CHRISTMAS STORE .
D. APPLETON AND CO., 00 BROADWAT.
001033 N. APPLETON, 14 CHBETNUT TEBIIT. '
EUrreD according to Act of Congreue, in the year 1850, by
D. APPLETON AND COMPANY,
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Southern
District of New York.
Something about Cold Coutri, . . -. .
ThePetCat,- - - - - - - r
The Berw, - - - - - - -
TheWild Cat, .------------- . .
AFable, ---------------- 1
The Fm ........ .. ......
Bomethii about Da, - - - - -
SOMETHING ABOUT COLD COUNTIES.
THIS is a very cold morning. The
snow covers the ground, the trees, and
houses, while the bleak air cuts sharp
like a knife. The snow birds fly about,
picking up crumbs here and there; and
pussy sinks in the snow, shakes her feet,
and rubs her nose whilrunning fom
the barn to her snug corner in the house,
by the stove. No doubt the mill pond
is frozen hard, and after school the boys
will have a merry time, skating and
sliding over it.
Snow has a great many uses. Some
children will wonder if I tell them that
it keeps the ground warm through the
winter, and thus causes grain and veget-
ables to grow earlier in the spring.
Yet this is true. During winters when
but little snow falls, the cold air freezes
the ground very hard, and the grain,
which is sown ithe fall is much injured.
Snow has another use-it makes the air
pure and healthful, thus driving away
many of the diseases that are with us
during the summer. Some little boys
wish that winter would never come.
They would like the fields to be green
throughout the year, so that the birds
could sing in the trees, and the fruits
and vegetables grow in the garden. But
this could not last long. The earth would
soon be parched into dust by the heat
of the sun, and frightful diseases would
sweep hundreds and thousands of people
to the grave. Perhaps the air would be
so impure, that no one would be able to
live in it. So you see that it is better
for winter to come.
What would you think of a country
where it is winter all the year-where
you could see nothing but sheets of hard
snow, and ice-rocks higher than a house,
and the sea as well as the land, frozen
so hard that fires might be built on it,
without its melting? Greenland is such
a country. Nothing grows there except
a little grass or moss, during the warmest
part of the year; and the people have
neither fruit, flowers, trees, nor vget
ables. No animals live there but seals,
white bears, and whales; so that the
Greenlanders have nothing to eat but
the flesh of these animals.
But what is most wonderful, these '
people live in ice houses. These they
build by laying blocks of ice on each
other, so as to make four walls; and
then they roof the house with sheets of
ice. In such houses they live, sleep, and
cook their food-the only fire being that
of a lamp. How dreary every little boy
who reads this book would be in such a
pmue; yet the Greenlanders are happy,
and think that their country is the finest
in the world. When you become older,
you will read a great deal about them-
how they chase the white bear over snow-
cliffs, and catch seals in boats made of
skins, and cut up the dead whales which
are thrown ashore after being killed
among ice-cliffs; but now I am going to
tell you about another cold country.
It is called Lapland. It is not quite
so dreary a region as Greenland; for
about six weeks in the year is summer,
when grass, and a few bushes, and veget-
ables grow. When this passes away, a
coow OOUNTRS. 11
long, dreary winter comes on, and the
ground is soon covered with deep snow.
What makes it worse, is, that the night
lasts for five or six weeks at a time.
You will understand the reason of this
when you become older.
The Laplanders live in huts made of
skins, stretched upon poles. They cook
their food over fires as we do, and have
coffee, tea, flour, and many other articles,
which are brought to Lapland from other
countries. But they have also an animal
which you never saw, and which is far
more useful to them than either coffee
or flour. It is the reindeer. They use
him to draw their sleds over the snow,
and as he runs very swiftly, he can very
soon take a whole family from one place
to another, in one of their large sleds.
The female reindeer gives milk like a
* --l -
c ~O COUNTRIES. 13
cow; the horns aee used for knives and
fish spears; and the skin, after the ani-
mal is dead, is stretched on poles to form
a hut. The reindeer is as useful to the
Laplander, as all the animals in i
country taken together, are to us. W
In Lapland there are springs of boil-
ing water which gush naturally from the
ground. Does it not seem strange, that
in one of the coldest countries in the
world, the water should be boiling hot
These springs are called Geysers, and
sometimes the Lapland womoe boil their
meat and other food in them. Near the
14 CHRISTMAS ROIES.
Geysers is a high mountain; its sides
are covered with snow and ice all the
year, while fire, smoke, and hot water
pour from the top. It is hollow inside,
Ih great noises are often heard under
thfround near its base.
