Page images
PDF
EPUB

THE LADYBIRD AND THE FLY

By WlLHELM AND JAKOB GitIMM

ALADYBIRD and a fly once lived and kept . house together, and they brewed their beer in an eggshell. One day the ladybird fell in and was burned. Then the fly set up such a loud scream that the little door of the room asked: "What are you screaming for, fry?"

"Because ladybird has burned herself." Then began the door to creak. "Why are you creaking?" asked a little broom in the corner. "Shall I not creak?" said the door; "Ladjrbird is burned, And little fly weeps." Then began the broom to sweep with all its might; and presently a stream passed the door and said: "Why are you sweeping so, broom?"

"Shall I not sweep?" replied the broom;
"Ladybird is burned,
Little fly weeps,
Little door jars,
And little broom sweeps."
Then said the stream, "So will I run," and it be-
gan to run rapidly.

"Why are you running so?" asked the fire.
"Shall I not run," it replied,
"When ladybird is burned,
And little fly weeps,
Little door jars,
And little broom sweeps,
While little stream runs?"

Then said the fire, "So will I burn," and it burst into a dreadful flame.

A tree near the fire said: "Fire, why do you burn?"

"Shall I not burn," it replied, "When ladybird is burned, And little fly weeps, The little door jars, And little broom sweeps, And little stream runs?" Then said the little tree, "So will I rustle," and it began to shake so violently that the leaves fell off. A maiden came by, carrying her little pitcher to the well, and she said: "Tree, why do you rustle so?" "Shall I not rustle?" the tree replied; "Ladybird is burned, Little fly weeps, Little door jars, Little broom sweeps, Little stream runs, And little fire burns."

"Then I will break my little pitcher," said the maiden. So she broke her pitcher.

Then said the well, as the water flowed out: "Maiden, why dost thou break thy pitcher?" "Shall I not break my pitcher?" she said;

"Ladybird is burned,

And little fly weeps,

Little door jars,

And little broom sweeps,

Little stream runs,

Little fire burns,

And little tree rustles."

"Ah!" said the well, "then I will begin to flow." And the water began to flow so rapidly that the maiden, the tree, the fire, the stream, the broom, the door, the fly and the ladybird were all swept away together.

THE TWO TRAVELERS

TWO men were traveling through a wood, when one of them picked up an ax which he saw lying on the ground.

"Look here!" he said to his friend; "I've found an ax."

"Don't say, 'I've found an ax'; say, 'We've found an ax';" replied the other. "We are friends and are traveling together. Whatever we find ought to belong to both of us."

"No, indeed!" said the first traveler. "I found the ax myself; you did not see it at all until I had it in my hand. No part of it belongs to you."

They had not gone far, however, before the owner of the ax came running after them in a great passion, threatening them furiously if they did not at once return his property.

"Now we are in for it!" said the man with the ax.

"Not at all!" said the other. "You should say, 'I am in for it', not 'we'. You gave me no share in the ax; I will have no share in the danger!"

[graphic][merged small]

THE TWO TRAVELERS AND THE
OYSTER

AS two men were walking by the seaside at low /X. water they saw an oyster, and they both stooped at the same time to pick it up. One pushed the other away, and a dispute ensued.

A traveler coming along at the time, they determined to ask him which of the two had the better right to the oyster.

While each was telling his story the traveler gravely took out his knife, opened the shell and loosened the oyster. When they had finished, and were listening for his decision, he just as gravely swallowed the oyster, and offered them each a shell.

"The Court," said he, "awards you each a shell. The oyster will cover the costs."

Does it ever happen that two men in a lawsuit lose more money than the thing they were disputing about is worth? Is that what the fable means?

[ocr errors]

SYSTEM

By Robert Louis Stevenson

VERY night my prayers I say,
And get my dinner every day;
And every day that I've been good,
I get an orange after food.

The child that is not clean and neat,
With lots of toys, and things to eat,
He is a naughty child, I'm sure—
Or else his dear papa is poor.

« PreviousContinue »