot get it on?" But the Prince would have his way.

When Cinderella was brought, her dainty little foot slid into the glass shoe as easily as though she had worn it all her life. She smiled and took its mate from the pocket of her ragged dress. The Prince smiled too and, looking into Cinderella's face, he saw his long lost lady of the party. With a cry of joy he lifted her, all ragged as she was, upon his horse and the Prince and his chosen princess rode away.



THE HUT IN THE FOREST.

"Indra! Indra! Indra! Oh, Indra! Where are you?" called Carla and Alween. "Come, Indra, we are going home. Come, it will soon be dark. Hurry, or we shall lose our way." But Indra did not answer. In her eagerness to find the biggest berries she had strayed away from her sisters. Now it was quite dark, and she could not find the path. She called and called but heard nothing save the sound of her own voice. At last, just as she was thinking, "I will have to pass the night here all alone in the wood," she saw a light shining through the darkness. Following this light, Indra soon stood in front of a small house at the door of which she knocked. "Come in!" called a harsh voice. Stepping inside, the girl saw before her an old man whose beard was long, whose hair was white and whose back was bent almost double; while lying near him in front of the fire, were a cock, a hen and a brindled cow.

"I have lost my way in the forest," said Indra. "It is dark, I have nowhere to sleep and I am so hungry. Will you not give me something to eat and a bed to lie on?"

The old man looked at her for a long time with his sharp, gray eyes then, turning to the animals by the fire, he said,—

"My cock, my hen, My brindled cow, What say you now? What say you now?"

The cock, the hen, and the brindled cow all opened their mouths and called out together,—

"Oh, let her stay! We'll not say nay."

"Go into the kitchen and cook us some supper," said the old man turning again to Indra. The girl did as she was bidden. Soon a good meal was ready which she placed upon the table, but she gave nothing to the animals and without speaking to them, or even so much as looking at them, she sat down at the old man's side and ate heartily.

"Now I am satisfied," said Indra. "Show me where to sleep." The animals said nothing. "Go into the room above and make ready the two beds you will find there, then I will come and lie down and sleep also, for I am weary," said the old man.

Indra spread the two beds with fresh linen. Then without giving one thought to the hungry animals below, she laid herself down in one of the beds and fell fast asleep.

When at last the old man climbed to the loft and saw Indra lying in a deep slumber, he looked sorrowfully at her for a long time. Then shaking his head sadly and slowly, he opened a curious door beneath the bed on which the girl lay and let her down into the dark, underground cellar of the hut.

That night there was trouble and sorrow for good Mother Grougans and for Carla and Alween. As soon as daylight came they went forth to search for Sister Indra; but, though they scoured the forest far and wide, not a trace of her could be found, and at last they were forced to give their dear one up as lost.

Now as the two sisters Carla and Alween gathered berries in the forest one day not long after, Carla, in her eagerness to fill her pail with the biggest berries, strayed away just as her sister Indra had done. Alween was forced to return home alone, and it happened with Carla just as it had with her elder sister. She followed the light that shone from the cottage window, knocked at the door, entered, and saw the old man sitting and the animals lying by the fire. She too begged for food and a bed in which to sleep.

Turning to the animals the old man said,—

"My cock, my hen, My brindled cow, What say you now? What say you now?"

The cock, the hen, and the brindled cow all opened their mouths and called out together,—

"Oh, let her stay! We'll not say nay."

Then the old man sent Carla to prepare supper. Just as her sister had done, she cooked and ate and gave not so much as a glance or a thought to the hungry animals. "Now I am satisfied," said Carla at last. "Show me where to sleep." The animals said nothing, but the old man told her to prepare the two beds in the loft. After spreading them with fresh linen the girl laid herself down upon one of the beds and fell fast asleep.

When the old man climbed to the loft and saw Carla lying in a sound slumber, he opened the curious door again and let her also down into the cellar.

Now when Carla failed to return home. Mother Grougans was lost in grief and she forbade her youngest daughter, Alween, to go into the wood on any account whatsoever. And she said, "Shall I lose my youngest and my dearest also?" But soon mother and daughter were both so hungry that Alween was forced to go into the forbidden forest in search of food. In her eagerness to get the largest and the sweetest berries for her mother, she too strayed away from the path, and all happened with her as it had with her sisters.

When Alween entered the hut and begged for food and shelter, the old man turned to his animals and said,—

"My cock, my hen, My brindled cow, What say you now? What say you now?"

The cock, the hen, and the brindled cow all opened their mouths and called out together,—

"Oh, let her stay! We'll not say nay."

Then Alween thanked the animals for their kindness and, going close to them, she stroked the smooth feathers of the cock and the hen and patted the brindled cow on the white star in her forehead. She made ready the supper and set it before the old man; but, before satisfying her own hunger, she said, "The good animals are hungry too. I must first get food for them." So she placed a bundle of hay in front of the brindled cow and scattered wheat and barley for the cock and the hen and brought a fresh drink of water for all. Then she herself ate and was satisfied.