A great distance from Lapland is a
vast country, called Siberia. It is very
cold, and neither horses, cows, nor sheep,
live there. Yet numbers of bones and
teeth of elephants, are found among the
ice. No body knows how they got there;
but some persons suppose that Siberia
was once warm, and had woods and
flowers, growing over it For many
years, the persons who offended the Em-
peror of Russia, who owns Siberia, were
sent to it, and not permitted to see their
own land again. Some of them died
miserably; others built huts for them-
selves, and lived comfortably until their
Near the coast of Siberia, are some
islands, called the Fox Islands. They
form one of the most cold and dreary
regions in the world. The people do not
uve in huts, like the Laplanders, nor in
cehouses, like the Greenlanders; but
. r ***,
16 CRISTMAS STOmIS.
in pits, dug deep in the ground. Some-
times more than one hundred persons
live in one of these pits. They go in
and out by means of poles, placed up-
right, with rough steps cut in them.
But these people are poor and wretched
-far more so than the Greenlander, or
It is very entertaining to read about
the habits and manners of different na-
tions. It is also instructive. Among
other lessons, it teaches us how wisely
God provides for the comforts of h~
creatures. He gives the Laplanders the
reindeer, because horses could not travel
constantly over the snow; he gives to .
the people, who live near deserts, the '
camel; for neither horse nor reindeer,
can live in a desert. He gives the peo-
ple of hot countries, shelter from the
heat, and the people of cold countries,
shelter from thie cold. When the long
nights happen in Lapland, He causes
the moon to shine brightly, and fills all
the sky with strange fires, called northern
lights; and when, in our country, and
in other countries, the sun pours down
his hot rays, He causes every tree, and
1$ CHRISTMAS STORIES.
hedge, and every stalk of corn, to pro-
duce hundreds of leaves, which, like a
curtain, shelter man and cattle from the
heat. Who would not praise Him I
THE PIT VAT
THE PET CAT..
SoME persons do not like cats. They
would not have puss abodt the house, if
they could keep rats a"d mice away
without her; and even when she has
done her best, they kick her about, hal 4
starve her, or drive her out of the door.
Such conduct, besides being wicked, is
very foolish. There is no reamao
we should not be as kind to a a to
a dog; and certainly in point of beauty
20 OHRISTMAS STORIES.
and opiiness, the cat has an advan-
tage over the dog. It is true, cats will
sIetimes 'scratch and bite; but what
boy, though his temper be the mildest,
could be kicked and clubbed, as cats are
sometimes, without scratching, roaring-
yes, and biting, too?
I win tell you how a little girl, named
Anne Bobbins, used her cat. One day as
she was coming from school, she met a
boy carrying a small kitten in his hand.
It was mewing so piteously, that Anna
stopped, and asked him what he was
going to do with it.
THE PET OAT.
"Why, drown it, to be sure," maid the
boy; "what else would I do with it?"
"Oh, do not do so," said Anne. "It
is such a pretty kitt '
"Yes, but I will, though," replied fA
boy, tossing it in the air, and eating
it as it fell. Anne pitied it, nd asked,
Will you give it to me ?"
"No," replied the boy. "I'll drown
it. "You'll hear It squeal, if yot stand
here long enough."
"Will you sell p me, then ?" asked
Anne. "I will 9' two cents for it.
After standing a while, the boy sad
he would. Anne handed him the money,
and took the kitten-the boy having first
pinched its ear as hard as he could. She
wrapped it in he shawl, ran home, and
told her mother what she had done. Mrs.
Robbins maid she might keep the kitten
for her own, and gave it some milk. The
kitten lapped it up as though it had
tasted nothing for a week, and then crept
under the stove to arm itself Anne
was quite proud of her prize, and said
its name should be Tabby; and soon as
supper was over, rbe made a bed for it,
in a basket, in the cellar.
THU PIT 04T. 2t
Tabby was about three weeks wi
when Anne bought it. It had been
starved, and abused so much, that it was
nothing but skin andone. For the firr
two or three days, it slept nearly the
time, and was too weak to walk. Om
of its legs appeared brehea But evem
day, before going to school, Anne d it,
; and smoothed down its fur; ad also B
the evening. On the fourth day it bqeg
to walk about, and from that time got
well very ALt It soon learned to know
Anne, and would tumble, heels over head,
running after her. It would fo~ow-;
string round the room, over chairs. nd
steps, and spring after a ball or block,
when its mistress rolled it across the
floor. If any one patted its head, or
stroked its back, it would sit very still
for a while, and then jump up all at once,
and tumble round the room.
Tabby was a handsome kitten. Her
sides were white, but Over her back and
breast, ran stripes and spots of several
different colors. Her head was smooth
and round; and as she sat on her hind
feet, with her long whiskers sticking out
on each side, she looked very fierce. Yet
THE PET OAT. 25
she was quite harmless, never scratch-
ing, nor biting, as some kittens do. She
loved to lie on her back, and strike at
the flies that were trying to alight on her
head. As she grew larger, Anne taught
her a great many things-such as pull-
ing the latch of the door, when she
wanted to come in, standing on her hind
feet, to beg for meat, and following her
mistress down the garden walk. People
who came to Mrs. Bobbins' house, won.
dered to see a cat do such thing and
which, besides, never seomtbed nor lb
her mistress; but Anne's mother tolf l
26 CHRISTMIS STOe
them, that all this was the resaH of
kindness. Puss loved her little mistress
because she loved it, and never abused
it any of the ways that children often do,
in their treatment of animals.
