Page images
PDF
EPUB
[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

THE OWL AND THE PUSSY-CAT

By Edward LEAR
THE Owl and the Pussy-Cat went to sea

In a beautiful pea-green boat;
They took some honey, and plenty of money

Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
The Owl looked up to the moon above,

And sang to a small guitar,
“Oh, lovely Pussy! Oh, Pussy, my love!
What a beautiful Pussy you are-

You are,
What a beautiful Pussy you are!”

Pussy said to the Owl, “You elegant fowl!

How wonderful sweet you sing! Oh, let us be married—too long we have tarried

But what shall we do for a ring?"

They sailed away for a year and a day

To the land where the Bong-tree grows,
And there in a wood a piggy-wig stood
With a ring in the end of his nose-

His nose,
With a ring in the end of his nose.

“Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling

Your ring?" Said the piggy, “I will.”
So they took it away, and were married next day

By the turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined upon mince and slices of quince,

Which they ate with a runcible spoon,
And hand in hand on the edge of the sand
They danced by the light of the moon-

The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

TIME TO RISE
By Robert Louis Stevenson
A birdie with a yellow bill
Hopped upon the window-sill,
Cocked his shining eye and said:
"Ain't you ’shamed, you sleepyhead!”

No boy likes to be called a sleepyhead, but none can read Stevenson's funny little stanza without smiling

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

P

Ce

THE ENCHANTED STAG

By Wilhelm And Jakob Grimm W HERE were once a brother and sister who

I loved each other dearly; their mother was dead, and their father had married a woman who was most unkind and cruel to them. One day the boy took his sister's hand and said to her, “Dear little sister, since our mother died we have not had one happy hour. Our stepmother gives us dry, hard crusts for dinner and supper; she often knocks us about, and threatens to kick us out of the house. Even the little dogs under the table fare better than we do, for she often throws them nice pieces to eat. Heaven pity us! O, if our dear mother knew! Come, let us go out into the wide world!”

So they went out, and wandered over fields and meadows the whole day till evening. At last they found themselves in a large forest; it began to rain, and the little sister said, “See, brother, heaven and our hearts weep together.”

Finally, tired out with hunger and sorrow and the long journey, they crept into a hollow tree, laid themselves down, and slept till morning. When they awoke the sun was high in the heavens, and shone brightly into the hollow tree, so they left their place of shelter and wandered away in search of water.

“O, I am so thirsty!" said the boy. “If we could only find a brook or a stream!” He stopped to listen, and said, “Stay, I think I hear a running stream.” So he took his sister by the hand, and they ran together to find it.

Now, the stepmother of these poor children was a wicked witch. She had seen the children go away, and following them cautiously like a snake, had bewitched all the springs and streams in the forest. The pleasant trickling of a brook over the pebbles was heard by the children as they reached it, and the boy was just stooping to drink when the sister heard in the babbling of the brook:

“Whoever drinks, of me,

A tiger soon will be.” Then she cried quickly, “Stay, brother, stay! Do not drink, or you will become a wild beast and tear me to pieces.”

Thirsty as he was, at her words the brother conquered his desire to drink, and said, “Dear sister, I will wait till we come to a spring.” So they wanSTAG 343 dered farther, but as they approached she heard in the bubbling spring the words:

“Who drinks of me,

A wolf will be.” "Brother, I pray you, do not drink of this spring; you will be changed into a wolf and devour me.”

Again the brother denied himself and promised to wait; but he said, “At the next stream I must drink, say what you will, my thirst is so great.”

Not far off ran a pretty streamlet, looking clear and bright; but here also in the murmuring waters the sister heard the words:

“Who dares to drink of me,

Turned to a stag will be.” “Dear brother, do not drink,” she began; but she was too late, for her brother had already knelt by the stream to drink, and as the first drop of water touched his lips he became a fawn. How the little sister wept over her enchanted brother, and how the fawn wept also!

He did not run away, but stayed close to her; and at last she said, “Stand still, dear fawn; don't fear; I must take care of you, but I will never leave you."

So she untied her little golden garter and fastened it round the neck of the fawn; then she gathered some soft green rushes and braided them into a string which she fastened to the fawn's golden collar. She then led him away into the forest.

After wandering about for some time they at last found a little deserted hut, and the sister was overjoyed, for she thought it would form a nice shelter for them both. So she led the fawn in and then went

« PreviousContinue »