Page images
PDF
EPUB

that ran straight to the spot where the two friends had just been sitting.

Such a thing was really no great surprise to the Town Mouse, who had learned to run to her hole very quickly on the slightest alarm. She did not realize, however, that the Country Mouse knew nothing about this, and so had not told her where to go. The only place the latter could find was back of a big sofa, and there she waited in awful fear while the Terrier barked and tore around the room, enraged at the scent of the Mice.

After a while, however, the boy skipped out again, the Terrier followed, and the room became quiet. The Town Mouse was out in an instant and ran quickly to the dainties, which still lay undisturbed on the floor, for the dog had eaten his supper before he came in.

“Come, come,” said the Town Mouse, “come out; the table is all spread and everything is getting cold! We shan't be disturbed again, or if we are we can run and hide. Come, now; let's eat and be happy!”

“No, no, not for me!” said the Country Mouse. I shall be off as fast as I can. There is too much excitement in this life for me. I'd rather have a crust out there in the country, with peace and quietness, than all the fine things you have here in the midst of such frights and terrors as I've had in the last hour.”

What are you? Are you a town mouse or a country mouse? Do you live in the country, where you can see the beautiful blue sky with the white clouds sailing through it, where you can play on the rich green grass and smell the sweet flowers all about you? Or do you live in the dusty, smoky city, with big buildings all around you, where the trees are stunted and the leaves look brown and withered? When you go to school in the morning, do you walk along a neat path in the roadside, among fields rich with growing grain, where you can breathe the pure air and romp in the sunshine? Or do you go to school along hot and dusty pavements, where every time you cross a street you must look sharp and run hard or be caught by an automobile or a street car?

Sometimes the human mice who live in the country when they are children move into the great city and grow old there. They learn to live in the excitement and to like it, but occasionally when they sit at home in the evening they wish they were in the country once more, where the evening breezes brought them the scent of the apple blossoms, and where at day-break the birds wakened them from their quiet, peaceful slumber.

A RIDDLE
S I was going to Saint Ives
A I met a man with seven wives;
Each wife had seven sacks,
Each sack had seven cats,
Each cat had seven kits:
Kits, cats, sacks and wives,
How many were going to Saint Ives?

Can you guess this riddle at once? Which way was the speaker going? Which way were kit, cats, sacks and wives going?

[graphic][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed]

This pretty lullaby has traveled a long way from its home in the Highlands of Scotland, where it was sung in Gaelic to little mountain babies many, many years ago. The sea comes in close to the Highlands, and sometimes runs its long arms up among them, so that fisher folk are numerous, and the sea is the one big thought in their minds.

Father, brother and sister are out in the storm, father toiling with his boat among the waves, brother bringing in the wandering sheep, and sister driving the cows into the sheltered stable. At home mother sits by the cradle and sings the baby to sleep with her soft lullaby.

SLEEP, BABY, SLEEP!
. CLEEP, baby, sleep!

D Thy father watches his sheep;
Thy mother is shaking the dreamland tree,
And down comes a little dream on thee.

Sleep, baby, sleep!

Sleep, baby, sleep!

The large stars are the sheep;
The little stars are the lambs, I guess,
And the gentle moon is the shepherdess

Sleep, baby, sleep!

Sleep, baby, sleep!

Our Saviour loves His sheep;
He is the Lamb of God on high,
Who for our sakes came down to die.

Sleep, baby, sleep!

[ocr errors]

LO

THE PEA BLOSSOM

By HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN 312You 2010. HERE were once five peas in one shell:

they were green, the shell was green, and so they believed that the whole world must be green also, which was a very natural conclusion. The shell grew, and the peas grew; they accom

modated themselves to their position, and sat all in a row. The sun shone without and warmed the shell, and the rain made it clear and transparent; it was mild and agreeable in broad daylight, and dark at night, as it generally is; and the peas as they sat there grew bigger and bigger, and more thoughtful as they mused, for they felt there must be something for them to do.

“Are we to sit here forever?” asked one; “shall we not become hard by sitting so long? It seems to me there must be something outside, and I feel sure of it.”

And as weeks passed by, the peas became yellow, and the shell became yellow.

"All the world is turning yellow, I suppose,” said they—and perhaps they were right in the position.

Suddenly they felt a pull at the shell; it was torn off and held in human hands, then slipped into the pocket of a jacket in company with other full pods.

“Now we shall soon be opened,” said one-just what they all wanted.

« PreviousContinue »