I suppose you want to know what be-
came of this little kitten. It grew large
and fat, and cleared the house of all rats
and mice. When it was two years old,
Mrs. Robbins moved from the house she
had lived in. Some said, that the eat,
if taken to the new house, would not
stay, but would run back to her first
bme. Pass.did stay, however. She ha
THE PET CAT.
no notion of running away from those
who were kind to her. As she became
older, she wu less playful than before;
but she continued to love Ana, anill
followed he about the home, aM through
the garden. Tabby lived to be twelve
years old, so that when she died, Anne
was a young woman.
.MR. NoA had three children, John,
Charles, and Mary. He was kind to these
children, and took much pains to instruct
them in useful knowledge. Every night,
when he had time, he sat beside the
THE BEAR WITH A CLOUD
table, or near the fire with them, and
told about different couies, nations,
and animals. I wish every 19le boy
and girl, who reads this book, wld'per-
suade their father to do the same.
One cold night, when they had all
gathered around the fire, Mr. Noah
showed the children a picture of a bear,
which had a great clog fastened to his
fore leg. Charles asked why it had be
done. His father told him that be
were sometimes brought to cities, and
kept in taverns, for the men whs come
to such places, to look at Generally,
they awe kept in cages, but sometimes
are merely chained to an iron ring, with
a clogn one leg, to prevent their doing
"Where are bears found ?" asked John.
"They are found in most countries,"
S replied his father. "Many are in our
own land. The common bear of America,
is entirely black, with long, coarse hair,
Sand strong teeth, and claws. He lives
Either in thick woods, or in some dark
cave, among rocks and mountains. At
night he comes around the farmers' fields,
and steals corn, chickens, pigs, fruit, and
other useful things. If chased, ruia. ,
very fast, sometimes carrying a young
pig, or a duck, in his mouth. the
woods he hunts for honey, which the wild
bees hide in the trunks of hollow trees."
"How do they catch him, father ?"
He is generally caught in traps; but
this is only when he is to be kept in a
cage for a show. The farmers in the
West, whose fowls and produce, tL i
steals, always shoot him. His sl 4
valuable for its warmth in cold weather;
and his flesh is eaten as we eat pork."
"EA bears, papa said little Mary;
"who ever heard of such a thing."
Bars meat, my child, is sweet and
good. If we can eat hog's meat without
disgust, certainly there is nothing very
dreadful in the flesh of an animal which
lives on nothing but corn, chickens,
honey, or pigs."
"Father," said John, "I heard uncle
William speak of a bear-beating, the
Sday. He said it was a very cruel
ting; but I did not understand what he
"I am glad we have none in tis
country," said Mr. Noah. "Many year
ago, they were common in England. As
I see you are ready to ask me what they
were, I will try to make you understand.
A bear-beating was nothing more than a
fight between a bear and three or four
large dogs. The bear was chained to a
strong ring in the ground, and the dogs
let loose on him. They tore and worried
the poor animal, until he was covered
with wounds and blood, of which 1W
died. Generally, one or two of the
dogs were abo killed. While the fight
lasted, crowds of people stood round,
shouting, laughing, clapping their haads,
and driving the dogs on. Sometimes,
instead of a bear, a bull was chmined to
the hook, when the spectacle was called
a bull-beating. I have read of some, in
which the bull broke his chain, and
dashing amid the crowd, trampled to
death, men, women and children."
''How I would have run," Charles
"If you were in the bull's way, there
would be but little chance for you," re-
plied 'his father. "But I rejoice that
you will never be able to run from a bull-
beating; for now, people do not take de-
light in such spectacles."
"ArA not some bears white?" asked
"Yes," said Mr. Noah. "The white
bear is much larger and stronger than
the common one. He lives only in cold
countries, and eats dead fish, seals, and
whales. Often he is seen by sailors,
walking on the ice, far out at sea, or sit-
ting on a great piece of ice, which is
floating in the water. He is a fierce
animal, and if attacked, will often chase
a whole ships crew, until they have
reached their vessel. The female white
bear, has great affection for her young.
She will cover them with her own body,
when they are shot at, and fight till she
is killed, rather than suffer them to be
injured. Sometimes a white bear is
caught and brought to this country.
But they do not live long in cages, be-
cause the climate is too warm for them.",
"Tell us some more about bears,
papa," said Mary.
"There is one kind called the browzSlJ
bear," answered Mr. Noah. "It looks a '
good deal like the black bear, but is
larger and stronger. Its color is brown.
It lives on high mountains, or in thick
woods, and preys mostly upon sheep, ,
goats, and smaller animals. This bear
is not found in America. Once it was
numerous in Europe, but is not now
often met with."