That night Alween slept soundly in the loft of the little hut, but not before she had seen the old man tucked snugly into his bed and fast asleep. When she wakened, with the first rays of morning light, she thought, "I must dress quickly and get breakfast for the poor old man and feed the little cock and the little hen and the pretty brindled cow." But when she opened her eyes she seemed to be no longer in the loft of the little old hut in the wood. Instead of its dingy walls she saw before her a vast hall hung with cloth of gold and rich embroideries, and light and sunshine and flowers were everywhere. "I am surely dreaming," said Alween. Pushing aside the rich silken curtain of her bed, which also seemed a part of her dream, she thought to dress herself; but the poor ragged clothes she had put off the night before were nowhere to be found. In their place lay costly garments of satin and velvet.

"Oh, this is a dream, a dream!" thought the girl. She rubbed her eyes again and again as she gazed at the rich curtains and the costly garments and the splendid walls with their gay embroideries. She called aloud. She ran to the old man's bed to see if he were still asleep,—there in his place lay a stranger, young and handsome.

"Oh, where is the little old hut in the forest and where is the poor old man? Oh, where is the little cock and the little hen and the pretty brindled cow and where, oh, where am I?" she cried. At this the stranger wakened and, sitting up in bed, he called softly: "Do not run away. Alween! Alween! Come back! Come back! Do not be frightened. We are all here. I was the old man with the long white beard and my servants yonder were the cock, the hen and the brindled cow. You have saved our lives. You have set us free. You have delivered us from worse than death. I am a king's son, but I was bewitched by a wicked old fairy and forced, in the form of an old, old man, to live here in a hut in the forest all alone, except for my three servants, who were made to take the form of a cock, of a hen, and of a brindled cow. Here we were obliged to stay until some one came to us who showed love and kindness toward my animals as well as toward myself. You have saved us. You have set us free and this great palace and all within it is yours."

And Alween married the king's son and they were very happy together for many, many years; but her sisters were forced to live lives of hardship and poverty until their hearts had grown more kindly toward all living creatures.



THE SLEEPING PRINCESS.

Once, a long, long time ago, there lived a brave king and a beautiful queen. They ruled the land wisely; they loved each other dearly, and they would have been happy but for one thing—they had no children.

At last there came a day of joy—a day that brought a little princess to the palace. The baby girl grew strong and rosy and the time for her christening drew near. Then came twelve good fairy godmothers to eat from the king's twelve golden plates, to drink from his twelve golden goblets and to bring twelve good wishes to his little daughter.

Now thirteen fairies lived in the kingdom; but, as the king had only twelve golden plates and twelve golden goblets, the thirteenth fairy was not invited. This made her very angry and she cried, "I will go to the christening! I will see the king's daughter and the king shall rue the day on which he dared to slight me!"

They named the little princess Briar Rose. The first fairy godmother gave her beauty. The second gave happiness. "Wisdom is my gift," said number three. "Grace shall be hers," cried four. "I give her wit," said five. The sixth godmother gave sympathy. The seventh gave wealth. The eighth said, "The princess shall have courage and shall be strong and brave." Number nine cried, "Health is hers as long as ever she may live." The tenth gave youth. "The Briar Rose shall love her people and she shall rule gently and where she goes joy shall go too," said number eleven. The twelfth fairy opened her lips to wish long life, when, just at that moment, the thirteenth fairy, who had not been invited, burst into the room. She pushed the good fairy aside and, before anyone could stop her, she cried out in a loud angry voice, "The princess shall prick her finger with a spindle, on her fifteenth birthday, and shall die!" In a moment all was excitement. The jealous old fairy rushed from the palace, but the people dashed after her. "Drive the wicked witch from the kingdom! Burn every spindle in the land!" they cried.

The twelfth fairy could not take away the bad wish, she could only soften it. "The princess shall not die," she said, "but she shall fall into a deep sleep that shall last for a hundred years."

The jealous old fairy was driven far, far away. The king ordered that every spindle in the whole land be burned. Then every one was happy once more, for now all thought that no harm could come near the little Briar Rose.

Day by day the princess grew more gentle and more beautiful and all who saw her loved her. Years flew by, the bad wish of the jealous old fairy was forgotten. All the people thought that some day the little princess would be their queen. She was a big girl now, almost a woman. At last her fifteenth birthday came and, to amuse herself upon that very morning, she went wandering about the old palace all alone. She peeped into unused rooms; she took curious old treasures into her hands; she walked through long halls; she ran up and down dark corridors.

