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But he is right in our tea-kettle, now. James Watt is watching him try to get out. How hard he works! No fairy is so strong as that!

James goes to the table and gets a cup. He holds it over the spout. Why, it is raining from the cup! See the water as it falls !

“How queer!” thinks James.

His aunt comes into the room. “James Watt, I never saw such an idle boy! Take a book to read.”

Now James loves to read, so he gets a book from the shelf. He will soon forget all about the -I nearly told.

James looks through a few pages of his book, but see, he is watching the tea-kettle again.

This is the end of the first part of our story.


James Watt was a Scotch boy. That is, he lived in Scotland across the sea.

All that I am telling you, happened almost two hundred years ago. It is a really true story. Now let us go back to that time.

James's father has a shop with fourteen workmen in it. Over in one corner is a little bench with a set of tools. There stands Jamie, as they all call him, with the workmen gathered close about him.

You will be surprised when I tell you he is the best workman there. He can do almost anything he wishes to do with his hands. He is a wonderful boy.

The workmen are very proud of him. “Jamie 'has a fortune at his finger-ends !” they often say.

Jamie is talking to the men. How they listen! He is telling them an old Scotch tale..

These tales are very wonderful. James has read many of them. But he has learned the best ones from his mother.

When James was little he was sickly. He could not go to school. His dear mother taught him to read at home.

She did many other things for him, but the best of all was to tell him those fine old Scotch stories.

The tea-kettle hasn't been in this part of the story, but it is coming in again.


“Choo-choo-choo! Puff-puff-puff!” Why, that is a steam-engine we hear!

How does a steam-engine get into our story? We shall see.

Do you remember how James Watt watched the tea-kettle when it bubbled and bubbled ? Do you remember that he could use tools better than any of his father's workmen ?

While James was still a boy, his father lost all of his money. Worse than this, James's dear kind mother died. He was forced to go out into the world and work with his hands.

He worked in a garret. He worked in a cellar. He worked when he had little food and was cold. But he worked !

James Watt made many things, lamps, spectacles, violins and even a church organ. All this time he kept thinking about the tea-kettle.

He thought about it until he could not sleep at night.

“If the steam in a tea-kettle,” thought he, "will lift the heavy iron lid, why can't I make it work for me? It is as strong as a giant.”

James Watt worked for days, for weeks, for months, for years! “ Choo-choo-choo!” at last sounds his steam-engine. The “Puff-f-f” of the bubbling tea-kettle was the great giant, Steam. It is the same giant, who now takes us round the world. Here we go, “Choo-choo-choo!” Did you like the story?

Faster than fairies, faster than witches,
Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches;
And charging along like troops in a battle: .
All through the meadows, the horses and cattle:
All the sights of the hill and the plain
Fly as thick as driving rain;
And ever again in the wink of an eye,
Painted stations whistle by.

From A Railway Carriageby Robert Louis Stevenson.



There was an old woman, as I've heard tell, She went to market her eggs for to sell; She went to market all on a market-day, And she fell asleep on the king's highway.

There came by a peddler whose name was Stout;
He cut her petticoats all round about;
He cut her petticoats up to the knees,
Which made the old woman to shiver and freeze.

When this little woman first did wake, She began to shiver and she began to shake; She began to wonder and she began to cry, “Oh! deary, deary me, this is none of I!

“But if it be I, as I do hope it be,
I've a little dog at home, and he'll know me;
If it be I, he'll wag his little tail,
And if it be not I, he'll loudly bark and wail.”

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