88 CHRISTMAS STORIES.
Is there no kind of bear in our coun-
try, except the black bear ?" asked
"Yes," said Mr. Noah, "the grizzly
bear. He is the strongest and fiercest
Sof all the bears. He lives in the Rocky
mountains, in the western part of our
country, and is not often seen near the
abodes of men. His color is black, his
hair is long and coarse, and his whole
appearance frightful. His claws are
nearly twice the length of my finger.
Many terrible stories. are told of this
bear-how he chases the hunters for
miles, after he has been shot two or
three times; how he swims rivers to get
at men on the opposite side; and how,
with his long claws, he can tear a buffalo
to pieces, as easily as a cat tears a bird.
I cannot say whether all this be true;
but it is certain that the grizzly bear is
the strongest, fiercest animal in America,
and so difficult to kill, that he can swim
or run for some time after several balls
have been lodged in him."
Charles asked his father if this bear
was found in the old world. Mr. Noah
"He is found no where but in Ame-
rica. In India, a country very far from
this, there is an animal called the Hin-
dostan bear. I cannot well describe its
shape. At first sight, it seems to be
nothing but a lump of long, rough hair,
from which shoots out a sharp nose, like
a hog's. Its legs are short, and its whole
appearance clumsy. But this bear can
run very nimbly, and has been taught
to dance on ropes, and to climb a pole
placed on the ground. It is sometimes
called the cinnamon bear, because its
color is a little like cinnamon. There
are a few other kinds of bears," con-
tinued Mr. Noah; "but I think you have
heard enough for this evening; so you
may go and play until bed time."
THE WILD CAT.
THl wild cat is larger and stronger
than the domestic cat. It lives in the
woods, and feeds upon chickens, squir-
rels, mie, and similar animals. A large
wild cat is a good mateh for a dog, and
some have even been kniwa to attack a
man. Its fur is not so chan and smooth
as that of the common cat, nor has it
fine, large spots of black, yellow, and
red, over its skin. It is generally dark
TI b*viI CAT.
THE WILD OAT.
grey on the back, and lighter under-
neath; and sometimes stripes of grey or
black, run down along the sides.
I have a story to tell about a wild cat.
iirst, you should know, that persons
sometimes moved from their own coun-
try, or State, to some region where there
are no towns, or cities-nothing b t
woods, wide fields of grass, and hills
These people are called emigrants. They
cut down the trees, clear the fields, aid
build houses; so that in a few years a
village appears in'the woods, and then a
town. But they suffer many hardships
at first, and sometimes are obliged to
leave the spot they first cleared for set-
About fifteen years ago, a family emi-
grated to the western woods, built a log
house, and cleared away the trees and
bushes. The family consisted of three
children, with their parents, and two
men; and near the same place were
about six or eight other families.. One
day, George and Thomas, the twjbldest
children, went out to walk in thb fields,
taking a large dog with them. Mter
going a considerable distance,, they
TH WILD OAT.
reached a rock, which stood near a stream
of water, and was almost covered by tall
reeds, bushes, and hanging vines. This
was the first time they had been so far
from home by themselves; but they did
not feel afraid, since being but young,
they were not aware of the danger of
wandering alone on one of the great
prairies of the West. No house was ,
visible; nothing to intimate that the foot
of man had ever broken the deep silence.
While they stood looking into the water," .
the dog began to bark loudly. Georg s
tried to quiet him; but he continued
*46 cOHISTMIS STORES.
barking, with his head toward the thick
bushes around the rock. The boys
looked toward them; but seeing nothag,
they again tried to quiet their dog. At
last the bushes made a rustling noise, as
if something was moving among them.
George and his brother, were on the
point of moving up to them, when some
animal, suddenly lifted its head above
th vines, and began to growl, and roll
its fierce eyes from the boys to the dog.
They were now afraid, and turned round
run. But the loud grown of the
animal, its fierce look, and the long teeth
THr WILD CAT. 4W ^
which appeared whenever its mouth was
open, had so frightened them, that after
toteing a little distance, they fell down.
The animal now sprang from the bushes.
It tried to leap over the dog's head; but
that faithful animal threw himself
fore it, and thus saved the children. A
dreadful battle now began. The wild
cat-for thief animal was one-wished
to fasten itself on the dog's neck, so as
to pin him to the ground; but the dog
caught the side of its head in his teeth,
and hel on firmly. The cat tore great
scratches in him with his claws; but he
kept his hold, sinking his teeth into its
face, and thus preventing it from biting
For a while the boys sat wringing
their hands; but seeing the dog fight so
bravely, they arose, and ran as fast as
they could toward home. They reached
it safely, and told their story. The
. father, with his two men, took their
guns, and ran toward the rock. Here
they found a hunter standing with a
rifle in his hand. He had heard the
noise of the fight, as he passed by the
field on the other side of the stream, and
mn WUID CAT. 49
seeing the ildd cat tearing the dog, had
shot it with his rifle. The dog was
wounded, but George's father took so
much care of him, that he soon recovered.