At last the princess reached the topmost tower of the great palace. Here a flight of wooden steps led up to a little door that she had never before seen. The door was close shut, but a rusty key stood in the lock. She sprang upon the stairs. She turned the rusty key. The door swung slowly open and the princess saw that, in a far corner of a dimly lighted room, sat a little, bent old woman. She was spinning. It was really the jealous old fairy, who had uttered the bad wish so many years ago, but the princess did not know this.

"Good morrow, good mother," she said. But the old woman kept on spinning.

"Who are you and where did you come from?" cried the princess. But the old woman kept on spinning.

"Why do you sit by yourself in this dark room? Have you no home? Have you no friends? Have you no fire to warm you, or light to cheer you?" But the old woman kept on spinning.

At last, getting no answer to her questions, the little Briar Rose stepped across the threshold. She stood beside the old woman's chair, and, bending over it, called out in her sweet tones, "What is that I see in your hand, good mother, which whirls about so merrily?" But the old woman only kept on spinning.

"Let me take that curious thing," said the princess, reaching out her hand for the spindle.

Then for the first time the old woman lifted her ugly face. She rose quickly from her chair. She thrust the spindle into the girl's hand. She opened her wicked old lips. "Take it," she croaked, "and may death go with it!"

Scarcely had the spindle touched the hand of the poor princess when a tiny stream of blood flowed from her little finger and she fell into a deep, deep sleep.

At that moment every one in the great palace fell fast asleep also. The king slept upon his golden throne; the queen slept in her royal parlor; the judges slept on the council benches. Fast asleep fell lords and ladies of the court. Even the flies slept on the walls, and the fires died down upon the palace hearths. The dogs slept in their kennels, and the horses in their stalls. Outside the birds slept on the branches, and the drowsy bees slept in the drooping flowers. Not even a leaf stirred upon a single tree within the castle yard, but all was quiet and as still as death. A hedge of thorn trees shot up around the palace and, in a single night, the hedge grew so thick that not a chink of light shone through it, and so tall that not even the tallest palace spire could be seen above it.

Years went by and Briar Rose was forgotten. No one living knew what was hidden behind the great hedge. Old tales were sometimes told of a beautiful princess who lay there asleep and, every now and then, a bold young prince would try to force his way through the hedge; but the thorns were so sharp that no one had ever caught so much as a glimpse even of the old castle, in which this beautiful princess slept.

At last there came a handsome prince, bolder than all the others, who cried, "I will break down this hedge! I will set this princess free!" Now it happened that that very day ended the long sleep of the Briar Rose. All the hundred summers had just passed by. The wish had come true and it was now time for the beautiful princess to awake, but the bold prince did not know this. He drew his sword. He rushed upon the hedge, when, lo! the sharp thorns turned aside; the branches opened and there before him stood the sleeping palace.

He burst the gates. Not even a leaf stirred upon a single tree within the castle yard. Not a dog bayed in the kennels. Not a horse whinnied in the stalls. Not a bird sang in the branches. Not a bee droned in the flowers. All was as still as death. He burst the palace doors. There slept the king upon his golden throne. There slept the queen within her royal parlor. There slept the judges on the council benches. There slept the lords and ladies of the court; but the princess, the beautiful princess, where was she? He looked in all the splendid rooms. He searched the halls and corridors but no princess could he find. He climbed the winding stairway,—higher and higher up he went, higher and yet higher still. At last he reached the little chamber. Would he find her here? He turned the rusty key. The low door opened. He entered. There before him lay—could it be she, the sleeping beauty? Her eyes were closed, but her cheeks were pink like the wild roses at the gate. Her lips were red like the scarlet ribbon that she wore. Her black hair had grown to her very feet and lay about her like a splendid dress. "Would she waken?" thought the prince. He stooped! He caught his breath! He kissed her! The charm was broken! Her eyes flew open and the princess smiled upon her prince.

Just at that moment the king rose from his golden throne. The queen swept from her royal parlor. The judges yawned on the council benches. Awake came lords and ladies of the court. Again the fires leaped up upon the palace hearths. Again the flies buzzed on the window panes. A wind blew through the castle yard. Again the birds sang in the branches and the bees droned in the flowers. Again the dogs barked in the kennels and the horses whinnied in the stalls.

The hundred years were past and all was life and joy once more. Out of the palace gates rode the bold prince, and beside him rode the happy princess, whom his kiss had waked.



TOPSY STORIES.

I. THE COMING OF TOPSY.

One night, when Alice was a very little girl, her papa came home early from the office. He carried a small basket in his hand, but when he saw Alice he put the basket behind his back; his eyes twinkled as he did so.

"Guess what I have brought you, little daughter," he said. "Something to play with."

Alice ran and caught fast hold of her papa's knees with her two chubby arms, and her eyes grew big and bright as she peeped around at the basket.

"Oh, what is it, papa? Do let me see."

"You must guess first," said her papa; "such a fine plaything."

"I know; it's a dolly!" cried Alice.

Papa laughed. "No, it's ever so much better than a dolly, for it's alive," he said.

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