« PreviousContinue »
nest of grass not far from where the Lion was caught. He heard the noise of the struggle and sat at home with a beating heart, afraid to venture out of doors while such a furious combat was going on. When the Lion grew quiet, however, the Mouse stole out, and soon saw what was the matter.
"O Mr. Lion," he said, "y°u are the very Mr. Lion that let me go that other day, aren't you? and now the hunters will kill you if you can't get away, won't they? I'll help you."
"What can you do, you little mite?" growled the Lion. "Better run away yourself, or when the hunters come for me they'll step on you."
"O, I can help. I can gnaw the ropes in two. I'd like to do it," said the Mouse. "Just you keep still till I tell you to move."
So the Mouse began to gnaw on the big ropes. It was a hard task, and his lips grew sore and his sharp teeth ached, but he kept on bravely till one after another the ropes gave way and the King of the Woods was almost free.
"Wait just a few minutes more," said the Mouse as he paused to rest his little jaws. "Don't jump up till I get out of the way. I'll tell you when."
In a little while the last rope was cut in two, and the Mouse, scrambling down from the Lion's big head, called out:
"Now jump up, Mr. Lion; you're free. Aren't you glad you didn't kill me the other day?"
The big fellow stood up on his feet, shook himself a few times, stretched his aching limbs, washed his face and walked away. But just as he was going he looked back over his shoulder and sang out, "Little friends are great friends."
THE OLD MAN AND HIS SONS
AN old man who had many sons became very much Xa. troubled by their constant quarreling. Many times and often he called his sons before him and begged them to live together in peace and harmony. Nothing he said seemed to affect them in the least until one day he showed them something that spoke more powerfully than words.
Before calling them around him on this day he tied together a bundle of as many sticks as there were sons. Then when all were present he said to the youngest, "Take this bundle of sticks and break it.
Though the j'oungest tried his best he could not break the bundle, nor could the next boy, nor the next, nor even the oldest and strongest of them, although he put his knee across it and pulled with all his muscles.
When each son had made trial and all had failed, the father cut the cord that bound the sticks together and handed a single stick to each son.
"Now break them," said he.
Each son succeeded in breaking his stick with great ease.
"See, my sons!" cried the old man. "There is the power of unity! Bound together in brotherly love, you may defy every human opposition; divided, you will surely fall a prey to your enemies."
LITTLE RED RIDING-HOOD
Adapted from The French Of
ONCE upon a time there lived in a small village in the country a little girl, the prettiest and sweetest little creature that ever was seen. Her mother loved her very fondly, and her grandmother doted on her still more.
This good woman had made for her a little red hood, which was so becoming to the child that every one called her Little Red Riding-Hood.
One day her mother, having made some cheese cakes, said to her:
"Go, my child, and see how your grandmother does; for I fear she is ill. Carry her some of these cakes and this little pat of butter."
Little Red Riding-Hood set out right away with a basket filled with cakes and the pat of butter, to go to her grandmother's house, which was in another village a little way off.
As she was going through a wood which lay in her road, she met a large wolf, who had a very great mind to eat her up; but he dared not, because of some woodcutters near by in the forest. Yet he spoke to her and asked her where she was going.
The poor child, who did not know that it is always dangerous to stand and hear a wolf talk, said to him:
"I am going to see my grandmamma and carry these cakes and this pat of butter from my mamma."
"Does your grandmother live far off?" asked the wolf.
"Oh, yes," answered Little Red Riding-Hood; "she lives beyond that mill yonder, in the first house in the village."
"Well," said the wolf, "I'll go and see her too. I'll go this way and you go that way, and we'll see who'll be there first."
The wolf set out as fast as he could run, taking the nearest way, and it was not long before he reached the old woman's house.
He knocked at the door, tap, tap, tap.
A voice in the house said:
The Wolf replied, speaking as much like Little Red Riding-Hood as he could:
"It is your grandchild, Little Red Riding-Hood. I have brought you some cheese cakes and a little pat of butter that mamma has sent you."
The good grandmother, who was ill in bed, cried out:
"Pull the bobbin, and the latch will go up!"
The wolf pulled the bobbin, the door opened, and in he jumped. Presently he caught the good woman and ate her up in a hurry, for it was more than three days since he had touched a bit of food.
Then he shut the door, and, climbing into the grandmother's bed, waited for Little Red RidingHood.
She had gone the longest way round and had stopped to gather nuts, to run after butterflies and to make nosegays of the little flowers that she found by the way; but shortly after the wolf had got into bed she reached the house and knocked at the door, tap, tap.