Wild cats are fond of rabbi~ and will
sometimes steal them at niglfrom the
pens where they are kept. In the woods
it catches birds, and will saeetimes steal
the young from their nest devouang ,
them all at a mouthfuL It pay often
be seen in the evenings, beside
creeks, watching the fish as they swim
up and down, or peeping between the
grass and bushes, after water rats. At '
otheriimes it crouches upon the lilb
of a tree, ready to spring upon the
squirrels that may.come out to play.
In warm countries this animal is
larger and fiercer tan in our woods.
There he is not afraid to attack dogs,
sheep,' goats, and other animals, and
sometimes to creep into cellars or store
house There is another animal much
larger thaq the one you have been read-
ing about, which is also called the wild
cat. But its real name is Cougar, and
it should always be called so. It jh
nearly twice as large as the real wild
THE WILD CAT. 51
eat, and is of a red, or brown color. For-
merly, when most of our country was
covered with woods, the wild cat was
much dreaded by the settlers, and fro:
quently attacked both them and thcir
A iABL is a story in which we sup-
pose birds and beasts talk together as
though they were men and children.
Such stories are told to instruct as well
as to amuse us. You shall hear a fable
about a hare. This animal looks a great
deal like a'rabbit, and might be taken
for one, if it were not larger. It is a
timid creature, and runs away at hear-
ing the least noise.
THB SILLY HARE.
One morning a hare sat among some
flowers, that grew near a stream of water.
As he saw his image in the water, he
began to think that he was a very bold
looking animal, and to wonder why he
had ever ran from either dogs or men.
See, what a stout body I have," he said
to himself; "what sharp teeth, and fierce
eyes. If I should look a dog in the face,
he would cower with fear. I shall never
again run from any living things for I
know that half a dozen men, and a whole
pack of hounds, will never be able to take
me, so long as I choose to fight."
While musing in this manner, he heard
two hounds coming toward him, with full
speed. He sat still, thinking the sight
of his big eyes would strike the dogs
with terror. But the next moment they
were upon him, and with one bite, broke
his back. When too late, the poor. hre
perceived one thing that he kd aot
thought of before, which was, that al-
though he might have as much courage
as a dog, yet it would do him little good
unless he had also the dog's teeth and
the dog's strength.
Perhaps we can learn from this fable,
the lesson, to be satisfied with the quali-
ties which God has given u, instead of
trying to obtain those that he has wite.
held. Had the hare used his swih feet,
he would have escaped safely; but by
trying to become strong as a dog, he
ken L sometimes act as folishly as
i hare. I know a little boy whose
mother told him not to eat any green
fruit. Whenever he came home with an
unripe peach, or apple, in his hand, she
took it from him. He fretted, and cried,
as bad children do; and at last would
scream as loud as he could, whenever
the green frait was taken from him.
8ill his mother would not let him eat
any at home. But one day he saw some
apples in a window and bought two for
a cent. They were hard and green, not
fit either to cook or eat. Yet this boy
was determined to eat them, and he did
eat them. They made his lips sore, and
set his teeth on edge, so that he began to
wish he had obeyed his mother's com-
mands. By and by, he felt sick. He
did not like to go home and tell his
mother, lest she might find out thqt he
A FABLE. 57
had been eating unripe fruit; so )e
walked along the streets for a while, and
then began to play with some boys. Bf
he grew worse, and at length had to run
home, crying all the way. He was put
to bed, and for two months did not get
out of it. During that time, the fruit
of all kinds ripened, and had he been
well, he might have eaten a great deal
of ittevery day. But there he lay in a
little room by himself suffering with
pain, weakness, and heat, looking out at
the bright sky, which he could see only
through the window, and taking bitter
S CHRISTMAS STORIES.
medicine~ night and morning. He would
have done better by obeying his mother.
He was like the silly hare.
I will tell you of a girl that would
have her own way. She saw some beau-
tiful silk in a store, and asked her mother
to buy her a dress like it. Her mother
would not consent; but every day thi1,
girl teased her mrtil, at last, the dress
was bought. Perhaps the mother did
wrong in thus yielding; for children
should by no means have all that they
ask for. The dress was made in a hand-
some manner, and the girl's mother
A FAIVL.A 59
hoped that she would keep it fir Sun-
days. But only a week after it had been
made, the girl-Charlotte was her name
-was invited to spend the afternoon
with a few friends. "Shall I have wx
silk dress on?" she asked her mother.
As it threatened to rain, her mother told
M to put on one of her others, two or
three of which were very handsome. But
Chartte would haye her own way; and
she teased her kind mother so much, that
at length permission was given her to
wear the silk dress.
Charlotte ran up stairs as fast as she
60 ohs uns sTomhI.
could, to get it out of her drawer. She
was nearly two hours dreming-and as
she stood looking at herself in the glass,
vainly imagined, that she had never seen
any girl so fine. By this time a shower
had fallen, and the sky was still overcast
with clouds; but Charlotte could think
of nothing but her silk dress, and the
afternoon party. She had not gone more
than half the distance before it Bgan
to rain. It was summer, and you know
how violent the storms then are. When
Charlotte saw the drops of rain, she ran
very fast, hoping to reach her friend's
& YArjJj ? Al
house before she got wet. But in a few
moments, showers poured down, turning
the dwt in the streets to mud, and cover-
ing the pavements with water, Che-
lotte's silk dress was soaked, and cow-
pletely spoiled. How was she mortified
on arriving at the party, and finding all
her young friends enjoying themselves
to the utmost, yet dressed plainly and
,conAtably, without any unnecessary
finery. Charlot" was a good deal like
the silly hare.
I will tell you another story, about
a boy who supposed he was strong
enough to go into bad company without
becoming bad himself. His mother was
a good woman. She loved her little son
very much, and hoped that he would one
day be a useful man. Often at night
she took him upon her knee, and told
him, among other things, not to go with
boys who swore, or ran idly about the
streets, or pitched pennies at the corners.
For a long while he obeyed her, an
body said that he was one of the best
children they knew.
One day, when this boy was thirteen
years old, he saw some boys in the street
with a large kite. He knew they were
bad boys, for he heard them swear, and
call each other hard names; but the kite
was so fine a one, that he stopped on the
other side of the street, to look at it.
Something seemed to tell him that he
ought to go directly on; but still he
lingered, looking at the kite, and wish- :
ing that he could go and see it raised.
Sheni said to himself, that it would be
no harm to cross over, and hear if theq
were going to fly it. After a while bh
did so. At first their oaths. and, loud
talk shocked him; but this fhdg oomc
wore away, so that in a short time he
was moving out of town with the crowd
of boys to see them raise the kite. He
knew it was wrong to do so; but, like
the hare in the fable, he thought he
,could battle with temptation, rather
than fly from it.
That night the mother sat down be-
side her son, and talked with him, as
was her custom to do. Seeing At he.
yas not cheerful, as usual, she asked
him what was the matter. He told her
he was sick. He knew his mother would
believe him, because he had not often
A 7l l op 65
deceived her. She gave him something,
and put him to bed. There he cried
until he fell asleep-and yet he scarcely
knew why. The reason was, he had
done wrong-and. something which he
had never felt before, lay at his heart,
making him miserable.
Next morning, on awaking, he thought
of his conduct the day before, and said
to self: 'I will never again stop to
look at bad boys.' Poor child. He did
not know that by once disobeying f
mother, he had entered on the broad road
that leads to misery, and whose footpaths
66 CHRISTMAS STORIES.
are so connected with each other, that
he who treads in one, is sure to be very
soon led into another.
Ought not this boy, when he felt that
he had done wrong, to have gone to his
mother, told her all, and asked her for-
giveness ? He did not do so. When his
mother asked him if he felt better, he
said yes--here was another falsehood.
In school, his teacher asked him f he
had gone directly home the afternoon
before; for one of the scholars had seen
him with the crowd of boys, and told
her of it. "He denied that he had been
with them; and as his teacher believed
him, he escaped punishment. But how
miserably he felt to see the scholar who
had told of him, kept in without dinner,
for telling what the teacher supposed
was not true.
Now, children, I will tell you one thing,
which I hope you will remember. It is
this. When a good boy begins to dis-
obey his parents, and to commit wicked-
ness, he generally becomes worse in a
few months than those who have been
wicked all their lives. This is a sad
truth, and should teach every one to be
careful not to commit the first bad act
It was so with the boy that you have
been reading about. He soon fbiod that
he no longer had courage to say, 'no,' to
those who wished him to join them in
doing mischief. He became used to
swearing, lying, and other bad language,
and could even laugh at it. By and by,
he began to employ such language him-
self. Then he learned many sly tricks,
such as no noble hearted boy should
practise. At the age of twenty-only
seven years after his wicked course be,
gan-he had learned to swear, to fight,
'A hABLL 6.
to drink, and what is, perhaps, still more
dreadful, to roam about at night with
gangs vt men, breaking into houses to,
steal, or firing the buildings of those who
had in any manner offended him. His
mother did not show him how wrong such
conduct was, for she was dead.
And now, with no one to guide or ee
for him, this wicked young lan went on
from bad to worse, until he was dreaded
by every person in the neighborhood
where he lived. Officers tried to put
him in prison; but he left his BatM"
city, and went to another. There he
70 CHRISTMAS STORIES.
one night entered a tavern. He met
several whom he knew, and after drink-
ing together, they agreed to attempt a
robbery, the next evening, on an old
man, who lived in the upper part of the
city. They expected to find this old
man alone, and thought they could easily
confine him in some manner, rob his
house, and escape without being caught.
The attempt failed, and they were all
taken by the police. The boy who had
disobeyed his mother, was provedto be
the one who had committed many bad
deeds, in his native city. So he was
A FABLE. 71
placed in prison for ten years. Ten
years I How long to lie in the cell of a
dreary jail I Far differently would that
time have been spept, if when a young
and happy boy, he had obeyed his
mother, who was now in the grave. He
had acted like the silly hare.
THE fox is a small animal, rather
higher and larger than a full grown cat.
His body is of a reddish brown color,
and he has a bushy tail, bright eyes, and
a sharp nose. He lives in a hole, or
'burrow under the ground, which he digs
for himself, with his fore feet. During
the summer, he is generally out among
the fields and hills; but in winter he
creeps into his burrow, wraps himself
yVesnugly in a warm bed of leaves, and .
sleeps till spring.
The fox eats chickens, ducks, pigeons,
and geese. He is strong enough to run
away with a goose over his back, holding
it by the neck. At night he comes down
to the chicken houses, and steals the
chickens from their roost. If a dog or a
man be near, he generally takes but one;
if every thing is quiet, he will often kill
half a dozen, even more. If ducks
are swimming in a pond, he will hide
himself among the bushes on shore,
waiting till one comes near. Then he
leaps out, strangles it, and carries it to.
some place where he can feast upon it
in salty. It is not often that he ven-
tures to go into the water after either
ducks or geese.
Foxes are cunning animals. Wnen
chased, they often run in such a man-
ner, that the dogs lose the track, and
wander to a great distance, while the fox
slyly runs off in another direction. Some-
times a trap, called Maigure Four, is
set for him. This is made wfth three
sticks, joined together in the shape of a
4, with a piece of meat on the end of one
of them. A heavy box is placed over
the sticks in such a manner, that it falls
whenever the meat is touched, catting
whatever is underneath. As the fox can
dig through the ground, and so might
escape, even if the box did fall over him,
the trap is generally placed on loose
boards, spread on the ground. But after
all the pains that may be taken, it is not
often that the fox can be caught in such
a trap. Somettes he looks at it a little
while, and then runs off; or he will try
to push the box down, so that it may fall
sideways,% nd leave the meat outside.
Now and then, an old fox, who is still
more cunning, comes along. Beginning
at the edge of the boards, he digs a hole
in the ground, so that it will run directly
under the trap. He makes this hole to
bend upwards, until he touches the under
part of the boards. Then, if they are
not too heavy, he pushes them apart
witc his head, and seizing the meat,
carries it with him through the hole, and
You may be sure that the fox is not
much liked by the farmer. The boys in
the country, chase him with Rones and
clubs, or collect spades and picks, to dig
him out of his burrow. Sometimes as .,
the poor fox jumps out of the barnwith
a chicken in his mouth, he is shot dead
by the farmer, who has been watching
for him behind the fence. Once it was
a custom in Engaad to hunt the fox.
Two or three men mounted their horses
and rode into the fields where they knew
foxes were. They had with them dogs,
which had been trained to follow foxes,
and other animals. These dogs ran about
smelling on the ground, until they found
a fox's burrow. HI was soon aroused,
and then the chase began. The fox ran
as fast as he could toward hills, woods,
or thick bushes, if they were near, while
behind him ran the dogs, at full speed,
followed by the horsemen, shouting and
blowing horns. Often the chase lasted
Half a day. Sometimes the fox escaped;
but oftener he was caught, and torn to
pieces by the dogs.
Many fables have been written about
foxes. You will read some of them when
you grow older; and, perhaps, you may
then observe, that in all of them, the fox
is described either as very cunning, or
very deceitful. Hence, no child should
try to be like him. It is no honor for
the fox to be sly and treacherous, be-
cause animals know nothing of right and
wrong; but it would be a sad thing to
see little boys and little girls playing
such tricks as the book of fables tells
The fox is a hardy animal,. 34 can
stand a great deal of cold. In old age,
his hair becomes grey and coarse, like
bristles. In very cold countries, there
are white foxes. Their hair is soft and
thick, like fur, so that the skin sells at
80 CHRISTMAS STORES.
a great price. The white foxes feed on
dead fish, seals, or whales, and it is not
easy either to catch or shoot them. Ihey
are quite as cunning, and far more fierce
than the common red fox, sometimes en-
tering into the huts.of the inhabitants,
and stealing their oil and meat.
-uIIm lReZ UHAS.
SOMETHING ABOUT DEER.
HEE is a very fine picture of a stag
hunt. You see the poor stag rui4 at .
full speed, chased by dogs and men, am
appearing as though he would soon be
too tired to run any further. None of
you ever saw a stag hunt; but you would
like to read all about one. Yet, before
doing so, you shall hear a little about
He. is a large animal, with long,
slender legs, and a handsome head, which
he holds high in the air. His horns are
not in one piece, like those of the cow,
or the goat, but branch out, in twigs,
eack of which is a small horn. A large
stag is as high as a calf, but very nimble
and graceful; and he can run so fast,
that for a while, the swiftestfhorse can-
not overtake him. Stags love to rove in
flocks, over fields where there are a few
trees, from which they can pull the soft
and tender branches. In hot weather,
he wanders along the sides of rivers, or
swims in the deep water, with nothing
but his nose above the warface. He io
a harmless animal, and though so large,
and having such powerful horns, he
chooses to fly from man, rather than give
him battle. '
Perhaps you are ready to ask, whyw'~
gentle an animal is chased by men and
dogs. It is because the men who chased '
stags were cruel, and could take delight
in seeing dmb animals suffer. Yoru
shall now hear something about a stag
You have read how xazes were hunted.
The party which engaged in a stag hunt
was much larger than that of a fox hunt,
sometimes amounting to twelve or twenty
men. Each man carried a spear, and a
horn. The dogs used for hunting the
stag, were fierce, strong hounds, which
had been carefully trained for the pur-
pose. Soon as the stag heard them
comingg, he bounded away at full speed,
throwing his head back, so that his long
horns rested on his neck and shoulders.
The dogs,' urged on by the hunters, ran
after him, following his track by their
scent, and howling with delight. For
the first two or three hours, the stag
would keep far ahead, neither dogs nor
men being able to see him; but when
he grew tired, he sought to hide himself
in a bush, or behind a rock. In a short
time the dogs drew near, when he was
forced from his hiding place, and again
driven off. In this manner, sometimes
running, sometimes hiding, the stag was
chased, until he could no longer run
faster than the hounds. Then he tried
to save himself by a number of actions,
some of which were very remarkable.
He crossed backwards and forwards, so
as to confuse the dogs, leaped as far as
he could, out of his course, and ran
among other stags, when he happened
to meet them. If he came to a river,
he leaped into it, keeping only his nose
above water, and floating down some
distance with the tide. When every
other method failed, he stopped, and
boldly waited for his pursuers. One
stroke of his horns often killed the
strongest hound; and the furious animal
sometimes ran against the hunters, as
they came near, and gored them to death.
But these were his dying efforts. While
he tried to defend himself, the hounds
fastened themselves upon him, on all
sides, and the hunters ran him through
with their spears.
The stag is only one kind, or species
of deer. Another species is the moose,
called also, the elk. He is taller than a
horse, with horns twice as large as those
of the stag. His legs are so long that
he looks very awkward, and while run-
ning, he moves with a clumsy gait. As <
his heavy hoofs come down, either on the
ground, or on the heavy snow, they maks
a loud, rattling noise, somewhat MW e
thunder. Yet the moose can gallop so
88 CHRISTMAS STOR~R
fast, that the swiftest hor'e6an scarcely
keep up with him. He is a harmless
animal, and very useful. His flesh is
eaten for food, his skin makes articles
of clothing, his horns are used for knife
handles, and other materials, and his
feet make glue.
The common deer of America, is a
handsome animal, smaller than the stag,
.but very swift. Great numbers of these
deer are shot and brought to our large
cities for sale. Their flesh is called
venison, and by some persons is much
liked. Sometimes the common deer is
/ THE DEUR. 89
caught and kept in a yard, or a fenced
field, in the country. Then it soon be-
comes tame, eating from the hand, and
following its owner about, as dogs often
do. If two be kept together, they are
very playful, chasing each other about
for hours at a time, leaping over each
other's heads, or crouching side by side,
to enjoy the warm rays of the sun.
In another part of this book, you will
read of a species of deer which lives in
Lapland, and draws sleds over the snow,
as horses draw carriages for us. On the
great continent of Africa, is found a deer
90 CHRISTMAS TOR~q
no higher than a moderate sized dog, and
with legs almost as slender as a man's
finger. It is a beautiful little animal,
regularly spotted over the sides, and
having a full, soft eye, so lively and full
of meaning, that it seems almost like
the eye of a happy child. When a flock
of these little creatures is scattered
over the wide plaint of Africa, brousing
on the leaves and grass, running around,
and playing with each other, or resting
under the shady trees, they form a de-
lightful spectacle. Now and then, one
of them is caught and kept for a pet, but
it soon droops and dies. These deer
cannot live away from the wide fields,
and the fresh air of streams and moun-
tains. Numbers of them are killed by
lions, wolves, hyenas, jackalls, and other
beasts of prey.
These are the principal kinds of deer,'
that you will hear mentioned by persons
in conversation; and it is useful for yolu
to know something about them. Shut
the book, and try if you can repeat the
name of each species. If so, you should
also endeavor to remember all that you
have read of each. Some time you may
wish to tell it to your little brother or
You perceive that some one kind of
deer is found in every country. In Ame-
rica there are several kinds, beside the
common deer. One of these is the Vir-
ginian deer. It is but a little larger
than the small African deer, and is also
spotted like it. Both these small spe-
cies live in warm countries. But the elk
and the reindeer, are found only in cold
climates, either among deep woods,
covered two-thirds of the year with ie
and snow, or in the dreary region of Lap-
THE DZEE 98
land, where the summer is but six weeks
long, and the severe winter locks every
object in a solid sheet of frost and ice.
This is another proof of the wisdom of
Sod. Of what use would the little Afri-
can deer be in Lapland, even if it could
live in cold countries? And of what use
would the reindeer be in Africa, where
snow never falls, and where neier frost
nor ice is known ?